Apps

Google’s newest product is a photo album

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Google unveiled a number of cool new things at its annual developers conference Google I/O. Among the many things they announced (which included Android O features, Google Home and Google Assistant updates, and even YouTube upgrades), what interested me most were the new features on Google Photos. 

Now, like any self-respecting girl in the age of social media, my photo roll is chock-filled with random photos that never see the light of day (cue 254 photos I took at that party to find the perfect one for Instagram), so curation and sharing of these mementos has always been an issue.

It seems Google had been appraised of my millennial girl problems and sought to find solutions.

A smarter library

Never hesitate to send that cute photo of your crush you took at that party you both went to, because now Google will actually prompt you to send it to him! These smart suggestions do not stop there; Google will also be prompting your crush to share said photos to other suggested people.

New functions also include smarter photo searches (even without tags) and impressive photo-editing capabilities.

A shared library

Google also announced Shared Libraries that will allow you to share albums with others! This seems to be a very convenient function, although the idea of a collaborative album isn’t new. Apple and Facebook already have these album-sharing functions, but it’s better late than never, yeah?

Photo sharing is already a thing on Apple ?

The difference here is that this shared library will be integrated into your photo roll. Google also claims that its smart photo functions will apply to these shared libraries. This also allows for an automatic sharing option that updates with your new photos in real time —  which frankly scares me more than it excites me. (I mean, do you really want to see everything on my photo roll?)

A printed library?

The biggest news (at least to us girls in the GadgetMatch office) that came from yesterday’s announcements was Google’s Photo Book which was basically, well, a non-digital photo album.

Yes, finally, you can touch and feel your photos — except again, this isn’t the newest idea.

Apple has a printing option, too.

Google’s Photo Book offer starts at $9.99 for 20 pages of 7-inch square photos while Apple’s already existing printing service offers the same number of pages for the same but in a different size (8 x 6 inches).

Although the Google I/O announcements come with a lot of improvements for Google Photos, there really wasn’t anything new or groundbreaking — unless you think unlimited photo storage is still its best feature. Because really, the best photo library is simply the one you can put most photos in.

SEE ALSO: Google Assistant is now on iPhones, but it’s worse than Siri

Apps

TechDen helps create better and healthier screen habits

Time to pull ourselves away from those addictive screens

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I think it’s pretty safe to say that a lot of us spend a majority of our time staring at a screen. This is all fine and dandy, technology is awesome, but we also have to admit that our devices have changed how we interact IRL. The founders of TechDen has thought of a way to pull us away from our screens and back into the real world.

TechDen merges software and hardware to create a system that can help build healthier screen habits. The Den lets you charge and store up to two devices, and manage multiple ones. The accompanying app lets you create “sessions” of specific time periods with their own duration based on people’s schedules, as well as schedules to remotely lock and unlock the doors of The Den.

You receive notifications when devices are removed as well as time usage, and in the family setting, this system creates opportunities for collaboration — you can talk to your kids about the session schedules, and even utilize these sessions as incentives.

TechDen is marketed towards families to encourage more real-world interaction with an “out of sight, out of mind” point of view. Really though, this tech would be very helpful for anyone who wants to build a healthy relationship with their devices for themselves.

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Spotlight: What’s new with Free on Spotify?

All these new features!

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Time to rejoice, music lovers! Last April, Spotify quietly announced the new and improved Free on Spotify, and today, we got up close and personal with all the new things the app can now do.

The streaming company’s Free on Spotify redesign will make for a better listening experience for all free users. How, you may ask? Well, it all boils down to five new key features.

Pick your favorites

Spotify’s taste onboarding allows you to pick five (or more) of your favorite artists and this will set the stage for your Spotify experience — a home screen and music discovery experience tailored to your choices will await.

Pick and play… list

15 playlists will automatically be curated based on your music preferences for your listening pleasure. These playlists are different for each individual person, and they update depending on your interactions. Talk about personalized listening!

When you decide to make your own playlists, you’ll also get suggestions based on your artist choice and even playlist title.

What you want, when you want

Previously only available to Premium users, Free users now have unlimited skips — yes, you heard right! The caveat: The feature is only available for those 15 curated playlists, which isn’t half bad as those are catered to your personal taste.

All ❤️s

Actions on specific songs will help you create a better experience on the Spotify app. Hitting ❤️ on a song means it will go to Your Favorites, a playlist that’s found on your home screen.

You can also “unlike” songs which removes said offending song from future playlists. Don’t worry though, this is reversible — simply searching for the song and tapping ❤️ will undo the action.

Optimize your data

For the data-conscious, there’s now a data saving mode! This isn’t turned on by default but all you need to do is head to settings and activate it.

Happy listening!

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SafeDate gives you ease of mind going into a date

This app lets your friends keep tabs on you

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In 2005, Emma Sayle started Killing Kittens, best known for its extravagant sex parties. It aims to enable women to explore their sexuality in an open and safe space. Since it started, KK has had an incredibly strict code of conduct for their parties to ensure that women feel “empowered, safe, and confident.” Members are vetted before being admitted and there is a rule wherein only the women can approach men.

Last July, she launched the SafeDate app which puts a modern twist to what girls have been doing for years. This app lets you input information for your dates, including a profile for the person you’re going out with. You then designate a “safe friend” to whom you will have to check in with at a time which you set. If you don’t check in by the time you set, your friend will be notified and given the details of your date, and it would be up to them to decide what to do next.

Sayle told Wired that we can’t stop bad things from happening, nor can we tell people what to do. But if someone seeing the SafeDate logo makes them think twice, and women feel safer knowing that someone they trust is keeping an eye out for them, it’s a step in the right direction. We definitely couldn’t agree more!

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