Use Shortcuts to download YouTube Videos on iPhone

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download youtube videos
Shortcuts has no problem ripping and downloading YouTube videos.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Using Apple’s amazing new Shortcuts app, you can rip a video from YouTube, download it, and store it in a folder on your iPhone — all without using a computer.

Maybe you want to watch some clips on your commute without burning through your cellular data. Or perhaps you’re a language or music teacher, and you want to keep teaching materials offline instead of relying on your pupil’s Wi-Fi?

This shortcut can be triggered in Safari, and will save the YouTube video to your Camera Roll, iCloud Drive, Dropbox or other location of your choice. Let’s get started.

Force Apple’s iOS apps to use Dropbox or any other storage

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Store your Pages and GarageBand files anywhere, not just in iCloud Drive.
Store your Pages and GarageBand files anywhere, not just in iCloud Drive.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I have a friend who came back to the iPad with the iPad Pro, and the first thing he started whining about was that there’s no way to create a local folder in the Files app. He doesn’t want to store everything in iCloud. Which reminded me of this great feature. All of Apple’s big iOS Apps — Pages, GarageBand, Numbers, and so on — let you choose where they store their files. The default is iCloud Drive, but you can choose pretty much any place you like, from Dropbox, to your iPad itself, to pretty much any third-party storage app. Let’s see how it works.

How to share Dropbox-style links in iOS 12 Photos app

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You can now share links to your photos, including photos of grapefruits.
You can now share links to your photos, including photos of grapefruits.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

iOS 12 adds a great new feature in the Photos app. Now, when you share a photo, you can choose to copy a link to that photo, and share that instead. This is a lot like sharing a file from Dropbox. You can even copy a link to a whole slew of files and share them by sending a single URL.

Shared photos are stored in iCloud, and the link is accessible to anyone that has it, for up to a month. Let’s see how it works.

Brand new Macs at risk of hacking during setup process

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macOs Mojave
Your brand new Mac can be hacked really easily.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s rock-solid supply chain might be churning out new Macs that are already hacked.

Getting a brand new Mac usually means you’re getting the freshest, most bug-free system possible, but security researchers have discovered that there’s a way to hack brand new Macs before they’ve even been turned on.

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Easily manage all your cloud drives from one familiar interface.
Easily manage all your cloud drives from one familiar interface.
Photo: iMobie

Dropbox gives some subscribers more storage for free

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dropbox
The Dropbox vs iCloud competition just got tighter now that some plans from Dropbox offer a lot more capacity.
Photo: Dropbox

Dropbox just added terabytes of storage to some of its offerings without increasing their cost. This makes its plans stronger competitors against iCloud.

The company is doubling the amount available through a Professional account to 2 TB. Business Standard teams now have 3 TB to share, up from 2 TB. 

How to save any audio file to iPhone without a Mac

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We can do better than this.
We can do better than this.
Photo: Guillaume Flament/Flickr CC

Did you ever download an audio file to your iPhone, and then wonder just how you are supposed to listen to it? Maybe you have a few recorded lectures you want to listen to on a plane, or you have some audiobooks you’d like to listen to on the beach. The bad news is a that you can’t add music or any other audio to your Music app library without a Mac or a PC.

Since iOS 11, you’ve been able to download and save audio files in the Files app, but good luck listening to them. It’s like listening to audio in the Finder on your Mac, with no way to save your place, or really control the playback much at all.

But there’s a better way. The Overcast podcast app, which is pretty excellent in general, also lets you upload your own audio files, and then it treats them as regular podcast episodes. We also have a more complex method that takes a bit of setup, but can be used with any podcast app, including Apple’s own. Here’s how to use them.

Drafts 5, Vulse, Things, and other awesome apps of the week

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Awesome Apps
'Appy weekend.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

This week has been big on big updates. Drafts, the best text-capture app for iOS, got a brand-new version. Cultured Code’s Things also received a big update (but still doesn’t allow drag-and-drop to task lists). And Dropbox finally did add drag-and-drop, just seven months after iOS 11 added the feature.

Well done!

Dropbox for iPad updated with tons of great features

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Dropbox for iPad
The latest Dropbox version lets you move files around with a finger.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The latest version of Dropbox allows iPad users to move files around with a fingertip. It also works better with long file names.

Even though iPad was designed to be controlled with touches, drag-and-drop file management has been slow to come to this tablet. Still, Dropbox is on board.