Siri Shortcut: Text an emergency contact if you have an accident

If you’re ever in an accident, the aftermath is a lot to deal with. You might be hurt, or you might have to deal with law enforcement. In either case, you should have a quick way to let an emergency contact know that you’ve been in an accident. A Siri Shortcut called ‘I got in a wreck’ does just that. It will text an emergency contact your current location, as well as your battery percentage and send along any medical information you configure within the shortcut.

I got in a wreck

You can import I got in a wreck from this link. The shortcut is saved to iCloud so when you import it to Shortcuts and run it, you won’t be prompted for confirmation to run it.

When you import I got in a wreck, you have to set up two things; your emergency contact numbers, and any medical information you want to include. It doesn’t automatically pick your emergency contacts nor does it get anything from your Medical ID.

Once you’ve set these two things up, the import will be complete. You can run the shortcut from the Shortcuts app, from its widget, or by telling Siri, I got in a wreck.

You will have to manually send the message. The shortcut will compose everything for you, including inputting the name of the contact you want to send the message to however, you still have to tap the send button. Once the message has been sent, it will also give you the option to call 911 or call your emergency contact.

If you do not reside in the US, and you intend to use this shortcut for emergencies, you should edit the actions and replace 911 with the number for emergency services in your country. If your country’s emergency services can receive texts about road accidents, or other types of emergencies, consider adding them as an emergency contact when you set the shortcut up.

I got in a wreck requires access to your location which means you must allow Shortcuts to access your location if you want to be able to share it. Location is sent in the form of longitude and latitude coordinates. Your contact will need to figure out how to open them. It’s simple enough; enter the two coordinates separated by a single comma in a maps app like Google Maps and it will pin point the exact location.

The shortcut is built for road accidents however, if you’re prone to medical emergencies, you can modify the text that is sent to let an emergency contact know you’ve had an episode. Also, don’t use this as a joke.

Read Siri Shortcut: Text an emergency contact if you have an accident by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to share trip progress in Google Maps

Much like a watched pot never boils, a friend you’re waiting for takes forever to arrive. If you’re going to meet a friend some place, and you’re driving there, chances are you get quite a few messages asking how much longer before you arrive. Google Maps has a new feature that lets you give your ETA to a friend so that you aren’t stuck answering texts about your current location. You can share trip progress in Google Maps with any friend and they will be able to tell, without messaging you, where you are.

Trip progress in Google Maps

Google Maps already has a feature that allows you to share your live location with friends however, it’s not the same as sharing your ETA which takes into account traffic conditions as well as your mode of transport.

To share your trip progress in Google Maps, make sure you’re running the latest version available and then open the app. Search for your destination and then use the Directions feature to start navigating to it. Once you’re in navigation mode, swipe up and a menu will appear. On this menu, tap the Share trip progress option.

Select a contact to share trip progress with from inside Google Maps, or use your preferred app for sharing your location.

This feature isn’t novel. In fact, ride sharing apps have this so that people can share a ride’s progress. It also gives you an ETA so you can tell when you will reach your destination. Google Maps gives you those same features for when you’re driving yourself, or if you’re taking public transport, or if you’re walking the whole way.

Using this feature will consume your battery and of course, Google Maps will need to access your location constantly and that is a sort of bump in the road with this feature. The feature is great if you’re driving and can connect your phone to a power source in the car but if you’re using any other means of transport where a charging point isn’t available, this battery hungry app will drain your device.

Ride sharing apps aren’t different but they tend to drain your battery less than Google Maps does. If you have an older phone, you might just be better off using other apps to share your location. If your friends are also iPhone owners, you can share your location over iMessages and it will not drain your battery as much.

Read How to share trip progress in Google Maps by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to use an iPad or iPhone as a teleprompter

A teleprompter isn’t the kind of thing you can just pick up at your local store. You can probably find a web app that can display text like a teleprompter would and use it with a monitor to get a make-shift teleprompter but you can’t take a monitor with you everywhere. A more reasonable, and far more portable option is to use your iPad or iPhone as a teleprompter.

There are probably quite a few apps available on the App Store that let you use your iPad or iPhone as a teleprompter but we’re going for a free solution which comes in the form of the Pages app. The Pages app is free and seeing as how it’s an Apple app, it’s pretty good.

iPad or iPhone as a teleprompter

If you don’t have Pages installed on your iPhone, go ahead and install it now. Create a new document in the Pages app, and paste (or type in) the text you want your teleprompter to display.

After you’ve entered the text you need to display, tap the more options button at the top right. This will open a new screen with quite a few options, one of which is Presenter Mode. Tap it.

This will put the Pages document in a full screen mode where text is the only thing you see and it’s displayed in much larger size than when you were composing it. Next, you need to get it to auto-scroll. Tap the Aa button at the top right in Presenter Mode and in the little menu that opens, enable Auto Scroll. You can adjust the speed of the scroll from the slider below the Auto Scroll switch; move it towards the tortoise to slow it down, and move it towards the hare to speed it up.

On this same menu, you can also change the color scheme that the text is displayed in. If you don’t like the light grey on black text, you can choose white, light brown, or dark grey.

The document will scroll automatically and you need only tap your screen to start or stop the scrolling. If you have a presentation that you need to prepare for, this is a pretty easy way to rehearse for it whenever you want. In fact, if you use it on your phone, you might even be able to take it with you during a presentation as a helpful aid to keep you from losing your place or forgetting something important.

Read How to use an iPad or iPhone as a teleprompter by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to create nameless folders on iOS

Apps on iOS all reside on your home screen. There’s no app drawer like there is on Android which means the more apps you install, the more clutter you have on your home screen. You can create as many home screen pages as you need to but then scrolling through them and remembering which app icon is on which page is a problem in itself. This is where folders come in handy. You can give your folders a name, you can also use emoji in the name, or you can create nameless folders on iOS.

Creating nameless foldes on iOS isn’t something you can do with the built-in keyboard. The character you need to use so that it doesn’t show an actual character can’t be accessed from any of the supported keyboard. This trick comes from Lifehacker.

Create nameless folders

The character you need to use to create nameless folders is nested between the two pipebars below. Visit this article on your iPhone or iPad and copy only the character between the pipe signs. That’s really all there is to it.

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On your home screen, tap and hold an app icon or a folder. When everything starts wiggling, tap the folder that you want to remove the name for. Alternatively, drag & drop an app icon on to the other to create a folder.

In both cases, you will see the a name field for the folder. If there’s already a name, tap the cross button to remove it and then paste the character copied to your clipboard. Exit the home screen editing mode and your folders will be nameless.

If you later decide you want to give your folders a name, all you have to do is enter editing mode again on your home screen. Tap the folder that you want to give a name to, and tap the cross button to remove the invisible character. Type in whatever name you want to give it, and exit editing mode.

Nameless folders on iOS look nice aesthetically, but it may hamper your ability to find the right folder when you need to access an app. Use this with caution. Maybe if you’ve had your screen set up a certain way for a long time, and you no longer need to read the name of a folder to identify which apps are in it, you can use this trick to make your home screen look better.

Read How to create nameless folders on iOS by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to use a Snapchat pet lens

Snapchat knows what we like to take pictures of and it so happens that a lot of people like to take photos of their pets. This is why there’s now a lens that can detect your pets in a photo. Right now, it’s limited to just cats and there appear to only be two lenses available at present but you can count on the app adding support for other pets, and eventually Instagram will copy the feature. Here’s how you can use, or more precisely find a Snapchat  pet lens.

Snapchat pet lens

The Snapchat pet lens, like most lenses, works with both the front and rear camera. You need to point your camera at your pet (in this case your cat).

Open Snapchat and tap anywhere on the camera view finder to load the lenses. Look closely for a lens that has a paw print on it. This lens can be used with your pets. The ones that are available at the moment put your cat’s head inside a piece of bread which is an internet joke. If you’re also in the picture, the lens will add bread around your face as well. There’s a second lens that puts your cat’s head in a lime which is, again, a meme.

Good luck trying to get your cat/kitten to hold still long enough for the app to detect its head and snap a photo.

You have to give props to Snapchat for, once again, creating a pretty good lens. It’s based on two ridiculously popular memes and people are going to use them. I don’t have a dog to try this on but it’s possible that it may work on a dog as well if the AI isn’t too smart.

Of course, if Snapchat is relying wholly on meme-worthy lenses, it’s going for lenses that will go viral and in my limited knowledge of memes, I don’t know if anything out there fits dogs. Given that there are two lenses for cats, and zero for dogs, the people at Snapchat have some work to do. Excluding dogs is just awful, and there has to be something that’s popular enough to make into a viral lens for the app. If nothing, the company can crowd source ideas for a dog lens.

What’s left to be seen is how Instagram will copy this feature. People post lots of photos of their pets on Instagram so it shouldn’t be too hard to train the AI to recognize animals. Let’s see if they go with the meme-lenses or if they skip copying this feature.

Read How to use a Snapchat pet lens by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter