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Saturday, March 28th, 2020
Coined “Personal Assistants” and they are becoming a more important part of our daily lives. Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Siri have all made huge leaps when it comes to voice recognition functionality and every day use. They aren’t just respective smart home speakers and they can be controlled from your other devices like your phone and tablet.
You may be intrigued as to which of these personal assistants is the best for you? And this blog attempts to help you decide.
Whilst we are aware there are new additions out there like Microsoft Cortana and Samsung’s Bixby, this blog summarising the three market leaders, Google Assistant, Alexa ad Siri.
Google Assistant is considered be the smartest and most dynamic of the personal assistants.
It was launched in 2016 as an extension of Google Now – it offers personalised elements such as pulling information from your Google Calendar, Gmail and other Google services. It can also recognise different voice profiles. It supports features like Continued Conversation. This is where you can simply continue to keep asking questions about a subject without the assistant discontinuing the original conversation when asked the next question.
In short, Google Assistant will allow you to control compatible smart home devices, music, access information from your calendars, it can even act as a real-time translator in Interpreter Mode. You can ask the assistant to set alarms, reminders and call your contacts through the use of different apps. It can even find information online and play content to a Chromecast device.
You’ll find the Google Assistant on several devices, from Google’s own Nest devices to third party speakers and smart displays, Android smartphones and WearOS smartwatches and earbuds, Android TV, Nvidia Shield and cars that support Android Auto.
Amazon Alexa is probably the most popular of the personal assistants. Largely due to it being the first one on the market that came as an integrated speaker.
Amazon put Alexa onto the original Echo speaker in 2014 and since then the Echo devices have expanded rapidly. Alexa is now broadcasting across millions of homes worldwide. Similar to that of Google Assistant, Alexa will perform various tasks for you and control various systems such as the NEST heating system and WIFI lightbulbs to control the lighting.
It also offers a more personal wakeup word “Alexa” compared to the other assistants “hey Google” or “Hey Siri”.
Like the Google Assistant, Alexa will enable you to run reminders and alarms, find information online, play content on Amazon Fire devices, read news briefings and offer Alexa calling.
One of the key advantages of Alexa is the long list of compatible apps and services. You can also find Alexa on third-party devices such as Fitbit, and even as standard in some vehicles. Amazon even put Alexa into a microwave, a teddy bear and even a clock.
Siri is the considered the oldest of the personal assistants. Apple first offered Siri as a standalone app in the App Store in 2010. Since then it has been hard-coded into the company’s iOS software after Apple purchased the company that developed it. Just like the Google Assistant and Alexa, Siri will perform a multitude of tasks for you and will pull a multitude of information from various Apple services, to give you a more personalised experience. It is also capable of ‘wit’ and the use of natural language which only Alexa comes a close 2nd.
Siri will allow you to control compatible smart home devices, open apps, call or text someone and set reminders and alarms. It also helps you find information online, make recommendations as well as tell jokes.
The main difference between Siri and the other assistants is that Siri is only available on Apple devices. You’ll find her on iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, AirPods, MacBooks, iMacs and on the HomePod as well as many vehicles have Apple CarPlay onboard.
At the beginning of this post we set our goal to tell you which of these personal assistants is the best. As you can see in the majority of cases they can do the same tasks.
The Google Assistant is very impressive, it can handle multiple questions at once and offer personalised results by recognising a voice profile as well as having the power of Google search behind it.
Amazon Alexa may not be as dynamic as the Google Assistant, or as smart, but it’s compatible with hundreds of thousands of devices and apps.
Apple’s Siri is certainly the wittiest of the three assistants. Allowing you to speak the most natural and offering features such as Siri Shortcuts that highlighting tasks to get things done, the only problem is that it’s tied into the Apple ecosystem.
If you want the smartest assistant, go for the Google Assistant. If you want the most compatibility with apps and services, then go with Alexa. If you want the funniest and own an Apple device, go with Siri.
Saturday, February 22nd, 2020
No, the purpose of this article is not adding extra fuel to the fire between the dedicated Apple fans and Windows supporters – as we all know, Chrome and Safari are the most popular web browsers in the world. Chrome dominates the numbers when it comes to desktop users – but when it comes to mobile use, both browsers are neck-and-neck. In this article we’ll see what separates the two browsers and why is there such a fierce battle for supremacy when it comes to mobile use. When comparing these two browsers we will be taking into consideration the following parts of the browser experience:
Let’s start with the available features on both browsers
When talking about features, we’ll see how you can customize the look and feel of the browser, what extensions are available, cross-device synchronization and some other features such as PDF conversion tools and so on.
There is not much to say about Safari when it comes to features –especially when comparing it to Chrome. Safari has a very limited extensions library – thanks to Apple’s philosophy of limiting user control, but Chrome, on the other hand, has thousands of available extensions that are built to make your browsing experience more enjoyable.
Safari’s cross-device synchronization isn’t that great either – instead of doing it directly through the browser, your data needs to be synced via iCloud – for bookmarks and browsing history and via Keychain – for passwords. When it comes to Chrome – well, it allows you to sync pretty much everything across devices, including history, settings, autofill content, open tabs and more. The process is very quick and easy to set up, the browser automatically syncs with your Google profile once you log in to a new device.
Chrome vs Safari – Ease of use
This is by far the most subjective category on our list – Why? Because it focuses on how easy and pleasant the browser feels to use. Interface design is as important as convenience – this means little things like tab management, layout and minor quality of life features also play a big part.
Thanks to its dominance on the browser market, Chrome has somewhat become a standard when it comes to the browsing experience, and when comparing Safari to it…well, Safari feels a bit more clunky. Why? – because it’s burdened with unnecessary and cumbersome animations for even the simplest of actions, the tab bar is completely hidden when you only one tab open and it always seems a bit confusing, as you’re never quite sure if you disabled the tab bar by accident.
When it comes to convenience, it loses points again – because the settings are located outside of the browser – it’s an international standard that Apple tries to encourage, but this is generally ignored by all other browsers that keep most of their settings located inside the app itself, which we think is a much better approach.
What will we focus on here? – Speed, resource consumption and bandwidth load to determine which browser deserves to win this round of our Chrome vs Safari comparison.
We can say without any doubt that performance is arguably Safari’s greatest strength. Thanks to all the wizards over at Apple, the browser has been optimized to use minimal resources while still being considered as fast as any other browser on the market – and when it comes toit’s easily the fastest browser we tested.
When compared to Chrome, it uses far less RAM – Chrome is notorious for taking up a lot of resources – in some cases, it uses as little as half the RAM that Chrome does to achieve the same results.
Security is often overlooked but it is an incredibly important aspect of web browsers – what we’ll be looking here is content blocking, update frequency and warning for unsecure connections, so let’s continue with our Chrome vs Safari standoff.
Both browsers use Google’s Safe Browsing database to protect users from sites containing malware or any other fraudulent schemes, but when comparing the two browsers…we can say that Chrome is one of the most secure web browsers – and it should come as no surprise. It comes with more frequent security updates ( it’s where Safari falls short – sometimes it takes months for updates to come out) and pop-ups are blocked by default – and if you want to block ads- you can use the Ad-Blocker extensions available to download from Chrome’s extensions library.
When it comes to letting users know if they are browsing unsecure website, Safari simply does not display a padlock, whilst Chrome displays a warning that contains both a symbol and text “not secure”, making it hard to not be aware of unsecure browsing experience.
When comparing the stats, it seems like Chrome seems to be the better option- the only clear win that Safari had was when we took into consideration the use of resources. There is a reason why Chrome is the gold standard when it comes to browsers and it’s no surprise – after all, Google is the most popular search engine, it would have been a shame if they wouldn’t have come up with a browser that offers the safest and best experience for its users.
Friday, December 20th, 2019
The smartphone market has grown to become one of the largest markets when it comes to tech. As manufacturing processes have improved over the past decade, smartphones have become a pinnacle of modern technology. But without the proper software to power them, these phones would be high-priced pieces of glass and metal – or plastic sandwiches.
If you’re buying a new smartphone today, the chances are that it will run on one of the two main operating systems, Android or iOS. These two operating systems have been used in all of all new smartphones shipped this year – according to IDC. After Microsoft and Blackberry threw in the towel, Android and iOS are the only mainstream operating systems left – the good news is that both smartphone operating systems are excellent. These two operating systems have their similarities, but there are some important differences that you’ll have to consider when buying a new phone.
To compare Android vs iOS, we have selected a couple of categories and we will compare each one – but the final decision depends on you. Only you know which features/categories are most important for your day to day use.
First, let’s talk about the first thing what comes to our mind when we decide on buying a smartphone – The Price
Apple has always been known for being at the higher end of the market in terms of pricing. This year they’ve launched their iPhone 11 Pro with a starting price of £1049 and the iPhone 11 Pro Max with a starting price of £1149. If you are looking for the iOS experience, but you aren’t prepared to give out a ton of cash, you can grab the iPhone 8 for £479 – this is as cheap as it gets unless you want to buy a second-hand phone.
Android, on the other hand, is unbeatable when it comes to the sheer scale and variety. You can spend a lot if you want to on top tier flagships such as the Galaxy note 10+ or the Google Pixel 4 XL – their prices almost match Apple’s iPhone pricing. You can also go for mid-range devices that are a lot cheaper than the flagships and yet offer almost the same experience when it comes to UI and software – these manufacturers have deliberately optimized Android to run on low-end hardware.
Android leads the field of free apps- should make it the natural choice for budget-conscious users.
Let’s have a look at how many apps exist on the Google Play Store and on the App Store
Numbers aren’t really the best metric in this case – the most popular apps usually have versions on both app stores. Traditionally, iOS has been a more lucrative platform for developers, so there is a tendency for new apps to appear on iOS first. Usually, the latest and greatest apps first come to iOS and later get listed on the Google Play store.
Battery life and charging speeds
Battery life is an important factor when it comes to choosing your smartphone – it’s difficult to compare Android and iOS because of the lack of common hardware. iOS is optimized to squeeze the most out of the battery per mAh rating, but you can find Android devices with much larger batteries that can outlast an iPhone easily. Both platforms offer battery saver modes that can extend the battery life by limiting the power consumption of the devices.
When it comes to charging speed, there is no question that Android devices are faster. The Oppo Reno Ace, for example, is capable of fully loading its 4,000mAh battery in just 31 minutes. Whereas the iOS devices, like the iPhone 11 Pro can take about one and a half hours to fully charge.
Comparing similarly priced Android phones with iPhones, they tend to have longer battery life and they always have fast chargers included in the box with and Android phone.
Updates – can be an important factor when it comes to features and security
Apple’s iOS offers consistent and timely software updates and security patches for all of its newer devices. If you want the same experience on Android devices, then you will have to buy Google’s Pixel devices. According to statistics, almost 90% of all iOS devices are now running the latest version of iOS. By contrast, only around 10% of Android devices are running the latest version of Android 10.
If you want the latest features and security updates, then you should choose iOS.
Voice assistants – Android vs iOS
Both Siri and Google Assistant offer almost the same features, Siri is more like a straightforward helper for setting up calendar appointments, searching the web or making calls. Google Assistant on the other hand, has an extra layer – it can preemptively offer useful suggestions, plus it has a more conversational side that offers entertaining games and contextual information based on what you are doing.
Last but not least – the Camera. Some people choose their smartphones based on their camera. It’s difficult to call – in the past, we’ve argued that Apple does a better job at capturing lighting, coloring and other details – but the latest Android devices are casting a lot of doubt on that assertion. Nowadays flagship cameras are very close in terms of picture quality and lighting, mostly it’s up to the final user to decide how do they like their pictures – do you like it with natural colors or with some image processing? Weaker or stronger HDR? – it mostly depends on you.
At the end of the day, the final decision mostly depends on you – whether you are already used to one ecosystem – UI, functions, and usability. This Android vs iOS comparison was written to guide you to making your final decision.
Sunday, December 15th, 2019
First of all, what are they? JIRA and Trello are among the best-regarded tools for project management. They are part of a family of products designed to help teams of all types manage work.
Today we’ll take a look into their benefits and drawbacks, and most importantly their main differences. Since Atlassian, the vendor of Jira acquired Trello, both project management tools are basically coming from the same company. But they are still competing over the same target group.
As such, if you’re thinking about making the switch to Jira or Trello, this article might be the right place for you.
For teams who practice agile methodologies, Jira Software provides scrum and kanban boards out-of-the box. Boards are a task management hubs, where tasks are mapped to customizable workflows. Boards provide transparency across team work and visibility into the status of every work item. Time tracking capabilities, and real-time performance reports (charts, sprint reports, velocity charts) enable teams to closely monitor their productivity over time.
Teams can start with a project template or create their own custom workflow. Jira issues, also known as tasks, track each piece of work that needs to pass through the workflow steps to completion. Another feature called “customizable permissions” allow admins to determine who can see and perform which actions. With all project information in place, reports can be generated to track progress, productivity, and ensure nothing gets missed.
Trello is a task management app that gives you a visual overview of what is being worked on and who is working on it. It used the Kanban system, which was originally developed in Toyota as a system to keep production levels high and maintain flexibility. It is best represented as a whiteboard filled with post-it notes. Each post-it represents different tasks involved in the project.
Well, while both of them are great project management tools, Jira and Trello have some key differences. Since Jira was designed for software teams, it mainly targets software builders, developers, or project managers working on software projects.
In contrast, Trello has a much broader target audience, as it basically offers any kind of project tracking.
Keep in mind that both tools offer both Android and iOS apps for their users. They also offer integrations with tens of third-party tools and both of them are cloud-hosted. JIRA can be also had on-premises, not in the cloud, so that could be a key-selling factor for some.
A project management tool must adapt to these needs and must be customizable enough to fulfill them. Both – Jira and Trello – meet these needs of Scrum or Kanban and offer various board dashboards and card views for managing your team’s tasks.
Also, when it comes to traditional project management features, JIRA seems to be one step ahead. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive time tracking features, management reporting tools, and issue tracking functionality, you’ll probably end up with Jira.
The various plans for Jira and Trello depend on a couple of factors. But most importantly, the monthly price depends on the number of users.
As such, the basic pricing of Jira starts at around £10 per month. On the other hand, Trello offers a free account. As a team, we are pretty sure though that you’ll end up choosing better plans, since both Start plans are pretty simple and limited.
In a nutshell, if you’re looking for comprehensive, fully-adjustable project management and tracking tool for your software team, you might end up using Jira. Jira is the go-to tool for large-scale project and teams. However, you must be aware that onboarding time and costs might be higher with Jira, as not so tech savvy people might have a harder time using it.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use project and task management tool for your small company, Trello might be the better choice. With its simple, yet well-designed user interfaces it offers small teams an easy entry in the world of project management.
Both of them are great, but it depends on the size of your company, your employees, developers, etc. As previously mentioned, for smaller teams – Trello would be great. But for larger teams with more complex needs, JIRA is the way to go.