How to sync steps from an activity tracker to Pokèmon Go

One of the major shortcomings that Pokèmon Go had when the game was first released was that you had to have it open all the time in order to track any distance you had walked. This was a huge drain on your phone’s battery. Android users were able to work around it with rooted devices but the fix didn’t always work. That limitation has been removed though. Not only can the app read the number of steps you’ve taken from your device’s various sensors, you can also sync steps from an activity tracker to Pokèmon Go.

Requirements

This will work for any activity tracker that;

  • Supports Apple Healthkit or Google Fit
  • Can sync steps data directly or indirectly to your phone via its health app

An activity tracker must meet all of the above requirements in order for this to work.

Connect activity tracker

Some activity trackers can sync steps data directly to Apple Health or Google Fit. Others require their own proprietary app to be installed on your phone and you must sync the data to the app. The app then connects to either Apple Health or Google Fit and adds the steps data.

Since there are a lot of activity trackers out there, we can’t go into detail on how to connect each one however, all manufacturers have directions for syncing the data to your phone, whether it’s an iPhone or an Android phone, on their website. The activity tracker’s own app will also walk you through the steps in some cases.

Adventure Sync on Pokèmon Go

One you have your activity tracker connected to your phone, and sending data to its health app you need to enable Adventure Sync on Pokèmon Go. This feature allows the app to connect to the stock health app on your phone, and read steps data from it.

Open Pokèmon Go and tap the Pokèball at the bottom of the screen. On the next screen that opens, tap Settings. Scroll down the Settings screen, and enable Adventure Sync. You will then need to grant Pokèmon Go permission to read data from the stock health app. Once that’s done, the game will be able to ready steps that are synced from your activity tracker to the stock health app as well as steps recorded by your phone’s sensors, and add the distance traveled accordingly.

If you want to know what good this is since it won’t let you catch any new Pokèmon, the answer is: eggs. You can hatch eggs with the app closed, and just your phone or activity tracker counting your steps.

Read How to sync steps from an activity tracker to Pokèmon Go by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to send audio messages on Instagram

Instagram has been working to improve the messaging side of its app. It may be a place to share photos but it is slowly also becoming a messaging platform for many users. We’d be lying if we said messaging wasn’t something everyone was getting into and Instagram isn’t any different. The newest feature to  be added to the app allows you to send audio messages on Instagram.

Audio messages on Instagram

Make sure you’re running the latest version of the Instagram app on you phone. This feature is available for both  iOS and Android and it works only via direct messages.

Open the Instagram app and tap the paper plane button at the top. This will take you to your Direct Messages screen. Start a new chat thread or tap an existing one. In the enter text field you will see a mic icon. Tap and hold it to record an audio message. When you release it, the message will be sent.

There aren’t any apparent limitations on how long a video message can be and whether or not it will expire after a certain period of time. At present, the feature is implemented with little attention to convenience. If you look at the same feature on Whatsapp, you will see that you can record voice messages in a hands-free mode which makes it far easier to use.

Instagram has been working to improve the social aspect of its app for a while now. It does routinely copy features from Snapchat to make its core function i.e., sharing pictures and videos, more interactive but it has been introducing new ways that people can connect with each other quickly.

In October, it introduced Nametags which are basically QR codes for following users. What’s odd is that this feature comes after video chat was introduced. Not only has Instagram supported video chat since June of this year, it also supports group video chats. The audio messages maybe ought to have come first but regardless the sequence, they will be useful.

Instagram is owned by Facebook and the company is always looking to corner the market on photo sharing and messaging apps. Considering it owns both Instagram and Whatsapp, and obviously Facebook Messenger, it’s safe to say that it has the monopoly it wants. Facebook has been in the news for breaching trust and being shady about user data and privacy so if people eventually abandon the platform, they will look for alternatives. It helps if Facebook already owns the popular ones.

Read How to send audio messages on Instagram by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to enable subtitles for Skype calls on Windows 10

Audio video calls have changed the way we communicate. A few years ago, Skype was the only app that could reliably make both audio and video calls but since then, a whole host of other messaging apps have joined the fray and are actually doing better than Skype. Skype has been working to make its call feature stand out from other apps. It has added a code editor that can be accessed during a call, and it’s also added subtitles though, by default they aren’t enabled. Here’s how you can enable subtitles for Skype calls.

Enable subtitles for Skype calls

This a new feature and it’s available on the UWP Skype app and the iOS and Android apps. Make sure you’re running the latest version of the apps. Subtitles can be enabled on a per-call basis, or for all calls.

To enable subtitles for a specific Skype call, initiate the call or accept an incoming call. When the call connects, click the plus button at the bottom right and select ‘Turn subtitles on’ from the menu. This will enable subtitles for that call only. If the call disconnects or you hang up and call again, you’re going to have to turn subtitles on again.

To enable subtitles for all Skype calls, open the Skype app and click the more options button at the top right of the column on the left. Select Settings from the menu.

On the Settings window, go to the Calling tab, and select Call Subtitles. Turn on the ‘Show subtitles for all voice and video calls’ switch.

The feature has also rolled out to the Skype iOS and Android apps. To enable subtitles for all calls on the Skype app, open the app and tap your profile thumbnail. On the profile screen, tap Settings, go to Calling, and select Call subtitles. Enable subtitles from the switch and they will show up for all calls.

To enable subtitles for specific calls, initiate a call and once it’s connected, tap the plus button at the bottom. In the overlay menu, tap the Turn subtitles on button to enable subtitles for that call. Like the desktop version, the subtitles will only be enabled for this call. If you end it, and start a new call with the same contact, you will have to enable it again.

Subtitles aren’t enabled for all languages. They’re specific to a select few languages and only time will tell how good they are. It’s worth mentioning that YouTube has auto-subtitles and they are terrible. Let’s see how well Skype handles them.

Read How to enable subtitles for Skype calls on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to create and share collections on Facebook

Facebook added a bookmarking feature a few years ago to both its web and mobile apps. This feature, known as ‘Saved’ allows you to save anything from links, photos, pages, to places and events. It’s useful for when you need to recall something. After 4 years, the feature is finally being updated. You can now selectively group items from your Saved list into collections. You can then share collections on Facebook with your friends and invite them to contribute to them as well.

Collections on Facebook

You can create and share collections on Facebook from both the desktop web version and from the apps.

Facebook Web

Visit Facebook and from the column on the left, click Saved. On your Saved page, you ought to see a New Collection button. Click it, give your collection a name, and you’re done.

Once you’ve created a collection, return to the Saved list and you will see a ‘Add to Collection’ button next to every single item in the list. Click it, select the collection you want to add the item to, and it will be added to the collection.

To share a collection with a friend, and invite them to add items to it as well you’re going to have to go to the Facebook apps. The collaboration feature has not been added to the web interface.

Facebook app

Make sure your Facebook app is up to date. Open the app and go to the hamburger tab. Tap Saved, and on the Saved screen you will see a Create a Collection button. Tap it, name your collection, and you can start adding items to it.

Collections on the Facebook app are far better designed compared to the web interface. You can add collaborators from the collection’s page by tapping the Invite button, and you can add items to it by tapping the Add Items button. On the app, you can add items from your Saved list and also from outside it.

This feature is going to be handy. The Saved list allows you to retrieve pages and posts you’re interested in and Collections will allow you to collaborate with your friends if you’re planning an event e.g., a lunch.

It certainly beats sharing links and pages over a chat thread where you have to constantly scroll through it to find something. There doesn’t seem to be any limit to how many friends you can invite to a collection or how many items can be added to one.

Read How to create and share collections on Facebook by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to remotely wipe an iPhone from the desktop

iPhones are generally very secure. If your iPhone were to be stolen, cracking the password wouldn’t be easy. Your phone might be wiped and sold but the data is mostly safe. If you haven’t used any form of security, or whoever has your phone might be able to guess the password/passcode, you can wipe it from your desktop. Here’s how you can remotely wipe an iPhone.

Requirements

In order to remotely wipe an iPhone, you must have;

  • Find my iPhone enabled on your iPhone
  • Access to the Apple ID connected to your iPhone
  • Access to a desktop web browser

Remotely wipe an iPhone

Visit iCloud and sign in with the same Apple ID that you use on your iPhone. If you have two factor authentication set up, you will need access to a Mac or your iPhone to get the code. The iPhone is obviously not in your possession so that’s out of the question. If you don’t own a Mac, click the option that says you didn’t get the code, and select ‘More Options’.

You will be asked to verify your phone number, and provide a new one. It can take some time for Apple to verify your identity so you may not be able to remotely wipe your phone in one day. Go through the recovery options, and choose what suits you.

Once you’re able to sign into iCloud, go to Find my iPhone.

Select your iPhone from All Devices.

At the top right corner, you will see a card with three options, one of which is Erase iPhone. Click it and your phone will be wiped.

In order for the wipe operation to be sent to your iPhone, it must be connected to the internet. If it’s been stolen, it is possible that whoever has it was able to turn WiFi and Cellular data off from the Control Center. iCloud cannot enable those two toggles so the wipe will only take place once your iPhone connects to the internet.

Once your iPhone is online, the wipe command only needs a few seconds to initiate the wipe. The phone doesn’t need to be constantly connected to the internet for it to be wiped. Wiping the iPhone will remove your Apple ID and disable Find my iPhone from it. If your phone is later recovered, you may have a difficult time proving it belongs to you. If you still have the box it came it though, it will help as will any receipts you might have of the purchase. If you’ve registered the device with your Apple ID, you can use that as a way to prove it is your phone.

Read How to remotely wipe an iPhone from the desktop by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter