10 Smartphone Apps to Help You Get Fit this New Year

10 Smartphone Apps to Help You Get Fit this New Year

When the new year rolls around, almost everyone you’ll meet will tell you that they’re going to get healthy and lose weight this year. It’s a great goal to have, but a hard one to achieve. However, technological advancements are making it easier than ever to stay true to your fitness goals, with apps available to help with just about any type of workout. In this article, we’ve done the hard work for you and compiled a list of the best fitness apps, so you can focus on working out and dieting hard!

1. Aaptiv

Aaptiv is an audio-only fitness workout platform that allows you to stream workout classes delivered by qualified fitness instructors, straight to your Smartphone. Aaptiv is great for people who like to workout at home whilst still having access to expert classes and instruction. The app is available on iOS and Android, making it accessible on just about any smartphone. The only downside is that Aaptiv isn’t free, but many reviews regard it as worth the money if you’re really committed to working out every day.

2. SweatCoin

For people that prefer to reach their fitness goals at a slower pace, SweatCoin could be the answer. SweatCoin is essentially a pedometer app that rewards users for the number of steps they take. Most reviews regard the idea of SweatCoin as really good, but unfortunately, the rewards really aren’t that exciting. However, tracking your steps is always a good way of encouraging yourself to do more physical exercise, and the app allows you to share your walking achievement on social media too. SweatCoin is free to use and available on iOS and Android. The app also allows you to interact and exchange SweatCoins with other users which could inject some healthy competition into your walking.

3. MapMyFitness

If you’re the kind of person that enjoys meticulously tracking your fitness endeavours then this app could be for you. MapMyFitness is run by UnderArmour and allows users to track just about any type of activity they want to. Whether you want to count your steps or estimate you burnt calories during exercise, MapMyFitness will be able to help you. You can record how long you run for, where you ran, and plan your future routes. It may not necessarily help you to exercise more, but it will sure make you feel as though you’re putting the effort in!

4. FitBod

FitBod is the perfect app for gym junkies and weightlifters. It uses intelligent software to devise highly personalised workout plans that can ensure your workouts are efficient and effective. It offers advice and tips on new exercises and correct form and is available on Android and iOS. Unfortunately, the app isn’t free, but a free trial is available that can allow you to get a feel for how useful the software could be.

5.  HowUdish

HowUdish is an app available on iOS only (sorry Android users!) and is designed to making eating healthy on the go easier. One of the hardest parts about sticking to a diet is knowing how many calories are in foods that you don’t cook for yourself. HowUdish is aiming to make this easier by offering location-based suggestions for restaurants that might fit your dietary requirements and allowances. It also stores your personal weight loss goals and statistics to help you to make better food choices when you are out and about. Despite it only being available on iOS, it is free, which is good news for iPhone users that love eating out.

6. Pocket Yoga

Pocket Yoga is perfect for any aspiring yogis looking to gain flexibility and enlightenment this new year. This app can help you to align mind and body by giving you access to full yoga routines and a comprehensive yoga pose dictionary on the go. There are some similar apps available, but this one is available on both Android and iOS which is why it made the list. Of course, yoga may not help you to shed your Christmas weight quickly, but it can help you to improve your flexibility and muscle fitness which goes a long way to making you feel healthier.

7. Calm

As the saying goes, the key to a healthy life is having a healthy mind, which is why this app made the list. Calm grew in popularity in 2018, as it aims to tackle the ever-present problem of stress and sleep deprivation. The app is available to trial for free on iOS and Android and has got tons of positive reviews. Mindfulness might not be for everyone, but many fitness gurus will tell you that looking after your mental health will help you to be more successful in achieving your diet and exercise goals.

8. MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal is another extremely popular app that can help you to diet more successfully. The app is essentially a huge database of food products which you can use to check the calorie and nutritional information of what you’re eating. The app is available from the various smartphone app stores and is a great download for anyone attempting a calorie controlled diet this year.

9. FatSecret

FatSecret is another diet planning and tracking app, that allows aspiring dieters to log what they eat and cook in a diary. As well as this, FatSecret has a large database of healthy recipes for users to try and rate. The app is available for free in major app stores and advertises itself as being unmatched by other available calorie counter apps, but you can be the judge of that!

10. Lose It!

The final addition to our list, Lose It!, is a popular, all-encompassing fitness app that has elements of many of the apps listed above. If you’re keen on using just one app to reach your fitness goals, then Lose It! can offer you fitness and diet tracking as well as access to a like-minded community of… losers?  Anyway, the app be can download the app on iPhone or Android for free, but there are some in-app purchases available.

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8 Ways You Can Use Your Smartphone To Stay Organised

8 Ways You Can Use Your Smartphone To Stay Organised

Smartphones are fast becoming a necessity and almost everyone has one, but not everybody uses their phone to its full potential. When you go phone shopping, you’re often overwhelmed by salespeople listing hundreds of different features that you have no idea to use. Whilst this can be annoying, it’s possible to use your phone for more than just calling and texting and checking your social media; it could be used as a pocket-sized digital organiser. As much as yearly planners and diaries are nice to look at, they’re less functional than digital alternatives and let’s face it, they’re pretty outdated. If you’re finally ready to make the switch to digital organisation, here’s how to do it.

1. Download a To-Do List App

One of the main things everybody needs to stay organised is a good to-do list. However, many of us are still writing out the most important information on scraps of paper or post-it notes that we found in the bin. If you really want to get organised, it’s a good idea to download a to-do list app, that’s at your disposal, whenever the need strikes you. There are loads of great to-do list apps available across all platforms, and they’re usually free. Some of the most popular include Google Tasks, Todoist and Evernote.

2. Choose a Calendar App

Switching from a physical diary to a calendar app can be quite difficult, but once you’ve committed to the transition, you’ll probably find that you’re much more organised. Calander apps are often very intuitive and can link to other apps on your phone to help your days run more smoothly. For example, if you have a day full of meetings in different locations, you may find some calendar apps that can integrate with mapping apps and weather apps to help you to be prompt and on time for every meeting, and it may even warn you about weather conditions that could cost you time.

3. Re-Organize Your Alarm Clock

Getting out of bed in the morning is usually the hardest task of the day but with the help of your smartphone, you may be able to make it a little bit easier. The idea of using a smartphone as an alarm clock is certainly not foreign to most people, but disorganised alarm apps can cause you problems to your schedule. If you take a look at your alarm clock, you’ve probably got a lot of random presets that you won’t ever need to use. By deleting these you eliminate the risk of accidentally setting your alarm to the wrong time and being late. You should also check which days your daily alarm is set to sound so that you are prepared for all of your working days and you don’t get woken up at 6:30 on your day off.

4. Delete Unused Apps

Are you the kind of person that has hundreds of apps downloaded that you never actually use? You’re not the only one! However, having too many apps on your home screen can cause you to be less organised and lose precious seconds of your day looking for the app you need. If you want to be more organised, delete the apps that you don’t need and organise them so you see the apps that you use most regularly first. If you have any apps that you don’t often use but you really can’t part with, then stick them in a folder out of the way of your important apps like calendars, google docs and social media.

5. Clear Out Your Contacts

A simple email from a co-worker saying ‘Hi it’s Katy – give me a call’ can cause an organisational meltdown if you don’t cultivate your contact list regularly. Having duplicate contacts, not saving new numbers, or not specifying which Katy is which when you save numbers can be a nightmare. In order to avoid awkward interactions and spending time searching for the right person, clear out any contacts you don’t need any more and update your existing contacts to make it clear who they are and how you know them.

6. Link Your Email Accounts

Despite popular email providers like Gmail and outlook spending a ton of money on smartphone optimised apps, a lot of people never actually get round to linking their email accounts to their smartphone. Although it works, logging into your email via your phones web browser takes much longer than using an app, and it can be harder to read the emails and respond if you need to. Linking your account in the app can help you to keep a better track of your emails when you’re on the go and it only takes a few minutes.

7.  Make Use of Voice-Activated Virtual Assistants

Whilst Siri and Cortana still have a way to go before they achieve the AI greatness we all expect from them, they are extremely useful when it comes to maximising your time and staying organised. Virtual assistants are great for setting reminders, answering questions fast and helping you to send texts and make calls hands free. Learning how to use virtual assistants and finding out what they can do could help to improve your productivity and stay organised.

8. Link your credit cards

Using your phone to pay for everyday purchases is becoming more popular and can help you to be more organised. Apps like Apple Pay allow you to scan your phone as opposed to credit cards when paying. As well as this spending tracking apps can help you to stay on top of your finances by logging what you spend via credit cards and receipt scanning. If saving money or keeping track of what you spend was one of your new year’s resolutions then linking your credit cards to your phone could help you

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10 Best Gifts for Smartphone Lovers this Christmas

10 Best Gifts for Smartphone Lovers this Christmas

Christmas should be a time for mince pies, warm fires, and family fun, but in this modern world, the most exciting thing about Christmas for some people is upgrading their tech. One of the most popular gifts to give at Christmas time is a new smartphone, and this is a great idea for children and adults alike.

If you’re someone who doesn’t know an iPhone from a Samsung, then buying the perfect gift can be hard but you don’t need to worry, because we’ve done the hard work for you. Let’s take a look at the best gifts to buy for the smartphone addicts in your family this Christmas.

 

1. A Phone Case

If your loved one has just received an expensive new phone for Christmas you can be sure that they will want to protect it from damage anyway that they can. Although a phone case may seem like an inexpensive and thoughtless present, you would be surprised at how much thought you can actually put into choosing the right case. There are lots of different types available, some with backlights for taking photos, some that have a ring on that makes them perfect for selfie-takers and some which are super durable for the clumsiest among us.

 

2. Headphones

Headphones are always a great gift that are well received and you can really tailor them to any budget. If you have loved ones who love their music then you could try a high-quality pair of full headphones which they can use around the house. If your loved one uses their headphones on the go, then a smaller pair of earbuds might be better suited. Pro Tip: Be sure that the person your buying for has a phone with a headphone jack, if not, you may have to opt for wireless headphones.

 

3. A Power Bank

One of the biggest drawbacks with modern phones is battery life and smartphone lovers tend to be the people that are most affected by this. For someone who is addicted to their phone, there is no better gift to give than battery life. With a portable power bank, your loved ones can recharge their phones on the go and make sure that they never miss a Facebook update or an Instagram post.

 

4. Mobile VR

Mobile VR is still in its infancy, but it’s becoming more popular, and better. Devices like the Samsung Gear for are extremely popular for Samsung users and give access to over 800 VR apps. If your loved one loves VR and likes playing games and watching movies using their phone, this could be the perfect gift. Whilst devices like the Samsung Gear don’t come cheap, there are mobile VR devices at a range of different price points.

 

5. A Phone Tracker

If you or someone you know has spent hundreds of dollars on the latest smartphone, the worst fate imaginable is them losing it. The good news is, you can ensure they always know where their beloved phone is by treating them to a tracker this Christmas. Trackers like the TrackR Pixel are an affordable gift which can be attached to a smartphone case. The device works via Bluetooth and can help users to track down the location of the phone and it can even make the phone ring when on silent mode.

 

6. Car Accessories

For extreme phone addicts, putting down their smartphone when they are driving is a hard task, but you can help keep them safe this Christmas by decking their cars with smartphone accessories. Accessories like car phone mounts and chargers are a smartphone lovers best friend, as it means they can stay connected whilst on the road without sacrificing their road safety.  

7. App Store Vouchers

It can be really hard to get smartphone lovers gifts because it often seems like they don’t do anything but play on their phone, but the truth is that they probably spend a lot of money on the various apps that they use on a daily basis. Whilst some people feel it’s impersonal to give cash for Christmas, vouchers are a more acceptable present. It’s easy to find vouchers for all the major app stores, but be sure to find out which operating systems your loved ones are using, to avoid any disappointment on Christmas day.

 

8. A Smartphone Camera Lens

This gift is perfect for the selfie kings and queens among us. With the growth of social media platforms like Instagram, a lot of different products have become available to help us to capture the perfect snap. One of the better products is the detachable lens for smartphone cameras. Popular models such as the Moment Tele Lens make a great mid-range gift for Christmas and are sure to be a hit with young social media moguls.

 

9. Smartphone Remote Control Toys

These are gifts that are more exciting for the younger generation of smartphone lovers and are sure to sufficiently annoy everyone on Christmas day. There’s a good selection of robots available that link up and can be controlled using a smartphone. Popular models include tanks, planes and the Sphero BB-8 for the star wars lovers.

 

10. Bluetooth Speakers

This is the perfect gift for smartphone lovers who enjoy a good party. Bluetooth speakers link to smartphones easily and can provide a great backing track to any event. You may find that you’re Christmas day is overrun with cheesy Christmas tunes if you buy this as a gift, but they are sure to be a hit with the music lovers in your family.

 

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The 10 Best Smartphones for Seniors

The 10 Best Smartphones for Seniors

With Christmas fast approaching, it’s almost time to make one of the hardest decisions of the year: what to get granny for a present. Year after year you buy useless tea selections and pajamas, but you may feel like these gifts just aren’t worth giving. The best gifts to buy right now are tech items, but you may feel like buying tech for your older relatives is not an option.

Unfortunately for the older generation, rapid technological development has meant that some of them have struggled to keep up. Smartphones are now bigger, better and more complex than ever. Whilst this is good news for the younger generation, it can be hard to adapt for the older crowd.

The good news is, there are some devices available that are perfect for the older people.  Why not give the gift of technology this Christmas and buy one of these 10 smartphones for the technophobic oldies in your family.

 

1. Jitterbug Smart

The younger crowd may not have heard of this smartphone, because it was designed with older people in mind. The phone runs on a simple-to-use system, which is perfect for seniors that have yet to make the move across to a smartphone device. The system works in a much simpler way than android and iOS and whilst it offers fewer features than a top end smartphone, it still lets users access the internet make use of apps and make calls and texts. The price of the Jitterbug Smart is also very affordable, coming in at around $200AUD

2. ZTE Blade Z Max

If your granny or gramps struggles with vision, then the ZTE Blade Z Max could be the right device for them this Christmas. Of all the smartphones on this list, this device offers on of the biggest displays. At a whopping 6-inches, seniors can zoom in as much as they need to on text and view images clearly. The price is nothing to grumble at either, coming in at around $160 AUD

3. BlackBerry Key2

If typing using touchscreen is your Achilles heel then the BlackBerry Key2 is what you need. The device combines the large screen associated with most modern smartphones but also features and easy to use keyboard to reduce the likelihood of you sending incoherent texts by accident.

4. iPhone 7 Plus

If you’re hoping to get you granny or grandpa up to speed with you and your siblings, then an iPhone may be your only option. If this is the case, the iPhone 7 Plus is probably the best model for older people. Whilst it’s not the newest iPhone available, it’s still a good option for seniors, due to its large screen and powerful operating system. It’s also one of the cheaper iPhones available right now, coming in at $450 AUD less than the iPhone X.

5. PowerTel M9500

The PowerTel M9500 is perfect for anyone who is hard of hearing. The model offers users ‘loud and clear’ speakers that are compatible with hearing aids and features ringtone capabilities that are as loud as a train horn. There would be no more missed calls or broken conversations with this device, and it also has a simple-to-use system that even the biggest technophobes could master.

6. Emporia Smart

This smartphone is one of the most unique designs on the list. This smartphone is perfect for anyone that is transitioning from an old-fashioned handset and a smartphone. The device features a touchscreen that can be overlaid with a detachable keypad if needed. This is also perfect for people who are uncomfortable with a touchscreen as it also comes with a stylus and features a simplistic operating system.

7.  Doro Liberto 825

This phone has been made simple for users that are still getting used to how smartphones work. The main benefits of the device are large icons and in-depth tutorials on how to use the phones different features. This device can also be remotely accessed, so if your grandparents are having trouble using the phone, you can give them a hand, even if you’re not around.

8. Samsung Galaxy S8

The Galaxy S8 is one of the more affordable options in the Samsung range and could be a great choice for a senior. The device itself is powerful modern and packed with features, but it also has an easy mode which can help older people to navigate the device. The Galaxy S8 also has some more modern features that senior citizens might enjoy such as a great camera and good storage, perfect for storing 1001 pictures of your grandkids.

9. LG G7 ThinQ

This phone makes the list as it would be great for anyone who suffers from visibility issues. The device features superior brightness capabilities, which means the screen will be clear and visible, whatever the weather. The phone is also modern and easy to navigate, making it a good choice for a smartphone newb. The main drawback with this device is the price, as it costs considerably more than some other devices listed here, but if you have the money and you think the features would be advantageous, it could be worth the investment.

10. Unnecto Air 4.5″ Senior Phone

This phone has been designed specifically for seniors and has a ton of features that older people can really benefit from. The main advantages of this device are its large buttons, one-touch dialing and speed dial for emergency and SOS numbers. Although it runs on a basic system, it still has options to integrate with social media apps like Facebook and Whatsapp, so you don’t have to miss out on any of the fun. The phone also has features that help users to save pictures from different apps on the phone for easy viewing at a later date. In addition to this, if you have a loved one that is more vulnerable, you can also take advantage of the geofencing features, so you are alerted if they are wandering off into places they wouldn’t usually go.

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The 4 Wackiest Cell Phones of All Time

The 4 Wackiest Cell Phones of All Time

Smartphones these days seem to all follow the same basic design format. They have a huge touchscreen that takes up the whole front, a slick minimalist design, a rectangular shape, smooth rounded edges – I could go on, but I’m sure you get the picture.

And indeed, it seems that this formula works.

There must be a good reason for this design, as phones like the iPhone X which embody all these features have seen huge success. It may be the case that modern smartphone designs have now reached perfection. Perhaps we’ve simply reached the pinnacle of mobile phone design, and all modern phones have achieved the ideal of exactly what a smartphone should be.

However, it does mean that the current mobile marketplace is a little less colorful. Currently, there’s very little variety when it comes to smartphone design. it’s all gotten rather boring.

But let’s not forget that it wasn’t always like this.

Once upon a time, mobile brands which sought to innovate and stand out in a saturated marketplace frequently ventured into weird and wonderful territories. This led to some mobile phone releases which probably seemed a little weird back then, but now… they seem downright crazy.

So, in the interests of indulging our nostalgia, let’s look back at some of the wackiest cell phones of all time. Get ready for a blast from the past!

1. Siemens Xelibri 6

Remember back in 2003, before the selfie revolution, when people still used compact mirrors to check their appearance rather than their smartphone front-camera?

Well, you’ll just have to take my word for it. Compact mirrors were still very much a thing, so it’s only natural that Siemens thought, “hey, let’s make a smartphone that looks exactly like a compact mirror”. And this, the Xelibri 6 was born.

This phone was totally round, just like a mirror, and of course, had a flip screen. It also had two mirrors inside it so that you could do your makeup and text at the same time. However, it also meant that the keypad was weird and round, and the display was absolutely tiny so that it could be crammed right into the center of what was essentially a mirror.

It seemed more like a mirror and less like a phone, but there’s no denying it was interesting. It was also aimed almost exclusively at women, something which I can’t help but feel might be considered a little sexist now, 15 years later.

2. Nokia 7280

The Nokia 7280 is another fashion-centric design intended to appeal to women. Sticking with the makeup theme, this phone was meant to resemble a stick of lipstick – and it kind of did.

The best description I can give you to help you visualize it is to imagine a USB stick. But not one of those modern, slick, thin USB sticks. No, imagine a chunky, heavy, clunky USB stick. Now stick a tiny screen on one side of it, and a touch-spinner on the other side. You’ve probably got a pretty good image of what this phone looked like.

Just like lipstick, you could slide the end out to reveal the display. It also had some of what were – at the time – cutting-edge features, like FM radio and Bluetooth.

It was weird, it was pretty impractical, but boy was it interesting.

3. BlackBerry Passport

Blackberry’s day may have passed, but let’s not forget that a few years ago it was one of the most popular brands on the market.

Most of us associate Blackberry with models like the Curve. However, a much more interesting creation was the lesser known BlackBerry Passport.

The Passport, true to its namesake, looked a lot like a passport. It was as short and as squat, for sure, and was probably one of the widest, shortest phones of all time. It was somewhere between a square and a rectangle and, as you might expect, was difficult to operate one-handed.

You needed two hands to use it successfully, but it was still pretty difficult on account of its laggy performance and square touchscreen which didn’t run videos very well. However, what it lacked in substance it made up for in style – a certain kind of style at least.

4. Nokia N-Gage

Personally, I’d say the design of this phone was more awesome than it was wacky, but it was so out there that it definitely deserves a place on this list.

The N-Gage was designed to compete with the main handheld game consoles of the moment, such as the Game Boy Advance, and took a lot of inspiration for its design elements from such consoles.

It was wide and meant to be held the same way you’d hold a Game Boy Advance, with two hands. On the left was the multi-directional buttons and the call button, on the right was the keypad and the end call button, and in the middle was the display screen.

Unfortunately, while it might have looked a lot like a game console, it really couldn’t match them for gaming performance, and as such, it had a pretty short lifespan on the mobile market. Still, it was, and still is, an interesting and wacky mobile phone design that deserves our number 4 spot.

What Did We Miss?

We know this list is definitely not exhaustive. There’s plenty more wacky and wonderful mobile phones out there, but we just don’t have the time to cover them all, so we had to pick our favorites.

What wacky mobile phones do you think we missed? Let us know!

Thanks for reading!

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