Productivity & Shortcuts

How To: The Trick That Lets You Link to Specific Start Times in YouTube Videos Right from Your Phone

The desktop version of YouTube, meaning the one you access on your computer, lets you add a timestamp to any video you're watching in just a few clicks. When you share the link or need to reference it later yourself, the timestamp makes the video start at the point specified, not the beginning. Unfortunately, tacking on timestamps from YouTube's mobile app is impossible — but there are workarounds.

How To: Do This to Make Siri Use Deezer for Music & Podcasts Instead of Apple's Apps

With its emphasis on well-rounded audible entertainment, Deezer gives all music and podcast fans the best of both worlds. As great as the app is, it's inconvenient to constantly tell Siri to play your music and podcasts through Deezer so that it doesn't default to Apple Music or Apple Podcasts instead. But as of iOS 14.5, you can set Deezer as your iPhone's "default" music player for Siri.

How To: Lock All Your Incognito Tabs in Google Chrome Behind Face ID or Touch ID to Make Them Even More Private

There are a plethora of reasons to use incognito mode in Google Chrome. In many cases, you simply don't want other people snooping through your browsing tabs. But all it takes for someone to access your private Chrome tabs is to grab your iPhone when unlocked. To fix that, Google is currently working on a security setting that lets you lock incognito tabs behind Face ID or Touch ID.

How To: Get Siri to Remember Pandora as Your Preferred Music Player in iOS 14.5

If Pandora is your primary music app on your iPhone, you know it can be frustrating to use with Siri. The digital assistant always wants to use Apple Music instead, so you need to specify that you want to play through Pandora with almost every request. That's now a thing of the past because iOS 14.5 allows you to set Pandora as your Siri's preferred music player.

How To: The Easiest Way to Secretly Record Someone's Conversation with Your iPhone

Your iPhone is a fantastic, easy-to-use tool for recording audio, but it's not as simple to secretly record conversations. Apple's Voice Memos app is great for taking audio notes and recording meetings, lectures, and other talks to reference later, but doing it without being noticed is tough unless you know the hidden shortcut.

How To: Download TikTok Videos Without Watermarks on Your iPhone

TikTok has grown to be one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. The video-sharing app is a driving force for viral content, spurring various popular movements in dance, pranks, comedy, and more. And as one might assume, videos on TikTok don't stay on TikTok — they're shared on Instagram, Twitter, and other services where millions of people get the chance to also view them.

How To: Remove the Calendar & Weather Widget from Your Pixel's Home Screen

Google's "At A Glance" widget gives you the current weather conditions and upcoming events from your Google Calendar in a handy spot right at the top of your home screen. But on Pixel phones, this widget is permanently embedded into the launcher, so you can't just long-press it to remove it.

How To: Auto-Remove Annoying Tracking Codes in URLs You Share from Your iPhone to Get Cleaner Links

URL tracking codes: you'll see them on almost every link you copy online to share with friends and followers. It could be tens or hundreds of extra characters appended to the end of a URL, which websites and marketers use to tell how you got to the link in the first place. These excess tracking tokens not only make the links you share look sloppy and spammy — they could even invade your privacy.

How To: Make Your iPhone's Portrait Orientation Lock Change Automatically Whenever You Open & Close Specific Apps

I always keep my iPhone's Portrait Orientation Lock on so that my screen doesn't randomly rotate while I'm lying down. However, there are certain apps that I do turn it off for. It's kind of a pain since you have to swipe down the Control Center and toggle the orientation lock — but that ends now. Instead of doing it manually, a new iOS update can automate app orientations for you.

How To: Take a Screenshot on Your iPhone Without the Annoying Thumbnail Preview Showing Up

Since iOS 11, a thumbnail preview appears on your iPhone whenever you take a screenshot. It's useful for access to quick sharing options and editing tools, but you can't disable the preview image. You can wait for it to disappear or swipe it off-screen, but that's as good as it gets — until now. In an iOS 14 update, there's an option to disable the screenshot preview — only you won't find it in Settings.

How To: Quickly Generate a Strong Password on Your iPhone When iCloud Keychain Won't Work

Apple's password manager, iCloud Keychain, lets you securely save important login credentials for apps, websites, and services that sync up across all of your Apple devices — iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac. One of its biggest highlights is that it can create strong passwords for you. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work, and in those cases, there are other ways to generate random, strong passwords.

How To: Sort Reminders Lists by Title, Due Date, Creation Date, Priority & More on Your iPhone

You use your iPhone's Reminders app to keep track of everything from grocery lists to the day's most important tasks. Over recent iOS updates, Apple has added tools to Reminders to make it even more powerful, like assigning tasks to other people and setting location-based reminders. Now there's another great update, and it gives you the ability to sort your lists.

How To: This Is Absolutely the Fastest, Most Convenient Way to Toggle Your iPhone's Flashlight On & Off (Hint: It's No Button)

It's easier than ever to toggle your iPhone's flashlight (or torch) on and off. From your lock screen, home screen, or from within any app, most iPhone models will let you enable or disable the flashlight from the Control Center, via the Notification Center, or with Siri. But there's an even faster and more convenient way to trigger the flashlight button, and you don't even have to look at your iPhone to use it.

How To: You Can Run Shortcuts Right from Your iPhone's Lock Screen & Here Are 6 Ways to Do It

Shortcuts are meant to make your life easier, and iPhone shortcuts are no exception. They can use different triggers, manual or automated, to perform actions in the background, allowing you to do things like send a prewritten text message during a bad date or change your wallpaper at certain times of the day. However, sometimes it's not only about the shortcut itself but about how fast you can run it.

How To: Stop Your iPhone from Automatically Sharing Audio to Your HomePod or HomePod Mini

Pushing music from your iPhone to your HomePod or HomePod mini by just moving the devices close to each other is certainly a great party trick. But if Handoff is too easily triggered, you might not think it's worth the wow factor. Thankfully, there's an easy way to stop your iPhone from sharing audio to your HomePod or HomePod mini (and vice versa) if you're finding it happens way too often.