tested : does the Satechi USB-C hub for Mac mini also work with the iPad Pro ?

Question :

I am looking for a USB-C hub to extend the ports on my iPad Pro. I found this Satechi USB-C hub that is designed for the 2018 Mac mini that looks like an interesting option.

Does the iPad Pro work with this Satechi USB-C hub ?

 

Answer :

Simply put : Yes, the Satechi USB-C hub for Mac mini works with iPad Pro, but…

What does work :

  • the iPad Pro will recognize the following devices when plugged into the Satechi hub :
    • a mini-jack headphone
    • a USB-keyboard
    • a wireless RF-keyboard (connected through a USB-dongle)
    • a micoSD memory card

What doesn’t work :

  • the Satechi hub’s USB-C port can not be used to charge the iPad Pro
  • the Satechi hub’s USB-C connection cable is too short (when the iPad Pro is in the official Bluetooth keyboard-stand the Satechi hub will not be able to stand on it’s four feet, it will hang from the connection cable)
  • the Satechi hub’s size is large, mainly to fit under a Mac mini and to house a cooling fan, both are completely useless for an iPad Pro… is just too bulky

Final advise : even though it works okay, do not buy this Satechi USB-C hub if you want to use it with an iPad Pro primarily.

That’s it. Sorry. 😉

NOTE : the Satechi USB-C hub works great with the space grey Mac mini (2018 and newer).

 

fixed : firmware-update for 70mai A800 dashcam WiFi

Question :

I just bought the best dashcam I could find for an affordable price : the Xiaomi 70mai A800 4K Ultra HD video with WiFi, GPS and ADAS driver assistance built-in.

I want to make sure I have the latest available firmware on the dashcam to enable all available features…

How do I install the latest A800-firmware ?

 

Answer :

Aside from all the great features already included in the Xiaomi 70mai A800 dashcam, user-friendly do-it-yourself firmware upgrades are also available to enable even more new features.

First, make sure you are using the right iOS-app : you need the 70mai (Worldwide) app that can be downloaded here.

Now, connect your iPhone to the 70mai WiFi-network and open the 70mai.app. If you have problems connecting to the 70mai WiFi-network, see this post.

Then, open the 70mai.app and do this to upgrade the firmware :

  • make sure you are on the 70mai.app’s main page (the window labeled “70mai” with a picture of a blue car and your 70mai Dash Cam A800 listed below it)
    • if the 70mai.app opens in the “70mai Dash Cam”-window with the current video stream of the dashcam and the “Take Photo” and “Album”-buttons below it, click the “<“-button top-left and in the “Exit the dash cam homepage?”-popup, click “OK”
  • in the “70mai”-window, make sure that at “Device” it says “Connected”
    • if “Not conneted” is listed, click on it
    • the “70mai Dash Cam”-window will open and the connection will be re-established
    • then, return to the “70mai”-window by clicking on the “<“-button top-left and in the “Exit the dash cam homepage?”-popup, click “OK”
  • back in the “70mai”-window, click the person-icon top-left
  • in the slide-in window click on “My Devices”
  • in the “My Devices”-window, click on “70mai Dash Cam A800”
  • in the next window (also called “My Devices”), click “Firmware Update”
  • when the “Firmware update”-window opens, follow the on-screen instructions to upgrade the firmware to the latest version

…that’s it !

enjoy 😉

Note #1 : you can adjust various dashcam settings (like the Speaker Volume, Video Resolution, Parking Surveillance, ADAS Driver Assistance, etc.) by clicking on the 3dot-icon top-right in the “70mai Dash Cam A800”-screen (where you can see the current video stream from the dashcam with the “Take Photo” and “Album”-buttons below it).

Note #2 : this firmware update will use your iPhone’s 4G/5G-data connection to your telecom provider to do download the firmware upgrade, so make sure you have a 4G/5G-enabled data connection ! [ thanks to Majo – see replies – for pointing this out ]

 

 

 

fixed : 70mai A800 dashcam WiFi connection error

Question :

I just bought the best dashcam I could find for an affordable price : the Xiaomi 70mai A800 4K Ultra HD video with WiFi, GPS and ADAS driver assistance built-in.

I can’t get it to connect properly to my iPhone over WiFi however… I can find the 70mai WiFi network in the list of available WiFi networks in the iOS Settings-app, and I can connect to it, since it is shown as the connected WiFi-network… but the WiFi icon (the pie-shaped triangle) isn’t shown in the upper right corner of my iPhone… and when I startup the 70mai.app and click on the “70mai Dash Cam A800” in the “Please add 70mai devices”-window, I get an error : “Unable to get Wi-Fi connection Please enter [Settings – 70mai] to open location permission and then connect the device.” …and when I click on the “Go to open it”-button, the Settings-app opens …there I can set Wi-Fi, but that is already connected to the 70mai WiFi-network…

What is going on… how can I fix this ?

 

Answer :

The solution is simple, but you didn’t understand the given directions… probably because the the error message isn’t really straight forward : it’s in awkwardly translated English and the button only links halfway to where you need to adjust the settings…

First, make sure you are using the right iOS-app : you need the 70mai (Worldwide) app that can be downloaded here.

Then, do this :

  • connect the 70mai A800 dashcam to power
  • open the “System Settings” page (the icon is a hexagram with a dot in it)
    • Note that there’s no touch-screen so you should use the 4 buttons below the screen to navigate through the on-screen menu-structure
  • On the Settings page, you need to set “Wi-Fi hotspot” to “Enable” :
    • select “Disable” (at the top line, right of “Wi-Fi hotspot”)
    • in the “Wi-Fi hotspot”-page that opens you will see the name of the WiFi-network (at “Wi-Fi SSID”) and the WiFi-password (at “Password”)
    • remember these (or leave this screen open)

Then, open the 70mai.app on your iPhone and do this :

  • on the first page (simply called “70mai”) click the “Add device”-button (the only button on-screen)
  • in the “Please add 70mai devices”-page that opens, scroll down to “70mai Dash Cam A800” and click on it
  • when you get the “Unable to get Wi-Fi connection Please enter [Settings – 70mai] to open location permission and then connect the device.” error message, click on “Go to open it”
  • now the Settings.app will open, but it won’t always on the same page inside the Settings.app
  • so, make sure you go to the main Settings-page and clcik on “Wi-Fi” in the list
  • when the “Wi-Fi”-page opens, select the 70mai WiFi-network (with the name that was listed at Wi-Fi SSID”) from the list of “Other Networks” (or “My Networks”)
  • if the WiFi-password is required, use the “Password” that is (or was) displayed on the dashcam’s screen
  • now, even when the 70mai WiFi-network is connected you will still see 4G (or 3G or some other mobile data indication) instead of the WiFi-icon in the top-right corner of your iPhone screen
  • then click on “<Setttings” top-left
  • back in the main Settings-page, scroll all the way down to “70mai” (in the list of apps that starts after “Game Center”) and click on it
  • in the “70mai” page that opens, set “Location” to “While Using the App”
    • you could also set it to “Always”, but that isn’t a great idea since the 70mai WiFi-network is rather poorly protected
  • now, open the 70mai.app again
  • in the “Please add 70mai devices”-page, click on “70mai Dash Cam A800”
  • now, the “Turn on Wi-Fi hotspot”-page will open with a picture that resembles the “Wi-Fi hotspot” page that is displayed on the dashcam
  • there, you should click on “Dash cam WiFi hotspot is turned on” (eventhough it appears to be greyed-out) so a green checkmark will appear
  • then click “Next”
  • on the next page (the “Connect to WiFi hotspot”-page) click “Connect”
  • now the Settings.app will open again, check that the 70mai WiFi-network is listed at “Wi-Fi”
  • then, open the 70mai.app and you will see a countdown-circle on your iPhone and you will hear a voice from the dashcam
  • so, go to the dashcam screen and tap the button bottom-right to confirm
  • now you will see what the dashcam is ‘seeing’ / ‘recording’ in the 70mai.app on your iPhone

…that’s it !

enjoy 😉

Note that you can adjust various dashcam settings (like the Speaker Volume, Video Resolution, Parking Surveillance, ADAS Driver Assistance, etc.) by clicking on the 3dot-icon top-right in the 70mai-app screen.

 

 

 

fixed : Google Authenticator.app crashes in iOS

Question :

I need the Google Authenticator.app on my iPhone to generate a authentication code for one of the online (Google) services I need to use on my Mac.

This used to work great, but now, whenever I start the Google Authenticator.app it quits during startup…

I already tried shutting down my iPhone and restarting it, but that didn’t help… the problem persists.

So… how can I fix this ?

 

Answer :

The way to solve this problem with Google Authenticator.app is the same as what you would do with any cashing iOS-app : delete and reinstall.

…but in the current versions of iOS, it is slightly more complicated to remove and reinstall an app from iOS, because Apple has now included the option to delete the app but keep the connected data / information in case you want (or need) to reinstall the app later on.

To delete and reinstall an app from iOS (e.g. Google Authenticator.app), do this :

  • open the Settings.app on your iPhone / iPad
  • in the next window, click on General
  • in the next window, click iPhone Storage
  • in the next window, find Google Authenticator (or any other app you want to delete and reinstall) in the list of apps on the bottom
    • note that the list of apps is not alphabetical, but based on the amount of data an app uses… so if you have lots of apps finding the right one may be a little complicated… you will probably need to scroll almost the end of the list, as Google Authenticator is usually listed for about 15MB
  • click on the name of the app you want to delete (“Authenticator” with the gray-on-white Google’s G logo)
  • in the next window, click “Offload App” (in blue) first
  • when done, click the “Reinstall App” when it appears
  • then exit
  • then open the Google Authenticator.app to check if it runs & works properly
  • if it does, your problem is solved !
    • when the app still crashes, do this :
    • open the Settings.app
    • then click on General
    • then click on iPhone Storage
    • then find (Google) Authenticator in the list of apps, and click on it
    • now, in the next window, click “Delete App” (in red)
      • BEWARE that this does delete all additional data and info that was stored with the app on your iPhone ; if that’s passwords that you have in iCloud (or somewhere else in a cloud service, on your computer or offline in writing) you’re okay… but if it might be photos, videos or documents that you do not want to lose… do NOT click “Delete App”, and try “Offload App” again
    • then exit
    • now open the AppStore.app
    • click on the Search-button (bottom right)
    • click on the seach-line (in gray, on top, with the looking glass and “Games, Apps, Stories and More” in it)
    • then typ the app’s name : Authenticator
    • then click the Search-button
    • in the window that opens, scroll down to the app you need (make sure it’s exactly the one you need, since sometimes various publishers have apps with very similar naming)
    • then click the blue Get-button next to the app’s description to reinstall the app
    • when done, open the app and check if the app runs & works properly

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

 

fixed : quickly create GIF from QuickTime or MP4 video

Question :

For my social media I regularly want to create a .gif-animation from small clip out of an .mp4-video file that I have, but I don’t have a lot of video-editing skills or specialised software.

Is there a simple way to do this ?

 

Answer :

There are lots of ways to do this. And no video-editing skills are required to do the most basic, but with some editing you can quickly get better results.

I would recommend buying the $5 GIF Brewery 3 from the Mac AppStore and doing the editing in QuickTime (or iMovie).

The recommendations for a good GIF-animation for most social media are (suggested by .gif-database GIPHY) :

  • duration of about 6 seconds (shorter is better)
  • file size close to 8MB (smaller is better)
  • video resolution of 480 pixels (or 720 pixels maximum) on the shortest side (depending on either landscape or portrait view, or square, or any custom size)
  • total number of frames of 100 maximum (less is better)

If you just want to turn part of an existing video into a GIF, do this :

  • get GIF Brewery 3 from the Mac AppStore ( the $5 price tag is worth it if you plan on doing this more frequently )
  • first, open the video source in QuickTime.app
  • then, in the top menu bar, click on “Window”
  • then, in the pulldown menu, click on “Movie Inspector”
  • then, check out the number that is at “Encoded FPS” and remember it (you need this later)
  • then close QuickTime.app
  • now, open your source video in GIF Brewery 3
  • then, in the video slider below your video, slide the green slider to match the first frame of your desired GIF
  • and slide the red slider to where you want your GIF to end
    • click on the PLAY-button (black triangle left of the video slider) to preview your GIF
    • if the preview-length is not okay, readjust the green and/or red slider to improve your clip
  • now, in the editing window, click on the Resize-button top left
  • then, in the popup window, make sure “Maintain aspect ratio” is checked
  • then, move the Scale-slider until either Width or Height is 480px (if the clip size is less than 5 seconds, you could also stop the Scale-slider at 720px)
  • now, in the editing window, click the Settings-button top right
  • then, at “Frames Per Second” set the fps to match the “Encoded FPS” of the original video
    • again, click on the PLAY-button (black triangle left of the video slider) to preview your GIF
    • if the preview-speed is too slow, adjust the Speed-slider to a higher value (anything less than 110%, even 103%, will usually do)
    • if the preview-speed is too fast, adjust the Speed-slider to a lower value (anything over 95% will usually do)
  • then, make sure there’s a checkmark at “Optimize GIF colors”
  • then, adjust the ColorCount-slider to 48
    • again, click on the PLAY-button (black triangle left of the video slider) to preview your GIF
    • if the preview looks okay, leave the ColorCount-slider at 48
    • if the preview looks too dark or otherwise odd, adjust the ColorCount-slider to a higher value like 96, 128, 216 or 256, but make sure to set it as low as possible
  • then, click the “Create”-button (at the bottom, slightly right of the middle, with a beer glass in it) to generate the GIF
  • then, click on the Save-button (bottom right)
  • in the popup window, type the name you want your GIF to have, set the location where you want it stored and click the Save-button
  • then, browse the Finder to find the GIF’s icon and ALT-click on it
  • first, select “Get Info” from the popup menu and check if the file size is 10MB or less
    • if the file size is over 10MB, go back to GIF Brewery 3, lower at least one of the values you have set there and create an extra version of your GIF that has a file size of 10MB or less
    • as mentioned before, the main values you can adjust are :
      • Length of the clip
      • Scale / Resize (might make the picture more grainy)
      • Frames Per Second / FPS (might make motions less fluent)
      • Color Count (might make the colors less vibrant)
  • then, ALT-click on the GIF’s icon again and select “Open with” from the popup menu and select your internet browser (probably Safari) to preview the animated GIF
  • If you are happy with the end result, you are ready to post the GIF on your social media
    • if not… redo your editing and try again

That’s it !

enjoy 😉