Snapchatting the Conversation

mzl.gcsoziyjSocial media has become one of the world’s most utilised aspects of the internet and mobile devices; including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This year has seen the up-rise of the new app ‘Snapchat‘. Instant status updates have proven to not be enough in communicating with others, and even with instagram the public seem dissatisfied with its uses. Snapchat allows consumers to take a photo and immediately send it to anyone on their contacts. The images only stay on screen for a matter of seconds but it provides the public with yet another way of presenting their every thought and action of the day.

Don’t get me wrong I have downloaded and enjoyed the app myself, it’s amusing to see some of the bizarre faces my friends and myself can pull, but it’s a very guilty pleasure. I find myself getting annoyed at the constant use of technology in our lives, I miss having a conversation with someone rather than sending faces to each other; it makes me sound very old fashioned but it’s true. The constant fear society has of being left out keeps us downloading these apps and I know I will succumb to the this temptation along with most others.

This ad for Snapchat highlights the benefits of the app, making messages seem more personal and occasionally cheeky. It aims the product at a fairly young generation, aged 16-25, as they are the ones more interested in the latest developments, especially when it comes to smart phones. However, despite its popularity at the moment I don’t have strong beliefs that it will last much longer. The novelty of the app will ware off and soon it will be known just as a craze of 2013.

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Spotify App Review

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 I love music and spend a lot of my time listening to various bands and artists, from Einaudi to Mumford and Sons. I enjoy such a wide range that I struggle to keep buying it all, there’s too much and it ends up being very expensive. Spotify ended up being my saviour; I could listen to as much music as I liked at the small price of listening to a few adverts. Because their service has always bee free I’ve been reluctant to pay for the upgrades (Spotify unlimited, Spotify Premium) which come at a monthly cost, but more recently I have been tempted to succumb to their upgraded service. A couple of days ago I gave into temptation and payed £9.99 for the Premium deal and downloaded the app onto my phone.

o-que-há-de-novo-em-spotify-para-ios-android-e-windows-pcSo is it any good? So far, so good. I’ve really been enjoying having my playlists on my phone, it’s easy to navigate and you can even listen whilst offline. Coming up to Christmas it’s definitely going to be useful, with all those parties; we can listen to all the music we like without the ads, which do ruin the dance flow, just by plugging my phone into some speakers. It saves having my laptop out, which is a big relief. It also saves having to take around my phone and iPod everywhere I go, it’s all in one place, which makes me feel a lot safer.

Disadvantages? The cost can be considered quite high, £9.99 per month does add up, if you have it for a full year that’s nearly £120, a little high for an average student. Personally I’ll use it for the Christmas period and any other special occasion, but I’m not bothered by the odd add, I’m happy to stick with the free version. Though if you can afford it I would say it was worth the money as the range of music is fantastic!

However if you have internet access you can now listen to it on your phone for free. It only allows a shuffle service, and you still have ads but it is an alternative to dishing out £10 a month.

You can download it on iTunes or Google Play now

Downloading Christmas

Red-Christmas-decorations-christmas-22228015-1920-1200Christmas is just around the corner and as usual I have found myself jotting down a list of what to ask ‘Father Christmas’ for. But this year is different to previous ones as I can guess quite accurately what I’ll be receiving – vouchers. With each holiday that passes I find my pile of presents decrease and a small stack of envelopes in their place; gone is the excitement of tearing open the wrapper and finding the long awaited gift, and in are the paper cuts as I slide my fingers in to the pouch to reveal yet another Amazon or iTunes card. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate anything that isn’t a lump of coal, but it does take the excitement out of it when it is all you’re faced with.

In some ways vouchers are the perfect present, they require little thought, easy access and a content recipient, but there is a small sadness in instead of receiving a brand new book, you are given a Kindle voucher. Society seems to have changed so much that all our gifts to one another are digital; even the film industry has taken advantage of this as Lovefilm and Netflix have started to provide their own gift cards.

voucher_2monthsOf course there are differing opinions as to whether ‘digital presents’ are a good idea or not, for some they provide a range of choice, the receiver can choose whatever they like to be their gift and there’s a smaller chance of disappointment; for others they provide yet another decision to make in a day, sometimes it’s nice not to have to decide what to get, or to do, but to be provided with one option.

iTunes gift vouchers-580-90At the moment I am in the belief that the best option is that which allows you to enjoy Christmas, whether that be spending time choosing individual gifts, or taking the stress away with vouchers, after all presents are not what Christmas is truly about. Is it?

A Beautiful Mess App Review

IMG_6897-e1368574043444After months of waiting patiently, ‘A Beautiful Mess App’ has finally been released on Google Play/Android. Released back in May, on iTunes, it has been a long wait for followers of this blog to get their hands on a non-Apple version of the app. Was it worth the wait?

As a lover of Instagram and ‘A Beautiful Mess’ Blog, I have waited alongside many others to get my hands on this app, purchasing it the day it came out. The blog itself is know for its quirkiness and vintage style, and it appears the app has been created in the same way.

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So what’s good about it?The answer is a lot. You can take any of your photos, using them as a collage or individually, and then add a range of decorations and comments onto them. It takes the Polaroid aspect of instagram and adds a scrapbook feel to the images- providing hand drawn doodles by the creators it gives pictures a personal touch.

Once you’ve chosen your doodle, background, border, you can then change the colour of said decor and make it as small or large as you like. Then it gives you the opportunity to share your picture via instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Creativity and social media combined, what could be better?

6a00d8358081ff69e201901c2572f0970b-800wiAny disadvantages?

Not really. Unlike instagram it does cost a little, but 69p is an easy price to pay for such a lovely app. If I could change anything then it would be to provide a larger range of decoration and colours to use, but this is nothing major.

Also perhaps the link to Facebook could be to a photo album rather than as a status, but this is such a small thing and easily avoidable with instagram.

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Photos edited using A Beautiful Mess App

Below is an image I have created using Instagram and ‘A Beautiful Mess App’

I have used the collage effect, writing and doodle decor. All done in white to create a better contrast with the photograph.

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