How To Sync Messages With iCloud On iOS and MacOS

One of the greatest things about an iPhone backup, and restoring from a backup is that your messaging history is preserved. You do not lose a single message during the transition so long as the backup is recent, and you restore from it right away. Apple now (finally) lets you sync messages with iCloud so that the same messages appear on all your devices without using any extra apps to sync them. This feature is opt-in and firmware specific.

Requirements

You must;

  • Sign into iCloud on your iMac or macBook, and your iOS device(s).
  • You must have two-factor authentication enabled for your Apple ID.
  • You must be running iOS 11.4 and macOS 10.13.5. These are both new versions of their respective OS so you will need to update your device before you proceed.

On iOS

Open the Settings app and tap your name at the very top. Tap iCloud and on the iCloud screen scroll down to the Messages section. Turn on iCloud for Messages and you’re good to go. If you want to sync messages between an iPhone and an iPad, you will need to do this for each device.

On macOS

You need to first update to macOS 10.13.5 but this might take a little time since it hasn’t rolled out to all users worldwide. The wait won’t be for more than a few hours so check regularly if you’re excited about this feature.

Once your Macbook or iMac has updated open the Messages app on your Mac. On the menu bar, go to Messages>Preferences.

Go to the Account tab and select the ‘Enable Messages in iCloud’ option.

It might take a while for older messages to sync between devices but the newer ones will sync right away.

This will only sync messages between devices. You cannot view, send, and receive messages, iMessage or otherwise, from iCloud’s web interface. It has no Messages app and it’s going to stay that way.

The goal of this feature is make it easier to leave a conversation on one device, and pick it up on another. It is counter productive if you have to check a different device which may or may not be available on hand to see what you were talking about before you can reply on a different device. iCloud will sync messages, images, links, audio messages, and videos you’ve sent over a message thread. After enabling this feature, your various conversation threads will sync to all your devices and you will definitely see an increase in the number of threads you have.

Read How To Sync Messages With iCloud On iOS and MacOS by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To View Passwords In Keychain On iOS And macOS

Keychain is Apple’s password managing utility that’s built into macOS and iOS. You’ve probably used Google Chrome to sign into a website and the browser offers to remember passwords for you, and autofill them the next time you need to sign into the same website. Keychain is like that but on an OS level, and it can sync these passwords between macOS and iOS devices. If the need ever arises, you can view passwords in Keychain on both macOS and iOS.

View Passwords In Keychain

You must have keychain enabled on your device in order to view passwords saved to it. If you’ve enabled keychain on iOS but not on macOS, you cannot view passwords saved in Keychain on your desktop.

macOS

On macOS, use Spotlight to look for and open the Keychain Access app. It ought to be in the Other folder if you’re going via the Launcher.

Keychain access lists an extensive amount of information. From the column on the left, click the All Items list. You can also use the search bar at the top to search for a specific website e.g. Facebook, and find your stored credentials.

Double-click an entry to open it. Click the ‘Show Password’ option, authenticate with your password, and you will be able to view it.

iOS

Open the Settings app on iOS and go to Accounts & Passwords. Tap App & Website Passwords on the next screen. You will need to authenticate either with Touch ID or with your passcode before you can view passwords. If you have Touch ID configured, iOS will ask you to use it to authenticate access to Keychain.

iCloud does have a web interface however, you cannot access your keychain passwords from it. Keychain is linked between devices using iCloud however Apple is very careful how the passwords are stored and it doesn’t think a web interface is a secure platform to access sensitive information from. That’s kind of what makes Keychain one of the most secure password vaults that you can get.

Keychain doesn’t store information unless you explicitly add it yourself. This means that if you’ve used your browser’s password manager, but never added those same passwords or login information to keychain, you cannot later recover it from the Keychain Access app. Where Keychain keeps the information incredibly secure, it also respects users’ privacy by not automatically accessing and storing data they do not ask the app to store. It will offer to add a password but it won’t add it unless you allow it to.

Read How To View Passwords In Keychain On iOS And macOS by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Change The Chat Background In Whatsapp

By default, all chat threads in Whatsapp have the same background. It’s not a bad background; the chat bubbles stand out from it, and the text inside them is easy to read. It is a bright background though and Whatsapp doesn’t have a dark mode. Additionally, the same background means every thread looks the same at a glance and you might message the wrong person if you’re not careful. You can change the chat background in Whatsapp. The feature is built in to the app so you won’t have to download additional tools. All you need is the image you want to set as the background

Whatsapp lets you set a solid color as the chat background, it has a few presets that you can choose from, or you can use any image from your camera roll as the background. This works on both iOS and Android. On Windows 10, you can only set a solid color as the wallpaper background. Whatsapp’s presets and the option to use a custom image is not available on the desktop and web version of the app.

Chat Background In Whatsapp

If you want to use a custom background, download it and save it to your camera roll. On Android, you don’t necessarily have to save it to the DCIM folder since apps can easily access the Downloads folder as well.

Open Whatsapp and tap Settings. On the Settings screen, tap Chat.

On the Chats screen, tap Chat Wallpaper. On the Chat Wallpaper screen, you will see three options for selecting a wallpaper; Wallpaper Library which is Whatsapp’s own library of wallpapers, Solid Colors which features solid color backgrounds, and then there is Photos which lets you pick a photo from your camera roll.

Select  the source, and then select the wallpaper you want to use for your chats. You can change it any time, and you can tap the Reset Wallpaper option to return the wallpaper back to the default one. The color of the chat bubbles will not change to contrast with the new wallpaper. They will still be white and green.

The wallpaper is applied to all chats. Whatsapp unfortunately doesn’t give users the option to set a different wallpaper for each chat thread. This may have to do with keeping the size of the app small on your device since each image takes up space and Whatsapp tends to get pretty big with all the images, videos, and voice messages that are shared.

The wallpaper will not sync to the Whatsapp desktop app for Windows 10, nor will it sync to Whatsapp for web.

Read How To Change The Chat Background In Whatsapp by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Download Your Whatsapp Account Information

The Cambridge Analytica scandal made a lot of people think about deleting Facebook. Since then, Facebook has vowed to improve how it protects its users data. It’s also made it possible for users that use other apps that it owns to download their personal data. A lot of other apps and services have followed suit e.g. you can download your data from Apple. Whatsapp is the latest app to come into this fold. You can now download your Whatsapp account information.

Whatsapp Account Information

Update to the latest version of Whatsapp in order to download your account information. This feature is available for both iOS and Android users. It is not available on the Whatsapp Windows 10 app, nor is it available on the web version.

Open Whatsapp and go to the Settings tab. Tap Account, and on the Account screen, tap ‘Request Account Info’.

On the Request Account Info screen, you will see a ‘Request Report’ button. Tap it to request a report of your account information. The information will be ready in 3 days tops which indicates that there isn’t that much data stored. It’s important to note that if you make any changes to your account e.g., if you delete it, change your password, or change the phone number associated with your account, the request will be cancelled.

You will have to send the request again though Whatsapp doesn’t say if your data will be altered by any of these changes. It stands to reason that if you change the phone number associated with your account, it’s a pretty significant change which practically makes it so that you have a new or different account. The request is annulled by such a change and it may be also impact what data is available. What’s we’re saying, to be on the safe side, get a copy of your Whatsapp account information before you make any of these changes. You can always change your password or phone number later and request a fresh copy of your account information.

If your change your phone number or password and it impacts what information you can download, it’s highly unlikely that you will be able to undo it later. The account information does not include your chats; active or archived. It will likely include your profile picture, your name, phone numbers, your contacts, some location data, and perhaps your data usage stats. If you’re looking to download a copy of your chats, you’re going to have to create a backup and email it to yourself. Whatsapp has a built-in tool that lets you do this so it’s pretty simple.

Read How To Download Your Whatsapp Account Information by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Share An Instagram Post To Your Story

Instagram has a share feature that lets you copy the link to a post, any post, and share it. The sharing is private though; you can send it to a friend or you can copy a link and paste it somewhere. You cannot share a post by another account to your account. This limitation is what gave birth to the Repost app that lets you share a post from another account and give credit to the original poster. What you can do is share an Instagram post to your Instagram story.

Share An Instagram Post

Open Instagram and tap the share icon at the bottom of the post you want to share. It’s the one next to the comment button. This will open the share menu that lets you send a post to a friend.

You will see a ‘Add post to your story’ option in this menu. Tap it.

This will open yet another share screen where you will see the ‘Your Story’ option at the top. Tap the Share button to share an Instagram post to your story. The post gives credit to the original poster and you can remove the post from your story at any time. Like all images that you post to your story, this post will disappear after 24 hours.

Instagram doesn’t give users any way to share posts from other accounts which is a shame. Accounts looking to grow their followers could benefit from something like that. Users can only like a post and the feed screen that shows you what your friends liked isn’t exactly given a lot of focus.

Most users will either view stories, or they’ll stick to their home feed. Instagram gives stories considerable importance over other posts. If an account you follow posts something to their story after a long hiatus, you get an alert. Stories appear at the very top of the home feed so again, they have more focus than what your friends like.

This feature not only makes it easier for you to share something with all your followers but also benefits accounts that want to grow their followers and reach more people. Additionally, it will make it easier for users to post something to their story. Not everyone has time to post a fresh, personal image to their account but posting something neat you find in your feed is pretty easy.

Ideally, Instagram should do what the Repost app lets its users do but that too comes with the risk of a post being lost in the home feed with everything else. Visibility is always important when it comes to social media and that makes this feature better than what the Repost app has to offer.

Read How To Share An Instagram Post To Your Story by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter