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© Apple

The iPhone SE is the surprise hit of the year. While its existence had been rumored for quite a while, barely anyone believed that Apple would really release it for only $400 — undercutting most of the competition not necessarily in price, but certainly in bang for buck. The iPhone SE comes with the company’s latest processor, a decent amount of storage and RAM (for iOS), and an iconic design many people wish Apple would’ve stayed with.

If you need a new handset in these times of economic uncertainty, you are probably already looking at devices in the lower price spectrum. The iPhone SE might not be the most inexpensive phone you can get, but you also have to look at the value it’ll provide in the long-term. …


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Mozilla Firefox, once a promising newcomer desktop browser, has become more of an inside tip and rounding error on Android and iOS. I wanted to find out why that’s the case and gave Firefox a thorough try on my Android phone, comparing it with Google Chrome.

I like Mozilla’s fight for an open internet and believe that it’s important to have a diverse set of browsers on the market. The Internet Explorer’s market domination hopefully doesn’t repeat itself on mobile, although it looks like this is where we’re headed: most of today’s browsers use Google’s rendering engine Blink both on desktop and mobile. Microsoft announced that it’ll use Blink for Edge. Other alternatives, like Vivaldi or Opera, also place their bets on Google’s engine. …


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Still from the documentary EARTH © NGF

At this year’s 69th Berlin International Film Festival, two unbelievably similar documentary films that still couldn’t be more different celebrated their premieres: EARTH and ANTHROPOCENE (well, the latter had its Europe premiere, anyways). Both show us the world in the age of the human, of the Anthropocene, where we are the driving force in geological change on the Earth’s surface.

Both movies make extensive use of drone shots and satellite imagery. …


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Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

I started this year with a challenge. I wanted to take a break from distractions to focus better on creating content myself. So I decided to quit social media for 30 days. That is, on my phone.

I still used Social Media on my laptop, with one rule: I didn’t want to spend more than half an hour a day on all platforms together. In the beginning, I actually set a timer or looked at the clock to make sure that I wouldn’t overdo it. But, as I continued down this path, I realized that this wasn’t even necessary. …


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I hate emails.

Okay, who doesn’t?

To be more specific, I hate how most email applications work. I wouldn’t presume to say that I ever knew exactly where the problems lie and how to fix them. But what I know is that once Inbox by Gmail came along, I finally found a way to tackle emails exactly the way I wanted to.

In fact, Inbox introduced me to a parallel universe where working on emails is fun. A parallel universe where emails wouldn’t just be dumped into one unified place, but where emails would be thematically sorted in categories or labels, as Inbox calls them. …


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Photo by ROBIN WORRALL on Unsplash

“Great technology should improve life, not distract from it.” wellbeing.google

In this age of scrutiny against tech companies, we’re also becoming more aware how much time mindless use of technology takes away from us. I’m talking about scrolling through feeds of social media, being glued to the screen, and just feeling miserable. I’m also talking about binging episode after episode on Netflix, and letting YouTube decide which videos we’re watching the next couple of hours. This is time we could spend with our loved ones, time we could use to advance our careers, or to learn something new.

Tech companies are beginning to understand that they need to offer us breaks from our screens. Otherwise, they might lose us as customers. It’s a double-edged sword for them, since they rely on our attention to their services and devices to make money. …


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Photo by NESA by Makers on Unsplash

Imagine you’re a farmer. You live in the 13th century. Life is hard, but it’s simple and good. You have your own land to farm, and you can care and provide for your family with the harvest. But a large amount of your crop goes to the local Lord, to your Lord. You know the deal: he protects you from thieves, burglars, and other Lords, so it must be okay when he takes away so much of your livelihood.

Similarly, you believe in God. In fact, you fear God. The local priest reads from the bible, in Latin of course. You don’t understand his sermons, but from everything your parents taught you, you understand that you have to live by a number of rules to avoid Hell in Afterlife. …


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Fun animations can be good or bad. Often they are used senselessly, and can seriously complicate the development of an app. But a really unique animation can be very appealing for users and make your app stand out. It’s one of the secret tools that designers can use when they want users to fall in love with their product. Unique animations can help you create a recognisable brand.

Anatoly Nesterov, UI/UX designer

After a long time of consideration, I decided to give one of Android’s unique selling point a try: I installed a Custom ROM on my Nexus 6P to finally upgrade it to the latest version of Android, since the phone doesn’t get official updates anymore. I’ve decided to go with Pixel Experience. As you can guess from the name, it promises an experience almost identical to Google’s latest Pixel phones. I explicitly didn’t want a Custom ROM with excessive customization offers. …


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Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash

Have you noticed the creeping increase of internet connected devices you own? It used to be one family desktop computer, connected to the world with a wire. Then, the trend went towards each family member owning their own laptop or desktop. Soon after, smartphones had their breakthrough, and along with them came tablets, smartwatches, fitness trackers, VR headsets, smart speakers, smart TVs, smart everything.

The average person will own an estimated 6.5 internet connected devices by 2020, which means you can double or triple that number for each household. Most of these devices bring value to our lives. Casually asking your Assistant what the weather will be like and what’s on the calendar is arguable a more natural and less disruptive approach to day planning than tapping and scrolling through a smartphone. …


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Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke famously wrote this sentence. And the new iPad Pro 11 inch is a technology close to being indistinguishable from magic. However, just as in the Uncanny Valley, this „being almost there“ make its shortcomings ever more apparent and painful. Stay with me to hear about my experience with Apple‘s latest tablet.

Right from the start, I was intrigued by the iPad as a form factor. When Steve Jobs first showed it off 2010, I knew I wanted to get one. Eventually. I was certain that I didn’t want the first iteration without a camera, as this limited the device for consumption only. …

About

Manuel Vonau

Geek. Nerd. Tech Enthusiast. Freelancing Video- and Photographer. Expat from the Ruhrgebiet.

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