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Category Archives for Technology

Quick Tip: How to View Your “Liked” Posts on Instagram

I follow a lot of fashion/style based Instagram accounts for inspirations & ideas. That said I was looking for an outfit that I liked a while back on Instagram only to wonder how exactly you access your “liked” photo gallery. It’s definitely a feature within Instagram just a couple taps away in the settings panel.

 

Step 1: Profile Tab

Begin by clicking on your profile tab within Instagram.

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Step 2: Settings

Open your settings panel by clicking the gear in the top right. Which will take you to your Instagram settings.

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Step 3: Photos You’ve Liked

Under the account section you’ll find the “Posts You’ve Liked” button. Enjoy viewing a gallery or list view of the photos/videos you’ve liked. Making it easier to filter through the posts you enjoy.

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Relative to Instagram version 6.6.1

LG Watch Urbane Brings Elegance & Luxury to the Smart watch Lineup

LG at the Mobile World Congress event unveiled the all new LG Watch Urbane. The Urbane is a fully functional smart watch running Android that is encased in a luxurious case coupled with a leather strap.

Urbane is housed with a OLED display of 1.3-inches & powered by a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU with 512MB of memory. Currently available in the two iconic silver & gold finishes. As of current the pricing & shipping information is yet to be announced. LG’s watch features an all metal design which is much more durable & timeless as far as aesthetics go. So far the long awaited Apple Watch coming in April is the closest we’ve seen to this sort of design. Urbane strikes this balance of a classy timepiece with the hardware & software of a 2015 smart watch.

LGWatch1

 

LGWatch2

 

As a time piece enthusiast myself I really enjoy the simplistic approach to the design while coupling advanced technology in the watch. They’re definitely advertising it as an everyday sort of wear be it for a casual or more formal like event. This is how I see a smart watch personally fitting into society. Something that is an extension to our technology we already have & exists in a seamless fashion of something that looks & feels familiar but functions efficiently.

LGwatch3

 

Further tech specs reveal it’ll be sporting a 410mAh battery, the screen will featured a 320×320 resolution with a touch screen interface & possible navigation with the crown, a heart sensor, & will be water/dust resistance. Software wise it’ll be running standard Android Wear.

All in all this is the technology smart watch culture clashing with the classic time piece & producing something that is not only visually appealing but highly technical & useful at its core. As time goes on & the rest of the competitors ramp up production of their smart watches we’ll see how the space plays out. Until then LG Urbane watch certainly sits up there with Apple’s Watch in terms of elegance & sophistication while being coupled with great technology.

Pin & download Apple Apps with Pinterest

The popular social networking site Pinterest thats popular for its visual pin boards now adds a new feature “App Pins”. This feature allows for users to add apps to their pins which adds an install button that does allows the app to be downloaded without being taken out of the Pinterest experience.

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Apple in conjunction with this feature release has taken advantage by making an official AppStore board with their own pins of featured apps.

This all of course only displays within the iOS app itself. Taking you directly to the app page within Pinterest to download said app. The new feature can prove to be a big push for pinners to showcase apps they enjoy & use. On top of that with a very cluttered AppStore a platform like Pinterest which is highly known for its various categories of boards can take advantage of this feature to cut through the noise. As for Pinterest they could use this model in combination with the promoted pins & ad-market to make some revenue from the new feature. Their users get a feature that makes app discovery & installation seamless which seems to be the trend nowadays. The less friction from point A to B makes it all the much better for the user. With Pinterest growing future already on track to surpass Twitter, new features that enable users to find more of the content they want with ease only strengthens their network.

Any thoughts on the new feature? More over I’m sure we’ll see creative ways users will integrate this features into their pin boards.


Follow me on Pinterest

SpaceX Falcon 9 launches DSCOVR Satellite while Tesla falls short

I decided to cover two stories that while in different categories are related in that they’re both founded & ran by Elon Musk.

SpaceX a space exploration corporation successfully launched their Falcon 9 rocket out of Cape Canaveral. Set to launch earlier the event was delayed due to weather conditions & some technical difficulties. SpaceX hosted a live broadcast of the launch filled with updates on the condition of the launch along its venture into space.

DSCOVR is set to arrive the Sun-Earth L1 Lagrangian point (930,000 miles from earth) in about 110 days. The idea of course is to collect data such as imagery of Earth, weather conditions in space, and other various amounts of data. Certainly a big event by all means with little to no room for error.

Credit: SpaceX

Credit: SpaceX

That said other news articles published today criticize or question Musk’s focus. Tesla shipping figures released showcase that they’ve fallen short of their 33,000 Model S goal only shipping so far about 9,384 automobiles. Which Musk has yet to address due to his attention of the Space launch.

Some going as far as calling out Musk for being distracted as Alex Kaufman of the HuffingtonPost stated

 

Now I fully understand Elon Musk has a responsibility to both companies & in turn the shareholders. But the man literally just oversaw a project to launch a rocket into deep space in order to get information that not many out there are doing & we’re creating articles on how he seems distracted?

TheVerge had their own article on the matter sub-headline reading

As the company reports poor earnings, its CEO appears distracted

Again I understand Musk is spread thin but still has to answer for the earnings but “distracted”. A man who servers as CEO for both SpaceX, Tesla, and a chairman of SolarCity I think has the right to be a bit distracted. Literally changing multiple avenues in the world of technology & yet we’re critiquing him what taking on too much? As Musk has stated multiple times Tesla was never going to be profitable. Thats not their goal. It’ll take a lot of money & some adaptations before its profitable. He certainly has to answer for what went wrong in the shipping department as his role of CEO & face of the company. However I think for an individual of his stature & the things he’s trying to achieve he deserves a bit more than being taken as “distracted” or what he’s tweeting about. Sinking that low to me is what deprives the world of its innovators. Anytime anyone tries to step out of the box to achieve something out of the ordinary & takes on the risk themselves much like Musk did we criticize them for trying.

 

Flipboard Comes to the Web

The popular RSS reader FlipBoard known for their mobile apps now comes to the web. A mobile RSS reader that combines form & function into a online magazine interface. The team has now released an official web version that couples the mobile apps very elegantly. It’s RSS for the everyday user. You can simply sign in with your FlipBoard login, Gmail, or Facebook. Greeted with a visual experience of cover stories & topics you follow.

It’s RSS for the everyday user

 

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The interface is broken down into three sections. Cover stories, Following, and Explore. The cover stories where you’ll be spending a majority of your time is filled with a ton of visual elements scattered with other tiny elements such as “Friends of FlipBoard” & “Magazine Makers”. Combining the social elements with your news readers. See what others are making & digesting with a simple click.

You also have the ability to follow other users to see their “magazine”. A magazine is a FlipBoard curated by other users so you can follow their interests or daily reads. This can be anywhere from people to topics such as Technology, Sports, and so on.

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Coupled with that is a profile page that displays all your articles, magazines, and followers.

Last but not least is your explore tab. This is where you can find all sorts of new content to follow & explore the FlipBoard community. With over 34,000+ topics in their library & thousands of more magazines your bound to find something.

Whats best about the new design is responsiveness.Reducing the window to a smaller size automatically resizes the stories to your window. Making the whole experience seamless & easy on the eyes. Showcasing the topics, comments, and “flips”. You can hit the plus button on each post to flip it into your own magazine or read it later list to save for later or share with others.

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Clicking on each story brings you to the source site for you to enjoy the full article. Overall the FlipBoard team did an amazing job on the web version of an already brilliant designed app. The technical know how that went into building said site is really interesting & something you can read about in its entirety from Michael Johnston an engineer on FlipBoard.  As he states

Now we’re coming full circle and bringing Flipboard to the web. Much of what we do at Flipboard has value independent of what device it’s consumed on: curating the best stories from all the topics, sources, and people that you care about most. Bringing our service to the web was always a logical extension.

If your already a FlipBoard user than this is definitely worth checking out as a companion to their mobile apps. Additionally if you’ve been searching for an RSS service thats easy to use & combines that social element with an overall elegant interface then this is the service your looking for.

Sign up to FlipBoard

Swatch to enter Smartwatch market

Famous watch maker Swatch known for their iconic affordable & unique timepieces are set to enter the digital space. Competing head to head with the smartwatches latest competitor Apple who’s set to release their Apple Watch this April.

The Swiss watchmaker CEO Nick Hayek has stated they’ll launch their smartwatch within the next three months. Backed with 30 years of experience & understanding of the watch space they want to offer high tech devices that couple the traditional timepiece with technologies such as NFC to communicate with other devices & support mobile payments.

On the other hand Apple’s watch is set to premier at $350 USD price point with multiple models in their line up. Running a version of iOS tailored for the device. Swatch has stated their devices will run on both Android & Windows based software.

Apple Watch Lineup

Apple Watch Lineup

It’ll be interesting if anything to see Swatch spin on the smartwatch, certainly a category thats beginning to get some recognition in the market. From Samsung’s Galaxy Gear to the LG G watch. It’s only a matter of months now till we see how well the customers react to this revived gadget that is the smartwatch.

Review: AnyTrans (All-in-One iOS Content Manager)

Video Review:

 

AnyTrans by iMobie is an all-in-one content manager for your iOS devices be it iPhone, iPods, or an iPad. Allowing you full control over your device & the ability to manage the media from the device to your computer and or vice versa. This is useful in a variety of situations from backing up data, importing content, and or bypassing traditional iTunes sync methods. The app handles all sorts of media from photos, video, contacts and more. Simply plug in the device & get a visual representation of the device & everything on it.

Features:

AnyTrans really spans across so many use cases. Let’s say your upgrading from an older device to a new one & want to migrate specific content or all of it over well AnyTrans can do just that. Have a device that iTunes won’t allow access to or allow import/export of media AnyTrans can handle that and the list goes on. It’s a great way to bypass & completely take over iTunes as a content manager and does so in a easy to use fashion.

The features covered include the following:

  • Entertainment (Music, Podcasts, Photos, Videos, etc)
  • iCloud Content
  • Apps & Docs
  • Personal Info ( SMS, Contacts, etc)
  • File System (Disk Mode)

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Interface:

The best part about the content manager built into AnyTrans is that the interface is clean & simple. Plugging in the device shows you a overview of everything on it & from there you can sort through the media you want to control then choose the method of export. You have the option to move content to iTunes, your mac/pc, and  even another device. Everything is visually showcased & easy to navigate and use depending on your needs. Additionally you have the ability to add in content & as well.

 

Use Cases:

Getting back to the overview of the app & who’d exactly would want this covers a wide range of users.

If your looking to replace iTunes completely with something that skips the permissions & common syncing issues than this is for you. While on vacation I use the app to transfer music to my new iPhone that was previously synced with an old library & in order to achieve the same thing through iTunes I’d have to sync with my Macbook Air’s library essentially erasing all my data.

Extracting data, transferring between devices, backing up data and so on are all ways to use this as a content manager. The power really lies in what you want done with your iOS devices. Giving you back complete control & transfer rights to your devices.

Pros/Cons:

Pros

Easy to use UI

Full System Control

Video Optimization Tool

Various Usecases

Cons

N/A in my usage

 

Rating/Conclusion:

 

Worth the Download 

It gets my seal of approval & is certainly one of the best iOS content managers available. Allowing the user full control over their devices & the capability to manage the content as they see fit. At this price, its worth having ever in case you’ll need it down the road.

Purchase: 

Download & purchase the app via the links below for either OS X or Windows. Each copy runs for about $40 USD with family licenses available for more.

OS X (aff)

Windows (aff): 

Snapchat “Discover” Overview

Video:

 

Snapchat recently released their all new “Discover” mode in the last update. This is both a monetization platform for the network as well as a dive into the news business. Discover is a way for users of Snapchat to discover ongoing news topics from various networks including CNN, People Magazine, MTV, and more in a very Snapchat-esque format. Simply swipe right to your stories page to find the new discover button in the top right of the app. This then opens bubbles corresponding to all the networks available as of launch.

Once in the discover mode you can easily swipe through the news headlines/videos. Swiping up goes to the full article or content, swiping to the right goes to the next headline, and lastly swiping up takes you back to the discover page.

Essentially a news outlet or snapchat story for these many networks. Surely this also allows for advertisement/monetization for the platform. What really stands out is the ease of use & navigation behind all of it. Something most users who use Snapchat daily will be comfortable with. Integrating news in the already popular network. To me this captivates the audience who are used to short form content in a very appealing user interface. While most users may not normally have a news reader app or open CNN or MTV if its a swipe away within their favorite social network then why not. I feel Snapchat is used to see whats ongoing in your world. Your friends, their stories, and sharing yours. This discover mode lets you take that one step further & consume whats going on in the world in all too familiar format.

As their blog post on the release of new feature depicts:

Discover is different because it has been built for creatives. All too often, artists are forced to accommodate new technologies in order to distribute their work. This time we built the technology to serve the art: each edition includes full screen photos and videos, awesome long form layouts, and gorgeous advertising.

 

It’ll be interesting to see how Snapchat expands upon this.

Mobee Magic Feet Charging Station

Video Review:

(Originally filmed in December 2012 this review has been revised for my experience with the product up to this point)

Product Rating- 8.5/10

Retail Price- $150 USD (Click Here to Purchase Mobee Magic Feet)

Mobee’s Magic Feet is a charging solution for your magic mouse, trackpad, and Apple wireless keyboard. The charging station uses specially designed rechargeable batteries in line with inductive based charging that can be wirelessly charge input devices on the docking station. Coupled with its sleek aluminum design the charging station nestles well on your desk or on your iMac base station. The advantage being that you can charge your input devices simultaneously without every having to replace batteries. The Magic feet also conveniently adds 4 extra USB ports with its built in hub making plugging in other devices an arms length away.

This all in one solution solves your dead battery issue while making it simple & convenient.

Breaking down the product into 3 categories. Design, functionality, and ease of use.

Design-

The Magic Feet is simply stunning in its design. Going along with the Apple aesthetic of an all aluminum base station. Magic Feet comes with a Magic Mouse battery pack, Apple Wireless/Trackpad battery pack & the base station itself. The station requires one power cord with a pretty big adapter thats interchangeable for specific regions & another mini USB cord to power the hub. The magic mouse charging station at the top can charge up to two mouses (battery packs sold separately) while the front end can mount either an Apple wireless keyboard or magic trackpad. To top it off the product is made of 100% recyclable material.

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Functionality-

The main function of the Magic Feet is to charge. In my testing over extended period of usage the devices held up in great condition only requiring a charge after weeks of usage. In some cases the battery packs would lose connection but nothing a simple on/off couldn’t fix. Charging works efficiently & within an hours time can put great life into your mouse or keyboard. USB ports built into the Magic Feet also act as a convenient location for plugging in small devices such as pen drives, external drives, etc. Seeing as this is typically on your desk or in the front of your iMac its in the perfect location for usage. Charging the Apple Wireless keyboard on the station still allows for use while charging making it all the more convenient. On top of that you save on the cost of constantly replacing batteries for your input devices thus making the product that much more eco-friendly.

Ease of Use-

Mobee did a great job of making the Magic Feet simple to use & setup. Simply replace your old battery packs in the standard devices then set up your charging station & desired and charge when needed. The product features 3 LED lights that are red when the devices aren’t being charged, blinking green when charging, and solid green for a full charge. Allowing you to charge 2 Magic mice and an Apple wireless keyboard or trackpad. The overall design makes it easy to access all USB ports on the hub & charge devices neatly.

PROS:

-Wireless Charging (Inductive based)

-Saves cost of traditional batteries

-Convenient design

-Green Tech

CONS:

-Power Adapter Size

 

Overall the Mobee Magic Feet at its $150 price point really is a great charging solution to invest in. In the near 3 years I’ve been using the product the rechargeable batteries have remained reliable as ever. If anything I’ve made my money back in terms of savings regarding batteries that I tend to have to replace after prolong usage of each input device. Mobee also sells battery packs separately for you to purchase via their site if need be. Having multiple macs myself the convenience of being able to charge two mice at once really helps. As far as wireless charging stations go Mobee has hit the nail on the head with the Magic Feet. It really is a all in one solution for your Apple input devices. If your a mac user & more so a proponent of the Apple input devices than consider investing in the Mobee Magic Feet.

 

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