Spotify vs. YouTube Music: Pros and Cons

Music streaming is big, whether paid or unpaid.

If you pay, it’s normally anywhere between $4.99 to $9.99 a month. You get to stream and play all the music you want without ads. You also get to download the music for offline listening.

With a free account, you get ads and you have other inconveniences. For example, Spotify limits you to six skips within an hour. You normally also don’t get to download for offline listening.

Personally, I like to discover new music on Spotify. If I really like a song, I would then buy it on iTunes. I also use YouTube Music from time to time.

Here’s an extremely brief comparison between Spotify and YouTube Music, and the things I like and dislike about them.

Spotify vs. YouTube Music

 

SpotifySpotify StationsYouTube Music

Spotify and Spotify Stations

Spotify and Spotify Stations are two different apps. Think of Spotify Stations as a light version of Spotify.

I enjoy using these apps because they are simple and they just work. I think they have the best playlists among all the music streaming services. They are also good at recommending songs I like. That is why I use Spotify to discover new music.

I used to use Spotify a lot but I find myself using Spotify Stations more and more when I’m at work or driving. Spotify Stations is just so much simpler.

One thing I don’t like about Spotify or Spotify Stations is the six skips in one hour, but then again I have a free account so I can’t really complain.

YouTube Music

I’m a big fan of stand-up comedy and YouTube Music is perfect for this. Even with a free account, YouTube Music allows for an album to be played track by track without shuffling. This feature makes all the difference when you are listening to a stand-up comedy album.

The major downside with a free YouTube Music account is that the app has to be active for the playback to be active. If you switch to a different app, or if you lock your screen, the music stops. This is just like how the YouTube mobile app works if you are on a free YouTube account.

What music streaming service do you like to use? Do you still buy songs on iTunes, or have you moved on to streaming only? Let us know in the comments!

FE File Explorer: How to Share Files from Mac or PC to iPhone or iPad

File Explorer Pro App Icon

File Explorer by Skyjos

In today’s post, we look at how to share files to an iPhone or iPad from a Mac or PC, all connected to the same network. This process requires an app called FE File Explorer by Skyjos

If you are interested in learning how to share files between a Mac and a PC on the same network, please visit this recent post of ours.

FE File Explorer works on both iPhone and iPad. It allows you to access local files, files on your computer and NAS (network-attached storage). In addition, the app also works with popular cloud storage solutions such as Dropbox and Google Drive.

On the App Store, the app has a free version called File Explorer, and a paid version for $4.99, called File Explorer Pro.

Among other restrictions, the free version only allows one connection at the same time. It also does not support as many file formats like MKV and AVI.

Using the app to share files from a Mac or PC to an iPhone or iPad is a very easy process, and here’s how.

How to Share Files from Mac or PC to iPhone or iPad

First, make sure your iPhone or iPad and Mac or PC are connected to the same network.

Then you need to get the IP address of your Mac or PC.

        • On a Mac, hold down the option key and click on the Wi-Fi icon on the menu bar (top right corner)
        • On a PC, left-click on the network icon located on the status bar (bottom right corner). Then click on Properties and in the next screen that appears, scroll down to the bottom to view the IP address

Once you have the IP address of your Mac or PC, launch File Explorer on your iPhone or iPad.

        1. Tap the + button on the top right corner to add a connection.
        2. Choose either macOS or Windows for the new connection.
        3. Give the connection a name, then type your Mac or PC’s IP address into “Host Name/IP” and tap Save.
        4. You’ll then see the new connection on the app’s main screen.
        5. Tap on the new connection and you’ll be prompted to type in a user name and password.
        6. Type in the user name and password you use to access your Mac and PC and tap Login.

You are now ready to view files in the shared folder and stream media to your iPhone or iPad.

File Explorer Home Screen
File Explorer Pro Home Screen
1
Connection Type Selection
Connection Type Selection
2
New Connection Setup
New Connection Setup
3
New Connection in Home Screen
New Connection in Home Screen
4
Logging in to Connection
Logging in to Connection
5
Shared Folders
Shared Folders
6

Do you have an app that you use for sharing files between your computer and your iPhone? Let us know in the comments!

iOS 13 – 3 Things We Like

It’s that time of the year again! One more fall, one more iOS release. With iOS 13 coming out sometime this September, here are 3 things we like based on what we are seeing in the latest public beta release, which is public beta 6 (developer beta 7), build number 17A5565b.

Dark Mode

Well it works. Beg for it long enough, Apple’ll give it to you. Your iPhone will finally have dark mode with the release of iOS 13.

What is so good about dark mode?

For one thing, it looks really cool and it does help you focus. We first saw Apple doing dark mode in macOS Mojave in 2018. I don’t use dark mode on my Mac all the time, but I do find myself toggling it on when I know I need to focus and type away on the keyboard for a while.

The other things is, it just feels good to finally get dark mode on the iPhone. Apple sure has made us wait long enough. Even though we know that’s the way they do things, it still feels pretty darn good.

To activate dark mode, go to Settings, and then Display & Brightness and choose Dark under Appearance. Notice Apple gives you the option to automatically switch between dark and light modes based on the sunset and sunrise time.

Alternatively you could also turn dark mode on using Control Center. Swipe up from the bottom of your device, and 3D Touch or long press on the screen brightness control, you’ll see the option to turn dark mode on or off.

Apple has even made a Control Center control specifically for dark mode. Go to Settings, Control Center, Customize Controls and you’ll see it right there. Add it to Control Center and you’ll be able to turn dark mode on or off with just one swipe and one tap.

Updated CarPlay

CarPlay gets a new interface with iOS 13.

The home button is replaced with a new button to switch between the rows of apps view and what Apple calls the CarPlay Dashboard view.

 New CarPlay Home Button in iOS 13
CarPlay Dashboard

The CarPlay Dashboard view is a doozy. You can glance at multiple things on the same screen – your map on the left filling up the largest tile, your Music controls, calendar items and Siri on the right. 

Speaking of Siri, she now no longer takes up the whole screen. You can keep an eye on things like directions whilst dealing out commands to her – easy commands though, she’s not Alexa or Google Assistant, so go easy on her.

Oh in case you didn’t notice, your album artwork now shows up on the screen as well. 

CarPlay in iOS 13 also gets a new Settings app to change between dark and light display mode, as well as Do Not Disturb and a few other settings. 

One last thing worth noting in the updated CarPlay is, say you have Maps on your dashboard and you pick up your phone (not that we recommend this while you are driving) and quit Maps on your phone, that won’t quit Maps in CarPlay. How awesome is that!

Limited Warranty

Ever wondered how far in you are with your limited warranty for your device? While you could always go to checkcoverage.apple.com, type in your serial number and see your warranty information, now you could also see it right in your Settings app on your device.

Go to Settings, General, About and now you’ll see a row called Limited Warranty where you could see when yours is about to expire.

This is such a small thing, but Apple sure knows how to make these incremental changes to keep their users happy.

iOS 13 comes packed with loads of new features and these 3 are some of our favorites.

Want to find out if your device could run iOS 13 come its release date? Here is a list of compatible devices:

  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPod touch (7th generation)

Can’t wait for the public release? Check out this page to join the Apple Beta program and test out iOS 13 today. The public beta is at beta 6 right now so it’s pretty safe even for your daily driver. Although the lawyer in me is telling me to also mention you should try it at your own risk.

Got a iOS 13 feature you want to share with us? Or have a question regarding iOS 13? Leave comment and let us know! 

Spotify Stations: A Quick App Review

If you want to stream music but feel too cool to curate your own playlists, you should try the easy and simple Spotify Stations app.

Spotify Stations App Login Screen

Spotify

Music streaming is nothing new. Countless companies have had their crack at it. Few are as successful as this freemium service from Sweden that is Spotify.

With 232 million monthly active users including 108 million paying subscribers as of July 2019, Spotify has a user base way larger than its major competitors – Apple Music, Pandora, Amazon Prime Music, Amazon Music Unlimited and the likes.

One of the reasons of Spotify’s success is they are good at serving up music you like. Their website’s tagline says “Music for everyone” and their mobile app tagline says “Discover new music”. I’ll just say those are not false advertising.

Download the Spotify app, give it the names of a few artists of your choice as you start and then heart songs as you go, you’ll have a constant flow of pleasant surprises delivered right into your ears.

Sounds easy and painless, right? Actually, no.

Even that is too much for a lot of people, myself included.

After all, we just want to stream our music and we don’t want to begin by what feels like answering a million questions, and then have to lift our fingers to tell the app we like a song. Our phones should know our music preferences, period. How else could they take over the world and become the overlord they were always destined to be? Oh, they’ll use us for batteries too.

Spotify Stations

If you want to stream music but feel too cool to curate your own playlists, you should try Spotify Stations. The Stations page on Spotify’s website says “Music made simple” and that is exactly true.

The Stations app was launched in 2018, a decade after the world was first blessed with Spotify.

Stations did not make a big splash at its release.

However, people everywhere had the same reaction upon using the app – you did not have to wait long before the music started playing.

Download the app, log in using your Facebook or Spotify account, or create a new account and within seconds you’ll hear your music going.

You do have some of the usual playback controls like play/pause and skip. A free account has ads and allows six skips in one hour which is pretty good.

If you like, you could also thumb up or down a song and with that Stations learns your music preference. You don’t really have to interact with the app too much though. With what they know about the music preferences of hundreds of millions of people and their massive library of 35 to 40+ million tracks, chances are the tunes Spotify serves up will be to your liking.

Spotify Stations also works with CarPlay in case you were wondering. Your commute will be less intolerable. I even find myself singing along when I don’t have a passenger with me.

Spotify Stations App Interface with Playback Controls, Thumbs Up and Down

Spotify Stations in Apple CarPlay

Spotify Stations Now Playing View in Apple CarPlay

Now here’s the question, do you think the Spotify Stations app is sent back in time by the evil Skynet to ease us into letting machines control our lives and ultimately take over? Let us know in the comments.