fixed : save Instagram pictures to Photos.app on macOS

Question :

I came across some group photos on Instagram that I am on but that I did not take and/or post myself. I would really like to save them to my Photos.app but I can’t figure out a way to do that…

How do I do that ?

Answer :

Yes, this is possible, but… DO NOT use any app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac that needs your Instagram login credentials to do that !! as by doing that, you are granting third party access to your Instagram and you are thereby making your Instagram account extreme vulnerable to hacking, fraud and identity swapping !!

Instagram has made it impossible to save pictures from within the Instagram.app (either on iPhone, iPad or Mac) so the only ‘good’ way to do this is via the website. To do so, do this :

  • on your Mac, open the Photos.app
  • then, open Safari and in the top menu bar goto Safari > Settings > Advanced
  • in the “Advanced” window, make sure that there is a checkmark at “Show Develop menu in menu bar”
  • now, close the Settings and goto http://www.instagram.com
  • login using your account name and password
  • scroll through the pictures and select one that you want to download / save to Photos.app
  • now, in the top menu bar goto Develop > Show Page Source
  • the underwater screen will now appear in the bottom half of the browser window
  • inside the underwater screen, in the menu on the left, click on the folder named “Images”
  • now, in the main past of the underwater screen you will see just the pictures of your Instagram page
  • scroll through these pictures and when you find a picture that you want to download drag&drop it to Photos.app’s main screen and it will be imported to your Photos.app (note that you could also drag&drop the image to your Desktop or any folder in the Finder to save the picture to your Mac)
  • repeat this drag&drop action for every picture you want to download
  • when done, close Safari
  • now, goto the Photos.app and in the menu list on the left, click on “Imports”
  • then, on the main part of the Photos window, all recently imported pictures will appear
  • scroll down to the very bottom and you will see the pictures you have imported from Instagram
  • from here on, you can use the downloaded Instagram pictures however you like…

…that’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰

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fixed : replacement HUE lamp not working properly in Google Home group

Question :

I had a Philips HUE lamp that went rogue after 4 years of working without any problems, so I had to replace it with a new one. Installation was easy (as always) : it was immediately recognised by my HUE Bridge and there is no problem when I use it with the HUE.app (I am not using the HUE(Bluetooth).app since I have an HUE Bridge). Even the HUE Remote that controls to the group of lights that the old HUE lamp is in, immediately integrated the replacement HUE lamp.

But when I want to control my HUE lights from my Google Home devices and apps, all lights are still controlled properly, but not the newly replaced HUE lamp… I can’t control it from Google Home… What is wrong ?

Answer :

After connecting the new Philips HUE lamp to the HUE Bridge and the HUE.app, you need to also reconnect it to Google Home manually… Philips HUE doesn’t automatically update in Google Home (or the other way around)… To get things working in Google Home, do this :

  • make sure that the new HUE lamp is working properly with the HUE.app and all HUE Remotes as intended
  • then, make sure the group of lights that the new/repaced HUE lamp is in is turned on (so all lights of the group should be burning)
  • now, open the GoogleHome.app on your iPhone (or iPad)
  • when the “Home” page opens, click on the “Settings” button (the one with the sprocket/gear-icon)
  • in the “Home settings” page that opens, scroll down to the bottom and click on “Works with Google”
  • in the “Add Devices” page that opens, you will see a “Linked” chapter and a “Add new” chapter below ; since you already have your HUE lights set up in Google Home previously, you can click on “Philips HUE” in the “Linked” chapter
  • in the small popup menu that opens, click on “Check for new devices”
  • when the auth.meethue.com online login page opens, login to your Philips HUE account using your eMail address and your password
  • in the “Grant permission” webpage that opens, scroll down to the bottom and click on the blue “Grant permission” button
  • now the “Add Devices” page in the Googlehome.app opens, and at the bottom a message saying “Philips HUE is linked” will show
  • then, the “Choose device” page will automatically open where you see all your HUE lights and devices that are currently not connected to Google Home, so select the HUE lamp’s icon tile that you have replaced and click “Next”
  • in the “Connect Home” page that opens, drag&drop the HUE lamp’s icon tile onto the correct HOME icon tile (usually the HOME location that you have setup in Google Home) [ note that you can only connect the lamp to one home ] then click “Next”
  • in the “Connect Groups” page that opens, drag&drop the HUE lamp’s icon tile onto each and every GROUP icon tile (of lights and devices) you want the HUE lamp to be in, one after the other
  • when done, click “Next” and the GoogleHome.app will update
  • when done, back in the “Home” page, scroll down to the proper group and test what happens when you turn the group of lights off and back on
  • if everything works properly, you’re done
  • if you run into a problem (now or maybe later on), try this :
  • turn on all HUE lights
  • turn off all running GoogleHome.apps on all devices you have and unplug all Google Home speakers, Google Home displays and Nest Hubs
  • after at least 30 seconds, plug all Google Home speakers/displays and Nest Hubs back in and wait for them to restart
  • now, test if the group of HUE lights that includes the replaced HUE lamp works as intended when using one of the restarted Google Home speakers/displays or Nest Hubs (if it works on one Google Home device, it will work on all the one that have been restarted)
  • also test if the group of HUE lights that includes the replaced HUE lamp works as intended when using the GoogleHome.app on your iPhone (or iPad)
  • now, everything should work as intended (in the very unlikely event that it does not, redo all of the above)

that’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰

tip : use 3-finger swipe on your iPhone speed things up

Question :

A friend told me I could speed up my interaction with my iPhone by doing things like swiping with multiple fingers at the same time…

How do I do that ?

Answer :

The 2-finger gestures that you can use on your iPhone :

  • the basics : put 2 fingers on the screen next to each other, then spread them (‘pinch’ gesture) to zoom in on a picture or map
  • the basics : put 2 fingers on the screen apart of each other, then bring them together (‘reverse pinch’ gesture) to zoom out on a picture or map
  • the extras : when the onscreen keyboard is shown, long-press the spacebar (with one finger) to get a cursor that you can move though the text (‘trackpad-mode’), then add a second finger and with 2 fingers you can now select parts of the text
  • the extras : when in a list (like in Mail.app or Notes.app) use 2 fingers to tap one item, then drag down (or up) to select multiple items together – if needed you can still deselect individual items using only one finger

The 3-finger gestures that you can use on your iPhone :

  • the basics : put 3 fingers on the screen and swipe to the left to undo any action you just did
  • the basics : put 3 fingers on the screen and swipe to the right to redo anything (especially if you just did an undo action)
  • the extras : after having selected a text, put 3 fingers on the screen and spread them (‘reverse pinch’ gesture) to copy the selected text
  • the extras : after having copied some text (when it’s in the invisible clipboard), put 3 spread-out fingers on the screen and move them together (‘pinch’ gesture) to paste the text into your document
  • the extras : when in any text app, tap 3 fingers on the screen to bring up a menu that enables you to copy & paste

that’s just a few of the very handy gestures that you can use… enjoy πŸ˜‰

fixed : LandRover navigation update gone wrong, navigation maps gone

Question :

I tried upgrading the HERE maps on the navigation system in my LandRover Discovery Sport P300e using a USB-stick as per the directions given by HERE and LandRover, but after 3 attempts that failed for no clear reason, when I retried yet another time, the update crashed while it was about halfway and now… there is no map left in the system to use for the navigation… nothing… the navigation is completely blind…

What can I do to solve this ?

Answer :

There are several reasons why this problem might have occurred. Your LandRover will probably show a warning message advising you to go to a LandRover garage and get this fixed, but you can also give it a try yourself first, just make sure you include all of these additional instructions in your next attempt :

  • start off by using a USB-stick with no previous navigation files on it – if you do not have a brand new USB-stick of 32GB at hand, you can also try using the current one : no need to format it, just open it in the Finder (on macOS), then inside the folder named “HereV1”, select all files (press the CMD-A key combo) drag them to the Bin and empty the Bin
  • goto the landrover.here.com website, login using your account name and pasword, goto “Maps & Services”, click the “Get Latest Update” button of the map you want to install and in the next page that opens, start by downloading and installing the latest version of the MapDownloader-app before you proceed to downloading the desired map itself ; just finish making the USB-installer as usual
  • now, before you enter your P300e hybrid LandRover to start the update, make sure to unplug the electrical charger cable before you start your car (so the engine will stay running during the entire update process that may take up to 30 or even 45 minutes to complete – if your electrical charger would be plugged in, your engine won’t start and your car will definitely go into sleep mode before the navigation update is finished ; if you like you can take a drive during the map update, just remember you are not able to see any maps on your screen during the update – you might be able to use navigation though Apple CarPlay in the mean time – and you have to keep the engine running until the update is complete, so you cannot leave the car until done)
  • when starting the navigation update in your car, wait with plugging in the USB-installer until the car’s system asks you to do so and make sure you use a different USB-port than you did before

…then proceed as per the onscreen instructions and sit back and relax

…if you do so, the update process may appear to be a little slow, but it will succeed in about 30 minutes. (and if it doesn’t just try again – and if it still fails after a few attempts, the problem is not ‘just an upgrade’ so you will still have to contact a LandRover garage to get it fixed)

That’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰

fixed : Green Screen button not showing in iMovie 10

Question :

I have made a video recording of myself in front of a green screen, and now I want to make the green transparent and put a video behind it in iMovie. I have iMovie 10.3.5 and the option for Green Screen should be in there, but when I import the video into iMovie and select it, there should be a Green Screen button at the left of the editing buttons above the clip preview, but the button just isn’t there, it isn’t greyed out or something, it just isn’t showing up… I searched in iMovie menus to find an option to switch the Green Screen button on, but there isn’t any…

What am I doing wrong ?

Answer :

Yes, it would have been better if Apple had included the button permanently in the row of editing buttons above the clip preview, then it could have been greyed out and instructions of what to do could be shown when you would try to click it.

So… yes… there is a modus operandi that isn’t obvious to everyone, but causes the Green Screen / Blue Screen button (the icon depicts ‘two overlaying squares’ and appears on the left of the row of editing buttons above the clip preview) to stay invisible :

the green screen video should always be an additional layer, but not the main layer !

so, do this to fix this problem and get the Green Screen / Blue Screen button to appear :

  • open iMovie
  • create a new Project
  • in the new project’s time line, import the video (or picture) that you want to show in the background first (so make the background video/picture the main clip in the time line)
  • then import the green screen video on top of the main (background) clip (so drag it in the row / layer above the main clip in the time line)
  • then select the green screen video in the time line (a yellow outline will appear around the clip) ; now the Green Screen / Blue Screen button will show up in the row of editing buttons above the clip preview on the upper right section of the screen
  • then click the Green Screen / Blue Screen button ; now the options needed to make the cut-out of the green screen will appear

That’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰

solved : Matter-compatible Smart Thermostats that are already for sale

Question :

I am considering buying new Smart Thermostats for my home, but now I heard that an all New cross-platform standard for home automation called “Matter” will be introduced later this year, I am thinking about postponing my purchases… even though I should start using Smart Thermostats as soon as possible since energy prices ar rocketing…

Now I heard that some of the Smart Thermostats that are already available right now will be upgradable for integration with Matter, but I can’t seem to find any… which ones are sure to work with Matter ?

Answer :

Yes, Matter (formerly known as Project CHIP – Connected Home over IP) will be the new communication standard in home automation. Matter will unify all new home automation by Apple (HomeKit & Siri), Google (Google Home & Nest), Amazon (Alexa), Samsung (SmartThings), Comcast, CSA – Connectivity Standards alliance (formerly known as The Zigbee Alliance), IKEA, Huawei and Schneider. Others like Philips HUE, EVE Home, WiZ and TP-Link (Kasa & Tapo) are working on Matter-certification, and more and more brands will follow.

At the moment of writing (January 2023) only 2 Smart Thermostats that are already available on the market are confirmed to be Matter-compatible / Matter-upgradeable :

We expect to update this list soon when new Matter-compatible Smart Thermostats are confirmed.

fixed : Smart Thermostat is too large for the space I have next to my radiator

Question :

I want to install Smart Thermostats on all my radiators, but some of our radiators are in a cove where I a regular smart Thermostat won’t fit because it’s too bulky. There just isn’t enough space to screw the Smart Thermostat onto the radiator valve, there’s only 78mm of space.

What options do I have ?

 

Answer :

Most Smart Thermostats are bulky because you need to install 2 AA penlite batteries inside the Smart Thermostat. The TP-Link KE-100 Kasa Smart Thermostat is 88mm in length and even the Tado Smart Thermostat is 80mm in length. So, even if your radiator valve is M30x1.5 the space you have is too small… so, you only have 2 options :

(1) the Fibaro “The Heat Controller” FGT-001 which is only 75mm in length, because it isn’t powered by AA penlite batteries, but by a built-in rechargeable battery that can be charged through a mini-USB cable

Note #1 : the Fibaro FGT-001 comes in 2 versions : an Apple HomeKit-compatible version and a non-HomeKit-compatible Z-Wave version that is compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa

Note #2 : the Fibaro FGT-001 (HomeKit version) is rather easy to install and program, but the Fibaro FGT-001 (Z-Wave version) is slightly more difficult to install end harder to program, and you will also need a Z-Wave Hub (a.k.a. “Z-Wave Controller”) but it’s extremely programmable

(2) use a perpendicular M30x1.5 angle adapter to get your Smart Thermostat pointing in a more convenient direction, like this one :

Oventrop Angle Adapter for M30x1.5 radiator valves

That’s it – you choose πŸ˜‰

enjoy !