The Best Apps, Tips & Tweaks Of The Week [06.30.2013]

It’s that time of the week again when we round up the most popular as well as the less-popular but equally useful apps, tips and tweaks that you may have missed during your hectic workweek. This time around, we discuss Windows 8.1 Preview, the updated stock camera app for Android, two Google Reader alternatives, an Android app for predicting who you are going to call next, and an app for Windows 8 / RT that streams music based on an occasion, among other excellent apps and tips.Read More

Lock Your Windows PC While Also Restricting Mouse Cursor Movement

The sad truth about our digital life is that our notebooks, smartphones and tablets now carry an awful lot of information about us and are perfectly capable of revealing it to others unless we're careful. Emails, login details, credit card information, bank accounts – we now heavily rely our our PCs and gadgets to store all this information, but even the slightest carelessness in protecting this data from intruders can have disastrous consequences. If you often leave your computer unintended at public places or at work, others can end up looking at any information about you without even trying. Mouse Lock is a Windows application that aims to protect your PC by locking the mouse cursor at one place and not letting anyone move it in your absence. It locks the mouse with a custom password, dims down the rest of your screen, and more.Read More

Dialapp For Android Magically Predicts Who You Want To Call Next Based On Context

Want your phone to predict who you are going to call whenever you pick it up to call someone? If your phone is running Android, you'll be delighted to learn about Dialapp - an innovative call log and dialer application that comes with quite a few surprises. Dialapp is designed to predict the person you want to call based on your context, which can consist of time, calendar, location, conversations and so on, using your Google account to deliver these contextual predictions. So whenever you hit the call log, the name of the person you wanted to call "magically floats to the top". The app doesn't explicitly explain the technique it uses to make these predictions, but it can be pretty accurate. Details to follow after the jump.Read More

New Features & Changes In The Windows 8.1 Lock Screen

Even those who didn’t quite fancy Windows 8 when it came out did like its elegant lock screen. The lock screen presents a static background of your choosing, the date and time and notifications for certain apps. It basically replaces the simple logon screen found in previous iterations of Windows such as Windows 7 or Vista. As you may know that Microsoft released a public Preview build of Windows 8.1. Along with many other areas of the operating system, the lock screen has also been spruced up with new options like slideshow, additional app notifications and quick access to the camera. After the break, we'll be discussing all these features in detail.Read More

futureful Is A Great Way To Randomly Browse The Web On Your iPhone

The release of iOS 7 beta has triggered a lot of debates regarding the effects it will have on the UI of different apps. Although the final release of iOS 7 is still a few months away, it looks like some developers have already started revamping their apps after taking ideas from the upcoming changes. futureful has been around in the App Store as an iPad-only app for the past few months, and has earned a lot admiration for the unique concept it offered. The app can be considered the opposite of Flipboard, as instead of letting you follow particular sources, futureful just presents posts based on the interests you choose in each session. The latest update of the app hasn't changed many of the features in futureful, but the UI has been given a complete iOS 7-like overhaul, and made available for iPhone and iPod touch as well. Read More

Track Stocks & Maintain An Investment Portfolio On Android With JStock

The finance section of any newspaper, be it online or print, isn't something that everyone reads or understands, but Stock market information, specifically the changes in stock prices is often used as a measure of a company's current position in the market, and such information is critical for every investor. If you follow stocks, JStock is an app that can help you  keep up with fluctuating stock prices for different stocks being traded across the world. The application previously only had a desktop version for Windows , OS X & Linux, but now it has gone mobile with an app for Android, allowing you to keep up on the go. You get a large number of stock indices to choose from, and the app historically track the changes in their prices. You can also maintain your own portfolio of stocks you've purchased to measure your capital gains or losses as the prices fluctuate.Read More

Shoot, Share & Discover Videos With The Official Keek App For WP8

During its two years of existence, Keek has managed to attract a fair amount of users. The idea behind the service might not be too novel, but the way it combines different aspects of social networking while maintaining focus on video sharing has endeared Keek to many. Owing to its success on desktop, the service was introduced to smartphones some time back, and now the app collection is really complete with Keek arriving on Windows Phone. The WP8 app can hold its own against any media sharing service available on the platform, and lets you browse through videos shared by users around the world. There is even has a content filter that lets you view posts only from the countries of your choice. The video recorder doesn't have too many bells and whistles, but that makes sense as Keek is not meant to be used like Instagram or a proper video editor. Read More

Hands-On With The New Modern UI Apps In Windows 8.1

The Windows 8.1 Preview has brought back the Start Button, redesigned some apps, and introduced a fair number of new ones. Some of these new apps are truly impressive, while others are the Modern UI version of apps that already existed as desktop versions and have long been part of the Windows OS. Between the revamped apps, the new apps, and those that are Modern UI versions of their desktop counterparts, we have four very impressive utility apps: Alarm, Calculator, Sound Recorder, and Scan, the latter three of which are essentially revamped Modern UI variants of existing Windows features, whereas the new Photo Editor, Health and Fitness, Food and Drinks, and Reading List apps have been developed from scratch. Read More

Guide To Windows 8.1 Boot To Desktop & Other Navigation Options

Even though not much has changed in Windows 8.1 it terms of the overall design philosophy of the OS, people are still quite excited to try out the latest version due to the new features and improvements added by Microsoft. Ever since we got our hands on the update, we have been scrutinizing every bit of Windows 8.1 in our coverage so you might want to keep a tab on it. Did we tell you that in addition to bringing back the Start button, Windows 8.1 also allows you to boot straight to desktop now? In this post, we will be covering features like boot to desktop, as well as various other options found in the newly introduced in the Navigation tab of the Taskbar Properties dialog that make it possible to disable the top hot corners, use your Desktop's background on Start screen, and a lot more. Read More

Food & Drink: The Windows 8.1 Recipe App With Hands-Free Control

Windows 8 currently features apps for buying music, reading financial news, staying up to date with sporting events, and a general app for reading news. Windows 8.1 brings with it yet another niche app, Food & Drink, that is more than just a digital cookbook. Food & Drink allows you to search for recipes from supported food channels. In addition to helping you find recipes, the app also lets you sort them into ‘Collections’. You can add the ingredients of any recipe to a shopping list, add notes to recipes, use the meal planner to plan meals and your shopping for each day of the week, and even add hand-written recipes to it by taking a snapshot of them from within the app itself. To top things off, there is also a hands-free mode that utilizes your computer's camera to let you navigate between different pages of a recipe with body gestures, without even touching the device.Read More

Windows 8.1 Helps Takes Care Of Your Body With Bing Health & Fitness

Windows 8.1 has brought something for health enthusiasts; the new Bing Health & Fitness app that lets you track your daily calorie intake, manage an exercise routine, look up how many calories there are in a particular food item, as well as a disease symptom analysis tool that helps you diagnose yourself when you’re feeling unwell (and is possibly a bad idea). The app also has a drug lookup tool that you can use to search for medicine by popular names, or their basic components to see what they are prescribed for and view other helpful information like what you should do if you’ve taken an overdose.Read More

Reading List Brings Cross-Device Synced Bookmarking To Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 has brought back the Start button and that’s reason enough to celebrate for many, but this new version has also brought with it some new apps, of which Reading List is something a lot of us are bound to love. This new app works best with Internet Explorer set as your default browser, but will also work if you’re using a different one. Reading List is a standalone app that you can save links to from the Share Charm from other apps. The saved links can then be read later. To most users, this might seem to be a Pocket-like service but it mimics the reading list  feature in Safari to some extent, with the exception that it can work with any browser, making it much better. Other than being able to work with other apps and any browser, the app is pretty basic in the sense that your links cannot be organized into folders, nor categorized in any other way. A search bar within the app makes the process of finding the right one pretty easy though.Read More

Download Android 4.3 Camera App APK With New Interface

Yesterday, Google - in association with Samsung and HTC - released the Google Play editions of the Galaxy S4 and HTC One. Hardware-wise, these phones are exactly the same as their skinned counterparts running Touchwiz/HTC Sense, but it’s the software side where things get really interesting as these devices eschew proprietary skins for stock Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Technically, this isn't 100% pure stock Android 4.2, as it includes the updated camera app that is supposed to be a part of Android 4.3. Thanks to the Android enthusiasts' community, this new camera app is now available for other Android devices as well. Details after the jump! Read More

How To Embed Instagram Videos On A Webpage In Two Simple Steps

Instagram’s version of short videos is quite different from Vine's offering; you have filters, longer videos, and a live editor. Instagram may have come into the game late, but it brought enough features to stand on its own in the genre. There is one glaring similarity between Instagram videos and Vine when it was first launched; embedding videos is tiring and difficult. We showed you a rather elaborate way to embed Instagram videos, and its likely that the length of the process is going to to discourage some users from doing it all. The solution to the problem comes in the form of Embed Instagram - a simple little web app developed by Amit Agarwal at Digital Inspiration that reduces the process to just three clicks.Read More

DuckDuckGo Brings Its Anonymous Search & Rich Results To Android & iOS

After the latest revelations by Edward Snowden regarding NSA’s project PRISM, everyone has suddenly become more privacy-conscious. Almost all tech giants have admitted that they have made the data of their users available to authorities on several occasions. Even if a service doesn't provide data to the government, your private information is rarely 100% safe due to the threat of server raids and hacking. This is why DuckDuckGo has suddenly become more important as a search engine than it has ever been. Unlike other search engines, DuckDuckGo offers truly secure and anonymous searching, since it doesn't save any of your data at the backend. Probably to take full advantage of the PRISM leaks, the search engine has come up with official apps of its own for both iOS and Android. You can use DuckDuckGo on your web browser (or even as the default search engine in mobile Safari) of course, but DuckDuckGo Search & Stories makes the whole process really convenient. An added bonus is the app’s ability to double up as a news reader, accumulating the latest stories from around the web. Read More

Vine For Android Gets Front Facing Camera Support & Upload Manager

Instagram introduce 15 second videos a very short while back, effectively taking away the ‘Instagram for videos’ title from Twitter's Vine that had started the whole short video sharing craze with its 6 second long videos. While Vine has Twitter’s user base to count on for users and growth, Instagram has both its own and Facebook’s users who are clamoring to join it and upload their 15 second videos. Naturally, this means stiff competition for Vine, which is very likely going to fight back. It has just released an update for its Android app, which now supports the front facing camera on your device and has an upload manager for reviewing failed uploads. The app has also added support for more devices, made some improvements to the settings and tweaked the camera to load faster.Read More

Hands-On With The Windows 8.1 Xbox Music App: New UI, Better Syncing & Free Radio Streaming

Pandora and Spotify have reigned over the online music streaming scene for a long, but it seems that the big boys have finally turned their attention to the niche. Xbox Music, iTunes Radio, Google Play Music All Access and Twitter’s #Music all came out in quick succession. While none of these services are perfect for now, the teams behind them are constantly striving for improvement. With the big Windows 8.1 reveal, Microsoft did not forget to throw some attention the way of Xbox Music. As can be expected after the announcement of iTunes Radio, the changes in Xbox Music have a lot to do with the service’s free radio stations. You can now influence the radio’s song selection by picking music that is already in your personal collection, and initiating a radio station from there. That is not all, however; the app also features a revamped interface, and better syncing of collection and playlists.Read More

Digg Reader For Web Offers A Minimal Design & Very Few Features To Speak Of

Digg is running out of time to get its new Reader right, as Google Reader will be closing its doors in less than 72 hours. It was a pleasant surprise to see Digg Reader becoming available for iOS users yesterday, but the web version continues to be in closed beta. Since Digg has finally sent us an invitation to the web service, we decided to take it for a little test run. Unfortunately, we don't have anything really great to report based on the stage it is at right now, though it's likely that they are keeping it in private beta for this very reason. At the moment, Digg Reader appears to have been put together hurriedly, and lacks even some staple RSS reader features like search and the proper implementation of unread badges. There is no customization to speak of either. Not all is doom and gloom though, as the service’s simplicity and Digg integration is sure to appeal to the minimalists and Digg loyalists among us.Read More

A Detailed Look At The Deeper SkyDrive Integration In Windows 8.1

While Windows 8 did come with some SkyDrive integration, it was dismal, to say the least – especially considering how cloud storage is increasingly becoming more of a norm than a novelty in this connected world. With Windows 8.1, Microsoft has addressed these shortcomings quite well, integrating SkyDrive into the OS in a seamless manner. Not only can you easily access, sync and save your data to your SkyDrive account, but you can also sync more PC settings and your camera roll, and even set SkyDrive as your default location for saving your documents! To top it off, both Windows 8 and RT now get full native Explorer integration with SkyDrive in Desktop mode, without requiring to install SkyDrive for Desktop app separately.Read More

A Look At The Built-In Image Editor In Windows 8.1 Photos App

I’m not sure if there was a cold war for best image editor going on between OS X and Windows, but if there was, you can all go home now; Microsoft’s knocked this one out of the park with the photo editor built into the new Photos app that comes with Windows 8.1 Preview. It is likely that this revamped app will even send some third party apps packing too. The new editing tools seem to be accessible from any native Modern UI app that can open images, which includes the Photos app itself, Camera and SkyDrive. If you want to draw or scribble something, you will still need to use paint. The editor offers basic editing tools that let you auto-fix the color of an image, manage its saturation, contrast, and brightness, mange the light, enhance color, and apply a vignette or a radial tilt-shift effect.Read More