Legal battle may be to blame for Apple breaking its FaceTime promise

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FaceTime
Apple's open wish for FaceTime never happened.
Screenshot: Apple

At WWDC, Apple revealed that it will finally make it possible to do FaceTime group calls for up to 32 people. That’s great news — provided that all your friends, family and co-workers use Apple devices.

But it didn’t have to be like this. Back in 2010, when Steve Jobs introduced FaceTime, he made a big point about how it was set to become an open industry standard that could be used by Apple’s competitors, as well as Apple. Nearly a decade on, that still hasn’t happened. And now a theory has emerged as to why.

iOS 12 wish list: All the features we absolutely need

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iOS 12 wish list
Here's everything we want from Apple's next major update.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

WWDC is right around the corner, which means we’re about to get our very first look at Apple’s next major update to iOS.

We’re expecting big things from iOS 12, including a whole host of improvements that will make our devices more stable, and plenty of welcome bug fixes. Apple will surely surprise us with some nice new features, too.

Here’s our lengthy wish list for this update, which includes a Home screen overhaul, a more powerful FaceTime, better multitasking, and more!

Apple website celebrates accessibility for Global Accessibility Awareness Day

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Apple accessibility homepage
The many ways in which Apple devices improve accessibility.
Photo: Apple

The Apple website has today been updated to highlight the accessibility features of iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and more. The change is in celebration of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, a yearly event that promotes digital access and inclusion for those with different disabilities.

Ban on FaceTime may soon be lifted in United Arab Emirates

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Facetime
FaceTime has been banned in the UAE for years.
Photo: Mathieu Thouvenin/Flickr CC

Apple may have been voted consumers’ favorite brand in the United Arab Emirates, but one of the iPhone’s most popular features — FaceTime — still isn’t allowed in the country.

That could soon change, however, because Apple is in talks with the UAE federal government to lift the ban on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services as far as it affects FaceTime.

Google’s video calling app adds useful feature you don’t get with FaceTime

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Google Duo
Google Duo has added video voicemails.
Photo: Google

Google Duo, the FaceTime rival video calling app from Alphabet, has received an update adding an often-requested feature that FaceTime still doesn’t offer: video voicemails.

That means that, should you try and video call a person who doesn’t pick up, you can still record up to 30 seconds of video and send it them. These video messages can easily be played inside the Google Duo app. Check out the video explainer below.

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.

Apple plans to appeal $439.7 million loss to patent troll

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FaceTime
VirnetX strikes again!
Photo: Apple

Apple has been ordered to pay a patent troll $439.7 million after losing the final ruling in the case being heard by the US District Court.

The legal battle between Apple and VirnetX is far from over though the company says. Even though it lost the ruling related to patented technology used in FaceTime, Apple says it plans to appeal the court’s ruling.

How to capture FaceTime Live Photos

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facetime live view
FaceTime can capture LivePhotos and save them to your camera roll.
Photo: Cult of Mac

You know how when you’re on a FaceTime call with your parents, and your father holds his favorite recipe up to the camera, and you use the screenshot to capture a photo of it? Well, now there’s a proper, official way to capture images from FaceTime calls. Even better, they’re not just stills. The captures are Live Photos, so you can relive that goofy smile from your grandparent long after they’re gone.

Here’s when you can upgrade to macOS High Sierra

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macOS update
A macOS update adds support for Messages in iCloud.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Following three months of beta testing, macOS High Sierra is almost ready to make its public debut.

There are a whole bunch of new features and improvements to look forward to in this update, including an overhauled Photos app, enhanced Siri, and the new Apple File System.