Friday, 17 August 2018

The App Stores 10th Birthday!

Did you know that the Apple App Store is now 10 years old? For this weeks Appy Friday, we thought we’d give you some of its highlights from the past decade to celebrate its birthday!


The App Store was introduced on July 10th 2008, and it launched with just 500 apps. The Apps Store’s release was revolutionary for Apple and helped to join together the process of finding an app you want, to buying it and then downloading it. Ten years on from its launch, it's hard to imagine phones without Apps and an App Store. Without it, we’d still all be using our smartphones for just phone calls, and maybe emails and internet browsing. So, here’s our list of some memorable milestones that the App Store has achieved in its first decade.

1.
On December 11th 2008 Apple introduced the charts in the App Store. This meant people could find the top apps of that week or month.

2.
On June 17, 2009, Apple released the iPhone OS 3.0 and along with this came the App Stores next feature which was in-app purchases. To start with Apple limited in-app purchases just to paid apps and games only. Initially they didn’t want consumers to download an app, and then find out they had to pay for upgrades, however, later on, this changed. And as we’ve seen, there are lots of free Apps out there, that now include upgrades paid for by in-app purchases.

3.
In 2010 with the release of the first iPad the App Store got another update, in that the App Store now featured iPad specific apps and universal apps. This included the first iBooks and Netflix apps.

4.
After the success of the iPhone and iPad App Store. On January 6th 2011 the Mac App Store was launched and in the first day alone there were around one million app downloads.

5.
In June 2015 Apple released iOS 7 and with this came a whole new look for the App Store along with automatic app updates.

6.
In October 2015 the App Store also came to watches and TV’s with the release of the Apple Watch and Apple TV.

7.
Now, in 2018 the original iOS App Store has over 2.2 million apps and over 130 billion downloads.

So, that was this weeks Appy Friday. The App Store has made such huge differences in the way we use our mobile phone and revolutionised smartphones for the better. So, happy 10th birthday App Store!

Friday, 10 August 2018

Top 5 Budget Headphones!

For this weeks Appy Friday we’re giving you a list of our top 5 best headphones on a budget. Whether you want some headphones for going to the gym or need some for travelling with. There is a range of different types of headphones in here, depending on what you need them for.


Affordable earbuds:
RHA S500
Price: £29.95
These affordable earbuds have great quality all-around balanced audio with great bass. The earbuds themselves include a remote and microphone for voice control through Google Assistant and Siri. Also included in this price is 3 years warranty and 7 extra noise isolating silicone ear tips and clothing clips for when you’re at the gym or doing sports. Overall these are a great set of earphones for the price.

Affordable wireless earbuds:
Anker Bluetooth Headphones
Price: £22.99
The Anker Bluetooth Headphones are a great option for small, wireless earphones and they last up to 7 hours from a single charge. These earphones have a great lightweight design but also have customisable EarTips and InEar-Hooks making them a more comfortable fit for you. These earphones are also water-resistant, having both a IPX5 water-resistant shell and internal nano-coating so there is a double layer of protection. For this price, you get 4 different size EarTips, 3 different types of InEar-Hooks, a FitClip, Shirt Clip, Micro USB Cable, Travel Pouch and 18-month warranty. So, you definitely get a lot for your money with these earphones.

Affordable noise cancelling headphones:
CB3 HUSH Noise Cancelling Headphones
Price: £69.99
Noise cancelling headphones can come with quite a hefty price tag however these CB3 HUSH headphones have a pretty reasonable price tag compared to other similar headphones. Another great thing about these headphones is that they are wireless as well as noise cancelling so there are no wires to get in the way. However, also included in the price is an aux-cable so it’s up to your personal preference. There is also a little built-in microphone on these headphones. Overall these headphones are great quality for the price as they include the headphones, a carrying pouch, a micro USB, audio cable and an in-flight adapter for aeroplanes too.

Affordable on-ear headphones:
Skullcandy Grind Headphones
Price: £21.99
These are the most affordable headphones on this list and the most bass heavy on here. These headphones do have a built-in microphone, but unfortunately no sound controls. That’s a shame, but for the price, this may be as expected. The Skullcandy headphones are very light but strong so a good option for travelling.

Affordable on-ear wireless headphones:
Creative Sound Blaster JAM
Price: £38.90
These Creative Sound Blaster JAM are very lightweight with great sound quality. However, they seem a little bit fragile and apparently don’t have very good noise cancelling properties as they do let noise in from your surroundings. However, these may be great in an office environment where there may not be too much background noise.

So, there's this weeks Appy Friday. Personally, I think the best on this list is the Anker Bluetooth Headphones as I think that for the price these are the best quality and the easiest for travelling with. Let us know if you have any of these headphones!

Friday, 3 August 2018

Rumours of the new 2018 iPhone and other Apple Releases!

For this weeks Appy Friday, we are giving you all the rumours surrounding Apple’s upcoming releases this year, usually announced at their September event. The most anticipated being the new iPhones, however, there are also a few other exciting rumours flying around at the moment that we will go into.


This year, Apple is rumoured to be releasing another 3 phones. The first being the second- generation of the iPhone X, it’s said to have the same 5.8- inch OLED screen. The second phone rumoured to be released is the iPhone X Plus with a larger 6.5- inch OLED screen. The third phone is slightly different for Apple, they are rumoured to be releasing a more affordable phone. This is said to have a Full Active (which allow much smaller, tiny bezels) 6.1 inch LCD screen which is improved technology over the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus’ display.

All three of the new iPhones will have an edge-to-edge display and they will all have a TrueDepth Camera system with Face ID, meaning this will probably mark the end of the traditional look of Apple’s flagship phones with the Touch ID. The new devices will be likely to have A12 processors.

The two main OLED phones with be fully kitted out with all the usual cool features, it’s rumoured that the 6.1- inch phone will have fewer features in order to keep the cost low. This device will have an aluminium frame instead of the usual stainless steel frame, it also may not have wireless charging and may only have a single lens rear camera.

The 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch OLED phones are assumed to have the same dual-lens rear cameras and may have 4GB RAM. It’s predicted that at least one of the new releases will have a dual-SIM functionality. Another thing that could be slightly different about the new iPhone releases is that the colours will be of a much wider variety. Potentially offering the usual silver, space grey and gold but for the 6.1-inch device could come in grey, white, blue, red and orange.

Some other devices that have been rumoured is a new Apple Watch with a larger screen. The new redesigned screen is wider, and the bezels on the edges aren’t as thick as the previous model. Also, this new release is said to have a larger battery and therefore a longer battery life. Another couple of things rumoured to be released, is a budget laptop, an upgraded Mac Mini and new iPads. However, there isn’t much information on these potential releases yet.

So, there was this weeks Appy Friday. Personally, I am most excited to see what the more affordable iPhone will look and perform like, as this could be quite different for Apple. Let us know what you’re most looking forward to and if you’ll be buying any of these potential releases? If the rumours are true of course ;)

Friday, 27 July 2018

Top 5 Apps For Summer 2018!

For this weeks Appy Friday, we’re giving you our top 5 apps for the summer, from finding things to do this summer, to finding out when is best for your skin type to be in the sun without you burning. There are many apps on this list to help you have the best summer and make the most of the weather!


Eventbrite
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
The Eventbrite app helps you to discover events near you. The app can give you personalised recommendations for events that you may enjoy. You can also see what events your friends are going to. Once you have booked your events you can access all your information for the event via the app. Another thing that is great about this app is that you don’t need any paper tickets as your tickets come through via the app so there’s no more losing or forgetting your tickets.

GetYourGuide
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
The GetYourGuide app is great for if your going somewhere new and aren’t sure what to do or see, or even in the place you live there may be things that you have never done/ never thought of doing. That’s what makes this app so helpful is that for on those days where you feel stuck for things to do and have just run out of ideas then this app comes in so handy, especially with the summer holidays just starting!

Bandsintown
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
This app is another great one for finding concerts and gigs in your area. You can even follow the bands and artists you are interested in, and then the app will send you a notification if the band or artists announce any shows near you.

Wolfram
Platform: iOS
Cost: £0.99
The Wolfram app is very clever and is a great app to have in these high temperatures. The app learns your skin type and then tells you when you should stay out of the sun. And when you will be most likely to get burnt depending on your skin type. The app also tells you how long it’s safe for you to stay outside for, and what the UV forecast is for your area. This app also works in many different places so is very useful if you are going on holiday.

TripIt
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
The TripIt app helps you to keep all your plans in one place. Once you book something you simply forward on it on to the app and it puts together an easy to follow itinerary. This makes it a lot easier to see everything you have going on this summer. It can also store the confirmation emails that you may need to use to get into some of your plans so that you don’t have to rummage through your email inbox for the emails for each thing.

So, that’s this weeks Appy Friday. My personal favourite apps are the Eventbrite app and TripIt as they are both just so useful. The Eventbrite app is so great for finding things to do, and the TripIt app is also so helpful for keeping all your information for trips in one place. Let us know if you use any of these apps and which ones are your favourite!

Friday, 20 July 2018

How To Record the Screen on Your iPhone, Android phone, PC, or Mac!

For this weeks Appy Friday, we’re giving you a quick how-to guide on screen recording for Apple devices, Android devices, on Windows PC’s, and Mac’s too. Screen recording is so helpful when you’re trying to explain something to someone, and you don’t want to write it out in a lot of wordy text.


Recording the Screen on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod)

  1. First, go to Settings then to the Control Center and click Customise Controls. Scroll down the page to find the Screen Recording option and tap the little green plus next to it.
  2. Then open the Control Center.
  3. In order to record sound with the screen recording, press with pressure on the white filled in circle and then tap Microphone Audio On.
  4. Then tap the circle symbol again and wait for the 3-second countdown.
  5. Finally, to stop the recording open the Control Center again and tap the red circle, or tap the red bar at the top of the screen and then tap stop.

Recording the screen on your Android device
  1. Firstly, download the AZ Recorder app and tap on the icon once downloaded.
  2. Once the app has opened you should then see some icons at the bottom of your screen. When you are ready to record in the bottom left corner there is a shutter icon, tap that. The overlay will disappear when you start recording, then when you are finished and want to stop recording, drag down the overlay and then you can either stop or pause your recording.
  3. Also in this app, there are some editing tools. There is also a photo icon on the overlay, this option will let you cut and edit the video as well as crop the screen.

Recording the screen on your Windows PC
  1. To screen record on the desktop open up the ‘Use Loom’ website.
  2. Continue by either selecting to use your Google account to log in or your Slack account to log in. Then install the extension.
  3. Once you have done this, there will be a small icon in the top right-hand corner on the toolbar on your browser. Then a pop-up box will appear in which there are a few options, the first being to record both the screen and through your camera, then there is just screen or just the camera. Once you have selected which you want to record press the start recording button.
  4. Then to stop recording in the bottom left-hand corner there are some icons, the green tick will allow you to stop recording.
Recording the screen on your Apple Mac
  1. To screen record on a Mac, open Quicktime. You can do this by holding command and space in order to bring up Spotlight search then begin typing QuickTime.
  2. Next, right click on the QuickTime icon, and then choose New Screen Recording from the menu. Once you have pressed this a screen recording box will open on your screen.
  3. Next, to the record button on the pop-up screen recording box there is a small white down arrow, press this to see more options like choosing if you want to record the audio also and other options like this.
  4. When you are ready to record you can select whether you want to record part of your screen or all of it. If you only want to record part of the screen, click the record button and then a message will pop up telling you to drag the marque across the part you want to record, once you have done this click the record button again. If you wish to record the whole screen then just click the record button and then click anywhere on the screen to start recording.
  5. To stop the recording right click on the QuickTime icon again and choose stop recording from the menu.
So, that was this weeks Appy Friday. I find screen recording so helpful when you’re trying to explain something technical, as it takes away so many of the complications of explaining how to do something. Let us know if you have any other apps that you use for screen recording that you find useful.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Top 5 Podcast Apps!

For this week’s Appy Friday, we’re giving you our top 5 apps to listen to podcasts on. With the popularity of podcasts on the rise (watch this space for the Appy Friday podcast!), we thought it might make life easier if we gave you a list of the top 5 apps which make listening to podcasts and finding podcasts simple.


Overcast

Platform: iOS
Cost: FREE
This podcast app allows you to download your favourite podcasts to listen to offline as well as online. Also, using this app, you can subscribe to podcasts, and be notified when they are released so that you never miss your favourites. Another great thing that this app can do is that you can adjust the playback speed. So if you’re someone who takes information in quickly and likes to have videos and podcasts sped up slightly, you can do this within the app. You can also get great recommendations from Twitter to help you discover new podcasts.

Podbean
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
On this podcast app, there are many ways to search for new podcasts. This includes different charts and trending podcasts available to listen to, as well as getting tailored recommendations based on your play history. This app also features many audiobooks, not just podcasts. You can make your own customised playlists perfect for around the house and on long car journeys.

Pocket Casts
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: £3.99
The Pocket Casts app is a great one for iPad as it features split view screens. It also has the best capabilities out of any of these apps in terms of working on a tablet. The app allows you to automatically build a playback queue so you always know what’s coming up next.  Another nice little feature is that this app can trim silences so that you can finish episodes faster, and you can adjust the speed of the podcast. One more cool little trick this app has is being able to increase the volume of speech, but decrease the background noise within podcasts.

Stitcher
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
Stitcher is another great podcast app. It lets you download your favourite podcasts so that you can listen to them offline, and it gives you personalised recommendations and news updates based on what you listen to. Also within the app, you can make your own playlists; perfect for driving, commuting, or just general day-to-day activities.

Spreaker
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
The Spreaker app is very similar to the previous app in that it allows you to create your own personalised playlists, get recommended podcasts, and has a keyword search for you to find podcasts that relate to what you want to listen to.

So, that was this week’s Appy Friday. All 5 of these apps are great for listening to podcasts on. However, my personal favourite is the Overcast app as it covers all bases, in that it allows you to you download podcasts and gives you more control over the speeds that you listen to them in. Let us know if you use any of these apps for listening to podcasts!

Friday, 6 July 2018

A Decent Smartphone For Just £99?

For this weeks Appy Friday, we are letting you know about the newest affordable smartphone on the market. Honor has released their cheapest phone yet, the Honor 7S, which is only £99 so great for anyone on a budget. So what do you get for your money? Read on to find out...


If you're in the market for a budget smartphone this year, then this new release from Honor may just be the answer. You may not have heard of Honor, but they’re a subsidiary brand of Huawei, the largest telecoms manufacturer in the world. The Honor company aim to provide cheap devices for smartphone users and the 7S has been no exception to this as it is on sale for just £99! Even the highest quality phone from Honor retails for only £445. The aim of the Honor 7S is to just provide the essentials of what people want from a smartphone.

The 7S’s price is a shock when you read some of its features. There is a 13MP rear camera with PDAF fast focusing technology and a 5MP front camera with LED selfie light. Perfect for capturing images even in low lit areas. Along with this, the phone has a great receiver so that you can make clear sounding phone calls even if you’re in a loud area. There is also space for 2 SIMs and a microSD and a smart managed battery.

The 7S has a 5.45-inch screen with a 1440 x 720 resolution and can record 1080p videos. The phone also has a decent size battery with the capacity of 3,020mAh. The 7S also runs on Android 8.1 (currently the very latest version) and has a 1.5Ghz quad-core processor. There is also the generic 3.5mm headphone jack on the top.

Overall, the 7S sounds like it’ll be the best phone for its price point as it has all the essentials that you need on a smartphone. This phone would be perfect for all those people who don’t have £1000+ to spend on a phone. Although it’s a basic, it would be perfect for anyone who isn’t in need of an all singing all dancing phone, as this has no frills but is great at what it does.

So, that was this weeks Appy Friday. I think this phone is so different from any of the other really cheap phones on the market and is actually pretty decent quality. This phone will be great if you aren’t really in need of a phone that can do it all, just one that can do the essentials. Let us know if you will be trying the new Honor phone! We’ll be getting one shortly at Appware HQ so will let you know how we get on with it.