How to turn any song into a ringtone with GarageBand for iOS

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custom ringtones itunes
This is a screenshot of the original iTunes, on an iPad.
Photo: Cult of Mac

There are very few iOS tasks that still require a Mac. One of those is getting your own ringtones onto your iPhone. You can buy them, but you can’t add a downloaded ringtone onto your iPhone without hooking up to iTunes. Or can you? GarageBand on iOS lets you save your own creations as ringtones, to be used immediately. Here’s how.

How to use the iPhone’s one-handed keyboard in iOS 11

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one-handed keyboard
Stop hating words containing Q, A, and Z, with the iPhone's new one-handed keyboard.
Photo: Cult of Mac

If you have small hands, or a big-screen iPhone, or both, then you may love the new one-handed keyboard in iOS 11. It’s a simple software tweak that squishes the on-screen keyboard horizontally, and slides it to the left or right, so you can more easily reach all the keys with a thumb.

This is great news for folks who like to walk along the street sipping coffee and texting, instead of looking where they’re going. It’s also neat for people trying to get a baby to sleep, so they can tweet about it as they bob the baby into slumber on their hip.

How to add any audio file to iPhone’s Music app

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cd
Your music is so hard to get into the iPhone's Music app, it may as well be on CD
Photo: Lost Places/Flickr CC

It’s 2017, and yet you still can’t add music to the Music app on your iPhone. If you have an MP3 file that somebody sent you, that you downloaded, or that you created with one of the zillions of powerful apps on iOS, you can’t just add it to your library. Instead, you must add it to iTunes on your Mac or PC, and then manually sync it to your iPhone, either over Wi-Fi or with a cable.

It’s absurd, and today we’re going to fix it. You’ll still need a Mac to be running, but at least you don’t have to actually touch it.

Apple’s ‘fast’ iPhone 8 charger isn’t as quick as you think

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charger
The MacBook's USB-C charger won't charge your iPhone much faster.
Photo: Maurizio Pesce/Flickr CC

The iPhones 8 and X both support Apple’s “fast-charging” option, which has been available on the iPad Pro since the first 13-inch model. Fast charging lets you use a powerful USB-C charger, along with a USB-C-to-Lightning cable, to charge your iPhone quicker than you can with the standard iPhone or iPad chargers.

But is it worth the $75 that those accessories will cost? Is charging really so much faster? According to tests run by software engineer and startup investor Dan Loewenherz, the answer is no.

How to teach Siri to pronounce a name correctly

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siri pronounce
Siri will teach you how to teach her.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Siri is great for setting reminders and timers, but in recent times Apple’s AI assistant has gotten a lot better at other things, too. For instance, sending iMessages to folks via your EarPods or AirPods, with your iPhone still in your pocket, works well enough that you can use it reliably all the time.

However, if Siri can’t pronounce the names of your contacts, then it’ll drive you crazy. Luckily, you can teach Siri to say these names correctly.

How to quickly trim video on Mac and iOS

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How to quickly trim videos on Mac and iOS
Editing your video clips will make them way less boring.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The secret of a good movie is in the editing. Well, the script, the lightning, the directing, the photography, and the acting are all important, but for home movies, you have little control over those.

So it’s down to the edit. And the most basic of edits is to lop the ends off a clip, to trim video and make it shorter. Watching excessively long clips is the equivalent of a conversation with someone who can’t ever get to the point. “Let me tell you about that time I fell out of the plane. It was a Tuesday. No, I think it was Wednesday. Wait, it must have been a Tuesday because …”

It’s painful. So, do yourself a favor and trim your video clips. Even if you’re not planning on combining your edits into a short movie, you should at least remove the cruft from anything you’re going to show. The good news is that it’s dead easy to trim video on Mac and iOS.

Never lose your parked car again with Siri and Maps

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parking
Never lose your car again.
Photo: Pomodoro Entertainment/Flickr CC

If your car has a Bluetooth stereo, then you can set your iPhone to remember exactly where you parked, and mark the spot in your iPhone’s Maps app. Once enabled, you’ll never lose your car again. The process is automatic: Whenever you leave your car, the marker is placed. Let’s see how it works.

How to share your home Wi-Fi without a password in iOS 11

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home Wi-Fi
you no longer need a password to share your Wi-Fi in iOS 11
Photo: Alan Levine/Flickr

iOS 11 brings yet another convenient feature — password-free Wi-Fi sharing. It works like this: If a friend or other visitor needs to use your Wi-Fi, then instead of digging in the dust and yanking on the already-taut cables of your router to read the password label on the back, you can just hold your iPhones close to each other, and grant the guest access to your network. It’s super easy, and requires nothing more than that you both be running iOS 11, and have Bluetooth switched on.

How to capture FaceTime Live Photos

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facetime live view
FaceTime can capture LivePhotos and save them to your camera roll.
Photo: Cult of Mac

You know how when you’re on a FaceTime call with your parents, and your father holds his favorite recipe up to the camera, and you use the screenshot to capture a photo of it? Well, now there’s a proper, official way to capture images from FaceTime calls. Even better, they’re not just stills. The captures are Live Photos, so you can relive that goofy smile from your grandparent long after they’re gone.

How to rearrange photos in iOS 11

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In iOS 10 and earlier, if you don’t like the order of your photos in an album, then tough luck. In iOS 11, though, you can rearrange photos as easily as dragging them into a new spot. It’s just like rearranging pictures in a real photo album, only without all that futzing with sticky cellophane corners.