All posts in “Apps And Software”

Download this: An app to help you get better at HQ Trivia

Trivia buffs now have a new way to prepare for games of HQ.

Called Practice HQ Trivia, the recently released Android app challenges players to answer multiple choice trivia questions similar to what you might see in HQ and other quiz games. There are no timers, goofy animations, or charismatic hosts, but you do get an unending supply of trivia questions without any gimmicks.

It’s an incredibly barebones app — consisting of just trivia questions and slightly intrusive ads that appear between questions when you get an answer wrong. (If you think money is a good incentive to answer questions correctly, just wait until you have to sit through a few app install ads.)

But it does have the advantage of being available whenever you need to satisfy your quiz show addiction. And who knows, it might eventually help you get better at the real deal (or, at least, your local pub quiz).

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How Google’s ‘speed update’ will affect mobile search

Google is trying to speed up mobile searches.
Google is trying to speed up mobile searches.

Image: Adam Berry/Getty Images

Google searches on your phone are about to get an important upgrade.

The company announced an upcoming “speed update” to search, which will put some slower loading pages lower down in search results on mobile devices.

Google says it expects the speed update, set to take effect in July, will only affect “a small percentage of queries,” but given the number of Google searches that happen on a daily basis, it could have a significant impact on search.

Under the change, Google will take page speeds into account in determining its rankings for mobile searches. The company has previously used speed as a factor on desktop, but this will mark the first time Google has done so on mobile.

While not a surprising move considering that the bulk of Google searches come from mobile devices, the change has some interesting implications in the long run.

Though Google says the change will only affect a small number of searches, it could incentivize more sites to adopt the company’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), stripped-down versions of web pages that load very quickly.  

That’s not to say that AMP pages will automatically be given priority. Google notes that the change only looks at the speed of a particular page, “regardless of the technology used to build the page,” and the company told Search Engine Land that AMP pages could still be ranked lower if they load slowly. 

But considering that AMP tends to be significantly faster than the traditional mobile web, the speed update would certainly seem to give an edge to sites that use the technology.

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Instagram is testing another killer feature that could crush Snapchat even more

Image: lili sams/mashable

Instagram is not slowing down in 2018.

After Instagram crushed Snapchat — seriously, pounded the app into the ground — last year with its own disappearing Stories feature, the Facebook-owned app is now secretly testing a new “Type” feature that’ll let users share text-based clips instead of photos or videos.

The Next Web first spotted the feature back in December when it rolled out to a select group of private users in Japan, and now it appears Instagram is testing it on some users in Europe as well.

Mashable reached out Instagram and received the following statement from a company spokesperson:

“We are always testing ways to improve the experience on Instagram and make it easier to share any moment with the people who matter to you.”

At least one Twitter user also noticed the new feature on a friend’s phone:

According to the report, the Type feature shows up as an option alongside the usual features like Boomerang, Superzoom, and Rewind. As you can see in the video below, the feature also comes with several fonts to pick from, including one in neon cursive:

[embedded content]

WABetaInfo has posted several screenshots of the Type feature in action. One of the fonts, “Typerwriter,” also has an alignment tool.

When the Type feature is selected, users will reportedly get a gradient background for their text-based stories. Alternatively, they’ll also be able to use a photo for a background.

Though the feature is reportedly meant to encourage users to share more text-based clips, it’s unclear how it would be significantly different from simply taking a photo and using the existing text tool to add words on top.

WABetaInfo also reports that Instagram is testing a new screenshot notification that’ll send an alert to users when someone has taken a screenshot of their IG Story. Interestingly enough, the feature only gives you a warning after your first screenshot. Subsequent screenshots will sound the alarms.

“The next time you take a screenshot of a story, the person who posted it will be notified,” warns the alert.

Snapchat has a similar feature that lets you see who screenshotted your Snapchat Story and DMs.

As an Instagram Stories addict, who umm, “broke” it during a trip to Japan last year, Type and the screenshot notification would be welcome additions to the app. That said, just because the feature’s being tested on select users doesn’t mean it’ll ever be made widely available for all users. Instagram frequently tests new features that never make it out of the trial runs.

Even if the feature never makes it out of the beta tests, Snapchat should be worried. Instagram is iterating and adding new features at an insanely fast rate. If Snapchat doesn’t hit back this year with some sweet new features, its remaining users may flock to Instagram and never look back.

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HQ trivia trick changes your app color to rainbow

HQ trivia is hard to win, but changing the app’s color is quite easy.

A tipster told us about the trick Sunday night, shortly after the 9 p.m. ET game, and it seemed to have worked earlier this week as well, per a tweet

Why would you want to change the color of the app? We really don’t know. Maybe to show off to your friends a.k.a. HQ competitors. Or, just in the spirit of randomness.

Here’s how to unlock the rainbow magic: 

Step 1. Open the HQ trivia app. Of course, download the app if you don’t have it yet. Feel free to use my referral code “kerrymflynn,” though that won’t influence if this works. 

Step 2. Stay on the home screen, and flip your phone slowly back and forth while holding it vertically in the palm of your hand. 

Step 3. Admire your new app color. 

Image: hq screenshot

You can change the color back by repeating Step 2. 

Now this probably won’t increase your chance of winnings at all. It’s just one of those easter eggs the game creators promised us. 

But in the spirit of fun and games, you’re welcome. 

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Tame your passwords and keep your data safe with Dashlane

Image: pixabay

Passwords can be a pain in the butt. It’s hard to think of a good one, there are way too many of them, and they constantly have to be changed. Sure, you could use the same password for everything, but that puts all of your stuff at risk. Keep yourself organized by using a password management app like Dashlane Password Manager.

Dashlane keeps track of all your passwords in one easily accessible place so you never have to worry about where you wrote them down. It also generates strong, unique passwords and keeps everything secure with military-grade encryption. Whether you’re looking to make digital payments or securely store vital personal data, Dashlane can make your life a whole lot easier.

Dashlane was named App of the Year by both Apple and Google and has nearly 100K 5-star reviews. It works across all platforms and browsers and automatically syncs everything via the cloud.

A one-year premium subscription to Dashlane Password Manager normally costs $39.96, but you can get it for just $19.98, a savings of 50%.