Apps

5 best note-taking apps for Android and iOS

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There are plenty of ways to take notes. You could do it the traditional way with a notebook and pen, or something out of the ordinary like jotting down on a napkin during lunch. Or, better yet, use your smartphone!

Here are some of the best note-taking apps available on both Android and iOS.

Evernote

Evernote is perhaps the most popular digital notebook. Since I started embracing paperless ways of taking notes, Evernote has always been helpful. It’s simplistic yet has powerful features that you can explore. You can add images, audio, and files to your notes; and collate them to be part of a categorized notebook.

The basic features of Evernote are available for free, but you can go for the Plus plan (US$ 34.99/year) if you want to get hold of additional features like email integrations, offline notebook access, and more.

Download: Android, iOS

Microsoft OneNote

If you want your digital notebook to be as flexible as real paper, Microsoft OneNote is the one for you. There’s a bit of a learning curve for OneNote unlike most note-taking apps, especially with the interface. If there’s something unique about this, it’s the ability to type and doodle in the middle of the page — perfect for pen input. You can also add attachments, to-do lists, audio, and even videos.

The app is available for free on mobile devices. A full desktop version of OneNote is also available, but it requires a subscription for Office 365.

Download: Android, iOS

Google Keep

Google Keep is a favorite, not just for me but for the whole GadgetMatch team. While the app looks like basic sticky-note software, its minimalist look is what makes it an excellent app. One can enjoy Keep to jot down ideas, checklists, and just about anything. Since this is a Google product, anything written here is automatically backed up to your account, making it available on virtually any platform.

Like with other Google apps, Keep is free and uses your Google account for syncing.

Download: Android, iOS

Simplenote

If you want something really simple, check out Simplenote. True to its name, it offers a clean and straightforward interface for typing. It’s white and clutter-free without the unnecessary visual elements that could distract you. While it doesn’t offer attachments (i.e., images, audio clips), it offers online syncing, peer collaboration, and a search function.

It’s pretty obvious that Simplenote is not meant to replace the likes of Evernote, but it’s a free app that you can use as an alternative.

Download: Android, iOS

Zoho Notebook

Zoho Notebook is the most visually pleasing note-taking app on this list. Rather than using side bars and text menus, Notebook is in favor of — well — notebooks. There are preset designs, or you could customize your own art for the covers of the notebooks. Once inside the notebooks, things become familiar with cards and featured images. Of course, everything is synced to the cloud.

Another great aspect of Zoho Notebook is that it’s free and doesn’t rely on ads or premium upgrades.

Download: Android, iOS

SEE MORE: 5 essential tips for buying a new phone

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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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Apps

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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Apps

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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