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If you want to make 2017 the year you start engaging with the financial markets to try and get more from your capital, then your Android phone or tablet can become one of the most helpful tools in your trading arsenal. By taking advantage of good trading related apps, you can set your phone up as a hub for all your trading activity, allowing you to access your portfolio, ETF activity, share index information and everything else you need on the go.



Here are three great apps to help you become an effective mobile trader:


IG Trading


The first thing you need is a trading environment where you can hold your account and actually do your trading. IG's offering is a feature rich app that gives you speedy access to pricing, account information, and most importantly, trading. The app can also help you see various forms of data analysis that can help you plan your moves. The app is free if you have an account with IG, and you can either set this up through the app itself or on their website.


Bloomberg+


An effective trader needs a good source of financial news that is laser targeted to the parts of the market that are most important to them. As you start trading you'll begin to see just how much you value having fast access to business and economic news, as well as expert opinions and analysis. The Bloomberg+ app gives you fast access to the latest global finance news, and means you can avoid having to work through your phone's browser when you need the latest information and breaking price news fast.


Stocktwits


Social media can be a great source of insights, but rather than create a whole new Twitter profile just to collect the stock information you want, or have it fill up your usual news feed, you can install Stocktwits - which is effectively 'Twitter for traders'. You can see insights, ideas, tips and strategies from other traders in real time tweet style format, and also share your own thoughts and ask questions.


Arming yourself with the right sources of insights and news, along with the tools to actually get your trading done, means you can work effectively and efficiently from your phone, whether you are actively making trades or researching a potential trade from both mainstream news sources and social media. With these three apps, you are ready to trade intelligently wherever you are!



When you are a sports fan, the fun of the game is to watch it live, but when you go deeper you like to know the form of your favourite team, racer, or horse. If you are looking for the best mobile free bets, or even wanting to have more in-depth knowledge of the sport, then you have to dive into the statistics and latest news.


This can be done by looking at newspapers and reading all the information included, of course, but in the era of the Internet we also have an unlimited source of statistics and news at hand. To get some control on this deluge of information, we have apps that can get us all the information we want, without drowning us in unneeded clutter. With that in mind, here are 5 must have sports apps in 2017:


BBC Sport




The BBC has always been a useful source of information for news on our favourite teams, as well as the latest scores and highlights from games and races. With the BBC Sports app, not only can you find all the stats you want, but you can also listen to Radio 5Live and Five Sports Extra while browsing.


BBC iPlayer Radio



When on the move and not at a game, sports fans still want to know the results. BBC iPlayer Radio allows sports fans to listen the live commentary without being trapped at home.


TalkSPORT and TalkSPORT 2



Sometimes the BBC may not be running commentary for the games you want, so TalkSPORT and TalkSPORT 2 can help here. They are the official broadcaster for the likes of the FA Cup, EFL Cup, and also the English International games so this can be an essential app for sports fans.


Oddschecker



Oddschecker is one of the most popular odds comparison website in the UK. The odds are gathered from the most reputable bookmakers which include William Hill and Ladbrokes. Punters are able to tailor the app to see more of their favourite sports, whether it's football or horse racing, users can keep track all of their bets with different bookies in one app!


Official F1



The Official F1 app is an essential tool for fans, even when they are sat watching the games on television. Not only does it provide all the latest news, but it lets you track the racers on the track during the race, and includes all the details such as top speeds, tyre information, and best laps.


The Internet is an excellent resource for sports fans, but it can also be a curse sometimes because of the sheer amounts of information that is out there. Having apps like the ones above mean we can get the information we need, and have it on hand at any moment, keeping us informed on all the vital information we need.



It's been another great year for innovative new apps arriving on Android and IOS and we hope this trend will continue throughout 2017. It's true that there is an app out there for just about anything and even though some are truly more useful that others we have selected a range of the latest and upcoming Android apps for you to enjoy.


FINGERPRINT GESTURES
The good thing about a free app is that whilst it might not end up being exactly what you initially imagined it to be you will always have the ability to give it a try first. Thankfully Fingerprint Gestures is exactly that kind of app and even though it has a few teething problems on certain devices it can allow you to take better control of various smartphone-related tasks.


PHOTOSCAN
This useful little Google app gives you the chance to scan your existing physical photographs and turn it into a digital alternative. As you enter the scan process you can select a number of options that will allow you to edit or enhance the original photo as you see fit. It's pretty simple to use and fantastically helpful if you have stacks and stacks of old photos lying around.


IQ WARS
Quiz lovers will certainly get a kick out of this new generation IQ, trivia and quiz app. It's filled with challenging quizzes and various live tournaments and even gives registered players the chance to win actual prizes. You can compete alongside other players in realtime and it's a great opportunity to show off your general knowledge skills to friends and family.


LEARN HOW TO DRAW
We do love an app that has a title which pretty much explains exactly what it does, at least that way if you're an avid app fan that collects and stores apps all over the place you'll be able to quickly discover what it's used for. This cool app features a whole host of various lessons ranging in levels of difficulty in order to help improve your drawing skills. Each tutorial featured on the app was created especially by well known Irish comic book artist Will Sliney, and there's plenty to pick from.


TRANSFERGO
There are plenty of money-sharing apps out there but TransferGo works a little differently and is ideal for those looking to make international payments or money transfer. No doubt at some point you have probably been stung by an unexpected banking fee relating to either sending or receiving international funds in various currencies. TransferGo eliminates these extortionate rates providing a quick and easy to use service that will let you transfer money across Europe for a mere fraction of the price. As smartphones continue the march of money evolution, this app is a must!


PYRO!
Pyro isn't exactly one of the most practical or useful apps currently around but it strangely satisfying. This augmented reality-based app gives Android owners the chance to watch just about anything around them burn, all virtually of course. Just point your phone's camera at the place, item or person you'd like to see set in flames and start drawing in the burning flames with your finger. 


Image credit: pixabay.com


They say it's not the camera that makes a good photograph-it's the photographer. If you've got some skills when it comes to taking a photo, you'll be able to produce some truly amazing shots with any type of camera.


Even if you were to use the camera on your humble smartphone, you would still get good results.


Cameras on smartphones-particularly the Android smartphones-get better with every new model. Because of this, it really isn't all that difficult to produce some great photos. But while a smartphone camera's capabilities are sufficient enough for your photography needs, having a few extra tools and gadgets at your disposal certainly wouldn't hurt.


Here are a few apps and accessories for your Android smartphone that can help improve your photography:


1. Camera Zoom FX



If you want a camera and photo editing app that gives you a suite of professional features along with some awesome effects and filters for your next Instagram selfie, then this app is for you. A heavy favorite among Android users, this app gets you pretty close to having a smartphone that can work like a DSLR, thanks to powerful features such as full manual controls; RAW capture on supported devices; the option to adjust your ISO, exposure, shutter speed, and focus distance; powerful HD post-processing; and more.


2. Ztylus RV-1 Revolver Lens Attachment and Case



Image Source: Adorama

With DSLR cameras, it's important to use the right lens for your needs-the kit lens can only take you so far. Interchangeable lenses play a crucial role in achieving your desired shot, especially if you're trying to shoot close-ups with very fine detail (macro) or a panoramic landscape shot (wide-angle).


The same principle applies to your smartphone. If you want to achieve better results and get more variety out of your smartphone camera, using attachable lenses is the way to go. For Android phones, the Ztyler RV-1 revolver lens is a great, inexpensive option, as it gives you three lenses in one: a wide angle, a super macro, and an extreme fisheye. It also comes with a polarizer for when you're shooting outdoors in sunny weather.


3. Manual Camera



If you want a simple, no-frills app that offers impressive, full manual camera controls, this is the app for you. It has no cutesy effects, no artsy filters, and none of the other fun add-on features from other camera apps on the market. It simply allows you to take full advantage of Android Lollipop's Camera2 API.


With this app, you'll be able to manually adjust your shutter speed, ISO, white balance, focus distance, and exposure compensation. It also allows you to shoot in RAW format, which is preferred by photographers to make post-processing much easier.



Make sure to run the compatibility test first to see if it will work for you and your device.


4. Snap Camera HDR



Whether you are a professional photographer or a casual user, Snap Camera HD is an extremely useful app for creating great images and videos. In addition to the usual manual controls and the RAW support, it also offers 4K video recording, HDR mode, fast picture mode, and miscellaneous (but pretty useful) features such as the ability to use your phone's Torch mode while recording video in low-light situations.


5. FLY-X3 Plus 3-Axis Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer




Image Source: Adorama


When you're shooting with a smartphone, you're not exactly going to be carrying a tripod everywhere you go. The better solution, therefore, is to use a handheld gimbal stabilizer. This simple, portable, and highly useful device uses a motorized 3-axis powered gimbal to eliminate camera shake and give you the smoothest, most stable video footage and images. This is perfect for action shots or for images that require slower shutter speeds.


6. DSLR Camera Pro



Just as the name suggests, the DSLR Camera Pro is an app that lets you turn your smartphone into a DSLR-or as close as it can get to a DSLR, anyway. Just like Manual Camera, this app keeps it fairly simple by doing away with fancy filters, frames, stickers, and other extra camera effects. It just sticks to manual camera settings. The features include a moveable viewfinder, live histogram, exposure compensation, light metering mode, ISO and white balance adjustment, and more.


7. Luxi Light Meter




Image Source: Extrasensory Devices


Luxi is a great addition to your photography tools and accessories because it turns your smartphone into a professional-quality light meter. Much like the integrated light meter in a DSLR camera, Luxi will help you determine the optimal manual settings to achieve the perfect exposure for your images.


With this device, you take most of the guesswork out of adjusting your smartphone camera's manual settings.


8. Pocket Spotlight



Image Source: Photojojo


When it comes to photography, lighting is key. But what happens when the lighting is virtually nonexistent?


Instead of using your phone's built-in flash to add some light to your images, use an external lighting device like Photojojo's Pocket Spotlight.


Compatible with both iPhone and Android smartphones, this portable device is a continuous light source that plugs into your phone's headphone jack. It produces beautifully even, soft light in three modes: full strength, half strength, and strobe-tastic.


Apart from these apps and accessories, there are many other ways to make the best out of your smartphone's camera. Give them a try and experiment with various apps and add-on accessories to see which ones work best for you and your phone when it comes to creating amazing, professional-quality images!



No-one buys physical music anymore; gone are the days of queuing up outside HMV to get your hands on that freshly released CD. Thankfully, music streaming services have completely changed the way we consume music, and they've changed it for the better. For access to millions of songs on demand, for the price of a single CD each month, there's no wonder it's where the future of music is heading.


Spotify launched back in 2008; it was the first time that you could stream music as opposed to downloading it on this scale. With Spotify, you have access to (almost) any song or artist that your ears desire - including that obscure band you went to see in the back room of a pub last week. Spotify offers both free and paid for subscriptions (although most of the sought-after features are only available on the paid plan) and with 40 million paid subscribers and a further 55 million free subscribers, it is truly the market leader.


"Spotify HQ" (CC BY 2.0) by Sorosh


For seven years, Spotify ruled the roost. In 2015, however, our favourite tech brand wanted in on the action; Apple Music was born. Since its launch, Apple Music has gained 16 million paid subscribers. There's no free subscription available, just a three-month free trial for all users. You might think that this would mean that Spotify has the edge, but Apple Music has soared in its first year, proving to be a true competitor.


"Apple" (CC BY 2.0) by DeclanTM


With two top-notch music streaming services out there, how do you go about working out which one to go for?


How to Pay


You can pay for Spotify via credit or debit card with an online gift card, or add the payment to your monthly phone bill. Apple Music links to your iTunes account so you can pay the same way you do for apps: via credit, debit card, monthly phone bill, online gift cards, or store credit.


Both services offer a wide range of payment options, and if you fancy saving a bit of money, you can actually get your hands on discounted online gift cards for both Spotify and Apple Music. Who doesn't love a bargain?


(Un)available Music


Despite boasting over 30 million tracks, the major albums not available on Spotify are Taylor Swift's 1989, Kanye West's Life of Pablo, Adele's 25, Jay Z's The Blueprint, and even Prince's Purple Rain.


Don't expect to get Apple Music and be able to listen to The Beatles or Prince anytime soon (where can we actually listen to Prince?!). Apple Music does take the lead here though, as most of the music not available isn't on Spotify either.


On The Go Listening


We're always on the go and the last thing we want is to drain our precious data. Both Spotify and Apple Music have mobile apps that allow you to download playlists to listen to offline.


Both services do technically allow you to integrate your own library. Although Spotify's process is a tedious desktop based one whereas Apple Music should integrate with your iTunes library automatically. There are still a couple of known bugs with the integration, but it looks like Apple are in the process of ironing out the creases.

via GIPHY


There are pros and cons for each of the services. Spotify is still the market leader with the number of subscribers and the number of tracks available, but Apple Music is creeping its way up the ladder, getting the big artists on board and pushing the boundaries of online streaming.

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