Published

on

Being able to take your ECG is usually something that must be done at a hospital. But with the Apple Watch Series 4, you can do it from the comfort of your own home. While it can not detect heart disease or a heart attack, this pre-test is a good way to stay on top of your health. Here’s how to take your ECG on your Apple Watch.

Apps

Creative hacks to improve your Instagram Stories

Using only Instagram and native phone apps

Published

on

Instagram has become an outlet for a lot of creatives over the years. It’s evolved from a platform where we share mundane photos of food and moods to hyper-curated grids — until Instagram Stories was introduced, that is. If you’re one of those people who barely post anything other than stories, here are some easy and not-so-simple ways on how they can look better so you can tell your stories better:

Use the native camera app

Photos taken with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10’s wide angle camera, ultra-wide angle camera, and night mode

Most phones released in 2019 now have at least two different cameras — a combination of wide angle and telephoto, or wide angle and ultra-wide angle. Some even have up to three or four in total. Take advantage of these lenses by taking your photos on the native camera app instead of going straight to Instagram. By using an ultra-wide angle lens you can fit more in your shot without walking several steps backwards. If your phone has a built-in night mode, your low light shots will also turn out much better when you take them using the camera app instead of  Instagram’s camera.


“Wrap” your caption around shapes

If your caption is a bit long, get creative by wrapping them around your subject’s shape. If you have a photo of food or coffee for example, you can type the letters one by one around the plate or cup.

Apply your video camera’s built-in filters

Smartphone cameras are getting more and more features each year. On the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 for example, there’s a feature called Live Focus Video where you get a TV glitch filter. This adds a retro, vaporwave aesthetic to your videos without having to install a third party app.

Add doodles

Make your subject pop by doodling around it. You can add dots, lines, hearts, stars, or broken lines around it — whatever you can think of! Doodles can also add a better narrative to your story than captions when Spider-Man appears out of nowhere for instance.

Animate your captions 

By simply adding small GIFs like stars around your caption, or integrating word GIFs into your caption can make it look like it’s animated. If you have a Samsung Galaxy Note 10, you can also get animated handwriting with the S  Pen using the phone’s native editor whether that’s on a photo or a video.

“Mask” your subject 

Another way to make your subject stand out is by “masking” lines or handwriting behind it. Simply write over your subject using any of the pen shapes, then erase parts of the lines or handwriting to make it seem like it appears over and under the subject.

Mix fonts with your handwriting

Instagram’s font selection may be limited but doesn’t mean your imagination should be. Pick any font to write your caption with — ideally anything but Neon — then pick one word to replace with your handwriting. You can also play around with tracking by simply adding spaces in between letters.

The trick in making your Instagram Stories look better is to not overshare and not overdo any of the effects. Just because you can add GIFs doesn’t mean you should plaster the entire screen with them. While it should feel more raw than your posts, be more purposeful in what you share — always try tell a story whether you’re sharing a photo or a video. It’s called Instagram Stories for a reason.

How do you make your Stories different? Share your tips with us in the comments section below.

Continue Reading

Singapore

Smartphone photography 101: How to take slice of life photos

Aim for a variety and tell a story

Published

on

Whether you want to capture random mundane activities or annual festivities like National Day, making sure you tell a story with your photos is important. There are so many ways to snap slice-of-life images, no matter which platform they’re made for — the challenge is to make each photo interesting.

Here are some tips from actual photographers on how you can take pro-looking photos of everyday life using just an iPhone. The best camera, after all, is the one that you have with you at all times:


Use the horizon as your guide

When it comes to photographing buildings, Darren Soh says to keep your iPhone level to the horizon. There’s no shame in taking a few seconds to frame your shot so the building remains straight in your photos as in real life.

Aim for variety

No matter how mundane, a picture is worth a thousand words. Franz Navarrete says to ask yourself before tapping that shutter: “What’s the story I want to tell?” Spontaneity is fun but when time allows for it, plan and research the place you’re going to to give you a sense of what you should be looking for. Make an effort to explore and walk a lot the unbeaten path — go to the alleys and climb those stairs.

Use long exposure

Shot on iPhone XS Max, Melissa Patrice (@girleatworld)

Live Photo isn’t just for taking moving Harry Potter-like photos. When you swipe up on any Live Photo, you’ll see a variety of effects including long exposure. Melissa Patrice says you will want to be as steady as possible when taking photos with long exposure as the intension. A tripod will help, but if you don’t have one, she says you can find a stable surface to rest your phone on while taking the photo. Keep in mind that this effect works really well only when you have a steady subject and a lot of movement in the background.

Hold your breath

Shot on iPhone XR, Jason Lim (@jsnjnr)

This is one of the most underrated and least talked about trick, even in videography. If you don’t have a tripod, Jason Lim suggests holding your breath when taking a photo to keep your phone steady and make sure the photo is sharp.

Use portrait mode

Shot on iPhone XS Max, Ivan Kuek (@phonenomenon)

We’ve talked about using portrait mode sparingly before, and that applies here as well. Ivan Kuek says the trick for making it work is to look for good lighting. Framing your shot with a foreground or background that relates to your subject also helps tell a more meaningful story.

Clean your lens

This is another underrated and overlooked step when taking photos. Franz Navarrete reminds users to make sure you wipe the lens of your phone with soft fabrics, like a microfiber cloth to clear off dusts and smudges.

Do you have tips in taking slice of life photos? Share them with us in the comments below!

Continue Reading

Features

8 do’s and don’ts when your iPhone gets stolen

Learn how to protect yourself even after

Published

on

It’s alarming how thieves are getting smarter. They won’t simply steal your phone, they’ll even try to phish information and hijack your important accounts. Even though we try our best to safeguard our valuables by being careful and using anti-theft accessories, bad things still happen.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind if your iPhone gets stolen, because we can and should still protect ourselves after the incident:


Do: Find your iPhone via Find my iPhone

Now that you’ve snapped out of your emotions, borrow someone’s iPhone to use the Find my iPhone feature, or log in here. When you’ve finally located it, lock your phone and delete your data.

Don’t: Click on any link requiring your credentials

According to a study by Trend Micro, thieves take advantage of your heightened emotions to take over your devices. These criminals know you’ll locate your iPhone and lock it through the Find my iPhone feature. This is why they’ll send an email or SMS message to notify you that your device has been recovered. Some messages look official Apple messages, so you’ll click the link and access your account to get your phone back. I mean, who wouldn’t, right?

Which is why you need to avoid clicking a link that requires your credentials. When you log in, the criminals get your details and will use it to compromise your account, and unlock your stolen iPhone. Now that’s a surefire way of saying goodbye to your phone

Do: Report your loss and file a police report

When your iPhone gets stolen, head to the nearest precinct and file a police report so officers can help catch the criminal. It can also serve as proof when you file an insurance claim. Additionally, remember to call your carrier so they can disconnect service to your stolen phone, preventing any unauthorized cellular usage. If it’s a company-issued phone, notify your employer immediately.

Don’t: Breakdown

I know, it’s devastating to get your beloved phone stolen. After all, we’re talking about pretty much our whole lives being taken away. From our social media accounts that let us stay connected, photos that remind us of our favorite travels, work — basically, everything we need in our lives.

However, getting on an emotional rollercoaster won’t get you your phone back. Making a step towards recovering it will do.

Do: Remove your debit and credit card information

Your utmost priority is to remove all information concerning your finances. There are a lot of cases surrounding thieves using someone’s credit card, simply because your whole billing information is saved either via Apple Pay or other payment methods.

Don’t let them mess with your personal life even more. Here’s how you can remove your billing information using iCloud.

Don’t: Try to recover it yourself

If you were able to locate your iPhone, there’s a hundred percent chance you’ll go to where it is and find it. This is a recipe for disaster and you should avoid doing this risk at all costs. Get help from a police officer, even though you think they won’t be of much help. Notify them about the latest update on your stolen device, especially the person who took your report.

Do: Change your passwords immediately

When you’re not panicking anymore, don’t just wait for help to magically appear. The stars won’t align to return your phone to you. Start changing your passwords on all your accounts to prevent them from getting hacked. If you have a password manager, that’ll make everything easier. If not, then you have to go through a tedious process of changing everything that you can remember.

Don’t: Erase your iPhone from your Apple ID

If you’re still hoping to get your iPhone back, don’t ever do this. Erasing your iPhone won’t let you track your stolen phone anymore using the Find my iPhone feature. Unless you’ve given up hope, then by all means just do it.

If your previous attempts to recover your iPhone seem futile and everything else fails, you can just cry. But don’t forget to alert your friends, families, colleagues and other people you need to inform. We might not be able to stop these thieves, but we can outsmart them and make their stolen iPhones useless. Looking at the silver lining, sometimes when we lose phones (or people) it’s because something better is coming.

Continue Reading

Trending