fixed : convert video for WhatsApp

Question :

I have a short video file (a movie clip) that I want to share with my friends on WhatsApp. When I drag&drop it into the WhatsApp.app in macOS, the file appears to start uploading… but when done, there is no preview shown and no Play-button, just a file icon… as if it were an unknown or incompatible type of file…

What can I do to fix this ?

Answer :

Before uploading your video file to WhatsApp, you must make sure your video file meets WhatsApp’s file requirements :

  • video format preferably MP4 in H.264 or MPEG-4 codec ( MKV, AVI or 3GP will also do )
  • audio format preferably AAC ( or AC3 codec )
  • file size smaller than about 16MB ( in reality even 18MB might be okay )
    • usually, this means your movie clip will be about 90 seconds, but by tweaking the display size and the frame rate ( fps ) you can even squeeze 3 minutes or more into about 16MB

Do this to check your video’s specifications :

  • right-click ( CTRL-click ) on the movie clip’s icon
  • select “Get Info” from the popup-menu
  • in the window that opens, check these :
    • the file name either has the “.mov” or “.mp4” file extension
    • at “Size:” less that 18MB should be listed
    • at “Codecs:” either “H.264” or “H.264, AAC” is listed

If these are all okay, you should be able to just drag&drop the movie clip into the macOS WhatsApp.app.

If not, you will have to convert the movie clip. To do this conversion, do this :

  • first, download the FREE OmniConverter.app ( by 7littlemen ) from the Mac AppStore :
  • then, open the OmniConverter.app and click on “Convert Video” from the list on the left
  • then, drag&drop your movie clip file onto the OmniConverter window
  • now, at the right of the arrow (in the middle), check if “MP4” is listed and the file size is less than 18MB
    • if you do not see “MP4” listed at the right of the middle arrow, click the Format-button
      • in the window that opens, select the “Device”-tab
      • then, select “iPhone” from the list on the left
      • then, select the “iPhone HD” option
      • now, click the Confirm-button
    • if you see a file size larger than 18MB listed at the right of the middle arrow, click the Edit-button
      • in the window that opens, at “Video”>”Encoder:” select “H.264”
      • and at “Audio”>”Encoder:” select “AAC”
      • leave the rest as is and click the Confirm-button
  • back in the Convert Video window, click on the Start-button ( circled arrow icon, at the right )
  • now, wait for the conversion to complete
    • if the file size already was less than 18MB, you’re usually okay and you will not need to do extra compression
    • if the file size was over 18MB, do this :
      • open the OmniConverter.app and click on “Compress Video” from the list on the left
      • drag&drop the .mp4-video you’ve just converted onto the OmniConverter window
      • check if the file size listed at the right of the arrow (in the middle) is less than 16MB
        • if so, click the Start-button on the right
        • if not, click the Edit-button (below the arrow)
        • in the window that opens, set the “Quality:”-slider in-between “Mid” and “High”, set “Resolution:” to “720P” and set “Frame Rate:” to “24 FPS”
        • if at “Size:” it now says anything less than 16MB, click the Confirm-button
        • if at “Size:” it says anything over 30MB, set “Resolution:” to “480P”
        • if at “Size:” it says anything between 20MB and 30MB, set the “Quality:”-slider to “Mid”
        • now, if at “Size:” it still says anything over 18MB, start tweaking the available settings until at “Size:” it says about 15MB ( see how much the file size decreases when you tweak each setting to find the optimal combination of settings )
        • when done, click the Confirm-button
      • now, in the “Compress Video” window, click the Start-button
      • …and wait for the compression to finish

After the file conversion, drag&drop the converted movie clip into the WhatsApp.app to share it with your friends…

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : Save Images option disabled in Whatsapp ?

Question :

Normally, on my iPhone, when I get a Whatsapp-message with a great photo or image, I can click on it, then click the Export-button (the ‘square with an upward arrow’ icon, bottom left) and I get the Save-option.

But when I get a batch of images/photos in one WhatsApp-message I can click on one of them and I will get the Select-button (top right)… then I can select the images/photos I want to save, but when I click the Export-button (bottom left) now… I don’t get the Save-option…

What am I doing wrong ?

Answer :

Simply put : it’s a limitation of Whatsapp. It’s limited to saving a maximum of 5 pictures/images at the same time.

The process for saving pictures you are describing is correct, but just try it yourself : Select up to 5 images and you will see the Save-option, and if you select 6 or more images, you will not get the Save-option any longer…

So… to save multiple images from one WhatsApp-message at the same time, do this :

  • Click om the Whatsapp message that shows multiple images in one
  • when the screen opens where you will see all images below each other, click the Select-button (top right)
  • now, in each picture a small circle outline will appear in it’s top left corner, and click those to select each picture (the circle will turn blue and a white checkmark will appear inside it)
  • if there are up to 5 pictures in total, you could also click the SelectAll-button (top left)
  • if there are 6 or more pictures, select the first 5 manually
  • then click the Export-button (the ‘square with an upward arrow’ icon, bottom left) and click the “Save 5 Images”-option from the menu
  • these 5 images will now be saved to your iOS Photos.app
  • Now, repeat this procedure for the next 5 pictures, and keep repeating this until all pictures are saved

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : charge and use headphones at the same time on USB-C iPad Pro

Question :

My 2018 iPad Pro is great. I can use it for most of the office work I previously did on my MacBook. I have also started to use my iPad Pro for conference calls. For that I would like to wear my favorite over-ear headphones, which have a 3.5mm mini-jack and noise canceling. I got an official Apple USB-C-to-minijack adapter for that, but then I run into the problem that I cannot charge my iPad Pro at the same time. I have seen that there are various docking stations and port-multipliers that work with the USB-C iPad Pro, but those are very expensive…

Isn’t there a simpler solution ?

 

Answer :

Yes there is, but your choices are very limited : there are various splitters available that split the USB-C port into a USB-port and an audio-port… but : BEWARE ! nearly every single one of them does NOT work with the iPad Pro !!! (most of them only work on Android devices)

There is only one of the simple (and very affordable) splitters that is tested to work with the 2018 iPad Pro :

ESR 2-in-1 USB-C PD Headphone Jack Adapter ( buy it on Amazon UK / Amazon DE )

Note 1 : this splitter’s USB-C port is only capable of charging, not for a USB-(data)stick or a USB-keyboard or anything other than a USB-C charger

Note 2 : this splitter’s audio mini-jack does support both audio-out and audio-in, so when using headphones with a microphone (like gaming headsets) that microphone is used, but when using a regular headphone, the iPad Pro’s built-in microphone will be used

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : search inside a WhatsApp chat

Question :

I have been using WhatsApp for a long time now, and I have some group chats that have an enormous amount of text messages. Now, I want to look up some info someone has posted a few months ago. I have narrowed down the group chats that that specific text message could be in, but even after having scrolled and even read through loads of messages, I can’t find the info I am looking for…

Isn’t there any way to search inside chats in WhatsApp ?

 

Answer :

Yes, you can search inside WhatsApp messages.

To do so, do this :

  • in WhatsApp, go out of any group chat you might be in
  • in the main Chats screen, swipe down from the top
  • now a search bar appears just below the word Chats
  • typ the text you are looking for inside the searchbar
  • …and all chat messages containing that text will be shown

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : compress video for WhatsApp (or eMail)

Question :

I would like to send a small piece of a video I just shot at a birthday party to a group of friends on WhatsApp, but it’s too big to upload.

How can I compress it for easy viewing on Whatsapp ?

 

Answer :

If you have shot the video on your iPhone you can send it right away, and iOS will do the compression for you.

However, if you already have the video on your Mac and you want to compress it before you send it using WhatsApp Desktop (for macOS), do this :

  • make sure you trim down the length of the video to a clip that only includes the most relevant part of the video
    • you can do this in QuickTime Player (included in macOS for FREE)
  • use Smart Converter (FREE from Mac AppStore) and choose ‘for iPhone or iPod’, then click ‘Convert’ to convert
    • this will convert to an .mp4 video with 1280×720 resolution at 30 frames per second and AAC sound (file size ca. 10MB per 10 seconds)
  • use Handbrake (FREE from handbrake.fr) and choose ‘Presets’ > ‘Gmail Large 3 minutes 720p30’, then click ‘Start’ to convert
    • this will convert to an .mp4 video with 1280×720 resolution at 30 frames per second and AAC sound (file size ca. 2MB per 10 seconds)

Note : even though the frame rate and screen size are the same, the ‘Gmail’-ready file will be much smaller than the ‘iPhone’-ready file, even though (or rather ‘because’) this comes with the downside that quick-moving objects will blur in the ‘Gmail’-ready video (compared to the ‘iPhone’-ready video that hardly has any blur and is similar in size and quality to the ‘Fast 720p30’ preset in Handbrake) 

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

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 😉

fixed : how to safely block caller without calling the untrustworthy number

Question :

Over the past few days I’ve had several incoming phone calls from an unknown phone number. Since my iPhone warned me that these were from Algeria (the actual phone number started with +213…) and I don’t know anyone who currently is in Algeria, I did not answer any of these calls as I was expecting them to be fraudulent scams…

Now, I want to block this phone number from ever calling me again…

How do I do that safely ?

 

Answer :

By ‘safely’, you probably mean ‘without running the risk of accidentally calling this number’ right ?

To safely block a caller, this is the procedure :

  1. switch on Flight Mode
  2. block the caller
  3. delete the call from the recent calls list
  4. switch off Flight Mode

Since it isn’t clear from your question if you want to block a caller from calling you over regular mobile network (a.k.a. cellular) or from Whatsapp or from any other audio-calling app, I will outline the exact procedure for cellular (GSM) and Whatsapp-audio below.

Here’s how to safely bock a caller  from cellular (GSM) calls :

  • put your iPhone in Flight Mode
    • swipe down from the top right corner of the screen
    • in the window that opens, click on the Airplane-icon
    • now the Airplane-icon will turn orange and the icons for cellular (GSM), Bluetooth and WiFi will dim (grey out)
    • now your iPhone is in Flight mode
  • then, open the Phone.app (the green icon with the old-fashioned telephone hand-piece in it)
  • in the next window, click on “Recents” (in the bottom row, with the clock-icon)
  • in the “Recents” list, find the untrustworthy caller and click on the info-icon at the far right of it (the blue circle outline with the letter “i” in it)
  • in the next window, scroll down completely
  • there, click on “Block this Caller”
  • then, click on “< Recents” top right to return to the Recents list
  • in the “Recents” list, click “Edit” (top right)
  • now find the untrustworthy caller and click on the red “No Entry” icon that has appeared in front of it (far left of the phone number)
  • then, click “Done” (top right)
  • then, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to get back to the main screen
  • then, switch Flight Mode off
    • swipe down from the top right corner of the screen
    • in the window that opens, click on the orange Airplane-icon
    • now the Airplane-icon will turn gray and the icons for cellular (GSM), Bluetooth and WiFi will switch on (turn blue or green)
    • now Flight Mode is turned off

And here’s how to safely block a caller from Whatsapp calls :

  • put your iPhone in Flight Mode
    • swipe down from the top right corner of the screen
    • in the window that opens, click on the Airplane-icon
    • now the Airplane-icon will turn orange and the icons for cellular (GSM), Bluetooth and WiFi will dim (grey out)
    • now your iPhone is in Flight mode
  • then, open the Whatsapp.app (the green icon with the old-fashioned telephone hand-piece in a cartoon speech balloon)
  • in the next window, click on “Calls” (in the bottom row, with the telephone hand-piece icon)
  • in the “Calls” list, find the untrustworthy caller and click on the info-icon at the far right of it (the blue circle outline with the letter “i” in it)
  • in the next window, scroll down completely
  • there, click on “Block Contact”
  • then, click on “< Calls” top right to return to the Recents list
  • in the “Calls” list, click “Edit” (top left)
  • now find the untrustworthy caller and click on the red “No Entry” icon that has appeared in front of it (far left of the phone number)
  • then, click “Done” (top left)
  • then, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to get back to the main screen
  • then, switch Flight Mode off
    • swipe down from the top right corner of the screen
    • in the window that opens, click on the orange Airplane-icon
    • now the Airplane-icon will turn gray and the icons for cellular (GSM), Bluetooth and WiFi will switch on (turn blue or green)
    • now Flight Mode is turned off

As mentioned, the procedure is similar for all voice-audio calling apps.

That’s it !

Now the caller has been blocked from sending new messages, and you can no longer accidentally call back.

enjoy 😉