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

Every new email trick in iOS 16 that you need to know

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Undo sending emails and schedule emails in advance.
Undo sending emails and schedule emails in advance.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Email doesn’t often get new features. Sending an email still works basically the same as it has since the ’90s. But these days, people want modern features — like scheduling emails or undo send. In iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura, Apple brings a bunch of new features to the stock Mail app for the first time.

You can quickly take back an email if you forget to include an attachment, or schedule an important email way in advance. You also can get smart reminders to read email later, or alerts to send a follow-up. If you catch a typo right after sending an email, or if you want to send an invoice on a specific day and time, both features will soon be available.

Read on to see how it all works.

How to get the iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 public betas

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How to get the iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 public betas
Here's how to install the iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 public betas on your iPhone or iPad.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

The second round of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 public betas is now available, so anyone who wants to start tinkering with all the new features can try less-buggy versions.

iPhone users get a dramatically improved Lock Screen, many new features in the Messages and Mail apps, and more. For iPads with the M1 processor, the biggest change is support for floating app windows and external displays. Plus all iPads get other enhancements.

Want to try the changes out for yourself? We’ll show you how.

How to use advanced Apple Watch sleep stage tracking

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Sleep tracking on Apple Watch got much more advanced in watchOS 9.
Sleep tracking on Apple Watch got much more advanced in watchOS 9.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

If you have trouble sleeping, the Apple Watch might help you get to the bottom of what’s going on. New to watchOS 9, it can track what sleep stage you’re in. That means you can see if you’re not getting enough deep sleep or REM sleep, or if you’re waking up too often in the middle of the night. If you have insomnia or sleep apnea, this information could be very useful.

Read on to see how to use the advanced sleep stage tracking in watchOS 9.

How to use iPhone’s Lockdown Mode in iOS 16

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Lockdown Mode is extremely useful for the select few who actually need it.
Lockdown Mode is extremely useful for the select few who actually need it and frivolous for ordinary people like me.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Lockdown Mode is a new option coming in iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura that limits system features for maximum security. Apple designed it to protect its products from sophisticated spyware, like NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware, which has been used to target journalists, politicians, dissidents and activists around the world.

Spyware like Pegasus may seem like an unlikely threat. But for some, Lockdown Mode could be life or death. U.S. citizens need not worry at the moment, but it doesn’t take a wild imagination to picture how such spyware might be embraced by slightly more fascist administrations.

Right now, Lockdown Mode is meant for high-profile activists and journalists. And I mean real journalists — the kind who expose state secrets — not bloggers like me. Read on to find out how to enable Lockdown Mode and how it affects your device’s functionality.

9 ways to make your iPhone less addictive

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Here are my tips for spending less time on your phone.
Here are my tips for spending less time on your phone.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

I would not say I have an addiction to my iPhone. I’m a computer nerd; I have an addiction to my Mac. It’s mostly the same, except I can pretend it’s productive.

Many clearly suffer from smartphone addiction, though. If you feel the impulse to unlock your iPhone at every empty moment, or scroll through an app when you feel like you should be getting to bed, here are my tips for making your phone a bit more boring.

How to get the latest HomePod software update

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How to reset HomePod and HomePod mini
Here’s how to be sure you have the latest HomePod software update. Or stop your smart speaker from updating.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Your HomePod is a lot more than a simple speaker — it’s a whole computer. And like any computer it has an operating system that needs occasional updates.

Here’s how to make sure your Apple smart speaker has the latest software version. There’s a new version out that takes care of a music playback bug, and you don’t want to miss out.

How to use Live Captions to get subtitles for absolutely anything in iOS 16

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Live Captions will let you read a podcast! …kinda.
Live Captions will be great! You’ll be able to watch videos wherever you are, in places where you can’t be loud and you don’t have headphones, like late at night in bed or on the train. At least, you will once it works.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Live Captions, a new feature coming in iOS 16, will generate subtitles of any audio playing in any app on your iPhone. Powered by the Neural Engine in Apple’s custom silicon, the capability to turn words from music and/or videos into real-time text will be a boon to many users, in many different situations.

If you’re hard of hearing, for instance, the ability to see instant captions on the screen is a game changer. Or, if you don’t have headphones when you’re sitting in bed late at night and your partner is asleep — or you’re in any situation where you don’t want to make noise, like on the bus or in an office — you can turn on Live Captions to get subtitles.

The applications are endless and exciting. Here’s how to use Live Captions in iOS 16.

Live weather, awesome astronomy and fun faces: Customize your iPhone’s Lock Screen

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There are a lot of ways to customize the Lock Screen in iOS 16.
There are a lot of ways to customize the Lock Screen in iOS 16.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

iOS 16 brings the most radical change to the iPhone Lock Screen yet. In the upcoming operating system, you can customize and totally transform the look and feel of your phone. If you liked the themed custom Home Screens people were putting together using Shortcuts and Widgetsmith, you’ll love the level of creativity you can express on the Lock Screen.

Read on to see all the features of the new iOS 16 Lock Screen.

How to get ready to preorder the M2 MacBook Air

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How to get ready to preorder the M2 MacBook Air
Here's how to be ready to order the amazing M2 MacBook Air so you get one on launch day.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The most exciting MacBook of 2022 goes up for preorder on Friday, and the M2 MacBook Air is likely to sell out quickly. You need do some early prep work if you want to get your hands on this beautifully redesigned notebook as soon as possible.

Here’s how to be completely ready to put in a preorder.

How to make sure your iPhone fireworks photos go off with a bang

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These tips will help you take better fireworks photos.
These tips will help you take better fireworks photos.
Photo: Richard Dongses/Flickr CC

Last year’s Fourth of July fireworks made you say ooh and ahh, but when you look at your iPhone photos from that night, the sound you make is more of an ugh. Want to shoot better fireworks photos this time around?

Don’t blame Siri or some engineer in Cupertino for previous photo fails. The iPhone camera, as mighty as it is, can’t do all the thinking for you — especially in challenging lighting conditions like a fireworks display. But with a little thought and preparation, you can make this holiday worth reliving on your iPhone camera roll.

Below are some simple tips to make your iPhone fireworks photos sizzle.