Previously on this blog we’ve talked about how we can use Google Sheet as Wayback Machine Internet Archive alternative to automatically capture web page screenshots. In that post, we’ve demonstrated how we can use screenshotmachine.com’s free API to generate a screenshot of website using Google Sheet script and store them in a dedicated Google Drive folder Web page captures.

It worked hitherto of course. The bad news is: the script suddenly stopped working, probably because of Google’s API changes or similar. But the good news is: there’s a good alternative to do just that for a minimal fee.

PageCapture: Automatically Capture Website Screenshots Daily, Weekly or Monthly

PageCapture is a nifty web app we discovered few days ago and we thought you’ll love it too. In a nutshell, PageCapture automatically creates a screenshot of any web page URL on schedule. There are a handful of capture frequencies to choose from: hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and even custom hourly intervals. You choose.

All screenshots are securely stored on PageCapture website. However, you have the option to sync it with your DropBox or Google Drive account. And if you’re a regular Slack user, PageCapture can automatically push all web page screenshots to your Slack account.

When is it useful?

Web masters and internet marketers will surely benefit such an automated screenshot-capturing tool. Web page screenshots act as visual backup which you can turn to when you want to recover something or just want to look back how your client’s sites look like in the past.

5 Handy Google Sheet Tricks To Help You Work Fast & Save Time

Or if you’re an internet marketer, you can use it to spy on your competitor’s website and monitor SERP positions on Google search results on daily or weekly basis.

While massively popular Wayback Machine is awesome, it only crawls public pages at unknown intervals; no daily or weekly snapshots. So it’s not that totally reliable if you want a simple visual snapshot of a web page daily.

Why PageCapture is awesome

Aside from the fact that you can automatically capture web page screenshot on schedule, there are also other advance options you can explore such as the ability to choose device screen size (e.g. desktop, iPhone, iPad) and user-agents. So, web masters will definitely find this useful too especially if you’re maintaining highly critical sites that constant monitoring.

Go check out PageCapture and don’t forget to share this to your friends who might need this.

How To: Automatically Capture Web Page Screenshots At Regular Intervals

speedier memory efficient ram slack

Popular team communication software Slack introduces a major update to its desktop app that mitigates the performance issues plaguing the app for so long. The new version now loads much faster on Windows and Mac, and eats a lot less memory, giving its millions of daily users a delightful experience when interacting the app.

Slack Drains Your RAM? It’s Time to Update Now

Slack team is rebuilding the app from the ground up, eliminating the resource-hogging bloats from its stack. The recent developments in Javascript in the past few years made it easier for team Slack to make the call and upgrade its client-side ecosystem, bringing the much-needed performance boost within the app.

“We want people to be able to run Slack alongside anything else they are using to get their job done and have that be easy, uncumbersome, delightful even. So we took a look at the environment we’re in. I think the other thing to note is that the ecosystem for client-side development has just changed a lot in the past five years. There have been some major updates to JavaScript and new technologies like React and Redux to make it easier to build dynamic web applications. We also wanted to update our stack to fit in with the modern paradigm.” — Jaime DeLanghe, Director of Product Management

Previous versions of Slack for Windows and Mac are noticeably slow for some. That’s especially true for those who have multiple Slack workplaces and channels to keep tabs on. This is due to the fact that Slack retrieves all conversations for each channel first before rendering the UI, thus, delaying your interaction to the app.

Now, Slack will only load data when needed, depending on which channel you’re on. The result: a speedier and memory-efficient user experience.

Slack is slated to release the new app in the coming weeks.

More than just Skype

Slack is a widely popular team communication tool used in a formal setting like workplace collaboration and remote communication. It got all the bells and whistles you can hope for when collaborating and working with remote team members on shared projects.

5 Handy Google Sheet Tricks To Help You Work Fast & Save Time

Slack Desktop App Gets Performance Boost — App Now Uses Less RAM, Loads A Lot Faster

5 Handy Google Sheet Tricks To Help You Work Fast & Save Time

Just like Microsoft's Excel, Google Sheet has equally powerful functions hidden up its sleeve. It can help you do routinary, mundane tasks fast and perform time-saving complex operations.

With Google Sheet, being an open-source software and with its collaboration support, it's likely that you'll end up using the app more often than not. It's one indispensable tool every web master and virtual assistant can't live without.

While you may not use below's list of useful Google Sheet functions everyday, it pays to be familiar and well-verse with these shortcuts. We hand-picked this shortlist of five essential Google Sheets hacks to help you save time in dealing with spreadsheets.

1. Use SPLIT function and obtain the first word from a phrase

google sheet split function

Suppose you want to extract the first word from a string in a Google Sheet column. You can use SPLIT() function to split a string and obtain first word , as follows:

=index(SPLIT(A2, " "), 0, 1)

With the above function, a string “10042 Ferrara” yields “10042”.

To obtain the n word, just replace 1 with n accordingly.

2. Use REGEXEXTRACT to retrieve number from a string

google sheet regexextract

Suppose you have this data in a column and you wish to obtain the price

<p>Lined Linen Tunic with Silk Hem</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>RRP    $99.95</strong></p>

You can do so with REGEXEXTRACT function to extract the price, as follows:

=REGEXEXTRACT(C2, "[0-9]*\.[0-9]+[0-9]+")

3. Using CONTACT to combine multiple values

google sheet concat combine values

Suppose in Column A you want to get the first word and combine it with the value in Column J, you can achieve it using CONCAT function.

=concat( index(SPLIT(A2, " "), 0, 1), concat("-", J2) )

Or use ampersand to combine multiple values:

="RRP "&value(REGEXEXTRACT(E12, "[0-9]*\.[0-9]+[0-9]+"))

4. Use SUBSTITUTE() & RegexReplace() to search and replace

google sheet substitude regexreplace

Say you have a column of data that contains HTML ASCII codes and you want to get rid of them. Here's how you do it:

=SUBSTITUTE(B2,"&nbsp;", "")

Or you can go creative, do a nested SUBSTITUTE

=SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(B2, "</p>", ""),"<p>", "")

Or you can go use RegExReplace to get rid all HTML tags

=RegexReplace( B2, "<\/\w+>|<\w+.*?>", "" )

Or a combination of Substitute and RegexReplace

=SUBSTITUTE(RegexReplace( B3, "<\/\w+>|<\w+.*?>", "" ),"&nbsp;", " " )

3 Things You Didn't Know Google Spreadsheet Can Do For You (Part 1)

5. Use VLOOKUP to search by keyword and return a specified cell from another sheet

Google Sheet's vertical lookup is a powerful function you need to master. It lets you search down the first column of a range for a key and returns the value of a specified cell in the row found.

If that doesn't make sense, imagine you have Sheet14 containing sku and color columns

Sheet14

And wanted to append the color initial found inside a separate table from Sheet15

Sheet15

You can do a quick search using VLOOKUP and return the color initial (from Sheet15) by providing color from Sheet14.

The full formula:

=VLOOKUP(I2, Sheet15!A1:B7,2, false)

Where I2 is the keyword, Sheet15!A1:B7 is the range, and 2 is column position from Sheet15 we want to retrieve.

Excel Gets OCR Support, Lets You Snap Tables and Convert Into Editable Spreadsheet

So next time you are asked to update a Google Sheet and do dead boring, repetitive tasks, try to look around inside Google Sheet list of functions and see if you can automate stuff and save huge amount of time in the process.

5 Handy Google Sheet Tricks To Help You Work Fast & Save Time

hack-wifi-android-without-root

Gaining entry to a password-protected wireless network is no longer an intricate technical process reserved for the gifted. Today, with the right mix of tools and apps, one can quickly gain entry to any WiFi networks using only an Android device by taking advantage of known WiFi Protected Setup (WPS) vulnerabilities.

One Android app that caught our attention is WiFi WPS WPA Tester, currently available on Play Store.

WiFi WPS WPA Tester, as the name suggests, is supposedly a network testing tool that helps you secure your own wireless access point from WPS vulnerabilities. Think you have the most secured wireless network because of your long, unbreakable wifi password? Think again.

How To: Disconnect Other Wifi Users in A Wireless Network Using Your Phone (Without Them Knowing)

The trouble with most access points, your entry-level access point included, is that they likely have WPS enabled by default. Access points have standard 7-digits WPS PIN, which was recently discovered to have serious design flaw: it can be brute-forced with surprising ease.

And that makes it possible for wifi password cracking Android apps like WiFi WPS WPA Tester to uncover your wireless network passwords. By scanning all available WPS-enabled wireless networks and sifting through AP details such as MAC addresses, it can quickly calculate WPS PINs and brute-force your network.

Okay, enough for the technical side. Just see how this app works:

Hack Wifi Network without Rooting Your Android Device

As shown in the video above, you can hack WiFi on Android even without rooting your device by:

  • Download and installing WiFi WPS WPA Tester
  • Launching the app
  • Tapping on Connect Automatic PIN
  • In Choose Method dialog, select No Root
  • And wait for a few seconds until wifi password is revealed

WiFi WPS WPA Tester certainly isn't the first of its kind that can hack wifi on Android without root. This category of apps can be both helpful and a curse.

Protecting Your Own Wireless Network Against WPS PIN Attacks

Now you've learned how your network can be compromised even by a first-grader with an Android device, now is the time to revisit and beef up your wireless network security. You are strongly encouraged to follow below's actions to spare your wifi network from this type of attack:

  1. Update your access point's firmware. This should be a pretty straight-forward process, normally available in access points Dashboard. All household access points comes with a manual showing how you to administer and update your firmwares. By updating your router's firmware, you get the latest protection including WPS vulnerability patches.
  2. Disable WPS. Read your device's manual how it's done or go to your manufacturer's website to learn more. Please note that any Android device can hack your wifi if you have WPS enabled.
  3. Set up MAC address filter. All network devices including laptops, iPhones and that offending Android phone are all identifiable with its unique MAC addresses. In your access point's dashboard, you can define access rules, allowing only certain MAC addresses to gain entry in your wireless network.

Few more network vulnerabilities may be sitting right there waiting to be discovered but it pays to take a proactive step to secure your network.

This No-Root Android App Can Hack Wifi Passwords in Minutes

If for some reason you want to restore that crucially important text message on iPhone that was deleted by accident or maybe you've bricked your phone and wanted to recover those important text messages, chances are you'll immediately hop back to your computer and look for backups to restore.

But what if you don't always have a scheduled backup and you desperately need to retrieve that lost text message?

Fret not! As dodgy as it may sound, you can fully recover deleted text messages on iPhone even if you don't have a backup. And best of all, you don't have to spend a penny to restore those deleted precious text message data.

How it's possible to recover text messages on iPhone

When you permanently delete a message on your iPhone, you're not actually deleting the data itself. What iOS' Message app does is it only removes the indexing file.

So you can imagine your actual SMS data still sits inside your iPhone's internal memory and can be fully restored even if that message is deleted.

iPhone Message Recovery: A FREE Text Message Recovery Tool for iOS That Actually Works

Everyone, meet iPhone Message Recovery. It's a tiny piece of app currently available for Mac that lets you recover accidentally deleted text messages on iPhone at no cost. I was told Windows version is in the works, so maybe a little wait is required for Windows users.

I nearly had to shun and skip this tool thinking maybe this is yet another garbage app that secretly installs malware instead of delivering the promised iPhone text message recovery as advertised. But the entire install file is just below 15MB so me being too skeptical had to give it a go.

To my surprise, iPhone Message Recovery actually works like a charm! After just a few scans, the app was able to recover my deleted text message and lets me preview those deleted text messages! Sweet.

Here's how to restore deleted text messages on iPhone without backup

  1. Download and install iPhone Message Recovery for Mac (14.6MB). It's FREE, no sign-ups needed.

  2. Launch iPhone Message Recovery on your Mac, it should prompt you like this

  3. Once installed, connect your iPhone to your Mac. It should automatically detect your iPhone

    There are two sources for text message data recovery: Device or Backup. Be sure you're selecting Device mode.

  4. Click Next, it should immediately start the scan. Analyzing your iPhone data can take a while, so wait for a few mins and do not disconnect your iPhone.

  5. As soon as you're done with the scan, the app prompts you this:

    If you're recovering just standard plain text message, just toggle Messages and click Next

  6. Let iPhone Message Recovery app do its thing and wait until you're taken to this screen

    You'll notice that two striked-through items being the deleted text messages. And see how I can easily preview them even if they're deleted inside my iPhone.

Wrapping it up

iPhone Message Recovery is not your typical dodgy data recovery app you've come to know from other data recovery apps. It's a fully functional data recovery app for iPhone that brilliantly recovers lost text messages data and even recover iMessage's photos and videos attachments in one go.

How To: Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone without Backup for FREE

The Google Chromium team is currently brewing a new feature to its beloved Google Chrome browser that lets you mitigate tab overload, or at least that's what they try to solve.

Judging from the above screenshot, the upcoming release of Google Chrome enables users to declutter and organize multiple active tabs into one or more groups.

Add Chrome-Like Multiple Tabbing Support To Windows File Explorer With Clover

Such a feature is sure a relief for those power user who constantly juggles between multiple tabs. You can simply move your work-related active tabs into one group and separate the others, creating a less messy working environment.

Google Chrome is not the first browser that implements such Tab Groups feature. In fact, Firefox used to incorporate it first but later discontinued because only a small number of Firefox users were actually using the feature and that maintaining such unpopular feature turned out to be costly for the Firefox team.

5 Best Memory-Saving Chrome Add-ons to Help You Manage Tab Overload

Tab Group is one of the biggest updates of Google Chrome so it might take a couple of months to finally hit the online shore. For the meantime, check out these third-party Chrome extensions that help you manage tab overload.

LOOK: Upcoming Google Chrome Feature Lets You Organize Active Tabs into Groups

Whether you're using Instagram for business or not, writing a killer caption and well-optimized hashtags is a must. Ask any Instagram marketer it's second most tricky part immediately next to generating the visuals to post on Instagram.

A good caption should drive user engagements and virality, while a relevant set of hashtags ensures you have the most optimal reach to get the exposure you need. People discover interesting posts thru hashtags, and it's a good opportunity for your brand to get discovered and ultimately earn followers.

While the best way to come up with words to accompany your Instagram post is to write it yourself, it doesn't hurt to try and get some assistance from new breed of apps to do just that.

Excel Gets OCR Support, Lets You Snap Tables and Convert Into Editable Spreadsheet

In this post, we'll be featuring an Android and iOS app that should help you decide what captions to post next.

Caption AI - Your Smart Instagram Caption Assistant ()

Caption AI currently hosts 15,000 captions (and growing) grouped into easy to navigate categories. Running out of caption idea for your next Instagram post? Just launch the app, open an image to post and Caption AI will automatically detect what caption and hashtags to post based on your picture.

Not happy with the generated caption? Just tap on any of the categories like Nature, Fitness, Travel, and Caption AI automatically suggests a caption for you.

Of course the auto-generated captions aren't original. They're mostly coming from third-party sources that curate popular lines and quotes from notable people and writers. Perhaps in the next update the developer gives proper attribution to each line.

This Android app can also suggest the most popular hashtags relevant to your post. So next time you're stuck deciding what to post, check out this app.

Auto Caption - Get Caption Ideas for Instagram (, )

Another app that I am pretty much impressed is Auto Caption for iOS. The moment you open a photo to post, it automatically detects whether it's ocean, mountain or food. Auto Caption will then suggest a caption and hashtags based on what it sees.

It's pretty clever and helpful app ideally recommended for Instagram marketers or casual Instagrammers.

Wrapping it up

Again, the above-mentioned apps aren't for everyone. A more personalized and well-thought out captions will still do wonders in your Instagram marketing efforts. But if doing so takes you forever, then, maybe time to explore those apps?

New AI-Powered Apps Help You Generate Captions, Hashtags for Instagram

These are the most essential smart home devices to give you a headstart with smart home living without breaking the bank. These smart home devices we hand-picked are all affordable, requires no technical know-how, and an absolute joy to use.

Unless you’re in a cave in the past few months minding your own business, skipping all the smart home technology headlines, you probably have heard of Internet-of-Things (IoT) and connected smart home devices.

Internet-of-Things (IoT) explained

The easiest definition of Internet-of-Things (IoT) I can think of is that it’s just a network like an internet where all your smart home devices are connected. IoT typically operates on top of your existing home WiFi network, so you can just simply imagine of IoT as a network of home devices within your existing home network.

Forbes predicts that by 2022, people would spend $1.22T on IoT devices and a global market that will continue to burgeon each year. No wonder the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) continues to surprise us with cool and bizarre IoT gadgets, ranging from robotic cleaners, smart locks and pet food dispenser.

Smart home technology or IoT devices - what are they?

At the heart of IoT network are your connected home devices that able to send and receive commands at a swipe of a finger or by your voice, giving you:

  • the ability to automate routinary tasks like preparing your morning brew, starting your heater, turning on your cooling system at home while driving from work, turning off virtually any appliance at a certain time (and save money in the process), etc.

  • the ability to secure your home from burglary and unwanted entries inside your premises while you’re away from home

  • the convenience and efficiency, saving both time and money (later we’ll tell you how some IoT devices can cut your electric bills)

One popular notion of having connected home devices setup is that it’s going to cost you a fortune and it’s bloody rocket science to set up. That’s plainly wrong. While some well-promoted IoT devices can be costly, that doesn’t mean you need to follow the herd and just buy what other people buy.

We can just start off with the basics, the least costly ones, to give you the feel what it’s like to have IoT at home. And in this guide, we’ll even skip using smart home hubs and controllers like Amazon Echo or the highly recommended Wink Hub 2. Hubs and controllers are all optional.

Below are essential smart home devices you should start using for smarter homes

IoT on a Budget: 5 Surprisingly Cheap, Essential Smart Home Devices to Automate Your Home

  1. Smart Plugs (~$15)

    No must-have smart home devices list is complete without smart plugs. Also known as Wifi Smart Sockets or Smart Wifi Outlets, smart plug essentially lets you wirelessly control nearly every single home appliance using your iPhone or Android device. This magical device gives your home appliance wireless connectivity so you can remotely turn them on or off right at your fingertips or schedule your appliance to be automatically turned on or off at a certain time.

    I have an old window-type aircon which unfortunately doesn’t have a timer, but with Wifi Smart Sockets, I can easily put a timer and let it automatically turn off at 3 am without interrupting my slumber.

    How To: Make Any Wired Speaker Into Wireless Bluetooth Speaker for Less than $7

    Do you want to wake up from the smell of freshly brewed coffee in your kitchen? Simply prepare the beans/filter a night before and plug your coffeemaker in a smart plug. You can get it to automatically brew your coffee the next day or brew it using your iPhone while you’re in bed scanning your emails.

    Of course, the fun doesn’t stop there. You can plug in your other home appliances like electric fans, water heaters and control them wirelessly at your fingertips.

    There are a plethora of smart wifi sockets to choose from, some even have nifty features like energy usage tracker, Amazon Echo, and Google Home integration so you can simply control them with your voice. The most important Wifi Smart Socket feature to look for is a timer, where it completely cuts power after a timer expires.

    You can score a decent smart plug at Amazon like the Orvibo S25 Wi-Fi Smart Socket which starts at $15 as of writing or from your local online store.

  2. Smart Bulbs and Lighting (~$34)

    What if you can dim your light or control your ambiance within your iPhone or Android device or by simply asking Siri or Alexa to do so?

    That’s exactly what smart lighting is all about. You get a smart bulb and a special device (bridge) acting as a connector so you can remotely control the bulb wirelessly.

    In smart lighting category, Philips Hue Smart Lighting Kit is definitely king. But it comes at a price. However, there is decent Philips Hue alternative you can try like the cheaper, all-white version Philips Hue White. Or if that’s still expensive, Eufy Lumos Smart Bulb is a good Philips Hue line alternative.

  3. Sound and Motion Sensing Device (~$25)

    Another welcome addition to your home security system, this category of the internet-connected device lets you monitor your home away from home. This top-rated monitoring device Wyze Cam Pan for instance alerts you when there are possible intrusions within your premises. It has a night vision capability, can track moving object and can detect sounds.

    Most smart motion-sensing devices usually work with Alexa so you can simply ask Alexa to show your front door, kid’s room, or anywhere else you have your Wyze Cam Pan.

  4. Smart Smoke Detector (~$120)

    Smart smoke detector? Why not!

    I’m extra paranoid when it comes to fire so I don’t mind forking out a few bucks for smart smoke alarms. Smart smoke detector essentially alerts you when there’s a fire even if you’re miles away from home. This special type of device connects to your iPhone or iPad over wifi or cellular so you’ll be quickly alerted when there are smokes detected.

    Nest Protect is always a good one you can invest in but there is also excellent Nest Protect alternatives you can check in. Just search for it on Amazon or eBay.

  5. Robotic Vacuums and Cleaners (~$179)

    Just when you thought IoT can’t be any cooler, I’m ending this list with smart home cleaners. This category of a connected home device can do all the dirty work of keeping your room dust-free. Robot vacuums normally come with a smart app where you can schedule or initiate cleaning session or you can simply ask Alexa or Google Home to start the job.

    Ecovacs Self-Charging Robot Vacuum Cleaner is a popular option under this category, but feel free to explore more that works for you.

That’s it!

Again, smart home hubs and controllers like Amazon Echo are all optional. The above-mentioned smart home devices will continue to work without Amazon Echo or Google Home unless you’re willing to spend more and take your home automation game to the next level.

5 Surprisingly Cheap IoT Devices to Easily Upgrade Your Home for Less

Gone are the days when one has to frantically tidy up his room or home office and make it less embarrassing before the scheduled video Skype call.

Video conferencing giant Skype is rolling out an update to their desktop apps that subtly blur your background in real-time while video chat is underway. It's an experimental feature made possible by Microsoft's proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) trained to detect human forms like hairs, hands, and arms.

Skype's background blur ensures the communication from both parties are as frictionless as possible, free from distractions (read: laundry all over the place) and little surprises (kids), ultimately saving you from the embarrassment in the process.

Here's How To Enable Background Blur On Skype

  1. Ensure you have the most recent copy of your Skype app. Go check your app and see for updates.
  2. Every time you receive or initiate a video call, hover around the Skype video button and toggle "Blur my background".

    You can optionally set this in the app settings if you want to globally apply it in future video calls.

While Skype's background blur experimental feature is as promising as it can get, the video conferencing giant emphasized that it is still in its infancy and that its AI may not always work as expected.

"We do our best to make sure that your background is always blurred, but we cannot guarantee that your background will always be blurred."

See Skype's official announcement here.

Skype Launches Experimental Feature that Blurs Your Background, Thanks to AI

Google launches Password Checkup, a Chrome extension that alerts you if your login information appear in a data breach known to Google.

Several months ago, the internet is awash with news of data breaches and scandals perpetrated by bounty hunters, ransomware and bored security scientists. A handful of apps and services have been affected including Yahoo, Spotify, Netflix, Facebook among others.

The incident expectedly sparked outrage, prompting tech companies to revisit and beef up their cybersecurity and alert its millions of users to change their passwords immediately.

Yours truly wasn't spared from these leaks. A few months ago I discovered that my Spotify account had been used somewhere by a device I don't recognize, which fortunately had been patched up by Spotify. And of all the horrors of data leaks affecting my own personal account, the one that takes the cake: I discovered that my Gmail login information was publicly being dumped in a public domain for everyone to see.

Apple's New Patent Gives iOS Quick Access to Camera, Bypassing Passwords & Biometrics

That's where I began to take a serious look and acknowledged that there was indeed a data breach going on, prompting me to add few more security layers to all my online accounts including setting up two-factor authentication (2FA). Lucky to those who constantly monitor their online activities, but for those uninformed users who remained clueless of their exposed credentials, they might be in big trouble.

And that's what inspires Google to launch Password Checkup, a Chrome extension that alerts you when your passwords are no longer safe and prompts to re-secure your account.

How does it work?

As soon as you install Password Checkup from Chrome web store, every time you sign in to any sites, a hashed and encrypted copy of your login information are sent to Google in the background and it alerts you when your username and password are publicly exposed on the web. Password Checkup will then prompt you to reset your password immediately if it's deemed unsafe to use.

How does Google know if my passwords are no longer safe?

Google keeps a copy of virtually any dumped usernames and passwords publicly accessible online. And that makes it possible for Password Checkup to do a quick lookup against Google's internal database of around four billion usernames and passwords crawled from popular dumping sites like Pastebin and Github.

Google's Password Checkup is not the first of its kind that helps you identify if your accounts have been compromised. Popular password manager app 1Password previously gets Watchtower integration that compares your credentials against Have I Been Pwned's database.

New Chrome Extension by Google Scans All Your Leaked Passwords Online, Alerts You To Update Your Credentials

Ever wanted to watch your favourite movies and TV shows on Netflix or YouTube while opening other work-related apps? Well now, you can continue to look busy and pretend working while enjoying your guilty pleasure movies on Netflix and YouTube.

Being able to dock YouTube or Netflix videos on a nice, overlay window that floats over other opened apps is one great feature Google Chrome and Firefox could introduce to its core. Sadly though, that picture-in-picture (PiP) feature is currently not supported in their recent version for both Windows and Mac. So we are all left in the dark, given the classic option of staying within the browser to continue watching your favorite stuff.

But, someone decided to change that.

A Chrome extension called Picture in Picture for YouTube & Other adds an unofficial PiP support for Chrome that works well with YouTube, Facebook and Netflix. Which means, you can pop out virtually any active playing video into a small, draggable mini-mode window that sits nicely on top of other opened apps.

Watch Netflix, YouTube in Foreground While Keeping Other Windows Opened

Picture in Picture for YouTube & Other promises to give you the best viewing experience (and distractions) on popular sites like YouTube, Netflix and Facebook. Essentially, it lets you watch Netflix or YouTube videos on overlay mini-window that floats over other opened windows.

Here's How to Watch Netflix In Floating, Resizable Windows

  1. Launch Google Chrome and install Picture in Picture for YouTube & Other. Installation should take no more than a minute. Once installed, you should see this icon:

  2. Now, go to Netflix or YouTube and play a video of interest.
  3. Once a video begins to load, click on that tiny PiP icon. Netflix or YouTube video player should automatically dock at the bottom right of your screen as an overlay. Feel free to drag or resize it.
  4. Now, head back to whatever it is you're working and continue juggling emails or pretend you're busy writing stuff, etc.

Get Instant Lyrics for Grooveshark, Spotify and YouTube Web Players with This Cool Add-on

The really nice thing about this Chrome add-on is that it continues to play your Netflix or YouTube videos in a nice resizable floating overlay even if you're opening other apps like office apps, CRMs, code editor, and just about anything. Just make sure the video is actively playing in a tab.

Here's me watching Polar on Netflix while opening my code editor.

Here's yours truly listening to TED Talks on YouTube

New Browser Extension "Turn Off The Lights" Gives YouTubers The Feel Like They're In A Cinema

Now feel free to share the good news below using social buttons below or subscribe via email to get notified for goodies like this in the future.

How To: Watch YouTube, Netflix on Sticky, Floating Window While Keeping Other Apps Opened

Near Lock, one of the coolest iPhone apps in the App Store, has just updated their iOS app with full Siri Shortcuts support.

For the uninitiated, Near Lock lets you automatically lock/unlock your Mac when you're near your computer without even touching it. It uses proximity sensor to detect your iPhone's distance and automatically lock your computer if you're away. Once you're near your workplace, Near Lock automatically unlocks your Mac.

Near Lock is really one powerful app that saves you time while keeping all prying eyes at bay, whether at home or at your workplace. You don't have to touch your machine to lock your computer for a quick break or type your password to log back in to your computer.

Now, an even more powerful Near Lock is here with full integration to Shortcuts, a Siri feature introduced last year.

How To Text Blast in iOS - This Shortcut Lets You SMS Bomb Any Number from iPhone

But why bother asking Siri “Lock my Mac” or “Unlock my Computer” when iPhone can automatically lock/unlock your computer when you're near? Isn't it a counterproductive to automation action we expect?

Well, the shortest answer is: Near Lock sometimes miscalculates your iPhone's distance to your Mac. It cannot sometimes automatically unlocks your Mac even if your iPhone sits just beside your computer. And it randomly locks your Mac while you're in the middle of something even if your phone remained just beside your Mac.

Using Siri Shortcuts to Lock, Unlock Your Mac with Near Lock

The unreliability of Near Lock's proximity sensor-based locking/unlocking makes Shortcuts integration a welcome addition to its feature packs. By simply asking Siri “Lock my Mac” or “Unlock my Mac”, that's already a nifty productivity hack.

Here's How To Use Siri To Automatically Lock or Unlock Your Computer

  1. Download and install Near Lock on your iPhone.
  2. Download and install its Mac App. This tiny app simply works as a connector between your iPhone and Mac.

  3. Turn on your Mac's bluetooth and launch Near Lock on your Mac for pairing (you only need to do this once).
  4. Turn on iPhone's bluetooth and open Near Lock on your iPhone. It should instantly scans your computer to pair. Once your Mac is found, it prompts you to enter your Mac's password. This is a one-time setup too.

  5. Now that your Mac and iPhone are successfully paired, click on that tiny Mac icon.

  6. It should bring you this.

    Remember Near Lock's proximity-based auto locking/unlocking unreliability so we will not use that. Leave that un-toggled/disabled as seen above.

  7. On your iPhone, go to Settings > Near Lock > Siri & Search > Shortcuts and define your own Near Lock shortcuts or you can pre-made shortcuts to lock / unlock your Mac.

Send Automated, Scheduled Message on iPhone - No Jailbreak and Third-Party Apps Required

You're done. You can now just say "Hey Siri, lock my computer" or "Unlock my Mac". Here's Siri locking and unlocking my Mac in action:

How To: Automatically Lock, Unlock Your Computer with Siri

If you've been a long time user of WhatsApp for Android or iPhone, you probably have noticed that nice floating video player that pops up right within the app every time you click on a shared video from YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Streamable. That feature is called Picture-in-Picture (PiP) launched back in December last year.

Now in what seems to be an attempt to inflate the amount of time you spend on WhatsApp, the same PiP feature is now available in WhatsApp Web. Which means you can now chat with your friends and watch shared videos from YouTube or Facebook WITHOUT leaving the app. Sweet.

New Chrome Add-on Lets You Watch YouTube Videos While You Search, Browse — Similar to YouTube Mobile App

The update comes from WhatsApp Web version 0.3.2041, which is expected to be followed by a few more enhancements later this year like dark mode, face recognition and more.

How to open shared YouTube/Facebook videos within WhatsApp Web

  1. Ensure you have the most recent version of WhatsApp Web. WhatsApp normally auto-downloads whatever updates available. If you think you're not getting the update, you may need to hard-refresh your browser or clear cache/cookies.
  2. Now, on your computer head to https://web.whatsapp.com/ and follow on-screen instruction.

New Browser Extension "Turn Off The Lights" Gives YouTubers The Feel Like They're In A Cinema

Support for PiP for WhatsApp Web may not be a big update for some but it's a welcome addition to those heavy WhatsApp Web users.

WhatsApp Web Now Lets You Watch Shared YouTube, Facebook Videos Within the App

Unlike Apple's streaming app rival Spotify, Apple Music still lacks the option to play your audio collections in web browser.

In case you find Apple's iTunes music player straight up complicated to use or you want to save some precious memory by skipping the iTunes player, there's now a web player alternative for your Apple Music listening needs.

Musi.sh Lets You Play Apple Music in Web Browser

Musi.sh is a new web app that lets you access Apple Music in a web browser. It basically is just another way to access your Apple Music on a website instead of launching the official app.

The Good:

Neat UI almost feels like a native app from Apple and works surprisingly fast. We were impressed.

How To: Quickly Move, Import Your Spotify Playlists To Apple Music

Being a web app, you can play your Apple Music collections straight from Google Chrome, Firefox or any web browser of your choice. All you need to do is to authorize the app to access your Apple Music library and you're good to go.

Go, check out Musi.sh

Musi.sh: The Best Apple Music Web Player Alternative - Access Apple Music on Web Browser

As what ultra-minimalist Steve Jobs famously once said, we “improve by removing more”. That's one of the guiding maxims of Apple that helped propel its way to greatness in the techno-wizardry scene.

Now, if you're convinced with that guiding principle of Apple, why not apply that same ethos into how you consume your music and movies?

I'm talking about those classic wired surround speakers & subwoofer systems sitting on your desk right now and all its tangled wires glory. While this wired speaker system works just fine, why not free yourself from all these clutter and get that simple joy of wireless you deserve?

How To: Remotely Control Apple Music on Computer, Mac Using iPhone, iPad

If you have a good old non-wireless loudspeaker lying around in the corner, don't throw that just yet. The truth is you can make it "cool" again by repurposing and turning it into a wireless Bluetooth speaker so you can wirelessly fire up your favorite Spotify playlist from the comfort of your fingertips.

Play Music On Your Wired Speaker System Wirelessly from Your iPhone, Android

Step 1 Get your preferred Bluetooth Audio Receiver from your favorite shop like Amazon. I scored a decent Bluetooth Receiver from Lazada for only Php 330.00 ($7). Sweet.

Step 2 Do the one-time setup. These Bluetooth Stereo Receivers usually have this simple setup:

  1. Plug in your speaker's 3.5mm stereo jack into the Bluetooth device
  2. Pair your Bluetooth Audio Receiver with your iPhone, Android or any Bluetooth-enabled devices

You're done!

You can now listen to your favourite music from iTunes or Spotify while you can freely move around.

Image source: nerdtechy.com

How To: Make Any Wired Speaker Into Wireless Bluetooth Speaker for Less than $7

Call it an early Holiday treat!

After years of waiting, Netflix has finally heeded everyone's call and just rolled out an update on their iOS and Android apps which now lets you download Netflix movies and shows offline so you can watch them on your iPhone, iPad or Android even without an internet connection.

Netflix first broke the news on Twitter which must be making everyone excited, YES, me included!

Netflix Now Lets You Download Movies, TV Shows To Watch Offline On iPhone, iPad, Android

So, starting today, you'll now be able to download select Netflix movies and TV shows so you can watch them on the go without mobile data. Of course, you need to update your app first to enjoy this Netflix offline playback support.

One big caveat though is that only select movies and TV shows are available for offline view, and it can vary region-to-region. But they do plan to expand their catalog as soon as the required licensing arrangements are made with its content partners.

How To: Send, Save Quora Answers In Pocket and Read Offline

While not all Netflix contents are available for download offline, it is still a welcome addition considering the pricey mobile data rate which could inflate your bill.

Finally, Netflix Gets Offline Playback Support for iOS iPhone, iPad and Android

Since its debut, Apple Music has seriously got some mixed reviews both from critics and fans alike. Some discontented Apple fans called it “a nightmare” while others lauded it as a refreshing and a nearly perfect music app.

And if you are one of those Apple fanboys who are convinced that Apple Music is the best music app in the planet, then, you don't want to miss out this one cool interoperability feature of iOS and OSX: wirelessly control, play Apple Music on your PC/Mac using your iPhone or iPad as a remote.


DokRemote: Remotely Control Your iPhone, iPod Music Player Via Web Browser

Spotify Connect is one sought-after, premium-only feature of Spotify that lets you control the music from any phone or tablet using the Spotify app. And if you're looking for Spotify Connect alternative for Apple Music, then, good news is you too can have the same wireless convenience at no cost!

Play Apple Music Through Your Speakers, Mac or Apple TV Using iPhone, iPad as Remote

Follow this step-by-step guide on how to remotely control music playback active on your PC, Mac using your iPhone or iPad as a wireless remote.

Step 1 Download and install Remote on your iPhone or iPad

Step 2 Once installed, enable Home Sharing on your iPhone. You'll be asked to login using your iCloud account. You should see something like this:

Step 3Turn on Home Sharing in iTunes on your computer or Mac. Go to File > Home Sharing > Turn On Home Sharing. Once enabled, your Remote app on your iPhone should automatically retrieve all your music collection and display them on your iDevice.

Use IFTTT As A Spy App: Secretly Copy, Collect iOS Photos on iPhone, iPad (No Jailbreak)

Step 4 Let's test it. Browse through your iTunes library on your Mac and play whatever playlist/albums you've got. As soon as you hit the play button, your iPhone should automatically pick the track actively playing your Mac, as seen on the video below:

You're done! You can keep the music flowing on your Mac from anywhere in your house using your iPhone or iPad as remote.

Works flawless on my iPhone 5 (iOS8.4) and Mac (Yosemite).

Caveats

Apple's official Remote app for iOS only allows you to choose music you've added on your library. The app can't let you search for new songs in the cloud just like what you normally do on Spotify Connect.

How To: Transfer Large Files Between iPhone and Other iDevices Over Existing Wi-Fi Network

How To: Remotely Control Apple Music on Computer, Mac Using iPhone, iPad

Previously on this blog we have talked about Cloud Save, a nifty Google Chrome extension that lets you right-click any in-page links & files and save them straight to the clouds.

We've also talked about Mover.io, a much advanced cloud files manager that consolidates all your virtual drives so you can manage all your cloud files in one centralised dashboard.

And now I am thrilled to introduce you yet another rare gem on the web that you'll gladly welcome in your productivity arsenal: Ballloon.

New Web App Ballloon Tranfers Files to the Clouds in Seconds




Ballloon is a brand new web service that lets you save files directly to your cloud storage accounts like Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, Box, etc. It eliminates the need for you to manually download files from the web, whether it's a 1MB audio file or 800MB zip file. Use Ballloon' web app instead to automatically save them to your DropBox or any cloud storage accounts of your choice. You just have to provide a direct link and you're done.

All it takes is your Google account to get started and you can start connecting all your cloud storage account and start Ballloon transfer in seconds. You can also assign a default remote directory every time you initiate a transfer for each cloud storage account.

There's also an official Google Chrome extension you can use, but that's optional. So for those who don't want to bloat their browser with add-ons, the web-based version is already pretty much functional and it works like a charm.

The Good

Ballloon is FREE, and the guys behind it promised that there will always be a free plan should this app matures into a full-blown premium web app.

User interface is also a delight to use, notably modern and straight-forward to navigate; from signing up all the way to connecting your cloud storage accounts, the whole process is seamless.

Access, Manage All Files Stored Across Multiple Cloud Accounts All At Once


What really makes Ballloon stand out is the fact that it moves your files amazingly fast (and I mean it). A 4MB audio file for instance takes only five seconds to arrive in my Google Drive. A 150 MB backup file from my other blog only takes 50 seconds to arrive on my Google Drive.



Think of server-to-server communication; no more delays regardless of your internet speed. And transfers take place in the background; you can close your browser's tab once you've initiated the transfer and your files should arrive in its destination shortly.

The Bad

Apparently only the following cloud storage accounts are supported:
  • DropBox
  • Google Drive
  • Copy
  • SugarSync
  • One Drive
I hope they can add support for other cloud storage providers like Amazon, Rackspace and even FTP. If they can bring this integration while maintaining the same level of speed I used to enjoy today, I'm happy to fork out a few bucks and be one of their premium users.

Check out the FAQ page for more information.



LINK: Ballloon

Ballloon: Directly Save Large Files To DropBox & Other Cloud Accounts In Seconds

Learn how you can use IFTTT as an iOS photo spy software to secretly copy every single picture taken on your spouse or kid's iPhone, iPad. Automatically get a backup of every iOS photo including selfies, n*des and other inappropriate snaps.

WARNING: The author shall not be held responsible or liable for any misuse of the app detailed on this post. The method outlined below can get you in serious trouble. Do it at your own risk.

Been fiddling around with IFTTT few days ago and I accidentally discovered that you can actually use IFTTT iOS app as a FREE spy app to secretly collect, monitor every single iOS photo being taken on your spouse or daughter's iPhonE, iPad. Good news is: the process is no rocket science and you don't have to spend a penny nor you need to jailbreak your iOS device to accomplish this.

For the uninitiated, IFTTT (If This, Then That) is a massively popular web automation service that allows you to automatically perform certain actions based on your conditions (or triggers). IFTTT termed them as recipes, and there are plenty of recipes flooded out there that should help you save time by automating certain asks. One good example is you can get SMS alerts from specific email addresses, or you can let your device to automatically send screenshots to your email.

Remotely Get a Copy of Every Single iOS Photo Taken on iPhone Without Getting Caught

Step 1 Compel your target to install IFTTT. Sure it won't be a problem as IFTTT has hundreds of awesome recipes up its sleeve. If you know your partner's iTunes account, then, that's a bonus as you can install the IFTTT straight away.

Step 2 Once you've successfully installed IFTTT, best to burry it in the Utilities folder or anywhere that's least accessed.

Step 3 Enable Background App Refresh for IFTTT. This ensures that all new photos are uploaded to IFTTT server when online. Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh

Step 4 Disable IFTTT's iOS Notification to ensure your target won't get notified every time the recipe runs. Go to Settings > Notifications, select IF and turn off Allow Notifications slider.

Step 5 Create a new recipe with the following trigger and action:

TRIGGER: Any new photo (under iOS Photos channel)
ACTION: Send an email (under Gmail channel)

See video walkthrough below.

Be sure to save your new recipe and you're good to go!

Now, every time a new photo is added on your target's phone, you will automatically get notified via email including the link of the newly added photo, as seen below:

Caveats

a) The target's iPhone or iPad should be connected to the internet for this remote photo spying method to work. Not necessarily connected all the time but should be connected once in a while so IFTTT can push new photos to their server.

b) Data delivery is a bit delayed.

I don't want this recipe to be called as an exploit but rather a heaven-sent functionality you can use to spy on anyone's iPhone and be in the know what your daughter, girlfriend or wife is up to.

Use IFTTT As A Spy App: Secretly Copy, Collect iOS Photos on iPhone, iPad (No Jailbreak)

As someone on Quora once said, “Quora is a giant campfire where random people come along, sit down, and tell their stories”.

Quora, without a doubt, is one great platform where Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, James Wales of Wikipedia and countless others including world-renowned NASA scientists, astronauts and engineers converge and embark into a stimulating and immersive discussion of just about anything.

So it's normally safe to assume that Quora hosts a plethora of smart & insightful discussions, answers and thoughts from qualified & experienced people with different professional background which are sure a delight to read.

Curiosity.com: Get Answers To Life Biggest Questions From World's Brightest Minds

And if you're like me who doesn't have the luxury of time to immerse and browse through Quora during the day, you probably have wished to just feed those interesting reads to your favourite news reader app like Pocket so you can read them later offline.

The thing is: Quora hasn't have this feature yet nor Pocket has integration support for our beloved Quora.

But fret not, there is a way out..

Add “Save To Pocket” Button In Quora for Offline Reading

Meet Quora Save To Pocket, a Google Chrome extension that allows you to push contents from Quora to Pocket. With this extension, you can save any answer, question or blog post to your Pocket account straight from your Quora feed. Sweet...

How it works

The add-on works this simply:

You install the Chrome extension. Once added, you connect the app to Pocket via the standard OAUTH authentication protocol, and you're done. Save to Pocket link should now automatically appear on every thread and answer on Quora, as seen below:


Wikipedia Gets Export-To-eBook Feature, Lets You Export Wikipedia Articles Into Instant Free e-Book

Pocket actually has its own vendor-specific browser extension that makes it easier to add links to your Pocket account. The problem with their official browser extensions, when used in Quora pages, is you can't selectively add those specific answers you find interesting. And considering how Quora renders its pages, Pocket's official add-ons meet an incompatibility with Quora as yet.



LINK: Quora Save To Pocket (Chrome)

How To: Send, Save Quora Answers In Pocket and Read Offline