How to set up your new Apple Watch the right way

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Apple Watch setup
Check out the new Series 5 Apple Watch.
Photo: Apple

New Apple Watch? Congratulations! Whether you got the Series 5 with its always-on screen, or snagged a bargain with the still-useful Series 3, you might be wondering how to get it set up. After all, the Watch is unlike any other Apple device, both in its dependence on your iPhone, and in the way it works.

The good thing is, Apple has made it really, really easy to get things up and running. Let’s take a look.

How to upgrade to the new iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro the right way

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iphone 11 Upgrade Program
Rip that iPhone 11 out of the box right now.
Photo: Apple

In recent years, the iPhone setup process has changed as dramatically as the iPhones themselves. Apple just keeps making it easier to do. So easy, in fact, that there are just a few things you need to do to move from your old iPhone to a new one. And setting up a new iPhone 11 from scratch isn’t much harder — gone are the days of manually copying passwords just to get to the home screen.

There are still a few tricks, though, that will help things run smoothly. Let’s see how to set up your new iPhone the right way. Whether you have a new iPhone 11, or an iPhone 11 Pro, the process is identical.

How to use iOS 13’s Audio Sharing

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Audio sharing in iOS 13
Look how friendly these people are. Just look.
Photo: Apple

In iOS 13, you can share songs and watch movies with a friend, with each of you using your own AirPods. The new feature is called Audio Sharing, and it lets you instantly — and temporarily — pair a second set of AirPods to your iPhone or iPad. It’s like the olde schoole method of using a headphone splitter to plug two sets of headphones into one jack socket, only way more expensive and fancy.

Here’s how to use it.

Check out these great hidden features in iOS 13’s Reminders app

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iOS-13-reminders-app
The new iOS 13 Reminders app.
Photo: Ben Geskin

Apple’s Reminders app gets a massive update in iPadOS and iOS 13. It’s no longer a joke app that needs a million taps just to set a notification time on your action item. We already know about the new layout, which splits tasks into Today, Scheduled, All and Lists, and we also know about the excellent new natural-language input, which makes typing a reminder as easy as dictating it to Siri.

But the big update also brings some other new features you likely haven’t heard about yet: Today Notifications and Type to Siri (right there in the Spotlight screen).

How to get around with Apple Maps’ Look Around in iOS 13

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Look around on iPad
Look Around is like GTA, only you can't steal cars or murder people.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Look Around is Apple’s answer to Google’s Street View, and it’s about a zillion times better — if your area has coverage, that is. Look Around is just getting started, and covers very few places. Street View, on the other hand, is available for pretty much anywhere, including underwater, up mountains and on hiking trails.

Why is Look Around better? Well, it’s faster, for one. And it just looks nicer. The images are super-high-resolution and full-screen. Using it on a 13-inch iPad Pro feels like taking a virtual street tour of a neighborhood.

Check out the amazing new iOS 13 video-editing features

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iOS 13 video editing
Confused?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

In iPadOS and iOS 13, you can edit videos just the same way you’ve always ben able to edit photos. You can crop them, rotate them, add filters and adjust their color. And — finally — you can simply save the edited version instead of spawning a copy every time you make a simple trim. No need for iMovie — the iOS Photos app can now perform radical edits to videos. This isn’t limited to the iPhones 11, either. You can do all this on any iPhone or iPad running iOS 13.

Check out the great new iOS 13 video editing features:

3 ways to block annoying calls and messages in iOS 13

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Red pillarbox
It's even simpler to block email, messages and unknown callers in iOS 13.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The trouble with modern technology is that anyone can try to reach you, at any time. Your boss can leave a passive aggressive email at the top of your inbox overnight, so you see it when you want to check personal mail. Anyone can send you an SMS or iMessage. And anyone with your phone number can spam you, any time.

Currently in iOS, you can block iMessage senders. But in iOS 13, you gain two new ways to keep stalkers, weird friends and over-sharing co-workers out of your digital life. Now you can block unknown phone callers and email senders.

Check out the next-level photo editing tools in iOS 13

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In iOS 13, Photos is now an image-editing powerhouse
In iOS 13, Photos is now an image-editing powerhouse
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The Photos app in iOS 13 is now good enough that you may never need another app to edit your photos, for regular edits at least. Somehow Apple made the app even easier to use, and added some new features, while making existing features far easier to find.

For instance, Portrait Mode now gets its own tab; the automatic magic wand tool can now be fine-tuned (as can the built-in filters); and the crop tool now fixes perspective, and mirror-flips your photos.

How to use Safari’s amazing new settings in iOS 13

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safari
Not this kind of safari.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Charlie Sorrel

Safari’s new “desktop-class” features are getting all the press in iPadOS, but the new download folder, and better website support aren’t everything. There’s also a new in-app settings panels with a ton of options — per-site text size, for example — and even a new font in the Safari Reader View. Let’s check it out.

How to use the new copy, paste and undo gestures in iPadOS 13

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iPadOS productivity gestures
This is how text editing used to feel on iOS.
Photo: Jason Leung/Unsplash

It wasn’t until I installed iPadOS on my regular iPad that I realized how great iOS 13 is. It’s one thing to run it on an old, battered test unit, but a whole other thing to use it day to day. And, surprisingly, it’s the small features that make the biggest difference. The per-page view setting in Safari, for example. Or the new multi-app Slide Over panel. And, more than anything else, the new text-editing gestures, which are finally good enough to replace a mouse and a Mac.

Let’s take a look at how to use iPadOS 13’s new copy, paste, undo and redo gestures, plus text selection in general.