Audiobus keeps your music creations in perfect time

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audiobus link
Audiobus now syncs with all other apps using Ableton Link.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Audiobus, the iOS app that lets you route audio between apps on your iPad or iPhone, just got an update. The version number is 3.0.5, which belies the fact that Audiobus 3 just got one huge new feature: support for Ableton Link, which means that it will now keep tempo with all the other music apps on your iDevice.

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 send audio from one iOS app to another with Audiobus

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Audiobus mixer on a piano
Audiobus is like a set of virtual patch cables for musical apps.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you want to make music on iPhone or iPad, you can choose from an embarrassment of fantastic iOS apps. You’ll also find plenty of music effects and recording apps on the platform.

The problem is using two types of apps together, because iOS isn’t nearly as flexible as macOS when it comes to digging into the system. But with a $10 app called Audiobus 3, you can route audio between apps. That means you can send music from, say, a drum machine to an audio recorder, or from your guitar to a sampler.

Further, you can route audio from many apps at a time, letting you create as complex or simple a setup as you like. If you think of Audiobus as a set of virtual patch cables for your iPhone or iPad, you’re on the right track.

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.

How to use the new keyboard shortcuts in iOS 11’s Files app

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Files app keyboard shortcuts
Files app keyboard shortcuts
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The Files app is iOS 11’s Finder. You can use it to browse the files in your iCloud Drive, along with files and folders in your Dropbox, and inside other apps that open up their file systems to iOS. In the latest public and developer betas, Apple added some keyboard shortcuts to the Files app. This lets you carry out many common tasks without touching the screen when you have a hardware keyboard attached.

Most of the new keyboard shortcuts are great, and show how serious Apple is about the new user-accessible iOS file system. But some serious limitations mean you’ll still need to reach up and tap the screen to do the most basic things.

5 tips to fix an unresponsive iPhone screen

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5 tips to fix an unresponsive iPhone screen
Is your iPhone screen acting up? Here's how to fix it.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

If you’ve been having problems with your iPhone or iPad screen not acting quite as responsive as usual, don’t panic: You can try out plenty of quick and easy tricks before heading to your closest Genius Bar.

Get five tips for fixing an unresponsive iPhone screen in our how-to video:

Everything you need to know about location sharing in iOS

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Location sharing
Where’s my iPhone? I know I left it around here somewhere
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Your iPhone knows where you are, pretty much all the time, and you probably know that it can share your location with other people, too, if you let it. Many apps ask to know where you are so that they can do their job (a weather app, a mapping app), but the iPhone has a few built-in ways to let other folks know where you are, and also to help you find a lost iPhone. There are so many ways to use location sharing that it can get a little confusing, but really, all those options are connected to the same service.

Let’s see how they all tie together.

How to use one-handed Maps mode in iOS 11

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one-handed-maps
This is all happening with one finger.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Using one-handed maps is currently suboptimal, because you need two fingers to zoom the map. But in iOS 11, the familiar pinch-to-zoom gesture is joined by a new tap-to-zoom, which lets you navigate the entire interface with a single thumb. This means that you can easily check the map while walking, or even — if you are an irresponsible psychopath — while riding a bike.

Wizibel makes videos for your music, so you don’t have to

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wizibel
It won't make Thriller, but it's better than nothing.
Photo: Klevgränd

The rumors say that SoundCloud is on its way out. The company is laying off staff, while burning through streaming bandwidth with no real way to make any money. If you’re a musician, this is a big deal, because SoundCloud is where you share music, and where you go to hear other musicians’ music. It’s a mixtape and an audition reel combined.

The smart move is to take your music to YouTube, because a) it’s not going away, b) it’s free, and c) it’s where everyone goes for free music anyway. The problem? You need to make a video. You could always just put a still image up there, but then the kids will get bored and move onto something else. But as a musician, you’d probably rather spend your time making music instead of making movie.

Luckily — surprise surprise — there’s an app for that. It’s called Wizibel, ands it comes from master iOS music-app-maker Klevgränd.