How To Download Your Data From Apple

Social networks collect extensive data about users, more than most of us would have guessed. For a lot of people, social media apps and services like Facebook are the only backup of photos that they have. Likewise, our phones probably have photos that we don’t back up. To ensure that we don’t lose photos, both Apple and Google allow you to backup photos, and other things to their own cloud solutions. What that means is that they too have a lot of your data and like social media apps, you can get an offline copy of it all. Here’s how you can download your data from Apple.

Download Your Data From Apple

The download data option may not be available in all countries. At present it’s only available to users in the EU, and a few select other countries. Users in USA, and the Asia Pacific will not see it just yet. You need to go to your desktop in order to download a copy of the data. You cannot do this from an iPhone or an iPad.

You can download your data from Apple by visiting this page. Sign in with your Apple ID. You will see the following options on the page where you need to click ‘Get a copy of your data’.

The next page will show you what data it is you can get a copy of and you can pick and choose which will be included in the final file that you download. Your iCloud files, Photo library, and Mail are at the very bottom and they will be substantially large files.

Since the final file will be a particularly large one if you include photos and iCloud files, Apple offers to break the backup down into several files and you can select the size of each file, starting from 1GB.

It takes about 7 days for your data to be ready however, if there isn’t a lot of it you will likely get the data a lot sooner.

The data does not include anything that raises concerns about the information Apple has collected. You cannot download a copy of your iMessages and text history via the data copy. Your iTunes activity is probably going to be the most concerning thing in the file. Anything that you haven’t uploaded to iCloud, and that doesn’t have to do with billing or an Apple store isn’t going to be part of your data.

When it comes to respecting user privacy, and making sure no one can get unauthorized access to your information, Apple is one of the best companies there is. This tool is likely just there to set users at ease and to give them an easy way to download their Photos library.

 

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How To Use The Steam Link App To Play Steam Games On Your Phone

The Steam Link app is now available for Android. It’s still in Beta but it’s there and it works well enough. The iOS app isn’t out just yet but it shouldn’t be too long and it will likely work the same way as the Android app does. Here’s how to use the Steam link app.

Requirements

You need;

  • A PC with the Steam client installed and running
  • A compatible Android device with the Steam Link app installed

If you’re not sure whether or not your phone is compatible, visit the app store page and it will tell you if you have a compatible device or not.

Use The Steam Link App

Make sure the Steam app is running on your PC and that both your PC and Android phone are on the same WiFi network.

Run the Steam Link app on your phone. It will automatically search for PCs on the network running a Steam app. There may be more than just your one PC running the Steam app so it will give you a code that you need to enter on your PC to make sure you connect the right PC to the right Android phone.

Once the connection has been established, the Steam Link app asks you to connect a Steam controller or a third-party controller, and it will check if your connection is fast enough to actually play a game from your Android phone. It might also require that you install a special audio driver on your PC. The Steam client will take care of that but you will need to manually restart your PC afterwards.

Once the tests and set up is out of the way, you can start playing games.

This is where the real test of the app begins. You will see a screen showing you the touch controls that you can use though if you’ve configured a controller, you may not see it.

You can browse your Steam library and select the game you want to play. The Steam client on your PC will resize and it may not fit well on your phone (see screenshot below).

The game play will of course differ based on whether or not you use a controller, and it will also depend on the game you play. Some games might play well but others may not. This app is still in beta so you can’t expect that every game will play perfectly. Some games have complex controls and the app may not, yet, be up to it.

We don’t need to mention that this will take a toll on your phone’s battery.

Read How To Use The Steam Link App To Play Steam Games On Your Phone by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Disable Smart Replies In Gmail

Gmail added smart replies to its web interface and its mobile apps. Smart replies in Gmail were initially introduced in Inbox and then ported to the main Gmail apps. They’re commonly used replies that people use like Thank you, or Sounds good, or something like that. It basically saves users the trouble of typing out a generic reply. They’re particularly useful on mobile. If you don’t find them useful though, you can disable smart replies in Gmail.

Smart replies are available on both Gmail web, and the mobile apps however only the mobile apps have an option to disable them.

Disable Smart Replies

Open the Gmail app on your iPhone or Android phone. Tap the hamburger icon at the top left to open the navigation drawer. Scroll to the very end of the navigation drawer, and tap Settings. On the Settings screen you will see a ‘General Settings’ option. These are app specific settings and in order to disable smart replies, you need account specific settings. Tap your account on the Settings screen. If you have multiple accounts configured, you will need to disable smart replies for each one individually.

On your account settings screen, you will see a Smart Reply switch. Turn it off and smart replies will be disabled.

Smart replies are, as the name implies, context aware. They won’t just give you the same 4-5 run of the mill responses when you open an email. The feature learns as it reads more and more of your emails and analyzes which responses you use, and which ones you ignore. If you’re disabling the feature because the replies aren’t useful enough or you rarely see one that you can use try using the feature a bit more to see if it gets any better.

The feature gets better with use so if you gave up on it too soon, that might be the reason why it isn’t as useful for you as it is for others.

As far as disabling it on the web version is concerned, there are several threads on Google’s products forums with users asking for a way to disable it on the web version but there isn’t anything promising or indicating that will ever happen. Users haven’t reported that disabling it on the mobile apps will disable it on the web. This is purely anecdotal but smart replies are more active on the mobile apps than on the web version so it’s less of a nuisance there.

Read How To Disable Smart Replies In Gmail by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Prevent A YouTube Binge With The Take A Break Feature

YouTube has more content than a person can watch in a single lifetime and we’re not even taking into account the boring, uninteresting stuff. Just the stuff that’s gone viral and is mildly popular is too much for one person’s lifetime. That said, we definitely try to watch as many videos as we can and it affects productivity. This is probably why Google added a ‘Take a break’ feature in an attempt to stop a YouTube binge from happening.

YouTube – Take A Break

This feature is exclusive to the YouTube apps so if you’re on a YouTube binge on your desktop, the only thing that can help is a pomodoro app or something else that forces you to focus on work. Make sure you’ve updated to the latest version of the YouTube app. This feature is available on both iOS and Android.

Open the YouTube app and tap your profile picture at the top right. On the next screen, tap Settings.

On the Settings screen, you will see a ‘Remind me to take a break’ option at the top. Tap it, and select how much YouTube you’re allowed to watch. You only have preset options to choose from; Never, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes, and 180 minutes. Every time the selected time expires, YouTube will tell you take a break.

You can of course change this any time, and there’s nothing forcing you to actually listen to the warning YouTube gives you. You can ignore it and keep watching more cat videos if you want.

The Take a break feature is basically just a way to help you keep track of how much time you’ve spent watching videos on YouTube. The videos, if interesting, can seem pretty short when they are in fact pretty long and you never know how many of them you’ve watched. The feature acts as a reality check as to how much time you’ve actually spent watching videos on YouTube.

We’re not sure if this feature is going to roll out to desktop users. It might but the fact is that users who want to curb their YouTube watching habits have loads of other options. A browser extension can probably tell you when you’ve been using a particular, non-productivity oriented website for too long. There’s a whole host of them that are basically built to help you prevent spending too much time on Facebook, or Twitter. Extensions like that generally have support for YouTube too.

Read How To Prevent A YouTube Binge With The Take A Break Feature by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Change The Google Assistant Voice [Android]

Google I/O 2018 has a few highlight moments but most of the stuff showcased at the event will not be available for quite a while. The Google Maps direction finding tools is definitely something that cannot roll out too soon. A somewhat less impressive announcement at the event was that new voices were being added to Google Assistant. This particular feature is already available for anyone who wants to try it out. Here’s how you can change the Google Assistant Voice.

Some users are able to access the new voices on Google Assistant for iOS however, the option doesn’t appear to be visible for everyone. For Android users, there’s no discrimination here. Anyone with a device that supports Google Assistant can try out one of the new Google Assistant voices.

Google Assistant Voice

Open Google Assistant by tapping and holding the home button on your Android phone. If you’ve disabled Google Assistant, you will have to enable it before you can launch it from the home button on your device. If you use an app launcher that takes control of the home button, you can replace the launcher with the default one, or you can swipe to the Google feed screen, and tap the hamburger icon at the top. Select Settings from the navigation drawer and under the Google Assistant section, tap Settings. On the Settings scree, tap Preferences and then tap Assistant Voice.

If you’re using Google Assistant via the home button, activate it and tap the blue box at the top right. On the next screen, tap the three dots button and select Settings. Tap Preferences, and then Assistant Voice.

You will see a list of eight different voices that you can choose. Select a voice, and tap the speaker icon to hear what it sounds like (make sure the media volume isn’t muted). That’s about it. The next time you use Google Assistant, it will respond in the new voice.

If you’re using Google Assistant on an iOS device, the process will be more or less the same for changing the Google Assistant voice however the new voices may not be available. On Android, the voices are generally available to all users however if you don’t see the new voice options it may have something to do with the device that you own. The Google Assistant app has a little ‘Availability’ section on the voice selection screen that says the voices, and their availability might be limited by device. We’re hoping this means that all Android phones will get the new vices but some devices like certain tablets or perhaps smart speakers won’t.

If your device doesn’t have the new voices just yet, you might have to wait until the next major version of Android is released and perhaps then it will be added. Make sure that all your apps are up to date.

Read How To Change The Google Assistant Voice [Android] by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter