Specialized Web Directories

Martin Grossner

Martin Grossner

Source: This article was published martechadvisor.com - Contributed by Member: Martin Grossner

Video has become an integral part of the overall content marketing mix – a significant chunk of people’s online activities involve consumption of videos.  51% of marketers swear by video to justify the ROI on content marketing activities - and YouTube gets more than 500 million hours of daily watch time. Facebook is not falling behind with 100 million hours of the same. And these numbers will only increase in the coming time.

On the other hand, ample amount of opportunities brings the problem of saturation. How do you stand out from the clutter and the competition in the eyes of your viewers and the search engines? In this article, we will go over 5 techniques (Or hacks, if you will!) that will attract more viewers for your videos.

(Note: For our convenience, we’ll mostly use YouTube for all the examples. The tactics mentioned in this article will be applicable for most video hosting platforms and streaming websites.)

1. Video Keyword Search

First, let’s go over the most fundamental aspect of any content creation activity - keyword research. Before you move to create videos, generate a list of keywords and keyword phrases that you would like to rank for.

To start with, the YouTube Suggest feature will show you what people are searching for in YouTube. For instance, if you type in Digital Marketing 2018 in the search box, YouTube will present the relevant searches with that keyword phrases, and you can generate more ideas with the suggestions.

Another way to get keyword ideas is to look for keywords used in videos with a higher video count. In the screenshot below, barring the video with 150k views, you can see that videos with the keyword phrase Digital Marketing Trends for 2018 have received a good amount of views.

2. Optimize Video Metadata

To help people find your content, optimize your video content before it goes live. Here is how you can do that:

Title: Include the focus keyword in the video title along with the problem it solves. It should be engaging and should incite people to click on the video.

In the screenshot below, the video has to Maximize Your Productivity as the focus keyword and tells how batching your tasks can help solve the problem it talks about. Note, that the language is simple yet impactful.

Description: Use the focus keyword as early as you can in the description to tell the YouTube algorithm what the video is about (Source). 200+ words descriptions help YouTube and Google both in understanding more about your video. You can ask viewers to subscribe to your channel or direct them to your website and so on. Avoid stuffing keywords in the description box to avoid getting penalized by YouTube.

Tip: If your video runs longer (usually 8+ minutes), add timestamps in your description to help your viewers navigate through the video. Here’s how Gary Vaynerchuk does it.

Upload video transcript: Now, this will certainly help you outsmart your competition. Whenever you are uploading a video, upload the video transcript along with it, because search engine bots crawl closed captions included in the video. YouTube does automatic captioning, but try not to use it because you are at the mercy of the speech recognition technology which sometimes is not accurate.

Video Thumbnail: Although thumbnails don’t influence the SEO factors directly, an eye-catching thumbnail will certainly attract more viewers leading to enhanced SEO.

Make sure your thumbnail attracts eyeballs and tells viewers what the video is about. Here’s an example:

3. Create Playlists to Increase Your Watch Time

Watch time measures the amount of time people spend in watching your videos. It’s an important metric, because YouTube rewards videos that keep viewers engaged on YouTube. To optimize your watch time, create playlists on specific topics that would keep the viewers hooked for a longer time. Also, while working on playlists, make sure the name of the playlist is keyword-rich to reap the SEO benefits.

4. User Engagement

If people are liking, leaving comments, sharing your videos or subscribing to your channel, YouTube uses it as a signal that your videos are engaging. Here are 2 simple tips to increase user engagement in your videos.

a. Ask viewers to like, comment and share your videos - and to subscribe to your channel. Ask specific questions so they can easily answer them in the comments section.

b. Ensure to leave reply to the comments on your videos – select a specific time to answer all the comments. Replying to comments makes your viewers feel good and engage more with your videos leading to even increased watch time.

5. Schema Markup

Schema.org is an initiative between Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Yandex to create a structured data markup schema. Implementing Schema markup will help videos stand out in standard search results. If you are not sure whether you should go for it or not, here is Matt Cutts himself affirming the significance of it.

You need to provide the description, thumbnail URL, upload date, and duration. Google has detailed out everything here regarding schema markups for videos.

6. Submit a Video Sitemap

Video sitemaps provide search engine bots with the placement and the metadata of the videos on your website. While the bots can crawl the content themselves, submitting the video sitemap speeds up the process.  The video sitemap should contain metadata like title, description, play page URL, thumbnail URL and the raw video file URL.

 If you have already started with video marketing and feel a little lost when it comes to getting more views, these hacks will set you in the right direction. How do you plan to implement these tactics? Let us know in the comments below!

When you’re searching in Evernote, there are many different ways to go about whittling down the results.

From simply typing into the box with the magnifying glass to more advanced search techniques such as using syntax, there’s a lot of options. While advanced search techniques may sound like a pretty intimidating topic that is somehow both mildly threatening and hopelessly out of reach, it’s really just a fancy way of saying there are lots of ways to step up your search game in Evernote.

Unlock the power behind the search bar

Why do we even need advanced search techniques? How hard can it be?

Everyone knows about the most basic approach to search: typing into Evernote’s search bar and then scrolling through the results to find what you were looking for. Pretty obvious.

But eventually, there will come a time when you are returning too many results for a simple search to handle. As you start to put more and more into Evernote, it can be harder to find what you need with plain old, regular searching. For example, if I type meeting notes into the search bar, my Evernote Business account returns precisely 4,144 results, which is a bit more than my “scroll and look” abilities can handle.

Luckily, there’s more to this little search box than meets the eye. Underneath the hood are some powerful tools, such as advanced search syntax, application shortcuts, and more.

Advanced search tips for the less advanced

Advanced search is really just about speaking to the technology powering Evernote in a tongue that it understands. You can dive into advanced search syntax in Evernote with this help article to master all the search terms we have or check out this video for a quick primer.

To make life even easier, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite advanced search methods here so you can just grab and go. (That way you can save the somewhat formidable task of learning search syntax and memorizing shortcuts for your future self.)

1. Take a shortcut

To start things off easy, try your hand at some powerful search keyboard shortcuts.

  • Quickly access the search bar in Evernote by using Option + Cmd + F for Mac or Ctrl + Q for Windows.
  • To search specifically within the note you currently have open, use Ctrl + F in Windows and Cmd + F for Mac.
  • As long as Evernote is running in the background, using Win + Shift + F in Windows and Ctrl + Cmd + E in Mac will immediately take you to our search bar. No matter whether you’re working in your browser or in iTunes, you can always get straight to the search by jumping directly into Evernote.
  • Need a specific note, notebook, or tag in a pinch? Use Cmd + Jwith Evernote for Mac or Ctrl + Q for Windows to “jump” there, fast. You can see your most recent notebooks or just search for other things in general. Try it out—you’ll quickly see why this shortcut is a favorite.

2.  Cut straight to the notebook

If you’re team notebooks in the ongoing battle between notebooks and tags] then you probably have a lot of them and it may take you a while to navigate to the exact one you are looking for.

  • Find things in a specific notebook by typing notebook:insert notebook name into the search bar. Be sure not to include a space between the colon and the name of your notebook. (I may or may not be speaking from experience).

3.  The power of any

If you type meeting notes into the search bar, Evernote will only show the notes that include all of your search keywords (i.e. meeting and notes both have to appear in the note for it to be included). But what if the note you are looking for is titled team sync notes or brainstorming session notes? You’d be out of luck.

  • Put any: before your search term. For example, any: meeting notes will show you every note that contains either meeting or notes.

4.  Exclude away

Not everything needs to be included. I’m more of a notebook person myself, but if you’re an avid tagger, then this tip is especially helpful.

  • Search for notes not tagged by using -tag. For example, if you’re looking for a receipt you haven’t submitted (and you’re diligent about using the proper tags), you can type -tag:submitted into the search bar to find receipts without the submitted tag.
  • Use -tag:* to return all notes without tags. If sorting notes with tags is your thing, then this is a great way to see all the notes that you haven’t dealt with.

5.  Describe and go

If you’re using Evernote in English on Mac, then you should definitely know about descriptive search. Use simple words to find things fast.

  • If you clipped a great article last month but can’t remember where you put it, simply type in web clips last month and the Evernote search bar will do the work for you.
  • To find that PDF you’re looking for, enter notes with PDFs into the search bar.
  • See all the notes you created on your business trip to Germany by searching for notes from Germany.

Notes with PDFs

6.  Check your progress

Planners and list makers, this one’s for you. Searching your notes by checkboxes is a game changer.

  • Search todo:false to view all of your notes with incomplete to-dos, an easy way to see what remains on your various task lists.
  • Type todo:true to see what you’ve accomplished recently.
  • Use todo:* to unveil all notes with checkboxes, checked off or not.

To do list example

7.  Head straight to the source

We all remember things in different ways. I tend to remember notes by the method I used to collect them. The conversation I have with myself when I’m on the hunt for something specific often goes something like this: “Where is that PDF? I know I forwarded it into Evernote from my email, but where did I put it…” If your mind works that way too, (with the talking to yourself bit included), then these tips are for you.

  • Type source:mobile to see all the notes that were created from your phone. This is perfect for those times when you captured a great idea on your phone a few months ago, but then promptly forgot both the idea and where you put it in Evernote.
  • Use source:mail.smtp to see notes added through email. This tip is great for when you remember forwarding an important email into your Evernote recently, but can’t find where you sent it. (Or in my case, sent it to the wrong notebook.)
  • Try source:web.clip to see all the notes added via Web Clipper.

8.  Manage your search by media

Adding attachments is part of what makes Evernote great. The ability to search for notes that contain specific kinds of media, from audio and images to PDFs, makes this nifty feature even better.

  • Do a broad search by typing in resource:audio/* to see all notes with some kind of audio.
  • Get more specific by searching resource:image/jpeg to find only JPEG image files.

9.  All in a day’s work

Have you ever reached the end of the day only to think back, “What did I actually even do today?” Author and going paperless expert Jamie Todd Rubin brings us a great tip for solving this problem.

  • Type created:day into the search bar at the end of the day. That way, you can review what you worked on and make any changes to your to-do list for tomorrow.

10. Look at what you’ve accomplished

We all put a lot into Evernote. Sometimes it’s fun to look back and see exactly just how much.


  • Type in created:20160101 -created20161231 to find out how many notes you created in Evernote in 2016.

11. Saved search to the rescue

Now that you’ve been introduced to a few different ways to search, do you see yourself using any of these advanced techniques more than once? If so, you definitely need Saved Searches in your life.

  • Create a saved search so you don’t have to refer back to this article or look it up again.
  • Save even more time by adding saved searches to your shortcuts tab. (For example, you could save the todo:false search and add it to your shortcuts—that way you can quickly pop over and see what you still have on your to-do list at the end of every day.)

Go forth and search

In case you can’t tell, when you’ve got advanced search techniques by your side, the possibilities are endless. There are many more applications of these tips, so don’t be afraid to get in there, mix it up, and experiment to see what works best for your workflow.

 Source: This article was published blog.evernote.com By Jessi Craige

Keyword research is important when you want to find new areas of growth and increase traffic to your site, but deciding which terms to focus your efforts on can be a complicated task. Before you start to target a new keyword, it’s crucial to estimate how much time and effort it will take to achieve high rankings for each search term, along with how much value each keyword has.  Knowing this will help you prioritize your list and only go after terms that will yield the best possible outcome.

You can accomplish this by looking at two things, competition (difficulty to rank), and potential value (search volume).  Potential value is easy to measure using the Google Keyword Planner tool, but difficulty to rank is more complex to calculate.

The easiest way to measure difficulty to rank is to perform a Google search and see how many pages are indexed for each of your keywords:

Google Search Keywords - Education

But this is extremely broad and usually returns several millions results, making it next to impossible to truly assess keyword difficulty. In order to get a more realistic idea of the competition, you want to focus only on pages that have been optimized for the search engines.

To get a more accurate number you can use two of Google’s advanced search operators to return more targeted results:

Google Search Operator - allintitle: education

allintitle:keyword – returns only pages where the keyword is used in the title tag

Google Search Operator - allinurl: Education

allinurl:keyword – returns only pages where the keyword is used in the URL

This information is much more useful than a basic Google search because it removes the noise and lets you see only websites that have optimized their titles & urls, giving us a clearer picture of the competition.

Now that you’ve focused on a keyword’s competition based on title & url, the next step is to prioritize your list of keywords and target the ones that have a combination of high search volume and low competition. I started with a list of 20 keywords and narrowed the list down to the top 5.

Keyword Research - 20 top education keywords - nursing

Avg. Monthly Searches = Keyword’s search volume from Google Keyword Planner

URL Competition = Number of results returned for an allinurl: search

Title Tag Competition = Number of results returned for an allintitle: search

In order to find the keywords that have the highest search volume and the lowest competition calculate the “opportunity” for both title & url. Keywords with the highest “opportunity” have the greatest chance of getting on page one of Google, relative to search volume. Opportunity provides a balance between search volume and competitiveness.

Keyword Competition - 20 top education keywords opportunity - nursing

URL Opportunity = Avg. Monthly Searches divided by URL Competition

Title Tag Opportunity = Avg. Monthly Searches divided by Title Tag Competition

As an added step, you can add extra weight to either URL or Title Tag Opportunity by multiplying by a given percentage, if you think one gives off a stronger ranking signal than the other.

Once you have URL Opportunity & Title Tag Opportunity, calculate the Full Opportunity by adding the two together.

20 top education keywords full opportunity - nursing

Full Opportunity = URL Opportunity + Title Tag Opportunity

Full Opportunity shows the big picture in regard to difficulty to rank for a term based on title tag & url optimization, while maximizing the potential for traffic based on monthly search volume.

To prioritize your list and select the top 5 keywords, just sort Full Opportunity from High to Low.

Top 5 education keywords ranked - nursing

Please keep in mind this is just one method for determining keyword difficulty; there are several other factors to consider when trying to assess the competition for a given term, such as:

  • Quality of the page content
  • Moz Page Authority
  • Moz Domain Authority
  • Number of external links pointing to each ranking page
  • Number of domains linking to each ranking page
  • Social metrics (Facebook & Twitter shares)

Using this method, I provide clients with keywords to develop new content around, whether blog posts or new pages within their websites. I also use this method when suggesting reoptimization for existing pages that are performing poorly.

Source: This article was published leverinteractive.com By Kevin DalPorto

Find a phone number online with these 8 creative search tricks

Use Free Reverse Lookup with Google

Google makes it easy to look up a phone number, and you can even track down a name, address, email address, and recent personal updates, all in the same place. All you need to do is enter the entire phone number (area code included) into Google's search field, and see what comes back.

In most cases, the number will be identified within the first five search results. Click on one of these results, and you'll see business information, addresses, relevant contacts, and more. Want to learn more? Read How to Find a Phone Number Using Google

Try Toll Free Phone Numbers

Toll-free phone numbers are free to call and can be your instant gateway into a company's inner workings. There are quite a few toll-free number directories on the Web that give extensive 1-800 number listings; however, you can also use your favorite search engine to track down nearly any toll-free phone number. There are a couple of different ways you can accomplish this:

  • 800 number for company: Simple yet effective. Type "800 number for company", substituting the name of the business you're looking for for the word "company", and sometimes you'll get lucky.
  • Contact us: This is often a very successful method of finding contact information. Type "contact us" (yes, in quotes) plus the name of the company, i.e., "contact us" microsoft.

Find Cell Phone Numbers Online

Millions of people all over the world use cell phones on a daily basis to communicate with each other. However, most of these numbers are not found in phone directories, which makes them difficult to track down online. However, if you know a few Web tricks (like searching by username) you can potentially uncover anyone's private mobile phone number

Try Alternative Search Engines

Search engines abound on the Web, but there are niche search engines out there that focus only on finding people-related information. These can be very useful resources for when you are looking for a phone number. These search engines look at only information that could be tied to individuals, such as a phone number, an address, social networking updates, and business contact resources.

Since every search engine returns different information than the next, it's definitely worth a try to type your person's name and/or phone number into these search engines to see what comes back. Learn more about using alternative methods to find a phone number online.

Use Zabasearch to Find a Phone Number

If you've ever placed personal information anywhere on the Web, whether that be a phone number, birth date, or physical address, Zabasearch is sure to have it. Controversial yet completely legal, Zabasearch collects information from all over the Web and places it in one convenient place for public access, including (some) phone numbers.

Don't use their "search for a phone number" search tool since it gives you information they want you to pay for. Instead, search by name and see what comes back. Read more about how you can use Zabasearch to find people-related information. 

Use Facebook to Find a Phone Number

Using just a name, an email address, or a common connection (like a workplace, college, or organization), you can uncover a surprising amount of information at Facebook, the world's largest social networking website with hundreds of millions of users.

There are many ways to find people on Facebook, and depending on how public people have made their personal information, you can actually be quite successful finding a phone number here as well. Learn more about using Facebook to find a phone number.

Use Bing to Find a Phone Number

Bing makes finding business, government, and other organizations (non-profits, schools, etc.) very easy. Simply type in the name of what you're looking for and hit "search"; local listings will appear with addresses, phone numbers, websites, and directions. Not sure of the exact name? No problem – just type in what you know, for example, if you're looking for your local Department of Motor Vehicles, type "dmv", and Bing will return relevant local results.

Use a Specialized Directory to Find a Phone Number

There are a wide variety of specialized phone directories on the Web, however, not all of these are reliable, trustworthy, or even safe to use. Try places like this (but don't ever pay for these services!):

  • Who Called Me?: Ever get a phone call from a number you don't recognize? This is the place to find out who it is, where it originated, even comments from other people who have dealt with the same number.

Source: This article was published lifehacker.com By Jerri Collins

Tuesday, 06 March 2018 01:53

The 10 Commandment of Internet Ethics

When reading Wikipedia’s 1992 Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics you can easily substitute “Internet” for “computer” and it’s amazing what you see…., for example the 1stCommandment “You shall not use the Internet to harm other people.”  Here are all Ten Commandments of Internet Ethics (with my minor edits):

  1. You shall not use the Internet to harm other people.
  2. You shall not interfere with other people’s Internet work.
  3. You shall not snoop around in other people’s Internet files.
  4. You shall not use the Internet to steal.
  5. You shall not use the Internet to bear false witness.
  6. You shall not copy or use proprietary software for which you have not paid (without permission).
  7. You shall not use other people’s Internet resources without authorization or proper compensation.
  8. You shall not appropriate other people’s intellectual output.
  9. You shall think about the social consequences of the program you are writing or the system you are designing.
  10. You shall always use the Internet in ways that ensure consideration and respect for your fellow humans.

For those of us who used the Internet 1992 it’s great to see that the Ethics of the Internet in 1992 (from the Computer Ethics Institute) applies in 2016!

Source: This article was published vogelitlawblog.com By Peter S. Vogel

Visitors embrace the online retailer’s move into the physical world – even if the brick-and-mortar store serves in large part as an ad for Amazon Prime

Drop in for a book. Walk out with a smart watch.

Shopping in one of Amazon’s brand-new, three-dimensional bookstores affords visitors the opportunity to buy many things that aren’t books. A hands-free sous vide, for example. Or a tablet computer. Or a smart speaker equipped with Amazon’s “Alexa” virtual butler app.

At a grand opening Thursday for Amazon’s first bookstore in New York City, the mystery in the air was why a company that had changed the world by taking retail sales online would reverse direction and move into brick-and-mortar. The New York location is the seventh Amazon bookstore to open nationally since 2015, with six additional stores planned to open by the end of the year.

It’s clearly a bookstore chain. The question is: what are they selling? And what greater strategy may be afoot?

Setting aside for a moment those questions (spoiler alert: Amazondeclined to directly comment), the Guardian encountered the new retail space, inside the Time Warner Center mall at Columbus Circle, on its own terms, through customers’ eyes.

It looks like a modern bookstore, with a table of featured titles up front (The Oxford Companion to Wine, Trevor Noah: Born a Crime, etc) and ranks of shelves organized by the usual categories (fiction top sellers, travel, ages 3-7, etc).

‘I think it’s so ironic that so many wonderful bookstores were put out of business because of them, and now they’re opening up a bookstore,’ said one customer.

 ‘I think it’s so ironic that so many wonderful bookstores were put out of business because of them, and now they’re opening up a bookstore,’ said one customer. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

There are some distinctly Amazon – and passing strange – features, such as technology stands where customers can scan books to see what kind of a discount they might get as members of Amazon Prime, the subscriptions program.

Also unique here: the section called “Page turners: books Kindle readers finish in three days or less”. Amazon can track how quickly people who purchase books on Kindle read them, a company spokesperson explained, without explaining how.

Matt Lantin, 21, an economics major shopping for self-help books, admired how every book at the store was displayed so that its full cover, and not just its spine, was visible. At Amazon Books, every title is a featured title.

“They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but in this case, not only can you see the cover, but you can also see the review below it,” Lantin said, after requesting a moment to compose his comment.

Displaying books face-out, however, eats up shelf space fast. At 4,000 square feet, the Columbus Circle store features 3,000 titles at any time, according to the company. Further gobbling shelf space: about one-quarter of the retail floor is given over to sales of non-books. That includes things like Bose speakers, French presses and instant cameras, but also a lot of Amazon hardware: Kindles, hard drives, the aforementioned smart speakers and the Amazon Fire, the company’s bestselling answer to the iPad.

Yvonne Reid, 54, who works elsewhere in the Time Warner complex and had stopped in to see whether she could pick up a copy of Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life ... And Maybe the World, judged the bookstore to be “beautiful”, but lacking in hangout space.

“I’m sorry that they don’t have more space where kids can come and sit and read,” said Reid, who reminisced about spending hours at Barnes & Noble when her kids were younger. “This does seem like more of a take-your-book-and-run kind of a thing.”

The arrival of Amazon bookstores, Reid noted, was part of a bigger picture.

“I think it’s so ironic that so many wonderful bookstores were put out of business because of them, and now they’re opening up a bookstore,” Reid said. “But I think it’s nice.”

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on that observation.

Dan Simon, the founder and publisher of the New York City-based Seven Stories Press, said Reid’s comment was accurate.

“They really did drive bookstores out of business,” said Simon, noting that Amazon added on to damage previously inflicted by big chains such as Borders and Barnes & Noble.

“But the upside of that was after 30 years, what we have now is a culture of bookselling that has survived all those things, and is incredibly vibrant and tough. There’s a small-business acumen among booksellers in the US today that is unmatched.”

Simon (a former colleague of this reporter, it should be disclosed) welcomed the advent of Amazon Books.

“It’s such a dynamic time now in the marketplace of books that on one side, another sort of bookstore is a good thing, plain and simply,” he said. “We want more physical bookstores.

“On the other side, it’s important to note that these stores are pretty small. Four thousand square feet – it’s not tiny, but the superstores were like 25,000, 30,000 square feet. So this is a small store. It’s not going to have a wide selection.”

About one-quarter of the retail floor is given over to sales of non-books.

 About one-quarter of the retail floor is given over to sales of non-books. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Official Amazon verbiage says the bookstore “is all about discovery” and offers readers a connection “to a community of millions of booklovers” whose reviews of the books on sale are displayed in the store. But like everything else in the store, you don’t have to leave home to get that: those reviews are available – and more readily – online.

Meanwhile, Amazon is in a battle of giants, vying with Google and Apple for markets such as consumer technology that dwarf the market for books. The brick-and-mortar retail experience is central to Apple’s strategy. Google has opened pop-up stores and is increasingly focused on physical stores.

It’s hard to miss how much the stores are also an advertisement for Amazon Prime, with their technology stands as unnecessarily staged revelations for consumers of how much they might be “saving” if they signed up.

“Our goal of Amazon Books is to help customers and readers discover great books,” an Amazon spokesperson said.

Among all the hundreds of millions of products Amazon sells, Simon said, there are good reasons the company would choose to sell books in physical stores. The stores strengthen the company’s hold on the growing self-publishing market, ensuring a physical retail outlet for those titles, he said. Books were Amazon’s original product. And books are unique.

“The store points up one of the great truths of this historical moment in books, which is, even though Amazon is probably selling about half the books that are being sold, the online experience is not really a good one for books,” he said. “Plenty of people buy everything online, but not books. Because you want to touch them, you want to open them up. You want to hold them in your hand. You want to discover things that you aren’t looking for.”

Reid, the drop-in customer, said there was no second-guessing Amazon’s decision.

“I love the bookstore,” she said. “You can actually touch the book.”

Source: This article was published theguardian.com By Tom

If you have lots of pages of apps on your iPhone, it can be a pain to move them around. But we have an easy solution.

Rearranging apps on your iPhone and iPad is pretty easy, but moving them across screens can be a little more frustrating. There's an easy trick that solves this: use the dock.

A single setting could make all the difference when it comes to keeping your device secure.

Apple's iOS is a real walled garden. With the exception of those brave enough to "jailbreak" their phones, Apple controls which apps get into its App Store, and which don't.


On Android, it's not so simple. Google similarly vets its own Play store, but there's a huge loophole: Android users can allow third-party software software installations simply by checking off a button in the settings menu.

The reasons for allowing that outside Android software may range from the benign (beta-testing apps) to the nefarious (pirated software). But as ZDNet's Zack Whittaker recently detailed, by allowing app installs from unknown sources, you're essentially opening up your device to potential malware infections.

How to keep your Android device safe

By default, Google prevents users from installing apps from sources other than the Play store.

The best way to protect yourself is to leave the installation of apps from unknown sources disabled. It's a good idea to double-check that the setting is still disabled, just to be safe.


Leave this setting disabled. Nothing good can come from turning it on.
Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Exact placement of the option will vary based on the device you own, but it generally is found in the Settings app under Security > Unknown Source.

To be clear: This doesn't make your phone 100 percent safe. Nor does it protect you from non-software security issues, including phishing attacks and cloud-based password breaches.

That said, keeping unknown sources deactivated on your phone or tablet is a strong first line of protection that will prevent the most egregious malware from having open access to your device.

What you're giving up

While disabling access to unknown sources is the safest course of action, it may involve some sacrifices.

For example, Android app site APKMirror requires unknown source installation to be enabled. More significantly, Amazon Underground, the retailer's third-party app store, requires the "unknown sources" toggle to be switched, too. And that's the only way to get the Amazon Prime Video app on Android devices. (For reasons unknown, most of Amazon's other media apps -- including the Kindle app and the Amazon Music app -- are available in the Google Play store, and thus do not require unknown source access.)

But just remember: By allowing apps from those third parties, you're also opening a de facto security hole on your device. And even if Android security is getting better, it only works if you actually keep Google's safeguards turned on.

That's why you should only install applications from official channels such as Google's Play store, or for Samsung Galaxy users, the Galaxy App Store.

Source: This article was published cnet.com By Jason Cipriani

I've been switching back and forth between my iPhone 6S Plus and our Google Pixel review unit, and I keep wishing I had the Pixel.

You should note that everything here is subjective. The iPhone has great features that the Pixel doesn't have, and the Apple ecosystem is in a league of its own.

But damn, the Pixel is good.

You should also note that I'm comparing the Pixel XL experience with my iPhone 6S and not the iPhone 7 series. That's because I have more experience with the 6S Plus, as it has been my phone for the past year and a half.

However, the iPhone 6S Plus isn't that much different, as a whole, from the iPhone 7. The performance is still comparable, and the iPhone 7's camera upgrades aren't as important as some of the Pixel's more functional features.

Here's what I think makes the Pixel a better phone than the iPhone:

The Pixel is lighter.

The Pixel is lighter.
Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

My iPhone 6S Plus' weight (192 grams) never bothered me until I picked up the Google Pixel XL (168 grams). The iPhone 7 Plus is slightly lighter than the 6S Plus, at 188 grams, but that's a difference of only 4 grams, so I'd still consider the 7 to be heavy compared with the Pixel.

The Pixel's lighter weight has no ill effect on its reliability, and it's easier to manage in your hands.

The Pixel is slightly smaller but has the same screen size.

The Pixel is slightly smaller but has the same screen size.
Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

The difference is slight, but it's there and noticeable on a device you hold and use many times a day.

The iPhone is on the lower end of the screen-to-bezel ratio (67.7%) compared with the Pixel XL (71.2%).

The Pixel's screen is stunning.

The Pixel's screen is stunning.
Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

The Pixel's design is more utilitarian than it is beautiful, but its AMOLED screen outshines the iPhone's Retina display.

Everything looks better on the Pixel than on the iPhone's LCD display. Pictures, videos, and apps pop with inky blacks and vibrant — but not oversaturated — colors, which makes for an overall more premium and modern look.

In the photo above (taken with the Pixel, by the way), the Pixel XL and the iPhone 6S Plus are showing the same picture on full brightness. The iPhone's LCD screen is nice, but the colors aren't as rich, and the contrast isn't as pronounced, as on the Pixel's display.

The iPhone 7 Plus also has a 1080p screen that's fine and sharp enough, but the Pixel's 1440p screen is sharper.

The Pixel has a clever way to add grip.

The Pixel has a clever way to add grip.
Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

I don't like cases, but I have to use one for my iPhone. As nice as the iPhone's metal back and edges are, they don't offer any grip, and I've dropped and dinged my iPhone a couple of times as a result.

The glass inlay on the Pixel's back doesn't look particularly nice — it looks better on the white model — but it's a great grip for your index finger, and that makes the Pixel feel more secure in your hands.

Fast charging.

Fast charging.
SuperSaf TV/YouTube

The tech YouTube channel SuperSaf TV tested the charging times of the Pixel XL, the iPhone 7 Plus, and the Galaxy S7 Edge with the chargers included in each phone's packaging.

The Pixel XL was nearly 100% charged after two hours, while the iPhone 7 Plus was dragging its feet at 72%. The Galaxy S7 wiped the floor with the other two, having charged to 100% after an amazing one hour and 29 minutes. Still, the Pixel charged faster than the iPhone.

Charging speed is a huge deal, especially for a device that's designed to be portable and mobile. It means your smartphone can spend less time tethered to a charging cord. The Pixel's USB-C charging is faster, and it's one of the harder things to adjust to when switching back to the iPhone.

I can choose to make the Pixel work faster.


I can adjust Android to make it feel faster than iOS by cutting down or removing the animations when I open apps and swipe between screens.

Apple's iOS has a Reduce Motion option, but it seems to only change the default zoom-in and zoom-out animations when opening and closing apps to fade-in and fade-out animations. Apps don't appear to open or close any faster.

Pixel has better battery life, thanks to Android.

Android's Doze feature is exceptionally effective. It does a fantastic job of reducing the Pixel's power consumption when I'm not using it, compared with iOS on my iPhone.

I prefer Android overall.

I prefer Android overall.
Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

I simply get along better with Android than iOS.

Apple still hasn't figured out how to show me notifications in iOS as well as Android. They're easier to manage from the Android lock screen, where I can clear notifications away with one swipe compared with iOS's swipe-and-tap to clear. I can also pull down on the notifications to peek at more details compared with iOS, which doesn't show me very much.

Notifications also manage themselves better in Android. For example, when I open a new email or Hangouts conversation on my computer, Android automatically clears those notifications on the Pixel, whereas they remain on my iPhone until I manually clear them.

It's also difficult in iOS to swipe up from the bottom of the screen, for things like changing the brightness, with the on-screen keyboard there. On Android, I can easily swipe down from the top of the screen to access the most important settings from any app, whether the keyboard is there or not.

The universal back button that simply brings you back to your most recent screen or page is incredibly useful because it's always in the same place. On iOS, the back button for apps and screens can differ from app to app.

There's also the "I can hide my apps in the app drawer and put them wherever I want on the home screen" customization argument, which has been a classic Android argument since its release.

Finally, for those who use a voice-activated assistant, Google's Assistant has proved to be far more advanced than Siri.

Source: This article was published on businessinsider.com by Antonio Villas-Boas

A new website and series of videos highlight several reasons to give up your Android phone and switch to iPhone.

Apple and Android may forever be locked in a fight for mobile domination, but they take very different approaches to their quest for market share. On the one hand, there are more than 2 billion active Android devices in use around the world. On the other, Apple makes gobs of money from selling just a handful of handsets.

But like the PC wars of the 90s, Apple isn’t content with such a slim slice of the market. While it has had a Move to iOS app in the Play Store for a while now, Apple is now taking the fight directly to Android users with a new campaign devoted to switching.

Head over to the iPhone tab on Apple.com and you’ll see a new box in the middle of the page. Called “Why Switch,” it declares that “Life is easier on the iPhone,” and offers 10 questions potential switchers might be asking:

  1. Will it be easy to switch?
  2. Is the camera as good as they say?
  3. Why is the iPhone so fast?
  4. Will iPhone be easy to use?
  5. How does iPhone help protect my personal information?
  6. What makes Messages so great?
  7. Can I get help from a real person?
  8. Can I switch at an Apple Store?
  9. What about the environment?
  10. Will I love my iPhone?

And finally, it asks, “Are you ready to switch?” while offering links to purchase all five of the phone models. The site also promotes Apple’s trade-in policy, boasting up to $260 in credits.

There is also a series of videos on Apple’s YouTube channel to highlight many of the points, including speed, ease of switching, and privacy. It’s unclear whether Apple plans on taking the campaign beyond the web, but it’s not too hard to see a TV or print campaign accompanying the site.

Earlier this year, Google unveiled its own switching site, coinciding with a new transfer tool that synced your contacts, calendar entries, and photos through Google Drive. It’s similar in practice to Apple’s Move to iOS app, but doesn’t require the installation of app you won’t need after the transfer is finished.

Apple ran a highly successful switcher campaign in the early 2000s, which used real people to tell stories about why they moved to a Mac. While Tim Cook has said upwards of 30 percent of new iPhone buyers are making the switch from an Android phone, Apple hasn’t previously launched an ad campaign targeted at Android.

Flip the switch: It’s no secret that Apple is looking for signs of growth. While the upcoming iPhone 8 will surely boost sales in the holiday quarter, Apple still needs to generate excitement during the rest of the year, which has proven difficult due to a steady stream of rumors and flagship competitors from the likes of LG and Samsung. But a new switcher campaign could be just what the doctor ordered.

Source: This article was published macworld.com By Michael Simon

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