5 features every app needs.

Dear App Developers,
I would really appreciate it if you had incorporated these features within that sick app you’re dropping this year. These are just basic privacy and nice little touches, so if you do listen to me and basically what the internet is trying to tell you for the past oh I dunno, existence of apps, we will notice that. And we will praise you.

1. Privacy settings

Everything you know, you must tell me. The ability to see what dirt the app/company has on you is important, and it should be your choice whether you allow that or not.

And don’t try hiding it in the T&C jargon, I speak English.

I see that for safety reasons, you may need some of my personal details, but I want to know how much you’re snooping into. The fact that Snapchat saves your stories before that creep down the road does is a definite cause for concern.

2. Email me for confirmation!

When someone (or even myself) enters my Google account with another device, I instantly get an email on my recovery email and the email that got entered, saying that it has been accessed. I like that feature a lot, you can see the area and device used to enter at that specific time.

What would be better, though, is if you send a “confirm this entry” message to my recovery email (otherwise known as your backup email) just like LastPass does. It’s saved me from having important passwords nearly breached into and it gives a sense of confirmation.

Google does add a “Secure your Account” section but confirmation is both quicker and personally accessible.

3. Changing default email addresses

Trello does this nice feature where they allow you to add more email addresses, change the default one and enables the ability to redirect their subscriptions emails to another address, which is basically the icing on the cake.

Some other apps do this too, but it’s a rule of thumb that the more control you give the user, the better the experience. The balance needs to be there, though, but it works mainly because it is tailored to the user’s preference.

4. Show me the devices (I was gonna make a Jerry Maguire joke, but that would have made me sound old and JM week was a while ago too)

Now most popular apps do this, like Google and Trello. And this is helpful to keep an eye on who has control over you account, whether it’s with different devices or around the world.

The better addition would be the ability to revoke any devices if I want, like Trello – because Trello is amazing.

But if you are an Admin, a team leader or just a normal hipster being with a lot of iPads, you want that feature to make your account secure and away from prying eyes. It’s a little thing, but it helps.

5. Disability-friendly modes

So for people who can’t hear very well or have visual impairments, this would should be a vital one implemented into all apps however possible.

Here’s an infographic on the do’s and don’ts of design for those with disabilities.

BONUS: C U S T O M I S E

Tuck this little addition into your settings, and I’m sure people will appreciate the treat.

If I were you, I’d have different colour palettes that are compatible with your app so you don’t have hot pink text and illegible typefaces vandalising the project you painstakingly slaved away on.

Just give the people a little breathing space to make the app more comfortable to use.

And scene

Every little thing does actually help, and it does go noticed, and it does make life a lot more easier. If you add these, app devs, I appreciate you.

How to save Google Drive space with Gmail

Well it’s 2.35am, you’re emailing your colleagues dank memes when all of a sudden, your 15GB of space fills to the brim with errors popping everywhere. You consider getting a subscription, but you haven’t paid rent yet so you’re screwed. Here’s how to save space.

Delete them meems.

I know they mattered to you and were there for you during your divorce, but it’s okay. Go to the ‘Sent’ section of your Gmail and just delete. Delete every thing that belongs to your heart. Do the same for the spam, inbox (any unnecessary ones) and make sure to go to the bin and slay all the beasts you once called friends.

If you have any subscriptions, make sure to read (keep the precious ones if you like) and delete. This button is key to all storage saving. Once you clear up your Gmail, head to the Bin and permanently get rid of all emails.

I’m sorry pal, those memes must go.

TIP: The emails with files and attachments, if not important or is already saved, can be deleted as well. They bump the storage down a lot.

Make a new account

If you use Gmail intensively and can’t handle the onslaught of emails, make another email and redirect all subscriptions and other unrelated stuff there. You can also use it for signing up to websites or just dedicate it towards being a professional email for outsiders to contact you. It helps you be a little organised.

Now watch those numbers drop as quickly as your marriage. This was a simple but hopefully useful tip that’s helped me out a lot.

How to spot fake reviews on Amazon

In a land abundant of liars, fake reviews and misrepresentations, a ray of hope slices through darkness. The path in the Amazon rainforest is a beautiful one, if you don’t look behind at the snarling goblins. Some do, however, and they consequently fall into a pit of scams and an irritating refund policy is required to climb back out.

But the torch of FakeSpot prompts the creatures to leave in fear.

FakeSpot is pretty much a website where you paste an Amazon URL into the search bar and detect whether the product or reviews are real or not. It does this by thoroughly scanning each reviewer’s previous inspections and boom, it’s given a grade – A being not fake, F meaning hell yeah, it’s fake.

*cue angelic music*

This is a lifesaver for those cheapskates (or normal people) that value their money as if it were their organs. Once it finishes its analysis, they give you a brief, helpful summary of what people have said about the product and even makes a word map.

So be aware the next time you delve into the Amazon Rainforest for snorkelling gear. You may be submerged in falsehood, deceit and, dare I say it, waste your money.

My favourite Chrome extensions

Chrome is like a hypothetical base of LEGO, you just have to stack it up with more hypothetical LEGO. Those more hypothetical LEGO would be extensions.

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all at my disposal.

HTTPS Everywhere:
This automatically implements HTTPS security on most, if not all, sites. It encrypts the sites that don’t have that “http” or the green padlock at the beginning of the URL bar.

AdBlocker Plus:
This is the free upgrade of AdBlock that not many know about. It functions the same, just with a cleaner UI and stats to show the amount of junk that’s been thankfully avoided.

TubeBuddy:
This is the best helper for those budding YouTubers, small or big. It just makes settings and video processing a lot quicker as shortcuts are available on the TubeBuddy dashboard. You can get the free version but you can buy more features.

I have the Star upgrade (which does require money) but I highly recommend that you buy it. Purchase it through this link – I get a commission from TubeBuddy if you do: https://www.tubebuddy.com/NishatBlagh

AutoPagerize:
This just makes life a whole lot more easier by allowing pages that have several follow-on pages to just flow as one on the page. For example, searching something on Google and reaching the end of the page only to see a line of more pages is prevented because all you have to do with this extension is SCROOLLLLLL.

Whoever made this is a genius because all it does is run in the background without you activating it or something.

Password Alert:
This has saved me from losing my YouTube channel and Gmail several times. It alerts you whenever you’ve typed in your Google password into any websites that don’t have a certified Google sign up page.

Turn off the lights:
Ever have that feeling when you’re watching a video online that everything on the website is distracting you? Fear no more! cue triumphant fanfare music Turn off the lights dims the screen and lets you concentrate on what’s really important, food videos.

Disconnect:
This thing is pretty much a systematic advertisement destroyer. It analyses the adverts and social media on the page and hides it until you say otherwise. There is Advertising, Analytics, Social and Content that it removes and categorises them as requests, which you can decide to keep or not.

“Adblock is your average run-and-gunner whereas Disconnect is the hitman with no remorse. The silent killer.” – Nishat, just right now.

Panic Button:
This one is simple, map the button to a hotkey and whenever you press it, it hides your tabs in a bookmark folder and opens up a fresh new tab. That’s all you need, go wild.

The Great Suspender:
Having a computer slower than me is really bad, and having a bunch of tabs doesn’t help either. This extension just temporarily suspends the pages you haven’t entered for a certain period of time. For the sites you always want open, you can choose to place that on the whitelist.

It does the job, it’s great. My only problem would be that it suspends important tabs when I’m working and it can be a real nuisance.

Checker Plus for Gmail:
I always needed one of these, and this is probably the best. The UI is clean, so separating emails is easy. There’s a variety of settings to play around with and I love it, I use it everyday! Doesn’t even cost a penny.

LastPass:
I use LastPass on the computer because it’s free. I made a post on how to use password managers to the ultimate but that’s not what the title is called.

Yellow highlighter:
When I need to show something from an article, I find that it’s good to highlight and makes it a lot easier. This extension has been enough, but it crashes a lot. Any alternative that has the same features but performs smoother is welcome.

Pocket:
I love this extension, just click and save the article that you’re on so you can read it another time. I also have the app on my iPad and it syncs up quickly as well! Damn, this is probably one of my favourite apps all round!

That’s about it, I organise the extensions like that because I’d like some apps to work in the background whilst others are more accessible for frequent use. I didn’t mention Honey, TamperMonkey or MEGA because they aren’t worth mentioning (except maybe the latter).