How to add any audio file to iPhone’s Music app

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cd
Your music is so hard to get into the iPhone's Music app, it may as well be on CD
Photo: Lost Places/Flickr CC

It’s 2017, and yet you still can’t add music to the Music app on your iPhone. If you have an MP3 file that somebody sent you, that you downloaded, or that you created with one of the zillions of powerful apps on iOS, you can’t just add it to your library. Instead, you must add it to iTunes on your Mac or PC, and then manually sync it to your iPhone, either over Wi-Fi or with a cable.

It’s absurd, and today we’re going to fix it. You’ll still need a Mac to be running, but at least you don’t have to actually touch it.

How to share and collaborate in GarageBand using iCloud

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recording studio
With iOS 11, you don't need to go to a recording studio to collaborate on a song.
Photo: Iñaki de Bilbao/Flickr CC

One of the great new features in iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra is shared documents. You can create almost any kind of file, and collaborate on it with other people. This can be a simple Pages document, or a complex song in GarageBand. In theory, the file will be updated with everybody’s changes, so you can work on the same project without emailing a zillion copies back and forth.

Currently, this feature ranges from a little shaky, to rock solid, depending on what apps you are using. Here’s how to share and collaborate using GarageBand in iOS 11.

How to change the default location of saved files on iOS 11

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default locations dropbox iOS 11
You're no longer required to use iCloud Drive as your default.
Photo: Cult of Mac

You probably know by now that iOS 11’s Files app can integrate services like Dropbox, and Google Drive, so that they appear and act like regular folders on your iPhone or iPad. But did you know that you can choose these third-party services at the default storage option for your apps? Take Apple’s own Pages, for instance. In the olden days, it would store files in your iCloud Drive, or locally on your iPad. Now, you can pick anything, including Dropbox, as the default location for saving.

Apple’s quick iOS 11.0.1 release is here to kill some bugs

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iOS 11
The first iOS 11 update is here.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

iPhone and iPad users that upgraded to iOS 11 last week are already getting their first update even though Apple didn’t release any beta builds to developers yet.

The new iOS 11.0.1 update was pushed out to devices this morning exactly one week after the big release of iOS 11. It’s not clear if there are any major changes, but it looks like it may come with some important bug fixes.

Dropbox is now baked into the iOS 11 Files App

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dropbox files
Dropbox is now just another folder on your iPad or iPhone.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Dropbox now shows up as a regular old folder in the new iOS 11 Files app. The latest update to the Dropbox iOS aa brings full integration with Files, making it work much more like it does on the Mac and PC. For instance, now you can drag a file from a Dropbox folder into an iCloud Drive folder, and it just works.

iOS 11 is now available for iPhone and iPad

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The best gesture in iOS 11 isn't just for iPad.
iOS 11 Makes your devices feel brand new.
Photo: Apple

The long wait for Apple’s AR future is finally over.

iOS 11 has just been released to the public today after a record-breaking beta testing period and it’s packed with a host of new features that will make your iPhone and iPad feel like new.

Apple teases iOS 10 users with new iOS 11 features

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iPhone 7 iOS 11
A redesigned Control Center is one of many changes to look forward to in iOS 11.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has begun promoting new iOS 11 features to iOS 10 users ahead of the update’s public release.

The Tips app is issuing notifications that tease things like iOS 11’s redesigned Control Center, giving users a chance to preview them before the mobile operating system’s release in coming weeks.

Everything you need to know about tagging files in iOS 11

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Tagging files in ios 11
Tagging files is a powerful and easy way to tidy up your files, but it’s currently limited to the new iOS 11 Files app.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

One of the most useful features in iOS 11’s Files app may turn out to ta tagging files. Tagging lets you gather pictures, folders, documents and any other files from all across your iPad and iCloud storage by giving them the same tag.

This means you can organize files without moving them — you could create a Vacation tag, for example, to collect maps, a PDF with your Airbnb info, your boarding passes, and even related emails. Then, when the vacation ends, you can delete the tag. The grouping disappears but the files never get moved.

Tags are also synced between the Mac and iOS, so your collections can group files from both platforms. You can also apply many tags to the same file, including it in as many “projects” or lists as you like. The tagging functionality is built into the Files app at a deep level, making it easy to use wherever you are. Here are all the ways you can use tags in iOS 11.

Maximize your Mac’s file system with Smart Folders

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Smart Folders are my jam. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Smart Folders are my jam. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

A longtime Cult of Mac reader wrote in with a question about some odd-looking folders she sees on her Mac.

“The ‘All Pictures’ folder has a sprocket looking icon,” she writes. “Same with All PDF documents and Recently Changed documents.

Are these files located elsewhere and if I deleted a file from one of the above folders does it remove it from all my files? Don’t understand the purpose of these.”

Excellent question, for sure. Let’s take a look at what these folders are, and how to use them to their full potential.