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Apple News vs Google News: Which Is The Better App?

news

How do you get your news currently? Because both Apple and Google are coming for you with their revamped news reading apps.

Apple News and Google News are going head-to-head in the news category trying to become dominant players before apps from China like Toutiao make their way to the U.S. market. It’s not just news though, each will also be serving up your favorite blog posts and salacious gossip stories as well.

Let’s lay out the differences between the two apps and name our favorite of the two.

The foundation is similar

Apple News is only available on iOS devices (iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watch), but Google News is available on Android and iOS.

While both of the apps have their unique taste and flair for how news is gathered and presented, each follows a similar pattern. You tell it what publications and topics you like and the app will learn what stories it should show you.

The name of the game isn’t just random stories with these apps. Each wants to personalize the reading experience to keep you coming back often, throughout the day.

Apple News – a practical approach to news

Apple News is broken into five sections along the bottom: For You, Spotlight, Following, Search, and Saved.

The app always opens to the news for you. It refreshes automatically in the background so each time you open it, throughout the day, it’s ready with the latest information. First with the most important and slowly fading to the more benign, grouping articles by publication or topic.

The Spotlight section changes depending on the time of day, so, if you open it in the late afternoon it could say, evening digest, or something else. This section spotlights one story at the top, curated by humans. This section is meant to be the most important or best story of the day, unlike the For You section which dumps an endless list of stories around your interests.

Since everything is personalized, the Digest story also won’t necessarily be the same one for everyone.

Under Following it will show the channels and topics you’re following as well as new suggestions it gets from your web browsing and stories you’ve previously read.

Search and Saved are both obvious and straightforward. It’s a little peculiar that there’s a dedicated search button when you can search in the Following section as well. Saved will show both stories you wanted to read later as well as read history for quick access to past stories.

Swiping left on a story throughout the app will give you the options to save, share, or love it, while swiping right will let you dislike or report it.

There’s not much about Apple News that can be classified as bad because it gets to the heart of what you’re there for and strips the rest away. However, some may count its default notification settings – which can be a little aggressive – as bothersome.

Beyond those few extra sliding controls, Apple News is, pretty much, what you see is what you get. It has plenty of polish, but it’s on the minimal side, getting out of the way for the content you’re interested in consuming.

Google News – a news app with layers

On the flipside, Google News is a little more clever and comprehensive about the news and stories it provides to the reader. It has a more depth, but shouldn’t be overwhelming.

Google News also starts with a For You section on the bottom left, but as part of that section it also shows the current weather in the top right of the screen and breaks down what it thinks are the five most important stories for you.

Under the five defined stories, it continues to break out more stories it thinks you’d like and groups multiple publications around one story. When there’s something noteworthy you can swipe left to see how other publications are telling the same story.

The other three sections across the bottom are: Headlines, Favorites, and Newstand. There is a persistent search icon in the top left if you do need that function.

Headlines will give you more freedom in the stories you see as it breaks out different sections like business, technology, and entertainment, among others.

Favorites not only holds your saved stories, but will show locations, sources, and topics that you can follow, or that it has found for you.

One thing about Google News that gives it a little more depth is the use of moving imagery and videos. Google is trying to pull in more multimedia than Apple is by default and it likely will lead to more consumption.

Newsstand breaks out possible topics, categories, and publications you may be interested in, but aren’t currently following.

In the settings you can have Google News email you the daily news once in the morning. You can also change the push notifications you are seeing, similar to Apple News.

And the winner is…

Apple News is a good app, and may be convenient with its prominent place on iPhones, but I’ve seen Google News surface more relevant content, more often, after living with both for several weeks. And, ultimately, isn’t that what you want out of a news app?

It helps that Google News works on a wide range of devices and that it delights with little touches like the current weather when you open the app. Neither is a slouch, but Google News edges out Apple News just slightly as of now.

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When You Should And Should NOT Install Your Own Screen Protector

Installing a screen protector on your phone is a cheap and simple way to keep the screen from being scratched to death or potentially shattering. But how hard are they to actually put on yourself?

The material of screen protector will likely determine whether you should attempt to install it yourself or have a store do it for you “professionally.”

TPU – plastic film (more like a clear sticker)

TPU is an incredibly durable plastic film which can protect against scratches. It’s usually advertised as “self healing” because of its ability to absorb minor abrasions. Just because you scratch the screen protector doesn’t mean it will continually look scratched up.

Pros:

  • Can wrap around curved screens (like Samsung’s Galaxy S line)
  • Can fit more generic phones which don’t have screen protectors specifically made for
  • Generally less expensive

Tempered glass – rigid compounded glass (like a second screen)

Tempered glass is quickly becoming the most popular option for protecting screens because it not only keeps scratches away, but, in a lot of situations, it can absorb a small impact better than TPU and save you from a cracked screen.

Pros:

  • Can protect from screen shattering
  • Easier to install
  • Looks and feels better

Can I install one myself?

Screen protectors are made for consumers to be able to install themselves, but, that doesn’t mean everyone should. TPU protectors, ones that are a plastic, flexible film and involve a wet application are, for example, an exercise in frustration.

The trick with TPU and the wet application process isn’t necessarily skill, it’s regular practice. Someone at a store like Best Buy who does this regularly will be familiar with what causes application problems.

Frankly, a lot of people are nervous to take their new phone out of the box and spray it with liquid to get that screen protector on. The sales person doesn’t have the same attachment and can leave emotion out of it.

As far as installing tempered glass protectors, they don’t succumb to the same hardships of the sticker-like ones–with ugly air bubbles. In that case, they instantly become easier for more people to attempt the installation. I.e.: You can probably install a tempered glass protector yourself.

Lining up the top portion still requires a certain amount of skill and patience, but tempered glass protectors make this much simpler.

Pro tip

Even if you’re not lazy, there are plenty of reasons to pay someone to install a screen protector for you. Don’t sweat it. But, if you do have a store install a screen protector for you, just make sure you ask this question before proceeding:

Can you approve the installation before you pay, OR, if you do pay prior, will they keep installing a new one until you’re satisfied?

Making sure you get the final say essentially guarantees you get a perfect looking screen protector, which makes the small fee well worth it.

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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.

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The Latest Apple Rumors And What New Things You Can Expect From WWDC

apple wwdc

Here comes Apple season. Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is approaching on June 4th and news from the company will soon dominate the internet.

Why should you care? It’s here that Apple lays out its software plans for the coming year, meaning: we find out about all new features that your current phone will gain in the near future.

But it’s not just fancy new software, Apple has announced new hardware products in the past, and could this year as well. What will we see announced on June 4th? Here are our best predictions…

Likely

  • iOS 12 – There will be a new operating system for iPhones and iPads announced. The focus of this release is thought to be mostly bug fixes–said in a fun marketing way of course. (But that’s big, people don’t like glitches and stuff not working.)

    So far, a lot of the features will revolve around augmented reality, digital wellness, and group FaceTime calls. The latest reports indicate that FaceTime and Face ID will gain new horizontal orientations.

    Google targeted digital wellness at its conference in May and introduced things like App Timer, Wind Down, and an enhanced usage dashboard.
  • AirPods and AirPower – AirPods are everywhere. People love them. A new wireless charging case was teased alongside the AirPower charging mat in 2017, but we still haven’t seen either of those items in the last nine months. We have to see these at WWDC, right?
  • Apple Watch – There’s a new Apple Watch coming this year, the question is whether its in June or later in the fall. Almost certainly, though, we’ll see new software and features for the watch. There’s nearly 100% chance that those new features focus around health and fitness, which is great, but can we get some new watch faces too?

Possible

  • HomePod – The HomePod is fresh off its February launch, so it’s almost impossible that we see a new speaker, but, hopefully, we see new features and capabilities which would show that Apple is serious about competing with Amazon’s Echo. “Hey Siri, can you add add calendar events from HomePod yet?”
  • New Laptops – The latest iterations of Apple’s MacBook Pros have been the best selling, but have not been the best received. There’s a (presumably small) group of people not happy with the build quality of the latest keyboard version. It’s very likely we see a new generation of MacBook Pro laptops make a debut and iterate on the keyboard quality and feel–in addition to general computer speed increases.

No Way

Whenever we do hear, though, it will be exciting. Just imagine being able to use your iPhone apps (appropriately sized and nice looking) on your Mac.

Even if all these items get announced at WWDC, does that make a satisfying keynote event? Are there any other wildcard announcements? The only other plausible thing is brand new, bezel-less, iPhone X-like, iPad Pros, but most likely we won’t see those until the fall.

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How To Protect Your Online Privacy In Less Than 5 Minutes

privacy guide

We’re all lazier than we should be when it comes to online privacy, but there are a few things you can do to keep yourself from being taken advantage of by companies collecting data at every turn.

Even if you don’t care about your online privacy–you’re not doing anything illegal, of course–these things could keep embarrassing and annoying ads at bay.

Don’t assume Google is the only search

Instead of searching using Google, use DuckDuckGo–a search engine that doesn’t track you. You can set all computer and phone browsers to do this by default. You should still get the search results you want without using Google, and you won’t be feeding them more information.

duckduckgo

How-to
iPhone: Settings app > Safari > Search Engine > DuckDuckGo

Android: Android phone use various browsers so the quickest and easiest method is to download DuckDuckGo search app.

On a desktop/laptop: Follow the instructions for your specific browser here.

Google collects a lot of user data, but that doesn’t mean you need to feed it everything about you. Switching to a privacy-focused search engine will keep Google in the dark about all the things you’re looking up.

Message responsibly

Use a messaging app that is end-to-end encrypted. These types of apps keep your messages between you and the recipient. That means your words can’t be used to serve you targeted advertising, or in other malicious ways.

How to: download and use a secure messaging app like Signal, WhatsApp, Wire, or use Apple’s iMessage if both people are iPhone users.

Using a secure messaging app will keep your messages private, even if you’re on an unknown network or there’s a security breach.

Say yes to two-factor

When you sign up for a service and the option to use two-factor authentication is available, use it. Logging in through multiple means (something you know like a password and something you have with you like a phone) can keep your accounts safe from security breaches.

How to: say yes to two-factor going forward. To add it to existing accounts, follow these quick links to get started on: Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple.

Two-factor authentication is like putting your password on steroids. Any extra time and inconvenience is well worth it for the added protection and peace of mind.

Finally…

Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re now 100% protected from prying eyes or invincible against any attacks, but these few things will mitigate over sharing personal information. It will also make critical accounts harder to be broken into.

While these quick tips will help keep you from oversharing personal information and make your accounts more secure, don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re 100-percent protected or invincible against any attacks.

If you’re curious about what Google knows about you, can see that on CNBC. But, let’s be real, this is the 5-minute guide and those 5-minutes are likely up.

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Binge These 2 New Shows If You Love 80’s Nostalgia And Bizarre Murder Mysteries

Cobra Kai and Evil Genius are two very different shows, but two great options for those of you constantly looking for your next streaming show to obsess over.

Evil Genius – a true, mystery-riddled thriller

It’s no secret that Netflix knows how to make a really good true crime documentary–they did it so well, in fact, they actually parodied themselves with American Vandal–and Evil Genius is no exception.

Enter their newest docuseries, Evil Genius, which focuses on the pizza bomber mystery from 2003. This short, four-part show is the most exciting if you go in with as little information as possible. No need to even watch the trailer if you’re inclined to bizarre murder mysteries.

Still not convinced? Here’s a basic summary.

In 2003, a 46-year old Brian Wells walked into a Pennsylvania bank demanding $250,000 with a bomb locked to his neck. But the incident was the tip of the iceberg, as several murders and a much more involved plot unfolded.

If you’re too young to remember this event, or you don’t remember it making national news, hearing this story from start to finish for the first time will likely blow your mind. It’s crazy.

For those of you who did hear about the pizza bomber in real-time, this four-part series should satisfy by taking all the major and minor details over the years and putting them together in an easy to consume way.

Evil Genius is now available exclusively on Netflix.

Cobra Kai – for those of you who experienced The Karate Kid mania in its heyday

Cobra Kai essentially asks the question of whether nostalgia can go home again. In this case, the answer is an emphatic yes.

Beyond reviving old characters and telling their, where-are-they-now, stories, Cobra Kai also flips the tables on protagonists and antagonists. The majority of the story is told from the point of view of the original bully, Johnny, instead of the hero, Daniel.

If The Karate Kid touched your life in anyway, you should love this new ride; and there’s a good chance you give the show more of a pass on some of its cornier moments.

Even if the original 1984 movie didn’t have an impact on you, Cobra Kai might still be able to warm your heart with its theme of redemption and light, dad-esque humor.

Cobra Kai is available exclusively on YouTube Red, though you may be able to watch an episode or two for free if you hurry.

Want to save a few bucks on your streaming services? Check out our guide to all the different options.

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A Bunch Of Reasons You Need To Try New Gmail

email gmail

Gmail, the world’s most used and generally loved email service is finally getting a refreshed look and new features. The updated website look will eventually come to all users, but here are five features that should convince you to enable it now.

For the organized: Tasks, Keep, and Calendar in your sidebar

The sidebar in Gmail is finally useful with quick access to Tasks, Keep (notes app from Google), and Calendar. You can keep a to-do list with Tasks–even dragging emails over to it and automatically making the email a task. There’s a new iOS and Android app for Tasks to manage those when you’re not in Gmail.

gmail tasks

For the secret agents: Confidential mode

Confidential mode allows you to send emails which will disappear in a set amount of time. The details aren’t important, but you can email someone information and be confident it isn’t lingering around in their account longer than it needs to.

For the procrastinators: Snooze

Don’t want to deal with a message at the moment? Hit snooze and choose when the message will pop back into your inbox like a new message. The ability to ‘snooze’ a message is not new or ground breaking in the world of email, but it’s great to finally see Gmail add it to its list of features.

For the forgetful: Nudging

Gmail can pick up on key phrases that indicate a message is time sensitive so if you haven’t responded to a message that says something like, please let me know if you need to reorder supplies by friday, it can ‘nudge’ you to do so.

For paranoid: IRM (intellectual rights management)

IRM is another feature in the name of security. It will allow you to remove the ability for people to forward, copy, download or print messages you send them. If disappearing messages with a confidential mode doesn’t make sense, this is another way to cripple people’s ability to use your message in ways you don’t want them to.

How to enable

Click on the settings gear icon on the right side and the first option should be to enable the new look and features. If your Gmail account is part of a work domain, bug your admin to help you enable it.

Don’t worry, if you hate it you can always switch back to the ‘classic’ Gmail.

gmail enable

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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