Friday, 18 May 2018

Top 5 Travel Apps Of 2018!

For this weeks Appy Friday, we’re giving you the top 5 apps you need if you’re going away this year or travel regularly. This list contains a range of different apps that can help you find cheap flights or last minute hotels so there’s something on here to help you no matter where you’re going.


Skyscanner

Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
This app is great for searching for cheap flights if you fly regularly. It allows you to compare what the cheapest days and months are to fly with their colour coded calendar charts. A great thing about this app is that there are no extra fees as they don’t charge any booking fees, so there are no hidden costs. If you do travel regularly then you can build frequent flyer miles by booking through the app.

Airbnb

Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
Airbnb is great for finding places to stay, organising day trips and experiences. The app has over 4 million holiday home rentals across 191+ countries. You can sort through these with filters of price, neighbourhood, amenities and more so you can find the perfect place for you to stay. Within the app, you can book the rentals for just a few nights or months depending on your needs, so if you’re going travelling for a long period of time this app is great. Through the app, you can also try out new local experiences by native experts.

Hotel Tonight

Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
This app is great for last minute bookings or long term bookings. You can book hotels for tonight, tomorrow, next week or months in advance. The Hotel Tonight app is great for those spontaneous trips and visits that you can sometimes struggle to get hotels booked in time. This app helps to avoid those difficulties. There is also a range of different filters to help you find the best possible hotel for you.

Packpoint

Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
This app tries to stop you forgetting something when you go away, as it builds a customised packing list depending on what you’ll be doing, and where you are travelling to. As you are packing you can then tick off the things on the list, ensuring you have all the things you’ll need for your trip.

XE Currency

Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
If you travel regularly this app is great for you. It shows the latest exchange rates, and stores them from when you last had Wi-Fi, so you can view them even when you don’t have any internet. The app can monitor up to 10 currencies all at once, along with the live rates being refreshed each minute for every world currency.

So, there’s this week's Appy Friday. My favourite of these is a tie between the Packpoint app and Airbnb as the Packpoint app helps me make sure I don’t forget anything and the Airbnb app is just so handy for finding alternative places to stay. Let us know if you use any of these apps!

Friday, 11 May 2018

Wearable Camera Glasses?

For this week's Appy Friday, we are giving you a rundown on the new release from Snapchat, the V2 Snapchat Spectacles. The V1 glasses weren’t the best, and it’s clear to see the glasses have taken a massive step up and could quite possibly be the most wearable and practical camera glasses yet.


The new Snapchat Spectacles V2 is a big step up from the first Snapchat glasses as they now take photos as well as videos. They don’t have the yellow ring in the corner notifying people to the camera and that you’re recording. The V2 glasses are also much more convenient, useful and stylish than the previous model. They are now waterproof so having underwater capabilities allows for much cooler shots to be taken.

The look of these glasses has also improved massively with classier colour options, lighter lenses, slimmer frames and charging cases. The V2 glasses have a much sleeker look and aren’t as chunky as previously. The colour options are onyx black, ruby red and sapphire blue, you then have a choice between natural or mirrored lens. Another great thing about this new and improved model is that there are prescription options which make them more practical for everyone.

The glasses come in a much nicer and more practical case, the bright yellow case is now 1/3 smaller making it easier to fit into pockets or handbags, which again make them much more wearable than before. The battery on the spectacles has also been improved and is said to have enough charge and memory to store up to 150 videos or 3,000 photos. It has 4GB flash storage and there are an extra four charges in the case as well. One more thing that has been massively improved with this upgrade, is the syncing of images and videos to your phone. It has been improved hugely as it’s so much faster than previously. Another thing that has been fixed is that there is now another microphone which helps to keep wind noise to a minimum, and also accounts for people talking so that the user isn’t much louder than the people around them in videos.

Snapchat spectacles are very easy to use as you long-press for a photo and tap to record a 10-second video. Extra taps then prolong the clip to 30 seconds long. The quality of the videos is 1216 x 1216 pixels and the images are 1642 x 1642 pixels. Both of these features light up a small ring in the corner to warn people that you are recording however compared to V1 it’s much more discrete.

The lenses have been much more thought through on this version, as they have been made more transparent in order to make it easier to use and record in lower light, so you are limited to only using them when it’s super sunny outside. However, they are still UVA and UVB rated so they can be used just like regular sunglasses.

There is one main downfall to these and that is that you can’t download the images and videos straight to camera roll. You have to transfer your content to your Snapchat first then download them to your camera roll. Also, they aren’t cheap glasses they cost £149.99, however, these could be great if you travel a lot as there’s no need to lug around a large camera all the time.

So, there’s this week’s Appy Friday. I think the glasses have taken a giant leap from the first version, as the look, effectiveness and usefulness have improved massively. Although they still have a little way to go I think they’re a really fun gadget to play with and take some great images with. Let us know what you think to these V2 glasses, and whether or not you’ll be trying them!

Friday, 4 May 2018

Top 5 Laptops Of 2018!

For this week’s Appy Friday, we are giving you a list of the top 5 laptops of 2018. There is a range of laptops on here to suit a variety of different budgets from the lower end 2 in 1 laptops to the more high-end laptops with a £1000+ price tag so there’s definitely something on here for everyone.

Above: Lenovo Yoga Book

This laptop is the most expensive on the list as it starts at £1,149.99 and goes up from there. It has a 7th Generation Intel Core i5-7Y54 Processor and has Windows 10 Home operating system. The XPS has a 13.3” FHD InfitiyEdge touch display making it look very stylish and appealing so its price tag matches its looks and capabilities. It also has a widescreen HD 720p webcam with dual digital microphones and a 256GB hard drive.

This laptop comes with a much lower price tag than the Dell XPS 13 at roughly £649.99. The Asus Zenbook has an aluminium body with a 7th generation Kaby Lake processor i3 or i5. Also, you can choose between full HD, 1080p display or 3,200 x 1,800 pixel, QHD+ screen which is 30% more pixels than Apple’s 13-inch retina screens. As well as this the laptop has a fast wake up time and is great value for money.

If you don’t have quite the budget for the first two laptops then this is a great cheaper alternative at £399. As well as this you get 2-in-1 with this laptop as the screen folds flat so that you can use it as a tablet as well. The Yoga Book also has even more versatility as you have the option to buy it with Windows 10 or Android 6.0. Although this has a cheaper price tag it is a great option if you only need a laptop for basic tasks and creating art or watching films as it has an excellent display with a 10.1-inch full HD IPS touchscreen. However, this is very different to your typical laptop as it as it has a hinged keyboard, trackpad and entirely digital keypad with tactile touch typing.

If Apple is more to your taste, the Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is a great option. By far the most distinguishing feature of the MacBook is it’s Touch Bar which is the thin OLED display at the top of the keyboard as this helps with a number of tasks from auto-suggesting words as you’re typing, and offering Touch ID to make logging in much easier. Also like normal, the MacBook has super fast performance making it a great option though it does have a high price tag.

This Chromebook is one of the best on the market with its great performance and more affordable price tag. The Chromebook Flip comes with an Intel Core processor, full 1080p display, backlit keyboard, touchscreen and 32GB- 64GB storage. As well as this it has an elegant tablet mode so is a great 2-in-1 option if you want something that can be used as a laptop or tablet and comes with a reasonable price tag of £549.95.

So, there is this week’s Appy Friday. Personally, I think the Asus Chromebook Flip and Lenovo Yoga Book are my favourites for their versatility as they have a reasonable price tag and are both 2 in 1 laptops making them very useful for travelling. Let us know if you have any of these or plan on buying any!

Friday, 27 April 2018

Is This The Best New Budget Smartphone On The Market?

This week for Appy Friday we’re giving you a great budget alternative smartphone, seeing as not all of us can justify the £1000 Samsung and Apple devices. The new Motorola devices have the potential to be the best budget smartphones on the market. So we’re going to give you a rundown of what makes these devices so great for the price.


The first two phones from Motorola are the Moto G6 and Moto G6 Play. Both of these are due for release in the UK on May 9th 2018. The most expensive of the four new phones from Motorola is the Moto G6 which is £219. There is also a slightly upgraded version of this exclusive to Amazon with more RAM (4GB rather than 3GB) and more internal memory (64GB rather than 32GB) for just £20 more. The G6 has a premium feel with a curved 3D glass design similar to the old Moto X4. The G6 has a 5.7-inch screen with 1080p full HD resolution, there is also an oval shape finger sensor on the phone, to help it keep up to date with the latest more expensive devices. The camera on this phone also keeps up to date with Samsung and Apple as it has dual rear cameras (12MP and 5MP) and an 8MP front camera. The camera also has some great features using AI where you can point your camera at a landmark and it will provide information about it. There’s also another camera mode which allows you to scan text and select only the parts you want to copy.

The Moto G6 Play is fairly similar to the original G6 however it’s a little be cheaper at £169.99. This device has the same size screen as 18:9 with a 5.7-inch HD+ screen so it’s identical to the more expensive version. The camera on this device is a single 13MP rear and an 8MP front camera. So overall there isn’t much difference between the two Moto G6 variations.

The next two budget phones from Motorola are the E5’s, there is the E5 Plus and the E5 Play (though not in the UK). The Moto E5 will cost £119 in the UK, while the Moto E5 Plus is an additional £30 at £149. Both of these phones are due for release during June in the UK.The E5 Plus has an 18:9 6-inch HD+ screen along with a 12MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera like the other two Motorola smartphones. The E5 Plus also has the largest battery out of all the new Motorola devices.

So, there’s this weeks Appy Friday. I think these devices are a great alternative to the £1000+ smartphones, the Moto G6, in particular, is a great device with a good camera and features which make it the best budget phone available at the moment. Let us know if you’re going to try one of these devices!

Friday, 20 April 2018

Top 5 Apps You Should Have!

This week for Appy Friday, we’re letting you know all the apps you should have on your phone. There really is something on here for everyone to try from genius alarm clock apps to the best ways to take notes efficiently. So why not give one a go?



Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
The Evernote app helps you to stay organised effortlessly with notebooks, checklists and to-do lists. You can also take notes in various different forms. For example; text, sketches, photo’s, audio, video, PDF’s and web clippings to make the best notes for you. The app allows you to scan and digitise your paper documents, handwritten notes and drawings.



Platform: iOS
Cost: FREE
Overcast is a podcast app which allows you to find new podcasts and see recommendations via Twitter, from there you can then create playlists of your favourite podcasts to listen to. The app will also send you notifications when a new episode of your favourite podcast is released. There is also a feature where you can download the podcasts so you can listen to or watch them on the go.



Platform: iOS
Cost: £2.99
This is a great app to take and edit incredible photos. The app has features which let you remove red-eye issues, change shooting modes, adjust clarity, add effects, and digitally zoom so there’s something on there to help everyone.



Platform: iOS
Cost: FREE
This app is quite possibly one of the best alarm clock apps on the market, as it doesn’t just sound out your alarm at a certain time, but it gets to know you and your sleeping patterns so that it can analyse when is the best time for you to be woken up. It aims to wake up in your lightest sleep phase within a 30-minute window that you set for you to be woken up in, it is said to therefore, make it much easier to wake up feeling relaxed and rested.



Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
Grammarly is a great thing to have ticking over in the background of your keyboard on your phones to help get rid of any of those embarrassing spelling errors in messages and posts. This app looks for grammatical errors, contextual errors, and has advanced punctuation correction built in.



So, there are this weeks top 5 apps you need to try this year. My personal favourite is the Grammarly keyboard as it helps to avoid any awkward spelling or grammar errors at all times. Let us know if you have any of these apps already or if you’re going to try any of these!



Friday, 13 April 2018

New Apple Mac Pro In 2019?

For Appy Friday this week, we’re giving you all we know on the Apple Mac Pro. With it being rumoured to be released in 2019, there are lots of rumours going around about what this new desktop will contain and look like as it’s highly anticipated. So, here’s all we know about the price, spec, look and release dates.


It’s been many years since the release of the last Mac Pro, Apple hinted about a Mac Pro upgrade last year. Then later on in December 2017, they had a press release for the new iMac Pro sale so from then on it was clear that the new Mac was in active development.

The new Apple dedicated desktop is set for release in early 2019 and it’s more than likely that is will cost roughly the same as the current models if not slightly more.

The 2013 Mac Pro computer was first seen at the 2013 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June 2013 and was then released for sale in December 2013. That being the case it is still possible for the new desktop to be teased at the WWDC 2018, however, it’s unlikely that the computer will make it into the public's hands before early 2019. If it doesn’t make an appearance there, however, it could be seen at the latest in October/ November time after the September iPhone launch.

Apple said that the new Mac Pro would be designed for the pro customers as it will be designed to the highest level of performance and design. The system also will have a new high-end display. There were some rumours in September that it would have an 8K resolution screen with a 32-inch display.

Something that you don’t have to wait for though is the release of the Product (RED) iPhone 8 and 8 Plus which is released on 13th April. Apple released the Product (RED) iPhone 7 at a similar time last year with some of the proceeds going to fighting HIV and AIDS in Africa.

So, there’s all we know about the 2019 release of the new Mac Pro. Also the new Product (RED) iPhone 8 and 8 Plus release today, let us know if you’ll be buying the red iPhone or if you’re waiting to buy the Mac Pro in 2019.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Top 5 Phones To Try In 2018!

For Appy Friday this week, we’re giving you a rundown on the top 5 smartphones that you should potentially try this year. From some of the most expensive phones on the market, to more affordable devices to suit your needs over the year.


Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is said to be one of the best Android phones available in 2018. The phone has a great 12MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera so it’s great for those who love taking photos on their travels. As well as this the S9 Plus has a great screen size and resolution for watching high-quality videos and images. So this is a great phone to try this year.

iPhone X
One of the big releases of last year was the iPhone X, with its great camera and screen. It’s just a great gadget to have if you don’t mind spending a bit extra on a phone that looks super slick. Although the phone is very expensive, it’s a great device to have with you at all times.

Google Pixel 2 XL
This phone is an excellent alternative to an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy as it has a great 6-inch screen with high resolution so you can carry out all the daily tasks you need to on this device with ease. Also, this phone is much cheaper than the iPhone and Samsung phone, however, it still doesn't have a headphone port which seems to be getting phased out across lots of phones, unfortunately.

Huawei Mate 10 Pro
This device is great for anyone who needs their phone to last a long time between charges, as this phone has one of the best batteries on the market. As well as this, the phone has a 20MP rear camera and 12MP front-facing camera. The Huawei Mate is also quite affordable in comparison to some of the others on this list but still has a list of great features.

LG V30
The LG phone has a great high-quality camera however it does struggle with low light photography so that’s something to bare in mind. As well as this, the device has excellent battery life and amazing audio performance along with its affordable price point.

So, there are our top 5 smartphones on the market. The one I'm personally thinking of trying this year is the iPhone X or the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus as both these devices seem to have the best specifications for my needs. Let us know what phone you’ll be trying this year or if you have any of these phones already.