Skype has long offered video call capabilities for more than two users on Mac (and PC) — but only when at least one had a paid Premium subscription plan in effect. Now, the company has eased that restriction, making group calling available free as of today to all computer users, along with those on Xbox One. And iOS users may be next to be added to that list.
From team meetings to long-distance love affairs, some of our most important interactions happen in instant-message clients. Apple’s Messages is one of the best, but its tools for sifting through past chats are suited to basic text searches, and finding what you want can require scrolling through lengthy chat sessions. A companion app to Messages, Chatology helps you quickly search your chat history for everything from critical notes to those—ahem—romantic photos you just know are in there somewhere.
With version 4, popular news aggregator Pulse fully embraces its corporate branding, with a new name, a fresh iOS 7-inspired interface, and a re-imagined way to read and find content. The first release may have been met with a loud backlash, but Alphonso Labs quickly responded to users’ complaints with a 4.0.1 update — and while it fixes many of the major gaffes, it still feels like a downgrade from the previous take.
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) got off to a rocky start on iPhone and Android when it was surprisingly launched (and then pulled) in September, but the free app is finally here for real and ready to connect the world’s most popular mobile operating systems with the remaining 60 million active users of BlackBerry smartphones. It’s a mostly capable messaging app, but it’s so tardy to the cross-platform messaging party that it faces an uphill battle due to strong competition.
For those who were looking for a better iPhone email experience coming into the new year, it's certainly been a good few months so far. Mailbox and Mail Pilot helped us regain control over our inboxes with varying degrees of success, Tempo helped organize our messages by date and appointment, and even the Gmail app was updated with a faster, cleaner interface. But Triage might be the most radical of the recent newcomers. With a focus on your unread messages, it aims to help clear out overwhelmed inboxes with a simple, refined approach that will change the way you tackle your incoming mail.
While Gameloft's past Order & Chaos games had players fighting off monsters in massively multiplayer online battles (Order & Chaos Online) or defending their bases in multiplayer online battle arena matches (Heroes of Order & Chaos), the new Order & Chaos Duels turns combat into a strategic game of cards. Featuring all of the lore and fantasy the franchise is known for, Duels offers plenty of rich card-dueling action, but is marred by a freemium structure that makes for a frustrating deck-building experience.
Believe it or not, email used to actually be a productivity-enhancing tool -- although by now you're probably drowning in a deluge of spam, sales pitches, and social media notifications. MailHub is a plugin for Apple's Mail that aims to help you quickly sort through the useless stuff, and focus on the messages that are truly important. Learning to use MailHub's many options takes some effort, but you'll learn to speed through, deleting, filing, and setting reminders with an arsenal of keyboard shortcuts.
Everyone’s a nerd about something, and maps are one of my favorite things to be nerdy about. As a kid I drew maps of my neighborhood on graph paper, and on road trips I used to pore over the AAA atlas long past the point of carsickness. So when I heard about Satellite Eyes, I installed it on all my Macs in about five minutes.
Rockmelt began life as a Mac browser a few years back, but newly released on the iPad, it aims to deliver an all-in-one web browsing, news reading, and social discovery service for well-connected tablet users. Embarking on a jack-of-all-trades approach is expectedly a challenge, seeing as even nailing one of those pursuits can be difficult, but Rockmelt shows some promise in this early iteration.
iWeb is languishing, unchanged since iLife '09, and although it’s compatible with Mountain Lion, it’s obvious that Apple have given up on producing a web design app. Other applications offer similar features, but Flux, by the Escapers, hits the sweet spot between flexibility and price.