Our Weekly Utilities Update report is a list of all the updates for many Mac utilities that have been released in the past week. Though utilities can be any tool that helps you perform a routine task (including image manipulation and synchronization), our focus in this column is to bring you those tools that help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems. This week there were the same revolving updates for several file management and maintenance utilities, with some of them being significant updates. A few hardware monitoring and maintenance updates are also available that improve problem tracking and diagnosis on new Apple hardware.… Read more
If you have ever wondered how Windows 7--or any version of Windows, for that matter--would look on the iPad, there's indeed an app for that. It's called LogMeIn Ignition. The app has been available for the iPhone for a long time and just got a major upgrade to version 1.1.138 earlier this month to fully support the iPad's larger screen.
LogMeIn is not a new service but is arguably one of the most popular among existing remote access solutions on the market. LogMeIn Free allows users to securely control a remote PC computer via the … Read more
In OS X there are times when you may have deleted items from your Applications folder that were put there by the OS X installer. Sometimes people have done this intentionally for items they do not use to clear up clutter and free hard drive space, but at other times people have inadvertently deleted them, including important items like the System Preferences.… Read more
If you've been reading this column for any length of time, it should come as no surprise that I decided to buy an iPad last week. After reviewing the iWork apps on the iPad Apple loaned us for review purposes, I found that I could use it for both work and play. Now that I've had it for a week, I'm extremely happy with my purchase.
To me, buying the iPad was a pretty easy decision knowing that I would already be reviewing iPad apps for iPad Atlas, and (as I wrote in an earlier post) I … Read more
Mark Fiore's job is making fun of political figures. And he's actually quite good at it, according to the Pulitzer Prize Committee.
Earlier this week it named him the winner of the Pulitzer Prize in editorial cartooning, but Apple rejected an iPhone app containing Fiore's cartoons in December. The reason? Apple said applications that ridicule public figures are not allowed.
That presents a problem for Fiore, and all editorial cartoonists and political satirists who'd like to submit their work to the App Store for that matter, because, well, that's what they do.
Luckily for Fiore, the Nieman Journalism Lab took up his cause and wrote about his app's rejection. A day later Apple relented, and on Friday asked Fiore to resubmit. The New York Times reported Friday afternoon that Steve Jobs himself called it "a mistake that's being fixed." That's great for Fiore, but not every political satirist is a Pulitzer winner who can get publicity for his app's unfair rejection.
So what does that mean for the future of news or editorial products on the iPad and iPhone? It's safe to assume that quashing political satire isn't Apple's goal here. But it's a legitimate concern for the journalism community that to be featured on the App Store they have to submit their news content to a company unafraid to exercise what sometimes seems like arbitrary control. The thinking goes, what if Apple finds a headline offensive? Or what if there's an unfavorable article about Apple itself even? That's not to say Apple would do that, but its inconsistent handling of App Store submissions sets a troubling precedent. … Read more
Three days after its late Monday launch, Opera Software spread the news that its server-assisted Opera Mini browser for the iPhone capped over a million downloads the first day of widespread availability, which was Tuesday.
That's 1,023,380 downloads to be exact, according to Apple's end-of-day download count. Good enough for us; cue Dr. Evil.
Opera went on in a press release to boast that Opera Mini 5 for iPhone currently sits pretty as the top iPhone app in 22 Apple stores as of 8 a.m. CET, including the U.S., Japan, Spain, Indonesia, and Germany.… Read more
I must not be part of the "always connected" generation that marketers talk about. Of course I'm on Facebook and Twitter, but whenever I post anything personal, I can't quite shake the little voice in my head saying "who cares?" Nonetheless, I sometimes like to turn people on to music that I've just discovered, like The Fresh and Onlys, who played a good show in Seattle last night.
If you ask me, the iPad's prowess as an e-book reader lies not in pulp fiction, but in kids' books. Think about it: the latest Grisham novel is just raw text, which any old Kindle can deliver. But children's books are all about big, splashy pictures and wild colors--elements perfectly suited to iPad screens.
And needless to say, the iPad can do a lot more than just display static pages. It can read stories aloud; it can enrich a classic tale with touch-powered extras; and it can even render pages in 3D. Let's take a look at five dazzling e-books for kids, starting with an eye-popping rendition of "Alice in Wonderland."
1."Alice for the iPad" This lavishly illustrated 52-page abridgment of the classic tale incorporates animation like no other e-book to date. Readers can tilt the iPad to make Alice grow and shrink; shake it to watch the Mad Hatter's bobblehead bobble; and so on. The frantically paced demo video (above) is a little over-the-top, but there's no question this is a showpiece iPad app. Thankfully, there's a free Lite version you can try before splurging on the $8.99 full version.
2. Dr. Seuss books Already among my favorites (uh, I mean, my kids' favorites) on the iPhone, Oceanhouse Media's three Seuss titles--"Dr. Seuss' ABC," "The Cat in the Hat," and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"--are just that much bigger and better on the iPad. Each interactive story sells for $2.99--quite a bit less than their respective hardcovers (as it should be). Oh, and stay tuned: one of my all-time favorite Seuss titles, "The Lorax," will make its iPad/iPhone debut in about a week.
3. "Jack and the Beanstalk Children's Interactive Storybook" I think the title says it all, no? The "interactive" part comes in the form of games, activities, hidden Easter eggs, and the like. Gorgeous artwork, read-along text, and a reasonable price tag of $3.99. What's not to like?… Read more
Some iPhone developers that make apps for Facebook got quite a surprise on Tuesday--their developer credentials had been deleted, without warning, leaving their apps and customers high and dry.
All Facebook developers have their own set of credentials so their apps can communicate with the APIs provided by the company. When iPhone apps contact Facebook, the site responds and recognizes the developers' credentials, allowing the apps to do their intended jobs. Without those credentials, apps error out.
This tech CEO has all the right credentials to steer a digital-music start-up.
In addition to degrees in computer science and economics from Stanford University, Prerna Gupta is expert in all things Britney Spears.
Gupta is a former beauty pageant winner who aspired to follow in the hip-hop dancing footsteps of her childhood idol, Spears. Now, as the 28-year-old CEO of Khush, the company behind a new iPhone app called LaDiDa, Gupta's performance background may help her as much as anything she learned in college.
LaDiDa works this way: compose a song, sing it into an iPhone or iPod Touch, and the software will provide the musical accompaniment. Think of it as reverse karaoke. Sing your own tune or "Taxman" by the Beatles. LaDiDa, which sells for $2.99, will determine what key you're singing in, match it with favorable chord progressions, and toss in some effects, such as reverb. LaDiDa will spit out a recording of your enhanced voice and backing tracks.
Parag Chordia, Gupta's husband and Khush's chief technology officer, is a professor at Georgia Institute of Technology and director of the school's music intelligence lab. LaDiDa was developed there, Gupta said.
The software is "trained" to recognize notes and common chord progressions, Gupta said. To do this, a composer inputs "musical atoms," the term she uses to describe small chunks of music. The software makes a guess based on its training on what will sound best with the song it hears to quickly arrange the chunks.
Whiz-bang technology is one thing, but to make LaDiDa a hit, it needed someone with an innate understanding of people's desire to put on a show. And no, that desire is not just about lots of sake. … Read more