How to set up your new iPad Pro the right way

By

2018 iPad Pro unboxing
Have you got yours yet?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Oh man! You just got your amazing new iPad Pro, tore it out of the box, and wondered how you got duped into dropping $130 on that tiny white Apple Pencil. Now it’s time to get things set up. Thankfully, this is an easy process, especially if you already use an iPhone or iPad with iCloud.

So easy, in fact, that there are just a few things you need to do to move from your old iPad to a new one, or to migrate from an iPhone. And setting up a new iPad Pro from scratch isn’t much harder — gone are the days of manually copying passwords just to get to the home screen.

Still, following these iPad Pro setup and customization tips will make sure you get the most out of your new machine. Let’s get started.

How to zip and unzip files on iPhone with Shortcuts

By

Broken zip shortcut metaphor.
Broken ZIP Shortcut metaphor.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Shortcuts isn’t just about asking Siri to help out when a cop pulls you over, or shutting your home down for the night. Shortcuts can also be little utilities that you use on your files, adding Mac-like functions to your iPad or iPhone. Today’s example shows how to make a shortcut that unzips files, and saves them to your iCloud Drive or Dropbox. Even in iOS 12, there’s no built-in way to unzip stuff. And with this shortcut, you won’t have to buy an app to do it.

How to make Group FaceTime calls on iPhone, iPad or Mac

By

Group FaceTime is super easy to use.
Group FaceTime is super easy to use.
Photo: Apple

With the new Group FaceTime feature in iOS 12.1 and macOS Mojave 10.14.1, you can call up to 32 people and chat with them all at the same time.

Apple took some extra time getting this feature working perfectly. Now that’s it’s here, let’s see how to use Group FaceTime on iOS devices and Mac to get in on those massive group chats.

Shortcuts 2.1 adds new weather and timer actions

By

Set a timer with the new Shortcuts v2.1.
Set a timer with the new Shortcuts v2.1.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Amidst the flurry of iPad and Mac news yesterday, Apple also released the latest version of Shortcuts, the super-cool iOS automation app. The big news is the addition of seven new actions for checking the weather, setting timers and measurement conversions. Let’s take a look at Shortcuts 2.1.

How to make a great Memoji

By

Memoji are awesome. Here's how to make your own.
Memoji are awesome. Here's how to make your own.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

iOS 12 lets you create Memoji, your own custom Animoji. What’s an Animoji? It’s a little animated character that — thanks to some facial recognition tricks from the latest iPhones’ TrueDepth cameras — copies your expressions live. This turns the cute Animoji critters into little virtual face puppets.

Now you don’t need to rely on a stock Animoji like Apple’s monkey, dog or space alien. You can create your own custom Memoji from scratch. You can make a virtual version of yourself, or you can create an original character. Or, as we’ll do today, you can copy a celebrity. Who? Let’s see …

How to rock out with a GarageBand Jam Session

By

Pump up the jam.
Pump up the jam.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Let’s have a bit of weekend fun today. We’re going to jam out on GarageBand for iOS with our friends. Imagine it’s 20 years ago, and you and your friends all get together with your instruments, hook them up to a little four-track cassette recorder, and get to rocking out.

Returning back to 2018, you can do something similar. GarageBand’s Jam Session lets you connect up to four iPhones and iPads together, wirelessly, and jam. All four performances are recorded one of the devices, and everything is in sync. And of course you can use any instrument available in GarageBand. One of you can take care of beats, another can lay down a fat bassline, and so on.

Let’s get started.

How to export GarageBand stems on iPad

By

It's super-easy to export GarageBand stems on iPad with AudioShare once you know the trick.
It's super-easy to export GarageBand stems once you know the trick.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you use Apple’s magnificent GarageBand for iOS, you will come up against one frustration over and over again — exporting stems. Or rather, not exporting stems. “Stems” is a cool music-producer term for the individual tracks in a song, and it is common practice to export them separately to either edit them in another app or send them to other people.

GarageBand on iOS doesn’t do this. It’s inexplicable. But there’s a fast and easy way to grab the stems right from your GarageBand project. You just need a copy of the magnificent AudioShare app, which costs just $3.99. Here’s how to export GarageBand stems.

Use Shortcuts to download YouTube Videos

By

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.

Pro Tip: Make Siri STFU for once

By

Tell Siri to put a sock in it mute siri
Tell Siri to put a sock in it.
Photo: murielle29/Flickr CC

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bug Despite its many flaws, Siri is still useful for lots of tasks: Setting a coffee timer, adding a reminder, looking up a fact. But what I almost never want is Siri’s voice feedback.

Usually I’m looking at my iPhone when I use Siri, and I don’t use Hey Siri ever. What I want is to ask Siri a question, and have it answer, without all the usual smart-mouthed nonsense. Thankfully, there’s one setting that does just that: Mute Siri.

How to create your first Siri Shortcut

By

Using shortcuts is easy, once you know how it works.
Using Shortcuts is easy, once you know how it works.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Shortcuts is the hot new feature of iOS 12. The Shortcuts app lets you automate some crazy stuff, for instance this shortcut that activates the iPhone’s camera and sends an SMS if the cops pull you over. Thanks to Apple’s terminology, Shortcuts is a little confusing. Is it an automation tool? Does it have something to do with Siri? Why would you use it?

We’ll answer these questions, and then build an awesome shortcut so you can see how the app works.