Category: news

My Top 7 Apps: Lauren McDonough from iData

For today’s top 7 apps we have Lauren McDonough from iData.

iData offers business communications solutions with a range of systems including business mobiles, broadband, VoIP and IT services. The company specialises in connecting all communications devices for a more efficient workplace.

Here is Lauren’s list;

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Lauren McDonough iDataLogMeIn: It requires downloading software (which isn’t free) to computers but LogMeIn is a genius of an app. I can access my whole PC from my phone. It gives me remote access to my computer and certainly makes those trips out of the office much easier.

Google Drive: A lot of my work related documents are saved in Google Drive so it’s good to know that there’s an app. I can retrieve, edit and share files on the go using Google Sheets and Google Docs all in the safety of the cloud.

My Data Manager: A lot of apps nowadays need an internet connection to work. I use My Data Manager to keep track of how much data I have left before its refreshed. It even sends notifications when I’m close to going over my limit.

Pocket: Pocket is great for those times I don’t have time to finish what I’m reading online. Many times I’ll come across something interesting, or even funny, that I want to read or show others further down the line. The app keeps everything in one space, ready and waiting for my return.

Wunderlist: A to-do list with a difference, Wunderlist lets me easily add, edit and mark tasks as appropriate. I like to think I do quite a lot day in and day out so keeping organised is important. I’ve also got a few collaborative folders in there that the whole team contributes to, allowing us to see exactly where we are with a particular job.

Audible: As far back as I can remember, I’ve always loved a good book. Now I’m a little older though, I don’t really have as much time as I did to really get stuck into one. Audible almost makes this problem disappear as I can enjoy a book wherever I am. It makes traffic and flights a breeze.

Flow Free: Everybody should have at least one game to unwind with and for me it’s Flow. The basis is extremely simple – connect coloured dots. It’s harder than it sounds though and there is a Daily Puzzles feature so there’s always new levels, even after you’ve completed the main ones.

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Thanks to Lauren for this list of apps. Wunderlist has always been a popular choice on lists, easy to see why!

Find out more about iData on their website, twitter and Facebook.

If you’d like to contribute your Top 7 Apps or if you are the PR representing someone you’d like to see featured, everything you need to know about participating is right here.

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Discover Google’s hidden games

We were recently sent over an infographic by the guys at euroffice, which we thought was quite cool.

t’s a guide to discover the hidden games Google has secreted across it’s tools and devices; including old school classics such as Atari Breakout and Pac-Man, as well as some great new games hidden in Google Maps and Google Earth.

Take a look when you’ve got a free minute …

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Getting Started with: iOS

Apple’s iOS and the devices it accompanies are hugely important in the mobile market. Though its market share is more limited than its rival, Android, Apple’s platform is often more profitable. Most people should be familiar with at least one of Apple’s iOS products but today we will attempt to explore the platform and explain some of its concepts while hopefully solving any misconceptions.

What is iOS?

iOS is Apple’s own mobile operating system. It is used in iPhones, iPads, and the iPod Touch. It is developed in-house by Apple who is also its sole distributor as it has been designed exclusively for its own hardware. Since being unveiled alongside the original iPhone in 2007, iOS has had a tremendous influence in the mobile market. It was the first mobile OS to focus entirely on user input through the finger with tapping and swiping. Today, it is the second most popular mobile OS globally by sales.

The latest version as of this writing is iOS 10.1.1. Originally, it was called the iPhone OS but was rebranded by Apple in 2010. The latest versions of the OS are usually available for hardware going a couple of generations back. For instance, iOS 10 is available for the iPhone 5, 4th generation iPad, 6th generation iPod Touch, and most other devices later than those such as the iPad Pro.

Apple’s ecosystem approach to iOS

Though smartphones and mobile operating systems are becoming increasingly more similar these days, there are still some very important differences between them. With iOS, Apple decided to go with a walled-garden approach. Because iOS is developed by Apple for the company’s own products, it looks the same across the board. In addition to that, it operates on a very similar level across all available devices though there are some features that can only be accessed by the latest hardware. Third-party developers are more than welcome to release software for iOS and there are more than two million apps on the App Store. Without delving too much into the many complex reasons behind it, Apple’s App Store has also consistently generated more revenue for developers than Google’s Play Store.

Another important thing to note is that Apple has aimed to create an ecosystem around its products. For instance, iOS and macOS work great together. The so-called ‘Continuity’ features of Apple’s devices allow users to easily share files between devices, start work on their iPhones and seamlessly continue on their Macs, and more. While there are fewer options for customization and going off script, Apple’s approach has ensured that the operating system can work nearly flawlessly.

Why should you choose an iOS device?

The most important argument that I would make for anyone interested in owning an iOS device has to do with how well the OS actually performs. Due to the fact that Apple retains complete control over both its software and hardware, its quality assurance is virtually unparalleled. When you get an iPhone, you will know exactly how it operates because all the other iPhones work in the exact same way. Each app that you download will have been specifically developed and designed for your phone and it will look great and perform well every single time.

In addition to all that, app developers love iOS users. Updates to most apps arrive on a very frequent basis and the operating system often receives features faster than Android in the same apps though this trend has been slowly changing in the last couple of years. The App Store has everything that you could possibly need while Apple has also made considerable efforts to offer its own services for every task, including music streaming.

If you like iOS and the associated hardware but do not agree with Apple’s approach, you might still be able to enjoy it. A process called ‘jailbreaking’ allows users to lift software restrictions from iOS. Jailbroken devices can run additional software and tweaks that can completely transform the way a device operates. Jailbreaking is generally a safe process but it is not condoned by Apple, will most likely void your warranty, and is not always as safe as the official system. Going more in-depth would be beyond the scope of this particular article but feel free to drop a comment down below if you have more questions on jailbreaking as well as its benefits and disadvantages.

What are the drawbacks of iOS?

Like its rival, the biggest benefits of iOS can also be considered as its biggest drawbacks. The closed ecosystem is an appealing choice for some but a very restricting one for others. Price is also a major contesting point here. One could argue that the latest iPhones are within the same price ranges as the latest Android flagships, of course. With that said, apps are also differently priced here because there are far fewer ad-supported ones than in Android.

Is it hard to use iOS?

Any way you look at it, the answer to this question is a resounding no. Apple’s iOS is designed with an intensely user-friendly approach in mind. Everyone and anyone can learn to use it extremely quickly. The fact that it operates the same in every iPhone also makes it extremely easy to find answers to your questions and concerns as well as helpful suggestions by existing users.

Closing remarks

Those who are after a polished experience will really appreciate what iOS has to offer. The user-friendly interface makes every device incredibly easy to use. Performance is typically smooth and support for the latest hardware is always fantastic. If you want a phone or a tablet that just works for you then you cannot really go wrong with iOS.

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Google Pixel vs iPhone 7

It is no secret that Google and Apple have been rivals in the mobile industry for a long time. Android and iOS are the two market leaders in market share and revenue, after all. However, that rivalry has probably never been more relevant than today. The Google Pixel vs iPhone 7 debate is far more obvious than Android vs iOS. After all, this is the very first phone that Google has designed and developed in-house since it sold off Motorola to Lenovo, despite the fact that it is actually made by HTC. It is a direct competitor to the iPhone 7 in the sense that it is a new, premium brand that will receive the very best Android care with exclusive features to boot.

One could certainly say that Google is mostly competing with Samsung’s top-end line here. However, I will make the argument that the Google Pixel is the most relevant comparison to the iPhone 7, particularly for those who simply wish to know about the best that iOS and Android have to offer.

Hardware – Design, exclusive features

Design is one of the hardest areas to talk about objectively. The fact is that both the iPhone 7 and the Google Pixel are phones with exceptionally sleek designs. The iPhone 7, a refined and updated version of the previous model, looks and feels fantastic. The design is at once sturdy, elegant, and light which makes the phone very satisfying to use. Furthermore, the new home button with its Taptic Engine is a joy to use after a while, particularly in combination with the existing Force Touch features. As always, the Touch ID sensor also works great.

The Pixel is also a phone that stands out from the crowd. Its half-glass back is the most standout feature. That design certainly looks strange at first glance. However, once you get used to it, you can certainly appreciate Google’s unique approach. The fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone also works great, particularly if you have used phones with similar features such as the Nexus line. Unlike the iPhone 7, the Google Pixel does not have any physical buttons.

One area in which the Google Pixel is particularly lacking is waterproofing. The Pixel is merely splash-resistant whereas the iPhone 7 can actually be submerged up to 1M deep in water. On the other hand, the iPhone 7 came with Apple’s very controversial decision to remove the headphone jack. The Pixel retains the headphone jack but only has a single, bottom-firing speaker compared to the stereo ones found in the iPhone 7.

Display – Size, quality

Apple’s Retina displays have always looked great, even though their resolution and ppi is technically lower than much of the competition. The iPhone 7 has a 4.7-inch LCD screen with a 1334 x 750 resolution. Based on those numbers alone, one might make the mistake of assuming that the screen is lacking in some areas. However, its color reproduction, brightness levels, and overall look are all top-notch.

The Google Pixel comes with a larger 5-inch AMOLED display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. Colors look great and sharp. The viewing angles are also very good. Brightness levels are lacking in comparison to the iPhone 7 which may pose a problem when using the phone under direct sunlight. Overall, however, the Pixel’s large display looks absolutely fantastic.

Where the iPhone 7 wins, however, is the pressure-sensitive display. What that means is that pressing on the screen with varying amounts of force produces different results which feels great to use once you get the hang of it.

Software – Interface, ease of use, performance

Both iOS and Android have grown a lot since their early days and are now incredible mobile operating systems in their own right. Both Apple and Google have been taking features from each other and others in the mobile industry, despite an unwillingness to admit it. The end result, however, are two systems that work great for both experienced and amateur users alike. Furthermore, performance is extremely similar across the two devices. Both of them can handle demanding tasks with ease, after all.

Android wins a bit in the customization department though iOS is getting better at it too. Siri and the new Google Assistant are also great digital assistants with very few noticeable differences for the everyday user. In the end, it all boils down to personal preference so you will have to use both systems to decide which one you like best. For more information, you can check out our Getting Started with Android and iOS articles, respectively.

Camera

When it announced the Pixel, Google said that it had the best camera of any smartphone in the market. With such a bold claim, users and critics alike immediately put Google’s announcement to the test. The results, as usual, were mixed. For someone like me, who enjoys taking pictures but cannot tell extremely subtle differences, both camera produce stunning results. The details and colors look amazing and you will really be hard-pressed to tell the photos apart in most occasions. With all that said, the two phones do reproduce colors in somewhat different ways. Again, this will boil down to personal preference. The only way to be certain is to check photo comparisons and make up your mind.

Google Pixel vs iPhone 7 – Conclusion

As you might have originally expected, the conclusion is that both devices are exceptional. Google’s Pixel and Apple’s iPhone 7 both have the benefit of being in-house products which means that they will receive the best features as fast as possible. Both phones are equally well-made but offer somewhat different features for the end-user. Those who love to take pictures outside, during the day or in harsh conditions, might prefer the iPhone 7’s brighter screen and water-proofing, for instance. Those who like to fully customize their phones might go for the Pixel instead. Moreover, the price is exactly the same for both devices though the iPhone 7 can be acquired through more carriers than the Pixel. In the end, what you should really keep in mind is that you will not regret the decision to buy either of these two devices.

As I have mentioned before, this particularly content series will be looking to address some of the biggest rivalries in tech, old and new. What that means is that these issues will likely raise some controversy so please feel free to drop a comment down below and share any issues or concerns with us.

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My Top 7 Apps: Chris Vassilopoulos of G3 Partners

Back with another Top 7 apps list. This week we have Chris Vassilopoulos of G3 Partners.

“My names Chris and I’m an Australian working in Seoul, South Korea at a marketing/hr agency G3 Partners. I also run a small apparel brand online so the apps here are the apps I use for marketing”

G3 Partners is one of Asia’s first startup-focused PR and Communications agency. They provide a full suite of global services for startups expanding overseas and raising investment internationally.

Let’s have a look through his list.

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Chris Vassilopoulos G3 PartnersInstagram: Instagram’s recent changes have been big for the platform. The snapchat-like stories and recent updates have added tagging and ‘boomerang’ to stories which gives users a chance to directly link to profiles. Instagram is changing and is going to quickly become an (even more) powerful marketing platform. Follow mine here

VSCO Cam: VSCO, much like Instagram is a very big and powerful photo editing platform. VSCO is my go-to after exporting my photos from Lightroom. I was happy to put in the $10 for their ‘best of’ filters because they’re very distinct and well put together. Instagram is a very tough market to break into. Having a consistent and unique feed isn’t easy, but VSCO cam, to me, is integral when maintaining a level of consistency across my posts.

Sunshine: Getting a bunch of photos/videos from my PC to mobile has never been easy. I was annoyed with the slow speeds of google drive and have been using a PLEX alternative app called ‘Sunshine’ to manage my photos. To make Sunshine work, I point the PC App to where my photos are exported from Lightroom and I can instantly browse the files on my PC. I can also stream video from my PC to mobile really easily which saves a lot of space on my phone.

Kakao Talk: Before coming to Korea, I had no idea what this app was. Kakao talk has since become the best messaging app I have ever used. This Korean made giant connects well over 90% of South Kore. I’ve even started buying emojis to spam my friends with. KakoTalk has all the features you didn’t know you needed like, location pin sharing, send friends gift coupons, live video and integrated games.

Podcast Addict: I’ve been big on Podcasts since 2004-2005. I always loved the IOS app, but since switching to android (6 years ago) I’ve always struggled to find an app that I’m happy with. PA is a fine substitute for ‘Podcasts’ on iOS. It has all the timers and streaming options that you’re looking for and best of all is free!

Shopify: I recently moved from a Square Space account to Shopify. I’ve been very happy with the level of service and ease of use that has come with migrating to Shopify. It lets me know all about my sales, traffic and orders all through a very simple and clean interface. Highly recommended if you’re looking for a quick and easy storefront and app.

AbyssRium: Man, is this game pretty. I’ve got a big soft spot for marine life and ‘clicker’ games. AbyssRium is a very satisfying game where you slowly build up coral and exotic fish species in a virtual ocean. It’s a good time waster when you’re commuting or want to relax for a moment. They’re constantly updating the fish and coral in the game so even if you’re like me and have ‘finished’ it, there is always more content on the way.

Naver Map: Also unknown to me before coming to Korea was that Google services are usually outclassed by Korean copies. Naver is Korea’s Google and is everyone’s first choice when doing anything on the internet. Naver maps have incredibly detailed information in their map services. Using the ‘directions mode’ also takes into account Korea’s plethora of public transport options.

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Thanks to Chris for his list, I am loving the sound of AbyssRium!

You can find out more about G3 Partners on their website.

If you’d like to contribute your Top 7 Apps or if you are the PR representing someone you’d like to see featured, everything you need to know about participating is right here.

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T-Mobile joins AT&T in fight against scam calls

In the digital age, security threats can come in more forms than one might imagine. Most people barely protect themselves against such threats. The subsection of people who do actively try to improve their cyber security is extremely small.

However, security threats are not always technologically advanced. In fact, simple scams represent the most common threats which have persisted through the years. Unfortunately, many people still fall for these types of scams, particularly through telephone calls.

Two years ago, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US voted to allow carriers to offer tools that would help customers block scammers either automatically or manually.

In December 2016, AT&T was the first company to introduce a scam filter. AT&T Call Protect, as the service is called, usually works as an automatic filter that blocks scammers. When the call is ambiguous, it displays a warning so that customers can at least be aware of potential scams.

Now, T-Mobile has also announced a similar service with a two-fold approach. First, the company will automatically display a “Scam Likely” warning whenever it detects a potential scam call.

In addition to that, users will have the option to automatically block all suspected scam calls. This part of the service is entirely optional and will have to be enabled manually as the company might block legitimate calls by accident.

For its part, the FCC seems keen to give carriers more power in blocking these types of calls. Scam ID and Scam Block, as T-Mobile calls these two features, will initially roll out to T-Mobile ONE customers on April 5 while postpaid customers can also enable it manually as instructed here and everyone else over time.

The carrier said that a patent-pending technology will analyze all the calls and compare them against an “advanced global database of tens of thousands of known scammer numbers”. Moreover, calls will be analyzed with “behavioral heuristics and intelligent scam pattern detection”.

What that possibly means is that T-Mobile will proactively analyze numbers for strange patterns and potentially detect scammers before they are even added to the aforementioned database. Since personal information will not be detected, the carrier will most likely base these analyses on things like call frequency or how often its subscribers hang up on a specific number.

Giving carriers the power to block or at least detect scammers is a great thought on paper but I do wonder how it will translate to practice. Monitoring and managing phone calls should not fall under the jurisdiction of private companies, after all, even when the goal is noble.

With that said, the FCC has been trying to fight scams and robocalls for years. Its current Chairman, Ajit Pai, has also vowed to continue the fight and allow companies to block such calls at their discretion. Thus, it is likely that this is merely the first step in what will become a normal process for the carriers.

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Google’s Fuchsia OS looks like a redesigned Android

Google’s Android has dominated the mobile market for quite a few years. Its smartphones, ranging from budget devices to expensive flagships, can be found pretty much everywhere. However, the company has been quietly developing a new in-house OS dubbed Fuchsia.

Fuchsia OS first made an appearance back in August. Back then, it was nothing more than a command line and a prototype. It appears that Google is actually more invested into this OS than we might have originally thought.

One of the most interesting tidbits about this OS is that it is not be based on Linux, unlike Android and Chrome OS. Instead, it uses Google’s own microkernel, “Magenta”. Apparently, the search giant wishes for Magenta to one day be found in both “modern phones and modern personal computers”.

Now, Fuchsia actually has UI called Armadillo. As Fuchsia is completely open-source and cross-platform, interested users can already run Fuchsia’s current iterations on any Android device. Since everything is practically a placeholder, you cannot really do anything with it.

Even so, there are traces of what Fuchsia is going to look like in the future. The home screen uses a radical new interface which seems to revolve around cards. There is also a basic keyboard, a home button, and a rudimental window manager.

According to Ars Technica, Fuchsia developer Travis Geiselbrecht went on Fuchsia’s IRC channel to reassure everyone that this OS “isn’t a toy thing, it’s not a 20% project, it’s not a dumping ground of a dead thing that we don’t care about anymore”.

After all, it seems quite reasonable that Google would want to develop its very own OS based on its very own platform without any obligations to third parties. Moreover, it is a surefire way to ensure that the company’s guidelines, on design and performance, can be met without fail.

Redesigning its mobile platform while dumping Linux, Java, and all the associated problems while keeping the OS open will basically give Google the best of all worlds. If Android could guarantee the smooth performance of iOS with consistent updates across the board then both developers and end-users may finally be happy.

Migrating from Android into a new OS is, however, a problem that Google is not ready to face yet. The very idea of convincing manufacturers like Samsung, who already want to move on to their very own platforms, to switch over to an OS entirely developed (and controlled) by Google will be a hard bet.

Putting an emphasis on the cross-platform capabilities of Fuchsia and its advantages over Android may be enough to convince both Google and third-party OEMs and developers to adopt the platform. Whether Fuchsia will ever be turned into a real product, however, remains to be seen.

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Apple WWDC 2017 Roundup

The Apple WWDC 2017 keynote has now wrapped up. For those of you who did not manage to catch the event or did not want to sit through every announcement, we have compiled a list of the conference’s most important announcements right here.

HomePod

One of the biggest announcements of WWDC 2017 was HomePod, Apple’s answer to Amazon Echo and Google Home. The long-rumored speaker is more or less exactly what you would expect as it represents Apple’s version of a speaker/digital assistant hybrid.

HomePod

Users will be able to interact with the HomePod via Siri and will be able to use a bunch of Apple services in the process. Apple Music is the star of the show but the speaker will more or less be able to do anything that Siri can do.

The speaker will offer hi-fi audio and uses spatial awareness to fill the room with music. As is the case with Google and Amazon, Apple’s HomePod represents the company’s first step into a wider smart home ecosystem, the details of which remain to be seen.

The HomePod will launch in December in the US, Australia, and UK with a price tag of $349.

Software updates across the board

Every Apple OS platform is receiving a number of different updates with iOS and macOS taking center stage. Apple announced several tweaks for iOS 11 including an updated interface, a redesigned Control Center, an improved App Store, and more.

There are several features to go through and anyone interested in learning about all the details can head to Apple’s iOS 11 Preview page. The most interesting updates, by far, concern the iPad which will now be a far more powerful device with desktop-like capabilities.

Siri will also be the recipient of several upgrades, including the ability to translate text and an automatic “Do Not Disturb” mode while driving. In addition to that, Apple’s virtual assistant will be more contextually aware.

On the macOS side, the upcoming version of the desktop OS will be called High Sierra. One of the most interesting updates will come to Safari as it will now block site trackers as well as auto-playing videos.

In contrast, tvOS received practically no love at all except for the fact that Amazon Prime subscribers will finally be able to watch their shows and movies on Apple’s platform.

New Macs and iPads

All new MacBook Pros will now come with the latest Kaby Lake processors along with faster SSDs. On top of that, there are now more powerful iMac models with better displays and USB-C.

For those who need the very top of the line, Apple also unveiled some details of the Space Gray iMac Pro, with the base version coming at $4,999 that will ship in December with four Thunderbolt 3 ports, support for two 5K displays, and more.

As for the iPads, there is now a 10.5-inch model that is roughly the same size as its processor due to smaller bezels and an improved 12.9-inch model. Both will come with vastly improved displays with dynamic refresh rates.

Those are the most important announcements of WWDC 2017. What did you think of this year’s keynote? Let us know in the comments!

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Getting Started with note-taking apps

Technology advances in a rapid pace but human habits are hard to ignore. Note-taking, for example, is an ancient art that has been a part of life for organized human beings for centuries.

Where technology can help is in the way we take our notes. Handwritten notes may be just fine for some people but a vast selection of note-taking apps with numerous features exist to assist with such processes.

Side note: There are countless note-taking apps in both iOS and Android. For the purposes of this article, we will only go through some of the most popular ones and briefly examine what they can offer.

Note-taking apps – Dozens of features but what do you actually need?

If you have never used a note-taking app before, you may be forgiven for thinking that such apps offer nothing more than a basic way to type and save notes.

In fact, the major players in the field offer much more than that. Here is a taster of what you can expect:

  • Scanning images with advanced recognition.
  • Effortless cloud syncing.
  • Third-party app integration.
  • Saving clips on the go.
  • Record and save audio.
  • Collaborating with multiple people.
  • Organize and search hundreds of different notes with tags and labels.
  • Write searchable notes with a stylus on a tablet.

That is just a glimpse of the different features offered by most major note-taking apps such as Evernote and OneNote. However, these are advanced features that many people will entirely forego.

If you are looking for such features, read on to find out what Evernote and OneNote can offer you. Otherwise, skip ahead to Google Keep and Apple Notes.

Evernote – Get it if you have handwritten notes

This service is one of the oldest and most recognizable ones in the field. Evernote has pretty much everything you could think of in a note-taking app. What distinguishes it from pretty much everything else, however, is its Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology.

As you may have seen elsewhere, there are services that can read and convert text from images. Evernote goes one step further, however, and allows users to convert their handwriting as well.

Evernote Android

Other apps offer similar features but none of them is as good as Evernote. Even if your handwriting is not the best, the app’s OCR will indeed manage to understand it and instantly convert it into searchable text.

If you write a lot of notes by hand throughout the day and wish to find a way to organize all of them digitally, then you will not find a better service for that.

Evernote has reigned supreme in the note-taking industry for a very long time. A couple of years ago, most people would have readily recommended the Evernote apps to anyone almost without hesitation.

A couple of years ago, however, the company decided to rip its foundations and follow a revised business model which, among other things, cut features in the free tier. As one might expect, people were not happy about that.

The only thing you should really know about that is that the free tier is very limited now. Users only get 60MB of monthly uploads and if you are planning on uploading images and recordings then you will reach that limit in no time.

OneNote – Perfect for Office 365 subscribers

Microsoft’s OneNote has evolved quite a bit throughout the years. What was once a clunky app that struggled to compete with similar services is now a very decent note-taking suite which integrates very well with Windows and other Office apps.

That is also OneNote’s killer feature. Integrating with Microsoft apps is quite seamless and it will (hopefully) only become better in the future. For example, you can easily create Outlook tasks within OneNote which will then be shared across the Office ecosystem.

OneNote iOS

The reason why OneNote is perfect for Office 365 users is because of those integrations. OneNote is actually free across all platforms and there are no “premium” restrictions on it. However, paid users will get a lot more storage and access to a bunch of other Office apps that can aid with productivity in any platform including iOS and Android.

And if you really want to use OneNote and would also like some form of handwriting recognition that is better than the one provided inside the app itself, Microsoft’s Office Lens app may be of some help.

Google Keep and Apple Notes – Simple, no-frills notes

For those of you invested in either Google or Apple’s ecosystems and who simply want to take a few notes here and there without any advanced features then Google Keep and Apple notes will do the trick just fine.

Apple Notes

Apple Notes, a default system app, features excellent syncing via iCloud, it looks great, and it supports attachments, photos, videos, sketches, and every other thing one might need for in simple note-taking apps.

Google Keep

Google Keep is similar, allowing users to easily create notes, to-do lists, and more while adding videos, images, and audio to complement the experience. Keep is also great at syncing with other Google services and the Android widget is especially useful for spontaneous note-taking.

Summary

Evernote and OneNote are both great services which offer slightly different incentives for advanced note-takers. In contrast, Apple Notes and Google Keep offer incredibly simplified and accessible ways of saving and organizing notes.

And if none of these apps appeals to you, a quick search in the respective app stores of iOS and Android will result in dozens of different apps, each with their own style and features.

Which note-taking app do you use? Let us know in the comments!

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AI, chat fiction, and apps for different ages

When developing and marketing apps, there are countless things to take into account in order for the apps in question to be successful. For instance, developing a great app and marketing it to the wrong age demographics will all but guarantee its failure.

Chat fiction apps are on the rise

One does not need to look any further than the recent trend of chat fiction to understand this concept. If you have not heard of chat fiction apps, then you are probably not in the intended target audience (read: teenagers).

Apps like Hooked (Android, iOS) and Yarn (Android, iOS) are rapidly rising in the app stores yet many people will never know about them. The chat fiction genre of apps is exactly what it sounds like; fiction presented in chat form.

Yarn app

As you can see in the image above, these kinds of apps present stories as if they were actual conversations between people. There are all kinds of stories available ranging from comedy to horror and, as you might expect, those are mostly targeted towards young people too.

Both of the aforementioned app have a free basic version but cost $2.99 for weekly subscriptions or $39.99 for a year. So while it may be easy to discount them as a fad, all the numbers point to something different.

Age demographics matter for AI too

With that in mind, artificial intelligence is another area that should consider age demographics. For instance, 2017 has been a tremendous year for chatbots. However, they are certainly not viable for everyone.

The older generation is not only used to human contact in their business dealings but also expects it every time. Coming face-to-face with a faceless entity is quite impossible, after all.

In contrast, the younger generation has no issue with adapting to new technologies and using them to their fullest potential. But something that developers and marketers often seem to forget is that the young generations are not as susceptible to traditional marketing techniques.

For instance, no young person will go to a chatbot and attempt to have a normal conversation with it as if they were talking to their friends, despite what advertisements might show.

Instead, they will treat it exactly like what it is: a new type of tech-based interaction that can help them get what they want, whether that is new flight updates or shopping recommendations.

There is currently a lot of talk around AI and how it will replace jobs, particularly I the customer experience industry. One thing that everyone in that field should keep in mind is that age demographics still play a vital role and should not be discounted.

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