Getting Organized for Back to School

Posted on: Friday, September 8, 2017

It’s that time of year again. As September comes into full swing, kids, students, parents, and adults are returning to school and work. This season represents many things, and a fresh start for a new school year is one of them. It is all too easy to say that this year will be different than the last, that you will stay on top of your work, be more organized and productive. Yet, each year tends to be just the same as the last.

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So, let’s change this! Take a look at some of the newest and most popular apps available to help keep you organized and on top of all your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. We check out the ratings for each app based on an analysis done by The Verge.

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First, we have ‘WeDo‘ created by Onus Inc.  This app allows the user to customize the features to their needs, making it very basic, or more complicated based on schedule and personal preference. The app has a free and paid version, but many of the features are available in the unpaid one. The app states that its focus is on personal tasks, and it boasts a personal application task manager. However, the app understands that group work is common, and so it has a collaboration feature, allowing multiple participants to see and complete tasks. It has a solid notification system, with reminders, due dates, and a repetitive task feature. That’s not all! You can also divide tasks into categories and subtasks, keep track of habits, and the app will estimate how long it will take to complete a given task. The Verge rates this app an 8/10.

RTM

Next, check out ‘Remember the Milk‘. This app has been around for a while, and so it has been able to add new features based on customer need. Like Wedo, RTM has subtasks, which also contain reminders, due dates, and priorities. The app also creates Smart Lists – the app will create new lists based on things like priority level, or due date. Searching tasks is easy in the app, since you can search by name, due date, tags, priority level, or a combination. The Verge rates this app an 8/10.

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Also on the list is ‘OmniFocus‘, from OmniGroup. The cool thing about this app is that it allows users to change the view into different perspectives – whether it be planning, doing, or just a simple overview. Since this app is compatible on all your devices, it syncs automatically and a user can simply swipe to see their entire day and tasks laid out for them. It also has a free and Pro version, but the best features are only available on Pro, which is a hefty $80. Some think the price tag is well worth it for the vast amount of customization available to the individual. Again, the Verge rates this app 8/10.

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Lower on the list, we have the more standard and well-know Microsoft To-Do. It is basic, to the point, and very easy to use. Any Microsoft user can easily download the application to their laptop, and connect it to Outlook and other apps. It has two different views, a My Day view and a To-Do list view. Themes and priorities can also be customized. The Verge rates this app 7/10.

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Similarly, ‘Any.Do‘ is another aesthetically pleasing app that has gotten great reviews. It is a 3 part organizer, provider a calendar, a to-do list, and an assistant. The design is clean and crisp, making it very attractive to users. It is also compatible with Google, Microsoft, and Apple operating systems and devices. Like the others, there is an option for a paid subscription, but the majority of features are free. The Verge rates this app 7.5/10.

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Last but not least, we have the top ranked app – ‘Todoist‘ by doist. The app keeps track of a user’s tasks, projects, and goals and is updated on all devices. It is perfect for personal, work, or school use. Like the others, it has a combination of features, including collaboration, and ease of access. A big selling feature is the distraction-free design, meaning no ads, big fonts, and bold colours will be present to take away from the core lists. The other is the unique way of showing you what you have on your plate – your day, your week, and what you haven’t yet started. It got the best rating: 9/10.


WhatsApp Strives To Make Profit

Posted on: Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Are you a WhatsApp user? Since the company was acquired in 2014 by Facebook, it has become one of the most popular internet-based chatting and calling services available to cell phone users as an application to download onto their phone. The application is used in particular to seal the gap between iPhone and Android users who want to use group messaging functions, and users wishing to contact someone in another province or country. Since the application uses the internet, it requires no cell towers or reception, just wifi (or a sizable data plan).

WhatsApp

Since the app has always been free to download, they have announced that they will be starting a new function targeted towards larger enterprises, who will have to pay. It will continue to be free for smaller and medium sized companies.

Some of the new things these larger businesses will be able to do include notifying customers about orders, communication delivery updates, and staying in touch through customer service. WhatsApp will also be able to ‘verify’ real business accounts, as is done on Instagram and Twitter, so users will know it isn’t a scam.

Since the app doesn’t make money off of advertisements, it needs a way to bring in a greater level of income. There are 1 billion daily users of the app, so it is definitely something large businesses should consider to boost traffic and interact with their customer base.


Will Fitbit Tackle the Sleep Apnea Problem?

Posted on: Thursday, August 31, 2017

Are you familiar with Sleep Apnea? It is a common but dangerous sleep condition in which breathing is disrupted during sleep.  This disorder, which is often treated through lifestyle changes, therapy, or surgery, can often be present for years without the individual knowing it is there.

Fitbit, which gained popularity in the early 2010’s, manufactures activity tracking wristbands, ranging in style and features. More recently, the trackers have been developing more advanced sleep technology. Currently, wearing the Fitbit wristband to bed allows it to track how well the user sleeps, including different sleep cycles, such as REM, awake time, light sleep, and deep sleep. Through using heartbeat and other sensors, the tracker can sense when the wearer falls asleep and wakes up.

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In the future, Fitbit has stated that they plan to use optical sensors and machine learning tools in its R&D labs which will hopefully allow the company to determine when users stop breathing in their sleep. As a condition that affects approximately 25 million Americans, this could be a major step for the company.

So how will it be done? As of now, Fitbit uses one sole sensor that emits one type of wavelength, but after the hardware is finished tests, two more sensors of light will be added: Red and Infrared. There will be a lengthy testing period to ensure that if the company does come up with a technology that can diagnose sleep apnea, it will be accurate and complete.

It will be a long time until this is a reliable source of health information, but Fitbit could definitely be the first of its kind to do so.

 


Facebook Adds New Memories Features

Posted on: Friday, August 25, 2017

We are all familiar with Facebook Memories. Depending on how long you have been using the social media platform, you will begin to receive notifications letting you know what you were doing ‘On This Day’ any number of years ago. Pictures, posts, videos, comments, etc., Facebook will remind you of special moments in your past.

Today, the social network is expanding on its walk down memory lane, and adding two new features to Facebook Memories.

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First, users will receive notifications for specific milestones and achievements that they reach over time on Facebook. This could include reaching a number of friends, liking X amount of posts, having a certain number of shares, or comments, etc. As per standard, these ‘memories’ will be available immediately to the user, and they will then have the option to share the post with friends, or publicly, should they choose.

The second addition will allow users to revisit memories that occurred less than one year ago, which was not an option before-hand. Further, instead of having the memories for just one day, Facebook will being to bundle memories. If there was a lot of activity over the summer months, or in December, Facebook may create a ‘Summer Memories’ or ‘Looking back on December’ album for the user.

So what sparked this change? Facebook hopped right on the bandwagon of ‘stories’ that Snapchat created, and Instagram has definitely been seeing major success with their version of the stories as well. Facebook however, has not grasped the same audience and users are not as keen to use this feature. So, sticking with an already popular feature and expanding it could be the best bet here.

Stay tuned for the arrival of these new memories updates!


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