How to export GarageBand stems on iPad

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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

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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.

Pro Tip: Make Siri STFU for once

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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

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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.

How to make a great Memoji

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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 iPhone X and XS 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 …

Set up your new iPhone XS the right way

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iPhone Xs
Get your new iPhone set up the right way.
Photo: Apple

For many people, the iPhone XS will be radically different from previous iPhones. Despite this, the iPhone setup process hasn’t changed much. However, while you might find yourself on familiar ground, there are still plenty of little things you really ought to do before you fire up your new phone for the first time (or pretty soon thereafter). Let’s take a look at how to set up your new iPhone XS the right way.

How to add a second face to Face ID in iOS 12

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alternate appearance Face ID
The Cult of Mac dress code makes it hard to use Face ID at work.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

In iOS 12, iPhone X owners gain the option of adding an alternate appearance in Face ID. If you’re a drag queen, if you regularly wear protective head and face gear for your job, or if you’re Bono and you’d like to be able to use your iPhone for that one hour a day that your doctor recommends you remove your sunglasses, an alternate appearance will help your iPhone recognize you.

Can you use it to let a second person access your iPhone? Perhaps. Here’s how to set it all up.

Why you should use iOS 12’s Do Not Disturb at Bedtime all day long

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Do Not Disturb at Bedtime all day
You could enjoy this peaceful situation all day long.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

iOS 12’s best new feature may be Do Not Disturb at Bedtime. That sounds boring, but ask anyone who has been using it and they’ll tell you that it rocks. Apart from being active overnight, the main difference between regular Do Not Disturb and the new “at Bedtime” flavor is that all notifications are hidden from the lock screen until you deliberately swipe up on the screen to reveal them.

Regular Do Not Disturb suppresses audio and vibrating alerts, but the notifications still appear on the lock screen. You’ll see them any time you pick up your iPhone or unlock your iPad. This can make the difference between enjoying your hooky afternoon at the beach in peace or worrying the whole time because you accidentally saw that Slack message from your boss.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could take the regular Do Not Disturb and make it hide your alerts all day long? The good news is that you totally can.

How to block any website on iPhone and iPad

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Block websites on iPhone and iPad
Stay OUT!
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

There are probably good reasons to block a website on your own iPhone or iPad, but really, why not just avoid typing its URL? It’s far more likely that you’ll want to block a website on somebody else’s device, probably a child’s. Or perhaps you don’t want your kids to accidentally hit all your bookmarks to porn and gambling sites when they use your iPhone.

Whatever your reasons, here’s how to block any website on your iPhone or iPad.

This Siri Shortcut will automatically text your commute time to your spouse

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Siri shortcuts knows how long your bus will take to get you home.
Siri knows how long your bus will take to get you home.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

This Siri Shortcut will send an iMessage to a friend, spouse or other contact telling them how long it will be until you get to their location. Once set up, all you need to do is say something simple (and easy to remember) like “Home soon.”

This shortcut uses a brand-new feature in Shortcuts beta 2.0 that allows the sending of messages in the background, without having to confirm them first. It’s a small but powerful addition. Once Apple irons out the kinks, this feature could make a huge difference in how useful Siri Shortcuts will be day to day.