Fifteenth in a series. Featured apps this week include the latest installment in the excellent post-apocalyptic fitness app Zombies, Run!, a Heroes of Warcraft card game, a full iPhone video editor from Pinnacle, a piano tutor, a new MediaFire app for iPad, and a DJ mixing tool for iTunes and Spotify.
As always, if I miss an app that you think should definitely have been included, let me know in the comments below, or drop me an email.
Many new smartphone shoppers will compare the HTC One M8 and Samsung Galaxy S5, which are about the same size, offer similar high-end features, run Android (with customized user interfaces), and arrived in U.S. retail stores within days of one another. But since I move from iPhone 5s to what henceforth will be referred to as The One, the two devices are uniquely attractive, and both pack bleeding-edge cameras, my comparison is more Apple to oranges. If iPhone 5s is high up your shopping list don't buy without first considering The One. It's my choice, although granted it might not be best for you.
I moved from the original One, the M7, to the 5s a few months ago. You might laugh at the reason. I find that my daughter, who shuns Androids for Apples, is more likely to text message when we both use iPhones. She is away at college. But the 5s, like iPhone 5, immediately disappointed for phone calling. Reception tends to breakup in my neighborhood on both devices, using AT&T or T-Mobile. Calling is superior and adequate on either One, and even better on the Moto X. The One illuminates the Apple's inadequacies, which simply are unacceptable coming from the company that popularized touchscreen smartphones.
Microsoft was in the headlines this week not for launching new products but for, finally, bringing an end to support for Windows XP. Yes, the now ancient and decrepit -- although still much loved and used -- operating system is no more. It will be interesting to see how long it manages to survive now it has been officially dropped -- some are suggesting that a move to Linux might be in order, or even a switch to Chromebook. But, of course, it hasn’t all been about XP. After the announcements at Build, Joe Belfiore revealed on Twitter that developers will be able to get their hands on Windows Phone 8.1 in the "first part of April".
There is also renewed interest in Windows 8.1 following the release of Update, and Microsoft published a guide to making the most of the new features and options. Will the operating system be viewed as fondly as XP in years to come? Only time will tell. Working in conjunction with Google, Microsoft also gave a new and improved YouTube experience to Xbox One owners.
Fourteenth in a series. While catastrophic bug Heartbleed can potentially affect some versions of Android, iPhone users are safe. Apple has confirmed that "iOS and OS X never incorporated the vulnerable OpenSSL software and key web-based services were not affected". So that's some good news.
Featured apps this week include Adobe Lightroom for iPad, RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile, Carousel (a photo and video sharing app from Dropbox), Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, Drync for iPad (a wine cataloguing and ordering app) and Warhammer Quest (a hack 'n' slash RPG).
Unlike other mobile device manufacturers, Samsung gets advertising and it also has the money to afford it. Remember the campaigns that pitted flagship Galaxy smartphones against Apple's competing iPhones? Those serve as a prime example of how effective Samsung can be when it comes to comparing its own products against those of the competition.
Well, Samsung is at it once again. This time around the company is showing its Galaxy Pro series slates against Apple's popular iPads and Amazon's Kindle, in four video ads which, once again, focus on major differentiating features. And Samsung is doing a very convincing job here by tackling the right areas, where its slates have a clear advantage.
Smartphones are very personal -- one device cannot fit all. Some people love the phablet craze, declaring enormous devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 as the best. However, others will say it is too big. Even more will decry the fact that it runs Android and not their favorite mobile OS of choice, iOS or Windows Phone.
So, in reality, if a reviewer says something is the best, or perfect, it is the best or perfect for them. For you, maybe it would be a poor choice. But, if you do prefer Android, the nice thing is, those devices come in many shapes and sizes, so you can make your own choice. With all of that said, for me, the HTC One (M8) is the best Android phone available and it is damn-near perfect, save for a few minor gripes.
For many people, streaming video is a top means of entertainment. It is easy to see why -- services like Netflix allow people to consume mass quantities of movies and television shows for a paltry amount of money. There is even a whole market now to sell dongles and boxes for connecting the services to your TV, such as Roku, Chromecast and Amazon's new Fire TV.
Speaking of Amazon, besides its new streaming media box, the company has been on fire lately (pun intended) when it comes to its Instant Video service. Today, the company announces that it has swiftly surpassed both Apple and Hulu.
While Apple is the only major mobile device manufacturer to have a 64-bit processor inside its high-end smartphones and tablets (the A7 powering the latest iPhone and iPads), its rivals will be able to join the party thanks to Qualcomm's new top-of-the-line 64-bit processors.
The US chip maker has announced the Snapdragon 810 and Snapdragon 808, its first high-end mobile processors with 64-bit support. Both come with impressive specifications and features, joining the previously-announced Snapdragon 410, Snapdragon 610 and Snapdragon 615 in Qualcomm's 64-bit processor lineup.
My girlfriend was on the prowl for a new vehicle not too long ago, and decided on a Subaru. Not only do the company's vehicles arguably receive some of the highest safety ratings in the States, but their policy of across-the-board all wheel drive is another nicety I love about them. Even so, she wouldn't think of ditching her safety belt, no matter how safe the cars claim to be.
Likewise, sizable portions of American society lives out in rural areas where crime and theft are almost unheard of. Yet they most likely still use locks on all of their doors, and keep them locked shut at night. Their risk of forced entry or other crimes are leagues lower than in congested urban areas (like my neck of the woods, Chicago) but they still follow plain commonsense.
Thirteenth in a series. Apple has confirmed that its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), will be kicking off on Monday June 2, at San Francisco’s Moscone West. The five day event will give developers (and the press of course) the chance to "learn about the future of iOS and OS X". At last year’s conference Apple unveiled iOS 7, Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks, a new MacBook Air lineup, iTunes Radio, iCloud Keychain, and much more.
In other news, Microsoft says its newly released Office apps have been downloaded 12 million times since launch.
Microsoft is a lot like Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears, and the tech news community has been acting like trashy paparazzi. You see, Lindsay and Britney were at one point the darlings of the entertainment business. They were well respected and people enjoyed following their rise to fame. However, once on top, those same people took joy at their self destruction.
Microsoft is the same; its Windows product was a huge reason why the personal computing explosion occurred. Without that operating system, the world would be a much different place -- likely for the worse. It too was celebrated, but once on top, many people bashed the company for its policies and business practices. Windows 8 was perhaps the apex though, with many news publications claiming that the operating system was a failure and that the company's best days were behind it. Well, I am here to say that Microsoft is finally doing some things right! Here are five things that prove it.
Bill Gates just took a bite out of a forbidden fruit. Microsoft's founder has been seen using an iPhone 5s while departing for a philanthropic endeavour, despite his role at the software giant and having a no-Apple-device-allowed policy in his family.
Gates's kids were taken by surprise, after asking to use iPhones since 2007 and being told "No", but said they understand and support his choice as Apple's smartphone "is pretty cool". Gates' decision to buy an iPhone 5s, in white with, naturally, a (Product) Red case, was fueled by Bono's taunts, as U2's lead singer repeatedly teased Gates for not being able to beat him at Candy Crush.
Whatever size tablet you opt for, there’s a good chance you’ll fill the available space in no time at all. Apps, photos, and HD movies all consume a sizable amount of space, forcing you to manage your storage wisely.
If you own an iPhone or iPad you can boost your device’s available capacity with an LaCie Fuel 2.5 inch wireless drive. The LaCie Fuel offers wireless streaming to up to five devices without an internet connection, and Airplay compatibility for mirroring content on a larger screen. It can also create its own Wi-Fi network and act as a hotspot when connected to the internet via Wi-Fi.
Defenestrating? Pretentious? Moi?! How could you?!
Don't get me wrong, I love Windows. A fanboy I am not -- I'll quite happily pick holes in Microsoft's operating system -- but for the most part I do love it. While I have a great deal of time for Windows, it doesn’t mean there isn't room for improvement. By this I don’t mean that Microsoft needs to bring back the Start menu or start copying features from OS X or Linux, rather that it's time to have spring cleaning. In just over a week, Windows XP will be consigned to the OS graveyard, but what about Windows 8.1? The latest version of Windows doesn't need to be killed, but there are lots of features that need to be put out of their misery.
Microsoft has flirted with Apple's iPad on a couple of occasions this week. Early on in the week there was the case of a 12-year-old girl who wanted nothing more than an iPad Mini. Microsoft stepped in and managed to convince her that the Surface 2 was the way ahead. Way to spin! But this was not the big Microsoft-iPad news. In a move that many saw as almost sacrilegious -- but one that was welcomed by just about the same number -- Microsoft Office, finally, made its way onto iPad. This wasn't the only release from Microsoft this week -- the source code for early versions of MS-DOS and Word for Windows was made publicly available. Having faced criticism for the way it approached a recent investigation, Microsoft pledged that it would no longer read customer emails during the course of an investigation without getting law enforcement involved.
Windows XP may be in its death throes, but this isn't going to stop people from using it. To help keep these hardy fellows safe, Malwarebytes announced that it would keep its users protected for life. It's not just XP that Microsoft is lowering into the grave, Office 2003 also finds itself six feet under. As the door on XP closes, another one opens -- or closes, depending on how you look at it. The purchase of Nokia's Devices and Services division is due to close in April after initially facing some delays.