Category Archives: Blog

Computer Tips for Travelers and anything else that these Geeks feel like writing about will show up here! For additional articles on Picasa, see our separate site PicasaGeeks.com
. For additional articles on Internet Connections on the Road, see our separate site WiFiSavvy.com

May 2022 News: Wireless charging, Google Photos Movie Maker, Booking flights on the cheapest day

  May 2022 | Issue 177  | Archives
This Geeks on Tour monthly newsletter will always be free, but we also have a premium membership with perks like private Zoom meetings, eBooks, tutorial videos, and complete classes. Our premium members support us, making everything else possible. It’s $58 yearly or $68 for one year only.
What’s up with Jim and Chris – the Geeks

Dive with Manta Rays in Maldives

During April we went scuba diving in the Maldives

As you can see from the photo above, that’s a Manta Ray! (and that’s Jim with the white fins holding up a GoPro camera) Diving with them was quite an experience, see Jim’s video here.
For May we’ll be in Italy

Image

These are our plans for next month. We hope to do one of our “What Does This Button Do?” shows on May 15. Stay tuned, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you’ll be notified. We may also do some impromptu live-streaming just to show you where we are!
The main motivation for the trip is to attend the CaryTennis.com Writer’s Workshop, just like we did in 2017.
Meanwhile, you can follow along by watching our Photo Album
Classes held in April
If you follow the links, you will be able to view all the class materials: handout, slide show, and videos that we used to teach these classes. They will be free for all until May 7, then they will be for Premium members only.

In this newsletter:

As usual, we have an eclectic mix of smartphone and technology tips for you.
  1. Use your Samsung phone as a wireless charger
  2. Google Photos movie-maker is now on the computer
  3. Book flights on the cheapest days
  4. Blast from the past – continuing our celebration of 15 years
  • Thank you to our premium members for supporting us and making this newsletter possible! If you learn something from us, and you’re not a member, consider joining us now. Become a Member

What’s coming up – Our Calendar May and June 2022
We’re in Italy for May!
Live presentations will be “Spur of the Moment”
Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, click on the bell for notifications, and Like us on Facebook.
That way you’ll get notified when we go live. We do expect to have good connectivity while traveling.
May
We expect to be in a location with Internet conducive to live streaming for one show while we’re in Italy (fingers crossed)
  • May 15 2pm Italy time Episode 234
    LIVE from Castiglione Fiorentino, in Tuscany Italy
  • May 15 3pm Italy time Backstage Pass Zoom Meeting for Members Only
June
Returning from Italy we plan on a couple of Button Shows
  • June 12 2pm ET Episode 235
  • June 12 3pm ET Backstage Pass Zoom Meeting for Members Only
  • June 20 time tbd Google Photos Live “Ask Chris Anything”
  • June 26 2pm ET Episode 236
  • June 26 3pm ET Backstage Pass Zoom Meeting for Members Only
Stay safe. Wash your hands. Get vaccinated.

Ask the Geeks

Ask the Geeks Q&A forum.

Anyone can read the forum, only members can ask questions. This is a valuable benefit of membership. Join Today! Here are some recent discussions


Did you know that your Samsung phone can be a wireless charger for other devices?
How to be a hero! If you’re out and about with a friend and their phone is almost out of power, you can turn your Samsung phone into a wireless charger and save the day. This article will show you how.

Google Photos now has the movie-maker tool available in the web version
Making movies with Google Photos is so quick and easy, you will amaze your friends. It used to be only available on mobile, now you can use your computer to create these quick movies. This article will tell you how.

Google’s Travel site can tell you which days to book flights for the cheapest price.
Have you ever heard that the least expensive day to fly is Tuesday? or Thursday? or Monday? Is it true? I used to actually query for a flight reservation leaving on Monday, then change the day and run the query again. That’s a lot of work. I recently discovered the calendar view on Travel.Google.com that gives me all the information I need to know at a glance! This article will tell you how.
Blast from the Past: Tutorials from 15 years ago

That’s us – 15 years ago, when Geeks on Tour was brand new. We’re celebrating GeeksOnTour.com’s 15 year anniversary all year. And, here’s a tutorial video from 2007. It certainly looks dated because it’s using Windows XP, but the concepts it teaches are still valid. If you’re not clear on how to use Cut, Copy, Paste, and Undo on a windows computer, check it out! Or if you just want to remember what XP looked like …
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Google’s Travel site can tell you which days to book flights for the cheapest price.

Have you ever heard that the least expensive day to fly is Tuesday? or Thursday? or Monday? Is it true? I used to actually query for a flight reservation leaving on Monday, then change the day and run the query again. That’s a lot of work. I recently discovered the calendar view on Travel.Google.com that gives me all the information I need to know at a glance!

What is the best day to travel

I just enter the departure airport, the arrival airport, the departure date and the arrival date and I see this calendar with an airfare for each day. Notice that the highest is $1759 and the lowest is $567. That’s well worth being flexible in my dates!

What is the best time to book the flights?

I know some people who make their airline reservations a year out. I generally aim for 2 months out. But, what is really the best? Airfares fluctuate like crazy. How do you know if the fare you’re getting at any point in time is good? or bad? Once again, check out Google Flights (go to Google.com/Travel and click the heading for Flights) Here’s a screenshot where Google tells me that prices are currently low for this request. With that information in hand, I can feel confident in booking at that time.

Google’s Travel site includes much more than flights. Check out this article on ThePointsGuy.com for a complete guide to Google Travel.

Did you know that your Samsung phone can be a wireless charger for your other devices?

I have an Android phone that is a Samsung S21 Ultra. I also have an iPhone SE. When we went to El Salvador in January, I went to charge my iPhone with the cable I brought for that purpose. I plugged the one end into the phone and the other into a USB slot on a power plug. It didn’t work. After some trial and error we determined that the cable was bad. It was the only one I had with me and we did not have any way to go out and buy another.

It was then that I remembered reading about my new Samsung phone’s feature called Wireless Power Sharing. I couldn’t imagine ever needing that – but now I did! And it worked great.

Turn on Wireless Power Sharing on your Samsung phone

You can find Wireless Power Sharing as an option on your device’s shortcuts. Swipe down from the top of the screen, then swipe down again. There may be several screenfuls of shortcuts so you may need to swipe left before you see it. Just tap it to see the On button.

If you don’t see the shortcut, you can open the phone’s system settings, choose Battery and device care, then tap on Battery and scroll down till you see Wireless power sharing. Tap that and turn it on.

Not all Samsung phones have this feature, but most of them in the last couple of years do. It can’t hurt to look.

Use the back of your phone like a wireless charging pad

Once you have turned on Wireless power sharing, the back of your phone acts just like a wireless charger. Simply place any other wireless charging capable device on the back of the phone in the center, and it will start charging. You will need to take off any case for this to work. The phone must be naked.

Google Photos now has the movie-maker tool available in the web version

Here is an example of a quick slideshow/movie created using the movie maker tool in Google Photos:

This movie was created on an Android phone. Here is a tutorial video showing exactly how it was made. Up until just recently, you could only make these movies using a mobile device – an Android phone/tablet or an iPhone or iPad. Recently I’ve noticed the feature is now available on the Web version of Google Photos and this article will tell you exactly how to use it. I haven’t seen an official announcement, and I still find it a little buggy, but it does work and I expect it will get better.

To make a new movie using the web version of Google Photos

Don’t worry about getting all the photos and videos you want at first, you can always add/delete later. Once you gotten your movie started, you will be in the editor. Notice the numbered items and the descriptions below.

  1. Movie preview, click the play button to watch and hear the music
  2. Click here to change the music selection
  3. Click here to change the orientation from portrait (vertical) to Landscape (horizontal)
  4. Each photo/video in the selection list has a 3-dot menu with the choices shown
  5. Here is where you can go back out to your library of photos and videos to select more

The first thing I do is change the orientation. Google seems to think that everyone is going to use a phone to view this movie so it starts out in the portrait format. I want to view mine on a computer or TV, so I change it to Landscape. Now I’ll click the play button to preview my movie and hear the music. If I like what I see and hear, I’m done! Just click Save.

Editing your movie

If you want to make some changes, here are your choices:

  • You can change the order of the clips just by dragging them in the list
  • Change the music, click the music button, choose theme music and try them out. Click play to hear.
  • Add or delete photos/videos
  • Trim photos/videos by just dragging the start/stop markers
  • Here’s a tutorial video showing how to use these options: 533.GP-Google Photos Movie editing

That’s it – there are no titles or transitions or narration tracks. You’re not going to get a fancy movie with this tool, BUT since it is SO easy, you will make these simple movies.

When your movie looks and sounds how you want, you can now click SAVE. When you now look at your photo library, you will see the movie located at the date of the most recent photo/video in the movie. At first it will be just a gray box because it takes a while to render. Sometimes it’s just a few minutes, it could be up to an hour. You may need to refresh your screen to see the finished product. Or, just click the gray box, if it’s ready it will then play.

Share your movie!

I think that’s the main point with putting together these little movies. Share them. Instead of asking your friends to look thru hundreds of photos of your vacation, they will enjoy this 1 – 2 minute movie along with the music. Just open the movie, click the share button and choose Create Link, then Copy Link. Now you can paste that link into and email, or a Facebook post. You can paste it anywhere you want, like on this web page: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Ych7TtPokSTstG1p8. That is the link to the completed movie I made while writing this article.

Make some movies! and share links in the comments below.

Apr 27, 2022 Glendora Seniors Computer Club – Intro to Google Photos

Description

From Glendora Seniors Computer Club: We also have an exciting program planned for you. We have a special guest speaker, Chris Guld of Geeks on Tour, and Chris will give us an introduction to Google Photos.  The above are the old and new icons for Google photos.  I love Google Photos and find them the best way to keep track of my 70,000+ photos, organize them, edit them, share them, and store them in albums.  I also have my devices synced so that every photo I take on my iphone is immediately sent to Google Photos in the cloud and I can see and edit them anywhere.  I also like to use this feature for screen shots of important information, postings on social media, etc. 

Chris is a product expert with Google for Google Photos, and I want to mention again that she wrote a book about the subject, also, called “Learning Google Photos”, which can be purchased directly from their website or from Amazon.

Below you will find a link to all of the class materials.

Click here for all class materials

Here is the Link to the recording of the Zoom meeting ______

Cellular Phone and Data for International Travelers

233 Cellular Phone and Data for International Travelers

  • Our Google Fi Cellular Phone/Data Service worked for us in the Maldives. Would yours?
  • 0:00 Beginning
  • 1:56 Quick Tip: use Airplane mode to improve your cell signal
  • 6:37 Intro and scuba with Manta Rays! (Manta video here: https://youtu.be/Ayev4qZGByA)
  • 11:47 Intro to today’s program and our favorite plan – Google Fi
  • 15:16 “Data Plan” defined, and cell towers
  • 26:15 Verizon Travel Pass for international travelers
  • 30:57 T-Mobile international data roaming
  • 32:23 AT&T international data roaming
  • 34:32 Google Fi – a true international plan, includes using phone (Android) as hotspot
  • 40:57 Google Fi and T-Mobile must be used primarily in the US
  • 42:19 SIM cards, and using 2 SIM cards
  • 48:35 Learn more at MobileInternetInfo.com
  • 52:21 Review Questions
  • Here’s your link for $20 off Google Fi :https://g.co/fi/r/VYM26F

Everyone can view any episode for free. Just click on the play button above, or the link to any ‘chapter’ in the video.

Scroll down to see the show notes (coming soon), these will be available for Members Only.

Members get access to the extensive show-notes Chris writes up after each show. Read them online and follow links directly to the parts you’re interested in. We recommend you print them out and keep them in a notebook. It’s a great way to learn.

Not a member? Join here.

Editing photos with snapseed.

April 22 2022 Deerfield Beach Computer Club: Snapseed to “beautify” photos.

Description

Deerfield Beach Computer club welcomes us back to present to their group via Zoom: Guest speakers Chris and Jim Guld will demonstrate Snapseed on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. In addition to generally enhancing photos, we will demonstrate the Healing function to remove small blemishes, the Brush feature to apply fixes to just parts of a photo, and how to use the Stacks feature. We’ll also show how to smooth those wrinkles on photos of your face! 

Below you will find a link to all of the class materials.

Click here for all class materials

Here is the Link to the recording of the Zoom meeting for the Deerfield Beach Computer Club members https://youtu.be/u2R6tBGhdds

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Google Photos: How to Free Up Space on your phone

If you take a lot of photos and your phone is getting full, you may one day see a message that there is not enough free storage to take any more photos.

Google Photos has a one-click “Free Up Space” command that will delete all photos and videos from your device if they have been backed up to Google Photos in the cloud.

Just select your account button in the upper right and you should see something like the image below.

This command is the correct way to remove photos and videos from your device. Don’t use the trashcan icon in Google Photos because that will delete all copies, both on-device and cloud, of the photos. And don’t use the native photos or gallery app because they may delete photos from the device that have not been backed up to Google Photos.

When you use the Free Up Space option in the Google Photos app, those photos won’t be “gone”, they just won’t be taking up space on your phone anymore. You will still be able to see and access them all in the cloud when you use the Google Photos app.

“We recommend copying your photos and videos to an additional location (such as OneDrive, or DropBox, or your computer) before using free up space. If you don’t, then your only copy is the Google Photos cloud copy. You still need a backup.”

See Chapter 6 in Learn Google Photos book.

Apple devices:

  • The Apple iOS system has its own version of a recycle bin, so using the Google Photos process still does not free up the space on your device until you go to the Apple Photos App, select Albums and Recently Deleted, then select the photos and Delete from there.
  • You also need to know that, when you delete photos from your iPhone, the iCloud copy will also be deleted. That’s just how iCloud works. Its job is to keep all your Apple devices in sync. If you delete from one, it deletes from all. If you use the Google Photos “Free Up Space” command, all the photos deleted from your iPhone will also be deleted from your iPad, your Mac, and iCloud.com.

Even after letting Google Photos “Free Up Space” you may still see photos on your device using the native photo or gallery app. This may happen for a variety of reasons:

  • The photo did not get uploaded to Google Photos for some reason. Try manually uploading it.
  • The photo or video is stored on your phone’s SD card. The Free Up Space feature will not delete from the card.
  • The photo or video may be stored in a device folder that is not being synced to Google Photos.
  • The photo or video is corrupted in some way. Use the native app to delete it.

Google Calendar gives us the easiest way to know the time across different time zones

We schedule our live streaming YouTube show at 2pm Eastern time. We have people who join us from all over North America, some in Europe and some in Australia. What time is it for them? I got it all figured out and listed the time in multiple time zones … then came daylight savings. I need to recalculate and make special adjustments for Arizona because they do not follow Daylight Savings.

I found a better way!

I use Google Calendar settings for World Clock. This is the best way to ask Google to calculate the time in different time zones.

  • Open Calendar.Google.com and click the gear for settings.
  • Find the section for World clock
  • Click “Add Time Zone” then click the drop-down arrow to see a looong list of possibilities.
  • Add as many time zones as you want, then click the “back” left arrow at the top left of the screen to return to your calendar

Once you are back looking at your Calendar, you will see the World Clock locations in the left sidebar. When you first open your calendar, before selecting any appointment, the World Clock will be showing the current time in all those locations. For example, if I look right now (12:11 EDT) I see 9:11am Los Angeles time and 6:11pm Germany time.

It’s not just about the current time

Unlike the clocks for New York, Tokyo, and Los Angeles, Google Calendar is not limited to showing you the current time in other places. Just select another time and the calendar will recalculate.

As soon as you create, or select another appointment in the calendar you will see the corresponding time in all the other time zones. For example, if I click on our scheduled show on Sunday at 2pm my time, I see 11am Los Angeles time, and 8pm Germany time.

What a relief to know that my time zone calculations are accurate! No more will I be heard to say, “So sorry I gave you the wrong time, I was confused about the time zone.”

231 HodgePodge of Tech Tips

  • 0:00 Begin
  • 1:31 Zoom meeting tip
  • 3:21 Intro to Geeks on Tour, Hello to live viewers
  • 8:03 Overview list of tips covered
  • 9:04 Bitcoin – see separate video at https://geeksontour.com/2021/12/727-o…
  • 10:29 Scanning QR codes, new shortcut
  • 16:51 How to copy/paste on iOS and Android
  • 22:13 Reboot phone, Force Quit app
  • 29:11 Google Photos “Best of Month” memories
  • 34:42 Samsung S21 Ultra camera exposure
  • 37:31 Samsung S21 Ultra Gallery erase reflections and erase object
  • 40:47 HEIC overview
  • 47:57 Google Maps – give directions to a dropped pin location
  • 51:20 Google Photos – Navigate to a photo
  • 53:40 Review

Everyone can view any episode for free. Just click on the play button above, or the link to any ‘chapter’ in the video.

Scroll down to see the show notes, these will be available for Members Only.

Members get access to the extensive show-notes Chris writes up after each show. Read them online and follow links directly to the parts you’re interested in. We recommend you print them out and keep them in a notebook. It’s a great way to learn.

Not a member? Join here.

Continue reading →