OmniOutliner review

OmniOutliner is a powerful mind-mapping program designed to help you create all kinds of documents and outlines. Just choose the template that most closely matches the type of document you want to create and the style you're after, and then start filling it in.


Lots of templates: Whether you want to outline a family budget of draft a book, OmniOutliner has templates designed just for the purpose. To begin working on a new document, just pick the template and start writing. And if you're not sure exactly which template is the most appropriate for your purposes, you … Read more

Be one with Flappy Bird: The science of 'flow' in game design

When the smartphone phenomenon Flappy Bird took off not so long ago -- and before it morphed into something uncontrollable and became its own hard-to-swallow lesson for the game industry -- it was as if everyone you'd ever known had suddenly stumbled on mobile gaming's most brilliantly manufactured drug. Facebook and Instragram were awash in high score screenshots and admissions of addiction-fueled guilt while all of Twitter might as well have been Flappy Bird references with some news and global chatter sandwiched in between.

One particularly interesting boast from a friend of mine, who had hit … Read more

Sonic the Hedgehog sports new look in spin-off

CNET Update would look cooler in a scarf:

In this episode of Update:

- Learn about the "kill switch" and why California wants to require all mobile devices to come with one.

- Go scan-happy in your home using Amazon's Flow shopping tool on the iPhone.

- Check out the new design for Sonic and his friends in the Sonic Boom game and cartoon.

CNET Update delivers the tech news you need in under three minutes. Watch Bridget Carey every afternoon for a breakdown of the big stories, hot devices, new apps, and what's ahead. Subscribe … Read more

How Amazon thinks it can get you to hit 'buy' in 2 seconds or less (Q&A)

Amazon's recently released mobile app came with a new feature that's meant to make you buy your entire shopping list with as few clicks as possible.

In the past, Sam Hall, Amazon's vice president of Mobile, has talked about making the mobile shopping experience one where the customer goes from "wanting to buy" to buying in 30 seconds. But this latest update to the main Amazon iOS app has got him talking about a much smaller window.

"We're obsessed with it," he said in an interview with CNET on Thursday. "We'… Read more

Amazon adds Flow's augmented reality to main shopping app

Amazon has added augmented reality technology to its main iOS app, allowing shoppers to scan for more products using their iPhone cameras.

Amazon has long been developing this tech, released in 2011 through an app called Flow. The feature lets users snap a photo of a product instead of scanning the barcode or typing the name of the item into a search bar. It will then pull up the product from the photo, so customers can purchase it instantly.

The original Flow was separate from the main shopping app. It let users photograph items such as books, DVDs, and packaged … Read more

Review: Flow for iOS gives you a place to track projects, assign tasks, and monitor workflow

Flow for iOS is a useful productivity program that lets you manage tasks, assign projects, and ensure optimal workflow. It has an intuitive interface, with quick buttons for navigating across the bottom of the screen. There are also tabs in the bottom right and top left to take you to various less frequently used menus. Sort tasks, set them to recur, and delegate them to other members of your team from your iPad or iPhone no matter where you are.

When you set up Flow, just create your log-in information and get to work. Start a new workspace and create … Read more

Browse Instagram on your iPad with Flow

Since Instagram stubbornly refuses to release a tablet-optimized version of its app, one is left to hunt for a third-party app that lets you browse Instagram writ large. (Disclaimer: Instagram restricts its API so that no third-party app can be used to upload photos.) I've tried out a number of Instagram iPad apps, which met with varying degrees of success. Today, I encountered Flow for Instagram, which is my favorite of the bunch.

The free Flow app boasts a gorgeous design with little touches that makes it easy to use. And aside from the obvious lack of uploading ability, … Read more

Apple aims 3D at the desktop

Apple is looking to bring a bigger dose of 3D to the desktop, at least based on details unveiled in a freshly-awarded patent.

The patent, dubbed simply "Browsing and interacting with open windows" and awarded Tuesday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, describes a desktop interface that lets you peek beyond the standard three-dimensional Cover Flow view already found on the Mac. Also part of Safari, that view lets you flip your way through open windows until you find the one you want.

In the patent, Apple envisions a way that you can tilt the desktop interface, … Read more

Review: Solve colorful brainteasers using Flow Free: Bridges

With colorful graphics, calming sounds, and exciting and stimulating gameplay, Flow Free: Bridges promises to keep your mind busy for hours. The introduction levels are easy, and are designed to build your confidence and encourage you to keep playing. As you advance through the game, the levels get considerably harder.

There isn't much to installation and setup, so you can get started playing Flow Free: Bridges as soon as the game downloads. There are two options available -- Free Play and Time Trial mode. The UI consists of a black game board that has been divided into a grid. … Read more

NoFlo's crowd-funding effort helps coders go with the flow

Anyone who has done any amount of programming has drawn flowcharts, either detailed diagrams or rough sketches, outlining how one thing leads to another in software works. Now a project called NoFlo has surpassed its $100,000 fund-raising goal to build the idea into programming tools.

The NoFlo team members raised the funding to build a user interface for the approach, which has been around for decades and is called flow-based programming. Generally, flowcharts are design tools that don't make it beyond the mockup stage, but NoFlo is designed to be a crucial part of how people construct programs … Read more