Quick Tip: Stop Mac Spaces rearranging themselves

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find-the-lady
Dealing with Spaces' default behaviour feels like trying to battle a street magician.
Photo: Rich Anderson/Flickr CC

If you use Spaces on your Mac, then there may be one “feature” that annoys the hell out of you. Do you keep nicely-arranged workspaces for specific tasks? Do you like to always have your text editor in the middle Space, and your slacking off apps (Twitter, Slack) out in the very last space of all?

That’s neat, but macOS can drive you crazy by forever rearranging your Spaces, so that your Twitter and Tumblrs end up where your work Space should be. Fortunately, it’s a one-click fix.

Emergency Bypass lets selected contacts punch through Do Not Disturb

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sofa
Now you can finally relax and take that siesta, without missing texts from your loved ones.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The iPhone’s Do Not Disturb feature really is great. It silences your phone on a daily schedule, so you never need to worry about being woken up by a Facebook alert, or some other useless beep. But maybe you want to be disturbed by certain people. Maybe your teenage kids are out late, or your better half is away on a trip. Is there a way to let their calls and texts punch through the Do Not Disturb shield? Well, yes, there is! It’s called Emergency Bypass, and here’s how to enable it.

How to mute iMessage threads, and spot those you accidentally silenced

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shhh mute iMessage
Shut those annoying conversations up right now.
Photo: Shawn Rossi/Flickr CC

Have you ever had your regular (important) messages swamped by a flurry of notifications for that inane group conversations about match-flavored Kit Kats? Or maybe you want to keep your iPad’s notifications switched on, but you want to mute iMessages messages from your boss until Monday, because she has no concept of boundaries? Then you need iMessage’s handy conversation-muting feature. It’s so easy to use that you may have turned it on by mistake. If you’re no longer getting alerts for certain messages, you may want to check this, too.

Top 10 tips for swimming with Apple Watch

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The Apple Watch touch screen is disabled in waterproof mode, so how do you finish your workout?
How to use your Apple Watch in the swimming pool when you’re soaking.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Your Apple Watch loves getting wet (provided you own a Series 2 or 3). But when you start a swimming workout, the waterproof mode kicks in automatically, which means the Apple Watch touchscreen stops working. So how are you supposed to use it?

Swimming with Apple Watch certainly takes a bit of getting used to. But if you check out our top 10 tips before you dive in, you’ll discover your smartwatch is almost as indispensable in the pool as your Speedo. Almost.

How to add sketches and diagrams to emails in iOS 11

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Drawing
If you misspell your markups, you can even go back and edit them before sending.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel / Cult of Mac

If you’re explaining something to another human in person, you’ll often reach for a pencil and paper to make it easier. Perhaps you’re drawing a map, or a quick diagram of that chest of drawers you think would look great in the guest room.

And that’s in person, where gestures and feedback from the listener help communication. Given the limits of email, then, wouldn’t a sketch, chart, or diagram be even more useful? The answer is a resounding “probably,” and the best news you’ll hear today is that it is dead easy to add a drawing to your emails, even without an Apple pencil, and even on an iPhone.

Awesome Apple Watch tricks to get the most out of your wearable

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Apple Watch Series 3
Make the most of your Apple Watch with these handy tips.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch truly became a useful device with the release of the Series 3. LTE connectivity, more accurate heart rate monitoring, and faster hardware make the Apple Watch a joy to use.

With all the features and functions Apple advertises, there are still plenty of hidden tips and tricks for users to discover. Check out seven of my favorites in our latest video:

How to hook up a USB audio device to your Mac

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mackie-blackjack
Mackie's Blackjack works equally well with iOS and Mac.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you want to listen to music on your Mac, you either suffer its built-in speakers, or you plug a speaker into the headphone jack. But what if you want to get sound into you Mac? Or you have some fancy speakers hooked up to a fancy mixer, and the little headphone output doesn’t cut it, quality-wise? Then you should switch to USB. And don’t worry — you won’t have to install drivers, or any of the other crap that makes PC use so painful. In fact, using a USB audio interface is as easy as plugging in a pair of headphones, only better.

How to use the Siri news podcast feature

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siri
Siri can now play news podcasts for you, just like olden-day radio.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Thanks to an iOS upgrade, a simple question — “Hey, Siri, what’s the news today?” — will now play you an NPR podcast. It’s just like turning on the radio in the morning to catch up on events, only you don’t have to use sucky radio. Here’s how to use Siri News.

How to speed up your iPhone if the Spectre patch slows it down

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ghosts
Ghosts are a bit like spectres.
Photo: Sean MacEntee/Flickr CC

Spectre is the worst kind of security flaw. Not only do the partial fixes not even protect against attacks, but they also slow down your iPhone, or other device. But things aren’t quite as bad as they seem. You can take steps to speed up your iPhone once again, and one of the fixes not only makes the web faster, but also fixes Spectre’s biggest attack vector.