Baby, it's cold outside, but it's much warmer now than when I talked to "The Exes" star David Alan Basche, best known for playing uptight, neurotic Stuart Gardner for the last three seasons of the hit TV Land series. It was a frigid 3 degrees (according to Basche's Weather Channel app) when he called from New York, where he lives with his wife and daughter. We talked about his favorite apps, how he's similar to his TV character, how his Shakespearean training helps on the TV Land set, and the important lesson he learned … Read more
Apple has to refund at least $32.5 million to customers in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over in-app purchases.
Announced Wednesday by the FTC, the agreement settles a complaint from the agency that Apple charged consumers millions of dollars over in-app purchases made by kids without parental consent. Under the agreement, Apple also must now change its billing methods to make sure it receives "express, informed consent" from users before it charges them for such purchases.
"This settlement is a victory for consumers harmed by Apple's unfair billing, and a signal to the … Read more
Mobile browser use is on the rise, but bandwidth caps aren't. To help Google fans get around that problem, the company has added a data compression option to mobile Chrome on Wednesday to help people on rate-limited plans.
Originally announced in beta almost a year ago, Google claims that the feature can now reduce bandwidth usage by nearly 50 percent. Enabling it will also add an extra kick by default to the mobile browser: desktop Chrome's safe browsing, which protects people from malicious Web sites.
To activate data compression, go to Settings, then Bandwidth management, then Reduce data … Read more
Gartner announced some numbers on Monday that sound like good news for consumers but bad news for app developers. According to predictions by the research firm, less than 0.01 percent of mobile apps will be considered financially successful by their developers in the next four to five years.
Part of the problem is the plethora of apps on the market, according to Gartner. Not only are there several platforms that sell apps, but the big hitters -- like Apple's App Store and Google Play -- have more than 1 million apps. Rather than sorting through these apps, consumers … Read more
Buddhify 2 for iOS is an app that teaches mindfulness-based meditation through a series of guided lessons.
Meditation? Please. I'm not a hippie or a Buddhist, or a Whole Foods customer.
That was more or less my sentiment until a few weeks ago, when a friend recommended a book about mindfulness -- a state of awareness best achieved through, you guessed it, meditation. There's a large and growing body of evidence to suggest that mindfulness can improve both mental and physical health.
In fact, it's great for lowering stress, and I've discovered I'm a lot more stressed than I ever thought.… Read more
A US judge on Monday denied Apple's attempt to throw off an external monitor she appointed to keep tabs on the company's compliance with antitrust laws, following her ruling of Apple's e-books conspiracy last year.
At a hearing, Judge Denise Cote denied Apple's request to put the monitoring on hold until its appeal of her ruling is complete, according to Reuters. Last July, Cote found Apple violated antitrust laws, orchestrating a conspiracy to fix the prices of e-books.
Overall use of mobile apps soared by 115 percent in 2013, according to a new report from analytics firm Flurry.
Every category tracked by Flurry grew in use over the past year. Utilities and productivity apps rose by 149 percent, music and entertainment apps by 78 percent, and games by 66 percent. But the biggest leap was achieved by messaging and social apps, which climbed by 203 percent, the firm said in a blog post Monday.
Trying to explain the growth of social apps, Flurry cited the buzz over such programs as SnapChat, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, KakaoTalk, and Line. … Read more
When I told friends that I was interviewing in-demand drummer Matt Sorum, I kept getting the same response: "Find out what he's actually like." The stick master is best known for keeping the beat for the Cult, Guns N' Roses, and Velvet Revolver, but he shows his softer side on his second solo album, "Stratosphere," out February 25 under the moniker Matt Sorum's Fierce Joy. The follow-up to 2004's "Hollywood Zen" is a highly personal, orchestrated acoustic album. Sorum writes about the important things in life, like family and environmental and … Read more
Uber has slashed its UberX prices again, making it the cheapest transportation option in the US, the company's CEO, Travis Kalanick, boasted in a blog post Thursday.
Ride fares are down between 15 percent and 34 percent in 6 of the 24 cities that have the UberX service. Uber's app lets users order a variety of car services -- including the peer-to-peer UberX -- from their mobile devices. Uber is testing these prices for the a limited time. If the prices work out business-wise, the company will make the fares permanent, like it did in San Diego and Los Angeles. … Read more
Want to make sure that private text message you sent about your new job interview doesn't get seen by your boss? A new iOS app promises to bump it off in the nick of time.
Popping up in the App Store on Wednesday, Confide is a free message-deleting IM app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users. You can send text messages to any e-mail address, either by choosing someone from your contact list or manually entering the address.
To read your message, however, your recipient must also sign up for a Confide account and download the app. Viewing … Read more