HomePod setup process leaked by latest iOS 11 beta

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Apple's new HomePod smart speaker is ready to rock your house.
HomePod will launch in December, but supplies will be constrained.
Photo: Apple

The latest iOS 11 beta just revealed what it will be like to set up a HomePod, Apple’s new smart speaker coming later this year.

Pairing HomePod with your iPhone will be quite similar to the AirPods setup routine, based on leaked screenshots of the process. If the leak is accurate, you’ll only be able to set up the speaker using an iPhone or iPad.

tvOS 11 beta includes references to unannounced 4K Apple TV

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apple tv and siri remote
A new Apple TV is on the horizon.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

References to a new Apple TV device have been discovered in the latest beta for tvOS 11, which could indicate that the new set top box is close to a possible launch.

Developers have been combing through the files in tvOS 11 beta 7 after Apple released it this morning it alongside new iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra betas. While the beta doesn’t come with any major new features, one developer discovered it contains some hints about the long-rumored 4K Apple TV.

New iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra betas bring minor tweaks

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iPhone 7 iOS 11
Grab iOS 11 beta 7 while it's fresh!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Development of iOS 11 appears to be nearing the finish line, as Apple seeded a fresh new beta for its big update of the software that powers iPhones and iPads.

iOS 11 beta 7, along with new betas for macOS High Sierra and tvOS 11, are now available to registered developers. They bring a bunch of new bug fixes and performance improvements to the operating systems, which are expected to be released to the public later this fall.

Apple how-to videos help you make the most of iOS 11 on iPad

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how-to videos
Apple's new how-to videos showcase the best new iPad features in iOS 11.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Six new how-to videos from Apple show how to do things with your iPad running iOS 11. The minute-long episodes are engaging, informational and make iOS 11 look super-exciting, which it totally is.

If you want to get an idea of the neatest new features in iOS 11, these videos make a great place to start. Even better, you might want to send them to somebody else to show them what they will be able to do with their own iPad when Apple releases the final version of iOS 11 in a few weeks time.

How to zip and unzip files on iOS

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Zip mail zipping files ios
Zipping is so last century, but you can still do it easily enough on iOS.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Zipping files is easy on the Mac. You just right-click on one or more selected files in the Finder, then click Create Archive. The files get turned into an easy-to-handle .zip file.

On iOS, it’s a bit trickier. Even in iOS 11’s new Files app, you’ll find no built-in support for zipping files into a single package (or for unzipping them). To zip files in iOS, I use Readdle’s excellent Documents app. Lots of one-shot iOS apps will also do the job, but I like Documents because it’s also where all my documents live.

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 be 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.

How to find your purchased apps in iOS 11

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Purchased apps in ios 11
Your purchased apps haven’t gone in iOS 11 — they’ve just been hidden.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple rolls out sixth betas for iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, tvOS 11 and more

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iPhone 7 iOS 11
Get iOS 11 beta 6 now!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s sixth betas for iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, tvOS 11, and watchOS 4 are now available to download for registered developers.

This rollout comes just one week after Apple seeded its fifth beta releases, which indicates the company is close to finalizing these updates for their public debut this fall.

How to use AirDrop for instant file sharing

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Airdrop ios iPad iPhone
AirDrop works across the room to make sharing files between Apple devices easy as can be.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

AirDrop, Apple’s built-in sharing feature, lets you beam pretty much anything between any Apple devices. You can use it to share photos, videos, URLS, documents, snippets of text — in short, anything that can be shared using the standard “sharing arrow” icon is fair game for AirDrop.

AirDrop really should be your first choice for sharing, because it doesn’t use the internet to send the files. It connects you and the recipient directly to each other using Wi-Fi, and makes the transfer that way. This makes AirDrop secure and lightning-fast. It also mean it works as well on the top of a mountain as it does in a busy office.