Great software for digital living

facebook stylish dark themegoogle stylish dark themeHere is a list of some possibly lesser-known but great software for digital living I use everyday to enhance the security, comfort, and extent of my real and digital lives:

reddit stylish dark themeyoutube stylish dark themeBrowsing in Style

  • Adblock plus – unless you’re a real sucker for punishment
  • Stylish – custom style any website
    • Tired of the eyesores that are your favorite websites’ stylesheets?
    • Tired of sore eyes from the ubiquitous white backgrounds online?
    • Use the Stylish browser plugin to give the web a makeover.
  • Another great tip for organizing your browser’s bookmarks is to add them to your toolbar with blank titles so only the site’s icons are visible. This creates a clean row of your favorite sites’ icons as blurred out in the facebook screenshot above. Thanks to Cory D for this one ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anonymous, Secure Surfing

  • Tunnelbear – VPN, 1.5GB/mo. free
    • great for browsing from different countries to get around language and domain restraints
    • dead simple UI, install, choose desired country, flick the switch, it works
  • Ghostery – kill all those pesky, unwanted trackers
    • all but eliminate targeted advertising and speed up your load times in the process

Data Storage, Organization, and Management

  • mega.nz – 50GB free, end-to-end encrypted cloud storage
    • fully automated syncing client between online web app and local device folders
  • Firebase – mobile and web developer suite
    • handles everything from real-time databases, dynamic links (click stats, dynamic redirection, etc.), analytics, user authentication, pre-release cloud testing, and much more
    • extremely powerful and intuitive platform that makes a devโ€™s life much easier – canโ€™t recommend it enough!
  • Git and Github – seamlessly backup, sync, maintain, and manage collaboration, history, and evolution of projects, files, and folders
    • bit of a learning curve to get started, but well worth it if you want to have complete control over your data through time

Communication

  • Slack – enjoyable team communication
  • reddit.com – if you don’t know about reddit yet, don’t blame me for your new addiction
  • Whatsapp Messenger – texting, calling, voice messaging, filesharing, video calling (coming soon)
    • end-to-end encryption, automatically integrates with devices’ account contacts list
  • Allo – smart messaging app (coming early 2016)
    • end-to-end encryption
    • incorporates google assistant
  • Google translate – browse the entire indexed web, independent of language

Learning

  • MIT Open Course Ware – Audio and Video Lectures
    • huge, free, online library of nearly every course offered at MIT
    • sit in on hundreds of classes offered at every major faculty at MIT
  • ReadMe! – ebook speed reader for Android, iOS
    • Speed reading app utilizing Spritz API
    • comfortably and easily increase your reading speed to >400 words per minute
    • pretty buggy but quite good for reading .epub
    • .pdf is really glitchy still, but almost usable

Exploration and Adventure

  • Global travel
    • Agoda.com – cheaper-than-rent guesthouses
      • search by: name, location, date, number of guests
      • filter and sort by: stars, price, reviews (by individuals, couples, business, family, etc.), neighborhoods, accommodation type, facilities
      • property visualization: show available properties overlain on map in sorted order, accurate pictures of rooms and properties
    • Hipmunk.com – usually best prices for flights online that I’ve found
      • also has a very handy price graph feature similar to googleflights’

 

I’ll be keeping this list updated and further fleshing it out into the future. Please let me know your experiences with any of the above listed apps, and share in the comments other great apps I might add to the list.

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