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Huawei is bringing the P9 Lite to the UK later this month

Huawei has announced the company plans to launch the P9 Lite in the UK. The smartphone will be available from EE, O2, Vodafone and Carphone Warehouse from late May. The P9 Lite joins the P9 and P9 Plus to round off the family of products, offering yet another option in case the two aforementioned devices aren’t quite the ideal matches for your hand.


Sporting a 5.2-inch full HD display, 13MP rear shooter (and 8MP front-facing camera), Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Kirin 650 octa-core processor, 3000mAh battery, 16GB of onboard storage (with expansion up to 128GB), 4G LTE support, and a fingerprint 2.0 sensor. It’s quite the specification list and ensures the P9 Lite is no slouch.

We’ll be sure to give you all a heads up when the P9 Lite is available for purchase in the UK.

Press Release

Huawei P9 family extended with P9 Lite

Available in the UK in May from EE, O2, Vodafone and Carphone Warehouse.

Huawei Consumer Business Group (BG) has announced the P9 Lite, an exciting new addition to the popular P9 family. The P9 Lite marries a sleek, stylish design with a powerful camera and creative photo editing capabilities, as well as the latest in high fidelity audio, fingerprint sensor technology and battery saving technology.

The P9 Lite smartphone will be available in the UK from late May and can be purchased in black from EE, O2, Vodafone and Carphone Warehouse.

Weighing just 147g and slim line with a 7.5mm depth, the P9 Lite’s lightweight, stylish, aluminium frame and sleek appealing form factor, results in a truly premium design, without the price tag to match.

Its bright 5.2 inch screen is encased in an aircraft-grade aluminium frame, ensuring the P9 Lite finds the perfect equilibrium between looking durable and aesthetically appealing. With a high screen-to-body ratio of 76.4 and an NTSC colour gamut of 85%, there are several reasons why the P9 Lite is a sight to behold.

With the P9 Lite’s 13MP rear camera, which boasts dual LED flash and autofocus, amateur photographers have clear, lifelike images at the tips of their fingers. With the ability to set white balance, ISO EV and shutter speed in pro camera mode, those that like to tinker with the finer details of the art of photography, can do so with ease.

The 8MP front camera produces full HD resolution images of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, so perfect selfies can be captured day and night.

Audiophiles also have reason to fall in love with the P9 Lite, with high fidelity audio and an integrated speaker design, the low frequency, volume and quality of the sound has seen considerable improvement since the last generation P series devices.

With ARM and TrustZone technology integrated into the P9 Lite’s lightning fast fingerprint 2.0 sensor, users can access everything in an instant, while ensuring private data remains private.

In terms of connectivity, the P9 Lite follows in the P9 family’s footsteps and comes equipped with the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system, Huawei’s intuitive Emotion 4.1 user interface and supports 4G. The P9 Lite has a HiSilicon Kirin 650 octocore processor, making the smartphone a powerful younger brother of the P9 and P9 Plus.

Thanks to its 3,000 mAh battery and ability to reduce power as required, the P9 Lite allows continuous calling time of up to 18 hours and standby time of 630 hours, (when operated on 3G).

The P9 Lite has plenty of storage capacity for higher memory requirements, coming with 16GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot which can support 128GB of expanded memory.

Rhys Saunders, Sales Director, Huawei UK&I Consumer BG, said: “With the P9 smartphone family, Huawei are offering users a superior smartphone experience. The latest edition to the family, the P9 Lite, with its lower price point, is no exception to this. The phone has a premium and stylish look and feel, a high-resolution rear and front camera, as well as a powerful battery, making this a perfect companion for budding photographers on the go.”


Grab the first new Stone Roses track in 21 years right now from Google Play

Influential British band, The Stone Roses, have released their first new music in 21 years, with All For One debuting after much recent speculation. Fans can now pick up the new track from the Google Play Store or listen in with a Play Music subscription.


The band’s iconic lemon logo has been spotted all over their home town of Manchester in recent times, leading to much hype that after all these years new music was finally on the way. And here’s the first of what fans will hope is many more new tracks.

Grab it now at the link below and give it a listen. To buy will cost £0.99 or $1.29. Regional availability may vary.

Get All For One in the Google Play Store


Sprint offers free year of Amazon Prime with its $100-a-month Better Choice XXL plan

Sprint has announced that customers who sign up for its $100-a-month Better Choice XXL plan will get a year of Amazon Prime for free, which is normally worth $99.


Sprint says that families can share 40GB of high-speed data under the Better Choice XXL plan. If they run out of that amount of data before the month is over, they can choose to stick with the lower 2G speeds or automatically purchase $15 per GB of extra high-speed data.

Sprint previously announced all of its customers had the option to add Amazon Prime service to their bills for $11 a month.


Grab an Amazon Tap from HSN for just $120 today!

If you are looking to pick up an Amazon Tap but don’t want to drop the full asking price on it, you are in luck. Right now, HSN is running a special on it which drops the price down to just $120, a $10 savings. While $10 may not seem like a huge savings, it is rare to see the latest Amazon products receive a discount. With purchasing from HSN, you also have the option to split it into payments if you need, which is a big benefit for some.


For those not familiar with the Tap, some of its features include:

  • Just tap the microphone button and ask for music from Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn
  • Uses the Alexa Voice Service when connected to Wi-Fi or a mobile hotspot to play music, read the news, provide weather reports, and even order a pizza
  • Streams all your music via Bluetooth from your phone or tablet
  • Delivers crisp sound powered by Dolby, with dual stereo speakers that provide 360º omni-directional audio
  • Provides up to 9 hours of playback
  • Always getting smarter and adding new features and skills

If you are interested, be sure to hit the link below. Don’t wait too long though, as this deal is only good for today, May 13.

See at HSN


Vodafone launches the affordable Smart prime 7 for just £75

Vodafone has launched the Smart prime 7 in the UK for just £75. Available on Pay-As-You-Go, the Smart prime is an ideal option for those who desire a smartphone rocking Marshmallow but do not wish to fork out on flagship handsets. Alongside the prime 7 is the Smart first 7, which is available for just £25. This is the low-end of the affordable segment, offering bare minimum specifications.


As for the Smart prime 7, you have a 5-inch 720p display, 4G support, 1GB of RAM, 8MP main camera with a 5MP front-facing shooter, and a 2540mAh battery. Since these are Vodafone’s own phones, you’ll be locked to the network after purchase.

The Smart first 7 is a small 3.5-inch display-welding device with a mere 2MP camera, 4GB of internal storage and a quad-core 1.3GHz processor. The former is available in Graphite Black or Boron White, while the first 7 is listed in Volcano Black and will be launching in Tech White at a later date.

  • Buy the Vodafone Smart prime 7
  • Buy the Vodafone Smart first 7

Press Release

13th May, 2016: Bringing you a stylish and super-slim smartphone for a ground-breaking price – the Vodafone Smart prime 7 (£75 pay as you go) is simple, easy-to-use and full of all the features you want from your mobile phone!

The Vodafone Smart prime 7 is ideal for those who want quick and easy access to their social media channels, emails or apps. It’s also the perfect choice for selfie addicts who’ll love the enhanced 5MP front facing camera, equipped with a two-finger shutter trigger for even better and sharper selfies.

What’s more, the high definition 5 inch screen offers sharp and vibrant colours, so you can stream your favourite TV series or browse your photo albums with first class clarity.

Running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the Vodafone Smart prime 7 is supported by a long lasting battery – thanks to the Google Doze feature – and ample memory for all your music, videos and apps so you’ll have peace of mind knowing your smartphone will last you through the day.

Pay as you go customers can enjoy the new Vodafone Smart prime 7 on Vodafone’s ultrafast 4G network from as little as £16 per month, which includes unlimited texts, 250 minutes and 250MB of data to use within the UK. Alternatively, customers who opt for a Red 1GB Bundle will receive unlimited UK texts, unlimited UK minutes and 1GB of UK data for £24 per month.

Launching alongside the Smart prime 7 is the NEW Vodafone Smart first 7 – an easy-to-use and affordable handset that also looks good for just £25 Pay as you go. With a highly responsive 3.5 inch touchscreen, a 2MP camera and a speedy Android 5.1 operating system, it’s perfect for first time smartphone users and brings you all the advantages of an Android smartphone – for a fraction of the price.

Plus, Vodafone are offering all new and upgrading mobile customers a 30 Day Network Guarantee – giving them the freedom to experience the strength and quality of Vodafone’s network for 30 days before they fully commit!

The Vodafone Smart prime 7 is available in either Graphite Black or Boron White, and the Vodafone Smart first 7 is available in Volcano Black and will be launching in Tech White at a later date – for further details please visit the Vodafone online shop.


Boost Mobile now offers $65-a-month plan for two lines, each with 10GB of data

Boost Mobile is now offering a new $65-a-month plan (with Auto Re-Boost) for two lines. Each line will be able to access 10GB of high-speed data on Sprint’s network.


The no-contract carrier’s normal price for this plan is $70 a month, but customers can save $5 a month if they include the Auto Re-Boost option, which automatically charges the account of the user. The discount will begin in the second month of the plan.


The NFL will bring classic games to YouTube later this year

The National Football League will offer an expanded selection of content as part of its recently-renewed, multi-year deal with YouTube. While the NFL’s channel already offers game highlights, recaps, and clips, the new content selection will include full classic games, plays from in-progress games, and more.


From the NFL:

Additionally, more NFL content, including game highlights uploaded to YouTube while games are in progress, will be available through Google Search. A simple Google search for NFL team will display official NFL video along with related news and information all delivered to the user in one distinct box at the top of the search results. Kickoff time and broadcast information for every NFL game will also be prominently displayed in Google Search.

Three classic games from each of the NFL’s 32 teams will be uploaded to YouTube ahead of the start of the 2016 season later this year.


Acer Chromebook 14 review: Big screen, big value


Acer Chromebook 14 Full review

Since Google started pushing its Chromebook platform as a consumer-focused product, Acer has been there leading the charge with some of the best models. Perhaps the most popular Chromebook of all time, the C720, came from Acer, and the company commands a substantial portion of the Chrome OS market at this point.

But all of that success came on the back of low-end, affordable Chromebooks that leaned more toward the side of “cheap throw-away” than “solid laptop to be proud of using.” To be fair to Acer that’s where the entire Chromebook market was at — that is, until 2015 when a few different manufacturers hit the scene with new mid-range models that upped the performance and hardware quality over the bargain basement norm.

Acer’s response to the likes of Dell, HP and Toshiba is this, the new Chromebook 14. Built out of aluminum and packing really solid specs even in its base model, the Chromebook 14 ticks a lot of boxes for those who want the simplicity of a Chromebook but are willing to pay just a little bit more for something that’s actually enjoyable to touch and look at.

At $299, the Chromebook 14 is fitting the mold nicely — this is our full review.

About this review

I (Andrew Martonik) am writing this review after over a week using the $299 retail model of the Acer Chromebook 14, which ships with a 1920×1080 resolution display, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The entirety of the review was conducted on the stable channel of Chrome OS.


Acer Chromebook 14 Hardware and display

Though we’ve come a long way from the time when you just couldn’t get a Chromebook that actually looked and felt nice, we aren’t out of the woods quite yet. Your average $200-300 Chromebook today — including many from Acer — is still built quite cheaply and doesn’t exhibit much in the way of inspired design, but thankfully the Chromebook 14 is not one of those laptops.

Much was made about this being an all-aluminum laptop, but the important thing here is that the Chromebook 14 is actually made well, no matter the material choices. The entire bottom of the laptop is a big slab of well-machined aluminum, as is a majority of its lid — though the outer coating is a somewhat down-market texture with a cheaper finish. All of the seams line up nicely, the edges are rounded well, and you don’t feel it flexing in your hands when you pick it up. The other side of the equation here is weight: the 14-inch laptop is 3.42 pounds — not exactly light and portable. I like to draw that line closer to three pounds.

Much was made about the use of aluminum, but what’s important is how it’s all put together.

You’ll find a pair of speaker grilles on the bottom of the laptop, which, due to the curve of the bottom, are slightly raised off of the surface on which you’re laying the laptop. The speakers sound a bit hollow, lacking much bass output, but get pretty darn loud. They’re easily good enough for any media you’ll be consuming, but you’ll probably look for headphones if you’re watching a full-length movie. Another interesting note is that the display hinge lets the lid go all the way back to a completely flat configuration, meaning you’ll never be limited in positioning it for proper viewing.

There isn’t anything particularly striking about the design — that is, unless you’re really fond of what a MacBook Air looks like — but that’s not an issue at all for me so long as it’s well-made and feels solid, which it is and does. You won’t be embarrassed to open this up at a coffee shop, or leave it out on a table at home — it’s a respectably handsome laptop.

The port offering on the Chromebook 14 is great in many ways, but comes up short in one. On the good side, you have two USB 3.0 ports, which is fantastic, and they both occupy the same side of the laptop, which I like. They’re set right next to a full-sized HDMI port and a laptop locking slot, if you need that sort of thing. On the opposite side you get a standard headphone/microphone jack, and a ho-hum barrel-style power connector. The big missing feature here for me is an SD card slot, which I like to have for the potential of augmenting the 32GB of internal storage down the road — most other Chromebooks offer an SD card slot, and it’s a bit odd to see it missing on a larger machine like this.

The panel isn’t the brightest, but exhibits every other feature you want from a $299 Chromebook.

On the display front, Acer has loaded up a 1080p IPS LCD panel, with a semi-reflective covering that works to split the difference between visibility and image quality. Viewing angles are just about as good as you’d ever need, and because the screen isn’t covered in a big sheet of glare-inducing glass you can actually use it when there’s some sun coming through the window or you’re outside in less-than-harsh sun.

Everything looks rather nice on the display in terms of colors and crispness of text, which you can’t always say for displays on cheap Chromebooks, but the one shortcoming here is the screen’s overall brightness. In the entire review period for this laptop I never found myself using it at less than 50% brightness, and was usually close to 100% to get the best viewing experience — even indoors. While I’m completely willing to take a little drop in brightness to get a panel that’s much clearer and better looking than most of the competition, it’s still something to keep in mind here. You aren’t getting a completely bright and vibrant display like you may on a laptop that cost a couple hundred dollars more.


Acer Chromebook 14 Specs

Acer manages to check a lot of boxes in terms of specs on the Chromebook 14, and thankfully for us is also putting more weight behind the higher of the two models. The laptop is advertised primarily at $299, which is the model with a 1080p display — a lower model starts at $279 with a 720p display.

Display 14-inch Active Matrix TFT LCD, 1920×1080 resolution
Processor Intel Celeron N3160 quad-core 1.6 GHzBurst up to 2.24 GHzIntel HD Graphics 400
Memory 4GB LPDDR3
Storage 32GBNon-expandable
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-FiBluetooth 4.2
Ports 2x USB 3.0, HDMI (HDCP), headphone/microphone
Battery 3-cell Li-Po 3920 mAh12 hour battery life
Charger Barrel-style proprietary connector
Dimensions 13.43 x 9.31 x .67 inches
Weight 3.42 pounds

These are all pretty standard numbers, but you do notice a few standouts: both USB ports are USB 3.0, and you get the latest wireless radios with 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2.


Acer Chromebook 14 Keyboard and trackpad

Keyboards and trackpads in particular have been cost-cutting areas for Chromebook manufacturers, and Acer walks that line between cost and quality well in all of its Chromebook models.

The Chromebook 14’s keyboard is full sized with a standard Chrome OS layout, including typical shortcut keys in place of function keys, with no extra buttons from Acer. The key caps themselves are lightly textured and generally feel pretty cheap, though they don’t wobble much or have excess lateral movement when you rest your fingers on them. Travel on the keys is pretty good, about on par with other thin laptops, but the switches are a tad on the mushy side and don’t rebound back up to your finger quite as nicely as a higher-end machine. I had no problem writing the entirety of this 2000-plus word review on the Chromebook 14, as well as use it on a daily basis, but the keyboard does leave just a little to be desired when I compare it to a nicer laptop.

The keyboard almost offers everything you need. The trackpad comes up short in more areas.

The one missing feature here isn’t super high on everyone’s list, but is important to note — there’s no option for a backlit keyboard on the Chromebook 14. While backlit keyboards are hardly the norm for Chromebooks (they’re quite a rarity, in fact), a machine such as this that looks like a high-end offering almost feels like it needs a backlit keyboard. Many people, myself included, would surely pay a premium for a higher model that included it.

The trackpad beneath the keyboard is rather large, as you’d expect for a 14-inch laptop, settling in just slightly shorter than the height of the palm rest and just a tad narrower than the space bar and “alt” key put together. Whereas the keyboard comes up just shy of matching a high-end laptop, I have to say the trackpad comes up a few steps shorter of being comparable. Though it’s plenty large, supports multi-finger gestures and is fully clickable, the trackpad has a bit too much drag to it that can make finely mousing around tougher than it needs to be.

The surface of the trackpad isn’t as smooth as the glass offerings from higher-end laptops out there, and doesn’t come close to what the Dell Chromebook 13 offers. It’s just barely smoother than the aluminum casing surrounding it, and that’s not a good thing. Even though it’s completely serviceable, the trackpad is one of the disappointing portions of the experience that reminds you you’re using a $300 machine.


Acer Chromebook 14 Daily use and battery life

Considering that all Chromebooks are running the same operating system with little room for customization from manufacturers, you can expect a base line of functionality between models. But the internal specs vary widely between Chromebooks, leading to dramatic differences in the overall experience.


One thing that really blew me away about Dell’s mid-range Chromebook 13 was just how much more powerful it was than the competition. Sure, the model I used retailed close to $500, but having an Intel Core i3 processor inside made a considerable difference in power over the last-gen Intel Celeron N-series chipsets. The Acer Chromebook 14 has the newer Celeron N3150 inside, which gets a tad closer to the experience of the Dell’s Core i3 (both laptops have the same 4GB of RAM and 1080p resolution) but still comes up a touch short.

This is enough power for 95% of Chromebook users.

The quad-core processor in the Chromebook 14 has definitely bumped performance up into the range where from that standpoint I could recommend it to just about anyone, which is something I couldn’t say about the last-gen N-series chips, such as the Celeron N28XX range. That being said, it wasn’t too hard to push the Chromebook 14 to a point where I could tell it was getting overwhelmed with tasks. Having several different apps and tabs open, streaming some music, quickly cycling through apps and loading up some heavy webpages caused background processes to slow down, but, in an improvement from previous-gen chips, the foreground tasks didn’t skip a beat. Part of that is due to the 4GB of RAM inside, which I always recommend, but now the processor is up to speed, too.

The Chromebook 14 never slowed down enough to actually impact scrolling speed, tab switching or keyboard/mouse input, which is of the utmost importance. Pushing the Chromebook 14 just as hard as I use my MacBook Air every day (minus the handful of apps that don’t have Chrome OS equivalents), the Chromebook performed admirably — that’s something I haven’t said about any Chromebook other than the Dell Chromebook 13. People who want to max out their tasks and never skip a beat will still be better served by a machine that can offer a Core i3 or higher and potentially 6GB or 8GB of RAM, but for the vast majority of people this combination of a Celeron N3150 and 4GB of RAM will be plenty.

Chrome OS experience

Despite its seemingly constant updates and dramatic increase in quality over the past couple of years, Chrome OS still has a few bugbears that just haven’t been resolved and pull back the curtain a little to show that it isn’t fully baked right now. The biggest of them all is the amazingly poor handling of higher resolution screens, in which the operating system still fails to properly scale the interface to a proper size on pixel-dense displays.

Poor display scaling is one of the biggest shortcomings of the Chrome OS experience.

Aside from Google’s first-party Pixel devices, Chromebooks that ship with display resolutions of 1920×1080 — like this Chromebook 14 — or higher have interface elements that are ludicrously small. Google’s response to this issue is to tell you to lower the resolution setting (in this case to 1536×864) in the Chromebook’s settings, which indeed makes interface elements larger but also introduces blurry images and jagged lines on windows and apps. The other way to tackle this is to set your default page zoom to something like 110 or 125%, which has the opposite issue — webpages and apps are now scaled properly, but the rest of the interface is still tiny. (I ended up landing on the latter system, which has the lowest compromise.)

These sorts of issues have a huge impact on the experience of using a Chromebook, and both of the above methods for scaling the interface really are unacceptable. Any other major operating system can offer you complete and proper interface scaling, and with more and more Chromebooks pushing into this mid-range with 1080p displays, Google has to get this right.

Battery life and charging

Big laptops by design have room for large batteries, but in most cases that usually coincides with a larger display and more power to suck down that extra capacity. That isn’t always true with Chromebooks, though, and Acer quotes 12 hours of usage out of the higher-end Chromebook 14 with its 1080p display (and 14 hours with a 720p display). That’s a ton of battery life to claim, and essentially means you’d never have to carry the charger with you for any sort of normal day of work.

Of course typical usage of a laptop can range wildly across users — even in the case of a Chromebook — and in my time using it I wasn’t pushing up to the 12 hours of usage, but didn’t exactly expect to. My typical use case with any Chromebook is having upwards of 10 tabs open in the main Chrome window, as well as Hangouts, Slack and Tweetdeck windows, which of course are always active and using up more battery than your average stagnant browser tab. In this use, I’m looking at more like 10 hours of battery life out of the Chromebook 14, which is still very good but isn’t quite pushing to Acer’s claims.

Surely if you were taking it easier on the laptop, using fewer tabs or focusing on just a couple of tasks, and don’t max out the screen brightness on a regular basis, I have no doubt you could push up toward 12 hours of battery life.


Acer Chromebook 14 Bottom line

Though Acer built its market share on the back of many affordable but solid Chromebooks, like the C720, there’s no doubt that the Chromebook 14 is its best model to date overall. At $299 it comes in near the top of the current range of Chromebooks out there, and in many cases may be more than what some people want to pay, but you really get something nice for the little bit of extra money. An aluminum frame that looks and feels great, a nice 1080p display, a solid offering of ports, and solid speakers to boot.

The processor inside is a clear step up from the last generation and makes the Chromebook 14 powerful enough for most people out there, even if the most demanding users will be better off with something faster. No matter your use case you can appreciate the strong battery life as well, which can get into the double digit range with typical use or still push near a full day even when you hit it harder.

Really, the only downsides here are size and weight, where the 14-inch screen and near-3.5 pound weight can start to be too big for some who want a more portable machine. In that case, one of the smaller Chromebooks out there will fit the bill.

Should you buy it? Yes

If you’re looking for a great Chromebook that isn’t going to break the bank, and don’t have super lofty performance needs, the Acer Chromebook 14 is likely to be at the top of your list. Its price is completely reasonable, and the complete package offers you a great experience. So long as you don’t need something more portable, you must give this a look if you’re in the market.

See at Amazon
See at Acer


Instagram tips and tricks: How to master the app and post amazing pics

Instagram has been around for years and it’s hugely popular, but not everyone is completely familiar with the free photo app and how it can quickly transform your mediocre selfies into stunning glamour shots.

Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but most Instagram users will admit that Instagram’s filters changed their lives. You’re guaranteed to find at least one that can make your mobile phone snap look like a work of art.

Before you dive in and fiddle with all the options, you’ll need to know how the app works. With that in mind, we’ve laid out everything you need to know about Instagram, including tips and tricks and even descriptions for each filter.

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a video and photo-sharing social network. It launched in 2010 as a mobile device app and was acquired by Facebook two years later.

It primarily stood out because it confined photos to a square shape and features filters. It has developed since it originally launched though. Users are not only no longer restricted to square images but video clips, which have been available since 2013, have had the cap lifted from 15-seconds to 60-seconds.

How does it work?

Sign up

Instagram is almost exclusively meant for mobile devices. You must therefore download the iPhone or Android app in order to register an Instagram account. Once you download the app, you can easily login through Facebook.

After signing up, you can change your profile picture and edit your information, which includes a brief 150-character summary and the ability to link a website. All Instagram accounts are public by default but can be made private.


Every time you open and load Instagram, you will automatically be brought to your news feed, which is filled with photos and videos from people you chose to follow on Instagram. Along the bottom of all the app is a menu bar, while the top right (on iOS) has your inbox which is where direct messages can be found.

Above your uploaded images and below your profile is a another row of options. The first icon display images in a grid format, the second icon displays them in in a list format, the third icon shows where in the world you have posted images and the fourth icon displays the images you have been tagged in by other users.

The menu bar at the bottom has five tabs: Home, Search, Camera, Activity, and Profile. The Home tab takes you to the news feed, while Search is for finding people and discovering trending photos or other accounts you might be interested in.

Camera is where you’ll go to post photos and videos (as well as edit them), and Activity is like a notification centre, as well as a place you can go to see photos your followers might’ve liked on Instagram by alternating between the two tabs at the top.

Finally, Profile is where you go to see your profile, edit your profile, and play with settings (found in upper right-hand corner). Settings has options for following Facebook friends, privatising your account, seeing posts you’ve liked and more.


There are three main ways of engaging with other users on Instagram: you can double tap on their photos or videos to like them; you can press the chat-bubble symbol below their photos to leave a comment, and you can direct message them. To direct message someone, tap the arrow symbol next to the chat bubble symbol.

Keep mind you can also tag people in photos and reply to comments with tags. You can also add and use hashtags across Instagram (much like you can on Facebook and Twitter).


To post a photo or video, go to the Camera tab and choose between Library, Photo or Video at the bottom. Selecting Library will allow you to upload from your camera roll, while Photo and Video will let you take a shot or record directly from the Instagram app.

When snapping a photo, you will see two icons above the main circular capture button. The icon on the left switches between the front and rear camera, while the icon on the right turns on flash. You can also tap on the image being captured to focus on a particular point.

Once you proceed with a photo or video, you’ll see a filter tray pop up, in which you can apply an effect. Double tap the effect to access a slider that’ll let you increase or decrease the intensity of the filter. There is a small square icon next to the slider too which will add a white border around your image. Each filter is different.

Below the filter tray are two options: Filter and Edit. Flicking to Edit will allow you to fine-tune your image, from adjusting brightness and contrast to changing the structure, saturation, colour and fade, among other options. You’ll also be able to adjust a special effect called Lux by tapping the centralised icon above the image your editing.

After you’re done editing, tap the next button on the top-right of the Filters screen.


Upon hitting next on the top-right of the Filters screen, you will get to a screen that’ll let you share your photo or video to either all followers or a direct follower by toggling between the two options at the top of your screen.

This screen is where you can add captions, tag people and tag your location, as well as choose if you want to share your post to any other social media outlets.

Instagram integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr, meaning you’ll be able to share across most of the popular social networks by just toggling each of them on or off.

Account switching

It’s also possible to switch between multiple accounts on Instagram. This is especially handy for those of you who run a personal account, along with a business account. Instead of having to log out and login to each account every time you want to browse or post new content, which you used to have to do, you can now switch between five accounts with a few simple taps.

To add another Instagram account, go to your Profile > Settings > scroll down to Add Account. Enter the username and password of the account trying to add and that’s it. To then switch between accounts, tap your username at the top of your profile and choose the account you want to switch to.


Before we move on to the next section, we thought we should go over each filter (including the separate Lux effect) and what they actually do to your photos and videos:

Normal – No filter applied

Clarendon – Makes shadows deeper and highlights brighter

Gingham – Gives images a vintage look, adding a yellowish tone

Moon – Another vintage look adder but in black and white

Lark – Desaturates reds and increases blues and greens

Reyes – Adds a dusty, vintage look

Juno – Tints cool tones green, amps up warm tones, makes whites glow

Slumber – Desaturates the image, adds a haze, emphasis on blacks and blues

Crema – Adds a creamy look that both warms and cools the image

Ludwig – Slight desaturation that also enhances light

Aden – Adds a blue/green natural look

Perpetua – Adds a pastel look

Amaro – Adds light to an image, with the focus on the centre

Mayfair – Adds a warm pink tone, subtle vignetting, brightens at the center

Rise – Adds a glow to the image

Hudson – Adds an “icy” illusion, heightened shadows, cool tint, dodged center

Valencia – Fades the image, increases exposure, warms the colors

X-Pro II – Increases colour with a golden tint, high contrast, slight vignette

Sierra – Adds a faded, softer look

Willow – Adds a monochromatic look, subtle purple tones, translucent white border

Lo-Fi – Enriches color, adds strong shadows, warms the the temperature

Earlybird – Gives an older look with a sepia tint and warm temperature

Brannan – Increases contrast and exposure and adds a metallic tint

Inkwell – Goes straight to black and white

Hefe – High contrast and saturation, similar to Lo-Fi

Nashville – Warms temp, lowers contrast, increases exposure, adds pink

Sutro – Burns edges, increases highlights/shadows, focus on purple and brown

Toaster – Ages the image by “burning” the centre and adds a dramatic vignette

Walden – Increases exposure and adds a yellow tint

1977 – Increases exposure, adds a red tint and faded look

Kelvin – Increases saturation and temperature to give it a radiant glow

Stinson – Lightens image and washes out colour a little

Vesper – Adds a yellowy tint for a vintage feel, while also smoothing out skin tones

Maven – Adds a yellow tint, darkens image and deepens shadows

Ginza – Brightens images and adds a warm glow

Skyline – Adds punch to colours and brightens

Dogpatch – Deepens contrast and washes out light colours

Brooklyn – Brightens images and washes out light colours

Helena – Adds an orange and teal tone to images

Ashby – Adds golden glow and subtle vintage look without deepening shadows

Charmes – Adds a red tint to warm up colours while also increasing contrast 

Lux – Transforms photos that are underexposed or lack contrast

Are there any tips and tricks?

Now that we’ve covered the basics of how Instagram works, we’ll get into some tips and tricks:

Go directly to camera roll

If you want to save time and get straight to uploading a photo whenever you launch Instagram, just hold down the Camera tab on the menu bar. From there, the camera roll should immediately open and let you select a photo.

Edit captions

Gone are the days of typos and feeling embarrassed when you accidentally post a photo with “your” in the caption when you really meant to write “you’re”. Instagram launched an update that enabled editing captions.

Go to the post, then tap the three-dot symbol in the top right corner, and select Edit. You’ll then be able to edit the caption. As far as we can tell, people won’t see how (or even how many times) you’ve edited the caption.

Reply to comments

You can reply to a comment without having to enter the person’s handle or tagging the person. Instead, select the comment, then swipe left, and click the grey arrow. The person’s handle will then appear in the comment box.

Delete your comments

While replying to a comment, you might’ve also seen the trash symbol. It allows you to delete a comment. Go to the photo, click the comment symbol, and swipe left on the comment to see and tap the trash can.

Remove a tagged photo

If want to remove a photo under your tagged folder (furthest right option just below your profile description), you can either hide the photo from your profile or remove the tagged photo altogether.

Go to your Instagram profile, then tap the tagged folder, and select a photo you’d like to remove. From there, tap the button in the top right with the three dots, select Photo Options, followed by Hide from My Profile.

That’ll hide the photo. To completely remove yourself from being tagged in the photo on Instagram, tap More Options, and then select Remove Me from Photo. Simples.

Manage filters

If you ever want to hide some filters to make it easier for you to decide between a specific few rather than the whole lot, you can slide to the end of the filter tray, and then tap manage filters in order to hide or show certain ones.

Adjust cellular data settings

Instagram videos are designed to play automatically on your feed, which can be taxing on your data when not near a hotspot, but you can change your cellular data settings so videos load slower and thus less data is consumed.

Just go to your profile, tap the Settings icon, scroll down to Mobile Data Use and toggle on Use Less Data.

Save originals

Instagram uploads photos to its network at 612 x 612 pixels in size. If you want to access a higher resolution version (like for uploading to your website), you can save the original photos to your device.

Go to your profile, then tap the Settings icon, and scroll down to Save Original Photos. From there, toggle on the option.

Embed your photos on the web

In order to get the embed code to share an Instagram photo on the web, you first have to find the post via Instagram on the web, then click the three dots symbol in the bottom corner, and choose Embed. You can then copy the code.

Hide Instagram adverts

Instagram adverts are defined by the “Sponsored” label in the top corner, but you don’t have to scroll by annoying ones in your news feed. Click on the three-dot symbol at the bottom of the advert to either hide it or provide feedback.

Change the layout of photos

Many people like to give their photos white borders or compile them into collages before posting to Instagram. Although there are several third-party apps that let you do this prior to posting, Instagram has its own app called Layout.

Layout not only lets you easily combine multiple photos into a single image, but also create one-of-a-kind layouts by remixing your photos. When uploading from your Library, you’ll see the Layout app symbol in the far right of the bottom of the image. Tap it and you can continue selecting images, followed by the layout you want. You can read more about it here. 

Create hyperlapses

First of all: Time lapse or time-lapse photography is a cinematography technique whereby frequency at which film frames are captured (the frame rate) is much lower than that used to view the sequence.

Hyperlapse is an iOS-only app from Instagram that lets you create time lapses from your phone. It also has built-in tools for smoothing out shaking video, meaning you could use it to Instagram footage taken with a Go Pro.

You can learn more about Hyperlapse here.

Create a Boomerang

Instagram also has another app called Boomerang that allows you to create and share mini videos. “It’s not a photo. It’s not a gif. It’s a Boomerang.”

It allows you to capture moments and replay them, such as a friend blowing out birthday candles. Like the Layout app, you’ll find quick access to Boomerang at the bottom of the image you are planning to upload.

You can learn more about Boomerang here.

Want to know more?

Pocket-lint has an Instagram hub with all the latest news about the app.


YouTube will offer classic NFL games as part of a new deal

The National Football League and YouTube have expanded a deal that allows the site to play previews, highlights and recaps. In 2016, YouTube will not only carry more content and expand its search options, but also show entire classic games. “Three of the most memorable games for each of the 32 clubs in the NFL will be posted to the NFL’s official channel on YouTube prior to the start of the 2016 season,” according to the NFL’s blog. In other words, the site will soon host dozens of vintage matches.

The deal has been a success so far, with over 900 million views to date. On top of the classic games, more content will be available overall on YouTube, including in-progress highlights uploaded during games. In addition, Google searches will be expanded so that users see more “official NFL video along with related news and information, all delivered to the user in one distinct box at the top of the search results,” says the league.

The NFL and Google reportedly split ad revenue from the videos, but the league is also using the relationship to build loyalty from fans with “an insatiable appetite for NFL digital video content online.” However, those viewers won’t be turning to YouTube if they want free, live streaming. Instead, they’ll flip over to Twitter, which cemeted its own pact with the league to broadcast all of the 2016 Thursday Night Football games for free. Facebook was also in the running to carry those tilts, but reportedly passed.

Source: NFL

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