| Cult of Mac

In iOS 16, Focus filters give you finer control over iPhone distractions

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Focus filters can set more boundaries within apps, cutting down on distractions.
Focus filters can set more boundaries within apps, cutting down on distractions.
Photo: Apple
WWDC22 - Brought to you by CleanMyMac X

Apple showcased an impressive lineup of improvements to Focus modes at WWDC22 Monday. They include Focus-linked custom Lock Screens, set-up suggestions, new filters and more.

The upgrades should provide users with customized ways to cut down on distractions more effectively, especially now that Focus can provide a new level of control by setting boundaries within apps.

These 12 apps won the Apple Design Awards at WWDC22

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The 2022 Apple Design Awards recognize outstanding apps and games in six categories.
The 2022 Apple Design Awards recognize outstanding apps and games in six categories.
Photo: Apple
WWDC22 - Brought to you by CleanMyMac X

Following the WWDC 2022 opening keynote Monday, Apple honored exceptional apps and games via the 2022 Apple Design Awards. In the ceremony, the company selected iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS app nominees that “demonstrated outstanding technical achievement” and more.

In this year’s awards, selection pared down a field of 36 nominated finalists to the 12 winners. Three apps and three games competed in each of the six categories: inclusivity, delight and fun, interaction, social impact, visuals and graphics, and innovation.

Check out the winners below.

WWDC app is now called the ‘Apple Developer’ app

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WWDC app is now called the 'Apple Developer' app
It's the app developers have dreamed of.
Photo: Apple

To showcase the increasing utility of its WWDC app, Apple changed the app’s name to something that sounds relevant all year long. The app formerly known as the WWDC app is now know as the Apple Developer app.

While Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference takes place for just one week in June, the WWDC app increasingly included “in-depth information” from Apple experts throughout the year. And the new name is just the beginning — Apple plans to make the app even more useful for developers.

Apple goes all in on classic Texas Hold’em app

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Apple Texas Hold’em
The updated version of Apple’s Texas Hold’em doesn’t need a clickwheel to play.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

If you loved playing Texas Hold’em on your iPod in 2006, we have great news for you. Apple has brought this classic game back with a significant redesign.

And, unlike the original version, it’s free.

How to use iOS 12’s new Measure app to measure virtually anything

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Apple's Measure app rules
Apple's Measure app totally rules.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

iOS 12 adds a brand-new Apple app to your iPhone and iPad. It’s called Measure, and that’s exactly what it does. With it, you can use your iPhone’s camera to measure distances instead of breaking out a tape measure or ruler. Also, the level tool has moved from its old home in the Compass app, and now lives in Measure. Let’s see how the new app works.

When did Apple’s built-in apps get so good?

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Look at this blank home screen. Just look at it.
Who needs third-party apps anyway?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

It used to be that the first-party iOS apps were only used by people who didn’t care enough to download something better. Mail, Notes, Contacts, the Calendar — all of these were immediately dumped into a junk folder by experienced users, to be replaced with a proper app. But something happened along the way to 2018. Now, Apple’s apps are every bit as good as third-party apps. (Well, mostly. The Contacts app is still awful.)

Today we’ll take a look at a few of Apple’s surprise hits.

Google makes iPhones extremely secure

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Apple requests DMCA removal of iPhone security tweet. Then changes its mind
Apple requests DMCA removal of iPhone security tweet. Then changes its mind
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Google’s service making its accounts uncommonly secure has been extended to iOS native apps. This is only for people who carry around really sensitive information and who therefore expect their iPhone or iPad to come under sophisticated attack.

Starting today, the Advanced Protection Program supports Apple Mail, Calendar, and Contacts. Naturally, this is only for those who connect these iOS apps to Google accounts.

5 stock iOS widgets to keep your day on track

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iOS 10 Widgets
If you're not using iOS widgets yet, it's time to get started.
Photo: Apple

iOS widgets can put loads of useful data at your fingertips. A simple swipe to the right on your iPhone’s Home screen brings up the Today view, where widgets give you a quick glance at info pulled from your favorite apps.

If you’re using iOS 10 and you’ve never taken the time to customize your widgets list, you’re missing out. Here’s how to set up iOS widgets and keep your day on track.

This plug-in turns Apple Mail into a powerful productivity platform

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MailButler turns Apple Mail into a bona fide productivity platform.
MailButler turns Apple Mail into a bona fide productivity platform.
Image: Feingeist Software

This post is presented by Feingeist Software.

Ah, Apple Mail. Every Mac users’ de-facto communications hub, it’s a convenient tool — but it’s not exactly feature-rich. It serves as a catch-all for our contacts and email conversations, but when it comes to productivity, Mail has a lot of untapped potential.

How to turn your iPhone’s Health app into an essential fitness dashboard

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A dashboard for your body: all your key stats at a glance.
The Health app can become a dashboard for your body, offering all your key stats at a glance.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Despite its heart-shaped icon, Health is an unloved app. It tends to gets relegated to a junk folder, along with other un-deletable Apple cruft, like the Stocks app.

But when you get past its garish colors and clunky user interface, Apple’s Health app turns out to be genuinely useful — if you customize the dashboard to match your personal fitness goals.