Archive for month: November 2017

Instagram Makes It Even Easier for Friends to Join Your Livestream

Instagram Makes It Even Easier for Friends to Join Your Livestream

Instagram is adding the option to request to join a livestream! Not long ago, Instagram added the ability to invite friends to join your livestream. About a month ago, users across Instagram found they could “go live with a friend” by inviting a friend into their live video. This would create a split screen live video with both users live at the same time.

Being able to include friends in livestreams is useful in many ways. It can be simply a fun way for friends to join up, chat, and have fun. It could also be used for more professional accounts to put out content with guests—for example, Instagram users could livestream interviews of other users.

Before, Instagram users had to invite their friends to join in. Now users can also add the option for friends to request to join. If you have the option enabled, a friend can let you know they want to join in on your video. All the user has to do is click a button that says “Request” underneath the video’s comments. If the user accepts a request for someone else to join, the person joining in will get an alert that their request has been accepted. The screen will then split in two—if you’re in portrait mode, the streams will sit on top of one another, while if you’re in landscape mode, the streams will be side-by-side. Right now, it’s only possible for two users to be in a live video at one time.

No worries, though—only mutual friends get access to this new feature. You won’t have random strangers asking to join in on your livestream. Also, if you’re worried you’ll get too many requests (particularly if you’re Instafamous and follow a ton of people back), you can always just turn off the feature. Instagram made a smart decision when they chose to allow users to disable the requesting feature—it would surely become annoying quickly if a user was creating a livestream and was flooded with requests from friends.

With this new update, Instagram is making their platform even more appealing to livestreamers and vloggers. With Facebook upping its game regularly, most recently with the addition of Facebook Creator, and with Instagram’s new developments, it’s clear that social media platforms are particularly focused on improving livestreaming and video publishing. Check out Instagram’s newest feature and see what you think!

 

Facebook Creating Tool to Address Russian Activity

Facebook Creating Tool to Address Russian Activity

Facebook will soon release a tool that lets you see whether you interacted with any Russia-run Facebook pages during the 2016 election. Not too long ago, The Guardian reported that 126 million Americans probably saw Russia-backed pages that were working to interfere with the most recent presidential election. Facebook thinks there were likely 120 fake pages working to influence the political atmosphere from 2015 up to this year.

Since all this news has come out about the political trolling that happened on Facebook, many people have surely wondered whether they were the victims of any of these fake pages. Many people interacted with the fake pages and had no idea what the underlying agendas really were. Facebook’s upcoming tool is the answer to this.

In a press release titled “Continuing Transparency on Russian Activity,” Facebook wrote on the 22nd that they were working on a “portal” that would help people figure out how they interacted with the Russian Internet Research Agency on both Facebook and Instagram. Specifically, it will show whether a user liked or followed any of these Russia-run pages from 2015 to 2017. This tool will be released before the year ends.

The screenshot in Facebook’s press release shows a section in the Facebook Help Center that features the soon-to-be-released tool. In the screenshot, it shows a list of different pages (with some examples including “Being Patriotic” and “Blacktivist”) with the pages’ profile photos. Next to each page is a “Like/Follow Date” that shows when the page was interacted with.

Of course, so far it looks like it will only show whether you liked a page or followed it. Based on what has been released so far, it doesn’t appear to show whether you simply liked a post or commented on one. These pages could have influenced many people even if users simply saw them shared from friends and then interacted with individual posts.

This portal, though, will at least show whether a user was following or supporting a page that Facebook says “tried to sow division and mistrust” over the course of the last election. It’s important to know whether we have seen and trusted these pages, because it may help us learn how to spot misleading news and posts in the future. Facebook and other online sites can be powerful tools in the wrong hands, and Facebook’s upcoming portal in the Help Center may be able to show us just how influential these political pages have been.

Using the Internet to Meet New People

Using the Internet to Meet New People

Meeting new people can often be difficult, but with a little help from the internet, the process can be a bit less painful. It can be particularly hard to meet new people when you move to a new town. Or if friends move away, or if you just want to form a new group of friends or meet a potential friend who shares a common interest, it can sometimes seem awful trying to meet new people.

There are a lot of apps and websites for finding romantic partners, but there are also plenty of ways to make a new best friend through the power of the internet. Here are just a few ways you can use the internet to find a new friend!

Join Meetup

Meetup is a website (with an accompanying app) that’s been around for more than a decade. Meetup is a great way to connect with people who have something in common with you. On Meetup, you can join different groups that are based around certain interests and then meet regularly with the group members. There are Meetups for people who like Harry Potter, enjoy hiking, want to discuss romance novels, and just about anything you can think of. If the Meetup doesn’t exist yet, you can just create it yourself.

Meetups happen in whatever location works best—a park, a party room, a library, wherever it works. Members of the group let everyone else know whether they’re going to each event, and they can also add a description of themselves in their profile so other group members can learn a little about them.

There are Meetups all across the United States. Just choose a category and enter your city to see what’s available near you, or perform a search for a specific interest. Then actually go to the meetings! You’ll get to interact face-to-face with people who have something in common with you and who are purposely trying to meet up with other people. It’s perfect for making new BFFs.

Join Facebook groups

There are Facebook groups for absolutely everything, so why not meet new friends through one? Try looking for certain interests with your city’s name tacked onto the end. Or just search for your specific city and state and see what pops up under the Groups results.

There are often local groups for people who share interests. For instance, I’m part of a local group of vegetarians (though I never quite make it to the get-togethers, sadly). There are groups for people who play certain tabletop games or read certain books. Search around on Facebook, find some that interest you, and get a feel on whether group members like to meet up. Then make sure to show up!

Find Facebook events

Facebook events are a great way to get out and meet new people. You can search through local Facebook events and find plenty of events to go to. Events like art shows and theater performances can lead to forming friendships. Just go to local events and talk to the people you encounter. You’re all at the same event, so you already know something you have in common.

You can also find events for things like upcoming flashmobs or social activism opportunities. These are also good ways to meet likeminded people while doing something fun or important.

Look for volunteer opportunities

Volunteering is important for many reasons, most importantly the fact that there are people in need all across the world. While you’re volunteering, you can also strike up conversation with the people alongside you. Look for volunteering opportunities that you really care about. Then you’ll not only be doing good for others, you’ll also be able to talk about something you’re passionate about. Keep volunteering regularly and get to know your fellow volunteers—you’ll be helping others while involving yourself in the community.

Join a non-dating service

Yes, there are websites and apps for people who just want to find a new friend (nothing more). Hey! VINA is one that is specifically for women to find female friends. Wiith is available for men and women to find friends. And there’s also FriendMatch, which helps people find local friends and friends from elsewhere. All these websites are meant to learn about you and help match you with compatible friends in your area. As always, exercise caution with match-up websites—but try them out and see who you can find!

Tech Spotlight

Tech Spotlight

It’s time for another Tech Spotlight, where I talk about three cool tech items available on Amazon! This week, all three items have to do in some way with health or outdoor activities—not just for us humans, but for our pets, too. I know, we’ve just had Black Friday, and we’ve all looked at a lot of things to buy. But this tech will be perfect for you or for someone you’re buying for this Christmas. Log in to your Amazon account and check out this week’s tech!

Bellabeat Leaf Urban Health Tracker | Rose Gold

I’m sure we’ve all seen the different health trackers that are available, and many of us have used them at some point. Bellabeat Leaf is different from most because it helps people understand and track aspects of their health while also incorporating fashion elements. Bellabeat Leaf is a pretty and sleek-looking piece of jewelry that can be worn many ways, like as a necklace, bracelet, or (as pictured on the product page) as a clip. Instead of being an obvious bit of tech, it looks like a statement piece that can be worn every day.

Bellabeat Leaf tracks many different activities, like steps and burned calories, and it also tracks things to do with sleep, meditation, periods, and stress. It can track quality of sleep, fertility, and sensitivity to stress, and it can set up meditation sessions, plus even more features.

Your information is sent to the device’s app so you can keep track of different aspects of your health. You can also sync your information to apps like Google Fit and Apple Health, so if you already use those apps or simply prefer them, you can stick with them.

There are different designs for the smart jewelry, as well, so you have options when it comes to appearance. There are even different colors (aside from rose gold, there is also silver).

If you want to keep up with and track your health, Bellabeat Leaf is a fun and different choice. You can track health and look good while doing so. Check out Bellabeat Leaf if you’re interested in a pretty, fun, and different way to stay fit!

Lifepack Solar Powered and Anti-Theft Backpack with laptop storage

This backpack by Lifepack includes some really useful tech. If you’d like to be able to charge devices and listen to music while you’re out with your backpack on, this is for you. The Lifepack includes what they call their “Solarbank” with three different features. Its design is also meant to be extremely helpful.

The “Solarbank” in this Lifepack is comprised of a power bank so you can charge devices, a solar charger to refill your power, and Bluetooth speakers in the backpack. This could be useful for most people who want to use a backpack, but of course, it could be especially helpful if you’re going outdoors and maybe going for a hike or camping. If you’re a student, you could feel more confident about keeping your phone and tablet charged while on campus.

It’s also designed to be secure and survive inclement weather. It has a lock built into it, so you won’t have to buy your own to keep your things safe. It also comes with a rain cover so you can protect your stuff and the backpack’s tech if there’s rain in the forecast.

If you use a backpack regularly, owning one with this kind of tech integrated could make life much easier. Check out the Lifepack for a fun and useful backpack option!

CleverPet Hub – Exercise Your Pet’s Mind + Body

You’re not the only one who needs to exercise and keep your mind in top shape—your pets do, as well. The CleverPet Hub is a cool way to keep your pet moving and active. Many pets can get restless around the house, or they can have so much pent-up energy it’s hard to know what to do. This item can help with that.

The product description notes that neuroscientists designed the CleverPet Hub. It’s meant to stimulate your pet’s mind and keep him or her engaged throughout the day. The Hub offers challenges to your pets and can motivate them with food as they solve puzzles. You can set up a schedule for your pet to use the Hub and then track your pet’s activity through the accompanying app.

It’s also important to note that the Hub is meant to be extremely durable and stay put while being used. The device is designed not to move across the floor as it’s played with. It’s also made of material that’s very hard to damage—the product description says the Hub’s dome hasn’t been broken into yet, despite being used by thousands of dogs. So even if you have a particularly wild pet, the CleverPet Hub is a viable option.

This product is great for people who have pets that need more stimulation and activity than they can offer. It’s also just a great idea to keep pets playing and moving around. Check out the CleverPet Hub if you have a pet that could benefit from an engaging new pet device.

Uber Hid Hack That Exposed User Data

Uber Hid Hack That Exposed User Data

Uber is in the news right now for being hacked—over a year ago. The company is dealing with the fallout of hiding this hack and going to great lengths to keep it secret.

According to Bloomberg, about 57 million people had their data stolen by the hackers—this includes riders and drivers. The affected people are not from one area; this hack reached all over the world. Some of the data that was stolen is users’ names, driver’s license numbers, and contact information (email addresses and phone numbers) for people who used Uber. This attack occurred in October of last year.

Uber is now letting people go as more details emerge. It seems that Uber actually paid the hackers to get rid of the stolen data and hide the fact that the hack even happened. The hackers were paid $100,000. At least two of the people involved in keeping the hack under wraps have already been removed from the company.

More is coming for Uber, though, as they’re already being investigated. Plus, as expected, a class-action suit is already in the works. Many are understandably upset to learn that Uber did everything it could to keep the news about the hack secret.

Right now, it’s hard to find out who has been impacted by this hack. But just in case, if you use Uber, you should certainly take a few steps to make sure you’re not negatively affected. Be sure to do the following:

  • Change your Uber password
  • Keep a close eye on your account
  • Keep watch for any news about how to find out who was affected, either from a news outlet or Uber email (in case they decide to email people who were affected)

More news about this hack seems to be coming out regularly. Since Uber hid this attack for so long, it’s completely possible there is more to learn about the breach from last year. Keep an eye out for Uber in the news, and in the meantime, just keep a close watch on your accounts.

Internet 101: Following the News Online

Internet 101: Following the News Online

Keeping up with the news online can seem tricky at times. There are a lot of news sources out there, and not everyone gets enough out of simply checking a couple news websites every day.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to keep track of the news online. Here are just some of the ways you can keep up with the news from your computer or smartphone:

Use social media

Facebook
Facebook is an increasingly popular way to keep up with the news. There are a lot of benefits to doing this, but there are definitely downsides to keep in mind. Some of the benefits are below:

  • Friends often share articles with similar interests to yours
  • You can follow most news sites on their Facebook pages
  • You can get notifications when the page posts
  • You can create a separate feed with just news pages in it
  • Everything is combined in one place instead of scattered among different sites

Some of the downsides are below:

  • If you don’t create a separate feed for news, you will see a lot of non-credible sources with misinformation
  • Facebook feeds aren’t typically in chronological order
  • Some pages don’t show up in your feed as often as others
  • It’s difficult to personalize the notifications you get
  • You have to hide sources you don’t want to see

Overall, if you’re careful, you might enjoy using Facebook for online news. But it’s not particularly advised to only use Facebook for news, especially if you don’t create a separate news feed for it.

Twitter
Twitter is another popular social media option for news. Like with Facebook, there’s always a chance for false news and the spread of misinformation. However, there are some great aspects of Twitter when it comes to getting your news online. For instance, you can choose to follow most news organizations on Twitter. You can also look at what’s trending very easily. Also, news typically breaks more quickly on Twitter than on Facebook. Sometimes news breaks on Twitter before it even makes it onto most news websites.

Try an RSS app (or other aggregator app)

RSS feeds are a tried-and-true source for news. RSS stands for “rich site summary,” or sometimes “really simple syndication.” RSS feeds are available on many websites (though its popularity may have waned somewhat). It compiles the new information or updates from a website. For instance, RSS feeds for a news website will update each time a news article is posted. These updates show the news post in a stripped-down and basic format.

With access to a website’s RSS feed (which is still often linked to on many websites), a news aggregator can be created. An aggregator can compile all the updates from numerous different feeds. This means a custom news aggregator could show all the updates for the news sites you choose. There are also aggregators that don’t rely on RSS, using their own methods to compile news from different sources.

There are ways to create custom feeds on both a desktop and through an app. Apps are a highly popular way to access news aggregators. They allow access to the news everywhere you go with your phone. Here are just some of the RSS apps you might try, plus one aggregator that isn’t RSS:

Feedly
Feedly is available in the App Store and on Google Play. You can choose what’s included in your feed. Not only can it include blogs and news sites with RSS feeds, it can even include YouTube channels that you follow. You can also browse for other sources that might interest you.

Flipboard
Flipboard is a hugely popular aggregator available in the App Store and on Google Play. It doesn’t typically work like most other RSS apps. You choose interests and topics, and then Flipboard creates a personalized e-magazine of sorts for you. It tends to bring you content that you might not have found otherwise. However, you now have the option to add other RSS feeds to your magazine. If you know the URL to your favorite news website’s RSS feed, you can direct your Flipboard magazine to it.

Flym
Flym is another more typical RSS aggregator app and is available on Google Play. It allows you to add all your RSS feeds to one place. You can even read content offline. You can search through articles and create filters for your feed. Flym is a straightforward option for news aggregating.

Inoreader
Inoreader is available in the App Store and on Google Play. It offers different topics you can choose from to see in your feed. You can also choose from different news sources, and you can use a link to an RSS feed to add a different source to your feed if it’s not readily available in the app. It allows offline reading, and it also tracks what you’ve read so it only shows you unread articles when you open the app. Inoreader is another straightforward option for compiling your news in one app.

Nuzzel
Nuzzel is the non-RSS app in this list. It’s available in the App Store and on Google Play. With Nuzzel, you simply build a custom feed by choosing between feeds on different topics and in different areas. Feeds can also center around certain types of people, like people in a specific profession. You can open the app to scroll through your customized feed, and you can get custom newsletters sent to you. If you don’t necessarily want or need to mess with finding specific news sites to add to your app, Nuzzel is a good option.

Use an RSS aggregator website

As mentioned above, you can combine numerous RSS feeds into one place. This doesn’t necessarily have to be done through an app. If you prefer to read your news on a desktop, here are some websites you might use:

Digg
Digg is majorly popular in the RSS feed world. You can explore top stories and other categories. You can also add different RSS feeds to your personal feed. This is a great website for building a customized feed and also discovering new feeds you might want to add to your own.

Feedly
Feedly has already been mentioned—its app is listed above. But you can also use Feedly’s website instead of an app. It essentially works the same way as through the app. You get the same features, but you don’t have to download another app to your phone. Their website doesn’t work great from, say, a smartphone, so you’ll certainly want the app if you’re on a mobile device of some sort. But if you’re on your computer, Feedly’s website works well.

Create Google News alerts

If you want to keep really up-to-date with specific topics, Google News alerts are the way to go. It’s different from scrolling through the news, of course—you just get alerts for news stories you’ve chosen. But this can be great if you mostly follow the news casually and have a few specific things you want to be really on top of.

It’s easy to set up an alert. From the Google News alerts page, just enter what you want alerts for. Then you can look at more settings and decide how often you want to receive alerts, what kind of sources they should come from (blogs, videos, etc.), and even what region the content is coming from. It will even show you a preview of the kind of content you’ll receive. Check out Google News alerts if there are specific subjects you want to follow closely.

Subscribe to emails from news websites

This one seems obvious, mostly because it’s a fairly old-school way to keep up with the news. It’s still really useful for a lot of people, so give it a try. Most news websites will give you the option to sign up for newsletters or get things like daily digests on certain types of news.

But of course, if you’re interested in multiple websites, you can accumulate a lot of emails. Also, you might not want to have news mixed in with your personal emails. And it can sometimes be hard to personalize it.

If you only have one or two websites you’re interested in and you’re not worried about too much customization, go to your favorite websites and look for email signups. You can often find this at the bottom of the website.

Use a smart speaker

You can also get your news online in a different way—through audio. If you have a smart speaker, like an Amazon Echo, you can set your device up to give you news updates. For instance, in your Alexa Skills, you can enable skills like CNN Flash Briefing, NPR Hourly News Summary, and even local news stations. These are added to your Flash Briefing ability, and you can then ask Alexa to play your Flash Briefing. You can reorder how the news reports play, and you can enable and disable them whenever you want. If you want to listen to your news updates, take a look at your smart device and see what options are available.

(Featured image: all-free-download.com)

‘Facebook Creator’ Now Available

‘Facebook Creator’ Now Available

Facebook has released an app for better Facebook videos. Facebook Live has grown more and more popular over the relatively short time it’s existed. Many content creators have chosen Facebook as their platform for creativity, building a fanbase and releasing videos regularly. Facebook has become a real competitor in the world of video creation. With Facebook Creator, the platform is making things even more appealing for people looking to share their videos.

Facebook Creator is an app that’s currently available in the App Store and will be coming soon to Google Play. (According to TechCrunch, it will be available for Android in the “coming months.”) It offers a lot of useful things for people who make videos on Facebook. For one thing, the Live Creative Kit in the app offers fun and creative tools for customizing a video. You can use the app to add a frame to your Live video, and you can add stickers.

An especially exciting part of this Creative Kit, though, is the ability to add intros and outros to videos. This lets video creators have even more control over what they’re sharing and get more creative. Adding these intro and outro clips to videos makes it easier for people like vloggers to use their typical branding and make their videos clearly their own.

Facebook Creator will also make it easier to communicate while going live. According to the description in the App Store, the app gathers all of the video creator’s messages in one place, including the comments being left on the video. This makes it much easier to respond to viewers, as it’s no longer necessary to watch your communication from several different places.

The Facebook Creator website also mentions a cool way you can interact with viewers through the app. Facebook Creator includes Live With, which lets live broadcasters bring other people into their videos. People who are making a Live video can see who’s viewing the video and invite specific people from that list to join their broadcast.

Facebook Creator is currently offering what’s called “early access” to the community through their website. As previously mentioned, it’s currently only available for iOS. If you’re interested in posting Facebook Live videos, check out Facebook Creator and see what it has to offer!

‘The Lord of the Rings’ Coming to Amazon

‘The Lord of the Rings’ Coming to Amazon

Middle Earth will be coming to our screens again, this time through a show on Amazon! The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have been hugely popular works for decades. J.R.R. Tolkien’s stories set in Middle Earth have been a big part of popular culture for a long time. The books themselves have been on most book-lovers’ shelves over the years, and though there have not been too many adaptations, Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings in the early- and mid-2000s brought Tolkien’s world to even those who don’t have the time or desire to read the original works.

The Lord of the Rings films took the world by storm. According to Forbes, the three films made $2.91 billion in ticket sales alone. They were also very well-received by audiences and critics, as I well remember and as can be seen in their scores on Rotten Tomatoes—all three films in the trilogy have a Tomatometer score above 90%.

Since the huge success of these films, there have also been attempts to continue with more adaptations. The Hobbit films took Tolkien’s shorter book and turned it into three films. These films, however, were less warmly received. The second film in the trilogy has a Tomatometer score of 75%, the highest score among the three, while the final film has a score of only 60%. Many fans have criticized the films for being unnecessary, changing the story too much, and trying too hard to replicate the previous trilogy of films.

Perhaps because of the more lackluster response to the Hobbit films, the news of Amazon’s upcoming show has people talking. It’s important to note that over the past decades, Tolkien’s works have often been very difficult to adapt due to Tolkien’s estate. Tolkien’s son, Christopher Tolkien, was one of the directors of the estate for many years and was notably careful with what could be done with his late father’s works. However, in a shocking bit of news, it has now been revealed that Christopher Tolkien exited his role in the estate all the way back at the end of August. Many now question whether this is how Amazon has gained the chance to create its upcoming show.

All the recent news has been confusing and concerning for some fans, while other fans are simply excited. Though it’s too early to guess how Amazon’s show will eventually be received, we do at least know a little bit about what Amazon plans for the series. In Amazon’s recent press release, fans learned a bit more about what to expect. The series is already being called a “multi-season television series,” meaning they certainly don’t plan for the show to be a one-off. And interestingly, it’s noted that the show will be set before the events taking place in The Lord of the Rings. Because of this, fans are left to theorize about what material might be used and what the focus of the show will be.

Again, it’s far too early to really know what to expect. And naturally, though many fans are worried, many others are excitedly anticipating a TV show set in Tolkien’s world. If Amazon can replicate the success of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, fans will certainly be grateful. The whirlwind of news this week has a lot of people talking, but the fact is, it will likely be quite a long while before we know anything more concrete about the upcoming adaptation. I know I’ll be waiting impatiently for more news from Middle Earth!

Airbnb Improving Service for People with Disabilities

Airbnb Improving Service for People with Disabilities

It should soon become easier for people with disabilities to use Airbnb’s services. Airbnb is working to improve its accessibility by acquiring Accomable. Accomable is essentially a more accessible version of Airbnb. It offered listings for places to stay that showed relevant information for people with disabilities.

Accomable will soon be “winding down its business,” according to TechCrunch. Instead it will be working to make Airbnb more accessible for people. Airbnb is a hugely popular website and app that lets people list their homes for people to stay in. People who don’t necessarily want to stay in a hotel while they travel can instead search for listings of homes they can stay in during trips. Before Airbnb’s new move toward accessibility, people searching through listings could only see whether a place was wheelchair accessible.

Now Airbnb is including the option to search for things like step-free room entry and listings for places with doorways wide enough for wheelchairs to go through, according to CNET. Accomable will also be moving its accessibility-focused listings over to Airbnb, and Airbnb will be working to make its website more accessible for people with visual impairment.

All of these moves make it clear that Airbnb hopes to build a bigger client base and do better for people with disabilities. Airbnb has more than four million listings, and they’ve had more than 2.5 million guests stay through their service. But moving away from their lackluster offerings in the area of accessibility may make it more possible for people with disabilities to actually take a second look at Airbnb.

Airbnb’s website already has the new accessibility search options added, and they’ll be coming to their apps soon. Importantly, Airbnb has suggested that this is just the beginning. They note that the changes they’re making are important, but that there’s still more to do and it’s just the “start of an ongoing conversation.” If all goes well, people with disabilities will soon be able to take advantage of Airbnb’s services and feel confident in the listings they choose.

Exercise Your Mind with Apps

Exercise Your Mind with Apps

In case you didn’t know, smartphones and tablets aren’t just for playing Clash of Clans and watching viral cat videos at any given moment. Mobile devices can also be used to expand your knowledge and keep you in good mental shape!

There are many apps available that can help people exercise their minds and learn more about mentally-challenging subjects. There are, of course, games like Sudoku and crossword puzzles readily available. Other apps, though, use games and other techniques to do things like keep your mind fit and improve your memory. Though these apps have not all been studied to see what the results of using them are, they are at least entertaining and typically feel good to play.

If you’re like me, you might decide to keep at least one app on your phone or tablet that is slightly more educational than your typical bubble shooter game. Here is just a sampling of apps you might want to use to keep your brain on its toes (so to speak):

Brain Yoga Brain Training Game

Brain Yoga is an app available through Google Play and in the App Store. The app uses games to improve many aspects of the mind, including improving memory and vocabulary. There are currently eleven different kinds of puzzle games, and there are different ranges on difficulty for each one. The description in Google Play specifically mentions there isn’t any “timer pressure” and there aren’t any “high scores,” meaning there’s no stress. The games are bright, colorful, and clean. Brain Yoga is a good option for a multi-purpose mind exercise app.

Elevate – Brain Training Games

Elevate is another multi-use mind training app that is available on Google Play and in the App Store. The app has over 40 games, and it helps with things like productivity and math. It also strengthens memory and other cognitive processes. It personalizes your challenges for you as you use it, and it makes a point to challenge its users. Check out Elevate for a personalized and expansive set of mind-exercising games.

Lumosity – Brain Training

Lumosity is available on Google Play and in the App Store. It has over 50 games intended to improve your brain in many different ways. It’s touted on their website as being “created by scientists and game designers.” The games do things like improve memory and the ability to pay attention. It also keeps track of your progress and shows you how your training is going. Lumosity is a hugely popular mind exercise app. Take a look at their website to see what Lumosity has to offer.

Mind Games

Mind Games is a multi-purpose brain exercise app that is on Google Play and in the App Store. It has almost three dozen games intended to exercise the mind in areas like attention and vocabulary. Many of the listed games also focus on improving memory. The app will show you a graph of the progress you’ve made, so you can keep track of how you’re doing. The app description does note that some of the games can be played up to three times and then must be upgraded to play more, but since there are quite a few games, this may not become an issue. Mind Games is a decently popular option for exercising your mind.

Peak

Peak can be found on Google Play and in the App Store. It focuses on a range of different skills, like coordination, emotional control, and like most others, memory. There are more than 40 available games, and the App Store description notes the games were “developed by neuroscientists and game experts.” The app is free, but you can also get access to Pro features for a cost. You can also go up against your friends who have the app, giving this app a bit of a competitive air. Peak is a fairly well-known and expansive choice for a multi-use mind training app.