How can I view the wifi password on my iPhone?

Wednesday May 20, 2020

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Sometimes you might be on a wifi network, and want to tell a friend or family member the password. But you can’t remember what it is. So, is there any way you can view a wifi password on your iPhone?

No. Sorry! But there are other things you can do that provide a solution to this problem.

How to share a wifi password on the iPhone
If you want to share the wifi password with another person with an iPhone, and they’re nearby (that is, in the same room, for example), then you can do so easily.

  1. Ask them to attempt to join the wifi network as usual – by opening the Settings app, tapping the Wi-Fi heading, and then selecting the wifi network in question.
  2. Your phone will then pop-up a dialog box asking if you want to share the password with them. You still won’t get to see the password. But if you tap the Share Password button, it will be transferred automagically through the air to the other iPhone.
  3. Your friend or family member’s iPhone will show the wifi password being autofilled (although still obscured by blobs), then they will join the wifi network with nothing more needing to be done.

But for this to work a few things need to be in place, and you might not necessarily be able to transmit the password to any random stranger’s iPhone.

  • Both wifi AND Bluetooth need to be turned on, on both phones. You can do this by opening Control Center and checking both options are activated.
  • Your Apple ID will need to be a contact in the other person’s Contacts list. You can ensure this is the case before trying the steps above by opening the Contacts app, tapping your own name at the top, scrolling to the bottom, and tapping Share Contact. Then choose to iMessage or AirDrop to the other person.

If you find this trick still doesn’t work despite this, try restarting both devices – power then off as usual, wait five seconds, and then power them back on again. Then repeat the steps as described above.

How to view a wifi password on a Mac
If you’re also a Mac user, then you can easily view any wifi password on a Mac using the Keychain Access app. (Obviously, this will have to be a wifi network that the Mac has already joined.)

  1. Open the Keychain Access app, which you’ll find in the Utilities folder of the Applications list in Finder.
  2. Click in the Search field at the top right, and type the name of the wifi network.
  3. There might be more than one result, so look to the right in the Kind column within the listing. Look for an entry that reads AirPort Network Password.
  4. Double-click the entry in the list that looks like the correct one.
  5. In the dialog box that appears, click the Show Password checkbox. You’ll be prompted to enter your login password, so do so. You will then see the password shown in the dialog box.

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How does the iPhone track steps?

Monday May 18, 2020

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Many people might not be aware but the Apple iPhone includes pedometer functionality that can count the number of steps you make in a day. In fact, it does this automatically, all the time.

This can be incredibly useful as part of any fitness improvement plan.

How does the iPhone step tracking work?
The iPhone can track steps because its circuitboard contains a handful of very small accelerometers. As their name suggests, these can detect and measure acceleration. That is to say, they sense when the phone is being moved in any of the 3D planes – and how quickly.

This can be used for some astonishing virtual reality tricks within apps, but on a much more simple level the accelerometers can also be used to detect the typical movements a body makes while walking or running. Apple spent a lot of time modelling these movements should the iPhone be stored in a trouser pocket, for example, or even if it’s strapped to an arm in a holster.

And this tracking happens all the time too, even when the phone’s is not being used.

Is the iPhone’s pedometer accurate? Mostly. A recent study said it’s accuracy is plus or minus around 14%. So, if you undertake 5,000 steps a day on average, the iPhone might miss 700 of those, or it might over-count 700 of them. The same research points out that the iPhone is even worse when it comes to estimating the distance you’ve walked, though, so take that with a pinch of salt.

For better accuracy you should consider couple a dedicated activity tracker for your iPhone, or an Apple Watch.

How do I view my steps on the iPhone
Viewing the number of steps you’ve undertaken, do the following: Open the Heath app, ensure the Summary icon is selected at the bottom of the screen, and then tap the Steps heading.

To view the data for just today, select the D tab at the top of the screen. The W, M and Y tabs show weekly, monthly and yearly totals instead, respectively.

How do I calibrate the iPhone’s pedometer?
The iPhone’s accelerometer/pedometer calibrates itself automatically, so don’t need to do anything.

You can force a reset of this calibration data by doing the following if you truly believe this is required. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings app, then tap the Privacy heading.
  2. Tap the Location Services heading, then tap the System Services heading.
  3. Tap the switch alongside Motion Calibration and Distance. This will temporarily turn it off. Then tap it again to turn it back on again.

How to add your own steps data to the iPhone
If you’ve an old pedometer (such as a belt-mounted model), or an activity monitor device incompatible with the iPhone, then you can add the step data it records to the Health app at the end of each day.

Open the Heath app, ensure the Summary icon is selected at the bottom of the screen, and then tap the Steps heading. Then tap the Add Data button at the top right, and input the daily figure.

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How to get a longer volume slider on the Mac

Sunday May 17, 2020

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The menu bar volume control on macOS, seen above, can be quite short. This can make precisely adjusting volume difficult, especially if you have Bluetooth speakers with their own volume settings.

If you have some kind of external playback hardware – like Bluetooth speakers, headphones, or AirPods – then there’s a little trick you can do to make the volume slider larger.

How do I make the volume control bigger on my Mac?
We can take advantage of a “feature” of macOS, which is that the volume slider pop-out window, is as wide as the name(s) of your playback hardware.

In other words, give your AirPods a longer name and the volume slider pop-out will be longer.

In simple terms, if you change your name of your AirPods from “Bob’s AirPods” to “Bob’s amazing wonderful AirPods”, then you’ll see a longer volume slider.

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Here’s how it’s done for AirPods or indeed any Bluetooth device. Remember that renaming your AirPods will rename them on all your Apple devices if you’re using Bluetooth.

  1. Ensure your AirPods are connected to your Mac. This is vital for these steps to work! In other words, pop them into your ears.
  2. Open System Preferences and click the Bluetooth icon.
  3. Find your AirPods in the list, and right-click them. Then select Rename from the menu that appears.
  4. You can now type a new name. Make it as long as possible! You can input any name up to 32 characters in length (including spaces).
  5. The changes will take effect immediately. Click the volume slider to see a new, larger/longer version!

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Where do you tap or touch AirPods?

Thursday May 14, 2020

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One of the innovations AirPods brought upon launch was the ability to double-tap them to make things happen (a single tap does nothing). This might be to summon Siri, or start and stop music. The AirPod Pro built on this to introduce touch sensors on the stem that you can squeeze. This replaced tapping so, in case you’re wondering, no, you can’t tap an AirPod Pro to control things.

You can’t tap the AirPod case either.

But where do you tap, touch or squeeze the AirPods?

Where to tap or touch Airpods (first/second generation)
This is a pretty simple answer. Just double-tap the part of the AirPod that’s outside your ear – somewhere around the shoulder of the AirPod, where the stalk begins to descend. Imagine you’re tapping the AirPod to push it further into your ear, if that helps. That’s where you should be tapping.

Double-tapping on a first generation AirPod will activate Siri, by default. Double-tapping a second generation AirPod will either start audio playing or, if audio is already playing, will skip forward to the next track. To activate Siri with second-generation AirPods, just say “Hey Siri”. Just like your iPhone or Apple Watch, the second-generation AirPods are always listening for this command when they’re in your ears.

Where to touch or squeeze AirPod Pros
Take a look at an AirPod Pro and you’ll see a slight indentations on the stem, or stalk. This is what Apple calls the Force Sensor, and this is what you’ll need to press, double-press or even triple-press, in order to make things happen.

The default actions are as follows:

Single touch: Play or pause audio or movies.
Double touch: Skip forward a track.
Triple touch: Skip back a track.
Touch and hold: Switch between the AirPods Pro’s noise cancellation and transparency modes.

With the AirPods Pro you don’t have to touch to activate Siri. Instead, say “Hey Siri”. Just like the second generation AirPods, the AirPods Pro are always listening for this command.

How to change what happens when you tap, touch or squeeze AirPods
Changing what happens when you tap or touch AirPods is easy to do, but finding where the settings are available is confusing.

  1. Connect your AirPods to your iPhone. This is important because this won’t work otherwise.
  2. Open the Settings app on your iPhone, and then tap the Bluetooth heading.
  3. Tap the (i) icon alongside the entry in the list of Bluetooth devices that corresponds to your AirPods.
  4. Make your selection from the options for each of the AirPods – left, or right.

On a Mac, you can adjust these settings by first ensuring your AirPods are connected to the Mac. Then open System Preferences, click the Bluetooth icon, and click the Options button alongside the AirPods entry in the list.

What does the button do on the back of the AirPods case?
While you can’t tap an AirPods case to make anything happen, you might be wondering what the little button on the back does. Can this be configured to do something?

No. This is there to allow you to switch the AirPods to Bluetooth pairing mode. Essentially, you should ignore this button – and resist the urge to press it or play with it, because if you press it for 15 seconds then it will reset your AirPods and make them forget their pairing!

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