The Best Apps for MS Teams Free and Paid

As Microsoft’s Teams application becomes an ever-increasing staple in the work environment and Microsoft’s conscious decision to allow third-party developers to contribute to the workplace has seen a flood of apps to supplement your workflow. Here is a list of the top free and paid-for apps that will boost your productivity.

VirtoSoftware

VirtoSoftware offers both free and paid-for apps laser focus on improving workplace productivity. The free MakeSomeBreak is great for those who realize too late they should have scheduled some break time for a coffee or to get some fresh air. Taking a break every now and then is now being seen as vital to a successful endeavor. The app allows users to schedule break times with a click of a button and to the user’s preferences. 

The developer’s paid-for apps for MS Teams like the Kanban Board App are a godsend for those who follow Agile methodologies. The app acts as a task management interface specifically designed to include a scrum board allowing for better visualization and management of tasks.

MindMeister

This app has been around for some time but the importance of mind mapping for professionals has never dissipated. Offered as both a free tier package and a monthly pro subscription with superior features, the app allows for the quick and legible creation of mind maps that can be used by an entire team at a moment’s notice. MindMeister’s true selling point is that it is a one-stop mind map creator without the need to rely on other third-party messaging apps.

GitHub

For those working on digital projects being able to track any changes to the development’s codebase is vital. GitHub enables exactly this eagle-eyed approach to be readily adopted. GitHub now offers many of its core features for free. There are paid-for packages, but teams will only need to consider those when they cross certain generous usage thresholds.

The GitHub app for Teams allows team leaders and developers to see all changes without having to open new browser tabs and login pages. Another great advantage of the app is that code snippets can be shared by team members with ease in-app.

Trello 

Trello is a complete project management solution in app form capable of MS Teams integration. Trello functionality means that projects and tasks can be updated without even needing to leave the Teams Chat service. All information is presented in an easily digestible way, preventing things from becoming a mess.

Offered in both free and paid versions as is the typical business model of today, the free version is incredibly feature-rich for the price tag of zero. 

The apps provided above were picked for their usefulness to an incredibly broad scope of businesses. The apps above are also apps that can put productivity into high gear. More specialized apps exist for specific needs that are equally as good as those mentioned above but have a smaller target market.

8 Benefits of Using Learning Management Systems

Educational institutions are always looking for new ways to help students learn and improve their knowledge. Some schools have taken to using learning management systems (LMSs), also called eLearning platforms, as a way of helping faculty teach courses online. These eLearning platforms offer many benefits that should make them an attractive choice for modern education. These include the following.

Easy Access to Information

One of the main challenges learners face with traditional learning is accessing course information. In many instances, students must walk a considerable distance from their dorm or classroom to find the relevant books. 

LMSs solve this problem by giving learners quick and convenient access using any device with an Internet connection. When you need to find learning content, such as informative essay examples, all you need to do is type the phrase in the search bar and click “search.” Thus, it boosts the efficiency of education.

Learning from Others

Considering the ever-changing world, it is increasingly important to learn from other people. For this to happen with traditional learning methods, students would need an experienced mentor in their field of study and available at their convenience. 

LMSs offer distance learners an opportunity to connect with mentors when they need them most. Students can post questions on forums where experts in the field will be able to answer them. They can also connect with them through live chats and video conferencing sessions.

Saving Time

One of the most significant benefits of using a learning management system is that it saves you time on activities like 

  • scheduling courses;
  • reviewing course materials;
  • keeping up with deadlines; 
  • meeting requirements such as grades and attendance;
  • submitting documentation to the institution. 

With LMSs, instructors can update course content without going through the long process of writing new material and waiting for approval from the institution. This is a significant advantage over traditional classroom settings. Information becomes outdated quickly when there’s little time to update materials.

Cost-Effectiveness

Delivering a quality education is expensive and requires a lot of resources. It is common for schools and individual teachers to spend thousands of dollars on textbooks or equipment. 

In comparison, many LMSs reduce the costs of learning inputs like stationery and textbooks. Besides, as learning can occur remotely, students can access self-guided learning modules.

Additionally, in open-source or free LMSs like Moodle, there are no costs involved apart from the time it takes for a school or teacher to set up the system.

Added Functionality

Some features that are popular with LMSs include 

  • collaborative spaces; 
  • document sharing;
  • quizzes or assessments of competencies; 
  • attendance tracking for both students and teachers; 
  • certificates to show learner achievements; 
  • personalized digital statements for learners about their progress. 

Also, there are many ways to deliver learning content. One of these is through video. An LMS can allow teachers and learners to upload, view, or download videos relevant to the course under study.

Audio recordings can serve as a valuable input for students who need them to learn concepts more clearly. For instance, if students have audiovisual answers to common questions, like what is an explanatory essay, the chances are that they will be more interested in the topic at hand. Added functionality of LMSs also appeals to different types of learners.

Promoting Interactive Learning

Getting students to pay attention to the material can be a challenge for educators. The good news is that LMSs make this task much easier. When students are engaged with course materials, they have more motivation to retain information and learn new skills.

With an LMS, content variation brings a welcome change to the monotony of traditional learning. In addition, instructors can adjust how materials are presented based on students’ needs. LMSs provide an opportunity for interactive discussions through chats and forums.

Versatility

The convenience of LMSs makes them an ideal resource for schools and individual teachers. These systems are online and accessible anywhere at any time. Teachers can set up lessons long in advance, and students can access their content from home or school. This is especially helpful when a student has missed a class due to illness or other emergencies.

Easy Progress Tracking

LMSs make evaluations easier. A teacher can input feedback through a grading system, and students can see their progress. This is an important benefit for parents who want to know how well their child is doing in school. 

The records that LMSs keep allow teachers to track student achievement. It helps them identify struggling students and tailor their lessons accordingly. It helps them identify struggling students and tailor their lessons accordingly. For example, by looking at the exemplification essay assignments submitted, an instructor can gauge the weak areas and adjust their teaching.

Wrapping Up

As LMSs have grown in popularity, they’ve also become more adept at simplifying the learning process. With an LMS, you can provide students with a more engaging and interactive course. This approach will ultimately lead to increased educational outcomes for your organization and learners. If you haven’t already considered leveraging this powerful tool, now is the time.

How to Choose the Right Route Planning Software to Help you Streamline your Operations

When you are running a business, your processes must be seamless and efficient, including your deliveries. The reason behind this is that seamless business operations translate not only to cost savings but additional revenue as well. In this case, the best thing that you can do is to leverage technology, such as the use of software to plan your delivery routes more effectively. This article lists down some of the ways for you to choose the right route planning software to help you streamline your operations.

Route Optimization

One of the primary things that you need to look for in route planning software is its optimization features. Keep in mind to use a route software that boasts of features that you need because in doing so, you will be able to optimize your business operations with efficient planning of your deliveries. Otherwise, you will only tend to add up to your overhead costs.

One of the features that you need to look for when it comes to route optimization is its processing speed. As much as possible, you need to go for software that will be able to process optimal routes in a couple of seconds. You should also consider software with an autosave function as well as one that offers multiple optimal routes for you to choose from.

Real-time Data Mapping Updates

Another thing that you need to consider to be able to choose the right route planning software for your business is real-time mapping updates. In this way, you will be instantly alerted in case there are road mishaps that entail the need for you to change direction or whether there are road closures that you need to avoid. This will save you time in updating the delivery information to your dispatch team, yielding an efficient process.

Reporting

The best route planning software will also provide delivery analytics and reporting, which will allow you to have a good idea of whether the routes you have taken are indeed optimal or otherwise. This will prove to be beneficial as you grow your business to scale later on. With accurate data on the reports generated by the software, you will be able to have a good basis on the best practices that you can continue and improve on the ones that need to be enhanced.

Customer Support

Finally, you should go for route planning software that offers excellent customer support. In this way, you won’t have a hard time when you encounter issues in the software that need to be addressed instantly.

To be able to choose the right route planning software to help you streamline your operations, you need to consider the software’s route optimization features. Apart from this, you should also go for a route planning software that boasts of real-time data mapping updates, as well as accurate and comprehensive reporting. It should also provide efficient customer support that will help you with any concerns you may have regarding the software. All these are geared towards ensuring that you choose the perfect route planning software for your business.

Expert Inventory Management Tips for Small Businesses

Owning a business is not easy, it takes a lot of time and energy to get things right so it makes sense why some small businesses seem to fail in the long run. The main thing a lot of business owners seem to miss is proper organization! So here are some expert inventory management tips for small businesses!

Make a plan 

First things first – you need to establish what kind of business you are running and find the best solution that suits your needs. Is your business handling digital assets, offering services, or is it a real-life thing like a cafe or a store? All of them have one thing in common and that’s inventory and assets – but they all come in different shapes and forms! So your first step is to make a plan that is going perfectly with the nature of your business, this is the only way you can actually make things run smoothly! Doing additional research, finding valuable helping tools and resources is always welcomed so make sure your plan is not lacking anyhow! 

Categorize your inventory

Depending on what kind of business you are dealing with, you need to categorize your assets. This can be done by sorting your assets by usage and function, so you know where to look for them in any given situation. You want to focus on making things functional and practical, and it all starts with making a good plan and organizing your space – regardless if it’s physical or digital. A business can crumble with a lack of management, and this also means focusing on your inventory and behind the scenes as well!

Prioritize

Another important factor in organizing and managing your assets is learning how to prioritize! Some things are more important than others, and you should sort things out by the level of importance or usage – depending on what it is. This way you’ll know exactly what goes where and it won’t cause you any trouble. And overall it’s just way better to sort out things this way, for instance, if you are selling items, particularly things with an expiration date – prioritizing them is key! You want to sell everything, and to avoid any losses, regardless of if it’s money, time, or assets! 

Using the right tools is key

If you truly want to transform your business and help boost productivity, getting the right tools is the best thing you can do! Instead of doing everything by hand, there are so many software and apps you can use to do the job for you. Why work hard when you can work smart, right? Software apps like Grey Trunk focus on tracking your assets and helping you stay on track with the organization. There is nothing more annoying than not knowing where something is and having to seek it yourself. That’s where handy IT comes in to save the day and do the work for you! Nowadays technology is so evolved, there is no reason why you shouldn’t use it to your advantage, especially when it comes to maintaining and building your small business!

Regular checkups

Having a plan of action is extremely important when running your business, you don’t want things to go off the rails! Keeping things organized will also help with being able to track your assets and regularly check how your inventory is doing! This way you won’t come across any problems and create an even bigger problem down the line! Counting, taking a double-take, and making sure that everything is right where it’s supposed to be will help your business a lot in the long run! If there are any losses or potential clogs in the inventory, you’ll notice it right away and sort things out – so make sure you are doing it regularly!

Always strive for better

Technology is evolving, and things can change overnight, as shown during the global pandemic and similar occurrences. So being able to adapt and evolve during hard times is key. Regardless of whether your small business revolves around offering services or dealing with products – management is extremely important. Being able to constantly learn new ways and being up to date with the technology is a must, so make sure you are doing your research as a business owner!

At the end of the day, if you truly want to build a successful business you need to be on top of your game and covering all that is to cover inside the business. So many things make the business, never leave things behind! Make sure you put organization and functionality on the top of your list and see how much it will help grow your business out! 

5 Online Apps for Increasing Productivity

In this article, we selected five online tools for you, which will help you focus on tasks, correctly distribute your time, and plan your workload.  

1. Clockify

To be productive, you need the proper division of time. Clockify is a convenient time tracker, which works by the Pomodoro method – 25-springs drawn at intervals of 5 minutes. Every four sprints, you have to make a big break for half a minute. However, you can adjust the duration of the sprints and intervals to yourself.  

Clockify tells you when it’s time to rest and when to get to work, allowing you to maintain an efficient pace, fight procrastination and avoid overcommitment. Also, if you give the sprints task names, you know exactly how much time you spent on this or that task. It’s useful for every writing service, which provides an essay writer for you to get more work done.

Clockify works on different operating systems: macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. There is also an extension for Google Chrome and Firefox.  

2. Forest

With Forest, you can concentrate on your work, studies, reading, and rest without being “bogged down” on your smartphone or soft pleasure sites. It works this way: you grow “productivity forest,” where trees are short tasks (10-20 twins), and the trees – three-long (from 25 twins). So Forest also works according to the principle of Pomodoro technology. 

To grow a tree or a couch, you must not log out of the add-on on a mobile device or enter the forbidden sites (which you have banned, for example – social networks or YouTube) from the desktop. Soon you will lose focus and will be lost – the plant will die. You’ll get points for completing the task, and for 2500 points, you can plant a real tree – the Forest developers sponsor the planting of trees by the Trees for the Future organization. So, you can not just become productive but also help nature right from the workplace.

3. Notion

The need to immediately switch to a new work program reduces our concentration. To maintain focus, you can try to do everything in one place – write texts, set tasks, plan the day, and make a budget. Such a versatile workspace is Notion. The program combines the functions of writing text (like Google Docs or Evernote), planning projects and tasks (like in Trello or Asana), creating tables and databases.  

The service works in browsers, and there are also applications for iOS and Android. Many Notion users note that there is so much functionality that it is hard to decide how to use it first. A handy minimalistic design and tutorials help to orient yourself. 

4. Todoist

Todoist is a handy tool for creating task lists. With the device’s help, you can organize daily work – arrange plans, and divide the job into a team. In Todoist, you can set up a daily repetition of tasks, and you can use it not only for work but also for planning household chores or leisure activities. 

Todoist works in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browsers are available for MacOS, Windows, mobile versions for iOS, Android, and even smartphones. On the Todoist website, you can find many list templates for different types of tasks, and on the official YouTube channel – tips for starting to work with the service. 

5. Evernote

Evernote is an online notepad with extended functions. If you like to write everything down but have already become bogged down in folders and tablets, the service will help you record more efficiently. In Evernote, you can create your tags for sorting and searching for information, make notes, create checklists, add notes or media files. 

Evernote works in browsers and is available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. Evernote’s advantage is its minimalistic interface. 

Productivity is not limited to digital tools because only additional tools (though very handy and helpful). Look for productivity techniques that work for you, test and customize your services, plan your time correctly, and don’t forget to relax.

Top Ways to Secure Your Data on the Cloud

In the modern age, the ways in which people store their data are heavily based on cloud computing. In fact, finding a company that doesn’t use clouds in one way or another is incredibly hard. Of course, all this is for plenty of good reasons, as cloud computing offers possibilities that were unimaginable even a bit more than a decade ago. The amount of data that can be stored by using a cloud easily beats any hard disk out there, both by performance and by price. Additionally, having your data off-site allows you to protect it more efficiently from any on-site issues. Now, cloud computing, like everything else, doesn’t come without its disadvantages. 

The main thing that people are worried about when using clouds is security. Of course, cloud providers do everything in their capabilities to enforce safety. But, having your data exposed in a server that can technically be tracked down can be a reason for some to opt-out of using clouds. Now, there is good news if you are personally conflicted on whether you should or shouldn’t use clouds because of security skepticism. There are a lot of things that you can do to boost how secure your data is on the cloud, and if you know what to do, your worries can be reduced exponentially. If you want to learn more, in this article, you will find all that you need to know about the top ways in which you can ensure that your data on the cloud is secured.

Focus on the encryption that your cloud service uses

When it comes to data safety, no factor is more important than encryption. If you’re not familiar with the term, encryption is the process in which the information is encoded in a way that makes it hard to decrypt it. This basically means that the stronger the encryption that your cloud service uses, the better the protection of your data on the cloud. So, always make sure that you do your research on the type of encryption of your cloud service. Additionally, it would be best that you avoid those services that offer no encryption of your data.

Third-party encryption

If you want to ensure that your data is protected to the extent that your cloud service doesn’t offer – there is a way to do so. Basically, you can utilize a third-party cloud security platform that will make sure that your data is as protected as possible. There are platforms that can offer you encryption of your data, separately from the services that your cloud service offers. This way, you ensure that your data is encrypted to the extent that barely any cloud services offer. 

Always opt for two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication might seem like an unnecessary hassle to some – but it truly boosts your online security exponentially. When it comes to passwords, they, of course, play an important role in how secure your files are. The thing is, passwords can be decrypted, given that the person trying to do so is persistent and skillful. Of course, this isn’t easy to do, to begin with – but it can be done. On the other hand, if you use two-factor authentication, you are lowering the chance of someone accessing your data. This is especially true if the two-factor authentication includes sending an SMS to your phone.

Don’t take password strength lightly

The fact that passwords can be decrypted has been mentioned previously, but let’s see how you can lower the chance of that happening. Many people aren’t aware of the importance of password strength. That is why they opt to use simple passwords that they can remember easily. The thing is the simpler your password, the higher the possibility of it being used against them. The same goes for those that use the same password on many different websites. So, next time you create a password – make sure to make it as undecipherable as you possibly can.

Only use trustworthy WiFi networks

When uploading your data onto the cloud, as well as accessing it – make sure that you never do so through a public WiFi network. Public WiFi networks are oftentimes way easier to hack into due to low encryption and high accessibility. This is exactly why a large number of hackers find their victims on those exact networks. All this is why it is incredibly important that you never use a public network when working with data that is on the cloud. 

Always read the user agreement fully

Reading user agreements is something that many of us skip as we deem this process unimportant. While this might be true for the majority of instances, it is not always the case. In fact, whenever you’re handling something that has security at stake – reading the user agreement is imperative. 

When signing up for cloud services, you want to make sure that you understand the vital parameters of how it protects your data. In some instances, by reading the agreement, you can run into the part that says that you’re giving them permission to sell and/or use your data. Of course, if you want to boost security, you want to avoid this. All in all – never sign up to cloud services if you don’t fully understand every clause in the user agreement. The same goes for reading and understanding any updates in your cloud services’ privacy policies.

Think twice before uploading sensitive information

Lastly, let’s finish this article by tackling how you should approach sensitive information and clouds. In general, you want to avoid uploading anything that can be used against you on the cloud. So, your personal data, and anything that can, if exploited, compromise your safety. Surely, you decide what you want to upload, but just be aware that some data should be kept safe the old traditional way.

Finally, it is important to understand that while our options for pretty much anything are lined up for us – we still must do our part. Optimizing security in the era where everything is online should be everyones’ top priority. As you’ve been able to see, there are a lot of ways in which you can do your part, most of them not even being that complicated. So, instead of opting out of different new and modern ways in which we can optimize whatever it is that we’re doing, informing ourselves should be the first step. Embrace the positives and tackle the negatives head-on – and you will get the best of both worlds!

Signs You Need To Buy More Computer Memory

Memory is vital for the computer because it is the component used to store data temporarily in order to allow really fast access. RAM is the most common memory type used in computers these days. It means random access memory and is formed out of chips that are mounted on long strips. The strips are dual inline memory modules, which is what we refer to when saying the acronym DIMM.

RAM is attached to the computer’s motherboard. It is very easy to remove and swap so upgrades can be done quite fast whenever needed. The problem though is that most people do not even know that they can install more RAM. And in some situations, this is one of the best tech tips you could receive since more RAM could drastically improve performance.

In order to help you make a very good choice, let’s think about situations in which you want to seriously consider adding more RAM.

Programs Load Very Slowly

Modern computers respond almost instantly as you click the icon that launches software. As a result, when you notice delays of over 2 seconds, there is a pretty good possibility that upgrading RAM can help. This is especially the case when you have an SSD installed, which is designed to help open programs fast. When software does not load fast and you have SSD, the culprit is most likely having too little RAM.

The Computer Uses Most Of The RAM

When you receive memory error messages or you see that the computer consistently uses over 80% of your RAM memory, it is time to add more.

You can easily check how much RAM is used on your computer at any point in time. In Windows, you use Task Manager. On a MAC, you use Activity Monitor. When your computer uses Linux, you have to go to the terminal and type “vmstat”.

When you run more programs at the exact same time, more memory is utilized. That is why you need to perform this test as you load the operating system. This gives you base usage levels. When base usage levels are naturally high, you also might want to install more RAM.

You Cannot Run Many Programs At Once

The situation in which this does not matter is when you use software that is very resource-heavy. Examples of this can be given in graphical suits and animation programs. If this is not the case and you cannot run several software programs at once, without performance losses, it is time to add more RAM.

As an example, let’s say you run Microsoft Word, your web browser, and an MP3 player program at the same time. If you cannot do this without lag or performance issues, the computer runs out of the memory it needs.

Final Thoughts

Remember that adding more RAM is very easy. However, you can only go as high as a specific limit. This is why you have to know as much as possible about the hardware part of your computer. Whenever there is something you do not know, like if it is normal for your PC to react in a specific way with your configuration, look for the information online. You will find it.

What is Cross-Platform Mobile App Development?

According to the latest statistics, 59.17% of mobile users in the USA choose iOS devices while 40.54% prefer Android. Business owners who want to launch mobile apps should decide how to meet the needs of both groups. Should they go for native development and build two separate apps but spend a lot of time and money on it? Or should they start with cheaper and less time-consuming cross-platform application development to build one app that will run on both platforms?

While both approaches are popular among business owners and developers, we want to shed light on cross-platform application development and its peculiarities in this post. But for a better understanding of available opportunities, let’s start with a comparison of native and cross-platform development approaches.

What is cross-platform development and how does it differ from the native one?

Native app development implies building a new app for every platform. It means that if you want to build an application that will run on both iOS and Android, you’ll have to build two different apps. Consequently, you’ll need to look for two different development teams. One of them should have expertise in Objective-C for iOS development and another should have deep technical skills in Java to build an Android app.

Business owners might opt for building native apps when their goal is to provide users with superior performance. Aimed at a specific platform, native apps work flawlessly and boast a unique design. They could be a perfect option for any business that builds mobile apps but there are two drawbacks: long development time and high cost. That’s why more and more businesses, especially startups, opt for cross-platform development.

Cross-platform development allows for building one app that will run on both platforms, in one go. Let’s have a detailed look at the benefits and limitations of cross-platform app development in the following sections.

Benefits of cross-platform development

Cross-platform application development has a number of advantages that make it a preferable option for numerous businesses. Let’s cover them one by one.

Ability to reach more users

By building a cross-platform app, you can kill two birds with one stone, especially if your target audience equally uses Android and iOS. Even if your potential customers prefer one platform over another, creating an app that can perform on both platforms is a sensible decision that will yield great results in the future.

Cheaper development and easier maintenance

Although the word “cheap” isn’t really applicable to software development, building a cross-platform app doesn’t cost as much as building a native app. The cost is lower because an application is built with identical technology and developers reuse the source code. As a result, deployment, maintenance, and updates are also easier to perform on apps with a common code.

Faster development

We have already mentioned that cross-platform application development implies less work than native app development. A common source code helps to cut down up to 80% of development efforts. As a result, business owners can significantly reduce time to market.

Uniform design

App design that reflects identically on any platform adds to user experience. Whatever operating system app users want to use – iOS or Android – they won’t be confused by discrepancies in two versions.

The above mentioned points can become key factors when business owners need to choose between native and cross-platform app development. But to make an informed decision, you should also be aware of the drawbacks of cross-platform software. We’ll have a look at them in the next section.

Limitations of cross-platform applications

One of the most critical limitations that is often mentioned in relation to cross-platform apps is their performance. While native applications boast flawless performance, cross-platform ones can be somewhat slower and inconsistent. It happens because some cross-platform components don’t comply with native ones.

Imperfect performance can become a reason for poor user experience and result in lower customer satisfaction. But to notice inconsistencies in app performance, users should be either developers themselves or use apps with very complicated functionality. In case with simple or mid-complexity applications, user experience doesn’t suffer much.

One more issue that can arise during cross-platform development is a complicated design process. To make an app adequately reflect on both iOS and Android platforms, designers and developers need to think through every detail, from functionality to buttons, to make sure an app will work consistently no matter the platform. However, by taking more effort to create a high-quality design on the development stage, you’ll save time on its maintenance in the future. Thus, such investment in design is quite reasonable.   

Taking into account all the benefits and limitations of cross-platform app development, one can conclude that it’s a great option if:

  • you’re a startup owner and have a limited budget
  • you want to check the viability of your idea
  • you need to launch your app as soon as possible to outrun your competitors

Later on, when you launch your cross-platform app, gather feedback from customers, and manage to attract investors, you can develop native applications to improve quality. 

Top frameworks for cross-platform development

If you decide to build a cross-platform app, you’ll have a choice of frameworks for your application. While your development team will advise on the framework that will best meet your business needs and requirements, we offer you to quickly get acquainted with popular frameworks used to build cross-platform apps. 

React Native

React Native is the most popular framework for cross-platform application development for several years already. Launched in 2015, it’s still used all around the world to build hybrid apps.

Benefits of React Native

  • The framework allows for reducing development time dramatically thanks to the ability to reuse up to 80% of a source code.
  • It’s possible to preview the results of the development process immediately. With the Hot Reloading feature, developers can see the newest changes in a matter of seconds.
  • React Native provides almost native UI so that users don’t see the difference between native and hybrid applications.
  • React Native is based on JavaScript. It means that even a team of web developers can build a decent cross-platform app.

Limitations of React Native

  • It’s not a fully cross-platform framework. Developers still need to write genuine code for some of iOS or Android functionality such as accessing a camera.
  • Debugging and releasing updates can be somewhat slow and inconsistent.

Examples of apps built on React Native: Pinterest, Instagram, Skype, Bloomberg.

Flutter

The next popular cross-platform framework is Flutter. It was developed and launched by Google in 2018, and since that time, it’s one of the serious React Native competitors. Besides the almost native look of apps and the hot reload functionality, Flutter boasts a number of other cool features.

Benefits of Flutter

  • Built on Dart, a programming language created by Google, Flutter allows to develop UI-oriented applications of high quality in a short time.
  • Flutter includes numerous ready-made widgets for iOS and Android devices. These widgets are enough to build a whole app. However, developers can build their own widgets if there’s a need.
  • Being an open-source solution, Flutter is constantly updated and improved.  

Limitations of Flutter

  • Apps built with Flutter usually have a bigger size than other apps. Because of a great number of widgets, Flutter apps weigh more than average apps and can take up much space on users’ devices.
  • Being a relatively new framework, Flutter doesn’t have many libraries. It means that if Flutter developers lack some functionality in the existing libraries, they will have to create new libraries on their own, which will extend the development time.

Examples of apps built on Flutter: Alibaba, Google Ads, Tencent.

Ionic

Ionic is an HTML framework aimed to build cross-platform apps with a native feel and design. In addition to creating mobile apps, Ionic is a great tool for developing Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).

Benefits of Ionic

  • To build an app using Ionic, it’s enough to hire one or two developers who have knowledge of HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and Angular.
  • The Ionic framework can be integrated with numerous tools and plugins to extend the app’s functionality.

Limitations of Ionic

  • To build applications that go beyond AngularJS functionality, it’s necessary to hire more developers with wider tech stack.
  • Debugging can be challenging.

Examples of apps built on Ionic: IBM, SAP, NASA.

Xamarin

Xamarin is an open-source framework that was launched in 2011. In 2016, it was acquired by Microsoft that made the framework more recognizable. Xamarin uses programming language C# that is considered to be more modern and flexible than Objective-C or Java.

Benefits of Xamarin

  • Except for creating applications that run on iOS and Android, Xamarin is used to build apps for wearables such as Apple and Android Watch.
  • Although Xamarin is a cross-platform framework, apps built with it can boast exceptional performance, almost like native applications.

Limitations of Xamarin

  • Using Xamarin is free for individuals and startups but for enterprises, it offers to buy a license to be able to use its services.
  • Apps built with Xamarin lack quality when it comes to graphics. For apps rich in UX and UI, it’s better to use a native development approach.

Examples of apps built on Xamarin: Alaska Airlines, American Cancer Society, BBC Good Food.

Final thoughts

Although some people might doubt the quality of cross-platform development, real-life examples show that in particular situations it is no worse than native one. Such popular apps as Instagram, Skype, and many others show that cross-platform apps are decent market players loved and used by millions of people.

Thanks to the advantages of cross-platform development such as shorter time to market and reduced development costs, businesses, especially startups, opt for this approach more often than for classic native app development. Of course, cross-platform development does have its limitations but it can be a great choice to build the first version of a mobile app.

Tips for Creating and Video Editing Slow Motion Content for iPhone

Bloggers and content makers need creative options to attract the audience with stunning solutions. If you are searching for an interesting way to enrich your content, try slow motion videos. They help to highlight a specific video fragment and match slow music flawlessly. This editing feature can evoke different emotions depending on what you want to achieve: surprise, amazement, calm, sadness, etc. With slow motion, you have unlimited possibilities, but how to bring them to life? There is no need for professional equipment, and your smartphone can help you with the task of creating a slow motion video. In this article, you will learn how to make a video slow motion on an iPhone. Let’s discover more useful information for stunning results! 

Slow Motion Work Principles

Let’s consider this notion from a technical viewpoint. We know that a video consists of a sequence of photos, and their fast representation provides an image of movement. It may seem weird, but to create a slow motion video, you need to have a high-speed camera. The reason behind this contradiction is that most video cameras record about 30 frames per second. However, this speed is considered to be slow for a slow motion video, and many details will be omitted. The slow motion video provides unusual images, and viewers do not expect to see a detailed presentation of a usual video. Sometimes it may seem that the video is freezing, smoothly changing one frame to another. 

With a high-speed camera, you can benefit from over 2,000 frames per second. These numbers are impressive, and you should try them on your own. It will be possible to take a closer look at details that are usually invisible at a normal video speed. The slow motion effect will surprise the audience and give them an unforgettable viewing experience! 

How Does Slow Motion Work on Your iPhone? 

iPhone users benefit from a plethora of great features, but there are cases when its storage capacity is full, or you don’t know how to get rid of annoying advertising. The slo-mo feature on your iPhone allows you to shoot different scenes and make them more fascinating. When you shoot a slow motion video on your iPhone, you are playing back the video at a slower frame rate.  It creates the illusion of a slow video. This feature is standard and is accessible in the Camera app. It is located in the menu above the shutter button. There is also a possibility to change a slo-mo video to a normal speed. Open the Edit icon and choose a slider at the bottom of your screen that will make the video speed regular. You can change the speed of a part of your video, making it more versatile and astonishing. 

Let’s consider the iPhone X’s camera for diving into this issue. This model is one of the most popular on the market, therefore, it will be useful to explore its camera characteristics. In the article, you can read a detailed description of technical characteristics. But we want to mention that the iPhone 8 has a single 12-megapixel camera and an f/1.8 lens; the iPhone 8 Plus has two 12 megapixel cameras and an f/1.8 lens; the iPhone X has two 12 megapixel cameras and f/1.8 and f/2.4 lenses. 

Thus, you can create stunning slow motion videos with your iPhone and shoot nature, sports, actions, and more. iPhone users can benefit from a great option of taking live photos, so read the article for more details.

How to Create an Eye-Catching Slo-Mo?

You have already found out that it’s not difficult to master the basics of slow motion video shooting, and a bit of practice will help you stand out. It is essential to be creative and do your best to capture people’s attention and even surprise them. Here’s some advice to facilitate the creative process and help the results look fantastic: 

Camera Angle

You need to change the angle of your camera to get better results. You must highlight the action, so it should be placed in the frame middle. Whatever you shoot, it should look natural and impress the viewer. A dog must run towards the viewer, and a biker should be captured from the ground so that the audience experiences unseen emotions. 

The Video Sound

Adjust the sound speed to the video speed, so that a slow motion video will not look weird when accompanied by fast music. There are cases when slowed sound is so unusual that it seems robotic, thus, pay attention to these factors. 

Bright Light

It is crucial to ensure sufficient light because a higher video frame rate requires these preparations. If you neglect it, dim lighting in a slow motion video will look even darker.

Slow Motion Video Editing 

You can find an abundance of video editing software on the Internet, but how can you choose the right one and not waste time on checking dozens of them? We prepared a short guide to help you edit video flawlessly. There are many options such as changing the video speed, cropping, trimming. You can also add effects, filters, and transitions to make it more impressive. 

The video editing software will provide you with numerous features and tools. Let’s consider the most essential and learn how to use them. You can edit a video by speeding it up or slowing down, depending on the effect you want to achieve. Take into account the following must-haves, such as exposure, contrast, saturation, and color. They are all available on your smartphone, and there is no need to use any video editing software. Tap the Edit icon and see a variety of icons that will help you to change the video. Do not forget to tap Done to save edits. 

If there is a need to change the video length, you can benefit from a full range of tools to trim, straighten, and crop your video. The Edit page will enable you to move arrows to achieve the needed timeline. Trim the beginning and the end of your video, crop and cut the unnecessary parts to get a fabulous result. You can add effects to any video, and it will gain a completely different look. 

Conclusion 

Now you know a lot of useful things on iPhone slow motion videos. You can easily create an eye-catching output and edit video properly so that it looks professional. Do not hesitate to experiment and be imaginative to achieve success.

Digital Accessibility 101: 5 Tips for Making a PC Accessible for Elderly Operators

For aging adults, learning the technological ropes can be challenging as innovative digital advances continue to change the game. The fundamentals of basic technology are constantly shifting, with smartphones and computers reaching beyond caller ID and multiple internet browsers. While new and improved features and gadgets have benefited modern life by propelling industries forward and re-inventing human connection, many seniors feel left behind by difficult-to-use tech.  

However, thanks to improved accessibility functions and senior-friendly tech like The Wow Computer, aging adults can capitalize on the digital age by diving into simplified gadgets. Ultimately, elderly folks benefit from modern technology by connecting with loved ones, engaging in mental stimulation, and soliciting services online. That said, helping seniors in your life set up a quality PC is the first step in successfully integrating them into the digital world.

If your senior loved one has expressed interest in purchasing a PC, read on for five ways to improve accessibility and ensure they can easily navigate their computer. 

Magnify text

Some seniors shy away from computer usage because of small, unreadable text limiting their ability to read and comprehend the system set up. However, many older folks don’t realize that most up-to-date computers come equipped with font and text size customizations that allow seniors to tailor content to their preference. 

Simply locate the computer’s ease of access center (usually found within the control panel) and begin experimenting with sizing, changing everything from text to title bars. Additionally, you can purchase a model with magnifying features, allowing users to zoom in and out on individual sections of the screen.

High-resolution screens

Although it may be tempting to purchase an inexpensive, run-of-the-mill computer monitor for your senior loved one, consider investing in a high-resolution screen to limit eye strain and clarify items on the display. While they don’t need a complex, expensive computer system, they may benefit from a newer monitor model. Paired with text magnification, increasing the resolution of your monitor can significantly improve user experience, especially for those struggling with visual barriers. 

Utilize shortcuts

One of the most common complaints from seniors attempting to navigate computer setups is the inability to control and direct the mouse quickly and precisely due to limited hand coordination. As people age, extremity dexterity decreases, leaving many with aching, shaky hands that struggle to move according to plan. 

Thankfully, many computers allow for keyboard shortcuts that can cut down on mouse maneuvering by bringing screens forward, pulling up applications, and sending the mouse to specific places. Additionally, simple shortcuts are easy to remember or write by the side of your loved one’s computer as a helpful reminder. 

Color contrast

Another useful tip to improve screen visibility is adjusting the color contrast depending on your senior loved one’s preferences. Simply locate the accessibility center— found in the same place as magnified text options —and drag sliders until the monitor pictures are visible and easier on the eyes. In addition to system contrast changes, most browsers allow you to shift colors and shading to reduce eye strain and improve clarity.  

Customize keyboards

An optional but often helpful way to increase PC accessibility for your senior loved one is swapping out their traditional keyboard for a high-contrast version with big, bold lettering. Most keyboards feature small text that can be difficult for visually impaired people to locate. Consider purchasing a board with large, white font on top of a black background or purchasing a lettering adhesive to customize the version they already have. 

Parting shot

Keeping track of ever-changing technology can be challenging for seniors stuck in the past. However, by implementing helpful accessibility hacks and changing easily customizable settings on their PC, your elderly loved one can dive into the digital world without fear of confusion and frustration. Aid them by setting up their system, hacker-proofing their laptop, selecting their preferred settings, and teaching them how to customize their computer with accessible features for future use.