Tips

How to turn off notifications for specific podcasts

We are currently disassembling Apple’s Podcasts app here on iDB, turning over every rock in iOS to help you make the most of what the seemingly basic app has to offer. After walking you through automatic downloads for your favorite shows earlier this week, we’re back with another slick little trick designed to cut down unwanted notification clutter perpetrated by the app.

Because notwithstanding your fondness for the dozen podcasts you love to zap through, collectively they sure can generate a bevy of notifications on your iPhone. Speaking from experience, the crux of the matter is that some of these notifications are much more hotly anticipated (e.g. surprise releases) than others (daily shows), which means neither leaving all podcasts notifications activated nor fully switching them off is going to genuinely cut the mustard for most users.

If you have made it this far, you will already have an inkling that there is luckily enough a much more satisfying middle way. And thankfully, you called it right. The square, purple icon on your Home screen itself holds the answers we need when it comes to selectively dumping the episode-drop notifications. So in the interest of a tidy Notification Center and minimal maintenance efforts, here’s how to remain in control of podcast notifications by toggling off the ones that have been bugging you for too long.

How to select different still frames of Live Photos

Live Photos is among the features Apple was selling prominently during the iPhone 6s ad campaign. Live Photos is still around, thanks for asking. As you’ll recall, Live Photos lets you record what happens 1.5 seconds before and after you snap a photograph.

These images come alive when you touch them in the Photos app and can be set as your Lock screen wallpaper or shared via services like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr. When you take a Live Photo, the Camera app uses AI to select the best still image.

It’s this still portion of a Live Photo that’s displayed in the Photos app, sent when you share it and more. In this tutorial, we’re going to teach you how to select a different moment in your Live Photo as the still frame.

How to disable vocal alerts for turn-by-turn directions in Google Maps

If you use Google Maps to go places you’re not accustomed to, then you’re likely familiar with navigation and the turn-by-turn vocal alerts you hear while you go. These prompts say things like “turn left” or “stay right” as you’re driving, working as an audible guide to get you to your destination.

Vocal alerts are enabled in the app by default, and while they are usually useful, not everyone likes them. You can turn down your device’s volume to combat them, but doing this will also impact any music you might have playing and doesn’t yield satisfactory results.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how you can properly mute vocal alerts in the Google Maps app.

How to enable automatic downloads for your favorite podcasts

Podcasts, especially our very own shows of course, are great. They can be the perfect medium to shorten car journeys or just keep your brain engaged at home, the gym or in any other place you fancy spending a significant amount of your time. 
If you’re an avid listener and follow our (or other) shows on Apple’s own Podcasts app, you will in all likelihood have made your fair share of experience with one of the major caveats of excessive podcast consumption: it eats up your mobile data quick, often times quicker than playing a bunch of your favorite tunes on Apple Music instead.

For most of us, two ways of dealing with the potential assault on our data plan come to mind. One of them entails manually downloading your selection of podcasts in the morning somewhere between breakfast and your morning commute, while the other one is basically dealing with it by not dealing with it, i.e. putting it on hold until you have entered the next safe Wi-Fi zone.

Luckily, next to two choices equally dissatisfying, iOS offers a third, proper solution in the shape of auto-downloads. To find out more about the setting, where to find it and how to customize it for each of your podcasts, check out our walkthrough below!

How to change your Twitter username

Your Twitter username, or Twitter handle, is basically your identity on the social network. This is how people can find you and send you messages, either with a public mention or via DM. As you grow with the times, you may come to a point where you want to change your existing username to something new.

Fortunately, Twitter makes it very easy for you to change your Twitter handle, and in this tutorial we’ll show you how to change it.

How to disable Touch Bar on MacBook Pro

Apple’s 13 and 15-inch 2016 MacBook Pros come outfitted with Touch Bar, which is an OLED display strip in place of the physical function keys at the top of your keyboard. Touch Bar updates its graphics dynamically based on what you’re doing and apps that you’re using, giving you one-tap access to common features and shortcuts on your Mac.

In this tutorial, we’ll be discussing turning off app shortcuts displayed in your Touch Bar altogether so that its layout mimics that of your Mac’s keyboard. This will let you tap a button to access standard macOS features like brightness, volume and media controls, Mission Control, Launchpad, Siri or—yes—even those Fn keys.

How to make your Instagram account private

By default, all Instagram accounts are open to the public, which means any other Instagram user can search for you and view your photos and videos without your permission.

If you want additional privacy and only want a select number of people to be able to see your photos and videos, then you have the option to make your account private.

We’ll show you how to do it in this tutorial.

Tip: save space on your iPhone by clearing Twitter’s web and media storage

Are you a fan of Twitter for iPhone? If so, keep in mind that all those photos, videos and other media files you encounter while browsing the timeline get cached on your device for faster access in the future.

Should you ever be greeted with that infamous “Not Enough Storage on iPhone” prompt, here’s how you can clear Twitter for iOS’s caches and see how much on-device storage space has been consumed by web data and media.

How to manually check for Spotify app updates on Mac

Spotify for Mac users might be a little stumped when trying to manually check for updates in the app, and you’re not alone. Unlike a lot of Mac apps, the Spotify app doesn’t have a dedicated “Check for Updates” option in any of its menus.

The process is a bit convoluted, and because of that, we’ll show you how you can check for updates for the Spotify app on your Mac in this tutorial.

How to recover deleted photos on iPhone and iPad

What’s done is done, right? Well, not always. While some actions have irreversible consequences, deleting your photos on iPhone or iPad thankfully does not have to be one of them. Provided you’re quick enough, recovering any of your photos deleted by accident or mistake is a breeze, so long as you know where to look.

If you have found yourself in the unenviable situation of rifling through your photos before, frantically trying to suss out whether or not you have off-handedly binned important photos, this tutorial could be a valuable lesson for you!

How to block or unblock people on Instagram

If you’ve got someone annoying pestering you on Instagram, then you can always block them so you don’t have to deal with them anymore. Likewise, if you want to unblock someone, you have the power to do that too.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to block and/or unblock a profile via the Instagram mobile app.

How to turn off iMessage notifications for unknown senders

Your phone is a communication tool, and sometimes you have to give your number out to people that you you’d never add to your contacts.

If you don’t want to get constant notifications throughout the day from people you’re not familiar with, you’ll be happy to know that you can configure your iPhone to suppress iMessage notifications from non-contacts. We’ll show you how in this tutorial.