How to use a GIF for your iPhone wallpaper

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Look at this wallpaper. Just look at it.Look at this wallpaper. Just look at it.
Look at this wallpaper. Just look at it.
Photo: Jake Cvnningham/Flickr CC

Wouldn’t it be great if you could take that awesome (and hilarious!) GIF, and use it as an animated wallpaper for your iPhone? You could wake your iPhone, press on the screen, and watch the action unfold. Over and over. And over.

Sadly, GIF wallpapers are impossible. Or are they? Well, you can’t set an actual GIF to run as your lock-screen wallpaper, but you can convert any GIF into a Live Photo, and use that to animate your iPhone’s lock screen.

Here’s how.

How to add your own music to your iPhone without iTunes

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Add your own music to your iPhone without iTunes.
Add your own music to your iPhone without iTunes.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Maybe in iOS 13 we’ll be able to add songs to our music iPhone libraries without having to wake up a Mac or PC running iTunes. Until then, there’s no way to listen to songs downloaded from Bandcamp, or exported from GarageBand, alongside the rest of your music collection.

But there’s a workaround. Vox is a slightly confusing music app that combines your built-in Apple Music library with your Soundcloud, Spotify, and other services. And it will also let you import any audio file, and then add it to playlists and so on. Let’s check it out.

How to remove Siri from MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar

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Free your Touch Bar from Siri's evil grasp.
Free your Touch Bar from Siri's evil grasp.
Photo: Aaron Yoo/Flickr CC

Maybe you’re one of the non-vocal majority that doesn’t mind the Touch Bar. Perhaps you even like it. And maybe, at the same time, you can’t see the point of Siri on the Mac.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could tailor your MacBook Pro just for you? A lovely, handy, beautiful Touch Bar, only without that dumbo Siri? Well, yes it would. Here’s how to remove Siri from the Macbook’s Touch Bar.

iOS 13 wishlist: 6-ish ways Apple could improve audio

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This is what pre-iOS 13 audio looks like to a visitor from next year.
This is what pre-iOS 13 audio looks like to a visitor from next year.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

 

There’s one big thing I wish for when I kneel next to my bed at night, cross my fingers and think of iOS 13: better audio. Not better quality audio. That’s already great. I just want better control, and better features.

And this isn’t just specialized podcasting or music-making stuff. There are problems everywhere. You know how when you’re listening to music, and you open up the camera app, and your music stops playing? That kind of problem. Which is number one one on my list by the way. Check out the rest:

How to escape iPad autocorrect text-entry nightmares

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Escape the nightmare that is iOS autocorrect.
Escape the nightmare that is iOS autocorrect.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/ Cult of Mac

I love and hate typing on the iPad Pro’s on-screen keyboard. I love that it’s a proper keyboard, with a number row, and extra punctuation keys. But I hate that auto-correction is more of a comedy lexical lottery than an actual correction feature. So I finally decided to do something about it. I switched off autocorrect on my iPad, and here’s what happened.

Fiery Feeds adds Instapaper-like universal read-later service

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Some illustrative fire.
Some illustrative fire.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Fiery Feeds is my favorite RSS reader app on iOS. It strikes the perfect balance between power, good looks, and ease of use. For instance, you can customize the entire look of the app with themes, you can set it to share stories to your chosen apps with a single swipe, and the whole thing is navigated with swipes. Version 2.2 just showed up, and it’s a biggie. Apart from some neat UI changes, Fiery Feeds now has iCloud syncing, and its own built-in Instapaper alternative.

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Shopping cart/refund metaphor.
Shopping cart/refund metaphor.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Bunch launches groups of apps from the Mac’s Dock

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I couldn’t find any photos of grapes, so here’s a bunch of strawberries instead.
I couldn’t find any photos of grapes, so here’s a bunch of strawberries instead.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Bunch is a new Mac utility from Brett ‘I Just Made This’ Terpstra, the developer of the nvAlt Mac notes app. Bunch sits in your Mac’s Dock, and lets you launch groups, or bunches, of app with one click. You could, for instance, have a Work bunch, which launches your writing app, your mail app, your calendar app, and more. You get the idea.

But there’s more to it than that. Bunch can also quit apps, open web pages, run Applescripts, and even attempt to make your chosen app the frontmost app when it launches. It’s very handy indeed.