iOS

5 handy things the Photos app can do with your iPhone snapshots

With its various “Moments,” “Collections,” and “Memories,” the iOS Photos app has become almost as confusing and frustrating to use as Apple Music. (Don’t get me started.)

But once you get your bearings, there are still plenty of nifty things you can do with your snapshots in Photos. From creating instant, one-tap movies and pasting shapes and captions in your pictures to publishing galleries on the web and undeleting recently trashed images, here are some tips on making the most of Photos.

Create an instant photo movie

Read more »

0

6 ways to maximize the Android phone dialer

Whether you’re trying to avoid telemarketers or you want to share a crazy voicemail you just received, the “stock” phone dialer on your Android phone has some pretty clever tricks up its sleeves.

Not only can the Android phone dialer warn you of spam callers and share a voicemail message via Gmail, Google Drive, or Dropbox, it can also suggest phone numbers based on your location, help you organize or delete shortcuts to “favorite” callers, let you customize your own “quick” text responses for declined callers, and more. 

Note: I tested these tips on a Nexus 5X running on Android 7.1.2, using Project Fi as my carrier. The calling features on your phone may vary depending on the make, model, and carrier of your device.

Read more »

0

8 handy things to do with your new Google Assistant

So your Marshmallow-or-better Android phone just got Google Assistant, and when you long-press the Home button for the first time after the update, your new digital helper asks, “Hi, how can I help?” Talk about an open-ended question.

Read on for eight easy ways to get started with Google’s chatty servant, from telling it what to call you, to making a shopping list, to turning on Bluetooth and even playing Solitaire.

Give Assistant some familiar voice commands

Read more »

0

8 Android app shortcuts that are actually useful

Sometimes, just saving a tap or two can make you feel so efficient, if not actually more productive. This is the aim of Android’s new app shortcuts—small, pop-up shortcut buttons that appear when you long-press on a home-screen app icon.

Some of the available Android app shortcuts, which you’ll find on handsets running Android version 7.1.1 or better, are more useful than others. For example, I could do without the “I’m feeling lucky” shortcut in the Google Photos app, which simply opens a random snapshot. But a shortcut that lets you take one-tap scans of receipts? That’s interesting.

Read on for eight of the more useful Android app shortcuts, from a quick way to free up storage space on your Android device to a shortcut that lets you record a quick audio note.

Read more »

0

6 gotta-know Spotify tips for Android and iOS

There’s more to the Spotify app for Android and iOS than simply streaming your favorite artists or Spotify’s premixed radio stations. Indeed, the Spotify mobile app is capable of some pretty clever tricks once you know what you’re doing.

For starters, it’s easy to download a Spotify radio mix to your phone for on-the-go playback without putting a dent in your monthly mobile data allowance—and indeed, you can set Spotify to stay offline completely, if the need arises. You can also tweak the quality of your audio streaming and music downloads, keep playing tunes even when your playlist is over, “crossfade” from one song to another, and more.

Note: Several of the features and settings we’ll be covering require a “premium” Spotify subscription, which will set you back about $10 a month. (Psst! You can easily score a 30-day free Spotify Premium trial with the right Google search).

Read more »

0

5 alternative (and easier) ways to unlock your Android phone

There has to be an easier way for your Android phone to know it’s you besides a passcode, a PIN, or a pattern lock, right? A fingerprint reader is a good start, but they still have a way of failing even when you swipe your fingertip perfectly on the sensor, thus returning you to the need to enter a PIN or swipe pattern to unlock your own device.

The good news is that Android boasts a series of clever ways of unlocking your device without passcodes, patterns, or fingertip swipes. For example, the latest Android handsets can keep themselves unlocked while they’re riding in your pocket. You can also set Android to recognize your face, or your voice. Last but not least, your Android phone can unlock itself whenever you’re home, at work, or near a “trusted” device, like your Bluetooth car radio or an NFC sticker.

Note: I tested the following settings on a Nexus 5X running on Android version 7.1.2; the settings on your handset may differ depending on its make and model, or the version of Android you have installed.

Read more »

0

iOS

6 essential settings to make your iPhone and iPad display easier on the eyes

Nope, you don’t have to settle for itty-bitty text on your iPhone screen, nor must you deal with buttons that don’t look anything like buttons. Once you know which settings to change, you can boost the size of on-screen text on your iPhone or iPad, make words a bit more bold, zoom in with a virtual magnifying glass, warm up—or cool off—Night Shift, and more.

Change text size

You don’t have to squint if the text on your iPhone or iPad is a little too small. There are a couple of ways to boost the size of text on an iOS device.

Read more »

0