All items tagged with "How-To"

How to get all the awesome extra sounds for GarageBand 10

All you need to make some sick beats. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

All you need to make some sick beats. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

If you dig creating fresh beats and smooth grooves on your Mac, you’ll likely love GarageBand. It’s a fantastic bit of musical creation kit for anyone, regardless of native ability or experience. You can use loops to make new songs, play your own music with MIDI keyboards–even make your own ringtones for your iPhone. It’s quite versatile.

When you download GarageBand from the Mac App Store, you’ll immediately get 50 sounds, 500 loops, 1 drummer, and 2 basic lessons for guitar and piano. Likely, though, you want the full package, which is available as a free download that expands the content to 200 sounds, 2,000 loops, 15 drummers, and 40 basic lessons for guitar and piano.

Here’s how to get it.

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How to mark all iMessages as read on your iPhone

Too many unread iMessages? Try this simple trick. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Too many unread iMessages? Try this simple trick. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

If you’re like me, you’ve got a ton of unread iMessages on your iPhone and tapping through them all just to get rid of your app badge anxiety seems like a bit too much effort.

Apple has your back, though, with a nicely designed way to mark all your iMessages as read. It might not be apparent at first glance where to find this magic trick. Here’s how.

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Hide iOS QuickType bar and free up screen space

QuickType just might be cramping your style. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

QuickType just might be cramping your style. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Got an iPhone 6 or smaller? You might be feeling a little cramped for space on your screen due to iOS 8’s new word-prediction system.

That little gray bar that sits just above your iOS keyboard is called the QuickType bar, and it’s where all the auto-correct and typing suggestions appear when you’re sending an email, typing a note or iMessaging with someone. The suggestions are based on your past conversations, which lets QuickType take your writing style into account. It even keeps track of who you’re writing to, since your word choice is typically tied to your conversation partner.

If you want to hide it because you need more space on your screen, you can do so in any of three ways. You can also bring it back if you’ve inadvertently hidden it and don’t know where it went.

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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.

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