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10 Must-Have Apps for Your Teen’s Smartphone

10 Must-Have Apps for Your Teen’s Smartphone

If you parent a teen and your teen is a proud owner of an iPhone or iPad, you have probably noticed the amount of time that he or she spends on their device is ridiculous.[1] Of course, all of their friends, all those snaps, all those memes, and all that buzz keep your teens rather occupied with their preferred smart phone devices. Have you ever wished to make these hours a week more beneficial? Did I hear ‘yes’? All right, then! Instead of taking their device away from them completely, look into integrating these must-have apps into their devices:

Darkroom

The terrific cameras of iOS devices indulge teens’ compulsive need of snapping and sharing picture after picture after picture. What they lack, though, are the advanced editing tools. To make the whole process a bit more creative and, maybe, instill some good taste when it comes to visual design, you can get Darkroom for your teen’s device. It’s not just another app with preset filters and stickers – it has curves, color settings, split tone tools, etc. Photo editing gets real!

Color Therapy

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    The name speaks for itself. Most of us love doodling and find it to be a calming activity. Teens often suffer from high anxiety levels and this adult coloring app will have a beneficial effect on their mind. Don’t let the word “adult” mislead you – it only means that the pictures for coloring are cool and artsy!

    iPoe

    This interactive and beautifully illustrated collection of Edgar Allan Poe’s works is just right for teens because it is appropriately spooky and entertaining enough to make it up for overwhelmingly archaic texts. It can definitely come in handy for English lit classes. This made-over experience of the macabre classic did not change a single word! Thumbs up for eerie music, though!

    Duolingo

    I’ve never seen an educational tool that would be so engaging. This app feels like a game, but its goal is to teach you languages in an entertaining and undemanding way for 5 to 15 minutes a day (and the app’s motivation system makes sure you visit daily). The app even has some in-game purchases and gambling – but do not worry, you can only spend and gamble your own experience points in order to customize the experience and buy some additional skills to learn.

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    Autodesk Sketchbook

      If your teen is seriously into art, then instead of a coloring book, get them this magnificent professional tool for sketching and painting – the very best of what you can get for a smartphone! Intuitive interface, full-screen working mode, multiple layers, a variety of brushes and customizable pens, pressure sensitivity, transformation tools – everything for creativity to thrive on!

      Evernote

      This highly praised note-taking and organizing app is worth mentioning here for two reasons. First, it’s really great and multi-functional. Second, thanks to the seamless integration with blog platforms, it allows easy blogging on-the-go, and if you want your teen to learn writing something longer than 140 characters (or better still, 80 as in a Snapchat caption), you’d better incite them by providing the adequate tools.

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      Pumpic Parental Monitoring

      If you read the news now and then, you know that despite all the scandal and warnings, teens still regularly cause an uproar with another cyberbullying tragedy or sexting shenanigans. They may be tech-savvy, but they definitely ought to learn some responsibility and educate themselves in the province of the law. Until they do, you have to make sure that their online activities stay within the reasonable limits – and Pumpic is the most versatile tool to do so with. You can monitor their texts, making sure there is no drug buying or sexting, track their location to know whether they really went to school, or use Instagram parental monitoring to be confident that they don’t post anything inappropriate on their social media platforms.

      High School Story

        This game is, in fact, a choose-your-own-adventure book with all the high-school drama: cliques and bullies, parties and dating, jocks and nerds. However, all the issues are handled with sensitivity. High School Story gives positive messages and teaches teens a bit more about people and difficult choices instead of just stereotyping.

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        TED Talks

        TED Talks is a great collection of lectures and a perfect way to learn more about humanity and the world around us – all aspects of life and science are wrapped in short, informative, funny, and inspiring talks by remarkable professionals. The app allows access to the vast library of videos, bookmarking and downloading them for later view, and suggests playlists based not only on the topics of your favorite videos, but also their duration. This last feature is very apt for impatient and easily bored teenagers.

        Find My iPhone

        If your teen loses their phone (or any smart device for that matter), you are in for some big drama. Luckily, you can always make sure that it won’t happen by securing their treasured possession with this simple and handy app that allows the owner to track down their misplaced device. Alternatively, the app at least allows you to lock it remotely and protect the sensitive information the phone contains.

        Featured photo credit: e yeec/Flickr via flickr.com

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        Last Updated on September 11, 2019

        8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

        8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

        Computers and cell phones have become an integrated tool in our professional and personal lives that the original methods of using pen and paper may not be so common anymore.

        Although our old-school methods of note taking may not have entirely left us, technology is advancing with no intention of slowing down; iPads are moving into service industries, video calls are taking the place of in-person interviews, and store receipts are making its way into our email inbox – all of which requires the skill of typing.

        Learning a new skill doesn’t have to be boring and never had to be. Thankfully, there are effective games and apps that can help you learn to type fast with swift precision and accuracy.

        Why Typing Fast Matters?

        Learning how to type fast is a game changer. In fact, you can save 21 days per year by typing fast!

        Although shaving several minutes from curating a long email or texting paragraphs in a text message may not seem to be of great significance, the minutes soon do eventually add up and the long list of tasks then evolve into frustration. By the end of the day, time is being wasted, and the work pile is stacked high over your head.

        Why not alleviate some of those frustrations through practice and dedicating your spare time to build muscle memory?

        Learning a simple skillset like speed typing can drastically improve other essential areas in life including time-management and prioritization. Not only does it help you efficiently complete tasks at work and in your personal life, but it also boosts your productivity.

        8 Most Effective Typing Games and Apps

        Everyone learns at different speeds and uses various methods. While some work better under pressure and tight deadlines, others thrive when given ample amounts of time to learn and soak in the knowledge that is being provided. Despite the number of resources that are available in the hollow corners of the internet, it’s all about finding one source that helps you learn at your fullest potential.

        Whether you’re a keyboard ninja or not, here are some effective typing games and apps that allow you to test your speed, accuracy, and maybe shoot some spaceships along the way.

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        For Beginners

        1. Speed Typing Online

          What’s more fun than to type to the story of Alice in Wonderland or the lyrics to “Hey Jude”? Speed Typing Online is an online typing game that allows you to dive into the creative and familiar world of famous books, fables, songs, and even hone your skills in data entry.

          The bright blue frame holds the text, which then turns green after punching in the accurate keystrokes. After the end of the personal timer, a statistics page appears to show you your typed words per minute, accuracy, correct and incorrect entries, and error rate.

          2. Typing Trainer

            Typing Trainer

            is another online platform suited for beginner typists looking for step-by-step lessons. Learning the keys on a keyboard can confusing especially for those who aren’t as familiar or getting adjusted to typing on a computer keyboard.

            Typing Trainer has a collection of step-by-step tutorials that covers everything from sentence drills, introduction to new keys as the lessons progress, and skills test. The Typing Trainer specifically highlights unique features in each lesson including a warm-up section where the user begin to build muscle memory and learn to type without looking at the keyboard.

            The website is also programed to identify difficulties the user is facing when typing specific words or sentences.

            3. TapTyping – Typing Trainer

              There is the feeling of physically typing on a keyboard and then there’s the feeling of typing on a touch screen mobile device.

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              Since the use of cell phones has become closely integrated into our everyday lives, learning to type on a mobile is much of a skillset as it is to type on a computer. The mobile typing app, TapTyping – Typing Trainer, allows users to practice while on-the-go making it perfect for commuters who want to practice typing during their down time.

              The app allows you to challenge other typists around the world with TapTyping’s global leaderboard and test your skills by taking advanced lessons. There’s always room for improvement and with the app, you’ll be able to find your mistakes by watching a heat map of your finger strokes.

              For professional writers and programmers

              4. The Most Dangerous Writing App

                Suitable for writers facing a creative block or on a tight-deadline, the Most Dangerous Writing App is a website that forces your fingers to type as quickly as your ideas.

                If you stop longer than 5 seconds, everything you had written will slowly disappear from the screen.

                Sessions are timed from 3 minutes to 20 minutes, or can go from 75 to 1667 words. This online app is perfect to brain dump ideas, write a chapter of a manuscript you’ve been stuck on, or help with procrastination.

                If you’re up to the challenge, try the hardcore mode – an alternative option where a single letter appears on the screen at a time. This level prevents you from seeing the entire word, sentences, or even correct any spelling or grammatical mistakes until the timer is complete.

                If you’re wondering, copying and pasting is not an option until each the end of each session.

                5. The Typing Cat

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                  Looking to upgrade your typing skills? Also working as a personal tutor, the Typing Cat has a list of regular typing courses with the option to try other lessons with more complexity such as HTML. Learning to type code is a another valulable skillset worth adding.

                  Even with disregarded interest in the coding world, using the code course enhances your typing skills and allows your fingers to familiarize itself with uncommon word combinations and placement of punctuations on a keyboard.

                  The coding course can be difficult even for typing whizzes, but it’s all a part of muscle memory. According Psychology Today,[1] only a handful of people actually learn how to type by looking at an actual keyboard, while a majority of the population locate specific keys intuitively through muscle memory.

                  Available courses include EcmaScript 6, HTML 5, and CSS 3.

                  Fun typing games

                  6. ZType — Space Invaders Meet Webster

                    Remember playing the iconic 70’s game that allowed you to shoot tiny purple and green aliens from one end of the screen to the other with a two-bullet laser? It’s hard to believe that Space Invaders just turned 40 , but you can still get the same adrenaline rush with ZType, a typing game with the same shooting concept.

                    Ztype works in waves – stages that must be cleared but instead of aliens, you must type out the words before the missiles destroy your ship at the bottom of the screen. Every so often, longer and mor complex words would appear and if the words are not typed in the allotted time, a series of letters will disperse like missles.

                    The game is quick on the fingers and will still have your heart pumping until the very end.

                    7. Epistory – Typing Chronicles

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                      Although this game does cost money to purchase, it is worth the investment if you’re looking for a refreshing and alternative mode to learning how to type fast.

                      Epistory – Typing Chronicles is a role-playing action and adventure game of a young girl riding a fox in a magical and fictional realm; together they combat enemies in the shapes and forms of words.

                      Once you’re starterted, you almost forget you’re playing a typing game. The paper craft art aesthetics of the game has you captivated by the vibrant colors and character’s storyline, while having you build your typing skills.

                      8. Daily Quote Typing

                        Need some inspiration? Say no more.

                        Daily Quote Typing is one of many gammes available on Wordgames.com – a website that offers a variety of typing games ranging from different levels based on your experience.

                        With Daily Quote Typing, users are able to type out inspirational quotes by famous leaders, inventors, and innovators such as Mark Twain and Albert Einstein.

                        Bottom Line

                        At the end of the day, discipline and patience is what teaches to type faster. It comes down to making that commitment to improving not only your typing abilities, but in a lifelong skill that benefits other areas in life.

                        By practicing daily and using effective games and apps, it’s only a matter of time before keystrokes will become second nature and your brain will adapt to learning other skills faster.

                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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