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  1. You get a notification saying you got an email and when you open the app to check it, you are greeted with a pop-up saying "Unfortunately Gmail has stopped". The app crashes and you're left wondering what to do. This is a common error that users of Gmail may come across and can be troublesome to deal with if you don't know what's going on. We'll show you various solutions to fix this error on your Gmail app for your Android device. 1. Restart Your App and Phone The first thing to try is to close and reopen the Gmail app. A quick reset like this can help get rid of a temporary glitch or bug. To completely shut down an app, navigate to the app's settings through the Settings > Apps menu and tap Force stop. After waiting for a few seconds, open your app and see if you can use it. If you still see the error, it is a good idea to restart your phone. By restarting your phone, all processes and apps are stopped, and this helps determine if anything is affecting the app. To ensure your apps are running optimally, you should keep your apps up to date. New updates fix existing bugs in the app and your problem could be resolved through a simple update. 2. Clear Your Gmail App's Cache One of the biggest causes of errors tends to be corrupted files. There are a multitude of ways this can occur, and one of the most common culprits tends to be the cache. The cache is where temporary files are located to help your app run faster and more efficiently. If one of the files gets damaged or corrupted, your app can stop running. To remove any corrupted files, you should clear your Gmail app's cache. Here's how to clear cache for the Gmail app: Go to Settings. Select Apps & notifications > See all X apps. Select Gmail. Tap Force Stop to kill the application. Select Storage & cache. Tap Clear cache. Now you can relaunch the app to see if it's working again. 3. Clear Your Multitasking Menu With smartphones becoming so much more efficient and powerful, multitasking is a great way to do multiple things at once on your phone. For a superior multitasking experience, Android keeps your recent apps open in the background. While this is great, it also relies on your RAM to do so and might leave Gmail with less RAM to use on the phone. This can lead to it not being able to work properly. By swiping up on your Android phone, you can see all your recent apps. Close all your irrelevant apps from the background and try opening the Gmail app again. 4. Uninstall Android System WebView Updates Android System WebView is an app you use all the time. If you are hearing about it for the first time, it is a smaller version of Chrome that allows you to open links within the app you’re using so you won’t have to leave the app. This app comes pre-installed on your Android device and its updates are notorious for causing apps to crash. You cannot uninstall the app but you can uninstall the updates. It is often recommended to uninstall its recent updates if you are having trouble accessing your apps. Go to your app library in the Play Store—or go to the app directly—and uninstall the updates while waiting for a new app or firmware update. 5. Use an Alternative Email Client If your Gmail app issues are not getting resolved, the best solution is to use an alternative email app until Google releases an update to fix bugs. Outlook is a great substitute to access your Gmail while the app is down, or check out our comparison of the best email apps to find which one suits you. Resolving Email Errors Any issues with your Gmail app should have been resolved by using the above methods. Not being able to access your emails can be very troublesome but it's important to always keep a calm head when looking for and attempting fixes.
  2. If you’ve ever wasted time scrolling back through your WhatsApp chat history trying to find that one particular message, photo, or link, you'll find the search tool and its various options a much more convenient route. In just a few seconds, you’ll be able to find any message from within your active or archived WhatsApp chats. Here’s how to the search bar in WhatsApp chats to look for messages, media, and links... How to Search Text in a Specific WhatsApp Chat If you’re trying to find a particular word or phrase from within a specific chat, then the easiest way to do this is by using the in-chat search feature. Start by opening the WhatsApp chat you wish to search in, and then head to the three dots icon in the top right-hand corner. From here, select Search and then type in whatever text you are looking for. If there are multiple results for your chosen search, then you can scroll through them by tapping the up and down arrows next to the search bar. To increase your chances of finding what you’re looking for, try to keep keywords simple because the search feature is looking for a direct match. How to Find Media, Docs, and Links in a WhatsApp Chat The in-chat search feature will search a chat for keywords, but this can still make it hard to find media, documents, or links if they weren’t posted with a caption or have obscure file names or URLs. To view all media, docs, and links shared in a specific chat, head to the three dots icon in the top right-hand corner. But instead of pressing search, tap Media, Links and Docs. From here, you will be able to see all images, videos, links, and documents shared within your chosen chat. How to Search All of Your WhatsApp Chats If you’re in a lot of WhatsApp groups and you’re not sure which chat to look in, then don’t panic. You can easily search all of your active and archived WhatsApp chats and groups by using the advanced search feature. To start an advanced search, open your WhatsApp app and head straight to the magnifying glass search icon in the top right-hand corner. From here, you can type in a keyword or phrase or filter your search by media type. In addition to helping you find images and videos, an advanced search can also help you to locate links, GIFs, audio, and even documents from within your chats. Getting More From WhatsApp Searching your WhatsApp messages is just one handy feature that can help you to get more from WhatsApp. If you use WhatsApp as your primary messaging service, then it’s well worth investigating some of its other cool features, including how to speed up your voice notes and activating disappearing messages.
  3. With almost 161 million new accounts created in the first quarter of 2021, the versatile messaging app Telegram is currently exploding in popularity and its developers claim to now have over 500 million active users worldwide. Telegram's security is no doubt one of its big selling points, but it comes with one downside: you can't back up your secret chats, or move them to a new device. Unless you've got a rooted Android phone, in which case you can. Let's take a look how. Why Doesn't Telegram Transfer Secret Chats Automatically? While Telegram markets itself as being more secure than WhatsApp, its enhanced privacy features only come into play if you use the secret chats end-to-end encryption feature. Unlike normal messages, secret chats aren't stored on Telegram's servers. Instead, your message is encrypted on your device before being sent to your contact's device where it is decrypted using a shared key. In theory, this means your message is safe from the prying eyes of any snoops lurking online, including Telegram Messenger Inc itself. Forwarding and taking screen-shots are also disabled for your secret chats. This is all well and good until the time comes to upgrade or reset your phone. Although Telegram will transfer all your account's unencrypted messages and media from the cloud very easily, the end-to-end encryption means your secret chats can’t be included in this process. This is good for privacy, but moving to a new phone shouldn't mean losing months' or years' worth of private correspondence that may have enormous sentimental, legal, or business significance. Luckily for Android users, secret chats can be transferred along with all your other Telegram data using the powerful Titanium Backup app. What Do You Need to Move or Back Up Telegram's Secret Chats? You will need the pro version of Titanium Backup. The app is well worth the $5.99 price tag and comes with an embarrassment of features, but we don't worry need to worry about most of them for the task at hand. You will also need to root both your old phone and your new device for this process as the app needs access to parts of the Android filesystem that are normally off-limits. Once your phone is rooted, the next step is to download Titanium Backup from the Play Store and purchase the license key either through the Play Store or direct from the developer via Paypal. Download: Titanium Backup (Free) Download: Titanium Backup Pro ($5.99) How to Set Up Titanium Backup to Copy Telegram Secret Chats Tap on the Titanium Backup icon to get started. Some users have reported problems on Android 10 and above, so if the app crashes on startup, restart your phone and you should be good to go. On the first run, you will need to grant Titanium Backup permission to access your photos, media, files, to make and manage phone calls, and to access your contacts. The app will then ask for root privileges which it needs to work. Granting it root for 10 or 15 minutes should be enough time to get the job done. Next, allow the Titanium Backup Pro add-on permission to send and view SMS messages and then wait a few moments while it scans your phone for installed applications. Set Up Encryption Now we just need to change a few settings before we back up Telegram and your secret chats. In Titanium Backup, tap on the menu button in the top right to open it again. From the menu tap on Preferences. Given that we're going to be moving the sensitive data in your secret chats off your device you might want to take advantage of the encryption feature of Titanium Backup Pro. If so, tap on Enable encryption. A new entry called Backup protection settings should appear. Tapping on this brings up three options. Tap on Symmetric-key strength and choose whichever option you prefer. The higher the number, the stronger the encryption. If you have a lot of data in your Telegram account it may take a while to encrypt everything so you may want to choose a lower value. Next tap on Create master key. Again you are offered a choice of encryption strengths and the same trade-off between speed and security applies. Once you have chosen your key strength enter a good passphrase and enter it again to confirm it, then tap Generate key. Set the Backup Settings Now go back to the previous menu screen and scroll down to the next menu entry: Backup settings. By default, your app and its data will be exported to a folder called "TitaniumBackup" in the main folder of your device but you can tap on Backup folder location to change this destination if you wish. The next step is to tap on Backup app external data and select Enabled (Always). Now tap on the Compression option. You can choose from three different levels of compression or none at all. Here the trade-off is between faster compression and smaller file sizes. Choose LZO if you're not worried about the size of your backup, GZIP for the best of both worlds, or BZIP2 if you want to make the backup file as small as possible. The final option that interests us is Backup settings. Tap on this and on the next screen tick the box marked Backup app cache. Finally, tap your back button to go back to the main Titanium Backup Overview screen. How to Back Up Your Telegram Secret Chats Tap on the Backup/Restore button in the top center of the screen. Here you will see a list of all the apps and elements Titanium Backup has found on your device. Scroll down until you see "Telegram" or type it into the search bar at the top of the screen, then select it. On the dialog box that pops up tap on Backup!. A notification will appear telling you the program is backing up your app. Once it is complete the notification disappears and underneath the Telegram entry it should say "1 backup. Latest: " followed by the date and time. Now you should have three files in the TitaniumBackup folder beginning with org.telegram and ending with .apk.lzop, .properties, and .tar.lzop. Copy the TitaniumBackup folder containing these files to the main folder of your new device. Restore Your Telegram Secret Chats on a New Phone Your new device must also be rooted before you can restore Telegram and your secret chats. Install Titanium Backup and the Pro add-on or copy your license key into the main directory. As before you will need to grant the app root access along with the various permissions it requires. Now you're ready to restore your secret chats. Open Titanium Backup and tap on the menu button in the top right, then tap Preferences. Scroll down to the Restoration settings section. Select Restore app external data then tap on Restoration settings. Make sure Always associate to chosen account and Switch to active data profile are ticked. Tap back, and back again to return to the main screen. Tap on the Backup/Restore button in the top center of the main screen. Search for Telegram from the search bar or scroll down until you find it as a crossed-out entry at the very bottom of the list and tap on it. Tap Restore on the dialogue box. A message will appear asking if you wish to restore the App only or the App+Data. Select App+Data. The restore process will start. You will be asked to enter your passphrase if you chose to encrypt your backup. Android may also warn you that installing applications from unknown sources is risky and ask your permission to allow Titanium Backup to install apps. Tap Settings, then tap the toggle beside Allow from this source to continue the restore process. Once the restore dialogue box disappears your restoration should be complete. Go to your launcher's app drawer and open Telegram. If everything went well, Telegram will not ask you to register your number again, but just for permission to read your contacts. Tap Continue and then confirm when it asks for access to your contacts, your photos, media, and files. Congratulations, now you should find all your Telegram messages, media, and secret chats ready and waiting for you! One thing to bear in mind: while your old secret chats will be there to read, you will have to start a new secret chat with your contacts to send new messages. Preserving Telegram Secret Chats for Posterity Secret chats are at the core of Telegram's claim to be a more secure and privacy-friendly alternative to Whatsapp and offer peace of mind whether you're exchanging intimate messages with loved ones or discussing sensitive business information. So, it's good to know you don't need to lose them when the inevitable time comes to upgrade your phone.
  4. With voice navigation, you’ll hear travel alerts, which lane to use, where to turn, and if there’s a better route. Google Maps, however, automatically displays map labels and place names in your country’s local language. Google Maps also uses your device’s default language as the navigation voice. So, if you want to hear directions in a different language, you’ll need to change the language and voice of spoken directions. On an Android device, you can change the voice of Google Maps navigation from within the app or via your phone's settings. Here’s how to do both. How to Change the Voice and Language in the Google Maps App You can change the Google Maps voice and language via the app’s settings. Here’s how to do it on your Android device: Open the Google Maps app and tap on your profile picture in the top-right corner. Scroll down and select Settings. Then, tap Navigation settings. Select Voice selection and choose your preferred language or accent. Note that Google Maps supports many languages and dialects. The English language, for example, has several geographical options, as so do other widely used languages, like Spanish. Want to learn more about Google Maps for Android? Read our mega-guide of tips for Google Maps that’ll change how you navigate. How to Change the Language Settings on Your Device You can also change the Google Maps voice and language through your device settings, provided Google Maps uses your device’s language as navigation voice. Remember, this method will also change the language of your Android device as well. Launch the Settings app on your phone. Scroll down to the System section and select Language and input. On some devices, you’ll have to tap Additional settings. Tap Language and pick your preferred language. You may need to tap Add a language and download one. Sometimes, Google Maps may face issues like not showing routes or showing wrong locations. Here’s how to fix Google Maps when it’s not working on Android. It's Easy to Change the Voice Language in Google Maps One of the easiest ways to find your way to a place is by using Google Maps spoken directions and travel alerts. However, the uttered words won’t help much if the navigation voice is in a foreign language. This guide shows how to change the voice and language of spoken directions via both the Google Maps app and Android device settings.
  5. A good router can make a massive difference to the speed of your internet connection. But if you don't have the money to fork out on a top-of-the-range model, what other avenues are open to you? If you want to know how to optimize router settings for speed or establish the best router configuration for faster internet, keep reading. 1. Automate a Reboot Schedule Most newer routers don't need to be rebooted regularly. However, if you've ever run into a dead internet connection, rebooting your router is often all it takes to get you back up and running. However, if you find yourself rebooting the router with any regularity, the DD-WRT and Tomato firmware options both have timed reboot options. Set it to reboot once a day while you're sleeping, and you'll never even notice the downtime while the router powers off and starts back up. 2. Make Your Router Faster With a New Antenna A simple way to make a router faster is to buy a new antenna. The antenna on most consumer-grade routers is awful. An amplified aftermarket antenna is a great fix and a simple way to improve signal quality (and thus improve speed) without the need for a new device. Powered and amplified aftermarket options start at around $15 and go all the way up into the low $100s. Plug-in range extenders are a bit more expensive, but they act as a powered antenna and wireless repeater in one. They can offer a significant improvement to homes with dead zones or signal degradation, but your mileage may vary. 3. Disable Older Wireless Protocols How do you optimize router settings for speed? One of the first things you can consider is turning off old wireless protocols. Newer routers on the 802.11ac protocol offer capabilities far exceeding many ISPs' service offerings. While the router might be fast, many of your devices are probably using older protocols—such as 802.11g—which slows the entire network down as soon as this device connects. Ideally, you should remove any device you see using b or g protocols. The fastest protocols, in order of fastest to slowest, are ac > n > g > b. Consult your router documentation to find out how to do this. 4. Change the Channel Width What about the best router settings to improve speed on your local network? For example, how can you make a video stream between your devices more quickly? The best router configuration for local speed often entails changing the channel width. The wider the width, the more that older devices on older protocols will suffer from interference. You can even take it one step further by reading our article on channel bonding for Wi-Fi routers. 5. Keep Your Router Updated One of the most overlooked ways to maximize router speed is to ensure your router is always running the latest software and firmware from the manufacturer. Sure, the updates are normally security fixes, but they're not going to suddenly make your router blazing fast. However, every incremental gain can help. If you've not updated in a while, you might see more of a boost than you'd expect. 6. Experiment With Router Location It's not only about finding the best router settings for fast internet. You also need to consider where you're placing your router in your home. Because the router competes with every other 2.4GHz and/or 5GHz device in your area, subtle movements often make a world of difference. Additionally, the building material of your house might interfere with the wireless signal. Solid concrete walls are notoriously hard for a Wi-Fi connection to pass through. 7. Optimize Your Router's Channel Settings Let's take another look at how to make a router faster by optimizing the settings. Have you considered changing the router's channel? There are plenty of free tools that'll scan your local airwaves for the channels with the least interference. They will then suggest which channel you should switch to. You need to change the channel from within the router's settings. Once again, you'll find out how to do this using your device's documentation or online help page. If you want to know more, check out our article on how to pick the best Wi-Fi channel for your router. 8. Switch the Router to a Different Band A typical home is full of wireless devices. Luckily, with a dual- or tri-band router, you'll have the capability of separating them to maximize speeds. In simple terms, you're opening another lane for network traffic. While a one-lane road will get you there, two (or three) lanes are better for everyone involved. If you have a dual-band router, you could assign some to the additional (and typically less crowded) 5GHz band instead of all your devices competing for space in the 2.4GHz band. We've written about the best dual-band routers you can buy if you'd like to know more. 9. Change Your Network Name and Password A lot of otherwise tech-savvy people still use the default username and password on their router. Even intermediate hackers are capable of hacking relatively secure networks with non-default passwords. Using a strong Wi-Fi password is equally important. While you might do a great job of splitting your devices up into separate bands, updating your firmware, and switching channels during high traffic periods, it's all an exercise in futility if your neighbors are piggybacking your Wi-Fi and using it to torrent movies all day. 10. Install New Firmware Many routers keep the settings relatively dummy-proof so that you don't screw anything up. While this is great for most users, sometimes you just want to dive in and hack the settings until you're running a router that far exceeds its price tag. There are several open-source firmware options for some of the most popular routers. While not every router is supported, there is no shortage of great options. They can help you speed up a Netgear router, find the best settings for a TP-Link router, and make just about any brand of router run faster. DD-WRT, OpenWRT, and Tomato make some of the most popular third-party firmware. Keep in mind that if you stick with your ISP's hardware, installing new firmware is not an option. That's one of the reasons it's a good idea to replace your ISP's router with a store-bought one. Optimize Your Router Settings for Speed Hopefully, this article has shown you how to maximize your router's speed and identify the best configuration for faster internet. Some of the steps might sound a little complicated, but if you take the time to learn and understand the tweaks that are available to you, you will increase your router speed in minutes.
  6. If you want to stream video content on different screens around your home, one of the best (and cheapest) solutions is the Google Chromecast. But if you're new to the technology, you may be wondering how to use Chromecast. In this article we'll explain how to use Chromecast on your TV, PC, Mac, iPhone, and Android. We will also answer a couple of other commonly-asked questions, such as how to use Chromecast without internet or Wi-Fi. To Which Devices Can a Chromecast Stream? Although all of Google's support literature for Chromecast talks about connecting the dongle to your TV, the list of supported devices is more extensive than that. A Chromecast needs two connections to work: a power supply and an HDMI connection. The HDMI connection is compatible with any screen that has HDMI input. So, in addition to TVs, that also covers standalone monitors, projectors, and other similar equipment. You cannot use a Chromecast dongle to watch casted content on your Android, iOS device, laptop, or any other gadget with an output-only port. And remember, if you're using a Chromecast Ultra, you'll need a 4K-capable TV and a high-speed internet connection. Connect Your Chromecast to Your Wi-Fi Network If you're using a Chromecast in your home or office, the logical first step is to connect the device to your local Wi-Fi network. To connect your Chromecast to Wi-Fi, you need to make sure that the device you are using to set up your dongle (such as an Android or iPhone) is on the same Wi-Fi network as you ultimately want your Chromecast to be connected to. Note: You cannot set up a Chromecast from a computer. To make the connection, download the free Google Home app from your device's app store. Within the app, navigate to Add > Set up device > New device and follow the on-screen instructions. How to Use Chromecast on PC There are a few different ways to use a Chromecast with a PC. All the approaches involve using the Google Chrome web browser. By using Chrome, you can either stream content from a single tab, stream your entire desktop, or stream content from a file on your machine. To make your selection, open Chrome and go to More > Cast. A new window will appear; it shows all the Chromecast devices (video and audio) on your network. Click on a device to select it. Select Sources to choose whether to cast a tab, a file, or your desktop. If you either stream a single Chrome tab, or you choose to stream a file, you can continue using other Chrome tabs and the rest of your computer without affecting the casting and without revealing the contents of your screen to the people watching the casted output. The only requirement is that you leave Chrome open and running in the background, even if you're working in other apps. In contrast, if you decide to cast your entire desktop, whatever is on your computer's screen will also be shown on the casting destination. Before choosing this option, make sure you don't have any sensitive information lying around on your computer that you do not wish to make public. Once again, you need to leave Chrome running for casting to continue. Note: Chromecast devices only work with Windows 7 or later. How to Use Chromecast on Mac If you want to stream a video or your entire desktop or cast local media from your Mac to Chromecast, the process is the same as on a Windows PC. For a quick guide, follow these steps: Open Google Chrome. Go to More (three vertical dots) > Cast. Choose your destination Chromecast. Click on Sources to cast either a file, a tab, or your entire screen. Leave Chrome running for the duration of the casting process. How to Use Chromecast on Android Android users have slightly more flexibility than iOS users when it comes to casting content from their device to a TV screen. This is thanks to Android's unique ability to cast its entire screen in addition to individual apps' casting functionality. Being able to cast your entire screen has some benefits. Most notably, it provides a workaround for users who want to cast content from apps that do not natively support Chromecast devices. To cast your Android screen on Chromecast, open the Settings app, go to Connected devices > Connection Preferences > Cast, and choose your Chromecast device from the list. Remember, your phone and your Chromecast need to be on the same Wi-Fi network. Some apps—such as YouTube—have a built-in casting button. It looks like a small TV screen. If you tap the button, it will automatically cast the video you're watching to your Chromecast. The rest of your phone's interface (such as other apps and notifications) will not be broadcast, thus leading to greater levels of privacy if you're casting in a public setting. How to Use Chromecast on an iPhone Natively, iPhone owners can only cast content from their device to a Chromecast if the app they are using supports the functionality. There is no way to cast your entire screen unless you use a third-party app like Replica. If the app you're using supports Chromecast, you will see a small button that looks like a TV screen somewhere on the app's home screen or menu. Tap the icon to see a list of Chromecast devices on your network. How to Use Chromecast Without Wi-Fi If you have an Android device, you can use your Chromecast without a Wi-Fi connection. The process for using a Chromecast without Wi-Fi is much the same as casting with Wi-Fi. Follow the previous instructions to either cast content from your entire screen or an app. Your Android device will look for nearby Chromecasts that are not on a network. When you see the Chromecast that you want to connect to, tap on its name. A four-digit PIN will appear on the TV screen. When prompted, enter it into your Android to complete the connection. Note: If you have an iPhone and you regularly need to cast without Wi-Fi, arguably the best solution is to buy an inexpensive travel router. Learn More About Chromecast In this article, we've explained how to use Chromecast, which should be enough to get you up and running with your device and the apps compatible with it. Of course, there is a lot more you can do with a Chromecast. For example, you can start by using it to create a second monitor for your computer.
  7. Want to make a Raspberry Pi-based media center, but find that the basic Kodi install doesn't offer enough features? Don't worry, there is a tried and tested alternative: Android TV! Here's how to install Android TV and enjoy the benefits of every popular streaming app that runs on Android, on your Raspberry Pi 3, 3 B+, and Raspberry Pi 4. Android TV on Raspberry Pi Before starting, it's important to understand that the versions of Android and Android TV used in this project are beta standard. As such, they come with certain shortcomings that you may not experience with an actual Android TV unit. Three Raspberry Pi models are suitable for running Android TV: Raspberry Pi 3 Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Raspberry Pi 4 The steps for the Raspberry Pi 4 are below. Different steps are required for the Raspberry Pi 3 and 3 B+, which follow later. Install Android TV on a Raspberry Pi 4 To build your own Raspberry Pi 4-based Android TV, you'll need: Raspberry Pi 4 (4GB or 8GB models are best) A good quality microSD card (16GB or more) Raspberry Pi 4 PSU USB keyboard and mouse (alternatively, a combi remote) USB flash drive HDMI cable Ethernet cable (optional) With those items gathered, you're ready to start. Step 1: Download and Install Android TV To install Android TV on your Raspberry Pi 4, start by grabbing the LineageOS 18.1 Android TV build. Download: LineageOS 18.1 Android TV by KostaKANG Next, download and install Etcher from Balena. This is a versatile disk image writing tool, used here to create bootable SD cards for the Raspberry Pi. Download: Etcher You should then install LineageOS to the SD card using Etcher. Refer to our guide to installing a Raspberry Pi OS for details. Step 2: Configure Android TV, TWRP, and GApps Unlike the Raspberry Pi 3 build, Android TV setup on the Raspberry Pi 4 is pretty much ready to use out of the box. Having said that, you'll need to install a few apps which aren't included, not least GApps. However, a few tweaks are required. First, though, you'll need to know how to use Android TV with a keyboard. F1 = Home F2 = Back F3 = View open apps F4 = Menu F5 = Power F11 = Volume down F12 = Volume up After connecting to your Wi-Fi network, enable developer options: Go to Settings > Device Preferences Open About Scroll to Build number and click this repeatedly until you see a message about Developer Options Go Back and you'll see the Developer Options menu under Settings With Developer Options available, you can configure the Advanced reboot option to enable access to the TWRP recovery menu: Open Settings > Device Preferences Select Developer options Here, click Advanced reboot This allows you to access TWRP, which is required for flashing and sideloading, which is where the GApps package comes in. Google Apps (GApps) packages for Android TV on the Raspberry Pi 4 are currently test builds. This means that features may be missing or unstable. Download: GApps for Android TV on Raspberry Pi 4 Select the tvstock or tvmini package and download the ZIP file to your computer, then copy to a removable drive that you can connect to the Raspberry Pi. Once you've done that, boot to TWRP: Open Settings > Device preferences Select Reboot > Recovery In TWRP: Select Install Browse to the GApps ZIP file Use Swipe to confirm flash and wait Next, select Wipe > Factory reset To exit TWRP, restart the Raspberry Pi 4 using the Reboot option. Step 3: Reboot Your Raspberry Pi 4 to Use Android TV Now you've sorted out the Google apps, you can reboot the Pi 4 to start using Android TV. Sign into your accounts, download media streaming tools, or connect your own media to the system. It's all there for you! Want further configuration? This build of Android TV for Raspberry Pi 4 features several tweaks you can make to the set up. This covers everything from setting up a hardware power button to configuring SSH. You can also enable an IR remote and send audio through the 3.5mm jack instead of HDMI. You'll find Raspberry Pi 4 specific options in Settings > Device Preferences > Raspberry Pi settings. Tweaks and troubleshooting tips can be found on the download page at the KostaKANG website. Install Android TV on Raspberry Pi 3 and 3 B+ If you have a Raspberry Pi 3/3 B+, the steps for installation differ somewhat. Before starting, make sure you have: A Raspberry Pi 3 or Raspberry Pi 3 B+ A good quality microSD card Reliable Raspberry Pi power supply USB keyboard and mouse (or combi remote) USB flash drive HDMI cable Ethernet cable (optional) To install Android TV on a Raspberry Pi 3 or 3 B+, you'll need the following software downloads: LineageOS 16 Open GApps Pico package from opengapps.org Etcher SD card writing software Ready to start? Let's go. Step 1: Unpack and Install Android Installing LineageOS on your Raspberry Pi gives you the benefit of the Android operating system. This means potentially better support for media software, such as YouTube and Kodi. With the right Google apps installed, however, your Android powered Raspberry Pi makes a great Android TV. This is possible with various versions of Android for Raspberry Pi, but for the best results, use the LineageOS version linked to above. Before proceeding, ensure the ZIP file is unpacked. You should then install LineageOS to the SD card using Etcher. Following installation and a successful boot, LineageOS requires basic configuration. Define the usual stuff: set country, time zone, etc. Step 2: Prepare Android TV for Google Apps Your Raspberry Pi is now running Android. This is a version based on AOSP which means that no Google apps are installed – you will need to install these manually. You should have already downloaded the GApps package to your PC. Visit opengapps.org and select: ARM 8.1 Pico (It's tempting to select the Android TV option rather than Pico---don't. This is simply a larger file and doesn't really do anything other than cause problems down the line.) Select Download, then when the GApps file is saved to your PC, copy it to your USB flash stick. Safely remove this and insert it into your Raspberry Pi. Next, on LineageOS, open the app drawer and select Settings > System > About tablet. Here, scroll down to Build number and click it repeatedly. Eventually, this will add the Developer options menu to the previous screen. Click back until you've exited the Settings app, then reopen it and navigate to System > Developer options. Select Root access and choose the Apps and ADB option, clicking OK when the warning is displayed. Next, scroll down to Local terminal and enable the app. This gives you local shell access, which means you can enter commands via the keyboard. Head back to the app drawer and open the Terminal app, then Allow the app permission to access your device. Next, enter the superuser command: su A Privacy Guard warning box will appear. Check Remember my choice (to ensure future permission for what you're about to do) and then Allow. Next, enter the command rpi3-recovery.sh This loads the recovery script. Enter the reboot command to launch it. reboot The Raspberry Pi will boot into the TWRP recovery console. Here, select Install, then Select Storage to choose your USB flash device. Select the GApps file, then Install Zip, and in the next screen check Reboot after installation, then Swipe to confirm Flash. When the device reboots, you should be able to access the Play Store. Step 3: Configure Your Android TV Interface So far, you'll notice that the interface on LineageOS on your Raspberry Pi basically looks like Android, not Android TV. To change this, you'll need a launcher. Several are available; we used an ad-supported launcher, ATV Launcher Free from the Play Store. Simply sign in with your usual Google account, search for it, and install. (Note that your initial sign-in to the Play Store will take a few moments to complete thanks to verification steps.) With the interface sorted, you'll need to add some useful media apps. Things like YouTube, Plex, Amazon Prime Video, Kodi, and more work, and are all available on Google Play. Simply install these as usual to get the benefit of your existing subscriptions. Note: Performance of these apps has proven mixed at best. For the best results, stick to YouTube. If you're looking for other apps, research to find the best versions to install. Step 4: Controlling Your Raspberry Pi 3 Android TV With everything up and ready, you will probably want to disconnect your mouse and keyboard in favor of something lightweight. Several remote options are available for the Raspberry Pi, which should work with Android TV. One option is the Mini Wireless Keyboard/Air Remote Control which is combination device with configurable LED backlight. Alternatively, you might prefer the iPazzPort Wireless Mini Keyboard with Touchpad. This combines the keyboard and touchpad along with a D pad and media controllers into one unit. Both devices are wireless and ship with a dedicated Wi-Fi dongle specifically keyed to remote controls. Enjoy Your Media With Android TV for Raspberry Pi! By now you should have a Raspberry Pi 3 or later pumping out videos and music using the LineageOS with an Android TV user interface. To all intents and purposes, you have a DIY Android TV box! Admittedly, you may run into trouble with performance, so ensure your microSD card is up to scratch. Also, check you're using an approved Raspberry Pi power supply. This will ensure the Pi gets the power it needs without risking undervoltage and microSD card corruption. Like the feel of Android TV but aren't getting the best results? Maybe buy an Android TV box instead.
  8. Unstable Wi-Fi is often caused by wireless congestion. Congestion problems are common in apartment complexes or densely packed neighborhoods. The more people using the internet, the greater the instability. When many people in the same area are working from home, connectivity suffers. For those wondering how to fix Wi-Fi that sucks or is unstable, this article is for you. Unstable Wi-Fi Is Caused by Wireless Interference 1. Dueling Frequencies Imagine an old car radio. Rotating the station dial sometimes plays a static combination of two different radio stations. That's because two radio towers can operate on the same frequency channel. The same is true for Wi-Fi routers: when two or more routers transmit on the same channel, they slow each other down and cause unstable connections. The problem is magnified in dense living spaces. In apartment complexes, dozens of routers can transmit on the same channel. Even modern wireless technology can't cope with that level of interference. 2. Wi-Fi Channels Like radio, Wi-Fi is broken up into frequencies on the gigahertz (GHz) spectrum of 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Each frequency is broken up into smaller increments called channels. The 2.4GHz frequency suffers from congestion the most because of its limited number of channels and long range. There are 11 channels, but only three of them are non-overlapping. That means speed and connection quality suffer when there are more routers in the same area. Image Credit: Wireless Networking in the Developing World/Wikipedia 5GHz, on the other hand, offers 23 non-overlapping channels. It also suffers from a shorter range, meaning fewer overlapping radio signals. It's a lot like AM and FM radio, where the longer-range AM has poorer audio fidelity, and FM sounds great, but it comes at the expense of range. Fortunately, you can change your router's channel the same way you can change a radio dial. It works like this: identify which channels aren't congested and switch your device over to it. If that doesn't work, think about changing your router to a 5GHz model. Related: What's the Best Dual-Band Router for Your Small Home? 3. USB 3.0 Devices and Cables Generate Wireless Interference Another source of bad Wi-Fi is interference from un-shielded USB 3.0 cables and devices. Thanks to a bug in the USB 3.0 standard, some cables generate 2.4GHz radiation, trampling over the signals of Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless devices. There are several possible fixes: Unplug your USB 3.0 devices and check if your wireless signal improves Buy shielded USB 3.1 cables Move your wireless receivers away from USB 3.0 cables and devices A shielded cable has a layer of metal that protects the cable from external wireless interference. How to Fix Your Unstable Wi-Fi Connection 1. Download and Install a Wi-Fi Analysis App Image Gallery (3 Images) On Windows, many free apps can analyze the quality of wireless channels. One of the best options is available on the Microsoft Store: Wi-Fi Analyzer. If you have Windows but can't access the Microsoft Store, we recommend NirSoft's WifiInfoView. For those without Windows, search your respective operating system's app store for "Wi-Fi Analyzer," and you should see dozens of options. 2. Detect Unstable Wi-Fi Using Wi-Fi Analyzer is dead simple. Just install and run the app. After installation, you can launch it by going to Windows Search (Windows key + S) > Wi-Fi Analyzer. The tool should detect your Wi-Fi signal strength, ranging from zero to -100 decibel milliwatts (dBm). If you have a 5GHz network, a toggle at the bottom of the app interface allows you to switch between detecting 2.4GHz and 5GHz. To analyze your wireless router's signal quality, take the following actions: Click on Analyze in the top menu bar. Wi-Fi Analyzer then displays a visualization of the Wi-Fi networks in your vicinity. If two networks broadcast on the same channel, you'll notice overlap. Each channel has a number between one and 161 on the 5GHz frequency and one through 11 on the 2.4GHz frequency. Here's what it looks like when two networks overlap: The X-plane axis represents the channels available on the 2.4GHz spectrum. As you can see, channels four to seven are unoccupied. Channels five and six have no competition whatsoever. Given the app's analysis, I should change my router's 2.4GHz channel to either five or six. But how do you change your router's channel? 3. How to Change Your Router's Channel Accessing your router's settings requires a browser, like Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Accessing its settings, unfortunately, varies between different router models, but some general rules apply. Netgear routers: In your browser, navigate to https://routerlogin.net TP-Link routers: In your browser, navigate to https://tplinklogin.net Linksys routers: In your browser, navigate to 192.168.1.1. You can complete an internet search to find the login URL for your specific router brand and model. Most routers use "admin" as the login and "password" as the password. The login details may also be printed on the back of the router or in the instruction manual that came with it. If you cannot access your router, try searching the internet for your individual router's access method. For my own Telus router, changing the Wi-Fi channel is easy. First, I navigate to the router login address and enter my login and password. Changing the channel is usually located under Wireless Settings > Advanced Settings. I then change the network channel to the option which offers a good connection, save the settings, and restart the router by power cycling it (turning it off and on again). Afterward, it stopped randomly disconnecting. One thing to mention is that most modern routers include a feature that combines 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies onto a single network name or SSID. This feature is notoriously unreliable, and if you're having network problems, I suggest disabling it as a precautionary step. On my Telus router, it's referred to as SmartSteering. Other brands have completely different names. How to Fix Unstable Wi-Fi? Decongest It! If your Wi-Fi sucks, using a Wi-Fi analysis app is the best way to find out your router's ideal network settings. If after changing your router's channel, you're still getting unreliable internet, consider optimizing your network for speed instead. Sometimes ironing out the kinks on your home internet might fix reliability issues.
  9. When you connect your Windows 10 PC to a Wi-Fi network, your PC saves that network's password. If you want to forget the network to remove it from your system permanently, you need to remove the saved password. In this guide, you’ll learn five ways to delete a Wi-Fi network on your computer. Why Forget a Wireless Network on Windows 10? There are many reasons you would want to do this. It might be that you’re experiencing an issue with your network, and you’ve been advised to forget and rejoin your network. Or, it might be that you’re letting someone use your computer, and you don’t want them to be connected to your Wi-Fi network. Removing the network will prompt them to enter a password, and they’ll remain disconnected if you haven’t given them your Wi-Fi password. Either way, forgetting your Wi-Fi network should help you. Forget a Wi-Fi Network on Windows 10 Using the System Tray The easiest and quickest way to forget a Wi-Fi network on your Windows 10 PC is to use the system tray. There’s an icon here that lets you quickly find your network and remove it from your computer. To use this method, follow the following steps: Click the Wi-Fi icon in your system tray. Find the network you want to forget in the list. Right-click the network and select Forget. Your PC will remove the network without any prompts. Make sure you know the password for your forgotten network, as you’ll need it the next time you want to connect to it. Forget a Wi-Fi Network on Windows 10 Using the Settings App The Settings app lets you configure various options on your PC, including options for your wireless networks. You can use this app to connect, disconnect, and forget Wi-Fi networks on your computer. If this is your preferred method, here’s how you use the Settings app to delete a saved wireless network on your PC: Open the Start menu, search for Settings, and launch the app. Click Network & Internet on the screen that follows. Click Wi-Fi on the left to view your wireless networks. You’ll see an option that says Manage known networks on the right. Click this option. A list of Wi-Fi networks that you’ve saved passwords for will appear. Find the network you want to forget, click that network in the list, and select Forget. Your PC will delete your selected Wi-Fi network straightaway; there won’t be any prompts. Once the network is removed, it won’t appear in the list anymore. Forget a Wi-Fi Network on Windows 10 Using the Command Prompt or PowerShell If you’re someone who prefers a command-line interface over a graphical user interface, you can actually use the Command Prompt or PowerShell to manage Wi-Fi networks on your computer. There’s a command that allows you to view all the saved Wi-Fi networks on your PC. You can use a parameter with this command to remove any of your networks from the list. The following shows how you do that using the Command Prompt: Open the Start menu, search for Command Prompt, and click Run as administrator. Hit Yes in the prompt. Type the following command into the Command Prompt window and press Enter. This command displays all the Wi-Fi networks you’ve saved on your PC. netsh wlan show profiles Find the network you want to forget in the list and note the network name. Type the following command, replace WIFINAME with your network name, and hit Enter. netsh wlan delete profile name="WIFINAME” The Command Prompt should say that the selected Wi-Fi network is deleted. If the Command Prompt generates an error, make sure you’re using the utility with the admin privileges. If you followed the first step properly, you shouldn’t have any issues. The same command works for PowerShell, too. Forget All Wi-Fi Networks on Windows 10 at Once If you’re selling or giving away your Windows 10 PC, you might want to remove all your Wi-Fi networks from the PC and not just the select ones. If this is what you want to achieve, there’s a command to help you do that. Either in the Command Prompt or PowerShell, you can run a command that forgets all the Wi-Fi networks you’ve ever joined on your PC in a single keystroke. This is an ideal method to use if you have several networks saved on your PC, and you don’t want to remove each one individually. Here’s how you bulk remove your networks: Access the Start menu, search for Command Prompt, right-click this utility, and select Run as administrator. Click Yes in the prompt. Enter the following command in the Command Prompt and press the Enter key. netsh wlan delete profile name=* i=* The Command Prompt will delete all the Wi-Fi networks on your PC. You’ll see a list of networks that have been removed. How to Connect to a Wi-Fi Network After You’ve Forgotten It Forgetting a Wi-Fi network isn't the same as blocking the network. You can reconnect to any of your forgotten networks at any time, as long as you know the passwords for those networks. To reconnect to a network, click the Wi-Fi icon in your system tray, find the network you want to connect to in the list, click the Connect button for that network, and enter the Wi-Fi password for it. This network will no longer be forgotten as your PC now has its password again. The Easy Way to Delete Wi-Fi Networks in Windows 10 One way to prevent your computer from automatically connecting to a Wi-Fi network is to forget the network on your PC. The methods above should help you do that so that your PC won’t connect to any network without an explicit order. If you’re removing Wi-Fi networks because of a network problem, it’s worth learning some of the troubleshooting tips for wireless networks. This way, you might be able to fix the issue without actually having to forget and reconnect to your network.
  10. Wireless networking issues in Windows 10 are usually straightforward to fix. But occasionally, you might run into a "No Internet, secured" message that appears as a pop-up from the system tray. This error refers to a wireless configuration or connection problem. It's frustrating, but this error is relatively simple to deal with. Let's explore eight solutions to fix the "No Internet, secured" Windows 10 error. What Does "No Internet, Secured" Mean? You may have seen the error message pop up in the System Tray area of the Windows 10 taskbar. Or perhaps as a notification. But what does "No Internet, Secured" actually mean? An unusually vague message for Windows 10, the error generally means that your internet connection is down. However, it can also appear when you have an active connection. Confused? That's not surprising. The error is, it seems, intentionally vague. After all, if your computer no longer has an internet connection, whether it is secured or not is irrelevant. While it can appear on any Windows 10 device, it is prevalent with Microsoft Surface devices. If your computer relies on the same network card or driver, you might see it occur regardless. Other conditions can cause the appearance of the "No Internet, secured" error, too. Fixing the "No Internet, Secured" Error Several fixes are available for this ambiguous error. Unfortunately, these depend on your computer setup and network adaptor. As such, not all these fixes will work. However, we've listed them in order of likelihood—just work through the tips in order. This list will give you an idea of what's required to fix the "No Internet, secured" error: Disable your VPN Refresh the Windows 10 IP configuration Reset Winsock Check your PC's connection properties Disable IPv6 Set a New DNS Server Update the network device driver Run the Network Troubleshooter in Windows 10 Take the time to read the steps carefully before attempting to fix the error. 1. Disable Your VPN Have you connected your PC to the local Wi-Fi network, only to be surprised by the "No Internet, secured" error? Don't worry. If you're using a VPN, the VPN client's built-in security features can cause this problem. Specifically, it can be the kill-switch designed to disconnect you from the internet when the VPN server goes down. To check if this is the problem, disable your VPN (using the disconnect function) or even exit it entirely. Then take a moment to reconnect to the internet and try a regularly updated website—perhaps a news site. If everything connects, then the problem was with the VPN server. Update your VPN client if possible, then connect to a new VPN server. If everything connects okay, you've fixed the error! 2. Refresh the Windows 10 IP Configuration Are you not using a VPN yet still experiencing continued incidence of the "No Internet, secured" message? Some commands are available to help you deal with the error. Right-click Start, then select Windows PowerShell. Here, enter the following commands in order: ipconfig /release ipconfig /renew This will force your computer to request a new IP address from your local router. In many cases, this will resolve the error. 3. Reset Winsock Another command-line solution to the "No Internet, secured" error is to reset Winsock. Its name sounds like a feature of your local airfield, but Winsock is actually the Windows Sockets API. This is a specification for your PC's communication with network services, specifically the widely used TCP/IP. To reset Winsock, use the following command: netsh winsock reset catalog Wait a moment; if the network doesn't automatically reconnect, do so manually. 4. Check Your PC's Connection Properties Still no joy? It's time to check your PC's network adaptor. Open the settings screen by clicking the Wi-Fi connection icon in the system tray, then Network & Internet Settings. Here, click Change adaptor options, right-click the connection concerned, and click Properties. Confirm the following are checked: Client for Microsoft Networks File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) Link-layer Topology Discovery Responder Click OK to confirm. If you made any changes, restart Windows when prompted. 5. Disable IPv6 IPv6 is a networking protocol designed to replace IPv4 due to the latter running out of IP addresses. However, while IPv6 should run on most hardware, it is susceptible to errors. You can disable IPv6 by repeating the previous step. Simply uncheck Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6), then click OK to confirm the choice. Restart your Windows 10 PC when prompted. 6. Set a New DNS Server The Domain Name System (DNS) is like the internet phonebook, except it is automated and covers the entire globe. For example, when you type www.makeuseof.com in your address bar, DNS converts the URL into an IP address, taking you to the website you requested. However, sometimes the default DNS configuration on your system fails. While it isn't always apparent if that is the cause of the "No Internet Secured" error, it is a fix worth trying. Open the settings screen by clicking the Wi-Fi connection icon in the system tray, then Network & Internet Settings. Here, click Change adaptor options, right-click the connection concerned, and click Properties. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) > Properties. Check Use the following DNS server addresses and input: Preferred DNS Server: 9.9.9.9 Alternative DNS Server: 1.1.1.1 Press OK 7. Update Your Network Device Driver As there is a chance that the device driver for your network card is at fault, it's worth updating it. Right-click Start and select Device Manager. Here, expand Network Adapters, select your network device, then right-click and select Update driver. Wait while the device driver is updated, then reboot Windows. If successful, Windows 10 should automatically connect to the network as usual. If this doesn't work, try Disable device, reboot the computer, then Enable Device. 8. Run the Network Troubleshooter in Windows 10 Finally, if you're still receiving the "No Internet, secured" error message and the computer remains offline, try this. Windows 10 features several troubleshooting tools, software toolkits that automatically check for errors and make (or suggest) repairs. To launch the Network Troubleshooter, press Windows key + I to open Settings, then Network & internet > Network troubleshooter. Follow the steps provided in the tool to repair your network connection. Easily Fix "No Internet, Secured" Errors in Windows 10 By now, you should have resolved your problem and got your Windows 10 PC reconnected. If not, there's a small possibility that the issue is with the network itself. You might, therefore, try connecting to a different network and comparing the results. If the issue is with your network, try restarting the router before reconnecting.
  11. Tired of listening to the same ol' Siri voice again and again? You can actually change Siri's gender, dialect, and language for compatible iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices. Here's why you should consider changing Siri's voice and how to do it for iPhones, iPads, and Mac users and how to do it. Why Change Siri's Voice? Image Gallery (2 Images) When Siri first arrived on the scene it had two main voice options for you to choose from: male or female. As times have progressed, more people than ever are using Siri from all over the world. Apple has recognized the opportunity to diversify the voice assistant to better fit expectations from people of different cultures and languages. Rather than only having one language option with the same accents, you can choose between multiple languages and dialects that match your native tongue better. It's only one of the things you probably didn't realize Siri could do. Changing your language or dialect helps the feature understand you better when giving commands and can also help you feel more relaxed when using Siri. Apple has also recognized the progressive diversity in gender and no longer defaults to a female voice when setting up your iOS system. You get a choice between four different American English voices. How to Change Siri's Voice on iPhone or iPad Changing Siri's voice on iPhone or iPad involves the exact same steps. Just make sure you have updated to iOS or iPadOS 14.5 or later to receive all Siri voice options. Here's what to do: Open Settings. Select Siri & Search. Select Language to change the language Siri speaks and listens with. Select Siri Voice to change the gender or dialect. Image Gallery (3 Images) You can also choose under which circumstances Siri will respond to you. You can set responses to Always On, Control with Ring Switch, or Hands-Free Only. By selecting Always On, Siri will verbally respond to your questions and commands no matter if your ring switch is set to silent. Control with Ring Switch will only allow Siri to speak if you have your ring switch set to On. You will still hear a beep when using Siri and if you use the wake phrase "Hey Siri," it will also respond to you verbally. This is different from turning Siri completely off on your iPhone or iPad so that the voice assistant doesn't respond to any of your commands. Hands-Free Only restricts Siri to respond only when using the wake phrase or connected to Bluetooth devices, headphones, or car play. If you ask Siri to change its voice using the wake phrase, it won't be able to complete your command, but it will prompt you with a button to head to the Siri Voice settings. How to Manage Siri's Voice on the Apple Watch When using the Apple Watch Series 3 or later models, Siri is able to speak responses. Although you can't change Siri's voice directly through your Apple Watch, you can change the settings to how it responds. You'll have similar settings to what you got on your iPhone or iPad: Always On, Control with Silent Mode, and Headphones Only. Here's how to manage Siri's voice on your Apple Watch Series 3 or later: Go to Settings > General. Select Siri. Make your choice in Under Voice Feedback. How to Change Siri's Voice on a Mac You can still change Siri's voice on a Mac operating system, but how you get there is slightly different: Open the Apple menu. Select System Preferences. Click Siri. You'll have the same general options as you would if using an iPhone or iPad. There are options to change the language, Siri voice, and voice feedback. Selecting a different language will change the language Siri speaks and listens for. Changing its voice will change its gender or dialect, and voice feedback is Siri's verbal responses compared to text notifications. Changing Siri's Voice on iPhone, iPad, and Mac Siri doesn't have to be pigeon-holed any longer as you have options to change its gender, language, or dialect. You can do this on compatible iPhone, iPad, or Mac devices. If you're still not enjoying your Siri experience, you can always try one of the iPhone voice assistant alternatives.
  12. Just like many other messaging apps, even iMessage supports stickers. You can download and install dedicated sticker packs via the App Store. Alternatively, you can just install certain popular apps, such as Twitch or Reddit, and their respective stickers will show up in the Messages app automatically. Both methods will let you add a fun element to your iMessage chats. We’ll be showing you how to download and install stickers on your iPhone. And if you don’t like stickers, we’ll also show you how to delete them. How to Check Which iMessage Apps Have Stickers Let’s first look at the simplest way to install stickers on iPhone—which involves doing absolutely nothing. Wondering how that’s possible? It’s because several popular apps ship with a set of stickers that automatically show up in the Messages app. RELATED:Cool Things You Can Do With IPhone IMessage Apps To check which stickers are already available, open the Messages app and scroll right on the line of icons just above the keyboard. By default, all of Apple’s own iMessage apps will show up first, followed by a separator. The apps to the right of the separator are the ones you need to check. Tap each app once to see which of them have stickers. You can also scroll all the way to the right and tap More. Now select any app from the list to make it appear above the keyboard on any iMessage chat. Image Gallery (3 Images) Tap the app once more to check if it has stickers. This will give you a solid idea of which apps you already use that have stickers and which ones don’t. You can repeat this process as you keep installing new apps—some of them might have stickers that you might want to use. How to Install Stickers on Your iPhone Once you’ve figured out which apps have iMessage stickers, you might want to check for dedicated sticker packs on the App Store. You can do this by opening the Messages app and tapping the App Store icon above the keyboard. This takes you to the iMessage App Store. Tap the magnifying glass icon up top and search for stickers to find more apps that have iMessage stickers. Another way to find good stickers is to use Apple’s own featured sticker pack. When you open the iMessage App Store, Apple usually features sticker sets under headers such as Our Favorite Stickers or Stickers We Love. You can see what you like and tap the Get or Price button next to the sticker to install them. Some stickers may be paid but there are plenty of free iMessage sticker packs here to keep you entertained for a long time. Image Gallery (3 Images) How to Delete iMessage Stickers When you think you’re done with iMessage stickers and you want to clear up the clutter, there’s an easy way to delete these stickers too. You should know that deleting a sticker pack does not delete the corresponding app. RELATED:Best IMessage Games And How To Play Them With Your Friends For instance, if you installed Twitch, you can simply hide its stickers from iMessage without removing the Twitch app from your iPhone. But if you delete the Twitch app, its stickers will be removed too. Here’s how to remove sticker packs from iMessage: Open the Messages app on your iPhone. Scroll right on the list of apps above the keyboard till you see the More button. Tap the Edit button on the top-left. Scroll down and find the sticker pack you want to remove. Disable the green switch on the right to delete the sticker pack. Once the switch turns grey, you know that the sticker pack has been removed from iMessage. Image Gallery (3 Images) Spruce Up Your iMessage Chats Stickers offer you a great way to make your iMessage chats entertaining. iMessage apps can do a lot more than just send stickers, so you should definitely try installing some more apps. From sending gifs to sharing your favorite songs, there’s a lot you can do with iMessage apps.
  13. If your eyes often hurt and you suffer headaches, your iPhone might be the culprit. Eye strain from digital displays is one of the big downsides of today's widespread smartphone use. But don't worry. You don't need to get rid of your iPhone; at least not yet. Your iPhone is equipped with several features to help reduce your risk of digital eye strain. Let's take a closer look at some useful features to reduce iPhone eye strain. 1. Turn Dark Mode On Having your iPhone on Dark Mode allows you to view your display better in low-light environments without straining your eyes. To turn it on: Go to Settings > Display & Brightness. You’ll immediately see options for Appearance. Select Dark. Image Gallery (2 Images) However, it’s understandable if you want to switch back to your iPhone’s regular appearance during the day. You can either switch it manually by choosing Light or allow your iPhone to automatically change its display appearance: Select the Automatic option under the Light and Dark option. Tap Options and choose to have it automatically turn on from Sunset to Sunrise or set a specific time by tapping Custom Schedule. You also have the option to use apps for your iPhone that offer dark mode support. 2. Try Smart Invert Aside from the Dark Mode, you can also make use of Smart Invert to reduce eye strain. Unlike Classic Invert, Smart Invert does not reverse the colors of images, media, and apps that already use dark mode. To enable it: Go to Settings > Accessibility. Tap on Display & Text Size. Enable Smart Invert. Image Gallery (2 Images) That's all it takes. You may love or hate this mode; personally, I love how certain UI elements like the Control Center transform with it. Note: The screenshot on the right does not capture how the iPhone display looks when the Smart Invert option is turned on, except for the buttons. 3. Reduce Transparency The Transparency setting in iOS lets you control the opaqueness of the background for certain UI elements. Disabling this not only makes the text a bit more legible but also reduces blur in the background. The improved legibility and decreased glare will lessen the effects of digital eye strain while using your iPhone. Here's how you can toggle the transparency option on your iPhone: Go to Settings > Accessibility. Tap on Display & Text Size. Toggle Reduce Transparency on. Image Gallery (2 Images) 4. Use Reduce Motion to Avoid Vertigo and Eye Strain The Reduce Motion option is aimed at helping people who suffer from vertigo and motion sickness. As a side effect, this feature also helps curb digital eye strain to a certain extent. When turned on, certain screen effects change. The parallax effect, where the display moves slightly when your iPhone is tilted, is turned off for one. Other animations and effects are also turned off. Also, the smooth gliding effect as you swipe will be turned off and the zoomed-in and zoomed-out interface will be turned off. To enable Reduce Motion: Go to Settings > Accessibility. Choose Motion. Set Reduce Motion on. Image Gallery (2 Images) If you want to retain the message and video preview effects, toggle the corresponding switches for Auto-Play Message Effects and Auto-Play Video Previews on. However, if you don't prefer the effects and videos to automatically play, like the app video previews on App Store as you scroll or the message effects your friends send you, you can turn these off using these two options. 5. Reduce OLED Flickering Apple introduced OLED displays from iPhone X up to current models, except the iPhone 11. An OLED display comes with numerous benefits, but it has a dark side as well. Many of these displays flicker at lower brightness levels, which can end up causing eye strain and headaches in some cases. You can solve the OLED flickering problem by keeping your iPhone's brightness level above 50 percent. However, this solution is not practical, as even 50 percent brightness is too much during nighttime. Instead, you can minimize OLED flickering using the Reduce White Point feature. This feature reduces the intensity of bright light and eventually the overall display glare. To toggle it: Go to Settings > Accessibility. Tap on Display & Text Size. Toggle Reduce White Point on and select the strength of the feature. Image Gallery (2 Images) 6. Use Night Shift Night Shift is another popular way to reduce eye strain. It automatically adjusts your display's colors to warmer hues after nightfall, reducing the amount of blue light. Researchers have found that blue light messes with our sleep cycle. Thanks to the shift to warmer hues, the overall tax on your eyes also drops with this feature. The best part is that you can set Night Shift to automatically kick in after sunset and turn off after sunrise. To do so: Head over to Settings. Tap on Display & Brightness. Select Night Shift. Toggle Scheduled and set custom times if you aren't happy with the default options. Set the Color Temperature by adjusting the slider. Image Gallery (2 Images) 7. Schedule Downtime There's no escaping the fact that digital screens cause eye strain over prolonged usage. One way to tackle this is by restricting your exposure to your iPhone screen. Your iPhone has a Screen Time feature that includes a Downtime function. This lets you schedule time away from the screen and set time limits for individual apps. It's a good idea to wean yourself off gradually so you don't get frustrated with this. To do so: Go to Settings > Screen Time. Tap Downtime. Choose Every Day if you want your iPhone to remind you daily or Customize Days to choose specific days and customize the scheduled downtime per day. Tap From and To and specify when your scheduled downtime will start and end. Image Gallery (3 Images) Another good way to reduce your screen exposure is by taking control of iPhone notifications that are not important or can wait until later. 8. Enable Reading Mode in Safari Late-night browsing sessions are the most painful. The glare from bright web pages on the backlit display ends up causing eyestrain. Thankfully, Safari offers a handy Reading Mode, and you can tweak it to reduce eye strain. To activate Reading Mode, tap the text editor button (aA) on the left side of the address bar, then tap Show Reader View. This theme setting should help protect your eyes from straining. Image Gallery (2 Images) 9. Adjust the Screen Brightness Having your screen display brighter than your surroundings can strain your eyes too. To lessen eye strain and other effects like headaches, red eyes, and blurred vision, your screen’s brightness should match the level of the light in your surrounding. To adjust your iPhone’s brightness: Head to Settings > Display & Brightness. Adjust the slider to dim your phone’s brightness levels. Image Gallery (2 Images) If your iPhone supports it, you can also activate True Tone which adapts your screen's white balance based on your current ambient lighting condition. To activate it, simply turn on the True Tone option under the slider for brightness level. 10. Increase Your Display’s Contrast Sometimes, the small texts and dull colors hinder us from distinguishing images or text from the background. Boosting the contrast helps the foreground become more distinct from the background, making it easier to perceive. To increase your display’s contrast: Go to Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size. Turn on Increase Contrast. Image Gallery (2 Images) 11. Make Text Larger and Bold Aside from increasing the contrast, you can also make the system text larger and bold with your iPhone’s Accessibility features. Doing so affects all the system text on your iPhone, including built-in apps. Some third-party apps might also adopt the display if they support accessibility features. To do this: Head to Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size. Turn Bold Text to On. Tap Larger Text and move the slider below to adjust the text size to your preference. Image Gallery (2 Images) 12. Zoom Your Display You can also change your iPhone’s display view and zoom in a bit to show larger controls. However, because the display will be larger, less content will be displayed compared to the Standard display. Here's how to do it: Head to Settings > Display & Brightness. Scroll to the bottom and tap View. Choose Zoomed, then tap Set in the upper right of the screen. A popup menu will appear. Tap Use Zoomed. Image Gallery (2 Images) Still Suffering? You Might Need More Help Ideally, you should be able to reduce eye strain caused by your iPhone by using the tips above. However, if eye strain persists, it's time to consult an ophthalmologist. It's quite possible that you're suffering from uncorrected vision or have another underlying eye problem. Subjecting your eyes to exercises like eye rolling, frequent blinking, and focusing on distant objects should prove helpful as well. Nonetheless, it's best to reduce your screen time and try not to use your iPhone too much.
  14. Apple's virtual assistant has advanced to a level where you can use it to hold entire conversations over text messages without even touching your iPhone. Siri can announce text messages, read them out loud, and even draft replies for you to send over voice recognition. You'll need to make a couple of tweaks to your Settings to make this possible on your iPhone. Here's how you can seamlessly use Siri with the Messages app on your iPhone. How to Get Siri to Announce Your Messages When wearing headphones, Siri can announce all incoming messages to you. If you want to make use of this feature, here's what you will need: Headphones that support Siri. These include the AirPods Max, AirPods (2nd generation), AirPods Pro, Powerbeats, Powerbeats Pro, Beats Solo Pro iOS 13 or later on your iPhone RELATED:Tips To Get The Most Out Of Apple’s AirPods Max Once you have a set of headphones and an updated iPhone, here's what you will need to do to activate this feature: Go to Settings and tap on Notifications. Turn on the toggle for Announce Messages with Siri. Image Gallery (2 Images) If you receive a text message after activating this feature while your headphones are connected, Siri will read out the sender's name along with the text that was sent after a chime. If Siri announces a sender's name and doesn't read the message, it means the text message was too long. If you still want to hear it, you need to ask Siri to read it to you. Note that this feature won't work if you're using your device when the text arrives. Siri will only announce messages if your iPhone is locked. If you want to halt the feature to avoid disturbance, just remove your headphones so you don't manually have to toggle the feature on and off repeatedly. Siri has advanced to the level where it can even answer your phone calls for you when you're wearing headphones. How to Reply to a Message With Siri Using Dictation If you want to reply to a text message that Siri has read out loud, you can do so without having to activate any other features in your settings. After Siri finishes reading the message, you'll hear another chime. This chime is your cue to tell Siri you'd like to reply by saying "Reply." Then dictate your message; Siri will automatically type it out for you. When you're done speaking, Siri will repeat your message back to you and ask if you want to send it. Reply with a "Yes" to send it on its way. If you don't want Siri repeating your messages back to you after you dictate them, here's what you'll have to do. Go to Settings and open Notifications. Tap on Announce Messages with Siri. Toggle on Reply Without Confirmation. Image Gallery (3 Images) If you want to draft a new message using Siri, you'll have to press the Home button or Side button and say "Hey, Siri" to do so. What If You Only Want Specific Messages Read? One problem that may occur is receiving too many texts at once, and a lot of them might not be urgent enough to require immediate attention. Fortunately, you can choose whose messages are announced and whose aren't. Here's how: Go to Settings and tap Notifications. Press Announce Calls With Siri. Scroll down and look for the Messages app. Choose from either one of the four options according to your preference: Favorites, Recent Contacts, All Contacts, and Everyone. Hold a Hands-Free Text Conversation With Siri Whether you're driving, in the gym, washing your hands, or just not in the mood to pick your phone up for more screen time to reply to texts, Siri will help you do it for you instead.
  15. Smartphones are convenient all-in-one devices that help people do pretty much everything. However, not all are designed to suit the needs of blind people and people with visual impairments. While the iPhone’s user interface is designed to be comfortable and easy to use for most people, it may still be challenging for people with visual impairments. To bridge the gap between great display and accessibility, below are some of the iPhone’s accessibility features that can help people with visual impairments to use their iPhones with greater ease. 1. Enable VoiceOver Image Gallery (2 Images) With built-in voices that speak over 30 languages, Apple’s VoiceOver feature makes using an iPhone accessible to people with visual disabilities across the globe. It's an advanced screen-reading technology that gives you descriptions of everything that’s happening on your iPhone’s screen. When turned on, your iPhone helps you better navigate it by giving you auditory descriptions of onscreen elements. VoiceOver also features unique rotor gestures that act like a dial to make browsing content on your screen easier. To input text, you can either connect a refreshable braille keyboard on your iPhone via Bluetooth or directly key texts on your iPhone’s touchscreen with the Braille Screen Input feature. 2. Watch Movies With Audio Descriptions People who are blind and have visual impairments may have some challenges enjoying watching television, plays, theater performances, and movies. But they can use audio-described media along with a headset where they receive verbal descriptions of what’s happening to get the most out of the experience if they want. Image Gallery (2 Images) Movies and series on Apple TV come with detailed audio descriptions to ensure that they get full details about the scene. You can check this by looking at the audio description (AD) icon with the list of other icons like closed captioning (CC) and subtitles for the deaf or hard-of-hearing (SDH) under the description. To automatically play audio descriptions when available, go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio Descriptions, and toggle it on. 3. Use Your iPhone as a Magnifier The iPhone’s Magnifier tool helps you see better by turning your iPhone into a digital magnifying glass. If you find a menu or a street sign and you can’t see it clearly even after squinting for a while, simply take your phone, open the Magnifier, and freeze the frame. Image Gallery (2 Images) The app comes with several image adjustment features that allow you to use various color filters, adjust brightness levels, change the image contrast, to aid you in making sense of the image. You can also make use of your device’s flash to illuminate objects with a quick tap on the app. Don’t worry about zooming a lot and making the image blurry and pixelated; it's usually still crisp enough to read. 4. Zoom Your Screen Whereas Magnifier enlarges the world around you, Zoom magnifies the contents on your device. Image Gallery (2 Images) You can choose between Full Screen Zoom, which enlarges the entire screen, or Window Zoom, which looks like a hovering rectangular magnifying glass that you can move around to magnify contents on your screen. Enable Zoom by going to Settings > Accessibility > Zoom. RELATED:Ways To Reduce Eye Strain From Your IPhone Note: Screenshots do not capture zoomed images, hence the second photo showing the Window Zoom without screen magnification. 5. Modify Your Display Zooming your screen may require you to inconveniently move and scroll through your screen more than you would like. Alternatively, you can adjust your iPhone’s display and text size. This is especially helpful for people who are colorblind or have other vision impairments. Image Gallery (3 Images) Your iPhone has various display accommodations to suit your needs: Bold Text: Displays texts in boldface. Larger Text: Allows you to change the text size with the Font Size slider. Button Shapes: Underlines texts that you can tap. On/Off Labels: Puts labels I and O on toggles, for on and off, respectively. Reduce Transparency: Increases legibility and improves contrast by lessening the blur and transparency on certain backgrounds. Increase Contrast: Heightens the color contrast to make the foreground pop from the background. Differentiate Without Color: Replaces buttons and other user interface items that rely solely on color so that people who are colorblind can better discern them. For example, game avatars that look the same but vary in color can be shown with symbols so a colorblind person can quickly locate their players. Smart Invert or Classic Invert: Reverses your iPhone’s display colors, excluding images and other media that utilize a dark color display. Color Filters: Applies color filters to adjust the display for various colorblindness. Reduce White Point: Reduces the display's brightness intensity. Auto-Brightness: Uses your iPhone’s ambient light sensor to adjust the display screen brightness to match your current light condition. 6. Turn On Dark Mode Image Gallery (2 Images) When you need to work in low-light environments, you can change your iPhone’s display to Dark Mode to make reading easier. The dark color scheme transforms your entire screen and puts light texts against darker backgrounds. Don’t worry about manually changing this feature every day. You can schedule your iPhone to change its appearance from light to dark by going to Settings > Display & Brightness, then toggle Automatic on. 7. Use Dictation to Enter Text Typing on your iPhone’s keyboard can still be a hassle despite enlarging the fonts. Conveniently, this feature is available in many features and apps that utilize the keyboard on your iPhone, including Messages, Notes, and Mail. Simply tap on any text field, look for the microphone button, and start dictating. Image Gallery (2 Images) If you use an iPhone 6s or newer, you can use this feature even without an internet connection. Also, this feature supports over 30 languages. 8. Make Accessibility More Accessible It’s understandable if you don’t want these accessibility features turned on all the time but want them to be accessible and ready to use when you need them. To keep them handy, add and organize the shortcuts and accessibility features you commonly use on your iPhone’s Control Center. To start customizing, simply go to Settings > Control Center, choose the controls and tap the add (+) or minus (–) buttons to choose which controls you want. Image Gallery (2 Images) Make sure to turn on Access Within Apps so you can quickly access them by swiping a finger down from the top-right edge of your screen even without leaving the app you’re currently using.
  16. Even if you're not a fan of your smartphone, you probably use its most basic function of texting for communication. It can be frustrating when your text messages suddenly stop sending. This could be for a wide range of reasons: the wrong number or a poor network signal are just a few. Regardless, it's usually a quick fix to get your iPhone sending SMS or MMS messages again, so don't start panicking just yet. Have a look at these potential fixes. 1. Check Your Network Signal SMS and MMS messages send in green iPhone text bubbles while iMessages send in blue iPhone text bubbles. SMS and MMS require a cellphone network to send a text, and iMessage requires an internet connection through data or Wi-Fi. Be sure you are sending the right type of message. Sometimes bad weather, internet hackers, or a rural location can affect your service connection. Try moving to an area with better reception if it's weak or nonexistent. If you're in an area that usually has a good signal, contact your mobile network operator. 2. Make Sure SMS and MMS Are On When you message another contact with an Apple device, your iPhone sends it via iMessage by default. Because iMessages sometimes fail to send, your iPhone might instead try sending SMS (Short Message Service) messages, even to other iPhone users. However, you need to switch this feature on in Settings for it to work. Go to Settings. Scroll down and tap Messages. Tap the Send as SMS slider so it moves into the green "on" position. Image Gallery (2 Images) Your iPhone can also send MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) messages. These are text messages that include some kind of media, such as images or video clips. You may need to enable these messages in Settings before you're able to send them. RELATED:How To Send And Receive Text Messages On Your IPad Here's how you activate MMS messages: Go to Settings. Scroll down and select Messages. Hit the MMS Messaging toggle to set it to the green "on" position. Take note, your personal cell plan may not cover MMS messaging. In which case, any text message sent with multimedia will fail to send. 3. Are You in Airplane Mode? Image Gallery (3 Images) Airplane mode prevents your iPhone from sending and receiving signals. This includes cellular and Wi-Fi signals, so you won't be able to send or receive text messages. Because of this, you should make sure that you've turned off Airplane Mode before trying to send text messages. You can do this by opening your iPhone's Control Center and tapping the airplane symbol in the top left. This symbol is grayed out whenever airplane mode is off. As a bonus, sometimes toggling Airplane Mode on and off can clear up temporary signal hiccups, too. 4. Did You Text the Right Number? Sending text messages to inactive or unused numbers is a recipe for failure and frustration. When sending an SMS message, make sure you enter the correct number. This should be no problem when you message a contact stored on your iPhone, but it can require care when entering a new number. So take your time when entering numbers. If you continue to have trouble, contact your intended recipient by other means to confirm the number. This last point is important. Sometimes, your contacts may change their numbers, or their mobile operator may disconnect them. The issue may be with someone else's phone and not yours. 5. Refresh and Delete Your Messages If your iPhone can't send text messages, try closing the Messages app and opening it again. This isn't the most scientific method, but some users report that it's effective. You can also try deleting any Messages conversations that contain failed texts. Once again, it's not obvious why this can be effective. Sometimes applications get lost or stuck trying to perform a certain action—like sending a text. Often, refreshing the app can clear out the action, allowing the app to once again function properly. You can also delete conversations in Messages by doing the following: Launch Messages. Swipe left on the conversation you'd like to delete. Tap Delete, and tap again to confirm. Finally, press the New Message icon in the top-right corner of the Messages screen to give it another try. Image Gallery (2 Images) This method is extremely useful if a message continually tries to send, but is unable to do so. 6. Is Your Mobile Plan Active? You should next check whether you currently have an active mobile service plan. If you don't have one, you won't be able to send texts. While the vast majority of phone plans offer standard unlimited texting, you might have exceeded your monthly limit of text messages if you have a limited plan. RELATED:The Cheapest Phone Plans With Unlimited Everything In either case, you should contact your mobile carrier to ensure there are no issues with your account services. 7. Restart Your iPhone If you've tried all of the above, you can next try restarting your iPhone. Restarts clear temporary memory, so they can be a good way of removing any issues affecting how your iPhone works. On the iPhone X and later, you can restart by holding the Side button and one of the Volume buttons. You then swipe the power off slider to the right. In earlier iPhone models, you have to hold either the Top or Sleep/Wake button to bring up the power-off screen. Alternatively, you can fully shut down your phone and manually restart it using the following instructions: Launch Settings > General > Shut Down. Swipe the button to the right. Wait one minute to allow a full shut down of the phone. Hold Side button to turn on your iPhone. Image Gallery (2 Images) When the phone turns back on, you should be able to enter Messages and easily resend the problematic text. 8. Update iOS You should always keep your iPhone updated with the latest version of iOS. New updates for iOS can iron out software issues and bugs. So if your iPhone still can't send text messages, it's a good idea to update. To update, you need to have your iPhone connected to Wi-Fi and a power source. You should then do the following: Open Settings. Go to General. Tap Software Update. Select Download and Install. Image Gallery (3 Images) 9. Reset Your Network Settings You shouldn't take resetting your iPhone's network settings too lightly. Network settings save data such as Wi-Fi networks and passwords, so it isn't ideal to erase them. That said, it's worth doing if you've tried everything above and your iPhone still won't send text messages. Here's how to clear your iPhone's network settings: Go to Settings. Open General. Scroll down and tap Reset. Press Reset Network Settings. Enter your passcode. Tap Reset Network Settings to confirm. Image Gallery (3 Images) 10. Still Not Working? Get Professional Help If your iPhone still won't send SMS messages after all this, your last option is to contact your mobile operator. Try calling the customer service line. If they can't help you, you should contact Apple. After ruling everything else out, your iPhone may have some kind of hardware issue. At this point, you'll need to contact some sort of computer and cell service store to see if anyone can help diagnose the problem. We have a list of cheap places to fix your iPhone you will find useful for this. You may have to eventually replace the phone, but that should be the last case scenario. iPhone System Slowdown Unfortunately, it can take a little bit of time to figure out exactly what the source of your texting issues may be. If you're patient and willing to try a couple of different techniques, you should have no problem getting your iPhone working again.
  17. Each new text message, photo, and video that you send or receive on your iPhone ends up creating more clutter within the Messages app. To make matters worse, they also consume lots of storage. That's why you should delete unwanted iPhone messages frequently. Below, you'll find out everything you need to do to delete entire conversation threads, individual messages, and multimedia attachments from an iOS device. Warning: Deleting your messages also removes them from other iOS, iPadOS, and macOS devices signed into your Apple ID. If you want to avoid that, go to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud on your iPhone and deactivate Messages. How to Delete an Entire Conversation The Messages app on your iPhone allows you to delete any iMessage or regular text conversation quickly: Open the Messages app and locate the conversation thread that you want to remove. Then, swipe it to the left. Tap the Trash icon. Tap Delete to confirm. How to Delete Individual iPhone Messages Instead of deleting a conversation entirely, you can choose to remove select messages inside it: Open a conversation within the Messages app. Long-press any message and tap More to enter selection mode. Select the message or messages that you want to delete. Tap the Trash icon to the lower left of the screen. Tap Delete to confirm. Image Gallery (3 Images) If scrolling up repeatedly becomes a chore, learn how to find and delete old messages on your iPhone easily. Delete Multimedia Attachments You can also filter and delete multimedia items (images, videos, and documents) from any iMessage conversation: Open the conversation thread in Messages. Tap the contact icon at the top of the screen and select Info. Scroll down to the Photos or Documents section and tap See All. Long-press the photo, video, or document you want to delete and tap Delete. Or tap Select to pick multiple items and tap Delete to remove them all at once. Repeat for any other items you want to delete. Image Gallery (3 Images) Delete Messages to Free Up Storage If freeing up your iPhone's storage is your chief concern, you can use the Storage screen within the Settings app to delete messages that consume the most space: Open the Settings app on your iPhone. Go to General > iPhone Storage. Find and tap Messages. Tap Review Large Attachments to bring up a list of the largest attachments on your iOS device. Or pick a category such as Top Conversations, Photos, and Videos to reveal the most space-consuming items within each category. Swipe individual items you want to delete to the left and tap Delete. Or tap the Edit icon, select the items you want to remove, and tap Delete. Image Gallery (3 Images) Configure Your iPhone to Delete Messages Automatically By default, the Messages app stores all sent and received messages on your iPhone. However, if you don't have the time to delete messages manually, you can configure your iPhone to delete your messages after one month or a year. Open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap Messages. Scroll down to the Message History section and tap Keep Messages. Select 30 Days or 1 Year. Your iPhone should delete all messages older than the specified time period immediately. It will continue to do that in the background as you continue using the device. RELATED:How To Delete IMessages On Your Mac Zero Clutter and Increased Storage Routinely deleting messages on your iPhone helps keep your conversations tidy and prevents used storage from ballooning out of control. But what if you end up removing something important by accident? Don't lose hope. You still might be able to get it back.
  18. As a result of country and state-specific laws, Apple has not created a built-in phone recording option. Apple's impeccable privacy settings are one reason it has attracted so many worldwide customers. However, you can still record iPhone phone calls using some workarounds. Secretly recording a phone conversation could lead to difficult legal consequences. If you're going to use any of these methods, make sure you notify the person on the other end of the call and gain their consent to being recorded. Once you're all set, there are a few ways to record an iPhone phone conversation. How to Record Calls on an iPhone Without Apps This is probably the quickest and easiest way of recording a phone call from your iPhone. You'll need another device with a microphone that can record audio (like another iPhone, iPad, computer, or portable recording device) to make it work. Check out our podcasting microphone recommendations for some high-quality audio recording options. Provided you're in a quiet environment and can use your iPhone's speakerphone, it's simple to pull off: Call your contact and tap on the Speaker icon. Notify the other party that you'll be recording the conversation. After gaining consent, on your external recorder, start recording. Place the phone close to the microphone of the recording device. Stay physically close to the recording device if you want your own audio recorded as well. End the call. Save your recording. On a separate iOS device, you can record the call using Apple's Voice Memos app. On a Mac or PC, we'd recommend free audio editing and recording workhorse Audacity. You can check out this guide for using Audacity if you've never used it before. Record Incoming iPhone Calls Using Google Voice Google Voice is a free VoIP calling service available in the US and Canada. It provides you with a free phone number, a voicemail inbox, and the ability to make calls both domestically (free) and internationally (as per Google's Voice calling rates). RELATED:Cool Things You Can Do With Google Voice One perk of the app is its ability to record phone calls. Before you can do this, though, you'll need to take some time setting up the service: Download and launch the Google Voice (Free) app. Sign in using your Google account. Tap Search. Select the new phone number you want to associate with your Google Voice account. Confirm your number. Hit Next until you're asked to enter your phone number. Enter your iPhone's phone number. Confirm and wait for a verification code. Verify your new Google Voice setup using the code you just received. There's one final step you need to complete before you can record calls. Open the Google Voice website and sign in to your Google account. Click the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the page to open the Settings menu. Here, select the Calls tab menu on the left side of the page. Then scroll down and enable Incoming call options by tapping the widget on the right. When you receive a phone call via your Google Voice account, you'll be able to press the 4 key on your iPhone dial pad to start recording the conversation. When you do this, Google will notify the other party that they're being recorded. You'll find your recording in your Google Voice inbox, where you can download it for safekeeping. Unfortunately, due to legal and safety purposes, there's no way to record an outgoing phone call using Google Voice. Use a Third-Party App to Record Phone Calls A third-party app known as Rev Call Recorder is another good option for recording phone calls if you live in the United States and have a working US phone number. First, download and open Rev Call Recorder (Free, in-app purchases). You'll need to confirm your phone number by adding it when prompted and entering the code you receive. The process is a little complex, but fortunately, the app offers a built-in tutorial. Once that's done, tap Start Recorded Call, then choose Outgoing Call or Incoming Call. For outgoing calls, you need to call the Rev Call Recorder service, then call the person you want to talk to. After both calls are connected, tap the Merge Calls button to begin recording. Image Gallery (3 Images) For incoming calls, the process is slightly different but just as simple. Once the call is complete, Rev will contact you when your recorded call is ready to download. Optional paid transcription services will also appear at this point. The major advantage of Rev Call Recorder is that, unlike many other call recording services, the person you're talking to will see your phone number, rather than an unknown number. Your calls are stored on another company's servers, though, so you probably don't want to use this service for private or sensitive matters. How to Record Calls on an iPhone Using Your Voicemail This final method depends largely on your cellphone service carrier for functionality. First, you need to check whether your carrier allows you to download your voicemail messages. Launch the Phone app on your iPhone and tap on the Voicemail tab in the bottom-right corner. If you see a list of voicemail messages appear, that's great! You can download them and keep them on your device for future playback purposes. If you only see a Call Voicemail option, you're not so lucky. You won't be able to download voicemails. However, you may be able to save them in your carrier's audible voicemail. This means you'll have to continue calling your voicemail every time you want to playback the message. To download these messages externally, perhaps try using the speakerphone method we discussed above. Depending again on your phone provider, you can try a similar recording method using call merging and your voicemail: Call your contact and gain consent to record the call. Ask them to hold. On your iPhone, tap Add Call to start a three-way conversation. Call your own phone number. You should get your own voicemail inbox. Wait for the voicemail greeting to finish. Tap Merge Calls to start the conference. End the call. Your conversation should record as a message you can retrieve from your voicemail inbox. Which iPhone Call Recording Method Works for You? Every cell provider and iOS device functions a little bit differently, so may need to try out a few recording methods until you discover which is right for you. The two most reliable ways of recording a phone call on your iPhone are using the speakerphone method or paying for a third-party service to record the call for you. In any case, to operate legally, you should always make sure you notify the other party that you're recording them.
  19. You can try out the next version of iOS now by installing the iOS 15 beta on your iPhone. After announcing some exciting new iOS 15 features, Apple released the beta to developers at WWDC, with a public beta, available for free to everyone, at the start of July. Since most people don't want to pay $99/year to get early access to the developer beta, we'll show you how to install the iOS public beta using the Apple Beta Software Program. These same steps will work to install the iPadOS 15 public beta on an iPad, too. A Warning About Beta Software By its nature, beta software is unfinished. That means it's more likely to be unreliable, with more software bugs than what you're used to. Beta software can even cause data loss or battery drain on your iPhone. If you need your devices to work perfectly—whether for work or family commitments—you shouldn't install beta software on it. Find a spare iPhone to use with the iOS 15 public beta instead. That said, we'll also show you how to uninstall the iOS 15 public beta as well, in case you change your mind after installing it. Public and Developer iOS Betas There are two versions of the iOS 15 beta: public and developer. Apple typically releases the developer beta a couple of weeks before the public beta, allowing developers to tweak their apps in preparation for a public release. Apple's developer beta is only available to members of the iOS Developer Program. This costs $99/year and comes with access to analytics and testing tools, along with the ability to release apps on the App Store. If you don't want to pay for the iOS Developer Program, Apple usually releases the public beta only a couple of weeks later. These releases come through the Apple Beta Software Program, which lets anyone install beta software on their devices. Chances are that you don't want to pay $99/year to join the iOS Developer Program if you're not actually a developer. So we'll focus on how to install the iOS 15 public beta instead. How to Install the iOS 15 Public Beta on Your iPhone There are only three steps you need to follow to install the iOS 15 public beta. The entire process takes a couple of hours, depending on how much data is on your iPhone and how fast your internet connection is. Make sure your iPhone is fully charged and you have plenty of time before getting started. Step 1. Archive a Backup of Your iPhone Every time you back up your iPhone, it erases your existing backup to create the new one. Any backups you make using the iOS 15 public beta might not work if you revert to iOS 14 again. To protect your data, you should archive an iOS 14 backup now, so you can still use it if you uninstall the iOS 15 public beta in the future. When you archive a backup, it means your iPhone won't delete it during future backups. If you don't create an archived backup using iOS 14, you may lose all the data from your iPhone if the iOS 15 public beta doesn't work properly. Use a computer running macOS Catalina or later, or iTunes, to create an archived backup: Open Finder or iTunes on your computer and select your iPhone from the sidebar. If prompted, unlock your iPhone and agree to Trust this computer. Go to the General tab in Finder or the Summary tab in iTunes and choose to Back up all the data on your iPhone to this Mac. If you want to save passwords and sensitive data as well, enable the Encrypt local backup option and create a memorable password. Click Back Up Now and wait for the backup to complete. When the backup finishes, click Manage Backups, then Control-click or right-click the backup you just made and select Archive. A padlock should appear next to your backup to show that it's archived. Step 2. Enroll Your iPhone in the Apple Beta Software Program To install the iOS 15 public beta, you need to enroll your iPhone in the Apple Beta Software Program. You do this by installing an iOS 15 Beta Software profile on your iPhone, which lets you download the iOS 15 beta as a software update. First, you need to sign up for the Apple Beta Software Program using your Apple ID. This is completely free, unlike the iOS Developer Program, which grants even earlier access to beta software. To sign up and enroll your iPhone in the Apple Beta Software Program: Visit beta.apple.com and Sign up for the Apple Beta Software Program using your Apple ID. Accept the terms and conditions to complete the signup process. Now open Safari on your iPhone and go to beta.apple.com/profile. Tap Download profile and Allow Safari to download a configuration profile. When the download finishes, open Settings and tap Profile Downloaded to Install the profile. Alternatively, go to Settings > General > Profile to view all your downloaded profiles and install it from there. Follow the prompts to enter your passcode and restart your iPhone to finish installing the iOS 15 beta profile. Image Gallery (3 Images) Step 3. Check for Software Updates to Install the iOS 15 Beta All you need to do now is check for new software updates on your iPhone like normal. With the iOS 15 Beta Software profile installed, your iPhone should download iOS 15 as a software update. Depending on your internet connection, it could take a couple of hours for your iPhone to download and install the update. Make sure your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi with plenty of battery life (or keep it plugged in), then: Go to Settings > General > Software Update. Wait for your iPhone to check for new updates. Tap Download and Install to install the iOS 15 beta on your iPhone. How to Uninstall the iOS 15 Beta From Your iPhone You may not want to keep the iOS 15 beta software installed on your iPhone if it's too buggy or unreliable. After all, many third-party apps still need to release updates to run perfectly on the new software, plus Apple is still working to fix its own software bugs. If you want to uninstall the iOS 15 beta from your iPhone, you have two possible options. The first one is easier, but you need to wait for Apple to release the final version of iOS 15 for it to work. Option 1. Remove the iOS 15 Beta Profile and Wait for an Update The easiest way to uninstall iOS 15 beta from your iPhone is to delete the beta profile from your settings. After you do this, your iPhone will stop looking for iOS 15 beta software to install and will install the next official iOS 15 update Apple releases instead. To remove the iOS 15 Beta Software profile: Go to Settings > General > Profile and tap the iOS 15 Beta Software profile. Tap Remove Profile, then enter your passcode and confirm you want to Remove it. Go to Settings > General > Software Update and check for new updates. Image Gallery (2 Images) Obviously, you need to wait for Apple to release iOS 15 update for this to work. If iOS 15 is already out, you'll need to wait for the next update to it. Option 2. Erase Your iPhone Using Recovery Mode If you want to uninstall iOS 15 beta immediately without waiting for Apple to release a new software update, your only option is to erase your iPhone using Recovery Mode. Erasing your iPhone deletes all the content from it: photos, messages, apps, and more. If you followed the steps above, you should be able to restore an archived backup after erasing your iPhone to recover your lost data. Unfortunately, this backup won't contain any data you added to your iPhone after creating the backup. The only way to keep that data is to follow the first uninstall option above. The steps to enter Recovery Mode vary depending on your particular iPhone, but they all involve connecting your iPhone to a computer running macOS Catalina or later, or iTunes. Follow our instructions to enter Recovery Mode on your iPhone. Then choose to Restore your iPhone when prompted in Finder or iTunes. After restoring your iPhone, choose to restore your archived backup in Finder or iTunes. The Best iPhone Features Are Already Here There's a wealth of exciting features coming to the iPhone with iOS 15, but there are already plenty of great iPhone features in iOS 14 that most people aren't aware of. You might not need to install the iOS 15 public beta if all you want is a few new features to play with.
  20. People with poor eyesight can still struggle to interact with people and their surroundings despite using glasses or contact lenses. While squinting or going near an object usually does the trick, you can save yourself from the hassle by using a helpful tool that turns your iPhone into a magnifying glass—the Magnifier. Discover below what Magnifier can do, how to enable it, and how to use its various features. What Is Magnifier? While the Magnifier app has been on iPhones since iOS 10, many people don’t that it exists buried in their iPhones utilities, let alone knowing how to use it. Magnifier is one of iPhone’s several accessibility features designed for people with visual impairments. The app helps people perceive objects better, like texts and symbols, by using various features. RELATED:Apps To Help The Blind And Visually Impaired To Navigate Better You can even snap multiple photos of the world around you to zoom in on the still images after the fact. These images don't save to the Photos app, but they are available to view in Magnifier by tapping the two squares in the bottom-right corner of the screen. How to Enable Magnifier While it’s a built-in feature, you can’t access Magnifier like other built-in apps. The tool is turned off by default. To turn it on: Go to Settings > Accessibility. Tap Magnifier. Toggle the switch on. Image Gallery (2 Images) How to Quickly Access the Magnifier There may be times that you instantly need help in seeing small texts. The good thing is, you can access Magnifier through various options. From Your Homescreen Image Gallery (2 Images) Once enabled, the Magnifier tool will appear on your Home Screen as a magnifying glass app. If you can't see it there, look it up in the App Library. Remember, you won't be able to find the app unless you first enable it in Settings. Through Accessibility Shortcuts Accessibility shortcuts allow you to triple-click the Side button to use specific accessibility features. After you enable Magnifier on your iPhone, it will immediately be added to your Accessibility Shortcuts. RELATED:Useful IPhone Accessibility Features Worth Trying If you don’t have any other shortcut selected, the Accessibility Shortcut will automatically be configured to Magnifier. However, if you have other shortcuts chosen, Magnifier will be added along with the other shortcuts. That is, once you triple-click the Side button, you will be asked which shortcut you want to perform. To configure your Accessibility Shortcut: Head to Settings > Accessibility. Scroll down to Accessibility Shortcuts. Choose one of more accessibility features to add. Image Gallery (2 Images) Through the Control Center You can also add a Magnifier control to your iPhone’s Control Center. To do this: Go to Settings > Control Center. Scroll down to More Controls and look for Magnifier. Tap the plus icon (+) to add it to your Control Center. Image Gallery (2 Images) Magnifier Tool Features Magnifier offers more than simple magnification. In fact, you can zoom to different levels, adapt the colors, and more. Here are all the various features on offer in the app: Zoom While your iPhone’s Camera has extraordinary zoom capabilities that you can use to magnify a nearby object, Magnifier provides stronger magnification. Image Gallery (2 Images) The tool also removes the need to hold your phone steady to focus on the desired object while zooming in. With the Magnifier, simply snap a shot and zoom in and out afterward. Filters Magnifier comes with various filters that you can apply either while taking the snapshot or after you take it. You can use these filters to perceive images and texts better. Filters include Grayscale, Red on Black, Yellow on Black, Yellow on Blue, White on Blue, and their inverted counterparts. Other Features Magnifier also has extra options to enhance images further. These include Brightness, Contrast, and Flashlight. To customize controls: Open Magnifier. Access Customize Controls by tapping the gear icon in the lower-left of the screen. Tap the plus icon (+) to activate secondary controls. You can choose up to two primary controls that will always be shown when you use the tool. To do this, drag a specific control from secondary controls that you want to place on primary controls. Image Gallery (2 Images) You can also organize the secondary controls based on how they will appear from left to right when using Magnifier. Arrange them by holding the three horizontal bars on the right side while dragging each control to their desired place. No More Need for Squinting With Magnifier, you no longer have to strain your eyes to read tiny printed tet. Simply take hold of your iPhone and use it like a digital magnifying glass. Break the visual barriers with just a few taps!
  21. There are instances when you're unable to use your hands to pick up a call, like if you're working or driving. But your iPhone has a feature that will help you overcome this. Siri used to announce the caller's name but is now capable of accepting or declining calls without you touching your iPhone at all. Here's how you can make use of this feature and can answer calls with Apple's virtual assistant. How Can You Activate This Feature? First, you need to tell Siri to announce your incoming calls: Go to Settings. Scroll down and tap Phone. Select Announce Calls. You will see a list of four options to choose from. To allow this feature to work, select Headphones Only or Headphone & Car, as this feature does not work with the rest of the options. Image Gallery (3 Images) Then make sure the following toggle is enabled for your iPhone: Go to Settings. Tap Siri & Search. Toggle on Allow Siri When Locked. Image Gallery (2 Images) The feature is now enabled on your phone. Let's see how you can use it for incoming phone calls. Note that this feature debuted in iOS 14.5 along with many other features and will only work if your iPhone is updated to iOS 14.5 or later. How Do You Use This Feature? When you have your headphones connected to your iPhone and you receive a call, whatever you are listening to is paused. Siri then announces who is calling. All you need to do in response is say "Answer" or "Decline." You don't need to say "Hey Siri" before giving the command, making the process a lot simpler. Does This Feature Work With All Headphones? This feature will only work with headphones that support Siri. The list of compatible devices includes Beats Solo Pro, Powerbeats, Powerbeats Pro, AirPods Max, AirPods Pro, and AirPods (2nd generation). Presumably, upcoming AirPods and Beats will also be included. Apple's Virtual Assistant Is Now Smarter Most of you have been waiting eagerly for a way to answer your phone without having to pick it up every time, and iOS 14.5 gave you what you wanted with the help of the iPhone's famous personal assistant, Siri. Siri is already capable of reading incoming messages out loud and then sending off a reply according to what you
  22. You might want to keep track of your periods for a variety of reasons. Many women keep track of them for birth control or for boosting their chances of conceiving. Many others do it for other health reasons. While irregularities and missed periods are not often a cause for alarm, many women still find it beneficial to log their menstrual cycle and accompanying symptoms. If you’re an iPhone user, you can simply use the Health app to keep track of your menstrual cycle. How to Set Up Cycle Tracking While there are plenty of apps that monitor your menstrual cycle, you can use your iPhone’s built-in Health app to do the tracking for you. Here's how to set it up: Open the Health app, tap the Browse tab, and search for Cycle Tracking. Hit Get Started, then tap Next and input all the required information. You can also tap Skip if you prefer. Tap the toggle next to Period Prediction if you want the app to predict your periods and enable Period Notifications to allow the app to send you upcoming period prompts, which come at 8pm. Tap the toggle switches for Fertility Predictions and Log Options if you wish to keep track of data for your fertility. Image Gallery (3 Images) Don’t worry if you skipped some of these options during the setup. You can always change your options by going to Cycle Log & Options. RELATED:Best Free Fitness Apps For IPhone To Get Healthier With Cycle Tracking, you can log your period, flow level, various symptoms, spotting, and other factors that may influence your cycle, such as pregnancy or lactation. How to Log Your Cycle Data Once you're done setting it up, you can start logging your cycle data. Go to the Health app, tap the Browse tab, and look for Cycle Tracking. Alternatively, it should appear under Summary if you've added it to your favorites. Swipe to choose the day you want to log. Then simply tap the oval underneath the chosen date to log a period. Once you do this, an orange circle will appear inside the oval. Add additional information under Other Data. The data you'll see here are those that you've included during setup. To add or remove data categories from the list, tap Options beside Cycle Log. Scroll down and toggle the switches for options like Symptoms, Basal Body Temperature, and Spotting. Once you're done, head back to Cycle Tracking and tap the plus icon (+) beside the data you wish to log. Image Gallery (2 Images) How to Add Cycle Tracking to Your Favorites To access Cycle Tracking faster, you can opt to add it to your Health app Favorites. There are two ways to do that: Go to Cycle Tracking, scroll down to More, then tap the star icon beside Add to Favorites. Or open the Health app, tap Edit beside Favorites, and choose the All tab. Scroll down and look for Cycles Tracking and tap the star icon to add it to Favorites. Image Gallery (2 Images) How to Check Your Cycle Calendar You can keep track of other relevant information about your cycle including Cycle History and Predictions. Here's how: Open the Health app and go to Cycles Tracking. Scroll down to Predictions to see your Fertile Window Prediction and your periods for the following three months with Period Prediction. Scroll down to Your Cycles to check your Cycle History and Summary to see your Last Menstrual Period, Typical Cycle Length, and Typical Period Length. Image Gallery (2 Images) What the Symbols and Colors Mean To make it easier to track, Cycle Tracking provides you with easy visualization of the app's predictions. Here are the various symbols or colors to take note of: White oval: Dates with no information Solid red circle: logged period day Light red striped circle: possible predicted period day Red striped circle: likely predicted period day Small purple dot: logged additional information Image Gallery (2 Images) Get Better Insights About Your Menstrual Health Cycles and symptoms can be confusing and unpredictable. While tracking doesn’t change your cycle, it can give you insights and patterns about your monthly period, allowing you to understand your body better. So you’d know why you’re craving pizza one minute then crying over a shallow sitcom the next.
  23. It's fun to give yourself a cool iPhone Home Screen layout. Grouping apps into various folders on different pages is a good way to keep your collection organized, but there are more creative ways to organize your iPhone Home Screen layout as well. Here are the best layout ideas if you want to do something different with your iPhone's Home Screen. Customizing Your iPhone Home Screen There are countless ways to customize your iPhone's Home Screen by utilizing widgets and the App Library in iOS. However, in this guide, we’re only focusing on different app layout ideas. These offer creative methods to organize your apps. Many of the layouts below call for customized app icons. To create these, you need to use the Shortcuts app to create a shortcut that opens an app. You can then add that shortcut to your Home Screen with a custom icon. You may also need to remove apps from your Home Screen for some of the layouts below. To do this, tap and hold an app to open a popup menu, choose Remove App, then choose Remove from Home Screen. This sends the app to your iPhone App Library instead. 1. The Minimalist For this Home Screen layout, remove every app from your Home Screen and send them to the App Library. You can then choose to add a single app or folder to the Dock. Or if you prefer, keep your Home Screen completely empty and enjoy a clear view of your wallpaper. RELATED:The Best Places To Find Your Next IPhone Wallpaper When you want to open an app, swipe down on the Home Screen to open Spotlight and type the first letter or two of the app you're after. Your iPhone should find it almost immediately; just tap it in the search results to open it. You can always go rooting through the App Library as well. 2. Monochrome Use the Shortcuts app to create black, white, or gray icons for your favorite apps. Some system apps like Settings and Camera already use grayscale icons, so you don't need to worry about those. After creating your monochromatic app shortcuts, move all the original apps to the App Library. 3. Color-Coded Another color-based alternative is to replace your apps with color-coded Shortcuts. Why not make social apps green, games red, and entertainment apps blue? A color-coded iPhone Home Screen layout makes it easy to focus only on the apps you need at a particular time. This could also be useful for anyone with color blindness, as you can choose colors for different app groups that you find easy to distinguish. 4. The Menu Image Gallery (3 Images) This iPhone Home Screen layout is a great idea for anybody who likes to have many options without a lot of clutter. Instead of grouping apps into folders, create shortcuts with list menus that let you choose between multiple apps to open. You can give each shortcut a name, icon, and color that represents the group of apps it contains. Use the Choose from Menu action in the Shortcuts to create a list of apps to choose from. For example, create a shortcut called Read that offers a menu of reading apps: Kindle, Books, News, and so on. 5. The Monogram Thought you were stuck with the grid layout on your iPhone Home Screen? Think again! You can utilize iEmpty to create blank icons that match your wallpaper, then use those icons to create spaces in your Home Screen layout. This opens up a world of possibilities, including the option of spelling your initials with the app icons. 6. Dockless The Dock loses its importance if you keep all your apps on a single screen instead of having them spread across multiple pages. So use a clever trick to hide your iPhone Dock instead. This involves changing your wallpaper to one that conceals the dock. Fortunately, there are plenty of wallpaper options to choose from. 7. The One-Hander Big screens are awesome, but reaching for icons at the furthest edges of the display can literally be a pain. Instead of practicing fingertip yoga every time you want to open an app, why not keep your icons all down one side? Use iEmpty to create blank spaces in your iPhone Home Screen layout, allowing you to move the remaining apps on whichever side you want them. 8. The Bottom Line Apple knows the bottom of the screen is prime real estate, since it's the easiest part to reach. That's why the Dock is down there. Thus, it makes sense to ignore the top of the iPhone Home Screen completely and use blank icons to shift your app icons towards the bottom. 9. The Noticeboard This iPhone Home Screen layout is a best for people who feel anxious about seeing too many notifications at once. Just group apps that use notification badges into urgent and non-urgent folders so you can see at a glance how many apps really need your attention. Not all notifications are equally important, after all. 10. Work/Play With this layout, keep work-related apps on one page. Entertainment apps that you only use outside of working hours go on another. Combine this with the Downtime feature in Screen Time to automatically disable apps on the work screen at the end of the workday. For even better productivity, use Downtime to disable everything on the play screen during working hours as well. 11. Incognito Got a secret app you don't want anyone to know about? Use Shortcuts or iEmpty to create an invisible icon for it, then name it with an invisible Unicode character from Empty Characters. If you keep at least one empty row per Home Screen, nobody will ever know you've got a top-secret app stashed there. 12. The Librarian Can't decide how to organize your iPhone apps? Unable to choose between sorting icons by style or classifying them by color? Take the librarian's option and arrange your apps in alphabetical order instead. Never again will you agonize over where to put that new utility or game. Simply slot it into place according to its name. 13. The Heavy Load If you have a lot of apps, pack them into several folders so you don't need to swipe through endless Home Screens to view everything. It's best to organize your folders by app category: work, health, finance, entertainment, and so on. The App Library does this automatically, but you have no control over how each app is categorized. This is a much better option if you want to know exactly where to find each app. If you're struggling to think of good folder name ideas for this Home Screen layout, you could also use emojis to give quick, colorful representations for each one. 14. The Rainbow Most app icons feature a single color that stands out above all others. Thanks to this, you can create a stunning iPhone Home Screen layout by arranging your apps according to their primary color to form a rainbow. As an added bonus, this makes a lot of apps easier to find, since it's easier to picture the app icon than remember where it sits in your layout. For app icons that combine multiple colors, move them to a separate screen at the end of the rainbow. 15. Two-Page Priorities Image Gallery (2 Images) It's best to keep your most important apps within reach at all times. The easiest way to do this is to add your favorite four apps to the Dock, then prioritize the next-most important apps on your first Home Screen. After that, add everything else into separate folders on the second Home Screen page. Alternatively, only use a single Home Screen and relegate everything else to the App Library. Think Outside the Box for the Best Home Screen Layout Despite the restrictions that Apple puts on the iPhone Home Screen, with a little out-of-the-box thinking and some simple tricks, you can come up with all sorts of creative app layouts.
  24. It goes without saying that you want the best internet connection at all times. Having your iPhone or iPad automatically prioritize and connect to the strongest Wi-Fi network around you is going to help out with that. Whether you've got multiple access points in your home or a lot of saved networks in one area, setting network priority will get you the best connection at all times. If you're looking to set it up, here's what you need to do. How to Set Network Priority on iPhone or iPad There isn't actually a way to set Wi-Fi network priority on the iPhone or iPad. Rather, your device will do it automatically in the background. Built into iOS is a set of criteria to judge and join Wi-Fi networks automatically. Following these criteria, your iPhone or iPad will usually connect to the best network available. iOS tries to connect to Wi-Fi networks considering the following criteria: Your "most-preferred" network The private network you most recently joined Private versus public networks RELATED:Fixes To Improve Wi-Fi Performance On Your IPhone As you can see, iOS considers a number of different factors to help automatically prioritize the best network for you to use. When considering each of these factors, iOS actually assigns a hidden score to different Wi-Fi networks to prioritize them. Your different actions when connecting to Wi-Fi change the score assigned to each Wi-Fi network. For example, if your iPhone connects you to one network, and you instantly connect to another instead, the first network's score decreases. Unfortunately, Apple offers no more explanation on how the iPhone's Wi-Fi priority works, so there isn't any more information on the topic. But as long as it works, that's not too much of a problem. How to Sync Network Priority From Mac to iPhone You'll be glad to hear there's a sneaky way to get around the lack of a Wi-Fi priority setting in iOS. If you own a Mac, you can set network priorities there and then sync them with your iPhone or iPad. You'll need to have signed in with the same Apple ID on both devices, and have iCloud Keychain turned on. To check these settings, open System Preferences on your Mac, click on Apple ID, and make sure that the box for Keychain is ticked. On your iPhone, open Settings and tap your name at the top. Go to iCloud > Keychain and make sure it's toggled on. As long as you've got both of those settings turned on, you're ready to sync your Mac's Wi-Fi priority settings to your iPhone. On your Mac, click on the Wi-Fi icon in the top menu bar and then click Network Preferences. Next, you'll need to click on Advanced. You'll see a list of all your saved Wi-Fi networks. The networks at the top of the list have a higher priority than those at the bottom, and you can drag networks into the order you want. Click OK and then Apply to save the changes. Once you've done this, your preferences will save and should sync automatically with your iPhone. If you notice the settings haven't synced with your iPhone, try restarting both devices. While this method isn't particularly difficult, you need to own a Mac and it's much less convenient than a feature built directly into iOS. The Mac and iPhone work great together as part of Apple's ecosystem, but it's an unnecessary extra step to take. Hopefully, Apple adds a way to set Wi-Fi priority directly on the iPhone soon. How to Manually Connect to a Network on iPhone or iPad Just to clarify, you do always have the option of manually connecting to a Wi-Fi network on your iPhone or iPad, if Apple's automatic prioritization doesn't work. It's a bit more inconvenient than having a Wi-Fi priority setting built into iOS, but it's easier than plugging your device into a Mac. On your iPhone or iPad, you can manually switch Wi-Fi networks from either the Control Center or the Settings app. From the Control Center, tap and hold on the Wi-Fi icon in the top-left section to bring up the larger panel, hold the icon again, and choose another network from the list. From the Settings app, tap on Wi-Fi in the first section, and then choose a network from the list. Image Gallery (2 Images) If you know that there's a better Wi-Fi network you can connect to, this method works very well. Unfortunately, you will need to keep an eye out for suitable other networks. Prioritizing Your Networks Will Give You the Best Connection Whether you rely on Apple's automatic prioritization, syncing your Mac settings, or manually switching networks, prioritizing better Wi-Fi networks will improve your connection speed or range.
  25. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have changed the world by making computers and phones powerful and portable. They are also tricky to maintain. As lithium-ion batteries wear down due to age, temperature, and usage they have trouble holding a charge. It’s up to you as the owner of a device to maintain its battery’s health—unless you have Apple products. Apple’s Optimized Battery Charging on iPhone and battery health management on MacBooks do a lot of heavy lifting to make sure your devices’ batteries hold long charges for a long time. Let us tell you all about it below. How Optimized Battery Charging Works Optimized Battery Charging (or battery health management) is a feature that was introduced in iOS 13 and macOS 10.15.15. It’s a piece of software that checks on your iPhone and Mac battery health and prevents chemical aging of the batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable, but only to a certain point. As they age, the batteries get less effective at holding charges. This aging process doesn’t just happen over time though. It is accelerated chemically as well by factors within and around a battery. For example, keeping a lithium-ion battery very cold or very hot causes such chemical aging. Cold slows down internal reactions inside of a battery while heat increases their frequency. Both instances wear the battery down internally and reduce the battery’s ability to hold a charge over time. This is part of why it’s important to make sure your MacBook Air doesn’t overheat. How you charge and use a device with a lithium-ion battery also affects its chemical age. Lithium-ion batteries tend to degrade when they’re charged over 80% or get below 20% a lot of the time. So, if you charge your iPhone overnight you’re possibly harming the battery. Unless you use Optimized Battery Charging. Optimizing Battery Charging was designed specifically to help iPhones and Macs to charge in ways that won’t damage their batteries. First, the feature figures out the daily charging routine of your iPhone or Mac. It also figures out the usual times you start using the device throughout the day. Once it knows when a charging cord is regularly left in for a long period of time, like overnight, the program ensures your device’s battery isn’t charged beyond 80% until close to a time when you’ll use the device again. For overnight charging that would be close to the time when you wake up. Should You Use Optimized Battery Charging? Apple certainly recommends keeping Optimized Battery Charging turned on to ensure your iPhone and Mac batteries last a long time. But there have been reports that the feature has a significant bug. This bug has caused some iPhone batteries to drain prematurely rather than maintain their charge, as Optimized Battery Charging is supposed to help with long term. This is a notable risk. But it’s not a widely reported error, and actually monitoring battery cycles and charging on a good schedule can be a lot more difficult on your own. Overall, we agree with Apple that it’s a great feature to have and use. Particularly alongside using our tips for keeping your iPhone battery from draining and these apps that improve a MacBook’s battery life. Combined, these tips should keep your lithium-ion batteries to last a good long time. And they should help you notice if sudden drains are happening to your battery as well! To make sure you have Optimized Battery Charging turned on, or to turn if off because you have noticed the drain, check out the next sections to see how to access the feature on an iPhone or Mac. How to Turn Optimized Battery Charging On or Off on an iPhone To turn Optimized Battery Charging on or off on your iPhone, first tap on Settings. Scroll down to Battery, then tap on Battery Health. In here, you’ll see your iPhone battery’s maximum charge capacity, and a report on whether your iPhone battery is working at peak performance. Below both of those, you’ll find the Optimized Battery Charging switch. Turn it on or off as you see fit! Image Gallery (2 Images) When Optimized Battery Charging is turned on and you’re charging your phone for an extended period of time, you should see a notification on your Lock Screen that gives the time when your phone should be done charging. If you want to turn Optimized Battery Charging off at that point, tap and hold the notification, and tap Charge Now. Your phone will charge normally, rather than pausing for a time when it reaches 80%. How to Turn Optimized Battery Charging On or Off on a Mac To turn Optimized Battery Charging on or off on your Mac, open System Preferences and click on Battery. In the menu on the left of the window, select Battery. Check or uncheck the Optimized battery charging box to turn Optimized Battery Charging on or off. To really ensure your Mac battery is doing well, also click on the Battery Health button at the bottom of the window, and make sure the Manage battery longevity box is checked. Or uncheck it and click Turn Off to ensure no Optimized Battery Charging or battery management is taking place. Apple Is Taking Care of Its Products You can do a lot to ensure a lithium-ion battery you own has a long lifespan. Apple is making that easier with Optimized Battery Charging in iPhones and Macs. It’s a feature that’s worth keeping turned on for your devices, and doing in tandem with other battery health care. Keep yourself from needing to buy replacement batteries or new devices by taking care of what you have, and turn on Optimized Battery Charging today
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