How to use Text Replacement to avoid typing the words you hate

By

Text Replacement shortcuts in iPhone
Text Replacements are easy to set up, and save a ton of time and hassle. You can even use them with emoji.
Photo: Cult of Mac

What if you could type out any of your email addresses just by tapping on the same key a few times? Or do Google searches over and over on a favorite website just as easily? What about easily typing that special symbol that’s so hard to reach on the iOS keyboard that you usually never bother? All this, and more, can be yours, if only you’ll spend a minute or two setting up some text replacement shortcuts. Let’s do it right now.

How to get iPhone alerts when someone replies to that super-important email thread

By

thread alerts for email
Make sure you never miss an important reply with thread alerts.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The VIP mailbox in Apple’s Mail app helps stem the torrent of incoming email alerts by limiting the notifications you see to folks you mark as important. But what about when you want to get an alert for a one-off reply?

Perhaps you’re waiting on an email from an eBay seller about that sweet vintage guitar, or you’re desperate for a reply from your landlord about switching off the heating because, c’mon, it’s almost summer already. Then you need email thread alerts.

Forget Apple News: Here’s how to use Safari Shared Links instead

By

Safari packs some surprisingly powerful features, like Shared Links.
Safari packs some surprisingly powerful features, like Shared Links.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Apple’s News app is pretty great, but only if you’re happy reading stories from Apple-approved sources. There’s plenty of news in the default configuration to keep you going, and you can also dig in and easily pick your own sources and subjects to make it more relevant.

But what about those oddball sites that you read every day? Your favorite ferret-legging forum, for instance? Is there a way to include those in the News app? There used to be, but Apple removed the ability to subscribe to any and all sites somewhere around iOS 10. The goods news is, you can still subscribe to your favorite sites right in Safari’s Shared Links.

Activate iOS Mail’s hidden folders

By

secret mailboxes
Apple's mail app has some handy superpowers hidden in plain view.
Photo: Cult of Mac

iOS 10’s Mail app may look just like its previous pedestrian iterations, but it packs a whole lot of hidden superpowers under the hood. While you still can’t export a message to, say, a to-do list app, you can do pretty much everything those fancy third-party mail apps do, and then some.

Let’s take a look at quickly setting up your iOS Mail app so you can slice and dice incoming messages easily using its hidden folders.

Use the iPhone’s camera as a tricked-out magnifying glass

By

iPhone magnifier app
The iPhone's built-in Magnifier makes short work of unreadable text, and tiny objects.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

There’s a little-known but awesome trick you can do with the iPhone’s camera: triple-click the Home button to turn it into a magnifying glass. This is great if you don’t see so well, either because you’re farsighted or because you’re just getting old and doddery.

Today we’ll see how to switch on this awesome feature so it’s ready to deploy, and also take a look at some of the extras Apple built in to make the Magnifier tool even more powerful.

Use Apple Pencil to mark up PDFs in Mail app

By

PDF-markup-in-mail
Fixing up a PDF in Mail is way easier than you might think.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Today we’ll learn how to open and edit a PDF right in the iOS Mail app, and then send it on its way, all without opening any extra apps. Given that a lot of PDFs we receive are documents that need to be checked over, or signed, and then returned, this tip is a real time-saver.

Instead of waiting until you get back to your Mac, you can take care of things right from your iPhone.

How to turn anything into a PDF on your iPhone or iPad

By

How to turn anything into a PDF on your iPhone or iPad
If you're running iOS 10, your iPhone is already a PDF-making machine.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Stop! Don’t download that PDF converter app for iOS. You don’t need it. What if I told you iPhones have come with a built-in PDF-conversion tool since iOS 10?

Once you know where this iOS PDF converter is buried, you can quickly and easily turn anything into a handy PDF on your iPhone or iPad.

Dramatically improve iOS dictation using Google’s Gboard

By

Gboard
Gboard dictation makes iOS even better.
Photo: Google

Google’s Gboard has been a great alternative iOS keyboard since its launch, and the latest update makes it even better. Now you can use it to dictate your messages, which will save you a load of time once you get in the habit.

In my opinion, Google has Siri licked when it comes to voice recognition, so there’s never been a better time to give Gboard a try. Here’s how to get started.

How to watch March Madness games on your iPhone, iPad and Apple TV

By

How to watch March Madness on iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV.
Here's how to watch March Madness games on iPhone, iPad or Apple TV.
Photo: Amir Fazlic/Unsplash CC

By Chris Brantner, guest blogger

March Madness is upon us. For the next month, college basketball will take over the sports world, and fans can catch all the action on their Apple devices. Whether you’re a cable subscriber or a cord cutter, here’s how to watch March Madness games on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.

iOS widgets: 6 of the best to replace Apple’s own

By

These apps' iOS widgets will give your iPhone superpowers.
These apps' iOS widgets will give your iPhone superpowers.
Photo: Gilles Lambert/Unsplash CC

iOS widgets are a great way to check in on your day. Apple gave us its own take on widgets with the core apps built into iOS 10, but you can do better.

If you’ve never taken a look at some of the great third-party iOS widgets available, you’re missing out. Here are six of our favorite iOS widgets to replace the stock Apple widgets. (If you don’t know how to add widgets, go to the bottom of this post for instructions on adding and using them.)