Recording Your iPhone Screen

One of the new features is iOS 11 is the ability to record your screen. This is not available by default but you can easily add this ability. You can record your screen for many reasons.

Enable Screen Recording

  • The first thing you need to do is add the screen recording button to your iOS 11 Control Center:
  • Go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls.
  • Under More Controls, scroll down to Screen Recording and tap the green plus button to add it to the controls included in the Control Center.

Create a Recording

  • To create a recording, swipe up from the bottom of your screen to pull up the control center. You’ll now see a record button among your controls.
  • Tap the button and you’ll see a three-second countdown before your phone starts recording.
  • If you want to record audio while doing a screen recording, long press the button in your control center and you’ll see an option to record with or without audio.
  • While recording, the network/clock bar at the top of your screen will be red.
  • To stop recording, you can either tap the red bar at the top of your screen or by bringing up the control center.
  • When you tap the stop button, the screen recording will be saved to your iOS photos.

So with that in mind here is a screen recording of my iPhone setting this up.

 

 

Share This:

Watching Star Trek: Discovery Offline

With Star Trek: Discovery now airing exclusively on CBS All Access I was trying to find  way to be able to download the episodes so I can view them while flying. Unlike Netflix & Amazon Video CBS All Access does not (yet) have a watch offline feature. However – in the meantime…

Image result for star trek discovery

It looks like will there is a will – there is a way, even if it will cost a few bucks.

Streaming your favorite shows on a spotty internet connection can be quite the nuisance – but it doesn’t have to be. There is a handy app that lets you save any show for offline watching and the best thing is that it works with practically any streaming service, including Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO and thank goodness CBS All Access.

Image result for playon cloud

Available for Android and iOS, PlayOn Cloud makes it possible for users to record and download titles from a variety of leading streaming services, so they could still binge their favorite shows once they go offline – anytime and anywhere.

In addition to the previously mentioned content providers, the app also supports downloads from YouTube, Yahoo Views, CBS, PBS, CW, ABC, NBC and Fox.

The only downside is that you will have to pay for this privilege. PlayOn’s iOS and Android apps are free, but the company will charge $0.99 for each recording. The good thing is that PlayOn also offers various recording packs and bundles for as low as $0.20 a pop. You can look up pricing details here. I paid $4.99 for 20 episode downloads which should all me to watch Discovery’s Season 1 offline – no matter where I am, regardless of access to the internet!  You must, of course be a subscriber to CBS-All Access to access their content through PlayOn Cloud.

Considering that each recording is stored in the cloud – and therefore available to download locally on any device using the same PlayOn account – it’s not such a bad deal.

One thing to keep in mind is that Netflix already rolled out support for offline viewing for mobile last year. The disadvantage is that not every entry in its catalog is available to stream offline. Another upside to using PlayOn is that, unlike Netflix, downloaded recordings never expire – unless the user deletes them, of course.

Yes, recordings stored on the cloud will be deleted after 30 days, but they will still be available on your device locally.

For those wondering about the app’s legality: The PlayOn team claims their software is entirely “legal and protected by the same laws that allow consumers to use a DVR or VCR to record broadcast content.” They have explained this in more detail in a blog post on their website.

In all fairness, PlayOn Cloud has been around for a while now. But should you find yourself planning a faraway trip without any guarantees for a stable connection, now at least you know you have options to keep yourself entertained.

Share This:

Switching from iCloud to OneDrive for Camera Roll Sync and Backup

Image result for onedrive iphoneMany times I have been asked by family, workmates & friends about the iPhone message stating that their “iCloud” is reporting memory full. This is often because the iPhone defaults to uploading your photos to the iCloud – in addition to a genral backup of the phone. Unfortunately there is only 5GB of free space there – anything beyond that and you need to pay Apple.

I prefer Microsoft’s OneDrive for photo backup. The service is much less expensive and more functional.

So how do you do this?

1. Make sure Camera Upload is toggled on.

2. These options allow you to use your mobile network for uploading images to OneDrive, include videos, and upload in the background without having to open the app to being the image sync to OneDrive. Select your options based on your preferences.

IMPORTANT:
At this point go back to the main OneDrive app page and you should see your phone begin syncing all of your Camera Roll images to OneDrive. Let this process finish before you proceed to the next step.

By default, iCloud is used in iOS to backup your camera roll as you take images with the phone and it comes with just 5GB of storage for free with options to subscribe and add more storage to your account.

However, if you are already part of the Microsoft ecosystem then you can actually shift over to using OneDrive for syncing your camera roll images to the cloud. These days OneDrive also comes with just 5GB of cloud storage at no cost. However, if you are an Office 365 subscriber or maybe grandfathered with more storage prior to the reductions Microsoft made a couple of years ago then you likely have much more than just the free 5GB allotment of storage.

To get started just download the OneDrive app from the App Store on your iOS device and sign into your Microsoft Account via the OneDrive app after it is installed.

Once you are signed in just follow the screenshots in this gallery for steps on turning on camera roll sync with OneDrive and turning it off in iCloud.

Note: Make sure you allow the OneDrive app to sync your existing camera images from your phone to OneDrive first before shutting down the iCloud backup. I have bolded that warning in the gallery image to remind you. This is just to make sure that none of your existing images are lost in the transition.

Share This:

Introducing Facebook 360 Photos

Since inception, Facebook users have uploaded over 70 million 360 photos. And of these 70 million 360 photos, exactly zero were taken using Facebook’s built-in camera. Starting today, that all changes. Users can now take 360 videos from the Facebook app itself, and upload them instantly for viewing on their Timeline, in albums, or Groups.

Image result for facebook 360

Previously, a 360 photo required users leave Facebook’s mobile app, open a camera app on their phone, shoot the image in panorama mode, and then re-open Facebook to upload the image. It’s not exactly a prison labor camp, but for a company that strives to keep users on the platform, forcing them to leave in order to use a feature didn’t make a ton of sense.

And if you didn’t feel the Facebook god’s were shining down upon you already, we’ll see a handful of highly-anticipated new features. My favorite is the ability to add a 360 photo as your Cover Photo, but you could just as easily get all warm inside about tagging friends, or zoom.

Here’s how to use it
  1. Open the Facebook app and click ‘360 Photo’ from the top of your News Feed (near the update status icon).
  2. Press the blue button and take your panoramic image.
  3. Select your preferred starting point for the photo, and share.

Share This:

Facebook’s Updates It’s Look

Facebook’s mobile apps are getting a new look, though blink and you might miss some of the changes.

The most obvious update is coming to comments, which now look a lot more like a conversation in your average messaging app rather than than a series of posts. This falls in line with Facebook’s recent desktop tests, which display comment threads a bit more like group chats.

The idea is to make comments a bit more readable, and make it easier to see who’s replying directly to another person.

Facebook might also be trying to subtly make conversations with strangers a bit more friendly. The text bubble’s resemblance to a messaging app could make it feel more like you’re actually having a personal conversation with participants, rather than replying to a random internet thread.

Less obvious are the changes to the News Feed. Facebook is using a brighter shade of blue and has increased color contrast overall to make text more readable. The link previews are slightly larger – they now take up the entire width of your screen – and the Like, Comment, and Share buttons are now larger.

Throughout the new design, Facebook has also replaced it’s silhouette style icons with more iOS-like wireframes – for better or for worse. I like them, but your mileage may vary.

There are also other small tweaks like a more prominent back button and the ability to see where a link will take you before clicking on it.  The whole shebang looks a fair bit more like Instagram now.

Oh, and Facebook pulled a Twitter, switching perfectly fine square profile photos for circular ones.

Facebook will be rolling out the new design “over the coming weeks,” so you may not see it just yet. The new look certainly isn’t the most dramatic overhaul Facebook’s ever seen, but seems to mostly be for the better.

Share This:

Saving Data Usage with Facebook

Are you a Facebook addict? Aside from needing to break the addiction as soon as possible (seriously, it’s not a healthy way to live your life), you should give some serious consideration to your data usage. Facebook like other apps just loves to use data – even when you are not looking at the app.

If you’ve had a few “shock” bills from your carrier, Facebook could be to blame. Between high-resolution images and auto-playing videos, the app can burn through data in no time.

Of course, you can turn off auto-playing videos by going to More (the three horizontal lines in the top right-hand corner of the screen) > Help and Settings > App Settings > Auto-play.

But there’s a better way: use the Data Saver tool.

What Does Data Saver Do?

Data Saver not only prevents videos from playing automatically but importantly, it also reduces the resolution of any images in your feed.

To set it up, head to the More menu in the top right-hand corner or your screen. Scroll down until you find Data Saver. It’s in the Help and Settings section.

On the next screen, make sure you slide the toggle next to Data Saver on into the On position. When you enable the setting, a new option will appear. It allows you to disable the Data Saver feature while you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Other Options to Save Data

To further reduce your data usage, there are a couple of other hidden settings you might find useful.

Go to More > App Settings and turn off the toggles next to Upload photos in HD and Upload videos in HD.

As a last resort, you can install Mobile Protect. Navigate to More > Mobile Data to get started.

Share This:

Microsoft Kill’s It’s Windows Keyboard for iOS

This is a sad day for me as another little piece of Microsoft’s Window Phone is being taken away.

Microsoft is removing Word Flow from the App Store. This means that the critically acclaimed keyboard app will no longer be available to iOS users who haven’t already downloaded it. And those that have face the prospect of Word Flow never being updated again. Because that’s how Microsoft rolls.

Having failed with their “Windows Phone” Microsoft began releasing several apps including Word Flow for iOS. Word Flow being a keyboard app designed to replicate the Windows Phone typing experience on your iPhone. Microsoft released Word Flow in April 2016, and gave it a major update adding GIF search and other features in August 2016. You can check out my April 25, 2016 review of Word Flow here.

Now, Microsoft is delisting Word Flow on the App Store. This means that while existing users will be able to carry on using Word Flow (without any future updates or support) new users are being denied the opportunity to try Word Flow out for themselves.

On the Microsoft Garage website, Microsoft describes the Windows Phone keyboard app as “an iOS app with a blazing fast keyboard that comes with search (GIFs, restaurants, and more), free customization options and includes Arc mode for comfortable one-handed typing.”

That one-handed typing is what separated Word Flow from the crowd. Once you got the hang of it Word Flow could speed up your typing, and all while leaving one hand free for other things.

Microsoft is advising Word Flow users to download SwiftKey instead because the former acquired the latter in early 2016. And this acquisition is probably why Microsoft is killing Word Flow in the first place. Let’s just hope the one-handed typing feature now makes it into SwiftKey.

Share This:

Facebook Helps You Find Free Wi-Fi

Last year, Facebook began testing a feature that made it easy to find public Wi-Fi networks around you. It was only available in iOS, and only in select locations.

Now Facebook is rolling out the feature to everyone on its mobile apps. Just tap on the ‘More’ tab, and then select ‘Find Wi-Fi’. You’ll see nearby Wi-Fi locations on a list or map, as well as information about the businesses hosting them.

It’ll come in handy if you’re travelling internationally and don’t have cellular data/can’t afford roaming. There’s often Wi-Fi  somewhere around you, but getting a consistent signal can be a pain if you don’t know where the network is originating from. 

Likewise, it comes in handy if you’re on a limited data plan and wan’t to use Wi-Fi as much as possible to avoid being capped or paying extra fees.

Keep in mind, the tool only lists Wi-Fi networks that businesses have chosen to share their information on Facebook, so you’re probably not going to find every possible connection through the tool. Also note that Facebook will turn on its Location History tracker if you enable Find Wi-Fi, which keeps tabs on all the places you’ve visited:

Share This:

What is a Podcast?

Image result for podcastsYou’re about to see how you can find a huge variety of new and interesting content from the internet to fill your smartphone, tablet or PC for free. You can listen to what you want, when you want, and how you want.

Imagine getting new “radio”-style talk and music shows to listen to on your smartphone every day. You wake up and automatically have new shows ready to listen to while you exercise, commute to work or just while relaxing around the house. This is the podcast listening experience.

Let’s face it. Broadcast radio is getting old. The same songs get played over and over until you’re sick of them. A few large companies have control of the formats and what gets played. There is very little variety.

With podcasts you don’t have to wait to hear something that interests you. You choose what you want to listen to. There are now thousands & thousands of podcasts and the number is growing rapidly.

What is a Podcast?

The word podcast is a play on the word broadcast combined with the word iPod (one of the most popular portable MP3 players at the time podcasting became popular).

At the core a podcast is an audio file that is automatically received from the internet and then synced to your smartphone, tablet or computer. The files are received by subscribing through a podcast player app.

You do not have to have an iPod to listen to a podcast. The best podcast player is right there on your smartphone, which makes it very convenient.

What Are Podcasts So Popular?

What sets podcasts apart is that they can be automatically downloaded to your computer or smartphone and synced without you needing to do anything. You can wake up each morning with new shows (that interest you) on your smartphone, tablet or computer ready to listen to.

The ease and convenience of this automatic delivery in addition to the endless content makes it so popular.

Content! No matter what you are interested in, science, politics, technology, history and much more is all there waiting for you. Also many of the popular networks such as NPR, ESPN, CNN, BBC and many more make their on-the-air content available via podcasts as well!

Finding Content and a Podcast Player

The first thing you want to do is pick a podcast player app. I have 2 recommendations depending on what smartphone you have. There are many others – these are just my personal favorites.

Once you have a podcast player on your smartphone or tablet you can begin to search for content that interests you.

Enjoy…. and welcome to the 21st century!

Share This:

Sonic Heads to Your Smartphone

Following in the tradition of Nintendo – Sega is making a comeback, thanks to your smartphone. The legendary video games company has launched Sega Forever, which is devoted to keeping the Sega name alive long into the future. And what better way to do that than to reach back into the past and bring classic Sega games to your smartphone.

Sonic I didn’t realize how much I missed you. Welcome to my iPhone!

There was a time, not so long ago, when Sega was the biggest games company on the face of the planet. In terms of consoles, the Genesis was a major success. And then there are the famous characters, such as Sonic the Hedgehog.

And then Sega released the Dreamcast, a woefully underrated console, and the whole thing went belly-up. Sega still exists, and still makes arcade machines and games for other consoles. And now, thanks to Sega Forever,the old Sega magic is back. Its a little bit smaller but more mobile then ever before.

Keeping Classic Sega Games Alive Forever

Sega Forever is the new banner under which dozens of classic Sega games will be released on Android and iOS. The games will be be available as free to play with supported by ads and ad-free for a one time payment of $1.99 (per title).

Sega has kicked things off with five Genesis titles: Sonic the HedgehogComix ZoneAltered BeastKid Chameleon, and Phantasy Star II. New games will be launched every two weeks, with titles from the Master System, the Game Gear, the Saturn, and the Dreamcast still to come.

All Sega Forever titles will be available to play offline, with online leaderboards available for those who like comparing their talents with others. The older Sega titles will be brought to smartphones thanks to emulation, while the more recent titles will require full ports to iOS and Android.

My biggest complaint here is that the free ad-supported version is truly annoying. The ads are everywhere and very intrusive. If you want to truly experience that old Sega magic spend the $1.99 on the ad-free version.

Share This:

1 2 3 10