How to use App Tracking Transparency to stop apps from collecting your data and location on Apple devices

iPhone
With the release of iOS 14.5, you can turn off apps’ ability to track you on your iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.

  • App Tracking Transparency (ATT) forces apps on Apple devices to ask your permission before tracking your activity across other apps and websites.
  • Many apps will track things like your current location or your buying habits without asking permission; opting in to ATT will reduce apps’ ability to do this.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Have you ever looked at a product on your computer and later have ads for it show up in a social media app on your phone? Do the ads appear targeted toward you and know where you are?

This is because you are being tracked by the various apps you use on your smartphone. This controversial practice often occurs without your permission. With iOS 14.5, Apple made good on a promise to allow its users to opt out of this practice with App Tracking Transparency.

App Tracking Transparency, explained

App Tracking Transparency (ATT) requires apps to ask permission to track your activity across other apps and websites. This is especially important since the combination of these apps and websites create a strikingly detailed profile of how you spend your time online, and how you use your smartphone.

Now that Apple has included ATT in iOS 14.5 and the corresponding generational updates for other Apple devices, you can keep track of which apps and companies are tracking you.

How to enable App Tracking Transparency

Once your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV has been updated to iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, or tvOS 14.5 or later, you should automatically have App Tracking Transparency turned on.

Once enabled, ATT has a pop-up appear when you first use an app. The pop-up will ask if you want the app to track your activity across other apps or websites.

If you get tired of the apps letting you know who’s tracking you or asking for permissions, you can turn off ATT.

1. Open the Settings app on your device.

2. Scroll down and select Privacy. On tvOS devices, select General before Privacy.

3. Tap on Tracking, toward the top.

Screenshot of Privacy page on iPhone Settings app
On the “Privacy” page, go to “Tracking.”

4. Tap the button switch next to Allow Apps to Request to Track to turn the feature on or off – when it’s on, the switch will be green.

Screenshot of Tracking page on iPhone Settings app
If you don’t want apps to ask to track you, you can turn off the feature.

5. The apps that have asked your permission to track you will also show up on this screen. You can turn on or off which apps track your activities by tapping the button next to each.

How to check what data your apps collect

You can find out what data your apps are collecting through an app’s page in the App Store. When you find the app you want to check out, click on it and scroll down. Toward the bottom you will find App Privacy, which shows what data that app collects. Some apps might surprise you with how much of your personal information they track.

Screenshot of App Privacy section of app's about screen on App Store
You can see what data certain apps collect from you in the Apple App Store.

Why turning off tracking for some apps might be disabled

Sometimes the App Tracking Transparency option may be grayed out, meaning you can’t turn it on. There are three situations in which this will be the case.

  • If you created your Apple ID in the last three days, the option to toggle ATT will be grayed out.
  • If a child with a child account or under the age of 18 is signed in on the device, the toggle will be grayed out.
  • If your Apple ID uses a profile that limits tracking or is managed by an educational institution, the toggle will be grayed out.

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How to schedule an Uber ride in advance, or cancel a scheduled ride if you no longer need it

traveller getting suitcase ready looking at phone in bedroom
It’s easy to schedule an Uber ride in advance right from the Uber mobile app.

  • You can schedule an Uber ride for hours, days, and even weeks ahead of time on the Uber mobile app.
  • For a scheduled ride, Uber sets a price range that you don’t pay until later.
  • It’s possible to cancel a scheduled Uber ride and get money back if it’s early enough.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Scheduling an Uber ride for later is incredibly easy via the mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android.

In just a minute, you can schedule an Uber ride days or weeks ahead of time. And if your plans change, cancelling your scheduled ride is just as convenient.

Here’s how to schedule a ride and cancel scheduled rides on the Uber mobile app.

How to schedule an Uber ride

1. Open the Uber app on your Apple or Android device.

2. In the Where to? text field on the Uber homepage, tap the drop-down arrow next to a clock icon and the word Now.

Screenshot of Uber homepage
Tap the “Now” drop-down to set a date and time.

3. In the pop-up, use the scroll bars to select a date, time, and AM or PM. Hit Set once you’ve chosen the date and time.

Screenshot of "Schedule a Ride" page on Uber app
Choose a date and time, and tap “Set.”

4. On the next screen, type in the pick-up and drop-off location, or select previous locations from the list on the lower half of the screen.

Screenshot of pick-up and drop-off locations page on Uber app
Set your pick-up and drop-off locations.

5. The next screen will show a map of the route and the estimated price of your trip. Make sure your payment method is correct, and then select Schedule UberX at the bottom of the screen to confirm your scheduled ride.

Screenshot of Uber app route summary and scheduling page
Choose a car option and select “Schedule UberX.”

How to cancel your scheduled Uber rides, and view all the rides you have scheduled

1. To view your scheduled trip(s), open the Uber app, then tap the three horizontal lines in the top-left corner of the screen.

Screenshot of Uber app homepage
Tap the icon in the top-left corner.

2. Tap Your Trips.

Screenshot of menu in Uber app
Go to “Your Trips.”

3. Then on the next screen, tap the drop-down oval in the top-right corner of the screen, which will likely read Past. In the drop-down list, select Upcoming.

Screenshot of "Your Trips" page in Uber app
Choose “Upcoming” to see your scheduled trips.

4. Your upcoming trip(s) will now be displayed. To cancel one, just tap Cancel Ride then confirm with the CANCEL RIDE button that pops up.

Screenshot of "Your Trips" upcoming trip summary page in Uber app
Tap “Cancel Ride” to delete the scheduled ride.

The scheduled trip will immediately be cancelled and removed from the Your Trips page, and you won’t incur a fee if you cancel it before you’ve matched with a driver.

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How to rotate a video on your iPhone using the Photos app or iMovie

senior couple looking at smartphone
It only takes a couple taps to rotate a video on your iPhone.

  • You can rotate a video on an iPhone with iOS 13 or later by using the crop tool in the Photos app.
  • If you don’t have iOS 13, you can also rotate a video on your iPhone using iMovie.
  • iMovie is free to download, though most newer iPhones already have it pre-installed.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

iPhones and other smartphones have, in the span of just a few years, rendered consumer video cameras nearly obsolete.

But because you can record a video with your iPhone positioned horizontally, vertically, or even upside down, you need to know how to rotate that video.

If your iPhone is running iOS 13 or later, you can rotate your videos in the Photos app. If you don’t have iOS 13, you’ll have to use iMovie. Here’s how to do both.

How to rotate a video on iPhone using Photos

1. Open the Photos app and choose the video that you want to rotate.

2. Tap Edit in the upper-right corner of the screen.

Screenshot of video in Photos app on iPhone
Select “Edit” above the video.

3. On the right side of the toolbar beneath the video, tap the Crop icon, which looks like a square with two arrows around it.

Screenshot of video edit in Photos on iPhone
Tap the “Crop” icon.

4. Then, in the top-left corner of the screen, tap the icon of a square with a curved arrow above it. Keep tapping the button until your video rotates to your desired orientation.

Screenshot of Rotate button in Photos on iPhone
Tap the “Rotate” icon.

5. Hit Done in the bottom-right corner to save your video in its new orientation.

If you don’t like the results, you can always go back to Edit and rotate the video into any other position.

How to rotate a video on iPhone using iMovie

1. Open the Photos app and choose the video that you want to rotate.

2. Tap Edit in the upper-right corner of the screen.

Screenshot of video in Photos app on iPhone
Select “Edit” above the video.

3. In the top-right corner, tap the icon of a circle with three dots inside. Select iMovie in the pop-up. The video will automatically open up in iMovie.

Screenshot of iMovie pop-up menu in Photos app on iPhone
After tapping the three-dot icon, select iMovie.

4. Using two fingers, make a twisting gesture in the middle of the video, as if you were trying to rotate the video. Twist your fingers in the direction that you want the video to rotate. Keep twisting until the video rotates to your desired orientation.

Screenshot of video in iMovie on iPhone
When you twist your fingers on the video, a big white arrow will appear and the video will rotate.

5. Tap Done in the upper-right corner.

The video will be re-saved to your Photo Library (replacing the original video), rotated to the desired orientation.

If you don’t like the results, you can re-edit the video and rotate it in the other direction to revert to the original orientation.

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How to lock apps on your iPhone by setting time limits for usage

iphone limit screen time
You can set time limits to lock apps on iPhone with Screen Time.

  • You can lock apps on your iPhone from the Settings app with Screen Time.
  • Locking apps prevents you from overusing them by implementing a passcode-protected time limit.
  • Apple’s Screen Time feature lets you set a time limit on any app or website.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Whether you want to limit the time you spend on social media or you just need some quiet from work emails while on vacation, your iPhone’s Screen Time feature lets you set daily hour limits on any app.

Here’s how to lock apps on your iPhone once you’ve reached the daily time limit.

How to lock apps on your iPhone

1. Open the Settings app and select Screen Time.

Screenshot of iPhone Settings page
From the main Settings page, go to “Screen Time.”

2. If the only thing you see on the next page is a button to Turn On Screen Time, tap it and hit Continue in the pop-up, then select either This is My iPhone or This is My Child’s iPhone.

Screenshot of Screen Time page in Settings
If Screen Time is off, tap “Turn On Screen Time.”

3. In the Screen Time menu, select App Limits. If you have a Screen Time passcode set, you’ll need to enter it to access the App Limits page.

Screenshot of Screen Time page
Tap “App Limits” to set limits for certain apps.

4. On the App Limits page, select Add Limit.

Screenshot of App Limits page to add a limit
Select “Add Limit.”

5. Here you can choose which apps you wish to limit by various groupings like Games or Social. Once you tap a category, all apps within that category will appear beneath it – tap the circle next to individual apps or tap the circle next to the category name to limit all apps within that category. If you want to limit all apps on your device, select All Apps & Categories at the top of the page.

Screenshot of Choose Apps page in Settings
Choose which apps you’d like to limit.

6. After you’ve selected which apps you’d like to limit, select Next in the top-right corner of the page. Under Time, choose a daily hour limit, or select Customize Days to choose which days to limit app time and customize the hourly limit by day.

Screenshot of page to set a daily hour limit
Choose how many minutes or hours you want to limit your time to, and select “Customize Days” if you want each day to have different limits.

7. When finished, tap Add in the upper-right corner.

How to access locked apps on your iPhone

1. If you’ve hit the time limit you’ve placed on an app but wish to continue to use the app, tap Ask For More Time under the icon of an hourglass pictured.

Screenshot of time limit reached notification on iPhone
Tap “Ask For More Time” to continue on the locked app or website.

2. Tap Enter Screen Time Passcode. If you haven’t created a Screen Time passcode, this will just be your lock screen passcode you use to unlock your iPhone. If you don’t have a passcode on your device, you won’t be required to enter anything.

3. Once you’ve entered your passcode, you can choose how much longer to allow use of the app – either 15 minutes, an hour, or all day.

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4 thermometer apps that can help you check temperature with an iPhone

checking phone in greenhouse
Temperature sensors often come with an associated iPhone app.

  • You can’t check the temperature of a room with your iPhone itself, but you can buy a thermometer that connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth.
  • You can also use these apps and devices to measure the humidity in a room.
  • To take body temperature, you can use the Apple Health app on your iPhone and a smart thermometer like Kinsa.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

If you need to monitor the room temperature of your home or office – for specialty plants or exotic pets, for example – there’s a way to do so with your iPhone, but it’s not free.

To accurately check room temperature with your iPhone, you’ll need to purchase an external thermometer, which you can use with an associated iOS app to monitor current temperature, historic temperature, humidity, and more.

Govee Temperature Monitor

How to check room temperature with iPhone
The Govee Temperature Monitor is one of the cheapest options.

Price on Amazon: $15.99

The Govee Temperature Monitor does more than just monitor the temperature of a room, it can also measure humidity, track temperature over time, and connect to your phone via Bluetooth. 

With the Govee Home app on your iPhone, you can register up to 10 Govee Monitor devices to measure the temperature and humidity of different rooms at once. According to Amazon, the monitor is accurate to within .54 degrees, and has four stars.

SensorPush Thermometer

How to check room temperature with iPhone SensorPush Thermometer
The SensorPush Thermometer is one of the smallest devices on the market.

Price on Amazon: $49.99

The SensorPush Thermometer has all of the same capabilities as the previous thermometers — it takes temperature, reads humidity, stores history, and connects via Bluetooth — but the main difference lies in its size. 

Whereas the other devices listed are around three to six inches, this thermometer is tiny and discreet, measuring about an inch and a half long on all sides and less than an inch wide. Thus, it can be placed anywhere discreetly. 

SensorPush lets you set up alerts for when your temperature reaches a certain threshold, but unfortunately, because it’s connected to your iPhone app through Bluetooth rather than Wi-Fi, you need to be within the device’s range. 

SensorPush is a bit more expensive than some of the other options, but it has 4.4 stars on Amazon, with many perfect five-star reviews.

Temp Stick Wi-Fi Temperature and Humidity Sensor

TEMP
The Temp Stick is a more advanced device with greater capability.

Price on Amazon: $149.00

One of the more expensive options, the Temp Stick does a bit more than just check temperature, track history, and monitor humidity. 

With the Temp Stick app for your iPhone, you can also create custom alerts to notify up to 10 contacts when the temperature reaches a certain threshold. Instead of using Bluetooth, the Temp Stick uses Wi-Fi, which loads your data onto the app in real-time so you can monitor it even when you’re not at home. The Temp Stick app also offers unlimited data storage, unlike the SensorPush app, for example. 

Ambient Weather WS-8482-X3

ambient
The Ambient Weather device is the best deal for monitoring the temperature of more than one room.

Price on Amazon: $124.99

The Ambient Weather WS-8482-X3 device is wireless, Wi-Fi-enabled, and comes with three indoor/outdoor temperature and humidity sensors as well as a remote monitoring weather station.

The base station lets you monitor your current and historic data from each sensor without having to log into an app, though you can also check your data on AmbientWeather.net. Like the Temp Stick, because the Ambient Weather device is connected through Wi-Fi, you can monitor your data remotely in real-time from the Ambient Weather website. 

The Ambient Weather device can support up to seven separate sensors, which can include thermo-hygrometers, soil moisture sensors, and water temperature sensors. 

Temperature Monitor (small)Wireless Thermometer (small)Wi-Fi Temperature and Humidity Sensor (small)WS-8482-X3 (small)

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3 simple ways to hide and lock private photos or videos on your iPhone

woman looking at phone texting at home
It’s easy to move photos to a hidden album, and then hide that album, on your iPhone.

  • You can hide photos in your iPhone’s Photos app by adding them to a hidden album.
  • With iOS 14, you can also hide that hidden album from the Photos app, so no one can see it.
  • You can also lock photos in the Notes app, or try to hide photos in your texts.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Whether you’re trying to hide a picture of a loved one’s birthday gift, or you don’t want to see certain old photos, there are a few ways you can hide pictures on your iPhone.

You can create a hidden album in the Photos app, move pictures to password-protected notes in the Notes app, or disguise photos in your text messages. Here’s how to do it all.

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How to do a group FaceTime video or voice call on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac

Group FaceTime apple
You can start or join a group FaceTime call from almost any Apple device.

  • You can start a group FaceTime and make calls with up to 32 other Apple devices.
  • iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Mac users can all hop on the same group FaceTime calls.
  • FaceTime is exclusively an Apple app, so PC and Android users can’t join.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

FaceTime is Apple’s video calling app installed in its Macs, iPhones, and iPads.

FaceTime is like Google Hangouts or Zoom, but it only works between Apple devices, so you can’t FaceTime your friend with an Android or PC. For this reason, it’s good to have access to other platforms.

But it doesn’t matter which Apple device you use to hop on a FaceTime call. Users of iPhone, iPad, and Mac can all join the same chats because the app is basically the same across all platforms.

Starting a group call on FaceTime takes only a few seconds, or minutes, depending on how many people you are adding to the call; groups can be as large as 32 devices. You can also join an existing group FaceTime call.

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What are the green and orange dots on an iPhone? How to tell when apps are using your mic or camera

apple smart phone iphone 11 pro
Your iPhone will let you know when an app is using your microphone or camera.

If you’re an iPhone user, you may have noticed that an orange dot and a green dot now occasionally appear in the top corner of the screen. 

These dots are called indicator lights, and they alert users to when an app uses their camera or microphone. This new feature is part of Apple’s wider push to protect its users’ privacy. 

The orange light dot on iPhone means an app is using your microphone

When an orange dot appears in the top-right corner of your screen – right above your cellular bars – this means that an app is using your iPhone’s microphone.

For example, if you’re recording a reminder using the Voice Memo app, the orange dot will appear. The orange dot also appears when making phone calls or using the Siri function. 

dot1
The orange dot appears when an app is using your microphone, like when you’re making a phone call.

The green light dot on iPhone means an app is using your camera or your camera and microphone simultaneously

When the green dot appears in the top-right corner of your screen – also right above your cellular bars – it’s an indication that an app is using your iPhone’s camera, or both its camera and microphone.

For example, if you open Instagram and use the Stories feature to make a video with sound, the green light will appear to indicate that the app is using your iPhone’s camera and microphone. It’ll also appear when you place a FaceTime call.

dot2
The green dot appears when your camera is being used, like when you’re FaceTiming.

How to know which app is using your iPhone’s camera and/or microphone

Apple makes it simple to find out what app is using your iPhone’s microphone or camera.

When a green or orange dot appears, simply swipe down from the screen’s top-right corner to access the Control Center. At the top, the name of the app will appear, along with whether it used your phone’s camera or microphone.

For example, if you used Instagram, it should read “Instagram, recently” with an icon of either a camera or a microphone.

dot3
Your iPhone’s Control Center will tell you which apps were using your mic and/or camera.

Why the indicator lights matter

With the iOS 14 update, Apple introduced a number of new tools to help users protect their privacy, and force apps to be more transparent with how they use your phone.

The indicator lights are part of that, alerting users if third-party apps use their microphone or camera without consent. If you find that an app is accessing your microphone or camera without prompting, you should delete and report it.

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What is Clubhouse? Everything to know about the booming invite-only voice chatting app

he invitation-only audio-chat social networking app clubhouse is pictured on a smartphone on January 26, 2021 in Berlin, Germany.
Though Clubhouse is currently invite-only, the company has plans to expand to the general public.

  • Clubhouse is an iPhone app that allows people to host and join audio conversations with other users.
  • Clubhouse is currently invite-only, but CEO Paul Davison says the app will eventually open up for anyone to join.
  • Despite its exclusivity, the app already has millions of users, many of them major players in Silicon Valley and the entertainment industry.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Founded in 2020, Clubhouse has quickly built a reputation as the next great place for people to meet, talk, and share ideas.

In short, Clubhouse lets you create and join “rooms,” where you can then chat with others in a big conference call. There are no pictures, videos, or really even text – just audio. Users can join and leave the call at any time, turning any room into a public meeting hall.

Here’s everything to know about Clubhouse, the app that’s quickly taking social media circles by storm.

What to know about the Clubhouse app

How to join

The first thing to know about Clubhouse is how to join. And unfortunately, the answer to that question is “You probably can’t.”

Clubhouse is invite-only, meaning that anyone who wants to join has to be brought in by someone who already has an account. You can still download the app and put your name on a waiting list, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever get an account that way.

what is clubhouse.PNG
If you download the app without an invite, you’ll see this screen.

Additonally, Clubhouse is currently only available for iPhone users.

 

Clubhouse’s CEO Paul Davidson has said that the app will eventually open up to everyone, including Android users. But they’re starting slow – anyone who manages to receive an invite is only be given two invites of their own, which they can then gift to others.

How Clubhouse works

Clubhouse creates a place where people can meet up to host, listen to, and in some cases, join conversations within the app’s community.

When you open the app, you’ll be presented with a list of rooms, as well as a list showing who’s in each room. You can join the room by tapping on it, or start your room.

So far, most Clubhouse rooms have a TED Talk vibe, with one guest speaking and everyone else listening. Other users can join the conversation when deemed appropriate by a moderator, but depending on the chat, this can be rare.

There are always dozens of conversations happening at the same time, allowing users to jump between subjects and speakers based on their interest. 

clubhouse app
The Clubhouse app functions kind of like an audio-only Zoom room.

 

 

Clubhouse rooms are hosted by experts, luminaries, celebrities, venture capitalists, journalists, and more. During his foray into Clubhouse, Insider contributor Adam Lashinsky described jumping from a conversation about the GameStop short sale, to marketing specialist Guy Kawasaki discussing the art of persuasion, to actress Ricki Lake promoting her documentary.

Tech moguls Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have both spoken on Clubhouse calls in the past few weeks, which has only intensified the buzz around it. Insider reporter Margaux MacColl even noted that Elon Musk’s appearance sparked a “black market” for Clubhouse invites, as aspiring users grow desperate to join the exclusive community.

What comes next for Clubhouse

Clubhouse built its reputation with conversations hosted by big names like Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk. The app is already considered a staple among Silicon Valley and entertainment personalities. It’s even earned a valuation of over $1 billion, despite being founded less than a year ago.

Clubhouse has plans to expand futher, and eventually take their place among other major social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. But to do this, they’re also going to have to face some of the controversies surrounding the platform.

Some journalists on Clubhouse – especially women – have talked about being targets of bullying and harassment from others on the platform. Others have witnessed rooms descend into anti-semitism, racism, and COVID-19 denialism.

Clubhouse has already hired moderators, and CEO Davidson has said that “Any social network needs to make moderation a top priority.” However, he’s also stressed that he wants the platform to center free speech and dialogue.

clubhouse rohan seth paul davison
Clubhouse co-founders Rohan Seth and Paul Davison.

While Clubhouse has already built a strong reputation, it’s eyeing the future. There are plans to allow users to make money through the app from subscriptions, holding events, and receiving tips. And as more people are invited, buzz is sure to grow.

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