Want to know some super-fast ways to make your life easier? Of course you do, but what’s even better is that the following tech tips are ones you’ve probably not heard about on all those viral video pop-ups ads. These are real solutions to actual problems and you can put them into effect today. For example, have you ever cursed your smartphone keypad because it’s so easy to misspell words on those tiny keys? There’s a simple solution that costs less than a cup of cheap coffee. There’s more, so check out some of the following ways to simplify your tech lifestyle and come out happier, healthier, and less frustrated. Who knows, you might even discover that you no longer scream obscenities at your devices.
Turn Any Smartphone into a Laptop
If you’ve ever needed to get a piece of written content to your boss but find yourself stuck in a coffee shop with nothing but a phone, you know the true meaning of frustration. Having to type a long report using nothing but the screen-pad of a phone can be an exercise in madness. What would take just five minutes on a laptop of desktop computer can consumer at least an hour, and leave your eyes and nerves exhausted. There’s a solution.
Carry a standard keyboard in your car trunk for emergencies. Purchase a $4 part at a computer store that lets you connect your smartphone to the keyboard’s USB plug. Now, even though you’ll look like a major oddball, it’s easy enough to prop up the phone and type away. Use whatever word-processing utility you prefer. Most phones come with at least one, or just download a free one from any number of websites. It’s all in the connector, which lets anyone turn their phone into a laptop, with full typing functionality, and the ability to save or send any document you create on a moment’s notice.
Use a Transcription Service
Want to convert mp4 to text so customers can watch your company’s marketing videos without having to listen to the audio? Use a transcription service and see how simple it is to convert any visual or audio file to text in a matter of seconds. You’ll save the vast quantities of time it takes to transcribe by hand, can put the text into any of 119 languages, correct any errors you discover, and export the file to the destination of your choice.
Transcription services aren’t just for business owners, either. They have dozens of uses for students, researchers, pod-casters, journalists, video editors, and attorneys, who often need quick transcripts of audio-recorded depositions with clients. If you’ve ever watched a how-to video and strained over background noise to hear the audio, you’ll instantly understand the value and power of transcription services. Any original source that includes video or audio can be put into text for whatever purpose you desire.
Say Goodbye to Eye Strain
If you’re like most computer owners, you hate those screen covers that promise to prevent eye-strain by filtering our blue-wave light. The attachable covers are pricey, don’t ever stay put, and seem to distort everything that appears on the monitor. While they do actually cut down on eye discomfort, they are a low-quality, high-priced solution to a very real problem. What’s the answer? Treated plastic glasses, of course. For less than $5, you can purchase a pair of plastic spectacles that are comfortable, don’t distort on-screen visuals, noticeably reduce eye strain, and weigh less than a half-ounce. After a few minutes, you won’t even know you’re wearing them. But, the most important thing is they get the job done.
Build a Green Screen for Under $3
Now that more than two-thirds of the workforce is telecommuting via online video meetings, the sale of green screens has gone through the virtual roof. A green screen is a pull-down panel of specially treated material suspended on a portable roller that looks like a giant window shade. It rolls up for easy storage when not in use and retails for more than $50. You situate the thing behind you during video chat and can project any image onto it that you want. TV weather forecasters use green screens to project large maps behind them while they tell us whether tomorrow will bring rain or sun.
So, why spend $50 when you can make your own green screen out of three pieces of cardboard? Tape the three giant squares or rectangles together and use a high-back chair or bookcase to support the piece behind you during online video meetings. You can download any photo or use your own to project it onto your homemade screen and the effect is exactly the same as the $50 version. The bonus is that you only need to fork over a fiver to make your junky extra bedroom look like the front lawn of the Taj Mahal.