Her GadgetMatch

Sound on with Mikme: An easy way to record good audio

Even better if you’re on an iPhone

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I’ve always been a writer and my journey into content creation has been a curious one. These days, I’ve ventured into creating video — a new exacting but fun medium. One thing I’ve learned though: You may think you’re mostly dealing with visuals, but sound quality adds a whole lot to each video.

That being said, and me being the furthest from being an audiophile, I set out to find the easiest and simplest way I could record great audio without all the wires and gadgets and gizmos that I’ve seen other people work with.

Enter this godsend mic in a box which fits the palm of my hands and solves all my audio woes: The Mikme.

It’s simple enough to use; press the leftmost button that serves as a power button…

L-R: Power button, Bluetooth pairing button, micro-USB port, audio port, volume buttons

… and hit record which is that big button up top. Literally, nothing could be easier.

And despite it being pretty straightforward, there are a lot of other things it can do, too. Tapping the record button twice in a row will play your last recording and pressing and holding will allow you to soundcheck — provided you plug in some earphones. Each Mikme has storage built in and you can choose between 16GB, 8GB, or 4GB options. All that means is you need not worry about SD cards or microSD cards ever again.

It’s not just the ease of use, though. The sound quality on this thing is very good, as it should be. Inside that black case, the Mikme is basically a condenser mic — the type usually used in studios for hardcore recordings (my way of saying it’s one serious mic). Even with my untrained ears, I hear the difference, especially because I don’t record in sound-proof rooms most of the time.

Honestly, I now use this tiny thing to record all my voice-overs. I’m not even going to attempt to explain or describe it, you just have to hear it yourself. You can do that by listening to the voice-overs here and here.

I have all good things to say about this tiny device and in so many ways, I consider it my audio lifesaver. But, there’s one caveat.

This mic also has Bluetooth capabilities which is a great thing in itself. It literally connects to a Mikme app that will allow you to shoot video with your phone with audio from the Mikme. Mindblowing stuff, really, except it only works for iPhones. 😢

As we hear the collective, agonized screams of Android users the world over with the collective sighs of what great sounding videos could be shot with a Mikme-iPhone partnership, I take it as a testament of how good this mic is. Even without the Bluetooth connectivity feature and despite sticking with my Android for now and the foreseeable future, I’ll probably still be rocking the Mikme. That says a lot.

Apps

5 best workout apps to try at home

Start creating healthier habits and close your rings!

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Over the past year, taking care of ourselves has become a priority for a lot of us. Eating healthier, getting a good amount of sleep, being mindful, and working out will not just make us less susceptible to diseases now and in the long run, they also help relieve stress and avoid bouts of lethargy in our day to day.

As a beginner, exercise will always seem daunting — or even feel like a chore. This is why fitness apps are now more comprehensive than ever, offering guides for different kinds of physical activities to cater to people’s different needs and lifestyles.

Whether you’re a mom of a toddler who thinks she doesn’t have time for working out, or a workaholic who wants to spice up her rather drab routine, here are some of the best workout apps for iOS that you can try at home to help you start creating healthier habits.

Fitness+

US$ 9.99 per month / US$ 79.99 per year

Apple’s very own Fitness+ doesn’t require a separate app, but you do need an Apple Watch and either an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV to access the workouts within the Fitness app.

You can choose from different sets of workouts: HIIT, core, strength training, yoga, dance, treadmill, rowing, cycling, mindful cooldown. There are also options to sort by trainer, duration, and music.

Apart from its seamless integration with the Apple Watch, the biggest draw of Fitness+ are the high production value, diverse set of trainers, and integration with Apple Music.

With 21 different personalities to choose from, you’re sure find one that you will enjoy working out with. My personal favorites are Bakari for HIIT, Jessica for yoga and mindful cooldown, and Kyle for core and strength workouts.

In each class, the trainer walks you through each move that you are doing. A brief warmup and cooldown are also included in every workout.

Having songs you love play in the background makes a grueling 30-minute HIIT actually exciting. It especially helps that the trainers encourage you to sing or dance to the songs during recovery.

Aaptiv

US$ 14.99 per month / US$ 99.99 per year

Sometimes watching a video of someone doing push ups is not necessary. Aaptiv packs all the motivation you need to work out in audio-only classes tailored to your needs.

The beautifully designed UI helps make working out less daunting. Upon signing up, you are asked what your fitness level is, what kind of workouts you’re interested in, length of classes that you prefer, what equipment you have, and one healthy habit the app can help you build. Choose from foam roll, work on your core, master the plank, do squats, do push-ups.

Based on your answers, you then get a weekly personalized coach plan. There are also guided programs, team challenges, and playlists of great music.

Nike Training Club

Free

If being in a virtual class isn’t your cup of tea, Nike Training Club has a good selection of routines that you can easily follow.

You can search workouts based on your needs. Whether you’re looking to improve endurance, mobility, or strength, routines with dumbbells, or those that target specific muscle group, the app has you covered.

One of my favorite features that’s not available on the other apps mentioned here, is the use of the Apple Watch’s haptics. This allows you to focus on doing each rep, instead of looking at your screen to check the time. Getting your form right — including your neck’s position — is important in maximizing results.

My other favorite feature: The app is free!

Peloton

US$ 12.99 per month

While Peloton is known for its high-end treadmill and indoor bike, its app can be downloaded by anyone. It offers different classes that don’t require any of their equipment.

No matter how busy you are, you won’t run out of options with thousands of live and on-demand workouts to choose from. Like Fitness+, Peloton workouts are accompanied by great music and energetic trainers that make exercising fun. Emma Lovewell and Adrian Williams have made strengthening my core a lot more enjoyable.

The leaderboard on the app shows other users who are simultaneously doing the workout with you. If you join any of the live classes, you might even get a shoutout from the trainer.

The app also lets you filter classes by duration, class type, instructor, or music. On days when you feel like doing cardio with Britney Spears or yoga with Elvis, know that those are options.

With more than three million members, challenges within the Peloton app help motivate you to create healthy and consistent fitness habits with other users. The Annual 2021 challenge, which tracks every active minute on all Peloton platforms, has more than one million participants as of writing.

READ: Peloton tips and tricks: How to make the most out of your workout

Wondercise

US$ 4.99 per month / US$ 35.99 per year

If you want to virtual classes but don’t need a charismatic trainer or great background music, try Wondercise. At more than half the price of a paid subscription, this is the workout app that offers all the basics, whatever your level of fitness is.

Using its live motion matching technology, the app analyzes and maps your movements as you train by using a compatible wearable, including the Apple Watch.

Wondercise identifies how closely your movements match those of the onscreen trainer. The more similar your movements are to the trainer, the higher your score will be.

Finding a class that suits your needs is easy. Recommendations that are served to you are tailored to the fitness level and goals you indicate when signing up. This saves you time from scrolling through all the available workouts.

There is also wide range of exercises that you can try that are not available on other apps. Apart from HIIT, core, and strength training, you also get access to tai chi, MMA, kickboxing, and pilates.

SEE ALSO: 8 mindfulness apps to help you cope in this time of uncertainty

Note: All five apps work seamlessly with the Apple Watch. This means that when you start a workout on your phone it automatically syncs with your Apple Watch and records your heart rate and active calories. Apart from Fitness+, all other apps can be used without an Apple Watch.

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Entertainment

Netflix’s ‘To All The Boys: Always and Forever’ is your Valentine’s Day treat

Lara Jean’s last hurrah?

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The sequel for Netflix’s To All The Boys I Loved Before and To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You is almost here. Premiering this Valentine’s Day, Netflix’s To All The Boys: Always and Forever follows Lara Jean Covey’s senior year in high school.

In the upcoming film, a pair of life-changing trips lead Lara Jean to reimagine what life with her family, friends, and Peter will look like after graduation.

Of course, Lana Condor and Noah Centineo will take center stage. Netflix will also be starring Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart, Ross Butler, Madeleine Arthur, Sarayu Blue, and John Corbett. The film is directed by Michael Fimognari and produced by Matt Kaplan, with Katie Lovejoy working on the screenplay.

Netflix’s To All The Boys: Always and Forever is based on the novel by Jenny Han. It will be available on Netflix on February 12, 2021. Stay tuned via Netflix.com/ToAllTheBoysAlwaysAndForever.

SEE ALSO: 5 apps to help you plan a cheap Valentine’s Day date | 10 films to Netflix and chill to

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Accessories

Combine and change scents using Ninu’s sustainable, smart perfume

Wear the right scent that matches your every mood

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Of all things that could get smarter, it’s a perfume. Yes, you read that right. At CES 2021, Ninu launched the “first smart perfume in the world,” with a connected device that’s capable of changing scents with every spray.

It’s a unique approach to an everyday item, interesting enough to pique our curiosity. After all, it has an unassuming yet elegant look.

The fusion of beauty and technology

How does it work? This AI-powered perfume uses an app to personalize a scent, fusing ingredients with only a few clicks. It lets you wear the right scent appropriate for every mood and look.

It seamlessly delivers an astonishing perfume through its electronic micro-precision extracting system, guided by its Ninu’s very own assistant — Pierre, the perfume master.

Pierre, just like Siri and Alexa, is an AI assistant that executes whatever wishes you have regarding your scent and helps you have full control over anything you do on the app. The assistant also notifies you when you’re running low on stock.

Feel sexy and earth-friendly

Despite being able to design a premium perfume bottle, assembled with the best of tech, Ninu believes the most important thing is the fragrances themselves. After all, Ninu used 100 percent vegan, sustainably-sourced ingredients — with a wholesome procedure designed in France.

This smart perfume is more than just a smart accessory. It presents itself as a sustainable, essential item that makes you feel fresh and sexy, and also earth-friendly.

Ninu uses natural ink in packaging cartons and uses less packaging to scale down plastic consumption. Instruction leaflets are replaced with a QR code, therefore, fewer papers. Moreover, perfume bottles are made from recycled glass since every 10 percent increase in recycled glass housing cuts down CO2 emissions by five percent.

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