How to use Live Loops in GarageBand

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piano hand
GarageBand's Live Loops let anyone make amazing tracks.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Today we’re going to figure out how to use GarageBand’s Live Loops feature. These let you drop a little loop of music into a square on a grid (or record your own), and then trigger that loop by tapping the square. Everything plays in time, so you can use it to DJ with loops and samples and create sick drops like VITALIC. Alternatively, Live Loops are a fantastic way to remix your own recordings on the fly, letting you experiment with how your own songs progress, without all that tedious dragging of audio track in timelines.

How to create long-exposure effects with iPhone

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long exposure sea
Long exposures turn moving water into creepy mist.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

One of the neatest tricks you can do with a standalone camera is the long exposure trick. You may have seen it used to turn the tail-lights of a car into long streaks of red curving through the dark behind a ghostly car, or to blur turbulent waters into a peaceful, misty-looking lake. In a regular camera, you have to finagle the shutter speed to get the level of blur just right, and there’s no second chance. On the iPhone, it’s way easier.

How to switch Animoji characters after recording

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iPhone X Animoji
Switch Animoji characters without ditching your awesome facial performance.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

As a popular phenomenon, Animoji will probably disappear as quickly as Pokemon Go. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun, and this tip will make it even more fun. You know how when you record a little Animoji clip, and you wish you’d done it with the robot instead of the cheeky monkey? It’s easy to fix, without having to re-record your whole performances.

How to speed up Face ID by switching off attention awareness

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attention awareness
Face ID is the future.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Face ID is, by most accounts, an amazing technology. You pretty much set it and forget it, and the iPhone X just unlocks itself whenever you look at it.

But what if you’re too lazy to point your eyes and your face at your iPhone whenever you want to look at it? What if you prefer to give it a sidelong glance, to show it who’s boss? Then you can disable attention awareness, which speeds up the Face ID process and unlocks your iPhone X faster.

How to turn any song into a ringtone with GarageBand for iOS

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custom ringtones itunes
This is a screenshot of the original iTunes, on an iPad.
Photo: Cult of Mac

There are very few iOS tasks that still require a Mac. One of those is getting your own ringtones onto your iPhone. You can buy them, but you can’t add a downloaded ringtone onto your iPhone without hooking up to iTunes. Or can you? GarageBand on iOS lets you save your own creations as ringtones, to be used immediately. Here’s how.

Using iPhone X’s dark mode uses less than half the battery power

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grayscale iphone x dark mode
The iPhone X sips power in dark mode.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Did you read our guide to switching on the iPhone X’s Unofficial Battery Saver Dark Mode in order to stretch the battery life of your new iPhone X? Well, it turns out that blacking out as much of the screen as possible really can save a whole lot of juice. In testing, running the iPhone X in dark mode saves a staggering amount of battery power.

Quick tip: How to make Face ID more accurate

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iPhone X Face ID accurate
Face ID is surprisingly awesome.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

What do you do when Face ID doesn’t recognize your face? Do you reposition your face? Reposition the iPhone? Stare a little harder at the camera, to tell it you really mean business?

Stop! Instead of acquiescing to your iPhone X’s silent demands, you should use this as a teaching moment (and show your phone who’s boss at the same time). Face ID learns how your face changes over time, but you can also teach it to recognize you better. Here’s how.

Quick tip: How to scroll to the top on iPhone X

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iPhone X
The iPhone X is overloaded with essential gestures. Here's another one for you to learn.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Ever since the early days of the iPhone, you have been able to tap on the status bar at the top of the screen to quickly scroll a long page back to the top. You may have been at the bottom of a long document, an epic web page or a particularly brutal Instapaper article, and one tap takes you back to the beginning. It’s a fantastic feature that really saves a lot of crazy finger-flicking, and is just plain convenient. Once you get used to it, the few apps that manage to disable the feature seem broken.

And yet now in the iPhone X, tapping the top of the screen no longer scrolls to the top. But don’t worry: There is still a way to do it. You’ll just have to learn yet another gesture.