Just what is Windows RT, anyway? (FAQ)

Posted by Harshad

Just what is Windows RT, anyway? (FAQ)

Just what is Windows RT, anyway? (FAQ)

Posted: 15 Jun 2012 06:15 PM PDT

Windows 8 almost ready to serve

What in the world is Windows RT?

Coming off of our previous coverage, you may have heard about Windows 8 and Windows RT as being different. While Microsoft has made a point of cutting down on the number of Windows 8 versions available when compared with previous Windows releases, the company is also making a limited Windows 8 version to run on ARM processors called Windows RT (WinRT).

What does "RT" stand for? "RT" is an abbreviation of Windows Runtime, the technical term for the engine that powers the new Metro apps. It's not the first Windows Runtime. The term "runtime" refers to the collection of application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow developers to write software that can interact with the hardware and each other.

What is Metro? Metro is the new user interface for Windows 8. Instead of icons, there are "tiles" that can surface information from the app in real-time.

So, what is WinRT? Basically, WinRT is the Metro side of Windows 8. But it does more than implement the Metro interface, it also simplifies much of the programming for Windows developers. Coding for Metro is significantly easier than writing a program for Windows 7 and earlier. This is important for Microsoft because it can now point to Windows 8 as an attractive place fo... [Read more]

Fun photography masking tools on iOS

Posted: 15 Jun 2012 05:44 PM PDT

(Credit: CNET)

There are a ton of image editors available for iPhone that let you play with photos -- many of which I've talked about here. But a specific set of editors lets you create a mask or let you superimpose one image on top of another for some really cool effects. Recently, a popular Mac photo editor made its way to iOS (the third in this collection) and I thought I would put together a few apps to see how they compare.

This week's collection of iOS apps let you add unique effects to your images. The first lets you superimpose images on top of each other and offers a ton of tools for tweaking the results. The second lets you blend images together and create masks to make them seem more realistic. The third doesn't bother with two images, but instead lets you add effects to only a portion of the image.

You'll need to adjust color levels to make the Cat who took over San Francisco believable.

(Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Superimpose (99 cents), true to its name, lets you superimpose images onto other images with sometimes beautiful, and sometimes silly results. The interface has a lot of elements and can be quite confusing at first, but with some practice you can make some pretty cool looking projects.

You start by loading a b... [Read more]

Use Nextcall to schedule calls, point out neglected contacts on Android

Posted: 15 Jun 2012 05:12 PM PDT

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You could keep your call logs for months at a time, but chances are your phone wouldn't appreciate that too much. Instead, take a look at Nextcall.

This app will help you see how long it has been since you were in touch with someone. Additionally, it will let you schedule calls with someone every X days or weeks. This can come in handy if you need to remember to follow up with someone for business. Sure, you could add them to your calendar and get a reminder, but it might get lost among all the other things you have scheduled. Here's how to get started:

Step 1: Download and install Nextcall on your Android device. Once installed, run the app.

(Credit: Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET) Step 2: Click on the Add Contact image in the app.

(Credit: Screenshot by Nico... [Read more]

Take quick notes on your Android tablet with Hovernote

Posted: 15 Jun 2012 05:09 PM PDT

Hovernote on the home screen of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

(Credit: Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET)

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Android is great about multitasking in the sense that background applications will be suspended where you left them. That means you can go back and look at the previous app you were using, but it's going to be in full-screen covering whatever you're trying to look at now. This makes note-taking for research really difficult when you're always having to tab back and forth and can only see one app at a time.

Hovernote seeks to remedy this issue by adding a floating notepad to your Android tablet screen. That way, you can read a Web site and take your notes at the same time.

Download a copy of Hovernote for your Android device. Desp... [Read more]

Freeware Friday: Non-Retina edition

Posted: 15 Jun 2012 01:56 PM PDT

This was a big week for Apple and fans of the MacBook and OS X lineup. But if you have Windows, you might realize that many of the upcoming features for Mountain Lion have already been readily available in some way or form. For this week's Freeware Friday, check out the following apps to access voice control, sync chats with your phone, set reminders, and more.

Dictation alternative: Speech-powered computing might seem like a radical new implementation for many Mac users with the upcoming Mountain Lion, but both Windows and Mac users have had access to voice-control options well before even Kinect came around. In Windows 7, users can enable Speech Recognition to control their computer tasks by vocalizing various commands. Speech Recognition also learns to improve its recognition of your voice by developing a detailed profile of your speech as you use it. To set up speech recognition:

  1. Click the Start button, then go to the Control Panel.
  2. Click Ease of Access Center, and then click "Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard."
  3. Select Use Speech Recognition, then Set up Microphone and follow onscreen instructions.

Check out this list of common commands you can dictate to Windows. Talking to a PC doesn't seem so crazy anymore now, does it?

iMessage alternative: The upcoming iMessage finally brings enhan... [Read more]

Open social-reader links on Facebook without installing them

Posted: 15 Jun 2012 11:34 AM PDT

(Credit: Facebook)

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Facebook is a place for sharing (and sometimes oversharing) information between friends and family. As of the last few months, more and more "social reader" apps have been making their way to your Facebook timeline. You'll see that a friend watched a video on something like SocialCam, and when you go to click the video, you're asked to grant the service access to your Facebook.

SocialCam asking for permission to access your Facebook account.

(Credit: Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET)

Instead of authorizing a bunch of social-reader apps to post on your Facebook wall or gain access to ... [Read more]

Get better file management on Android with Solid Explorer

Posted: 15 Jun 2012 10:48 AM PDT

(Credit: Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET)

Android design has come a long way -- and evidently so has at least one file explorer app. Solid Explorer is a fully featured file management app with menu organization that makes sense paired with a classy user interface.

Generally when you open a file explorer you'll just see a directory listing, a few feature buttons, and maybe even a search box to look for specific files. Solid Explorer puts apps like these to shame with its arsenal of features.

Dual-panel file browsing in Solid Explorer.

(Credit: Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET)

Dual-panel browsing is the next step for Android file browsers and Solid Explorer knows it. Why would you want to copy a file and then navigate somewhere entirely different in the same window instead of using a drag-drop method? The two panels work independently of each other (swipe between them in portrait or view side-by-side in landscape) and allow you to easily move things around.

Menu options in Solid Explorer.

(Credit: Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET)

In addition to easy organization tools, you can also create ZIP, TAR, and RAR archives from files on your device. And if that's not ... [Read more]

Developer gets iOS 6 3D Maps to run on iPhone 4

Posted: 15 Jun 2012 06:16 AM PDT

Apple's Maps feature in iOS 6.

(Credit: Apple)

Apple's new Maps feature is arguably one of the most anticipated to come to iOS 6. However, its 3D integration won't work on an iPhone 4. Until now.

Anton Titkov, an iOS developer in Russia, has found a way to get 3D Maps running on the iPhone 4. Dubbed 3DEnabler, the application requires users to jump through several hoops just to make it happen, including jailbreaking iOS 6 and installing third-party software. In other words, it won't be easy.

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Apple has said that 3D in Maps will only work on the iPhone 4S, iPad 2, and new iPad, ostensibly because those products feature more firepower than the iPhone 4. In a video showcasing his hack, however, Titkov showed how fluidly the 3D function works on the iPhone 4.

Aside from 3D, Apple has s... [Read more]

Dropbox to kill off public folders?

Posted: 15 Jun 2012 05:47 AM PDT

The new link feature on Dropbox.

(Credit: Ed Rhee/CNET)

Dropbox's public folders might soon be a thing of the past.

According to German site Mobiflip (Translate), Dropbox has e-mailed developers, informing them that as of August 1, public folders will no longer be supported by the service. Public folders will be officially replaced by a new Link feature the company announced in April, according to the e-mail.

"After July 31, we will no longer create Public folders in any new Dropbox accounts," the e-mail reportedly reads. "If your app depends on Public folders, we recommend switching to the /shares API call. Public folders in existing accounts, however, will continue to function as before."

Dropbox's public folders have become one of the easiest ways for users to share files over the Web. Users need only to drop the file into their public folder and direct folks to it, who can then download it. With the new links function, however, Dropbox users need to choose the "get link" option to share a file or folder with others.

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