posts on CNET

VLC Media Player review

VLC Media Player is an open-source application that gives you the ability to play media from your computer or a disk, or to stream it from the Web. Have your favorite videos playing in a snap through this app's intuitive interface.

Pros

Wiki help: For just about any process you want to carry out with this software, you'll find a detailed Wiki with step-by-step instructions. All of these documents have been created and edited by other users, so they're surprisingly detailed and complete.

Intuitive controls: For all basic functions, this medial player is accessible to users of … Read more

Star Apps: Semi Precious Weapons

It's been four long years since Semi Precious Weapons released "You Love You" (2010), the follow-up to its debut, "We Love You" (2008). The LA-based quartet is best known for supporting artists such as Lady Gaga and Kesha, and now it's back with "Aviation," whose kick-off single, "Aviation High," is in heavy rotation on alternative rock radio. The 12-track disc, produced by Grammy-winning, multiplatinum producer Tricky Stewart (Beyoncé, Rihanna, Frank Ocean) finds the band flying from its rock roots into more R&B and pop territory. Semi Precious … Read more

FileZilla review

FileZilla is a powerful, free file management tool for FTP access to your Web site's server. Containing numerous tools to help upload and download files between your local machine and the server on which your site is hosted, this is a reliable, intuitive tool for anyone in the Web development field.

Pros

Reliable and fast: FileZilla may be free, but it's a very stable program and offers reliable, accessible tools for anyone who needs to manage files via remote FTP connection. With your username and password you can quickly log in to the FTP server, move files, upload … Read more

Photo Pos Pro review

Photo Pos Pro gives you access to a wide variety of tools that you can use to edit images, add effects, or convert them to different formats. This program delivers everything you'd expect from a photo editing suite, and it comes with a convenient Help file to get you acquainted with its features.

Pros

Tips with links: The first time you open the app, you'll be greeted by a pop-up window containing Tips on how to use various features of the app. You can browse through them, and if you find something you'd like to know more … Read more

PDF to Word Converter review

PDF to Word Converter is a quality utility for converting PDFs into several other file formats to facilitate editing, saving, and sharing. Through its straightforward interface, you can quickly start loading and converting files with just a few clicks.

Pros

Multiple output formats: When you begin the conversion process, you have multiple options for what you want the new document to look like. For starters, you can choose between DOCX, DOC, RTF, and XML file formats. You'll also be able to decide how you want the program to handle page breaks, tables, columns, and other aspects of the original … Read more

Bitdefender Mobile Security review

The free version of Bitdefender's Mobile Security app keeps your Android device safe with a Malware Scanner, Application Audit, and Remote Geolocation. It shares an interface and basic features with a Premium version that adds a secure Web browser and additional privacy and anti-theft measures. The free app downloads with the Premium app's features activated during a trial period. However, we tried only those features available in the free version. Bitdefender Mobile Security's free app runs in Android 2.2 and above; we ran it in Android 4.3.

Bitdefender Mobile Security installed quickly and easily. We … Read more

Clean Master review

Clean Master reclaims Android device resources by cleaning caches, closing apps and processes, and deleting junk files, leftovers, and other unnecessary items. Kingsoft's app enhances your security and privacy by scanning for malware, cleaning logs and other records, and enabling real-time protection and safe browsing. Its App Manager can back up and uninstall applications. It does all that and then some for free.

Clean Master scanned our system when we opened it and displayed our free storage and RAM space on its home screen above four tools: Junk Files, Memory Boost, Security & Privacy, and App Manager. We opened … Read more

McAfee Antivirus & Security review

McAfee Antivirus & Security brings a new level of security and features to Android device protection. In addition to basic antivirus, privacy, and Web security, McAfee can also back up your device as well as lock or unlock it or even wipe data remotely. It helps you find your device if it's lost or stolen with geo-location and CaptureCam, which e-mails the administrator (that's you) photos of whoever was holding your phone and a map of their location.

Pros

Easy to use: Help, tutorials, and support draw on McAfee's long experience in cyber-security. It scanned our phone … Read more

Star Apps: Linkin Park

Linkin Park is always looking for innovative ways to deliver visuals to fans, whether through apps, online gaming, or Facebook Kinect video. The musicians -- who are also avid gamers -- met software developers Team Dakota at E3 and learned about Project Spark, a game-maker video game (for Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Windows 8). Linkin Park saw the potential for a unique collaboration, and the result is the first fully interactive, remixable music video within a video game for the band's latest single, "Guilty All the Same."

Now the band is inviting fans to put their … Read more

Mastermind Board Game review

Mastermind Board Game for Android is more challenging than its basic premise suggests. You have eight tries to deduce the order of four colored dots out of six choices to complete the puzzle. Color and position matches are indicated but not correlated, so you must use your noodle to figure out the correct order. Mastermind Board Game is free but ad-supported with a paid upgrade option.

Pros

It's hard: Too many Android games require more from your finger than your brain, but Mastermind Board Game needs more RAM and processing power from you than your Android gizmo.

Play anywhere: … Read more