Smartphone Apps Gadget Syrup Cannot Live Without

We can do nearly anything on our phones today. In fact, I can run my entire site from my phone. Want to see how? Check out the apps Gadget Syrup cannot live without.

As time goes on, we can do more and more day-to-day work from our smartphones. Some people I know run their entire life off their phone, never sitting down at a computer to get things done.

I recently started looking at home much I actually do from my phone and I was quite surprised how much I do, or can do from my phone.

As a result, I wanted to compile a list of the apps and services I use on mobile to run Gadget Syrup. Check it out!



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WordPress

This first one is self-explanatory. This is the WordPress mobile app. It allows me to monitor stats, create or posts and reply to comments, among other things all from my phone. You can even write a whole post from the mobile app. However, not only is it a lot of work to create a quality post on a screen this size, a lot of WordPress blocks are not compatible or able to be added from the app.

WordPress

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Asana

Asana is a take management application that I have been a religious user of for last 3-4 yrs. Ideally, you use it with a team of people but for a content and admin planning tool it is a must. Best of all, for most of what you need, you can use Asana completely free of charge.

Asana

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Google Analytics

Another obvious one by the title. Google Analytics gives you details on anything you could ever want to know about your websites traffic. It is far superior to what the WordPress stats offer.

Google Analytics

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Creator Studio

This one is new to the list. From Facebook, Creator Studio gives you analytics on your Facebook page tied to your business or website. It focuses a lot of video creators, but still works well to triage comments.

Facebook Creator Studio

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Buffer

Planning is everything when it comes to running your own site and social channels.

I have been a Buffer user for a decade now, using it to schedule Tweets and Facebook posts for Gadget Syrup.

Buffer can also setup Instagram posts among other social accounts, but it works best for Twitter and Facebook.

Buffer


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Later

Later is a service I have used off and on for the past year. It allows you to schedule social posts, like Buffer, but I only use it for Instagram posts. It is very handy if you find your best time to post is a time where you may not be there to post. Set it and forget it!

Their Instagram account is also a great follow!

Later

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Canva

I am not a graphic designer, but I like to pretend! Canva enables users of any level to create axing designs using their templates. They offer various presets for posts like Stories and Feed posts on Instagram as well as Twitter, Facebook and others ensuring your creation is the proper ratio for the given network.

Canva

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Snapseed

Snapseed is a powerful photo editing app that has been available for years.

It is owned by Google l, and they have been rolling a lot of the features of Snapseed into Google Photos. However, Snapseed still has a lot to offer if you want to add a little more to your pictures.

Snapseed

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Regrann

Regrann is the best all-around Instagram repost app available, on Android at least.

You can repost to your feed, stories or just save the image/story to your camera roll.

It is worth the purchase for the upgraded version too allowing you to remove watermarking and the “posted with Regrann” message from your posts.

Regrann

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PanoramaCrop

PanoramaCrop is another new one I have used only a few times. The app helps you create perfectly sized divided images for your feed that flow from left to right like one single image.

PanoramaCrop

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Pexels and Unsplash

I grouped Pexels and Unsplash together because for all intents and purposes they are the same thing. Each app has an enormous collection of free stock images to use. I have started using them both to generate feature images for the pages pf Gadget Syrup, as well as the hero image for some blog posts.

Both services also offer their services on the web to use from your PC.

Pexels
Unsplash

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Snapmod

This is one of my favourite apps. Snapmod contains hundreds of smartphones renders and through this very well-designed app you can insert screenshots from your device onto a render of your device or any other.

You’ll also notice that all of the app screenshots in this article were created with Snapmod!

There are a few caveats to be aware of now that many devices come with different screen ratios and the placement of any notches or camera cutouts will make your screen shot look out of place.

I’ve also noticed the developer for this app is slow to add new models, sometimes months after a phones release. In time, my feeling is that this app will stop being updated. Fingers crossed I am wrong!


Snapmod

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As you can see it is a pretty long list of apps. Do you use any in your day to day? Are there any other apps you would suggest I look at? Let me know in the comments below.


Check out some recent posts from Gadget Syrup

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My Favourite Apps: Microsoft Office Lens

Microsoft Office Lens is one of my favourite and most useful apps. Check out my mini-review of this must have app.

My wife and I have recently embarked on a Marie Kondo-Esque type clean up of our house. We moved in just over a year ago, and like with any move, many boxes of miscellaneous things ended up shoved into the storage rooms of the basement. As a result, more and more junk ended up was added to those rooms. Inevitably, the storage rooms were a complete nightmare. Our messy storage room, amplified by the welcoming of twins to the family (five kids now in total), started to spread into the rest of the basement. It was time to do something! It was time to be ruthless and finally rid ourselves of all of those things that would have been sure to spend many more years in a box.


One of those many things in boxes were old pictures, documents, schoolwork, certificates, awards, etc. Were we ever going to display them? Read them? Use them in any way, shape or form? The answer was NO. We didn’t want to throw out all of these memories, but the idea of scanning them on our now antiquated HP all-in-one wasn’t an inspiring option either. My wife suggested to me to take pictures of the papers we were planning to toss, but me being me, I had to find a more technologically involved method.


I had considered Google’s photo scanning app but, having tried that in the past, I decided it was a non-starter. Google’s offering requires you to take four shots of the same picture to capture it. Nope, not happening!

Enter yet another Microsoft app tucked away in my app drawer rose to the occasion to save the day. Microsoft Office Lens.



What is Microsoft Office Lens?

You can think of this app as a document scanner for your phone but backed by robust, well-thought software. Thanks to the far more powerful camera on your smartphone, results are better than the scanner attached to your printer.


Why I Like Office Lens

Effortless Use

Using Lens is as simple as using your camera. Open the app, line up the document, picture whiteboard or business card you are trying to capture and click.


Powerful

As you can see in the image, lining up, the whiteboard, or whatever you are capturing, doesn’t require a perfectly aligned head-on shot. Shooting from the side will yield the same result.


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Connects to All The Things

I initially used Lens to capture whiteboards in meetings at work. Since then, Microsoft has added a lot of features that make it appealing to use for personal reasons too. For example, this house clean up and capturing old school work and pictures from years past. Having the ability to seamlessly switch from personal and work accounts is a big value ad for Lens


Flexible

Lens lets you save a document in a handful of different locations and file formats at the same time. After capturing the image, you can save the output as a PDF or JPEG to your OneDrive account, add as an image to a OneNote notebook, add to a PowerPoint slide, save to your phones camera roll or if it is a text-based document use Microsoft word and OCR to output as an editable text document.


Overall, I have found Office Lens to be a big help at home and at work. It is available for download on Android and iOS at the links below.



Syrup Drop: Tell Google to Stop Listening to You

Welcome to “Syrup Drop”. The first in a series of posts that will feature a quick and useful tech related tip that you may find helpful. I’m not going to stick to any sort of rigid schedule with these posts, but rather drop them in here and there as I come across a tip or trick I feel is worth sharing.

First up, telling your Google Assistant to stop listening.

Welcome to “Syrup Drop”. The first in a series of posts that will feature a quick and useful tech related tip that you may find helpful. I’m not going to stick to any sort of rigid schedule with these posts, but rather drop them in here and there as I come across a tip or trick I feel is worth sharing.

For the first drop I wanted to share something I learned recently that has become very helpful when interacting with my Google Assistant enable devices, specifically the Google Home speaker

Most of the time, you trigger your Google Home/Nest Home on purpose by using the wake up phrase “Hey Google” or “Okay Google”. However, many of us experience our Google Assistant mistaking another speaker or similar phrase as the command to start working for you. Sometimes you may not even realize Google was listening and recording until the Assistant replies with an answer of some sort.

Why does this happen? That is because smart speakers, your phone, or any other voice activated device is always listening. Listening, not recording, but listening. If it wasn’t in a semi always on state it would not respond to wake phrase. Don’t worry, it isn’t sending anything it heard to Google until you say the magic phrase. No need for techno-panic, please. This is also the case with Alexa, Siri and Cortana.

So, why am I telling you this, or whats the point of this first Syrup Drop?

Every time you speak to Google, it saves that recording to your account history. When your Assistant device springs to attention when you did not actually request it you can prompt Google to stop listening and delete this wake up occurrence from your account history by saying “That wasn’t for you”. The result; your Google Assistant will respond nicely with “I’m deleting what I heard.”

It’s that simple. If you don’t want Google to keep a record of you trash talking the neighbours, simply tell it.

Hopefully, this first drop was helpful! Let me know down below.

How To Use The Windows 10 Emoji Picker

You too can have the power of the Windows 10 Emoji Picker!!

Emoji are, for better or for worse, one of the most popular ways in which we express ourselves online. For most people, the only computer 💻 they use daily is their smartphone 📱 or tablet. Modern versions of iOS and Android have emoji picker shortcuts on the keyboard making selection a breeze💨.

However, there are a small number of users such as myself 🙋‍♂️who spend a considerable amount of time using a standard PC with a physical keyboard and mouse. That does not mean I do not want to or should not be able to easily add emoji to my tweets and the like. There had to be a better way, thankfully, Microsoft actually already has made emoji selection easier, I just hadn’t noticed yet.

Until recently I resorted to always manually selecting the software keyboard button from the task bar, and going through the painful process of paging through the emojis. Only recently I learned of a far more superior way, so I wanted to share it with those who may not enlightened with this wonderful power.

Windows Key + Period Key, it’s that simple. Pressing that hotkey combination will pop the emoji picker as a floating window over the application you’re working in. What makes it even easier, is all you have to do is start typing to find your emoji. Once you have found the perfect one, click it and your text is automatically replaced with the emoji.

The emoji picker is a very simple feature, but something that has already been incredibly useful to me in the short time I have known about and been using it.

Did you know about the Windows 10 emoji picker? Do you even use emojis while on your laptop? Let me know!

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