How to enable iPhone Photos extensions

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Photo filters can be subtle or … not.
Photo filters can be subtle or … not.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The Apple’s Photos app offers a very good set of editing tools. On both Mac and iOS, you can pick filters or perform a quick fix with the auto feature. You can also really dig in with some tools that are easily as comprehensive as anything on iOS.

These tools rival many desktop photo apps, but sometimes you want to do something extra-fancy. Maybe you have a favorite filters app. Or you want to combine two photos side by side in one frame or overlay one picture on another. Or use an app that lets you remove distractions in the frame, like power lines, cars or trash. Then you need to turn to Photos extensions.

Castro, Hookpad 2, Ribn, and other awesome apps of the week

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Awesome Apps
'Appy weekend.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Did you know that Adobe’s Lightroom CC for iPhone has a fantastic camera built in? Or that you can now listen to any audio file in the Castro podcast app, just by dropping it into an iCloud folder? Or that you can make a catchy song in your iPad’s web browser using Hookpad 2? Well, now you do.

These are the awesome apps making waves this week.

How to delete all your tweets

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Even this little birdy is deleting his tweets.
Even this little birdy is deleting his tweets.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Twitter is like that part of town where City Hall just lets anyone open up a bar or a restaurant. It’s lively, and it’s where everyone hangs out, but you certainly don’t want to take the wrong side street late at night. Maybe you’re ready to leave Twitter, thanks to its continued censorship of unknown individuals and simultaneous encouragement of hate speech and lies by more famous people and organizations.

If you’re serious about ditching Twitter, then you probably want to delete your tweets. Twitter feeds off “engagement.” If you delete your tweets, you leave nothing to engage with (although their “content” has probably been mined clean already). If you delete your tweets, and change your Twitter bio to say you’ve quit, this sends a stronger message than just slipping out the side door. It also helps stop someone else from pretending to be you.

Write catchy songs in your browser with Hookpad 2

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Anyone can compose a hit song in Hookpad 2
Anyone can compose a hit song in Hookpad 2
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Hookpad is a web app for music composition, and it’s also a killer way to learn about music theory. Hookpad and its companion theory app/book have been around for a while. The problem was, it only worked on the desktop. Hookpad 2 is a complete rewrite, and it works just great in mobile Safari. You can even save it to your home screen.

Use an Apple Pencil with your iPhone with this dumb hack

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Apple Pencil Hack
Wrap this paper napkin around an Apple Pencil, and add water. What could possibly go wrong?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The Apple Pencil is easily the best stylus for any tablet computer, but thanks to the deep hardware ties that make it work so well with the iPad, it won’t work with anything else. Or will it? With this messy hack, you can make your Apple Pencil work with your iPhone. Or with any smartphone or tablet.

Why you should use iOS 12’s Do Not Disturb at Bedtime all day long

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Do Not Disturb at Bedtime all day
You could enjoy this peaceful situation all day long.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

iOS 12’s best new feature may be Do Not Disturb at Bedtime. That sounds boring, but ask anyone who has been using the beta and they’ll tell you that it rocks. Apart from being active overnight, the main difference between regular Do Not Disturb and the new “at Bedtime” flavor is that all notifications are hidden from the lock screen until you deliberately swipe up on the screen to reveal them.

Regular Do Not Disturb suppresses audio and vibrating alerts, but the notifications still appear on the lock screen. You’ll see them any time you pick up your iPhone or unlock your iPad. This can make the difference between enjoying your hooky afternoon at the beach in peace or worrying the whole time because you accidentally saw that Slack message from your boss.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could take the regular Do Not Disturb and make it hide your alerts all day long? The good news is that you totally can.

Load any audio file into Castro by dropping it into an iCloud folder

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Podcasting is like radio, only way better castro
Podcasting is like radio, only way better.
Photo: Tom Page/Flickr

Castro, one of our favorite podcast apps, just added two really great new features that aren’t yet available elsewhere. The first is the ability to load any audio file into the app, just by dropping it into a folder in your iCloud Drive. The second lets you preselect the podcast chapters you want to listen to.

How to work when it’s really, really noisy

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Construction noise can drive you crazy.
Construction noise can drive you crazy.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

As I write this, there’s a truck outside my window using its crane to shovel molten blacktop onto the street. Its diesel engine is revving hard, and has been for the last half hour. For the past two years, there’s been an apartment building under construction across the street from my office. Starting at (and often before) 7 a.m., six days a week, I’ve enjoyed a symphony of pumped cement, circular saws screeching through thin metal sheets, over-revved forklifts, and drilling into reinforced concrete.

I mention this to tell you that I know a thing or two about writing in a noisy spot. I also know how to stop it driving you nuts.