Android software

Google I/O recap: Major Android news; Chrome OS update

Today Google kicked off its annual I/O conference with announcements about Android, Chrome OS, its answer to Apple's HealthKit, and the next generation of developer tools.

Introducing Android L: Android OS's KitKat successor doesn't have a name yet, but it'll begin with L. The platform update will attempt to unite Web and app user experiences through the Material Design interface. Developers will be able to use Google's new Polymer toolkit to design Web apps that look like their Android counterparts, including 3D rendering. Android L also promises notifications on the lock screen (like iOS … Read more

Star Apps: Earth, Wind & Fire

Earth, Wind & Fire's longtime frontman, Philip Bailey, talks about jazz as if he's talking about a school sweetheart. "Jazz was always my first musical genre love," he says. "[Music] always feels like it's an astro-travel of sorts." Fans can go along for the ride June 28-29 when eight-time Grammy winners and Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame members Earth, Wind & Fire headline the Saratoga Jazz Festival, which also features Trombone Shorty, Patti Austin, and Terence Blanchard. Bailey is promoting his new album, "Now, Then & Forever," and his autobiography, &… Read more

7 sizzling summer apps

Can you taste the summer -- the salty ocean air at the beach, the snow cones at a music festival, and a big gulp of air on a thrill ride of a roller coaster? Sate your adventurous appetite with our seven sizzling apps for beach, barbecue, road trips, and more.

At the Pool

At the Pool does what a social media app should do: act as a springboard for offline interaction. So rather than posting your every move, you "shout" at nearby friends or strangers about what you want to do. Reconnect with old friends for a drink … Read more

Star Apps: Frameline 38

Gay adoption, helicopter moms, and a pioneering gay athlete are just three of the stories at this year's Frameline 38: San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, taking place June 19-29. Actor Alec Mapa ("Switched at Birth," "Desperate Housewives," and "Ugly Betty") talked to me about what he wants gays and allies to take away from his new documentary, "Baby Daddy." I also spoke with songwriter-actress Lisa Loeb, singer of "Stay (I Missed You)," about co-starring in the hilarious coming-of-age comedy, "Helicopter Mom." And four-time Olympic medalist Greg LouganisRead more

Software week in review for June 20

Yo, have you poked your friends with two letters today? This week saw new releases from Facebook and Intel, health and fitness apps heating up, iOS 8 feature leaks, and more. Read on for our recap, and to get the latest reviews from our editors in your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

Getting the message

This is the state of apps: $1 million in funding for an app that sends one word to your contacts. After an April Fools' Day launch, the minimal Yo app burned up the Internet this week, earning both appreciation and derision. It finished the … Read more

Star Apps: 'Jersey Boys'

"Jersey Boys" actors John Lloyd Young (Frankie Valli), Erich Bergen (Bob Gaudio), and Michael Lomenda (Nick Massi) play three-fourths of '60s rock group the Four Seasons ("Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Walk Like a Man," "Dawn," "Who Loves You") in Clint Eastwood's big-screen adaptation of the Tony-winning musical. The Four Seasons longed to shoot up from their blue-collar New Jersey neighborhood to the top of the national charts. Likewise, this trio of theater actors, mostly known for playing the Four Seasons in the "Jersey Boys&… Read more

Star Apps: Paul Haggis

After overhearing erroneous reactions at recent screenings of "Third Person," the film's screenwriter and director, Paul Haggis, is nervous about whether viewers will follow his three interlocking love stories. But Haggis aims to challenge audiences, as his heroes François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, and Pier Paolo Pasolini challenged him, so he is OK with viewer uncertainty. "You have to have an emotional, visceral reaction to a movie...but you don't necessarily have to understand everything right away," he said during our recent interview. We also chatted about the laziness of today's audiences, … Read more

Star Apps: Paramore

Almost a decade after releasing breakthrough album "All We Know Is Falling," Paramore's star continues to rise. The three-time Grammy-nominated rock group's latest album, "Paramore" (2013), debuted at No. 1 on Billboard and has already spawned two top 10 singles, "Still Into You" and "Ain't It Fun." Paramore co-headlines with Fall Out Boy for this summer's Monumentour, kicking off June 19 in Hartford, Connecticut. I chatted with lead vocalist Hayley Williams as she prepared to hit the road.

Were you surprised that a funky single like "Ain'… Read more

4 veteran E3 games that made history

E3 2014 featured lots of new games, as well as plenty of genre-defining legacy titles. Take a walk down video game memory lane with us to discover how four game franchises became industry leaders.

Call of Duty

The Call of Duty franchise has moved from the modern era into the near future with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. But when the narrative first-person shooter launched a decade ago, it wasn't known for advanced weapons and online team-based play.

The original Call of Duty, released in 2004 for the PC, was developed by Infinity Ward. The entire Infinity Ward team, … Read more

Star Apps: Julie Benz of 'Defiance'

Picture it: The town of Defiance, 2047, seven years after war between humans and aliens has destroyed the planet. Both groups have formed a fragile peace as they work to rebuild, but that peace is threatened once more in Season 2 of the Emmy-nominated Syfy series. Julie Benz, perhaps best known as Darla on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and as Dexter's wife Rita, plays former mayor Amanda Rosewater on "Defiance." She chatted with me about figure skating, playing characters that defy social mores, the Defiance video game, and her favorite apps.

After an injury, you … Read more