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Apple seems to have its eyes on the road (map) for iPhone processors

TSMC is now Apple’s primary processor manufacturing partner, churning out 7-nanometer A13 chips for iPhones – and may be producing 3-nanometer chips for iPhones by 2023.

What’s in a nanometer?

A nanometer is one billionth of a meter. It’s the unit of measurement used to show the distance between the transistors that comprise the processor.

The smaller the number of nanometers the higher the number of transistors you can squeeze onto one chip.

The result?

Faster processors that are also more energy efficient.

Rapid iMovement

Apple’s chip designs have led the industry for years. It has been developing ARM-based processors since 2007, ramped this up with the A4 and again with its A6 chips and pushed it even further in 2016 with the A10 chip.

The company has achieved significant performance and power efficiency improvements with each iteration of these:

  • The A10 Fusion processor in 2016 inside the iPhone 7 was the first Apple-designed SOC. It delivered 40% better processor performance and 50% better graphics than the Apple-designed 64-bit A9 chip (used in the iPhone 6S) it replaced.
  • Apple achieved a 25 percent performance boost when it shifted from the 14-nometer A10 (2016, as used in the iPhone 7) to the 7-nanometer A11.
  • Apple’s A12 processors provided significant performance gains on the A11 series chips in part because they were the first to adopt 7-nanometer process technologies.
  • Apple’s existing (7nm) A13 series processors maintain the trend. These deliver 20% more performance and 40% better power efficiency than 2018’s A12.
  • You can review performance increase between A6-A11 here.

It is thought that Apple will migrate to 5-nanometer processors in 2020 following comments from TSMC CFO Lora Ho, who revealed his company to have become “more aggressive” on the move to manufacture these chips.

This means that next year’s A14 processors may be built using 5-nanometer tech, which should deliver similar performance and power efficiency gains.

This should be useful as Apple attempts to handle the new power requirements of 5G solutions as it begins to field them in late 2020.

The future will be better tomorrow

That’s not the end of the road map. It has been revealed that TSMC has begun construction of a 3-nanometer fabrication facility at the Southern Taiwan Science and Technology Park, Tainan, Taiwan.

This is a huge investment – figures approaching $20 billion are being discussed – and mass production is expected to begin by late 2022 or early 2023 – right on schedule for a follow-up to next year’s anticipated 5nm A14 (if speculation matches reality).

Apple is, after all, one of TSMC’s biggest customers so it will inevitably be at least interested in what is made there.

What does this tell us?

In a sense, this tells us little new.

We only need to look at Apple’s track record to know that it is 100% dedicated to developing and distributing the world’s most advanced processors and to continued improvements in these architectures.

We also know wants its hardware to offer patented technologies its competitors cannot legitimately copy. It learnt this the hard way when it failed to win wars against imitators over design patents.

It also confirms that Apple is not working to any random rhythm but retains tight navigation along a clear road map:

  1. It shows that its road map for processor enhancements is solid all the way out to 2023 and beyond.
  2. It suggests Apple will be able to deliver significant improvements in processors and power efficiency every year until and beyond then.

This also suggests that if Apple’s processor road map remains on course then its wider company mission also remains on track.

What’s the big picture?

It’s pretty clear that Apple’s 64-bit chips are matching and now almost exceeding some desktop class processors.

That’s got to be significant in terms of Apple’s wider strategy to the computer industry, with iPads and iPhones designed to handle most tasks, and increasingly high-end Macs available to handle more complex tasks.

Will it also prove significant to Apple’s much discussed but never confirmed (and sometimes designed) wider plan to unify its platforms?

We don’t know for certain, but it makes the unthinkable thinkable, again. How fast will iPhones become before they can completely replace computers?

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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The 6 Best Free Mind Map Tools (And How to Best Use Them)

Mind maps are one of the best known logical organization tools. It’s a graphic representation of connections between concepts and ideas. The idea starts from a central topic, and we gradually connect them with different branches and label it with notes, symbols, pictures, links, and more.

When you create a map, you elaborate on existing knowledge structure and their relation to new concepts. Gradually, you’ll start connecting the dots and also recall information quickly. Let’s look at the top free or inexpensive mind map apps that give you great value for your money.

How to Pick a Mind Map Tool

Choosing a mind map software depends a lot on your needs. With so many apps available in the market, it’s not an easy task. These factors shown on a mind map will help you decide

how to pick a mind map app

Coggle is an online tool for creating, sharing mind maps and flow charts. The app lets you and your team collaborate on notes, brainstorming sessions, and plans to complete your projects efficiently. Every mind map starts with a single central topic.

Click the Plus (+) button to add a branch and enter your text in the box. You can also format your text, insert links, add images, and icons to elaborate on your key points. Continue adding branches as much as you want. Right-click on any item to explore more features.

With a free account, you can create three private diagrams, collaborate in real-time, and upload unlimited images. The export options include TXT, PDF, and JPEG. Check out the pricing page to explore premium features.

Unique Features

  • Add multiple central nodes in a single workspace. The app also supports keyboard shortcuts to create mind maps quickly.
  • View the entire version history of the mind map. You can check who last edited the map along with the date.
  • Message team members, leave notes, and chat in real-time to develop ideas.
  • Create loops and branches to connect other mind maps and see relationships.

gitmind free mind map tool

GitMind is a free, online mind map tool. It lets you visualize complicated concepts, generate new ideas, make lists with task priorities, and prepare for a presentation. To get started, type in the topic name, right-click and choose Insert node. Then type your text in the box.

With GitMind, you can assign a task priority and progress meter with symbols. Also, add images and comments without cluttering the node.

Choose Insert subnode to create sub-branches. Then click the Relation line to show the relationship between specific ideas. You can export a finished mind map as text, PNG, JPEG, PDF, or SVG.

Unique Features

  • Intuitive with a well-designed toolbar. Keyboard shortcuts help you quickly create a mind map.
  • Day and night themes are available. Modify mind maps with custom lines, border color, transparency, shape, and thickness.
  • Arrange the mind map in five different layouts and reset them at any time.
  • Share the mind map you created with a link or collaborate with other people in real-time.

colorful hexagon mind map with Canva

Canva is a web-based graphic design app that makes it easy to create mind maps. Equipped with ready-to-use templates and toolset, you can create beautiful mind maps without any effort.

Enter the term “mind map” in the search field, and within a few seconds, you’ll see many different templates. The built-in tools allow you to edit photos, customize text, background, and more in your mind map. The export options include PNG, JPEG, and PDF.

The free account gives you 1GB of free storage space, access to 8,000 templates, image uploads, and collaboration with ten members. Check out the Canva’s pricing page for more details.

Unique Features

  • Powerful drag and drop editor with a vast selection of tools and templates.
  • Embed the mind map and share it on social media or email it right from the app. You can also collaborate in real-time.
  • Insert pictures, embed videos from YouTube, TED, links from the web or Twitter, and GIF from Giphy.
  • Use symbols, color codes, speech bubbles, and icons for informative presentations.

Download: Canva for AndroidiOS (Free, Pro)

Traditional mind mapping tools are hierarchical. When you start creating complex linkages, they quickly get confusing and unusable. But with this app, you can join multiple ideas, and yet it adjusts your map dynamically to an elegant layout. You click a topic, and everything re-arranges around it automatically.

The app lets you build a mind map from scratch. You can import notes, links, images, and attach it to any item or a relation. There is also an option to integrate it with a data source to automatically create a mind map from text files, Wikipedia articles, and Twitter tweets.

To get started, type in the topic name and click New Item. For each topic, type a name and add a description. You can add descriptive linking phrases on relationship lines and select colors, dotted or solid lines. Or even customize the style of the ends, with or without arrows.

Unique Features

  • Insert multiple items, edit or delete them, and use drag-and-drop for moving relations.
  • Toggle between a 2D and 3D displaying mode and also show or hide cross-connections.
  • Build a map from MediaWiki, including all the sister Wikipedia sites. You can also import outlines, CSV, RDF, XSD, and more.
  • Generate flashcards to memorize items practice with quiz sessions.

Download: InfoRapid KnowledgeBase Builder for Windows 10 ($10)

Download: InfoRapid KnowledgeBase Builder for Mac ($9)

Download: InfoRapid KnowledgeBase Builder for Android ($11) | iOS ($9)

sketchboard whiteboard app

Sketchboard is an online digital whiteboard app that allows you to mind map with sketches. The board comes with a wide variety of pre-designed icons for use in software diagrams, mind maps, roadmaps, and more. Drag and drop the icons from the shape gallery and type in the topic name.

To create a connection, hold the Shift key and double-click to create a sibling. Double-click the empty area to create sub-branches.

Then use the toolbar to change size, color, or add text. With a free account, you can create three private boards with up to five members. Check out the Sketchboard pricing page for more details.

Unique Features

  • The drawing board has an unlimited canvas; drag the canvas area to get more space for mind mapping.
  • Mix and match ideas with shapes, freehand drawings, notes, and roadmap.
  • Do a live chat group discussion to share your design, add-on board comments, and share links. If you’re a Slack user, you can create visual messages right inside Slack.
  • Export board as SVG, PNG, and PDF.

Edraw MindMaster is a cross-platform and multi-functional mind mapping software. The app offers an interface similar to Microsoft Office. On the ribbon, you’ll find all the key mind map elements. You can insert topics, pictures or clip art, draw relationship lines, add notes, and more.

The left panel is your canvas, and in the right sidebar, you’ll find options to adjust the content, change the appearance of your diagrams, add a background, tasks, view and export outlines, and more. There’s a handy color strip below the canvas to set the line and fill color.

Unique Features

  • The app offers a vast library of ready-made templates, vector diagrams, and clip art to infuse creativity.
  • Automatically create slides by disassembling your mind map into separate branches. Add notes, background, design to the slides, and export them as PPT or PDF.
  • Store files in Edraw cloud storage for access and collaboration on the move
  • Use a handy Gantt Chart mode to visualize and track progress on any project.

Download: Edraw MindMaster for Windows | macOS | Linux (Free, Premium)

Make a Mind Map in Microsoft Word

Picking the right mind map before you adapt to its workflow is not easy. The apps discussed above are a starting point if you want to jump into the benefits of mind maps. Most of these apps are free (or relatively inexpensive) and do not have a steep learning curve.

Also, did you know that you can use Microsoft Word to draw quick mind maps

How to Build a Mind Map in Microsoft Word

How to Build a Mind Map in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word may not be the first tool you pick for mind maps. But with these tips, Word can be effective for mind mapping.
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? There are some simple rules to follow, but once you get the idea, you don’t need a complicated app for basic mind maps.

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Planning a Fall Color Tour? Time It Perfectly with This Interactive Map – LifeSavvy

The Fall Foliage Prediction Map for October 19, 2019, at

If you’re a huge fan of fall colors like we are, you definitely want to catch them at the right time. This interactive map ensures you’ll visit your favorite forest when its colors are at their most breathtaking.

The most glorious days of fall color—known as “peak color”—are when the highest number of trees are changing their foliage from shades of green to a rich autumnal palette. The timing of peak color shifts from year to year. One year, it might be the first week of October, but the next, peak color might not appear until the week of Halloween.

So, what can you do to make sure you don’t miss it? When you try to look up random color predictions online, you usually just find outdated information (the color prediction for Colorado in 2017 won’t be much help). Instead, use the Fall Foliage Prediction Map at Not only is it super easy to use (just move the slider under the map to the date you plan to travel), but it’s based on new data and prediction models that are updated every year. This maximizes your chance to catch and enjoy peak color wherever you happen to be.

For example, if you plan to hit up the M-22—the state highway in northern Michigan voted the most scenic fall route in the U.S.—the Fall Foliage Prediction Map says you should make your trip around October 12 this year.

If you’re interested in catching the show around Gatlinburg Tennessee, though, you’ll want to hold off until around November 9, after the cool winter weather has crept farther south.

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How to Build a Mind Map in Microsoft Word

Our thoughts rarely go from Point A to Point B in a straight line. More likely, they flit about like a firefly caught in a jar. This is where a tool like a Mind Map comes in use.

A mind map is simply a diagram that helps to connect related ideas or concepts around a central thought. It is a great idea-capturing device to bring some order to the chaos that’s our brain. A paper and pen is the easiest tool to get started on your first mind map. But today, we will take a shot at making a mind map with Microsoft Word.

Why Mind Maps Work

By putting down ideas or thoughts on a mind map, the brain is encouraged to think from every perspective. A mind map also encourages brainstorming

Turn Your Brainstorm Into a Mind Map for Maximum Insight

Turn Your Brainstorm Into a Mind Map for Maximum Insight

Recording your brainstorm in a mind map could help you gain deeper insights. And it’s easy. We show you how to combine both strategies for research, planning, and innovating.
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. Your brain will start to think about the relationships between ideas rather than look at them as a hierarchical list.

The bottom line about mind mapping is that it’s all about “visuals”—associate words with each other and add imagery to help your brain make sense of large chunks of data.

How to Make a Mind Map in Microsoft Word

There are specialized apps for creating mind maps. But if you don’t have any mind mapping software, then Microsoft Word can also be used to draw a quick mind map. But first…

Simple Rules for Effective Mind Maps

  • Think of the central idea and write it down in the middle.
  • Think of related ideas and place them radially around the central idea. Connect all ideas with meaningful relationships. Use lines, colored lines, shapes, pictures, etc. to graphically describe ideas and relationships.
  • Leave lots of space between ideas because new filler ideas and relationships will come in as the mind map grows.
  • Go with the flow.

A basic mind map with keyword and ideas

Get Familiar With the Illustrations Group in Word

We have seen how easy it is to create flowcharts in Word

How to Create Flowcharts With Microsoft Word The Easy Way

How to Create Flowcharts With Microsoft Word The Easy Way

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with the help of basic shapes and connectors. Extend it with icons, pictures, SmartArt, charts, or even videos. And the finished mind map in Word can become a professional document in its own right.

Step 1: Switch to Landscape Mode

The landscape mode gives the most horizontal area to work with. In a New Word Document, select Layout > Orientation > Landscape. If you want to finally print it, select the right Size in the Page Setup group.

Mind Map in Word-Set Landscape Orientation

Step 2: Combine Available Shapes in Word

Most of the tools we can use lie in the Illustrations group on the Insert tab. Click on Shapes which has all basic building blocks for a mind map.

Insert shapes for mind map in Word

You can use simple shapes like ovals or rounded rectangles to represent the central ideas. Then, label all shapes with a Text Box.

Stretch out and connect the shapes with lines and arrows to represent relationships.

Like all other elements, you can copy and paste shapes, thus helping to put down the main ideas rapidly as nodes and sub-nodes.

An example of a mind map in Word

Step 3: Start Mapping With Shapes and Text Boxes

All elements can be elaborated using the full range of the Shape Styles. Drawing the first shape brings up the contextual Shape Format tab. The best thing is that a mouse-over on any tool gives us a live preview of how the diagram is turning out.

The Shape Format tab in Word

Step 4: Format Your Shapes

To change the properties of the shape, right-click on the selected shape and select Format Shape from the context menu.

Format mind map shapes with a right-click

Any options for Lines connects all the nodes and sub-nodes. Lines are also Shapes and their look or angles of rotation can be similarly changed from Format Shape or from the Ribbon (double click on the shape to bring up the Format tab).

Format lines and connectors in the mind map

Step 5: Label Shapes and Lines

You can label shapes and lines with text to define the relationships. However, in earlier versions, Microsoft Word limits text orientation to vertical or horizontal. In Word 2016 and 2019, go to Insert > Text > Text Box and insert a Simple Text Box, which you can subsequently rotate to your preferred angle.

Mind maps can be illustrated with images sourced from your desktop or online. Instead of pictures, you can also tap into Icons to represent processes and workflows.

Go to Ribbon > Insert > Illustrations Group > Icons.

Insert icons to describe your mind map in Word

While inserting images or icons, use the corner handles to define the size of the image. You can also adjust the transparency and colorize the icons to match them with the color theme of your mind map.

Use corner handles to define shapes and icons

Step 6: Add Notes and Links to Your Word Mind Map

Creating a mind map in Word can be extended by adding hyperlinks to external sources. But what if you want to add more detailed notes to the mind map?

A workaround to add notes or attachments within the Microsoft Word file is not there, though you can use OneNote to make Linked Notes.

The OneNote Linked Notes feature allows you to dock OneNote on one side of the open Word document and take notes. Whatever notes you take in OneNote gets “linked” to the particular Word document.

To start taking Linked Notes in Word, go to Ribbon > Review > Linked Notes.

Linked Notes in Microsoft Word

OneNote will open next to your mind map and ask you to pick a Notebook, Section, and Page for your new note with the Select Location dialog box. Choose a new page or an existing page to begin.

Start your notes in the OneNote window on the right. OneNote embeds a thumbnail image of the page, a text excerpt, and a link to the document the note is linked to. You can click on the thumbnail to open the associated mind map anytime.

To stop your note-taking session, go to the upper-right corner of the docked OneNote window. Click the chain link icon, and then choose Stop Taking Linked Notes.

Microsoft Word as a Mind Mapping Tool

Microsoft Word (and even Microsoft PowerPoint) is useful as a rapid tool for building a mind map. It’s more flexible than pen and paper because you can easily update it by adding or rearranging the topics.

You can copy it to the other Office programs and if need be, even print it out. Presenting it with PowerPoint or email sharing are added options.

But make no mistake—Microsoft Word is not a dedicated tool for mindmaps.

Mind mapping tools like FreeMind have greater flexibility. Just to cite one feature, it’s not possible to collapse and open the branch nodes in Microsoft Word. But, the crux of the matter is that Microsoft Word can make mind maps and we have shown you how to make one.

Want another tip to boost your thinking? Try these Microsoft Word templates to start brainstorming

8 MS Word Templates That Help You Brainstorm & Mind Map Your Ideas Quickly

8 MS Word Templates That Help You Brainstorm & Mind Map Your Ideas Quickly

Free Word templates are not just about beautiful documents, perfect resumes, and cover pages. They can be vital for brainstorming and mind maps too. Here are eight Word templates for your ideation needs.
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How to Use the Snapchat Map AKA Snap Map

If you’re a Snapchat user, you may have noticed the Snapchat Map, also known as the Snap Map. However, you may not have used it yet, and be wondering what it is and how it works.

Fortunately, the Snap Map is fairly simple and straightforward to use. And in this article we show you how to use the Snapchat Map and make the most of this fun Snapchat feature.

What Is the Snapchat Map?

The Snapchat Map is a visual representation of users uploading content to the “Our Stories” section of Snapchat. Our Stories is one shared Story that everyone on Snapchat can use collectively. If the word “Story” is drawing a blank for you, you should read up on how to use Snapchat

How to Use Snapchat: A Complete Beginner’s Guide

How to Use Snapchat: A Complete Beginner’s Guide

Snapchat is popular, but a surprising number of people don’t know how to use it properly. This article will help turn you from a novice into an expert.
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to get an idea on how Stories work.

Snapchat Map collates all of the Snaps posted within Our Stories. It then notes the location they were recorded and pins the Story onto a map. The result is a world map with Stories dotted around it. Users can click on these Story hubs to see videos and pictures taken in that area.

How to Open the Snapchat Map

If you want to see what your fellow Snapchat users are doing in your local area, you can view the Snapchat Map either via the app or the map’s webpage.

How to Open the Snap Map on the Snapchat App

First, make sure you’re in camera mode within Snapchat. You’ll know you’re in it if you’re currently looking at a feed from one of your phone’s cameras. If you’re not in camera mode, tap the circle at the bottom of the screen to activate it.

Once you’re in camera mode, swipe your finger down the screen. The Snapchat Map will slide down and ask you for your location details. This information is needed to use the Snapchat Map, so tap Allow if you don’t mind sharing your location.

Once accepted, you’ll see a world map with yourself pinned at your current location. You can press the GPS crosshair icon at the bottom right to zoom in on your local area.

How to Open the Snapchat Map in Your Browser

If you don’t have the app on-hand, you can load the Snapchat Map by visiting in a web browser. It will ask you for your location, but you can deny this permission and use the search on the left-hand side to find Stories in your local area without being tracked.

How to Use the Snapchat Map

When you open the Snapchat Map, you’ll notice that heatmaps will appear in specific locations. These heatmaps represent how many Snaps are in that area. The more intense the “heat,” the more Snaps there are. A specifically hot area may be the result of multiple people at a gathering, or one person posting a lot of content.

To view these Stories, tap or click on a heatmap. Snapchat will then automatically begin playing all the Stories posted within that location. You can see the next or previous Snaps by tapping or clicking on the right or left sides of the feed respectively.

Due to how the Snapchat Map handles Stories, you can refine how much content you see by zooming in or out. If you want to see all the Stories in your local area, zoom in close and tap the individual heatmaps dotted around. Likewise, if you’d like to see what an entire city is up to, zoom out to a citywide view and tap the single heatmap surrounding it.

How to Add Your Snaps to the Snapchat Map

If your local area is a little sparse in content, you can add your own to the map. To do this, either make a new Snap or tap an already-existing Snap in your album. Then, tap the arrow at the bottom right to send the snap.

A menu will ask where you want to send it. Here, select Our Story, then tap the arrow at the bottom right. Your Story and its location is now visible to the world.

How to Find Friends on the Snapchat Map in the App

If you have friends who are posting on Our Stories, you can see what they’re doing by tapping the magnifying glass at the top left, then selecting your friend in the list that appears. You can also tap on their location on the map to open up a chat.

How to Close the Snapchat Map on the App

Once you’re done looking at the Snapchat Map within the app, you can return to the main screen by either tapping the circle at the bottom of the map, or by pressing the back button on your phone. Either one will take you back to camera mode, where you can resume using the Snapchat app as usual.

How to Change Your Location Privacy Settings

If you’ve browsed the Snapchat Map and decided you don’t want the map to broadcast your location to your friends, you can change the permissions within the app. Tap on the cog in the top right to open the settings, which includes four privacy options for you to use.

These options are:

  • Ghost Mode, which prevents anyone but yourself from seeing your location.
  • My Friends, which allows all your friends on Snapchat to see where you are.
  • My Friends, Except…, which allows you to pick specific friends not to see your location.
  • Only These Friends…, which allows you to pick specific friends to see your location.

If you want Snapchat to stop reading your location altogether, you have to deny the location permission within your phone’s settings. If you don’t know how to do this, it’s a good idea to learn how to check important smartphone app permissions

5 Smartphone App Permissions You Need to Check Today

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Android and iOS permissions can be abused in various ways. Don’t let your phone leak data to advertisers. Here’s how to take control of app permissions.
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Getting the Most Out of Snapchat

The Snap Map is a fun way to connect with your local scene. And now that you know how to use the Snapchat Map you can view what’s going on in your block, or load a feed of everyone within your city or town, all with a single press. Likewise, you can add your own Stories to let everyone know what’s happening in your area.

If you want to become a Snapchat power user, why not work on your Snapchat score? If you’re confused by it, be sure to read up on how the Snapchat score works and how to get your points up

How Does the Snapchat Score Work and How to Get Your Points Up

How Does the Snapchat Score Work and How to Get Your Points Up

Do you know how the Snapchat score works and how to get your points up? Let us show you how to improve your Snapchat score.
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Explore more about: Location Data, Snapchat.

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