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Fantastical 2 is the calendar app you wish Apple would have made

Fantastical 2 is one of those apps you look at in the App Store and think looks nice, but you can't justify spending money on something that only duplicates what the default iOS calendar app does.

The truth is, it does duplicate Apple's calendar app, but the real value comes in the form of the features it adds to your calendar. And there's no shortage of features in Fantastical 2.

Painless setupOnce you've installed Fantastical 2 you'll need to grant the app access to some of your personal information. Instead of requiring you to log … Read more

Great iOS apps for making holiday travel easier

Traveling can be a headache, especially during big holidays like Thanksgiving. With so many people traveling the country at around the same time, you're faced with packed airports, unforeseen schedule changes, bad weather, and probably more than a few irritable fellow passengers just trying to get home for the holiday.

To keep the stress level at a minimum, I selected some helpful travel apps for iOS that will keep you on schedule and help you navigate your itinerary.

Editors' note: If you're looking for Android travel apps, check out Sarah Mitroff's roundup.

TripIt lets you set up … Read more

Five rules for trouble-free software updates

If you think you've been spending more time than usual waiting for your software to update, you may be right.

The release of Windows 8.1, OS X Mavericks, and iOS 7.0.3 has given us update fatigue. This weekend it took me a total of 7 hours to install all three upgrades: 2.5 hours for Windows 8.1, 3.5 hours for Mavericks, and 1 hour for iOS 7.0.3.

Even though the updates installed without a hitch, most people have no need to rush applying the upgrades. Taking your time is one of my &… Read more

Track classes, assignments, and grades easily

iStudiez Pro is a college student's best friend, with great ways to manage classes, assignments, deadlines, and more, all with a well-designed interface that makes it easy to use. It's important to note the iPhone interface is quite a bit different than the iPad version, so most of this review is for the iPad, with differences on the iPhone at the bottom.

iStudiez Pro on the iPad The app controls on the iPad are across the top of the screen. You can hit a Today button to see what you need to do for the day. There are … Read more

Review: Cosmos System Care Free scans your computer for any problems

Cosmos System Care Free is touted as your all-in-one maintenance tool to keep your computer system healthy and clean. Indeed, when you first download the program, you are offered the chance for an immediate scan. However, while this program seems to be wide in scope, the free version only offers to scan your computer for problems; it doesn't fix them.

Cosmos System Care Free took more than 35 minutes to download, extract, and install on a dual processing system. The program scans for security problems including privacy issues, includes a file decryptor and encryptor, and backs up or restores … Read more

Review: Schemes - Scheduled Networking schedules texts, tweets, and updates

Schemes - Scheduled Networking can help you schedule text messages, Facebook updates, tweets, and much more. If it gave notifications when it sent a text, it would be the perfect solution to scheduling messages. As it is now, it's still an awesome, stylish way to do it.

The app's gorgeous interface fits right in with Android's style. It almost looks like it was designed by Google, itself. In order to gain access to your Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ account, you have to actually log in, not just approve the app. Once you've done that, you can … Read more

Review: Manage daily events with Scheduler for Macintosh

In a fast-moving world, we often find ourselves struggling to keep track of everything that is going on around us. With Scheduler for Mac, users can now manage their daily events efficiently and without much hassle. The app also allows the user to set a schedule for launching their apps, documents, and scripts, automatically.

Scheduler for Mac is free to try but needs to be registered after a 30-day trial period. A license code will be sent to the user free of charge after simply providing a name and e-mail. The installation of the app is quick and easy and … Read more

Review: TimeMachineScheduler for Mac modifies backup presets

Users who have the native Mac backup system in use may want to adjust the preset options. TimeMachineScheduler for Mac does add some functions to the backup system that work well, but few of them are critical to most Mac users.

TimeMachineScheduler for Mac downloaded quickly and its installer did not require user interaction. A readme file clearly explained the installation process, which was a nice feature. The presence of a native uninstaller was also useful. The lack of tutorials was not much of a problem since the application is little more than an additional section of the preferences menu. … Read more

Track your classes and lessons with Lessons Schedule

For teachers and students alike, the iPad is a perfect timekeeper. With its robust suite of built-in tools and endless supply of options and apps, it can easily keep track of your projects, classes, exams, and teachers in a single space. Of course, most apps are not designed for this type of tracking, so a tool like Lessons Schedule is much needed. But does this app perform as needed in that role? For the most part it does, with a few minor exceptions.

Upon opening, if you have a Dropbox account (and the app installed), Lessons Schedule will attempt to … Read more

i-Schedule Free isn't worth the hassle

Schedulers and planners are supposed to make life simpler by helping you be on time and on task. i-Schedule Free offers a slightly different take on a scheduler in that it's focused on school schedules. The problem, however, is that its user interface isn't well integrated, so it requires lots of input, making it more trouble than it's worth.

i-Schedule Free opens with a dragon design while you wait for the actual app features to load. From there, you're presented with nine different menu options that all require you to input some kind of information. Going … Read more