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Have you ever wanted to categorize photos into a folder on iOS as you take them? Direct Shot is an app for iPhone and iPad from Jeremy Conn that allows you to do just this. This may not be a feature many people require very often, but it may be a massive convenience when an opportunity presents itself.How it works
Before we begin, it is important to note that two versions of this app are available: one for iCloud and one for Dropbox. For the purpose of this review, I tested the iCloud version.
The overall concept of Direct Shot is fairly simple. Before you get started taking photos within the app, you will need to either choose or create a folder to drop your photos in after capture. On the primary screen of the app, choose the Drops icon to get started with this. Here, you can either create a new folder or choose one you have already created. These folders you create can be found within the Direct Shot folder within the Files app.
Once you have either created a folder or chosen the iCloud Root option, you can head over to the camera within the app to get started. This camera interface proves to be rarely bare bones, so do not expect the full experience available within the iOS Camera app proper. The only options available are standard photo, video, flash, folder selection, and a toggle to switch between the front and rear-facing cameras.
Once you snap a photo and approve it, the app files the photograph away in your chosen folder without ever cluttering your camera roll with a single image as shown above. It is straightforward and it has worked every time I have used it.Who is this app for?
You may be wondering, who is this app for? This is a valid question, but this is a utility that you likely will not need to use regularly. However, in certain situations for certain users, Direct Shot is a very useful application. One common example pertains to personal finance. If you wish to keep a file of all of your paper receipts, there is no easier way to do this than with Direct Shot.
Additionally, if you are working on a project which requires photographs that do not require immediate editing, Direct Shot once again proves a useful utility. Practical situations like this are numerous and depend on the needs of the individual.
As with many utilities, Direct Shot serves a niche in the market that does not include the majority of users. However, do not be mistaken, this is a nice app for those who need it. If this sounds like something that could serve you in any number of diverse scenarios, I urge you to give it a try.
Direct Shot for iCloud is currently available for $0.99 while Direct Shot for Dropbox is currently available for free. The prices of both of these apps have a history of fluctuating, so consider going ahead and picking them up now while the prices are low.
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The iPhone is quickly becoming the primary camera for many of us, and though it makes a great point-and-shoot for your average pictures, it can also take surprisingly good close-up and macro shots. With that in mind, here are 5 tips to make the most of macro photography with the iPhone.
1: Avoid Direct Lighting
The iPhone camera tends to have trouble focusing on something that is extremely bright and close-up, plus your photo will usually turn out overexposed. For the best closeup and macro shots, aim for indirect lighting. If it’s a bright sunny day and you can’t avoid that direct lighting, try to position yourself so the light is aiming into the shot rather than behind it, or try using your own shadow to create indirect light. The close-up image seen below of a grasshopper is a good example of a macro shot taken with indirect lighting:
Thanks to Dawid Z. for the grasshopper shot above, it was taken with an iPhone 42: Use Exposure & Focus Locking
When shooting pictures of things up close, the tiniest movements can change what the camera is focused on. Use the cameras focus and exposure locking feature when you get the target in focus, then those little shakes and camera wiggles won’t mess up the focus. All you need to do is tap and hold on the screen until the little “AE/AF Lock” message appears, then you know it’s active and the focus is locked in.3: Avoid Blur and Movements by Shooting Like a Sniper
To take the best macro shots you’ll want to stay as still as possible, and one of the best ways to do this is to borrow a technique used by snipers and hunters: deep breathing and shooting between breaths. Generally you’ll want to breathe slow and shoot the photo right after you exhale a breath, where there’s a moment of particular steadiness to your body and grip while holding the iPhone.
Another way to avoid the close-up jitters? Set the iPhone down once the focus is locked, then snap the picture from the white earbuds. Using the earbuds to take a picture is best used with a little tripod, but you can usually steady the iPhone against a rock or something else too.
This is a seemingly obvious tip for almost all photography, but it’s more important than ever with close-up macro shots since the slightest movement can result in motion blur.4: Use HDR
This may seem counterintuitive, but using the built-in HDR mode on iPhone can actually sometimes take better macro shots than not. HDR works by taking multiple images and combining them through software processing to level out the highlights and lowlights in pictures, and when used properly it it can often create sharper looking images as you can see in the example below:
Just be sure to have “Keep Original” left on so that you can decide which picture is the best.5: Try the Teeny-Tiny Water Drop Trick
Placing an extremely small water droplet on the iPhone lens can turn it into a surprisingly effective macro lens. The image of the dollar below was shot with the water drop technique:
This is obviously not going to be for everyone since it involves placing water onto the iPhone, which could theoretically damage the phone if it wasn’t done properly. Do so at your own risk, or just use a third party external macro lens.6: Spring for an External Macro Lens
If you want to take the absolute best macro shots possible with an iPhone, you’ll need to spring for an external macro lens. Put an Olloclip or Photojojo lens onto an iPhone and the quality of macro shots shoots through the roof and starts looking like a $2000 professional camera, allowing you to take ridiculously close-up pictures with freakishly high detail. Best of all, Olloclip is actually a 3-in-1 camera lens, giving you not only the super macro lens, but also a fisheye and wide-angle lens. If you’re serious about iPhone photography these are well worth the purchases, they’re tiny, lightweight, slide easily on and off the iPhone, and take your pictures to a whole new level.
Olloclip 3-in-1: Fisheye Lens, Macro Lens, Wide-angle Lens – $70 – iPhone 4 & 4S version (iPhone 5 version coming soon)
The picture below is a closeup of the same area of sand. On the left is as close as the default iPhone 4 will shoot without losing focus, and on the right is the same area of sand taken with an Olloclip macro lens on the same iPhone 4. The difference is remarkable, with the Olloclip taking near-microscope level shots. If you’re serious about macro shots, you can’t beat the Olloclip.
When you see an app you want, you may rush to install it without checking to see if it’s safe to do so. You may think that just because it made it to Google Play, there couldn’t possibly be anything wrong with the app, right?
Even if the app is on Google Play, there are still apps that may not have a virus in them, but that ask for permissions that have nothing to do with what the app does. Keep reading to see what warning signs to look out for and avoid downloading an app that is only going to be a headache.Check Out Other Apps from the Same Developer Look at All the Results Before Selecting
When you type the name an app in the search bar, you should get a maximum of two results. One will be the app, and if the app has a pro version, that will result in number two.
Look at the name of each app carefully and see if you spot anything odd about it. The fake app will also try and mimic the original app’s icon, so keep that in mind as well. The mimic can be as subtle as moving an icon either to the left or to the right.Look at the App’s Description
To spot a fake app, it’s essential that you read the description. If it has bad grammar and words are misspelled, that’s a red flag that the app is not worth the risk. Even a trustworthy app could have an error or two, but if even a five-year-old could write a better description, then it’s best not to download it.
A trustworthy app should have a description that shouldn’t be too short since a description with a decent length shows that the developer wants to convince the user that the app is worth using. If the description is written in poor English, that’s another red flag that goes into the do not download bucket.Study the Screenshots
To save time, the developers of these fake apps will steal the screenshots or featured image from other genuine apps. Other fake apps will have screenshots of poor quality that may even be pixelated.
Don’t forget to also look at the text in the screenshots. If they have any phrases that don’t make any sense to you, then you might want to steer clear of that app. A genuine app will show you screenshots of the app’s interface to show you what it looks like. A perfect example of the screenshots to look out for are the WhatsApp ones above.Investigate the Developer
If the developer is trustworthy, they will try to inform you as much as possible about them to gain your trust. So, why not Google them and see what you get. Also, take a look at the developer’s name, if it sounds ridiculous, then the app probably is too.
Also, take a look at the name of the company that created the app. Are there extra spaces or extra character before or after the developer’s name?Apps That Ask for Too Many Permissions
If a photo editing app asked for permission to your device’s gallery, you wouldn’t think twice about allowing it. But, what of that photo editing app asked for permission to your contacts, location and other personal information?
When an app asks for permission to things that you don’t think it needs to access, it’s best to think twice about installing it. Sure, you can deny that permission, but it kind of makes you doubt if by installing it could be monitoring you in ways it hasn’t told you about.Conclusion
With time, fake apps may get harder to spot, but with the previously mentioned tips, you’ll at least reduce the probabilities of you installing one. What other tips you do practice to detect fake apps?
Just a simple guy that can’t enough of Technology in general and is always surrounded by at least one Android and iOS device. I’m a Pizza addict as well.
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8 Best Tax Filing Software For Small Businesses Payroll services can help with employment and salaries management.
When it comes to taxes, it can be really hard for small business owners to do all the accounting work.
End-to-end automated payroll, pension integrations, self-posting journals, bulk payroll processing, and many other features are included.
IT professionals and HR administrators can also configure some payroll software programs from this list.
This guide will show you the best available options so make sure to check them all out and choose the one that fits your needs.
As a business owner, you need to file your business tax returns regularly. This can be an arduous and time-consuming task. One major thing is, that you have to fill it one after the other accurately and timely.
Windows Report has compiled some of the best tax filing software which enables the quick and accurate filing of taxes.
Although Freshbooks does not have a native functionality for handling employee payrolls, it does have two integrations. With versatile connections that sync with Freshbooks, you can make data sharing easier.
To assist owners with payroll, FreshBooks has teamed with Gusto, the top small company payroll system in the United States. provide payroll services, benefits, and human resource solutions
It provides full-service payroll, managing everything from payroll taxes to HR inquiries. Gusto also offers other services like health insurance, retirement plans, and employee onboarding tools.
When you combine FreshBooks and Gusto, your payroll data is instantly transferred into FreshBooks, making bookkeeping simple and accurate.
FreshBooks is a simplified method for managing spending, invoicing, reports, and time tracking.
Check price Visit website
Keeping track of your employee’s salaries is just as crucial as paying them on time, and Zoho Books with payroll integration can assist you with that. You can keep track of the wages you pay and the taxes you pay in your Zoho Books dashboard.
Manually entering data after each pay run can be time-consuming and tedious. This is when Zoho Payroll comes in handy. Zoho Payroll is a full payroll administration system that calculates wages, taxes, and deductions automatically, sends out payslips and handles all other payroll-related tasks.
It is integrated with Zoho Books, ensuring that your payroll and accounting are in sync. All payroll costs and tax obligations will be documented in the appropriate Expense and Liability accounts. This will immediately be shown in your Profit and Loss report, confirming that your financial statement is correct.
The act of rewarding your employees for the days they worked in a month is referred to as a pay run. You can easily create your company’s payroll structure and perform pay runs for your employees using Zoho Payroll.
Employee Portal enables your workers to examine their pay stubs and do all payroll-related tasks such as declaring FBP and IT, providing investment evidence, and making reimbursement claims.
Employees can be connected with retirement programs, health insurance, and taxation benefits.
Check price Visit website
However, TurboTax lacks personal tax features as it only offers a business prep version; secondly, the software takes time to install.
Make sure that your version of QuickBook has an active registration code if you want to prepare your business taxes using TurboTax. Additionally, your TurboTax software needs to be installed on the same physical drive as the one where you have QuickBooks before you can import data.
The good news is that in case you prepare and file your taxes using Intuit TurboTax, you can import your QuickBooks data directly into the application.
If you want to generate your end-of-year reports you have 3 different types of reports to choose from: Profit & Loss Standard reports, Accountant & Taxes, and Vendors & Payables reports.To generate the Profit & Loss Standard report: For the Accountant & Taxes report:
Lastly for the Vendors & Payables
report To create the Accountants Copy of Books make sure to follow these steps:
You can easily fill your taxes using QuickBooks reports. It makes the filing taxes process so much simpler!
Check price Visit website
Ranked as one of the best software solutions to file business taxes, this popular tax software enables you to file your tax online easily. Users can easily import data from other tax software and have their custom tax files on the software.
H&R enables you to file your tax returns directly to the IRS.
Meanwhile, the software has a unique feature in which you can request to have your tax returns checked by a tax professional for free. In addition, H&R is very easy to install and use, with the program giving users relevant information on financial transactions like buying a car.
⇒ Get H$R Block
Read more about this topic
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TaxAct is an extensive tax filing software that offers many features. Some of its features include audit support and the ability to tax prep products for various businesses. TaxAct is particularly good for small businesses as it enables you to file one federal tax return.
The software is secure as your transactions are encrypted to prevent a leak of your personal details. Their customer support is topnotch with email and phone call options available with a specialist who assists with your complaints and requests.
However, the noted downside of this software is that you need to pay an additional fee to import data from the previous year’s tax returns.
⇒ Get TaxAct
This software to file business taxes is known for its excellent services rendered. With Liberty Tax, it is easy, accurate, and secure to fill taxes properly.
The software has an excellent user interface that enables users to choose which aspects of the task to return to work on.
Another unique feature is Liberty Tax does not incorporate complex steps. You can easily fill your tax in about 10 minutes with 100% assurance. The software double-checks your tax returns and ensures your tax return is accurate.
In addition, Liberty Tax has excellent customer support with live chat, email, and social media options available. You can also meet one on one with customer support personnel in any of their 3000 branches worldwide.
However, the major snag of this software is that sometimes errors are not flagged out until the end of the tax filing process; this makes the customer start the process from the beginning.
⇒ Get Liberty Tax
If you are self-employed and want an affordable tax filling software, TaxSlayer is the recommended software for you. The software enables you to easily prepare and file your taxes on the go with your Windows PC or your mobile device.
TaxSlayer is easy to navigate as the features are easy to access with all the features arranged properly in the user menu. One major feature that makes the software an attractive option is the refund policy. This guarantees you the maximum fund entitlement applicable to you.
However, this best software to file business taxes has limited features when compared to other tax filing software; although, this is understandable due to its cheap price.
⇒ Get Tax Slayer
eSmart Tax Premium is an ideal tax filling software for small business owners. You can easily prepare your tax returns and fill your 1040 form properly with the program. The software is secure and encrypts your information to prevent your information from leaking.
In addition, eSmart Tax also enables you to import W-2 file information and gives you a review of your previous tax returns. With this software, you can check your credits and deductions in search of an ideal refund.
Meanwhile, this program does not have extensive features unlike Turbo Tax and H&R.
⇒ Get eSmart
These are some of the best tax filing software for small business owners. You must choose the program that best suits you in terms of pricing, time savings, features, and other factors.
If the software isn’t servicing your needs, there’s no use in paying more for it just because it’s popular. The greatest alternative for you is if all the capabilities are included in one piece of software and you don’t have to spend money on purchasing multiple pieces of software for various tasks.
If you wish to use software to its fullest potential after purchasing it, educate yourself on all of its functions. As a lack of information can have negative effects, it will prevent data loss in the future.
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Crowds, wires, trash cans, animals, mesh, and other random stuff spoiling your perfect picture? Super frustrating, isn’t it? However, there is a pretty simple, quick, and effective solution to the problem, the TouchRetouch app for iPhone and iPad.
How exactly does it help? Join me as I review TouchRetouch and explore all its functionality in-depth.
An overview of the TouchRetouch app
TouchRetouch is a photo editing app specializing in removing unwanted objects from any photo. All you have to do is slide your finger over the object, and tada, it will vanish.Remove unwanted objects from photos on your iPhone and iPad
Moreover, you can use the app on the go and get almost at par results. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg; there’s more:
Object-Aware retouching – The smart AI recognizes objects and can easily eliminate stuff like people, street signs, trash cans, etc., like magic. And thanks to an edge-aware algorithm, it doesn’t leave smears at the edges, even if the objects are kept too close.
Bye-bye unnecessary lines
– Electricity lines, telephone wires, cables, etc., killing your shot? No worries, TouchRetouch can get rid of them in a jiffy. The app offers a precise selection for easy removal, whether the lines are thin, thick, straight, or curved.How to use the TouchRetouch app to remove unwanted content from photos
Launch the app and select the image.
You’ll see multiple tools in the bottom row
Select any one as per your need; I have chosen Objects for the above example. Depending upon the selection, you’ll find:
Brush and lasso selection tool
An eraser or restore tool
Settings tool to manage brush size, opacity, etc.
You can play with them to your heart’s content and refine the selection and removal process. Amazingly, you also get automatic and manual mode. The former allows quick editing, while the latter gives you full control for more accurate results.
Use two fingers to zoom the image in and out to achieve accuracy.
Undo or redo by tapping the curved arrows on top.
The dotted and non-dotted rectangle icon lets you see the edits and the original image.
You can manage it all between the auto/manual tool, the varied selection tool, and Clone Stamp. And the best part is that you’ll find detailed step-by-step tutorials for almost all tasks within the app and on the app’s website.What more can you do with the TouchRetouch iOS app?
While the before and after image and task list shared above are impressive, the app offers more. Let me quickly show you what more is TouchRetouch capable of.
360° friendly – Why should Panaromas be left behind? After all, can’t hide much in a 360° photo. But you can surely get rid of stuff, all thanks to TouchRetouch. You can navigate completely around 360° photos and remove objects obstructing the shot.Is TouchRetouch Worth the Tiny Investment?
Value for money
Whether you are a budding photographer, business owner, content creator, or student, TouchRetouch is a great app for anyone who needs to quickly deal with photos. It is user-friendly and requires no expert knowledge like Photoshop.
Also, note that not all is automatic; complicated packed photos may need extra TLC. But thankfully, the app has enough tools to help you manage such situations and present surprisingly accurate final results.
And while it doesn’t promise those features, I would have loved the app to have some basic editing tools like crop, resize, saturation, hues, etc. As then, I won’t have to move to another app to get that; TouchRetouch would be my all-in-one stop.
Easily removes unwanted objects
Boasts auto and manual modes
Worth the cost
Basic photo editing features would have been cool
No trial period
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A self-professed Geek who loves to explore all things Apple. I thoroughly enjoy discovering new hacks, troubleshooting issues, and finding and reviewing the best products and apps currently available. My expertise also includes curating opinionated and honest editorials. If not this, you might find me surfing the web or listening to audiobooks.
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
Since the release of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the Android OS has offered users control over app permissions, dictating what apps can and cannot access. As our phones become more entrenched in the sensitive aspects of our personal lives, from family photos to financial data, careful control of these permissions has become increasingly important. And in more recent versions of Android, Google placed an emphasis on privacy once again, granting users more control over their digital lives.
So let’s dive into what Android app permissions do and how best to leverage them to keep your smartphone secure.What are Android app permissions?
As the name suggests, permissions govern what an app is allowed to do and access. This ranges from reading the data stored on your phone, such as SMS messages and media files, through to using hardware including your handset’s camera or microphone. Granting permission allows the app to use the feature. Denying access prevents it from doing so. Simple enough.
Android permissions explained
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
Most of Android’s app permissions are self-explanatory, but here’s a breakdown of what each one actually means.
Body Sensors — allows access to your health data and step count from paired heart-rate monitors, fitness trackers, and other sensors.
Calendar — allows apps to read, create, edit, or delete your calendar events.
Call logs — Apps with this permission can read and write phone call logs.
Camera — taking photos, recording footage, and streaming video.
Contacts — read, create, or edit your contact list, as well as access the list of all accounts used on your device.
Files and media — access to your files, media, photos, and basically anything else stored on your phone’s memory.
Location — access your location using GPS for high accuracy, cellular data and Wi-Fi for approximate accuracy.
Microphone — used for recording audio and video.
Nearby devices — whether an app can find, connect to, and determine the position of other nearby devices.
Phone — access your phone number and network info. Required for making calls and VoIP, voicemail, call redirect, and editing call logs.
Physical activity — access your physical activity logs, such as step count and exercise info.
SMS — read, receive, and send MMS and SMS messages.How to grant or deny Android permissions on a per-app basis
If you want to see the permissions that you’ve enabled for a specific app, then head into the Apps menu, select your desired app, and then hit Permissions.How to check Android permissions by type
If you prefer an overview of all the apps granted a specific permission, such as those that can record from your microphone for example, then you can sort apps by this criteria too.
Head back into Settings and find the Privacy tab. You’ll then want to select Permission Manager. From here, you can browse through all of the available permissions on your phone, as well as a quick overview of how many apps have been granted each permission.
On Android, you should deny or disable permissions for local storage, SMS, and location if the app doesn’t need it.
Android is increasingly privacy-conscious and app permissions are one of the key tools to help keep your phone and its contents secure. Now you know how they work, make sure to use them to keep your sensitive data away from unscrupulous apps.
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