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How To Personalize Your iPhone From The Inside Out

How To Personalize Your iPhone From The Inside Out

I’ve been an iPhone user since I was able to get my hands on one, which wasn’t easy as a Canadian. I had to go to eBay and grab an iPhone second-hand. Then I had to jailbreak it. In essence, I made my first ever iPhone as personalized as possible … because I had no other choice!

Now that iPhones are widely available, I have plenty of choices. And those choices aren’t just related to apps or carriers. There are many ways you can personalize your iPhone from the inside outand that’s how you can make the device a real pleasure for you to use every single day.

The Right Case

One thing you can do that requires virtually no knowledge of the iPhone’s innards is to get a case that says “you” and wrap it in that. To be honest, I’ve got one case that does that for me, and it doesn’t really seem like a case at all, which is actually one of the reasons I like it so much.

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It’s made by WoodChuck, a company that makes far more than iPhone cases (and they do custom work). I have a Green Lantern case (pictured) for both my iPad and iPhone, and being able to look at the GL logo every day really resonates with me, and the case is top quality.

WoodChuck represents American-made products in an industry over-populated by overseas manufacturing. Their products are 100% sustainable and customizable, so beyond being incredibly personal, they’ve got a great company culture to match: these things are important to me. See if you can find a case that resonates that well with you.

Device-Specific Uses

I’ve got a myriad of devices, and I want to make sure I use each of them with intent. One of the ways that I’ve chosen to make my iPhone as personalized as possible is by using it for certain things and not using it for others.

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For example, I don’t read on my iPhone. I don’t have any RSS reader applications installed on it, and I don’t have iBooks installed on it. That’s what my iPad is for. By removing the reading applications from my iPhone, I’ve freed up one particular area that I know it is not intended for. And that can really help me in terms of being more efficient and effective in my use of the ones that it is for.

So, take a look at what you have installed on your iPhone and decide if it’s really what needs to be on there. You may find there are some applications that you’re just not using because the device just isn’t designed for that purposeat least not in the way that you use it.

Launching Apps

Having a bunch of apps installed all over the place is one thing, but having an app that allows you to quickly access the apps you use most often (and keep your screens as clutter-free as possible in the process) is another. That’s when apps like Drafts and Launch Center Pro come into play.

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I use Drafts as my ultimate inbox. Everything that I input into my iPhone goes through Drafts, be it tasks, tweets, or ideas for posts like this one. Then from within Drafts I can decide where those things should actually be. Tasks go to OmniFocus or Asana, tweets go to Tweetbot, and ideas for posts either go straight to Byword or sit in Evernote. But I always know where the starting point is: Drafts.

I’ve also personalized all of the destinations within that app. I use Launch Center Pro in many cases when I know where things are going to go immediately. I use a setup very similar to Michael Schechter’sa setup that works very well for me. Using Launch Center Pro allows me to make choices with my iPhone that are designed and maintained by me. And using these apps also allow me to keep my screens and folders in far better shape, which is the shape I like to keep things in.

Screens and Folders

Any of you who have read about the iPhone since it came out have probably seen articles that show off users’ home screens. With the arrival of iOS 7, you can now put more apps in folders, finally bury Newsstand inside of a folder, and really decide how you want to map out your iPhone so that it works more cohesively for you. I’ve gone as far as to keep the bottom row on my home screen “app free” because of the amount of real estate I’ve got to work with now.

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When it comes to screens and folders, the possibilities are endless. And that means personalization is just as endless. We can’t do much about changes to operating systems or updates to our favourite apps. But now, more than ever, we are able to make our iPhones uniquely ours. And we can do that from the inside out.

So what have you done—or are going to do—to make your iPhone as personalized as possible? Let me know in the comments below.

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Published on January 18, 2019

Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

Learning a new language is no easy feat. While a language instructor is irreplaceable, language learning apps have come to revolutionize a lot of things and it has made language learning much easier. Compared to language learning websites, apps offer a more interactive experience to learn a new language.

The following language learning apps are the top recommended apps for your language learning needs:

1. Duolingo

    Duolingo is a very successful app that merged gamification and language learning. According to Expanded Ramblings, the app now counts with 300 million users.

    Duolingo offers a unique concept, an easy-to-use app and is a great app to accompany your language acquisition journey. The courses are created by native speakers, so this is not data or algorithm-based.

    The app is free and has the upgrade options with Duolingo Plus for $9.99, which are add free lessons. The mobile app offers 25 languages and is popular for English-speaking learners learning other languages.

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    Download the app

    2. HelloTalk

      HelloTalk aims to facilitate speaking practice and eliminate the stresses of a real-time and life conversation. The app allows users to connect to native speakers and has a WhatsApp like chat that imitates its interface.

      There is a perk to this app. The same native speakers available also want to make an even exchange and learn your target language, so engagement is the name of the game.

      What’s more, the app has integrated translation function that bypasses the difficulties of sending a message with a missing word and instead fills in the gap.

      Download the app

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      3. Mindsnacks

        Remember that Duolingo has integrated gamification in language learning? Well, Mindsnacks takes the concept to another level. There is an extensive list of languages available within the app comes with eight to nine games designed to learn grammar, vocabulary listening.

        You will also be able to visualize your progress since the app integrates monitoring capabilities. The layout and interface is nothing short of enjoyable, cheerful and charming.

        Download the app

        4. Busuu

          Bussu is a social language learning app. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS. It currently supports 12 languages and is free.

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          The functionality allows users to learn words, simple dialogues and questions related to the conversations. In addition, the dialogues are recorded by native speakers, which brings you close to the language learning experience.

          When you upgrade, you unlock important features including course materials. The subscription is $17 a month.

          Download the app

          5. Babbel

            Babbel is a subscription-based service founded in 2008. According to LinguaLift, it is a paid cousing of Duolingo. The free version comes with 40 classes, and does not require you to invest any money.

            Each of the classes starts with with a sequential teaching of vocabulary with the help of pictures. The courses are tailor made and adapted to the students’ level, allowing the learning to be adjusted accordingly.

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            If you started learning a language and stopped, Babbel will help you pick up where you started.

            Download the app

            Takeaways

            All the apps recommended are tailored for different needs, whether you’re beginning to learn a language or trying to pick back up one. All of them are designed by real-life native speakers and so provide you with a more concrete learning experience.

            Since these apps are designed to adapt to different kinds of learning styles, do check out which one is the most suitable for you.

            Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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