Once upon a time, you knew exactly what was connected to your home network: your desktop, a laptop maybe and perhaps even your mobile phone. These days, keeping track of networked devices -- from printers to smart TVs -- can be a painful task.
If you’re wondering what’s currently connected to your home network -- perhaps you’re worried about security, or surprised at how slow your internet speeds are -- then you need help. And if you’ve got an Android, iPhone or iPad, help is delivered in the form of Fing -- Network Scanner.
I enjoy running, but require motivation to get started and keep going. Thankfully there are plenty of apps which can help here. I’m a big fan of Zombies, Run! and the similar BattleSuit Runner, both of which offer episodic stories that unfold in between tracks from your playlist as you run.
Occasionally though I just like to put on some running music, and for that I have a new favorite app -- RockMyRun. This is essentially a large collection of mixes from various DJs, covering a wide range of genres -- 80s, 90s, Rock, House, Pop, Hip-Hop, Dubstep, Christian Rock, Oldies, and so on -- that have been designed specifically for listening to when running (the last 15 minutes are higher energy, to encourage you to keep going). Mixes can be streamed on 3G/4G, or downloaded to your device via Wi-Fi.
Following in the footsteps of most developers, in mid-October of last year Microsoft chose to release Remote Desktop apps on Android and iOS only, leaving its loyal Windows Phone users waiting. Considering the software giant is behind the tiled smartphone operating system, that was a strange call. After all, why would Microsoft not want Windows Phone to be a first-class citizen in the case of its own software?
Today that changes as Microsoft finally launches Remote Desktop in Windows Phone Store. The first publicly available build sees the app labeled as a "Preview", which means there is still work to be done until the client can be considered ready for prime time. Casting more doubt over Microsoft's Windows Phone strategy, Remote Desktop is solely compatible with Windows Phone 8.1, which was barely announced and has yet to officially make its way to compatible smartphones.
It's nearly a week since Microsoft ended support for Windows XP, but there are still around a quarter of Avast customers who plan on sticking with the old dog a little longer. What is perhaps more shocking is the revelation that over one fifth of those surveyed had no idea that support was coming to an end! For those living more on the cutting edge, good news came for Chrome users who found that their browser of choice gained support for Office Online. Microsoft may be leaving users of Windows XP out in the cold, but this is to be expected after so long. Users of Windows 8.1 who have opted to forego the pleasures of installing the recently released Update will find that their operating system is also not supported, as no further security updates will be made available until the confusingly named Update is used to update Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Update. Got it? Good! Some business users who had trouble grabbing the download have been granted slightly longer.
Post Build, following Microsoft's announcements about universal apps for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone, app prices are changing -- but consistency seems to be an issue. The hotly anticipated Windows Phone 8.1 was released to developers, but Mihaita was on hand with a guide that allows anyone to grab themselves a copy of the latest update. If you're on the lookout for a new Android handset, Joe puts forward a compelling argument in favor of the HTC One M8.
Trend Micro has announced the availability of two free scanners for the Heartbleed bug, meant for Google Chrome and Android. The first, a browser add-on, allows users to enter and check any specific URL.
The second, an Android app, is a little more advanced. It checks whether your device or apps are directly affected by the bug, or whether any installed apps access a cloud service which is still vulnerable.
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.
Corel subsidiary Pinnacle System has launched Pinnacle Studio for iPhone 5.0 alongside an updated Pinnacle Studio for iPad 5.0, which has been rebuilt with an iOS 7-themed interface and 64-bit support.
Pinnacle Studio for iPhone contains an identical feature-set to its bigger iPad brethren, explaining why its first release is version 5. Features include support for mixing video, audio and photos with Storyboard and Timeline editing features plus a wide range of tracks, effects and titles, plus 1080p HD video quality.
As you might guess from its name, Rain Alarm is a smart app which can warn you about imminent snow or rain. That doesn’t sound too special -- there are a host of tools promising to do the same thing -- but this one has what it takes to stand out from the crowd.
It’s about as cross-platform as you can get, for example: there are apps for Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Windows 8; add-ons for Firefox and Chrome, or you can just visit the Rain Alarm website from almost anything with a browser.
Not content with already having a Kindle app for Android devices, Amazon has joined forces with Samsung to launch Kindle for Samsung. The slightly unnecessary venture brings a new custom ebook service to owners of devices from the South Korean firm and launches on the Galaxy S5 immediately. Other Samsung Galaxy handsets and tablets will gain access to the app shortly afterwards, providing they are running Android 4.0 or newer. Of the millions of books and magazines that will be available through the service, more than 500,000 of the titles will be exclusives.
At the same time as the Kindle for Samsung launch, the two companies are also launching Samsung Book Deals. This enables Galaxy owners to obtain up to 12 free ebooks per year, making a selection from a choice of four each month. With the promise that "each book is chosen specifically for Galaxy smartphone and tablet users from a wide selection of prominent titles", there should be something for everyone.
In late-2012, Google released Chrome Remote Desktop, allowing users of the popular browser to provide and receive remote assistance. The feature has been especially useful to those who rely on Chromebooks, which have a much more limited app selection compared to traditional PCs where many tools, like TeamViewer, are available for such tasks.
Now, Google brings Chrome Remote Desktop to Android. Unlike on PCs where the feature can be added to the browser, this tool is a standalone app, designed for both phones and tablets.
Android phones running stock or manufacturer-installed KitKat 4.4+ get a big photo-shooting upgrade today. Google Camera is now available from the Play store. The app replaces the standard shooter on Nexus devices and places a separate camera app on others. The headline feature: Lens Blur, which does exactly what the name indicates. You shoot the image, and then use the app to either blur the foreground or background. Photographers call the capability "bokeh", and it usually requires a specialized lens on dedicated hardware to produce well. The blurred effect is highly desirable for portraits. Can you say selfie?
Google does what Apple should -- use software development wits to add hardware smarts. This is exactly the kind of thing I would expect from the fruit-logo company first. But that's a number recently missing from the iOS crop. Google is by no means first to offer software blur, but in my testing delivers arguably the best effort. Hell, the new camera app even shames newfangled hardware mechanisms. HTC One M8 uses two lenses and feature UFocus to produce bokeh. In my testing, on The One and Nexus 7, blur is surprisingly comparable.
At the Build conference earlier this month, Microsoft announced developers will finally be able to release "universal" Windows and Windows Phone apps. Alongside this welcome addition, the software giant also introduced a unified pricing scheme.
It removes any differences in price points between Windows Store and Windows Phone Store apps, the former of which can now cost as little as $0.99 or $1.29. Microsoft says "apps priced in this range represent 55 percent of Windows Phone paid transactions today", so it makes sense to make Windows Store offerings more attractive by lowering the cost barrier. The change went into effect this weekend, and, as the software giant says, "your app prices may have changed as a result".
Cloud storage service Dropbox has officially announced the public availability of Dropbox for Business, a new product designed to boost the company's penetration in the enterprise cloud storage market. There, it will go against existing offerings from competing services like Box.
Dropbox for Business is designed to appeal to both enterprises and their employees, so it will give enrolled users the option to switch between work and personal content. Administrators will be able to have better control over company data, according to Dropbox, with the help of features like remote wipe, account transfer and audit log sharing, which allow them to keep track of data stored in Dropbox's cloud.
Dropbox has launched an Android version of Mailbox, its popular iOS email client.
The headline addition is a new "Auto-swipe" feature which learns from your actions, such as which emails you want to "snooze" (hide until later) and which you want to archive, then automatically handles similar messages in the future.