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The 10 Greatest & Irreplaceable iPad Apps

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Ten years ago, Apple CEO Steve Jobs launched the iPad. Once termed in 2010 as a “super gadget,” the iPad made it more convenient to access and navigate apps on the 9.7-inch screen. 

“The iPad will define an entirely new category of devices that will connect people with their apps and content in a much more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before,” Steve Jobs said. Ten years later, with the iPad’s portability, a variety of apps and user-friendly interface have made it a household device and is also being used for classroom and office purposes. The iPad can be used for drawing, binge-watching, surfing, reading, and even for work. 

The iPad is also suitable for gaming, and the Apple Arcade mobile game services have more than 100 games you can play on your iPad and other Apple devices! 

With that said, we have ten apps that have transformed the iPad into a powerful and helpful tool in today’s modern world. Check them out.

  • Netflix 

The Netflix app on the iPad made it more accessible for us to stream our favorite content anytime, anywhere on a much larger screen. These became useful for parents and are very suitable for viewing your favorite shows while traveling. 

  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 

The Lightroom app is a gem, especially for professionals who are on the go. With a combination of premium and free features, the app helps professionals import and work on their photos. 

  • Flipboard 

This is a curation tool that recognizes your interests and delivers you videos and podcasts. Established in the year 2010, Flipboard was one of the first apps to take advantage of the iPad’s magazine-like layout. Today, you can bundle content according to your interest, such as articles, recipes, photography, etc.

  • Amazon Kindle 

The Amazon Kindle became a game-changer and created a new content playground – e-books. The app enables you to buy e-books on Amazon and read them on your iPad. This made the iPad even more accessible and convenient as it can handle multiple tasks. 

  • Procreate 

This art app made for the iPad is designed for creative professionals, aspiring artists, and hobbyists. The app allows you to export or import art as Adobe Photoshop files. 

  • Star Walk 

This detailed astronomy app won the 2010 Apple Design Award. How does it work? If you use this app and point your tablet in the night sky, it will show you a labeled map of planets, stars, constellations, and satellites from your current location. 

  • Notability 

This comprehensive note-taking app lets you combine drawings, handwritten notes, and even audio recordings.

  • Duet Display

This app can transform your iPad into a second monitor for your desktop, phone, or laptop. With zero lag time, this productivity tool works great via software; this means it eliminates the need for dongles or cables. 

  • YouTube 

One of the most popular apps for the iPad, the YouTube app, helped further the iPad’s reputation as a mobile content consumption platform. 

  • LumaFusion 

This app shows that the iPad is not only great for streaming videos but also for making them. This video editing app is a multitrack video editor used by professionals such as journalists, video producers, and even filmmakers. 

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Hardware

Roku Streaming Stick Plus: Getting The Best Value For Your Money

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Roku is a leader when it comes to producing streaming devices. In 2019, it sent out 8 models for its lineup. Some of those included are the latest versions of the Roku Express as well as the Roku Ultra. Nevertheless, with all these new models, the best one is actually among the oldest, the Roku Streaming Stick Plus. 

With this model, you can stream the HDR and 4K videos from Apple TV, Vudu, Amazon, and Netflix among the many. It has awesome features that include such as a voice remote. With it, you can run the streaming system of the Roku Streaming Stick Plus as well as control the television. 

This streaming stick from Roku has all the features that you need but without the fluff. With the $50 permanent price drop, you’ll love this tick even more. Now, it’s actually better than when it came out a couple of years ago. 

The closest competition of the Roku Streaming Stick Plus is Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4k. It has the same price of $50. With Amazon’s model, you can get Dolby Vision HDR support as well as better voice support because of Alexa. 

Also, if you compare the menus between Roku and Amazon’s sticks, the latter is more modern-looking. However, the disadvantage of it is that it also looks more cluttered and in a way, confusing. It has a way of directing you toward the movies and TV shows of Amazon. 

Since the Roku Streaming Stick Plus’ release a couple of years ago, no other product was able to match the performance, affordability, and simplicity that it offers. The stick has a design that allows it to be hidden behind the TV. All you need to do is to plug it directly into one of the HDMI ports. 

It has an Advanced Wireless Receiver cable which you can plug into the Roku stick using a Mini USB connection. Yes, that’s right, a Mini and not a Micro. In turn, the Receiver plugs into your TV’s USB port for power. You can also plug the Receiver into the AC adapter which Roku provides. 

Roku continually provides more apps compared to the competition. It also has some other extras that you won’t find in other streaming sticks. It has a My Feed and you can listen privately using a headphone through the Roku app. But the best feature is the Roku Channel. 

In it, you can find on-demand TV shows and movies. The channel also includes a Kids section, live news feeds, as well as service subscriptions like in HBO for example. You’ll love the fact that it’s free and it is available on Samsung TVs, mobile apps, and Roku players. 

The quality that you’ll get from the Roku Streaming Stick Plus is so worth it for its price. Most of the problems that users encounter with streaming where the videos are terrible or there’s a long loading time are usually because of poor internet connection. So, do check your connection to make sure that you’ll get the best experience from the Roku Stick. 

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Featured

Free Amazon Products For The Price Of Fake Reviews

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Earlier in 2019, Jessica (not her real name) had “spent” over $15,000 on Amazon for over 700 products – all as a dishonest side hustle.

In the back corner of Jessica’s two-family home dining room is a table with un-reviewed Amazon products on top and up-for-grabs underneath. Jessica’s routine goes a little like this: her boyfriend brings in Amazon packages from their front porch, she takes photographs of the products from the boxes, and while watching TV, she posts thoughtful 5-star reviews (some complete with photos and a video) on the Amazon products.

Full Of Everything

In her home are the most random finds, from Halloween decorations and common house items to more faux leather purses, earbuds, and queen-size inflatable mattresses than humanly needed. Although most are cheaply made, Jessica has given each a 5-star review and proudly points to the items as ones that she “would have had to pay for”. Not that she does a faulty job at quality assurance, but that those companies that sell on Amazon send her products and commission her for the purchases.

What Jessica (treacherously) does helps sellers who are seeking growth in their businesses in two ways: by bolstering their reviews and by elevating their items’ sales ranks against similar listings.

Bribery

To make it to Amazon’s massive scale of inscrutable algorithms and fickle rules, third-party sellers can easily get away with a reliable cheat to get good reviews and a high search ranking – through bribery.

Reaching out to Jessica and other review groups with thousands of dedicated members through Facebook, WhatsApp, or email means giving a specific set of instructions to follow to closely simulate a legitimate-looking Amazon purchase that typically goes like this: look up specific, company-provided keywords to elevate the product’s profile in the search results; purchase a certain product using, in Jessica’s case, her Amazon Prime member account and Amazon Chase credit card, to be labeled as a “verified purchase”; and leave a 5-star review after a calculated amount of time, at least five to six days upon receipt of the items.

The sellers then reimburse the expenses incurred outside Amazon, perhaps via PayPal or with an Amazon gift card, and allow the reviewers’ possession of the items. 

Since Jessica’s credit card is an Amazon-branded rewards card, she also gets extra bonuses for her purchases. Looking at it this way, third-party sellers aren’t the only ones reimbursing her fake reviews – Amazon is in on it, too.

“Inauthentic Reviews”

On BuzzFeed News’ query on how Amazon policies inauthentic reviews, the Amazon spokesperson noted that over 13 million bogus review attempts had been prevented and that it responded accordingly against more than 5 million accounts of review-manipulating sellers. Sly third-party sellers, though, still continue to exploit the blind spots in the system and get away unharmed.

Most Amazon products aren’t really sold by Amazon itself, but by independent third-party sellers. If you ever come across a product with a “Sold by (Store Name) and Fulfilled by Amazon” written below the price, these are merchandisers who get a cut in the sales with their access to Amazon’s customers. In 2018, Amazon recorded a $160-billion spending by customers on items from third-party sellers – an impressive 58% portion of all the site’s sales, which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos doesn’t find delightful.

With thousands of new sellers on the site each day, a Wall Street Journal story in 2018 reported that in every 1/50th of a second, a new product from China was uploaded. As an appeal, comments from these Chinese sellers like, “This will help our small business out a lot!” and “We’re a small family business selling on Amazon” draw in the empathy of reviewers to the small business owners.

This scheme on Amazon’s algorithm gives people the illusion that a product has a crazy sales velocity, making it more search-visible. In addition to reviews largely impacting listings, search ranking also depends on the frequency of sales. The higher the ranking, the bigger the sellers’ monthly revenue.

In Jessica’s experience in fake reviewing, she has rated almost every item five stars, except for a cross-body purse that shipped with a broken magnet, which she rated a three to eventually receive a $20 refund from the seller. Although sometimes there are awful products, they still get the same 5-star rating; she just doesn’t trust health and beauty products on Amazon for her chemist boyfriend’s warnings on toxic ingredients in unregulated products.

Diminishing Returns For The Rest Of Us

This involvement in product reviewing was enough to give Jessica the exposure to the existence of inauthentic Amazon reviews. For other customers, however, the trouble of discerning commissioned reviews from genuine ones becomes present, all while unsuspecting patrons become prey to cheap products with inflated ratings. This display of fraud then diminishes the factor of trust in the site.

Attracting genuine customers to a listing could cost excessive amounts of money without the guarantee of good reviews. To solve this, some desperate sellers engage in treachery. Pattern chief revenue officer John LeBaron inferred, “The cheapest, easiest way to make money is to cheat.”

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Hardware

The Era of Smartphones – How The Last Decade Has Shaped Us

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Perhaps nothing can define the 2010’s more than the rise of smartphone technology. This might even mark the most significant progress in human history. Redefining our relationship with technology has become more personal, especially as we rely on these devices as more than just tools to complete our daily tasks. 

While the future can be hard to predict, let’s look at how technology has shaped this decade and figure out what’s next to come. 

The Age Of Start-Ups

Gone are the days of spice trades and lengthy voyage rides to manufacture and sell goods. 

The internet has brought a global market, where people can purchase, pay and connect from all across the globe. This technology had also encouraged a new business model, start-ups. While the likes of Steve Jobs and Jeff Benzos had developed their businesses in basements and cramped offices, the new global market has connected people at an international level. It has even allowed entrepreneurs with very limited resources to receive the funding they needed from people all across the globe,  something that would have been almost impossible in past decades. The answer? Thanks to the emerging tools and apps like Skype, Slack, Salesforce, and HubSpot, people can hold conference calls and even run data analyses for free. 

What’s even impressive is this decade has encouraged collaboration, where your tech support can be based in India, designers in Singapore, to head offices in Silicon Valley and clients reaching well- all across the globe. 

So even when you’re lounging on the beaches of Bali, or even sitting at the comfort of your own home, you can still pretty much carry your work anywhere- offering a new definition to workplace flexibility. 

A Growing Focus on Customer Experience 

With a more competitive global market, companies are spending many resources ensuring that their customers will have the top-notch experience. In fact, new industries have come out of it… even job positions like Chief Experience Officer (CXO). 

With the massive amount of customer information that these companies receive (and purchase), data analytics have also been important. Rather than storing massive amounts of information, companies are using it to track and analyze business strategies, even creating customized and targeted ads. 

What’s In Store For The Next Decade? 

Innovators and tech companies are betting their research and design in these key areas as the next disruptive tech: 

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality 

With Microsoft’s HoloLens 2, the device presents a new wave and concept for VR and AR tech, which goes beyond entertainment and might, in fact, revolutionize industries. This would save time and money for companies speed up the training process, and eventually change the way we view the workforce. 

AI Technology

From self-driving cars to voice tech, AI technology has changed the way we work and live. It had made menial tasks faster and more efficient. However, experts believe that this is just the beginning, and that the future will definitely bring in smarter and faster computers. 

Global Economy

With everything, just a tap away, hotel accommodations, transport, and shopping is now possible on a global scale- and this shared economy will continue to grow (hopefully with more sustainable solutions). 

5G Technology

As we become more reliant on our mobile phones, the rise of 5g technology will give small low powered devices more capacity, even building mobile-friendly cities to accommodate the number of smartphone users. 

With leaps and bounds of technological innovations,  this will be a decade that will surely be remembered, but we also can’t wait to see what the next one will bring. 

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