How To Group Video Chat On Snapchat

Snapchat has a video and voice call feature. It’s hardly the highlight of the social app and not popular enough for Facebook or Instagram to have copied it. That said, Snapchat appears to think it’s worth banking on. In a recent app update, a new feature has been added that lets you group video chat on Snapchat.

Snapchat groups have been a thing for a while but they were mostly for sharing snaps and nothing else. This new feature allows upto sixteen people in one group video chat. Within chat, you can use lenses. Here’s how it works.

Group Video Chat

In order to group video chat on Snapchat, you need to first be part of a group. Everything else is more or less the same as it is in single member chat.

Open the Snapchat app and tap the chat icon at the bottom left of your screen. This will take you to your chat threads. Find a thread that is a group thread and tap the camera button next to the shutter button. Your call will appear in the group chat thread.

The chat thread divides to accommodate everyone who is part of the video chat. We’d be lying if we said it doesn’t get crowded if there are actually fifteen people in the video call.

Tap anywhere on the camera view finder to load lenses. Swipe through the lenses to position the one you want to use inside the shutter. You can leave the chat group anytime and the video will be paused. To end the video chat, tap the same camera button that you tapped to start the video call.

One has to wonder what this will do to your device’s battery, especially if you own an older phone. If your device is old, and it’s an iOS device you probably already get a lesser experience. Snapchat is slow to load on older phones and the phones tend to heat up quite a bit while using this app. Imagine video calling in Snapchat but with fifteen other people.

It’s not clear how Snapchat is going to handle the video streams. We doubt anyone’s data plan is large enough, or their network fast enough to support fifteen video calls at once. The app will obviously have employed some form of optimization in order to make this feature work but how well it works remains to be seen. On that same note, who has fifteen friends that want to video call over Snapchat in the same group?

Read How To Group Video Chat On Snapchat by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Disable Smart Lock From The Lock Screen On Android

We’ve talked about smart lock on Android quite a bit. It’s an unlocking mechanism on Android that will keep your device unlocked if it’s in your pocket, if you’re in a particular location, or if a trusted paired device is connected to your phone. Smart lock on Android has quite a few options and leaves iOS with its support for just the Apple Watch as s trusted device way behind. Of course, there are also risks that come with using smart lock e.g., if you lose your device you may remotely disable Smart lock. If you have your device on hand but still need to disable smart lock quickly, you can disable it from the lock screen.

Android supports a lot of options under smart lock and any one of them can prove to be a problem even if you have your device in your hand. Fortunately, there’s a quick way to disable smart lock from the lock screen.

Disable Smart Lock

When you have smart lock, or even just a PIN set up on your device, a pad lock icon appears at the bottom of the lock screen. It indicates the lock state of your device. If the pad lock icon is open, it means the device is unlocked. This pad lock also doubles as a switch for turning Smart lock off. All you need to do is press and hold on it.

This will disable smart lock and the only way to enable it is to unlock your device manually i.e., by entering the PIN or password for your device, or by using fingerprint unlock if supported and configured on your device.

That’s basically where this feature falls short; the fingerprint unlock isn’t disabled. On iOS, you can quickly disable Touch ID and Face ID by pressing the power button/side button five times in quick succession.

This feature to disable smart lock appears to be one that keeps your device out of nosy people’s hands but disabling fingerprint unlock keeps law enforcement from forcing you to unlock your device that way. There are ways to get something similar on Android but it involves using third-party apps or using Tasker.

There are rumors that a quick way to disable fingerprint unlocking may be added in Android P but those are just rumors. This feature is available on Android Marshmallow and above though, on some devices, it may have been removed by your device manufacturer.

Read How To Disable Smart Lock From The Lock Screen On Android by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Tweak Suggested Content And Ad Preferences In Snapchat

It’s not normal for a social media app to ask you what kinds of ads you want to see. Most just follow you around on the internet, keep a long, detailed record of everything you do, and wing it from there. Snapchat however does let you tweak ad preferences. To be clear, it does have a vague idea as to what ads to show you. This is likely based on who you follow, and perhaps on what you snap. Regardless, you can tweak ad preferences in Snapchat. Here’s how.

These ad settings were rolled out to users worldwide just last week so update the app before you tweak ad preferences in Snapchat.

Ad Preferences In Snapchat

Open Snapchat and tap the thumbnail at the top left next to search. This will take you to your Profile screen. Here, tap the cog wheel button at the top right.

Scroll down and tap ‘Manage’. On the Manage screen, there are two options you need to visit; Ad Preferences, and Lifestyle Categories.

Ad preferences let you choose what the ads you see are based on i.e. your audience or your activity. You can enable or disable either one, or both.

The Lifestyle Categories don’t deal with ads. They’re more to do with suggested content which is slightly different from an ad. You will find that at least one category is already enabled here. You can turn it off, or you can enable more categories that match your interests.

There’s no option that will let you disable ads in Snapchat but if you’re concerned about privacy after the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica debacle, you might want to stop the targeted ads at the very least.

There’s no way to block a certain ad on Snapchat which is kind of odd. Both Facebook and Twitter let you hide an ad and ask why you’r hiding it with reasons that include the ad showing up too often, or the ad not being relevant or of interest to you. Snapchat doesn’t do any of that but it seems it doesn’t try to guess what you like or dislike.

The lifestyle categories are pretty much at your disposal to enable and disable however you want. Snapchat is letting you choose which types of ads and what kind of suggested content you see so there’s probably less of a chance that you’ll see anything irrelevant. That said, they don’t exactly vet their ads very well so it is possible that an ad claiming to be about something you’re interested in is about something completely different.

Read How To Tweak Suggested Content And Ad Preferences In Snapchat by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Use The Focus Mode On Instagram

Instagram has a new photo capture mode called Focus mode. It works with the story camera and is available on both Android and iOS users. There’s just one catch though; there are device limitations. What this means is, Focus mode isn’t going to be available on all devices.

Focus Mode Availability

For iOS users, Focus mode will be available on iPhone 6S/6S Plus, and above. For Android users, there’s no definitive list of supported phones however higher end phones like the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus will have access to it. You can check out this Reddit thread to see which users have confirmed the feature working on their phones.

Use Focus Mode

Open Instagram and tap the camera button at the top left, or just swipe right. Swipe along the bottom (where the shutter button is), to change modes. Instagram has other modes that you’re perhaps familiar with like Live mode, Boomerang, and rewind.

If Instagram supports Focus mode on your phone, you will see it appear between Rewind and Boomerang. It will look for a face because this mode is made for selfies. That said, it works with objects as well.

Focus mode basically focuses on the main subject of a photo. With selfies, Focus mode will automatically detect faces and blur everything else in the background. It works with the rear camera as evidenced by the screenshots above. The app has focused on the object closest to the camera i.e. the toy car and blurred the background object i.e., the carpet and kitten.

In Focus mode, you can take a photo or you can hold the capture button and record a video. The image can be posted to your story or if you want to share it to your feed, you can save it to your camera roll, and then upload it.

If your phone didn’t get this feature, and you own an Android phone you can’t force it to appear. You can however look for other apps that will replicate the feature. Focus mode isn’t unique in what it does. The Google Camera app on the Pixel phones has a portrait mode that is basically the same thing. iPhones, the newer ones, have a similar feature.

If you don’t own a Pixel phone, try to see if the ported mod of the Google Camera app will run on your phone. Finally, you can utilize the Blur mode which is available on a good number of Android phones. For iPhone owners with an older model, there isn’t much recourse.

Read How To Use The Focus Mode On Instagram by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Use The Focus Mode On Instagram

Instagram has a new photo capture mode called Focus mode. It works with the story camera and is available on both Android and iOS users. There’s just one catch though; there are device limitations. What this means is, Focus mode isn’t going to be available on all devices.

Focus Mode Availability

For iOS users, Focus mode will be available on iPhone 6S/6S Plus, and above. For Android users, there’s no definitive list of supported phones however higher end phones like the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus will have access to it. You can check out this Reddit thread to see which users have confirmed the feature working on their phones.

Use Focus Mode

Open Instagram and tap the camera button at the top left, or just swipe right. Swipe along the bottom (where the shutter button is), to change modes. Instagram has other modes that you’re perhaps familiar with like Live mode, Boomerang, and rewind.

If Instagram supports Focus mode on your phone, you will see it appear between Rewind and Boomerang. It will look for a face because this mode is made for selfies. That said, it works with objects as well.

Focus mode basically focuses on the main subject of a photo. With selfies, Focus mode will automatically detect faces and blur everything else in the background. It works with the rear camera as evidenced by the screenshots above. The app has focused on the object closest to the camera i.e. the toy car and blurred the background object i.e., the carpet and kitten.

In Focus mode, you can take a photo or you can hold the capture button and record a video. The image can be posted to your story or if you want to share it to your feed, you can save it to your camera roll, and then upload it.

If your phone didn’t get this feature, and you own an Android phone you can’t force it to appear. You can however look for other apps that will replicate the feature. Focus mode isn’t unique in what it does. The Google Camera app on the Pixel phones has a portrait mode that is basically the same thing. iPhones, the newer ones, have a similar feature.

If you don’t own a Pixel phone, try to see if the ported mod of the Google Camera app will run on your phone. Finally, you can utilize the Blur mode which is available on a good number of Android phones. For iPhone owners with an older model, there isn’t much recourse.

Read How To Use The Focus Mode On Instagram by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter