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May 8, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Welcome to the 21st century, where a compass can be used to find the nearest pizza place. Thanks to Pizza Compass , an app released Tuesday, iPhone users can now turn their smartphones into their own personal guides toward melted cheese, warm crust and delicious tomato sauce. The app, which costs $0.99, works like any other compass with a few differences. For starters, the arrow is actually a pizza slice and it doesn't point north -- it points toward the nearest pizza joint it can find.
May 23, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Shazam, the app that identifies a song's name and artist, is being updated for the iPad, giving tablet users many of the tools already found on the iPhone app as well as a cool new feature: automatic tagging. The feature comes turned off by default, but if users choose to turn on auto-tagging, the app will automatically identify songs, TV commercials and other audio that your iPad picks up. Previously, if users heard a song or saw a commercial they wanted to tag with Shazam, they had to unlock their device, launch the app and touch the tag icon.
March 29, 2012 | By Michelle Maltais
If your buddy owes you money, lacking cash is no excuse if he's got an iPhone. Just like sending contact information with the Bump app, you can now transfer money the same way with Bump Pay . The free app asks for your email address when it's initially opened. You and your iPhone-wielding friend bump hands; when you feel the vibration, the money's a-moving. The money will be associated with the email address you enter. If that one doesn't have a PayPal account associated with it, PayPal will send you an email to prompt you to create an account to get your money.
June 26, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
Los Angeles County transit officials announced a new app Wednesday that allows train and bus commuters to report crimes throughout the system. With the free L.A. Metro Transit Watch app, riders can directly call the transit unit of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which is responsible for patrolling bus and rail lines. Riders can also fill out an online report and send it to authorities. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, who is chairman of the Metro board, said the new app is the latest tool in the agency's "comprehensive effort to enhance safety for our riders.
April 17, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
For those who feel strange if they don't have a smartphone on hand, modern technology has made navigating the L.A. Times Festival of Books easy. The new L.A. Times Festival of Books app is now available to download for free at iTunes and at Google Play . The app is searchable, so you can find out where and when your favorite authors are reading. If you're listening to a panel and want to know more about one of the authors, you can drill down to learn more about them. There's a custom schedule function, which was super-helpful last year for planning out the panels I wanted to attend.
December 21, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn
Facebook is hoping to pique the interest of young people with a new iPhone messaging app that lets them “poke” their friends. The giant social network on Friday rolled out Poke, which sends texts, photos and videos to friends that self-destruct within 10 seconds. The messaging app is a direct competitor to Snapchat, which has skyrocketed in popularity among teens who want to send private messages that pop up and, once read, disappear. (Old timers on Facebook will remember that old-school poking - as in saying hello -- was once all the rage among the desktop crowd.)
June 26, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Lookout, a smartphone security app, said its software will now flag adware -- mobile advertising that could be a security risk -- on Android devices. The company defines adware as mobile advertising that interrupts users' experience. Some malicious adware has been known to surreptitiously gather the user's contact information. Lookout updated its Android app Wednesday to quickly notify users know if they have downloaded an app that contains adware. PHOTOS: The 10 biggest tech gadget fails If Lookout detects adware has been installed on a user's phone, it will let users choose to either ignore the threat or begin a removal process that will uninstall the app containing intrusive mobile ads. The company said adware is prevalent in 6.5% of the apps found on the Google Play app store.
February 2, 2012 | By David Colker
Have you ever been out shopping, looked at a product and wondered if it's the subject of a government safety recall? Me neither. But just in case it comes up, there is now a federally sponsored app for that. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which operates the website that puts out warnings about recalled products, offers the app for free. It's only for mobile devices that use the Android operating system -- no iPhone version yet. Here's how the site describes the app: “Whether you're at your child's day care center of a yard sale, whether you're at a store or at home, you can now type a product's name into your phone and learn immediately whether that product has been recalled because of a safety concern.” It could come in handy if you're out shopping for, say, a fold-out bed and come across the Fold-Out Sleeper Ottoman made by the Perfect Generation World company.
August 17, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
More than 132 million Americans voted in the 2008 elections, but how many of them registered to vote during an airline flight? Likely none, but that might change this election year. San Francisco-based Virgin America invites passengers on its flights to use smartphones to download an app to register to vote. The airline partnered with Rock the Vote for the novel voter registration drive that runs through November. Fliers can scan a QR code on the seat back facing them and receive an election registration app on their mobile device.
May 2, 2012 | By Michelle Maltais
So what's the difference between provocative and pornographic? Nothing, really, according to Microsoft guidelines for app developers for its Windows Phone platform. As the Windows Phone app ecosystem now gains a bit of momentum, Todd Brix, senior director of Windows Phone Marketplace, outlined in a recent post on the developer blog some new policies to be enforced. "Our content policies are clearly spelled out : We don't allow apps containing 'sexually suggestive or provocative' images or content," he wrote.
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