Convert a PDF eBook to ePub Format for Your iPad, iPhone, or eReader

Would you like to read a PDF eBook on an eReader or mobile device, but aren’t happy with the performance? Here’s how you can convert your PDFs to the popular ePub format so you can easily read them on any device.
PDFs are a popular format for eBooks since they render the same on any device and can preserve the exact layout of the print book.  However, this benefit is their major disadvantage on mobile devices, as you often have to zoom and pan back and forth to see everything on the page.  ePub files, on the other hand, are an increasingly popular option. They can reflow to fill your screen instead of sticking to a strict layout style.  With the free Calibre program, you can quickly convert your PDF eBooks to ePub format.
Getting Started



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Download the Calibre installer (link below) for your operating system, and install as normal.  Calibre works on recent versions of Windows, OS X, and Linux.  The Calibre installer is very streamlined, so the install process was quite quick.

Calibre is a great application for organizing your eBooks.  It can automatically sort your books by their metadata, and even display their covers in a Coverflow-style viewer.

To add an eBook to your library, simply drag-and-drop the file into the Calibre window, or click Add books at the top.  Here you can choose to add all the books from a folder and more.

Calibre will then add the book(s) to your library, import the associated metadata, and organize them in the catalog.

Convert your Books
Once you’ve imported your books into Calibre, it’s time to convert them to the format you want.  Select the book or books you want to convert, and click Convert E-books.  Select whether you want to convert them individually or bulk convert them.

The convertor window has lots of options, so you can get your ePub book exactly like you want.  You can simply click Ok and go with the defaults, or you can tweak the settings.
Do note that the conversion will only work successfully with PDFs that contain actual text.  Some PDFs are actually images scanned in from the original books; these will appear just like the PDF after the conversion, and won’t be any easier to read.

On the first tab, you’ll notice that Calibre will repopulate most of the metadata fields with info from your PDF.  It will also use the first page of the PDF as the cover.  Edit any of the information that may be incorrect, and add any additional information you want associated with the book.
If you want to convert your eBook to a different format other than ePub, Calibre’s got you covered, too.  On the top right, you can choose to output the converted eBook into a many different file formats, including the Kindle-friendly MOBI format.

One other important settings page is the Structure Detection tab.  Here you can choose to have it remove headers and footers in the converted book, as well as automatically detect chapter breaks.

Click Ok when you’ve finished choosing your settings and Calibre will convert the book.  This may take a few minutes, depending on the size of the PDF.  If the conversion seems to be taking too long, you can click Show job details for more information on the progress.

The conversion usually works good, but we did have one job freeze on us.  When we checked the job details, it indicated that the PDF was copy-protected.  Most PDF eBooks, however, worked fine.

Now, back in the main Calibre window, select your book and save it to disk.  You can choose to save only the EPUB format, or you can select Save to disk to save all formats of the book to your computer.

You can also view the ePub file directly in Calibre’s built-in eBook viewer.  This is the PDF book we converted, and it looks fairly good in the converted format.  It does have some odd line breaks and some misplaced numbers, but on the whole, the converted book is much easier to read, especially on small mobile devices.

Even images get included inline, so you shouldn’t be missing anything from the original eBook.

Conclusion
Calibre makes it simple to read your eBooks in any format you need. It is a project that is in constant development, and updates regularly adding better stability and features.  Whether you want to ready your PDF eBooks on a Sony Reader, Kindle, netbook or Smartphone, your books will now be more accessible than ever.  And with thousands of free PDF eBooks out there, you’ll be sure to always have something to read.
If you’d like some Geeky PDF eBooks, Microsoft Press is offering a number of free PDF eBooks right now.  Check them out at this link (Account Required).
Download the Calibre eBook program

Simple Drag and Drop Video Conversion for Android, iPhone, and PSP with Miro

Are you looking for a way to quickly convert a movie for your iPhone, PSP, or Android device without messing with confusing settings and options? Today, we’ll look at a simple way to convert your video files with Miro Video Converter.
We’ve previously covered how to convert videos to 3GP for mobile phones with Pazera, and today we take a look at how to convert them for several different mobile devices with Miro Video Converter. We’ll be using Windows 7 in our examples, so your screen may look slightly different.
Installation



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Installation is straightforward. You can find the link below.

When you open the Miro Video Converter you’ll notice instantly that the interface could not be much simpler.

Essentially all the instruction you need to use Miro Video Converter are displayed for you on the interface. To begin, just drag and drop your video file onto the designated area or click choose a file to browse for your selection.

Next, select your output or device from the drop down list.

If you select iPhone or one of the other Apple devices, you’ll have the option to Send to iTunes. This will automatically add your video to your iTunes Library when finished.

Then just click Convert.

While your video is being converted, you can track the conversion process on progress bar. Conversion times will vary depending on hardware and file size, but we found converting 700 MB to 1 GB files took between 15-20 minutes.

You final video will be output in the same directory as your original file. Miro will append the chosen format to the output filename. For example, when converting Friday.avi for the Droid, the final output file will be Friday.droid.mp4.

Now just transfer your video to your device and you’re ready to go.

Conclusion
When we first tested Miro Video Converter we found the audio output to be rather poor, but in their latest version (2.4) the audio issues have improved. While Miro gets the job done quick and easy, it’s not without it’s drawbacks. You’re likely to find yourself with a larger file size in exchange for speed and ease of use. In addition, there is no way to process more than one file at a time and you can’t convert directly from a DVD.
Miro Video Converter is available for both Mac and Windows
Download Miro Video Converter

How to Maximize Battery Life on Your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch

So you got yourself a shiny new Apple device, but you’re so addicted that the battery is running out way too soon—what you need is a couple of tips to keep your battery running for as long as possible, and we’ve got them here.
Many of these tips are going to be common sense, and won’t be a surprise to the more geeky readers, but now you’ll have an article you can send to your less geek friends and relatives when they ask you how to improve their battery life. And we’ve got a battery life article for Android too.



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Keep Your iDevice Out of the Sun

Whatever you do, don’t leave your iPhone or iPod sitting in a hot car—heat kills batteries faster than any other factor, and your device that used to keep a charge for hours will eventually barely hold a charge, and you’ll have to pay Apple to get it replaced. The same thing holds true for any really hot environment: try and store your device in a cool place.

Reduce the Screen Brightness

If you keep the screen at maximum brightness all the time, you’re wasting a lot of battery life—and the screens these days are so bright anyway that you don’t really need to, especially at night. Head into Settings -> Brightness & Wallpaper to adjust the default level of brightness, which you can probably keep as low as 30% most of the time.

Make Sure the Screen Locks Quickly

Even if you’ve adjusted the screen brightness, there’s still no substitute for having it turn off quickly when you’re not using it. Head into General -> Auto-Lock to set the screen lock to happen as quickly as your device will let you. This makes a big difference if you are always picking up your phone and putting it back into your pocket without turning the display off.

Use Airplane Mode When You Don’t Need Internet (iPad/iPhone)

If you’re busy spending the next 8 hours playing Angry Birds, there might not be a good reason to have internet access, so you can consider using Airplane Mode, which turns off both Wi-Fi and the regular wireless radio. Of course, this will prevent phone calls if you’re on an iPhone—but if you’re busy with Angry Birds you probably don’t want the interruption anyway.

The more important reason to use Airplane Mode is when you’re mobile in an area with a really spotty connection—because the iPhone or iPad will try to stay connected at all times, it’s going to be constantly searching for a connection, which can drain your battery. Head into Settings and flip the Airplane Mode switch right up at the top of the screen.

Use Wi-Fi Instead of 3G if Possible

According to Apple, the iPad will get 10 hours of battery life under regular use with Wi-Fi enabled, but will only get 9 hours using 3G—the iPhone gets 6 for 3G and 10 for Wi-Fi. Of course, if you’re heavily using the Wi-Fi, you’ll still be draining the battery—the point is under similar workloads, Wi-Fi is better than 3G for battery life.
You can enable Wi-Fi under Settings -> Wi-Fi, and then pick the network you’d like to connect to.

Reduce or Eliminate Mail & Calendar Checking

If you’ve got a bunch of email, calendar, or contact accounts configured, and they are all being checked and downloading email on a regular basis, you’ll be draining the battery an awful lot faster than you need to.
Head into Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> Fetch New Data and change the setting to the least frequent check possible. If you don’t use it often, you can just turn Push off entirely and then manually check when you need to.

Reduce or Eliminate Push Notifications

Do you really need notifications from Twitter or whatever other apps you’re running? You can turn these off one-by-one, or turn off Push entirely by heading into Settings -> Notifications, and save a bit of extra battery life since your device won’t be pulling in data for those applications anymore.

Reduce or Eliminate System Sounds

This one is probably a little silly, but if you really don’t care for the system sounds you can save a small amount of battery life by removing the sounds. A very, very small amount, most likely. Head into Settings -> General -> Sounds to change them.

Disable Location Services

If you don’t really need the location services, you can disable them to save some battery life. Head into Settings -> General and flip the Location Services setting to off.

Disable Bluetooth If You Don’t Need It

If you don’t use a Bluetooth headset or keyboard, you should keep the Bluetooth radio disabled to save some extra battery life. Head into Settings -> General -> Bluetooth to flip it on or off.

Disable Vibrate Feature in Games

If you’ve got a game that uses the vibrate feature, you can turn that off to save some battery life. This mostly matters if the game heavily uses it, and you’ll need to change the setting for the game. As a side note, and it should go without saying, if you’re running really intensive video games, they will kill your battery very quickly.

Charge and Discharge Your Battery Regularly

Your iDevice needs to be fully discharged and recharged at least once a month to operate at maximum efficiency and keep the battery from dying. You’ll also want to make sure that you don’t store the device with a dead battery, as that can also cause the battery to lose charge capability—when your battery dies, make sure to recharge it quickly.


That’s it for our tips—how do you save battery life for your iDevice? Share your experience in the comments.

How to Disable Spotlight’s Web Searches on Mac, iPhone, and iPad

Apple’s Mac OS X and iOS send your Spotlight searches over the Internet to Apple. You then see results from Bing and suggested websites, locations, and media content. You can disable this and keep your searches entirely local, whether you’re using Spotlight on a Mac or iOS device.
If you have Location Services enabled on your Mac or iOS device, your current location will also be sent to Apple when you search via Spotlight. This allows Apple to provide location-specific results. If this bothers you, you could continue using Spotlight’s web search results without sharing your location.

Disable Suggestions and Bing Searches on Mac OS X

RELATED ARTICLELearn How to Use OS X’s Spotlight Search Like a Champ
To change Spotlight settings on Mac OS X, click the Apple menu and select System Preferences. Click the Spotlight icon in the System Preferences window.
Uncheck “Allow Spotlight Suggestions in Spotlight and Look up” at the bottom of the window, and uncheck the “Bing Web Searches” option in the list. After you disable these features, Spotlight will only search local files and other data on your Mac itself. It won’t send your searches over the web to Apple or show you web-based results.
These options affect the Spotlight search feature that appears when you press Command + Space or click the search icon near the right side of the menu bar on the top of your screen.

Disable Suggestions and Bing Searches on iPhone and iPad

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On iOS, open the Settings app, select the General category, and tap Spotlight Search. Uncheck both the “Spotlight Suggestions” and “Bing Web Results” options
These options affect the Spotlight search feature that appears when you swipe down on your iPhone or iPad’s home screen. (On iOS 9, Apple changed the Spotlight feature to appear when you swipe right on the home screen instead of when you swipe down.)

Disable Only Location-Sending on Mac OS X

If you’d like to keep using Spotlight search suggestions, Bing web results, or both without the location-specific data, you can choose to disable Location Services for Spotlight.
To do this on a Mac, open the System Settings app and click the Security & Privacy icon. Click the lock icon here and enter your password. Click over to the Privacy tab, select Location Services, scroll down, click the Details button next to System Services, and uncheck the “Spotlight Suggestions” option. Spotlight won’t be allowed to access your location and send it to Apple anymore.

Disable Only Location-Sending on iPhone and iPad

You can also prevent your iPhone or iPad from sharing your location with Spotlight and thus Apple’s servers. Do this and you’ll still be able to use web search results — but without the location-specific perks.
To access this setting, open the Settings app, select Privacy, and tap Location Services. Scroll down and tap System Services at the bottom of the list of apps with permission to access your location. Disable the “Spotlight Suggestions” option here.


Modern operating systems love sending your system searches over the web and returning search results, and Apple’s are no exception. Windows 10 does this with Cortana, Windows 8.1 does it with Bing, Android does it with Google — even Ubuntu does it.
To be clear, Apple does have a privacy policy, and it states that these searches aren’t stored and logged. But whether you don’t want to trust Apple or you just don’t find these web searches useful or not, the choice of whether to use them is up to you.

10 Tips for Browsing With Chrome on Android, iPhone, and iPad

Chrome is a powerful browser, whether you’re using a desktop PC, smartphone, or tablet. These tips will help you browse faster and take advantage of Chrome’s features on the go.
You can grab Chrome for Android from Google Play if it didn’t come with your device. Chrome is available for iPhone and iPad in Apple’s App Store.



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Swipe Between Tabs

RELATED ARTICLE8 Tips and Tricks for Browsing with Safari on iPad and iPhone
Chrome offers swipe gestures for quickly switching between open tabs. These gestures only work on the Android phone, iPhone, and iPad versions of Chrome, not the Android tablet version.
On an Android phone, place your finger anywhere on Chrome’s toolbar and swipe to the left or right.
On iPhone or iPad, place your finger at the edge of the screen and swipe inwards to move between open tabs. This feature takes the place of the “swipe to go back or forwards” gesture in Safari on iOS.

Use the Tab List – Phones Only

On a phone, touch Chrome’s tab button to view all your open tabs. Tap a tab to switch to it, tap the X button to close a tab, or place your finger on an open tab and swipe to the left or right to close it.  You can quickly close all open tabs by selecting the Close all tabs option in the menu.

Double Tap to Smart Zoom

Chrome has a “smart zoom” feature that allows you to double-tap anywhere on a web page and zoom in. For example, if you’re viewing a desktop website and the main content column is tiny, double-tap on it and Chrome will intelligently zoom in to that part of the page. The column you double-tapped will take up the entire width of your display.
Note that this feature will only work on sites designed for desktop browsers. Google disabled the smart zoom feature on mobile-optimized websites to speed things up. Of course, standard pinch-to-zoom gestures also work in Chrome.

Quickly Select a Menu Option – Android Only

When using a menu in most Android applications, you’d tap the menu button, wait for the menu to appear, and then tap the menu option you want to select. Chrome offers a faster method. Touch the menu button, move your finger downwards until it’s over a menu option, and then lift your finger from the screen. This allows you to select a menu option in a single motion.

Google Voice Search

You can get easy access to Google Voice Search from anywhere in Chrome. On a tablet, just tap the microphone icon in the address bar. On a phone, tap the address bar, tap the X, and then tap the microphone icon that appears. You can speak a search, say a website address, or ask a question from here.

Request Desktop Site

To request the desktop version of a website in Chrome, tap the menu button and select Request Desktop Site. Chrome will pretend to be a desktop browser.

Open Tab and Browser Data Sync

RELATED ARTICLEHow to Sync Your Browser Data in Any Browser and Access it Anywhere
Chrome syncs your open tabs and other browser data between your devices when you log in with a Google account. This is particularly useful if you use Chrome on your laptop, smartphone, and tablet — you’ll always see your open tabs on your other devices so you can easily pick up where you left off. To view your open tabs, either visit Chrome’s new tab page and tap the Other Devices option at the bottom-right corner of the page or tap the menu button and select Other devices.

Enable Preloading and Bandwidth Reductions

Chrome can save time and bandwidth with its preloading and bandwidth-reducing features. Preloading is on by default and makes Chrome automatically fetch the web page it thinks you will load next. For example, if you’re reading a five-page article on you get to the end of the second page, Chrome will fetch the third page before you tap the link, so the page will load much faster when you do. By default, this feature is only enabled on Wi-Fi to avoid wasting precious mobile data.
RELATED ARTICLEHow to Reduce Data Usage When Browsing the Web on a Smartphone
If you enable the Reduce Data Usage feature, web pages you load will be routed through Google’s servers and compressed before they reach you. This will reduce your bandwidth usage — something that’s important if you have a limited amount of mobile data you want to conserve.
To configure these features, tap the menu button, tap Settings, and select Bandwidth management on Android or Bandwidth on iPhone or iPad.

Google Cloud Print

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Chrome is integrated with Google Cloud Print on all platforms. Tap the menu button and tap Print to print to any of your Google Cloud Print-enabled printers. if you don’t have a printer that supports this feature, you can install Chrome on a desktop computer and make any printer accessible over Google Cloud Print.
On iPhone and iPad, Chrome also supports Apple’s AirPrint — but Google Cloud Print allows you to make any printer accessible from your smartphone or tablet.

Flags

RELATED ARTICLEHow To Get Access to Experimental Features on Your Chromebook (or Just in Chrome)
The desktop version of Chrome contains hidden experimental features, as does the Android version. Type chrome://flags into Chrome’s address bar to access these features. You’ll find more new features in Chrome Beta for Android, and you can find more hidden Chrome pages by typing chrome://chrome-urls into your address bar.
Note that this feature is unavailable on iPhone and iPad. Chrome is essentially just a different interface for Safari on these platforms.
You shouldn’t change any of these settings unless you know what you’re doing.


If you’re using Chrome on a jailbroken iPhone or iPad, you can use third-party software to make Chrome your default browser and enable the speedy Nitro JavaScript engine reserved only for Safari.
Image Credit: Kārlis Dambrāns on Flickr (edited)

How to Stream Live TV from an Xbox One to a Windows PC, iPhone, or Android Phone

Set up your Xbox One’s TV integration and you can do more than just watch TV on your Xbox: you can also stream that live TV from your Xbox to a Windows 10 PC, Windows phone, iPhone, iPad, or Android device over your home network.
There are two catches: First, this feature only works over your home network, so you can’t stream TV over the internet. Second, this only works with over-the-air TV, so you can’t stream live TV from a cable or satellite box. Windows 10’s Xbox-to-PC streaming initially offered this feature, but it was quickly removed. There are probably copyright and licensing concerns getting in the way.



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How to Stream TV to a Windows 10 PC

RELATED ARTICLEHow to Stream Live TV from an Xbox One to a Windows PC, iPhone, or Android Phone
Use the Xbox app on Windows 10 to stream live TV to your PC, just like you’d use it to stream Xbox One games to your PC.
To do this, open the Xbox app on your Windows PC. Click the “Connect” icon near the bottom-left corner of the window and connect to your Xbox One if you aren’t already connected. Your PC should scan your local network for your Xbox One and quickly find it.

Click the “Stream” icon at the top of this pane to start streaming from your Xbox One. If you’re already watching TV on your Xbox One, the TV stream will immediately start playing on your computer. You can use the controls at the top of the window to control playback and switch between windows like you normally can with other Windows applications.

If your Xbox One isn’t already playing TV, you can use an Xbox One controller connected to your PC to launch the OneGuide app, which will allow you to watch TV. You can switch between channels and control playback with that Xbox One controller, just as you can on a TV.

How to Stream TV to an iPhone, iPad, or Android Phone

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You can also stream TV to a mobile device–iPhone, iPad, Android phone, or even Windows Phone–using the Xbox One SmartGlass app. Install the app from Apple’s App Store, Google Play, or the Windows Phone store depending on the device you’re using.
Open the Xbox One SmartGlass app on your device and sign in with your Microsoft account. After you do, your device will detect the Xbox One console on your current network. Select your Xbox One and connect to it.

To watch TV, just tap the “TV” tile in the SmartGlass app. You can then tap “Watch TV” and watch TV on your device, switching between channels, pausing, rewinding, and fast forwarding live TV
If you have your Xbox One on, it will continue playing live TV on your TV while also streaming it to your phone, so you can watch the same TV stream in multiple places.


You can also use the Xbox One SmartGlass app as a remote control. Open the OneGuide section in the app and you can see what’s playing and switch between channels on your TV.

Use Voice Dictation to Save Time on Android, iPhone, and iPad

Touch-screen keyboards can be slow, especially on phones with small screens. To enter text more naturally, you can use your phone or tablet’s voice dictation feature. Just speak — punctuation included — and your device will convert what you say to text.
This works in other languages than English. In fact, it can even be more useful with non-English languages. For example, you can speak a language that requires accents or a larger alphabet of characters to save time over tapping them in.



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Android

To use voice dictation on Android, open any app and bring up a keyboard by tapping in a text field you want to type in. Tap the microphone icon at the bottom-left corner of your keyboard.

Just start speaking to use voice dictation. Android will insert the words as you speak them.
Bear in mind that it won’t automatically insert punctuation for you. You’ll need to speak the punctuation mark you want to use. For example, if you’d like to type “I’m good. How are you doing?”, you’d need to speak the words “I’m good period how are you doing question mark.”
Here are the handful of voice dictation commands that work on Android:

  • Punctuation: Period (.), comma (,), question mark (?), exclamation or exclamation point (!)
  • Line spacing: Enter or new line, new paragraph

Unfortunately, Android’s list of voice dictation commands is very limited compared to the comprehensive set available on iPhone and iPad.

RELATED ARTICLE5 Android Keyboard Replacements to Help You Type Faster
Android’s voice dictation is good for conversational messages, such as text messages, searches, emails, tweets, and quick notes. Attempt to use it for documents with complex formatting or symbols and you’ll have some problems. There’s no voice command to go back and delete a word, so you’d have to tap the Delete button or go back and edit your text afterwards.
We used the Google Keyboard here, but you can install other keyboards on Android to get different voice dictation engines. For example, the Swype keyboard includes integrated Dragon Dictation features.



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iPhone and iPad

On an iPhone or iPad, bring up the keyboard in any app and tap the microphone icon to the left of the space bar to start using voice dictation. Because it interprets your voice, Apple refers to this feature as part of Siri.

You’ll see a Siri prompt and you can start speaking immediately. Words won’t appear as you speak. Instead, you’ll need to speak  your message and then tap Done. After you do, the words you spoke will appear in the text field.
Just as with Android, Siri won’t automatically insert punctuation marks. To enter “Hello, how are you? I’m doing well.” you’d have to speak the words “Hello comma how are you question mark I’m doing well period.”
Here are the voice dictation commands that work on an iPhone or iPad. We tried to arrange them in a quick list you can easily skim, but you can also find the list in longer form on Apple’s website:

  • Punctuation: Apostrophe (‘), open bracket ([) and close bracket (]), open parenthesis (() and close parenthesis ()) open brace ({) and close brace (}), open angle bracket (<) and close angle bracket (>), colon (:), comma (,), dash (-), ellipsis or dot dot dot (…), exclamation mark (!), hyphen (–), period or point or dot or full stop (.), question mark (?), quote and end quote (“), begin single quote and end single quote (‘), semicolon (;)
  • Typography: Ampersand (&), asterisk (*), at sign (@), backslash (\), forward slash (/), caret (^), center dot (·), large center dot (•), degree sign (°), hashtag or pound sign (#), percent sign (%), underscore (_), vertical bar (|).
  • Currency: Dollar sign ($), cent sign (¢), pound sterling sign (£), euro sign (€), yen sign (¥)
  • Emoticons: Cross-eyed laughing face (XD), frowny face (:-(), smiley face (:-)), winky face (;-))
  • Intellectual property: Copyright sign (©), registered sign (®), trademark sign (™)
  • Math: Equals sign (=), greater than sign (>), less than sign (<), minus sign (-), multiplication sign (x), plus sign (+)
  • Line spacing: new line, new paragraph, tab key

iOS also gives you much more control over formatting:

  • Say numeral or roman numeral and speak a number. For example, if you say “nine,” it will appear as 9 or IX.
  • Say no space on, say something, and then say no space off. For example, if you say “hello how are you,” your words would appear as “hellohowareyou”.
  • Say caps on, say something, and say caps off. The words you spoke will appear in Title Case.
  • Say all caps on, say something, and then say all caps off. The words you spoke will appear in ALL CAPS.
  • Say all caps and say a word — the next word you speak will appear in ALL CAPS.

Compared to Android, iOS offers much more fine-grained control over voice dictation. However, there’s still no “backspace”, “delete”, or “undo” command that you can speak to undo any mistakes you make while speaking. You’ll have to go and edit your message afterwards to perform any corrections.


Remember that speaking clearly is very important. Obviously, voice dictation will work best in a quiet room and very poorly on a noisy street.

How to Record Gameplay on Your Android Phone, iPhone, or iPad

Windows 10, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One all have integrated ways to record your gameplay and post clips online. Now, Android devices, iPhones, and iPads are gaining integrated ways to capture videos of mobile gameplay and post it to YouTube or elsewhere.
These solutions also allow you to capture your voice with your microphone and — in the case of Android — capture your face with the front-facing camera. It’s not just a video of the gameplay itself.



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Android

RELATED ARTICLEHow to Record PC Gameplay With Windows 10’s Game DVR and Game Bar
This is now easily possible thanks to an update to the Google Play Games app on Android. Initially, Google is only enabling this feature in the US and the UK.
To use it, open the “Google Play Games” app installed on your Android device — you can get it from Google Play if you don’t have it yet. Launch it, select “My Games” in the menu, and tap the “Installed” tab to see the games you have installed.

Select the game you want to record and tap the red record button next to the green play button. If you don’t see this button yet, Google likely hasn’t enabled this feature in your location yet.

You’ll be able to choose whether you want to record your gameplay in 720p HD or 480p SD resolutions. The resulting video will be saved in the “Screencasts” folder on your device, and you’ll see it on your photo gallery.

The game will launch, and you’ll see your face — an image from the front-facing camera — appear in the bottom-left corner of your screen along with three buttons. Touch and drag your face to move it around. The buttons allow you to enable or disable your microphone and the front-facing camera. The red record button allows you to start or stop recording. When recording, everything on your screen — including incoming notifications — will be recorded.
To hide the buttons, tap the image of your face once. To close the recording feature, long-press the image of your face, drag it to the “X” in the center of your screen, and drop it there.
Once you’re done recording, you can upload or share the video like you would any other.

RELATED ARTICLEHow to Record Your Android Device’s Screen With Android 4.4 KitKat
In the future, Google will also allow game developers to integrate this into their games so you can won’t have to visit the Google Play Games app to start recording.
On Android 4.4 and later, it’s also possible to connect your phone to your computer with a USB cable and record your screen in that way. However, the Google Play Games solution should be much easier.



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iPhone and iPad

Apple took a different approach here. iOS 9 includes a new framework named “ReplayKit” which allows game developers to integrate recording features into their apps. However, game developers have to integrate this feature into their apps. You can’t just launch it and start recording the video from any game.
In any game that supports it, you can tap the “Record” button and you’ll be able to choose whether you just want to record the screen or whether you also want to capture audio from your microphone. This button will look different and be in a different place in any game.
RELATED ARTICLEHow to Record a Video of Your iPhone or iPad’s Screen From Your Mac
If you’d like to record a game that doesn’t offer this feature, you can do it — assuming you have a Mac. Connect your iPhone or iPad to the Mac using its included USB cable and you’ll be able to record its screen, including mobile gameplay, while it’s connected to that computer. This requires QuickTime on a modern Mac running OS X 10.10 Yosemite.
This obviously requires a bit more work, but it’s the only solution for games that don’t support ReplayKit.


None of these solutions allow you to live-stream your gameplay to Twitch.tv, YouTube Gaming or similar services yet. But these features are just now appearing on mobile devices, so live-streaming options may arrive in the future.
Image Credit: Karlis Dambrans on Flickr

How to Print From an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch

If the paperless office isn’t here for you yet, you can print from your iPad or iPhone. Sure, you can’t directly connect a printer to your iPad, but there are plenty of ways to print wirelessly.
This doesn’t mean old wired USB printers are left out — if you have a wired printer, you can still print to it from your iPad or iPhone after connecting it to a Windows PC or Mac.



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AirPrint

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AirPrint is the Apple-approved wireless printing standard. It’s integrated into Apple’s iOS, so it’s easy to print to AirPrint-enabled printers from an iPad or iPhone.
To use AirPrint, you’ll have to buy a wireless printer that’s advertised as supporting AirPrint. If you’re interested in turning an old printer into an AirPrint-enabled printer, you can try turning any printer into an AirPrint-enabled printer. Bear in mind that this isn’t officially supported by Apple, so it may not work perfectly.
A quick search on Amazon shows that AirPrint-enabled printers can be had for as little as $60. Buy one of these printers and go through its setup process to connect to your Wi-Fi network. When your iPad and an AirPrint printer are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, your iPad will automatically detect the printer. When you select the Print option in an app — like the Safari web browser, for example — you’ll be able to choose from a list of automatically detected AirPrint printers and print to them. There’s no tedious setup process, accounts, or printer drivers required.
AirPrint-enabled printers don’t just work with Apple devices. They also function as Wi-Fi printers so you can print to them from a Windows or Linux PC. Some AirPrint-enabled printers may include Google Cloud Print support, too.

Google Cloud Print

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Google Cloud Print is Google’s wireless printing solution. It takes a little bit more work to set up because it requires a Google account, but it has other advantages. With Google Cloud Print, you could print to your printer over the Internet — so you could print to a printer at home when you’re out and about. Google Cloud Print isn’t integrated as nicely into Apple’s iOS, but you can print to Google Cloud Print-enabled printers from the Chrome browser app.
To use Google Cloud Print, you’ll first need to set it up on your printer. If you have a Google Cloud Print-enabled printer, you can set this up directly on your printer — your printer connects to Wi-Fi, talks to Google’s servers, and becomes associated with your Google account. If you have an older printer, you’ll have to set it up through a Windows PC or Mac. Once you’ve got everything set up, you can tap Chrome menu button, tap Print, and select Google Cloud Print.
To set up Google Cloud Print on an older computer, connect it to the older computer and install the Chrome browser. Go through the Google Cloud Print setup process in Chrome to associate the printer with your Google account. You’ll now be able to print to the printer from Chrome on your iPad when the computer is running and Chrome is open. The Chrome app sends your request to Google’s servers, which send it to the Chrome browser on the PC, which sends it to the printer.
If you want to other types of documents to a Google Cloud Print-enabled printer, you may want to try PrintCentral Pro. Google advertises this paid app on their official list of apps that work with Google Cloud Print.

Manufacturer-Specific Printing Apps

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Printer manufacturers generally provide their own apps so people who buy their wireless printers can easily print from iPads, iPhones, and even Android devices. If you have a wireless printer that doesn’t support AirPrint or Google Cloud Print, you may want to give your printer manufacture’s app a try.
Open the App Store and do a search for the name of your printer manufacturer to find the appropriate app. You’ll find official apps like HP ePrint, Samsung Mobile Print, Canon Mobile Printing, Epson iPrint and Lexmark Mobile Printing. There are even some unofficial apps you can choose from. These apps generally let you open a variety of different files — web pages, photos, documents, and other things — and print them from within the app. Different apps have different features, and some manufacturers’ apps will work better than others.


That’s it; you can now print web pages, photos, emails, and other documents from your iPad. But try not to print too much — that printer ink is expensive.
Image Credit: Danny Sullivan on Flickr