How to automatically import new music into iTunes

By

iTunes sales hit a peak in 2012, and they've been falling ever since.
Use an Automator workflow and never manually add media to iTunes again!
Photo: Apple

So, say you have a Dropbox folder that keeps your media files synced across all your machines. Wouldn’t it be super-convenient to have iTunes import music from the Dropbox folder automatically? Also, just double-clicking the media files to import them to iTunes doesn’t sound too much work at first, but, what if your files are scattered all over the disk? For instance, some of you might have organized your media files into different folders by artist name, or by download source.

Let’s see how you can harness the power of automation to automatically import music to iTunes on a Mac.

How to use Text Replacement to avoid typing the words you hate

By

Text Replacement shortcuts in iPhone
Text Replacements are easy to set up, and save a ton of time and hassle. You can even use them with emoji.
Photo: Cult of Mac

What if you could type out any of your email addresses just by tapping on the same key a few times? Or do Google searches over and over on a favorite website just as easily? What about easily typing that special symbol that’s so hard to reach on the iOS keyboard that you usually never bother? All this, and more, can be yours, if only you’ll spend a minute or two setting up some text replacement shortcuts. Let’s do it right now.

Use Notes app to plan your vacation

By

notes vacation plan
The notes app is a great way to share the planning of your next vacation.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Here’s the worst way to organize any task: email. You can’t put everything in one place, and even if you could, you could never find it. Apple’s built-in Notes app, on the other hand, is the perfect place to store all those snippets of info you accumulate when planning something like a vacation. You can collect web pages, add checklists and photos, and even sketch maps, or add other media like PDFs or apps. And then you can share that note with any number of people and all read and update it.

Let’s see how it all works.

How to make an A+ term paper in PDF Expert

By

pdf expert term paper
PDF Expert isn't just a view. It's a great way to create documents, too.
Photo: Readdle

How to activate Photos’ hidden 3D Flyover view

By

3d flyover photos
See all your photos on Apple's 3D Flyover map
Photo: Cult of Mac

The iOS Photos app might just look like a simple grid-like list, but it has a ton of hidden power. For instance,  you can see your photos on a full-screen, 3-D Flyover map. And with one simple swipe on a photograph, you can see where it was taken, see other photos taken nearby, and collections photos that your iPhone figures are related to the one you’re looking at. It’s a fantastic way both to find out more about your pictures, and to browse. After all, why limit yourself to flipping through pictures, one by one, in the order you shot them, like some film-camera using hipster luddite, when you can see your photos on a map in Apple’s glorious 3-D Flyover view?

How to turn your Mac into an internet printer, and print from anywhere

By

Epson Expression Home XP-430 multifunction printer
It's surprisingly easy to print a file remotely on a Mac.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Picture this scenario: You’ve multiple computers at your office and only one of them (which is a Mac) is connected to the printer. Every time you need to print a document stored on these “other” computers, you have to manually transfer the file to the Mac and start the printing process from there. Wouldn’t it be super-convenient if you could just send a document wirelessly and instantly initiate the process of printing files remotely?

Today, I’ll show you how to break apart from this hassle and easily print files remotely from any computer using a combination of Dropbox and Automator.

Forget Apple News: Here’s how to use Safari Shared Links instead

By

Safari packs some surprisingly powerful features, like Shared Links.
Safari packs some surprisingly powerful features, like Shared Links.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Apple’s News app is pretty great, but only if you’re happy reading stories from Apple-approved sources. There’s plenty of news in the default configuration to keep you going, and you can also dig in and easily pick your own sources and subjects to make it more relevant.

But what about those oddball sites that you read every day? Your favorite ferret-legging forum, for instance? Is there a way to include those in the News app? There used to be, but Apple removed the ability to subscribe to any and all sites somewhere around iOS 10. The goods news is, you can still subscribe to your favorite sites right in Safari’s Shared Links.

Activate Night Shift mode on your Mac and spare your eyes

By

Night
Spare your eyes with Night Shift mode on Mac.
Photo: Pexels Laptop Computer Turned on While in Dark Area

If you use your computer before going to bed, you owe it to your eyes to turn on Night Shift on your Mac. The feature, which adjusts the color of your display to the warmer end of the light spectrum after sundown, eases eye strain and can make falling asleep easier.

Night Shift dials down the amount of blue light emitted by your display. Studies have shown that exposure to blue light, which makes images look bright and crisp, can have adverse effects during nighttime use of electronics: Getting too much blue light after dark can make it more difficult to drift off to sleep.

How to use Apple Pay on your Mac with macOS Sierra

By

Apple Pay on Mac
Get ready to start spending on your Mac! (Even more, we mean.)
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

With macOS Sierra, Apple Pay finally comes to Macs so you can use the mobile payment service to buy stuff online. The feature works best on the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, but don’t worry Pad if you own an older Apple computer: You can still use Apple Pay if you’ve got a 2012 or newer Mac, as long as you have the latest software and an iPhone or Apple Watch with Apple Pay enabled.

To get started, just follow our handy guide on how to use Apple Pay on Mac. You’ll be spending money online in no time!

How to fix Mac App Store download problems

By

App Store tutorial
If you're experiencing certain download issues, this is an early bit of troubleshooting to do.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Macs are renowned for “just working,” but sometimes you might run into problems while downloading software from the Mac App Store. You might encounter files that say they’ve downloaded despite evidence to the contrary, or face verification errors or other installation difficulties.

If so, a relatively common fix involves emptying your Mac App Store temporary download cache folder. If you find yourself running into any of the Mac installation problems mentioned above, cleaning out this folder should be one of your first tasks.

But how do you do it? Follow our easy “how to” guide below.