How to scribble text replies in watchOS 3


watchOS 3 lets you scribble notes to friends.
watchOS 3 lets you scribble notes to friends.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Responding to text messages on Apple Watch gets a lot easier with watchOS 3, thanks to a new feature that lets you scribble letters instead of just using canned replies.

The new handwriting option has quickly become one of my favorite features on the big update that just landed on Apple Watch by giving wearers the ability to say whatever they want without depending on Siri.

Here’s how to reply with scribbles when you get a text:

WhatsApp beta adds support for bold and italic text

Bold and italics in WhatsApp.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

WhatsApp makes it easy to express yourself with emojis and images and other kinds of modern media — but what if you prefer the good old written word?

Until now, the platform has only supported basic text with zero formatting options. But in the latest WhatsApp beta, users have the option to use bold and italic text in their messages.

Apple Watch’s disappearing logo is tiniest mystery ever


Some users are reporting a problem with the back of their Apple Watch.
Some users are reporting a problem with the back of their Apple Watch.
Photo: dougie70w/Apple Discussions

Looks like we’ve got some wear issues on the Apple Watch, especially the Space Gray ones. There are posts on Reddit and the Apple Discussion Forums that show both the Apple logo and actual text etched into the back of the watches peeling off.

Apple Discussions user dougie70w says that he bought his Apple Watch at the beginning of June “and the band started to peel part so bad that I replaced it with an after market metal band that I purchaced on Amazon.”

He’s got an appointment at a local Apple Store today and hopes that having Apple Care will let him get a replacement.

App Watch: Plain old text and widgets (lots of widgets)



App Watch: Sept. 10, 2014

Widget, widgets, widgets. Boy, have we got some widgets for you. And text. Plain text. Plain old text, turned into a calculator. And widgets. Did I mention those? Weather widgets. Battery widgets. And yes, text widgets.

Read all about these new widgets and other new apps in this week's App Watch.


WunderStation from Weather Underground hooks into thousands of privately owned weather stations and presents their data in an iPad app. The smoothly animated graphs are beautiful and can tell you way more than you’d ever want to know about rainfall, barometric pressure and even UV. If you have stations near you, it’s pretty rad. If not, no biggie – the app is $Free


Filthy name, great app. Droool is a “photo gallery for your social networks.” Browse pictures from Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook and more, and index pictures from iCloud and other local folders without moving or copying the files. It’s fast, simple and looks great, and it’s free with in-app purchases. $Free


Terrible name, great app. iBetterCharge monitors your iOS devices’ battery level over your Wi-Fi network, using the same connection that iTunes Wi-Fi sync would use, if you still synced your iPhone with your computer in the space year of 2014. It can pop up warnings when the battery drops to a preset level, and a click on the menu bar shows you the level of all the devices on the network. $Free


This is what the Internet is made for. Photogrammar puts 170,000 Depression-era photos in a searchable, browsable archive. Explore on an interactive map, search or get into the Labs section and browse by metadata sourced from the U.S. Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information archives. Warning: serious time-sink. $Free


PlainTextMenu takes the text on your Mac’s clipboard and transmogrifies it into something useful. It strips out formatting, so you never get big ugly Comic Sans when pasting from a colleague’s Word report, and it can turn the text to uppercase, lowercase or title case along the way. From the school of One Thing Well. $1


Web service re/spin takes Spotify playlists and transforms them into Rdio playlists. If someone’s going to share a playlist, it usually comes from Spotify, and re/spin works with published Spotify playlists. Or you can just paste in a track list copied right from the app. It also works with Remember when PCs couldn’t read Mac floppy disks? It’s like fixing that all over again. $Free



You know all those hard drives grafted onto your Mac? Keep a close eye on them with StorageStatus, an app that turns hard drives into traffic lights in your menu bar and changes their colors when they do something. It knows when they are sleeping, it knows when they’re awake, and it knows when they’ve been good or bad. $3


Not new, but awesome nonetheless. Calca is as close as you’ll get to a plain text calculator. Tap in complex formulas or simple sums and see the results right there in a plain text document. Set variables or just add numbers. And see all your pages synced over iCloud between Mac, iPhone and iPad versions, as well as Windows(!). I love Calca for its balance of simplicity and power. From $3

TVShow Time for iPad

Finally, a version for the iPad. TVShow Time tracks your favorite TV shows and tells you when they’re on. Browse shows and show synopses, and get notifications when something is about to air. See the shows on a calendar, view news about your shows and read about new shows. It’s pretty comprehensive, and looks great on the big iPad screen. $3