How to schedule a group call on Skype

Skype has slowly been returning to its roots and adding lots of new, useful call features. It’s recently added a subtitle feature for calls, a bookmarking option for messages, and a neat screen sharing feature for its mobile apps. As of a recent update, you can now schedule a group call on Skype. This feature has rolled out to the Skype web interface, the Skype desktop apps for Windows 10 and macOS, and the Skype iOS and Android apps. Here’s how it works.

Schedule a group call on Skype

In order to schedule a group call on Skype, you must already have a group created. If you don’t have a group, go ahead and create one first.

Web, Windows, and macOS

The method for scheduling a group call on Skype is the same on Skype web and on the Windows and macOS apps. Open Skype and select the group you want to schedule a call with. Click the more options button next to the video message, send a contact, and add files buttons. From the menu, select the ‘Schedule a call’ option.

A new window will open where you can enter the title of the call i.e., the topic, and the date and time for the call. This will send out an invite to everyone in the group and they will have the option to accept or decline it. You can also enable a reminder for the call with your invitation.

iOS and Android apps

Make sure you’re running the latest version of the Skype app on your phone. Check the app store on your device for an available update, and install it.

Open Skype, and select the group you’d like to schedule a call with. Tap the plus button next to the text input field and from the menu that opens, select the ‘Schedule a Call’ option. You will be able to enter a title for the call, set a date and time, and enable a reminder.

Skype remains the go-to app for official calls in many places. Slack hasn’t been able to dethrone it just yet but despite Skype being so popular, calls and their scheduling has been done through apps/services like Outlook and Google Calendar. Not only is this an excellent new feature, but it can also do with being expanded to include call invites for one-on-one calls. There should also be an option to add a scheduled call for recurring calls e.g., those that happen regularly.

Read How to schedule a group call on Skype by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

MobiKin Transfer for Mobile (Review): Transfer data between Android phones without overwriting

Data transfer is complicated when it comes to phones. You can move photos and videos easily enough, and sometimes music can be transferred too if it isn’t DRM protected but a phone has more than just photos and media. It has apps, contacts, call logs, messages, and more. They’re not easy to copy, in fact, they’re almost impossible to copy like the photos and videos. You need an app for the job and you will most likely be able to find an app that can copy contacts or call logs. Messages are a bit trickier. The easiest way to transfer data between Android phones is by using an app on your desktop. You can connect the phones you want to transfer data between to your desktop, and the app will take care of everything.

The only problem with using apps to transfer data between Android phones is that they’re mostly built for when users buy a new phone. The goal of these apps is to help you set up a new phone so that it has everything your old one did. To that end, these apps don’t really let you retain data on the phone you’re transferring data to but there are always exceptions. MobiKin Transfer for Mobile is a data transfer app that can clone the data from one phone to another but also lets you selectively move it to another phone without overwriting existing data.

MobiKin: Data transfer of Android phone

MobiKin Transfer for Mobile costs $49.95 for a single license for a year. At the time of writing, a huge deal is going on and you can get this for only $29.95. There’s also a lifetime license that costs $59.95, which at the time of writing is avaiable for only $39.95.

It has a trial version as well that can transfer ten contacts, ten log entries, and ten messages. It’s perfect for trying the app out and if you decide to buy it and it doesn’t work as advertised, the developers will give you a refund within thirty days of your purchase.

In terms of features, MobiKin has a single purpose; transferring data. It has a dead-simple interface that you can easily learn and it can guide you through the few permissions you need to enable on your Android phone. As for the Android phone, MobiKin supports Android 4.4, and later. That will include most phones that are in use today

In order to transfer data, MobiKin will install the MobiKin Android app on both the source phone and the destination phone. You can remove the app later once you’re done transferring data, however, if you ever need to transfer data again, the MobiKin desktop client will install the Android app to both phones.

Transfer data between Android phones

Run MobiKin and connect the phone you want to transfer data from. On the phone, enable USB debugging. If you do not know how to enable USB debugging, the MobiKin desktop app will guide you.

Once you’ve enabled USB debugging, MobiKin will connect to the phone and read the data from it. It will take time depending on how much data there is to read. Repeat for the phone you want to transfer data to.

Generally speaking, the first phone you connect is the ‘Source’ phone, and the second one is the ‘Destination’ phone. You can click the ‘Flip’ button at the top to interchange them.

Once you’ve sorted the source and destination phones, you can use the column in the middle to select what it is you want to transfer. If you’re looking to keep data on the destination phone i.e., not wipe it, make sure the ‘Clear data before copying’ option is not enabled at the bottom of the destination phone. Click ‘Start Copy’.

The time it takes for data to copy depends on the amount of data there is. It may also be impacted by the USB standard the two devices support, and the version of Android that they’re running. Older devices will take longer to read/write data.

The data once copied over, will be indistinguishable from the data that was already on the phone. You have to know which message, call log entry, contact, etc., wasn’t there before to be able to pick it out. The copied data will appear in the default apps on the destination phone. For example, if you’ve copied messages from an old phone to a new one, the messages will appear in the default messaging app on the destination phone.

Conclusion

MobiKin works as advertised though the price might seem steep to some users. The app’s interface indicates that it can also transfer data between iPhones and other iOS devices and you can try it but we did not have much luck getting the app to recognize an iOS device. You should definitely start with the trial version if you intend to use the app for an iOS device.

Read MobiKin Transfer for Mobile (Review): Transfer data between Android phones without overwriting by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to block group invites on WhatsApp

Group messaging is a useful feature you’ll find on most messaging apps including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and even iMessages. A group chat can get out of hand though, especially if there is no check on who can be added to a group or who can add you to a group. WhatsApp has been lax in this area for a long time. There is no reasonable upper limit on the number of people that can be in a group but, you can now finally block group invites on WhatsApp from people you do not know.

Block group invites on WhatsApp

This is a new feature on WhatsApp and it’s available on both iOS and Android versions of the app. Make sure the app on your device is up to date.

Go to the Settings tab, and tap on Account. On the Account screen, go to Privacy.

On the Privacy screen, look for the Groups option and tap it. On the Groups screen, you can choose who can, and who cannot invite you to a group. The default is set to ‘Everyone’. This means that anyone who has your phone number, regardless if you’ve ever sent them a message can invite/add you to a goup.

The ‘My Contacts’ option allows only those users who you’ve exchanged messages with, and added to your contacts to add you to a group. This means that, for the most part, you will only be added to groups by people you trust.

The ‘My Contacts Except…’ option allows you to exclude certain contacts from adding you to a WhatsApp group. This is the most restrictive option and you can use it to block invites from a contact who tends to add you to groups that aren’t useful.

The setting will have an impact on future group invites. If you’re already a part of a group thread that was started by someone you do not know, or you were added by someone not in your contacts list, you will still remain a part of it. You can always leave a group by going to its details screen. If leaving a group puts you in a social bind, you can just mute it instead. A group chat can be muted for up to one year before it’s automatically unmuted.

A muted group chat won’t send you notifications. The messages will be delivered silently and you can go back and read them whenever you want. Group members will not know that you’ve muted the group however, they will know if you’ve read a message or not.

Read How to block group invites on WhatsApp by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to manually enable RCS messaging on Android

Text messaging is finally evolving for Android users. iPhone users have long benefited from iMessage which is a better way to message. The read receipts alone are helpful and Android did not have anything to compare until now. Google has finally made RCS available for all users. For some, those with a SIM from a carrier that supports RCS, the feature may already be enabled. It was originally tied to carrier support but Google is now making it available for everyone. The rollout is expected to complete within a year but Lifehacker has a method you can use to manually enable RCS messaging on Android. It may, or may not work but the process is simple and does not require a rooted device.

Apps

In order to manually enable RCS messaging on Android, you need a few apps to do the job.

  1. Messages by Google is the stock messaging app on most Android device but if your phone doesn’t have it, go ahead and install it from the Google Play Store.
  2. Carrier Services is another stock app that should already be on your Android device but again, if it isn’t, you can get it from the Google Play store.
  3. Activity Launcher is the only third-party app on the list of apps you need to manually enable RCS messaging on Android. It’s available on the Google Play store.

Device settings

You must have a SIM inserted into your Android phone. Once you’ve installed the apps listed in the previous section, turn Wi-Fi off.

Enable RCS Messaging

You should first check if RCS messaging is available for your device. If it is already available, you can set it up right away. Open the Messages app and tap the three-dots button at the top right. Go to Settings>Chat Features. If the feature is there, you’ll be asked to enter your phone number, and the feature will be set up. It can take some time to activate.

If RCS messaging isn’t available already, you need to manually enable it. Open the Activity Launcher app. You will see a long list of apps. Expand the Messages app and look for Set RCS Flag. Tap it.

You will see different fields here. Tap the ACS URL field. It will show you a few different URLs that you can pick. Select “http://rcs-acs-prod-us.sandbox.google.com“. Tap Apply and then quit the Messages app.

Open the Settings app on your Android phone and go to all Apps. Look for Carrier Services and select Storage. Tap ‘Clear Data’.

Next, open the Activity Launcher app again. Expand Messages, and tap Set RCS Flag. This time, tap OTP Pattern. Again, the dropdown will show you at least one option to auto-fill. Select ‘Your\sMessenger\sverification\scode\sis\sG-(\d{6})‘, and click Apply again. Force quit the Messages app.

Open the Settings app on your Android phone again and go to all apps. Select Carrier Services and under Storage tap Clear Data. At this point, it is a good idea to restart your phone.

Open the Messages app and you will see an option to upgrade it. Go ahead and tap it.

 

The upgrade can take a lot of time. If it never ends, it is possible that you cannot enable RCS messaging on your phone. You can wait for a few months and try this trick again.

Read How to manually enable RCS messaging on Android by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to pin/unpin list feeds from Twitter apps

The Twitter apps for iOS and Android had a change in its design. The new design brought one of its oldest, and more useful features to the front; lists. Lists let you group different users, whether you follow them or not, together. When you visit a list, you get a sort of timeline that features tweets from the users included in the list. Other accounts that you follow do not show up when you’re reading tweets from a list. In the new design, Twitter lets you pin/unpin list feeds to your main Twitter timeline. Here’s how it works.

Pin/unpin lists on Twitter

Open the Twitter app on your iPhone or Android phone. It is possible that you already have a few lists pinned to your Home feed. When Twitter added this feature, it proactively pinned lists that you frequently interact with. To pin or unpin a list, tap your profile picture to open the navigation drawer. In the navigation drawer, select Lists.

On the Lists screen, you will see all the lists that are pinned, and below that, a complete list of all your lists. There will be a pin button next to each list. Tap it to pin/unpin a list.

The pinned lists feature isn’t bad but if you pin one too many lists to your home feed, it can get cluttered and defeat the purpose of being able to easily find a list and read it. Still, even with a cluttered Home feed, this is by far the easiest way to scroll through a list.

The pin lists feature hasn’t been added to Twitter’s web interface but it really doesn’t need to be added there. The web interface offers much more flexibility and it is easier to navigate compared to a mobile app. Users can easily switch to the lists tab and select a list to view tweets from.

The feature does have some room for improvement since you cannot tell, at a glance, which list is which from the home feed. When you select a list from the home feed, its name does appear at the top but you’re going to have to remember yourself which feed is pinned to what position if you want to jump straight to it instead of going through them all until you find the right one. There may not be a way to make a list name more visible though since there is limited space at the top.

Read How to pin/unpin list feeds from Twitter apps by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter