Tyke might be just about the simplest app you ever saw. It is also really, really useful. Tyke puts a little icon in your Mac’s menubar, and when you click it, it opens up a text scratchpad. You can jot in a quick note, or paste in some info. And that’s about it.
It’s 2017, and yet you still can’t add music to the Music app on your iPhone. If you have an MP3 file that somebody sent you, that you downloaded, or that you created with one of the zillions of powerful apps on iOS, you can’t just add it to your library. Instead, you must add it to iTunes on your Mac or PC, and then manually sync it to your iPhone, either over Wi-Fi or with a cable.
It’s absurd, and today we’re going to fix it. You’ll still need a Mac to be running, but at least you don’t have to actually touch it.
One of the great new features in iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra is shared documents. You can create almost any kind of file, and collaborate on it with other people. This can be a simple Pages document, or a complex song in GarageBand. In theory, the file will be updated with everybody’s changes, so you can work on the same project without emailing a zillion copies back and forth.
Currently, this feature ranges from a little shaky, to rock solid, depending on what apps you are using. Here’s how to share and collaborate using GarageBand in iOS 11.
The iPhones 8 and X both support Apple’s “fast-charging” option, which has been available on the iPad Pro since the first 13-inch model. Fast charging lets you use a powerful USB-C charger, along with a USB-C-to-Lightning cable, to charge your iPhone quicker than you can with the standard iPhone or iPad chargers.
But is it worth the $75 that those accessories will cost? Is charging really so much faster? According to tests run by software engineer and startup investor Dan Loewenherz, the answer is no.
Do you know how to turn on your Mac’s Do Not Disturb mode? That’s right, you open up the Notification sidebar, pull down, and toggle the switch. It works great. Right up until you look at the Dock, or the app switcher, and see a bunch of big red badges hassling you to read your email or check your boss’ Slack messages.
That’s where Undisturbed comes in. It’s an app that improves Do Not Disturb, so you really don’t get disturbed.
Siri is great for setting reminders and timers, but in recent times Apple’s AI assistant has gotten a lot better at other things, too. For instance, sending iMessages to folks via your EarPods or AirPods, with your iPhone still in your pocket, works well enough that you can use it reliably all the time.
However, if Siri can’t pronounce the names of your contacts, then it’ll drive you crazy. Luckily, you can teach Siri to say these names correctly.
Two great new shelf apps for iPads running iOS 11 have launched recently, and both are worth a look. One is Yoink, which has a long history as a shelf app on the Mac. The other is Gladys, with distinguishes itself by being both super-simple to use, and full of geeky extras.
The secret of a good movie is in the editing. Well, the script, the lightning, the directing, the photography, and the acting are all important, but for home movies, you have little control over those.
So it’s down to the edit. And the most basic of edits is to lop the ends off a clip, to trim video and make it shorter. Watching excessively long clips is the equivalent of a conversation with someone who can’t ever get to the point. “Let me tell you about that time I fell out of the plane. It was a Tuesday. No, I think it was Wednesday. Wait, it must have been a Tuesday because …”
It’s painful. So, do yourself a favor and trim your video clips. Even if you’re not planning on combining your edits into a short movie, you should at least remove the cruft from anything you’re going to show. The good news is that it’s dead easy to trim video on Mac and iOS.
If you use emojis, the iOS keyboard is fantastic. It suggests emojis for you as you type words, and you can insert them into your messages with a tap. But what about the Mac? How can you add emojis with the keyboard on the desktop? And how can you force iOS to remember shortcuts for your favorite emoji on the iPhone and iPad? The answer to both is Text Replacement, which is built into both macOS and iOS.
Did you ever hold your iPhone in one hand, and a USB hard drive in the other, and look back and forth between them, muttering “Why, oh why?” Well, today we have good news for you. You still can’t hook them together with a wire, but with one app you can browse all kinds of external storage devices right from iOS 11’s new Files app.
Hard drive hooked up to your Time Capsule? Check. USB storage connected to your fancy router? Check. Home network storage devices that work great but have really hideous iOS apps to access them? Check. With this tip, you can put any of these in your Files app’s sidebar using the excellent FileBrowser app.