Set up your new iPhone XS the right way


iPhone Xs
Get your new iPhone set up the right way.
Photo: Apple

For many people, the iPhone XS will be radically different from previous iPhones. Despite this, the iPhone setup process hasn’t changed much. However, while you might find yourself on familiar ground, there are still plenty of little things you really ought to do before you fire up your new phone for the first time (or pretty soon thereafter). Let’s take a look at how to set up your new iPhone XS the right way.

How to upgrade to the new iPhone XS


The first iPhone XS teardown video shows the unusual L-shaped battery.
Have your iPhone XS up and running ASAP with our setup guide.
Photo: FixjeiPhone

In recent years, the iPhone setup process has changed as dramatically as the iPhones themselves. Apple just keeps making it easier to do. So easy, in fact, that there are just a few things you need to do to move from your old iPhone to a new one. And setting up a new iPhone XS from scratch isn’t much harder — gone are the days of manually copying passwords just to get to the home screen.

There are still a few tricks, though, that will help things to run smoothly. Let’s see how to upgrade to the iPhone XS.

iOS 12 brings trackpad mode to every iPhone and iPad


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 hand off your old iPhone to family or friends


reset iPhone
Don't stockpile your old gadgets. Give them to someone who can use them.
Photo: Blake Patterson/Flickr CC

You’ve just pre-ordered your new iPhone, and you’re wondering what to do with the old one. Selling it is a pain, and the trade-in prices on your two-year-old model are too low to bother with. So how about handing that old iPhone off to a family member, or a friend? But before you just switch it off and drop it into a bag, there are a few things you should prepare. Here’s how.

How to use your iPhone when the screen is broken


broken iPhone screen
So sad, but maybe not a complete disaster.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

This week, a friend visited me, and the screen of her iPhone is cracked so badly that it barely registers a touch. I saw her struggle to even take a photo, and realized she didn’t know the volume-button trick.

Then we saw a little girl drop an iPhone onto the cobbled street outside a restaurant, while the owner (and uncle or family friend) looked on. The screen shattered, and the poor girl was distraught. That’s when I decided to write this guide to using your iPhone with a cracked screen.

Everything you need to know about white balance for your iPhone camera


This is an almost impossible lighting situation for most automatic cameras.
This is an almost impossible lighting situation for most automatic cameras.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

White balance is one of the most important settings on any camera. It can make the difference between vibrant, accurate colors, and a muddy, flat mess. It is also the setting least likely to be tweaked manually by casual photographers. There’s not even a good way to adjust white balance in the iPhone’s own Photos app.

But don’t despair. Today we’ll learn everything you need to now about how white balance works, and what to do with it.

Everything you need to know about your iPhone camera’s aperture


Here I could have blurred the netting by using a wider aperture.
Here I could have blurred the netting by using a wider aperture.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

A few days ago, we learned about the iPhone’s shutter, the part of the camera that “opens and closes” to let light onto the sensor. Today, we’re taking an in-depth look at the aperture, aka hole. The aperture is an opening in the lens that can be made bigger or smaller. Like shutter speed, its primary purpose is to control how much light reacts with camera the sensor (or film).

Also like shutter speed, aperture has some extra effects on how the image looks. Specifically, it can control how much of the image, front to back, looks sharp.

Pro Tip: Reject Robocalls at the squeeze of a hardware button


Reject robocalls on with a double-tap of the power button.
Reject robocalls on with a double-tap on the power button.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bug Did you know that, if you have your iPhone set to share incoming calls with your Mac, your iPad, and/or Apple Watch, then the iPhone won’t let you reject incoming calls? The red telephone icon isn’t there. You have to either answer the call, or scramble to another device in order to bump the call without picking up first.

But there’s a great hidden trick that lets you reject any call from your iPhone, without even touching the screen.

How to add sound to your iPhone or iPad screen recordings


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.