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.

This is the most important setting you can enable on your iPhone

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iPhone Data Protection is better than 10 padlocks.
Data Protection is better than 10 padlocks for your iPhone.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

There’s a security setting in iOS that will erase everything on your iPhone, resetting it back to a blank, factory-state slate if you tap in the wrong passcode 10 times. It’s called Data Protection, and I never wrote a how to on this because I figured everyone would have it switched on. After all, who wouldn’t want that kind of excellent security if ever they lost their iPhone?

How to get the iPad’s Lock-Screen Notes on iPhone

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iPhone lock screen notes
Lock-Screen Notes on iPhone.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Lock-Screen Notes are one of the iPad’s best features. You can tap your Apple Pencil onto the unlocked iPad and immediately start writing or drawing on a note. It’s almost as instant as having a real pen and paper in front of you. But did you know that you can do the same thing with your iPhone? That right, you can create and add to notes right from the lock screen — no Apple Pencil required.

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 rotate video on your iPhone

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rotate-and-flip empire state
Rotated and flipped, like an iPhone video.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Did you ever shoot a video and have it come out sideways? Maybe you were holding you iPhone at an angle and it got a little confused as to which way was up? Or perhaps you started shooting in portrait orientation, and quickly corrected to landscape, but then the entire video ends up being sideways? Then you need to know how to rotate video and set things right. The good new is, it’s easy.

Pro-Tip: How to make your iPhone ignore crappy Wi-Fi

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Wi-Fi Assist
Without Wi-Fi assist, your iPhone might end up as useless as this piece of junk.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugUsing your iPhone on a poor, weak, or spotty Wi-Fi is not only frustrating. It could also have a detrimental effect on battery life. But there’s a fix, for flaky Wi-Fi at least. You can tell your iPhone to use cellular data to make up the shortfall, giving you smooth internet access, at the expense of some cellular data use. It’s called Wi-Fi Assist, and it could be the answer to all of life’s problems.

How to hide the Dock’s background on your iPhone

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hide the dock on the iPhone
This wallpaper hides the Dock, but shows up my previously-invisible black spacer icons.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Your iPhone’s dock is ever present. Also ever-present is the translucent ribbon behind the icons. Maybe it’s there to provide visual separation from the wallpaper behind it, but seeing as the rest of your home-screen icons are left to fend for themselves, visibility-wise, then maybe not. Perhaps it’s there to provide a visual separation between the privileged Dock and the rest of the home-screen proletariat?

But if you don’t like this separator, then you’re stuck with it. Or are you? You may not be able to remove the ribbon, but you can hide it.

How to set custom vibration alerts on your iPhone

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custom vibration drums
Satisfy your inner drummer by creating custom vibration alerts.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Custom ringtones and text tones are great for letting your know who’s calling, or who just sent a message. But what about when your iPhone is sett to silent, and hidden in your pocket? All your alerts use the same vibration, so you have no idea if that buzz was a message from your awesome and hot significant other, or yet another eBay alert about those paperclip auctions you’re watching.

Did you know that you can set custom vibration alerts for each of your contacts? And that you can actually record your own vibration patterns and assign them to whoever you like? You can, and you’re going to love how easy it is.

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: How to use Safari’s super-quick pop-up tab history shortcut

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Safari pop-up tab history
Here's Safari's pop-up tab history
Photo: Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bug When you want to get back to a previously viewed page in Safari on your iPhone, what do you do? Do you keep tapping the back button until you find the page you want?

If so, you can forget that nonsense right now, because there’s a super-quick way to see a list of all the web pages you’ve recently viewed in a Safari browser tab.