How to automatically change the wallpaper for dark/light mode on iOS

iOS has a dark and a light mode. The dark mode on iOS is pretty great but a lot of apps need to add support for it. With iOS, Apple has been smart and it’s taken ideas from what users have done with the light/dark mode that was implemented on macOS one year earlier.

On macOS, users have created scripts or used apps for automatically changing the wallpaper based on their theme. On iOS, you can do this out of the box, with limitations.

Wallpaper for dark/light mode on iOS

This will work for both iOS and for iPadOS, both of which have a light and dark mode.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Wallpaper
  3. Select the ‘Stills’ option or the ‘Live’ option. No other option will do.
  4. Select a wallpaper with the light/dark globe icon.
  5. Select what you want to set the wallpaper for; home screen, lock screen, or both.
  6. The wallpaper will change based on the theme that is in use.

Limitations

There is one huge limitation with this is that only Apple’s specific wallpapers can be used. As of yet, users cannot save third-party wallpapers that will change based on the theme that is applied.

At present, users have six Live wallpapers, and twenty-one still images to choose from. They do provide a reasonable color range from dark grey/blue to bright orange/red. There are also a few photos that you can choose.

It’s not clear if Apple is going allow users to create their own images. The philosophy of the Apple wallpapers is basically to change the hue of a wallpaper to lighter or darker tones but users may be fine with having two completely different wallpapers for the light and the dark them as long as the wallpaper doesn’t blind at night or dim everything too much in the day. 

If you find wallpapers that claim they can change with the theme of iOS, you should be somewhat skeptical. Always go for a try-before-you-buy option in this case.

Conclusion

Apple has retained control over which wallpapers can change automatically. It has limited the feature terribly. The only way to work around it is to maybe jailbreak a device but wallpapers aren’t really worth jailbreaking a device over. 

The wallpaper will change when you manually change the theme of your device and it will also change if you’ve set the theme to change automatically based on time of day.

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How to open multiple Chrome windows on iPad

The iPad, ever since it transitioned away from iOS and began running iPadOS has moved towards supporting better multitasking on the device. If you look at how the device behaved in its early years and compare it to its present features, it’s obvious that the device’s features have been built around how users use it.

Among the many multitasking features that were added in iPadOS, there is a feature to pin two apps side-by-side. A third app can be used via Slide Over. iPadOS has removed many restrictions that apps were subject to in older versions of iOS.

Multiple Chrome windows on iPad

Chrome has only recently added multiple-window support for its iPad version. That means, in order to open multiple Chrome windows on the iPad, you must update the app to version 87.

Once you’ve updated Chrome, follow the steps below to open multiple Chrome windows.

  1. Open Chrome on your iPad.
  2. Tap the more options button at the top right.
  3. Tap New Window.
  4. The new window will open and it will be pinned next to the current one.
  5. Repeat for as many windows as you’d like to open.

Open links in new a new window

If you’re using Chrome and want to open a link in a new window, you can do so without going through the Chrome menu.

  1. Navigate to a webpage with a link.
  2. Press and hold on the link.
  3. From the menu, select Open in New Window.
  4. If you do not have another window, the link will open in a new window that will be pinned next to the current one.
  5. If you already have two Chrome windows open, the newly created window will open separately.

Close a Chrome window

Chrome windows don’t have a close button and unlike the desktop version of the app, closing all tabs in a Chrome window will not close the window itself.

To close a Chrome window, follow these steps.

  1. On your iPad, swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen and stop at the center.
  2. You will see the app switcher.
  3. The app switcher will show each Chrome window that is open.
  4. Flick away the window you want to close.

Note: if you have two Chrome windows pinned side by side, remove one window and then close it from the app switcher.

If your iPad model is one that has a home button, you can double-press it to view the app switcher. 

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How to disable precise location in iOS 14

Privacy is a huge focus on iOS 14. It hasn’t introduced any major features beyond widgets and the App Library but it has changed how most permissions are managed for apps.

One major area where iOS 14 has changed the information that an app has access to is the location setting. Lots of apps on iOS request access to your location; camera apps, social media app, navigation apps, traffic reporting apps, and more. Not all apps need the same level of accuracy when it comes to your location.

Precise location vs Approximate location

On iOS 14, an app can have access to your precise location or it can have access to your approximate location. The approximate location is not as accurate and it also doesn’t update as often as your precise location does. 

The Approximate location is accurate up to 10 square miles radius so it will be able to pin down which country, city, and neighborhood you’re in.

Disable precise location on iOS 14

Precise location is disabled on a per-app basis. You can change this setting for an app any time you want but changing it will not remove any data that the app has previously collected.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down the list of apps and select the app you want to remove precise location access for.
  3. Tap the Location option.
  4. Turn the Precise Location switch off.
  5. The app will now get your approximate location instead of your precise location.

Restricting app functionality

Disabling precise location of an app may restrict its functionality. Generally speaking, you need to give apps like Google Maps, Uber, Lyft, Waze, etc., access to your precise location. These apps, and other apps like it (think any type of delivery app that picks your address from your current location) will not be able to function unless the information it has is accurate.

Other apps that do not provide directions e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Chrome, weather apps, etc do not need access to your precise location. They can all make do with an approximate location.

For camera apps, you generally do not need to give them your precise location. They use the information and write it to the file’s metadata. The approximate location is as good as the precise location in this case.

Likewise, since the approximate location puts you within a 10 square mile radius of your actual/precise location, weather apps and the like can make do with it to give you a weather report. 

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How to bulk delete Whatsapp media files

Whatsapp users forward messages a lot, so much so that the company has had to add restrictions to prevent fake news from spreading through the app. Media, usually images and videos, are circulated over Whatsapp either over groups or over one-on-one chats.

On Android phones, the media is saved directly to the phone’s storage while on an iPhone, the media remains in the app unless it’s saved to local storage. In either case, the large number of videos and images that are shared tend to eat up space on your device.

Being added to too many groups on Whatsapp? You can block these invites.

Bulk delete Whatsapp media files

Users can delete the media files that have been shared over Whatsapp. On Android phones, this is made easy by the Google Files app that will alert you when a large file index has built up in the Whatsapp folder. On the iPhone, nothing similar exists.

Regardless of which device you own, Whatsapp has now made it easy to bulk delete media files in one go. You no longer have to delete them for individual or group chat threads.

  1. Make sure Whatsapp is up to date as this is a new feature.
  2. Open Whatsapp.
  3. Go to the Settings tab.
  4. Tap Storage and Data.
  5. Tap Manage Storage.
  6. The blue bar will show you how much space is being used by Whatsapp media files. The space will also be indicated at the top.
  7. Tap the ‘Larger than 5MB’ (or similar) section.
  8. Select the file you want to delete.
  9. Tap the trash icon to delete them all.
  10. Repeat this for the “Forwarded many times” group of files.

Delete files from single thread

You can still remove files from a particular thread in Whatsapp. The feature is still there.

  1. Open Whatsapp.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Tap Storage and Data.
  4. Tap Manage Storage.
  5. Scroll down, and select a chat thread.
  6. Select the media files you want to delete.
  7. Tap the trash button to remove the selected files.

Conclusion

Whatsapp doesn’t offer the same experience to users on Android and iOS. The features differ because of the file system and what areas apps have access to on the two operating systems. In some cases, this is helpful, in others, not so much.

Regardless, Whatsapp is a hub for sharing media. Users have a tendency to share files and not links to files which would minimize the space that is used. It’s always a good idea to do a bit of housekeeping and delete the files you don’t need, especially if your device is low on storage. 

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How to change the Instagram icon on your iPhone

The Instagram icon has gone through a few changes over the years. The most notable change was its current icon which not a lot of users liked. App icons aren’t easy to change and on iPhone, it’s almost impossible to change an app icon without jailbreaking your phone, unless the app itself has an option to do so.

Change Instagram icon on iPhone

The Instagram app has a new feature/Easter egg that allows users to change the app’s icon on the home screen. The only thing you need to do is update the app to the latest version, and follow these steps to change the icon.

  1. Open the Instagram app on your iPhone.
  2. Go to your profile tab.
  3. Tap the hamburger menu icon at the top right.
  4. Select Setting from the menu.
  5. On the Settings screen, pull down and release the screen.
  6. You will see a new menu for selecting the App Icon.

  1. Pick an icon.
  2. The app’s icon will be changed on the Home screen.

A brief history of Instagram icons

The icons that you see on the new app icon menu feature old icons that were used by Instagram, as well as color variations of its current icon.

  • The icon labeled Current is the default icon for Instagram and it has been in use since early 2016. The icon was changed a little over four years ago and users have accepted it for what it is.
  • The icon labeled Classic 2 was the default icon for Instagram between 2011 and 2016, almost five years and it was more a change than a new icon since it modified the old one.
  • The icon labeled Classic was the default icon for Instagram between Oct 2010 to Aug 2011 and is easily one of the icons that had the shortest lifespan. 
  • The Original icon is the icon that Instagram originally launched with and it only lasted a few days. Instagram was released on October 6, 2010 with this icon and by Oct 27, 2010, it had been replaced by the Classic version.
  • The Codename icon is the prelaunch icon that Instagram used when the app had not been released to the public and was still under development/beta. Most users have never even seen this icon but it did exist at some point in the app’s life.
  • The other icons you see are variations of the Current icon with one icon that celebrates Pride. None of these variations were ever ‘official’ icons for Instagram.

Conclusion

This new feature was added to celebrate Instagram’s birthday. The app has been around for a decade now. It’s not clear if the app icon feature will remain or if it’s just going to be for Instagram’s birthday month.

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