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It doesn’t matter the way you organize your stuff around the house, you never seem to be able to find anything at the time you need it. And it’s even more difficult to find something you put away months ago, such as your Christmas lights, Halloween decorations, or anything specific that you don’t use every day. Thankfully, Cortana can now also help you to keep tabs of things.
Cortana on Windows 10 is your personal digital assistant that can perform an array of tasks, and while most people use it to get weather and traffic information, track packages, create appointment reminders, you can also use the assistant to keep tabs of things you put away around the house.
In this Windows 10 guide, you’ll learn the steps to use Cortana to always remember where you left your stuff using specific settings when creating reminders.Cortana photo reminders can help you keep tabs of whatever
While Cortana always included the feature to create reminders, starting with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, the assistant introduces a few new improvements, including the ability to skip date and time and add a picture to reminders.
These new options can help you to create specific reminders that you can use to track anything around the house. For example, for things that you don’t use every day, you can simply create a picture reminder.
If you want to be reminded where you left something (e.g., Halloween decorations or Christmas lights) months from now, you can create a picture reminder with a date and time, so Cortana can let you know as the holidays approach.
In addition, thanks to Cortana cross platform ability, you don’t need to carry around your laptop or webcam to take a picture. You can actually use the Cortana app on your tablet, Windows 10 Mobile, Android, and iOS device to create photo reminders.How to create Cortana photo reminders to track whatever around the house
To track things around the house, so you can later recall where you left them, do the following:
Type or say the following command example to create a photo reminder: “Set a reminder: Christmas lights are in the garage, in the red plastic box.” Like in the example, make sure to clearly note the name of the object and location.
Select Camera from the list.
Take a picture where you’re putting away the stuff.
Quick Tip: You can use natural language and say something like: “Remind me a month before Christmas to get the Christmas lights out the garage closet.” This voice command will create a reminder with your note, and with the specific date and time.
Once you completed the task, you can forget about it, and let Cortana to remind you. Or you can open the app and use this voice command: “Show me Christmas lights reminders”, which will bring up all the results with the specific information you wrote and even a picture to make things a lot easier.
Remember that you can always type your commands instead of using voice. These are only examples to get you started, you can actually use natural language and set Cortana reminders quickly for anything you want to track.
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Thanks to the wonders of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, getting your tunes pumping in every room of the house no longer has to be a complicated or expensive process. If you want home-filling audio, you’ve got a variety of choices when it comes to hardware and technology—and we’ll lay them out here.
This is not an exhaustive list, but these are some of the most popular and least expensive options worth considering. You’ve also got the option to combine some of these speaker setups together, so you don’t need to feel locked into one system or provider.Sonos Play speakers
Sonos has been setting the standard for wireless speakers. Sonos
Sonos is generally considered to be the gold standard in terms of wireless home audio, offering a range of excellent-sounding speakers that can work independently or as a group. What makes Sonos systems such a breeze to use is that these speakers connect directly to your router and the web—they’re always ready to play, so they don’t require a tedious connection process every time you want to play some tracks.
That said, the music is controlled via apps on your phone or computer, but you can seamlessly jump between them as needed. Supporting music services include Spotify, Google Play Music, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer, Microsoft Groove and many more. It can also play music you’ve got stored on your computers, phones or tablets as well.
To add to the appeal, the Sonos app lets you associate speakers with the rooms they’re in, so you can seamlessly pick up your listening as you move from the kitchen to the living room, or have different tunes playing in different bedrooms. Sonos systems are simple to set up and sound great, but the tradeoff comes in the high price tags, which can push the cost of whole-house setup well over $1,000.
Sonos Play speakers start at $199.Bose SoundTouch speakers
Bose SoundTouch offers similar features to the Sonos range. Bose
Bose has its own Sonos rival in the form of the SoundTouch speaker system, and a lot of the features are the same across the two platforms. The Bose kit can tap into services such as Spotify, Deezer and Amazon Music straight from the web, but (unlike Sonos) the speakers can also be connected to via Bluetooth if that’s what you prefer. That’s a plus if you have guests over who want to stream music from their devices.
The SoundTouch apps are available for computers and mobile devices, like the Sonos ones, and again you can assign your speakers to separate rooms and have different playlists on the go in each. All of the products in the SoundTouch lineup can be controlled through the app and integrated into a system, so expanding your audio arsenal in the future is straightforward, albeit a little on the pricey side.
Bose includes separate remotes with the SoundTouch speakers and the larger ones can operate independently too by connecting up to online radio stations. You can even add some SoundTouch smarts to your existing speakers with the SoundTouch Wireless Link adapter, which plugs straight into any speaker with an optical, RCA or AUX port available.
Bose SoundTouch speakers start at $199.95.Google Home and Google Cast
Google Home gives you wireless audio and a smart assistant. Google
It’s fair to say that Google Home is a smart speaker first and a music speaker second, but the audio it pumps out is pretty decent, if not quite up to the level of Sonos and Bose. Google Home comes with Google Cast built-in, which is Google’s Chromecast-style tech for wirelessly beaming audio from phone apps and other sources to compatible speakers.
That means you can either ask the Google Assistant directly to play you some music, or cast it across through the apps for Google Play Music, Spotify, Deezer, Plex, TuneIn and many more. Of course the Google Assistant can read out your calendar and warn you about the traffic as well, so it’s a more versatile solution than the Sonos and Bose options.
It largely depends if you value audio quality or a smart assistant more. Bluetooth support has just been added to Google Home to give you another option, as has multi-user support, and if you buy more than one Google Home speaker you can set them up in different rooms with different playlists streaming, or join speakers together as a group.
The Google Home costs $129 direct from Google.Amazon Echo
The Echo can stream music over the web or via Bluetooth. Amazon
Like Google Home, the Amazon Echo gives you a trade-off: The audio quality isn’t as top-notch as it is on other products (though it’s not bad), but you do have a smart assistant to talk to with a list of commands that runs into the thousands. You also have the option of buying an Echo Dot to add some extra smarts to the speakers you’ve already got installed.
In terms of music support, the big ones that the Echo works with directly (via an Alexa command) are Spotify, TuneIn and of course Amazon Music. However, as the Echo is equipped with Bluetooth, you can basically stream audio from any app on your phone or tablet to the Echo. It’s not the most elegant of solutions, but it works perfectly well.
Unfortunately you don’t get true multi-room support with the Echo, the kind where you can group Echos together or associate them with a room. That said, nothing is stopping you from buying several Echos and sticking them in different rooms — it’s just that you don’t get any house-wide syncing or organizing, though that could feasibly be a feature that’s added later.
The original Amazon Echo costs $179.99 direct from Amazon.Apple HomePod and AirPlay
The Apple HomePod ships in December. Apple
The Apple HomePod is the newcomer to the party, and as it doesn’t launch until December 2023 we can’t tell you much about it except what Apple has told us. On paper, it looks like a stylish mix of Sonos-style audio quality and a built-in smart assistant app, though it’s priced to match—the starting cost is significantly higher when compared with rival devices.
The HomePod can adjust its sound output to the room and position it’s been placed in, and can automatically link to another HomePod in the same room, Apple promises. On top of that, the new generation of Apple’s wireless audio technology, AirPlay 2, lets you listen through multiple HomePods in multiple rooms, if you’ve got the cash to afford several.
This being Apple though, the HomePod only works with Apple Music, and you’ve got no Bluetooth streaming to fall back on either. If you only use Apple-compatible kit then the HomePod and AirPlay 2 (and indeed AirPlay 1) will be a great solution for multi-room streaming, but everyone else is likely to find the music restrictions rather limiting.
The HomePod will cost $349 direct from Apple.
Cortana and Google Now/Google Assistant are battling it out for the wooden spoon of virtual AI assistants. Neither has quite the A-list status of Siri, which by way of being first past the post and, admittedly, being more responsive to your everyday needs, is at the head of the pack.
But Android users can’t have Siri, so we may as well move on. What we can have now is Microsoft’s virtual assistant based on that blue lady in the Halo games, Cortana.
Here’s how to get your hands on it as well as reasons why you’d want it instead of Google Now, Assistant, or whatever they want us to call it these days …How to Replace the Google App with Cortana
To properly put Cortana through its paces on Android, you should set it as your default voice assistant for a bit just so you can get a feel for it in day-to-day use. To do this, first install the Cortana app from the Play Store.
Once you’ve done that, there are a couple of ways to go about the next bit. The simplest approach, which may not work for everyone, is to long-tap the Home button on your Android device to bring up Google voice search.
If, however, your Home button doesn’t automatically go to your voice assistant, then you should make the Search Assistant the default action when you double-tap (or maybe long-press) your Home button.
Once you’ve done that, double-tap or long-press the Home button and select Cortana as the default search assistant.How Good Is Cortana vs. Google Now?
Cortana on Android still feels like a work in progress, which is fair enough considering Google’s option has been dominating Android devices for years while poor Cortana has had to turn up on Google’s doorstep after the resounding failure of Windows Phone.
Once you’re in Cortana, it has a very similar feel to Google Now, though it won’t be able to draw on your Google search history to get an idea of what kind of stuff you’re interested in. (You’ll need to use Bing for that.)
Cortana’s well integrated with certain Android apps, and if you ask it to send an email, navigate to places, or add something to your calendar, it will generally use the default app for those functions.
However, at this point it’s not quite as robust as Google Assistant, and be prepared for more specific questions to redirect you to Bing’s search results instead of giving you the answer you want straight away.Conclusion
Cortana is definitely worth a try if you fancy a change of scene, and it has some interesting features in the pipeline, such as the option to access it directly from your Android lockscreen. It also has several unique features of its own, such as ‘My Day’ which shows you information that it thinks is relevant to planning the day ahead, as well as the abilities to tell you a joke and sing you a song!
Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.
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iPhone generations 5 and above automatically track your steps via the built-in accelerometer. The results are generally accurate since we almost always have our phones with us everywhere we go.
Step count, staircases climbed, and walking plus running distance are shown in the built-in Health app. If you’re wondering how to track steps with your iPhone (and where to see this data,) this guide is for you. Let’s jump in.
Enable Motion & Fitness tracking with iPhone
By default, it’s enabled. However, if your iPhone isn’t displaying your steps or if you’ve disabled it, here’s how to turn it back on.
Open Settings and tap Privacy.
Tap Motion & Fitness.
Enable Fitness Tracking.
Now let’s take a look at how to view your step count in the Health app.
How to track steps on iPhone using the Health app
As we mentioned earlier, your iPhone starts counting steps automatically; you don’t have to do anything special (as long as Motion & Fitness tracking is on). If you’ve been using your iPhone for a while, you likely already have step count data in the Health app. Here’s how to see it.
Open the Health app. (white app icon with a red heart).
Now, tap Steps, and you’ll see your step count for the day. Tap W (week), M (month), or Y (year) to see more data. You can also scroll down to see other highlights.
Tip: Another simple method (especially for less technically inclined family members) is to use a third-party app called Pedometer ++. This app takes your Motion & Fitness data and displays it in the easiest way possible.
If you use an Apple Watch, the steps it tracks are also shown in Health under the same heading.
How to manually add step count to the Health app
Suppose you venture out for your usual morning walk when you realize you left your iPhone behind. If you have another way to track your steps for the walk, you can manually enter your step count so that the record is maintained. Here’s how:
Open the Health app and tap Summary (We have already added Steps as favorite. So, it will show here. Otherwise, tap Browse » Activity.)
Fill in the step count and the correct date and time.
Fun Fact: There’s a herculean limit to how many steps you can enter in one go: 90,000 steps (yes, ninety thousand)!
Q. How does iPhone health app fake steps?
You can add fake steps to your health app. The number may look good for boasting on social media, but it serves no real purpose. To fake steps, open the iPhone Health app » under Summary tap Steps » Add Data » type the steps and tap Add.
Q. How can I get 10000 steps without leaving the house?
You may be able to track your iPhone into thinking you are walking by performing exercises likes shadow boxing, skipping, dancing, etc.
Q. How many steps per day is active?
According to reports, more than 10000 steps per day are considered to be ‘active.’ 7500 to less than 10000 steps are considered somewhat active, and anything below this is low active. Once the number falls below 5000 steps per day, it qualifies as a sedentary lifestyle!
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I have been an Apple user for over seven years now. At iGeeksBlog, I love creating how-tos and troubleshooting guides that help people do more with their iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods, and Apple Watch. In my free time, I like to watch stand up comedy videos, tech documentaries, news debates, and political speeches.
You can easily spend between $100 and $200 on a Wi-Fi digital photo frame, but these often have clunky interfaces for syncing photos and the displays can be quite poor. A better solution may be repurposing an old iPad or putting your current iPad in photo frame mode for special occasions.
Apple used to include a handy photo slideshow button on the iPad lock screen years ago, but this feature was abandoned with iOS 7 and later. While I’d love to see this feature return in the future, it’s possible to create a Wi-Fi digital photo frame mode for your iPad using built-in features in iOS today.
My setup uses the 2024 9.7-inch iPad Pro running the latest version of iOS 11, but this guide should work with any modern iPad running a recent version of iOS. Follow these steps and you can update your wireless digital photo frame easily from your iPhone or Mac too. You can also ensure no one can take your iPad out of photo frame mode without your permission. Here’s how:
Enable iCloud Photo Sharing (Settings → Photos → iCloud Photo Sharing) which is a free feature that lets you create albums that sync with iCloud between devices and can be shared with other iCloud users.
Create a new Shared Album (Photos → Shared → + in top left corner) and give it a name like Photo Frame. You can optionally invite other iCloud users if you want others to add their photos to the photo frame slideshow, then tap Create and your new album is ready for adding photos.
Add photos to your new shared album (Photos → Shared → Photo Frame → +) from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac using the same iCloud account with iCloud Photo Sharing enabled from the Photos app. You can even add multiple photos at the same time (Photos → Select in top right corner → Tap photos you want → Tap Share button in bottom right corner → Tap iCloud Photo Sharing from colored icon picker → select Photo Frame from Shared Album picker → Tap Post).
Disable Auto-Lock if you want to prevent your iPad display from turning off automatically (Settings → Display & Brightness → Auto-Lock → Never); you can still turn off the display with the sleep wake button when Guided Access is not active.
Optionally turn off volume, enable Silent Mode, and turn on Do Not Disturb from Control Center if you want to avoid any interruptions. You can add videos to your shared album so volume control will affect audio playback (but not Siri volume which is separate).
Lastly, you need your iPad to remain connected to a power source to pull this off. The 12-watt or higher power adapter and Lightning cable will work just fine. For a cleaner setup, I’m using the Logitech Base stand which charges iPad Pro with the Smart Connector, but only because I already own it (it’s a bit pricey to add just for this purpose).
Setting this experience up manually does require a bit of work to get started, but adding to and maintaining the experience thereafter is quite easy. I would love to see the Photos app have a similar mode built-in, but for now these iOS features make it totally possible with a little upfront work.
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There are all sorts of reasons why you may want to convert a photo into a PDF on your iPhone or iPad. Maybe you want to turn images into a portable document format for seamless documentation or enhanced compatibility. Or maybe, you love to use different annotation tools to give a creative touch to your memories. Whatever be the reason, it’s easy to convert pictures into PDF files on your iPhone. Let me show you how it’s done the right way.Four Ways to Convert Photo to PDF on iPhone (2024)
Even though the stock photos app lacks a built-in image to PDF converter, there are a few reliable methods to get the job done efficiently. What’s more, if you wish to have a bit more flexibility, there are some handy free image to PDF converters on iOS that also let you choose the margin, page size, and orientation before converting the pictures. As to which method you should choose, it all comes down to your convenience and requirement.Method 1: Use Files App to Convert Any Photo to PDF on iOS
Apple Files app is versatile when it comes to performing different tasks. And guess what, it’s also well-equipped to let you turn an image into a PDF document with ease. So what’s the catch? As long as your images are in the file manager app, you can turn them into portable document formats without any hassle. To do that, follow the steps below:
1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad and head over to the image you want to convert into a PDF file. Now, if you want to turn a single image into a portable document format, select it and hit the Share button at the bottom left corner.
2. Now, open the Files app and navigate to the location where you saved the image. Then, long-press on the image and choose the Create PDF option in the context menu.
3. If you wish to convert multiple images into PDFs at once, tap on the three-dot menu button at the top right. Then, choose Select and pick all the images you want to convert into a PDF file.
Once you have selected the images, tap on the three-dot ‘More’ button at the bottom right corner of the screen and choose the Create PDF option in the context menu. You can then use one of these best PDF editor apps to further edit or annotate your pictures.Method 2: Turn a Photo into PDF File Using Printer Option on iPhone
Interestingly, you can also use the built-in printer option to convert an image into a PDF file on your iOS or iPadOS device. Follow the steps below to learn how it works:
2. Now, pinch out (using your fingers) on the photo preview to turn the image into a PDF file. Yeah, that’s what you have to do to convert the image into a PDF. It’s that easy. Once the image has been converted, tap on the Share button and share it via iMessage, your favorite messaging app, email, or save it to the Files app depending on your needs.Method 3: Use Apple Books App to Convert Picture into PDF File
Another reliable way to convert any picture into a PDF file is to use the Apple Books app. The best part? The Books app makes the entire process dead simple as you have to do nothing but save the images. Whether you want to turn a single image into PDF or convert several photos into PDFs, the app works pretty well in getting the task done.
1. To get going, open the Photos app on your iPhone/ iPad and select the image(s) you want to convert to a portable document format. Then, tap on the Share button at the bottom left corner of the screen.
2. Now, select the Books app in the share sheet. If you don’t see the Books app in the share sheet, tap on the More button (three dots icon) after swiping left on the list of apps and choose the Books app.Method 4: Use Third-Party Image to PDF Converters on iPhone and iPad
Having tried a few image to PDF converters, I found a couple of apps that are more efficient in converting images to PDF files on iOS. These are:
Photo to PDF Converter and Scanner (Free), and
Photos PDF: Scanner Converter (Free, $4.99 for full version)
The process of converting pictures into PDFs using these apps is similar and rather easy. For the purpose of this tutorial, we will demo the steps using the PDF Converter and Scanner.
1. Open the PDF Converter and Scanner app on your iOS device. After that, tap on the Photo tab at the bottom of the screen and select the image. Once you have selected the images, tap on Done at the top right corner of the screen.
2. Now, tap on the ‘Next‘ button at the top right corner of the screen. After that, choose the desired margin, orientation, and size. Then, hit Done at the top right corner of the screen and save the file to the desired location.Easily Convert Images to PDF Files on iOS and iPadOS
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