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Apple has created a credit card. For people who mainly think of Apple as a computer (or phone) company, this might be a surprise. However, Apple isn’t so much a technology company as it is a brand that sells a particular viewpoint on how things should look, feel and work. So, in principle, an Apple credit card isn’t all that strange. Apple believes they’ve reinvented the traditional credit card but is it a good deal in real life?
We took a hard look at what the Apple credit card offers on paper and scoured sites like Reddit and social media to get a feel for the day-to-day troubles people have run into using this Titanium card.
Table of Contents
So if you’re tempted to get in on the shiny new (card-shaped) thing from Apple, read this first to make sure you know what you’re in for.Apple Credit Card: What’s the Deal?
Why should anyone want to have an Apple credit card instead of a traditional card from established banking institutions? There are a few core value propositions the Apple credit card brings to the table that can be summarized as follow:
Total integration and dependence on iPhone
Integration with Apple Pay
Clear and intuitive dashboard for payments and interest
Very favorable interest rates (if you can get them)
Cashback (with higher rates for Apple and partners)
Interest-free terms on Apple devices
Apart from that, the physical card itself is a typical Apple piece of engineering. Minimalist and made from titanium, the card is unlikely to ever wear out. However, in this article, we don’t care about the physical card, but rather the deal as a whole. So let’s discuss these value propositions in more detail.iPhone Integration (For Better or Worse)
One unique aspect of the Apple credit card is its reliance on the iPhone. If you don’t have an iPhone, you can’t get an Apple credit card.
The card itself is just an extension of a digital wallet system that exists on your phone. It has no credit card number on it and is virtually blank. The physical card essentially gives you a way to pay if Apple Pay is not available. This means getting 1% cash back instead of 2%. Sure, the titanium card is gorgeous and cool, but it’s not the point at all.The Interest Advantage of the Apple Credit Card
Apple says that their card is different since it incentivizes you to pay less interest. This seems a little counterintuitive because credit card companies make money from the interest you pay on your borrowed credit.
Apple has gone out of its way to show you exactly when and how to pay to avoid interest on your outstanding balance. You also only pay for the portion of the balance you elect not to pay. This isn’t all that different from how most credit cards work. If you borrow money from a credit card over short periods and pay it back within a certain time frame you don’t accrue any interest.
The main difference here is Apple shows you the numbers that let you minimize interest payments, rather than keeping those hidden out of sight.
The Apple credit card is notable for more than just how transparent it makes interest calculations. Apple is also offering some of the lowest interest rates in the market for a cashback credit card.
While your potential interest rates are pretty low overall, how close you get to the lowest possible interest rate will depend on your credit rating and the algorithm that Apple uses to determine card limits and interest rates.Cashback Rewards
Speaking of cashback rewards, Apple has a rather unbalanced solution in place. If you buy Apple products or make Apple Pay purchases from partners, the cashback rewards are substantial. If you buy things outside of this partner network, there are cards out there that offer better returns on average.
So whether the Apple credit card is a good deal strongly depends on whether you’re a frequent Apple customer, use Apple Pay regularly, or shop at retailers who are part of their partner network.The Apple Gadget Advantage
If we’re being honest, one of the main reasons that Apple likely came up with their credit card is so that they can sell more Apple stuff to people. Since you need to own an iPhone to have the card, only people who are already in their ecosystem will qualify.
Apple offers to sell you Apple products using their card at no interest at all. In other words, you’re getting your Apple gadgets at the cash price, but on a payment plan. Not all products are eligible and the maximum repayment period varies, with 24 months being the longest possible.The Goldman Sachs Connection
While the card is boldly emblazoned with the iconic Apple logo, you’re probably not surprised to hear that Apple hasn’t become a completely independent financial institution. Their card is backed by Goldman Sachs.
While there’s nothing wrong in principle with this move, anyone who is considering applying for their card should know who they are doing business with. There have been stories in the media raising privacy concerns and potential issues of discrimination by algorithms when it comes to determining interest rates.
If you aren’t happy with how Goldman Sachs does business, then you won’t be happy to own an Apple credit card.Who Is The Apple Credit Card Good For?
Let’s get the main issue out of the way first. If you aren’t already an iPhone user or someone who’s going to be sticking with the iPhone and the Apple ecosystem over the long term, the Apple card simply isn’t worth it. Sure, it has no annual fee, but in reality, the cheapest iPhone costs $400. So make of that what you will.
Since you’d have to first invest in an iPhone, which isn’t cheap, the rewards don’t justify it. If you’re looking for a way to get your Apple fix for the best prices, the card becomes much more attractive. The interest-free payment plans on Apple gadgets are an amazing offer. You also get a further 3% cashback on repayments towards the device.
The same goes for Apple Pay purchases. If you’re already using Apple Pay in your daily life, then the card offers great benefits. If no one in your usual selection of retailers offers it, there’s little reason to use the Apple card.
Another issue that might be a problem for many people is the fact that Apple does not allow for more than one person to be authorized to use the card. So if you wanted a second card for a spouse or child, you’re out of luck without that person buying their own iPhone and applying for their own Apple credit card.
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I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we’re big fans of Kickstarter here at iDB. And it seems that Kickstarter project creators like us, too. Apparently, thanks to iDB, a few thousand dollars have been raised for various Kickstarter projects, and we’re pretty proud of that.
Today, we sit down with Keith White and talk to him about Trak, a mobile credit card reader for iPhone and iPad he intends to launch with a little help from Kickstarter.
In just a few words, what is Trak?
Trak is the next-generation mobile POS credit card reader device and app for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Trak reader is ultra thin and small enough to fit into your pocket. It’s pretty sleek-looking too.
How did you get the idea of Trak and why did you start this project?
In September 2010, I developed a multimedia mobile entertainment content platform to help Sony Music monetize its large digital music catalogue on a mobile carrier’s 3G wireless network in Latin America. During that period, a lot of industry buzz and hype was around mobile payments, especially near-field communications (NFC). I liked the Square business model better and saw market opportunities Square was not addressing. So I decided to create Trak to address the void.
Do you have a background in product design?
No, I do not have a background in electronic product design, but I have a good sense of really good designs and I have a great team of designers around me. Not to mention I oversaw the website design and development of one major video portal in 2008.
Who is helping you out with this project?
Your goal is to raise $20,000. How do you expect to get there?
Yes, $20,000 is the minimum goal. The goal will be reached by individual consumers and readers pre-ordering and making a pledge on our Kickstarter page. Pledges start at $5, and for as little $25, $50 or more, backers will receive the Trak reader first edition before public launch. We think it’s the coolest-looking and aerodynamic card reader on the market.
How different is Trak from similar products like Square?
Square’s reader is unencrypted, meaning it lacks security in the reader or at the card swiping level to protect customer’s card data from theft and tampering. Lacking this security at the reader level can expose the customer’s card and merchant’s data to risk. Trak has encryption at the card reader level to fight fraud and card data theft.
Square charges a 2.75% per swipe transaction fee. Trak swipe fee is 2.5%. Trak offers an ambient sensor light to alert the merchant when the card has been swipe successfully, Square does not.
Trak connects through the 30-pin connector slot at the bottom of your iPhone and iPad. Square connects through your headphone jack and you have to have the volume on the phone set to high or the Square reader want transmit the signal for the transaction to the device.
Often times you have to swipe the Square reader multiple times for the card to be read successfully. Trak does not have this problem. There are other attractive features that I can share with you at a later date.
When will Trak enter production?
I can only say that we expect to launch in late Q1 or early Q2 of 2012. Anyone can participate in our early beta test by going to our Kickstater page and there is a pledge level for beta testers.
How much will it cost?
The first edition of the Trak reader can be pre-ordered now for $25 on Kickstarter and the app will be free.
Where will we be able to buy a Trak?
Trak will be offered online at our chúng tôi web site. We have not launched the site yet, as we are still in stealth mode and will have many more details and goodies to reveal at a later date. We are also talking with a few national retailers about Trak being sold through their stores. More information to be announced about this at a later date.
As Keith mentioned above, pledges start at $5 and go all the way to $250. Those of you who decide to invest in this project will receive the first version of the Track reader once its made available. Please make sure to visit Trak’s Kickstarter page for more information.
Selecting a credit card processing company presents a unique set of challenges when you own a construction business. Because of construction’s project-based nature, payments are often large and intermittent. Plus, you may want to accept card payments in various ways to make it convenient for clients to pay you. For example, in addition to accepting credit card payments over the phone and in person, you may want to accept card payments online via invoices and in the field using a mobile POS system connected to your phone.
While much of the information here can apply to any business, we’ll look at special considerations for construction businesses when choosing a credit card processor, including what to look for in contracts, rates and fees.
Here are seven tips for choosing a credit card processor for your construction business.1. Get a merchant account.
There are two main payment processor types. Most processors are ISO/MSPs that you can set up with your merchant account. This type of processor is best for companies that process more than $3,000 per month and those with varying transaction amounts, so it’s likely the best fit for your construction business.
The other type of processor is a merchant aggregator or payment facilitator. These companies sponsor multiple businesses under their master merchant accounts. Businesses that process less than $3,000 per month may save money by working with this type of processor because it usually charges a flat rate with no monthly or annual fees. However, aggregators tend to be more risk-averse than ISO/MSPs, and irregular transaction amounts can trigger a fraud alert that causes the processor to freeze your account.
Editor’s note: Looking for a credit card processor? We can help you choose the one that’s right for you. Use the questionnaire below to receive information from a variety of vendors for free:2. Be upfront about your transaction amounts and volume.
When you’re calling for a price quote, the credit card processing service’s sales rep will ask you what your average ticket (invoice) size is and the dollar amount you process – or anticipate processing – each month.
It’s important to be as accurate as possible with these numbers so the rep can give you accurate pricing. And, if you decide to proceed with the company, this information will help the rep set up your account correctly. If you have an irregularly large transaction coming up, or if your business is busier than average and you anticipate processing a higher volume of transactions, you can call the processor ahead of time to get approval.
POS systems for small construction businesses can add payment flexibility and speed up your project’s workflow. Check with your potential payment processor about its mobile POS offerings.3. Choose a company that offers month-to-month service.
When it comes to a contract, you’re seeking the same quality other small businesses look for in a payment processor: no lengthy terms. This is important because if the processor’s services end up not being a good fit for your business, you can close your account without penalty.
Processing contracts typically have three-year terms and charge expensive early termination fees if you cancel the service before the term expires. It’s important to read the contract to verify the term length, cancellation procedure and applicable fees before signing with a company.
When you request the contract to review, the sales rep may send the application only; however, this is only one part of the contract, so you may need to specifically request the terms of service and program guide. The program guide is typically where the information regarding the cancellation policy resides.4. Request interchange-plus pricing.
Industry experts recommend the interchange-plus pricing model. However, many of the sales reps you call will quote you the starting rate for tiered pricing – also called the “qualified rate” that only applies to regular cards you accept in person – so you may have to specifically request an interchange-plus rate.
Some sales reps may discourage you from choosing an interchange-plus plan because the company makes less money with it than with a tiered pricing plan. Others may have specific prerequisites before you qualify for their interchange-plus plans. For example, they may require you to process a certain transaction volume each month or be a customer for a certain amount of time. However, the best credit card processors offer interchange-plus pricing to all their customers without these restrictions.
Another reason to opt for interchange-plus pricing is that it gives you a level ground for comparing quotes. This pricing model is based on interchange – a table of rates set by the card networks – and everyone pays the same amounts. The processors add a markup to these rates, and that’s the rate you’re quoted, so you can easily see which companies offer you the lowest rate.
Tiered pricing is difficult to compare because processors add markups to the interchange rates and then sort them into tiers. The number of tiers and the types of cards and transactions sorted into each one vary by processor. However, many have three tiers for credit and debit cards: qualified, mid-qualified and nonqualified.5. Find out about fees.
Credit card processing fees include monthly statement and gateway fees, plus an annual PCI compliance fee. Processors will also charge a monthly minimum. Additionally, there are standard incidental fees (batch, voice authorization, AVS, chargeback, retrieval and NSF fees) and network fees (APF, FANF, NABU and data usage).
When you call for a price quote, request a fee schedule. Once you’ve narrowed down the companies you’re considering to your top three or four choices, ask them to send you a complete contract to review – including the application, terms of service and program guide.
Read the entire contract, highlight or list all the fees it mentions, and compare it to the fee schedule. If fees weren’t disclosed or sound odd, ask the sales rep about them and see if they’re willing to waive them. If they are waived, ensure you receive a waiver or an amended contract.
If you’re growing your construction firm, business is seasonal, or there are months when you process fewer payments than usual, look for a processor that doesn’t have a monthly minimum requirement.6. Look for a processor that offers level 2 or 3 processing.
When you accept a credit card from a consumer, it’s processed as a level 1 transaction, which requires minimal information to process. However, if your clients are often other businesses, and they pay you using corporate cards, you’ll pay higher processing rates unless you provide the processor with additional data about the transactions.
For level 2 processing, you’d need to provide your customer’s billing address, customer code (or purchase order number) and tax amount. For level 3 processing, you’d also need to include an invoice number and a description.7. Use a processor that accepts high-risk businesses.
From a payment processor’s perspective, construction is a high risk because of the high invoice amounts, irregular payment spacing, number of industry regulations and the fact that customers may make card-not-present transactions.
Credit card processing in high-risk industries isn’t appealing to many payment processors. Look for payment companies with experience doing contractor credit card processing, as these companies will be less likely to freeze your account when they see seemingly randomly spaced large sales.8. Ensure payment security is in place.
In today’s technological world, ensuring the services and tools you use are secure is paramount. This is especially true when searching for a credit card processor. A payment security breach could be devastating to a contractor, so make sure the credit card processor you choose is adhering to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This set of standards helps protects users and businesses from potential fraud.Other considerations
When you’re talking with a sales rep, verify that the processor can set you up to accept payments in various ways: on the go, over the phone and online. You also want to see if the processor can support you with accepting ACH payments and other electronic payments, such as e-checks, which gives customers more flexibility.
Many payment processors integrate with the best accounting and invoicing software, so be sure the processor you choose can work with the software you’re already using. You may even be able to add a payment button to your electronic invoices, helping your customers quickly pay online.
According to the PwC Working Capital Report, it takes construction businesses an average of 83 days to receive payment. Accepting credit cards can shorten this time to less than a week.Recommended credit card processors for contractors and construction
Here’s a glance at credit card processors that work well for contractors and construction businesses.
CompanyPricingMonthly feeGood becauseStaxInterchange-plus or flat monthly price subscription modelMonthly plans starting at $99Low rates; online invoicing and recurrent billingProMerchantInterchange-plus with monthly fee or flat rateCustom quote requiredAccepts high-risk merchants; quick approval decisionPayment DepotInterchange-plusPlans $49-$199 per monthAccepts high-risk merchants; good for high volume; mobile processing
For more information on these processors, read our ProMerchant review, our Payment Depot review and our review of Stax.
The Nokia 6.1 Plus is official and it’s the first Nokia phone with a notch. The phone comes in at a price of Rs. 15,999 and is obviously competing against phones like the Redmi Note 5 Pro, and the Mi A2. Nokia has opted to go with a dual 16MP + 5MP shooter on the back, along with a 16MP selfie camera with the phone, and that sounds good on paper, but does it stack up against the Redmi Note 5 Pro and the Mi A2?Nokia 6.1 Plus Camera Test: Specifications
Before we take a look at how the Nokia 6.1 Plus performs in real life, let’s take a quick look at the hardware the phone packs. The Nokia 6.1 Plus comes with a dual 16MP f/2.0 + 5MP f/2.4 rear camera with support for 4K videos, EIS, and Portrait Mode. On the front, the phone comes with a single 16MP shooter. There’s a Portrait Mode on the front as well, and the phone also brings in Nokia’s very own Animoji-clone, although there’s currently only one in the phone. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a look at what the Nokia 6.1 Plus is capable of.Rear Camera Performance
First let’s talk about how the phone’s primary camera set up fares in real world usage. Since the major competition here is the Redmi Note 5 Pro and the Mi A2, I’m also comparing the camera performance of the Nokia 6.1 Plus against the performance of those two phones.Good Lighting Conditions
In good lighting situations, the Nokia 6.1 Plus’ camera performs decently good enough and personally, it looks a tad better than the Nokia X6 with the China ROM in it. Photos come out with a good amount of detail, and a nice overall color balance.
Low Light Conditions
In low light things don’t look so good for the Nokia 6.1 Plus. The phone tries to capture more light, and for the most part it succeeds, but it also ends up losing focus most of the time, and photos turn out really soft and noisy.
The Redmi Note 5 Pro and the Mi A2 definitely fare better in low-light conditions. Keep in mind that these phones are nothing magical in low-light, but they are a lot better than the Nokia 6.1 Plus and definitely impress with the way they handle focus, noise, and capturing enough light in a shot.
I was particularly happy with the Mi A2 in low light since it performs at par with the Redmi Note 5 Pro in most situations, and sometimes fares even better.Portrait Mode
The rear portrait mode on the Nokia 6.1 Plus is decent. It’s nothing special, but it’s not bad for sure. The background blur here is adjustable, and I personally find it to work best when set to around 50% blur. I mean, you could go higher, but then things start to look really unnatural; that 50% blur point usually turns out more like a DSLR-shot than any other blur-settings on the phone.
Front Camera Performance Good Lighting Conditions
Moving on to the front camera, the story remains pretty much the same. The 16MP shooter on the Nokia 6.1 Plus is a decently good enough camera in good lighting situations and pictures turn out nice, with great color balance. However, the front cameras on the Redmi Note 5 Pro and the Mi A2 are simply better. There’s no other way to put it, both the Xiaomi phones end up overshadowing the Nokia 6.1 Plus’ front camera in good lighting conditions. The photos have more light, more detail, better exposure, and are just overall much better than the selfies you’ll get from the Nokia 6.1 Plus.
Low Light Conditions
In low light, the front camera on the Nokia 6.1 Plus suffers from issues similar to the ones we’ve seen with the rear camera in similar lighting. While the phone does try to capture light, it simply can’t handle low light all that well. Photos turn out dark (usually), with weird lighting, and details are all but gone here. Also, there’s quite a bit of noise in the shot. Both the Redmi Note 5 Pro and the Mi A2 once again fare better than the Nokia 6.1 Plus. The photos from these phones are not exceptional by any means, but they are definitely a lot better than what you’ll get from the Nokia 6.1 Plus. They capture more detail, more light, and usually balance the highlights and the shadows pretty well.
The front portrait mode on the Nokia 6.1 Plus is, once again, decent enough until you start comparing it to the Redmi Note 5 Pro and the Mi A2. If you do that, the Nokia 6.1 Plus is definitely the runt of the litter. Photos from the Nokia 6.1 Plus look decent enough, but the portrait shots from the Redmi Note 5 Pro and the Mi A2 are quite obviously better.
The Nokia 6.1 Plus comes with support for shooting 4K videos, something that the Redmi Note 5 Pro is incapable of. The phone also comes with EIS for stabilisation and in my usage I found that the EIS on the Nokia 6.1 Plus is good, but it can be pretty aggressive at times. Simply put, if there’s a lot of shake in the video, the EIS kicks in really hard and the entire video looks like it’s vibrating.. that’s like an extreme case of the weird stutter issues that EIS stabilised videos suffer in fast panning shots.Animojis
The Nokia 6.1 Plus also brings along Nokia’s very own implementation (read ‘clone’) of Animojis that we first saw in the iPhone X. The 6.1 Plus currently has only one Animoji in the camera app and it’s a dragon, I think. To be honest, Nokia’s implementation here is way better than what we’ve seen from companies like Samsung with their AR Emojis. It’s nowhere near as good as the Animojis on the iPhone X, obviously, but at Rs. 15,999, I’m not complaining about this.Nokia 6.1 Plus Camera Review: Nothing Special
Over all, the cameras on the Nokia 6.1 Plus (Rs. 15,999) are nothing special and while I wouldn’t go as far as to call them all bad, they definitely don’t even come close to the competition in situations like low light. The Redmi Note 5 Pro and the Mi A2 both have cameras that perform far better than the Nokia 6.1 Plus’ cameras. Basically, if camera quality is an important metric to you, I’d not recommend the Nokia 6.1 Plus. That said, I do hope that HMD Global can improve the cameras with software updates. Fingers crossed.
Is Orbot a good VPN? Check our honest review
Orbot is a nifty security/privacy application that can keep your mobile communications private while you’re online.
You can use Orbot exclusively on Android devices, but there are also some ways to run it on Windows 10 PCs. Spoiler alert: it involves using emulators.
Check out our VPN Section for more guides on how to protect your digital life.
Visit our Security Hub to discover more about maintaining your online security.
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Orbot is a nifty security/privacy application that can keep your mobile communications private while you’re online. It’s based on Tor, but it’s only available for Android phones.
As you probably figured it out already, you can’t exactly use it on Windows 10. Tor and its browser are enough protection and basically offer the same thing for your Windows 10 PC.
Many take Orbot for a dedicated VPN service, which is not exactly true. While Orbot does offer some VPN features, it functions after a somewhat different set of rules.
Did we mention that it’s entirely free to use?Is Orbot a VPN?
Long story short, no, Orbot is not a VPN for your Android phone. What this project manages to do instead is bring Tor functionality to Android phones. It’s optimized for these devices, so you can rest assured that it’s not just some port.
Orbot lets you connect to the Internet in a secure, private manner. You’re maybe thinking: right, but that’s the same thing a VPN does, so how is Orbot any different? Well, the truth is that this app has the best of both proxy servers and VPNs.Proxy vs. VPN
Proxy servers let you access certain websites and services on the Internet by offering you a gateway. A VPN establishes a secure tunnel to any server in its network.
Both proxies and VPNs mask your IP address, but proxy servers are generally less secure due to a lack of encryption. A VPN encrypts your traffic, but it can be a bit slower than a proxy.
Orbot uses Tor to encrypt your traffic by redirecting it through various nodes around the world. The nodes are usually other Tor users, but there’s also a chance you can bounce through an exit relay hosted on a dedicated machine.
Long story short, Orbot can be rather deemed as Tor for Android phones with added VPN functionality (includes a VPN mode).What is VPN mode in Orbot?
As we’ve briefly mentioned above, this app encompasses a VPN mode. Upon closer inspection, you may notice that it acts exactly like a VPN.
It even asks you for permission to manage your connection, just like any other Android VPN service does.
However, Orbot has a bunch of extra features that regular VPNs may lack. For instance, it’s widely known that many websites have VPN filters, which are used to detect and block VPN traffic. One such website is the US version of Netflix.How good is Orbot VPN?
Considering that it’s based on Tor, Orbot’s VPN can’t be blocked by websites as easily. Your connection will bounce through several nodes until finally reaching the website, which makes it harder to detect and block.
Furthermore, your traffic will be both encrypted and dispersed throughout all the nodes on your connection. This makes it tenfold harder to decrypt traffic, given that it’s not all in the same place.
Last, but not least, Orbot’s VPN feature lets you enable it only for certain apps on your phone. It kind of works like split tunneling, letting you choose which apps’ traffic will be encrypted.How to use Orbot VPN
1. Install it on your device
Visit the product page on Google Play
Hit the Install button
Wait for the installation to come to an end
Hit the Open button to launch the app
2. Launch Orbot
3. Connect to a server
4. Toggle VPN mode
It’s worth mentioning that you can select the apps for which Orbot will encrypt traffic. Selecting no apps (by default, no apps are selected) will enable a system-wide VPN.
Additionally, we’ve found some hints that the system-wide VPN only works on rooted phones. However, we’ve tested it on a non-rooted phone and it seems to work just fine.
5. Configure Orbot
Note that from an accessibility standpoint, Orbot can be easily configured, as most of the customization options work on a disable/enable model.
However, you should refrain from bringing any changes to the default configuration unless you really know what you’re doing. Otherwise, you may break Orbot’s security and even its functionality.
6. Bonus: for Samsung devices
Reportedly, there’s an app running on Samsung devices that listens to port 9050, which Orbot uses by default. You can either locate the apps that are listening on that port (use third-party apps such as Netstat), force stop them and disable them.
However, it’s far easier to just change Orbot’s default Tor SOCKS port from the app.How to use Orbot VPN on Windows 10
As we’ve clearly mentioned above, Orbot is Android-exclusive. Thus, not only is the app only available for Android, but it’s also optimized for these devices alone.
In conclusion, you can’t run Orbot on your Windows 10 PC natively, so you’ll have to improvise.
Although you can either use a regular VPN or Tor on Windows to the same effect as Orbot, if you’re stubborn you’ll need an Android emulator such as BlueStacks or NoxPlayer.
Once you have the emulator installed on your PC, deploy the app on it as we’ve described above.
Apparently, the app works without any major issues on Android emulators. However, it won’t be able to hide any traffic from outside the emulator. Furthermore, it may not be as secure as installing and running it on an Android device.Final thoughts on using Orbot as a VPN
All things considered, if you want a private, secure VPN on your Android device, Orbot is a good place to start. It basically brings all of Tor’s functionality on your Android phone, with added capabilities.
If you plan on using Orbot on your Windows 10 PC, it might be too much hassle. Since the app is Android-exclusive, you’ll need an emulator to get things running, and you might even notice certain bugs during the app’s runtime.
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How Good WPS Office Is? (WPS Office Review)
WPS Office, on the other hand, isn’t among those suites. WPS Office has been in the market since 1988 but only took a solid stand in 2000. WPS Office comes loaded with features to simplify your daily office activities. In this WPS Office review, we will dig deeper into each and every aspect of this software and evaluate how good WPS Office really is and if it is a worthy Microsoft Office Alternative.
Before we dive into it, here is a small guide to help you choose a suitable office suite for yourself.Evaluating WPS Office: 1. Pricing:
Pricing is our first basis of evaluation for WPS Office. In this part of WPS Office review, we will be looking at the price at which the WPS Office is offered and will also compare it with its worthy counterpart.
WPS Office is available in three different packages:
WPS License (Windows Only): $89.25 for Lifetime
WPS Premium (Windows, Android, iOS, or MacOS):
1 Year: $29.99 (1 Person)
6 Months: $18.99 (1 Person)
1 Year: $39.99 (5 Persons)
Note: Offers a 7-Day Free Trial.
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To compare if WPS Office is worth the price, let’s compare it with it biggest competitor, Microsoft Office. Microsoft Office also comes in multiple variants.
Microsoft Office Free (For Android only)
Microsoft Office Lifetime License (Windows, MacOS)
Microsoft Office Home & Student: $149.99
Microsoft Office Professional: $499.99
Microsoft Office Subscription (Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android)
Microsoft 365 Personal: $69.99/year (1 Person)
Microsoft 365 Family: $99.99/year (Up to 6 Persons)
In the price evaluation above, we saw that WPS Office has a free version available for all the platforms be it Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. On the other hand, Microsoft only has the free Office for Android mobiles. Here WPS Office seem to be ahead in the game.
While the yearly subscription of WPS Office comes at $29.99/year for 1 user, Microsoft Office 365 is priced at $69.99/year for 1 user. Though WPS Office is cheaper, if you want a family version for more than 1 person or device, WPS Office has a plan for 5 devices at just $39.99/year instead of $99.99/year for 6 persons in MS Office, the price difference is considerable.
In one time licensing, WPS Office is priced way cheaper than what Microsoft Office is priced at. Where one-time licensing of WPS Office is available at $89.99, Microsoft Office begins at $149.99 and goes to a whopping $499.99. (Features available with the Microsoft Office Home & Student are available in WPS Office Free Version)
Looking at the figures above, WPS Office is a really cheap and worthy solution for the price it is offered at. If you are an average user and want an Office suite to take you through your daily tasks, you don’t have to spend a dime on neither the WPS Office nor on anything else. Even if you are looking for an office suite for the whole family, WPS Office suite won’t disappoint you because Free x 5 = Free. Also, the family plan is $60 cheaper in WPS Office.2. Tools and Features Offered by WPS Office:
In this section of WPS Office Review, we will evaluate the tools offered by WPS Office and are they enough to get you through.
Free Version WPS Premium WPS License
Word Processor Yes Yes Yes
Yes Yes Yes
Presentation Yes Yes Yes
PDF Reader Yes Yes Yes
Edit Text in PDF No Yes Yes
PDF to Word/Excel/PPT No Yes Yes
Export PDF in Batch No Yes Yes
Picture to PDF No Yes Yes
Picture to Text (OCR) No No Yes
File Split/File Merge No Yes Yes
Cloud Storage 1 GB No 20 GB
Insert/Extract Pages from PDF No Yes Yes
Insert and Remove Watermark in PDF No Yes Yes
Change PDF Page Order No Yes Yes
Add Color or Picture in PDF No Yes Yes
Files Repair No No Yes
Automatic Document Backup No Yes Yes
Price FREE $18.99 – $29.99 $89.99
There are a number of templates available which can be used to easily create Resumes, Write letters, create posters, brochures, checklists, project reports, invoices, annual reports, work reports, albums, infographics, etc. (WPS Office has a premium subscription named Templates that users have to subscribe to in order to gain access to these templates for the users who are professional designers and often design things for others or for blogs.)
But what kind of tool review would it be if we don’t compare the tools available with WPS Office with the tools available with its competitor.
Tools Offered by WPS Office vs Tools Offered by Microsoft Office
wps office free WPS Office license WPS Premium Ms office license ms office 365
price FREE $89.99 for Lifetime $29.99/Year $149.99 $69.99/year & $99.99/year
word processor Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
presentations Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
pdf reader Yes Yes Yes No No
pdf to word/xls/ppt No Yes Yes No No
Edit pdf text/sign pdf No Yes Yes No No
cloud storage 1 GB No 20 GB No 1 TB
extract text from word No No Yes No No
file repair No No Yes No No
Mailing app No No No No Outlook
Publishing No No No No Publisher(PC Only)
Database management No No No No Yes3. File Compatibility:
In WPS Office review, it’s time to check its compatibility with the files created on the other suites. I may sound like a WPS Office Fanboy, but when it comes to File Compatibility, WPS Office is second to none. WPS Office is compatible with files created on Microsoft Office, Google Suite, Adobe PDF, and Open Office.
Formats supported by WPS Office: doc, docx, dotm, docm, xls, xlsx, xlt, xltx, ppt, pptx, rtf, csv, xml, wpt, dot, dotx, et, ett, pot, dps, dpt, potx, ppsx, and pdf.
LibreOffice Suite supports even more file formats than what WPS Office supports. On the other hand, other competitors like Microsoft Office stand nowhere in file compatibility.
Hence, if you are looking for an Office Suite with wide range of compatiblity with other Office suites, WPS Office is a great tool to have as it supports most of the commonly used Office suites like MS Office, G-Suite, Open Office, and more.4. User-Interface:
As we discussed earlier, the interface offered by WPS Office is heavily inspired by its famous counterpart. As a result, the learning curve isn’t too steep and new users would have an easy time getting a hold of WPS Office interface. The layout and the place where features are listed is fairly simple to access. The ribbon style is pretty familiar too.
Its competitors like LibreOffice have a bit outdated interface which may not be fun to use for many users. However, Microsoft office is the best in the game in this field and WPS Office can’t beat it either. But WPS Office’s interface is the closest you can get to MS Office’s interface.
To sum it up, User-Interface offered by WPS Office is second to none and the best you can get in this price and hence, user-interface shouldn’t be a concern to anyone thinking of buying WPS Office.5. Collaboration:
Collaboration features haven’t gone unnoticed from WPS Office too. For Collaboration, WPS office features WPS Cloud and WPS Online document creator where you can simply head to the WPS website and login to create online document. Also, you can share the file in real-time to collaborate of any number of people you like to get the desired result.
Although the online suite doesn’t offer as much features and function as the offline suite, you can always download the file to your PC to customize it better after all, its free.
Competitors like Google Suite also offer a similar feature to create online documents and collaborate in real-time. However, Google Suite doesn’t have any option to download the file to PC to customize it for better because of the absence of any offline suite.VERDICT:
In the end of our WPS Office review, by taking all the aspects of WPS Office into account, we can surely say that WPS Office is an amazing tool and is worth every penny you are charged for it i.e. if you go for the premium version. It isn’t just another Microsoft Office alternative but a worthy tool in itself. The clean and minimalistic design doesn’t fail to impress at any point in time. Users have the access to all the features they would require for free. Looking at the tools, file compatibility, User-interface, ease of collaboration, and pricing, I would suggest everyone to give it a try for a week or two if you are going to buy a complete suite anyways, the chances are you will like it. If you don’t, No regrets, you don’t lose a penny.
So, this was my WPS Office review. Do let us know how did you like WPS Office if you tried it, we love hearing from you.
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