software

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

What do you want to see in the next Mac OS X? (poll)

In my review, I thought Mac OS X Mavericks was a worthwhile update with a bunch of new features, new apps brought over from iOS, smarter interface elements, battery-saving technologies, and security improvements. Best of all? It's free. To me, there isn't any reason not to update.

But my review brought about another question: Where can Apple go from here? Aside from minor tweaks to smooth out the rough edges, what's left to improve that we don't already have? It's a question that I'm sure the folks at Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Linux are … Read more

Apple's iWork, iLife updates draw ire from some power users

At Apple's live event earlier this week, iWork and iLife users were given a treat: free upgrades to major new versions of the company's productivity and lifestyle apps.

The move, which follows one the company made last month on its mobile platform iOS, is part of a broader effort to offer many of its paid software apps for free.

But, according to some longtime users, the new versions of the apps are a step backwards in functionality. Many have taken to Apple's official support forum to air their grievances.

Among the features users say are missing from … Read more

With Snap.svg, Adobe gets animated SVG religion -- again

Eight years after Adobe Systems acquired Macromedia for $3.4 billion, in part for its Flash technology that vanquished the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format, the company has released an open-source project called Snap.svg designed to bring some Flash-like characteristics to the Web.

Flash is slowly being squeezed off the Web -- at least newer parts of it -- by the fact that it doesn't run on mobile devices and that browser developers are starting to banish plug-ins. Adobe has redirected a lot of its staffing accordingly to Web standards that work in browsers without plug-ins, and SVG … Read more

Windows 8.1: What you need to know (FAQ)

One year after the debut of Windows 8, Windows 8.1 is here. It feels significantly less dramatic, but Microsoft's latest version of its PC operating system has some changes, and some requirements, all its own. If you're a curious would-be adopter, or a diligent Windows 8 upgrader, read on for some answers to your questions.

What's new?

Last year's Windows 8 was a brand-new, somewhat jarring operating system aimed at making touch-screen devices, and Windows devices that could convert between touch and keyboard/mouse modes, easier to use.

Windows 8.1 is a series of … Read more

Telefonica's Yotam Ben-Ami fights for Firefox phones (Q&A)

Android and iOS won the mobile operating system wars, right?

Not if you're Yotam Ben-Ami, who as director of open Web services at Spanish carrier Telefonica is responsible for bringing a new competitor to market, Firefox OS. Last week, Mozilla finished Firefox OS 1.1, but even with some shortcomings fixed, the smartphone operating system faces immense challenges competing against Google's Android and Apple's iOS.

But Ben-Ami has some evidence that the open-source, browser-based operating system has a shot at becoming the third operating system for mobile devices. Since its first Firefox OS phones went on sale in July, … Read more

Apple, Google, Facebook don't pay the highest engineer salary

For software engineers, life must seem like it keeps getting better. Not only are salaries on the rise as companies compete for talent, but there are also lively job markets in cities across the US.

While big-name companies, like Google, Apple, and Facebook, tout their engineers as the best and the brightest, these tech giants aren't necessarily paying the most (although they're up there).

A new survey by Glassdoor, released Thursday, lists the top 25 companies that have paid their engineers the highest salaries over the last year. And the unlikely winner is Juniper Networks. Paying $159,990 … Read more

Review: Parallels Access is one of the most impressive remote access apps on iOS

Parallels Access is designed to give you remote access of your Mac or PC through your iPad's screen and it works as well as or better than promised by the developers. From the ease of opening and controlling apps to the customized interfaces for dozens of different app types, Parallels is a smooth experience that will provide a much-needed interface option for anyone that works on the go.

The one thing about Parallels Access that can be frustrating is setup and installation time. It takes a few minutes to install, verify, and then set up on your desktop. We … Read more

All-new Avast Internet Security 2014

Avast just released the 2014 updates to its family of antivirus and internet security software with a redesigned UI that is clean and pleasing to the eye, not to mention its attempt to be your one stop hub for all of your security needs. As the #1 most downloaded software on Download.com, Avast is easily one of the most popular antivirus solutions for consumers worldwide.

Avast Internet Security 2014 debuts new technologies to give you the protection you need before it's too late. Combined with its cloud scanning features and crowdsourced analysis of suspicious items, the files pass … Read more