iOS 11: The 11 best features of Apple’s new software

iOS 11 is the first Apple mobile software to have separate iPad features CREDIT: APPLE

Apple is due to release the latest version of its iPhone and iPad operating system next month alongside the iPhone 8.

The new software, unveiled in June, features a host of upgrades including iPhone-to-iPhone payments and a “do not disturb while driving” mode.

The new iOS update is already available to developers in a beta test version and is set to launch next month as the software for the iPhone 8.

Peer-to-peer Apple Pay

Apple is adding a highly anticipated feature to Apple Pay, its payments system, that allows users to pay one another within iMessage. The peer-to-peer payments can be made and verified through biometric security, such as Touch ID or Face ID. The service will be available across iOS devices and the Apple Watch when iOS 11 is released next month.

New-look control centre

Apple is refreshing its iPhone Control Centre in iOS 11. The redesign has a simpler look, fitting on a single page with sliders and key functions.

Control Centre Apple iOS 11
Control Centre in Apple iOS 11 CREDIT: APPLE

Using 3D touch, users can press for further details and more depth of options and information. The overall look is de-cluttered compared with iOS 10.


Apple is adding to Maps a speed limit guidance and lane navigation while driving.

Maps in iOS 11 will also include detailed floor plans of airports and shopping centres, allowing users to better plan their trips. This will be coming to London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports initially.

In addition to the update in Maps, Apple is rumoured to have created an augmented reality tool that could guide users around by superimposing directions onto the real world.

Do not disturb while driving

Apple will introduce a new driver safety feature in iOS 11. The feature, called “Do Not Disturb While Driving”, can detect when owners are driving and triggers the new mode.

It turns the user’s iPhone screen black and gives them the option to send automatic replies telling contacts they are on the road.

Do not disturb while driving
Do not disturb while driving CREDIT: APPLE

Smarter Siri

Apple’s Siri virtual assistant is getting a makeover in iOS 11. The new Siri, with more natural male and female voices, can translate speech, including English, French, German Chinese, Spanish and Italian. It can also be used for task management, to take notes and to scan QR codes.

The intelligent assistant will monitor what users do across their devices to learn how we use apps and services. In iOS 11 Siri can spot interests, such as what news articles you read, and make recommendations from these.

The HomePod speaker will go one sale in the UK in December 
The HomePod speaker will go one sale in the UK in December  CREDIT: APPLE

The upgraded Siri will also power Apple’s HomePod speaker, which will go on sale in the UK in December.

Redesigned messenger

Apple’s iMessage will now synchronise messages across devices, so deleting a message in one app will delete it across all devices. It will also feature a new toolbar for emoji and stickers within iMessage.

Another major update is the addition of Apple Pay as an app to iMessage. Users can instantly send payments through iMessage. If another users sends a message asking for a payment, Apple Pay can immediately recommend making the payment so you can quickly reimburse friends.

Better camera and photos

The iPhone camera is getting a series of updates in iOS . It will be improved with better compression for captured videos and pictures that will offer the same image quality at half the size on the user’s device.

Apple Photo
Apple Photo  CREDIT: APPLE

Apple has implemented changes to its portrait mode, including better low light photography through its dual cameras. Live photos will now enable “Loop” and “Bounce” effects to create continuous video loops.

The Photos App will also be able to create memory movies based around memories, photos of pets or friends.

Updates for iPad

Apple has taken inspiration from macOS in iOS 11 for iPad. The updated software includes drag and drop, a new way to switch between apps and a tool bar that are all reminiscent of their equivalent functions on Mac computers.

The tool bar can predict what apps it thinks users are going to want to open next, and drag and drop lets them open side bars easily.

iOS 11 for iPad also includes a files section that pulls all files on a device from Apple and third party apps. It can bring files from OneDrive, Google Drive, DropBox and puts all files into the one place for easy organisation.

Apple Music

Apple has redesigned the Apple Music app, which now has a clear hint of Spotify inspiration, for its upcoming software.

Users are able to see recommendations, what their friends are listening to and create profiles that friends can follow. It also now has support for Shazam.

Augmented reality support

iOS 11 includes a kit for developers to make augmented reality (AR) products for the iPhone and iPad. Users will be able to use the camera to see virtual content built on to of real-world settings for gaming, shopping or creative design.

App Store

For the first time in its nine-year history Apple has redesigned its App store. The new-look download shop includes sections for featured apps and games, with articles and videos exploring more detail of their development, story and design.


The man behind Android says A.I. is the next major operating system

CNBC Tech: Essential Home

Published 5 Hours Ago  | Updated 2 Hours Ago
  • Andy Rubin thinks AI is the next big operating system
  • He’s worth listening to, as he’s one of the creators of Android, the world’s dominant smartphone platform
  • Rubin is building new AI-focused products.

Andy Rubin, best known for leading Android, thinks artificial intelligence is the next major operating system.

Rubin made the comments during a press event for the launch of his new Android smartphone at the headquarters of Playground, his hybrid venture capital firm and start-up incubator in Palo Alto, California.

CNBC Tech: Essential Home

Todd Haselton | CNBC

Rubin said new gadgets, whether they exist inside smart cars or new cellphones, are going to usher us into the new age of AI.

“Operating systems happen in cycles, and they cycle about every 12 years,” Rubin explained. “MS DOS was one of the first operating systems for personal computers in the late ’70s. Then Macintosh and Windows in the early ’80s. Then in the ’90s there was the internet. After that there was mobile. And each one gets bigger and bigger and bigger and feeds after each other. So what is the next major operating system? What is the next platform? And how do we position ourselves so we’re planting the seeds today?”

CNBC Tech: Essential Home 2

Todd Haselton | CNBC

He believes those seeds are his company’s new products, including a smartphone that’s available to order now.

Following that launch, Essential will sell an AI product for the smart home, Essential Home. We got a sneak peek this week.

CNBC Tech: Essential Home 4

Todd Haselton | CNBC

The heart of Home is Essential’s operating system, Ambient OS. Rubin didn’t share much about the new software, but he did share his thoughts about how AI will become the next big operating system.

“I think it’s AI. It’s a slightly different AI than we see today. Today we see pattern matching and vision tricks and automation for self-driving cars and assistants like Siri or Google Assistant, but I think there’s a thing after that that will coalesce into something that’s more of an operating platform.”

Rubin knows his own hardware company can’t create the master AI platform alone, which is why his incubator Playground is so important.

“We’re investing in hardware companies because we think they’re essential in training AI,” Rubin said. “One of our invested companies is called Light House. They make a camera for your home like a Dropcam except it uses AI to analyze everything that’s happening in your house. You can ask if the kids went to school on time and it can answer.”

Essential Home will allow you to play music through popular services, check the weather and more, all through a circular touchscreen.

But unlike other systems, like the Amazon Echo or Google Home, his plan is to create an OS that works with everything else. It’s an ambitious goal with serious technical challenges, but Rubin knows enough about operating systems that he shouldn’t be ignored.

CNBC Tech: Essential Home 2

Todd Haselton | CNBC

Playground has invested in 25 companies, Rubin said, and he has a staff of 60 engineers helping each of those firms.


SteamOS vs. Ubuntu vs. Windows 10: Which Is The Best Operating System For Gaming?

operating systems for gaming

Short Bytes: Several operating systems have been developed for a broad range of purposes, but, currently, there are only three best operating systems for gaming: SteamOS, Ubuntu and Windows 10. Naturally, all three will have varied gaming performance between them, and it is our job to provide you with accurate information on which OS to use if your primary usage will be for long gaming sessions. At the end of the day, it will also come down to the user’s preference.

Years ago, MS-DOS was the ‘go to’ operating system when you wanted to engage in prolonged gaming sessions but its complexity required that a better alternative should be provided to the masses that will also feature a unique interface for easy use. After years of development, several new variations of platforms came that have been designed for gaming purposes.

We have the ever-popular Windows 10, SteamOS, and, of course, Ubuntu. All three of these operating systems will require you to have proper gaming hardware if you wish to play popular gaming titles, but which one has been properly optimized and which is the best operating system for gaming? Let us find out:

Also Read: Best Linux Gaming Distros You Need To Try In 2017

SteamOS vs. Ubuntu vs. Windows 10: Gaming performance

For the past decade, gaming on Windows was the only viable option left for users because there was a lack of support for Linux, but that trend is slowly changing now. That is thanks to the increased support through Valve and SteamOS, which have resurrected the importance of Linux.

Even Ars Technica decided to perform their series of tests to show that Windows 10 was not the only OS you needed to comfortably game using other alternatives.


The review comprised up of a Steam machine using the most recent version of SteamOS. Firing up the benchmarks to find out the best operating system for gaming, there was a hope that results would not be in favor of Windows 10 but that was not to be.

While you can engage in increased gaming sessions on a machine that is running SteamOS, it is safe to say that both SteamOS and Ubuntu are not able to keep up with Microsoft’s latest operating system despite the developmental leaps that have taken place in the past few years.

If you are going to be playing modern-day gaming titles and want the best performance possible while running decent-grade hardware, it is safe to say that Windows 10 is going to offer the best possible performance. However, that does not make Linux any useless. Keep in mind that these benchmarks were being run at a resolution of 2560 x 1600.

It is 2017 and we know for a fact that there are millions of gamers that still cling onto their 1080p monitor because either their hardware is not powerful enough to render high frame rates at higher resolutions, or it is possible that they want the highest possible performance while running expensive hardware since upgrading gaming monitors is not the highest priority for everyone.

Getting playable frame rates at resolutions higher than 1080p is very impressive given the fact that a couple of years back, no one would have bothered to look at Linux as a viable platform for gaming purposes.

A portion of why you see these performance gains is because it is possible that Valve is focusing on the Vulkan API. Vulkan reduces the overhead on the graphics processor and other resources to deliver increased performance in gaming titles, even on systems that are not running the best of hardware components.

Windows 10 remains the top-performer of the leaderboards for gaming performance but Linux is playing catch-up at a tremendous pace

If you want to game, Windows 10 currently remains the best choice over Linux and SteamOS. While there is no competition with Microsoft’s latest operating system, we should not ignore the fact that Linux has made some tremendous gains in a brief period.

With over a thousand titles available for Linux through Steam, you’re getting a massive number of options that you never knew existed a couple of years back. If you feel that unconditional love towards Linux, we will continue to encourage you to provide your undying support for the operating system, even though we are the bearer of bad news that you will currently experience performance drops when comparing it to Windows 10.

Steam will continue to support Linux as we’ve seen on previous occasions, but other hardware companies should also lend a helping hand. This will include the likes of Intel, AMD, NVIDIA and others which control the driver stack.

If it took decades for Linux to improve heavily, then we should not ruin your expectations a tad bit because it will take several more years to further reduce that performance gap between Windows 10 and the latter. However, the fact that Linux is getting there should mean that Microsoft has something to worry.

If you have something to add to this story on the best operating system for gaming, drop your thoughts and feedback.



SAN Francisco Superior Court Judge Sharon Reardon considered whether to hold Lamonte Mims, a 19-year-old accused of violating his parole, in jail. One piece of evidence before her: the output of algorithms known as PSA that calculated the risk that Mims, who had previously been convicted of burglary, would commit a violent crime or skip court. Based on that result, another algorithm recommended that Mims could safely be released, and Reardon let him go. Five days later, police say, he robbed and murdered a 71-year old man.

On Monday, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office said staffers using the tool had erroneously failed to enter Mims’ prior jail term. Had they done so, PSA would have recommended he be held, not released.

Mims’ case highlights how governments increasingly rely on mathematical formulas to inform decisions about criminal justice, child welfare, education and other arenas. Yet it’s often hard or impossible for citizens to see how these algorithms work and are being used.

San Francisco Superior Court began using PSA in 2016, after getting the tool for free from the John and Laura Arnold Foundation, a Texas nonprofit that works on criminal-justice reform. The initiative was intended to prevent poor people unable to afford bail from needlessly lingering in jail. But a memorandum of understanding with the foundation bars the court from disclosing “any information about the Tool, including any information about the development, operation and presentation of the Tool.”

The agreement was unearthed in December by two law professors, who in a paper released this month document a widespread transparency problem with state and municipal use of predictive algorithms. Robert Brauneis, of George Washington University, and Ellen Goodman, of Rutgers University, filed 42 open-records requests in 23 states seeking information about PSA and five other tools used by governments. They didn’t get much of what they asked for.

Many governments said they had no relevant records about the programs. Taken at face value, that would mean those agencies did not document how they chose, or how they use, the tools. Others said contracts prevented them from releasing some or all information. Goodman says this shows governments are neglecting to stand up for their own, and citizens’, interests. “You can really see who held the pen in the contracting process,” she says.

The Arnold Foundation says it no longer requires confidentiality from municipal officials, and is happy to amend existing agreements, to allow officials to disclose information about PSA and how they use it. But a representative of San Francisco Superior Court said its contract with the foundation has not been updated to remove the gag clause.

Goodman and Brauneis ran their records-request marathon to add empirical fuel to a debate about widening use of predictive algorithms in government decision-making. In 2016, an investigation by ProPublica found that a system used in sentencing and bail decisions was biased against black people. Scholars have warned for years public policy could become hidden under the shroud of trade secrets, or technical processes divorced from the usual policy-making process.

The scant results from nearly a year of filing and following up on requests suggests those fears are well-grounded. But Goodman says the study has also helped convince her that governments could be more open about their use of algorithms, which she says have clear potential to make government more efficient and equitable.

Some scholars and activists want governments to reveal the code behind their algorithms, a tough ask because they are often commercial products. Goodman thinks it’s more urgent that the public knows how an algorithm was chosen, developed, and tested—for example how sensitive it is to false positives and negatives. That’s no break from the past, she argues, because citizens have always been able to ask for information about how new policy was devised and implemented. “Governments have not made the shift to understanding this is policy making,” she says. “The concern is that public policy is being pushed into a realm where it’s not accessible.”

For Goodman’s hopes to be met, governments will have to stand up to the developers of predictive algorithms and software. Goodman and Brauneis sought information from 16 local courts that use PSA. They received at least some documents from five; four of those, including San Francisco, said their agreement with the Arnold Foundation prevented them from discussing the tool and its use.

Some things are known about PSA. The Arnold Foundation has made public the formulas at the heart of its tool, and the factors it considers, including a person’s age, criminal history and whether they have failed to appear for prior court hearings. It says researchers used data from nearly 750,000 cases to design the tool. After PSA was adopted in Lucas County, Ohio, the Arnold Foundation says, crimes committed by people awaiting trial fell, even as more defendants were released without having to post bail.

Goodman argues the foundation should disclose more information about its dataset and how it was analyzed to design PSA, as well as the results of any validation tests performed to tune the risk scores it assigns people. That information would help governments and citizens understand PSA’s strengths and weaknesses, and compare it with competing pretrial risk-assessment software. The foundation didn’t answer a direct request for that information from the researchers this March. Moreover, some governments now using PSA have agreed not to disclose details about how they use it.

An Arnold Foundation spokeswoman says it is assembling a dataset for release that will allow outside researchers to evaluate its tool. She says the foundation initially required confidentiality from jurisdictions to inhibit governments or rivals from using or copying the tool without permission.

Goodman and Brauneis also queried 11 police departments that use PredPol, commercial software that predicts where crime is likely to occur and can be used to plan patrols. Only three responded. None revealed the algorithm PredPol uses to make predictions, or anything about the process used to create and validate it. PredPol is marketed by a company of the same name, and originated in a collaboration between Los Angeles Police Department and University of California Los Angeles. It did not respond to a request for comment.

Some municipalities were more forthcoming. Allegheny County in Pennsylvania produced a report describing the development and testing of an algorithm that helps child-welfare workers decide whether to formally investigate new reports of child maltreatment, for example. The county’s Department of Human Services had commissioned the tool from Auckland University of Technology, in New Zealand. Illinois specifies that information about its contracts for a tool that tries to predict when children may be injured or killed will be public unless prohibited by law.

Most governments the professors queried didn’t appear to have the expertise to properly consider or answer questions about the predictive algorithms they use. “I was left feeling quite sympathetic to municipalities,” Goodman says. “We’re expecting them to do a whole lot they don’t have the wherewithal to do.”

Danielle Citron, a law professor at the University of Maryland, says that pressure from state attorneys general, court cases, and even legislation will be necessary to change how local governments think about, and use, such algorithms. “Part of it has to come from law,” she says. “Ethics and best practices never gets us over the line because the incentives just aren’t there.”

Researchers believe predictive algorithms are growing more prevalent – and more complex. “I think that probably makes things harder,” says Goodman.

UPDATE 07:34 am ET 08/17/17: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the Arnold Foundation’s PSA tool.


Amazon Sale Offers: The Best Deals on iPhone 7, Google Pixel, Moto G5 Plus, Android TVs, iPhone SE, and More

Amazon Sale Offers: The Best Deals on iPhone 7, Google Pixel, Moto G5 Plus, Android TVs, iPhone SE, and More


  • iPhone 7 is down to Rs. 42,999 as part of the Amazon sale
  • Deals on other iPhone models as well as Moto G5 Plus and Google Pixel
  • Amazon Great Indian Sale is on until Saturday, August 12

The e-commerce sale season has kickstarted with the Flipkart, Paytm and Amazon sales to celebrate the Independence Day. The Amazon Great Indian Sale was the first to be announced, and offers some of the best deals on laptops, smartphones, LED TVs, and other electronics. Of course, Prime members will get early access to the offers, along with exclusive deals like the buy-one-TV-get-one-free. Apart from the Amazon sale deals and discounts, offers include additional cashback on payments made via SBI cards and Amazon Pay balance. Moreover, the e-commerce brand is offering 10 users in the Amazon sale trips to Bali on making purchases from the app.

But before we get started with the offers, here are are a few pro tips to get the most out of the Amazon sale:

  • Recharge your Amazon Pay balance. Not only will you end up getting a separate cashback on this (maximum Rs. 300) but you’ll also get additional cashback when you pay for your purchases using your Amazon Pay balance.
  • Make the most out of exchange offers as part of the Amazon Great Indian Sale Independence Day special. These are valid on laptops, smartphones, and select other products. Amazon is now offering these to even more new cities.
  • No-cost EMI offers are available on more than 30,000 products, valid on all credit cards. Make sure you use these for high-value purchases.
  • Making Amazon sale purchases from the official app provides benefits such as 15 percent cashback on SBI and Amazon Pay balance, exclusive deals, and Golden Hour Deals between 9pm and 12am.

ALSO SEEThe Best Deals From Flipkart’s The Big Freedom Sale

Apple iPhone 7 32GB
The iPhone 7 is again down to its lowest price this year (without a cashback offer) at Rs. 42,999 (MRP Rs. 56,200). Amazon is also offering an exchange offer with an instant discount up to Rs. 13,001 with the purchase. Exchange offers have also opened up to new cities so you may want to check in case your city wasn’t covered earlier. The no-cost EMI offer is also available on the iPhone 7 as part of the Amazon sale.

Price: Rs. 42,999 (MRP Rs. 56,200)

Link: Amazon

Apple iPhone 7 Plus 128GB
Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus 128GB is currently down to Rs. 62,999 (MRP Rs. 76,300). This is one of the lowest prices we’ve seen on the iPhone 7 Plus this year. Last week, it went down to Rs. 65,200 for a limited time. Considering the 32GB variant sells at around Rs. 63,000 normally, so this Amazon sale offer is a pretty good deal. The iPhone 7 Plus features a dual-camera setup with 2x optical zoom and OIS (optical image stabilisation). It features a 5.50-inch Retina HD display with 3D Touch and runs iOS 10 out of the box.

Price: Rs. 62,999 (MRP Rs. 76,300)

Link: Amazon

Apple MacBook Air 13.3-inch
The 2017 variant of the MacBook Air 13.3-inch is down to Rs. 58,990 (MRP Rs. 77,200) as part of the Amazon Great Indian Sale. That’s quite an insane price drop for the base variant. You can also grab a no-cost EMI offer, which means you don’t end up paying any interest in case you convert your purchase into EMI with your credit card. To claim this offer you must checkout with the MacBook Air only. The MacBook Air 13.3-inch is powered by the Intel Core i5 processor, supported by 8GB of RAM. It comes with a 128GB SSD and runs macOS Sierra out of the box.

Price: Rs. 58,990 (MRP Rs. 77,200)

Link: Amazon

LG V20 Titan
The LG V20 is currently discounted at Rs. 29,999 (MRP Rs. 60,000) as part the Amazon sale. The smartphone features a dual camera assembly at the rear (16-megapixel+8-megapixel) with wide-angle lens and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The LG V20 comes with a 5.7-inch QHD display and runs Android 7.0 out of the box. It contains a 3200 mAh battery that should be good enough to last an entire day, depending on your usage pattern. Pair your purchase with an exchange offer to sweeten the deal further.

Price: Rs. 29,999 (MRP Rs. 60,000)
Link: Amazon

Apple iPhone SE 32GB
The iPhone SE 32GB is available at Rs. 19,999 (MRP Rs. 26,000) on Amazon. That’s a decent price if you are looking for an iOS device with a 4-inch display. The iPhone SE comes with a 12-megapixel primary camera and a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera. It is powered by Apple’s A9 processor, supported by 2GB of RAM.

Price: Rs. 19,999 (MRP Rs. 26,000)

Link: Amazon

TCL UHD Android TV
TCL is launching two new 65-inch LED TVs today, the first day of the Amazon Great Indian Sale. On pre-ordering either of these you’ll get a free 32-inch TCL LED TV. Once you place a pre-order for any of these TVs you’ll receive a coupon that will enable you to purchase the 32-inch HD Ready TV from TCL for free. The TCL 55-inch UHD Android TV is also available during the Amazon sale. It comes with a free 24-inch HD Ready TV by TCL. The TCL 65-inch UHD Android TV is priced at Rs. 109,990 while the TCL P2 UDH LED TV is available for Rs. 99,990 on pre-orders.

Price: Starting from Rs. 99,990

Link: Amazon

Moto G5 Plus
In case you’re in the market for a budget Android smartphone with a big-screen display, the Moto G5 is currently discounted at Rs. 14,999 (MRP Rs. 16,999). The Moto G5 plus features a 5.2-inch full HD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. It features a 12-megapixel primary camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset and runs Android 7.0 out of the box.

Price: Rs. 14,999 (MRP Rs. 16,999)

Link: Amazon

Google Pixel 32GB
The silver variant of the Google Pixel is available at a discounted price of Rs. 41,999 (MRP Rs. 57,000) as part of Amazon’s Great Indian Sale. Google Pixel features a 5-inch AMOLED display running at a full high-definition resolution. It comes with a 12.3-megapixel primary camera and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset, supported by 4GB of RAM. It runs Android 7.1 out of the box.

Price: Rs. 41,999 (MRP Rs. 57,000)

Link: Amazon

Apple Watch Series 2 42mm smart watch
The latest Apple Watch Series 2 smartwatch is down to Rs. 29,900 (MRP Rs. 34,900) on Amazon. Watch Series 2 features a 2x brighter OLED based Retina display with Force Touch functionality. The smartwatch comes with a heart rate sensor, and runs watchOS 3 out of the box. It is powered by Apple’s S2 dual-core processor and is much faster than previous generation Apple Watch smartwatches. The Apple Watch Series 2 is also water resistant.

Price: Rs. 29,900 (MRP Rs. 34,900)

Link: Amazon


Golden Rules for Building the Perfect Web Design Portfolio

A portfolio of all your work is essential if you are looking for your next design job, be it full time or freelance. Employers and clients need to see your abilities, from which they will form a quick impression of how well you can execute their needs. By publishing your most spellbinding samples, you will be able to create a beneficial promotional tool that should work to expand your business opportunities. If you don’t have a portfolio yet, there is no better time than now to start building one. It will establish your credibility and expand your professional network. It could also help you in monetizing your blog for your web design endeavor.

You must understand that a personal portfolio is basically all about promoting yourself. With an online web design portfolio, you will get the chance to exhibit your work on a medium that accurately displays the work that you do. Potential clients will get a chance to see your amazing work and interact with your portfolio.

When you are creating a portfolio of your work, there are many things that you will need to consider — what to include, ways to describe them, ways to optimize your samples to how to promote your work. Listed below are a few tips and tricks that will help you in building that perfect portfolio.

Incorporate Your Finest Design Examples

The key to creating an excellent portfolio is remembering that quality wins over quantity every time. Just because you have worked on several projects, doesn’t mean that you should include all of them. Likely, not every project you worked on was fantastic. Take time to go through all your work and pick out only the ones that you feel are impeccable. Select works that exhibit the diversity of your experience and ability. It is also a good idea to include only the most recent of your samples. This will ensure that your portfolio accurately reflects your current expertise and skills. If you are just starting out and do not have much work to display, you can include mock-ups, personal design projects and the assignments that you did in school. This way you will also be able to express your unique vision and style.

Include Details

Do not upload pictures on your website just because they look good. Each picture must have a story to tell. Your design must always give the viewers a sense behind the work and what it has helped the organization to achieve. The story that you tell through your design must be able to express your role, the process that you adopted and its success. Be to-the-point so that people will have a reason to hire you. You might also consider creating a case study for each of the pieces. However, do not include it all on the same page. Create an option where the users can click to gather additional details. Your story must have a great beginning and an interesting conclusion.

Use a Call to Action

The best way to create an amazing portfolio is by first asking yourself what you expect from it. Some people might just want to increase their traffic and attract more readers, while others might want to get find a design job. Some also create a portfolio so that people can simply know who they are and what they do. You should have a clear idea in your mind regarding your expectations.

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A call-to-action button on each page will help accomplish your goal. For instance, if you want to get a new job, you could include a “Hire Me” button. This call-to-action button can be linked to your portfolio, blog or the contact page.

Highlight the Job You Want

It is always a good idea to highlight the job that you are interested in. Focusing on a niche that you are good at, or are interested in, can prove to be highly beneficial for you. This makes it easier for the client to anticipate your needs. For instance, if you specialize in a particular area of design, don’t forget to highlight it. It might be possible that you are transitioning to a new field, then you need to isolate any prior work and highlight only what you wish to do now.

Keep Updating as You Keep Improving

To maintain an impressive portfolio, reflect your talent well and keep updating the showcase as often as possible. Be sure to get rid of the pieces that you feel no longer reflect your best work.

As you keep on working for new clients, you are also getting the chance to create wonderful pieces for your portfolio. Even if you feel that the project isn’t very motivating, you must be sure that quality work is ensured each time. This will provide you with better opportunities in the future that can aid in further expanding your portfolio.

Website Optimization

No matter how great your website looks, it isn’t going to help you in any way if it isn’t optimized. By optimizing the images and the site as a whole, you make it easier for the audience to connect with you. Your site will rank higher in the search engine results and that helps to grab better opportunities.

You can optimize the images by resizing or compressing them. There are several tools that can help you with that. Ensure that your site loads quickly and the audience knows how to get in touch with you. Try including a contact form on each page. Learn the basics of SEO and implement them. You should notice that your site has started performing much better.

Be Straightforward

It is crucial to understand that no one is going to waste time in dealing with portfolios that have a complicated design or navigation. What you need to do is be absolutely straightforward with your website. When a prospective client visits your website, they should see only your best work.

Never try to slow the visitors by trying something that you have never done before. Choose something that is simple and yet elegant. Also, make sure that your site works perfectly well on all the popular browsers. If your site takes too much time to load or if your website appears to be broken, then there is an excellent chance that the lost viewers will never return.

Once you have designed your portfolio, remember to promote it so that people know about it. For clients seeking design talent, you have to bear in mind that it is your portfolio that shows that you are a professional. It is through your portfolio that the people will know that you have the ability to create amazing designs that will help their businesses achieve top goals.

Think of your portfolio as a tool for promoting your work and soon you will be able to impress potential clients.


Heartland Tech Weekly: ‘The world of software jobs is flattening’

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Today’s report about a 6.7 percent drop in software-related job postings over the past five years for San Jose, California should surprise no one. This shift is consistent with two themes that we’ve reported on and points to a tipping point. Have we reached “peak” Silicon Valley?

First, the cost of doing business — from wages, to rents, to costs, is much higher in Silicon Valley and other established tech centers than across the rest of America.

Second, as one industry after the next continues to embrace new technologies, every company becomes a “tech” company. Or maybe they always were, but just not in the strictest sense of the word. Certainly a 100 year-old business like Parker-Hannifin is arguably just as innovative, or more so, than many Silicon Valley companies.

“Although Silicon Valley will almost certainly remain among the nation’s top tech hubs for decades to come, the world of software jobs is flattening — both by industry and geography,” writes Richard Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor. “The big winners in coming years are likely to be the lower-cost U.S. metros with fast-growing tech clusters that have attracted a rising share of software job postings in recent years.”

Please send feedback, news tips, or story suggestions to Anna Hensel via email — and be sure to bookmark our Heartland Tech Channel.

Thanks for reading,
Blaise Zerega
Editor in Chief

P.S. Please enjoy this video from Entrepreneur, “You Don’t Need to Be in Silicon Valley to Grow Your Business.”


This map shows San Jose, California -- the heart of Silicon Valley -- saw its share of new software jobs fall over the past years.

Silicon Valley’s share of software jobs falls as new tech hubs rise

New software jobs are being created outside Silicon Valley and other tech centers faster than ever. Over the past five years, cities like Seattle, D.C., Detroit, and Austin, among others, have all seen rapid growth in software-related job openings, according to a new report from online job site Glassdoor. Meanwhile, San Jose, California’s share of all […]

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This image shows a map of Ohio representing how As allure of Silicon Valley fades, some Midwestern natives migrate home for better opportunities.

Why Midwesterners leave Silicon Valley and go home for better opportunities

Each week, I check in with Travis McCleery, who leads product design for Root, an insurance company that uses data collected from drivers’ smartphones to more fairly price and sell auto insurance. Today, our conversation was about engaging specific designers that work for Silicon Valley tech companies, have Midwest roots, and are ready to move back. […]

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5 groups push to increase diversity among Texas startups

Entrepreneurs and investors often lament the lack of diversity in tech in Texas. But a few organizations, and people, are going beyond just talk and are actively working to better even the playing field for underrepresented entrepreneurs. For this piece, Crunchbase News spoke with several Texas-based groups about their efforts to promote diversity in technology […]

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This image shows Columbus, Ohio was ranked 28th overall in the 2017 CBRE Scoring Tech Talent Report.

Silicon Valley tech firms power job growth in the hinterlands

The growth speaks for itself. The concentration of tech talent in Madison, Wisconsin increased by more than 30 percent over the past two years. In Fort Lauderdale, Kansas City (Missouri), Miami, and Salt Lake City, there were gains of more than 20 percent. Oh, and Omaha, Pittsburgh, and Columbus, Ohio? They each registered rises of […]

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Beyond VB

Pittsburgh reimagines the business district

Much like it reinvented itself after the collapse of the steel industry and the decline of coal, in many ways, Pittsburgh has re-imagined the traditional business district. While there are still business hubs geographically concentrated in some of the city’s neighborhoods, they’ve been joined in recent years by a swath of incubators and co-working spaces that have allowed a wide variety of tech startups to get off the ground in the Steel City. (via Crain’s)

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Report: Michigan no longer a flyover state for venture capital

While Michigan has become a hot spot for startup funding, Detroit has been boiling in recent years, according to a new Michigan Venture Capital Association study. The 2017 Detroit Entrepreneurial Study revealed Detroit’s startup community has grown 50 percent in the past three years, now making up a quarter of the state’s fledging companies. Last year, 14 of the city’s 35 startup companies attracted more than $62 million in seed investment, the study found. (via Crain’s Detroit Business)

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Tech jobs are spreading to other parts of the country

When we think of tech, we think Silicon Valley. But that could change. Places like Omaha, Nebraska and Philadelphia are becoming promising areas for startups to develop and grow. In this series, we’re looking for cities that might become home to the next big thing. (via Marketplace)

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Lonely Photos of Daily Life in the Rust Belt

Greek photographer Niko J. Kallianiotis’s earliest memory of America is from Astoria, Queens, where he witnessed the shocking dichotomy between big-city affluence and homelessness. When his father moved to Scranton, Pennsylvania, in the early 1990s, his mother remained in Athens, and he traveled back and forth. “I was caught between two cultures and countries,” he said. His search for his own identity began here in his late teens. (via Vice)


This Startup Netted $75 Million to Wring The Most Out of Your Software

Walkme president Rephael Sweary

WalkMe, a company that helps businesses make the best use of the software they already have, now has $75 million in fresh funding to do that. This Series E round, led by Insight Venture Partners, brings total funding to $167.5 million.

WalkMe’s software tracks what users do with their business applications, collects that knowledge, and then prompts them to action when they run into a problem. WalkMe is also designed to help users who don’t have the time or inclination to study new features to use what they need (and not have to learn what they don’t need.)

“Enterprise companies now use cloud, but cloud changes all the time,” says WalkMe’s president Rephael “Rafi” Sweary. “The appeal is it prompts them to proceed in their processes with all the context in place.”

Related: Welcome to the Era of Data Center Consolidation

Fortune 500 company might use WalkMe to help its salespeople use Salesforce (CRM, +1.07%) and then the HR department with Workday (WDAY, +0.17%).

Major WalkMe customers include Adobe (ADBE, -0.88%), Mastercard (MA, +0.36%), AT&T (T, +3.09%), and Cisco (CSCO, +0.82%).

The company, with primary offices in Tel Aviv and San Francisco, will use the money to build its business in Japan, Germany, and other non-English-speaking markets. And some money will likely go to acquisitions, Sweary says.

The company bought, a mobile analytics specialist, and Jaco, which offers visual analytics, earlier this year. Terms were not disclosed. Other WalkMe investors include Scale Venture Partners and Gemini Israel Ventures.

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Constellation Research analyst Alan Lepofsky puts WalkMe into a category called Digital Adoption Platforms or modern-day help systems.

The big difference between WalkMe and traditional help systems, according to Lepofsky, is that in the background, this software collects information about user behavior and patterns and guides administrators on how to smooth out trouble spots. “This leads to better employee and customer experiences,” Lepofsky says.

Other companies in this online help space include Appcues, AppLearn, Inline Manual, Iridize, Toonimo, and WhatFix, Lepofsky notes.


Gujarat floods: Social media comes to the rescue as govt reaches out to locals, coordinates relief work

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani during an aerial survey of flood affected areas of Banaskatha districts of Gujarat. PTI

Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a relief of Rs 500 crore after taking an aerial survey of the flood affected areas of Gujarat on Tuesday, many villages around the Deesa city of Banaskantha district continue to remain cut off because the bridges and roads en route have been washed away.

The intensity of the rains has reduced on Wednesday and the relief and rescue efforts continue in north Gujarat. Over 45,000 people in north Gujarat and Saurashtra have been shifted to safer places. As many as 22,000 people have been evacuated from Banskantha, the  worst affected region of the state.

The brighter side of the flood situation is that several dams in drought-prone Saurashtra and northern Gujarat regions are filling up. So, while the rains continue to damage roads and lead to temporary closure of state highways, shortage of water is one area which the BJP will not have to battle with in an election year. Gujarat is slated to go to polls later this year.

Administrative officials maintain that relief and rescue work is on and additional NDRF teams have also been deployed. On Wednesday, more than 100 people were rescued by the army and power had been restored in Dhanera taluka however, over 20 state highways and over 300 village roads continue to be dysfunctional.

So far, at least 83 people have died in monsoon rains since the season began and in the last three days, 10 people have died in floods.

Rescue work in flood affected areas of Banaskantha continues to be on via both air and ground routes and local administrative officials admit that timely alert and evacuation have enabled them to avert a major disaster.

For the administration, the extensive use of social media has also been a boon in reaching out to the locals. Collector of Banskantha, Dilip Rana said, “We have been receiving messages on our Twitter handles and on Whatsapp and we were able to respond immediately.” He said that social media is very useful for coordinating relief work and disseminating information. Principal Secretary Pankaj Kumar has been updating his Twitter account with information about relief and rescue operations and to post alerts. All collectors of the affected areas have been asked to take all alerts on social media and Whatsapp seriously and communicate effectively.Published Date: Jul 26, 2017 03:58 pm | Updated Date: Jul 26, 2017 04:16 pm


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