How to rip and save audio from YouTube videos with your iPhone

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rip youtube audio
This screen represents YouTube, and the telephone represents audio. Or something.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

YouTube isn’t just for video. Lots of folks use it to post audio files, only they gum up the songs with slideshows so they can upload them to the video-publishing service. There are all kinds of apps that let you convert a YouTube video back into an MP3, but today we’re going to see how to convert a video to an MP3 right in Safari, using Apple’a own Workflow/Shortcuts app.

How to run Siri Shortcuts from Reminder alerts

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Get a reminder to log your run every day.
Get a reminder to log your run every day.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Today we’ll see how to put a Shortcut into a reminder, so you can just tap the reminder alert to run it.

For this, we’ll use the new iOS 12 Shortcuts app, or Apple’s existing Workflow app. For instance, you could have a reminder that pops up every morning at 9AM, telling you to log your run. In the pop-up alert, right there on the lock screen, will be a button to execute a Shortcut/Workflow to do just that. Tap it, and you’ll be able to log your run via a pop up.

And of course this isn’t limited to fitness, nor even to time-based reminders.

Sharecuts will be the place to swap Siri Shortcuts

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Sharecuts
Control your smart home devices with Siri Shortcuts.
Photo: Apple

Siri users looking forward to a new app called Shortcuts will have a place called Sharecuts to suggest and swamp custom voice commands for the Apple-based digital assistant.

Sharecuts creator, Guilherme Rambo, wanted to build a website where people could share shortcuts and suggest ways for fine-tune existing ones. It is currently a black-and-white page, but will be more colorful and robust by the time Shortcuts comes out this fall with the launch of iOS 12.

How to use Apple’s new Shortcuts app

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A shortcut.
A shortcut.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple has made its new Shortcuts app available for beta testing, and over the weekend I took a look. Shortcuts is Apple’s new automation app for iOS 12, which integrates with Siri and lets you build all kinds of amazing automated workflows, from shutting your house down when you go to sleep, to downloading videos from YouTube and saving the them to iCloud. Shortcuts is really just the new name for Workflow, an existing iOS automation app that Apple bought a year or so back.

Let’s take a look at what Apple has put in this first Shortcuts beta.

Swipe on the iOS Copy/Paste menu to see hidden extra actions

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Instead of tapping those arrows, you should swipe the whole menu.
Instead of tapping those arrows, you should swipe the whole menu.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Are you still tapping the little arrows to scroll through the sections on your iPhone’s tiny copy/paste menu? Forget about that nonsense. This is 2018, the year of living dangerously, so may as well join in with the world. Did you know that you can just swipe that menu? You’ll never have to tap a tiny arrow ever again.

iOS 12 beta 3 arrives with more detailed Maps data

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Apple Maps
Big changes are coming behind the scenes at Apple Maps.
Photo: Apple

Developers received an early 4th of July present from Apple today in the form of banging batch of new betas for iOS 12, watchOS 5 and tvOS 12.

The third beta for iOS 12 arrives two weeks after Apple seeded the last software update to developers that contained a number of UI tweaks and performance enhancements. iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Apple TV all received some software loving from Apple today, but it looks like the next macOS Mojave beta is still baking.

iOS 12 is scary good at learning your schedule

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iOS 12
Siri Shortcuts in iOS 12 are super-useful.
Photo: Apple

Apple fans that have been complaining for years that Siri is dumb might be a little creeped out by how much better the digital assistant is in iOS 12.

With the new Siri suggestions Apple introduced this week, your iPhone will now be able to prompt you about events you haven’t even told it about. One developer posted his experience of Siri learning about a lunch just through iMessage.

Prepare to be impressed:

How to type Slack-style keyboard emojis on Mac

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rocket icon
Rocket will change the way you use emoji on your Mac.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Users of chatroom (and time-wasting tool) Slack will be familiar with typing out emoji reactions. To insert a smiley face, for example, you just type :smile:, and your text will be replaced by a smiley-face emoji when you hit enter.

If you ever find yourself missing this handy feature anywhere else on your Mac, you should take Rocket for a spin. It’s a macOS app that exists to make emojis easier.

Text snippets now support multiple lines, iCloud sync

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MK Mac
Keyboard snippets make your life way easier.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Text snippets are one of the most useful “unknown” features on Mac and iOS. They let you type a few letters, and have them expand into a whole word, sentence or paragraph. You can use them to type, say, aadd and have it turn into your office address, for example. Or you might set up a shortcut to generate a symbol usually hidden on the iOS keyboard: xx to type a #, for example.

Until now, though, Apple’s Text Replacement function proved a royal pain to use. It never synced properly between devices, and it didn’t support multiple-line snippets. But in an update last week, Apple fixed both those problems.

How to add quick keyboard shortcuts for emojis on Mac and iOS

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emoji text replacements
Adding shortcuts for your favorite Emoji is easy.
Photo: Cult of Mac

If you use emojis, the iOS keyboard is fantastic. It suggests emojis for you as you type words, and you can insert them into your messages with a tap. But what about the Mac? How can you add emojis with the keyboard on the desktop? And how can you force iOS to remember shortcuts for your favorite emoji on the iPhone and iPad? The answer to both is Text Replacement, which is built into both macOS and iOS.