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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.
Yahoo Weather, Email Mobile Apps Aim for Elegance
April 22, 2013
Yahoo last week unfurled two new apps that should help strengthen its mobile bona fides: the Yahoo Weather App for iPhone, iPod and iPod touch; and Yahoo Mail Apps for iPad and Android tablets. The new releases are in keeping with CEO Marissa Mayer's intention to pare Yahoo's extensive mobile portfolio to a handful of strong, user-friendly and productivity-oriented apps. Both are streamlined, and both deliver on Mayer's promise.
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.
AirPlay to the HDTV Is More Hot Air Than Play
April 18, 2013
While screen mirroring solutions -- like Apple's AirPlay -- have reached a relatively high level of awareness, not a lot of people are actually using them, according to a new study by the NPD Group's Connected Intelligence team. What is screen mirroring? It's wirelessly projecting what you see on your smartphone or tablet to show it on a TV screen.
Facebook Gives iOS a Homey Touch
April 17, 2013
Facebook on Tuesday released an update to its Apple iOS app that includes just a few of the features in its Home suite of mobile social networking apps recently unveiled for Android users. iOS users can now refresh their Facebook app to include Chat Heads, the network's new messaging feature that makes short texts more personal by planting a tiny bubble with the picture of the person who is messaging next to the text.
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.
PopAGraph Dazzles With a Little 3D Magic
April 15, 2013
Because the iPhone has turned into one of the world's most popular cameras, there's no shortage of photo editing apps in the iTunes App Store. Many of these apps are great, and many have overlapping features with similar special effects. So how does one photo editing app rise above the rest? What makes it great? Do-it-all apps are good, and I have several collected inside a Pic Tools folder.
Analyst: Slack Demand Sours Apple's Outlook
April 12, 2013
Wall Street continues to take a jaundiced view of Apple's fortunes for the year, as shown in the latest research note on the company from Morgan Stanley, which revised its estimates Thursday for Apple shipments of iPhones and iPads. Shipments of the iPhone for the quarter ending in March will be around 33 million, down from its original estimate of 37 million.
My Alarm Is iRinging
April 11, 2013
Let's get this straight right now: Using an "iRing" to control an Apple iTV is dumb. Mind-numbingly dumb. However, there's a seemingly realistic rumor about it, stemming from analyst Brian White at Topeka Capital Markets who apparently learned of the potential motion-based controller after a tour of Apple's supply chain in China.
Doo Doesn't Quite Do the Trick
April 9, 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.
DEA Can't Get Around iMessage Encryption Roadblocks
April 5, 2013
Agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency aren't happy with Apple. They're complaining about not being able to decipher text messages sent through the company's iMessage app because of encryption, according to a published report. A DEA document noted that it's impossible to intercept messages from the app even if the agency could obtain a court order to do so.
A Tale of Two iPhone Launches
April 4, 2013
Back in the days of Steve Jobs, Apple enthusiasts could count on one more thing: While we weren't sure what sort of product Jobs was going to unveil, we knew it was going to be wicked cool. Now, after we've had the benefit of seeing Apple's rhythmic release of new products over the years, ferreting out patterns and likely time frames, we know more about new products than ever before.
Snagit's a Slick Screen Grabber
April 2, 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.
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.
Yontoo Trojan Unleashes Adware Assault on Mac Browsers
March 21, 2013
New malware is making the rounds with Mac users in its sights: Yontoo.1 can download and install an adware browser plug-in to an infected system. Adware for Mac OS X has been increasing since the beginning of this year, according to Doctor Web, the antivirus company that identified Yontoo.1, but so far it is the most prominent of them all.
iOS Update Locks the Gate on Evasi0n Jailbreak
March 21, 2013
Apple on Wednesday rolled out another update to its iOS operating system: 6.1.3, which clamps down on Evasi0n, one of the most popular iOS jailbreaks. "The widespread use of this latest jailbreak hack seems to have energized Apple to deliver a fix in relatively short order," said Charles King, principal at Pund-IT.
Apple's Painful Cry in the Wilderness
March 21, 2013
When I first heard about Apple's new "Why iPhone" marketing page that went live shortly after Samsung's big Galaxy S4 smartphone launch, I thought, "Uh oh, Apple's really playing defense." The page makes it clear that Apple is either worried about the rising power of Samsung, or misguided in how it can best do battle with the Korean superstar.
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.
Judge Orders Apple to Quit Pussyfooting Around
March 11, 2013
A judge gave Apple until the end of last week to produce details about how it would provide documents and other evidence requested in a privacy lawsuit. U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal issued the order in San Jose, Calif., on March 6, following claims from the plaintiffs' lawyers that Apple was withholding documents it had been ordered to produce.
Intel Inside iPhones, iPads Would Let Apple Kick Samsung Out
March 8, 2013
Intel's reported plans to provide more contract manufacturing of processors are renewing speculation that it will seek a deal with Apple to make chips for its iPads and iPhones, according to published reports. That could leave Samsung, which makes chips for iOS devices, out of the picture.
Does Apple Need a Bigger Stick - or Charm School?
March 7, 2013
Apple, in so many ways, is now king of the hill. As such, behind every rock on the Web there seems to be a new charge to knock Apple down. If a competitor isn't charging the hill, Apple seems to be the target for stone-throwing. It's not that this is unexpected; the rise and fall of companies -- and Hollywood starlets -- is commonplace.
Apple May Put The Squeeze on iPhone
March 6, 2013
Apple wants to make a future iPhone your main squeeze. The company received approval Tuesday from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a patent that would allow you to control a device by squeezing its housing. According to Patent No. 8,390,481, Apple has invented a way to measure a user's interaction with the housing of a device independent of the user's electrical characteristics.
What Makes Apple's iWatch Tick?
March 5, 2013
The long-held belief that Apple is working on an iWatch gained more steam Monday, thanks to new rumors focusing on a launch later this year, along with what the watch might actually do for users. Apple may have filed scores of patent applications that include the word "wrist," but the number and detailed nature of the leaks about its plans raise the question of whether the company has loosened its famously tight grip on security.
A Few Quirks Keep Mellel Lite From Being a Heavyweight
March 5, 2013
Word processors can be a matter of taste. Some writers feel that the more the word processor departs from the original word processor -- the typewriter -- the more it interferes with the actual act of writing. For those writers, there are bare bones word processors like Byword and iA Writer.
When It Comes to Mobile Browser Speed, This Puffin Can Soar
March 4, 2013
In order to entice me away from one of Apple's standard built-in apps -- like the Web browser Safari -- I need something faster, more functional or with a slicker design. Usually, I expect a combination of these features before I'll take the leap. Puffin Web Browser by CloudMosa has been doing pretty well in the Utilities section of the iTunes App Store, hanging around as one of the top paid utilities.
Apple Offers Cash and Vouchers to Calm Irate Parents, Settle Suit
February 27, 2013
Apple has proposed a settlement of a lawsuit stemming from children making purchases within iOS applications without their parents' permission. The settlement, expected to be approved by a federal judge Friday, could cost Apple tens of millions of dollars. The class action litigation was filed in April 2011 in a federal district court in California.
BizVizz Brand Transparency App: Great Promise, Ho-Hum Delivery
February 19, 2013
Behind every big name brand is a big company. These companies might do good for the world or they might not. Or like most people, they could be inconsistent, doing good in some ways but snatching more than their fair share in others. A new app called BizVizz seeks to share information about these big companies while you are shopping.
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Is "too much screen time" really a problem?
Yes -- smartphone addiction is ruining relationships.
Yes -- but primarily due to parents' failure to regulate kids' use.
Possibly -- long-term effects on health are not yet known.
Not really -- lack of self-discipline and good judgement are the problems.
No -- angst over "screen time" is just the latest overreaction to technology.
No -- what matters is the quality of content, not the time spent viewing it.