We all know how things are great when you have to deal with the same ecosystem. I mean, if you have got an iPhone, and your friend also has got an iPhone, you AirDrop any photo, document file, or a video, with just a tap.
The same goes for Android. There are apps in the Android system that let you share photos or any other file format in just a few taps. Although it is not as straightforward as the AirDrop feature on iDevices, it gets the job done.
The problem arises when you have to share why it is between an Android phone and an iPhone. Airdrop is out of questions, and most of the sharing apps available for Android are not for iPhone.
Even if you try to find it, it isn’t very clear on the app store work where you find apps of the same name by the different developer, which means it is not what you’re looking for. So you end up wasting time.
I have found myself in a situation like this several times, and there are several ways I have found working for me. So I am sharing it with you.
Share via messaging apps
If it’s just a file or two and not too big, it’s better to utilize the messaging app for sharing the file than to figure out a way to do it offline.
You can use WhatsApp, which is quite a popular messaging app in the world. Although if you want to share photos or videos, it reduces quality. So you can use something like Telegram if you want to retain the quality of the photos and videos.
Share via cloud storage
This one is also the easiest way, and it from the best way for me if I have to share a file with multiple people.
You have free cloud storage available when you create an account in Google; it’s around 15 GB which is quite sufficient for many people. Then there are other services such as Dropbox, Onedrive, Box.net, etc.
Just upload the file and get the link, copy and paste it to everyone, the messaging app used to communicate with them.
Share via Xender
This is one of many file-sharing apps created for the Android ecosystem, but thankfully it also works for iPhone. And it’s one of the very few sharing apps that has worked for me when sharing data between Android and iPhone.
These are the ways I prefer to share files between Android and iPhone, depending on the use case. I hope you find this one useful if you have your system in place, it would be great to share it with us in the comment section.
I have been an android user for over the last decade, and one of the reasons is its accurate voice typing feature that I used extensively.￼I’ve tried switching to iPhone, but the dictation features were one of many things that pulled me back to Android.
I recently started using the iPhone 12 Pro Max. the reason was its excellent camera setup. But when I tried the dictation feature, I was blown away by the improvement it had since the last time I used an iPhone.
The funny thing is, It is a sort of a specific feature which means it does not have anything to do with the iPhone ProMax hardware. I confirmed using the dictation feature on my MacBook Pro as well, and surprisingly it has gotten better, Although it still does not work on MacBook the way it is working on the mobile phone.
It has improved so much that it is now comparable to the voice typing feature on AndroidAndroid. The only difference between typing on AndroidAndroid and voice typing on iPhone would be the implementation.
Voice typing on Android
Natively android operating system has a speech-to-text or voice typing feature available as a keyboard. But the integration of voice typing is pretty Great when you have the Gboard app installed.
It is available as a key, so if you have to switch between voice typing and keyboard typing, you do not have to select different keyboards. This is especially helpful if you want to make quick changes to voice typing.
Sadly, for me, the keyboard typing experience is much better on SwiftKey than on Gboard. So, I have to switch between the keyboard, but I know many people who are comfortable with the Gboard app as their default keyboard app. And if that’s the case with you, you’re golden.
Voice typing on iPhone
It’s the same with the iPhone. If you have enabled Dictation, an icon appears on the keyboard itself.
And I’m not too fond of the default keyboard on iPhone, thankfully, Apple allowed users to get third-party keyboard apps on the iPhone, so I use Swiftkey. It is not as customizable as AndroidAndroid, but it’s better than the default keyboard.
Also, the dictation icon stays in the same position. This means it is more convenient to use the keyboard and voice typing together on iPhone than on Android.
Which one is better?
I’ve used AndroidAndroid for over a decade and voice typing for the last few years. It will be unfair to pick it after using voice typing on iPhone for just a few weeks. But using it on the iPhone feels better than it felt on AndroidAndroid.
Maybe it has to do with the overall UI of the iPhone. It is one thing for sure. You won’t miss the Voice typing feature if you switch from one platform to another.
I have faced this myself several times, not just for Instagram but also for other apps. Since we are talking about Instagram only because I want people to read what they came here for, here is a method to solve Instagram not opening issue.
Suppose, for some reason, you have disabled automatic updates on your Android mobile phone, and you have not manually updated the app in the last few months. In that case, the chances are it is now outdated and, for some reason, is not giving the notification to let you know that it is obsolete. It merely stops loading new content.
It not only happens with Instagram but others as well, sometime they will stop loading, and we’ll keep crashing until you update them from the Play Store.
If you are having similar kind of issues where the app is not loading, or crashing, or freezing, checking out whether it is updated or not
Smartphone companies also introduce updates to their smartphones every few months, which usually includes security patches and other improvements in the performance of the smartphone.
And sometimes, during this process, one or more apps will start behaving; some might get slow, some might not even load, and Instagram App could be one of them if it is so trying checking out whether the smartphone has been up to date or not.
You can do it by going to the about section of your smartphone from the settings area and clicking or tapping on update.
Check out internet connection
The third and the last possibility would be the lack of internet connection. Maybe the internet is not working; you can try checking out other apps and sending messages to other people, all the feed content loading.
Try this instead
Sometimes you want to access the page outside of Instagram, but if you click it from within the Instagram search as a swipe-up Link from the stories or link in the bio, it will open in its browser.
Show the content within Instagram can quickly be loaded into the Instagram, but content outside is loaded in their inbuilt browser, which is not that great, so you might find it difficult to load the page.
What you can do is copy the link and paste it into the browser of your choice for the majority of us, it’s Chrome for Android or Google Chrome on iPhone, or maybe Safari Browser on iPhone. You can also use your mobile phone browser to access Instagram to check whether or not Instagram is loading for you.
Although this guide is for Instagram, it can be used for any other App on your mobile phone app which behaves in the same way.
Find more interesting articles on the blog and make you take life easy.
Check out this easy way to change the creation date of a file on your Mac computer.
There are many reasons why you would want to change the creation date. One of which is is better organization of files.
If you save a file on a flash drive, on SSD, or even your computer, it makes things easy for you to sort the files according to the creation date, so that you can get to the file you want.
It is also helpful when you use apps like Google photos where you can upload unlimited photos and videos.
You may have made edits to some of your photos using Lightroom, Photoshop, or any other photo editing app, and now the creation date has changed, but you want to get the original creation date of the file so that it appears where it should appear in Google photos.
Here is how you can change the creation date of any file in Mac.
You will be required to access the terminal on your Mac computer. If you can’t see it it will be available in utilities in apps.
Once you launch the terminal you need to type in the following command, in the following order.
SetFile -d ‘MM/DD/YYYY hh:mm:ss’
If you want to change the creation date to 13th November 2010 at 12:30 PM, here is how you will have to write the command.
SetFile -d ’11/13/2010 12:30:55′
After that, you need to drag and drop the file you want to change the creation date. And hit enter. When you right-click on the file and go to get the info you will notice the creation date is changed.
Alternatively, you can also use the following command
touch -t YYYMMDDhhmm
If you want to change the creation date of the file to 15th July 2015 at 12PM, you need to use the format mentioned in the command.
touch -t 201507151200
After writing this command, hit the space bar, to make a space, and then drag and drop the file to change its creation date.
If you have multiple files to change, select multiple files and drag and drop them all.
If you want to change the Modified Date of a file, you need to write -mt instead of -t.
touch -mt YYYMMDDhhmm
You can then upload it to Google photos and it will appear right where it should appear.
If you are into creating tutorials of some kind and want to speed up your doing it, here is a handy tip for you.
Snagit app, which is available for both Mac and Windows, is a pretty amazing app to screen capture and screen record. But it is a paid software.
If you are looking for an alternative version that is free of cost, continue reading this article.
Free alternative to record screen
Instead of using a native app that you install on your laptop, try using a web app called RecordCast.
All you have to do is, open up the web app on your Google Chrome browser, permit it to use a microphone if you also want to record voice. It also lets you record system sounds. However, it is currently not supported on Mac.
Then it gives you the option of whether you want to capture the entire screen of a computer, a specific app windows, no, or even a browser tab.
And you start recording your screen in just a few clicks. So from opening the web app to starting the screen recording, you only have to do three clicks which is pretty cool.
The best part is that RecordCast is free to use and allows you to record your screen for up to 30 minutes, which is more than enough for most of us.
Once you are done recording the screen, you cannot only have the option to download it but also make edits to the screencast using the inbuilt video editor.
And since it is a web app, you can also use an on Chromebook. If you own a Chromebook, you should look at his web apps that make your Chromebook even more usable for work.
You are looking to know how you can view someone’s Instagram story anonymously? This article might be helpful. Please continue reading to learn more about it.
Instagram stories have become quite popular who was the years. And the fact that the stories appear after 24 hours makes a lot of people comfortable sharing their lives online because there is no worry about having it documented forever.
And because of that fact, it has also become one of the easiest ways to keep a tab on someone’s life. If they continuously share their life on Instagram stories, it is pretty easy to know someone.
And if you belong in the category of people looking for a way to view someone’s stories on Instagram anonymously, I think this trick will be pretty useful for you.
Easiest way to view someone’s story anonymously?
The no-brainer way to watch someone’s stories on Instagram would create a dummy account and follow them. If you want to see someone’s Instagram story anonymously, it’s because you don’t want them to see your Instagram profile.
So what better way would be to create a dummy user account on Instagram. The fact that Instagram has Android and iPhone allows anyone to log into multiple Instagram accounts and quickly access them both. Also, creating an Instagram account is free.
However, it would not work if the user’s account types it as they will have to give access to each account that follows them. Maybe this is where the second method can be helpful.
You can use storieswatch.com, which also let’s you view anyone’s public instagram stories without them knowing about it.
You are get the option to download free stories, both videos and photos. And the good thing is that it is mobile friendly so you can open it in Chrome for Android, for Safari on iPhone, it will work on both the Mobile platforms.
The best part is, it is not just an app to take screenshots but also to make edits to it. So it’s the best app if you want to create a tutorial where you need screenshots for easy visual.
But the primary function of SnagIt is to take screenshots.
You will have an icon appearing in the Quick Launch area of Windows. You can click on it using your mouse and then click to take the screenshot.
The app also offers you the option of having a shortcut button floating across your screen, making it a one-click affair. And if you are into keyboard shortcuts, you can use that for taking screenshots.
The Snagit app’s best part is that it allows you to take a screenshot of precisely any part of the screen. It automatically highlights an active window appearing on your screen, and you can choose either the whole screen or a part of it.
Making edits to the screenshot
Snagit has a built-in image editor as well, along with some fantastic features that can enhance your screenshots. When you take a screenshot, it automatically opens with it in the Snagit editor.
You can then quickly make changes to the screenshot to make it look even more appealing or highlight the information you want to share.
For example, you can draw different figures, arrows, put numbers, and even blur out areas containing sensitive or unwanted information.
So if we consider the entire process of grabbing a screenshot and then processing it to make it ready to be shared, using a third-party app like Snagit is the easiest way.
And since this app is so fantastic and makes your job so easy, you can buy a premium app for $60. If you are not sure whether this one is for you or not, it also offers 30 days free trial. So, you can check it for yourself.
Find out some of the most useful Command Prompts that will make you a PC Ninja.
We aim to make the regular computer users more efficient in the workflow by Teaching them to do stuff faster on our blog. Command prompts are one of the ways you can speed up anything you do on your computer.
Using command prompt in Windows PC
It is useless in pointing out how to use the command prompt in Windows PC because you might already be knowing it, but if you are a complete newbie, this is how you can use it Windows.
Type CMD in Windows search and right-click on CMD on to run it as an administrator.
The Other method is by opening Run using Windows + R and then typing cmd and pressing Enter.
List of useful command prompt tricks
1. Running Multiple Commands at Once
Using multiple commands in a single line would reduce the steps taken to achieve something, and you can do this very well in Windows.
Make use of the ‘&’ twice between the commands. An example is mentioned below.
ipconfig && mspaint
2. Copy something inside the Command Prompt.
It’s pretty simple to copy-paste stuff from the command prompt. You can use your mouse to do it, but a rather simple way would be to use a command to copy the command’s output to the clipboard.
This can be done by applying a simple command mentioned below.
ipconfig | clip
3. Create a WiFi Hotspot
If you wish to share your internet connection from your laptop to other devices, you can create a Wi-Fi hotspot using the command prompt. Below is a command you need to type
netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=techtippr key=12345678
ssid is the name of your WiFi and key is the password.
4. Hide folders
The easy way to hide a folder in Windows is, right-click on the file go to properties and then click on hidden. But if the hidden folders option is checked in the folder options of file explorer hidden files will also be visible.
So if you want to hide a file or a folder, you can use the command prompt. Open the command prompt navigate to the directory which has the folder you want to hide.
Attrib +h +s +r folder_name
Folder name is the name of the folder you want to hide.
5. Commands Hostory
You can use this command to take a look at all the commands used in the past. Can be helpful, if you can’t seem to remember the commands you used.
6. Spice Up Your Command Prompt
The command prompt doesn’t have to look dull. You can make it look colourful.
Right-click on the top corner off the command prompt window and select properties, look for or the options to change the background colour and text colour from the colours tab.
7.Scan corrupted files to fix them
This command will run a system file checker tool that will scan Windows system files, and if some files are missing or corrupted, it will try to fix them.
8. List all installed programs
wmic product get name
Typing this command in the command prompt will return a list of all the program installed on your computer.
You can use the ipconfig | clip command to copy it and paste it into notepad to keep it saved for reference if you are looking to do a fresh install on your PC or want to install some apps on a different computer.
These are only a bunch of commands that you can use in Windows command prompt. But if you want to get more, you can check the official documentation. Click here to check it out
Amazfit has launched two of its GTS series smartwatches in India, one is it Amazfit GTS 2 and the other one is Amafit GTS 2 Mini. I have the Amafit GTS 2 with me and I’ve been using it for the last few days.
So, here’s my review of it. The Price is ₹12999. It has a 1.65 inch AMOLED display, built-in GPS, Calling Feature, 3GB Music storage, Activity Tracker, Workout Tracker, Sleep Monitor, Heart rate monitor, etc.
Available in two colors, with a silicone wrist band that is soft and looks pretty good as well.
The display of the Smartwatch is pretty stunning, bright enough to be visible in direct sunlight. You have a whole lot range of watch faces to choose from, it also supports always-on display but it will affect the battery, which we will talk about in the latter part of this article.
Watch the Video Review
What’s in the box
The box is pretty straightforward, you get the watch along with a charging cable, which is still USB type A, meaning you can use any of your mobile phone adaptors.
The Charger has magnets, so it is quite effortless to connect the Smartwatch with the charger. The 246mAh battery can be charged in approx 1 hour 10 minutes. and roughly gives you backup between 2 to 7 days. Depending on how many features of it you are going to use.
Binding QR Code on the Watch via Zepp App.
When you turn on the Smartwatch, you get a QR code which you have to scan from the web app which can be installed from the Play Store on the App Store for android and iPhone respectively.
Then Customize everything in the watch by going to profile. You can get app notification alerts, choose the apps you want notifications from.
You can only read the notifications, not able to reply. You can also set other things from the app. Things like Alarm, Reminder to Stand up and Walk, Heart Monitoring, etc.
Since I have been using it for the last few days I have used it in different scenarios. I have used to track my treadmill the run, I have used it to track my cycling, and I have used it to track my walk which I rarely do. It works without any flaws.
Whenever you are outside, it is more accurate. Thanks to the built-in GPS. Although it takes a little longer than it will on your smartphone to lock in the GPS, it is still convenient to not have to reach for your smartphone.
Anyway, it is still roughly pretty close when you are running or walking on a treadmill. When you end the workout, you actually have the option to input the correct distance you ran or walked.
I am personally highly interested in tracking my sleep, and find the tracking to be pretty accurate,
I remember the time I go to bed and the first thing I do when I wake up is to check my smartphone and it gives me a notification about how much I slept, and the time is pretty close to what time I would have slept.
Apart from sleep tracking the smart what also tracks afternoon nap if it is longer than 20 minutes so I don’t usually take naps but just to check, I had been taking neck for the last few days and I can sense it is pretty accurate although I tend to sleep for longer than I expected sometimes it goes with neon 1 hour.
It’s a wonderful feeling that sleeping is part of my work.
Offline Voice Commands
Another interesting thing about this Smartwatch pays its offline voice commands. The voice commands are pretty limited but make life easy.
For example, if you have to start a workout, you simply have to say ”” open workout’, and then you will be able to choose from the kind of workout you want to do. Next time you can say start the previous workout and it will automatically start the workout, which is quite impressive.
Similarly, you can say open heart rate 2 to monitor your heart rate or you can say open weather. There are more voice commands that you will find in the web app 2 make the most of it.
The company also claims to be introducing Alexa assistant into the Smartwatch on a later date which will make a Smartwatch even more useful. But we will have to see how good the implementation is because Alexa on smartphones is currently not a great experience and it doesn’t match the performance of Google assistant.
The Amazfit GTS 2 claims to give 7 days of battery life but with my usage, it discharges 20% a day. That gives you 5 days of battery backup which is decent enough. During this time I have, sleep tracker turned on, which also monitors heart rate, then I do a 30-minute workout in the morning and a 30-minute workout in the evening (a mix of treadmill and walking)
I have SMS notification and app notification from the Email app turned on, so I get around 526 notifications per day that I view on the Smartwatch. Apart from that, there are several times when I erase my wrist to watch the time.
I have turned off the always-on display, not using it for Bluetooth phone calls, and not utilizing the music player feature. I turned on the always-on display for one day and put it on schedule, which keeps it turned on for a certain period of time, in my case, it was 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and it discharged 25% of battery in a day.
So, my guess is you will get 4 hours of passive backup if you keep the always-on display turned on for 12 hours a day. I would be not using always-on display because it is not always I have to look at the time, and raise wrist to view time works pretty accurately.
For utilizing the Bluetooth phone calls feature, you will have to connect the Smartwatch with your smartphone’s Bluetooth like you connect Bluetooth earbuds or any other necessary that appears in the Bluetooth list, which will drain the battery significantly.
Amazefit GTS 2 vs Fitness Band Mi Band 3
I have been using the Mi smart band for the last 3 years, and it has been pretty useful for me to track my daily physical activity and sleep. So, I used the Amazfit GTS 2 along with the Mi band 3 for a few days to check the difference between tracking
The Amazefit GTS 2 smartwatch is more accurate for steps. The Mi band has always miscounted my scooter rides as Walks or runs and added it to the steps counter. Didn’t have that issue with the Amazfit GTS 2.
And I really did not think I would say it, but the Smartwatch actually does make a difference. The only thing that stopped me from getting a Smartwatch is the battery life because the smart bands can last for more than a fortnight without a charge.
But the amount of information you can view on a bigger screen makes up for it. I mean, I love that it’s colorful, looks more premium, works as a standalone gadget.
There is no need for a smartphone to start tracking a workout, you can read messages without scrolling.
But obviously, there is a difference in the pricing as well. Pretty much every smart band available in the market is available under Rs 3000, whereas you pay Rs 13000 forAmazfit GTS 2.
Maybe you don’t need all the features GTS 2 has to offer, and you still want to utilize a bigger screen colorful screen with the ability to workout without the need of a smartphone, you can get the other version the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini which is available at a far lesser price of Rs 7000.
Surely, it doesn’t have the Bluetooth phone call feature, it doesn’t have the 3GB music storage, it doesn’t have Offline Voice Command, and it’s a smaller watch with a 1.5-inch AMOLED display, but pretty much every other feature is the same.
The extra Rs 6000 you will pay for Amazfit GTS 2 will be for small conveniences that you may or may not use.
I recently started using my MacBook Pro in clamshell mode. Apple calls it close to display mode because well you have to keep the MacBook closed, and the connected monitor becomes the primary display.
I am currently using my 43-inch 4K Smart TV that gives me Ultra HD resolution which is four times the resolution of my previous full HD monitor.
So, it is like working on a 4 monitor setup. And it is pretty amazing for productivity. Now there is no need to minimize a window to look for the other window every window is displayed on a big screen.
So you can work on one window and keep another window open for reference maybe two or three windows at the same time you can also have file manager open so that you can drag and drop files between different Windows.
It was already pretty efficient in Macbook Pro, thanks to the four-finger gesture that lets you view your entire opened Windows and select any of them in a single tap.
But a big 4K display has made things even better. I’ve already written an article detailing how to use your Macbook in a clamshell mode or close the display mode with proper efficiency and the accessories you need to buy to make the most of it.
How to Turn On MacBook Pro when in Clamshell Mode
One of the reasons that kept me from using my MacBook Pro in close the display mode is, how to turn it on. But when I finally made the switch, I came to realize that Apple has already thought of it, and has a pretty clever trick upon its sleeve.
To turn off the Macbook Pro while it is in the Closed Display mode, you can do it normally like you always do. Click on the Apple icon on the top left-hand side and then select shutdown.
A lot of people are confused about how to turn it on since the Macbook Pro has a physical button that you need to press in order to turn it on.
The Old method
A lot of people had this issue, where they had to open the laptop to press the power button.
Some even used to make their MacBook Pro go to sleep and then wake it up the next day when they want to use it.
Some used the scheduling feature in Macbook Pro where you can set a time for the Macbook Pro to turn off and turn on. Like, ok if you usually start your day at work at 9 a.m. you can schedule MacBook Pro to turn on at 9 a.m.
The New Method
But, the new closed-display mode identifies when it is connected to the monitor and turns on when you connected to a power source.
So, now you can simply switch on power to the charger connected to the Macbook Pro and it turns on when it detects the power source.
Pretty clever, isn’t it?
And with the closed-display mode, you might be using a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, which automatically gets connected when the Macbook is powered on which means you can use your Bluetooth keyboard to type the password as well.
I hope you find this article useful, you can read more Macbook, Productivity, and Office Tips related articles on the blog to make your tech life easy
If you are looking to get an iMac or just want to use your existing MacBook as a desktop, it’s crucial that you decide on Keyboard and Mouse to have the best experience.
If you are buying a brand new iMac, you get the Apple Magic Keyboard along with the Magic Mouse, but you have a choice to get Magic Trackpad instead, by paying the difference amount or you can additionally buy the Magic Trackpad by paying for it in full.
With the Apple Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad, you won’t be missing anything, and this comparison article doesn’t make any sense.
But if you want to somehow use your existing Macbook includes display mode or you confused between upgrading to the magic trackpad 2, this can be helpful.
Apple Magic Mouse vs Apple Magic Trackpad
The Apple Magic Mouse is priced much more than any other Bluetooth or wireless mouse available in the market, and that’s because the experience you get with the Apple Products with the Mac is uncomparable with third-party products, especially the mouse.
You can use any mouse with Mac, but when you have to scroll webpages or in apps, it’s not going to be smooth, it makes you miss the trackpad.
I have tried using a few other third-party mice with my Mac but the experience wasn’t great. Apple Magic Mouse offers gestures for scrolling, which feels like you are using a trackpad.
There are people who are more effective with the Mouse, and the Apple Magic Mouse solves this problem by giving users the best of both worlds.
So, if you are someone who gets more done using a Mouse, the Apple Magic mouse is pretty great. If you are coming from a MacBook, then perhaps a trackpad is more efficient.
The Apple Magic Trackpad is just like the trackpad on a MacBook. With it, it feels like you are using a giant laptop, and all the gestures come in handy.
If you are using your MacBook in closed-display mode. Then you can save some money by not going for the Apple Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse, and use that money to get the Magic Trackpad.
Smart TVs and monitors look pretty much the same they are flat, most of them use LCD panels and you can watch videos on both without any issues.
There are a lot of folks who use their monitors as TV since there is an HDMI slot we can easily connect the DTH (Direct to Home) set-top box, and watch your favorite channels on a TV monitor.
But, at the same thing done with TVs, where HDMI is used to connect with the computers. Well, it very much can be. But there is a lot to monitor is then too just watching videos.
There is a lot of Technical information available if you Google it and the chances are you properly landed on this page looking for a satisfying answer.
So I am going to share my experience of using a 43 inch 4k TV as a primary monitor, and then I will be talking about some key things you should keep in mind to understand whether it will be suitable for you to use a TV as a monitor.
First Things First,
Why would anyone use TV as a monitor in the first place?
The first reason is to repurpose the thing you already have. Maybe you already have got a TV that is not hung on a wall and maybe you can put it on a table and use it as a monitor.
Plus, you will be able to save some money by not spending on Monitor.
Having said that if you have got a non 4K TV, which means it has got full HD resolution, then you are and going to save a lot of money since you can easily get a 22-inch to 24-inch full HD monitor in the range of $100-$150.
Using a smart TV as a monitor would make sense only if it’s a 4k TV where you get UHD resolution because your HD monitors are still not in the affordable range especially if you compare it with the prices of 4K smart TVs.
My Experience of using a 43-inch 4K Smart TV as Monitor
4K, or Ultra HD resolution gives you 4 times the screen real estate you get on a Full HD monitor. So it feels like you are working on a 4 monitor setup stacked together and there isn’t any border between them.
The 43-inch screen in front of your face is quite are a lot bigger so you have to make sure that you 60CM to 80CM away from it so that you have a good experience.
If you are closer to it it will be difficult for you to take a look at the entire screen and it will also give you cramps in the neck because you will have to move it a lot.
But it takes a few work sessions to get used to the big screen and then you start realizing its effectiveness.
I can open multiple windows on my 4K resolution monitor and I don’t have to minimize any of them. It is also easier to drag and drop files from one window to another.
Or if you have a webpage opened for reference purposes you can have the entire page on display so you don’t even have to scroll a lot.
Earlier when I used 4k TV as an extended monitor, the Macbook Pro fans used to get super noisy, because the CPU had to run two displays, but after I switched to close the display mode it only has to run one UHD display and it is less strain on CPU.
Can Every 4K Smart TV be used as a Monitor?
Pretty much every Smart TV that has got an HDMI output, can be used with a computer. But here are some key tech information you should know to enhance your experience.
Chroma 444 Support
Size and Resolution
Chroma 444 support
Using a 4K Smart TV as the PC monitor can be a little tricky because the text wouldn’t be as clear as it would be on a monitor specially designed to render web pages and other computer-related tasks.
This is because of the lack of support of Chroma 444 on some cheap Smart TVs, which won’t allow it to render text clearly. It is more complicated than that, but in Plain English, if a TV does not have Chrome 444 support, you won’t be able to view text clearly on it, making it unusable as a monitor.
For example, when I tried using an old Samsung Smart TV, which is full HD, the text wasn’t clear enough, because it does not support Chroma 444.
But since it was a 32-inch smart TV with a full HD resolution of 1920×1080, the text was big enough to be readable.
But there is no point in using a 32-inch or a giant smart TV having full HD resolution because the amount of space (which is 1920×1080 pixels) will be the same as on a 22-inch or a 24-inch monitor.
To truly benefit from a larger-inch screen, the smart TV needs to be a 4k TV, which would have a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels, which is four times the pixels of a standard full HD monitor.
But the good thing is, there are Smart TVs available in the market that support Chrome 444. The popular one among them is from Samsung.
There is a handful of smart TVs from Samsung that has a dedicated feature of using TVs as monitors.
There are also things like responsive time, which doesn’t matter a lot when it is higher in number on TVs, but for monitors, it has to be as short as possible.
You can find monitors in the market that come with a response time of 1ms to 5ms, while TVs have a response time of 5ms, and some TVs even have 25ms.
You must know the response time of a TV if you are planning to use it as a monitor because the 25ms is going to give you a terrible experience when you are using it as a monitor.
It will show you a huge lag when you input something on your computer, and it displays on the monitor 25ms later, so the less response time, the better.
Size of Smart TV for Monitor
The question for you is, what size would you prefer to use as a monitor, mostly the 4K TVs coming in the market are in the size of 40-inch, 43inch, 50-inch, and so on.
For me, the 43-inch was also pretty huge, and I don’t think it would be humanly possible to use a monitor bigger than that if you are planning to put it on a desk 2 to 3 feet away from you.
Also, going for a 4K TV, which is smaller than 32-inch, wouldn’t be ideal to use as a monitor since the text would be too small to be readable.
For comparison, the text on web pages on a 43-inch 4K resolution looks similar to the size of text on web pages on a 22-inch monitor.
So I think if you can handle 43-inch, it would be the sweet spot for choosing a smart TV to use as a monitor, but if it’s too big for you, you can go for a 32-inch smart TV, but again finding a 4K 32-inch smart TV would be a little tricky.
And if you are in the market for buying any monitor for your PC, there are 32-inch 4K monitors available that do not cost a bomb.
There are all sorts of cameras available in the market. Smartphone makers put all kinds of technology into smartphone cameras, and stabilization is of them. And then we have action cameras that have gotten better to produce stabilized footage.
If you have been using your smartphone cameras or action cameras to make videos, there is hardly any need for Gimbals since the stabilization is good enough.
Watch the Video
The Dslr cameras, the mirrorless cameras, or even the point and shoot cameras are different stories. If you want to produce smooth footage using your big camera, it will take a lot of skill to do that.
Also, people who use big cameras are often serious about the kind of footage they want, and they already know whether or not they want Gimbals. But when it comes to hobbyists, they own point-and-shoot cameras, such as the Sony RX100 series, the latest Sony Z1, or even the Canon PowerShot series.
Finally, the Gimbal companies have also started making Gimbals for point and shoot cameras as well. I recently got the Hohem iSteady Multi. It can also be used with a smartphone as well as Action Cameras along with the point and shoot cameras.
Although I specifically bought it for the Sony ZV1, because the pricing is pretty interesting.
The Hohem iSteady Multi is available on Amazon for just $149. The ZV1 vlogger kit that contains the handgrip with controls for Sony ZV1 also costs $149, which makes the Hohen iSteady Multi even more desirable since it offers controls for Sony cameras if you connect them with the Sony exclusive cable given in the box. Plus, its also a gimbal.
What’s in the Box?
When you open the box, you get everything inside a hard case, which will make it easy to carry the Gimbal.
In the case, you have the Gimbal, a tripod stand that can be attached to the Gimbal, a Manfrotto Quick Release Plate, a Mobile stand, a GoPro thread, and two thumbscrews (one spare, actually). And there is a quick release plate for mounting Point and Shoot Camera using the thumbscrews.
There is one micro USB cable to charge the Gimbal, and there is also another Cable for Sony Cameras that let you use the controls on the Gimbal to control the camera.
And we have a user guide as well. I would recommend everyone read it first as it has information about balancing the Gimbal, which can be tricky for first-time users. You have to keep the Digital Camera turned on while balancing the Gimbal because the lens pops out when the camera is turned on, and it changes the weight distribution.
Built Quality & Key Features
The build quality is not that great, it’s all plastic, but it’s also not super expensive. You’ll do fine if you handle it properly.
There is a microUSB slot for charging as well as a Type A for using the 3600mAh batteries inside the Gimbal to charge other devices. The full charge can be achieved in 3.5 hours and can last for up to 8 hours as claimed by the company, but expect it to be around 6 hours. But that too is quite enough for a single or maybe even multiple shooting sessions.
The other side has battery indicator. There are for LEDs, and each light shows 25% charge. So, four dots means 100% and a single dot means 25% charge on the Gimbal.
There’s also a slot on the Gimbal, which is used for connecting it to Sony Cameras, and it lets you use the controls on the Gimbal to zoom in / zoom out, take photos, and start/stop recording.
The most prominent feature of the Hohem iSteady Multi the Gimbal is its multipurpose use. You can use your Smartphone, Point and Shoot Cameras under 400grams and Action cameras with it.
There is a joystick on the Gimbal that lets you Pan and Tilt. The power buttons aso doubles as a control for Sony cameras for taking a photo or recording video.
There’s another button to use functions like Pan Follow (PF), Pan Tilt Follow (PTF), All Locked (AL), and All Follow (AF). The number of dots mentions the number of times you can press the button to activate the function.
PF mode only makes the Gimbal mode in the right or left direction when you move the Gimbal.
PTF means it wil also do up and down movements, AL means camera looks in the same direction regardless of the movement, and AF is when ever does Pan, Tilt and slight Rotation as well.
Setting of the Gimbal and Balancing the Camera
You have to balance the camera before turning on the Gimbal, be it the smartphone, the digital camera, or the action camera. The digital camera can directly be mounted to the Manfrotto quick release plate. For the smartphone, you will have to mount the mobile adaptor to the quick release plate, and for the action camera, it’s the gopro adapter you have to use.
It is a little tricky to balance the digital camera, because when you turn it on, the lens will pop out. So, you have to balance it by keeping the camera turned on or putting extra strain on the Motors.
The first attempt took me around 10 minutes to balance, but once you know how it’s done, the next time will not take that long.
After the balancing is done, you can long-press on the power button to turn on the Gimbal.
You can use the provided Sony cable to use the same power button to start recording on the camera. A single click will take a photo, and a double click will start/stop the recording.
There is another button on the Gimbal that’s accessible by your finger. A single press will reset the camera’s position to look at the front, and a double press will activate Sports mode—more about it in the creative shots section.
Connecting and Control via the Smartphone App
Hohem has an app you can install on your Smartphone and Connect to the Gimbal via Bluetooth. I used the Android app to connect with the Gimbal.
Launch the app, select iSteady Multi, and Connect. It’s pretty simple.
There isn’t a lot of function available inside the app, but it lets you control the Gimbal. You can use the virtual joystick for Tilt and PAN. And if the Sony camera is connected, you can also take photos and start the recording.
Apart from that, there is a motion lapse feature where you can select the starting and ending points for the Gimbal, and select the time. You can set multiple points, and it will Pan or Tilt from A to B to C and so on.
The feature is pretty useful for taking dynamic timelapses, but I have also found it to be useful for taking your own moving shots. You select different points for camera to Pan, and then you record yourself to get a moving camera shot as I did for one of my videos.
Taking Creative shots using the Gimbal
You can use the Gimbal anyway you want to have smooth footage, but there are some predefined creative shots you can take using the Gimbal that makes it easy for anyone to have some really cool videos.
The creative shots are
Inception mode – where the camera rotates as you move forward or backward, holding the gimble.
Dolly zoom – this is when you zoom in on the subject while moving away, or you zoom out while moving toward the subject.
There is also a Sports mode, which makes the Gimbal pan faster to catch the action. And there’s actually a button on the Gimbal to activate it. I haven’t tried yet, though.
You can watch the review video to see some test footage and the difference it makes in stabilization.
A Gimbal is a must-have when you have to do client work, where you have to shoot weddings, promotional videos, product shots. But then people have DSLRs for that.
So, this Gimbal is not really targetting professionals. But people who make videos on YouTube or maybe their personal videos. You now have an option to stabilize your videos without having to spend a lot of money.
It’s not ideal for vlogging. The time it wil take to mount and balance the Gimbal and keep one more battery-operated thing charged will be a lot for a vlogger. They would simply use a Smartphone with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) or just get an Action Camera. The stabilization you’ll get will be great for vlogging.
Having said that, this Gimbal can be used for B-Rolls. I have a big camera, which is always on a Tripod, and then I have SonyZV1 for quick B-Roll videos. Having a Gimbal like this handy allows me to take videos that wil be smoother than handheld.
So, so I recently started using my MacBook in closed display mode which was previously known as clamshell mode and for that I needed a keyboard and a mouse.
About the Logitech K380 multi-device bluetooth keyboard with I had been trying to get my hands on from last few years I finally got it. You can read its review here.
I have clubbed it with cute tiny little mouse from Logitech it’s called Logitech table mouse and model number is M 350. It is not too expensive, you can get one for yourself from Amazon for just $22.00.
Watch the video
Good Quality / Small / Travel Friendly
Like I said the quality is good and its small minimal and travel friendly. You can easily flip it into your bag if you want to use with your laptop or Tablet PC.
Although it’s plastic but the quality is pretty good so it feels nice in hands. The kicks are silent and the scroll wheel is also smooth.
It is a double connectivity Mouse meaning you can connect it with your bluetooth devices as well as using the nano dongle, which has its own place inside the mouse so that you can put it there when you are using Bluetooth connectivity.
There is a button at the bottom of the mouse, which lets you switch between Bluetooth connectivity and the nano dongle connectivity. When its blue LED blinking, it’s Bluetooth mode, and when it’s green LED blinking its Nano connectivity mode
There’s also an ON/OFF Button to conserve the battery when it is not in use. It Requires single AA Battery that can be accessed by opening the top cover of the mouse.
Using it with Mac
It is tough to find a mouse that it works nicely with Mac I actually give up after trying out several of them. I finally went with the Logitech table Mouse because its colour and build quality is pretty similar to the Logitech k380 keyboard, which I am using as an alternative to the Apple magic keyboard
Works nicely with Mac, and because the click are silent it is not as irritating as it was when I tried the the combo Mouse of Logitech M240.
I have also tried it with Lenovo Chromebook and Android Smartphone and it works Flawlessly.
The Logitech Pebble Mouse is available on Amazon for $22. Click on the link to buy it.
Logitech is probably the first name that pops up in everyone’s mind when you think of getting a Keyboard. They have keyboards in every price bracket.
The Logitech K380 is my fifth Keyboard from the company that I bought for my usage. Before this, I used the Logitech MK240 Keyboard and Mouse combo, and I bought it because my previous MK240 Stopped working. My 2-year-old just took the nano dongle out from the CPU, and I could never find it.
I was eagerly looking to buy the Logitech K380 for the last two years, but sadly it wasn’t avaialble anywhere. In 2021, when I casually searched for it, it was available. and I bought it without even blinking.
It was listed on Amazon now and then, but it never appeared for me since I gave up on finding it.
Anyway, It’s a fantastic keyboard with excellent built quality. You are paying the double what the Logitech MK240 is avaialble in a combo.
The Logitech K380 uses Bluetooth to connect it to up to 3 devices. It has three buttons in yellow color, which lets you pair it with different devices.
What’s in the box
The box is pretty minimal. You only get the Keyboard, along with two AAA batteries in the battery compartment, with a small tag to prevent the connection so that the batteries are new when you start using it.
As I said, you are paying double what the MK240 is available for, so you can feel it when you take it out of the box. It’s still plastic but has an excellent feel of it.
The keys are round, instead of the squared ones on every other Keyboard. I first thought it would be a little distracting or challenging to type, but the typing experience is also pretty great.
There is a fair amount of weight to the Keyboard, which makes it sit on the desk properly, without sliding when you are typing. It is also because of the rubber point on the bottom, which prevents it from sliding.
It is thicker on the top/front and thinner on the back/bottom, making the Keyboard properly house the AAA batteries and making the Keyboard a little elevated to improve the typing experience.
As Logitech claimed, the AAA batteries can last for up to 18 months, but there is also an ON/OFF button on the left side.
Windows, Mac and Android Support
Since it is a multi device Keyboard, they keys have proper signs on them to make it easy for you to use with all three major platforms. Like the alt key has also cmd written on it, the start key has alt/option wirtten on it. So that it’s easier for you to use it with Mac.
It also has other keys that work with Android. The tab key has screenshot icon, that works with the fn key. And there is also window preview key, also a right click/long press function.
How to Pair
The Logitech K380 can be paired with three devices, and the dedicated Bluetooth key makes it easy to switch between them.
Turn on the Keyboard by sliding the on/off button on the left side of the Keyboard. Then press and hold the Bluetooth 1 key on the top left. The LED light starts blicking means it is in pairing mode.
Find the Logitech K380 on your Device’s Bluetooth and connect to it.
You can follow the steps to connect to up to three devices and use different bluetooth buttons on the Logitech K380 keyboard each time.
When you have to use the Keyboard with a device, press the Bluetooth button to connect to it, and you are good to go.
Typing Experience with Windows
The layout of the Keyboard is made for Windows. The ctrl key is on the extreme left bottom, making it easy to use keyboard shorts that require a ctrl press.
The start key doesn’t have the Windows logo but works as intended, and the mute and volume keys work on all platforms.
Typing Epxerience with Mac
The Keyboard on MacBooks are so well made that it’s not easy to find an alternative.
I’ve previously tried using the Logitech MK240 with my mac, but it wasn’t a great experience. This is probably why I could never use my Macbook in Clamshell mode because the keyboard experience wasn’t the same.
Logitech K380 has allowed me to use my MacBook in Clamshell Mode, aka Closed Display Mode, and thanks to the Magic Trackpad 2, it is almost like using the MacBook Laptop with a giant 43-inc screen.
The best Keyboard for Mac would still be the Magic Keyboard, but the Logitech K380 is pretty close, both in quality as well as experience. Aesthetically, it’s better than having the Magic Keyboard if you want the Space Grey Magic Trackpad.
Typing Experience with Android/ Chromebook
I love using it with my Lonovo Chromebook Duet because it makes the Chromebook more usable for long typing sessions. I can now take my Chromebook Duet to my flat’s balcony and writing articles on it like I am doing right now.
Although the Lenovo Chromebook Duet is a pretty fantastic device, clubbing it with the Logitech K380 makes it even better.
Should you buy it?
There is no reason not to buy the Keyboard. If you own multiple devices/computers, this is a must buy. One Keyboard on your desk cn is used for typing on all your devices. Isn’t it cool?