Tip

iOS 13 Tidbit: Convert Live Photo's into videos

Since its introduction in iOS 11, Live Photo’s has truly been one of the core iOS features that keeps me in the eco-system. While this may sound a bit strange to some of you, I find it to be a truly invaluable feature of my everyday camera. I like to think of it as parent mode because, to be honest with you, I can’t imagine many people outside of this demographic that would find it as compelling feature as I do. I’ve lost count of the amount of mediocre pictures I’ve taken, only to review the Live Photo later to realise I’ve captured something truly special being said, or a reaction, that would normally be lost to the ether.

I found out about an interesting feature that has become available in iOS 13, a rare enhancement to Live Photo’s that I wanted to share. It seems it’s now possible to select multiple Live Photo’s, that were taken in quick succession, and create a video out of them. Apple shared a short ‘how to’ video explaining the process, on their YouTube channel, which you can see below:

This is a seemingly small feature but, for me at least, it’s a really powerful one. I’ve tried it myself and it works perfectly. It doesn’t do much to make the transition between videos all that smooth, but it’s highly serviceable and something I can see myself using a fair bit. Now that I know it exists …

Get Your Site Ready For Dark Mode

As is usually the case with me and this blog, I’ve been procrastinating recently. Instead of actually writing up some real content for the site, I’ve been playing around with the design slightly.

If you’re currently running the latest version of macOS, or the beta versions of iOS / iPadOS 13, and you’re in dark mode, you may have noticed the change already.

With the help of the always fantastic Micro.Blog community, both on the site itself and the Slack channel, I’ve been able to update the site to support dark mode across iOS 13, iPadOS and MacOS.

It turns out the process of doing this is, at its core, extremely simple. In my case, on a micro.blog hosted site at least, I just had to add a small bit of code to my custom CSS, as seen below:

  @media (prefers-color-scheme:     dark) {
  body {
color: #fafafa;
background-color: #1a1a1a; 
}
.blog-title a {
color: #ffffff;
}
  .post-title a {
  color: #ffffff !important;
} 
   blockquote p {
  color: #ffffff !important;
}
}

The biggest challenge, for me at least, was working out what I needed to change to amend the blog title, the post title and also the block quotes. I’ve fiddled around with the custom HTML and CSS a fair bit, way outside of my usual comfort zone, so it’s become a little bit unwieldy.1

The switch between states is effortless and I’m really impressed at quite how simple it is to add support for something like this.

As I said, I received a lot of assistance with this along the way so this post is intended purely as a way to pay it on and hopefully help others adopt the same change. As someone that lives in dark mode currently, on my iPhone and iPads, the more support for dark mode around the internet the better in my opinion. I’m really hoping Micro.Blog itself adds it soon too, though I imagine that’s a lot more complicated to do than my small site.

Anyway, I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know.


  1. As Chris rightly points out, please be aware that the specific CSS classes used in your theme, or blog, will likely vary to that which you see me referencing above. My blog currently uses a modified version of the Arabica Hugo theme. Actual milage may vary

iOS 13 Titbit: Remind Me When Messaging

There’re a lot of nice improvement in the redesigned Reminders app in iOS 13, but one really nice touch is the option to Remind me when messaging. With this option on, you can receive a notification about a particular reminder each time you send a message to the selected person.

This is a really good idea and works very well. I’ve tried quite a lot of Todo apps over the years and I don’t recall seeing that particular feature before. Great stuff from Apple on this one.

This short article was supposed to just be a microblog post 1, but while I have you here it’s a good time for a short PSA. If you upgrade to iOS 13 and try to use the new Reminders app, please be aware that it will upgrade the database your Reminders backend works on and you will no longer be able to see your current tasks in older versions of Reminders on your devices or on iCloud.com.


  1. As in the short, tweet like posts that are not shown in the main feed for my blog. 

iOS 13 Reminders FAQ

Since publishing my quick look at the new Reminders in iOS 13 article a few days ago I’ve actually received a couple of emails from some readers asking for more details about how the new app works.

I replied to the first one, but once I received the second it struck me that there may be others reading that also had queries, but didn’t want to ask, for whatever reason. To that end, I thought I’d share some of the queries I’d received and answer them here for everyone to access. If you’re interested in learning more about Reminders in iOS 13, read on. Please bear in mind again this is an early beta build, so much of the below can, and likely will, change as the summer goes on.

Here are the questions I received:

I’ve seen folders. How does that work?

As far as I can see, you can’t add any folders per sey. The app includes the Lists that the old version had only, so I assume this is what the reader was referring to. You can add and manage these much as you did before. The 4 blocks at the top of the app, seen below, can’t be amended.

Does completing a parent task complete the sub task?

Strangely, no, it doesn’t. At the moment at least, in developer beta 1, completing the parent task leaves the sub tasks uncompleted. I’ve raised a radar for this, because it doesn’t sound like it’s intentional, so I’ll keep an eye on if that changes as the betas go on.

Is there still a Notes field on the task?

There is indeed. This hasn’t changed since the old version of Reminders, however. It’s still a basic text box with no formatting or multi-line support etc.

Is there just one level of subtasks or can you go deeper (like add a subtask to a subtask?

No, I’m afraid you can’t do that. You can only create a sub-task, not a sub-task to a sub-task.

And can subtasks contain deeplinks?

From what I can see, no. When you trigger Siri and ask it to remind you about something you create a task at the top level only. I don’t have my iPad with me at work today, but I will test if you can create a deep link reminder and then drag it into a sub-task manually.

Can you only add one attachment or more?

Yes you can add multiple photos (that you take whilst in the app or from the Photos app, or scan a document to add it). From what I can see, right now at least, you can’t add files from Files.

What kind of attachments can you add to a reminder? Only images or files as well? Is there a file picker menu?

As mentioned above, you can only take a photo, add a photo (from Photos, not Files) or Scan a document but again you need to scan it there and then, you can’t add a pre-scanned item.

Can you create a deeplink from the Files App/iCloud file? (This was not possible before)

No, it doesn’t appear to let you do this still / currently. You can create a public link and add it there in the notes of the Reminder, potentially, however.

If you have any more queries, please feel free to contact me and I’ll do my best to get back to you ASAP.

Quality of Life Changes in iOS 13: iCloud Drive Downloads

Whilst digging around in the iPadOS beta, I noticed a small little feature in iCloud Drive that I’ve been hoping for for a long time …

I’ve long replaced the likes of Dropbox and Google Drive with iCloud Drive, but a big annoyance with doing this for me was that if you store a file there that you want to download, use, then remove from your device, such as a video or audio file, there was no way to actually remove it! The only option you had was, weirdly, to remove it from iCloud Drive / Files completely. Not only this, but the reverse could happen. You could download a file, but if iOS needed the space in the future it would simply remove it, without your knowledge. All in all, it was a frustrating experience.

This looks to have finally been fixed in iOS 13, however. A long press on a file or folder presents the following interesting menu:

As you can see from the highlighted line, you can now simply remove the download when you’ve finished with it, leaving the original on iCloud Drive. While this is, obviously, an extremely basic feature, it’s also an important one and one that’s been missing since iCloud Drive and Files. This, along with some of the other options enabled here, such as Quick View, make moving all of your cloud storage to iCloud Drive more viable than ever. I’m certainly pleased I bided my time on this and didn’t move back to Dropbox.

I’ll continue to dig around in the iOS beta and share any new little gems I come across.

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