GarageBand for Mac now syncs your projects with iOS

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sync GarageBand on Mac
Now you can sync GarageBand projects from Mac to iOS.
Photo: Cult of Mac

GarageBand’s most recent update for macOS adds a few neat new Mac-only features, but perhaps its biggest addition is for iPad users. Now the Mac version of GarageBand can sync a cut-down version of any song with the iPad or iPhone, allowing you to add new tracks, then sync them back with the master project back on your Mac. It’s a feature that only came to Logic in January of this year.

This is big, because it lets musicians use the full power of the Mac GarageBand in their studio or bedroom, and still add tracks to that project from a phone. You could, for instance, take a mix with you to band practice, lay down some new tracks on your iPhone, then sync them back.

How to use iOS 11’s new Automatic Setup

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automatic setup
In iOS 11, you won't need to remember anything when you get a new iPhone.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Apple

Setting up a new iOS device is pretty easy, but it’s about to get even easier thanks to iOS 11’s new Automatic Setup feature, which lets you hold your old device near your new one to transfer across essential info.

All you need to set up a new iOS device are your iCloud login details, and the password for your WiFi network. But even that can be a bit of a pain, especially if you use a super-secure passwords that you store in something like 1Password. In order to get to your passwords, you need to install 1Password. But in order to install 1Password, you need to input your iCloud ID and your WiFi login. Automatic Setup will put an end to that.

How to use Instant Notes and Instant Markup in iOS 11

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instant markup and notes
Instant Markup and Instant Notes are designed with a touchscreen in mind.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The Apple Pencil is way more useful in iOS 11 than it ever was before. That’s down to three new features. One is inline drawing in the Notes app, which lets you just start drawing anywhere in the middle of a text note. The other two, which we’ll cover today, are Instant Notes and Instant Markup, only one of which is actually instant.

Instant Notes lets you tap the lock screen of your iPad Pro, and have the iPad launch into a note, ready to draw or jot. It makes the iPad almost as convenient as a piece of paper in terms of just writing. Instant Markup, which is the least “instant” of the two, is a persistent, system-wide way to turn the screen into a PDF and mark it up.

Europe just abolished all roaming charges

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sim wallet roaming
This doesn't have to be you.
Photo: CC Karl Baron Flickr

Today, roaming charges have been dropped across the European Union. If you live in Berlin and travel to Budapest, you can keep using your existing data plan at no extra cost, and you keep (more or less) the same data allowance. That’s neat for Europeans, but it’s also good news for international travelers, because you only need to buy one SIM card at the start of your trip, and then you’re covered until you go home.

Find and delete storage-hogging iMessage chats in iOS 11

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iMessage storage
iMessage gets a bunch of new space-saving features in iOS 11 beta.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Maybe, if you opt for one of the new 512GB iPads, you won’t have to worry about storage space. But for everyone else, iOS 11 has you covered. Now, under a new section in settings, you can whittle down the storage used by the iMessage app, weeding out old conversations, revealing oversized attachments, and even check to see which conversations are taking up the most space.

Let’s see how to use it.

iWork update adds hundreds of cool new emoji-style symbols

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iWork symbols
Apple invents clip art!
Photo: Cult of Mac

The iWork suite just got an update across iOS and macOS, with some neat new features for Keynote, Pages, and Numbers. But the headline new feature is the addition of a brand new Shapes Library across all the apps. You know that section that always let you put little squares and circles into your documents? That’s still there, but those lame-o shapes have been joined by hundreds of new shapes that will actually be useful. They’re kind of like silhouetted emojis.

How to scan and mark up paper with Notes app in iOS 11

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scan notes
Scanning paper documents is easy in the iOS 11 Notes app.
Photo: Cult of Mac

In iOS 11, the Notes app really wants to become the go-to place for you to dump all your ideas, all your snippets, and all your, uh, PDF scans. New in iOS 11 is the ability to scan a sheet of paper right there in the Notes app, then scrawl on it using the new PDF markup features built into Apple’s new mobile OS>

Potentially, the Notes app in iOS 11 will be able to replace apps like Evernote (aka “Everbloat”), as well as purpose-built scanning apps like Scanner Pro. Let’s see how to make a scan, and if the Notes app does enough to be your sole go-to notes destination.

How to use iOS 11’s password autofill for apps

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iOS 11 password autofill
This key is the key to your securi-tey.
Photo: Cult of Mac

iOS 11 extends Safari’s password autofill out of the browser and inside apps. In iOS 11, when you download a new app — a Twitter app, say, or an email client — then you won’t have to visit your password manager of choice, then copy and paste a username and password between apps. Instead, if you already let Safari save the password in the browser, it will be automatically supplied in the app, too.

iOS 11 Notes app finally lets you search notes when you save

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search notes iOS 11
iOS 11 lets you narrow down your target notes by search whenever you save a new snippet.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple’s Notes app got a few headline updates in the iOS 11 section of the 2017 WWDC Keynote — in-line sketches and handwriting recognition for example — but there’s another tiny tweak that might be an even bigger deal than those two. Now, when you use the Share arrow to send a URL, snippet of text, or anything else, to the Notes app, you can search your existing notes, and choose which one you want to add it to.

This is huge, and takes Notes from being a higgledy-piggledy junk drawer to being a real replacement for things like Evernote and Microsoft’s One Note. Now you can keep a note for, say, planning an upcoming vacation, and easily add new places and plans to it as you find them, or quickly add links to a book reading list.

Everything you need to know about the new Files app on iOS 11

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files app ios11
Files is like the Finder for iOS 11.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Files is the new Finder app for iOS 11, and it’s already about a million times better than the basic file-picker it replaces — iCloud Drive. Files is a central place from which to access all the files on your iDevice, and in iCloud. You can find, organize, open, and delete all the files on your device, in iCloud, and on 3rd-party storage services like Dropbox. And because this is iOS 11, Files supports all the fancy new multitasking features like drag-and-drop.

So, lets take a look at what it can do: