Netflix has finally introduced offline viewing. At present it is limited to select movies and TV shows. It works only on an iOS or Android device and is available through an app update. The feature allows you to download entire movies or episodes of a series you’re watching to your device. In the event you do not have an internet connection, or you don’t want to burn through your data plan while travelling, you can download something to watch later. Here’s how the feature works.
Offline viewing is available indiscriminately to all users, regardless what type of plan they are on. iOS users should be running version 9.0.0 of the app and Android users should be running version 4.12.0.
Launch the app and it will announce the new feature after the update. Movies or TV shows that you can download have a download button under them. Simply tap this button and it will start downloading the content.
The account we tested this on was on a basic plan which doesn’t have HD streaming support. It is likely that, if you’re on the premium plan, Netflix will ask you what quality you want to download the content in.
To view the content you’ve downloaded, go to the Account tab where there is a new page called ‘My Downloads’. All content you’ve downloaded will appear here. As mentioned, this feature is not available for all content. The ‘My Downloads’ screen can help you find content that is available for offline viewing.
The feature is being rolled out to all regions that Netflix is available in. The content is saved to the app’s storage and not to the media folder on your device. Netflix will likely never make entire series available offline to prevent piracy.
The feature is aimed at helping people who live in countries with poor internet speed have a better viewing experience. It is also aimed at people who want to conserve data usage on their cellular plan while watching Netflix on the go. It goes without saying that this will also save some battery life on the device you choose to watch the content on.
iTunes isn’t just for buying music; the iTunes app, together with the App Store app allow you to purchase apps, make in-app purchases, and subscribe to services. The services you subscribe to are managed entirely from iTunes; you can upgrade or downgrade plans and you can cancel subscriptions. Managing your subscriptions in iTunes is fairly easy if you know where to look. Neither the iTunes app nor the App Store app on your iPhone have an option for managing subscriptions. The options are tucked away in the Settings app. Here’s where you need to look.
Open the Settings app and tap iTunes & App Store. On the iTunes & App Stores screen, tap your Apple ID. On the pop-up that appears on your screen, tap ‘View Apple ID’.
We should mention that you ought to be signed into the same Apple ID that you used when subscribing to the service you want to manage.
Tap ‘Subscriptions’ on the ‘Account’ screen. This screen may take a few seconds to load, as may the next one that lists all your subscriptions.
You will see a list of all services that you are subscribed to as well as which plans for the service are available and which one you’ve opted for. You can change the plan here or cancel the subscription via the ‘Cancel Subscription’ button at the bottom.
If you have subscribed to a service that renews itself whenever the billing period expires you cannot change that here. All you can do from this screen is cancel a subscription if you are no longer interested in using a particular service and change your subscription plan. If you want to manage the billing cycle for a service you will have to visit the service’s app.
This whole process could have been easier; at the very least Apple could have made the settings easier to find. Considering how simple it is to accidentally make a purchase in the App Store, it should be just as easy to find where you can manage your subscriptions. This isn’t likely to change though since this is how it has been since iOS 4.1.3.
Screenshots have long been a standard feature on Apple’s devices. Both iOS device and Macs have the ability to take a screenshot of your display. Macs, being a desktop system, have far richer options for taking screenshots and the quality is exceptional. In stark contrast, Windows has always lagged behind in this regard. Even now, with Windows 10, users can only take a full screen screenshot. Apple’s latest line of Macbook Pros, all 2016 and above models, come with a Touch Bar. It’s a touch display that shows you different buttons based on the current app you’re working with. Apple has duly included a way to take a screenshot of the Touch Bar. Here’s how.
The keyboard shortcut for capturing a screenshot of the Touch Bar is Command + Shift + 6 i.e.
This will save the current buttons displayed on the Touch Bar as a PNG file on your desktop. If you want to copy the image to your clipboard instead of saving it as a PNG file, use the shortcut Control + Shift + Command + 6 i.e.,
There’s been quite a bit of criticism targeted towards the Touch Bar in the Macbook Pro line, and at Apple. Many feel the Touch Bar is a gimmick. Early reviews say it’s not enough reason to upgrade your Macbook Pro but developers are adding support for it in their apps. There are also a few apps available that let you turn the Touch Bar into something a little fun such as Nyan Cat.
It’s worth mentioning that when you take a full screen screenshot of your screen via the Command + Shift + 4 keyboard shortcut, the Touch Bar is not included. macOS treats it as a display device but doesn’t include it as a secondary display like it would if you had a second monitor connected to your Macbook Pro.
The screenshot shortcut works on macOS 10.12.2 which is still in beta at present. New Macbook Pros will automatically recieve the upgraded version so no real worries there.
Twitter has rolled out QR codes because, why not? Facebook’s Messenger app has them. The Twitter QR codes allow you to scan a code and automatically start following the account it belongs to. Likewise you can get a QR code for your Twitter profile and share it wherever you want. QR codes are available for all types of accounts i.e. verified and unverified. Since it impractical to scan or share a QR code from Twitter’s web interface, they cannot be accessed from it. A QR code can only be copied and shared from Twitter’s official mobile apps. Here’s how they work.
Finding Your QR Code
To find the QR code for your Twitter account in iOS, go to the ‘Me’ tab in the Twitter app. Look for the settings button which is the gear icon and tap it. In the menu that pops up, tap QR code.
On Android, tap your profile photo at the very top to open the navigation drawer. At the bottom you will see a ‘QR Code’ tab. Tap it. On Android, the QR Code opens to the scanner by default. Tap the ‘My QR Code’ button to get the QR code for your profile.
You can save the QR code as an image to your camera roll, or you can share it via the many share options available on your respective device.
Scanning A QR Code
Twitter’s app comes with a QR code scanner so that you can scan these codes when you see them. On iOS, go to the Me tab and tap the gear icon. In the menu that appears tap QR Code and then tap ‘QR Scanner’ at the bottom to go to the scanner.
On Android, it opens to the QR scanner by default. Simply tap your profile photo, and in the app drawer that opens, tap QR Code.
The default view the QR Code opens is different on iOS and Android. This is possibly because consistency isn’t a thing at Twitter. It seems you can only get a QR code for the main account configured in the Twitter app. QR codes for additional accounts that you might have added are not available.
Changing your Twitter handle or its privacy will not change your QR code. If you change your profile picture, the QR code will update the picture alone. Older QR codes will continue to work as before.
Digital cameras, when they fist appeared on shelves, were expensive. It took a while for them to get cheaper and for phones on cameras to get better. Most people continued to use standard film cameras for capturing the special events in their lives. The photos were developed and either stored in bulky albums or put away in shoe boxes. Digital cameras and smartphones have made point and shoot cameras obsolete but they didn’t get rid of our old photographs. Those, at the time expensive to develop memories, were printed on a standard 4×6 photographic sheet and they live in our small storage spaces. You can scan them to preserve a digital copy but that is quite a time consuming task. Google has just released a new app called PhotoScan that lets you use your phone to scan and digitize your old photographs. Here’s how it works.
Take out your box of old photos. If you’ve put them in an album, there’s no need to remove them if the photo isn’t obscured.
Lay the photo on a flat surface. Make sure it doesn’t curl at the corners. Open the app and position the photo inside the viewer. Tap the capture button.
Do not leave the app or let the photo leave the viewer after you have captured it. Four guiding circles will appear on the photo with a target circle in the middle. Move your phone and position the target circle inside the guides. Wait for it to finish processing and then proceed to the next one.
Once you’ve scanned all four circles, the app will process your photo. Tap the little circle at the bottom right to view the scanned photos and save the ones you want.
The app scans the photos quite well. They might as well have been scanned in a proper flat-bed scanner. It has flash-support if you need it when capturing the photo though we don’t recommend using it because it adds glare.