Apps

Apple’s macOS Mojave offers Dark Mode, new Mac App Store, and more

Improvements in usability and design

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While the iPhone and iPad get iOS 12 at WWDC 2018, Apple’s laptops and desktop computers receive macOS Mojave.

It sports a bunch of new features that you see as soon as you boot up your system, as well as more deeply rooted improvements to the core of macOS.

Perhaps the most visually appealing addition is Dark Mode, which allows you to change the color theme to, well, a darker tone. Several elements including the dock and taskbar become dark gray once this mode is turned on. Although it feels like only a minor cosmetic change, Dark Mode can help bring greater emphasis to the content your viewing and make your computer screen less bright at night.

Next up is the revamped Mac App Store. The all-new design takes some inspiration from iOS’ App Store by making apps easier to find and highlighting new ones in the Discover tab. More tabs for Create, Work, Play, and Develop organize all the available apps in a neater manner.

For the ever-growing concerns about security and privacy, macOS Mojave tackles those too with updates primarily on Safari. Improved Intelligent Tracking Prevention prevents pesky social media networks from tracking you unknowingly through hidden codes. And since sites are so fond of following us, Safari will only provide the most basic info about you to prevent giving away too much. Best of all, the browser helps store your passwords and sends an alert if you use the same one for another account.

As for usability, the desktop’s Stacks and Finder help make file management more seamless. Stacks enables users to organize files by type, date, tags, and the like, while Finder has something called Gallery View which allows you to browse through files more quickly. You can also view each file’s full metadata more easily now.

Other notables updates included the introduction of the News, Stocks, Voice Memos, and Home apps on macOS, plus the ability to do Group FaceTime.

The developer preview of macOS Mojave is already available, and the public beta will roll out by the end of this month. The final build for everyone will release during this year’s fall season. Macs launched in mid-2012 or later are receiving it, as well as “2010 and 2012 Mac Pro models with recommended Metal-capable graphics cards.”

Apps

Google asks smartphone makers to pay for Play Store

In response to EU’s ruling

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Google Play

Months ago, Google landed in a scalding pool of Europe’s hot water. The European Competition Commission accused the company of anti-competition practices. Among other things, Google forced smartphone makers to bundle Chrome and Google Search as a requirement. According to the commission, the stipulation gives the company an unfair advantage over its rivals.

Eventually, the Commission hammered down a guilty verdict. From this, Google paid a record-breaking fine to the European Union. Besides this, the company had to stop the indicted practice.

Now, Google is finally implementing a resolution for the guilty verdict. Starting this month, the company will change its offered bundles for smartphone makers in the EU.

As opposed to enforcing the bundle, Google will offer Android’s apps for a price. Instead of a strong-arm strategy, Google’s new strategy aims for the best of both worlds. Smartphone companies can opt out of the program. Historically, some companies have already opted out of Android’s app ecosystem. For example, Chinese smartphones often implement their own variants because of China’s prohibitions.

Additionally, Google will loosen its regulations against forked versions of its Android operating system. Some smartphone makers alter Android’s inner workings for their own uses. Most notoriously, Xiaomi uses its own MIUI software. Previously, the bundling scheme swayed the deal towards Google’s favor, despite any proprietary changes. With looser regulations, companies can fork all they want.

Now, companies can sell smartphones running forked Androids. That is, if they also sell a separate smartphone with Google’s untouched software.

Amid all these changes, Android remains as free software for smartphones. Android can maintain its status as the world’s most ubiquitous operating system. However, if this issue elicits any questions, it’s this: How will Google’s new schema affect the casual consumer? Right now, we’ll have to wait and see.

SEE ALSO: You might need to pay Google for Android soon

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6 iPhone apps for your well-being

Mental health is important!

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World Mental Health Day may have come and gone but that shouldn’t mean that your well-being should be pushed aside. In fact, a healthy disposition should always be practiced. How does one do that in today’s fast-paced world?

We’ve got apps for you!

Omvana 

Omvana is a meditation app that measures stress levels and even your state of mind; it’s your personal mindfulness coach! The app also automatically connects to HealthKit.

Download here. 

Calm

With guided meditations, breathing exercises, sleep stories, and relaxing music, this app will help make sure you’re always in a relaxed mood.

Download here. 

Insight Timer

Don’t know how to meditate? This app allows for guided meditations from the industry’s best practitioners!

Download here. 

Headspace: Guided Meditation

Another guided meditation app which allows you to manage stress and even apply meditative practice to your every day. There’s also a sleep experience feature which promises better rest and calmness.

Download here.

Aura: Calm Anxiety & Sleep

Aura’s three-minute meditations will bring more positivity to your life. The app also does life coaching, relaxing music, and even personalized meditations.

Download here. 

AutoSleep Tracker for Watch

Better sleep means a better disposition! This app tracks sleep automatically with Advanced Heuristics AutoSleep so you’ll always have the info at hand.

Download here. 

What are you waiting for? Get to downloading and happy meditating!

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Facebook Lite comes to iPhones at less than 5MB

It consumes less power, too!

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After being enjoyed by Android users for years, the slimmed down version of Facebook’s main app finally arrived on iOS. Although, it’s only available to a select few — for now.

The Facebook Lite app was originally designed for developing countries where mobile data can be unreliable and Android phones are pretty basic. But, it also gained popularity among users with better phones because it uses way less data than the main Facebook app.

On iOS, the lite version is available for download through the Apple App Store for less than 5MB. Apart from being an easy download, it also uses less battery power and occupies minimal storage space.

This is going to be ideal for iPhones and even iPod Touch devices that are already showing signs of slowing down. The app is compatible with devices running iOS 9.0 and later.

For now, the app is only available in Turkey. As the testing phase expands to other regions, Facebook Lite will eventually be open for everyone.

Via: Business Insider

SEE ALSO: Facebook Messenger redesign starts rolling out to select users

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