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.

How to really use bookmarks on iPhone and iPad

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old school bookmark
Try loading this bookmark in Safari.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You probably already know how to save a bookmark on your iPhone or iPad, but you might not know just how many neat things you can do with them. You can customize your Safari home screen to show the bookmarks you want, but that’s just the beginning. Let’s find out how to really use bookmarks on your iPhone.

How to use Split Screen on iPad

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split screen
No, not this kind of split screen.
Photo: Thorsten Hartmann/Flickr CC

The iPad has an amazing split-screen mode. It’s called Split View, and it lets you use two apps side-by-side. On certain iPads, you can even float a third app over the top. Split View lets you drag and drop text, pictures, links and almost anything else between apps, just like on a Mac or PC. It’s also super-easy to use. Let’s see how.

Musicians: Here’s how to lock down your iPad to prevent accidents on stage

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guided access ipad
Stage performers don't want their iPads launching Facebook mid-show.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple’s iOS accessibility features might be hidden away in the Settings app, but they are useful for everyone. For instance, Guided Access lets you lock your iPhone or iPad so it can use only one app, and you can even disable parts of the screen just by drawing on them. This is handy for giving the iPad to kids, or to people with impaired motor skills, but it is also fantastic for stage performers. A musician, for instance, might be using the iPad to produce or process their sound. The last thing you want to do in the heat of a performance is to accidentally do a four-finger swipe and end up on your Facebook page.

Today, then, we’ll see how to use Guided Access to keep your iPad safe on stage, but the same tips apply if you’re deploying an iPad as a cash register in your coffee shop, or as an information point at an exhibition.

Pro Tip: Drag and drop text between apps on iPad

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drag and drop text ipad
Dragging text works just like dragging anything else on iOS 11.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bug Do you want to grab a chunk of text from Safari and put it into your Notes app? Do you want to clip sections from a long Word document and comment on them in email? Or maybe you just want to collect snippets of text for research. If so, you should try drag-and-drop text on iPad.

It’s so easy and useful to put two apps side-by-side on one screen, and drag text between them, that you’ll wonder how you got by without it.

How to use Type to Siri in iOS 11 (and why you’ll love it)

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type to siri prompt
Type to Siri really shines on the iPad.
Photo: Cult of Mac

iOS 11 is Apple’s most keyboard-friendly version of its mobile software yet, but that doesn’t mean you have to hook up an external keyboard to use its best new keyboard-centric features. Today we’ll look at Type to Siri, which can be used whenever you’d usually talk to your favorite digital assistant just by tapping on the usual on-screen keyboard.

Fine-tune your music with Visual EQ in GarageBand for iPad

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the equalizer
Nothing says '1980s' like a stereo with a giant graphic EQ.
Photo: Pete/Flickr public domain

One great recent addition to GarageBand for iOS is the Visual EQ, an equalizer that is about as far away from the 1980s-style bank of sliders as it’s possible to get. The Visual EQ also shows you a waveform of the actual sound you’re adjusting, so you can see as well as hear the effects immediately. This visual element, combined with a clever three-“band” EQ, makes this a very powerful tool for shaping your music.

Emergency Bypass lets selected contacts punch through Do Not Disturb

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sofa
Now you can finally relax and take that siesta, without missing texts from your loved ones.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The iPhone’s Do Not Disturb feature really is great. It silences your phone on a daily schedule, so you never need to worry about being woken up by a Facebook alert, or some other useless beep. But maybe you want to be disturbed by certain people. Maybe your teenage kids are out late, or your better half is away on a trip. Is there a way to let their calls and texts punch through the Do Not Disturb shield? Well, yes, there is! It’s called Emergency Bypass, and here’s how to enable it.