Tap Bio’s mini-sites solve Instagram’s profile link problem

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You only get one link on Instagram, but Tap Bio lets you point that to a customized landing page full of all the sites you want to share. Rather than constantly changing your Instagram profile URL, you can easily add slides equipped with links to your Tap Bio corresponding to your latest Instagram posts. Tap Bio could be a powerful tool for social media stars, digital entrepreneurs or anyone trying to market themselves via Instagram.

Tap Bio is About.me for the next generation. You can see it in action here.

It’s a deceptively simple idea, yet one that the big website-creation platforms like Squarespace, Wix and Weebly have missed. It’s dumbfounding that there’s no popular mobile-first site builder, though an app called Universe was one of the hottest companies that graduated from Y Combinator’s accelerator this month. But by starting with an obvious problem, the bootstrapped Tap Bio could gain a foothold in a business dominated by heavily funded startups, and angle to become the center of your online identity. People interested can sign up for the private beta here.

The whole reason for Tap Bio’s existence is a brilliant decision of Instagram’s. You can’t post links, and you get just one link in your profile. URLs in post captions don’t hyperlink and can’t be copied. That means the focus is on sharing beauty, not driving clicks. But promoters gonna promote, so the “Link in bio” trend began. Instagrammers change their profile link to where they want to send people, then mention that much-derided phrase hoping their followers will open their profile and click-through. Unfortunately, though, anyone reading one of their older posts might be confused when the “link in bio” has changed to point somewhere unrelated.

The fact that you can’t link from posts has contributed to the quality of the experience,” says Tap Bio CEO Jesse Engle. “But it’s created a major pain point for people who are promoting something, which is a lot of people.”

Engle is experienced with filling social platform gaps. He co-founded Twitter scheduling and multi-account management app CoTweet in 2008, which sold to ExactTarget in 2010 and eventually became part of Salesforce. Over the past few years, he and Tap Bio co-founder Ryan Walker, who just left Apple, have been running Link In Profile, a more basic but similar tool that just recreates your Instagram profile but with links attached to each post.

With Tap Bio, you set it as your Instagram profile link, and then create different cards to show on your mini-site. One can show two columns of your recent Instagram posts that instantly open whichever link you want to pair with each. Another offers a more visual full-screen profile with links to your other social media presences, like on Twitter and YouTube. There’s a focused, single-link call to action page if you’ve got one big thing to promote. And Tap Bio is adding more card styles.

Tap Bio is “forever free” if you only want one profile card and one of any other card; $ 5 per month gets you three extra plus analytics, while $ 12 per month grants unlimited cards across up to three Instagram accounts — though there are discounts for yearly billing. It will compete with traditional site builders and less-polished alternatives, like Linkin.bio and Linktree.

But the biggest risk for Tap Bio isn’t competition, it’s its host platform. Instagram could always shut down links out to Tap Bio. After all, it did just suddenly kill off a big part of its API three months ahead of schedule as part of Facebook’s big data privacy crackdown. Luckily, Engle says, “we’re mitigating this risk by building a close relationship with Instagram, openly sharing our plans and offering whatever value we can to them. They’ve been very helpful in sharing their plans, and we are confident that we’ll continue to play a role in this space well into the future.”

Tap Bio’s potential goes far beyond Instagram, though. It could become the hub for your web presence. About.me is outdated, Twitter’s too temporal, Facebook’s too personal, LinkedIn’s too formal and Instagram’s too informal. Unless you have your own full-fledged website, it’s unclear which one link your should give people you meet online or off. If Tap Bio plays it right, it could become your digital calling card.

Mobile – TechCrunch

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Samsung SmartThings Link for Nvidia Shield TV: Turn your set top box into a hub

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At the tail end of last year, Stacey and I created a buying guide of smart home products. I added the Nvidia Shield TV to the list, which sounds odd since the device is an Android TV set top box. But the Shield TV gained Google Assistant integration and then Samsung created the SmartThings Link USB stick, which turns the Shield into a full-featured SmartThings hub.

I’ve been testing the SmartThings Link for the past week and it’s a great, inexpensive add-on if you have a Shield TV. (By the way, $ 179.99 Shield TV on its own is a fantastic Android TV and Chromecast device; I use it all the time in my home office where it’s connected to a 4K set.) I was lucky to be among the first buyers of Samsung’s SmartThings USB stick, and paid just $ 9.99 for it. These days, you’ll find it for the full price of $ 39.99, which is still a good deal.

There isn’t much to the Link. The main purpose is to add both a Zigbee and Z-Wave radio to the Nvidia Shield TV, which already has both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios as well as a Gigabit ethernet port. From what I can tell, all of the hub processing takes place on the Shield TV, and not the the USB stick. For comparison the Smartthings hub which has the same array of radios and no Android TV/Chromecast capability costs $ 89.99.

Installation is super simple as well. You just open the SmartThings app on the Shield TV, plug the Link into the Shield, sign in to or create a Samsung account and then link the “hub” to your SmartThings phone app. Two notes though: First, there are now two SmartThings mobile apps. During the setup process, I tried to use the newest SmartThings app but it didn’t work. Instead, I had to use the original mobile app, which is now called SmartThings Classic. That actually may be a good thing though, since the newer app hasn’t been very well received. And secondly, the Link is pretty wide so if, like me, you’re using one of the two USB ports on Shield TV for additional storage, you’ll need the small USB extender cable included with the Link.

If you’re familiar with SmartThings or already have a SmartThings hub, there’s nothing new here to see. For the rest of us, you get the functionality of Samsung’s SmartThings Hub product without actually owning the hub.

Just about everything you can do on Samsung’s native hub can be done with the Shield TV and SmartThings Link. I say “just about everything” because Samsung has a history of updating the firmware on its own hub first, leaving the Link running an older version. So new features that come to Samsung’s SmartThings Hub may not appear on the Link for some time. Regardless, you can add the same supported devices to the Link, set up automations and routines. I haven’t found any major technical differences between the tested setup and an actual SmartThings Hub.

Since I’ve built my smart home around a Wink Hub 2, I only tested a few devices with the Link: A bulb, a lock and a motion sensor. All of them work just as they do when connected to my Wink Hub. And although I’ve long preferred Wink, Samsung does have one key advantage when it comes to device compatibility, which I love.

If you purchase a smart device that isn’t compatible with SmartThings, you may still be able to use it. That’s because Samsung allows you to create or install device handlers so that the Link (or SmartThings Hub) can control it.

In fact, I have two non-supported Z-Wave devices that I’m testing now with the Link because I was provided unpublished device handlers for them. More on those in a separate review is coming, but the point is this: Device handlers are handy to have. Wink doesn’t support them, so I’m considering a full-scale change over to SmartThings.

Nvidia Shield TV with remote and optional game controller (Credit: Nvidia)

I did have one concern about the Link before setup, but it turned out to be unfounded. I thought that my TV would have to be on for the Link to work, since the Shield drives all content to the set. Indeed, when using Nvidia’s Shield TV, the set-top box lights up green, so you know it’s on. Even when that green light is off and the Shield TV is in sleep mode, however, the Link hub works. I should have realized this because I often use a Google Home voice command to turn on the Shield TV. It works every time because the set-top box is just sleeping, not completely off.

Speaking of Google, you can link Google Assistant or Home with the SmartThings Link to use voice commands and control connected home devices. Even if you don’t own a Google Home or have Assistant installed on your phone, this works through the microphone inside Nvidia Shield TV’s remote. Sadly, Nvidia hasn’t yet delivered on the low-cost Google Assistant microphone called Nvidia Spot it announced in January 2017. If it ever does, I would fully expect these to work with the SmartThings Link as well. Those that prefer using Alexa can do so without any hassle.

Overall, I’m impressed by this little USB stick. Granted, I already spent money on the Nvidia Shield TV; if you haven’t or if you’re not in the market for a new set-top box, this isn’t for you.

Even if you own a Shield TV, you may want to pass on the Link based on where your connected TV is. This isn’t like a hub that you can place directly in the center of your home for maximum range. I’m just lucky that my home office is is the right spot and can reach all of my connected devices, such as those with limited range that use Bluetooth or Zigbee, for example. Thanks to a simple setup, device flexibility and strong voice integration, I just may retire my Wink Hub 2 in favor of the SmartThings Link.

Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

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How to use #hashtags and link to other people’s profiles in your Instagram bio

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Instagram allows you to better express yourself and tell others about the things you care about by using hashtags and profile links in your bio section that lead to their corresponding pages…. Read the rest of this post here

How to use #hashtags and link to other people’s profiles in your Instagram bio” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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Deadline to link Aadhaar with mobile, bank accounts extended indefinitely till SC delivers verdict

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March 31st was the deadline for linking Aadhaar card with mobile numbers and bank accounts. Today Supreme Court has extended the deadline indefinitely until it delivers a verdict on the validity. The move comes after several petitions were raised challenging the validity of the Aadhaar Act. The five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra on March 7th said that it is not possible to address the petitions against the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act by March 31st. However, A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan who are also the bench members earlier said that any last minute extensions would have implications on financial institutions, like banks and stock exchange. The government of India had made it mandatory to link Aadhaar with welfare schemes, other essential services like banking and phone, saying that it was necessary to eradicate any benami deals and black money. Back in December, apex court made it mandatory to link aadhar card and extended the date till March 31st.
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JBL Link smart speakers review: Offering several great alternatives to the Google Home

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After the Google Home was announced, it was only a matter of time before Google, like Amazon, made it possible for other brands to create their own Assistant-enabled speakers. We’ve already reviewed the TicHome Mini, a small portable alternative to the Home Mini, and today we’re taking a look at JBL’s line-up of Google Homesque speakers: the Link series. In this review, I will focus on the portable IPX7-rated cylindrical Link 20 and the larger stationary Link 300.

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JBL Link smart speakers review: Offering several great alternatives to the Google Home was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google Family Link is rolling out to Canada this week

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It baffles me that something as important as parental controls isn’t built into Android and that Google’s solution for the problem, Family Link, was only officially released last year and is still limited to countries you can count on one hand: US, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and now Canada is joining the fold. There must be a legal or technical limitation why this isn’t enabled worldwide, but I can’t for the life of me guess what it is.

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Google Family Link is rolling out to Canada this week was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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India’s cryptocurrency fans might have to link their Aadhaar IDs with their wallets

As India cozies up further with cryptocurrencies, it looks like enthusiasts will have to let the government get a ringside view of the action, as a proposal to link accounts on Bitcoin exchanges to users’ national IDs is in the works. Ajeet Khurana, head of the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Committee of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), told the Economic Times that the group (which counts seven cryptocurrency exchanges among its members) plans to submit a proposal to the government, in which the concerned agencies will be able to look up purchase data for all buyers and sellers…

This story continues at The Next Web
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