Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss Spot the robot dog’s uses, HVAC evaluation and alerts, new Pokemon games, and more.
Jeff in Erie, Pennsylvania listens on WPSE and is calling via the App and asked: “I’m wondering if there’s a way, on an iPhone, to delete messages without going through three buttons to delete one message. If you highlight it, it says “Delete, delete for me, and then another delete.” Is there a way to do it just one time?”
Jeff, there is.
If you want to delete individual messages, you can hold your finger down on one of the messages you want to delete. That “delete” you mentioned will come up but there will probably be a second “more options” button.
Select that you’ll get a checkbox next to each message which will allow you to delete the ones you don’t want to see anymore and bulk delete them with a single tap at the end.
If you’d prefer to delete the entire conversation instead you can just swipe to the left and tap on delete.
Text messages don’t take up an awful lot of space, but if you’re worried about the media attached to them, you can also go into your phone’s settings and set a deletion policy that will just automatically get rid of any message older than a certain range.
You may have that set to keep forever, but there are other options that will allow your phone to take care of this for you so you don’t have to.
Penny in Windsor, Ontario listens on AM800 CKLW and asked: “I have a Samsung Galaxy A8. The main reason I bought the phone is because of the voice-controlled camera, as I can only use one hand. I can say “capture” and it would take the picture for me instantly. After an upgrade on the phone, the camera would no longer recognize the voice control. I looked everywhere to try to fix this and all the solutions did not work. DO you either know how I can fix this, or find an app that does the same thing?”
Penny, Google’s official camera does have this feature. The command in this case wouldn’t be “capture,” but your camera app may already allow you to do this.
Try telling your phone “hey, Google. Take a picture” or “hey, Google. Take a selfie” depending on which camera you’d like to use.
Before you do that, check your camera settings, there is a Voice setting to turn this feature on or off.
Also, remember that this is the stock Android camera, it may not be the camera that is currently installed on your phone since Samsung is not shy about filling their phones with bloatware.
If that doesn’t work for you or if you don’t like that camera there are lots of voice activity cameras on the Play store like VoCoCam, VoiceCamera, Voice Selfie, all of them free.
There’s even a whistle camera if you feel like whistling at your phone instead!
Matthew in Hartsdale, New York listens Online and asked: “Wanted to ask about the in-car entertainment systems that are out in the new 2020 cars, such as the Ford Sync 3 system, the GM IntelliLink and the Chevrolet MyLink system. If you could tell us the differences between these systems.”
Matthew, the IntelliLink and MyLink systems are the same except for each using a different theme. GMs and Chevys are the same cars with different badges so I guess we should know to expect no better from their infotainment systems.
They both support WiFi, though at a monthly cost so you may be better off using your phone’s hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Newer models support Alexa and have a GM Marketplace that allow you to do things like order food or pay or gas from the dashboard. All of those probably sound better on paper than in the real world since you probably have to pull over to do those things and phones are way easier and quicker to use.
Ford’s Ford Sync 3 also supports WiFi, CarPlay and Android Auto, and it has been an improvement since the previous version was regarded as notoriously bad and hard to use, having said that, it’s about to be replaced by Ford Sync 4.
That is the main thing you should know about these systems, they are second class citizens as far as car manufacturers are concerned and you shouldn’t expect them to be properly maintained. You shouldn’t even expect the updates to be free if they exist at all.
The reason we bring that up is that whatever you get will probably be good for a year or two, but will eventually feel like the touchscreen version of an 8-track tape and the manufacturer will probably not care and leave it as is.
You should probably focus on the mechanics of the car more than the smarts if you plan to keep it for more than 3 or 4 years. Whatever infotainment system the car has may or may not continue to be compatible with future version of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and will definitely lag behind phone software, so don’t let it be the deciding factor unless you plan to keep your car for the short term.
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