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Besttechie

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  1. What happens when Andy Rubin, the man responsible for developing the Android platform, decides to design a gadget to compete with the iPhone? The Essential. It’s an ultra upscale phone with a ceramic back and titanium frame. Thanks to those expensive materials, the phone won’t ever be mass produced. But, there are those who argue that’s part of the allure. Keep reading to find out why some people might say the Essential is excellent, and others argue it could offer more hype than substance. Accessories Connect to the Phone Magnetically People understandably have raised lots of questions about what the Essential offers and how to get one. One interesting selling point of the Essential is that all its accessories connect to the phone via magnets. That means you no longer have to worry that if you upgrade to a newer version of the Essential in a few years, your accessories will suddenly become incompatible. This feature could theoretically make people slightly more willing to invest in the Essential because they’ll consider it’s only necessary to buy the accessories one time as long as they’re careful and don’t break or lose them. Since the Essential retails for $699, potential buyers will almost certainly think of it as an investment more than they would if it were cheaper. It Has a 360-Degree Camera Essential owners also get to experience what it’s like to have a phone equipped with the world’s smallest 360-degree camera. It captures everything in front of and around the user, so there is no need to aim the camera. The shots deliver immersive experiences that help people use images and videos to show cool parts of their lives. All the technology is incredibly slim, too. In fact, it’s the smallest dual camera system ever made for a phone. Continually using better components is something that’s often done in the smartphone industry to help manufacturers remain competitive. For example, many of these devices use RF and microwave circuits. Although they were once too costly to use in applications outside of the military and aerospace industries, these parts are now commonly put in smartphones. Recharge the Phone With a Cordless Docking Station Magnets are also part of the Essential docking station. A magnetic connector holds the phone flat and firmly in place as it charges. Since there are no wires, users don’t have to worry about tripping over a cord, yanking the phone off a table and cracking the screen. No Presence in Physical Stores If you’re intrigued enough to own the Essential, keep in mind you’ll have to reserve one from the phone’s official website. That could be one of the device’s downsides because it won’t stimulate impulse purchases the same way a phone on display in a shop might. However, the fact that there’s a limited supply of the phones and it’s necessary to reserve them might be appealing for those who want to feel they’re part of an elite group. Because people cannot buy the Essential in stores, there have also been concerns about how difficult it might be to get help if the phone starts doing something strange or if buyers want to return the phone. The company behind the Essential is small and hasn’t had to handle the amount of customer queries it likely will be subjected to once people have the phone in their hands. Details Are Still Vague, Even For Committed Buyers Some analysts have pointed out there are several things about the Essential itself that might make the phone not as amazing as it seems. Perhaps the largest of those factors is that even by reserving one, you won’t know when exactly the phone will ship. Critics of the Essential assert that the details are too scarce considering the device’s price point. If you want to consider yourself an early adopter and get your hands on an Essential, keep in mind it only ships to and works in the United States. By owning one, you can, at least, say you have an item other tech enthusiasts might just dream about — unless they’re willing to save for a while. The post The mind that made Android brings you ‘Essential’ appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  2. The arrival of the internet and social media has revolutionized the way we do marketing. It has made the entire process less costly and more effortless. This is part of the reason why so many people in the UK, especially those starting a small business, prefer marketing their business on their own. Today, business owners and marketers are leveraging applications to grow their business. The reason is quite simple. Approximately 75% of the UK’s population uses smart-phones. That is over 48 million users. Having an application for your business means you have a greater chance of making yourself visible to those 48 million people as compared to a company with no mobile app. How to Build an Application? There is a common notion amongst business owners that building a mobile app is quite complex and costly. Actually, it’s the opposite. Websites like YAPPi.me offer you the simplest and the most cost-effective solution to building a business application. They allow you the option to either build your mobile app yourself using their templates, or have them build the application for you. The bottom line is; developing a business application isn’t complex in the slightest! Customer Experience Mobile applications offer customers direct access to your company. This means that if they need to find information about a certain product you offer, get in touch with you, file a complaint, or give feedback, all they have to do is take their phone out and click on your app. This will give them direct access to all these things and more. In other words, people don’t have to Google your website or put in any effort to get access to your business. Everything they need is just a click away. Direct Marketing Just like customers have direct access to your company, you also have direct access to them. This means that if you have a certain sale, a new product launch, or any other minor or major announcements, all you need to do is drop a notification on your application. People who have the app installed on their phone will immediately get the update that you rolled out. In simpler words, you can directly market your products to customers who use your business app. Special Discounts There aren’t many better alternatives than using a smart-phone application for your business. You can easily entice people to download the application by offering them discounts from time to time. You can even offer a first-time user discount for downloading your app. This is a great way to entice potential customers to use your products/services. Once they respond to your call to action, the ball is in your court. You can make the most of that lead and make them a loyal follower of your brand. Engage Audience The worst type of marketing is where you shove your products into your customer’s face. It will only lead them away from your brand. Push marketing is not a thing of the modern day. You can engage your audience simply by offering them useful content on your mobile application. Insert immersive features that offer some value to your customers. Give them a reason to use your application more often. You can post interactive questionnaires, add new features, or even put a surprise section, after visiting which, users can win different prizes. Anything that engages a user will help grow your business in the long-term. Differentiate Yourself Even if you have a mobile application, it doesn’t mean that you’re now very different from others in the market. There’s still other businesses that use mobile apps to grow. You need to differentiate yourself from them as well. Don’t just talk about your products. Add features that ask customers about their experiences with a product. Don’t just wait for someone to write feedback. Maybe create a game that reflects what you do or what you offer. There’s a lot that you can do to stand out from the crowd. Cross Mediums So, the entire purpose of a mobile application is to grow your business. One way of doing that is to promote your other platforms as well. For instance, you can share a link to your social media accounts and encourage them to engage with you there. This will enable you to make the most of your application, as you’re doing a complete 360-degree marketing of your business through it. The post How to utilize an app to grow your business appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  3. We all know that tying the knot can drive even the most sane person, well insane. Down to the last detail, everything has to be near-perfect on that day, including the music, the location, the photographers and the much-debated guest list. And yet, the most daunting task of picking out all of the photographs for the album comes after the wedding. This is because, at the end of the day, you want to pick out all the images that highlight the best moments from the day. From the happy tears as you walked down the aisle, to the moments that just got weird as you closed out the night. Shoto app interface. However, what about the moments photographers don’t capture, ones of your divorced uncle and his ex-wife reliving the magic they once had by slow dancing together, or the video your best friend’s date took of his emotional toast? What happens when your photographer has their back turned during something you just don’t want to forget? Photo sharing app Shoto is trying to solve just this. With the launch of its newest feature for wedding and events, the app is tapping into the power of AI and Machine Learning, streamlining the process of collecting photos and videos taken by family, friends and photographers during special occasions. It seems the app’s developers understand just how painstaking capturing memories from the wedding and putting them into one file for everyone to view has always been for brides, grooms, family and friends. As a result, Shoto’s developers have made the app friendly and simple to use with the creation of event hashtags. I downloaded the app and created a fake event hashtag, to see how the app worked. Using a personalized hashtag ‘#JeffsFakeWedding,’ which Shoto automatically prompts its users to do once they create an event, I had a few friends upload photos using the hashtag. Minutes later, my mock wedding album was complete with photos of myself (sadly not in a tux), and my friend’s silly musings. While it isn’t unheard of for couples to create event hashtags for their wedding, what is nice about Shoto’s Wedding and Events feature is that one hashtag can pull photos from multiple social media platforms. So now, with Shoto’s use of its proprietary technology, photos from Twitter and Instagram are brought together into a centralized location, and organized into a shareable album. Event organizers can even control who sees specific images and which ones remain private for the bride and groom themselves. Shoto ultimately lets all guests live out their dreams of becoming a photographer, by contributing to the ‘unofficial’ wedding album, and purchasing prints from professional photographers in attendance who also contribute images to the album. If Shoto hopes to make technology a household name in the wedding and event planning scene, it faces a few challenges. Convincing people that ditching messaging platforms like Tango and Telegram to send photos and videos, or even those who like to take a more traditional approach, uploading photos to a USB or CD, won’t be a simple feat. Want to test out Shoto at your wedding or upcoming event? You can download the app on iOS or Android. The post Photo sharing app Shoto launches new feature for weddings and events appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  4. Before reading this post, you need to know that your iPhone camera is more than just a mobile camera. The Camera hardware in the iPhone is very powerful and can shoot professional looking videography in a budget. But there are some of the simple tips you may need to consider before you consider shooting videos from your iPhone device. This post will be a like a essential guide for you to know the essential tips you need to know to make your iPhone videos standout and look professional. Shooting videos from a iPhone may be preferable over the DSLRs in many situations. In fact, you can’t carry your DSLR camera everywhere. If you have a iPhone, this is a must-read guide for you. Tip #1: Don’t use stock iPhone camera app The first mistake that newbies make is that, they use the stock Camera app on their iPhone. If you are recording a seriously important video that matters to you the most, shooting from the default iPhone camera app makes no sense at all. The default camera app is only capable of recording the video at 24/Mbps. As compared to the hardware that iPhone comes equipped with, this is something low. You may consider using a dedicated videography apps like FiLMiC Pro. The app enables you to record videos up to 50/Mbps. That’s more than double the quality the stock camera app on your iPhone can capture. Along with this, the app also comes with various other features that are quintessential for every serious videographer. It is premium app, if you are serious about videography on your iPhone, it’s absolutely worth the money. Tip #2: Don’t let anything disrupt your video recording These are the most common 3 things that may cause you to stop the recording or even ruin the video entirely. Low space: Using a dedicated app like FiLMic Pro demands a good memory free on your iPhone device. So, before starting the videography you need to make sure that your iPhone has enough space to hold the video recording at 50/Mbps (mega bits). Or else, your video shooting process can get stopped halfway. Put iPhone to Airplane mode: As a shutterbug, I’ve experienced this more often. Someone calls you in the middle of video shooting process. This completely ruins the video recording as the screen will be blocked entirely while any call is coming. Remember to put your iPhone to airplane mode before starting any video recording. Keep an eye on battery level: You need to make sure that your iPhone has enough juice. You also need to note that the usage of any apps like FiLMic Pro, makes complete use of the camera hardware and rains your battery faster. So, keep a power bank on your hand and keep your iPhone plugged to it while recording video if your iPhone is on low battery levels. Tip #3: Use a tripod Unlike professional DSLR cameras, the iPhones do not come with a powerful video stabilization mechanisms. For a video to turn out professional, you need to make use a tripod for recording videos with your iPhone. There are great tripods for iPhones like Arkon iPhone tripod, may be more than essential for keeping your iPhone steady while shooting videos. You perhaps may have noticed that, if you are not using a tripod, the video appear bit shaky while in zoomed mode. But using iPhone renders the video crazy steady even while shooting in zoomed mode, although I’d suggest you to avoid zooming while recording video. Tip #4: Use a professional mic No matter how professional your video is, if the audio quality sucks, people are not gonna watch it. If in your video, the audio is very important. Like if it is a movie short movie, interview, using a good mic for iPhone is very essential. A good shotgun mic like Rode VideoMic Go is popular among the videographers. It is compatible with both smartphones and DSLRs. You just need to plug in the mic to your 3.5mm jack, perhaps to an adaptor if you’re using iPhone 7 and newer devices. The shotgun microphones are perfectly suitable for all types of video recording as the audio pickup pattern in very narrow and they’re quite great at rejecting off-axis ambient noise. It is also great at recording audio crisp clear even if the subject is little far from the camera. Tip #5: Good lighting conditions A good lighting conditions make drastic positive changes in the quality of your video. iPhones and other smartphones are very poor at shooting videos at low light conditions, due to the hardware limitations then compared to professional DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras. So having a good lighting conditions is necessary. You may use this LimoStudio Lighting Kit in case if you do videography indoors or in a treated studio environments. I’m using this lighting kit, and it is a great companion for my iPhone and DSLR while shooting in low light conditions. I can’t stress enough the importance of good lighting while shooting videos. Bottom line If you are really serious about videography, I won’t really suggest you shooting from your iPhone. Getting a good DSLR makes a great difference. However, this post is for people who do casual videography for film making, interviews, and portrait videos. No matter how professionally you shot the videos, if the video do not undergo good composition, framing, rendering, and other post production processes you videos won’t be professional as it deserves. The post The essential guide to shoot professional video on your iPhone appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  5. There is almost no one in the world who hasn’t been affected by cancer in some way. Whether directly as someone battling the disease, or through a friend or loved one, cancer is still tragically pervasive. Fortunately, there is a steadfast and active effort to find new treatments and hopefully a cure for the disease. There is currently a flurry of activity from tech companies working to bring new approaches and ideas to the fight against cancer. On one hand, tech companies are helping drive medical innovation either through new kinds of treatments or medical devices. Beyond that, innovation is happening in the area of information and communication. One example of the latter is Belong, an app that helps cancer patients get access to the information and support they need in their fight against the disease. The app has multiple features all designed to help users navigate the overwhelming journey that is the fight against cancer. It allows them to connect with others fighting the disease, get access to medical professionals, and manage important information and documents. Additionally, Belong is connected to the National Cancer Institute’s database of clinical trials, and the app alerts users as soon as a relevant experimental treatment that matches their profile becomes available Now, Belong has released some really interesting information from its platform that shows that men and women tackle certain cancers in very different ways. It classified three types of users: Passive Users, knowledge Driven Users, and Proactive Patients. The categories describe whether a user simply follows the advice provided by medical professionals, those that primarily seek information on their own and use it at some critical moment, or the most active users who constantly question the advice they are being given and work on their own to find information and take action. The data point that stood out to me the most concerned breast cancer. While breast cancer is most commonly associated with women, who still make up the largest share of patients, the disease nevertheless also affects men as well. Remarkably, Belong’s data shows that men are far more likely to be Proactive Users, seeking out information and questioning the advice they are given, while women breast cancer patients are more likely to passive. However, with colon cancer, the results are flipped. Women are more likely to be proactive, while men are more likely to be passive. Belong isn’t drawing conclusions from the information at this time, but it provides an interesting glimpse into the way various individuals tackle these diseases. Beyond that, I think the most important conclusion to be drawn is that these platforms, by their very nature of serving as a connected hub for people to learn about and discuss cancer, are going to provide all kinds of insights into the disease that could potentially help fight it. Of course, it goes without saying that Belong is facing an uphill battle. Both in the sense of the challenge of cancer itself, and also in the competitive sense with a number of players working to bring technology into the fight against the disease. But this is such a pressing issue that it we must commend all of the players working to fight the disease or help cancer patients in some way. In that sense and light of the data Belong has already uncovered, it’s clear that the app has already achieved a great success. The post Do men and women fight cancer differently? One online platform shows that they might. appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  6. The most important person a company should focus on is the customer as they are the backbone of any business. Therefore, meeting their needs, wants and desires is your main goal. Your customer or your target audience is the group of people you want to get your product or service in front of as much as possible. See how to reach your target audience more effectively to increase sales and close more deals. Quality Content A lot of companies forget how powerful content is when it comes to marketing their products or services. Content is everywhere, so it’s hard to cut through the noise. That’s why you must come up with quality content that speaks directly to your target audience. Launch a blog on your website or come up with a monthly newsletter that contains useful information. Talk to your customer through content and show them you care. It’s also a great way to get in touch with your target audience without trying to sell them anything. Remember that if you’re going to start using more content, hire a writer to do the job and make sure what you’re producing is high quality. Paid Advertising Paid advertising, or ppc digital marketing, is a small investment for the spectacular return. Get in front of your audience directly and quickly to guarantee they see your message and contact information. There are marketing firms who specialize in paid advertising and who’ll get you the most bang for your buck. Online paid advertising can use demographics and other data to make certain you’re getting in front of the right target audience. It’s also a way for you to show up in search results and have more business coming to you. Enhanced Website Don’t skimp on your company website. Your website is the face of the company and customers are searching online all the time to find you and check you out. A better-designed website will also show up in the search results at a higher rank. Therefore, include critical information on your website such as your contact information, pricing, reviews and product information. Keep your website updated with the most recent and relevant information as it’s very likely your target audience is searching keywords or your business name. Don’t let a poorly written or designed website affect your sales. Targeted Social Media Campaigns Social media is an effective way to market your business. You’re able to create business pages, post updates and communicate with current and potential customers. The majority of the social media platforms allow you to run advertisements directly to your target audience. You’re able to push out images, blog posts and special promotions. Many of the platforms have targeting features to help you narrow down the exact type of person you want to see your advertisement. Also, use social media to build an audience, or fan base, of your own. Those who like your posts will continue to engage, and those who no longer feel a connection will drop off. Conclusion Keeping in close contact with your target audience is one of the most important tasks for continued business success. You don’t need be active on every platform, but make sure you utilize and invest in the ones you do choose. The post How to reach your target audience more effectively appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  7. OWC is a company that most Apple fans know about–they make products specifically for Macs, including memory, solid state drives, and what we’ll be talking about today: docks. This isn’t a new area for OWC, they have manufactured previous versions of the product I’m about to review, but this year’s model, the OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock may end up getting a bit more attention than previous year’s models. Why is that? Because of the limited port selection on the late 2016 MacBook Pros. You may recall when Apple announced the late 2016 MacBook Pro, the computer only had one type of port in it: Thunderbolt 3. This turned into somewhat of a brouhaha amongst geeks who wanted to be able to plug in legacy devices. Of course, Apple is selling adapters so you can take your old USB-A type device and plug it into your MacBook Pro, but that still hasn’t sat well with some folks. Nonetheless, OWC is here to try and save the day with their brand new Thunderbolt 3 dock. OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock sitting on my desk. The OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock adds 13 legacy ports to your new MacBook Pro, and thanks to the high bandwidth of Thunderbolt 3, all of this expandability can be enabled by connecting a single Thunderbolt 3 cable to your new MacBook Pro. The dock offers two Thunderbolt 3 ports which operate at maximum transfer speeds of 40Gb/s. Having two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the dock offers some amount of flexibility. For example, you can use of one of the ports to connect a single 5K display or you can connect two 4K displays at 60Hz to the dock using both ports, or if you really are into a ton of screen real estate, you can connect three displays at lower resolutions by combining the two Thunderbolt 3 ports with the mini DisplayPort. I have my late 2016 MacBook Pro in clamshell mode on my desk and I been successfully using my LG UltraFine 5K display connected to the OWC dock. Prior to getting the dock, I had the display connected directly to the computer, along with a Thunderbolt 2 device and a couple of USB devices via adapters which resulted in not having any additional Thunderbolt 3 ports available on the computer. The OWC dock has solved that issue for me by allowing me to free up ports for use by other devices while still being able to accommodate the existing devices. There are also five USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 ports, making up for the absence of any USB-A ports on the new MacBook Pro itself. What’s even nicer is that two (2) of these ports can also fast-charge an iPad and iPhone. There is one fast-charge port on the back and one on the front. Also found on the back of the dock is a Gigabit Ethernet port for those who prefer a hardwired connection, a S/PDIF optical audio output, and a FireWire 800 port if you have some old [Mac] accessories that you just can’t live without–hey, now I can use my Canon Vixia HD camera and easily get video off of it! Moving back to the front the device, in addition to the fast-charging USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, you will also find a SD card reader for getting your photos from your camera to your Mac (again making up for the removal of the SD card slot on the new MacBook Pros) as well as a 3.5mm jack for headphones or mic input. The ability to streamline your setup is always nice, especially if your setup is built around a docked laptop. Everyone wants to be able to unplug and go with ease, but when you have multiple devices (and adapters) connected to a computer it can really make unplugging and going a pain or at least a bigger pain than it should be. Ideally, it would be incredible to have a single cable to unplug from your docked laptop and go on your merry way. And to be fair, if you purchase this dock, that is totally a possibility for some people. Sadly, not for me, but for a majority of people I think it’s totally do-able. The OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock is priced at $279, is available in silver and space gray (as you can see from the picture above: mine is space gray), and comes bundled with a power supply and a 0.5m Thunderbolt 3 cable to connect to your MacBook Pro. The dock is expected to start shipping soon (likely this summer) and is available for pre-order now. The post Review: OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  8. Some people think shopping for clothes is a blast, while others think it’s unbearable. Wherever you stand, there are a host of new apps that can make the clothes-shopping experience even more fun — or at least less painful. Today’s wave of apps use all sorts of features to help you refine your style and buy garments that are right for you, such as your device’s camera or artificial intelligence chatbots. Here are five style apps released this year that will change how you buy clothes going forward. Style Check Style Check is a skill for Amazon Alexa devices, and it just took a giant leap through the new Echo Look device. Echo Look works like any other Alexa voice-enable personal assistant device, the major difference being the new device has an integrated camera. You can use the camera to take full-length photos and short videos hands free to get a look at every angle of your outfit. There is no screen on the Echo Look, but you can see what the camera sees right on your smartphone. You can then use the Style Check skill to get a second opinion. Style Check uses machine learning algorithms and input from fashion experts to help you decide which outfits look best on you based on variables including fit, color, styling and the latest trends. The skill learns your preferences over time and makes the decisions much smarter. Amazon also recently adopted a process to produce clothing only after a customer has ordered it, known as on-demand manufacturing. There’s no word yet if this feature will be integrated into Style Check. Outfits The Outfits app for iOS gives you outfit ideas and recommendations every day based on what’s in your closet and the weather in your location. The app also helps you pare down your closet to make it more efficient, keeping fewer pieces that all work well together. Outfits, which costs $5 per month, also learns over time as you log your daily looks. As time passes your wardrobe will begin to make more sense and give you a better idea of what works and what doesn’t. The app features a shopping companion as well, which gives you suggestions on what to buy based on what you already own. Swaggle Let’s be honest — the majority of style and fashion apps out there tend to cater to female fashions. Now there’s a new style app designed specifically for men. Called Swaggle, the iOS app is essentially an online consignment store for quality menswear, where users can buy and sell new and pre-owned clothing. Shoppers can search for items based on category, size, brand, price and distance. The user interface is a breeze, allowing to swipe left for items you’d like to skip and swipe right to make an offer on an item. Making an offer is also a unique feature. Sellers may accept your initial offer or come back with a counteroffer, creating a back-and-forth negotiation process. Lily The Lily app recently took SXSW by storm due to its innovative AI-powered chat feature that learns your emotions and perceptions about your own body to help you find clothes that are right for you. You chat with the personality-laced iOS app just like you would a friend, and it helps you select the right items to buy. One of the app’s strengths is its partnership with a good number of well-known retailers, such as Macy’s, H&M, Express, Lulus, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom and Banana Republic. Lily’s laid-back and conversational tone makes it a welcoming experience, and its relationship with top-level retailers puts it over the top. Mode.ai The Mode.ai bot is like a personal style assistant you chat with on Facebook Messenger. The chatbot instructs you to type words such as “jeans” or “jackets” to search for an item, then allows you to refine your search by price, size and brand. To further customize your experience, you can enter variables such as your size and preferred brands, giving you more personalized results. You can also type “who wore it” to see photos of celebrities and models that have used similar looks. Whether you enjoy clothes shopping or not, there’s no longer an excuse for not looking your best. Any one of these five apps will help you look and feel your best, and even help you have a little fun in the process. The post 5 style apps that are going to change how you buy clothes appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  9. If you’re a girl-on-the-go like me, you can appreciate when an everyday accessory like a handbag is not only fashionable, but functional as well. If you’re nodding in agreement, I’d love to introduce you to the Mobovida Bristol belt bag. The Mobovida Bristol belt bag is a new spin on an old concept. Not only does the bag combine two of my favorite F-words: fashion and functionality, but the Mobovida Bristol features a unique 3-in-1 design that allows you to easily transform the bag from a fashionable fanny-pack to a simple clutch, or an ultra-chic crossbody with a glistening gold chain. You may be thinking, “what on earth is fashionable about a fanny pack?!” I wondered the same until I tried it for myself! The geniuses at Mobovida worked with a team of designers to revolutionize the fanny pack by turning it into a functional, modern and stylish belted leather bag. The bag features an adjustable (and removable) leather belt that loops through the back of the bag, giving you easy access to all of its contents via a magnetic snap closure. Speaking of the contents, the Mobovida team thought of everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. The interior features a keyring, 3 card slots, a padded smartphone slot, a hole for headphone access, and a zippered privacy pocket. But thats not all! (Did you read that in Billy Mays voice too?) Each bag comes with a universal portable battery for on-the-go device charging. Gone are the days of dread when your phone alerts you at the worst possible time that you have less than 10% battery left. Now you can work all day and party all night without worrying when you’ll be able to recharge again! The buttery soft bags are available in two sizes (small and large) and several colors (black, camel, and milk), all made with premium pebble-grain leather for a high-end look and feel with an affordable price. The brand just launched a Kickstarter campaign, so if this chic convertible bag sounds like something you’d love, head on over to the Kickstarter page and support the fanny pack revolution! The post Functional Fashion: Mobovida Belt Bag Review appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  10. Since the introduction, Photoshop has gained a lot of accreditation among web designers who use it to create mockups for the web and mobile app designs. But, with the introduction of Sketch, it seems like a competitor to Photoshop has finally arrived. Sketch vs Photoshop has become a highly debatable topic in today’s web designing market. It keeps on raging day-by-day as the competition between these two is increasing at a fast speed. Photoshop has always been a commonly used tool for web designing activities and its compelling features encourage web designers to come up with exquisite websites. Whereas, Sketch is comparatively easy to use app used for creating striking web & mobile user interfaces. Primarily, Photoshop was developed to edit and manipulate photos/pictures, but now, it has broadened its realm of creating highly appealing web pages. The emergence of Sketch has affected the importance of Photoshop as it provides fast and easy methods to build web-oriented layouts. Both tools are reliable & superior and no-one can differentiate these two as they both have attained a prominent niche in the design industry. Sure, some people are in favor of Photoshop but many are now moving towards Sketch or at the very least considering it. So how do you know which one is the right application for you? Vector-based Designing Everything you build in Sketch is completely vector-based which means your illustrations would be 100% scaled up and won’t loose quality throughout the life of the design. You can’t have this in Photoshop as when you create a small design or icon in Photoshop, it gets blurred and looses quality when expanding up to some pixels. Sketch produces crisp lines and edges of designs, no matter how far zoomed-in and zoomed-out your design is. Photoshop is not developed for vector graphics hence can create a less clear image or designs. Range of Tools With Sketch, users will not have that wide range of tools that they can have with the Photoshop. It is the most amazing invention for web designing domain which saves a lot of time and helps integrate various outstanding effects. This ability has not been added in the Sketch, thus users need to install required plugins to add effects in designs. Grid Design Layout Designing a website is not a cakewalk as it requires a lot of concentration and designing skills. Whenever you go for website design, it is impossible to work without grid layout. Another standout feature of Sketch is its inbuilt layout grid which makes it more popular among users. Designers need to rely on plugins or a wide series of layers that are not easy to edit. With Sketch, you don’t need to take any tension because it gives the ability to change the columns of the designs just by pinning the transparent layout guide. Color Management Criteria Tools exist in Photoshop allow you to fill colors in the designs, but you are limited here at some steps. With Sketch, color management has become easier as you can simply create a color palette as per your preferences. From the palette, the colors you mostly use will be pulled out for your references which let you use the suggested colors in the future. Most important feature of Sketch is it allows users to access all the files in a single document where it is easier to copy and paste the objects of designs including color fills and color gradients. If we talk about Photoshop, this feature is missing in that. The Bottom Line Which tool is the best to choose for web designing? This question has been asked many times by many people and the answer (as with most things) is it depends on you to decide as per your web design requirements. First, you need to decide on your internal requirements of the web/app design project at hand, use the information above to determine which app is the best match for the criteria you have set. But perhaps most importantly, use the tool that you are most comfortable with as both can get the job done. The post What’s better? Sketch vs Photoshop appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  11. Once the domain of tech millionaires and geeks (remember Bill Gates’ “smart house?), smart home technology has gone mainstream. A combination of voice-activated assistants, smart appliances, and apps are making life easier and more comfortable. Now you can create a remote-controlled home without emptying your bank account. Here are five affordable gadgets to get you started. Amazon Echo Even if you live alone, you can still talk to Alexa. At your command, she plays music, audio books, and changes the TV channel. Ask her a question, and she’s full of useful information about the weather, your grocery list, traffic, and that hot new restaurant across town. The Echo communicates with your smart home appliances just as easily. There are a number of “Works with Amazon Alexa” certified products that integrate with the Echo. The device also supports IFTTT, which makes it easy to pair many other “non-certified” products (that may be less expensive) with the Echo. Nest Learning Thermostat Energy saving has never been this easy. The old-style programmable thermostats could only do the same thing, at the same time, but Nest learns what you like, when, and adapts to changing routines. It will automatically turn the thermostat down at night and raise it in the morning before you get up. By tracking your smart phone’s location, Nest can adjust the temperature to save energy, but still have your house comfortable when you arrive home. It’s IFTTT-compatible too, so it can “talk” to other smart devices. GetSafe Wireless Home Security Wireless home-security systems are portable, non-destructive to walls, and affordable. This wireless home security system is portable, includes a full suite of HD video camera options, and offers 24/7 professional monitoring—all at an affordable price. GetSafe gives you control over your security system, from anywhere, using your smart phone. With just a tap of the app, you can watch a live video feed from your home, unlock the door for the pet sitter, receive security alerts, and more. The system is scalable too. Buy only the sensors and cameras you need at first, and then expand the system when you move to a bigger place. It works with Nest and supports IFTTT, so you can integrate other home automation devices into your security system. It’s home security that easily adapts to your lifestyle. Wemo Insight Smart Plugs Most people can’t afford to ditch their non-Wi-Fi devices and buy a slew of new lamps, TVs, and appliances. You can make your existing items “smarter” and control them remotely with the Wemo Insight. Turn lamps, appliances, air conditioners, etc. on and off. As an added benefit, the switch tracks energy usage; you’ll know for sure how much that space heater really costs to operate. It’s versatile: the Wemo Insight is Alexa-certified, pairs with Nest, and supports IFTTT. Netatmo Personal Weather Station Monitor your indoor air quality and outdoor conditions with a single gadget. The indoor piece includes a CO2 sensor, and the outdoor section is waterproof. It’s expandable: you can connect additional indoor monitors, a rain gauge, or a wind gauge. Netatmo is Alexa-certified, and easily connects to your Nest Thermostat using IFTTT. Have it alert you when the rain stops so you can walk the dog. Check to see how much rain you’ve had recently before you water the lawn. The Internet of Things felt like science fiction just a few years ago, but it’s reality now. Smart home automation is poised to make your home more comfortable and efficient. Even better, you don’t have to be Bill Gates to afford it! The post 5 must have gadgets for home automation appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  12. The ability to run a home from one central hub, be it a smartphone or other mobile device, is something which can make running a home so much easier and more convenient for everybody involved. There are a number of ways to do this, but it is important to remember that not every home automation system using Progressive Micro Actuators is the same – it is important to choose the one which suits you. There are currently two different ways that home automation can be procured – either through retail (i.e. a complete kit), or through being made (i.e. DIY). Retail systems are available through most of the bigger electronics or home stores out there, and they normally come as a pre-made package involving a certain number and type of home automation systems which are already synched. DIY systems, on the other hand, are largely self-made. This can range from completely done by hand, including all the coding and electronics, but as this can be somewhat daunting unless you have training in these areas, there are also lesser-DIY kits which involve simple upgrades to furniture and smartphones for an automated experience. Many of these systems involve linear actuators – particularly progressive linear actuators which can be used to refit tables and chairs (among other things), making them movable in order to suit the tastes and needs of those using them. Most of the systems for home automation have room for customization by electronics professionals, if there are additional requirements that you have in mind. To a certain extent, home automation is designed with this in mind, as the people who have designed the technology know that more advanced technology will eventually replace what they have created. With all of the above being, said, let’s look at some of the key elements of home automation: Variety of Interfaces One of the points of recent home automation was that it was able to be used in a variety of different interfaces – not only are there more and more uses for mobile devices in the use of home automation, but there are also hand-held controllers, and wall-mounted keypads are becoming popular as well for certain types of devices. There is even the possibility for merging different types of devices. Not only will this allow for a greater degree of control, it will also cater to a larger number of people, enabling everyone to feel comfortable. Remote Access Most if not all home automation can now be controlled from a point which is away from the automation itself, through the use of a mobile device or some other form of input. This can be accomplished through connecting the automated device to the router through some form of WiFi connectivity, which is then forwarded on to a specific app or program in the remote device of choice. Upgrades A house is something which changes in function over the years, in both small and large ways. Home automation is something which can easily be changed to fit in with that change in function, be it changing the method in which you can give commands to the automated device, or changing the way in which the device acts, or even increasing or decreasing the amount of automation present in your house. Home automation is designed to be easy to upgrade and change in this manner. The post Key features to consider when designing a home automation system appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  13. We are currently moving into a world where connectivity will be so ubiquitous we will be able to gather and share information using technologies that no one could dream of less than 20 years ago. We might not know exactly how we will be accessing and using websites, but we already moved from the desktop to the smartphone in a few decades. Who is to say we won’t be accessing information from a computer chip embedded in a smartwatch which will throw up a holographic screen you can scroll through – hang on, that probably exist already. How about having communication technology that was predictive and could sense from a series of data gathered using smart gadgets like the optical lenses in our televisions the, GPS in our phones tracking where we live, where we go to socialize, and have fun or to work and to conduct business. That probably exists as well. These examples, both allude to the involvement of the internet of things that has already become a raging phenomenon. A lot of people have been watching how the internet has evolved and how internet marketing has changed over the years. Not so long ago, finding a domain name made of your keywords helped your site show up to more users, in the future, hundreds of new factors will come into play! Have you wondered how things will look like in the next five years with IoT taking up such a prominent role. Countless studies have been conducted to look at how the evolution of technology will affect how we use websites to get information across and to access information. One notable study was conducted by the pew research center’s internet project. The goal of the research was to find out how the internet will have evolved by 2025. The study involved a number of experts across various fields of digital communication technologies and the researchers all seemed to come to the same conclusions: Experts saw a future where information would be ambient and effortlessly accessible to everyone through more than one means. Mobile wearables, predictive mobile devices and embedded computers were cited as some of the internet of things that will allow people to interact with their surroundings and to tap to the wavelengths of information flowing into some kind of cloud based sharing. Everything that can connect will be able to move information. They agree that the biggest hurdle that technology companies have had to face was the availability of connection devices. When everyone can connect, digital information will be able to flow much more freely. Most of the experts believe that with the proliferation of smart sensors, cameras and massive data centers that span the fabric of the internet of things there will be a global immersive communication environment that will push content providers to be and website developers to be on the pulse very time. We already see how social media has been changing how information is delivered and how people interact with it. These experts are right in saying that the internet of things will change digital communications as well as how we use websites, however, changes have already begun. The internet is ever-present, we don’t exactly have to access it anymore. It is a self-operating entity that dictates our lives, who we conduct business and other social rules. Everything can be connected and interconnected withheld various networks from a simple key fob which can be connected to your tablet which in turn can be connected with your refrigerator. While there are pros of living in such a world but there are cons. A lot of the experts are concerned with the new threat that an open system like this that connects everything and everyone can have serious implication on privacy, government, policy and regulations. What does this mean for online marketers? It means more people will be using on-demand services everywhere. It will take the idea of convergence for the consumer to a whole other level. Instead of just offering delivery services for orders made, customers can have groceries delivered without them even knowing because of predictive mobile technologies. Your fridge will tell your supermarket when things are about to run out or go off. Your fitness watch might be. Able to defect a fever coming on or a dangerously low sugar level and will make an appointment automatically done for you. So many things become possible and some of those possibilities have not waited for 2025 – they are happening now. Online marketers have to be aware of the customers’ expectations and IoT can help ensure that markets know what consumers will want before they want it. In the beginning marketed reacted to shifts in their industries, but now marketers have to drive their end of the bargain. They need to be influencers who can deliver on the promises they make as quickly as possible. Marketers like collecting data it what their world revolves around. They will collect, dissect, interpret, put it back together. They scrutinize ideas, look for meaning in their data and in the data of others. Experts estimate that three years from now, there will be over 13 billion IoT devices. Some experts put that figure at close to a trillion. With that many connections comes a heavy flow of data. Online marketers can learn a whole lot more about customers than what they know now. This will enable them to seek smarter marketing methods. Nothing will be unmarketable. IoT and the artificial intelligence of everyday things we will be using in the future will make anything and everything marketable. There will be no area of life and no question asked that will not have a solution proffered. This means marketers will have to be at the top of their game when it comes to projecting an air of authority in their respective niches. Conclusion To answer the question of how we will be using online marketing websites in the future with technology evolving as fast lies in how IoT evolves and how quick we are able to adopt it into our duly lives. We will expect the internet to tell us what we want before we ask. To be preemptive and send opus links to sites that might be of importance to us a particular point of our day. In the future, online marketers will be sages, they will pioneer the way we consume everything. The post How new technology and IoT will affect our website usage appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  14. While on iTunes (and pretty much industry wide) music offerings have been DRM (Digital Rights Management) free since 2009, the same can’t be said for videos available for purchase or rent via iTunes. Every purchased or rented movie or TV show on iTunes is wrapped in DRM, meaning once you buy that video from iTunes you’re limited in terms of where you can play it (e.g. via iTunes or Apple TV, for example) and it also makes it very difficult to share that video with another person (though I do understand why that should be the case). Nonetheless, today, I’m going to share with you a piece of software for both Mac and Windows that lets you turn DRM video files purchased or rented via iTunes into non-DRM files. TunesKit DRM Media Converter retails for $44.95 [Mac | Windows], which isn’t necessarily cheap but could certainly be worth the price if you’ve been searching for an easy, functional DRM removal tool. When you launch TunesKit it will also launch iTunes, so if you’ve already got iTunes running, it’ll ask you to relaunch it. TunesKit Features Once TunesKit is launched, it’s incredibly easy to strip the DRM out of whatever video files you’ve downloaded from iTunes. That includes rentals, too, essentially acting as a digital version of those old VHS duping machines that let people keep copies of movies they’d rented from Blockbuster. Doing this might be pretty dubious in terms of living up to your end of iTunes’ User Agreement, so let your conscience be your guide there. Even without the rental-copying feature, there are plenty of practical, ethical advantages that come with removing DRM. For starters, if you use iTunes on a Windows PC and otherwise stick with Android devices, TunesKit will allow you to watch the videos you buy through iTunes (which may only be available on iTunes, depending on the content) on whatever device you want, as long as it can support the MP4 file format. That means you won’t be stuck watching those videos in iTunes, either. If you prefer VLC or even Windows Media Player, now those are options. Adding the videos you want to turn DRM-free is super simple. Just click the Add Files button and TunesKit will bring up a window showing all of your iTunes video content, including purchases and rentals. Then all you need to do is select the ones you want to convert and you’re off to the races. As an experiment, I rented the Fall Out Boy Live DVD from their Boys of Zummer tour a few years ago and had TunesKit remove the DRM for me–and as it should have, it worked. Flawlessly. The newly created non-DRM video file works perfectly, looks and sounds great. This morning when the rental expired, I fired up my non-DRM version of the video and, yep, it stilled played. I also tried using TunesKit on movies I bought through iTunes, I had it create a non-DRM version of one of my favorites: That Thing You Do! That too, worked just as you would expect. Speed wise, TunesKit is pretty fast. On the company’s website, they claim they can converted a video up to 30x faster than the duration of the movie. Of course, this also depends on the speed of your computer. In my experience, conversions took around around 10 minutes. Also, worth noting is that the conversions are lossless so you don’t lose any quality. TunesKit also provides several options/presets for encoding your video. By default, it’s set to lossless MP4, however, you can also use the lossless M4V preset (this is a good one if you use mostly Apple products). That being said, I tried both presets and they’re essentially identically except for the file type. There are other options as you can see as well, which depending upon your use case you may want to explore. I also noticed you can convert a video into just audio with TunesKit–I’m assuming that’s a limited use case (maybe if I wanted to convert my live concert video into just audio), but it’s there nonetheless. Bottom Line The initial $45 cost to buy a license isn’t too much when you think about the money that you can save by not having to buy multiple copies of media so you can play content on different devices. If iTunes has a sale on Game of Thrones, I should be able to buy it there and then have access to that media on any device, right? TunesKit gives me that opportunity. Would I recommend TunesKit? Absolutely. Buy here: Mac | Windows The post Review: TunesKit removes DRM from iTunes Videos (Movies and TV Shows) appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  15. With so many unique selling points and niche audiences for businesses today, it can be hard to keep track of the latest trends. Likewise, rapid advancements in technology continue to fuel a climate of automation and efficiency that largely transcend the limits of manual labor and human brainpower. As businesses continue to adopt these technologies and advancements, more of the business world becomes dependent on more refined solutions. Companies use software for a variety of reasons, but the primary goal is to save time and money. Here’s how it can help you do both of those things. Automate your Business Processes Businesses have a lot of records to organize and sometimes it is tricky to do so. From client invoices to inventory reports, nobody wants to deal with all of these items in a paper format. Through the use of digital transformation solutions like Bizagi, businesses can put the software to work in ways that ensure all records are securely stored and easily accessible. Imagine a world in which employees no longer have to use antiquated report sheets to log leads, invoices or other day-to-day business operations. With a variety of software solutions available that can easily document, translate and store critical business information, there is just no reason not to take advantage of this time and money-saving solution. Improved Customer Experiences Look back to your customer interactions. What percentage of these interactions result in missed opportunities to sell, lengthy customer service queries, or less than stellar customer impressions? When considering areas in which software can help save businesses time and money, the customer service process should always be at the top of the list. From intuitive FAQs sections and interactive live customer support to product tracking services and proactive updates; all of these points can be improved with software. This, in turn, reduces the level of dissatisfied customers, complaints, questions and other engagements that require time and energy from employees. Efficient Marketing Campaigns The need for an organized and effective marketing campaign is a cornerstone of virtually every business. While marketing gurus are always helpful and valuable components to any campaign, software can give an added boost in ways that save ample time and money. From analytics programs that monitor ROI and CPC to demographic analysis that uncover which audiences suit a particular marketing campaign, there are many reasons why software can make marketing efforts more efficient. Whether in-house software solutions or platforms available through specific advertisers are used, these utilities can help reduce the amount spent for each impression and reduce the amount of time needed to cultivate presences in new audiences. The primary reason for the existence of software is to improve user efficiency. For businesses, this automatically translates into saving time and money. Whether it relates to better customer experiences, improved marketing campaigns, optimal record keeping procedures or something entirely different, the broader result is the same. As more and more businesses opt to replace inefficient workflow processes with automated solutions, the world of business will continue to become more agile and streamlined. The post How software can help your business save time and money appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article