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Hey, thanks for stopping by! HOOKD.in is a site dedicated to technology and advertising, where you can find articles including news, reviews and how-tos. If you like staying informed about recent product releases, tech conferences, software and apps, as well as brands of all sizes and their marketing campaigns, stick around – you’re sure to find something here you’re in to!

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5 Tech Gift Ideas for Mom on Mother's Day | HOOKD.in

5 Tech Gift Ideas for Mom on Mother’s Day (2015)

Mom’s are great. I mean, just think about it. All the things they went through, and put up with when raising you. Snotty noses, dirty diapers, the crying, the screaming. The list goes on and on. With only (less than) a week left until Mother’s Day, it’s time to get serious about your shopping list. For all the years they spent devoted to raising a child ( a.k.a., you), there’s only one day a year dedicated to them – so you better make your gift a good one! If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, check out the list below of tech gifts for Mom that she is sure to appreciate.

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New 12-inch MacBook with Retina display unboxing, overview, and benchmarks (Video)

You may still be skeptical of the new MacBook, but you have to admit this is one beautiful little machine. In an original post by Mr. Dom Esposito on 9to5Mac, the new 12 inch beauty is unboxed and benchmarked. Maybe your waiting to get your hands on the one you ordered, or still trying to decide if it’s worth the buy – either way, the unboxing is certainly worth taking a look at.

Google Messenger vs. Google Hangouts | HOOKD.in

Google Hangouts vs. Google Messenger

I’m going to be honest. Since using Android devices, I haven’t come across a single OEM SMS app that I’ve actually enjoyed. A pure generalization from my personal experience is that they are bloated, slow and just plain unattractive. As a matter of fact, I am currently trying to use the LG G3 messaging app and I can’t manage to get the keyboard to display for me to compose a message.

The good news is, as Android users, we have plenty of messaging app options out there. My favorite by far has been Google Hangouts. Hangouts works especially well for me because my full-time job uses Gmail as our primary email client, and Google Chat as a primary means of inter-office communication, so messages from co-workers filter through the same app as my SMS.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: “10 Free, but Awesome Android Icon Packs (Part 1)

Recently I came across the lesser popular Google Messenger App, and with its recent updates, I decided to give it a try and compare it to Hangouts. I’ve been using Messenger as my daily driver on my LG G3 for about a week now, and here are the unique features, similarities and downfalls I’ve come across.

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Minuum Keyboard Review

One great thing about Android (and now Apple is coming around) is the ability to change the keyboard that you use across your entire device. It’s fun to try out different keyboards, and they can make your phone feel a little more customized and personal. There are tons of options. You’ve got everything from the simplistic but effective Google keyboard, to the crowd favorite SwiftKey keyboard, and even heavily modified versions such as this Paris themed keyboard.

Personally, I like to keep things simple which is why I’ve been using Google Keyboard.. until now that is. Minuum (yes, that’s spelled correctly) keyboard from Whirlscape has re-imagined the way the mobile keyboard should work. Instead of jamming the traditional keyboard layout into a phone, consuming precious screen real estate, Minuum significantly compresses the keyboard to an almost impossible size. It’s ok to say that it’s a nearly impossible size, in fact, Whirlscape admits it themselves. What makes it okay is the fact that this has to be the smartest keyboard I have used. Take a look at the video below.

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Locket App Review

Do you ever wish you could do more with your phone’s lock screen? With Locket, a lock screen news feed app for Android, you can now get a little more functionality out of it. Locket is a lock screen app that allows you to find news articles of your interest as soon as you light up the screen of your device.

Upon installing the app, you are prompted with the ability to select your particular interests. If you’ve used Flipboard, this is a very familiar process. You can choose from 13 broad categories, and after that, you’re all set. The next time the screen is turned on, you’ll be greeted with a full screen cover photo of a story that fits into one of the categories that you’ve selected. One thing that I’ve noticed is that there can be some lag between the time you hit the button to power on the screen and when the app actually kicks in.

Locket App Review HOOKD.in

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OS X Yosemite Release and Features - HOOKD.in

OS X Yosemite Revisited

Early this summer, Apple unveiled the latest iteration to their desktop operating system, OS X Yosemite. During the Keynote presentation, Tim Cook and others gave us a look at some of the key features that would be available to consumers later in the year. Well, later in the year has now come. According to MacRumors.com, OS X Yosemite is now in it’s second Gold Master Beta, indicating that its final release is imminent. Four months have passed since the unveiling, so to help you remember why you were so excited about getting your hands on Yosemite, here’s a list of a few major features you can expect to see.

1. New Look

Yosemite looks to continue the trend of creating  a more flat, unified and consistent design. Apple’s system app icons are getting a facelift, and OS X will now adopt some of the translucency effects seen in iOS. With the addition of translucency, “Your windows take on the personality of your desktop,” as stated by Craig Federighi at Apple’s WWDC conference earlier this year.

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Evernote Conference 2014 (EC4) Highlights

If you were unable to tune into the live stream yesterday, Evernote hosted the first part of its annual conference in San Francisco. At the event, CEO Phil Libin among others, spoke of new developments to the Evernote suite of tools and products. Here are a few of the highlights from day one.

Early in the keynote, Libin mentioned last year’s announcement of Evernote Marketplace, which offers various branded supplies such as custom Moleskine notebooks and even an Evernote desktop scanner. After joking about how his company wasn’t sure how successful the marketplace would be before launch, Libin announced that the Marketplace has brought in over $12 Million in product sales since launch.

Some of the more impressive new features released included Context and Work Chat. Context lends a hand to users who are creating notes in Evernote by offering up relevant content. This may be from notes already inside of their account, notes created by coworkers in a business account, or even info from leading sources such as The Wall Street Journal. In addition to offering up the content, Context will also give you the ability to auto-cite any content you pull from a source.

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Mobile Payment – What are Your Options?

With the recent release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, there’s a whole new hype around mobile payment – specifically, Apple Pay. For those who have just upgraded to Apple’s new flagship, congratulations (!) – you’ve just opened up a whole new avenue for paying for your day-to-day necessities. But what about those folks who aren’t yet eligible for an upgrade, or who aren’t into Apple devices? Fear not! There are options out there for you as well.

Apple Pay

First, let’s take a look at Apple’s new offering – Apple Pay. While this feature isn’t available quite yet, (coming in October) it does pose a couple of unique features. With the built-in Touch ID on iPhone 5s and newer, you’ll be able to register your credit/debit cards and make purchases online by selecting Apple Pay at checkout and scan your finger. Quick and simple. The major revelation that came to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is near field communication (NFC). With the new Apple Devices equipped with NFC, users can quickly make purchases at any store that accepts tap and pay payments. Apple’s major selling point? No need to wake up the phone or open an app – just one tap and you’re done.

Google Wallet

When it comes to NFC, Apple is a little bit behind the times. Many Android devices are equipped with NFC, enabling various sharing capabilities, and the ability to change settings in the phone by tapping a programmed NFC tag. In addition to this, you have the ability to utilize tap and pay at supporting locations. Google Wallet will store your credit/debit cards and have them ready when you open the app to use tap and pay. Additional functionality with Google Wallet allows you to store you loyalty cards (i.e. PetSmart, Gamestop, Regal, etc.) and gift cards. Both can be used from the app by bringing up bar codes to be scanned. To top it off, Google Wallet gives you the ability transfer money to other users.

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Samsung NX1 – The Camera for You?

The holiday season is fast approaching, and the items to add your wish list are stacking up. If not the shiny new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the Apple Watch, a curved T.V., or even a quad-copter, maybe you’d like to ask Santa for the brand new Samsung NX1 smart camera.

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Just another mirror-less camera, you ask? Well, not exactly. This is a mirror-less camera for the traditional, “mirrored” camera fans. The build quality of the Samsung NX1 resembles that of popular, high-end DSLRs. Contributing to this style is the camera’s topside LCD display that shows pertinent shooting information, a built in flash,  the placement of the electronic viewfinder (EVF), hot shoe, grip and high quality buttons/dials. If you’re looking for something that feels professional, sturdy and comfortable in the hand, it looks like the NX1 will check those boxes.

Not only does the Samsung NX1 feel sturdy, apparently it is sturdy. Unlike many of today’s mirror-less compact systems cameras (csc), the NX1 offers a weather-sealed magnesium alloy body. It certainly can’t be submerged, but shooting in moderately wet or dusty conditions will be no problem.

Let’s get to the nitty gritty. What makes this camera special? Well, at a price tag of around $1,500 (body only,) the NX1 has some impressive features that are comparable, and even exceed, much more expensive DSLR cameras. Samsung’s newest camera features a 205-point autofocus system, the ability to shoot 4k video and an astounding 15 fps shutter drive. Need I remind you the Canon EOS-1D X, a near $7K camera, shoots at 14fps?

Additionally, the NX1 has a 28.2 megapixel sensor, however, it is still APS-C format. You can feel comfortable using this camera in low-light situations, as it has a native ISO range of 100-25600, the exact same as Nikon’s flagship, the D4S. Last, but not least, as with previous Samsung cameras, the NX1 has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity – a feature that will allow you to easily share your photos and connect to other devices.

So, if you’re willing to sacrifice the full frame sensor and optical viewfinder (along with some other features,) you can get a great camera comparable to many high-end DSLRs for a fraction of the price. Unfortunately, you can’t get your hands on this shiny new object just yet, but you can pre-order it with the links below.

Pre-Order Links:

B&H PhotoBest BuyAdorama

I want to hear what you think! Is the Samsung NX1 the camera for you? Leave a comment below or connect on Twitter – @HOOKDin