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Obduction Comes Out of the Myst
October 23, 2013
Way back in 1993, a little exploratory puzzle mystery game called Myst was released for the Mac. It took off to become one of the best-selling -- and moodiest -- games ever, expanding to a variety of other platforms. The creators followed up with Riven, and now, 20 years after Myst, they are using Kickstarter to launch a new indie-developed game, Obduction.
Demo Fall 2013: Little Slices of Amazing New Technology
October 21, 2013
Demo's fall conference took place last week. This show has proven to be both a great and an expensive experience for me every year. Great because the technology shown is often truly amazing; expensive because I almost always end up buying one or two items, and my taste trends toward pricey. This year was no different, and my product of the week is the product I'd most like to personally own.
Launch Center Pro Delivers a Jolt of Speed in iOS 7
October 21, 2013
Like most gadget geeks, I get obsessed with the speed of things, the fast and snappy feel of a Mac, an OS, an app. After an upgrade to a new iPhone or Mac, my brain inevitably catches up to the speed boost and it feels as if I'm once again waiting for things to happen, waiting for apps to launch, for transitional graphic swooshes to do their thing.
Softbank Plugs $1.5B Into Supercell
October 17, 2013
Supercell has closed on a round of funding totaling $1.53 billion. SoftBank and GungHo Online Entertainment, which made the joint investment, will hold 51 percent of Supercell's outstanding voting stock. Supercell creates games for mobile and tablet platforms on the free-to-play business model. Games are free, but in-game purchases enhance the gameplay and help players advance through levels.
Ahrendts Pick Bodes Well for a Fresh Apple Store Experience
October 17, 2013
I never would have imagined that I would jump on the bandwagon for the CEO of a British luxury fashion company, but here I am preparing to gush over Angela Ahrendts, who will take over Apple's retail store operations in early 2014. Apple CEO Tim Cook made the announcement Monday, and the first thing that came to mind was that the massively male executive team at Apple was finally choosing a woman.
Dragon's Lair App Lets You Relive Dirk's Glory
October 14, 2013
One of the amazing things about our new connected world of software development and easy access to consumers is how old-school games can find new life with entirely new audiences through iOS and OS X. Case in point? The Dragon's Lair 30th Anniversary app for iOS. Dragon's Lair is a really old arcade game. Seriously old, as in it was a laserdisc video game. I barely remember laserdiscs.
All Things Appy: 5 Best Geo-Oriented Tracking Apps for iOS
October 04, 2013
This week's All Things Appy takes a look at the five best, free geo-oriented apps for the iOS platform. To keep your costs down, we're concentrating on those tracking apps that don't require additional hardware, like sensors. Not all mobile Apple hardware products have GPS satellite location, which many of these apps require for best results. The iPod is one of those.
If You're a Cinephile, You'll Love Mubi - if Not, It May Make You One
September 30, 2013
MUBI is an app for classic and independent movie lovers: Each day, the MUBI team hand picks an international, independent or classic film. MUBI subscribers can then view that film for up to 30 days, and effectively, this means that you can watch 30 or so movies each month for $4.99, or less per month if you sign up for six months or a year. The MUBI app is fantastic.
Evernote Gives Post-It Notes a 2nd Life
September 27, 2013
Evernote and 3M on Thursday announced a partnership to digitize the Post-it Note with a new feature on the Evernote app optimized to capture and save messages. The iOS 7 feature allows users to take a picture of a Post-it within Evernote, and that image is then digitally enhanced as an Evernote image. Users can save the image according to Post-it color or add a reminder regarding a specific note.
Apple's Blowout Launch Weekend Wasn't About the Phones
September 26, 2013
After Apple topped analyst expectations by selling more than 9 million iPhones in its opening launch weekend, it didn't take long for the Apple haters and naysayers to scramble for some negative spin: iPhone buyers are just cult fanatics, destined to buy the latest incremental update again and again until the rest of the world wakes up and realizes that Apple is just another fading tech company.
Adobe to Give Creatives New Gizmos
September 18, 2013
Adobe will pair hardware devices with its creative software suite next year when it launches a cloud pen and a digital ruler that work with tablets. The company plans to release its Mighty digital pen, a thin-tipped stylus designed to help digital artists have more control over their creativity while drawing on a tablet screen. The pressure-sensitive pen comes with color and tip tools.
JixiPix Photo-Editing Apps Let You Indulge Your Creative Inner Dabbler
September 17, 2013
Anyone who's casually grappled with a full-featured image editing program -- like Adobe Photoshop, for example -- knows how taxing it can be to find the tools you want when you want them. What's more, full-featured programs come with full-featured prices. That can put a damper on the creative fire of shutterbugs interested in experimenting with some of the alluring features of those apps.
Bring On the Pineapple and Bone-In Ham
September 16, 2013
You've got to admire a person who knows how to wield a knife with confidence -- especially a chef's knife. If you're anything like me, you've stumbled upon some sort of food in the kitchen that needed to be cut up, and because you didn't know what you were doing, you just started hacking away. You probably used the wrong sort of knife, and the technique? Likely messy, even dangerous.
Reinventing Play With Augmented Reality Toys
September 13, 2013
Augmented reality and other interactive technologies are changing what it means to play, read and interact. "For decades we have aspired to the holodeck as featured in Star Trek, whereby we can fully immerse ourselves in simulated surroundings," said toy consultant Steven Reece. This new breed of toys offers a kind of magic that kids -- and adults -- crave.
Apple's Big Rollout: Yawns Today, Brawn Tomorrow?
September 11, 2013
Onward and upward, or so the executive suite at Apple is clearly hoping. Tuesday's rollout of the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s -- and their related features and design quirks -- came as little surprise to company watchers as Apple's product pipeline has long been prone to leaks and speculation.
ReadKit Outdoes RSS for Good Mac Reading
September 10, 2013
With Google's axing of Reader, software makers rushed into the breach to meet the needs of users orphaned by Searchzilla. Judging by the response of those code warriors, it appears that RSS still has plenty of adherents. A number of good offerings have entered the picture, making it more challenging for any johnny-come-latelies. An app that's a little more than a reader, though, might have a shot.
Popboardz Takes the Snores Out of Presentations
September 09, 2013
A great presentation is usually linear, with a beginning, a middle, and an end -- but not always. Enter PopBoardz, an iPad-based presentation and project collaboration app. PopBoardz is designed more for ways to express projects than presentations, to share what's of most relevant interest in the room -- not a Keynote or PowerPoint slide that's simply the next item in a long line of slides.
New PayPal Mobile App Aims to Be Cash, Card Killer
September 06, 2013
PayPal introduced a new version of its mobile app on Thursday, unveiling features designed to make it easier for users to pay restaurant bills or take advantage of location-based deals while on the go. The updated app provides access to full menus from approved restaurants and lets users order ahead of time to cut down on wait times. Diners can also use the app to pay and tip.
US Open Tennis App Is a Smash
September 03, 2013
Second-screen or only screen, the official USTA US Open Tennis Championships for iPad app brings some of the greatest hardcourt tennis in the world into your hands, wherever you happen to be. Right there, the app starts off on a great footing for tennis fans. Fortunately, through nimble footwork and a lot of great serving, the app does a decent job of keeping you updated on all the action.
New Filters Give Flickr More Flash
August 30, 2013
Yahoo raised the ante in its high-stakes competition with Facebook, Twitter and Google for the hearts and minds of mobile photo sharers with its release of a Flickr for iOS update. The new edition of the app is loaded with features aimed at photo sharers with artistic proclivities. "We want to empower creatives," said Flickr Head of Product Markus Spiering.
New Coat of Polish Heightens DevonNote's Shine
August 27, 2013
One of the best things about a computer is it gives you a single place to store scraps of information and research that used to be scattered in notebooks and paper notes across your office. One of the worst things about a computer is it gives you a single place to store scraps of information and research that used to be scattered in notebooks and paper notes across your office.
Vevo Brings Music to Life Through Video
August 26, 2013
If you've watched and listened to music videos posted on YouTube, you've likely seen quite a few major stars with official channels featuring their names with "Vevo" slapped on the end of it, like OneRepublicVevo or LukeBryanVevo. Outside of YouTube, Vevo is a Web-based music video service that also has an iOS app. Said app was just updated to provide AirPlay support, in fact.
Hey Buddy, Fix Your Face - Oh Wait, I Can Do It for You With Facetune
August 19, 2013
Longtime readers know I'm a fan of straightforward apps that do one core thing really well. Facetune lets you fancy up portrait photos of your friends -- or your selfies -- and it's fantastic. In fact, it's got the perfect blend of powerful tools with utter simplicity. Want to whiten your best man's yellowish teeth? No problem. Boom, white like Ryan Seacrest.
YouTube Guys Give Video Editors a Brand New Playground
August 08, 2013
It appears YouTube cofounders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen want to mix it up with Vine and Instagram. Their video-editing app, MixBit, made its iOS debut on Thursday. An Android version is coming soon. MixBit works much like Vine and Instagram, allowing users to shoot and share short-form videos of up to 16 seconds. However, MixBit goes a big step further, letting users stitch clips together.

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