Facebook Messenger App for OS X

I enjoy being able to seamlessly move between all of my devices and have Facebook Messenger everywhere - with it I can chat cross-platform with ease. But when I'm on a Mac, I was always annoyed at having to find a browser or remember to keep it open - until I discovered Astro for Facebook Messenger. It's a free OS X app available in the Mac App Store. 

It displays all messages from all conversations, no matter where you send the message from including the web browser and mobile. You can change the skin on the app, and even drag and drop photos. But I think my favorite feature is the nice menu notification bar - I can see at the top of my OS X menu that I have unread messages, and the app pops to the front just by clicking on the icon!

Memory & Storage Space

Running out of space? Want to know where all your space has gone?

To see how much space you have on your phone, and how much of that is available free space goto Settings -> Usage. You'll be greeted with a spinning wheel while the device does calculations to see where all of your space is being used. Also on screen is a number labeled "available" and a number labeled "capacity". Capacity is the total memory in your phone. I have a 32 GB phone and after formatting, system files, etc. you'll see that I show a capacity of 26.8 GB. My available space is 743 MB. (There are approx. 1000 MB in a GB.)

Once the device is done calculating the specifics on storage space, there is a nice list of applications along with how much space each is consuming. The measurement you see on the first screen is the total amount of space the app consumes, but tap on the app to get more details. In the screenshot you can see that I have Instacast downloaded. The app itself is only 9.7 MB in size, however the app has 1.8 GB in documents or data. For this app it's all audio and video podcast files. With other apps, such as Facebook this would be cached data the app has downloaded so that it can load faster, settings saved locally on the device, etc. Some apps have "Clear Cache" functions, such as Instacast, that allow you to clear out all the locally stored data. Other apps will have to be deleted and reinstalled to clear their cache.

Messages is another offender on my list. To remove the data used here, each conversation will have to be deleted one-by-one. Hopefully Apple will make this process easier in the future!

2014-01-03 16.43.37.png

Lastly, if tap Music or Videos you'll see that it shows details on the videos that are downloaded to the device. There is a handy Edit button in the top right corner that allows for quick deletion of unwanted media. 

If you're running of of space, this is a great place to start to recover it!

This tip works for all iOS devices running iOS 7.

Facebook Videos Auto-Play

Many people have noticed that Facebook for iOS now has a great new "feature": auto play of videos. Videos posted by friends in your timeline will automatically start playing silently (for now) inline in your News Feed. Tapping on the video will bring it full screen with audio. While this feature can be useful for some, it can be a real data hog for others. If you're in a place with a slow connection, or using your cellular data plan, this can cause trouble. As of right now Facebook has only given us the option to disable while on cellular data, but not all together. Unfortunately when I'm flying and using airplane Wi-Fi this will be a huge bottle neck for me.

To disable, tap the Settings icon from your device's home screen. Scroll down to Facebook and tap on it. Then enter the Settings menu and turn on the "Auto-play videos on WiFi only" option.