How to turn any song into a ringtone with GarageBand for iOS

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custom ringtones itunes
This is a screenshot of the original iTunes, on an iPad.
Photo: Cult of Mac

There are very few iOS tasks that still require a Mac. One of those is getting your own ringtones onto your iPhone. You can buy them, but you can’t add a downloaded ringtone onto your iPhone without hooking up to iTunes. Or can you? GarageBand on iOS lets you save your own creations as ringtones, to be used immediately. Here’s how.

Quick tip: How to scroll to the top on iPhone X

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iPhone X
The iPhone X is overloaded with essential gestures. Here's another one for you to learn.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Ever since the early days of the iPhone, you have been able to tap on the status bar at the top of the screen to quickly scroll a long page back to the top. You may have been at the bottom of a long document, an epic web page or a particularly brutal Instapaper article, and one tap takes you back to the beginning. It’s a fantastic feature that really saves a lot of crazy finger-flicking, and is just plain convenient. Once you get used to it, the few apps that manage to disable the feature seem broken.

And yet now in the iPhone X, tapping the top of the screen no longer scrolls to the top. But don’t worry: There is still a way to do it. You’ll just have to learn yet another gesture.

Set up your new iPhone X the right way

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iphone x dock
Get your new iPhone set up the right way.
Photo: Apple

The new iPhone X is radically different from previous iPhones, but the setup hasn’t changed much at all. The biggest differences will show themselves if you’re already running iOS 11 on your current iPhone, because you’ll be able to take advantage of Automatic Setup. And of course Face ID has ousted Touch ID, so you’ll only have to save one face, instead of several fingers.

Other than that, you may find yourself on familiar ground. So lets take a look at how to set up your new iPhone X the right way.

How to use the iPhone’s one-handed keyboard in iOS 11

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one-handed keyboard
Stop hating words containing Q, A, and Z, with the iPhone's new one-handed keyboard.
Photo: Cult of Mac

If you have small hands, or a big-screen iPhone, or both, then you may love the new one-handed keyboard in iOS 11. It’s a simple software tweak that squishes the on-screen keyboard horizontally, and slides it to the left or right, so you can more easily reach all the keys with a thumb.

This is great news for folks who like to walk along the street sipping coffee and texting, instead of looking where they’re going. It’s also neat for people trying to get a baby to sleep, so they can tweet about it as they bob the baby into slumber on their hip.

How to teach Siri to pronounce a name correctly

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siri pronounce
Siri will teach you how to teach her.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Siri is great for setting reminders and timers, but in recent times Apple’s AI assistant has gotten a lot better at other things, too. For instance, sending iMessages to folks via your EarPods or AirPods, with your iPhone still in your pocket, works well enough that you can use it reliably all the time.

However, if Siri can’t pronounce the names of your contacts, then it’ll drive you crazy. Luckily, you can teach Siri to say these names correctly.

How to quickly trim video on Mac and iOS

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How to quickly trim videos on Mac and iOS
Editing your video clips will make them way less boring.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The secret of a good movie is in the editing. Well, the script, the lightning, the directing, the photography, and the acting are all important, but for home movies, you have little control over those.

So it’s down to the edit. And the most basic of edits is to lop the ends off a clip, to trim video and make it shorter. Watching excessively long clips is the equivalent of a conversation with someone who can’t ever get to the point. “Let me tell you about that time I fell out of the plane. It was a Tuesday. No, I think it was Wednesday. Wait, it must have been a Tuesday because …”

It’s painful. So, do yourself a favor and trim your video clips. Even if you’re not planning on combining your edits into a short movie, you should at least remove the cruft from anything you’re going to show. The good news is that it’s dead easy to trim video on Mac and iOS.

How to manually offload and reinstall apps in iOS 11

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iphone
iOS 11 introduces 'offloading,' a way to delete an app without deleting its data. Here's how to manually offload and reinstall any app on your iPhone or iPad
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

iOS 11 can automatically delete apps when space gets tight on your iPhone or iPad. It’s called offloading, and only the app itself gets removed.

All the app’s data is saved. That way, if you reinstall the app in the future, it will be like you never deleted it. Wouldn’t it be great if you could choose to offload apps yourself, instead of deleting them? Well, good news, because you can totally do that. Here’s how.

How to record your iPhone screen in iOS 11

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control center iOS 11
You can now record iPhone screen easily using the Control Center toggle.
Photo: Apple

Recording your iPhone screen used to be a hassle. If you wanted to capture iOS gameplay, or make a funny or informative GIF of on-screen action, you needed to download a third-party app or connect your device to a computer.

Those days are over: With iOS 11, Apple baked in sweet functionality that lets you record your iPhone screen effortlessly. Here’s how to do it.

Notes app gets new turbocharged text tools in iOS 11

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iOS 11 notes
Notes app behaves more like a piece of paper than ever in iOS 11.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Up until now, if you wanted to do fancy formatting with the iOS Notes app, you had to dust off your Mac to do it. Now, with the iOS 11 Notes update, you no longer need to boot up a desktop computer just to switch a note to a monospaced font, or add a table. You can do it all on your iPhone or iPad. And this is in addition to the great new in-line sketch features and document scanner that headline this update.

iOS 11 makes Spotlight search super-powerful

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spotlight search in iOS 11
Spotlight in iOS 11 is a power-users dream, letting you find anything -- whether on the web on on your device -- fast.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Spotlight search gets a big overhaul in iOS 11. The Spotlight updates in iOS 11 don’t seem quite as spectacular as the iPad’s new Dock, or drag-and-drop, but the small tweaks make the search tool a lot more useful.

Now you can search both your iPad and the web, similar to how you conduct a search in Safari. If you ever used Launchbar, Alfred or Quicksilver on the Mac, the new iOS 11 Spotlight will feel familiar.