Best Alexa skills for our daily routine

The skills are mini applications that exploit the artificial intelligence of Alexa, they are the key to really take the most out of the Amazon Echo device. To help you choose the best Alexa skills, we have compiled the basic ones that include music players, weather news, cooking recipes, games to play in groups and controllers for smart homes.

Unlike a mobile app, in most of the cases there is no need to download, but simply to activate the selected skill in Alexa. 

Best Alexa skills:

• Big Sky for the weather forecast.

• Trivial Pursuit, Magic Door and Song Quiz for group games.

• Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music and Top Charts to listen to music.

• Food Network to see recipes.

• The Bartender to see cocktail recipes.

• Washington Post, Times, El País to know the news.

• Ring for surveillance devices in smart homes.

Best Alexa Skills for the weather forecast

Alexa’s built-in weather forecast is suitable for all users but if more precision is needed we recommend Big Sky. Once we activate it, we can just say:

“Alexa, ask Big Sky for the weather in three hours”

“Alexa, ask Big Sky when the rain will stop”

“Alexa, ask Big Sky if I need a jacket”

Best Alexa Skills to play games

One of the most mythical games to play as a family is Trivial Pursuit. It can be played by the controls of the Amazon Echo and we can incorporate as many players as we want. To play we can say:

“Alexa, open Trivial Pursuit”

“Alexa, repeat the question”

Another game with which to discover one of the best Alexa Skills is the Magic Door. It is an interactive narrative in which we decide how to continue the story in a group and it leads to great surprises. We can say:

“Alexa, open Magic Door”

“Alexa tell me more”

“Alexa turns back”

To finish, the most popular game of the moment in the Alexa Skills is likely to be Song Quiz, since it has more than 10 000 ratings. The idea is to listen to music and try to guess the name of the song or band. We can ask:

“Alexa, open Song Quiz”

“The song is Everglow, by Coldplay”

Best Alexa skills to listen to music

Spotify, the classic of the streaming services, is very simple to synchronize with Alexa in case of Spotify Premium accounts. All we need to do is to activate the skill. 

Other good alternatives are Music Charts, which plays the hits of the moment in our location, Apple Music or Amazon Music. To activate any of these music directories we will simply say:

“Alexa, play Coldplay’s Everglow song on Spotify” / Apple Music.

To play it on Amazon Music it is not necessary to specify the source. We can also ask for a playlist like this:

“Alexa, give me a happy playlist”

“Alexa give me a playlist to sing in the shower”

Best Alexa skills to cook

Tablets have already been our favorite tech tools in the kitchen, but now we have Echo, too. The best part is that we have our hands free for cooking. One of the best Alexa skills is Food Network. It includes recipes from the TV show with the same name and from reputable chefs.

For example, we can say:

“Alexa, look for recipes with eggplant and parmesan”

“Alexa, what is the Food Network’s menu today?

We also love a skill called The Bartender. It helps us to prepare cocktails like a professional bartender. We only have to choose one or some ingredients and it will guide us step by step to elaborate it.

Alexa’s best skills to keep up to date with the latest news

Most of us know that Alexa already comes with a predetermined news curator. However, we can also choose our preferred media outlet because practically all the medias have a skill at their disposal. For example New York Times, Spiegel and El País. We may say:

“Alexa, read the news section of the Times”

Best Alexa skills for Smart Homes

The skills of smart homes are very varied because, unfortunately, they depend on the brands of the devices that we have at home. That is to say, if we have intelligent bulbs of a mark and remote controllers of both, we will need to download them both on our smartphone to synchronize them with Alexa.

For those who have surveillance devices connected to alarms and cameras of the Ring brand, the skill allows us to access all the information they provide. They can tell us if they have been used, if the doors have been locked or the cameras have been activated. To do this, we just say:

“Alexa, lock my front door.”

“Alexa, answer the front door.”

For our smart TV, the best Alexa skill could be Smart TV Remote. It controls the volume, changes the channel and accesses the library of multimedia files. If we have a television subscription service like Amazon Prime, we can simply ask Alexa to open the content we want.

“Alexa, play Colette”

If, on the other hand, we have other services, it will depend a lot on the brand. With Netflix for example, only the latest smart TVs with the Fire TV app have the option of synchronizing with Alexa.

Want to know more about cutting-edge innovations? Take a look at how technology is changing our lives, according to top experts in different fields. 

best music festivals in europe 2019

The 5 best music festivals in Europe in 2019

The most anticipated musical events are displaying their lineups and and we are already planning our holidays around them. If you want to be a true expert in music festivals and do not want to miss the early bird tickets, take a look at this list with the best music festivals in Europe in 2019, and decide as soon as possible where to live your craziest summer nights.

To elaborate this list we have decided to follow the hottest bands across the main music platforms and see where they take us (and their millions of fans!). But also, we have consulted forums and pages to see which lineups are the most exciting this year.

CREAMFIELDS 2019

Creamfields is the birthplace of Dance, Electronics and alternatives styles such as Drum & Bass, Grime and Trance. In short, it’s a musical space designed to escape from the world and merge with loud music and powerful lighting. Each year Creamfields is consecrated as one of the most imposing European festivals in the world and its low price, compared to other events such as the Tomorrowland, makes it even more appealing.

  • What is the Creamfields line-up in 2019? Swedish House Mafia, Dreadmau5 and more to confirm.
  • ¿When is Creamfields 2019? August 22 – 25.
  • Where is Creamfields 2019? Cheshire, UK
  • How much does Creamfields cost? Starting from £ 185 the weekend.

TOMORROWLAND 2019

The cradle of electronics, dance, EDM, Drum & Bass, Dubstep and practically any variant of Electronics come together at the Tomorrowland music festival. This mecca of powerful sensations is also a small magical city with a giant scenery and lots of things to do to spend an unforgettable weekend with friends.

The Tomorrowland festival is so well known that when the tickets come out they usually sell out after a few hours. This year the classics of the EDM scene will gather there, such as Axwell ^ Ingrosso, Dimitri Vegas or Martin Garrix. Do not worry if you run out of tickets! We’re here to guide you towards further alternatives within this musical genre. What’s even better – without having to empty your pockets.

  • What is the Tomorrowland line-up in 2019? Armin van Buuren, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Martin Garrix, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Carl Cox, Axwell ^ Ingrosso, Alesso, Ben Klock and more. 
  • When is Tomorrowland 2019? July 19-21 2019 & 26-28 July 2019.
  • Where is Tomorrowland 2019? Boom, Belgium.
  • How much does Tomorrowland cost? From € 275 the weekend.

PRIMAVERA SOUND 2019

Primavera Sound is another must-see on the lists of the best music festivals in Europe in 2019. It is a myriad of musical styles in which we see familiar faces but many alternative bands that, presumably, will crowd the most popular Spotify playlists the following year. Some musical stars confirmed for 2019 are Cardi B, Future and Solange. It also has Tame Impala (which seems to be the head of several high-level festivals around the world).

  • What is the Primavera Sound Line-up in 2019? Solange, Tame Impala, Cardi B, J Balvin, Erykah Badu, Future, James Blake, among others. 
  • When is Primavera Sound 2019? 30 May – 1 June, 2019
  • Where is Primavera Sound in 2019? Barcelona, ​​Spain.
  • How much does Primavera Sound cost? From € 150 the weekend.

ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL 2019 

This iconic festival has been engaging waves of generations for more than half a century. It displays 80s and 90s Classics but it also incorporates New rock, Indie, Pop and emerging bands with alternative sounds. This year’s lineup is still to be confirmed, but seeing the path that they’ve followed so far it will surely become one of the best music festivals in Europe in 2019.

Part of the charm of this festival is its location on the small island of Wight. That makes it an authentic experience, away from the hustle and bustle of the city in which people of all ages, art, gastronomy and music mix for a dream weekend.

  • What is the Isle of Wight Line-up 2019? It is not confirmed yet.
  • When is Isle of Wight 2019? June 13 – 16, 2019.
  • Where is Isle of Wight 2019? Isle of Wight, UK.
  • How much does it cost Isle if Wight 2019? Prices are not confirmed. We’ll update the article when we have the information.

SZIGET FESTIVAL 2019

This music festival began as an alternative musical project that registered losses for years. However, its ambition and the impressive lineups it has achieved have made it one of the best festivals in the world.

Many regulars or sporadic Sziget attendees will tell you that even the most impressive lineup will be shadowed by the magic of the event itself, as Sziget goes beyond a regular music festival. Prepare yourself for a holistic celebration of music, gastronomy and sports, and enter a world where to enjoy dozens of concerts, water sports, amazing beaches an even -why not?- a helicopter ride. Just pure entertainment to the coolest beats to spend an awesome week.

  • What is the Sziget line-up in 2019? Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters, Florence + the machine, Martin Garrix or Kodaline, Jungle, The Blaze, The 1975 and more. 
  • When is Sziget 2019? 7-13 August 2019.
  • Where is Sziget 2019? Budapest, Hungary.
  • How much does it cost Sziget 2019? From € 199 the three-day subscription.

What is your favourite? Drop us a line with your comments!

a12 bionic chip appleinc

A12 Bionic chip: what you can do with it on the new iPhone Xs

In the clamor of the Apple event we have been blinded with the new three models of iPhone. The iPhone Xs, Xs Max and Xr and the new Watch. But with these presentations we have forgotten the real protagonist of the party, the A12 bionic chip.

It is funny that in the last years, Apple always treated the processor as a black box, not wanting to burden consumers with technical details on how it works. However, there has been a difference in the trend, allowing the latest silicone to take the limelight and showcase all the technical details behind the engine in the latest iOS devices.

The A12 bionic chip is a 7nn chip. It is showcased as the fastest one in the market right now and promises not only a change in the new iPhone Xs, but also in the entire application industry. Let’s see why:

Inside the A12 bionic chip

The performance of the A12 bionic chip is even faster than the A11 of the previous range of iPhones. According to Geekbench, it has a single-core score of 4,813 and a multi-core score of 10,266.

But raw horse power isn’t what makes a phone great. The heart of the chip is a six-core CPU with two performance cores that are up to 15 percent faster than the A11 and consume 40 % less power. Four “efficiency” cores, handling lower-intensity tasks, should consume 50 percent less energy.

Apple claims that the four-core GPU in the A12 Bionic is 50 % faster than the A11 Bionic. The additional speed and technologies support technologies like tessellation, multilayer rendering, and lossless memory compression.

The company is also promising a faster Secure Enclave associated with the new chipset, which is used for tasks like Face ID authentication. When paired with streamlined algorithms in iOS 12, the new hardware should speed up Face ID recognition versus that in the iPhone X.

However, one of the cores, and here is where the magic starts, is a dedicated neural engine. Coupled with the raw processing power it will open a new era in app processing. Particularly apps which use the company’s machine learning framework, Core ML, which the new A12 Bionic runs nine times faster than last year’s chips.

On stage, Apple showed off a new app named Homecourt, that watches you play basketball while it records the number of shots and passes you make and miss. This sort of real-time analysis isn’t possible without a chip with meaty AI processing.

This allows a level of machine learning unheard of in a phone, allowing the iPhone to predict what you are going to do. Where you are going to go (spooky). Which photos you’ll probably share. And even, what apps you’ll open.

Now that we have made clear the technical details of the A12 bionic chip, we can actually see how it’ll improve our user experience with the new iPhones. 

iPhone Xs and Xs Max Camera

The camera of iPhones has always had high quality, as it reduces the noise and increases the luminosity at night. In the iPhone Xs and Xs Max we find a dual 12 megapixel camera array.

It takes pictures in HDR and in real time, allowing the phone to collect a lot of color and light information in each photo. This allows us to adjust the light and the depth of field. We can also blur the background completely. Or adjust colors without losing quality, as if images were in raw format.

In addition, the camera is so precise that it allows facial recognition, making a fingerprint cumbersome (although we’re not sure that this option is as secure as Apple taunts). This option, beyond comfortable, reinforces the security with which Apple reminds us that we can make payments from our iPhone.

With these features, we need a large processor to keep the smartphone working. But we also need some great graphics, and that’s where the A12 bionic chip plays another interesting role. It uses the neural engine to analyse shots, stitch them together to get the best parts of each and produce the best quality image with a massive amount of post processing,

Graphic design for virtual reality and augmented reality

The A12 bionic chip of the new iPhone Xs and Xs Max and iPhone Xr includes in the silicon a four core that streamlines the loading and rendering of graphics by 50%. This enable us to play games in high resolution and at high speed. But above all, it displays a more fluid use of virtual reality.

Why do we need such a powerful speed? We all know that virtual reality is still in its infancy and many of us do not know what to do with it beyond playing a game. It is clear that it’ll be the new boom in mobile technology since Google, Samsung, Facebook and more are playing with it. But Apple wants to be the winner of this competition.

For this, Apple has already launched an SDK for developers (ARKit). And now, it has given developers more power to create the next-gen era of augmented reality apps.

We probably won´t notice it too much in our daily tasks. However, it ensures that the quality of applications will continue to raise the bar of what is possible. This is a competition, both for developers and suppliers, and the maximum beneficiary is the end user.

One step beyond the A12 bionic chip

The capacity of the A12 bionic chip is so great that it could exceed the inches of the smartphone and land on their own computers. There is only one month to announce the new models, so we will have to wait to see the real life performance this powerhouse will deliver.

The bar has remained high, as high as the huge price of output of the iPhones Xs and Xs Max. We can only wait and see how Google the new Pixel 3 and the flagships of Samsung and the new competitor, Xiaomi, respond to the “king of the hill”

You can watch the full Apple keynote here:

https://www.apple.com/es/apple-events/september-2018/

Drop us a line in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

 

Oktoberfest 2018: a survival kit with the best apps and news

The farewell to the summer holidays tastes better with a beer in the sun or just with a good excuse to eat, relax and enjoy time with your friends. The best occasion to do this is the Oktoberfest 2018. This is the German beer festival held originally in Munich and celebrated as well in other parts of the world.

To survive such an excitement, especially for those who can’t say are that young anymore, we have shortlisted the latest information about Oktoberfest 2018. And for your convenience, the best 5 apps to take the most of this event worldwide.

What is the origin of the Oktoberfest

If you want to know more about the History of Oktoberfest, it has a romantic origin. About 200 years ago the king of Bavaria, Ludwig I, married Theresa of Saxony and celebrated the wedding with all his subjects hosting a race of horses and offering food and beer in an open field. He named the placed after his beloved, Theresenwiese, which means ‘the prairie of Theresa’.

The great joy with which the people in the kingdom celebrated the event set a precedent that has been replicated every year for almost two centuries. With some exceptions by wars or epidemics. The date recently changed from October to September, due to the weather.

Oktoberfest 2018 is still held in the same enclave, a vast meadow surrounded by nature in the heart of Munich. And it gathers more than 7 Million people each year. What if it rains or it gets cold, you may wonder? Well, there is no better way to cope with it than with a beer in your hands… Or that is what organizers claim! Oktoberfest 2018 takes place from the 22th of September to the 7th of October this year.

In addition to the meat, the ribs, the German beer Hofbräu-Festhalle and the Bavarian music, the regional costumes bring colorfulness and a certain feel of folklore to the party. We actually feel like we are back in 1800. Sounds interesting, right? Whether in Munich or in another region of the world, check out the following apps for your trip to the Oktoberfest!

Find your friends at the Oktoberfest 2018

7 Million people is just about the population of Switzerland – the number expected to attend  Oktoberfest in Munich in 2018. Amazing, right? To avoid getting lost and losing our friends in the huge crowd we suggest you download Wave. This is a free app for iOS and Android in which we can share our location with our friends on a map in real time and privately.

The best part is that, unlike other apps, we can see all of our friends on the same map. Feel free to explore and don’t be afraid to lose your friends, for you can check their location anytime!

When needed, the app tells you how to reach your friends. Look for them on the map, set a meeting point and it will give you directions to get there. As this is a social app, it comes with a chat to type, speak and share memories.

More than 11 Million people use Wave already, so it is likely that our crush at the Oktoberfest has it too so we can find him/her any time among the crowd.

The best thing about Wave Application is not just its convenience, but also its purpose: it is all about location. We can avoid typing in those long group chats, moving back and forth through plenty of messages and asking over and over again for others’ location.

Pick the best beer at the Oktoberfest 2018

Some of us are not experts in beer or prefer to drink only the famous Hofbräu-Festhalle Bavarian beer. However, if we want to make the most of our experience at the Oktoberfest 2018, we should be able to distinguish and taste different sorts of beers.

If an amateur in this field, just jump into Untappd, and app that presumes to have the best directory of beers in the world. The app enables you to look for different brands and discover the properties and flavors of each type. It also tell you its origin, color and the popularity it has among the app’s community of users.

We have tried it and we are happy to say that this year they have also included a chat to talk about beers with other community members. The app is free and available for iOS and Android.

Be aware of what goes on around you

Oktoberfest wiesn 2018 app

Gathering all the information related to Oktoberfest is easier with the app Wiesn 2018. It informs you about every single detail of the event, such as the concerts, stages, the different breweries or even the weather condition.

Along with all the information, we are impressed by its features aimed to ensure we survive the Oktoberfest 2018 safely. For example, we can check on a map the location of the security points, toilets or the beer counter that calculates our BAC. It also helps you meet new people as it has a Bavarian translator, so we can actually order a beer in Bavarian!

Wiesn 2018 is an app to use exclusively if you are lucky enough to attend to the Oktoberfest in Munich and it is free for Android.

Pay for a round and get invited without losing your mind

Paying a beer at the Oktoberfest in Munich follows an unwritten rule: each friend pays a round of beers for their friends, especially among the locals. To deal with this habit, we suggest you use Venmo, an app where to add to your fellow travelers and pay them directly from the app. It will make the balance updated, so you can keep track of when to pay or get invited. Get it for free for iOS and Android.

Discover all the events of each day at the Oktoberfest 2018

Apart from drinking beer, there are different events that vary from year to year. Attendants will enjoy parades, music concerts, activities for children and great surprises. We can discover them all with the EventBrite event app. It is equally interesting for those who go to Munich and want to enjoy the full pack of activities, as well as for those who celebrate Oktoberfest in other parts of the world. Get it for free for iOS and Android.

 

 

Wave Interviews – Android Developer, Javier Rebollo

As users become more demanding, it’s a real challenge to be a an Android Developer. Look at how our the developer at Wave, Javier Rebollo, sorts out the new reality in building apps.  Get to know all his tricks and secrets at this interview and get inspired by a well job  done that has taken Wave to the next level. 

1.- Why do you love Wave?

I think it’s a very interesting project and we have seen a great evolution. If before people were reluctant to share their location and were afraid of it, now they feel it as a necessity and they understand how powerful and useful it really is.

Some time ago, when I was meeting my family or friends I was asking them about their location, now that they use Wave, all these questions are over. I share my location with them and there are no more questions that can distract me, for example when I am driving. That’s amazing.

2.- How do you keep yourself organized with all the new projects coming in?

One of the best things about Wave is its startup soul and hopefully that will never change. This soul means that we have a way of working in which it is very simple to communicate and organize things with the team.

This is very complicated in companies with excessive bureaucracy where processes become slow and awkward. We don´t work like that here and that is the best point of the company.

3.- Do you feel identified with any proverb, movie character or particular habit?

Well, there’s a sentence by John D. Rockefeller that says: “Do not be afraid to leave something good to go for the big thing”. This is something that is linked to my personality, as I do not like to accommodate.

I believe that I can always improve in all aspects of my life and avoid getting stuck. I firmly think that this is the very essence of the human being.

4.- You have worked in the sports and travel industry before joining Wave, why did you choose to start in the lifestyle and location area?

I actually do not choose companies for the sector they belong to, but because of the technological challenge they face. When I started working at Wave, I had to deal with several challenges that are now solved. One of the best and more motivating realities in this company is that there are always new challenges to conquer.

5.- What stage of the development process, from the draft of a project to the execution do you enjoy the most?

The parts that I like the most are the beginning and the end. The beginning because it is when we see how the product is being developed little by little, and the final stage, because it is when we see that everything is finished and we have that satisfaction of a job well done.

At the same time, we know we would have done the development a bit different if we would do it again. That’s amazing. We start applying our new knowledge and when we finish, we have learned so much that, when we look back, we know that now we would do it better.

6.- What innovation in tech most inspires you for your work?

I’m inspired by the Internet Of Things. Some people see it as a bad thing, and they fear of having devices connected all the time, but really if you know how to take advantage of it, it’s great.

All the information you need is at your fingertips to make better decisions and, if done correctly, the information that arrives to you is the only one that you need at every moment … that’s great.

7.- Do you think that users of apps are becoming more demanding? If so, how does your team continue to offer a level of excellence?

Yes, I firmly believe it. We are always trying to reduce all possible errors to the minimum and to correct the ones that we have. We also bet on the best and most modern technologies to always offer users the latest, so they can enjoy all the new advantages before anyone else.

8.- What would you like to achieve in your team with Wave within the next 2 years?

I would like to make us a reference in geolocation. Just like when people thought of Messenger and now think of WhatsApp. I want that when people think about location, they think of Wave.

It does not matter how much time passes by, we will continue being their ‘Messenger’ and they will never forget us because we will have marked a before and after in the location’s world. That is what I hope to achieve.