What is the Incompatible Software folder?

When you install OS X, you may see a new folder at the root of your boot drive called "Incompatible Software," which may contain a program file or perhaps a folder of program components. Granted the folder name itself is pretty self-explanatory about its contents, but if you see it after installing a new version of OS X on your system, then you might wonder what is going on.

While there always will be small bugs and other incompatibilities with various software packages when run on a newly released version of an operating system, there are some instances … Read more

Nest app 4.0 improves thermostat, makes room for smoke detector

If you have a Nest Learning Thermostat, you may have noticed a software update this morning. That's Nest 4.0. It's a total redesign of the Android and iOS mobile apps (the Web app got a makeover, too). And here's what it means for you.

The first thing you'll notice is that you no longer will you have to switch your phone from portrait to landscape mode to view your settings or turn your thermostat to Away.

You will be able to see the outside temperature in the top-left corner, complete with images depicting the current … Read more

IE gets a new boss: Windows Phone's Joe Belfiore

Internet Explorer has a new leader.

Joe Belfiore, who runs Microsoft's Windows Phone design team, is taking over the Internet Explorer group. Belfiore confirmed the news on his Twitter account, saying that while he's "adding Internet Explorer and Windows [user experience]" to his list of duties, he'll still be working on the company's phone and tablet business.

Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft's former corporate vice president for Internet Explorer and one of the main reasons the browser has been improving over the past few years, is moving to a new position within the software giant. … Read more

Review: Play at your level with the easily customizable Sudoku1

Whether you're new to this numbers game or already hooked, Sudoku1 offers numerous ways to play. There are some challenges to the dated interface, but the actual game screen looks fine and you can customize it nearly anyway you want. The biggest downside wasn't its utilitarian design, however; it was the background music that played with no apparent way to turn it off.

When you open Sudoku1 for the first time, you need to choose between French and English. You're then presented with a small but somewhat confusing array of options divided into Championship Mode and Free … Read more

Samsung plans increased investment in software

Samsung might be best known for its hardware, but the company is moving more of its money into software.

Speaking at Samsung's Analyst Day in Seoul, Korea, Wednesday, Samsung CFO Lee Sang-hoon said that the company is modifying its investment strategy, "shifting from hardware to software," according to the Wall Street Journal, which was in attendance at the event. The decision follows industry-wide movement from hardware to software, according to Lee.

Samsung's goal in software is to "reinforce our competitiveness," he said, adding that the company will specifically focus on "software platform, design, … Read more

Five rules for trouble-free software updates

If you think you've been spending more time than usual waiting for your software to update, you may be right.

The release of Windows 8.1, OS X Mavericks, and iOS 7.0.3 has given us update fatigue. This weekend it took me a total of 7 hours to install all three upgrades: 2.5 hours for Windows 8.1, 3.5 hours for Mavericks, and 1 hour for iOS 7.0.3.

Even though the updates installed without a hitch, most people have no need to rush applying the upgrades. Taking your time is one of my &… Read more

Horror movie locations plotted out in Esri's interactive map

Want to find a real haunted house to explore on Halloween? Well, look no further -- mapping software company Esri has come out with an interactive map that explores where in the world horror movies supposedly took place.

For example, that massive mansion in "The Shining" where Jack Nicholson's character famously axed through a bathroom door and yelled "Here's Johnny?" That was in Estes Park, Colo.

What about the haunted home inhabited by evil spirits and paranormal activity in "Poltergeist?" That was in the fictional town of Cuesta Verde, Calif. And, not … Read more

Better manage system and app updates in OS X Mavericks

One of the reasons I work on a Mac rather than a PC is to avoid the constant interruptions from Windows alerting me to crucial software updates, not to mention its nasty habit of insisting on installing 48 updates before letting me shut down my PC at the end of the day. Mac OS X isn't completely innocent in this regard, but Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks gives you more options than previous versions of OS X did in scheduling updates. You can set up Mavericks to install updates automatically, and if you want to go the manual … Read more

Why Samsung needs to woo developers

SAN FRANCISCO -- For Samsung, courting developers isn't just a nice side project. It's a push that's vital to the company's future.

The Korean company is the world's biggest mobile phone and TV vendor. It sells more Android smartphones than LG, Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE, and Motorola combined, and many consumers equate Samsung's Galaxy brand with Google's operating system. As a smartphone vendor, Samsung benefits from the Android ecosystem and the huge Google Play app store.

But being just another Android player is not enough, at least not if Samsung wants to continue its … Read more

Samsung wants Android apps that stand apart, starting now

SAN FRANCISCO -- Samsung on Monday rolled out five software development kits to make it easier for developers to create apps for its various devices.

The new SDKs include one for multiscreen capabilities and another for multiscreen gaming. Samsung also streamlined its mobile SDK, released a new version of its smart TV SDK, and updated its enterprise SDK.

The SDK releases highlight Samsung's push to offer something different from all the other Android device makers. It's also part of Samsung's effort to work more closely with startups and boost its software and service offerings. The two areas … Read more