Windows 8 apps are meant to be run from the Windows 8 Start screen and in full-screen mode. You can snap them to the side of the Start screen, but they're still limited to the Start screen. If you're simultaneously using desktop programs and apps, you'll have to toggle between your desktop and Start screen to use them. This inefficient back and forth can be alleviated with the use of a program called ModernMix. ModernMix, just released by StarDock as a public beta, aims to give Windows 8 users the flexibility to run Windows 8 apps right … Read more
Everything on a Mac looks so polished on the outside that it may become unclear how to fine-tune settings under the hood of its graphical interface. Cocktail for Mac allows you to access an impressive number of useful tweaks and enhancements without entering a single line of code.
Cocktail for Mac can manually trigger maintenance scripts, optimize inactive RAM manually or periodically, toggle Spotlight indexing for chosen drives, force special startup modes, and access a lot of the hidden Finder and core app settings, to name just a few options. By "hidden," we mean those settings that are … Read more
One of the newer features in OS X is the Launchpad interface, which offers an iOS-like approach to application management in which programs are organized in a full-screen grid. While this interface should show the applications you have installed, sometimes you may find it missing a few that you need.
Unfortunately Apple does not offer any options for configuring Launchpad to add programs. If you hold the Option key when Launchpad is open, then, as with iOS, the programs will wiggle and allow you to collect them into folders or delete those you purchased from the Mac App Store; however, … Read more
In my kitchen I have this great Fluance speaker dock -- well, great except that it doesn't have Bluetooth. If I want to listen to music, I have to plop my iPhone onto its 30-pin connector.
Or not, if I plop an Auris onto it instead. This Kickstarter-spawned gizmo can turn that dock into a Bluetooth speaker, able to play wireless audio from my iPhone, iPad, Android device, Windows phone, or anything else capable of Bluetooth streaming.
Update: This product now goes by the name Auris freeDa.
Neat, huh? No wonder this Kickstarter campaign earned more than three times … Read more
Driving and smartphones don't mix well. While you can get a lot done using voice commands with Siri on your iPhone, you still have to activate her. If you're driving, that can take valuable seconds away from paying attention to the road. The AirDock Kickstarter project is looking to make Siri air-activated rather than fingertip-activated.
AirDock is described as "in-car, eyeless Siri." That means you don't have to take your gaze off the road to use it. The prototype version of the AirDock involves a suction-mount dock you put your iPhone into. A plastic tube with a squeeze bulb on the end sticks out from it. Squeeze the air bulb to push the home button, turn on the phone, and activate Siri.… Read more
The Samsung Galaxy S3 (and Note 2) has a neat feature when docked to a Samsung multimedia dock; it can automatically display the desk home screen. The desk home screen is a useful display with a clock, calendar, local weather and multimedia shortcuts. It's a nice companion display when you're charging your S3 at your desk. However, you don't necessarily need a dock to use the desk home screen.
If you're using a third-party smartphone stand with a separate charger, you can still make use of the desk home screen.
To use the desk home screen, … Read more
If you have a laptop system, you might be familiar with the frustrations that can be involved with using it in a desktop environment where you might need to clear a space on your desk to set it up, or have it sit awkwardly to the side while you connect a keyboard, mouse, an adapter for an external display, and other peripherals.
There are several options available to help in these situations, with one that I recently outlined being the new Thunderbolt docking solutions that are beginning to enter the market. While these options reduce the number of cables to … Read more
Normally, you spend dinner over a hot bowl of instant ramen, silently weeping and watching your salty tears mix with the steaming broth. Banish that loneliness by sharing your meal with a companion that won't give you a hard time or ask when you're getting married. The anti-loneliness ramen bowl will hold your smartphone at the ready so you'll never eat alone again.
The bowl is the creation of design firm MisoSoupDesign. The bowl itself is very sculptural, but the highlight is the smartphone holder that keeps your favorite tech buddy at the ready while you're chowing down.… Read more
When it comes to choosing a bookshelf speaker, you're often forced to decide between one with a dock and one that supports Bluetooth.
Thankfully, you can have the best of both worlds. Today only, and while supplies last, Tech.woot has the refurbished XtremeMac Tango TRX Bluetooth speaker with 30-pin dock for $39.99, plus $5 for shipping. It originally sold for $179.99, and the best price I've seen elsewhere (for a new unit) is $99.
As you can see in the photo, the Tango TRX sports a dock that can accommodate nearly any iPhone, iPod, or … Read more
Nexus 7 owners will soon be able to pick up an Asus-made dock for their Asus-made tablet.
Citing a "reliable source," The Verge says that Asus will offer the dock in the U.S. within the next two weeks at a price tag of $39.99.
Though the Nexus 7 is branded and sold under Google's name, Asus is the actual manufacturer. Asus has been busy demoing the new dock at CES this week.