Have fun with photos: How to copy and paste subjects in iOS 16

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Using iOS 16's Visual Look Up feature, you can instantly copy the subject out of your pictures.
In iOS 16, you can instantly copy the subject out of your pictures.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

One of the more surprising features in iOS 16 is the ability to cut out people from a picture (or a dog, a car, whatever’s in focus) and copy it into another app. You can send it in iMessage, paste it in a photo editing app, or use Universal Clipboard to paste it on a nearby iPad or Mac.

What’s it for? Well, it’s great for making stickers for WhatsApp and Snapchat, plus it’s a hell of a lot of fun. If you’re putting together a YouTube thumbnail or making memes, it can significantly cut down the time you spend precisely cutting out edges, but it’s by no means precise enough to use professionally.

iOS 16’s handy Developer Mode lets you run your own code

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Screenshot showing how to turn on Developer Mode to put your own apps on your iPhone.
You'll need to turn on Developer Mode to put your own apps on your iPhone.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Developer Mode is a security feature new to iOS 16. It will prevent unsigned code from running on your device — apps that are not on the App Store nor TestFlight. Most people can enjoy the added layer of security for free. But, this also means that if you’re writing your own apps in Xcode, you will need to enable Developer Mode before running your app on your iPhone or iPad.

Another reason you might turn on Developer Mode is to install AltStore, a popular open-source App Store alternative. With AltStore, you can easily run emulators for Nintendo games, a clipboard manager, Windows virtual machines and more.

Read on to see how to turn it on.

How to keep your data private after Roe v. Wade reversal

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This detailed guide will help you keep your data on your device and your device only.
This detailed guide will help you keep your data on your device and your device only.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

In the aftermath of Roe v. Wade being overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court, and Facebook turning over a teenager’s private chats about her abortion to police, protecting your data is more urgent than ever.

Your iPhone and Apple Watch, and third-party apps you use on them, efficiently capture data that could be used against you at a later date by law enforcement. We’re talking things like location data, ovulation records, text messages and your web-browsing history.

Keeping all your data private after Roe v. Wade to avoid prosecution could prove highly important. Luckily, Apple gives you powerful controls over how and where your data is stored. You just might need to adjust certain settings for maximum privacy.

Read on to dive deep into data security recommendations for iPhone, Apple Watch, and Mac.

The best keyboard Apple ever made, but smaller? [Review] ★★★★☆

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The Matias keyboard on my desk. The Mac sits on the mStand next to an Apple Cinema Display and Magic Trackpad.★★★★☆
The Matias keyboard is the spiritual successor to the greatest keyboard of all time, the Apple Extended Keyboard II.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

In its entire 46-year history, Apple has made only one truly great keyboard: the Apple Extended Keyboard II. Dating from 1987, the Apple Extended Keyboard II has been dubbed “the greatest computer keyboard of all time.

For me, the Extended Keyboard is the ultimate Goldilocks keyboard: it offers the perfect amount of travel, feel and sound. Alas, it was discontinued in 1994 and Apple hasn’t made a mechanical keyboard — with switches and springs beneath each key — since.

But fear not. The Matias Mini Tactile Pro keyboard is the Extended Keyboard’s spiritual successor: a modern mechanical keyboard in a mini package that plays nice with modern Macs.

But is it any good?

How to use advanced Apple Watch sleep stage tracking

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Sleep tracking on Apple Watch got much more advanced in watchOS 9.
Sleep tracking on Apple Watch got much more advanced in watchOS 9.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

If you have trouble sleeping, the Apple Watch might help you get to the bottom of what’s going on. New to watchOS 9, it can track what sleep stage you’re in. That means you can see if you’re not getting enough deep sleep or REM sleep, or if you’re waking up too often in the middle of the night. If you have insomnia or sleep apnea, this information could be very useful.

Read on to see how to use the advanced sleep stage tracking in watchOS 9.

Forget blur: How to cover faces and add emoji to photos

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The emoji in this picture are accurate representations of every picture of me until I was about 8. I didn't know how to smile for pictures and I did not care to learn.
The emoji in this picture are accurate representations of every picture of me until I was about 8. I didn't know how to smile for pictures and I did not care to learn.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

There are lots of times when you might want to cover up faces before posting pictures: Teachers often want to censor the faces of their students. Boudoir photographers (Google it) can censor explicit portions of their photography for social media. Foster parents who are legally prohibited from posting identifying pictures of children in their home can quickly cover them up. Forget trying to blur faces — there’s an app that makes covering up faces dead easy: MaskerAid.

If you’ve ever wanted to hide a face before posting a picture, MaskerAid (a pun on “masquerade”) will quickly censor faces with emoji. Unlike apps like Snapchat, MaskerAid will preserve the full quality and resolution of your pictures.

MaskerAid is the latest app by independent podcaster and developer Casey Liss. You can download MaskerAid here on the App Store for iPhone (there is no Android version). The app is free to try out with your own pictures, but to use the full set of emoji, you must pay a one-time purchase of $2.99.

Get emulators, clipboard history on your iPhone without jailbreaking

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Install the apps Apple doesn’t want on the App Store with AltStore.
Install the apps Apple doesn’t want on the App Store with AltStore.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Apple bans apps like emulators and clipboard history on your iPhone, but there’s a clever way to sideload these apps without jailbreaking.

The official App Store is the only way Apple wants you to get apps on the iPhone. If there’s an app that doesn’t fit Apple’s strict rules, it doesn’t get on the App Store at all.

Apple strictly forbids a few categories of apps. Emulators — apps that play games from old consoles like the Nintendo Entertainment System and GameBoy — are prohibited. Porn is not allowed either. System-wide features like clipboard managers — which are very popular and even downloadable on the Mac App Store — are not allowed on the iPhone. (My favorite is Maccy.)

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get these types of apps, though. You can install an alternative App Store for iPhone called AltStore right now with the help of a Mac or PC. With AltStore, you can install verboten apps like emulators and clipboard history without jailbreaking your iPhone.

How to find an iPhone with Apple Watch

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There are several ways you can quickly find a misplaced iPhone with another Apple device.
There are several ways you can quickly find a misplaced iPhone with another Apple device.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Everyone misplaces their iPhone.* You’re walking around, you set down your iPhone, you do some chores, you get ready to go. Where is it? If you own an Apple Watch, it really is the fastest way to find your lost iPhone.

It’s totally easy to ping your iPhone from your Apple Watch. At the push of a button, you can make your iPhone ring, even if it’s on silent. And, while you might know about the basic feature that lets you ping your iPhone, the Apple Watch also offer advanced options for tracking down your missing device.

Bonus: Even if you don’t own an Apple Watch, anyone in your Family Sharing group can ring your iPhone even louder with the Find My app. And if you don’t have a family, you can use any other device signed into your Apple account.

How to install the iOS 16 developer beta

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Get access to the new features and APIs in iOS 16 with the Developer Beta today.
Get access to the new features and APIs in iOS 16 with the Developer Beta today. Featuring my dog, Indy Anna Jones.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

iOS 16 was announced with some awesome, radical new features: a completely redesigned Lock Screen, a shared Photo Library for families, editing and un-sending iMessages, advanced new features in Maps and more. It’s especially hard this year to wait until September to get your hands on it.

Developers have a busy summer ahead of them, too. I spoke with some developers while at WWDC (no, I’m not done flexing that yet) and afterwards on Twitter. Developers are especially excited about creating Lock Screen widgets for their apps, using the new advanced features of SwiftUI and experimenting with the Live Text API.

But you don’t have to wait to get your hands on the beta. Registered developers can install the iOS 16 developer beta today. According to Apple, the Public Beta will be coming sometime in July. If you pay $99 for a developer account, installing the beta on your device is fast and easy. Here’s how.

Photos from WWDC22: Apple Park, the Apple Developer Center and more

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Looking back through the doors from outside.
Developers, students and press enjoyed a rare opportunity to visit the Apple Park campus during WWDC22.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac
WWDC22 - Brought to you by CleanMyMac X

CUPERTINO, California — For the first time, a big group of developers, students and media were allowed inside the very heart of Apple’s spaceship HQ during WWDC22.

The central office building, known as the Ring, is bigger than the Pentagon. Teams at Apple move in and out between other buildings as projects change — I met several ARKit engineers who recently moved in and were a bit vague on what they were working on. Interesting.

Previously, members of the media had been escorted to the Steve Jobs Theater for press events, which is another building off to the side of the sprawling Apple Park campus. However, the theater would have been much too small to fit the 1,000 developers, 350 students and hundreds of employees attending the WWDC22 keynote viewing party.

This special day for developers — an invitation-only, in-person event at this year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference — marked a big step in Apple’s efforts to boost developer trust. Apple also gave attendees a first look at the new Apple Developer Center located just across the street from the Ring.

See the full gallery below for more than 80 pictures of Apple’s campus.

It’s game day: On the ground at Apple Park [WWDC22 live blog]

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Apple is hosting a limited event at Apple Park for WWDC22.
Apple is hosting a limited event at Apple Park for WWDC22.
Photo: Arne Müseler, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, via Wikimedia Commons; Image: Apple
WWDC22 - Brought to you by CleanMyMac X

CUPERTINO, California — Apple is rolling out the red carpet for those lucky enough to attend its special day for developers at Apple Park on Monday. I am one of a handful of developers who will get to watch the WWDC22 keynote and Platforms State of the Union videos today “alongside Apple engineers and experts” here.

Free up space on an iPhone and iPad

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Get some space back on your phone to install the upcoming iOS 16 beta.
Get some space back on your phone to install the upcoming iOS 16 beta.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

If you have an older phone, you may struggle with storage space. The iPhone 6s and first iPhone SE, the oldest devices to run iOS 15, shipped with as little as 16 GB of storage space. Even the 7th generation iPod Touch, a product that was long in the tooth when it debuted, shipped with 32 GB on the base model. How can you clear iPhone storage when you have such little wiggle room?

Perhaps you’re dedicated to keeping your old phone working until the iPhone 14 models are released this September. Maybe you need to clear up space on a spare device to install the anticipated developer beta of iOS 16 when it is released this June.

Whatever the case, read on to clear storage on your iPhone and iPad.

How to partition your Mac hard drive for the macOS beta

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Partitioning your Mac storage is very easy with the built-in tools.
Partitioning your Mac storage is very easy with the built-in tools.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

A good way to separate your data is to partition your Mac hard drive. A partition splits your storage into two spaces, like putting a trunk divider in your car. The most common use case is to install a second operating system on the same computer. In college, I had a separate partition so I could boot into Ubuntu, and a third partition with Windows. With today’s Macs running Apple silicon, there’s no easy way to natively install Windows or Linux… yet.

But you’re probably here so you can install the beta version of macOS 13. The developer beta is anticipated for release the first week of June at WWDC22, Apple’s annual developer conference. The smart way to install it — especially with the developer betas, which can be notoriously rocky — is to use a separate partition.

The Mac comes with a very handy tool to partition your hard drive for free. Read on to partition your hard drive with Disk Utility.

Clear space on your Mac for betas, photos, movies and more

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Clear up storage using the macOS System Information tool and CleanMyMac X.
Clear up storage using the macOS System Information tool and CleanMyMac X.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Death, taxes and running out of storage on your Mac; few things in life are as certain.

But now is the time to do something about it. Apple is about to unveil the next version of macOS at its Worldwide Developers Conference next week, and if you want to install the public beta, you’ll need at least 3GB of free space to install it. You’ll need even more if you follow our recommendation to install it on a separate partition. (Our guide on that will be out soon.)

Whatever the reason you need more storage, read on to learn how to tidy up your Mac.

Caviar for breakfast? How Apple plans to pamper WWDC22 attendees.

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Apple is hosting a limited event at Apple Park for WWDC22.
Apple is hosting a limited event at Apple Park for WWDC22.
Photo: Arne Müseler, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, via Wikimedia Commons; Image: Apple
WWDC22 - Brought to you by CleanMyMac X

Lucky attendees who get to visit Apple Park for a special WWDC22 developer day are getting the red carpet treatment, including caviar for breakfast.

The menu for the event includes a smoked salmon and caviar bagel made from “house smoked salmon, mascarpone cream, Tobiko black caviar, Persian cucumber, [and] micro horseradish,” which asks more questions than it answers. What on earth is micro horseradish?

Get the most battery life out of your MacBook

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Get the most battery life out of your Mac.
Get the most battery life out of your Mac.
Image: Apple

How do you kill that which cannot die? The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro boast industry-leading battery life. In the PC world, the high power consumption of Intel processors means you generally must choose between battery life and performance.

The latest MacBooks use Apple’s own custom chips, cut from the same cloth as the iPhone and iPad chips Apple has been designing since 2010 (and, in a roundabout way, the one they made for the Apple Newton in 1994). This is what powers them to last all day at full speed.

If you want to take your M1 Max MacBook Pro to the coffee shop to get work done, and you leave your power cable at home — even if you’re editing 8K ProRes video streams in Final Cut Pro — you still might be ordering lunch and staying through dinner. How could one possibly need more battery life, and how do you get it?

How to make Twitter fun again

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Twitter can be… fun? Preliminary research suggests it can.
Twitter can be ... fun? Preliminary research suggests it can.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Twitter: the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. People have been talking quite a bit about Twitter lately.

When friends of mine complain about how they don’t enjoy using Twitter, I used to be confused. Twitter is what you make it. If you don’t like Twitter, you can simply follow different accounts and get a completely different experience.

It’s important to note that none of my friends have tens of thousands of followers and/or are regularly harassed on Twitter. That can be a very different experience outside of one’s power to control, to put it lightly.

Twitter has changed, and now, the people you follow might have very little bearing on what you actually see on Twitter at all. Here are my tips on how to take back control of your timeline and make Twitter enjoyable.

How to make Podcasts use less storage

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Clear up space with new Podcasts settings in iOS 15.5.
Clear up space with new Podcasts settings in iOS 15.5.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

You can clear up a big chunk of your iPhone’s storage space by limiting how many podcasts you keep downloaded.

iOS 15.5, which Apple released Monday, introduces a feature to automatically limit the number of episodes you have downloaded in your podcast library. If you struggle with storage on your iPhone, enabling this setting will give you more space. It’ll automatically clear out downloads if you don’t listen right away, along with any backlog of old episodes.

Get started with Focus modes and eliminate unwanted distractions

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These are my custom Driving and Writing Home Screens.
Find out how to use Focus modes on iPhone, iPad and Mac. Your frazzled nerves will thank you.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Apple’s new Focus feature is like Do Not Disturb on steroids. It is much smarter than the Do Not Disturb of old. Since not all work or relaxation is created equal, you can set up Focus modes for specific situations to keep unwanted distractions at bay.

When you’re working, you might want email and Slack to come through, unless you’re in a meeting.

When you’re at home, you may want most notifications to come through, but not if you’re having have friends over, playing games or watching a show.

This article will cover setting up Focus modes on iOS 15. If you have the latest iPhone, a brand-new Mac or you’ve kept up with software updates, you’ll want to check out our guide for iOS 16.

If you have an old device and you want to see how Focus modes work, keep reading.

Your iPhone can alert you to breaking glass, smoke alarms and other dangers

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Get alerts for alarms, door bells, dogs, appliances and more.
Get alerts for alarms, door bells, dogs, appliances and more.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

The other day I was walking with music blasting through my AirPods when I almost stepped in front of a speeding ambulance.

Luckily, the magical Sound Recognition feature on my iPhone was turned on and my AirPods recognized the wailing sirens. They silenced the music and piped the sirens into my ears instead, saving my bacon. It was amazing and quite magical.

Your iPhone can also listen and alert you for crying babies, running water, knocks on the door, barking dogs and more.

Here’s how to use it.

Stop following me! Tweak iPhone location settings to keep spies at bay.

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You can see all of the locations your iPhone thinks are significant and turn off the location features in Settings.
Your iPhone keeps track of locations you visit frequently.
Photo: Rawpixel Ltd, CC BY 2.0 / Wikimedia Commons

If you’re uncomfortable with social media apps tracking your movements, here’s how to stop them using your iPhone’s built-in Location Services.

Or if you’re moving to a different city or to a new job, it can be annoying seeing travel suggestions to the wrong place. Resetting your location history will start from a clean slate.

If you find yourself traveling to a country with an authoritarian government, as everyone attending this year’s Olympics were, clearing your phone’s location history is a safe bet.

These moves may also protect you from shady data brokers, who spy on and sell your movements.

Here’s how to do it.

Meet friends, track kids, send your ETA: How to use location sharing on iPhone

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How to share your location on iPhone: Location sharing is a powerful iOS feature that can quickly connect you with friends and family.
Location sharing is a powerful iOS feature that can quickly connect you with friends and family.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Location sharing is a highly versatile and useful feature of iOS. When you’re trying to meet up with someone, traveling in a new place or spending a day out with friends, you can quickly share where you all are. It proves super-handy in big public spaces like malls, amusement parks and stadiums.

Giving directions on precisely where to pick up someone along a street block or in a parking lot is made much easier by sending a pin in an iMessage chat. With Family Sharing, I can see if my wife is on her way home without first sharing her ETA in Apple Maps. Another benefit is that I can use Find My to ping her phone if it’s lost in the house.

Here’s how to use location sharing.

Make sense of your epic screen recording by adding a voiceover

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Combine microphone audio with your screen recordings to add voiceover.
Combine microphone audio with your screen recordings to add voiceover.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

iOS 11 added screen recording to the iPhone and iPad, allowing you to make videos of your device’s screen. You can use it to copy videos you can’t just download, record game play, show someone how to use an app and more. Personally, I use it most often to record bugs and crashes in the apps I use so I can submit bug reports.

But did you know that you can record a voiceover, too? Here’s how.

Make your iPhone read text out loud

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Spoken Content Settings (Big)
Your iPhone can read text from websites and iMessages (and even words in photos). Here's how to make it happen.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

The iPhone is renowned for its many accessibility features. Accessibility settings can make text on the screen bigger, buttons easier to identify, animations less jarring and sound easier to hear.

An accessibility feature that is useful for everyone is Spoken Content. You can have your phone read out loud anything you have on-screen. This feature was designed for people who have trouble reading small text, but you will find it handy even if you don’t — in lots of situations.

You can have recipes read to you while your hands are busy cooking, quickly hear how to pronounce a word you don’t know — that’s what I use it for most of all — and more. You can even hear what you’re typing as you write.

Here’s how to turn on Spoken Content.