All items tagged with "How-To"

Take the headache out of calendar syncing with these quick tips

Fantastical 2 uses iOS calendar settings to sync with Google. Screengrab: Flexibits

Fantastical 2 uses iOS calendar settings to sync with Google. Screengrab: Flexibits

As many of us use Google calendar to manage our daily lives, it’s an important thing to get this wondrous scheduling solution on our iPhones and iPads to better able to access it on the go.

Several third-party calendars, like the ever-useful and visually stunning Fantastical 2, use the iOS system for connecting to and synchronizing your calendars from Google to your mobile device.

Usually this works without a hitch, especially with newer iOS versions; you simply add an account and the calendar events you input on the web will show up on your iPhone, and vice versa.

When that doesn’t work, however, the settings you need to tweak can be a bit unintuitive. Here’s what they should look like for the best two-way Google to iOS sync.

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How to get rid of the predictive text suggestions on your iPhone

With predictive text enabled. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

With predictive text enabled. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

iOS 8 brought with it a couple of keyboard changes — adding support for predictive text suggestions when you’re using the built-in iOS keyboard.

This is pretty great stuff, unless it bugs you to have three words or phrases at the top of your keyboard. If that’s you, then here’s a simple way to disable the “feature.”

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Maximize your Mac’s file system with Smart Folders

Smart Folders are my jam. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Smart Folders are my jam. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

A longtime Cult of Mac reader wrote in with a question about some odd-looking folders she sees on her Mac.

“The ‘All Pictures’ folder has a sprocket looking icon,” she writes. “Same with All PDF documents and Recently Changed documents.

Are these files located elsewhere and if I deleted a file from one of the above folders does it remove it from all my files? Don’t understand the purpose of these.”

Excellent question, for sure. Let’s take a look at what these folders are, and how to use them to their full potential.

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3 super-easy ways to convert currency with your Mac

Your Mac's calculator has some tricks up its sleeve. Photo: Rob LeFebvre

Your Mac’s calculator has some tricks up its sleeve. Photo: Rob LeFebvre

As the world gets smaller and smaller thanks to the global marketplace called the internet, you may sometimes need to know exactly how much your dollar will get you in the wider world. Is that £15 widget really worth it? You’ll only know if you convert it to some form of currency that you understand better.

Your Mac has at least three ways to do this sort of calculation: with a Dashboard widget, the built-in Calculator app, and even with Spotlight. Here’s how to convert currencies into something that makes more sense, right from your handy Mac computer.

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How to nuke pesky location data from your iPhone photos

"You were in Vegas without me!?" Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

“You were in Vegas without me!?” Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

These days, any photo you shoot with your iPhone or other smartphone will typically contain location data (unless you have that feature turned off) to allow apps like iPhoto to place your images on a map.

Even photo-sharing services use this data, with some — like Flickr — posting it prominently on your photo pages (along with all the other EXIF data, like shutter speed and f-stop).

If you don’t want the location of your photos to be known, the Yosemite version of OS X’s Preview can take care of it for you. Let’s strip that location data before we post that photo to the Web, OK?

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7 useful ways to resurrect your old iPhone from the junk drawer

Still plenty of life in the old thing. Photo: Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac

Still plenty of life in the old thing. Photo: Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac

If you’re like me, you’ve got a junk bin full of old technology. It’s just the way we’re made; there’s nothing better than sifting through the detritus of technology that you loved.

I’ve traded in my iPhone for the last five generations, from the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 5, or passed them along to my kids or significant others. The first generation iPhone, however, was something special, so I kept it.

As I was looking for ways to let my daughter listen to music at night without the temptation (or networked connection) of her more modern mobile phone, I chanced upon this lovely little rounded gadget from 2007 in the plastic bin I lovingly refer to as my Dead Technology Museum.

I figured I’d add some music to the thing, and that would be that. But the more time I spent messing around with it, I realized that I could make it into a pretty great little device; even though it pales in comparison with the iPhone 6, there’s still plenty of use in this baby.

Here are seven things, then, that you can do with your own old iPhone to make it just a bit more useful, whether it’s an original iPhone or an even more modern model.

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How to eject a stubborn disc from your Mac

How to eject a stubborn disc from your Mac

There’s a ton of reasons why a disc may get stuck in your Mac. Not only is it frustrating, but it can also bring you into a cold sweat — panicking about how to remove it when there’s no easy access.

But don’t worry: in today’s video we go over a few simple tricks to force eject your favorite album or movie without ripping apart your beautiful Mac.

Make sure to Subscribe to Cult of Mac TV on YouTube to catch all our latest videos.

How to run Windows 10 on your Mac for free

Because you can. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Because you can. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

One of the selling points of a Mac these days is the ability to run Windows software on it, via virtualization or Apple’s own Boot Camp. Running Windows lets you play PC games that haven’t been ported to the Mac, or stay completely compatible with your documents from a PC-centric workplace.

Virtualization software like Parallels or VMWare Fusion (two of the best apps to run Windows software on your Mac without partitioning your hard drive for Boot Camp) isn’t free, though these applications do allow you to try before you buy. Windows 8.1, the current version of Microsoft’s operating system, will run you about $120 for a plain-jane version.

You can run the next-gen OS from Microsoft (Windows 10) on your Mac using virtualization for free, however. We took a quick run at doing just that, as originally sussed out by the fantastic folks over at iMore.

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How to download Apple’s iWork apps on older Macs for free

Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 10.28.16 AM

Here’s how to get the iWork suite for free on older Macs. Photo: Cult of Mac

If you bought a Mac from 2013 on, you can download the iWork suite of apps — Pages, Keynote and Numbers — from the Mac App Store absolutely free.

But what if you bought an older Mac? You have to pay, and they’re expensive, running $19.99 each.

Thankfully, there’s a trick you can use to download them from the App Store for free. Here’s how.

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How to keep those annoying phone calls off your iPad or Mac

Photo: Alex Heath/Cult of Mac

Seriously, I don’t want to have to ignore your call on three devices. Photo: Alex Heath/Cult of Mac

I love the idea of being able to answer a phone call on my Mac, or even on my iPad. The convergence of this communication technology seems like it has great potential.

In reality, though, I end up getting three rings for every call, each slightly time-shifted from the rest, as I sit in my office/living room with my iPhone, iPad and Mac. You’d think that such an intelligent system would know that I had all three devices in one room, and only ring through to one specified device. Until Apple figures that out, maybe in an iOS update or OS X 10.11, there’s only one thing you can do: Disable the heck out of it.

Here’s how.

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