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Wealth creation, financial freedom, and, eventually, generational wealth — that timeline sounds like a dream, right? Passive income refers to money that requires no effort to accumulate. It’s a wealth creation strategy that involves upfront investment and continued effort leading to eventual steady financial growth.

 

Maybe you make more than enough at your 9-5 job — passive income is still for you. It can make you money in your sleep, helping you reach your financial goals that much faster. With passive revenue streams you’ll have freedom, flexibility, and, most importantly, a fallback — because truly, anything can happen. COVID, unemployment, voluntary time off work? Passive income streams will have your back while granting you immeasurable financial security and peace of mind.

 

As a freelancer, you’re probably used to utilizing multiple streams of revenue. Ready to see that money flow in for years and years to come? Read on.

 

1. Stock Market Investing

 

A little goes a long way with stocks. What is essential here is time so that your investments mature through the power of compound interest. Warren Buffet swears by the buy-and-hold strategy. Buy your dividends, ETFs, and shares, and don’t sell until you absolutely have to. You’ll also make some additional cash each financial quarter through dividend payouts, which is always an added bonus.

 

2. Affiliate Marketing

 

This revenue stream is set to exceed the $8 billion mark by 2022, with exponential growth predicted. What is it? Essentially, you promote the retailer’s services or products, and they give you a commission for every sale. This is especially great for those with a built-up network on social media platforms but will work equally well for those wanting to monetize their blog, podcast, or email newsletters. Build up trust with your audience, promote items you genuinely love, and watch the affiliate money come flying in.

 

3. Print-on-Demand Items

 

E-commerce is the hot ticket, and one of the rising contenders in the passive income world is creating a print-on-demand store. With this option, you’re able to design custom graphics and get them printed on items like t-shirts, clothing, mugs, bags, and more. After building up a shop with a bunch of designs, you’ll get a percentage of the income every time one of your designs ships and sells. This opportunity is unique in that you can crank out all the work in a short period of time, never open the print-on-demand platform again, and still have revenue rolling in.

 

4. Dropshipping

 

The dropshipping model is similar to a standard business model except you’re outsourcing the manufacturing, production, and delivery to other sellers. Simply create a website, decide on a niche, and find sellers who will manufacture your products at a good profit margin. It’s then your responsibility to use ads and other means to get views and conversions to sales. Easily the most lucrative (yet demanding) option; you will need a backup for this one — or, at least, a very extensive skillset. Graphic designers, writers, developers, and product sourcers are all resources you’ll need to refer to, in addition to handling the overall business.

 

Hiring other freelancers for this work is ideal as it’ll keep you focused on the important bit: making profits. An online payroll platform like QuickBooks comes in handy when trying to organize your team of freelancers as it comes with intuitive features, including direct deposit. You won’t have to deal with paper checks, which is a godsend when working with folks remotely. It’s also the most efficient way to keep track of hours logged and ensure your hard workers get their money on time — just set up payroll early in the day and the funds will be waiting for them on the same day.

 

Want some more passive income ideas? Create an app, make an online course, sell your stuff, write an eBook, flip websites, sell your videos — with the internet at your disposal, the options really are endless! There’s no entry barrier or minimum payout standing between and your goal of financial freedom. So, get out there, get creative, and make some money. Future you will thank you for it. Take a look at JG’s app portfolio to see how it’s done.

Article was written by Lance Cody-Valdez.

 

Yuma Arizona

Although this may not be related to apps and tech, it is a personal experience that may be interesting to some readers. Why the big move to Yuma, you ask? It was a time for much-needed change. After being without electricity for seven days in Texas and experiencing bad storms, thoughts about life and purpose kept creeping up. What am I doing here? My productivity is interrupted during these intense storms in Texas with hail and tornado warnings. I had enough and have relocated to sunny Arizona on April 21st. Although it gets brutally hot here, at least I can sustain my daily productivity and not worry about tornadoes. Also, reliable weather means better productivity. It’s a win-win. For those curious about what to expect when relocating here, I have some tips for you.

 

Internet portrays Yuma as a horrible place to live. Is that true?

 

When I first arrived in Yuma, Arizona, I was shocked. Not in a bad way, but just shocked at how nice it is. My thoughts are maybe all those Karen’s who complain about it have a negative outlook in life and paint the picture as Yuma is all doom and gloom. I consider myself to be very optimistic. Everything is a block away from each other. The grocery stores, parks, Colorado river, fast food, and gas stations are all within a 5 to 15-mile radius. I do not need to drive on the freeway as everything is so close.

 

The people here are friendly, and I think this is a great small town to live in. One thing to consider is there is nothing to do here. Main attractions are going swimming, mini-golf, bowling, and shopping. Since my main focus is creating software and self-improvement, that does not bother me much. Another benefit of living here is, San Diego beaches are only a 2-hour drive. That will be beneficial when wanting to escape the 115-degree summer heat. 

 

The Yuma Snowbirds

 

They come from the north, and they seek warmth during the wintertime. They also like to drive very, very slow. We are talking 25 mph in 45 mph roads. Unfortunately, slow and bad drivers are everywhere. However, in Yuma, we have to pay a little more careful attention to these older drivers. Not much we can do about it. 

 

How to Stay Cool During Yuma Arizona Summers?

 

I have not experienced the summers yet, but I have come prepared. Rumor has it the brutal heat is June through August every year. The equipment I’m using to keep my place cold:

 

  1. Home central A/C.
  2. Cover windows.
  3. Fan for every room.
  4. Portable A/C.
  5. USB Humidifier.

 

What to wear to protect yourself from the brutal sun:

 

  1. Hat.
  2. Neck gaiters.

 

What about your car?

 

  1. Windshield sunshade.
  2. Get window tints on all back windows.
  3. Rain guards, aka vent visors.
  4. Auto insurance with zero down deductible for windshield replacement. 

 

If your curious why we need zero down deductible for windshields, that is because we have rocks and brutal heat. Open your car windows slightly to prevent windows from cracking when the temperatures get over 100. Rain guards will allow you to crack your windows slightly open, even when it rains. 

 

Are you planning on relocating to Yuma, Arizona? Want to come here for a vacation getaway? Whatever the occasion I hope this gives you some ideas on what to expect. 

 

If you are new here, be sure to check out all our available apps on our homepage.

 

 

 

Disclosure: Some of the links are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
2020 Mac mini M1

It has been a while since I wrote about my experience with the 2020 Mac Mini M1 computer. It has been about six months of owning this machine. The best part of it is the performance. Unfortunately, I have run into a very annoying issue. Well, there are two significant flaws in the machine that has caused more than headaches. 

 

Bluetooth does not work.

 

I do not know what the deal is, but the Bluetooth just isn’t working for me. To use external speakers, I have to use an aux cable or corded headphones. I just brushed it off, thinking Apple would release an update to fix this issue only to find no solution in sight. Bluetooth keyboard and mouse work but it won’t let me connect to Bluetooth speakers.

 

Mac Mini keeps crashing every time I put her to sleep.

 

I usually set my machine to sleep at night with my work open to continue the next day. Everything worked fine until a few weeks after owning the device. That was when it first started crashing. It constantly crashes when set to sleep mode or inactive past 15 minutes. I’ve sent over 30 debug reports to Apple regarding these crashes. Using the latest macOS Big Sur Version 11.3.1, it still crashes. Thoughts kept coming if I should return this device. That was until I found a solution that worked for me.

 

How to keep the 2020 Mac Mini M1 from crashing?

 

I am using an app from the App Store named, Owly. This app has made my experience with the Mac Mini so much better. 

 

Right-click to enable the app and set it for “Eternity” mode. This will keep your Mac on 24/7. 

 

Here I can set my Mac into sleep mode and continue my work without it crashing upon wake up. I have not had one crash since.

 

I hope that Apple has a fix for this, and I do not have the same experience when I upgrade to the next MacBook Pro that is rocking the M1X chip by end of 2021.

 

Other than those two big annoyances, this machine is solid.

Apple credit card

So you have an Apple credit card and want to learn the tips and tricks on attaining a higher credit limit? 

 

The Apple credit card has been great at helping my credit score and purchasing needs. However, the original amount granted to me wasn’t enough to purchase a maxed-out MacBook Pro until now. The same procedures I outline below are what I did to get approved for a $1,500 credit limit increase. 

 

Procedure:

  • Make 20 purchase transactions within 30 days.
  • Pay off the balance every month.
  • Then request for credit limit increase a business day AFTER the billing cycle ends. So, if you receive your monthly statement, request a credit increase the next business day after that.

 

The goal here is to show them that you are using the card and can pay it off. I’ve heard this technique can be used as often as you desire. 

 

One thing to remember is, those 20 transactions do not have to be a high purchase item, it can be 99 cents apps or songs if you truly desire. Just make sure if you choose to do this, you have the income to pay it off at the end of the month. 

 

Not sure what to buy to reach 20 transactions a month? Look no further than buying my apps. Let me help you gain a better future. You can see list of my available apps on our home page.

 

Good luck!

 

Read about our review of the Apple credit card.

Remote Work

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic. After a few weeks, around 16 million workers in the United States switched to remote work to help flatten the curve. This means approximately one quarter of US knowledge workers had to work from home, and the number is still on the increase due to the restrictions imposed by states. 

Workers who were able to transition to remote work were part of the lucky ones. During the peak of the pandemic, millions of Americans lost their jobs, while others worked high-risk jobs to make ends meet. The tech industry was the first to consider remote work as a permanent solution post-Covid. This article will highlight new data on remote work during the pandemic and its effects on some tech job salaries.

 

What we know About Remote Work During the Pandemic

 

  • Experience matters when it comes to remote work: communication and productivity were difficult when remote work was new to workers. However, the months of experience have helped, and many workers have found strategies and tools to boost work satisfaction and collaboration. 
  • Professional connections were strained: remote workers experienced a strain in their professional connections at first. However, this improves over time.
  • Collaboration tools are essential: these tools not only help workers with productivity, but they also improve communication. The result is a greater sense of belonging in remote work.

 

How Did Tech Salaries Fare During this Period?

 

Web development and data science are the focus of the article. Both jobs did well during the pandemic, and the demand for employees skyrocketed. More non-tech businesses needed help with data and development of web services to cater to their now-remote business. This singular factor makes both jobs attractive for the future.

 

Web Development

 

Web developers are software engineers that focus on creating websites through coding. These engineers need to know programming languages to be able to build a functioning website. Some of their other roles include maintaining coding or fixing bugs after an update. 

There are three types of web developers, namely back end, front end, and full stack developers. As the name implies, a back end developer works on the company’s servers while a front end developer handles the customer-facing part of the app. This distinction of duties is essential to make sites run faster. When the responsibilities are split, data can be processed faster. 

Full stack developers are engineers who are skilled in both back end and front end development. Web developers make an average of $107,161 per year in the United States, according to Indeed. The demand for web developers rose during the pandemic, and it is expected to continue with a salary raise.

 

Data Science

 

The Covid-19 pandemic changed a lot of things including consumer behavior. Therefore, organizations rely more on data insights to help them enhance cybersecurity, productivity, employee retention, recruitment, customer service, and more. Data scientists need to explain risks, opportunities, and trends to nontechnical people so they can make better business decisions. Data scientists also help software programs learn in a process known as machine learning. When computers learn about the data, it increases the speed of development of other new processes. Many non-tech businesses sought out data scientists to help them with such tasks and this is why the demand for them increased significantly.

Data scientists earn around $100,000 per annum and this rate is expected to increase with the rise in demand for their services. Python is the most common coding language data scientists use. If you desire a career as a data scientist, you must learn Python. Luckily, you can use web resources like Bootcamprankings.com. With a consistent study routine for a few hours a day, you could learn a new skill that positions you in the forefront for jobs of the future.

 

Conclusion

 

It is not clear whether remote work will continue after the pandemic, but companies may decide to keep some part of their workforce remote. The remote working policy was adopted within a short time, and its result was positive. There is still a lot of work to be done before the policy can stand. One consideration is the salary. Should salaries be slashed or increased since some determinants of salary rate are no longer in play? Some argue that the main determinant of salary should be experience and value rather than location.

 

Ufuoma Nora Ogono is a full-time freelance writer with over 4 years of experience in the industry. Over the years, she has produced high-quality content for Smartereum.com,  Hemecine.com , and many other reputable websites.

Texas Blackout

Life is full of experiences, mostly good, some bad; however, the best part of life is overcoming the obstacles stronger and smarter. February was one of those bad moments for me personally and millions of my fellow Texans as we all suffered without electricity in the bitter cold. Temperatures reached as low as -1 in my area of Bell County, Texas. My rental was without electricity for 6 days (about 153 hours). The electricity finally turned back on the 7th day at 1:41 PM. They had a crew of 6 or so trying to figure it out outside our duplex. As the lights came back on, the emotions that flowed through my body were just as exciting as hitting nitrous in a speeding race car down the road. Hell yes, no more cold showers, crappy sandwiches, dripping water faucets, worrying about if my family is warm in all our blankets, and worrying about our pipes from bursting.

 

What Was The Problem?

 

Relying on the electric grid is what went wrong. Being without power for almost 7 days made me realize how much we depend on the electric company. It’s making me think about how can I power my equipment when the power company fails the next time? How can I ensure I can provide heat for my family? 

 

The electric power grid in Texas seems to have a weakness, temperatures below 20 degrees. What happened in February 2021 was a repeat of the Texas blackout of 2011. 

 

“More than 4.5 million customers in Texas were without power during the peak of outages in the state this week, as freezing temperatures hit parts of the country.”

 

ERCOT back in 2011 told Texans to “conserve energy so as not to overburden the system.” 

 

As if the customer is the issue here. What we witnessed today in February 2021 and 2011 seems to be an ERCOT issue with their equipment. Telling the customer to “conserve” usage because they cannot provide reliable electricity is wrong. Get it together, ERCOT. It has been 10 years since the last blackout. If you cannot offer reliable service, then what good are you? 

 

“The system broke down this week when 185 generating units, including gas and coal-fired power plants, tripped offline during the brunt of the storm. Wind turbines in West Texas froze as well, and a nuclear unit near the Gulf of Mexico went down for more than 48 hours. Another problem emerged: Some power plants lost their pipeline supply of gas and couldn’t generate electricity even if they wanted to capture the high prices. Such mechanical problems might have been avoided if operators had chosen to equip their plants like those that operate in traditional cold-weather states.” 

 

When Did My Power Go Out?

 

It started Monday at 3:00 AM. The night before, I had no idea how just like that, my life would change. Not just for me but also for my family and kids.

 

Cancellations Galore

 

  • Schools shut down.
  • Government offices empty.
  • USPS mailbox wasn’t accessible due to covered in ice. No mail service.
  • Doctors couldn’t provide service.
  • No jobs to go to without electricity.
  • Loss of job pay.
  • No productivity.
  • Everyone was in survival mode, not knowing when the power will return.

 

What Went Right

Propane Stove

 

I already had a propane stove. I was able to cook food and boil water. We also had several instant lunch chicken flavored soup stocked up, bottled waters, LED flashlight lanterns, bread, and peanut butter. We barely had enough to survive. Thanks to the help of our neighbors we were able to help each other out. 

 

We charged our phones and iPads in the car. I had no way to charge MacBook Pro. The vehicle also provided much-needed heat at different parts of the day. It wasn’t until Saturday that the snow and ice cleared up to where we could drive. Before that, we were stranded at the house. Too dangerous to drive.

 

Saturday was the best as I ordered a double steak hamburger at Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. I was finally able to have a real meal with protein.

 

What went wrong?

 

Since the power went out at 3:00 AM Monday by the time we woke up for the day, our food was spoiled. It’s incredible how fast heat gets inside our refrigerator when turned off. Had to be over $200 worth of food in our refrigerator, freezer, and backup freezer. 

 

Having a propane stove is invaluable, especially in times like this. However, most of our food was already thawed out, so the propane stove became almost useless. 

 

We tried to salvage what we could by putting food outside. The temperatures were in the single digits then. We should have acted sooner as soon as the power went out and placed everything outside, but of course, this was one of those, could of, would of, should of things you think about after the fact. At that given moment, there was no way of knowing what would happen to us for the next several days.

 

Blackout Snacks

 

What I Wish I Had – How To Be Better Prepared Next Time?

 

During these 7 days of bitter cold and suffering, I wish I had a battery-powered generator with solar panels. Something strong enough to charge my Mac, phone, and wifi modem. At least I’d be able to continue working and kids entertained.

 

I wanted a propane heater, that was until I did further research to find that is not safe for indoor use. A cool hack we did to stay warm in the house is to spend the day inside a tent inside our living room. Surprisingly with everyone inside, the tent keeps the heat inside and it was toasty to where I can to get out because it was so hot. We also had blankets covering all the windows, doors, and hallways. Wore jackets all day and bundled up. 

 

That would have made this whole blackout less of a burden.

 

Food Shortages at Stores

 

It took the stores a couple of days to restock and deliver fresh food in our town. As soon as the shelves were stocked it was emptied shortly after. The year 2020 and this power blackout is a warning to us all to be better prepared next time. That’s for sure.

 

Empty Shelves

 

Conclusion

 

The Texas electric grid seems to be vulnerable and must get fixed. What I experienced this past week was something I hope no one has to go through, as it was horrible. My heart and prayers go out to my fellow Texans who also suffered through this. We couldn’t have made it without our neighbors who came together. This was definitely a learning experience I hope we can all learn from and never repeat again. 

 

What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger, right? 

Much like the American Dream, ever since people from around the world have experienced the App Store, it is as if a door was open for us that wasn’t before. The spark of hope and excitement at the opportunities that putting an app out could mean for us individually. Maybe it’s the thought of being apart of a lucrative business model that drives us. At times I feel like this is the digital version of the gold rush of our day. Everyone has a great app idea; the question is, what are you going to do about it?

 

Expectations – The Shiny Object Syndrome

 

It all happens to us, and the shiny object syndrome pulls us in, mostly when you read about independent app developers who become millionaires. Once in a while, there is another successful app developer in the news. All the success with rainbows and sunshine. Don’t get me wrong, and I’m all for reading about these successes and congratulate every one of them. I even had to congratulate one of my competitors who sold his company for $5 million. That was good as it validated I was on to something and a disappointment as I didn’t aim higher in my app features. The expectations of starting as an app developer are that everything is good, there are no troubles or obstacles, and it will be an easy path to go down on. Right?

 

Reality Check

 

Reading someone’s “overnight success” can be misleading. The good part is it outlines the successes the person or company was able to achieve. However, it doesn’t reveal how many years, the struggles, obstacles, and long hard work that was put in to achieve such an accomplishment. 

 

Being an independent app developer requires a particular type of person. It will challenge you to think differently. You will build patience as you handle obstacles in your code errors, Apple’s rejections, Microsoft headaches, Android entitled non-existent sales, and app reviews from people yelling at you for a $0.99 app. The developer puts in the sweat equity of long hours in front of a computer. Ensuring the software art project is a thing of beauty only to find it wasn’t good enough. Back to the drawing board to fix things and work harder next time. This vicious cycle has the benefit of becoming more polished in our craft. It helps us become more robust despite it not being easy. The more obstacles we can handle, the more effective we can become. 

 

There are some apps I’ve spent weeks developing only to have it rejected from the App Store. It is as if these various App Stores are the gatekeeper of who are allowed to publish apps and who isn’t. On one side of the coin, they are great as they handle all the traffic, logistics, and financials. However, on the other hand, they limit the app developer’s creativity side as we can only go so far, and if you think differently from them, they shut you down with a click of a button. 

 

The reality of being an indie app developer is that there are so many variables we must meet each month, quarter, and yearly. We have to comply with ever-changing laws and regulations and the more than yearly changes on every App Store we are on. If they release the latest gadget, you bet we have to own it to ensure our apps can run on them. It was easy at first, but it can be too much to buy new gear over time. 

 

Software changes continuously. Your app may work flawlessly now but might need adjusting after there’s an update to a new operating system of the year. Apple releases a new version every year, and Microsoft has its list of changes. Your app requires maintenance monthly or quarterly to run and stay in the game.

 

Not all app ideas are successful, nor is it a guarantee you will get one sale. The app must provide some value that the user wants and demands.

 

App ideas do not always pan out as you visioned them to be. Certain features can be rejected from the App Store. Governments can demand to shut you down. There are so many reasons that can go wrong and most likely will. On a positive note, if it were easy, then everyone would be successful, right? I think this is what drives us, our courage to want to make our stand against the odds and prove others wrong. Test our abilities to overcome challenges to see what happens.

 

Even if your app gets published, there are more hurdles to pass through next.

 

Top Reasons Why the End-User Won’t Try Your App:

 

  1. The app icon isn’t polished enough.
  2. The app isn’t free.
  3. The app costs more than its competitors.
  4. The app cost more than $0.99.
  5. UX / UI.
  6. The app is a slow website. Not native.
  7. You must create an account to use the app (I’m not too fond of these).
  8. App reviews.
  9. Bad screenshots.
  10. Slow to load.
  11. Requires user to type in the information. They want it done for them.
  12. Etc

 

Will Your App Be A Successful Hit?

 

There are so many variables at play when releasing a new app to the world. It is not up to me or you what becomes successful or not. It is up to the market. The end-user will decide who makes it and who fails. Our job is to listen and adapt to the best of our abilities hoping the market accepts our app. 

 

One thing to remember is, what was successful back then, will not be successful now.

 

Conclusion

 

Can indie app developers still make it today? To be successful, you must put in the work to provide results. There are no shortcuts, unfortunately.

 

We can view things from a different perspective here. In a 9 to 5 job, you trade your time for work. As an appreneur, as they say, you trade results for possibilities. No matter how many hours, weeks, months, years it takes, your results (app products) are the only metric that matters. There is no guaranteed salary here, but self-employment can be very fruitful if you work harder than traditional full-time employees and are consistent with what you do. My message is to reveal the ups and downs of this path. Is it worth all the effort? Yes. Is it easy? No. Will you become a millionaire doing this? It is possible, but there are no guarantees you will make a buck. I find being an independent app developer to be fulfilling as it has brought me experiences that are both enjoyable and horrible times. Looking back to how this all started, the only regret I have is not working harder and faster. It is the experience that makes this whole journey aspiring. 

 

The name of the game here is taking action. No matter how many obstacles we face, the ones closer to success are those who push forward despite the risk and challenges ahead. Don’t focus on complaining and setting up a non-profit organization like some fellow app developers are doing. Focus on improving your product instead. Doing the work generates results while complaining doesn’t solve anything.

 

The real question is, what actions will you take with this knowledge I’m passing onto you?

 

 

Speed up your productivity with Chopping Block, our automated app icon resizer tool.

Mac App Store

Chopping Block Icon

What if an app could save you hours of time, resources, and headaches? Would that interest you at all? Our latest app, called Chopping Block, does just that. Chopping Block is an application that helps app developers resize their app icon images from 1024×1024 to all the various app icon size requirements. 

 

Each device platform requires different app icon sizes and can become a very daunting task. For instance, as I write this article, Windows 10 currently requires 56 different app icon sizes for the same app. For independent app developers like myself, this is a very tedious task. For iOS / iPad we have 22 icons, macOS requires 10 icons, and watchOS requires 11 icons. Chopping Block has another built-in feature that allows for running a bundle of image resizes up to 8 icon images at a time.

 

Android is not supported in Chopping Block because Android Studio has an excellent built-in generator for app icons. Chopping Block is available because all the other platforms lack such a great feature. 

 

What makes Chopping Block so unique and extraordinary is how much time it saves you. First, drop your 1024×1024 app icon artwork and click on the desired platform to automatically generate the needed app icon image. 

 

The following shows all the app icon sizes for each platform.

 

iOS / iPad

 

  1. 512×512
  2. 1024×1024
  3. 1024×1024
  4. 60×60
  5. 120×120
  6. 120×120
  7. 180×180
  8. 76×76
  9. 152×152
  10. 167×167
  11. 20×20
  12. 40×40
  13. 40×40
  14. 40×40
  15. 80×80
  16. 80×80
  17. 120×120
  18. 29×29
  19. 29×29
  20. 58×58
  21. 58×58
  22. 87×87

 

macOS

 

  1. 512×512
  2. 1024×1024
  3. 256×256
  4. 512×512
  5. 128×128
  6. 256×256
  7. 32×32
  8. 64×64
  9. 16×16
  10. 32×32

 

watchOS

 

  1. 48×48
  2. 55×55
  3. 58×58
  4. 87×87
  5. 80×80
  6. 88×88
  7. 100×100
  8. 172×172
  9. 196×196
  10. 216×216
  11. 1024×1024

 

Windows 10 – Universal Windows Platform (UWP)

 

  1. 284×284
  2. 142×142
  3. 71×71
  4. 107×107
  5. 89×89
  6. 600×600
  7. 300×300
  8. 150×150
  9. 225×225
  10. 188×188
  11. 1240×600
  12. 620×300
  13. 310×150
  14. 465×225
  15. 388×188
  16. 1240×1240
  17. 620×620
  18. 310×310
  19. 465×465
  20. 388×388
  21. 176×176
  22. 88×88
  23. 44×44
  24. 66×66
  25. 55×55
  26. 256×256
  27. 48×48
  28. 16×16
  29. 32×32
  30. 24×24
  31. 256×256
  32. 48×48
  33. 16×16
  34. 32×32
  35. 24×24
  36. 256×256
  37. 48×48
  38. 16×16
  39. 32×32
  40. 24×24
  41. 2480×1200
  42. 1240×600
  43. 930×450
  44. 775×375
  45. 620×300
  46. 96×96
  47. 48×48
  48. 36×36
  49. 30×30
  50. 24×24
  51. 200×200
  52. 100×100
  53. 75×75
  54. 63×63
  55. 50×50
  56. 48×48

As you look through the list above, you will notice some redundancy as icon sizes are the same but are used for different scenarios, as you will see once they are assigned. 

 

 Chopping Block is an invaluable tool for all app developers. I invite you to download it now and leave us a review of your thoughts.

 

Mac App Store

 

 

Android, Google Play, and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.
Mac is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
How Will the App Privacy Nutritional Label Affect You?

Do you value your own privacy? Can consumers who use smartphones use apps and have privacy?

 

Apple App Developers are now required to include a nutrition label of all methods used to collect user data. This is excellent news for consumers worldwide and is why I personally trust Apple more than its competitors. Android smartphones are a hot mess. They are releasing smartphones that cannot be upgraded to the latest Android OS, and security patches are not available to most of them. The Android platform is a hacker’s playground. At least, Apple updates its products, talks about privacy, and putting out solutions to combat it. At the same time, it is also alarming how many tech companies do track their users. 

 

Even before Apple introduced this idea of display an App Nutrition Label, I have already laid out all my apps and what data is collected. The only information I collect is for analytics to improve the app. The other requirements are all Google’s advertisement network requirements to run. I even released new apps without anything in them because I value my privacy, and I’m sure my users do as well. If you’re curious, it’s available here. The Prayer Request App has nothing in it; it is 100% free, with no ads or analytics. I thought I’d get more app reviews, but I guessed wrong. Users only write a review when it doesn’t work, right?

 

How does this affect you, the consumer?

 

The nutritional labels will help consumers make a better decision on which apps to trust. This is a good thing for consumers. Thus building a trust in which brands we feel connected with.

 

How does this affect you, the developer?

 

If you are collecting data that you shouldn’t, then this will be bad for you. Can you imagine seeing the long list of items some of these top social media and tech giants collect on us? How about seeing a long list for an app that shouldn’t be collecting anything, to begin with?

 

This will make the developer think twice before releasing third-party libraries that track its users. For most app developers, we have ethics that we should follow. However, there will always be bad players who may try to sneak around these new nutrition labels. 

 

Do in-app advertisements collect my data?

 

Any app with built-in advertisements uses third-party SDKs (software developer kit) that most likely track all kinds of metrics. All this extra data collecting isn’t always in the developer’s control. Advertising vendors collect data that the developer isn’t even aware of. This is why paying for the premium app is your best bet—just something to think about when choosing that “free application” with advertisements. The best bet is to purchase or set up a subscription to that new app. The cool thing about this is app developers are like the mom and pop shops of the past. An app purchase helps them provide for their families. App developers need to eat too. 

 

What’s the future for mobile advertisements?

 

The advertisement space may not be around in the future. This is my thoughts as more laws, and with Apple’s help to rid of these privacy data collecting issues are brought to our awareness. Laws are complicated, and as new laws are put on the books, it will be hard for developers to keep up with them. That alone can make us not want to deal with advertisements anymore as it will be too much of a hassle. I think advertisements will be blocked, which dries up revenue for content creators who rely on them. By doing this, we won’t have as many free apps, but alternatively, we will have paid and even subscription models. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. These are just my opinions. What are your thoughts?

 

Conclusion

 

These are exciting times for users as more strict rules are being enforced to reveal the types of shenanigans tech giants are doing behind our backs. Moving forward, at least there is a label where users can be aware of what the software is doing in the background. This may not be a fix-all, but at least it is moving in the right direction.  

Brain Image

The clock shows 9:00 PM on a weekday. The house is quiet, and everyone is sound asleep, except for you. You are sitting in the office coding away on your computer with loud music playing on your headphones. You feel pumped, energetic, confident in your work, hell yes, you’re pumping out code during your work session. Your code debugging is flawless; everything is compiling as expected. Ten items on your to-do list have been checked off and marked done. You say to yourself, I’ve been more productive tonight than I was in the last 7 days. This makes you feel like a superhero and can take on the world. You start to rub your eyes and feel tired, not realizing it is now 3:33 AM on the clock. What just happened? Well, you were in the zone. Now you better stop and get some rest. I know, I know, you still feel you can keep going. Yes, you could, but your body needs its rest.

 

Does that sound familiar?

 

What is the zone?

 

Being in the zone is a fantastic feeling. You have no distractions, which allows you to have an intense focus on your task. Your mind expands, and you can finally put together this complex algorithm together. No distractions mean a better understanding of your code and how it all operates together, thus helping you become more productive. The part that makes being in the zone addicting is how it makes you feel while in the zone. It is like a drug that you want; all your worries go away, life struggles vanish, no one nagging at you, you feel complete bliss and don’t want it to stop.

 

Productivity through the roof

 

The feeling you have after being in the zone and looking back at your progress can be fantastic. It feels as if we are a superhero who crushed that to-do list.

 

How to get in the zone?

 

I can only talk about personal experience as I am no expert in this. The best way to get in the zone is through music. I put headphones on and code away. There really isn’t much to it; after 30 minutes or so, time just flies, and the next thing I know, my focus and productivity are through the roof.

 

Are there limitations?

 

Getting in the zone does not come easy all the time. If I’m in the zone on Monday, the likelihood of getting back in it on Tuesday is doubtful. Our bodies need rest to recover from being in the zone. So make sure you use it wisely. If I’m lucky, I can get in the zone 3 times a month. This requires catching up on lost sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet.

 

My old sleeping patterns were staying up until 3:00 AM. They were great and were able to get a lot of work done. However, the next morning I could not function as I was sleep-deprived. Long term, that was not healthy, and I knew I had to make some changes. Since then, I’ve managed to switch to be an early bird waking up around 6:00 AM and try to get in the zone throughout the morning hours. This way, I’m in control of my sleeping patterns and health overall.

 

Conclusion

 

Getting in the zone is a fantastic way to get work done. Not only for programming but also for athletes, creatives, writers, musicians, etc… I think you get the picture. Once you experience it, there is no other feeling more satisfying than being in the zone. It is something I go after because I am more productive during those times. Have you been in the zone before?

 

Be sure to check out my other article about how to become more creative here.