Smartphone Apps of the month
Windows Window's 10 Creator update
The Thursday class is studying the enhancements from Windows 10 update. There are many useful and improved tools to work with other devices. I was curious how difficult it would be to pair my laptop with my Bluetooth headset after learning this feature is one of the updates. I have been using my LG phone headset to pair to my smartphone to listen to radio stations and my music. But never thought to attempt to connect my headset to my computer.
I found it is simple. If I chose to listen to music with my headset while working on my computer I can. With the Groove Music App I can listen to all my music.
To make this work, from Action Center >All Settings> Bluetooth and other devices. Click the + plus symbol to Add Blue Tooth device. Make sure your device is on and discoverable.
Once you have connected to your Bluetooth device, you can use Music Groove or File Explorer to play your music. Here is an example of playing music from File Explorer. Once you choose the music by highlighting it, right click anywhere in that frame to select Cast to device.
Night light feature. This softer light emanating from my monitor is so refreshing to me. It is the warmer colors lets me star at the monitor longer. Which is great for my spreadsheet input.
Microsoft update addresses these concerns in Creators Update with Night Light (Windows Settings > Night light settings). This feature warms the color temperature of the screen to make it appear more orange than blue. Try it. You will be amazed how reading for a length of time with warmer colors on your screen is life changing.
You can set Night Light to trigger automatically at sunset until sunrise or manually set the hours. Just be aware that you might want to deactivate this setting if you’re editing photos after sunset.
Note: Bluetooth with Android phone.
I was able to connect my Android phone to my computer. Use the same process above, and with your Android change your settings to in the Network > Settings>Share and Connect > Media Server to be turned on. Check mark all the files types you want to share. The surprise is your phone access is just your Messages, Music and Photos. It is much like using DLN with your TV. It does not mirror you phone aka an AppleTV or Google Chromcast device. But the bad news is, it reset my computer sound settings. I had to reset them to find my computer speakers.
Google Backup and Sync
If you are a Google photo user- On a computer, to access Google Photos you go to the website Photos.Google.com. To see your library of photos, you click on the Photos button. If there are images in your photo library that you’d rather not see in your main stream of memories, you can “Archive” them. For example, if you don’t want to see your screenshots mixed in with your photos. Select the photos to be archived, then click the 3-dot menu in upper right and choose Archive. Think of it like a back room for your images. To see those archived images, click the 3-line menu in upper left and choose Archives. These will stay there, they will not be deleted, they are just out of sight in the main library.
If you have pictures on your computer and you want them to be uploaded to your google photos – you used to use an app called Google Photos Backup or Desktop Uploader. That is gone and it has been replaced with “Backup and Sync.” To get Backup and Sync, go to photos.google.com, click the 3-line menu and at the bottom find App Downloads.
Once it’s installed there are settings. It will automatically upload all files in your Desktop, Documents, and Pictures sections of your computer. That’s great if you want ALL the photos on your computer uploaded, but if not – or if you’ve already uploaded them, you may get lots of duplicates, and you may just be overwhelmed with the number of photos you get. We recommend unchecking the boxes for Desktop, Documents, and Pictures. Then click the Choose Folder button and specify one folder where you will put the photos you want uploaded automatically. This can even be on an attached USB drive.
What’s a Widget? Episode 31
They are little apps that give you access to frequently used features of a main app. You must have the main app installed in order to get the widget
A YouTube video link explaining Widgets
Google Widget -Drive Scan
Create a PDF file automatically with this Android widget. It works with Google Drive, so this must be activated by you already.
Find the widget as Drive Scan, in the D’s . To be demonstrated in class in the App of the Week segment.
A YouTube video link explaining use of Google Drive Widget to Scan and create PDF files.
THE VIRTUAL CHROMEBOOK MEETUP
Chromebook runs the free Chrome OS, and once you log into your Google account you'll access all your on-line stuff. Because Chromebooks stay in sync with all your Android phones and tablets, you can pick up where you left off. Check out this group to see how others are using Chrombooks.
Link to website information
Windows 10 advice and tips
I’m often asked where do I find information to build on my computer skills. Here is one of those resources I have signed up for their newsletter. I get a weekly email with the latest link to their blog updates. On this site, I find all sorts of help for learning and using Windows 10.
You may have updated already to this version of Windows. It’s easy to recognize the change if you did. The addition Settings >Notifications & actions has added Night Light to the action center. The Settings panel has added Projecting to this PC. So you can connect to your PC screen from your Windows phone and also use a other devices like a keyboard, or mouse.