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REVIEW

All Things Appy: Top 5 iOS Utilities and Tools

While Apple's mobile operating system does hold users' hands when it comes to device management more so than competitor Android, there are additional steps you can take to optimize your iOS device. Free third-party utilities are available in app form to beef up battery management, cloud storage and ...

APP REVIEW

All Things Appy: Top 5 Android Launcher Apps

One quick and easy way to refresh an aging Android smartphone phone is to replace the home screen with a Launcher. Launchers are skins with themes and unique behaviors, like transparency and scrolling styles. Our No. 1 pick is Nova launcher, an extremely customizable launcher app designed to speed u...

APP REVIEW

All Things Appy: 5 Best Firefox Themes

If you're a daily Internet user, there's a good chance that you're also a daily Internet browser user. If your choice is Firefox, you may be tired of its look -- it hasn't changed much recently. However, Firefox allows you to customize its background look with more than 300,000 themes. Plus, with co...

APP REVIEW

All Things Appy: Top 5 New or Improved Android Apps

Five of the top free Android apps that either have been introduced for the first time or significantly updated this year are in the categories of password management, Web browser compression, lock screen functionality and media. Google's Android OS apps can be obtained in Google's Play Store. Browse...

How to Watch TV on Your Laptop

The big TV news this week is about hardware, with Amazon launching its Fire TV to rival Roku, Apple TV and Chromecast. For a while, speculation was hot and heavy that Amazon would launch its own pay-TV service, but that hasn't happened... yet. That's what the real TV wars likely will be fought over,...

REVIEW

All Things Appy: Top 5 Artistic Apps for Chrome

Photography, film, music and fine art are all noble pursuits. In this installment of All Things Appy, we take a look at the five best free artistic apps for the Chrome Web browser. Geared toward image showcasing and display across the Chrome ecosystem, our first choice, the 500px app, lets you brows...

How to Encrypt a Windows 8 PC Drive

Real-life events -- the disclosures from website WikiLeaks; Edward Snowden's leaks of classified government documents to media outlets; credit card hijacks by the server load; and even Facebook's stumbles over its privacy policy explanation to the masses -- have created a general sense of unease whe...

REVIEW

All Things Appy: 5 Cool Chrome Desktop Apps

Chrome apps are the newest form of extension and helper for the Chrome Desktop environment, and as of late last year, any computer, including Macs, could use them. Here are five recently updated free Chrome apps that are worth a look. All of them can be run offline, outside of the browser, on the de...

ANDROID APP REVIEW

Aqua Mail Pro Beats Native Android Email Hands Down

If you've been thinking that there must be a better way to handle email than the email client supplied natively in Android, I bring good news: There is, and it's called "Aqua Mail." As things are right now, my on-device solutions are a bit of a mess. I have my Gmail-produced work emails appearing in...

ANDROID APP REVIEW

Minuum Keyboard Takes the Tedium Out of Typing

The holy grail of Android apps has got to be the one that best compensates for botched typing. The smaller the device I use, the more my typing deteriorates. I'm reasonably quick and accurate on a desktop PC; I slow down on a laptop; I get by on a tablet; and I am virtually incapacitated on most sma...

ANDROID APP REVIEW

Viber’s a Worthy Alternative to Outgoing GrooveIP

Google has been clamping down on third-party apps that ride piggyback on its Google Voice telephony service. A merger between Google Voice and Hangouts this year will result in the shuttering of an open protocol exploited by apps that used the Google Voice service for free SMS texting and VoIP calli...

APP REVIEW

Be-Bound Offers a Sip of Web in Data-Dry Deserts

As someone who regularly explores the back-roads of desert-adorned Southern California, I'm acutely aware of massive, gaping holes in wireless network coverage as soon as you leave blacktop in rural America. You can sometimes off-road all day out west with no mobile data coverage. Moments of connect...

How to Slim Down a Bloated Android Device

It's a good idea to prune an Android device periodically, for a few reasons. A mishmash of apps, some aging, have all kinds of on-device routines running that can negatively affect performance. Worse, some are continually accessing the Internet and eating into your data cap -- unlimited wireless Int...

CROWDFUNDING SPOTLIGHT

Moment Goes Big on Smartphone Camera Magnification

Regular readers will know that we love the functionality that comes with smartphone cameras, including inherent portability, powerful processors, and imaginative post-processing app solutions. However, what we supremely dislike -- with a vengeance -- are the little software-driven lenses that phone ...

ANDROID APP REVIEW

Outlook for Android Coulda Been a Contender

I've been looking forward to trying out Microsoft's official email product for the Android platform. Device OS mismatches have, until now, prevented me from doing so. However, a totaled and smashed tablet and an arbitrarily rebooting smartphone have prompted me to get some new kit. I'm a power deskt...

ANDROID APP REVIEW

With Nova Launcher Prime, the Problem Is Too Many Options

Here's a simple way to refresh the look and functionality of your newer Android device without going to the trouble of rooting, bootloader-unlocking or installing a customized ROM. It's by using a home screen replacement app called a launcher, which is essentially a super-customizable home screen wi...

WHICH APPS DO I NEED?

All Things Appy: 5 Best Number-Crunching Apps for Firefox

When you need to deal with numbers, nothing beats the old PC, along with its full-sized screen, keyboard and browser. Firefox is a robust PC browser with numerous add-ons that's well-suited to mathematics. This week, we look at the top five best and must-have add-on apps for crunching operations in ...

How to Speed Up a Sluggish Android Smartphone

One of the disadvantages of retaining a phone after the expiration of a two-year contract -- as many of us do -- is that those older phones have accumulated a few years' worth of digital gunk. They're clogged up like an aging sewer on the wrong side of town. Just like on a PC, bits of app and OS cod...

CROWDFUNDING SPOTLIGHT

With Graphite Electrodes, Heatworks Gets Water to Heat Itself

Traditional water heating equipment uses fuel as an energy source to heat a rod-like element in the water tank. The element then warms the water. If you've ever reheated a hot beverage by placing it in the microwave, you'll have an idea as to the alternatives. Microwave ovens heat liquids by moving ...

ANDROID APP REVIEW

Setup’s Sharp Edges Don’t Mar TinCan’s Network-Free Messaging Potential

One lesson that's easy to learn if you've been through any natural disaster is that you shouldn't rely on classic means of communications like land lines, cellphones or Internet. Capacity gets challenged; infrastructure gets destroyed. Where I live, in brush-fire and earthquake-prone Southern Califo...

When will supply chain disruptions begin to improve?
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