How to get free Pokèballs during the lockdown

Pokèmon Go is a game that requires you go outside to play it which is a bit difficult given the lockdown in most places. You can turn on Adventure Sync and have your at-home movements count towards steps taken but that doesn’t allow you to visit Pokèstops or gyms which means you’re low on supplies. You can buy supplies, or you can have friends gift them to you. If neither is an option Niantic is offering users a gift of 8 Pokèballs, 4 Pinap berries, and 4 Razz berries. Here’s how you can get them.

Add Niantic as a friend

If you add Niantic as a friend in the game, the company will send you the aforementioned items as a gift. Tap your avatar in the game and select the ‘Friends’ tab. Tap ‘Add a friend’ and use the trainer code below to add Niantic as a friend.

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Unfortunately, this might not work since there are a lot of players currently trying to add the company and the pending requests have piled up to a point where no new requests are going through. There is a pretty simple alternative though.

Use promo code

Niantic has given users a promo code that they can redeem for the gifts. The code can be scanned from the game on Andriod but, both Android and iOS users can visit this page and enter the code to get their gifts.

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Sign in with your Pokèmon account, and then enter the code. The items will take a little time to appear in the game but when they do, you will see an in-game alert telling you they’ve been added.

Redemption limit

You can only redeem the code or get the gift once. You must redeem the code before April 10, 2020. You must claim the gift within 24 hours of getting it.

Playing Pokèmon Go

Playing the game during a lockdown isn’t easy since you’re not supposed to go out. The game in no way encourages you to defy lockdown protocol in your country but it has added some leniency to the rules. You can access Pokèstops from much farther away i.e., twice the distance. The same goes for gyms though for many users who live in entirely residential areas, this is insufficient. Incense now lasts for a whole hour instead of the usual 30 minutes and eggs can be hatched at half the distance. There is also a bundle that you can buy for 1 Pokècoin that includes 20 Ultra balls, and 15 Pinap berries. The bundle updates daily and is a good buy compared to everything else.

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How to prolong an iPhone battery’s life

An iPhone’s battery will die eventually. Over time, it will retain less and less charge until it only lasts a few hours. There isn’t much you can do about this since that’s how batteries work. iOS 13 has a new feature that can help prolong an iPhone battery’s life. Here’s how it works.

Prolong iPhone battery life

Open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap Battery. On the Battery screen, tap Battery Health. The Battery Health screen will have a switch called ‘Optimised battery charging’. Turn it on and iOS will charge the battery so that it lasts longer.

Optimized battery charging on iOS 13

If you’re wondering how this feature works, it does so by limiting how long your iPhone is charged to 100% and remains at 100%. It does this based on your usage. Basically, when you connect your iPhone to a power source, it won’t charge it past 80% or it will delay charging it past that point if it thinks the phone will be connected to a power source for an extended charging period.

Think of it like this; if you connect your iPhone to a power source early in the morning while you get ready for work, iOS 13 knows that the phone will eventually be disconnected in an hour or so when you head out (assuming the COVID-19 lock downs are over). In this case, it will charge the phone to 100% if it can in the given time.

In contrast to this, when you arrive or sit down to work on your desk and connect your phone to a power source, iOS 13 will be able to tell, based on past usage, that the iPhone will be connected to a power source for a long time. Based on this, it won’t allow the phone to charge past 80%. It will allow the charge to complete to 100% when it’s time for you to get up e.g., around 5 pm or 6 pm.

If you were to turn this feature off, your iPhone would charge to 100% within a few hours and remain on that percentage until you disconnect it. This tends to result in a poor battery life according to Apple.

Older iPhones

The feature is available on iOS 13 so all iPhone models that are able to update to it should have it. That said, older models have had their battery wear out to some extent so the results won’t be the same as those with a brand new iPhone. It is possible that if your phone is particularly old, you won’t benefit from the feature at all.

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How to fix the mouse pointer stuck on an iPad

The iPad supports a Bluetooth mouse. You can use it as a pointing device much like you can on your desktop. This is a new feature that was added in iPadOS 13 and while it is an excellent improvement for those who use the device often, it has a few odd bugs. It seems that the pointer can get stuck every now and then. The problem appears even on the stable iPadOS 13.4 version that was released this week. Here’s how you can fix it.

Fix mouse pointer stuck on iPad

This bug occurs in a few different variations but the most common one is where the pointer is centered on the screen and no click, taps, or swipes are registered via the mouse. The touch screen still works in most cases so, the first thing you should do is disconnect the mouse. If it connects via a dongle, you can disconnect it even if the touch screen is frozen. If it’s connected directly via Bluetooth, you should turn Bluetooth off on the iPad.

If that does not work, open the Settings app and go to Accessibility. Select Touch>AssistiveTouch. Toggle AssistiveTouch On/Off. Scroll down, and toggle the Dwell switch.

If this doesn’t work, or the iPad is frozen to a point where even the touch screen isn’t responsive, you need to force restart the iPad.

If your iPad has a home button, press and hold the power/wake button and the Home button until you see the Apple logo. It can take upto 30 seconds for it appear.

If your iPad does not have a Home button, you need to first press and quickly release the volume up button. Next, press and quickly release the volume down button. After that, press and hold the wake/power button until you see the Apple screen.

When the iPad turns back on, you should be able to move the mouse pointer again. If it is still stuck, remove the mouse or turn it off, or take it out of range of the iPad, and force restart it again.

Once you’re able to interact with the iPad again, you can choose to pair the mouse again or remove it altogether.

This bug has been around for a while and there are users complaining about it in a few forums but it seems that it has yet to be fixed. Mouse support on the iPad itself is a bit glitchy even on the newer models so the feature could do with quite a bit of improvement.

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How to configure hot corners on an iPad

iPadOS 13.4 has improved mouse support. You can customize the appearance of the pointer and you can now configure hot corners on an iPad. This feature works a lot like it does on macOS but, it is an accessibility feature. To that end, you have to enable a few of them in order to get it to work. Here’s how you can enable and configure hot corners on an iPad.

This feature only works on devices that can run iPadOS 13.4

Enable hot corners on iPad

First, connect a mouse to the iPad. Once it’s connected, and you see the little round pointer, open the Settings app and go to Accessibility>Touch>AssistiveTouch. Scroll to the bottom and tap on Hot Corners.

You can configure four hot corners, one for each corner of the screen. Tap each one, and select the action you want to execute. You can set a corner to show the Dock, the Home screen, the app switcher, the Control Center, lock the screen, and more.

Once the hot corners have been set up, you need to enable two other settings. Return to the AssistiveTouch screen on the Setting app. Turn on ‘AssistiveTouch’, and then scroll down to the ‘Dwell’ switch and turn it on as well.

 Using hot corners on iPad

The hot corners on the iPad are similar but not the exact same as those on macOS. On an iPad, a hot corner is not executed when you move the pointer to a hot corner, or when you click it. Instead, you need to move the pointer to the corner, and wait for it to be detected. The pointer will grow a bit bigger and you will see a little progress circle around it. When it completes, the hot corner will be executed.

The downside of this feature is that you have to have AssistiveTouch enabled and it’s floating button is going to be on your screen. If you use your iPad with a mouse and keyboard, the floating button may or may not be a problem. It all comes down to personal preference. If you do find it annoying, you don’t have much recourse. You cannot use Hot Corners without AssistiveTouch.

If the duration for the hot corner execution is too long (or too short), you can change that from the very last setting on the AssistiveTouch screen. It’s labeled 2.00 seconds and the plus/minus buttons under it allow you to change it.

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How to customize the mouse pointer on iPadOS

iPadOS 13.4 is now out and it brings extended support for the mouse and trackpad. Most features won’t work unless you’re using an Apple device but, for an ordinary Bluetooth or USB mouse, you do still have the option to customize the mouse pointer on iPadOS. Here’s how.

Customize mouse pointer

First, connect your mouse to your iPad. You can use both a Bluetooth mouse, like Apple’s Magic Mouse, or a mouse that connects via a USB dongle but you will need an adapter to connect it to the iPad.

Open the Settings app and go to Accessibility. Tap on ‘Pointer Control’. You will see entire section dedicated to ‘Appearance’. Under it, you can increase the contrast of the pointer making it easier to see, or you can change its color.

The color options are limited but the pointer itself is designed such that you won’t have trouble seeing it regardless of what type of app you’re working in. If you do have trouble, remember the contrast option mentioned earlier.

As far as appearance goes, this is the only change you can make. You can change the tracking speed or the scroll speed, depending on the device that you’ve connected. For a trackpad, you will find that you can use an extensive amount of gestures, much like those you can use on macOS. There are also keyboards with built-in trackpads now available from Apple and they’ll work just as well.

One other change that’s been made to the pointer’s appearance in iPadOS has to do with context. Before, no matter what type of app you were using, or what sort of element the pointer was positioned over, it always had the one appearance i.e., the little round dot. Now, the pointer changes its appearance based on what sort of content it is interacting with.

One example of this is text; in text boxes or text fields such as those you find in a spreadsheet, or just in simple note-taking apps, the pointer changes to a caret. This makes it easier to select text with the mouse since you can tell where it’s positioned. We tested it out with Google Sheets and it seems to take a little time to detect that it’s on an active text field.

Apps might need to update to accommodate this new feature which might be why there was a delay between the pointer’s appearance changing. For now, that’s the one context-based change in its appearance we found but perhaps there are others as well.

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