Yes, you can still take photo bursts with iPhone 11. Here’s how.

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balloons photo burst mode
Any one of these balloons could burst at any time.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Before the iPhone 11, holding down the shutter button in the camera app would capture a burst of photos. That was great for capturing action, or for making sure you get a group photo where everyone has their eyes open (and is grimace-free). But press and hold the shutter on the iPhone 11, and you get a QuickTake video.

Fortunately, burst mode is still there. It’s just hidden behind a secret gesture.

Is neumorphism the big new look for iOS 14?

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Flat UI elements, bolstered with real-world visual cues, make neumorphism easy to
Flat UI elements, bolstered with real-world visual cues, make neumorphism easy to "read."
Photo: MazePizel/Dribbble

Take one look at any screenshot from a pre-iOS 7 iPhone, and you’ll wonder how we ever used such a hideous interface for so many years. The skeumorphic design language included so much fake wood, glossy plastic and gray gradient that there’s almost nowhere to put the actual contents of the app.

iOS 7 went way too far in the opposite direction, with flat white pages and skinny text. Is that a button? Is it just a label? Can I press it? Who knows? We’re still suffering from this UI ambiguity today, in iOS 13. Text got thicker, but it’s still hard to know what to press, and what is just there to be read.

Clearly, there’s a space between these two extremes. Something as clean as iOS 7 and, at the same time, as obvious and usable as iOS 6 and previous versions. But what would that look like? I know what I want it to look like. It’s called “neumorphism,” and it looks fantastic.

How to get free TV in any hotel

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Hook that giant hotel TV up to your iPad
Hook that giant hotel TV up to your iPad.
Photo: Paul Postema/Unsplash

Switch on a hotel TV, and you’ll likely run into its paywall very quickly. You probably don’t want to view any of the hotel’s stupid pay channels, but maybe you do want to hook up your iPad and watch some of the shows you brought along with you.

You’re typically still out of luck, though. These locked-up TVs won’t let you access their HDMI ports. Nor will they let you connect via AirPlay, if they even support Apple’s streaming protocol. However, there’s an absurdly easy way to disable all this dumb “security” and watch video from your iPad or iPhone to a hotel TV.

This shortcut mutes iPhone audio when you enter Do Not Disturb

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mute audio orange speaker
Quiet!
Photo: Oleg Laptev/Unsplash

The Do Not Disturb mode built into iOS is excellent. It hides incoming alerts, and generally stops you from being disturbed by outside forces. But it won’t save you from yourself. What if you accidentally click on a YouTube link or — more likely — that GIF you clicked in Tweetbot turns out to be a noisy video? The sudden racket will surely wake your spouse.

Today we’ll see how to make a shortcut that automatically silences your iPhone whenever it enters Do Not Disturb mode.

How sneaky kids use AirPods to ‘talk’ in class

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fake AirPods talk in class
Totally legit Apple AirPods.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

When I was a kid, we communicated in class by writing notes on pieces of paper, and passing them to other kids. It was called “passing notes,” and is now probably taught in schools as an artisanal pastime, along with “going outside” and conkers. In 2020, kids use insane workarounds to avoid actual writing.

Today we’ll see how to “pass notes” using nothing but two $700 iPhones and two $160 pairs of AirPods.

SwitchGlass is a supercharged Dock replacement for Mac

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SwitchGlass -- almost exactly the same as the Dock.
SwitchGlass -- almost exactly the same as the Dock.
Photo: John Siracusa

SwitchGlass is a handy new Mac app from John Siracusa. It’s like a superpowered dock, conceptually honed from the regular macOS dock by removing some annoyances, and adding some extra subtleties. It’s certainly not the most powerful dock-replacement app out there, but if your needs align with Siracusa’s, then you’re going to love it.

What’s the point of drag and drop on the iPad?

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Even the Magic Mouse combines touch, drag and drop better than the iPad.
Even the Magic Mouse combines touch, drag and drop better than the iPad.
Photo: Harpal Singh/Unsplash

The iPad added drag and drop in iOS 11. We’re now on the third version of iOS to support this potentially super-useful feature, and yet it still doesn’t work. Third-party app support remains spotty and inconsistent. And, worse, drag and drop doesn’t work properly even in some of Apple’s own apps.

What’s going on?

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subscription-renewal emails
This is how subscription-renewal emails used to arrive.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac