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How Apple could smartify iOS’ Do Not Disturb feature

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Patent
"Do Not Disturb" could get a lot more intelligent.
Photo: Apple/USPTO

With iOS 11, Apple introduced a “Do Not Disturb” feature that texts callers to let them know you’re driving or otherwise engaged if they try and phone when you’re busy. But a future version of the technology could perform a more useful feat by texting context-specific responses to the person calling.

In a patent application published today, Apple describes how your iPhone could analyze available information — ranging from fitness tracking apps to your calendar and location information — to figure out the most useful response to a message.

Emergency Bypass lets selected contacts punch through Do Not Disturb

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sofa
Now you can finally relax and take that siesta, without missing texts from your loved ones.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The iPhone’s Do Not Disturb feature really is great. It silences your phone on a daily schedule, so you never need to worry about being woken up by a Facebook alert, or some other useless beep. But maybe you want to be disturbed by certain people. Maybe your teenage kids are out late, or your better half is away on a trip. Is there a way to let their calls and texts punch through the Do Not Disturb shield? Well, yes, there is! It’s called Emergency Bypass, and here’s how to enable it.

How to mute iMessage threads, and spot those you accidentally silenced

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shhh mute iMessage
Shut those annoying conversations up right now.
Photo: Shawn Rossi/Flickr CC

Have you ever had your regular (important) iMessages swamped by a flurry of notifications for that inane group conversations about matcha-flavored KitKats? Or maybe you want to keep your iPad’s notifications switched on, but you want to mute iMessages from your boss until Monday, because she has no concept of boundaries?

If so, you need iMessage’s handy conversation-muting feature. It’s so easy to use that you may have turned it on by mistake. If you’re no longer getting alerts for certain messages, you may want to check this, too.

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Apple teases iOS 10 users with new iOS 11 features

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iPhone 7 iOS 11
A redesigned Control Center is one of many changes to look forward to in iOS 11.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has begun promoting new iOS 11 features to iOS 10 users ahead of the update’s public release.

The Tips app is issuing notifications that tease things like iOS 11’s redesigned Control Center, giving users a chance to preview them before the mobile operating system’s release in coming weeks.

How To Let Some Calls Get Past Do Not Disturb [iOS Tips]

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No One

We’ve been using the Do Not Disturb function on our iPhones since iOS 6, really, as the feature really helps us have some down time. You can schedule or enable the feature for easy access, keeping those pesky calls, messages, and notifications off your iPhone screen when you just don’t have the brain space to deal.

But what about those calls and messages you really do need to get? What do you do there? Luckily, there are a couple of options to let certain calls come through.

Skip The Shell Script, Schedule Do Not Disturb Times In Mavericks Beta [OS X Tips]

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Schedule Do Not Disturb

Back in OS X Mountain Lion, it took a seriously complex shell script and recurring Calendar event to schedule Do Not Disturb times. While it’s fun to dig in and mess about with scripts, I much rather like the new Mavericks beta ability to just, you know, schedule Do Not Disturb using a nice, pretty graphical user interface.

If you’re like me, and you want to schedule your Do Not Disturb times on your Mac (much the same way you can on iOS), then here’s what to do.