Checkmark offers slick location-based reminders

Posted by Harshad

Checkmark offers slick location-based reminders

Checkmark offers slick location-based reminders

Posted: 18 Jul 2012 06:18 PM PDT

You'll start by setting up your most frequently visited locations.

(Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Apple's Reminders app, introduced in iOS 5, works perfectly well at notifying you according to your time- or location-based criteria. But a new app called Checkmark (99 cents for a limited time) gives you location-based reminders using your GPS and important locations you enter, and with a great-looking interface that's easy to navigate.

You start by adding locations important to you such as Home, Work, the Gym, and a friend's house you often visit. You can locate yourself via GPS, but you also can search for an address on a map and add a location pin that way. The next step is creating reminders based on your locations. I chose a few that pertain to my life, like "Don't forget your iPad!" tied to my home location so I would remember to bring it to work. I also have to do laundry this evening so I put in a reminder to "Do laundry!" when I enter into the radius of my Home location. You also have the option to set Checkmark to remind you a set amount of time after you arrive. This might come in handy, for example, if you wanted to ask about a book your friend owned, but didn't want to... [Read more]

Apple releases update for 2012 MacBooks

Posted: 18 Jul 2012 03:56 PM PDT

Apple has issued an update for its latest MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models that were released in 2012, which addresses a couple of issues where the system's processors unnecessarily use too much power and can drain battery lives, and also addresses compatibility issues with some USB devices.

The update is a 76.64MB download that includes new versions of I/O kernel extensions and frameworks, the Dock application, and some shared resources including desktop pictures, user icons, and system sounds. Apple recommends this update for all of its new systems, which may help address problems with USB devices interfering with Wi-Fi signals, or potentially freezing or showing slower performance.

Recently a number of 2012 MacBook Air users have been experiencing audio problems with Apple's Thunderbolt display, but unfortunately these issues appear to be continuing for users after they have applied this update.

The update should be available through Software Update for applicable systems, so be sure to check through this service (available in the Apple menu) for the update. However, the update is also available as a standalone download from Apple's Web site. The update requires OS X 10.7.4 to install.

As always, be sure you back up yo... [Read more]

New Chrome feature frees Web apps from the browser

Posted: 18 Jul 2012 02:26 PM PDT

With Chrome packaged apps, Google supplies new tools to let programmers control standalone window characteristics.

(Credit: Google)

Google has taken a new step to significantly expand what Web apps can do -- and thus also lend new muscle to its Chrome browser, Chrome OS browser-based operating system, and Chrome Web Store for finding and buying Web apps.

This week, Google released a new developer version of Chrome 22 that by default enables a technology called Chrome packaged apps.

This foundation is designed to expand what Web apps can do by giving them the standalone look of a native personal-computer app and some native-app privileges that Web apps ordinarily wouldn't have. They load from a computer's storage system, not the network, and work offline by default, but they're built with the same programming techniques as ordinary Web apps: HTML for content, CSS for formatting and effects, and JavaScript for the brains of the operation.

"Packaged apps will no longer be tied to the browser," said Chrome team member Erik Kay in a video about Chrome packaged apps. "Rather than running as a tab inside of Chrome, packaged apps can be launched from outside of Chrome, have their own top-level windows, and generally behave like first-class ... [Read more]

Microsoft's Office 15 intro comes without iPad flavor

Posted: 18 Jul 2012 04:00 AM PDT

(Credit: Microsoft)

For months, the Web teemed with rumors that Microsoft would launch Office for the iPad, making it the first touch-focused platform for the cash cow productivity suite.

But when Microsoft unveiled the next version of Office this week, it was clear the iPad would have to wait.

In an interview with CNET, Office division President Kurt DelBene said Microsoft's own Windows is the priority for the newest version of Office. The new touch-friendly productivity suite will debut on Windows 8, which launches in October, in large part because the operating system is the best showcase for Microsoft's application suite.

"We have a unique opportunity with Windows 8 style applications to push that even further," DelBene said.

DelBene didn't specifically address when, or even if, Microsoft would release a version of Office for the iPad, the dominant platform for touch-based tablet computing. But he made it clear that Microsoft would give Windows tablets the first crack at what for many companies remains a must-have application.

Of course, tablets running Windows 8 will need all the help they can get to compete against the iPad. The new Windows will be the first version of the dominant operating sy... [Read more]


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