Reviews

Photos for OS X Yosemite: Explained

Photos for iOS 8 brings significant enhancements to the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, including the new iCloud Photo Library, favorites, smart search, smart editing, custom photo and sharing extensions, and PhotoKit so developers can get in on al the action. Apple announced it at WWDC 2014, and then they did something unexpected — they announced Photos would also be coming to the Mac. Rebuilt from pixel to bit, Photos for Mac won't arrive with OS X Yosemite this fall, but will arrive sometime early next year. So what does all of this mean for existing iPhoto and Aperture customers, and, going forward, photography on the Mac?

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Photos in iOS 8: Explained

The built-in Photos got its makeover last year as part of Apple's overall iOS 7 mobile redesign. This year iOS 8 is bringing Photos a much-needed functionality boost. In addition to new sharing and filter extensions, Photos is also getting a new sync solution courtesy of iCloud Photo Library, as well a bevy of new, non-destructive editing tools, and a new, smarter search system. So, how does it al work?

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The new Foursquare and why it might have you running back to Yelp

Foursquare recently stirred up the world of social check-ins by splitting its popular app into two parts — the original check-in functionality going to the new Swarm app, and the location discovery and information portion fully taking over the original app. Yes, it's confusing. Yes, it could have you reaching for the delete button, but could it also be for the better? Considering Foursquare is one of the only apps I use when traveling, the change made me both skeptical and nervous. Now that I have the new Foursquare in my pocket, will I remain loyal, or will I go running back to Yelp?

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iMessage in iOS 8: Explained

Messages is the most popular app on the iPhone and iPad, according to Apple. Given the enormous demand for instant messaging, and the integration Apple's provided with traditional carrier SMS (simple messaging service) and MMS (multimedia messaging service), that should come as no surprise. Neither, then, should the attention given to it in iOS 8. Not only is Apple making group messaging less maddening, but they're making sharing faster and easier as well, from location to media to voice to video. So does it all work?

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Best software update tools for your Mac: AppFresh, MacUpdate Desktop, Software Update

Don't make more work for yourself than necessary to keep your Mac up to date. Use these tools instead!

Looking for the best Mac app to keep your Mac software up to date? If you're like me and you get software from other places besides the Mac App Store, keeping those apps up to date can feel like a full time job. Here are a few ways you can help stay up to date with your apps.

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iPhone 5s vs. Amazon Fire Phone: Which should you get?

The iPhone 5s has been on the market for a while now and remains a perennial best seller around the world. The Amazon Fire Phone is brand new, just in the U.S., and only on AT&T at the moment. Both command a premium price. The iPhone has a bleeding edge 64-bit processor, a great camera, Touch ID fingerprint identity sensor, and apps from every major provider, including Apple, Google, and Amazon. The Fire Phone has even more faux-3D than iOS 7, a hardware shopping system in FireFly, a Mayday button for instant help, and last year's chipsets warmed over. So, which one should you buy?

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Extensibility in iOS 8: Explained

Extensibility, one of the new features coming to iOS 8 this fall, is one of the most significant advancements since the launch of the App Store in 2008. With Extensibility, apps can project widgets into Notification Center's today view, provide custom upload and update functionality, and custom actions in Share Sheets, hook filters into the Photos app, provide custom keyboards system-wide, and access your files anywhere via iCloud Drive or third-party document providers like Dropbox or Google Drive. And they can do all this while maintaining the high level of security built into iOS. So, what are they and how do they all work?

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Improve your Mac gaming with Razer's Kraken Pro headset and Taipan mouse

If you like to game on your Mac, you probably want any extra edge you can find to improve your gaming performance. A good headset and a precision mouse are key to a good gaming experience, which is why I've been using Razer's Kraken headset and Taipan gaming mouse.

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Document provider extensions in iOS 8: Explained

Document provider extensions in iOS 8 are part of the new Extensibility system and allow the features from Document Picker and associated file handling to go beyond iCloud Drive to encompass enterprise storage and popular online services like DropBox, Box, OneDrive, Google Drive, and more. Because it ties into the same system and works the same way, as long as they implement the extension, Apple's making it just as easy to use anyone else's online storage as it is to use iCloud Drive. So, how does it work?

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Rachio Iro lets you take charge of your sprinkler from your iPhone

I am always surprised when I see an awesome connected accessory, and the Racho Iro is no exception. This connected sprinkler controller lets you manage your sprinkler system from anywhere in the world using just your smartphone. The controller is available for either 8 or 16 zones and lets you take charge of your system with everything from auto-scheduling to analytics & reports. Iro is smart enough to watch the weather too, so it can adjust on the fly no matter what the current conditions.

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