I lived in New York City during the late 1990s and early Aughts, which is to say I lived in New York City at a time that predated the iPhone. I returned to New York last week and could not believe how different the city felt as the majority of pedestrians were walking around staring at or tapping on their phones. Eye contact was never something found in abundance in New York, but last week I felt as though I were surrounded by the (briskly) walking dead while ambling about the city, except instead of coming after my brains, these … Read more
There's an incredibly handy application in the Google Play store that lets you turn your Android smartphone or tablet into a socially connected digital picture frame. Called Dayframe (free), it's similar to the Daydream mode that comes with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and later, except that Dayframe is much more social, more photo-friendly, and allows for very specific user-defined settings.
As to what makes this a "social connected" digital picture frame experience comes from the app's integration with various social networks. Dayframe displays pictures from services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO -- Bookmarking tool Pocket, which saves articles and Web sites in a central location to read later, unveiled version 5.0 of its platform at a press conference here Wednesday.
The biggest change in Pocket 5.0 is the addition of a feature called Highlights, which groups your saved items into one of four standard categories: best of, trending, long-form articles, and short articles. That means as you save a new article, video, or Web site with Pocket, the app determines how long the content is -- a short read or a long article -- and places it … Read more
Nokia's Refocus Windows Phone application is now available, the company announced on Wednesday.
Microsoft's Windows Phone store is offering the free app, which allows users to snap a photo and then adjust the depth of field -- in other words, choose which parts of the image are clear and which segments are out of focus. The application also includes support for "Color Pop," a feature that allows users to turn on color in one section of the image and turn the rest of it to black-and-white.
Nokia's Refocus app isn't available across all Windows … Read more
iOS and Android users who plan to buy a PS4 may want to check out Sony's new PlayStation app.
You can use your iOS or Android device as a second screen and remote control to display and manage the action from compatible PS4 games. You can shop at the PlayStation Store to buy and download games and add-ons for your PS4 console. You can also view PlayStation manuals and system guides.
Via the Sony Entertainment Network, you can chat with … Read more
Editors' note: The review of Vine for Windows Phone uses some of the content from the Vine for iOS app review. There are a few differences between the two versions, which are noted in this review.
Since its debut on iOS in January 2013, Twitter-owned video social network Vine has gained a dedicated group of fans who use it to create artistic and entertaining 6-second video clips. The app made the jump to Android in June 2013, and in November, finally emerged on Windows Phone.
The Android app was behind the iOS app in terms of features when it launched, … Read more
Gmail is Google's default e-mail app, which means it matches most e-mail apps in terms of features, style, and organization. There's a reason it's the default on most Android gadgets. If your smartphone or tablet didn't come with it installed, there aren't many excuses to not have it, especially if you already have a Gmail address.
With Gmail you can organize multiple inboxes into one while adjusting categories, signatures, and notification sounds for each of them, separately. If you have Android 4.0 or higher, you can use Gmail's latest inbox settings, which organizes … Read more
One of Apple's goals with its latest version of OS X is to preserve battery life for portable systems by implementing a number of features which automatically reduce energy usage. These features include App Nap, which tracks the programs and processes you have in the foreground, and "pauses" any which are hidden from view.
For example, if you enable the iTunes visualizer, but then move another window over iTunes so the visualizer is completely covered, then the visualizer will be paused so processing power is not unnecessarily dedicated to keeping it playing while not in view.
While … Read more
One of the shortcomings of using a Pebble smartwatch with an iOS device previously, was the lack of full notification support. The only service that the watch truly supported was Messages. Other services required additional setup each and every single time the watch and iOS device were disconnected. It was anything but a great user experience.
With iOS 7 releasing new tools to developers, and with better support for Bluetooth devices and background apps, hopes were high that the Pebble team would be able to make the watch what many users so desperately wanted it to be.
Then, early in … Read more
Until recently, I was a fairly regular customer of Apple's Cards app, which allowed me to choose any photo in my Camera Roll, add it to a greeting card for just about any occasion, write a personalized message, and get it printed and mailed to the recipient(s) of my choice -- all for just a few bucks.
Convenience, thy name is Cards.
Or so it was, until Apple quietly and unceremoniously pulled the plug back in September. I'm bummed, because the app helped me out of many a last-minute oh-crap-I-forgot-so-and-so's-birthday jam.
Thankfully, there are alternatives. Apps … Read more