Everything you need to know about your iPhone camera’s aperture

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Here I could have blurred the netting by using a wider aperture.
Here I could have blurred the netting by using a wider aperture.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

A few days ago, we learned about the iPhone’s shutter, the part of the camera that “opens and closes” to let light onto the sensor. Today, we’re taking an in-depth look at the aperture, aka hole. The aperture is an opening in the lens that can be made bigger or smaller. Like shutter speed, its primary purpose is to control how much light reacts with camera the sensor (or film).

Also like shutter speed, aperture has some extra effects on how the image looks. Specifically, it can control how much of the image, front to back, looks sharp.

How to block any website on iPhone and iPad

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Block websites on iPhone and iPad
Stay OUT!
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

There are probably good reasons to block a website on your own iPhone or iPad, but really, why not just avoid typing its URL? It’s far more likely that you’ll want to block a website on somebody else’s device, probably a child’s. Or perhaps you don’t want your kids to accidentally hit all your bookmarks to porn and gambling sites when they use your iPhone.

Whatever your reasons, here’s how to block any website on your iPhone or iPad.

Everything you need to know about your iPhone camera’s shutter speed

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iPhone shutter speed
Camera blur can be your friend.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Your iPhone camera is pretty good at taking photos automatically. You just point it, shoot, and the camera works out all the tricky stuff. But what is actually going on in there? How does it take the light that you see and render it as an image on the screen?

In this short series, we’ll look at the physical parts of a camera — the aperture, the shutter, the magnification of the lens, and so on — and see how they affect the final image. Today’s topic: shutter speed.

How to rip and save audio from YouTube videos with your iPhone

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rip youtube audio
This screen represents YouTube, and the telephone represents audio. Or something.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

YouTube isn’t just for video. Lots of folks use it to post audio files, only they gum up the songs with slideshows so they can upload them to the video-publishing service. There are all kinds of apps that let you convert a YouTube video back into an MP3, but today we’re going to see how to convert a video to an MP3 right in Safari, using Apple’a own Workflow/Shortcuts app.

This Siri Shortcut will automatically text your commute time to your spouse

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Siri shortcuts knows how long your bus will take to get you home.
Siri knows how long your bus will take to get you home.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

This Siri Shortcut will send an iMessage to a friend, spouse or other contact telling them how long it will be until you get to their location. Once set up, all you need to do is say something simple (and easy to remember) like “Home soon.”

This shortcut uses a brand-new feature in Shortcuts beta 2.0 that allows the sending of messages in the background, without having to confirm them first. It’s a small but powerful addition. Once Apple irons out the kinks, this feature could make a huge difference in how useful Siri Shortcuts will be day to day.

How to enable iPhone Photos extensions

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Photo filters can be subtle or … not.
Photo filters can be subtle or … not.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The Apple’s Photos app offers a very good set of editing tools. On both Mac and iOS, you can pick filters or perform a quick fix with the auto feature. You can also really dig in with some tools that are easily as comprehensive as anything on iOS.

These tools rival many desktop photo apps, but sometimes you want to do something extra-fancy. Maybe you have a favorite filters app. Or you want to combine two photos side by side in one frame or overlay one picture on another. Or use an app that lets you remove distractions in the frame, like power lines, cars or trash. Then you need to turn to Photos extensions.

How to delete all your tweets

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Even this little birdy is deleting his tweets.
Even this little birdy is deleting his tweets.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Twitter is like that part of town where City Hall just lets anyone open up a bar or a restaurant. It’s lively, and it’s where everyone hangs out, but you certainly don’t want to take the wrong side street late at night. Maybe you’re ready to leave Twitter, thanks to its continued censorship of unknown individuals and simultaneous encouragement of hate speech and lies by more famous people and organizations.

If you’re serious about ditching Twitter, then you probably want to delete your tweets. Twitter feeds off “engagement.” If you delete your tweets, you leave nothing to engage with (although their “content” has probably been mined clean already). If you delete your tweets, and change your Twitter bio to say you’ve quit, this sends a stronger message than just slipping out the side door. It also helps stop someone else from pretending to be you.

Fortnite challenge guide for season 5, week 5

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Fortnite Fly Explosives game mode
It's time to rack up those Battle Stars.
Photo: Epic Games

Just days after rolling out its latest Fortnite update, Epic Games has issued its complete list of challenges for season five, week five.

There are seven to complete altogether for a total of 50 Battle Stars. Three of them are available to all, while the other four require a Battle Pass.

Here’s our guide to finishing each one!