How to get rid of old iCloud backups on your iPhone

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Clean up iCloud to make room for bigger backups.
Clean up iCloud to make room for bigger backups.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

If you’ve been using iCloud to back up your iOS devices for a while like I have, chances are you’ve got a few older backup files crufting up your iCloud storage space.

If you want to maximize the space on your iCloud account, you might want to delete some of these older iCloud backups to make room for more.

Here’s how to do that.

ProTip: Get your Apple Music username before someone else does

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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.
Screen: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

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.

How to make Siri (awkwardly) read any e-book to you

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Siri storytime
Great. Now I'm going to be up even longer administering the Voight-Kampff Test to all of these sheep.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Siri is a handy virtual assistant. It’ll fetch information for you, send texts, and even tell you a joke if you ask it repeatedly (Siri is a little shy at first). But did you know that it can also narrate e-books?

If you can’t get enough of that lovely robot voice, here’s how to make your favorite literature come to synthetic life.

Get your vacation on with the best of Apple Maps Flyover

View some of the most beautiful cities and landmarks in the world with Flyover.
View some of the most beautiful cities and landmarks in the world with Flyover.
Photo: Apple

The worst part about vacationing is coming back home and getting hit in the face with cold, hard reality. Excessive food consumption, relaxing atmospheres and sugary alcoholic beverages are out of your life and work is back in. But what if you take the travel part (not to mention the cost) completely out of equation? You get Flyover in Apple Maps.

Why vacation in this costly, unforgiving world when you can live vicariously through your iPhone, iPad or Mac?

Flyover, the immersive 3-D view in Apple Maps, now supports hundreds of cities around the world and Apple adds more all the time. In fact, seven more were added to the list just today so we thought it would be fun to take a look at the hottest vacationing spots of 2015, without even leaving the couch.

Get your summer vacay on at these hot Flyover spots:

Capture blur-free iPhone vids with this tip

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Lock focus and exposure values for better video (and photos).
Lock focus and exposure values for better video (and photos).
Photo: Steve Brooks/Image North

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.