Apps

Nike+ Training Club app review

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In my quest for washboard abs, I came across Nike+ Training Club (NTC). The exercise app, a sister to the popular Nike+ Run Club, is a free downloadable app from the popular fitness brand — presumably to lure us into buying more of their workout clothes.

Basically, this program walks you through whatever exercise you’re supposed to be doing, all with visuals, audio narration, and even encouragement! But, what’s so great about NTC is its exercise variety coupled with an interface that allows you to find one that works for your needs. Nike’s athletic apparel is no joke and apparently, their workout apps aren’t, either.

You can create workout plans

There are four options to choose from: Start up, to get you on the right road to start your fitness journey; lean fit, to push endurance; bodyweight only, for exercising without weights; and gym strong, a lifting program.

Nike Training Club App

Choosing one entails a quick setup. The app asks about your normal exercise routines, activity levels, and details about your body. There’s an option to include running to your workout and it lets you pick what your start date would be.

Nike Training Club App creating a workout plan

An exercise plan is then built for you based on info you input, complete with a workout schedule and what program you’re supposed to do on each specific date. This highly customizable option leaves you with only one more thing to do: the actual exercising.

Or specifically curate your exercises

If you’re a little picky with your workouts, or if you’re a strong, independent woman who can make her own workout plans, you can just choose specific workouts for each time you do a session.

Nike Training Club App has different workouts

NTC offers handpicked exercises in their “Picks for you” section but you can also browse each workout by focus, whether they be for strength, endurance, or mobility; or type, whose choices include yoga, athlete, no-equipment, short workouts, and classics.

There are also different intensity levels!

Because NTC recognizes the wide range of people who use their app, each option is categorized into one of three groups: beginner, intermediate, or advanced. This makes it easy for you to gauge if your exercise choice is actually doable for your fitness level — and mind you, the intermediate to advanced levels are no walks in the park. You will get challenged; something I look for in fitness activities to prevent me from getting bored with my workouts.

Nike Training Club App workout preview

Each workout preview allows for the user to see the duration and intensity for each one. A quick overview will also show you which parts of your body they’re good for and what equipment you’d need. NTC also gives a quick rundown of each specific exercise for a selected workout, presumably to let you know what you’re in for (which also means no backing out).

The verdict

Unlike those genetically blessed to be over 25 without a slowing down metabolism, I — like the rest of us fitness pariahs — need to take extra effort to make sure I get exercise in. Although I have gotten significantly better with my fitness routine, I still struggle to find the best and most convenient way for me to exercise despite a hectic and random work schedule.

I’ve always said that consistency is the key part in getting fit but from personal experience, it’s very hard to keep an exercise routine when scheduling, traveling, and general life scenarios keep getting away. NTC is a quick solution to all these issues: It allows me to work out anywhere and anytime I’d want with just my smartphone in hand.

For a free app, I honestly did not expect this many options. I was pleasantly surprised by the exercise variety offered and how easy it is to actually find something that would work for whatever circumstances or limitations I had at the moment.

Although I still do not have those washboard abs I dream of, I now exercise more than I used to and althleisurewear, unsurprisingly, is now something I live for.

SEE ALSO: Essential fitness apps for a healthier lifestyle

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Apps

The US revokes Trump’s executive order that banned TikTok

A level-playing field for everyone

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President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday that sets criteria for the government to evaluate the risk of apps connected to foreign adversaries. It’s specifically meant for apps like TikTok and WeChat, which President Trump banned.

It should use an “evidence-based approach” to see if they pose a risk to US national security, said Biden. If apps are found violating fundamental laws, a ban can be imposed. The task of identifying threats has been given to the US Commerce Department.

Trump’s executive order particularly targeted TikTok and WeChat. Instead, Biden is opting for a level-playing field for everyone. Biden shares the same concerns as Trump, but their approach is vastly different.

Under the previous administration, TikTok remained in a precarious position as Trump sought to ban the app unless it sold to an American company. A proposal was produced that would have seen Oracle and Walmart owning a US entity of the service and taking responsibility for handling TikTok’s US user data and content moderation.

But there were numerous legal challenges, and before they could be ironed out, Trump lost the election. The Biden administration’s new executive order does not affect those negotiations, which are a separate process. The order also calls upon federal agencies to develop recommendations – for future executive actions or legislation — on how to protect the data of US citizens.

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Apps

SmartThings by Samsung unveils new interface

Better, more optimized

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A new generation for SmartThings is about to release. A revamped version of its mobile and Windows desktop app. The new design, which is part of SmartThings’ continued effort to simplifying the connected home experience. Additionally, it provides a simpler, more robust user journey and faster load times with a whole new interface.

The new interface makes it easier to identify connected home experiences while also maintaining a smooth transition from the previous version of SmartThings. The design that was improved for SmartThings divides the app into five sections: Favorites, Devices, Life, Automations, and Menu.

Favorites are the new home screen within SmartThings and gather the devices, scenes, and services used most for quicker access.

Devices let users monitor all devices, connecting TVs, light bulbs, appliances, and many more.

Life is a part where customers discover new services. As a matter of fact, this transforms physical objects into meaningful user experiences as they explore the expanding world of linked life. Users may learn about new features that will better their entire living experience, such as SmartThings Cooking. It is an all-in-one service that will offer seamless kitchen and meal preparation experiences.

Automations link devices, allowing them to collaborate and respond to certain situations in the home, such as a door opening and a light switching on.

Additional functions, such as Labs, Notifications, History, and Settings, will be housed in the Menu.

SmartThings

Availability

The new interface is available for Android devices starting today, and iOS will follow. This update follows SmartThings’ recent announcement of its Windows application, which offers a similar experience right from a Galaxy Book and any other Windows PC.

Samsung continues to invest in enhancing its technology, they also announced the incorporation of the Matter protocol into its ecosystem. SmartThings claims to be in the leading spot as the platform with the most flexible ways to connect devices. This includes Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, Zigbee, and Matter. 

Finally, you can see more information about SmartThings here.

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Apps

Norton bundling a cryptominer to its anti-virus software

Mine cryptocurrencies while your antivirus scans for malware

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Anti-virus and cryptominers are two words you don’t usually associate, but that is set to change soon. Norton 360 — one of the popular antivirus that comes bundled in some PCs — will soon include a cryptominer in its set of features.

A tricky proposition?

As you might have guessed, the bundled cryptominer is aptly called Norton Crypto. According to Norton, they are bundling a cryptominer to give users a safe and secure way to mine for cryptocurrency. The company goes on to explain that users have to disable their antivirus for their cryptominers to run without issues. By bundling a cryptominer, users don’t have to disable their antivirus — since it is technically built into it.

The reasoning may sound fair and square, but there are still potential issues with this. Users may not even be aware of the bundled cryptominer in the first place. Norton stressed that the cryptominer will be available to all Norton 360 consumers in the coming weeks, so it’s obvious that this feature isn’t limited to those who just wanted it.

Some users may inadvertently toggle this feature on, which may pose issues to PCs without powerful GPUs. Mining cryptocurrencies is a resource-intensive task, so PCs without the hardware to match will definitely see slowdowns.

On the other hand, this feature may be a boon to users dabbling into mining cryptocurrencies. Although it really is odd to mine cryptocurrencies with an anti-virus software, the whole thing may just work for Norton. After all, the company is already an established name when it comes to security solutions.

Norton also guarantees that all the user’s earnings will be stored safely in the cloud. The company has already indicated that Ethereum is supported at launch, with support for more reputable cryptocurrency in the future.

SEE ALSO: Basics of cryptocurrency, risks, and benefits

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