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WSJ: Facebook 'Instant Articles' will host news stories

05/03, 6:58pm

Publishers could receive larger percentage of advertising revenue from Facebook-hosted articles

Facebook may host news stories and articles on behalf of online publishers, to make it easier for users to share them throughout the social network, a report claims. Titled "Instant Articles," the service could start as soon as this month, with users expected to be able to click on and read content directly from within Facebook itself, instead of waiting for the publisher's site to load.


Dropbox Notes collaborative document editing surfaces in beta

04/27, 8:58am

Cloud storage service starts public testing of multi-user editing feature

Dropbox has started to publicly test a new note-taking service that could be competition for other online productivity services, such as Evernote. A beta sign-up page for the new service advises it is called Dropbox Notes, with it revolving around allowing individuals and groups to collaboratively write and edit a document, all at the same time.


Briefly: Google Maps image insults Apple, X-Files HD hits Netflix US

04/24, 9:07am

Image on Google Maps depicts Android mascot urinating on Apple

Users of Google Maps may find an odd image if they search Pakistan. Team Android reports someone has inserted an image of the Android mascot urinating on the Apple Logo. While it is unlikely to be an addition by a Google employee, it is possible that the image was added as part of Map Maker, a system that allows users to submit edits to the map for inclusion into the main Google Maps service, with the insulting image possibly overlooked during moderation.


Pointers: Creating a podcast, part three

04/22, 8:25pm

From raw audio file to 'ready-for-air' podcast file, plus hosting

Over the next couple of weeks, our Wednesday Pointers column will continue to be devoted to writing about how to create a podcast. In previous segments, we've talked about software and hardware one uses to record the audio that is the core of every podcast, either for live group conversations, VOIP-based group audio calls, or even if you're just recording yourself. We've discussed the different types of podcasts, and how to record the content suitable for each (basically, audio-only or enhanced with images, or full-on video). This time, we offer some editing tips, how to add in music/sound effects and artwork, and then lead into hosting and publishing your work.


Briefly: Sprint unveils new roaming plan, Bing updates mobile search

04/12, 12:57pm

Sprint International Value Roaming includes unlimited free texts, 2G data

Sprint has introduced a new International Value Roaming option that will provide free texts and 2G data to subscribers visiting a list of countries, including the United Kingdom, Japan, and Mexico, with calls in the countries priced at $0.20 per minute. Along with the new add-on, which can be included with a number of plans at no extra charge, travelers can acquire International Speed Data Roaming Passes, providing connections at 3G speeds. The three passes consist of 100MB of data at $15 for one day, 200MB at $25 for seven days, and 500MB of data for $50 for two weeks.


Hands On Tangent 1.7.4 (iOS)

04/06, 2:37pm

Quickly and easily add geometric elements to cell phone snaps

We do enjoy fiddling with the pictures we take with our phones and tablets; it's a great way to pass the time, and exercise a bit of creativity. Tangent by Pixite, is a relatively simple photo-manipulation app that provides a bunch of overlays and filters for users to play with. The primary attraction of Tangent are the geometric patterns and textures which can be used to increase of pull focus to a particular point in an image, and give it an interesting look.


Hands On: Blurify v1.1.1 (iOS)

04/03, 8:40am

Create sleek iOS 7 styled blurred backgrounds from your photos!

Every so often we come across an app that fills a niche we didn't even know existed -- but once we find out about it, we wonder how we lived without it before. One such app is Blurify, an app that aims at helping you create esthetically-pleasing images with just a single shake. Blurify does one thing, and it does it incredibly well -- analyze photos to create an attractive, iOS 7-styled wallpaper. The app is designed to be utterly foolproof, requiring minimal input from the user while still creating a visually-appealing result.


Hands On: Adobe Slate 1.0.1 (iPad)

04/03, 8:05am

New app lets you create stylish blogs and journals

Adobe continues its series of excellent and rather beautiful iPad apps with Adobe Slate 1.0.1, a free tool the company says is for telling stories with photos. And it is. It's also an attempt to get you into the Adobe ecosystem, but it does what it claims and makes concocting illustrated online articles very quick and stylish.


Hands On: Flic 1.63 (iOS)

03/27, 7:20am

It's like Tinder for your camera roll!

The app's full name in iTunes is "Flic – Delete & Manage Camera Roll and Easily Delete Photos to Increase Disk Space", but we're just going to call it "Flic" from here on out. Lifehack Labs says it's like Tinder for your camera roll (or Grindr, or whatever "swipe right for yes, left for no" dating app you prefer). In spite of it having a very simple function and interface, the developers -- Lifehack Labs -- put a lot of thought into Flic.


Google adding IE Pointer Events API to Chrome, releases Data Saver

03/26, 11:43pm

Google using Microsoft-created API to fix scrolling issues in Chrome

Google is going to be leaning on some Internet Explorer technology to fix scrolling and touch support in its Chrome browser. At the same time, Google has launched an extension for the desktop versions of Chrome which aims to reduce the amount of data used to surf the Internet, a feature that has already made an appearance on iOS and Android versions of the browser.


Hands On: Pimp Your Screen 2.95 (iOS)

03/22, 6:21pm

Customize your phone to be every bit as unique as you are

Phones are personal, which is probably why we spend such a large amount of time fussing over them. When it comes to personalization, we take our phone cases, our styluses, and our screen protectors very seriously, so it only makes sense that we'd think just as much about our wallpapers. That's where
Pimp Your Screen
comes in, an app that offers hundreds of high-quality wallpapers to help you make a statement with your iPhone.


Hands On: Enlight 1.0.1 (iOS)

03/20, 7:11am

One comprehensive app for photo editing on a mobile platform

Enlight by Lightricks wants to be your one-stop-app for editing, manipulating, and applying filters to your photos on iOS devices. We're pretty sure everybody can agree that the application of sweet filters and presets is certainly the easiest way to liven up an image, and Enlight certainly has its share of those. However, the app is also a full-featured image manipulation package with a clean-looking and easy-to-use interface.


Pixelmator iPad update 1.1 includes watercolor painting, color picker

03/19, 9:14am

Speed-boosting update to image editor free to existing users

The Pixelmator Team today released Pixelmator 1.1 -- a major update to its image editor for the iPad. Pixelmator 1.1 comes with a unique watercolor painting technology, a collection of artist-designed watercolor brushes, a new Color Picker, and stability and speed enhancements.


Briefly: China offers full iPad line, FiftyThree offers Think Kit

03/18, 12:39pm

Big China carriers now offering latest LTE-capable iPad models for first time

Apple's sales in China are set to further increase now that the country's second- and third-largest carriers will offer the Wi-Fi + Cellular versions of the latest iPads, the first time China Unicom and China Telecom have been able to do so. The special iPad models, which vary slightly from the North American and European versions, will support China's proprietary TD-LTE and FDD-LTE standards, as well as other LTE versions.


Briefly: T-Mobile 'Real Piece of Work' event, Google car insurance

03/08, 10:25am

T-Mobile invites media to event on March 18

T-Mobile has sent invitations to the media for an event in New York City on March 18. The only clue included in the invitation is "This one's a real piece of work," which could point towards something for enterprise use rather than consumers. While this event does not bear the "Uncarrier" branding T-Mobile has used for a number of its major events, Uncarrier 8.0, the most recent event in the series held in December, involved the launch of Data Stash, a rollover data plan for consumers.


Nvidia teases launch of GeForce GTX Titan X graphics card

03/04, 3:23pm

Titan X claimed to use 8 billion transistors, 12GB frame buffer

Nvidia is still producing new products in its Titan high-specification graphics cards range, with the company making an unexpected announcement during the Game Developers Conference. CEO Jen-Hsun Huang handed Epic Games CEO and founder Tim Sweeney the first GeForce GTX Titan X, declared by Huang to be the "most advanced GPU the world has ever seen."


Hands On: OmniGraffle 6 (OS X, iOS)

03/01, 4:39pm

First-class drawing tool for people who aren't first-class artists

Admit it: whether you're in the market for a drawing application or not, you're reading this in part because you hope to find out what a graffle is, and why you might one to be omni. We can't help you with the word, but we can say that OmniGraffle 6 for Mac is a superb tool for creating presentation graphics, design wireframes, and really just anything that you can draw more easily than you can write.


Facebook adds reporting tools to help in suicide prevention

02/26, 3:20pm

Support offered to Facebook users reported writing concerning updates

Facebook is introducing new tools to help prevent suicides. Working with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Now Matters Now, and other mental health organizations, users of the social network can report any posts they see where the author expresses suicidal thoughts or indicates they may be self-harming, with the possibility of a response from Facebook to the affected individual designed to help them.


Living With: Brother's HL-3170CDW LED Printer

02/19, 9:23am

Original review called the printer a solid choice, with uninspired photo printing

Editor's Note: today launches our "Living With" series, where periodically we'll revisit products that we've been privileged to live with for a while, and see how they've held up over time.

Printers are funny -- they generally have a much longer lifespan than the computers that they connect to, and a popular model may stick around for a decade or more: we still see Apple LaserWriters on active duty now and again. One of the complaints that was levied against us at the time of our original review of this printer was that we didn't have any significant cost-per-page metrics, or any comment on the longevity of the printer itself. In the limited time we generally spend with a product to assess, reviews don't (and can't) often address this. Electronista has been living with the Brother HL-3170CDW color laser printer for nearly two years now, though, so now we can comment on this.


Hands On: Folderol 1.95 (OS X)

02/17, 8:57pm

Customize and colorize your Mac folders

Folderol does one thing: it lets you change the color of any folder you drag on to it. There is slightly more to it than that, but this is its core function, and Folderol does it well. Think of it as OS X Yosemite's colored tags, just done bigger, brighter and without taking up a tag.


Hands On: Home Design 3D (OS X)

02/17, 1:40pm

Play dress-up for your house

Home Design 3D is for you if you're addicted to shows like HGTV's Dream House rather than, say, Selling New York. It's for property fans who already know that the way to choose the right color paint is to try some out on a box. Seriously. Get a large cardboard box and paint it: there is something about seeing that color on a surface with corners that really gives you a better feel than if you just toss a can of paint at your wall.


Daily Deals: 29-inch LG monitor, Asus gaming notebook, Destiny

02/16, 1:58pm

MacNN and Electronista deals for February 16, 2015

Welcome to today's Daily Deals, the regular post where we find the best offers and discounts for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Since it's a Monday, almost all the deals from last week have been swept away, with new deals on the list including an UltraWide 29-inch display from LG, an Asus gaming notebook, and half-price Destiny.


Facebook to let users choose what happens to account after death

02/12, 7:09pm

Legacy Contact allows for nominated person to manage account of deceased Facebook user

Facebook users will be able to dictate what happens to their profile after their death, thanks to some new account options. A new Legacy Contact system is being introduced which will allow users to specify who gets control of their account when they pass away, giving more flexibility over the profile contents than the current memorial account list presently offers.


Hands On: Paper (iOS)

02/10, 7:41am

Beautiful, simple drawing app for the iPad

The iPad has evolved into a versatile art tool almost from the very moment of conception, drawing in both established and novice artists. However, given the nature of the medium, artists can be seriously hampered by bad tools. Drawing apps can be so loaded with features that they get bogged down, Microsoft Word-style. If you find yourself wishing for a far more simple drawing app, check out Paper by FiftyThree.


Briefly: Google Knowledge Graph health, RadioShack store closures

02/10, 6:22am

Google adds medical details to Knowledge Graph

Google has updated its Knowledge Graph, used to provide extra details in search results for common subjects, with health-related information. Vetted by a team of doctors at Google and the Mayo Clinic for accuracy, the new cards will bring up details for common health conditions, including symptoms, treatments, commonality, if it is contagious, and other relevant points, along with illustrations for some conditions.


Hands On: Pencil Bluetooth stylus (cross platform)

02/09, 7:20am

Bluetooth stylus brings pressure sensitivity to iPad

Bluetooth styluses are a relatively new development for the iPad. They all offer some level of pressure sensitivity, ranging from 16 in the very cheap ones, to thousands of levels in the more expensive models, sometimes running well over $100. Seeing a market, big name developers like Wacom have entered the arena to design accessories to work with tablets. We checked out FiftyThree's Pencil -- one of the earlier entries into the field, and designed to go specifically with the company's Paper drawing app, though it can be used elsewhere.


Briefly: FontDoctor 10 release, Tweetbot returning for Yosemite

02/04, 8:40pm

FontDoctor 10 arrives for 64-bit OS X, offers bad font 'quarantine'

FontGear Inc. has released version 10 of FontDoctor for Mac. The software scans the fonts installed on a system to find and correct conflicts, or corrupt or damaged files, missing bitmaps and other problems that could cause performance issues. The Mac version of FontDoctor is compatible with OS X v10.7 (Lion) through to 10.10 (Yosemite), and costs $70 for a single use license. New features include continuous font health monitoring, a new Font Quarantine for damaged fonts, and full 64-bit compatibility.


Crowdfunding Critic: Typed blogging platform

02/04, 2:58am

Rapidweaver, Clear devs bring distraction-free writing to blog publishing

Every so often, we like to bring our readers' attention to crowdfunding efforts or projects that catch our eye and might be something you'd be interested in investing in. None of these crowdsourcing projects pay us or anything like that for the attention; we pick them based on what we think are their merits, and share them with you for your consideration for no reward, just the joy of helping cool new projects get off the ground. This week, we're looking at blogging platform Typed.


Specialist site publishes Mac survey of CAD, 3D design pros

02/02, 7:49pm

Architosh finds iMacs popular, need for more cores in Mac Pros

Some high-end professional vertical markets that have increasingly moved to the Mac platform in recent years are those of CAD users, 3D and visual effects artists, and other professional designers not normally associated with the "creative professional" tag, taking in everything from engineers to biomedical scientists. Mac advocacy site Architosh has recently run a survey of the industries, and found some surprising results.


Hands On: Mail Designer 2 and Mail Designer Pro 2 (OS X)

01/30, 4:29am

Create and send graphically designed email newsletters

If you just send a lot of ordinary emails, you can skip this. If you're in a company that already has designers in-house crafting gorgeous and on-message email newsletter designs, you can skip this. If you're in the middle, though, such as a small company sending out newsletters or HTML updates to a few thousand people, or even just the newsletter editor for a club with a few dozen scattered members, Mail Designer 2 and Mail Designer Pro 2 are worth looking at.


Briefly: Gmail 'Send Money' option in UK, Sky Go app on PlayStation 3

01/29, 5:58am

Google adds Send Money option to Gmail in United Kingdom

Google is adding the Send Money option to Gmail in the United Kingdom. Originally available to US users since 2013, the option allows users to attach funds to an outbound email by selecting the £ symbol, which can also be used to request money, with funds transferred between users via Google Wallet. The feature is rolling out to all Gmail users in the UK over the age of 18 in the coming weeks.


Hands On: PDFpen and PDFpenPro 7 (OS X, iOS)

01/27, 11:15pm

You'll want to use PDFs more when you've got one of these

Right, here's the thing: by the time we're done here, you really must own PDFpen for Mac. It's just a question of which version -- and it's a more complicated question than it might be. For while there's now a new version 7 and it introduces some excellent features, it introduces them in two editions -- PDFpen and PDFpen Pro -- yet its very best abilities are already right there in version 6. Plus, there is the iPad version which we've already said we rate very highly.


Hands On: Brushstroke (iOS)

01/26, 8:51am

Turn your favorite photos into digital oil paintings

There's a good chance that everyone reading this, at one point or another, has seen those "turn a picture into a painting or sketch" apps that were making the rounds a few years ago. More often than not, these ended up looking like nothing more than poorly-Photoshopped images -- which was essentially what they were. We checked out Brushstroke by Code Organa to see if it managed to improve on the technology.


Briefly: Facebook reducing hoax posts, AT&T unlimited calls to Mexico

01/21, 5:59am

Facebook attempts to reduce number of hoaxes in News Feed

Facebook is trying to reduce the number of fake or hoax stories that appear in a users News Feed. The social network will take into account whenever a user reports a post as a "false news story," as well as whenever users delete posts linking to an article, when deciding what is shown to other users. While Facebook will stop short of blocking the content entirely, it will give the flagged hoax a "reduced distribution" in News Feed, as well as adding a notice to the top of the post warning that users "have reported that this story contains false information."


Bloomberg: HTC preparing wearable device for MWC launch

01/19, 6:21pm

HTC smartwatch said to share data with Under Armour fitness platform

HTC may join Samsung in launching a wearable at Mobile World Congress in March alongside a new flagship. Though lacking in detail, a report claims the smartwatch will take advantage of a partnership between HTC and Under Armour, with the wrist-based tracker connecting to the sports apparel brand's own fitness service for health and fitness tracking.


Firefox 35 includes simplified Hello WebRTC video chat service

01/14, 1:05pm

Firefox Hello allows for video chats to take place within the browser

Firefox 35, the latest iteration of Mozilla's web browser, includes a more prominent and simplified version of its video chat service, among other changes. Included in Firefox 34 as an experiment, Firefox Hello is a free app based on WebRTC, which lets users create plugin-free conversations with other contacts all conducted from within the browser rather than in an external client.


Google Domains opened up to United States customers

01/13, 5:49pm

Google-supplied domain registration service includes Blogger integration

Google has expanded its beta domain registration service to the entire United States. Launched for private testing in the summer, Google Domains is the search engine's own domain registrar that allows users to purchase and manage their own domain names, something that appears to be a natural fit when combined with its other services, such as Google Apps for Business and Blogger.


Hands On: Pixelmator for iPad (iOS)

01/09, 8:47am

Superb image editor for iOS at a tremendous bargain price

Pixelmator for Mac is not Photoshop -- but it might as well be, for how those image editing features that it does have are powerful, and easy to use. It also might as well be for the majority of people who aren't full-time PS professionals. If your work needs Adobe Photoshop, then you know it -- and can make the decision about paying the modest subscription cost to use it. Pixelmator handles an ever-growing number of the most common image tasks that most people need, and we are particularly fans of the separate iPad version, which has recently been updated. Today, we're taking a look at that iPad version.


Hands On: Expert Shield Shortee Stylus (cross-platform)

01/07, 8:30am

Stop the screen-stick with the Shortee Stylus

When a person thinks of a stylus, largely they all think of the same thing: a lightweight, short, stubby plastic tube with a rubberized tip. There generally isn't much difference between a $3 stylus and a $30 stylus for the most part, and their faults are many. They're too lightweight, they're not comfortable to hold, and their rubber tip sticks easily to the screen of tablets and smartphones. There is one contender, though, a stylus that we feel actually breaks the mold: Shortee, by Expert Shield.


Hands On: PDF to ePub Converter (OS X)

01/04, 2:46pm

Prepare Kindle and iBooks versions of your PDF documents

Lets just cut through it -- if you need to convert PDF documents into the ePub format that iBooks or the Kindle app for iPad and Mac use, then the eponymously-named PDF to ePub Converter does the job. It's quick, and it's easy to use, plus it has options for setting different colors for the text and page background. It's biggest problem is that there aren't many situations when most people would need to use any converter at all: iBooks and Kindle both open and display PDF files natively.


Follow-up: Apple Stores now showcasing user-created art

01/02, 6:38pm

Gallery of Mac- and iOS-created photos, drawings expands from online to retail stores

Less than a week after having expanded its "Start Something New" campaign from its Japanese site to the US and most other global Apple sites, the company has begun adding some of the pictures from its curated collection of artwork made on Macs or iOS devices to selected retail stores. The campaign focuses once again on how users use the products to enhance their own lives, but this time focuses on active productivity in the form of artwork creation. Photographs, drawings and videos dominate the collection.


Apple goes global with 'Start Something New' ad campaign

12/31, 6:03pm

International, US websites showcase art made with Apple products

Having started a new ad campaign in Japan, Apple has expanded its "Start Something New" online art gallery to many of its international sites, including the US -- offering a curated collection of photos, illustrations and other pieces created using iOS or Mac hardware and software. As is typical for the company, the aim of the campaign isn't to blatantly push hardware as it is to provide inspiration to action, and showcase how people use the products rather than the products themselves. Apps such as VSCO Cam, Waterlogue, Final Cut Pro and Brushes 3 are among the apps featured.


Hands On: Scanner 2 PDF (iOS)

12/31, 2:49am

Basic but flawed iPhone camera scanner hides its best features

As great as the cameras are on our iPhones, the only reason to use them as document scanners is when you have no other choice. There are just too many inherent problems -- from the difficulty of focusing evenly, to how hard it is to just line up the paper edges consistently. Then, of course, if you do get it perfectly straight and perfectly lit, the instant you tap the iPhone screen you introduce a judder. Scanner 2 PDF aims to be that best scanner, and specifically to do one particularly important job well, but if it's got the features then it falls down on the execution.


Hands On: GraphicConverter 9 (OS X)

12/30, 1:14am

Converting graphics is just the start for this comprehensive image application

Perhaps you're used to getting a BMP image from a Windows user, and having to convert it to JPEG to make it usable online. If you do that a lot, you immediately see the benefit of software like GraphicConverter 9, which is best known for its conversion abilities – though you can also use Photoshop if you're the sort that does this for a living. Both can do myriad conversions, and you can set them up to run in batches: drag a folder full of images onto Photoshop, and it chugs through converting the lot for you. GraphicConverter does this too, but as part of a rather dizzying number of options. If you do any serious work with images, GraphicConverter is for you.


Hands On: Quick Paint image creation (OS X)

12/29, 6:48pm

Simple MS Paint-like app provides the basics for drawing and image editing

It doesn't seem to matter just how many drawing apps come around -- because sometimes, you still just want to have a really basic one that looks familiar right away. What ends up being deemed "familiar" can take many forms, of course, but in this instance we refer to the glory days (okay, maybe that is a tad hyperbolic) of MS Paint, which first appeared in Windows 1.0 and remains something of a cult favorite for "pixel art" and basic usage. Today, we are taking a hands-on look at a contemporary OS X equivalent, available for $5 on the Mac App Store: Quick Paint.


Microsoft allegedly working on new browser for Windows 10

12/29, 2:16pm

Spartan browser said to coexist in Windows 10 with Internet Explorer 11

Windows 10 may be accompanied by a new browser, a report claims. Microsoft is said to be working on a browser codenamed "Spartan," one which is said to be a lightweight browser that represents a fresh start from the current Internet Explorer browser, and may end up being a completely separate browser release rather than becoming Internet Explorer 12.


Hands On: Ortelius map-making software (OS X)

12/29, 7:30am

Make maps with this dedicated cartography illustration software

Ortelius is map-making software designed to be used by anyone -- from the amateur wanting to show you where the fire exits are, to the cartographer making maps for tourists. If you're doing this for a living, or at high resolutions for print publishing, then there are Geographic Information System applications and there are even fractal coastline-generating apps. Ortelius, by Mapdiva, is more for the non-specialist -- and it's made by the same company that does the similar but more general illustration package Artboard.


Twitter server fault logs out Android app users, affects TweetDeck

12/29, 6:55am

Server issue prevented logged-out users from signing back into Twitter

Users of Twitter found they were logged out of their account and unable to log back in, for a few hours earlier today. Primarily affecting users of the Twitter app on Android as well as the mobile site, the fault has since been rectified by the microblogging service, and though there has yet to be any official explanation for the outage, at least one Twitter user claims it to be a date-based issue.


Hands On: Artboard (OS X)

12/20, 11:24am

Illustration software that's easy to use

You take your life in your hands when you ask us to draw something. Look at the screenshots here, and tell us you can't tell that we're really writers with clipart. While it's obvious we don't spend all day coloring in fantastic illustrations, we do very often need to sketch out rough images -- and that's where Artboard shines. It is a fully-fledged illustration application of sufficient calibre that a full-time artist could work in it full-time -- but it is particularly suited to those of us who occasionally need a powerful tool, and don't want to dole out the cash for a monthly subscription to a software giant.


Briefly: Colbert Report in Street View, Netflix on Dish Hopper DVR

12/18, 6:16am

Google adds Colbert Report set to Street View using Business View

Google has recreated the set of The Colbert Report in Street View, in honor of the show's last episode. The virtual tour of the studio, including around the main desk and interview area, was created by Business View, a service which uses a Google-certified photographer or agency to take photographs at a location before generating the explorable 360-degree images.



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