Whether you're calling the unemployment office, a popular radio contest, or any other phone line that gets super busy, having to recall the number manually is a pain. Whatever you do, however, don't punch in the same digits over again and again — our smartphones can help do it for us, saving our time (and sanity).
Snapchat popularized personalized stickers for social media and messaging with Bitmoji, followed by walled-garden versions from Apple with Memojis and Samsung with AR Emojis. Even Google has gotten into the game, integrating an emoji generator for Gboard.
How To: These Auto-Redial Apps Can Call Busy Phone Lines Over & Over Again for You Until You Get Through
Busy phone lines are nothing new. Just ask any radio station that holds a viral call-in contest. These days, however, the most active lines around aren't so fun — your state's unemployment office is receiving record-shattering numbers of calls, making it extremely challenging for you to get through. However, there are apps out there that can help you break through the noise.
Google Meet might not have virtual backgrounds like Zoom, but it hits all of the other basics, from hosting many multiples of video participants to sharing your screen, that you'd expect from a robust video conferencing platform.
Android 10 added the framework for OS-wide chat bubbles, a feature popularized by Facebook Messenger. The new system allows you to interact with incoming messages as if you were in the app — all without having to leave your current app. In Android 11, this feature is finally activated.
News: Google Expands AR Effects in Duo to Video Calling for iPhone & Android in Time for Mother's Day
Over the past few months, Google has prioritized the development of its video communications products as the demand for social distancing solutions continues to increase in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
When using Group FaceTime with more than a handful of people, all of those participants in one chat can be difficult to follow. That's why Apple automatically enlarges the tiles for people who are currently speaking, bringing them into the forefront. However, all of that zooming in and out can get pretty distracting, and now there's a way to disable it whenever you need to.
The "Zoombombing" trend is still strong on the Zoom video meetings service, despite security measures Zoom put in place to stop it. That's why it's up to you, as either a host or co-host, to be proactive about preventing Zoombomber harassment, as well as stopping it whenever it slips through the cracks.
Although Telegram wasn't able to make our roundup for the best encrypted messaging app, it's my go-to for group messaging thanks to its ever-expanding list of features. The app even makes jumping into group chats fun and easy by allowing you to set a home screen shortcut for your favorite Telegram threads.
It's open season on Zoom, the video conferencing platform that has grown in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic but has come under fire due to privacy issues.
How To: Redial Busy Numbers Automatically on Your iPhone So You Don't Have to Keep Calling & Calling Manually
Even under normal circumstances, it's almost impossible to speak to a representative for a government agency or company in just one try. Many systems will put you on hold for long periods or ask to call you back when someone is available, but there are still some out there that just give you the busy signal over and over again. In those cases, there's a jailbreak tweak that can help.
How To: Organize Messages on Your iPhone by Grouping Threads Together into Specific Categories Like Family & Work
There's not much to the Messages app for iPhone when it comes to finding the right conversations. It did get some enhanced search capabilities in iOS 13, but beyond that, there's no good way to find the threads you need aside from just scrolling through the main page, which lists newer ones first. However, there is a tweak that gives you the power to group like-minded chats together.
With Avatar, Facebook's personalized stickers for use on its social and messaging platforms, those who aren't on Facebook or have otherwise dumped the social network may feel left out.
Ever since Microsoft sunset Windows Phone, they've been working with Android to tap into the growing mobile device market. The tech giant has uploaded over 80 apps to the Play Store for any Android user to download, but some features Samsung has hoarded for themselves.
As more and more people use the video conferencing service Zoom, the chances of trolling behavior and attacks only increase. But it's not just "Zoombombers" you need to worry about. A heated discussion between family, friends, or colleagues could turn sideways real quick, and sometimes the best course of action is to remove the participant from the group video meeting altogether.
During a meeting in real life, you could ask non-essentials to exit the room temporarily so that you can speak to just a few privately, but now that conferences exist online, it requires a bit more finesse. You could start a new video call on Zoom or remove individual participants, but that makes it hard for those who left to join again. But there is a feature where you can just put some users on hold.
If you're using or need to use Zoom, the popular video teleconferencing service, you've almost certainly heard about "Zoombombing" by now. While Zoom has been adding security measures to address the problem, there are other things you can do to prevent or stop Zoombombers in their tracks so that your video meetings and chats go undisturbed and uninterrupted.
The response to the COVID-19 pandemic means that social distancing has become the new normal. It also means that more Americans are using video conferencing to connect with colleagues working from home or friends and family in quarantine because of the new coronavirus.
As a meeting host on Zoom, you can't control what a participant does during your live video call, but you do have the power to turn off their camera so that other people aren't subjected to distractions. So if you catch someone in your call purposely making obscene gestures or accidentally exposing themselves while using the bathroom, you can block their camera, as long as you know how.
How To: Bypass Zoom's Attention Tracking Feature So Your Boss or Professor Can't Tell You're Slacking Off
When you're stuck working or learning from home, video meetings can help you stay connected to employers, coworkers, schools, students, and more. And Zoom is the hottest video conferencing service at the moment. While Zoom is easy to use, it does have a fair share of sketchy features you should know about, such as attendee attention tracking.