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How to Send Free SMS Texts From a PC Using Android Messages

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Apps for texting from your PC like MightyText and Pushbullet always come up when discussing ways to send SMS messages from your PC. But they tend to limit your monthly texts unless you pay for a costly Pro subscription. Pulse, one of the best alternative apps to SMS text messaging, lets you text from your PC but it costs a few dollars per year.

Thankfully, Google has updated it Messages app to finally include free and unlimited texting from your PC. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Make sure you’ve updated to the latest version of Android Messages and open it on your phone.

    It’s pre-installed on many devices, but you can download it from the Play Store if you don’t have it. You’ll also need to set it as your default SMS app for full functionality.

  2. Tap the three-dot Menu in the upper-right corner of Messages and choose Messages for web. If you don’t see this yet, you’ll need to wait for the update to roll out to you.
  3. Open Google’s Messages for Web page on your computer’s browser (it won’t work with internet Explorer).
  4. If you want to stay signed in, enable the Remember this device slider.

    Then tap Scan QR code on your phone, and use your device’s camera to scan the code on your PC screen.

  5. Once it completes, your latest conversations will appear on your PC. Google says that they’re encrypted and cached in your browser. If you don’t access this for 14 days, Google will automatically sign you out for security.
  6. If you want to use a dark theme on the website, open Menu > Settings > Enable dark theme.

You can pair with multiple computers, but only your current one will be active at a time.

And since this goes through your phone, it won’t work when your phone is off. For convenience, you can use Chrome to create a pseudo-app for this on your PC. While on the Messages page, go to Menu > More tools > Create shortcut.

Give it a name and check Open as window to add a link to it on your Taskbar. Then you can access your messages in a dedicated window. If you’re not tied to SMS texting, check out the best messaging apps that work on both your phone and computer 7 Messaging Apps You Can Use on Your Phone or Computer 7 Messaging Apps You Can Use on Your Phone or Computer Want to send messages from both your phone and your computer?

Grab one of these options to continue the conversation wherever you go! Read More .

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How to Vlog with an iPhone + 4 Must Read Tips

If you are serious about vlogging, a dedicated vlogging camera is an incredibly useful investment for high-quality, stable video to impress your audience. But sometimes you just don’t have the time or resources to purchase a separate camera just for your vlog. Fortunately, your iPhone is probably always by your side, and smartphones can help you create a vlog.

We don’t exactly suggest using a smartphone for your videos if you have any other option, but today’s iPhone cameras and video settings are powerful enough to record usable footage in a pinch. Let’s talk about what you should focus on.

Find the Right Apps

You may want to choose a new video app for your work. You could certainly use the native video function on the iPhone camera.

However, this may not produce great video in all circumstances, and these cameras can sometimes struggle to properly capture faces without making them look…weird. A better alternative is to download an app that makes the absolute best of the iPhone camera functions, such as Filmic. Such apps provide a suite of tools for adjusting the picture, tracking action, adjusting frame rates, and much more.

One of these video and editing apps is basically required if you want your video to look professional. However, you will have to spend time learning the app and its controls to gain confidence, so don’t be afraid to experiment with new software. If you really don’t want to download and learn a new app, we suggest you move the video over to a Mac and work with iMovie to edit it when you are finished.

Read Next: http://www.gadgetreview.com/reviews/digital-cameras/vlogging/best/under-300/

Add Some Accessories to Your iPhone When Vlogging

A few accessories can make your iPhone video look professional. If you are going to be using your iPhone for the foreseeable future, then you should really invest in a few extra accessories that can make a world of difference. For example, an iPhone-based tripod is required for many types of vlogging, and advanced versions can grip to bars or branches for outside work.

You may also want to consider an iPhone-compatible mini directional microphone. Audio can be particularly tricky for an iPhone, but you want crystal clear audio for posting a vlog, so this is tricky territory. A mini mic may be an expensive investment, but it can solve a lot of your audio problems, especially if you’re in a noisier environment.

There are plenty of other accessories you can consider too, such as a waterproof case, or specially-made lenses that fit over your iPhone. Find the right indispensable accessories, and you will be surprised at what your iPhone can do.

Tips When Beginning Vlogging

How to Vlog with an iPhone + 4 Must Read Tips

Think about how you want to present your video! Remember to use landscape mode: Landscape mode – holding the phone horizontally – has become basic video courtesy in today’s mobile streaming world. Essentially, portrait mode’s weird formatting isn’t very compatible with online posting techniques and leads to visual issues, so landscape video is a must.

Plus, those accessories we mentioned before are usually designed to work in landscape mode, not portrait (yes, you do see some teen YouTubers taking video in portrait mode, but they literally don’t know what they’re doing, so don’t worry about that). Always enable image stabilization: One issue that smartphone encounter with longer videos is that they are very sensitive to movement, which means the video can jostle and shake even when you think you are standing still. Image stabilization solves this issue.

You should always make sure that image stabilization options are enabled in any video app that you use – even if you are also using a tripod, and especially if you are moving around. Lighting is important: There’s not much you can do with an iPhone to control lighting. However, you can move around very easily and find new camera angles.

It’s a good idea to find the angles that cast the most light on your subject. Because smartphones can be a little weird in how they register light, this may require repositioning. Yes, a selfie stick can be very useful: Selfie sticks are common in vlogging because they allow you to get the camera at just the right distance from your face to make it look normal instead of that annoying close-up bloated look that smartphones sometimes show (and include other people in the video more easily).

Also, you can move around with a selfie stick while still providing some extra stabilization for your shot.

How to Vlog with an iPhone + 4 Must Read Tips

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Instagram Launches IGTV to Rival YouTube

With 1 billion users now under its belt, Instagram has launched IGTV. Literally Instagram TV. This is the next stage of Instagram’s evolution, and an obvious attempt to compete with YouTube 10 Video Sites That Are Better Than YouTube 10 Video Sites That Are Better Than YouTube Here are 10 great alternatives to YouTube, although the “better than” is obviously open to debate… Read More .

And given Instagram’s meteoric rise, they may just pull it off. There have been rumors for weeks that Instagram was planning to move in on YouTube’s territory. And so it came to pass, with Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom unveiling IGTV at an event in San Francisco.

And here’s what you need to know about IGTV…

What Is Instagram TV?

As detailed on the Instagram Blog, IGTV is Instagram’s take on YouTube, albeit with some differences. IGTV is a new app full of longform video from Instagram creators. And, as well as the standalone app, IGTV content will be available on Instagram itself.

The most obvious difference between IGTV and YouTube is that videos will all be presented vertically. Which, for a generation used to watching everything horizontally, will take some getting used to. Still, it makes sense on smartphones.

On Instagram, videos are limited to just one minute. However, IGTV ups that limit to one hour. Initially, only popular creators will be able to upload videos of that length, but over time Instagram plans to roll the option out to anyone and everyone.

Introducing IGTV, a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators. https://t.co/7aSMmmAsyB pic.twitter.com/Py8QI1rS23

— Instagram (@instagram) June 20, 2018

Unlike YouTube, IGTV will start playing videos as soon as you open the app. In other words, Instagram has designed IGTV to be more like traditional TV, presenting content they think you’re going to enjoy without you having to search for it. You do have the option to browse though, with sections named “For You,” “Following,” “Popular,” and “Continue Watching”.

Each creator will have their own channel too, and that includes you if you decide to upload your own IGTV videos.

IGTV Is Taking Over

IGTV is available to download on Android and on iOS right now. And even if you don’t want to install the standalone app there is an IGTV button you can click in the regular Instagram app. So you’re not going to be able to avoid Instagram TV.

If you’re an avid user you probably think you know all there is to know about Instagram. However, just in case, we have compiled a list of Instagram tricks you probably don’t know about 10 Instagram Tricks You Didn’t Know Existed 10 Instagram Tricks You Didn’t Know Existed Instagram is constantly evolving and updating, and things change quickly. Let’s find a few more cool hacks to rock the photo-based social network! Read More , and a list of tricks to help you get more Instagram followers 8 Tricks to Get More Real Instagram Followers 8 Tricks to Get More Real Instagram Followers There are plenty of tips and tricks for getting noticed on Instagram.

Here are some of the best. Read More .

Image Credit: Instagram

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