Trending December 2023 # Guide To Top 8 Useful Arduino Shields # Suggested January 2024 # Top 18 Popular

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Introduction to Arduino Shields

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How Useful Are the Arduino Shields?

You don’t have to think about the loop. Typically the shield contains all components that you need.

You need to place shields across the Arduino pins – they are less susceptible to errors than connecting the separated pieces.

The shield can be removed from the Arduino quickly and kept when you like, without concerns about doing the circuit and canceling it again.

Shields quickly add new functionality to the Arduino, which would be challenging to build otherwise.

Top Useful Arduino Shields

You can easily connect your Arduino to the Internet with an Ethernet shield. The Arduino acts as a client or a server with this shield. You have to install the shield on Arduino and connect it via an Ethernet cable to a network. The Ethernet shield also contains an SD card slot to store network data. The shield can access the Arduino pins, meaning that extra hardware or another shield can still be attached on top. The Arduino Ethernet Library supports the Ethernet shield.

1. L293D Motor Drive Shield

The motor shield offers a simple way for Arduino to power engines, so the circuitry must not be built. You have to attach the motors to the sockets. It comes with 3 processors, 4 DC engines or 2 phase motors, or 2 servo engines. It has 3 driver processors. It also has a connector for attaching an external motor power supply.

2. Data Logging Shield 3. Proto Shield

The prototype shield is a prototype shield but doesn’t do anything alone. But it is beneficial to layout your projects without space because it is supplied with a mini breadboard that perfectly fits on top of the shield. In addition, to produce a nice, permanent circuit, you can solder your system to the prototyping area.

4. Adafruit RGB LCD Shield

This Adafruit shield comes with a five-button and RGB LCD. The main benefit of the defense is that it uses only two I2C Arduino pins over other LCD shields or even other LCD screens. Many sensors can be attached to these pins because they share the I2C bus. This means that all the pins for connecting other components are still open.

5. Arducam Mini Module Camera Shield

With 5 megapixels, this shield uses SPI communication to interface with the Arduino. This is a simple way to add a webcam to your projects in Arduino. It can capture 5MP JPEG pictures and capture tiny video clips. This system also supports other blackboards such as Raspberry Pi, ESP8266, and Beaglebone.

6. Bluetooth Shield 7. Arduino WiFi Shield

The shield protects a wide range and sends the new secure onboard antenna for powerful signals.RN171 supports the networking protocols UDP, TCP, FTP, and HTTP, which fulfills needs for many network projects such as Wireless and Internet Stuff (IoT), Smart Home Networks, robots, and weather stations.

8. RS232 Arduino Shield

RS232 Shield is an industrial equipment communications standard port. This module is based on MAX232, a dual driver/receiver that contains a capacitive voltage generator to provide a single 5-V supply to the TIA / EIA-232-F voltage stage. The shield incorporates DB9 (female) connectors with different RS232 devices. In addition, communications and commissioning are supported by RS232 headers. It offers the welding areas to use extra space for prototyping fully. It is convenient.

Conclusion

In this article, we have seen what Arduino shields are, their uses, and various Arduino shields tools.

Recommended Articles

This is a guide to Arduino Shields. Here we discuss an introduction to Arduino Shields, how useful it is, and the top 8 useful shields in detail. You can also go through our other related articles to learn more –

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Top 8 Ai Virtual Companions 2023

Karolina Gaszcz

Private, personalized conversations with CarynAI in occur in real-time through secure messaging.

Chats remain confidential.

Cons:

Users would have to join the waitlist on Telegram to access CarynAI.

The chatbot is currently in beta.

Replika

via Repika

With more than 10 million users, Replika is one of the most well-known AI companion apps. It utilizes natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to engage in meaningful and empathetic interactions with users, provide emotional support and personalized conversations.

The AI companion encourages users to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a safe and non-judgmental environment. It offers a wide range of conversation topics, from casual chit-chat to deeper discussions about personal growth and well-being as users interact with Replika, the AI companion learns their preferences, interests, and conversational patterns so that Replica can provide increasingly tailored responses and support over time.

Pros:

Can be customized to be your friend, therapist, or romantic partner.

Provides emotional support and personalized conversations 24/7.

Offers a safe space for users to express their thoughts and emotions

Cons:

Trains users in personal communication skills.

Customizable avatars with realistic images.

Ability to chat, flirt, and go on dates with a virtual girlfriend.

Cons:

Chai is a platform for AI friendship built using a proprietary dataset of over 4 billion user-bot messages. The developers, Chai Research, spent $1 million on computing to train language models optimized for entertainment and natural language.

The platform allows people to build and deploy their own AI companions, but users can also start talking to five pre-made chatbots in different categories like friendly, horror, romantic, well-being, and roleplay. There is also a leaderboard ranking the most popular chatbots. However, they are often NSFW.

Pros:

Users can create and deploy their own AI virtual companions.

Users can create different stories with chatbots in each category.

Cons:

High pricing for premium service at $30 per month.

Can’t edit or delete individual messages.

AI is glitchy and sends half-finished messages or responds with ellipses.

Kuki

Formerly known as Mitsuku, Kuki is a chatbot developed by Steve Worswick using Pandorabots AIML technology. During its former incarnation as Mitsuku, the chatbot has achieved remarkable success, securing the prestigious Loebner Prize in five separate years (2013, 2023, 2023, 2023, and 2023) and holding a world record in the competition. 

Kuki can reason with specific objects, play games, and do magic tricks at the user’s request.  Interacting with Kuki is made convenient as it can be accessed through various platforms, including an online portal, Facebook Messenger, Twitch group chat, Telegram, Kik Messenger, and Discord.

Pros:

Advanced conversational capabilities and ability to engage users in intelligent and interactive discussions.

Available on multiple platforms.

Offers a broad range of discussion topics.

Cons:

Its responses are based on pre-programmed algorithms and lack genuine emotional understanding.

Responses are primarily based on the input provided, without comprehensive context understanding.

Anima

Anima is a virtual AI friend that is designed to be a companion and confidante. Powered by artificial intelligence, Anima can be used to chat, roleplay, and grow your communication skills. It can also be used to provide emotional support and companionship.

The app provides a wide range of avatars that users can choose for their AI friend. Users have praised the app for not censoring its AI, but many have reported that the AI has no memory of past conversations, which makes it difficult for them to take the conversations to the next level.

Pros:

Can be used for different purposes.

Wide range of avatars to choose from.

No hard limit on discussion time.

Cons:

Serves as a caring friend that listens and provides non-judgmental responses.

Helps users feel good about themselves with engaging conversations.

Free to use

Cons:

Rich database of learned responses.

Visually engaging and dynamic avatar.

Cons:

Top 8 Sentiment Analysis Datasets In 2023

Sentiment analysis is a great way to understand the customers’ feelings toward a company and to see if they are associated with sales, investments, or agreements. Ensuring a reliable sentiment analysis depends on many factors, and one of its building blocks is the dataset used to train the models. However, finding the right dataset is easier said than done.

This article highlights the top sentiment analysis datasets to train your algorithms for more efficient and accurate sentiment analysis.

Although the quantity of the data is crucial, the quality or relevancy is also essential to have reliable results. For instance, if a retail company uses a dataset with financial jargon to train a customer sentiment analysis model, the algorithm may not provide reliable results as the words which the algorithm evaluates will be from a financial context.

So, having the right training dataset is crucial in evaluating the reviews, as you can develop new strategies with the insights you gather. Here we list the top eight sentiment analysis datasets to help you train your algorithm to obtain better results. 

1. Amazon Review Data

This dataset contains information regarding product information (e.g., color, category, size, and images) and more than 230 million customer reviews from 1996 to 2023. The reviews are labeled based on their positive, negative, and neutral emotional tone.

2. Stanford Sentiment Treebank

Most sentiment analysis tools categorize the sentences by giving sentiment scores to each word without considering the sentence as a whole. Here, you can find almost 10,000 reviews on movies with sentiment scores ranging from 1 to 25. While 1 represents the most negative reviews and 25 corresponds to the most positive ones. 

Figure 1. An example of a movie review and the sentiment score of each aggregate 3. Financial Phrasebank

The financial phrase bank dataset contains almost 5000 English sentences from financial news, and all sentences are classified based on their emotional tones as either positive, negative, or neutral. All the data is annotated by researchers knowledgeable in the finance domain. 

Figure 2. Examples of the sentences from financial news and the corresponding sentiment label class

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They can help your company with sentiment analysis services using a pre-determined training dataset to understand your customers better.

4. Webis-CLS-10 Dataset

Webis cross-lingual sentiment dataset includes 800.000 Amazon product reviews in English, German, French, and Japanese. Its multilingual nature allows for reaching more audiences and conducting comprehensive analyses. 

5. CMU Multimodal Opinion Sentiment and Emotion Intensity 

Not only do texts contain customers’ sentiments regarding services or products, but they can also be detected from videos or audio. CMU dataset includes multimodal data extracted from Youtube videos, such as the sentences and the voice tone used. 

Figure 3. The word cloud of the topics mentioned in the videos 6. Yelp Polarity Reviews

This open-source dataset includes more than 500,000 training samples consisting of consumer reviews, ratings, and recommendations. The polarity score of each sentence is determined, and the keywords requested can be extracted. 

7. WordStat Sentiment Dictionary

Wordstat Sentiment Dictionary classifies sentiments as negative or positive and combines three dictionaries: Harvard IV Dictionary, Regressive Imagery Dictionary, and Linguistic and Word Count Dictionary. The combination of different dictionaries allows for identifying synonyms and word patterns automatically.

8. Sentiment Lexicons For 81 Languages

Although English is the most spoken language globally, it is also crucial to analyze the sentiment of other language speakers. This dataset includes 81 languages such as Chinese, Spanish, and German, so it offers a variety of data from different languages and represents the worldwide sentiment better.

Using a trained dataset to run your algorithm is essential in sentiment analysis. So, working with reliable sources matters. 

For more in-depth knowledge on sentiment analysis, download our comprehensive whitepaper:

You can also check our data-driven list of sentiment analysis services. 

Further Reading

If you have further questions about sentiment analysis, do not hesitate to reach us:

Begüm Yılmaz

Begüm is an Industry Analyst at AIMultiple. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Bogazici University and specializes in sentiment analysis, survey research, and content writing services.

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Top 8 Types Of Accounting And In

blog / Finance Top 8 Types of Accounting: What are the In-Demand Jobs in this Field?

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Around 136,400 job openings in financial accounting are projected annually in the U.S., and that is not surprising. After all, accounting is a crucial and fundamental business function that involves all financial transactions and activities, such as classifying, recording, and summarizing relevant information to provide accurate reports. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of auditors and accountants is expected to grow by 6% from 2023 to 2031. That is why it is necessary to have a clear understanding of the types of accounting to leverage different job opportunities. Let’s dive deeper into the importance of accounting, its different types, and the career paths you can follow in this field. 

Why is Accounting Important?

Accounting is important because it plays a significant role in the functioning of different organizations, businesses, and governments. Here is a breakdown of points that will further help you understand the relevance of accounting. 

Record-Keeping

Accounting is responsible for maintaining accurate records of financial transactions. It ensures compliance with laws and regulations, and provides a clear picture of the company’s financial status. It also helps ensure that a company can effectively manage its finances and make informed business decisions.

Planning and Budgeting

Accounting information is used to develop plans and budgets for the future. It helps businesses identify their strengths and weaknesses and make informed decisions while investing their resources.

The process also helps forecast and allocate financial resources to achieve organizational goals. It involves comparing actual results with the budget results and addressing the variances to overcome loopholes.

Tax Compliance

Accounting provides relevant financial information to accurately calculate and report taxes. It aids in tax compliance that involves the process of meeting all legal requirements for paying taxes to the government authorities. 

Decision-Making

The financial information can be used to make important business decisions about revenue, expenses, and investments. It allows managers to identify opportunities for growth and improvement, and make strategic decisions about resource-allocation.

The Different Types of Accounting

Accounting is a broad field, and you can choose from a variety of options based on your interests and career goals. The most common types of accounting include:

Financial Accounting

Definition 

Financial accounting records and monitors transactions through relevant statements. 

Explanation 

Financial accountants prepare financial statements such as balance sheets, income, and cash flow statements to perform this type of accounting. 

The process is conducted as per the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) rules set by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

The primary importance of financial accounting is to provide an authentic overview of company performance to attract investors and stakeholders from outside the organization.

Principles 

Accrual:

All costs should be recorded as incurred instead of linking the costs to cash flow.

Full disclosure:

The company’s financial reports must contain all pertinent information.

Conservatism:

All liabilities and expenditures should be declared as soon as possible. 

2. Government Accounting

Definition

Government accounting aids in recording, analyzing, and interpreting financial transactions of the local, state, and federal governments.

Explanation 

This accounting type involves complying with the rules set by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) for local and state governments.

For the federal government, the policies are set by the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB).

A government accountant keeps track of public funds entering government accounts and makes necessary adjustments to the government’s budget proposal for efficient fund allocation. 

Principles 

3. Cost Accounting

Definition 

Cost accounting refers to the process of determining the net cost generated by an organization after evaluating all of the company’s assets and obligations. 

Explanation 

The primary aim of cost accounting is to identify key business areas where costs can be reduced to increase profitability.

Cost accountants are responsible for analyzing costs, developing cost estimates, and creating budgets. 

By monitoring variable and fixed costs, these professionals align the final output with the cost to produce the product. 

Principles 

Charge of cost only after its incurrence:

The unit cost should reflect expenditures that have actually been made. For instance, while an item is being produced, unit costs should not be included in selling costs.

Unusual costs should be excluded from cost accounts:

All costs incurred for unusual reasons (such as theft or negligence) shouldn’t be taken into account when calculating the unit cost.

Public Accounting

Definition 

Public accounting refers to the practice of offering accounting, taxation, and audit consultancy services to different clients such as individuals, commercial businesses, and government agencies. 

Explanation 

The goal of providing public accounting services is to ensure transparency and accuracy of the client’s financial statements.

Public accountants must clear the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination to obtain the license needed to practice public accounting in the U.S. 

Principles 

Going concern concept:

If the financial reports are prepared by adhering to the principle of going concern, then businesses can continue to function for a limited time period, usually 12 months from the start of operations.

Matching principle:

This governs how expenses and revenues are reported and reflected in the same financial statements.

5. Tax Accounting

Definition 

Tax accounting refers to the process of preparing tax returns and ensuring compliance with tax laws and regulations for businesses.   

Explanation

Tax accounting differs from other types of accounting in the sense that it takes government credits, revenue, and deductions into account when calculating a company’s taxable income.

Taxable income is always fluctuating and is primarily dependent on the company’s revenue. 

The primary responsibility of tax accountants is to ensure that businesses remain compliant with the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) while filing tax documents annually. 

Principles 

Consistency in accounting standards:

Proper consistency in accounting methods should be maintained for all taxpayers.

Tax-related transactions:

This ensures that all transactions that are taken into consideration are tax related.

Government-regulated year of assessment:

The year of assessment to be followed while filing tax documents is set forth by the government.

6. Managerial Accounting

Definition

Managerial accounting involves providing financial information to internal stakeholders, such as managers and employees, to help them make informed decisions. 

Explanation

The primary responsibility of ​​managerial accountants is to analyze and create a budget to meet the short- and long-term goals of the organization.

They also monitor the past financial performance of the company in order to make predictions about future performance. 

Principles 

Principles of analogy:

This principle offers insights that help make forecasts and business-related decisions. 

Principle of casualty:

Model business expenditures based on the relationship between the input and output of the resources used to create products and services.

7. Forensic Accounting

Definition 

Forensic accounting refers to the process of investigating the financial records of individuals and companies.

Explanation 

The goal of forensic accounting is to compile all relevant financial documents to accurately and comprehensively account for all transactions in financial statements.

Detect financial fraud and resolve disputes related to situations such as divorce, money laundering, and gambling. 

Principles

Independence and neutrality:

A professional in forensic accounting must be independent and unbiased in appearance and mentality.

Integrity and objectivity:

They must be accurate, ethical, and fair in all decisions.

8. Auditing

Definition 

Auditing is essentially a financial check-up where an auditor investigates the financial records of a business.

Explanation

The primary goal of auditing is to ensure that all the financial records of a business are accurate and compliant with applicable regulations.

The benefit of conducting audits is that it provides investors reasonable confidence in a company’s honesty and integrity 

Principles

Audit evidence:

It is the auditor’s duty to compile enough information to back up their conclusions in the audit report.

Confidentiality:

Auditors must maintain confidentiality if they encounter sensitive information about organizational finances and clients during the auditing process.

ALSO READ: What is Financial Analytics? Why is it Useful for Businesses?

Career Paths in Accounting

Some of the most common career paths in accounting include:

1. Staff Accountant

Staff accountants are responsible for performing routine accounting tasks, such as preparing financial statements, reconciling accounts, and filing tax returns. They can work in-house at a private company or a public accounting firm.

Average annual remuneration: $60,134

2. Financial Analyst

Financial analysts implement accounting standards to help businesses make informed decisions. They can work in-house at a company or at a financial institution and specialize in areas such as budgeting, forecasting, or investment analysis.

Average annual remuneration: $76,605

3. Audit Manager

Audit managers are responsible for leading teams of auditors in performing independent financial audits. They can work at a public accounting firm or at the internal audit department of a business.

Average annual remuneration: $114,779

4. Financial Controller

Financial controllers are responsible for the overall financial management of a business or organization. They manage budgets, financial planning, and financial reporting.

Average annual remuneration: $136,935

5. Chief Financial Officer

Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) are responsible for designing the financial strategy of an organization. They conduct financial planning and analysis, budgeting, and financial reporting.

Average annual remuneration: $176,329 

6. Tax Professional

Tax professionals are responsible for preparing and filing tax returns and ensuring compliance with tax laws and regulations. They work in-house at a business, at a public accounting firm, or as self-employed consultants.

Average annual remuneration: $43,145

7. Forensic Accountant

Forensic accountants use accounting and financial analysis techniques to detect and investigate financial fraud. They work in-house at a business, at a public accounting firm, or as part of a government agency.

Average annual remuneration: $67,952

Note: All salaries are specific to the U.S.

ALSO READ: Explore These Top 8 In-Demand High-Paying Jobs in Fintech

Upskill Your Finance Knowledge with Emeritus

Accounting is a dynamic field, and professionals need to be willing to continuously learn new skills. Enroll in Emeritus’ wide range of online finance courses, offered in association with top global universities, to upgrade your knowledge of key financial concepts and stay at the top of your field. 

By Rupam Deb 

Write to us at [email protected]

15 Useful Android Widgets You Should Try

Widgets not only add an aesthetic appeal to your Android smartphone’s home screen, they also make your device more functional by providing some features that allow you to make use of certain apps without even opening them. What’s really great is that you can find widgets that span across a variety of use cases, which means that there’s one (if not many) for everyone. So, if you’ve been looking for some decent Android widgets to spruce up your device’s home screen and use your Android smartphone more efficiently, then check out this list of 15 useful Android widgets that you should try.

Useful Android Widgets You Should Try in 2023

1. KWGT Kustom Widget Maker

Starting off at the top of our list is KWGT, a custom widget maker which allows you to make your own Android widgets that you can place on your home screen. The app offers a bunch of included presets, with the Play Store filled with even more presets created by other developers that you can use. The app allows you to completely tinker with the widget design, which means that even if you’re using one of the available presets, you can completely make it your own.

Download KWGT Kustom Widget Maker (Free, in-app purhcases)

2. Google Calendar

Next up is the Google Calendar widget, another useful widget that you can use to stay abreast with your schedule by taking a glance at your phone’s home screen. In order to access the widgets, you’ll need to install the Google Calendar app, after which two new widgets will be added to the widget menu.

As mentioned, the app offers two different widgets, both of which can really come in handy depending on the way you keep a track of your schedule. While one widget shows your schedule for the week, the other gives you an overview of your schedule for a month. The most handy part about using these widgets is that you can easily add to your schedule by just tapping on the date within the widget, eliminating the need to first open up the app and then scroll to the specific date. If you don’t

3. 1Weather

Having a weather widget can also be very useful as it allows you to get a brief overview of the weather forecast with just a glance. 1Weather is a great weather forecast app that comes with 12 widgets of different sizes that not only tells you the temperature but also provides information like the wind speed, humidity and the chances of rainfall. The Android widgets included with the 1Weather follow a variety of different design choices, which means that you’ll easily be able to find one that goes well with your setup.

The app has a tiny 1×1 widget, which is quite minimal and just tells you the temperature along with an icon denoting the cloud cover, along with a large 4×3 widget that displays the time, temperature, location, date, humidity, wind speed and chances of rainfall. The larger widget even has a Google Search bar built in, which means that you can remove the stock search bar and give your setup a cleaner, more homogenous look.

Download 1Weather (Free, in-app purchases)

4. Todoist

The larger widgets allows you to completely customize the view and segregate all the tasks at hand based on your schedule, offering a lot of useful information on the home screen. The smaller widget, on the other hand, is just a 1×1 icon that lets you quickly add a new task to your to-do list, without requiring you to open up that app.

Download Todoist (Free, in-app purchases)

5. Calendar Widget by Home Agenda

Download Calendar Widget by Home Agenda (Free, $1.99)

6. At a Glance Widget by Google

Since the launch of the Pixel lineup, Google has been adding many exclusive features to its software and apps. But sometimes those features make way to a larger segment of Android devices. ‘At a Glance’ widget is one such feature that was introduced with Pixel Launcher, but now has been baked into the Google app. As a result, now you can use this minimal weather and calendar widget on any Android device. The best part is that it supports almost all the launchers out there. With this widget, you can readily access the Calendar and real-time weather information on your home screen.

7. ColorNote

Remember sticky notes from earlier Windows days? Well, you can get a similar feature on your Android device too with ColorNote. It allows you to create notes and you can set them on your Android screen using colorful widgets. It works exactly like the Windows Sticky Notes and I am happy that you can organize and edit the notes on the fly. The best part about ColorNote is its resizable widget which is completely free, unlike other apps. It basically means that you can display more content on your home screen in a scrollable interface. Apart from that, you can also sync your notes online and the notes are encrypted before uploading to the server. All in all, ColorNote is a useful Android widget and you can use it in place of Google Keep.

Download ColorNote (Free)

8. Month Calendar + Stuff

If you want a calendar widget that is minimal, has tons of themes including dark mode then I would highly recommend Month Calendar. Along with that, my next pick would be the Stuff widget for quickly creating to-do lists and notes. I prefer the combination of Month Calendar and Stuff because of how well they sync together— both in terms of looks and features. In one screen, both the widgets accompany each other and bring all your events, schedules, notes, and reminders. Further, Month Calendar has both schedule and month view whereas Stuff has the ability to add tasks quickly in one-tap. I would say if you looking for an integrated solution for calendar and to-do widgets then Month Calendar and Stuff are your best options.

Download Month Calendar (Free, Offers in-app purchases)

Download Stuff (Free, Offers in-app purchases)

9. Digitox

Digitox is one of the essential Android apps that you must use to track and understand your smartphone usage. It offers an Android widget where you can readily monitor how long you have been using your phone, how many times you unlocked the device, and how many notifications you received in a day. This will give important insight into your smartphone addiction behavior and may help you cut down phone usage. The widget sits on the home screen and you can tap the refresh button to pull updated data, in case it doesn’t auto-refresh in the background. Keeping all points in mind, if you want to limit your smartphone addiction, consider using the Digitox widget.

Download Digitox (Free, Offers in-app purchases)

10. AirVisual

With rising air pollution all around the world, it has become necessary to keep a tab on air quality around you to lead a healthy life. In addition to weather widgets, now it’s time to include AQI widgets also on your home screen. And for that, the AirVisual app offers the best widget for monitoring the real-time AQI of any location. I personally use this widget to track the quality of air with all the details including pollutants level, amount of PM2.5 particles, and more. AirVisual collates the data from institutes of local governments all around the world. And where the data is unavailable from a primary source, it calculates the AQI by modeling the satellite data. To sum up, AirVisual offers the best widget for tracking AQI and you should definitely use it.

Download AirVisual (Free)

11. Google Maps

The app even has widgets which allow you to quickly share your location with friends and ask a friend to share their location with you. Even though the app doesn’t include any full fledged widgets, the widget shortcuts are really useful and I’ve used them quite frequently to check the traffic on my way back home and to share my location with friends. And if you are using Google Maps, you should also check out our article on best Google Maps tips to get the most out of the service.

Download Google Maps (Free)

12. Google Keep

Google’s popular note taking app – Keep – also has a couple of really useful widgets that you should use on your Android device. The app features a simple shortcuts widget, which displays five shortcuts that will allow you to add a new note, a new list, a new voice note, a new handwritten note and a picture.

The second widget, apart from featuring the aforementioned shortcut, also displays some of your recent notes, depending on how you resize it. As you can see from the image above, the widget displays two of my most recent notes, which means that you won’t be forgetting anything important if you have it right on the home screen.

Download Google Keep (Free)

13. IFTTT

IFTTT is a great automation app that lets you create applets that can do a predefined action with a single tap or when a particular parameter is true. The app, in itself, is quite handy as it lets you automate a number of mundane everyday tasks like switching on the WiFi when you get to work and it also features a couple of widgets that allow you to trigger a predefined task by tapping on a button on the home screen.

Download IFTTT (Free, in-app purchases)

14. Simple Text Widget

Typography fans will really appreciate the Simple Text Widget, a widget creator like KWGT which lets you create your own Android widgets to place on your home screen. What’s unique about the widgets created by the Simple Text Widget app is that, as you might have guessed already, the widgets are all text.

You can customize the text completely to your liking and go for a look that complements your home screen setup. The Android widgets can be customized to do practically everything from creating shortcuts for apps to telling the weather or time. You should definitely check out the Simple Text Widget if you’re gunning for a minimal home screen setup on your device.

15. Clip Stack

Clip Stack a nifty clipboard manager app for Android which allows you to manage all that things you copy to the clipboard in one place. The app features a very handy widget that displays the most recent text copied to the clipboard and features a shortcut that allows you to create a new clip.

What’s really great about Clip Stack is that it can remember unlimited amounts of text copied to the clipboard, which can even be recovered after rebooting the device. I personally use the Clip Stack widget to keep a record of things that I wish to read later (I know there are other more user friendly ways to read things later) or to save phone numbers or other contact information which I don’t have the time or patience to copy down.

Download Clip Stack (Free, in-app purchases)

Bonus: Beebom

If you’re already using the Beebom app, I strongly urge you to try out the new widget by adding it to your home screen. Not only is it a great way to keep up with the latest tech news, it also gets rid of the hassle of opening the app again and again to find the latest headlines, which is quite convenient.

Download Beebom (Free)

Try Out These Android Widgets Right Now

4 Useful Tablet & Smartphone Benchmarking Tools

Tablets and smartphones are quickly becoming the main daily computing device. In fact, for people who aren’t PC gamers or who don’t need to use an office suite, there are few reasons to own a laptop or PC these days. In a pinch you can even use something like the Samsung DEX and turn your phone into a desktop computer for a bit.

The only reason this is even possible is because the processors and graphics chips in our mobile devices are now desktop-class when it comes to performance. Well, not current desktop class. Just good enough to run desktop-grade apps like an office suite, full web browser and so on.

Table of Contents

Thanks to this focus on performance, we’ve seen many benchmarking apps and tools come out over the last decade or so. These let you run tests on your device and then show you how well it’s done.

Why would you want this? For one thing, you can compare the results to other users who have the exact same model. So if there’s something wrong with your device, you can do an objective test to prove it. You can also check whether your device is performing better or worse after an operating system update.

Maybe you want to know if that new tablet or phone you’ve been eyeing is really worth buying compared to what you have.

AnTuTu (iOS & Android)

AnTuTu provides a single numerical score after testing your device. This score is composed of tests that look at several areas of device performance. This makes it pretty easy to see where specifically a device is having issues or has performance weaknesses.

The UX (user experience) score is particularly useful as it gives an indication as to how snappy the device is at day to day tasks. However, to the delight of the mobile device review industry, there seems to be a test for every component and metric of a smart device’s performance. This makes it easy to diagnose and compare your device to everything else out there.

Geekbench 4 (iOS & Android)

Geekbench is specifically marketed for its cross-platform nature. Besides running on Android and iOS, it’s also available for Windows, macOS and Linux.

Earlier versions of Geekbench were criticized for favoring ARM chips as found in mobile devices. This is not a problem when you want to compare devices using that architecture, but it’s not so great if you bring x86 processors into the mix. Luckily those issues have been largely resolved in version 4.

3D Mark (iOS & Android)

PC gamers know the name 3D Mark well. For decades it has been one of the key benchmarking tools to illustrate just how much horsepower your fancy computer kicks out.

Apart from that, 3D Mark software has always contained some pretty forward-looking features. Graphical technologies and techniques that are still years away from the mainstream. Not only does this push a system to the edge, as a good benchmark should, it gives us a taste of tomorrow’s graphics today. 3D Mark benches have been worth running just to look at the pretty pictures since day one.

Getting to grips with the various 3D Mark versions can be a little confusing. However, as long as you pay attention to the market segment 3DMark recommends for each benchmark, you’ll have numbers appropriate to your specific device.

It’s also a great way to show off just what your phone can do. Honestly, this is the prettiest benchmark of them all, for mobile devices.

Sunspider is an interesting benchmarking tool, because it isn’t tied to any one particular platform. It’s browser-based, which makes it platform agnostic. As long as the device in question can run JavaScript, it can run SunSpider.

This means we can do all sorts of interesting things with it. It also means the waters are somewhat muddied, because we are also testing browser performance. Even using the same browser on different platforms may introduce additional variation in performance that isn’t related to the raw power of the hardware. However, it is a real test of a specific application doing the same work on all machines.

It’s also a great way to see how much new hardware has improved, since the ability to run JavaScript spans across many generations of hardware.

The final big reason to use Sunspider is if you’re comparing different browsers on the same system or to compare browser updates. Mobile devices are largely used as web-browsing devices, so having a choppy experience is a big deal.

You should be aware that Sunspider is no longer maintained and it’s recommended to use the more recent JetStream. Yet, since there’s such a vast database of Sunspider test results, it remains a useful tool to compare devices across time and will remain so for quite a while.

Scream If You Want To Go Faster!

Thanks to these benchmarking tools, you too can now brag to your friends about how fast your latest phone is. Which is a good thing when you need to play mobile games to make up for your sudden lack of anyone to hang out with.

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