App Spotlight – 1Blocker

Advertisements are really frustrating, aren’t they?

On the one hand, they allow us to enjoy a large variety of content found on the internet for free. Videos, news articles, and pictures are readily available for almost anyone to see, all with the benefit of not having to pay for a subscription. On the other hand, many ads can be quite obtrusive, impeding how swiftly we can absorb content or even breaking our immersion with a piece of content entirely. Sometimes it feels like they’re impossible to avoid.

Ever watch a lengthy YouTube video that is interrupted halfway through with two lengthy ads? Try to read an article but had to wait for the webpage to load because of several ads? Obstacles like this can really hamper your experience with the internet, but they don’t necessarily have to. No matter what device you use for your computing, there are several ad blockers out there.

1Blocker

Image by 1Blocker via Tools&Toys.

If you use the Safari app, it likely means that you’re using an Apple device such as an iPhone, iPad, or a Mac. It certainly is nice for browsing the internet, but there aren’t many extensions or plugins available to make the browsing experience better and more personalized for users. This means that Safari is missing the wonderful AdBlock Plus, which prevents ads on numerous websites from ever appearing without sacrificing the speed of your connection.

In response to this, a similar app was developed for Safari users – 1Blocker. 1Blocker has a high number of overwhelmingly positive reviews, meaning it’s a lot more trustworthy than some of the more shady apps out there.

1Blocker prevents most ads from appearing while you watch videos, search for memes, read various blog posts, and anything else you might do on the internet. It also prevents the majority of trackers and cookies from collecting little bits of information about you (e.g., stuff you search for on Google). This should hopefully clear up many of the annoyances you experience while browsing the internet.

Keep in mind that this is not a recommendation to block all ads; if you want to help support your favourite content creator on YouTube or continue reading the news from a specific website, why not turn on ads for those you feel deserve it?

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At techKNOWtutors, we realize that adapting to technology isn’t easy. Although most services have closed, we remain open – digitally – to answer your internet-related questions. If you need help with improving your digital literacy, send us an email at techknowtutors@cscnl.ca or join our Facebook group and send us a message.

Better yet, sign up for one of our online classes that we offer for FREE every week! Until then, stay in the techKNOW.

App Spotlight – WebMD (Health)

As we grow older, doesn’t it seem like there’s always more health problems to deal with? Whether it’s mental or physical health issues, everyone suffers from some form of illness or malady. This issue is only exacerbated with the spread of COVID-19.

Imagine this: you or a loved one starts showing symptoms and you have no clue if it’s serious. You could Google it, but there’s so much conflicting information out there. You could go to the doctor, but you might be wasting your time on a minor ailment. Not to mention all of the sick people already at the office…

Maybe you need a new doctor. What do you do? How do you know what’s true or not? Where do you go for reliable information in the digital age? WebMD might have the answer.

WebMD

WebMD has had a convenient website available for decades now, but they also have an app on both Apple and Google devices. WebMD has nifty features outside of the website, too.

For instance, there’s a succinct Symptom Checker that gives you trustworthy information just by giving some basic information and answering a few questions. Based on your answers, it’ll give you multiple results and calculate the likelihood of each illness.

Additionally, there are many more features such as access to potential drugs and treatment information, a basic first aid “course”, and tons of articles to learn more about illnesses or medical advancements in the industry.

Ultimately, WebMD is designed to help you when doctors are unavailable or potentially unnecessary. That said, no personal diagnosis is ever a proper substitute for seeing a professional. If you feel like you may have a serious condition of any sort, contact your doctor as soon as possible!

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At techKNOWtutors, we realize that adapting to technology isn’t easy. Although most services have closed, we remain open – digitally – to answer your internet-related questions. If you need help with improving your digital literacy, send us an email at techknowtutors@cscnl.ca or join our Facebook group and send us a message.

Better yet, sign up for one of our online classes that we offer for FREE every week! Until then, stay in the techKNOW.

TechKNOW Tomorrow – Fast Food Delivery Apps

Image by Kai Pilger via Unsplash.

As long as COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly, most of us are self-quarantining in order to stay safe for the coming months ahead. But months without stocking up on groceries is unrealistic (if not impossible), and in our consumer-driven world that’s largely dependent on fast food, lasting without it will most certainly be a challenge.

Most fast food restaurants across the country are either temporarily closing or preventing seating arrangements at their locations, meaning drive-throughs are practically the only option for ordering food. But even that puts us at risk of contracting COVID-19 at the checkout window. You might be wondering if there is a safer option.

There is. Fast food delivery apps have been all the rage over the last couple of years. Through an app, you can safely order and pay for your food from the comfort of your own home. Most apps allow numerous options for restaurant and customization choices. So how does it work exactly? Let’s take a look at a few apps that work locally.

SkipTheDishes

Here’s one that’s exclusively Canadian. SkipTheDishes offers a wide variety of restaurants to choose from such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, and City Light. Choose the restaurant that you want to order from, scroll down, and then select the meal. Like most delivery apps, SkipTheDishes gives you additional customization options such as cutlery and condiments.

While the app usually has multiple payment options, users are temporarily restricted to online payments to reduce contact with the outside world. This means that it’s a lot safer than going through a drive-through! Depending on your device, here are the Android and Apple links.

DoorDash

Similar to SkipTheDishes, DoorDash offers a lot of restaurants to choose from when ordering food. The same customization options are available for users, though with a different selection of restaurants. While there are some fast food options like Harvey’s and A&W, DoorDash also features fine dining restaurants such as Montana’s and Swiss Chalet.

If there’s one downside to DoorDash, it’s that they don’t have safety protocols in place for workers or customers… yet. That said, you can leave special instructions within a ‘Notes’ section, which could be used to tell the delivery driver to leave it on your front step after knocking. This should grant you some peace of mind in the coming months. Check out the Android or Apple app if you’re interested.

Image by Engin Akyurt via Pexels.

Instacart

Definitely the “freshest” delivery app on the list (excuse the pun), Instacart is quite new to Newfoundland. So new, in fact, that few have even heard of it. That said, Instacart has recently started offering service in St. John’s and it might not be long before you can start having food delivered. Unlike the fast food options on the list, Instacart is aimed at delivering fresh groceries to your door, which sounds like an excellent idea in a time of crisis like this one.

Instacart allows you to choose from multiple grocery stores and items from the comfort of your home. After you purchase the goods, someone will deliver the items to your doorstep within 24 hours. Unfortunately, some items might be more expensive than they would be in stores, but if safety is a concern, a bit of extra money is a small price to pay (literally). Again, check out the Android or Apple app if this sounds intriguing to you.

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While there are other fast food delivery apps, most of the local ones only offer service for a single restaurant (e.g., Domino’s Pizza – Android and Apple links here). Beware of using these apps as they may not have safety policies in place for you or their workers. Always be sure to do your research before ordering food from anywhere. We hope this was helpful!

At techKNOWtutors, we realize that adapting to technology isn’t easy. Although most services have closed, we remain open – digitally – to answer your internet-related questions. If you need help with improving your digital literacy, send us an email at techknowtutors@cscnl.ca or join our Facebook group and send us a message.

Better yet, sign up for one of our online classes that we offer for FREE every week! Until then, stay in the techKNOW.