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Wednesday, August 07, 2019

How to make money online using your smartphone

Most of us don’t have time to go out there and get a time-consuming side hustle between work and family and everything else.
That’s why we searched far and wide for the best ways to come up with some extra cash right from your couch. None of them pay a fortune on their own, but do a few together and you’ll come up with the money that you need. When you’re in a pinch, that’s all matters.

1. Ibotta


It pays to keep a copy of your receipt every time you go shopping. That’s because a popular cash back app called Ibotta will reward you for taking photos of your receipt.The app scans your receipt for deals and then instantly applies cash back to your account. It works with a ton of retailers, from Walmart to Costco, so there is no shortage of stores you could be earning cash back from.
People are getting a ton of cash back:

One more way to save money? We are completely obsessed with a new feature on the Ibotta app that allows you to actually pay right on the app at a huge number of stores and restaurants including Applebee’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Lowe’s and more and get cashback instantly. Yup, no more waiting, no more saving receipts!

2. Fiona


Debt consolidation isn’t as complex as it sounds. All you’re doing is borrowing money at a low-interest rate and using it to pay off high-interest debt. That means your monthly interest repayments go down and there’s only one bill to pay each month. Simple but effective!
If you want to see your how much debt consolidation could save you, check out FionaFiona lets you search all the top online consolidation and refinancing options for free. You can sign up in three simple steps. The best part? It is completely free to use. No gimmicks, no hidden fees.
The loans offered are between $1,000 and $100,000, lasting between 24 and 84 months. Rates start at 4.99% and people with a credit score of 660 or above get much better rates.

3. Swagbucks


Waiting for the next payday and in need of a little bit of extra cash in a pinch? Your best quick bet is Swagbucks.
They’re a market research company that’ll pay you top dollar for every survey you complete and importantly, they let you cash out quickly.
People are obsessed because it’s so easy to do when you are being lazy and just wanting to make some extra cash:

And people are using it to save for very real things:

To earn the most on Swagbucks you are going to want to complete at least three surveys as you get started. The more surveys you complete the more chances you have of higher paying surveys coming your way.

4. Mistplay (Android Only)


Getting paid to play mobile games sounds like a dream for most people – Mistplay(download for Android) makes that dream a reality.
Mistplay is an Android game platform app which lets you earn rewards for playing new games. Those points can be redeemed for awesome gift cards from Amazon, VISA, Google and more.
Just download the Android app choose a free game from your “mixlist” and start earning units. The more you play, the more you earn! It’s a simple idea that can result in a big payday for mobile game lovers.

5. Status


We consider Status one of the most useful money tools for a few reasons: It brings all of your accounts into one place so you can monitor how much money you have coming in and out all in one place. It let’s you know how you are doing compared to your peers as far as your spending, debt, credit score and income are concerned. It even makes cash flow projections for you!
But here is the real kicker…Status will actually pay you to get control of your finances.
As you use Status, the app will make recommendations for ways you can improve your finances, save more, spend less — you get the idea.
When you act on Status’ recommendations you earn cash rewards. You get $5 immediately for singing up, $1 for linking your credit report so you can monitor it, $1 for linking your first bank account, $20 for consolidating your debt…the list goes on and an on.
There’s no limit to how much you make and you can get the money wired to your bank account as soon as you hit the $10 mark.
You should want to get control of your finances no matter what, but the fact that there is a way to get paid for doing it makes it all the sweeter.
Did we mention that Status is completely free? Sign up to Status now and start earning cash rewards just for being smart with your money.

6. Shopper’s Voice


Why pay for stuff when you can get it for free? Shopper’s Voice® is one of our favorite resources for earning rewards like coupons, free samples and other free stuff — all from the comfort of home. It’s no wonder people brag about getting brand full-size products via Shopper’s Voice®.

Another really cool perk of being a member of Shopper’s Voice®? Complete a simple questionnaire and you’ll enter to win $1,500this month.
FYI: The people who swear by Shopper’s Voice® tend to be slightly older — over 25 — as this is a great way to earn free online stuffto supplement the monthly budget when you are taking care of a family!

7. Chime


What are you going to do with all this extra cash if you don’t have a savings account yet? Consider joining a 100% free bank like Chimewhich does more than practically any bank when it comes to helping its customers save.
Unlike traditional banks, Chime operates fully online and doesn’t have any physical branches. That means something amazing, that they are able to offer 100% fee-free banking.
Just imagine actually liking your bank because they aren’t out to rip you off.

Chime’s Automatic Savings feature saves you money by rounding up your transactions to the nearest dollar and then transferring the change to your Savings Account. It’s a dead-simple way to save.
You can also get your paycheck two days early when getting paid via direct deposit. If your fridge is bare right before payday, those two days are huge.

8. InboxDollars


The perk of doing paid surveys is that you can earn anywhere. The problem is that most survey sites are really difficult to use on phones. The one big exception is InboxDollars. You’ll be able to earn extra money using InboxDollars literally anywhere you are, right on your phone.
InboxDollars surveys are some of the highest paying out there. They also give you a $5 welcome bonus right off the bat.
People swear by this:

Pro tip: People who earn the most on InboxDollars know that it’s important to stick with it for at least an hour at a time, so you start getting fed the highest paid surveys possible by the site.

9. Shopkick


If you want free money simply for going shopping, make sure to try Shopkick. It’s a fun app that lets you earn free gift cards to your favorite stores for the shopping you are doing everyday.
Simply walk in to stores likes Walmart or Target and scan products to easily earn at least one $20 gift card per month. Whether your shopping for clothes, make-up, groceries or tech items you’re sure to find great deals and ways to earn with the wide range of partners they have (Best Buy, Ulta, Amazon and Macy’s to name a few!).
It’s really a smart choice for anyone on a tight budget.

10. Morning Brew


Want to find the next big tech stock to invest in or spot an awesome side hustle opportunity before anyone else? You’ll want to subscribe to Morning Brew.
Over 1.5 million people jump start their mornings by reading Morning Brew, a free daily newsletter with the latest news from Wall Street to Silicon Valley — written with a splash of humor.
It’s a 5-minute guide to the business world for busy people who don’t have time to read WSJ cover to cover.
All you need to do is enter your email to join – why wouldn’t you give it a shot?

11. S’more (Android users only)


Think about the amount of time that you spend looking at your phone every day. Now, imagine if you were getting paid for all of that time.
With S’more (download for Android) you will be earning cash every time you unlock your Android phone (sorry iPhone people).
Right about now you are probably rolling your eyes and thinking this is a scam. It’s not. S’more is helping brands reach people with their content/products and that’s what they are paying you to look at. You don’t need to click anything to get paid, either.
In return for doing almost nothing, you can earn gift cards to places including Amazon, Best Buy, CVS, Target, Starbucks and more.
Just use your phone like normal and you’ll accrue points which can be cashed out when you’ve earned as little as $1. If you use an Android phone, what’s not to love?


Video Selfies Can Be Used to Measure Blood Pressure: Study




Researchers have tested a technology called transdermal optical imaging.


Highlights
  • Study shows facial videos can include information about blood pressure
  • It has been published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging
  • Researchers believe the new technology is highly accurate.
New technology is designed to measure blood pressure through smartphone-captured facial videos
In good news for people who have blood pressure (BP) problems, monitoring BP might one day become as easy as taking a video selfie.
Researchers have tested a technology called transdermal optical imaging that measures blood pressure by detecting blood flow changes in smartphone-captured facial videos.
"This study shows that facial video can contain some information about systolic blood pressure," said researcher Ramakrishna Mukkamala, Professor at the Michigan State University.
Ambient light penetrates the skin's outer layer allowing digital optical sensors in smartphones to visualise and extract blood flow patterns, which transdermal optical imaging models can use to predict blood pressure.
"High blood pressure is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease -- a leading cause of death and disability. To manage and prevent it, regular monitoring of one's blood pressure is essential," said study lead author Kang Lee, Professor at the University of Toronto in Canada.
"Cuff-based blood pressure measuring devices, while highly accurate, are inconvenient and uncomfortable. Users tend not to follow American Heart Association guidelines and device manufacturers' suggestion to take multiple measurements each time," Lee said.
For the study, published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging, the research team measured the blood flow of 1,328 Canadian and Chinese adults by capturing two-minute videos using an iPhone equipped with transdermal optical imaging software.
The researchers compared systolic, diastolic and pulse pressure measurements captured from smartphone videos to blood pressure readings using a traditional cuff-based continuous blood pressure measurement device.
The researchers used the data to teach the technology how to accurately determine blood pressure and pulse from facial blood flow patterns.
They found that on average, transdermal optical imaging predicted systolic blood pressure with nearly 95 percent accuracy and diastolic blood pressure with pulse pressure at nearly 96 percent accuracy.
The technology's high accuracy is within international standards for devices used to measure blood pressure, according to Lee.
Researchers videoed faces in a well-controlled environment with fixed lighting, so it is unclear whether the technology can accurately measure blood pressure in less controlled environments, including homes.
Also, while the study participants had a variety of skin tones, the sample lacked subjects with either extremely dark or fair skin. 

Redmi 64-Megapixel Camera Phone Launching in India in Q4


Redmi 64-Megapixel Camera Phone Launching in India in Q4, Xiaomi Phone 100-Megapixel Camera Incoming
Redmi 64-megapixel camera phone uses Samsung’s ISOCELL Bright GW1 sensor
Xiaomi on Wednesday shared more details about its upcoming 64-megapixel camera phone. The company confirmed that the smartphone will be released as a part of Redmi sub-brand and will be using Samsung's ISOCELL Bright GW1 sensor. Xiaomi also noted that the Redmi 64-megapixel camera phone will be launched in India in Q4 of this year. So, we can expect it to reach stores sometime between October and December. Additionally, Xiaomi also revealed that it will be bringing a Mi-branded phone with a 100-megapixel camera. This upcoming Mi phone will also be using a 108-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL sensor, however there is no word on when the phone will make its debut.
The Chinese company revealed the details of the upcoming Redmi and Mi phones in a Weibo post and a press statement shared with Gadgets 360 on Wednesday. The company did not share any actual details about the phones and mostly talked about the sensors. The exact sensor being used in the Mi 100-megapixel camera phone is unknown at this point.
We do now know that upcoming Redmi 64-megapixel camera phone will be using the Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1 sensor. This sensor was unveiled by Samsung in May this year.
“The ISOCELL Bright GW1 is a high 64-megapixel resolution image sensor designed to take bright and sharp photographs in any lighting with Tetracell and 3D HDR technology,” Samsung says on its website. “The ISOCELL Bright GW1 features 0.8um pixel with ISOCELL Plus technology that significantly increases light sensitivity and color fidelity for more accurate and clearer photos.”
The Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor with 0.8um pixel size (1.6um after four pixels are combined for 16-megapixel photo). The sensor also supports Hybrid 3D HDR to “capture more detailed images”.
Meanwhile, Realme, which is also teasing its upcoming 64-megapixel camera smartphone, has indicated that the smartphone will be called Realme 5. Both Xiaomi and Realme phones are expected to compete with each other. Realme will share more details about its upcoming 64-megapixel camera phone on Thursday.

The best travel and weather apps for iPhone


Our favorite iPhone apps for planning a holiday, currency conversion, weather forecasts and mapping.

Dark Sky Weather

  • US$3.99/£3.99
Dark Sky Weather started out primarily as a rainfall tracker, with luminous clouds billowing over a dark background map. Now, the app is much more conventional – but arguably massively more useful.
The main forecast page shows current conditions and a local map. Usefully, little arrows denote the direction a storm’s heading, so you can always spot that at a glance, rather than having to check the full animated rainfall view. Below that you get rainfall predictions for the hour, the daily forecast, and a weekly outlook. It’s all very sleek, efficient and usable.
The app’s accuracy may vary by location, but during testing in various countries we’ve found its rainfall predictions to be spot-on. It’s also a nicely flexible app regarding warnings – several notifications are built in, and you can add your own based on a range of weather conditions.

V for Wikipedia

  • $5.99/£5.99/AU$9.99
V for Wikipedia is a Wikipedia reader. That in itself might sound like an odd recommendation for a premium app, but bear with us.
Although V can be used to search Wikipedia in the normal way, it starts off in its Nearby tab, flagging articles of interest in your vicinity. This looks great, tabs snaking their way from map locations to large thumbnails. It’s practical, too, for finding out more about the local area, without resorting to review-oriented web services.
This sense of polish extends to the article views. Typography and layout are first class, and a slide-in contents list is only a tap away. So while you might narrow your eyes at the prospect of paying for a Wikipedia reader, Viki will have said eyes busily and regularly reading the world’s most dynamic encyclopedia.

WeatherPro

  • $0.99/79p/AU$0.99
WeatherPro is a weather app designed for people who favor information density over aesthetics. That’s not to say WeatherPro looks bad – its white-on-blue stylings are perfectly nice. But where it excels is in providing fast access to a wealth of weather data.
For any selected location, a single screen shows the current conditions, a local radar, upcoming predictions and then a forecast for the coming week. The latter packs temperatures, sun hours, precipitation forecasts and wind speeds into a tiny space.
In pretty much all cases, tapping on something lets you delve into even more information, and additional taps provide layered mapping and radar services. Accessing some layers requires an IAP subscription, but just the bare-bones WeatherPro is a great buy if you want at-a-glance forecasts packed with detail.

Citymapper

  • Free
Citymapper is a navigation aid for finding your way around big cities. It doesn’t cover the entire globe, but is instead focused on a handful of major destinations, such as New York, Chicago, Tokyo, London, Paris and Sydney. Locations are periodically added by way of user votes.
If you live in or visit a supported city, Citymapper is superb for helping you find your way around more efficiently. The app quickly finds where you are and offers options – in real-time – of how to reach your intended target.
And small details really help it stand out, such as you being able to track the location of a bus you’re waiting for, alerts that blare when your stop’s coming up, and even recommendations of the best carriage to get on – and the fastest station exit to use.

Google Maps

  • Free
Google Maps is the best mapping app on iPhone.
It’s extremely good at locating places you want to visit, be that a distant town or a point of interest like a restaurant or store. When it comes to turn-by-turn driving directions, the voiceovers lack the nuance of Apple’s Maps, but the actual directions tend to be more helpful when it comes to dealing with incidents like congestion.
Google Maps is great for planning and non-car use, too. There are reviews and recommendations for places to go, public transport routing, and Street View – a navigable 3D street-level map for scoping out landmarks that proves handy when traveling somewhere or visiting a new place.
Importantly, you can also download chunks of map for offline use, turning Google Maps into a turn-by-turn navigator even when you lack a data connection.

CARROT Weather

  • $3.99/£3.99/AU$5.99
CARROT Weather rethinks weather apps, mostly in being helmed by an angry AI that seemingly won the ‘most likely to kill people in their sleep’ award over HAL. Sure, you get the usual rainfall warnings, hourly forecasts, and weekly outlooks, but they’re all delivered with a layer of snark.
Venture into the excellent Today view widget and CARROT will ‘LOL’ if it’s going to rain. If it’s sunny, she’ll hope you get tan lines, call you a meatbag, and suggest you make the most of the nice weather – “or else”.
It’s uniquely entertaining in its App Store category, but also usable, colorful, and configurable. The maps are extremely variable by country, and some layers require IAP – as do a number of useful settings. But otherwise this is one of the best – and certainly the most fun – weather apps for iPhone.

Elk

  • $3.99/£3.99/AU$5.99
We’ve lost count of how many currency converters exist on the App Store, but it’s vanishingly rare to see anyone try something properly different.
Elk bucks the trend, with a unique interface and approach that might not appeal to traders, but feels very much like currency conversion for the rest of us.
On firing up the app, you select your two currencies and it offers a list of current rate conversions. For USD to EUR, for example, you get a list of the rates for one through ten dollars. Swiping from the right increases these values by ten. To access rates between two values, tap an entry.
Smartly, you can also input a fixed rate, for example to track your spending on a holiday when you’ve already got your cash. Most of the features are behind a paywall, but a 14-day trial lets you try them for free.

Poison Maps

  • $1.99/£1.99/AU$2.99
This one’s all about ‘points of interest’, hence the name – Poison Maps (‘POIs on maps’). Essentially, it’s a wealth of information from OpenStreetMap shoved into an app and twinned with an interface that makes it a cinch to drill down into categories.
So, mooching about London and fancy a bite to eat? Tap on the food and drink icon. Something quick? Tap Fast Food. Pizza? Sounds good.
Each tap filters the POIs and navigation buttons displayed, and arrows point at nearby locations when you’re zoomed in. Everything’s extremely responsive, and the maps and icons are clear and easy to read. Other nice bits include a full-screen mode, a search function, and public transport overlays.
The only snag is Poison Maps is a gargantuan install – well over 1GB. If that’s a bit rich, smaller regional alternatives by the same developer exist, each being a free download with a small IAP to unlock all categories.

Living Earth

  • $3.99/£3.99/AU$5.99
From a functionality standpoint, Living Earth is a combination clock/weather app. You define a bunch of cities to track, and switch between them to see current time, weather conditions, and when the sun's going to make an appearance and vanish for the day.
Tapping the forecast quickly loads an outlook for the entire week; prod the clock and you'll get the weather and time in each of your defined locations.
What sets Living Earth apart, though, is the globe at the screen's centre. This provides a live view of the planet's weather - clouds, by default, which can be swapped for temperature, wind and humidity.
We like the clouds most, along with the way the virtual planet can be slowly spun with the slightest swipe. It'll then lazily rotate between zones in daylight and those lit up after night has fallen.

The best productivity apps for iPhone


Our favorite iPhone apps for being productive with launchers, focus timers and to-do lists.
Image credit: Super Useful Ltd
Image credit: Super Useful Ltd

Magpie

  • Free + $2.99/£2.49/AU$4.49 per month
Magpie reimagines notes and reminders for the visually inclined. The experience focuses on photographs rather than being words-first. Create new lists and items, and you’re invited to take snaps or load existing ones. When browsing lists, your eyes are dazzled by the imagery rather than bogged down in text.
That said, Magpie doesn’t eschew words entirely. You can add brief notes to any list item, and for the likes of gift lists, it’s possible to add prices, links, and even locations. Once you’ve built up a bit of a collection, Magpie shines especially bright on iPhone, as you browse your items.
For a few bucks a month, there’s plenty of value here if you want a creative spin on note-taking and lists – and one that’s far more sleek and arresting than the closest equivalent Apple provides itself.

Bin Day Alert

  • $1.99/£1.99/AU$2.99
Bin Day Alert does what you’d expect from its name – alerts you when it’s bin day. But although this is every inch a focused app, it also has the flexibility to cater for any refuse system, wherever you happen to live (and however complex the collection cycles are).
So rather than limiting you to a basic schedule, Bin Day Alert invites you to define each type of trash you deal with, give it a color and an icon, and outline when collections occur. For example, if your recycling is picked up every three weeks on a Wednesday, the app has you covered.
Beyond that, you set alerts. Handily, you’re not limited to one – so if you casually dismiss one the evening before, you can get a further reminder on the day itself to put a bin out.

NordVPN

  • Various subscriptions
NordVPN is a VPN app for iPhone. It encrypts your internet traffic, making it effectively impossible for anyone else to decipher. The company doesn’t keep logs of activity, and because you can use servers in any country, the app lets you circumvent many geographic blockers.
That might all sound a bit nefarious, but there are many reasons why a VPN can be handy, including enhancing safety when using public Wi-Fi, and getting at media subscriptions when on holiday.
What sets NordVPN apart from much of the competition is a combination of reliability, performance, and usability. Setting things up is a cinch, and although speeds are slower than on vanilla Wi-Fi, you won’t feel the hit. 
Once you’ve downloaded the app, do, though, subscribe via the NordVPN website, because the regular offers are significantly cheaper than signing up in-app. 

MindNode 6

  • Free + $14.99/£14.99/AU$22.99
MindNode 6 is a desktop-grade mind-mapping tool for iPhone. 
Creating complex diagrams perhaps isn’t best suited to a small handheld device, but MindNode speeds things along with Quick Entry. With this feature, you create a bullet-point list, tap a button, and the app instantly transforms your thoughts into a mind map.
After that, the sky’s the limit. You can snap nodes and branches into position or go free-form, and add labels, stickers, and images for more context. If everything gets a bit complicated, you can hide connections, and/or focus on one part of your map. 
Full iCloud support lets you start on your iPhone and pick up elsewhere; but from any device, you can export to a range of formats. Top stuff, then, when you need to get ideas out of your head, and explore them in a logical, visual, useful manner.

1Blocker X

  • $4.99/£4.99/AU$7.99
1Blocker X is a robust, powerful, and user-friendly app for improving the web browsing experience on your phone – mostly by blocking things. Once 1Blocker X is approved in Settings > Safari > Content Blockers, it’s a cinch to block ads, trackers, and other annoyances, such as comments and social media widgets. 
There’s nuance in the app’s settings, too. You can whitelist favorite sites, stating specifically what things (if any) should be blocked on them, and even write your own rules to hide specific CSS elements.
If that all sounds complex, don’t be concerned. At its core, 1Blocker X is simply a case of flicking some switches. Importantly, this paid indie app cares about privacy, too, and so you can be assured it’s doing nothing nefarious while making the internet on your iPhone a better and safer place.

Yoink

  • US$4.99/£4.99/AU$7.99
Yoink can be thought of as a super-charged version of the clipboard. It’s used to stash all kinds of things for later – text snippets, URLs, images, and even documents and emails. Items added to Yoink can be renamed, formed into groups called ‘stacks’, and previewed.
Files integration means you can get at everything you’ve stored in the app without actually going into Yoink itself. Siri Shortcuts support also means you can stash your clipboard’s contents without first activating the app.
Cross-device capabilities round out a great app – iCloud sync allows you to get at Yoink content saved on any of your devices. And so although this is probably not an app you’ll use every day, it’s a massive time-saver when you need to collate files from disparate sources on mobile.

Fantastical 2

  • $4.99/£4.99/AU$7.99
Fantastical 2 acts as a replacement for the iOS Calendar app. You might question the logic in buying something like this, but Fantastical 2 quickly pays for itself by making you more efficient.
This is apparent the second you check out the main view. Rather than having to laboriously tap each day to see its events, Fantastical 2 provides a scrollable feed, making it a cinch to see how your schedule looks into the future – and to quickly browse the past.
Reminders are integrated, too, and event input includes a powerful natural-language parser. As you tap in the likes of ‘TechRadar lunch at 3pm on Friday’, a live preview builds. And none of the data you add is locked in – Fantastical 2 works with your existing iCloud account, Google Calendar, or Exchange.

BFT - Bear Focus Timer

  • $0.99/£0.99/AU$1.49
BFT - Bear Focus Timer is yet another app designed to make you use your iPhone less and concentrate more, but if you need a sense of focus and are easily distracted by your iPhone, it’s one of the best of its kind.
First, it features a friendly bear, and who doesn’t like bears? Secondly, the app’s Pomodoro-style timers are adjustable, so you can fine-tune lengths for work, short breaks, session counts, and long breaks (recommended after several work/short break sessions).
The app’s interface is the real star though, inviting you to turn your device upside-down to get the timer going. Pick up your phone and the timer stops, while the previously friendly bear scowls. It’s amusing and chastising in equal measure, making you smile, flip your phone back, and listen to the app’s helpful hubbub-drowning noise loops.

Things 3

  • $9.99/£9.99/AU$14.99
Things 3 is a task manager that wants to help you get more done. The interface is sleek and the workflow is smart, helping you collect thoughts and plan your time efficiently.
The app’s core is to-dos, but it allows you to add context, such as the time, date or location that you plan to carry the task out. Things 3 then populates a Today view with the day’s tasks (cleverly grouping things you do at home under a This Evening heading), and puts later tasks in an Upcoming list.
The finer points of the app’s design and interactions make it a joy to use. Animations are subtle, but colors are bold. Clever details are dotted about, like the ability to position a new entry by dragging the to-do button to a list.
Things 3 isn’t cheap – especially if you also buy it on iPad and Mac – but the potential time savings make it good value.

Forest

  • $1.99/£1.99/AU$2.99
The idea behind Forest is to get you to leave your iPhone alone. It does this by having you plant a tiny sapling and set a timer. If you succeed in not using your iPhone until the timer’s done, you get to plant what’s now a little tree in a virtual forest. If you succumb to temptation, Forest mercilessly kills your tree, leaving a barren little twig.
Amusingly, if you try to trick the app by switching away, it’ll immediately send a terse reminder to have you switch right back. But despite this somewhat gruff element, Forest ranks among the best gamified focus aids.
Over time, it’s rewarding to see your forest grow, unlock new trees, and delve into detailed statistics. Also, using coins earned in-app, you can buy real trees for communities that need them. And all because you avoided Facebook for a few hours.

Focus Keeper

  • $1.99/£1.99/AU$2.99
Focus and burnout are two commonplace issues for people in work. Too often, you can become distracted from tasks; but also there’s the risk of working long hours without a break, leading to fatigue. Focus Keeper aims to deal with both.
The timer is loosely based around the Pomodoro Technique (a time management method), and recommends splitting your time between 25-minute work sprints and five-minute breaks. After four sessions, you take a longer break of about half an hour.
The app is clutter-free, and easy to use. The timer combines a minimal iOS-like design aesthetic with hints of a real-world timer’s dial. You can delve into statistics, adjust work/break lengths, and choose alternate alarm and ‘ticking’ noises. Most importantly, however  much this is all about psychology, it does work. Need convincing? Try the free version first.