GarageBand for Mac now syncs your projects with iOS


sync GarageBand on Mac
Now you can sync GarageBand projects from Mac to iOS.
Photo: Cult of Mac

GarageBand’s most recent update for macOS adds a few neat new Mac-only features, but perhaps its biggest addition is for iPad users. Now the Mac version of GarageBand can sync a cut-down version of any song with the iPad or iPhone, allowing you to add new tracks, then sync them back with the master project back on your Mac. It’s a feature that only came to Logic in January of this year.

This is big, because it lets musicians use the full power of the Mac GarageBand in their studio or bedroom, and still add tracks to that project from a phone. You could, for instance, take a mix with you to band practice, lay down some new tracks on your iPhone, then sync them back.

How to use Music Memos like a cut-down GarageBand


music memos in action
Music Memos is like having two extra members in your band, only it doesn't run up the bar tab.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple’s Music Memos app is just about about the best way to record musical ideas before they evaporate into the ether. For years, musicians used the built-in Voice Memos app to record snippets, but Music Memos, as you’d expect, is much better suited to the task. It can listen to you and record only when you start playing, it can detect the chords you play, and it can even add drum and bass tracks to your recording automatically.

This last feature is what we’ll look at today. We’re going to record a simple guitar track, add drums and bass, and send the whole lot to GarageBand on iOS for further work. That sounds like a lot, but once you lay down your recorded track, all it takes is a few taps of the screen. And remember, I use a guitar, but you can use any instrument.

How to plug your guitar into your iPhone and rock out


guitar iPhone setup
This is all you need to make some awesome noise.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Short of learning air guitar, hooking a guitar up to your iPhone is just about the easiest way to get started playing music. But it’s not just for practice, or goofing around at home. You can record and edit serious music with an iOS device, and even produce whole records.

But we’re already getting ahead of ourselves. Today, we’re just going to hook things up and rock out.

Apple inks deal with social video app

Apple wants to appeal to tween and teen users.

Update:’s partner 7digital denies that it is being replaced by Apple Music, with CEO Simon Cole saying it “just signed a renewal agreement with” and has “in no way ended our working relationship.”

Apple has reportedly teamed up with, a popular music-themed app for video creation, messaging and live broadcasting.

Starting today, Apple Music will be the service that supplies songs for the social network app, replacing joining existing provider 7digital.

iOS 10 hands on: Everything that’s new in Apple Music and Apple News


News and Music ios10
Apple News and Apple Music get much-needed redesigns in iOS 10.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

iOS 10 brings much-needed design overhauls for the Apple Music and Apple News apps.

The big iOS update, which is currently in beta but should hit iPhones and iPads this fall, brings huge changes to the Apple Music UI as well as minor improvements to navigation in the music app. To see all the changes in action, watch the Cult of Mac video below.

4 apps that fix Apple Music’s shortcomings


Want to enhance your Apple Music experience? Try these 4 apps!
Want to enhance your Apple Music experience? Try these four apps.
Photo: Ally Kazmucha/The App Factor

Apple’s new Music Memos app makes songwriting chimp-simple


Easy to use music creation app means the end of complex demos.
Easy-to-use music creation app Music Memos does away with complex demos.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Apple’s new app, Music Memos, is hands-down the best free music-creation app I’ve ever used on my iPhone. The amount of tech packed into this tiny little iOS app is nothing short of amazing, and it shows Apple’s continuing commitment to the creative community.

Music Memos lets you sit down with your iPhone, tap the screen, and record music. Then it will totally figure out what you played, and supply fairly decent drum and bass tracks to complement your chords. Wow.

I’ve played in live bands that can’t even do that.

Take my word on this: If you can play even rudimentary guitar, piano or even ukulele, you owe it to yourself to give Music Memos a try.

Is this the first ‘official band app’ for Apple TV?


Just as good as real medicine.
Just as good as real medicine.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Androgynous English rockers Placebo just claimed the honor of landing the first “artist” app on the new Apple TV. The free Placebo app is designed to deliver an “immersive” experience for fans while they remain ensconced on their couches.

Ultimately the app, which was released Monday, lets you watch music videos, live video of the band and “exclusive content” from the Placebo archives, all in your very own home.

Unique keyboard app turns your boring messages into music


The most melodious way to type.
Typing "LOL" and "WTF" has never been so melodious.
Photo: SoundKey

SoundKey is a clever keyboard app that plays instruments as you type to create melodies from your words.

Developed by two French students who wanted to incorporate music directly into people’s daily use of the iPhone, it’s an unusual twist on the custom iOS keyboards we’ve come to know and love.

UE Boom 2 gets Block Party mode so you can blast friends’ tunes


The UE Boom 2's new Block Party feature makes it easier than ever to share music with friends.
The UE Boom 2's new Block Party feature makes it easier than ever to share music with friends.
Photo: Ultimate Ears

SAN FRANCISCO — A slick new feature coming to Ultimate Ears’ Bluetooth speakers will let you stream your friends’ music from the palm of your hand.

Called Block Party, it lets up to three friends connect to the same UE speaker. Then the self-appointed DJ can pick and choose from each person’s tunes, pulled from streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify. The DJ can skip songs and jump from playlist to playlist, and it’s all shockingly smooth and simple.