How to enable auto-HDR on iOS 7.1, iPhone 5S

On Monday, Apple finally released iOS 7.1. The update brings with it CarPlay support, bug fixes, improvements, and various new features. One such feature is specific to the camera on the iPhone 5S and HDR mode in the Camera app.

When Apple first released HDR mode for iOS devices, the option only existed for it to be turned on or off. The all-or-nothing approach wasn't a horrible idea, but HDR photos aren't always necessary.

With iOS 7.1 on the iPhone 5S, Apple has set HDR mode to automatic by default.

The first time you launch the … Read more

Fix stalled safe-boot with OS X Mavericks update

One of the minor but relatively long-standing bugs in OS X Mavericks has been an inability to boot to Safe Mode on some systems after upgrading. When attempting, the Safe Mode progress bar may display but will then disappear after about a third of the way (or halfway) to completion, followed by the system restarting and then booting normally.

For those affected by this issue, it appears a change Apple made in OS X 10.9.2 addresses this problem and allows affected systems to boot properly into Safe Mode. Therefore, if you have not done so already, applying the … Read more

Tranquility adds a night mode to your Mac

When working in a dark room, turning the brightness down on a display, even to the lowest setting, can still be irritating to your eyes. Even if your eyes can handle it, the light from your screen can be annoying to those around you.

A free app called Tranquility, originally covered by TUAW but brought to my attention by Lifehacker adds a night mode to your Mac.

By installing the app from Pixio, you're able to switch to night viewing by clicking on the icon in your Mac's menu bar.

Users are able to customize the overall look … Read more

Five essential Windows 8.1 time-saving tweaks

Is Windows 8 really the second coming of Vista?

That's the conclusion of Windows expert Paul Thurrott on his Supersite for Windows. Thurrott claims that Windows 8 "has set back Microsoft, and Windows, by years, and possibly for good."

To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of Windows 8's death are a bit premature. Sure, Microsoft has tweaked Windows 8.1 to give it more of a resemblance to earlier versions of the OS than the original Windows 8 release, and the update planned for this spring may look and feel even more like Windows 7.

But there'… Read more

ZTE, Nuance hit the road with eyes-free, hands-free biometric voice command

Phone manufacturer ZTE and Nuance Communications, provider of a wide range of voice recognition software, are teaming up at CES 2014 to announce an updated and enhanced Car Mode application for ZTE's Android devices.

The ZTE Car Mode app will provide an eye-free, hands-free way to interact with these phones on the go. Nuance is providing new voice biometrics tech for the screen unlock, enabling the hardware to recognize a voice command from a specific person's voiceprint to activate and access different functions and modes without physical contact.

For example, as part of a new feature called Music … Read more

How to transfer large amounts of data between Macs quickly

If you need to transfer a file or two from one Mac to another, you may use a service like Dropbox, or copy them to a USB drive and move them manually; however, there are some built-in options that can be substantially faster, especially if you are transferring large amounts of data up to numerous gigabytes.

To do this you might consider simply enabling file sharing on one of the systems, and then connecting to it from the second computer over whatever network connection you are currently using; however, in doing so you may end up using a relatively slow … Read more

How to adjust Tweetbot's new night theme for iOS

Night mode, ah yes, that dark colored theme apps have adapted over the years that make it easier to read text in a dark environment. Instead of offering a white background, which is brighter in a dark setting, a dark background is easy on the eyes.

Tapbots launched Tweetbot 3 shortly after iOS 7 launched, and one of the missing "features" was a night theme. After some patience and hard work, an update was released on Wednesday bringing a pretty slick night theme to the app.

You'll need to grab the latest version from the App Store, … Read more

G Flex smartphone boasts healing powers

CNET Update wants an adamantium phone:

In this episode of *snikt* Update:

- Learn why LG says it's curved G Flex phone can heal itself like Wolverine. (But it doesn't bend the same as the Galaxy Round, Bub.)

- Take an early peek at what is likely a white version of the Nexus 5.

- Get ready for more Samsung smartphones to work with the Gear smartwatch in the coming weeks.

- Play thousands of Android games on the Nvidia Shield, which got a software update with new features, like console mode.


iTunes (HD)iTunes (SD) |&… Read more

Chrome's parental controls step closer to adulthood

Google Chrome's rumored parental control feature moved into Chrome beta on Tuesday, and it stands to make Chrome and Chrome OS even more appealing to parents and teachers.

Chromebooks have done well in the United States, capturing around a quarter of the sub-$300 PC market in the past year. The low-price laptops also have gained attention from educators, in part because of their price, but also because they include keyboards, essential for teaching children typing skills.

Supervised Users would give Chrome OS a long-missing feature: multiple accounts that can be differentiated by privilege status. For now, a supervised … Read more

Review: F-secure Internet Security

F-Secure Internet Security 2014 has a very corporate, systematic feel: the utility's overall design isn't decorated with bright, attention-grabbing colors. Its layout, user flow, and functionality are organized to stay out of your daily PC routine so you can go about your session with one less thing to worry about.

Installation was light and quick; F-Secure took just a few minutes and it doesn't ask about any toolbar offers or extension add-ons (though SafeSearch is an extension you can choose to add later). When you're finished, you'll be introduced to Launchpad, a central dock that … Read more