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.

Vulse app brings gestural and touch effects to guitar

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vulse for iPhone
Like an electronic whammy bar.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Vulse is a neat app for musicians. More specifically, it’s for guitarists. The app has been around for a while, but got a big old update this week that makes it worth a new look. The idea of the app is that you stick your iPhone onto your guitar, just below where you strum the strings, and then use a combination of wild flailing and screen-stroking to apply crazy effects on the fly.

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.

iPhone music app comes up with endless, catchy song ideas

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fortamento iPhone music song ideas
It doesn't look like much, but then, neither did Keith Richards.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Are you a musician struggling to come up with song ideas? Are you a non-musician who just wants to come up with a neat melody for that cat video? Then you should check out Fortamento, a melody generation app for iPhone which is both incredibly easy, and surprisingly deep.

How to free up disk space in macOS High Sierra

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space mountain
There's some free space right up there.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

MacOS High Sierra upgraded the Mac’s under-the-hood file system, replacing the decades-old HFS+ with the shiny new APFS. What this means for the user is way faster file copying, the ability to revert to previous versions of your documents, and several other neat features. But it also means that you may have a lot less free space left on your storage disk, thanks to APFS’ habit of using it to store special ‘dark matter.’Today we’ll learn what this dark matter is, and how to free up disk space.

iPad app lets you play a violin with Apple Pencil

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Pen2Bow
Pen2Bow turns the Apple Pencil into a virtual violin bow.
Photo: Pen2Bow

The Apple Pencil, now compatible with pretty much all new iPads, is not just good for drawing and writing. Because if its bevvy of sensors — tilt, pressure, acceleration, and orientation — the Apple Pencil is also a pretty good musical instrument. Pen2Bow is a new iPad app which turns the Pencil into a violin bow, letting you use all of these natural gestures to play a virtual violin.