We haven't heard much from Microsoft's Cortana, the voice assistant that's built into Windows 10 and available in app form on Android and iOS, in a while. Amazon and Google, with their respective Alexa and Assistant/Home brands, have been far more vocal in the last few months. Today the Cortana app gets its first major update in the better part of a year. And in a move that probably should have come a lot sooner, the mobile version of Cortana is now available in the UK. Read More
The nicest thing about having Dropbox on a phone, at least for most users, is the ability to instantly back up photos as soon as they're taken. Accessing other files stored on the cloud is sort of secondary, if only because the mobile client doesn't constantly sync files down and up, like the desktop versions of the program do. Today Dropbox is expanding its capabilities in that area with permanently-assigned offline folder access. But make sure to read the fine print, power users - there are still some important limitations to this feature. Read More
It's the most wonderful time of the year... the time when it's almost over. But it's also that turn in the calendar when a couple of billion people look forward to celebrating Christmas, and the youngest portions of that subset start improving their behavior in an avaricious desire for more presents. Google's taking part in its yearly ritual too, indulging whimsical parents and obsessive-compulsive children with its Santa Claus countdown-slash-tracker app. Read More
I recently reviewed Canary's home security and connected camera system and was pleasantly impressed by most of its features, especially the auto-arm/disarm based on geofence. Now the Canary app is receiving an update to add a couple of interesting features for Android users.
First up is a new Android Wear app that lets you monitor your cameras right from your wrist if you have a smartwatch. I've tested it today and it seems to do the essentials rather well, letting me see my location stats (temperature, humidity, and air quality), tap and hold on the mode icon to switch to Home, Away, Privacy, or Night, and scroll to view a thumbnail of the last recorded event. Read More
Here's an update that really should have happened a bit sooner. VNC Viewer is the official VNC client from RealVNC, the company that makes and maintains the Virtual Network Client protocol for remote computer access. Said company also makes VNC Connect, which is actually the latest version of the premium server/client program for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and other operating systems. Version 6.0 was rebranded earlier this month, and today the Android app is compatible with the updated software. It only took almost four weeks... which isn't great for a mission critical program. Read More
DJI, purveyor of premium-brand drones to the poor and the gentry, has a new app on the Play Store. It's a companion app for the recent entries in the company's lineup, mostly focused on the built-in still and video cameras. The app has a livestreaming function (but not remote control) and editing built in. But something odd is going on here: why is version four of the GO app getting a separate listing on the Play Store, despite the fact that both of them are free? The older app mentions support for Inspire, Phantom, and Matrice 100 drones, while the new one drops the Matrice in favor of the Mavic Pro. Read More
AirDroid, the free app that offers easy file transfers and remote management for Android devices, remains one of the best and most consistent apps on the Play Store. Developer Sand Studio is scrupulous in maintaining the app's functionality and improving it with new features and design tweaks. Today the dev introduced what's probably the biggest change to the platform since it offered a paid option: a complete visual overhaul. Everything from the layout to the logo to the promotional web page has been updated. Read More
Saving and sharing video clips should be one of the rudimentary features of any connected camera system, so I'm surprised Nest didn't have that option until now. But now it does and it works in two ways. You can create an "instaclip" of any recorded event in your Nest timeline, but you can also tap and hold on the icon to make a custom clip with your chosen start and end times. After the clip is generated, you'll have the choice of either saving it locally to your device or sharing it with your contacts.
That's one of the two major features added with the latest Nest app update. Read More
For more than a year, I have been using Enpass to save my passwords and other personal information, and absolutely loving it. I know there are alternatives, but for more reasons than I can count, Enpass is the best for me. If you're an Enpass user as well, there's probably one piece of the puzzle that you've been missing: Chromebook support. The existing Enpass Chrome extension only works if you are on a desktop computer with the Enpass app installed, so it's of no use on Chrome OS. But ever since Google announced Android apps would be able to run on Chrome OS, the Enpass dev has been hard at work making his app compatible with the platform. Read More
Most of my Todoist tasks are pharmacy orders that don't have a due date but that I attend to whenever suppliers call or drop by. However, I also use the service to stay on top of urgent orders and patient questions that I need to address as well as to manage my personal to-dos. The latter are the tasks that end up getting rescheduled day after day until I'm either bored and I remove the due date or I'm so sick of seeing them pop up that I decide to get them done.
It seems that I'm not alone. Todoist says that a "significant portion of users end up rescheduling 50, 60, 70 tasks day after day," and these were the inspiration for the new Smart Schedule feature. Read More