Friday, June 30, 2017

11 Essential Keyboard Tips and Tricks for iPhone and iPad

By Khamosh Pathak  

Apple’s mobile devices are great productivity machines, brimming with apps for getting work done on the go. You might be using intelligent email apps and smart task management apps, but have you considered upgrading your iOS keyboard game?iOS Tips & Tricks for Emailing Like a Pro on Your iPhone iOS Tips & Tricks for Emailing Like a Pro on Your iPhoneDespite first appearances, Mail for iOS is much more powerful than it used to be.READ MORE
There are small things you can do using the keyboard that will end up saving you a lot of time, taps and frustration. If you type a lot on your iPhone, you need to master these tips.

1. 3D Touch for Trackpad Mode

If you’re using an iPhone 6s or higher, just press deeper anywhere on the keyboard (to engage 3D Touch) and watch the keyboard transform into a makeshift trackpad. Now as you move your finger left, right, up, or down, so will the cursor.Everything You Can Do With 3D Touch on Your iPhone Everything You Can Do With 3D Touch on Your iPhone3D touch is really just a fancy name for a pressure-sensitive screen, but adds a whole array of extra input options to iOS.READ MORE
3d touch keyboard trackpad mode
This little feature solves a big problem with touchscreens: precision cursor control. On Macs, it’s easy to put the cursor right between a word. Without the trackpad mode on iOS, this task is frustrating.
This secret feature is actually two levels deep. Once you’re used to moving the cursor using 3D Touch, you’ll want to level up. After engaging the trackpad mode, press deeper once again while moving your finger and you’ll be selecting words as you move.

2. Swipe the Keyboard on iPad

ipad trackpad mode

There’s no hardware 3D Touch feature on the iPad. But the iPad does have a similar trackpad mode (although it’s limited to the first level, cursor movement feature). When the keyboard is open, swipe left or right with two fingers to move the cursor.

3. Text Expansion Shortcuts

text replacement
If you use your iPhone or iPad for work communication, you end up typing a lot. Typing on glass isn’t always efficient, but there’s a way to speed things up. Using the Text Replacement feature, you’ll be able to expand text shortcuts into complete phrases, words or sentences. This is really useful when you’re typing the same thing over and over again. Your address, a canned message and so on.What Is Text Expansion & How Can It Help You Save Time? What Is Text Expansion & How Can It Help You Save Time?If you could save yourself even a small fraction of the time you spend typing, you could save hours of your time every week. That's exactly what text expansion is for.READ MORE
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To set it up, open the Settings app on your iPhone and go to General > Keyboard > Text Replacement. Tap the + button to add a new shortcut. Type the phrase, the shortcut and hit Save.
Now when you’ve got the keyboard open, just type the shortcut, hit Space and watch it expand to the configured phrase.

4. Shake to Undo

shake to undo
One of the hidden, and not so intuitive features in iOS is the Shake to Undo feature. If you’ve made a mistake, like accidentally deleted a paragraph, all you have to do is shake your entire iPhone or iPad, a bit violently, to get a popup asking you if you’d like to undo the last step.10 Hidden iPhone Features That Will Make You More Productive 10 Hidden iPhone Features That Will Make You More ProductiveYou're probably not using some of Apple's most useful iOS features.READ MORE
Yes, it is barbaric but it works and can save your bun at just the right time. So remember, when things go wrong, channel your inner Taylor Swift and shake it off!

5. Disable Predictive Text

essential ios keyboard tips and tricks 5
Other than the auto correct feature, iOS keyboard also has predictive text that Apple calls QuickType. It shows up at the top of the keyboard. To disable this feature, go to Settings > General > Keyboard and disable Predictive.

You can also just close the predictions area by swiping down on it while typing a message.

6. Try Speaking Instead

essential ios keyboard tips and tricks 3
Why type when you can speak to your iOS device instead? iOS has a sweet dictation feature built-in and it even works when you’re not connected to the internet. For English speakers, the dictation engine is surprisingly good at converting speech to text.Type Superfast With Real Time Voice Dictation in iOS 8 Type Superfast With Real Time Voice Dictation in iOS 8It's time to do less typing and more talking with the new real time voice-to-text feature in iOS 8.READ MORE
With the keyboard propped up, tap on the Microphone icon and start speaking.

7. The Shifty Shift Key

shifty key gesture
There’s no caps lock key on iOS. To turn on caps lock, tap on the Shift key twice. There’s also a hidden gesture for the Shift key. Instead of tapping the Shift key once and then tapping on the letter you want to capitalize, next time tap on the Shift key, swipe over to the letter and lift your finger for the same result, only faster.
You can also use the shift key as you would on a regular keyboard, by holding Shift and tapping the letter you want to capitalize.

8. Swipe on Numbers Key

numeric key swipe gesture
The same trick also works for the numeric alternate keyboard. Tap on the 123 button and swipe. You’ll see that the keyboard will change to the numeric keyboard which gives you access to the numbers row, along with regularly used punctuation marks.

9. Dealing With Intentional and Unintentional Typos

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When you misspell words, iOS will either underline them in red or just replace the word with what it thinks is the correct spelling when you hit the space bar. But if iOS autocorrect got it wrong (as it usually does), you can undo the damage.Fix Bad Autocorrect Entries & Train Your iPhone to Spell Properly Fix Bad Autocorrect Entries & Train Your iPhone to Spell ProperlyIs your AutoCorrect a piece of ducking shiv? That's probably because your iPhone dictionary is full of misspelled corrections and words that make no sense.READ MORE
You can either backspace till you reach the end of the word and tap on the word to see a popup which contains the word you originally wrote. Tap on it to replace it.

10. Look for Dictionary Definition

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You can look up the definition of a word you’ve just typed without going to Safari. As a non-native English speaker, I sometimes have to double check the meaning of the word before I’m confident to hit send. After you’ve typed the word, double-tap the word in the text box and select Look Up.15 Essential Safari iOS Tips & Tricks for iPhone Users 15 Essential Safari iOS Tips & Tricks for iPhone UsersA surprising number of useful actions in Safari on iOS are hidden behind long presses, gestures, and 3D Touch.READ MORE

11. On Plus Models, Try Landscape Mode

essential ios keyboard tips and tricks 4
If you’re using an iPhone 6s Plus or iPhone 7 Plus, just turn your iPhone sideways to engage the keyboard in landscape mode. Along with the regular set of keys, you’ll also have access to cut, copy, paste, formatting and arrow keys.
This can make typing a long passage of text on your iPhone a more pleasant experience.How You Can Type Easier and Faster on Your iPhone How You Can Type Easier and Faster on Your iPhoneThis isn’t the first thing I’ve written on an iDevice, but it’s the first time I’ve chosen to do it when I’ve had other options.READ MORE

Or Try Another Keyboard

gboard emoji gif search
Yes, the iOS keyboard is pretty awesome, but it’s not the only option. iOS now supports third party keyboards and some of them are actually worth trying. I would recommend you start with Google’s Gboard keyboard that has an integrated Google search bar, GIF support, and Emoji search.9 Alternative iOS Keyboards To Make Your Typing Easier Or More Fun 9 Alternative iOS Keyboards To Make Your Typing Easier Or More FunWhen Apple finally stopped acting like an overprotective parent and introduced third-party keyboards, everyone went keyboard-crazy.READ MORE
Download a keyboard app from App Store and go to Settings > Keyboard > Keyboards > Add a Keyboard to enable them. Then tap on the Globe icon from the keyboard to switch a keyboard.
How do you make the most out of the iOS keyboard? Do you have iOS tips and tricks of your own? Share with us in the comments below.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What to Do If You Break Your Samsung Galaxy S8’s Screen

By  Megan Ellis

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is a premium smartphone known the world round for its beautiful aesthetics, all-glass body — and, of course, its immense fragility. So what happens when the gorgeous handset hits the floor and a crack spiders across its delicate exterior?
This is the question that many Galaxy S8 and S8+ owners are asking themselves, as reports of this weakness have turned out to be true. There are some great Samsung Galaxy S8 cases out there, but what recourse do owners have when an accidental drop turns out to be an expensive mistake?What's the Best Samsung Galaxy S8 Case? 5 Affordable Ways to Protect Your Investment What's the Best Samsung Galaxy S8 Case? 5 Affordable Ways to Protect Your InvestmentWhat are the best cases for the Samsung Galaxy S8?READ MORE
Let’s take a look at the different options for owners and the likeliness they will need to use them.

Just How Fragile is the S8?

We’ve heard about fragile phones before: the prettier they get, the less durable they often prove to be. In 2016, many consumers wondered about how easily the Galaxy S7 Edge would break and expressed concerns. But little did they know that a more fragile successor was on its way.
Insurance provider SquareTrade conducted their usual drop test with the Galaxy S8 and S8+ this year. Not only did they find out that the devices are very prone to cracks — but they are basically the most fragile handsets the company has ever tested.
The breakability of a device is measured on a scale of 100: the closer to 100 it is, the more fragile the smartphone.

The Galaxy S8 scored 76 on the scale, while the S8+ scored 77. This is classified as a “medium-high risk.” According to the company, the S8 is the first phone they’ve ever tested that has cracked on the first drop on all sides (e.g. front fall, back fall, edge, etc.).
“While the nearly all-glass design of the S8 makes it a beautiful phone, it’s extremely susceptible to cracking when dropped from any angle,” SquareTrade said.
SquareTrade’s tests were done with a six-foot (1.8-meter) drop onto concrete, which is quite the fall. But it doesn’t take much for the S8 to crack under pressure.
Users have reported cracks from falls as small as two feet. Covers don’t necessarily make the device impervious to damage either. A drop of three feet onto a tiled surface is enough to crack the phone with a cover on.
Seeing that the most minor bout of clumsiness can lead to cracks on your S8, what are your options for repair?

1. Samsung Premium Care/Samsung Mobile Care

Accidental damage to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ is not covered by the normal manufacturer’s warranty.
Furthermore, Samsung’s Accidental Damage From Handling (ADH), which gave owners of previous Galaxy models one free screen repair, does not apply to the company’s latest flagships. In fact, there is very little that is free at all with the new plans.
Instead of ADH, Samsung is offering another warranty option for cracked screens and panels for the Galaxy S8. The extended warranty goes by different names depending on the country. The U.S. currently offers Samsung Premium Care, while the U.K., India, and South Africa offer Samsung Mobile Care.The Greatest Smartphone You Shouldn't Buy: Samsung Galaxy S8 Review (and Giveaway!) The Greatest Smartphone You Shouldn't Buy: Samsung Galaxy S8 Review (and Giveaway!)The $800 Samsung Galaxy S8 is, without question, the best smartphone ever made. But you probably shouldn't buy one.READ MORE
They are essentially different versions of a product with a central aim — providing cover for accidental damage.
Another common thread is one that will see many Samsung owners already disqualified. You need to register for the extended warranty within 30 days of buying your phone. After this period passes, you cannot buy the insurance policy.
But if you do sign up in time, what exactly do these warranty plans offer?
Samsung Premium Care is the extended warranty plan that applies to the United States. It comes with some extra benefits that users in other countries won’t be seeing in their policies.
It comes with a monthly fee of $11.99 (with the first month free) and a $99 deductible for each claim.
This allows you to exchange your damaged device for a new one. However, these claims are limited to three per twelve month period. Not handing in your damaged device once receiving your new one can attract an unrecovered equipment fee of up to $1,200.
It also comes with the extra perk of in-person support. Unfortunately, any S8 not bought through an authorized Samsung carrier or retailer cannot be registered for the policy. You also cannot transfer the policy if you sell your device.

Samsung Mobile Care

samsung mobile care
Samsung Mobile Care has the same core inspiration of its premium counterpart (covering accidental coverage), but comes with fewer bells and whistles.
The coverage plan also comes with a monthly fee (with the first month free). It is slightly cheaper though, at around $5.50 per month depending on the country. You can also opt for a bulk payment of around $100 for the full 24-month plan.
The plan has a 24-month limit from date of purchase, after which it will automatically lapse. And no, you can’t extend it past the 24-month period.
For each claim, which is limited to one claim per year for two years, users will have to pay an “incident fee”. During the first month, the fee for a damaged screen is around $115 and the fee for a damaged back cover is around $30. During the rest of the policy period, these fees drop to around $80 for a front repair and around $25 for a back cover repair.

 2. Taking It Into a Samsung Repair Center

If you missed out on Samsung’s extended warranty plans, you can take it into a Samsung repair center for a quote.
Samsung repair centers tend to be more expensive than third-party repair shops, but the warranty of the device is guaranteed by using authorized Samsung services.
We took a cracked Samsung Galaxy S8 into a repair center to see how much it would cost to repair. We were told it would be between $270 and $390.
However, when selling its mobile care plan in South Africa, Samsung has stated that a screen repair could cost up to $780 (more than what the phone is worth in the U.S.). This repair cost is over two thirds the local recommended retail price of the S8, and over half the price of the S8+. It’s uncertain how Samsung estimated the high cost of repair.
The benefits of choosing this option are that you are not limited by how many repairs you can get, and your manufacturer’s warranty will remain intact.

3. Using a Third-Party Repair Center

Image Credit: Negative Space via
The cost of taking your cracked S8 into a Samsung repair center may be a bit more than many consumers are willing to cough up — which is why you might want to turn to a third-party center. Though it should be noted though that this option may affect on your warranty, and Samsung won’t help you out if the repair shop damages your phone further.
On the other hand, third-party repairs are usually cheaper. The key is to first know what the warranty implications are, and then choose a reputable repair company with a track record of good service.
The quote we received from a third-party repair service for the same cracked Galaxy S8 amounted to around $235. However, we also received a quote for approximately $390. Some sites put the estimates for repair as high as $500.
You will have to shop around to see the price range in your area and weigh it up with the other options.

4. Claim From Your Insurance

If you have personal item insurance, or specific insurance for your phone, claiming from these policies could be one of the best options. Of course, your policy will need to cover accidental damage instead of just theft or loss.Should You Buy Smartphone Insurance? Should You Buy Smartphone Insurance?What does smartphone insurance cover? What does it cost? And after all is said and done, is it worth it?READ MORE
Claiming from your insurance though comes with the risk of your monthly premiums increasing. Depending on your insurance provider, this will also likely come with a significant deductible. On the other hand, it comes with the benefit that the number of times you can claim during a given period is higher than Samsung’s available plans.
Fruit Fixed repair shop owner Justin Carrol told Motherboard in a recent interview that the average insurance deductible is $200. However, you need to take into account subscription and policy fees.
SquareTrade, the company that performed the S8 drop test, states that its 24-month smartphone insurance plan costs $149 and their deductible per claim is $99 — which would put the total of a repair at around $248.
Mobile carriers also tend to offer their own insurance plans. So if you opted for one when buying your phone, consider claiming from them.

5. DIY Repair

diy repair replace woman fix tools
Image Credit: Merylin via
This is an option that more consumers are turning to, but it’s definitely not for everyone.
DIY repair allows you to skip the labor fee and only pay for the parts you need. However, this is an option that can put your warranty at risk. While you can find online guides for repairing your S8, the phone is considered moderately difficult to repair and requires a lot of patience, according to
“While the back glass is tedious to remove because of adhesive, it’s definitely doable for a non-pro to replace,” the company told MakeUseOf. “A screen swap on the S8 is a whole other beast. Just accessing the display requires getting the back cover off, tunneling through the phone, and removing several other components. Then you need to get enough heat on the screen to lift the adhesive. Additionally, the front glass doesn’t use standard adhesive, it uses double-sided tape gunk that is more resistant to heat.”
iFixit adds that technically third-party or DIY repairs shouldn’t actually void the warranty for US consumers unless you damage the device during the process. This is based on the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which basically gives consumers the right to repair. Unfortunately, many companies try to ignore this legislation to get out of warranty claims, iFixit says.What Is the Right to Repair and Why Should You Care? What Is the Right to Repair and Why Should You Care?When old technology broke, you could fix yourself. If that failed, you could find a repair shop. With newer products, those options are disappearing. Let's talk about the importance of the Right to Repair.READ MORE
You’ll have to decide whether you want to roll the dice on this. Replacement part prices also depend on the company you buy them from. Again, you’ll want to choose a reputable company with a track record.
We’ve seen front glass replacements for the S8 for as little as $30 to around $60, while full-service screen replacements are hovering around the $280 to $300 range.

Looking to the Future

On the bright side, it is expected that repairing your S8 will get cheaper in the future.
“Most repairs get cheaper over time as parts become more widely available. Once independent repair shops can get a steady supply of parts and more shops start to offer the service, that can help drive the price down as well,” iFixit says.
However the lack of ADH repair services and the fragility of the S8 might drive some consumers away in the meantime.
What would you do if you cracked your Galaxy S8? Would you even buy it at all or just look at S8 alternatives? Let us know in the comments below!Should You Buy a Samsung? 5 Samsung Galaxy S8 Alternatives Soure:
Should You Buy a Samsung? 5 Samsung Galaxy S8 AlternativesLooking for Samsung Galaxy S8 alternatives? We've covered five of the best smartphone options in 2017, ranging in price from the budget to the premium.READ MORE

How to Enlarge the Mouse Cursor on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS

By Ben Stegner  

Most people can use a computer as it comes, but sometimes you need to make some changes for accessibility. Those with imperfect vision can make their systems easier to see with certain tweaks. One of these is enlarging the mouse cursor so you don’t lose track of it amid other on-screen elements.Are You Nearsighted or Farsighted? Tips to Make Windows More Accessible for Young & Old Are You Nearsighted or Farsighted? Tips to Make Windows More Accessible for Young & OldComputers use print that's too small, your eyesight changes, you get headaches, and the computer gets called a lot of dirty names. Consult this guide to Windows Accessibility tools for some stress relief!READ MORE
Here’s how to enlarge the mouse cursor no matter which OS you’re using.

Windows 10

Open the Start Menu and type Mouse, then choose the Mouse Settings entry. On this menu, click the Additional mouse options text to open the Control Panel Mouse section. Choose the Pointerstab and under the Scheme tab, change the selection to Windows Default (large) or Windows Default (extra large). This preserves the look of the cursor, but makes it much bigger.


Click the Apple Menu and open System Preferences. Then open the Accessibility menu and select the Display tab. Slide the Cursor Size slider to dynamically change the cursor until it’s set somewhere comfortable for you. When you’re done, just close the window.


In Ubuntu, entering the following line into a Terminal window should work for enlarging your cursor. Replace 48 with a different number if you don’t like the resulting size:Save Time in the Linux Terminal with These 20 Shortcuts Save Time in the Linux Terminal with These 20 ShortcutsWhether you're a terminal newbie or someone who got over the fear long ago, here are 20 shortcuts that can help you overcome some of the command line's awkwardness.READ MORE
dconf write /org/gnome/desktop/interface/cursor-size 48
If this doesn’t work for your flavor of Linux, see this Stack Exchange post for more options.

Chrome OS

As you probably know, Chromebooks are already a great machine for the elderly. You can make them better by enlarging the mouse cursor. Visit Settings, then scroll to the bottom and click Show advanced settings. Head to the Accessibility header, then check Show large mouse cursor to greatly enlarge it size.5 Reasons Chromebooks are the Perfect Computer For an Elderly Person 5 Reasons Chromebooks are the Perfect Computer For an Elderly PersonIt's your granddad's birthday — but what should you buy him? You could get him socks (again), some gardening equipment, or perhaps a large bottle of whisky… Or you could buy him a Chromebook.READ MORE
Do you prefer a small or large cursor? Let us know if you made yours bigger by leaving a comment below!
Image Credit: skvoor via Shutterstock  Source:

How to View and Delete Your Location History on Facebook

By  Nancy Messieh, If you have the Facebook mobile app installed on your phone, chances are it’s storing a lot more of your location hi...