How To Convert iCloud (iPhone, iOS, etc) Contacts to Google Sheets/Excel

Hey everyone! It’s been a while, I know. Life has been busy lately and I’ve been slammed with a lot of things to do, and unfortunately Handz Studioz has needed to become a back burner project. That said, I have some useful information for you all today, and this was just so good that I couldn’t keep it to myself.

Here’s a bit of back story: about a month and a half ago, my laptop (which I use for everything: photo/video, writing, school…the whole nine yards) died. We’re talking six feet under, bit the dust type of dead. Due to some issues (which I won’t get into) with the company which I purchased my new laptop from, I was without a PC for a total of about four weeks. Thus, I managed everything from my iPhone, which was very difficult, to say the least.

One of the main issues that I ran into when setting up my new PC was integrating my contacts, for two primary reasons:

  1. My old laptop is quite dead. It doesn’t like to boot :( That makes importing contacts from the old laptop fairly difficult, and I didn’t want to take apart the machine to get a separate HDD reader.
  2. I also gained new contacts in the month that I was without a computer. I attended multiple conferences during that time, and met some great people. So at this point, I’ve got old contacts on my old laptop, as well as new contacts on my phone that aren’t on the old laptop.

The saving grace of the whole issue was that all the contacts that were on my laptop were also stored on my phone and in iCloud, so I had access to all my contacts on my phone. Thus, I needed to transfer my contacts from iCloud onto my new PC. The best way to perform this operation was, in my mind, to convert those contacts into a spreadsheet. So how do we do this? I’m glad you asked. (Please note that, in order to maintain my contacts’ privacy, I have redacted portions of the following screenshots.)

Start by accessing your contacts in iCloud. Go to http://icloud.com/ and click on “Contacts”, or use this direct link: http://icloud.com/#contacts/ You may be prompted to log in if you haven’t visited the site recently. You can see the full size images by clicking on these thumbnails.
iCloud Contacts

Next, click on the Settings toggle in the bottom left corner, and click Select All.
Select All Contacts

Once all your contacts are selected, click Export vCard.
Export vCard File

This will create a .vcf document containing all your contacts; this is commonly referred to as a contact card. Think of .vcf like a compressed text document. Just save this file to your desktop.
Save VCF File

At this point, you’ve downloaded a .vcf file, AKA contact card, which is very useful in its own right. This .vcf file can be imported into your Windows Contacts natively on your PC, so that you’ll have them for use in your address book. This is a pretty straightforward process: just open the .vcf file and follow the prompts. However, I wanted to put all my contacts into a spreadsheet, and that’s what this tutorial is all about, so we aren’t quite done yet. vCard files cannot be read by Excel/Google Sheets, so we need to convert the file into a readable format. That format is .csv, or Comma Separated Values. We’ll use an online converter for this; a quick Google search will yield a wide selection of results, but this converter is the one I prefer to use: http://labs.brotherli.ch/vcfconvert/

It’s imperative that you input the correct settings before converting, so pay close attention here. Click “Choose File”, and once you’ve uploaded the .vcf file, set Format to “CSV”, change the dropdown menu beside Format to “Comma”, and make sure the “Add Header Line” box is ticked. Set Encoding to “Unicode (UTF-8)”, and leave Filter and Modifications alone. See the screenshot below for reference.
Convert VCF to CSV

Download the resulting .csv file to your PC. This file can be opened directly in Microsoft Excel, edited, and saved as a .xlxs spreadsheet file. In order to open this in Google Sheets, follow these instructions: upload the file to your Google Drive, and then open the file. A preview window will open, and you’ll be able to see all your contacts in the .csv file, formatted as a spreadsheet. However, this is not a Google Sheets file, and you can’t edit it. To remedy this, click on “Open with Google Sheets” at the top of the screen.
CSV File In Google Drive

This will open a new tab in your browser, with all your contacts in a Google Sheets document. You can edit this, export it, or do pretty much anything you like with it. Sometimes it’s helpful to be able to see all your contacts on a page, and that’s exactly what this allows you to do.
Contacts In Google Sheets File

If you found this tutorial helpful, let us know by dropping a comment down below! Please be sure to share this with your contacts (see what I did there :) ) who might find it helpful too. Thanks for reading! We look forward to hearing from you. If you so desire, you can sign up for email notifications every time we write a new post. Your contact info (see what I did there…again :) ) will not be published.

– The Editor

Is the iPhone 6s Really the Best Smartphone On the Market? Meet the OnePlus 3

Apple has for nearly 10 years, essentially since the first iPhone came out in 2007, dominated the smartphone industry. They’ve been launching new phones year after year, each getting more powerful. Recently, Apple launched its new flagship phone: the iPhone 6s. This thing is a beast. A powerful processor, great screen, aesthetic design, and phenomenal camera and video capabilities combine to make the ultimate smartphone. Or do they? Meet the OnePlus 3.

Image of OnePlus 3

In this post we’ll be systematically comparing the phones, through each category of capability and hardware features. So now, let’s jump right in and see if the big brand name really means the best product on the market.

Footprint and Appearance

In comparing these two phones, you’ll notice that they both have trim lines and are very appealing to the eye. Both sport aluminum backs and GorillaGlass screens. The OnePlus 3 comes in at 152mm x 74.7mm x 7.35mm, so it is comparable in size to the iPhone 6s Plus. Therefore, that is what this comparison will focus on: the 6s Plus vs the OnePlus 3. The 6s Plus comes in at 158mm x 77.9mm x 7.3mm. The OnePlus wins this battle, primarily for two reasons:

  1. Both phones sport 5.5″ screens (measured on the diagonal), but the OnePlus has nearly a 20-square-millimeter smaller footprint.
  2. The OnePlus weighs 34 grams less than the iPhone (that’s more than an ounce for you folks that aren’t into math), at 158g vs 192g for the iPhone 6s Plus. This, combined with the smaller footprint, results in a phone with the same screen size as the iPhone, but in a much more comfortable and ergonomic package.

View of OnePlus 3 Dimensions

Battery

For most people, the battery on their phone is one of the most important pieces. Nearly everyone carries a charger around with them everywhere they go. For many of us, our phone is our lifeline to work, family, and contacts, so we need our phones to stay charged throughout the day. The OnePlus also wins this battle, carrying a 3000 mAh battery vs a 2750 mAh battery in the 6s Plus. In a recent review by GizMag, a battery test was conducted that shows that not only is the OnePlus’ battery larger, it’s also better-performing with the phone. A one hour video was streamed while the phones were on full brightness. The OnePlus drained 11% while the iPhone (one of the phones in the test) drained 13%. Although that might not sound like a huge difference, GizMag reports that after a day of normal use, the OnePlus has 20-30% battery left. Speaking from experience, the iPhone 6s models tend to chew through battery.

In addition to having a powerful battery, OnePlus has created a charging unit called the Dash Charging System, which can charge the OnePlus 3 to over 60% in just 30 minutes. The Lightning connector system is fast, but not nearly this fast. Score 2-0, in favor of OnePlus.

Processing Hardware and Performance

Once again, the OnePlus trumps the iPhone in this category as well (the iPhone does come out on top in some categories, I promise). In this section, we’ll be going through the processing components of both phones and comparing them step by step.

  1. Central Processing Unit (CPU): The iPhone 6s Plus carries its trendy A9 chipset (widely marketed due to its 64-bit nature), which includes a dual-core 1.84 GHz Twister CPU. Not bad, right? I mean that’s as good as some older laptops/low end laptops of today! Sorry Apple. OnePlus wins again. The OnePlus has a Snapdragon 820, a monster 64-bit chipset which pairs two 2.2 GHz cores with two 1.6 GHz cores. This is comparable to many laptops today. It’s an extremely powerful processor — I can guarantee you this phone will not lag.
  2. Graphics Processing Unit (GPU): The iPhone performs very well here, sporting six-core graphics thanks to a PowerVR GT7600. Games and other graphics-heavy activities perform flawlessly on the iPhone 6s Plus. The OnePlus is essentially comparable, carrying the Adreno 530, one of the latest superpower GPUs from Adreno. The image below shows how the Adreno 530 in the Snapdragon 820 increases performance while simultaneously decreasing power drain.
  3. In the final stage of the processing hardware comparison, the OnePlus 3 pulls ahead once again. RAM, or Random Access Memory, is essentially the cache for your phone or computer. It’s temporary storage that allows the device to run processes in the background and store information temporarily for lighting-fast access. The more RAM you have, the more information can be put into temporary storage for fast access, and the more information can be cached at once. Let’s just cut to the chase. The iPhone 6s has the industry standard 2 GB of RAM. The OnePlus has 6 GB. That’s more than a lot of laptops (4 is quite common for notebook laptops such as Chromebooks)! Bottom line, the OnePlus 3 is a processing beast which will never, ever lag, seamlessly transition and display graphics, and compute anything you could ever imagine.

Adreno 530 Performance

Ports

Since this is an in-depth review, let’s take a quick look at the ports on both phones before moving on. As usual, the iPhone 6s Plus does not have a microSD slot, so that Apple can charge ridiculous amounts of money for extra storage. Interestingly for an Android based phone, the OnePlus also lacks a slot. However, this is less of an issue because the OnePlus comes only in one size, 64 GB, which is plenty of space for most people. In addition, the price/storage ratio is much more appealing as we’ll discuss a little later. Both phones have their respective charging ports, and in the case of the OnePlus, the charging port is also a microUSB 2.0 port, as is common on Android phones. Both phones have a standard 3.5mm headphone jack as well. The OnePlus has a SIM card tray, as does the iPhone depending for which carrier you purchase it (Verizon does not use a SIM card because of their use of the CDMA networking system).

Buttons and Switches

The two phones are roughly comparable when it comes to this section. Both have round or rounded home buttons, each with an integrated fingerprint scanner. GizMag wrote in their review that the scanner in the OnePlus is “very fast.” Both phones have standard volume buttons. OnePlus did something a little out of the ordinary for an Android phone, taking a hint from Apple and including a physical notification mute switch next to the volume slider. All in all, the phones are about the same in this category; the speed of the fingerprint scanner is unlikely to make much of an impact. The iPhone scanner is already quite fast.

Screen

Here is where the iPhone really excels. Now obviously the Retina display has been one of the most marketed features of Apple products since it was created for the iPad 3. Apple has continued to refine the technology, and the iPhone 6s Plus does not disappoint. Now the main pro of the Retina display has less to do with the pixel density and more to do with dual domain pixels for better viewing across a wide range of angles. However, what might surprise you is that the OnePlus 3 matches Apple’s flagship phone and their widely marketed display. The 6s Plus has a full HD screen, at 1920 x 1080 pixels across a 5.5″ display. That comes to 401 ppi, which is pretty darn good. The OnePlus has a full HD screen, at 1920 x 1080 pixels across a 5.5″ display. That comes to 401 ppi. Sound familiar? So to wrap this section up, yes, the iPhone does win here. But it does so just barely.

Camera Function: Still Pictures

In its latest iPhone models, Apple made huge upgrades to the cameras. Unfortunately for Apple, however, 12 MP is not the industry standard anymore. As cameras have gotten smaller and smaller, phone cameras have gotten better and better. As a result, we’ve seen some windows phones with ridiculously high megapixel counts. That being said, let’s go over the cameras of these phones, with regard to still photography. The iPhone 6s Plus has a 12 MP rear camera (the main camera) which can also record video, as we’ll discuss momentarily. It can take a variety of photos, such as high dynamic range (HDR) photos, panoramas at up to a stunning 63 MP, or pictures with non-standard aspect ratios (such as square). The front, AKA “selfie” camera is 5 MP and can perform essentially basic pictures and video recording. The iPhone also has an integrated self timer and smile detection.

The OnePlus 3 matches all of this and does more. It carries a 16 MP rear camera, which takes very high quality photos, even in low light situations. Not only are the pictures themselves high quality, but the control is as well. The OnePlus has a lot of manual functions, giving it an SLR-esque feel. In addition, the OnePlus allows for RAW image exports in addition to JPEG, just like a high quality SLR camera. The selfie camera on the OnePlus is also high quality than that of the iPhone, at 8 MP with the same smile detection and other fancy features of the iPhone. Bottom line: the OnePlus 3 shares all of the same features of the iPhone, and then some. Plus, the cameras themselves are better quality.

Camera Function: Video Recording

Here’s where the iPhone actually pulls a bit ahead of the OnePlus. For the most part, the OnePlus has a better camera; however, the iPhone has slightly better video capabilities. The iPhone records several different sizes and frame rates of video out of its main camera. It will record 30, 60, and 120 fps in full 1080p HD, 30 fps in 4K(!!!), and 120 and 240 fps in 720p. The selfie camera will record 30 fps in 720p. In addition to these features, with the release of iOS 8 many Apple devices received time lapse recording capability, and this has been carried over into newer devices and more recent OS updates.

The video capabilities of the OnePlus are mostly the same. It records 30 fps in 1080p HD and 30 fps in 4K. The main difference is found in the slow motion capabilities. It does record slow motion, but it is 120 fps in 720p. It does not have a 240 fps feature. Personally, since the camera is on the whole much better (taking into account the still photo specs), this is a price I’m willing to pay.

The Final Comparison – Pricing

Up until now, it’s been easy to see we are comparing two very excellent phones. Granted, the OnePlus has amazing processing capabilities that are better than the iPhone 6s models. However, they are both excellent phones. So, here’s where the rubber really meets the road: how much these phones cost. Buying an unlocked iPhone 6s Plus, in its base 16 GB (not much storage, trust me) model will cost you a gut-wrenching $749. The next model up (and really the first one worth buying) will get you 64 GB for $849. So far we’ve seen that the OnePlus 3 is comparable to, and in several areas surpasses the iPhone 6s Plus. That probably leaves you wondering how the prices match up. As already mentioned, the OnePlus 3 comes in one size, of 64 GB. But it’s not $849. Try $399. Yup. A comparable, even arguably inferior iPhone will cost you 225% of what the OnePlus 3 costs. For me at least, that seals the deal. The phone itself is fantastic, but with the price OnePlus offers, they have truly created their own “flagship killer” at last.

Folks, we have a winner:

OnePlus Logo

Thanks so much for reading! If you enjoyed this in-depth comparison, be sure to hit that like button before you leave. Please share us with your friends, family, and others you believe would enjoy our content. Feel free to make use of our share buttons below.

– The Editor

Links for further reading:
https://oneplus.net/3/overview

http://www.apple.com/iphone-6s/specs/

http://wccftech.com/snapdragon-820-official-folks/

http://www.gizmag.com/oneplus-3-review/44306/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=840e81bc8e-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-840e81bc8e-91209505

Reflections on the Apple Watch

Apple Watch

Last fall, after the announcement of the Apple Watch, we did a post with our speculations regarding the product. How the sales would go, the features, so on and so forth, were covered. Let’s be honest: the Galaxy Gear (Samsung) didn’t work out well; and really, who has any of the Android Wear lineup? But our conclusion was this: the Apple Watch isn’t going to be a flop — and that still holds true. However, there are some pros and some cons to this new device.

Apple announced the release of the three Watch models (Sport, Watch, Edition) on April 6th, and opened the store for pre-ordering on April 10th at 3:01 AM Eastern Time. Since then, as reported by the LA Times and USA Today, the Watch is back-ordered four months, putting shipping dates into the summer. Jeff Perkins, VP for PGi, a web conferencing company based in Atlanta, GA, counts himself one of the lucky few who were able to beat the rush by ordering at 7 AM. Despite this, his Watch doesn’t ship until some time in May.

Pros:

The features of the Apple Watch are, well, jaw-droppingly good. Heart rate monitoring, texting, fitness tracking, notifications, telecommunications, just to name a few. The usability of the Watch is also good. The “digital crown” (scroll wheel) is seamlessly integrated into the Watch’s interface. It serves as a home button, a scroll wheel, and more.

Another well-designed feature of the Watch is the display. Besides being a touch screen, it is also pressure sensitive, which allows for a much better level of user interaction with the device. Press firmly on the screen while inside of most apps for access to menus, such as the search and layers dialogue when in Google Maps. You can even send your heart rate to a friend if you like! (Although the usefulness of this feature is beyond me) Despite all the great things about the Watch, there are a few issues.

Cons:

The main problem with the Watch is obvious: the price. We all know that Apple products are expensive, but thankfully, iPhones can be subsidized with the purchase of a contract with the phone; not the case with the Watch. The Sport edition is the only one I would consider buying, at $349 for the 38mm case model and $399 for the 42mm model. Prices continue to go up from there: the Watch model ranges from $549 to $1,099, which is pretty expensive for a watch! But it doesn’t stop there. The Edition model ranges from $10,000 to $17,000; yes, that’s still less than a Breguet Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar, but that’s more than a pre-owned Rolex Men’s President Yellow Gold Fluted Custom Champagne Diamond Dial from Luxury of Watches!

Interestingly enough, this doesn’t seem to be a deterrent for most customers. LA Times reports that, “Pre-orders for Apple’s smartwatch began at 12:01 a.m. PDT Friday…By 12:40 a.m., the Apple Watch Edition — the most high-end of the three models — in rose gold showed a ship date of July. For the yellow-gold version, which ranges in price from $10,000 to $17,000 depending on the strap, it was even longer: August. By 8:30 a.m., the yellow-gold with a red strap and the rose-gold case with a matching strap no longer had an option to buy.”

There is one final con: the compatibility of the Apple Watch. Apple notification emails had a small blurb at the bottom of the message to inform users of some sad news: “Apple Watch requires iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, or 6 Plus and iOS 8.2 or later.” So if you were planning to use this with your iPad mini (whether with cellular or not), sorry. If you have an iPhone 4S, too bad. And if you’ve been resisting the update to iOS 8 but you want the Watch — well, you have a decision to make.


All in all, the Apple Watch doesn’t have the appearances of a flop. The Watch isn’t officially available for purchase until the 24th, but the volume of pre-orders has sent the delivery dates skyrocketing into August. Perhaps we’ll be able to get one to review; keep your fingers crossed!

Until then, be sure to subscribe to Handz Studioz via email so you can be notified about all of our new posts! Please share us with your community, and keep on the lookout for our next post, which will most likely be an in-depth review of the Fitbit Charge HR.

-The Editor

External Links:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/personal/2015/04/09/apple-watch-pre-orders/25522489/
http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-apple-watch-20150410-story.html
http://www.apple.com/watch/

A Couple of Updates on Previous Posts

Hello,
This is a follow-up to two previous posts of ours:

  1. NOOKcolor Hack
  2. IR Camera Hack

Let’s start off with the NOOK.

  1. NOOKcolor Hack:
    We mentioned in that post that we didn’t know of a way to “unroot” the NOOK; now we do. Recently we successfully reset the NOOK to factory defaults. To accomplish this, make sure the NOOK is powered off. Then power it on — wait until the “CyanogenMod” screen with the rotating icon pops up. As soon as that screen pops up, hold down the power button until the NOOK turns off, then wait a few seconds. Repeat 7x (for a total of eight boot interruptions). After the eighth one your NOOK will do one of two things: it will either A) start up as a NOOK by reinstalling the default boot image, or B) you will have to reset it by turning it on again while holding down the volume up (+) button at the same time. After that, you should be good to go.
  2. IR Camera Hack:
    We announced in that post that we didn’t know if you could replace the IR filter, making it a risky hack. About two weeks ago we were in need of another camera for a production, and so decided to try to replace the filter, and we were able to do so successfully, and the camera is now functioning normally. If you are going to do this, just make sure you have the filter and the rubber seals that go around it.

We hope you enjoyed this update and found it helpful. Be sure to check around soon — we’ll be releasing a review of Fitbit’s new ChargeHR sometime soon! Please subscribe to the site (over in the menu bar), and check us out on Google+. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

New YouTube Video — Sony Vegas Tutorial – How to Mask in Movie Studio!

Here’s our latest video on our YouTube channel! In this tutorial we show you how to achieve masking if you don’t have Sony Vegas Pro or Adobe After Effects and are stuck using Sony Vegas Movie Studio.

Be sure to both subscribe to our YouTube channel and to subscribe to the website so you’ll be notified every time we release a new video or post! Also be sure to check us out on Google+!

GIMP download: http://www.gimp.org/downloads/

Handz Studioz YouTube Channel!

This has been on our list for a while, and as the year gets off to a start, we finally did it. Handz Studioz now has its very own YouTube channel! Be sure to check it out and subscribe! Below is the channel trailer — tell us what you think in the comments.

Official Handz Studioz Review — The Best Apps of 2014

logos

You’re probably aware that there are a lot of apps out there. But do you know how many there really are? The facts are pretty stunning — Android users have access to 1.3 million apps via Google Play, and Apple users have access to 1.2 million via the App Store (data from July 2014)! That’s a lot of apps, so we thought we’d simplify things for you a bit. As the year draws to a close, Handz Studioz presents you with our list of the best apps of 2014. We’ve broken them down into the top three for each category (such as games, note taking, education, etc). Enjoy! (Please note that this is mainly geared towards Apple users, but most of these apps are available on the other platforms)

We all like to play, but sadly, work comes before play — so let’s get right into Category 1: Productivity.

First place: Pages, by Apple, Inc. It’s essentially Microsoft Word for Apple products, and despite many other word processors, Pages is still the cream of the crop when it comes to word processing.

Pages

Second place: iA Writer, by Information Architects Inc. This app replaces the default iOS 8 keyboard and adds a new row of keys that let you skip lines and individual letters, parenthesize and quote without switching keyboards, and more. All in all a very good application, although perhaps not quite as good a deal — it’s $4.99; Apple users with newer devices can get Pages for free.

iA Writer

Third place: Evernote, by Evernote. This app is great. It syncs with your Mac or PC, keeps checklists, notes, pictures (they have a neat feature that lets you search the text in an image), and can use your calendar to help you plan. As always, Evernote continues to impress, whether on the computer or the tablet.

Evernote

Now that we’ve done some work, let’s play a little in Category 2: Games. This category is a bit tricky since there are so many different genres of games to choose from, but we’ve decided to rank these based on aspects they all share, such as graphics, performance, etc. Plus fun factor — personally we find Trial Xtreme 3 more interesting and fun than Candy Crush Saga, but that’s open to debate I suppose…

First place: Temple Run 2, by Imangi Studios. The second installment in the Temple Run saga, Temple Run 2 is loads of fun — and that’s not all. Good graphics, high frame rates (we videoed gameplay with a slow motion camera [which we reviewed here], and found it to go up to 60 fps), and a nearly spotless performance record round this app out at #1 on our list. Users around the world enjoy these apps — the first version, Temple Run, is the ninth-most-downloaded app on the App Store!

Temole Run 2

Second place: any of the Angry Birds versions, by Rovio Entertainment, Ltd. Angry Birds comes very close to Temple Run 2 for first place. Ultimately the thing that decided it for us was the challenges that Temple Run 2 does, such as the Daily Challenge and the Weekly Challenges. Maybe we’re just goal-oriented or something, but that little bit of “zip” that a challenge provides tipped a nearly level scale. Either way, you’ll want to have both of these on your phone or tablet.

Third place: Deer Hunter 2014, by Glu Games Inc. Third on our list, Deer Hunter 2014 is king of the castle when it comes to graphics. Let’s back up a little and say that Glu Games is king of the castle when it comes to graphics — every game of theirs that we looked at has stunning visuals, and DH 2014 is no exception. Looking at performance, the app can be slightly frustrating. Occasionally there can be a timer error that means your energy (which you need to go hunting) doesn’t replenish itself over time like it is supposed to do. Luckily, this problem is easy to fix — just connect to a network and start the app. DH 2014 also can take a while to load, sometimes up to two or three minutes; it’s usually faster when connected to a network. As for fun factor, it depends on your taste. Our nearly all-male staff finds playing with guns and shooting animals in Africa to be quite enthralling, although this may not appeal to all audiences.

Deer Hunter 2014

Honorable mention: Clash of Clans, by Supercell. There are so many good games out there that we just had to do one more. Clash of Clans isn’t the most engaging game, and that’s one of the reasons it’s on our list — it’s still fun without requiring all of a user’s brain function in order to operate it. Graphics are good and performance is stable. The only problem we have had is server maintenance, which results in temporary inability to play…which brings us to another point: you have to be connected to the internet in order to play Clash of Clans.

Bonus! Hardest game: Geometry Dash, by RobTop Games AB. Download it (or the Lite version). Try it. Fail. Try again. ‘Nuff said.

Let’s move on to Category 3: Document Management. So much of our lives now revolves around our documents — resumes, essays, letters, and or just plain grocery lists all have to be stored and managed. Here are Handz Studioz’ top three picks for document management from 2014.

First place: Documents, by Readdle. This app handles everything — it’s pretty incredible! If you can name it, Documents can handle it. .pdf’s, .zip’s, pictures, audio, .doc’s — they all work with this app — you should definitely get this app going into 2015.

Documents

Second place: Google Drive, by Google, Inc. We’re talking about Google Drive here, folks. What can you expect other than seamless integration and performance? The app doesn’t dissappoint — it’s every bit as functional and useful as the online drive — we highly recommend it.

Google Drive

Third place: iBooks, by Apple, Inc. iBooks isn’t particularly impressive as document managers go, but it’s still our favorite for managing .pdf’s. The sleek new look introduced in iOS 7 and the bug fixes in iOS 8 make handling .pdf’s a pleasure in iBooks — it now comes standard when upgrading to iOS 8, so if you haven’t upgraded yet, it’s something to consider. We reviewed iOS 8 in two installments this summer. Check out the first one here.

iBooks

We’ve arrived at our last category. With all the new camera abilities on recent Apple products, we feel that we should mention Category 4: Photo Editing.

First place: Autodesk Pixlr, by Autodesk Inc. This app is pretty nice, especially for the price ($free). While it’s certainly not Photoshop or Gimp, it gets the job done quite nicely on your devices. The UI is simple to use and powerful, with a wide range of effects, overlays, text, collages, and more. We highly recommend this to just about anyone, and it certainly suffices for the needs of the average consumer.

Autodesk Pixlr

Second place: Sketchbook Pro, by Autodesk Inc. This app might not be on the App Store anymore, unless it has been replaced with another name. Regardless, it’s pretty powerful, and we highly recommend it. Why is it second place? The UI is not helpful at all…there are no labels with the buttons, so you kind of have to guess at what they do until you learn them all. Other than that, it’s great.

There is no third place for this category. If you have a suggestion, please comment below. One app that we have not looked at is Apple’s App of the Year, Pixelmator. It’s a highly rated photo editor that we may look into eventually. If anyone has looked at this in depth and has any feedback on it, please let us know in the comments.

That concludes Handz Studioz’ Best Apps of 2014 Review! We hope you enjoyed this post; please share Handz Studioz with others in your community (online or physical). Disagree with any of our choices? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks for visiting Handz Studioz! If you find our content interesting, consider following us and we’ll let you know via email every time we release a new post!

-The Editor

Apple Releases a Look at Their New 5K iMac

On Thursday the 16th, Apple released a look at its newest products: the iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, and a new, 5K iMac.

5K iMac

Image from Apple.com

Today we’ll take an in-depth look at the new iMac, and you can expect a post on the new iPads soon.

The first thing to be mentioned here is that this computer is pretty big, with a 27″ display. However, Apple went a step further and added a Retina Display, which basically means the pixels are so small that they can’t be seen with the naked eye. But wait — that’s not all! Not only does the new iMac have Retina Display, it also has a screen resolution of 5120 x 2880 (which comes out to 218 ppi). That’s 5K — not 4K, 5K. In other words, this Apple machine has a higher resolution than a movie theater screen (which is typically 4K)!

Now that we’ve looked at the display, let’s look at the performance:
iMac Graphics

Image from Apple.com

Apple tells us that its new iMac will have stunning performance, with the latest AMD graphics processors, with up to 3.5 teraflops of graphics power. This will provide stunning images, games, and 3D. Apple claims that these will provide a 45 percent performance upgrade from the Nvidia GeForce GTX-powered Macs. The new iMac will be built around the 4th-Gen Intel Core i7 processor, boasting up to 4.0 GHz with the integrated Intel TurboBoost.

Apple’s new supercomputer will utilize the new Fusion Drive system, which combines the storage capabilities of a hard drive with the performance of an SSD. You can get up to 3TB of storage total in the system, with up to 1TB of that being SSD (flash storage). The Fusion Drive will provide outstanding performance because of the way it works: the OS boots from the SSD, and most of the data is stored on the hard drive. Essentially, it’s a tower-computer drive system rolled into one unit.

The new iMac will feature the new Thunderbolt 2.0 ports for the fastest data transfer possible, with speeds up to 20GBps, 4x faster than the USB 3.0 system.

Finally, Apple topped it off with the fastest internet speeds, up to 1.3 GBps of the latest three-stream 802.11 ac WiFi. The new iMac will feature channel bandwidth of a stunning 80MHz, for about twice the bandwidth of standard channel bandwidth.

So, there you have it: Apple’s new 5K iMac, in a nutshell. If you enjoyed this post, please like and follow! Please share Handz Studioz with others in your community (online or physical), and let others whom you think would enjoy our site know about us!

-The Editor

External Links:
http://www.apple.com/imac-with-retina/?cid=wwa-us-kwg-mac-com
http://www.apple.com/imac-with-retina/performance/
http://www.wired.com/2014/10/new-apple-5k-imacs/

What Is Alexa and Why Does It Matter?

Have you ever visited a website and wondered, “How popular is this site compared to others in the world?” Or perhaps, “What’s the most popular website in the world?” Alexa.com has the answer for you.

Alexa Logo (from Alexa.com)

Image from Alexa.com

Alexa is an Amazon.com company that tracks visitors to websites, and then ranks those sites based on the number of views that it gets. Not surprisingly, Google is #1, Facebook #2, and YouTube #3. The way Alexa works via a toolbar/plugin that users can install to their browser; Alexa looks to see, for instance, ‘OK. How many toolbars (equivalent to visitors) visit example.com? How many views does example.com get?’ Alexa is regarded pretty much as the gold standard in basic web analytics, along with Google Analytics.

Now, let’s look at the second part of the question: why does Alexa matter anyway? Well, let’s give an example. Let’s say that here at Handz Studioz we wanted to review a new camera. We would contact the manufacturer and say, “We have a tech website, and we’d like to review _________ product. What can you offer?” Now we wouldn’t be that blunt, of course, but that’s the general idea. The company would receive our request and most likely visit the site; they would want to know whether it’s worth giving a discounted product out in exchange for a review. Thus, they would use an analytics engine (either Alexa or Google Analytics, most likely both) to see how popular a particular site is. Then they would decide either to say, “Sure, here’s our offer,” or “Sorry, but we can’t help you.”

You can see how important Alexa is; if you have a good ranking, you’re much more likely to get better opportunities than if you don’t. Established sites with high rankings, such as Engadget.com, would be much more likely to receive a free iPhone 6 than a new tech website that someone just recently created. That’s not the only reason Alexa is important, however. Ranking on Alexa is a pretty big deal. You may have noticed that Ford says in all of its commercials, “…Best selling pickup in America for ______ number of years…” In the same way, one (Google) could say, “We have the #1 website in the whole world!”

Here’s where we could use your help. Handz Studioz’ current rank according to Alexa is 16,900,046; we do receive a fairly high amount of traffic, but unfortunately not many viewers have the Alexa toolbar installed, thus, a fairly low Alexa rank. If you enjoy Handz Studioz, please visit the Alexa.com toolbar download page and install it for your browser. As you visit Handz Studioz, Alexa will get more data for more accurate ranking.

This won’t just help Handz Studioz, but all websites you visit. If you visit Amazon.com to order something, then Alexa gets a little more data about the number of visits to Amazon.com (which provides a more accurate rank). If you visit Weather.com, then Alexa gets a little more data about the number of visits to Weather.com; it progresses from there. So, here’s a chance to help Handz Studioz, and at the same time, help all sites on the internet!

If you enjoyed this post or found it interesting, please like and follow! Please share it with others in your community, whether physical, or online. Be sure to install the Alexa toolbar; doing so will help the whole internet with more accurate data. Plus, as you visit Handz Studioz, we get a better ranking as the traffic monitoring becomes more accurate!

-The Editor