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

By

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

By

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

By

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

By

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

By

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.

8 killer Instagram tips and tricks

By

InstagramCloseiPhone
Become an Insta-master with these killer Instagram tips and tricks.
Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

Make the most of your Instagram feed with these eight killer Instagram tips and tricks that will make you an Insta-master.

Learn how to put together video in the Instagram app itself, keep stalkers off your Instagram feed, find amazing photos near your current location, and much more.

How to use Apple Watch to find your iPhone (even in the dark)

By

Use your Apple Watch to find your iPhone, regardless of ambient illumination.
Use your Apple Watch to find your iPhone, regardless of ambient illumination.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I’m willing to bet that you’ve misplaced your iPhone around the house before. I know I have; almost once a week I’m wondering where I set down that magical device. Is it in the bedroom? The kitchen? The (gasp) bathroom?

If you’ve got an Apple Watch, though, you can use its ping feature to find your iPhone with an audible sound, and even a flashing LED if you need it.

Here’s how.

Use free Snapseed on iPad to tune your photos to best effect

By

Snapseed lets you tune up your photos with ease.
Snapseed lets you tune up your photos with ease.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Snapseed is a free image editing app from Google that has some fantastic editing tools to make any photo even better.

The killer feature here is the set of Tune Image tools that let you take a good photo and turn it into a great photo, right on your iPad, with very little effort.

Here’s a quick intro to these fantastic tools and how to make them tune your photos to best effect.

Use Pixelmator to add more of a good thing to your photos

By

You can make a dreamy landscape like this in no time at all with Pixelmator.
You can make a dreamy landscape like this in no time at all with Pixelmator.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Imagine a photo of a young child, blowing bubbles into a gentle breeze. Wouldn’t it be an even better photo if there were more than one bubble in it? Because man, that kid is cute, but she sure can’t blow bubbles very well.

With Pixelmator, a fantastic photo editor on iOS and Mac, you can do just that with the clone tool.

Using it, though, as in any complex photo editing program, can be a little unintuitive. Here’s how to add more of a good thing to your photos with Pixelmator on the iPad.