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18
Jan

AC editors’ apps of the week: Wikipedia, MLS Soccer, Falcon Pro 3 and more


Our weekly list of must-have apps

We’re here this week — and every week — with more of our favorite apps that we want to share with the class. It’s a little thing we like to do every Sunday where we look and see what apps we’re using the most and spread a little love so you know that you should give them a try if you haven’t already.

With over 1.25 million apps in Google Play it can be a little tough to find the ones worth keeping. We share ours here, and we love to see yours in the comments afterwards.

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18
Jan

Best of CES 2015 Awards, Connected Home: Energous WattUp


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Our connected home future depends on devices – be they lightbulbs, blenders or smartphones – speaking to one another. And in order to do that, they need to have power. Energous WattUp‘ wireless charging solution delivers that power wirelessly, so not only do you never have to charge up your laptop or tablet, you might not ever need to replace the batteries in your smart smoke detector either. That’s just one of many reasons Energous walked home with a Best of CES award in the Connected Home category as well as one for Disruptive Tech.

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18
Jan

Apple and the pain of platform transitions


The stability of Apple’s platforms has been the subject of a lot of debate recently. Whether you agree with it or not, there’s a growing sentiment that the quality of Apple’s software has gone downhill in recent years, and that some form of “Snow Leopard moment” is needed to get it back on track. Our own Peter Cohen tackled the issue back in November:

Apple made the decision a few years ago to adopt an annual upgrade cycle for its operating systems. That’s brought tremendous innovation to the Mac and to iOS in a relatively short amount of time, but it’s also brought a lot of pain for users. Here’s to hoping that Apple can iron out the problems with iOS 8 and Yosemite in less time than it took them to get us a reasonably stable release of Mavericks.

Marco Arment brought a ton of attention to it, and made some excellent points both on his show, ATP, and on John Gruber’s The Talk Show, as did many, many others.

In general, some of the discussion reminded me of something I wrote two years ago called Seeing Apple through rose colored blasters:

When it comes to perception over time, we often distort out own realities. We tend to forget a lot of the things that bugged us way back when, or at least remember them with far less visceral annoyance than what’s bugging us now. We feel like the problems of the present, as yet unsolved, are worse than the problems of the past, many of which were solved just fine.

However, as much as these things might hold our attention now, they’re no more a sign of Apple losing their way than they were last year, or the year before, or the year before that.

By all means be upset. Be powerfully, passionately upset. Advocate for change. Just keep it in context and perspective.

Being passionate and advocating for change is exactly what Peter and Marco were doing. Unfortunately, keeping it in context is what people re-blogging them often missed. Ashley Nelson-Hornstein, however, missed nothing:

Expressing concern for the platform is healthy; it means that we care. Personally, I won’t be jumping to hyperbolic sentiments or joining in on the sense of foreboding doom wafting through the public discourse. I forgave iOS 7 because I understood the incredible amount of work accomplished to pivot the platform in just six months. So for me, iOS 8 is my first real opportunity to be concerned about the state of the platform, and not evidence of a pattern of issues. I’ll be justifiably concerned and worried if the same software quality issues are being discussed in 10.11 and iOS 9. Until then, I’m willing to give Apple the time necessary to let their plans propagate.

On Daring Fireball, Gruber expressed something similar:

My hope is that the reliability issues we are seeing in iOS and Mac OS X in recent releases are largely the inevitable result of Apple going through numerous transitions simultaneously. Extensions, XPC, iCloud Drive, Continuity — these things require coordination between all three of Apple’s platforms (mobile, desktop, cloud). That what we’ve been seeing the last few years is this decade’s equivalent of the first few years of Mac OS X — rapid development and flux that precedes an era of relative stability and a slower pace of change. Let iPhone, iPad, and Mac settle in — and let the rapid change and flux flow through Apple Watch, CarPlay, a new Apple TV, and whatever else comes next.

For historical context, Gruber also linked a 2004 Ars Technica piece by Eric Bangeman about the last time Apple was caught in such an era:

[Then head of Apple software engineering, Avi Tevanian] conceded that Apple’s current annual upgrade schedule “is not a sustainable rate. But you’ll still see us going really fast,” he said [and] rebutted comments that Apple had alienated some of its customers with the rapid pace of Mac OS X upgrades.

OS X 10.0 to OS X 10.5 included the transition from classic Mac OS to NeXT-based technologies, the adoption of Aqua, an entirely new interface and design language, and the switch from PowerPC to Intel. It also set Apple up for the current leap forward — increasingly light, increasingly power-efficient mobile devices.

That era was famously capped off by Snow Leopard, when Tevanian’s successor, Bertrand Serlet, convinced Steve Jobs to let them spend the majority of OS X 10.6 tightening the screws on everything they’d done before. There was 64-bit, Grand Central, and OpenCL under the covers, but mostly there was a focus on refining projects that had already been put in place by Leopard. Marketing came up with the “no new features” hook, figuring going all-in was the best way through, and engineering, without even bothering with a wine name, made it happen.

What we’re in now is another period of transition. iOS 7 included an entirely new interface and iOS 8, a major functional upgrade. OS X Yosemite included a bit of both. They also set Apple up for the next leap forward — increasingly decoupled, increasingly interchangeable end-points.

Take the Apple Watch by way of example. It’s going to rely on extensibility so that the iPhone can project information and apps onto its screen. And because that screen is small, it’s going to rely on continuity so it can handoff any activity that requires more involved interaction back to the iPhone.

Those technologies (or something like them) had to be in place for the Apple Watch (and other future devices) to ship. Sure, Apple could have taken longer to roll them out and they could have moved the watch from this year to next, but then we’d have spent another year hearing about how Apple was no longer innovating, how they were falling behind, and how they were doomed.

Instead, iOS 7, iOS 8, and OS X Yosemite shipped almost every major feature, and set up almost every new device, people had been asking for. It’s a gamble that’s paid off so far with the big and bigger screens of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and will have to pay off again with the Apple Watch this spring.

Yes, there’s been pain. It’s arguable whether or not it’s any more pain than last year, the year before, the year before that, the year before that, and so on. But it’s inarguable that there’s been pain. People at Apple know that. They and their families and friends use the same hardware and software we do. Whether or not the right people were paying attention to the right measures, recent events have at the very least made even those who might not have realized the sentiment aware of it now.

Hopefully that means that, once the watch and the rest of the new products ship, a Snow Leopard argument like Bertrand Serlet made and won in 2008 can once again resonate in 2015, and Apple can again spend the majority of a release cycle tightening the screws.

After all, what’s a great leap forward without a great stuck landing?

18
Jan

OnePlus One international giveaway!


Welcome to the Sunday Giveaway, the place where we giveaway a cool Android or tech gadget each and every Sunday. Last week’s winner of the LG G Watch R Smartwatch is Nino C. (Phillipines). Congratulations Nino, enjoy your new LG Android Wear smartwatch! This week we’re giving away a huge fan favorite, and arguably still one of the best value flagship smartphones on the market, the OnePlus One!

OnePlus One


Interesting OnePlus One reads:

Winners gallery:

giveaway-winners

How to enter the giveaway

You can earn entry tickets into the giveaway by completing the following tasks in the RaffleCopter widget located below.

  1. [1 Tickets] Free entry into the giveaway.
  2. [1 Tickets] Join our community
  3. [1 Tickets] Sign up for our newsletter
  4. [10 Tickets] Refer friends to the giveaway. You will be given a unique URL to share with your friends or social networks. You will receive 1 bonus entry (up to 10 max) for every person who you refer to the giveaway using your unique URL.

Join Now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions

  • The giveaway is an international giveaway (Except when we can not ship to your Country.)
    • If we can not ship to your country, you will be compensated with an online gift card of equal MSRP value to the prize.
  • We are not responsible for lost shipments.
  • You must be age of majority in your Country of residence.
  • We are not responsible for any duties, import taxes that you may incur.
  • Only 1 entry per person, do not enter multiple email addresses. We will verify all winners and if we detect multiple email addresses by the same person you will not be eligible to win.
  • We reserve all rights to make any changes to this giveaway.

Full terms & conditions and FAQ

Good luck everyone!



18
Jan

How would you change Google’s Nexus 7 (2013)?


Whenever you talk about a Google device, it’s hard to know where to assign credit: Google, or ASUS, the company actually building the thing in the first place. The second generation Nexus 7 may have cost $30 more than its $199 predecessor, but that cash seems to have all gone to make the hardware even better. When Brad Molen played with it, he said that it had an “incredible display” and “strong overall performance.” We figure that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of you picked up one of these slates, so why not head across the Rubicon and into our forum to talk about your experiences?

Filed under: Tablets, ASUS, Google

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Source: Engadget Product Forums

18
Jan

Rogue Legacy will bring an adventure that spans generations to Xbox One this year


We recently looked at a couple of upcoming 2D Xbox One games that have plenty of potential: ‘ The Escapists’ and ‘Adventures of Pip.’ The former is a distinctive sandbox game set within a series of prisons, whereas the latter is a traditional action platformer with some light puzzles and a great art style. Both games will likely turn out very well. But the 2D game that I’m most excited to see coming to Xbox One is Rogue Legacy from Toronto-based indie developer Cellar Door Games.

Rogue Legacy is an action-platformer with lots of exploration, not unlike my fellow favorites Guacamelee and Strider. The twist is the castle you’re sent to explore changes every time you die, at which point you’ll return as the descendant of the previous character – complete with new traits and powers.

Rogue Legacy builds on classic games like Castlevania and creates something very different and special. The Xbox One version doesn’t have a release date yet, so let our detailed preview tide you over in the meantime.

18
Jan

Google’s self-driving car is not familiar with snow


Google self driving car

The technology behind the self-driving car being developed by Google is incredible. And things are starting to look very promising for the project as Google was able to secure various manufacturing partners for a launch targeted in 2020. Right now, there is one rather important roadblock for Google. Its self-driving car is not familiar with snow. The company has yet to figure out a way for its self-driving car to operate successfully (and safely) in snowy conditions. Why is that? The self-driving car has been primarily used in California and, more specifically, Mountain View where it is highly unlikely to snow. A Google employee at the Detroit Auto Show did explain that it is something the company is working on.

Via: Business Insider UK

Come comment on this article: Google’s self-driving car is not familiar with snow

18
Jan

Top 16 Photo Editor Apps for Android


photo editor for android
Photo editing on Android is still in the stages where you can do only the most basic edits. However, apps are coming out all the time that add more and more functionality and mobile photographers have more options than ever before when it comes to editing photos on your Android device. In this list we’ll explore the best photo editor apps for Android.


redesign_SmartphonePK1_MF1_0914

Want to take your smartphone photography to the next level? How about a wireless remote to take better shots and a great portable tripod? Free shipping included! Check out the Ultimate Android Smartphone Photography Kit!


adobe lightroom mobile best photo editor apps for AndroidAdobe Lightroom mobile

[Price: Free app but requires Creative Cloud subscription]
Adobe recently released their iconic Lightroom application to Android. It allows for editing of RAW image format and the ability to enhance photos with a range of presets and tools. The app is a 30-day trial but those who have a Creative Cloud subscription can keep using it after the trial. You can also sync with desktop versions of Lightroom. We wish it’d been available for non-Creative Cloud users but if you happen to be one, this is a must have application.
Get it on Google Play
adobe lightroom mobile best photo editor apps for Android


autodesk pixlr best photo editor apps for androidAutodesk Pixlr

[Price: Free]
Autodesk Pixlr is a highly rated and popular photo editor app and one that was highly recommended by our readers. There are a host of editing options including red-eye removal, a whiten teeth option, a one-click enhance tool, borders, filters, and you can even preview effects using the Pixlr Live feature. Of course, there is also the range of basic tools like crop and rotate. It’s a solid editor with a lot of options and it’s from Autodesk, a big name in graphic design.
Get it on Google Play
best photo editor apps for android


Be Funky best photo editor apps for androidBeFunky Photo Editor – Tablets

[Price: Free / $2.99]
First on our list is a fun little photo editor called BeFunky. In this simple editor, you have access to dozens of effects and editing tools, including filters, sharpen, and exposure, among others. Where this app really shines is how much you can edit. With this you can literally add unlimited affects to your photos so you can make them look however you want. It’s widely popular and highly rated. There is also a free version you can check out to see if it’s for you before picking up the paid version. The version we have linked is the tablet version, there is also a version for just phones.
Get it on Google Play
BeFunky best photo editor apps for Android


Cupslide best photo editor apps for androidCupslice Photo Editor

[Price: Free]
Cupslice is a photo editor with a little more tact and polish, even if the features aren’t as heavy as some of these others. It comes with over 50 effects to start along with your basic editing tools. It also includes a number of stickers you can add to photos and that number gets updated every week. It’s a nice, simple app that should suit the needs of most people.
Get it on Google Play
Cupslide best photo editor apps for android


Fotor best photo editor apps for AndroidFotor Photo Editor

[Price: Free / $3.99]
Fotor Photo Editor a deceptively in-depth photo editor with quite a few features. Included is a one-tap enhance, scenes to adjust your photo based on the conditions where you took it, filters and effects which can be stacked on one another, and a host of other basic and pseudo-advanced editing tools to enhance the photo yourself. There are even text, stickers, and frames for people who like those sorts of things. It’s all wrapped up in a colorful and simple interface that helps make things a bit easier.
Get it on Google Play


pho.do best photo editor apps for androidPho.to Lab

[Price: Free / $3.99]
Pho.to Lab is our first really heavily-featured app on the list. It comes with over 500 frames for your photos if you enjoy frames. It also comes with a myriad of backgrounds, photo filters, collage features, and even the popular human-to-animal montage that turns your face into an animal’s face. The free version has watermarks and advertisements whereas the paid version does not, so you can at least give it a shot and see if you like it before you buy it. It has a metric ton of things you can add to photos, even if the actual editing features are pretty basic.
Get it on Google Play
pho.do best photo editor apps for android


photo editor by aviary best photo editor apps for androidPhoto Editor by Aviary

[Price: Free]
Photo Editor by Aviary stands out on our list because it has a slightly more composed set of actual editing features. There are still things like stickers, filters, and the like, but the app has extra tools for editing including things like fixing red-eye, whitening teeth, etc. It’s a fairly solid app overall although it won’t have that appeal for fans of Instagram-style filters as it will for people who want just a good looking photo.
Get it on Google Play
photo editor by aviary best photo editor apps for android


photo editor pro best photo editor apps for androidPhoto Editor Pro

[Price: Free]
Photo Editor Pro is a solid photo editor app even if there’s nothing over-the-top about it. It features a one-touch enhance feature, filters, frames, and the basic photo improvement tools like color balance, crop, and rotate. It’s great for people who want to keep it simple and don’t need many advanced editing tools such as those who plan on posting images to social media like Instagram. Again, there’s nothing overly special about it but it is still very solid for the features that it offers.
Get it on Google Play
photo editor pro best photo editor apps for android


Photo Effects Pro best photo editor apps for androidPhoto Effects Pro

[Price: Free]
Photo Effects Pro has a few more fun features than many of these other ones. For instance, you can insert meme pictures to make funny pictures, finger paint on the photo like you can with S-Pen on the Galaxy Note 3, and of course the standard tools, filters, and frames features. It’s another very solid (and totally free) offering that should fill the needs of most people. It also boasts that it only uses the internet to share photos.
Get it on Google Play
Photo Effects Pro best photo editor apps for android


photo mate r2 best photo editor apps for androidPhoto Mate R2

[Price: $9.49]
Photo Mate R2 was a recommendation for our readers and it turns out that it’s great for those who work with RAW images. It’s compatible with most camera variants including Nikon NEF, Canon CR2, Sony ARW, Pentax PEF, and others. It gives the user most control and you can use various tools, layers, and editing to lightly edit and enhance your RAW photos. It’s fairly expensive at $9.49 but most who have bought it have found that it’s worth it. Especially for those who work exclusively in RAW.
Get it on Google Play


Photoshop Touch best photo editing apps for androidPhotoshop Touch for phone

[Price: $4.99]
With a name like Photoshop, you expect greatness right? Well, before you get your hopes up too high, you should know that this isn’t nearly as powerful as the desktop application. You can do some of the basic Photoshop things like working with layers. However, It’s mixed in with more conventional mobile photo editing features like filters and mild adjustments like color correction. There are some cool features like camera fill and compatibility with desktop Photoshop using the Adobe Creative Cloud. So if you’re a big fan of Adobe products, this app should be useful.
Get it on Google Play
Photoshop Touch best photo editing apps for android


PicsArt best photo editing apps for AndroidPicsArt Photo Studio

[Price: Free]
When it comes to photo editing features that focus around things like collages, there are few apps that are better than PicsArt. It does focus primarily on collages and, thus, has a bunch of features for that. However, there are still the basic photo editing things like filters, controls, and adjustments along with some unusual features like finger-painting and stickers. It’s a solid free app and a must-have for collage fans. However, if you’re looking for something a little more in depth, you may want to try something else.
Get it on Google Play
PicsArt best photo editing apps for Android


PicSay best photo editing apps for AndroidPicSay – Photo Editor

[Price: Free / $3.99]
With well over ten million downloads, it’s pretty clear that PicSay is among the most popular on our list. It offers the basic features that you’ve seen us talk about a multitude of times already and that’s what you get with the free version. In the paid version, you get additional content like more filters and more actual features like pressure-sensitive drawing, removing red-eye, and others. It’s a solid and vastly popular option that’s worth checking out.
Get it on Google Play
PicSay best photo editing apps for Android


Rage Comics Photo Editor best photo editing apps for androidRage Comics Photo Editor

[Price: Free]
We all know why this is here. Rage Comics and memes are hilarious. This is essentially just a photo editor with sticker and text features. It includes over 300 meme faces. It doesn’t have any of the other features these other apps have, but it is definitely the funniest one on the list. If you’re looking for something more serious, you should pick of these other apps but if you’re down for a laugh, this can help do that.
Get it on Google Play
Rage Comics Photo Editor best photo editing apps for android


Shift best photo editor apps for androidShift

[Price: Free / $0.99]
Shift is a newer photo editor that had a rough start but is improving immensely. Most of the issues with the app revolved around its egregious advertising but developers have added a way to get rid of them via in app purchases. Shift is an interesting photo editor because instead of adding pre-made filters, this app lets you make your own filters using a variety of effects and tools that you can then save for later. It’s not nearly as advanced as most of these other editors so don’t go into it expecting too much. For filter fans, it’s a must-try app that can be a lot of fun.
Get it on Google Play


Snapseed best photo editor apps for androidSnapSeed

[Price: Free]
If you’re a fan of Google and want to use only Google apps, we recommend using Snapseed as your photo editor. While the photos app on Google+ has its own small editor, Snapseed is owned by Google and it is, without question, a whole lot better than the Google+ photos app. With this app you can auto-tune and auto-correct images quickly if need be. There are also the standard filters, adjustment features, and frames. It’s a fun and solid app that’s perfect for Google fans.
Get it on Google Play
Snapseed best photo editor apps for android


redesign_SmartphonePK1_MF1_0914

Want to take your smartphone photography to the next level? How about a wireless remote to take better shots and a great portable tripod? Free shipping included! Check out the Ultimate Android Smartphone Photography Kit!


Wrap up

If there are any great photo editor apps for Android that we happened to miss, leave a comment and let us know!

699
18
Jan

Turkey will ban Twitter unless it blocks a newspaper’s account


Turkey's government doesn't like Twitter right now

The Turkish government’s love/hate relationship with Twitter is once again turning sour. A court in the country’s Adana province is threatening to ban Twitter unless it blocks the account of a newspaper (BirGun) posting leaked documents that expose the truth behind a raid on an Intelligence agency convoy. Twitter and other social networks have agreed to delete individual posts, but that’s not considered good enough. BirGun is defying the censorship, and the court believes that the media outlet is interfering with both the investigation and national security as a whole.

Twitter hasn’t said precisely how it’ll respond, although the company tells the New York Times that it’ll “work diligently” to keep its service available to Turkish residents while protecting their rights. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Turkey’s officials have been looking for reasons to drop the hammer on Twitter, and it’s hard to see that paper’s account remaining accessible without some severe consequences.

[Image credit: Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images]

Comments

Source: New York Times

18
Jan

How to use iTunes Match: The ultimate guide


iTunes Match is Apple’s subscription music locker service. It lets you compare your entire library with the iTunes music catalog. If it finds the same song, it lets you stream or download it from iTunes, to any of your Apple devices, immediately or for as long as you stay a subscriber. If it doesn’t find the same song, it uploads your version and lets you stream it just the same. Because your music is always available on the iTunes servers, it works like a backup, making sure you don’t lose your collection even if you lose your device. Because it streams, it also lets you keep your music “nearline” — not taking up precious storage space on your device, but available any time you can connect. So, how does iTunes Match work?

iTunes Match limitations and availability

Before subscribing to iTunes Match, it’s important to understand its limitations and what that means for you. For example, first check to make sure it’s available in your country. Next, be sure that it’ll accommodate what you need it to. In this case, that’s 25,000 songs. Also, if you have a lot of obscure artists, you may find it doesn’t match everything you have. This is a very rare instance since the iTunes music catalog is so vast, but it can still happen for a few individuals. So be sure to weigh your options before subscribing.

How to subscribe to iTunes Match on your Mac or Windows PC

You can also subscribe to iTunes Match right from iTunes on your Mac or Windows desktop computer. This is typically the most convenient method as it will let you match your desktop music right away, and most people keep the bulk of their collection on the desktop.

How to subscribe to iTunes Match on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

If you don’t have a desktop or laptop computer, or your iPhone or iPad is simply more convenient, you can subscribe to iTunes Match while mobile. It’ll only match the music you have on your iPhone or iPad, however, so if you have a computer you’ll want to make sure to match that too as soon as you can.

How to enable iTunes Match on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Once you’ve subscribed to iTunes Match, you’ll want to make sure you enable it on all of your devices, iPhone, iPad, and/or iPod touch. Not only is iTunes Match a super simple way to access your music anywhere and any time you want, it also can save tons of storage space. This makes it particularly appealing for anyone with 16 GB of storage or less. You can have up to 10 devices signed in at one time.

How to enable iTunes Match on your Mac or PC with iTunes

If you have more than one Mac and/or Windows PC, you can enable iTunes Match on up to 5 of computers as well. That means you can keep all your music downloaded on your desktop but still have access to all of it for streaming on your laptop as well. That lets you save storage space but still listen to all the songs you want whenever you want.

How to enable or disable iTunes Match downloads over cellular

If you really want all of your iTunes Match music available on your iPhone or LTE-equipped iPad everywhere you go, you’ll need to enable cellular downloads. That’ll make sure if a track isn’t already on your device, iTunes Match can reach the server and get it for you. If you have an extremely limited cellular data plan, however, and would rather not have iTunes Match working in the background, you can also disable its automatic download functionality.

How to view and play all your iTunes Match music on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad

There will be times — for example, when you’re on an airplane or subway and cut off from the internet — when you only want to see the music already downloaded on your device. Most times, however, you’re not going to care if your music is downloaded or sitting on server just waiting to stream. You’re only going to want to play it. Luckily, Apple lets you easily toggle between showing only local, and showing all music, with the flip of a settings switch.

How to manually update iTunes Match on your Mac or PC with iTunes

If iTunes Match stops updating automatically and you don’t see all the songs you expect to see on all the devices you expect to see them on, you can force it to update manually. It’s not something you should have to do often but it is something you should know how to do if and when the need arises.

How to troubleshooting iTunes Match

iTunes Match, just like any service, isn’t perfect. Sometimes you might see duplicate songs, or you might run out of hard disk space, or you might get stuck with music that refuses to stream or download. If an when problems arise, there are several things you can do to troubleshoot and get iTunes Match working again.

Need more help with iTunes Match or iOS?

If you still have questions about iTunes Match, are having an issue we didn’t discuss, or just plain want to learn more, our iTunes forums are a great place to find answers to many questions, and to ask more!

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