How to force quit your iPhone


Some days our iPhones, like us, just can’t seem to get it together. Your phone is stuck, frozen, or just not operating the way it should. The old IT adage of “turn it off and turn it back on” doesn’t even work. In those cases, you need to force quit your iPhone.

Instructions are similar for each model, but differ slightly.

iPhone X, Xs, Xr, 11, or 12: Press and quickly release the volume up button, then do the same with the volume down button. Hold the side button until the Apple logo appears, then release it.

iPhone 8 or SE (second generation): Same as later models. Press and quickly release the volume up button, then press and release volume down. Hold the side button and release when the Apple logo appears.

iPhone 7: Press and hold both the volume down and Sleep/Wake (side) button at the same time. Release both when the Apple logo appears.

iPhone 6 or SE (first generation): Press and hold the Sleep/Wake (side) button and the home button at the same time. When the Apple logo appears, release both buttons.

Force quitting your iPhone is a simple way to reboot it and, hopefully, fix whatever sluggishness compelled you to do so in the first place. If your phone is still acting up, you may need to look into different fixes.

How to FaceTime friends without iPhones


Since COVID hit, you’ve likely been on more video calls than ever before. Even though many people are seeing others in-person again post-vaccine, the ability to see the face of someone near or far over a screen remains crucial.

For folks with iPhones, FaceTime is the go-to for video calls. But how can you FaceTime with friends without iPhones?

Both Apple and Android users can rejoice, as iOS 15 will allows non-iPhone users to join FaceTime calls. In the FaceTime app, users can create a FaceTime link and send it to anyone, no matter their phone manufacturer.

There is a catch, however. Android users will have to open the FaceTime link in browser, which doesn’t make for the best call experience.

iOS 15 won’t release until the fall, though, and you may not want to deal with a FaceTime link anyway. Thankfully, there are other alternatives to FaceTime where iPhone and Android users can seamlessly video chat. Here are just a few.

WhatsApp: To make a video call on WhatsApp, go to the conversation of the person you’d like to chat. On the top right, they’ll be a video camera icon next to a phone icon. Tap the former to begin a video call.

Facebook Messenger: You can video call on Messenger, as well, and the instructions are similar to WhatsApp (perhaps no surprise, as Facebook owns WhatsApp). Navigate to the chat of the person or people you’d like to call, and click the camera icon.

Skype or Zoom: Both of these ubiquitous video services have apps where you can start video calls, too. As long as the people you want to chat with have the app, it doesn’t matter what type of phone they have.

FaceTime will be available to Android users soon in some capacity, but there are many other options for easy video chatting.

Get a refurbished Dell, HP, or Lenovo computer for cheap


Save money by purchasing a refurbished laptop or desktop.With working from home and homeschooling being popular choices because of the ongoing pandemic, people are using their personal computers for more than just casual browsing.

If you’re looking to add another computer to your household, here are plenty of refurbished options on sale that will get the job done without breaking the bank. Plus, for a limited time, if you spend $50 or more (barring returns), you’ll get a $10 store credit automatically added back to your account within 14 days.


Acer 11.6-inch Chromebook Intel Celeron 1.5GHz, 16GB SSD – Black (Refurbished)

This 11.6-inch Chromebook from 2014 is a multitasking machine, with the Chrome OS and an Intel Celeron 1.5GHz processor that boots up in seconds and is ready to roll. It’ll last you about nine hours on a single charge and can handle schoolwork, basic computing, and even streaming like a champ. This refurbished model has minimal scuffing and will cost you $116.99 (regularly $155).


Dell OptiPlex 5040 SFF Tower Intel Core i5, 240GB SSD – Black (Refurbished)

Equipped with Windows 10 Pro, 8GB RAM, and 240GB SSD storage, the OptiPlex 5040 SFF Tower offers a smooth and versatile PC experience. And although it has a small footprint, it allows for major productivity, with a wide range of ports and connectivity options. Get this 2015 refurbished model for $339.99 (regularly $412) for a limited time.

Dell OptiPlex 7050 SFF Tower Core i5, 256GB SSD – Black (Refurbished)

The OptiPlex 7050 is a micro desktop computer with a whole lot of power for productivity, including the option to connect three displays at once. You’ll get 256GB of storage and 16GB of RAM for fast and smooth computing performance. Usually $435, you can snag this refurbished model for $359.99.

Dell OptiPlex 7050 Tower Core i7, 512GB SSD – Black (Refurbished)

This OptiPlex 7050 tower packs 512GB of SSD storage and 16GB of RAM. It’s equipped with Windows 10 Pro and a 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor for fast boot and data access times, and more than 10 different ports for productivity and performance. Get it on sale for $529.99 (regularly $642).


HP 215 G1 11.6-inch Laptop AMD A6, 128GB SSD – Black (Refurbished)

While this HP laptop is originally from 2013, it’s in near-mint condition and works like it’s brand new. It’s equipped with Windows 10 Pro and offers a unique computing experience enhanced by an AMD dual-core A6-1450, 8GB memory, and 128GB of SSD storage. Get it on sale for $239.99 (regularly $278) for a limited time.

HP EliteBook 725G3 12.5-inch AMD A10, 128GB SSD – Black (Refurbished)

This newer HP laptop comes from 2016 and is armed with an AMD A10-8700B processor, an immersive 12.5-inch display, 8GB of memory, and 128GB of SSD storage. Plus, it arrives in near-mint condition. Get it for $329.99 (regularly $398).

HP EliteDesk 800G2 Core i5-6400T, 256GB SSD – Black (Refurbished)

Like its laptop counterpart, the EliteDesk by HP is a productivity machine. It packs an Intel Core i5-6400T processor, is armed with HP BIOSphere to help prevent data attacks, and offers more than a dozen port options. Get this 2018 refurbished model on sale for only $269.99 (regularly $327), complete with a keyboard, mouse, and WiFi dongle.

HP x360 33 G1 EE 11.6-inch ProBook Intel Pentium N4200, 128GB SSD – Black (Refurbished)

The x360 G1 EE ProBook is an 11.6-inch laptop powered by an Intel Pentium dual-core processor built for productivity. It’s packed with 128GB of storage space and 8GB of RAM, along with plenty of connectivity options. Plus, it has a touchscreen and can fold to multiple configurations. Get it for only $245.99 (regularly $269) for a limited time.

HP x360-310 G2 11.6-inch ProBook Intel Pentium N3700, 128GB SSD – Black (Refurbished)

This ProBook from 2012 was way ahead of its time, with an 11.6-inch full touchscreen display that can be viewed as a laptop or tablet. It offers 128GB of storage space and 8GB of RAM as well. Snag it on sale for $245.99 (regularly $269).


Lenovo 11E 11.6-inch Thinkpad Chromebook 16GB SSD – Black (Refurbished)

Refurbished to near-mint condition, this Chromebook from 2014 is nice for browsing, working, streaming, gaming, and more. Equipped with the Chrome OS, it’s packed with the apps you need. Get it for only $116.99 (regularly $155) for a limited time.

Lenovo X131E 11.6-inch Thinkpad, 128GB SSD – Black (Refurbished)

This older Thinkpad model still has a lot to offer, with 128GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, and over eight hours of battery life. Its 11.6-inch display and multiple connectivity options make it an excellent choice for browsing and streaming alike. And its $210.99 price tag (regularly $255) makes it an excellent option for your wallet.

How to turn on Background Sounds with iOS 15


Drown out the traffic outside your WFH office with some crashing ocean waves.Who needs a white noise machine when your iPhone comes with all the ocean sounds you could ask for?

Apple announced the Background Sounds feature during WWDC in June as part of its efforts to help reduce distractions, which they call a gesture “in support of neurodiversity.” The feature allows iOS 15 users to play one of six sounds (Balanced Noise, Bright Noise, Dark Noise, Ocean, Rain, and Stream) to help muffle any bothersome environmental noise. You can also use the Background Sounds feature while playing other media on your phone.

The feature is a little hidden away in the iPhone’s settings, but once you finish the initial setup, you can also add Background Noise to your Control Center for easy access. Here’s how to do it:

1. Make sure you have iOS 15 downloaded to your device.

Background Noise is a new feature with the latest software update, so make sure you have iOS 15 before attempting to set it up. While iOS 15 is currently only available via developer or public beta, the final version should be debuting later this fall.

2. Open up your Settings, and scroll down to Accessibility.

More accessibility for neurodiverse people, so tap 'Accessibility.'

More accessibility for neurodiverse people, so tap ‘Accessibility.’
Credit: Screenshot / apple

Since it’s part of Apple’s focus features, the Background Noise feature will be under Accessibility.

3. Scroll down to the Hearing options, and tap on Audio/Visual.

Background Sounds are a kind of audio.

Background Sounds are a kind of audio.
Credit: Screenshot / apple

The Audio/Visual menu is near the bottom of the Accessibility features.

4. Tap on Background Sounds to open up the feature’s settings.

You found it.

You found it.
Credit: Screenshot / apple

It should be the second option on the screen.

5. Tap on the toggle to turn on Background Sounds.

Once this toggle turns green, you can mess with all of the settings below it.

Once this toggle turns green, you can mess with all of the settings below it.
Credit: Screenshot / apple

Once the toggle at the top turns green, you can choose between the six available sounds, turn the volume up or down, and allow the sounds to play while other media is playing.

The toggle at the top acts as your on/off button for the background sounds. Once you toggle it on, the background sound you chose will continuously play, even if you lock your screen or use different apps.

Since the feature is so tucked away in the general settings, we recommend also adding Background Sounds to your Control Center to easily turn it on and off.

How to add Background Sounds to your Control Center

1. Open your Settings, and scroll down to Control Center.

Look down at the third bunch of settings.

Look down at the third bunch of settings.
Credit: Screenshot / apple

It’ll be in the third grouping of settings, under “General.”

2. Scroll down to “More Controls,” and tap the green “+” next to “Hearing.”

This is the confusing part.

This is the confusing part.
Credit: Screenshot / apple

The feature isn’t actually labeled as Background Sounds in the Control Center. And it’s not grouped under Accessibility Shortcuts, even though it is under Accessibility in your general settings. It’s all very confusing.

3. Swipe to access your Control Center, and tap on the ear symbol.

Just remember: Background Sounds will be going in your ears.

Just remember: Background Sounds will be going in your ears.
Credit: Screenshot / apple

The all-important blue button.

The all-important blue button.
Credit: Screenshot / apple

This should display your speaker options, and a button to turn Background Sounds on and off should appear at the bottom of the screen.

Your selected background noise should now play much quicker. If you want to change your selected sound, follow the same steps above to get back to the Background Sounds settings, and choose a new ambient sound. I’m partial to Stream, but I could see an argument for Ocean!

Save hundreds on lifetime subscriptions to a VPN, password manager, and learning platform


TL;DR: For just $49.99, you can get lifetime access to this super bundle trio, which includes all you need to keep your personal information more secure on the internet. 

First, you’ll get lifetime access to Sticky Password, so you’ll never forget a password ever again. Nowadays, every website you view requires you to enter some sort of sign-up information. So, you might as well eliminate the headache for yourself and keep all your passwords in one place. Sticky Password automatically fills in your passwords and keeps your information safe as you do so.

You’ll also get a lifetime subscription to VPN Unlimited, a top-rated way to browse the internet with full anonymity. You’ll get access to 400+ VPN servers and surf with zero speed or bandwidth limits. No matter what public WiFi network you’re on around the world, you’ll browse securely with your unique VPN. You can even bypass server blocks to Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more.

Finally, round out this bundle with access to StackSkills, the premier online learning platform that lets you master today’s most in-demand skills. With this subscription, you’ll gain access to over 1,000 StackSkills courses for life in subjects like IT, development, graphic design, marketing, and more.

Normally, this bundled trio retails for $1,893, since you get lifetime access to a VPN subscription, password manager subscription, and StackSkills to keep learning and expanding your mind. But, for a limited time, you can get all three subscriptions for just $49.99. Plus, in honor of summer, when you spend $50, you’ll get an automatic $10 credit to use in the future (you’ll automatically receive it in your account in 14 days).

$49.99 in the Mashable Shop

Credit: Sticky Passwords

Improve your hireability with this résumé builder on sale for 37% off


SAVE 37%: Set yourself up for success with your next job interview with hipCV — save 37% on a one-year subscription for a limited time.

Your résumé is the first chance you get to show a potential employer what you’re truly made of. It should be just as fresh and up to date as the info, so you’re ready to wow them in the interview.

With hipCV, you’ll gain access to an intuitive résumé builder that lets you create and optimize yours exactly how employers want it. Plus, for a limited time, if you spend $50, you’ll get $10 back for future shopping. So, it’s basically like you’re getting a one-year subscription to this program for $39. 

HipCV is so much more than just a fill-in résumé template. It actually helps you check your grammar and write full sentences with inspiration from other successful résumés. You’ll never get stuck or feel writer’s block when you’re working in this program. The intuitive résumé builder features an automatic editor, pre-written phrases, and even résumé tracking, so you can monitor how many times potential employers have viewed your unique résumé link.

You can turn your résumé into a mobile-friendly website within minutes, and easily download and share the résumé or share the link with others. Plus, you’ll gain access to the exclusive cover letter builder, which will help you write and craft the perfect cover letter that also matches your résumé.

A one-year subscription to hipCV normally retails for $79, but for a limited time, you can take 37% off and get it for just $49. And when you spend $50 today, you’ll automatically get $10 back in future store credit. It’s almost like you’re getting a year of hipCV access for just $39 for a limited time.

Save 37% in the Mashable Shop

Credit: hipCV

Spend $50 on this smart device sale and enjoy an extra $10 credit


Smart home devices don’t exist because humans are increasingly getting lazy. They exist because they make our lives infinitely easier. After all, who would want to get up to switch the lights on and off when you can just command them to? Exactly.

For this summer sale promo, you can enjoy massive discounts on smart devices and smart plugs that turn regular appliances into smart ones. Plus, if you spend $50, you’ll also receive $10 in store credit that you can spend on anything.

Blurams Home Pro Indoor Security Camera

Equipped with AI facial recognition, this security camera creates a database of family members or people who visit regularly, and alerts you when any unknown people arrive. It also features 3D noise reduction, a built-in microphone, speaker, and advanced night vision — basically everything you would want in a home security camera. Snag it on sale for $37.99.

Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) with Alexa

Stream music and videos, make video calls, and display photos with this smart device. Whether you want Alexa to show you a recipe, play a movie, or see who’s at the front door, it’ll deliver. It usually retails for $129, but you can grab it on sale for $84.99.

$84.99 in the Mashable Shop

Credit: Amazon

Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet 2021 Edition

Equipped with a powerful octa-core processor, 3GB RAM, and 32GB storage, this tablet delivers a stellar performance. Its display is 10 percent brighter than its predecessor, and the 12-hour battery capacity lets you enjoy browsing and streaming the whole day. Get it for just $149.99.

$149.99 in the Mashable Shop

Credit: Amazon

Amazon Smart Plug

Turn your appliances into smart devices with this smart plug that lets you voice control things like lights, fans, coffee makers, and more. With the help of an Alexa-enabled Echo, Fire TV, Fire tablet, Sonos One, or even just the Alexa app on your phone, you can easily issue voice commands to your appliances and create helpful schedules. Snag one for $24.99.

$24.99 in the Mashable Shop

Credit: Amazon

Facebook Portal Mini

Since video conferencing is part of the new normal, you might as well have a device designed for it. This smart video calling display has a camera that automatically widens to keep everyone in view and features smart sound that works to enhance the voice of whoever is talking. Get one for $128.99.

Google Nest Hub 1st Gen Smart Display with Google Assistant

This display acts as a digital helper to make life easier. Its touch-screen display lets you stream videos, watch smart security footage, and more, while the built-in speakers and microphones have far-field voice recognition for convenient hands-free control. Compatible with Google Assistant, it makes automation and voice control of all your devices easier, and it only costs $89.99.

$89.99 in the Mashable Shop

Credit: Google

Google Nest Mini 2nd Gen Smart Speaker with Google Assistant

Google’s smallest speaker boasts 2x stronger bass compared to the 1st gen, making music sound bigger and richer. Crafted with the environment in mind, it’s made with a durable fabric top from recycled plastic bottles. Normally $49, it’s on sale for $34.99.

$34.99 in the Mashable Shop

Credit: Google

Gosund Homekit Smart WiFi Outlet (2-Pack)

This smart WiFi outlet helps you control every part of your home through voice, as it works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It works with a 2.4G WiFi setup and can fit on any electric outlet in your home. Grab a two-pack on sale for $22.99.

$22.99 in the Mashable Shop

Credit: Gosund

Roku Streaming Stick+

This streaming stick lets you enjoy nonstop entertainment whenever you want. It supports 4K, HD, and HDR resolutions and works with popular voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google. Snag one for just $49.99.

$49.99 in the Mashable Shop

Credit: Roku

Smart Dual Plug Outlet with Alexa and Google Home Capability

This dual plug outlet features two sockets and connects to one wall outlet, allowing for four different devices to be connected simultaneously. With Alexa Echo and Google Home compatibility, it lets you connect your lamp, fan, coffee maker, humidifier, and other appliances for easy automation and voice control. It usually retails for $26, but you can grab it on sale for $23.99.

Gosund 3-USB Smart WiFi Outlet

This group of smart outlets enables you to plug multiple devices in with its three smart plugs, three smart USB ports, and three always-on plugs. With voice control, it works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Get it for $22.99.

$22.99 in the Mashable Shop

Credit: Gosund

Gosund Smart WiFi Light Switch with Built-in Alexa

Install these switches anywhere around your home and you can turn them on and off with just your voice. With built-in buttons, you also have the option to toggle with the lights manually. Get it for only $39.99 (regularly $46).

$39.99 in the Mashable Shop

Credit: Gosund

Gosund Smart Plug with Amazon Alexa and Google Home (4-Pack)

This bundle includes four smart plugs that help you turn any device into a smart device. Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, you can say commands at any time and navigate it hands-free. Grab a pack on sale for $26.99.

$26.99 in the Mashable Shop

Credit: Gosund

iJoy Visionne 4K Action Camera

Capture life’s greatest moments with this action camera that can produce content with HD image resolution in multiple recording formats. It comes with a waterproof case and can reach up to 30 meters underwater, allowing for high-quality documentation even under the sea. Snag it on sale for $99, 33% off the usual retail price.

$99 in the Mashable Shop

Credit: iJoy

KitSound Diggit 55 Bluetooth Outdoor Speaker (2-Pack)

Standard Bluetooth speakers are no match to the KS Diggit 55, a speaker specifically designed for outdoor use. It has a removable stake that sticks in the ground and a pairing feature that lets you connect to another speaker for 15 hours of playtime. Grab it on sale for $119.99 (regularly $139) for a limited time.

$119.99 in the Mashable Shop

Credit: KitSound

11 best apps for hiking


Brb, gotta immerse myself in natureWhether gathering supplies for a day hike or setting up camp for a while, these days savvy hikers are sure to pack their digital backpacks with apps to bring out the best in their treks.

Don’t forget your gorp, and steer clear of fat bears. Happy trails!

Pro tip: these apps are tailor-made for hiking and the outdoors, but even the tech you rely on every day can be useful out in nature. Google Maps often shows hiking trails, Instagram has some pretty inspiring accounts to follow like @wildernessculture, @theclymb, and @unlikelyhikers, and many smartwatches and fitness trackers measure elevation.

Trails and Navigation


With 12 million downloads, AllTrails is one of the most popular apps out there for planning your next hike. It boasts over 200,000 trail maps that include photos and reviews. AllTrails’ UI makes it easy to explore and search trails, and there’s a multitude of filter options such as difficulty level and dog-friendliness. Plus, with your GPS on, you can record your route – including pace, distance, elevation and save it or share with friends. For backcountry hikers there’s also a pro version that lets you use routes offline.

Price: Free or $29.99/year for AllTrails Pro

Available for iOS and Android

Explore AllTrails massive collection of crowdsourced trails.

Explore AllTrails massive collection of crowdsourced trails.
Credit: alltrails

Hiking Project

Like AllTrails, Hiking Project is a crowdsourced database of trails and hiking information. It too has trail reviews, photos and general info about the hikes like distance, difficulty, dog/family friendliness etc. Hiking Project doesn’t have as many trails as AllTrails mapped out (76,000) but perhaps it makes up for that with its detailed descriptions of each trail that makes the app feel like a guidebook. Plus, unlike AllTrails, the Hiking Project’s offline functionality is a free part of the app

Price: Free

Available for iOS and Android

Hiking Project is like a digital guidebook.

Hiking Project is like a digital guidebook.
Credit: hiking project

Gaia GPS

For all-around use, Gaia is a good map to have on hand. Use it to research trails, navigate with GPS, find a campsite, and even check the weather forecast. The app also features a variety of different map options including topographical, satellite, and NatGeo illustrations. With the premium membership you can download maps and trail info for offline use.

Price: Free or $36/year for the premium plan

Available for iOS and Android

Search, navigate, and camp all with the help of one app.

Search, navigate, and camp all with the help of one app.
Credit: gaia Gps

National Park Service app

Created by the National Park Service, this is the quintessential app for visiting any of the 400+ national park sites. Features include interactive maps, self-guided park tours, and general info about amenities and accessibility. There is also a way to download maps and info for offline use.

Price: Free

Available for iOS and Android

A must-have for your National Park trips.

A must-have for your National Park trips.
Credit: national park service

Guthook Guides

Guthook has all of the usual trappings of a navigation app: GPS tracking, detailed maps, offline capabilities, etc. But its features were designed specifically for thru-hikers, bringing long-distance hiking into the digital age. Hikers can send updates and share locations with family and friends, look up necessities like water sources and campsites, and access “town guides” which have info that all thru-hikers need to resupply and get back on the trail.

Price: Free to download, but specific trail guides must be purchased

Available for iOS and Android

A thru-hiker's new best friend.

A thru-hiker’s new best friend.
Credit: Guthook guides


What sets Spyglass apart from other navigation apps out there is its augmented reality technology. The app overlays a military grade compass that is fine-tuned by your phone’s GPS, gyroscopic sensors and accelerometer. Spyglass also features a rangefinder to measure distance, a sextant, and an inclinometer for measuring steepness. And when you’re done pretending to be Rambo, Spyglass can also store the location of where you parked your car.

Price: $5.99

Available for iOS and Android

A sophisticated compass you won't want to leave at home.

A sophisticated compass you won’t want to leave at home.
Credit: happy magenta



Sharing your whereabouts in the wilderness can mean the difference between life and death. That’s why Cairn is a hit for hikers. It shares realtime location and progress with your designated contacts and automatically messages them if you’re overdue. Cairn also compiles crowdsourced information about cell phone coverage, so you can know where to check in or get help in an emergency.

Price: Free or $4.99/month or $26.99/year for Cairn Premium

Available for iOS and Android

For staying safe and giving your loved ones peace of mind.

For staying safe and giving your loved ones peace of mind.
Credit: cairn

OutSmart Wilderness

This app is pretty new to the scene, but has received great reviews so far. As anyone who has been in the outdoors before knows, things can go wrong, and sometimes professional help is far away. This app helps you assess the emergency with a series of questions and then helps you treat and stabilize with wilderness first aid techniques. The app is also loaded with more general survival and first aid information, so you can be well-prepped for your next big adventure.

Price: Free

Available for iOS and Android

Be prepared for even the worst case scenario.

Be prepared for even the worst case scenario.
Credit: Outsmart wilderness


Seek by iNaturalist

While hiking is all about enjoying nature, this app actually helps you identify it. Point your phone’s camera at whatever plant, fungi, or animal you’re curious about, and the app’s image recognition technology will identify it. A joint initiative by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society, Seek is designed for kids and families. But really, it’s for anyone who wants to learn more about flora and fauna.

Price: Free

Available for iOS and Android

A high-tech way to learn about your surroundings.

A high-tech way to learn about your surroundings.
Credit: seek by inaturalist


So you’ve made it to the peak, and now you’re being rewarded with breathtaking views. But what are you looking at exactly? That’s where PeakVisor comes in. Hold your phone camera up to the peak you’re looking at and PeakVisor’s augmented reality feature will identify it for you, and provide details about elevation, distance, and also photos and relevant info from Wikipedia. PeakVisor also has a 3D mapping feature and offline capabilities.

Price: Free or $29.99/year for PeakVisor PRO

Available for iOS and Android

Identify the view while enjoying it.

Identify the view while enjoying it.
Credit: peakvisor

Sky Guide

There are lots of great stargazing apps out there, but this one wins out for its beautiful augmented reality design. Point your device at the sky, and the app identifies planets and superimposes beautiful constellations. Sky Guide will also send you notifications of satellite sightings, astronomy news, and alert you to upcoming astronomical events. And since the best backcountry stargazing often coincides with bad cell service, the app works offline too.

Price: Free or $39.99/year for Sky Guide PRO

Available for iOS but look into SkyView Lite or Star Walk 2 for Android compatible apps

Make the most out backcountry stargazing.

Make the most out backcountry stargazing.
Credit: fifth star labs llc

Secure your online world for under £50 with a subscription to NordVPN


A one-year subscription to NordVPN is on sale.TL;DR: A one-year subscription to NordVPN is on sale for £42.88 as of Aug. 22, saving you 79% on list price.

You may lock up every door and window in your home, but intruders can still get in. Without a VPN, those devices you use every single day act like an open door to your most valuable personal information. Every time you browse unsafely, you’re practically inviting strangers and criminals into your home. Yikes.

Fortunately, you can snag a one-year subscription to one of the highest-rated VPNs around for under £50 for a limited time.

Essentially, when you use NordVPN to browse the web, it runs your data through private, double-encrypted (double data SSL-based 2048-bit encryption) tunnels to ensure you’re untrackable. Regardless of whether you’re working, streaming, gaming, or just Googling random celebrities while watching TV, your internet use will be completely anonymous, with zero logs recorded.

You can choose to connect to any of the 3,521 worldwide server locations in over 60 different countries, which potentially can give you access to geo-restricted content on the web. For instance, if you login to an Australian server, you can access Australian Hulu shows. You’ll also get high-speed connections, so your streaming won’t slow down as it makes its way through the encrypted tunnels. If somehow your VPN connection drops, your site will shut down automatically as well, so your data won’t be revealed. It’s like adding an extra deadbolt on top of an already secure door in your home.

A one-year subscription to NordVPN is typically £207, but for a limited time, you can slash 79% off with this deal.

Save 79% on NordVPN

Credit: NordVPN

How to use track changes in Google Docs


Track those changes, friend.Google Docs’ “Suggesting” feature — similar to Microsoft Word’s “Track Changes” functionality — is a great way to collaborate remotely with others. The “Suggesting” tool allows users to make suggestions in the form of comments in a document that other users can then respond to, accepting or rejecting the proposed changes.

It’s a very useful feature for editing. We’re taking a look at how it works.

How to “track changes” in Google Docs using the “Suggesting” feature

In Google Docs, you must have editing permission to be able to use the “Suggesting” feature. If the document is one you created, you will obviously already have the permission enabled. If the document was created by someone else, they need to ensure they have given you editing permission. They can do this by changing the permissions when they share the document with you via a link or email.

There are three ways to access the “Suggesting” functionality. The simplest is to highlight the text you want to comment on, then look for the pop-up menu that appears to the right of your text. If you click on the green pencil icon (the bottom of the two icons that appear), Google Docs will go from “Editing” mode to “Suggesting” mode.

Credit: screengrab: google docs

Another box with a check mark in it will then appear, offering you the ability to “Add comment.” Click this and you can comment on that area of text. You can simply comment, or you can @ mention other users if you need to by using their email address.

Mashable Image

Credit: screengrab: google docs

The other method to get into “Suggesting” mode is via the menu options at the top of your Google Docs screen. Look at the top of your screen to find the “Editing” drop-down menu.

Mashable Image

Credit: screengrab: google docs

Open the menu and select “Suggesting.”

Mashable Image

Credit: screengrab: google docs

Whatever you type in the document will be automatically turned into a green text with a comment box generated on the right-hand side of your text. This is recommended if you need to make a lot of comments.

The third method of adding a comment to a Google Doc is by right clicking and selecting the “Comment” option.

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Credit: screengrab: google docs

If you click the “Suggest edits” option in the same menu, you put the document into “Suggesting” mode.

Once you’ve commented, the owner of the file will get an email about your suggestions with an option to open the document.

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Credit: screengrab: google docs

How to respond to a comment in Google Docs’ “Suggesting” feature

You can respond to comments in Google’s “Suggesting” functionality in several ways. You can accept the changes by clicking on the check mark, or reject the suggestion by clicking the “x” icon.

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Credit: screengrab: google docs

Alternatively, you can reply to a comment by clicking in the text box and typing.

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Credit: screengrab: google docs

You can also @ mention other users using their email address.

There is also a quick way to accept or reject all suggested edits someone has made. Go to the Google Docs “Tools” menu and click on “Review suggested edits.”

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Credit: screengrab: google docs

This brings up a box on your screen with the option to “Accept all” or “Reject all.”

How to manage your Google Docs “Suggesting” comment notifications

Whether you want to make sure you never miss a comment, or you want to turn off notifications for comments, there’s a quick way to adjust your settings.

Click on the “Comments” icon at the top right of your screen. This is shaped like a speech bubble.

Next, click on the bell icon that appears. From here you can choose when you want to receive notifications.

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Credit: screengrab: google docs

The options are “All,” which means whenever any comments are made; “Only yours,” which is whenever others reply to your comments or comments you are added to; and “None” which means you’ll never receive emails about comments for that file.

Using keyboard shortcuts to navigate and reply to comments

One final thing to note about Google Docs’ “Suggesting” functionality is that you can use keyboard shortcuts with it. You can select a comment and use keyboard shortcuts to do the following:

Reply to current comment – R

Move to next comment – J

Move to previous comment – K

Resolve current comment – E

Exit current comment – U

Now, get to editing.