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Device Reviews

  • Our Recommended Apps for Music Lovers

    There are thousands of apps available to us at our fingertips, it can sometimes be hard to know where to begin. You know you want an app to help you store your music, find concerts or even help you learn a song on the piano. But you don’t want to risk precious phone storage or even worse, pay for a low-quality app. We have compiled a list of apps that are worth the download and will enhance your music loving experience.

    Songkick https://www.songkick.com/

    You’re flicking through one of your playlist on the commute and a song comes on by one of your favourite bands, click on their profile only to see they were playing in town last week! It’s a completely gut-wrenching experience for many music lovers. Songkick will take that pain away forever, simply import your favourite bands into Songkick and the app will compile you a calendar containing the bands tour dates in your area and give you ticket release alerts. You never have to miss a concert again!

    SoundHound https://www.soundhound.com/soundhound

    SoundHound is the evolution of Shazam, not only will it detect the name of the song that has just come on in the pub that no one can remember but it will also display the lyrics on your phone in real time. Even more impressively the song doesn’t have to be playing at the time. Ever find yourself with a tune going around and round in your head but you can’t remember what it is called? SoundHound allows you to hum or sing into the mic and it will tell you what the song is called.

    Daytrotter http://www.daytrotter.com/content/mobile-apps.html

    If listening to live music is your thing than Daytrotter is the app for you. Daytrotter releases daily live sets from up and coming indie and well-established artists. These mini concerts are all recorded at the Daytrotter studio and saved into the archives. This is a great way to discover highly talented lesser known bands and listen to live music on the go. The best thing about this app is that all these great sets are available for free!

    These are just a few of the incredible apps available, download these three apps and you will be well on your way to feeding your musical addiction.

  • Best Apps This Winter!

    The clocks have fallen backwards, the nights are drawing in, Halloween has come and gone, winter is drawing in! Long evenings spent in pub gardens are a distant memory, here a few apps to help you through the long winter months ahead.

    It’s not all doom and a gloom, with Halloween finished it can only mean one thing…. Christmas is on the way! Download Christmas Countdown 2017 – this app allows you to countdown the exact days, hours and minutes until Christmas day!

      If you’re looking for a winter themed mobile game, then Alto’s Adventure is perfect. Lead Alto the side scrolling skier down mountainous slops and hilly inclines, for a mobile game the graphic and soundtrack are very impressive.

      Looking to stay fit during the winter but don’t want to brave the cold? Zwift is a great app which allows you to get on your bike without leaving the house. Zwift has pre-set cycling work outs ready to use or you can create your own. You can also connect and chat to other people using Zwift and compare monthly goals and achievements. Check out more details in this Cycling Weekly article: Cycling Weekly Zwift

    Forgotten how much heating and electric cost over the winter? Smart Meter is an easy way to keep track of what your spending, simply input your meter readings and Smart Meter will produce in depth charts and graphics to show you exactly where your money is going.

      Just by downloading these few apps you can turn the dark nights into a keep fit, skiing adventure whilst looking forward to Christmas. With all this going on spring will be round again in no time!

  • Looking to learn a new language?

    4954719152_e06d1ffdb2_bWhether you are learning a new language from scratch, revising your grammar or looking for some helpful phrases for your holiday you can guarantee there is an app for it. Here are a few of the best apps which make learning a new language fun for all levels of ability.

    Duolingo is one of the most popular language apps, it is free to use and covers a wide range of subjects. After downloading the app, you will take a short test of your chosen language to find out which level of the app you should begin with. The app will then teach and test your skills by giving you speaking, listening and writing challenges. All levels are set out in bite size chunks which take around 10-15 minutes to complete. This may not be the best app if you are looking to improve your conversational skills but it will have you more than prepared for getting by in a restaurant on holiday.

    If you are looking to expand your vocabulary then Memrise is the app for you. This app sets the lessons up in a fun and unique way, the lessons are presented as a game where the learner is sent to a strange and foreign planet as a spy and collects points by giving correct answers. In this app you will have to memorise key words and phrases and repeat them during the intervals. Just like with Duolingo you will also have to listen to short audio clips and translate them back into your base language. Memrise has over 100 language you can choose to learn and is a fun way to build your vocabulary.

    You have now mastered the basics and want to expand your knowledge beyond simple words and phrases. The best way to do that is to speak to native speakers, Tandem gives you the opportunity to meet new people and share your language skills with native speakers. You can help one and other improve your language by using text, audio and video chat features, Tandem moderates your account before it goes live so they can match you up with people who shares your interests. Looking to take your language to the next level and help someone else out on their language journey? Then Tandem is certainly worth a go.

    Whether you are starting out or re kindling your interest in a foreign language these apps will help you on your way to becoming fluent in whatever language you desire. Ciao!

  • 10 Years of Apple's iPhone - What's Next?

    Logo-Apple-iPhone (2)2007 was a magical and eventful year, the French TGV hit a top speed of 357mph, breaking the world record for a conventional train, the Phoenix space shuttle heads towards Mars and Avril Lavigne’s “Best Damn Thing “tops the album charts. 2007 of course saw the release of the first iPhone!

    The original iPhone did not have all the things we take for granted with our smartphone now, no app store, no 3G, Siri, emoji or photo editing! But it was touchscreen and that was very exciting! It was essentially an iPod you could make calls from or occasionally load a web page if the Wi-Fi was strong enough but it was 2007 and that was also a very rare occurrence.

    The iPhone 4 was Apple’s first major redesign, retina display was introduced and the antenna became internal. This however was not without problems, as users complained of call drops and a general lack of signal. The main issue with the antenna becoming internal was when holding the phone to their ear users were covering the antenna causing the call the drop. This prompted Steve Jobs to do an out of character reactionary press conference mainly telling people to “not hold it that way”.

    The iPhone 4s did not see wholesale changes, however it was the last handset Apple would release during Steve Job’s lifetime. Without changing too much on the handset, Apple introduced everyone’s favourite personal assistant, Siri. The introduction of Siri saw every other brand react accordingly with Cortana, Alexa and Google assistant now all part of the gang.

    Lightning struck when the Apple released its iPhone 5 series, it was the end of the 30-pin charging port. Finger print sensors were introduced with the iPhone 5s as Apple stepped up their handsets security, as people became more reliant on their handsets. And as with most releases Apple dipped their toe in the water, and if it wasn’t too cold, everyone would follow suit with finger print sensors now common practise with all handsets. The iPhone 5s was also the first handset to be available in gold.

    The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was Apples first ever double release, this was Apple’s answers to the Android dominated Phablet range. It wasn’t all plain sailing for the new flagship phone, as many people complained that their brand-new phones were bending in their pockets! However, this didn’t hold Apple back, as they had their most successful year off the back of the iPhone 6.

    It wasn’t until the iPhone 7 that we saw notable changes, Apple introduced new storage capacities, a click less home button and of course the infamous dropping of the headphone jack! The missing headphone jack may not have caused such a splash if the Air pod headphones weren’t delayed and ultimately released in much smaller numbers than needed.

    It cannot be denied that in the last decade Apple has cemented itself as the super power of the smartphone industry. With the latest release scheduled for September we can only wait and see what Apple has in store for us next!

  • First Impressions Samsung Galaxy S8

    Samsung_Logo.svgThis is Samsung’s first release since the S7 exploded onto the market in 2016. This is an incredibly important time for Samsung, as they attempt to re build the bridges with customers that were burnt by the issues with the S7.

    We are going to look at what Samsung have done differently this time around with the Galaxy S8. The Galaxy S8 is an incredible looking phone and sees the introduction of the infinity display, Samsung have done away with the bezel and managed to squeeze more screen onto a regular sized handset. The transition from screen to the mirror-like back panel is almost seamless, and creates an extremely sleek looking handset. The S8 is available with a 5.2-inch display or a 6.2 inch if you prefer to go all out for a phablet.

    To create enough space for all this extra screen, Samsung has done away with the home button and installed a virtual home button. Using similar technology to Apple’s force touch, simply press down where the home button would be and this will take you back to the home screen.

    If there is no home button, then how can I unlock my phone using my fingerprint? Fear not the fingerprint sensor is now located on the back of the handset next to the camera lens. However, this may prove to be problematic if you happen to be left handed as your hand will already be covering the sensor. Not only can you unlock the phone using a pattern or fingerprint sensor, with the S8 you can now use the instantaneous facial recognition. This setting is so fast you will not even notice the phone unlocking, and with the fingerprint scanner now on the back casing this may be the most efficient way to unlock the device.

    The Samsung Galaxy S8 also gives Samsung users their first opportunity to meet BIXBY. This is Samsung’s first step into the virtual assistant world, simply press the Bixby dedicated button on the side of the handset to wake up your new personal assistant. By talking to Bixby you can search the web, cast videos onto your smart T.V and set personal reminders.

    Samsung are hoping this latest release will be the hottest property on the market for much different reasons than the Galaxy S7. First impressions are looking promising, infinity display and virtual home button play a huge part in the S8’s futuristic feel. Now only time will tell if users enjoy facial recognition and Bixby moving into their phone.

  • Mobile World Congress 2017

    It’s that time of the year again, the big players in the technology world have congregated together in Barcelona to showcase what they have in store for us in 2017.

    There is only one place to start, rumours have been circulating… finally it has been confirmed at MWC that Nokia are re-launching the 3310! Complete the most important application of all time, snake. 17 years after the original release of the famed indestructible phone, Nokia have decided to bring back the nostalgia inspiring device. The re vamped model will include a 2.4-inch colour screen, Bluetooth, FM radio and of course Snake. The 3310 will have a reported 22-hour talk – time and an unfathomable month long battery life! The new Nokia will be available to purchase in the summer of 2017 and is expected to retail around £40.

    Sony unveiled its new flagship handset the XZ Premium, there are two aspects to this handset that truly set it apart from the pack. The first being the display, the XZ Premium will be the first handset to have a 4K HDR display, this means that the latest Sony will more than likely have a higher resolution display than the television in your living room. Sony have also partnered up with Amazon prime to secure stream capabilities to their 5.5 inch 4K displays. If your fan of catching up on your favourite programmes on your commute, or watching sport whilst your other halve has control of the T.V the XZ could certainly be the phone for you.

    The second exciting thing about the new Premium is the super slow motion camera and video capabilities. Doesn’t sound like anything new? The majority of slow motion technology currently on the market functions at 240Fps, whereas the XZ boasts an outstanding 960Fps, completely blowing its competition out of the water. To create such impressive speeds Sony have installed the latest technology called “Motion Eye” where memory is stored within the sensor chip enabling a much faster scan speed.

    Mobile World Congress also saw the unveiling of the world’s first self-drive electric car. Named Roborace and powered by a Nvidia Drive PX2 brain, Roborace is supposedly capable of performing 24 trillion AI operations per second. Consisting of 18 ultrasonic sensors, 6 AI cameras and GNSS positioning Roborace can learn its 360 degree surroundings and can produce speeds of up to 199mph! Roborace may not have been designed with every day use in mind, however it is certainly a look into the futuristic capabilities of cars.

    Enjoy the week from us here at Money4Machines!

  • Technology for Valentine’s Day 2017

    January is over! Celebrate the end of dry January or Veganuary! Whether you successfully gave up your favourite treats, or gave up on your resolution the end of the longest month of the year is cause for celebration. Or is it? Now January is over and the Valentine’s day stress is upon us, the rush to find the perfect gift, book a romantic restaurant, buy a beautiful bouquet of flowers! Fear not the digital age is here to help you plan the perfect Valentine’s day for your significant other without the stress.Valentines Technology

    Planning on cooking a romantic meal at home but don’t fancy yourself as a Jamie Oliver in the kitchen? The Mindful Chef will deliver a personal planned box of fresh ingredients and meal plan straight to your door from their west country based farm. Whether you’re a meat eater or a vegetarian The Mindful Chef have you covered. And all their recipes are completely gluten free!

    So, whipping up fine dining in your kitchen isn’t for your and the big day is fast approaching, how will you find a table?!? The Open Table app will use your GPS location to show your local restaurants will open tables and enable you to snap them up without even having to call. Collect points every time you book through Open Table and reap the rewards on your next booking.

    Table booked/food ordered and on its way, time to sort out the all-important flowers. Timing of getting the flowers home and into the house without being spotted can be an impossible job. Bloom and Wild is a handy app on which you can order the perfect flowers. Not only are they delivered to your door they arrive in a specially designed box that fits through your letter box!

    Time for the final piece of the puzzle, the card. If your struggling to find your William Wordsworth romanticism, then the Love Poems apps is here to help. This Android exclusive app has a gallery of poems ready for you to pick your favourite and put in a card for that special someone. No more time to be wasted in the loitering in the card aisle searching through hundreds of cards.

    That’s it! The complete Valentine’s day planned and ready to execute using only your smartphone! We hope you have found these apps helpful and from everyone from Money4Machines, Happy Valentine’s day!

  • Technology for 2017 – What Does The Future Hold?

    With 2016 well and truly in the rear-view mirror, we are going to have a look at what exciting technology 2017 may have in store for us.

    technology in the classroom First, who will win the battle for reality based gaming, augmented reality or virtual reality? The key difference between the two is the situation the technology creates. Augmented reality enables the user to interact with created images in their real-world surroundings, the flagship game for this technology currently being Pokémon Go.

    Whereas virtual reality is a fully immersive computer based technology, that can transport the user into completely different environments and even dimensions! With virtual reality, the user is not limited to the reality in front of them or on their mobile phone screen, you can fully immerse yourself with the new 3D surrounding you find yourself in. Augmented reality has certainly taken an early lead over VR after the release of Google Glass, however VR has certainly come a long way since its infancy in the 1990’s, and it remains to be seen which technology will have more commercial success.

    Do you hate doing the washing? Well the Laundroid could be the answer your looking for! Inspired by “2001 Space Odyssey” this space like invention has been in production for 10 years and is due to be released in March of 2017. Laundroid will not only wash and dry your clothes for you, it will also de-wrinkle, fold and neatly arrange them into clothes types! Simply put your laundry into the bottom compartment of the machine and Laundroid will do the rest, however this ultimate luxury will not come cheap, with prices ranging between $700- $800 after initial release.

    This machine is not to be used if you are looking to quickly wash a shirt before an important meeting, with the estimated time currently sitting at around 10 minutes to de-wrinkle and fold each item. Shin Sakane (inventor) stating that the time is taken for the central server to communicate with the Wi-Fi signal and then recognise each item. Even so this item is certainly revolutionary and one to keep an eye out for.

    People talking to loudly on the phone at work or on public transport has always been a problem and can be very annoying. The Hushme is a Bluetooth device that sits on over the top of your head like a pair of headphones, and then comes down and covers your mouth like a human muzzle. The Hushme connects to the user’s mobile phone via Bluetooth enabling the user to easily take calls, the covering of the mouth mutes the user’s speech helping them both have a private conversation and for their colleagues or fellow train users to not be bothered by their chatter. Whilst not hearing everyone else’s conversation, the Hushme will also make all your colleagues look a bit like Darth Vadar which can brighten any day in the office.

    Happy Friday from all of us at Money4Machines!

  • Best Christmas Technology Ideas 2016!

    christmas-1755104_960_7202016 has been an eventful year to say the least, unexpected and colossal changes to the political landscape, unlikely Premier League champions and grown men chasing imaginary Pokémon around the streets. But this eventful year is coming to an end, with just the small matter of Christmas between us and New Year celebrations.

    With the big day just around the corner we are going to take a look at a few last minute stocking fillers for the tech lovers in your life. If the Christmas break for you means time spent keeping warm and watching your favourite television programmes, then the Amazon Fire Stick is definitely for you. Simply plug into the HDMI port of your TV, connect to Wi-Fi and say hello to thousands of programmes from both sides of the pond and beyond, this little device takes binge watching to a whole new level!

    Amazon has also given you the opportunity to add another voice activated robotic helper into your life. The voice inside of the Amazon Echo is Alexa, and she is here to help you with nearly anything you can imagine around the house… apart from the washing up. Alexa can help you entertain your friends by playing music, reading audiobooks or by answering any question that comes to mind. The Amazon Echo is compatible with devices such as Hive, Hue and WeMo so you can control your lighting and heating all by using your voice.

    Looking for something a bit different to add to your office either at work or at home? How about the wireless fully bamboo keyboard and mouse from Sengu? This keyboard is made from 100% ethically sourced bamboo. The grain on the keyboard absorbs the ultra-violet light and is anti-radiation. The gloss finish does not only add to the aesthetics of the keyboard but also makes it easy to clean and keeps the keyboard feeling fresh.

    Vintage vinyl has been making a massive comeback in the past two years or so, in fact for the first time in the UK vinyl out sold its digital counterparts. It’s easy to see why with vinyl making the perfect present for cool Dads and hipsters alike. If your either dusting off the old vinyl collection in the loft or starting a new collection you will need something to play it on. The ION audio max could be exactly what you are looking for. It is lightweight and compact making it very easy transport and set up. The wooden finish and belt drive gives the ION audio the vintage feel and look which most nostalgia seeking vinyl collectors enjoy. This turntable also has a modern aspect, simply connect to your computer using the USB port to convert your favourite records to digital audio files.

    We hope you got a few good ideas for gives either to give or to sneakily add to your own Christmas list for Father Christmas. From everyone at Money4Machines have a very Merry Christmas!

  • Apple Release the iPhone 7 - The M4M Summary

    Last night saw the launch of the new Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus in apple iphone 7San Francisco. Although the overall appearance of the phone will look the same as the 6s there are some noticeable upgrades.

    Before we get into what Apple has upgraded for the new model, first we are going to take a moment to recognise what they have dropped from the previous models. First of all the iPhone 7 will not be available with 16GB storage capacity, the new product line with start with a minimum capacity of 32GB. I’m sure most users will not be sad to see the end of the 16GB range as it has become easier and easier to fill 16GB of memory.

    The most notable difference is the much rumoured absence of a headphone jack. Gone are the days where you will drop your iPhone and close your eyes expecting to here is smash into the pavement, only to look down and it see clinging onto life at the end of your headphones. Instead of the traditional headphone connection you will receive the new lightening EarPods which connect to the phone through the headphone jack. The new design will also see the release of the wireless Apple AirPods. Using infrared sensor, the headphones will be able to detect when they are in your ear and detect your voice for use of Siri and phone calls. However these innovative headphone will not come cheap, they will be available for £159 from the 16th September.

    The iPhone 7 is also introducing a pressure sensitive home button. This is the first time Apple have used this technology on a phone, however it is already in use on the later Macbooks. The new home button will use a vibration feedback system to notify the user when in use.

    With this latest release Apple appears to have listened to the customer with that to improve upon. Two of the most important things to users are battery life and quality of pictures and videos. The new camera has 12MP sensor and can allow up to 50% more light into the lens, this will increase the quality of images and videos taken in low light settings. The video recorder has also been upgraded, it now has 4K capabilities and also allows the user to edit live recordings. Apple have taken into consideration the fairly poor battery life of previous models. They claim the iPhone 7 will last up to 2 hours longer than the 6s, which will be an average of around 14 hours battery life when using WiFi.

    When Apple released the iPhone 6s they introduced the Rose Gold model into the range. This quickly became the most popular colour for people buying their new handsets, Apple will certainly be hoping that Piano Black can be the new Rose Gold.

    If you are looking to upgrade, don't forget to recycle your old phone with M4M.

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