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Cool Photo Slideshow Software for Your PC

Want to create a slideshow? You can do so with various free tools, from Android apps to the built-in slideshow player in Windows 10. But what if you want something a bit more polished?

SmartSHOW 3D is professional-quality photo slideshow software for Windows. Using this program, you can create polished, visually-striking slideshows with ease.

Anyone Can Use Professional Slideshow Software

Along with a feature-packed collection of transitions, animation effects, and support for audio, SmartSHOW 3D’s main draw is its ease of use. The software literally guides you through the creation of a new slideshow production.

Your end product might be family photos and video set to music, a school project, a motion comic, or even a hugely popular YouTube video. The only limit is your imagination and the quality of media you have at your disposal.

SmartSHOW 3D Screenshot 1

Before SmartSHOW 3D came along, the creation of impressive slideshows was limited to some expensive tools. With SmartSHOW 3D slideshow software for PC (it runs on all versions from Windows XP through Windows 10), you can create a picture slideshow as easily as you might organize photos in an album.

Easily Create a Slideshow With SmartSHOW 3D

It takes just five minutes to create a spectacular slideshow using SmartSHOW 3D. Simply run the software and jump right in, or refer to the SmartSHOW 3D website for tutorials. There’s even a “quick start” tutorial video provided to help get your slideshow off the ground.

You can use a template, or start from scratch, adding your own choice of transitions and animations. We’d recommend starting with a template, then you can make the necessary tweaks once the images, optional video, and music are in place.

For example, you can adjust the caption text, audio volume, and duration of transitions and animations. The software also allows you to tweak backgrounds, and change the position of slideshow images. It doesn’t take long to make the necessary changes to a template.

SmartSHOW 3D Screenshot 2

Unless you have a lot of changes to make, or you’re making very minor tweaks, you’ll be done making your slideshow in the time it takes to brew a cup of coffee. In many cases, it will take longer to watch the slideshow than it took to create it!

Ultimately, SmartSHOW 3D gives you the tools to create almost any kind of slideshow you can imagine. And if you run into problems, simply visit the Slideshow Forum community for help.

SmartSHOW 3D Features

So what can you do with SmartSHOW 3D? Among its features, you’ll find:

  • A wizard to create a slideshow in under five minutes
  • Hundreds of templates, 150+ transitions, and animation effects
  • Support for multiple audio tracks
  • A linear timeline for editing
  • Captions with a range of text styles, including 3D text
  • Support for animated slides, videos, and photo/video collages
  • Ability to edit animations for a truly unique slideshow
  • Animation effects such as fireworks, sparklers, falling leaves, and bubbles
  • Ability to export the completed slideshow to a range of platforms in various formats.

SmartSHOW 3D is available in two versions: the $39.90 Standard version, and the $59.50 Deluxe release. Deluxe adds the ability to write to DVD, over 350 transitions and animation effects, and support for video clips within the slideshow.

SmartSHOW 3D: Top-Rated Photo and Video Slideshow Software

So it’s easy to use, includes a considerable selection of transitions and animations, and even lets you export to HD video, optical disc, stream to your TV, play on portable devices, and upload to websites. What’s not to like about SmartSHOW 3D?

If you’re looking for software to create eye-candy photo and video slideshows, then SmartSHOW 3D is your best option. Grab your copy of SmartSHOW 3D today from Smartshow Software.

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The 6 Best Digital Photo Frames

Over the past decade or so, photography has shifted from the physical to the digital. The overwhelming majority of photographs are taken and viewed on smart devices and computers.

An electronic photo frame is a great way to bridge the gap between printed photographs and the digital age. The devices come in many sizes and prices, but you’ll find at least one of these six digital photo frames should fit you perfectly!

Pix-Star Digital Photo Frame

Pix-Star Digital Photo Frame

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The Pix-Star Digital Photo Frame‘s price and features make it difficult to beat. The frame can receive photos via USB, SD Card or Wi-Fi. You can even send photos directly to the device using a dedicated email address. Or, you can send them from online accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Google Photos and Dropbox.

Available in three screen sizes, the 4:3 aspect ratio frame is designed to be easy to set up, but even easier to use. It can be set to be always on or activated via a motion sensor. Once it is up and running, it can automatically update and replace the current image. There’s an option to add photos to whatever slide show you have running too.

Weather reports, radio stations, and brain training games are also included, along with reminders. Rather than using a touch screen, the Pix-Star has a simple to use remote which will be familiar to less tech-oriented people.

The design, price, and quality of this frame put it ahead of the market. Even if you don’t use the extra features, this is still the best electronic photo frame for your money.

Jimwey Digital Photo Frame

Jimwey Digital Photo Frame

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If you are on a budget, it’s best to drop a few features rather than sacrifice image quality. For that, the Jimwey Digital Photo Frame is a perfect choice.

The frame is available in both 8-inch and 10-inch displays, and at either a 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio. However, you won’t find a Wi-Fi connection on this frame. Instead, photos load via USB or SD card. The IPS display can also play video at 1080p, and audio if desired through onboard speakers.

The frame is controlled by a remote and features a motion sensor for power saving along with a calendar and alarm clock mode. This frame is cheap, but still decent quality, and represents great value for money.

Nix Advance 17.3-inch Digital Photo Frame

Nix Advance 17.3-inch Digital Photo Frame

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For a high-quality large frame, the Nix Advance 17.3-inch is perfect. While the Advance doesn’t bring anything innovative to the table, it delivers on the important things. The large IPS display shows bright, crisp pictures with minimal glare and can be motion activated.

Photos display via USB and SD card, and the frame features a clock, calendar, and reminder system. By concentrating on delivering the essential things, Nix has created a full range of high-quality frames regardless of which size you choose.

Feelcare Wi-Fi Digital Picture Frame

Feelcare Wi-Fi Digital Picture Frame

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There aren’t many seven inch frames worth your money, but the Feelcare Wi-Fi Digital Picture Frame may be. The 1024×600 IPS touchscreen looks great at this size. The whole unit can stand alone or mount to a wall in both portrait and landscape mode.

The ability to send photos via Wi-Fi is a great feature at this price. To offer this feature, the frame uses the free Frameo smartphone app for Android and iOS. The ability to add captions to the photos is another nice touch, giving you the option of sending a message along with an image to a loved one’s frame.

Meural Canvas – Smart Digital Frame

Meural Canvas – Smart Digital Frame

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The Meural Canvas is not a regular digital photo display. Instead, the pricey device is intended for high-quality images and works of art.

These digital displays combine the aesthetics found in traditional picture frames with a 27-inch HD display with an anti-glare matte coating. The 8GB of internal memory can be used to store images sent via Wi-Fi using the Meural smartphone app. The premium finish of these frames cannot be overstated; each wooden frame is sustainable American hardwood.

While these frames are undoubtedly some of the best available for photo display, there is another element to the Meural Canvas. The Meural Membership subscription allows the owner access to tens of thousands of classic paintings and images. The Meural Canvas is optimized to display them perfectly.

If you want a premium digital photo frame or are a professional wishing to show your work in the best possible light, this is the choice for you.

NeeGo Raspberry Pi 7-inch Touchscreen Kit

NeeGo Raspberry Pi 7-inch Touchscreen Kit

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Digital photo frames promise simplicity, but not everyone wants an off-the-shelf device. If you are more inclined to DIY and make your own, then a Raspberry Pi with a touch screen is the perfect way to build your own digital photo frame.

The NeeGo Raspberry Pi 7-inch Touchscreen Kit with a case has everything you need to build your own digital photo frame from scratch. If you want to change things up in the future, you can repurpose your frame as the Raspberry Pi runs on Linux.

The Best Digital Photo Frame for You

For some, digital photo frames are the perfect gift, and for others, a way to give a family member the photo frame experience digital photography has replaced. Electronic picture frames are also a great way to show off your photography skills.

But they aren’t the only way. If you’ve been thinking of making physical copies of some of your most treasured photos, then you’ll want to take a look at the most affordable sites for printing digital photos online

The 10 Most Affordable Sites for Printing Digital Photos Online

The 10 Most Affordable Sites for Printing Digital Photos Online

Printed photos are way better than staring at a digital screen. But why print at a one-hour photo shop when you can get them printed online and delivered?
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Explore more about: Photo Album, Photography.

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10 Tips for Better Snapseed Photo Editing

Every picture that you take on your smartphone can be made better. Smartphone cameras add a lot of post-processing to every image, hiding important details. Thankfully, you can bring out those details using Snapseed for Android and iOS.

Snapseed means that you don’t need Lightroom or Photoshop to get the job done. Instead, you can enhance photos, fix issues, and generally improve the look and feel of images using this free app. And in this article we show you how to use Snapseed.

What Is Snapseed and How Do You Use It?

Snapseed is a free photo editing app for Android and iOS. In fact, it is one of the best photo editing apps on iPhone

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The 8 Best Free Photo and Image Editing Apps on iPhone

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and Android. A couple of years ago Snapseed was acquired by Google and it has only gotten better since then.

Snapseed’s UI can be a bit intimidating at first. But spend a couple of minutes with the app and you’ll soon master its gesture-based interface. The app is laid out in a simple manner. Open a photo first, then tap on the Tools button to reveal more than a dozen different editing tools.

Download: Snapseed for Android | iOS (Free)

1. Start by Tuning the Image

Once your image is loaded, you’ll see three buttons at the bottom: Looks, Tools, and Export. Using the Looks option you can switch between available filters or make your own. Since we’re focussing on editing, tap on the Tools button and select Tune Image.

Tune Image consists of basic image editing features like brightness and contrast. Brightness will be selected already. You can swipe right to increase it and swipe left to decrease it. The numerical value of the brightness will be shown at the top.

To switch to another tool, just swipe up or tap on the Tools button in the bottom bar. Tap on the image and hold to see the difference between the original image and the edited one.

The Tune Image Tools

The following tools are available in the Tune Image section:

Brightness: You can use this to add light to a darker shot, or tone down a shot that was overexposed. However, decreasing brightness in overexposed shots will instantly bring out details.

Contrast: Contrast increases or decreases the difference between the darkest and the lightest parts of an image.

Saturation: Increasing the saturation makes the colors more vibrant. Use it if you want the image to pop.

Ambiance: Ambiance lets you adjust saturation and contrast at the same time.

Highlights: Highlights helps you edit the intensity of the brightest (lightest) areas of the image. So, if an image is overexposed or overly bright, reduce the highlights.

Shadows: Shadows does the same thing as Highlights but for the darkest areas of the image.

Warmth: Warmth adds either a warm orange or a cool blue tint to your entire image. Using this tool you can instantly turn a bright orange sky into a cool blue sky.

To capture and bring out more details, try capturing photos in RAW format (and here’s how to shoot RAW photos on your iPhone

The Best Apps and Tips for Taking RAW Photos on Your iPhone

The Best Apps and Tips for Taking RAW Photos on Your iPhone

It’s a feature most iPhone photographers have wanted forever, but you’ll need the right app to get the job done.
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2. Play With Structure and Sharpness

Go back to the Tools section and tap on Details. Here you’ll find two editing options: Structure and Sharpening. These tools work best if your photo has a texture element to it (like wood or rust).

The Structure tool will help you add a wow effect to your photo but make sure you don’t overdo it. The Sharpening tool will improve the details of some photos but, as a side effect, it might add grain to the image as well. Use both tools cautiously and zoom in on parts of the image before you make changes so you can ensure that there is no loss of quality.

3. HDR Scape Is a Game Changer

HDR Scape is a tool that will have an instant visual effect on your photo. It works best with shots of nature and/or people. After you select it, you’ll see that the image has an incredible amount of detail and the colors are overly saturated to make them pop.

You can adjust the filter strength, saturation, and brightness from here. If you think it’s a bit overdone, you can go back to the Tune Image tool and tone things down after applying the HDR Scape.

4. Add a Vintage Feel Using Grainy Film

Grainy Film filters can be a good way to add a vintage effect to your photos

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How to Create a Vintage Photo Effect Using Adobe Lightroom

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. Even if you choose a sublet filter and keep the strength on the lower side, you can still get a good effect.

5. Work on the Composition

Sometimes, what does wonders to an image is not the editing but the placement of the subject in the frame. If you’ve got a high-quality image, try using the Crop tool. Crop the picture so that the subject is positioned in the center, or in a manner that they are aligned to one of the grids according to the rule of thirds (a well-known photography guideline you can apply when editing).

6. Change the Perspective

Sometimes what’s standing between a good picture and a great picture is not the editing, but the angle itself. Sometimes, the angle of the photo is slightly off.

Thankfully, Snapseed has a smart Perspective tool. You can swipe up, down, left, or right to change the perspective. Snapseed will smartly fill in the gaps at the edges of the picture. But it’s best to crop those edges out after you’ve changed the perspective.

7. Adjust the White Balance

White Balance is similar to the Warmth feature, but with a color tint. Using the Temperature tool you can first add a cool blue or a warm orange hue to the photo. Then swipe over to the Tint option to add a green or pink tint to the image. This can be a quick and easy way to turn a dull, blue sky into a warm, purple sky.

8. Fix Images Using the Healing Tool

The Healing tool helps you fix small mistakes, spots, and blemishes. You can even remove small objects from the photo. This works best when it’s is surrounded by plain objects like the sky or human skin.

After choosing the Healing option, zoom into the part of the image that you want to fix. Then use your finger to brush over the area you want to heal. It will be highlighted in red. After you release it, it will be replaced automatically by pixels from the surrounding area.

9. Embrace Selective Editing

Selective Editing in Snapseed is a hidden powerful feature you should definitely embrace.

Tap on the Selective option, then tap on a part of the image (either the sky or a face), then pinch in and out with two fingers to increase or decrease the size of the selected area. You can swipe horizontally to switch between Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, and Structure. All the changes you make while using this tool will only be applied to the selected area.

10. Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

It will be comforting to know that when editing photos using Snapseed, nothing is really lost. You can tap on the Undo button to quickly undo the last change. The View Edits button will list all the edits you’ve made and you can individually re-edit a previous change or delete it.

Learn to Shoot Better Photos First

For a free app, Snapseed is a surprisingly powerful photo editor. And there are some advanced features in Snapseed like Curves and Brushes which you should explore once you’ve got the hang of the basics.

But a photo editing app can only do so much. If you want to take better photos, you should try learning the basics of photography. Luckily for you, we’ve previously outlined the key photography tips for beginners

Key Photography Tips for Absolute Beginners

Key Photography Tips for Absolute Beginners

Our photography tips will help you take better photos, whether you’re a beginner or have some practice already.
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Explore more about: Image Editing Tips, Image Editor, Smartphone Photography.

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How to Use Your Google Home Hub as a Digital Photo Frame

Google Home Hub displaying a city at night.
Josh Hendrickson

The Google Home Hub is exceptional for controlling smarthomes, checking weather and news, and setting alarms or timers. But, if you don’t have the Ambient Display set to show your photos, you’re missing out on one of its best features.

Google Home Hub Is More Than a Voice Assistant

You probably use voice commands quite a bit with your Google Home Hub, but that’s neglecting the main feature that separates the Hub from other Google Home devices—the display. The Home Hub’s display can show you the weather, play news with video, offer step by step recipe instructions, control your smart lights, and even play YouTube videos. But one of the Home Hub’s best features, ambient display mode, only appears when you’re not using the hub.

With the Home Hub, Google introduced the “Ambient EQ” light sensor, and this allows the device to change its brightness and color temperature to work best with the current environment. Essentially, the Hub should look good no matter what room you put it in. It’s hard to overstate just how well this works, but you will almost swear you’re looking at a printed photo instead of a screen.

So, when you’re not working with the Google Home Hub (which is probably most of the time), why not have it display your photos? Think of those digital photo frames from a decade ago—only, in this case, the final product isn’t terrible.

If you have more than one Home Hub, you can even have them show the same set of photos without adding them one at a time to each device—your photos just need to be stored in Google Photos. You can even choose which people and pets show up on your Hub.

Upload Your Pictures to Google Photos

To view your photos on your Home Hub, you’ll need to upload them to Google Photos. If you just want to see some beautiful art, however, you can skip straight to turning on Ambient Mode on your Google Home Hub.

If you haven’t already, you’ll want to start by uploading your pictures to Google Photos. It’s possible that all the photos you care about are already there, especially if you use an Android phone to take your pictures. But if you haven’t, start by going to Google Photos and logging in with your Google Account. Then upload any images you want to display on your Hubs. You can do this from the Google Photos iPhone and Android app as well, but if you already have all your photos on a computer, then you can load up everything at once from the browser.

Once you do have your photos uploaded, click on the search bar at the top of the screen (to the left of the Upload button). You’ll see a row of faces—click on them and label those faces to group your photos by people. This is useful later if you want your Google Home Hub to display specific people (like family members or pets).

Take time to identify the people in more than one picture—especially children who may have photos at different stages in life. Initially, Google may not recognize a person at age four and then at age six as the same person, but if you label each with the same name, it will offer to merge the pictures. Keep doing this and, eventually, Google will learn and accurately display children as they grow even when you haven’t identified specific photos. Impressively, we’ve also seen Google recognize a person with an obscured face based on the outfits they are wearing. Google calls this feature Live Albums, and it isn’t limited to the Google Home Hub. You can share these albums with family and friends using the Google Photos app, too.

Unfortunately, Face Grouping isn’t available in the UK, Illinois, or Texas.

Activate Ambient Mode on Your Google Home Hub

Google Home App showing Living Room display header with 'Showing ambient' text

You will set ambient mode on each Google Home Hub you have. First, open the Google Home app on your phone, scroll to your Google Home device, and tap its icon just above the words “Play Music.” In this example, we’re using a Hub named Kitchen Display.

Google Home App with box around Kitchen Display option (a named Google Home Hub)

If you have a Personalize Ambient option in the lower left-hand corner, tap that. Otherwise, tap the more options menu (which looks like three vertical dots), and then “Ambient mode settings.”

On the next screen, you’ll choose what to display when your Google Home Hub is in Ambient Mode—Google Photos, Art Gallery, Fullscreen clock, or Experimental. Google Photos will pull photos from your Google Photos albums; Art Gallery will show Google chosen images such as fine art, NASA generated images, pictures of cities, and so on. The fullscreen clock is just what it sounds like; you’ll always see a clockface. Experimental will pull images from your linked Facebook or Flickr accounts (given that this is experimental, that may change).

In this example, we’ll choose Google Photos to view our personal photos.

Ambient Mode settings with call out around Google Photos, Art Gallery, etc. options

If you have existing albums, you can choose them. Alternatively, you can try Recent Highlights which will rely on Google’s algorithms to surface interesting photos you’ve taken recently. Unfortunately, A.I. can learn things, but it doesn’t understand them, so this can lead to odd results, like a collage of carpet swatches being featured.

For this example, we’ll tap “Select Family & Friends” and choose four people to highlight. Once you’ve chosen the people you want to feature, Google creates a new album named Family & Friends, which you can use on other Google Home Hubs. Tap the back arrow in the upper left-hand corner to leave this screen once you’ve made your choice.

Unfortunately, since it relies on Face Grouping, the Family & Friends album feature is not available in the UK, Illinois, or Texas.

Google Photos settings with call out around Select Family and friends option

Now that we’re back in the Ambient Mode settings scroll down to find more settings options. Here you can turn on and off Weather, Time, and Personal Photo Data. The first two, Weather and Time, are self-explanatory. Personal Photo Data adds marking to the display that explains what album the photo came from and who it belongs to (if you’re sharing your Google Photos).

If you set “Personal photo curation” to “Live albums only,” Google will try to weed out any blurry or badly exposed photos. If you leave the setting on “All albums,” then all photos will be shown, good and bad. Below those options, you’ll find the slideshow speed. We recommend setting this to one minute, but choose whatever feels best to you. Select the options you prefer and tap the back arrow in the upper left corner.

Ambient mode additional settings with call outs around weather and other options

You’re done! You’ll need to repeat these steps for any other Google Home Hubs you have. If you want to use the same list of people you chose above, then choose the Friends & Family album instead of the “Select family & friends” option. Go take a look at your handiwork and marvel how good your pictures look on this display. When you turn off the lights in the room, your Home Hub will dim automatically and change to displaying the time instead.

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How to Download a WhatsApp Status Photo or Video

The ephemeral story format has rapidly transitioned from being Snapchat’s crown jewel to a common feature found on most social media platforms. Including WhatsApp.

However, unlike pictures and videos sent to you through personal or group chats, media from WhatsApp statuses aren’t automatically saved to your phone’s gallery.

How do you download a WhatsApp status photo or video? Read on to find out.

Should You Download Someone’s WhatsApp Status?

There are several scenarios where you might want to grab someone else’s WhatsApp status. It could be a meme you’d like to reshare. Or a scenic photograph you want to set as your phone’s wallpaper. These are both legitimate reasons to want to download a WhatsApp status.

However, since WhatsApp doesn’t notify the other person when you download their status, and you’re not asking for permission beforehand, statuses featuring personal photographs or videos is crossing the line. Bear this in mind before downloading a WhatsApp status.

How to Download a WhatsApp Status on Android

1. Access the Hidden Statuses Folder

Whenever you load a status on WhatsApp, it is temporarily stored in a hidden folder on Android. Since WhatsApp statuses have a 24-hour time limit, that directory is updated in realtime and the data is cleared as soon as its associated media expires.

To access the files, first, you’ll need a file manager. Your phone might come preloaded with one, but if it doesn’t, File Manager + will do the job. Once installed, launch the app and head into the Main Storage. There, tap the View option present in the three-dot menu. Select the item that says Show Hidden Files. Now, go to WhatsApp > Media and you’ll find the .Statuses folder.

2. Use a Third-Party Downloader App

If you don’t want to navigate through a file manager for obtaining WhatsApp statuses, you can try a third-party app. There are numerous apps available on the Play Store for downloading WhatsApp statuses which have yet to expire.

To begin, install Status Saver. While firing up the app the first time, you’ll be asked to grant the app permission to access storage. That’s it. You can now easily download media from WhatsApp statuses.

Status Saver also segregates images and videos into separate tabs. Plus, the app has a few supplementary features. It’s compatible with the WhatsApp Business tool and even Parallels which allows you to run multiple sessions of a single app

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How to Run Multiple Copies of the Same App on Android

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3. Take a Screenshot or Screen Recording

The final method for saving WhatsApp statuses on Android is to simply take a screenshot or record the screen while viewing the image or video.

For the former, you can utilize your phone’s built-in shortcut, which, in most cases, means pressing the volume down and power keys together. If that doesn’t work, you can employ one of these ways to take a screenshot on Android

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5 Ways to Take Screenshots on Android

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Recording your Android phone’s screen is a straightforward process as well. You just need to download one of these screen recorder apps

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What’s the Best Way to Record Your Screen on Android?

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and hit the start button when you want to clip a video from someone’s WhatsApp status.

How to Download a WhatsApp Status on iOS

Unlike Android, iOS users don’t have much choice other than to screenshot or record an active status on WhatsApp.

On an iPhone X or later, you will have to press and hold the power button and then click the volume up button to grab a screenshot. The rest of the users will have to press and hold the top/side buttons and then immediately click the home key.

For recording the screen, you can utilize the native tool too. To add it to the control center for quick access, go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls, and under More Controls, locate Screen Recording tap the green plus button. Now, fire up the video you’d like to download on WhatsApp. Pull up the control center, touch the screen recording button, and off you go.

How to Download a WhatsApp Status on a PC

Screenshot WhatsApp status on Mac

Statuses are available on WhatsApp’s web client and desktop apps as well. To download a status from one of these, you will need to take a screenshot or use a screen recording tool, since there are no direct third-party utilities for Windows and Mac PCs.

To capture a specific screen portion on your Mac, you can use the Cmd + Shift + 4 combination. For screen recording, you need to launch QuickTime Player, and under the File menu, click New Screen Recording. Now, open the WhatsApp status and hit the Record button on the QuickTime Player popup. Drag your mouse over the video frame you’d like to record or go full-screen and get the whole clip in landscape mode. Once it’s finished, you can stop the recording from QuickTime Player’s menu bar options.

Similarly, on a Windows PC, you can execute the Windows + Shift + S shortcut for partial screenshots. Windows also has an inbuilt utility for recording your computer’s screen. However, unlike macOS, you cannot select a specific portion. You will have to record it in full-screen landscape orientation. To reveal the screencasting menu, press the Windows key + G and hit Record.

Everything You Need to Know About WhatsApp Status

With these techniques, you should be now able to download someone else’s WhatsApp statuses. Just remember to bear in mind that people might not want you to do so.

And if you’re not too sure about the subject as a whole, here’s everything you need to know about WhatsApp Status

How to Use WhatsApp Status: 10 Things You Need to Know

How to Use WhatsApp Status: 10 Things You Need to Know

While WhatsApp Status is similar to Snapchat and Instagram Stories, it’s not the same. So here’s our guide to WhatsApp Status…
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Explore more about: Download Management, WhatsApp.

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What’s the Difference Between My Photo Stream and iCloud Photos?

iCloud Photos logo

Keeping your family photos safe from device failure is the primary reason backups exist. iCloud claims to back up all your photos “in the cloud,” but the way it works varies depending on what settings you have enabled.

My Photo Stream vs. iCloud Photos

iCloud photos options

“iCloud Photos” does what you’d expect—it stores all your photos in iCloud. Whenever you take a picture on your iPhone, it immediately uploads to iCloud where it’s backed up even if you break your phone. iCloud Photos will also send all the photos you’ve taken to your Mac, and any other device you have connected to iCloud so that everything is synced up. This is assuming everything is connected to the internet, and you haven’t turned off iCloud Photo Library using cellular data.

iCloud Photos is great but has a major issue: storage space. The free iCloud data plan only gives you 5 GB of storage, which is extremely small, even compared to other free storage plans from services like Google Drive. You can fit about 1600 pictures in 5 GB of space, but that doesn’t include videos and everything else you have stored in iCloud.

When your storage is full, iCloud Photos will stop working. It fills up fast, and when it does, you’ll be pestered with notifications asking you to upgrade.

annoying iCloud Storage is Full notification

“My Photo Stream” tries to solve this issue. It will only store the first 1000 pictures taken in the last month, and remove old pictures from your Photo Stream. This gives your Mac or other devices enough time to sync with iCloud, backing up your pictures on your other devices. Your pictures won’t be stored in the cloud, but you won’t have to back them up to your computer manually. If one of your devices breaks, you’ll still have all your photos on your other devices.

So as long as you don’t break all of your devices at once, My Photo Stream will still ensure you have copies of your photos. The main problem with it is that when you get a new device or upgrade your phone, your pictures won’t automatically download to that device, because My Photo Stream only stores the most recent photos. You’ll have to manually load the photos onto your new phone from your Mac, and if you don’t have a Mac, you’re out of luck unless you have enough space in iCloud to turn on iCloud Photos.

Which Should You Use?

If you’re fine with paying $0.99 per month for iCloud’s 50 GB tier, use iCloud Photos. It’s a much better solution, and it’s less of a hassle than My Photo Stream. And If you’re really worried about losing your photos, go with this option, as all your photos will be backed up as long as you have your iCloud account.

If you have multiple devices and take a lot of pictures, Photo Stream is fine to use. It does a good job of syncing photos between devices; as long as you use both devices regularly, your pictures will be backed up on each device you have. You will run into a bit of trouble when it comes time to upgrade, having to move your pictures to a new device manually, so it’s not the greatest option. Also, it’s best to look into getting a backup plan for your Mac, just to ensure everything is safe.

If you don’t take a lot of pictures, or use iCloud that much, you can keep iCloud Photos on until your 5 GB fills up. When it does, you’ll have to decide whether to pay for more space or switch to Photo Stream.

Do not use Photo Stream if you only have a single device, or if you aren’t regularly using your second device and syncing it to iCloud. Your old photos will be gone if you break your main device. If you have a single device and have more than 5 GB of pictures, you’ll have to pay for more space or move your photos to a storage service like Google Drive.

You have other options for automatically backing up your iPhone’s photos, too. For example, you can use Google Photos to store an unlimited amount of photos.

RELATED: The Best Ways to Automatically Back Up the Photos on Your Smartphone

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