The 6 Best Websites to Play Chess Online with Friends for Free

The ancient and revered game of chess is still just as rewarding to play today as it was 1500 years ago. Even better, there has never been an easier time to learn or find opportunities to play.

There have always been great chess video games for as long as computers have been capable of simulating the game. However, in the age of the web you don’t even need to download anything.

There are many excellent websites that not only allow you to play chess online with friends, they help you learn how to become a better player. While you may have to pay for chess classes, all of the sites here offer at least some measure of chess instruction for free.

1. Chess.com (Free With Paid Options)

Quite possibly the best known site, chess.com deserves snatching what must be a very expensive URL from all the other pretenders. You can sign up in seconds and be playing against a computer or human opponent in no time. Free users get access to just about everything the typical player could want, but you do have to put up with a few adverts.

There are chess lessons and a wonderful curated guide that will take you from knowing nothing about chess to knowing enough to play a game through to the end. There are also Gold, Platinum and Diamond paid membership levels.

It goes without saying that these are ad-free, but they also add access to more chess puzzles and advanced data analysis of your games. In other words, the paid levels of Chess.com are mostly just of interest to people who are very serious about chess.

Notable Chess.com features include:

  • Unlimited chess games in different styles and variants
  • Support for joining clubs and leagues
  • An unlockable achievement system

2. Red Hot Pawn (Free With Optional Subscription)

If you prefer a slower pace of play, the Red Hot Pawn offers a rather unique experience. While many other chess sites offer correspondence chess as one option to play against others, Red Hot Pawn is completely dedicated to this style of play.

As such the site makes it easy to manage, join and create correspondence games. It has a large, fantastic community of players and a perfectly functional chess board, if a little simple.

It’s a free service supported by ads. Paying a subscription simply removes them, but there are no other advantages we can see.

Notable Red Hot Pawn features include:

  • A hilarious name.
  • Excellent, clear interface that makes juggling multiple games easy.
  • An informative forum and community support system.

3. Lichess (Free and Open Source)

Lichess has no advertising, no requirements to pay anything, and offers the ability to both learn and play chess. That sounds like the perfect service, but you should know that the site is also very barebones. It doesn’t have much in the way of aesthetics, unless you’re really into minimalism. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it can take a while to get a good handle on where everything is.

In terms of content however, there’s little to complain about. Apart from being able to play, you can also learn how to play chess, watch others play and tackle chess puzzles. These puzzles are both fun and help you become a better player, so it’s a great feature.

While Lichess may not be the best at any one thing, the fact that you can get an essentially complete experience without paying a cent is a killer point in its favor.

Notable Lichess features include:

  • Eight chess variants in addition to standard chess
  • Cloud-based chess engine analysis
  • A complete set of chess basics lessons
  • No advertising at all
  • More than 80 languages are supported

4.Chess24 (Free or $14.99 per Month)

Chess 24 offers access to chess games as well as learning material without any money upfront, but on the learning side of things there are restrictions. For example, only premium users have access to live instructional videos as well as streamed content from chess masters.

There are videos of various types and prices on offer, but only a grand total of two free videos at the time of writing. There are however many YouTube shows that are organized and listed on the site which we’ve had no trouble watching as a free user.

One standout feature of Chess24 is their actual online chess board. It’s very attractive and offers a little more visually than the typical free online chess service. We particularly like how it clearly shows each move with an arrow and displays it in chess notation at the same time. The integrated clocks are also very user friendly and easy to read.

Notable Chess24 features include:

  • A friendly beginner’s chess course
  • A great glossary of chess terms
  • Attractive chess board that’s easy to use

5.Sparkchess (Free or $14.99 for Premium)

Sparkchess is one of the more limiting free chess options on this list. While you can play against the computer and other human opponents online, you are locked out of the chess educational features unless you pay.

If all you want is a quick online game however, then Sparkchess has a nice web-based version of their chess app to play. You can also practice against the AI, with three different AI opponents available to free users. Free players can also play online against other opponents, but if you’re looking for live local 2-player matches, you’ll have to stump up the cash.

Notable Sparkchess features include:

  • 3D chess board
  • Full screen play

6.ChessTempo (Free With $3 per Month Option)

ChessTempo does give you a place to play chess online for free, but the real value of this site comes from its many resources to analyse and understand the game.

Whenever you play a rated game, ChessTempo puts it through a powerful analysis engine that provides you with detailed statistics about what happened in the game. Letting you learn more about your own play style.

ChessTempo is really only for people who already know the basics of playing chess, but who want to sharpen their skills by undergoing serious chess tactics training.

The free version of the service already offers a hardcore amount of tactical training and if you exhaust what’s on offer there you’ll be more than ready to start paying for the service, since you’ll be eating and breathing chess at that point.

Notable features of ChessTempo include:

  • Play an unlimited number of online games.
  • Chess engine analysis if your rated games.
  • 2 endgame problems to solve per day.
  • Access a database of recorded games.
  • Unlimited tactics training, with more than 110 000 problems to learn and solve from real games.

Check and Mate!

There are so many options out there to play chess online with friends that there’s no harm in spending some time trying them all. Hopefully the five options listed here has at least one that’s the perfect fit for you, but if anything’s for certain it’s that there will never be a shortage of people looking to play chess.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/cool-websites/the-6-best-websites-to-play-chess-online-with-friends-for-free/

8 Best Apps to Download Movies for Free on Android (2021)

Most people today use streaming services like Netflix and Hulu to watch their movies and TV shows. That’s a great option as long as you have a subscription and don’t need to go offline. 

If you’re looking to download your movies or TV shows for free onto your Android device locally to watch later, you might want to switch from a streaming service to one of the following Android apps. 

These apps allow you to watch your favorite television offline and for free. Pretty useful when you’re on the road, or if you forgot to renew your Netflix subscription. 

YouTube

Best for: Watching old movies on your smartphone.

YouTube is one of the apps that comes pre-installed on your Android device, so you don’t have to download and install any extra software to start watching your movies.

YouTube has a great collection of films. However, most of them are old movies uploaded on YouTube by production companies and movies from indie filmmakers who upload their content on their own YouTube channels. 

If you’re someone who enjoys movies that aren’t targeted at a mass audience, YouTube is a great place to start. While you can find the latest movies on YouTube as well, you’ll have to pay a rental fee to watch or download them. 

Bee TV

Best for: Netflix fans.

If you’re a Netflix fan, then getting used to Bee TV won’t take too much time. This free movies and TV shows downloader is basically an unlocked version of Netflix. The interface and the search feature are like that of Netflix or Amazon Prime, you just need to type the name of a movie or a series you’re looking for, and then follow the link to download it for free to your Android.

All movies come with multiple download links, so you can choose the desired size and quality.

Tubi

Best for: Users looking to watch movies and series that aren’t on Netflix.

Do you often find yourself searching Netflix for that one movie and getting annoyed that it’s not on the platform? Tubi is a movie download app that has a special category dedicated to the content that’s Not on Netflix.

Aside from that, Tubi also offers a great collection of free movies, many of which are available to download to your Android and watch in HD quality. There are also new titles added to the app’s collection on a weekly basis.

Tubi is user-friendly, with options like bookmarking the films that you like and creating a personal queue to continue watching them later. The app supports Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV, which allows you to watch the movies you like on bigger screens. 

Cinema HD

Best for: Absence of annoying pop-up ads inside the app. 

Cinema HD is a popular online streaming app that also allows you to download the movies and watch them locally on your Android device. Its main advantage over other similar apps is the absence of annoying pop-up ads that you have to get through to watch your favorite films. 

Cinema HD supports HD quality, but you can choose any resolution when downloading the films. There’s also plenty of foreign language movies that you can watch with subtitles. The only downside is that Cinema HD isn’t always available to download from the Play Store, so you might have to download the APK file and then install it on your smartphone manually. 

Popcorn Time

Best for: A wide selection of titles, thanks to streaming from Torrent. 

If you’ve ever used Torrents to download videos on your smartphone before, you’ll definitely appreciate Popcorn Time. When you select a movie from this app, it starts downloading via the BitTorrent protocol.

That means that it also starts to share the downloaded content with other users. That allows for both high download speeds, as well as the variety of movies and TV shows on the platform. 

Almost all content on Popcorn Time is available in HD quality and has subtitles for a great number of languages. 

Vudu

Best for: Watching movies in 4K quality. 

Vudu is a free app for streaming and downloading movies and TV shows. It offers a vast variety of both movies and TV series that you can both watch online and download to watch later on your Android device. While the app is free to download and use, you’ll have to sit through a few ads before you get to download your content.

However, it’s all worth it for the video and sound quality that Vudu can offer. The best part about this app is the ability to watch your favorite titles in stunning 4K UHD. It also includes Dolby Vision HDR sound quality that will ensure you have a good time watching your television. 

Crackle

Best for: Fast streaming & downloading speed. 

Crackle is another great choice when it comes to movie downloaders. The app comes with all the standard perks, like a user-friendly interface, simple search system, and a great collection of free movies and TV shows to watch. Since the app is free to use, there’s some occasional advertising but it’s not intrusive in any way.

Once you log in, the app will prompt you to answer a few questions and give you a list of personalized movie suggestions if you don’t know what to watch next. Crackle offers impressive streaming and downloading speeds as well. If you’re someone who doesn’t like or can’t afford to waste time, this app might be the best pick for you. 

VidMate

Best for: Integration with other services, like YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Instagram, and Soundcloud. 

VidMate is a free movie streaming & downloading app where you can find most of the latest movies as well as the classics. Two things about this app that you have to bear in mind: The selection of titles is different depending on your region, and the fact that VidMate isn’t available on Google Play Store. So, you’ll have to download the APK file from the site before you can use the service. 

The feature that makes VidMate stand out among the other apps on this list is the ability to watch and download content from other platforms, including YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, as well as Instagram and SoundCloud. 

Watch Your Favorite Movies Online & Offline

Today, there’s no shortage of apps and streaming services that you can use to find and watch your favorite movies and TV shows. Try answering a few basic questions before choosing the right client for you. Are you looking for an app to watch movies online or to download them? What’s more important for you: the video quality, the download speed, or the sleek interface? 

When you know what you’re looking for, go through our list of apps and maybe give a few of them a try before picking the one you’re going to stick with.

What app do you use for downloading movies and TV shows? Did it make it to our list? Share your experience with movie apps and streaming services in the comments section below. 

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/smartphones/8-best-apps-to-download-movies-for-free-on-android/

How to Change Minecraft Skin on PC or Mobile

Minecraft is an international phenomenon with more than 200 million copies sold. While you can find plenty of single-player content, it’s more fun when you pair with other players on a realm or server all your own—especially if you customize your appearance with a custom skin.

There are a wide range of skins available across the web. If you find one you love and you want to use it in your game, here’s how to change your Minecraft skin on PC or mobile.

Where Can You Find Minecraft Skins?

If you want a custom Minecraft skin, you need to know where to look. There are several popular sites that give access to dozens or even hundreds of Minecraft skins free of charge.

  • The Skindex: Weird name aside, The Skindex has hundreds of different skins to choose from, as well as a robust search engine. You can also upload your own skins, as well as edit existing skins to suit your preferences.
  • MinecraftSkins.net: MinecraftSkins.net is another repertoire of different skins. They are organized by type, so you can choose between TV, Movies, Games, People, Mobs, and more.
  • PlanetMinecraft: PlanetMinecraft is a treasure trove of resources for Minecraft. It isn’t limited to just skins, but also maps and texture packs.

You can find almost any skin you can think of on these websites, but you can also make your own skin by following a basic pattern. Take the time to customize your character any way you like.

How to Change a Minecraft Skin on a PC

There are a few different ways to change your skin in Minecraft.

How to Change Skin Through Minecraft.net

Once you find a skin, changing it is a simple task. First, go to Minecraft.net and log in to your account. Click Skins on the left side of the screen. You will be presented with two size options for your skin: a wider variant and a skinny version. Choose the one that best suits your character.

After this, scroll down and click Select a File. Select the downloaded skin file you chose and then click Upload. Once you do this, your skin will show up as the new skin the next time you start up the game. 

How to Change Skins Through Minecraft Launcher

Another easy way to change skins is through the Minecraft launcher itself. First, launch the game, and then click Skins in the navigation bar. This screen displays all skins you currently have added to the game, as well as the currently equipped skin.

If your current skin is not in the library, you can click Add to Library to make add it to the list of skins available to you. If you want to add a skin from your downloads folder, click New skin. Give the skin a name and choose whether it fits the Classic or Slim player models.

After this, click Browse and navigate to the folder where the skin is. Select the skin and click Okay, and then click Save to store it in your library, or click Save & Use to store it in the library and equip it to your character. 

Hover your cursor over any skin in your library and click Use to equip it to your character. Changing your skin will make no difference to your gameplay–it’s purely a cosmetic choice. 

How to Change Minecraft Skins on Mobile

Changing skins on Minecraft mobile is a bit different than doing it on PC–but the good news is that it’s still pretty easy. First, open Minecraft and tap Profile. Select a character icon and tap Edit Character, and then select the second icon from the left–the one that looks like three characters standing together. 

Tap Owned, and then tap the icon underneath Import. After this, tap Choose New Skin. This opens your photo library on your phone. If you have downloaded a skin, select it from the library. If you have not yet found a skin, go online and look for one, then save it to your photos. 

Make sure the saved image is the one that looks rather distorted like this:

You have to use the right type of image or the game will not recognize it as a skin. Once you choose the image, the game will prompt you to approve its appearance. Once you do so, the skin will be added to your game.

You can then choose the skin and begin playing the game. 

Your Minecraft skin is an easy way to represent your personality in-game. Whether you’re playing on a creative server with friends or you just want to duke it out in the battle mode, don’t stick with the plain Steve or Alex skin. Choose one that fits you, whether it’s Bigfoot or your favorite anime character. 

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/gaming/how-to-change-minecraft-skin-on-pc-or-mobile/

Steam Won’t Open? 12 Fixes to Try

Steam is the biggest and most popular digital gaming storefront. Valve pioneered digital games with the Steam software client and has been refining it for many years. Today, Steam is a robust platform that does its job. 

However, every now and then Steam simply won’t open. What’s worse, you may not get any error message or indication of why this is happening. If that’s what you’re experiencing, these are the most common fixes.

1. Kill Steam Processes With Task Manager

Steam sometimes won’t open because it never actually closed in the first place. To make sure it’s properly closed, do the following:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Look for any process that’s related to Steam, such as the Steam Helper.
  1. Right-click on those processes and select End Task.
  2. Repeat until there are no Steam processes left.

Usually Steam will start up immediately when you open it again.

2. Restart the Whole Computer

If killing all Steam processes doesn’t do the trick, the next fastest solution is to restart your computer. This will shut down processes that could be preventing Steam from opening.

3. Run Steam as Administrator

Sometimes Steam administrator privileges for some tasks. Run it in administrator mode to solve the initial startup issue and then start it normally next time. At least, until this issue crops up again.

It’s very simple to run Steam as an administrator:

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Search for Steam.
  3. Right-click on Steam and the select Run as administrator.
  1. Give permission for this and enter an administrator password if prompted.

4. Flush the Steam Configuration Data

Resetting Steam’s internal settings can solve some issues with the client software. That includes a mysterious lack of enthusiasm from Steam when you try to start it up.

It’s easy to do and doesn’t affect your installed games or save files, but if you have multiple Steam library folders, you’ll have to add them again once the flush is complete. 

  1. Ensure that Steam is completely closed using Task Manager as described above.
  2. Press the Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog.
  3. Type steam://flushconfig and select OK.
  1. Select OK on the confirmation dialog.
  1. Start Steam again and login again.

Hopefully, this will resolve the problem and allow you to play again.

5. If You’re a Beta Client User, Delete the Beta Client File

Did you opt in to take part in the Steam Beta? While this is a great way to get fast access to new features, it also means you take on the risk of a beta update or bug preventing Steam from opening normally. Luckily, you can manually disable the Beta client and go back to vanilla Steam by simply deleting one little file.

  1. Make sure that Steam is completely closed, using the Task Manager method described earlier.
  2. Open File Explorer and navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\package. This is the default path.
  3. Look for a file named “beta” and delete it.

Try to start Steam again. If it does start up, it’s likely there was something wrong with the latest Beta update. So, you should wait a while before opting in again.

6. Reinstall Steam

The Steam installation client can also repair busted Steam installations. It’s a good idea to use that feature if the more common fixes don’t work. This should not cause you to lose any game data as you only have to download the latest Steam client installer and run it.

7. Check That You Have Active Internet

Steam needs an active internet connection, unless you restart it in Offline Mode. So, you won’t be able to open Steam if the network is down. Usually, an error message will tell you about any connectivity problems.

8. Are the Steam Servers Online?

Even if your internet connection is just fine, the actual Steam online service might not be. Steam itself doesn’t offer a convenient way to check if the service is down, however there are several third-party options that can give you a status update at a glance. We recommend Steamstat or the Steam Status Twitter account.

9. Make Sure Windows and Your Drivers are Updated

Lack of updates can cause compatibility issues. For example, Steam or Windows can have pending updates that cause compatibility problems. Check for pending Windows updates.

Also, check if your hardware drivers are up to date. GPU drivers are of special concern here and the latest version of your GPU’s driver might contain bug fixes that make it work better with Steam.

10. Double Check Your Date and Time

This one is a little counter-intuitive, but sometimes Steam won’t open because your computer’s date and time doesn’t match the time Steam retrieves from the internet.

This is apparently linked to a bug in the Chromium browser, a version of which Steam uses to display pages. Set your time correctly or switch on the option to auto update the time in Windows to fix this issue. 

11. Disable Your Antivirus

Even the popular Steam can run afoul of an antivirus or a security suite. Temporarily disable your antivirus software and see whether Steam will start or not. If it doesn’t start up only when the antivirus is running, selectively whitelist Steam and its related processes.

12. Make Sure Steam Isn’t in Compatibility Mode

Windows has to work with a large historical backlog of old software. So, it includes a compatibility mode for applications designed for Windows XP, 7 and so on.

The latest version of Steam is designed to work for Windows 10 so it should not be in compatibility mode. If you’ve toggled on Compatibility Mode for the Steam executable for some reason, switch it off. While certain specific old games on Steam may need compatibility mode to work, Steam itself doesn’t.

  1. Navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\
  2. Look for Steam.exe
  3. Right-click on it and select Properties
  4. Select the Compatibility tab
  1. Ensure Run this program in compatibility mode for is unchecked
  2. Select OK

Play It Again, Steam

Have you encountered a situation where Steam won’t start up for no apparent reason? If none of these tips solve your problem, let us know what did end up working for you in the comments. It’s a problem that can have a fix not listed here, so share your solution to help a fellow gamer get back to playing their favorite Steam games. 

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/steam-wont-open-12-fixes-to-try/

How to Cast to Roku TV from PC or Mobile

Many people buy a Roku TV device and only use it as a way to stream content on the device using the included Roku remote. What many people don’t realize is that you can also cast to Roku TV from a PC or mobile device.

Why buy another casting device like a Chromecast when this feature is already embedded with the Roku TV streaming device

In this article, we’ll show you what you need to do to prepare your Roku TV and how to cast to Roku TV whatever you like. This feature works from a desktop PC, a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone.

Prepare Your Roku TV for Casting

If you have a Roku TV connected to your TV, you’re ready to start casting right away. However there are a few things you can do to ensure that you can cast from more websites and services.

  • Make sure your Roku TV is connected to your home Wi-Fi network.
  • Add the services you usually cast from as new Roku channels using the Roku TV menu.
  • Make sure your PC or mobile device is connected to the same home Wi-Fi network.

Adding channels isn’t critical for many of the services that support Roku TV casting, but it can enable additional apps on your phone that normally wouldn’t work without the channel added.

How to Cast to Roku TV From Your Computer

You have a few options if you want to cast to your Roku TV from your computer. 

Casting to your Roku TV works almost identically to how you’d cast to a Chromecast. You’ll use the same casting icon, but choose a different device from the cast list.

This doesn’t work everywhere automatically as it does with Chromecast. For example if you are using a Chrome browser and select Cast from the menu, you’ll see that Roku TV is listed but not enabled.

This is because Roku TV isn’t supported by every single video streaming site out there. For the most part, if you stick to the services that have channels on Roku TV, you’ll be able to cast from its website as well.

For example if you use YouTube TV or Youtube and select the cast icon displayed on the video, you’ll see Roku TV listed and active as an available device to cast to. 

Just select the Roku TV device you want to cast to and the video will start displaying there. 

How to Mirror Your Computer Display to Roku TV

Another option you have is to mirror your computer display to your Roku TV device. This is made possible by the Miracast protocol supported by both Windows computers and Roku TV.

Note: This only works on Windows computers, not Mac or Linux.

To do this, select the notifications icon at the lower right corner of your Windows 10 computer.

Choose Project from the list of icons. On the list of project orientations, select Connect to a wireless display at the bottom. 

The Roku TV device essentially converts the television it’s connected to into a wireless display that supports Miracast.

Select the Roku TV device from the list of options. 

Your TV will now show your computer’s display. This is a great way to provide demonstrations or give presentations to others who are in the room but can’t see your computer display.

How to Cast to Roku TV from Your Mobile Device

You can also cast to your Roku TV device from your smartphone or tablet. It actually works even better from your mobile.

On video streaming sites or apps that support streaming to Roku TV, whenever you tap the cast icon you’ll see the Roku TV device listed in the list of available casting devices.

However, on any apps, services, or websites that don’t support streaming to Roku TV, you’ll notice that your Roku TV streaming device isn’t listed.

That doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. For example, when you try to cast from your Spotify app, you’ll notice that Roku TV isn’t included in the list of streaming devices.

However, if you install the Roku app, you can add the Spotify channel and casting will work. To do this, select the Channels icon at the bottom of the main page. Select Channel Store and browse Music & Podcasts. Select Add next to Spotify.

Once you launch the Spotify app, your Spotify account will display on Roku TV and you can use the mobile remote to select, play, and control your music. 

You can also use the app to cast media from your mobile device to Roku TV, including music, photos, and videos. 

But what about video sites that don’t support Roku TV casting? Unlike on your desktop, you actually have a workaround to still cast those videos to your Roku TV from your mobile device. We’ll cover that workaround below. 

How to Cast Unsupported Videos to Roku TV

If you want to cast videos from any website or streaming service from your mobile device, there’s an app called Web Video Cast that’ll let you do just that. 

Web Video Cast is available for Android phones and tablets as well as Apple devices.

Here’s how it works. Once installed, you can open the app and use the built-in browser to visit the video site that hosts the video you want to play.

When you tap the video to open it, Web Video Cast will ask where you’d like to cast the video stream. Select the Connect cast icon to choose your device.

You may not see your Roku TV device included the first time you do this. To add it, just tap the gear icon at the upper right corner of the list and you’ll see a list of supported devices. Scroll down to the Roku device, select the checkbox on the right, and then select Done

Now you’ll see available Roku devices in your list of devices you can cast to. If this doesn’t work, you may need to look up your Roku IP address using your router.

When you select the Roku device, Web Video Cast will stream it to your Roku TV. This works even if the underlying video service doesn’t support casting to Roku!

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/how-to-cast-to-roku-tv-from-pc-or-mobile/

What Is Digital Wellbeing for Android and How to Use It

Smartphones have radically changed the way we live our lives. For the most part we’d argue that those changes have been positive, but as with any new technology there’s always a dark side to consider. 

There are plenty of health concerns, both mental and physical, when it comes to the use (or rather misuse) of our mobile devices. Which is why companies like Google who create the operating systems for tablets and smartphones have begun putting digital wellbeing features into their software. 

If you’re an Android user running Android Pie or later, you have access to these features. Let’s look at what digital wellbeing for Android is and how to use it to improve your life.

Where Can You Find Digital Wellbeing?

This sounds like a philosophical question, but we mean where the actual settings are located. The answer is that you’ll find digital wellbeing among your Android settings. Usually it is within the main settings menu, although you’ll have to scroll down a bit in most cases. 

Since every Android phone maker tends to customize their Android skin, the exact menu structure may differ. If you’re having trouble, try using the system-wide search feature to find the function. 

Digital Wellbeing Starts with Insights

Before you can know whether you’re using your device in an unhealthy way, you need insights into your patterns of use. This is one of the core offerings of digital wellbeing on Android. It keeps track of how you interact with your phone and which applications you spend your time with.

This data by itself doesn’t mean anything without context of course. However, it does give you a bird’s eye view of what you do with your phone over time.

If you’re spending a lot of time with social media applications, without much in the way of meaningful returns, that could be a problem. If, on the other hand, you just spend a whole day bingeing a show you love on Netflix, that might be an example of quality time for you personally.

Setting Total Screen Time Goals

Identifying that your time is being hogged by certain specific applications is probably the best way to manage your digital wellbeing in a nuanced way, but if you’re only concerned about total screen time then it’s quite easy to keep track of that as well.

Just below the breakdown of your daily phone usage, you’ll see your total amount of screen time or the day so far. If you select the button below the timer, you can set a goal for the total amount of screen time you want to limit yourself to. 

If you go over that limit, nothing happens except that your phone will tell you that you need a break. 

You can also check how well you’ve been doing across the span of the week. To delete or change a goal, you can select the three dots at the top right-hand corner of the screen and make the appropriate choice there.

Limiting Individual Apps with App Timers

If you do feel like you’re spending too much time with specific applications, you can use the app timers function to set how much time you spend with that app in a 24-hours period, which resets at midnight.

If you open the app timer section of the Digital Wellbeing screen, you’ll see a list of eligible apps that can be arranged by name, screen time or timer length. Let’s say you don’t want to spend more than 30 minutes of your day on Slack. Hey, who could blame you? 

To limit that app, look for it in the app timer list or search for it using the search button at the top of the screen. Once you find it, all you have to do is select the hourglass icon to the right of the app’s name. Then select how much time you want to limit yourself to per day.

If you exceed that limit, the app will be paused. Its icon will turn gray and all notifications for it will be paused until the timer resets. You can of course extend the limit at any time if you want to.

Using Focus Mode to Get Things Done or Get Some “Me” Time

The typical smartphone has plenty of apps vying for your attention all the time. It can be a chore to manage all of those notifications individually and simply putting your phone into Do Not Disturb mode throws the baby out with the bathwater.

  • That’s where Focus Mode comes in. It lets you shut down notifications except from whitelisted apps. When you first open Focus Mode, you’ll find two premade focus modes for you to try named “Work Time” and “Me Time”. You can edit these two modes to suit your needs and you can add more custom modes for whatever scenario you want.

You can set Focus Mode to end at a particular time or to end when you manually switch it off. When it does end, you’ll receive a summary of everything you missed while it was on. Just remember to add your favorite music app to the list. Music always helps us focus!

Use Bedtime Mode for Better Sleep

One of the biggest concerns that comes from smartphone and tablet use has to do with disturbed sleep patterns. It’s the whole reason why phone makers have started putting blue light filters and other features that make it less likely you’ll have poor quality sleep into handsets.

When you activate it, your phone’s screen will gradually fade to gray and your phone will slip into something very similar to Do Not Disturb mode. Ensuring that you get those much needed hours in the sack.

Protect Your Ears with Volume Monitor

Hearing damage is a common problem that occurs thanks to long-term high-volume sound exposure. All smartphones these days will warn you about volume levels that are too high, but the volume monitor feature keeps track of the volumes levels you are being exposed to over time, giving you a more accurate picture of whether you need to turn it down from 11 for a change.

Resistance Is Futile

Smartphones and other mobile devices are here to stay, so it’s up to us as individuals to find a balance between getting useful service from these devices and being a slave to them. Tools such as the Digital Wellness suite built into Android make it easier to see our habits laid out and give us the tools to take back control of digital wellbeing. Now all you have to do is take the first step.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/smartphones/what-is-digital-wellbeing-for-android-and-how-to-use-it/

How to Create a Distribution List in Outlook

If you use Outlook to communicate with your colleagues, you’ve probably wanted to repeatedly email a specific group whose membership changes often. For example, you may need to email all of your customer service reps every day, but due to high turnover, the list may change often.

You could type each person’s name or email manually every time you send an email, but quickly this can become cumbersome as the group gets larger. Not only that, but you also run the risk of inadvertently forgetting someone which could lead to office drama. That’s where a distribution list or contact group comes in!

For the most part, the terms “contact group” and “distribution list” are interchangeable. Microsoft began using the phrase “contact group,” presumably because it’s a little more intuitive than “distribution list.” 

However, there is a real distinction between the two in organizations that are using Microsoft 365. Admins of Microsoft 365 can convert existing Outlook distribution lists to “Groups,” which, in turn, gives group members access to shared libraries and collaboration spaces like Microsoft Teams, Yammer, and Planner.

While your IT department probably rules over your organization’s Outlook distribution lists—especially the dreaded and often poorly-maintained all-staff list, you can still create your own contact groups in Outlook

Below, we’ll walk you through how to create contact groups in Outlook for both the browser version and the desktop app. 

How to Create a Contact Group in Outlook Online

Creating a contact group in the browser version of Outlook is easy.

  1. Log into your account at outlook.com or select Outlook from the app launcher if you’re already logged into Microsoft 365. If you don’t see Outlook in the app list (you will), select All apps.
  1. In the left pane, under Groups, select New group.
  1. In the popup, give your new group a name and description and select Create. (If your organization has enabled it, you might be prompted to create an email address for the group. In that instance, for ease of use, try to make the email address identical to the group name.)
  1. Now, add members to the group. Search for people by name or by email address. Select the search result for the person you want to add to the group, and they’ll appear under “This person will be added.”
  1. Repeat step 4 until you’ve added everyone you want to the group. Then select the Add button.
  2. Select Close.
  3. Send an email to the group you’ve created by selecting New message.
  1. In the To field, begin typing the name of the group you created, and select it from the list that appears.

Easy peasy. But what if you need to add or remove people from the group? Read on.

How to Edit a Contact Group in Outlook Online

Microsoft has made it easy to edit a contact group without ever leaving Outlook Online. Some steps might be slightly different depending on how your organization has configured Microsoft 365, but the steps below should get you there.

  1. In the left pane, under Groups, select the group you want to edit.
  2. In that group’s entry, select the More (three dots/ellipsis) icon.
  1. Select Settings. (Depending on how Outlook is configured for your organization, you might see an option to Add members straight from the More icon.)
  1. In the Group Settings panel that appears on the right, select Edit group.
  1. Select the Members tab. 
  2. From there, you can add members or delete them from the group by selecting the X icon next to the entry for the person you want to remove.
  1. If you’ve added members to the group, select the Add button. Otherwise, choose Close.

Another Way to Edit Contact Groups in Outlook Online

Depending on how Outlook is configured, you may also be able to edit contact groups by following these steps:

  1. Go to the People section of Outlook (to the right of the Calendar icon). 
  1. In the left pane in the Groups section, select Owner to display the groups you have created.
  1. Select the group you want to edit from the list.
  2. Select Manage group members.
  1. From there, you can add members or delete existing members by selecting the X next to an entry.

How to Create a Contact Group in Outlook’s Desktop App

Creating a contact group in the desktop version of Outlook is even more straightforward than it is in the online version.

  1. Launch Outlook, and select the People icon near the lower-left corner (where you switch between email, tasks, people, and calendar).
  1. Next, from the toolbar, select New Contact Group. (If your organization is using Microsoft 365, you may also see a New Group button. For our purposes, we’ll use New Contact Group to facilitate group emails.)
  1. In the Contact Group window that appears, give your contact group a name, and then select Add Members and choose where you want to get your new members from. Options might include From Outlook Contacts, From Address Book, or New Email Contact
  1. One by one, search for the people you want to add to the contact group. Make sure their entry is highlighted, and select the Members button (or double-click their entry) to add them. When you’re finished, select OK.
  2. Close out the window, making sure to respond Yes if prompted to save your changes.
  3. Now, when you address a new email, you can type the name of the contact group in the To field. Your contact group will be added. If you wish, you can expand the group list, and Outlook will replace the list with its members. Be warned, though, you will not be able to collapse the list again.

Contact groups appear as entries in the Outlook address book, so you’ll be able to find them in that alphabetized list.

How to Edit a Contact Group in Outlook’s Desktop App

Now let’s edit an existing contact group in the desktop version of Outlook.

  1. Launch Outlook, and select the People icon near the lower-left corner.
  2. Find and select the group you want to edit in your contact list.
  3. In the pane on the right, select Edit. That will bring you back to where you can manage the group by adding and/or removing members.

Whether you’re using the online version of Outlook or the desktop app, it’s definitely worth it to take a few minutes to create Outlook distribution lists you’ll use repeatedly. You’ll be glad you did.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/ms-office-tips/how-to-create-a-distribution-list-in-outlook/

How to Reopen a Closed Browser Tab in Chrome, Safari, Edge and Firefox

It is annoying to accidentally close tabs and lose web pages you were browsing if you forgot to bookmark them. 

Thankfully, most, if not all browsers have features that allow you to reopen websites you viewed previously and restore the tabs you just closed by an errant mouse click.

How to Reopen Closed Browser Tabs in Chrome, Safari, Edge and Firefox Browsers

There are several ways you can reopen closed tabs in your web browser. These methods include: 

  • Using keyboard shortcuts
  • Using the built-in Undo closed tab feature
  • Through a hotkey
  • Using a few mouse clicks
  • Checking your browsing history

How to Reopen Closed Tabs in Google Chrome

There are several ways you can reopen closed tabs in Google Chrome, including keyboard shortcuts, the reopen closed tab feature, or using the browser history.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts

You can reopen a closed tab in Chrome using the following  combination of keys. 

  1. On your Windows PC, press Ctrl + Shift + T.
  1. On a Mac, press Command + Shift + T.

Note: If you hit the keyboard shortcut once on your computer, it’ll bring up the last tab you closed. Keep hitting the keys until you get the tab you want. 

Using the Reopen Closed Tab Feature

  1. If you’re using a Windows PC, right-click on the tab menu area and select Reopen Closed Tab. Repeat this step until you reopen the tab you’re looking for.
  1. On a Mac, select File > Reopen Closed Tab

Using Your Browser History

You can go through your browser history and check the sites you visited in the past hour, day, week or month. 

  1. On a Windows PC, select the Chrome menu and then select History.
  1. On a Mac, select History on the menu bar at the top and see your recently closed tabs. You can also select Show full history to see all the websites you visited last or press Command + Y on your Mac’s keyboard.

How to Reopen Closed Tabs in Safari 

On a Mac, you can reopen a closed tab using a keyboard shortcut, the Undo Closed tab feature, or go through your browsing history to find the tab you’re looking for.

Using a keyboard shortcut

Use the following shortcut keys Command + Shift + T  to reopen a closed tab or press Ctrl + Z.

Using the Menu Bar

The menu bar on your Mac offers several features including the Undo Closed Tab feature. 

  1. To access the feature, select Edit > Undo Closed Tab
  1. Alternatively, select History > Recently Closed or History > Reopen Last Closed tab.

Using  the Browser History

  1. Select History in the menu bar and select Show All History.
  1. If you want to see all the windows from your last session, select History > Reopen all Windows from Last Session.

How to Reopen a Closed Tab in Edge

You can reopen closed tabs in the exact order in which you closed them using the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + T

Using the Menu Bar

You can set up the Edge browser to open previously closed tabs each time you launch the browser. This way, you can pick up easily from where you left off. 

  1. Select Menu > Settings
  1. Right-click the Edge menu bar and select Reopen closed tab.

If you want to see your browsing history, press CTRL+H to open the History tab and find the tabs you closed recently. 

Note: These steps don’t work if you’re using Incognito mode.

How to Reopen a Closed Tab in Firefox

Reopening a closed tab on Firefox is pretty straightforward. You can use a keyboard shortcut or the Undo Closed tab feature on the menu bar.

Using a Keyboard Shortcut

  1. On a Windows PC you can use the Ctrl + Shift + T shortcut to reopen closed tabs. 
  2. On a Mac you can use the Command + Shift + T  shortcut to reopen tabs. 

Using the Menu Bar

  1. You can right-click the Firefox menu bar and select Undo closed tab.
  1. Alternatively, select the History tab > Recently closed tabs.
  1. If you want to see your browsing history and choose the tab you want to reopen, select History on your Mac’s menu bar and then select Show All History.

We hope this guide helped you reopen closed tabs on your Windows or Mac. 

If you use Chrome, check out our guide on how to save tabs in the Chrome browser

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/how-to-reopen-a-closed-browser-tab-in-chrome-safari-edge-and-firefox/

How to Reopen a Closed Browser Tab in Chrome, Safari, Edge and Firefox

It is annoying to accidentally close tabs and lose web pages you were browsing if you forgot to bookmark them. 

Thankfully, most, if not all browsers have features that allow you to reopen websites you viewed previously and restore the tabs you just closed by an errant mouse click.

How to Reopen Closed Browser Tabs in Chrome, Safari, Edge and Firefox Browsers

There are several ways you can reopen closed tabs in your web browser. These methods include: 

  • Using keyboard shortcuts
  • Using the built-in Undo closed tab feature
  • Through a hotkey
  • Using a few mouse clicks
  • Checking your browsing history

How to Reopen Closed Tabs in Google Chrome

There are several ways you can reopen closed tabs in Google Chrome, including keyboard shortcuts, the reopen closed tab feature, or using the browser history.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts

You can reopen a closed tab in Chrome using the following  combination of keys. 

  1. On your Windows PC, press Ctrl + Shift + T.
  1. On a Mac, press Command + Shift + T.

Note: If you hit the keyboard shortcut once on your computer, it’ll bring up the last tab you closed. Keep hitting the keys until you get the tab you want. 

Using the Reopen Closed Tab Feature

  1. If you’re using a Windows PC, right-click on the tab menu area and select Reopen Closed Tab. Repeat this step until you reopen the tab you’re looking for.
  1. On a Mac, select File > Reopen Closed Tab

Using Your Browser History

You can go through your browser history and check the sites you visited in the past hour, day, week or month. 

  1. On a Windows PC, select the Chrome menu and then select History.
  1. On a Mac, select History on the menu bar at the top and see your recently closed tabs. You can also select Show full history to see all the websites you visited last or press Command + Y on your Mac’s keyboard.

How to Reopen Closed Tabs in Safari 

On a Mac, you can reopen a closed tab using a keyboard shortcut, the Undo Closed tab feature, or go through your browsing history to find the tab you’re looking for.

Using a keyboard shortcut

Use the following shortcut keys Command + Shift + T  to reopen a closed tab or press Ctrl + Z.

Using the Menu Bar

The menu bar on your Mac offers several features including the Undo Closed Tab feature. 

  1. To access the feature, select Edit > Undo Closed Tab
  1. Alternatively, select History > Recently Closed or History > Reopen Last Closed tab.

Using  the Browser History

  1. Select History in the menu bar and select Show All History.
  1. If you want to see all the windows from your last session, select History > Reopen all Windows from Last Session.

How to Reopen a Closed Tab in Edge

You can reopen closed tabs in the exact order in which you closed them using the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + T

Using the Menu Bar

You can set up the Edge browser to open previously closed tabs each time you launch the browser. This way, you can pick up easily from where you left off. 

  1. Select Menu > Settings
  1. Right-click the Edge menu bar and select Reopen closed tab.

If you want to see your browsing history, press CTRL+H to open the History tab and find the tabs you closed recently. 

Note: These steps don’t work if you’re using Incognito mode.

How to Reopen a Closed Tab in Firefox

Reopening a closed tab on Firefox is pretty straightforward. You can use a keyboard shortcut or the Undo Closed tab feature on the menu bar.

Using a Keyboard Shortcut

  1. On a Windows PC you can use the Ctrl + Shift + T shortcut to reopen closed tabs. 
  2. On a Mac you can use the Command + Shift + T  shortcut to reopen tabs. 

Using the Menu Bar

  1. You can right-click the Firefox menu bar and select Undo closed tab.
  1. Alternatively, select the History tab > Recently closed tabs.
  1. If you want to see your browsing history and choose the tab you want to reopen, select History on your Mac’s menu bar and then select Show All History.

We hope this guide helped you reopen closed tabs on your Windows or Mac. 

If you use Chrome, check out our guide on how to save tabs in the Chrome browser

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/how-to-reopen-a-closed-browser-tab-in-chrome-safari-edge-and-firefox/

Can’t Schedule an Uber in Advance? Here’s What To Do

Uber is a great car hiring service and often a better and cheaper alternative to a taxi. Unlike ordinary taxis, Uber comes with a few handy features, like paying for your rides with free Uber credit or using the app’s delivery service Uber Eats to get food delivered. However, one of the most useful features that Uber offers is its scheduled rides. 

Scheduling an Uber in advance has many benefits, but if you’ve never used Uber before it may prove a little tricky. Learn how to use Scheduled Rides on Uber as well as what to do if it appears that you can’t schedule your ride. 

Why Schedule an Uber in Advance?

If you’ve planned to attend an event or a meeting, scheduling an Uber ride in advance might save you time and worries. The app allows you to schedule a ride whether it is 15 minutes from now or 30 days in advance. 

The Scheduled Ride feature is perfect for when you can’t afford to have anything go wrong. For example, if you have a flight booked and need to be at the airport by a certain time, a scheduled pickup is ideal. If your flight’s in the middle of the night, you might prefer Uber to waking up a friend or a family member to drive you. 

If it’s a work event that you’re attending, scheduling an Uber in advance will help you forget about things like finding space in the parking lot and focus more on the important presentation or meeting that you have ahead. 

How Scheduled Uber Rides Work

*00_scheduling uber ride*

The Scheduled Rides feature allows you to select a 10 minute window when you want the driver to pick you up. You can schedule your ride on the same day or up to 30 days in advance. The price of your ride will differ depending on when you search for it. When scheduling a ride, you’ll get an estimate of what you can expect your future ride to cost and it’ll be locked in after you schedule it. 

When the time window that you selected comes up, Uber will look for a nearby driver on your behalf. Once a driver picks up your request, you’ll get push-notifications about it in the app, same as you would with a regular Uber ride. You can then check the driver’s rating to see how other passengers rate their experience with them. 

You should know, however, that scheduling an Uber in advance doesn’t guarantee you a ride. Uber will send your request at the scheduled time, but there’s still a slight chance there won’t be a driver to accept it. If it happens that you’re not matched with a car, Uber will notify you at the end of your selected time window. 

Why Can’t I Schedule an Uber in Advance?

You should be able to schedule your Uber in advance if you follow the steps from above. If you can’t seem to be able to schedule your ride, use the following tips to identify the problem.

Schedule an Uber Ride More Than 30 Days in Advance 

What went wrong?

Check the current date and the date of your future trip. The problem with scheduling your Uber ride in advance may be that you’re trying to schedule a ride more than 30 days prior to the date when you need the ride. 

What should you do?

Uber doesn’t allow you to schedule a trip if it’s more than 30 days away from today. The solution is to either schedule a trip for an earlier date or wait a couple of days till the desired date becomes available on the app. 

Schedule a Ride From the Airport

What went wrong?

This one’s a little odd, but Uber only allows you to schedule trips TO the airport. For some reason there’s no option to schedule a ride FROM the airport. 

What should you do?

If you’re leaving the airport, your only choice is to request a ride on-demand right from the app. 

The Scheduled Rides Feature Isn’t Available in Your City 

What went wrong?

The feature that allows for ride scheduling is available in most major cities where the app functions. You can check if your city’s on the list using the official Uber website. 

If you’re having issues with the ride scheduling, the reason could be that the feature isn’t available in the pickup area that you chose. Uber will show you an information icon next to the option to schedule your ride if that’s the case. 

What should you do?

Double-check the pickup and dropoff address. If one of them isn’t correct or if you’re flexible on either, you can try changing to a nearby pickup area to see if the option to schedule an Uber becomes available. If both addresses are correct and you can’t schedule a ride, you can request an immediate ride at the time you need it. 

If it’s someone else that you’re trying to arrange an Uber for, you can order a flexible Uber ride. It’s a type of Uber that allows the rider to request the ride when they’re ready. 

Once you book a flexible ride for someone, they’ll receive a text allowing them to request a ride at the time of their choice within the next day. The flexible ride expires at 11:59 on the same day (in the rider’s local time zone). 

Where Is Uber Taking You Next Time?

Ride-sharing apps like Uber or Lyft are great for both daily use, and for special occasions like when you have to plan a trip and schedule your ride in advance. Whether you want to have a worry-free night out with friends, or don’t want to be late on your first day at a new job – scheduling an Uber in advance will help you focus on what matters and leave the rest to Uber. 

Have you used ride scheduling on Uber before? Have you ever had any issues with it? Share your experience with Uber in the comments section below. 

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/cant-schedule-an-uber-in-advance-heres-what-to-do/