iOS 11 video player gets a serious upgrade

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iOS 11 video player
The iOS 11 video player even supports YouTube's auto-generated captions, not that you'll ever want to use them.
Photo: Cult of Mac

iOS 11 has gotten a big upgrade to its QuickView video player, the one that takes care of videos playing in apps, on web sites, and so on. Previously you only got a basic video scrubber, a volume slider, and a play button. Now, you can not only access subtitles and AirPlay right from the video screen, but you can control pretty much everything in the new iOS 11 video player with a keyboard.

How To always open a website in Persistent Reader View in iOS 11

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persistent reader view compare
Clean up the busiest sites automatically with the new Persistent Reader View.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Do you have any websites you read regularly in Reader view? Maybe they’re covered in popovers that keep distracting you? Or perhaps the design hurts your sensitive eyes, or the otherwise smart author insists on using Comic Sans for the text body? Well, there’s good news: Safari on iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra now let you activate Persistent Reader View, which automatically switches the clean Reader view in as the page loads.

How to customize Control Center in iOS 11 beta

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control center customization
At last, you can customize the Control Center in iOS 11.
Photo: Cult of Mac

In iOS 11, you can customize the Control Center, removing some of the shortcuts you don’t use, and adding in some new ones. This, combined with Control Center’s new in-depth, 3D Touch controls, makes it a lot easier to quickly access functions you don’t necessarily want to open an app to use.

For instance, you can get quickly access an Apple TV remote, add widgets for alarms and timers, change text size, and even start screen recordings.

Notes app gets new turbocharged text tools 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.

How to convert currency from your lock screen

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currency conversion iOS
Spotlight might be the quickest way to convert currency on iOS.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Traveling? You need a currency conversion app then, right? No! If you’re carrying your iPhone, you can do those conversions quickly, using Spotlight, without even unlocking your iPhone. Better still, you can do those currency conversions while offline, which might be essential when you’re roaming in a foreign land.

Use AudioShare to slice, dice, zip, and share audio files on iOS

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audioshare
If there was a music app that was like a kind of military tool from a neutral European country, then AudioShare would be it.
Photo: Cult of Mac

There’s no iTunes for iOS. Thank God, some may say — after all, iTunes on the desktop is Apple’s Office, a bloated, do-it-all app that does nothing well, and is impossible to kill. But this also means that there’s no good way to save and wrangle music files on iOS — not from Apple at least. Which is where Kymatica’s AudioShare comes in. AudioShare is really a tool for musicians and other folks who work with sound, but it is so useful, and so easy to use, that everyone should have it on their iPhone and iPad to deal with audio files of all kinds.

How to use Text Replacement to avoid typing the words you hate

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Text Replacement shortcuts in iPhone
Text Replacements are easy to set up, and save a ton of time and hassle. You can even use them with emoji.
Photo: Cult of Mac

What if you could type out any of your email addresses just by tapping on the same key a few times? Or do Google searches over and over on a favorite website just as easily? What about easily typing that special symbol that’s so hard to reach on the iOS keyboard that you usually never bother? All this, and more, can be yours, if only you’ll spend a minute or two setting up some text replacement shortcuts. Let’s do it right now.

How to get iPhone alerts when someone replies to that super-important email thread

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thread alerts for email
Make sure you never miss an important reply with thread alerts.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The VIP mailbox in Apple’s Mail app helps stem the torrent of incoming email alerts by limiting the notifications you see to folks you mark as important. But what about when you want to get an alert for a one-off reply?

Perhaps you’re waiting on an email from an eBay seller about that sweet vintage guitar, or you’re desperate for a reply from your landlord about switching off the heating because, c’mon, it’s almost summer already. Then you need email thread alerts.

Forget Apple News: Here’s how to use Safari Shared Links instead

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Safari packs some surprisingly powerful features, like Shared Links.
Safari packs some surprisingly powerful features, like Shared Links.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Apple’s News app is pretty great, but only if you’re happy reading stories from Apple-approved sources. There’s plenty of news in the default configuration to keep you going, and you can also dig in and easily pick your own sources and subjects to make it more relevant.

But what about those oddball sites that you read every day? Your favorite ferret-legging forum, for instance? Is there a way to include those in the News app? There used to be, but Apple removed the ability to subscribe to any and all sites somewhere around iOS 10. The goods news is, you can still subscribe to your favorite sites right in Safari’s Shared Links.