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Unread, an RSS client for the iPhone and iPad originally created by Jared Sinclair and later acquired by Supertop, is getting a nice update this morning with several new features and a handful of bug fixes.
Unread, which supports a number of popular feed services, now features a useful Share extension so you can now send links and text from any app easily rather than fiddle with a proprietary sharing menu.
Fonts have been upgraded, too: now Cyrillic and Greek character sets are supported. If you use the popular password-management utility 1Password, Unread 1.5 now lets you set up your accounts and log into paywall’d sites in the browser using the 1Password extension.
As depicted below, accessing the Share menu is as easy as swiping left anywhere within an article and then tapping the Share icon to access iOS 8’s multi-purpose share sheet with all your configured extensions.
It’s also possible to highlight a passage of text from an article and tap and hold links to bring up the Share sheet.
Our friend Federico Viticci, who runs MacStories, was fairly impressed with today’s update, concluding in his review of Unread 1.5 that he loves “skimming headlines and reading long articles in Unread,” adding:
The app has been cleverly designed for both experiences in mind: tasteful typographic choices make reading a focused and pleasant affair, but the option to display thumbnails and control font sizes in the article list helps those who just want to glance at headlines and move on.
As I stated above, a Readability view can now fetch the full text from a truncated RSS feed, though I’ve experienced occasional hiccups with this feature in my brief hands-on time with the app over the weekend.
If you want to set custom font sizes for Unread’s article view, visit the in-app settings. For those wondering, the team didn’t make Unread for Apple Watch because reading articles on Apple’s wrist computer “is just silly.”
Unread 1.5 changelog:
Readability is now available from article view. Enjoy the full text of truncated posts or linked pages from Linked List blogs in Unread’s article interface.
Unread for iPhone now supports landscape mode.
Fully integrated native iOS 8 sharing.
1Password extension integration to get your accounts set up quickly and loggging into paywalled sites in the browser. (Hat tip to TD Canada for inspiring me to get around to this)
The “actions” option of the accessibility rotor now lets you perform relevant actions, such as “Star”, “Mark Read”, etc.
Font upgrades: Cyrillic and Greek character sets are now supported.
Images now go full screen on single tap, tap and hold for options.
In-app browser no longer maintains full history through restarts.
Self-signed SSL certs for Fever are now accepted.
After adding an account, Unread no longer pushes on the account dashboard.
Fever now works with self signed certificates.
Swiping back from the web view works reliably.
Unread can now share gifs properly (previously only the first frame was shared)
A bug where the article view could go blank on when returning to the app is fixed.
AirPlay stream no longer stops when the screen locks.
Mute switch no longer affects audio when playing back media from blog posts
Fix a line spacing issue with multi-line ‘sup’ text in articles.
Fix an issue where some ordered list numbers were getting clipped on the left.
Fix an issue where Release Notes screen wouldn’t open.
Fix an issue where cache size could get far too big.
Huge internal refactor to make iPad and iPhone apps build off the same project: this will hugely reduce the overhead for future updates and features.
Improve reliability of internal article database, fixing a bunch of crashes.
Fix an issue where Feedly could silently stop updating.
Sign in now works properly with keyboard shortcuts when tapping between fields.
Corrections to accessibility text on Unlock and Tutorial screens.
Background fetch now cancels itself if it runs out of time, so iOS doesn’t kill the app.
The 8-megabyte app requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 8.0 or later.
Unread for the iPhone and iPad is available on a freemium basis in the App Store.
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Zoom has become a central communication tool in many of our lives and with good reason too. Despite all the memes that state otherwise, it’s the most effective way to coordinate and get work done. This video conferencing app is certainly rich in features that are necessary to communicate not just verbally and face-to-face, but also in terms of sharing ideas, Powerpoints, and of course, audiovisual content.
A great application comes with an equally baffling set of steps to enable certain features, or at least it can feel so for those who aren’t yet well-versed in the ways Zoom. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. Let’s understand how to share Audio on Zoom on PC, Android, and iPhone.
Related: How to Mute on Zoom
Device Audio on Zoom
Whether it’s for a presentation, analysis, or a simple reference, circumstances can compel one to share the audio of the device that they are using with the participants on the call. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to share device audio on Zoom, and the app is very accommodating in terms of even how you want to use this feature.
Related: How to enable and use 2FA on Zoom
How to share device audio on Zoom
We will first look at the simplest way that one can share their device audio on Zoom. For all compatible devices, this method works in tandem with the Screen Sharing feature of the app.
Once you tick mark the box, the other participants will be able to hear your device’s audio.
Related: How to change Zoom background on Chromebook
On Android and iPhone
When using the Zoom app on Android, you have the option of muting yourself and sharing only the device audio using this method.
Once you’re in the Zoom meeting, you will see options at the bottom of the screen Join Audio, Start Video, Share, Participants, etc. Tap on the Share option.
Another menu will open to give you options for sources from which to share. Here, you will see Screen as the second-last option. Tap on it and select it.
Once you select Screen to share your phone’s screen, the call will be redirected to display your phone’s home screen. You will now be able to see additional boxes with actions on them. One of them is Share Audio and it will be set on OFF. Tap on it so that you can switch it on.
Your device’s audio will now be audible to others on the Zoom call.
Related: How to Sign in with SSO on Zoom
Can you share device audio after sharing the screen on the Computer?
Yes, you absolutely can. Zoom has provided provisions that enable the user to do so. Let’s take a look at how it’s done.
When you share your screen, Zoom provides a separate control panel to change your settings if you need to at the top-center part of your screen. Run the mouse pointer over the area to reveal the entire control panel.
That’s how you can share device audio even after you’ve already shared the screen on a Computer.
Can you use share device audio when multiple screens are shared at the same time?
Unfortunately, Zoom has explicitly stated that the Share computer audio option is not available when multiple screens are being shared at the same time. We must assume the same when it comes to Android and iPhone as well. So if many devices are casting their screens simultaneously, no device audio will be accepted.
Is there a way to share device audio without sharing the screen?
There are situations, especially where music and sometimes even presentations are involved when the audio takes precedence over the screen. In such cases, you will find the Zoom Desktop application allows users to share just the Audio. When using the Zoom app on a PC, there is a way to share device audio without sharing the screen. To do this, go to the Advanced tab from the Screen Share menu and select the option Music or Computer Sound only. This will ensure that only the audio is being shared.
Unfortunately, this option is not available for Android and iPhone yet. However, stay tuned and we will keep you updated regarding any latest audio-specific developments on the Zoom app.
Many of us will travel to be with various family members over Thanksgiving. If you are like me, you are the resident “tech person” in your family, so for many family members that you only see once or twice a year, this is their one shot to get you to help with the problems and run routine maintenance on their devices. Here’s our list of family tune-up tips for the Holidays.iOS
There will likely be no shortage of iOS devices around the Thanksgiving table, so here are some iPhone and iPad family tune-up tips for the Holidays.iCloud
Next, go back to the main iCloud screen and verify that iCloud Photos is enabled. If it’s not, check to see if they will have enough iCloud space to start using it. Losing photos due to a damaged device is one of the worst things that can happen, and it’s 100% preventable.
If they don’t have enough space, talk to them about upgrade options. If they refuse to upgrade, let them know the risks of losing photos, data, etc. in case of a damaged or lost device. If they are in good shape here, you may mention BestPhotos as a way to clean up their library as well.iOS Updates Verify iMessage Settings Discuss Parental Control Options
Earlier this year, I wrote a quick guide over at 9to5Toys on protecting your kids when they are online. There are a number of free and paid options, so send them to that article so they can start doing some basic things to protect their kids from inappropriate content. At minimum, be sure to set up OpenDNS Family Shield.
OpenDNS Family Shield involves changing your DNS servers at the router level. Each router is different, so you’ll want to use the instructions that came with it for reference. Look for the DNS Servers section, and change it to this:
Once you are done, save it, and then visit this page to test it. Once it’s set up, all devices on your network will be filtered by OpenDNS Family Shield.macOS
Did your favorite Uncle bring his MacBook to Thanksgiving? Here’s a quick list of family tune-up tips for the Holidays.Verify they don’t have Malware.
If have a family member who’s complaining about pop-ups or has a weird-looking search page, but sure to run Malwarebytes to clean things up.Verify Time Machine is working Verify iCloud and iCloud Photos
After you enable it, launch the Photos app. If it asks about setting up a new database, this means they probably haven’t used the app before. Then go to the Photos preferences to see if iCloud is downloading all items or just storing them in iCloud. If they have enough storage, it’s ideal to store them offline.Talk about offsite backups
If they don’t want to use Time Machine, you may mention a service like Backblaze (referral link) as an option. I have a few co-workers who didn’t want to deal with having to remember to plug in an external drive to make backups, so they just opted for Backblaze. Backblaze will automatically back up a Mac or PC offsite. Offsite backups are especially crucial in case of fire, flood, or theft. Once it’s installed, there is nothing left else to do.macOS Updates
If you want to plan ahead for Christmas, you can even make a bootable installer using our guide. Making a bootable installer speeds up the process because you don’t have to download a 5+ GB file ahead of time.Wrap Up
Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:
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Need some inspiration to stick to your fitness regime? Or want to push your friends towards a healthier lifestyle? Well, sharing your Activity data from Apple Watch or iPhone might be a good idea.
It not only enables you to share data with trainers for better guidance but also allows you to compete with friends in weekly challenges. Amazing, right? Now that you are all pepped up, let me show you to set up Activity Sharing and compete using your Apple Watch and iPhone.
What to know before you start sharing Activity?
Activity Sharing works as a two-way lane for sharing daily progress, monitoring workouts, exchanging encouragements, and more. And you can add up to 40 friends.
Notably, you won’t get a comprehensive data chart, health trends, or alerts like you do with iOS 15 Health Sharing. Instead, only these data points are shared across the board:
Daily Activity rings progress
Steps and distance traveled
Duration of the exercises
Along with that, they can also see your iCloud email address, time zone, and the Workout awards you have won.What about my privacy?
When you enable Activity Sharing, Apple will also receive a copy of this data. As per Apple, this allows them to share the data with the other involved party securely.
The tech giant also adds that they retain the data for a short span and only use it to enable and facilitate the setting. You can check the privacy details anytime from the Fitness app; tap See how your data is managed from the summary tab.
Turn on Activity Sharing on iPhone
To invite and add friends to Activity Sharing, you must enable the feature. You’ll need to use the paired iPhone to do so.
And if it is not enabled, a prompt will appear on your Apple Watch, “To start sharing your activity, use the Activity app on your iPhone.“
Launch the Fitness app and go to the Sharing Tab.
Tap Get Started to enable the setting.
How to add friends to share Activity on Apple Watch or iPhoneSend invitation from Apple Watch
Open the Activity app.
Swipe left and scroll to the bottom.
Tap Invite a Friend.
Here, look for the friend and tap their name.
You can check out all the previously invited people here; tap the name to Invite Again or Remove the invite.Invite using iPhone
This section also shows pending invites. Swipe left, and tap Delete to remove them, and resend the invite if you wish to.
How to accept Activity Sharing invite
The moment someone sends you an Activity Sharing invite, your Apple Watch and iPhone should ping. And here’s what you need to do next.On Apple Watch
Launch the Activity app, swipe left, and then scroll down.
You’ll see the invite under an Awaiting Your Reply heading.
Tap Accept or Decline accordingly.On iPhone
That’s it! You are all set to share your activity data with your friends. Now, let’s see how to challenge them.
Compete with friends on the Activity app
Whenever a friend closes all three rings or achieves something great, you will get a notification on your Watch. Hit Compete (from the notification) and let the seven-day war begin.
And if you want to start the challenge upfront, here’s what you should do.Challenge a friend to compete from your iPhone
Launch the Fitness app → Sharing tab.
Tap the friend’s name you want to compete with.
Select Compete with ‘name/iCloud ID.’
Tap Invite ‘name/iCloud ID’ to set the challenge.How to compete on Apple Watch
Open the Activity app, swipe left, and select the friend.
Scroll down and hit Compete.
Tap Invite ‘name/iCloud ID‘ to confirm the action.
Once your friend has accepted the invitation, it’s game time! You earn a point for every percent added to the rings. A maximum of 600 points for grabs in a day and 4,200 points in a week.
One who has the most points is declared the winner. Along with bragging rights, the winner also earns an award. So, let’s get moving, no slacking, my friend!
How to check your friend’s progress
Whether you are competing with a friend or not, you might want to keep an eye out for their progress. And offer praises for their successes, support during stormy days, and motivate them to do better each day.On Apple Watch
Open the Activity app, swipe left, and select the friend.
You’ll see their rings first; scroll down to see all the details.On iPhone
In the Fitness app, go to the Sharing tab.
Tap the friend’s name.
Here, you can see all the shared metrics.Look at everyone’s progress at once from iPhone
Launch the Fitness app → Sharing tab.
Here, you’ll see multiple metrics like Move, Steps, Exercise, and Workout to choose from.
Select the preferred option.
Now, all the friends will be listed in ascending order of the metric selected.
How to mute notifications, hide or stop sharing activity
The sharing window on iPhone and Apple Watch also boasts a few more actions.How to send a message to all friends from the Activity app
You surpassed your daily goal and want to share the good news with everyone. However, sending individual messages might eat up your time.
Apple has wisely thought of that as well, and here’s how you can share your success with all.
From the Sharing tab, tap the Account icon.
Select the Message icon.
Type in the message, and send it to all.
Share Activity rings with those who don’t have Apple Watch
What if you wish to flex your success with someone who doesn’t own an Apple Watch? Here’s how to do it.
Fire up the Fitness app → Sharing tab, tap on Me.
Tap the Share button from the top right of the page.
Here select a preferred option; you can email the data, share it on Twitter, Facebook, print, or even save it to Files.
How to view your Activity awards
As mentioned above, the app also offers awards when you win a competition. And, you can easily keep track of your ever-growing gallery.From iPhone
In the Fitness app, go to the Summary tab.
Scroll down to the Awards section
Tap Show More.From Apple Watch
Open the Activity app.
Swipe left to the last (third) window.
Scroll down to explore the section.
You can check all the awards and competitions in which you have taken part here.
Fixes to common issues with Activity SharingCan’t send an invitation
Reconfirm your friend’s Apple ID and resend the invitation.
Try to sign out of your iCloud account, and they sign in again.
Check your Activity sharing friend list. If you have 40 friends, you might have to remove someone before adding a new one.
Ensure that you’re signed in to iCloud and the iPhone is connected to the internet.
Sign out and sign in to your iCloud account.
Enable and disable Airplane Mode.
I hope this article gave you a comprehensive understanding of how to set up and share your activity on the Apple Watch and iPhone.
I should confess, I am not a fitness freak but, competing with friends and the euphoria of completing those rings is quite tempting. You should surely give it a try.
A self-professed Geek who loves to explore all things Apple. I thoroughly enjoy discovering new hacks, troubleshooting issues, and finding and reviewing the best products and apps currently available. My expertise also includes curating opinionated and honest editorials. If not this, you might find me surfing the web or listening to audiobooks.
In a converged infrastructure deployment or, come to think of it, in a go-to-market plan, we often make this same mistake. Let me explain.
Let’s start with the racing lesson to set the stage. Race car drivers like speed, so they often focus on power plays, living for that top speed on the straights because it is both the most exhilarating and, to be totally frank, the easiest part of a course. However, if you do the math, the car spends more time on the slow portions of a course than it does on straightaways. Increasing the speed 10 percent on the slow portions of the course will have a much bigger impact than working at top speed in the straights.
This isn’t obvious because you think faster is better, but it’s average speed you are working to increase not peak speed. When facing a choice, a race car driver is better off focusing on increasing their slow speed time than their top speed time.
I ran into a similar situation while doing my Windows 10 testing. I had a little Acer box with a Celeron processor that was painfully slow because it had a 500 GB magnetic drive and only 4 GB of memory. I swapped in an SSD drive and 16 GB of memory and found . . . it was still slow. I hadn’t realized the Celeron was not only relatively slow but single-core (it has been a long time since I’ve had a Celeron box). I should have focused on bringing the processor up to two cores first then looked at the memory and hard drive. I likely would have created a faster system for a lot less money.
In any converged or complex system what you want to increase is the total system performance. It is really easy to buy and implement faster networking, faster memory and even faster processors, but in each instance the system is likely to bottleneck someplace else. We tend to become enamored with these new technologies which we toss at performance problems like folks playing darts when instead we should be focused on system metrics and overall system performance.
This is one of the reasons I historically prefer the VCE approach to creating a converged system. With VCE you start with a system, not a collection of often poorly matched components. The VCE approach results in better utilization because everything was designed to work together.
I see this all the time in product planning. A great deal of focus is spent on time-to-market but very little on building demand for the result or even assuring there is a market for the offering. Doing market research is time consuming, but if it isn’t done, not only could the product not reach its potential you may find, as I did at one time, that there was no conceivable customer that wanted to buy the damn thing.
We often tend to avoid the slow hard stuff (like vetting a name) in order to just get the product out the door quickly. We can see the result with products like the Apple Watch, which came to market quickly but is currently finding demand illusive and having to overcome a name that doesn’t have an “i” as the first letter. Google Glass was worse. Google was so aggressive at getting this product out the door they may have destroyed the consumer market for this entire class of products as a result. In this instance, the slow parts of this process may not be slowing the product to market, but they aren’t getting done. The result is poor market performance.
The time spent identifying and speeding up the slowest parts of the process will have the greatest impact on overall process/system performance and thus should be prioritized even if they aren’t that much fun. Rather than making the fast parts of anything faster, focus on the slow parts, because that is where the best improvements will be found. Or just start with a system and focus on the system speed as a better way to identify the critical path that will provide the best return on your investment.
However you get there, focusing on not going slow will always be a better strategy than going fast.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
As you might expect, iOS 15 has introduced a host of new features, ranging from privacy enhancements to lifestyle features that can truly make a difference. However, as always, iOS 15 is not making too dramatic of a difference in terms of core functionality, meaning the old familiar settings are still where they are supposed to be. Today, we will take a look at another old setting, which has a tangible impact on your iPhone.
Now, without further ado let us check out what Background App Refresh means on iOS 15 and how you can use the feature.
Related: Apple Pay Not Working on iOS 15? How to Fix in 5 Ways
What does Background App Refresh mean on iOS 15?
The Background App Refresh option has been on since the dawn of time and iOS 15 is no exception. When you turn on Background App Refresh, it simply allows the applications to refresh their content while they are in the background. When an app is in the foreground or right in front of you, it gets the complete attention of your device, meaning the data is refreshed right in front.
However, when you use the app switcher to push the application to the background, another application takes its share of attention. Background App Refresh makes sure the app is not dead when pushed to the background and can give you valuable information when needed. It is to be noted that Background App Refresh is completely dependent on your WiFi connection or mobile data plan. If you do not have either, you will fail to make it work.
Related: iOS 15 Alarm Not Working? How to Fix
What happens when you turn on Background App Refresh?
When you turn on Background App Refresh, the apps that are pushed to the background are allowed to keep their content fresh, up to date. That way, you will not need to worry about missed notifications and the apps will be able to continue to look for content that brings you back.
On iOS 15, Background App Refresh is turned on by default and is necessary for almost all modern applications, especially if it depends on push notifications.
Related: iOS 15 Shortcuts Not Working: Issues and Possible Fixes Explained
How to turn off Background App Refresh on iOS 15
If you do not have applications that benefit from Background App Refresh or you simply do not want to be disturbed while you are doing your thing, you could consider turning off background app refresh. Although not recommended, iOS 15 does give you the option to turn it off through Settings.
To turn off Background App Refresh, first, go to Settings and tap on ‘General.’ Now, go to ‘Background App Refresh.’ At the top, you will see that ‘Background App Refresh’ is turned on. Tap on it and turn it ‘Off’ to disable the service for all applications.
Alternatively, if you want to disable it for a chosen few, you can toggle them off on the previous page itself.
What happens when you turn off Background App Refresh on iOS 15?
When you turn off Background App Refresh, you are basically restricting the applications in your background from looking for new content when you leave the app. So, the applications that are dependent on live data will not work.
For example, if you have WhatsApp on your iOS 15 device and want it to give you timely messages, you must keep Background App Refresh on. If not, WhatsApp will only give you messages when the app is open, right in front of you. Other push messaging services also obey the same rule.
Is Background App Refresh bad for your battery?
Since every iOS device considers Background App Refresh to be an essential part of the system, the battery wastage is well accounted for. However, it does not mean disabling it will not give you a slight bump in screen on or standby time. Turning off Background App Refresh is a great option when you are low on battery and want to last a little longer. Check out our guide above to turn off Background App Refresh on iOS 15.
Additionally, you can toggle on ‘Low Power Mode’ to turn off Background App Refresh in an instant.
Why is Background App Refresh greyed out on iOS 15?
In certain situations, the Background App Refresh toggle is greyed out on iOS 15, meaning you will not be able to turn it on even if you wanted to. Here are a couple of reasons why it might be happening:
Low Power Mode
When you turn on Low Power Mode, Background App Refresh is turned off by default. So make sure you turn that off to give your apps the ability to refresh in the background. If your phone does not have enough juice, make sure to top it up.
Background App Activities Disabled
What are the benefits of Background App Refresh?
Background App Refresh is what allows your apps to keep themselves updated with the latest content. Without it, you will neither get notifications in time nor will you receive any real-time updates.
It can take a toll on your battery, but unless absolutely required, we do not recommend turning Background App Refresh on.
Why is Background App Refresh turned off?
Background App Refresh is turned off automatically when Lower Power Mode is engaged or the Background App Activities option is disabled. Make sure your phone has enough batter and the Background App Activities option is turned on.
Should you keep Background App Refresh on for all apps?
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