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Awesome Calendar Lite review

Awesome Calendar Lite is an attractive calendar app for iOS devices. The calendar app market is crowded with many quality options, and while Awesome Calendar Lite didn't totally knock our socks off, it is worth a look if you haven't settled on a calendar yet.

Awesome Calendar Lite has an interface that's fairly easy to navigate, though we found that on our iPhone 5 many things were smaller than we'd have liked; if you have thick fingers, you might find yourself touching the wrong thing quite often. Awesome Calendar Lite is no slouch when it comes … Read more

Lovey-dovey detection algorithm puts hearts on Google+ photos

For Valentine's Day, Google is adding animated hearts to photos of hugging and kissing on Google+.

"Just upload a photo of kissing or hugging, and Google Photos will add hearts automatically," said Google+ photo team member Vincent Mo in a Google+ post Thursday night.

Google already throws a lot of server horsepower at photos shared on its social network, automatically editing them for better tonality and smoother skin, but its "auto-awesome" technology also identifies subject matter deemed suitable for seasonal special effects. During the holidays, the company added snowflakes to snow scenes and sparkling to … Read more

Google and Facebook write your end-of-year cards for you

If you're one of the countless people who feels guilty about failing to send end-of-year letters to your friends and family, perhaps it's time to let Google or Facebook do the work for you.

Both companies have released tools that compile what they judge to be your top moments of the year for easy sharing with your social contacts. Of the two, the Google+ auto-awesome movie is more interesting -- at least if you actually have some photos and videos uploaded onto Google+ -- since it builds something new rather than just repackaging some highlights from the year'… Read more

Full-size Lego car actually drives

One of the first things every young Lego builder attempts is a vehicle of some kind; all you need is a flat tile piece and four wheel pieces and you're off.

Raul Oaida, a 20-year-old Romanian Lego genius, is just a little more ambitious. He's built a full-scale Lego hot rod that actually drives (although at a relatively slow pace, 12-17 mph, thanks to the fragility of the construction).

The project began in April 2012 -- not long after Oaida launched a Lego shuttle into space -- when Oaida's partner, Melbourne-based entrepreneur Steve Sammartino, reached out via Twitter and raised tens of thousands of dollars (PDF) from 40 fellow entrepreneurs to fund the project. … Read more

It wasn't easy, but Camera Awesome for Android is here

SmugMug's Camera Awesome, a well-reviewed iOS app for taking and editing photos, has arrived on Android, too. But it wasn't easy getting it there.

For the SmugMug programmers behind the $3 app, it took three tries wrestling with the difficulties of Android development before Tuesday's release was possible. The company began developing the two versions at the same time, but the Android version took 20 months longer to build because its first two development efforts faltered.

Chief Executive Don MacAskill blamed early Android shortcomings -- since fixed -- and persistent fragmentation of the Android market into devices … Read more

Google+ boosts photo, chat features

CNET Update is always Auto Awesome:

This episode of Update offers a quick overview of the new features on the Google+ social network. The changes rolling out this week include updates to the Hangouts chat service, allowing users to send animated GIFs, SMS messages, and maps of their current location. Hangouts also improved video chats with the ability to enhance the quality of webcam video.

The bulk of the changes to Google+ center around photos. The iOS app will be updated with automatic syncing in the background and can upload full-resolution images. Search is smart enough to detect some objects … Read more

Review: Awesome Photo FX has numerous tools, but suffers from performance issues

Awesome Photo FX is unique from other photo editing and creation tools because it allows you to drag and drop elements from a menu bar at the top of the screen onto your canvas; but there are some issues. The app loads photo libraries rather slowly and there are no tools for editing or combining elements any more than they already are when dragged around the canvas. The result is somewhat muddled as a result.

The first step when opening the app should be to create a canvas. You can drag and drop your finger to select the size of … Read more

Review: Awesome Fonts is a clean, easy-to-use font-customization app for iOS

Awesome Fonts is a feature-rich font editing and sharing tool that allows you to convert your text instantly into one of dozens of unique fonts before sharing them with friends. The app is cleverly designed to be accessible, quick, and fun to use, and the result is an experience that perfectly captures the joy of discovering a new, goofy font for a message to a friend.

When the app opens, there will be a small text screen with three instructions on it. Read them and you'll know exactly how to use the app in its entirety -- it's … Read more

NASA scientist: Slamming used asteroid into moon 'makes sense'

NASA has its eyes on lassoing and then studying a captive orbiting asteroid, but what happens to such a space rock when the space agency is all done with it?

"Once you're finished with it and you have no further need of it, send it in to impact the moon," Paul Chodas, scientist with the Near-Earth Object Program Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said at the recent Space 2013 conference, according to Space.com. "That makes sense to me."… Read more

Snapseed X Google+: Adding smiles one photo at a time

On Thursday, Google rolled out some key features to enhance their Photos+ service, not only showcasing some powerful editing tools for users, but also leveraging their Native Client (NaCL) technology for Chrome.

Since buying out Nik Software's SnapSeed, Google's been hard at work incorporating their editing tools directly within Google+, and even Android. Earlier in the year, Google introduced 'Auto Awesome' for Android, which automatically analyzes each of your mobile photos and attempts to adjust them automatically.

Users can selectively adjust various levels of their photos, including brightness, contrast, saturation, and more all from within the app. It … Read more