Download Instagram photos with this Siri shortcut

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Download Instagram
You can download any Instagram photo -- even this one.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you like a photo or video on Instagram, you can like it, or you can save it to your collection. But what about just saving it? You just can’t download Instagram photos.

This week, a friend of mine posted some awesome videos he shot on tape back in the 1980s. I don’t want to dig around in Instagram’s ever-more-convoluted app just to watch them. I want to save them to my iPhone’s Photo Library. Instagram doesn’t let you save an image. Even if you copy the Instagram link using the share feature, then open that image in iPhone Safari, you can’t get at the image.

So I made a shortcut to do it for me. Check it out.

Photoshop for iPad will be useless without the keyboard [Opinion]

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photoshop for iPad
A keyboard is as essential to Photoshop as a screen.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

When Photoshop comes to the iPad next year, it will apparently be the full desktop version, with the same code base, shrunk down to run on iOS. At launch, a few features will be missing, but the plan is parity between desktop and iOS versions.

But there’s one thing that will ruin the iPad version of Photoshop from day one — a lack of keyboard shortcuts.

How to get a lock-screen weather forecast every morning

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Watch out! Here comes some weather
Watch out! Here comes some weather
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

How would you like to have the day’s weather forecast show up on your iPhone or iPad’s lock screen every morning? Every morning, after a peaceful alarm rouses you gently from your slumber, you can look at your iPhone and see how the day’s weather will unfold. And this is all built-in, no third-party apps or hacks required. You just have to know how to switch on lock screen weather.

This Siri Shortcut lets you ditch Google Maps for Apple Maps

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Apple Maps shortcut
No amount of force-touching will open this in Apple Maps.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you click a Google Maps link on your iPhone, it either opens in the Google Maps app or — if the app isn’t installed — it opens Google Maps in Safari. But what if you prefer to have that link open in Apple Maps? To good news is tat it’s an easy fix, using iOS 12’s new Shortcuts app. Let’s see this cool Apple Maps shortcut.

Use Shortcuts to share a beautiful grid of your photos

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Shortcuts created this photo grid with just a few taps.
Shortcuts created this grid with just a few taps.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Today we’re going to make a Siri Shortcut that takes a bunch of photos you took — today, or any day — and combines them into a great-looking photo grid. It then shares that grid with friends. All you have to do it tap a button or speak a Siri command.

This is a really great way to share photos of an event, a trip to a fancy restaurant, or just an overview of your day. It also shows how easy it is to build a powerful shortcut to perform a task that would take forever to do manually in Photoshop. Let’s check it out.

How to use Instagram’s new secure two-factor login

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Here is yet another lazy photographic metaphor for computer security.
Here is yet another lazy photographic metaphor for computer security.
Photo: Jon Seidman/Flickr CC

Instagram has finally added proper secure authentication to its iPhone app. Previously, you could have Instagram send you a one-time login code via SMS every time you signed in. But SMS isn’t secure, making it relatively easy for people to hijack.

Now, you can use your favorite authenticator app — Google Authenticator, for instance — to generate a one-time code any time you need to sign in to Instagram.

Just how waterproof is the iPhone XS anyway?

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Don't be a afraid of the water ip68
Don't be a afraid of the water.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The iPhone XS and XS Max both have an updated water-resistance rating compared to previous iPhones. The iPhone X has an IP67 rating, whereas the new models have IP68. But what does that mean? In practical terms, it means you never have to worry about dropping your iPhone in the toilet. But the code actually means a lot more than that.

How to shoot stunning black-and-white photos on iPhone

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This wasn't taken on an iPhone, but it could have been.
This wasn't taken on an iPhone, but it could have been.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Black-and-white photos aren’t just regular photos with the color taken out. Or rather, they are exactly that, but they are also more than that. A B&W portrait can seem to say more about the subject than a colorful version, for instance. B&W is also ideal for showing more graphic images. Take a color photo of scaffolding and it looks super-dull. Take the same photo in B&W, jack up the contrast, and it becomes a stark grid — way more interesting to look at.

There’s much more to taking a B&W photo than just removing the color. For instance, did you know that a color filter will have a startling effect on a B&W photo? Let’s take a look at some of the tricks to capturing and editing stunning black-and-white images.

How to customize and use your Instagram Nametag

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What should you never do to the Hoff?
This is what The Hoff's instagram tag could look like.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Instagram just added Nametags to its app, to make it easier to share your account with other people. Instead of forcing them to try to remember your Instagram username, you can just show them your Instagram Nametag, and they scan it from their own Instagram app.

It’s a neat feature, already in use on Snapchat. And — of course — you can customize your Nametag. Lets check it out.