Stay focused on writing with iA Writer (50 Essential iOS Apps #27)

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iA Writer on iPad
iA Writer is perfect for bloggers and others writing on the go
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: iA Writer appThere are dozens of ways to write on iOS. Apple’s own Notes app offers a simple writing platform, while Pages allows for elaborate documents – complete with pictures. While both are good for certain tasks, more serious writers typically want something a little different. iA Writer offers more while doing less, making it the perfect text editor app.

How to get macOS Mojave’s shifting Dynamic Desktop on any Mac

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Mojave-shifting-Dynamic-Desktop
Get a Mojave-like shifting Dynamic Desktop on your own Mac today.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Here’s an easy way to get macOS Mojave’s constantly-changing Dynamic Desktop on any Mac. Dynamic Desktop wallpapers slowly fade through a set of photos throughout the day. The default set of images is of a pile of sand, presumably in the Mojave desert, showing the same view as the light changes throughout the day.

We already showed you where to download those wallpapers. Now we’re going to see that your Mac can already turn these images into a Mojave-style Dynamic Desktop slideshow.

All the iOS 12 features Apple didn’t mention

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iOS 12
iOS 12 rolls out to all this fall.
Photo: Apple

WWDC 2018 bug Cult of Mac iOS 12 is shaping up to be one biggest software updates Apple’s ever released and it’s so stuffed with major and minor new additions there wasn’t time to go over a lot of them at the WWDC 2018 keynote.

We’ve been combing through the first iOS 12 beta looking for all the new goodies and have found some underrated new features that will totally change how you use your iPhone and iPad this fall.

These are the little iOS 12 features you need to know:

How to set up and use Messages in iCloud in iOS 11.4

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clouds
Clouds, unlike those where your iMessages will now be stored.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The iOS 11.4 update finally brings Messages in iCloud, which means you can treat your iMessages like you treat your photos.

Your messages will sync across all iOS devices and should work soon on Mac. (Update: It works on Mac now, once you update to macOS 10.13.5). You can even delete them from an iPhone or iPad that’s short on space. But they will remain accessible from the cloud. Here’s how to switch on iCloud support for Messages.

How to stop websites hijacking Safari

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hijacked StopTheMadness
Take back control of Safari with StopTheMadness.
Photo: Daniel Rehn/Flickr CC

Did you ever visit a website and find that it had blocked the usual behavior of the Safari browser? Maybe it’s a banking site that won’t let you paste in your long password into its password field? Or maybe you discovered that YouTube disables Safari’s contextual (right-click) menus and replaces them with it’s own versions? Or maybe you can’t drag that image to the desktop, or copy text from the page?

The good news is that you can wrest control of your browser back from these malicious, control-freak sites. Let’s see how, using the StopTheMadness browser extension.

How to look up anything with one tap on Mac

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dictionary look up macos
Look up!
Photo: Caleb Roenigk/Flickr CC

On the Mac, you have long been able to tap on any word or phrase to look up a dictionary definition. Just click on the word using a three-finger tap on your trackpad, and the dictionary panel appears. But have you tried this recently? Today, in this simple popover panel, you can get full access to not just dictionary definitions, but news, Siri Knowledge, movie details, App Store listings, and lots more depending on what you’re looking up.

Let’s take a look.

How to automatically troll telemarketers and keep them busy

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jolly roger fight telemarketers
Will these robots answer your call for you? Probably not.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

There were 3.4 billion robocalls in April this year, and the chances are it feels like you got roughly half of those to your own phone. These calls aren’t just telemarketing anymore, either. Just like email spam, scams pervade these already-annoying automated calls. One way around this is to unplug your landline phone, and to ignore all phone calls to your iPhone (go to Settings > Notifications > Phone and switch off Allow Notifications).

A better way is to troll the robocallers by hooking them up to a service that answers the calls for you, and uses robots to keep the telemarketers on the line, wasting their time an costing them money. And for that, you need the Jolly Roger.

Here’s how to find which apps are about to stop working on your Mac

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drill bits
Imagine 64 of these drill bits all working together.
Photo: Steven Depolo/Flickr CC

Sometime, probably quite soon, your Mac will stop running 32-bit apps. All new Macs have 64-bit processors, and Apple wants to phase out older 32-bit apps in order to “enable faster system performance” for your Mac as a whole. What this means is that, in an as-yet-unspecified future version on macOS, 32-bit apps will stop running altogether.

If you’re running macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, then you may already have seen a warning pop up onto the screen when you launch older apps. Today we’ll see how to view a list of all the 32-bit apps on your Mac, so you can either harass the developer to update them, look for a better-supported alternative, or just delete them.

How to record Apple TV on your Mac, wirelessly

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record Apple TV quicktime
QuickTime Player can record all kinds of things.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Today we’re going to learn how to record a movie that’s playing on your Apple TV direct to your Mac, with no wires required, no weird hacks, and not even any third-party software. The tools are all built into every Mac that ships. To record a movie off the “screen” of your Apple TV, you’re going to use Apple’s QuickTime app, and one of its lesser-known but super-powerful features.