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Tech review: 2020's best nongame apps from Apple 

The Fantastical app is full-feature daily calendar and

The Fantastical app is full-feature daily calendar and task scheduler. Credit: Newsday/Flexibits

As COVID-19 forced sheltering in place, people were streaming their entertainment, trying to stay in shape, adjusting their schedules and working from home in record numbers. Apple’s best nongame apps of 2020 reflected this new reality, with Apple saying they were selected because they "helped us live our best lives at home." Next week: The best 2020 mobile games as selected by editors at the Google Play Store.


(iOS, Android; free)

Find it hard to get up and get moving while at home? Wakeout lets you do it, no sweat. Named iPhone App of the Year, Wakeout’s mission is to break up the sedentary habits many have fallen into, whether they are streaming or working in front of a computer. Wakeout has scores of "gentle" exercises and routines, most very brief, that get you up and active.

Zoom Cloud Meetings

(iOS, Android; free)

The year of COVID was also the year of Zoom. The once-niche video conferencing app became one of the sensations of 2020 as people used it to connect with work colleagues or catch up with friends and family. Apple named Zoom its iPad App of the Year, and, indeed, it turned out to be the perfect utility for formerly underused tablets.


(iOS, Android; free)

With movie theaters, Broadway shows, sports arenas and music venues closed, streaming became even hotter this year, and no app was hotter than Disney+. Launched in November 2019, Disney+ has garnered nearly 90 million subscribers as the year ends. Named the Apple TV App of the Year, Disney+ is also available for all iOS and Android devices. Apple said Disney+ "offered a sense of unlimited possibility that many craved."


(iOS, free)

As the months blurred into a blob of "what day is it" in 2020, it became harder to keep track of scheduled tasks and events, especially for those working from home. Named Mac App of the Year, where its beautiful interface can be really displayed, this fully featured daily calendar and task scheduler is also available for iPhones and iPads, although not for Android devices.

Hackers ramp up Zoom scam

The Better Business Bureau is warning of a scam where hackers use a bogus invitation to a Zoom video meeting. The scam is spread via emails, texts and social media with the message, “You missed a meeting, click here to see the details and reschedule.” Clicking the link sends you to a Zoom lookalike site that will try to get you to divulge personal data.


Last of Us Part II named best game

The seventh annual Game Awards, a glitzy Oscar-like ceremony that honors the year’s top video games, named The Last of Us Part II as 2020’s best game. Overall, the action-adventure game picked up awards in seven categories, including Best Game Direction. Other winners included Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Best Family Game), Among Us (Best Mobile Game) and Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate (Best Fighting Game.)


Banks to increase cyber-spending

Big banks predict the cost of warding off cybercriminals will keep climbing as they secure digital financial services popularized by the pandemic. In a survey of technology spending conducted by Deloitte & Touche, 64 percent of executives at financial firms forecast a rise in cyber-spending next year. Cyber-spending jumped 15 percent this year, equating to almost $1 billion for each of the largest U.S. banks.


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