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Amazon Brings Streaming TV to the Marketplace With Its Fire Device

Amazon Brings Streaming TV to the Marketplace With Its Fire Device

There are currently several streaming media devices available on the market, from Roku to Airplay, and now, Amazon has entered the market with their own streaming device: Fire. Amazon Fire TV is a streaming media set-top box that lets you watch video from Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Crackle, and a few other sources. It also lets you play games, with or without a controller (which is sold separately).

Fire TV is easy to set up and use, and offers voice integration.

The Fire TV is very simple. Just plug it in to the wall, install the batteries in the remote, and you are ready to go. It quickly pairs with the included Bluetooth remote: simply hold down the “home” button on the remote for a few seconds, and you are ready to use it. The Fire is different from devices currently on the market because it offers voice integration. This allows you to search for content by speaking aloud, rather than tediously typing in your selection. Also, you can use the remote microphone to begin a series of voice commands, such as, “launch Netflix,” “search new movies,” or “Rocky” if you want a specific title, but you will need to hold down the button the entire time you are speaking so the Fire can pick up your voice. Also, be aware that the box will return results from the Amazon catalog only, even if you are signed in to your other accounts. This means if you want to search through the Netflix catalog, you will have to do so manually.

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Fire TV has better hardware than its competitors.

The Fire is different from the competitors because it gives users the ability to play games. Because of this, it offers a surprising amount of power for such a small box. It utilizes a quad core processor, 2GB of RAM, and a dedicated GPU for playing games. This is the same chipset used in the Galaxy S4 and the 2013 HTC One. But, it is not quite as high-end as the Snapdragon 800 found in the Kindle Fire HDX. It is considerably more powerful than any of the other current crop of set-top box or low-end gaming systems on the market.

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The games portion of the box was heavily rumored leading up to the event, and it turns out they were spot on, as the aforementioned controller costs $40 in addition to the $99 box itself. Amazon has stated, however,  that many games can be played using the media player remote that comes packaged in the box, so there may be no need for the separate controller if your favorite game can be played using the remote.

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Fire TV’s internal memory is limited.

The box does not offer a way to expand the internal memory. This is something I hope they will remedy in later versions of the box, because if you are choosing the Fire over the Roku simply because of the gaming capabilities, games can quickly eat away at your memory storage. One game can be well over 1GB, so if you are an avid gamer, this may not house all of your games. If you are a lightweight gamer, however, this could be a great feature in addition to the streaming media capabilities.

Fire TV is compatible with HDMI only.

Fire does offer an HDMI port, optical audio output and Ethernet. There is also a USB 2.0 port, although that isn’t enabled to do anything at the moment, except for debugging and interfacing in developer mode. Similar to Apple TV and Roku 3, the Fire TV is HDMI only, so if you have an older TV without an HDMI port, it will not work. By and large this is a great addition to the streaming media products currently on the market, especially given that the Fire offers voice controls and gaming fun.

Featured photo credit: Amazon Fire/Amazon.com via main.makeuseoflimited.netdna-cdn.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2019

11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

Whether at work or at school, people these days are under tremendous pressure to perform, perform and perform! Stress and pressure can have adverse affects on the well-being of a person, and need to be controlled.

Now, this doesn’t mean you make a dash to your nearest therapist. There are a number of wonderful and smart apps that you can use on your phone. These brain training apps have been scientifically designed to target specific areas of the human mind and control harmful emotions such as anxiety, as well as to improve memory and sharpness of the brain.

Here are 11 iPhone apps that you will not only enjoy but also find useful in keeping your mental health balanced at all times.

1. Lumosity

This app consists of games that focus on improving the user’s memory, problem-solving capability, attention span, and thinking. There are three games in each session, and they challenge the brain by changing every time. The user has to complete the games while playing against a clock.

Free of trial. $15 per month for the full version.

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Luminosity Mind training apps-Lifehack

    2. Fit Brains Trainer

    This brain training app has 10 sets of games that work on different areas of the brain and improve memory as well as concentration. A user is required to finish a particular task from each category on a daily basis and the app tracks the progress by a color coded graph.

    Free.

    Fit Brains Trainer Mind training apps-Lifehack

      3. CogniFit Brain Fitness

      Developed with the help of neuroscientists, this fun app improves a person’s cognitive abilities, which includes memory and concentration. The progress made by the user over a period of time can be tracked. Users can also play challenge rounds with their friends. The app also modifies the difficulty level to suit the profile of the user and provide recommendations based on the results. Spending 20–30 minutes a few times every week can give measurable improvement in the performance of a user.

      First four games free, then $13 a month.

      cognifit-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

        4. Brain Fitness Pro

        The makers of this app claim that it can improve the IQ of a user, and improve intelligence and memory. The app is fun and is user friendly, and 30 minutes a day can fetch you results in less than three weeks.

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        Buy for $3.99.

        5. Happify

        If nothing else makes you happy in life, this app will. Well, this is what the developers claim at least. This app comes loaded with lots of quizzes, polls and gratitude journals, which work on the fundamentals of positive psychology. The app also helps to control stress and emotions to make you feel better.

        Free to use.

        Happify-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

          6. Clockwork Brain

          You will like the little gold robot that comes in every time to explain the next game you are going to play. While the games are not much different to those offered in apps such as Luminosity, the look and feel reminds me of a workshop from old times.

          Free.

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          Clockwork Trsin-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

            7. ReliefLink

            Initially created as an app for suicide prevention, it has found its use as a great app for tracking the mood of the user by taking measure of all things relevant to the user’s mental health. In case the user experiences high emotional stress, the app has a coping mechanism that includes voice-recorded mindfulness, exercises and music for relaxation. There is also a map that informs the user of the nearest therapist and medical facilities for mental health treatment.

            Relief Link - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

              8. Eidetic

              Eidetic is a memory enhancement app and uses a ‘spaced repetition’ technique to help users memorize information such as important phone numbers, words, credit card details or passwords. It also notifies you when it’s time to take a test to see what you remember, so that you retain information in your long-term memory.

              Eidetic - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                9. Braingle

                Braingle helps to maintain the sharpness of the brain and improve the reasoning ability of a person through riddles and optical illusions. It is different from other brain training apps that employ memory and reaction based tests. You can also compete with your friends and family members in figuring out the fun riddles.

                Free.

                Briangle- Mind Training Apps-LIfehack

                  10. Not The Hole Story

                  If you have a penchant for solving hard riddles, then this app is a must-have for you. Filled with exclusive riddles along with a simple-to-use interface, the app gives you riddles that you have to solve through a book. You will be given hints along the way, and when you give up, the answers will be revealed. This app will encourage you to broaden your thinking and put your mind to a challenging test.

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                  Free.

                  Not the hole story - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                    11. Personal Zen

                    This fun brain training app follows the journey of two animated characters who travel through a field of grass. Personal Zen is a nice app meant for reducing anxiety and trains the brain to focus on the positive aspects. The developer’s advice is to use the app for 10 minutes a day to see the best results.

                    Free.

                    personal zen- mind training apps - lifehack

                      Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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