How to use age restrictions to protect your kids from adult apps and movies

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age restrictions
Children were restricted differently in the past.
Photo: Alisha Vargas/Flickr CC

The iPad and iPhone can be great learning tools for kids, just the same as they are for adults (only with more clowns and talking animals). But even if you don’t want to fully lock-down your iPad to restrict what your kids can do, you might want to stop then from downloading adult-oriented apps. That includes violent games, scary books, and dirty movies.

How to translate webpages on iPhone or iPad

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translate webpages safari ipad
Cult of Mac in Catalan!
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Do you ever find yourself staring at a web page, unable to understand a word? All the letters look familiar, only they’re arranged into some weird order? That’s called “foreign,” and it’s how people from outside America talk to each other. Some of them don’t even write their websites in English.

Fortunately, a good old American company has done something about this terrible habit. Microsoft Translator can fix up a web page and turn all that foreign gibberish into a language we can all feel comfortable with. You may already use Google’s translate bookmarklet for this, but Microsoft’s version is so much better it’s in a different league.

How to add extra filter packs to the iPhone’s Photos app

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filter packs iPhone
Captured, edited, and filtered, all inside the Camera and Photos apps.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

One lesser known ability of the Photos app on your iPhone is that is can use third-party filter packs. If you install a photo-editing app that supports them, then you can apply that apps filters without ever leaving the Photos app. This makes it super quick to add sophisticated effects to your pictures, and you can revert to the original photo at any time in the future.

Today we’ll see how to use these filter packs, and look at a couple of great apps that have them.

How to change your iPhone passcode so the cops can’t hack it

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iPhone passcode
A strong passcode is the next-best thing to keeping your iPhone in a safe.
Photo: Rob Pongsajapan/FlickrCC

It’s time to stop using that useless 6-digit passcode on your iPhone. Now that cops around the U.S. are going crazy for the GrayKey, a little box that can crack your iPhone’s passcode in hours, it has become clear that the iPhone’s regular six-digit numerical code is no longer secure. And now these boxes are available, it won’t be long before they’re in the hands of the bad guys, too, if they’re not already.

The good news is, it’s super easy to change your passcode to something a lot better. The bad news? There isn’t any, unless you have the cops trying to break into your iPhone, in which case you’ve got plenty of bad news already.

Remove annoying clutter from iPad Spotlight searches

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spotlight
No, not this kind of spotlight.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you use Spotlight to find stuff on your iPhone or iPad, you’ll be familiar with the mess of results you get when you search. Maybe you’re searching for a note or an email about that really important thing, only the actual results you want are buried under a heap of nonsense from twitter, from YouTube, from all the Ebay classifieds you’ve viewed, and so on.

The good news is, you can trim these results, eliminating the noise you don’t need. The even better news is that recent versions of iOS do this is a much more elegant way.

This microcasting app is the easiest way to podcast on iPhone

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podcast on iPhone with microcast wavelength app
Microcasting is the new mouth-tweeting. Or something.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Did you ever fancy making a podcast, but as soon as you considered the logistics, your eyes crossed, and you felt suddenly sleepy? But what if creating and publishing a podcast was as easy as squeezing out a Tweet? That’s where Wavelength comes in. Wavelength is a brand new app that lets you record, edit, and publish your short podcast — or microcast — in record time. It can even add your podcast feed to the Apple Podcast Directory, so anyone can easily find and subscribe to your microcast. Here’s how to podcast on iPhone.

How to extract text from JPEG screenshots on iPhone

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scanner
Scanning screenshots doesn't have to involve a ruined Christmas.
Photo: Daniel M. Hendricks/Flickr CC

Did you ever snap a photo of a magazine page, or capture a screenshot of text, and wish you could just copy and paste it like any normal text? Maybe it’s a photo of a recipe from a paper book, and you’d like to be able to search for it in future? The good news is that you can easily extract the text from a photo or screenshot, right there on your iPhone.

The even better news is that we’re going to learn how to do it right now.

How to add a stack of recent documents to your Mac’s Dock

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recent documents stack
Like a tidy stack of documents, right in your Dock.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Left to its own devices, the Dock on your Mac is little more than a list of running apps, plus a trash can. You probably already know that you can force apps to stick around in the Dock for quick-launching, and that you can drag any folder to the Dock and just click it to see inside. But did you know that you can add special folders that show you your recent documents, applications, your favorite items, and more?

The recent documents folder is worth the price of this tip alone (which is $0 BTW), because it keeps track of all your recently-used documents, anywhere on your Mac, and gathers them into one place. If you’re the kind of person who has a desktop cluttered with pretty much all your documents, then fast access to that file you were using one moment ago — and you swear it was right here, oh God where has it gone — is a lifesaver.

Here’s how to add it.

How to leave Facebook and Twitter while staying social

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micro.blog app leave facebook
The Microblog app looks pretty great on iPhone.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Facebook tracks your every move and sells the information to people who try to fix elections. Twitter is destroying the fabric of democracy, and doesn’t care. And even if you leave Facebook, it owns Instagram and WhatsApp, two of the biggest social networks outside of itself and Twitter. And now Facebook is promising to let anyone delete their posts, which means that you’ll never really know what’s been happening. IT’s time to leave Facebook and move on, but where?

After all, a social network is pointless if you have no friends on it. Happily, there’s a social network out there already that’s bigger than Facebook, and completely uncontrolled by any single company. It’s the web.

Today we’re going to see how to post your photos, messages, and other rants onto your own microblog, just like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The best part is, you own everything, anyone can read it, and it’s as easy to use as sending a tweet.

Pro Tip: Pin Safari’s tabs so you can find them faster

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pin safari tabs
Pinned!
Photo: Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugEver lost a tab in Safari? You have like a million of the things open, and you end up scrubbing a two-finger trackpad swirl over the entire tab bar, shifting those things around so that you can read their labels, and you still can’t track down the Cult of Mac website in there. Well here’s good news: you can just pin that tab to the edge of the tab bar, so you’ll never lose it again.