5 Things You Should Know About Bitcoin

5 Things You Should Know About Bitcoin

Cryptocurrencies have erupted over the past year.

 

These currencies are nothing new.

 

For years, people used these coins to trade goods and services (mostly illegal drugs) on the Dark Web in places like the late Silk Road.

 

Those days are gone, dozens of new cryptocurrencies emerge every day.

 

While many people rushed to purchase crypto when the Bitcoin price skyrocketed in November, most don’t understand the risk and many other factors.

 

As the price crashes, many people find themselves asking “wait, what is Bitcoin (BC) and how does it work?” It’s too late for some of them. Advocates will tell you now is the time to buy – but is it?

 

Here’s what you should know about the Bitcoin value, Ethereum price, and cryptocurrencies in general.

 

  1. What Is Bitcoin Exactly?

BC is what’s known as a cryptocurrency. Unlike traditional monies, BC and other cryptocurrencies are decentralized (well, kind of) through the use of technology called blockchain.

 

Blockchain is an interesting system created by a notorious – and elusive – figure named Satoshi Nakamoto. No one knows much about Satoshi or if he (?) really exists. It’s generally understood that Satoshi is, rather, a concept for the group of people who created blockchain.

 

Confused yet? It gets worse.

 

Blockchain is a series of blocks or digital records which are all linked in some way. Cryptography ensures these blocks stay secure through a special form of encryption.

 

Crypto-currency: get it? What is Bitcoin? A specific type of cryptocurrency secured using blockchain technology.

 

  1. Where Does Bitcoin Value Come From?

That’s a great question. Unfortunately, there isn’t one correct answer.

 

Crypto advocates will tell you that since BC is independent from the global dollar system, it’s value is determined by this decentralized network: users determine the value.

 

This is somewhat true, but what defines value?

 

In one sense, the only value that BC holds is as a method of exchange.

 

But what is being exchanged? Traditional fiat currencies which you’ve acquired through labor and other methods – all of which rely on the global dollar system for their value.

 

There are two ways to acquire BC and cryptocurrencies: purchase them with “real” money, or mine it. In order to mine BC, you need a heavy-duty computer system that solves complex puzzles (this is an over simplification).

 

Most people purchase BC with their country’s traditional currency. Although advocates tout crypto as a competitor to the global dollar system, these currencies are measured against fiat like the U.S. dollar. Plus, in order to purchase crypto, you need a standard bank account to transfer funds.

 

In fact, cryptocurrencies are very reliant on governments and economies for determining their number values. When governments impose regulations or large corporations announce they will accept BC, this makes the value fluctuate – and drastically.

 

  1. Beyond Just Bitcoin Price: Transaction Fees are Completely Unaffordable for Both Users and Businesses

If you’ve never purchased Ethereum, BC, Litecoin, or any other cryptocurrency, you may not realize how much it actually costs.

 

An average transaction fee costs $28 – average.

 

Want to upload fiat funds to your digital wallet? Pay a fee. Want to purchase BC with funds from your digital wallet? Pay another fee. Is it time to sell because the price skyrocketed? Yep, another fee.

 

Cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase charge a lot of money for moving even small amounts of monies. In many respects, this is holding back potential progress in the industry.

 

It’s almost impossible for businesses to offer cryptocurrencies as a payment method for this reason.

 

  1. Think Income Inequality is Bad? The Cryptocurrency World Isn’t Better

In the “real world,” 1% of the population control more wealth than the entire 99% combined. In the cryptocurrency world, 1,000 people control 40% of all BC. Keep in mind that it’s difficult to calculate exact figures for inequality so this is more of an estimate.

 

This inequality doesn’t help the argument that BC is “decentralized.”

 

Combined with other factors, those 1,000 people can drastically influence the value of cryptocurrencies. If all 1,000 decided to sell everything tomorrow, the price would plummet. This would leave folks who invested their last $500 (or sold their home to purchase BC) out in the cold.

 

  1. The Ethereum Price is Low, Could This Make You Money?

Perhaps. Ethereum is one of the up-and-comers of the cryptocurrency world along with BC Cash and Litecoin.

 

If the Ethereum price is low, you could buy a little, but don’t invest your life’s savings. At the time of writing this, Ethereum costs $530 – down about 40% for the month.

 

If you’re looking to make money in crypto, you’re better off buying something like Ethereum and riding it out. However, there are dozens of cryptocurrencies: nearly every state government and major company is developing their own.

 

Deciding which one to purchase is just as much – if not more – risky than the traditional stock market.

 

Invest wisely, just don’t lose your home.

What Are the Top Emojis and Where Did They Come From?

What Are the Top Emojis and Where Did They Come From?

Believe it or not, people are very interested in studying the science of emojis.

 

What are the top emojis? What are emojis anyways?

 

The history of emojis dates back a few decades to the advent of modern computers.

 

Now, Twitter has emoji support and you can even use animated or “live” emojis in your texts.

 

Let’s look at how we got here and where emojis are going.

 

What Are Emojis and Where Did They Come From?

Many people think that emojis are the advanced versions of emoticons. This logic makes sense: as the world transitioned to smart phones and high-tech devices, it was only a matter of time before emoticons got a fresh makeover.

 

However, this isn’t the case. In fact, emojis and emoticons have two very different histories. What is an emoji and where did they come from?

 

Emoticons

Emoticons use punctuation marks to represent feelings or facial expressions.

 

A computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, Scott Fahlman, is the first known person to type an emoticon back in 1982. What did Scott type? “: – )” and “: – (” These are what’s known as ASCII emoticons.

 

However, other researchers believe the first recorded emoticon dates back even further to PLATO computer systems in 1972. These emoticons were actually much more advanced than the versions that Scott would type in the early 80s. They included small pixelated formations of animals, faces, aliens, and objects – and dozens of them.

 

Scotts emoticons looked a lot more primitive than what the developers at PLATO came up with.

 

While Western countries would type their emoticons sideways for the next three decades or so, the Japanese quickly advanced in 1986. This is when kaomojis were born. These are somewhat unsettling to users who have only experienced sideways emoticons and emojis because they are very wide and strange.

 

You’re probably most familiar with the shrug: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

 

The creepy ones, however, are called “Lenny:” ( ͡⚆ل͜ ͡⚆) and ( ͡◉◞ ͜ʖ◟ ͡◉)

 

Anyways, we were stuck with using these to express our emotions through text for nearly 30 years.

 

What Is an Emoji Exactly?

That’s when emojis finally came along. What is an emoji exactly?

 

The emojis we now know and love (or hate) surfaced in 1999 when they were first included in Japanese phones. They wouldn’t make an impact though until 2010 when they became fairly standard on mobile operating systems.

 

These are very different than typographic expressions because they are little images instead of typeface: just click a button and you have an emotion to express yourself.

 

As more and more people only communicate through text messages and emails, emojis have become vital for expressing sadness, content, joy, and a broad range of other emotions. In the past few years, emojis have advanced drastically to include nearly every country’s flag and just about any activity you can possibly imagine.

 

Not only that, but several emojis have double meanings (this blog won’t cover the dirty ones).

 

  • Nail painting emoji: Painting your nails OR gleefully apathetic
  • Frog emoji: Actual frog OR calling someone ugly OR smugness (especially when combined with coffee emoji)
  • Coffee emoji: Drinking coffee OR smugness
  • Skull emoji: Laughing so hard you died (has anyone ever used this one for face value?)
  • Fire emoji: Actual fire OR something is awesome

 

How to Use Live Emojis

Due to their popularity, emojis get yet another upgrade this year: animated or live emojis. You’ll first see these new emojis on the updated iPhone operating systems.

 

You now have a few live emojis to choose from such as a lion, bear, skull, unicorn, and even poop. Why they chose to start with animals and creatures instead of faces no one will know. Maybe it’s because of how live emojis are used: the facial recognition system transforms the emoji to express your actual emojis like an animated avatar.

 

Did they think expressing yourself through animals was less creepy than a yellow blob? Maybe, but it’s still weird.

 

Whatever expressions you make, the live emoji will follow. You can also use the live emojis for singing karaoke.

 

The Top Emojis of 2018 (Tracking Twitter Emoji Use)

Everyone has their favorite, but what are the top emojis?

 

To celebrate World Emoji Day (July 17th), Emojipedia decided to look at the top emojis used across Twitter. A Twitter emoji is easier to track and pull data. It’s probably impossible (and illegal) to track emoji use across text messages and cell phones.

 

So, what’s the top emoji? If you guessed crying laughing you’re right.

 

Unbelievably, poop emoji also ranks in a top spot. Other favorites include heart eyes, red heart, grinning face, smiling face with sunglasses, party popper, smiling face with smiling eyes, and thumbs up. As far as top emojis in the object category go, coffee wins hands down.

Facial Recognition: Face Search and What You Need to Know About It

Facial Recognition: Face Search and What You Need to Know About It

Not only has face search technology advanced rapidly, but it continues to develop quickly today. Facial recognition software has become the state of the art, and social media and tech are in love with it. Even Social media giants, like Facebook, are using it now.

According to Facebook, we can now use face recognition to find photos we are in posted by other people. However, not everyone who uses Facebook is happy about this new option. Like most young tech, it has its share of distrust.

Facebook and Face Search

Facebook tells you all about their face search for images when you log-on after you have logged out after a while. They have the setting turned on already for you but explain to you how to turn it off if you don’t want to use the new facial search feature. (If you are wondering how to turn off Facebook’s facial recognition, we have a video below.)

Although Facebook has rolled this software out for users of the giant social network, according to USA Today, three Illinois residents are suing the popular social media site because of face search. They are suing them under the Biometric Information Privacy Act. This state law is one of only two in the entire nation that regulates facial recognition technology. A California judge has officially ruled that this case can move forward. Because of this, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, is facing billions of dollars in damages if these residents win this significant case.

What is Facial Recognition?

What is facial recognition, or face search, exactly? Face recognition is a technology software used to identify a person by the features of their face. Whoever is using the software records the facial features of the people who will be using face search to access or get into a place or site. Once their facial features are documented, the software will recognize who they are, from that point forward. This way, they can sign-in to different places and websites, using their face. The software remembers their features and from that point forward, will know who they are.

Facebook is using this software for people to find photos they are tagged in whether they did the tagging themselves or someone else did. Although they have rolled this feature out in the United States, users do have a choice whether they want to use this feature or not. Meaning, they have the option to leave it on, since it comes turned on already for users, or they can go into their settings and turn it off. This is proof that Facebook is not forcing the use of this software on anyone.

How Face Search Works

Face search is gaining in popularity.

Image CC by 4.0, by Abyssus, via Wikimedia Commons 

So, maybe you are wondering how face search works? This brand new tech software works by recording facial features. The input is in the form of either an image or a video, and the output is in the form of either identification or verification of the person’s face that shows in the picture or video. There are a few different ways facial recognition software is designed, and the main three include the following:

  • Alignment
  • Detection
  • Recognition

Detection

The computer detects the human face in digital images in this stage. Although you may be standing in front of a building or maybe even a tree, it will ignore what is behind you and only get your facial features. The computer will remember the elements of your face for the future.

The facial recognition process was invented in 1973. Since the invention of facial detection, there have been several of them. The year 2001 was a breakthrough year for face detection because Viola Jones invented the first type of face detection that detects in real time.

Alignment

Alignment works by the computer dividing the face into visible landmarks. These visible landmarks are called nodal points, and they work by dividing different parts of the face for detection. Examples are the depth of the eye socket, the distance between each eye, and how full the nose is on a person’s face. Once determining the differences between these areas of the face, they would then be used to make a unique code. However, a problem occurred with this. The problem is that you can’t get the same view of your face twice. The reason for this is because our faces are in flux constantly. They are not like fingerprints. But there is a solution to this problem. Make a 3D face model and using the 3D that was made of the face to warp it to the frontal representation of it.

Recognition

The real recognition of the face is classifying the identification from the aligned, detected, and usual faces for identification purposes. Recognition answers the “who is it?” question. However, it does consist of many different representations to identify the person. In plain English, it uses multiple identifiers to find out who the person is.

Where and How is Face Recognition Software Already Being Used?

There are many places and people who use facial recognition now. Keep reading to find out where and how it is used today.

Accessing personal devices

Many of ourpersonal devices are also unlocked by face recognition

Image CC by 1.0, by USDA, via Flickr 

One place face search is used at is to unlock smartphones these days. Although most phones use a password, a pin number, or a fingerprint to open it, phones like the iPhone 8 are now using face recognition to unlock them. Another “personal device” being unlocked with face search are cars. The new cars coming out today have face search in them. This means they are aware of their surrounding environment. Thanks to the technology of today, we now have self-driving cars. How amazing is this?

Other places for face search

You probably already know that airports are using facial recognition for entering and departing the premises. However, other locations are also using face search. They are:

  • In schools, confirming a student’s identity before and during after exams.
  • Inside sports stadiums all over the world to make sure people who are on a ban list do not get in.
  • When paying for items in stores or online
  • Holding your place in line for an amusement park rides

Pros and Cons of Using Face Recognition Software

What are the pros and cons of using face recognition? Read below for more information.

Pros of facial recognition software

  • Enhanced security for phones, cars, homes, and public places such as schools, courthouses, and more.
  • No more fraud
  • Less money to be spent since face search is inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • Is fast
  • Decreases product loss at stores because it can catch shoplifters quick and easy and can keep employees from stealing

Cons of using face search

  • Loss of privacy
  • Someone might try to use their face to log-in to your computer

How to Turn Off Facebook’s Face Search

Here is a video showing you step by step how to disable Facebook’s facial search feature:

Who is Using Facial Recognition Software

There are many people already using the face search software. They include the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, KFCs payment smile system, Google and their clip camera, Facebook’s Deep Search, and more.

Now that you have some useful information on how to use face search, who is using it, and the pros and cons of this software, will you be using it now or maybe soon? One day, everyone might have to use it and may not have a choice.

 

Featured image: CC by 0, by Teguhjatipras, via Pixabay 

Smart Speakers: AI Powered, Easy, and Sweet Sounds For You

Smart Speakers: AI Powered, Easy, and Sweet Sounds For You

As the name suggests, smart speakers are Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered devices that can do much more than just play music. These speakers definitely play music through various networking protocols. The wireless speakers play music via Bluetooth and NFC networking capabilities. But this is just the tip of the iceberg of the functionalities they possess.

Smart Speakers are AI-based virtual assistants capable of comprehending voice commands. The speakers not only play music but can be used to save playlists, set alarms, and provide weather and traffic updates. Moreover, the speakers connect seamlessly with smart homes to take home automation to a whole new level.

The Evolution of Smart Speakers

Contrary to popular belief, smart speakers did not originate with Amazon’s Echo. The history traces back the evolution of virtual assistants to 1961. It was the year IBM introduced its proprietary product named Shoebox. The tool was able to comprehend sixteen different words and all of the digits.

The next major breakthrough in the field came in 1990 when a company named Dragon launched Dictate. It was the first speech recognition tool which was sold to consumers.

This opened up gates for multiple virtual assistants and the trend gained popularity with Siri’s introduction.

The iPhone based virtual assistant garnered popularity around the world and other companies followed Apple’s footsteps. The next in line was Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana soon followed.

The next groundbreaking discovery came in the form of Amazon Echo. Amazon’s smart speaker introduced Alexa, the company’s very own AI to the world. The launch of Echo marked the start of an AI-based era.

Smart Speakers on the Market

The smart speaker industry currently stands at a market value of $2.68 Billion. It is estimated that the industry will grow at 34 percent in the coming years to be valued at $11.79 Billion by 2023. These figures are not surprising for both the technological and financial experts. With increasing per capita income and technological advancement the trend seems to be ordinary.

Here are some of the best intelligent speakers available in the market:

Sonos One

Sonos One smart speaker

Image CC by 2.0, by BestAI Assistant, via Flickr

Listed at a price of $199, the Sonos One offers the best surround sound to its customer in the category. Powered by Alexa, the Sonos One comes with a range of commands to control your music. The Sonos One also connects with other Sonos speakers to provide an immersive multi-room audio facility. However, the complete set of voice commands are available only for a restricted number of music services. Moreover, the speaker fails to understand the voice commands on occasions making it a big shortcoming for the company in the segment.

Related: 8 Unique Smart Home Devices and Automation Accessories

Apple Home Pod

Apple Home Pod range of smart speakers

Image: CC by A-SA 4.0, by Rick4512, via Commons Wikimedia

Apple launched its very own smart speaker two months ago to give both Amazon and Google a run for their money with Siri powering the Home Pod system. The speakers have a distinct edge over their other competitors when it comes to sound quality. The smart aspect of the Home Pod speakers is not up to the mark compared to the other competitors in the market. Siri struggles to unleash its powers with the device and lacks the edge required to outdo Alexa and Google Assistant. Moreover, to enjoy the experience that the speakers offer, the customers need the Apple Music subscription and to restrict themselves to the Apple environment.

Harman Kardon

Cortana powered Harman Kardon smart speaker

Image: CC by SA-4.0, by Jdubman, via Wikipedia

Microsoft did not want to be left far behind in the new race of smart speakers and launched the Harman Kardon Invoke in 2017. The speaker, powered by Microsoft’s very own Cortana, amazes the users with its sound quality and design. Cortana entertains the users with a random fact when the blue button at the top of the speaker is tapped. Although Cortana has been in the market for far longer then Alexa, it lacks the sophistication that the Amazon virtual assistant possesses. The speaker works seamlessly with Microsoft services but lacks in the overall performance in the segment.

LG ThinQ

LG Thinq range of smart speakers to control different devices

Image: CC by 2.0, by LG전자, via Flickr

Like the other smart speakers in the segment, LG joined the party late. The ThinQ line of speakers comes with a potential to mesmerize the user with its immersive sound quality. LG has partnered with Meridian audio to go a step ahead when it comes to sound quality. On the smart aspect of the speakers, LG has partnered with Google. Powered by Google Assistant, you can summon the virtual assistant by saying “Ok Google” to get your things done. The other capability that sets it apart from other speakers in the segment is the presence of LG’s very own AI technology. The in-house AI features help control smart LG devices via voice commands. The company is branding it as a high-resolution speaker for the masses with smart technology being the secondary feature.

Google Home

Google home image showing smart speaker

Image CC by A-SA 4.0 International, by Daniel.Cardenas, via Wikimedia Commons

The first Google Home speaker was released in November 2016 in the United States of America and was an instant hit. The smart speaker integrates with Google Assistant, putting the trademark search engine at the users’ disposal. The speaker acts a music player along with allowing the users to control multiple smart devices with voice commands. The speaker works seamlessly with Android phones and multiple third-party applications. Moreover, with a range of Google devices such as Chromecast and Google TV, the speaker works perfectly to provide a hands-free experience to the users. Due to all these advantages, Google holds the second largest share in the market when it comes to smart speakers. It is available in a variety of models depending on size and technological advancements.

Related: 6 Best Tabletop Radios of 2018-2019

Amazon’s Echo

Amazon's Echo powered by Alexa was the first of its kind smart speaker

Image CC by A-SA 4.0, by FASTILY, via Wikimedia Commons

Amazon released the Echo line of speakers in 2014 and became the first company to introduce AI based smart capabilities to the world. The Echo comes integrated with Alexa, Amazon’s in-house AI. The speaker maintains to-do lists, playlists for the users and provides scheduled updates on weather and traffic. It has in-built integration for applications like Spotify but its biggest strength is the Alexa Skill Kit. The Alexa Skill Kit is a collection of code samples and APIs that help developers add to the already existing database of skills the virtual assistant possesses.

Google Home vs Alexa – the Best Buy

Smart speakers have become a part of the lives of millions of people around the world. These people are finding it hard to imagine a life without the handy device. The giants that control this market are none other than Amazon and Google. Amazon with its Echo line of speakers powered by Alexa and Google with Google Home integrated with Google assistant. The only thing that is confusing is what to choose between the two.

Alexa’s sophisticated skill set

Alexa, Amazon's virtual assistant powering Echo smart speaker

Image CC by , Amazon Echo Spot, via Wikimedia Commons

The consumer’s choice may vary depending on the devices they own and their different preferences. The Amazon’s Echo powered by Alexa offers a wide range of smart-home device support, the ability to stream music and superior sound quality to the Google Home speakers. However, what really differentiates it from Google Home is the ever-growing Alexa Skills. The growing list of skills includes reading recipes, unlocking smartphones, booking an Uber, ordering a Pizza and much more than answering general knowledge questions. The Alexa Skillset currently has about 15,000 similar skills to serve the users and entertain them. The company offers a range of models that are the Echo Dot, Echo Tap, Echo Show, Echo Spot and the Echo Look.

Google Home trumps Echo in synchronized playback

The Google Home, on the other hand, comes with the Google search engine at its disposal. The Google home answers questions in depth as compared to the Amazon Echo. The speakers work seamlessly with Android and Google devices. The smart speakers can synchronize the Gmail account and manage google calendar. It comes with an ability to manage six different accounts based on voice recognition system. With the help of the Chromecast, the user can synchronize multiple speakers in different rooms to play the same song. However, the Google assistant lacks in the smart capabilities that Alexa has developed due to its launch two years ahead of the former.

The average price of the Amazon Echo amounts to $100 while Google Home costs $129.

The Future of Smart Speakers

The future of smart speakers seems bright with experts speculating the virtual assistants to take care of the daily chores for the people. From ordering grocery to paying bills the realization of a robot helper from a Sci-Fi movie seems realistic. With multiple brands focusing on AI the scope for development is enormous and we may see innovation at its very best in the foreseeable future.

 

Featured Image: CC by 2.0, by NDB Photos, via Flickr

8 Unique Smart Home Devices and Automation Accessories

8 Unique Smart Home Devices and Automation Accessories

Everyone’s home could use a few high-tech home automation upgrades, right?

 

There are so many options out there. How do you know which Google Home accessories you need and which gadgets are a waste of money?

 

Chances are, you might regret splurging on that automated washing machine or refrigerator in a few years.

 

Yes, everything seems super cool when it hits the market. However, not all cutting-edge smart home devices are worth the splurge.

 

8 Home Automation Devices and Accessories to High-Tech Your Life

 

The purpose of smart homes and home automation accessories is to make your life easier, right?

 

The goal isn’t to spend a bunch of money to impress your friends.

 

Well, maybe it is. But that’s probably a waste of cash if you can’t actually use the smart home devices on a regular basis.

 

These devices and accessories can get pretty pricey, but they’re very useful. The only question is: what will you splurge on?

 

1. Neato Botvac Connected Robot Vacuum

 

If you’ve been waiting for the price of robot vacuums to come down, it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen anytime soon. You might as well spend your money on something high quality like the Neato Botvac Connected.

 

This robot vacuum works well so you can be sure it’s not just a novelty device. Plus, you don’t have to chase it down because the app offers complete control.

 

2. Alexa Echo

 

At this point in the game, a multi-purpose utility speaker is nearly a staple item in many smart homes. Not only is the Alexa Echo affordable at just under $100, but it’s also compatible with other smart home devices like lighting options, security gadgets, and thermostats.

 

3. Google Home Accessories

 

Just like Amazon’s Alexa Echo, Google Home offers a full suite of compatible devices for connecting your entire home. Whether you want voice-activated speakers, Wi-Fi-infused outlets, or lighting for smart homes, Google Home accessories have you covered.

 

4. Security Lighting for Smart Homes

 

There are so many options here it’s hard to narrow down one featured product. You really need to take the size of your home and needs into consideration before making a final decision on security lighting.

 

Smart lighting offers major advancements to improve your home’s safety – and not just from intruders. The BeOn bulbs, for example, work during power outages. You can also program them to turn on or off on a schedule or based on an event like when the doorbell rings.

 

5. Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat

 

If you spend a lot of time away from your home or just have a large house, a smart thermostat can help save your money and the environment by reducing energy consumption.

 

Not only is the EcoBee4 Alexa compatible, but it contains its own Alexa Echo speaker for optimal efficiency. Beyond Amazon, you can integrate this thermostat with other brands like Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, and Samsung’s SmartThings.

 

6. WeMo Wi-Fi Smart Plug

 

Smart plugs may seem like a novelty device, but they’re really worth the money – mostly because they don’t cost very much (about $30) and are extremely versatile.

 

The WeMo Wi-Fi smart plug is compatible with most smart systems (besides Apple or Siri) and provides home automation on a large scale: you can automate just about any device. Plus, it’s safe and small so it won’t block other outlets.

 

7. Remote-Controlled Shades

 

Most smart shades don’t come cheap. If you know someone with a disability or medical condition that affects their mobility (or you just want to treat yourself) this is a great item.

 

These are also an excellent solution if you have a home with shades in hard-to-reach places. Although they’re expensive, smart shades are super easy to install and control with an app or remote.

 

8. Kwikset Kevo Smart Lock (2nd Generation)

 

This is the coolest smart lock for average folks. You’ll never need to fumble with keys while your arms are full of groceries ever again: just touch the lock.

 

It unlocks the door based on close-range authentication like many car key-fabs. You can choose from a regular key and lock, keyless touch, or app control. This smart lock also lets you give your friends or family eKeys for easy sharing and access when needed.

 

What You Should Know About Smart Home Devices

 

Although it’s tempting to splurge on the latest and greatest everything, it’s best to wait until these smart home devices and home automation accessories have been on the market for a while.

 

Why?

 

Because you can read reviews and give the companies a chance to work out all the kinks. (There are always kinks or glitches in first generation devices.)

 

This means if you wait to buy a second or third generation device, you’ll get something improved and tweaked based on customer feedback.

 

After all, you want these devices to make your life easier, right?

Top 6 best email client for windows XP, 7 & 8

Top 6 best email client for windows XP, 7 & 8

The efficient use of available resources will help to increase the productivity likewise, email client will enable you to effectively handle and manage your inbox as well as multiple email accounts. This can be the great solution for the windows users to read and send emails. While selecting the email client for windows many people get confused as the finest desktop email client may vary according to one’s perspective and preference. Thus we have listed the top 6 best email clients for windows XP, 7 & 8 in the below section after analyzing the pros and cons of each one.

List of 6 best email clients for windows XP, 7 & 8

6 # Mailbird

best email client for windows1

This email client is popular for its speed and also for open source apps that allows you to add applications for social network management or cloud. It is voted as best email client for windows 7, 8 and XP by experts and its users. You can get fast email experience and it gives you advice for managing your mails. It helps you to sort your emails and list the important stuffs at first. This user friendly client is built with simplicity which eliminates the email clutter to manage your mails like a breeze. You can even access your mails anywhere easily with the Mailbird that can be downloaded for free. You can also receive notifications of your mail even if you are unable to access the internet due to official trip or vacation.

Must Read: Password manager apps for iPhone 

5 # Outlook

Outlook is the popular email client for windows which has been in the market from 1990s. It is easy to handle and this information manager is a part of Microsoft Office Suite. Other than email it also offers various applications like task manager, note taking journal, contact manager, calendar and more. With this email client you can effectively manage your mailboxes, exchange public folders, meeting schedules, etc from windows. Moreover it enables the user to import mails from servers that support POP3 or IMAP protocols and the Outlook 2013 version has the ability to make use of Exchange ActiveSync protocol to import mails. On the whole it is the best email client for Windows XP. You can be able to speed up your communication using the navigation bar and it provides the latest updates of your social networks automatically.

4 # Inky

best email client for windows3

The Inky is different from other email clients as it provides elegant interface for their users. It is simple to use and if you have the provider as Yahoo, Outlook or Gmail then it will automatically make configuration settings. They are updating the email client to make it more users friendly as well as to create it more useful. You can create the smart view option where it will automatically organize each and everything in your mail. You can make use of the same settings to your mobile also as it allows you to sync with the cloud location. It can be the great email client for windows 8 and 7 which are also equipped with lots of features like simple interface, sync settings, light weight design, sorting and advanced filtering option, etc that can support Mac OS X also. You may get confused sometimes due to lack of navigation button which can be the only drawback you face from this one.

3 # Zimbra

best email client for windows4

If you are finding it difficult to manage your email accounts properly then Zimbra can be another excellent solution for you. The main advantage of Zimbra can be the tab interface that allows you to pick the required options easily. You can sync with your social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, etc with this email client. It works amazing and enables you to deal with your stuffs without any issues. It works well in both online and offline so that you can check your mails even if you are in offline and unable to access the internet. It supports around 20 different languages that make it useful for people around the world and they can access it with their own language. This is comparatively outdated and high memory usage could not be possible which are the two main disadvantages that you face otherwise it is the finest email client for windows 7, 8 and XP.

2 # eM Client  

This is one of the popular and best email clients for windows XP, 7 & 8 that work excellent in your system. You will get the full security for your stuffs in your mail and can easily manage all those things. If you are unable to reach the internet due to work in outstation then it will automatically receive the mail and give you notification. You can handle your multiple email accounts without any struggle and you can get it for free of cost. It has many features like import your tasks, emails, contacts and events from other apps, Skype support, Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook and other famous email services support. You can quickly setup the settings of your Inbox or any folder in the mail.

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1 # Thunderbird

best email client for windows6

It ranked first in our list of best email client for windows because it has many built in features when compared to other like multiple layouts, simple account adding, conversation view, tabbed browsing and more. To start this email client you have to provide your name, email address and password which will synchronize all your accounts under single roof. This will fit most of your needs to manage the multiple mail accounts. The message threading option enables you to check the previous conversation you made with that contact. The one click address book adding will help you to add contacts quickly and easily which also enables you to add other contact information like photo, birthday by two click on the same. All these advantages made it as great email client for windows 8 which can be downloaded for free.

Let us know the email client you think as best from the list and your feedback in the following comments section which will be useful for other users also. Please don’t forget to share this article with your friends.