Friday, January 28, 2022
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KOVOL Sprint 120W GaN Charger – One Charger for All Your Devices

The technology has finally arrived that now we can carry one charger for all other devices. And when I say devices, I mean Laptops, Tablets, PCs, and Mobile phones.

A few months ago, I wrote an article about GaN Chargers and how they can solve the problem of having to carry multiple chargers for different devices.

What are GaN Chargers?

In the last few years, a type of charger called a GaN charger has gained popularity in electric vehicles. The GaN charger, which uses gallium nitride technology, is designed to reduce the size and weight of the charging system and increase safety and efficiency.

And thanks to this technology, charges of smaller sizes are capable of charging big devices like laptops to their full capacity.

I am currently using this 120-Watt GaN charger from KOVOL for charging my MacBook, iPhone, and iPad when I am away from my Home Office. The original chargers are in their place in my Home Office, and the 120-watt GaN charger is in my backpack all the time, along with a cable with three different connection types, a Type C, A Lightning, and MicroUSB.

What’s in the Box?

I received the KOVOL Sprint 120W GaN Charger in the mail directly from the company a few days ago and I have been using it since then. Here is what you get in the box.

  • 1 x KOVOL Sprint Charger 120W
  • 1 x 4.9ft AC Input Cable
  • 1 x User Guide
  • 1 x Thank You Card

I got a Type A Plug unit, which isn’t useful in India as we have Type C plugs here. (image embedded below for reference).

The good thing is, it’s compatible with a range of 100-240V, which makes it compatible globally, and you only require a converter plug.

Image source: theconversation.com

It is no issue for me since I have a spare chord, and converters are easily available in the market as well. But you should be getting the right cable if you purchase it from your respective market; price and availability details are mentioned in the last section of this article.

KOVOL also has a lower output Sprint 65W GaN charger that retails for half the price. It also has four ports, 2 PD and 2 QC.

Performance

The KOVOL Sprint 120W charger has four ports, 2 Type-C (Power Delivery) and 2 Type-A (Quick Charge).

What’s the difference between power delivery and quick charge?

To quickly sum it up,

  • the Power Delivery can run high voltage with high current, resulting in higher output, to charge devices that require more power.
  • the Quick Charge has the capacity to run high voltage but at low current, resulting in lower output comparatively to Power Delivery.

So, since Apple devices, the iPhone, Pad, and MacBooks come with a Type C to Type C cable supporting PD, cables can be used with the charger since no cable is provided in the Box.

As for the Type A power, it gives a maximum output of 18W- which is still good for many devices you’ll have. You can even use all four ports at once, and the power distribution will be something like 45-watt on both Type C and 18-watt on both Type-A.

Comparison with MacBook Pro’s 61-watts and iPhone 12 Pro’s 18-Watt Charger. 

The 120-watt GaN charger is a little heavier than both the chargers but is smaller in volume. And it gives twice the output charge than MacBook Pro’s charger.

For example, my MacBook shows it is connected to a 100-watt charger when it is the only device connected to the charger using the provided Type C to Type C cable.

This can be viewed by going to Apple Icon- About Mac – System Report – Power on the MacBook.

And it shows it is connected to a 60-watt charger when iPhone and MacBook is connected to the charger at once.

Also, if you have got an iPhone 12 or above model, buying an 18-watt charger won’t give you fast charging on iPhones, while this 120-watt GaN charger provides the maximum with an iPhone can get, which is around 30-watts (I checked with several sources).

I’ll put the charging stats got while using it with my devices.

Charging the iPhone 12 Pro Max

  • at 5% Charging at 3:05 pm
  • At 65% Charging at 3:30 pm
  • At 85% Charging at 4:00 pm
  • At 95% Charging at 4:30 pm 

*I’ve enabled Optimize Battery Charging which slowss down charging after it reaches 80%.

Charging MacBook Pro (while in use)

  • At 1% at 3:40 pm
  • At 30% at 4:10 pm
  • At 60% at 4:40 pm
  • At 85% at 5:10 pm
  • At 98% at 5:40pm

Although my MacBook does say it is connected to a 100-watt charger, I think Apple is limited it’s charging to 60-watt only, eucase it roughly took 2 hours to charge fully, while I was working on it.

So, the 120-watt charger does not give its maximum output to my devices, I found that I can simultaneously charge my iPhone and my MacBook Pro with their maximum charging input, which is 60-watt for MacBook and 30-watt for iPhone.

I’ve also found that the charger doesn’t get heated too much and just gets warmer. I checked the temperature and it was 96 degrees Fahrenheit. It was charging both my iPhone 12 Pro Max and the MacBook Pro.

Price and Availability

The KOVOL Sprint 120W is available on Amazon for $99 at the moment. I think currently some promotion is going on, where you can get $20 off by applying coupons available on the listing page itself.

KOVOL also has a lower output Sprint 65W GaN charger that retails for half the price. It also has four ports, 2 PD and 2 QC.

If you have got multiple devices and you always have to carry various chargers with you, this can be a great solution for you.

Buy from Amazon

How to Convert A PPT to a Video or Add it to Another Video.

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Whether you are looking for a way to convert a PPT into a video or add a PPT into an existing video where you’re presenting it, this article talks about all the possible solutions there can be.

Over the last few years, a lot of people are either working from home or attending their classes online, and for that very purpose, people who are looking for technical solutions, as simple as, adding a PPT to a video have emerged.

Students of all classes are converting their homework and assignments into PDF files and then submitting them to their teachers online, and then there are professionals as well as students who sometimes have to prepare presentations.

Convert a PPT into a video

You are using a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation to create your PPT, you can convert it into a video right from the software itself. Instead of saving it as a PPT, you can export the PPT as a video.

You can click on export by going to the file from the top left side of the Microsoft PowerPoint application, you will find the option to export it into an MP4 video. Select the video quality,  1080p is recommended.

That’s it you know have converted your presentation into a video that would play like any now my video is you can even upload it on YouTube and other social media platforms if you intend to.

Add a PPT into a video?

Perhaps your objective is to a creative video while you are presenting it in a live stream or just want to upload somewhere like YouTube or any other social media platform, where is the easiest way you can do it.

If you are presenting it in a meeting via an app like Zoom for Google meet, it will give you an option to share your screen. You can share the screen and start the PPT in full screen.

At this point, you can ask the host of the zoom meeting to record the session if he can. Else, you can do it at your end also using free screen recording apps for Windows.

If you want to do it in a little more professional manner if your objective is to upload it somewhere, you can invest in a professional app such as Snagit and Camtasia, these two are from the same company but give some amazing features for screen recording.

If you do not want to do a screen recording of yourself presenting the PPT, you can add a voice-over to the PPT video. This will also give you a chance to rectify the errors you come across while doing the voice-over and without having to do the screen recording all over again.

You can also use the first method to convert the PPT into a video and then use the editing app to add it to an existing video. There are some amazing video editing apps available for both mobile phones, computers, and browser-based, such as KineMaster, Filmora, and FlexClip respectively.

It’s no secret that many people prefer watching videos over reading long text articles. This is because it’s easy to digest visual information and make something out of it, whereas paragraphs of text can be overwhelming. So you can convert a PPT into a video with the voice-over as if it is the best visual medium.

How to build a learning management system: 4 tips and tricks

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We live in a world where every service is being made available online, including education. The online learning space is growing rapidly, and there are a lot of people who want to get into this business.

If the same goes with you, then you must be wondering how to build a learning management system?

Well, it’s not really hard to create LMS website. But there are certain things that you should remember. And to help you with it, I am going to talk about the steps that you have to follow to create your own learning management system.

So here we go:

How to build a learning management system?

1. Create LMS Project Plan

Before creating a learning management system, you should have a project plan in place. You should validate your idea and make sure that your idea is worth giving a try.

You should determine what the future will look like if your product arrives in the market. Is there a need for the online learning service? And if yes, then who are your competitors and all.

There are a few questions that you should ask yourself. Such as:

  • Why do you want to create LMS from scratch?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • How will your business solve the issue?
  • Who will build your LMS website?
  • How much budget do you have?

Once you answer these questions, you will have a solid business plan in place.

2. Choose Service Provider

The next step is to choose a service provider for your LMS. You can go with a ready-made SAAS solution. Or you can create your own learning management system from scratch.

If you decide to go with the first option, then there are not too many challenges you have to face as there are lots of ready-made products available. Also, using them is a pretty simple job and cost-effective.

But the ready-made solutions lack scalability. So in the future, when you want to grow your business, you will miss out on different features, and the only option you will be left with is building an LMS solution from scratch.

However, if you go with an LMS system built from scratch right from the start, then it will be expensive and time-consuming. You have to talk to developers, deal with payment gateways, APIs, and all.

But yes, you will enjoy scalability. You can design your website the way you wish to, have all the important features in place, and so on.

3. Start Building Your LMS

The next step is to build your website. So you should start by creating videos or other types of content that you are going to offer to your users.

If you have your course content ready, upload them to your website, select categories, and make sure that they are visible to the users and your website is working properly. You surely don’t want to serve your users with a buggy website that doesn’t work.

4. Marketing

Now that your website is completed, the last step is to market it. To market your website, you can use different channels. For instance, you can run ads on Facebook, Google, or Instagram.

Along with that, you can also focus on organic traffic by focusing on SEO and getting traffic from search engines like Google or Bing.

Final Words:

So that was all for your question about how to build a learning management system. I hope this has guided you with how you can launch your own LMS website. In case you have any other questions regarding how to develop a learning management system, then comment below.

 

How To Create The Best Music Playlist For Offline Listening In 2022

There are several advantages to utilizing streaming music applications instead of downloading music to your phone.

Specifically, there’s a seemingly unlimited collection of tunes at your disposal at all times, and it doesn’t take up any storage space which you’ll need for all of your apps!.

However, there’s a catch.

If you’re offline—say, on the subway, an aircraft, or in a distant place with patchy service—your limitless library goes POOF. You’re suddenly confronted with a search bar that won’t load the music, and even if it plays, it will probably pause every three seconds.

Fortunately, many music applications have offline playlists; you just need to know how to utilize them and do some before planning. You can also download songs from ipiratebay.org, and make an offline playlist, but that will probably take more time.

So, keep scrolling, and find out how to create the best music playlist for offline listening in these apps.

How To Create An Offline Playlist In Spotify?

Spotify allows you to download up to 3,333 tracks for offline listening. That should be more than enough, right?

By default, it only enables you to download while you’re connected to WiFi. Still, you can alter that by navigating to your Settings and ticking on the “Download Using Cellular” option.

When you’re ready to begin downloading:

1. Navigate to the song, album, or playlist you wish to make offline. Then, go to Your Library > Tunes to make all your previously stored songs available.

2. Toggle the Download switch to green at the top. When the songs have finished downloading, a green arrow will appear next to them(and they will be saved in Your Library.

3. When you lose your internet connection, you’ll automatically enter Offline Mode.

4. However, if you want to listen to tracks without requiring a connection, go to Your Library > Settings > Playback and turn the Offline Mode switch to green.

This is an excellent option if you have service but no WiFi and are concerned about using too much data.

How To Create An Offline Playlist in Apple Music?

It’s also simple to download music for offline listening with Apple Music, but keep in mind that your stored songs and playlists will be available on all of your devices. But, if you use iCloud, downloads will only be available on the device from which they were downloaded.

Let’s find the steps on how to go about It:

1. First, find the song, album, or playlist you wish to download in the Music app.

2. The download button is the little red cloud with an arrow pointing down. If you don’t see the icon, the music may need to be added to your library first.

3. Go to Library > Downloaded Music to see and listen to the music you’ve downloaded.

4. To have all of the music you add to your Library automatically downloaded to your phone, click to Settings > Music, scroll down to Downloads, and select Automatic Downloads.

How To Create An Offline Playlist In YouTube Music?

For some years, YouTube Red members have listened to songs offline in YouTube Music, but only through the offline mixtape function, which is automatically updated depending on your listening history.

While this theoretically functioned, there was no way to have more control over what you could listen to. Users may now store select songs, playlists, and albums for offline listening.

1. To store music for offline listening, hit the Menu icon next to any song, playlist, or album, and then choose Save Offline.

2. A pop-up window will open, asking if you want to save only the audio, SD video, or HD video.
3. On iOS devices, you may also select Offline by swiping left on a song in a playlist.
4. Then, tap your profile photo and select Offline to access your offline music.
How To Create An Offline Playlist In Tidal?
Tidal is an indie favorite music listening app that allows you to download music for offline listening like Spotify.
Here’s how it works:
1. First, click on any album or playlist while exploring music.
2. Select the Offline option just underneath the playlist or album name.
3. This initiates the download procedure. If you’re using an iPhone or iPad, make sure to leave the Tidal app active until the process is finished since closing it will cause it to stop.
4. Songs, albums, and playlists are available in the left-hand menu under Offline Content after they have been downloaded.
Tidal may be switched into Offline Mode manually by pressing Offline in the left menu, and it can be turned off by tapping the same button again.

What we think?

Though the offline mixtape was probably appropriate for most users, YouTube Red customers now have total flexibility over what they may listen to offline in YouTube Music. We have also included several other apps to help you make an offline playlist.
So make those playlists for your next long-distance road trip before you run out of decent Wi-Fi coverage. If you want to know more about them, post your questions in the comment box below.

The 5 Things Every Smart Shopper Does

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Smart shopping is defined as investing the time and effort necessary to achieve true value for the purchase. This is the point where consumers can recognize a great sale, the best place to shop for specials, and take note of sale announcements. 

Smart shopping is considered the best way to plan a purchase and is able to reach wider audiences that were previously unreachable. These types of campaigns are optimized to reach consumers and achieve objectives, with minimal campaign management required.  

Smart consumers are able to look for good products that are reasonably priced, perform optimally, and don’t require costly repairs. The following are some of the things that every smart shopper does to find the best deals. 

Use Cash

The old adage “cash is king” continues to be one that people adhere to as having cash on hand makes it easier to budget for purchases, track spending, and, more importantly, NOT overspend. It also keeps shoppers rooted in reality as you can keep track of money directly versus weekly or monthly. A cash-only budget ensures that you are not in danger of additional expenses to concern yourself with, one benefit that significantly reduces stress. 

Compare Prices

Comparison shopping involves finding the best deal on your money for a particular good or service. 

As a consumer, you should be informed about buying decisions and researching other factors affecting prices by checking other suppliers. There are always bound to be deals that come and go and then those that are closer to permanent, and it is up to the conscious shopper to thoroughly check out any that represent a great investment. 

Too Good to Be True Deals

Another adage of “too good to be true” is another one that warns against believing everything you see, particularly when it comes to prices associated with certain products or services. Comparison shoppers should be careful to avoid deals that offer the world and instead shop smartly to ensure that what you invest in is exactly what you get. 

In the end, a great price is justified if you get what you pay for and don’t have any surprises that are related to the purchase. 

Some guidelines that smart shoppers should adhere to are the following:

  • Identify any signs of phishing and attempts to steal your identity.
  • Check the seller’s website to see if it is secure and legitimate.
  • Never share personal details with any business or site that is unverified.
  • Protect passwords associated with all of your accounts, particularly bank accounts.
  • Be sure to check transaction history regularly.

Know the Return Policy

Smart shoppers should always be clear about the return policy of any company they buy from and always read the fine details thoroughly. 

A clear and concise return policy is what serious business owners will always have as they are aware of how it bestows a sense of security on its shoppers and is a guarantee against any future issues. 

If a retailer is not willing to include a guarantee or warranty, smart shoppers will look elsewhere and avoid both the product and the business in the future.

Look Up Reviews

No smart shopper profile is complete without looking up reviews of the company they are purchasing from, as this goes hand in hand with the shopping experience. With brick and mortar stores, it is easy to go in and research merchandise directly before buying. 

For online products and services, however, it takes a smart shopper to go on sites and put in the necessary research to assure quality goods and services. Buying prescription glasses online can be particularly difficult as it involves narrowing down a slew of companies to procure fashionable and functional eyewear. 

A Game of Balance

Many factors go into becoming a smart shopper, and those that are able to balance them adequately will be the ones that get the best deals wherever they buy, whether it is a physical store or an online site. 

The main thing is to think before buying and opt for great deals that offer true value. Making lists and sticking to them is also a great way to keep focused on the goods and services on hand. 

Use the technology at your disposal to get information on the best deals and take advantage of timely sales and coupons. These guidelines and more will result in the best smart shopper who understands great deals’ intricacies. 

M1 Based MacBook Pro 13 is the Best Video Editing Machine

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It has been more than two months since I used the M1 base MacBook Pro as of January 2022. I initially planned to skip this version As I had upgraded to the Macbook Pro in 2019, just a few months before the Amazon best laptops were launched.

I have used MacBook Air since 2015, and I loved every bit of it until I started making videos. Early 2015 MacBook Air was capable of everything except video editing. I mean it it was slow to edit videos on MacBook Air, and I was happy when I upgraded to MacBook Pro, but when the reviews started coming in about how amazing the M1-based MacBook Pro was, even the M1 based MacBook Air was.

At this point, I don’t think you will be interested in the specifications because it’s a year-old laptop and everyone knows the specifications. The keyword here is M1, Apple’s revolutionary chipset.

It was so difficult to fight the Temptation of getting a one-based laptop after reading the reviews from my fellow blogger friends who were using it. Still, I waited for the second generation, which was expected to be launched in the last quarter of 2021.

And it did eventually. Unfortunately, the prices were astronomical, and it was way beyond my budget. Apple did something different by introducing a premium version of their Pro laptops, powered by M1 Pro and 11 Pro Max chipsets, and decided to bring the upgrade to the M1 the next year.

This was when I decided to go for the M1 best MacBook instead of fighting the Temptation of getting a more powerful MacBook for another year, and boy, I am so happy with my decision.

My Experience with Intel-based MacBook Pro (early 2019)

The last two months have been an absolute joy to use this powerful machine, I mean, the previous MacBook Pro was also powerful, but it gave me so many issues when I was using it with my 4k TV. It heated up so much, and the fans started spinning so loudly that it was difficult for me to record videos without keeping my Studio cool which required turning on the AC which again did not allow me to record videos.

Another frustration was the battery life, as it was just a few hours if I did not edit videos on the battery. When I opened Final Cut Pro on battery, it only lasted less than 2 hours. But I used it to my advantage to edit videos faster. My race was to edit and render the video before the battery died, so so it wasn’t so bad after all.

My Experience with the M1 Based MacBook Pro (2020)

But enough about the Intel-based Macbook Pro, let’s talk about the M1-based MacBook Pro and why I love it. I’ve already told you my pain points from the intel-based MacBook Pro, in these are the things that I am most happy about.

Performance

Currently, my 43 inches 4k TV is connected to this MacBook Pro. As I am typing with a dozen Google Chrome tabs opened, a video playing, I don’t hear the sound of fans inside the Macbook Pro. The laptop is not even hot, and it’s just warm, just like you would use it without connecting to an external display or doing any intensive task.

I love the battery life on the M1 base MacBook Pro. My Expectations of battery life work crashed when I about the Macbook Pro in 2019 because my MacBook Air was just fine, giving me 7 to 8 hours of work time.

Battery Life

So, after using the Macbook Pro with 2 to 3 hours of battery life, using a MacBook that gives me 14 to 15 hours of battery life is insane. I feel confident to do resource-intensive tasks when I am working from a cafe aur away from the charger because I know it would please give me better power backup than the previous laptop.

It gives me peace of mind that I can edit multiple videos without worrying about having it connected to a power source, which was a complete know when I was outside with my intel-based MacBook Pro.

Compatibility with third party software?

Apple is known to super optimize their software for their hardware, and the amount-based MacBook Pro is not an exception. It is amazing with its software. Initially, few reports of third-party software not working as intended because it’s a completely different architecture, so the developers needed to bring their applications to compatibility.

But Apple had already built a compatibility Bridge to make the applications designed for Intel chipsets run on M1-based macs, it’s called a rosetta 2, and it works fairly well.

Since it’s already been over a year, almost every application I have installed on my MacBook is designed for an M1-based MacBook, so it works just fine. But there are small applications that I have been using for so many years, they have not been updated for Apple M1-based MacBook, but they also work fairly well. I don’t use them so much that I could differentiate between their performance and the application’s performance created for M1-based MacBooks.

Watch the Video Revew

Conclusion

After the admin-based Macbook and Macbook Air has been launched, there is no question one should get an Intel-based Mac Book because these new ones with apples own silicon chipset Ave I had in terms of performance and battery life. The question would be whether you should go for the higher-end laptops launched in 2021, Or Could you still get the M1-based MacBook Pro.

For most people, the M1 base MacBook Pro is just fine. I consider myself a power user, and I love the performance.

But some workflows require even higher performance, like desktop-grade performance. The MacBooks powered by M1 Pro and M1 Max come into the picture, but for every other content creator creating content for YouTube, Instagram. or the business people, who want to work on their presentation and staff, this is a great fit.

Buy from Amazon

How to Monitor Your Kid’s Online Activities on Their Smartphones

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If you are a parent, here are a few things you can do to keep your kids safe from the harmful effects of the digital world. I’ve already created an article talking about how you can limit your kids’ screen time.

While it is a great article, there are still some extra things you can do to not take any chances. You can use KidsGuard Pro

Monitor Your Kid’s Phone Activities with KidsGuard Pro

Clevguard.com, the company behind the app, also has an iOS version, but I’ll be demonstrating their Android version since my Kid’s phone is Android.

The app allows parents to monitor WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, SMS, Calls, etc., on their Kids’ smartphones. And it is also not too technical and takes just 5 minutes to set up.

Their website talks in detail about how to track your kids’ online activities on their smartphones using the KidsGUard Pro app.

How to Use KidsGuard Pro

There are two parts to setting up KidsGuards Pro to use it.

The first part is to create an account on the ClevGuard website and purchase KidsGuard Pro for Android, which gives you access to track one device.

The second part would require you to set it up on the target device (your Kid’s device)

Downloadd the APK file of KidsGuardPro

You would require at least 10 minutes of full access to the targeted device to install the app and give it all the permission it requires for you to monitor the device.

You can directly download the APK by opening clevguard.net on the target device’s browser. A slider on the web page will initiate the download, which would be an APK with a random name.

It doesn’t open directly from the download page of the web browser. So, access it using the File Manager on the mobile phone. (You might have to give the file manager the ability to inside load apps and check out how to sideload apps).

Once the app is installed, log in using your credentials, and follow the instructions to give it all the permission it requires. This setup is pretty straightforward if you follow the instructions correctly. Carries a short two-minute video explaining the process of setting up the APK.

The video embedded above is also present in the setup guide available in your dashboard on the Clevguard website.

How to monitor your Kid’s Device?

You don’t have to do anything else after you have set up the APK and given it all the permissions. It does not appear in the recent apps list on Android; it does not install with a name related to kids guard or any tracking name.

It is called ‘System Update Device’ on my Kid’s device, which is pretty unsuspicious. But I Would Still advise you to look at a new app icon appearing on the home screen and remove it if it occurred after installing the app.

To monitor your Kid’s device, you can log in to the cab guard account on a web browser, either on your computer or on your mobile phone. Here is a screenshot of what I can monitor on my Kid’s device.

The first page itself shows me the status of the device, the last few calls and messages, and the last known location.

I also tried monitoring WhatsApp and Instagram activity; it gives you a screenshot of the conversation, although it only gets uploaded when the is target device is connected to Wi-Fi, which you can quickly know on the first page itself.

Other valuable features are taking a screenshot, taking a photo from the back camera, and recording calls for up to 20 minutes.

This information is sufficient to have peace of mind of knowing how your child is doing.

Some might find it ethical to go to this extreme to monitor your Kid’s activities, but looking at all the negative news about children getting into depression, are taking their own lives, it is one of the means to notice something unusual so that something terrible can be stopped.

How to upload Reels on Instagram to the highest quality

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Instagram is now a video centric social media platform. With its introduction of Reels, the video consumption on Instagram has skyrocketed in the last few months.

So much that it has become first choice for a lot of creators. Even though it’s a mobile first platform, professional creators are using high-end cameras to record their video content and edit on premium editing software.

But that doesn’t mean creators using their mobile phones to record Reels won’t be able to gain traction of the platform. They too can upload their videos to the highest quality on Instagram.

Enable this setting on Instagram.

Since Instagram is a mobile first social media platform, it has an option under the setting that allowed Instagram users to save data while uploading videos on the platform.

It works something similar to WhatsApp, where the quality of the video is reduced to reduce its size for easy uploading and sending it to the recipients.

But, unlike Whatsapp, whereas we have to work our way around to get high quality Status, it’s pretty straightforward to do it on Instagram.

You can enable the setting of uploading high quality videos. This option cam be found from the settings area of Instagram.

Tap on three horizontal lines appearing on top right of the screen when you qre on your profile page of Instagram. Then tap on Settings – Account – Data Usage. Enable High quality uploads.

This allows you to upload Reels or longer videos to its highest quality. Hope this helps.

How can you use your Sony Z1 camera as a webcam?

Looking to know how to Improve your webcam quality while you are atttending an online class or meeting? or maybe you are looking for an easy livestreaming setup. If you have a Sony ZV1, here’s how you can make it possible by using your camera and the microUSB provided with it.

I bought this camera in 2020, and at the time, it was not possible to use it as a web camera. In 2021, Sony released a firmware update for the Sony Z1, which now gives this camera the ability to use as a webcam by directly connecting the micro USB cable to the laptop.

Although it is not as simple as it is on the Insta 360 One R., You will first have to make sure that you have updated your camera with the latest firmware, which will tell you that it’s on version 2.0 or 2.1 or whatever, earlier it was on version 1.

Download page of Sony ZV! Firmware Update, you will also get the Sony camera driver on the same page.

Watch the Video

And before you can upgrade from there, you will need to download the Sony drivers, which can be downloaded from the official website. So, it is 10 to 15 minutes of work before your Sony ZV1 is capable of being used as a web camera.

Once you are done with that, go to the second camera icon and Setup 4, where you will find the streaming option. When you click on that, you are ready to stream. Just connect the cable with your computer, and you will be able to find the camera as a webcam in any of your software.

And yes, if the USB power supply option is turned on in the ZV 1 camera, it will also be charging the battery while you are streaming, which is good.

I am currently recording this video using the Quicktime Player’s setup.

What I liked

I liked the Sony Z1 as a webcam much better than the Insta 360 One R. It has got optical zoom to set the frame, not my entire room is showing like it was in the Insta 360 1 hour.

I also have other controls like setting up the ISO, Shutter speed, and F stop, even while using it as a webcam.

What I did not like

I didn’t particularly appreciate using Sony Z1 as a webcam because it only gives you an output of 720p, which is basically like every webcam built into a laptop. The quality is still much better than the inbuilt webcam on the MacBook Pro the M1 base Macbook Pro, where the web camera has been improved.

If you have got a Sony Z1, now you know how you can use it as a web camera, but if you have got any other digital camera, make sure you search for it as well. Because in these times, almost every camera manufacturer is bringing this option, thanks to the worldwide shutdown.

So, this is it in this video, and I hope you find this beautiful you can subscribe to the channel and for the next video.

How to Limit Screen Time of Your Kids to Prevent Smartphone Addiction

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The addiction of Smartphones among kids has always been one of the major concerns of parents. Several studies show the negative impact of social media and smartphone addiction among teenagers and kids.

Being a parent to two kids, it is my constant struggle to keep them off the screen. Since we live in a connected world, it isn’t easy to do it, but we can still limit screen time using tools.

Watch the Video

Limit Internet Access for Kids

The majority of the kids’ time spent on screens is connected to the internet. This is how they can access YouTube for kids, multiplayer games, and even social media.

So, if you can disconnect your kids from the internet, it will limit them to use screens.

If you are using modern Wi-Fi mesh systems like Amplifi, Google Mesh, etc., they offer useful features, such as creating profiles and limiting internet access to one or a group of connected devices.

I have created a profile for my kids where have added their devices and give the internet access at specific times.

If you do not want to invest in premium Wi-Fi mesh systems and already own a router, you can still set up a system that allows you to limit internet access to kids’ devices.

These days, most routers are dual-band routers, which means you can and set up Wi-Fi with 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz. You can set them separately. It will be two different Wireless networks that need to be connected separately.

You can connect your kids’ devices to one of the networks and connect every other device to the other wireless network. It enables you to pause the internet on one of the Wireless networks, while the other frequency is still available for your devices.

There are many Wi-Fi manager apps available that will easily let you log into your Wi-Fi Router dashboard and enabled/disable Wireless Network.

You can also setup OpenDNS on your Home’s Wi-Fi router, which will give you additional controls like blocking certain websites from opening. You can also block certain addictive sites, like all the social media sites. Which will also help prevent addiction of Social Media.

Limit Screen Time for Kids

There are Parental control apps available that can be installed on Kids’ devices. The purpose of these apps is to lock the devices at a given time.

You can use Apps like Google Family Link (Play Store link) to add your kid’s Google Account so that you can approve/disapprove any new installation of apps on their device. This app has improved quite a lot the last time I wrote about it.

If your kids have their own devices this can be really helpful, as the family link app will give you control over their devices, you can check out there app usage, the screen time spent on individual apps, along with the ability to to lock unlock aur give bonus time to your kids to access the device.

It also gives you for the controls as to what type of content they could watch on YouTube, whether you can give them access to only the YouTube kids app or or the YouTube app with access to content appropriate for a certain age, they have 9+ and 13+ content, although this section is in beta, so Google warns you that children could see content they are not supposed to watch, but in my case it never happened.

How to Setup Family Link

If they have Android devices you can create there google accounts with right age, Google will detect that they are underage, and it will ask the parent to supervise the account. You can follow the step which is smooth and simple.

My advice would be to develop a schedule as to when the kids can access their devices for some playtime. You can incentivize them for not using it much.

You will also have to change your habits of using screens whenever you are around the kids. It is because they learn from their older ones. If you are always on your mobile phones talking about what’s happening on social media, you are only making them curious to check it out.

Set rules for using Smartphones in the house

Many families are coming up with rules for using mobile phones and not using mobile phones. For example, no Smartphone allowed on the dining table.

No screen time access before going to bed, no screen time while lying in bed. Rules like these can help prevent the addiction of Smartphones among kids.

Use Smart Speakers instead of Screens when possible

Some people may argue that it is rather getting them connected to the internet and getting addicted to it. But it is pretty useful in getting rid of extra and essential screen time.

I have a Google Home Mini at home and have trained my kids to make use of it for asking spellings and definitions of difficult words or answers to simple questions they would otherwise turn to a smartphone to find.

It is not only useful hey Google hey Google shoot mode on on Google switch on the shoot mode I was going to be a really usefully video for kids but Grown-Ups as well. I cannot recall how many times I pick up the phone to check something out and then getting glued to Instagram or Facebook’s infinite feed.

I hope you find this article useful, and get some idea about how you can prevent your kids from getting addicted to social media.

You can check out other articles on the blog to make your tech life easy.

7 Affordable Smartphones with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) for Shooting Smooth Videos

If you take a lot of videos from Smartphones, either personal, YouTube, or Facebook. If you are into Mobile filmmaking, having Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) in a smartphone can drastically improve the quality of the video.

The OIS used to be an exclusive feature that used to only be available on high-end smartphones. Thankfully, there are a few smartphones that are still affordable and have got this feature.

I wrote this article where I mentioned some affordable smartphones with the optical image stabilization feature, and it was quite popular among mobile filmmaking enthusiasts.

Because, with a bit of practice, you would be able to achieve smoother shots, which you could get using a Smartphone Gimbal.

But, now that the Smartphone Gimbal prices have come down, and the costs of premium smartphones having optical image stabilization have become overpriced, it doesn’t make sense to go for a higher-end smartphone if you are on a budget. Check out the article if you are on a budget.

Check out the list of Smartphones having OIS

*in no particular order

iPhone 12 Mini

If you are strictly looking for a smartphone with a great camera under budget then iPhone 12 mini can be considered. The 60 4GB variant is affordable than the OnePlus 9, which is the most value for money flagship android smartphone available in the market, with an amazing set of cameras.

Yes, iPhone 13 has been launched in the market but the 12 is still great, especially the 12 mini, which has got the same set of cameras the iPhone 12 has got. The only complaint of iPhone 12 mini owners is, its battery life, but that can be solved using a power bank, and considering it is tiny, it is a great device for taking videos of high quality.

Buy from Amazon

OnePlus 9R

OnePlus brought its flagship killer for the year 2021, the OnePlus 9 5G. It has high-end specs, cool features, and a stunning design. Although it is an affordable flagship smartphone the price is still high and does not fit into our list of affordable smartphones with optical image stabilization.

Thankfully it has also launched an affordable version of the OnePlus 9, it’s called the OnePlus 9R 5G, and it also has got Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), and the price is affordable.

Buy it Now

Asus Zenfone 7

Like other Flagships in the list, the Zenfone 7 has got all the high-end specs, a great camera, and good looks. Unlike every other smartphone with Notch, Punch Hole design, Asus gives you a clear all-screen experience with its unique flip camera mechanism.

The Zenfone 7 actually doesn’t have the OIS, but the gyro based EIS is pretty impressive. I am still using the Asus 6z as of 2021 because I love the phone and sadly the Asus didn’t launch the phone in India. So, alternatively you can buy Asus 6z in India. It’s still that great.

Buy it Now

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

Samsung has raised the price segment of their flagship, the Galaxy S series. But great thing is, they have brought a Fan Edition (FE) series, which is more affordable with equally great camera.

And with features like Optical Image Stabilization, the output is going to be stunning if you are into mobile filmmaking.

Buy it Now


If you do not find these smartphones a good buy, or outside of your budget, you can still shoot high-quality videos with smartphones having only EIS. Or just get an OSMO Mobile Gimbal, that’ll take care of the OIS part and it works with pretty much every smartphone.

I have posted a few videos I shot using my phone on my Instagram account. Follow me on Instagram to see it yourself.

Lately, more smartphones are launching in the market with the EIS feature. It can be found in the Mid Range segment smartphones from Xiaomi as well as other companies. You can go through this article to find the difference and decide it yourself.

8 Cool Gadgets You Can Gift A Guy Under $50

Looking for cool gadgets, you can gift someone? Here are a few cool gadgets for your consideration.

1. A SmartBand

This wristband tracks your steps and automatically syncs the data to your phone. It also tracks your sleep and helps you keep track of your health goals.

The SmartBand even monitors the number of times you stand up and sit down throughout the day. This was previously available to only medical facilities, and now you can stop it on your wrist and track everything about your activity.

Buy from Amazon

2. A Smart Watch

This watch links to your cell phone and shows all alerts, notifications and apps right on the screen.And, it will read your phone’s text messages and calls automatically. Mostly all the functionality in a smart band is available on a smartwatch.

Hence, a smartwatch is more functional and comes with a higher price tag, but there are some affordable smartwatches available that you can get under your budget.

Buy from Amazon

3. A Portable Speaker

these days, even smartphone speakers are pretty powerful to enjoy music, but if you are outdoors, the sound of a smartphone speaker is not good enough. If you love music, you will love to carry a portable speaker that can give you a high output to enjoy music in the outdoors.

Buy from Amazon

4. Smart Speaker

Smart speakers are pretty amazing. You don’t have to rely on your smartphone or a computer to give it a command to play music. It’s simply gets connected to the internet, and all you have to do is ask it. And it is not only about playing music, and it also works as your assistant.

If you are buying Google home mini or Alexa, or even the HomePod from Apple, each of these smart speakers can give you more options for controlling your home. While HomePod is a little expensive and out of budget for the price we have decided for this post, you can still get Amazon to echo dot or Google home mini.

Buy from Amazon

5. An Electric Shaver

Every man should have it. The ease of an electric shaver, over the traditional shaver, cannot be expressed in words. It’s just so convenient.

With our busy lifestyle these days, it is also impossible to visit a salon just for some grooming. Electric shaver makes it super easy to stay groomed in just a few minutes.

Buy from Amazon

6. Wireless Charger

Plug in your phone or tablet, and charge them wirelessly. Wireless charging is another convenience if you have a device that supports wireless charging, which pretty much every flagship device does.

Getting a wireless charger can be an excellent addition to charging your devices conveniently without dealing with tangled wires.

Buy from Amazon

How to Make A Link Open in App Instead of Mobile Web

My use case is, whenever I have to share the links of YouTube videos on stories on Instagram, I get annoyed because the video opens in a mobile browser inside the Instagram app. 

And since it is opening in a mobile app, and not the YouTube app, most people are not logged in to YouTube, and therefore they are not able to like, ok and even subscribe to the channel.

They are probably watching half of the video. If they decide not to watch the video and go back to Instagram stories, my YouTube channel doesn’t benefit from watching just a part of my video.

But if they had watched the same video inside the YouTube app, they would have been able to like the video subscribe to the channel even if they wouldn’t have done either of the things. Youtube still could have shown them my other videos to check whether my videos would be interesting to them or not.

I lose this opportunity because the YouTube video I share on Instagram stories opens on a mobile web. And this is just my use case. There may be many other use cases where if the link shared on social media platforms would open in the app, it is meant to open, and it would solve a massive problem for many people.

It is not just about losing a potential subscriber or Yuva; it is also about giving a good viewing experience of videos that is only possible if the person watches the video inside the YouTube app. We all know how an immersive video-watching experience is in a mobile web.

What’s the solution?

The viewers, who have clicked on the link, can do an extra step to open that link in a particular app, the YouTube app in this case. iPhone, fortunately, gives us the option to extend that specific page in an app if the app is installed. So the view only has to click on that option that appears on the top.

But not everyone will do that, so it’s you, who is sharing the link, who has to do something, and here is a solution.

Use URL Genius

I have already seen a lot of people using the link opener, and it is useful. You have to open URL Genius in the mobile browser if you are sharing it from your mobile phone, and then paste the link you want to share, you will be able to generate a link opener link, you can share it further.

When the viewer taps on the link opener link, it will be redirected to the app it is meant for, solving many people’s problems.

URL Genius supports more than 60 apps, and that covers pretty much every app link you would want to share. The problem with URL genius is, it is Limited. You can create only five links and get 500 likes on those links, and after that, you will have to upgrade your subscription plan.

While it is still great if you find it valuable, most app.js want the link to open in the app and do not want all the advanced features offered by the website.

Although there are many alternatives available, most offer paid plans, and the free plans are pretty Limited.

There is a truly free program, at least at writing, which opens links in an app. It’s called AppURL.

It was similarly; you have to open the website in the mobile browser and then paste your link, create an app URL, use that URL to share where you want to share it.

The only downside is that it does not redirect the viewers to the app, and they have to manually tap on a button that takes them to the app, which is still better than having the URL open in the app’s mobile browser where the link is shared.

I hope you find this helpful. You can find a more helpful article from the blog.

Getting started with YouTube Videos? This is for you

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Video marketing is an integral part of every brand’s content marketing strategy, which explains why there is a term called ‘video for sales.’ Consider using an alternative to Vidyard by Hippo to help you with your video marketing.

You can and should use video content to market just about everything. For example, if you are a web designer, consider making videos to explain specific concepts and ideas. Besides this, you can put out videos to answer questions and create an extensive video course with tutorials.

Today’s content creator does precisely this. They identify and stick to a niche and create useful content for their target audience. As they solidify their online presence, they increase their leads and conversions. If you want to put out content and build your brand, this article is for you.

What kinds of videos can you post?

If you are looking to put out videos full-time, you may want to get on YouTube since that is the hub for videos. However, you might wonder what to post. Consider using the following ideas to get started:

  • Tutorials
  • Unboxing videos
  • Event videos
  • News
  • Demo videos
  • Interviews
  • Live streams
  • Entertainment videos

What steps should you follow?

Now that you get the general idea about the kind of videos you can post, here are a few critical steps you must follow:

  • Figure out your niche and target audience before you create videos. You cannot create the content of value without having these two things in check. This step is vital because you need to know for whom you have to create videos. In other words, is there a demand for what you are offering? If not, you may not get very far.
  • Sign up on YouTube and watch the most popular videos and figure out what they have going for them. Then, try to emulate successful content creators and use their practices. Doing this will give you a good idea about what audiences what and what sends them away, making your content creation a lot more effective.
  • At this point, you should have your niche and target audience figured out. You may have a couple of ideas you want to pursue. Now research these topics. Putting out videos without any research can damage your credibility. The more research you put in, the richer your videos will be. After all, you need to put out videos that help people.
  • Invest in filming equipment. Unlike back in the day, you do not have to spend a fortune to create videos. Thanks to modern technology, you can create videos on the fly. Many content creators create full-fledged music and animated videos with their iPhones. Get an excellent phone or a DSLR camera. Also, get yourself a high-quality recording mic.
  • You need to have a script and storyboard in place. Want things to go according to plan? Then, you need to plan. You must plan just about every aspect of your shoot if you want to save time and money. Be sure to create a script and a storyboard that shows everybody their respective roles. This will ensure everyone is on time and minimize confusion. Besides this, you may want to book the shooting location well in advance to prevent logistical issues.
  • Shooting your videos in an abundance of natural light is essential to get the best footage. If you are shooting outdoors, be sure to go out during the day and pick the right time. However, if you are filming indoors, be sure to shoot by the window to get ample amounts of light. You may supplement it with a lighting kit if needed. You may buy or assemble a lighting kit.
  • Be sure to shoot multiple scenes to ensure you have a selection of scenes to choose from when you edit. You can use a free video editing software by Hippo Video or something a little more powerful like Adobe Premiere Pro to edit your footage. Be sure to organize your footage, trim it where necessary and name all your takes. Besides this, open separate tracks for the audio. You may align the audio with the video when you edit.
  • As far as effects go, sometimes less is more. It may be tempting to use a lot of fancy effects and transitions. However, you should use only those effects that suit the footage and stick to those.
  • After you finish editing, export the video in the highest possible quality and upload it to YouTube. Before that, set up your account with your brand name and a high-quality image with your brand logo.
  • In addition to that, you will have to include a short bio about your brand, telling visitors what you are about. Also, include your social media and website links in the bio. When you upload videos, be sure to optimize them for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Use keywords in the title and description. You should also include a Call-to-Action (CTA) and your social media links in the description.

Conclusion

With YouTube and other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, so forth, you need to be consistent and patient. You also need to optimize your profile and content for SEO, as mentioned.

You need to have a solid SEO strategy in place to drive a lot of traffic, increase your brand awareness, leads, and sales. Another subset of SEO is a healthy website that is easy to navigate.

How to Stream Netflix from Your Phone to Your TV?

Entertainment is pretty much synonymous with Netflix these days. If you are on the go, you can even watch Netflix on your phone by downloading the app. What if you are trying to impress a date, though? You probably have the best Spectrum tv packages, a big-screen TV, and a Netflix subscription.

A recipe for the perfect date. The only thing missing from your Netflix and chill is that you don’t know how to cast Netflix to your TV.  

Well, to be fair, that is not a good excuse to ruin your date. So it would be wise to know how to cast Netflix on your TV. There are many different ways you can do that. Even if you don’t have a Smart TV or a Chromecast, you can still do it. One of these methods is surely going to work for you. Here is how you can do it.

Chromecast  

Chromecast is a great tool to cast Netflix to your TV. A lot of the TVs these days come with built-in Chromecast settings. If yours doesn’t, you will need to invest in a Chromecast dongle.

The device is super convenient if you screen movies for your friends or watch home videos with your family. It really is a great way to bring people together, in front of the TV.  

So, if you want to use Chromecast, here is what you need to do:  

  • Check if your TV has a built-in Chromecast feature.  
  • Get the Chromecast dongle if your TV doesn’t have it.  
  • Plug the dongle into the HDMI port of your TV.  
  • Set up Chromecast from Google Home app.  
  • Download the Netflix app on your phone.  
  • Connect both devices (TV and phone) with the same internet connection.  
  • Open the Netflix app on your phone.  
  • Find the cast button on the top right corner of your screen.  
  • Select Chromecast from the list of devices.  
  • Choose the movie you want to play.  

All Chromecast devices can support 4K and HD videos along with subtitles. You will need a minimum of Android 5.0 or iOS 12.0 to cast to your TV. Once your phone starts casting to your TV, you can practically use it as a remote. The stream will continue playing even if you lock your phone screen.   

Smart TVs  

A really common technology these days is a Smart TV. A Smart TV is the least surprising gadget you can own as there are smart toasters and ovens as well now. If you have a smart TV, casting Netflix can be a lot easier.

You don’t need any external devices such as Chromecast. Most of the time, you won’t even need your phone. Most smart TVs have a built-in Netflix app that you can download. Here is how you can do it:  

  • Connect your Smart TV to a wireless internet connection.  
  • Go to the app center on your TV and search for Netflix.
  • Download the app on your smart TV.  
  • Log in with your Netflix credentials.
  • Search for the movie or show you want to watch.  

The smart TV built-in app can easily play any show you want to watch without any external devices. Usually, the biggest screen in any home is a TV, and a smart one can be a great investment.   

Casting Without a Smart TV  

If you do not have a Smart TV, all hope is not lost. You can still use other ways to Cast Netflix to your TV. Here are a few options you can try:  

1. Using a Gaming Console  

If you don’t have a Smart TV but have an Xbox or a PlayStation, you can still cast Netflix to your TV. There are built-in apps in gaming consoles, and you can connect the console with your TV screen. Follow these steps:  

  • Download the Netflix app on your gaming console.  
  • Connect your TV and console via an HDMI cable.  
  • Search for your favorite TV show or movie.  
  • Press play.  

2. Using Your Laptop

If nothing else works, you can use your laptop. You don’t need Chromecast, your phone, a smart TV, or even a gaming console. The bare minimum here is your computer and a TV that has an HDMI port. Here is what you should do:  

  • Open the Netflix website on your computer.  
  • Connect your laptop to your TV with an HDMI cable.  
  • Use your laptop screen to sour laptop screen to search and play a movie.  

Your laptop screen will be visible as it is on your TV. You can mirror the screen for anything you like, for example, a downloaded movie or a presentation, etc.  

Tips to Remember  

If you are trying to cast Netflix on your TV using any of the ways mentioned above, there are some tips you should remember.  

  • Make sure that both your devices are on the same internet connection.  
  • Check all cables and internet speeds.  
  • Get the Chromecast Ultra or Netflix Premium for an HD experience.  
  • Check your devices for software requirements and update them if necessary.  
  • Don’t forget to have fun!