After using Canva for a while, we realized it was perfect for our Plus users creating custom covers.
When you first head to Canva.com and create an account, you’ll see the “Create a Design” section. In the upper right, click the “Use custom dimensions” link to get rolling on your custom cover.
Then, put in our page dimensions, which are 640 x 920 pixels.
Once your canvas is ready, you can use Canva’s design tools to make it look just the way you want. They have thousands of stock photo images that cost only $1, tons of cool text designs (some are free, some have a small cost), shapes, colors, and other editing tools.
Apple Music, n;
A new streaming music service from Apple, announced yesterday. Apple Music combines iTunes, Beats Radio, and social networking to create a one-stop music haven.
Apple Music’s main branch — streaming — is very similar to Spotify, but likely with a slightly different library (at least when it comes to the biggest and smallest of musical talent). When it’s released at the end of June, you can subscribe for $9.99 a month (which is the same as both Spotify and Google Play Music), and the first three months will be totally free. A kicker for the service is its family plan, which allows 6 users who are already linked in an iCloud family (sorry, college buds trying to save cash) to share access for only $5 more per month.
Besides streaming, Apple Music also has BeatsOne Radio, which will offer free and commercial free radio via real DJs for anyone who downloads, not just paying members, and Connect, a social network for artists. It will be available June 30 for all iOS devices as well as Windows devices. An Android version is in the works for the fall.
There’s a lot to see and a lot to know, so if you’d like the full run-down of features, release dates, etc., read this list from Wired.
Rejoice, sweet-teeth! It’s National Donut Day, and what could possibly top that? (Sprinkles? Powdered sugar?)
Now that you’re craving donuts, here are a few smartphone-friendly ways to find or make your own delectable treats. Thankfully, it’s Friday, so donut feel guilting treating yo’self.
We all know every sunny weekend is worth sharing. Colorful umbrellas at the beach? Instagram. Rooftop sunset dinner? Facebook. Pizza and Netflix? Snapchat.
But beyond the normal sharing apps (and their normal filters and hashtags) there are a ton of other awesome apps, new and refreshed, to check out. Download these before your weekend adventures and make whatever you do more memorable.
A hugely popular search engine for animated images known as GIFs. The service integrates with popular communication services, making it dangerously easy to find and share GIFs (whether you need to or not.)
The Giphy database is full of the most popular GIFs, created or uploaded by users. GIFs are tagged and sometimes categorized, creating a searchable network of goofy moving images. Most recently, Giphy joined forces with Chrome, making it dangerously easy to insert a GIF into an email (via Gmail) to your friends, mom, or boss. Facebook Messenger, Slack, Groupme and WordPress all also use Giphy’s rabbit-hole GIF library to easily source fitting GIFs for your texts and posts. Giphy also has it’s own app for your endless searching pleasure.
If a picture is worth 1000 words, a GIF is worth even more (and a cat GIF is priceless). What are you favorite GIFs to send?
KFC Tray Typer, n;
A thin bluetooth keyboard KFC customers can sync to their phone to avoid greasing up their screens. The tray inserts are currently running as part of an ad campaign in Germany, and are insanely popular amongst customers — despite being reusable, most people are taking theirs home.
The paper-like Tray Typer keyboard connects via bluetooth to your phone so that you can easily type while eating your greasy chicken and fries without gunking up your screen. While it seems entirely ridiculous, the tool could be quite functional for fast food-loving workaholics.
Previously, KFC ran a techy campaign in Japan with a keyboard, mouse and USB stick for customers, all shaped like fried chicken. (We imagine someone, somewhere probably tried to eat one.)
Periscope App, n;
Though Meerkat and Periscope are identical in their mission to create communities around live-streamed video, the apps function slightly differently. On Periscope, viewers can engage with the person filming by tapping to like, commenting, or catching a video within 24 hours of creation. Videos sync smoothly with Twitter feeds for easy discovery; Twitter made it more difficult for Meerkat videos to stream within a Twitter feed.
Periscope also has an in-app community that feels similar to that of YouTube stars. One user, Amanda Oleander, was featured in New York Magazine for her huge presence on Periscope. The app has the feel of Twitter, where followers and quick messages are touted above all.
We wrote about what a great tool Meerkat would be for events, and think Periscope could serve the same purpose. These apps are ushering in an interesting new way to share what’s happening; they’re also introducing some interesting piracy questions, as many users are streaming gated content like HBO’s Game of Thrones or last week’s big-dollar Pay-Per-View boxing match.
Both apps are only available for iOS, but Meerkat has an Android app in beta.
The Mexican celebration of Cinco de Mayo — which takes place next Tuesday — will be in full swing this weekend at the local watering holes. Instead of battling the crowds, snuggle up with your friends and your smartphone for a boozy Sunday celebrating the Mexican victory at the Battle of Puebla.
And hey, there’s always still time to put together an awesome Cinco de Mayo party app! Poll your friends today on the snacks and cocktails they’d like to have, assemble a playlist of YouTube videos, and maybe include a little info about the history of the holiday.