How to password-protect any app on your iPhone or iPad

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A barrier, blocking things. That’s a genuine light-leak FYI.
A barrier, blocking things. That’s a genuine light-leak FYI.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You know how iOS’ accessibility features often prove handy for all users? Like Live Listen, which lets you turn your AirPods into remote listening devices? Or a combo of settings that resurrects an iPhone with a broken screen?

The same is true for Screen Time. This feature tracks how long you spend using apps every day, and can help you limit that time. But you can also use Screen Time to password-protect any app on your iPhone or iPad.

Switch on your iPad’s super-dim, low-light mode

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A glitter ball represents the concept of low-light and accessibility low-light filter
A glitter ball represents the concept of low-light and accessibility.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Turned the screen brightness on your iPad (or iPhone) all the way down? Still too much light for you? Reading in bed next to someone whose eyelids seem to amplify light the same way a magnifying glass turns the sun into a death ray for ants?

Then this tip is for you. With a simple triple-tap of the top button or Home button on your iPad, you can dim the screen way beyond its usual limit.

Although your whining, over-sensitive bed partner will likely just start complaining about the noise of those button taps instead.

Apple Watch is now a bigger business for Apple than iPod ever was

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iPod
The iPod was once Apple's biggest seller.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

iPhone sales may be hitting a road block, but there are plenty of stats that offer up reasons to be optimistic about Apple.

One of them? That the Apple Watch is now a much bigger business for Apple than the iPod ever was. While the iPod today may be pretty much nonexistent as a revenue stream for Apple, there was a time when it was far and away the company’s top earner.

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Amazon Echo
Watch out: there's a fake Alexa app about.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

HomePod glitter bomb punishes porch pirates

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Glitter bomb
Mark Rober wants thieves to think twice before swiping packages off a porch.
Screenshot: Mark Rober/YouTube

Mark Rober already served the citizens of planet Earth by helping build the Curiosity rover currently roaming Mars. Now add holiday hero to his engineering credentials.

The ex-NASA engineer designed a series of revenge-bait packages that looked like HomePods — but showered unsuspecting thieves with glitter and deadly doses of fart spray.

How to use your iPad Pro as a display for your Mac mini

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Luna Display gives you a touchscreen Mac.
Luna Display gives you a touchscreen Mac.
Photo: Luna Display

Even the most committed iPad user still needs a Mac occasionally. You might need to add music to your iTunes music library, or get files off an SD card, or use BitTorrent, or keep local backups of your photo library. Or you might just like using a Mac, but you don’t want a huge iMac, and what’s the point in buying a MacBook if you have an iPad already?

The obvious choice is a Mac mini. And with this tip, you can use your iPad Pro as a display for the Mac. That means you won’t need an extra monitor, but it also means that you can quickly turn your iPad into a Mac when you need to.

How to use Quick Website Search in Safari for iOS

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This gentleman staring into a light represents the illumination of search.
This gentleman staring into a light represents the illumination of search.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Safari for iOS has a great feature: Quick Website Search. This lets you search the contents of a single website, using that site’s own built-in search. The clever part is that you don’t have to visit the site and tap into its search bar. Once Safari learns how to search that site, you can search it right from Safari’s own search bar.

Apple Music coming to Echo smart speakers next month

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Echo Dot
You'll soon be able to play Apple Music on your Amazon speaker.
Photo: Amazon

In an early Christmas present to Apple fans with an Amazon Echo, Apple Music is coming to Amazon’s line of smart speakers next month. Apple Music will be available as an option on Echo devices starting December 17.

“Music is one of the most popular features on Alexa,” said Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon Devices. “We’re thrilled to bring Apple Music – one of the most popular music services in the U.S. – to Echo customers this holiday.”

Unlock the dual audio outputs in new Macs

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A totally legit audio-routing setup.
A totally legit audio-routing setup.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Up until last year, if you plugged a pair of headphones into your Mac, the speakers were effectively disconnected. There was no way to send simultaneous audio stream to both headphones and speakers. Now, with modern T2-equipped Macs, you can double up on audio. For instance, you could have alerts sound through the built-in speakers, with music routed through the headphone jack, so you don’t get notifications interrupting your banging tunes.

The best part is that its really easy to set up. And, if you prefer the old behavior, you don’t have to do anything.

Watch an iPad Pro bend with embarrassing ease

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JerryRigEverything
Zach Nelson's iPad Pro teardown video was a snap.
Photo: JerryRigEverything/YouTube

An 11-inch iPad Pro and Apple Pencil were the focus of what seemed like a routine unboxing video. That is until the host used his bare hands to destroy both devices.

If you’re among the 2.7 million viewers to JerryRigEverything on YouTube, you’ve come to expect the unusual durability tests host Zach Nelson puts to the latest tech gadgets.