Friday, 16 February 2018

Top 5 Motivational Apps!

This week we’re giving you our top 5 motivational apps to help get you through this year and be as successful as possible. There are a range of different motivational apps that will help you in all aspects of life to keep you motivated in your day to day tasks, and to keep you motivated to stay on top of your fitness regime.



Way Of Life
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
The Way Of Life app is very helpful for either getting rid of a bad habit or making a good new habit. Way of Life uses colour coded systems to track your daily routines. The app also gives you reminders to ensure that you break the bad habits and continue with the good habits. Also within the app, there is a diary feature so that you can write down what triggered the bad habit.

Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
The iWish app helps you to achieve life goals, there are 1200 inspiring ideas built into the app if you don’t have many goals of your own, but want something to aim for. Once you have set out what your goals are, you can keep track of how you’re doing with those goals.  You can also add in all the accomplishments you’ve made towards your long-term goal. The app also features areas to add in to do lists, priorities, and reminders to help you stay on track.

Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
This app is great for motivating yourself to go out and get walking with the added element of competition to help motivate you. The app allows you to compete with your friends and be the one with the highest amount of steps, which will help to motivate you if you’re a highly competitive person.

Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: £1.46
The Wonderful Day app is great for helping you add your goals and activities that you want to work on over the following weeks and months. You can also choose what days you want to work on your activity. For example, you can add an activity like ‘go for a run’ every day as a daily reminder or ‘volunteer work’ as a reminder once a week. Then at 8am every morning the app will remind you of the tasks you have to do that day.

Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
The Coach.me app is great personal coaching app. Within the app, there are 3 main features. The first is that you coach yourself to track your progress and get rewards for it. The second is when you take part in community coaching; Where the Coach.me community will help to answer your questions and you can take part in that community to help better yourself. The third and final feature is that you can hire a private coach to personally help you, however those prices start at £14.99.

So, there we have our top 5 motivational apps to help you throughout the year and stay on top of your goals and aspirations. My personal favourite one of these is the Way Of Life app, this app is so great at helping you crack all those bad habits and stay on top of new habits. Let us know what apps you use to help keep you motivated and on top of your goals.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Apple HomePod - All You Need To Know!

Apple has finally entered the smart speaker industry and is releasing it’s very own ‘HomePod’. So, this week we’re giving you a rundown on everything you need to know about Apples smart speaker with its release date being today. This rundown will give you all the information you need from the prices to what the specs of the device are.


Release Date
The Apple HomePod was available for pre-order from Friday 26th of January and is actually released on the Friday 9th February (yes, today!). The HomePod will be available first in the US, UK and Australia with France and Germany getting it in spring.


Price
The HomePod will be on sale for £319 in the UK and $349 in the US. You will be able to buy the HomePod from Apple’s online store as well as their high street stores. Also, the new Apple HomePod can be purchased from places such as John Lewis and other Apple stockists.

With the new Apple HomePod being so expensive in comparison to other smart speakers on the market today, for example, the one smart speaker seen as most similar to this one is the Amazon Echo which is priced at £149.99 with the smaller Echo Dot selling for £49.99.

P.S. If you're interested, read our MD, Richard Eaton's initial review of the Amazon Echo on his personal blog here https://medium.com/@richardjeaton/amazon-echo-an-initial-review-e02a1dd06cdd


What To Expect From The Apple HomePod?

The Apple HomePod is mainly a music speaker, with high-quality audio that is comparable to the Sonos wireless speakers. However, since this comparison was made between the HomePod and Sonos wireless speakers, Sonos have announced they are in the process of creating their own smart speaker. The HomePod has the ability to still hear your voice over the top of loud music that is playing from the speaker, but not only does it respond to sound but also touch. Various tap sequences instruct the HomePod to do various different things like pause, play, skip or activate Siri. The HomePod not only has high-quality audio but also answers all your questions with Siri and sends messages and makes calls.

The HomePod has an A8 chip which allows spacial awareness capabilities so that the HomePod is able to analyse the room which gives it the ability to provide the best audio for its surroundings. Apple has said that the HomePod brings together Apple Music and Siri in order to learn your music taste. The HomePod has a very simplistic minimalistic design as it is covered in a seamless mesh fabric, it comes in two different colours white and space grey and is only 18 centimetres tall.

So, there’s everything you need to know. Personally, I think the HomePod is a good investment if you enjoy playing high-quality music throughout your house. However, if you’re just looking for a smart speaker which you can ask questions and get the answers quickly then I think there are better, cheaper alternatives for that use. Let us know what you think about this new release from Apple and whether or not you’ll be buying one.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Top 5 Health And Fitness Apps!

For this weeks Appy Friday, we’re giving you our top 5 health and fitness apps to help you reach your health and fitness goals. There are a range of different apps here which are suited to a range of different people and their needs, from healthy eating apps to apps to help you with your workouts, whether that’s in a gym or from the comfort of your own home.


MyFitnessPal
Cost: FREE
Platform: iOS, Android
This app helps you to track your calories and everything you eat without it being a massive hassle as they have more than 3 million branded food products included. As well as this, it allows you to keep on top of a healthy diet with a lot more ease. There are
 also sections in which you can track your weight weekly.

Nike Training Club
Cost: FREE
Platform: iOS, Android
The Nike Training Club is a great app which is preloaded with a range of workouts that have different ranges of ability while also targetting specific areas of the body. As well as this, if you workout on the Nike Training Club app from a range of 15 minutes- 45 minutes, it will unlock different recipes, regimes and fitness tips to help enhance your health and fitness journey.

Pocket Yoga
Cost: £1.99
Platform: iOS, Android
This Pocket Yoga app helps you to build up your strengths in yoga without having to face an actual yoga class. This yoga app uses visual and audio guidance to help you through the 27 routines built into the app with different difficulties so there is something for everyone's abilities. As well as this there are over 200 positions which the app will guide you through.

Strava Cycling
Cost: FREE
Platform: iOS, Android
This app is a GPS for your cycling journeys and it allows you to track not only your speed but also the distance and elevation. Another that this app is good for is analysing your overall performance and you can also engage with friends by riding with friends in order to unlock achievements.

DietBet
Cost: FREE
Platform: iOS, Android
This app is quite unique in that it puts your money at stake by allowing users to add a financial incentive to their dieting. The DietBet app allows users to buy into a ‘money pot’ along with many other people, then when they hit their weight loss targets then they share the winnings. The money that could be won isn’t massively life-changing, however, it is still an incentive.

So, there are the top 5 health fitness apps we think can help you. The one that I personally use regularly is the MyFitnessPal app and the Nike Training Club app as they are easy to follow and stick to. Especially with the push notifications form MyFitnessPal alerting you to add in your meals of that day. Don’t forget to let us know what your favourite app is and whether or not you’re going to try one of these apps!

Friday, 26 January 2018

Is The Future Of Charging Wireless?

Since all the new releases in 2017 of new devices that can be wirelessly charged there have been an increase in charging mats to make charging your devices easier and quicker. There’s a range of different companies which have come out with various different versions of their own charging mats.


One of the charging mats on the market is the Mophie wireless charging base, this charging mat is one that was released in conjunction with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X release meaning it’s perfectly suited to the new iPhones and it retails for £54.95 which can be found on both the Apple and Amazon website. This charging mat has one downfall though as it doesn’t allow you to charge multiple devices on this mat so that can be somewhat irritating if you have multiple devices to charge up at the same time.

Another charging mat available is the Ikea NORDMÄRKE triple wireless charging pad, this charging pad can be very useful as it allows you to charge up to 4 devices at the same time. Another good thing about this charging pad is that it's £60 and therefore quite reasonable with its ability to charge 4 of your devices. There is one downfall to this charging pad and this is that with it being so large to charge 4 devices means it’s quite large and not very portable.

If you’re looking into getting a wireless charging mat then why not try the Samsung multi-wireless charging tray, this charging mat allows you to charge up to 3 devices. The Samsung charging tray retails for £51 from the Samsung website. This charging mat has a very simplistic but stylish design and has an LED charging light to make it easy to use and suit your room with its minimalistic design.

One to watch out for is the Apple AirPower charging mat which is due to be released at some point this year it’s designed specifically for the iPhone 8 and iPhone X without there needing to be a wireless charging case on the device for it to actually charge. The AirPower charging mat also allows you to charge multiple devices at the same time and has a sleek, minimalistic design to suit anywhere you put it. The Apple AirPower charging mats are also compatible with the airpods case, Apple Watch and iPhone 8, iPhone 8+ and iPhone X, however, they have not yet released a price of how much their charging mat will retail for.

So there’s a rundown of the latest updates on wireless charger mats on the market and they could be the future of all charging. Although these charging mats are very appealing some have their downfalls of not being a fast charging product however they are still very useful for day to day use. Let us know if you use a charging mat and if you do which one do you use?

Thanks,
Emily. 

Friday, 19 January 2018

Top 5 Planning Apps!

This week we're giving you our top 5 apps to help you plan your day, time or road trips as a start to help you improve in 2018. There are various different apps to help you in different areas of planning your day so why not try out a few and see how they work for you.
Streets
Platform: iOS
Cost: £1.99
The Streets app is great for navigating your way around a new city or just when you get a bit lost. The app links up with Google street view except it works a lot quicker and smoother so that you don't miss a turn. This app also works on iPad Pro and Apple Watch where they show 360° images of various different streets.

IFTTT
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
The If This Then That app allows you to automate things like if you are emailed contact information then you can set it to automatically save this information to your notes or contacts whichever you choose. Not only can the app do this but it can also connect to the Internet of Things which therefore allows the person to turn lights on and off at specific times. This app is great for helping you keep in control of your contacts so that you can build your list of contacts without forgetting anyone.

DashClock
Platform: Android
Cost: FREE
DashClock is a great widget for Android devices it simply allows the user to place things on their home screens such as weather, appointments or anything they would find useful to help plan their day. Also, another good thing about this app is that the user does not need to login to see the information that they want to see, however a downfall of this app is that it is only available on Android devices.

Piktochart
Platform: Android and iOS
Cost: FREE
Piktochart is a really handy app which helps to make producing infographics or presentations 10 times easier to create. This app allows you to create work while on the go and even if you're not the most creative person, the app does all the work for you. The app is built with many templates for infographics, posts, presentations and reports so there's plenty to choose from.

Waze
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
The Waze app is one of the best navigation apps out there, it gives you alerts on any traffic, police or hazards on your route. As well as this the app instantly re-routes around traffic so that you can save your time and plan your day without traffic ruining your commutes. Waze will also find you the cheapest fuel on your route and gives you an arrival time based on the live traffic.

So, there are our top 5 planning apps. My favourite personally is the Waze app it's so helpful for avoiding traffic and incidents that may have happened on your journey so it's very useful for getting to your destinations on time if you have to be somewhere for a specific time. Let us know if you use any of these apps and enjoy them or if there are apps that you find helpful for planning your day?

Friday, 12 January 2018

Top 5 Organisational Apps!

This week we're giving you a rundown of our top 5 apps to help you stay organised in the new year. Why not start the year as you mean to go on and try some of these organisational based apps to help you stay on top of everything this year.


Things
Platform: iOS
Cost: £9.99
Things is a great app to help you manage your time and is a great all rounder app. It covers all things organisational that you could imagine, although the price reflects that. The Things app includes lots of features such as the ability to talk to Siri and add reminders that allows you to get things off your mind quickly. As well as this you can create projects for each of your goals which give you more structure and clarity to view all your current goals. Your calendar events can also be incorporated into the app also which allows you to plan your time in relation to your to-do lists, goals and your current workflow for what you need to get done.


Evernote
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: Free
Evernote allows you to collect, write and capture ideas or things you need to jot down to get out of your mind but not forget about. This app gives you various note-taking format options such as sketches, text, audio, PDFs, video, web clippings, photos and many more. You can also utilise your phone's camera with this app as you can scan and digitalize images. Evernote also lets you sync up with all your other devices so you never miss anything and keep everything secure with a password. Using Evernote, you can also create checklists and reminders to keep you on track with all your tasks, along with many other business orientated abilities that Evernote has.

Google Drive
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: Free
With Google Drive, you can easily save all your documents and view other documents, PDF's, videos and photos. Not only can you save files for your own use but it also makes sharing files with other people very easy. The Google Drive app is a great one for backing up all your documents and sending them to colleagues or friends.


LastPass
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: Free
The LastPass app is great for keeping all your passwords secure so that you can sign into everything with touch ID. LastPass allows you to set one strong password to allow you stay in control of all your different variations of passwords to various different websites and apps. There are also management features to store usernames and passwords.


Be Focused Timer
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: Free
The Be Focused app allows you to manage your tasks, track your progress throughout the day and use the fast goal tracking tools. You can also maximise your productivity by altering the work interval. whether that's with shorter breaks or longer breaks. This app allows you to figure out how you work best which then allows you to get as much work done as possible so you can stay on top of tasks.


So there are our top 5 organisational apps, there are a range of different types of organisational apps that you could benefit from. However, my personal favourite that I use daily is Evernote, it's a great all rounder app and even better it's free! So why not try it out! Let us know what apps you use to help you stay organised?

Friday, 5 January 2018

Top 5 Productivity Apps for 2018!

For the first Appy Friday of the year we thought we'd start by maybe targeting your new year's resolution of being more productive if that's your aim for 2018. We've put together a list of our top 5 apps which will help you to improve your productivity throughout the year. All the apps have something unique and could just help you spend less time getting distracted.


Hours
Platform: iOS
Cost: FREE
Hours Time Tracking is a great app which allows you to stay on track with your timing to ensure you stay productive. The app allows you to set various timers/ reminders; and start, stop and switch between them all. You can set the reminders to nag you to start different tasks at the right time so you aren't spending too long on distractions. You can also track your time by clients, projects and tasks, so it may be a good one to try out to improve your productivity.

Momentum
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
Momentum is a very simple yet effective app for habit tracking that will help you reach your goals. You can use this app through all your tablets, smartwatches and phones, meaning that you can track your habits through all your devices. Also, the app allows you to be flexible in that you can set weekly or daily targets.

Pocket
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
Pocket is great for removing any possible distractions of interesting articles. Pocket app allows you to save those articles for later so you can read them when you've finished your tasks for the day. Not only can you save articles within the app for use offline, but it also recommends more articles that the app thinks you may enjoy. 

Pushbullet
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
This app eliminates all those times you need to send yourself a link to your phone, as you just press the push button on the app to send the link directly to your phone. You can also do this with files and documents so that it removes the time it takes faffing around send links to yourself via emails and waiting for them to come through. Not only that, you can you send these links and files to other contacts too.

Scanbot
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
Scanbot is great at eliminating all the time spent messing with printers and scanners as it lets you scan documents and QR codes. The documents you scan can then be turned into high-quality PDFs or JPG's easily. You can then send the files you create via email, iCloud, Dropbox, Evernote and other cloud services. Not only this, but the app allows you to enhance your scans; For example, you can apply colour, grayscale or black and white filters.


So, there are our top 5 productivity apps to help you improve your workflow and the amount of work you complete in a day. For me, the most useful app out of these is Scanbot as it helps to reduce the time you spend messing with printers and scanners which therefore helps you to get through these tasks a lot quicker. Let us know what apps you enjoy using to help you improve your productivity?

Thanks, 
Emily.