5 Best Reasons to Leave Your Phone At Home

Like the majority of the world, I have a smartphone. It keeps me updated on the weather, notifies me of important emails, and even allows me to keep track of important meetings on the go. I use it as my alarm clock every morning, and it has become an extra accessory I could never leave home without.

For some people, the smartphone (and other small devices) is how news is relayed between regions. Even farmers check the price of a bushel of hay through smart devices. It is not only used for personal reasons, like tracking our kids’ whereabouts, but also for never missing an important phone call about a big work project.
Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, having this kind of technology at our fingertips has enabled us to be everywhere, practically do anything with the swipe of a screen, and learn anything by asking a mysterious woman called Siri. The satellite function of Google Maps both astounds and creeps me out with its accuracy. There is no such thing as “I couldn’t find you” anymore. No one would believe you.
Everything is tracked, and if it isn’t monitored in some way already with an app of some kind, chances are, one is in the works.
As much as the phone has enhanced our lives, it has also become a deterrent for living the way we once did. It has allowed the impersonal world of the web cater to our laziness and our love of convenience. As we rush out the door every morning, our first thought is never, “Did I feed the dog?” It’s, “Where’s my phone?”
Even the younger generations are becoming “vidiots” as we constantly push something electronic their way in the hopes of pacifying them while we wait at a restaurant or sit through church.
I am no different from the rest of you, but I have found great freedom in leaving my phone at home recently.
Going against convention and turning off my phone is also something I almost crave and am searching for a valid reason to do so.
Don’t get me wrong…I understand the need for a smart phone. The benefits of having one clearly outweigh the reasons for why we shouldn’thave one.
Nevertheless, here are 5 simple reasons for why leaving your smart phone at home is the smarter idea:

1. Less distractions.

Let’s face it, if your phone isn’t vibrating or ringing from constant notifications, you’ll be able to focus better on the task at hand. No matter how many friends you have on Facebook, you are bound to miss something in someone’s life no matter how up-to-date you try to be. If you have thousands of Twitter and Instagram Followers, catching up on what’s going on in their lives will keep you from being engaged in your own life. With work-life balance being a rarity these days, we may actually be able to leave a little bit of work at the office for even just a short while by staying away from our phones.

2. Peace and quiet.

It may sound silly, but not having to listen to someone talk into their Bluetooth headset or headphones can be refreshing. The quietness we encounter will allow us to hear the birds sing and to hear the wind whip lightly through the trees as the seasons begin to change. As we take time to return to the good old ways of reading (with a book instead of a Kindle), we can feel the pages slip through our fingers, and hear the lapping of the waves as they crash onto the shore. We can recharge without feeling like we’re being pulled in so many directions.

3. Connect with people.

It sounds far-fetched, but since the birth of texting and SnapChatting, our lack of in-person interaction has caused human conversation and interaction to become very impersonal. Before smartphones, it was important to know and remember the phone numbers of the people we needed to call most. My guess is that most of us can’t remember the phone numbers of the top 3 people in our contacts. Even sporting events, children’s concerts, and a night out with a loved one has turned into events that are experienced in silence as each person stays glued to their work email and/or texts. Remember, the memories you create with people will always beat any Vine video.

4. Heightened senses.

People take some remarkable pictures of the incredible food they encounter when eating out for others to see, but will accumulating a large online following help you in savoring the crispness of the garden salad, the texture of the spinach and hard boiled egg rolling around in your mouth, swirling with the dressing that has just the right amount of spice and tanginess? Will your followers help you take in the colorful layers of greens and reds of the Grand Canyon and its walls that are now visible because of the Colorado River flowing below? Hearing the laughter of babies, watching a vow of love, or even feeling the comfort shared through the touching of hands cannot be described or experienced the same way if you are not present in the moment.

5. Remain a mystery.

Here’s the thing…no one really wants to know why you needed to take your dog to the vet, and you don’t need to “check in” every time you go out to buy a bag of Cheetos or a liter of soda. Sometimes, it is fun to show others that you’ve been somewhere different and unexpected, but for the most part, we can’t know everything, about everyone, all the time. It’s okay to “tag” your family and friends every once in a while, but no one wants to see or hear about you every second of the day. We all have lives too, you know. Keep a few secrets hidden from the rest of the world. You may meet your best friend for coffee every week at the same time, at the same place, but the rest of the world doesn’t need to know that… This way, it’s more special. And it will stay special – even if it is just coffee.
In conclusion…
Technology will only continue to improve, and our senses will continue to be overloaded with the never-ending stimulation found in our pocket and purse, or sitting on our desk. Because we never want to fall too far behind, this constant need to be “in the know” has created more stress in an already busy life. Our lack of sleep has turned a good night’s rest into a low-quality nap, as the ever-present abyss of Pinterest becomes an unwitting time-suck. Suddenly, it’s 3:33 am, and we’ve created 2 new boards and pinned 17 more recipes that we will never try before we finally black-out from exhaustion.
Next time when you’re outside enjoying the brisk coolness found in the soon-to-be-autumn air, cuddling with your loved one near the fire pit, listening to the crackle of the wood, feeling the warmth in each flicker of flame, and watching the orange glow slowly burn its way through the path of the least resistance, realize that you are hearing a long-forgotten, but familiar sound… It is life.

10 Must-Have Apps for Music Junkies

Even though the music industry has undergone many evolutions in the past 15 years, people’s connection with music remains unchanged. Music continues to be one of our greatest sources of inspiration. It is one of the few human expressions that carries the magic to change emotions and the way we perceive the world. That said, it’s no wonder many people have a deep relationship with music. And as technology grows, so does music. Here are 10 must-have music apps trending today.

1. Musical.ly

If you’re not living in a cave, you’ve probably heard of the app musical.ly. The newest mobile app that’s making teens and Millennials lip-sync, dance, and perform comedy skits through songs is now considered to be as popular as Twitter and Instagram. With close to 100 million users, the app remains a favorite for many users worldwide.

2. Spotify

As one of the leading music-streaming apps, Spotify remains the best music player software for many people. With more than 30 million tracks, Spotify makes people feel like they have access to all of the world’s music on their mobile. Costing users $10 a month for premium music, Spotify makes sure that artists are also paid fairly for their music and users receive great value for their subscription.

3. Shazam

Mystery song playing in the background? Find out the lyrics and artist with the Shazam music app. Shazam is a music identification app that helps users identify tracks whenever and wherever they play in the background. So whether you’re sitting on a bus or in a restaurant when some nice music starts playing, you can simply tag the music and the app will get back to you with the artist’s information, the song title, and the album name.

4. Musixmatch

Sync lyrics with your favorite songs using Musixmatch. Musixmatch is a popular lyric app for mobile and has over more than 40 million users worldwide. It shows synchronized lyrics as music plays on your device. The best thing about Musixmatch is it supports many streaming apps, including Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, and Google Play Music.

5. Music Paradise Pro

Need to find royalty-free music, sound effects, and short sound clips? Music Paradise Pro is the app you’re looking for. Music Paradise Pro is the best place to discover new tunes under the creative common license — so basically, all the music here is free. Aside from downloading tunes, Music Paradise Pro allows users to edit tracks and use them for ringtones.

6. iHeart Radio

Switch to your favorite radio station with iHeart Radio. One of the best mobile apps that allows users to listen to local radio stations, iHeart Radio provides access to thousands of live radio stations across the country. It also allows users to build their own playlist for different kinds of activities and moods. You can also play track after track of radio songs from the station you like so that hosting a music party becomes effortless.

7. Cheeky Fingers

A great app for pianists, Cheeky Fingers is a piano chord dictionary that lets users use keys to see various chord variations with great sound progression that will inspire you to craft your next song. Compatible with iPad and iPhone, Cheeky Fingers allows users access to more than a hundred chords, along with musical notations and chord inversions. The app also allows options for slow, medium, or fast playbacks.

8. RockMyRun

Get the best workout tunes with RockMyRun. This app allows users to play different workout soundtracks, along with DJ-mixed playlists for different kinds of songs. With RockMyRun, you can motivate yourself to exercise and get your body moving. RockyMyRun allows users to explore more than a thousand stations for every workout music genre, mood, and tempo.

 9. Spinrilla

For hip-hop lovers, Spinrilla is a godsend. This music app features different kinds of hip-hop tunes trending worldwide. You can explore through singles and search for your favorite artist. The charts show popular music from “today,” “month,” and “all time.” Spinrilla has hundreds of featured mixtapes that are great for dancing and party music.

10. Tidal

Tidal is best known as the first music service with high fidelity sound quality. With over 40 million tracks, Tidal’s lossless audio experience creates the best sound quality for passionate audiophiles. Tidal offers users high-quality sound and music videos for one of the best sound experiences. Aside from music, Tidal includes curated editorials by music journalists and experts.

9 Great Websites for Car Drivers

Whether you are already a car owner or you are looking for a new car, it is a good idea to learn as much about cars as you can. Not only does this enable you to make better decisions when it comes to buying, it also enables you to become a more informed car owner and driver.

The more you can learn about cars, buying them, and their maintenance, the more you are going to enjoy being a car owner. To help you get started, here are nine great websites for car drivers.

1. Car and Driver

If you are in the market for a new vehicle, it is a good idea to check out the best resource when it comes to reviews, buyers’ guides, and more. Car and Driver has all of the most up-to-date information about the vehicles you are interested in, so you can make the best decision.

2. Top Gear

Another great site that is loaded with reviews and buying guides is BBC Top Gear. Find articles about the best luxury cars, sports cars, and other cars that are loaded with features and are fun to drive. If you are a lover of luxury sports cars, this is definitely a website that you need to check out.

3. Waze

This is a site that helps people create communities of drivers who help one another to become better drivers and improve the quality of their daily commutes. Users with this app can give data to other drivers that will help them to avoid traffic jams, accidents, etc. This is going to make your driving experience a lot better and help you to avoid being late for work, appointments, etc.

4. Repair Pal

When you need to have auto repairs, it can cost a small fortune. Use this site to find the best deals on all types of auto repairs. Repair Pal certifies auto repair shops to ensure that anyone can get quality repairs at prices they can actually afford.

5. Koala Glass

If you are looking for information about windscreens, whether related to insurance or reasons for why your windscreen might crack, then take a look at Koala Glass’ blog which provides helpful tips. It is important to have your windscreen fixed immediately when you have issues so that the problem doesn’t get even worse.

6. Tax Mileage

Do you drive for your job and get paid for mileage? It can often be difficult to calculate mileage, so it’s a lot easier to let the Tax Mileage app do the calculations for you. This app is easy to use and is very cost effective. You can efficiently report mileage expenses quickly and easily and save thousands of dollars each year.

7. Best Parking

A huge problem that drivers in cities encounter is a lack of parking. This site lets you find the most convenient and cheapest places to park, no matter where you are. Simply select a city or an airport and find the best places to park.

8. Bit Spice

AutoMate by Bit Spice lets you stay connected while you are driving without being a danger on the roads. It will search through maps, let you control music, operate your phone to call and view call logs, give you hands-free messaging, and using the voice control lets you keep your eyes on the road at all times.

9. iOnRoad

iOnRoad is an app that lets you turn your smartphone into a personal driving assistant. Some of the driving assistance you will receive includes collision warnings, augmented driving, and video like a black box. This software is available on a number of platforms, including Android, Windows, and Linux.

4 Tools to Better Manage Your Android Device

Almost all smartphones are powered by the Android Operating System, perhaps over 80% of them. Yet Android smartphones just can’t do it all, since most of them do not come with more complex management software like the Android PC suite. Also, Google doesn’t have devoted software on the Mac or the PC for your Android device. But, we all need to manage our devices somehow!

Well, smartphones are here to stay. Thus it is necessary to discover the right tools that will save us the time and effort when it comes to managing our Android smartphone.
Here are four tools that can help you do this.

1. Mobikin Assistant for Android

There are other Android PC Suite software choices out there, but the Mobikin Assistant stands out because you do not need to search the internet to download or install device drivers on your PC for it to work with your Android device. The Mobikin Assistant for Android is installed on your computer, and your smartphone can be connected to PC via USB cable. You can then export contacts, files, and text messages from your Android mobile phone or tablet into your computer. This way, you can free up more space on your smartphone.
You can backup and manage your contacts with this tool. You don’t need to spend so much time finding the right contact to call. Rather than having both your Gmail accounts and your phone memory card configured to store contacts because you are worried about losing them, Mobikin Assistant for Android PC has a duplicate contacts finder option to help you weed out similar contacts from your Android Smartphone Phonebook.
Another reason Mobikin would be a great manager for your Android Smartphone is that you can manage your text messages with it. Deleting junk text messages just got easier and faster.

2. SnapPea

What makes SnapPea unique is that it is one tool that you can use to manage, control and backup Andriod from Windows. Managing your devices from Windows can be tedious. However, SnapPea offers a desktop tool that can be used to organize and backup your Android tablet or phone from Windows, and yes, they also have a Mac version too.
SnapPea offers you the option of backing up apps. Before making any major app upgrades, you can copy your relevant files from your device to your computer. You also can edit, create and delete address book entries, and send your SMS with the program too.

3. AirDroid

AirDroid is another tool that can help you manage all files on your Android device. You can send and receive text messages; play, import, and export music or videos; send and receive text messages; even manage ringtones and notification sounds. The premium version allows you to find a lost phone, and remotely wipe or lock the phone. You can also manage contacts, connect, and switch between up to six devices.
Through a PC, you can manage most of your common phone tasks with this tool, and it is pretty easy to set up. It can also work without a wireless network if you are working outside your home.

4. Moborobo

Moborobo is an Android sync software and app developer. It supports all devices, and you can manage just about anything on your phone from your PC. When connected to the internet, it works very well, and it is pretty safe because of its verification code. It doesn’t require an internet connection to work, though, and it can be set to automatically backup whenever you connect your device. One inadequacy, though, is that it does require a USB or shared network connection to connect to your Android device. However, it does have a FindMyPhone function in case your device goes missing. With Moborobo, you can make an easy switch/upgrade to a new phone.

7 Language Hacks to Learn Any Language Faster

Language learning can feel like a marathon. When most of us first start learning anything new, it’s easy to feel confused with where to get started, what methods we should use, and how much time we should commit to it.

But with the right language hacks, you can reach the finish line faster: learn Spanish, French, Mandarin, or any language you want to learn.
Today, we’re going to share 7 language hacks to help you learn any language faster.

1. Have a Word of the Day.

A study was done on language learning revealed that:
“Studying the first 1000 most frequently used words in the language will familiarize you with 76.0% of all vocabulary in non-fiction literature, 79.6% of all vocabulary in fiction literature, and 87.8% of vocabulary in oral speech.
Studying the 2000 most frequently used words will familiarize you with 84% of vocabulary in non-fiction, 86.1% of vocabulary in fictional literature, and 92.7% of vocabulary in oral speech.
And studying the 3000 most frequently used words will familiarize you with 88.2% of vocabulary in non-fiction, 89.6% of vocabulary in fiction, and 94.0% of vocabulary in oral speech.”
This means that learning the most common 1,000 words in any language will be the best use of your time, since learning an additional 1,000 words will only give you a 5% boost (from 88% to 93%) in oral speech.

2. Pick the right languages.

One way to speed up your language learning journey is to focus on learning the right language in the first place. This will be different for each person, but learning Spanish if you already know English is a lot easier than if you were to try to learn Mandarin.
Learning a language is a lot like learning a new sport. If you know how to play water polo, learning a similar sport, such as handball is going to be a lot easier for you than trying to learn a sport involving different coordination, such as golf.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t attempt to learn a language that sprouts from a different language family. At the end of the day, your passion for learning a language will triumph the difficulties that you’ll face along the way.

3. Know the grammar shortcuts.

According to Rype,
 “This is a popular framework introduced by Tim Ferriss, originally to analyze how fast you would be able to learn the language you want.
However, it also serves as a powerful framework to learn how the grammar rules are applied in your desired language by breaking down each part of the sentence.
According to Ferriss, these 8 “golden” sentences are just about all you need to know in order to understand how the language works because it shows verbs are conjugated between speaker and subject, they show gender, number, direct and indirect objects, negations and tense.”

4. Speak the language as much as you can.

Just like the way we learned how to ride a bicycle for the first time, speaking a new language can only come from doing it.
It means we need to be in front of native speakers, making as many mistakes as we can, and getting immediate feedback along the way.
There is no shortcut or hack around this because speaking the language is the hack itself.
You can try going to the following resources to gain more speaking practice:
  • Conversation/Language Exchanges like conversationexchange.comor mylanguageexchange.com
  • Local city language meetups like meetup.com or couchsurfing.com
  • Asking a friend who speaks your target language
  • Private language teacher platforms

5. Carry around a notebook and write down new words you learn.

This tip is particularly recommended for intermediate or advanced learners since it’s going to be hard to keep track of every single word you learn when you’re just starting out.
But when you’re further along your journey, you can start to write down the new vocabulary that you learn from your private teacher or friends.
Studies show that writing things down can help us retain more information in the brain, and it also allows us to refer to the list of new words we wrote down in the future.
To make it easier on yourself, we recommend using the Notes application on your smartphone, because that will allow you to keep everything in the cloud, without requiring you to carry a bulky notebook wherever you go.

6. Schedule it in.

Research shows that scheduling our priorities is more effective than simply keeping a to-do list of our upcoming tasks. This is because scheduling forces us to have a realistic deadline, and has a timeline to complete the task.
If you want to find more time in your schedule to learn a language, we recommend making it a priority by scheduling it into your daily calendar and sticking to it.
Here are some additional tips to find more time as provided:
  1. Shortening your work tasks —  This means that if you think a work task will take 2 hours, give yourself a deadline of 1 hour. It’s likely you’ll find a way to focus to get it done in time.
  2. Cut out unimportant free times — are there spare times in your day, where you simply do nothing or time-wasting tasks? Perhaps you find yourself going on social media in the late afternoon everyday, or checking email more than 5 times per day.
  3. Bundle your free times together — While I don’t recommend multi-tasking when you’re doing important work, it can be effective in saving you time when you’re slacking. For example, rather than giving up social media or email time, you can perform these tasks together.
You can also check out these recommended websites to learn a language if you’re too busy.

7. Get a private teacher.

What do most of the top performers in the world have in common? They have a personal coach, whether it’s a fitness coach, business coach, or life coach.
Having someone accountable to your success not only allows them to see the blind spots that you’re missing, but they’re also able to get you through the rough moments you’ll inevitably face.
Psychologists have studied what’s known as the transition cycle.
It’s the cycle of progress we go through whenever we’re experiencing change or a novel event, such as a tragic event or even learning something new.
If you’re serious about learning a new language, and you want to see faster results, getting yourself a private teacher that can give you the support and help you need is one of the best personal investments you can make.
Check out these best language websites and apps to get started.

How to Make a Bootable macOS Sierra USB Install Drive

If you want to do a clean install of macOS Sierra, or you have multiple Macs to install it on, then a bootable flash drive for is your best bet for easy installation. Here’s how to make one.

The Easy Option: Disk Creator

The easiest way to create a USB flash installer is with the free program, Disk Creator.
  1. Download the macOS Sierra installer and Disk Creator.
  2. Insert an 8GB (or larger) flash drive. If you have any other data on that flash drive, back it up now, because the installer will delete everything on it.
  3. Open Disc Creator and click the “Select the OS X Installer” button.
  4. Find the Sierra installer file. This is should be located in your Applications folder.
  5. Select your flash drive from the drop-down menu.
  6. Click “Create Installer.”
When it’s done, insert your USB drive into any Mac, then launch the installer by holding down the Option key when you boot up your computer.

The DIY Option: Terminal

If you don’t want to download an extra bit of software, you can make your own installer USB drive using Terminal.
  1. Download the macOS Sierra installer.
  2. Insert an 8GB (or larger) flash drive and give it a name. For this tutorial, we’ll use the name Untitled. Make sure the drive is formatted for OS X Extended (Journaled). If it isn’t, open up Disk Utility and format is so it is. Before you do so, back up any important data on that drive. It’s best to disconnect any other external hard drives or flash drives so you don’t mix them up.
  3. Open up Terminal (Applications > Utilities).
  4. Type (or copy and paste) this command into Terminal, replacing Untitled with the name of your drive, then press Enter:sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Sierra.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Sierra.app --nointeraction &&say Done
  5. Type in your password when prompted and press Enter.
  6. Let the command line do its work and don’t interrupt it until you see the final line that says Done. This can take a while, so be patient.
When it’s done, insert your USB drive into any Mac, then launch the installer by holding down the Option key when you boot up your computer.

How To Clean Cluttered Hard Drive with macOS Sierra's New Storage Manager

One of the new, handy features in macOS Sierra takes care of something you probably don’t think much about: cluttered files filling up your hard drive. Now there’s a built-in utility that replaces those third-party tools and makes it easy to find space-hogging files, old applications, and more.

Find and Open the New Storage Management Tool

The Storage Management tool is technically an app, but you won’t find it in your Applications folder. You can get to it in one of two ways. You can pull it up by searching for “Storage Management” in Spotlight (press Command+Space and type), or click the Apple logo > About This Mac. From that screen, select the Storage tab, then click Manage.

The Recommendations Page Guides You Through the Basics

The first tab you see when you open Storage Management is the Recommendations tab. This gives you a simple overview of quick ways to free up storage space. Most of these are automated, so if you don’t like the idea of giving up control over which files are deleted and when, you shouldn’t bother with them, but they are quick fixes that can free up a lot of space. Here’s how each of the four options works:
  • Store in iCloud: This moves files back and forth between your Mac and iCloud abased on your usage. This means it only keeps recently opened files on your hard drive when you’re running low on storage, which sounds great in theory, but can be problematic if you’re the type of person who needs access to older documents. Unless you’re really desperate for space on your computer, it’s probably best to skip this option.
  • Optimize Storage: This saves space by automatically removing files you probably don’t need anymore. This includes removing any iTunes movies or shows you’ve already watched, or deleting large email attachments.
  • Empty Trash Automatically: If you’re the type of person who never empties your trash can, this will do it for you for items 30 days old.
  • Reduce Clutter: Clicking the “Review Files” button here just takes you to the Documents tab, which we’ll cover below.
The Recommendations starting point is useful, but it’s not enough to actually clear up that much space on your hard drive. For that, you’ll need to take a little manual control.

Use Each Tab to Find and Remove Massive, Old, or Unwanted Files

While Sierra’s automated options are neat, they’re not actually that useful for clearing up space right now. Thankfully, the rest of the tools included here can do just that. Let’s take a look at each of them to see what you can safely delete in each section.
  • Documents: This tab is your main bread and butter. It sorts out large files, gets you to your downloads folder, and includes a more general file browser that shows you the file size of every folder. This section is the simplest way to find large files to clear up storage fast. When you hover over a file, click the “X” to delete it right away or the magnifying glass to show it in Finder.
  • iBooks: Considering the size of ebooks, this tab doesn’t make much sense, but you can take a look at all the files you have stored in iBooks here. If you’ve loaded up a lot of PDFs, you might be able to clear out some storage here, but otherwise you can generally ignore this tab.
  • iCloud Drive: This just links you to the “Store in iCloud” option listed above.
  • iOS Files: There’s a good chance you can quickly clear up a lot of storage space by deleting old iOS backups and installers. If you don’t need to keep old backups around, go ahead and delete them. You can also delete any old installers.
  • iTunes: As the name suggests, this is your iTunes folder. While you may want to keep your music around, you can clear out old movies, TV shows, and podcasts pretty easily here.
  • Mail: If you use Apple Mail, it can end up wasting a ton of storage space after a couple years as it saves all your attachments and images. If it’s taking up a lot of space, you’ll see the option to only save recent emails and attachments here. Otherwise, this section is empty.
  • Photos: If you use iCloud Photo Library, you’ve long had the option to only include “optimized photos” on your Mac. This essentially means you’ll only store low-resolution versions. You can always download the high resolution version from iCloud, so if you have a ton of photos stored in iCloud Photo Library but don’t have much storage space on your Mac, turning this option on is a good way to retain access to those photos without wasting too much space.
  • Trash: As the name suggests, this is your Trash. You can safely empty this if you have a lot of files stored in there.
The Storage Management app is great for experts looking to seriously clear out space, but it’s certainly enough for most people. While we’re not confident in most of the automated solutions included here, the manual file sorting should be enough for most people to quickly clear out storage space when needed.

How to Turn On Encryption In Facebook Messenger

The end-to-end message encryption Facebook promised to Messenger users back in July has finally finished rolling out to everyone. Here’s how to enable it.

A source at Facebook informed Wired that its new “Secret Conversations” functionality is now available to all 900 million users of the service. The new end-to-end encryption doesn’t turn on automatically, however. You have to turn it on for each conversation.
If you want to start a new encrypted conversation:
  1. Tap the new conversation icon at the top right.
  2. Tap “Secret” in the top right.
  3. Choose your recipient and begin messaging.
If you want to turn an ongoing conversation into an encrypted Secret Conversation:
  1. Open the message thread.
  2. Tap their name at the top of your screen.
  3. Tap “Secret Conversation” to switch it over.
If you don’t see those options, it could mean the recipient doesn’t have the current version of Facebook Messenger. They’ll need to update their app for Secret Conversations to work. Also, Secret Conversations don’t allow the sending of GIFs and videos, but you can still share picture and use stickers. And it’s important to note that you can only access your Secret Conversations from the device it was enabled on. So if you start an encrypted conversation on your phone, that’s the only place you can send and receive encrypted messages for that particular conversation.

How to Control Your Raspberry Pi from Any Computer Using VNC

At $35, the Raspberry Pi is a fantastic little computer, but when you add in the cost of a display, mouse, and keyboard, things get a little more expensive. Good thing you don’t really need them. With VNC, you can access your Pi from a laptop or desktop computer using the same mouse, keyboard, and display that you always do, no rewiring required.

Step One: Download VNC Viewer on Your Windows or Mac Computer


You have a lot of different options for VNC software, but we’ve found that VNC Viewer is the easiest to use that works well with the Raspberry Pi. From your PC or Mac (and iPhone or Android, for that matter), head to RealVNC’s VNC Viewer, click the Download button for your operating system, then download the free application.

Step Two: Start VNC Server Using SSH or Terminal


VNC Server is included with the newest version of Raspbian, PIXEL, so all we need to do here is start up a server. If you’re using an older version of Raspbian or a different operating system altogether, this guide by the Raspberry Pi Foundation shows you how to download and install it.
We’re assuming that you want to set up VNC because you don’t have access to an extra display, mouse, and keyboard. So, the best way to do so is to use Secure Shell (SSH). SSH allows you to control your Raspberry Pi using the command line from any computer. You’ll need to do this to start the VNC Server for the first time.
  1. Power up your Raspberry Pi and plug it into your router with an ethernet cable.
  2. Download and install Adafruit’s Pi Finder for your operating system. When it’s done downloading, launch the app and click the “Find My Pi” button.
  3. Pi Finder will search for the Raspberry Pi on your network. Let it do its thing. Eventually, it’ll show your Raspberry Pi’s IP address. Make sure the user is set to pi and the password is set to raspberry (assuming you haven’t changed these from the default, that is, otherwise enter your own credentials), then click the Terminal button.
  4. This logs you into the Raspberry Pi’s command line, where you can start up the VNC Server that comes packed with your Pi. In the command line prompt, type in: vncserver and press Enter. This runs a command and starts the VNC server on the Raspberry Pi. At the end of the command you’ll see a note similar to the one in the image above that says, “New desktop is raspberrypi:1” followed by a number that includes the Pi’s IP address, like (192.168.0.19:1). Make a note of this number, you’ll need it to log into the VNC server from your PC.
Now that the VNC server is running, you can log into it from your other computer.

Step Three: Log Into VNC Server from Your PC