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You Can Now Watch Live TV for Free on Plex

Plex is giving away its Live TV feature for free for up to three months. Live TV is normally only available to Plex Pass subscribers, but for a limited time only, anyone with a free Plex account (plus a couple of other necessities) can watch Live TV without paying a penny.

How to Watch Live TV for Free on Plex

Given the coronavirus pandemic that is forcing people to work from home, lots of companies are doing what they can to help. And Plex is no exception, offering three months of Live TV for free to anyone who wants it. As detailed on the Plex Forum.

To watch Live TV on Plex, you’ll need a Plex account (available for free), a Plex Media Server (also free to set up), a TV antenna, and a TV tuner. You can then watch any over-the-air broadcasts available in your area on the device of your choosing.

There are some caveats: This does not include DVR functionality or any other premium features. These features still require an active Plex Pass subscription. You’ll also only get 48 hours of guide data, whereas Plex Pass subscribers get two weeks’ worth.

Even with these caveats, this means you can now watch Live TV on Plex for free between now and June 30. Which is nice. Obviously, Plex will be hoping to persuade some of you to buy a Plex Pass after this ends, but there are reasons why you don’t need a Plex Pass.

Tips and Tricks to Help You Master Plex

We’re big fans of Plex here at MakeUseOf, so we have compiled a list of the best tips, tricks, tutorials, and guides to help you master Plex Media. You can use this exhaustive resource for help and advice whether you’re new to Plex or an experienced user.

Read the full article: You Can Now Watch Live TV for Free on Plex

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Spotify Kids Is a Music Streaming Service for Children

Spotify has launched Spotify Kids, a standalone app designed for “the next generation of listeners”. This is a version of Spotify for kids. And it features a child-friendly UI and a collection of songs (and more) curated for even the youngest music lovers.

In October 2019, Spotify launched Spotify Kids in beta in the Republic of Ireland. The streaming service then rolled the app out to other countries, gaining insights as it went. In March 2020, Spotify launched Spotify Kids in the US and Canada.

What Is Spotify Kids?

Spotify Kids is an app designed for kids aged 3+. There are thousands of songs available, all hand-picked by a team of editors. Younger children get Disney soundtracks and the like. While older kids can listen to pop songs from the likes of Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift.

A huge variety of genres are covered, and Spotify is adding new songs all the time. Spotify Kids also boasts audiobooks for the more literary children. And there are bedtime stories, lullabies, and calming sounds designed to make night time more enjoyable.

The Spotify Kids app looks and feels different than the regular Spotify app. With a bright and colorful UI, and a cast of characters to choose from. The look varies by age group too, so the Spotify Kids app can evolve as kids grow up listening to Spotify.

Spotify Kids is exclusively available to Premium Family subscribers. Mainly because it’s completely free of ads. Spotify Kids is available in the US, Canada, France, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil.

Download: Spotify Kids on Android | iOS (Only available to Premium Family subscribers)

Spotify Wants Kids to Start Streaming

With the streaming wars starting to heat up, appealing to the next generation of subscribers could be the key to the longterm future of Spotify et al. If children associate a certain company with music, they’re more likely to stick with them as adults.

While Spotify Kids is likely to keep the kids entertained, what about the adults in the family? If you consider listening to music as an activity to share with other people, here’s how to listen to music with friends far away. It’s easier than you may think!

Read the full article: Spotify Kids Is a Music Streaming Service for Children

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Reddit Polls Help You Gauge People’s Opinions

Reddit now officially supports Polls, with the social media platform rolling them out as a new type of post. This means that you can create a Poll on Reddit without needing to use a third-party service to do so. And the Poll can be about (almost) anything.

You have always been able to post a poll on Reddit. However, thanks to a lack of official support, you have had to use a third-party site to do so. Until now. After testing the feature for a few months, Reddit Polls are now available across the site.

How to Create a Poll on Reddit

In a post on /r/announcements/, Reddit describes Polls as “a brand new post type that encourages redditors to share their opinion via voting.” Anyone can create a Poll and then vote in that Poll. Polls are supported in all subreddits aside from text-only communities.

To create a Poll on Reddit, open the subreddit you want to post to and click “Create a Post”. Choose “Poll”, and enter a title, the question you want to ask, and the answers you want to offer. Finally, choose a “Voting Length”, and click “Post”.

Reddit Polls cannot be edited once published, so make sure you double-check every element before posting. As well as voting in a Poll, Reddit users can leave a comment on it. Which means the debate can continue beyond the simple act of voting.

You can create and vote in Polls on Android (be sure to update to the latest version of the app), iOS, and the new version of Reddit on the web. However, on the mobile web and the old version of Reddit, while you can vote, you cannot create Polls.

What Is Reddit and How Does It Work?

Polls are just the latest addition to Reddit—and a welcome one at that—with the social media platform regularly rolling out new features. However, if you’re completely new to Reddit, be sure to read our article explaining what Reddit is and how it works.

Image Credit: Lettawren/Flickr

Read the full article: Reddit Polls Help You Gauge People’s Opinions

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Duolingo ABC Can Teach Kids How to Read

Duolingo has launched a new app designed to help kids learn how to read. Called Duolingo ABC, the app aims to teach young kids aged between three and six how to read. Duolingo ABC is completely free and doesn’t feature ads or in-app purchases.

In 2019, Duolingo, best known for its brilliant language-learning app, started working on a standalone app to teach kids how to read. It has now launched the app, called Duolingo ABC, early to help parents homeschooling due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Duolingo ABC Helps Kids Learn to Read

Duolingo ABC is designed to teach children aged 3-6 how to read. It features 300 short lessons which teach children the fundamentals of reading and writing. In a similar way to how the core Duolingo app works, Duolingo ABC uses a variety of techniques.

Lessons include tracing a letter with a finger, associating an image with a phrase, and tapping objects that begin with certain letters. Also mirroring the main Duolingo app are the gamification elements which reward kids to help keep them motivated.

At launch, Duolingo ABC is available in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the Republic of Ireland. English is the only language currently supported, and the app is only available on iOS, but an Android version is reportedly in the works.

Download: Duolingo ABC on iOS

Instill a Love of Reading in Your Kids

Duolingo is set to continue developing Duolingo ABC, adding more languages and making it available in more countries over time. The ultimate goal is to help kids and adults alike learn how to read using similar techniques to the core Duolingo app.

Duolingo is one of the language learning apps that really work. And given that track record, we suspect Duolingo ABC will be a major help if you’re a parent teaching your kid(s) how to read. The kids can then move onto Google’s free reading app, Rivet.

Read the full article: Duolingo ABC Can Teach Kids How to Read

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Anchor Makes It Easier to Record Podcasts With Friends

There has never been a better time to start a podcast. With many countries in lockdown due to the spread of COVID-19, recording a podcast is a more productive use of your time than watching Netflix 24/7. And Anchor wants to help you get started podcasting.

Everyone either already has a podcast, or has ambitions to start one. However, talking into a microphone by yourself isn’t as much fun as chatting with friends. Which is where Anchor’s Record With Friends 2.0 comes in, making remote podcasting a breeze.

How to Use Record With Friends 2.0

Anchor, an all-in-one platform for podcasters owned by Spotify, details Record With Friends 2.0 in a Medium post. The company explains that it’s “making it easier to record your conversations with anyone, wherever they are in the world, from any device.”

It’s doing this with Record With Friends 2.0, which, as the name suggests, is an improvement over its previous remote podcasting functionality. Although currently in beta, Record With Friends 2.0 is free to use and available globally.

All you need to do is start recording a podcast using the Anchor app. Then tap “Invite friends to join.” You can invite up to four other people to record with you by sending an invite link. That will open either in the Anchor app, or their default browser.

The host needs to be using the Anchor app and have an Anchor account. However, unlike the previous version of Record With Friends, the guests don’t need to have either, making it easier than ever to record a podcast with your friends.

The Best Podcast Equipment You Can Buy

All of my favorite podcasts feature people talking to each other. There’s something more appealing about listening into a conversation than listening to a monologue. So if you have previously recorded alone, Record With Friends 2.0 could be a Godsend.

Whether you choose to use Anchor or not, you should give podcasting a try. If you have an original idea and a voice people want to listen to, there’s no reason not to start a podcast. And once you get established, you can buy the best podcast equipment to up your game.

Read the full article: Anchor Makes It Easier to Record Podcasts With Friends

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You Can Now Browse Instagram With Friends Over Video Chat

Have you ever wanted to browse Instagram with friends? Well, now you can, with Instagram launching a Co-Watching feature. This is just one of several things Instagram is doing to make the COVID-19 crisis, and the subsequent self-isolation, easier to bear.

Instagram Helps Us Cope With Coronavirus

This pandemic requires everyone to play their part. Whether that’s through self-isolating, donating money, or supporting healthcare workers. We have already detailed how Nextdoor’s Help Map is helping people help neighbors, and now Instagram is doing its bit.

In a post on the Instagram Blog, Instagram outlines the steps it has taken to “help people access accurate information, stay safe, and stay connected.” The company has been working on these since the WHO declared COVID-19 a public health emergency.

How to Browse Instagram With Friends

The headline feature is Co-Watching, which lets you browse Instagram with friends remotely. This opens up a video chat with one or more friends, and lets you browse Instagram together. You can like posts, view stories, or watch Instagram Live together.

To start Co-Watching with a friend or friends, open the Direct tab, and click the video chat icon. You can either start a new video chat or start one in an existing thread. Then, tap the photo icon in the bottom-left corner to start browsing your account.

As well as Co-Watching, Instagram is rolling out educational resources for anyone searching for coronavirus and its related queries. As with Google’s COVID-19 minisite, there will be links to trusted sources such as the World Health Organization.

There are also stickers promoting accurate information, a donation sticker promoting relevant non-profitable charities, and a “Stay Home” sticker promoting social distancing. Instagram will also be cracking down on accounts trying to profit from the crisis.

How to Watch Instagram Live Videos in a Browser

It’s good to see Instagram doing its bit to help, and the Co-Watching feature should help Instagrammers keep in touch with friends far away. And if you’re using Instagram to get through this troubling time, here’s how to watch Instagram Live videos in a browser.

Read the full article: You Can Now Browse Instagram With Friends Over Video Chat

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The New Google Podcasts Is Available on iOS and Android

Google has launched a new version of its Podcasts app. And, for the first time ever, Google Podcasts is now available on iOS as well as Android. What’s more, across both mobile platforms, Google has redesigned the Podcasts app to make it easier to use.

Google Wants You to Listen to Podcasts

Podcasts have been around for longer than you might think. However, they have massively grown in popularity in recent years to become a medium in their own right. The two issues are choosing the best app to listen to them on, and finding new podcasts to listen to.

Google thinks it has solved both of these issues with the new version of Google Podcasts. Now available on both Android and iOS, according to The Keyword, Podcasts has been redesigned to make it easier than ever to listen to, organize, and discover podcasts.

How to Use the New Google Podcasts

The new Google Podcasts boasts three main tabs: Home, Explore, and Activity.

Home provides you with a feed of new episodes and quick access to the shows you subscribe to. Selecting an episode will reveal the topics discussed in that episode. You can then learn more about those topics by jumping over to Google Search.

new Google Podcasts app

Explore is where you’ll find new podcasts to listen to. The “For You” tab will feature new shows and episodes of shows Google thinks you’ll enjoy. To the right of that are other tabs recommending popular podcasts across a range of different categories.

Activity is where you’ll find everything you have been doing on Google Podcasts. This includes episodes you have already listened to, episodes you have queued up to listen to, which episodes you have downloaded, and which podcasts you’re subscribed to.

Download: Google Podcasts on iOS | Android

Other Podcasts Apps on Android and iOS

Google faces a tough time persuading iPhone users to switch from Apple Podcasts to Google Podcasts. And there are plenty of alternatives on both operating systems. So, here are the best podcast apps for Android and the best podcast apps for iOS.

While Google Podcasts is all about helping you listen to podcasts, perhaps you would prefer to record your own podcast instead. Now is as good a time as any, and all you need is an original idea in your head and the right equipment to start podcasting.

Read the full article: The New Google Podcasts Is Available on iOS and Android

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Nextdoor’s Help Map Helps You Help Neighbors

Nextdoor has launched two new features which could prove invaluable during the COVID-19 crisis we’re currently living through. Help Map lets you volunteer to help your neighbors in need, while Nextdoor Groups allows you to create groups with like-minded individuals.

For the uninitiated, Nextdoor is a social network focused on local connections. It lets you connect with your neighbors, giving you a hub to share information, organize events, and recommend tradespeople. And it’s proving its worth amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

Nextdoor Launches Features to Help Communities

In a post on the Nextdoor Blog, the social network introduces Help Map and Groups. Help Map is a brand new feature that seems tailor-made for this moment in time. Nextdoor Groups has been in beta for a while, but is now being made available globally.

Help Map is an interactive map which lets you offer help to those in need. This could be getting medicines or groceries for sickly neighbors under quarantine. Or checking in on elderly neighbors who may be feeling even more lonely now than usual.

Nextdoor Groups allows you to form groups of like-minded people or with specific purposes in mind. Examples include moms struggling to manage childcare while the schools are closed or people interested in keeping fit but struggling with motivation.

According to Nextdoor, groups have been forming organically since the COVID-19 crisis kicked in. However, the social network is now going to help more to form by encouraging members to “turn active conversation threads into groups”.

Remember to Take Care of Your Mental Health Too

These features could prove invaluable for people struggling to cope with this pandemic. While Nextdoor is popular, it’s nowhere near as big as some other social networks. These features could help it to shine at what is becoming an international time of crisis.

The COVID-19 crisis is going to be tough for a lot of people, with health and money worries sure to come to the fore. Which makes it even more essential that we all look after our mental health. To help, check out these positivity apps that can boost your spirits.

Read the full article: Nextdoor’s Help Map Helps You Help Neighbors

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News

Nextdoor’s Help Map Helps You Help Neighbors

Nextdoor has launched two new features which could prove invaluable during the COVID-19 crisis we’re currently living through. Help Map lets you volunteer to help your neighbors in need, while Nextdoor Groups allows you to create groups with like-minded individuals.

For the uninitiated, Nextdoor is a social network focused on local connections. It lets you connect with your neighbors, giving you a hub to share information, organize events, and recommend tradespeople. And it’s proving its worth amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

Nextdoor Launches Features to Help Communities

In a post on the Nextdoor Blog, the social network introduces Help Map and Groups. Help Map is a brand new feature that seems tailor-made for this moment in time. Nextdoor Groups has been in beta for a while, but is now being made available globally.

Help Map is an interactive map which lets you offer help to those in need. This could be getting medicines or groceries for sickly neighbors under quarantine. Or checking in on elderly neighbors who may be feeling even more lonely now than usual.

Nextdoor Groups allows you to form groups of like-minded people or with specific purposes in mind. Examples include moms struggling to manage childcare while the schools are closed or people interested in keeping fit but struggling with motivation.

According to Nextdoor, groups have been forming organically since the COVID-19 crisis kicked in. However, the social network is now going to help more to form by encouraging members to “turn active conversation threads into groups”.

Remember to Take Care of Your Mental Health Too

These features could prove invaluable for people struggling to cope with this pandemic. While Nextdoor is popular, it’s nowhere near as big as some other social networks. These features could help it to shine at what is becoming an international time of crisis.

The COVID-19 crisis is going to be tough for a lot of people, with health and money worries sure to come to the fore. Which makes it even more essential that we all look after our mental health. To help, check out these positivity apps that can boost your spirits.

Read the full article: Nextdoor’s Help Map Helps You Help Neighbors

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No, Netflix Isn’t Offering Free Subscriptions Due to Coronavirus

If you receive a text or email offering you a free Netflix subscription due to COVID-19, ignore it, as it’s a scam. While that may sound like common sense to most of you, there will be people out there who fall for the promise of a free Netflix subscription.

While most of us are stepping up during this time of crisis, some are seeing it as an opportunity to scam people out of their money and/or personal information. And the latest scam doing the rounds is a message offering free passes for Netflix.

A Netflix Scam Is Doing the Rounds

As first reported by Business Insider, people have been receiving messages claiming that Netflix is giving away “free passes”. The messages claim that this is “due to the coronavirus pandemic,” with Netflix keen to help people isolating at home.

This is absolutely untrue, and Netflix is NOT giving away free passes. No such promotion exists, and it doesn’t matter how legitimate the message may appear to be. Some companies are offering some content for free, but Netflix is not one of them.

On the contrary, Netflix is one of the few companies likely to do well out of the COVID-19 pandemic. People are subscribing to streaming services in their droves as they’re looking for things to do while they’re locked down or quarantined at home.

Use Your Common Sense to Detect Scams

As with most scams, common sense is key. Look for dodgy URLs, typos, and offers that are clearly too good to be true. As this one is. Given that subscriptions are on the rise Netflix is hardly likely to give away free passes, coronavirus or otherwise.

OK, so you’re not going to get Netflix for free, but we still think Netflix is worth paying for. If you want to see proof of this, be sure to cast your eye over our guide to becoming a Netflix pro. This contains all of the tips, tricks, and recommendations you’ll need.

Image Credit: Global Panorama/Flickr

Read the full article: No, Netflix Isn’t Offering Free Subscriptions Due to Coronavirus