After a long wait, Android 5.0 Lollipop is here

We first got a taste of Android 5.0 Lollipop back in June at the I/O developer conference. Now, after a long wait, the newest version of Android is finally here, Google is releasing it.

 

This new release comes almost a year after 4.4 Kitkat was rolled out. So what do we get after a year? Lots! The new Android 5.0 Lollipop has a brand-new design in the whole operating system. Most notable of what’s new in Lollipop is how it will change the way you do multitasking and how the notifications are enhanced. There are a number of features that are new too and we’ll get to them one by one.

The first thing that users will notice in Lollipop is the aesthetics of the design, it looks fresh and really new. They call it “Material Design.” Android now looks sleeker and more minimalist with the clever use of bright colors and better use of shadows that enhance the depth in the interface patterns. It looks more spacious because there is now bigger white space around the text. The touches have become more transparent. When you interact with the screen it feels somewhat magical because of the ripples of colours while you are doing the interaction. It looks like Android has gone to the beauty parlor and got its long awaited makeover. And it looks really good.

 

The Lollipop is also having some changes in the notification setup, although it looks like it is borrowed from iOS: the notification cards are now in the middle of the locked screen. Users can now respond to the notification even if the screen are locked. You can set the kind of notifications that comes to to the cards to protect your privacy. The default notification settings will prioritize those that are deemed by Google as more important than other notifications.

 

When you are doing something on your device like watching a video or playing a game and a notification comes up, the new Heads Up feature will let you take a peep at what’s coming, you can see the tip of the head of an email, a text message, or an incoming call. You can choose to respond to the notifications without leaving the video or game you are playing because there is no need for you to open the notification drop down menu. If you are too busy with what you are doing you can simple swipe the notification into storage for retrieval later.

 

Now your multitasking habits will change with the new menu called “Recents” which allows you to see what apps are running in the background. You can see it now as stack cards and not as a list. It feels like browsing open tabs on Chrome’s Android app. It is easy to switch between apps by just scrolling through the stack.

 

The Lollipop has also brought changes to the swipe-down quick settings. You can now get to the controls for hotspot, screen casting, flashlight, and more useful feature by just swiping down with two fingers from the top of your screen.

 

There is also a new battery-saving feature that’s added to this new version of Android. When you are running low on power the CPU will be clocked down and background data are turned off. This feature can be turned on manually if you choose to have it that way or you can have it programmed to turn on automatically when power is running out. This will give your battery an extra 90 minutes of life.

 

Lollipop will roll out with Nexus 6 smartphone and Nexus 9 tablet. In the coming days other devices like The Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, HTC One M8 and Moto G will also get the new Android.

Imgur gives the GIF image format an upgrade with Project GIFV

Animated GIFs are ancient, every time we stumble upon them we are reminded of the early days of the internet, they were the “in” thing then.  Now, the new generation of internet users are annoyed with animated GIFs because they are cumbersome, they take forever to load especiall on pages where there are a lot of them.  But GIFs are here to stay and hopefully they’d be back to the mainstream again, thanks to Imgur and its Project GIFV which gives the GIF an upgrade.  What kind of upgrade? Well, for starters, the upgrade will give the animated GIF a new kind of richness. yes, the new animated GIF that you can see now in Imgur will blow you away. If in the past GIF animation makers sacrifice the image quality for loading time, now it won’t be a worry, you can now have very high quality animations that loads fast. Here is an example, straight from Imgur:

Are you impressed with the quality of the picture? And are you surprised with the speed with which it loaded? How is this made possible? Well, with Project GIFV the GIFs that Imgur users will upload are automatically converted into MP4 video format.  The converted file becomes significantly smaller in size than the original file uploaded without sacrificing the image quality. The animation above was 50MB when uploaded, after it was converted upon upload its size was reduced to 3.4MB, hence the quick loading.

Here are major upgrades that Imgur given to the GIF experience of its users as stated on the Imgur blog:

Massively Increased Upload Limits: With the efficiencies introduced by MP4, Imgur is increasing its traditional GIF upload limit of 5MB by an order of magnitude to 50MB. This opens the door to massive improvements in quality. (Note: Original files over 20MB will not be available after upload)

Optimized for Social Channels: Uploads to Imgur will now fully animate on channels like Twitter and Facebook, allowing for the sharing of the full GIF experience throughout the social web.

The .GIFV Extension: With all these improvements, Imgur will now denote converted MP4s with a “.gifv” extension. The intention is to signal to users throughout the Internet that these links will feature a GIF experience that incorporates all the current and future enhancements made through Project GIFV. Imgur plans to submit an accompanying specification to relevant standards organizations before the end of the year.

And to all those who love social media, yes, this will now work of Facebook and Twitter. Try it!

Adobe Premiere Clip, the new video editing software for iPhones andiPads

Adobe has introduced Premiere Clip, a video editing software designed to be used for iPhones and iPads. Adobe Premiere Clip can produce moving pictures, it has a lot of similarities to iMovie, users can arrange their clips, they can trim and apply a lot of filters and add transitions and different kinds of effects to their videos.

There are two cool features that bring magic to this software, the “Smart Volume” and “Auto Mix.” The two features will balance the music you add in the video you are producing and even out the level of the audio in all the clips. You can sync your projects online because Adobe Premiere Clip is connected to Adobe’s Creative Cloud.

Adobe Premiere Clip is free to download from the Apple Store.

How to install Windows 10 on your Personal Computer

I think I know the reason why you are reading this: you are one of those who are excited about Windows 10! You’ve read about how Microsoft is skipping Windows 9 and this got you intrigued and you’ve read somewhere that you can actually get a taste of Windows 10 now. Of course I have mentioned that in my post about Windows 10 yesterday.

Well, if you are really up to it, the first step in trying out Windows 10 is getting the preview software, you can get it by joining the Windows Insider Program, there you will be able to download the Windows 10 ISO image. It is best to try the installation on another computer, a computer that is just for testing. Do not install on your main computer because this is still a program in progress. If you do not have a test PC, you can install it in a virtual machine.

After you have downloaded the Windows 10 ISO image, you have three options: the first one is to burn it to an optical disk; second option is to  create a bootable USB flash drive from it; third option is to just attach the image to an existing virtual machine.

The installation is very simple, it is merely all about clicking the ‘Next’ button, it’s dead simple you do not actually need to have a guide.

But if you think you can’t do the installation without actually having seen how it’s done, here’s a video that shows you the actual installation process:

Windows 10 to be released in final form in 2015

Forget about Windows 9 because it won’t be coming, just think of Windows 10 because it is what Microsoft is rolling out after Windows 8.

Yes, Microsoft is skipping Windows 9 and is heading straight to Windows 10. “Windows 10 will be our most comprehensive platform ever, it wouldn’t be right to call it Windows 9,” Terry Myerson, Windows’ chief, said in a briefing with reporters in San Francisco. Microsoft is expected to roll out this new version of Windows in 2015. This version will run across the widest array of devices; users will be able to run it in devices with the smallest screen to devices with the biggest screen up to 80 inches. And it will also be in devices that do not have screens at all.

Windows 10 is not only the next version of Microsoft’s PC operating system, it is also the next big release for Windows Phone. Microsoft is moving to have a single operating system for all devices (PS, tablets, and phones).

We haven’t seen Windows 10 yet but according to those who have, it looks like a mix of Windows 7 and Windows 8. You can expect to find a lot of Windows 8’s user interface features present in Windows 10. New-style apps and the classic ones will be running smoothly together in this new version of the OS.

According to Myerson, Microsoft is releasing a technical preview version of Windows 10 beginning October 1st. Those who would like to try this preview program can download it.

Windows VP Joe Belfiore gave a demonstration of how Windows 10 can work with a lot of different kinds of interfaces, he showed that it works even with the very ancient command prompt, to the task bar styled Windows 7 and to touch screen that is Windows 8 now.

Use Postfity to schedule posts to Facebook and Twitter

If you are always too busy to manually post on Facebook or Twitter for your business, there is a free web service that will make your life easier, Posfity. This free web service is easy to use and it will only take a few seconds to get you going. The free version allows users to add up to five accounts. free users can also schedule up to ten posts per day.  If your posting needs is more than that you can opt for the paid version which can give you more slots for more accounts and more number of posts per day.  There are actually three paid plans available. The free version is good enough for most normal social media users but for those who are maintaining a brand or doing a lot of social media campaigns then the paid version would do well.

 

How To Choose The Right Niche

The most important step in starting any business is the first step: choosing the right niche. If you don’t pay much attention to this very first step, your whole plan will fail because everything depends on this step. This first step of choosing the right niche is like choosing the right seed, a seed that you plant and nurture and help grow into a big fruit-bearing tree. Plant a weak or bad seed and you will never see the friuts of your labor. Your choice of niche can ultimately be the determining factor between failure and success, so choose wisely.

But what is a niche? A lot of people venturing into the world of internet marketing are not really sure about what a niche is, some are over-thinking it while others are just plainly confused. Wikipedia defines ‘niche market’ as the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. In layman’s term, it is basically a corner of the market that you will be targeting. A niche is an audience. If a group of people would like to lose weight then that is a niche, you can supply them with the information on how to lose weight. If someone would like to learn how to play the guitar then that’s a niche. A person who wants to whiten her teeth is a niche. A person who wants to learn how to train his dog to do tricks is a niche. A mother who is looking to buy a baby car seat is a niche. Every segment of the society that could use what you can provide is a niche.

Now that the meaning of the term ‘niche’ is clear to us let us learn how to go about finding the best niche for you. Many coaches would suggest that the best niche to choose is something that you are passionate about, something that you really know deeply. This is good advice because it would be easy for you to create content for this niche because you know so much about it and you love it. Keep in mind, you’re going to have to update this fan page on a daily basis so it is important that you know your way around your niche. When you love something, you enjoy creating things around it, churning out content for something that you feel strongly about won’t feel like work, it’d be fun.

But choosing something that you are passionate about does not always guarantee success. Some niches are profitable but many are not. If what you love happens to be something that is not profitable then it would not be good to build your business around it because no matter how much effort you put into it, the profit would never come. So you need to know if the niche that you are planning to get into is profitable or not.

The ideal niche is a niche where a good number of people need something and are willing to spend money for that something. A niche is also good if there is not that much competition. So basically, what you need to find is a niche where there is a good demand for a product but not that much suppliers. But of course such a niche is not easy to find that is why you need to learn the science of researching profitable niche markets.

Steps in Choosing The Right Niche

There are four steps in choosing the right niche. The first step is finding an audience. The second step is figuring out what the problems or needs of this audience are. The third step is finding products that will solve their problem or satisfy their needs. The fourth step is introducing the product to the audience.

To make it easier for you, I will supply you with a list of niches that are proven to be evergreen. An evergreen niche is a special market place that retains its vitality and provides income for a long time. Here are some of the proven evergreen niches that you can start with. See if some of the things you are passionate about could fall under these evergreen niches.

1. Dating. The reason why this niche is evergreen is because of human nature. Deep down within each one of us there is this need to connect with someone special, to love and be loved. As long as there are human beings in this planet dating services will continue to thrive. In recent years dating services have become more and more popular, more and more people are into it. The new trending websites in this dating market are those which match couples based on religion, ethnicity, and interests. Here are some of the proofs that this niche is evergreen: 40 million Americans have tried online dating; an average user spends $237 a year on dating sites; 20% of current committed relationships in America started online.

2. Health and Fitness. No one would like to be sick and many people are willing to spend money in order to stay fit. According to a recent Harris Interactive poll, three fourths of all American adults have gone online to find health information. Six in every ten adults look up health information online one to five times a month. Obesity is becoming a big problem in America in recent years so many people are looking for solutions to their weight problems online. The weight loss niche has always been a gold mine for online marketers. But the weight loss niche is not the only good sub-niche under Health and Fitness. Yoga, kettlebell, raw food, low carb, building muscle, running, acne, veganism, are some of the sub-niches under the health and fitness niche that you can choose to dive into. Under this niche you can always promote health supplements, health membership websites, medical equipment, health books and videos.

3. Make Money Online. Yes, more and more people are looking at possibilities of earning online. You are one of them, you purchased this product because you want to make money online. There are many many people like you around the world who want to have their share of the money that can be earned online. Everyone wants to make money, and online is one of the places where computer literate people can be their own boss. Selling products that teach how to make money online is quite lucrative.

4. Pets. Yes, almost everyone loves pets. If you look at some of the most popular Facebook pages now you will see that a number of them are dedicated to pets, mostly about cats and dogs. If you check these pets pages you will see that people are really passionate about their pets, you can see it at the interaction of the pet owners in the page. The stats on the pets niche is also good, 62% of all households in America have a pet and the cost of pet care has increased by 122% over the past ten years. Each household spends an average of $870 every year on pets.

5. Coupons. More and more people are changing the way they shop now. Many have become aware of the fact that they can take the little effort required to minimize their spending without cutting on their buying. 80% of consumers like to shop using coupons. More than three billion coupons were redeemed last year. Many companies have learned that discount coupons can actually boost their sales that is why they give out more and more coupons each year. You can help market these companies’ coupons and earn a lot of money doing it.