Top 10 Social Media Plugins for WordPress

Social media is a crucial component for any online marketing strategy. If you’re running your small business website on the WordPress platform, it’s incredibly easy to integrate social. There are hundreds of ready made social media plugins for WordPress to choose from.

Your choice of social media plugins for your WordPress website will depend on which social platforms you use actively, what kind of content you offer on your site, and the best look and placement of social tools that complements your website design. From simple to richly featured, below are some of the best WordPress plugins for social media.

Social Media Plugins for WordPress

Digg Digg

This versatile plugin by Buffer comes with plenty of customization options and integrates with virtually any social media platform. With Digg Digg, you can create either a floating social media bar with left or right scrolling options, or sharing buttons that automatically populate at the top or bottom of each of your blog posts.

Digg Digg can be used with Twitter, Facebook, Buffer, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr – just about any social channels you might use. Facebook options include both Like and Share, and “lazy loading” helps you cut down on load times for your website.

Flare

Simple and eye-catching, the Flare plugin not only gives you customizable share buttons, but also lets you create and display a Follow Me widget, so your visitors can one-click follow your social media channels right from your website.

The plugin is compatible with major social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and more. You can customize the appearance of the buttons, and place the share bar at the top or bottom of posts, or to the left and right of your pages. The left and right options scroll down the page with viewers, and auto-hide when not in use.

ShareThis

With great customization, tons of features, and more than 120 supported social media platforms, ShareThisis one of the popular social media plugins for WordPress that’s been downloaded more than 1.5 million times. This plugin tool offers more than social buttons, which come in the form of a Hovering Bar that can be displayed on the right or left side of your pages, with counters and your choice of small or large buttons.

In addition, ShareThis has built-in social analytics, a CopyNShare widget that helps you track shares when your content is copied and pasted, and more.

Share Buttons by AddThis

One of the most popular and recognizable social media plugins for WordPress, AddThis Share Buttons let you integrate with more than 330 social platforms and bookmarking sites, as well as email sharing. While there isn’t an option for a floating sidebar, the plugin gives you plenty of layout choices – and you can also get free analytics when you create an AddThis account.

Floating Social Media Icon

Highly rated and popular, the Floating Social Media Icon plugin gives you a customizable, configurable social bar that flies onto the screen and scrolls along with visitors. You can also disable floating and set up static icons with this plugin.

Floating Social Media Icon gives you more than 20 different icon styles to choose from, so you can match the themes and styles of your website. It also supports multiple widgets, so you can display various social media buttons separately on your pages.

Social Media Feather

Lightweight yet powerful, Social Media Feather is a simple, high-performing social plugin that keeps speeds up and load times down by not using JavaScript. The buttons have a clean, modern look, and you can customize the appearance with social icons skins.

This plugin supports shortcodes, and is currently the only social sharing plugin that supports Retina and high-resolution displays used by mobile devices like the iPad 5.

Slick Social Sharing Buttons

If you’re looking for a social media plugin for WordPress that’s easy to implement and comes with plenty of options, try Slick Social Sharing Buttons. This plugin lets you customize button types, specify which pages and posts to display social sharing on, and choose from either a floating or slide-out share bar. You can also customize location, direction, floating speed, animation speed and more.

Slick Social Sharing Buttons supports shortcodes, and gives you a social analytics dashboard to help you track your sharing activity.

Social Media Widget

With a long list of supported social platforms, including email and RSS, and some fun and interesting customizations, Social Media Widget is an easy-to-use plugin that creates a sidebar widget for social sharing, with links that open a separate tab or window when clicked.

Social Media Widget offers three icon sizes, four icon styles (Web 2.0, Sketch, Heart and Cutout), and four animation types to make your social media buttons stand out on the page.

Shareaholic

The feature-rich, powerful Shareaholic offers more than social sharing. With a stated aim to help you get readers to “actually discover and submit your articles to numerous social bookmarking sites,” this plugin supports Facebook (both Like and Send), Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn and other major social platforms, with share counters for many of them.

In addition, Shareaholic comes with Classic Bookmarks, a Recommendations & Related Content tool, built-in Social Analytics, and official support for Google’s URL shortener as well as Google Analytics.

Share Buttons by AddToAny

Offering support for more than 100 social sites in 19 languages, AddToAny Share Buttons is one of the most popular social media plugins for WordPress with almost 3 million downloads. It’s easy to customize and fully featured, and supports both shares and interactive clicks – including Facebook Likes, a Tweet button for Twitter, a “Pin It” button for Pinterest, a +1 button for Google+ and more.

Bookmarking and email buttons integrate with the most popular email services (Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Outlook / Hotmail, AOL, and nearly every Web-based or desktop email program).

You can customize the appearance and position of the AddToAny share bar, and integrate with Google Analytics to make the most of your social marketing.

BONUS: Microblog Poster

A different kind of social plugin, Microblog Poster lets you automatically push your WordPress blog content to various social media platforms. This plugin currently supports Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Delicious and more. It also supports shortcodes and multiple accounts on the same platform.

[“Source-smallbiztrends”]

10 best Android widgets

We roundup the best widgets for your Android home screen

Widgets on your smartphone’s home screen may seem a little outdated nowadays, but once you start using them, you’ll realise that there certainly is life beyond the app icon. Throwing up the latest news headlines, what’s on your to-do list for the day or how long you have until your device loses all the juice it has can be a godsend.

We round up our favourite Android widgets for your device’s home screen, whether you’re using a smartphone with a small screen or a tablet with a much larger display.

Android Pro

Android Pro is a series of widgets that will make your Android’s homescreen into whatever you wish it to be. For example, you can add a calendar widget to display your upcoming events, pin your favourite contacts or contact group (such as colleagues) to your homescreen, your browser bookmarks for quick access to your top news sources or any social media feed.

Battery HD

There’s more to your Android’s battery notification than just showing you how much juice you have left. Battery HD will let you know exactly how much battery you have left depending on what you’re doing or which application you’re running. For example, you’ll probably find you have more juice left over if you’re reading a report compared to using GPS navigation.

Evernote

If you’re already an Evernote user, you’ll know just how handy it is to have your notes, pinned articles and other information right on your homescreen. You can chose from a number of different types of Evernote widget, including a shortcut to one of your favourite notes, a bar with your top actions and a larger list that will display more detailed information.

Agenda Widget Plus

Agenda Widget Plus is the ultimate calendar widget for your Android phone or tablet. It’ll list exactly what you have coming up in the future and will automatically sync your device’s calendars – even those on third party apps – into one easy-to-read view. It will include items from your to do list as well as calendars to, so you can stay super-organised using just one home screen widget.

DashClock

DashClock isn’t just a home screen widget, but a lock screen widget too if you’re running it on a device on Android 4.2, 4.3 or 4.4. It’ll display customised data, such as the weather in your current location, missed calls and unread texts, your next calendar appointment, any priority conversations in your email and the next alarm you’ve scheduled. All this information is accessible at a glance and you can choose to dig deeper with a simple tap.

Tasker

Tasker is an automation app for Android and its aim is to help newbie Android developers create automated tasks without messing about with code. The Tasker widget enables you to turn those tasks into their own widgets, essentially creating a widget for anything you’d like to do, such as turn on a Bluetooth-connected device. Tasker has its own widget you can use to turn it on and off too.

ToDo

Microsoft’s ToDo is without doubt one of our favourite apps for Android and the ToDo widget allows you to get a feed of everything you’re supposed to be doing today on your homescreen. When you’ve completed the tasks, you can tick them off as you go and either add more tasks from your individual lists or head to the suggestions screen that will show you what’s coming up for you to add.

On Time

On Time helps you organise your home screen according to what you need to do when. For example, you can set it up to only display the apps you’re most likely to need while you’re at work between the hours of 9 and 5, then when you’ve finished work, only show the apps you’re most likely to want to use on your commute home. It’s all fully customisable for you, helping you manage your time better.

S.Graph: Calendar Clock Widget

S-Graph is one of the most beautiful calendar and time management widgets available for Android. It turns your day into a pie and then splits out your tasks into sections so you can see how long you’ve put aside for each task, meeting or action. It’s the perfect widget for visual people who are not particularly keen on lists of tasks and because it integrates with most calendars and task apps, it’s a must-try from us!

Power Toggles

Although you can quite easily pull down the taskbar on your Android phone or tablet to toggle settings on and off, Power Toggles takes this one stage further with more than 40 toggles to choose from that you can control right from your home screen, including third party applications. The interface is simple, and easy to use, which is exactly what widgets should be about.

Source:-.itpro

10 best Android widgets

We roundup the best widgets for your Android home screen

Widgets on your smartphone’s home screen may seem a little outdated nowadays, but once you start using them, you’ll realise that there certainly is life beyond the app icon. Throwing up the latest news headlines, what’s on your to-do list for the day or how long you have until your device loses all the juice it has can be a godsend.

We round up our favourite Android widgets for your device’s home screen, whether you’re using a smartphone with a small screen or a tablet with a much larger display.

Android Pro

Android Pro is a series of widgets that will make your Android’s homescreen into whatever you wish it to be. For example, you can add a calendar widget to display your upcoming events, pin your favourite contacts or contact group (such as colleagues) to your homescreen, your browser bookmarks for quick access to your top news sources or any social media feed.

Battery HD

There’s more to your Android’s battery notification than just showing you how much juice you have left. Battery HD will let you know exactly how much battery you have left depending on what you’re doing or which application you’re running. For example, you’ll probably find you have more juice left over if you’re reading a report compared to using GPS navigation.

Evernote

If you’re already an Evernote user, you’ll know just how handy it is to have your notes, pinned articles and other information right on your homescreen. You can chose from a number of different types of Evernote widget, including a shortcut to one of your favourite notes, a bar with your top actions and a larger list that will display more detailed information.

Agenda Widget Plus

Agenda Widget Plus is the ultimate calendar widget for your Android phone or tablet. It’ll list exactly what you have coming up in the future and will automatically sync your device’s calendars – even those on third party apps – into one easy-to-read view. It will include items from your to do list as well as calendars to, so you can stay super-organised using just one home screen widget.

DashClock

DashClock isn’t just a home screen widget, but a lock screen widget too if you’re running it on a device on Android 4.2, 4.3 or 4.4. It’ll display customised data, such as the weather in your current location, missed calls and unread texts, your next calendar appointment, any priority conversations in your email and the next alarm you’ve scheduled. All this information is accessible at a glance and you can choose to dig deeper with a simple tap.

Tasker

Tasker is an automation app for Android and its aim is to help newbie Android developers create automated tasks without messing about with code. The Tasker widget enables you to turn those tasks into their own widgets, essentially creating a widget for anything you’d like to do, such as turn on a Bluetooth-connected device. Tasker has its own widget you can use to turn it on and off too.

ToDo

Microsoft’s ToDo is without doubt one of our favourite apps for Android and the ToDo widget allows you to get a feed of everything you’re supposed to be doing today on your homescreen. When you’ve completed the tasks, you can tick them off as you go and either add more tasks from your individual lists or head to the suggestions screen that will show you what’s coming up for you to add.

On Time

On Time helps you organise your home screen according to what you need to do when. For example, you can set it up to only display the apps you’re most likely to need while you’re at work between the hours of 9 and 5, then when you’ve finished work, only show the apps you’re most likely to want to use on your commute home. It’s all fully customisable for you, helping you manage your time better.

S.Graph: Calendar Clock Widget

S-Graph is one of the most beautiful calendar and time management widgets available for Android. It turns your day into a pie and then splits out your tasks into sections so you can see how long you’ve put aside for each task, meeting or action. It’s the perfect widget for visual people who are not particularly keen on lists of tasks and because it integrates with most calendars and task apps, it’s a must-try from us!

Power Toggles

Although you can quite easily pull down the taskbar on your Android phone or tablet to toggle settings on and off, Power Toggles takes this one stage further with more than 40 toggles to choose from that you can control right from your home screen, including third party applications. The interface is simple, and easy to use, which is exactly what widgets should be about.

Source:-itpro

10 Important Reasons to Work Seriously On Your Small Business Blog

10 Important Reasons to Work Seriously On Your Small Business Blog

How the heck do they do it?

You know who I’m talking about. I’m talking about those successful small business entrepreneurs who get tons of business and engagement online.

Sure, they hustle just as much as you do. They attend the same networking events. But there’s a difference.

They seem to have much more business than you do. They’re closing more deals. They’re generating more leads through their website.

So what’s the difference between you and them?

They’re probably blogging. They’re probably using their small business blog to build an online audience that is engaged with their brand.

If you’re a small business entrepreneur or solopreneur, you have probably heard of content marketing, right? No doubt you’ve heard of the importance of creating valuable content for your website. But maybe you haven’t taken that first step yet.

A small business blog is one of the most-used and effective content marketing tools at your disposal. Simply put, if you’re not blogging, you’re leaving money on the table.

Here’s some stats for you:

  • Marketers that use blogs get 67 percent more leads than those who don’t.
  • 81 percent of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs.
  • Companies that blog have 97 percent more inbound links.
  • 61 percent of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog.
  • 60 percent of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content on its site.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you need to consider how you’re connecting with your audience. Since you might not have the huge marketing budget of a mega-corporation, you will have to use other means to build and connect with your audience.

One of the best ways to do this is by blogging. It’s been shown to be highly effective at generating quality leads for your business.

Many business owners overlook the potential rewards that blogging can provide. But you’re a savvy entrepreneur, so you’re not going to make this mistake, are you?

This post is going to give you ten benefits that a small business blog can provide for your business. When you read through this post, you will learn various ways you can use your blog to generate more business, earn more credibility and make it easier for prospects to find you online.

Why You Should Have a Small Business Blog

1. Market Research

Having a blog with many articles allows you to more effectively understand what your audience really wants. From the back end of your site, you can spy on what pages people are viewing the most, and this gives you an idea of where their interest lies. When you know what types of content perform the best, you know what types of content to continue to create.

Also, you can use your blog to request feedback from your audience. If you have an engaged following, it’s very likely that they will be happy to answer the questions you have.

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

As you probably know, there’s not much of a point to having a killer website if nobody can find it. One of the biggest keys to getting more traffic is making sure that people will find your site when they use search engines. As a  matter of fact, search engines are the no. 1 driver of traffic to content websites! SEO is something that you can’t ignore if you want to have a viable online presence.

The more relevant content you have on your website, the more likely it will be that you will rank for certain keywords. This is where a small business blog comes in. Consistently publishing high-quality content on your blog will do wonders for your search engine optimization efforts.

When you produce useful content, Google’s algorithms will rank your site higher. Over time, your site will make its way to the front page of search results. Not only that, but when people read high-quality content, they’re more likely to link back to it. Earning quality backlinks from other high-authority blogs will do wonders for your SEO efforts.

3. Customer Engagement

Engagement is immensely important for any online business. It’s not enough to just create great content. You also need to interact with your audience as much as you can. You can’t have any success by just talking at your audience. You need to have ongoing conversations with them. It will help you know your audience better. It will help your audience know you better.

That’s what you want.

If you enable comments on your small business blog, you can discuss topics and get feedback directly. This can tell you a lot about your customer base. Not only that. It shows your audience that you are interested in interacting with them. This will increase loyalty and help you form a deeper connection with your audience.

4. Communicating Your Mission

One of the most important components of effective branding is purpose. Connecting with your audience means embracing a unique brand perspective that can give your audience something they can connect with on an emotional level.

This is where blogging comes in.

Your blog is a place where you can communicate your brand purpose. This is important because establishing a strong brand is an important part of encouraging customer loyalty. When you communicate a brand purpose that goes beyond what you sell, it helps you stand out from your competition.

For example, if you are a business that sells vegan meat substitutes, you can express your brand’s purpose by posting animal welfare material on your site. This shows your audience that your company is focused on something more than just making money.

5. Communicating With Customers

If there’s something going on with your service — for example, there will be a planned outage or lack of availability — you don’t have to keep your clients in the dark. Having a centralized place to post announcements is extremely important because people don’t always read their email.

6. You Can Offer Promotional Material

A small business blog is also a great place to offer occasional promotions. If you already have an engaged audience that consumes your content, they will be able to see what discounts or promotions you are offering. It’s a great way to keep your customer base informed.

Sure, you can spread your coupons around Facebook, but it’s better to get into the habit of compelling your audience to visit you at your own site, especially if it’s an ecommerce site. Keep them coming back for more by posting your promotions on your blog.

Here’s a caveat: you don’t want to overdo this. While blogs can be great for offering promotions, it shouldn’t be used solely for this purpose. Most of your content should focus on offering informational value to your readers. If you only post promotional content, your audience will not continue to visit your blog.

7. Showing Your Human Side

People want to know that there are actual human beings behind the business that they buy from. Post some personal stories and talk to your customers through your blog.

This is an opportunity for you to let your personality shine through. When you’re writing blog posts, don’t smack your reader in the head with a bunch of “corporatespeak.” Nobody wants to read that. No really, they don’t!

It’s much better to write in an informal style that people can relate to. When it comes to blogging, it’s not just about what you say, it’s about how you say it.

8. You Can Become a Source of Value

The key to effective blogging is providing value. Nobody is going to read your content unless they get something out of it, right?

If you want to build influence, you have to be valuable. You can do this by providing helpful information to your readers through your blog.

Arjun Reddy, the founder of Super Baby, builds credibility with his website’s “resources” section by giving actionable tips to his visitors.

“Our visitors are parents who are looking for fun ways to help their children become smarter. The advice we give in our resources section is designed to provide helpful parenting tips for our readers.”

The reason Reddy is enjoying success is because he’s providing value up front. When you do this, you show your potential clients that you are valuable to them. That’s why content marketing works. When you’re creating content, you should be asking yourself what your reader is going to get out of that particular piece of content. Each piece of content should be designed to inform, educate, or entertain. If possible, you should do all three!

9. Networking!

When you have built an audience and gained some notoriety, it can attract other entrepreneurs to you. For an entrepreneur, networking is important, isn’t it?

If you’re able to grow your readership effectively, you will gain more credibility. This will attract other influencers in your niche. You never know who might be paying attention right?

This could lead to other opportunities for your business. You might be able to take advantage of the key relationships that you form through your small business blog.

10. Building Credibility

Having a small business blog gives you a presence in your niche. A blog is a record of quality value and experience that you are bringing to your audience. This will give you instant “street cred” when someone finds your content.

Lissette Palencia, CEO of Sleeping Angels has built a steady stream of clientele by using her blog to provide valuable information to her website’s visitors.

“As you can guess, when you run a nanny agency, your clients are parents who are concerned about the safety of their children. They want to do the research first. When they visit our website, they find tons of valuable information that helps them make the right decision for their family. Not only does it inform them, it makes them more comfortable with doing business us.”

This is essential for your business. Your blog is a tool that you can use to establish credibility in the minds of your potential clients. Prospects will read your content and gain value from it. Then, they will become far more willing to buy from you because you have already given them a significant benefit through your blog.

Conclusion

Here’s the thing. If you’re looking to expand your online presence, you need to be creating high-quality content on a consistent basis. A blog is one of the best ways to do this.

These are just a few reasons to keep a blog if you’re an entrepreneur, but there are much more. Just remember that anything that can bring value to your audience is something that you should consider adding to your business.

[“Source-smallbiztrends”]

10 Best WordPress Themes to Choose From for Your Next Website Project

10 Best WordPress Themes to Choose From for Your Next Website Project

The digital world is spawning at an exponential rate. Every hour, roughly 1,000 websites are created. We’re talking petabytes of new data every single hour. To understand the sheer size and volume of that, there’s one million gigabytes in a petabyte or 1,000 terabytes. Considering that the human mind is estimated to be able to hold 1.25 terabytes of data, one petabyte is equivalent to approximately 800 human minds.

While those numbers could most certainly shock and awe you, the truth is that many of the newcomers to the online world rely on the WordPress platform to help streamline the process of getting their website up and running quickly and easily. With over 100 million websites and counting, WordPress is by far the most popular CMS in existence. That might be why the WordPress theme market is burgeoning and exploding.

However, with tens of thousands of themes in existence, how do you know which WordPress theme is the best one for your next website project? While this can most certainly be a subjective topic, these pre-built themes, which offer a far smoother transition into cyberspace, are scooped up in droves.

Some of these themes are terrific for ecommerce stores while others are great for starting a blog. However, the best theme for your project will be based on a few criteria. Not only should they be aesthetically appealing to the eye, but they also need to be mobile responsive. Considering that Google’s search is now a mobile-first index, and mobile searches far outpace desktop, responsiveness in design is important.

When a design is responsive, it looks and functions just as well on mobile and tablet devices as it does on desktop. However, building a responsive design on your own is no simple feat. Trust me, I’ve built loads of them. And unless you rely on a system like Twitter’s Bootstrap, building responsive designs for different media types is an exhaustive endeavor. That’s why some of the best WordPress themes have placed special weight on this one crucial aspect.

Related: CMS Battle for Beginners: WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal (Infographic)

How to choose the best theme for your website.

Whether you’ve just started a business, or you’re trying to figure out the type of business you want to start, there are some things to look for when selecting a theme for your WordPress site. Some themes offer great support for ecommerce stores while others are terrific for membership-based sites. Either way, you’ll usually need some plugins to make everything function smoothly with one another.

After nearly two decades of software engineering, web development and SEO mastery, I can tell you that there are 7 critical categories that any software application or extension (i.e. WordPress theme) is judged on.

1. Ease-of-installation: While there are tons of WordPress themes out there, the best ones are easy to install. There should be a simple interface that will help you get started quickly and easily, without a lot of fuss or programming know-how.

2. Degree of customization allowed: Pre-built add-ons, tailor-made plugins and a high degree of customization make themes that much more powerful. While some themes focus on a high degree of customization, others don’t.

3. Mobile usability: Mobile usability is crucial. Considering Google places heavy weight on this, finding the right WordPress theme that supports a responsive mobile design should be one of the defining factors in your quest for the ideal theme.

4. Overall speed: As a developer, I can tell you firsthand that your style of coding counts for a lot. It can either be bogged down by excessive code, or be light and compact. The latter is important to facilitate the overall speed of page loads, which is a crucial factor when it comes to things like SEO and visitor retention.

5. Aesthetic appeal of design: The aesthetic appeal of the theme is important. How polished is the look and feel? Does it look amateur or professional? People pay acute attention to design, so be sure to select the right theme that supports a high-quality design.

6. Customer reviews: Reviews are important when it comes to any product or service. And, when it comes to discovering the right theme, you should do your due diligence into the experiences of others. What’s the general consensus on that theme? Are they authentic reviews?

7. Ongoing support and upgrades: Support is an important aspect in any business, especially in one that requires constant evolution and upgrades to keep up with core upgrades to the WordPress platform. Be sure that whatever theme you purchase, that they provide some sort of on-going or limited support and that they’re constantly evolving, upgrading and adding new features.

Related: 25 Reasons Your Business Should Switch to WordPress

Top themes for WordPress sites.

While any list of themes for WordPress might be considered subjective, the preceding list of criteria help to laser-focus the approach to finding the perfect one. Below are what I consider to be some of the best themes that are out there.

1. X-Theme

I’m partial to X-Theme. It’s the theme that I presently use on my blog. And I’ve had an incredible experience with it. It hits all 7 of the criteria that I’ve laid out and does so particular well. X-Theme was created by ThemeCo, and it offers a highly-customizable, mobile-friendly, easy-to-use interface for your WordPress website. This one is definitely worth checking out.

2. Avada

Another one of the most versatile themes I’ve come across out there, Avada is one of the best-selling themes of all time and was created by Theme Fusion. It offers up a powerful design interface, allowing you to customize nearly all of the graphical elements of your WordPress site.

3. Hexater

Hexater is a fantastic theme that allows you to quickly and easily customize your site without investing hundreds of hours trying to figure out how it works or having a PhD in graphic design. This theme offers quick-to-market renditions for things like product launches, ebooks and niche authority sites, as just a few examples.

4. BeTheme

BeTheme is a massive theme built for WordPress with over 260 variations that can be launched with a single click. This powerful theme is beautiful, responsive, fast-loading and highly customizable. The company offers fast and reliable support, lifetime updates and the framework is optimized for SEO.

5. The7

The7 is one of the most customizable themes that are available for the WordPress platform. It includes a visual composer with a beautiful design wizard and over 750 theme options, along with over 26 pre-built websites that are quickly and easily launchable with a single click.

6. Flatsome

Flatsome is a great theme if you’re planning to run an ecommerce store with the WooCommerce plugin. It’s by far one of the best-selling WordPress themes for WooCommerce out there. It’s highly customizable, provide on-going updates, is fast-loading, boasts a responsive design and has beautiful pre-built designs with on-going updates.

7. Uncode

Uncode is a WordPress theme that gives you with the ability to create beautiful designs within an ultra-fast-loading framework. There are over 200+ layouts, a versatile visual composer and provides over 30 ready-for-market designs to get you up and running quickly and seamlessly.

8. Genesis

Gensis is a framework for WordPress that allows you to create beautiful and stunning websites that are highly customizable. This theme offers a light-weight design that’s highly optimized for speed, and provides advanced customization options, giving you the ability and flexibility to build just about any type of website with the framework.

9. Pixelgrade

Pixelgrade offers a visually-stunning WordPress theme that’s designed for a variety of situations, best suited for a variety of occupations such as restaurateurs, photographers, bloggers, designers and more. The theme is customizable, responsive and very easy-to-use.

10. Storefront

Storefront is a bulletproof WordPress theme that was specifically designed for the WooCommerce add-on. It’s a great way to build an ecommerce store quickly and easily, offering up extensible customization options with a fast-loading framework that makes creating an online story easy and straightforward.

[“Source-entrepreneur”]

IMPHOTO: Free Photoshop alternative Photo and Image Editor software for Windows 10

GIMP is one of the best free open-source photo & image editing software. But some users believed that GIMP was a few features away from being a complete solution to photo editing needs, and so someone created a modified version of GIMP with improved features and options, and they call it GIMPHOTO. Gimphoto comes with GIMP loaded with useful plugins and resources. The UI is tweaked a bit here and there.

GIMPHOTO for Windows 10

GIMPHOTO comes packed with Gimp plugins that have been developed by other developers across the globe. These plugins can help you extend features and add more options while editing an image. Let us take a look at some of the outstanding feature of this free Photoshop alternative software.

GIMPHOTO for Windows 10

UI

Gimphoto makes use of Clearlooks GTK engine to render the UI. The interface is almost the same, but you may notice changes in the appearance of controls. They are more smooth and flat because of the Clearlooks engine. Gimphoto also includes a tool that lets you use any other GTK theme and customize the UI more easily.

Menu Convention

A few changes to the menu structure have been made. Although, the naming convention remains the same so that you can still follow GIMP tutorials as it is they were before. The right click menu has also been modified to add more tools so that they are easily accessible.

Additional Plugins

This section covers the additional plugins that come preinstalled with Gimphoto.

Save for Web

This plugin lets you save images in webioptimized quality. Since disk space is an expensive resource these days, you can create images that are beautiful to look and are small in size. This option has been added to the ‘File’ menu.

David’s Batch Processing

This plugin exactly does what it says. You can easily manipulate images in batch mode without learning any new scripting language. You can perform operations like rotate, resize, color, blur sharpen, crop and even rename. This is a pretty nifty plugin and can help you a lot if you use batch operations.

Separate+

This plugin adds some really useful color management features to the GIMP. Gimphoto uses this plugin for RGB to CMYK conversion. This feature is mostly required by professionals and needs in-depth knowledge of digital imaging. You can find this plugin under ‘Image’ -> ‘Mode’.

LayerEffects

This script lets you add some effects to the separate layers of the image. You can add effects like border, gradient, glow, and shadow.

Other than these plugins, a few other additions have been made. You will find a new and improved set of brushes awaiting you. A new and modified brush set has replaced the default one, and the developer has stated to improve it further and add more brushes to it.

The default set of gradients have been modified, and almost 30 new gradients have been added to create button, symbol or graphics for Web 2.0 design style.

So that was pretty much that has been changed to make this tool more useful. All in all, Gimphoto is a complete photo editor that can handle most of your image editing needs.

 

Moreover, Gimphoto updates come along with GIMP updates. So the latest version of Gimphoto is now running upon GIMP 2.4 stable version while GIMP has been updated to 2.8 in the meantime and we expect a new Gimphoto update with all the new GIMP feature like single window mode, etc. With this tool, you get all the GIMP functionality with more features.

Gimphoto is an outstanding feature-rich image editing software that does what it says. It can serve as a PhotoShop alternative software for those who cannot afford PhotoShop. The UI is very easy to understand, the image is in the center and the toolbox and others sub-windows are aligned around it. You can easily perform basic and complex tasks on Gimphoto. Click here to download Gimphoto. The software is Open-Source, and the source code is available for further modifications.

[“Source-thewindowsclub.”]

10 Most Epic Wrestling Entrance Themes You May Not Have Heard

Even in 2017, hopelessly lost in a deadening creative malaise – the prospect of John Cena and Rusev feuding two years later, having undergone zero in the way of character development in the interim, is bloody depressing – WWE still excels at entrance themes.

Bobby Roode’s ‘Glorious Domination’, penned by the excellent CFO$, is the aural translation of the word “epic”, performed by what can only be described as a choir of warriors. With it, WWE managed in ten seconds what TNA failed to do in ten years: present Roode as a genuine superstar. Shinsuke Nakamura’s ‘The Rising Sun’ blast beats/violin fusion is the sound of the language barrier being annihilated. Asuka’s ‘The Future’ is a three minute-long cruel taunt. The booking may be criminal, but the entrances are blessed.

There is much to life outside of the WWE bubble. More expressionistic – often far superior – wrestling matches. Shows promoted in a more logical, sports-oriented context. And, ironically, more variety with nary a stipulation in sight. This also extends to the all-important entrance theme, which, if used correctly, does as much to get a performer over as years of painful graft and painstaking fine-tuning.

Even WCW, rightly derided for its dime store bargain bin knockoffs of classic WWF themes and grunge anthems, was the proverbial broken clock…

Susumu Hirasawa is a legend within avant garde musical circles – so much so that a (tenuous) association with the wacky world of pro wrestling was one of the less weird things about him.

Hirasawa, who composed this synth-based masterpiece under a pseudonym, was not a fan of puroresu. This was his guess at what “wrestling sounds like”. If only it was. Hirasawa’s vision of it is both relentless and beautifully ambient – an evocation of a late night teenage Tokyo joyride, with its spectral synths and juddering precision drum machine. Choshu’s Revolution Army stable thundered through New Japan in the early 1980s. This, a bleeping, shuddering blast of hypersonic BPM, was the perfect soundtrack for that revolution.

Choshu was a hugely over hero of the youth movement in the mid 1980s. Though it may be a result of permanent millennial fascination with that decade, ‘Power Hall’ still sounds impossibly cutting edge in 2017. Imagine how cool, how futuristic, it must have sounded back then.

It works as a electronic masterpiece in its own right, with just enough swelling grandeur in the background to associate itself with the sport.

“May not have heard” might also be as much of a stretch as “epic” here, but this, the most brilliant so-bad-it’s-good wrestling theme ever penned, warrants inclusion here as civic duty.

Great wrestling themes – generally, there are exceptions, even here – must be immediate, attention-catching. The use of the “sting” – shattering glass, sirens, gongs – is not prevalent by accident. The intro to ‘American Males’, however, is thirty seconds long. The effect of this endless bubbling bass and revved engine guitar is one of sheer anticipation. It must be building to something of blow-away quality. It’s just so d*mn assured, like it’s unzipping itself because that bulge simply cannot be constrained any longer.

What it builds to, instead, is some squeaky-voiced sap droning “American Males! American Males! American Males! American Males! American Males! American Males! American Males!” Count it: that is seven times. The verse is something Trey Parker would consider too OTT even in the realm of parody. “When you see them comin’ better run for cov-ah! Girls you don’t need a weekend lov-ah – eurgh – American Males!”

The subsequent guitar solo is unintentionally hilarious. You’ll never in your life hear anything lower in the mix. It’s as if it’s embarrassed to be associated with the rest of the song.

Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger walked to the ring for his one-and-done NXT bow to the strains of CFO$’s ‘Thuhn-Der’. It was fine. It hit the right notes of Liger’s more famous New Japan theme without plagiarising them outright. It was frenetic and heroic, with just enough blippy anime bluster to convey to a new audience who Liger was.

As adequate as it was, it was no ‘Ikari No Jushin’.

The opening sting sparks compulsory air drumming before setting off in a synth-heavy gallop wholly befitting of Liger’s gutsy superhero act. There was an element of corniness (no bad thing) to Liger. His full body suit and ornate mask was an OTT revamp of Satoru Sayama’s Tiger Mask garb, itself directly fashioned after another anime hero. Ikari No Jushin ably complimented it with its rapid vocals and equally sudden and histrionic key changes.

The searing pace is what really captures Liger’s essence. Liger was one of the most influential junior heavyweights of all time, having innovated the still-jaw-dropping Shooting Star Press. ‘Ikari No Jushin’, a breakneck voyage of an entrance theme, could barely keep up with him in his pomp.

WWE has the market cornered on entrance themes, we’ve discussed that. Perhaps the only way of beating them at their own game is liberally borrowing a gem from their library and sprinkling a f*ck-tonne of F words over the top of it, much like TAKA Michinoku has done in Japan in recent years.

There is much to admire about its opening sting. The jukebox coin drop is why-did-nobody-think-of-it-before perfect – but requires an awesome theme to back up the balls-out bluster. TAKA subsequently lobs out the fruit as well as the two veg with a spoken word segment in which he confirms that “TAKA is coming…motherf*cker.” In brilliantly accented English, he also threatens to “kick you a**.”

And thus begins the familiar clipped shamisen, which, appropriately enough for a number that betters the original by utterly bludgeoning it, turns the old transitional distorted guitar riff up to 11. Up to 11 also go the hilarious spoken word interludes. “Hey you, a**hole. Listen to me. You know my name, do you know who I am? My f*cking name is TAKA Michinoku!”

What’s extraordinary about the theme is that TAKA portrays himself as this super-powerful specimen when in fact, the only physical change he has undergone since leaving the WWF is the creaking emergence of swelling dad bod.

That’s not a blight on the man; a slight Japanese performer must also have a f*ck-tonne of talent to stay relevant in the western mainstream for two decades.

One general rule of wrestling theme entrances thumb is: if you’re foreign, make d*mn sure everybody gets used to the idea within a matter of seconds, else you run the risk of not pigeonholing yourself through your ethnicity.

Eddie (Eddy) Guerrero was lumbered with a particularly stereotypical ditty in WCW – a lowriding bass number spiked with lazy mariachi leanings. Juventud Guerrera’s theme was similarly region-specific. It’s a miracle he didn’t lead a bull to the ring. Trumpets also blared over the speakers when the Mexicools faction entered WWE arenas in the mid-2000s (though in fairness, their entire act was based on being Mexican.)

Happily, Penta El 0M has selected a far less cumbersome tune than his Mexican predecessors (and his recent enforced name change). ‘Thrill Switch’ starts inauspiciously with an anonymous guitar squall and drum fill, threatening to approach the generic hard rock territory into which so many wrestlers land – before settling into a wavy trip-hop bassline and an almost mournful synth pitying his opponents.

Wrestling themes have mastered the epic, the intimidating and the fabulously naff. This is a rare cool wrestling theme.

While CFO$ have continued Jim Johnston’s wonderful lineage of crafting awesome entrance themes, the best modern composition must be Ayumi Nakamura’s Kaze ni Nare, used by the psychotic Minoru Suzuki. It’s both epic in and of itself and perfectly suited to one of the most idiosyncratic performers on the planet today.

Suzuki is a freelancer, a status echoed by the introduction. The gust of wind is almost an anti-“sting”, heralding Suzuki’s arrival from the wilderness to reclaim his throne as the most vile sh*t-kicker in any given promotion. Once he materialises, the building is shaken by pounding drums and loud duelling guitars – one heavy and distorted, reflecting his relentlessly stiff offence, the other a picked western acoustic chord progression conveying his status as puro outlaw.

It’s a really a masterpiece; every arrangement is reminiscent of his multi-faceted character. The guitar gives way to delicate piano and beautiful, haunting female vocals. Suzuki has a sick sense of humour, kicking his ring boys off the apron with a sadistic leer – which might explain his theme’s sudden departure into the realm of the beautiful.

It’s blackly comedic irony; a masterful psychological touch lulling opponents and fans alike into false security.

The beauty of the Ravishing Rick Rude act is that there was so, so much to hate about him, all of which born from perhaps the most primal human emotion of all: jealousy.

Rude’s “stripper” WWF theme – heavily borrowed from, yes, “The Stripper” by David Rose & His Orchestra – was wonderfully sleazy, modernised for the excess of the 1980s with ridiculous wailing saxophones and sharp synths. Good as it was, it only really conveyed one aspect of his rounded personality. Rude was an aberration, in that he was a former WWF star who was better in WCW than he was up north, and didn’t need to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into developing his character. He cut the mullet off. His musculature was still unbelievably impressive, even leaner. He was stripped of both the Stripper theme and the cartoonish connotations of it. This Rude, still a total p*ssy rat, was tougher and meaner.

“Simply Ravishing” was the perfect musical capper. It teetered dangerously close to a babyface theme, with its triumphant synths and awesome OTT soul vocals, but it just made you hate the man all the more, especially with lyrics subverting the cheesy bombast (“His body’s chiselled/Abs all in a row/You’d think he was sculpted by Michelangelo!”).

This impossibly brilliant a**hole just had to have the best music, on top of everything else.

The Fabulous Freebirds were among the first acts to popularise entrance music in the golden days of the territory era (Gorgeous George and Mildred Burke innovated the practise in the 1950s), flying to the ring to the tune of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s southern pride anthem ‘Free Bird’.

By the mid 1980s, using copyrighted music simply became too expensive, precipitating the age of in-house compositions but not prohibiting faction leader Michael ‘PS’ Hayes, an accomplished musician in his own right. He, in conjunction with James D. Papa, penned ‘Badstreet USA’ for use by the Freebirds going forward. It’s a shame that the song is synonymous with their faded force, for it is a sublime, early Van Halen-esque rock number dripping with the cool the Freebirds possessed at the height of their WCCW run with the Von Erichs.

It begins with a bass string-plucked heartbeat before the drums strut right up to the top of the mix, joined by a sleazy, arrogant guitar riff and growling, emulative vocals. This being the height of the 1980s there is, naturally, a caterwauling solo tacked on the end of it.

This wasn’t Hayes’ last contribution to the wrestling music sphere; he also recorded ‘Freebird Road’ as a tribute to his fallen Freebird comrade Terry ‘Bam Bam’ Gordy. You shouldn’t laugh – the inspiration behind it is as sweet as the harmonies – but Hayes does air guitar on Gordy’s grave in the video.

For whatever reason – maybe the revisionist shorthand of New Generation = Tripe Gimmicks, maybe the fact that the Doink gimmick was tripe for far longer than it was awesome – many fans simply refuse to believe that it was, for a few incredible months in 1993 at least, something quietly special. Several times this Author page has recommended matches performed by Matt Borne’s evil heel; several times has this been met with a punctuation mark-as-epithet:

Doink?

Yes, Doink. Borne’s Doink was a genuinely eerie heel character in an otherwise foreign menace-filled age, leering to the hard camera from an ironically comfortable distance as if penetrating your nightmares from an unreachable, immovable peripheral. His taunts, best deployed in a forgotten classic opposite Marty Jannetty, were similarly unsettling.

So too was his original WWF theme, Nightmare Clown – a bastardised version of ‘Thunder and Blazes’ which plummets into a hell-circus the nanosecond after the slide whistle blows and the car horn beeps. Doomy, ominous synths give way to maniacal laughter and even more ominous spectral synths.

The shift from fun to fear is so sudden, it feels as if a trapdoor opens beneath your feet – an apt means of conveying Borne’s criminally underrated in-ring psychology.

It takes balls of solid steel to begin any modern composition with a cheesy plonking of the piano keys.

This is how the legendary Mitsuharu Misawa, one of if not the absolute greatest in-ring performer in wrestling history, made his way to the Budokan Hall ring, inspiring the equally awesome ‘Glorious Domination’.

The notes rise and fall before fading out entirely. It’s a grandiose statement. as if to say: We’re just warming up; you have no conception of just how epic this thing is going to be. And epic it is; a rapid fire blast of drums kickstarts a propulsive beat timed perfectly to the deafening chants of “Mis-awa! Mis-awa! Mis-awa!” that invariably followed his march through the crowd. A swell of space age synthesisers shower it with futurism, and much like Choshu’s Power Hall, it’s perfect; Misawa led AJPW’s 1990s youth movement. Doubling down on the theme, the sound of ray guns squiggle out in the background.

It’s also unintentionally comedic in places; just before the first minute mark, the thing breaks down into this funky interlude utterly at odds with Misawa’s stoic intensity. It almost mirrors his matches in its many moving (though interlinked) parts, evoking glory and determination.

[“Source-whatculture”]

8 tips for being productive on the iPad with iOS 10

Photo by Tyler Pina / The Verge

In my review of the iPad Pro 10.5, I said that most people should probably wait until all the productivity improvements coming in iOS 11 are available before buying one. But you didn’t wait, did you, you maniac? You went out and bought one, and are now wondering how you can get the most out of the machine you spent over $1,000 kitting out.

One obvious thing to do is go ahead and install the iOS 11 public beta. It seems relatively stable on the iPad Pro. But my recommendation is still to wait a bit, especially if you depend on your iPad for day-to-day work.

So if you’re sticking with iOS 10 for now, good on you — you are a very responsible person. And lucky for you, there are a bunch of obvious and not-so-obvious things you can do to get more use out of your shiny new iPad, making it less likely that it will end up sitting unused in your nightstand until you want to watch Netflix.

Here are some of my favorite tips. This certainly isn’t comprehensive, but there are the tricks and apps that make iPad life better for me. Most of these tips will also serve you in good stead once you upgrade to iOS 11, too.

LEARN THE KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

Apples Smart Keyboard isn’t everybody’s favorite. Mine doesn’t quite sit flush on a table, and it’s awkward to use on a lap. There are other options on the way that give you more angles and more function keys; Logitech’s looks decent. But I like the Smart Keyboard mainly because it folds up into such a small package.

So if you’re sticking with Apple’s keyboard, you’re going to want to learn some keyboard shortcuts. Some are obvious, like Cmd-Tab to switch apps and Cmd-Space to open up Spotlight search. Others are harder to discover. Apps that are properly coded for iOS will display a pop-up of their keyboard shortcuts when you hold down the Cmd key. Here are a few I like:

  • Cmd-H will get you back to the home screen.
  • In Spotlight, you can hold down the down-arrow key to jam past all the supposedly helpful search suggestions and get to the web search you actually want a little bit faster.
  • Cmd-Shift-3 takes a screenshot, just like on your Mac.
  • Opt + arrow keys let you navigate text word by word or line by line.
  • Opt + Delete deletes a whole word at a time.

One last note: I was (and am) tempted to suggest you install the excellent Gboard keyboard for on-screen typing, because it offers swipe-to-type. Except that when you do, for some reason, the apostrophe key on external keyboards stops working. It’s a super annoying bug.

TEXT REPLACEMENT

One of the most powerful features on iOS is Text Replacement. Ostensibly, it lets you type something short on a phone and have it automatically expanded out into something more complicated. Most people use it for stuff like turning “@@” into an email address or “shruggie” into ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

These are valuable features, but I also use them to do custom searches in the browser. For example, I’ve set “vgg” to “site:theverge.com” so I can search The Verge more quickly in Safari. You can add a bunch of other custom searches, though it’s not as powerful as what you can do in Alfred on the Mac.

Sadly, for some reason Text Replacement isn’t working for me in Spotlight search, which is where I really want it the most.

TRY DIFFERENT APPS WITH MULTITASKING

This one’s pretty obvious, but I’m telling you anyway: keep playing around with apps, especially in conjunction with the way multitasking works on iOS 10: Slide Over (which you pull in from the right) and full split screen. You might find that an old standby app that you love doesn’t support split screen yet, but a perfectly good (or maybe even better!) alternative does.

In particular, most of Google’s apps are simply atrocious on the iPad. Gmail and Inbox don’t support split-screen mode, which is bonkers. Google Docs does, but it’s pretty awful on the iPad. Microsoft Word, however, is quite lovely on the iPad.

Other apps just act twitchy. Twitter, for example, refuses to open a link when it’s a skinny app on the right; you have to go half-screen. Tweetbot, however, works great and also will stream tweets automatically when it’s sitting to the side.

Safari lets you split screen two tabs, but sadly you can’t do it and have a second app open.

All these split-screen hoops will get slightly better with iOS 11, but not entirely. Even though the multitasking interface on iOS 10 isn’t as good, it’s still useful to find apps that play nice with it now, and they’ll be much more likely to play nice when the update comes.

START PLAYING AROUND WITH AFFINITY FOR IMAGE EDITING

Sorry, Adobe. I’m sure that the idea of releasing a dozen lightweight versions of your apps for iOS seemed like a good idea at the time, but you got lapped by Affinity. It was demonstrated at Apple’s WWDC keynote, and it’s available at an intro price of $19.99.

That might seem like a lot for an iPad app to you, but it is wildly powerful — and honestly a little hard to figure out. But I’ve found that investing time into the app pays off. The learning curve seems easier than Photoshop and I’m finding that I can make really nice edits without too much work. If $19.99 is too much for you, Pixelmator is another good photo-editing app for iOS at $4.99.

I’ll admit that this “tip” isn’t entirely unmotivated: if we want more “pro” apps on the iPad, we should reward companies that make apps that work well on the iPad.

INSTALL ANNOTABLE, A GREAT SCREENSHOT MARKUP TOOL

Speaking of great apps that feel native to the iPad Pro, check out Annotable. It’s an app for marking up screenshots with arrows and highlights and circles and doodles. It’s free for some features, with in-app purchases for some features.

When iOS 11 comes, there will be a neat new screenshot workflow that makes these annotations easier. Until then, this app is the closest thing to Skitch (or rather, to what Skitch was when it was good) on the iPad. And I suspect that even when iOS 11 comes out, it will have enough new features to avoid getting Sherlocked.

SET UP WIDGETS — NO, SERIOUSLY

I know, the widgets section in the Notification Center is probably the easiest part of iOS to ignore, but hang with me here for a minute. On the iPad, widgets can be displayed in two columns. If you’re using the iPad as your main computer, there’s a pretty solid chance you’re going to want to do quick checks on your calendar more often.

Widgets make checking you calendar, tasks, and other little bits of information easier, and I find I use them more often on the iPad than I do on my iPhone. And they’re easier to get to than bouncing home and hunting around for the app, then launching it, then trying to get back to whatever your last work setup was.

ORGANIZE THE SHARE SHEET

In iOS 11, you will have to futz with the official iOS Share Sheet less often. Until then, you will need to hit that little box with the arrow sticking out of it all the time. So you should take a minute to actually organize it.

To do it, tap that icon, then swipe each of the horizontal rows of apps all the way over. You’ll have to do it for each row. Then you can toggle most apps off (some don’t allow you do, which is weird and annoying) and reorder them so the stuff you actually use is easer to get to.

And you should also know that the “Share Sheet” is a misnomer, as it’s become a place where all sorts of weird extra functionality gets scurried away. That applies doubly to Safari, where you’ll find the very useful “Request Desktop Site” button sitting inside the Share Sheet as well as third-party extensions like 1Password.

CHECK OUT DUET TO MAKE YOUR IPAD A MONITOR

duet

We’re fans of Duet over here at The Verge. It turns your iPad into second monitor for your Mac or PC and also lets you draw directly into apps as though it were a Wacom tablet. Sure, you can be productive on an iPad Pro, but you can surely do more on a Mac, and even moreon a Mac with a second display.

Duet is also well-supported: it’s already been updated with full iPad Pro support. It’s theoretically pricey at $19.99 apiece for each in-app purchase, but that’s still way less than buying a portable monitor. And, as before, paying for well-supported pro apps on the iPad gives all developers incentive to make more of them.

[“Source-theverge”]

THE BEST IOS 10 WIDGETS FOR YOUR IPHONE OR IPAD

best ios 10 widgets

We’ve shown you all the great things iOS 10 has to offer, but one of the best features is the ability to add widgets. In iOS, widgets aren’t a separate download. When you download an app, if a widget is available for that app, as is the case with Google Maps, it will be in the list of widgets automatically. Unlike Android, widgets don’t live on the home screen — they’re a part of the Notification Center, which means that you can access them all with a simple swipe.

How to access and add widgets

Keep in mind that you can access widgets on your iPhone by swiping right on the lock screen or home screen, but also by swiping down to access the Notification Center and then swiping to the right. To add widgets, simply scroll all the way down and tap Edit.

If you’re still finding your way through iOS, don’t forget to take a look at our iOS 10 tips and tricks. Now let’s take a closer look at some of our favorites widgets in iOS 10.

Fantastical 2 ($5)

best ios 10 widgets fantastical 2
Fantastical 2 is one of the most powerful calendar apps you can download for iOS. You can use it as a reminders app, to schedule appointments, and to help you organize your life. You have an expansive view of your reminders or events that make it very easy to handle. The widget alerts you of anything coming up throughout your day, whether it’s an appointment or a reminder. The search feature is very handy as you can search your calendar for specific events or reminders. It will even sync with your Facebook events. This app serves as a powerful calendar app if you want to replace Apple’s stock Calendar app.

Download now for:

IPHONE IPAD

Copied

best ios 10 widgets copiedHave you ever had to copy and paste things into a document or an email? If you have, then you know how frustrating it can get going back and forth between webpages or images. Copied is the perfect solution for this problem. This clever iOS widget keeps a history of things that you have copied, whether they are images or text. You can copy what you need and then use the widget to paste your images or text into the document or note. Instead of going back and forth between several things, all you have to do is pull down the Notification Center, and everything you copied is in the widget for quick and easy access.

Download now for:

IPHONE & IPAD

Cortana

best ios 10 widgets cortanaIs Siri letting you down sometimes? Well, the good news is that Microsoft’s Cortana is available for iOS. Having Cortana on your iPhone is an excellent idea if you’re a Windows user. When you use Cortana on your PC to set a reminder, for example, she can alert you right on your iOS device. Siri remains the best option if you want to control your iOS device with your voice, but Cortana is a great addition to iOS. The widget makes it easy to set reminders or ask Cortana a question.

Download now for:

IPHONE

ESPN

best ios 10 widgets espnESPN is a must download if you’re a sports fan and need to have quick and easy access to the latest scores. The widget is extremely useful because when you first set up the app, you can customize it with your favorite sports. That means all the information that you get in the widget is important to you, instead of being a random ticker of sports scores. You can open the app itself through the widget, and there you will find all the latest sports articles and videos.

Download now for:

IPHONE & IPAD

Google Maps

best ios 10 widgets google mapsThe Google Maps widget is one of the most powerful in iOS. Once you install the app, you have two widgets that you can add — Nearby Traffic and Nearby Transit. You can update departure times near you right from the widget to find transit options, while the Nearby Traffic widget locates you and lets you know how the traffic conditions are in the vicinity. In many ways, Google Mapsremains the go-to maps app in iOS. Unlike the Apple Maps Transit widget, with Google’s Nearby Transit you can see the line schedules around you. In contrast, Apple Maps needs you to add your favorite lines before it shows you anything in the widget.

Download now for:

IPHONE & IPAD

Launcher

best ios 10 widgets launcherIf you have hundreds of apps and you’re getting a bit overwhelmed, Launcher can make your life a lot easier. The app lets you create a launcher for an action or app that you need to access quickly. If you need to play a favorite song, email a specific contact, or get directions with just one tap, this is the iPhone widget for you. The app is free to download, but there are in-app purchases to unlock all the features.

Download now for:

IPHONE & IPAD

Todoist

best ios 10 widgets todoistThe best way to describe this iOS widget is that it is simple and fast. The widget lets you add or mark your to-do items as finished. Items disappear from the widget as you check them. It makes organizing your tasks very easy. The basic functionality of the app is free, but if you want to set reminders for something on your list, for example, you will have to upgrade. The app has a premium subscription that is billed annually at $29, but if you only need the basics, then the free version of this widget is perfect.

Download now for:

IPHONE & IPAD

Weather Underground

best ios 10 widgets weather undergroundThe Weather Underground widget is one of the best weather-related iOS widgets out there. When you install the app, you get access to two widgets. WU Weather lets you see the weather throughout the day. You have a choice to see a graph or to show the weather conditions right on the widget. The WU Radar widget shows you satellite information based on your current location. If you want to see a satellite animation view, you can launch that right from this widget.

Download now for:

IPHONE & IPAD

Workflow

best ios 10 widgets workflowWorkflow helps you get things done quickly. When you open Workflow, you can create shortcuts to things that you want to do. You can use the app to add a workflow. You can see each workflow in the widget in the form of an icon. When you tap the icon, it will perform that task. With one tap, you can post the last picture you took to Instagram, or you can share whatever you copied into your clipboard. There are many actions you can add to the widget, and we’re confident that you will love how much time this widget saves you during the day.

Download now for:

IPHONE & IPAD

Favorites

best ios 10 widgets favoritesApple’s Favorites widget is one of the best iOS widgets around, and you don’t need to install anything. When you add a favorite in iOS, it will ask you to choose what you want to do when you tap on the contact. You can choose to call, iMessage, FaceTime, or email them. It depends on the information that you have for that contact. You can add the same contact a few times to accomplish a different task. You can add them once to call them and once to send them a message. The widget shows you all your favorites after you add them using the Phone app. Now you have a way to call or message someone quickly without having to open the phone app, or even unlock your device.

If you’re still learning how to use iOS and are having any problems, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Make sure you read through our guide on how to fix the most common problems with iOS, and to compliment all your new widgets, don’t forget to check out our choices for best productivity apps for iOS.

[“Source-digitaltrends”]

Vietnamese blogger Mother Mushroom jailed for 10 years

Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, also known as "Mother Mushroom," stands trial at a courthouse in Nha Trang on June 29, 2017.

Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, also known as “Mother Mushroom,” stands trial at a courthouse in Nha Trang on June 29, 2017.

(CNN)Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh has been sentenced to 10 years in prison by the country’s authorities, according to state media.

Nguyen, also known by her blogging pseudonym, Me Nam — which translates to “Mother Mushroom” — was convicted of “conducting anti-State propaganda.”
The 37-year-old, whose pseudonym originated with her nickname, “Mushroom,” for her daughter, runs a blog which is frequently critical of the government, and covers issues such as land confiscation, freedom of speech and police brutality.
She is famous for using the tagline, “Who will speak if you don’t?”
Nguyen also came to the attention of authorities in 2009 for her outspoken views against China’s intervention in her country, including Beijing’s financing of a controversial bauxite mine in the Central Highlands.
She was arrested by the Department of Public Security on October 10, 2016, according to the state-run Vietnam News Agency (VNA), which referred to her in reports as an “anti-state instigator.”
She last posted on her Facebook page on the date of her arrest.

Condemnation

The US called on Vietnam to release Nguyen and “all other prisoners of conscience immediately.”
“We’ve seen some positive steps on human rights in Vietnam over the past few years. However, the trend of increased arrests and convictions of peaceful protests since early 2016 is deeply troubling,” said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.
Human rights and press freedom groups also condemned the trial and the sentencing.
“The Vietnamese government uses vague national security laws to silence activists and throttle free speech,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
“International donors should not watch silently as activists like Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh are jailed for a decade for defending the human rights of all Vietnamese.”
She was the recipient of a Hellman/Hammett grant in 2010, which “recognizes courage in the face of political persecution,” Human Rights Watch said.
Ahead of her conviction, PEN America released a statement calling for her “unconditional release,” while the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called the sentence an “obscene injustice.”
“The harsh measures Vietnam has taken against journalists like Nguyen Ngnoc Nhu Quynh should be an embarrassment to the country’s rulers,” CPJ Asia Program Director Steven Butler was quoted as saying.
“Quynh never should have spent a day behind bars. Condemning her to 10 years in prison for her writing is an obscene injustice.”
Nguyen was arrested and imprisoned for 10 days in 2009, for “abuse of democratic freedoms and infringing on the national benefit,” she told CNN in 2010.
As a condition of her release, she agreed to give up blogging, posting a handwritten letter on her site in which she explained that she loved her country, but that the government felt this was the wrong way to express herself. After being denied a passport two months later, she decided to blog again.
“I write another entry on my blog, that I gave up already, but they didn’t leave me alone,” she said. “I have to take the right to say what I think.”
[“Source-ndtvedition”]