How to use the Instagram Chat sticker

Instagram has interactive stickers that you can add to stories. The stickers allow you to add polls, ask questions, and as of recently, invite users to a chat group. The Instagram Chat sticker lets anyone viewing your story request to join a conversation. Since the story will be viewed by several people, they will all be able to request to join the conversation and it will be a group chat. Here’s how it works.

Instagram Chat sticker

Open Instagram and tap the camera button at the top left, or just swipe right. Capture either a photo or a video, it’s up to you. On the editing screen, tap the sticker button and look for the ‘Chat’ sticker. Tap it to add it to your story.

You can give your chat thread a name which is something you should do if you’re looking for better engagement. There will be a color wheel button at the top which, when tapped, will change the color of the Chat sticker. When you’re done, share the image to your Story or share it with a group of friends.

If your story is public, anyone and everyone who sees it will be able to request to join the chat thread. It will be up to you to allow or disallow someone from joining the chat. Your story may be public but chats are still private.

As mentioned earlier, the chat thread will be a group chat if more than one person requests to join it. This is important to remember because whatever conversation you have, you will be having it with multiple people. It is not a one-on-one conversation.

Instagram stories expire after 24 hours but the chat thread is going to stick around. It does not have an expiry date. You can delete it like you can any other chat thread but that doesn’t delete the conversation for other people. They can still continue it.

This feature is in the process of being rolled out. If you do not see it in your sticker drawer, and the search doesn’t bring anything up, give it a few days and it should appear. In the meantime, there are a few other interactive stickers that you can try. The poll sticker is pretty good if you want to engage with whoever is viewing your story. Other interactive stickers allow you to ask viewers a question, allow them to ask you a question,  or just add a countdown to an event and have users come back for more content later.

Read How to use the Instagram Chat sticker by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to set sound only notifications for an app on iOS

Notifications are generally supposed to be visual so that you can tell what the notification is for. If you, for example, get a new email notification from Gmail, you will want to know who it’s from. You will definitely want to know that the Gmail app is what sent you a notification. This holds true for all productivity apps however, if you want to set sound only notifications for an app, you can do so easily on iOS.

Sound only notifications

This is set on a per-app basis and you can freely customize it.

Open the Settings app and scroll down the list of installed apps. Tap the app that you want to set sound only notifications for. The app’s details screen will have a Notifications option listed there. Tap it to go to the Notifications configuration for that app.

When you allow an app to show notifications, it always enables visual notifications. iOS, by default, never sets it so that an app will only send sound notifications. The Notifications are set to show on the lock screen, stack in the Notification Center, and show as a banner. There is also a switch below the ‘Alerts’ section for Sounds.

Tap the little check marks under each type of alert and leave the sound switch on. From this point forward, the app will not show you any visual notifications however, you will hear new notifications sounds.

Obviously, this isn’t optimal. You do need to know which app sent you a notification. You may not want the banner alerts or the lock screen alerts to distract you so it’s enough to disable those. The sound will alert you when there’s new activity and you can swipe down and open the Notification Center to see what the alert was when you have time.

On that same note, you can also have apps deliver silent notifications. All you need to do is turn ‘Sounds’ off. You can also change what type of notifications you get and again, just have them stack in the Notification Center. Think of it as a sort of ‘Do not disturb‘ but app specific which, oddly enough doesn’t allow you to add selective apps to it, or exclude them selectively.

The downside of this is that you cannot choose what sound is used when an app sends you a sound-only notification. There are no customization options there so setting this up for more than one app might be counter-productive.

Read How to set sound only notifications for an app on iOS by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to save a Snapchat story

Snapcaht content is meant to expire. You can always take a screenshot. Snapchat doesn’t block screenshots but they don’t tend to capture videos which are just as popular as images. The easiest way to save a Snapchat story, regardless if they’re images or videos, is to record your screen. The method you use to record your screen may differ but that’s essentially what you need to do.

Save Snapchat story

Recording your screen differs based on the device you have. You might want to be able to record on the go i.e., with just your iPhone or Android phone without needing a Mac or PC. Using a computer to help get the job done opens up more free-recording options for you.

iPhone – On device screen recording

If you’re interested in recording your iPhone screen without needing to connect it to a Mac, you can use iOS’ native recording feature. Don’t worry about the red recording bar that appears at the top. When you play a story, it plays in full screen and the bar is hidden.

iPhone – Record from Mac

Connect your iPhone to your Mac and open the QuickTime app. Go to File> New Movie Recording.

In the recording interface that opens, click the dropdown next to the record button and select your iPhone. It will begin to mirror your iPhone screen. Click the button to start recording your iPhone.

On your iPhone, launch the Snapchat app and play the story you want to save.

Android – Record on device

Android has lots of apps that allow you to record your screen. If you’re running a device with Android Q, it’s the first version of Android that has a native screen recorder. Go ahead and use it to record your screen and save a Snapchat story.

If you do not have Android Q, and you want to record on just your device, give
AZ Screen Recorder – No Root a try.

Android – Record from Windows PC

Barring a Nexus device, you can record your Android screen from a Windows 10 PC using the Connect app. The Cast feature appears to have been blocked on Nexus devices but if you own anything other than that, it’s really easy to record from your desktop. Once the Connect app  begins to mirror your Android phone’s screen, you can use any screen recording app, or the Game Bar to record it.

Snapchat can detect when a screenshot is captured but it can’t detect when the app has been recorded.

Read How to save a Snapchat story by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to disable shake to report problem in Facebook apps

Shake is a gesture on iOS. If you type text in any text input field e.g., the Messages app, and shake your iPhone, it will ‘undo’ what you’ve typed. iOS doesn’t restrict how gestures can be used within apps which is why some apps can, and do, use a gesture for something else. The shake gesture would be wasted in an app where you cannot input text so it is better to put it to other uses. Facebook is one such app that has opted to change what the Shake gesture does. It allows you to report a problem instead of undoing the text you typed. If you’d like to disable ‘shake to report problem’ in Facebook’s apps, it’s pretty easy.

Disable ‘Shake to report problem’

The Report a problem option has a switch that lets you turn off ‘Shake to report a problem’. There are two ways to bring it up. The first and obvious way is to shake your phone to bring it up. The second method is to go to the hamburger tab and scroll to the very end. Expand ‘Help & Support’ and tap ‘Report a problem’ under it. The same slider should appear.

Turn of the ‘Shake phone to report a problem’ switch, and you will be able to use the ‘Shake’ gesture to undo typing.

If you ever need to report a problem in the Facebook app, you can do so from the Report a Problem option on the hamburger tab. Tying the problem reporting feature to the shake gesture basically allows users to bring it up more easily and perhaps Facebook thinks it gets brownie points for making it easier to report a problem. This gesture is definitely easier to use not to mention a more up-front way to bring it up.

Not everyone will go digging to find the Report a Problem option. That said, the Shake gesture is a bit sensitive and on iOS, it’s basically an Accessibility feature which means it might get annoying when a user doesn’t need to report a problem. If you need to use the gesture to undo typing, you don’t want it to be locked to something else.

The ‘Shake to report a problem’ gesture can be enabled just as easily though, if you’ve disabled it, you will need to head over to the hamburger tab, and look under the Help & Support section where you can enable it again. Regardless how you report a problem, Facebook will always deal with it in the same way, per its policy.

Read How to disable shake to report problem in Facebook apps by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to fix iPhone settings switch greyed out

iOS has a pretty simple interface, and its Settings app is no exception. Most controls are where you’d expect them be, under the right label, and with predictable options. Changing anything is easy, and if you can’t find a particular setting, there’s a search bar that can help you. If your iPhone settings switch are greyed out though, that’s a problem. They don’t exactly tell you why they’ve suddenly become inactive but the answer is Restrictions.

Fix iPhone settings switch greyed out

Open the Settings app and go to Screen Time. Go to Content & Privacy Restrictions. The next screen features a long list of settings that you can manage. Look through them all and check which ones have been set to ‘Don’t Allow’. Tap the setting that is set to ‘Don’t Allow’ and change it to ‘Allow’.

Any setting in the iPhone Settings app that was greyed out can be fixed here. These restrictions are normally parental controls that allow you to control the content that is available on an iPhone. If you’re unable to use certain apps on your iPhone, it may have something to do with restrictions as well. They allow users to restrict certain Stock apps.

Restrictions used to have their own setting under General however, with the introduction Screen Time, this particular setting has been moved under it. It tends to give the impression that it’s more for limiting the time you spend on your device but it still functions that same as it did before. It’s still a means to restrict content. It may be helpful in cutting your screen time to some extent but mostly it restricts content by the type it is and doesn’t actually make you want to use your phone less.

The restrictions don’t just render the Settings inactive but will also effect other areas on iOS. For example, if the Mobile Data is set to ‘Don’t Allow’, it will lock down which apps have access to mobile data but it will also render the Mobile Data toggle in the Control Center inactive. It will basically only serve as an indicator of whether or not Mobile Data is enabled or not. The only setting that will work is the Mobile data switch on the main Settings app.

These settings don’t require that you enter your passcode to change them so anyone with access to your unlocked phone can enable them. They can be used to add an extra layer of privacy/protection as, when enabled, it will prevent apps from being granted access to your location data, photos, contacts, etc.

Read How to fix iPhone settings switch greyed out by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter