How to use grocery lists in Reminders on iPhone

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Faster Shopping
Find your way around the store faster by converting your Reminders list into a grocery list.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

In iOS 17, you can use Apple’s Reminders as a grocery list app on your iPhone — and items you add are automatically sorted into common sections.

This proves incredibly helpful when you go shopping. Just open the Reminders app, and you can easily see if you’ve got everything you need as you’re making your way through the store.

I’ll show you how to use it, including how to share your Reminders app grocery list with someone else so you can both add items and check them off the same list.

How to start journaling with the new iPhone Journal app

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Scrapbooking on your iPhone
Journal lets you build a scrapbook or a diary on your iPhone.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

A diary can be a great and invaluable record of your life, but who has time for that? Well, now you do: Apple’s new iPhone Journal app makes keeping a diary a breeze. Really, it couldn’t be any easier.

The new Apple Journal app released in iOS 17.2 lets you build a record of your life into a multimedia digital diary. Your iPhone will pull together details from your photos, locations and events to give you prompts for memories worth writing about.

Here’s the nitty gritty on using the new Journal app.

Apple video demos how to use Find My to locate your gadgets

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Apple video demos how to use Find My to locate your gadgets
If you aren't using Find My, here's a video from Apple Support to get you started.
Screenshot: Apple Support

Find My is built into most Apple devices, and helps you locate them if they go missing. It can be used with MacBook, iPad, AirPods and more.

If you haven’t been taking advantage of Apple’s free device-tracking system, here’s how to get started.

How to connect Apple Watch to a Planet Fitness treadmill

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Running in Sync
Available in certain gyms and equipment.
Image: Apple/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Connect Apple Watch to treadmills at Planet Fitness, and other exercise equipment, for more accurate health data inside the Fitness and Health apps on your iPhone. After all, if you’re working out, you want to make sure your Apple Watch gives you credit for it.

Here’s how.

3 reasons you shouldn’t close your open iPhone apps

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Should You Quit Your Apps?
Betteridge's law of headlines says no.
Image: CollegeDegrees360/Wikimedia Commons/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

It’s good to know how to close apps on iPhone for those times when an app is acting buggy or becomes unresponsive. It’s really easy — just swipe up to see your running apps and swipe up again to close them.

Does this mean you should you quit open apps? No, not at all. Despite what you may have heard, quitting apps on iOS makes things worse, not better. It’s a myth that quitting apps will save battery life, make your iPhone run faster or free up memory. Overall, it makes things worse.

Here are three reasons why.

How to find your music stats with Apple Music Replay

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An iPhone showing the Apple Music app with Apple Replay.
Apple Music Replay is a great way to see your favorite music over the last year.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple Music Replay is a great way to find your music stats for the past year: the most played songs, artists and albums in the last 12 months. Similar to Spotify Wrapped and the like, your annual Apple replay is a fun way to see what tracks you listened to most in 2023.

Fun fact: Apple usually publicizes Apple Music Replay in November, but it’s actually updated weekly and available throughout the year. However, it’s buried in the Apple Music app. We’ll show you how to find it.

Sign in to your Google accounts before December or they’ll be deleted

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iPad showing google.com
Use your Google account before December 1 to make sure it doesn’t get deleted.
Photo: cottonbro studio/Pexels

Google plans to purge old accounts starting in December. However, you can keep your Google account active and prevent it from being deleted. You have until the first day of December to save any inactive Google accounts.

What’s being cleaned out? Any Google account that’s been inactive for two years. If you received an email about a dormant account, you know for sure that you need to take action. However, that’s not foolproof. If your dormant account doesn’t have a recovery email set up, you’d never be notified in the first place.

If you have a bunch of alternate, backup Google accounts — as many do — here’s what you need to do.

How and why to use an external webcam with your iPad

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External webcam with iPad How To
There are good reasons to use an external webcam with your iPad. Here's why and how.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A trick you might have missed with the release of iPadOS 17 is support for external USB-C webcams. As good as the front-facing camera in the iPad is, it’s now possible to plug in a separate one.

Here’s why you might be interested, and how to connect a webcam to your iPad with a USB-C port.

5 more secret iPhone gestures you need to know

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Secret Faster Gestures
These secret gestures will speed up your iPhone.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Here are a few secret tricks and gestures that’ll help you get around your iPhone faster. These hidden gestures help you text pictures to your friends faster, scroll through big pages and screens, type special characters and use your phone one-handed.

This is a follow-up to an article from earlier this year with three other secret iPhone gestures you need to know. Learn all of these gestures and you’ll feel like an iPhone power user.

Look up laundry tag and car dashboard symbols with your iPhone camera

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What Do They Mean?
Ever wonder what these symbols mean?
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Those cryptic laundry symbols and car dashboard icons are a mystery, until now: your iPhone camera can tell you what they mean. You don’t have to look up a guide or Google their meaning; just take a picture and your iPhone will tell you.

While in my testing, it didn’t identify every single symbol, the feature will do in a pinch. And if you want to use an app for the best possible results, I have two recommendations found on the App Store that can help you.

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 is available for free this weekend. Here’s how to watch it.
Image: 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 this weekend.

And you do not need an Apple device to do so. It’s easy.

3 ways to emulate old video games and computers on your Mac

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Windows XP, Mac OS 9 and Super Mario Bros. running in emulators on a Mac
Run Windows XP, Mac OS 9, Windows 11, Super Mario Bros. and more on your Mac.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Collecting old video game consoles and vintage computers is a fun hobby, but keeping all that hardware working can quickly become an expensive, never-ending task — not to mention all the space you need just to store the gear. You might instead (wisely) opt to emulate your favorite games and software on the Mac you already own.

In this guide to emulation on the Mac, I’ll walk you through the best apps you can use to accomplish the two most common scenarios: playing old video games, and taking Classic Mac OS for a test drive on a modern Mac. Plus, I’ll wrap up with the easiest way to virtualize modern operating systems like Windows and Linux on your Mac. (This handy virtualization software also works for old and obscure computer operating systems.)

Best of all, each of these Mac emulation methods is free and open source.

How to get the latest USB-C Apple Pencil firmware update

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Apple Pencil (USB-C) firmware update
Yes, you might need to think about updating the software on your Apple Pencil.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

Just about everything electronic requires firmware — Apple’s iPad stylus is no exception. With software comes updates, and there’s new one for the recently released version of the Apple Pencil with a USB-C port.

Here’s how to check what firmware version your Apple Pencil is currently running, and a suggestion on how to get the new update.

Find electric car charging stations in Apple Maps

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Where Can I Plug In?
Find charging stations from Apple Maps.
Image: Ank Kumar/Wikimedia Commons/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Find electric car charging stations from Apple Maps while you’re on the road to figure out where you can top up your EV. Apple Maps added some powerful new features in iOS 17 to make it easy: you can see charger availability, charging speed and connector types for your vehicle.

Here’s how it works.

Use Live Voicemail and Silence Unknown Callers together for call-free bliss

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Talk After The Beep
Don’t want to miss those important calls about my Lightning cable wholesaling business.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

With Live Voicemail, a new feature in iOS 17, you don’t need to pick up your iPhone midcall to see who’s calling or what they want. You can see a transcription of their voicemail message as it’s being recorded — and pick up at any point, if the call turns out to be important. This feature proves transformative for introverts who only want to answer a phone call if strictly necessary.

Even better, Live Voicemail pairs very well with another iOS feature, Silence Unknown Callers. With both of these turned on, unwanted calls will be far less intrusive, but you will still be able to pick up the important calls as they come in.

Here’s how to use Live Voicemail to avoid phone spam and other annoyances without missing crucial calls.

6 reasons to set up Apple’s Family Sharing ASAP

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iCloud Family Sharing
Share your services, locations, photos and more over iCloud.
Photo: Denis Lyamuya/Wikimedia Commons/Apple

If you have a family, odds are you share a house, furniture, car and more. But you might not give as much attention to what you share in your digital lives, even if your digital pictures and purchases are equally valuable.

Apple makes it easy to link your digital lives together with just a little bit of setup. Here are the top six benefits of using Family Sharing.

Make stickers from your own photos for fun group chats

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Cut Your Own Stickers
Make your own stickers from your own photos.
Image: Watty62/Wikimedia Commons/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

You can make stickers from your photos and send them in iMessage and Snapchat, right on your iPhone. Stickers that you make from your own pictures are a lot of fun to send in group chats. They’re great for sending highly personal reactions using photos of people or pets that everyone knows. You can even add fun sticker effects.

Last year brought the ability to copy and paste the subject from a picture. Now in iOS 17, it’s easy to collect them in a set of stickers. I’ll show you how it all works.

How to ping an Apple Watch from an iPhone

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Where’d My Watch End Up?
It's not easy to find in a pile of miscellaneous clutter.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Finally, you can ping a lost Apple Watch from your iPhone — thanks to iOS 17 and watchOS 10. The reverse has always been a cool feature of Apple Watch: locating the iPhone you set down somewhere nearby, surely.

If you take your Apple Watch off at the end of the day, forgetting to throw it on the charger, you may not remember where you left it the following morning. Now, you can find a lost Apple Watch from your iPhone. Here’s how it works.

How to fix software updates on your brand-new MacBook Pro

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Install macOS Sonoma on M3 MacBook Pro
Fix software updates on your new MacBook Pro.
Photo: Apple

Some lucky first-day owners of the new M3 MacBook Pro unboxed their machines Tuesday to discover a reversal of fortune: Their new Macs arrived with a broken version of macOS that can’t install software updates.

Some MacBook Pros shipped to customers with an unreleased (well, more like unintentionally released) build of macOS Ventura 13.5. This version can’t be updated to macOS Sonoma through the standard Software Update feature in System Preferences.

Here’s how to fix the admittedly rare problem.

How to download maps in Apple Maps for offline use

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How to download maps in Apple Maps for offline use
You don't need an internet connection to use Apple Maps with iOS 17.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

iOS 17 allows Apple Maps users to download maps for offline use and generate turn-by-turn directions with them. This can be a lifesaver when traveling in remote areas without a cellular connection.

It’s not complicated, but there are a number of steps to go through if you want to download Apple Maps of certain cities or regions. Here’s how to do it.

How to set up repeating Apple Cash payments

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Automatic Apple Cash Payments
Schedule payments using the easiest way to pay someone — Apple Cash.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Set up repeating, scheduled Apple Cash payments to send money to your friends or family on a regular basis. You can use this to pay back your housemates for bills, send your kids some money or pay back personal debts.

Whatever the reason may be, Apple Cash is a fast and easy way to send money. I even have a pro tip for scheduling a singular payment in advance. Here’s how to set up recurring payments.

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 watch Apple’s ‘Scary Fast’ Mac event

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Scary Fast event logo superimposed on aerial photo of Apple Park
Apple’s “Scary Fast” event is a surprise event coming this Monday.
Photo: Arne Müseler/Wikimedia Commons/Apple

 How can you watch the Apple Mac event today? You can stream the event on YouTube, on the apple.com website or on your smart TV.

This week, Apple is expected to debut the M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max, roll it out in the 24-inch iMac and MacBook Pro and potentially update the Magic Keyboard, Mouse and Trackpad to USB-C. It’s less likely we’ll see any new iPads or AirPods at this event.

Here’s how you can watch it all live.

Learn all these gestures and you’ll master your iPad

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The Guide to iPad Gestures
No more mad swiping at the screen — learn the details of how your iPad works.
Image: Leander Kahney/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Gestures are a great way to become an iPad power user. Gestures help you easily navigate through apps, switch between pages, access controls, and reduce multiple taps to a single swipe. Gestures are especially useful for Stage Manager, the new multitasking environment on iPad.

Apple designed gestures to mimic natural, real-world movements, making them intuitive to use and learn. Swiping, pinching, tapping, and other gestures feel familiar and are easy to master.

If you use your iPad a lot, they’re well worth learning — even just a few. Your fingers will thank you!