I’m sitting on a flight and heading on vacation to Maui for a week. While packing for my trip it was hard to contain myself from bringing along every single device along to entertain myself. Portable power bank, laptop, headphones, smartwatch, and a Bluetooth speaker are what I chose to bring to the sunny weather in Maui.
I brought along a Bluetooth speaker from UNITEK mainly because it is the smallest one I own and has enough sound to keep me entertained in my hotel room. Beyond the sound, the great part about this UNITEL speaker is its low price of $16.99 at Amazon.
Design and Build
The UNITEK speaker is small enough to fit in the palm of my hand. If it wasn’t for its thickness, I could easily throw it into a pocket. However it does slide into my backpack side pocket rather easily as it is just a driver and battery encased in metal that is eerily reminiscent of Apple’s products. That’s not a bad thing as Apple product have great sandblasted finishes that are chamfered with polished edges, and this speaker is no different.
The version I have is Rose Gold and although it’s not the first color I’d normally choose, it does look nice nonetheless. It also comes in silver and gold too if you fancy a different shade.
The speaker grille is painted white metal that is sturdy enough to withstand and bumps and drops you can throw at it. The bottom is also white, but it is made of plastic which houses the microUSB charging port, slot for a microSD card, power button, and controls for volume and tracks.
It’s a simple design that looks luxurious while being ultra portable at the same time.
So how does $16.99 sound?
Surprisingly when kept in context of how small the speaker is, it actually sounds pretty good. What is surprising is how much bass this little sucker puts out. You can feel the driver vibrating when holding it in your palm, and when you set it on a solid surface, it reflects more sound from the surface beneath it.
This gives it a fuller and louder sound. If you’re expecting this speaker to compete with the competition that costs five times as much, don’t get your hopes up. The size alone limits how much sound this speaker can output, but for its size it is rather entertaining. The sound is good enough for two people to enjoy in a hotel room and it only takes up a little bit of space in your backpack.
When playing music you’ll also notice a nice blue LED light that illuminates the perimeter of the bottom of the speaker. It adds a nice ambiance that lets you know the speaker is powered on and is a nice touch most other speakers do not have.
The price alone already makes the UNITEK Aluminum speaker attractive at $16.99 at Amazon with free Prime Shipping included. The metal body that mimics Apple products also gives this speaker an attractive look that is sure to please anyone. The sound that comes from this single driver Bluetooth speaker is also impressive when you keep in it context of the price. It’s not going to blow your socks off, but it does make for a great travel device that won’t consume more than a few inches in your bag. It’s a heck of a deal when you consider the whole package.
Learn more about the UNITEK Aluminum Bluetooth speaker at amazon.com.
A smart and simple 3-port charger from UNITEK is a great value at just $8
One of the clever things about the Sky Q box is that it can sync recordings to devices throughout your home. The company has offered a tablet app since launch, but if you wanted to transfer TV shows and movies over to your smartphone, you were out of luck. Thankfully, that changes today with the launch of a dedicated mobile app that lets you stream live and on-demand programmes but also remotely set your Sky Q box to record episodes while you’re out and about.
As you’d expect, the Sky Q app will only let you access channels and programming available under your existing subscription. Recordings won’t be available if you’re outside of your home network, which means you’ll need to download content to your device over WiFi before you leave the house. It’s a welcome update for commuter types who want to fill their journey to work with an episode or two but would rather not blitz their entire data allowance when doing so.
Source: Sky Q (App Store), (Play Store)
One of the beautiful things about smartwatches is the ability to change watch faces to your heart’s content. You can have a feature-packed watch face with information from edge to edge, a clutter-free watch face with only the time displayed, or any watch face in between. Today, we’re taking a look at five colorful watch faces that are sure to add some brightness to your smartwatch. Most of the watch faces we feature will be free; however, there may be a few paid options here and there for the millionaires among us.
Bouncing Isaac, from developer Fathom information design, is one of the most interesting watch faces on this list. It is described as Android Experiment, and it uses the sensors in your smartwatch to create an ever-changing, colorful pattern for your watch face. As your watch moves, more patterns and colors will emerge, which makes each watch face unique to the person wearing it. It can also work as a representation of how active you have been that day as the more you more the more the watch face will change.
Of course, will all of this animation and the reliance on sensors, it will probably take a hit on your battery life. If you already have difficulty enough making it through the day with a normal watch face, you might want to skip Bouncing Issac. For those of you with battery to spare or those that are just too interested, you can download Bouncing Issac for free from the Play Store.
Fiore is from the WatchMaker devs who are a group of artists looking to forward the style of smartwatches, and I definitely think that this watch face fits the bill. Usable on both round and square watches, Fiore has super colorful, floral backgrounds that change depending on the day. I found that mine changed every time the watch’s screen turned off. Each design is absolutely beautiful, and the animations are basically nonexistent, which is a plus for battery life.
For some guys, the design may be a bit too floral, but that does not detract from the fact that Fiore has some of the best-designed backgrounds I have seen. There are a few customizations that can be made to the time layout as well as Ambient Mode. Best of all, Fiore is completely free to download and use so check it out!
Masque Simplicity, from developer Alex Pasquarella, is the most customizable watch faces in this list. The watch face itself is extremely colorful, but you can change just about every aspect of it. Along with the analog watch hands, you also have four dials that display the current weather, phone battery percentage, watch battery percentage, and the date. There are several preset styles to choose from in the app that cover a variety of colors to suit almost anyone’s preferences. After choosing a preset, you can go further back changing the hand style, tick marks, and even how the information circles look.
If for some reason this is not enough customization for you, you can pay $0.99 to create your own styles or $1.99 to unlock all of the options in the app. I went with the $1.99 tier, and it gave me the options to change all the colors of the watch face along with unlocking all of the options for hand styles and tick marks. For those who are content with the base level of customization, the app is free to download in the Play Store.
Jagger, from developer Pierre-Yves Ricau, is my favorite watch face on this list just because of the sheer creativity behind it. The premise behind the app is dead simple, the time (hour, minute, second) is displayed has a hex-code that corresponds to a particular color. As time progresses, your watch face will switch to whatever color the time represents and also display the color’s name under the time. When it comes to a colorful watch face, nothing matches that description better than Jagger.
Customization is limited with only a couple of options for ambient mode and date, but you won’t be using this for features anyway. You’ll get this because it is a completely unique watch face idea that is implemented perfectly. It has been my main watch face for the past week and will be for a while yet. Best of all, it is free in the Play Store!
Finally, we end with the only paid watch face on the list (aside from the add-ons with Masque Simplicity). Nature Gradients, from developer Marco Uberti, is a super minimal watch face that pops with is brightly-colored, gradient backgrounds. There is a large selection of color gradients to choose from, and you can choose the gradient you want straight from your smartwatch. Unfortunately, this is as far as the customization goes. You are stuck with the same font and color for your time, date, and second hand.
For the $1.99 price tag, I would definitely like to see some other options added to this watch face, but it is hard to deny that Nature Gradients isn’t a beautiful addition to your smartwatch. If you have a couple of extra dollars laying around and want a colorful but simple watch face, you can’t get much better than this one. Best of all, animations are almost nonexistent aside from the second hand, which means this watch face shouldn’t eat much into your battery life.
What do you think of our list? Are you going to check out any of the watch faces we recommended? Did we miss one of your favorite colorful faces? Let us know in the comments!
The post Watch Face Roundup: 5 bright, colorful watchfaces appeared first on SmarterWatching.
X-CORE. Galactic Plague. is an extremely familiar feeling “pandemic” game created by a Russian indie team. X-CORE takes the many virus and bacterium popular with the game type and recasts them into a variety of alien species looking to kill or enslave the planet.
You can find X-Core. Galactic Plague. for free in the Google Play Store. After download and installation are complete, you are ready to begin playing. Upon launching the game, you will cycle through a few load screens before finding yourself in the middle of a mildly confusing game set up. The lack of a main menu means you are either in a game or in a setup menu to begin a new one. This is my first real problem with the game. The lack of menu or explanations makes it so there is no clearly defined way to continue a saved game, no stats or perk charts to strategize with, and no menu to adjust settings.
The gameplay found in X-Core. Galatic Plague. is extremely simple, repetitive, and not very well explained. Every player will start out as the “Greys,” a well-balanced race with no leaning towards mobility, power, or influence. Should the player navigate them to victory on the normal difficulty or higher, they will unlock the “Reptiles.” The reptiles have very low mobility, low influence, and a lot of power. There are seven other races for the player to unlock throughout the game in the same way, “beat the game with X on a normal difficulty or better.” The only time we see a move away from this is when the app is looking to sell you two of the alien races via in-app purchases. This lack of diversity makes subsequent playthroughs feel “familiar” and the game quickly lost my attention.
X-Core. Galatic Plague.’s gameplay is extremely similar and yet basic compared to many other pandemic games. You start your alien invasion in a country of your choosing. After that initial invasion, you begin to accumulate Skill Points (SP) which you can use to upgrade your alien force. There are five areas you can spend your accumulated SP:
- Mobility – How quickly your alien race can spread
- Military Power – How quickly and inconspicuously your aliens can kill people
- Influence – How effectively your alien race can brainwash the masses
- Awareness – The level of awareness the rest of the globe is to the presence of aliens
- Secret Weapon Prevention – Hurt the progress of the secret weapon designed to kill your alien race. (Known as “The Cure” in normal traditional games)
These five categories contribute heavily to your success, but going all out in any one will likely cause your game to end in defeat.
X-Core. Galactic Plague. is a simple game that is fun for three to five playthroughs after you have figured out the basics (which are not explained to you). After this threshold, the game quickly becomes repetitive, and even switching amongst the unlockable races available to the player does nothing to make the game feel fresh. The fact that the game is free does add some value to picking up the app for the afternoon, but I would not suggest investing any money in the in-app purchases.
It goes without question that almost all of us still experience dropped calls. I use the nation’s second largest network with AT&T, but in San Diego reception can still be spotty. The network quality has improved vastly over the years, but when I’m on a call in my truck and go through one of San Diego’s many hills, reception can be spotty. Or when I’m out exploring the county looking for a new hike with my dog, at the outskirts, reception can also be spotty in those areas as well.
I make frequent trips from southern California to northern California at least six times a year. I know exactly where my cell signal will drop out on that drive because I have been making those trips for 18 years now.
While spotty reception in areas like that is acceptable for many, there are those of us who need a solid connection all of the time. I have quite a few friends who work in sales and construction where their automobiles are their mobile offices. With the amount of technology at our fingertips, it is essential for those to have access to the internet or solid voice reception to communicate to those who matter most. Whether it’s your family or your customers, dropped calls are a pain in the rear.
There are also thousands of people who go on road trips to explore the continental US where cell reception can be spotty at best, depending on where you are. People who use RVs and campers know first hand just how bad cell signals can be.
Luckily there are options available for boosting your connections for your home or even your automobile. I’ve been using the weboost Drive 4G-M vehicle cell signal booster and haven’t dropped a call or experienced laggy data since.
Design and Setup
The weboost Drive 4G-M is comprised of an amplifier that connects to an outdoor antenna for receiving cell signal, where it then amplifies the signal and sends it out through another antenna in your automobile. It’s powered by a DC power adapter that fits into your car’s cigarette lighter. I’m not an engineer so I can’t explain the process of how it does this process. All that really matters to me is if my cell signal is improved.
A device of this sort looks more intimidating than it actually is. The instructions list six simple steps for installing the booster.
Install the included magnetic antenna on your roof and slide the cord under the door seal
Place the interior antenna next to a place where you normally use your cellphone. In my truck, there is a pocket on the side of the passenger seat which provided the perfect installation spot. You can use the included VELCRO to mount it in another desired location.
weboost recommends installing the 4G-M box in a spot with decent ventilation such as under a seat or under the dash. In my case, I simply installed it under the driver side chair.
Once installed, simply screw the indoor and outdoor antennas into their respective slots.
Then connect the included DC power cable into the 4G-M.
Plug the power adapter into the vehicle’s DC power supply and flip the switch to on.
Total installation time took no more than five minutes.
Does it work?
Absolutely. I am an AT&T customer in north San Diego county. Reception is spotty at times, because I am 25 miles away from the city center and am surrounded by several canyons where signal goes to die. I’ve never gotten good reception at my home, with all of my phones holding at 1-2 bars of reception. However bars aren’t an exact science as manufacturers use different scales to indicate strength. I definitely have spotty reception in my home and need to sit by windows to get the best call quality.
Luckily you can test the exact strength of your reception simply by dialing *3001#12345#* and it will put your phone into test mode. It doesn’t harm your phone to perform this test, so don’t worry about voiding your warranty or anything like that.
My base reading was -114db with one bar of service on an iPhone 7 Plus. I know this is an Android site, but I am in the process of evaluating the 7 Plus’s camera before my Pixel XL arrives. This booster works for all devices, iOS and Android as well as all networks.
Once I flipped the switch, I picked up an additional 25db of power within one minute of powering on the 4G-M.
My signal strength bar rating went up to 4/5 instead of 1/5 that I had as a baseline.
My call quality improved even as I pulled back into my garage which is normally a dead spot for me.
I’ve been using this amplifier for several weeks now, and I don’t have picture evidence to back up signal strength since I can’t use my phone in my hands while on the road. In areas where I typically get two bars, I now get full bars across the board, even on my Sprint MVNO review Samsung Galaxy S6 from TextNow. Where I typically get solid signal, the 4G-M doesn’t over amplify my signal as it regulates itself back down. I drove around town taking several 30 minute long calls just to test out the reliability of this 4G-M and it works as advertised. I then performed the same routes without the booster on and as expected, calls dropped in areas where I knew the signal to be poor from prior experience.
The Drive 4G-M will not make something out of nothing. That’s something that no one on earth has the power to do. But as long as there is a signal, the weboost Drive 4G-M can amplify the weak signal and turn it into a much more stable and reliable signal. With a more reliable signal, your battery life on your devices will also last longer as they don’t have to turn up the gain to constantly search for service.
The weboost Drive 4G-M retails for $379.99 at weboost.com and Amazon.com. Considering how much we pay for cell service at today’s pricing, we should all expect stable cellular signals no matter where we go. However stable cell service simply does not exist for most of us.
If you’re someone who relies on a strong and reliable signal while in your car, the weboost Drive 4G-M can make a world of difference in boosting your signal strength with gains up to 50db or 32X what you’re currently getting. It’s a brand that first responders trust, and is now a brand that goes with me wherever I go to provide solid and reliable service.
Head on over to Amazon or weboost.com to learn more.
Service map of northern San Diego.
Oculus, Samsung, HTC, Microsoft, Sony and Google have all made a huge push into the virtual reality space. They’re all predicting realistic visualizations and sounds in a headset are going to be the next wave of media that is going to take over the world. The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are supposedly great headsets, but need powerful PC setups to take advantage of them. The cost is prohibitive to most with the headsets costing over $500 alone.
Google offers its own Cardboard which is literally just a piece of cardboard folded into a viewer with two lenses and a magnet. Cardboard is cool in concept but is arguably a pricey option for a piece of paper. However it does allow you to experience VR, not to nearly the level of the Vive or the Rift, but it is a cool experience nonetheless.
Instead of investing $15 into paper, you can grab alternatives to Cardboard such as the ARCHEER VR Headset for smartphones with displays up to 6.5″. It costs just $5 more and even comes with a Bluetooth controller for a more fluid experience in the VR world.
Let’s check it out.
Design and Usage
The ARCHEER VR Headset is a plastic viewer that is compatible with phones from Android and iOS. It’s a box where you place your smartphone into the holder and fold it up so you can see your phone magnified by the two glass lenses.
Even though ARCHEER claims this viewer can fit phones with displays up to 6.5″, it’s more likely that the largest phone you can use with this is one with a 5.7″ display. The LG V10 and Nexus 6 certainly will not fit, so make sure you check the dimensions of your phone before you grab this headset. I used the headset with the Moto Z and Samsung Galaxy S7 edge without issue in the ARCHEER VR Headset.
The headset comes with a comfortable strap that stretches to fit very comfortably on your head. It’s easy to adjust with VELCRO straps and should fit most head sizes, including those with abnormally large heads like me. The lenses are adjustable too since all people have different distances between their eyes. (This setup is not good for those who wear glasses.)
The compatible VR apps, which there are quite a few available in the Google Play Store, split your display into two, and the VR headset brings them back together in one large image when you look through the lenses. If you haven’t experienced VR before, it’s rather inspiring to see where this content is headed. When you turn your head, the video moves with it giving you an immersive experience. It really does feel like you’re in another world. For those who get motion sick, this is the type of experience that will make you feel queasy. For the rest of you, you will find VR rather fun. Especially when it only costs $20.
The ARCHEER VR Headset also includes a Bluetooth controller that helps you navigate through menus, or play games with compatible VR apps. The controller uses two AAA batteries that are not included in the box. It’s easy to pair the controller – just pair it like you would any other Bluetooth device. Once paired you can navigate menus with the joystick. A mouse cursor pops up on your display as soon as you move it. It’s a nice add-on even though most of our gadgets use built-in Li-Ion batteries.
The ARCHEER VR Headset is very comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The padding on the front with the comfortable head strap make this experience far superior to Google Cardboard.
Content for VR still has a long way to go before people will adopt it en masse. However experiencing VR is still possible with the content that is available, and it is breathtaking if you’ve never seen it in action before.
The ARCHEER VR Headset with a Bluetooth remote is a great way to dabble in VR without splurging on an expensive Vive or Rift and PC setup. It’s only $19.99 at Amazon for AndroidGuys’ readers when you use the discount code SSHNJEMK at checkout.
Music plays an integral part of our lives for most of us. We listen to it in our cars on the way to work or school, at the gym, at home while cooking or when we are doing chores. It gets our blood pumping before a big game, offers background noise while we study, and provides endless entertainment within arms reach on our smartphones.
There are quite a few people who don’t know much about headphones which is why we review so many of them. While the headphones that come with your devices can play your music, they’re generally not very good. Low quality earbuds miss quite a bit of the musical spectrum and there’s a good chance you’re not hearing all of your music.
It doesn’t take hundreds of dollars for quality headphones. I’ve been using dodocool’s Hi-Res in ear earphones from Amazon and think they’re quite capable. Let’s check them out.
Build and Usage
dodocool’s Hi-res earbuds are the wired variety with a 3.5mm audio plug with an in-line noise cancelling remote control. dodocool describes the drivers in the earbuds at Amazon with 40mm drivers, but that isn’t possible with an earbud of this size. Without taking them apart, I cannot identify how large they really are, but I would guess they’re the standard 8mm or 10mm variety based on the size of the casing.
The casings are made from plastic with a small ear flange that keeps them from falling out. The design is basic for earbuds, but that’s nothing to complain about considering these are all about sound.
When it comes to sound, it’s pretty hard to live up to the Hi-res description in the product listing. That description is usually reserved for high-end earbuds that costs 10 times as much as these dodocool earbuds which cost about $40. However when you load up Hi-Fi music from TIDAL, or high-quality music from Spotify, the earbuds actually perform quite good. They’re balanced while offering quite a bit of detail. Bass is punchy, mids are at the forefront and highs are clear without being piercing. These are tuned to please many instead of just dialing up the bass, and are not overly analytical which can become tiring to listen to over time.
They aren’t nearly as Hi-res as other earbuds I’ve used that qualify for that description, but they are quite good nonetheless. If I compare them to earbuds from Apple or Samsung that come for free with your smartphone, these are in a whole different category of sound reproduction.
When wearing earbuds of this variety, you need to make sure the fit is snug. Any air that can enter your ear will distort the sound. dodocool provides three sizes of silicone ear tips that are suitable for almost all ear canals. The tips are soft and comfortable and can be worn for several hours without fatigue.
When it comes to taking calls with these earbuds, they are excellent. Wired earbuds usually outperform their wireless counterparts with a sure connection through the 3.5mm audio jack. I took over a dozen calls for work with these and did not encounter any issues on either end of the call.
dodocool hooked the AndroidGuys’ readers up with an exclusive discount for these headphones. For a limited time, you can grab the dodocool Hi-Res in-ear earphones for $25.99 at Amazon using discount code 3OYEHHJP at checkout.
At $26 these earbuds are a more than fair price for those looking to upgrade their music experience. For those of you who use the earbuds that come with your smartphone, you’re missing out on a whole lot of detail in your music. It’s time you upgrade – the dodocool Hi-res in-ear earbuds are comfortable, are great for taking calls and offer a great all around music experience at a solid price.
Check out the dodocool Hi-res in-ear earphones at Amazon today.
Swype is a keyboard app that has a ton of features and input methods that make it stand out from the crowded keyboard scene.
Developer: Nuance Communications
Cost: $0.99 (Free trial available)
Swype has been around a while now, and has established itself as one of the more popular keyboard apps for Android. It offers a lot of value for it’s asking price and has only improved as the years have gone by. Cloud features for storing your personal dictionary, voice dictation and custom themes are just a few of the features it packs, but how is the typing experience?
The main way Swype expects you to type is by “swiping,” where you drag your finger from letter to letter in a fluid motion to spell out a word. This feature is offered on a lot of keyboards nowadays, and Swype’s version is implemented well. It generally did a good job of telling what word I was going for, and it offers a few suggestions as well in case the word in picked up wasn’t correct. Me being a “hunt and peck” typist on my phone, this feature took a lot of getting used to, as after I swiped out a word, I didn’t always get the result I wanted because I tend to move my finger too quickly over some letters and miss my target. Swiping is certainly fast and fluid when you get the hang of it, however, and I find myself using it a lot more than I thought I would. The standard typing method of Swype was a bit off for me, as I found myself somehow missing letters and mistyping when not using the swipe typing. It’s one of the main reasons I don’t use Swype as my daily driver keyboard even though it is an excellent keyboard overall. It just doesn’t gel with my preferred typing method as much as the Google keyboard.
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Swype also has built-in voice dictation from Nuance Communications other product, Dragon. The voice dictation typing works very well, and doesn’t require any voice training to accurately pick up my words as I speak them. As with any speech-to-text system, there were a few missed words or incorrect choices but on the whole it did a great job, and I used it more than I thought I would, especially when my hands were unavailable. Swype’s final unique input method is handwriting recognition, which I could take or leave. It does a fine job most of the time of picking up the letters I wrote with my finger, but the box is very small so writing out a whole word left to right is difficult if you have larger handwriting like I do. I think this feature is a bit unnecessary, and probably underused, but it is a nice option for those that like it and just another feature to add to the long list of things packed into this keyboard.
The biggest selling point of Swype, at least for me, is the custom theme system they have. There are a ton of options to customize your keyboard to fit your phone’s theme, or just to look awesome. My favorites are the Star Trek and color options, but there are a bunch more to get that will truly make your keyboard unique. The themes change the color, background and buttons of the keyboard in different ways, and none of them are really lazy, with some excellent details that remind me of rooted custom keyboards.
Swype has a laundry list of other neat features as well, including cloud backup for your personal dictionary so you can take it from device to device easily, a gesture-based “cut, copy, paste” that functions similarly to a PC keyboard shortcut, and a bunch of accessibility features for those who need them like talk-back and bilingual support.
Swype is really overflowing with content for a cheap keyboard app. It packs in multiple input methods that all work well, along with a bevy of customization and usability features that really add some value. The Swype keyboard is certainly not perfect, and there are of course other options out there that offer similar features, but Swype is definitely a excellent keyboard that anyone could find something to love in. A solid recommendation for anyone looking to replace Fan stock keyboard, or spice up their phone theme with even more customization.
Download Swype in the Google Play Store
Instagram brought its filter-driven social network to Windows 10 mobile back in the spring and now it’s doing the same for PCs and tablets running Microsoft’s OS. The photo and video app is now available for desktops and slates, meaning its now an option across all Windows 10 devices and a true universal app. Just like the versions for other operating systems, Direct, Explore and Stories are all tools here for viewing photos and videos alongside capture and editing features.
There is one caveat with the Windows 10 version of Instagram. You’ll need a PC or tablet with a touchscreen in order to upload your images or videos. Yes, it sounds strange, but at least Microsoft’s Surface line will give you full functionality. “Keep in mind that other devices running Windows 10 may not support certain features, like the ability to capture and upload photos and videos,” the app’s page in the Window’s Store explains.
While Windows 10 users are able to use the app across all of their devices, iPad owners are still dealing with the iPhone version for Instagram on Apple’s slates. Further proof we can’t always get what we want, I suppose.
Via: The Verge
Source: Windows Store, Instagram
When you’re swiping through Tinder it’s pretty easy to dismiss someone based on their first photo. Maybe it’s poorly compressed, from the delivery room or the church steps on a person’s wedding day. Those might be red flags that push people to instantaneously dismiss a potential match before looking deeper at a person’s profile. To help your right-swiping sojourn, though, Tinder is using data to make sure someone’s best picture is the first you’ll see.
The new feature is called “Smart Photos.” As the company tells it, in the background, the app will alternate the first photo other people see and will reorder your glamor shots to show the ones with the highest positive response in descending order. And it goes both ways, of course; your own picture order will be altered in a way that hopefully serves you better too — all without paying for it.
In tests, Tinder reports that users saw an up to 12 percent increase in matches. “Smart Photos takes into account each individual’s swiping pattern when selecting which photos they’ll see first,” a blog post reads. “It’s a system that gets smarter with more input: the more you swipe and the more you’re swiped on, the better the algorithm serves you.”
Now, this isn’t exactly new for dating apps and services. OKCupid, for instance, has offered something similar before. But, the rub there was you had to opt in and then manually set the photo others deemed the best as your default. Think of this as passively outsourcing your love life.
The feature is the result of an internal hackathon, machine learning lead Mike Hall writes. Working with the app’s in-house sociologist (and presumably, the algorithm) Hall found that not smiling, covering even a small bit of your face and being in a group of people dramatically lowers your chances for love. Same goes for wearing a hat or “any kind of glasses.” Ouch.
The Tinder Dev blog goes pretty deep on the algorithm used (“epsilon greedy”) and testing process if that’s the sort of thing that turns your crank. However, if you’d rather just swipe using the new feature, it’s live now. To further up your game, you could always change your anthem from Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” to Katy Perry’s “Rise” and see if that helps.
Source: Tinder (1), (2)