App and Software News
If you're a student of search engine history, you eventually learn at least one lesson: It's pretty difficult to keep up with Google. The company's search engine has long been renowned for its nearly psychic power to deliver the web pages you're looking for, but it's remained a moving target with the addition of image searching, dynamic cards, personalized results and other bells and whistles. Yet nothing in life is free.
To use Google search to its fullest extent, you need... Read More »
While the iTunes Music Store may have been the default place to buy and download MP3 files back in the day, it's all about streaming now -- and the Silicon Valley giant is still playing catch-up to the established players like Spotify or Pandora. But the equally heated rivalry among wireless carriers in the United States may be an opportunity for it to finally gain the upper hand.
While mobile phones have transformed our communication and entertainment options since the smartphone age arguably began with the iPhone a decade ago, the ways we interact with these devices also continue to evolve, and one major step has been the voice-activated virtual assistant, like Siri or Amazon Alexa.
With these assistants, you can perform a number of actions more quickly and with less technical knowledge, because none of it requires digging around a phone's interface. It's become so handy that certain... Read More »
Trying to control your music or podcast while you're cooking, exercising or driving can be frustrating and dangerous. Smart devices for your car and home are safer and easier ways to achieve hands-free control over what you're listening to, but not everyone can afford them.
Whether you don't want to stop your jumping jacks to swap playlists or you want a more minimalist music display, Listen: The Gesture Music Player app could what you need.
Listen runs on iPhone and iPad. The... Read More »
While Netflix has become the default destination for tens of millions of binge watchers around the world, content licensing costs have continued to climb dramatically. Whereas streaming rights were once an afterthought, studios have come to see them as compelling revenue streams and are now pricing their shows and movies accordingly.
One result is that Netflix has to keep bumping up its subscription fees to keep the lights on, and a new set of prices goes into effect today for new... Read More »
Firefox maker Mozilla is placing another nail in the coffin for the much-maligned Adobe Flash.
Due for release in September 2019, Firefox 69 will disable the Flash plug-in by default, according to a new Bugzilla bug report. At that point, Firefox users who still want or need Flash to display content at certain websites will have to manually enable the plug-in.
"Per our Flash (plugin) deprecation roadmap, we'll disable Flash... Read More »
There's a cool event you plan to attend or even host. You want to tell your Facebook friends about it to get them to join you. You can always share the event as a regular post or a message. But Facebook is now testing a more innovative way on its mobile app for you to share it.
Currently rolling out to users in the US, Mexico and Brazil on the Facebook... Read More »
Are you on social media so much that it's having a negative impact on other areas of your life? If you spend most of your waking hours -- and even some of your sleeping ones -- thinking about your Facebook (download for Android) account, attempt to escape your woes by scrolling Instagram (download for Android), become anxious if you're away from your Twitter (download for Android) feed for too long and try to reduce your Snapchat (download... Read More »
Topics: Android Software
While government restrictions in China have kept out Facebook (download for iOS or Android), the ban has allowed for the massive expansion of Tencent's WeChat (download for iOS or Android), a messaging app that has 1.08 billion monthly active users, putting it neck-and-neck with Facebook.
WeChat has gone far beyond messaging to become a social network, a gaming platform, and a payment system. Now, Tencent's latest move is to add virtual assistant capabilities to WeChat to eventually... Read More »
Preparing your taxes can be a frustrating experience, especially if you try to do it on your own. Now, the IRS is aiming to ease the burden.
Available through the IRS, the Free File website acts as a conduit to free tax preparation and filing software. Through Free File, you can search for free brand-name tax programs designed to guide you through the process of preparing your taxes. You then... Read More »
After a lull in donations over the holiday season, the nonprofit organization issued an emergency call today for blood and platelets. Between the weeks of Christmas and New Year's, the Red Cross received 27,000 less donations than needed, the Red Cross said.
To help quell the shortage, the Red Cross is imploring people to participate this January in National Blood Donor Month.
Even if a Windows user hasn't dabbled with MacOS or desktop Linux before, they can generally find their way around because all three platforms use similar design templates. There's a main menu in one corner; icons in the middle of the screen that represent files, folders and application launchers; and often a set of smaller icons in a menu bar, representing other apps and folders for easy access.
Such is not the case on mobile devices, because they haven't had decades... Read More »
While Netflix has been the default home for a wide variety of TV shows and movies over the years, we've seen its content partners increasingly pulling away, in favor of their own subscription platforms. Hot on the heels of of Disney announcing its own service, fellow media giant NBCUniversal is throwing its hat into the ring with a streaming platform aimed for launch in 2020.
In the announcement, NBCUniversal says its yet-unnamed service will be supported by ads in the... Read More »
For folks with high-speed internet connections, streaming music, movies and other media is gradually taking the place of owning physical media. It not only saves space on your shelf but also allows access to a staggering library of content. And in the last couple years, video games have started to enter this arena, despite the steeper technical challenges.
While streaming music services have revolutionized an industry that previously relied on selling copies of physical media, there have been a few false notes along the way. Sometimes the issue has been artists claiming that the services do not compensate them appropriately, while in other cases people have been sharing their account passwords with family and friends. In the case of Apple Music, though, the issue is the number of simultaneous streams that you're allowed.
Saving money on groceries can be a challenge.
Most of us go to the same stores on our weekly grocery trip. And as we shop, we try to save money by buying generic brands, using rewards cards or simply by cutting back. Clipping sales circulars like extreme couponers isn't sustainable for everyone.
The Basket app thinks you shouldn't have to tweak your grocery list to lower your weekly food bill; you need to change where you're shopping spend less on your... Read More »
While SMS and Apple Messages dominate texting in the US, WhatsApp is quite popular overseas, having hit a milestone of 1.5 billion monthly active users about one year ago. The Facebook-owned messaging app is free, cross-platform, and encrypted, which are all compelling reasons to use, and now WhatsApp-focused blog WABetaInfo reports that the company is adding features to help users secure the app on their devices.
True to its name, WABetaInfo spotted a new beta version of WhatsApp sporting these... Read More »
Apple announced its new billing policy for Canada in accordance with tax changes on Monday.
Apple customers noticed higher charges after making purchases and took to Reddit for answers. The blog iPhone in Canada mentioned a purchase of Home Alone at $4.99. At checkout, Apple added a 12 percent sales tax, which brought the total to $5.59.
The latest version of Adobe Lightroom CC now offers a quick and easy way to import your images.
Available for both the iPhone and iPad, Lightroom CC version 4.1.1 adds some much-needed support for Siri Shortcuts. By creating and running a shortcut, you can directly import one or more images into your Lightroom photo library for editing. You can also opt to apply a specific preset style automatically or choose... Read More »
Topics: iOS Software
The late, great David Bowie was a million different people from one project to the next. With each new trendsetting character that Bowie created and fully embodied for every new album or movie -- Major Tom, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Halloween Jack, The Soul Man, Thin White Duke, The DJ, Pierrot, Screaming Lord Byron and even Jareth the Goblin King from the "Labyrinth" movie, he changed the mould. No, he broke it.
Bowie was just as chameleon-like when it came to... Read More »