How to set up your new iPad the right way

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Apple Smart Keyboard Folio for the 2020 iPad Pro
Let's get your new iPad up and running.
Photo: Apple

Congratulations — you got a new iPad! Whether it’s a high-tech marvel of a new iPad Pro, the super-speedy iPad Air, or a pocketable iPad mini, you’ll want to set up your new device with the least amount of fuss.

We’re here to help you do just that with a ton of little tips and tweaks that will make sure you’re off and using that new iPad as quickly as possible. From backing up your old iPad (if you had one already) to getting up and running with a brand-new iPad from scratch, we’ve got you covered.

How to add a local folder to your iPad

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It’s not so easy to fill up that storage space on your iPad local files
It’s not so easy to fill up that storage space on your iPad.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

One of iOS’s most ridiculous omissions is the lack of any way to create a local folder in the Files app. You can add as many folders as you like to your iCloud Drive, but if you just want to create a folder that lives on your iPad, tough.

Luckily, there are workarounds. Here are a couple.

Pro Tip: How to reveal the Files sidebar in portrait view

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Files may be clunky, but it's better than this.
Files may be clunky, but it's better than this.
Photo: Phil Roeder/Flickr CC

Cult of Mac Pro Tip: How to reveal the Files sidebar in portrait view This is a simple tip, but until I worked it out it was driving me crazy. In landscape orientation, the iPad Files app’s sidebar is always present, making it easy to get to any favorite folder, location or label, pretty much instantly.

In portrait, though, the sidebar disappears. However, there are two easy ways to make it come back, neither of which involves tapping the back arrow until you arrive at the root level of iCloud Drive.

iOS 12 brings trackpad mode to every iPhone and iPad

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trackpad mode
Trackpads -- not just for the Mac any more.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Users of 3-D Touch-capable iPhones, and of iPads in general, have long been able to use the devices’ fantastic trackpad mode. It’s a great way to quickly move the keyboard’s insert point (aka cursor) precisely where you want it — and it just got even better.

In iOS 12, this neat trick comes to all iPhones, even those without 3-D Touch. Bonus tip: The update also makes it even easier to use trackpad mode on your iPad.

How to add sound to your iPhone or iPad screen recordings

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just-press-record
Just press record.
Photo: darkday/Flickr CC

iOS 11 added screen recording to the iPhone and iPad, letting you make movies from whatever is running on then screen. I use it to make video clips for how-tos, or to capture video and then create animated GIFs. But did you know that you can also use screen recording to copy a YouTube video? Or to make a screencast complete with a live voiceover? Here’s how.

How to add extra filter packs to the iPhone’s Photos app

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filter packs iPhone
Captured, edited, and filtered, all inside the Camera and Photos apps.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

One lesser known ability of the Photos app on your iPhone is that is can use third-party filter packs. If you install a photo-editing app that supports them, then you can apply that apps filters without ever leaving the Photos app. This makes it super quick to add sophisticated effects to your pictures, and you can revert to the original photo at any time in the future.

Today we’ll see how to use these filter packs, and look at a couple of great apps that have them.

Remove annoying clutter from iPad Spotlight searches

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spotlight
No, not this kind of spotlight.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you use Spotlight to find stuff on your iPhone or iPad, you’ll be familiar with the mess of results you get when you search. Maybe you’re searching for a note or an email about that really important thing, only the actual results you want are buried under a heap of nonsense from twitter, from YouTube, from all the Ebay classifieds you’ve viewed, and so on.

The good news is, you can trim these results, eliminating the noise you don’t need. The even better news is that recent versions of iOS do this is a much more elegant way.