Rumor roundup: What to expect in iOS 13 and macOS 10.15 [Video]

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holding iPhone with
iOS 13 could offer tons of huge improvements to Apple's mobile operating system.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

The last few weeks have been packed with rumors and leaks about what Apple may have in store for us with iOS 13 and macOS 10.15. With so much information coming out day after day, it’s hard to keep track of all the possible rumors.

Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled the full list of expected features coming this year to iOS and macOS. From dark mode to iPad updates, and new Mac apps to Siri improvements, here’s everything we are expecting (so far) in iOS 13 and macOS 10.15.

How I wrote a shortcut to calculate the length of playlists

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Shortcut sign.
Shortcut sign.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

This weekend I made a shortcut that takes a list of songs, adds up the total duration, and shows it in a notification.

The first part was easy. The Shortcuts app has a great action that can tell you anything about an iTunes Media file (or any other media file), including its duration. I whipped up a shortcut to cycle through a list of music tracks, adding up the durations along the way. It took five minutes, tops.

Then things started to go wrong. The shortcut returned the total duration in seconds. I don’t know about you, but for me, a number like 4,166.867 isn’t that useful. I prefer something like 01:09:26, or 1 hour 9 minutes and 36 seconds. The problem was, I couldn’t get from one to the other.

How to merge PDFs on iOS

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This is how we used to merge PDFs before computers.
This is how we used to merge PDFs before computers.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Contrary to what you might expect, merging PDFs is easier on your iPhone than on your Mac. On the desktop, you first need to open both PDFs in the Preview app, and then work out how to combine the two of them. On the iPhone or iPad, you can select your PDFs in the Files app (or in the Mail app, or anywhere else you find them), and use a quick shortcut to combine and save them in one go.

It’s instant, foolproof, and Just Works™. Let’s see just how easy it is to merge PDFs on iOS.

How to use iOS Spotlight like a launchbar for your iPad

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Let these shortcuts take care of your morning routine, so you can focus more on important things, like breakfast.
Let these shortcuts take care of your morning routine, so you can focus more on important things, like breakfast.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Every morning, after I park my iPad in its desk stand, I start writing the same way: I play the same music playlist; I start the Focus app, which reminds me to take breaks; and I create a new Ulysses sheet to start typing in. And I do all of these almost without touching the screen.

You’d be surprised at how much you can do on the iPad with just the keyboard. Today we’re going to see some cool examples, plus a bonus Good Morning shortcut.

How to iMessage a photo with just one tap

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Just one tap.
Just one tap.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I got sick of having to tap a zillion buttons just to iMessage a photo to somebody, so I made a shortcut that lets me tap an icon on my Home screen, and sends my latest photo automatically to a preselected friend.

That’s it. You tap it, and the shortcut grabs the last photo you shot, and sends it. If that sounds like something you want, check it out.

Make your own iPhone Safari download manager with Shortcuts

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Who doesn’t enjoy a well-managed download?
Who doesn’t enjoy a well-managed download?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

One of the biggest shortcomings of mobile Safari is downloading files. It’ll do it just fine, but it loads everything as if it were a web page. PDFs, ZIPs, MP3s: They all get loaded right there into the current page, whereupon you have to use the Open In… feature to save the file.

Perhaps even worse — you don’t have any idea how long the download is going to take. All you have to go on is the loading progress bar up in the URL bar, which creeps along and really only offers two states: “not done yet” and “done.”

Today we will fix that by whipping up a download manager using the Shortcuts app. Let’s go.

How to translate any PDF or sheet of paper

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If you can read it, you can translate it.
If you can read it, you can translate it.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

How do you translate a PDF? Maybe you scanned a page from a friend’s German cake recipes book. Or perhaps you’re living abroad and you have no idea what the police just made you sign. There are plenty of ways to translate PDFs and text, but most of them involve either A) Microsoft Word or B) uploading your private documents to a cloud service to be read.

Today we’ll see how to quickly scan a paper document, then translate its written text into English. You’ll be amazed at how fast it is.

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iPhone survey
I wanted a Galaxy S10, but I'm stuck with iPhone.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac