How to create and customize Focus modes in iOS and iPadOS 15

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Create and customize Focus modes in iOS 15
Keep your iPhone quiet when you're busy.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 ship with a brand-new feature called Focus mode that lets you set up different notification profiles based on your activities. You can have one for work, one for play, one for sleep, and more.

Here’s how to create and customize new Focus modes on iPhone and iPad.

How to easily schedule HomeKit devices with Siri commands

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How to easily schedule HomeKit devices with Siri commands
You can tell Siri to turn a HomeKit accessory off in a few minutes and it’ll happen. Here’s what you do.
Photo: Cult of Mac

You know you can turn on a HomeKit accessory by talking to Siri, but are you aware you can order devices to turn on or off at some point in the future just as easily?

Here’s how to set impromptu schedules for your HomeKit accessories with Siri commands — and why you might want to.

How to translate text in images using Live Text in iOS 15

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Translate text in photos in iOS 15
Translate almost anything in an instant.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Live Text in iOS and iPadOS 15 is a terrific new feature that makes the text in your photos interactive. You can use it to copy and paste quotes, call phone numbers, find addresses and more.

Here’s how to use Live Text on your iPhone or iPad to translate signs, posters, and other things written in a foreign language.

Firefox for Mac stops loading websites. Here’s how to fix it.

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Firefox fix for Mac
Firefox is broke. But you can fix it.
Image: Firefox/Cult of Mac

A growing number of Firefox users on Mac (and Windows) are reporting that they are unable to load any websites. The browser hangs indefinitely and shows nothing at all, thanks to what seems like a background server error.

The good news is that there is a relatively simple fix that you can implement yourself until Firefox eliminates the problem for good. We’ll show you how.

How to get the Dropbox beta with full Apple silicon support

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Dropbox for Apple silicon
It's now available to all.
Image: Dropbox/Cult of Mac

The next-generation version of the Dropbox app for macOS, which finally adds native support for Apple silicon chips, is now available to all in beta.

It comes less than a week after Dropbox began testing Apple M1 support with a small number of users. You can try it out for yourself by enabling “early releases” in your account preferences. We’ll show you how.

How to copy text from your photos using Live Text in iOS 15

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How to copy and paste from photos in iOS 15
Live Text works surprisingly awesomely in iOS 15.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

iOS and iPadOS 15 introduce a brilliant new feature called Live Text, which not only identifies text in your photos, but also allows you to interact with it. You can use it for all kinds of things, like making a call, sending an email, or looking up directions to an address.

Here’s how to use the feature to copy and paste text from your images on iPhone and iPad.

How to quickly and easily fix common Apple Pencil problems

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Apple-Pencil-close-up
There's almost always an easy fix.
Photo: Daniel Korpai

Just like any other electronic gadget, Apple Pencil can sometimes experience issues that prevent it from working as intended. The good news is that it’s quick and easy to fix almost any Apple Pencil problem.

Try these simple tricks to eliminate connectivity issues, stuttering and more when your Apple Pencil starts acting up.

HomeKit bug can send iPhone into reboot loop of death. Here’s how to avoid it.

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Apple Home app
Beware random Home invitations.
Photo: Apple

A newly discovered HomeKit bug can render unsuspecting iPhone and iPad users with a completely unresponsive device. All it takes is for a smart home gadget to be given a super-long name.

Once the bug affects an iOS or iPadOS device, the gadget will continually freeze and restart itself. The only way to fix it is to factory reset the iPhone or iPad — and avoid logging into your iCloud account.

How to make your New Year’s resolution stick with Apple Fitness+

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Make 2022 the year you achieve your fitness goals
Make 2022 the year you achieve your fitness goals.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

If your New Year’s resolution is to get in shape in 2022, Apple Fitness+ provides the perfect solution. Tightly integrated with Apple Watch, it offers hundreds of excellent video workouts you can do at home right now. But the question is, will you?

As the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Subscribing to Fitness+ is all very well, but it’ll be a waste of money if you lose interest after a week.

Unfortunately, sticking to a New Year’s resolution isn’t easy. That’s probably why almost 50% of them fail in the first year.

If you want to smash your fitness goals in 2022, you need to start by getting your head in the right place. And that’s where well-formed outcomes can help. They are goals that meet certain essential criteria identified by psychologists in the 1980s using a technique called neuro-linguistic programming, or NLP.

Well-formed outcomes provide a framework that can massively increase your chances of achieving your goal. And all you need to do to turn your resolution into a well-formed outcome is ask yourself these six questions.

How to turn on COVID-19 exposure notifications on iPhone [Updated]

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Manage COVID-19 exposure notifications on iPhone
There's no good reason not to have exposure notifications enabled.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

With the omicron variant fueling lightning-fast spread of COVID-19, it’s a good time for iPhone owners to take advantage of the exposure notifications feature built into iOS. By simply enabling this feature, you will get an alert after being exposed to someone who tests positive for the virus — as long as they also have contact notifications turned on, and they report their test results.

For obvious reasons, this automatic version of contact tracing works more effectively if more people utilize it. If you discover that you’ve been in close contact with an infected person, you can take appropriate steps (getting tested, staying away from vulnerable people, etc.)

We’ll show you how to take control of COVID-19 exposure notifications on your device.