Check out these hidden tips and tricks for Apple’s Podcasts app

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Apple's podcasts app is deeper than you might imagine.
Apple's podcasts app is deeper than you might imagine.
Photo: Incase/Flickr CC

Apple’s Podcasts app is now the equal of any third-party podcast, or “podcatcher,” app for iOS. I recently switched to using it as my default podcasts app, and I’ve found it does pretty much everything you could want it to.

In fact, it seems like some developers inside Apple are doing the same. The app really is well-designed and now offers some surprisingly deep “pro” features. And these pro features are what we’re going to look at today.

Everything you need to know about Bedtime for iPhone

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Bedtime tells you when to go to sleep, and when to wake up again.
Bedtime tells you when to go to sleep, and when to wake up again.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you’re still using your iPhone’s alarm clock to wake you up in the mornings, you’re about to be amazed at how awesome waking up can become. Right there inside the Clock app is a Bedtime tab, which will make using olde-timey iPhone alarms seem like carrying a wind-up travel alarm clock with you on a business trip.

Not only does Bedtime wake you up with soothing sounds, it also tracks your sleep. It even reminds you when it’s time for bed! Let’s check it out.

Fortnite challenge guide for season 5, week 1

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Fortnite season 5
Complete all seven challenges to earn 50 Battle Stars.
Image: Epic Games

Fortnite season five just kicked off, bringing new locations to explore, a second vehicle, and a whole host of new rewards to unlock.

If you buy the Battle Pass, there’s even more to enjoy, and you can start completing the first week’s challenges right away. There are seven in total, which will earn you 50 Battle Stars.

Here’s how to complete each one.

Apple Watch Move ring vs. Exercise ring: What’s the difference?

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Don't get your Move and Exercise rings mixed up
Don't get your Move and Exercise rings mixed up
Image: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Closing your Apple Watch Activity Rings can become such an obsession that it’s easy to forget why you’re doing it. It’s not just to keep Tim Cook happy in his giant, ring-shaped office in Cupertino. So, what does it really mean to close a ring?

The Stand goal is obvious. We all know we shouldn’t sit around on our asses all day. But how about the Move and Exercise rings? Aren’t they kind of the same thing? Actually, no. They’re very different, and understanding that difference is massively important if you want to achieve your fitness goals.

How to make your regular camera photos show up on a map

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You can use your iPhone to add GPS locations to your old-school photos.
You can use your iPhone to add GPS locations to your old-school photos.
Photo: TappyTaps

Four years ago, I wrote a post explaining how to “add GPS to your dumb camera photos using your iOS device.” It was a pretty good how to, but things have moved on and it is now easier than ever to import a bunch of photos into your iPad, and then geotag them using an app.

Why would you do such a thing? Well, how about having all your vacation photos plotted on a map, so you can find where you took them, years, later? Or having your fancy-camera photos show up alongside your iPhone photos when you search for nearby pictures?

How to use Apple’s new Shortcuts app

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A shortcut.
A shortcut.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple has made its new Shortcuts app available for beta testing, and over the weekend I took a look. Shortcuts is Apple’s new automation app for iOS 12, which integrates with Siri and lets you build all kinds of amazing automated workflows, from shutting your house down when you go to sleep, to downloading videos from YouTube and saving the them to iCloud. Shortcuts is really just the new name for Workflow, an existing iOS automation app that Apple bought a year or so back.

Let’s take a look at what Apple has put in this first Shortcuts beta.

Pro Tip: Reject Robocalls at the squeeze of a hardware button

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Reject robocalls on with a double-tap of the power button.
Reject robocalls on with a double-tap on the power button.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bug Did you know that, if you have your iPhone set to share incoming calls with your Mac, your iPad, and/or Apple Watch, then the iPhone won’t let you reject incoming calls? The red telephone icon isn’t there. You have to either answer the call, or scramble to another device in order to bump the call without picking up first.

But there’s a great hidden trick that lets you reject any call from your iPhone, without even touching the screen.

How to use a blank home screen on iPad, and why you’ll love it

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Look at this blank home screen. Just look at it.
Look at this blank home screen. Just look at it.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

What’s on your main iPad home screen? Is it organized so that you can find your most-used apps quickly? Or have you decided to arrange the icons by color? Or divided up the grid by adding a row of blank spaces? Those are pretty neat ideas, but today I’m going to suggest you do something even more radical. How about keeping your home screen entirely blank? No icons, no folders, nothing. Just the Dock, Spotlight search, and an easier-to-use iPad.

Swipe on the iOS Copy/Paste menu to see hidden extra actions

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Instead of tapping those arrows, you should swipe the whole menu.
Instead of tapping those arrows, you should swipe the whole menu.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Are you still tapping the little arrows to scroll through the sections on your iPhone’s tiny copy/paste menu? Forget about that nonsense. This is 2018, the year of living dangerously, so may as well join in with the world. Did you know that you can just swipe that menu? You’ll never have to tap a tiny arrow ever again.

Rowing with Apple Watch is like two workouts in one. Time to grab an oar.

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Join the crew with Apple Watch
Join the crew with Apple Watch
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

If running and swimming with Apple Watch don’t rock your boat, you should give rowing a try. It combines all the benefits of cardio and strength training, and you get to do it in a boat. OK, well you’re probably more likely to use a rowing machine at your local gym, but it’s still pretty cool.

The stats that Apple Watch’s built-in Workout app provides for rowers are very limited, so you might want to consider third-party alternatives. Plus, it takes some practice to develop a good rowing technique. But it’s totally worth the effort. Not only will rowing help build a ripped physique. Without this essential skill, you might one day find yourself up the proverbial creek without a paddle.