Court denies Apple’s appeal in VirnetX patent-infringement case

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Apple wants patent trolls to stop ‘gaming the system’
The lesser-spotted patent troll.
Photo: Andrew Becraft/Flickr CC

Cupertino’s seemingly neverending legal battle with patent troll VirnetX Holding Corp. took another turn this week when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied Apple’s request to reconsider an original patent-infringement decision.

VirnetX and Apple have been fighting in courts for a decade over patents related to FaceTime and other secure communications. VirnetX, which doesn’t produce any products, previously won more than $503 million in damages, but courts subsequently threw out the award.

How to customize Apple Watch iMessage smart replies

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Change the lame Apple Watch smart replies by adding custom replies.
Change the lame smart replies on your Apple Watch.
Image: Apple

You know when you reply to a message on your Apple Watch, and it’s such a pain to write it out a letter at a time or to dictate your reply (only to have Siri mishear you)? The alternative is to use one of Apple Watch’s canned responses. Unfortunately, they all sound like your account got hacked, or that you don’t care about the sender enough to come up with a proper reply.

However, you can customize those replies to make them much more useful. And with one clever trick, you can make Apple Watch smart replies sound just like you really wrote them.

iOS 13.3 finally lets parents set limits on texting, FaceTime and more

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Screen Time Communication Limits
Screen Time Communication Limits is a boon to digital parenting.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Parents will soon be able to limit when their children use an iPhone or iPad to talk to their friends, thanks to a long-awaited new Screen Time feature. Communication Limits were supposed to come earlier, they debuted in the first iOS 13.3 beta that launched today.

How to use iOS 13’s new ‘Remind me when messaging’ feature

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Remind when messaging
Remember things, when you need them.
Photo: Estée Janssens

The Reminders app got a total revamp in iOS 13, making it way quicker and easier to add due dates, alerts and location-based notifications to new reminders. But it also added one killer new feature: Remind me when messaging.

This lets you add a contact to the reminder, and the next time you’re messaging that person, a notification will pop up.

How to make Siri announce and read your messages

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Announce Messages with Siri
Siri can now read out your incoming messages, automatically.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

In iOS 13.2, Siri can announce your incoming messages and read them to you. This is the kind of feature that is so useful, and obvious, that it seems like it should have always been there. It’s called Announce Messages with Siri, and it does just that.

Here’s how to set it up and use it

3 ways to block annoying calls and messages in iOS 13

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Red pillarbox
It's even simpler to block email, messages and unknown callers in iOS 13.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The trouble with modern technology is that anyone can try to reach you, at any time. Your boss can leave a passive aggressive email at the top of your inbox overnight, so you see it when you want to check personal mail. Anyone can send you an SMS or iMessage. And anyone with your phone number can spam you, any time.

Currently in iOS, you can block iMessage senders. But in iOS 13, you gain two new ways to keep stalkers, weird friends and over-sharing co-workers out of your digital life. Now you can block unknown phone callers and email senders.

Everything you need to know about iOS 13

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Pile of usb junk
iOS 13 lets you plug almost any USB device into your iPhone or iPad.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

iOS 13, which launches today, is less about a grand, orchestrated new direction, and more about lots of really, really useful little features and tweaks. For instance, one of the best changes is that Safari on iPad is now a proper desktop browser, just like you have on you Mac. And then there’s the new top row of the share sheet, which gives one-tap buttons to share to friends via iMessage.

Or, in iPadOS 13, which ships at the end of the month, you can plug in pretty much any USB device and it will work. Hard drives, SD cards full of movies, anything.

So, while you’re waiting for the new version of iOS to install on your device(s), check out all the new iOS 13 features right here.

Apple software boss explains why you can’t schedule iMessages

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iphone
Do you wish you could draft texts to send out later?
Photo: Apple

One of the most-requested productivity features for iMessage probably won’t be added in an iOS update anytime soon.

A Reddit user recently posted an email exchange he had with Apple VP of software Craig Federighi asking for a scheduled iMessage feature for iPhone and iPad. Federighi revealed that Apple has actually considered and is still considering the feature. However, there are a couple of issues with how scheduled iMessages are received that has caused Apple to hold back on the idea for now.

Read Craig’s explanation of why it hasn’t been added yet:

Apple has no plans to scrap iMessage apps and games

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iMessage-App-Store
Don't freak out.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple has no intention of scrapping iMessage games — despite some of the rumors you might be reading online this week.

Stories surrounding the supposed move started trending on Twitter, causing some fans to freak about the feature’s removal. But at no point has Apple stated that it will close the iMessage App Store.

Best new (and returning) features in iOS 13.1 beta 1

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iOS 13.1 beta 1 adds Books reading goal, brings back almost every feature dropped in previous betas.
iOS 13.1 beta 1 brings back almost every cool feature dropped from previous betas.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Surprisingly, iOS 13.1 is already in beta. It looks like Apple’s release strategy this year is to freeze the current beta version of iOS 13.0 in order to get it ready for the new iPhones expected on September 10. Meanwhile, Apple continues to test the next version, adding back some features removed during the beta period — Shortcuts automations, for example.

So, what other new (or revived) features will you find in iOS 13.1 beta 1?