Tricks

How to rename your AirTag and replace its default icon with an expressive emoji

Like with most other Apple products, you can pick a custom name for your AirTag to more easily figure out which one does what in the Find My app. In this step-by-step tutorial, you'll learn how to rename your AirTag by picking a custom name and emoji for your Apple tracker.

How to reset an AirTag to factory settings

If you'd like to use an AirTag item tracker that someone else has previously used but forgot to reset, you'll need to disassociate it from the owner's account. In this tutorial, we'll show you how to reset the AirTag which will remove that item tracker from an Apple ID account. Doing so will enable you to easily use the AirTag with a different Apple ID.

Tips and tricks for getting started with your Apple AirTags

AirTags, Apple's personal item trackers, have been used for all sorts of purposes, ranging from tracking checked luggage, children and pets (Apple says you shouldn't be doing that) to tracking your personal belongings, such as car keys or your AirPods, to using these tiny accessories as parked car locators, anti-theft bike trackers and beyond.

How to sort your task lists in Apple Reminders

A Mac screenshot of the Apple Reminders app on macOS Big Sur 11.3 displaying a splash screen with the new sorting option

Aside from manually re-ordering your task lists in Apple Reminders on an iPhone, iPad and Mac, you can choose to automatically sort those lists by due date, creation date, priority or title. Follow the steps in his tutorial to learn how to easily sort task lists on Apple Reminders.

Why can’t I enable the “Allow Apps to Request to Track“ setting on my iPhone?

On April 26, 2021, Apple released the OS 14.5 update for the iPhone and iPod touch, the iPadOS 14.5 software for the iPad and tvOS 14.5 one for the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD. With these software updates came a global toggle allowing users to tell all apps not to be tracked by default, bypassing the new privacy permission prompt altogether. Now, some people have experienced issues attempting to turn on the feature, with the “Allow Apps to Request to Track“ toggle grayed out in Settings. Here's why that's happening and what you can do about it.

How to configure Chrome to automatically transcribe any audio or video in real-time

An illustration showing the Google Chrome browser logo set against a colorful background

Google Chrome's Live Caption feature on desktop lets you configure the browser to automatically transcribe any audio or video without having anything sent to the cloud.

Similar to YouTube’s auto-transcription capabilities and real-time captions on some Android phones, the live captions feature in Chrome uses on-device processing to provide real-time audio and video transcription without having to upload anything to the Google cloud.

Be advised that live captions don't work without hiccups in all situations.

That said, however, the feature appears to be reliable enough to be used on an everyday basis. Anyone can use live captions although Google has designed this as an accessibility feature for those with hearing impairments.

Chrome may even invite you to “Get captions for your audio and video” via a banner.

Introducing Live Caption in Chrome

This feature was introduced in March 2021 with Chrome 89 for Mac, Windows and Linux.

To view the version of Chrome that's currently installed on your computer, click the Chrome menu on your Mac and choose the option labeled “About Google Chrome”. On Windows, hit the menu near the upper-right corner of the window, then choose Help → About Google Chrome.

If there's an update available, click to install it.

How to enable Chrome's Live Caption feature

Before you can use this feature, you must manually turn it on in the advanced accessibility settings section found within the Chrome preferences on your computer.

Open Chrome 89 or later on your computer. Hit the three dots in the top-right corner of the screen, then choose “Settings.” On the Settings page, click “Advanced” on the lefthand side to reveal more settings. Now select “Accessibility“ under the heading labeled “Advanced.” On the righthand pane, toggle the “Live Caption” switch to turn the feature on.

This setting is off by default.

You can start using live captions right after Chrome has finished downloading the speech recognition files which are necessary for real-time transcription. As a matter of fact, there's nothing to “use” because this utterly awesome Chrome feature “just works.”

To turn live captions off for all media, go to Chrome Settings → Advanced → Accessibility → Live Caption. Because this toggle is buried deep inside Chrome's accessibility settings, you may want to bookmark chrome://settings/accessibility to get there quicker.

How to use Live Captions in Chrome

With the speech recognition files downloaded (You’ll see “Speech files downloaded” under “Live Caption” when the feature is ready), Chrome will automatically create captions for any English audio or video playing through the browser until you turn the feature back off. To be sure, this works for any audio played through Chrome, including videos, podcasts, voice calls and more.

Live captions appear in a box that pops up at the bottom of the window.

You can collapse and expand captions by clicking the arrow on the caption box. Likewise, it's possible to select the captions to move them to your preferred place in Chrome.

How to toggle Live Captions in Chrome

Once the Live Caption feature has been enabled and speech recognition data has finished downloading, you can toggle live captions on or off right from Chrome's toolbar. Simply click the playback controls icon found in the upper-right corner of the window, nested between Chrome’s browser extensions toolbar and your Google Account profile icon.

This button only appears when some media is playing in Chrome.

Doing so will produce a popup with a big thumbnail of the media you're playing along with its title and other information. At the bottom of this mini-window, you should see the Live Caption button. Click it to toggle live captions on or off on the fly.

How to change your caption font size

You can customize live captions in Chrome to make them easier to read by customizing the typeface and font size used for the feature.

Launch Chrome on your computer. Hit the three dots in the top-right corner of the screen, then choose “Settings.” At the bottom, select “Advanced.” Under the section “Accessibility,” choose the option labeled “Caption preferences.”

Doing so will launch your computer's built-in settings for configuring subtitle options. Any changes to subtitles made here will be applied system-wide on your Mac.

In macOS, you'll be taken to System Preferences → Accessibility → Captions to customize the caption font size for apps like Chrome. Simply choose one of the four captioning options on the right-hand side or create a new style that best suits your needs.

Things to know about Live Caption in Chrome

There are some pros and cons to using this feature, so here's what you need to know.

Live captions aren't just for people with hearing problems—use this feature to follow along to any spoken media without disturbing others by turning up the audio. Speech recognition data lets Chrome transcribe any audio or video in real-time, right on your computer, without sending anything to the cloud. “Audio and captions never leave your device,” according to a support document on the Google website. You may encounter issues when using the auto-transcription feature in a noisy room. The same goes when using the feature when the audio quality is poor. On top of that, live captions may have trouble recognizing speakers with heavy accents. Live captions were limited to English at the time of writing. Live captions also work with Progressive Web Apps.

You can download the latest stable version of Chrome at google.com/chrome.

How to set your preferred Siri voice in iOS 14.5

A featured image showing a Siri orb set against a dark background

For the sake of inclusion and diversity, Apple's Siri virtual assistant no longer defaults to a female voice in the United States. Instead, you can now set your preferred Siri voice as part of the setup process (or after the fact, like before). In addition, you can switch to one of the two new Siri voices available with iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5. Follow along with our tutorial to learn how to change Siri's default voice on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and HomePod.

How to add third-party accessories to Apple’s Find My app to keep track of them

An image featuring three iPhone screenshots showing third-party products in Apple Find My app, from left to right: VanMoof's S3 electric bike, Belkin's SondForm true wireless earbuds and Chipolo's OneSpot personal item tracker

Apple on April 7, 2021, opened up its Find My app to third-party products via a new program that permits non-Apple entities to take advantage of the company's secure Find My network. This enables users to track any compatible third-party devices using the Find My app. But before you can actually track devices and accessories not designed and made by Apple, you must add them first to the Find My app—and we walk you through the whole process.

How to quickly adjust the brightness of the flashlight on your iPhone, iPad Pro or iPod touch

A closeup of a matte black iPhone 7 Plus showing the rear dual-lens camera and LED flash detail

That LED flash on your iPhone doubles as a flashlight with adjustable brightness. If you use your iPhone flashlight often, you might want to learn a new trick that will let you quickly turn on your device's flashlight and adjust its brightness in one uninterrupted motion.