How to Make Your 4K Footage Look Like It Was Shot in the 90s

Image result for How to Make Your 4K Footage Look Like It Was Shot in the 90sSo many photographers have recently been dipping their toes in the world of video. You can edit photos like a pro, but maybe you just can’t seem to figure out video editing; it’s very complex – like an onion, so many layers – and now you have to deal with sound design! If you’ve used presets for your photo editing, then you should definitely consider plugins for your video editing. Red Giant sent us a copy of their recently updated Universe 2.1. Jump on in and see what it’s all about.

I’ve always been a fan of Red Giant ever since I learned the Pen Tool in AfterEffects using Trapcode Suite. Later, in my first “real” job, we relied heavily on Magic Bullet, specifically Looks. So, when they sent us a copy, I was super excited to try out Universe 2.1. I only used a few plugins for this video, but it’s ridiculous how many more there are.

There are six new tools and two updates to the suite:

  • AV Club: Mimic the lo-fi, noisy text you find on ancient video tapes, old infomercials, and local access cable channel shows.
  • Luster: Give your text a slick 1980s retro look. Luster applies a metal sheen to text and includes a refraction-based bevel for a glassy simulated 3D look.
  • Title Motion: Create text and shapes and then instantly add dynamic animations that bring them on and off screen. It’s great for titles, lower thirds, callouts, and more.
  • Ecto: Create haunting, evolving titles with this glowing fractal-based effect, inspired by “Ghostbusters” and “Stranger Things.”
  • Long Shadow: Apply a colored, long shadow to text, logo, or shape, for both classic and modern motion design.
  • Glo Fi II: Give text an ethereal, moody look by instantly adding silky smooth, self-animating, fractal-based glow effects to titles. A simple UI makes it easy to apply evolving, organic glows.
  • Line: This update adds the ability to add text at the start and endpoint of a line.
  • Holomatrix II: This update includes blurred, chromatic distortions, a new strobe effect, and much more.

Holomatrix II is so much fun! While I was testing it out, Patrick suggested I drop the hologram of Tupac in the background, but we figured that would be infringing on copyright, so we went with Princess Leia instead. Not only is this plugin fun, it’s so, so easy. They give you 85 presets to choose from within the plugin (just inside of the Holomatrix II tool), or you can set the parameters yourself and control anything you want. So, I started with their default preset and was able to choose how much distortion, speed, flicker; again, you have total control.

It’s one of the reasons I love plugins: they help you save so much time when it comes to editing, and they also teach you more about the program. I taught myself AfterEffects watching YouTube tutorials and breaking down plugins, seeing what each effect did. When it comes to the type of videos most of us are going to edit, you really shouldn’t be afraid of trying basic AfterEffects!

For the ridiculous 90s montage Lee filmed, I used the VHS plugin, which again, I can’t reiterate how easy it was to use. While all of this editing was done inside Premiere Pro, Universe 2.1 can be used in most NLE programs as well, such as Final Cut X, but be sure to check out Red Giant’s Compatibility Page if you’re using a different program.

Filming and editing this video was so much fun. I was able to play around with a lot of their plugins, and you should too! Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to using these plugins: they will save you time in editing, but might add time when it comes to exporting.

Universe 2.1 is really affordable too if you’re someone who uses plugins for your work. They have a monthly subscription for $20 or a yearly for $99.

All in all, I really enjoyed messing around with these different plugins. I am going to try to work on some more videos to show you even more of the plugins. Also, let me know in the comments below if you would want a mini tutorial on how to use any specific plugin! If you’ve never tried Red Giant Plugins, at least give the free trial a go! I think you’ll be glad you did.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Mosul assault: Iraq troops make headway against IS

Members of the Iraqi rapid response forces fire a missile toward Islamic State militants during a battle in south of Mosul, Iraq February 19, 2017

Iraqi government forces have seized several villages as they move towards an assault on the last area held by the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Mosul.

Hundreds of military vehicles, backed by air power, rolled across the desert towards IS positions early on Sunday.

The progress on Sunday in the south of the city, the second biggest in Iraq, takes them within striking distance of Mosul airport.

Fears have been voiced about the safety of many thousands of trapped civilians.

The offensive was formally announced by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi early on Sunday.

Army Staff Lieutenant General Abdulamir Yarallah said in a statement that elite Rapid Response units captured the villages of Athbah and Al-Lazzagah – two villages south of Mosul airport.

Attack on west Mosul: Day one in pictures

Government forces retook the eastern side of the city, the last major IS stronghold in Iraq, last month. But military officials say the western side, with its narrow, winding streets, may prove a bigger challenge.

For now, there is no advance from eastern Mosul as all bridges from there to the west of the city, across the Tigris river, have been destroyed.

Map of Mosul city showing areas of control

Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, the commander of the US-led coalition forces, said in a statement on Sunday: “Mosul would be a tough fight for any army in the world.”

Special forces units safely detonated a number of IS car bombs as they cleared villages south of Mosul, according to the BBC’s Quentin Sommerville, who is embedded with the troops.

As well as primed car bombs, the jihadists left behind SIM cards, clothes, instant coffee and weapons as they retreated.

  • Photos show ‘weaponised drones’ in Iraq
  • Satellite images reveal Mosul damage
  • Iraq gaining momentum against IS
  • Islamic State group: The full story
A hidden and still live car bomb found in a village homeImage copyrightQUENTIN SOMMERVILLE/BBC
Image captionA hidden and still live car bomb found in a village home

The UN has voiced concern about civilians trapped there, amid reports that they could number up to 650,000. Leaflets warning residents of an imminent offensive were earlier dropped over the west of the city.

Charity Save the Children said on Sunday it believed that as many as 350,000 children were trapped.

“This is the grim choice for children in western Mosul right now: bombs, crossfire and hunger if they stay; or execution and snipers if they try to run,” said the charity’s Iraq country director, Maurizio Crivallero.


The BBC’s Quentin Sommerville is embedded with the Emergency Response Division special forces troops near Mosul

The assault began just after dawn, after days of coalition air strikes, with hundreds of armoured vehicles, thousands of men, and support from helicopter gunships.

The men of Iraq’s Emergency Response Division, police special forces are leading the attack. Their targets are three IS held villages to the south of west Mosul. They are trying to gain the high ground from IS, which will give them sight of the city’s airport and its southern edge.

The government forces made quick gains but have been slowed as they begin to take villages. There are no signs of any civilians. Heavy machine gunfire, rockets and artillery fire are constant.

For the first time in nearly three years, the Iraqi flag is again flying over the south of western Mosul.

Soldiers rest during the offensive in southern MosulImage copyrightQUENTIN SOMMERVILLE/BBC
Image captionSoldiers rest during the offensive in southern Mosul
Iraqi troops near MosulImage copyrightQUENTIN SOMMERVILLE/BBC
Image captionA soldier looks out over the desert as the offensive begins

Follow Quentin Sommerville on Twitter


Iraqi forces have now all but surrounded the western part of Mosul, while the US-led coalition has been carrying out air strikes on IS targets.

Ahead of the launch of the operation, Mr Abadi said in a televised speech: “We announce the start of a new phase in the operation, we are coming to Nineveh to liberate the western side of Mosul.”

“Our forces are beginning the liberation of the citizens from the terror of Daesh [IS],” he added, quoted by AFP news agency.

Quentin tweet
Quentin Sommerville tweet that reads:
Quentin Sommerville tweet that reads:

The UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Iraq, Lise Grande, told the BBC on Saturday that “all of the parties to the conflict do absolutely everything they can to ensure that civilians survive the battle, and that they live”.

“Absolutely nothing is more important going into the campaign to retake western Mosul,” she added.

As the advance got under way, the UN commissioner for human rights called on the Iraqi government to investigate videos shared on social media that appeared to show Iraqi troops brutally abusing and executing IS fighters on the streets of east Mosul late last year.

The videos have not been verified at this stage by any government authority or independent group. The Iraqi prime minister’s office said it had launched an investigation.

The offensive on the eastern part of the city was launched on 17 October, more than two years after jihadists overran Mosul before seizing control of much of northern and western Iraq.

Experts warn that western Mosul, although slightly smaller than the east, is more densely populated and includes districts that are seen as pro-IS.

The UN said in late January that almost half of all the casualties in Mosul were civilians. At least 1,096 have been killed and 694 injured across Nineveh province since the start of October.

[Source:-BBC]

Gallery: 10 JIRA plugins to make software development even more agile

Make JIRA work for you

Software suites like JIRA are complicated, and each company needs it to do something just a little bit different. Atlassian knows this, which is why JIRA is relatively barebones: They expect you to supplement it with some of the hundreds of plugins available in the Atlassian Marketplace.

Here are 10 plugins that are sure to add much-desired features to any JIRA setup.

Image: Atlassian

[Source:-Tech Republic]

10 Mistakes People Make When Guest Posting

Guest blogging can be an excellent way to build your business. It gets you and your work in front of people who may never have otherwise  heard of you, and helps you build authority in your niche.

However, when guest blogging is done wrong, it can be completely ineffective, and even harmful to your brand. This post will look at 10 common mistakes to avoid when engaging in guest posting for your business.

1. Writing about your business.

If you’re lucky enough to get a guest posting opportunity on a great site, don’t blow it by writing a blog post about your business or products.

Most likely, the blog owner won’t even accept your post in the first place. They know their readers don’t want to read an ad or promotional post, and probably won’t be thrilled that you tried to use their platform for your own purpose.

Even if your post does make it onto the blog, your promotional post is unlikely to get many views, shares or links – the very reasons you’re engaging in guest blogging in the first place.

2. Not linking back to your website.

While SEO shouldn’t be the main purpose of your guest blogging efforts, including a link back to your site is still vital. Without a link, readers will have no way to find you or to read more of your content.

Keep in mind that sites may or may not allow links within the body of your post. However, the vast majority of sites who are curating content will at least let you include a link in your author bio. This bio (and link) will be the key to generating referral traffic and leads.

If you’re allowed to include links within your content, use that opportunity to provide additional valuable resources to your readers that relate to your topic. While you’ll definitely want to link to other, outside sources for your article, including a couple of links to your own (relevant) content is usually just fine.

3. Not including an enticing offer.

If the primary goal of your guest blogging is brand recognition, including an offer in your author bio isn’t absolutely necessary. In fact, in my own bio, I rarely share anything except a brief introduction to myself and my business, and a link back to my homepage.

However, if you’re looking to generate leads through your guest post, I’d strongly encourage you to include a free offer in your bio. This could be a free ebook, guide or other downloadable resource, and should ideally relate directly to the topic of your guest post (e.g., offering a free ebook on how to get clients when posting on a business-related site).

4. Writing for a site that won’t send targeted traffic.

The appeal of writing for a popular, high-traffic site is undeniable. Many business owners work on the assumption that all traffic is equal, and that a site with tons of visitors is better than a smaller site with less traffic.

However, it’s also important to consider the quality and relevance of that traffic. A small, niche site with a loyal and responsive audience is often better than a larger site that covers a wide variety of unrelated topics. These niche visitors will be more likely to engage with you one-on-one, and to be interested in your offer (see # 3 above).

[Source:-Forbes]

‘MAKE AMERICA KITTENS AGAIN’ CHROME EXTENSION REPLACES DONALD TRUMP WITH CATS

On the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration, it is close to impossible to avoid images of the President-elect. Fortunately, for those wishing to forget that a controversial reality TV star is about to become the 45th president of the United States, there is a Google Chrome extension that will make his face disappear from the internet.

The Make America Kittens Again extension automatically detects photos of Trump and replaces them with images of kittens. It has been downloaded more than 50,000 times, with Chrome user Bret Mason describing it as “a much needed crutch in these dark times.”The add-on was created by app developer and cat owner Tom Royal, who adapted it from an earlier UKIP blocking plugin. The plugins download page explains why it replaces Trump with kittens: “A) Trump is a disgrace; B) Kittens are lovely, and C) I couldn’t find a Creative Commons photo of a blobfish.”

[Source:-Newsweek]

iBuypower’s Snowblind case will make your PC look absolutely insane for a very low price

Most trade show tech demos never actually wind up as retail products. But that won’t be the case for iBuypower’s mesmerizing Project Snowblind case, which will go on sale next month.

Did you see the video above? Look at it! Snowblind is nuts.

The concept, which iBuypower developed with help from Intel, takes a transparent LCD display typically used in digital signage, and integrates it into the side of an NZXT N450 case.

This means video or system diagnostics can be displayed on the case window, all without obscuring the high-end components inside. Since it’s an LCD panel, the window requires power—and content—so it plugs into the system’s graphics card. In the near-final Snowblind system iBuypower showed me, the case display appeared in the OS as a second monitor, and Snowblind widgets were running on the free Rainmeter desktop skinning tool.dsc03047

The transparent display effect looks best when running over an all white interior. And because these LCD screens are delicate, iBuypower protects them with a layer of glass. The screen size is about 19 inches diagonal with a resolution of 1280×1024. iBuypower also said the final iteration will support color images and video, though it will be somewhat washed out.

Theat 1280×1024 resolution may sound absurdly low for a modern display, but for a case window, the video and the images appeared quite sharp to my eye.

dsc03044

Transparent digital signage isn’t new technology, but iBuypower looks to be first to integrate this kind of display into a PC, and actually sell it for an affordable price.

That last point is the kicker. When iBuypower showed off Snowblind at Computex in June, most thought it was cool but expected it to be far too expensive to ever be implemented.

Most trade show tech demos never actually wind up as retail products. But that won’t be the case for iBuypower’s mesmerizing Project Snowblind case, which will go on sale next month.

Did you see the video above? Look at it! Snowblind is nuts.

The concept, which iBuypower developed with help from Intel, takes a transparent LCD display typically used in digital signage, and integrates it into the side of an NZXT N450 case.

This means video or system diagnostics can be displayed on the case window, all without obscuring the high-end components inside. Since it’s an LCD panel, the window requires power—and content—so it plugs into the system’s graphics card. In the near-final Snowblind system iBuypower showed me, the case display appeared in the OS as a second monitor, and Snowblind widgets were running on the free Rainmeter desktop skinning tool.

Transparent digital signage isn’t new technology, but iBuypower looks to be first to integrate this kind of display into a PC, and actually sell it for an affordable price.

That last point is the kicker. When iBuypower showed off Snowblind at Computex in June, most thought it was cool but expected it to be far too expensive to ever be implemented.

[Source:-PC World]

 

5 Silly SEO Mistakes That Even Professional Marketers Make

5 Silly SEO Mistakes That Even Professional Marketers Make

With the rise of comprehensive digital marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) has been somewhat on the sidelines. Why would you spend your time on keywords, tags, and links (all this technical stuff) when you have paid ads, social media, and content? Though a bit ignored, SEO is still increasingly important to a site’s overall performance in search.

Utilizing the power of on-page and off-page optimization, you can bring your site to the next level (i.e. increase rankings, drive more traffic, bolster conversion rates). The bad news is, doing SEO the right way is easier said than done. It is evolving quickly, and Google continues to throw out search algorithm updates, one after another.

It can be hard to stay on top of things and keep your site optimized for the new realities of search. No wonder SEO professionals are constantly skimming the Web to fish out crucial bits of info about upcoming changes and updates. But the problem is, being deeply afraid of missing out on the new stuff, they often make basic-level mistakes.

In this article, I review five silly but harmful SEO mistakes that even professionals make. Avoid them at any cost because these errors can ruin your entire digital marketing campaign. Let’s dig in!

5 SEO Mistakes to Avoid

#1 Close Your Site from Indexing in .htaccess

If you do SEO for a living, most likely you have heard about .htaccess. Basically, it is a configuration file which is used to store specific directives that block or provide access to a site’s document directories.

I cannot stress enough how important the .htaccess file is. If you know how to manage it, you can:

  • Create a more detailed sitemap
  • Generate cleaner URLs
  • Adjust caching to improve load time

In short, .htaccess is a crucial tool to polish your site’s indexing process and, eventually, receive higher SERPs.

However, you need to be a true pro to set up an .htaccess file correctly. A single mistake could lead to dire consequences. For instance, you can entirely block your site from indexing, like this:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^Google.* [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^.*Bing.*
RewriteRule ^/dir/.*$ – [F]

If you see these lines of code in your site’s .htaccess file, search bots won’t crawl and index it. Ask a developer to delete the code or do it yourself.

Make sure that you check .htaccess every time you start a new project. Some SEOs promote and optimize sites for months, not realizing that all their efforts are in vain. You don’t want to be like them.

#2 Discourage Search Engines from Indexing in CMS

SEO plugins of CMS platforms like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal can jeopardize your optimization efforts. They have built-in features that allow users to instruct search engines not to crawl the website. All you need to do is go to Settings → Reading → Discourage to stop search engines from indexing the site. Tick the box and you can forbid search bots from indexing your site.

Make sure that you check this box at least once a week. After all, anyone who has access to the CMS might accidentally click the box, which will undoubtedly have a negative effect on your campaign.

To note: Search engines may keep indexing your site even if you tick the ‘discourage’ box. So, if you really need to close the site from indexing, you’d better do it in the .htaccess or robots.txt files.

#3 Leave Your robots.txt File Entirely Open for Crawling

This one is the worst. Remember: Never ever leave your robots.txt file open for crawling because it can result in serious privacy issues. You can lose your site entirely through a data breach.

If you are a beginner, make sure you take the time to learn as much as possible about setting up and managing robots.txt files. Act immediately if you check robots.txt and see something like this:

User-Agent: *
Allow: /

This means that search bots can access and crawl every web page on your site, including admin, login, cart, and dynamic pages (search and filters). Keep your customers’ personal pages closed and protected. You don’t want to be penalized for having dozens of spammy dynamic pages as well.

Either way, ensure that you disallow pages that should be blocked but allow pages that should be indexed. It sounds simple but takes time to learn.

ADVERTISEMENT

#4 Forget Adding “nofollow” Tag Attribute to Outbound Links

SEOs know that links are still an important ranking factor. Unfortunately, they focus on backlinks and completely forget that their own sites pass link juice to other sites. What you should do is drive high-quality backlinks, but keep all the link power on your site.

So, your strategy is simple:

  • Scan your site using a site scanner tool (I use Xenu)
  • Sort links by address to locate outbound ones
  • Create an Excel file with all outbound links (or download a standard HTML report)
  • Check out every link in the list to implement “nofollow” tag attribute where necessary

Don’t be obsessed with the “nofollow” tag attribute, though. By saving all the link juice for yourself, you provoke other SEO professionals to nofollow you as well. In short, don’t abuse it.

#5 Fail to Check the Code in Validator

Your website consists of code, and the better this code is, the higher SERPs your site will potentially earn. This is because neat and clean code allows search crawlers to scan and index your site more efficiently, without leaving a single page behind.

So, everytime a new project is assigned to you to promote and optimize, make sure you check the code. You don’t have to be a developer. Just copy your site’s URL and paste it into the address field of The W3C Markup Validation Service. Then, ask a developer to fix the errors. The image below demonstrates a typical validator report:

A Typical The W3C Markup Validation Service Report

While Google doesn’t penalize websites for having invalid bits of HTML and CSS, you’re better off running the validator tool anyway. After all, it doesn’t take much time but improves your site’s performance for both users and crawlers.

Conclusion

Search engine optimization is ever-changing, and you should work hard to keep up with all the tactics and algorithm updates. Keeping your finger on the pulse of SEO is great (a must, actually) but don’t forget about the basic stuff, too. After all, silly mistakes are the most harmful ones.

[Source:-SeJ]

Wedding special: Themes to make your D-Day unforgettable!

Wedding special: Themes to make your D-Day unforgettable! Mumbai: Weddings are a one-time thing that you will treasure forever! And everyone wants it to be grand, beautiful and perfect. With wedding season around the corner, here are a few themes you can use to make your D-Day memorable.

1)      DIY & Eco-friendly theme
Hate when environment gets affected because of you? Global warming conscious? Choosing an eco-friendly option is the best option for you. Save some chunk of paper by sending E-invites. Use recycled paper, colourful umbrellas, and lanterns for decorations instead of going with flower-arrangement. Give out Good Luck plants to your guests.

2)      Bollywood theme
An all-time favourite wedding idea! Create the humongous, crazy and filmy theme by having your guests impersonate actor and actresses from your favourite Bollywood movies. Have a slow motion entry of the groom and set-up a filmy doli for the bride. Keep Bollywood awards in sangeet and give out awards for best dance, best couple dance, and best solo performance and so on.

3)      Diya/Candle Theme
This theme is best suited if you have a night wedding. Have the place lit up with colourful diyas and scented candles. Having this theme will fill up the atmosphere with romance. Place the candles at the dinner tables for creating a magical ambience.

4)      Village theme
Revisit the various ancient cultures of India by having a village theme for your wedding. Use copper and bronze plates to serve food, have the guests sit on varied beautiful baithaks while eating. Send the invites in Khalitas that were once used for sending messages to kings. Have the wedding staff dressed in dhotis and cholis. Create the desi atmosphere with Indian ethnicity.

5)      Masquerade wedding theme
Want some classy yet mysterious-styled wedding? Go the mask way. Choose colour combinations like black and silver, black and gold, and black and white for masquerade masks for weddings. Keep matching Masquerades for the bride and groom. Have one Masquerade theme dedicated to each family side. Your guests will always remember those masks, feathers and costumes.
[Source:-Zee news]

Essential free widgets to make your home screen more useful

widgets

Using widgets for iOS and Android, you can customise your phone’s home screen with the stuff that matters to you most. Widgets let you quickly open your favourite apps, send messages with a single tap and keep up to date with the day’s headlines.

We’ve put together a collection of free widgets that’ll help you upgrade your home screen, so read on for the details.

Best Buy smartphones – these handsets are the best of the best

What’s a widget?

Widgets are mini, downloadable apps that live right on your home screen. They’re slightly different from regular apps in that you can interact with them without having to open them in their own full-screen window.

On Android, tap and hold your finger in empty space on your home screen and then tap Widgets. From here, tap and hold on the widget you’d like to try out, and drag and drop it onto your screen.

For iOS devices running iOS 10, the dedicated widgets page can be found by swiping to the right from your lock screen or home screen. Here, you have access to widgets and the iOS search bar, which is handy if you’re quickly trying to track down an app or phone contact. Hitting Edit at the bottom of this page lets you re-order widgets and add new ones.

Popular widgets include live news feeds, customisable calendars, sports score updates, to-do lists and more. Keep on scrolling for a selection of our favourites.

The best free widgets on iOS

Launcher

launchericonThe launcher widget is an iOS exclusive, and you can use it to create shortcuts to things you use daily. Launcher can let you call a specific phone contact with a single tap, ‘get directions home’ right away or launch your favourite music playlist. It’s highly customisable, and a good way of ‘pinning’ phone commands in a spot that you can easily reach.

ESPN

espniconIdeal for sports fans, the ESPN widget can show you the latest scores without you needing to open your web browser. Of course, you can tell the widget which teams you’re interesting in following, and you’ll then have an easy way to keep up to date if you can’t catch a game on TV. The ESPN widget is also available on Android.

Evernote

evernoteiconThe Evernote widget for iOS lets you quickly jot down notes, and those notes can be accessed on other mobile devices and on desktop. Swiping over to your widgets screen lets you add a new note quickly, browse saved notes or take a picture to be uploaded to your account. If you’re regularly writing to-do lists, Evernote is worth trying out. It’s also available on Android.

WhatsApp

whatsappiconSometimes the simple widgets are the best. The free-to-download WhatsApp widget (also on Android) lets you set aside a spot for your favourite WhatsApp contacts on your Widgets page. This means you can swipe and tap a friendly face to launch right into a new text message – handy if you’re on the move and need to get things done quickly.

The best free widgets on Android

Month

monthiconMonth is a popular Android-only widget that lets you embed your calendar on your home screen. Tap a day of the week and Month will pull up your Google Calendar schedule to tell you what events you have coming up. If you don’t use Google Calendar, you can add events to the Month calendar itself. We think having your calendar on your home screen is really useful, so give it a try.

Google Keep

googlekeepiconGoogle Keep for Android does exactly what you’d expect. You can use this free widget to ‘stick’ a note to your home screen, so you’ll see it every time you turn your device on. Notes are resizable, and if you’re looking for an alternative choice, Evernote offers a similar service.

Play Store

playiconEven the Play Store has its own widget. This Android offering will regularly suggest new downloads for you to take a closer look at. It bases its suggestions on apps you’ve previously downloaded through Google’s store, along with books, films and albums. If you don’t like a download suggestion, you can press Refresh to generate a new one.

Tube Map

tubemapiconIf you work in London, this widget’s great for the morning commute. By downloading the Tube Map app, you can add a widget to your home screen that keeps an eye on the trains. You can manually adjust which underground lines are shown, and tapping refresh will show you the latest live updates.

There are literally thousands of widgets for iOS and Android devices for you to download and try for yourself. Which ones you end up picking will ultimately boil down to your own tastes and how you like to use your mobile.

[Source:-Which apps]

Essential free widgets to make your home screen more useful

widgets

Using widgets for iOS and Android, you can customise your phone’s home screen with the stuff that matters to you most. Widgets let you quickly open your favourite apps, send messages with a single tap and keep up to date with the day’s headlines.

We’ve put together a collection of free widgets that’ll help you upgrade your home screen, so read on for the details.

Best Buy smartphones – these handsets are the best of the best

What’s a widget?

Widgets are mini, downloadable apps that live right on your home screen. They’re slightly different from regular apps in that you can interact with them without having to open them in their own full-screen window.

On Android, tap and hold your finger in empty space on your home screen and then tap Widgets. From here, tap and hold on the widget you’d like to try out, and drag and drop it onto your screen.

For iOS devices running iOS 10, the dedicated widgets page can be found by swiping to the right from your lock screen or home screen. Here, you have access to widgets and the iOS search bar, which is handy if you’re quickly trying to track down an app or phone contact. Hitting Edit at the bottom of this page lets you re-order widgets and add new ones.

Popular widgets include live news feeds, customisable calendars, sports score updates, to-do lists and more. Keep on scrolling for a selection of our favourites.

The best free widgets on iOS

Launcher

launchericonThe launcher widget is an iOS exclusive, and you can use it to create shortcuts to things you use daily. Launcher can let you call a specific phone contact with a single tap, ‘get directions home’ right away or launch your favourite music playlist. It’s highly customisable, and a good way of ‘pinning’ phone commands in a spot that you can easily reach.

ESPN

espniconIdeal for sports fans, the ESPN widget can show you the latest scores without you needing to open your web browser. Of course, you can tell the widget which teams you’re interesting in following, and you’ll then have an easy way to keep up to date if you can’t catch a game on TV. The ESPN widget is also available on Android.

Evernote

evernoteiconThe Evernote widget for iOS lets you quickly jot down notes, and those notes can be accessed on other mobile devices and on desktop. Swiping over to your widgets screen lets you add a new note quickly, browse saved notes or take a picture to be uploaded to your account. If you’re regularly writing to-do lists, Evernote is worth trying out. It’s also available on Android.

WhatsApp

whatsappiconSometimes the simple widgets are the best. The free-to-download WhatsApp widget (also on Android) lets you set aside a spot for your favourite WhatsApp contacts on your Widgets page. This means you can swipe and tap a friendly face to launch right into a new text message – handy if you’re on the move and need to get things done quickly.

The best free widgets on Android

Month

monthiconMonth is a popular Android-only widget that lets you embed your calendar on your home screen. Tap a day of the week and Month will pull up your Google Calendar schedule to tell you what events you have coming up. If you don’t use Google Calendar, you can add events to the Month calendar itself. We think having your calendar on your home screen is really useful, so give it a try.

Google Keep

googlekeepiconGoogle Keep for Android does exactly what you’d expect. You can use this free widget to ‘stick’ a note to your home screen, so you’ll see it every time you turn your device on. Notes are resizable, and if you’re looking for an alternative choice, Evernote offers a similar service.

Play Store

playiconEven the Play Store has its own widget. This Android offering will regularly suggest new downloads for you to take a closer look at. It bases its suggestions on apps you’ve previously downloaded through Google’s store, along with books, films and albums. If you don’t like a download suggestion, you can press Refresh to generate a new one.

Tube Map

tubemapiconIf you work in London, this widget’s great for the morning commute. By downloading the Tube Map app, you can add a widget to your home screen that keeps an eye on the trains. You can manually adjust which underground lines are shown, and tapping refresh will show you the latest live updates.

There are literally thousands of widgets for iOS and Android devices for you to download and try for yourself. Which ones you end up picking will ultimately boil down to your own tastes and how you like to use your mobile.

[Source:-Which blog]