Say Goodbye to Swype Keyboard

Say Goodbye to Swype Keyboard

Swype, the enormously popular swipe keyboard, is no more. As of right now, Swype is not available to download from Google Play or the App Store.

The Swype keyboard has now been discontinued, bringing to an end one of the most popular keyboard apps—and one of the earliest swipe keyboards, the one that helped popularize swiping to text in the first place.

Swype came onto the scene back in the 2000s, and it eventually introduced a lot of people to the swipe keyboard. It allowed people to do something they’d possibly never done before—swipe their fingers across the keys to write words quickly and easily. It eventually grew to offer more than just its predictive text. It could learn your writing style, it let you customize its appearance (including its layout) and features, and it offered voice to text.

Since Swype launched and became wildly popular, more and more keyboard apps have been released with similar features. And if you’re using a recent smartphone, you very likely can swipe to text on the default keyboard, meaning you might not even think to try out a third-party keyboard app. This may not necessarily be a reason for Swype’s end, but it does mean that there was already a great deal of competition, and another keyboard app can likely take its place.

The reason Swype is being discontinued, according to a statement given to XDA Developers, is because Nuance, the developers, plan to focus more on other areas in the tech world. Particularly, they mention “AI-powered solutions” for other markets. They also note that the tech used for Swype will still be used elsewhere.

Though users who have already downloaded Swype can keep using it, it can’t be downloaded from Google Play or the App Store. It also won’t be updated or supported further in the future, meaning it’s now in its final incarnation.

Just last week, I wrote an article describing some of the most popular keyboard apps available now. While Swype may be going away, there are still quite a few other keyboard apps that can make typing better. If you use Swype and want to see what other good alternatives there are, check out my article, then say a fond farewell to the soon-to-be-missed Swype.

(Featured image: Swype website)

Tech Spotlight

Tech Spotlight

Welcome back to our Tech Spotlight, where you can find cool new tech! Every week I’m telling you all about my newest tech finds, from tech accessories to apps to smart devices. All of these items can be found on Amazon, so hopefully you have your Prime account ready to go. This week, I’m showcasing a Bluetooth car transmitter, cooking device, and stylus. Happy shopping!

ZOETOUCH FM Transmitter Bluetooth Car Kit

This transmitter from ZOETOUCH makes it easier to listen to your music of choice while you’re in your car. On top of that, you can take hands-free calls and even charge your devices.

The car kit offers four ways to play music through the transmitter. You can connect via Bluetooth and have your music play over the FM radio. Or you can plug a flash drive into the transmitter, plug an MP3 player in with a cable, or play music from a TF or micro SD card.

You can also use the transmitter’s LCD display and microphone to see who’s calling and answer hands-free. The device is flexible, so you can move it to point in your direction as it’s plugged into your car’s cigarette lighter. And it has two USB ports for charging your other devices, as well.

If listening to the radio just isn’t good enough anymore, or if you want an easy way to take calls in the car, give ZOETOUCH’s Car Kit a look!

ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide

The ChefSteps Joule is a cooking device for anyone, including people with smart devices. This sous vide machine is a high-tech way to cook in any home.

With Joule, you can cook sous vide in a precise and convenient way. All you need to cook is a pot, water, a Ziploc bag, your phone, and the Joule. Sous vide involves cooking food in a water bath at a particular temperature, which the Joule manages nicely. Using the app on your phone, you can maintain the proper water temperature. Just place the Joule, with its magnetic base, in the pan and control everything with the Joule app.

The Joule also makes it easy to control how you cook. You can use the app’s “Visual Doneness” feature to see what food will look like, and you can also find cooking guides in the app. Making things even easier, you can control the Joule with just your voice—if you have Alexa. Joule can be controlled through its Alexa skill, so you don’t even have to pick up your phone to cook with the machine.

If you already have a sous vide machine, the Joule is a small, durable, and smart choice for an upgrade. If you aren’t already cooking sous vide, try out the Joule for precise cooking!

Gouler Active Stylus Digital Pen

This stylus from Gouler makes the Tech Spotlight because of its great reviews, ease of use, and fine point. Many styluses are large and rounded, and they sometimes don’t pair well with every device. This stylus is the answer to those problems.

Gouler’s Digital Pen has a copper tip that won’t wear out, and its point is much smaller than the typical stylus (just 1.6mm). It works with most devices, including most iPads, iPhones, Samsung devices, and more. The Digital Pen is an active stylus, which means it is an electronic device, unlike the passive stylus, which isn’t electronic and simply works like a finger pressing on the screen.

This product comes with a USB cord for charging the pen before use. After a full charge, the Digital Pen can work for up to 10 hours. It has LEDs to show when charging is complete—during charging, the LED will be red, and once it’s fully charged, the LED will turn blue.

Gouler’s Digital Pen is a great choice to replace your passive stylus, whether you’re drawing or writing on your device. Check out their active stylus for a better writing experience!

Google Docs or Microsoft Word—Which Is Right For You?

Google Docs or Microsoft Word—Which Is Right For You?

Depending on how much you write, you may already know that you have options when it comes to the software you use to create documents. But many people are unaware that they really do have choices.

Document creation has come a long way since the earliest word processors—especially considering they were often their own separate machines. Eventually, word processors became available as software, leading to word processors like WordPerfect (which was hugely popular for years). Microsoft Word, after being released in the 80s, eventually rose to take the top spot and has remained the standard word processor since.

Because Microsoft Word is so popular, and because it so often comes along with PCs being purchased, it can be easy sometimes to forget there are other avenues for document creation. In fact, there are quite a few available word processors, like Apache OpenOffice Writer, WordPerfect, and Pages (Apple’s word processor).

An interesting, and newer, addition to the word processing family is the web word processor. Instead of only being offered as software to download, some word processors are accessed on the web. Google Docs is a good example of this kind of word processor. Released in the mid-2000s, Google Docs has become one of the better-known word processors. It can be downloaded on some devices, but it’s primarily a web application.

Microsoft Word and Google Docs are two particularly popular word processors, one of which is primarily used as downloadable software, the other typically accessed online. In this article, I’ll go over some of the basics of the two offerings, make note of what they have in common, and talk about what makes them special. This can help give an idea of which word processor sounds best to you!

What are the basics?

Before we get into more details, let’s take a look at some of the basic information on both word processors.

Microsoft Word

  • Cost—Depending on the package, as low as $6.99/mo.
  • Compatibility—For PC & Mac; Android, iOS, & Windows devices; web version available
  • Number of devices—Depends on the package; from 1 computer to multiple computers, tablets, and phones

Google Docs

  • Cost—Free
  • Compatibility—For any computer with access to a modern browser; Android & iOS devices
  • Number of devices—As many as you want

What do they have in common?

Microsoft Word and Google Docs are alike in some ways, including some shared features. Some of these features are basic and what one would expect from a word processor. Here are some of the ways they’re alike.

Both Word and Google Docs:

  • include basic formatting features, like font choice, text color, highlighting, and paragraph spacing
  • can include tables, charts, and footnotes
  • offer spell-checking, dictionary look-up, and word count
  • can include images
  • provide formatting presets, like headers, footers, and a table of contents
  • offer the ability to review or analyze documents with word counts, comments, and accessibility checks
  • have options for view modes, like page orientation, zoom, and rulers
  • have extensive help services for better understanding how to use them
  • work with keyboard shortcuts
  • offer document templates
  • offer the ability to save to the cloud

There are many more basic similarities, many of which are standard across most word processors.

What makes Word different?

Word does differ from Google Docs in some ways other than the fact that Google Docs is web-based. Here are some of the ways Word sets itself apart:

Some special features:
Image use—Though it’s not necessarily easy to manipulate or place images in Word, there are more ways to do so than you can find in Google Docs. For instance, Word users can add frames and effects to their images, and there are quite a few options for changing how they’re laid out on the page.

Mail options—If you’re using Word to create mailings, you have useful features available to you. You can create envelopes and use features like Mail Merge, which makes it easy to create personalized versions of your document for each person on your mailing list.

Extensive reference choices—With Word, you can expect to have all the options you need to format your academic or professional documents. There are options for footnotes, citations, cross-references, and more that get into the smallest of details.

Connections
Microsoft Word connects well with other Microsoft products, like those found in the Office suite. It also connects to OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage service.

Ease of use
Because Microsoft Word is typically accessed offline, it’s usually easy to open and manage files, even without an internet connection.

Of course, one complaint some users have about Word is that there are simply too many options, making it overwhelming and confusing. It can be difficult to find what you need, considering there are so many different ribbons with different content and options.

What makes Google Docs different?

Google Docs has things to offer that Word currently does not. Here are just some of the ways Docs is different from Word:

Some special features
Collaboration—Though there is a way to collaborate with others using Word, Google Docs makes it much, much easier. Anyone added to the document can add comments, track changes, and see what other collaborators have already said. You can even watch the document being edited by others in real-time, making it easier to work together. And there’s a chat option, so if you have the document open at the same time as another collaborator, you can message them directly.

Easy version tracking—With Google Docs, it’s easy to keep up with edits to the document. Collaborators can see who made which edits, and you can also name your different versions for easier access later. The different versions are displayed in an easy to follow column, including color coding when there is more than one person working on the document.

Connections
Google Docs connects well with other Google services, like their cloud storage service, Google Drive. It can also convert and open Microsoft Word documents.

Ease of use
Despite what you might think, it’s easy to access your files with Google Docs—even offline. Many worry that using a web-based word processor means their files can only be accessed when they’re connected. However, Google Docs allows for offline access as long as this is enabled in your settings. You also aren’t restricted to saving documents into just the cloud. You can save your documents to your computer, including saving them in multiple different formats, like .docx (Word format) and PDF.

Also, one of the main reasons Google Docs is so popular is because of its clean and usable interface. Though there are certainly fewer features (including fewer available add-ons), meaning you can’t necessarily customize your document as fully as you can with Word, it does make Google Docs less intimidating.

Everything is clearly displayed in the toolbars and dropdowns. One of the only times someone is likely to become confused is if they’ve switched from Word and are trying to look for a specific feature that isn’t included. Also, many features Word users are used to are only included in add-ons, which isn’t as intuitive as it would be if the features were already included. However, this does allow Docs users to decide which features they need instead of becoming bogged down.

Final thoughts

Overall, Microsoft Word and Google Docs do offer many of the same basic word processing features. However, Microsoft Word offers more extensive and detailed formatting of documents, while Google Docs is excellent when it comes to collaboration and ease of use.

It might be as simple as this: if you want access to a great deal of detailed features and are willing to pay for it, Word may be best for you, especially if you’re too used to relying on its many options.

However, if you don’t mind having fewer options, Google Docs could easily meet your needs for free while also taking away some of the stress of collaborating with others and eliminating the confusion that comes with so many different options.

9 Subreddits That Prove You Should Be on Reddit

9 Subreddits That Prove You Should Be on Reddit

In the past, Reddit has seemed to some people like a confusing or inaccessible place on the web. There’s a little bit of an impression that it’s not really for everyone. But the truth is, Reddit is filled with all different kinds of content.

What is Reddit?

Reddit is a website that has multitudes of different online communities for people to join or follow. The different sections on Reddit are called subreddits. There are subreddits for all sorts of different things, like nature, music, television, film. You can follow more adult subreddits, or you can keep it PG—you have many options.

Redditors (people with a free Reddit account) can subscribe to whichever subreddits they’re interested in. Then when they come back to the site, they can either visit those subreddits individually, or they can scroll through their home feed that compiles posts from all the different subreddits they’ve chosen.

When you see a post, you can, of course, leave a comment on the post. You can also reply to other Redditors’ comments, and you can upvote or downvote a post or a comment. Upvoting means you liked it, while downvoting means you didn’t. If a comment is downvoted enough, it will likely be removed.

Subreddits to get you started

If you want to find interesting content on the web, Reddit is the place to be. There’s really something for everybody. And on that note, in this article, I’m going to go over 9 popular and/or interesting subreddits you might want to start out with!

Keep in mind, reddit metrics shows that there are currently over 1.2 million subreddits. That’s a lot to choose from. If you don’t see anything here that gets your attention, just search for your favorite topics!

AskScience

What it’s about: AskScience focuses on answering science-related questions. You can use this subreddit to ask a question, look through previously answered questions, or answer a question yourself (if you have sources and research to back up your answer).
Activity: AskScience has 15,020,978 readers right now. There are quite a few posts every single day. Some of the posts have hundreds of comments on them.
Some popular and recent post titles:

  • “Are the shadows of other planets cast onto earth, similar to that of an eclipse?”
  • “Which fundamental force does dark energy use?”

EarthPorn

What it’s about: EarthPorn is, despite its name, a completely safe-for-work subreddit that centers on landscape photography. Only photos are allowed—not other artwork. Also, it must be only of a landscape. There can’t be people or man-made objects in the pictures.
Activity: EarthPorn has 14,688,608 subscribers at the time of writing this article. There are plenty of posts on a daily basis. Posts might have a couple comments or even more than a thousand.
Some popular and recent post titles:

  • “A beautifully clear piece of ice on Iceland’s Diamond Beach”
  • “Solitude in snowy woodland in Norway”

InternetIsBeautiful

What it’s about: InternetIsBeautiful is built around sharing and appreciating websites that are unique, interesting, or downright pretty. Redditors are not allowed to post about websites everyone will likely already know or websites that might be malicious. Only websites that offer something cool or unique or that are beautifully designed can be shared.
Activity: InternetIsBeautiful has 12,797,499 subscribers at the moment. Posts are more sporadic; there are not usually daily posts. However, when something is posted, it might receive hundreds of comments, sometimes even getting more than a thousand comments.
Some popular and recent post titles:

  • “Find all the quirky places along your road trip”
  • “A website that lets you control robots LIVE with cameras!”

ListenToThis

What it’s about: ListenToThis is all about finding new music that you probably haven’t ever heard before. Mainstream artists, or artists that people post about often, aren’t allowed to be posted about. Instead, Redditors are invited to share music by artists that aren’t as well known or appreciated as they maybe should be.
Activity: ListenToThis has 12,625,636 subscribers right now. There are a lot of posts every day. In fact, as I write this article, I tried to count how many posts had been made in the past 24 hours, and I stopped after a few dozen. Most posts typically seem to get just a few comments, but some get hundreds of responses.
Some popular and recent post titles: Post titles might not be helpful in describing this subreddit. Instead, here are some of the genres listed in recent titles!

  • “Space Rock / Alternative”
  • “Jazz Funk”
  • “Gothic Country/Folk”
  • “Electro Swing”

MildlyInteresting

What it’s about: MildlyInteresting encourages posts with content that is, as you might guess, mildly interesting. This subreddit doesn’t intend to go for shock value or insanely interesting facts. Instead, Redditors share things that are…kinda interesting. It has more laid-back, chill content that isn’t relying on clickbait.
Activity: MildlyInteresting has 13,708,595 as I write this article. There are usually numerous posts every day. Some posts have a few responses, some have hundreds, and some have thousands.
Some popular and recent post titles:

  • “The Chicago river melted and refroze to create this mosaic”
  • “These crayon candles all have different coloured flames.”

NotTheOnion

What it’s about: NotTheOnion is all about sharing news articles that sound fake but that are actually real. They might sound like titles from a satire site, but they’re not. Fair warning: some of the posts are about news articles with serious or adult content. However, most of the posts are simply weird or eyebrow-raising. If you don’t mind some slightly not-safe-for-work article titles showing up in your home feed, and if you want to read some strange or out-of-the-ordinary news, this subreddit is for you.
Activity: NotTheOnion has 12,927,090 subscribers at the moment. A good number of articles are posted each day. Some posts just have a handful of comments, but posts can gain in popularity quickly if the article is strange or entertaining enough—in fact, a very recent post has already received over seven thousand comments.
Some popular and recent post titles:

  • “Dude, you’ve got a snake in your car: Note left for driver”
  • “Pennsylvanians asked to eat roadkill 3,300 times in 2017”

OldSchoolCool

What it’s about: OldSchoolCool is all about photos and videos of cool folks from the past. Old-school images or videos are posted, with people looking vintage and awesome.
Activity: OldSchoolCool has 12,457,327 subscribers right now. There are multiple posts to check out every day. Posts have a chance of receiving hundreds or even thousands of comments, though most receive much fewer.
Some popular and recent post titles:

  • “Mark Twain holding his pet kitten (1909)”
  • “A portrait of my grandpa (1950s)”

TalesFromRetail

What it’s about: TalesFromRetail is a place to write, read, and respond to posts about life working in retail. You can find posts about co-workers or customers. Some posts are very brief, while some are extended encounters or discussions. If you have a story from retail or want to read other peoples’, this is the place for it.
Activity: TalesFromRetail has 402,660 subscribers right now. Redditors post here every day. Depending on how wild or relatable the story is, a post could get hundreds of comments.
Some popular and recent post titles:

  • “Lady, we don’t sell that here!”
  • “I run a store, not a daycare”

WritingPrompts

What it’s about: WritingPrompts is a subreddit for writers and readers. People are encouraged to post writing prompts. Then Redditors respond with their own short stories that meet the prompt. This is a great subreddit for people looking to keep active with their writing, but it’s also fun to read peoples’ responses to the prompts.
Activity: WritingPrompts has 11,954,383 subscribers at the moment. There are plenty of prompts to choose from each day. A lot of prompts get a handful or maybe a few dozen comments. But if the prompt is inspiring enough, it could get hundreds of responses.
Some popular and recent post titles:

  • “Your dog is secretly a high ranking member of the canine mafia. Their rival, the feline triads, have put a price on your head.”
  • “You buy an old saw from a pawn shop. You discover instead of cutting wood, it cuts reality.”

(Featured image: Reddit on Facebook)

Meet the new intern!

Meet the new intern!

Hi. My name is Abigail, and I am the new intern at Easy Internet Now. I will be writing the articles and news stories about all things tech here on EasyInternetNow.com. Furthermore, as the content creator, it is my job to introduce the new employees to the world. So, it is my pleasure to introduce myself, Abigail Eskew, to you, world. World, Abigail Eskew. Abigail Eskew, world. Nice to meet you. Charmed, I’m sure.

On to the interview!

Me: Hello, thanks for meeting with me on short notice.

Also me: Not a problem. I’m on the clock anyway.

Me: Well…yes. But you are interning for school credit, not cash money. Didn’t you know that?

Also me: What?

Me: So where do you go to school?

Also me: I’m a senior at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO, and I major in Professional Writing. Sorry, what did you say about no money?

Me: Professional Writing? And what do you tell your parents you major in?

Also me: Ha. Ha. It is a career, and one in demand, I might add. These days the business world reaches a very significant portion of their customers online, and someone has to write all that content. Not to mention user manuals, safety information, proposals, progress reports…hey, wake up!

Me: Oh, sorry, I was just resting my eyes. Sooo…you are the friendly face of the money-grubbing corporate world. Tell me, how does it feel to sell out?

Also me: Excuse me, I didn’t sell out. I happen to think access to the internet is extremely important, especially to kids in school. Education is freely available to those who want it, as long as they have internet. And besides, I don’t think someone who isn’t being paid can sell out.

Me: Keep telling yourself that, corporate jockey. I can’t believe you sold out for no money. What a rube. So what are you going to write first? Some advertisements for your new corporate overlords?

Also me: Actually, Easy Internet Now is a company with a desire to help people who otherwise would be left without internet by existing corporations, and set them up with a reliable connection.

Me: Exactly. Blink twice if you need help.

Also me: A company can thrive without being evil, you know. It’s called supply and demand, filling needs…

Me: …filling pockets…

Also me: …and providing value to our clients. In that spirit, I plan to kick off my content with a series I’m calling Internet 101. It will be a series of informative how-to articles that people can refer back to when they need to. It will cover things like tips and tricks for effective and efficient Google searches, where to put your free modem for the best function and access, and best practices for keeping your personal details safe online.

Me: Sounds boring.

Also me: I’ll also be covering new tech developments, trends and viral content.

Me: Ooh, did you see that video with the cats?

Also me: I don’t know which one you mean, but probably yes.

Me: Those cats are so silly.

Also me: Yes they are.

Me: Well I look forward to your cat articles, and working with you in the future. Welcome to the company!

Also me: Thanks! I’m excited to be here!

Help me welcome our newest member of the Easy Internet Now family! You can follow her/me on Twitter @willreadforfood, and please tweet any suggestions about internet skills you would like to develop @easyinternetnow, and I/her will consider including your suggestions in future how-tos!

Iggy sleeps on my desk

This is why it takes me so long to write anything.