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With over 1.5 million apps available on the app store alone, it can be confusing to determine which ones you should download and which ones you should ignore. There’s just too much noise out there today.

Not only are there more apps than we can fathom, but there’s only so much time and mindspace we have to consume all of them. This is why it’s increasingly important to filter out the apps and websites that will have the biggest impact in our lives, with the least amount of effort.

This post is dedicated to delivering that value. Here are 17 apps and websites that can change your life.

1. Headspace

Need a peace of mind? Facing stress or anxiety? Or maybe there’s just not enough time of the day to smell the roses.

Headspace may be the answer for you busy bees. With only 10 minutes of your time, this app will guide you through a simple, yet powerful, meditation practice that is guaranteed to help you smile more, sleep better, and love better.

Don’t have 10 minutes?

You may need this more than you think. As the popular Zen proverb goes, “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day — unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.”

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2. Codeacademy

Coding has become so in demand these days that understanding the basics of coding — such as HTML, CSS, or Javascript — is as standard as knowing how to use Microsoft Powerpoint.

Lucky for us, there are great websites like Codeacademy that are 100% free and are able to guide you through each step of the way — even if you start from scratch. They include practical projects that you can build to apply what you’ve learned, and give you immediate feedback to correct your mistakes. Talk about immersion!

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3. Rype

Have you heard of Netflix? Well, think of this as Netflix for language lessons.

Rype offers unlimited one-on-one lessons (in Spanish only right now), live online classes, and premium video lessons, for a simple membership fee.

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If you’ve ever wanted to learn Spanish (I’m looking at those of you who live in hispanic-dominant cities) to take your career to the next level, build a deeper relationship with friends or family, or for travel purposes, this is your opportunity.

 

Booking a lesson takes less than 15 seconds, and lack of time will never be an excuse for you again. Take a look.

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If you want to dip your feet into the pool, Rype also offers free live Spanish classes that you can attend. Check out the upcoming live classes.

4. Uber

This app probably needs no introduction.

Despite some sketchy and questionable lawsuits that Uber has been through, you can’t question the convenience and value that this app provides. Whether it’s providing a side hustle for struggling artists and entrepreneurs, or saving us all a major hassle of calling a cab, Uber is a game changer.

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5. F.lux

If you’re like me, then you probably spend a majority of your day staring at a screen, whether it’s your desktop, tablet, or mobile. Eye strain is one of the most common problems we face, and F.lux has solved this issue.

This free widget adjusts the lighting of your screen, depending on the time you set in the preferences, so you’re no longer staring at a flashlight pointing towards your face. Say goodbye to tired-looking eyes!

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6. Spritz

When Bill Gates and Warren Buffet were asked what superpower would they want to have, in two different interviews, they both said the ability to read faster. While superpowers may not exist, Spritz can be the next best thing.

This app scans the web page you’re on and displays single words to you in a speed of your choosing. It takes some time to get used to, as our eyes are accustomed to scanning a page from left to right, but with a little bit of patience, you may have just discovered your first superpower! Test it out for yourself!

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7. TED

TED, which stands for Technology, Education, and Design, requires no introduction. This global event attracts some of the finest leaders across the world, from Tony Robbins, to Bill Gates, to North Korean refugees. Real people, heartfelt stories, and eye-opening insights are shared on stage.

The best part is that you don’t need to pay $5,000 for a ticket to watch these talks — they’re all available for you to see online for free.

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8. Scribd

Speaking of knowledge, if TED sparked your attention, then Scribd will be another popular choice.

 

Similar to Rype, Scribd is the Netflix for Ebooks. With a simple monthly payment, you can get read as many books as you would like in their library, where they have hundreds of thousands of books available.

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9. CreativeLIVE

Want to learn from the best for free? CreativeLIVE is your answer.

This one-of-a-kind business model provides free live classes online that you can tune into, and if you want the full recording, you can purchase it for a one-time fee.

CreativeLIVE has attracted world-class entrepreneurs, Pulitzer Prize winners, and New York Times Bestselling authors to teach topics like photography, business, marketing, and more.

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10. Two Foods

As the saying goes, “we are what we eat.” Every day we make dozens of decisions on what we eat, and therefore what we become. We can decide to save money and eat healthier by waiting an additional 30 minutes to cook at home, or we can pass by the nearest McDonalds.

While some choices are easy when it comes to determining what’s healthier, some are hard. This is where Two Foods comes in.

This simple website allows you to type in the two different food you are debating, and they provide you with the nutritional information for each dish.

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11. Wunderlist

It seems that as the day goes by, the bigger our to-do list seems to get. Sometimes we don’t have the time to write it down or organize it into different categories.

 

Wunderlist solves this problem. This free app allows you to create multiple to-do lists and categorize your different to-do’s. For example, I have one for my business, my personal, my upcoming book, my goals, and more.

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12. Memrise

Memorizing things can be hard. Memrise provides an easy solution to make memorizing things fun through gamification.

For example, if you’re learning a new language, learning the most common words is key to picking up the language fast. You can use Memrise to quickly run through the words you want to learn and retain them through memorization techniques.

 

This can also apply to anything you want to remember, whether it’s the periodic table, parts of the human body, or countries.

13. Mint.com

One of the biggest tasks we tend to procrastinate on is our personal finances. Who’s with me?

Mint aims to solve this procrastination. By integrating our bank accounts into this website, it analyzes our spending, income, and budget in one place for us to see.

You can also set personal budgets for different categories — rent, travel, food, entertainment — and make sure you don’t go over it by tracking it all on Mint. My personal favorite is to be able to see all my spending for the month in a visual pie chart.

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14. Kiva

So often, we think that we need to be amass large quantities of wealth before we give back. This couldn’t be further than the truth.

Most of us can spare a $25 loan to an entrepreneur who is making a difference across the world. And here’s the thing, it’s not a donation that you don’t get back, it’s a loan!

As described on Kiva’s website, here’s how it works:

  1. Choose a borrower
  2. Make a loan
  3. Get repaid
  4. Repeat!

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15. Quora

Ever had a crazy question that you were curious to know the answer to?

Chances are, you can find the question and answer on Quora. Unlike most Q & A forums, Quora has managed to attract the best of the best, giving you real answers from real people.

For example, if you want to know what it’s like to work at Facebook, someone from Facebook can give you a direct answer. No BS, no fluff.

Quora has additional uses that go beyond than beating your curiousity. Entrepreneurs can use it to acquire potential customers, and anyone can use it to build an audience. What you do with the website is up to you!

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16. Investopedia

Ask an average person on the street and they can tell you more about what’s happening with the Kardashians than they can tell you about their personal finances or what’s happening in the global markets.

Investopedia is the “Webster Dictionary for Investors.” Now you don’t need to be a stock investor to gain benefit from Investopedia. It can useful for general learning about finance, understanding how the markets work, and discovering how you can make or save more money at the end of the day.

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17. Epicurious

This is the last app on our list, and perhaps the “sexiest” one. Ask someone in the streets on the top 10 skills they look for in a partner, and most will answer “the ability to cook.”

 

Epicurious helps you become sexier with simple yet diverse recipe ideas on healthy dishes and meals you can cook from your own kitchen. Give it a go!

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Hopefully you’ve discovered something new on this list that you didn’t know before.

If you’ve gotten some value from this, please share this with your friends or family! It could change their lives.

Source:  lifehack.org

Categorized in Internet Technology

According to Flurry Analytics, 50% of all devices activated on Christmas Day 2014 were Apple products and the amount of apps downloaded increased by 150% in just 24 hours! With so many apps available to Mac users, it’s difficult to know which ones are really worth your time or money, especially since each of us has different needs. Below are 10 apps that any one and every one who owns a Mac should download right away, from financial software to photography apps!

1. Because You’re Usually A Bit Disorganised: Use Evernote

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Chances are you are already an Evernote user, but just in case you aren’t or are yet to install the app on your mac it’s crucial to include this versatile and simple brain-replacing app! Evernote allows you to store photos, website articles, and of course notes amongst numerous other facilities and enables you to sync anything you store amongst multiple devices.

 

The basic Evernote app is free for Mac users, however you can pay $5 a month (or %45 annually) for Evernote Premium. The Premium version allows users to annotate PDF files, store more notes and search for text in Office documents!

2. Because Your Hard Drive Is Always Full: Use Disk Doctor

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Awarded the title of Best Selling Programme 2014 on the Apple Store for Mac, Disk Doctor is every avid Mac users best companion. Disk Doctor will clean up your hard drive by scanning your Mac for old or useless files and data that are stopping your Mac functioning at it’s best.

For just $2.99, Disk Doctor will keep your Mac healthy and your hard drive free of clutter!

3. Because You’ve Upgraded To Yosemite: Use Command-C

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Without a doubt Yosemite is a success for Apple as far as iOS goes, however nothing is without it’s faults. Somehow, Apple users’ were left unable to copy text on a Mac and paste it onto their iPhones or vice versa. Command-C fixes this blunder with a simple, seamless patch and allows you to once again work smoothly between platforms that are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

 

Although the app is free in the Mac App Store, it will cost you $3.99 on the iPhone. However, it is a huge time-saver and incredibly practical for anyone who requires the use of multiple devices!

4. Because It’s An Apple Staple: Use iWork

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For many years, Apple lagged behind Microsoft when it came to building software that would compete with Office. Of course, Apple did release iWork a decade ago but it is only just evolving into a substantial application. Currently, iWork includes three separate apps:

  • Pages – an application used for writing.
  • Numbers – a spreadsheet programme.
  • Keynote – fantastic for building professional presentation.

 

Each of these apps is easy to use and even easier on the eyes! In addition, anyone who purchased a Mac after September 24 2014 will receive works free of charge.

5. Because You Need Distraction Free Writing: Use iA Writer Pro

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For anyone who is required to write often, be they a professional, author or a student, iA Writer Pro will allow you write without any distractions. For $19.00 iA Writer Pro extends a blank page to fill your entire screen covering menus, apps or any other distractions that may hinder your writing flow.

Once you’ve started to write, iA Writer Pro will also kick it’s syntax feature into action and pick out adjectives, verbs and nouns that work to make sure your sentences are the best they can possibly be.

6. Because You Have A Lot Of Thoughts And Nowhere To Put Them : Use Notability

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Named App of the Year 2014 by Apple themselves, Notability allows you to capture any thought any time. For $9.99 you can record a thought, write it down, store a photo or even a sketch, as well annotate PDFs and other documents. By backing up your stored thoughts to Google Drive or Dropbox you can share them over various devices running touchscreen version of Notability via iCloud.

7. Because You Love Photography: Use Pixelmator

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Despite the fact Apple users have notoriously supported Adobe Photoshop, Pixelmator is swiftly becoming a strong competitor. This $29.00 graphics software allows it’s user to retouch photographs with expert precision, paint, draw and apply 160 beautiful effects to their photos. If you use Pixelmator in conjunction with Apple’s new cross-platform application Handoff you will also be able to switch seamlessly between Mac and iPad.

 

8. Because Nothing Compares To Word: Use Microsoft Office

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Yes, yes. I know I said that iWork was good but nothing competes with Microsoft Word just yet, especially if you are familiar with Microsofts famous software. Starting at $139, Microsoft Office will supply you with Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook and OneNote. Or you can subscribe to Office 365 for $6.99 a month, which can be used across devices!

9. Because You Love Art: Use Topaz Impression

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At $99 you may think that Topaz Impression is a little bit over priced, but if you are an art lover and creative than this app may be your greatest investment. Topaz Impression will convert your photographs into pieces of art like no other on the planet at over 10,000 brush strokes a second. You control the stroke style, size, volume and strength and will have access to more than 100 effects, 72 textures and 17 different types of brushes, ensuring that no two pictures will ever be the same.

 

10. Because You Need To Keep On Top Of Your Accounts: Use Quicken 2015

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Like Topaz Impressions, Quicken 2015 is a pricey application at $72 but besides that these apps could not be more different. Quicken has been popular amongst PC users for quite a long time, however as it’s refreshed software moves to Mac many Apple-devotees will soon be using this incredible financial software. Quicken automatically categorises your accounts and transactions, ensuring you will always be on top of your bills and funds!

Source:  lifehack.org

Categorized in Internet Technology

A neural network -- and a human touch -- help Google figure out which apps belong in which categories.

Google has begun using artificial intelligence to categorize Android apps on its Google Play store, the company said Tuesday.

Using technology called a neural network, which is based loosely on the way human brains work, Google processes app names and descriptions to try to figure out which ones to show in search results. It's not hard to show the Snapchat app when people search for it by name, but the AI technology is designed to do a better job when people just type in categories like "selfie," Google AI researchers said in a blog post Tuesday

 

But the technology still needed a human touch. Google had to train its system by letting people assess how well the categorization worked and thus steer it toward better results.

With hundreds of thousands of apps to pick from, discovery is a major challenge for app stores. When you search or browse for apps, companies like Google and Apple have to balance new apps with popular standbys, weed out malicious apps, and curtail developer efforts to get their own apps to show up high in search results.

Source:  cnet.com

Categorized in Internet Technology

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