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ProTip: Get your Apple Music username before someone else does

Add your unique username for Apple Music Connect before someone else snags it.

Add your unique username for Apple Music Connect before someone else snags it.

When you sign in to Apple Music, you have access to Apple’s new music-centric sharing and socializing system, Connect.

While Ping may have come to an an ignominious end, Connect has the advantage of being integrated into the new, exciting Apple Music to the very core, and will let everyone signed into an Apple ID account (not just Apple Music members) use the system to follow their favorite artist.

When you comment on a Connect post, though, you’ll be known by a user name, which uses the @ symbol just like Twitter.

If you want to have something unique, though, you’ll need to act quickly and enter it now, before the service gets clogged up with all the other people that might want your specific user name. Here’s how to do just that.

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How to not get auto-charged for your Apple Music subscription

You'll still get your three months, just not charged for the fourth automatically.

You’ll still get your three months, just not charged for the fourth automatically.

So, you’ve gotten the three month trial subscription for Apple Music, right? How exciting!

Chances are, you’ll forget all about it and, whether you love the service or not, you’ll get auto-charged in September for the $10 to $15 you chose when you signed up for your Apple Music subscription.

If you want to make sure that you aren’t automatically charged again, here’s how to turn that function off.

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How to reset and re-pair your Apple Watch

Apple Watch reset

Apple Watch reset

If your Apple Watch stops responding to your iPhone, you can reboot it or you can turn the Bluetooth connection off and on. If that doesn’t work to reconnect your Watch, you might need to reset it, and then you’ll need to re-pair it.

Here’s how.

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Plan better stories to make your iPhone videos come alive

Mobile editing is much easier when you have a plan.

Mobile editing is much easier when you have a plan.

We’ve all done it before: we head to the family reunion, the wedding, the kid’s birthday party and we just shoot everything. We have no plan except that we think we’ll have time later to edit it down to something interesting.

Unfortunately, that just leads to a bloated iPhone with too many unnecessary video files. Plus, you know you’re never going to get around to sitting down and looking through all that footage again. Ugh.

With a good plan, however, and a firm grasp of one simple storytelling technique, you’ll avoid this problem and create some amazing videos without a whole lot of extra work.

Here’s how.

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Capture blur-free iPhone vids with this tip

Lock focus and exposure values for better video (and photos).

Lock focus and exposure values for better video (and photos).


Your iPhone is set up as a still camera first and foremost, so it tends to automatically focus and expose your images. This is fantastic when you need a quick snapshot, but when you’re taking video, the constant re-focusing and exposure adjustment just makes everything look blurry and amateur.

You can tap the screen in either video or photo modes to get a quick adjustment, but the minute you or or subject moves, all bets are off. Your best chance, then, at keeping your iPhone videos blur-free is to lock the focus and exposure.

Here’s how.

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Siri’s dance jokes are only one step up from dad puns

Not only is Siri helpful, but she's got some bad puns to share as well.

Not only is Siri helpful, but she’s got some bad puns to share as well.

Apple Watch owners have to rely on Siri more than iPhone users do, what with the lack of the keyboard and such. However, Siri’s got some funny easter eggs built right in, and it’s fun to try and figure them out.

Use your Apple Watch to ask Siri to show you her dance moves and she’ll bust out some lines that are funny, sure but end up sounding more like dad jokes, to be honest.

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#ProTip: How to get users in the habit of using your app

Susan Shepard was speaking at AltConf about how to get users to actually use your app.

Sally Shepard was speaking at AltConf about how to get users to actually use your app.

#ProTip: How to get users in the habit of using your app Cult of Mac is at WWDC and AltConf fishing for ProTips. It’s a rich hunting ground — it’s the world’s biggest gathering of Apple developers, the alpha geeks, experts par excellence. What’s a ProTip? A ProTip is a nugget of knowledge, a little bit of expertise from someone in the know — a pro.

It sounds counterintuitive, but for many iOS developers, the easy part is getting people to download their app from the App Store. The hard part is getting people to use the app. Ideally, developers want them to use the app regularly. They want them to get into the habit of using it.

How do you do that? Sally Shepard, an app consultant who spent many years working with big publishers, has a great little tip.

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How to install El Capitan safely on your Mac right now

Trying out El Capitan on your Mac isn't too hard.

Trying out El Capitan on your Mac isn’t too hard.

If you’ve got an Apple developer account and a Mac, you might want to instal the latest OS X 10.11, better known as El Capitan, onto your machine right now.

Until it’s out of beta, though, you might want to consider installing it on a second partition of your Macintosh, in case things get wonky. It is a beta, after all, and you should never rely on a beta for a mission-critical device.

If you’re un-daunted still, here’s how to install El Capitan safely onto another partition on your Mac to try it out without nuking your current install of Yosemite.

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How to install Apple Watch beta ASAP

watchOS 2 is available to developers today.

watchOS 2 is available to developers today.

If you’re an early adopter of Apple Watch as well as a registered Apple developer, you can get the new watchOS 2 on your wrist right now. It takes a bit of effort, including getting into your copy of Xcode, but it seems like that might be worth it for those of us who like to get all the new stuff right away, as well as the folks that are making tomorrow’s apps for today’s it device.

Here’s how you get your Apple Watch beta set up.

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How to install iOS 9 beta on your iPhone or iPad right now

New features and improvements are coming to iOS 9.

New features and improvements are coming to iOS 9.

If you’re curious about the new changes coming to iOS 9 and you’ve got an Apple Developer account, you can head over and get the latest operating system for Apple’s mobile devices (iPhone and iPad) from the developer website.

You’ll need to register your iPhone or iPad with the Developer website, first, then download the new iOS 9 beta and install it. Here’s the breakdown of getting iOS 9 onto your iPhone or iPad, which is required if you want to try and install watchOS 2 beta for your Apple Watch.

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