Everything you need to know about external hard drives and iPadOS

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Hook up any and all USB storage devices to your iPad.
Hook up any and all USB storage devices to your iPad.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

External storage support is one of the best new features in iPadOS 13. Even if you opted for the maximum iPad Pro storage capacity, you may often want to grab some movies from a hard drive, or save some songs and photos to a thumb drive to hand to a friend.

But how exactly does external storage work in iOS? Can you drag files between connected volumes? Can you even mount more than one drive at once? What about FAT32? Or HFS Plus? And do you have to eject them? Let’s find out.

5 improvements iPad users expect from iOS 13 [Opinion]

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So powerful, and yet it can’t even copy a file off a USB stick.
Better support for external monitors is one of the features iPad users want in iOS 13.
Photo: Apple

Those of us with an iPad have big expectations for the next version of Apple’s mobile operating system. These tablets pack performance comparable to laptops, but the software continues to lag.

Here’s what Tim Cook and Co. can do to remedy that.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on January 20, 2019 but is being revisited in the lead up to WWDC 2019.

How to record Apple Music from your iPhone to your Mac

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Send DRM or other audio up the USB cable, and record it.
Send DRM or other audio up the USB cable, and record it.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Did you know that you can record the music playing on your iPhone, to your Mac, straight up the USB cable? Just hook your Mac up to your iPhone (or iPad), using the Lighting cable that came in the box, and you can record anything. You could record songs from Beats One radio in Apple Music, for example.

It’s just like taping off the radio when you were a kid — or maybe when your dad was a kid — only better quality.

2019 iPhone lineup may finally come with 18W charger

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18W charger
Apple currently charges $29 to buy the 18W charger separately.
Photo: Apple

Freshly leaked details about the 2019 iPhone lineup claim customers can expect faster-charging capabilities right out of the box.

While Apple added faster-charging powers to the iPhone since the iPhone 8, it’s been giving customers the same 5W charger that has been used for years. That is finally set to change this year though as Apple is reportedly planning to include an 18W charger in the box with new 2019 iPhones.

Why adding mouse support to iPad is a touch of genius [Opinion]

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IPad mouse
Confused? You will be.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

A recent rumor says the iPad Pro will soon be compatible with USB-C mice. The idea is that you can just plug one in, and — perhaps by enabling an option in the Accessibility settings — use a mouse just like you would use a mouse on the Mac.

But what would such a feature look like? And would it actually be useful, or would it just be confusing? Let’s think about that.

iPad Pro could work with USB-C mouse very soon

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Mighty Mouse
Who wouldn't want their iPad experience to be a bit Mightier?
Photo: Feureau/Wikipedia CC

Among its other new features, iOS 13 could bring USB-C mouse support to the iPad, a new report claims.

The rumor comes courtesy of MacStories editor Federico Viticci, who revealed it on the latest episode of his podcast. While he didn’t (unsurprisingly) single out names, he mentioned that he had heard it from a “couple of people.”

How to make music with an iPad and a ‘classic’ Swedish synth

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These two will make beautiful music together.
A perfect music-making combo.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

At first glance, the decade-old OP-1 synthesizer from Swedish musical instrument makers Teenage Engineering looks about as standalone as it gets.

The tiny device couples a short, piano-style keyboard with a screen. And it contains a drum machine, several synthesizers, a sampler, a handful of sequencers, a virtual four-track tape recorder and even an FM radio. You can create entire tracks on it with no other gear, or you can hook it up to electric guitars and microphones and bring the outside world in.

But it also pairs surprisingly well with an iPad. You can record audio back and forth, but things go much deeper than that. You also can use the OP-1’s hardware keyboard to play instruments on the iPad, and use iPad MIDI apps to control the synthesizers on the OP-1.

Making music with an iPad and a synth

If you own both pieces of gear already, hopefully this how-to will give you some new ideas about making music with an iPad. But if you only own an iPad, this in-depth article will provide tips for using your tablet with other music gear.

And if you know nothing about the OP-1, or about Teenage Engineering’s work in general, you’ll learn why the company is kind of the Apple of the synth world. Teenage Engineering is known for its incredible interface design — and for having a quirky personality similar to 1984-era Apple, when the brand-new Mac was making waves.