iOS 12 automatically saves iMessage photos to your Photos library

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The new iMessage photo filters are so good, you'll want them in the regular camera app.
iMessage photos are now saved to the camera roll, automatically.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you take a photo inside the Messages app in iOS 11 and earlier, that photo stays trapped in the message thread forever, unless you explicitly long-press and save it to your camera roll. In iOS 12, that’s changed. Now, when you take a photo using the messages app, any pictures you snap are saved to your Photos library. But that’s not quite the whole story.

How to use iOS 12’s cool new selfie filters and AR stickers

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The new iMessage photo filters are so good, you'll want them in the regular camera app.
The new iMessage photo filters are so good, you'll want them in the regular camera app.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You’ve long been able to take photos inside the Messages app on your iPhone, sending pictures directly into a conversations without saving them to your camera roll first. And you’ve also been able to grab photos from your library. But in iOS 12, both of these features are way better. Especially the camera. Not only does it ditch the stupid thumbnail-sized camera view, but you get access to some awesome new filters, and even AR stickers. Let’s take a look.

How to control Grouped Notifications in iOS 12

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One day I'll run out of street-sign photos to illustrate notification how-tos, but not today.
One day I'll run out of street-sign photos to illustrate notification how-tos, but not today.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

One of iOS 12’s big changes is Notifications Center. It gets the seriously great Do Not Disturb at Bedtime feature, and it also now groups notifications, stacking them per-app in order to reduce clutter and increase clarity on the lock screen and elsewhere.

Notification grouping is totally automatic, but there are new settings that let you customize it if the auto options don’t suit you. Let’s take a look.

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.