9 ways to strengthen your Apple products

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Step up your iPhone and Mac security with these tips.
Step up your iPhone and Mac security with these tips.
Photo: Free Photos/Pixabay CC

How to speed up your iPhone if the Spectre patch slows it down

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ghosts
Ghosts are a bit like spectres.
Photo: Sean MacEntee/Flickr CC

Spectre is the worst kind of security flaw. Not only do the partial fixes not even protect against attacks, but they also slow down your iPhone, or other device. But things aren’t quite as bad as they seem. You can take steps to speed up your iPhone once again, and one of the fixes not only makes the web faster, but also fixes Spectre’s biggest attack vector.

How to get the best battery life from your MacBook

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MacBook battery
Looking after you MacBook battery is really easy.
Photo: FruitJuice

Did you know that leaving your MacBook plugged in all the time is a sure way to ruin its battery? That instead you should use your notebook computer on battery power for an hour or two each day? That’s the advice from battery health app FruitJuice, which will help you to keep your battery in tip-top condition.

How to find and use the custom spelling dictionary on your Mac

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Edit your Mac custom dictionary.
A dictionary definition of "dictionary," to illustrate an article about dictionaries.
Photo: Caleb Roenigk/Flickr CC

Your Mac has a built-in dictionary and spell-checker. You knew that. You also know that you can add and remove words from that dictionary as you go, teaching the dictionary on the fly.

But did you know that there’s also a text document on your Mac that contains your entire personal custom spelling dictionary? And that you can use this to move your spelling preferences between computers?

You can!

How to reopen a recently closed tab in Safari on iOS

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Reopen recently closed tabs in Safari.
None of these Tabs is yet open.
Photo: Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr CC

You’ve done it. We’ve all done it. You’ve closed a tab in Safari and instantly realized that it was the wrong one.

It’s not the end of the world. You can open a fresh tab and schlep over to the history panel to hunt down that URL. Or, if you remember something about the title of the page, you can start typing it into Safari’s URL bar and watch for suggestions that match. But there’s a much easier way to access all your recently closed Safari tabs — and it’s just one long-press away.

iOS Mail filters quickly tame overflowing mailboxes

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mailbox filters
A mailbox, aka a postbox, or even 'pillar box."
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The iOS Mail app gets overlooked by power users, but it’s still the default for most people, unless they’re using Gmail in the browser. And that’s not a bad thing, because Apple’s Mail app has gotten pretty great in recent years, from smart mailboxes, to swipe gestures, to iOS 11’s drag-and-drop. Today we’re going to take a look at a feature so hidden you may never have seen it before. It’s a filter than can be applied to any folder, letting you see just mail with attachments, mail addressed directly to you, VIP mails, and more.

How to set up your new Mac like a pro

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iPhone 8 iPad Macbook
Let's get that nice new Mac set up, shall we?
Photo: Cult of Mac

‘Tis the season for gift-giving, and one of the hottest gifts around is a new MacBook or iMac. If you’re one of the lucky ones to get one this year, you’ll want to rip open that box, tear off that plastic sheeting, and get to the good stuff.

Once you’ve plugged in your new Mac, you’re in for a treat, because it’s pretty easy to set up, whether you have an old Mac to transfer data from or you’re starting from scratch. There are a few choices to make along the way, though, and some essential tricks and apps you’ll want to consider, so we’re here to take you through the process.

Here is Cult of Mac’s guide to setting up your new Mac the right way.

High Sierra ‘Content Caching’ turns your Mac into a local iCloud server

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iMac content caching
If you have a spare Mac, you could turn it into a local iCloud cache.
Photo: Dean Hochman/Flickr CC

When iOS update time rolls round, you probably run through all the devices in your home, downloading those multi-gigabyte updates over and over. If you have a few iPhones, plus a couple of iPads, it all adds to a lot of data, and a lot of waiting. New in macOS 10.13 High Sierra is Content Caching, which stores these downloads on a Mac, so they only have to be downloaded once.

This doesn’t only save on internet data usage. It also makes it way faster to update several devices. And it’s not just updates either. Content caching can also cache iCloud documents, your photo library, and app updates.

Slow iPhone? Here’s how to check the health of your battery

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iPhone battery
Brazil demands easy iPhone battery replacements.
Photo: iFixit

With all the fuss about depleted old batteries slowing down iPhones, it might be a good idea to at least check the health of your iPhone’s battery. To do this, you can use a free tool called coconutBattery. This handy app digs into your iOS and Mac devices to tell you how old they are, and how strong your battery is compared to when it was new.

How to edit multiple images the easy way in Photos for Mac

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copy paste adjustments
Don't delay — edit your photos like a boss.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Do you have a bunch of photos that you took with your iPhone that all need to be tweaked the same way? Maybe you edited one shot from a session into the perfect B&W portrait, and you want to apply the exact same combination of lighting effects, color tweaks and filters to the rest of the pictures you took in the same photo shoot. Or perhaps you just want to standardize the white balance for a batch of images so their colors all match.

That’s easy to do in Photos for macOS High Sierra, using the Copy Adjustments tool. Here’s how to use it.