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OS wars 2013: How the latest Mac and Windows upgrades compare

OS wars 2013: How the latest Mac and Windows upgrades compare

Last year when Mountain Lion and Windows 8 were released, I wrote a piece comparing the Mac and Windows operating systems, and concluded that Apple took the better path by keeping its tablet and desktop operating systems separate. With Windows 8 Microsoft gave its operating system a complete makeover, asking that people change the way they use their computers. Now that the two operating systems have updated with Mac OS X Mavericks and Windows 8.1, I thought I should take another look at both to see if the update did anything to change my mind.

For full disclosure, I … Read more

Software at CES: Second screens take off, developers target TVs

Software at CES: Second screens take off, developers target TVs

CES is coming in early January, but contrary to popular belief, it isn't just about gadgets. A lot of software vendors make the trek to Las Vegas to show new and updated versions of software for just about every platform.

With the app stores for Apple, Google, and Windows exploding with new offerings over the course of 2012, we think this year's CES will have more new and updated software on hand than ever before.

As the in-house software editors at CNET, we have put together a list of predictions for this year's CES, from the probable … Read more

Hot new games for iOS

Hot new games for iOS

The stars lined up just right this week (read: gift-giving season is here!) to have a number of awesome game sequels and new releases launch all at once. Frankly, there are so many new games that there is no better time than the present to check out what the App Store has to offer.

Rick Broida already wrote about Grand Theft Auto: Vice City earlier today, but there are plenty more that would make nice additions to your iOS gaming collection.

This week's collection of apps is a group of excellent games released over the course of this week. … Read more

Top streaming-radio apps for iOS and Android

Top streaming-radio apps for iOS and Android

There are tons of music-listening apps in both of the big app stores, but when you want to find new music, there's nothing better than a streaming-radio app. These apps are set up for browsing through stations and genres so you can get a fresh dose of new options based on the music you like.

The obvious choice here is an app like Pandora (free - iOS|Android), but there are a few I like that have other options that might appeal to different types of music listeners.… Read more

Six iOS apps you'll thank me for (you're welcome)

Six iOS apps you'll thank me for (you're welcome)

With all the time I spend sifting through the iOS App Store and writing reviews, there simply isn't time to use every app regularly. Still, I find that just about every month there are a new handful of apps and games that I keep coming back to.

These aren't the best apps of all time and I'm not declaring them as the best apps even for right now; these are simply the ones that have grabbed my attention and have been getting the most use on my personal home screen.

If you see something here and think, &… Read more

Top travel apps for iOS

Top travel apps for iOS

Between crowded airports, winter delays, and luggage loaded with gifts, holiday travel can be stressful. But with a little planning, you can make your trip a little easier from start to finish. So rather than gathering up a collection of apps that help you book flights, we decided to make a different kind of travel collection.… Read more

Top holiday cooking apps on iOS

Top holiday cooking apps on iOS

Are you hosting Thanksgiving or bringing a dish to a potluck? If so, plans are probably already in place for the turkey, side dishes, and desserts, but there might be a chance to take your recipes to the next level -- if you have the right apps.

There are several cooking apps for both iPhone and Android that are great year-round, but they also often have special featured recipe collections around the holidays. If you want to kick your green-bean casserole (or any other holiday dish) up a notch, I suggest you take a look at what these apps have to offer.… Read more

Top Black Friday apps for iOS

Top Black Friday apps for iOS

Black Friday is rapidly approaching and we all know that means people are going to be hitting the stores both online and at brick-and-mortar locations to grab gifts for friends and family. But if you want to find the best deals, you're going to need a little help, and I have just the right apps for the job on iOS devices.

Whether you plan to brave the crowds on Black Friday or stay home and shop online, these apps will get you the best deals and hopefully make your gift shopping a little easier.

Editors' note: For Android shopping … Read more

Great local search apps for iOS

Great local search apps for iOS

I was going through the app listings the other day and came across LocalScope, a unique local search tool that helps you find things near your current location. Obviously, many people already use Google Maps (no current version for iOS) for this purpose, and the Yelp-powered Apple Maps gets better every day, but after looking at LocalScope (reviewed below), I went on a search for other apps that tailor their results just for what is right around your area.

This week's collection of apps is all about searching for services around your location. The first gives you tons of listings and a surprising bonus feature for finding your destination. The second offers a slick radial interface and tons of categories to pick from. The third is LocalScope, and uses social data to find places, videos, and images from people around your location.… Read more

Google Search vs. Siri: Voice search speed test (video)

Google Search vs. Siri: Voice search speed test (video)

Google Search (free) has been on iOS for some time, with well-known search capabilities, access to Google apps, Google Goggles for identifying products, and Voice Search. But an update to the app yesterday enhanced Voice Search with spoken answers, and it quickly became clear Google Search had an edge on Siri -- especially when it comes to speed.

Siri has a distinct advantage in most cases because it's integrated with the iOS. This means you can have Siri "Call Rebecca," for example, and Siri accesses your contact list along with your phone app to make the call. … Read more