Trending February 2024 # 5 Apps You Should Consider Installing On Your Pebble Smart Watch # Suggested March 2024 # Top 11 Popular

You are reading the article 5 Apps You Should Consider Installing On Your Pebble Smart Watch updated in February 2024 on the website Cancandonuts.com. We hope that the information we have shared is helpful to you. If you find the content interesting and meaningful, please share it with your friends and continue to follow and support us for the latest updates. Suggested March 2024 5 Apps You Should Consider Installing On Your Pebble Smart Watch

1. Music Boss

Out of the box, a Pebble smart watch can control a single music app on your smartphone. With Music Boss, you can manage several. The app looks and functions like the default one, but by double tapping the play/pause button, you can switch between apps. This way you can alternate between your locally saved songs, podcasts, and streaming music without having to pull out your phone.

2. Pedometer

The pedometer Pebble app takes a traditional pedometer and straps it onto your wrist. Just fire up the app whenever it’s time for your evening walk or jog and look down afterwards to see how many steps you took. You can also set your own personal goal, and the watch will vibrate once you’ve successfully completed it. This app won’t replace the functionality found in a Fitbit Flex, Jawbone Up, or Nike FuelBand, but it’s more convenient than clipping a standard pedometer to your belt loop.

3. Watchlight

Watchlight takes the flash LED located on the back of your smartphone and turns it into a flashlight. Now this functionality in particular probably works better when activated from your phone directly, since you need to hold the phone in order to aim the light around, but integrating it with Pebble offers one less than obvious benefit. The next time you misplace your phone at night, give this app a tap to have it shine brightly like a beacon in the night sky.

4. Weather

This app does what you would expect, providing you with the forecast for your current location and giving a general idea of what kind of precipitation you can expect along with the day’s high and low temperatures. The app also offers a 5-day forecast and the ability to save a secondary city to access from afar.

5. Yelp

The Yelp app is one of the branded apps now available following the Pebble’s update to firmware version 2.0. It’s more in-depth than most other Pebble apps, as it tries to cram much of the convenience of Yelp onto the smart watch’s tiny screen. That said, it does a good job of it. It may not be as usable as the mobile app, but having Yelp quickly accessible is great if you’re more interested in simply knowing what’s nearby than what a particular establishment’s menus and reviews are.

Conclusion

There you have it, five great Pebble apps. These aren’t complex pieces of software. Instead, they do what watch apps do best – reduce how often you have to reach for your phone and provide small bits of useful information on the go. You don’t need to be a techie to understand the usefulness of having the weather forecast available on a wristwatch, and that’s what makes the functionality so worthwhile. Keep an eye out, as the number of apps and what they’re capable of should only increase in the days ahead.

Image credit: Pebble smart watch home screen

Bertel King, Jr.

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22 Best Linux Apps On Chromebook You Should Use

It has been more than 3 years since Project Crostini (Linux Support) was announced and now the majority of Chromebooks have Linux app support. Initially, Crostini was available only on Developer Mode, but thankfully, now you can install Linux apps in both normal mode and stable channel as well. And in the last two years, Linux has improved by leaps and bounds and it’s almost stable to use.

So, in this article, we bring you the 22 best Linux apps on Chromebook that you can comfortably use right now. We have included many helpful programs that are otherwise not available through the Web or Android apps platform. Now with all that said, let’s go ahead and learn about Linux apps in detail.

Best Linux Apps on Chromebook (Updated 2023)

We have mentioned the 22 best Linux apps on Chrome OS along with their installation guide. In case, you are new to this ecosystem, go through our Linux installation tutorial on Chrome OS first, and then follow this article.

Top Linux Apps for Chromebooks 1. GIMP

Also, keep in mind currently, Linux on Chrome OS does not support hardware acceleration so the performance is slightly choppy. However, I have been using it for quite a while and frankly, it’s more than usable and I simply love it. It will even get better when Linux will start supporting hardware acceleration on Chrome OS in the near future. Anyway, here is how you can install the best Linux app on Chromebook.

How to Install: Open Terminal and execute the below command. After installation, you will find the app in the app drawer inside the Linux apps folder.

sudo apt-get install gimp 2. Libre Office

While we have mentioned some Office programs in our article for the best Chrome OS apps, you can use some of the Linux programs for documents and word processing as well. In this regard, Libre Office is ranked among the best Linux apps on Chromebooks as it’s completely free and open-source.

How to Install: Open Terminal and execute the below command. After installation, you will find the app in the app drawer inside the Linux apps folder.

sudo apt install libreoffice

3. Master PDF Editor

In the above two Linux apps, we offered alternatives for Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office on Chrome OS. Here, we are going to offer you another Linux app for editing PDFs similar to Adobe Acrobat. Master PDF Editor is an excellent program for creating and editing PDF files.

It also lets you encrypt, sign, modify, split and annotate PDF documents on the go. Basically, you get all the features of a PDF editor on Chrome OS thanks to the Linux support. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and install this excellent Linux app on your Chromebook.

sudo apt-get install libsane

4. Wine 5.0

Wine is not a GUI-based app, but it’s one of the most powerful Linux apps that you must install on your Chromebook. Wine is a compatibility layer (not an emulator) that allows you to install Windows apps on Chromebooks. Believe me, I have installed and continue to use full-fledged Windows versions of Microsoft Office, IDM, IrfanView, research tools like GraphPad, powerful OCR software, and much more on my Chromebook.

How to Install: Just follow our dedicated guide on how to install Windows programs on Chrome OS using Wine 5.0.

5. Steam

You may not be aware but Steam works wonderfully well on Chromebook, thanks to the Linux support. It also features the Proton layer (a modified version of Wine) which you can use to play Windows games on Chromebook. Not all Windows games are supported though. You can find more information about the state of Linux gaming from our article on the best Linux games. Anyway, the installation process is pretty simple and we have mentioned a detailed guide below.

6. Flatpak

While Chrome OS comes with Linux support, it does not have a user-facing Linux app store from where users can seamlessly install apps. So if you are looking for an online hub where you can find Linux apps that are compatible on Chromebook then Flatpak is what you need.

How to Install Flatpak: You can follow our guide and learn how to install Flatpak on Chromebook. However, to explain briefly, execute the below commands to install Flatpak. After that, open chúng tôi and open any app of your choice. Now, copy the command at the bottom and execute it on the Terminal to install the app.

sudo apt install flatpak

7. Firefox

While Chromebook is all about the Chrome browser, things have changed after the Linux support. Now, you can install Firefox on your Chromebook and use parallel web browsers without any issue. In fact, the performance difference is not bad at all. Despite running in a container, Firefox was easily able to play a 1080p YouTube video, with a couple of tabs open. In tandem, Firefox didn’t stutter a bit and that’s quite great.

Coming to installation, there are two builds of Firefox that you can install on Chromebook. First is Firefox ESR which is basically the Extended Support Release. It’s generally built for Enterprise and large organizations where you get updates after 3-6 months. You can also download the standard version of Firefox but the installation process is a bit hacky. Nevertheless, here is how you can get Firefox on your Chromebook.

How to Install Firefox ESR: Execute the below command in the Terminal. You will find the app in your app drawer.

sudo apt-get install firefox-esr

How to Install the Standard Firefox: Download Firefox from the official website and move it to the Linux files section. After that, rename the file to firefox.tar.bz2 and then execute the below commands. After the installation, to access Firefox, you will have to use the last two commands only.

tar -xvf firefox.tar.bz2 cd firefox ./firefox

8. Microsoft Edge

It does not have the same fluidity as Chrome, but works pretty well across websites. Just don’t expect full-res DRM content from Netflix, Prime Video on Edge. Also, note that the installation process is quite seamless as you have to just install the DEB file instead of dealing with Linux commands.

9. Kdenlive / OpenShot

While Chrome OS does not have a full-fledged video editor, Linux allows you to install a desktop-class and powerful application called Kdenlive for video editing. It’s a very popular app among the Linux users community and we tried it on our Chromebook and it worked just fine. Sure, the app was sometimes slow to respond, but it certainly worked in our testing. Apart from that, you can use another widely popular open-source video editor OpenShot which is also quite feature-packed.

Also, if you enable the chrome://flags/#crostini-gpu-support flag then the performance gets much better while dealing with resource-intensive Linux apps. All I would say is, in the absence of Chrome OS native apps, Linux apps have filled the shoes to a large extent. You can get the best Linux apps on your Chromebook which are almost comparable to Windows and macOS applications.

How to Install Kdenlive: Open Terminal and execute the below command. After installation, you will find the app in the app drawer inside the Linux apps folder.

sudo apt-get install kdenlive

How to Install OpenShot: Open Terminal and execute the below command. After the installation, you will find the app in the app drawer inside the Linux apps folder. You can also install OpenShot by downloading the latest AppImage file. You can learn how to install AppImage programs on Chromebook from our guide.

sudo apt-get install openshot

10. uGet

Since IDM is not available on Chrome OS, you can install the popular open-source download manager, uGet. Yes, it works pretty well using the Linux Container and I did not face any issues on my Chromebook. I was able to download a video from YouTube by just pasting the link and uGet took care of everything.

The speed was also quite consistent and I did a host of tests to check the stability of the application. I stopped and resumed the download several times, but it didn’t break the resume process. Overall, I found uGet one of the most reliable Linux apps on Chrome OS and you can surely give it a try.

How to Install: Open the Terminal and execute the below command. After the installation, you will find the app in the app drawer inside the Linux apps folder.

sudo apt-get install uget

11. Transmission

So you are a regular torrent user and unable to find a good torrent client on Chrome OS? Well, nothing to worry as Linux has you covered on this new operating system. You can install the popular Transmission app on Chromebook using the Linux system. It comes with all the features that you get on Windows or macOS.

How to Install: Open Terminal and execute the below command. After installation, you will find the app in the app drawer inside the Linux apps folder.

sudo apt-get install transmission-qt

12. Inkscape

As an illustrator, you have access to flexible drawing tools, bezier and spiro curves, and finally a powerful text tool. Having said that, since the application is quite heavy and there is no hardware acceleration available on Chrome OS, the performance takes a hit. Nevertheless, if you have a powerful Chromebook, you can definitely try it on your machine.

How to Install: Open Terminal and execute the below command. After installation, you will find the app in the app drawer inside the Linux apps folder.

sudo apt-get install inkscape

13. Kolourpaint

Apart from that, Kolourpaint performed really well and it didn’t feel like the app was running in a container. There is no lag and you can create and edit a bulk of images in one go. If you ever wanted to use an app like Microsoft Paint on Chrome OS, this is the best option and I think, it’s much better.

How to Install: Open Terminal and execute the below command. After installation, you will find the app in the app drawer inside the Linux apps folder.

sudo apt-get install kolourpaint

14. Pinta

15. Thunderbird

Basically, you get an offline email client with all the desktop features that are available on Windows and macOS apps. Surprisingly, Thunderbird performed far better than my expectations and feels almost like a native app. So, if you want an email client and Android apps are not scaling well then Thunderbird is the app you need. It’s truly one of the best Linux apps on this list.

How to Install: Open Terminal and execute the below command. After installation, you will find the app in the app drawer inside the Linux apps folder.

sudo apt-get install thunderbird

16. Bluemail

While Thunderbird is great, if you need an email client alternative for Linux on Chromebook then Bluemail has you covered. It offers a modern UI with support for various domains such as Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, and more. You can even manually set up IMAP, POP3, Exchange accounts on Bluemail. What I love about Bluemail is that its Linux version is quite feature-rich and supports dark mode too. So go ahead and install Bluemail on your Chrom ebook.

17. FocusWriter

How to Install: First of all, set up Flatpak by following point #6 of this article. After that, open this link and copy the command at the bottom of the page. Now, paste the command on the Linux Terminal and it will install FocusWriter on your Chromebook.

18. Audacity

There are also many plugins available for Audacity which will allow you to connect your software with other sound equipment and program. Not to mention, there is full support for digitizing audios, sample rate conversion, frequency analysis and a lot more. All in all, Audacity is a professional-grade audio software and you can comfortably use it on your Chromebook thanks to the Linux support.

How to Install: Open Terminal and execute the below command. After installation, you will find the app in the app drawer inside the Linux apps folder.

sudo apt-get install audacity

19. Nautilus

Nautilus is one of the best Linux apps on Chromebook as it allows you to access Linux directories just like any other Linux distro. With the default Files app on Chromebook, you can only access the Linux file section and at most, can see the hidden files. However, if you want to access system directories like mnt, usr or root then Nautilus helps you access those folders easily.

How to Install: Execute the below command in the Terminal. After the installation, you will find the app in your app drawer.

sudo apt-get install nautilus

20. Visual Studio Code / Android Studio

If you are a programmer then Chromebook has you covered with the most popular development tools out there. You can run and set up Visual Studio Code seamlessly, as you can Android Studio. The out-of-the-box experience is very hassle-free, just like on Windows and macOS. In fact, Google recently announced a new portal where you can get all the information required to set up Android, Web and Flutter development environments.

As for Visual Studio Code, you can just about do anything with your code, ranging from debugging, syntax highlighting, and quick code completion. And if you want to add C, C++ or Python to VSC then just add the extension and you will be up running without any issue. Simply put, with Linux support, Chromebooks have become a powerful development machine and you should completely leverage the potential.

21. balenaEtcher

On Windows, if you want to flash ISO images or create a bootable USB drive then you have reliable tools like Rufus and PowerISO. On Chromebook, you don’t have native app support, but there is Linux which can bring all the tools for you. Thankfully, one of the popular Rufus alternatives, balenaEtcher is available on Linux which means you can install it on your Chromebook too.

balenaEtcher allows you to install flash OS images to SD cards/USB drives and it works flawlessly on Chromebooks. And that’s why we have chosen the app among the best Linux apps on Chromebook. Here is how you can install it.

22. Virtual Machine Manager

If you are using one of the latest Chromebooks that feature the 10th-gen Intel Comet Lake CPU then Virtual Machine Manager will be of great help. The latest-gen Chromebooks (based on Hatch board) now come with Nested KVM support which means you will be able to run Windows 10 on a virtual machine. And Virtual Machine Manager is the app you should use on Chrome OS to seamlessly create a VM.

How to Install: Execute the below command in the Terminal. After the installation, you will find the app in your app drawer.

sudo apt-get install virt-manager

Install the Best Linux Apps on Your Chromebook

So this is our list of the 22 best Linux apps available on Chromebook right now. We have included many applications ranging from productivity to creative software. As we can see, Linux support on Chrome OS is groundbreaking and it’s bringing many professional software to Chrome OS users just like that. I am pretty sure, in a few years, Linux apps will become the de-facto app platform on Chrome OS.

5 Reasons Why You Should Use Shopify For Your Retail Business

How you can use Shopify to build your ecommerce business

When it comes to building websites for your business with so many options to choose from, sometimes it’s so overwhelming that you are tempted to just purchase from the first website you go to.

You should buy your website from Shopify as this is the easiest, cheapest and most convenient way for a business to set up a store and start selling their products and services online straight away.

If you’re not tech savvy and you want your own e-commerce store, and have outgrown marketplaces like eBay or Amazon, and just starting out, go with Shopify.

Last month, the leading multi-channel commerce platform, Shopify announced in a press release that it now powers more than 500,000 businesses in 175 countries around the world. Since 2012, the number of merchants on the Shopify platform has grown annually at an average rate of 74%, and these retailers have achieved over $40 billion dollars in sales. More than 1.2 million people are actively using the Shopify backend platform.

Another surprising fact is that more women entrepreneurs than men have built their businesses on Shopify at 52% and 47% with 1% other. Shopify merchants: 18 – 24 (7.3%); 25 – 34 (37.5%); 35 – 44 (30.0%); 45+ (24.9%). A whopping 131 million people have bought from Shopify stores in the last 12 months with Shopify merchants generated sales of over $100,000 per minute during Black Friday and Cyber Monday of last year.

Here are five reasons on why you should buy Shopify websites for your company:

1:  Big brands are using Shopify

If it’s good enough for well-known brands, then it’s definitely good enough for your e-commerce website. Names such as Lollapalooza, Third eye blind, and American Blues musician Jimmie Vaughan also sells his merchandise on his Shopify website. SMS Audio, Bohemian Guitars and Leather Head sports also use Spotify making this is a good reason in itself to buy Shopify sites to help boost your e-commerce traffic.

Shopify is also used by brands such as Tesla, Nestle, GE, Red Bull, Kylie Cosmetics.

2: You don’t have to worry about server costs

Many businesses are put off by server prices, so luckily Shopify’s server is maintained by them, and it comes with a number of plans and a monthly subscription, so you choose the plan which fits your requirements. Shopify is free for 14 days, so you can set up your online store and choose a plan later. Prices range from $29 to $299 a month.

3: Discounts are offered on annual plans

Not everyone is a fan of monthly payment plans, which is why Shopify also provides discounts on annual plans and biennial plans. If you prefer annual payments, you will receive a 10% discount, and if you prefer biennial plans, your company will receive a 20% discount.

4: Shopify has great app integrations with SaaS services

Shopify is popular with SaaS service companies because their customers are familiar with monthly plans.

That’s why you’ll most probably always find whatever innovative new service you need on Shopify first before anywhere else, and some of them offer excellent free plans. Conversely, SaaS companies also aren’t keen on e-commerce competitor platforms like woo commerce or open cart because the people who use them don’t pay monthly subscription fees. So a lot of really convenient services are not integrated on these platforms.

App integration will save you time, money, reduce errors, give your apps better data insights, make them cheaper and uncomplicated and easier to customise.

An article on the Shopify website says that “The Shopify experience is perfect for their customers: they can browse the website and find different items, choose their shipping method and payment method easily and without hassle.” A Shopify user, a non-profit church ministry, uses the app with Salesforce, their main CRM tool.  The problem is that the church needed to collect all that valuable data and then manually input it into the Salesforce platform and with now with powerful, integration, they managed to automate the whole process. Whenever a sale goes through in Shopify, a new opportunity is created in Salesforce. This process saves the company time and money which is ideal for a not for profit.”

5: Security & Reliability Shopify is a global hosted service, meaning they have people monitoring their network 24/7 for any attacks and they can help you deal with any problems that arise. Also, their add-ons have a certain standard and will not pose the risk of giving you trojans or viruses. You can also opt for SSL or even PCI compliance to accept credit cards and store sensitive information without having to know the technical details of how it works. Other sources do offer this as well. However, they can’t offer you this level of security and reliability for the same price. Other companies will charge you more.

What’s new at Shopify?

With the Amazon sales channel, you can sell on the world’s largest online marketplace simply and conveniently through Shopify. Since the channel’s launch, U.S. Shopify store owners have made millions in sales and fulfilled tens of thousands of Amazon orders with Shopify, making it one of the fastest growing sales channels.

A new card and swipe reader has also recently been introduced in the US Shopify merchants last month.  This device is designed to meet the needs of merchants selling in person, whether it’s in store, or at a pop-up, festival, or market.  It’s Pocket-sized, and wireless features with a long battery life makes this the perfect machine to take wherever you sell from. This product is free for store owners new to Shopify POS (and $29 for everyone else), it’s an affordable solution with useful features.

Share your Shopify experiences with us and let us know your thoughts?

5 Android Apps You Shouldn’T Miss This Week

Apple TV Plus is rolling out to Google Chromecasts with Google TV. Google made the announcement this last week. Additionally, support is rolling out to Android TVs with Google TV support as well. There isn’t much else to say about it. You should be able to watch Apple TV Plus stuff on Chromecast now.

The Google Play Store now lets you share apps with other people. It uses Android’s Nearby Share feature. You simply send a copy of the APK to another device. There are some limitations, though. You can’t send some apps (such as the Stadia app) and you also can’t send premium apps for obvious reasons. Hit the link to learn how to do it.

Google Pay and Samsung Pay are adding more support for cryptocurrency in the near future. The service BitPay announced upcoming support for both tap-to-pay apps and you can pay for goods with your Bitcoin with it. BitPay also supports Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum as well as a few others. Look for the roll out within the next month or so. Coinbase already lets you use cryptocurrency, but it’s nice to see more options.

Google Maps received an update this week. It now lets you pay for parking and transit rides within the app. You don’t even need to touch the meter when you use it. Maps teamed up with Passport and ParkMobile to make it possible. You’ll even see a timer in Google Maps to see how much time you have remaining on your parking meter. It should officially rollout in the coming weeks. Hit the link for more details.

LastPass put an awful restriction on its free tier this week. Now, users have to choose between only mobile or only desktop for its free tier where the old version let you use both. This made a lot of people angry and we’re working on a list of alternatives for people who want to jump ship. Hit the link for more details.

New apps and games this week:

Pirates of Freeport

Pirates of Freeport is a roguelike game with RPG elements. Players create a team, explore various dungeons, and upgrade their characters as they progress. The game is difficult and encourages players to have a varied team of fighters with varied stats. It is predominately text driven so you won’t get any rich graphics or anything like that. Your goal is simply to build the best team possible and survive. There are a few bugs here and there, but otherwise this should turn out to be a fun game in the genre.

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Word Clock Watch Face

Word Clock Watch Face is a Wear OS watch face. It creates a word clock on your home screen. The clock is simple overall. It has a bunch of words on it and it lights up the ones that correspond with the current time. It works in English, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish. You can also customize the colors, see a battery indicator, and a minute dot feature to see more granular time. It’s a neat and cheap little watch face that worked fine in our testing.

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Sudoku Plus

Sudoku Plus is a new Sudoku app. It joins a very crowded market with a ton of great Sudoku apps, but it should compete well. The game includes multiple difficulty levels, a relatively simple UI, daily challenges, and performance tracking with statistics. It uses a 9×9 grid with only one solution per puzzle so more or less a classic Sudoku experience. Finally, there is also a mode where you can play with shapes instead of numbers. The premium version is relatively inexpensive and it should be a good new entrant for puzzle fans.

TikTok for Android TV

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Jemeyah

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

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How To Use Your Favorite Smart Assistant On Your Computer

Smart assistants have reached the point where they can help you with just about anything, but they aren’t restricted to smart speakers or the smartphone in your pocket—they work just as well on your computer, too.

Whether you’re using a desktop or laptop, we’ll show you how to get Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa up and running. If you prefer the built-in Windows and macOS options—Cortana and Siri, respectively—we’ve got those covered as well. We won’t dive too deep into the assistants’ voice commands or features, but we will touch on some of the common ones.

Amazon Alexa

Amazon has an official Windows app, which you can download and install from here. A recent update added hands-free voice control, which means you can now shout, “Hey, Alexa,” and get the assistant to do your bidding without touching the mouse or keyboard.

Launch the app and you’ll be asked to sign in with your Amazon account (you’ll need one to use Alexa). If you want to use voice control or hands-free operation, you’ll next need to give the app permission to access your computer’s microphone. You can always change these allowances later in the app’s settings.

Any of the voice commands you’re used to saying to your Amazon Echo work on Windows as well. Just use the “Alexa” wake-up word, followed by your request. Ask to hear music, check the weather forecast, look up information from the internet, and so on.

No official Alexa app for macOS exists yet, but Reverb is a fine (and free) substitute. After installing Reverb from the Mac App Store, sign in with your Amazon credentials, and you’ll be able to start speaking commands to your MacBook or Mac desktop.

Reverb is a neat option for getting Alexa on a Mac. David Nield

Another option is to use Alexa on the web. This will work anywhere you can use a browser, from Chromebooks to MacBooks to Linux computers. Fire up Alexa in the Browser, built by developer Sam Machin, and you’ll again need to log in with your Amazon account, then allow the site to use your computer’s microphone.

Google Assistant

You can get a taste of Google Assistant’s functionality on the web. David Nield

At the time of writing there’s no way to get Google Assistant on a Windows or macOS computer, at least not in its full form. As far as desktops and laptops go, Google seems to be saving Google Assistant for Chrome OS computers, which often have a dedicated button that launches the utility.

However, you can load up Google in any web browser on any computer, then tap the microphone icon, to get an approximation of the Google Assistant experience. You’ll need to grant the website access to your computer’s microphone to say commands like: “What is the weather going to be like tomorrow?” or “How old is Barack Obama?” Google will then read responses back to you as search results show up on your screen.

If you’re signed into your Google account, it works even better. Simply ask, “What’s next on my calendar?” or “Show me my photos from Sydney,” and Google will tap into Google Calendar and Google Photos to complete your request.

Ultimately, this is just voice control of the Google search engine, though, not the proper Google Assistant. You can’t stream music, for example, or control your home’s smart lights. For all those extra commands, you’ll need to wait for Google to release an official desktop app.

Windows and Cortana

Cortana is ready to do your bidding in Windows. David Nield

To have Cortana respond to “Hey, Cortana,” no keyboard or mouse is necessary. Simply go to Windows Settings via the cog icon on the Start menu, then select Cortana and Talk to Cortana. The same dialog box also lets you set up a keyboard shortcut for the assistant and have it appear on your computer’s lock screen.

Besides the usual assistant commands covering weather, calendar appointments, and more, Cortana can also control different parts of your computer. For example, you can tell Cortana to turn Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on or off, or to launch specific apps.

As yet, there’s no way to launch Cortana on anything other than a Windows computer. No web interface is available, so that’s not an option, and there’s no program either. If you absolutely must have Microsoft’s smart assistant on your Mac, your only option is to install a Windows emulator such as Parallels Desktop.

macOS and Siri

Siri comes built into macOS, and gives you lots of options. David Nield

Open the Apple menu on your Mac, then choose System Preferences and Siri to set how the digital assistant works on your macOS computer. You can enable or disable the “Hey, Siri,” voice activation, control Siri’s presence on the lock screen, configure a keyboard shortcut, and turn voice responses on or off.

As with Cortana, you can get Siri to control your computer. Commands include: “Turn Bluetooth on” (or off), “Lower the volume,” “Make the screen brighter,” and “How much disk space is available?” You can also use Siri to launch individual apps such as Safari and Mail.

Unfortunately for Windows users with a fondness for Siri—and perhaps with an iPhone—it doesn’t look like Apple will be pushing its digital assistant to non-Apple hardware anytime soon. While some Apple apps are available through a web browser and the iCloud portal, Siri isn’t one of them.

5 Reasons Why You Should Buy A Mechanical Keyboard

There you are, sitting on your office chair. Feeling comfortable and good about yourself. Let me tell you something. You are lost. You are a nobody. Why? Because you don’t have a mechanical keyboard in your life! Like some evangelical preacher, I have an idea I need to sell you. That is the glory of the mechanical keyboard. If you accept the mechanical keyboard into your life, you could be experiencing increased comfort, improved productivity, and glory! It will change the way you type forever! Don’t just ask me, there are plenty of fanatics that have forever converted from using cheap, rubber-dome keyboards to high-quality mechanicals. I have made a short list of five reasons why you should switch to a mechanical keyboard. I have faith that you will see the light.

The second reason why you need to switch to a mechanical keyboard is ergonomics. Mechanical keyboards generally have higher quality keycaps which are rounded to let your fingers rest on them more comfortably. Traditional laptop keys, with the exception of Lenovo’s, are flat. Flat keys are good for space-saving designs but you not only lose precision, but also comfort. I find flat keys uncomfortable to type on for long periods because I have to hit them “head on” in order not to make an error. Also, it is very easy to hit these keycaps on the corners which will cause your fingers to slip and mis-type. If you hit the corner of a keycap on a mechanical keyboard, you still have a good chance of registering the input. The longer “throw” of mechanical keyboards are also more comfortable for long typing sessions compared to the short engagement point of chicklet-style keyboards. For a long time, I thought the main attribute of an ergonomic keyboard is shape. After using the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic keyboard for 2-3 years and using my Leopold Tenkeyless for about 5 months, I realize that it’s not about the shape. The main reason mechanical keyboards are better is the key switches.

The third benefit is reduced strain. I realize this is closely related to comfort but I felt that this deserved its own section simply because of RSI(Repetitive Strain Injury). We use our computers for hours and some of us do not take RSI seriously. I take good care of my hands. And so should you. For most people, their hands are their livelihood. Hand health is very important if you are a musician, laborer, or athlete. One thing I’ve notice after spending a few months with my mechanical keyboard compared to keyboards of my past is finger pain. I use to get finger pain after prolonged typing on the rubber dome keys. They were all I knew so I didn’t question. It wasn’t until I was in the market for a better keyboard where I found out about mechanical key switches. Subsequently, it wasn’t until I was typing on them for hours until I realized my finger pain was mainly caused by the cheap rubber-dome keyboards. If you are on the computer for hours, or if your profession involves extensive amounts of typing, consider investing on a mechanical keyboard for this very reason. These key switches will reduce finger strain. Your hands will thank you.

The fourth benefit of using a mechanical keyboard is improved speed. A more precise, comfortable keyboard means improved typing speed. I was never a speed typist. Barely being able to type 25 WPM, after a few months of serious training, I can now type 60-70 WPM. Your mileage may vary but you will improve your speed. If not in burst typing, definitely in endurance typing. That’s typing long essays or reports. Wiki has the average typing speed rated at 33 WPM. If you are over this, you are doing very well.

The last and most important reason why you need a mechanical keyboard? They’re fun! That may sound silly to say but after getting one, I now enjoy typing. I like the sound of these Cherry MX browns. Some people like the blues. You can’t go wrong either way. They’re great to type on. Mechanical keyboards have their own unique personalities. From the simple Leopold Tenkeyless to the highly sought after HHKB Pro 2. Typing shouldn’t be a chore. Most people probably won’t be competing on typeracer for leisure, but mechanical keyboards will make you smile. It’s like buying a luxury car. Sure, you don’t NEED leather heated seat with power everything but if you can afford it, why not treat yourself? Especially a tool that you will spend years using. Once you punch the keys, you will see the light

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