The Simple iPhone Cursor Hack That Will Make Texting Easier

iStock.com/izusek
iStock.com/izusek

Your iPhone is a handy little computer, but there’s one feature that has always been annoying. Unlike with a computer and a mouse, you can’t just click around the screen to move your cursor. Or at least, we didn’t think you could.

That’s why this tweet from Atlanta-based food blogger Krissy Brierre-Davis of Krissy’s Kitchen blew our mind. It’s one of those iPhone hacks that is useful, but not at all intuitive. Rather than pausing your typing to hold your finger down on your text and then moving your cursor within that disorienting magnifying glass that pops up, you just have to hold down your space bar.

Press your finger to the space bar as you type, and the letters on your keyboard will disappear. You can now move your finger back and forth horizontally, and your cursor will move across the text. You don't need to put your finger on the text at all—you can do it all from the space bar.

Now, you have no excuse not to fix your autocorrect typos before you hit send.

Need more smartphone tips? Apple Support's Twitter feed has previously shared some other little-known tricks to help you get the most out of your phone. And before your phone runs out of steam, check out these tips for improving your battery life.

[h/t Krissy Brierre-Davis]

Friday’s Best Amazon Deals Include Digital Projectors, Ugly Christmas Sweaters, and Speakers

Amazon
Amazon
As a recurring feature, our team combs the web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, December 4. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

Google Is Tracking Everything You Do With Its ‘Smart’ Features—Here’s How to Make That Stop

Maybe you don't want Google seeing how many exclamation points you use in your emails.
Maybe you don't want Google seeing how many exclamation points you use in your emails.
Taryn Elliott, Pexels

Since we don’t all have personal assistants to draft emails and update our calendars, Google has tried to fill the void with ‘smart’ features across Gmail, Google Chat, and Google Meet. These automatic processes cover everything from email filtering and predictive text to notifications about upcoming bills and travel itineraries. But such personalized assistance requires a certain amount of personal data.

For example, to suggest email replies that match what you’d choose to write on your own—or remind you about important emails you’ve yet to reply to—Google needs to know quite a bit about how you write and what you consider important. And that involves tracking your actions when using Google services.

For some people, Google’s helpful hints might save enough time and energy to justify giving up full privacy. If you’re not one of them, here’s how to disable the ‘smart’ features.

As Simplemost explains, first open Gmail and click the gear icon (settings) in the upper right corner of the page. Select ‘See all settings,’ which should default to the ‘General’ tab. Next to ‘Smart Compose,’ ‘Smart Compose personalization,’ and ‘Smart Reply,’ choose the ‘Off’ options. Next to ‘Nudges,’ uncheck both boxes (which will stop suggestions about what emails you should answer or follow up on). Then, switch from the ‘General’ tab to ‘Inbox’ and scroll down to ‘Importance markers.’ Choose ‘No markers’ and ‘Don’t use my past actions to predict which messages are important.’

Seeing these settings might make you wonder what other information you’ve unwittingly given Google access to. Fortunately, there’s a pretty easy way to customize it. If you open the ‘Accounts’ tab (beside ‘Inbox’) and choose ‘Google Account settings,’ there’s an option to ‘Take the Privacy Checkup.’ That service will walk you through all the privacy settings, including activity tracking on Google sites, ad personalization, and more.

[h/t Simplemost]