We're already smitten with Dropbox, the cloud-based backup software that makes easy work out of synchronizing files across different locations and PCs, but now we're nothing short of love struck. With the release of Dropbox Anywhere for Android, iPad, and BlackBerry, the developers have kicked things up a notch in a huge way.
"With the innovation and growth in mobile computing, the industry is shifting from a PC and desktop centric model to one where our daily computing experience spans multiple devices and locations," said Drew Houston, CEO and founder of Dropbox. "By providing seamless and ubiquitous access to users' files and media in the most popular phones and tablets, Dropbox Anywhere helps deliver on the promise of the new mobile model, and makes using these devices more productive and fun."
Dropbox was already available for the iPhone, and now users of other mobile OSes can access, manage, and share files from a variety of devices. It also includes developer capabilities so that Dropbox's file-access and syncing features can be baked directly into their mobile apps, the company said.
Dropbox for Android and iPad are available now, with the BlackBerry app expected to ship this summer.
Apple has always been a "my way or the highway" type of company, but its recently declared war on "sexy apps" in the application store has been making developers rather nervous. The most frustrating part for developers that had their applications pulled wasn't just that their lively hood was in jeopardy, but it was the simple fact that they had no idea what Apple considered as "adult". This is a question App Store developer Jon Atherton has addressed on his blog, and the list of reasons why his Wobble application has been pulled is pretty draconian.
1. No images of women in bikinis (Ice skating tights are not OK either) 2. No images of men in bikinis! (I didn't ask about Ice Skating tights for men) 3. No skin (he seriously said this) (I asked if a Burqa was OK, and the Apple guy got angry) 4. No silhouettes that indicate that Wobble can be used for wobbling boobs (yes - I am serious, we have to remove the silhouette on the menu screen) 5. No sexual connotations or innuendo: boobs, babes, booty, sex - all banned 6. Nothing that can be sexually arousing!! (I doubt many people could get aroused with the pic above but those puritanical guys at Apple must get off on pretty mundane things to find Wobble "overtly sexual!) 7. No apps will be approved that in any way imply sexual content (not sure how Playboy is still in the store, but ...)
Regardless of whether or not you think this is a positive move by Apple, its clearly unfair to developers to constantly keep pulling the rug out from under them, most of the time without any warning. What do you think?
I've been a stalwart user of TweetDeck for all my 140-character messaging needs for quite some time now. But that's the problem with having a favorite freeware program: Your devotion to a tried-and-true application could be preventing you from reaching out and discovering a program that does an even better job. I mean, TweetDeck--awesome as can be--sure isn't perfect. There are a few features I wish I could get my hands on and, conversely, a few features I wish I could excise from the program with one almighty keystroke.
So all this got me thinking. I cover a lot of apps in these weekly Freeware Files roundups. But apps typically go through a number of changes throughout their lifespans. For better or worse, not every app is always going to look like it does when it's been profiled in a Freeware Files column. And with new programs entering the freeware fray at all times, what's a great recommendation one day might turn out to be an average or dull recommendation the next.
So, instead of just profiling five different Twitter apps this week, I'm going to make this more of a challenge. TweetDeck has been a top Twitter application on the market for some time now. What has it been up to since we last took a look at the software. More importantly, what other apps have risen the occasion to challenge--or topple--this killer program?
I'll preface: not that kind of hardcore file management. And I'll promise: I will do my best to not make some kind of witty reflection about how it's the new year, and you should really use this time to finish that big resolution of getting your computer's file system all tidy and organized, et cetera. Only, I just said that. And that's exactly what this first Freeware Files of the 2010 is about. Enclosed within the bits and bytes of this post are five killer applications that are designed to help out your cluttered, aging file system by hunting down junk, helping you organize, and giving you new ways to tackle issues that bugged you in 2009.
There's no freeware app that's going to get me to stop with this extended metaphor, unfortunately. But don't let that keep you away from the helpful programs found within the bowels of this very post. Need an app that better manages your Windows 7 libraries? Got it. Need a way to recover deleted files from a USB key? Fear not. Want to catalog and delete the duplicate files taking up unnecessary space on your system? Get ready to itch that trigger finger.
Those are but mere snippets of the full assortment of apps in this week's roundup. If frustrating file issues and a steadily decreasing amount of hard drive space makes you mad, then angrily click the jump with all your might--solutions are but mere moments away!
Cisco set out to put defense capabilities of Cisco Security Intelligence Operations (SIO) in the hands (literally) of IT managers, and has done so with the availability of Cisco SIO To Go, an Apple iPhone app.
The software gives IT pros real-time access to various actionable global security information, while also serving up several customization options for security information that could potentially help protect a business network.
Cisco's app includes real-time alerts and threat mitigation solutions from sources that include more than 700,000 globally deployed Cisco secuirty devices. It also includes Cisco IntelliShield, a historical-threat database of 40,000 vulnerabilities and 3,300 IPS signatures, and more than 600 third-party threat intelligence sources capable of tracking more than 500 third-party data feeds and 100 security news feeds 24/7, the company said.
Better late than never, and while it took a long time, iPhone and iPod touch users can now download Trillian, the multiprotocol IM client, through Apple's App Store.
The $4.99 app comes with many of the same features as its desktop counterpart, including grouped and sorted contacts. Tabbed chat windows also find their way onto the iPhone and iPod touch version, and so does the ability to copy and paste, which is more a credit to Apple than Cerulean Studios, the company responsible for Trillian.
Users can also synchronize content across multiple IM clients, so that changes made on the iPhone version will appear in real-time on the Windows client.
In a nod towards cloud computing, Cerulean Studios says that all chats are stored on the company's server, which means they won't be lost if you suffer a dropped connection. The app can also be set up to send IM alerts when Trillian is shut down.
I feel as if we just crossed this path the other day. But that's okay. On the grand scale of "pony-themed games" to "extremely useful freeware applications," automatic application installers--or package mangers--tend to fall toward the latter end of the spectrum.
I wouldn't be broaching this topic so close to a previous, similar roundup were it not critically important for you to check out some of the apps that I've recently found. Although a few package managers might slip into the mix, the freeware programs I'm about to profile today... aren't really programs at all. At least, they aren't installation packages in the way you're typically used to seeing them.
Unlike package managers, which require you to install a separate application that contains some fancy list of other applications to download, some of the apps I'm investigating today remove this extra step from the equation. When stumbling into the official Web site of said programs, you're given the opportunity to customize a list of programs you want to install before you have to download anything. Once you're ready, the site creates a single executable that--if all goes well--downloads and spits the applications onto your hard drive without so much as an extra mouse click of your time.
Of course, that's the best-case scenario. There are still a number of helpful "application packages" that are a wee less automated but still worth looking into. I'll be exploring a host of automated installation offerings below, so click the link to get started! And if you need any further encouragement, one such tool cut my typical post-installation software installation time from around 30-45 minutes to a grand total of five--five hassle-free minutes, mind you.
The recent release of Stardock's Fences tool (version 1.0) got me thinking about desktop organization. While Fences is certainly neat--the program lets you divide your desktop real estate into individual sections, surrounded by "fences," amongst other space-saving features--this freeware app isn't the only game in town by far. In fact, some of you expressed disgust at Stardock's latest release. Be it the fact that one needs to install Stardock's Impulse client just to access Fences, or your simple dislike of an application whose functionality is mirrored by other freeware apps, Fences was hardly a shot hit out of the park.
So, here we are. After the jump, I'll show you five different alternative desktop managers that will help you bring increased tidiness, prettier looks, and funer... er... more fun functionality to your typical workspace. Auto-arrange your icons one last time for nostalgia's sake, because I'm about to mix up your desktop crazy-style.
Ahh, TechCrunch50 time. For those outside of the Valley, otherwise known as "The Know," this is the time of year when legions of startups (47) descend onto a common stage under the TechCrunch banner, all eager to pitch their next, greatest idea to a field of hungry judges and enthusiastic audience members.
Every time this happens--or every time any show similar to the TechCrunch50 goes down--I always look forward to the new batch of oddly named Web applications that I'll probably never hear about again, let alone actually use. For this, I have but one source to blame: open data. Just because there's an API or the free-flow of information outward from a single popular source doesn't mean that one always has to make a spin-off project. But if you build it, they will indeed come. The developers, that is, and they're always looking to cash in on the next big variation to an already successful idea.
I'm not exactly sure why this is the case with Web applications and why it's not always mirrored in open-source or freeware software development. What is it about a Web platform that makes it such an intriguing breeding ground for rip-offery? Is it really that easy to create a Web mashup of two social networks instead of pouring the same amount of effort into, say, a new instant messaging application?
As we close up yet another month of freeware goodies, it's important to look back and reflect on some of the awesome programs that received a version bump in the past 30 days. It was tough to nail down five free applications that not only upgraded themselves to a new iteration, but ones that successfully packed new and interesting features into their latest builds. There's no overarching theme this week save for that. It's a grab-bag of awesome new software to install; if the lack of a unifying concept horrifies you, don't worry. I'll list out all of this month's freeware roundups in the article below, which you can use as a guide of-sorts to travel back to safer downloading waters.
Click the upgrade button (okay, the jump) and check out the best of this month's updated freeware!