Advanced task managers on iOS

There must be hundreds, if not thousands, of to-do-list management apps in the iTunes App Store, but which one should you choose?

I found a couple of new task management apps recently that add something extra to the category. But using them made me realize that an old favorite of mine still stood up to the test of time and remains a great choice for lists and tasks.

It's no secret that many people like to use lists to get through daily projects, but when you have a task manager on your iPhone, you get handy additions like alerts, notifications, and editable tasks when your goals change. Whether you're just making a grocery list or planning a big business project, a good task management app can focus your efforts and keep you on point for success.… Read more

How to change your iPhone's e-mail alert tone

My wife's office recently ditched its BlackBerrys for iPhones. Now, when one of our iPhones chirps with the arrival of a new e-mail, we look at one another, wondering who just got an e-mail and who can continue uninterrupted with his or her evening. Unless you have been using a prerelease version of iOS 5, which lets you change the tone for any alert, you're stuck with the default tone. (On my iPhone running iOS 4.3.5, I can change my ringtone and my text tone but not the tone for e-mails.) I wanted to find a way to change the tone for new e-mails without (a) paying any money, and (b) jailbreaking my phone. After an intensive search, I found iPriorityMail 2, a free app that does the trick

iPriorityMail may not be the prettiest app, but it's fairly easy to set up an alert with a custom tone for all new e-mails. You can also set up alerts for specific contacts or groups, and you can also set up alerts for Facebook and Twitter and other apps. For this tutorial, I'll show you how to set up an alert for all incoming e-mails, how to create a different tone for a specific contact, and then how to disable the default tone in iOS so you don't get two tones when a new e-mail arrives.… Read more

Built for speed

It's a cliche to say it, but sometimes less really is more. That's definitely the case with Sumatra PDF Viewer. This lightweight program lets you view PDFs without a lot of extra features that slow things down. It has all the basics you need and none of the fluff that you don't. If you're frustrated by the clunkiness of some of the big-name PDF viewers, this could be exactly what you've been looking for.

The program has a plain, intuitive interface, with a few menus and a toolbar across the top. The basic PDF viewer … Read more

Google readies 'better ads' system for Gmail

Google is getting ready to present "better ads" in messages delivered via its e-mail service.

The Web giant announced today that it intends to serve up fewer but more relevant and useful ads by better predicting which topics appear to be important to each user.

One of the tools that Google plans to use to accomplish this is its Priority Inbox, a feature launched last August that is designed to help clear the clutter from users' inboxes by filtering out e-mail deemed less important, Google said in a support information page:

Using some of the same signals that … Read more

Understanding process priority in OS X

In this week's troubleshooting utility news and updates column we mentioned ProcessRenicer, a tool that allows users to change the scheduling priority of various processes, and discussed how this could be used to increase performance of some tasks. Some readers e-mailed in regarding this, wondering why not always change priority to make their programs run faster?

Unfortunately, changing the priority of a process does not mean you can tweak that process to make tasks magically faster on your system. Instead, it means that depending on your system's capabilities and uses, you might allow a task to respond more … Read more

Google adds Priority Inbox to mobile Gmail

Gmail users who rely on the Priority Inbox feature to sort their e-mail will now find the same feature available through their mobile devices.

Launched in August, Priority Inbox was designed to help clear the clutter of your inbox by filtering out e-mail deemed less important. Initially available on the standard Gmail Web site and via the Gmail Android app, the feature has just made its debut on the mobile Web version of Gmail accessible through any portable device.

Priority Inbox filters the e-mail from your regular inbox into one of three categories: Important and unread, Starred, and Everything. You … Read more

Gmail's Priority Inbox improved for Android

Google's Priority Inbox for Gmail has evidently been successful enough on the desktop that it's now moved to the Android smartphone. The new Gmail for Android 2.3.2 (compatible with Android 2.2 (Froyo) and 2.3 (Gingerbread) better supports the "Priority Inbox" e-mail filtering tool by showing off tagged e-mails in a view dedicated to the feature.

If you don't currently use it, you can activate and try Priority Inbox in the Settings from your desktop or mobile browser.

This version of the Gmail app provides some management options, including marking … Read more

Google: Priority Inbox saving Gmail users time

Gmail's Priority Inbox, which launched in August and enables users to separate important e-mails from ones that can wait till later, is actually saving people time, Google said in a blog post yesterday.

According to the company, Gmail users who are utilizing Priority Inbox are spending about 43 percent more of their time "reading important mail." Google added that Priority Inbox users overall are spending 15 percent less time sifting through e-mail than those who aren't tapping the feature.

Priority Inbox separates e-mail into three categories: "important and unread," "starred," and "… Read more

Survey: E-mail eats up your time off

The 9-to-5 workday is dead. And so are vacations, sick days, and weekend relaxation, according to a new study from Outlook add-in maker Xobni.

According to the company, which in conjunction with Harris Interactive surveyed 2,200 American and British adult workers in August, 72 percent of Americans and 68 percent of Britons check e-mail outside of regular business hours. On sick days, 42 percent of Americans check their e-mail, compared with 25.8 percent of British workers.

Xobni also found that there is a gender divide when it comes to e-mail--that 65 percent of men surveyed check their e-mail … Read more

Priority Inbox sorts Gmail

Links from Tuesday's episode of Loaded: Priority Inbox sorts Gmail MySpace gives into Facebook iTunes song previews double NASA signs up for Flickr 10-inch Android tablet arrives