How to get the best battery life from your MacBook

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MacBook battery
Looking after you MacBook battery is really easy.
Photo: FruitJuice

Did you know that leaving your MacBook plugged in all the time is a sure way to ruin its battery? That instead you should use your notebook computer on battery power for an hour or two each day? That’s the advice from battery health app FruitJuice, which will help you to keep your battery in tip-top condition.

How to quickly zoom text on your iPhone and iPad

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zoom text
A magnifying glass is the OG zoom for paper
Photo: theilr/Flickr CC

It’s not just old folks or people with bad eyesight that like big text on their iPhones and iPads. Maybe it’s late and you’re getting sleepy. Or perhaps you have your iPad propped up on the desk during the day and would appreciate larger text because it’s quite a bit farther away than when you hand-hold it. Or maybe you’ll try this tip and realise that zooming text is as useful as zooming photos.

iOS has long allowed you to zoom text, but it was buried deep in the Accessibility section of Settings, making it hard to adjust on the fly. Ever since iOS 11, though, you’ve been able to zoom text as easily as adjusting the screen brightness. Let’s take a look.

Your iPhone tracks every place you visit. Here’s how to see the map.

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Significant Locations
Bubbles show you where you have visited.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Your iPhone knows where you are, and it remembers where you have been. It keeps a record of your frequent hangouts — aka “significant locations” — and uses this data to make location-based suggestions using Siri and to power other features. Don’t panic, though: This data is kept on your phone, not collected by Apple.

Maybe you want to switch it off anyway, though. Perhaps you’re having an affair and don’t want your suspicious spouse to find out where you and your lover hook up. Or you’re an undercover cop and don’t want your visits to the police station to show up on your phone. Today we’ll see how to access your recent locations data, remove it, and switch it off altogether.

How to find and use the custom spelling dictionary on your Mac

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Edit your Mac custom dictionary.
A dictionary definition of "dictionary," to illustrate an article about dictionaries.
Photo: Caleb Roenigk/Flickr CC

Your Mac has a built-in dictionary and spell-checker. You knew that. You also know that you can add and remove words from that dictionary as you go, teaching the dictionary on the fly.

But did you know that there’s also a text document on your Mac that contains your entire personal custom spelling dictionary? And that you can use this to move your spelling preferences between computers?

You can!

How to pair your AirPods with your Kindle Oasis

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kindle AirPods
A new Kindle software update adds AirPod-friendly Bluetooth.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Amazon is rolling out an update to the Kindle Oasis which activates a hitherto-dormant Bluetooth chip, allowing you to connect it to speakers and headphones. That includes your Apple AirPods, if you have some. Today we’ll see how to connect and use your AirPods with your Kindle Oasis, and take a look at the other new features in this recent update.

How to reopen a recently closed tab in Safari on iOS

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Reopen recently closed tabs in Safari.
None of these Tabs is yet open.
Photo: Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr CC

You’ve done it. We’ve all done it. You’ve closed a tab in Safari and instantly realized that it was the wrong one.

It’s not the end of the world. You can open a fresh tab and schlep over to the history panel to hunt down that URL. Or, if you remember something about the title of the page, you can start typing it into Safari’s URL bar and watch for suggestions that match. But there’s a much easier way to access all your recently closed Safari tabs — and it’s just one long-press away.

How to use iOS 11’s Files with (some) unsupported apps

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file

Photo:

iOS’ Files app is one of the best new features in iOS. It lets you move files from app to app almost as easily as in the Mac’s Finder. The problem is, not all apps support it. To use an app with Files, that app needs to either accept files dragged onto it via drag-and-drop, or it needs to integrate the Files picker.

But you can still use Files with some older apps, or apps from developers who don’t want to add support: Many file-based apps will open up a web server to let you load stuff in via a browser on a Mac or PC. We can exploit this old-fashioned workaround with a workaround of our own, effectively adding local Files support. And don’t worry, it’s dead easy.

How to add an EQ and effects master track in GarageBand for iOS

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garageband master track
Here's a cellist, who has mastered her own track, as it were.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

One of the craziest omissions in GarageBand for iPad and iPhone is the lack of a master track for mixing. A master track sits in your GarageBand window alongside your recorded instruments, and lets you apply EQ and effects — bass, treble, reverb, and so on — to the entire song. Even in the amazing new GarageBand 3.2, there’s no proper master track.

But there is a workaround that is both easy, and as good as having the real thing. Let’s check it out.

How to sell your old iPhone or iPad

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iPhone X scuffs
Be honest about wear and tear on your old iPhone.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Maybe you got a new iPhone or iPad for Christmas. And now you must deal with offloading your old device. (Thanks a lot, Santa.)

You can give away your old iPhone, or sell it, but before you do either of those you need to do a little prep work. Today we’ll see how to find out how much your old iPhone or iPad is worth, and then how to make it safe to sell.

How to squeeze the longest life from your iPhone battery

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battery
Just be thankful your iPhone doesn't run on these.
Photo: Toshiyuki IMAI/Flickr CC

Thanks to batterygate, the good news is that Apple will now switch out the battery in your old iPhone for $29 instead of $79, a price so cheap it would be crazy not to do it. But how do you take care of that new battery to stop it going bad? The truth is, the lithium ion batteries in phones and notebook computers have a finite life. But you can prolong that life with a few easy tricks.