Reviews

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Qwiki, the service that reads Wikipedia articles out aloud for you, has now arrived on the iPad. While the app features a very slick packaging, it's still hard to imagine why somebody would prefer to hear a robotic voice read these articles out aloud over just reading them. It's no secret that I've been very critical of the hype around...

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Readability, the service that reformats websites for distraction-free reading, just launched rdd.me, a new URL shortener. Even though there are already plenty of choices out there for shortening long domain names, this new one is worth a look. Once your friends click on an rdd.me link, they will either get a link to turn on the distraction-free mode above...

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Twitter itself may not be a big fan of new Twitter clients, but that didn't stop the developers at Tapbots to launch a new iPhone client tonight. It's a good thing they weren't dissuaded by Twitter's anti-developer stance because Tapbots' Tweetbot (iTunes link) is easily the best mobile Twitter client out there today. It's even better than Twitter's own iPhone app and more than worth the $1.99 Tapbots charges for it.

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Amazon just launched its online music locker last night and the discussion around it is already dominating the tech world this morning. Did Amazon get a jump on Apple and Google here in launching a service these two tech giants can't yet offer? What about the legality of the service? Or is it really just a copycat product that quite a few other startups are already offering. Here are some of the most interesting reactions to the launch.

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Twitter DM's are a simple, effective way of getting in touch with people, but without presence indicators and , they don't quite feel like real-time chats. Joint, a new project from the team behind content discovery service LazyFeed, piggybacks on Twitter's social graph and allows you to turn your Twitter network into a fully-featured IM system, with one-on-one and group chats. It's basically a private backchannel to Twitter. Joint is currently in private alpha, but read on to find out how you can get an invite.

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Zite is a personalized magazine app for Apple's iPad that gives you far better reading recommendations than any of its competitors like Flipboard or Sobees' NewsMix. Instead of having to rely on your friends on Twitter and Facebook to recommend interesting stories to you, Zite's algorithms are only seeded by looking at your Twitter and Google Reader feed. After this, Zite will learn which articles you are most interested in by looking at your reading behavior as you use the app.

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For a long time now, NetNewsWire has been setting the standard for feed readers on the Mac. The first version dates back to the middle of 2002 and the app has gone through three major revisions since. This week, NetNewsWire 4 Lite arrived in the Mac App Store. This free version (OS X 10.6.6, 64-bit only) will soon be followed by a more fully-featured paid version, which is a good thing, given that it does away with almost all of the features NetNewsWire 3 users have come to love over the last few years.

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Do you hate it when a blog only gives you a partial RSS feed and makes you click away from your feed reader to read the rest of a post? Well, starting today you can easily take matters in your own hand with FullTextRSSFeed.com. The site is as simple as it is effective: copy and paste the URL of the partial feed and out comes a new URL with a full feed.

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Given how many links your Twitter friends likely post to their timelines every day, it's almost inevitable that you will miss some very interesting stories. What if there was a piece of software that could learn which stories you are most interested in and highlight those for you, no matter when they were posted? I often use my6sense's mobile apps to catch these stories, but starting today, you can also use the company's Google Chrome plugin that integrates directly into Twitter's own website.

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News Corp. today launched The Daily, the first new national newspaper in the U.S. that is specifically designed for the iPad. At the launch even in New York today, News Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch argued that The Daily will give his company the ability to innovate in the tablet age and introduce readers to a "fresh and robust new voice." For the first two weeks, the Daily will be available for free, courtesy of Verizon. After that, a subscription will cost $0.99 per week or $40 per year (there is no monthly subscription option). You can now download the app from Apple's App Store. Given that, according to Apple, there are already over 9,000 news apps out there and news apps have been downloaded over 2 million times, can the Daily really make a splash in this market? To find out, we took a closer look at the app.

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Back in the day, Twitter's 140-character limit made sense, as the company was still mostly focused on the mobile market and tweets had to comfortably fit into a single text message. Now, however, as the majority of Twitter users use the Web and mobile and desktop apps to engage with the service, this limit makes less and less sense. TweetDeck, the popular mobile and desktop Twitter client just unveiled a new service, Deck.ly, that allows users to write blog-length Tweets without character limits.

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For a lot of us, Skype is one of the most important applications on our computers. The early betas of Skype for Mac 5, though, were rough, as they introduced the same single-window interface that Skype for Windows users have had to live with for a while now. Many of the user interface choices the Skype for Mac team decided on also made the app much harder to use.

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Genieo is a piece of software that constantly watches what you read online and then builds a personalized newspaper-like startpage for you and alerts you when it finds new stories about topics that you are currently interested in. At launch, Genieo was only available for Windows machines. Now, the Israel-based company is finally launching its Mac version as well....

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Flipboard, the personal magazine app for the iPad is probably one of the most hyped mobile app in recent memory, but even though it has lots of dedicated followers, I never quite warmed up to its idiosyncrasies. The idea of a personalized magazine-style app for the iPad, however, is more than intriguing and with NewsMix, Sobees is sending a new app ($2.99, iTunes link) into the race today that has the potential to beat Flipboard at its own game.

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This morning, with the launch of the Mac App Store, Twitter also launched its new desktop app for the Mac. While the app is pretty, it's missing too many essential features that serious Twitter users have become accustomed to. It also doesn't keep up with the high standards that the official Twitter for iPhone and iPad apps have set...