Apple how-tos: Tips and tricks for all Apple devices | Cult of Mac

How to choose the right iPad for you

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How to choose the right iPad for you
iPad options range from the 12.9-inch iPad Pro to the 8.3-inch iPad mini.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Shopping for an iPad can be overwhelming. Apple sells six iPad models in a wide range of sizes, prices and capabilities. Each tablet has its strengths and weaknesses. You don’t want to get one that doesn’t have all the features you want, but you also don’t want to pay too much for features you won’t use.

Here’s some straightforward advice on picking the right iPad for you.

How to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas for free

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How to watch ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ for free
Don’t miss A Charlie Brown Christmas, which will be free to watch on Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple TV+

The Christmas season is in full swing and there’s good news for fans of the Peanuts holiday specials. Apple will make the holiday classic A Charlie Brown Christmas available for everyone to stream for free. Apple TV+ subscribers can enjoy it already.

That gives everyone the opportunity to watch Linus teach his friends what Christmas is all about, whether they own an Apple device or not.

How to find your tunes and artists from 2022 with redesigned Apple Music Replay

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Apple Music Replay 2022 features new insights and functionality, Apple said.
Apple Music Replay 2022 features new insights and functionality, Apple said.
Photo: Apple Music

Apple Music users might want to know how they can review their favorite music from the past year, as users of other music services can do with Spotify Wrapped and the like.

For Apple Music, the answer is Apple Music Replay, which Apple said Tuesday it redesigned for 2022 with more music insights and functionality. It’s updated and available throughout the year. We’ll show you how to find it.

Use the all-new iCloud online web app

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Find your photos and files online.
All of your photos and files are in the cloud anyway — with iCloud.com, you can access them from any computer.
Image: Matthew Bowden/Wikimedia Commons, D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

You can use iCloud online to access all of your online Apple services from any computer, tablet or phone. This includes Find My, Mail, Photos, Files, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Notes, Calendar and Reminders. It’s really convenient if you need to find a lost device, print a file or download a picture from a different computer you’re not signed into.

The site has just been redesigned to make it easier to use than ever before. Let me show you how it works.

How to watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving for free

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How to watch ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’ for free
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving will be broadcast on PBS, and it’s already available to Apple TV+ subscribers. Here’s how to watch it.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

With Thanksgiving almost here, it’s time to watch the beloved Peanuts holiday special A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Apple TV+ subscribers can watch it anytime, but the special is also free for anyone to stream. And you don’t need an Apple device to do so

Here’s how and when you can watch Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty and Marcie act out The Courtship of Miles Standish.

How to get the latest AirTag firmware update

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How to get the latest AirTag firmware update
Updating AirTag firmware is easy. But it requires patience.
Photo: Cult of Mac

A firmware update out for AirTag has begun gradually rolling out. You’ll probably want it, but it turns out that updating the software for Apple’s item tracker is both easy and hard. You don’t have to jump through hoops, but neither do you have much control.

Here’s what you need to do.

How to get started using Mastodon

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Leave Twitter, join us! …please
Mastodon is a good Twitter clone, but it needs some more active users like you.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Perhaps you, like many others, would like to move away from Twitter. If you read news, webcomics or blogs, you can follow all the same stuff with an RSS reader. But if you want to follow people in your community and talk to others online with the same interests, there’s a Twitter alternative you may have heard about: Mastodon. It’s a full-blown Twitter clone that a lot of people you may know are moving to.

Recent changes at Twitter did not instill confidence in the platform’s future. That’s about the shortest and most diplomatic way I can summarize the cavalcade of poor decision-making that has trickled down from their new CEO, he-who-shall-not-be-named, Rocket Car Tunnel Guy. It’s the last straw for a lot of people.

Despite the memes you may have seen, signing up for Mastodon isn’t that hard. There are just a few things you need to consider. Let me show you how to use Mastodon.

How to use the Dvorak keyboard on iPhone

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Apple’s digital Dvorak keyboard.
Apple’s digital Dvorak keyboard brings the alternative layout to iPhone.
Image: Michael Bunsen/Wikimedia Commons and D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

The Dvorak layout is a different way of arranging the 26 letters on the keyboard. Dvorak puts all of the most common letters right on the center row for increased typing speed. It also balances the most common letters across all ten fingers for reducing strain. Physical Dvorak keyboards have been available for computers forever, but finally, you can get it on your iPhone and iPad. Now, you Dvorak aficionados can have a consistent keyboard across all of your devices.

Follow your favorite news, blogs and webcomics without Twitter

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Ditch Twitter, follow the news.
Ditch Twitter, follow the news.
Image: Mori aka ICE/Wikimedia Commons, D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

We all have our favorite news sites, independent blogs or webcomics. A lot of people keep up with new posts on Twitter — it’s where a lot of Cult of Mac traffic comes from. With a mass exodus of Twitter users after you-know-what happened, there’s a way you can still keep up with your favorite sites. It’s a technology that has powered the web for over twenty years called RSS; let me show you can follow the news without Twitter.