Using Google Assistant Routines to Automate Your Morning, Noon, and Night

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Google Assistant is fast becoming one of the most valuable and useful personal assistant services available to Android users today. The recent addition of Google Assistant Routines only adds to that usefulness.

The following new routines are now available in your Google Assistant mobile app:

  • Good morning
  • Bedtime
  • Leaving home
  • I’m home
  • Commuting to work
  • Commuting home

These are fixed routines. You can’t add or remove them, but you can customize each so that they perform multiple actions at once when you say the trigger phrase (also customizable).

In this article, we’ll look at how to set up Google Assistant Routines and how four easy routines can automate your daily life.

How to Configure Google Assistant Routines

Accessing Google Assistant Routines is easy. Just click on the blue icon in the upper right corner of Google Assistant.

Then, click on Settings.

google assistant routines automate daily life

In the Settings menu, click on Routines.

Here, you’ll see all available routines. Only one routine was available when Google first launched this feature, so it seems they’re slowly expanding the list. Or hopefully, users will be able to add their own routines to the list at some point.

google assistant routines automate daily life

You can open each routine to customize them.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these four key routines.

1. Good Morning

Think about all the things you do in the morning. Maybe you grab your phone and turn off silent mode. Then you scroll through the weather forecast. You probably review your schedule for the morning.

It’s a known fact that productive people have a good morning routine.

With Google Assistant, all you have to do is say “OK Google, Good morning” and you can have the Assistant do any (or all) of those actions.

google assistant routines automate daily life

Available actions under the Good Morning routine include:

  • Take the phone off silent
  • Trigger smart home devices
  • Adjust the thermostat
  • Hear the weather
  • Learn traffic conditions and estimated time of your commute
  • Hear upcoming calendar events and reminders
  • Adjust phone volume (to your preset morning setting)
  • Play music, news, radio, or a podcast

The audio services like music and radio will access the default services you have installed on your phone. You can change these by clicking on the gear icon next to each action.

2. Commuting To and From Work

Part of your morning routine might be things you normally do on your way to work, like listen to the weather report or play your favorite podcast.

If you say “OK Google, Let’s go to work”, all actions you configured to happen under this routine will trigger one after the other.

google assistant routines automate daily life

Available actions under the Commuting to work routine include:

  • Hear commute conditions
  • Listen to the weather
  • Listen to your calendar agenda or reminders
  • Trigger smart home devices
  • Adjust the thermostat
  • Adjust phone volume (to your preset commute setting)
  • In the end, play music, news, radio, or a podcast

Available actions under the Commuting from work routine include:

  • Hear commute conditions
  • Send or listen to texts
  • Broadcast you’re on your way home to Google Home devices
  • Trigger smart home devices
  • Adjust the thermostat
  • Adjust phone volume (to your preset commute setting)
  • In the end, play music, news, radio, or a podcast

Just think of all the fiddling with your phone you currently do in the morning or when leaving work. You might sit and check the weather, then launch your favorite Spotify channel and adjust the volume. This prevents you from leaving right away. Save a few minutes and let Google Assistant perform all those tasks for you as you’re backing out of the driveway.

If you need some podcasts for your commute, make sure to read Kayla’s list of podcasts for commuters.

3. Leaving or Arriving Home

There’s another time of day when you waste a lot of time adjusting things to your liking. That’s when you leave the house, or when you arrive home.

You adjust the thermostat to save energy, turn down your phone volume so it doesn’t interfere with family time, or maybe you have a habit of shouting out “I’m home!”

google assistant routines automate daily life

When you tell Google Assistant “I’m leaving” or “I’m heading out”, you can automatically control Smart Home devices or adjust the thermostat. Available actions under the I’m home routine (when you say “I’m home” or “I’m back”) include:

  • Trigger smart home devices
  • Adjust the thermostat
  • Adjust phone volume (to your preset commute setting)
  • Broadcast that you’re home via Google Home
  • Hear your “home reminders”
  • In the end, play music, news, radio, or a podcast

Yes, Google Assistant can even announce that you’re home via all of your Google Home devices!

Should you buy Google Home? We reviewed Google Home and recommended that you should. If you do decide to buy one, be sure to use our Google Home setup guide to get it working just right.

4. Going to Bed

When you go to bed, there are many things you probably do and you don’t even think about it. Maybe you listen to some music or soothing sounds for a while. You probably set your phone alarm. Many people turn down the thermostat so cut down on heating costs.

Google Assistant has you covered at bedtime as well.

google assistant routines automate daily life

Available actions under the Bedtime routine include:

  • Trigger smart home devices
  • Adjust the thermostat
  • Put the phone on silent
  • Hear tomorrow’s weather
  • Hear tomorrow’s first calendar event
  • Set your alarm
  • Adjust your phone’s volume
  • In the end, play music or your default “sleep sounds”

When you’re exhausted at night, it’s wonderful to just say “OK Google, good night” and have everything taken care of for you. You just have to close your eyes and get some much-needed sleep.

Smart gadgets can help you sleep better, and now Google Assistant joins the list of technology to improve your rest.

Configuring Defaults for Google Assistant

If you haven’t used Google Assistant before, don’t forget to go into Settings and configure all your defaults. This way when you tell Google Assistant to “play music”, it’ll know what kind of music you like.

Also for “send a text” to work under the Commuting From Work routine, you’ll need to type in the number to text and the message to send.

google assistant routines automate daily life

You’ll also need to make sure all of your smart home devices are integrated with Google Assistant. You can access this under Settings, and then go to Home Control.

In the Home Control screen, just click on the blue plus icon to add a new device. Select your device from the list of compatible smart home hardware, and go through the authentication procedure.

google assistant routines automate daily life

You’ll only have to do this once. Once all your smart home devices are integrated with Google Assistant, you can start controlling them with your voice as often as you like.

Is Google Assistant Right for You?

Many people think that they wouldn’t be able to find any practical use for voice control. It does take a while to get used to talking to your phone. But after just a few days of using Google Assistant routines, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it.

Once you become familiar with its basic features, you can always return and use Routines to automate your daily life in ways you never imagined possible.

Google Assistant is also available for iPhone users, and there are plenty of reasons iPhone users should start using it too. If you’re just getting started with Google Assistant, I highly recommend reading Ben’s complete guide to using Google Assistant.

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4 iPhone Apps That Make Retouching Photos Easier Than Ever

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Retouching has long been a standard practice in professional photography, but you don’t need to learn how to use Photoshop to make your selfies look better.

All you need is the right mobile photo retouching app and a bit of practice. The hardest part of retouching your headshot is knowing when to stop making adjustments.

In an endless sea of iPhone photo retouching apps, only these four are worth your time.

Advice on Using These Apps

You should feel free to edit and share your photos in any way you see fit. At the same time, you shouldn’t feel compelled to use photo retouching apps unless you really want to. Don’t let anyone tell you that your pictures don’t look good enough, or that using an app to edit a photo is inherently bad. It’s not.

With that in mind, some of these apps require a little more restraint to avoid results that can seem overdone. In particular, warping certain features will also affect background objects like straight lines. From a photo editing standpoint, the more natural and true to life your edits appear, the better.

Remember: how you choose to present yourself on social media is up to you, and only you. There’s a huge amount of pressure associated with the image we project on networks like Facebook and Instagram. This pressure has always existed in some form or another.

Though retouching apps emerged alongside this trend, that doesn’t mean they are inherently bad.

1. Best Premium Retouching App: Facetune

Facetune iPhone photo retouching app

It might not have been the first iPhone photo retouching app, but it’s arguably the best. Facetune includes a whole range of tools in one purpose-built package. It’s designed from the ground up to augment your facial features, and it’s yours for a one-off fee.

You won’t find a better assembly of tools for the job. You can whiten your teeth, smooth over your skin, highlight details like eyes, and correct blemishes with patch healing. There’s a liquify effect that allows you to reshape your features, plus skin tone adjustment, selective defocusing, and some built-in filters.

Facetune includes a tutorial for each tool, complete with video showing the effect in action. There are a ton of included pictures to try out, and not a single in-app purchase or subscription in sight. You can undo changes and preview the original image while you work.

Best of all, since Facetune holds your hand while performing edits, you don’t need to show quite as much restraint as you do with the other apps on the list. It’s harder to create a monster, but it’s still fun.

Download: Facetune ($ 4)

2. Best Free Retouching App: Photoshop Fix

Photoshop Fix iPhone photo retouching app

If you like the look of Facetune but aren’t into paying $ 4 for the privilege, Photoshop Fix is the app for you. This version of Photoshop isn’t quite as straightforward as Facetune is. You’ll need to learn how to use a few of the included tools before you put them to best use.

Adobe includes a good range of retouching tools, and you don’t need a Creative Cloud subscription to use any of them. The Lighten tool is great for teeth whitening, the Smooth tool makes light work of uneven skin, and correcting spots and blemishes is easy with the Healing brush.

The real standout feature is Adobe’s Liquify tool, which allows you to make subtle (and not-so-subtle) adjustments to your features. Use it to widen a smile or tuck your chin, but don’t go too far and keep an eye on any straight lines or objects in the background.

You’ll also get some handy basic photo editing tools, a saturation brush, selective defocusing, vignetting, and a standard paint brush. You’ll need a (free) Adobe account to use this one.

Download: Photshop Fix (Free)

3. Worth Consideration: Pixlr

Pixlr iPhone photo editor

Pixlr is a web-based photo editor, and this is the iOS version of that web app. It’s completely free, with no in-app purchases or restrictions. Like Photoshop Fix, this isn’t purpose-built face tuning software. You’ll be left to your own devices when applying edits.

There’s a brighten tool for whitening teeth and a darken tool to add contrast or deepen shadows. You can retouch skin with the smoothing tool and fix blemishes with the healing tool. There’s also a blur brush for selective defocusing, and red eye removal if ever you need it.

Since Pixlr is more of a general photo editor, you’ll also get some more standard tools that are great for all kinds of editing. You can add filters, overlays, or stylize your image with the included presets. There’s also a good number of frames and text effects, which might come in handy sometime.

Download: Pixlr (Free)

4. Worth Consideration: Photo Editor by Aviary

Photo Editor by Aviary iPhone photo editor

Aviary is an ordinary photo editor, but it includes a few tools which make it a perfect selfie-retouching app. The standout feature is a foolproof teeth whitener, but there’s also red eye correction, blemish removal, and selective defocusing too.

You can use the blur tool on skin with decent results, or sharpen eyes and other features to draw attention to them. Additionally, auto-enhance scene modes designed for night and portrait shots might help somewhat.

Unfortunately Aviary lacks a liquify tool, so you can’t make warp adjustments to your image. Combined with the full set of standard photo editing tools, though, Aviary is a great app to keep around.

Download: Aviary (Free)

Other iPhone Retouching Apps We Tried

There are a lot of photo retouching apps available on the App Store, but the vast majority aren’t worth your time. Most are free with in-app purchases, others use a credit system to limit free usage, and some even have a subscription model.

You’ll want to skip the freemium Facetune 2 since paying $ 4 for the standard version is a better deal. Microsoft’s two “enhanced” iOS cameras, Pix and Selfie, are lacking in features. ModiFace Photo Editor has not been optimized for larger iOS devices, so the interface is ugly.

That developer’s other app, Modiface Live, is better but ultimately more of a toy for trying out cosmetics than a serious photo tool. Facetune and Photoshop Fix remain the best options.

And don’t forget these tips for taking a great selfie!

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The 8 Best Language Learning Apps That Really Work

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Whether you’re gearing up to go on vacation, studying for exams, or just want to expand your mind, it’s always a great time to learn a new language.

You can stock up on books, spend hours listening to CDs, take an online class, or try learning as you browse the web. But these mobile apps give you easy ways to integrate learning into your daily routine no matter where you go.

1. Duolingo

With a bright and intuitive interface, Duolingo lets you naturally progress at your own pace. You start with simple phrases and gradually move to more complex sentences. There’s help every step of the way as Duolingo points out mistakes and praises your efforts.

Duolingo addresses reading, writing, and pronunciation by challenging you with a fun range of activities. It’s amazing how quickly you can pick up the basics without even realizing it. Plus, it’s easy to revisit the lessons and work on your weaknesses.

Duolingo offers an upbeat experience, lets you join clubs for healthy practice, and really does make learning enjoyable.

Download: Duolingo for Android | iOS (Free)

2. Memrise

Many students use flashcards to help them through their exams and Memrise takes a similar approach. It starts off slowly. To learn Russian, for instance, you’re guided through the Cyrillic alphabet, but that’s by no means a bad method. There’s something quaint and inviting about its simplistic visual aids, as if a friend is showing you tips to remember each lesson.

Memrise has a friendly interface that’s encouraging and attractive. If you are interested in expanding your new language skills, take a look at Memrise Pro which offers games, chatbots, and an offline mode for learning on the go.

And if you like the game idea, you can also learn Spanish with a set of fun and educational games.

Download: Memrise for Android | iOS (Free)

3. Busuu

Boasting over 80 million users worldwide, the best aspect of Busuu is its interactivity. With 12 languages, full courses, exercise reviews from native speakers, and accent training, you get a complete experience with Busuu.

You can begin with a placement test so that you start at the right level. This is terrific if you are not a complete beginner but want to practice language skills you learned earlier. The app also provides offline access, grammar tips, and official certificates with its premium upgrade.

Busuu is an all-around super option that gives you a wide range of learning activities.

Download: Busuu for Android | iOS (Free)

4. HelloTalk

HelloTalk connects you to people who speak the language you want to learn. In return, you help them learn your language. It’s an incredibly basic idea that lets you talk to native speakers. Everyone’s there for the same reason and you can be both a student and teacher without much hassle.

HelloTalk lets you select your entry level, then find a stranger to talk to. A variety of neat tools like correction, translation, and speaking make this a full-featured chat experience.

There’s a huge list of languages to choose from, and you can refine your list of possible tutors by age and country. HelloTalk breaks down the barriers between countries and that’s what learning another language is all about.

Download: HelloTalk for Android | iOS (Free)

5. Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone has been a leader in teaching languages for 25 years. So it’s no surprise that it has a mobile app too. Choose from 24 languages and then start learning the basics. Listen to the words and repeat them, then match photos to phrases.

You can easily review your progress with correct answers in pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. Rosetta Stone is a subscription-based learning tool, but you can try out the first lesson for free to see if you like it. If you are serious about learning a new language, then Rosetta Stone is an excellent option.

Download: Rosetta Stone for Android | iOS (Free)

6. Babbel

Babbel is similar to Rosetta Stone in that it’s a subscription-based app where you can try out the first lesson free. Select from 14 languages, listen and repeat words, and then test what you learn. You can also disable the microphone and just hear the words spoken to you with a brief quiz at the end.

When you finish the lessons, you can view the vocabulary lists and then choose from flashcards or writing exercises to review what you learned. If you are serious about learning another language and don’t mind the subscription price, Babbel is another great choice.

Download: Babbel for Android | iOS (Free)

7. Beelinguapp

If you want a unique learning experience that involves books, Beelinguapp is for you. The app offers your favorite stories with an audiobook reader in a variety of dialects. You can read the story yourself if you prefer and see it in both your language plus the one you are learning on the same screen.

Pick from a classic like The Three Musketeers or let your child enjoy a tale like Cinderella. What’s great about Beelinguapp is that you can follow along with the audiobook reader as the words are highlighted with the narration. This is quite helpful with pronunciation. For a two-in-one app that lets you appreciate a story while learning a new language, Beelinguapp is a winner.

If you like tunes or news instead of tales, then take a look at how music can help you learn a foreign language or how to learn a new dialect with the daily news.

Download: Beelinguapp for Android | iOS (Free)

8. Clozemaster

Clozemaster for iPhone

For a gamified language learning experience with an old-school look and feel, check out Clozemaster. The app offers over 100 languages, an optional text-to-speech feature, and a free account signup for saving your progress.

You can start with the most common words where you earn points for selecting the correct word missing from the sentence. Then when you’re ready, take on the grammar challenges.

Clozemaster is a good follow-up for testing what you recently learned or brushing up on a language you learned years ago.

Download: Clozemaster for Android | iOS (Free)

Are You Ready to Parlais Francais?

Speaking more than one language improves your memory, enhances your perception, and gives you a greater command of your native tongue. It can help your business expand and introduce you to new friends. Put simply, it’s a wonderful way to better yourself.

With so many easy-to-use apps out there, there’s no reason not to dabble in Spanish, French, Gaelic, or even Mongolian. And if you want something out of the box, take a look at some unusual ways to learn a new language.

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8 Basic iPhone Photo Editing Tasks You Should Know How to Do

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Editing photos right after you take them, then posting them to the web, is one of the greatest conveniences of our time.

Forget ride sharing apps, on-demand entertainment, and wearables that might save your life. Being able to show millions of people what you had for dinner is what technology is really about.

Snark aside, knowing how to edit and improve your photos before sharing them with the world is a valuable skill. Here are a few tips to help you do that.

1. How to Edit a Photo on iPhone

iphone photo editing - edit link

Once you’ve taken a photo using your iPhone’s camera app:

  1. Launch the Photos app and find your image.
  2. Tap on Edit in the top-right corner.
  3. Use the controls to make any changes you need (more on this shortly).
  4. Tap Done to save your work.

Remember that your edits are non-destructive, which means you can always revert to the original photo. To do this, tap Edit and then Revert to ditch your changes.

You can edit your photos using a range of apps, but today we’ll focus mostly on the built-in Photos app provided by Apple. Check out our list of top iPhone photo editors for something a little more powerful.

2. How to Crop and Rotate Photos on iPhone

iphone photo editing - Crop and Rotate

Cropping means to cut a photo down to size, or discard parts of the frame you no longer need. To crop an image:

  1. Launch Photos and locate the image you want to crop.
  2. Tap Edit then hit the crop and rotate icon (box with two arrows) from the row of controls at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Manipulate your image by grabbing and moving the corners of the frame. You can also pinch to zoom in and out.
  4. Tap the Orientation button in the bottom-right to restrict your crop to a particular ratio or shape.
  5. Tap Done to save your changes.

Rotating an image can mean making subtle adjustments to fix a wonky horizon, or rotating the image by 90 degree increments to correct an orientation issue. To rotate an image:

  1. Launch Photos and locate the image you want to crop.
  2. Tap Edit then hit the crop and rotate icon from the row of controls at the bottom of the screen (far left).
  3. Select and drag the wheel at the bottom of the screen for minor adjustments.
  4. Press the 90 degree rotate (square with arrow) icon in the bottom-left to rotate the entire frame.
  5. Tap Done to save your changes.

3. How to Apply Filters to iPhone Photos

iphone photo editing - Silvertone iPhone Filter (Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa)
iOS Photos “Silvertone” black and white filter.

Applying a filter frequently involves an app, but there are ways you can add instant style to your images using the basic Photos app:

  1. Launch Photos and locate the image you want to edit, then tap Edit.
  2. Tap the Filters icon (three circles) at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Scroll through the available filters. Choose one, then hit Done to save.

This only provides access to Apple’s filters (above), which look great but are somewhat limited. To add filters from compatible third-party apps:

  1. Launch Photos and locate the image you want to edit, then tap Edit.
  2. Tap the ellipsis icon (a circle with three dots) then hit More.
  3. Enable any compatible apps by toggling them On, then hit Done.
  4. Tap on an app’s icon to load the various photo editing controls and filters.
  5. Make your changes, then hit Done to save.

Many apps, like Instagram, won’t play ball with Apple’s extensions in the Photo app, so you’ll have to open the app instead. Check out a few of our favorite photo filter apps if you’re in need of inspiration.

4. How to Convert iPhone Photos to Black and White

iphone photo editing - convert to Black and White

If you don’t want to rely on a filter, you can convert to black and white manually and modify the intensity, contrast, and grain individually:

  1. Launch Photos and locate the image you want to edit, then tap Edit.
  2. Tap on the adjustments icon (a knob dial) at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Select B&W then Intensity, and adjust the slider to modify the effect.
  4. Tap the list icon (three lines) on the right-hand side of the screen to reveal other controls: Neutrals, Tone, and Grain.
  5. Adjust the various settings till you’re happy, then tap Done to save.

Note: Any changes you make to the Light controls (contrast, highlights and shadows, and so on) will be retained when working in B&W mode.

5. How to Mark Up or Draw on an iPhone Photo

iphone photo editing - iPhone Markup Tools

Sometimes you may want to scribble on an image, obscure an address or face, or draw attention to something with an arrow or circle. You can do this with the Photos app:

  1. Launch Photos and locate the image you want to edit, then tap Edit.
  2. Tap on the ellipsis icon (a circle with three dots), then tap Markup (see note below).
  3. Use the various tools to make changes to your image. Tap the plus icon to reveal options for adding text, a signature, various shapes, and a magnifying loupe.
  4. Tap Done to save your changes.

Note: If you don’t see Markup under the menu, tap on More then enable markup from the list of apps.

Apple provides a decent array of tools. From left to right there’s a: standard pen tool, highlighter, pencil, eraser for removing your markup, selection lasso for moving your markup, and color picker.

6. How to Edit a Live Photo on iPhone

iphone photo editing - Edit Live Photo iOS

You can edit a Live Photo on your iPhone like any other, with a few added options. To change the Live Photo animation:

  1. Launch Photos and locate the Live Photo you want to edit. Select it and scroll down to reveal a new set of options.
  2. Choose between the various Live Photo animations: standard Live, Loop, Bounce, and Long Exposure.
  3. Scroll back up to preview the effect.

If you tap Edit in the top-right corner, you’ll see a film roll at the bottom of the screen. Here you can pick a new key image from the Live Photo data. Tap a frame to select it, then tap Make Key Photo.

7. How to Remove Red Eye From iPhone Photos

iphone photo editing - Duplicate Still Photo on iOS

Red eye is less common with slower LED flashes, but it can still happen. To fix red eye for still (not Live) images:

  1. Launch Photos and locate the image you want to fix, then tap Edit.
  2. Tap the red eye tool icon in the top-left corner.
  3. Touch each affected area to heal the image.
  4. Tap Done to save your changes.

If you’re trying to correct a Live Photo, you’ll first need to duplicate it as a still image. You can extract a different image, based on the key photo (see “How to Edit a Live Photo on iPhone” above). To extract a still:

  1. Launch Photos and locate the Live Photo you want to convert.
  2. Tap the Share icon in the bottom-left corner, then choose Duplicate.
  3. Select Duplicate as Still Photo when prompted.
  4. Use the instructions above to remove red eye using the Photos app.

8. How to Remove Geotag Data From iPhone Photos

iphone photo editing - Share Photo Without Metadata using Koredoko

If you’ve approved your iPhone camera access to your location, your photos will store location data based on where your images were taken. You might want to remove this information if it poses a privacy risk. To do so:

  1. Download Koredoko from the App Store, launch it, and grant access to your photos.
  2. When prompted, enable Extention (sic) features. You can also do this from the app’s Settings.
  3. Tap the list icon in the bottom-left of the screen to view your photos, with the most recent at the bottom of the list.
  4. Find your photo then tap the small blue i button next to it.
  5. Finally, tap the Share button in the top-right, then choose Share without Metadata.
  6. Choose whether to share the image directly to a service of your choice, or save the image to your Camera Roll for later use.

Note: Stripping the image of metadata will remove not only your geotag, but camera information like manufacturer and the settings used to capture the image.

To stop your iPhone from geotagging images altogether:

  1. Launch Settings, then tap Privacy.
  2. Tap Location Services, then select Camera.
  3. Change Allow Location Access to Never.
  4. Repeat as necessary for any other camera apps you use.

iPhone Photo Editing Basics Covered

With these tricks under your belt, you should be prepared to undertake most common photo editing tasks on your iPhone. If you want to take your images to the next level, consider shooting and editing RAW files which consume more space but provide more scope for adjustments in post-production.

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5 iPhone Camera Apps That Recreate the Feeling of Shooting Film

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For many of us, the blemishes and imperfections that come with shooting film are a distant memory. While the fundamentals of shutter speed and aperture setting persist, the process of shooting and sharing an image has changed massively.

It makes sense, then, that there exists a subset of camera apps designed to recreate the experience of shooting film. Here are five of the best.

1. Huji Cam

Shot with Huji Cam

Huji Cam is a faithful recreation of a disposable camera from 1998, right down to the date stamped on your images. Film simulation is fairly convincing, with light leak effects, color fringing, and an overall contrasty look reminiscent of a roll of cheap ISO 400.

The free version is a camera, and only a camera. In order to process an image with Huji, you’ll need to shoot the image with Huji. You can’t later import your own images and process them, nor can you reprocess images you’ve already taken without a $ 1 in-app purchase.

You can adjust the date format so that it reads correctly, or pretend like it’s 1998 and use default settings. It’s up to you whether or not you enable or disable light leaks, set a timer, opt for low-quality images, or shoot with the front-facing camera.

Download: Huji Cam (Free with in-app purchase)

2. Gudak

Gudak for iPhone

If you’re desperate to recreate the entire process of shooting with disposable film cameras, Gudak is the app for you. Unlike the other apps on this list, this one really limits what you can do with a strict set of rules.

Gudak shoots virtual rolls of film, and you’ll get 24 exposures on each roll. When you finish a roll, you’ll have to wait an hour before you can load another and begin shooting again. In order to see your images, you’ll have to hit the “develop” button and wait three days.

By doing so, the app reintroduces a long-lost element of surprise. By the time your photos are ready, you probably won’t remember exactly what it was you were shooting. The developers have gone to considerable lengths to stop you from cheating by changing your device’s date and time too.

The photos are fine, but it’s the experience that really shines. Gudak limits your view to a tiny viewfinder, removes focus and exposure control, and basically strips photography back to its point-and-shoot basics.

Download: Gudak ($ 1)


iPhone CALLA Photo

If Gudak and Huji Cam are disposable film cameras, CALLA is a cheap but purpose-built 35mm point-and-shoot. The app itself is heavily stylized, and a bit confusing to use due to unconventional button placement and a mixture of Korean and English languages.

The app includes a few different types of film, but you only get one for free. The images I shot with this preset looked pretty good, with a softness to the image reminiscent of cheap plastic lenses. The colors are warm, and there’s a fair amount of grain, but no light leaks.

There’s a full set of photo controls, including touch-to-focus and expose. You can also manually control your focus using the ring near the shutter button (it’s a lot of fun). Additionally, the app supports importing your Camera Roll images into CALLA and processing them.

There are in-app purchases to unlock more looks, with the option of watching ads instead (but that will take a while).

Download: CALLA (Free with in-app purchases)

4. KD Pro

Shot with KD Pro for iPhone

Not only is KD Pro free, it also includes three entirely separate film-like looks: Kudak (Kodak), Kuji (Fujifilm), and a black and white preset. If you want, you can also enable the date stamp and light leaks.

The app allows you to choose your own development time, whether it’s instant, an hour, or a day. To me, this is pointless because I’m always going to choose the instant option. I prefer Gudak’s method of forcing me to wait, since I have little self control.

Overall, KD Pro does a great job of creating some heavily stylized photos. You can mix film styles in a roll simply by changing the filter in your app’s settings. Unless you upgrade to premium ($ 1), you can’t reprocess anything after you’ve taken it nor can you import images from your Camera Roll.

Download: KD Pro (Free with in-app purchase)

5. Thirty Six

Shot with Thirty Six for iPhone

Probably my favorite app of its kind, Thirty Six strikes a perfect balance between the film look, the analog process, and digital convenience. The app includes several different looks, including square format 12 exposure films, and color or black and white 36 exposure films.

Once you’ve chosen a look, you can’t change it until you’ve developed the current roll of film. If you want to develop a film before you’ve finished it, you’ll see a warning that you still have exposures left. When your film is developed, you’ll be able to choose your favorites on a contact sheet then enlarge them for a proper look.

Controls are basic, but not stylized to imitate a disposable camera. You can tap to focus/expose and enable the flash—that’s it. The images, particularly the high contrast black and whites, are some of the best I’ve seen from these kinds of apps.

For the price, it’s worth a shot.

Download: Thirty Six ($ 2)

Toys or Tools? It Doesn’t Matter

These apps are arguably toys, but there’s nothing wrong with that. They offer not just filters and styles, but the chance to step out of your comfort zone and approach photography from another perspective. Believe it or not, this one of the best ways to improve your photography.

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How to Quickly Delete Duplicate Photos on iPhone

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Even as options for iPhone storage continue to grow, we still find ourselves running out of space. There are lots of tips and tricks for creating free space on your iOS device, and one of the easiest is to find duplicate photos on your phone.

The easiest way to do that is to use a free app on your phone.

Dr. Cleaner is a free iOS app that scans your photo library and will identify any potential duplicates. Once the app identifies the duplicates, you can scan through the list and select any photos that you want to delete.

How to Delete Duplicate Photos on iPhone

  1. After you launch Dr. Cleaner, tap the Photos tab.
  2. Tap the red Start button.
  3. The first time you run the app, you’ll be prompted to grant it access to your photos.
  4. Once Dr. Cleaner has scanned your photos, you’ll see a list of thumbnails of duplicate photos. There’s an additional tab for duplicate screenshots.
  5. You can open images if you need to take a closer look.
  6. Tap the circle icon to select images you want to delete. (Be sure to tap right on the circle or you may inadvertently open the image.)
  7. Tap the Clean button.

Dr. Cleaner will also let you know how much space you’re clearing up on your phone when you delete the images.

You’re not going to want to rely 100 percent on an app without scanning those photos first. With all apps that include a duplicate photo finding feature, there are always going to be mistakes, and Dr Cleaner is no exception. Some similar photos and screenshots were mistaken for duplicates, but a quick manual scan ensures that nothing is inadvertently deleted.

In addition to deleting duplicate photos, Dr. Cleaner can also be used to delete or merge duplicate contacts. If you’re looking for more ways to keep your phone clean, be sure to delete or offload apps you’re not using and clear the Google Maps cache.

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5 Essential Tips and Apps for Better iPhone Screenshots

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Screenshots have turned into a preferred form of communication. We use them to share a funny conversation or relevant parts of an article. And we use annotated screenshots to point out the craziness that’s happening on our iPhone’s screen.

You might be used to the circle of iPhone screenshots by now. You take a screenshot, go to an app, share the image, and then forget about it while the image takes up space on your iPhone. There’s a better way. And there’s so much more you can do with your iPhone screenshots.

iPhone Screenshot Basics

If you’re using an iPhone with a physical Home button, just press the Home and Sleep/Wake button together to take a screenshot. If you’re using an iPhone X, press the Side button and Volume Up button together for the same effect.

If you don’t want to use the physical buttons to take a screenshot, you can use the AssistiveTouch feature to take a screenshot using an on-screen button. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > AssistiveTouch to get started.

1. Quickly Share a Screenshot

iPhone Screenshot Preview

If you’re running iOS 11 on your iPhone, you’ll see a little preview of screenshots in the bottom-left corner. Tapping on it will take you directly to the Markup view. Instead, try tapping and holding on the preview.

This will bring up iOS’s traditional share sheet. From here, you can send the screenshot to any of the apps or services using the extensions you’ve enabled. For instance, you can send it to a conversation in WhatsApp, or add it to a note using the Notes app.

2. Quickly Markup and Share

iPhone Markup Screenshots

When you see that screenshot preview in the bottom-left corner, tap on it. It will instantly take you to iOS’s new Markup feature. Here, you can use various tools to annotate the screenshot (more on that below). You can even start doodling on the screenshot using your finger.

Once you’re done, tap on the Share button to share the screenshot to any extension or a nearby device. When you tap on Done, you’ll get two options: Save to Photos and Delete Screenshot. If you’ve already sent the screenshot along to someone, you can choose the Delete Screenshot option. This will help you declutter your Photos library.


Cropping is the easiest task to do in the Markup feature. When you’re in the editing view, just drag in from the edge of the image, from any corner that you like.


When you’re in the Markup view, tap on the Plus (+) button and then select the square or circle button from the bottom row.

This will bring up a box on the screen. By default, it will be black. Tap on the color box to change the color. You can also change the thickness of the box.


From the Plus (+) menu, tap on the Arrow button. You can change the thickness and the style of the arrow from the menu button below. To resize it, simply drag from either end of the arrow.

Add Text

From the Plus (+) menu, select Text. Then tap on the box and select Edit to edit the text. Touch the Aa button to change the font style, font size, and alignment.

Zoom In

Markup has a pretty cool zoom feature. From the Plus (+) menu, select the Magnifier option. You’ll see a circle show up in the center of the screen that you can drag around as needed. This tool provides two round icons on the edge. Swipe on the blue icon to change the size of the magnifier; the green icon lets you change the zoom level.

3. The Best Third-Party Annotation App: Annotable

iPhone Annotable Annotations

While iOS 11’s Markup feature is super easy to use, it lacks a plethora of useful tools. Annotable fills in the gaps.

Using this third-party app, you can quickly pixelate parts of the image or highlight them. But the app has an even cooler trick up its sleeve. If you’ve got text in the screenshot that you want to highlight, just select the abc tool and swipe on the text. Doing so will magically highlight the words. Similarly, you can retract only text from the images using the Retract tool.

However, the app’s UI isn’t the best in the world. When you tap the tools icon in the bottom-right corner, you’ll be greeted with a potentially overwhelming five lines of tools (this depends on which tools you’ve paid for).

Download: Annotable (Freemium)

4. Stitch Screenshots

iPhone Stitch Screenshots Tailor

Using Tailor, you can stitch multiple iPhone screenshots together to create one long screenshot. This is especially helpful when you want to take a screenshot of an IM conversation, a website, or a task list. Instead of sharing multiple small screenshots, you can just share one long, all-encompassing image.

Tailor app is smart enough to recognize bottom navigation bars and it removes them automatically. Just take multiple screenshots, making sure that there’s a little overlap with each, and open Tailor. The app will automatically scan your screenshots, find the related screenshots, and stitch them for you. All you have to do is tap on the Share button.

Download: Tailor (Free)

5. Create Your Own Screenshot Workflows

iPhone Combine Screenshots Workflow

The Workflow app (which was recently acquired by Apple and is now free to use) is a great way to create your own iPhone screenshot workflows. Workflows lets you stitch together a series of actions.

So you can, for example, create a workflow that takes multiple images, stitches them together side-by-side with a gutter of 10 pixels, converts the image to JPG or resizes it to a particular resolution, then shows you the end result. And once it’s set up, the whole process takes only a few seconds.

Let’s create a simple workflow for stitching two images side-by-side:

  1. After opening the Workflow app, tap on the Plus (+) icon and swipe right to reveal a list of all available actions.
  2. Drag in the Select Photos action (turn on the Select Multiple option).
  3. Then add the Combine Images action. Here, stick with the Side-by-Side and Horizontal options. If you want, you can add a 10px spacing between the images.
  4. Lastly, add the Save to Photo Album action so that the generated photo is automatically saved to your Camera Roll.

Now, tap on the Play button at the top to start the workflow. You’ll be asked to select multiple photos, then the app will stitch them and save them to your photo library. You’ll see a preview of the final image at the bottom. Tap on the Gear icon to give the workflow a name, and you can even add it to the Home screen for quick access.

Download: Workflow (Free)

This was just a simple example. There’s a lot more that Workflow can do. We recommend spending some time exploring the iPhone Screenshot Preview library. By the way, you don’t need to write your own workflows for doing simple actions! You’ll find entire libraries of workflows that you can easily import into the app.

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How to Capture, Share, and Edit Live Photos on iPhone

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“Say cheese” takes on a new meaning with Apple’s Live Photos. Originally introduced with the iPhone 6s in 2015, this feature combines a still image with 1.5 seconds of moving video with sound before and after the shot.

The end result brings a new look to the usual photograph and something reminiscent of Harry Potter, as you can see a brief moment before and after the shot.

While you can capture and view a Live Photo with any modern iPhone or iPad, you can view the results on a number of different devices, including a Mac. We’re taking a closer look at Live Photos and are highlighting how you can use them, how to edit them, how to turn the feature off, and much more.

Taking a Live Photo With an iPhone

To capture a Live Photo with an iPhone, or even an iPad, just start up the built-in Camera app.

After making sure that it’s set to photo mode, you’ll need to confirm that you have Live Photos turned on. To do that, look at the top bar above the main photo viewfinder. The Live Photos icon is two solid circles surrounded by a dotted circle and appears in yellow.

iPhone Live Photos Icon

To turn Live Photos off and just capture a normal image, hit that icon and it will turn white with a circle through it.

If you want your device to remember your Live Photos preference, go to Settings > Camera > Preserve Settings. You can toggle Live Photo on or off and the camera app will remember your preference instead of enabling it every time.

When you’re ready to take a Live Photo, just tap the shutter button like a normal photo. Live will appear above the image viewfinder when capturing.

To take the best Live Photo possible, make sure to keep your device steady for approximately three seconds. While it might take a bit of practice and some coordination with the subject of the photo, you should be able to capture a great Live Photo in no time.

Viewing and Using Live Photos on iPhone

On the iPhone and iPad, viewing Live Photos is easy. You can head to the Live Photos album in the Photos app. Select the photo you want to view and then 3D Touch it (press firmly) to see it come to life.

When using the Photos app on a Mac, there’s a specific Live Photos folder available to view. Double-click a photo to bring it up on your screen, then hover your cursor over the Live text and icon in the bottom-left corner to view the video portion.

If you’d like to share a Live Photo with someone from your iPhone or iPad, just hit the Share icon at the bottom-left of the Photos screen. That will bring up the Share Sheet with a number of different options.

iPhone Live Photo Sharing

The best way to preserve the image and video is to share it with other iOS or Mac users via Messages. As long as they’re running iOS 9 or later, they can see the Live Photo by simply pressing the thumbnail. As a word of warning, if you email a Live Photo, it will only send the still image.

A great way to show off a Live Photo is to set it as your lock screen wallpaper. From the Share Sheet of an image, select Use as Wallpaper and then select Set Lock Screen. Now on your lock screen, 3D Touch the image and it will come to life.

Anyone with an Apple Watch can make a Live Photo into their watch face and fully customize the complications and other information for quick viewing. Watch wearers can simply raise their wrist to see the Live Photo face animate.

Sharing Live Photos With Non-Apple Devices

The situation gets a bit tricky when you’re ready to share a Live Photo to social networks or to non-Apple users.

Most social networks offer limited compatibility for the format. For example, any Live Photo you upload to Facebook can only be viewed by other iOS users in the app. On Instagram, Live Photos convert to the social network’s Boomerang format.

As another option, there are a wide variety of apps that can easily convert a Live Photo into a GIF. The major downside of that format is that you’ll lose both the still image and any sound, but you should be able to share the results almost anywhere.

A great choice is Google’s Motion Stills. The free app can easily convert Live Photos into GIFs and even video collages.

Download: Motion Stills (Free)

Add Effects and Edit Live Photos on iPhone

Just like any photo or video, you can also edit and add fun effects to Live Photos on your iPhone or iPad.

You can select the Live Photo from your photo gallery to begin. To start editing, select Edit on the top- right portion of the screen. From there, you can crop, add filters, adjust the brightness, trim the video portion of the Live Photo, and more.

In the Edit screen, it’s also easy to change the key photo—the frame that appears in your photo library. Move the slider near the bottom of the page to select your key photo. Once your finger moves off the screen, select Make Key Photo.

Select the Live text and icon near the top of the edit screen to turn off the Live Photo effect or just disable the sound.

Starting with iOS 11, Apple has added a trio of fun effects specifically for Live Photos. After opening up a Live Photo, swipe up to see the Effects menu. You have three different options to try out.

As you could probably guess by the name, Loop can turn a Live Photo into a video loop that keeps playing. With Bounce, a Live Photo will play forward and then in reverse for a fun rocking effect. And perfect for situations like fireworks, the Long Exposure option creates an interesting and unique blur effect that you might have seen with DSLR cameras.

Live Photos: A New Way to Capture the Moment

As you can see, Live Photos help bring a fun spark of life to iPhone photography. By just adding a few seconds of video and sound to a still image, the result is something more than just a photo, and an amazing keepsake of a moment in time.

And if you’re inspired to keep improving your photography skills, take a look at our complete guide to digital photography.

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iOS 11.3 Fixes Battery Throttling, Adds New Animoji, and More

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Apple isn’t done improving and adding features to iOS 11 yet. Anyone with a compatible iPhone or iPad model can now download iOS 11.3 over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update.

You can also update through iTunes by plugging in an iOS device, selecting the iPhone or iPad, and then choosing the Summary section. Then select Check for Update.

Unlike some software updates that only brings bug fixes and other behind-the-scenes improvements, iOS 11.3 is a major step forward offering a number of new features for users. Here’s a rundown of what to expect.

Say Hello to Battery Health

Apple stirred controversy in late 2017 when it admitted that it slows down the processors on some older iPhone models to help protect from unexpected shutdowns and preserve the overall battery life. But a new addition in iOS 11.3 is providing users more information about their handset battery.

Found under Settings > Battery > Battery Health is the new Battery Health feature.

iOS 11 Battery Health

In the first section, users can see the current maximum capacity of the handset battery compared to when it was new. You’ll also be able to see if the battery is currently supporting peak performance.

If not, anyone with an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, or iPhone 7 Plus can disable the power management option after the first unexpected shutdown on a handset. If that happens, you’ll see this message:

“This iPhone has experienced an unexpected shutdown because the battery was unable to deliver the necessary peak power. Performance management has been applied to help prevent this from happening again.”

But be careful before you select that option, as you can’t turn it back on. The power management feature will automatically kick in if your iPhone ever shuts down unexpectedly.

Anytime your maximum battery capacity drops below 80 percent, you’ll also see a message that replacing the cell will restore the handset to full performance and capacity. Click through to see more information about replacement options through Apple.

A comprehensive support document also offers more detail about iPhone batteries and handset performance. You can even learn about some great tips to help get the most out an iPhone battery.

While the feature won’t exactly change how lithium-ion batteries work, it will give users a better idea of how their battery could be affecting overall performance. And it’s something Apple should have originally done when it rolled out the power management feature in 2016.

New Animoji for the iPhone X

ios 11.3 fixes and features

Those wacky and crazy Animoji for iPhone X users are even getting a big boost with iOS 11.3. A surprise hit, Animoji use the TrueDepth camera in the iPhone X to capture more than 50 different facial features and overlay them on the fun emoji-like characters.

Apple is adding four more characters to the mix: a dragon, bear, skull, and lion. Those additions will bring the number of Animoji up to 16. So expect to see a lot more Animoji karaoke.

Health Records in the Health App

ios 11.3 fixes and features

The Health app is also taking a big step up with a great new addition. With the app in iOS 11.3, Apple is teaming up with a number of different medical institutions across the United States to allow users to quickly and easily access to their health records.

Using the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standard, Apple worked with the providers to create a way to transfer electronic medical records.

Available to view in the Health Data section of the app, you can check records from a number of different institutions in one view. Some of the information you can see includes allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures, and vital signs. You’ll also see a notification when the data is updated.

All of the health records are encrypted and protected by the iPhone passcode. While 12 different institutions support the feature at launch, Apple is promising to add others in the future.

Other New Features in iOS 11.3

iOS 11.3 offers some additional smaller improvements that you might not notice right away:

  • Developers will be able to start taking advantage of ARKit 1.5 for their apps. The augmented reality protocol can now recognize and place virtual objects on vertical surfaces—think doors and windows. Also included is support for detecting and incorporating images like movie posters in AR. The real-world view through the camera also sports 50 percent better resolution and an auto-focus capability.
  • Rolling out in beta, Business Chat will allow users to chat with a business directly in Messages to schedule an appointment, make a purchase, or talk with a customer service representative. Some of the business available will include Discover, Hilton, Lowe’s, and Wells Fargo.
  • Anytime an Apple app wants to use or access personal information, you’ll see a new privacy icon along with a link that provides more information about how Apple will use and protect the data. That’s enormously timely with the Facebook’s seemingly lax approach to data protection.
  • Adding support for Advanced Mobile Location will automatically send your location whenever a call is made to emergency services where the feature is supported.
  • Apple News now features an improved Top Stories section and a new video option in the For You section.
  • Apple Music subscribers can view a revamped Music Videos section with a number of exclusive playlists. Music lovers can also view friends with similar tastes in tunes.

Ready, Set, Download iOS 11.3

Apple’s iOS 11.3 has a little something for every iPhone or iPad user. From more control over battery life and performance to new Animoji and much more, the substantial update should help tide us over until the official arrival of iOS 12, more than likely coming sometime this fall.

And while you’re checking out all of the new features in iOS 11.3, make sure to take a look at some great iPhone shortcuts to help become more productive.

Image Credit: ifeelstock/Depositphotos

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8 Chat Stories Apps for Reading Fiction on Your Phone

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Throughout the ages, readers have had numerous options. Depending on their personal preferences, they have been able to pick up mainstream fiction, geeky non-fiction, graphic novels, and magazines, amongst others.

Chat stories are some of the latest offerings. Presented as short fictional stories delivered in a text-message format, they’re wildly popular with millennials and Generation Z. People relate to them due to growing up with text messages and using them often.

If you’re interested in reading chat stories as well we’ve picked out a handful of outstanding chat stories apps for you to install on your phone.

1. Lure

Lure Read Chat Fiction App

With a regularly updated story collection from in-house writers, this app highlights genres from horror to humor. It breaks down the chat stories into several lines that fit on your smartphone screen.

Then, you just tap the link at the bottom to load more. Users say the format promotes continual engagement by breaking the material into bite-sized chunks. There is also an estimated reading time for each story, which helps for planning purposes.

Statistics at the top of a story’s introduction screen show how many people viewed or pressed the “Love” icon for a given tale. Knowing that could help you decide which stories to read and which ones to pass on.

When reading without a subscription, there is a waiting period. It prevents tapping to immediately see the next section. A subscription removes advertisements and the need to wait.

Download: Lure: Read Chat Fiction for iOS | Android (Three-day free trial available. Subscriptions range from $ 2.99-$ 39.99, and the option to buy appears within the app.)

2. Tap by Wattpad

Tap App Stories

Instead of offering text-only chat stories, this app presents them with images, sounds, and videos. There are alternate endings, too. Explore material to suit your mood and interests.

There are also new Tap Originals released every week. They’re exclusive to the app and give you something new even if you use other chat stories platforms, as well.

Tap by Wattpad also lets people create their own chat stories. If you think you’ve got what it takes, start posting on the app and build a following. Users can digest the content on Tap in more than 10 languages.

If you have non-English-speaking friends from other countries, they might get hooked based on your recommendations. A sharing feature facilitates spreading the word about digital stories you like the best.

Download: Tap by Wattpad for iOS | Android (Free, with subscriptions ranging from $ 2.99-$ 39.99.)

3. Hooked

Hooked Chat Stories

Launched in 2015, Hooked help bring chat stories to the masses through a business concept that emphasizes how stories must evolve, as the company explained on Medium.

While appearing on iTunes charts, Hooked surpassed apps like Instagram and Snapchat in popularity. Like the other apps mentioned here, Hooked feeds you the story in a per-message format. The Hooked logo is an owl, and each message is a Hoot. If you subscribe to the app as a paying user, you become a Superhoot.

Hooked quickly pulls you into each story by showing the dialog to read right away. You don’t get back stories about the characters beforehand. However, the app chooses a story for you to read based on a genre you pick. A subscription enables self-chosen story selections. It also eliminates the waiting period Hooked enforces.

Download: Hooked for iOS | Android (Free. Optional subscription prices are $ 2.99-39.99.)

4. Eavesdrop

Eavesdrop Chat Stories

An app marketed as “your next chat fiction addiction,” Eavesdrop breaks down its stories into episodes. Think of them as chapters. It features hundreds of stories and thousands of episodes, so you’ll never lack for things to read. Eavesdrop has a rating feature, too. Give your feedback about stories and get suggestions for what to enjoy next.

One thing that sets Eavesdrop apart from some other apps is it features real-life internet live streamers. They appear as characters in some stories, giving an aspect of familiarity to the target audience. Discover new stories every week, as well.

Download: Eavesdrop for iOS | Android (One-week free trial available. Subscriptions cost $ 2.99-39.99 based on duration. Renewal happens automatically within the app.)

5. Cliffhanger

Cliffhanger Chat Stories

You read most chat stories as if viewing someone’s messaging history. With Cliffhanger, it’s different, as you become part of the story.

As expected from the name, most of Cliffhanger’s stories are from the thriller, mystery, and horror genres. Readers can also make choices that change how a story unfolds. Additionally, there are pay-to-use aspects of the app—like images and videos—that uncover crucial clues.

Fans of the app say the stories are easy to understand and addictive to boot. They confess spending hours using Cliffhanger because it’s so engrossing. If you’re preparing for a long plane or train ride, this app could make it bearable. New stories are made available each day.

Download: Cliffhanger for iOS | Android (Free, with in-app purchases ranging from $ 2.99-$ 39.99.)

6. READIT Chat Stories

Readit Chat Stories

Expect the stories on READIT to capture your interest right away. However, keep in mind that you have to pay to read a full story. Many users start out not expecting that and end up disappointed as a result, despite their enjoyment of the material.

The available genres include romance and thrillers. However, the app selects stories for you.

Despite those caveats, READIT is one of the highest-rated iTunes apps, and it’s worth downloading to see if you understand why that’s the case.

Download: READIT Chat Stories for iOS (Free, with $ 4.99/month subscription available after one-week trial.)

7. Yarn

Yarn Chat Fiction

As reported by BookTrib, analysts say chat stories may change the publishing industry and what’s necessary to write popular content. After all, this type of writing leaves no room for wordiness or in-depth explanations.

Yarn is trying to disrupt teen culture with videos as well. This app adds new stories by the day. However, people can also watch shows in a similar short-form format.

The pictures accompanying the chat stories are essential. Be aware though, you have to pay to see them. Knowing that in advance could help you determine whether to sign up for a subscription or stop using the app after your free trial runs out.

Download: Yarn for iOS | Android (One-week trial with a weekly subscription for $ 4.99 or yearly subscription for $ 39.99.)

8. Scary Chat Stories – Addicted

Addicted Free Chat Stories

If you like reading edge-of-your-seat scary stories but can’t afford the subscriptions, try this app. Unlike the others covered here, it’s completely free.

Built-in sharing and storage tools let you insert story links into platforms, including Messenger and Google Keep. The content does not include videos and pictures, making it truly text-based. That might be advantageous on a limited data plan.

You might understandably wonder how this app works without making people pay—or even wait—for stories. And the answer is, of course, a lot of ads. However, you can skip these after several seconds.

Unfortunately, the spelling and grammar is not as good as in other apps. Which may indicate that the app’s writers are less experienced than some, which could partially explain why it’s free.

Download: Scary Chat Stories – Addicted for iOS | Android (Free)

Thinking About Subscribing?

Perhaps this was your introduction to chat stories, a genre that has taken youth culture by storm, or maybe you already knew a bit about them but haven’t actually downloaded any apps. Either way, we hope this article helped you find some brilliant chat stories.

Unfortunately, reading chat stories through apps can be an expensive hobby, so make full use of the available trials first to see which apps are worth paying for.

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