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5+ Best Free Poker Apps to Play Texas Hold’Em With Friends Online

You don’t need real money or even real cards. Check out these best free poker apps to play a game of Texas Hold’em Poker with friends online.

Poker is one of the most popular games online, whether to play or to watch. You can now play with friends remotely and even over a video call. One of the games even lets you play poker without chips or cards.

Note: Play responsibly. In any online poker game, don’t add your credit card or PayPal details. Casual gamers are advised not to spend real money on virtual coins. And remember, poker games can’t help you win in real life.

1. LiPoker (Web): Fastest Poker Game With Friends, No Signup, No Download

LiPoker is the fastest way to play a game of poker with friends, no signup or download needed

Want to play a quick game of poker with friends? LiPoker is the fastest way to start a game. Head to the website to create a new game and share the link with friends for them to join. No one has to sign up or download anything to begin, it works in any desktop or mobile browser.

The app allows you to password-protect games in case you want to ensure random people can’t join. The creator sets how much money can be bet per hand. Up to nine friends can play simultaneously, and the game tracks winnings and losings in the “leaderboard.” There are easy keyboard shortcuts for your bets, and a hand rankings chart in case you’re new to the game.

LiPoker allows you to chat with friends in a small window, which also logs all moves. It also includes a video call option, but the video call didn’t work in our test. You can change theme colors, sit out for a few hands, and generally play as you would with friends in real life.

2. Poker in Place (Web): Video Call Poker Games With Friends

Play poker with friends online over a video call at Poker-In-Place

The fun of playing poker in person is judging reactions. You get to see your friends’ expressions and “tells,” as hard as they might try not to give anything away. Poker in Place brings that experience closer by adding a video call to a game of poker.

You can play with up to four players at a time. Each player’s video shows up in a little circle at their spot on the table. The audio and video are perfectly stable. Use keyboard shortcuts or your mouse to play a standard game of poker. Like with LiPoker, anyone can use the app in their browser without signing up or downloading anything. But you also have the option to sign up to save progress and settings.

Poker in Place uses Twilio Video for the video calling, and so there is a catch. The free version lasts for 20 minutes. If you want to continue the game after that, you’ll need to pay (it’s the same as the Twilio fee, the developer claims they are passing on the cost). Otherwise, you could make a new game every 20 minutes.

3. EasyPoker (Android, iOS): Play Poker Without Chips or Cards

It’s such a common situation. You find yourself ready to play a quick game of poker with friends, but there isn’t a deck of cards or a set of chips available. What do you do? Just whip out your phones and launch EasyPoker, as it’s the same thing.

This app is one of the ways for a quick poker game between friends, whether you’re bored in a cafe, traveling on a train, or anything else. You will need an active internet connection on both phones though. Download the app and sign up, then create a room to invite friends.

Because you’re all in the same room, you want to “hide” your cards too. So EasyPoker hides your hand at all times, and you have to press and hold the screen to see them. It’s a tiny but excellent user design that makes the game feel more fun and real.

Technically, you could play the game live over the internet with friends who aren’t around you, but given that there’s no chat, the other apps in this article are better for that. Easy Poker’s free version also limits you to four players at a time, and you’ll have to pay to unlock up to 12 players and other customization features.

Download: Easy Poker for Android | iOS (Free)

4. PokerStars (YouTube): Watch the Best Poker Videos on the Internet

PokerStars is the best youtube channel to watch poker videos online for free

The World Series of Poker is the biggest poker tournament to watch on TV, but unfortunately, their YouTube channel has been inactive for a long time. So if you like watching poker tournaments and games on TV, there is no better YouTube channel than PokerStars to get your fix. In fact, if you haven’t seen such games before, you should really give it a chance. It’s a lot more entertaining than you might think.

PokerStars hosts some of the best tournaments in the world, and they’re now available to watch online in slickly edited packages. You can also view all episodes of the poker series Shark Cage and The Big Game. The stars in the videos are the Who’s Who of poker, including Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu.

The YouTube channel also has a team of video editors putting together fun playlists and clips. The PokerStars Top 5, for instance, has some incredible videos about the best nightmare hands, celebrity appearances like Ronaldo, and other entertaining action.

5. The Best Poker Apps to Play Online (Android, iOS)

If you want to play a game of Texas Hold’em Poker online with strangers, you are spoilt for choices. Even if you don’t know the game, you can learn it quickly and have a fun time without spending any actual money.

  1. TOK: Learn how to play poker if you haven’t played before. TOK teaches the basics of poker with a neat quiz format to ensure you’ve got a hang of the game. Without that, you’ll get eaten alive in the online games. TOK also includes an AI mode to play against three opponents offline.
  2. Governor of Poker / World Series of Poker / Zynga Poker: These are three of the biggest apps to play poker online. There’s very little to separate them, so choose the one you like. All games have millions of players online, so you’ll easily find a table to start a match quickly. Each game gives you a virtual cash bonus daily to play, so you don’t have to spend real money through in-app purchases. Just be patient.
  3. Appeak Poker: Appeak is also like the other three games, but relatively new and without as large a fan base. However, it’s a much lighter game that doesn’t hog battery or resources, so it’s excellent for older phones.

Download: TOK for Android | iOS (Free)

Download: Appeak Poker for Android | iOS (Free)

Please note that all online poker games have in-app purchases and are trying to get you to pay to buy virtual coins. It’s best to disable in-app purchases on a device that an impressionable mind might use.

PlayingCards.io and Other Games to Play With Friends Online

Poker is just one of the games you can play online at the excellent card game website PlayingCards.io. You can set up the table and deck how you want, and invite friends to join in. Check it out, and other such free multi-game apps and websites to play with friends online.

Read the full article: 5+ Best Free Poker Apps to Play Texas Hold’Em With Friends Online

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The Best Apple CarPlay Apps for iPhone

If you have a compatible car or stereo unit, Apple CarPlay makes it easy to navigate, respond to messages, and play music while on the road. And to get the most out of this feature, you should have compatible apps installed on your iPhone.

Let’s take a look at some of the best CarPlay apps you should try.

A Note on Available Carplay Apps

Unfortunately, only a small selection of iOS apps are compatible with CarPlay. The vast majority of them fall into one of three categories: audio, navigation, or messaging. As a result, you probably won’t end up installing too many of these apps, since they overlap a lot.

We’ll cover the most useful built-in CarPlay apps so you know how to use them, then move onto some third-party highlights. If you use a different audio or navigation service, chances are that it’s available for CarPlay.

If you’re new to this function, read our overview of Apple CarPlay first so you’re up to speed. And while it’s not a proper app, remember you can tap Now Playing from the app list to jump right to whatever audio source is active.

Built-In Apple CarPlay Apps

CarPlay Home

First, let’s look at the most useful apps included on your iPhone that work with CarPlay.

Note that in addition to these, Siri can also access features of the built-in Calendar, Clock, Reminders, and other apps. You won’t see CarPlay icons for them, but you can use commands like “Add paper towels to my grocery list” or “Set an alarm for 7am tomorrow.”

1. Apple Maps

CarPlay Apple Maps

If you don’t prefer another navigation app (see below), Apple Maps works great with CarPlay.

Upon opening it, you’ll see an overview of your location. Hit the Destinations link and Maps will suggest places based on where you are or what you’ve discussed in messages and emails recently. You can use the Search function to quickly find gas stations, food, and more.

Use the microphone button on your steering wheel or tap the Microphone icon to navigate with Siri.

2. Phone

CarPlay Phone

The Phone app’s CarPlay integration lets you make and receive calls in your car. Opening the app lets you browse your contacts, open a dialer, review recent calls, or check your voicemail.

However, since scanning through a list of contacts while driving is unsafe, it’s better to just use Siri integration to say something like “Call Sarah.”

3. Messages

CarPlay Messages

The Messages app lets you converse safely in the car. Tap a conversation to hear its most recent messages read aloud. You can also dictate a new message using your voice here.

Try saying “Text Norah I’ll be home in 15 minutes” or “Read my text messages” to use the app without opening it.

4. Apple Music

CarPlay Apple Music

What’s a drive without the right music? Use the Music app with CarPlay to enjoy the entire Apple Music catalog if you’re a subscriber. Of course, you can also listen to anything you’ve purchased from iTunes.

Open the app to scroll through your library and saved playlists. It’s also easy to ask Siri to play your favorite artists, albums, genres, and more.

5. Podcasts

CarPlay Podcasts

Prefer podcasts instead of music on your commute? Use the Podcasts app to access shows you’ve subscribed to on your iPhone.

Siri can also help with commands like “Play the Really Useful Podcast” or “Skip ahead one minute.”

Third-Party Apple CarPlay Apps

CarPlay App Drawer

While the above apps come pre-installed on every iPhone, several third-party apps work with CarPlay as well. While there aren’t a ton to choose from, all of them support Siri for hands-free control.

On the CarPlay home screen, you’ll see icons for any CarPlay-compatible apps you have installed on your iPhone. In addition to the below apps, CarPlay is also equipped to work with car manufacturer apps for controlling your vehicle’s features.

6. Waze

CarPlay Waze

With iOS 12, Apple opened up third-party navigation apps for use with CarPlay. While Google Maps is also available, Waze is more distinct, which is why we include it here.

The main draw of Waze is its community-sourced information. The app alerts you to nearby speed traps, construction zones, or obstacles on the road. Give it a try if you find Apple Maps lackluster.

Download: Waze (Free)

7. TuneIn Radio

CarPlay TuneIn Radio

Prefer to listen to radio in the car, but don’t have a favorite station nearby? TuneIn Radio, one of the best radio apps for iOS, is available on CarPlay.

Using it, you can browse over 100,000 radio stations from across the world. For quick access, save your favorites on your phone before you start driving.

Download: TuneIn Radio (Free, subscription available)

8. Audible

CarPlay Audible

If you enjoy audiobooks, Amazon’s Audible service is a great way to get your fix. A subscription allows you to download and keep a new book each month, and there are tons of genres to choose from. If you don’t want to subscribe, you can buy books individually, though this isn’t as cost-effective.

Inside the CarPlay app, you can play any downloaded audiobooks, so make sure you save them offline while on a Wi-Fi connection. Check out our top Audible tips to get more from the service.

Download: Audible (Free, subscription available)

9. WhatsApp

CarPlay WhatsApp

WhatsApp is one of the few third-party messaging apps available in CarPlay (Telegram is another). When you open it, you can simply choose to hear unread messages read aloud or dictate a new message.

All the voice commands you’d expect are here, though, so you can have Siri read your incoming messages and respond via voice. With the app installed, you’ll also see WhatsApp notifications on the CarPlay home screen (unless you’re in Do Not Disturb mode).

Download: WhatsApp (Free)

10. Spotify

CarPlay Spotify

If you don’t use Apple Music, you probably use Spotify for your music streaming. Like other music apps, you can browse your playlists and other saved music through the interface, or just use Siri to start playing an album or genre. Spotify also hosts podcasts now, so you can manage everything in one app.

Remember that you’ll need Spotify Premium to listen ad-free, save music offline, and disable shuffle mode.

Download: Spotify (Free, subscription available)

11. MLB

CarPlay MLB

If you’re a baseball fan, the MLB app helps you keep up with what’s happening around the league. With CarPlay, you can listen to game audio while driving, but will need an MLB Audio subscription to do so. That subscription also unlocks other premium features, including condensed games.

Using the free version, you can still check out the game of the day, but can’t listen to it with CarPlay.

Download: MLB (Free, subscription available)

More Apple CarPlay Apps to Try

As mentioned earlier, many of the other best apps for CarPlay are quite similar to the above. To avoid covering them all in detail, here are a few others you may be interested in:

  • Overcast: Popular podcast manager with plenty of features.
  • Pandora: The best-known internet radio service that lets you create personalized stations for anything.
  • Tidal: If you don’t use any other music apps, maybe this hi-fi music service that promises better sound than the competition will appeal to you. Requires a subscription after a free trial.
  • NPR One: Catch up on the latest news and talk shows from your local public radio.
  • iHeartRadio: Similar to TuneIn, this app lets you listen to radio stations from around the US.
  • Free Audiobooks: Want to listen to an audiobook on your next trip without paying for Audible or buying one from Apple Books? This app provides many audiobooks at no cost.

Get More From Your Car With Apple CarPlay

As we’ve seen, only a small number of apps work with CarPlay, but there’s still a good enough selection that you can find what you need. There are plenty of options for listening to music or podcasts, sending messages via voice, and navigating around.

Assuming CarPlay becomes more popular and available in more cars, hopefully we’ll see additional apps make their way to the platform. For more automotive tech, check out the best GPS trackers for your car.

Read the full article: The Best Apple CarPlay Apps for iPhone

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Are Apple AirPods Worth Your Hard Earned Cash?

The Apple AirPods are some of the most desirable true wireless headphones available today. Like the company’s other products, they are stylish, well-designed, and compatible with other Apple services.

However, they are also one of the most expensive options out there. Additionally, the unique in-ear design may not be right for everyone. That’s not to mention that there are many cheaper true wireless headphones on the market with similar features.

So, if you’ve been wondering are Apple AirPods worth it, we’re here to help. Let’s take a look at the AirPods’ features to help you decide.

What Are Apple AirPods?

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The Apple AirPods are a set of true wireless headphones, so there are no wires or cables. The two individual earbuds sit in your ears independent of one another. Similarly, each earbud can be used independently of the other. For example, you could activate and use just the right earbud, leaving your left ear uncovered.

True wireless headphones existed before Apple launched the AirPods, but, like other technologies, the company was responsible for turning them into a mainstream option. The latest generation of AirPods come with Apple’s H1 chip, which enables the always-on Hey Siri feature for wireless voice assistance.

The headphones provide five hours of listening time on a single charge. Importantly, they come with a charging case. When placed inside, the headphones recharge. Using this, the headphones will last up to 24 hours before you need to charge the case via a Lightning cable. If you prefer to leave cables behind, there are also the Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case.

AirPods Features

Despite their small size, the AirPods come equipped with a lot of features and impressive technology. Before investing in a set, it’s worth considering all the features. In some cases, they may not align with your requirements, or perhaps you’ll decide that you wouldn’t use all of the features on offer.

Noise Cancellation

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The standard Apple AirPods do not come with noise cancellation. However, the upgraded model, the Apple AirPods Pro, are equipped with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). A microphone on the outside of the earbud listens for external noise, allowing the headphones to cancel out any incoming soundwaves. Likewise, there is an internal microphone for the same purpose.

There is a trade-off, though. The AirPods Pro are more expensive than the standard model. So while ANC is a desirable feature, it adds additional cost to your purchase. However, there are other true wireless headphones, like the Sony WF-1000XMF, which come with ANC as standard.

Hands-Free Voice Assistant

As mentioned, the AirPods are powered by Apple’s H1 chip. This is also found in a handful of company’s other headsets, including the Powerbeats Pro, Beats Solo Pro, and AirPods Pro. Unlike other headphones on the market, the chip has been designed specifically for use in wireless headphones.

As a result, the AirPods perform better than the competition. The headphones support Bluetooth 5.0 and enable a hands-free experience with Siri. This integration with Apple’s digital assistant is seamless, as you’d expect. However, they aren’t the only headphones to support voice assistants.

Most wireless headsets integrate with your phone’s chosen assistant, whether that’s Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant. The main difference here is that you can activate Siri with your voice alone rather than pressing a button on the headset.

Battery Life

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The standard Apple AirPods give you five hours of use and up to 24 hours with the charging case. Meanwhile, the AirPods Pro offer just 4.5 hours of use due to the inclusion of ANC. While this is more than enough for most cases, other headsets offer improved battery life.

For instance, the Jabra Elite 75t last for up to 7.5 hours on a single charge, and 28 hours with the included charging case.

Audio Quality

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 Buy Now On Amazon $299.95

Given their premium status, and Apple’s reputation, it should be no surprise that the AirPods sound great. The sound is well-adjusted and suits a range of audio from spoken-word podcasts to music, movies, and films. However, audiophiles will be disappointed in the overall sound reproduction.

If high-quality audio is what you’re after, you may want to consider the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 headphones instead. This set are considered among the best true wireless headphones available today. The 7mm dynamic audio drivers help deliver high-quality audio. There’s ANC as well, and you can further control the sound with Sennheiser’s mobile app.

Apple-Specific Features

Although you can use AirPods with any Bluetooth device, certain features only work with Apple and iOS devices. This is partly a technical limitation but is also likely guided by the company’s determination to keep users on Apple hardware.

Android users, for example, won’t be able to access Siri, enable on-ear detection, or use the smartphone-based battery monitor. That said, it is possible to use Apple AirPods with Android devices.

Why Are AirPods So Expensive?

Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro

Although there are many contributing factors, ultimately, AirPods are expensive because they are an Apple product. Despite appearances, Apple is closer to a design and lifestyle brand than a technology business. The company makes technology, but it sells a lifestyle. That is reflected in its approach to software and hardware.

Apple devices are purposely designed to work well together in a closed environment. Traditionally, Apple hardware and software aren’t interoperable with other operating systems. The famed walled-garden approach is used to make products simple and straightforward to use.

As a result, if you purchase an iPhone, you may also consider buying a Mac computer or MacBook laptop, invest in an Apple Watch, and complement it with a set of Apple AirPods. While this means the initial investment cost is high, Apple products also retain their value. So, if you chose to sell your AirPods, you’d be able to recoup a sizeable portion of your initial outlay.

Are Apple AirPods Worth It?

If you’ve been wondering if you should get a set of AirPods, you’re now better positioned to decide whether AirPods are a good investment. AirPods are the most accessible and easy to use option for Apple fans and iPhone users despite the high price.

That said, you do have other options. If you’re after true wireless headphones that don’t break the bank, consider these cheap AirPods alternatives.

Read the full article: Are Apple AirPods Worth Your Hard Earned Cash?

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The 5 Best iPhone Clipboard Managers

You’ve probably used the iPhone clipboard more times than you can count for copying and pasting text between apps. And while the built-in clipboard is helpful, it has some limits. Most notably, it can only store one piece of information at a time.

Thankfully, a number of third-party clipboard apps can step in and provide some additional features. Let’s take a look at what the iPhone’s built-in clipboard can do, then offer some great alternative iPhone clipboard managers.

A Look at the iPhone Clipboard

iPhone Built-in Clipboard

By itself, the iPhone clipboard isn’t exactly impressive. There’s no actual clipboard app and no real way to find what’s stored on your iPhone. That’s because iOS can store exactly one piece of information—the last snippet copied—when you hold down the cursor and select Cut or Copy.

Anytime you select Paste from the same menu, the information in the clipboard will appear wherever you can insert text. Take a look at our guide to copying and pasting on iPhone for more advice.

If you ever want to completely clear the iPhone clipboard, just tap on a blank space until the text cursor appears. Then press down and pick Copy from the menu. That empty space will reside in the clipboard memory afterward.

Since the built-in clipboard option on the iPhone is barebones, here are better clipboard apps to take your workflow up a notch.

1. Paste

Paste is one of the best iPhone clipboard managers. The app stores everything you copy—including text, images, links, files, and more—for quick and easy access.

When it’s time to find a specific piece of content, you can browse through a visual history and then preview to make sure it’s what you’re looking for. Searching for content is also easy thanks to intelligent filters. In the clipboard history part of the app, just swipe right to add it to iPhone’s internal system.

To help organize different types of content, you can also create and customize different pinboards. Information from the app is accessible in other apps via the Share Sheet. As a nice touch, Paste will also show you when you added the information, from where, and shows a character count on any text.

Thanks to iCloud compatibility, you can sync content to a Mac using the separate Paste for Mac app. The cross-platform nature of Paste makes it something to consider for anyone who does significant work on both iOS and macOS.

While the app is one of the best available for the job, there is one big downside. Paste was previously a one-time purchase, but has migrated to a subscription model. If paying $10 a year for a clipboard manager puts you off, check out one of the below options instead.

Download: Paste for iOS | Mac (Free trial, subscription required)

2. Copied

Copied is another great option in the clipboard manager sphere. The app will save any text, links, and images copied from any app as clippings. When you’re ready to use a specific clipping, just open up the app and copy it to the iPhone’s clipboard.

One of Copied’s unique features is the third-party keyboard. It provides a quick way to access all clippings when you need to input text in any app, including Messages or Safari. You can select text in any app and then reformat it without needing to open Copied. It also allows you to save text as a clipping directly from the keyboard.

Along with being able to view and edit any clippings, you can also transform the text with different formatting options. It allows you to reformat text with a specific template; power users can even author their own formatter with JavaScript. Those formatters are available on the Copied keyboard.

A built-in browser comes in handy and saves all data copied from a site. Using the Share Sheet, you can take advantage of several actions, including saving to Copied and more. Message fans can even use images in the app and transform them into fun stickers to use during conversations.

An in-app purchase unlocks additional features, including the ability to save and organize clips with lists, create different rules to further organize clippings, and iCloud sync to other iOS devices.

If you spend any time on a Mac, the companion Copied app for macOS makes it easy to access a central clipboard both at your desk and on the go. Just keep in mind that at the time of writing Copied is no longer in active development, so you should make sure the free version works for you before upgrading.

Download: Copied for iOS (Free, premium version available) | Mac ($7.99)

3. Clip+

Clip+ does more than just store any information you copy. The app automatically recognizes different types of content.

For example, if you grab a phone number, you can call it directly from the app. With a saved URL, just tap the icon to head to the site. It’s also possible to customize those actions, like substituting the Gmail app for the stock Mail.

The app, which is designed for both iPhone iPad, uses iCloud to sync and keep the information up to date on any iOS device. That makes Clip+ even more useful for anyone already entrenched in the Apple ecosystem.

All content is also viewable via Search and through Safari’s Shared Links tab. The clipboard is available as a Notification Center widget if you use that, too. Surprisingly, even Apple Watch users aren’t left out of the fun. With voice dictation on the watch, you can dictate text directly into Clip+.

Download: Clip+ ($2.99)

4. Anybuffer

Anybuffer is another choice worth a look if you’d rather not worry about a subscription. One up-front purchase will unlock all of this great clipboard app’s functionality.

With it, you can save links, images, documents, text, email, and more. To better organize the information, drag and drop clips into different shelves. There’s also a search feature so you can quickly find what you’re looking for.

You’ll appreciate the built-in scanner which lets you add documents to the app with your iPhone or iPad camera. You can also add a sketch directly into the app.

For quick and easy access to all information in the app, take advantage of Anybuffer’s custom keyboard to access your snips anywhere while typing. And Siri Shortcut fans will be happy to hear that Anybuffer offers automation support. This opens up additional features that activate with a simple voice command.

Download: Anybuffer ($4.99)

5. SnipNotes

SnipNotes combines note-taking with a clipboard manager. To add information from other apps to SnipNotes, just drag and drop, save it on your clipboard, or add it from the share sheet.

You can create notes to add on an iPhone, iPad, and even Apple Watch. The app can also remember the location where you created the note. To help organize all of your information, the app offers an inbox and archive, along with the ability to create custom categories.

There’s no need to open the app to access the information, as you can use Siri or a Today widget. All clipboard data and notes are accessible on the app without an internet connection.

SnipNotes offers a seven-day free trial to take advantage of all of the app’s features. If you want to continue using it after that, you can unlock complete functionality for a one-time purchase.

Along with an iOS and iPadOS app, there is a Mac version of the SnipNotes. This means you can access all the information thanks to iCloud sync.

Download: SnipNotes ($3.99, free trial available)

Expand Your iPhone Clipboard’s Capabilities

Even though the built-in iPhone clipboard is just a basic way to share one piece of information across apps, these third-party apps can help your iPhone become more useful in your daily activities.

For more like this, check out some essential iPhone keyboard tips and tricks.

Read the full article: The 5 Best iPhone Clipboard Managers

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7 Fixes for an iPhone Stuck in Headphone Mode

If you’re lucky enough to still have a headphone port on your iPhone, you might find that problems with it cause your iPhone to get stuck in headphone mode. When this happens, no sound plays from your iPhone speakers, even though you don’t have headphones plugged in anymore.

This also happens with newer iPhones after using headphones that connect to the Lightning port or via Bluetooth. Whether you have an iPhone 6 or an iPhone 11, if it’s stuck in headphone mode, you can use the steps below to fix it.

Find Out If Your iPhone Is Stuck in Headphone Mode First

You might think your iPhone is stuck in headphone mode because it stopped playing sound from the speakers, but lots of other issues cause this problem as well. For instance, a fault with your speakers can make the sound stop working, without having anything to do with your headphones.

Make sure your iPhone is stuck in headphone mode by opening Control Center. To do so, swipe down from the top-right corner of your iPhone (or swipe up from the bottom if you have an iPhone with a Home button).

The volume slider in Control Center shows a headphone icon when your iPhone thinks your headphones are plugged in. If connected to AirPods, you should see an AirPods icon instead.

If the Control Center shows a normal volume speaker icon, your iPhone is not stuck in headphone mode. The steps below won’t fix your issue in that case; use our guide for troubleshooting iPhone speaker problems to find a solution instead.

However, if your iPhone is stuck in headphone mode, the tips below can help fix it.

1. Restart Your iPhone

Your iPhone is stuck in headphone mode because of either a hardware problem or a software problem. If it’s a software problem, your iPhone should switch back to speaker mode after you restart it.

To do this, press and hold the Side button with either Volume button (or just hold the Side button if your iPhone has a Home button). When prompted, slide to power off and wait 30 seconds for your iPhone to fully power off. Then press the Side button again to restart it.

Slide to power off prompt on iphone

After restarting, open Control Center to find out if your iPhone is still stuck in headphone mode or not. If it is, there must be a physical problem with your device. Skip the next two steps, which are software-based, to find out how to fix it.

If your iPhone switched back to speaker mode, then you’re dealing with a software problem. You can keep restarting your iPhone every time it gets stuck, or use the next two steps to eliminate the problem for good.

2. Update iOS

If your iPhone got stuck in headphone mode because of a software problem, you should make sure you’re running the latest version of iOS. Apple frequently updates iOS to introduce new features and to fix software bugs.

Go to Settings > General > Software Update to check for new updates. If any are available, download and install them as soon as possible.

Checking for iOS Software Updates in iPhone Settings

3. Erase and Reinstall iOS

Corrupt system files on your iPhone might cause it to keep getting stuck in headphone mode even after you update to the latest version of iOS. If you’ve already ruled out physical problems by restarting your device, you might be able to find a permanent solution by reinstalling iOS.

If you use a computer to do this, it erases and rewrites every line of code on your iPhone, eliminating any software bugs that crept into the system. When you do this, it also deletes all the data on your iPhone, so be sure to make a backup of your iPhone first.

Follow the instructions in our guide to factory resetting your iPhone. Make sure you choose to restore using a computer to reinstall iOS completely. Since this is such an extreme step to take, we only suggest you reset your iPhone if a software update didn’t fix your issue.

4. Reconnect and Disconnect Your Headphones

If your iPhone is still stuck in headphone mode after restarting, there must be a physical problem with the device. Usually, it’s as simple as dirt buildup in the headphone port, which tricks the sensors into thinking something is still plugged in.

Reconnect your headphones then disconnect them again. Repeat this three or four times to loosen any dirt within the port. Then gently shake your iPhone to let loose debris fall out.

remove broken headphone jack

If you have Bluetooth headphones, connect and disconnect your headphones by going to Settings > Bluetooth. When you disconnect your headphones, your iPhone should automatically switch back to using the normal speakers.

5. Clear Out the Headphone Port

It’s possible there’s more dirt packed into your headphone port causing this problem. You need to be careful when clearing it out, because it’s possible to damage your iPhone while doing this.

It’s best to turn off your iPhone before inserting anything into the headphone or Lightning port, to avoid causing a short circuit or introducing a static charge to the electronics.

Don’t insert any metal objects—like a straightened paperclip—into your ports. Instead, use the following tools to safely clear out dirt and debris safely:

  • Compressed air
  • Cotton swabs
  • Interdental brush

Compressed air, cotton bud, and intradental brush

If none of that works, you might be able to remove obstructions from the headphone port on an iPhone 6S or earlier using the inner tube of a pen. The open end of these tubes is often the same diameter as your headphone port, allowing you to carefully insert it and twist to loosen any dirt inside.

Be careful you don’t let any ink leak into your iPhone.

Inner tube of a pen

For a Lightning port, squash the end of a plastic straw to make it oblong, then insert it into the Lightning port to loosen dirt stuck at the bottom. Follow our guide to cleaning your iPhone if you need further help.

6. Check for Water Damage

If you can’t find any debris in the ports but your iPhone is still stuck in headphone mode, it might be an indication of water damage inside your device. This could happen from something as obvious as dropping your iPhone in the toilet or something as subtle as sweat dripping down your headphone cable.

Unfortunately, if your iPhone is water damaged, there’s little you can do to repair it except replace the device entirely.

You can use the liquid indicators on your iPhone to get a better idea of whether it has suffered water damage or not. Open the SIM card tray and look for a small white tab inside; this turns red, pink, or orange when it comes into contact with liquid.

On the iPhone 4S and earlier, you’ll find the liquid indicator tab inside the headphone port itself.

Liquid indicators on iPhone 4S and iPhone 6

Don’t use rice to dry your iPhone if it’s liquid damaged. This runs the risk of making matters worse by leaving harmful residue behind or further blocking the ports. Instead, take a look at our guide on how to fix a water-damaged iPhone.

7. Temporary Software Workarounds

Even if your iPhone needs a repair to fix a hardware problem with your headphone port, you can still use the workarounds below to trick it out of headphone mode whenever it gets stuck.

None of these tips offers a permanent solution, but they could be the quick fix you need if you can’t afford a repair.

Toggle Airplane Mode On and Off

Open Control Center and tap the airplane icon to turn Airplane Mode on and off. This disconnects any Bluetooth headphones or speakers your iPhone thought it was still connected to.

Change the Audio Output

When listening to music or watching videos, your iPhone lets you choose between different audio outputs. Open Control Center, then tap and hold the playback controls in the top-right corner. Select the AirPlay icon to reveal all your output options and select iPhone from the list.

Change Your Ringer Volume

Open the Settings and go to Sounds & Haptics. Tap the Ringtone option, then tap any ringtone to make it play through your iPhone speakers even if it’s stuck in headphone mode. Use the Volume buttons while the ringtone is playing to make your iPhone switch back to speaker mode.

Find Out How to Fix Your Headphone Port

When your iPhone is stuck in headphone mode because of a hardware problem, you should speak to Apple’s support team to find out if it’s fixable under warranty. Unfortunately, Apple won’t just fix your headphone port; support will replace the entire device. This makes it an expensive “repair” if you aren’t covered by warranty.

If that’s the case, look into finding a replacement headphone port and repairing the iPhone yourself. This isn’t easy to do, but it might be the best option if you can’t afford a new phone.

There are plenty of websites that show you how to fix your own gadgets, many of which sell all the tools you need to repair your iPhone’s headphone port. If you think something snapped off inside, look into removing a broken headphone plug from your phone.

Read the full article: 7 Fixes for an iPhone Stuck in Headphone Mode

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How to Record a Phone Call on an iPhone

As you may know, there’s no built-in way to record phone calls using your iPhone. As a result of country and state-specific laws, Apple doesn’t make it particularly easy to record a phone call.

However, it’s not impossible. You can record iPhone phone calls using some workarounds.

If you’re going to use any of these methods, make sure you notify the person on the other end of the call that they’re being recorded. Provided they know and consent, there’s little chance of landing yourself in hot water. If you’re looking for how to record an iPhone call secretly, you should consider the potential legal ramifications.

How to Record Calls on iPhone Without Apps

Audacity Recording

This is probably the quickest, easiest, and “dirtiest” way of recording a phone call from your iPhone. You’ll need another device with a microphone that can record (like an iPad, computer, or portable recording device) to make it work. Check out our podcasting microphone recommendations if you don’t have a suitable device for this.

Provided you’re in a quiet environment and can use your iPhone’s speakerphone, it’s simple to pull off:

  1. Call your contact and tap on the Speaker icon. If you have Bluetooth headphones connected, you’ll need to select the iPhone speaker from the list.
  2. Notify the other party that you’ll be recording the conversation. On your external recorder, start recording.
  3. Place the phone close enough to the microphone so that when you speak, it picks up your voice clearly too.
  4. Save the recording when your phone call is finished.

On an iOS device, you can record the call using Apple’s Voice Memos app. On a Mac or PC, we’d recommend free audio editing and recording workhorse Audacity.

Record Incoming iPhone Calls Using Google Voice

Google Voice website

Google Voice is a free VoIP calling service available in the US and Canada. It provides you with a free US phone number, voicemail inbox, and the ability to make calls both domestically (free) and internationally (as per Google’s Voice calling rates).

Use of Google Voice requires the Google Voice app, which is available for the web, as well as Android and iOS devices. One perk of the app is its ability to record phone calls. Before you can do this, you’ll need to take some time setting up the service:

  1. Download the Google Voice app for iPhone, open it, and sign in using your Google account.
  2. Tap Search and select the new phone number you want to associate with your Google Voice account.
  3. Confirm your number, then hit Next until you’re asked to enter your phone number.
  4. Enter your iPhone’s phone number, confirm, then wait for a verification code.
  5. Verify your new Google Voice setup using the code you just received.

There’s one final step you need to complete before you can record calls. Open the Google Voice website and sign into your Google account if needed. Now click the gear icon in the upper-right part of the page to open the Settings menu.

Here, select the Calls tab menu on the left side of the page. Scroll down until you see Incoming call options, then make sure this setting is enabled.

Enabling Incoming call options for Google Voice

Now when you receive a phone call via your Google Voice account, you’ll be able to press the 4 key on your iPhone to start recording the conversation. When you do this, Google will notify the other party that they’re being recorded. You’ll find your recording in your Google Voice inbox, where you can download it for safekeeping.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to record an outgoing phone call using Google Voice.

Use a Third-Party App to Record Phone Calls

There are all manner of third-party iPhone call recorders available. One truly free call recorder app for iPhone is Rev Call Recorder. Getting started with this is easy.

First, download and open the app. You’ll need to confirm your phone number by adding it when prompted and entering the code you receive. The process is slightly complex, but fortunately the app offers a built-in tutorial.

Once that’s done, tap Start Recorded Call, then choose Outgoing Call or Incoming Call. For outgoing calls, you need to call the Rev Call Recorder service, then call the person you want to talk too. After both calls are connected, tap the Merge Calls button to begin recording.

For incoming calls, the process is slightly different, but just as simple.

Once the call is complete, Rev will contact you when your recorded call is ready to download. This is the point where the app will offer additional services (which cost money) as well, but these are all optional.

The major plus of Rev Call Recorder is that unlike many other call recording services, the person you’re talking to will see your phone number, not an unknown number. Of course, your calls are stored on another company’s servers, so you probably don’t want to use this service for private or sensitive matters.

Rev is far from the only call recorder for iPhone. For more options, we’ve gathered a few other iPhone call recording apps.

How to Record Calls on iPhone Using Your Voicemail

This final method depends largely on your carrier for whether it works and precisely how useful it is. First, you need to check whether your carrier allows you to download your voicemail messages (a feature introduced in iOS 9).

Launch the Phone app on your iPhone and tap on the Voicemail tab in the bottom-right corner. If you see a list of voicemail messages appear, that’s great! You can download them and keep them on your device, so this method has some use to you.

iPhone voicemail screen

If you only see a Call Voicemail option, you’re not so lucky. You can still try this method, but your recording will be stuck in your carrier’s voicemail inbox. You’ll need to find another way to save it externally—perhaps using the speakerphone method we discussed above.

To go ahead with this method, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Call your contact and notify them you want to record the call. Ask them to hold the line for a second.
  2. On your iPhone, tap the Add Call button to start a three-way conversation.
  3. Call your own phone number. If it goes well, you should get straight to your own voicemail inbox.
  4. Wait for the voicemail greeting to finish, then tap Merge Calls to start the conference.

Your conversation should record as a message you can retrieve from your voicemail inbox. If you’re able to see your individual voicemail messages under the Phone app, you can download the call for safekeeping.

Which iPhone Call Recording Method Works for You?

The two most reliable ways of recording a phone call on your iPhone are using the speakerphone method or paying for a third-party service to record the call for you. In either case, to operate legally, you should always make sure you notify the other party that you’re recording them.

We’ve looked at recording audio, but what about video? If you’re looking to capture what you do on your device, see our guide on how to record your iPhone’s screen.

Read the full article: How to Record a Phone Call on an iPhone

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How to Set Up Location Alerts in iPhone Reminders

There’s nothing more convenient than receiving a reminder when you leave from or arrive at a location. You can set alerts to purchase items at the grocery store, run an errand when you leave the office, or tackle a chore when you get home.

If you use Apple’s Reminders app on your iPhone, setting up location-based alerts is a breeze. Not only that, but you can create these types of alerts in Reminders on Mac and receive them on your iPhone or iPad.

Set Up Location Alerts on iPhone and iPad

Launch the Reminders app, choose an account or folder, and then follow one of these sets of steps to set up your location alert.

Use the Keyboard Toolbar Button:

  1. Tap the plus sign labeled New Reminder or select an existing one.
  2. Enter the reminder, list item, or task.
  3. Tap the Location button in the keyboard toolbar. Here you can pick a quick option like Arriving Home or Getting in Car; or select Custom to choose another location.
  4. If you use the custom option, enter the spot and pick Arriving or Leaving at the bottom.
  5. Tap Done.

Use the Information Icon:

  1. Tap to add a new reminder or select an existing one.
  2. Enter the reminder, list item, or task.
  3. Tap the Information icon (small letter i) next to the item.
  4. Turn on the toggle for Remind me at a location.
  5. Tap Location, select a suggestion or search for a spot, and pick Arriving or Leaving at the bottom.
  6. Tap Details to go back. Here you can add other information like notes, a URL, an image, or priority.
  7. Tap Done.

Tip: You can recycle old alerts that you’ve already completed, which is convenient if you want to reuse the same reminder. Just tap the More button at the top and select Show Completed. Unmark an item and follow the steps above to set the location-based alert.

Delete a Location Alert on iOS

It’s easy to remove a location alert you’ve set up. Tap the Information icon next to the reminder and turn off the toggle for Remind me at a location.

Set Up Location Alerts on Mac

If you’re hard at work on your Mac, you don’t have to stop and jump onto your iOS device to create a location reminder. You can set up this kind of alert in Reminders on Mac, then receive it on your iPhone or iPad.

Use the Toolbar Button:

  1. In Reminders, head to the account or folder you want to use. Click the plus sign to add a reminder or select an existing one.
  2. Enter the reminder, list item, or task.
  3. Click the Add Location button in the toolbar below your item. Here you can pick a quick option like Getting in Car, Getting Out of Car, your home, or your current location.

Reminders Toolbar Location Button-Mac

Use the Information Icon:

  1. Click to add a reminder or select an existing one.
  2. Enter the reminder, list item, or task.
  3. Click the Information icon (small letter i) next to the item.
  4. Check the box for At a Location.
  5. Click Enter a Location and search for a spot. You’ll see suggestions appear as you type.
  6. Pick Arriving or Leaving below the location.

Reminders Information Icon-Mac

If you open Reminders on your iPhone or iPad, you’ll see the location you added to the reminder on Mac. This will provide notifications, just like you expect.

Delete a Location Alert on Mac

You can remove a location-based alert just as easily on your Mac as it is on iOS. Either click the X in the location button on the toolbar below the reminder or click the Information icon next to it and uncheck the box for At a Location.

Set Up Location Alerts With Siri

Siri is another super convenient way to set up location-based alerts in Reminders on any of your Apple devices. This is especially handy for those quick location suggestions, like when you leave your current spot or get in your car.

Here are just a few types of commands you can give Siri for location alerts:

  • “Remind me to buy milk when I leave here.”
  • “Remind me to call Mom when I get home.”
  • “Remind me to email Joe when I arrive at work.”

Siri Location Reminder-Mac

You can try different requests per the location alert you need. As with any other commands, Siri will let you know if your request won’t work for some reason. And remember that you can use Siri to create your shopping lists in Reminders too.

Use IFTTT for More Options

IFTTT is a service that allows you to use triggers and actions to automate various applications and web services. You can download the IFTTT iOS app and connect core iOS services together including the Reminders app, your iOS location, and more.

IFTTT iOS channels

As such, you can use the iOS Location channel in IFTTT to trigger actions based on a specific location. It allows for a smaller possible area of effect than what Apple Reminders uses. Plus, you can do more with the feature, like setting up a repeating notification, logging your work hours, or sending a text or email.

IFTTT locations actions

These triggers will repeat until you disable them. So while they might not be great for one-off tasks like remembering to buy bread or pick up a package, they’re more useful if you want to use your location with non-Apple services.

For additional help with IFTTT, check out our ultimate IFTTT guide.

Download: IFTTT (Free)

A Few Considerations With iPhone Location Alerts

Any app that constantly checks your location will drain your battery faster than simply setting an alert to fire at a certain time or date.

If your iPhone struggles to make it through a whole day without charging, or when you’re trying to save battery life, you’ll probably want to limit your use of location-based alerts. For more tips, look at our iPhone battery guide.

Also, there’s a chance that you’ll miss an alert due to a poor GPS signal, particularly if you’re not in the alert zone for long. For that reason, if you have any urgent reminders set, you’ll probably want to set time-based alerts as well to make sure that you see them.

Master Reminders With Location Alerts and More

Location-based alerts really are convenient. Whether you’re leaving work, arriving home, or getting in or out of your car, take advantage of this awesome built-in Reminders feature.

For more, take a look at additional ways to master Reminders on your iPhone.

Read the full article: How to Set Up Location Alerts in iPhone Reminders

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How to Fix Zoom and Other Video Conference Apps on Your iPhone

Right before an important business call, it’s a huge scare to discover that Skype, Zoom, or whatever video conference app you planned to use is not working. Problems can range from your video appearing as a black screen to the app not opening at all.

Whatever issue you’re struggling with, you can fix any video conferencing app on your iPhone with the troubleshooting steps below. And if you’re looking for FaceTime help, we’ve covered fixes for when FaceTime isn’t working separately.

1. Allow Access to Your Camera and Microphone

Apple encourages you to take more control over your privacy by letting you choose which apps can and can’t access the camera or microphone on your iPhone. Zoom, Skype, and other video conferencing apps usually ask for this permission in a popup when you first start using them.

If you chose Don’t Allow when your video conferencing app asked for permission, your microphone or camera won’t work until you change your settings.

Go to Settings > Privacy > Microphone and enable the slider next to your video conference app. Then go to Settings > Privacy > Camera to allow camera access for that app as well.

Even if you allow permission to use your camera and microphone here, it’s still possible to turn them on and off within the app itself. Make sure you’re familiar with how to use Zoom, Skype, or other apps so you know how to control your camera and microphone during a call.

2. Make Sure the Servers Are Functional

It’s possible that Skype, Zoom, or other video conferencing apps aren’t working due to a problem with the services’ servers. You can usually check the status of these online.

Here are the service status websites for the most popular video conferencing apps:

If you discover any service problems with your video conferencing app, you need to wait for the developers to fix it. Keep checking back on the status website to find out when that happens.

3. Restart the Video Conference App

When an app freezes or crashes, the only way to fix it is to close it down, then open it again. Even if Skype, Zoom, or other conferencing apps seem as though they’re still working, try restarting them in case something stopped running behind the scenes.

On a modern iPhone, swipe up from the bottom of your iPhone screen and hold for a moment to view all your open apps. If you have an iPhone with a Home button, double-click it to view your open apps instead.

Slide each app off the top of the screen to close it down, then go back to your Home screen and launch the app again.

4. Restart Your iPhone

If restarting your video conference app doesn’t help, the next step is to restart your iPhone. This is an effective troubleshooting step for a wide range of software issues, including many that can affect Skype, Zoom, and other popular video conferencing apps.

Press and hold the Side button with either Volume button (or just hold the Side button if your iPhone has a Home button). Then slide to power off when your iPhone prompts you to do so. Wait 30 seconds for your iPhone to power down, then hold the Side button again to restart it.

5. Test Your Internet Connection

Every video conference app depends on an internet connection of some kind to work, whether that’s over Wi-Fi or cellular data. Take a moment to make sure your connection is up and running. The easiest way to do this is by loading a new website or streaming a video on YouTube.

Try connecting to a different network if there are any problems. This might also be the only solution if your mobile data is too slow to work with a large conference call.

If you want to use Skype, Zoom, or other video conference apps over cellular data, make sure you allow it in your iPhone’s Settings. Go to Settings > Cellular and scroll down to find your video conference app, then turn on the toggle to allow cellular data for that app.

6. Update Zoom or Skype in the App Store

Your video conference app might not work on your iPhone if you aren’t using the latest version. App developers frequently release new updates to patch bugs or introduce new features. Make sure you’ve installed all the latest updates from the App Store.

Open the App Store and tap the Profile icon in the top-right corner of the Today tab. Scroll down to view any apps you need to update. Update your specific video conference app if it’s listed, or tap Update All to update all your apps at once.

7. Update to the Latest Version of iOS

Apple releases new iOS updates all the time to fix problems and introduce new features. Even if you’re using the latest app updates, you still might encounter problems if the operating system on your iPhone is out of date.

Go to Settings > General > Software Update to check for new updates available for your iPhone. If any are available, make sure your download and install them before trying to use Zoom, Skype, or other video conferencing apps again.

8. Delete and Reinstall Your Video Conferencing App

Sometimes you need to delete an app entirely and reinstall it again from scratch. This might be necessary if the app became corrupt or failed to update correctly. There’s a chance you might lose data by doing this, but most video conferencing apps don’t store data locally, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

To delete an app on your iPhone, tap and hold on the app icon from the Home screen. In the popup menu that appears, choose to Delete App, then confirm you want to Delete the app in the following alert.

After deleting an app, search for it in the App Store and tap the cloud icon to download it again. You’ll need to sign in to your account and allow microphone and camera access when you open the app for the first time.

Find an Alternative Conference App to Use Instead

Hopefully, you were able to use these tips to fix Zoom, Skype, or other video conferencing apps on your iPhone. If your app still isn’t working, you should consider switching to an alternative video conferencing app instead.

While Zoom and Skype are some of the most popular video conferencing apps around, there are plenty of other options available. Take a look at our rundown of the best free conference call apps to find a more reliable replacement for your team.

Read the full article: How to Fix Zoom and Other Video Conference Apps on Your iPhone

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4 Lord of the Rings Apps for Exploring Tolkien’s Middle-Earth

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth has been home to some of the most cherished fantasy novels in history. It’s a setting that has drawn in fans for decades, both old and new alike. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings being the most popular (and accessible) of his books.

You can explore the world of hobbits, dwarves, and elves online with ease. You can also immerse yourself in the lore, language, and characters that make Tolkien’s world so special. Here are some of the best Tolkien apps for fans of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

1. LotR Quiz

Looking for a party app that you can use with your fellow Lord of the Rings fans? Then you need to download LotR Quiz (LotR being shorthand for “Lord of the Rings”), a free Tolkien app that is perfect for this sort of get-together.

Simple to use, straightforward in its purpose, and fun to complete, this LotR app sets out to test you on your knowledge of the Lord of the Rings film adaptations by Peter Jackson. You can be tested on all of the films at once, or tested on each film individually.

After you open up the app:

  • You will be asked which film you want to be quizzed on.
  • Once you choose a movie, the app will immediately begin testing you on that film.
  • If you choose the right answer, the button you tapped turns green. If you choose the wrong answer, the button turns red.
  • The quiz is broken up into “sections” to make it more manageable.
  • There are a lot of questions per quiz, and answering each one is timed. If you don’t answer before the clock counts down, the quiz will mark your score as “0” and move on to the next question.
  • Once you’re done the quiz, the app will show you your final score and add that tally to your overall statistics section.

In general, the number of questions and attention to detail in this Lord of the Rings app are fantastic. As a Tolkien fan, I can happily report that the app seems to be designed by someone who has in-depth knowledge of the series.

Unfortunately, LotR Quiz is only available on iOS. However, if you want an Android alternative, you can always check out Fanquiz for Lord of the Rings, which boasts some decent reviews.

Download: LotR Quiz on iOS (Free)

2. ElvenSpeak

Elves are among the most enchanting of Tolkien’s fantastical creatures. Often depicted as superhuman in their abilities, in possession of a beautiful and magical language, and blessed by long life, it’s no wonder than many fans of fantasy have become obsessed with these pointy-eared protagonists.

If you count yourself among their fans, you may want to learn the elves’ language. Which is exactly what the app ElvenSpeak lets you do… to a point.

While this Tolkien app includes a date converter and 20-odd lessons that can help you learn how to speak elvish, don’t take it too seriously. ElvenSpeak is not a dedicated language-learning app like Duolingo. Instead, it’s a casual tool to help fans dig deeper into Middle-Earth lore so that they can express their enjoyment of it.

Some downsides to this app:

  • ElvenSpeak is only available for iOS.
  • The Elven Poker, Dictionary, Flash, and Writings sections of the app are inaccessible/only available for ElvenSpeakPro subscribers. While ElvenSpeak offers in-game ads for a paid version of the app, that paid version no longer seems to be available in the app store.
  • As such, it’s pretty clear that this app hasn’t been updated in some time, so there are lots of bugs for certain features. Therefore, use ElvenSpeak at your own risk.

Overall, we’re not too impressed with ElvenSpeak, but if you’re a diehard Tolkien fanatic who wants a quick Middle-Earth date converter on your iPhone, you should give it a shot.

Additionally, there’s Elfic – Elvish Translator and Sindarin dictionary (+Phrasebook). Both of these apps are Lord of the Rings Android extensions that help you learn Elvish.

Download: ElvenSpeak on iOS (Free)

3. Middle-Earth Guidebook NZ

The fact that the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in New Zealand is no secret. In fact, the presence of this blockbuster ended up being a huge advantage to the tourist economy of that country.

The free Middle-Earth Guidebook NZ app makes the exploration of these filming locations even easier. Basically, this app harnesses the power of Google Maps to give you a guided tour of each “Middle-Earth” destination.

If you zoom in on the app’s main map:

  • You can click on the different location markers.
  • Each marker designates a particular spot where one of the three movies was filmed.
  • When you click on these location markers, an “info” card will pop up. This card will give you the location’s real-life name, the movie location’s name, and a screenshot.

Additionally, if you tap on the info card again, you’ll be taken to a second screen. On this second screen, you can find even more information. Here, you’ll see:

  • A close-up Google Map view of the area.
  • A screenshot of the location from the movie.
  • A YouTube clip from that location in the movie (if available).
  • Links to Middle-Earth related tours in that region (if available).

Overall, this Tolkien app is a neat travel companion for anyone planning a Middle-Earth inspired trip to New Zealand. The main downside? It’s only available for iOS.

Download: Middle-Earth Guidebook NZ on iOS (Free)

4. The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth

LotR Mobile Game Journeys in Middle Earth

For those of you who are into both board games and LotR mobile games, Journeys in Middle-Earth is where it’s at.

This Lord of the Rings mobile game is a companion app for a board game of the same name. So right up front, we should stress that while this app is fantastic to look at, it’s only there to “dictate the setup of each encounter, track your party’s inventory and skills, and resolve combat.” You need the board game for the full thing to work.

When you first download the app and open it, you can choose to:

  • Start a new game.
  • Load an old game.
  • Adjust your voice or music settings.
  • Access a quick link for the board game’s rules.

You can also:

  • Select a difficulty level when setting up a new game.
  • Specify your heroes, items, and party name to use in the game.
  • Specify which board game collection you’re using through the app.

Then, you just start playing.

Overall, this Lord of the Rings game app is a great one to use alongside the board game itself. However, because of its aforementioned reliance on the game, Journeys in Middle-Earth will be a rather niche download. If you don’t have the board game, you can buy Journeys in Middle-Earth on Amazon.

Download: The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth on Android | iOS (Free, with in-app purchases available)

These Tolkien Apps Whisk You Away to Middle-Earth

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth is still as popular as ever, which explains the number of Tolkien apps available on Google Play and the Apple App store. None of these apps are complex or flashy. However, they do give you something fun to do when you’re traveling, or having a Lord of the Rings- or The Hobbit-themed party with fellow Tolkien fans.

Middle-Earth is far from the only fantasy world worth exploring though, so whether or not you’re a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, check out the best 3D printables for tabletop fantasy RPGs.

Read the full article: 4 Lord of the Rings Apps for Exploring Tolkien’s Middle-Earth

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How to Delete Any and All Photos From Your iPhone or iPad

Are you struggling for space on your Apple device? You could buy increased capacity on iCloud, but a cheaper option is to erase some photos from your iPhone or iPad.

If you’re new to Apple devices, you may be wondering how to delete individual photos, how to delete photo albums, or event how to delete all photos on your iPhone. Don’t worry: it’s easy to do, and we’ll show you how.

How to Erase Photos After Syncing Your Device

You definitely need to create a backup of your iPhone or iPad before deleting your pictures. You can do this using iCloud, but unless you’ve paid for additional storage, you probably won’t have enough space.

It’s possible to use other cloud services, like Dropbox or OneDrive. However, chances are that you don’t have enough space in those without paying either.

You can otherwise import all content from your device to your Mac or PC by plugging it in. Run iTunes (or Finder on macOS Catalina and newer) and click Sync. Your PC might ask to download your photo library too.

After doing this, it will likely ask for permission to erase those images from your smartphone. This is a simple way to quickly erase all photos from your iPhone, but those pictures will still be on your computer. It’s in an effort to get rid of duplicate images.

Make sure you’ve backed up everything you want to keep before deleting anything.

How to Delete Photos from Your iPhone

You can delete individual pictures or do a mass delete of photos on your iPhone or iPad.

Let’s first cover how to select particular images. Open the Photos app and navigate to the image you want to erase. Open it to full size, then tap on the screen. A menu will appear at the bottom—just click on the trash can icon, then Delete Photo.

If you want to clear numerous pictures from your library, select Photos or Albums at the bottom of your interface. Next, tap either See All (on the Albums page) or All Photos > Select (on the Photos tab) and highlight however many images you want to get rid of. Click the trash symbol, then Delete X Photos.

Your device should warn you that “Some photos will also be deleted from Photo Stream on all your devices, and from an album.”

Selected the wrong photo? Just tap on it again to remove it from the selection. And should you feel like you’re making a mistake, just press Cancel at the top of your screen.

If you’ve deleted something by mistake, you can recover it, but we’ll come back to that.

How to Delete All Photos From Your iPhone at Once

You might want to bulk delete photos from an iPhone so you can sell it, pass it on to a friend or family member, or simply free up space. So how do you select and delete all your photos?

Use the same method as above; Albums > All Photos > Select.

Tap the most recent photo you want to delete. It’s easiest when it’s the third or fourth image in the latest row. Drag your finger to the left across the row, then upwards to the farthest-left picture on your interface. This will highlight every photo in between.

Your screen will start scrolling. To clear all photos from your device, keep your finger at the top-left of your album as it scrolls upwards until you reach the oldest image you want to remove. After they’re all selected, select the trash icon, then Delete.

This will also include all videos you have saved to your Camera Roll. You can still deselect individual image by tapping on them.

If you have a Mac, it’s even simpler to delete all pictures from your iPhone and any Apple devices connected to iCloud. Open Photos on your Mac, click Edit > Select All (or Cmd + A), then hold Cmd + Delete. This will erase all photos from numerous devices, as long as they’re connected to (not necessarily signed into) iCloud.

How to Permanently Delete or Recover Photos on Your iPhone

Even though you’ve deleted pictures, they may still be on your device! As a safety net in case you mistakenly erase something, the Photos app has its own Recently Deleted folder. Just scroll down on the Albums menu to find it.

You can recover individual pictures or delete them permanently by tapping on each image. The options—Delete and Recover—will appear at the bottom.

Alternatively, you can select and recover or delete multiple photos in the Recently Deleted album using the same method described above for deleting them all. That is, you choose Select then drag your finger from the bottom-right image and scroll upwards to the top-left.

If you’re looking for an image that’s not in Recently Deleted, there are other ways you can recover iPhone and iPad photos. Note that any images in your Recently Deleted folder are permanently erased 29 days after their initial deletion.

How to Delete a Photo Album on Your iPhone

What if you have an album that’s defunct? Or one that’s now empty because you’ve deleted all the pictures? Don’t worry: you can get rid of a whole album.

Choose See All > Edit on the Albums tab. Red circles will appear by each album. Tap the ones you want to erase, then confirm by tapping Delete Album. This won’t delete all your pictures: they’ll still exist in your iCloud Photo Stream, other cloud services, or your Recents album.

You might not want to get rid of the whole album. So how do you delete individual photos from an album?

Anything you delete from your main Camera Roll will also vanish from albums. However, if you just want to remove certain images, choose Select, tap the images you want to get rid of, then hit the trash icon. Finally, tap Remove from Album.

Delete Photos on iPhone

Delete Photos, Then Organize What’s Left

Now you know how to delete one or many photos on your iPhone or iPad. Run through these steps once in a while and you’ll keep your device from getting overwhelmed with old or poor photos.

Once you’ve cleared out the junk, why not organize the photos on your iPhone that remain?

Read the full article: How to Delete Any and All Photos From Your iPhone or iPad