Add custom replies to Apple Watch, seem less robotic

Don't be such a square when you reply. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Don't be such a square when you reply. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Messaging is one of the best use cases for Apple Watch – you get a message, you dictate a reply, you get on with your day.

Apple has included several pre-written responses for you to use when you’re just too busy to dictate a response (or don’t want to talk into your watch). They’re pretty awful, though, ranging from the terse (“OK”) to the fairly robotic (“Sorry, I can’t talk right now”). None of them really quite fit the way we talk, do they?

Happily, Apple lets you change these canned responses to better reflect your personality and style. Here’s how to do so.

Make iOS Calendar look the way you want

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Press the button. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Press the button. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Oh, that pesky list view in your iOS Calendar app. It sure likes to go missing in various iOS updates, doesn’t it, like in iOS 7 when it just, sort of, disappeared.

It’s not totally gone now in iOS 8.3, but there is a new way to access it along with a new layout. There are also some funky ways to move around your Calendar app that may not be as intuitive as they should. These aren’t necessarily new to iOS 8.3, but it’s handy to know them, as well.

Here’s the recipe you’ll need to view your iOS Calendar the way you want on your iPhone and iPad.

Take the headache out of calendar syncing with these quick tips

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Fantastical 2 uses iOS calendar settings to sync with Google. Screengrab: Flexibits
Fantastical 2 uses iOS calendar settings to sync with Google. Screengrab: Flexibits

As many of us use Google calendar to manage our daily lives, it’s an important thing to get this wondrous scheduling solution on our iPhones and iPads to better able to access it on the go.

Several third-party calendars, like the ever-useful and visually stunning Fantastical 2, use the iOS system for connecting to and synchronizing your calendars from Google to your mobile device.

Usually this works without a hitch, especially with newer iOS versions; you simply add an account and the calendar events you input on the web will show up on your iPhone, and vice versa.

When that doesn’t work, however, the settings you need to tweak can be a bit unintuitive. Here’s what they should look like for the best two-way Google to iOS sync.

Trick out your iPhone with Notification Center widgets

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Make the Notification Center your own with widgets. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Make the Notification Center your own with widgets. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Swipe down from the top of your iPhone (or iPad) screen and you’ll see the new iOS 8 Notification Center. It’s got two sections — Notifications on the right and Today on the left. Tap on the Today button and you’ll see all the new widgets arrayed in their default order.

You can add your calendar, weather, stocks and any one of hundreds of third-party app that has widget support.

The great thing is that you’re not stuck with the default order, or even the default apps — this part of Notification Center is totally customizable. Here’s how to make it your own.

Delete your unwanted iPhone photos in one quick purge

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Do you really need to carry all of these photos around with you? Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Do you really need to carry all of these photos around with you? Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

We all need to get rid of photos from our iPhones from time to time, and iOS 8 makes it pretty simple to select a single or group of photos and delete. Deleting a photo at a time is all well and good, as is tapping a bunch of them and then deleting. But what if you want to just seriously delete a whole ton of them at once?

There’s a better way to bulk delete photos from your iPhone (or iPad), and it takes a lot of the tapping out of the process. Here’s how to do it.