Category Archives: Tutorials

Easy To Follow Tutorials To Help You Get More From Your Device

How to get Apple’s News app outside the US

Apple today made available the first public beta of iOS 9, and with the beta comes access to Apple’s brand-new News application. However this application is only available in select countries such as the United States for now. 

  
But since this is one of the headline features for iOS 9, it seems only fair that those of us outside the supported countries should also get access to it. Fortunately the fix is very simple, all you need to do is go to Settings>General>Language & Region and set the ‘Region’ to United States. Then simply reboot the iPad/iPhone and you’ll see the News app on the home screen. 

Enjoy. 

iMediaShare: A must have free app if you own a Smart TV

The best part about owing a Smart TV is that you can play back locally stored content like photos, movies, home videos wirelessly on the large screen without moving a muscle. But sometimes the implementation isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Modern Smart TVs support technologies like DLNA and Miracast, and most newer phones can take advantage of these. All you need to do is install an app. While Android has a few more choices for DLNA apps that act as servers, the choice is slightly more limited on iOS. Most people just give in and buy an Apple TV. But you don’t necessarily need to do that if mirroring your iOS device isn’t the intention, but playing back photos, video and audio is.

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Enter iMediaShare, available both for Android and iOS as a free download.
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How to tell your Android device you’re tethering from a portable hotspot and save data

Data caps are a real thing now and the concept of unlimited data is a thing of the past. While manufacturers have realised this and implemented settings that restrict downloads/streaming to WIFI, there still exists room for improvement.

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Fortunately for Android users (at least ones on the newer versions) Google has added a setting where you can tell the device that the ‘WIFI’ connection you’re on is actually a portable hotspot, so it shouldn’t go crazy downloading Play Store updates or anything else that will consume copious amounts of data.

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How To Manually Backup Contacts On Windows Phone

The way Microsoft has made Windows Phone is that it backs up your contacts to the Microsoft Account automatically. You can simply login to Outlook.com, and get access to your contacts there, and can even export them. The problem with this is that not many people are aware this option exists, and secondly it only leaves you at the mercy of Microsoft. So if for some reason you loose access to your MS account, you’re without a backup.

I frequently get asked if there is a way to manually backup contacts on Windows Phone, and this post answers that question. While there is no inbuilt mechanism that you can use, there is a free app that gets the job done. Download Contacts Backup from the Windows Phone store.

Backup Windows Phone 8 Contacts -2 Backup Windows Phone 8 Contacts -1

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How To Download Any Filetype From Dropbox On Windows Phone

Windows Phone doesn’t have an official Dropbox app, but fortunately for users Rudy Hyun has created Cloudsix, a fully featured Dropbox client that even supports uploads from the camera roll.

However, due to Window Phone’s limitations, you cannot download each and every file that you may have stored on your Dropbox. So if you have a selection of music that you have in the cloud, you’re virtually locked out. You can effectively download PDF’s and Word documents by opening them up in their respective apps, and then saving them within that particular app. But if you want to download a .rar file, or similar then you are out of luck.

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How To Take Better Photos With Your Lumia

Nokia’s Lumia phones have some of the best cameras, and devices like the Lumia 925, 928 and the 920 also come with optical image stabilisation. While these devices do a reasonable job with the default settings, the cameras really come into their own if you are willing to play around the settings a little bit. On Nokia’s Lumia devices you cannot tap the screen to set the exposure, so if you are shooting against the sun or a bright light, things sometimes get a little challenging.

While there are lots of settings that you can change: ISO, Exposure, Scene Mode, White Balance, Aspect Ratio and Focus Assist Light – there are two that I want to concentrate on. Most people (including me) prefer shooting with the default options as its faster, and one couldn’t be bothered with fiddling around with the controls  everytime.

However, when you do have the extra second, I recommend you just keep two controls in mind while taking photos – Scene Mode and Exposure.

SCENE MODEBACKLIGHT

How To Take Better Photos With Your Lumia

While there are lots of screen modes, like close up, Night, Night Portrait, Sports and Backlight – in your everyday usage just keep ‘Backlight’ in mind. We all end up shooting against the light, sometimes its a bulb indoors, or the sun outdoors. If you shoot with the default settings, this is what you can expect.

Vaibhav Lumia 928_1

In this example there is no person present, so the photo doesn’t look so bad. However, if a person were standing you’d be hard pressed to make out his face. Enter the  backlight mode.

Vaibhav Lumia 928_1

As you can see, the difference is immense and the photos is much brighter overall.

EXPOSURE

How To Take Better Photos With Your Lumia

Moving onto exposure. If you have a OIS capable Lumia (eg. Lumia 920, 928), the device leaves the shutter open for longer when it senses that you’re shooting at night. This is usually a good thing, but when you are trying to photograph objects that have lights of their own, it can result it photos like this.

Vaibhav Lumia 928_1

But if you adjust the exposure manually, and drop it down by a notch or two (depending on the situation) you can get a much nicer looking result.

Vaibhav Lumia 928_1

This becomes even more important, when you’re trying to capture the Las Vegas skyline that’s packed with lights.

Vaibhav Lumia 928_1

A little tweaking of the exposure, and you get a photo that’s easily wallpaper material. There are very few non Nokia camera phones in the market (if any) that can give you a result as impressive as this.

Vaibhav Lumia 928_1

As you can see, just remembering to switch to the backlight scene mode and adjusting the exposure can make a big difference in the quality of photos. Both of these things take less than 5 seconds to change, and you’ll do well to remember these tweaks.

If you’re feelings slightly more adventurous, the ISO settings can help in low light situations – a higher ISO brings more light, but at the cost of noise. But since there is OIS in some models (shutter stays open for longer and brings more light), you can sometimes get away with using a low ISO (so as to reduce noise), to get that perfect zero noise low light shot.

The White Balance mode can usually be left at auto. Thus, the key to much better photos on your Lumias is two fold – remembering to use the backlight mode, and exposure control when shooting in low light.

Have any other tips? Let us know in the comments section!