The iPad Pro is the best and worst iPad I’ve ever owned [Opinion]

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3D Touch shortcuts now work on the iPad.
My iPad Pro has been nothing but trouble.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The 2018 iPad Pro is an incredible machine. It’s powerful. It has a screen so good that it’s hard to look at anything else after seeing it. Face ID was made for the iPad, and is way more suited to a tablet than a phone. And the physical design is beautiful. It’s thin, the bezels are small enough not to notice, and the iPad Pro’s USB-C port is far more useful than I imagined.

And yet this is the worst iPad I have ever used. It has been buggy. It can’t do basic tasks with any consistency. Audio drops out. And until I updated to iOS 13, the screen would freeze a few times a day.

Oh, and once I bent it without even realizing.

Bluetooth box bridges gap between iPhone and studio monitor speakers

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The Kali Bluetooth Input Module
The Kali Bluetooth Input Module puts a big knob on your desk.
Photo: Kali Audio

Problem: You have a kick-ass stereo, or a pair of excellent studio monitor speakers, and you want to hook up your iPhone to listen to some music. Only you don’t want to dig out the headphone dongle and plug in a cable.

Solution: The Kali Audio Bluetooth Module. It hooks up to your speakers via cable, adding a Bluetooth receiver that lets you get the music out of your iPhone or iPad. It seems simple, and it is. But it’s also super-duper handy.

HomePod is finally on its way to Japan

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HomePod market share
It will be on sale “this summer.”
Photo: Apple

Apple is gearing up to launch HomePod in Japan — more than two years after the device got its first unveiling.

Smart speaker shoppers will be able to pick one up in the coming weeks for 32,800 yen (approx. $301). HomePod will then be available in a total of 11 countries.

iOS 13 wishlist: 6-ish ways Apple could improve audio

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This is what pre-iOS 13 audio looks like to a visitor from next year.
This is what pre-iOS 13 audio looks like to a visitor from next year.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

 

There’s one big thing I wish for when I kneel next to my bed at night, cross my fingers and think of iOS 13: better audio. Not better quality audio. That’s already great. I just want better control, and better features.

And this isn’t just specialized podcasting or music-making stuff. There are problems everywhere. You know how when you’re listening to music, and you open up the camera app, and your music stops playing? That kind of problem. Which is number one one on my list by the way. Check out the rest:

How to record Apple Music from your iPhone to your Mac

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Send DRM or other audio up the USB cable, and record it.
Send DRM or other audio up the USB cable, and record it.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Did you know that you can record the music playing on your iPhone, to your Mac, straight up the USB cable? Just hook your Mac up to your iPhone (or iPad), using the Lighting cable that came in the box, and you can record anything. You could record songs from Beats One radio in Apple Music, for example.

It’s just like taping off the radio when you were a kid — or maybe when your dad was a kid — only better quality.

Should you use the EQ in the iPhone’s Music app?

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How low can you go?
How low can you go?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The quick answer is “Yes, of course you should.” The more complex answer is “But only if you need it.” Your iPhone has an equalizer built in, although it’s not exactly easy to find. Annoyingly-hidden-yet-essential interface elements aside, there’s usually not much point in tweaking the EQ of your Apple Music library unless you have a problem in your setup.

But if you do want to use it, here’s how.

How to record digital audio from your iPhone to your Mac with iDAM

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Audio and USB, together again.
Audio and USB, together again.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Did you know that you can send the audio from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac via the Lightning cable? That audio stays in pristine digital ones and zeros, and can be recorded (or otherwise used) anywhere you can edit audio on your Mac.

For musicians, this turns your iPad and all its music apps into a plugin for your Mac. And for anyone else, it could just be a neat way to route audio into your Mac’s speakers. The feature is called iDAM, and it’s built into your Apple devices. Oh, and it works with MIDI too.

TwistedWave is the least annoying way to edit music on iOS [Review]

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No, not that kind of wave.
No, not that kind of wave.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you ever wanted to do any of the following …

  • Chop up music.
  • Remove the start or end of an audio track.
  • Extract the audio from a video.
  • Convert an MP3 (or any other music file) to some other music file format.
  • Pretty much anything else.

… then you should grab TwistedWave this second. It’s an essential app for working with audio on the iPhone and iPad. And it’s also really, really quick and easy to use.