5 features Apple must steal from Android N

Android N is coming this fall.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple’s next-generation iPhone and iOS 10 will have to fend off tough competition from Google’s biggest Android update in years when they arrive this fall.

Android N is coming with huge improvements and big features fans, and fans couldn’t be more excited. Some of those features are so good, Apple just has to steal them. Here are five we’d love to see in future versions of iOS.

This emoji iOS trick will change the way you search


Yes, you can use emoji on iPhone search.
Yes, you can use emoji on iPhone search.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Emoji have rapidly changed the way we conversate in the digital age and now thanks to a new feature in iOS, they’re about to change the way we search too.

iPhone and iPad users can now use emoji as search terms in the iOS spotlight feature that’s accessible on any home screen by swiping down.

The feature is actually super-useful, though it doesn’t work with all emoji. Looking for a place to have a beer with a buddy? All you have to do is tap the beer emoji icon and Spotlight will bring up suggestions for drinking holes that you can open in Apple Maps.

Here are some of the emoji you can use for search:

10 things you should know about Google’s Gboard keyboard

Gboard on iPhone.
Gboard is probably the best third-party keyboard on iOS.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Google now offers its very own keyboard for iOS, and it’s awesome. It’s packed full of useful features like glide typing and built-in search, and it has a clean and simple design that’s a pleasure to type on. It’s probably the best third-party keyboard on iPhone.

But there are 10 things you should know about Gboard before you get set up.

Face palm, bacon, water polo and 71 other emoji may be coming to iOS 10


Some of the new emoji in Unicode 9.0.
Some of the new emoji in Unicode 9.0.
Photo: Emojipedia

iOS 10 may come with a big batch of new emoji, including pictograms for things like shrimp, croissant, owl, wrestlers, a bunch of hand gestures, a shrug emoticon and more.

The Unicode Consortium has recently accepted the updated Unicode 9 emoji set that contains as many as 74 new emoji that companies like Apple and Google will be able to add to their software keyboards. The consortium will make a final determination on which emojis to add later this year, with the release of Unicode 9.0 set for June 2016. That’s pretty good timing for Apple which is expected to unveil iOS 10 at WWDC in June, with a public launch scheduled for the fall.

Here’s the full list of new emoji:

The easy way to add emojis to everything on your Mac


Emoji for all your textual needs.
Emoji for all your textual needs.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre / Cult of Mac

In Apple’s Messages app, you can easily add emojis with a quick click on the little happy face icon in the iMessage text field. If you use a chat app like Slack, you can do the same.

But what if you want to add an emoji to an email, a letter, or any other text field? Turns out there’s an often-overlooked menu item (with a corresponding keyboard shortcut) that lets you do just that.

Check it out.