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.

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.

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.

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 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!

Friday, 2 March 2018

Smartphone News From This Week's MWC (Mobile World Congress)

For this week's Appy Friday, we are breaking down all the news from Mobile World Congress (MWC) and just letting you know the most important new releases

Samsung announced the new S9 and S9+ although we all had a pretty good idea that this was going to be the case. The new S9 and S9+ biggest change from the S8 is that it now has a variable aperture which allows the camera to take in much more light when it’s dark. This means you can now take great pictures even when it’s dark. Another way that the camera allows you to take high-quality photos in the dark, is that it now takes 12 images per shot to combine them all together to reduce noise in images. Samsung predicts that the new camera will cut out background fuzz by 30%. Other than the updated camera not much else has changed, the screen is the same size as the S8’s as well as the battery life. A couple of other changes that don’t revolve around the camera are that the speaker is said to be 40% louder than on previous models, and the fingerprint sensor has been moved to just beneath the camera bump. Another announcement from Samsung is the Bixby smart-speaker, which is set to compete with the Apple HomePod and will be released in the second half of 2018.

Nokia is recreating the Nokia 8110 which was originally released in 1996. However, this new model has a curvy design with a sliding bottom section. As well as announcing this reboot, Nokia also announced the new Nokia 8 Sirocco. This is completely at the other end of the spectrum to the 8110. This high-end phone has face unlocking, and a 2K 5.5 inch P-OLED screen with a 6GB of RAM. Another Nokia release from the MWC is the new Nokia 7 Plus. This device has a 6-inch HD screen and has a rear camera with dual sensors to improve photography in low lighting and zoomed images. Nokia also announced an updated Nokia 6 with a new battery that can go from 0%-50% charge in just 30 minutes. Finally, the last thing Nokia announced was the Nokia 1. This is on the lower end of the all the new releases from them as it is expected to cost around £79 in the UK. It has a smallish 4.5 inch 720p screen with a plastic back.

At this MWC Huawei did not announce a new smartphones but did announce the MateBook X Pro and a few new tablets. Their new laptop MateBook X Pro is a 14-inch notebook which has a 3k screen, the camera in the notebook is hidden away in the top of the keyboard which can be shown by the press of a key. The MateBook X Pro also has an Intel Core i7 processor with up to 16GB of RAM. When it comes to the three tablets Huawei have announced, two of which are versions of the MediaPad M5, which has both an 8.4-inch version and a 10.8-inch version. The third tablet being the MediaPad M5 Pro which only comes in the 10.8-inch version. All these new devices have eight core processors which run Android 8, the larger options of these devices have four built-in speakers for the surround sound feel. Also to go with the M5 Pro, they announced the M-Pen with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity.

The Lenovo Chromebooks have been made to be more durable and able to cope with those accidental drops and spills. One of the Lenovo Chromebooks lets you take notes using a regular pencil on the screen, and the other Chromebook has a lag-free stylus. The most expensive of the Chromebooks is only around £253 and is, therefore, a cheap alternative to a traditional laptop.

Sony announced the updated versions of the previous Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ1 compact. Imaginatively called the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact. Both of these updates come with a whole new design. The blocky shape has been replaced with curved edges, and the XZ2 has a new all-glass back on top of a metallic colour. The XZ2 compact has a matte finish in a variety of colours. The new devices have the same 19-megapixel rear camera, however, the XZ2 has a 5.7-inch HD screen and the compact has a 5-inch screen.

So, there are our more important announcements from MWC 2018. There are so many exciting releases on their way this year to get ready for. Let us know what your favourite product from MWC was and which things you’ll be buying!