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A New MacBook Pro is on the Horizon As we’ve learned, the upcoming MacBook Pro will have 5 upgrades and, what’s especially vital, more ports.   Upgrade #1 — Display It is expected that the new MacBook Pro will have a mini-LED screen in contrast to previous models that were powered by liquid crystals. And that means two things. First, the new MacBook’s display will be brighter and more colorful. Whether you enjoy tiny visual details in games like PUBG or use the laptop for professional work in Photoshop — your experience will elevate. Second, a mini-LED screen needs less power. So, the battery of the gadget won’t deplete too fast. Besides, MacBook’s performance can be boosted without requiring a bigger accumulator. Plus, it’s rumored there will be two models: with 14- and 16-inch displays. (The latter may even be a gaming model). Upgrade #2 — Chip MacBook will feature a new chip. It will be dubbed M1 or M1X. It is expected to have 12 cores — 8 cores for performance and 4 efficiency cores. That means that more advanced soft — Adobe After Effects, Blender, CAD and so on — will work charmingly on the MacBook. Upgrade #3 — MagSafe MagSafe was discontinued in the past. But it will make a comeback with the new laptop. At the same time, the new model isn’t likely to feature the unpopular Touch Bar for good. Namely, MacRumors agrees on that. Upgrade #4 — Extra Ports It is rumored that the upcoming model will have more extra ports. Particularly, SD-card reader and HDMI ports will make a wonderful addition. And it’ll be possible if they actually sacrifice Touch Bar. Upgrade #5 — Flat-edged design It seems Apple will ditch the classic MacBook Pro design and switch to a more flat-edged version. Plus, there will be thinner bezels. And also, some analysts believe that Apple may integrate Face ID into the new laptop. Continue Reading Google Limits Spying Done by the Apps Starting this May, Android apps won’t be able to see which mobile applications you already have on your gadget. The only exception will be made for the vital technical requirements. Previously, every newly installed application utilized the permission QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES, which would let it see which apps and games you have. This type of info would allow developers to get your “psychological portrait” and learn about your interests. Now, only security applications, browsers, file managers and some other utilities will be able to get this permission. But even then, app-makers have to file the Declaration Form in the Play Console. At the moment, developers have 30 days to make changes, adapting to the new requirements. If that doesn’t happen, all incompliant apps will be removed from Google Play by May 5.  Google’s policy states that collecting info on the installed applications practically equals violating the user’s privacy. This info is sensitive and cannot be sold to a 3d party for advertising/marketing purposes. It is quite possible that more limitations will be rolled out soon, especially protecting user’s location and browsing history. Continue Reading Microsoft Ditches Mobile Cortana Too many mobile assistants, do we really need another one? So they must have been thinking in Microsoft when they decided to shut down Cortana, its voice assistant similar to Amazon Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant. The decision was articulated back in summer 2020; as for April 2021, the mobile Cortana has been shut down. The apps have been removed from Google Play and Apple App Store. If you have your app installed, you will be able to make use of it for some time. Mobile lists and reminders you have created through Microsoft To-Do are not available through Cortana, though – only through the apps you used to create them. If you insist on talking to Cortana, on a Windows 10-operated PC you still can do it. Cortana is not shutting down completely. It remains on Windows 10, and it’s getting further updates and improvements. But its focus is now being shifted from an omnipotent pocket assistant to a rather modest voice interface for Microsoft 365 apps and services. This decision seems logical, as Microsoft does not run its own mobile platform anymore, and the existing ones have their own superior assistants. Well, Microsoft ruled by Satya Nadella has learned to admit its failures and focus on its strengths.   Continue Reading Do Facebook Algorithms Distort Your Feed View? Not Anymore! The way your feed is formed is among the most controversial things about Facebook. While its algorithms have long been rumored to select the news that you respond to the most (and come ads among them), now Facebook decides to change that for those willing. The new features will let you easier switch to non-algorithmic feed view which shows the posts by your friends and followed ones just chronologically. If you want, you can exclude page updates and focus on personal pages; this can save you hours of scrolling. Even more: you can select your favorites whose new statuses will appear first. This is done through the Feed Filter Bar with the tools you need to personalize your feed. Another bunch of options lets you adjust who can view and comment your posts. Now these groups can be adjusted separately. For example, you can make the post open, but only members of a certain group (your colleagues, your family, etc.) can comment it. This will probably be popular among confirmed celebrities, but not only. Facebook mobile apps will be updates soon, both on Android and iOS. As usual, the update will roll out during weeks, so the last ones will be able to read reviews and comments from those who have tried it first. Continue Reading Twitter Might Add New Emoji Reactions Many users are unhappy with the limited set of reactions Twitter currently has. The company tries to resolve this situation and, according to the spokesman, is looking for new ways in which readers can express themselves. It is known that this issue is still at the research stage. To understand the wishes and requirements of users more accurately, the company conducted a full-scale survey. In particular, several sets of emojis and options for basic reactions were proposed for voting. So, you could choose which emoji you think best reflects certain emotions and moods, like “support” or “awesome.” Besides, one of the most important issues was the problem of positive and negative reactions to tweets. The developers are concerned about how much negative reactions can affect an author, and for which purposes readers plan to use such emojis. On the one hand, it is a useful innovation that will help you get rid of inappropriate tweets. On the other hand, it can lead to the fact that users will stop posting anything at all. A huge layer of complex questions is hidden behind such a simple update as emoji reactions. Twitter cannot completely abandon them since all major services like YouTube, Reddit, and Facebook have used them for long. Simultaneously, the company is trying to comprehensively assess the need for new emojis and make them suitable for most users. Continue Reading Slack's Got New Feature Almost six months have passed since the announcement of Connect DM. Now, there's a new feature in the Slack app that allows all users to send private (direct) messages to almost anyone. If earlier it was possible only within your company, now you can write to any partners and clients. The pandemic and the transition to many companies' remote work influenced the decision to implement this feature. Slack has been working hard on the Slack Connect option since last year, and the new DMs are a part of that. This innovation aimed to reduce the number of emails and even replace them in communication between companies. With it, you can collect up to 20 organizations in one channel. The functionality of Connect DM is controversial. If your position involves working with several suppliers or branches of an enterprise, it can be really convenient. However, it can also turn your corporate messenger into a mess. Fortunately, some settings allow you to adjust the situation depending on the specifics of a particular organization's work. An administrator can completely disable Connect DM, restrict its use to prevent receiving messages from unverified clients, and allow its use. With the latest update, you can integrate Slack with convenient services such as DocuSign, Calendly, and CrossBeam. Continue Reading A Guide on Best Time Management Tools We live in a world where there’s an app for everything. It’s easy to talk about great apps and clever solutions designed to organize our daily routines as if they are some kind of a Harry Potter wand capable of adding more hours by magic.  Alas, time-management software won’t cut it on its own. They are a helpful crutch. Not more, nor less. You’ll need to master the art of time management instead of relying on what’s essentially a glorified alarm clock.   Tip for Time Management: Master the Power of Lists If we were to rely on TED talks time management can be summarized as knowledge of where the time actually goes and then prioritizing one’s tasks accordingly. Yep, time management, at its core, is a to-do list. Big shocker, eh? I know what you’re thinking. Don’t close the tab. Seriously, don’t.  There’s more to a smart list than writing down the stuff you need to do (which, on its own, is helpful to visualize your goals). A good time management list will never include vagueness. Instead, it is used to diversify tasks, goals, and projects.  Projects, tasks, and goals Let’s take a look at an example: Doing something major such as learning a new language, or mastering digital painting, or becoming a chef in a fancy restaurant is a project. It is something you strive towards in the long-game. You’ll need to accomplish goals and tasks in order to get there.  Think about it this way. You want to become a programmer. Learning to code is your project. Finishing a book on coding in C# or Java is a goal as it is something you yourself need to do if you wish to succeed with said project. Investing in an online course or hiring a tutor is a task as you need to do something before being able to proceed towards the end-goal.  Understanding this diversification is key to using time management tools effectively. Speaking of which… The Best Time Management Tools Here’s a brief list of time-proven time management tools (no pun intended), I’ve been relying on for at least five years: Asana: This is a project management tool that aligns with the project, task, and goal approach perfectly. You’ll be able to break your day into individual tasks, track time, and share challenges with others if need be. ProofHub: This is a project management system similar to Asana. The cool part about it is the guys from NASA – you know, the people launching rockets into space – rely on it.  Toggle: This is probably the simplest time – slash – project management tool on our list. It offers online and offline time tracking functionality, which is a great advantage.  Timecamp: This is a great time tracker if you are a freelancer and would like to bill clients based on the time you’ve spent working on a task. These are some of the coolest time management apps I’ve had the pleasure of relying on. Did I miss anything? What are you guys using to track daily progress? Continue Reading Productivity Apps with Gamification: Boost Your Performance Gamification of boring corporate projects and tasks (read as turning them into games) aids you in boosting your achievement score and taking your performance to the next level. Gamification and productivity often go hand in hand, especially in this new working from home era. Read on to learn more on the topic and enjoy the perks of this new powerful knowledge. 5 Best Mobile Apps: Gamification & Productivity The rules of gamification are straightforward: you approach your work as a game, stimulate yourself to deal with it fast without compromising on quality, and enjoy bolstering your efficiency. In this post, we’ll share our list of the 5 best gamification productivity apps available in 2020. 1. Forest: a Joyful Escape From Your Smartphone Obsessed with your phone to the point of it distracting you from focusing on your work on a regular basis? Make the most of the Forest app today and bolster your time management skills while maintaining a laser-like focus on your current tasks. By using this app, you will learn to be less dependent on your smartphone, manage your time effectively, and have fun along the way. 2. Do It Now: Classic RPG-Like Task Planner While using this gamification productivity app, you’re going to need to create a virtual copy of yourself, make a list of your must-complete tasks, and proceed by coping with them in real life. The ‘gameplay’ unravels based on your work-like-a-champ actions. Upon each completed task, you get to further customize your character’s abilities and level up. Once you’re through with your to-do list, you get some really nice rewards. 3. MindSnacks: Enhance Your Language Learning Efficiency Packed with a mix of brain games, gamification, and top-notch lesson plans, this app transforms language learning from a tedious task into a fun and productive activity. Catering to mobile users of all ages, the application allows you to choose the language you need among the abundant selection of seven options. The app is smart and is intended to help you focus on the stuff you’re currently struggling with. 4. SuperBetter: Achieve Goals & Tackle Obstacles This wonderful app was created to aid its users in overcoming depression, apathy, and coping with a loss. SuperBetter excels in teaching you to maintain an upbeat attitude and build resilience no matter what. Via this app, you get to have a blast experiencing its multiple adventures, as well as fighting with your hardships (presented in the visual form of negative characters). Fun and therapeutic! 5. EpicWin: Your Go-To Gamified Task Tracker This awesome RPG-ish gamification app was created to add an element of a game to your to-do lists and monotonous, repetitive tasks. While using it, you create your character and level it up by boosting stats and gaining coins while completing your pre-set real-life tasks. The app allows you to set up reminders, schedule repeated chores, and add the ‘someday’ status to the most challenging projects. Your Best Gamification Productivity App: iPhone- or Android-Friendly? Playing comes so easy to us human beings. That’s not exactly the case when it comes to working. With that in mind, why not combine the two processes to boost your productivity! They say it’s really effective. So, what about you? Have you already tried gamification-fueled productivity apps? If you have, which ones do you fancy the most? Get the discussion going and share your thoughts on the topic in the comment box below. We greatly appreciate any kind of feedback.   Continue Reading The Recently Launched Apple iOS 14.0.1: Yay or Nay? Apple iOS 14.0.1 has been launched. Who is it for? What’s good in it for me? Have the bugs really been fixed? Should I upgrade? If you’re asking yourself all these questions and more, we’re here to elaborate on this issue in detail. Below, you will find a brief overview of this latest bug-fix update, our verdict on the should-you-upgrade topic, along with everything you need to know about it. Enjoy.  The new update is available for every iOS 13-compatible gadget. It should start automatically. If it doesn’t, you can launch it manually by heading to Settings, then General, and then Software Update. iOS is reported to have arrived with camera preview upgrades, Wi-Fi connectivity fixes, email sending improvements, and other fixes. While the update comes with a solid promise of some really important fixes (and a few users do report certain improvements), a lot of iOS enthusiasts have already confirmed that iOS 14.0.1 only makes things worse. That’s especially true when it comes to the horrible graphical glitches noticed in widgets, as well as search bugs and stability issues. With all that said, iOS 14.0.1 looks like a haste-makes-waste update and a step (or two) backward. A lot of users are currently reporting that all the fixes the update comes with are nothing to write home about and totally ineffective. We predict iOS 14.0.2 will follow this current update shortly. Meanwhile, we’d suggest you keep away from iOS 14.0.1. Perhaps, you’ve already upgraded to iOS 14.0.1? If you have, what are your thoughts on the update? What fixes have you noticed? Any bugs or glitches that you’ve encountered? Feel free to share your opinion with your fellow iOS enthusiasts in the comment section below. Your two cents are highly appreciated. Also, don’t forget to bookmark our website to come back for more breaking news in the mobile realm. Continue Reading 5 Best Apps for Schedules & Appointments Are you an entrepreneur or a business owner? Then your life is pretty hectic, that’s a given. If you want to keep tabs on your multiple appointments, projects, endless to-do lists, family affairs, and other repetitive stuff you manually deal with on a regular basis, opt for a top-notch app for scheduling to keep all of your commitments automated and, i.e., perfectly organized. In this post, we’ll let you in on 5 best appointment scheduling apps that are sure to make your life easier and let you switch from minor chores to what’s really important — the success of your business. Choose the Best Apps for Scheduling & Booking If you spend a huge chunk of your day writing similar emails, perhaps you should reconsider your approach and switch to coordinating your business affairs? Tools like scheduling apps can go a long way in helping you automate your work process and keep track of all your responsibilities. We’ve sifted through tons of scheduling apps to compile the below best-of-the-best list for you. Enjoy. 1. HotSchedules: Best Daily Schedule App Android & iOS This online scheduler is definitely your best bet if you’re on the prowl for a fantastic work schedule app for employees. It’s fast, easy to get to grips with, and a breeze to use for back and forth communication with your team. Swapping, picking up, and releasing shifts with HotSchedules is a cakewalk for team members. Managers love how time-saving the tool is while enjoying its splendid capability to keep everyone in the company organized and connected. 2. Acuity Scheduling: User-Friendly & Highly Customizable Acuity Scheduling is a convenient iOS- and Android-friendly scheduling tool via which your customers can easily access real-time availability and then book their appointments based on this data. With its perfectly intuitive interface and impressive customization possibilities, the Acuity Scheduling app is sure to aid you in taking your scheduling to the next level and becoming a master of small business management. 3. SimplyBook.me: Fast & Easy Access to Your Appointments If you’re a registered SimplyBook.me user who wants to quickly and easily (read as on the go) access their upcoming appointments, this application is just the ticket. The tool excels at catering to all service businesses — as long as they accept bookings on a time scheduled basis. That includes restaurants, gyms, beauty salons, healthcare organizations, etc. 4. Genbook: Your Go-To Mobile Scheduling App Feeling a bit tired of juggling calls, emails, social media messages, and all the scheduling stuff required for keeping your workflow on track? Looking to focus on boosting your business success instead of getting distracted on a regular basis? Genbook is the answer. This super-easy-to-use mobile app for scheduling will amaze you by the possibility to interact with clients automatically, without you having to personally send out emails, confirmations, special offers, etc. Such a time saver! 5. Appointlet: Your Free Mobile Scheduler Ready to manage your appointments with ease and speed? Run this awesome scheduling app through its paces. Great for businesses of all types and sizes, Appointlet will help you transform leads into customers by allowing them to connect with you right from your landing pages, emails, and sales funnels. Speeds up your sales for sure! Congrats! The Hard Part Is Over! If you’re here, it means you’ve already coped with the toughest stuff. You’ve grown a business, found your (potential) clients, and become the driving force behind your own company. You’re now ready to take your scheduling to the next level, stick with one of the apps from our selection above, and enjoy automating a huge part of your workflow. Perhaps, you’re already using a great scheduling app? Share your thoughts on it in the comment box below. Your opinion is important. Continue Reading Working at Home: Productivity in a Time of Crisis The COVID-19 pandemic has stimulated a global work-from-home tendency. With social distancing guidelines in action, the typical 9-to-5 office schedule has been replaced by emailing, zooming, face timing, and remote access to shared workspaces. Working from home (and staying productive) takes some getting used to. In this post, we’re going to let you in on a few really useful hacks on how to stay productive when working from home in dark times like these. 5 Tips on Working From Home: Your Guide to Productivity  Is working remotely still creating challenges for your productivity? That’s understandable. Laundry, dishes, pets, kids, and tons of other distractions that exist in your personal space aren’t always your efficiency’s best friends. However, in this as-good-as-it-gets situation, you gotta be on a mission to stay healthy, reasonable, and productive while getting used to this new norm. Below, you will find some tips to help you with this. 1. Set up Your Productivity Work Place Find a comfy (yet quiet, as well as stress- and temptations-free) space in your home where you can focus purely on working — without checking emails, thinking about those chocolate brownies you still have in your fridge, or browsing Instagram. No possibility to move your work space to a separate room? Find an area where your family members and/or pets won’t bother you and practice the art of mentally blocking all the distractions. 2. Always Start Early The early bird catches the worm — everybody has heard that saying. It’s very true, especially when it comes to boosting your productivity while working from home. Indeed, the habit of getting to work early is among the most powerful rituals on your way to high performance and corporate success. It’s a science-backed fact, by the way. 3. Limit Distractions Block all the unnecessary noises, forget about your unfinished household chores, and prevent your mind from wandering around those chocolate brownies during your work-from-home day. Keep up to a regular schedule and try not to get overwhelmed by the workload. Always remember that concentration and moderation (not exhaustion) are good friends of your productivity. 4. Put Away Your Tools After Work When you’re through with your daily tasks, put away your gadgets and tools just as you would store baking supplies after making cupcakes. That way, you will succeed in effectively unwinding and recharging your batteries — all for the purpose of being equally productive tomorrow. 5. Socialize and Spend Time Outside Don’t let the pandemic get you into the habit of spending all your time at home. Go outside, engage in gardening, or walk around the park in your free time. Make the most of all those video conferencing platforms to chat with your friends or family members. This will stimulate your creativity and fuel your productivity once you get back to your workspace. Maintaining Productivity in the Era of Social Distancing Last but not least, don’t forget to adjust your attitude and create the mindset necessary for boosting your productivity. Your vision is your greatest power. So, if you look at the silver lining on a dark cloud of any situation, you cannot control — and if you stay creative, active, and inspirational during these dark times — chances are you will succeed in keeping your productivity levels at their peak. So, what about you? Any advice on staying productive while working from home? Speak up in the comment box below. Your two cents are important. Continue Reading Choose the Best VPN App 2020: Our Top 5 List Revealed Want to get as close to safe and anonymous web surfing as possible? You need a good VPN application. VPN stands for ‘virtual private network.’ It’s represented by a variety of applications that excel in encrypting your Internet use and tricking your gadget into thinking it’s, says, in Paris instead of Berlin. In this post, we will dwell upon some of the best VPN apps available in 2020. Enjoy. Best VPN 2020: Go With the Winner Even if you’re used to trusting your fellow humans (a strategy well worth reconsidering), you still shouldn’t completely rely on your Internet service provider. The thing is, in the US, your internet service provider knows all about your online activities (yep, even if you delete your browser history on a regular basis). Don’t you think you deserve a little privacy, especially taking into account that you’re paying top dollar for using their services? If you do, stick with one of the VPN apps listed below. 1. HotspotShield VPN & Wi-Fi Proxy Ready to enjoy unblocking any portal and making the most of your web surfing freedom? Run Hotspot Shield Free VPN Proxy through its paces today. With this top-notch and super speedy VPN service that effectively hides your real IP from everyone, accessing your favorite websites safely and anonymously is a breeze! 2. Norton Secure VPN & Proxy VPN If you’re on the hunt for a trusted security app from a reliable brand, Norton Secure VPN & Proxy VPN is your best bet. With this application, you will succeed in protecting your gadget from malicious hackers, as well as easily mask your IPas, block the annoying pop-up ads, and search the World Wide Web more anonymously. 3. CyberGhost VPN & Wi-Fi Proxy With this amazing app, you will enjoy protected privacy when surfing the net on your iOS-powered gadget. CyberGhost VPN & Wi-Fi Proxy automatically encrypts your connection as you log on to a public Wi-Fi network, hides your browsing activity like a pro, and secures your data in one single tap. This feature-packed and fast VPN service anonymizes your online movements in a truly reliable way. 4. Surfshark VPN: Best Bang for Your Buck If you’re seeking a high-quality (AND affordable) VPN service for streaming, torrenting, and generally taking care of your privacy, Surfshark is your perfect choice. With its unlimited simultaneous connections, a strict no-logs policy, and super responsive live chat support, this nearly free VPN app is a true game-changer for security perfectionists! 5. ExpressVPN: Unblocks Netflix & More This fast and secure across-all-devices network is great at unblocking almost anything that can be unblocked. This highly intuitive app supports torrents and is a breeze to make the best of. It boasts over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, strong encryption, top-level browser extensions, and an audit-confirmed no-logging policy. A true beast in the niche. Ready to Choose the Best VPN App for You? Keeping your online privacy intact is paramount. The apps listed above are sure to help you with this oftentimes challenging task. What are your thoughts on the topic? Perhaps, you’ve already found your all-time-favorite VPN app for streaming and torrenting? You’re welcome to share your opinion and recommendations in the comment box below. Speak up and get the discussion going.   Continue Reading