How-To - page 30

6 iPad trackpad gestures you need to know

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iPad trackpad gestures
Trackpad gestures transform the iPad into something entirely new.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The trackpad and mouse support Apple added in iOS 13.4 is just amazing. It’s like getting a whole new computer, just by updating your iPad. I’ve been using it for a week for so now, and I want to share my favorite trackpad gestures.

If you use a trackpad with your iPad, these gestures will change the way you use your tablet.

How to sanitize your Mac or iPad keyboard

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Sanitize your Mac or iPad keyboard with these easy steps.
Sanitize your Mac or iPad keyboard with these easy steps.
Photo: Dmitry ChernyshovUnsplash

The filthiest part of you computer is probably its keyboard. It’s the part you touch the most, it’s the part you likely use to catch the debris from your lunch, and it’s the part that you probably never clean, because you don’t look at it enough to get grossed out. And these days, as doctors warn us to wash our hands constantly (and correctly) to avoid the coronavirus, you probably want to make sure that your keyboard is not just clean, but sanitized.

This is a fairly straightforward process, so let’s get started.

Move over, Dropbox: How to share iCloud folders in iOS 13.4

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colored notebooks
Some folders, which could totally be shared.
Photo: Laika Notebooks/Unsplash

In iOS 13.4, you can share iCloud folders with other people for the first time. You’ve long been able to share a single file via iCloud, but now you can share folders, so all the people sharing can drop files in there. Just like Dropbox has done since, like, forever.

This new capability, which arrived Tuesday in iOS 13.4 and macOS Catalina 10.15.4, will finally let people ditch Dropbox and go all-in on iCloud. Let’s see how it works.

How to do an effective home workout with no gym equipment

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Stay healthy and strong with these essential home workout tips. You can do these home workouts without any gym equipment.
Stay healthy and stay strong with our essential home workout tips.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, staying home is a great choice for everyone’s health right now. But it’s not ideal for your fitness. Your Apple Watch will soon start grumbling if you just sit around indoors and don’t close your rings. So what should you do?

How to make a Group FaceTime call on iPhone, iPad or Mac

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Group FaceTime is a great way to stay in touch with your family and friends during coronavirus quarantine.
Group FaceTime is a great way to stay in touch with family and friends.
Photo: Apple

As the coronavirus spreads around the world, loads of self-isolating people are turning to FaceTime, Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp video to stay in touch with friends and family. And what better way to keep in touch than to chat to everyone, all at the same time? One of the easiest and most secure ways to stay in touch is to make a Group FaceTime call.

Here’s how to set up a Group FaceTime call and add (almost) as many people as you like to it.

How to make your own hand sanitizer

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You don't need a lab to make your own hand sanitizer. Your kitchen will do just fine for DIY hand sanitizer capable of killing COVID-19 coronavirus.
You don't need a lab to make hand sanitizer -- your kitchen will do just fine.
Photo: Hans Reniers/Unsplash

It seems that the best way to keep your hands clean and virus-free is to wash them properly with soap and water. But if you can’t get to a sink, hand sanitizer will do to the trick (again — if used properly). Hand sanitizer remains in high demand, so you might want to whip up a batch on your own.

And if you can get your hands on the common ingredients needed, it’s really easy to make DIY hand sanitizer.

How to customize the new mouse Pointer Control settings on your iPad

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pointer control trackpad mouse, Apple Pencil
So many ways to control an iPad.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The new mouse and trackpad support coming in iPadOS 13.4 is just fantastic. And, in typical Apple fashion, it just works as soon as you connect a trackpad or mouse via Bluetooth or USB. But there are also plenty of options to customize how the mouse behaves, and even how the pointer looks.

You may already have checked the obvious options in the Settings app under General > Trackpad & Mouse. But several hidden iPad Pointer Control options offer even deeper customizations.

Everything you need to know about disinfecting packages

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disinfecting packages
Do you need to disinfect deliveries? And how do you do it?
Photo: RoseBox/Unsplash

Your home is clean and sanitized. You wash and moisturize your hands regularly, and you haven’t left the house in days. By all measures, you’re pretty sure that your home is an oasis from the pandemic outside your door. But then the new MacBook Air, or that emergency delivery of tea leaves from Amazon, arrives. You have just accepted a potential COVID-19 virus carrier into your home. What do you do?

You sanitize it, that’s what. Just like you’ve sanitized the surfaces in your home.

Stay in shape while you’re stuck indoors with Apple TV fitness apps

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Can't get to the gym? Let your Apple TV bring the gym to you.
Can't get to the gym? Let your Apple TV bring the gym to you.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

You don’t need to go to the gym for a great workout. If you’re stuck at home during the coronavirus outbreak, you can still work on your summer beach bod. If you’re itching to exercise indoors, you can get started — and maximize your gains — using Apple TV fitness apps.

Ever since Jane Fonda pulled on a leotard and leg warmers in the 1980s, people have been getting sweaty in front of their televisions. Now, Apple TV fitness apps bring home workouts bang up-to-date, with interactive programs tailored to users’ individual abilities and goals.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s make like Jane and feel the burn.

How to fix Apple Watch duplicate workouts

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Seeing double? Fixing duplicate Activity app workouts is easier than you think.
Seeing double? Fixing duplicate workouts is easier than you think.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

The Health app on your iPhone acts as a central repository for all your workout data. Not just activity from your Apple Watch, but from third-party apps, too.

That’s great, because it gives you the freedom to use any workout app you want, safe in the knowledge that it will still contribute to your Activity rings. But this flexibility can cause problems. When you use multiple apps or third-party devices, it can cause duplicate workouts. So let’s take a look at how Apple handles these duplicates, what impact they have on your Activity Rings, and how you can fix the problem.

Hands on: Everything you want to know about iPad Pro’s new trackpad features

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Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, iPad
Pretty much any mouse will work with the iPad in iPadOS 13.4.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple’s new Magic Keyboard case for the iPad Pro looks amazing. But its most impressive feature (aside from that incredibly solid-looking hinge) will become available to any iPad owner with a mouse or trackpad laying around. The new trackpad support coming next week in iOS 13.4 works with pretty much any Bluetooth or USB mouse. You just connect the peripheral, and a cursor appears on the iPad screen.

This is a much, much better system than the cobbled-together mouse support that already exists in iOS 13’s Accessibility settings. Instead of simply imitating a finger on-screen, Apple completely rethought how a cursor should work on a touch-based device. This thing is deep, as we’re about to see.

Here’s a hands-on look at the new iPad mouse and trackpad features.

ConnectionOpen is like Skype for musicians

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ConnectionOpen Marshall amp and guitar player
ConnectionOpen lets musicians collaborate over the internet.
Photo: Daniel Chekalov/Unsplash

If you sit in front of an iPad typing up Apple-related how-tos all day long, then working from home is no problem. In fact, it’s simply the next step up from “working from bed.” But for some professions, like musicians, working from home is difficult if not impossible. You might have a home studio, but you still need to get the band together to record them.

Or do you? ConnectionOpen is an app that lets musicians play together over the internet. The wild thing is, it’s a standard plugin for Logic, Ableton, Pro Tools and other audio-editing apps. And now, it’s also available for the iPad.

ViDL is a great free YouTube and video downloader for Mac

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movie theater seats vidl
Download almost any video with ViDL.
Photo: Denise Jans/Unsplash

ViDL is a YouTube download app for Mac. It comes from Ole Moritz, developer of the amazing Pythonista and Editorial iOS apps. ViDL is a simple wrapper for the youtube-dl command-line tool, so if you already use that, you don’t need this. But the app is far easier to use than a command-line tools. Plus, it offers a built-in browser, in case you need to log in to a site to get access to the target videos. There’s even a ViDL Safari extension.

6 things to do when you’re stuck at home in self-quarantine

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prison cell bars
Feeling locked up?
Photo: Denny Müller/Unsplash

Has the government in your city or country shut down everything due to COVID-19? Are the bars, gyms and other nonessential places closed? Are you stuck at home, cooped up with nothing but Facebook and Twitter to fan the flames of your outrage and fear?

Don’t worry. There are plenty of things to do at home. Why not take advantage of all that extra time and use it for something you enjoy?

How to change the Files sort order in iOS

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empty podium sort order
A metaphor for "sort order."
Photo: Joshua Golde/Unsplash

On the Mac, you probably know all the tricks for sorting things in the Finder. You can choose icon, list and column views. And you can sort the files and folders in those windows by various dates (added, created, modified), size, name and lots more. Some, but not nearly all, of these sorting options are also available on iOS in the Files app. Let’s take a look.

How to force Safari to open tabs the way it should

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paper notebook with tabs
Tabs, just like those that Safari now messes up.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

At some point, fairly recently, Safari started opening new tabs to the right of the currently open tab, instead of opening them at the end of the tab bar, as nature intended. This means that you have to search for the newly opened tab, instead of just knowing exactly where it is. I can see the point of opening tabs next to the current one, but I don’t like it.

Happily, there’s a way to revert Safari’s behavior to the good old way — the way my grandmother, and her grandmother before her, dealt with their tabs. It’s a simple option inside Safari’s debug menu. Wait? Debug menu?

How to use Apple Watch’s fantastic nightstand mode

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Zzzzzz. The Apple Watch's nightstand mode even has snooze.
Zzzzzz. The Apple Watch's nightstand mode even has snooze.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Have you heard of the Apple Watch’s nightstand mode? I knew about it from digging through the settings in the iPhone Watch app, but I never tried it out. I wear my watch while sleeping, mostly so I get a nice haptic alarm in the morning instead of an audible iPhone alarm. But if you charge your watch overnight, you should almost certainly be using nightstand mode, aka bedside mode.

How to stay informed about coronavirus without terrifying yourself

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COVID-19 coronavirus news got you down? Don't panic!
Don't panic! You can keep up with COVID-19 news without going nuts.
Photo: Simon English/Unsplash

Open up a newspaper, visit a news site or turn on the TV, and you’ll see the end of the world is nigh. And, of course, the COVID-19 coronavirus is serious business, especially if you are in one of the vulnerable categories.

But that doesn’t mean you need to panic. In fact, panicking about anything usually just makes things worse. So, how do you stay informed about the rapidly spreading disease without succumbing to media terror?

How to work from home without losing your mind

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Telecommuting tips: Who wants to go to an office when they can work from home like this?
Who wants to go to an office when they can work like this?
Photo: Nathan Riley/Unsplash

Thanks to the rapidly spreading COVID-19 virus, lots of people are being told to work from home. And that’s good, work-wise, because working from home can be relaxing, highly productive and, of course, very convenient. But depending on your family situation, your home layout and your guilty stress from feeling like you’re not doing enough, it also can be a nightmare.

Most of the Cult of Mac team works from home, so I asked for their top telecommuting tips. Here they are.

These Control Center tricks let you take control of Do Not Disturb

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grid of doorbells
Do Not Disturb.
Photo: Serge Le Strat/Unsplash

This is a trick I use almost daily, and until I showed it to a friend yesterday, I didn’t realize that it might not be generally known. Most people know about iOS’ amazing Do Not Disturb mode, which stops users from being pinged by incoming messages and app notifications all the time. But did you know about the great do not disturb shortcuts built into the Control Center?

How to check the exact time someone read your WhatsApp message

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a crumpled up paper receipt
The correct fate for all receipts.
Photo: Michael Walter/Unsplash

In a civilized society, there would be no such thing as a “read receipt” for messages or emails. You’d send your message, and that would be it. But read receipts are here, and if you’re one of the folks that doesn’t turn them off, then you’re going to love this WhatsApp tip.

You already know the meanings of the checkboxes that indicate successfully sent, delivered and read messages in WhatsApp. Today we’ll see how to check the exact time a recipient read your WhatsApp message.

How to make Logic Pro X record something after you played it

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Logic Pro X
Logic Pro X. Is there anything it cannot do?
Photo: Apple

If you’re a musician, or if you ever tried to record yourself singing, playing or just trying to bang out “Happy Birthday” to add to that cool video you made, you’ll be familiar with the First Law of Recording Music: Your best ever performance will be the practice run right before you press record.

No matter how many takes you do, the best one will always be the one that you didn’t record. Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was a way to go back in time, and record the one that got away? If you’re using Apple’s Logic Pro X software, you can do just that — with both audio and built-in software instruments (MIDI).