Apple's getting closer to releasing its new OS, iOS, and iPhone. Microsoft needs to convince users to kick out the old Windows. Facebook has a new Bolt and updated Slingshot, but Messenger's on its own and there are no more Gifts. Read on for our recap of the software news, and to get the latest reviews and features from our editors in your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletters.


Apple logo

Apple hasn't announced the iPhone 6, let alone given it a release date, but speculation says it will launch on October 14. In the meantime, iPhone owners are wondering if there's a nefarious reason their phones seem slower before the new one comes out.

There will be a 1Password extension for third-party iOS 8 apps, so you'll be able to use the password manager to log in to any apps that support the add-on.

If you have an iPhone and actually use the phone part, there's now a free, open-source app called Signal that encrypts voice calls.

The next Mac OS, Yosemite, is also expected in fall and is now available for public beta. CNET's Jason Parker is looking at the major features -- this week it's Mail Drop and Markup for Apple Mail.

Interestingly, Apple has created its own content delivery network (CDN), meaning that files will come directly from Apple servers rather than from a third-party service like Akamai. That may mean less wait time for you when new software is released, and eventually Apple may deliver everything from iTunes to Beats from its own CDN.

Last Sunday, Apple bought, makers of the Swell app for podcast discovery; by Wednesday, the app was kaput.


Windows 8.1 Update 2 is on track for an August 12 release, but it won't be a big deal or mandatory. It also won't include the reprise of the Start menu, which is being held for Threshold next spring.

Windows XP still powers half of businesses, according to a survey.

OneNote for Mac and iOS got updates this week, including the ability to attach PDFs, Office docs, and videos to notes.


Facebook logo

People of the Internet, do not call the police when Facebook goes down.

Facebook has uncoupled Messenger from the Facebook apps. If you want to keep chatting, you'll soon have to use the standalone app (iOS, Android).

Facebook's Snapchat-like photo-sharing app, Slingshot (iOS, Android), now lets you react to reactions.

Instagram, now owned by Facebook, has also rolled out a Snapchat-esque photo- and video-messaging app called Bolt. It's available only in New Zealand, Singapore, and South Africa for now.

The Daily Dot reports that Instagram doesn't encrypt all the information it shares with its servers, leaving users exposed to a man-in-the-middle attack. Protect yourself by staying off public Wi-Fi or using Instagram's mobile website rather than the app.

Facebook Gifts closes up shop August 12.

But the company will be giving the gift of free Internet services to Zambia via the app. Right now only 15% of Zambians have Net access.


Google Hangouts

The 64-bit version of Chrome for Windows is now in beta. You can also test-drive the beta of Chrome for Android, which has gotten a redesign.

Google has patched an Android security hole called Fake ID that could have let malware pretend to be a trusted app -- "could have" because the vulnerability was never exploited.

Love Android but hate Google's preinstalled apps? Ars Technica has your obsessive's guide to running nothing but open-source apps on Android.

Good news for business users: Hangouts has been split out from Google+, so anyone with a Google Apps account can now use the video-chat app. And it looks like Google+'s photo service will be unbundled as well.

How to...


Julie is managing editor of and has been cooking up tech editorial since 1996.