Apps

App Review: The road to getting Kfit

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My (very, very young) attempt at living a healthier lifestyle led me to create fitness goals for myself. Of course — to the dismay of a majority of the technology-dependent couch potatoes we’ve become — a huge chunk of this health plan involved learning to exercise and doing it regularly.

In fitness — as in love — you cannot just force yourself. What I learned from all my exercise attempts is that to be able to consistently work out, you need to find a fitness routine that you actually enjoy.

What was a godsend in this department was, surprisingly, an app. (No, not a hot gym trainer with a six pack clad in hot pants as I would have initially guessed.)

Finding the right one

KFit is a smartphone application which allows you to shop around for fitness activities that will cater to your liking. Depending on your preferences, the app locates participating fitness establishments and lists them down for you. Think of it as a dating app for exercise classes, if you will. All that’s left for you to do after picking a class is actually showing up and doing it.

The app makes it much easier to shop around for gyms. It offers you the opportunity to try different fitness classes with choices ranging from HIIT to Yoga to Muay Thai and even Krav Maga.

KFit also offers a number of free trial classes per month and discounts for each class. These classes or sessions can also be filtered depending on location, type of workout, and time. For a monthly fee, KFit allows for better rates and even more activities.

It’s a match!

The beauty of KFit is that it allows you to get out there and discover what workouts would actually work out for you. Without having to pay for full membership, it allows you the flexibility to discover new fitness classes and exercise routines that would fit your needs.

And although I understand and concede to the fact that no app can make a person fitter, healthier, or diet better, I firmly believe that there are apps, like KFit, which can most definitely get you on the right track.

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Apps

Apple Music is getting a karaoke feature

Sometime this month

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Though karaoke machines are ubiquitous now, what happens if a night out lacks one? One trick is to just search for karaoke versions of your favorite songs on YouTube. However, if you have Apple Music, you’ll have another option. Apple’s music streaming service is getting a karaoke feature.

Announced officially by Apple, the service is introducing Apple Music Sing, a way to sing karaoke style straight from the app. The feature includes adjustable vocals which softens or loudens a song’s vocals depending on the user’s preference. Users can sing completely solo or accompanying the original singer.

As with every karaoke machine, the feature will display the lyrics in real time so users can follow along. Duet songs are also getting some love. Apple Music will split the screen in half for two different singers to sing along to a track.

To help users get started, the feature will introduce 50 companion playlists featuring all the different songs that’s “compelling people all around the world to sing”. That said, one can hope that the karaoke library is extensive. While 50 playlists are plenty, the service has a wide variety of songs that can easily trump any karaoke machine today.

Apple will start rolling out the new feature for Apple Music subscribers worldwide later this month — just in time for the holiday season. It will be available on iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV 4K.

SEE ALSO: Replay! Apple Music launches new year-end experience

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Google introduces encrypted group chats

Using RCS

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It’s easy to send messages from one Apple device to another through iMessage. However, for all the system’s pomp and circumstance, iMessage ignores the entire Android population, leaving an entire swath of the smartphone-using world without accessibility and end-to-end security. For months, Google has tried convincing Apple to switch messaging systems and work together. Now, in a new push to bring equality, Google has launched its own RCS group chatting system with end-to-end encryption.

Rolling out in open beta during the next few weeks, the new system will allow Android users to chat with a group of other Android users. Using RCS technology, messaging is free, secure, and easy to use.

For accessibility, users can send high-quality media, react using emojis, and see any typing in real time. It works much like other messaging services these days. One advantage, however, is that the new feature will come automatically with Google Messages, an app already baked into a lot of Android devices. Users might not need to download another app — and that also plays into security.

Speaking of security, end-to-end encryption will ensure that only the users can see what the conversation is about. Neither the user’s network nor Google itself can snoop in and gather data.

Unfortunately, the system does have a massive caveat: It won’t work between Android to Apple conversations. Because Apple uses a different system, it’s currently impossible for cross-platform conversations to have the same level of security and convenience.

In the feature’s announcement, Google even calls Apple’s texting “stuck in the 1990s,” renewing its call to get Apple to convert. The company then names several global companies who have already switched to RCS messaging, including Globe.

SEE ALSO: Google is bringing its VPN to PC and Mac

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Netflix might ask more users to watch films before they premiere

An exclusive group

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Watching a movie before it comes out thrusts viewers into an exclusive sweet spot beyond normal moviegoers. Not everyone gets into this club, though. Usually, the privilege of an advanced screening goes to people involved in the moviemaking industry. However, with the current zeitgeist revolving around streaming services like Netflix, it’s easier to catch a movie before anyone else can.

Offering more users a chance to enter this club, Netflix is expanding its pool of preview viewers starting next year. First reported by Wall Street Journal, the platform will reportedly include tens of thousands of viewers — a gigantic climb from its current base of around 2,000 users.

Members of this group will have access to unreleased movies and series over a period of six months. After which, users will answer surveys to help Netflix determine which movies are worth seeing or skipping. It works like a focus group but automated by Netflix’s system.

If the program does expand next year, the company has not confirmed how it will do so or who is eligible to join. If anything, they have been asking subscribers their interest in taking part in the program.

Focus groups and advanced screenings are a common part of Netflix’s content cycle. Besides asking users for feedback before releasing content, the platform also releases content in other formats prior to a streaming launch. For example, the upcoming sequel to Knives Out, Glass Onion, premiered in select theaters for a week before its streaming release on December 23.

SEE ALSO: IN PHOTOS: Dubbing with Netflix, HIT Productions

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