Apple how-tos: Tips and tricks for all Apple devices | Cult of Mac

What happens when you report texts as spam?


Stop the Madness
How to keep spam texts at bay… and how effective it might (not) be.
Image: EEIM/Wikimedia Commons/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

How can you report all the spam texts you get on your iPhone, and what happens when you report it? Where does the report go? Does anyone look at these things?

Apple has useful tools like Hide My Email and Sign in with Apple for managing email spam, but text spam can be far more annoying. You don’t have a spam filter for your texts, and texts can be easier to fake.

If you’re getting spam texts, there are a few different steps you can take to can it, and I’ll walk you through all of them.

How to contact emergency services via satellite with iPhone 14


Apple launches free Emergency SOS via satellite on all iPhone 14 models
An iPhone 14 can save your neck by sending out an SOS for help over a satellite connection. Here's how.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

All iPhone 14 models can use Apple’s Emergency SOS via satellite service in countries in N. America and Europe. It allows users of the latest iOS handsets to exchange messages with emergency services while outside of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage.

Getting an iPhone 14 in contact with a satellite isn’t complicated. But it’s something users should know before they need it.

Here’s how the process goes.

Fix the mess caused by Sign in with Apple and Hide My Email


Silence the spam
Apple’s privacy-focused features in Mail are really handy at keeping spam at bay, but you might still need to find that secret email address or delete an account after a while.
Image: Ascánder/Wikimedia Commons/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

I always use Apple’s privacy-focused Sign in with Apple and Hide My Email services whenever I get the option.

The Sign in with Apple feature, which lets you log into third-party accounts using your Apple ID while keeping your personal info private, is so easy to use that I utilize it everywhere. But that also means my disguised logins pile up, accumulating in the digital junk drawer that is iCloud Settings.

I’ll show you where you can find, manage or delete these accounts. Perhaps you’re jumping ship from iPhone to Android, and you want to make sure you still have another way of signing into your Chipotle account.

The Hide My Email service is similar. It creates a temporary email address that forwards to your real one — handy if you’re signing up for a shady website, or if you need a public contact email. I’ll show you where you can create new ones and delete the old ones.

5 secret tips and tricks in Safari on iPhone


5 Safari Tricks & Secrets
Get the most out of the browser in your pocket.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

I spend a lot of time in Safari, and odds are, you do too. For an app that’s absolutely instrumental to my iPhone, any new tips and tricks I learn can feel life-changing.

Here are a few of my favorite hidden features. These will help you browse the web faster, clean up your experience and restore tabs you accidentally close. I also have a handy Shortcut you can download at the end.

How to get missing Apple apps back on your iPhone and iPad


Where did that app go?
Sometimes these things just disappear on you.
Image: Kristin Hardwick/Wikimedia Commons/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

How do you reinstall Apple apps like Music, Podcasts, Weather, Maps and Find My onto your iPhone or iPad? If you can’t find them, it’s possible you uninstalled them and your device needs to download them again. Or they might have simply disappeared from your Home Screen, and are now hiding in the App Library.

There are also a few iPhone apps that Apple hasn’t made available on iPad. This was the case with Weather until very recently, so you may need to install an update to get it.

I’ll walk you through all the possibilities, showing you how to get Apple’s stock apps back on your iPhone or iPad.

Enable iPhone ‘guest mode’ before handing it to someone else


Keep your kids out of your phone
Lock your kids into a game (like Zookeeper) when they have your phone.
Image: MIKI Yoshihito/Wikimedia Commons/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

You can use a feature called Guided Access to lock down your iPhone to a single app before you hand it to a kid or someone else. You might want to let your offspring play a game, or pass your phone around for controlling music, or hand it off to show someone a video … but you probably don’t want them going rogue and reading your texts or calling your mom.

In Accessibility settings, you can enable Guided Access to limit your iPhone to a single app before you hand it off. It’s a kind of quick and dirty “guest mode.”

This will help you keep your phone — and your privacy — safe. You can even disable features like the volume buttons and set up time limits.

5 must-have productivity apps for Mac


Speed up your work on a Mac
These apps (and system features) will help you work faster.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

I’m going to show you five ways you can instantly boost your productivity on your Mac. You might not have thought your Mac was capable of these advanced features. But in my opinion, the Mac’s reputation for being un-customizable is misunderstood. Three of these tips depend on apps that will add radical new system features to your computer.

I’ll show you how to get instant window snapping on the Mac, powerful screenshot and recording tools, a clever clipboard manager that should be built into macOS, a simple tip for opening apps faster, and a smart time-tracking tool that’ll keep you productive.

Always squinting? Zoom in on your Mac display.


What Does That Say?
Sometimes it can be hard reading your screen.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

It’s easy to zoom in on your Mac display and get a closer look at your screen. If the text is just too small to read, or perhaps you’re making some graphics and you need pixel-perfect alignment, a simple tweak to your Mac settings is all you need.

Using your Mac’s Zoom feature, you can hit a keyboard shortcut or use a multitouch gesture to zoom in on your screen. I’ll show you how to use this handy feature. Plus, I’ll cover Hover Text and Display Scaling, two more features that help you embiggen the words on your Mac screen.

3 tips to take better pictures with your iPhone


Step up your photography
A beautiful, well-framed picture will almost make a Prius look good.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

How can you take better pictures with just your iPhone? You should get comfortable with the world’s handiest camera so you can capture memories that will last a lifetime. After all, more and more people are leaving behind family point-and-shoot cameras for the smartphones in their pockets.

If you know the ins and outs of photography, you don’t need the latest and greatest to take gorgeous shots. In fact, the winner of the 2020 iPhone Photography Awards took the prize-winning picture on an iPhone 4!

No matter what phone you have, here are my top iPhonography tips for the casual and curious.

Simple security hack keeps your iCloud account safe from iPhone thieves


Can’t touch this (iCloud account)
Is this what the prolific Mr. Hammer was singing about? No.
Image: Jonathan Cutrer/Flickr/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Taking a moment to add an extra password to your iCloud account might save your skin if your iPhone is ever stolen by a shady character who’s eyeing you like a hawk. By default, your iPhone passcode is all someone needs to lock you out of your devices and wreak financial havoc on your life. And it’s not that difficult to capture your passcode if you tap in into your phone in a public place.

In fact, a recent spate of coordinated scams have played out like this: A spy watches for anyone entering their iPhone passcode in a bar or other public place. Then, the device is yoinked out of the victim’s hands. And before they can do anything, they find themselves locked out of their own iCloud account. Soon, the criminals who stole the iPhone proceed to make unauthorized purchases, empty bank accounts and generally wreak havoc on the victim’s finances and personal life.

Luckily, setting up a second password can protect you from this type of criminal operation. I’ll show you how to keep these thieves at bay — and offer some additional advice for keeping your account secure.