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WebStart's a Snore-Worthy Substitute for iGoogle's Snappy Style
May 14, 2013
With iGoogle scheduled to be axed in November, orphans of that offering will be looking at alternatives like uStart, Protopage, Netvibes and Myfav.es. While those alternatives will meet the needs of many iGoogle users set adrift by the search company, some souls may want to create their own homepage substitutes for the versatile portal.
Silk's Cool Art App Lets You Swipe the Light Fantastic
May 13, 2013
Wow. I don't think I've ever started any review with a "wow," much less an italicized wow, but here it is: That one word sums up my first impression of Silk -- Interactive Generative Art, an app for the iPad and iPhone. The app lets you create flowing, mirrored strands of silk-like lines of colored light. You do that simply by swiping and dragging your finger.
All Things Appy: Top 5 Ratings Apps for iOS
May 08, 2013
Whatever you think of the controversy that periodically springs up over some ratings websites, they are undoubtedly useful for gathering information about businesses, products and services. Here we take a look at some of the best specialist ratings and search apps for iOS. At the top of the list is Yelp, which provides crowdsourced localized search for businesses close by.
Easy, Elegant Scapple Brightens Mind Maps
May 07, 2013
Scapple isn't a spelling mistake for that Pennsylvania Dutch concoction made with pork scraps, corn meal, flour and spices. In fact, scapple is actually a word meaning to work roughly, or shape without finishing. It's also the name of a dynamite new mind mapping program from Literature and Latte, the folks who brought the Mac world Scrivner.
Twitter #music Tops the Charts for Song Discovery
May 06, 2013
The new Twitter #music app for iOS is the coolest app I want to love forever. However, it still gives me the nagging feeling that its slick graphics and fast play might leave our relationship just an empty shell of glitz and hope. Like those hot-and-heavy relationships that defy explanation, #music is a hard app to truly love -- or let go.
All Things Appy: Top 5 Android Camera Apps
May 01, 2013
As the geek world drools over the first 13-megapixel smartphone camera -- the Android-driven Samsung Galaxy S4 -- we take a look at the current state-of-play in the must-have camera app genre for Android. Ready, set, go. Occasionally an app comes along that blows everything else away.
CallNote Dials Up Clean, Easy Skype Recordings
April 30, 2013
Recording phone calls has always been a gray area of the law. That's because there are both state and federal wiretapping laws that govern the practice. Federal law allows a conversation to be recorded if one party consents to it. Some states use that rule, too, but others require the consent of everyone on the call. Nevertheless, those uncertainties haven't deterred people from recording calls.
Status Board Gives You a Stylish Dashboard for Your Life
April 29, 2013
Executive dashboards are now common in business environments -- graphical interfaces that show managers key metrics about their enterprises like sales activity, inventory or financials. They tick and update in real time, and they require hooks into business data to work. Panic, Inc., has created a simple dashboard for real people. Status Board lets you create a snazzy widget-based iPad screen.
Reeder's a Comfy Refuge for Google's RSS Orphans
April 23, 2013
When Google announced it was killing its Reader app July 1, it not only annoyed hordes of users, it pulled the rug out from under app developers who built their livelihoods on the web software. One of those app makers is Silvio Rizzi, maker of Reeder. a free RSS program for iPhone, iPad and Mac. Like all the developers that plugged into Reader, Rizzi is facing extinction. However, he's not quite ready to go into that good night.
Cloud Drive May Stoke Amazon Fans - for Others It's 'Meh'
April 22, 2013
When Amazon updated its Cloud Drive earlier this month with file syncing built in -- along with its desktop app for the Mac -- the file storage service suddenly got a lot more interesting. Why? For long-term file storage, syncing isn't that big of a deal. However, if you want a place to dump files that you can access from another computer or via a Web browser, the no-brainer need is for automatic syncing.
aText - Your Friendly Keystroke Slasher
April 16, 2013
Few people like typing. Even fewer like typing the same things over and over again. That dislike is at the root of aText, which lets you create your own abbreviations to speed things along. For example, a typing shortcut, or snippet, such as "jpm" could become "by John P. Mello Jr." While simple text can be used to make substitutions, you can do much more than that, too.
The Masters iPad App Is Worthy of the Green Jacket
April 12, 2013
While I'm not a golf fanatic, I get onto local courses just often enough to enjoy the sport, the fresh air, and the skill it takes to send the little white ball home. Fortunately, you don't have to be personally talented to appreciate a great sporting event, and the Masters Tournament is one of the best in the world -- a place where skill and pressure collide on the artistic canvas of a challenging golf course.
Doo Doesn't Quite Do the Trick
April 09, 2013
We have entered the Golden Age of storage. At no time in the past have we had more freedom over where we can stash our digital stuff. We've got internal hard drives with a terabyte or more of storage space. We've got solid state drives that give us quick access to our data. We've got thumb drives with a gigabyte or more space, and we've got free cloud storage from multiple vendors.
CaptureAudio Will Make You Shout Its Praises
April 08, 2013
Sometimes I hang on to using the Apple-bundled iPhone apps with a maniacal fervor. Unfortunately, this means that I get into a rut with an Apple app -- despite its limitations -- and I avoid trying new apps. Yes, this means I can keep better track of what Apple is up to. On the flip side, why should I create extra work, just so I can identify when Apple ditches the skeuomorphic microphone from its solid but utterly lifeless Voice Memos app?
All Things Appy: Top 5 iOS Video Camera Apps
April 03, 2013
Video cameras have been one of the killer hardware features in the smartphone revolution, and Apple's iOS platform for iPads and iPhones has made an important contribution to the video camera app market. Twitter's Vine lets you create arty 6-second looping videos for distribution on social networks including Facebook, Twitter and the Vine network.
Snagit's a Slick Screen Grabber
April 02, 2013
For many Mac users, screen grabbing tools provided by OS X are adequate for their needs. If you need to snatch a full screen, shift + command + 3 will suffice. If you want to carve out a section of your display, there's shift + command + 4. However, some Mac jockeys need to go beyond those simple grabbing techniques. For those users, there's Snagit 2.
Instant Heart Rate: A Cool Way to Track Your Ticker
April 01, 2013
Every now and then I'm surprised and delighted by the utter ingenuity I stumble upon in the iTunes App Store. I really like it when someone utilizes common technology for a unintended purpose -- in this case, using the camera on your iPhone to track the beat of your heart. Crazy, I know, but Instant Heart Rate - Heart Rate Monitor by Azumio does it in just a few seconds.
pwSafe Cracks the Safe-Password Problem
March 26, 2013
Hardly a day goes by without a data breach making the news or a social media account being hacked. That kind of news can be unsettling to many of us and leave us wondering how we can better protect our online security. One way to address the problem is to beef up your first line of defense against hackers: the passwords to your online accounts.
March Madness App Brings Its 'A' Game
March 25, 2013
I've previously avoided most big sports and event streaming apps for simple reasons -- they tend to bombard you with glitchy ads or make you jump through hoops to view the content, such as proving that you're a cable or satellite subscriber. In March, however, NCAA basketball grabs my attention.
Alfred Offers Bat-tastic Productivity for Mac Owners
March 19, 2013
We can't all have the riches of Bruce Wayne. Mac owners, however, can have a virtual version of his faithful servant, Alfred. Like Wayne's invaluable butler, this free productivity app is also named Alfred. Its latest version (2.0), released this month, is more useful than ever.
Year Walk Is a Creepy Yet Delightful Stroll
March 18, 2013
Year Walk -- an iOS game by Simogo -- is a story-adventure-puzzle that creepily evokes what it might be like to wander the Swedish countryside in the middle of night, in the middle of winter, after spending a full day without food in a very dark room. That is, of course, if you're some dude from 1894 desperately in love with a woman -- and you embark on a Swedish folklore "Year Walk" in the hope of seeing your future.
Tree Is a Cool Tool for Creating Outlines That Branch Everywhere
March 12, 2013
Outlines can be valuable tools for writers or just about anyone else who needs to organize ideas into a coherent whole. A problem with them, though, is they can be too rigid. A traditional outline is a vertical list. As much as many of us love lists of things, they can be stifling when a structure of ideas is forced into them.

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