Apple will help China fight iMessage spam

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iMessage
Users in China complain they're being swamped with spam on iMessage.
Photo: Weibo

Apple is working with Chinese telecoms firms to find a way to cut down the amount of iMessage spam customers in the country receive.

Apple has recently been under fire by state-controlled Chinese media for supposedly allowing users to be bombarded with illicit content through its iMessages. These are said to include gambling ads (illegal in China, aside from state lotteries), pornography, and counterfeit goods.

Apple has a gambling and porn problem in China

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Apple Store
State-controlled media in China is piling on Apple right now.
Photo: Apple

As if the threat of the burgeoning trade war between the U.S. and China wasn’t enough, Apple has another problem in the world’s most populous country.

State-controlled media in China is accusing Apple of failing to act to block content that is pornographic, gambling-focused, or intended to promote the selling of counterfeit products. At least five news agencies in the country have jumped on the accusations.

Chinese users reportedly being bombarded with iMessage spam

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iMessage
Apparently carriers can do nothing to stop it.
Photo: Weibo

iPhone users in China are reportedly being bombarded with iMessage spam, many of them promoting illegal gambling.

Much of the iMessage spam in question links to WeChat account or gambling websites. Gambling is illegal in China, with the exception of two state-sanctioned lotteries.

iOS 12 is scary good at learning your schedule

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iOS 12
Siri Shortcuts in iOS 12 are super-useful.
Photo: Apple

Apple fans that have been complaining for years that Siri is dumb might be a little creeped out by how much better the digital assistant is in iOS 12.

With the new Siri suggestions Apple introduced this week, your iPhone will now be able to prompt you about events you haven’t even told it about. One developer posted his experience of Siri learning about a lunch just through iMessage.

Prepare to be impressed:

How to set up and use Messages in iCloud in iOS 11.4

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clouds
Clouds, unlike those where your iMessages will now be stored.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The iOS 11.4 update finally brings Messages in iCloud, which means you can treat your iMessages like you treat your photos.

Your messages will sync across all iOS devices and should work soon on Mac. (Update: It works on Mac now, once you update to macOS 10.13.5). You can even delete them from an iPhone or iPad that’s short on space. But they will remain accessible from the cloud. Here’s how to switch on iCloud support for Messages.

Microsoft wants to bring iMessage to Windows

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Microsoft Your Phone
Microsoft’s new Your Phone service can sync messages with Android, but not with iOS.
Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft wants to work with Apple to bring iMessage to Windows machines.

The company’s upcoming Your Phone app will seamlessly sync content between your iPhone and your Windows 10 PC, but unlike those with an Android device, you won’t be able to sync messages. Microsoft is hoping it can team up with Apple to change that.

Apple drops second beta of iOS 11.4

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iOS 11.4 beta 1 brings back big features we saw in previous betas, including AirPlay 2, multiroom support in Home app, and Messages on iCloud.
iOS 11.4 brings back some cool new features Apple teased us with before.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Developers received a new batch of beta updates this morning, including the second beta build of iOS 11.4.

The new build brings a number of new features to the iPhone and iPad, including some that were pulled from iOS 11.3, like AirPlay 2 and Messages on iCloud. Apple has added a number of bug fixes and performance improvements in the new builds as it preps it for a public release.