How to fix auto-following spam accounts on Instagram

If you notice a sudden spike in the number of accounts you follow, or you see you’ve suddenly followed a random account that you don’t remember actually following, you’re not alone. This happens to quite a few users and often, the increase in the follower count is massive going from a two or three digit number to a four digit one. We’re going to go over what you can do if this happens and briefly touch on why it happens.

Fixing spam account follows

If you’ve followed a massive number of new accounts, you’re going to have to manually unfollow them. There is no shortcut for this. If you’re tempted to use a third-party app to unfollow spam accounts, we strongly discourage you from doing so. Once you’ve unfollowed these spam accounts, you need to do three things; audit your authorized apps, change your password, and set up two factor authentication.

Audit authorized apps

You can only manage your authorized apps from the desktop. Open a web browser and visit Instagram. Log in to your account and go to your Profile page. Next to the ‘Edit Profile’ button, you will see a cog wheel button. Click it. In the menu that opens, select Authorized Apps.

The Authorized apps will list all the apps that you have allowed to connect to your Instagram account. Anything that you don’t remember using or recognize, you should remove it immediately. If you’ve only got a few, trusted apps authorized, it might still be a good idea to revoke their access for at least a small period of time.

Change password

Change your Instagram password right away. It is possible that your password may have been hacked. Change your password right away. You can do this from the Security settings in the Instagram app or from the web interface. It’s up to you.

Two factor authentication

On the same screen, you can enable two factor authentication. Enable it for your account so that any logins that haven’t been initiated by you are stopped.You should NOT opt to use an authenticator app to be extra safe. Use your phone number.

Why this happens

You might have heard of services that promise to get you more followers on your preferred social network. They work through apps and services that users have authorized to connect with their account. Normally, they appear to be harmless but they can turn out to be follower farms. This is why you shouldn’t use apps to unfollow accounts as advised earlier.

As for changing your password and enabling two factor authentication, it’s a precaution that you can take in case your account has been compromised.

Read How to fix auto-following spam accounts on Instagram by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to fix “Sorry there was a problem with the app” error for Siri Shortcuts on iOS

Siri Shortcuts have proven to be fairly useful. Although limited, they are still a great way to automate tasks. With Siri Shortcuts, you can record an audio phrase which, when spoken to Siri, will run the shortcut. This allows you to run shortcuts without opening the Shortcuts app first. The only problem is, some users are unable to run these shortcuts with the audio commands they’ve recorded. They keep getting the “Sorry there was a problem with the app” error message. Siri shows an Open Settings button that doesn’t redirect users to a screen that will solve the problem.

This problem has been around for a while and you may think it has to do with the shortcut not working correctly or some obscure Siri setting that you haven’t enabled but that isn’t the case. It is an iOS bug and it has finally been resolved.

Fix “Sorry there was a problem with the app”

The solution is really simple, in fact, you might already have applied it. You need to update your iOS version to iOS 12.3. Doing so will fix any problems you had with Siri Shortcuts. The update was rolled out yesterday and like many updates, it contains bug fixes.

Once you’ve updated your OS, invoke Siri and speak one of your shortcut commands to it. This time, the shortcut should run without any problems.

You must have the Shortcuts app installed on your device and it should be up to date.

This bug has been plaguing iOS 12 users for quite a while. It hasn’t been plaguing everyone though. I’ve had two different iOS devices at my disposal and they were both running the same version of iOS 12. One device experienced this bug while the other didn’t.

For users who experienced this bug the very first time they tried to use a voice command to run a Siri Shortcut, they might have thought it meant something was wrong with the shortcut they were trying to run. If you suspect that a shortcut isn’t working, the way to test it is to run it once from the Shortcuts app. If the shortcut runs without any problems, you should be able to run it via a Siri command. Double-check to make sure you’ve recorded a command for it.

If you’re avoiding updating to iOS 12.3 for whatever reason, and looking for an alternate fix, there isn’t one. Restoring your phone won’t do the trick and neither will deleting and importing a shortcut again. This is, at present, the only fix that I’ve tried and that worked.

Read How to fix “Sorry there was a problem with the app” error for Siri Shortcuts on iOS by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to add photos and GIFs to retweets on Twitter

Twitter adapts to how conversations happen on its platform. It will occasionally push UI changes, and some feature changes that it thinks will improve how everyone tweets but it also takes into consideration the many innovative ways conversations are had. That’s basically how Twitter threads became an official feature. Another much requested feature for the platform was the ability to add Photos and GIFs to retweets. Retweets, or more precisely quoted retweets, are used to expand conversations and GIFs make them more interesting. Here’s how the new feature works.

Photos and GIFs in Retweets

This new feature is only for quoted retweets. If you’re not familiar with what those are, it’s when you retweet something but the tweet is ‘attached’ to a new tweet that you can send. If you remember, back when this feature didn’t exist, users would copy and paste the link to a tweet in their own tweets and share their thoughts about it. This meant that the shared URL was cutting into their character count so Twitter adapted to how it was being used and quote retweets were born.

To add photos and GIFs to retweets, open Twitter on your iPhone or Android and tap the Retweet button under a tweet. From the menu, select the ‘Retweet with comment’ option and you will be able to compose a tweet with the original tweet attached. The difference this time is that the Photo and GIF buttons will be active (polls still aren’t available).

Search for a photo or a GIF to attach to the tweet, and it will be inserted above it. Tap tweet to send it. It doesn’t look that great but Twitter users aren’t likely to be bothered by it. The image or GIF above a quoted tweet will likely take up quite a bit of space as you scroll through your timeline but Twitter loves GIFs and no one is going to complain.

The good news is that this feature has also rolled out on Twitter for web. The process is the same. Click the retweet button and select the Retweet with comment option in the menu that opens. The quote retweet box will allow you to attach either a GIF or a photo.

With photos, you can attach up to four which is the limit for an original tweet. If you attach a GIF, you cannot add a photo. As for GIFs, you can only, sadly attach one from the GIF feature but you can try and attach more than one if you upload them from your desktop or your camera roll.

Read How to add photos and GIFs to retweets on Twitter by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to caption images in the Game of Thrones font on iOS

Game of thrones is going to go down in history as possibly one of the most popular TV shows ever, and also one of the most pirated. It has great characters and great one-liners that make for excellent picture captions. It’s not just the dialogue though; it’s typeface is as popular as the ones used in the Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings franchises. If you’d like to caption images in the Game of Thrones font on your iPhone, you can do so with an app called Game of fonts.

Game of Thrones font

Game of Fonts is a free app that you can download from the App Store. Run it, and the buttons at the bottom will allow you to select an image or a video to add a caption and frame to.

Add the video/photo first and then add either the font (first button from the left), or a frame (third button from the left).

The app does have the correct font, and the frames it has are relevant to the show but they’re both limited. The font size can be changed but the smallest it can get is still fairly large. There are three frames; the iron throne frame, a fire frame, and an ice frame. The font is available in these same variations and you can change the alignment of the text in addition to its size.

Once you have your image captioned, you can save it to your Photos or you can share it to one of the many social media apps it supports. The image does not feature a watermark or anything.

Game of Thrones is in its final stretch and apps like this are going to become common as the last season progresses. Other social media apps have also introduced special filters for it and Snapchat even has a special geolocked lens that only works in New York though it may have expired by now.

The real trick is going to be creating the right image and sharing it on social media. The fonts don’t make for great reading on all types of images. If you use a darker image, you can use the iron throne or ice font and frame. If you’re using a light mage, the fire version will probably be the easiest to read. If you’re looking to combine this app’s font with other social media apps, you should first create the image in the social media app and save it to your camera roll. Load it in Game of fonts and then add your caption.

Read How to caption images in the Game of Thrones font on iOS by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to play YouTube from the lock screen on iOS

The YouTube app stops playing if you lock your phone. On Android, this is fairly simple to work around because the OS doesn’t have that many restrictions and apps can work around them. On iOS, the options are limited unless you jailbreak your phone but not many people jailbreak iPhones for just one little reason. For a while, you could use the mobile version of YouTube in a mobile web browser but that no longer works. That said, you still have two ways you can play YouTube from the lock screen on iOS.

Dolphin browser

YouTube mobile, when accessed in any other web browser, will stop playing videos when you lock your screen. The Dolphin browser is the exception. If you access YouTube mobile in Dolphin, you can lock your iPhone and then tap the Play button on your lock screen to start playing the video you selected.

Musi

In the event that Dolphin doesn’t work for you, you can try the Musi app. It’s free but has ads that can be removed with an in-app purchase. The Search tab lets you search YouTube for a video to play. You can’t exit the app but once the video is playing, you can lock your iPhone and it will continue to play.

The downside of using Musi is that you cannot play/pause the video that it’s playing from your lock screen. The app doesn’t connect with the music controls in the Control Center and it doesn’t add a player to the lock screen. Any time you want to pause the video, you will have to unlock your iPhone and use the app to pause it.

About two years ago, this worked in Opera as well. It seems browsers that are minimal and/or low on features can still play YouTube in the background. The Dolphin browser is light weight and won’t even try to open the YouTube app when you visit YouTube’s mobile version. The browser really is the better option to go with here but if it doesn’t work, look for other light-weight browsers and they may work.

Firefox and Chrome are not going to fit the bill. Neither will Safari.

Playing YouTube from the lock screen will definitely conserve battery. The app won’t be playing the video and since your phone is locked, the screen being off will also help save battery. If you’re wondering whether or not this is legal, it is. You’re good as long as you don’t download YouTube videos.

Read How to play YouTube from the lock screen on iOS by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter