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

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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

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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

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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

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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.