multi-tasking

Watch YouTube videos in a floating window on Android

If you own an Android tablet, or just a phone with a huge screen, watching YouTube videos while you perform other tasks can be superconvenient. Perhaps you're checking e-mail and watching videos from your favorite band, or maybe you're watching a scene from a play and following along in the script. This split-screen feature is available on the Samsung Galaxy Note II, but hasn't rolled out to many other handsets. Ready to add more multitasking power to your device?

First you'll need to install a copy of Floating YouTube Popup Video on your Android device, then … Read more

Mac OS X Lion first take: Apple's next big cat

OS X 10.7 "Lion" is the eighth major release of OS X, and comes with a new philosophical approach to the Mac. Apple has been using OS X for the "Mac OS" as well as the underlying OS for the AppleTV as well as the iOS on iPhones and the iPad, and is now looking to bring some of the innovations in the iOS back to the Mac OS to enhance the Mac experience.

The first is multitouch gestures, a feature that has been progressively implemented into OS X with Apple's multitouch trackpad, Magic mouse, and Magic trackpad input devices. While many might imagine a touch-screen option for notebooks, Apple is not going to go in that direction, indicating user fatigue as the main problem with that approach, but also that it is just cumbersome for most users. Instead, Apple will be concentrating on the horizontal approach to gestures and inputs that we have seen in the multitouch trackpads, and is leaving the onscreen gestures to mobile devices.

The second feature is the implementation of the Mac App Store on OS X. This is available as a standalone application that you can put in your Dock, which will open and show a view into the store similar to the iTunes store. It will allow you to better discover new applications as well as offer easy one-click purchasing and installation of applications. When applications are purchased, they will immediately show in the Dock along with a progress bar indicating the download and installation progress for that application. When the progress bar is done, the application can be launched immediately.

While Apple is advertising the new App Store for Lion, the program will be available for Snow Leopard within 90 days, so stay tuned. Apple has a developer kit to hopefully get other applications into the store besides its iLife and iWork suites, and we expect that like the current App Store for the iOS, it will populate rather quickly.… Read more

USB gadgets gone wild

Once USB gadget makers started competing over aromatherapy, we should have known this was coming. As useless devices continue to pile up in warehouses overseas, at least one manufacturer has just decided to combine several of them into one "Mini USB Desktop Multi-Tasking Device" and be done with them.

OhGizmo says this over-achieving setup includes a USB cup warmer, USB flexible mini-lamp, and USB mini-vacuum cleaner, among other things, as if we need any of them. But given all the competition in this space, we can afford to be picky: We won't even consider one of these … Read more

'Tis the season to Crave: Erica Ogg's picks

NOTE: From now through December, every few days a different Crave expert will be posting his or her top 10 gadget picks for the holidays. See what we crave, and maybe you'll get some ideas! Here's our seventh installment.

Erica Ogg is an unapologetic Dodgers fan living in San Francisco, has found herself hopelessly addicted to Starbucks chai lattes (with 2 percent milk), and readily admits to being a history geek. And no, she has nothing to do with Ogg Vorbis.

1. LG Chocolate. So the first version was panned by a lot of critics, but the second … Read more