iOS 10 review: It’s the little things that matter

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There's a lot to love in iOS 10.
There's a lot to love in iOS 10.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s iOS 10 update for iPhones and iPads is the biggest software refresh the iPhone-maker has launched in years, adding a host of major and minor new features that completely change the iOS experience.

I’ve been using beta versions of iOS 10 on my iPhone 6s and iPad Pro since June. While some of the high-profile additions to Messages, Photos, Apple Music and Apple News aren’t totally mind-blowing, the smaller tweaks make all the difference. With iOS 10, using Apple’s devices is easier, faster and far more enjoyable than ever.

This is the big iOS update you’ve been waiting for, but not for all the reasons Apple thinks.

iOS 10 and macOS Sierra betas are now open to the public

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Apple will only collect iOS 10 data if you opt-in.
Public testers can download iOS 10 now.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple fans who want to get a glimpse of iOS 10 and macOS Sierra before their public release later this fall will finally get the opportunity to install the new software today.

Coming just two days after the release of the second beta of iOS 10 and macOS Sierra to developers, Apple is now letting members of its public beta program install the new software, which debuted last month at WWDC.

5 reasons your Apple experience is about to get even more amazing

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Watch WWDC as a developer is a completely different experience.
Devs at WWDC 2016 see plenty of under-the-hood tweaks that will ultimately mean big things for users.
Photo: Apple

Most Apple fans don’t start drooling at the mention of speech-recognition APIs, Xcode thread sanitizers, Metal tessellation or Pixar USD model support. However, if you’re a developer, those can be huge game-changers that mean you can make your apps better than ever.

While Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2016 keynote revealed loads of fresh features coming in iOS 10 and macOS Sierra — including some amazing stuff that should delight iPhone, iPad and Mac owners when the final versions launch this fall — developers watching Monday’s event saw tons of seemingly minor updates that will let them make apps better than ever.

To find out what the little updates could mean for typical users, Cult of Mac asked some of this year’s Apple Design Award winners what WWDC additions they’re most excited about.

Here’s what they told us.

Facebook plans to let you skip Live Video notifications

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You'll be able to disable all notifications for Live Video on Facebook soon.
You'll be able to disable all notifications for Live Video on Facebook soon.
Photo: Thomas Ulrich/Pixabay

Live Videos might be a boon to content creators who want to capture the attention of more of Facebook’s teeming throngs of users, but getting a ton of notifications from all the sources you’ve previously liked can be a serious pain in the pants.

Luckily, Facebook plans to release a new update that will let you turn off Notifications for Live Videos altogether, which should please most of the people complaining about it on Twitter.

Never miss your BFF’s precious Instagrams again

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Find out when your pals post before anyone else.
Find out when your pals post before anyone else.
Photo: YashilG/Pixabay

Avid Instagram users like to know when new photos show up on the social media platform so they can be the first to like, respond, or even comment on their favorite Instagrammer’s pictures.

You can do the same thing by turning on notifications for a specific user, letting you know exactly when your buddies post to Instagram.

Here’s how to enable this cool hidden feature.

How to save Snapchats without your friends knowing

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You can totally outsmart Snapchat's screenshot notifications.
You can totally outsmart Snapchat's screenshot notifications.
Photo: Adam Przezdziek/FlickrCC

Snapchat — love it or hate it, chances are you’re using it to playfully stay in touch with your friends and family via real-time photo updates of your best duck face selfies.

One of the ubiquitous app’s features is that your images disappear within a set amount of time, letting you be creative, silly or racy as you see fit without worry about those images sticking around or getting posted to the ‘net.

Savvy users, however, know that they can take a screenshot of any Snapchat and save it to their Camera Roll. Snapchat countered by letting the person you’re connected with know when you try to sneak a screenshot of their photo.

If, however, you’re looking to work around this new “feature,” there’s a simple trick that lets you save Snapchats without your friends knowing.

Pro Tip: How to sort iOS Notifications by date

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Never miss an important Notifcation again!
Never miss an important Notifcation again!
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugYou know how it is — you unlock your iPhone with Touch ID so fast that you miss some important Notifications. You swipe down from the top of your iOS device’s screen to see what you missed and — ugh — you realize that your Notifications are sorted by app. How will you ever figure out which new Notification you missed?

Luckily, there’s a fairly simple way to get your iPhone and iPad to list your Notifications in date order, assuring you never miss one again.

Here’s how.

Master web notifications in Safari and Chrome

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New Mac? Lucky! Here's how to set it up right.
The World Wide Web would like you to pay attention.
Photo: Apple

Websites these days have another tool to engage you: the desktop notification. Many sites, this one included, allow you to opt in to a system of popup notices that encourage you to click through and see new content.

Of course, not all content is created equal, and you might someday wish to stop being notified of new cat photos from that feline-friendly website.

Here’s how to manage web notifications using two of the Mac’s most popular web browsers, Safari and Chrome.

Dismiss all your Apple Watch notifications at once

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Get rid of the whole list at one time. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Get rid of the whole list at one time. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Notifications are the mainstay of Apple Watch (or any smartwatch, for that matter). Chances are you’ll get a ton of them, as most of the iPhone notifications will transfer over to your Apple Watch after you pair the two devices.

Typically, you swipe a notification left and then tap the X button when you want to dismiss a notification, or you tap through to the notification itself and then tap “Dismiss.”

But what happens when you have a slew of notifications and you’re just not interested in swipe-tapping them one at a time to go away?

How to keep iOS gaming sessions from being interrupted

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Stop getting interrupted when you're gaming. Photo: Rob LeFebvre
Stop getting interrupted when you're gaming. Photo: Rob LeFebvre

I’ve been playing Vainglory quite a bit lately, and the one thing that really distracts me and actually impacts my gameplay (when on my iPad 3) is notifications. They can make the game stutter, which wreaks havok on my ability to gank an enemy Joule from the bushes with my Krul.

Seriously, it’s annoying.

I turned on Do Not Disturb last week to try and get rid of these badges that annoy, but it never worked: I still got notifications from Facebook, Messages and other appss. I did some digging to find out why.