How to make animated GIFs of your iPhone screen in iOS 11

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workflow gif
Making screen-capture videos in iOS 11 is easy, and turning them into GIFs is even easier.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Thanks to the new screen-recording feature in iOS 11, you can now make a video of whatever you’re doing on your iDevice, and share it. I use this for how-tos (although ironically, not this one), developers can use it to make videos of their apps for the App Atore (the new iOS 11 App Store features videos quite prominently), and regular folks can use it to record a snippet of a YouTube video or suchlike. But what if you prefer to share your optimized video as a huge, bandwidth-hogging GIF instead?

Well, iOS has you covered there, too, but you’ll need to download Apple’s free Workflow app.

This magnetic sleeve is the first non-ridiculous Apple Pencil accessory

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magnetic apple pencil sleeve
Unlike most Apple Pencil accessories, this little sleeve doesn't fetishize a basic tool.
Photo: FRTMA

With the Apple Pencil getting so useful in the upcoming iOS 11, you might consider purchasing one for use with your iPad Pro. There are already a slew of accessories for the Pencil, most of which are utterly ridiculous, like this leather case — from Apple itself, no less.

As a longtime Apple Pencil user, though, one accessory has caught my eye. It’s the FRTMA magnetic sleeve, and it solves a whole bunch of Apple Pencil “problems” all at once.

How to draw on pictures in iOS 11 Notes app

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Notes app in iOS 11 lets you draw on pictures in your notes, and introduces papers.
Drawing on pictures is easier in iOS 11 Notes.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Leonardo Da Vinci

The new iOS 11 Notes app is already far better than the previous version, but this one new feature might tip you over the edge. Now you can draw on pictures with your Apple Pencil, just by tapping on them.

Previously, images and sketches lived side by side, but could never meet. Now, with the power to scrawl directly onto images, you can do all kinds of things. Example: I keep a blank sheet of guitar tab notation paper in the Files app, then drag it to a note and start writing on top of my template. That’s just one use. Another might be to draw mustaches on pictures of your workmates.

How to kill pesky sharing popups in Safari on Mac and iOS

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block sharing popups
From left to right -- original view, Kill Sticky view, and the built-in Safari Reader View.
Photo: Cult of Mac

You know those supper-annoying bars that so often hover over a web page on your iPhone? The ones that offer sharing popups for social media sites that you never use? The ones that cover up half the text you’re trying to read? The ones you hate so much you’d rather just close the browser tab than try to read the page through this aggressive frame of junk?

Well, there’s good news for you all: Software engineer Alisdair McDiarmid hates them, too. Only unlike you and me, who just sit around and complain about them, McDiarmid did something about this growing problem. Behold, the Kill Sticky bookmarklet, guaranteed to wipe the messiest page clean.

How to type faster with Key Flicks in iOS 11

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key flicks iOS 11
iOS 11's Key Flicks make typing on the iPad a whole lot easier.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The nice thing about an on-screen keyboard is that you can change how it works with a software update. That’s exactly what has happened in iOS 11. Now, the iPad keyboard uses something called Key Flicks to give fast access to double the number of keys, without changing the layout or making anything smaller. It does this by introducing a new gesture to access all those extra characters, and you’ll never have to press the 123 key.

How the iPhone made accessibility accessible to everyone

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The iOS Magnifier: You probably had no idea your iPhone has a built-in magnifying glass.
You probably had no idea your iPhone has a built-in magnifying glass.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

iPhone turns 10 Damon Rose is 46, and has been blind since he was a teenager. In 2012, the iPhone changed his life.

Rose, a senior broadcast journalist at the BBC, uses GPS to get around unfamiliar areas, with an earbud stuck in one ear, and uses a third-party app that tells him what shops he’s walking past. It’s “amazingly helpful,” he told Cult of Mac. “I can look at menus on restaurant websites while I’m sitting there with my first drink of the evening,” instead of having the waiter read out the menu.

The iPhone might not have been the first phone with accessibility features, but it was certainly the first popular pocket computer to be easily useable by the blind and the hearing-impaired.

iOS 11 makes Spotlight search super-powerful

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spotlight search in iOS 11
Spotlight in iOS 11 is a power-users dream, letting you find anything -- whether on the web on on your device -- fast.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Spotlight search gets a big overhaul in iOS 11. The Spotlight updates in initial beta versions of iOS 11 don’t seem quite as spectacular as the iPad’s new Dock, or drag-and-drop, but the small tweaks make the search tool a lot more useful.

Now you can search both your iPad and the web, similar to how you conduct a search in Safari. If you ever used Launchbar, Alfred or Quicksilver on the Mac, the new iOS 11 Spotlight will feel familiar.

iOS 11 turns the iPad into a legit Mac replacement

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iPad iOS 11
iOS 11 for iPad might be Apple's biggest new product this year.
Photo: Apple

Updated 27 June, 2017: This post now includes details about the iOS 11 public beta.

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote this June was so packed that even two-and-a-half hours didn’t seem like enough time. And yet the biggest announcement wasn’t new hardware, or a new app. It was an update.

Specifically, the iOS 11 update for the iPad, which turns Apple’s tablet from little more than a big iPhone into a full-featured touchscreen PC. In one go, Apple showed that it is still full-steam behind the iPad, and that a desktop-class touchscreen computer doesn’t have to actually run a desktop OS, like Microsoft’s Surface.

How to install iOS 11 public beta on your iPhone or iPad

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iOS 11 public beta
Now you can test out drag-and-drop, and all the other goodies in iOS 11.
Photo: Apple

Just three weeks after presenting iOS 11, and making the first iOS 11 betas available to developers, Apple has released a public beta of the next iPad and iPhone operating system. That means that anyone, including you, can sign up, download and run iOS 11 public beta on your iPhone or iPad. Doing so is super easy. Here’s how:

iOS 11 Dock makes Handoff worth using again

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iOS 11 handoff
Handoff apps appear in the Dock's rightmost spot.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Handoff is one of those iOS/Mac features that seems great, but is limited in use. However, a simple tweak has made Handoff waaaay better in iOS 11. Now, instead of having a tiny app icon appear in the corner of your lock screen, Handoff apps show up right there in the new iOS 11 Dock.

This simple change has gotten me using Handoff again, instead of ignoring it like I have for the past however many years.