How to watch YouTube in picture-in-picture mode on the iPad

YouTube Red is YouTube’s premium version which gives users access to exclusive content. It’s not exactly popular. In addition to exclusive content, YouTube Red also has a picture-in-picture mode that allows users to watch videos in a floating player on their devices. The feature is great but not really something worth paying a monthly bill for. If you’d like to watch YouTube in Picture-in-picture mode on the iPad, you need to install a free app called Pipifier. It works for all web videos, and it works for YouTube.

YouTube Picture-in-picture on iPad

This only works if you’ve enabled Picture-in-Picture on the iPad. To enable it, open the Settings app and select Home Screen and Dock. Select Multitasking and turn on Picture in Picture.

Since YouTube limits its Picture-in-Picture feature to YouTube Red, we’re going to need an app called PiPifier. Install it from the App Store.

Once installed, open Safari and visit YouTube. This is where it gets tricky because when you open YouTube in Safari, it automatically redirects you to the app. Go back to Safari and try to force the desktop view. You can do this by tapping the AA button in the URL bar and selecting the option to request the desktop website.

Once you have YouTube open in Safari, the hard part is over. Open a video and then tap the share button next to the URL bar. From the menu, select Run PiPifier.

The video will minimize to a floating player in the bottom right corner. You can now press the Home button to exit Safari. The video will continue to play.

The player can be docked to any one of the four corners of the screen. If you close it, the video will continue to play in Safari or pause where you left it off. To resize the player, pinch outward on it.

If you’re having trouble getting Safari to not open the YouTube app, you can try uninstalling it if you don’t use it that much. You might also have heard of a little feature on iPadOS called Slide Over that lets you access an app within another app. It’s not the same as picture-in-picture but it’s a fairly reasonable way to watch YouTube videos while working in a different app. It’s a lot easier to use than opening videos in Safari and then sharing/sending them to the app. It’s odd that YouTube has decided to limit this feature to its premium service since there are obvious workarounds for this on both Android and iOS.

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How to use Slide Over on the iPad

iPads no longer run iOS. Instead, they run iPadOS which is a variation of iOS that focuses on multitasking. The new multitasking tools aren’t bad at all and actually allow users to comfortably switch between, and even use two apps side-by-side. iPadOS has a feature called Slide Over which basically allows users to dock their frequently used or favorite apps to the side and bring them up with a simple swipe gesture. Here’s how you can use Slide Over on the iPad.

Slide Over on iPadOS

Before you can add apps to Slide Over, you need to make sure the feature is enabled. This feature is enabled/disabled with multi-tasking so to check its status, open the Settings app and go to Home Screen & Dock. Select Multitasking, and make sure ‘Allow Multiple Apps’ is turned on.

Next, open any app that you do NOT want to add to Slide Over. Once the app is open, swipe up from the bottom to show the Dock (if it isn’t visible). The Dock will feature your recent apps and the apps that you’ve pinned to it. Tap and hold on the app you want to add to Slide Over, and then drag it to the right side of the screen. Release it and repeat this for all other apps that you want to add to Slide Over.

To bring up the apps, swipe left from the right edge. Swipe right on the slide over apps to go through them all. You can view these apps in full screen too if you want. The apps in Slide Over have a little bar at the top. Tap and hold it, and use it to drag the app to the middle of the screen. Move the app to the top of the screen and it will switch to full-screen mode.

The great thing about Slide Over is that you can view apps e.g., videos and feeds, and you can drag content between them. If you add the Photos app to the Slide Over, you can literally drag & drop an image from the camera roll onto another app e.g., the Messages app, the Mail app, or the Facebook app and attach the photo with a message, email, or post. If you’ve been using the iPad for a while, and know what older versions of iOS were like, you know how this is a big deal and just how convenient it is to be able to use two apps side-by-side.

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How to save a photo from the clipboard to the camera roll on iOS

The clipboard on iOS can store text as well as images. Many apps that can display an image will generally let you copy the image to the clipboard while some will also let you save the image directly to your camera roll. For apps that do not let you save images to the camera roll, copying them to the clipboard and then saving them to the camera roll can be a long process. If you often need to save a photo from the clipboard to the camera roll, consider using the Save Clipboard Photo shortcut.

Save photo from clipboard to camera roll

Import the Save Clipboard Photo shortcut into the Shortcuts app. Make sure you open the link in Safari and not in any other browser. Since the Shortcuts app was added in iOS 12, you must be running at least that version, or later.

Once the shortcut has been imported, open the Shortcuts app and tap the three dots button at the top right. The shortcut will need access to the camera roll. Tap the ‘Allow Access’ option under the last action for Photos, and grant it the permission it needs.

Next, go to any app with images in it, and copy it to the clipboard. Return to the Shortcut app, and tap the Save Clipboard Photo shortcut. The first time you run the shortcut, the Shortcuts app will tell you it was imported from Safari and ask you to confirm if you want to run it. Go ahead and run the shortcut, and the image on your clipboard will be saved to the camera roll.

While this works flawlessly, you will still have to go to a different app i.e., the Shortcuts app to save the image to the camera roll. If the app that you often have to copy images from supports the Share Sheet, you can add this shortcut to it and make it easier to access. You can also add the Shortcuts widget to the Notification Center, and use the shortcut from there.

In the absence of this shortcut, the image copied to your clipboard has to be pasted somewhere that gives you access to the ‘Save Photo’ option. This is normally an app like Notes or you can send the image over iMessages and then save it to the camera roll after that. It takes quite a few taps to get the job done. It’s not too bad if you only need to save an image once in a while but for frequent use, you’ll find that it’s time-consuming without the shortcut.

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How to add multiple photos to an Instagram story

Instagram has added a new format to its stories; multiple images. The new feature splits the screen into four parts by default but it has other layouts that you can choose as well. These layouts let you vertically split the screen in two, horizontally split it in three, and even split it into as many as six sections where each section will have its own photo. The feature is called ‘Layout’ much like Instagram’s collage making app of the same name but it works entirely from inside Instagram. You don’t need the actual Layout app to use it.

Add multiple photos to Instagram Story

Open Instagram and tap the camera button at the top left. Once you’re on the create story screen, swipe through the various formats at the bottom until you see ‘Layout’. Select it and select the type of layout you want to use. Once you’ve picked the layout, tap the capture button to take the first photo. The other sections will be blacked out so you know which section you’re capturing a photo for. You can switch between the front and rear cameras to capture photos.

When you’re done, tap the checkmark button to move onto the editing step. You will have all the usual controls available; write on the image, doodle on it, or add a sticker. It’s up to you. When you’re done, tap Send, and share it with close friends, or to your story.

This format is great if you like to use polls in your Instagram stories. You can take photos live, or you can pick them from your camera roll. The choice is yours.

The disappointing thing is that you cannot add a video or several videos to the Layout format. Videos might have been excluded to keep the content light and suitable for a mobile network and device but a limitation on how long a video can be might have been better. I hate to make the comparison here but if this were Snapchat, users would be able to add videos as well. It seems that this isn’t something that Instagram has cloned from Snapchat which is perhaps why this limitation is there.

There is obviously room for improvement e.g., collaboration. Users can create a single group story where multiple select users can add an image. It would be far more social. As always, this is going to be great for brands though individual users tend to get quite creative with these features as well.

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How to disable ‘Complete your timeline’ alerts from Google Maps

Google Maps actively accesses location data when you use the app on your mobile. It’s no secret and the app obviously cannot function unless it has this information. The app also continues to use your location when it is no longer running or in the background. This allows it to always show you your updated location and to help you navigate if you’re using it for directions. The only annoying part is that even if you never access the app, it still knows when you’ve visited a place. It will send you alerts to add these locations to your history and ‘Complete your timeline’.

Google Maps detects that you’ve visited a place when you travel from one location to another, make an extended stop, and then leave said location. It’s simple enough to figure out and since it has exact location data, it can also tell very accurately where you went. On the app’s part, it is being pro-active but if you’d rather not get these alerts, you will have to disable location history to do so. Here’s how.

Disable location history

You can disable location history from any web browser though you might have a better time of it if you do it from your desktop. Visit the Location History settings for your Google Account at this link. Sign in to your Google account, and then turn off Location History.

You will see a prompt asking if you really want to turn off location history, and what you stand to lose if you choose to disable it. You will basically stop seeing location-based recommendations which, depending on how often you got them and how useful they were to you, might be a trade-off you have to make.

The setting is applied across all your devices and all apps that are using the same Google account.

Google does not share this location history with anyone. It tells you as much in the confirmation prompt you get when you disable location history but, it still has a lot of information, in fact, every single bit of location information for you. You don’t even have to check-in to a location for the app to know you were there. That isn’t going to go away when you turn location history off but Google will not be able to keep a record of it.

If you find the recommendations useful, or you have your own reasons for keeping location history on, you’re going to have to put up with the alerts asking you to add locations you’ve visited to your timeline. You might want to look into how you can periodically delete Google account data.

Read How to disable ‘Complete your timeline’ alerts from Google Maps by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter