Google licensing changes could cap Android piracy

While it's easy slinging arrows at Apple for its closed and tightly-controlled iPhone App Store, there's something to be said for its security.

Google's Android operating system has long faced more complicated concerns with its much freer application approval process, its openness to side-loaded apps (installing apps via APK files that you receive through some source other than the Android Market), plus having users root the platform to take control over certain internal system processes.

The "unauthorized" use of apps was a concern that application developers repeatedly brought to Google's attention, the company said … Read more

Are family tracking apps a good idea?

Like iHound before it, Family Tracker was a fairly useless iPhone app until iOS 4 and multitasking came along. Now the app offers a fairly effective way for you to keep tabs on iPhone-carrying family members.

The question is, should you?

Family Tracker works much like the locator services carriers such as AT&T and Verizon have offered for years. In a nutshell, the app transmits GPS location data from the iPhone. Anyone you authorize can monitor the phone's location via a Web browser or another iPhone.

Shades of Big Brother, right? Yes and no. I can recall … Read more

Safari 5.0.1 update fixes black Mail backgrounds, autofill, and more

Apple has released an update to Safari 5, which addresses a number of issues with the initial release, including the problem with black backgrounds appearing when generating mail attachments with scripts, and the potential security vulnerability with autofill that was recently uncovered. In addition, the program has a built-in link to Apple's new extensions gallery for people to download and install extensions.… Read more

Apple releases Safari Extensions Gallery

Apple on Wednesday updated its Safari Web browser, turning on extensions and introducing the Safari Extensions Gallery.

Safari 5 was introduced in June, but the extension functionality was designed for developers, not the general public. This gave developers a chance to create extensions for the browser before Apple officially launched the feature.

Extensions are created using HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3, a few of Apple's favorite technologies for building Web apps.

The Safari Extensions Gallery in Safari 5.0.1 is a repository in which users can quickly find and add extensions to the Safari browser. According to Apple, users … Read more

Winners of CNET 100: Your top-10 iPhone apps

There's nothing like a friendly contest to stir the blood, and the CNET 100 was no different.

Every day for two business weeks, CNET editors presented their 10 favorite iPhone apps for you, our readers, to endorse with a vote or smack down by averting your eyes.

We even gave you a final chance to vote on all 100 submissions, including a handful of overlaps.

We did the math, ranking the top two winners for each editor's set of selections on our master spreadsheet. In addition, we combined the scores for those few apps that more than one … Read more

Making the switch to Apple? Get the perfect setup

With the undeniable popularity and success of the iPhone 4 (despite the antenna debacle), iPad, and ever-increasing Mac sales, Apple is gaining customers faster than ever. If you're thinking about making the switch, this could be your perfect setup.

Component one: iPhone 4 Now in its fourth iteration, Apple's iPhone has forever changed the mobile phone landscape by thrusting touch-screen technology to the tips of every tech geek's tongue and every consumer's wish list. Despite its early and somewhat overblown issues, iPhone 4 has had record-setting sales. With the exception of the complaints from a vocal minority regarding its antenna, … Read more

Muzix brings queuing to iPhone and iPod Touch

Muzix is a music jukebox application for the iPhone and the iPod Touch that is centered around on-the-go playback queue creation, a feature not offered by the onboard player. The free app offers a reasonable amount of functionality and a fun way to interact with your music, but the interface isn't the most intuitive we've come across. Still, for those who loathe iTunes but love making playlists, Muzix is worth checking out.

Before you get started with Muzix, you should know that the experience is more visually thrilling if all of your music has album art attached. The … Read more

Store music in Google Docs, play it on your iPhone

Google Docs is primarily designed to give you online access to Microsoft Office and other types of documents via a Web browser, but technically, you can store just about any type of file in the Docs database. A new iPhone app called Cloud Music, which debuted in the App Store on Monday, takes advantage of this flexibility to deliver a quick-and-dirty music locker service.

First, you have to register with Google and use your Web browser to upload some music files into Google Docs. The service offers up to 1GB of storage for free, with a maximum file size of … Read more

Free iPad sports app a must-have for sports junkies

When I see an app like TheScore for iPad, it forces me to think in big-picture terms, as in: this is how sports news was meant to be consumed. Not in some day-old newspaper or tiny iPhone app, but on a big, beautiful screen jam-packed with scores, standings, videos, and blogs.

In other words, I'm really digging TheScore--and I'm not even that into sports. (It says clearly on my Tech Nerds of America membership card that sports are permissible only as a "passing interest" or for "social interaction research.")

Actually, I do consume a … Read more

Carrier billing coming to Android Market

A short post on the official Android Developers blog last weekend brought big news for Android app developers and Android users: carrier billing will soon come as an option for the Android Market.

The blog didn't reveal a specific date, but "authorized carriers" are now considered an indemnified party. Current developers have 30 days to accept the new conditions to the Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement (DDA), whereas new publishers are agreeing to them when signing up.

Adding carrier billing as an option should help developers move more copies of their apps. In the early days of … Read more