8 Free Apps to Simplify Your Life

As economy is thrilling with full wings, our lives are getting busier and more complicated – work, study, social gatherings and various kinds of stuffs. There’s a lot awaiting to be taken care of every day. Luckily, technology can be of great help. For example, there is a variety of different apps available to simplify our lives. Listed below are several free and useful apps that help to make our lives less complicated.


It is an absolutely great meditation app which helps to improve your mood. It accompanies your zen sessions with amazing pictures and beautiful music, for maximum namaste time. With the help of this app, you can relax, get rid of anxieties, get good sleep and much more.



It is a weather forecast app with a simple, sleek and user-friendly interface. As many users claimed “Impressive for not only its sleek user interface, but also its snappy response time and streamlined functionality.”



iRecycle is now available for iOS, iPad & Android. It is a great app that helps you to recycle games, files, batteries, devices and whatsoever you need easily. By using your current location, ZIP code, address or city, you will be directed to the position to recycle nearly anything. Besides, it also allows you to share your enthusiasm for recycling by connecting through Facebook, Twitter and other social network sites.



If you are fond of shopping, this RedLaser is absolutely something that you can never miss. It is a bargain-hunting app that helps you to shop smarter. By scanning the barcodes on items, you will get the information of price comparisons from other stores nearby. In that way, you can see what that same product costs elsewhere, making for quick and practical shopping.



How long has it been for you to send a romantic message like “I love you” or “I miss you” to the beloved one? Sometimes, the smallest things mean the most. Since we are busy with work and school every day, it will be great to get the external help. Romantimatic is a great app to remind you to say nice things to your significant other when you’re swamped up in your own busy life.



InstaSize is a simple yet useful photo editing app. As the name suggests, it helps to resize photos and add customizable borders freely. Besides, it also has got some cool features such as ilters, colors, fonts and all that to provide a one-stop editing solution.



30/30 is a great app for getting things done. Actually, it is a dressed-up version of a timer working like this: focus on the task you need to accomplish for 30 minutes and then take a 30-minute break.



Many people are heavily relying on the calendar of the smart phones. Now, we’ve got another aesthetically pleasing calendar called “Cal”, with which, you can tie in your contacts and social media accounts. Besides, it’s extremely easy to invite the people you care about, and find nice places to meet.


Feel free to install these sweet babies on your phones without paying one cent, get ready to enjoy your simple life from now on!

Samsung Galaxy S5 VS Apple iPhone 5S

Apparently, the smartphone market is getting more and more crowded. As far as we are concerned, the biggest rivalry will be the two technology giants: Apple iPhone 5S VS Samsung Galaxy S5 – Samsung’s latest flagship. For sure, both tycoons have spared no expense on the marketing with the hope of attracting more consumers to their sides. But as we all know, consumers (whether Android fans or iOS lovers) have a certain degree of loyalty to the platforms and products they love. That said, the performance of the devices matters the most and speaks for themselves.

galaxy s5 vs iphone 5s

Galaxy S5 VS iPhone 5S: Display

Compared to Galaxy S4, the S5 has got a larger screen of 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display. Both the S4 and S5 provide a 1920 x 1080 full HD resolution. But the pixel density of the S5 is slightly down with the S4 having a pixel density of 441 ppi.

Tips: Click to see how to play swf videos on iPhone 5S freely.

As to Apple iPhone 5S, it is delicately designed with a 4-inch Retina screen, much smaller than that of Galaxy S4. In the meanwhile, it provides a 1136 x 640 resolution of 326ppi density only. However, the lower density of iPhone 5S still looks pretty damn sharp. Categorically, the Galaxy S5 does better than the iPhone 5S in terms of display and resolution.


Galaxy S5 VS iPhone 5S: Processor

Galaxy S5 comes with two different processors: an Exynos chip and a high-end 2.5GHz Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor 805, both of which help to work up the processing speed faster than the S4. Technically, the Qualcomm boosts the performance of the CPU, GPU, digital signal processor, camera sensor, and memory components of the chip while keeping the software and other features compatible with its other processors to speed development for handset vendors.

On the other hand, the iPhone 5S owns an impressive 64-bit A7 processor running at between 12GHz to 1.3GHz. The A7 is actually a dual-core Cyclone processor that paired with 1GB of DDR3 RAM. What on earth is the big deal of the processor? It ensures that the users can have a pleasant experience on using the phone – the iOS 7 to run pretty smoothly, all apps and web pages load very fast, etc.


Galaxy S5 VS iPhone 5S: Battery

As we can see from the picture below, the brand new Galaxy S5 has a built-in 2800mAh battery, which, according to Samsung Company, can provide enough juice for the phone to last a whole day(21 hours of talk time or 390 hours standby).

Comparatively, the battery life of Apple iPhone 5S is slightly inferior – provides 10 hours of talk time on 3G, and up to 250 hours standby, as Apple claimed. Out of question, Apple needs to make more efforts on extending the battery life. Hopefully, we can get an improved battery on its next-gen iPhone 6.


Galaxy S5 VS iPhone 5S: Camera

The Galaxy S5 owns a 16-megapixel rear camera which is able to capture HDR(High Dynamic Range) snaps, slow-motion films as well as 4K videos(four times HD resolution). Besides, Samsung has also enhanced the phone’s menu and user interface, making it easier for the consumers to take, edit and share photos captured.

The iPhone 5S sports two cameras – a front-facing FaceTime camera and a rear-facing camera. On paper, both cameras looks more or less the same as those on the iPhone 5, however, Apple has specially made some significant improvements on them. Truly, the cameras does a pretty job in coping in both well-light and low-light conditions – accurate color with enough details.

Galaxy S5 VS iPhone 5S: Key Specs Comparison

Key-specifications of Galaxy S5:

Qualcomm Snapdragon S805 2.5GHz quad-core processor

16/32GB internal memory, microSD slot up to 64GB

Android 4.4.2 (Kitkat)

5.1-inch Super AMOLED screen (1920 x 1080)

16MP rear camera

4K video recording

2MP front camera

Dust and water resistant (IP67)

Finger scanner

Dimension: 142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1mm, 145g

2800mAh Battery

Key-specifications of iPhone 5S:

4.0-inch LCD

4.87×2.31×0.3 inches

A7 chip with 64-bit architecture

M7 motion coprocessor

Fingerprint identity sensor built into the Home button

1080p HD video recording

16/32/64GB storage

1570mAh battery

Differences between H.265 and H.264

H.265 vs H.264

Technically, both HEVC (H.265) and H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC) are video compression formats designated to deliver HD resolution videos. To make comparison of these two decodes, we will break it down into several sections as follows :

H.265 Overview

H.265 has been rumored for a very long time. Eventually, it has been proved and would be released in 2014. As a brand new stand code, H.265 is completely strange to lots of people. Before diving into its benefits, it is important for us to have an understanding of “what” H.265 is. Basically, H.265 is a more efficient encoding standard designed to succeed H.264. As a High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), H.265 is able to support video files of 4K and even up to 8K resolutions at half the currently used bitrate. So far, some dominant video streaming services like Netflix has decided to use H.265 to stream HD 1080p and 4K videos with approximately 50% bandwidth savings (at the same video quality). With H.265, we can enjoy HD videos without exceeding the bandwidth cap. Besides, it is no longer a dream to do real 4K video resolution with smart phones without losing massive quality even at low bitrates.

Differences between H.265 and H.264

H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC) has been here for quite a long time. It is one of the most popular codecs. It is specially developed for high definition systems such as HDTV, Blu-ray, HD DVD and low resolution media handy devices such as Apple iPod and Sony PSP. The greatest advantage of H.264 is that, it can encode HD video files with approximately 3 times fewer bits than comparable MPEG-2 encoders. However, since consumers’ demand for higher resolution such as 4K and 8K is on the rise day by day, the need for more efficient video streaming methods is more apparent than ever. Unluckily, H.264 is inaptitude for the delivering such high resolution. Thankfully, there’s a new kid on the block – the fresh H.265 codec. When asked what are the differences between H.264 and H.265, we can get the answers by looking into the advantages of H.265 over H.264 as below :

1.It is approximate 2X as effective as H.264

2. Reduces file size up to 50% with the same quality

3. Supports resolution up to 7680 × 4320 (8K)

4. Reduces video noise and increases dynamic range

5. Extend far greater video quality experience compared to H.264 encoded sequence at same bitrate.

To know more about the key differences between H.265 (HEVC) and H.264 (MPEG 4 AVC), please feel free to read through the table as below:

h.265 vs h.264

Rumors of HTC One 2/HTC M8


As of now, the HTC One has been on the market for around a year (released on 19 February 2013). As HTC’s flagship smartphone, the One is regarded to be one of the best looking smartphone designs out there.

With 2014 moving on, we are expecting a batch of flagship devices to be unveiled in the next launch season. Actually, much attention of HTC fans has already darted to HTC One’s successor. Rumors are circulating all over about what to expect from the next HTC handset. According to the latest news, the much-anticipated successor to the HTC One(also known as HTC M8, HTC One 2, HTC One+, HTC Two, and HTC One 2014, etc) will be unveiled at the 25 March event. Actually, on Sunday Feb 15th, 2014, the HTC’s formal has sent out an invitation to Trusted Reviews, with the invite attachment entitled “Portrait M8 Invite” – the phone’s formal codename. What’s interesting is that, the invitation confirmed the subject of the HTC One 2 launch inadvertently.

Besides the release date, a lot of rumors have pointed to the specifications that the HTC M8 may bring with. Honestly, the design of the HTC One is lauded by lots of fans. To most admiring fans’ delight, the HTC M8 is rumored to pack a similar aluminum casing to its predecessors HTC One’s design, which’s almost enough to rival the iPhone 5 and made the Galaxy S4 look like a plastic toy.

htc one 2

The software wise, the earlier info leaked by @evleaks indicated that, the M8 may boat a 5-inch full-HD display, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974 processor coupled with 2GB of RAM, and Android 4.4 KitKat most likely with a new HTC Sense 6.0 custom user interface on top. If the rumored-spec is true, we are afraid that the screen may be the first stumbling block when it comes to beating the smartphone competition – leaked benchmark results suggest the Samsung Galaxy S5 will have a 2,560×1,440 resolution screen. Besides, according to the AnTuTu, the HTC One 2 would include a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera and 4-megapixel rear camera (reportedly designed to improve focus times and light metering). As is reported that, the rear-camera isn’t for 3D photos, however, it will make the HTC One 2 as the first cell phone to use dual-camera technology to improve focus and overall image quality. What’s more interest, there’s a good chance that the HTC One 2 would feature a fingerprint sensor as the HTC One Max which is currently one of the only Android handsets with biometric security.

As to the price, we can get an HTC One at the price of around £500 SIM-free or on a monthly contract of £40. However, the price declines quickly, we can get a contract HTC One for under £30 or a pay-as-you-go model for £350. Therefore, most of HTC fans expect that the 2 would follow the similar pattern, starting at the top end of smartphone prices and sticking there until a worthy competitor arrives. Nevertheless, all of what mentioned above are speculative, we’ll have to wait till the device comes out finally.

Top 5 Laptops for 2014

Literally, there are various different brands of laptops on the market. For many people especailly those without technical knowledge, it is always a tough job to pick the best laptop to buy. Actually, the biggest difference between an ordinary laptop and a really good one is that, it not only delivers a great combination of design, comfort and performance for your money, but also satisfies your specific needs. Nevertheless, it is complicated to judge a great laptop by evaluating its aspects such as screen brightness, video/audio quality, etc.

Therefore, in order to offer a helping hand to the people who are looking for the perfect new laptop, we specially list 5 best laptop models for 2014 as below:

1. Microsoft Surface Pro 2

The Microsoft Surface Pro 2 is a great Windows tablet worthy owning. Compared to the original model, this Pro 2 is considerably faster with some improved features such as a longer battery life and keyboard cover. It boots a 10.6-inch, 1920-by-1080 resolution display. Besides that, you can also find some great tablet accessories on it. However, the Pro 2 is stubbornly thick and heavy compared with some sleeker competitors.

Microsoft Surface Pro 2

2. Dell XPS 12

The Dell XPS 12 is the company’s latest hybrid ultra book and tablet offering some great features. It is sized with 317mm x 215mm x 15-20mm and weighs about 1.45kg (3.2lbs). Besides, it is cleverly designed with a 12.5-inch touch-screen which provides 1920 x 1080p HD display with 400 nit brightness. Therefore, with Dell XPS 12’s Full HD display, we can view a lot of details when viewing high-resolution images and get a smooth watching experience when enjoying 1080p videos. Moreover, the XPS 12 possesses a great Intel Core i5-4200U processor (3M Cache, up to 2.6GHz) + Intel HD Graphics 4400 and 4GB dual channel DDR3L-RS 1600MHz RAM, making it a powerful device suitable for work or entertainment.

Dell XPS 12

3.Apple MacBook Pro 13

Overall, the MacBook Pro 13 is in pretty much the same design as the older 2012 version. In the all-aluminum unibody design, the Pro 13 looks stylish, sleek and feels sturdy as well. Compared to the previous one, this latest laptop marginally lighter and thinner (12.35 x 8.62 x 0.71 inches and 3.46 pounds). One of the stunning features of the 12.35-inch MacBook Pro 13 is that, it offers the awesome 2560 x 1600-pixel display with vivid image quality. When comes to the performance, it boasts a fourth-generation 2.4-GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of flash storage, all of which enable the Pro 13 cruises through the benchmarks of a truly great laptop with ease.

Apple MacBook Pro 13

4.Lenovo ThinkPad X240

Basically, the Lenovo ThinkPad X240 is a powerful business laptop which sports a few stunning features such as a Core i5 Haswell CPU and a speedy solid-state drive. To begin with the design, the X240 doesn’t stray too far from the iconic design. It measures 12.02 x 8.19 x 0.79 inches and weighs 3.2 pounds, a tad heavier than the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus. It comes with a 12.5-inch IPS touch-screen display with 1366-by-768 resolution. With such an ultra display, the X240 can effortlessly deliver vibrant colors, deep blacks, and wide viewing angles. Besides, it is fueled by a fourth-generation Intel Core i5-4200U processor running at 1.6GHz and 8GB of RAM, helping the X240 turns in respectable scores on the performance benchmark tests.

Lenovo ThinkPad X240

5.Acer Aspire S7-392-6411

For the people who would like a svelte laptop to show off, the Acer Aspire S7-392-6411 is absolutely a great choice. As a premium high-end ultrabook, the S7-392-6411 adds performance and battery life to one of the thinnest bodies we’ve ever seen on the market. Measured 0.51 by 12.75 by 9 inches (HWD) and weighed in at 2.87 pounds, the S7-392-6411 really lives up to the reputation of “one of the thinnest and lightest touch screen laptops on the scene”. Surely, it offers a bright and clear 1080p HD display without any surprise. As to the performance, the system of the S7-392-6411 is well equipped, making it one of the higher performers among systems with a Core i5 processor.

Acer Aspire S7-392-6411

2014 Top 5 Android Tablets

Every time we talk of tablets, a majority of people would think of iPad, the crowning glory of Apple Inc. Not long before, its two latest models iPad Mini 2 and iPad Air were launched to the market, sparking a big sales record. However, not all people would like an iPad and Apple’s tablet is, in fact, not the only game in town. The truth is, there are many other great options out there.

andriod tablet

Seriously, if you don’t fancy on an iPad, the Android tablets will be a great the way to go. There is no denying the fact that, Android Jelly Bean is currently the main rival to the iOS 7 toting iPad Air and iPad mini 2. Currently, more and more high-quality Android-based tablets are showing up on the market. We have got a long list which includes Amazon Kindle Fire, Google Nexus 7, Nexus 10, Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung Galaxy Tab, LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition, Sony Xperia Tablet Z, Asus Transformer Pad TF701T and so on. That said, you may be racking your brains on deciding which tablet should choose. To ease your pain, we have specially listed 5 worthwhile Android tablets for your easy reference.

1. Google Nexus 7

The Nexus 7 was announced in late July 2013. It is one of the best 7-inch tablets available on the market. Equipped with a small interface, the Nexus 7 is slimmer, lighter, and more comfortable to hold on hands than the Apple iPad mini. What deserves an honorable mentioning is that, the Nexus 7 is the first Android 4.3 tablet, running a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm S4 Pro APQ8064 processor.

Google Nexus 7

2. LG G Pad 8.3

The L G G Pad 8.3 is LG’s the best Android tablet. It is a compact tablet with a sheet of aluminum shell. It is sized at 216.8 x 126.5 x 8.3 mm, about 16mm taller than the iPad mini. Even though it runs an older version of Android, the LG G Pad 8.3 is a great device with advanced internal hardware such as a 1.7Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 600 SoC, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage.

lg g pad 8.3

3. Sony Xperia Tablet Z

The Sony Xperia Z is a super-light device with a super slim chassis, impressive screen. It is 10-inch, pitting itself against the likes of the Google Nexus 10 and iPad 4. Frankly, its 1,920 x 1,200 resolution screen falls a little short of ‘retina’ sharpness of the iPad 4’s 2,048 x 1,536 or the Nexus 10’s stupendously sharp 2,560 x 1,600 screen. However, it prides itself in obtaining the great feature of water resistant up to one meter for 30 minutes and dust resistant.


4. Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7

The Kindle Fire HDX 7 is Amazon’s newest 7-inch tablet. Compared with the original Kindle Fire, the HDX 7 has got great changes in design. It is all angles and contrasts with a smooth matte back now joined with a glossy metallic top containing the speakers. Besides, this brand new 7-inch screen device provides a fantastic screen resolution of 1920×1200 at 323ppi, making it a not bad choice for entertainment. Besides, it has got a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor along with 2GB of RAM, which means that games play smoothly whilst video playback is lag-free. Plus, it also provides 11-hour battery life and with mixed-usage.


5. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is a large decent tablet with 10.1-inch screen. It provides a 1280×800 pin-sharp pixels display just as the Note, although the resolution is not high, users can still get a satisfying movies/pictures/web pages viewing experience. Backed by a 1GHz dual-core OMAP 4430 CPU, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage, this Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 hits the nail on the head of so many Android tablets. To sum up, it is a well-designed tablet with powerful speakers, a responsive screen, and expandable storage.

samsung galaxy tab

Google Nexus 5 Review

Even after Nexus 4 has made a global hit, Google continues making something – something bigger. Finally, the latest member of Nexus family – the Nexus 5 is here! Needless to say, the brand new model surpasses its predecessor Nexus 4 in every way. In general, the Nexus 5 is a fast and gorgeous device which is well stocked with many great features, which include but not limited to sleek and solid build, LTE for multiple carriers, long-life battery, etc. Literally, it shows the true power of Google and the Android operating system.


A Detailed Look at Google Nexus 5

1. Design

Honestly, the Nexus 5 is not a bold device. What does that mean? Well, taking a quick look at its design, we will find that it is not eye-catching at all. Some people even described it as “dull”. The truth is the design of the Nexus 5 is not breathtakingly amazing, however, it is not a bit dull. That said, “Tidy and clean” might be much suitable for describing it. Featuring the straighter edges and sharper curves, the Nexus 5 looks more stately and austere than the Nexus 4. As to the size, the Nexus 5 is of 5.43 inches tall, 2.72 inches wide and 0.34 inches deep, making it comfortable, sturdy and dense in the hand.

2. Display

displayAs its name makes obvious, the Nexus 5 is topped by a 5-inch display. The 4.95-inch True HD+ IPS panel provides stunning resolution of 080 x 1920 pixels of 445ppi density (surpass that of the iPhone 5S by 119 ppi). Naturally, this newest device is perfectly good for image viewing, video watching and gaming. Truly, this fresh device provides users the stunning 1080p display with excellent viewing angles. When playing 3D games on this IPS panel, the quality is incredibly gorgeous. Plus, even in full whack, the IPS panel is very bright as well with the only fly in the ointment of using up lots of battery juice.

3. Android 4.4 KitKat

When asked what is the big deal of the Nexus 5, we can never miss the “Android – version 4.4 KitKat”. Roughly, the overall appearance of Android 4.4 is decent. It is worth mentioning that, this is the first pure Google device running the Android 4.4 OS. Although the Nexus 5 uses Google’s own execs and engineers, the changes made on KitKat are very familiar with that of the Android. That said, if you are an Android user, you will feel right at home with the Android 4.4 KitKat. Though not long on flashy new features, KitKat brings an ever deeper integration with Google’s expanding array of services and a promise to end the age-old scourge of Android fragmentation. Besides, the Android 4.4 KitKat includes Hangouts in lieu of a standard SMS messaging app, forcing SMS support into the Google ecosystem.

Android 4.4 KitKat

4. Camera

Thanks to the Android 4.4.2 update, significant improvements were made to the performance of the Nexus 5’s camera. The newest device comes with an 8-megapixel camera with HDR+, and LTE support which features optical image stabilization (OIS), therefore, the image quality is absolutely decent. When comes to video capture, we have already got some mobile phones capable of capturing 4K videos, while unfortunately, the Nexus 5 is stuck with more conventional 1080p. However, it too uses the optical image stabilization that had such a positive effect on low-light performance.


Final Words on Google Nexus 5

Google Nexus 5 is an impressive device shipped with strong performance and high-end features like Android 4.4.1 KitKat. Priced at around £299, it is a true value for money Android device.

5 Best Social Networking Apps

If you are netizen, you must heard of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, MySpace, Google Plus and many other social networking sites. In the recent years, technology has gained fast development, bringing forth a wide variety of different social networking websites. Currently, those sites are increasing in popularity. According to a new eMarketer report, nearly one in four people worldwide are using social networking sites in 2013, an 18% increase than that of 2012. Besides, by 2017, the global social network audience will reach 2.55 billion. That’s true! Whether we are sharing media like videos/photos/games on Facebook, Twitter or other SNS, it is possible for us to keep track of how many people like them. Listed in the following are 5 best social networking apps which helps to facilitate your digital life.

1. Vine

Vine is a free video sharing app available for free on the Apple App Store. It was acquired by Twitter in October 2012. Users are allowed to make mini, creative movies in a simple & fun way and then share with families and friends. Within the Vine app, users can view videos from their followers in their “Home” screen. Under the “Explore” tab, Vine users can view trending posts, editor’s picks and featured or trending hashtags. Vine also allows users to view their recent activity, including new follows, comments and “likes,” all on one screen.


2. Yonder

It is a second to none app especially good for the outdoorsy types. It can discover a lot of locations around the globe as well as 22 activities such as biking, hiking, skiing, etc. Users are able to filter the searches by rock climbing, biking, skiing, and much more. Besides, it also allows users to upload photos and videos to share their activities with others or on Facebook, Twitter, email, and iMessage.


3. Osfoora 2 for Twitter

Osfoora 2 is a refresh, elegant Twitter client for iOS7. It is available in iTunes at $1.99. Sported with a minimal yet sophisticated interface, this app allows users to browse timeline, mentions, and messages. Besides, users are able to bookmark tweets, upload photos from Twitter, img.ly, Mobypicture, TwitPic, and CloudApp, and mute hashtags and users.


4. Retro – Instagram viewer for iPad

If you have got an iPad and an Instagram account, this third party client app is really an ideal choice for you. It looks great, runs smoothly and loads fast. Its key features are as below:

• Multiple accounts support

• Notifications for your photos – number of new likes/comments

• Multiple viewing modes for quick/detailed browsing of your Instagram feed

• Photo downloading

• Smart gestures for navigation and common tasks

• Read/comment/like on your feed

• See the photos you liked

• Discover popular photos


5. FastFeed for Tumblr

As its name implies, this app works perfectly for Tumblr, providing a smooth, convenient and attractive feed experience they’ve ever met. Instead of having to tap the back button eight times to get back to the first Tumblr account they were reading, just select from one of the tabs that automatically opens every time you tap a link. Currently, this app is available in iTunes for free.


2013 Social Networking Sites Survey in the U.S.

Social Networking Sites are playing a dominant role in our daily lives. Up till now, we get a long list of hundreds of SNS with the notable ones such as Face book, Twitter, Tumbler, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, Reddit, YouTube, Flickr, MySpace, Live Journal, etc.

Starting from August 7 to September 16, 2013, Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project conducted a survey on social networking usage in the U.S. The survey was based on the data from telephone interviews among a sample of 1,801 adults, age 18 and older. Without any surprise, Facebook remains the dominant social networking platform in the number of users, although some other SNS such as Pinterest and Instagram are making huge progress. There were some key findings on the survey, for example, a striking number (42%) of online adults in the U.S. are starting to use other platforms; the number of Instagram users is more or less the same as that of Facebook users on a daily basis.


Compared with last year, around 71% of online adults are using Facebook, a slight increase from the 67% of online adults who used Facebook as of late 2012. In the meanwhile, other sites have also made great progress. LinkedIn usage went from 20 percent to 22 percent; Pinterest has attracted 21% of users, 6% increase than that of last year, while Twitter has got the same great achievement with 4% increase in the number of users. As the study implies, all of those platforms have developed their own unique demographic user profiles. For example, a majority of Twitter and Instagram users are younger adults, urban dwellers, and non-whites. LinkedIn particularly appeals college graduates and internet users in higher income households. Pinterest is loved by most female users (the number of female users is nearly four times that that of male users).


As to the usage of the five specific sites (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn), the survey revealed that, about 36% of online adults use a single social networking site while 42% use two or more of the SNS at the same time. Besides, 84% of people replied that Facebook was the major and only platform that they were using frequently. In the meanwhile, 8% of people were using LinkedIn, 4% for Pinterest and 2% each for Instagram or Twitter.

Additionally, Facebook also has got the highest level of engagement with 63% users visit the site on a daily basic. As Pew told us, “with 40 percent logging on multiple times a day”, apparently, the user number of both Instagram and Twitter was much smaller, however, they have got a relatively higher frequently visiting rate. You see, around 57% of Instagram users visit the site at least once a day (with 35% doing so multiple times per day), and 46% of Twitter users are daily visitors (with 29% visiting multiple times per day). All that said, many people couldn’t help but ask “is Facebook starting to give way to those sites like Instagram and Twitter?”. There was even a small-scale media frenzy about Facebook was “dead and buried”. However, Pew didn’t specifically address the question. Come what may, Facebook stills remains the most popular social networking service among U.S, entrenching in the mainstream American life, which is something that none of its competitors can match.

Overview of Windows Phone 8

Windows Phone 8 is neither new nor strange to most people. It is the second generation of the Windows Phone mobile operating system from Microsoft. Actually, it was first debuted in November, 2012 by Microsoft. Only one year later, it’s starting to pay off, you see, it has earned a lot of customers all over the world, enjoying huge popularity. Honestly, it is not an easy road for Microsoft. Up till now, the Windows Phone has outlasted BlackBerry, made market share progress, bolstered its app store depth, and has more or less become the accepted third place mobile platform. All that said, the reasons for Windows Phone 8’s popularity are largely lie in its cool features. Which include but not limited to the following:

1. Pure Homescreen

One of the most noticeable features of Windows Phone 8 is that, it is equipped with a pure & simplified interface on which, all you can see are the essential buttons, the additional icons/buttons/chunks of texts are gone. Compared with the Android, it is much simpler – no battery, signal or Wi-Fi indicator appears unless you press the top of the screen. Besides, unlike Android’s inconsistent and diverse widgets, the Windows Phone 8′s homecreen looks neat and well organized. Additionally, all of the tiles can be resized with the original shapes unchanged.


2. Refresh & Intuitive User Interface

As most people know, intuitive user-friendly interface means a lot. Microsoft is also well aware of this fact and decided to ship a truly intuitive interface on Windows Phone 8 — it only shows what’s essential. Most contextual actions are accessed through a bar at the bottom of the screen, which is exempt of text. Besides, users are allowed to personalize the interface with their favorite colors, so that they can create a unique interface matching their own styles. Furthermore, they can also create smaller, more compact icons and bunch together four apps in the space that one icon used to occupy.


3. The Great Hardware

Let’s take a glance at some famous models of Windows Phone 8, such as Nokia Lumia 820, Lumia 920, Lumia 1520, the HTC Windows Phone 8X, etc, we will be impressed by the great hardware they own — higher resolution displays, dual-core processors, higher resolution displays, dual-core processors, NFC – supporting for sharing files between two devices and so forth. For example, Nokia Lumia 1520, it is the latest Nokia’s device which’s released this year. It came with a pretty industrial design, a gargantuan frame (6.4 x 3.36in, 162.8 x 85.4mm), quad-core chipsets, the big display, and the 1080p HD resolution to go along with a strong camera which does beautifully in taking pictures even in low light conditions and some other fun features

4. The Rooms

The fact is that, Google+ makes it quite easy to share contents like pictures in the specific circles. But when comes to the issue of chatting with friends/families while sharing files, we will inevitably get a refusal. However, this is not the case on Windows Phone 8. With its Room feature, users can chat, share pictures, calendars and notes with specific people in a single place at the same time. This clearly facilitates sharing and doesn’t even require all parties to have a Windows Phone.


Windows Phone 8 is an elegant, personable and easy-to-use mobile operating system. There’s significantly less of a selection of apps than those for Android and iOS, and the apps are different correspondingly, however, the odds are good that you’ll find whatever you need.