How to rock out with a GarageBand Jam Session

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Pump up the jam.
Pump up the jam.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Let’s have a bit of weekend fun today. We’re going to jam out on GarageBand for iOS with our friends. Imagine it’s 20 years ago, and you and your friends all get together with your instruments, hook them up to a little four-track cassette recorder, and get to rocking out.

Returning back to 2018, you can do something similar. GarageBand’s Jam Session lets you connect up to four iPhones and iPads together, wirelessly, and jam. All four performances are recorded one of the devices, and everything is in sync. And of course you can use any instrument available in GarageBand. One of you can take care of beats, another can lay down a fat bassline, and so on.

Let’s get started.

Taking the new Apple Watch Series 4 on vacation [Review]

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Mickey Mouse Disney Apple Watch Series 4
The Apple Watch Series 4 made a vacation to Disney World more convenient.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

In 2015, I purchased my wife a stainless steel Apple Watch (series 0) for her birthday. Since then, she’s used it to track hundreds of workouts, reply to thousands of texts, and triage countless notifications. She’s also told me nearly every day for the past year that she hates it and it never works right.

While that might be a bit of an exaggeration, she has a point. The original Apple Watch is slow and unresponsive. Plus, some features have become frustratingly unreliable (looking at you, Siri).

This year, we decided to upgrade her Apple Watch in time for our family vacation to Disney World. It was the perfect opportunity to test Apple’s magical wrist communicator at the most magical place on Earth.

Check out iOS 12’s great new Photos For You tab

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The new For You tab makes it easy to discover and share your own photos,
The new For You tab makes it easy to discover and share your own photos.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

For many people, the new “For You” tab in Apple’s Photos app could become the default front page for their pictures. The new feature in iOS 12 gathers everything you care about — recent pictures, sharing activity, memories and something called “Featured Photos” — into one convenient spot.

Let’s check out the Photos For You tab and see what you can do with it.

Hot new Apple Watch feature gives wearers a serious dose of FOMO

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walkie-talkie
Walkie-Talkie is the best new watchOS 5 feature.
Photo: Apple

The new Walkie-Talkie app is being lauded by Apple Watch owners as the best new feature that came out as part of watchOS 5. But for some wearers, there’s a serious problem: they can’t find anyone to talk to.

Walkie-Talkie gives Apple Watch owners the ability to turn their wrist into a sort of digital two-way radio transceiver to talk with friends and family. It’s a super-convenient way to have short bursts of conversation when you don’t want to talk on the phone. If you don’t have any friends with a compatible Apple Watch, though, there’s no way to get in on the action.

Twitter has been full of people feeling the pains of Walkie-Talkie FOMO the last few days:

How to use the new iPad gestures in iOS 12

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Is this Apple's secret iOS gesture-making machine?
Is this Apple's secret iOS gesture-making machine?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

iOS 12 was clearly designed for an iPad where Face ID replaces the Home button. Apple has revamped the tablet’s gestures for iOS 12, bringing us an easy way to return to the Home screen, and an iPhone X-style gesture to access the Control Center.

If you’re a long-time iPad users, these changes will seem a little jarring at first. You’ll soon get used to them, though, and even learn to love them. The new Control Center gesture, in fact, is a lot better than the old one.

How to use Photos’ amazing new search in iOS 12

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iOS 12 Photos thinks that cabbages are melons.
iOS 12 Photos thinks that cabbages are melons.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Photos already has a pretty decent search function on iOS 11. Thanks to Apple’s machine-learning tech, and AI categorization, you can search for thousands of “scenes.” These include the places you took the photo, but also anything from abacus to zucchini, people in the images, and times the images were taken.

This has gotten even better in iOS 12. You can still search on many thousands of categories and keywords, but now you can combine searches. For instance, you could search for several different people, and see photos only containing them all. OR you can combine search terms like Christmas, Food, and 2015, for instance. Let’s take a look.

iPhone XR Portrait Mode has one serious limitation

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iPhone XR
Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting on the iPhone XR.
Photo: Apple

Portrait Mode on the iPhone XR may not be as fully-baked as the version found on Apple’s other iPhones.

The iPhone XR looks like it has almost all of the same features as its higher-priced siblings. Even though it only has one camera lens in the back, it can still take Portrait Mode photos. However, attendees at Apple’s keynote yesterday found out the iPhone XR version only works on people.

Learn app development for iOS 12 in just 10 days [Deals]

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Spend 10 days learning the inner workings of the iOS 12 beta.
Spend 10 days learning the inner workings of the iOS 12 beta.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

iOS 12 is coming soon, so now’s the time for developers to get familiar with all the new features in Apple’s next-gen mobile operating system.

This course offers a 10-day tour of the tools and concepts behind building apps in iOS 12. It’s suitable for all skill levels, and right now it’s available for just $15 at the Cult of Mac Store.

Score an 11-course education in computer science [Deals]

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Get the education in computer science you missed with this massively discounted lesson bundle.
Get the education in computer science you missed with this massively discounted lesson bundle.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Coding, app development and computer science in general are some of the most marketable skills you can earn. So it’s easy to wish you’d studied computer science in college. But if you didn’t, this massive bundle of lessons can help you get caught up.