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Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

While the likes of Myspace and MSN Messenger were already around in 2004, the invention of Facebook that year changed the social media landscape forever. As of 2023, Mark Zuckerberg’s social network was the largest in the world, with nearly three billion users and about half that number using it every day. But many people have become disillusioned with the app and may wonder what other options are out there. We’ve dug into what Facebook does right, what it doesn’t do so well, and what the best Facebook alternatives are.

Facebook groups are a useful way to connect with like-minded individuals.

Multimedia sharing is another big strength of Facebook. Unlike apps like Snapchat, photos and videos you upload to social media stay there forever. This allows you to document your life if you so choose, adding photos of every birthday and vacation to impress your friends. Those who have been on Facebook for many years could find that the photos and videos on the site date back further than their offline digital collection.

While it can quickly become an echo chamber, Facebook also offers a personalized news feed that presents content based on user preferences, interests, and connections. This feature allows users to discover relevant articles, videos, and updates from their network and other sources, facilitating engagement and interaction. This is a handy way to find out what’s going on among your friends, the people in your area, or around the globe at large.

The best Facebook alternatives

If the good and bad points about Facebook have made you feel like trying an alternative, we’ll run you through some of your options here. We’ve highlighted in the headline what each site is particularly strong on. That’s not to say it’s necessarily the best option for those aspects, nor that the others don’t offer them, but they give you an indication of which might best suit you.

TikTok: Videos and creativity

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

TikTok is centered around short-form videos. It allows users to create and share entertaining and creative content set to music, audio clips, or other sounds. TikTok has gained immense popularity, particularly among younger users, for its vibrant and engaging community of creators and its highly personalized recommendation system. It caters to those interested in various forms of creative expression, such as dance, comedy, lip-syncing, beauty, fashion, cooking, and more. TikTok also provides a platform for aspiring influencers and content creators to gain exposure and build a following.

TikTok’s algorithm analyzes user preferences, engagement patterns, and video interactions to deliver a highly personalized “For You” feed. This makes it easier for users to discover new content and creators that align with their interests. The platform’s emphasis on shareability and the potential for videos to go viral can provide rapid exposure for talented creators. But the algorithm can make it quite addictive, and it isn’t ideal for users seeking in-depth or long-form content, as the format prioritizes quick and engaging snippets.

Snapchat: Private messaging

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Snapchat is a multimedia messaging app that strongly emphasizes ephemeral and interactive content. It allows users to send photos, videos, messages, and other forms of media that disappear after being viewed, typically within a short time. While it has more of a reputation as a messaging app than a social media platform, Snapchat has added a Discover news feed similar to Instagram’s Explore tab or TikTok’s For You page.

Snapchat primarily appeals to younger users, especially teenagers and young adults, who enjoy sharing casual and spontaneous moments with their friends. It is also popular among individuals who value privacy and want to share content that disappears without leaving a permanent trace. Snapchat also offers a range of interactive features like filters, lenses, stickers, and augmented reality experiences, which engage users in playful and creative ways.

There are two points to note about the disappearing message niche of Snapchat. First, it might be offputting as a Facebook alternative because you’re not building a library of content that you can then relive in future months and years. On the flip side, the appeal of disappearing messages isn’t guaranteed. The recipient can screenshot your message before it vanishes, and while you’ll be notified of this, you can’t stop it from happening.

Twitter: News and public discussion

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Elon Musk’s site is a microblogging platform that enables users to share and discover short messages called tweets. It is designed for real-time information, public conversations, and connecting with a wide range of individuals. Twitter allows users to follow accounts of their interest and engage in discussions through likes, retweets, replies, and hashtags. If something is going on in the world, you’ll find out about it first on Twitter.

The social media site attracts a diverse user base, ranging from individuals seeking news and updates to those who enjoy sharing their thoughts and opinions. It is especially popular among journalists, politicians, activists, and public figures who use the platform to share breaking news and engage with their followers. Twitter is best suited for users who prefer concise and direct communication and value staying informed and connected to current events.

LinkedIn: Business and networking

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that focuses on career development, business connections, and industry-specific discussions. It provides users with the opportunity to create professional profiles, connect with colleagues, peers, and industry professionals, and access job opportunities. While very different to Facebook, if you’re a professional, a job seeker, a recruiter, or a business looking to network, it’s an excellent site for putting yourself out there and engaging with others. 

LinkedIn’s primary focus on professional networking and career-related content means that it may not offer the same level of personal or casual interactions as other social media sites. Users looking for a more informal Facebook alternative may find other platforms better suited for their needs.

That covers six of the best Facebook alternatives, and there should be at least one platform there that piques your interest. There are many more we could have included, from Masterdon and Bluesky, which are vying for Twitter users, to Telegram and Signal, which are more along the messaging lines. Our Instagram alternatives post has a more niche rundown if you want to keep reading.

Google doesn’t really have a direct Facebook alternative. It did try and launch Google Plus as a social media platform, but it never got much popularity and was shut down in 2023. Google does own YouTube, though, and Google Chrome is one browser on which you can access all of the above sites.

MeWe is a social media platform that acts as a Facebook alternative, with a bigger focus on privacy and with a generally more socially conservative user base. It is yet to come close to the popularity of Zuck’s site, but it is one of the most popular free apps on the App Store.

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What Are The Best Smart Glasses In 2023?

Google Glass made headlines for this same reason, although the initial version of the glasses was not the most well received. Thankfully for anyone that grew up watching science fiction, smart glasses are very real—and this article will break down the best smart glasses on the market today.

Table of Contents

What Are Smart Glasses?

Smart glasses are more than just lenses. They have small computers that process information and display the results in real-time in such a way that only the wearer can see. This might include information on an incoming call, a GPS route to reach a destination, or even subtitles to assist the hearing-impaired.

You might also see smart glasses referred to as AR glasses, or augmented reality glasses. Mixed reality is another similar term. Due to the computer processing capabilities, these glasses can provide information and improve day-to-day life in a seamlessly integrated way that smartphones can’t match.

Of course, not all smart glasses are about providing the augmented reality experience. Some operate more like a Fitbit and track important health statistics. In this guide, we will look at examples of all the best smart glasses available.

The majority of smart glasses are not what anyone would consider attractive; in fact, many of them are downright hideous. Remember the Spectacles by Snapchat? North Focals are anything but ugly. These glasses have an attractive aesthetic and blend right in with conventional styles. More importantly, they support a wide range of prescriptions.

Wearers control the North Focals via the Loop, an inconspicuous ring with a four-direction joystick. The North Focals display everything from text messages to calendar appointments.

If you order an Uber, you’ll be notified by a projection on your lens that lets you know the driver’s name and license plate. You can even use the glasses as a presentation teleprompter. The Focals also have Amazon’s Alexa built right in, granting control of smart devices and access to all the Alexa Skills you can dream of.

Although the Focals are a popular option, North recently announced the Focals 2.0, set to release in 2023. The new version of the smart glasses is set to have an improved display and weigh up to 40% less.

The Vuzix Blade is an undeniably powerful pair of smart glasses, but they aren’t quite as stylish as the North Focals. The Blade have a definite technological look to them, but still manage to fit modern styles well enough that a wearer won’t draw too much attention to themselves. More importantly, the Blade is incredibly powerful. The main appeal? Netflix and other video streaming.

According to the specs, the Vuzix Blade is like watching a 32” TV from 8 feet away. Of course, this takes a toll on its battery life. The Blade will last around two hours when watching a movie on Netflix, but only 35 minutes if using the onboard video to record.

There is an on-board storage space for a micro-SD card. Alexa is also built-in today the Blade and allows users the same level of control as if they were using an Echo device at home.

If you want a pair of Vuzix Blade smart glasses, they will set you back $800 on Amazon—but they are Prime Eligible.

Google Glass is one of the original versions of smart glasses to ever grace the market, but the Glass Enterprise 2 is a far cry from the 2024 version that led to the coining of the phrase “glassholes.”

The Glass Enterprise 2 is geared towards enterprise solutions, but it is available to anyone. To purchase one of the newest versions of the Google Glass, you’ll have to work with one of Google’s authorized retailers for a custom setup that includes the software you want.

These are powerful, flexible smart glasses, but they may not be the best choice for the average user. If you want to use smart glasses for business purposes, Google can hook you up—but outside of that, the hoops you have to jump through to get your hands on a pair make the task a bit intimidating.

The Bose Frames are the sunglasses of the future. Sleek and stylish, they look just at home on the beach as they do anywhere else—but their classic design belies a lot of power inside.

The Bose Frames lack some of the bells and whistles of other smart glasses, but they excel at audio performance. The smart glasses have an open-ear audio design that allows wearers to remain aware of anything happening around them while still enjoying their favorite tunes (and without making anyone else listen to them, either!)

The Bose Frames have a built-in microphone for use during calls and for interacting with your phone’s virtual assistant. The frames rely on a Bluetooth link with your mobile device as they are not Wi-Fi enabled. The Bose Frames work with both iOS and Android devices. You can even opt to have the frames tinted a specific color if the traditional black sunglass look doesn’t do it for you.

The Best Apple Watch Alternatives In 2023

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Abby Ferguson

Written By Dan Nosowitz

Updated Mar 27, 2023 2:07 PM

How we chose the best Apple Watch alternatives

When selecting the recommendations included in this list, we evaluated a range of features, specs, and tools that make smartwatches useful and desirable. To function as an Apple Watch alternative, phone connectivity in some capacity was an absolute must. The selected watches also needed a robust array of sensors to capture important health and activity data. We aimed to choose watches with different styles since style is such a subjective topic. And lastly, we assessed important specs such as battery life, display quality, and durability. Combining this research with peer recommendations, critical reviews, and plenty of hands-on experience, we narrowed down our selection to the best Apple Watch alternatives.

The best Apple Watch alternatives: Reviews & Recommendations

The best Apple Watch alternatives are delightfully varied, and you’re sure to find one that strikes your fancy. So let’s look at the non-Apple products that can keep your phone in your pocket but your life connected.

Best overall: Galaxy Watch 5

Specs

Weight: 1.2 ounces (44mm), 1 ounce (40mm)

Case size: 1.7 x 1.74 x 0.38 inches (44mm), 1.54 x 1.59 x 0.38 inches (40mm)

Display resolution: 450×450 pixels (44mm), 396×396 pixels (40mm) 

Battery life: Up to 50 hours

Waterproof rating: IP68

Connectivity: BT 5.2, Wi-Fi 2.4GHz & 5GHz, NFC, LTE

Sensors: Accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, ambient light, compass, GPS, BioActive sensor (Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis sensor, Electrical Heart sensor (ECG), and Optical Heart Rate sensor), mic/speaker

App support: Android

Pros

Attractive design, with swappable straps

Optional 4G LTE version

Available in two sizes

Plenty of health-tracking features

Excellent third-party app support

Cons

Battery life is lacking

Some features only work with Samsung phones

The Galaxy Watch5 has a sleek, minimal design. It’s available in two sizes—40mm and 44mm—and comes in four colors. At only 1.2 ounces for the larger watch (44mm), it’s lightweight, making it more comfortable to wear. It is packed with useful sensors, including Samsung’s BioActive sensor array, responsible for sleep tracking, heart rate, blood oxygen monitoring, ECG, and body composition analysis. It will provide lots of health and fitness insights. It even automatically detects exercise, which is helpful if you tend to forget to start tracking as I do.

The downside of this watch is the battery life. The 40mm watch utilizes a 284mAh battery, while the 44mm features a 410mAh battery. If you use the device for any exercise tracking at all, you’ll need to charge it daily. Nighttime is the most logical time to charge it for most, but that means you’ll miss out on sleep tracking, which is a selling point of the watch. (A titanium-cased Galaxy Watch5 Pro version increases the durability, wellness sensors, and battery life.)

Best dedicated fitness tracker: Fitbit Sense 2

Specs

Weight: 0.8 ounces

Case size: 1.5 by 1.5 by 0.45 inches

Display resolution: 336 x 336 pixels

Battery life: Up to 6 days

Waterproof rating: Water resistant to 164 feet

Connectivity: Bluetooth, NFC

Sensors: GPS/GLONASS, heart rate, altimeter, skin temperature, gyroscope, accelerometer, ambient light, SpO2, cEDA, mic/speaker

App support: Android and iOS

Pros

Very slim and lightweight

Lots of sensors

Good battery life

Easy to use

Cons

No music support

The Fitbit Sense 2 is the company’s best and brightest smartwatch. It packs plenty of sensors, including onboard GPS to track your runs and bike rides. It also features a skin temperature sensor and Fitbit’s cEDA (continuous ElectroDermal Activity) sensor to help track stress. And it promises a six-day battery life (depending on usage), which is very strong.

At less than an ounce, this is one of the lightest smartwatches available, especially for one with such a robust set of sensors. It’s sleek and minimal, fitting nicely even on small wrists. And you can choose between three colorways. In addition, the Sense 2 gets an added physical button compared to the first version, making navigation easier.

Unfortunately, Fitbit removed third-party app support from the Sense 2. That means it isn’t as much of a smartwatch as other options. For example, there’s no Spotify app or music support, so you’ll have to rely on your phone. But there is a built-in speaker and microphone, so you can take calls on your wrist, as long as your phone is nearby. 

Best smartwatch for Android users: Ticwatch Pro 3

Specs

Weight: 1.5 ounces

Case size: 1.8 x 1.9 x 0.5 inches

Display resolution: 454 x 454 pixels

Battery life: Up to 72 hours (Smart Mode) or 45 days (Essential Mode)

Water rating: IP68

Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi

Sensors: GPS/Beidou/Glonass/Galileo/QZSS, accelerometer, gyroscope, PPG heart rate, ambient light, barometer, mic/speaker

App support: Android and iOS

Pros

Good battery life

Dual display helps save battery life

Fast and responsive

IP68 waterproof rating

Cons

Somewhat pricey

A bit bulky

With a Snapdragon 4100 processor, the TicWatch Pro 3 is among the fastest Apple Watch alternatives on the market. It has all the usual high-end smartwatch features, including onboard GPS and NFC for payments. There’s a whole host of sensors and data tracking features, including a heart rate monitor, barometer, sleep tracking, and SpO2 monitoring.

It also has one very clever feature: a lower-power LCD screen right on top of its regular AMOLED display. That allows you to switch over for up to 45 days of battery life in “essential mode.” And there is an ambient light sensor in the watch, so it can automatically adjust the brightness of the AMOLED display.

The Ticwatch features a rugged design that will hold up to whatever activities you participate in. It’s a waterproof smartwatch with an IP68 rating, so you can even swim in it. That said, even though it is 28 percent lighter than the previous version of this watch, it is still fairly large and chunky. It may not be best for the small of wrist.

Best smartwatch for the triathlete in training: Garmin Forerunner 955

Specs

Weight: 1.8 ounces

Case size: 1.8 x 1.8 x 0.5 inches

Display resolution: 260 x 260 pixels

Battery life: Up to 15 days (smartwatch mode)

Water rating: 5 ATM water resistance

Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi

Sensors: Heart rate, GPS/Glonass/Galileo, thermometer, pulse oximeter, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, barometric altimeter

App support: Android and iOS

Pros

Long battery life

Highly customizable

Useful training assistance

Cons

Pricey

Despite all the data it collects, the battery life is fantastic. And You can easily customize battery consumption to get what you need out of the watch in a given situation. In smartwatch mode, Garmin promises 15 days of battery life. And when using the All Systems GNSS plus Multi-Band mode (the most accurate location tracking), Garmin specifies up to 20 hours. Should you want a little extra juice, Garmin also makes a solar version of this watch. Of course, battery life depends on your usage, but I was easily able to get the promised numbers when using the Solar version of this watch, even without getting the minimum sun exposure. 

Best stylish smartwatch: Skagen Jorn 38MM Gen 6 Hybrid Smartwatch

Specs

Weight: Not provided

Case size: 1.5-inch diameter, 0.5 inches thick

Display resolution: 240 x 240 pixels

Battery life: Up to 14 days

Water rating: 3 ATM water resistance

Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 LE

Sensors: Accelerometer, microphone, PPG heart rate

App support: Android and iOS

Pros

Sleek, attractive styling

Unique hybrid design

Good app support

Built-in microphone

Cons

Fitness tracking isn’t great

Lacks a speaker

Skagen, the Danish-design-inspired imprint of Fossil, has a line of hybrid smartwatches called Jorn, which have uniformly been extremely good-looking watches. The hybrid design may not be for everyone, but it is a unique combination of classic watch looks with smartwatch features. The watch hands cleverly move out of the way so that you can easily read the E Ink display, and it still offers plenty of customization options. And it comes in 38mm or 42mm sizes with different color and band options. 

The Jorn features a built-in microphone as well as Amazon Alexa support. You can use voice control to set timers, reminders, and ask questions. Unfortunately, it lacks a speaker, so responses are displayed on the watch instead of spoken back to you, and you can’t take calls. But it does add a layer of functionality that some may appreciate. And it’s Android and iPhone compatible, so you can use it’s companion app with just about any phone.

The sensors in the Jorn watch are somewhat minimal but include an accelerometer and PPG heart rate monitor for basic exercise and health stats. These will track your steps, sleep, heart rate, and SpO2. Unfortunately, there’s no built-in GPS, so the watch relies on tethered GPS, which requires your phone. If you are looking for a serious fitness watch, this isn’t the best option, but we think it’s the most stylish Apple Watch alternative available. 

Best for health data: Polar Ignite 3

Specs

Weight: 1.2 ounces

Case size: 1.7 x 1.7 x 0.4 inches

Display resolution: 416 × 416 pixels

Battery life: Up to 30 hours (training mode)

Water rating: Water resistant to 98 feet

Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1

Sensors: GPS/Beidou/Glonass/Galileo/QZSS, accelerometer, heart rate 

App support: Android and iOS

Pros

Attractive styling 

Really slim on the wrist

Lots of smart health and training features

Vibrant display

Cons

GPS is inaccurate 

Polar has long been a staple in the fitness and health world, investing heavily in research and offering a range of watches and sensors. The third iteration of the Ignite is the sleekest yet, with attractive yet minimal design features. It’s available in four colorways, some of which (such as the Greige Sand) hardly look like fitness watches. It features an extremely slim profile, barely sticking up from my wrist.

The watch offers fairly minimal sensors, but it still collects plenty of data for excellent health and fitness insights. It provides the Polar Precision Prime sensor for highly accurate heart rate data. Unfortunately, despite the multi-band GPS, the location data is disappointing and inaccurate. This won’t matter for some, but if precise location tracking is essential to you, this watch won’t be your best choice. 

Where the Ignite 3 does shine is the health data it collects and the insights it provides. It provides accurate sleep-tracking information and uses that to help guide daily workout suggestions. It even provides secondary workout suggestions, such as stretching activities to keep you healthy. And Polar’s FitSpark suggests different types of exercise to keep your training well-rounded. It can provide a lot of information to help you stay on top of your training and health in general.

Best battery life: Garmin Instinct 2S Solar

Specs

Weight: 1.8 ounces (45mm), 1.5 ounces (40mm)

Case size: 1.8 x 1.8 x 0.6 inches (45mm), 1.6 x 1.6 x 0.5 inches (40mm)

Display resolution: 176 x 176 pixels (45mm) 156 x 156 pixels (40mm)

Battery life: Up to 28 days, unlimited with solar (smartwatch mode)

Water rating: Waterproof to 328 feet

Connectivity: Bluetooth and ANT+

Sensors: Heart rate, GPS/Glonass/Galileo, thermometer, pulse oximeter, accelerometer, compass, barometric altimeter

App support: Android and iOS

Pros

Outstanding battery life

Two sizes available

Lots of training tools

Highly accurate data collection

Cons

Rugged, old-school design isn’t for everyone

Garmin’s Instinct 2S Solar has a lot going for it, but its battery life is certainly the main highlight. In smartwatch mode, Garmin says it offers unlimited battery life if you get three hours of 50,000 lux sunlight conditions a day. Of course, when you use the various GPS modes and tracking exercises, that goes down. But I got about a week of life from my 40mm version while doing some activity once a day, even without getting the required sun exposure per day for the solar benefits.

The Instinct 2 Solar is a vastly different Apple Watch alternative in its styling. It has a rather rugged, old-school watch styling, which some may not like. The display is also a simple monochrome transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) display, so don’t expect fancy color graphics or touchscreen functionality. But it connects to your phone and provides notifications on the watch. There is no microphone or speaker, so you can’t take calls on the watch, but you can use it to reject or accept a call that you then take on your phone. And like the Forerunner 955, you can send prewritten responses to texts or calls directly from the watch, which is handy if you are in the middle of something. 

Best budget smartwatch: Amazfit GTS 4

Specs

Weight: 1 ounce

Case size: 1.7 x 1.4 x 0.4 inches (without heart rate base)

Display resolution: 390 x 450 pixels

Battery life: Up to 8 days (typical use)

Water rating: 5 ATM water resistance

Connectivity: WLAN 2.4GHz, Bluetooth 5.0, and BLE

Sensors: Geomagnetic, accelerometer, barometric altimeter, gyroscope, ambient light sensor, dual-band & 6 satellite positioning systems, BioTracker™ 4.0 PPG biometric sensor, mic/speaker

App support: Android 7.0 and above, iOS 12.0 and above

Pros

Sleek and comfortable design

Lots of sport modes

Good battery life

Cons

Data collection isn’t the most accurate

Amazfit is a well-established maker of budget smartwatches, and the GTS 4 is a great one. It provides an eight-day battery life (depending on usage), which is surprising for a watch of this price. That can even be extended to 16 days in battery saver mode. It also has lots of sensors to measure your heart rate, steps, blood oxygen levels, stress, sleep, location, and more. 

As a smartwatch, the GTS 4 pairs with your phone and delivers notifications right to your wrist. And it can sync with apps like Strava and Google Fit. It features a built-in mic and speaker, so you can receive and make calls from the watch if your phone is near. It has a strikingly Apple Watch-like design, which is sleek and minimal.

Of course, as a somewhat inexpensive watch, there are some downsides. The companion app (called Zepp) is a bit clunky, with some settings difficult to find. And the data collection tends to be a bit inaccurate, especially the sleep data and the automatic stand suggestions. And you’ll lose some features like third-party app compatibility. But it still has a lot to offer as long as you aren’t relying on the data for precise training.

What to consider when looking for the best Apple Watch alternatives

Non-Apple Watch smartwatches are available running all kinds of different software platforms. And many of them will work with both Android and iOS, in case you ever switch phones. Apple Watch alternatives come in a few different flavors. There’s the direct competition, which would be Google’s Wear platform and the Samsung Galaxy Watch. And there are also more fitness-centric offerings, both for casual workouts and intense outdoors lovers, plus a whole crop of budget-friendly smartwatches that provide health tracking and notifications.

What’s the difference between a smartwatch and a fitness tracker?

In general, the phrase “fitness tracker” is used to differentiate these models from a smartwatch in a few ways. Fitness trackers are typically smaller. They often look more like a bracelet with a small screen than a big, fancy watch. They are, as their name suggests, focused on fitness: a good fitness tracker should have not just a step tracker, but also a heart rate monitor and sleep tracking tech. Many high-end fitness watches can also integrate with more robust devices like chest strap heart rate monitors. 

That said, the line between fitness tracker and smartwatch has blurred. Modern fitness trackers have some features we’re more likely to associate with smartwatches They may have the ability to deliver notifications of texts and emails from your phone, might have a speaker so you can activate Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Some even sport similar faces and design elements.

But if you plan on wearing your wristpiece all the time, it’s fair to want something less like a fitness tracker and more like a full-featured smartwatch: you want it to have a bigger screen, because you’ll be looking at it more, and to have non-fitness-focused features too.

What watch features and sensors do I need?

A brief comparison of smartwatches will reveal a wide array of features and sensors. Of course, many companies have their proprietary names for traditional sensors, making matters more complicated. What sensors and features you need in a watch depends on how you intend to use it. 

If you mainly want a smartwatch for notification and call purposes, make sure you prioritize a watch with a microphone, speaker, and potentially cellular connectivity as well. Suppose you are more interested in highly accurate fitness information. In that case, you’ll want a multisport watch with a whole suite of features such as multi-band GPS, accelerometer, barometer, gyroscope, heart rate monitor, and more. 

Do I have to spend hundreds of dollars on a smartwatch?

The current generation of Apple Watch, the Series 8, starts at a whopping $399 (and goes up to $799 if you decide the Apple Watch Ultra is the right one for you). If you don’t necessarily need all the bells and whistles, just something that’ll track your health metrics and stick that data into a fitness app, plus maybe deliver some alerts, you don’t need to spend that much. In fact, you can spend barely a tenth of that price and get something surprisingly great.

The biggest use cases for smartwatches, according to Statista, are notifications and fitness tracking—and you can snag a budget smartwatch or fitness bracelet that can do that for you, acting as your everyday connected wearable at a fraction of the price of full-featured smartwatches.

What’s the most stylish smartwatch?

Smartwatches and fitness trackers aren’t known for being the most stylish accessories. They have some fundamental requirements that make being stylish difficult. For example, they have to be big enough to contain a touchscreen, a heart rate monitor, and a battery, which means that even the smallest tend to be on the bulky side.

For those who take wristwatches seriously, even the Apple Watch can be underwhelming from an aesthetic perspective. It’s a basic square made of glass and aluminum. Most Apple Watch alternatives are the same way: either a slim bracelet-style fitness tracker or a square or circular smartwatch. These tend to look just fine at the gym or when out for a run, but in more formal settings can look out of place.

Luckily, a few companies are getting on board with different designs. For example, the Amazfit T-Rex 2 leans into retro-style chunkiness, while hybrid smartwatches like the Skagen Jorn or Garmin vivomove 3 offer traditional analog watch hands with smartwatch features.

FAQs

There’s truly no shortage of wearables these days, with most smartphone makers offering watch choices and fitness trackers increasingly becoming more like smartwatches. Thus, choosing the best Apple Watch alternative can be overwhelming. The good news is that whether you are looking for a hyper-focused fitness watch, a stylish smartwatch, or a simple blend between the two, there is an efficiency-boosting accessory for you among the choices we’ve compiled so you can complement your look and lifestyle.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.

10 Best Imacros Alternatives In 2023

iMacros is a leading tool for web automation, scraping and testing. It offers a browser extension and desktop tool to automate your mundane tasks easily. However, the key features required for automation are available only in a premium version. iMacros has few other drawbacks.

Here, is a curated list of top 10 tools which can replace iMacros. This list includes commercial as well as open-source automation tools with popular features and latest download link.

Selenium is an open-source web automation tool, currently in demand, and widely used tool in the market. It can automate across multiple OS Like Windows, Mac, and Linux and browsers like Firefox, Chrome, IE, as well as Headless Browsers.

Learn more about Selenium

2) Cypress

Cypress is an open source test automation solution for web environments. This tool is closely aligned with current development practices when compared with Selenium.

Features:

Test status menu feature allows seeing how many tests passed or failed

Cypress automatically waits for commands and assertions before moving on

Allows checking responsive sites with viewport sizing.

It takes snapshots of a test run. For headless execution, it takes video of an entire test run.

Command Log and the app preview shows the precise automation actions on the web app during test execution.

Learn More

3) Galen framework

Galen framework was initially introduced for the testing layout of web-applications in a real browser. Today it has become a fully functional testing framework. This automation test tool can be integrated with Selenium for visual and layout testing of web applications.

Features:

HTML Based Error reporting with screenshots

Easy to write/read syntax

It offers multiple browsers support

Using Galen specs language, you can describe any complex layout including different screen sizes or browsers.

Galen Framework runs well in Selenium Grid. This allows to set up tests to run in a cloud-like Sauce Labs or BrowserStack

Image Comparison feature.

Learn More

4) Watir

Watir is an open source Ruby library for automating the test. It supports functional and regression web tests.

Features:

It supports web app irrespective of what it is developed in.

It supports multiple browsers on different platforms

Watir is a family of Ruby libraries, but it supports all other technologies

It uses Ruby, a full-featured modern scripting language, rather than a proprietary vendor script

Learn More

5) Silk Test

Silk Test is a functional and regression automation testing tool from MicroFocus.

Silk Test Provides 3 products Workbench, Silk4J, and Silk4NET. Workbench use chúng tôi scripting language, Silk4J & Silk4NET can use Java/VB.NET, C#, etc

SilkTest supports Cross-browser testing, Mobile testing & provides Collaborative test design environment via Keyword driven testing.

Download SilkTest

6) Telerik Test Studio

Test Studio is a latest automation tool by Telerik. It supports automating applications like HTML5, Angular, AJAX, JavaScript, Silverlight, WPF, MVC, Ruby and PHP, iOS, Android. Telerik provides cross-browser support and is a record and playback tool.

It supports 2 scripting language C# and VB.Net

Test Studio can connect with source control systems like Team Foundation Server and GIT and execute Continuous Testing.

Telerik allows you to schedule tests, execute testing in parallel and has robust test reporting features.

Download Telerik Test Studio

7) HP UFT (aka QTP)

HPE Unified Functional Test is leading cross-platform automation testing tool. It can automate Web, Desktop, SAP, Delphi, Net, ActiveX, Flex, Java, Oracle, Mobile, PeopleSoft, PowerBuilder, Siebel, Stingray, Visual Basic amongst other applications. The list is of development environment it can automate is huge!

UFT uses VBScript as the scripting language.

The tool is tightly integrated with HP ALM (Test Management Tool) and HP LoadRunner (Performance Testing Tool)

Some of the distinguishing features of UFT include Business Process Testing, keyword driven framework, XML support, robust checkpoints, test results.

Learn more about HP – UFT.

8) WorkSoft Certify

WorkSoft Certify is an automation testing tool for SAP. It can test and automate SuccessFactors, Concur, Syclo, Ariba Network, SAP Fiori User Experience (UX)

WorkSoft Certify can run tests unattended and automate end to end business process. The tool can be deployed even if a SAP project is in implementation, upgrade or maintenance stage.

WorkSoft Certify maintains a central test object repository such the test script maintenance, and reuse becomes easy. It provides integrated test data management tool.

Download WorkSoft Certify

9) Katalon Platform

Katalon Platform is a open-source automation tool and supports the web and mobile environment.

It works on top on Selenium and Appium, thereby enhancing those frameworks with features like object spy, user-friendly IDE, object repository & browser plugin

The tool uses Groovy as the scripting language & support external Java library. Katalon allows you to re-use Selenium scripts written in Java and use directly in the tool. It works seamlessly with Continuous Integration systems like Jenkins, Bamboo, and TeamCity.

Download Katalon Platform

10) Cucumber

Cucumber is an open-source Behavior Driven Development (BDD) tool. Cucumber supports languages like Ruby, Java, Scala, Groovy, etc.

Drafting test scripts is a joint effort of testers, developer, and customers. Cucumber supports only the web environment. Test code is written in simple English called Gherkin. Cucumber code can be executed on different frameworks like Selenium, Ruby, etc

The focus of cucumber is the end-user experience.

Learn More about Cucumber

FAQ ❓ What is iMacros?

iMacros is a leading tool for web automation, data extraction and testing. It offers a browser extension and desktop tool to automate your mundane tasks easily.

✅ Which are the Best iMacros Alternatives?

Here are some of the Best iMacros Alternatives:

Selenium

Cypress

Galen framework

Watir

Silk Test

Telerik Test Studio

HP UFT (aka QTP)

WorkSoft Certify

Best Google Play Store Alternatives In 2023

20 Best Google Play Store Alternatives In 2023

Secondly, the updates of an existing app might take considerable time to pass through the security and quality checks of Google to be available on the Play Store. However, there are alternative sites that upload the updated version of the app the moment it is released by the developer. There are many other factors that led to the creation of many app stores on the internet.



Best 10 Google Play Store Alternatives Are: 1. Amazon App Store

Amazon App Store can be accessed by visiting the Amazon webpage or by downloading the app. It is not available on Google Play Store, Of course, and might require you to turn on the ‘Install apps by unknown publishers’ setting in your phone before installing it. However, that is just Google’s way of keeping the competitors away. Amazon App Store is a secured app used by millions of Android phone users across the world as it is easy to navigate and user-friendly. Despite its wide library of games, books, songs, movies and apps being offered at lower prices and heavy discounts, Amazon App Store does not contain all the titles offered by Google Play Store.

Download Amazon App Store

2. Samsung Galaxy Store

Samsung has always been a leader when it comes to the latest hardware devices. For that very reason, it has decided to provide its Android smartphone customers the best Google Play Store alternative. It has developed its own database of apps by the name of Samsung Galaxy Apps. Samsung is also trying to develop its own operating system for its mobile devices and creating an app store is the first step.

Samsung Galaxy App is a boon for all Samsung mobile users who have the app preinstalled in their device and offers great discounts to its users. You need to create a Samsung account before you can use the app store. However, the major drawback of this app is that is not compatible with devices other than Samsung. Samsung also claims that most of the apps on the Samsung Galaxy App are curated for Samsung devices.

Visit Samsung Galaxy App Store

3. F-Droid

F- Droid stands for free android apps. It is an app store which contains free, open source apps which can be used by anyone. It is based on a non-profit volunteer type of organisation that runs on donations and contributions by participating developers. It started out as source of free codes for apps which can be used by anyone but later developed into a free app store.

However, as it does not charge for the apps, the build of the apps is not very satisfying or high in quality as found in other Play Stores. There are no ratings or reviews which arises the question of security and functioning of the app. As it was created for developers, the user interface of most of the apps is outdated but can be modified if you know some coding.

Visit Here

4. ApkMirror

Visit Here

5. Aptoide

Aptoide is a free app store, designed according to Google standards providing the user almost same experience as the Google Play Store. It has a well-designed interface and includes reviews, screenshot and ratings of all apps. It contains over a million apps to choose from including beta versions and other third pary apps which are not available on Google play Store. Aptoide claims to receive app updates earlier than Google and also boasts of a unique feature where every user can create their own app store based on your liking. It also has app manager which displays pending updates and uninstalled apps.

Visit Here

6. SlideMe

SlideMe is considered as one of the best alternatives to Google Play Store. It features both free and paid apps. It also features open source apps which it checks through a quality control process before making it available for download through its app or website. It changes the apps displayed and payment options bases on the geo location of the user.

Visit Here

7. UptoDown

UptoDown is an app store which contains more than 2 million apps. It supports download and install from its website and dedicated app. All apps are scanned and assured to be safe and secure before being uploaded. It you update an app from UptoDown, you can always rollback to its previous version. The interface is well designed and divided into apps for Android, Mac and Windows. The search function integrated is very powerful and brings up many relevant matches. It contains many apps which are not available on Google Play Store due to its stringent policies.

Visit Here

8. Opera Mobile Store

Developed by the same organisation which gave us Opera Mini Web Browser, Opera Mobile Store is a huge collection of apps that act as the best Google Play Store alternative. It contains both paid and free apps and boast of a secure gateway for purchase of apps. The apps are downloaded in APK format which can be stored and shared easily. It contains previous versions of apps and the user interface is well designed. In fact, you can sometimes get some paid games for free which they list as App of the day.

Visit Here

9. GetJar

Visit Here

10. Mobogenie

Another alternative of Google Play Store for finding apps not available in your region is Mobogenie. It also has many apps that are only available on Mobogenie. With easy navigation and a vast library, Mobogenie also features a reward system that can be used to generate coins for paid apps. It has a large user base and supports multiple languages with an intelligent search engine that recommends appropriate app relating to your search. It also features a built-in app manager and a media player to play songs and doesn’t even require user registration. Mobogenie is a trusted application but features ad banners to survive.

Visit Here 

The next 10 best Play Store alternatives worth mention are: 11. AppBrain

Visit Here

12. ACMarket

ACMarket provided many free apps and Mod Paid apps. The app interface is easy to use, and the database contains more than one million apps. It is continuously being updated and is definitely worth a try.

Visit Here

13. Get APK Market

Get APK Market is a free app store that supports many titles. It has a responsive search engine and pulls out any app or game almost instantly. However, the interface needs to be updated and is not as interactive as the Google Play Store. There is one trick that has been placed within the app. Scan the Google Play Store for the desired app and tap the share button. From the shareable options, choose the GET APK Market app and the desired app will start downloading automatically.

Visit Here

14. APKUpdater

APK Updater is a service that finds the latest updates of the installed in your phone from other websites and updates the app. It shortens the wait for the updated version and does not take into account the customer’s region as criteria. It provides a list of apps that need to be updated from time to time.

Visit Here

15. APK Pure

APK Pure is a third-party app store that is very beneficial to users who don’t use the Google Play Store for some reason. It consists of all the free and famous apps with the latest updated version like WhatsApp, Gmail, PUBG and many others. It boasts of sorting theses apps into more defined categories which makes it users easily search for similar apps to the one they like the most.

Visit Here

16. QooApp

QooApp is an app store dedicated to Asian developers. It consists of apps and games developed focusing on the southeast Asia region. Most of the games have English subtitles like Final Fantasy Brave.

Visit Here

17. Yalp Store

Yalp Store consists of a vast library of apps directly from the developers. It is famous for getting the apps from the source itself and does not feature any app or games from the Google App Store. The interface looks like it needs an update but there no issues while using it. It does provide special apps for users who have rooted their phones.

Visit Here 

18. 1Mobile Market

1Mobile Market was launched as a base to launch new apps in the market. App developers launch the basic of new apps free of cost on this platform. It helps them to get feedback about the product as many users test the app. Based on the recommendations, the app becomes successful very quickly.

Visit Here

19. Mobile9

Visit Here

20. Mobango

Visit Here

Google Play Store is the most popular app store in the world. But due to its policies, there are many apps that do not find space in the Google Play Store. And that is the reason why you must switch to the best google play store alternative. Free and discounted apps are another reason why we must consider these alternatives. Apart from that, older versions, open source applications, and the latest updates are not available too. Every app store has its pros and cons. Choosing one play store alternative is a difficult task and you may to try out most of them until you pick out a favorite.

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About the author

Dheeraj Manghnani

Dheeraj Manghnani is a tech writer who writes about anything that has tech into it. He has written over a 1000 blogs on tech news, product comparisons, error solving and product reviews.

What Are The Best Layoff Practices?

The process of simultaneously laying employees off and making new hires needs to be navigated cautiously.

If you lay an employee off and rehire for the same position within six months, you are opening up your business to potential lawsuits.

Communicating the “what,” “how” and “why” of layoffs, especially if simultaneous hires are also underway, is important to the continuity of your business. Employees should never have to guess why these employment actions are taken, how they are exercised, and what timeline is involved.

This article is for small business owners who might need to lay off and hire staff at the same time.

Laying employees off is never a pleasant experience. At times, layoffs are necessary for a business to maintain continuity through lean times. However, there may be instances when you need to lay off employees while bringing new workers on board at the same time. Before you undertake this staffing conundrum, it is important to understand what you legally can and cannot do and how best to communicate the workforce changes to your staff. 

What is a layoff?

Before moving forward with layoffs and potential new hires, it is important to understand what a layoff is and how it differs from other forms of employee separations.

Layoffs are generally a reduction in force. This could be just one employee or many employees at one time. Layoffs can be temporary or permanent, and they can occur across multiple departments within a business or just in one.

Performance or behavior issues with employees should not be dealt with through layoffs. This process should not be an excuse to get rid of a troubled employee.

That said, in mass layoffs it is common practice to eliminate the positions of lower-performing employees and those with behavioral issues first. Just understand that you cannot turn around and fill the same position right away with another person.

Is it legal to simultaneously lay off and hire employees?

The short answer is yes, but there are some caveats. You cannot lay off an employee in a specific position and then immediately fill that same position with a new hire. If that is the route you are looking to take, you cannot refer to that employee’s termination as a layoff. Doing so could open you up to wrongful termination lawsuits, which can be difficult to defend against.

A company can lay off and hire at the same time when these employment actions do not overlap on the same job or position. You can legally lay off and hire employees simultaneously if you are experiencing a reduction in business and no longer need an operations manager, for example, but do need to hire more sales professionals to bring in new business.

Key Takeaway

You can legally lay off and hire employees at the same time, but you cannot lay off an employee only to quickly hire someone else to fill that same position.

Tip

A good general rule is to wait at least six months before refilling a position that you laid an employee off from.

When to lay off employees

Many factors can force employers of all sizes to lay off employees.

Economic downturns: When the entire economy shrinks or slows, companies within many industries have to come up with ways to save money. Employees are expensive, and if there are ways for a company to go without certain positions, the employees within those positions are removed from the workplace.

Mergers and acquisitions (M&As): When two companies become one, there are almost always superfluous positions and, thus, employees left in the wake. Determining which ones to retain and which to let go is an inevitable part of mergers and acquisitions.

Relocating or moving operations: When a business physically moves to a new facility in a distant city or different state, local employees usually won’t uproot their lives and move with the company. The lower an employee’s pay is, the less likely they are to relocate for the company.’

Evolution, technology and automation: As technology continues to improve, it’s inevitable that certain functions employees used to perform will no longer be necessary. To limit redundant coverage, employers reduce headcount when it is no longer needed.

Growing internationally, outsourcing or offshoring: For many reasons, mostly to save money, some employers move their operations overseas (for example, outsourcing to an offshore call center), where labor costs are far less than in the U.S. In these situations, entire plants may close down, resulting in thousands of employees being laid off at once.

Should layoffs be permanent or temporary?

Layoffs, in and of themselves, should be communicated to the employee as a permanent departure from the company. If circumstances change, you can always contact them and explain your reasons for inviting them back. Never promise future employment to anyone, however, since you cannot predict the future. More importantly, a verbal promise of employment may be considered a contract for employment in legal circles.

Should I consider rehiring laid-off employees?

Whether or not to rehire laid-off employees is mostly a matter of the employer’s judgment. If it’s been less than six months from when you laid off an employee to when you need someone in the position again, it is good practice to rehire the same employee. If the laid-off worker was a good employee overall and had a positive experience with your company, there should be no reason not to rehire them if you need that role in your company again.

Did You Know?

You can hire back laid-off employees if you need them again. However, you should never use layoffs as a cover for terminating problematic employees.

How to communicate reasons for layoffs and/or simultaneous hiring

There are specific avenues you should take when communicating with the employees you are laying off, as well as when informing the rest of the company. 

Communication for exiting employees

Being laid off is never a pleasant experience, and all employers should be mindful, sensitive and patient throughout the process. Anyone in your company who will be delivering the news to laid-off employees needs to know what to include in the notification meeting and how to say it clearly and compassionately.

You, your human resources representative or the employee’s manager should address these five areas in the notification meeting with the employee:

Explain the business rationale for the layoffs — and theirs specifically.

Provide the employee a written letter with all the relevant information, including the effective date and an explanation of the impact on their benefits (e.g., how they will be discontinued).

Explain the details of their severance package.

Tell them about any outplacement services that your company or an organization in your area offers.

Lay out their next steps, such as returning company equipment.

Communication for remaining employees

You and your leadership team should inform the remaining employees that layoffs took place and the reasons behind them. If possible, present this news in person, such as in an all-staff meeting. For large, remote or widely dispersed teams, a video conference may be appropriate.

Follow up the initial announcement with a detailed email to all employees that reinforces what was shared in the meeting. Team leaders, managers and supervisors should pull their teams together to check in, ask if there are any questions, and remind the team to practice self-care. Survivor’s guilt in the wake of layoffs is a real phenomenon that you shouldn’t ignore. Managers should acknowledge this and, if your company offers it, remind their team of your employee assistance program (EAP) services.

Consider these tips for how leaders should communicate with their remaining team members:

Spell out the layoff processes so employees know what those who are being laid off will be experiencing and what the impact on the team will be.

Listen to your team’s concerns, let them vent, and acknowledge their fears with compassion and authenticity.

Describe a future vision for employees, their roles, the team and the company as a whole.

Communication for customers

You may be embarrassed or reluctant to share the news with the public, but your reduction in force could be helpful for customers to know about, particularly if it may impact their service or delivery timing. Provide your managers, sales professionals and any customer-facing staff with scripts on what to say so they are equipped to handle tough conversations.

Maintaining a healthy balance

As an employer, you never look forward to laying off any of your staff. But in the best interest of your entire company, there may be times when layoffs are necessary. 

Approaching the situation with transparency and honesty is one of the best ways you can handle layoffs. Effective communication with your employees can help you maintain positive relationships with them, which can be beneficial if you later have the resources to rehire the ones you laid off.

Additional reporting by Shayna Waltower and Max Freedman.

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