Posted on

6 Apps You Need To Try This Week

Each week, The Digital Hype takes a look at some of the hottest and trending apps you should know about. This week includes a couple music related apps along with screen sharing and a text utility. Let us know your favorite iOS or Android apps in the comment section.

Find on Apple Music

Not a mobile, Find on Apple Music is a Chrome app (extension) which will simplify your life. Using it from a desktop, you’ll be able to right click, or search a page for an easy link to open a song in Apple Music.

Wandle

Specifically for Android, Wandle will try and help curb notifications during unwanted times. From the website, “Wandle determines when you’re in a meeting, driving or sleeping, and blocks notifications, messages and calls at this time.” It’s like a smarter and more robust Do Not Disturb mode for you to configure.

Text Case

Text Case is a simple, dedicated utility that will change text to different cases–title case for example. It seems a little too simple until you run into a time you need it. Simple apps often become people’s favorite.

Can’t Sleep

Here’s an app to help you get to sleep faster. Can’t Sleep plays music, specifically aimed at helping you fall asleep faster and more easily. If you already can’t sleep, there’s no harm in trying another app.

Gigroad

Gigroad has been described as the AirBnB of live shows. It lets you set up a show nearly anywhere, including a living room, backyard, or other venues that aren’t typically venues.

Droid Cast

iOS has AirPlay which makes screen sharing to an Apple TV very easy. Android devices don’t have the same standard option and so Droid Cast is looking to fill the gap and make it as easy as possible.

Posted on

The Best Apps To Download This Week

Looking for a few new apps to try? We’ve rounded up some new ones which may be helpful in your day-today use, or just a fun new social network to try. Be the first of your friends to be in the know!

No Twitter ads

Advertised as Twitter without all the junk, Readme is a streamlined Twitter experience that cleans out the ads, the moments, and trends. Readme is for those looking for a limited and more focused Twitter.

Productive links

For the marketers out there, JotURL is packing features into one shareable link. Bit.ly had been the previous king of short and custom links, but JotURL looks to be trying to out do the incumbent with all types of analytics and ways to add value.

Android to-do

There’s no shortage of to-do apps, but it’s always tempting to try a new one, right? Beezee is only for Android right now and aims at cutting all the cruft. It’s designed to be super minimal and focus on the tasks at hand.

Social movie-goer 

MustApp is like Facebook or Twitter, but just focused around movies. Niche social networks are a hard nut to crack, but MustApp is well designed and focuses on tracking movies you want to see, movies you’ve seen, and sharing that information with others.

Safer web browsing

Keepsafe just announced its new browser which it says will block online ad trackers, social networks, and analytic companies. The app will also provide a more private experience than the default browsers will incognito tabs and a security pin to lock it. The new app is available on both iPhone and Android.

Posted on

5 Totally Unexpected Ways To Use A Portable Battery

Usually when people think of a portable battery (also called power bank) they think about charging phones. That’s great, but portable batteries are compatible with nearly any device that uses USB for power.

If you don’t own a portable battery yet, it essentially moves the wall outlet into your pocket or bag and enables more things not possible before.

Electrify your couch

Getting comfy on a couch typically requires being too far from an outlet to plug in and watch TV at the same time. Take a portable battery and stick it between your couch cushions to enable a completely charged Saturday of binge watching.

Pedal power

Have you ever noticed the bike icon on Google Maps while your getting driving directions? There’s more ways to get somewhere besides driving and walking. If you do spend a few hours riding a bike with GPS navigation on (and probably playing music too) you’ll want to be plugged in.

Strap a portable battery to your bike frame and make sure your phone is full when you reach your destination.

Gaming the gaming headphones

Wireless headphones let you sit comfortably on the couch while playing Xbox or PlayStation, but, unfortunately, most don’t have great battery life. Don’t wait for them to die before charging. Connect a portable battery and you can sit where you like, for as long as you want.

Separately (but still on video games), Nintendo’s Switch console uses USB Type-C for power, and hooking it up to a portable battery will keep it going for more than the few hours delivered by its internal battery.

Don’t let the music stop

When you go camping, hit the beach all day, or spend a weekend in your own backyard, you can easily extend the life of your Bluetooth speaker by adding a portable battery.

Sit anywhere at Starbucks

Did you know that if your laptop has a USB Type-C port you can most likely charge your laptop from a portable battery? There are a few requirements to consider, but carrying a portable battery for your laptop instead of needing to be parked in that one seat in Starbucks can be a lifesaver (or work-saver).

If your laptop doesn’t have USB Type-C, there are also a few portable batteries which will have an AC plug for more general use like this one from Jackery. Warning: these batteries with AC outlets aren’t cheap.

If you’re unsure of the different USB connectors and cable types, check out our super simple guide.

Posted on

LG Pay, Competitor To Samsung Pay, May Be Delayed In U.S.

LG

LG is preparing to launch LG Pay – its competitor to Samsung Pay (and other digital wallets) in the U.S. However, we uncovered some intel that indicates that we might have to wait a lot longer than expected…

It’s been heavily rumored and reported that LG Pay would make its U.S. debut by June, but new job listings for a Manager of Mobile Service Operation and Customer Service position, among others on the digital wallet team seem to indicate the actual launch is still much further out.

lg pay

One of the key nuggets in the Service Operation and Customer Service job posting, which went live on May 29th 2018, is that this person will be responsible for “LG Pay testing and operation before launch.” This person will also need to “Develop, update and manage EULA [end user license agreement]” which does not seem to suggest the launch of LG Pay any time soon.

There are also now listings for a Senior Manager of LG Pay Business Development/Partnerships, and a Marketing Manager. Both of these positions’ descriptions point towards there still being lots of groundwork that needs to be done before LG phones in the U.S. get their own first-party payment system.

While a June launch looks June looks nearly impossible with these key foundational components not yet in place, LG Pay is certainly still coming to the U.S. market. At this point, it’s just a matter of when.

But, if it takes too much longer there’s a big question of whether it will even matter – as many people may have already started using other digital wallets.

LG launched the payment service in South Korea in 2017 and it uses a similar technology to Samsung Pay called Magnetic Secure Transmission, which allows wider compatibility with credit card swiping terminals.

Posted on

Google Just Blew Our Mind With These 4 New Announcements

google conference

Google announced all kinds of cool new things at its annual I/O conference–from robots making our phone calls to a colorless phone screen. Seriously. Read on to have your mind blown about all the new features.

Google Assistant

Google performed some black magic with a demo of a person asking (speaking or typing) Assistant to make them a haircut appointment. Google Assistant then called the salon on its own, used a fake human voice to talk to the person answering the phone, and then let the person know when the task was completed and added to their calendar.

Plus, just for fun, Google Assistant is gaining the ability to speak to you with a few popular celebrities like John Legend.

Google Lens

Google Lens is Google’s visual search which uses the phone’s camera to better and automatically understand the world you’re standing in currently.

New features coming to Google Lens includes the ability to point your phone’s camera at a book, drag your finger across the screen on top of the text, and have that text instantly copied to your phone.

lens copy paste

It will soon be able to do Style Match and look at furniture or clothing and determine other matching items to go with it. You could buy a couch, and then use it to determine what type of end tables best go with it. Google Lens should be able to answer matching question for you, without directly asking, just pointing your camera at it.

Android P (new Android software)

Android P is the new, yearly operating system update for compatible phones. A bunch of the stand out features focus around intelligence, simplicity, digital wellbeing.

Intelligence

  • Adaptive Battery will figure out your usage patterns and make even smarter decisions to preserve battery life longer.
  • Adaptive Brightness will now account for personal preference in addition to auto brightness and be smarter about your screen brightness.
  • App Actions will first predict which app you want to use (based on time of day and patterns) and then predict what you want to do with that app and provide an action without having to go into the app.

Simplicity

  • A simpler home screen design in Android P will use more swipes to move around including swipe up to see your recent apps–think iPhone X and how its gestures work.
  • Android P will also change the side volume buttons to change media volume by default, instead of your ringer, because most people don’t want videos to blast unexpectedly.

Digital wellbeing

  • A new dashboard will show how you’re spending your time on your phone. Including items like, how many times you unlock your phone in a day, detailed app usage, and total YouTube watch time across your phone and other computers.
  • App Timer – you’ll be able to allocate an amount of time you want to use a specific app in a day and once you reach that amount of time the icon will become grayed out.
  • Wind Down – instead of your phone keeping you up in bed, it will try and put you to sleep. Tell it what time you want to go to bed and the screen will fade from color to grayscale when you reach your “bedtime.”

google wind down feature

Google Maps

Google Maps is critical to people getting around, but not without its pain points. The example Google showed was getting off the subway and not knowing how you are oriented and which direction to head in, to continue following the directions.

Google Maps is adding augmented reality to Maps, so when you hold up the phone and it uses the camera, Maps can overlay arrows, street names, and other information on top of the real world you are seeing through the camera.

google maps ar directions

There might even be a cute animated pet which you can follow and will lead you in the right direction in a future update.

Google Maps will also be adding a new section called “For You” with personalized recommendations of businesses and things around you at any given moment. with a “your match” scores comparing your info with what google knows about these places

Posted on

Why You Don’t Need To Compulsively Quit All Your Phone Apps

quit apps

True or False:  
* After you use an app you immediately double-tap the home button and swipe the app away
* You always swipe away all or most of your open apps so they don’t keep running
* You believe that if you don’t quit an app on your phone it will burn your battery quicker

If you answered ‘True’ to one or more of those statements, it’s time for some myth-busting.

In a nutshell, modern mobile apps are built to be paused when the app is not in use. Both iOS and Android are modern operating systems made for mobile devices, they know that they are running on phones with limited battery. Conserving power is job number one.

Phone apps are not desktops apps

In the past, apps designed for desktops (or computers constantly plugged into the wall), weren’t concerned with power consumption, they were more concerned with speed and getting things done fast.

But what about that time when…

Let me guess, there was a time when an app was visibly draining your battery and you quit it and everything was magical again? Every once in a while that is the case. In fact Apple has a guide and instructions to show users how to force quit an app. They also say, “You should force an app to close only when it’s unresponsive.”

Android is the same. Here’s a response from Google’s SVP of Platforms & Ecosystems for Android, Chrome, and Chrome OS, Hiroshi Lockheimer responding on Twitter.

Time to blow your mind

It takes a certain (very tiny) amount of power and battery life to launch an app. Once the app is running, it takes even less energy (battery) to leave it paused in the background than it does to relaunch the whole thing from a cold state each time.

You’re likely using MORE battery life to quit your apps after each use and re-open them, especially if the apps are ones you open a bunch of times everyday.

Just keep this in mind if you’re trying to live that full-battery lifestyle. Feel free to share this info with other people as well.

In the end…

Of course, apps like Spotify and Google maps don’t completely pause when you switch to a different app. You’d be upset with your phone if couldn’t listen to Spotify and browse Facebook at the same time.  

Running these more battery-hungry apps all day will take a certain amount of juice, but all of this to say, you should not be worrying about using all the apps on your phone. Go about your normal day, use the apps you need, and don’t spend the mental energy worrying about your phone’s software. It’s fine. It’s all fine.