TIME apps

6 Must-Know Tricks for Mastering Apple Music

A guide to Apple's powerful but somewhat confusing new app

Apple Music, Apple’s new streaming service, is finally here. The $9.99-per-month service is trying to beat competitors like Spotify and Google Play Music by cramming in as many features as possible: access to 30 million songs on demand, playlists curated by music experts, algorithmically powered radio stations and a live radio station like the ones you hear on the classic FM dial.

All those features add up to make Apple Music an incredibly powerful app, but also one that can be pretty challenging to navigate. Here are five quick tips to make the experience a bit more seamless:

Understanding Apple Music’s Tabs

Apple Music is divided into five main sections, and it’s not exactly obvious what each one does. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • For You shows you personalized playlists and albums based on the genre and artist preferences you pick out when you first open the app, as well as your play history.
  • New shows a list of new songs and albums, currently popular content, videos and thematic playlists.
  • Radio features Beats 1, Apple’s 24/7 live radio station, and algorithmically driven stations based on genre.
  • Connect is a social network that lets artists connect directly to fans.
  • My Music shows the songs you have in your library, as well as any playlists you’ve built.

Show Only Songs You’ve Downloaded

Apple Music doesn’t do much to help denote which songs are downloaded to your phone and which are floating in the cloud. On the “My Music” tab, you can select the drop-down menu that begins with “Artists” in the middle of the screen and activate the “Music Available Offline” option at the bottom of the menu. That will make it so only songs on your iPhone show up.

Turn Off Your Subscription’s Auto-Renewal

Apple Music comes with a free three-month subscription, but be careful—Apple has already “helpfully” signed you up to begin paying the $9.99 monthly fee via your iTunes account when the trial ends. To make sure you don’t get charged, press the human silhouette icon in the top left corner of Apple Muisc, select “View Apple ID,” then select “Manage” under the Subcriptions header. Select “Apple Music Membership” and then select “Free Trial.” The app should then show you the date your trial is set to end, and it won’t charge you after that time expires.

 

Download Songs Using Cellular Data

By default, the iPhone only downloads songs over Wi-Fi to help prevent large data bills. If you want to be able to download Apple Music songs to your phone via wireless data, go to the Settings menu and then select “iTunes & App Store.” Toggle the “Use Cellular Data” option on, and Apple Music will be able to download songs whenever you have an Internet connection.

See the Upcoming Schedule for Beats 1

Beats 1, Apple Music’s live radio station, is a new twist for music streaming, but presents an age-old problem for music listeners: how do you know what the radio station is going to play next? If you simply click on the “Beats 1” art at the top of the “Radio” tab, you’ll be presented with a schedule of the upcoming shows over the next several hours. Bonus protip: you can add any song playing on Beats 1 to your library by selecting the three periods to the right of the song’s name and clicking “Add to My Music.”

Adjust Your Genre/Artist Preferences

When you first boot up Apple Music, the app will ask you to pick a few favorite genres to help it show you songs catered to your tastes. Later on, if you realize the app is serving you a bit too much death metal, you can change these preferences easily. Click the human silhouette icon in the top left corner, select “Choose Artists for You” and you’ll be taken to the same selection screen for genres and artists that you saw when you first used the app.

TIME apps

Snapchat Just Added a Bunch of New Features

Yahoo Set To Invest $20 Million In Snapchat
Peter Macdiarmid—Getty Images In this photo illustration the Snapchat app is used on an iPhone on October 6, 2014 in London, England.

Sore thumbs, rejoice

Ephemeral messaging app Snapchat is rolling out a few new features in an effort to make the software easier to use, the company said in a blog post Wednesday.

Most notably, users no longer have to press their thumb down on the screen while viewing pictures or video they’ve received — sore thumbs rejoice! Now, a simple tap on the screen will suffice.

Snapchat is also adding a new way for users to add friends to their contact list with an “Add Nearby” feature that can come in handy in group situations. Snapcodes, the QR codes people can scan with their phones to instantly add the code’s owner to their contacts, are getting two upgrades: they can now be personalized with a selfie “so that it’s easier for friends to recognize you when you add them on Snapchat,” and they can be shared outside the app.

And last but not least, Snapchat is rolling out two-factor authentication for some added security. The company’s been vulnerable to hackers in the past, including in late 2013 when attackers stole and released the usernames and numbers of some 4.6 million Snapchat users.

TIME apps

Siri Now Gets Sassy When You Ask Her to Solve the Unsolvable

Apple Unveils iPhone 6
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul can't get enough of it

Siri is generally pretty polite when you ask her reasonable questions such as, “Where is the nearest coffee shop,” but ask her a puzzler, like “What’s zero divided by zero,” and Apple’s digital assistant gets a bit feisty.

“Imagine that you have zero cookies, and you split them evenly among zero friends. How many cookies does each person get? See? It doesn’t make sense,” Siri responds.

It gets harsher: “And Cookie Monster is sad that there are no cookies,” she continues. “And you are sad that you have no friends.”

Ouch.

The response only seems to be working for iPhone users who have upgraded to iOS 8. But those who have are very excited to discover this new, sassier side to Siri. Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul, who loves a good prank, spread the word via his Twitter.

TIME apps

Apple Pulls Civil War Games From App Store

Tim Cook urges his Twitter followers on "removing the symbols & words" of racism

Tim Cook urged his 1.3 million Twitter followers on Sunday to honor the shooting victims in South Carolina by “eradicating racism & removing the symbols & words that feed it.”

Some of those words and symbols, it turns out, could be found the shelves of Apple’s own App Store. In the days since, many of them have disappeared. Games Labs’ Ultimate General: Gettysburg, for example, is no longer available. Nor is Hexwar’s Civil War 1863. Or Apptopia’s Southern Pride Themes! with its lavish display of Confederate flags.

Having spent much of last week visiting history museums in New Orleans—including Confederate Memorial Hall, the oldest museum in Louisiana—I have mixed feelings about trying to completely eradicate the memory of slavery and its consequences. We study the ugly side of American history in part so we won’t repeat it.

So pardon me if I take perverse pleasure in noting that as of Thursday, the App Store had not been scrubbed entirely clean.

No response yet from Apple.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME apps

Android Users, Rejoice: Microsoft Office Is Finally Here

Office for Android
Microsoft Office for Android

Word, Excel and PowerPoint are all free to download

Microsoft removed the “preview” label from its Office apps for Android smartphones on Wednesday, declaring the latest release of its productivity suite officially ready for prime time.

The announcement comes five weeks after Microsoft released the apps in preview mode to Android users, in a sort of public beta test that spanned 83 countries and 1,900 different Android phone models.

“We heard from thousands of these users,” Microsoft corporate vice president Kirk Koenigsbauer wrote in a public statement, “and over the last few weeks we were able to incorporate a lot of their feedback into the apps we’re launching today.”

The current release won’t work across every last Android device, particularly older models with tight memory constraints. But the vast majority of Android users can now download mobile versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint for free from the Google Play store.

TIME Gadgets

12 Must-Brings For Your Next Stargazing Trip

Hale-Bopp Comet And City At Night
Education Images—UIG via Getty Images Hale-Bopp Comet And City At Night (Composite).

This summer has plenty of celestial wonders, including a meteor shower and more

If you look up on June 30, you’ll get a glimpse of something special when Venus and Jupiter converge in the night sky. While you’ll be able to see the event with your naked eye, it will look much better with some advance planning. In fact, from these planets dancing across the heavens in June to the Perseid meteor shower in mid-August, this summer is going to be a great one for stargazing.

The best way to peer into the cosmos is to escape the light pollution of the city and suburbs. From campsite finders to coffee makers — with telescopes in between — these tools can help get you out under starry skies and keep you warm and dry as the constellations come out to play.

GetOutfitted: If you’re in the dark about camping, there’s no reason to go to REI and blow a week’s pay just to gather all the necessary gear. GetOutfitted rents an array of equipment in ready-to-go bundles, pricing its packages by the day. For instance, a backpacker suite that includes a two-person tent, a sleeping bag and pad, and a backpack of course, can run as little as $22 per day. Beat that, AirBnB.

HipCamp: There are so many places to camp, yet so few well-organized ways to find them. HipCamp is a great website that rounds up the myriad places you can unfurl your bedroll, slicing and filtering them by location, activities, and amenities. With a clean, easy-to-use interface based on Google Maps, the site also lets users leave tips for fellow campers, turning it into a campfire-like environment. So, to find the big sky spots, click on the stargazing button, pick a campsite, and hit the road.

Fireside Provisions: Half of the fun of waiting for nightfall is whipping up campfire-based fare that you only eat once in a blue moon. But if you’re an overworked office type, you likely have no time to pull together all the fixings for a back-country meal. Fireside Provisions takes the pain out of the pancakes by selling per-person packages of food based on the kind of trip you’re taking. Are you a day hiker? That’ll just be $7 for a selection of trail mix and other grab-and-go snacks. Pulling a weekend in the woods? For $30, you can get breakfast, snacks, and dinner, all packed and mailed to your door before you hit the trail.

Alite Sexy Hotness Sleeping Bag: You know what’s hot? A sleeping bag with armholes. And do you know what’s sexy? One that also has zippers at the bottom, so you can unzip your feet and walk around without de-snuggling. Okay, maybe neither of those are very attractive, but Alite named this $169 sleep sack, not me. Still, for anyone looking to curl up under the stars, those are very attractive features.

Blue Bottle Coffee Travel Kit: Whether it’s a cup of coffee to keep you perky into the night, or a wake up jolt to get you moving in the morning, this $179 brew kit has you covered. Sporting a Porlex Mini hand grinder, a pair of Falcon enamelware cups, a Bonmac Blue Bottle travel dripper, filters, beans, and a couple felt zarfs (you didn’t know the sleeve that wraps around a cup had a name, did you?), this Timbuktu bag holds everything needed to make a killer cup of joe. Unless you take cream, in which case you better switch to black.

Celestron Cosmos 90 GT WiFi Telescope: If you don’t roam too far from home — or you have a wireless hotspot — this Wi-Fi enabled telescope is a great tool for tracking the sky for beginners and lazier astronomers alike. Pairing with the Android and iOS-compatible Cosmos Celestron Navigator app, the $399 motorized scope can select from and navigate to more than 120,000 heavenly bodies, making sure you catch every shooting star before it disappears into the night.

Celestron Travel Scope 70: Small enough to slip into a backpack, and inexpensive enough to elicit a shrug if that backpack fell off a cliff, this $89 tripod-mounted scope will provide a starry night, minus the bulk. The telescope’s adjustable stand can extend to full height or be perched on a picnic table, whatever is more convenient for your temporary observatory. And with a 70mm lens, it can gobble up enough light to reveal Saturn’s rings — so long as you point it in the right direction.

iOptron Smartphone Eyepiece Adaptor: What good is a moonshot if no one else can see it? This $58 adapter will let you slap your smartphone down onto the eyepiece so you can snap photos of your star searches. A solid accessory made out of aluminum, the adapter comes with 12.5mm eyepiece that fits onto the telescope, making it easy to swap out without much fuss.

Oberwerk Ultra 15x70mm Binoculars: Because two prisms are better than one, some experts recommend that beginners forego telescopes for binoculars when they start off. Also, binoculars can be easier to focus and are useful in daylight for pastimes like birding (or creeping). These rugged peepers have independent eye focus — good if you’re packing a prescription, but at $380 they will also raise some eyebrows. And at 5.5 pounds, they’ll give your arms a workout, too. So be sure to also budget for a tripod to go along with them.

Orion GoScope 80mm TableTop Refractor Telescope: For great performance at a low price, refractor telescopes have been showing off stars for shekels since the age of Galileo. This 80mm lens toes the line of price and power nicely with a portable, lightweight design that still has enough oomph to zoom into our solar system’s planets. For instance, turn it skyward when Saturn is overhead to get a peek at her rings, or when Jupiter is in sight to check out the cloudy bands stretching across her atmosphere.

Star Walk: There may be as many astronomy apps as there are stars in the sky, but one of the brightest is the $2.99 Star Walk. A point-and-learn guide to the heavens, this guide uses all the iPhone’s various sensors — GPS, accelerometer, and compass — to know exactly what the camera is looking at. Moving the handset across the sky reveals more planets, stars, and other objects. The corresponding iPad app is equally astounding, but it will set you back another $2.99. But the upside of the iPhone app — at least for some users — is that it also comes with an Apple Watch companion app so you never miss a shooting star.

Smith & Wesson Galaxy 28 LED Flashlight: When you’re out in the dark, the worst thing you can do is turn on a light — not only will it drown out the celestial bodies overhead, but it will have you seeing spots for a while afterwards. With 28 LEDs — 20 white, four red, and four blue — this $44 flashlight is the kind of torch you need in stargazing situations. The red-light mode is bright enough to illuminate your star charts or campsite, but still easy on the eyes so your rods don’t get all worked up.

TIME apps

Why Facebook’s New Photo App Isn’t Coming Out in Europe

Views of The Facebook Inc. Logo Ahead of Earnings
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Regulators are wary of facial recognition software

Facebook rolled out a new photo-sharing app in the U.S. this week, but it won’t come out in Europe in the near future due to concerns over how it uses facial recognition technology.

The app, called Moments, allows users to share photos with each other privately based around specific events and uses facial recognition software to detect which friends are in a given photo.

The technology, which is used to offer photo tagging suggestions on Facebook proper, is automatically set to be used on all users in the U.S. However, in Europe, Facebook will be forced to make facial scanning and tagging an opt-in feature, Facebook head of policy Richard Allen told the Wall Street Journal. Moments could roll out in Europe after the company develops an opt-in process.

This is not the first time European regulators have pushed back against Facebook’s practices. Belgium is currently suing the social network over its privacy policies and the European Union as a whole are drafting a new law that would increase regulators’ power to control Facebook’s activities, along with other websites.

TIME Careers & Workplace

7 Creative and Fun Ways to Manage Your Time

smartphone-car-driving
Getty Images

Let your phone text and take notes for you

BusinessCollective Logo for Web

I am swamped. Requests from colleagues, friends and family leave me with no time to do any actual work. I can’t ignore any of the aforementioned things and it’s impossible to cram them all into an eight-hour day.

But time management isn’t about taking shortcuts in your thinking time, it’s about finding shortcuts for the mundane, administrative and repetitive, in order to make way for the creative, strategic and dare I say… fun? As a busy carpooling mom of three boys (two of them teens!), a CEO of a company that grows 500 percent year over year and a happily married lady with lots of extended family, here’s how I make the most of every hour of every day.

Email Templates and Autoresponders

The Issue: Email is a huge time suck. Everyone knows it. Yet when I find myself bogged down, my first (weird) impulse is to check my email. This only serves to make me even crazier and stressed out because for every minute my inbox is ignored, the magical email bunnies produce about 50 new emails.

The Shortcut: Autoresponders. I have an amazing marketing assistant who helps me wade through requests and schedule important meetings. I archive every client communication so I don’t get distracted when looking for something I know I saw just yesterday (Gmail makes this a snap), and I use autoresponders for things like guest post requests, meetings, phone calls and new client queries. A great article about how to word these emails popped up a few weeks ago and I couldn’t agree with its premise more.

Texting and Typing Shortcuts

The Issue: I like a good manicure and spend a lot of time on the road. I can’t look down every three seconds or enter passwords without flubbing.

The Shortcut: I use autocorrect to make my texting life less frenetic. For example, I can text “RBM” and my phone knows to spell out “Red Branch Media.” I use the same trick to make emails and phrases I type frequently appear. This not only saves me time, it makes even the hastiest text message look professional.

Website Hacks

The Issue: I have usernames on every single website that exists in the English language. Okay, maybe not. But it feels like I do. Add in client login information, software, and the hundreds of media bundles and new apps I buy regularly, and you have a password bottleneck.

The Shortcut: In addition to the company password list, I use LastPass to ensure that I am not endlessly frustrated. I have my kids use 1Password when they access my computer for homework and Minecraft.

Dictation

The Issue: My kids go to three different schools in two different towns, 25 miles away. Since none of them can drive unaccompanied, I find myself in the car a lot. Once I’ve finished my rendition of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” I settle in and use two tools to make the most of my time in the car.

The Shortcut: Dragon Dictation is like Siri on steroids! I use it to speak out outlines of articles (like this one) that pop into my head. It’s also super useful for strategy documents, as those are the hardest for me to get from the idea stage to publication-ready. Another useful tool is my conference line Speek. It allows me to record and keep notes. My assistant can get all information down on paper if I’m in the proposal phase with a new client or when I simply need to remember what I was talking about as I sped down the highway. Plus, we can save the audio files to the client folder for later.

Group Messaging

The Issue: We have a group of friends in our neighborhood with roughly 28 children between us. There is no logical way to keep track of the barbecues, birthday parties, play dates and fire-pit nights without someone feeling left out.

The Shortcut: Aside from a rolling text string among three of us for social updates, we use NextDoor to keep in touch in our neighborhood. This makes it easy to exchange invites and useful time saving information, like who found the best concrete guy or when trees will be picked up from the last summer storm. This also serves as a de facto neighborhood watch and has led to lots of new friendships on the block.

Archival System

The Issue: Clients come and go, partnerships ebb and flow. Some people and companies with whom I was hot and heavy (professionally) just months ago are now just folders I breeze through.

The Shortcut: Archive. Archive. Archive. I love Dropbox, but if you have a folder for every active and inactive client, you will soon get tendonitis just from looking through your cloud. If I am finished with a project or email, I put it straight into storage. Dropbox syncs on all office computers, making it a cinch to see and sort through only the most active and recent files.

Recipe Makers

The Issue: Boring, repetitive tasks that make me nuts.

The Shortcut: IFTTT and other recipe makers. Sometimes you are pulling in five pictures per day and they all need to be a certain size. Create a recipe that saves them that way to the right file automatically! Sure, it takes about 30 seconds to set up in the beginning. But when making a presentation or building a website, this creates a lot more serenity than manually resizing multiple photos. The same goes for other repeatable tasks (taking pictures of your receipts to categorize, downloading files from your Google Drive, building templates in illustrator for white papers and ebooks). Use a recipe or template for any project you think you will do more than once — and use it!

There you have it — the hacks that get me through every single day. I learned early on that I had to start looking at every task more strategically. I would often think, “There HAS to be a better way to do this.” And there usually is.

Share your time-saving hacks in the comments, and let’s all get out of our own way!

Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer and community builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. She leads Red Branch Media, an agency offering marketing strategy and content development. A consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques, Hogan has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies in both the B2B and B2C sectors, and been a prolific contributor of thought leadership in the global recruitment and talent space.

BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.

This article originally appeared on BusinessCollective.

TIME twitter

Twitter’s Overhaul Will Let You Follow Events Rather Than People

US-INTERNET-COMPANY-TWITTER
Leon Neal—AFP/Getty Images

Project Lightning aims to separate the wheat from the chaff surrounding live events

With its CEO on the way out, Twitter is planning big changes this fall to make the social network more accessible to newcomers.

In a BuzzFeed profile, company executives detail an upcoming initiative called Project Lightning that will lead to an increased focus on surfacing interesting content around live events.

Each day, users will be able to access a curated set of media centering around seven to ten events within the Twitter app. The events could be big television broadcasts such as the Super Bowl, or breaking news such as the protests in Ferguson, Mo. For each event, Twitter will use a team of human editors to select the best tweets, photos, videos, and Periscope live-streams to present to users, who can swipe through each piece of content one by one. Twitter users will also be able to follow these events and temporarily see a stream of curated tweets related to the event in their timelines. After the event is complete, tweets from accounts a user isn’t explicitly following will no longer appear in his or her feed.

The new feature seems similar to Live Stories on Snapchat, which curate a rolling set of photos and images from users based on a single event. Critically, the event feeds will be available to users who are not logged into Twitter as well. The company, which has faced slow user growth since its IPO, has long argued that much of its value comes from those people who see tweets embedded on other websites, or when surfing Twitter.com while logged out.

TIME Innovation

Skype’s Real-Time Translator Is Learning Even More Languages

Microsoft

Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome

Microsoft’s Skype on Thursday expanded its real-time translation service to include French and German, adding two new languages to a roster that already includes English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and Italian.

Even more intriguing is the pace at which the program is acquiring new language skills. Skype Translator launched with support for two languages last December, adding two more by April and another two by June. In other words, its language skills are accelerating, acquiring new tongues at a rate that a United Nations interpreter would envy. However, it still has a long way to go toward matching the fluency of a human interpreter.

Read More: Microsoft Is Getting Close to Perfecting a Universal Communicator

Interested users can give the new languages a whirl by downloading a free preview version of Skype Translator to Windows 8.1 devices.

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