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There is not shortage of free mobile and desktop applications available on the internet. Unfortunately, most of them are either rubbish or trick you into parting with your cash via in-app purchases. But if you take the time to sort the wheat from the chaff, you'll find plenty of excellent apps that truly are free.

We're thankful every day for all the free apps out there that improve our lives (and the developers that make them!). Here are 50 our favourites.

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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If you're in the market for a new smartphone then you're naturally going to want to look up key details such as processor speed, RAM, storage space, battery size and the camera's megapixel rating, but weighing up these raw specifications is increasingly becoming a waste of time. Here's why.

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Google has released more messaging apps than I can remember (Allo, Android Messages, Messenger, Hangouts, Gchat, the list goes on), but the company has never been able to come up with a single service that can easily handle your messages on all platforms the way iMessage does for iOS and Mac devices. Now, Google may have finally figured it out by copying one of Apple's best features: Desktop SMS messaging.

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Where does all the time go? When it comes to the time you spend on your phone, your computer, and the web, this doesn't have to be a vague and rhetorical question - plenty of tools out there will track and monitor your time automatically, telling you exactly which apps and sites are sucking up most of your precious minutes of existence.

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You've stood at a bus stop, or in a line at the supermarket, or you've sat waiting for a movie to start, so you immediately reach for Facebook or Twitter, right? Well, maybe not, because here are seven app categories we've picked out that are a better use of your downtime than scrolling through posts from people you don't even like that much.

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While the mixtape is long gone, you still might be looking for a new way to share your latest weekend mix with your coworkers, or stay connected to friends across the country by jamming out to your favourite songs together. Now you can use JQBX to share playlists, vote on songs, and lend your musical taste to everyone with a Spotify account.

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iOS/Android: I hate mobile browsing. When I open Safari, I'm usually trying to google something quickly, then go back to my other apps. Lately I've been trying the mobile browser Cake, publicly released for iOS and Android today and it's made searching much faster.

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Even though we're still a month out from the Samsung Galaxy S9's official debut, as usual, in the run up to Mobile World Congress, leaks about Samsung's upcoming flagship phone are starting to swirl. But today, we might have just hit the motherlode thanks to info found by noted smartphone sleuth evleaks (AKA Evan Blass), showing what appears to be the best look at the S9 anyone has found yet.

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Do you remember the good old days when phone plans came with a free phone to use with them? A belt holster too, if you were lucky.

Well, if you were born after 1990 then you may not remember this. It’s been a while since we didn’t have to pay an extra handset fee on top of the plan price. Though if you look hard enough, there are still a few handsets you can nab for no extra payments on a two-year plan.

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Your phone has one, your laptop has one, and you've got a smart one in the corner of your room telling you the weather - but what makes a good speaker different from a so-so speaker? Why you might consider upgrading the audio capabilities of your TV or computer, and what should you look for if you do?

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Android/iOS: Your favourite social network for pretending you have a perfect life is now ready to let everyone know when you're online and lurking. Instagram is adding an activity status indicator to the people in your Direct Messages list, letting you know when they're on and ignoring that last funny video you sent. If you're of the same opinion as me, you're probably wondering how to disable this terrible new feature. Good news, lurkers: You can!