Popular posts on blog

iOS 13 Messages: 5 Improvements We Want to See

Apple products have the most advanced ecosystem of iOS and macOS bundle. All of their applications work together incredibly well. In fact, they do it the way we intuitively want them to. Messages application flipped the view of users on how the text messaging app should really look like in 2011. 

What We Have Today

With all the recent updates Messages application has tons of remarkable features to offer. Most Apple devices users buy 2 or more iOS/macOS devices with the iPhone on the top of sales. To make our life easier, they added access to all messages on both cellular and non-cellular devices.

If your friends and relatives use the same devices, you can exchange texts via both cellular and internet and type messages on iPhone, IPad or Mac with no restrictions. Face ID technology endowed this app with a brilliant emoji-making studio.

All in all, it’s clear, that Apple wants us to use Messages more, than any other application, but do they have enough features to be on the very top? I think, that they lack something. Let’s figure out what.

What To Do With Important Messages?

This question bothers me almost every day. It happens, that I receive some important appointments or to-dos. There are no problems with that when clients write me on WhatsApp, Viber or Facebook. I just add what I need to favorites! That’s such an easy task to be done, isn’t it? Hopefully, we would see stars, hearts or something like that in iOS 13. Otherwise, it would be awkward.

Camera Roll Sync

The majority of messengers have an option, that allows us to choose whether to save incoming photos automatically or not. I use Messages mostly for chats with family members and friends, and sometimes I want to return to some images. For that purpose, I have to scroll down furiously instead of simply choosing one from Camera Roll tiles. It’s clear, that users will go fifty-fifty about this feature, that’s why it has to be optional. It would also be nice to choose certain contacts to save photos from them. I would definitely add my wife and children to that list.

When Did I Receive It?

Ok, I can understand, that Apple wants their interfaces to look as clean as possible, but what is the purpose for constant hiding of timestamps? iPhone 4 is history, modern screens are much bigger, so there’s completely no need in hiding elements. Especially, when they are as important as time. It’s not a big problem to swipe to see it, but it would be quite good to have this feature optional.

Help My Intuition, Please!

When I bought my first iPhone back in 2008, I was amazed by the ability to swipe items to delete them. It felt like the most comfortable interface feature ever. What do we see now? In Messages, we have to do 3 actions to answer a chosen line or to delete it. Choose a message, then tap the “More” icon to reveal delete and forward options. I suppose, that the vast majority of users is confused by such a complicated operation. iPhones used to be great due to simplicity and intuitive approach. It seems, that there are no more people, who see it the way Mr. Jobs used to.

A Bit More Security

Messages app is one of the most secure on the market because all texts are encrypted before sending. They can be decrypted on a receiving phone only. No one is able to read them in between. However, it lacks a feature, that notifies your contacts if you changed your device. Things happen, so it would be nice to feel sure, that no one strange may forward you a message from a lost phone.

The Verdict

Apple Messages is still a very good application, but it certainly lacks some obvious features. Yes, those times when Apple was the biggest innovator are gone, but I see no difficulties in keeping the brand with logical decisions.

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Top-8 iOS Apps For Self-Education

Smartphones became our inseparable companions wherever we go, but for some reason, not many of us use them to the full. It’s good to surf the net, to communicate and to play games, but what if you test some new applications to broaden your horizons? Your gadget is a powerful source of knowledge and skills, you just have to unlock its potential. Here are some quality apps to help you do it.

Duolingo

Knowledge of 1-3 foreign languages is almost obligatory our days. It doesn’t matter what you are. As sages say, the more languages you know, the more lives you live. Duolingo application is the most advanced free platform for learning the basics of new languages. It has 27 complete courses for most spread world tongues and more than a dozen of developing courses. All of the include listening, spelling, writing, reading, speaking and other basic tasks in a convenient on-the-go format. Duolingo is a responsible teacher, so it always struggles to instill you good learning habits. Every day you will receive notifications and progress reports to stay encouraged. Each lesson has an intermediate test. At the end of each month, you will be offered to pass complex progress test. Download Duolingo for free set your current level and develop it to reach the top level.

TED

TED conferences are extremely popular, because of people, who speak there. They can be anyone: politics, scientists, artists, businessmen. The only thing that unites them is a strong urge to make this world better. Over the years TED proved to be one of the biggest sources of ideas and motivation for millions worldwide. Education is not only about knowledge. It’s also about positive and critical thinking. TED iOS app is a convenient player for watching performances of best influencers with subtitles in both online and offline modes. Today, the library includes about 2000 of videos of great orators’ speeches. About 90% of content is in English, another 10% include subtitles. For more convenience, you can download videos and choose your time gap size to watch videos of the same duration.

Elevate

Knowledge is the most important part of education, but it doesn’t cost a penny if you catch it too slow or forget in short terms. Elevate application is designed to train your learning skills and to bestow you with a bigger amount of residual knowledge. Everyday training include short exercises on listening, writing, speaking, reading, subjects (maths), critical thinking and many others. It’s important to notice, that Elevate is endowed with AI, which studies your progress flow to automatically adjust it for better results. It means, that your training will be fully personalized. Performance tab makes up bulletin reports for each skill by counting your progress points. Of course, it has daily reminders and intermediate tests to check the quality of new skills.

Khan Academy

Now that you are motivated and prepared for efficient information consumption we can move to sources pure knowledge. Khan Academy is one of the biggest online libraries of courses. It comprehensively covers 12 school subjects with thousands of texts, formulas, explanations, examples and about 4500 educational videos by best teachers from all over the US. The main purpose of Khan Academy is the intensive preparation of students for the SAT. Surprisingly, all these features come absolutely for free, because this online academy is a non-commercial foundation. Unlike many other apps, it doesn’t include any additional paid features or plugins. You just download it and browse for structured school knowledge without limitation. The only problem may occur if there’s not much space on your phone, because some courses and videos may take up to 1GB of storage.

Coursera

This application is a world known hub for teachers and students. It is designed to provide users with a convenient ecosphere for knowledge exchange. Unlike Khan Academy, Coursera is not aimed at school students only. It’s simply for everyone. Students, teachers, scholars, lifelong learners, and professionals - they are all welcome here. To find suitable courses you just have to enter keywords in a browser line or spend some time swiping categories. Be ready to meet more, than 2000 complete courses by tutors of over 140 top colleges, universities, and other progressive institutions. Here you will find everything from maths and programming to movie making,  photography and arts. Keep in mind, that there are no superficial how-to pieces. Only serious scientific works with examples of practical implementation of knowledge. It’s highly recommended for everyone.

Udemy Online Courses

Here comes one more application with online courses and it doesn’t have much in common with the previous two. Yes, Udemy has topics with professional courses, but it obviously has a more practical slant. Its database includes over 40000 courses and professional instructions. It means, that academic pieces are mixed with fine explanatory articles by practicing gurus of multiple realms. Web designers, programmers, game developers, movie makers, photographers, writers, doctors, professors, businessmen, marketers, and even sports champions. They are all gathered in one place to share their practical knowledge, theories and advice. Unlike Khan Academy, many courses are quite expensive, but it’s totally normal to take fees if you provide some fresh information, which may help your customers make some tangible profit

SAT Prep

Here is one more application for intensive preparation for the SAT. It is designed differently from Khan and aimed not only at knowledge learning but also at getting acquainted with most important test tips. Unlike Khan, it offers an interactive visualized road map, which is very descriptive. It also has point ranks and overall progress percentage statistics bar.

What is more, Sat Prep has smart algorithms, which study your progress and prepare a comparative analysis of your scores and declared entry SAT requirements in colleges and universities worldwide. You can simply open the built-in map to look over higher education institutions requirements. A load of motivation is guaranteed! In fact, the quality of courses is similar to those in Khan Academy application, so you just have to choose a variant, which matches your learning habits the best. Khan has a more plain design and easy navigation, while SAT Prep is aimed at everyday step-by-step learning of each subject.

Preschool and Kindergarten Learning Games

Well, that’s enough for grown-ups. Let’s take a look at a great piece of educational software for kids! We all know, that children love learning new knowledge and skills, but they need it to be covered in an entertaining gamified interface. This application is designed to amuse your little child in a beneficial way. To start from scratch, you have to browse it for games, which correspond to your child’s age and purchase them. As he or she grows older, you can choose some more complex tasks. Developers thoroughly studied the behavior of toddlers and added a feature, which detects swipes. If actions don’t have any sense, a game closes to show you that your child doesn’t get it or switched attention.

Bottom Line

Hopefully, this compilation provided you at least one useful application. We tried to cover the interests of all age groups and professional affiliations. Browse further, and you will certainly find several more apps to make yourself more efficient, organized and entertained.

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Any.do Reinvented Shopping Lists With Brand New “Smart Grocery List”

Shopping is always time, time is always money. Psychologists argue that the more time we spend wandering around at the supermarket, the more useless stuff we are tend to buy. The solution is old as the world - shopping lists! Luckily, today we have smartphones to use helpful managing applications. It’s up to you to decide which one is the best, but my choice is Any.do. With the last “Smart Grocery List” update it became even more convenient. Let’s take a look at new features.

Support Note

I will tell you about this update below this tiny bit of info. “Smart Grocery List” option for Any.do is currently available for iOS. Latest post on Any.do official blog says, that Android and Web versions are on their way. I think, that it’s really worth waiting. Anyway, we can already test it with iOS, so let’s go.

Getting Started

This new feature is delivered with the recent update of Any.do application, so make sure to download it. Now, open the app and find the new button with an image of a supermarket basket. When you tap it, a notification will pop-up saying “Meet the grocery list of the future”. Well, running ahead I want to say, that it really is. Some would say, that this feature is too evident to be unimplemented before, but it’s better late than never, isn’t it?

Experience

Don’t neglect the “Show me” option to see what this little devil can offer you. There are two ways of inputting the names of goods. You may type them in the old manner, and you will be surprised how learned this list is. Start entering any specific product you want to buy and Any.do will suggest proper names of goods. This feature works with both brand names and concrete foods. I tried out many, and the app managed to suggest Coca Cola Vanilla, all types of Cheetos and even my favorite Stahlbush broccoli. Amazing!

When you don’t need specific names, just browse the categories, such as beverages, bread & bakery, eggs & dairy and so on. Item by item, tap by tap you will make up a clean-and-convenient list with automatic categories. Do you really need categories? Of course, and I’ll tell you why. Take a piece of paper and list what you need for a week with a pan. Did you mind to divide stuff with subheadings that correspond specific departments of a supermarket?

You’re very cool if you did, but the vast majority of people won’t do it. Separation of items is good because you won’t need to scroll your huge list to figure out what you need to pick up in each department. In addition to that, you certainly won’t forget those marinated artichokes from the bottom of the list. It saves loads of time.

Combat Mission

To dispel doubts, I decided to make two weekly purchases in the same grocery store. For this test, I didn’t exercise in using this feature for a week. The time lapse I noted are: time to make up list + time to pick up goods and reach the cashier.

So, the first time I made up my list using my memory and standard iOS Notes. The whole process of making up the list and shopping took 47 minutes. A week later (to clean my memory) I created a new list with Any.do and it took me just 32 minutes to get to the cashier. Gorgeous!

A Bit More

While making up my second list, I noticed, that nevertheless, Any.do doesn’t know about some goods. To free yourself from typing long names like “Boscoli Spicy Pickled Garlic 12 Oz” you can simply add such names to the clipboard and paste. It works with any complex recipe.

Another great option is sharing. You can send a ready-made list to your family member if he or she goes to the store instead of you.

The Verdict

All in all, Smart Grocery List looks like a must-have feature. Practice shows, that it can really save your time and nerves. So, the only thing I want to say - choose good apps and be happy!

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Stop procrastinating: handy mobile apps that can improve your productivity

Procrastination is one of the favorite occupations for many people. Instead of completing a particular duty they do dozens of extrinsic activities. Surely you remember being a child and avoiding doing homework for holidays until the very last day of vacation. Or recall yourself as a teenager postponing mom’s plea to clean the room. And now you are a conscious adult person. Why don’t you execute your duties on time and make progress in your work? We understand, there is always so many stuff to look aside like your favorite series or unstoppable chatting on a social network. Unfortunately, time does not wait. But there is a help aside - these incredible apps to increase your productivity, reduce procrastination and help you beat the clock.

Boomerang

Essential emails have a habit of arriving at inconvenient times. Boomerang is a plugin for different types of mailing agents that lets you temporarily dismiss messages from your inbox, to reappear in a few hours or days when you’re better able to deal with them. You can also pause your inbox entirely, to suspend the torrent of interruptions while you’re busy, and schedule outgoing messages to be sent at the specified times. You get ten free uses a month; after that, monthly subscriptions start at $5.

Doodle

Organising a business meeting or even an evening with a company of friends is no picnic. How to select a date and a place to meet that would be convenient for everyone? They all have own preferences and schedules, and you simply can’t adjust to everyone. But Doodle can! The idea of this app is to help you with the organizing process. Set up a list of possible dates and places, then send invitations via Doodle. Your invitees will be able to vote for a comfortable variant, and all together you’ll find a perfect alternative. With Doodle, you can as well create a poll about meeting details. For example, ask your guests about menu preferred: they can vote for gluten-free, vegan or lactose-free food for your dinner.

Genius Scan

Genius Scan is your pocket scanner. If there is no time to scan all personal documentation in the office, then use this app right after you get an important paper. When you are handed a doctor’s receipt or a contract, make a snap with your smartphone camera. Genius Scan will turn a picture into a high-quality PDF-file. Perspective and colour correction are as well adjusted. Multi-page documents can be easily captured in a batch mode. Share your scans via Dropbox or Google Drive, if required.

FocusList

This app helps you plan your day and divide it into productive and recreation blocks. In a basis of FocusList is the “Pomodoro Technique”, a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The app offers you to divide your work into changeable sessions: 25 minutes of action, then 5-minutes break. This little rest helps you be productive and fresh during your workday. At the end of the day, you can watch statistics and track your productivity.

Todoist

As is clear from the name, Todoist is an app for making to-do-lists. It lets you set tasks and subtasks, give some of them priority labels, and also discuss events with friends and colleagues. You can set the tasks even offline, so you won’t be afraid of forgetting anything. All your functions can be complemented with different kinds of files. While using Todoist, you achieve karma. There are five levels of it depending on the users’ experience: Beginner, Amateur, Expert, Master and Guru.

Notion

Notion is an app that helps you put your inbox email in order. It considers your email history and learns which messages are essential for you. The latter will be highlighted for easy reference. Notion also allows you to listen to important letters and organize them through Amazon's smart speaker system. Notion supports Gmail, G Suite, Office 365 and IMAP email services.

Trello

Make a dashboard with cards for ideas, activities, tasks and anything you can only imagine. A descriptive board is better than hundreds of lists. You or anyone on your team can fill the cards and visually formalize the progress of your project. This is a convenient and merely entertaining way to succeed in routine work. Trello easily adapts to your project, team, and working process.

Evernote

Evernote is the leading platform that helps increase productivity noticeably. Upload notes, images, audio and video snippets and organize them into cloud notebook which can be synced across different devices. Your selected content is always at hand. Up to 60 MB of data can be upload monthly in a free version of an app. Keep writing notes, save the ideas for later, copy web-pages. Get it all to Evernote, and you will never forget anything.

Noisli

An effect of music on our brain is difficult to overestimate. It is proved, that using the right kind of sound, you can influence your brain activity. To relax or vice versa - to become more motivated, just select an appropriate soundscape. With the help of Noisli, it’s a piece of cake. In this app, you can make your sound combos. Mingle the noise of a rain with the wind gusts, for example. Create your perfect environment to improve focus and boost your productivity.

Mindfulness

Meditation is a spiritual practice that helps people cope with emotions and become more flexible in mind. This practice also comes to help when you need to tune in for a productive day. Mindfulness app helps you become more productive and prevent distinctive thoughts from overwhelming you. Mindfulness sets up your meditation schedule that fits in with your day. Thus your productivity increases sky high.

1Password

Don’t waste your time remembering and searching for passwords! Keep them all in the 1Password app. Different sites - different passwords, and all of them are reliably saved and protected.

Productivity is a goal which we all have to wish for. And the first step on this way is getting rid of your procrastination. Now you know that there are a lot of assistants that can help in your noble mission. So select the most effective and go back to work!

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How to Increase your Productivity with Nova Launcher

Nova is more than just a launcher. With the help of this app, your interaction with your device will become more comfortable. Thanks to its frequently increasing feature list, we can call Nova more than just a home screen replacement. It is an easy way to improve your productivity.

With the latest update of the app, the developer of the Nova Launcher - Telsa Coil introduced the new features in every Android update. 

These features have such meaningful benefits as: 

  • They make older devices get access to new tools that earlier was not available to them;
  • Opportunity to gain more control over your device.

Tip № 1. Provide Quickly Access to the Apps with Gestures

Gestures is a worthy substitute for the touches we are accustomed to. 

Customers can use special menu s that allow teleporting where you want! Set your own - invented gestures to open your favourite apps in a flash. 

Tip № 2. Access Google Now from Any Page

Google Now is the most estimable app among the constant users of Google services. It collects data, and your preferences to show you the information that you may like even before you start looking for it!

There is another useful feature that shows traffic situation to save your time during your journey. 

You can get access to Google Now from any page just enabling it. This way, you will save a plenty of precious time to be more productive. There is a simple step-by-step instruction to set up this option. 

  • Open Nova's settings menu and select "Integrations"; 
  • Tap "Edge Swipe" to enable this option, which will also grey out the "Google Now Page" option.

From this moment you can enjoy all the advantages of Google Now - just swipe from left edge to the right. 

Tip № 3. Use Tabs for Better Organizing Apps

Have you ever had a problem when you are geting many apps, the screen looks a little bit disorganised and like a rubbish can? If it happens, you may have a problem looking for the needed app too long. 

Besides creating folders and carrying out your apps on the main screen, Nova explored the new option that helps to get access to the app faster and more rational. 

  • In Nova's settings menu, select "App & widget drawers" ;
  • Choose "Drawer groups" located near the bottom of the list;
  • Within "Tabs", select the crossed square in the upper-right corner of your display.

With this feature, you can create sub-categories in the app drawer. Type the name, select the new entry in the list, and then you will see the list of all the apps on your device. 

You can move a copy of the app by filling the checkboxes and then your apps will be located in the new subcategories instead of the default folder. 

After pulling up the app driver, the new tab will be located near the Apps tab. Swipe right and you will see the new-added apps in the new category. 

To make the disorder lower in the future, in this new tab long-press any app and choose pencil icon in the sub-menu. 

To delete the app from the default drawer, uncheck the App’s box. 

Tip № 4. Declutter Your App Drawer by Hiding Apps

Another useful feature of the Nova is the possibility of hiding apps. You can remove annoying clutter and hide baffling apps. 

Hide Prime icon or Nova Launcher icon or even both of them in the app drawer, as Nova open the setting menu by long-pressing the home screen. 

The clearing up the space of your device is also the advantage of hiding apps. There are special bloatware apps, that can be set up by carriers and OEM, which are the system apps. To remove it you should use ADB commands. That is the only way to make device cleaner without root. 

Tip № 5. Use Google Drive for Cloud-Based Backup

If you want to change your phone, and you would like to save not only your data but both the settings of your home screen and layout, then you can find all this data information in the drive that Nova creates for you. 

However, it will work if you use the same device. And if you want to switch your smartphone, you should set up it to make the data save to Google Drive. 

Now you are aware of all these tips and tricks, and you know how Nova can make your smartphone surfing more comfortable without spending a lot of time in the app’s menu. With Nova, you can quickly find what you need!


 

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With these 7 Apps, your Productivity in College will be at the Top

If you are a college student who wants to systemize and improve the learning process and make it more efficient,  this article is for you.

Using these applications will make your education life more diverse.

Rescue time

This app will be useful for students who want to manage their time and dedicate it to the essential tasks. 

The main feature of this program is an ability to make a report based on how much time you spend on each activity during your work at the computer. 

This colourful schemes could help young people make their own schedule and learn to focus on important issues and tasks at first, and minor, non-productive tasks, as social networks, leave for later. 

It’s a great time-managing app with a plenty of pros, that can teach you to cope with the most precious thing - time. But for getting all the advantages, you need to pay for 9$ for the premium version.  

There is also one more app - ManicTime, with the similar possibilities and options. 

Slack

Slack is one of the most indispensable apps for students. If you are a student, who likes messengers this app is for you. Besides, with its help, you can share different files, information and study materials. 

You can invite the group of your friends or classmates to discuss learning material and do the homework together. You can send voice messages and even do voice calls for higher level of communication. 

Like many similar apps, it has a free version with limited options and interface as well as a broader, more attractive and feature-rich paid version.

You should also look at the alternative of Slack - Azendoo, which has the same options. 

Genius Scan


Convert the text photos of your learning materials to PDF. All you need is a good camera. Just make a picture of an article and choose the format in which you would like to save the document. Receipts, papers, book paragraphs, and notes - they all can be converted easily by Genius Scan. 

This app costs 8$, but its functions are totally worth it. It’s like your pocket scanner! The app with comparable possibilities is Scanbot. 

Otranscribe

This app allows converting the voice into the notes. It can be useful for journalists, who want to turn the interview into the written form. Also, students can use it during the lecture. Isn’t it an excellent method to store the information? 

The option of the app allows us to work with app comfortably and without switching back. The closest app you can also use to transcribe pre-recorded materials is PmTrans. 

Focus Booster

With the Focus Booster, you can concentrate on the task and set the time for the break. The application uses Pomodoro technique, and with its help, you can reward yourself if you will stay focused during the allotted time. 

You can take into account the time spending on different activities, either for study or for leisure to make your workday more productive. Also, this technique helps you to hold under control your desire to change your activity and start doing something pleasant but not efficient. There is a longer break, as a bonus, after several smaller breaks.

If the end of the semester and exams are near, then you definitely need this app. It will help you to learn as much material as possible at the limited term. 

The advantage of this app is its possibility to work offline, but the downside is that you need to buy a monthly subscription. The most similar to Focus Booster is Pomodoro keeper and Pomodome.

Wunderlist


Work with your tasks with Wunderlist. It allows you to create, edit and manage your tasks. Just mark completed task with a tick, and it will be crossed out. 

The design is pleasant and light, besides it is understandable. The great benefit of this app is its cost. It is totally free. 

Students can use Wunderlist for making schedules and work with their task or to-do lists, enjoying beautiful design. Similarity service has Microsoft To-Do that provides users related options.

Grammarly

Grammarly is a crucial instrument for writers and students, who take care of correctness of presentation and literacy. 

This app allows users to avoid plagiarism, improve stylistically and both grammar and punctuation mistakes. It also suggests different options of one word to make your essay or document look richer. There is one big downside, though - full version costs 30$ per month.

Summary

These apps make the learning process much easier by playing an essential part in your education. There aren’t free, but quality costs a lot. For your convenience we added alternative services, so you always can make a choice. 
 

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