Disable all those pretty (useless) animations to speed up your iPhone

Your iPhone will feel a lot snappier with this little trick.
Your iPhone will feel a lot snappier with this little trick.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

If you’re still rocking an older iPhone, you might notice that things are starting to feel sluggish when you run the latest iOS 9.3.

If so, there’s a quick trick to speed up your iPhone: simply disable those pretty animations in iOS 9. Your iPhone will feel quite a bit snappier as a result.

Here’s how.

No data, no problem: How to use Google Maps offline

Get your Google Maps to work everywhere.
Get your Google Maps to work everywhere.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac (original image: Jordan McQueen/Unsplash CC)

When you’re out in the sticks somewhere, you might get to a place where there’s no signal. How will you ever find your way home (or to the next party) without your trusty Google Maps app?

Well, with a little foresight, you can make sure Google Maps continues to be useful, even when you’re not within range of cellular data. Here’s how to use Google Maps offline to make sure you never get lost again when your smartphone goes offline.

Note: This tip will work with Android and iOS versions of Google Maps.

How to back up your iPhone or iPad to an external drive

Use an external hard drive to free up space on your Mac.
Use an external hard drive to free up space on your Mac.
Photo: Ste Smith/ Cult of Mac

If you’ve got a tiny hard drive on your Mac and a large-capacity iPhone or iPad (or both!), you might worry that you’re about to run out of space due to all the stuff you want to back up from your iOS device to your OS X one.

You won’t have to worry any longer. This trick makes your Mac back up your iPhone or iPad to an external drive, which will ensure you never run out of space to keep your data backed up.

Here’s how.

Make your home screen pop with round iOS folders

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iOS round folders
Man, that looks weird.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Usually, if you want to change the shape of your iOS folders, you need to jailbreak your device or squint really hard or something. But one person has found a way to make your app holders cool-looking and round, and all you have to do is change your device’s wallpaper.

You can see the cool circles in action in the video below.

When Wi-Fi is out, use Ethernet to get online with your iPad

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When the Wi-fi goes down, you can always use Ethernet.
When the Wi-fi goes down, you can always use Ethernet.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

iPads are made to go online with Wi-Fi, but what happens when the wireless goes down and all you have is an Ethernet connection to the internet?

With a couple of Apple dongles and a powered USB hub, you can easily use Ethernet to get online with your iPad, no Wi-Fi required.

Here’s how.