Apps

Cut Back on the Hot Toddies, while you're at it

5 Apps for Refocusing this Fall

Summer's out, fall's in -- time to start knuckling down again. Just do it in a smart, mindful way. These five apps will help.

Buying Guide
Smile, You're On Camera

The New Guard of Home Security

Is Scout Alarm the home security solution for the next generation? We spent a few months with it to find out.

Bend an Ear

Serial, and Putting Longform Radio Back on the Map

Despite overflowing Twitter feeds, unending notification pings, busier schedules, and a lust for just getting to the point, there’s an opportunity for the podcast to tell stories worth paying attention to.

Decrypted
An e-bike with a brain

The Bicycle Wheel, Reinvented

With the highly anticipated Copenhagen Wheel, from MIT-born Superpedestrian seeks to improve urban biking. In an increasingly crowded e-bike market, it might be the most successful attempt so far.

Master your domain like never before

5 Essentials for the Well-Connected Home

The next frontier for mobile devices and connected technology is all about the physical domain. Phrases like "smart home" and "the internet of things" are creeping into our collective vocabulary; can those lofty ideas really change your life? Considering the advanced features offered by smart home essentials, and the answer should be obvious.

Sponsored
You can't bullshit your health data

Decrypted: Caution in the Age of the Quantified Self

Tracking your health and fitness with the help of smartphone apps and wearables is fun and motivating; auto insurers are now allowing drivers tracking options to prove their safety and save money. But for consumers, there are also troubling implications looming concerning how a person's digital portrait can be used and the security of important data.

Wear Them Well

The State of Wearables, 2014

Wearable tech is a growing and increasingly diverse market; they all track distance and calories, and most tell time. They all have their pitfalls -- battery life, compatibility, reliability, size, price -- but what determines the best device is your individual needs. Do you need to streamline your workflow or measure how streamlined your backstroke is? Do you need a sleek timepiece or do you dig the outright nerdy look? Weigh your responses and use our guide of the best options.

Buying Guide
Wearable Replacement? There are apps for that

Who Needs Wearables? These Smartphones and Apps Might Be All You Need

The ostensible benefit of smart watches and health trackers, as far as health goes, is that they allow you to monitor your calories, heart rate, and step count with previously unmatched accuracy. Truth is, a number of upcoming smartphones paired with worthy fitness tracking apps make fitness-tracking wearables redundant.

Is High-Tech High Fashion the Future of Wearables?

Fashion Brands Bank on Wearables, Starting at the U.S. Open

Buff male models and scrawny U.S. Open ball boys strolled silently around Ralph Lauren HQ on Monday, standing on platforms and lifting their arms and turning slowly when asked; they were showing off the latest wearable fitness technology, though it was hard to tell. The smart accessories weren't big-screened watches, blocky chest straps or pinned-on step counters: they were their shirts.

A pocket-sized whiskey connoisseur

In Distiller, a Whiskey App Aimed at Educating the Masses

Brent Stiefel and Mikael Mossberg didn’t know much about whiskey when they met up for drinks in May of 2011. Like many people navigating an ocean of Scotch and bourbon, they "were intimidated by folks with mustaches", Stiefel says, but didn’t want to drain their bank accounts by buying every bottle to learn more about what they liked and what they didn't. Feeling a booze-filled higher calling to drink better (and more), the two began drawing up plans for the ideal whiskey resource they'd been searching for but never found.

A Comprehensive Guide to Ignoring Friends and Family

The 50 Best iPhone & iPad Games

Consoles don't provide much in the way of portability (anyone else ever own this masterpiece of engineering?), and grown men carrying Gameboys often attract the wrong kind of attention, but mobile games offer interactive experiences on the devices that most of us carry every day. They allow us a bit of serenity when we need it most -- in the airport, on the subway, at a questionable mid-life Bris. Here, we've provided a list of 50 of the best games made for iOS. Play at the risk of your relationship.

Buying Guide
Little Life Hacks

10 Empowering Apps for the Everyday

Though they plague us with unfettered access to gossip sites and Flappy Bird, there’s plenty our smartphones can do to actually improve quality of life. Baby steps in the right direction -- for instance, apps that aid productivity, fitness, travel, language and more -- can cancel out your brain-rotting mini-game addictions and provide the small impetus you need to get out and do. These ten are helping us at the moment, and they won't complicate your finances, either: the majority are free.

Buying Guide
The Start of a Smarter Home

Life With Iris: Installation

Much of what simplifies our lives has become effortless. Typing with our thumbs in swipes and stabs while our car parks itself in front of the restaurant that serves those Instagram-worthy dishes can be learned and perfected before the next status update hits our social media feeds. It truly is a brave new world -- and it doesn’t have to begin outside your doorstep. The same levels of remote control can now just as easily be had for your home thanks to the Iris Home Management System ($179+) from Lowe's.

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Like Mike

94Fifty Smart Basketball

It seems like everything is becoming quantified these days. Not to be left out, the data-mining 94Fifty Bluetooth Sensor has made its way into one of America's most popular sports. 94Fifty Bluetooth Sensor Basketballs ($300), made in partnership with Spalding, are the first digital sports products to be embedded with inertial motion sensors, serving up coaches and players with various metrics concerning ballhandling, shooting, jump-explosion, defensive foot-speed agility and athleticism.

GP100
Keep Skimmin'

Feed Me: Great Alternatives To Google Reader

The internet cognoscenti's response to Google Reader's shut-down announcement has been incredible. Yet the fact remains: as of July 1st, the longstanding browser-based RSS compiler with a social streak will be shuttered. Luckily, a host of opportunistic companies and long-standing competitors to Reader have scrambled to make viable alternatives. So which life boat should you swim to? Gather, ye huddled masses of Internet refugees. We’ve come up with the best alternatives to Google Reader ready to take you in.

Buying Guide
Meet the media manager of the future -- and it's not made by apple

Qvivo is the Cloud Media Solution of Your Dreams

Qvivo is a new cloud media service startup that claims to succeed where most others have failed in offering a dream streaming solution for video and music fans with large digital libraries. Starting at $1.99 a month, Qvivo offers unlimited cloud storage for movies, tv shows and music that can then be streamed through any modern web browser. We put the service through its paces and came away extremely impressed.

Bolster your photo app-titude

Hot Shot: Five Apps to Help You Shoot Like a Pro

Whether you're trying to capture the grandeur of the Grand Canyon or just snapping a selfie of your abs (not again, Anthony Weiner!), utilizing a set of great photo apps is key. Give the Earlybird Instagram filter a break and read up on our five favorite photo apps.

Buying Guide
Make like Stirling Moss

Kit: Summer Driving

It's hard to believe how different a hot commute in hair-pulling traffic can be from a balmy mid-afternoon drive on an open road in the countryside -- both in the same car. Nothing brings back the freedom of summer like a great drive, and unless you're cursed with a 36-month lease of a kiddie-hauler that now smells like sour milk, it's high time you planned just such a trip. Now it's time to get you equipped.

Buying Guide
Find your digital training partner

Computer Aided Drafting: 5 Innovative Training Technologies for Cycling

You can't manage what you don’t measure. That is true for endurance athletes tracking caloric expenditure and substrate utilization or weekend warriors just looking to stay fit. It is nearly impossible to know if you are getting stronger, faster and leaner without some tools for measurement. Thanks to our rapacious demand for data, we’ve seen an explosion in the number of devices and services to help improve performance, from GPS to power meters to physiological testing services. But even with all these advancements, we still find ourselves asking more of the the same questions: What should I measure? What do I do with the data? What technology should I actually buy? To help answer these questions we've got five training technologies that will help give context to your rides, improve your performance and best your training buddies.

Kit
Wear your heart on your chest

Under Armour Armour39 System

It's apparently no longer enough to wear one's heart on one's sleeve -- or wrist. Under Armour's new Armour39 system attacks the digital performance monitoring question with a new "bug" device, which comes with a special sleeve that straps to the chest; like other bluetooth-enabled fitness computers, it records exercise data and stores it in the cloud.

Soup up for the Superbowl

THX Tune-Up App

Properly calibrating your TV and sound system is essential for getting the best picture and sound out of your gear -- but few do it. Short of hiring a professional to take the work off of your plate, DIY solutions are grim: buying special discs and wading through various complex menus to get the job done. The THX Tune-Up App (Free, for now, $2 later) is a welcomed update to the process in a smartphone-dominated world.

A Plant Tracker To Root For

Parrot Flower Power Plant Monitor

For obsessive but absent-minded tech geeks whose thumbs are jonesin’ to go green, the Flower Power app by Parrot is the perfect gardener on the cheap. Using a wireless bio-dongle — a kitschy divining-rod-shaped device that plugs into the soil next to your budding buddy — the app monitors plants’ stats in real time. Data...

CES 2013
Carpe Vita!

1 Second Everyday App

If the world really does end on the 21st, this app will be useless. But if Zero Hour doesn’t hit, 1 Second Everyday could be a life changer. Using your iPhone camera, this personal hobby turned TED Talk turned funded Kickstarter project chronicles your life one second at a time. Its creation story is blessedly...

An App for your Aorta

Cardiio

Nowadays, there are more health-monitoring apps than we can shake a Powerbar at. The Cardiio ($5) uses accurate (and somewhat mind-blowing) MIT innovations to give you a simple, easily obtained BPM heart rate. Just point your iPhone’s front-facing camera at your face, and Cardiio measures the light reflection on your skin (which is directly affected...

Rosetta Phone

Word Lens

Remember those foreign language credits you needed back in the day to graduate? We didn’t think so. Luckily for you globetrotter, Word Lens, is a free iPhone and Android App that allows users to view language translation via augmented reality in (get this) real-time. But what does that mean? After unlocking your phone, click on...

National Parks? There's an app for that.

National Geographic National Parks App

A wise man uses his smartphone on vacation for rare occasions only — ok, and maybe some Angry Birds slingin’, too. The National Parks app by National Geographic (free, $1 per park guide) has us reconsidering that though. With its comprehensive and stunningly beautiful design, exploring 20 of America’s most popular parks has never been...

What’s over there? Tilt to find out.

Condition One Immersive iPad App

If you’re really into watching or making movies, immerse yourself even further with the Condition ONE app. The startup’s groundbreaking video technology allows users to explore capturing full motion video at 180-degrees using the iPad, with full panning and tilting ability. Backed by some bigwig investors (like Mark Cuban), interaction with the video is an...

Look Ma, no ruler

MagicPlan

Need a floor plan? Well, you could mooch off your architect friend, track down the original contractor (good luck), or heaven forbid, grab a tape measure and do it yourself. Or you could just whip out your iOS device and download MagicPlan (Free), a clever augmented reality app from Sensopia, which leverages the camera on your...

Adobe Kitchen Sink 6

Adobe Creative Suite 6 & Creative Cloud

Addressing every last shred of your right brain, the new Adobe Creative Suite 6 is the definitive collection of creative apps applications. Whether you design, code for the Web, cut video, sketch, or crop-stitch-and-sharpen photos for your blog, the 14 applications that make up CS6 leave nary a creative stone unturned. The flagship, of course,...

Math Faster

Rechner Calculator App

Bean counting has never been our strong suit, which is why we studied our 12c and TI instruction manuals like a boss back in the day. As technology progressed, we thought our math skills on the iPhone were still pretty snappy, until we came across the Rechner Calculator. The uber-sleek design is what draws users...

Where's the beef? On your iPad of course.

Pat LaFrieda’s Big App for Meat

Steve Jobs always said the iPad was magical. We didn’t think our shiny tablets deserved that level of praise, though, until we laid eyes on the 360-degree interactive rotating meat cuts found in Pat LaFrieda’s Big App for Meat ($7). As a modern day manual for carnivores of all strips, the app contains detailed information...

Fuel to the fire

Road Inc.

Question: what does over one million dollars worth of app production and development entirely for the celebration of iconic classic cars look like? Answer: Road Inc. ($10). From the Murciélago to the Mulliner Fastback Bentley Continental R, the original Model T to the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, Road is quite possibly one of the most...

There's an App for That Too

iHealth

When you were a young boy, you could eat eight hot dogs at dinner, sleep two hours, run around for 12 hours without stopping, break your arm and heal in about fifteen minutes. As we mature that changes, and we are introduced to words like metabolism, prostate, ROTH IRA and hypertension. And in this culture...

Might as well call it iPutt

Ping iPing App

Agent Smith: “Do you hear that sound Mr. Anderson? … that is the sound of inevitability”. And pictured right is also an inevitability. Merging the infinite possibilities of apps and the relenteless frustration of putting, Ping has developed the iPing App (free), and a corresponding cradle ($30). When combined the two serve as a bona...

A touch closer to the real thing

Pix & Stix

The GarageBand app for the iPad 2 showcases the power of Apple’s darling of gadgetdom like few other apps. No matter how visually pleasing, or “delightful” the UI is, though, tapping out beats or virtual picking still just doesn’t feel right to practiced musicians. That’s where Pix and Stixs ($16) can help. Each pack includes...

It Could Change Everything

Color for iPhone and Android

Imagine walking into your favorite dive bar, opening an app, and viewing all of the photos you’ve taken within 150 ft of that location with your buddies over the years, along with shots snapped by other patrons who were willing to share. Now imagine if you could see that kind of photographic record everywhere you...

App at its Best

Esquire iPad App, and an Opinion

The iPad may not be a magical savior of magazines, but the fact that it’s the best-selling gadget of all time makes it an undeniable game changer that can’t be ignored. Esquire, known for embracing new technologies, has been curiously quiet (GQ has had an iPad app for a better part of this year) but...

Like A Spidey Sense For The Rest of Us

Awareness! The Headphone App By Essency

iPhones, iPods, and all manner of other portable music players have certainly made it easier for us to constantly admire our music collection. There is a downside to everyone having headphones in their ears though. The fact is, when you’re focused on Ke$ha blabbing in your ear it’s easy to tune out that Escalade gunning...

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