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.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Top 5 Weather Apps!

As it’s so nice in the UK at the moment, we got thinking about the weather for this week's Appy Friday. So we are giving you the top 5 weather apps you should have all year round. They range from generic weather forecasts to apps which can help you pick good nights for astronomy and stargazing. So there’s should be at least one of these apps that you’ll think you should be using.


Met Office

Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: Free
The Met Office app has the most reliable information on the weather forecast, it shows the rainfall forecast for the next 24 hours and checks real-time UK national severe weather warnings for your saved locations. The app forecasts the weather for the following 7 days with hourly weather widgets. You can also personalise your weather forecasts by saving your locations so that you can see how the weather will affect your day wherever you are.

My Pollen Forecast UK
Platform: iOS (Android alternative)
Cost: FREE
This app is very useful for those of us with hay fever. This app includes a handy map so you can see which areas near you have the highest pollen count. You can also use this app to track and monitor your symptoms over time, and you can learn which pollens you are most allergic to by adding in diary entries.

Drone UAV Forecast
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
This is such a great app if you’re a drone user. It not only shows you the weather forecast, but also GPS satellite coverage, solar activity, No-Fly Zones, and flight restrictions all in one place. Perfect for pretty much all drones or quadcopter pilots.

Dark Sky
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: £3.99
The Dark Sky app has the forecast down to the minute and will send you push notifications for severe weather alerts and when it’s about to rain or snow. So it’s a great app for monitoring extreme weather conditions. This app is also great to use on the Apple Watch and is a good app to have on the go.

Scope Nights Astronomy Weather
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: £4.99
This app includes detailed night-time specific astronomy forecasts, as well as colour coded forecasts of moon phase percentage, cloud cover, precipitation probability, relative humidity, minimum temperature, wind direction and wind speeds. The app will also tell you the sunrise and sunset times along with moonrise and moonset time. This app is great for planning which nights will be best for stargazing and which ones won’t be so good this summer.

So, that was this weeks Appy Friday. Personally, the one app that I use regularly is the Met Office app as I find it to be the most reliable for the weekly forecast. Another fun one to try this summer is the Scope Nights Astronomy Weather app as it can give you something different to try this summer. Let us know if you will be downloading or already use one of these apps this year!

Friday, 22 June 2018

Everything You Need To Know About Nintendo At E3 2018!

For this weeks Appy Friday, we’re giving you a rundown on everything that Nintendo introduced at E3 last week. E3 is the Electronic Entertainment Expo which is a trade event for the gaming industry presented by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). There were a lot of highly anticipated games presented. There were also some interesting ideas for the Switch and how it will be used in these new games, making for some great announcements to get excited about when released this year.



The E3 conference was last week and there was a lot announced, Microsoft showed around 50 new titles which incorporated 15 exclusives. Sony went for a different approach, as they only announced a few new titles. However, they went into a more depth with each of them. They featured real gameplay footage and much more information on the games.

However, in this blog, we’re going to concentrate on what Nintendo had to say.

The main thing that people were interested in, is that Nintendo announced was Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The new game will feature every single fighter from all Smash games they have ever produced, making this an impressive one. It was described by Nintendo as ‘the biggest crossover in gaming history’ so it’s definitely one to try when it’s released! Also set to make a return in this game, is 8 player battles. The Super Smash Bros game will work with the GameCube controller, and they have introduced a new challenger which has been requested for a long time, Metroidbeast.

There was also news of a few highly anticipated games like Fortnite and Hollow Knight along with a few indie sequels being announced. But mainly the conference revolved around the Super Smash Bros game for Nintendo. However, the trailer for the Super Mario Party game was rather interesting as it showed 4 people laying 2 Nintendo switches on a table and then rearranging them to use both screens, which is an interesting idea.

There were also mentions of both Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee both being released on November 16th, accompanied by a PokeBall plus accessory. Also mentioned was a version on Killer Queen coming to the Switch later on this year and being called Killer Queen Black. Also coming to Switch this year is Overcooked 2, DragonBall FighterZ, SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy and Octopath Traveler which is out in July.

So, that’s this weeks Appy Friday. There were so many announcements from E3 this year, it’s got a lot of people very excited for the upcoming releases, especially Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Let us know which games your most excited about and if you’ll be getting any when they’re released.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Top 5 Bits Of Tech You Can Buy Right Now!

For this week’s Appy Friday we are letting you know about 5 bits of top tech that you can buy right now. It ranges from phones and TVs to VR headsets so there’s something on this list for everyone to try, with a wide range of prices.


Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Smartphone

Price: £929
This is one of the best (if not the best) smartphones on the market at the moment as it comes with everything you could want. Great performance, and an especially good camera so you can always capture a great photo. This phone has a lovely 6.2-inch screen, with decent battery life so is a great phone to try this year.

Samsung Q9FN QLED TV

Price: From £2,499.00
This TV has the full works, it’s huge (from 55 to a whopping 75-inch screen!) with great well-rounded sound, and has incredible HDR picture quality. However, this TV does come with a hefty price tag, although the TV is incredibly high quality and you definitely get what you pay for with this device. This Samsung TV uses a FALD (Full Array Local Dimming) panel in conjunction with QLED Quantum Dots to create a brighter and more colourful picture.

Moov Now Fitness Tracker

Price: £47
This small fitness tracker is a great alternative to a FitBit, as it has a great 6-month battery life so there’ll be no batteries cutting out and dying. With this device, you can track your steps, sleep, fitness, and running technique. Along with many other features, you can use it to help you keep on top of your health and fitness this year.

HTC Vive VR Headset

Price: £499
If you’re into VR, then this could be the perfect headset for you. The HTC Vive claims to be the best VR headset on the market. The resolution is of the highest quality with a 1080p screen per eye. Although the headset comes with a rather high price tag (and you also need a high spec computer too), if you're in the market for a VR headset then this is the best one on the market to try this year.

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless Headphones

Price: £272.50
This pair of headphones is a pretty good all-rounder as it has wireless capabilities, great battery life and a nice sleek look. As everyone looks for something slightly different in headphones (whether that be ones to go to the gym in or just headphones for watching things on the go), these are the best all-rounders with them being both wireless and having great high sound quality.

So, there is this week’s Appy Friday. Personally, the one gadget that I would like to try this year is the Momentum Wireless Headphones or the HTC Vive as the Vive is such an innovative high-quality product which is the best in its field. Let us know if you’ll be trying any of these devices this year!

Friday, 8 June 2018

All You Need To Know From WWDC 2018!

For this weeks Appy Friday, we’re giving you all you need to know from this years WWDC (Apple's World Wide Developers Conference) 2018 in California. At the event, Apple announced a range of things starting with the updated iOS 12, Apple Watch updates and a few more handy new features.



The main announcement from WWDC 2018 from Apple was the next generation of iPhone operating system, iOS 12. The iOS update comes with a range of new features including group FaceTime, improvements to Siri and new Animoji. Another thing that Apple will be rolling out in 2018 is the ARKit 2.0, which is the next generation of augmented reality on iPhone. The ARKit 2.0 showed 3D object detection, improved face tracking and shared experiences.

Last year Apple introduced Bitmoji’s and at this year’s Apple event they brought Animoji. The new version introduces a way to create custom avatars to look like you. Also, the announcement of group FaceTime calls is massively welcomed as you can now FaceTime with up to 32 people with the iOS 12 update.

Apple also showed the new features that will appear in the Apple Watch with the updated operating system. One being that there are new workout types added, like hiking and yoga as well as with Siri shortcuts. As well as this, you can now talk to your watch like a walkie-talkie.

Another interesting feature that Apple introduced, are options to track your usage on specific apps and you can now set time limits to spend on apps so that you don’t get too distracted by your phone. There are also improved parental control features taking phone usage much more seriously.

In the Mac world Apple announced the new operating system, Mojave is the latest update which has a ‘dark mode’ which dims the screen, great for when your working at night. They have also introduced a new way of viewing documents in Finder.

The final thing that Apple announced was that you can now create custom Siri commands. You can do this by piecing together a few activities and questions within Siri which gives users the chance to respond to voice commands.

So, that's is this weeks Appy Friday. I think the most useful new feature will be the all-new group FaceTime which is going to be very useful when you’re trying to organise something with a group of people. As usually, it's near impossible to arrange something that everyone can attend. Let us know what feature you are most looking forward too?

Friday, 1 June 2018

Top 5 Camera Apps!

For this week’s Appy Friday we’re giving you our top 5 camera apps. These range from helping improve your camera’s zoom, to giving you more control over the lighting and sizing of the images. This helps you make them look that little bit more professional, even though they are taken on your phone.


Platform: iOS
Cost: FREE
The Camera + app is a great all-rounder camera app. It has editable exposure and focus so that you can control how light or dark your images come out. Another thing this app has is alternative shooting modes. For example, there is a stabilizer to steady your phone to achieve the best quality photos. There is also a digital zoom, front flash, horizon level and the innovative Lightbox feature which lets you quickly skim through all your images to get rid of bad shots quickly.

Platform: iOS
Cost: £5.99
The ProCam 5 app is a great tool to help your phone photography. Although it’s £5.99 the app covers all areas of photography with its 8 shooting modes, including night mode and slow shutter. It also features 4 shutter release options so you can get some really interesting shots. The ProCam app has the most varied features to help you achieve the best images.

Platform: Android
Cost: FREE
The open camera app is one of the best on Android as it allows you to auto-stabilize your camera at the perfect level. There is also support for focus modes, scene modes, colour effects, white balance, ISO, exposure compensation and face detection. The app also features different remote controls for setting timers and an auto-repeat mode. As well as this, the app has a clever feature where you can take photos remotely by making a noise, whether that be by voice command or whistle.

Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE
The VSCO Cam app is a much more social media based app. It turns the camera app into something similar to Instagram, in that you can post the images you take and edit within that app. You can then share all your creations with followers that you can build up in the app. You can also get inspiration from other creators by following their work.

Platform: Android
Cost: FREE
This camera app for Android devices has full manual DSLR controls. You can set ISO, focus distance, exposure and shutter speed. The app also gives you the ability to combine shooting modes like a timer, HDR, stable and timelapse.

So that’s this week’s Appy Friday. My personal favourite is the VSCO Cam app and the Camera + app as these are great all-rounders. They just take great images and have editing capabilities built into them, so you can take the image, edit it, and post it all through the same app. Let us know if you use any of these apps!

Friday, 25 May 2018

Nintendo Labo!

For this week’s Appy Friday we are giving you a rundown on the Nintendo Labo. It’s a range of DIY toys to make the accessories for the best selling Nintendo Switch. Whether you’re a lover of music and want to make the cardboard piano or want to build your own robot, the Nintendo Labo range allows you to create anything.



The Nintendo Switch was a huge success for Nintendo when it was released in March 2017 and sold over 10 million units within the first 10 months of it being available which made it the fastest-selling console of US history.

Now Nintendo has produced the Labo which was announced in early 2018. Labo is a line of DIY toys that can be connected to the Switch or Joy-Con controller which opens up a new range of games on the Switch. The Labo acts like the extra accessories you could buy for the Nintendo Wii. Accessories like a steering wheel for Mario Kart, but with Labo, you make your own accessories out of the cardboard pieces.

When you buy one of the accessories from Labo it comes in a small kit. In the kit there are multiple pieces of pre-cut cardboard, specifically cut to create your own little constructions that Nintendo call Toy-Cons. Also in the kit, is the digital manual to guide you through building the toys on the Switch itself. The hope of the Nintendo Labo is to get people interested in the engineering of devices, design and gaming.

There are many toys available to create; a fishing rod to play the fishing game, you can make a piano, you can even build a robot suit that has a visor and backpack to turn you into a real-life robot! And you can even put together a small car to drive around your house. There are two main Labo kits, the first being the ‘Variety Kit’ which comes with several toys to make and costs £59.99, the second being the robot kit which allows you to build the robot suit and it costs £69.99 which was released April 27th, 2018.

On the Joy-Con controllers, there is an embedded camera and the console has a touchscreen. This means that if you have the piano Toy-Con, it can actually watch the piano keys to see which you are pressing and see how well you are doing. The Nintendo Labo has endless opportunities to make new and innovative creations. This makes the games more exciting and interactive, getting people involved in creating the toys themselves.

So, that’s this weeks Appy Friday. I think the idea of creating your own accessories is so innovative. It makes the idea of the Switch so much more ingenious, as no matter what your age, you can enjoy building the Toy-Cons. It’s very different from anything any of the console manufacturers have done before. Let us know if you would try the Labo or already have some of the kits!

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.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Best Travel Accessories For 2018!

For Appy Friday this week, we’re giving you a list of the best travel accessories for your tech when you’re travelling this year. There’s a range of things on this list to get you through your travels, from portable chargers to socket adapters for all countries.



Cable Organiser Bag
There’s nothing worse than opening your bag and all your wires are in one big knot, so this bag helps to avoid that. There are lots of different varieties of this bag available on Amazon that range in price massively, however, the Defway Travel Cable Organiser is great on price and look as it is only £13.99 and the bag comes in 2 different sizes depending on how much tech you carry with you.

Noise Cancelling Headphones
Noise cancelling headphones are essential when travelling. Whether it's via plane, train or bus it’s ideal to have noise cancelling headphones so that you can block out whatever is going on around you. These headphones can set you back a few hundred pounds. If you don’t use them regularly, then this can seem like an unnecessary purchase. Regardless of this, Sony have a pair of more affordable noise cancelling headphones, the Sony MDR-ZX770BN that cost £89.99. So if you’re travelling a lot this year, it might be a good idea to pick some of these up.

Tripod For Smartphone
A Tripod for your phone is ideal for taking on holiday with you when you’re wanting to photograph your surroundings and get steady images. Having a tripod also allows you to take great time lapses and panoramas of everywhere you are. There are a lot of tripods available for a range of prices, this Joby GripTight GorrilaPod Stand is great as its affordable and has bendy arms so that you can attach it to anything you want.

Portable Power Bank
When travelling you spend a lot of time on your phone, tablet or laptop and there’s nothing worse than that battery running out and having nothing to do for hours on end. So, it’s important that you’ve got a good power bank with you to keep all your devices charged up. A great one is the Zendure A2 Power Bank that costs £29.99 and gives you plenty of charge to keep your devices topped up.

4-in-1 Travel Adapter
No matter what country you’re travelling to, it’s likely that you’ll be needing an adapter for your plugs. So it’s handy to have one that can suit 4 different types of sockets. There is this Flight 001 4 in 1 Worldwide Travel Plug Adapter for £22.00 which is great if you travel regularly to different countries.

So, there are our best travel accessories to try in 2018. The one thing I can’t travel without is a portable charger, and the Zendure A2 is a great one. Let us know what your travel essentials are and if you use any of the things on this list!

Friday, 23 March 2018

Top 5 Finance Apps!

For Appy Friday this week, we’re helping you get on top of your finances, by giving you a list of the top money managing apps available at the moment. There’s something on here for everyone. From apps that help you save your change, to apps to help you pay off debt.


Mint
This is a free money managing app that you can use to track all your bank accounts and balances. You can also keep on top of your credit score so you always know where you stand. Within the app, you can set budgets for yourself that are easy to follow, making it easier to stick to them to help you save and spend.


You Need A Budget
This app allows you to view all your accounts in real-time and helps you with paying off debt. It does this by letting you know how much you need to cut back on each month, and what you need to put aside in order to pay off the debt. The app also produces a report on your spending habits and where the majority of your money goes.


Wally
The Wally app gives you a clear view of your accounts while allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of your spending habits. It displays all this information in simple, easy to read charts to help you adapt the way you spend your money. On this app, you can also have groups so you can share financial accounts, payments and plans with people. For example, if you need to share payment plans with people you live with for household bills.


Acorns
This app is great for investing all your spare change, when you buy a product that costs you £2.60 then the app rounds the price up to £3.00 and puts the 40p in your savings. Over time you’d be surprised how much you could save. This app acts like another bank account that will store that spare change that you can withdraw at any time.


Yolt
Yolt is a great app to track your spending and recent transactions on all your accounts in one place. The app also predicts your spending for the following months, once it has been installed for a few months and has learned your spending habits. This app also gives you the ability to set yourself budgets for the month, and lets you know how much money you have left to spend that month.


So, there are our top 5 finance apps to help you stay on top of all your accounts. My personal favourite app is Yolt. I use the app regularly to check all my balances in the same place and to help me set budgets for the month. Let us know if you use any of these apps or are going to download them!

Friday, 16 March 2018

New Apple Headphones Coming Soon?

This week for Appy Friday, we are giving you a rundown of the new rumours on suspected upcoming products from Apple. The predicted over-the-ear headphones and AirPods 2 are the two main rumours for this year’s releases from Apple in terms of accessories, so we’ll be giving you all you need to know on these and when to expect them.


There are reports that Apple has been working on an over-the-ear headphone which is set to be released at the end of 2018, just in time for Christmas. However, it’s predicted these headphones won’t come cheap. With AirPods already costing £159 these headphones will likely be more than that.

The rumoured headphones are said to be wireless and noise cancelling much like various Beats models. The design of these headphones is unknown as of yet, however, there are lots of discussions on whether they will take the same design as the Beats headphones, or will they have a complete redesign to match the newer Apple releases.

Another rumoured Apple product is the AirPods 2, these AirPods have a suspected release date of either Spring 2018 or at WWDC in June 2018.

The AirPods 2 are rumoured to have a ‘Hey Siri’ feature in which you can activate Siri through them by simply saying that phrase. Another predicted feature of the new earphones is that they with be noise cancelling like the rumoured over-the-ear headphones. As well as these features they are assumed to work with the upcoming release of Apple’s own wireless charging pad. Also, there is a prediction for the third generation of AirPods to be water resistant in the future.

The AirPods 2 are likely to cost a similar amount the original AirPods but they could be slightly more pricey with the additional new features added.

So, that’s this week’s Appy Friday. Personally, I am most excited about the over-the-ears headphones and hope they go with a new design rather than the Beats designs. Let us know what you think to these releases and what you’re most looking forward to.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Top 5 Gadgets To Try In 2018!

This week for Appy Friday, we are going to give you the top 5 gadgets you should try this year. There are a range of different pieces of tech on this list from phones to TV’s. So if you’re looking to invest in a new bit of tech this year then why not try one of these.


The S9 and S9+ aren’t too different from the S8 devices, the only key difference being the improvement in the camera, so if you’re interested in a phone with a great camera then this is the device for you. However, if an excellent camera doesn’t really bother you then maybe just try the Samsung S8 or S8+ for the other great features of this Samsung phone.

This TV from Philips is a great gadget for 2018 with its unique Ambilight technology that makes the screen feel much wider. As well as this the edges of the TV are lined with small LED’s that emit vivid colours which are said to make an extension of what's happening on screen by subtly illuminating the surrounding area of the TV giving a relaxing glow.

If you’re looking for a great all-around portable speaker, then maybe give this one a try. These aren’t the cheapest speakers on the market as they start at £99 and go up from there. However, this is a great speaker if you’re in the market for a high-quality portable speaker. Also, the speaker has heavy bass levels and is completely waterproof so you can literally take it anywhere.

Nuraphones are very clever headphones, they adjust to your hearing by learning and adapting to your hearing, making them great for your hearing health. The headphones learn about your hearing by measuring your hearing in 60 seconds, by monitoring otoacoustic emissions and uses this information to mould the sound to your match your hearing. It all sounds very scientific!

The Fitbit Ionic is the strongest smartwatch from Fitbit and anyone who loves health and fitness is guaranteed to love this new smartwatch. The new Fitbit has the ability to track any workout with ease, and all these abilities of the smartwatch are encased in a stylish but comfortable design.

So, that's this week’s Appy Friday. Hopefully, we have given you some inspiration for some new bits of tech you may want to get your hands on this year. Let us know if you have already bought any of these or you’re planning on buying any of them!