Apple seeds iOS 12 beta 4 to developers


Photos app
The new and improved Photos app on iOS 12.
Photo: Apple

A fresh new version of iOS 12 is waiting for developers to download, bringing with it a fresh batch of fixes and some UI tweaks.

Apple released iOS 12 beta 4 this morning for both iPhone and iPad. The update arrived exactly two weeks after Apple dropped the last beta, which added more detailed Map data along with other improvements.

Google again follows Apple’s lead, removes meat from salad emoji


Salad emoji from various companies
At the urging of vegans, the egg is being removed from Google's salad emoji, pictured at right. Apple's, Samsung's, and other's versions are already meat-less.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Google has bowed to pressure from vegans and taken the egg out of Android’s salad emoji.

This isn’t something iPhone users need concern themselves with, as Apple’s version is already meatless.

How to use the Mac’s secret emoji panel


emoji text replacements
The Mac's emoji panel is even better than the iOS emoji keyboard.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Finding emoji on the iPhone and iPad is easy — you just tap the little emoji key in the corner of your keyboard, and there they are. Emoji are fully supported on the Mac, too, but where do you find them? If you don’t already know, then this trick is going to blow your mind, because it’s just as easy to get to the emoji panel on the Mac as it is on the iPhone.

Google gamifies machine learning with Emoji Scavenger Hunt


Emoji game Scavenger Hunt turns powerful machine learning and image recognition technology into a game for your phone.
Emoji Scavenger Hunt turns powerful machine learning and image recognition technology into a game for your phone.
Screenshot: Google

Emoji are many things to many people. Depending who you ask, they’re fun, flirty, confusing, a whole new language, or the demise of language itself.

Google’s Emoji Scavenger Hunt adds one more to the many meanings of emoji: a way to play with machine learning.

Pro Tip: Use emoji labels in Safari’s Favorites bar


Emoji bookmarks labels look great.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bug Safari’s Favorites bar is the handiest part of the whole app. On Mac and iPad, it sits permanently at the top of the screen, ready for you to tap bookmarks and bookmarklets, either for fast access to a site, or to execute some neat JavaScript trick. But it can get cluttered up there.

By using Emojis instead of text to label your bookmarks, you can fit more of them in, and you can easily identify them by sight.

Google becomes latest company following Apple’s lead on pistol emoji


Gun emoji from several companies
Phone and software companies are moving away from a realistic gun emoji to a harmless one.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Google today joined the movement replacing the gun emoji with a water pistol. A number of other companies already made the same move amid a growing awareness of gun violence.  

Apple started this trend several years ago when it exchanged the pistol emoji for a harmless pool toy in iOS 10.

Twitter follows Apple’s lead on gun emoji


Pistol emoji going away
Twitter's version of the pistol emoji is being replaced with a squirt gun. Apple made this switch years ago.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The pistol emoji has been rejected by Twitter. Instead, its place is being taken by a bright green squirt gun.

Apple was the first to replace this controversial emoji with a harmless pool toy, and many other companies have followed suit.

This app can type every Unicode character ever on your iPhone


Unichar works everywhere
A great new Unicode app.
Photo: Jordan Hipwell

On the Mac, you can type any character available in there Unicode standard, just by opening up the Emoji & Symbols viewer (Control-Command-Space) and picking the one you want. The selection on iOS is much more limited. Even finding an ellipsis is such an odyssey I can never remember whether it’s available or not. But UniChar changes that. It’s a Universal iOS app that brings every single Unicode character to your device.