Software News

Software news capsules about software and apps. Reviews and news about the programs designed to make your life easier or just a little more fun.

In-App Dating? GetReal

Posted by on 9:48 am in Internet News, Just For Fun, Social Media, Software News | Comments Off on In-App Dating? GetReal

In-App Dating? GetReal

Smartphone dating applications have become the new norm when it comes to meeting new people. While you can still walk up to strangers at a coffee shop or bar and get to know them in person, that particular form of spontaneity has gone by the wayside thanks to apps like Tinder and Grindr. I mean, why should you actually talk to someone when you can left- or right-swipe their profiles to see if they’re interested? Being rejected via social media applications is so much less traumatizing than in person, right? I’m not sold either way, but a new app wants you to get real about meeting new people. GetReal is a recently launched iOS app that wants users to spend less time messaging through apps and more time in each others’ company. Similar to Tinder, it’s a location-based networking app that connects you to the people in your vicinity. However, there is no in-app interaction and pre-meeting conversation other than the request to meet. Here’s how it works: When you open the app, it shows you everyone on GetReal in your surrounding area. After checking out the various user profiles consisting of one photo and a short status, you can send a meeting request through a pin-drop map feature to pinpoint the location and have the option of adding a short message. The requested person has half an hour to accept, decline, or defer your invite. Then you meet them in person and start a conversation that way. All communication on the app is limited to the meet up requests; there is no chat or messaging function. If you’re a little iffy about meeting a stranger, GetReal allows users to link their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles to the app so you can see if you have any mutual connections. The app also keeps track of how many people you’ve invited to meet, how many people are available in your location, and any people you have muted, which we’re assuming is a way to block people. GetReal isn’t limited to screening potential dates; the main goal is just to help people meet in person. Whether you’re networking, in a new city, want to meet people in your neighborhood or while traveling, want to expand your circle of friends, etc., GetReal wants to help users meet up in person. A group of 200 beta testers in San Francisco and New York tech industries found the app can be used for anything; they have been using the app for everything from recruiting to tech talks to growing their networks. The app creator, Arnaud Meunier thinks the recent inflation of apps and social media sites like Tinder, Facebook, and Twitter, and our reliance on virtual conversations (messaging, texting, & emails) are destroying our ability to communicate. We don’t talk anymore. GetReal wants to bring a little more serendipity and spontaneity back in our lives instead of prescreening everyone we meet through profiles, statuses, and photos. GetReal isn’t the first app of it’s kind to be making waves in the virtual connection pool. A U.K. dating app, rendeevoo (Ha. Rendezvous. We see what you did there, you clever Brits, you) has a similar platform, except it’s specifically for dating purposes. Neither app attempts to match users based on personalities, interests, or the like;...

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A Hykoo For You

Posted by on 10:55 am in Internet News, Just For Fun, Social Media, Software News | Comments Off on A Hykoo For You

A Hykoo For You

“Twelve second story Showing your world in motion Do not call me bro” -Daiva Jarasius, AC writer Poetry wasn’t my strong suit in seventh grade and it still isn’t today so Always Current writer Daiva Jarasius wrote a haiku about Hykoo for today’s post. For those of you who aren’t familiar with haikus, this isn’t the most informational post but if you want to learn about Hykoo, read on. If you’ve ever wanted to make short videos from your phone, there’s another new app for that! Hykoo is an app that allows users to create 12 second videos on their phones through a combination of video clips and text with a variety of filters to complement the video. Now, with all the other video creating and sharing platforms out there today, why is something like Hykoo a novelty? We found a couple possible answers to that question. What sets Hykoo apart from the rest of the video creation mobile apps out there today, including Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, and more, is how the video is shot. Hykoo, pronounced like and influenced by the poetry style “haiku,” is very structured in it’s format. Similar to the poetry, there are three clips that are three seconds, three seconds, and six seconds long (though technically, it should be five, seven, five, or at least three, six, three, but we aren’t filing a complaint just yet). The video has to be shot in those segments; you can’t shoot all 12 seconds in one sitting because the idea behind Hykoo is you’re sharing a story, and stories often have more than one part. Each clip has some text on it to give the video context. Gary Krieg, one of the founders of the app, explained, “So much of the context of why someone is making and sharing a piece of content lives outside of the image itself, so our format allows that information to travel together.” Unlike Instagram, Vine and Snapchat videos, you can save drafts of these videos until they’re completed and ready to share. Hykoos are shareable on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and through email or text so the rest of the world can see your story. Hykoo is an independent startup created by Krieg, the former head of production for ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, Yoni Bloch, founder of interactive video service Interlude, and Jane Rosenthal, a co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival. The app will officially launch with this years Tribeca Film Festival. As of right now, Hykoo is only available on iOS devices, but the founders are planning to launch a version for Android devices as well. Other changes they’re looking to make include increased interactivity with hykoos. Check out my first Hykoo below....

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TIDAL For All… Who Pay the Piper

Posted by on 4:28 pm in Internet News, Software News | Comments Off on TIDAL For All… Who Pay the Piper

TIDAL For All… Who Pay the Piper

If you keep up with certain extraordinarily popular stars of the music industry, you might have seen some profile pics on Facebook and Twitter replaced with solid blocks of blue, and cryptic messages accompanied by the hashtag #TIDALforALL. After the enormous success of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge viral awareness campaign, you might imagine this is another social media fundraising effort. You’d be wrong. This coalition of artists (including such names as Rihanna, Kanye West, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Usher, and Taylor Swift) is backing a far more noble cause: the ability to charge you large amounts of money for the privilege of streaming their music. Welcome Jay-Z’s TIDAL, a music streaming service similar to the wildly-popular Spotify. Where Spotify offers free and premium subscriptions (a model supported mostly through advertisements), TIDAL will be available only to premium subscribers for a cost of $19.99 per month – double the cost of Spotify’s premium subscription. So why would anyone pay to stream music when free services like Spotify and Pandora are available? Well, for one thing, TIDAL offers lossless tracks, which is a pretty big draw for audiophiles. But let’s be real, the average person isn’t worried about the audio quality in their Spotify playlists. No, TIDAL’s success will most likely depend on the support these artists can garner. If enough mega-stars follow Taylor Swift’s example and make their music available only through payment-based subscriptions, paid services could very easily become the norm. There’s still one more big reason you might choose to support a subscription-only music streaming service over the constantly growing pool of free options – artist payouts. Legitimate concerns exist around programs like Spotify regarding artist payment, and like it or not, musicians need to get paid to keep making music. While I doubt Jay-Z or his band of supporters are hurting for cash, they have the right to make their work available where and how they see fit. Of course, we get to choose whether or not we support their distribution...

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On Comet, On Cupid, On-Body, On Blitzen

Posted by on 11:30 am in Software News, Technology News | Comments Off on On Comet, On Cupid, On-Body, On Blitzen

On Comet, On Cupid, On-Body, On Blitzen

Hold your horses, or in this case reindeer, because it’s not quite time for Santa Clause to be coming to town. But our favorite Internet and technology elves (aka geniuses) at Google have been hard at work on something special down in Silicon Valley for Android users. Google’s working on rolling out a new smart lock mode, coined “on-body,” that will leave your phone unlocked when the accelerometer recognizes the phone is in your hand, pocket, purse, or anywhere on your person. When the phone’s sensors detect the phone has been set down, it will lock the screen and you have to manually unlock is (which is such a hassle). The idea behind on-body is that if you leave your phone sitting on a table somewhere – say, at Starbucks when your drink is ready – then potential thieves can’t steal it and easily access your data. Why you are leaving your phone unattended on the table and walking away is beyond us; you might as well just give it to a stranger on the street and hope for the best. Still, if local coffee shop thieves stealing your phone and accessing your data keeps you up at night, you can rest easy knowing on-body is here to save your day. Unfortunately, it’s not a foolproof solution. On-body will continue to keep your phone unlocked as long as the accelerometer detects it is being held or carried. So if you pass your phone off to a friend or someone snatches it out of your hand, the phone has no way of knowing whether it’s in your hand or not. If that’s the case, your phone will remain unlocked and your data is accessible to whomever is holding the phone until they set it down, which is bad news bears for you. Of course, you have the option of pairing on-body with the other smart lock features such as trusted face and trusted places to better your phone’s security, so all hope is not...

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The End of Internet Explorer Draws Near

Posted by on 5:57 pm in Internet News, Software News, Website News | Comments Off on The End of Internet Explorer Draws Near

The End of Internet Explorer Draws Near

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to say our goodbyes. Here she lies; very few knew her worth – the late, formerly great browser of Microsoft – and we celebrate her inevitable end. Rejoice, speedy and secure web-browser-lovers, for Microsoft has announced the phase-out of Internet Explorer. For those of you who still swear by the formerly flawless, currently ill-fated browser, we express our condolences for your loss, but it’s time to move on. At the Windows Convergence conference in Atlanta, Microsoft announced Project Spartan, the code-name of its next generation web browser and it addressed plans to phase-out Internet Explorer. First released in the mid 1990s, Internet Explorer dominated the browser market and peaked in the early 2000s. Since then, it’s commonly associated with slow loading times, security risks, and poor compatibility with other browsers. Microsoft plans to rebrand its image in terms of web browsers around Project Spartan. While much is still to be determined, including the final name of the browser, current features that are supposedly set in stone include: Cortana – Microsoft’s personal web assistant, Annotation tools that are compatible with keyboards & pens, A streamlined layout, and A reading mode Internet Explorer will still exist in some versions of Windows 10 and Microsoft will make sure its new model is compatible with the software that operates solely on Internet Explorer. But for the most part, it’s gotta be going to that Best Buy in the sky, where it will be join long-time pal Clippy in Internet heaven (or hell, depending on your perspective). Farewell, Internet Explorer. Note: The beginning of this post is inspired by the creative genius that is “La Vie Boheme” from the Broadway production RENT, to which we do not own the rights, but hold in the very highest...

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New Android Operating System Gives You A ‘Break’

Posted by on 2:26 pm in Internet News, Just For Fun, Software News, Technology News | Comments Off on New Android Operating System Gives You A ‘Break’

New Android Operating System Gives You A ‘Break’

As a staple of everyone’s Halloween diet, KitKats are one of the most popular candy bars in the world. That is why you may be surprised to learn that KitKat at is the name of the new Google Android operating system, Android 4.4. With over 1 billion users, this will be a welcome update that is promised to improve the user experience for Android owners. Here is what you can expect from the upcoming update. A Better Looking User-Interface It is no coincidence that Apple’s iOS7 design has people making comparisons to Android’s design. Android has a great look and has improved upon it with the update. You will most likely see a new color scheme and improved notifications. Expect that the interface will stay clean and streamlined as that is what it is known for. Android Update Will Apply To More Phones Android has run into the same issue many times when releasing new operating systems – that their hardware will not support the operating systems. This makes the updates obsolete for most users. Hopefully in the future, the software will become more streamlined and usable for more phone owners. A Look Towards The Future Mimicking Apple’s affordability cue, with Android 4.4 there is an expectation that cheaper phones will be made available. The software will be available to the entry-level devices and not just the most expensive. It is also rumored that KitKat will be optimized for wearable devices like smartwatches, a rising trend in the tech industry. Android 4.4 is supposed to have new abilities like a step detector and step counter. Remote Control Say goodbye to trying to find that pesky remote control in the cushions and change the channels with your phone instead. Developers will be able to make apps that control your television and more with the use of infrared signals.  I don’t know about you but I am always with my phone when I sit down to watch a show, so this is a welcome update. Are you excited for this update? How do you think it will stack up against  Apple’s...

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A Look At What’s New With Mavericks

Posted by on 12:52 pm in Internet News, Software News, Technology News | Comments Off on A Look At What’s New With Mavericks

A Look At What’s New With Mavericks

Computer users have recently been swamped with updates, whether you are a Mac or PC user. After Microsoft released Windows 8.1, a software update to their recently released Windows 8, for free, Apple responded. Mavericks adds new apps, improves Safari and increases organization and security. Read for more of the best features to check out. Mavericks was released on Tuesday and for the first time, the update was free rather than sold for $19.99. Just because it was free doesn’t mean the update isn’t filled with premium features that many avid users are fans of. The changes may seem slight to some, but according to Apple, more than 200 features have been added. Some users favorite mobile apps from Apple have been added to Mavericks. These apps are iBooks and Maps as well as a much-improved Calendar app. The iBooks app is meant to rival Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook and is still behind in the amount of books available. This is sure to change and improve over time, though. Safari has also improved with a faster speed and a new look that is in line with the recent iOS7 update. The new version of Safari now has better capabilities to show HTML5 sites, which may make it more of a front-runner in the competitive browser market. Maybe one of the best organizational features that Mavericks has added is Finder Tabs. It is easy to open about five different Finder windows everyday while working on your computer and that makes for a cluttered desktop. Now, you can create a tab to keep all of your finder windows in one window. Mavericks has also added Tags to help organize your files. The principle is the same as tags you use to organize your photos. With Tags, you can make a text description for a file as well as add a color to it.  The color tags will be on the left side of your Finder window for easy access. Between the new Finder Tabs and Tags, organizing is much easier now with Mavericks! If you are a fan of having two screens, it is time to download Mavericks. There is increased multiple display support, which makes it easier to manage the screens. To mimic Windows 8.1, which boasted about being able to use task bars on more than one screen, Apple also added that feature. Mavericks also improves the use of a television as a second screen if it is set up with HDTVs connected with Apple TV. The Calendar app has been updated and has become more intuitive. It easily allows you to search for addresses in appointments, set reminders and integrates easily with Maps to make sure you never get lost. Like most of the new features, Calendars takes its design cues from the new iOS7 mobile update. To deal with the insane amount of passwords we all have, Apple has added the iCloud Keychain, which gives you an easy way to secure your passwords that works on all Macs and iOS devices. The goal is to be able to keep all of your devices secure with one password, as well as credit card numbers and Wi-Fi logins. The convenience of this new feature is hard to beat. What are your thoughts on these new features?...

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Apple May Have New iPads, MacBooks, and Maybe an iWatch?

Posted by on 12:42 pm in Hardware News, Internet News, Just For Fun, Software News, Technology News | Comments Off on Apple May Have New iPads, MacBooks, and Maybe an iWatch?

Apple May Have New iPads, MacBooks, and Maybe an iWatch?

Two Apple events in two months! A person could get used to this. With the words “We still have a lot to cover,” Apple fired up the masses when they sent out their invitations confirming the October 22nd event that was first leaked by AllThingsD. Yes, that’s right, Apple will host their second event in two months.  This one will take place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater located in San Francisco.  It is set to commence Tuesday at 10 a.m. Pacific, noon Central.  This time it will not be about the phones. The invitations, as seen to the right, are a very fall-like and contain the image is of the traditional Apple logo found at the bottom.  In the background one can see many multicolored leaves (the iconic Apple leaf) floating up to the top.  The tagline “We still have a lot to cover”is found at the bottom and suggest that this event will unveil a lot of new products. Rumors have it that these products include their new iPads, the features and availability of OS X 10.9 Mavericks, and the new MacBook Pro. Speculations are also floating around that they may introduce a smartwatch (the iWatch) as well as an update to Apple TV. It is projected that the “belles” of this ball will be their two new iPads, reports say both will support the new 64-bit A7 chip.  The first is the second generation iPad mini that will likely feature Retina display.  It will also reportedly have additional power and a longer-lasting battery that will make it a little heavier than its predecessor.  The other is their fifth generation iPad, which will get a makeover and boast a thinner and lighter design as well as an improved camera.  It is uncertain as to whether or not the new iPads will contain the new Touch ID fingerprint scanner that was first introduced in the iPhone 5S. Improvements to the MacBook Pro will include more battery life – possibly hitting the 12-hour mark – as well as a better processors. Unfortunately, we were not on the invitation list and will not be able to attend the event in San Francisco to either confirm or debunk the rumors firsthand.  But we will keep you updated with all the latest ‘tech-gossip’ revolving around the event as that day approaches as well as a complete summary following the event including what and when the products will hit the marketplace. Thanks Loop  for the image.      ...

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Specs on Google’s Nexus 5 Are Leaked

Posted by on 12:27 pm in Internet News, Just For Fun, Software News, Technology News | Comments Off on Specs on Google’s Nexus 5 Are Leaked

Specs on Google’s Nexus 5 Are Leaked

Smartphones have been constantly growing in popularity and nowadays it is nearly impossible to walk down the street and not see someone who has their face glued to a–wait who notices that anymore, let me rephrase.  Nowadays it is nearly impossible to surf the web or go on your social media accounts and not see posts, comments, or photos that were uploaded via a mobile device. Many technology companies are hopping on and perpetuating the smartphone craze whether it be Apple, Samsung, or Google.  Yes, if you haven’t heard, Google has released smartphones. Almost one year ago today, Google launched the Nexus 4, their take on a smartphone that “puts the best of Google in the palm of your hand; all with no carrier commitment or contract.”  Fans raved at its release. The LG made Nexus 4 featured a revamped Google Maps option, Google Play, and the Photo Sphere Camera.  Now they are expected to release their newest smartphone. One year separations seems to be the going rate between companies releasing their newest and most updated smartphones, and Google is no exception.  Questions have been flying around the internet on what Google’s next smartphone will feature, look-like, and be called.  This has sparked countless rumors, one of them being the name; the Nexus 5. Now with the recent development of a leaked service manual many of the questions have been answered and rumors confirmed. Google has decided to stick with the Nexus 4 builder, LG, for their new smartphone.  Claiming to boast a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, nearly a 5-inch screen, 1080p display, and 2GB RAM the Nexus 5 is essentially an upgraded Nexus 4. Arguably, the most impressive feature on the Nexus 5 is the new MEMS (which stands for a mouthful, microelectromechanical technology) camera.  This is a first of its kind camera.  It will be able to  focus seven times faster than current cameras and capture images extremely fast.  This will allow smartphonotographers to take a quick succession of shots of a fast moving object and focus later. This leaked information has fans biting at the bit as the wait for Google’s actual announcement of the Nexus 5 release, which is expected to happen within the month. Whether you feel that leaked information is beneficial to you as a consumer or you wish that the tantalizing information would just stay secret until you can have the ability hold that beautiful smartphone in your hand, it will continue to happen. Now the only thing to wonder about is the when it will be released and for how much will the Nexus 5 be?...

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LinkedIn For Mobile Gets A New Feature

Posted by on 11:51 am in Software News, Technology News | Comments Off on LinkedIn For Mobile Gets A New Feature

LinkedIn For Mobile Gets A New Feature

The amount of time we spend online has become an incredible number that more than likely outweighs the amount of time spent reading a book. The internet isn’t all bad though. With the growth of the Internet, the ability to find and land jobs has increased with the amount of users, and a lot of this increase can be attributed to the popular job finding site, LinkedIn. As people who use the popular site know, LinkedIn can be used as an online résumé for companies to use when you apply for a job or just for companies to find and perhaps contact you if they like what they saw. The site released all the way back in 2003, but didn’t begin to gain notoriety until 2008-2009 when the rise in social media sites began to grow. The online version grew and the mobile app was born along with that. Like most sites though, the mobile app has always been a little bit behind in terms of updates and look, but today marks another step up for LinkedIn’s mobile app. You now have the ability to apply for job postings, instead of just being able to save a search, just as you can do on the full desktop site. This update gives people who may be looking through LinkedIn while in the car with friends, out to lunch or if they are just sitting around the house on the hunt for a new job the opportunity to do so quickly. People aren’t always around their computer, but more often than not, are around their phone. By having the ability to apply for a job from your smartphone, you speed up the process of job hunting. This is especially true when you are doing so from LinkedIn alone. Instead of having to bounce around from job posting site to job posting site, LinkedIn has made it easier for job seekers to find what they are looking for in one simple place. The best part about all of this is that you don’t have to have your résumé on file either. Since it is already in the LinkedIn system on your profile page, just hitting “apply” will automatically link your public site to the companies job posting. For many, this may seem as though the job of “job hunting” itself is becoming a thing of the past, but you can’t get a job, without first putting yourself out there. LinkedIn is merely acting as a middle man, in lieu of a physical job application. Photo via LinkedIn Press...

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