How to sync steps from an activity tracker to Pokèmon Go

One of the major shortcomings that Pokèmon Go had when the game was first released was that you had to have it open all the time in order to track any distance you had walked. This was a huge drain on your phone’s battery. Android users were able to work around it with rooted devices but the fix didn’t always work. That limitation has been removed though. Not only can the app read the number of steps you’ve taken from your device’s various sensors, you can also sync steps from an activity tracker to Pokèmon Go.

Requirements

This will work for any activity tracker that;

  • Supports Apple Healthkit or Google Fit
  • Can sync steps data directly or indirectly to your phone via its health app

An activity tracker must meet all of the above requirements in order for this to work.

Connect activity tracker

Some activity trackers can sync steps data directly to Apple Health or Google Fit. Others require their own proprietary app to be installed on your phone and you must sync the data to the app. The app then connects to either Apple Health or Google Fit and adds the steps data.

Since there are a lot of activity trackers out there, we can’t go into detail on how to connect each one however, all manufacturers have directions for syncing the data to your phone, whether it’s an iPhone or an Android phone, on their website. The activity tracker’s own app will also walk you through the steps in some cases.

Adventure Sync on Pokèmon Go

One you have your activity tracker connected to your phone, and sending data to its health app you need to enable Adventure Sync on Pokèmon Go. This feature allows the app to connect to the stock health app on your phone, and read steps data from it.

Open Pokèmon Go and tap the Pokèball at the bottom of the screen. On the next screen that opens, tap Settings. Scroll down the Settings screen, and enable Adventure Sync. You will then need to grant Pokèmon Go permission to read data from the stock health app. Once that’s done, the game will be able to ready steps that are synced from your activity tracker to the stock health app as well as steps recorded by your phone’s sensors, and add the distance traveled accordingly.

If you want to know what good this is since it won’t let you catch any new Pokèmon, the answer is: eggs. You can hatch eggs with the app closed, and just your phone or activity tracker counting your steps.

Read How to sync steps from an activity tracker to Pokèmon Go by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to find the make and model of a monitor on Windows 10

There is a lot of hardware out there. Tech companies have entire lines of phones, laptops, and desktops that have a general name within that line but are identified by their model number when it comes down to specs. For phones, the model number isn’t hard to remember. Laptops come with service tags that identify them, or in some cases, laptop manufacturers give you an app to install on your system to help identify it. The same can’t be said for a monitor. It’s not impossible to find the make and model of a monitor on Windows 10. The information is just in an unlikely spot.

Finding the make of a monitor doesn’t really require using your OS, whatever it is. The maker name is usually stamped on the monitor at the bottom on the bezel. If nothing else, when you power your monitor on and it isn’t connected to anything you may see the maker’s logo appear for a few seconds before the monitor enters sleep.

Model of monitor

The make of a monitor is easy to find but the model number is a bit tricky. To find the model number, you need to first connect the monitor to your system. Make sure that it is recognized and that Windows is able to send output to it. Also, make sure you do not have any shadow monitors on your system.

Once you’ve done that, open the Settings app and go to the System group of settings. Select the Display tab and look for the Advanced display settings option at the bottom or at the right. Click it and on the screen that follows, open the Choose display dropdown.

Select your secondary display/external monitor from this list. The monitor will show up with its make and model number. In the screenshot below, the monitor connected to the system is a Dell monitor with the model number ST2420L.

There’s a Display Adapter properties option on this window and if you click it, the window that opens has a dedicated Monitor tab. The monitor tab lets you manage some settings for your monitor however any information regarding the monitor’s make or model isn’t going to be accurate. It will likely just show up as a generic monitor.

If you still have your monitor’s box lying around somewhere, you can always look up its model number from it but that is a long shot. Not a lot of people save the boxes their hardware comes in. There aren’t any apps that can detect the monitor model number so the Settings app is really your best shot. That said, it’s highly unlikely that you won’t find the correct model number here.

Read How to find the make and model of a monitor on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to check if your system supports HDR on Windows 10

Windows 10 has HDR i.e., it supports high dynamic range for videos. This feature was added a while back to the OS and you can find it under the Display tab in the System group of settings in the Settings app. The option is there but you may or may not be able to use it. HDR doesn’t just work through software. It isn’t as simple as displaying video content. HDR has certain hardware requirements that your system must meet in order for you to use it. Here’s how you can check if your system supports HDR or not.

Since HDR depends on hardware, what you’re mostly going to be doing is looking up hardware specifications for your system and checking to see if they meet the minimum requirements. If you have a 4K monitor setup, it is highly likely that your system supports HDR.

Internal Display brightness – nits

Your display is obviously crucial in playing HDR content. In order for Windows 10 to show you HDR content, your internal display must have a minimum brightness of 300 nits. Nits is the unit of measurement that measures brightness. You might find this information on the box of an external monitor but for internal laptop displays you will have to Google it.

In addition to the screen supporting at least 300 nits, you must also be able to control the display’s backlight. This is something you can find advertised on the device’s box in most cases. If not, you will have to Google the information. Look up more than one resource to be sure because the information will come from third-party sources e.g., websites that review hardware so a second and third opinion is always a good idea.

You can measure nits yourself too but it requires dedicated hardware to do so.

External Displays

Your external display must explicitly state that it supports HDR10, and it must have either a DisplayPort 1.4 or an HDMI port 2.0 or later. Your graphics card must likewise support both these ports. It should also support at least 300 nits in terms of brightness.

PlayReady hardware digital rights management

For an internal display, your graphics card must support PlayReady. It’s technology that prevents copy right infringement for the content you play. This technology must be supported by your on-board graphics card and not just your GPU i.e. the dedicated graphics card.

Again, you will need to look up what the model of your on-board graphics card is (from device manager) and check its specifications. In this case, you will be able to find the information on the manufacturer website.

For external displays, your GPU or your integrated graphics card must support PlayReady 3.0, or later.

Drivers and Codecs

This only applies to playing HDR content on an external display. You should install WDDM 2.4 drivers as well as codecs for 10-bit video decoding.

If your hardware fits the bill, you can enable HDR from the Settings app. A good place to find content that can benefit from HDR is Netflix.

Read How to check if your system supports HDR on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to get alerts for Google Calendar events on Windows 10

Google Calendar doesn’t have an official desktop app for Windows 10. You can probably find third-party apps to fill in for an official app but the Calendar app on Windows 10 is about as good as any other app you might find. If you need to see alerts for Google Calendar events on Windows 10, the default Calendar app is an easy way to get them and you don’t have to install anything extra.

Google account

Before you can get alerts for Google Calendar events on Windows 10, you need to connect your Google account to the Calendar app. Open the Calendar app and click the cog wheel button in the column on the left. This will open a drawer on the right. Click the Manage Accounts option in the drawer. A pop-up will open listing types of accounts that you can add. Click the Google account option, and sign in with your Google Account.

Google Calendar Events

Once you’ve connected your Google account to Calendar, you will see a Gmail group of Calendars appear in the column on the left. Expand it and all the calendars that you’ve added in Google Calendar for that account will appear under it. If you want to exclude events for certain calendars, all you have to do is uncheck it from the group.

After adding your account to Calendar, give it a few seconds to sync. The app is a bit slow as far as syncing is concerned. Once it finishes syncing, your events should also be synced to it. For all synced events, Windows 10 will send you alerts when they are due.

If an event doesn’t appear in the calendar, click the more options button at the top right and select ‘Sync’ from the menu to force a sync. Normally, a new event should sync automatically in ten minutes but if it doesn’t, you can force a sync. The reminder will follow the same rules that you’ve set up on Google Calendar e.g., you can choose to get a reminder for an event a certain number of days before the actual event. The Windows 10 reminder will use those same settings to show you reminders for the event.

If you make any changes to an event in the Calendar app, they will sync to Google Calendar. For shared calendars i.e., calendars that other users have shared with you, you may not be able to make changes to events that you don’t own but outside of that, you will be able to manage events, and get alerts for them on your desktop.

If you’re a Linux user, you can sync Google Calendar to your Linux desktop as well.

Read How to get alerts for Google Calendar events on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to copy text from dialog and error messages on Windows 10

Windows 10 shows error and warning messages for all sorts of events. Apart from these messages, you also get other messages that give general, vague, information about an event. For all the error messages that Windows 10 shows, it has yet to add a feature that allows you to copy text from dialog and error messages. This is something that would be useful if you need to troubleshoot an error message. Instead, you have to manually type out the entire error message in your preferred search engine which can be tedious. Textify is a free Windows app that lets you copy text from dialog and error messages.

Copy dialog and error messages

Download and install Textify. When you run it for the first time, you have to configure how you’re going to activate it when you encounter a dialog or error message. You cannot use the keyboard to interact with the app since tapping the keys may result in an option being selected or, the keyboard may not work so long as the message is visible on your screen, with the exception of the modifier keys.

You have to combine the modifier keys with a mouse button to activate the app. We used the Shift key with the left click mouse button combination during set up. You can change it any time you want.

When you encounter an error or dialog box that you want to copy the text from, tap the shortcut you configured for Textify and make sure your mouse is positioned over the text that you want to copy. It’s a good idea to click on the text first and then tap the shortcut. This will add the text inside an editable text field that you can then copy it from.

In our brief tests, this worked for warning errors/messages such as the one asking if you want to save the changes made to a file before you close it, it worked on some app buttons, and it worked on app fields such as the group names for settings in the Control Panel app. Where it didn’t work was on the UAC prompt you get when you run the registry editor, or when you open Command Prompt with administrative rights.

This app is great if you have other apps or Windows processes throwing errors but if you get a lot of BSODs, this obviously isn’t going to be useful. The only shortcoming is that you have to normally click the bit of text you want to copy before you use the app’s shortcut to copy it. In some cases, simply clicking the text may execute an action e.g., clicking the name of an app in the apps’ list on the Start menu will launch it.

Read How to copy text from dialog and error messages on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter