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 šŸ˜‰

Ā 

fixed : edited photo is send before I can add text message

Question :

Most of the time when I’m using WhatsApp, I can add a line of text to the photo I am sending, but sometimes the photo is send right away, and I didn’t get the time (or option) to add any text to it… so I need to typ the accompanying text in a new message…

Come to think of it… I might have the same problem in SMS / iMessage on my iPhone… but I don’t use it that often, so I can’t really tell…

Is this normal ? Can I do something about it ?

 

Answer :

Yes… you can do something about this… and yes, this is supposed to work this way… it’s just that you are overlooking the difference between the “Send” and “Done” buttons because it’s un-intuitive to most of us…

The problem you are describing only occurs when you pick (or make) a photo that you edit (in size or rotation or something) before you send it… in the Editing window, you will see 2 buttons : “Done” (bottom left) and “Send” (bottom right). Now you will be tempted into clicking “Send” hoping you can add a little text before you send the message out… but “Send” actually means “send straight away, without additional text”, while “Done” means “the photo is ready to be sent out”, meaning the edited photo will be placed inside the message draft, where you can add additional text.

So, next time you are sending an edited photo, click the “Done” button (instead of the “Send” button) and you will be able to typ an additional text.

Even though the layout is slightly different, this is main solution the same for both WhatsApp and SMS/iMessage : just click the “Done” button, not the “Send” button.

That’s it !

enjoy šŸ˜‰

fixed : account info greyed out in iOS 12

Question :

I have just upgraded my child’s iPhone from iOS 11 to iOS 12, but I can’t access his/her iCloud settings, since his/her account name is greyed out in Settings.app and nothing happens when I click on it…

How can I solve this ?

 

Answer :

The problem is that you have had Restrictions-setting active on iOS 11, and it is still active on iOS 12…

However : the Restrictions-setting is no longer in the “General”-chapter of Settings.app, starting in iOS 12, the Restrictions-setting is in the “Screen Time”-chapter (the purple hourglass icon just above the grey sprocket/gear-wheel icon of the “General”-chapter) and the setting is now called “Content & Privacy Restrictions”

So, do this :

  • open the Settings.app
  • in the window that opens, click on “Screen Time” (the chapter just above “General”)
  • in the next window, click on “Content & Privacy Restrictions”
  • when asked, type the Restrictions-password-code (4 digits) you previously used on iOS 11
  • then scroll down to “ALLOW CHANGES:” and “Account Changes” and adjust the setting to allow changes
  • now, the account-info in Settings will no longer be greyed out and you can also login on additional iCloud services like Messages (a.k.a. iMessage)

that’s it !

enjoy šŸ˜‰

fixed : how to activate animoji in iMessage ?

Question :

I just upgraded to a new iPhone that should be able to do animoji, but when I start up iMessage and click on the ‘new message’ icon to start a new conversation, the AppStore-icon stays greyed-out, and when I click it the toolbar with the Monkey-button (the animoji-button) doesn’t appear…

How can I activate animoji in iMessage ?

 

Answer :

You might encounter this problem especially if you just upgraded from an older iPhone to a new iPhone X, XS or XR.

To solve this problem, do this :

  • on your iPhone, open the Settings app
  • then go to Messages
  • make sure that ‘Send as SMS’ is switched OFF
  • then swipe-up to exit the Settings app
  • open the iMessage app
  • click on the ‘new message’ -icon (top right ; the pen&paper-icon)
  • type any addressee in the ‘To:’-field
  • now the extra toolbar with the Monkey-button (animoji-button) will appear
  • clear the ‘To:’-field so you won’t accidentally send a message to someone
  • swipe-up to exit the iMessage app
  • open the Settings app
  • go to Messages
  • switch ‘Send as SMS’ back ON if you want
  • exit the Settings app
  • …and from now on, you will have the animojiĀ available in iMessage

that’s it !

enjoy šŸ˜‰

fixed : SMS (iMessage) not delivered from iOS 7 iPhone to iOS 6 iPhone

Question :

Lately, some of my friends have complained to me that they did not receive my recent SMS-es at all…

…I was completely sure I had send them, and when I look inside the Messages-app, they’re properly listed as a blue SMS (= an iMessage).

Any idea what could be wrong ? …and how to fix this ?

Answer :

There seems to be a problem/bug/incompatibility between iOS 7 and iOS 6 when sending iMessages from iOS 7 to people who have not yet upgraded to iOS 7 and are still on iOS 6.

FYI : in iOS 7 and iOS 6, the Messages-app auto-detects if you’re sending a text message to an iPhone or not :

– if your text message turns Blue, it has been sent as an FREE Apple iMessage

– if your text message turns Green, it has been sent as a ‘good-old’ (payed) SMS

Fixing this problem/bug/incompatibility is rather simple, even though it’s really annoying…

But the real problem for you-as-a-user is that it’s really hard to tell on forehand if your ‘SMS’ (iMessage) will be delivered or not…

The only thing you can do ‘as an iOS 7 user’ is this :

– in Messages-app, select the recipient and type a text message as you normally would

– when it turns Green, just send it out (it will be send as a regular SMS)

– when it turns Blue, and you’re not 100% sure the recipient is using iOS 7, hold your finger on the text until a few extra options appear, then choose “Send as text message”… now your text message will turn Green and be send (as a regular SMS)

– when it turns Blue, and you’re 100% sure the recipient is using iOS 7, just send it out (it will be send as a FREE Apple iMessage)

…and when you’re not sure if this did go okay after you’ve send the text message : see if there is a red circle with a white exclamation mark next to your (Blue) text message…

…if there is, click on it and choose the option “Send as text message”

…and if you get any complaints from people that they didn’t receive your SMS since you’ve upgraded to iOS 7, select the text message again, hold your finger on it a little longer and select “Send as text message” from the options that appear.

Good Luck !

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fixed : switching the language of the spelling check in iOS5, iOS6, iOS7, iOS8, iOS9, iOS10, iOS11 & iOS12

Question :

Is it possible to (quickly) switch the language of the spelling check while I’m writing a message on my iPhone ?

Answer :

Yes !

It’s really simple :

1- make sure you have installed multiple languages / multiple keyboards on your iPhone or iPad : Go to Settings –> General –> Keyboard –> (International) Keyboards –> Add New Keyboard…

…and select your desired languages from the list (then exit the Settings-app)

2- you have now installed not only the keyboard for each language, but also the spelling check… and it’s now available in any text or message you type (including SMS)

3- to switch the language of the spelling check, just tap on the globe-key next to the space-bar : when tap it, the space-bar will (only for a quick second) display the name of the keyboard you’re using… but… the language of the active keyboard layout is also the language of the active spelling check…

šŸ˜‰

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