How To Identify Any Plant With Just A Photo Of It

Accidentally touching poison oak or poison ivy was a popular story line used by sitcoms two decades ago. It might have been funny but it also made it obvious that some plants can be dangerous for you. Plants are basically awesome until they try to kill you or your pet but a dangerous plant is rarely something we know about until it's too late. PlantNet is an iOS and Android app that lets you identify any plant with just a photo. It's a great way to not just make sure plants in your home are safe for you, your kids, and your pets but also a good way to learn about the flora in your community. Read More

How To Download A Chrome Extension As A CRX File

Chrome Extension Downloader
Chrome's Web Store has a large number of apps and extensions that range from productive to simple fun. The Chrome Web Store is awesome but it doesn't offer you any way to download extensions or apps without installing them. When you click 'Add to Chrome' the extension or app in question will download and install with no intermediate steps involved where you can stop the installation from happening. What this leads to is users unable to back up an extension in case it become unavailable later on. At best, they can backup the folders of a particular extension in their profile, or just backup the entire profile. Meet Chrome Extension Downloader. It's a simple web app that lets you download any Chrome app or extension. You need to be able to access an app's Chrome Web Store page or have access to the app/extension's ID. Read More

How To Enable GameDVR On Windows 10 On An Unsupported System

The Xbox app on Windows 10 has a pretty amazing little feature that lets users screenshot games or record game play. It can even be used to record your screen but oddly enough, the feature is tied to hardware i.e. the graphics card installed on your system. If the card isn't the right series GameDVR simply won't work. This is odd since recording your screen is something people have  been doing for ages and there are countless apps that let you do just this. If you have a system that doesn't have a supported graphics card, or the graphics card is supported but Windows 10 still tells you GameDVR won't work on your system, then you need to give GameDVR_Config a try. It's a little configurations file that makes it so GameDVR will work on Windows 10 even if the graphics card isn't compatible. Read More

How To Enable/Disable Adaptive Brightness In Windows 10

Adaptive brightness retroactively adjusts the brightness of your screen according the light around you. It's one of those features on our smartphones we like to take for granted. Adaptive Brightness will dim or brighten the display according to the light in your surroundings. This ensures the display is neither too bright nor too dark no matter where you. Windows 10 has an adaptive brightness feature that works on laptops with an ambient light sensor built into them. Depending on your power plan, adaptive brightness may or may not be enabled on your system. Here's how you can enable/disable it. Read More

How To Set The Windows 10 Spotlight Image As The Desktop Background

Say what you will about Bing as a search engine but the images it displays on your Windows 10 lock screen are simply breath taking. The wallpapers that come packaged with Windows 10 aren't as gorgeous as the Windows 10 Spotlight images and you get a fresh one every day. Unfortunately the images aren't credited and you don't know who captured the stunning landscape or even what place it is. This makes it difficult to track the photo down, save it to your hard drive, and set it as the desktop background. The good news is, it doesn't have to hard and in truth you don't need to search for the image because it's already on your disk. All you have to do is find it, rename it a bit, and then set it as the desktop background. Here's how. Read More

How To Upload A 360° Photo To Facebook

Facebook has long supported 360° videos and it's no secret that the company is vested in virtual reality. With 360° videos, you couldn't get in on the action much unless you had the right device to record one. Most users were left to watch them while not being able to record their own. Facebook has just rolled out 360° photos which lets you get in on some of the action. The feature takes photos captured as panoramas and uploads them in a 360° view-able format. Your friends can pan around the image like they can with videos and look around. Previously, Facebook treated panoramic photos like it did all others. Here's how to upload one. Read More

How To Check If Your Internet Connection Is Fast Enough For Gaming & Netflix

Internet Speed Test
If you have to download a very large file the best way to do it is to let it happen overnight. Not only will you get maximum speed because everyone is asleep, but also you won't have to stop everything you're doing just to get the download to finish faster. The same trick obviously can't be used when you want to play a game or watch Netflix. Not only do you need more than just a reasonably high download speed to play games smoothly but you also need low latency. A lot of online internet speed testing services check the latency of your internet connection in addition to its upload and download speed but SourceForge has a new internet speed checking tool that makes sense out of those figures and tells you if your connection is suitable for gaming and watching Netlix, Hulu, or streaming live to Twitch. Read More

How To Open A Google Docs File From A Home Screen Shortcut [iOS]

Productivity apps are rarely worth using unless they have smartphones apps to accompany their web or desktop interfaces. Google Docs is no different; it's an incredibly awesome way to collaborate and create documents in the cloud but it would be far less useful if it didn't have an app for iOS and Android devices. The Google Docs app is feature rich and has a nifty little 'Starred' option for bookmarking your most important documents but if going through them still seems like a tedious task to you, you can use a little trick with an HTML file, Dropbox, and of course Google Docs to open a document in two taps. This hack comes from Sascha Mombartz who developed it. Read More

Toggle System Settings And Launch Apps Via Text Commands On OS X

Spotlight is quite a popular feature on OS X and people who have used both OS X and Windows often cite it as the better of the two. Spotlight is great for launching apps or looking up the definition of a word but it is still a basic search tool. Lacona is free OS X app that's built to work like Spotlight but is exponentially better. The app will let you launch other apps, open URLs in any app of your choice, toggle the WiFi switch, empty the trash, and much more all by typing it into the Spotlight like command bar. Where Spotlight can search apps, Lacona can perform actions. Read More

How To Import A Photo Edited On Your iPhone To Your Computer

aae files
iOS 8 introduced quite a few editing options in the default Photos app that allowed you to straighten and crop a photo among other things. If at any time you ever feel you've made a mistake editing the photo you can always reset it. It's pretty awesome and it lets you edit away without having to worry about losing a good photo. This all great up until you try and import the photo like you do all others to your Mac or PC. You will find the photo can only be imported in its unedited original form. You might also notice that for every photo you edited using the Photos app, there is a corresponding AAE format file for it. If you're wondering where those files came from and how you can import your edited photo to your Mac or PC without too much trouble, we have the answers. Read More

How To Enable/Disable The Multimedia Actions For The Function Keys

The function keys on our laptops double as multimedia keys that allow us to pause/play a video, mute/unmute the speakers, manage the volume, manage screen brightness, toggle the WiFi switch, and project to a screen. If you have a PC then it's likely the keyboard you use with it has dedicated keys for most of these functions. The function keys, i.e. the F1-F12 keys simply perform their default functions without you having to hold down a special Fn key on your keyboard. Laptops are a different story and if you're looking to disable the multimedia function for these keys there's a simple setting in your BIOS that should disable it. Alternatively, if the function keys refuse to perform the multimedia actions they are associated with, you need to look at your system's BIOS to sort it out. Read More

How To Upload Images Directly To Instagram From Inside Any App

Before Facebook bought Instagram, the app kept an air of exclusivity about it. It was only available for the iOS platform and remained so for a long time until Facebook's acquisition turned things in a different direction. Since then, Instagram has slowly opened up with a reasonably functional web interface and apps for the Android and Windows phone platform. The app has just received a small update that opens it up further allowing users to post to Instagram from any other app via the share menu. Before, users could export an image to Instagram or save it to their camera roll and access it from the Instagram app but as of version 8.2, that is all history. Read More

How To Embed A YouTube Video With The Volume Muted

A vast majority of videos on Facebook are watched with the volume muted. As you scroll through your timeline, whether it's from your desktop or the smartphone app, videos play automatically but the volume doesn't play unless you tap and open the video. There's no harm in this at all and it keeps you from bothering other people as you watch the fiftieth cat video in your timeline. If you would like to embed a YouTube video with the sound turned off by default then you can use a little script written by Amit Agarwal of Labnol that lets you do just that. The videos auto-play but the sound is muted. Users who visit your website and view the video will have to manually turn the volume up. Here's how it works. Read More

How To Get The Windows 8 Volume Control In Windows 10

Windows 10 more or less fixed all complaints users had with Windows 8 and its UI. The chief problem was of course the lack of the Start button and the very confusing Start Screen. Windows 10 has a pretty nice UI but users are still nostalgic for certain Windows 7 UI elements. If you're pining for the old volume controls that appeared in Windows 7 or Windows 8 when you clicked the speaker icon in the system tray then there's a simple little registry edit you can make to get it back albeit with a slight Modern UI touch. Read More

How To Calculate The PPI Density Of Your Screen

DPI Calculator
A high PPI means a screen that will display a much sharper image. Many laptop models are sold on the high resolutions they support and both the pixel density and the resolution is a major selling point that laptop manufacturers advertise. Even if it isn't advertised, some manufacturers will mention it in the laptop or monitor's specifications. Assuming you can't find this information on the official manufacturer's website or the manuals that came with your laptop here's an easy way to calculate it with reasonable accuracy. Read More

How To Zoom In Closer On A Photo On Your iPhone

The Photos app on your iPhone lets you zoom in to it by double tapping your screen. If you double tap it again, you're zoomed out and if you pinch to zoom further, the photo snaps back to the zoomed size. It doesn't zoom in further making it so that there is just one scale that you can zoom into on any photo. It's a shame considering how much detail the iPhone's camera, especially the newer models, can capture. There is a curious little bug in iOS though that lets you momentarily zoom into photos past the default zoom level and right down to a pixel. It resets itself each time you return to the photos. Here's how it works. Read More

How To Log Off Your Mac After A Set Period Of Inactivity

os x-system-pref
All operating systems have a setting that will automatically lock the current user's session if the user has been inactive for too long. User have the option to set how long this period of inactivity should be. Locking your screen is of course different from logging out of your system. A locked screen prevents others from accessing your desktop but logging out of a system will close the session you have open; your browser will be closed, Skype will exit, and so will any and all other apps you might have open. If you're looking to automatically log out your Mac after a set period of inactivity as opposed to it just locking, OS X has a built-in function that lets you do just that. Here's where it is. Read More

Get Food & Restaurant Recommendations Inside Facebook Messenger

Where -fb-bot
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but deciding what to have for lunch can take over thirty minutes. If you're eating with a group of people this can take longer. If you're often unable to decide what or where to eat whether by yourself or with friends, you might want to give Where a try. It's a Facebook Messenger bot that helps you decide what to eat and where to have with by giving you suggestions all inside Facebook Messenger. Read More

How To Track Your Flight With A Facebook Messenger Bot

app in air departure
Facebook Messenger bots may sound like a temporary fad and for some they might be little more than a different way to get news but these bots refuse to be pigeon holed into a single function. A Facebook Messenger bot can do just about anything you tell it to do. A while back we reviewed an excellent bot called Jarvis that you could use to set reminders that showed you just how versatile they can be. App in the air is a Facebook Messenger bot that can track a flight, give travelling tips such as the availability of WiFi at a particular airport, and tell you if you some of your carry on items will be confiscated by the TSA. Read More

How To Disable Pocket In Firefox 38 And Above

Firefox has lately been integrating other services in the browser. For a while it was just its own data syncing service and then the Hello feature that was introduced later on but Mozilla isn't content with just developing and integrating its own products. As of Firefox 38 and above, the browser now comes with Pocket integration. Pocket is a read it later type app/servce that lets you save links for reading later. It's a lot like the reading list that you can maintain in Firefox or in Safari except that it's an online service. If you aren't a fan of the service and simply hiding the Pocket button isn't enough for you, here's how you can disable it altogether in Firefox. Read More