Web Design: Native, Hybrid or Responsive, What Format Is Made For Your Mobile Application

Native, hybrid or responsive: what format to choose to make your mobile users live a successful experience. We take stock!

At some point, when designing your mobile application, you will have to decide on how you will develop the application. Your choices include native applications, hybrid applications and responsive websites and the decision you make will affect the end product. Learning to make the right decision requires understanding how each type of development works and how it affects the end product.

There are three main options for creating a mobile app. You can create a native application, a hybrid application, or create a responsive mobile website that offers similar functionality to an application. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to understand them in detail before embarking on a particular development path.

What is a Native App?

A native application is designed to run on a particular mobile operating system. It will not work on other mobile operating systems. So, for example, if you were developing a native application for iOS, you would do it on Swift.

The biggest benefits for native applications are that they can typically easily access all the features of the selected device and are more likely, if properly developed, to run without error on the device.

However, this involves a compromise. A native application cannot be run on a device that does not use the same operating system. This means that if you want your application to run on Windows, iOS 7 and Android, you will need to develop the application three times, once for each operating system. This can make the development process slower and more costly.

Many companies will develop their application for a single operating system when choosing the native route. If the application succeeds in this environment, it will go back and recreate it for other operating systems. It should be noted that at present, iOS 7 applications are more cost effective than applications running in other environments.

What is a Hybrid App?

A hybrid application is designed to work on multiple platforms. It is written using only one standard code language (such as C # or a combination of HTML5 and Javascript) and compiled to run on each platform. Device-specific interactions will usually be handled through the use of plugins for that operating system.

Recommended for YouWebcast, August 29th: How to 8x Your SEO Traffic With These 3 Power Hacks

The biggest advantage of hybrid applications is that they allow the support of several operating systems at a more economical price than the development of several native applications. Users, as long as the development runs smoothly, will not normally be able to distinguish whether an application is native or hybrid. In fact, users, in general, do not care about how your application is developed, they just care about whether it works on their device and does what they expect to do.

There are disadvantages for the development of hybrid applications. It can present serious challenges if the application requires a complex interaction of the device. Effectively, there is a limit to what plugins can achieve on this aspect. The support costs of a hybrid application may be higher than the support costs of a native application.

What is a Responsive Website?

A responsive web site can provide functionality similar to an application. In fact, with a little creativity, you can minimize the differences and make sure that the home page is displayed directly in full-screen mode.
Responsive websites will be developed using HTML 5 and Javascript. As a general rule, developers will adopt a “mobile first” approach to developing the mobile version offering a simpler and less expensive experience compared to the desktop version of the same site.

The main disadvantages of using responsive websites are that the application cannot be distributed via an application store; this can be bad for your business if you are looking to monetize your app downloads. Second, there is the problem that the user will need constant connectivity to use the site. This may not be a problem in highly developed markets where mobile broadband is roughly ubiquitous, but this can be problematic in developing markets.

It is interesting to note that, at the moment, applications seem to be the driving force behind the mobile site. The average user already uses up to 30 applications per month, and more than 250,000 applications are broadcast per year … There may be an overload point from the user’s point of view. At this point, it is possible to imagine that if there are well-designed mobile websites, users will move away from apps and return to browsing and individual sites to experience their online experience. Subsequently, applications could become “launchers” of mobile websites.

In Conclusion

The mobile site offers an important opportunity for entrepreneurs. Mobile applications are relatively inexpensive and easy to produce. Choosing the right approach to development is essential to the good experience. By understanding the differences between hybrid, native and responsive, you can make the right decision for your mobile marketing project.


Update your phone’s operating system – it possibly has a malware vulnerability

It’s worth updating your phone’s operating system as soon as you can. Many top-of-the-line handsets have been found to have a vulnerability that potentially leaves them exposed to a malware attack.

The vulnerability (dubbed Broadpwn) affects the Wi-Fi chips on iPhones, Samsung Galaxy and Google Nexus devices. The name comes from the manufacturer of these chips, Broadcom.

The vulnerability was discovered by Nitay Artenstein, a researcher presenting at the Black Hat information security conference in Las Vegas.

It has now been patched, but you need to make sure that you are on iOS 10.3.3 if you’re an iPhone user, or have the July security update for Android to ensure the fix is on your device.

What is remarkable about this exploit is that that it is truly remote, meaning that it requires no action from the victim, the attacker doesn’t need to know anything about the device they are targeting, and the system can be taken over without crashing.

Spreading like wildfire, but it has limitations

An attacker can write programs directly onto the chipset, and as it’s the Wi-Fi chip the program can easily spread between devices, with the only criteria being that the devices are physically near each other.

Artenstein provided a proof of concept on stage at th

Artenstein provided a proof of concept on stage at the event by infecting a Samsung Galaxy device with his “worm” and then leaving it alone to infect another nearby Samsung phone with no further input from him, or any action required on the second handset.

The implications of this are fairly obvious, as an exploit of this kind could spread from handset to handset like a real virus.

The good news is that even without the patch, the exploit still has its limitations. It can only affect the Wi-Fi chip, and not the entire handset, meaning it could stop your Wi-Fi working but that’s about it. There would need to be a second vulnerability for it to infect more of the phone.

Artenstein’s proof of concept does add one extra insult to injury; any infected phone broadcasts the message “I’m pwned”, but only on wavelengths that those in the know will be able to hear.

  • Want to know more about the life of a hacker? Check out: Behind the code: a conversation with an ethical hacker


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 Abbi.io, 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.


Jio’s New Plans, Prime Day Continues, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 India Launch Date, More: Your 360 Daily

Jio's New Plans, Prime Day Continues, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 India Launch Date, More: Your 360 Daily


  • Reliance Jio tweaks data and validity for new plans
  • Amazon Prime Day deals continue in India and US
  • Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 available mid-August in India

Reliance Jio unveiled new prepaid and postpaid plans for its network on Tuesday, which tweak the amount of data offered and validity periods. The new Jio plans start from Rs. 19 for 200MB data for one day, and go all the way up to Rs. 9,999 for 780GB data for 390 days. Most  plans from the Summer Surprise offer have been carried over, with new additions at Rs. 349 and Rs. 399. Among the total of 12 prepaid plans now listed on Reliance Jio’s website, the telco offers two disparate choices: those with a daily FUP, and others that allow you to consume data at your own rate. The former either has 1GB or 2GB data caps, with the latter restricting you to 128kbps once you cross the allotted amount. Postpaid Jio users have five plans to choose from, with three in the FUP category and the rest two offering all at once. You can check out all Reliance Jio plans on offer right now.

Meanwhile, the company accidentally leaked its JioFiber preview offer through its website early Tuesday morning, before taking down the page. Apparently, Reliance aims to offer 100Mbps speeds for 100GB data per month, and will be available for no charge for the first three months, albeit with a refundable security deposit of Rs. 4,500. First spotted by Reddit users, Jio’s home broadband service will be initially available in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Surat, Vadodara, and Visakhapatnam.

Meanwhile, a person alleged to behind the Jio user data leak has been arrested by the police.

Amazon Prime Day sales in India and the US
Amazon’s Prime Day festivities began on Monday thanks to the protracted 30-hour schedule, but Tuesday saw even more deals and offers across the board. The iPhone 7 32GB dropped further down to Rs. 42,999 as part of the discounts, alongside Google Pixel 32GB for Rs. 38,999. There were discounts offered on iPhone 6/6s, iPhone SE, LG G6, Lenovo Z2 Plus, Honor 6X in smartphones; LG, Samsung, Sanyo, and TCL in TVs; Bose and Ultimate Ears in audio gear; and Amazon’s own products: Fire TV Stick, and Kindle models.

Prime Day also kicked off in the US at 6PM ET on Monday (early Tuesday morning here in India), with 50 percent off on Amazon Echo. Beyond that, there are offers on Samsung Galaxy S8, Moto G5 Plus, Surface Pro 4, PS4 Slim, and Netgear among others. More deals will be revealed by Amazon as Tuesday dawns in the US, so stay tuned for the selection. Prime Day goes on till 11:59pm local time on Tuesday in eligible regions.

Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 will be available next month in India
Nokia’s mid-range Android phones – the Nokia 5 and the Nokia 6 – won’t be available for purchase until mid-August, HMD Global has said. The company is currently focused on ramping up production of Nokia 3 to meet demand, and will shift focus to the two other models later this week. Sales of Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 will begin around August 15, Independence Day. Meanwhile, registrations for Nokia 6’s flash sale begin July 14 on Amazon India.

While those phones have been launched, we’re still awaiting an unveil of the company’s high-end Android competitor, the Nokia 9. A new leaked case render gives us an idea of the phone’s externals, including a vertical dual rear camera setup, and a headphone jack at the top.

WhatsApp will have UPI support soon – Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Uber as well?
WhatsApp is in the process of integrating UPI digital payments infrastructure for its massive 200-million Indian user base, a source familiar with the matter told Gadgets 360. The company is in talks with umbrella organisation NPCI, and wants to implement the feature before the current year is up. India-made Hike Messenger already support UPI payments, but its user base is much smaller.

Meanwhile, Google has completed its own UPI testing with Android Pay, according to NPCI. The organisation’s MD and CEO A.P. Hota confirmed that WhatsApp and Facebook were in talks as well, and all three will be “operational” soon. Hota added that Amazon and Uber too would soon integrate UPI.

Xiaomi’s new sub-brand and Bluetooth receiver; Mi Max 2 India launch date
Xiaomi is reportedly set to launch a third sub-brand as part of its offerings, according to a Chinese website, alongside Mi and Redmi. It will focus more on the offline market unlike the aforementioned two, since Xiaomi has taken a beating in its home market from Oppo and Vivo. Though we don’t have a name yet, a new phone render has been leaked, which is expected to launch later this month.

Xiaomi has launched a Bluetooth audio receiver in China on Tuesday at CNY 99 (roughly Rs. 900), which helps users connect their favourite wired headphones to phones that don’t have a headphone jack. It hasn’t licensed Apple’s MFi program, so any integrated buttons won’t function if you connect it with an iPhone.

Meanwhile, the company has sent out invites for the India launch of its budget battery-powerhouse (5,300mAh) Mi Max 2, scheduled for July 18. We already know all about the phone thanks to its China launch, so it’s down to what the pricing mark-up will be – it’s CNY 1,699 (roughly Rs. 16,100) in China.

LG announces three Q-series phones with taller displays
LG unveiled three phones in its new Q-series – the LG Q6, LG Q6+, and LG Q6a – on Tuesday, which aim to offer some of LG’s premium features at a less expensive price. The new phones include the taller FullVision display introduced on the LG G6 earlier this year, along with quad-HD displays and Android 7.1.1. Weirdly enough, LG didn’t reveal price of a single model. In terms of specifications, you get a 5.5-inch screen and Snapdragon 635 chip on all three, albeit with varying amounts of RAM and internal storage.

Microsoft 365 bundles Windows 10 and Office 365 for businesses
At its partner conference in Washington, Microsoft introduced a new offering for businesses, bundling Windows 10 and Office 365 (along with other services) as part of a new service called Microsoft 365. It’s meant to make it easier for businesses to get their organisation members and employees aboard the latest and greatest Microsoft has to offer, and possibly streamline things in the process. Two variants – Enterprise and Business – will be available. The first arrives August 1 with pricing dependent on specific plan. The second enters public preview on August 2, and will cost $20 (about Rs. 1,290) per user per month.

Lava A93 launched at Rs. 7,999 without 4G support
Lava has launched a new budget Android phone – the Lava A93 – on Tuesday at Rs. 7,999. It’s meant to compete with the likes of Xiaomi Redmi 4 and Moto C Plus, but it’s missing 4G support let alone VoLTE. The A93 runs Android 6.0 on a 5.5-inch HD display, powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, with 2GB of RAM, 16GB internal storage (expandable up to 32GB), and 3,000mAh battery. In terms of cameras, you get an 8-megapixel rear sensor, and a 2-megapixel front sensor. Both cameras have their own flash.

Twitter allows to mute notifications from accounts you don’t follow
Twitter has introduced new features to curb abuse on its platform, including the option to disable notifications from accounts you don’t follow and those that don’t follow you. This comes on the back of giving users more control over the content they see, and make Twitter less of a toxic experience for some users.

Oculus Rift and Touch price drops to $399
Oculus has discounted its Rift VR headset and Touch controller bundle by $200 in certain regions, pushing it to $399 (about Rs. 25,700) combined for six weeks. That puts it on par with PS VR, which works with Sony’s PS4. Oculus Rift is the only VR headset not available in India; PS VR retails around the Rs. 40,000-mark and the HTC Vive is currently down to Rs. 79,990 as part of Amazon’s Prime Day sale.

China moves against VPNs
The Chinese government has instructed state-run telecommunication firms to block access to VPNs in the country, which is heavily used by a select bunch of users and foreign companies to bypass the ‘Great Firewall’. China has always heavily regulated and censored web traffic, and the latest move will push both VPN operators, and companies that rely on corporate VPNs to consider shutting shop in the 1.5-billion strong nation.


Gadgets for your freelance working desk

The workplace scenario across the globe has been changing at a rapid pace over the years. Remote work increases our work productivity and lowers stress level. In fact, it helps us to have a proper work-life balance which is what boosts our motivation. So, today we are up for a list of gadgets and everyday accessories for all the remote workers out there


Everyone has its favorite work drink. While you do you freelance projects on your desk you probably like to be accompanied by cup of coffee or glass of tea or something else. You’d say it already is easy enough with the electric kettles but think again. There is a wi-fi Kettle called iKettle and you can boil water with your smart phone. The iKettle can even wake you up and ask you if you want her to boil water for you. Just answer with yes or no, and your home office will reach new lever of cuteness.


Stack is a light bulb which can adjust the lightning in your home or you working space with few taps on your smart phone. No matter what’s the time and how the weather outside changes, the light in home will be automatically adjusted with your preferences. Stack will keep you comfortable with the light while you do freelance work and at the same time will respond to your moods.

 Z Pen

Z Pen is like a gift from the future. It’s a gadget that is so cool that it’s hard to believe that you can have it from the internet. Have you ever imagined of writing things down by hand and then downloading what your wrote as a data on your laptop? We know you did. Now you can do that with Z Pen for real.

Lap Desk

When you’re at home working, you probably like to move around.  You might go from your desk to your bed to your couch and then back to your bed again. And there’s nothing wrong with that.  But if you’re going to move from place to place, then you need a feasible way to prop up that laptop of yours.  A LapDesk from iSkelter is a great way to do this.  Some of their models have a place for your mouse, a spot for your phone, and even a whiteboard to write on.

 Monitor Stand

When it comes to your actual desktop, this needs to be propped up just like your laptop does.  If we’re thinking ergonomically here, then it should be at or around eye-level to keep your body content.  These come in all shapes, colors, and prices, but this one from Grovemade is aesthetically pleasing and not too pricey.

Wi-Fi Printer

A printer is always a must.  But these days, you need one that’s Wi-Fi connected, fast to print, and easy to use like the HP Color LaserJet Pro M252dw, which landed a rating of four stars from PC Magazine.  Print documents from any connected device and benefit from cost-effective printing technology.


Building Loyalty: 7 Web Design Strategies to Earn Your Audience’s Trust

Building Loyalty: 7 Web Design Strategies to Earn Your Audience’s Trust

First impressions matter.

Your website is often the first place where your audience learns about you. It can help them decide whether they want to do business with you – or leave and never come back.

Designing and optimizing a website properly can help you gain your audience’s trust and loyalty and can benefit your business immensely.

Below are seven strategies that can help you earn your audience’s trust and loyalty.

1. Have a Solid Website Design


A website with bad design, confusing navigation, and poor content can turn visitors away from your business quick. Conversely, an intuitive and appealing website can make visitors stay longer, increasing the chances of conversion.

Having a responsive and mobile-friendly website is of the utmost importance. A responsive website adapts to the screen size and device it is being viewed on so it looks great regardless if you’re using a mobile phone, tablet, or desktop.

More than eight in 10 Internet users will use a mobile device to access the web regularly this year, according to a forecast by eMarketer. Further, nearly 15 percent of Internet users, or 40.7 million individuals, will only surf the web via a mobile device (and this number is only expected to grow).

In addition, your website needs to be visually appealing and designed with your users in mind. Make it easy for your visitors to browse your website by using simple navigation, readable fonts and color combinations, interesting graphics, and appropriate white space.

To complement your design, your website content should be well written, engaging and helpful to your target audience. Doing a yearly website cleanup is a good way to keep your content fresh.

2. Be Transparent & Helpful

In order to build trust and gain loyalty from your audience, you’ll need to demonstrate competence and credibility. Show your visitors that you are a transparent organization by being true to your motives and interests.

Your About Us page is a good place to share information on what your company stands for, who your employees are, what you’re offering, how it works, and why you’re different from the rest of your competitors.

Creating a knowledge base and publishing blog posts are also good ways to engage your audience. Visitors are more likely to trust your website if you provide them with valuable content resources, answers to frequently asked questions, and blog posts that will help them solve their problems.

If you have an e-commerce website, make sure that your product descriptions are straightforward, accurate, and useful to customers. Be clear with what your cancellation or return policies are.

You can also share financial statements and press releases on your website.

Nonprofit organization Workshops for Warriors publishes their current and previous audited financials on their website:


This is the perfect example of a transparent organization that leaves no questions unanswered for visitors and potential donors.


3. Use Statistics & Case Studies

In order for your audience to understand what you do and how you do it, you need to provide concrete examples of your work and its results.

Creating a case study is a brilliant way to showcase your products and/or services, along with the positive results they have produced for your customers.

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It’s also beneficial to use statistics to promote your work. Gathering data, quantifying results and presenting real numbers show prospective customers that you’re serious about producing outcomes. Statistics put facts behind the claims.

4. Provide Social Proof through Customer Reviews & Testimonials

Adding a testimonial or review page on your site will prove that your business is reliable. People often depend on peer reviews to choose a business they can trust. They want to know if other people have used your products or services.

Reviews from respected people or influencers also add credibility to your business. Embedding reviews from your Yelp page to your site is good, too.


You should reply to customer reviews whether they are positive, neutral or negative. Interacting with customers can also turn a negative review or experience into a positive one. Offering ways to make things right with the customer shows that your business really aims to provide customer satisfaction.

5. Showcase Awards, Certifications & Credentials

Another way to win the trust of customers is to post your awards, certifications, and credentials on your website.

Entering industry contests with your best work is another simple way to show your work output. Although it takes a lot of time and manpower to pull together content for contests, an award for great work is impressive for current and prospective customers.

Here’s an example from Honest Body Fitness:


Certifications demonstrate your company’s appreciation and support of constant education and knowledge building. Every industry goes through changes and it’s important to stay up-to-date and current with classes, conferences, and webinars. Investing in your employees’ industry knowledge is also a plus.

6. Develop Your Own Voice

Developing the voice of your brand in an interesting and relatable way is vital in order to connect you to your target audience.

Your corporate branding should have a personality and it can be derived from your business’s mission, vision, and values. Your brand’s voice should be implemented on your website content, social media, and customer service efforts.

VetPowered’s website is a great example of a brand with a voice. (Yes, that tone follows you around the whole website.)


7. Take Advantage of Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great way to create initial trust and continue to build that trust over time. Providing your audience with industry information, business updates, coupons, and advice through email shows you truly care about providing solutions to your audience.

There are four types of emails that build loyalty, according to Constant Contact:

  • A compelling, friendly, and engaging welcome email.
  • The useful, informative auto-responder series.
  • A check-in and feedback request email.
  • An email offering an exclusive benefit.

It’s that easy!

The Takeaway

Building trust with your audience starts before you ever come into contact with them. People judge brands based on their research and how they connect with a company’s website and social media content, so it’s important to find a voice for your brand to build that trust.

With great website design and content, companies are building loyal customer bases. Share your work, results, and awards to be as transparent and honest with your audience, and trust will soon follow.


Your Company May Soon Pay More for This Key Software

Image result for Your Company May Soon Pay More for This Key SoftwareMany Fortune 500 companies will probably pay more to use Atlassian software starting next month, but it’s sort of hard to tell given the complexity of the newprice model outlined in late June.

While these Atlassian (TEAM, 0.00%) products—like Jira for tracking bugs and Confluence collaboration software—may not be name brands to non-IT pros, they are a big deal to software developers. And because most companies now build and maintain at least some of their own custom software, this price change is worth noting.

An example: Right now, a team of 26 to 50 people pays $3,000 per year for a cloud version of Jira. Starting July 31, 2017, that same team will be on the hook for $3,500 per year. Under the current plan, once a team hits the 51-user mark, it paid $4,500 per year. Now that bill will be $7,000.

With these changes, Atlassian, which went public two years ago, will offer what tech news site The Register called a “mind-muddling” 17 tiers of annual pricing. It is hardly the only software company to offer a dizzying array of price points. As cynics often point out, there is often money to be made in complexity.

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For those paying on a monthly basis, Atlassian is moving to per-user pricing at least after the first 10 users which can use the product for $10 per month flat fee. But once an 11th person is aboard, the price will jump to $77 per month (at $7 per user per month).

In its post, Atlassian characterized that $10 flat fee for up to ten users as its introductory rate. The company’s Jira Service Desk price will still carry a $10 flat fee covering three agents, the people assigned to handle support tickets. Atlassian also offers versions of all these products that can run on a customer’s own servers.

Atlassian claims many name-brand customers including Cerner (CERN, -0.64%), DocuSign (DOCUSIGN), Rockwell Collins (COL, +0.87%), and NASA.

Related: Atlassian Goes All In With Amazon Cloud

Atlassian became a bit more familiar to workers outside software development early this year when it announced plans to purchase Trello, a popular workforce collaboration application, for $435 million. There were no price changes listed for that product.

Fortune contacted Atlassian for comment and will update this story as needed.

Note: (July 10, 2017 11:11 a.m. ET) This story was updated to note that the Atlassian blog outlining the price changes posted in late June and that the company also offers on-premises versions of these software products, the price of which was unaffected by these changes.


5 gadgets to consider adding to your summer arsenal

5 gadgets to consider adding to your summer arsenal

Summer is just getting into full swing and with that it means more time spent outdoors, whether by the pool or out in nature. The beckoning of summer also means it’s time to start gathering the gadgets you’re going to need to make this summer as awesome as humanly possible. There’s a lot out there to choose from, but I’ve rounded up some of the ones I’ve personally used or looked at this year and put them together in a little listicle below.

All of the products and gadgets listed below will be a great compliment to a family beach trip, camping adventure, or one of those random Tuesday afternoons getting sloshed by the pool with a couple friends.

Credit: Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

RAVPower 2200mAh power bank

I’m only using this one as an example because I’m sitting here looking at one on my desk right now, but no summer gadget load out is going to be complete with some sort of external power station or bank, and this one has always done me solid. With the time you’re going to be spending away from outlets and guaranteed power, having a power bank can ensure that your electronics are staying charged wherever adventure (or the closest pool) takes you.

This RAVPower unit can charge an iPhone 6 to full charge six times before the power bank has to be recharged. The power input on this model can see full charge times in as little as 12 hours, so while you do have access to electricity, you can get a charge on the power bank relatively quick. This one is not the smallest power bank on the market, but it definitely takes care of business. There are quite a few companies offering power banks, so it really is up to you on which one you go with, just make sure to have one.

Coolest Cooler

Alright, so this thing has so much going on with it. While I really hate to say this, it might in fact be the coolest cooler on the market. So, let’s dive in on these features. There’s a Bluetooth speaker, and while it’s not the best one out there, it plays music and has “Party Pairing” available which adds an additional wireless speaker to the mix to enhance the range and quality a bit. There’s also a blender, because nothing says “I’m ready for summer” like blended margaritas on demand.

Image result for Coolest Cooler

The unit features a 20V rechargeable battery with USB port that make the cooler act as a charging station. Also included in various pockets and places are reusable plates, a cutting board, LED lid light, and wine and bottle openers. You might have a hard time finding one right now, everywhere seems to be sold out, but look for local dealers if you can justify the price tag – you’ll definitely be able to brag about having the Swiss Army knife of coolers.

VAVA Voom 20

So, the Coolest Cooler has a speaker in it, but what if you’re not looking to haul a cooler around or simply don’t want to spend the $400+ on the cooler? Then that’s where something like this Bluetooth speaker comes into the picture. I picked up the Voom 20 after using some of the company’s  earbuds for awhile and while it isn’t the best speaker I’ve ever used, it definitely serves the purpose of a convenient unit when I’m on the road, on the trail, or passed out by a pool somewhere.

It’s splash-proof, covered with a nice looking rubberized coating, and connects via Bluetooth or a 3.5 audio cable. It gets pretty loud and you should have no issues hearing it over a few people. It’s not going to entertain an entire party, but then again, it’s not meant to. Sound wise, it provided surprisingly full bass and a healthy mid range, but the highs were a bit disappointing – brighter highs would have helped separate it from the crowd of other similar offerings out there. Overall, still a solid purchase if you’re looking for a durable Bluetooth setup.

Cannonball Speakers

Have you ever wanted to just straight up throw a speaker? Probably not, but that didn’t stop someone from making a line of speakers that you can literally toss around with your friends. Currently still in the Kickstarter phase, meaning, it was funded, but people are still waiting on delivery, the spherical speaker goes past just being splash-proof and actually is meant to be in the water.

While people are still waiting for units and information on sound quality, there is something pretty novel and fun behind the idea slinging music at your friends. The unit also features the ability to take phone calls, but it really seems like overkill and I think 99% of the population would just rather do without if it meant a cheaper price and faster delivery. You might be able to get one in time for this year’s summer fun, but you’ll be ready for next year.

Prynt Pocket

A novelty to be sure, but a welcome one. If you plan on spending a lot of your summer around friends and making memories, this could be a unique way to accomplish that and preserve some special moments with friends and family. This little gadget is basically a self-contained printer that works with the iPhone 5s and any newer model.

Image result for Prynt Pocket

The Prynt Pocket and its accompanying app allows for editing and filtering in the app to ensure that printed photos are of pretty high quality, they’re not the greatest quality you’ve ever seen, but considering the size of the unit it’s pretty impressive. The size is definitely one of the more appealing factors of the unit and allows for you to take it anywhere your summer may lead. The app even has a feature that allows you to add a video inside of your photo that can be accessed through the app.

What are some of your go-to essentials when it’s time to hit the beach or the trail? Tell me about them in the comments below!


Say hello to Holo; an app that adds 3-D characters to your pictures

Say hello to Holo; an app that adds 3-D characters to your pictures

There is a new app called Holo in the market, that will allow you to experience AR through your smartphone. Moreover, it will turn your normal pictures into sci-fi-like images. This Holo app can be downloaded from Google Play and App Store for free.

AR/VR company 8i is behind making the app. Thanks to this app, you will able to add animated characters and people to your pictures and videos. And they look kind of real as well. While the app gets stuck sometimes, considering the pros it offers, you can just ignore that. As for now, the app still needs some works done to it. For example, sometimes the characters don’t sync well with your picture.

So, in that case, you would have to find out a way to make it work. Now talking about the positives, you can download various characters from the in-app store and each of the characters comes with a specific animation. There’s more, 8i has said that it would update the app’s content on a regular basis by adding new 3D models, objects and effects.

The Holo app is compatible with iPhones that run on iOS 10. In Android, it will run on devices running on Android 5.0 and later versions.

Naturally, we are pretty excited about this new app. Maybe it is not perfect yet, still, it is a great app to pass your time. Hopefully, we will get to see more apps like this in near future. As we all know, AR is the future.



A smarter way to protect your smart home?

Dojo by BullGuard. — AFP pic

SAN FRANCISCO, June 2 — As smart home products and connected devices grow in popularity, so will the cyber risks they potentially pose to their owners.

“A smart home can quickly become a fool’s paradise when IoT devices are not properly secured,” said BullGuard CEO, Paul Lipman.

However, if the typical home with a high-speed wi-fi network had enterprise-grade security protecting it, many of these security issues could be eradicated.

And that’s the idea behind the BullGuard Dojo, which officially launches Thursday. It’s a wireless device with a dock that connects to a network and monitors all activity on it, all of the time. It is capable of spotting and preventing certain types of activity automatically and when it spots a threat that it can’t take care of autonomously, it alerts the owner via an app so that they can take further action.

Its security capabilities aren’t its USP however, its simplicity is what the company is hoping will make it a hit with the average household. Although it runs enterprise grade applications, users won’t need a formal qualification in IT or cyber security to get the most out of it.

And as cyber criminals are constantly adapting their activities to exploit new digital loopholes or product and device trends, consumers also need to stay on their toes if they want to keep their digital lives protected.

“Many IoT devices are notoriously insecure and it is relatively easy for hackers to exploit their vulnerabilities,” said Yossi Atias, General Manager, IoT Security of BullGuard. “Dojo solves the IoT security conundrum and protects every smart home device to ensure security and privacy.”

It used to be that if your PC was running the latest version of Windows and a watertight anti-virus program that you were protected from many cyber threats. However, in recent years, there’s been a marked increase in cybercrime activity targeting smartphones and tablets as the devices have become cemented into the daily life of the vast majority of consumers around the globe.

Likewise, according to Norton, thanks to the proliferation of home wi-fi the average consumer’s network itself is becoming a prime target for attacks.

Therefore, it stands to reason that adding new, less secure wireless devices, such as smart thermostats or baby monitors to these networks could result in making your home and its network far too attractive to cyber criminals.

“We’ve seen major privacy breaches in recent months caused by compromised devices, including Mirai, the largest ever DDOS attack launched from an IoT botnet, smart TVs hacked by the CIA, and even smart Teddy Bears go from cuddly to creepy. Device manufacturers often sacrifice security for speed to market and consumers are unwittingly paying the price,” Atias said.

The Dojo by BullGuard goes on sale at Amazon and BestBuy in the US this week and will retail for US$199 (RM853.44) including one year’s free service. It is destined to launch in the UK later in 2017. — AFP-Relaxnews