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Google’s ‘Just A Line’ app: A dream come true

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There are plenty of apps out there that let you draw little doodles on photos or even videos. But the doodles are just an overlay on top of the footage. What if you could draw doodles that appear in 3D space, allowing you and your friends to move around them?

That’s what Just A Line app does. Once you’ve recorded the footage, you can easily share it with the world. There’s a lot of opportunities here to make some amusing five-second clips of people interacting with doodles in strange ways (keep it clean, folks).

Just a Line Google Experiment app

The process of drawing is as simple as it gets – you hold your phone up and doodle in the app’s viewfinder. You can see where the shapes are going in 3D space and they maintain their position as you move around.

The new app came out of the Google Experiments project, in which Google encourages coders to experiment with new technologies just for the heck of it. Anyone can create and submit an experiment, and if Google likes it, the project gets featured on the Experiments website.

Granted, the number of devices is somewhat limited at this point—spanning all Pixel phones, Galaxy devices from the S7 and up, the OnePlus 5, the LG V30 and V30+, and the Asus Zenfone AR—but support is expected to expand to many other brands and devices.

As of right now, there’s not much else to the app besides AR doodling. However, it’s a lot of fun and could be put to further use somewhere down the line. Get it? Line?

When I first heard about it, I personally thought that it’s just a concept. And only the developers might’ve been provided with the app. But no, it’s for everyone, although it’s an AR experiment. The only requirements are,

  • Camera: Needed to let you draw in AR and record videos.
  • Microphone: Needed to let you record videos of drawings you make.
  • Photos/Media/Files: Needed to let you save videos of drawings on your device.

Google for the promotion has reached out to people like Shantel Martin. Who actually used to promote Samsung launches. Watch the video here.

Check it out for yourself by downloading the free app using the link given below.

Get Just a Line from the Play Store.

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I switched to Cake browser for a week, and I’m not going back!

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Cake Browser

The one thing you should know about me is that my curiosity levels soar high, almost at all times. And for the same reason, I often find myself glued to my iPhone.

When computers were considered to be the latest trend in technology, there wasn’t much portability in its applications. Whenever you’d want to get insights on a topic, or simply send an email, you’d have to wait to get home to access that monstrous box with a screen which then, apparently overwhelmed you with information.

But, thankfully, progress has led us to an era where a significant part of our life now is dependent on smartphones. To sum it all up in high-school syllabus terms, smartphones are something which has made the process of acquiring information much easier, among other things.

As for me, I used to use Safari to access the web when I wasn’t near a laptop or a desktop. It’s fluid, simple, minimalistic; and the most important thing is it gets the job done, every time. It’s also probably one of the most secure browsers out there. But, after some time using the famed browser from Apple, I got bored. Have you ever felt UI sickness? I’ve coined that term for myself meaning getting bored/sick of using the same UI every day. Yeah, I felt that using Safari. Things got way too minimalistic.

Then, I shifted my focus to Google’s Chrome browser for iOS. Albeit, I got tired of that as well. Further, I tried Mozilla. It had this heaviness that repelled me away from it. Not to mention other browsers, I had tried everything to make myself more interactive towards my research. I wanted to make collecting information fun, fast, and interesting for myself. And neither of the mainstream browsers available for the platform (iOS) managed to get even close.

Later, upon contemplating the reasons for the loss of my interest in research, I realized that it wasn’t the browsers that inhibited my concerns; it was the way the browsing methods were laid on in the first place. But, eventually, in my conquest for finding a better browsing option, I found Cake.

Cake, in this case, is not something you devour by melting it in your saliva. It is a full-fledged browser which revolutionizes the way you browse. So far, we have experienced mobile browsers that are just a port of desktop browsers morphed into a compact form. No browser directs towards making the browsing experience unique for smartphones. But, here’s when Cake’s intervention shakes things up.

Cake Browser

Based in Utah, Cake Technologies Inc. is a venture-backed startup founded in 2016 that focuses on providing the best experience from a browser.

What is the most important function of a browser?- To search for things using search engines like Google, Bing, etc. However, according to a study by Moz in 2016, when searching on a traditional mobile browser, it takes 87% longer to find and click on a relevant result as compared to desktop browsers.

What Cake does is, instead of displaying a list of search results from search engines, it presents them in a card format all loaded up so that you can get to the most relevant result’s content directly. The next two results are loaded in the background so when you swipe over to them (as it’s a card format), they are already loaded. This way you won’t have to scroll, scan or involve in back-and-forth navigation while searching for your favorite kind of animal. The folks over at Cake have named this feature “Index suppression.”

The browser also optimizes pages from its side to enable faster load times. With that said, pages with a faster loading speed in a search result are given the most preference. So, even if a page ranks top in search results in a traditional browser, it won’t rank first in Cake browser if it won’t have the best load time and relevancy.

Another notable feature from Cake is group search. It groups your search results into one media type which is chosen by you. For instance, if you are looking for earphones to buy, you can type in the term “earphones” in the URL bar and then tap on the shopping cart indicating you want search results for shopping. The browser will automatically display all the results from Google’s rankings that lead to shopping earphones. Further, it loads up shopping sites like Amazon, eBay, etc. by the side so you can always swipe over.

Design

Cake browser, just like its name, uses delightful colors all over the app’s interface. Mostly, the app has a mixture of references from Google’s material design and Apple’s huge titles- even on Android. Even though there’s a lot of information and links being displayed on the screen, all at once, the browser’s designed in such a way that it doesn’t look muddled.

Cake Browser

It’s best if I describe this browser as a combination of Safari and Chrome, but on steroids. Overall, the URL bar and the settings elements are plain, bold black and white, while the homepage is radically blue.

Functionality

This browser plays a huge part in terms of functionality. It contains a plethora of ground-breaking features that enable you to save a lot of time, and also stride through the internet effortlessly. I have already educated you on the basic idea that this browser works around. So, here are some more…

Curation tools

More than it’s a browser, it’s a content curation tool. And this becomes prominent as soon as you open the app. You’ll be greeted with links for the top 5 trending searches on Google for the day. When you tap on them, you’ll be provided with articles that justify the trending result. For example, it was the International Cat day yesterday, and upon clicking the trend, the browser loaded articles providing more information on the topic.

Cake Browser

Somehow, Taylor Swift’s cats got a mention everywhere…

Slices

Slices is a pretty neat feature that comes packed in with the browser. Basically, it shows you the headlines from all the major websites depending on the topic you select.

Cake Browser

How you do it is, you open a new tab, tap on the genres available at the top for the Slices feature, and the browser will load the homepage of every website related to that genre. For instance, if you tap on “Gaming,” the browser will open relevant news websites like IGN, Polygon, etc. It’s a superb feature if you want to discover more websites, and get to know different points of view.

AdBlock and Security

Cake browser’s core functions are similar to every browser available for the mobile app market. However, as I said earlier- the app’s on steroids. It comes along with a built-in ad blocker that blocks ads on any and every website you visit. Although, there is an option to disable ad block just in case if you want to become generous towards websites.

Cake Browser

Besides, on every website, the browser indicates if it has SSL encryption or not. This helps you stay away from the ones that could potentially harm your data.

Customization

This browser supports customization than any other browser in Android as well as on iOS combined. For starters, you can customize which websites you prefer in terms of search results. For example, while searching for headphones, you want search results from eBay first instead of Amazon, you can change the preference in the swipe-down results after you search for a query.

On top of that, Cake also lets you change the app icon with about 20 options to choose from.

You can also decide upon which search engine to use, and you can change it anytime you want. But, the default is Google.

I’ve been using Cake for about a week now, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go back to any other mobile browser, let alone Safari and Chrome. But, that is only unless either Apple, Google or Firefox introduce the same or better features. Well, I haven’t told you about the best part about this browser yet: It’s 100% ad-free.

However, it’s not always so sweet in Cake land. There was one time when the browser faced connectivity issues, where pages would load painfully slow. Other than that, the app was fluid as hell. And it certainly changed the way I browse- a way which I couldn’t ever have imagined.

The Cake Browser is available on Android and iOS as a free download.

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How to turn off conversation view in Gmail for Android and iOS?

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Google introduced the conversation view for its desktop and mobile Gmail clients as a way to easily manage a string of emails- as conversations. 

However, there were polarizing reactions on this move by Google. Some people liked the idea of converting their emails into conversations arranged as heaps on top of each other, while some didn’t. Albeit, a significant share of people went on to birth an online petition against this scrimping implementation. 

This forced Google to hence, offer this feature as an option that users can turn on in Gmail’s settings. However, this discharge was only for the desktop version of Google’s notorious email service. Mobile users were indeed left out of this mini-referendum. Since then, the Gmail app for iOS and Android had gone through many changes, especially after the update that introduced the conversation view for an email thread.

But, no changes surfaced pointing towards the conversation view, that is, until today, as the Gmail app for iOS and Android is finally rolling out an option to disable the conversation view.

All the Gmail app users on iOS and Android are being updated with this feature as of now. So if you ever wanted a more simplified user experience on Gmail, you now have the freedom to do so. 

I don’t see how people who deal with tons of emails per day would prefer to go through the shambles that are unsorted email replies, especially since they have already got a taste of the conversation view. But, if you’re someone who gets one important email per week which you don’t even care glancing through once, it won’t matter if the feature is switched off or on. 

Nevertheless, you can disable conversation view by tapping on the account name in the settings menu and looking for the “Conversation view” checkbox. Now you won’t have to worry about seasonal mood swings aimed at the avidity to enable or disable conversation view. Well, that’s a thing!

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How to find a recently saved contact on iPhone and Android?

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Certain instances of my life with a smartphone involve me, forgetting the name of the recently saved contact just after the moment I save it. So, here’s how to locate a recently saved contact on your iPhone or an Android device. 

It’s highly frustrating to be honest, and the feeling worsens when you need that contact for a really important task. Above all, it’ll be really painful if I ever try to contemplate how I’ve lost tons of great opportunities just cause I couldn’t remember a name after saving the contact. It happens. 

I bet this happens to everyone on this planet who own a smartphone. But, while Apple and Google don’t have this feature where the contacts are categorized based on the date they were added, thankfully, third-party apps save the day.

So, how to locate a recently saved contact on an iPhone?

This process is extremely simple. All you have to do is to click on the link and you’ll automatically be redirected to the App Store from where you can download “Contacts last entries & search.

Initial impressions of the app are a bit laggy and slow, but when it performs the magic, you’ll feel like having the app forever loaded on. 

  1. Once you open the app, tap on the Name label. It’ll switch to Creation date which will display your contact list in a descending order from latest to the oldest. How to know the name of the recently saved contact?
  2. Have fun!

The app works just good. But, it intermittently freezes when tapping on buttons inside the app. Although, I don’t know if this is the app itself or the freezing problem is because of the fact that I have iOS 12’s Developer Beta installed on my iPhone. 

And, how to locate a recently saved contact on Android?

The process is just as easy for an Android device as it is for an iPhone. Like the latter, you just have to download an app named “Recent Apps” from the Play Store. 

This app is not as sophisticated as compared to what the iPhone counterpart offers. It doesn’t show the date at which the contact was created, but it chronologically sorts all the contacts in the descending order of their date. There’s nothing to configure in the app. Just tap on allow when the app prompts to ask permission for access to the device’s contacts. 

That’s it guys. But I’m pretty sure that you’ll thank me in the comments later for this!

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