All posts tagged “Features”

Supermood: Holistic Skincare from Finland: The new delightfully packaged Helsinki-based line features local ingredients like chaga mushroom

Supermood: Holistic Skincare from Finland

The newest natural-focused skincare line on our radar is currently only sold only in Finland and Sweden, but that didn’t stop us from digging deeper into Helsinki-based Supermood and getting a hold of a few products to test. With some meant to be……

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Cool Hunting

What Windows 10’s new features mean for you

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Everyone loves an Apple keynote, but a strange thing happened this week: there was a Microsoft presentation that whipped up almost as much online fervour. It was the big reveal for Windows 10, and while there’s plenty about it that you don’t need to worry about – things like Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Siri and Google Now, and the ability to stream Xbox One games directly to your desktop, which we’re sure some of you will be rather keen on – there are a few things that designers ought to be aware of. Here’s what you need to know.

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These are Windows 10’s new desktop features

Microsoft today lifted the veil on its upcoming Windows 10 operating system, offering a thorough preview of what consumers can expect when the software is released later this year across desktops, smartphones, and tablets. After a small glimpse back in September revealed numerous changes — a modernized Start Menu, better multitasking with Task View, and UI improvements among them — Microsoft used today’s press conference to focus on what Windows 10 will mean for its millions of everyday users.

First, Microsoft has already leveraged early tester feedback to improve Windows 10. If you’re familiar with and prefer the Windows 8.1 experience, you’ll be able to take the Start Screen full screen instead of the Windows 7-style start menu we saw…

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The Verge – All Posts

Microsoft’s new Lumia Camera app features some impressive tricks

For the past week I’ve been using Microsoft’s new Lumia Camera software. It’s part of a Lumia Denim update that’s rolling out to Lumia Windows Phones over the next few weeks, and the most important changes are improvements to the camera. Lumia phones are known for their impressive camera hardware, but the software has sometimes been a step behind. Launching the camera on Lumia phones can be painfully slow, and even capturing and autofocus isn’t always particularly speedy compared to the iPhone 6 or some top Android devices. Microsoft is aiming to fix some of these problems with the new Lumia Camera app.

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Apple’s latest store display features iPad Smart Covers that open on their own

Apple appears to be employing magnets or otherwise real magic to lure shoppers into its Regent Street store in London. A new window display spotted there earlier today has a row of upright iPads with Smart Covers that open and close without human interaction, just in case you were unclear what the $ 39 accessory does.

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Valley Cruise Press: This independent publishing house features alternative illustrators and cheeky pins

Valley Cruise Press

Valley Cruise Press is basically a giant middle finger to the tired claim that print is dead. With a sharp eye for exceptional illustration stemming from their own strong talent, Valley Cruise founders Ted Feighan and Ally Quandt have created an……

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Cool Hunting

5 new features added to Photoshop and Illustrator apps

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New, free mobile apps were central to this summer’s relaunch of Adobe’s Creative Cloud – dubbed Creative Cloud 2014. And two of the most popular have been the drafting and tracing app Illustrator Line and the sketching and painting tool Photoshop Sketch.

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Top 8 Features Of WordPress 4.1 Twenty Fifteen Theme (Reviewed)

By the time you are reading this WordPress 4.1 is near release (or has been) and it will carry a new default theme, Twenty Fifteen. I actually like this theme so much that I changed my personal website to it as soon as the first preview came out.

In this article I want to show you my favorite features of Twenty Fifteen and why I think it is a worthy addition to WordPress. To me Twenty Fifteen is a “back to basics” theme in a good way. It showcases all the great features of WordPress without adding bloat, or features which really should be added by plugins, not themes. Themes are meant to style functionality not to add them; in this sense Twenty Fifteen is spot on.

1. Overall Design

I was not a fan of the overly-busy Twenty Fourteen. In comparison the new default theme is a breath of fresh air. I enjoy the very light default color scheme – it provides enough contrast but doesn’t overwhelm. It is easy on the eyes and well-placed featured images provide splashes of color where it is needed. There is plenty of white space and the text is easily readable.

Noto Serif and Noto Sans are great choices for fonts. They remain legible at small sizes and they are nice and elegant on desktop-sized screens.

2. Content Focus

The design and structure of the theme focus heavily on content. More importantly, they focus on quality content. My feeling with Twenty Fourteen was that it tried to do too much, the focus was on quantity, not quality.

The sidebar does give you great opportunities to cross-promote content but the main section gets the most attention. This is ideal for bloggers or casual writers.

If you have an online store this theme is of course not for you, but that was never the intention. Keep in mind that default themes are for showcasing default functionality, not to cater to all plugins out there.

3. Social Icon Menu

The social icons you see on the screenshot above have been added using the regular old menu editor. Just add the URLs of your social services along with the names and the theme will automagically convert them to the correct icons.

One issue I have here is that this functionality isn’t terribly obvious. I’ve been working with WordPress for quite some time so to me this came naturally but for casual users or newcomers this feature may be completely overlooked.

4. Static Sidebar

The sidebar scrolls with the content while there is content but remains stationary when content runs out in the sidebar. This means that you never see an empty strip next to your content.

This allows authors to put more thought into their sidebars and in general it shortens unnecessarily long asides. It forces you to think about what is important and what isn’t and this will result in a more organized, better streamlined site.

5. Featured Image Flexibility

The featured image doesn’t give you a huge number of options but the way it is presented offers enough flexibility to make your site look good with a large variety of images. You can go with no featured image, a high featured image, or perhaps just a small strip. Depending on the image used you can make the site look upbeat and fun (like in the first example image), or more polished and elegant, like below:

6. Customization

You won’t find a powerhouse of options at your disposal like you might with a premium theme, but Twenty Fifteen gives you just enough control to make it your own. The two most important controls allow you to specify the background of the sidebar and the content sections. This provides a surprising amount of variation:

7. Responsiveness

Responsiveness in Twenty Fifteen is beautifully executed. The menu is neatly tucked away behind a button (which is easy enough to do) and when it is displayed it remains easy to browse and will get you where you need to be (which isn’t easy to do at all). Even child pages are intuitive to access – kudos to the theme team on this one!

Images, galleries and post meta sections all look great and readability is maintained on every page. Reading a website running Twenty Fifteen on a mobile phone is a genuine pleasure.

8. Overall Harmony

This one is probably the most subjective one on the list. To me the theme looks like a harmonious whole which radiates simplicity. The theme looks “properly put together”, it seems well thought out and deliberate. It’s obvious that a lot of thought was put into the direction both visually and feature-wise and I think it really shows in the end result.


As with any other theme there will be people who love it and people who will hate it. I think the key element to think about is: is this theme right for me?

Twenty Fifteen is for those of us who enjoy writing on a minimal interface. It won’t appeal to everyone and you may disagree with some of my points above. Thats perfectly ok, the point is that Twenty Fifteen is right for a lot of people. If you think another theme does the job better, let us know in the comments!

13 Key E-Commerce Features To Create Exponential Growth

Running a successful and profitable e-commerce website involves a lot more than just setting up a website and adding some products. Of course you will need to have products that customers want to buy…

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Vandelay Design

Hidden Features in iOS 8: You’ll Wonder How You Ever Lived Without Them

Apple did a magnificent with its latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, integrating a lot of features that users have been suggesting and craving for a long time, as well as some new additions of their own. While some of the features are obvious right from the first second, others are a lot more subtle, and seem to be there to enhance the overall experience without ever stepping into the spotlight.

Hidden Features in iOS 8: You’ll Wonder How You Ever Lived Without Them

Subtle or not, the changes brought by iOS 8 will change the way iPhones are used, making everything smoother and more intuitive than ever. It’s enough to take iOS 8 for a quick test and you’ll soon end up asking yourself how you ever lived without these features.

Here’s a list of the iOS 8’s new features – both the obvious and the less obvious ones.

1. Interactive notifications

Interactive notifications

One of the main focus points of iOS 8 was to make notifications of all kinds less intrusive, and it certainly succeeded. Notifications are now interactive, so if you happen to receive a text message when you are playing a game or watching a movie on your phone you will see a tiny notification bar with the message, which will also allow you to compose a quick reply directly, without minimizing the app you were using and launching the messaging app.

2. Text Predictions

Text Predictions

In order to make interactive notifications even more effective, but also aiming to improve the overall messaging experience, iOS 8 introduced a very powerful text prediction feature that reads your mind and give you exactly the words you are thinking about. Ok, maybe it doesn’t quite read your mind, but it does a very good job at predicting the words you may want as soon as you start typing. What makes this feature even more awesome is that it monitors the way you chat with different people, and adapts the predictions based on the person you’re chatting with, so when you’re chatting with a friend with whom you tend to use slang or shortcuts a lot, the predictions will fit the profile, as opposed to them being all grammatically-correct and formal when chatting with a business partner that you’ve only had formal communications with.

3. Customizable Keyboard

Customizable Keyboard

iPhone fans have been craving for alternatives for the classical keyboard for quite a while, and Apple seems to finally listen to their wishes and make it happen. iOS 8 comes with support for third party apps that offer all sorts of customizable keyboards, so you can now pick the right size, color and features you want for your keyboard.

4. Major Changes in Messages

Major Changes in Messages

The Messages app got some massive improvements over the last version, boasting quite an impressive set of features and tweaks. With the addition of audio, video and location support directly in messages, Apple attempts to make users want to choose their app instead of third party messaging apps such as WhatsApp. You can now add audio and video to your messages with a simple swipe of the finger; Apple also added an option that allows the customization of how long are these in-message videos and audios saved for in order to preserve space on the device.

Location sharing is great for when you’re planning to meet with friends and don’t want to go through the hassle of opening a maps app – simply toggle location on, and they will get the exact location you’re at.

A subtle but very useful addition targets group conversations, where you now have the option of setting the conversation on mute or even leave it altogether, if you don’t want spontaneous chatter to interfere with your concentration at work, or when you simply don’t want to be bothered.

5. Wi-Fi Calling

Wi-Fi Calling

Wi-Fi calling is another feature implemented by Apple in an effort to make users ditch third party apps for calls and texts. Even though it’s currently only available for a limited range of devices (iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C), and a modest choice of service providers, Wi-Fi calling has a great evolving potential, and might pose some serious competition for VoIP service providers. Basically, the feature allows you to use a Wi-Fi network as a communication method when placing a call rather than the cellular network. This can cut down on communication costs if you have a subscription plan that doesn’t offer a lot of minutes, but have a Wi-Fi network at your disposal and friends that use iOS 8.

6. Time-lapse Photography

Time-lapse Photography

Apple introduced a new camera mode: time-lapse photography. This mode captures consecutive shots at dynamic intervals, and when you press “stop” it automatically stiches the pictures together creating a time-lapse video. Getting to master this mode can prove to be quite tricky, but after you do, you can create amazing videos of sunsets, clouds passing by or a flower blossoming – videos that would otherwise require a lot of editing to create.

7. Better Photo Management

Better Photo Management

Another newly introduced feature focuses on privacy, and allows you to hide certain photos. While the hidden photos are still available if you go to the Albums menu, they are hidden from the Moments, Collections and Years modes, allowing you to present a slideshow to family or friends without including any personal photos.

Organizing photos is also made easier with the addition of the “recently added” and “recently deleted” options, which allow you to see your most recent additions to the albums, but also the files you just deleted. The “recently deleted” feature is extremely useful if you happen to accidentally delete something you actually intended to keep. Deleted photos stay in the “recently deleted” folder for a pre-set period of time, during which they can be recover, but are gone forever after the time expires or when you manually hit the remove button.

Better Photo Management

Searching through photos was enhanced by giving you the ability to search by location, which will display all the photos that were taken into a specific location. Finding those awesome holiday snaps just got a whole lot easier.

8. Siri Got Smarter

Siri Got Smarter

Siri was already a very smart virtual assistant, but the iOS 8 update made it even more powerful. For starters, Siri is now integrated with the popular music recognition software Shazam, so instead of having to launch Shazam when an awesome track is playing, you can simply ask Siri and it will attempt to identify the track for you.

When your phone is connected to a power source, such as when charging or while driving, you can launch Siri without even touching it by simply saying “Hey Siri”. While this feature may seem like a tiny rip-off from Android and their “Hey Google”, it does do a good job of allowing you to take control of Siri hands-free.

Under the hood, Siri seems to be packing some more upgrades, as it can now display your voice input as you say it, as opposed to waiting to receive a full command or query. This will help you see if your commands are interpreted correctly in real time, as well as improve the way you dictate text messages or emails to Siri.

Last but not least, Siri can now access the App Store, making it easier and more convenient to look for apps and to install them.

9. Family Sharing

Family Sharing

If there are multiple iPhone users in your family, iOS 8 now allows you to share the apps between devices without having to buy them separately for each device. This means that, if you buy an app, every member of your family will be able to install and use that app with no additional costs. It’s not just apps that get shared between members: music, photos, videos, book – everything can be easily accessible from all the devices in the family. A nice option is to import other family members’ calendars into a single calendar file, thus being able to see when and how much free time everyone has, making it easier to organize family activities together.

10. Customized Sharing Sheet

Sharing is not limited to your family, as sometimes you want to share something on the social media. One of the most annoying things you can run into when trying to do so is being presented with a never-ending list of sharing options, when you only use two or three services. Now you can organize that sharing sheet, and leave only the social networks or sharing options that you really use.

11. Find My Phone Gets Last Location Feature

The “Find My Phone” feature is extremely handy to have, for those situations when you misplace your phone, or worse, lose it. However, there’s not much the feature could do in the case of a dying battery. iOS 8 addresses that by adding a function that allows the app to report the last known location of an iPhone when its battery is dying. This should make it easier for you to find your beloved device even if it runs out of power.

12. Location-aware Apps

Location-aware Apps

An interesting new feature brought by iOS 8 is the introduction of location-aware apps recommendations. For example, when you walk into a Starbucks, you will see the Starbucks app displayed directly on your lockscreen, giving you easy access to the app, if you already have it install, or a quick way of installing it. This feature is perfect for locations that have dedicated apps that you may not be aware of. However, some people are afraid that this feature will act as a privacy intrusion, which brings us to the next feature.

13. Better Control of Apps that Use Your Location

Better Control of Apps that Use Your Location

Since the number of apps and services that use your location is quickly rising, Apple made it simpler to control which apps can use the feature and which can’t. This way, you can grant the apps you trust access to your location, as well as remain untraced by apps you don’t feel comfortable about.

14. Better Control over Battery Usage

Better Control over Battery Usage

A new option called Battery Usage gives you the possibility to view how much battery juice is used by every app, even those running in the background. You get the usage on a 24-hour basis or on a 7-day basis, thus getting a pretty good idea what apps are worth keeping or which ones are merciless on your battery and you’re better without.

15. iOS to Mac Screen Capture

iOS to Mac Screen Capture

Whether or you’re an app developer or just the techie guy in your family, having the ability to easily record what’s happening on the screen of your phone can prove to be quite useful. iOS 8 allows you to do that on the fly by connecting your iPhone to your Mac computer. You can showcase a new game or record the instruction on how to use an app, and then send the video to family or friends that are struggling with the app in question. Easy.

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