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5 Essential Apps & Websites for TikTok Fans and Creators

TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social networks today, with some of the best video content you’ll see on the internet. These five websites and apps only make it better than ever before.

For the uninitiated, TikTok is a social network much like the old Vine, and similar to Instagram or Snapchat. It only supports videos, with a maximum limit of 15 seconds. You can merge multiple videos into one longer Story.

If you want to know more, check out our primer on what is TikTok and how does it work. If you already know TikTok, jump on to the apps.

1. TikTokforWeb (Web): Unofficial Web Client for TikTok

TikTok for Web is the only unofficial web client to browse TikTok on computers

Now, TikTok is only available as a mobile app for Android and iOS. We’ve seen this before with Instagram and other social networks, where the web client is launched years later. And till then, you get third-party developers making unofficial versions like this one.

TikTokforWeb doesn’t let you sign in with your own account, so this is a generic web viewer for random TikTok Videos. You can search for an account or hashtag you already know. You can also select your country to see the top TikTok posts currently in your region.

The TikTok web viewer also allows you to watch TikTok Live channels, where users are live streaming to the masses. There is also a TikTok TV option, where you can watch a continuous stream of TikTok videos with other users in a channel.

TikTokforWeb also includes a mini-app you can use to download TikTok videos.

2. Video Downloader for Social Media (Android): Easiest Way to Download TikTok Videos

If you want to download a TikTok video to your drive, perhaps to make a reaction video or make it a part of your own clip, check out the strangely named Video Downloader for Social Media by Avalon Inc. It is one of the most highly rated among thousands of other such apps on the Play Store.

The app’s claim-to-fame is that it removes the TikTok watermark from the video, so it’s easier for you to use.

Just copy-paste the link and the app does the rest. You can even download only the sound from the video to use it as a ringtone. A handy video manager tab lets you decide what to do with all the files you’ve saved.

Download: Video Downloader for Social Media for Android (Free)

For iOS Users:

Unfortunately, this is only available for Android users and there aren’t any particularly good iPhone apps now. For now, you can use a web-based app like TikTok Video Downloader.

It doesn’t remove the watermark, but you’ll be able to save an MP4 video to your phone or computer. TikTok videos can also be downloaded through the TikTok Lite app if you’re using that.

TikTok is still new and so it isn’t yet supported by many of the best free all-in-one apps to download any video on the internet


16 Free Ways to Download Any Video Off the Internet




16 Free Ways to Download Any Video Off the Internet

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. But hopefully, this should be fixed soon enough as TikTok gets more and more popular.

3. TikTok Lite (Android): Best for Lurkers and Casual TikTok Users

If you use TikTok to check out the videos rather than make your own, the main app is overkill. It is packed with features that you won’t use, and it drains your battery. Instead, get the official TikTok Lite app.

As with other storage-saving lite apps for Android


Save on Storage Space With These 7 Lite Android Apps




Save on Storage Space With These 7 Lite Android Apps

If you have an older device or just a cheap Android phone, these apps will be much better for you than their mainstream counterparts.
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, TikTok Lite is smaller in size. It also focuses on ensuring it uses less data than the main app, which is critical to anyone on mobile networks and not Wi-Fi. Heck, it even lets you download and save a few videos for watching them offline.

TikTok Lite is best for passive users since you don’t even need to sign in. Download the app and you can use it without a TikTok account, thus protecting your privacy a little more.

TikTok Lite didn’t let users upload videos, but now there is an update. When you tap the upload button, it prompts you to download a 10MB “Video” feature before being able to use it. It is a stripped-down version of the main uploader though, so we still wouldn’t recommend it for serious TikTok users.

Download: TikTok Lite for Android (Free)

4. Vizmato (Android, iOS): Best Video Editor for TikTok

Vizmato is the best video editor for TikTok today. Even the free version is packed with enough features for you to make great videos, and the paid pro version ($11.99 / year) only adds more fun.

It covers the basics of everything you’ll need to create videos. Here’s a quick run-through of the best features available in the free version of Vizmato:

  1. Split any video, trim a video, or join multiple videos to make a single video.
  2. Select multiple photos and turn them into a slideshow video, complete with background music.
  3. Add several sound effects.
  4. Record videos through the app itself, adding music and filters live.
  5. Add popular filters to any video, and video effects like ripples, shocks, transitions, etc.

The free version has a few limitations in the use of filters, effects, songs, and the time limit of the videos. It also adds a visual watermark at the end, but you can always trim that out in the TikTok app before you post your video.

However, if you love the free app and want to avoid all that, just buy the Pro version. It’s worth it for any serious video creator.

Download: Vizmato for Android | iOS (Free)

5. Hashtags for TikTok (Web): Hashtag Generator for TikTok

TikTok Hashtags automatically generates trending hashtags based on a keyword to get you more fans and followers for

It is important to use trending hashtags and popular topics if you want to get more fans and followers on TikTok. Not sure which hashtags to use? There’s an app for that.

You can easily think of one hashtag based on the video you have made. For example, if you shot a cute video of your puppy, you would tag it with #dog.

So type the word “dog” into Hashtags for TikTok to instantly generate a box of 15-20 hashtags. Tap “copy” and paste it into your new TikTok video or as its first comment.

Think about this though: Hashtags for TikTok is the only generator of its kind right now but doesn’t say where it is getting the data for these hashtag recommendations.

There are plenty of similar apps for Instagram though, and this app even recommends keywords that are based on hashtags for Instagram. Make of that what you will…

Best TikTok Tips and Tricks

Third-party apps and websites will only get you so far. If you really want to be a TikTok power user, you need to dive into the main app and tweak it to suit your needs. Check out these TikTok tips and tricks for beginners


How to Use TikTok: 11 Tips for Beginners




How to Use TikTok: 11 Tips for Beginners

Whether you’re new to TikTok or already know how to use TikTok, these TikTok tips should help you get the most out of the app.
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and transition to a seasoned TikTok user.



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The Best Marvel Apps and Games for Comic Book Fans

If you’re a comic book fan who loves Marvel and love your smartphone, here are the best Marvel apps and games you need to install on your smartphone.

Marvel Comics was founded in 1939, meaning it’s been around for over 80 years. Whether you’re a longtime fan or have discovered the characters recently, this article is for you.

1. Marvel Unlimited

Avid comic book readers should already be aware of Marvel Unlimited, the Netflix for Marvel comics. By paying a small monthly fee, you’ll have access to a wide variety of comic books, from the latest Spider-Man issue to the iconic Infinity Gauntlet saga from 1991. And the best part is that they all live in your pocket.

There are also lots of new comics being added on a frequent basis, so if you somehow get tired of the 25,000+ issues available in Marvel Unlimited, there are always more on the way.

Download: Marvel Unlimited for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)

2. MARVEL Battle Lines

MARVEL Battle Lines is an epic card game based off of your favorite Marvel heroes and villains. Captain Marvel, Dr. Doom, Thor, you name it—they’re all here and ready for battle.

In Battle Lines’ single player mode, you can embark on an adventure to protect the universe from evil and collect new cards as you go. And in online PvP, you can face off against fierce opponents using the deck you’ve built.

There are more than 300 cards to acquire, with even more being added through regular updates. We strongly recommend MARVEL Battle Lines for fans who like a good strategy game with lots of content.

Download: MARVEL Battle Lines for iOS | Android (Free, in-app purchases)

3. Marvel: Color Your Own

While it may seem child-like at first glance, it really isn’t. Marvel: Color Your Own is a sensational experience for people of all ages.

After a long day of stress, it’s a great way to unwind. There’s a wide gamut of brush types and colors to help you personalize your favorite Marvel heroes. And it can be a worthwhile educational experience for creative beginners looking to become more experienced when it comes to drawing on a device.

If you want to customize your favorite superhero, learn a bit about digital art, and relax a little, Marvel: Color Your Own is a great app to download.

Download: Marvel: Color Your Own for iOS (Free, subscription available)

4. Avengers: Endgame Stickers

marvel avengers stickers app

iPhone users: If you want to add a little super-heroic pizzazz to your iMessage conversations, Marvel’s official Avengers: Endgame sticker pack has got you covered. It features a bunch of adorable stickers, including an inspired Captain America, a motivational Black Widow, and a sassy-as-always Rocket Raccoon.

And of course, when you’re feeling arrogant or cocky, a snappy mini-Thanos is at your disposal. Just be careful to not erase half the universe when using him.

Download: Avengers: Endgame Stickers for iOS ($1.99)

5. MARVEL Strike Force

MARVEL Strike Force is an awesome strategy RPG that lets you assemble a huge array of mighty superheroes and villains.

Your task in Strike Force is to form your own collective to combat an assault from another world. This time around, the good and the bad team up. Characters such as Venom, Deadpool, and Dr. Strange join you in the fight against an all-new evil.

Strike Force has six different game modes to choose from; Arena, Blitz, Raids, Alliance War, and Challenges. Unfortunately, there’s no online mode, but we’ll let this omission slide as the existing modes are lots of fun. All in all, this is a great game for Marvel die-hards.

Download: MARVEL Strike Force for iOS | Android (Free, in-app purchases)

6. MARVEL Puzzle Quest

If you’re a fan of Candy Crush and Bejeweled, you’re going to love Marvel Puzzle Quest.

Marvel Puzzle Quest is a unique RPG built around a simple and fun Match-3 game mechanic. As you match tiles, characters attack and perform epic special moves. Keep racking up the matches, and you’ll be victorious in no time.

But don’t get too arrogant. Whether you’re playing as Star-Lord, Loki, or Luke Cage, Puzzle Quest gets super challenging and dials up the difficulty as you move forward. Not to mention, there’s an online mode with over 15 million players, so you’re sure to find some competition.

Download: Marvel Puzzle Quest for iOS | Android (Free, in-app purchases)

7. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes

It’s a big download, coming in at 2GB, but it’s well worth it. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Universe In Peril features an action-packed, goofy, LEGO-ified Marvel story.

In order to stop a sinister alliance of super-villains from destroying the Earth, you must help the Avengers get through a variety of platforming stages to acquire the legendary Cosmic Bricks. But it’s not just the Avengers you can play as; there are more than 90 playable mini-figure heroes to choose from.

And if you don’t have an internet connection at hand, that won’t stop you from taking down evil. You can play LEGO Marvel Super Heroes even without Wi-Fi.

Download: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes for iOS | Android ($4.99)

8. Marvel Contest of Champions

If you’re like the Hulk, and just want to punch and destroy everything in your way, you should consider Marvel Contest of Champions.

Contest of Champions is a fierce fighting game in which the most powerful superheroes, anti-heroes, and villains in the universe face off in an intergalactic tournament. It’s easy to get the hang of the battle mechanics with its fun and intuitive touch controls.

It isn’t all about fighting, though; there’s an element of strategy. You have to collect, upgrade, and carefully manage your teams of fighters to ensure victory, whether it be in single-player or online mode.

Overall, we strongly recommend Marvel Contest of Champions for fans of brawlers like Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, and Injustice.

Download: Marvel Contest of Champions for iOS | Android (Free, in-app purchases)

9. Disney+

disney avengers endgame

Disney+ is Disney’s streaming video service in the same mold as Netflix and Hulu. This is the new home of Marvel movies such as Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, Thor, and Iron Man 3.

Eventually, all Marvel Cinematic Universe films will be streamable from Disney+, alongside other content. Disney and Marvel are planning to release original series based on MCU characters, like Loki, WandaVision, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

It’s safe to say that Disney+ is a must-have for anyone who calls themselves a Marvel fan.

How to Read Comic Books Online for Free

We think you’re going to love all of these apps. The mix of games, sticker packs, and puzzles are essential for all Marvel fans. And for more superhero fun, here are the best ways to read comic books online for free


The 10 Best Ways to Read Comics Online for Free




The 10 Best Ways to Read Comics Online for Free

Comic books aren’t cheap to buy. However, you can save some money by using these sites to read comics online for free.
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The 5 Best MoviePass Alternatives for Film Fans

In September 2019, MoviePass shut down for all customers


MoviePass Shuts Down for All Customers




MoviePass Shuts Down for All Customers

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. The company had been on life-support since 2018 due to financial problems, so the end had been nigh for a while.

The company’s demise means lots of film fans are on the hunt for MoviePass alternatives. Sure, the MoviePass offer of unlimited films for just $10/month is hard to match, but there are some solid alternatives out there which let you visit the cinema for a monthly fee.

In this article we take a look at the best MoviePass alternatives you can subscribe to today.

As you’ll soon see, all of the MoviePass alternatives are in-house projects run by individual theater chains. Indeed, one of MoviePass’ most significant issues was that the theaters were never entirely comfortable with the service.

AMC Stubs A-List was one of the first competitors to announce its launch. Ironically, the service went live in mid-2018, just as MoviePass’ problems were starting to become apparent.

The new venture built on the existing AMC Stubs brand by offering features that were never available to MoviePass users. Those features include being able to book tickets weeks in advance, a way to choose your seat, and access to premium formats like 4K, 3D, and IMAX—all of which were excluded from MoviePass plans.

Furthermore, there are no restrictions on when you attend. MoviePass users would often find blackouts on opening nights and busy holiday days. Other perks include discounted food and drink, free upgrades on popcorn, and priority queuing.

The AMC Stubs A-List isn’t a free-for-all, however. It does have some restrictions. Most notably, you can only watch three movies a week. Your allowance resets every Friday. There’s also no way to buy extra tickets for family and friends.

AMC Stubs A-List doesn’t require you to sign up for a long contract; you can cancel at any time. The service does not have a fixed price. It can vary from $20-$23/month, depending on which state you live in.

MoviePass alternatives - Regal Unlimited

Regal Cinemas unveiled its movie subscription plan—Regal Unlimited—in July 2019.

Whereas the AMC plan aims to enhance the movie-going experience with added perks and benefits that weren’t available to MoviePass subscribers, the Regal Unlimited plan tries to replicate the originally MoviePass product more closely.

If you subscribe, you can watch an unlimited number of movies in Regal theaters. There are no restrictions on days or times, or on how often you can watch the same film. Sadly, you cannot buy tickets for other people.

Like AMC, the Regal Unlimited plan lets you book tickets in advance, choose your seats, and get a 10 percent discount on all food and drink.

There are three versions of the plan. The basic package costs $18/month, but only 200 Regal locations support the scheme (make sure you check with your local theater before you sign up). Regal Unlimited Plus covers 400 theaters; Regal Unlimited All Access covers every Regal Cinema across the US (more than 500).

The minimum contract term is one year. You cannot cancel during the period. And if you buy tickets for ScreenX, 4DX, IMAX, RPX, 3D, or VIP screens, you will have to pay an additional surcharge at the time of purchase.

MoviePass alternatives - Cinemark Movie Club

Cinemark Movie Club lags behind AMC Stubs A-List and Regal Unlimited with regard to the benefits. However, it’s also cheaper, so you’ll need to decide what is more important to you.

For $10/month, you get one free cinema ticket per month. If you don’t use the ticket, it rolls over into the following month. You can watch a maximum of three free movies per day.

The Cinemark Movie Club plan does not impose blackouts on popular or busy days.

You’ll also get 20 percent off food and drink. And, importantly for many people, a Cinemark Movie Club plan entitles you to buy two additional tickets at the member price. If you always go to the movies with friends, you might find this perk appealing.

Having a Cinemark Movie Club subscription also automatically enrolls you into the company’s points scheme. You can exchange points for tickets, merchandise, food, digital downloads, and more.

MoviePass alternatives - Arclight Membership

The three plans we’ve looked at so far are all designed to appeal to more hardcore movie lovers (people who go to the theater several times per month). Without that kind of frequency, the plans make little financial sense for users.

The ArcLight Membership plan positions itself slightly differently. If you live in the Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston, Washington DC, or Chicago areas, you can sign up to the plan for just $15/year.

For that price, you get $1 off every cinema ticket that you buy online. You’ll also get one free ticket for your birthday, free popcorn upgrades, 10 percent off drinks, and—if you visit more than 12 times in a year—10 percent off gift shop items. The impressive perks and low price mean you don’t need to go to the theater more than a few times a year to get your money’s worth.

MoviePass alternatives - Alamo Season Pass

The Alamo Season Pass is still in beta. At the moment, it is only available in Denver, Kansas, New York, Austin, San Antonio, and a few smaller towns. A national rollout is due in early- to mid-2020.

In many ways, the service will offer the best of all the movie subscription plans we’ve covered. For example, you will be able to watch one movie per day, buy tickets up to seven days in advance, and purchase additional companion tickets for a discounted rate.

All regularly priced 2D and 3D movies are part of the program, though an additional $1.99 charge will be applied for 3D showings. The Season Pass will not cover you for special events or other premium tickets.

Because the plan is still in beta, Alamo has not confirmed the price. At the moment, the company is trialing different prices in different areas. The cheapest plans are $20/month; the most expensive plans are $30/month.

Other Ways to Watch Movies

Some people have questioned whether movie theaters can continue to survive. As streaming services gather pace and new plans like Disney+ come into existence, more people are saving money by watching at home instead.

If you’re not bothered about the movie theater experience and just want to watch films from the comfort of your sofa instead, be sure to read our articles on the best Kodi add-ons for free movies


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and the best free apps for watching movies online


The 9 Best Free Movie Apps to Watch Movies Online




The 9 Best Free Movie Apps to Watch Movies Online

Here are the best free movie apps that will let you watch and download movies. All legal and free!
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.



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Android Fans Rejoice, Vivaldi Has Arrived

It’s time for me to go all fanboy on you guys, because Vivaldi is on Android, ya’ll! Vivaldi the browser, that is. You know, the one made by former Opera devs, and which is aimed at power users who want loads of customization and choice, plus a little privacy.

It’s the browser I’ve been using and only mildly worshipping for a while, now. Look, it’s just best if we make it clear that I am biased. Though I do worry that too many browsers are based on the Chromium project these days, I give Vivaldi a pass because it’s just that good. It’s been my day-to-day browser on the desktop since version 2.0 released in October 2018, and now it’s going to be my main browser on my phone.

Well, I might wait until it’s out of beta. We’ll see.

So what do you get in this version of Vivaldi for Android?

 

Vivaldi Features

Encrypted Sync – You can synchronize all of your bookmarks, history, and other data with the mobile version, no problem. Not done reading an article you started on your desktop or laptop? Open the menu and hit “Recent Tabs”. Tabs from other devices will be there too.

Notes: This is end-to-end encryption, so the people that make Vivaldi never see your data. It won’t sync your extensions, for obvious reasons.

Lite Mode – This is a browsing mode designed to save you data while you’re on the go. Like Opera’s Turbo Mode before it, it routes your browsing through their own servers, where they compress the data you receive on your end. I have no idea if this is encrypted, though. I haven’t been able to find too much in-depth information on this feature.

Notes – The Notes app in Vivaldi’s desktop version made it to the mobile version. They’re dead-simple text based notes, but they do get synced across devices with everything else.

article-feature-1-980x551

Page Capture – It does what it says on the tin. You can capture what’s visible on your screen, or you can capture the whole darned page. Keep in mind that mobile pages can get very, very long, as the page’s width gets squished down to mobile sizes.

Search Engine Nicknames – So when you’re typing in a URL bar, you can type “g ducks” to search on Google for ducks, or “w ducks” to search Wikipedia, or “b Google” for reasons that I’m sure you can guess.

Reader Mode – This is a great feature that many other browsers already have, but hey, it’s good that Vivaldi has it, too. Cut out all distractions, and just get to the article already with the push of a button.

Tab Management – Okay, let’s be real. It’s easy enough to browse through your existing tabs, recently closed tabs, and even tabs from other devices. Those features are all well and good, but you’re just not going to get the same depth of tab organization tools. At least… not yet. It’s a beta of the first version, so I’d expect more advanced tab management to come along, down the road.

(Oh, and in this beta version, tab previews don’t always load.)

Private Browsing – It would be dumb if they didn’t have it.

Important features they didn’t bother to mention – As with the desktop version, one of Vivaldi’s strongest selling points is the feature that you will probably use only once: the settings screen. They’ve got loads of options that allow you to customize how the browser works, particularly in regards to privacy.

 

First Impressions of Vivaldi for Android

It feels snappy. For context, my current phone is a Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A; it’s not particularly high-end, but it’s not slouch either. Even so, I’ve had Chrome and even Firefox sometimes feel sluggish and annoying. I’ve just started using Vivaldi, but I can say that so far it feels faster and smoother.

Will it stay that way? Time will tell.

As it is, they also pay attention to detail, and they are considering the needs of a variety of users. Case in point: there’s a button that allows you to access the search/URL bar at the bottom of the screen, so you can use the browser one-handed. Heck, it even makes two-handed browsing easier, depending on the size of your phone.

vivaldi_ui_explained-980x551

The one thing I most miss from the desktop version is an ad blocker. That’s right, no native ad blocking with Vivaldi on Android. It’s very sad.

All in all, though, I believe Vivaldi’s mobile version is a strong contender.



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10 Ways to Get More TikTok Fans and Followers

You’ve posted several videos on TikTok, hoping to gain a following. So far, followers have been trickling in at a slower rate than you expected. Which has left you wondering, how can you get more TikTok fans and followers in a short space of time?

Popular TikTok users didn’t magically gain millions of followers overnight. Earning a following that big requires a lot of work. But, luckily for you, we’re here to help by revealing the various ways you can get more fans and followers on TikTok.

1. Post Original Content

If you post the same type of content as everyone else, you won’t get many followers. You need to find a way to make yourself stand out on TikTok, whether it’s what you wear, how you act, or the skits you perform. Injecting your own unique personality and into each video is sometimes enough to garner followers.

Right now, there’s a huge influx of people posting lip-syncing and dancing videos on TikTok. While you can still occasionally post these types of videos, it’s not ideal if you’re trying to attract new followers.

2. Upload Videos on a Daily Basis

This point speaks for itself. If you don’t post content often enough, how are people going to find your TikTok videos? While you don’t necessarily have to post videos every day, you need to come up with a schedule. Posting every other day or once a week is a good way to start.

When people follow your account, they expect to see more content. If you haven’t posted in months, you’ll lose TikTok followers.

3. Incorporate Popular Music

TikTok is built on music. The app gives you an entire library of songs at your fingertips, so why not use it? You might enjoy listening to The Beatles or heavy metal, but unfortunately, those types of songs usually don’t fly on TikTok.

Since TikTok thrives on trends, you’ll need to use the latest songs in your videos. Scroll through the For You section on TikTok to see what types of songs other users incorporate. If you like one of the songs, you can click the vinyl record icon in the corner of the screen to identify it. For those not familiar with the inner workings of TikTok, you should learn how TikTok works


What Is TikTok and How Does It Work?




What Is TikTok and How Does It Work?

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first.

4. Perform Duets

Teaming up with other TikTok users is a great way to expand your fanbase, as well as help your content reach new groups of people. TikTok’s duet functionality allows you to perform with another user without having to meet face-to-face.

It’s best to perform duets with users that have a similar amount of followers. If you have 50 followers, you should try collaborating with another user who has about the same. As you gain more followers, you can start performing alongside more popular users.

5. Learn From the Experts

Before you start creating your own videos, you should once again browse the For You section. Some of these videos will have hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of likes.

Ask yourself: what makes these videos good? Maybe it’s the skill or even the personality of the user. Either way, take note of their performance, along with any special effects or props they used. You can use this knowledge to improve your next video.

6. Bounce Off Hashtags and Trends

Just like Twitter and Instagram, TikTok uses hashtags to signify the trendiest topics. I mentioned earlier that you should create unique content, but you can still partake in TikTok challenges or trends in an original way.

Brainstorm ways to make a trending topic different from the rest. By taking a risk and posting it, you might see an influx of followers. The trends are constantly changing on TikTok, so make sure you post your video at the right time!

7. Upgrade Your Equipment

You’ll notice that popular TikTok users don’t film their videos in a dirty bedroom or with dark lighting. Some users actually use professional equipment to make their videos look perfect.

Since your friend isn’t always available to film your videos (and might not have a steady hand), invest in one of the best phone tripods


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for your videos. Lighting gear also isn’t a bad idea, as it can make your video much more appealing and easier to watch.

You should also think about getting an external microphone. Smartphone cameras don’t have the greatest sound quality, and they often pick up background noise.

8. Gain Followers by Following Others

Simply following other users is often enough to expand your network. When you follow someone else, that prompts them to check out your profile.

It’s an unspoken internet rule to follow someone after they follow you. Once you follow enough users, your followers will increase in no time.

9. Brush Up on Your Photography Skills

To make videos like famous TikTok users, you’ll need to learn photography basics and improve your camera skills


5 Ways to Learn Photography Basics and Improve Camera Skills




5 Ways to Learn Photography Basics and Improve Camera Skills

Learning photography is the first step. These websites and tutors will teach you photography basics with interactive demos.
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(even if you’re just using your smartphone). By getting the essentials down pat, you can start shooting professional-looking videos.

Before you start filming, make sure you get rid of any distractions in your location. That means cleaning up your room or moving to a quieter area.

You also need to lock the focus and exposure setting on your phone’s camera. Otherwise, your phone will constantly adjust its focus and lighting, making your footage look very amateur.

10. Share Your TikTok Profile on Social Media

If you have a fairly large following on another social media platform, you should definitely take advantage of that. Your followers on that site already know you, which makes them more likely to follow you on TikTok as well.

Share your TikTok profile on all of your other social media accounts. Not only does this attract the following that you already have, but it can also introduce you to a new audience.

Going Viral on TikTok

These tips may not make you an overnight TikTok sensation, but you can still use them to work towards your goal. You’ll have to spend a lot of time and effort to make your videos stand out. Soon, all your hard work will pay off, and you’ll rack up hundreds (and someday millions) of followers.

While promoting your TikTok page it’s important not to let your other social media accounts fall by the wayside. So, with that in mind, here’s how to get more followers on Instagram


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How to Control Your Ceiling Fans in a Smarthome

A Haiku Smart fan hanging from a ceiling
Big Ass Fans

A smarthome promises freedom from wall switches and pull chains. Instead, you get voice control and powerful automation. That’s how it works for smart light bulbs, anyway. Why not make your home’s ceiling fans smart, too?

Smart fans are another great convenience for the home. With a connected fan, not only do you gain voice and remote control, but you can also add schedules and routines. You can add smart fans to your home in several ways: install a new one, convert an existing “dumb” fan, install a smart fan switch, or add a smart bridge for fans.

The Expensive Option: Buy a New Smart Fan

A Hunter smart fan hanging from the ceiling.
Hunter Fans

If you want a fan that integrates easily into your existing smarthome system, installing a new smart fan is the easiest option. Smart fans typically come in either a Wi-Fi or Zigbee format. If you choose a Wi-Fi fan, like those from Hunter or Haiku, you won’t need a hub.

You still typically get a standard Infrared (IR) remote control, plus access through a smartphone or tablet app. Wi-Fi fans usually offer Alexa and Google Assistant integration, with voice control of both the integrated lights and the fan. You’ll need to install a dedicated app on your smartphone or tablet. And, of course, you run the risk of interference if you have too many Wi-Fi devices on your network.

ZigBee fans, however, do require a smart hub. The most prevalent offerings, from Gardiner and Hampton Bay, are designed specifically for Wink hubs. If you have multiple ZigBee smart home devices, they’ll form a mesh network with the ZigBee fan for better range. Unfortunately, while they do have Alexa and Google Assistant integration, that doesn’t usually include voice control of the fan—the voice assistants can only turn the integrated light on and off.

If you’ve installed a fan with an IR remote before, installing a smart fan follows the same process. You wire in an IR module that also includes either Wi-Fi or ZigBee radios as you install the fan.

The biggest drawback—besides having to install the fans—is the expense. Smart fans range from $130 to $640. It also introduces an additional point of failure—our smart fan’s ZigBee radio failed after four months, and neither the manufacturer nor the store wanted to fix it. The fan still works but as a standard dumb fan.

Turn Your Current “Dumb” Fan Into a Smart Fan

A Z-wave smart fan module.
A smart fan module and a standard IR fan module look nearly identical. Hampton Bay

If you don’t want to buy all new fans, it might be possible to convert those you already have. If your fan already has an IR module, you could replace it with an adapter with Wi-Fi or Zigbee radios.

You’ll run into the same positives and negatives you would with a genuine Wi-Fi or Zigbee fan. The ZigBee Wink controller still doesn’t allow your voice assistant to control the fan speeds, for instance. But at $50 to $70, adding the radios to your existing fan is far less expensive than buying an entirely new fan.

To add a smart module to your existing fan with IR, you take the fan apart, remove the IR module, and then replace it with the smart module. Typically, they’re the same shape and size, but with an extra antenna.

If your fan doesn’t include an IR remote, you might still be able to add a smart module. But you should take your fan apart first and doublecheck that you have plenty of room in the motor housing for an extra device. You’ll want to look at where the wiring from your fan connects to the wiring from your home.

Replace Your Fan’s Wall Switch with a Smart One

Lutron smart switch, wireless remote, and Lutron App and smart bridge.
Lutron

If you control your fans with a dedicated wall switch (often found next to a light switch), you could bypass buying a new fan or converting an existing one, altogether. Instead, you can replace your current dumb fan switch with a smart fan switch. Smart fan switches come in Wi-Fi (Lutron Caseta), ZigBee (GE), and Z-Wave (also GE) models. They typically range between $45 and $60. Often, they need a hub to integrate into your smarthome system, that includes some Wi-Fi switches, like Lutron’s, so that adds to the cost, too, if you don’t already have the hub.

Smart fan switches work a lot like smart light switches. You have to replace your current switch with the smart switch. Typically, the smart version is larger, and some require a neutral wire. So, you’ll want to doublecheck that you have both the necessary space and wiring. If you’re uncomfortable working with your home’s wiring, consider hiring an electrician. And if you rent rather than own your home, you should make sure you’re allowed to install the switch.

Lutron Caseta switches have an optional wireless remote that works with the wired switch. You can mount that elsewhere for easy control in multiple locations.

Once installed, you can continue to use your fan switch as you always did. But you can also connect to the switch through an app, Alexa, or Google Assistant.

Add a Smart Bridge to Avoid Any Wiring

Bond smart bridge for Google Home and Alexa.
Bond

You don’t have to install a new fan, wire in a new receiver, or replace a switch. If your existing fan has an IR remote, you can use a bridge to control it. If you already own a Logitech Harmony, you can program it to work with most IR devices.

You could try typing your fan and model number into the Logitech Harmony compatibility site to see if it’s supported natively (five of the fans we tried weren’t). Even if your fan isn’t listed, you can manually program an IR remote into Logitech Harmony. Once you pair your fan with Harmony, you can control it through the Logitech app or use basic on and off voice commands with Alexa or Google Assitant.

For an easier and less expensive option, you might consider the Bond Smart Bridge, which goes for $100. Bond designed its bridge specifically to control fans, and it also works with electric fireplaces and some air conditioners. Setup is easy—while the bridge is in scanning mode, you point your existing IR remote at it and hold the power button. Bond checks the code against its database and, if it finds a match, it automatically programs the rest. The bridge acts as an IR blaster so that it can replace your remote.

Bond includes an app, but it is, admittedly, not very stable. In our experience, it often successfully sends a control command but then complains the command failed. But, thanks to both Alexa and Google integration, you don’t need the app after pairing. You can use the Google or Alexa app instead, or voice commands. And with Bond, nearly any function your remote can do, voice can do. If you properly grouped and named your devices, you can say, “Turn on the fan” or “Turn the fan to 60 percent” when an Echo or Google Home is in the same room as the fan.

IR blaster bridges, like Logitech and Bond, aren’t perfect though. If a physical switch controls your fan, turning that off prevents the bridges from working correctly—just like a smart bulb can’t work when the light switch is off.

Fan smart bridges also don’t track the current power state. So, if you use a voice command to turn off all devices in a room, your smart bridge might send the Off command even when the fan is already off. Since many IR devices use the same command for on and off, that means while everything else in the room turns off, your fan and light might turn on.

But a bridge might be the least intimidating method to convert your existing fan into a smart fan. If you can install an Echo and pair a smart bulb, you can probably install an IR smart bridge and pair a fan.

If your fan doesn’t have an IR remote, you can either add a universal IR module and use that with a smart fan, or install one of the above smart radios.





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Predict Game Of Thrones Deaths and Theories, and Other Cool Apps for GoT Fans

The latest and last season of Game of Thrones has started airing, which inevitably leads to many theories and rumors swirling around. Here are a few must-have apps and sites for fans, especially if you want to challenge your friends about whose predictions turn out right.

Keep in mind, these resources are aimed at fans of the TV show, not George RR Martin’s (GRRM) book series A Song Of Ice And Fire. The shows have deviated from the books considerably, so if you prefer the books, there are other apps and sites for ASOIAF fans


5 Brilliant Game of Thrones Sites & Apps for Fans of TV or Books




5 Brilliant Game of Thrones Sites & Apps for Fans of TV or Books

Game of Thrones is an amazing show that makes HBO Now worth your money. Catch these wonderful GoT sites and apps before the show resumes.
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, including a full search engine of all the text.

Balto Dead or Alive Pool for Game of Thrones predictions

Web app Balto usually hosts fantasy leagues for sports, but Game of Thrones fans will be happy to know there’s a version for them too. The “Game of Thrones Dead or Alive Pool” sets up a prediction pool for each episode.

It’s broken up in three sections. Character Questions asks you if a character will be dead, alive, or become a white walker in that episode. You need to choose an attribute for each character, and you’ll get points if you turn out right.

Next, you have Theory Questions, such as “Will the Cleganebowl happen?” and “Is Tyrion a Targaryen?” which have a simple yes or no selection. And finally, predict who will sit on the Iron Throne at the end of the season. Each episode you guess correctly gains you 30 points.

Make your predictions and share the link to the pool with your friends. You will be battling with hundreds of other GoT fans, but there is a special satisfaction in out-thinking your friends, right?

2. Throne Fantasy (Android, iOS): Fantasy Football for GoT

Think you’re a wiz at predicting the outcomes of everything in GoT? Put your money where your mouth is in the Throne Fantasy league, where you can compete against friends to figure out who’s the best at figuring out what GRRM’s mind cooked up.

Throne Fantasy needs a Facebook login, and you can add friends through Facebook. You’ll need to create a winning “team” of different players, like selecting a king or queen, the best armies, the best advisors and politicians, the best knights, and so on. Each character gets rated on multiple attributes, such as death, dialogue, loot, military, politics, violence, sex and nudity, and miscellaneous. Choose wisely!

You will also need to make other predictions, like how many cups of wine will be had in the season, or who will eventually sit on the Iron Throne. Each correct prediction earns additional points. Scores are auto-updated after every episode, and you’ll get a penalty for signing up late, so get on it.

Set up your team, create a league, and add your friends to find out who is the true blue Game of Thrones fan.

Download: Throne Fantasy for Android | iOS (Free)

3. Map for Game of Thrones (Android, iOS): The Best Free GoT Companion App

There are plenty of companion apps for fans of the Game of Thrones series. Forget about all of them and download this one. Map for Game of Thrones is, without doubt, the best free app for a map of the world, and what’s happening in it.

The app includes a fascinating recap of each episode across all the seven seasons so far, told through plot points on the map. It’s a wonderful way to remember what happened, and see it from the perspective of distances.

There is a biography of each character (along with quotes by and about them), description of areas, and history of settlements. You can find anything quickly with a strong search function.

Of course, if you want none of that, you can simply browse the map, clicking on icons to find more information. It’s astounding that all of this is available for free.

Keep in mind, the app takes a little time to start up. Till then, you’ll see a poster for the new season that you can’t interact with. Don’t think your phone has frozen, be patient and the app will start soon.

Download: Map for Game of Thrones for Android | iOS (Free)

4. Talk The Thrones and Binge Mode (Podcast): The Best Game of Thrones Podcasts

There is a range of podcasts dedicated to Game of Thrones, and they are all wonderful. The Ringer has two of the most widely acclaimed podcasts, focusing on analysis as well as a rounded view.

Chris Ryan, Mallory Rubin, and Jason Concepcion host Talk The Thrones, which prides itself on in-depth analysis of each episode. Drawing from the books as well as reading news about the show and its actors, you’ll find both geeky deep-dives into theories, as well as theories drawn from real-world cast and crew news.

Binge Mode is one of the coolest ways to find out everything you wanted to know about Game of Thrones


Everything You Want to Know About Game of Thrones




Everything You Want to Know About Game of Thrones

We have scoured the Web to find you the best resources about Westeros and beyond. Taken together, these contain everything you could ever want to know about Game of Thrones.
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. Concepcion and Rubin have companion podcasts for entire seasons gone before, and are now tackling the new season episode by episode. Given how much material they have, it’s easy to refer to previous episodes too.

Both podcasts are available to stream on The Ringer’s YouTube or by subscribing through your favorite podcast app.

Making Game of Thrones, the official GoT blog for behind the scenes material, is an unheralded gem

One of the unsung heroes in the Game of Thrones world is its behind-the-scenes blog. Making Game of Thrones has some of the best analysis based on what the creators intended, such as this wonderful post on the many throwbacks in the first episode of season eight.

You’ll get behind-the-scenes videos while making the show, artwork from storyboards and scenes, cast and crew interviews, and much more. It’s a treasure trove of data for fans of the show, but somehow, this blog has gone under most people’s radar so far.

How to Avoid GoT Spoilers

Given how many people watch Game of Thrones and tweet or post about it live, it’s difficult to avoid spoilers about the episode. If you’re even a day or two late in watching, chances are you will know about some big event already.

To avoid Game of Thrones spoilers, we recommend the GameOfSpoils Chrome extension to set up basic filters on your browser. But if you want to be really sure that you won’t read something before you watch it, try our full guide to avoid Game Of Thrones spoilers


GoT Spoiled? How to Avoid Game of Thrones Spoilers




GoT Spoiled? How to Avoid Game of Thrones Spoilers

I managed to avoid Game of Thrones spoilers for the duration of Season 5. In doing so, I learned how to ensure the Internet doesn’t ruin your favorite television show.
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.

Explore more about: Cool Web Apps, Game of Thrones, Television.





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The Best Gifts for Game of Thrones Fans – Review Geek

Here's a selection of gifts for the ultimate Game of Thrones fan.

Winter is coming. No, wait, winter is here. No, that happened already: winter is here and so are tons of magic frozen zombies. Yeah, that’s the one. Anyway, here are some gifts for Game of Thrones fans!

The final, climactic season of HBO’s smash hit fantasy series is almost upon us. If you’re looking for some gifts to give a die-hard fan on your way to a weekly watch party, we have you covered. The choices below range in both price and application (hint: don’t buy whiskey for alcoholics and don’t buy real swords for clumsy people), but you should be able to find something awesome for almost any Thrones fan.

Licensed Game of Thrones Alcohol ($13+)

This collection of whiskeys is based on locations and armies in Westeros.
Diageo

Game of Thrones is a very Grown Up series for Grown Ups, and nothing goes with political intrigue, gratuitous violence, and hardcore nudity like hard alcohol. There’s a surprising amount of beer, wine, and spirits available to fit the theme. Diageo has no less than eight different themed whiskeys representing the show’s great houses and the Night’s Watch, and there are three vintages of wine (red, chardonnay, and pinot noir) on sale. More of a beer drinker? There are over a dozen options from different breweries, though some may not be in active production at the moment.

Game of Thrones Glassware ($30+)

This collectible stein is adorned with the mottos of the great Houses.
Game of Thrones

If you’re going to be doing a bunch of drinking for a TV show binge, you might as well make your glasses fit the theme. There are wine glasses, beer glasses, and even elaborate tankards and steins if you really want to get into the period feel of things. Note that you want to follow those links directly for the officially licensed versions: there are a lot of cheap printed glasses just grabbing quotes from the show.

Game of Thrones What Do You Meme Expansion ($12)

This expansion for the What Do You Meme card game is great for watch parties.
What Do You Meme

One of the most fun parts of being a Game of Thrones fan is sharing images and GIFs online, and the What Do You Meme game makes an excellent match with it for house parties. The base game has players matching more general images with captions, but this officially licensed expansion adds in some of the most often-shared character shots from the series. It’s a great group game, assuming everyone in your home knows the difference between Yara, Yohn, and Ygritte.

Sculpted Dragon Egg Candles ($28)

These candles are sculpted like the dragon eggs from season one.
Game of Thrones

There’s no electric lighting in Westeros, except possibly in Qyburn’s Frankenstein lab. So to set the correct ambiance, you’ll want candlelight. And what candles could be better than this matching set of wax dragon eggs (by the old gods and the new, Season One was a long time ago). The iconic eggs from the opening chapter of the series make a fun and affordable gift at under thirty bucks.

McFarlane Game of Thrones Figures ($26)

McFarlane and Dark Horse sell collectible Game of Thrones figures and statues.
McFarlane

If you prefer your dragons grown up (spoiler alert), famed action figure maker McFarlane has a series of meticulously detailed dragons ideal for a toy shelf or desk. Drogon the big black dragon is the bigger of the two, but if you’re caught up on last year’s episodes you might want (and this one actually is a SPOILER ALERT, don’t click if you’re not current) this model of Viserion sporting his 2019 regalia. McFarlane also has more conventional figures, all under thirty bucks, or you can get Dark Horse’s official statues if you want something bigger and more elaborate.

Official Game of Thrones Valyrian Steel Swords ($250+)

Yes, these are real swords. Re-enacting scenes from the show is not advised.
Valyrian Steel

For the fan who loves the visceral combat scenes of the series, only the real deal will do: screen-accurate replicas of the most famous swords in the show. Note that these are meant primarily as display pieces, but they’re also actual swords that can be sharpened and wielded, so they might not make good gifts for a recipient with children in the house (or one who lives in a country or municipality that frowns on bladed weapons). Valyrian Steel sells officially licensed swords, plus accessories like scabbards and wall mounts, armor, and even more exotic weapons like spears and warhammerers, all based on the props used by characters in the show.

Direwolf Puppy Plushes ($20-70)

Oh dear. This isn't going to end well.
Factory Entertainment

Maybe you don’t want a working weapon of war, and you’d rather embrace the cuddly and cute side of Game of Thrones. (Yes, there is one. Apparently.) Factory Entertainment sells stuffed animals based on the direwolf companions of the Stark family, all suitable for kids of all ages. There are six in total, for the five Stark children and Jon Snow…just don’t ask how many are actually left by the start of the last season. That’s kind of a bummer.

Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series ($15)

The official Telltale series gives you a fun side story to the main show.
Steam

You can spend days blowing through every episode of Game of Thrones, but if you’re absolutely starving for content, check out the official Telltale Games series. It tells an arc of parallel stories featuring a smaller Westeros house, but the branching narrative has just as many twists and turns as a TV season, and your decisions affect the outcome. The six-episode adventure game is available on PC, Xbox, PlayStation, iOS, and Android.

A Song of Ice and Fire Book Collection ($29-51)

The first five books in the series are available in various packages.
Random House Publishing Group

What’s that? You’ve been watching the series but you’ve never read the books? That’s forgivable (since it’s entirely possible that the books will never actually be finished), but they make a pretty good gift for anyone who wants to dive even deeper into the lore of A Song of Ice and Fire. At the time of writing there are five books, available in both paperback and hardcover collections. You can also get additional lore from officially licensed history books The World of Ice and Fire and Fire and Blood, and a collection of illustrated maps.

Dark Horse Dragonstone Gate Bookends ($93)

These bookends are a perfect way to display those books you won't read.
Dark Horse

Want to really thrill that Thrones fan? Throw in these Dragonstone bookends with that new collection. That way, even if they never actually read the books they’ll at least look awesome on the shelf.

Bonus Gift: HBO NOW Subscription ($25)

HBO's streaming service is available in gift card form.
HBO

Did you know that Game of Thrones is one of the most widely-pirated TV shows in history? I’m sure that you didn’t. Apropos of nothing, you can buy your friend an HBO NOW gift card, and they can watch Game of Thrones (or any other HBO movie or show) on their TV, PC, or smartphone whenever they want. It’s a lot easier than all that pirating that you don’t know how to do anyway.





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