Review: Simple Notes for Mac lets you take basic notes in a clumsy interface

Simple Notes for Mac is a desktop notepad that lets you create and customize the look and feel of your notes but doesn't let you organize them. The app comes with a poorly-designed, small and cluttered interface, and in terms of features, it doesn't have much to offer, either.

Simple Notes for Mac features a tiny main window of only approximately an inch and a half wide and just as high, making it hard to see and harder to use. What's worse, the interface sports ancient graphics; Socrates himself would frown at them. Typing and copying/pasting … Read more

Review: Knowledge Notebook for Mac can create and organize notes by subject

Knowledge Notebook for Mac allows you to compose and organize notes by subject using its basic yet intuitive interface. You can add searchable tags to your notes and work offline, making this app an adequate option for research and learning. Don't expect it to be a flawless app in terms of features, though.

With Knowledge Notebook for Mac you can create notes for any subject, but the limited text formatting and display options hinder their effectiveness. You cannot change the default font and only have bold, italic, underline, and strikethrough options. Saved notes appear under Notes by subject and … Read more

Windows and HTC jump into jumbo phones

CNET Update is living large:

In this episode of Update:

- Check out HTC's extra-large smartphone, the One Max and see how its specs compare to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

- Prepare for a supersized Nokia Lumia phone to be unveiled next week, because the latest Windows Phone 8 update works for screen sizes in the 5-inch-to-7-inch range.

- Learn about the Sonos Play:1 wireless speaker, which has been named an Editor's Choice product. Sonos is including its Bridge network device for free with the Play:1.


iTunes (HD)iTunes (SD)iTunes (HQ)Read more

Windows Phone finally jumps into phablet era, but is it too late?

Windows Phone now comes in the supersize variety.

The third and latest update from Microsoft, released Monday, brings a number of incremental upgrades and changes to Windows Phone 8. The most crucial of them is support for a higher-resolution display and larger screen sizes, enabling its partners to finally get into the so-called phablet business.

Phablets, a mashup of a phone and tablet, have quietly become a vital part of any handset manufacturer's product lineup. While they remain a niche business in the US, the oversize phones are proving to be popular in regions such as Asia where, it … Read more

Android tablet owners now have Twitter app of their own

Twitter said Thursday that it has launched a version of its mobile app optimized specifically for Android tablets.

The company explained in a blog post that while it has long offered a general Android app, it has never tailored a version of the app for tablets.

Now, though, Android tablet users will have access to an app designed to fill the screen "with tweets, conversations, trends, accounts to follow, and more" when in landscape view. Tapping a tweet expands it on the right side of the screen, revealing videos, photos, and previews of articles. A second tap goes … Read more

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 not so kind to Android tinkerers

The modding community may want to stay away from the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

A new discovery suggests that the handset maker has taken steps to deter users from rooting the Galaxy Note 3 and installing their own operating system by increasing the risk that they void their warranties.

In most Samsung smartphones, a process known as flashing ROMs, or installing a custom OS, has never been a problem. Doing so, however, triggers a flash counter that keeps a log of how many times a ROM was installed. Since Samsung doesn't honor warranties on phones that have been been … Read more

HTC One Max specs allegedly leak ahead of launch

#HTC One Max Full Specs Leaked ?!

— Steve Hemmerstoffer (@stagueve) October 9, 2013

More details about the HTC One Max have emerged. editor Steve Hemmerstoffer tweeted an image on Wednesday allegedly containing the specifications of HTC's highly anticipated phablet. The details that fall in line with previous reports. HTC is expected to unveil the device Tuesday at an event in Asia.

The One Max apparently will have a 5.9-inch display with 1,920x1,080 resolution, a 1.7GHz Qualcomm processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB to 64GB of storage with a slot for … Read more

Vega Note: Pantech dials up a phablet of its own

Pantech, apparently not wanting to miss out on all of the phablet fun, appears ready to unveil one of its own. The Vega Note has a fair number of similarities to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, including the large screen and a stylus.

On paper, the Pantech Vega Note specs suggest the smartphone should be able to run with the pack of top Androids. While its rumored 2.3GHz quad-core CPU, 2GB RAM, and 3,100mAh battery are to be expected in today's flagship experience, the Vega Note could have an edge on the competition with that fingerprint sensor, … Read more

U.S. Cellular grabs up Galaxy Note 3, Gear for $300 apiece

As promised, U.S. Cellular starts selling the 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone and Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch on Wednesday.

The carrier will stock the black version of the Note phablet, which is distinguishable by its Android 4.3 operating system, top-rate quad-core processor, and smarty-pants stylus.

Customers can pick it up for $299.99 with a new, two-year service agreement. Elsewhere, the Note 3 also comes in white.

Pricing is also a heady $299.99 for the Galaxy Gear, which, with a built-in camera and microphone, voice actions, and a pedometer, is much more than your average … Read more

Smartphones with long battery life (roundup)

Smartphones are the Swiss Army Knives of the tech world.

They're cell phones, music and video players, mobile Web browsers, and personal organizers, among other things. Not surprisingly, all this can take a toll on battery life, and when you depend on your smartphone for so much, the last thing you want is for it to run out of juice when you need it most.

Generally speaking, with moderate use, smartphones can give you a full day's performance before needing to be recharged, but not all gadgets are created equal -- some simply run out of steam early, whereas others will hang in there for the long haul.

Below, you'll find six smartphones (in no particular order) with battery usage that really impressed us, whether it was because they scored well in our lab tests for battery drainage, or simply because their usage time stood out from the crowd of humdrum cell phone batteries we encountered (and believe us, we encounter a lot). Give one of these devices a try if you're looking for a phone that packs some decent juice.

Editors' note: This post was originally published October 31, 2011, and is updated frequently.… Read more