Keep your ringtone volume and media volume separate. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
There are two different channels for audio on your iOS device: there are ringers and alert sounds and there are media sounds, like from the Music app or various games on your iPhone.
The hardware volume buttons on the side of your iPhone are set to control both by default, but you can separate it out, making the hardware buttons only turn down the media sounds instead of both media and ringer sound.
Here’s our recipe on how to make sure you never miss a call because someone “accidentally” turned your volume all the way down.
Gather all your friends for a groupie with the timer on your iPhone. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
It can be tricky to get the best shot when taking a selfie or group shot with your iPhone. If you want a better angle than the length of your arm can provide (or your ridiculous selfie stick will telescope to), you might consider setting your iPhone on a ledge or tripod and using the built-in timer mode to get yourself and everyone else into position before the shutter goes off.
It’s not super-tricky, but you do need to know where to look. Here’s our recipe to enable timer mode on your iPhone.
It’s not totally gone now in iOS 8.3, but there is a new way to access it along with a new layout. There are also some funky ways to move around your Calendar app that may not be as intuitive as they should. These aren’t necessarily new to iOS 8.3, but it’s handy to know them, as well.
Here’s the recipe you’ll need to view your iOS Calendar the way you want on your iPhone and iPad.
Searching within Safari pages is pretty easy, but well-hidden. Photo: Rob LeFebvre
On the Mac, it’s super-easy to search for a word or phrase within the currently loaded page. You simply hit Command-F on your keyboard and Safari, Chrome or any other web browser will open up a little field to type your search terms into.
But what about when you’re using mobile Safari on your iPhone or iPad? How do you find a specific word or phrase there?
It’s pretty simple, but not super-intuitive. Here’s our recipe for finding search terms on your iPhone’s version of Safari.
Get your game on — wirelessly — with a PS4 controller and your Mac. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Now just might be the best time ever to be a Mac gamer, as a ton of big titles for PC and console are also available for Apple computers via the Mac App Store, Steam or GoG.com. It’s a golden era of cross-platform goodness, and it’s easier than ever to find a game you’ll love on the Mac.
Some of today’s hot titles demand a good controller, though. One of the best is Sony’s DualShock 4 controller (the same one that comes with the PlayStation 4). If you’ve got one, you’ve got easy access to a fantastic, ergonomic and just plain great gaming controller that will work with your Mac, requiring very little setup to make it happen.
Make your iPhone even more secure with special characters. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Sure, you’ve got Touch ID set up on your iPhone 6, but you’ll still need a passcode to keep your iPhone secure. If you have an older iPhone without Touch ID, or your fingerprint isn’t recognized for any reason, you’ll need to fall back on a passcode.
If you want to make your passcode even more secure, try using our recipe for a code with special characters instead of a simple number-based solution.
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.