7 hidden iMessage features you need to be using | Digital Trends

7 hidden iMessage features you need to be using | Digital Trends

Digital Trends

Apple’s iMessage is a widely used messaging app with over 1 billion active users. It was launched in 2011 and is deeply integrated into Apple devices, allowing iPhone, iPad, and Mac users to exchange text messages, photos, videos, and more seamlessly across platforms.

Over the years, Apple has introduced many new features to the Messages app. You probably use some of them every day, but others are easy to overlook and forget about it. Below are a few of our favorite hidden iMessage features — and ones you should be using if you aren’t already.

Pinning messages

Screenshot showing pinning messages on iPhone.
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With iMessage, you can communicate with both individuals and groups. However, sometimes, it can be challenging to track meaningful conversations or specific content when you receive messages from multiple sources, such as organizations or companies. This is where message pinning comes in. This feature allows you to save essential conversations or specific content at the top of your Messages app to access them easily. Starting with iOS 14, Apple allowed you to pin up to nine conversations at the top of the Messages app.

To pin a conversation, drag and drop it to the top of the Messages app. Alternatively, you can long press on the conversation and select Pin from the pull-down menu.

Mark messages as unread

Screenshot showing how to market a message as unread on iPhone.
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We receive many messages daily, and when we see a new message, we often feel the urge to open it immediately. However, some messages require a response, which can sometimes be forgotten if we don’t reply immediately. Unfortunately, just opening a message can make it harder to remember to send a reply later since it can get lost in the shuffle.

One way to ensure important messages are not missed is to mark them as unread. This helps isolate them from other messages and serves as a reminder to address them later. To mark a message as unread on your iPhone, long press on it, then select Mark as Unread from the pull-down menu. Easy, no? A dot on the left side marks unread messages.

Message threads and tags

Screenshot showing how to reply to a thread on iPhone.
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Starting with iOS 14, Apple made it possible to reply directly to a message within a conversation. This allows you to highlight specific messages or people, and it’s especially handy if you’re in busy group conversations.

To do so, go into the conversation, then identify the message bubble to which you want to reply. Next, touch and hold that bubble, then tap the Reply button. Type your message as you usually do, then choose the Send button.

When replying this way, you also tag a specific person by typing their name. This person might be part of the thread, and they’ll receive this mention on their device.

Find deleted messages — and recover them

Recovering deleted messages in the Messages app on an iPhone.
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Have you ever accidentally deleted a message thread in iMessage? It can be frustrating, but don’t worry because there’s a solution. On your iPhone, you can view recently deleted messages for up to 40 days before the system permanently removes them from your device. If you act quickly, you can recover the messages you thought were lost forever.

To retrieve deleted messages on your iPhone, open the Messages app and tap the Edit button in the top-left corner. Then, tap Show Recently Deleted. Here, you’ll find a list of deleted threads and the number of messages lost in each thread.

Although you cannot read the thread from this page, you can recover it by tapping the circle to the left and selecting Recover at the bottom of the screen. After doing so, the messages will be restored to your main messages page. Alternatively, you can tap Recover All if you want to recover all of your deleted messages at once.

Bubble and screen effects

Screenshot showing how to add message effects on iPhone.
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Text alone might not be enough to convey a message. That’s where screen effects come in. The tools, which have been around for a few years, include bubble effects, full-screen effects, camera effects, and more.

To send a message with a screen effect, press and hold the Send button rather than tapping it. This displays two options: Bubble and Screen effects. This allows you to send a message with your bubble slamming into the screen, a fancy firework effect, and more. Only other iMessage users will see these effects, however, so they won’t work if you’re sending them to someone with an Android phone.

Shake to undo

screenshot showing what happens when you shake your iPhone in the Messages app.
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I’ll admit, the shake to undo feature is one I didn’t know about until I sat down to write this article. Regardless, it’s genius. If you type out a message and don’t like what you typed, you can delete it entirely. All you have to do is shake your iPhone and then respond to the prompt on the screen.

The feature works exactly how you’d expect, but it doesn’t work after sending the message. In other words, shaking your iPhone won’t unsend the message. However, even this is possible if you’re sending a message to another Apple user and less than 15 minutes have passed since you sent it.

Shift your keyboard

Screenshot showing how to activate the one-handed keyboard on iPhone.
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You may encounter situations where typing on a keyboard the length of your iPhone using both hands may not be practical, such as when you have only one free hand available. This is when the aptly named one-handed keyboard comes in handy.

Open the Messages app on your iPhone and start typing. Tap and hold the Smiley icon at the bottom left of the keyboard to access the keyboard settings. Choose the option to have the keyboard move to the left or right side of the screen, depending on which hand you prefer. This will allow you to type comfortably with one hand. You can use this tool anywhere the keyboard is on your device, not just the Messages app.

Hopefully, this list of hidden iMessage features will give you something new to try or remind you of a feature you might have forgotten. The Messages app is packed full of great features, so enjoy them, whether you have an iPhone 15 Pro or other Apple device.

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How to share an external hard drive between Mac and Windows | Digital Trends

How to share an external hard drive between Mac and Windows | Digital Trends

While using a Windows machine over a MacOS system (or vice versa) was once fairly limited in terms of crossover, such towering walls no longer exist. Still though, if you’ve ever wanted to use the same external hard drive with both Windows and MacOS, you know how big of a burden this process can be.

Fortunately, a little process called ‘partitioning’ is available with both OS types. When you partition a hard drive, you’re basically splitting its internal storage space into different sections. These sections can then be formatted to work with many different types of computers.

You can partition a hard drive using both Windows and MacOS, and we’re going to teach you how to complete the process for each OS type.


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It’s a split, niche scenario

A quick Google search may lead you to believe you’re on the right path by https://support-en.wd.com/app/answers/detailweb/a_id/20821 with Extensible File Allocation Table, or exFAT. It’s a simpler, universal method if every file you store is less than 4GB in size. However, this format doesn’t support larger files, which can be problematic for transferring 4K videos and so on between Macs and Windows 11 PCs.

Meanwhile, the NTFS system used by Windows 10 supports large files, but this format can’t be read natively by MacOS. That puts you in a peculiar pickle, limiting any shared file between the two platforms at 4GB or smaller. If you want to save larger files, you’ll need to create a second, dedicated space using a format optimized for MacOS (Extended) or Windows 11 (NTFS).

With all that in mind, our guide splits the external drive in half: One primary section capable of storing files larger than 4GB, and a secondary section capable of sharing files between MacOS and Windows 11. It’s not the ideal solution — we get it — but it works nonetheless.

Before digging in, select a primary format you’ll use the most: MacOS Extended if you primarily use Mac with a secondary exFAT partition, or NTFS if you mainly use Windows 11 with a secondary exFAT partition.

Finally, formatting deletes all data stored on the drive. Make sure you back up anything important before beginning the formatting process. We have guides for Windows and MacOS in case you need a helping hand.

The Framework Laptop 16 in front of a window.

Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

Partition the drive on Windows 11

We have a full guide on how to complete the partitioning process, but let’s go through the important steps you need to know to quickly partition the drive while working on Windows. The process is less straightforward in Windows than what you see on a Mac, but it’s now easier than ever.

Step 1: Right-click on the Start button and select Disk Management on the Power User menu.

Typically, external drives are formatted out of the box. However, you may encounter a “Not Initialized” error when connecting the device to your PC. That means it’s not formatted correctly to work with Windows. It won’t even have an assigned drive letter in File Explorer (This PC), and may not even have allocated space for saving data.

If you see an Initialize Disk pop-up window, it provides two formats: Master Boot Record (MBR) and GUID Partition Table (GPT). The former is older and only supports capacities up to 2TB, but is compatible with older versions of Windows. GPT is a newer format supporting larger capacities but isn’t compatible with older versions of Windows.

Select the partition style and click the OK button to continue. If you accidentally closed the pop-up, right-click on the listed disk and select Initialize Disk on the pop-up.

If you didn’t get the pop-up warning, move on to Step 2.

The Windows 10 Initialize Disk screen.

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Step 2: Right-click on the unallocated space, and select the New Simple Volume option on the pop-up menu, as shown below.

The Windows 10 New Simple Volume option in Disk Management.

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Step 3: The New Simple Volume Wizard begins. Click the Next button.

The New Simple Volume option in the Windows Disk Management tool.

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Step 4: Since we’re creating two partitions, divide the listed physical number in half. Type that number into the field next to Simple Volume Size in MB and click the Next button to continue. In our scenario, we’re dividing a 1TB SanDisk Ultra solid-state drive.

Step 5: Allow the Wizard to assign a drive letter, or manually assign the letter using the drop-down menu. Click the Next button to proceed.

The New Simple Volume Select File System pop-out window in Windows Disk Management.

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Step 6: Select a file system. Since your primary PC is Windows 11, use NTFS. Also enter a volume label (drive name) — we used “Windows 10,” though you can label this partition with anything. Click the Next button to proceed.

Step 7: Click the Finish button to complete.

In Disk Management, the external disk should list one new volume — “Windows 10” in our example — and a second portion with unallocated space.

Right-click on that unallocated space and repeat step 1 to step 6. This time, however, choose exFAT as the file system during step 6, which you’ll use to share files with MacOS. Note that you don’t need to specify a volume size.

The result should look something like this:

The Windows Disk Management window.

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Apple Continuity image showing iPhone use as MacBook webcam.

Apple

Partition the drive in MacOS Sonoma

Partitioning an external drive in MacOS isn’t quite as troublesome. Assuming that your external drive has no partitions, you will need to create two. If the drive already has a Mac-friendly partition, you can skip ahead to step 5.

You may first see an “initialize” error because the drive’s file system isn’t “readable.” Click on the Initialize button on the small pop-up screen to create your first compatible partition and begin at step 5. If the error does not appear, start with step 1.

Here, we used the same SanDisk SSD, although MacOS pulled the Seagate USB adapter’s name rather than the drive’s actual name (the adapter came from an external Seagate drive). Note that the following instructions also apply to Catalina — the only real differences are the visual changes to the UI and how internal volumes are listed.

Step 1: With Finder highlighted, click Go on the menu bar followed by Utilities on the drop-down menu.

Step 2: Double-click the Disk Utility icon in the following window.

Step 3: With Disk Utility open, your drive appears under External located on the left. Click Erase, located on the app’s top toolbar, as shown below.

The Erase External Drive option in MacOS Big Sur.

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Step 4: In the following pop-up window, enter a name. Select MacOS Extended (Journalist) as the format and GUID Partition Map as the scheme.

Step 5: Click the Erase button to make these changes.

The Create Partition External option in MacOS Big Sur.

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Step 6: Once complete, your drive should have a single partition. Highlight the drive again in Disk Utility and then click Partition listed at the top instead.

Step 7: On the following pop-up (it won’t move), click the small Plus button located under the blue pie chart to add a second partition.

Step 8: A second portion appears, slicing the pie graph down the middle. Enter a volume name (we chose Windows) and select the exFAT format.

Step 9: Click the Apply button to add the new partition.

The Drive Divide Partition screen in MacOS Big Sur.

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Step 10: Click the Partition button in an additional pop-up window to complete the process.

Step 11: Click the Done button to finish.

The result should look something like the image below. Note that two icons representing each drive should appear on your desktop, as shown.

It’s good to mention that the exFAT file system isn’t 100% reliable, so you might want to hook your hard drive up to a Windows computer and create a secondary Windows partition to NTFS. The Windows section contains our in-depth explanation of this.

macOS Big Sur's Partitioned Drive Desktop icons.

Image used with permission by copyright holder


Paragon Software

Final notes

As you can see, partitioning a hard drive isn’t a complicated process, whether you’re using Windows or a Mac. You can also choose to install a paid application like Paragon’s Microsoft NTFS software or the free and open-source Tuxera on your Mac to enable NTFS to read/write support.

Can you share an external hard drive between Mac and PC?

Yes you can. For the best results though, you’re going to want to partition your external hard drive for optimized read-and-write performance for both Windows and MacOS.

As our guide indicates, if you’re primarily using Windows, you’ll want to have the Windows portion of your external HDD formatted for NTFS with a secondary exFAT partition for Mac compatibility.

If a Mac is your everyday machine, use the MacOS Extended format, with a secondary exFAT volume for Windows.

Is exFAT for both Mac and Windows?

Yes it is. The Extensible File Allocation Table (exFAT) format is one of the O.G. formatting methods, but it’s best used for files less than 4GB.

Keep in mind that even with third-party software, some features like Time Machine won’t work correctly with an NTFS file system.

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How to set up an out-of-office reply in Outlook (any device) | Digital Trends

How to set up an out-of-office reply in Outlook (any device) | Digital Trends

If you’re going to be away from work on vacation, a leave of absence, or something similar, you may want to set up out-of-office in Microsoft Outlook. This is an automatic reply that lets others know that you’re away and won’t be responding for a particular time period.

The nice thing about automatic replies like this in Outlook is that you can schedule them for the timeframe you need. If you prefer, you can also turn the feature on and off manually.

Here’s how to set up out of office messages in Outlook on Windows, Mac, and the web.

How to setup an automatic out of office reply in Outlook on Windows

You can create and schedule an out of office reply in the Outlook desktop app on Windows in just minutes.

Step 1: Open Outlook on Windows and select the File tab.

Step 2: Confirm that Info is selected on the top-left. Then, click Automatic replies on the right.


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Step 3: At the top of the pop-up window, mark the option for Send automatic replies and then type your message in the text box at the bottom.

Automatic Replies window to create the message in Outlook.

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Step 4: To schedule the reply, check the box for Only send during this time frame and choose the start and end dates and times.

If you don’t select a timeframe, return to this spot to turn off the automatic reply manually.

Start and end dates and times for Automatic Replies in Outlook.

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Step 5: Click OK when you finish.

How to setup an automatic out of office reply in Outlook on Mac

If you’re using the new Outlook on Mac, you can set up and schedule your out of office reply using the following steps:

Step 1: Open Outlook on Mac and select Tools > Automatic replies from the menu bar.

Step 2: When the Automatic Replies window appears, check the box at the top to enable automatic replies, and enter your message into the box directly below.

Automatic Replies in Outlook on Mac.

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Step 3: To schedule the reply, check the box for Send replies only during this time period. Then, pick the start and end dates and times.

If you don’t use the schedule feature, return to this area to turn off the automatic reply manually.

Start and end dates and times for Automatic Replies in Outlook.

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Step 4: To send the out of office reply to those outside your organization, check that box next. You can choose Send only to my contacts or Send to All External Senders.

Then, enter the automatic reply you’d like to send in that text box.

Outside of your organization reply options in Outlook.

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Step 5: Click OK when you finish.

How to setup an automatic out of office reply in Outlook on the web

If you use Outlook on the web, it’s just as easy to create and schedule your automatic reply.

Step 1: Visit Outlook on the web and sign in.

Step 2: Click the Gear icon on the top-right and pick View all Outlook settings at the bottom of the sidebar.

Step 3: In the pop-up window, choose Mail on the far left and Automatic replies to the right.

Step 4: Turn on the toggle at the top and enter your out-of-office message.

Automatic Replies in Outlook on the web.

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Step 5: To schedule your automatic reply, check the box for Send replies during a time period. Then, pick the start and end dates and times. Optionally, check the boxes that appear for additional settings that apply to Outlook Calendar during the timeframe.

If you don’t schedule your out-of-office reply, you can return to this location in the settings to turn it off manually.

Start and end dates and times for Automatic Replies in Outlook.

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Step 6: To send this automatic reply only to your Outlook contacts, check the box at the bottom.

Step 7: When you finish, click Save and the X on the top-right to close these settings.

Now that you know how to set up an automatic reply in Outlook, take a look at the application’s updated features or learn more things you can do in Microsoft Outlook.

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How to customize a Samsung phone’s notification sounds | Digital Trends

How to customize a Samsung phone’s notification sounds | Digital Trends

The sound you choose to notify you when you get a text, call, or social media update is important since it’s what you’ll primarily need to listen for to know when someone is trying to contact you. Whether you’re the owner of the new Galaxy S23 or have a midrange Galaxy A53 5G as your smartphone of choice, Android gives you plenty of different options when it comes to what sound you hear when you get a notification.

If you don’t like the default notification sound or you want to add your own personal flair to your phone, changing your Galaxy phone’s notification sound is a relatively simple process. Luckily, the steps are the same regardless of if you have the latest Samsung flagship like the Galaxy S23 Ultra or a more budget device like the Galaxy S21 FE. Use the steps below to learn everything you need to know about changing your notification sounds on Galaxy devices.


Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

How to change all your notifications to a new sound

There are a handful of options when it comes to changing notification sounds. The easiest thing to do is to change them all to one singular sound. When you do this, you’ll hear the same noise when you get a text as you would if you received an email. Changing this option is best for those who don’t need customized sounds for their individual apps but don’t love the default sounds that their Galaxy device is using out of the box.

Step 1: From your Samsung phone home screen, swipe down to access your Quick Settings.

Step 2: Select the Settings option (the gear icon).

Step 3: In the Settings menu, select Sounds and vibration.

Step 4: Select Notification sounds in the next menu.

You’ll now see a list of potential notification sounds that you can set. Select one, and all your notifications will start making this sound.

How to set a customized notification for an individual app

General notification noises are fine, but if you’re juggling personal WhatsApp notifications and Slack notifications from your team at work, you might want to have different notification sounds so you can tell which app is sending an alert. If you don’t like the native sound that the app makes on its own, you can change notifications for each individual app to get the exact sounds that you want. Here’s what to do.

Step 1: Once again, start by swiping down to open up your Quick Settings menu, and choose the Settings icon.

Step 2: This time, scroll down until you reach Apps, and select it.

Step 3: Your downloaded apps will appear in alphabetical order. Select the app that you want to change the notification sound for.

Step 4: Go to the App settings section and select the Notifications option.

Step 5: Here, you can choose to enable or disable notifications for this app. This is a great way to make sure only certain apps make sounds on your Samsung phone. If this is one of the apps you want making noise, Allow notifications should be turned on.
Select Notification categories at the bottom of the page.

Step 6: In the Notification Categories menu, select Miscellaneous.

Step 7: In the next window, select Sound. You will again bring up the list of potential notification sounds, where you can pick whichever sound you want to enable.

How to add new notification sounds to your Samsung phone

If you aren’t a fan of the sounds that Galaxy phones offer by default, you can actually add your own custom sounds to your device. Here’s how:

Step 1: Download the sound file you want to use as your notification sound. The easiest way to do that is to email yourself the audio clip you want to use and then open the email on your phone. When looking at the audio attachment, select the download icon, which is represented by an arrow pointing down towards a straight line.

With your audio downloaded, head to the My files app, then select Downloads and find your sound file. Because you just downloaded it, the file should be at the top of the list of downloads.

Step 2: Long-press the audio file you have downloaded and then select Move at the bottom of the screen.

Step 3: With the file selected and ready for moving, go back to the My file home screen and select Internal storage.

Step 4: While inside the Internal storage menu, make sure that the dropdown menu says All and not Essentials. With that selected, you’ll see all of the different file location options for your device. Select the Notifications folder.

Step 5: Inside the Notifications folder, select Move here in the bottom right corner of the screen and your file will be transferred.

Step 6: With the file transferred, head to the settings and follow the steps listed above to add custom notification sounds. When it comes time to select the sound, your custom notification sound will now appear as an option under a new heading titled Custom.

How to remove custom notifications on a Samsung phone

Bored of the new custom notifications on your Samsung phone? No worries — it’s easy to remove them. In fact, removing a notification sound is done the exact same way as changing them to the custom sound in the first place.

Follow the steps laid out above for setting custom notification sounds, but instead of setting the custom sound in the sound menu, select Default, and the custom sound will be replaced by your device’s default sound.

How to snooze notification sounds on a Samsung phone

If you’re getting a lot of notifications and want to temporarily turn them off, Galaxy devices give you the option to “snooze” notifications from specific apps.

Step 1: Open the Quick Settings menu by swiping down from the top of the screen and select the gear icon in the top right corner to access your device settings.

Step 2: In the settings, select Notifications.

Step 3: In the Notifications menu, select Advanced settings.

Step 4: In the Advanced settings menu, toggle the Show snooze button setting so that it’s on.

Step 5: With the setting on, you’ll be able to snooze notifications by selecting a notification from the app you want to snooze and then selecting the bell icon in the bottom left corner of the notification. Once you do, you’ll be prompted to select how long you want to snooze the notification. Once you’ve chosen, select Save and you won’t receive any notifications from that app for the amount of time you selected.

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The brilliant little Mac app I never knew I needed | Digital Trends

The brilliant little Mac app I never knew I needed | Digital Trends

Alex Blake / Digital Trends

Switching apps is something I do countless times every day on my Mac, so much so that I don’t ever think anything of it. That is until recently, when I discovered a new app that has me flipping windows in a new (and much-improved) way.

That app is called Quick Tab, and it’s designed to make app switching a little more painless. Now, I’ll admit that I’ve never thought of the traditional Command-Tab key combination as all that painful, but Quick Tab has swiftly shown me what I’ve been missing.

The normal way that changing apps works in macOS is pretty straightforward: hold the Command key and press Tab to bring up the app switcher, then keep pressing Tab until the app you want is highlighted. Finally, just let go of the keys to move that app to the foreground. It can’t get much simpler than that.

With Quick Tab, you instead use Option-Tab as the key combination. This brings up a new app switcher window that shows your open apps listed vertically, with a number next to each one. Press the number corresponding to the app you want to open and it will move to the foreground. Or you can press Tab to move through the list of apps as you would with Apple’s default Command-Tab system.

The idea is that this saves you time when you have a lot of apps open. Instead of using Command-Tab to move through your open apps one by one, you can simply tap a number to get the app you want. There’s no repeated pressing of the Tab key and no cycling through a bloated list of apps.

A better way to switch apps

The Quick Tab app in macOS.
Alex Blake / Digital Trends

Despite Quick Tab’s primary use case, I found that also it fixes a different issue I’ve always had with Apple’s app switcher. Normally, if you accidentally scroll too far through your list of apps when using Command-Tab, you either have to keep pressing Tab until you loop back around to the app you want, or you have to awkwardly move your finger onto the Shift key and then press Tab again, all while still holding the Command button. It’s difficult to do and hardly an ideal way to go back through your list of open apps.

In Quick Tab, none of that is necessary. There’s never really a need to move backwards through your open apps because you can just press the number next to the one you want to select. Or you can just use your mouse or arrow keys to select your desired app. Not only does Quick Tab give you a quicker, more efficient way to change apps, but it solves a nagging problem that’s always bugged me in macOS.

Here’s another thing I like: Quick Tab’s app switcher window can be set to stay on your screen even if you release the Command key. That makes it much easier to tab through the list of apps or work out which number you need to press without having to keep your finger on the Command key the whole time.

As I mentioned above, as well as using your keyboard, you can also select an app by clicking it with your mouse. And there’s even a pin button so you can ensure that Quick Tab’s switcher remains open and on top of your other windows, meaning there’s no need to use the key combination at all – just click on the app switcher and press your desired number.

Fast and simple

The Quick Tab app in macOS.
Alex Blake / Digital Trends

Quick Tab may not seem like a groundbreaking app, and it’s fairly limited in what it aims to do. But what it does, it does really well. It’s one of those little Mac apps that fixes a small problem you never knew needed fixing, but once it has been solved, you can’t imagine going back to the old way of doing things.

Quick Tab comes with a free 14-day trial so you can give it a go before paying anything. After that, it’s $10 for a one-year license or a one-off $20 purchase to keep it forever.

The developer has a host of other apps, many of which also have a focus on app switching, window management, and all things user interface in macOS. But for a fast and simple fix that’s made my Mac usage just that little bit easier, Quick Tab is hard to beat.

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How to download movies from Netflix for offline viewing | Digital Trends

How to download movies from Netflix for offline viewing | Digital Trends

If you want to enjoy a Netflix movie while on a plane or other place with poor reception, you can always download a movie for offline viewing. Downloading content to watch at another time is a pretty straightforward process that takes all the pain out of worrying about when you’ll be able to connect to Wi-Fi again. We’re here to show you how to download movies from Netflix.

The following instructions should work for iOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire, Fire tablet, Chromebook and Chromebox, and Windows 10 devices and computers. Of note: While Windows PC users can download episodes to watch offline, they must use the Netflix app from the Windows Store to do so.

Note that your capacity to download titles from Netflix will depend on your plan. As of this writing, that means:
* Standard with ads plans can download up to 15 titles per month on up to two devices. The downloads reset at the beginning of each calendar month.
* Standard plans can download on up to two devices.
* Premium plans can download on up to six devices.


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Get your download on

Step 1: Make sure Netflix is up to date.

Step 2: Navigate to the show or movie you would like to download.

The Netflix quality selection screen.

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Step 3: Select the Download icon affixed to the show or movie you want to watch.

The Devil all the Time on Netflix.

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Step 4: Once downloaded, all Netflix content will appear in the Downloads section. Tap the Downloads menu on mobile devices or the Menu button in the application’s upper-left corner on Windows.

How to download from Netflix: watch your downloaded titles.

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How much space do I need?

Netflix offers two quality levels for downloads: Standard and High. The latter is high definition — “up to 1080p depending on the TV show or movie,” Netflix says. Standard uses less space on your device and allows you to download content more quickly, whereas High takes a bit more space and patience. Which one you’ll want will depend on how much free space you have and what kind of device you’re using. The Standard mode’s appearance may look fine on your new phone, for instance, whereas a higher resolution may be preferable for your tablet or laptop.

To choose, locate the App settings menu. It could be called More or found under your profile icon on Amazon, Android (Chrome app as well), or iOS smartphone apps. From there, under the Downloads heading, click or tap Video quality or Download video quality (Android) and select your preferred quality. On Windows 10, go to Menu > Settings > Download and select the video quality there.

Just how much storage space a download takes up depends on how long the title is and the resolution quality. To give you a sense of the numbers, we went ahead and downloaded the first episode of Taboo and Ryan Reynolds’ Netflix movie The Adam Project in both Standard and High resolutions on an iPhone 13 Pro.

Taboo‘s episode has a runtime of 57 minutes, and its high-quality version used 981.2MB of space, while the Standard version used 226.4MB. The Adam Project, at one hour and 46 minutes, took up 1.12GB of space in High and 493.8MB in Standard. It’s always a good idea to see how much available space you have on your device before choosing between Standard or High quality.

Netflix's Available to Download screen.

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What’s available?

Not everything on Netflix is available for download, but the company has made downloadable titles easy to find by arranging them in a special section aptly named “Available for Download.” This category can be found among the other genre options, as a sub-menu when you select TV Shows or Movies. If you’re searching for a specific title, you’ll know that it can be downloaded by the Download icon, which is a downward arrow with a horizontal line beneath it.

There are some restrictions on how many times you can download some titles and how long you have to watch them, however. For example, you can’t download the same episode of Bridgerton more than three times in a single billing cycle. (Weird, we know.) You’ll also need to watch each one within a month of downloading it before it expires for offline viewing.

Not every property is so generous when it comes to downloading content. Occasionally, you’ll stumble upon a movie or show that can be downloaded only once, as a result of the licensing agreement Netflix has with the network that owns it. Such titles also tend to expire after a week if you fail to show them any attention and they usually disappear 48 hours after you first hit play.

How to enable automatic downloads

While manually selecting titles for download is a great feature unto itself, wouldn’t it be awesome if Netflix allowed you to download content automatically? Well, you’re in luck. Netflix introduced a feature for mobile users called Downloads For You that uses your Netflix viewing history to curate and download movies and TV shows that are in line with your tastes. This feature only works while you are connected to Wi-Fi. Here’s how to activate it.

Step 1: Open the Netflix app and tap Downloads on the bottom navigation bar.

Netfllix's Downloads for You feature.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 2: Next, tap Smart Downloads at the top of the following screen.

Step 3: Then, all you have to do is toggle Downloads For You either on/off.

Step 4: Finally, use the Plus and Minus icons in Allocate Storage to choose your storage cap.

How do I delete titles?

Whether you’ve already watched downloaded titles or simply want to make room for other things, you’ll eventually want to get rid of them, especially considering you can only have 100 things downloaded at a time. There are two ways to go about this, depending on how much content you want to delete at once.

Step 1: Deleting a single title

If you want to delete a single title, you can do so via the My Downloads section. For iOS and Android apps, just tap the Pen icon, which will give you the option to select the title or titles you want to delete. In Windows 10, for example, just open the title, click on the Downloaded button, and select Delete Download. You can also click on the Pencil Edit icon and choose the files to delete.

Netflix's screen for deleting titles.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 2: Deleting all titles

You could delete everything in the My Downloads section individually, but if you’re looking to clear everything all at once, there’s an easier way. Go to Settings, then simply click on Delete All Downloads.

The Delete All Downloads option in Netflix.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Having a library of downloaded movies and shows on your device the next time you find yourself out and about or on the road and without a Wi-Fi connection will make for a much more pleasant and entertaining time-killing situation.

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Google may build Gemini AI directly into Chrome | Digital Trends

Google may build Gemini AI directly into Chrome | Digital Trends

Google

Google is now fleshing out its newly unified Gemini AI system in its browser with its first attempt at implementing Chat with Gemini into the Chrome Omnibox.

This latest effort will update Google Chrome with a Chat with Gemini shortcut in the Chrome Omnibox, allowing users to access the AI chatbot feature without having to go to the Gemini website, according to WindowsReport. The Omnibox serves as an address bar and search bar, and it adds multiple other tasks to a browser. Now with a simple @ prompt, you can also access Google’s AI chatbot to answer questions, create images, and generate summaries, among other tasks.

A screenshot of Chrome chat with Gemini, as taken by Windows Report.
Windows Report

Currently, the Chat with Gemini for Chrome Omnibox is being tested on the Canary level, however, it is available for use via a manual extension. Follow these instructions to enable the feature:

  • Open Google Chrome.
  • Visit chrome://flags in Chrome Omnibox.
  • Find Expansion pack for the Site Search starter pack.
  • Select Enable.
  • Restart the browser.
  • Visit chrome://settings/searchEngines in the address bar.
  • Note the Chat with Gemini shortcut under Site Search.
  • In a new tab type the @ symbol, which will then drop down the Gemini shortcut, among other Omnibox shortcuts, including search tabs, history, and bookmarks.
  • Select the Gemini shortcut.
  • Enter your query and select Enter. This will direct you to the Gemini website.

While the canary test for Chat with Gemini for Chrome Omnibox requires a manual installation, users would likely receive a seamless system update of the Chrome browser if it were to be released publicly.

Google’s rollout of its AI system has been slow over the last year, but now that the brand has unified under a single name, Gemini, it will likely pick up the pace of its product releases. Google recently announced its Google One AI Premium services, which runs Gemini Advanced, a paid tier of the AI that showcases the power of its latest large language model, Ultra 1.0. Google paired this service with its productivity services and a premium-tier storage plan.

Notably, several competitor browsers have already implemented their iteration of AI chatbots. Microsoft has its Copilot chatbot connected to its Edge browser through a direct collaboration with OpenAI. The browser company Opera has several browser options with AI and features, including its flagship Opera One and gaming option Opera GX. Both include the brand’s proprietary AI system, called Aria, in addition to other integrations to models such as ChatGPT.

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How to hide apps on your iPhone | Digital Trends

How to hide apps on your iPhone | Digital Trends

People either love the iPhone‘s home screen or hate it. Unlike Android, which hides apps away in an app drawer, the iPhone proudly plops app icons down onto the home screen. This means apps are very easily accessible, but it can also lead to your phone feeling cluttered, especially if you’re an app-o-holic. The introduction of the App Library helped this by giving everyone a central place to keep their apps, but for most people, the home screen is still the place to keep apps.

Of course, this becomes a problem if you want to hide an app. Whether it’s not an app you need very often, a sensitive banking app, or anything else you want to keep hidden, having it proclaiming its presence on your home screen is a problem. Thankfully, Apple has included a number of quick and easy ways to hide apps away, without removing them from your phone.


Corey Gaskin / Digital Trends

How to hide an app on your iPhone

Hiding an app on your iPhone’s home screen is simple, and very fast.

Step 1: Find the app you want to hide on your home page.

Step 2: Press and hold on the app in question.

Step 3: A box will pop up. Select Remove app.

Step 4: It’ll ask you whether you want to uninstall the app, or just remove it from the home screen. Choose Remove from home screen to hide the app without uninstalling it.

How to hide multiple apps at once

Sometimes you want a good old clean-out, and want to hide a bunch of apps from your home screen. Perhaps they’re purely cosmetic apps, and not useful day-to-day, or just want to streamline your experience. No matter why, it’s easy to sort it out.

Step 1: Press and hold on an empty portion of your home screen.

Step 2: Your home screen will enter “jiggle mode”, where all the app icons start jiggling, indicating they can be edited.

Step 3: Choose the Minus (-) icon by any app you want to hide, and go through the same process as for hiding a single app.

How to find a hidden app

If you’re hiding an app, rather than uninstalling it, then it’s a fairly good guess you want to access that app again. While it’s no longer easily accessible on your home screen, it’s not difficult to find that hidden app again. There are two ways of doing this, and both are very simple.

Step 1: Spotlight Search is a strong iOS feature, and it’s great for finding any app, not just hidden ones.

Step 2: To use it, swipe down from your home screen. Don’t swipe from the top of the screen, or you’ll open your notifications. Instead, swipe from the middle.

Step 3: When Spotlight Search appears, type in the name of the app you want.

The next method involves the App Library.

Step 1: Swipe to the left until you reach the end of your home screen, and your App Library opens.

Step 2: Choose the search bar at the top of the screen, then either scroll down the alphabetical list, or search for your chosen app.

How to hide apps in a folder

If you want to hide a particular group of apps, but still keep them accessible together, you can do so with folders.

Step 1: Tap and hold one of the apps you want to hide.

Step 2: Drag the app you’d like to hide onto another app and then let go of the app when it’s on top of the other app. This creates a new folder, which will automatically be named by your iPhone (according to the apps), but you can change the name to something more relevant.

Step 3: If you want to hide another app, drag it into the newly created folder. Repeat until you’ve placed all the apps you want to hide in this folder. You might want to place a few other apps in the folder to fill out the first page, or you can just leave it.

Step 4: Once you’ve transferred all your apps to the new folder, you can adjust their location to hide them on the next page. Doing this is easy; simply tap and drag the chosen app to the folder’s right side until it migrates to the second page. Repeat this method with any other apps you want to remain hidden.

Step 5: Finally, we suggest giving the folder a more modest title. We also included a few related apps on the folder’s first page. Remember that all the apps on the folder’s first page will still be noticeable from the home page; however, it will be much smaller than usual.

Step 6: If you decide you don’t need to hide your apps any longer, you can instantly move them elsewhere. All you need to do is drag them out of the hidden folder and put them back on the home page. To do this, just enable jiggle mode.

With that all said and done, you’re now an iPhone app hiding pro! Whether you use one of these methods or all of them, they’re at your disposal for hiding iPhone apps however you see fit.

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how to take a screenshot on an iPhone (any generation) | Digital Trends

how to take a screenshot on an iPhone (any generation) | Digital Trends

There’s no print screen button on your iPhone, but you can take a screenshot on an iPhone with just a couple of button presses. It doesn’t matter if you have the iPhone 8, iPhone 15, or any other model of iPhone — they can all do this. Using screenshots is a perfect way to share problems with smartphone updates, funny things you see on websites, or that weird text you just got. All you need to know is what the right buttons are, which we’ll cover here, alongside a few techniques to spruce up your iPhone screenshotting game.

Note: Are you a MacOS user? If so, we have also have a comprehensive guide on how to take a screenshot on a Mac.

Taking a screenshot is as simple as pressing two of the physical buttons at the same time, but which two buttons to press depends on which model of iPhone you’re using.

Taking a screenshot on newer iPhones

Here are the buttons to press if you have an iPhone without a home button. Which is to say you are using one of the best iPhones of today.

Step 1: The first button you’ll need to press is the button located near the top-right corner of your iPhone. This is the same button you normally press to turn your screen off and lock your iPhone.

Step 2: The other button you’ll need to press is Volume Up, located on the left side of your iPhone.


Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Step 3: To take the screenshot, press the two buttons at the same time.

how to take a screenshot iphone home and power buttons 768x512

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Taking a screenshot on an iPhone with a “Home” button

If you still have an older iPhone, or just picked up a refurbished iPhone that’s on the older side, you will follow the same steps as above, but will press the home button as the second button described above.

how to take a screenshot iphone enabling assistivetouch on ios 15

Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Capturing a screenshot using AssistiveTouch

AssistiveTouch allows the user to perform more complex touch-based commands on the iPhone — like pinching, multifinger swiping, or activating 3D Touch — through a simple menu that is just a few taps away. This is useful for a lot of things, but in this case it’s an alternative way to get screenshots if one of your buttons isn’t working properly of you’re unable to press both of them at the same time. Here’s how to set this up and use it.

Step 1: Navigate to the Settings app.

Step 2: Tap Accessibility.

Step 3: Tap Touch.

Step 4: Tap AssistiveTouch

Step 5: Toggle AssistiveTouch on. You’ll see the AssistiveTouch button appear on your screen, resembling a series of faded, concentric circles.

Step 6: Tap Double-Tap.

how to take a screenshot iphone assistivetouch settings ios 15

Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Step 7: Scroll down and tap Screenshot.

Step 8: Swipe up to return to the Home Screen. The AssistiveTouch button should remain on screen.

Step 9: When you find a screen that you want to save an image of, double-tap the AssistiveTouch button. Your iPhone display will briefly flash white and you’ll also hear the same shutter noise that you do when taking a picture in the iPhone Camera app, as long as your device isn’t in silent mode.

Step 10: A thumbnail of the screenshot will appear in the bottom-left corner of the screen. After a few seconds, this will disappear and the screenshot will be automatically saved to your photo library. You can also swipe it away at any time to save it to your photo library immediately, or tap on it to crop, annotate, or share it using the steps described earlier.

Note that AssistiveTouch offers a number of other ways to do this as well. For example, if you prefer, you can assign the Screenshot shortcut to a Long Press instead of a Double-Tap. You can also single-tap on the AssistiveTouch button to open a menu that includes a wealth of other functions. You can also capture a screenshot from this menu by tapping Device > More > Screenshot, which could be useful if you’d rather assign the Double-Tap and Long Press actions to perform other tasks.

how to take a screenshot iphone assistivetouch menus ios 15

Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

how to take a screenshot iphone annotating screenshots ios 15

Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Edit and annotate a captured screenshot

Once you successfully capture a screenshot, you’ll see a small preview in the bottom-left corner of your screen. This preview will automatically disappear in a few seconds, but you can also swipe it to the left to dismiss it. In this case, the screenshot gets tucked away safely in your photo library and you can carry on with whatever you were doing before.

However, you can also pull up the screenshot to make some quick edits and annotations before that happens. Here’s how.

Step 1: After taking a screenshot, tap on the thumbnail that appears in the bottom-left corner of your screen.

Step 2: Your screenshot will open in a simplified editing window, ready to be cropped or annotated.

Step 3: If you would prefer to save only a portion of your screenshot, you adjust the cropping handles to draw a box around the portion you want to keep. You can also use the standard pinch-to-zoom gesture to enlarge a portion of your screenshot.

Step 4: You can also add markup and other annotations to your screenshot by drawing with your finger. A variety of different annotation tools can be found at the bottom of the editing screen. You can also find Undo and Redo buttons at the top of the screen so you can walk back any edits you don’t like.

Step 5: To add advanced annotations, such as a text box, magnifier loupe, or your signature, tap the Plus button in the bottom-right corner and choose the appropriate options from the pop-up menu.

how to take a screenshot iphone annotating screenshots advanced ios 15

Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Step 6: When you’re finished making edits, tap Done in the upper-left corner.

how to take a screenshot iphone save or delete ios 15

Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Step 7: Choose Save to Photos or Save to Files to save the resulting image to your photo library or iCloud Drive, respectively. You can also tap Delete Screenshot if you’ve changed your mind and don’t want to save it.

Note that if you take multiple screenshots in succession, they’ll all come up in the editing window at the same time. You can swipe left and right to move between them and edit each one individually. You can discard an individual screenshot from this editing view by tapping the Trash can icon at the top of the screen. Tapping Done will prompt you to save or delete the entire set.

how to take a screenshot iphone sharing screenshots ios 15

Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Share a screenshot

By default, screenshots are automatically saved to your photo library, where you can share them in the same way as any other photo. However, if you’re grabbing a screenshot specifically to share with somebody or post on social media, you can share it right away. This also lets you avoid saving a copy to your photo library if you don’t need to keep it around afterward. Here’s how.

Step 1: After taking a screenshot, tap on the thumbnail that appears in the bottom-left corner of your screen.

Step 2: Your screenshot will open in the annotation mode described in the last section.

Step 3: If you want to crop or annotate your screenshot before sharing it, go right ahead.

Step 4: When finished, tap the Share button in the top-right corner.

Step 5: The standard iOS Share Sheet will appear, letting you send the image out via text message or email, post it on social media, send it to another Apple device via AirDrop, or even save it somewhere else, like in Apple Notes.

Step 6: If you want to share your screenshot to another service, tap the Share button again. You can repeat these steps as often as you like to share to multiple places.

Step 7: When you’re finished sharing, tap Done in the upper-left corner.

Step 8: Choose Save to Photos or Save to Files if you want to keep a copy of your screenshot; otherwise tap Delete Screenshot. This option only affects whether the screenshot gets saved in your photo library or iCloud Drive —i t will still be sent or saved in all of the other places you’ve shared it to.

Further reading

Did you know that you can use button combinations to restore your iPhone? Check out our guide to learn how. If you’re new to iOS, there are even more iOS tips and tricks to help you master your iPhone.

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