Apple Podcasts app

Q: I use the Apple Podcasts app, but the episodes never stick around after I play them. If I want to listen again, I have to re-download them. I don’t sync my shows with other devices, either. Does this mean the space is getting tight on my iPhone?

The Apple Podcasts app has built-in tools to help you manage your subscriptions and the individual shows you download. The setting that automatically deletes an episode (within 24 hours after it has been fully played) is probably enabled. You can turn off the Podcast app’s default control — or just have it stop deleting recently played episodes from specific podcasts.

If you do not want Apple Podcasts to dump any episodes you have already played, open the Settings icon on your iPhone’s home screen and scroll down until you see Podcasts. Tap Podcasts, and in the Podcast Defaults section, turn off the button next to Delete Played Episodes. If the button was already off, tap the Limit Episodes option above it on the Podcast settings screen and see if the app is set to keep an episode for only a certain amount of time, like a day.

Individual podcasts have their own settings, too. If you have turned off the app’s default control to delete episodes you have already played, you can still make the shows you do not want to save automatically disappear. To do that, go to the Podcasts app, select a show from your My Podcasts list and tap the gear-shaped settings icon under the show’s title. Here, you can change the automatic-deletion settings for this show as well as other preferences, like your notifications for new episodes.

If you are concerned that your phone might be getting too full, check your current storage space. Open the Settings app from the home screen, select General and then Storage & iCloud Usage. On the next screen, under Storage, tap Manage Storage to see your available space — and a list of the apps using up the rest of your phone’s drive.

Q: How do I change the browser that opens when I click my desktop shortcut bookmark icons? I want them to open in Google Chrome.

The steps vary based on your operating system. To select Google Chrome as your default on a Windows 7 or Windows 8 computer, go to the Start menu and choose Control Panel. Select Programs, Default Programs and then “Set your default programs.” Select Google Chrome on the left side of the screen, click “Set this program as default” and click OK.

If you have a Windows 10 PC running the most recent version of the operating system, open the Start menu and click the gear-shaped Settings icon. In the Settings box, choose Apps and then Default Apps. Scroll to the bottom of the box, to Web browser, and click the Microsoft Edge icon (or whichever app is your current default browser). In the “Choose an app” area, select Google Chrome.

On a Mac, open the Chrome browser and click the three-dot More menu icon on the top-right corner of the window. On the menu, choose Settings. Scroll down the Settings screen until you get to the Default Brower section and turn on the check box next to “Make Google Chrome the default browser.”

Many browsers — including Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox — include a “make me the default program” button in their settings. Once you select it, the system opens that browser when you click links in messages or open desktop bookmark shortcuts. You can usually find this button on the General tab of the browser’s options or preferences screen.

J D Biersdorfer
INYT

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Photo-scanning apps

Q: Do photo-scanning apps for phones really do much more besides clicking a picture of the photograph you want to scan?

Some smartphone apps that are designed specifically for scanning or capturing digital versions of photographic prints can do a bit more than just take a picture of the picture.

When searching for a portable scanning program, read its listed set of features on its app store page — tools like edge detection, perspective correction and colour enhancement can make a battered print look much better after its digital conversion.

Google PhotoScan, which was released last year for Android and iOS gadgets, is one free app with a lot of tools for turning your photo prints into decent digital copies; for a visual introduction to the software, a demonstration video is available on YouTube.

To scan a picture, you move the camera over several areas of the print as the app guides you. PhotoScan then merges all the parts and removes any glare from the light in the room.

The combined image is straightened, cropped and colour-enhanced to make it look as good as possible. You can save it locally, or if you use Google Photos, you can automatically back up your PhotoScan files to the cloud.

Other photo-scanning apps to check out include Photomyne, which has free basic and $5 versions for Android and iOS devices and can capture multiple images at once. Apps designed to convert documents as well as photos include TurboScan (for Android and iOS) and CamScanner, which offers versions for Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

If you have boxes of old albums that you want to digitise, you need negatives or slides converted or have damaged photos in need of repair, a professional service like ScanMyPhotos or DiJiFi is another option.

Q: How to get free access to genealogy files?

Viewing public records is typically free if you go to the municipal or religious archives and look them up yourself, or the organisation has digitised and posted them.

However, if a genealogy company took the time to scan in paper-based records from various sources around the world, index them and make it easy to search through mountains of material from the comfort of your own home, you will most likely be charged at some point.

A company’s custom software for creating a visual family tree and access to community forums are also perks of being a paid customer.

Many of the bigger services, like Ancestry and MyHeritage, have a free trial membership you can use to see if a subscription is worth it to you. But you may be asked to provide a credit card up front. You can find many types of public records free online.

For example, the National Archives has a “Resources for Genealogists” page with links to research guides and free online databases like passenger lists from the Ellis Island immigration center and the scanned images from the 1940 census.
J D Biersdorfer
INYT

Is there a freeware or an interesting download you would like to share with Cyberspace readers? Send your contribution to science@deccanherald.co.in with a brief description of software.

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Font Book

Q: I want to buy a new font online for my Mac, but how do I get it on my system?

The Mac operating system includes a utility called Font Book that you can use to add, remove and organise the fonts on your computer. You can find the program in your Mac’s applications folder.

After you download a new typeface from an online font shop, double-click the file you received. Font Book should open automatically and display a sample alphabet or character set in the new font. Click the Install Font button at the bottom of the box to add the font to your Mac’s type library.

Font Book checks the fonts it installs to make sure there are no problems or incompatibilities with the new files. The program should also alert you if it finds duplicate fonts on the computer and fixes the issue for you. If you want Font Book to remove a font you no longer use, click All Fonts on the left side of the window and select the name of the typeface in the Fonts list.

Go to the File menu and choose the Remove option; fonts used by the macOS menus, dialogue boxes and other system functions cannot be removed. Windows users can install a new font by right-clicking the downloaded file and selecting Install from the menu, or by double-clicking the font file and selecting the Install button. Fonts can be managed in the Windows Font control panel. To get there from the desktop, go to the Start menu, type “fonts” in the search box and select “Fonts — Control Panel” from the results lists. When the control panel is open, you can add fonts by dragging them into the window. Selecting a font in the window and clicking the Delete button removes it.

Q: Facebook starts to play videos automatically and loudly when I use the Android app. How do I make it stop?

Facebook announced this year that it was making changes to the way videos work on its service, particularly for mobile devices. In a blog post that explained the new features, the company said that mobile users “had come to expect sound when the volume on their device is turned on” and that it heard positive feedback about the audible autoplay behaviour. The sound of the videos fades in and fades out as you scroll through your News Feed, and the videos are not supposed to be audible at all if you have the main volume level on your phone set to silent. However, if you prefer to keep your phone’s volume set to a normal level and do not want Facebook videos blaring in public when you browse your news feed, you can disable the function in the app’s settings.

In the Android version of the Facebook app, tap the three-lined menu button in the toolbar and scroll down to App Settings. Next to “Videos in News Feed Start With Sound,” tap the button to the Off position. If you do not want videos in your feed to play automatically at all, tap Autoplay toward the bottom of the list and tap “Never Autoplay Videos” on the next screen before leaving the Settings area.

In the iOS version of the Facebook app, tap the three-lined menu icon in the corner of the screen and choose Settings. Select Account Settings and then Sounds. Turn off the button next to “Videos in News Feed Start With Sound.” You can find the preferences for autoplay videos in the Videos and Photos section of the main Settings screen.

J D Biersdorfer
INYT

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Mail Drop

Q: I was trying to mail a video clip on my iPhone to a friend, but the Mail app said the file was too big and I should try sending it with “Mail Drop.” What is this?

Mail Drop is a feature that works with the Mail app on many iOS devices, Macs and through a web browser pointed to iCloud.com. The email account you are using must also support the IMAP standard. Mail Drop temporarily uses iCloud server space — instead of the mail provider’s servers — to store file attachments up to 5 gigabytes in size.

When you have a message with an attachment that is too large to send normally and you select Mail Drop as an alternative, the Mail app uploads the file to iCloud, and then provides the recipient with a link to download it there. This way, the shared file does not actually go through the regular mail servers as an attachment.

The Mail Drop attachments expire after 30 days and do not count against the storage limits for your iCloud account; basic iCloud accounts include a free 5 gigabytes and you can buy more if needed. You can store up to a terabyte of Mail Drop attachments.

Apple is not the only company that offers this type of workaround. Google has a similar tool that lets Gmail users stash large files to be shared on the Google Drive connected to their accounts. Microsoft’s OneDrive service likewise helps Outlook.com users share videos and other big attachments with email correspondence.

If you do not have a mail service with a built-in option for handling hefty attachments, try a file-sharing service like Dropbox or Box. With this approach, you upload the file to your account and then send a private link to the content by email. Dropbox can also work directly with Yahoo Mail and Gmail, as can other some services.

Q: Is it possible to check voicemail on a smartphone when travelling on vacation in Europe?

You should be able to listen to your voicemail messages overseas from your smartphone or another phone.
In most cases, however, you need to know one important piece of information — your voicemail pass code.
You may have set one up and forgotten about it when you first got your phone.

If you do not remember the password required to check messages manually, contact your wireless carrier to get the information or have the pass code reset.

If you are planning to use your phone on your trip, visit your carrier’s website before you go for any travel tips and information about the company’s international voice and data plans in various countries.
While these plans may add an additional fee to your monthly bill, they are often less expensive than roaming onto the networks of foreign carriers. If you spring for an international cellular data plan, you may also be able to use your phone’s visual voicemail.

In addition to selling their own international calling and data plans, the major American wireless carriers — AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless — also have instructions for dialing into voicemail while travelling abroad. Many AT&T phones connect you to your voice mailbox anywhere when you press and hold the 1 key on the keypad.

If that does not work, you can dial 1 before your own phone number, press the asterisk (*) key during your voicemail greeting and enter your voicemail pass code to hear your messages.

Sprint’s phones work in a similar fashion and T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless have a phone number to dial to get access to your messages.

You can also dial into your carrier’s voicemail system from another phone — as long as you remember your voicemail pass code and message-retrieval instructions.

J D Biersdorfer/ INYT

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WannaCry ransomware attack

Q: With the recent ransomware attacks, I was wondering if Microsoft will once again have security updates for Windows XP. There are millions of people who are still using XP, and it is one way hackers can use to infect newer computers, especially if XP is no longer secure.

The global WannaCry ransomware attack that hit unpatched Windows systems in May and spread rapidly around the world over the course of several hours did prompt Microsoft to issue a security update for its retired Windows XP system; that fix also blocks last week’s Petya worm. Do not expect regular updates, however.

According to Microsoft, the decision to release updates for Windows XP was an exception based on threat risks and the potential effect on its customers, and does not signal a change to its policy. The company recommends that customers upgrade to the latest version of Windows.

Perhaps the safest way to still use an old XP machine is to disconnect it from the internet and relegate it to being a PC gaming console or an offline word processor directly connected to a local printer. As the years go on, finding programs for the outdated system (first introduced back in 2001) will be difficult, as most companies stopped developing software for Windows XP years ago.

For example, Mozilla Firefox is one of the few major web browsers that still support Windows XP, although the company says it will provide Firefox security updates only until September. If you want to keep using a Windows XP machine on the internet, third-party security software may be the only shield you have left from online threats. Avast and Kaspersky are two companies that still offer XP-compatible programs.

Q: Can an Android phone work with the iPhone’s Find My Friends app?

By using the iOS location services feature, Apple’s free Find My Friends app displays the whereabouts of participating friends and family on a map, but it is not really a cross-platform program. The app is designed to work with iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices running iOS 8 or later, as well as Apple Watches with watchOS 3 and browsers logged into iCloud.com.

You may be able to view iPhone users from an Android phone by requesting the desktop version of iCloud.com and logging in with an Apple ID, but things can be easier. Third-party apps that work on both Android and iOS are one solution — Familonet Family Locator and Safety, Glympse, GeoZilla and Life360 are among the free or inexpensive programs; all offer real-time location sharing, messaging and other features. Snapchat recently introduced its Snap Map tool for its users to find each other, but make sure you understand the privacy implications before using it.

This year, Google announced it had added real-time location sharing to its Google Maps app for Android and iOS, as well as for desktop and mobile web browsers. If all the users involved have Google accounts (even if they do not use Android hardware), make sure their Gmail addresses are in your Google Contacts list. Then open the Google Maps app, select the menu button in the upper-left corner and tap Share Location.

Add the people you want to include, select the amount of time you wish to be visible to them and tap the Share button. (If your friends and family do not have Google accounts, you can send them a temporary map link instead.) To see the shared locations, open the Google Maps menu again, select Share Location and choose the name of the person in your sharing list.

J D Biersdorfer
INYT

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Nook

Q: My old Nook e-reader died. Did all the books I purchased on it go with it? Can I get the books again on a new Nook?

The demise of your Nook hardware does not mean that the e-books you purchased from Barnes & Noble’s online store are lost forever. Like other e-book shops (including those for Amazon’s Kindle, Apple’s iBooks app and the Kobo eReader), the titles you purchased are connected to your account with the company — and not tied to any particular device.

When you purchase a new tablet or e-reader and set it up for the first time, log in with the old username and password you used on the previous device. Once you have logged in on the new screen, you should see the list of titles you previously purchased with the account. If you wish, you can download each book again to keep on the new gadget.

Keep in mind that files not stored in your online account — like documents you copied manually from the computer or had stored locally on a microSD card — will need to be recopied (or the memory card moved) to the new device.

Barnes & Noble sells a variety of Nook-branded devices on its website and in its stores, including a $50 basic color tablet model with a seven-inch screen, several Galaxy Tab Nooks made by Samsung and a traditional e-reader with the monochrome screen. The company also makes free mobile reading apps that you can download and use to read your Nook books on Android, iOS and Windows hardware.

Q: I was adding a photo to a note on my iPhone while I was on the train and noticed I could see the names of other iPhone users listed on the screen. I assume these were people nearby. So, can they see me and isn’t this a security risk?

When you tap the Share icon in the Photos app on your iPhone to attach the picture to a note or message, the iOS software shows you all the other ways and places to share files. One of these options is AirDrop, Apple’s wireless file-beaming technology, which can sense other compatible iOS gadgets in the area and transmit a file directly from device to device if a sharing request is accepted. AirDrop can also swap files with Macs that have the feature enabled.

AirDrop, which has been a part of Apple’s mobile operating system since iOS 7 in 2013, has had at least one major security issue over the years that Apple has fixed, but the ability to see other iPhones (or be seen yourself) in the Share menu can be controlled in the settings. To get to the AirDrop settings, swipe your finger up from the bottom of the screen to open the Control Center panel.

Tap the AirDrop button in the Control Center. In the default setting, AirDrop makes your device visible to others in the Share menu to “Contacts Only,” meaning just the people listed in your Contacts app.

However, if you have “Everyone” selected in the settings instead, anybody within range can see your phone in their own Share menu and request to send you a file. As one might expect, the opportunity to harass with explicit images is a temptation some cannot resist, and security researchers have been noting incidents of “cyberflashing” for years. More whimsical trolling with a photo of a sloth in an astronaut suit has also occurred.

To disable AirDrop — and your phone’s visibility — select “Receiving Off” in the Control Center’s AirDrop settings. As further security measures, turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (which AirDrop needs to function) in the Control Center when you are not using them, and change the name of your iPhone to something vague and less personal.

J D Biersdorfer
INYT

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GIFs into text messages

Q: What is the fastest way to get animated GIFs into text messages?

Top speeds depend on various factors, like hardware, software and user involvement. However, using a dedicated keyboard that taps into a ready library of GIF files is often a speedy way to send a visual response in a text message, a Twitter post or a conversation in the Slack communications service. Animated GIFs — those looping bits of video often taken from movies, TV shows or viral clips — can also be found in online libraries with links for easy sharing in messages or to social media sites.

Keyboard apps with shortcuts to animated image collections (alongside the traditional QWERTY keys) are one way to share your visual responses more quickly because you do not have to jump out to a website to find a GIF and its link to share. Apps in this category include the GIF Keyboard app for Android and iOS, but you can find others by searching. The Giphy.com site, which houses one of the most-used libraries of animated images on the web, has several GIF-related apps, including Giphy Keys for iOS and its Giphy app for Android and iOS.

Google’s Gboard keyboard app for Android and iOS devices has shortcuts to animated GIF files and emoji characters — tap the emoji icon at the bottom of the screen and then tap GIF to get to the image repository. Apple’s Messages app for iOS 10 can save and send GIF files when you are composing a message. Tap the gray arrow next to the message-input field, then on the App Store icon to see the available collection.

The PopKey app for Mac and Windows brings quick access to animated GIFs to the computer; an iOS version is also available. Copying an image’s URL from a website specialising in animated images and pasting it into messages is another way to share.

Q: I get a message when I open Chrome and use Gmail or Facebook every day that says that my Chrome version is out of date and that I need to upgrade. When I go to Chrome to check the version, it says I have the latest one. Why do I keep getting these messages?

Update hiccups with Google Chrome can happen for a number of reasons, but start by checking that your computer’s operating system meets the requirements for the latest version of the browser. For the current version of Chrome, you need at least Windows 7, Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or 64-bit editions of the major Linux distributions (like Ubuntu, Debian, openSUSE or Fedora) that were released in the past few years.

If your operating system is outdated, Chrome may have moved on without it. Windows users should check the browser’s Properties box to make sure the program isn’t set to run in compatibility mode for an earlier version of the system. Those using Chrome on an office network may be at the mercy of the corporate IT department as to when updates can actually be installed on company computers. Firewall settings and other security software could also prevent Chrome from updating properly.

Adware or malware may be another source of the problem, with variations of the “Urgent Chrome Update” pop-up plaguing some users as it tries to hijack the browser. Scanning your system with anti-virus and anti-malware software may root out the source of the messages.

If none of these issues seems to be causing the problem, uninstalling the browser and reinstalling it with a fresh copy might take care of the situation. You can get the latest version of Google Chrome at www.google.com/chrome. Be sure to restart after you install the software.

J D Biersdorfer/Kit Eaton
INYT

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Google’s reverse image search

Q: On a computer, you can use Google’s reverse image search feature in several ways, like dragging and dropping an image file in the search box or right-clicking on an image file on a webpage. But how can you do reverse searches for pictures using a mobile device?

Third-party apps and sites for hunting down images are available, but Google offers its own way to use its image search engine if you are using a tablet or smartphone at the time. On a computer, you drag a file into the search box (or right-click it) to do a reverse search for similar images on the web. On a mobile device with the Chrome browser for Android and iOS, you start with a photo that has already popped up in the search results.

When you have an image you want to research in the Chrome app, tap it to open the photo to a full-screen view. Next, press and hold your finger on the screen and choose “Search Google for this image.” The results page returns other webpages where Google has found that particular image, often with text accompanying it for additional information.

Another method in the Chrome app involves switching to the desktop version of the Google image search page by tapping the menu button in the top-right corner and selecting “Request Desktop Site.” Once you are on the desktop version of the page, tap the camera icon in the search bar. You can now choose a file to upload from your device’s photo app or from an online file-storage site.

You can also take a picture of something and instantly upload the photo to the Google image search. (The process might be seen as a rudimentary precursor to the new Google Lens tool, announced at the company’s I/O conference last month, which uses a smartphone’s camera to gather more information about your surroundings in real time.)on your phone, like a pass code.

Q: Is there a way to always show the battery-life indicator in the Windows 10 taskbar?

If the battery icon has retreated into the hidden icons section of the taskbar’s Notifications area or disappeared from view altogether, you can restore it quickly. Right-click the taskbar area and choose Taskbar Settings from the menu; on a tablet, press and hold your finger on the screen for a few seconds to get to the menu.

When the Taskbar settings open, scroll down to the Notifications area. Click or tap either “Select which icons appear on the taskbar” or “Turn system icons on or off.” On the next screen, tap the button next to Power to On from Off. (If you wish to display icons from third-party programs, choose “Select which icons appear on the taskbar” to turn on notification icons for apps like Dropbox or an online backup service.)

Once you have restored the battery icon to the taskbar, you can tap it, click it or hover the mouse cursor over it to see the percentage of battery life left on the current charge. The Windows Store has several free or inexpensive apps available to display the charge percentage and other details; open the Store icon from the Start menu and search for “battery.”

Mac users who want to display the battery icon in the top menu bar should open the System Preferences by clicking its icon in the desktop dock, or by selecting System Preferences under the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen. In the System Preferences box, click the Energy Saver icon and then turn on the checkbox next to “Show battery status in menu bar.”

J D Biersdorfer
INYT

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Pharmaceutical apps

Q: I need an iPhone app that reminds me to take my medicine, and if I’m late taking it, helps me readjust the time between doses. Setting an alarm on the phone won’t work because I may be in a meeting. What apps might help me?

The App Store stocks several pharmaceutical apps designed to organise your pills, schedule doses and remind you to take your medicine. Many of the apps in this category require a bit of setup, where you enter the name of the medications you take, your dose, schedule and other information; some also integrate with the Health app built into iOS 8 and later, and have Apple Watch companion apps.

After you set up the app, it alerts you when to take each medication. Some apps also include features like refill reminders and warnings about drug interactions. Finding the pill-reminder app that suits your needs may take some experimentation.

If you are looking for an app that notes when you go off schedule and can help you recalculate your dosage times, a recent update to the free, well-reviewed Round Health iOS app records when you last took a pill so you can do the math needed for timing the next dose. The app reminds you to take your scheduled pills with pop-up alerts.

The Medisafe app for Android and iOS is another popular pill-reminder program with good reviews from users on both platforms; the app is free but offers in-app purchases for more features. MyTherapy Pill Reminder & Medication Tracker (free for Android and iOS) includes a journal function and can create PDF reports to share with a doctor.

Before committing so much personal information to an app, read its privacy policy and be aware where your data is stored, especially if it can sync content between devices. You should also enable the available security features on your phone, like a pass code.

Q: How do I get apps to give me notifications when I’m using Windows 10 on a desktop computer?

As with mobile operating systems, Microsoft’s Windows 10 can display app alerts on your screen, even when you do not have those programs open. You may not want to hear from every app on your computer that can send notifications, but you can control what you see both while you are working and while your PC’s lock screen is on.

To do so, go to the Start screen and open the Settings app. As a shortcut, you can press the Control and I keys on the keyboard to open the Settings box, or tell the Cortana assistant to do it for you.

Once you are in the Settings box, select System. On the left side of the System screen, choose Notifications & Actions. Here, you flip the switches for apps and services you want to show notifications. (Some programs may have their own notification settings, like web browsers sending you updates from selected sites.)

You can also select the style of alerts you see on the screen, and if you would like audio cues as well. If you prefer not to have the computer ping you with notifications between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., you can turn on the Quiet Hours setting. Select the Action Center icon in the lower-right corner of the Windows taskbar. In the rows of Acton Center squares (choose Expand if you do not see them all), tap or click the Quiet Hours icon to toggle it.

Mac users can find similar settings for the system’s Notifications Center — just select Notifications in the System Preferences area. The Mac operating system also includes a Do Not Disturb setting to mute the alerts during specified hours.
J D Biersdorfer
INYT

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Update Google Now cards

Q: For the past week or so, I keep getting a message on my Android tablet that my Google Now cards “failed to load.” What causes this, and is there a way to fix it?

The Google app’s on-screen cards create a personalised feed of information you care about, like traffic and weather, and the feed is updated regularly over your internet connection. However, the service has been hampered in the past by things like glitches on the Google side of things, incorrect Google Account settings or device problems.

Earlier this month, many users began to complain on forums, blogs and social media about getting the “Failed to load cards” message in the Google app, as well as similar problems with the home screen in the Google Play app. The problem has not affected all users (some of whom suspect testing by Google as a cause), but if it has not resolved itself by now, you can try the known workarounds.

On your Android device, open the Settings app, go to the Application Manager and select the Google app. Tap the Manage Space button and on the next screen, tap Clear Google Search Data; menu names may vary slightly depending on the Android version.
If your cards still fail to load, try turning your Google app feed off and on again in the settings. Deleting and reinstalling the Google app may also fix the issue, but you may have to redo some of your feed preferences.

Changing your Google preferences can affect your cards. If you have recently changed your account settings (like by turning off Web & App Activity), change the settings back to see if your feed is restored.

Q: I saw somebody in a restaurant using a smartphone to magnify the tiny type on the menu. What app is that and can I get it for my new iPhone?

The App Store has several programs that borrow the iPhone’s camera and use it to display a magnified view of objects in front of the device, but the current iOS 10 system software comes with its own Magnifier function. This tool is part of Apple’s suite of Accessibility features.

To use the Magnifier on an iOS 10 device, open the Settings icon and select General. On the General settings screen, choose Accessibility and then Magnifier. On the next screen, tap the button to the On position. Press the Home button to return to the iPhone’s main screen.

Now, when you want to read the fine print on the page or need to get a close-up look at something, press the iPhone’s Home button three times quickly. This triple-click action (also known as the Accessibility Shortcut) brings up the Magnifier and any other preconfigured functions geared toward users with impaired vision, hearing or motor skills.

When you have the Magnifier open in a dark restaurant, tap the lightning bolt icon on the screen to turn on the iPhone’s flash for a steady stream of bright light. Tap the Filters icon to change the colour cast on the screen. You can zoom in by dragging the slider on screen and tap the padlock icon to lock the camera’s focus.

If you want to freeze the frame, tap the round camera shutter button. Once the frame is frozen, you can zoom to the part you want to see better. Press your finger on the screen and select Save Image if you want to keep a copy in your Camera Roll. Tap the shutter button to unfreeze the frame, and press the Home button to leave the Magnifier.

The iOS Accessibility settings have a Zoom feature for making things larger on the iPhone screen itself. For Android users, Google includes a similar feature and Microsoft’s software for its Windows phones has a Magnifier, too.

J D Biersdorfer
INYT

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