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Top 5 WhatsApp Tips & Tricks
WhatsApp has pretty much revolutionised instant messaging with the ability to make voice and video calls, create chat groups and even send multimedia attachments in an instant. These are great features, but there’s still a lot more you can do with WhatsApp. Become a messaging master with our top 5 WhatsApp tips and tricks. Read Receipts There are times when you just don’t want to immediately reply to a message. Unfortunately, those double blue ticks are a dead give-away that you’ve read the message and are intentionally not replying. You can easily disable the double blue ticks (Settings > Account > Privacy > Read Receipts) but it can become a pain to toggle them on and off just for certain chats. A simpler way is to switch your phone to airplane mode before you open a chat. You can then read the message without letting the sender know. Just exit the chat before you turn airplane mode off and the message will remain as unread. Hide Your “Last Seen” Status That annoying “last seen” status basically tells everyone in your contacts list when you’re on WhatsAapp. This can be especially annoying if you’re trying to avoid a conversation or just don’t want anyone to know that you stayed up until three in the morning chatting. You can easily turn this status off by going to Settings > Account > Privacy > Last Seen. From there, you can decide to make your status visible to certain people only, or none at all. Bold and Italics Get your point across more effectively with bold and italicised text. WhatsApp has a nifty hidden feature that lets you create bold and italicised text, but you’ll have to remember a few simple commands to get this done. To create bold text, simply insert an asterisk on either side of the word (word). For italics, insert an underscore on either side of a word (word). You can even create bold and italicised text by combining these commands (word). Use WhatsApp on Your Desktop Screen You no longer have to stare down at your smartphone when you want to chat on WhatsAapp thanks to the dedicated WhatsApp apps for both Windows and Mac OS. These apps allow you to easily sync your smartphone-based chats to your desktop computer for a big screen experience. Unsend Messages We’ve all sent a message that we immediately wish we could take back. Finally, WhatsApp has added a feature that allows users to recall a message within seven minutes. The catch is that the recipient must not have opened the message yet and both of you must be using the latest version of WhatsApp. To recall a message, simply tap and hold the message, and on the pop-up menu select Delete > Delete for Everyone. The message will then be deleted from the recipient’s chat window and replaced with a notice saying ‘This message was deleted’.
Google Unveils the Future of AI
For most people, the mention of Artificial Intelligence, or AI, conjures up images of Transformers, the androids from Westworld or J.A.R.V.I.S from Iron Man, to name just a few. AI has been fertile ground for exploration in science-fiction over the past few decades. Although technologies like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri are impressive, they’re still miles behind their science-fiction counterparts. Google is aiming to close this gap with their jaw-dropping AI showcased at the 2018 I/O developer conference. Dubbed Google Duplex, the AI demo left the 7000 audience members in awe, with a few even pondering what this could mean for the future of human interaction. Google Duplex isn’t being touted for its business applications, but rather as a virtual personal assistant for everyday consumers that integrates with Google Assistant to carry out specific tasks, such as making a phone call on your behalf! These capabilities were demonstrated by Google CEO Sundar Pichai using two recordings of real-world telephone calls made by the AI. The first call was to reserve a table at a restaurant, while the second was to book an appointment with a hairdresser. This can be particularly useful when businesses don’t offer online booking services and you don’t feel like making a call yourself. Just don’t use it to wish your significant other a happy anniversary, because we’re pretty sure Google won’t be held responsible for the consequences. The recorded examples proved that the AI can interact with people using either a male or female voice that is virtually indistinguishable from that of a real person. It even uses phrases such as “mmm-hmm” and “uh”, and matches natural human speech patterns and rhythms. In fact, neither the salon receptionist nor restaurant employee in the telephone recordings ever seem to realise that there isn’t an actual human on the other end of those calls. However, this seamless conversation raised a few important issues, such as the ethical implications of not disclosing to someone that they are talking to an AI-powered virtual assistant. Google agreed, promising to look at ways to build this notification into all interactions and say they will continue to refine the technology based on user feedback. Google isn’t really pushing the business applications of Duplex, so for now, consumer applications seem to be the sweet spot, and we can’t wait to see what they do with it.
How to Delete Your Facebook and Twitter History
Although more and more people are realising that it’s better to be cautious about what they post on social media these days, old posts from months or even years ago often come back to haunt them. In some extreme cases, people have lost their jobs and reputations over their old social media posts. Whether it was a joke made in bad taste, a photograph you wouldn’t want your boss to see, or an off-colour remark about a sensitive issue, the fact is that it’s all out there, just waiting to be discovered. The good news is that there are a few simple methods you can use to do a much-needed spring clean on your Facebook and Twitter timelines. How To Delete Facebook History It’s a time-consuming chore to manually scroll through your Facebook timeline, deleting one post at a time as you go. Facebook doesn’t currently offer an automated way to do bulk post deletions, but there is a solution if you use Google’s Chrome browser. If you aren’t already using Chrome, download and install the browser and then search for an extension called Social Book Post Manager, which automates the Facebook post deletion process and allows you to delete multiple Facebook posts in just one click. Once you’ve added the extension to Chrome, log in to your Facebook account, click the arrow in the upper right-hand corner and select Activity Log. Click the Social Book Post Manager extension button in the Chrome browser and, from the list of options, select a specific month and year if you want to get rid of everything from a particular period, or enter a search term if you want to delete only posts that contain a specific keyword or hashtag. Once you’ve decided which posts to get rid of, just hit Delete. Social Book Post Manager will then scroll through your timeline and highlight all posts that match your criteria. You can either confirm and nuke all of the selected posts or tweak the parameters again in case there are a few posts you might want to save. The process can be slow, so it’s a good idea to just select a month at a time and then rinse and repeat to get your timeline squeaky clean. How To Delete Twitter History Just like Facebook, Twitter doesn’t offer users an option to delete old posts in bulk, which means you’ll have to scroll through your timeline manually to delete tweets and retweets. One of the best, free third-party services that can automate the process for you is a web app called TweetDelete. To use TweetDelete, head to their home page, sign in with your Twitter account, and authorize the app to access your account. TweetDelete lets you delete up to 3200 tweets at a time based on the specified age limit, such as tweets older than 6 months or one year. You may have to rerun the app if you have thousands of tweets that you want to purge. Once you’ve activated the app and it completes its initial run, it will then check your account periodically for tweets that are older than the specified age (for example, 6 months) and will automatically delete them. If you just want a once-off clean of old tweets, you can easily disable TweetDelete at any time by revoking its access to your Twitter account in your settings menu. For both Facebook and Twitter, please ensure you backup anything you want to keep from your timeline before running these services, which delete everything permanently. It’s a good idea to download your Facebook and Twitter archives before doing a clean-up on your accounts.