Is Fortnite Battle Royale on Mobile Worth Playing?

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Fortnite Battle Royale is the darling child of Epic Games that just about everyone is talking about. And after making a splash on PC and consoles, the game is now available on your smartphone.

But how well does the mobile version of Fortnite Battle Royale fare against the PC and console versions? Is it doomed to fail like many other mobile shooters? Let’s find out…

Minimum Requirements

  • Internet Connection: Yes
  • OS: iOS 11 (Android Support to Follow)
  • Minimum Free Storage: 2GB
  • iPhone: 6S / SE or newer
  • iPad: Mini 4 / Air 2 / 2017 / Pro or newer
  • Controller Support: None (Support to Follow)
  • Battery Drain: +- 7% per 15mins (Screen on 75% Brightness)

We tested the game using an iPhone X and iPad Pro 10.5 on a 200Mb internet connection. Bear in mind the game is still very much in beta, so you can expect a few tweaks and improvements to overall efficiency as the game is developed further.

Graphics and Ergonomics

To make Fortnite Battle Royale playable on mobile, some trade-offs were made. Both in terms of the controls and the graphics. Don’t expect to find ultra high details on mobile. That being said the game looks and runs beautifully, all things considered.

fortnite ergonomics

While having the larger screen of the iPad is a little more immersive, the smaller screen of the iPhone makes the game look prettier. Playing on the iPad is slightly more unwieldy, and the on-screen buttons are a little further apart meaning you’re going to be a little slower on the draw.

Getting Started

Before being able to play Fortnite Battle Royale on iOS, you’ll need to get in line and wait your turn by signing up for early access. Once you receive the invitation and you’ve managed to stop hyperventilating, click on the link in the email to go to the app store and download the game.

fortnite invite

Once the game downloads, you will need to sign in to your Epic Games account or, if you don’t already have one, create one. You can easily do this using your Google or Facebook account to make the signup process a little easier.

The Interface

If you have been playing Fortnite Battle Royale on other platforms, you’re going to be pleased that your character, progress, and items will carry over. Your loadout will be as you left it. From this point on, it seems any changes made to your character on one platform won’t sync to other platforms. For example, changing your outfit. This may change in the future.

fortnite dashboard

At the time of writing the only game modes that are available are Solo and Squad, with Duo being temporarily disabled. Solo being you against everyone else, or Squad being you and a team of up to four players against other teams.

As there is no controller support yet, everything is touch based. Moving between the lobby, locker and item shops, moving in-game, shooting, building, everything. If you’re coming from mouse and keyboard or controller, this is going to feel a little different.

fortnite ingame

The health and shield bars have been relocated and replaced with your inventory and build slots. There are a number of buttons placed on-screen along with some touch control modifications.

The Controls

If you have played mobile shooters before, movement and combat will come naturally to you. There are imaginary thumbsticks that you use to control your character. The left stick, which is actually visible, to move, and the right one to aim, shoot, and more. Pro-tip: double tap the left joystick to lock your character into a forward run.

fortnite controls

While there is a button to shoot just above the left joystick, tapping on the screen is a little more intuitive. There are buttons on the right to aim down the sights, jump, and crouch. Finally, to reload, there is a smaller button above your inventory which might be better placed possibly closer to one of the index fingers. As you may have guessed, the game is designed to be used primarily with your thumbs.

Moving, aiming and shooting simultaneously is what you should start practicing. There are going to be a lot of times where you accidentally touch the screen and discharge your weapon. Switching between weapons or building elements will require foregoing movement or aiming, which is a downside to how the game is laid out. Close-up combat is also much easier than some of the long-range shots you need to make.

fortnite controls

Some other modifications include having the doors open automatically which can be closed by tapping on them. Weapons and items are also picked up automatically by running over them. Switching and dropping weapons is also done by tapping.

This would be all well and good if Fortnite Battle Royale was only about moving and eliminating others. But this game is heavily weighted towards the Minecraft-inspired building mechanic. Being great at building can definitely give you both a defensive and offensive advantage against other players. Building is the difference between winning and losing in Fortnite Battle Royale.


This is where the mobile platform has a very steep learning curve. Getting to the build menu requires touching the tool icon next to your inventory. From there you tap on the structural element you’d like to build, choose the area, and make one last tap to initiate the building.

fortnite building

This is slower than on console, and significantly slower than on PC. In both console and PC, actions can be done simultaneously, like running and building, but it takes some getting used to on mobile.

In the beginning, you’re going to remain stationary for long periods of time while you figure out what you’re doing and trying to get a structure in place while trying to move. Fortnite’s combat can be extremely swift, and in the beginning, you’re going to be a little frustrated.

Sound Indicators

One of the biggest changes to Fortnite Battle Royale on mobile is how sound is represented on screen. As the game on other platforms is so reliant on sound, Epic Games needed to cater for mobile users. This is very useful for a few reasons.

Firstly, not all mobile users are going to use headphones. If you find yourself with some spare time and want to have a quick game, you may not always have headphones on you. The other reason is that when the headphones are plugged in it could impede the grip you have on your mobile device. This could negatively affect your gameplay.

fornite headphones

Epic Games catered for this by having directional on-screen sound cues for gunshots, enemy movement, or golden chests. Your player will obviously have to be within proximity for it to be displayed on screen, and the closer you are relative to the sound the bolder it will be on your screen.

On the subject of audio, voice chat still has yet to make an appearance on mobile. Voice is crucial to squad and duo game modes when coordinating between your teammates. The only workaround for the time being is using the Xbox app on iOS to set up an Xbox party chat. Creating a Microsoft account is free along with the Xbox app. After you create a party, invite the friends on your Fortnite squad and chat away while playing the game.

Is Fortnite Battle Royale Worth Playing on Mobile?

fortnite skydive

Is Fortnite Battle Royale on mobile the same as the PC or console versions? No. While cross-play allows you to go up against players on other platforms, it’s not recommended. Unless you don’t have access to a computer or console, but you still want to play with friends, stick to playing against other mobile players.

Has Epic Games translated Fortnite as best they could? Absolutely, 100 percent, yes. Epic Games has set the bar so high for future developers in making Fortnite run so well on mobile. Even with the complex building system and control system, the developer has truly made something special.

Playing Fortnite Battle Royale on mobile will give you certain advantages over PC or console players, like the sound indicators. And future controller support will level the playing field for cross-play even further. Having access to your progress and character while moving between platforms also sets the bar even higher for other developers.

If we’re honest, unlike these games with phenomenal touchscreen controls, controlling Fortnite Battle Royale on mobile takes some getting used to, and you’re not going to be as fast at moving and shooting as a you are on computer or console. However, this is a tiny sacrifice to make in order to play Fortnite Battle Royale on your smartphone.

To answer the question in the headline, yes, Fortnite Battle Royale is definitely worth playing on mobile devices, and sets a new high bar for developers to aim for. So what are you waiting for?!

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How to Edit Videos on Your Phone Using Adobe Premiere Clip

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Most of us shoot videos on our phones, but most of us don’t then edit those videos on our phones. Because it’s too difficult, takes too long, and requires skills that we just don’t have. But here’s the thing: video editing on your phone is a lot easier than you might think.

The best video editing app for iPhone and Android right now is Adobe Premiere Clip. The mobile version of the professional editing package is free, fast, and works on most devices. Best of all, it really simplifies the editing process.

In this article we’ll show you how to edit videos on your phone using Adobe Premiere Clip.

Download: Adobe Premiere Clip for Android | iOS (Free)

1. Create a New Project

First, create a new project by tapping on the + button found in the bottom-right on Android and the top-right on iOS. The app has a slightly different layout depending on which device you’re using, but the features are all the same.

premiere clip project

Now choose where your content is stored. You can use any videos or photos on your device, as well as the main cloud services including Dropbox, Google Photos, and Apple Photos. Alternatively, select the Camera option and shoot something new.

Tap to add all the clips you want to use and then tap Done.

2. Choose a Project Type

Next, you’ll see the Choose Project Type screen. One of the best things about Adobe Premiere Clip is that it can automatically generate movies for you. It edits your clips together in sync with a soundtrack that it also adds.

premiere clip project type

To do this, choose Automatic. For more control over your project, select Freeform.

Automatic videos only take a few seconds to create. You can tweak them a little by adding a different soundtrack and changing the order in which the clips are used.

You can also convert an Automatic video into a Freeform video at any time. Hit the More Customization button at the top of the screen to do that.

3. Rearrange Your Clips

After you choose Freeform you’ll see the main editing screen. This has a preview window at the top, a trim bar in the center, and your clips displayed in sequence at the bottom.

premiere clip rearrange

All the clips you choose are added to your video in the order you selected them. The first thing you need to do is rearrange any that are out of sequence.

To do this, hold your finger on one of the thumbnails and drag it into the preferred position.

4. Trim Your Clips

Next, you need to trim your clips. This enables you to reduce a longer video down to just the few seconds you actually want to use.

Tap the clip to select it. In the trim bar in the center you’ll see purple handles at each end. The left handle marks the “In” point, where the video will start. The right handle marks the “Out” point, where the video will end. There’s also a white vertical bar that lets you “scrub” through the clip to preview its content rapidly.

premiere clip trim

Drag the white bar until you reach the point where you want the video clip to start. Now drag the left-most handle to that same point.

Next, drag the white bar to the point where you want the video to end, then move the right handle to align with it. You’ve now set new “In” and “Out” points.

5. Split Your Clips

Sometimes you might want to use the whole clip, but not all at the same time. You might want to add a cutaway to another shot, for example. Or maybe you need to use parts from the start and end of a clip, but not from the middle.

You can do this by splitting the clip.

premiere clip slider

Tap the clip to select it, then tap the settings sliders icon just above the preview window. This opens a clip editing screen.

Drag the scrubber bar (the white vertical bar) to the point where you want to make your cut, then tap Split at Playhead.

premiere clip split

You’ll return to the main editing screen, where the clip is now split into two parts. Hold and drag them into place. You can split a clip as many times as you want.

Non-Destructive Editing With Adobe Premiere Clip

A couple of things to note here.

The clip isn’t physically split in two, it’s duplicated. In the first clip a new “Out” point is set where you positioned the playhead, and in the second clip a new “In” point is set at the same place. This makes the edit non-destructive. You can undo it at any time just by changing the “In” and “Out” points once more.

The editing options also include a control for setting the speed of playback, so you can add a slow-motion effect, and an option for duplicating the clip.

6. Add a Soundtrack

Once you’ve edited your clips together you’re ready to add some music. Tap the Soundtrack button at the top of the screen to get started.

premiere clip soundtrack

Adobe Premiere Clip comes with a selection of free tunes to use, or you can add some Creative Commons music from your device. Pick a tune and tap Add.

You can only use one track per movie, and it’s always synced to the start of the video. There’s no way to change this.

It is possible to make the music start at a later point in the song. Drag the waveform until you reach your chosen point, and hit the Play button for a preview.

Other Audio Options in Adobe Premiere Clip

Of the other options here, Auto Mix will lower the music volume when there’s native sound from the video clip. This should be on by default.

Sync to Music snaps cuts to the beat of your chosen soundtrack when you trim a clip. This is worth experimenting with. Sometimes it works well; sometimes less so.

Finally, set the volume level for your soundtrack, and whether you want it to fade in at the start and out at the end.

7. Fine-Tune Your Edit

By this stage your movie should be looking good. There are a few extra tools that can add some more polish to your work.

Tweak the Color and Sound

Select a clip and tap the aperture icon. Here, you’ll find sliders to adjust Exposure (overall brightness), Highlights (the brightest parts of the video), and Shadows (the darkest parts). You must set these manually for each clip; you cannot do it globally.

premiere clip tweaks

Tap the speaker icon to access the volume settings for the clip. The Smart Volume helps to correct for big contrasts in the volume levels. You can also adjust the overall volume, or turn the audio off entirely by deactivating the Play Audio option.

Again, you have to set the audio settings for each clip separately.

Change the Look

From the main editing screen tap the Looks icon at the top. Looks are a series of filters you can apply to your video to change the color, contrast, and overall tone. There’s 30 to choose from, some less subtle than others. Just tap on the thumbnails to see the effect in action. You can change them again later.

premiere clip looks

Like Instagram filters, the Looks can be overdone. But they are a quick way to give all your clips a uniform color and style, something you don’t get to control otherwise.

8. Add a Title to Your Clip

Finally, add a title. Tap the + icon on the main editing screen and select Text Title. Type your text into the box, then set a color for both the text and the background.

premiere clip titles

Return to the main screen and drag the title card to the right position if you need to. Set “In” and “Out” points for the title to adjust how long it will stay on screen.

You can add as many title cards as you need. You can place them in between clips to function as chapter headers, or at the end.

9. Save and Share Your Movie

And you’re done!

Tap the full screen icon in the top-right to get a proper preview of your final video. If you want to change something you can just go back and do it. Every single edit you’ve made can be tweaked or undone.

Once you’re happy, it’s time to save and share your work.

premiere clip share

Adobe Premiere Clip saves your projects automatically as you work, so there’s no need to save them as you go. But you do need to export the final product for sharing or viewing in other apps.

Tap the Share button to bring up your options:

  • Save to Gallery: This exports and saves a local copy of your video to your device. You can watch it in other apps.
  • Save to Creative Cloud: Uploads your video to your Adobe Creative Cloud space.
  • Publish & Share: This publishes your completed movie on the Community Videos page within Premiere Clip. You can choose whether to make it public or private.
  • Send to Premiere Pro CC: This allows you to open your video project in Premiere Pro on your desktop for more in-depth editing. You need to be logged in to the same Adobe account in both locations.
  • Share on YouTube: Creates your video and uploads it to your YouTube account.
  • Share on Twitter: Creates your video and posts it on your Twitter account.

In all cases you need to choose an output resolution for your video, and to enter the details for any accounts you’re using.

Regardless of how you package and share your finished video, the project will remain in the Adobe Premiere Clip app where you can re-edit it in future.

Next Steps After Learning Adobe Premiere Clip

Adobe Premiere Clip may not have the power of its (expensive) desktop counterpart, but it offers all the basics that you need to edit videos on your smartphone or tablet. It’s ideal for projects of all sizes, from trimming clips to share on social media, to something a lot more ambitious.

The next step is to learn a few awesome video editing techniques to give a true professional sheen to your smartphone-made movies!

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How to Force Restart an iPhone and Enter Recovery Mode

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There are now two distinct families of iPhone, and two different ways of performing some of the most basic tasks. Inputs like taking a screenshot or restarting your device are a bit different on the latest models.

In 2016 Apple dropped the mechanical home button in favor of a capacitive touch panel instead. Less moving parts means a more reliable device, but since the new iPhone home button relies on software, it’s no longer used to hard reset your device.

So let’s look at how to force restart each iPhone, and how to enter recovery mode to reinstall iOS.

Jump to your device:

Force Rebooting and Recovery Mode 101

You’ll hopefully never need to hard reset your iPhone, but occasionally something goes wrong.

When your device becomes completely unresponsive, you can choose between waiting for the battery to deplete and initiating a hard reset. A hard reset is basically the equivalent of pulling the power plug, forcing your iPhone to shut down and start up again.

Recovery mode takes this a step further, putting your device into a state where you can reinstall iOS by connecting your iPhone to a computer running iTunes. If your iPhone refuses to boot or crashes on startup, you’ll need to put the device into recovery mode (below) in order to rescue it.

iPhone Recovery Mode

Note that when you reinstall iOS, you’ll lose all the data on your iPhone. This isn’t a problem if you make regular backups, which you can do using iCloud or locally in iTunes. Unfortunately, you can’t back up your device in recovery mode, since iTunes will only offer to restore the firmware.

As such, if you are stuck with an iPhone that won’t boot and you don’t have a backup, there’s nothing you can do to save your data.

For iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus

iPhone X and iPhone 8

iPhone X is Apple’s top-tier iPhone, notable for its inclusion of facial recognition technology Face ID and dramatic redesign that sees the entire front of the device function as a display. The iPhone 8 was released at the same time but lacks Face ID.

Note: You’ll need to perform these button combinations fairly quickly.

How to Restart the iPhone X/8

  1. Press then release the volume up button.
  2. Immediately press then release the volume down button.
  3. Hold the side button till you see an Apple logo.

How to Put the iPhone X/8 Into Recovery Mode

  1. Connect your iPhone to a computer and launch iTunes.
  2. Press then release the volume up button.
  3. Immediately press then release the volume down button.
  4. Hold the side button, and don’t let go when you see the Apple logo.
  5. Keep holding till you see the Recovery Mode screen.

For iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

Both the iPhone 7 and larger Plus model were released in September 2016, and were to first iPhones to lack a mechanical home button. This required Apple to change these shortcuts for the first time since the iPhone was introduced in 2007.

How to Restart the iPhone 7/Plus

  1. Press and hold the side button and volume down button and the same time.
  2. Release the buttons after 10 seconds when you see the Apple logo.

How to Put the iPhone 7/Plus Into Recovery Mode

  1. Connect your iPhone to a computer and launch iTunes.
  2. Press and hold the side button and volume down button at the same time.
  3. Keep holding the button even when you see the Apple logo.
  4. Release both buttons when you see the Recovery Mode screen.

For iPhone 6s or Earlier

iPhone 6 and iPhone SE

Released in 2015, the iPhone 6s was Apple’s last iPhone with a mechanical home button. The following advice is good for any iPhone that came before the iPhone 6s including the Plus models and iPhone SE.

How to Restart the iPhone 6s or Earlier

  1. Press and hold the home and lock buttons (the lock button is on the side in the iPhone 6 or later, or on top of the device on the iPhone 5s and earlier).
  2. Release the buttons after 10 seconds when you see the Apple logo.

How to Put the iPhone 6s or Earlier Into Recovery Mode

  1. Connect your iPhone to a computer and launch iTunes.
  2. Press and hold the home and lock buttons (the lock button is on the side in the iPhone 6 or later, or on top of the device on the iPhone 5s and earlier).
  3. Keep holding the buttons even when you see the Apple logo.
  4. Release both buttons when you see the Recovery Mode screen.

Finally Ready to Recover Your iPhone

When you put your device into recovery mode, you’ll have 15 minutes to begin reinstalling iOS before your device will automatically exit Recovery Mode. You’ll need to repeat the combination of button presses in order to put it back into Recovery Mode if this happens.

iTunes Repair iPhone

Your device will not show up as normal in iTunes while in Recovery Mode, and you’ll see an error message like the one above. You can always choose to update the firmware, or simply restore the existing version.

Once your iPhone reboots as normal, you will need to login with your credentials to remove Apple’s Activation Lock. This is also why you should never buy an iPhone if the seller refuses to unlock it in front of you.

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Do You Love Cats? 8 Smartphone Games for Cat Lovers

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There’s no denying it, the internet loves cats. Especially when it comes to memes. You may even own a cat or two, or just wish you had your own cat. If it’s the latter, you probably vicariously live through the cat photos posted of others. You poor, non-cat-owning person.

But even if you have a cat, or get your daily dose of feline fun through Instagram or Facebook, sometimes this just may not be enough. You need cats in everything, from clothes and accessories to video games.

While we can’t help you become the next feline fashionista, we do know some great cat-themed games you can play on your smartphone.

1. Super Phantom Cat 2

super phantom cat

If you’re a fan of brilliant platformers, and especially Super Mario Bros., then Super Phantom Cat 2 is a must-play.

The game features colorful and blocky graphics that anyone will find cute and charming. There’s a wide roster of different cats available to play as, each having their own unique costume, and some have special abilities. It takes time to collect all of the necessary hero fragments though, so expect to be playing this for a while.

Super Phantom Cat 2 is level-based, and the goal is to reach the portal at the end to get to the next area. But there are obstacles, traps, and enemies in the way, making it easier said than done. Fortunately, you’ll have the powers of the Phantom World at your side, making the impossible possible.

There are also quests that provide more objectives to complete, as well as neat rewards. These are slightly more challenging than the normal levels.

Super Phantom Cat 2 is a good sequel to the original Super Phantom Cat, and it’s great for cat lovers who want platforming fun.

Download: Super Phantom Cat 2 for iOS | Android (Free)

2. Cat Quest

cat quest

Are you in the mood for an action-packed, real-time dungeon crawling experience similar to Diablo 3? But with cats? Then you’ll love Cat Quest.

Embark on a grand journey full of dragons, magic, and, yep, you guessed it, cats. As an evil creature catnaps your sister, it’s up to you to get her back.

Cat Quest features distinctive 2.5D visuals with a cartoon style that is both endearing and adorable. The world of Felingard is lush and detailed, and has incredibly smooth animations during navigation and real-time battle.

Felingard is a vast world, and players are not limited to linear exploration. You can roam freely around the lands, battling in real-time to level up and become stronger, and delve into secret dungeons. There’s a lot of enemies to claw your way through with melee combat or magical spells, and plenty of loot to collect too.

Download: Cat Quest for iOS | Android ($ 4.99)

3. Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector

neko atsume

Do you want to relax and collect digital cats (or virtual pets like Tamagotchis), especially if you don’t have a real cat to call your own? Then check out Neko Atsume.

The simple art style of Neko Atsume matches the super easy gameplay. All you need to do is place toys and snacks in your yard to attract cats. Eventually, they will come and pay you a visit.

As cats stop by for a visit for free food and playtime, they’ll leave behind some fish as a gift. You spend the fish on new toys and snacks to attract even more cats, and repeat the cycle.

There are 40 different varieties of cats in Neko Atsume. Each one gets attracted by certain toys and food, so you’ll have to change things up every now and then, especially if you want to catch the rare breeds.

Download: Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector for iOS | Android (Free)

4. Cat Bird

cat bird

Maybe Super Phantom Cat 2 isn’t enough of a platformer for you. Or perhaps you prefer your cats to… fly? Either way, Cat Bird should fulfills your needs.

Cat Bird features nostalgic pixel art visuals and chiptunes to appeal to retro gamers. The white cat is also adorable, especially when it takes flight with its stubby little arms.

There are several worlds in Cat Bird packed with a variety of stages. The goal is to help the flying cat reach the portal at the end of each stage so he can go home. It starts out easy enough, but the additional hazards, traps, and enemies make it a challenging task of survival. This one is all about timing.

Download: Cat Bird for iOS | Android (Free)

5. Bread Kittens

bread kittens

Cats and bread go hand-in-hand. Remember the whole “cat breading” meme? The idea is so irresistible that there’s a whole game dedicated to it.

In Bread Kittens, you take the role of a baker. You must stop the evil ChowCorp from turning all cats wild and aggressive with tainted cat food. Cats won’t get adopted and fed when they’re feral, so you have to engage in battles with them until they’re weak enough to get captured through bread.

Yes, you literally use bread like a Pokeball to capture kittens. Then you create bread loaf armor to protect them as you use them to tame other wild cats. Travel with your army of cats, find rare and powerful breeds, and save them from ChowCorp’s grasp.

Download: Bread Kittens for iOS | Android (Free)

6. Nom Cat

nom cat garfield

We all know cats like to eat, so why not turn that into a mobile game?

Nom Cats is a quick arcade style game that tests your reflexes. Just tap-and-hold to make the two cats open their mouths wide to catch and eat endless waves of fish. But you’ll want to watch out for those bombs that got mixed in. The more fish the cats eat, the higher your score.

There’s an impressive roster of famous felines in Nom Cat too, including Garfield, Grumpy Cat, Nyan Cat, Keyboard Cat, and more.

Download: Nom Cat for iOS | Android (Free)

7. Nyan Cat: Lost in Space

nyan cat lost in space

Do you remember Nyan Cat, the internet’s beloved flying cat in a Pop-Tart leaving behind a rainbow trail of awesomeness? There’s a game for this popular meme cat too, and it’s just as random and crazy as you might expect.

Nyan Cat: Lost in Space is an infinite runner with five different game modes. Each of them adds a unique twist to the gameplay that makes it more challenging, or even relaxing. Along the way, help Nyan Cat gather up tasty treats and avoid dangerous hazards like bombs, UFOs, and dogs.

For more Nyan Cat fun, there’s a virtual pet mini-game that awards you prizes quicker if you keep the cat happy. You can also create your own Nyan Cat as well, in case the original isn’t enough cat for you.

And don’t forget about the super catchy “nyan” song.

Download: Nyan Cat: Lost in Space for iOS | Android (Free)

8. Purrfect Date

Sometimes animals are definitely better than people, and that’s proven correct with a dating simulator featuring cats. Say hello to your Purrfect Date.

This creative interactive visual novel combines romance, mystery, and suspense all in one package, and finishes it all off with a lot of cats.

In Purrfect Date, players take on the role of a researcher who gets a new job on this remote island inhabited by felines, appropriately named Cat Island. There’s a mystery afoot, talking cats, and suspicious NPCs. As you try to unravel the secrets of the island, you’ll have the opportunity to get to know a cat on a more personal level. It’s almost like the cats are people, oddly enough.

There are six stories to go through in Purrfect Date, and you have tough decisions awaiting you. It’s a unique (if slightly creepy) game that’s packed with charm.

Download: Purrfect Date for iOS ($ 4.99)

A Purr-fect Way to Pass Time

If you love cats and mobile games, there are certainly a lot of options out there. We just rounded up some of the best feline-themed games for your enjoyment, and hope they help you to get your daily cat fix.

And while we’re all about the cats, don’t forget about these other trendy mobile games while you’re at it. Or you could always use a tablet to keep your cat entertained instead.

Image Credit: Alexmia/Depositphotos

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Create the Perfect Wedding Invitation Using These Phone Apps

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If you’re planning a wedding, then you know how much is involved. Big or small, ceremonies take coordination for the location, photographer, flowers, and of course, the invitations.

For an intimate wedding with just a few friends or family members, you may decide to forego the expense and hassle of physical invitations. But you can still send something beautiful to your guests in the form of digital invitations.

These mobile apps are simple, offer attractive options, and take the work out of physical wedding invitation ideas.

1. Wedding-Invitations

create your own wedding invitations with wedding-invitations mobile app

For a basic invitation where you choose the background and wording from a variety of options, take a look at Wedding-Invitations.

First, tap the Designs tab on the bottom and scroll through the lovely options. Once you pick one, the Wordings tab will automatically open. Then, review categories like Fall Wedding, Children Inviting, or Religious.

Once you have your design and wording, you can adjust the font style, color, and size in addition to editing the words. When you finish, just save or share your invitation with a tap.

Wedding-Invitations is free and does contain ads. However, they are only at the top or bottom of the screen rather than taking over in full screen like many others. Plus, if you are interested in the premium version which gives you many additional designs, there is an in-app purchase available.

Download: Wedding-Invitations for iOS (Free)

2. Wedding Invitation Cards Maker by vcsapps

create your own wedding invitations with wedding invitations cards vcsapps maker mobile app

Wedding Invitation Cards Maker for Android is easy to use and provides tons of customizations. Start by entering optional details such as the greeting, location, and type of RSVP. Select a date and time and tap Create Invitation.

You can then choose a design by tapping the Cards button on the top right. There is a nice selection of backgrounds in all colors and styles. When you pick one, you will see any of the details you entered initially pop right onto the card. But you will also notice a slew of editing options.

Add stickers, quotes, blur, a signature, a photo, and effects. You can also choose the font style and color, plus edit or move all text blocks and other items right where you want them. Then, easily save or share your invitation.

The app does contain ads that follow you through your creation process which you can remove with an in-app purchase. But if you don’t mind them, you can create a gorgeous invitation that fits your ceremony perfectly.

Download: Wedding Invitation Cards Maker for Android (Free)

3. Wedding Invitation Cards Maker by Cruise Infotech

create your own wedding invitations with wedding invitations cards Cruise Infotech maker mobile app

Wedding Invitation Cards Maker is another good, free option for your invitations. You can pick from cards or frames, both of which have plenty of choices. Open the app, tap Start, and then choose either Cards or Frames from the top.

Invitations range per taste from cute and casual to stylish and elegant. Once you make your pick, tap the text boxes to pop in your details. You can also insert romantic quotes, add themed stickers, and adjust the colors. You can save your creations to show your partner or share one right away.

This app is a bit heavy on the ads which you can remove with an in-app purchase. However, if you can get past them, Wedding Invitation Cards Maker has really pretty options.

Download: Wedding Invitation Cards Maker for Android | iOS (Free)

4. Invitation Card Maker

create your own wedding invitations with invitation card maker mobile app

Invitation Card Maker is a great app for wedding invitations because it also offers options for engagement, party, and birthday events.

Tap the Wedding tab at the top and then scroll down through a variety of invitations. You can choose from simple designs to those with photographs for just the right look.

When you find one you like, tap Edit and then add your details along with icons, new text or image boxes, and adjust the background color, gradient, or pattern. After you finish your invitation, hit the Checkmark and then share or save it.

If you decide to continue using Invitation Card Maker for its other offerings, you can remove the ads with an in-app purchase.

Download: Invitation Card Maker for iOS (Free)

5. Evite

create your own wedding invitations with evite for mobile

If you like the idea of an app with more than just wedding invitations, check out Evite. With everything from Independence Day to wine tasting events, you have tons of invitation options.

For your wedding, you can either enter a term into the search box or select Browse and scroll down to Wedding Ceremony. When you pick the one you want, you will be prompted through the creation process. You’ll add a host, title, date, location, and message.

With a free account, you can save your creations, invite guests, or share your invitations from within the app. If you decide to invite guests, just allow access to your contact list and you can receive notifications when guests respond.

Evite has plenty of little extras that make it a terrific app for your wedding invitations. And best of all, there are no ads to get in the way.

Download: Evite for Android | iOS (Free)

6. Canva

create your own wedding invitations with canva for mobile

One final app to check out for your wedding invitations is Canva. Canva is actually a robust graphic design tool, but it offers an excellent selection of wedding invitation templates. So after your wedding day, you can hold onto Canva for plenty of other tasks like social media posts, logos, and banners.

For your wedding invitations, just create a free account. Then in the top navigation, scroll to and tap on Invitation. Enter the word wedding into the search box to view your options. You can easily see the free and paid templates and tap a design to get started.

Canva provides a selection of editing tools for adding your details, adjusting the font style and format, rearranging items, changing the color, and inserting images. When you finish, tap Share and then select your file type to save it.

With great features, attractive templates, and no ads, you can’t go wrong using Canva for your wedding invitations.

Download: Canva for Android | iOS (Free)

Create the Perfect Wedding Invitation

If you are having a huge wedding or are simply traditional, then you may want to stick with physical invitations. But if your wedding is small or you want to do something different, try these terrific digital invitation options.

And if you need a little help with the other pieces, see how you can use Trello to plan your ceremony and websites that can help you save money on your wedding overall.

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Medical ID: This iPhone Feature Could Save Your Life

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Statistically speaking, you’re probably reading this on your smartphone. It goes everywhere with you. You care for it, put it in a case, keep it topped up with power, and it even sits by your side all night long.

Wouldn’t it be great if your iPhone could take care of you too? It’s not just a nice idea; it’s a feature built into iOS. Set up Medical ID today, and you can rest a little easier knowing any vital medical information and next of kin details are just a few taps away.

Let’s have a look at this potentially life-saving feature, and how to set it up on your own iPhone.

What Is Medical ID?

Medical ID is a safety feature built into your iPhone which can inform others of important medical information in the event of an emergency. You can store the following information in your Medical ID, which is viewable by anyone who knows how to access it:

  • Your name, Apple ID picture, and date of birth.
  • Known medical conditions (for example, asthma).
  • Relevant medical notes relating to conditions (for example, any metal pins from past surgery).
  • Known allergies and reactions.
  • Any medication you are currently taking.
  • Your blood type and organ donor status.
  • Your weight and height.
  • An emergency contact of your choosing.

Keep in mind that there’s no way of limiting this information to strictly emergency personnel. Anyone with physical access to your iPhone can find your Medical ID if they’re looking for it. This does raise some potential privacy concerns, but it’s a trade you’ll have to make if you want to use the feature.

Do Paramedics Check Medical ID?

Findings suggest that many paramedics and emergency responders do check for Medical ID. However, many others are unaware of the feature’s existence. Considering the feature was added to the iPhone in 2014 with iOS 8, it’s likely that awareness has grown among medical professionals over the past few years.

One Redditor posed this question to the /r/apple community in 2015, with a mixed bag of results. One trauma nurse and another paramedic confirmed that they’ve used it to great effect. Others either didn’t find the information useful, or didn’t know how to access it. Some were frustrated that not enough people make use of the feature.

One respondent on Quora noted: “When it’s at that point where an individual can’t provide any info it’s too late to be digging around the pocket for a phone. We resort to our own step by step assessment and procede [sic] with the appropriate treatment. We don’t always need to know what your past medical history is to treat the emergency.”

It’s increasingly likely that paramedics will receive exposure to the feature as part of their standard training. Yet it seems like more needs done to ensure that people are creating a Medical ID, and that emergency responders are trained to access the information.

Setting Up Your Medical ID

You can create your Medical ID by launching the Health app and tapping on the Medical ID tab. You can also head to Contacts, tap your name at the top, and tap Create Medical ID at the bottom. Use the Edit button to add, remove, or change any information, then hit Done to save your changes.

Show Medical ID When Locked on iphone

Important: For your Medical ID to be useful, you’ll want to enable the Show When Locked option on this screen. This will enable others to access the feature without unlocking your iPhone first.

Medical ID iphone

You can add as much information as you like to the various fields, but keep in mind the privacy implications of the information you share. Your date of birth, name, and picture can be used to positively ID you. Any emergency contacts you nominate will have their phone number displayed, and whoever has your phone can call them.

iOS Emergency SOS Mode

When you use the Emergency SOS shortcut (instructions below) and proceed with an emergency call, iOS will send a map of your current location to any emergency contacts listed in this field.

How to Access Medical ID on an iPhone

To access your (or anyone else’s) Medical ID, use one of the following methods:

  • Tap the side/power button five times to activate Emergency SOS until you see three sliders appear on screen, then choose Medical ID.
  • On the Lock Screen tap Emergency then Medical ID.

Despite this information being easily accessible to those who know how, no other apps can access your Medical ID.

How to Access Medical ID on an Apple Watch

As of watchOS 3, the Apple Watch is both an emergency call button and a medical ID bracelet. When you press and hold the side button, you’ll see the Emergency SOS feature. This is where you’ll find the information listed in your Medical ID.

Considering many emergency responders are trained to look for a medical bracelet for clues about any existing conditions like diabetes or epilepsy, the Apple Watch might be better than your iPhone for this purpose. The feature has only been a part of the Watch for around two years, so first responders may not yet be familiar with it.

Medical ID on apple watch

If you keep holding the button, you’ll connect to emergency services (your watch will detect and call the right number, regardless of where you are). Your Watch will then send your location to any emergency contacts listed in Medical ID.

Medical ID: A Feature You’ll Hopefully Never Need

Most of us probably won’t ever have any use for Medical ID, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth taking five minutes out of your day to set it up. If you’re OK with divulging some potentially life-saving information, Medical ID could really help emergency personnel deliver a higher standard of care in an emergency.

Image Credit: Wavebreakmedia/Depositphotos

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A Beginner’s Guide to Google Duo and Google Allo

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Google has so many apps, services, and projects that it’s sometimes hard to get your head around the infinite number of choices available. And while Hangouts was once its premier messaging app, the company added to its repertoire in late 2016 with the release of Allo and Duo.

These two apps serve different functions, but are both handy to have at your disposal. So let’s discuss what both Duo and Allo do and how to start using them!

Google Duo

Google Duo is a straightforward video-calling app, and serves as the closest alternative to FaceTime for Android. While Hangouts supports video calling as well, Google has replaced it with Duo as the default video chat app on Android. Further, Duo only support one-on-one chats, so there’s no group calling here.

Duo is mobile-only, so while you can talk with other Android or iOS users, there’s no app for calling on your computer. Because of this, your Duo login is tied to your phone number, not your Google account. This makes signing into Duo simple, and you don’t have to know someone’s email address to get ahold of them.

One tap on any of your contacts starts a video call. You can also make audio-only calls if you’d prefer not to show your face. On Pixel, Nexus, and Android One devices, Duo also hooks into the Phone, Contacts, and Messages apps, so you can make video calls from other places on your phone.

The only real standout feature of Duo is “Knock Knock,” which lets you see a live preview of the person calling you before you accept the call. Google says this is “[t]o make calls feel more like an invitation rather than an interruption” and gives you an idea of what someone wants before you start talking.

That’s really all there is to it; Google didn’t add many frills to Duo. It’s optimized for low-quality networks and switches between Wi-Fi and mobile data automatically, so you shouldn’t experience many interruptions. It also protects calls with end-to-end encryption.

Download: Google Duo for Android | iOS (Free)

Getting Started With Duo

Download the Google Duo app for Android (it may already be pre-installed) or iOS, then pop it open. Provide your phone number, then you’ll receive a verification code via SMS. Grant the app permission to access your contacts and microphone/camera, then you’re all set to go.

You’ll see suggested contacts on Duo’s home page, along with a live preview of your phone’s front camera. Tap the slider to switch between video and audio calls. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen or tap Contacts to see who’s on Duo.

Google Duo Contacts

You’ll see all your contacts who have Duo installed first. Tap one to start a call. If you scroll past those who use Duo, you’ll see an Invite to Duo section where you can send your friends a message asking them to download the app. You can even call Android users who don’t have the app installed.

When you receive a Duo call, swipe up to answer it or swipe down to decline. During a call, you can use the Mute button to mute your microphone, and the Camera button to swap between your front and rear cameras.

Finally, tap the three-dot Menu button in Duo to access a few options. You can disable vibration for incoming calls, turn off “Knock Knock,” or let the app use high-quality video even if you’re on mobile data.

Google Duo Settings

Google Allo

While Duo is for video calling, Allo is an instant messaging app. Why use it when WhatsApp and Telegram, and other options are so popular? Google has a few tricks that it hopes to entice you with.

One of the big draws of Allo is the Smart Reply feature. As you use the app, it learns about your personality and typical responses. Then, when someone sends you a message, you’ll see bubbles at the bottom of the screen that let you reply instantly. These are better than canned messages, though, because they’re based on context.

Another standout feature in Allo is Google Assistant’s integration. You can summon the same Assistant that answers your questions on Android anytime in your chats. Just type @google and you can ask it for directions, information, and anything else you can think of. Allo also includes a dedicated chat with Assistant you can talk to anytime.

Aside from the major features, Allo features a few other perks. Interestingly, you can adjust the size of your messages. Typing in all caps is annoying, so you can slide the Send icon up or down to scale the size of your message text. This lets you “whisper” or “shout” through text.

Allo also lets you doodle on photos when you share them. It also has plenty of stickers to check out. And the Incognito chat feature provides private notifications, encrypted chat, and the ability to have messages expire after a set time.

Download: Google Allo for Android | iOS | (Free)

Getting Started With Allo

Install the app, then you’ll need to enter your phone number. You’ll then see a prompt to connect your Google account, which lets you link your existing Google profile info for Google Assistant. Add your name and profile picture, then the app might ask you to invite some of your contacts to Allo. Tap Skip to move on, and you’ll see your chat inbox.

Google Allo Home and Stickers

Tap Start chat to begin a new message. Like Duo, you’ll see a list of people who use Allo first, under Allo contacts. Select one person and then Done for a one-on-one chat, or multiple people (up to 256) for a group chat. If you select Start incognito chat, you can then select one or more folks to talk with incognito.

Once in a chat, you’ll find most of the usual options for sending content above the text field. Tap the icons to send pictures, stickers, GIFs, or share your location. Type @google and then a command for Google Assistant to help you out with.

Google Allo Chatting

If you want, you can also use Allo on the web. But you’ll have to link the app on your Android or iOS device to do so.

Google Allo and Duo: A Great Messaging Combination

Like any messaging apps, whether you use Allo and Duo likely comes down to how many of your friends use them. If everyone you know sticks with Skype, WhatsApp, or another app, you might not get might mileage out of Google’s offerings.

While Duo is a dead-simple video calling experience that’s quite handy, you may have some privacy concerns about Allo. Inviting Google into your private chats is a step we imagine some people won’t be comfortable with, so you may prefer to use a secure messaging app instead.

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Uber vs. Lyft: Which One Should You Use?

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Secret location tracking, toxic company cultures, congestion problems, arguments with city mayors, and a near-endless list of business malpractices. Ridesharing apps haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory in recent years.

But that’s not stopped people from using the services that the companies provide. Uber has now completed more than five billion trips and is clocking up a barely-believable 5.5 million trips per day.

However, Uber is no longer the only show in town. The company’s business model has been replicated around the world. As a result, Uber’s market share in the United States declined by more than 10 percent in 2017. Today, it’s the most significant competitor in North America is Lyft.

But which service should you use: Uber or Lyft? In this article, we’re going to put the two apps head-to-head and compare five criteria.

1. Availability

uber or lyft which one is better

A ridesharing service isn’t very useful if it’s not available when you need it, so let’s look at how Uber and Lyft compare in terms of availability.

Uber operates in 633 cities worldwide. That number covers a vast number of American cities, and more globally-renowned locations in Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.

In contrast, Lyft has traditionally only been available in the United States. It expanded into Canada in December 2017, but that’s the only other country it operates in.

Even in the domestic American market where Lyft specializes, Uber comfortably wins. It counts more than 250 markets whereas Lyft barely operates in 100.

Score: Uber 1-0 Lyft

2. Services

Sure, Uber started life as a glorified taxi service, but today the company has expanded its operations considerably.

Although not all the services are available in every city, Uber offers 17 standalone products. They range from the well-known offerings such as UberEATS through to the obscure.

For example, have you ever heard of UberAUTO (a rickshaw service in Pakistan), UberBOAT (a water taxi service in Istanbul), or UberAIR (an aircraft service launching in 2020)?

Lyft’s services are far more limited.

Yes, the company has been experimenting with self-driving cars, and it offers services like ridesharing and six-person vehicles, but it lacks the diversification of Uber. At one time, Lyft was developing a rival to UberEATS, but the plan met with resistance inside the company and was abandoned.

Score: Uber 2-0 Lyft

3. Price

uber or lyft which one is better

Many people don’t care about riding in a top-of-the-range luxury vehicle or whether a driver offers you a bottle of water. They just want to get from A to B for as little money as possible.

Sadly, it’s not easy to make a like-for-like price comparison between Uber and Lyft. Factors like surge pricing, time of day, and even the city you’re in all have an impact on how much you will pay and make it difficult to tell if Uber or Lyft is chepaer. Things quickly become confusing.

However, there are some broad similarities. When using either company, you can expect to pay about $ 1 on average to start a ride, an average of $ 1.50 per mile, and an average of 25 cents per minute. All combined, you can expect to pay about $ 2 per mile with each company.

We’ll give the point to Lyft, merely due to its cheaper surge pricing system. Lyft will often go to x2, whereas x8 is not uncommon on Uber.

Score: Uber 2-1 Lyft

4. Ease of Use

If you’ve used Uber and Lyft, you will know the two apps function in a similar way. You tell the app where you want to go, and you’ll see nearby cars and a price estimate. Both apps also allow you to tip your driver and add multiple stops to your journey.

However, as Uber has grown its ancillary services like UberEATS, the main Uber app has become one of the company’s primary advertising tools. What used to be a slick and professional app has become increasingly bloated and hard to navigate.

Lyft used to trail Uber in the professionalism stakes; it appealed to a “hippy” crowd. But after retiring its famous mustaches a couple of years ago, it’s grown up and become more serious.

Again, we’re going to give the point to Lyft. Today, the company’s app feels like the Uber app did three years ago when it was in its pomp.

Score: Uber 2-2 Lyft

5. Controversies and Culture

Critics have accused both Uber and Lyft of destroying the traditional taxi industry with their ruthless approach. Typically, the companies’ modus operandi sees them enter a new market without the necessary permits, then use lobbyists to create a political storm if the authorities don’t grant a business license.

But regardless of how you feel about the tactic, it’s not technically breaching any laws. There are far more serious controversies; Uber has a charge sheet as long as your arm. Let’s look at some of the company’s more notorious incidents:

  • Throughout 2014: The company used an internal tool called Greyball to avoid giving rides to law enforcement officers in areas where its service is illegal. In May 2017, the United States Department of Justice opened a criminal investigation into the issue.
  • February 2016: Uber driver Jason Dalton shot six people in Michigan while working. He continued driving and accepting fares while the police undertook a seven-hour manhunt.
  • February 2016: A former Uber employer who reported sexual harassment to her superiors was threatened with the sack if she didn’t drop her claim.
  • Mid-2016: Uber suffered a data breach. 600,000 drivers and 57 million customers were affected. Instead of reporting the loss, Uber paid a $ 100,000 ransom to the hackers.
  • January 2017: Uber was forced to pay $ 20 million to the US government after lying to drivers about potential earnings.
  • November 2017: Paradise Papers revealed Uber used offshore accounts to minimize taxes.

The points we’ve listed above don’t even scratch the surface of Uber’s issues. Of course, Lyft isn’t perfect, but it prides itself on being a lot less controversial than Uber.

Here’s how Lyft’s President John Zimmer explained the difference between the two companies to Time Magazine:

“We’re not the nice guys; we’re a better boyfriend. […] In our minds, there’s been a contrast in the values, there’s been a contrast in the type of business we’re building. […] We’re woke. Our community is woke, and the US population is woke. Our choice matters, the seat we take matters.”

Score: Uber 2-3 Lyft

Uber vs. Lyft: Which Should You Use?

As you will see from our running score, we’ve given the victory to Lyft. But in truth, Lyft only gets the nod because of Uber’s poisonous corporate image.

From a rider’s standpoint, no one stands out very much in the Uber vs. Lyft battle . Certainly, the difference is much less noticeable than it was a few years ago.

Some users won’t care about Uber’s corporate indiscretions. If you do, you should choose Lyft every time. But if you don’t, you’ll need to decide what’s more important to you: availability and services or cost and ease-of-use.

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YouTube Gets a Dark Mode on Android and iOS

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YouTube for iOS and Android has officially turned to the dark side. But this doesn’t mean YouTubers are suddenly all stormtroopers. Instead, it just means you can now watch YouTube on your smartphone at night without hurting your eyes.

Having once argued that websites with dark backgrounds suck, I have now seen the error of my ways. Darker themes put less strain on your eyes at night, and this is why so many apps now other dark modes. And YouTube is the latest app to do so.

YouTube Turns to the Dark Side

The desktop version of YouTube has had a dark mode since 2017. And now YouTube for iOS has joined the party. The same dark mode will be added to YouTube for Android soon, and possibly even by the time you read this, so just update the app to find out.

YouTube’s dark mode offers a simple inversion of colors. So the usual white background turns black, and the other elements—such as the logo, titles, and menu items—turn white. It won’t suit everyone, but it makes it easier to use the app at night.

Beyond putting less strain on your eyes, YouTube’s dark mode has a more cinematic feel to it than the default mode. So when you’re actually watching a video the background melts away, allowing you to wholly concentrate on what your favorite vlogger is saying.

To turn on YouTube’s dark mode on iOS, just click on your profile picture in the top, right-hand corner of the app. Then click Settings, and find the Dark Theme option. Click to move the slider across to the On position, and everything will go dark.

Put Your Phone Down Before Bed

As YouTube’s dark mode is so easy to turn on and off you can experiment with it to see if it’s your cup of tea. We recommend turning dark mode on when you’re watching YouTube in bed. Although, ideally, you would be reading a good book instead.

If you’re new to the idea that using technology at night can be bad for you, be sure to read our article detailing how to filter out your phone’s blue light. Especially if you’re always getting tired eyes or headaches caused by eyestrain.

Image Credit: Lars Plougmann/Flickr

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Do You Know These Super Useful iPhone Shortcuts?

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Save time when performing common tasks by using shortcuts instead. Many of your iPhone’s commonly used functions are easier to access with the right shortcut.

While most of us become more proficient at using technology the more time we spend with it, so many of Apple’s best productivity features are hidden in places you’d never think to look.

Today we’ll be demystifying some of the iPhone’s most productive tricks.

1. Emergency Shortcut

Perhaps the most important shortcut to know is a feature that was added in iOS 11. If you’re ever in trouble and in need of the emergency services, quickly tap your power button five times in a row to bring up the emergency menu.

Emergency iOS Shortcut

Once activated, you’ll see a slide prompt to call for help, plus a shortcut to the owner’s medical ID. Paramedics can use this shortcut to access someone else’s medical ID on their device, for potentially life-saving information like blood type and allergic reactions. Set up your medical ID right now under the Health app.

2. Taking a Screenshot

To take a screenshot on an iPhone 8 (Plus) model or earlier: press the home button and power button at the same time. You’ll see the screenshot prompt appear in the bottom-left corner on iOS 11 or later.

To take a screenshot on an iPhone X: press the side button and volume up button at the same time. You’ll see the screenshot prompt appear in the bottom-left corner of the screen.

The screenshot prompt Apple added in iOS 11 allows you to quickly crop and share the image, save as a JPG, or delete it entirely. If you wait for the prompt to disappear, the image will remain in your Camera Roll as a full-sized PNG. Note that the screenshot prompt will not show up in other screenshots. This means you can take a succession of screenshots without seeing the prompt on screen.

3. Control Center Shortcuts

Control Center is the quickest way to access the most common settings on your iPhone. You can bring up Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. You’ll see a menu that’s divided into several categories.

Control Center iOS

In the top-left you’ll find Airplane Mode, plus toggles for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. If you 3D Touch this panel, you’ll find more options for AirDrop preferences and a quick toggle for enabling Personal Hotspot.

Unfortunately, Apple changed the behavior of the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth toggles in iOS 11. Disabling them only disconnects you, rather than disabling the internal radio altogether.

iOS Control Center Music

3D Touch the Music panel to access media receivers like the Apple TV and wireless headphones. You’ll also find other AirPlay devices listed here, including the HomePod and Apple TV. There are two handy toggles for Portrait Lock and Do Not Disturb mode, and some sliders for volume and screen brightness.

iOS Control Center Screen Options

Again, if you 3D Touch the brightness slider you’ll get access to more options in the form of Night Shift mode. The bottom row of icons are also 3D Touch friendly. You can start a quick Timer, adjust the Flashlight brightness, copy your last Calculator result, and access Camera functions like selfie mode and slow-motion video.

iOS Control Center Bottom Icons

Lastly, you can customize the buttons at the bottom of Control Center by adding and swapping out shortcuts for elements like HomeKit devices, Wallet, Apple Notes, and Screen Recording. Head to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls to set it up to your liking.

4. Getting Around

If you want to return to the top of a web page, list, note, or any kind of scrolling content, tap the current time at the top of the screen and you’ll shoot back up to the top. Unfortunately, you can’t disable this one.

If you want to return to the previous web page or menu, swipe right from the left edge of the screen. You can also bring up the application switcher with a 3D Touch and swipe right from the left edge of the screen, though it’s difficult to pull this one off if you have your iPhone in a case.

5. Home Screen and Navigation

Navigating your Home Screen is pretty straightforward, but don’t forget about Spotlight. Swipe down on your home screen icons to reveal a search bar that can find virtually anything on your iPhone. This is the quickest way of accessing apps you can’t find, different sections of the Settings app, emails, and even content that isn’t currently on your iPhone.

iOS Spotlight Search

You can do neat tasks like convert currency (e.g. 10 AUD in USD), search the App Store or web directly, and work out quick calculations (e.g. 70*25). This is also where you will find Siri suggestions, which are proposed apps based on your usage. These will change depending on the time of day and where you are, and adapt to your habits.

If you open the same news app every morning, Siri will put it here ready for you. If you’re thinking of ordering some dinner using a delivery app, there’s a good chance Siri will make some relevant suggestions when it’s time to eat. You can turn this feature off under Settings > Siri & Search > Suggestions in Search.

iOS 3D Touch App

Most apps are 3D Touch friendly, so give them a squeeze to jump right to specific features. Depending on the app, these include starting a new note or document, creating an alarm, adding a new contact, or quickly sharing the app with someone.

6. Undo That Last

Shake your iPhone at any time to undo an action. It’s most useful for typing mistakes or accidental deletions, but you can also use it in apps like Mail to undo actions like archiving or moving.

7. Typing and Keyboard Shortcuts

If you have an iPhone that supports 3D Touch, you can use your iPhone keyboard to accurately control your cursor. Simply 3D Touch, then slide your finger around to move the cursor. It’s super-accurate, and it’s a real life-changer when you consider how tedious cursor manipulation once was.

The iOS keyboard is pretty great in that it puts so many special characters, accents, and symbols within easy reach. If you tap and hold a key, you’ll see variations of that keystroke appear. You can access accented letters like é or ö, and some useful symbols like º (hold the zero key) and (hold the period key).

iOS 3D Touch Keyboard

To quickly access the keyboard settings, or jump to any other keyboard you have installed, tap and hold the emoji button. This may appear as a globe icon if you have other languages installed, but they function the same. You can also use this shortcut to justify the keyboard left or right to help with one-handed typing.

8. Text Expansion

Text expansion allows you to create your own text-based shortcuts to larger snippets. A common use for text expansion is to create a snippet for your full email address, with an alias that looks something like mygmail. Thus, when you type mygmail, your phone auto-expands it to your real email address.

This can save you huge amounts of time typing on a small touchscreen, and the uses are limitless. Create expansions for your home address, tax file number, or even common email sign-off lines or chat messages (“how are you doing” could be “howru” for example). You can create your own shortcuts with ease under Settings > General > Keyboards > Text Replacement

If your iPhone keeps auto-correcting unique spellings or profanity, you can use text expansion to enforce your own rules.

9. Safari Shortcuts

Safari has a few useful shortcuts to master, not least the ability to swipe left and right from either edge of the screen to go forward and backward. If you’d like a better look at the history specific to this tab, you can tap and hold the forward and back buttons to bring up a list.

iOS Safari Tab History

You can also hold the Bookmarks button to quickly add a bookmark or add the current page to Safari’s Reading List. Hold the Tabs button to see options for mass-closing your currently open tabs and opening a private browsing session. In tab view (tap the Tabs button once) you can tap and hold the New Tab button for a list of recently closed tabs—it’s Command + Shift + T for your iPhone!

The address bar also has a few tricks, beyond being able to enter Reader mode to reformat the text on the page. You can also Paste and Search or Paste and Go depending on the contents of your clipboard, which will save you a tap. If you tap and hold the Refresh button you’ll find a handy shortcut for requesting the desktop site too.

iOS Safari Paste and Go

And don’t forget about 3D Touch on the web. Squeeze a link a little harder to peek at the web page or image without leaving the page you’re currently on. If you’re a heavy Safari reader on your iPhone, make sure you familiarize yourself with all the best tips and tricks.

Go Even Further With Widgets and Workflows

These shortcuts are handy, but by no means the be-all and end-all of productivity on iOS. You should also organize your apps and save yourself even more time with a few custom workflows.

Workflow is an iOS app that was bought by Apple and made available for free. You can use it to speed up common tasks by chaining actions, then launching them from your Today screen. The possibilities are ever-expanding, so check out our full guide to getting started with Workflow to learn more.

Image Credit: alen44/Depositphotos

iPhone and iPad – MakeUseOf

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