Essential Apps to Make Travel EASY!

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Many of us love to travel — and for good reason. You get to see the world, make new friends and memories, and maybe even learn a bit of a new language. But, for all of the amazing experiences, most of us know that traveling can be stressful. Luckily, there are a plethora of apps […]
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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.

Crop

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.

Highlight

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.

Arrows

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 Edit Videos on Your iPhone: 7 Essential Tasks Made Easy

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Many people rely on the iPhone for shooting video clips and photos in homes, offices, and on the street. The simplicity of using a single device to shoot, edit, and upload your video is something even the latest cameras can’t match.

But shooting video doesn’t always go to plan, and sometimes you’ll need to edit, trim, flip, or otherwise manipulate your video before you can upload it. Today we’ll look at how you can do that using a combination of Apple’s own editing tools and some smart third-party apps.

Note that several of these tips require iMovie for iPhone, so you should install that before proceeding.

Download: iMovie (Free)

How to Edit Videos on iPhone

To access your iPhone’s basic editing tools, launch the Photos app and find the video you would like to edit in your Videos album or Camera Roll. In the top-right corner of the screen, tap Edit to see the editing options available to you.

how to edit videos on iphone

You’ll see two buttons at the bottom of the screen, just below the film roll. If you tap the ellipsis icon (…) you’ll be able to make adjustments within the Photos app using any external editing tools you have (like iMovie).

Once you’ve made an edit, tap Done and choose whether to create a new clip or overwrite your original.

How to Trim a Video on iPhone

how to trim videos on iphone

You can trim a video (reduce its length) using your iPhone’s in-built tools:

  1. Find the video you would like to trim in the Photos app.
  2. Select it and tap Edit in the top-right corner.
  3. On the film roll at the bottom of the screen, grab the start point and drag it to where you would like the video to begin.
  4. Grab the end point and position it where you would like the video to end.
  5. Preview your changes using the Play button, then hit Done and choose to overwrite or save your video as a new clip.

How to Crop a Video on iPhone

how to crop videos on iphone

The iPhone doesn’t have a built-in editing tool that allows you to crop your videos, so we’ll need to turn to the App Store for this task. Many social media apps like Instagram allow you to crop your video when you post it, and this should always be your first port of call.

There’s a dearth of quality apps that can perform this function, so we opted for an ad-supported freebie called Video Crop. Unfortunately, the ads are a little intrusive and there’s no in-app purchase to disable them. However, the app itself is solid, with plenty of presets and a free crop mode too.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Launch Video Crop and tap on the crop icon, then grant the app access to your Photo library.
  2. Select the video you would like to crop from the list, then hit the tick icon in the top-right corner.
  3. Choose the crop you would like to apply at the bottom of the screen, then move the frame to where you want it.
  4. Hit Play to make sure the crop is suitable for your entire clip.
  5. Tap the Save icon in the top-right corner and wait for the operation to complete.
  6. Hit Save to save your video to Camera Roll or More to export it to another app.

How to Flip a Video on iPhone

how to flip videos on iphone

Your iPhone can’t flip videos with its basic editing tools, so you’ll need a third-party app to achieve this. We opted for a freebie called Rotate and Flip which is basic but does the job just fine:

  1. Launch Rotate and Flip then tap on the video icon and choose Video (you can also edit Live Photos with this app).
  2. Grant the app permission to view your Photo library, then select the video you would like to edit.
  3. Make your edits using the 90 button to rotate the frame, or the mirror buttons to mirror the image.
  4. Hit Save and wait for the video to render. You can then find the video in your Photo library

This app allows you to rotate by 90 degree increments and mirror the video on the vertical and horizontal axes.

How to Add Music to a Video on iPhone

how to edit videos on iphone - Add Music

The easiest way to add music to your video is using Apple’s free iMovie. The hardest part of this process is having music saved to your device that you can use, since Apple Music and DRM-protected tracks won’t work.

  1. Launch the Photos app and find the video you would like to add music to.
  2. Tap the Edit button in the top-right corner, then hit the ellipsis button (…) at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Choose iMovie and wait for the editor to load (if you can’t see iMovie, tap More then make sure the toggle next to iMovie is on).
  4. Tap the musical note icon and find a song you’d like to use (you can always use the Theme Music tracks for free).
  5. Drag the waveform to choose the start point for your chosen music.
  6. Hit Done to save your video.

This will replace your original movie with a new version that includes a soundtrack. To get the old version back, find the movie in your Photos app, tap Edit, then choose Revert.

How to Add Title Text to a Video on iPhone

how to edit videos on iphone - Add Text to Video

This task is also best handled with iMovie. You can use it to add animated title text to your video, and the results look great.

  1. Launch the Photos app and find the video you would like to add text to.
  2. Tap the Edit button in the top-right corner, then hit the ellipsis button (…) at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Choose iMovie and wait for the editor to load (if you can’t see iMovie, tap More then make sure the toggle next to iMovie is on).
  4. Tap the text icon which looks like a big T and choose an effect from the list at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Tap on the text to edit it and type whatever you like. Hit Done to save your video.

This will replace your original movie with a new version that includes title text. There’s no way to change when the text appears. To get the original video back, find the movie in your Photos app, tap Edit, then choose Revert.

How to Combine Videos on iPhone

how to combine videos on iphone

iMovie is also the best way to combine more than one video into a finished production. You can use other video editors to accomplish the task, but iMovie is easy to use and maintained by Apple so it’s a great place to start.

  1. Launch iMovie then head to Projects and tap the New Project + button.
  2. Choose Movie when prompted then navigate to your Videos using the media browser.
  3. Select a movie and tap Play to preview it or the Plus + button to add it to your project.
  4. When you’ve selected all your clips, tap Create Movie.
  5. Drag left and right to preview your timeline, trim your clips, and make any other edits.
  6. Hit Done to save your project, then export your new video using the Share button at the bottom of the screen.

You Should Download iMovie!

There really is no excuse not to download iMovie for iOS (and the free Mac version too), particularly considering it was once a premium app. It comes with its own set of great-looking filters and a fun movie trailer creator, and you can even use it to edit 4K content on the newer iPhone and iPad models.

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Deal: Android 8.1-Running Essential Phone Is Now Down Its Lowest Price Yet [Limited Time Only]

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This deal gives you Android 8.1-running Essential Phone at its lowest price yet for limited time only. Available in all colors and comes with free earphones.

[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

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Local Newspapers Are Essential for Saving Us Through Science (Which, Of Course, Means They’re Dying Right Now)

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Your local rag has far more value to your community than reporting on the best pancake joint or the complaints of that guy who had his yard TP’d. True story, read all about it: Local newspapers are actually valuable tools for science.

A recent STAT article highlighted one surprising use of local newspapers: tracking the outbreak of infectious disease. Epidemiologists use local papers to identify outbreaks in their infant stages — way before they’re big enough to make national papers — and forecasting how they might evolve.

For example, computational epidemiologist Maia Majumder told STAT local newspapers were essential when she and her colleagues at the HealthMap disease projection project tried figuring out the source of a 2016-2017 outbreaks of mumps in northwestern Arkansas. While it was difficult to get data from the Arkansas Department of Public Health, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette freely provided Majumder with the context she needed: the region had the highest rate of vaccine refusal in the state, and that the disease was spreading within a community of Marshall Islands immigrants even though they’d been vaccinated.

Yet local newspapers are also vanishing in many places, thanks to falling readership. A recent data project by the Columbia Journalism Review shows that many parts of the United States, particularly in the Midwest, Southeast, and Alaska, have zero local newspapers to rely on. Epidemiologists are worried that this data gap could lead to researchers missing outbreaks, or create gaps in their patterns of how diseases spread, which can make it difficult to control.

But disease outbreaks aren’t the only data point that scientific research can target using local newspapers. Local papers have also been essential in tracking the impacts and unspoken threats from broader changes, like climate change.

In Houston, The Texas Tribune became famous for a seemingly “psychic” article that predicted the city’s unchecked growth and proximity to a warming Gulf of Mexico would soon leave it vulnerable to a hurricane. A little more than a year later, Hurricane Harvey hit, devastating Houston. But, it was pointed out, the Tribune‘s writers weren’t consulting a crystal ball when they wrote their piece; “It was the natural outgrowth of great journalism by reporters who know their subjects and communities well and have covered these issues extensively.”

Reporters that know and can follow up on changes and rumors only told around town as local reporters can are able to see trends too minimal for major papers to pick up on. They also track shifts based on local interest, providing record of change as a process (rather than one only characterized by disaster). For example, research found that local newspapers have increased their sea level rise coverage at a higher rate than that of larger papers since 2012, with The Miami Herald’s coverage of the topic passing up that of The New York Times.

Our Warming World: The Future of Climate Change [INFOGRAPHIC]
Click to View Full Infographic

The context that local news provides is especially important given the “shifting baselines” that come with climate change. This term refers to our tendency to adjust our expectations based on what we see as our current reality. As eloquently described by fisheries scientist Daniel Pauly, who coined the term in 1995: “We transform the world, but we don’t remember it. We adjust our baseline to the new level, and we don’t recall what was there … Every generation will use the images that they got at the beginning of their conscious lives as a standard and will extrapolate forward.”

A recent survey by the Society of Environmental Journalists found that nearly 7 of 10 respondents were “very interested” in covering the local angle of climate change, but nearly 6 of 10 said downsizing in their organization makes it more difficult to do so. Making that possible is up to readers everywhere. Journalism is part of our collective memory, but without support of local news, we risk having some serious gaps in recall.

The post Local Newspapers Are Essential for Saving Us Through Science (Which, Of Course, Means They’re Dying Right Now) appeared first on Futurism.

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Latest Essential Phone deals include price cut and free gift

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Essential Phone hands-on

One week after the Essential Phone got its Android 8.1 Oreo update, the device has gone on sale.

The Essential Phone is now being discounted by Amazon and Best Buy. What’s more, each retailer is offering a free gift to Essential Phone buyers: Amazon is including a pair of Essential Earphones|HD (normally $ 99) with each purchase, while Best Buy is giving a $ 25 gift card to each buyer.

These deals apply to both the Black Moon and Pure White versions of the device. Amazon is also discounting its exclusive Halo Gray model, which has a matte finish on both the titanium and ceramic parts of the phone.

While these deals are the absolute lowest price we’ve ever seen the Essential Phone drop to, they are nice offers because they include extra goodies with your purchase. For example, Amazon includes a nice pair of USB-C headphones, making the Essential Phone’s lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack less of an issue.

Will these deals convince you to pick up an Essential Phone? 

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Deal: Essential Phone down to $450 in the US

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The price of the Essential Phone has dropped again – this time to $ 450. While not the lowest price, it’s still a good deal for a Snapdragon 835 device with 8.1 Oreo. As you can probably tell, this deal is US-only. It’s available through Amazon and Best Buy. BB has the Black Moon and Pure White versions, Amazon also has the exclusive Halo Gray color. Essential Phone in Pure White, Moon Black and Halo Gray Note that Best Buy is offering a $ 25 e-gift card and if you make good use of it, you get a better deal than the $ 435 price we saw back in January. We tried finding…

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Essential Phone gets Android 8.1 Oreo update with better multitasking, improved notifications and more

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Essential today announced that it is rolling out the Android 8.1 Oreo update to its Essential PH-1. Back in January, the company announced that it will skip the 8.0 update for 8.1 and just as it promised it is now rolling to users. The update brings increased performance, better battery life, stronger security, and more, and Oreo features.  The Oreo 8.1 update brings picture-in-picture mode, so now you can watch videos while using Maps navigation. The notification shade now gets a new look, and it will now take either light or dark look depending on your wallpaper. The phone also gets 60 new rounder, more detailed, more expressive emojis. Android 8.1 for PH-1 brings notification dots, and they appear on an app when you have a new or missed notification. [HTML1] Furthermore, persistent notifications are now bigger or smaller depending on the app, and now you can snooze a notification for up to two hours and adjust its priority. Since the icons are now adaptive, you can change the shape of your app icons without having to download a launcher and various icon packs. Smart text selection brings intelligent to your copy and paste. Other feature lists include instant Apps, dynamic calendar and clock icons, and an apparent …
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Essential Phone is now receiving Android 8.1 Oreo update in earnest

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Although it beta tested Android 8.0 Oreo for its first smartphone last year, ultimately Essential decided against releasing that version of the OS to every single customer (not that there are very many of those, but still). The company said 8.0 wasn’t stable so it would directly send out the 8.1 variant of Oreo to non-beta testers. That day has finally come. Essential has officially announced that the rollout of Android 8.1 Oreo for its Phone is underway. You can apparently already check for the update in Settings and it should show up. If it doesn’t, don’t fret – the release may be one of…

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Essential Phone now receiving Android 8.1 Oreo update

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At the end of January, Essential announced that it would be skipping a full release of Android 8.0 Oreo, instead going straight to 8.1. About a month after the first beta build of 8.1 came out for the Essential Phone, the official Android 8.1 Oreo update has been released from the floodgates.

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Essential Phone now receiving Android 8.1 Oreo update was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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