Star Apps: Richard Linklater

Nothing dates a film like technology. However, the iMacs, Game Boys, PlayStations, social media, and video games in Richard Linklater's groundbreaking new movie, "Boyhood," are a welcome way to contextualize 12 years of action. I chatted with Richard Linklater about "Boyhood," which stars Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, and its use of tech as a structural device.

You typically make movies that span 12 to 24 hours, yet this film spans 12 years. Why mess with your signature style? It blows my average out of the water, if you adjust the baseline. With each film, … Read more

Software week in review, July 18

Microsoft's layoffs are bad news for Nokia, Xbox Entertainment, and Windows phones that run Android. Google is going after zero-day threats and is fixing Chrome's security and power-hogging. And vulnerabilities have been found in everything from Teslas to the stock market to hotels. Read on for more updates, and to get the latest reviews and features from our editors in your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

Microsoft

Last week Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella published a 3,100-word memo about "bold ambition" (or "turgid drivel," per linguist Geoff Pullum). This week another memo (also … Read more

Star Apps: Zach Braff

Zach Braff is used to having doors shut in his face. An actor since the age of 13, Braff didn't get his big break on "Scrubs" till he was twice that age. There was initially zero interest in his first major movie, the indie breakout "Garden State," or his new film, "Wish I Was Here." Naysayers warned that he'd never get the latter film funded via Kickstarter. But Braff has persevered. His "Wish I Was Here" character, Aidan Bloom, hasn't been quite so lucky, struggling to make it as … Read more

Star Apps: Fitz and the Tantrums

Don't let the name fool you: Few bands brighten a bad mood like Fitz and the Tantrums. The LA-based neo-soul group's sophomore release, "More Than Just a Dream," has already spawned hit singles "The Walker" and "Out of My League." Now the band is spreading the sunshine on its summer and fall tour. I chatted with lead vocalist Michael Fitzpatrick (aka Fitz) about how music uplifts him, musical influences and inspirations, and his favorite apps while on the road.

Your music is so celebratory. What can fans coming to the current tour … Read more

7 Android launchers to refresh your home screen

Your home should be comfortable, and so should your home screen. With an Android launcher, you can replace your phone or tablet's boring factory settings with themes, widgets, and other customizable options to make your home screen more homey. Here are our top seven picks to help you renovate your Android experience.

Google Now Launcher

Google Now Launcher is one of the most direct ways of getting the original Android home-screen experience. First introduced with the Moto X phone, the Google Now Launcher preserves the visual experience of KitKat for those with custom-themed versions of Android, and it comes … Read more

Get Ashampoo Photo Commander for half off

Few photo editors can fulfill most users' needs. Editing software is often either too limited even for beginners or an overwhelming set of tools that would intimidate most pros. Ashampoo rises above the rest by offering something for everyone in one convenient application. Get this highly rated universal toolkit for half off the regular price -- at only $24.99.

If Paint.Net and Adobe Lightroom created a product, it would aspire to be as cool as Photo Commander. With Ashampoo, you'll be able to edit, add effects, perform automated fixes, and share all of your photos and images … Read more

Star Apps: G-Eazy

G-Eazy is not passive about his career, as his new album title, "These Things Happen," might imply. "No, they don't just happen," said the Bay Area rapper in our recent interview. "That's one of the twists to the title, that you have to kill yourself for 10 years, working so hard at something, to finally see something happen." I chatted with the Billboard chart-topper and MTV Artist to Watch, who is finally making his mark, about his rhyming style, his fan base, and his favorite apps.

On Wikipedia it says that you … Read more

Software week in review, July 11

Microsoft is still trying to woo users away from Windows 7 and XP; Apple's next iPhone has a sapphire screen, and the phone after that may have a smart lock; and Google is killing apps and bad site certificates. Read on for more of the week's software news, and to get the latest reviews and features from our editors in your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

Microsoft

Yesterday CEO Satya Nadella declared that Microsoft is no longer a "devices and services" company, but rather will reinvent productivity, with a focus on mobile and cloud. He … Read more

Star Apps: 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," set a decade after humanity and its power supply are nearly decimated, portrays the difficulty of rebuilding civilization without software. How would one navigate without Google Maps, see at night without Flashlight, or speak to intelligent life without FaceTime? Virtual city building via Minecraft or Civilization is also off the menu. But what if there was a way to get power from a hydroelectric dam? The only obstacle is a nation of spiteful super apes. That's the predicament for surviving humans in "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.&… Read more

Star Apps: Brandon Jay McLaren

Brandon Jay McLaren ("The Killing" and "Falling Skies") plays tough immigration agent Dale "DJ" Jakes on "Graceland" (Wednesdays on USA). Acting in the action-packed series about the exploits of DEA, FBI, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents has given him a newfound respect for their courage. I chatted with McLaren about Season 2 of "Graceland," what he's learned from playing an ICE agent, how athletics have empowered him as an actor, and his favorite apps.

What can you tell us about the upcoming season of "Graceland"? … Read more