Cross-Platform Mobile Development 2020: Trends and Frameworks

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Over the years, cross-platform mobile development has earned a reputation for being one of the most popular software development trends. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Adopting the cross-platform approach allows engineers to build apps for different platforms with a single codebase, thus saving time, money, and unnecessary effort. 

The Current State of Mobile

Let’s start from scratch and discuss the current state of the digital market. In December 2019, there were over 4.5 billion active internet users out there. On average, each of them browsed the net for 6 hours 42 minutes, which equals more than 100 online days each year.

Google ends sales of the Pixel 3

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Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Google has officially stopped selling its Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones, as spotted by Android Police. The product page for the phones now simply redirects to the Google Store’s homepage, with Google confirming that it has sold through its inventory (although the phone do remain available, for now, at third-party retailers like Best Buy or Walmart.)

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL were announced and released in October 2018, with the phones praised at the time for their larger displays, excellent cameras, and clean design. The phone’s camera in particular still holds up against many of the best smartphones on sale today, although the Pixel 3 and 3 XL suffered from the same issues most of Google’s Pixel phone do — slow sales and a lack of…

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The Fitbit Charge 4 is a much more powerful fitness tracker disguised in its old body

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The first Fitbit after Google announced it intends to buy the company last fall looks… well, like every other Fitbit that came before it. And it’s apparently intentional, as the company wants to expand on one of its most popular fitness trackers that’s long due for an update

The Fitbit Charge 4 is pretty much exactly as the leaks ahead of its official announcement teased: it’s essentially the look and feel of the Charge 3 with built-in GPS, Spotify control, and other high-end features typically found on Fitbit’s smartwatches like Fitbit Pay, app notifications, smart wake, and an SpO2 sensor. The $149 tracker has a battery life of up to seven days, or up to five hours with continuous GPS use.

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Grammarly now integrates directly with Microsoft Word’s Mac app

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Image: Grammarly

Grammarly, a service designed to give you advice on improving your writing, is getting an add-in for Microsoft Word’s Mac app, as well as for Microsoft Word online. Previously Mac users had to use a native Grammarly app or online Grammarly Editor, or else rely on the service’s browser extension. The service already has an add-on for Microsoft Word on Windows.

The announcement means Grammarly will be able to offer writing suggestions without you having to leave the Word document you’re writing on a Mac or in a browser. Suggestions will appear to the right of the page, and you can click them to have them automatically apply to your writing. As well as helping with spelling and grammar, Grammarly is also designed to help you make your…

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Roku OS 9.3 adds faster performance, Spanish voice support, and more

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Image: Roku

Roku is today announcing the latest software update that’s coming soon to Roku streaming devices and Roku TVs. Roku OS 9.3 will expand the company’s voice command system to include Spanish language support. Spanish-speaking users can now use their voice to launch streaming apps, search for something to watch, or control media playback. In Canada, the UK, and Ireland, Roku Voice is also being improved to understand more natural speech and “new ways to find entertainment such as searching by a selection of popular movie quotes.”

Image: Roku

Additionally, Roku says its voice-initiated search results are getting more visual. “Roku voice search results will now be presented in a more visual, easy to browse display with…

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That home office may be your office for a while. These accessories can bring it to life.

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There are definite benefits to the whole work from home thing. The commute is a breeze. The dress code is supremely casual. And your boss has to work a lot harder to actually find you.

Despite the joys, there are still some clear downsides to the whole home office thing as well. Job focus can suffer. Boundaries between work life and home life can blur. And sometimes, working from your dining room table just doesn’t put you in the right frame of mind to do the job.

We can help with that one.

Below are a handful of cool accessories that can help turn your home workspace into something a little more official.  From your chair to your wall art to the very air you breathe, each of these items can start changing any room into the office you’ve always wanted.

Breathe right

From the stale recycled air of your real workplace to the leftover odors of last night’s fish fry dinner in your kitchen, the air you breathe sets the stage for your workday.

You can start that day in a zenned-out place with Langria Soy Wax Scented Candles ($14.99; originally $32.99). This set of 6 attractive glass-encased aromatherapy candles with sensual and calming smells like mint, lemon, rose, lavender, and vanilla work great for yoga, meditation..or for dealing with communication or tech frustrations at your remote desk.

For those battling rooms that are too hot, too cold or just too darn drafty, the Twin Energy Saving Door Draft Stopper ($16.99; Read the rest

Dolly Parton is going to start reading us bedtime stories starting on April 2nd

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Pangalactic goddess of love, mercy, and big hair, Dolly Parton, is going to start reading us all bedtime stories, beginning on April 2nd (7pm EDT).

Weekly, Dolly will be reading selections from her Imagination Library, the collection of kids books that she gives away free to children every month, to the tune of 134 million books to date. Her first reading will be The Little Engine That Could.

Dolly plans to do the readings for ten weeks and sees the effort as a way of offering kids (and all who want to listen) “a welcomed distraction during a time of unrest.”

Dolly will be doing the readings every week from her YouTube page.

Image: YouTube Read the rest

The Quaranzine, a collaborative Instagram zine documenting life and thoughts during COVID-19

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More wonderful art creation in the face of the fear and fuckery of COVID-19.

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March 30 / @louiegilot

A post shared by The Quaranzine (@the_quaranzine) on Mar 30, 2020 at 4:00pm PDT

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March 29 / @sarahmirk

A post shared by The Quaranzine (@the_quaranzine) on Mar 29, 2020 at 6:25pm PDT

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March 27 / @kirkreedstrom

A post shared by The Quaranzine (@the_quaranzine) on Mar 27, 2020 at 9:57am PDT

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March 19 / @srothmullet

A post shared by The Quaranzine (@the_quaranzine) on Mar 19, 2020 at 3:34pm PDT

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March 18 / @og.thanks

A post shared by The Quaranzine (@the_quaranzine) on Mar 18, 2020 at 12:42pm PDT

Subscribe to the feed here.

[H/t Rudy Rucker]

Image: Art by @kirkreedstrom, Instagram screengrab Read the rest

How to make your own yeast for baking

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Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post

As more people bake their blues away while stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, yeast is reportedly becoming harder to find on grocery store shelves. There’s no shame in turning to carbohydrates for comfort in times like these. But what’s one to do when a key ingredient for satisfying that craving is becoming as elusive as a roll of toilet paper?

Though baker’s yeast may be dwindling in stores, more and more recipes for making it at home are popping up on Twitter. If baking is your way of taking this moment to learn something new or become more self-sufficient, coming up with your own yeast could be the next survival skill to hone.

Baker’s yeast is actually just a fungus that, like me, loves eating sugar. So whether or not it’s…

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Check out these posters from a better world where we got a Lando Calrissian STAR WARS-spin-off trilogy

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Peter Stults is a New York-based graphic designer and illustrator who has used his quarantine productively: by designing movie posters for an imagined Lando Calrissian spin-off trilogy.

These are beautiful and delightful retro-chic. But my favorite detail is on the third poster, where Jean-Claude Van Damme gets special billing for his role as Darth Maul.

A better world is possible, folks. Check out Stults’ Twitter feed for a bunch of other awesome throwback movie poster re-designs.

Peter Stults via Twitter Read the rest

Intel has its laptop work cut out this year

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Photo by Avery White / The Verge

Even if you would never see yourself buying a gaming laptop, you should take the time to read Monica Chin’s review of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. There are a lot — I mean a LOT — of remarkable things about this laptop.

First and foremost, it is running on the AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS chip, which runs at 35W with 8 cores at 3.0 GHz that can boost up to 4.4 GHz. In context, what that actually means is that it outclasses anything Intel has put into a laptop to date. I’ve been anticipating this release ever since Nilay Patel interviewed AMD CEO Lisa Su earlier this year. She talked big game then, and by all accounts her company has delivered.

What’s most remarkable about this laptop is that by gaming laptop standards it is absolutely thin and…

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Need help mellowing out lately? These meditation apps might calm you down

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If you’re routinely prone to being stressed out, hurried or generally made out-of-sorts by the hectic pace of the world and life changes, then…yikes. We don’t envy what you must be going through these days.

Right about now, even the most zen and centered among us are bound to be feeling some level of anxiety and uncertainty. In these ultra trying times of social distancing, working from home and herculean routine change, we could all use a little extra help keeping our heads on straight, our minds clear and our fears in check.

To help calm those jangled nerves, we pulled together three mediation and relaxation apps that might just do the trick chilling you out. It also doesn’t hurt that they’re all between 50 and 90 percent off right now. Namaste.

Relax Melodies Meditation App: Lifetime Subscription – $124.99; originally $250

If you’re looking for endorsements, it doesn’t get much better than “the most positively reviewed app in the history of the Apple App Store.” That’s Relax Melodies, an app focused on regulating your sleep. It combines soothing sounds, bedtime stories, breathing techniques, body-mind exercises and more to create your own perfect sleep ambiance to get you the 7 or 8 hours of restful sleep a night you need.  From overcoming insomnia or tinnitus to night-time anxiety to lowering everyday stress, these sleep expert-approved techniques could be just what you need to face tomorrow the right way.

Welzen Meditation App: Lifetime Subscription – $29.99; originally $149.99

Welzen is all about dropping just the right pearl of zen at just the right moment. Read the rest

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