How to leave Facebook and Twitter while staying social

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micro.blog app leave facebook
The Microblog app looks pretty great on iPhone.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Facebook tracks your every move and sells the information to people who try to fix elections. Twitter is destroying the fabric of democracy, and doesn’t care. And even if you leave Facebook, it owns Instagram and WhatsApp, two of the biggest social networks outside of itself and Twitter. And now Facebook is promising to let anyone delete their posts, which means that you’ll never really know what’s been happening. IT’s time to leave Facebook and move on, but where?

After all, a social network is pointless if you have no friends on it. Happily, there’s a social network out there already that’s bigger than Facebook, and completely uncontrolled by any single company. It’s the web.

Today we’re going to see how to post your photos, messages, and other rants onto your own microblog, just like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The best part is, you own everything, anyone can read it, and it’s as easy to use as sending a tweet.

Twelve South first to put Apple Watch on your arm [Watch Store]

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twelve south
Made of neoprene and silicone for comfort and durability, ActionSleeve from Twelve South puts Apple Watch on your arm.
Photo: Twelve South

Note: Twelve South does not ship outside of the United States. 

The Apple Watch is an ideal workout partner, but it’s not a good idea to have things around your wrist during certain activities. An Apple Watch armband would be perfect.

Now you can wear your Apple Watch on your arm with ActionSleeve from Twelve South. It’s the world’s first armband for Apple Watch, and it is now available in our Watch Store.

How to use Pages’ cool new Image Galleries

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image galleries pages
Image galleries are easy to add, and look great.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The new Apple Pencil-friendly version of Pages for iPad also has a couple of other big new features. One of these is iBook creation, which we’ll look at in another post. Today we’re going to see how to add an Image Gallery to a regular Pages document. This is handy if you need to include lots of pictures into a document, but don’t want to use pages and pages to do so.

You could, for instance, include galleries of vacation photos in a newsletter for family and friends, with images stacked into daily galleries, or organized by event. Or you could pile a bunch of diagrams into one Image Gallery, allowing you to include a lot more information without cluttering the document. Better still, you can export your Pages document as an eBook, and the galleries become fully interactive.

Let’s find out how to add one.

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.

How to give your Finder window superpowers

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finder
No wonder this little chap is so happy...
Photo: Cult of Mac

The Finder has been with the Mac since day one, way back in 1984. But just because it’s old, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have some new tricks. Did you know, for instance, that you can add a path bar to the bottom of the window to show the path of the current folder on your Mac? Or that you can add a status bar in the same spot so you always know how full your drive is? Or that you can add a permanent preview pane over on the right side of a Finder window, even in icon and list views?

Let’s take a look, and see what else you can do.

How to convert any video (or song) into an MP3

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convert MP3 iPhone workflow
With a couple of taps, you can convert any audio or video file to MP3
Photo: Cult of Mac

Converting an audio track to MP3 on the Mac is dead easy. Just open it with iTunes, and choose the File > Convert option from the menubar. On iOS there’s no native way to do this. There are lots of shonky-looking apps in the app store that offer to create MP3s for you, but it’s likely that you already have the answer installed on your iPhone or iPad.

That’s right. Apple’s own WorkFlow app can quickly and easily convert any audio (or video) file to MP3.

This compact 2-in-1 battery pack recharges your Apple Watch and iPhone [Review]

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Zens
Zens' Powerbank charges an iPhone and Apple Watch simultaneously.
Photo: Zens

When traveling, if you forget your charger, you’re often hosed. Especially for the Apple Watch. That’s why I keep a Zens Powerbank battery pack in my bag. The Powerbank features a built-in charger for the Apple Watch, plus a USB port for plugging an iPhone or iPad.

It’s light and easy to carry around, yet has enough juice for recharging an Apple Watch almost 12 times. Best yet, the Zens Powerbank battery pack is available now in Cult of Mac’s Watch Store. 

This ’50s-style Bluetooth speaker will blast you with nostalgia [Deals]

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The Lofree Poison is a modern Bluetooth speaker with a retro 1950s style.
The Lofree Poison is a modern Bluetooth speaker with a retro 1950s style.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

These days, everything old is new again. Pop culture is bursting with reboots, references, and a general nostalgia for the comfortable looks and feels of the past. Escapism aside, classic styles are classic for a reason, and they make a great look for modern technology.