How to back up your iMessages (and why it’s essential)

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Never lose your old messages again.
Never lose your old messages again.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Why would you bother to back up your iMessages? After all, they’re all stored in iCloud these days, right? Well, yes your messages are all stored in iCloud, but they’re not backed up up there. They’re synced, which means that if you delete a message thread, it’s gone forever. The answer is to make a local backup, which requires a Mac. Which is ridiculous in 2019, but there you go.

Here’s how to back up your iMessages in case the worst happens.

How to iMessage a photo with just one tap

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Just one tap.
Just one tap.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I got sick of having to tap a zillion buttons just to iMessage a photo to somebody, so I made a shortcut that lets me tap an icon on my Home screen, and sends my latest photo automatically to a preselected friend.

That’s it. You tap it, and the shortcut grabs the last photo you shot, and sends it. If that sounds like something you want, check it out.

How to save and print your iMessages and WhatsApps

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Get your freshly-printed WhatsApps here.
Get your freshly-printed WhatsApps here.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Yes, this sounds like a joke about the olde worlde CEO who has his secretary print his emails, then transcribe his dictated replies. But printing message threads can be pretty useful. Lawyers, for example, may want a printed record, or a PDF, of a message thread. And even regular humans might appreciate a well-formatted archive of their messages that can be easily searched and marked up.

You still can’t do this on your iDevice. However, thanks to the amazing iMazing Mac app, you can quickly create PDFs of your messages, and even print them. Onto paper.

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iPhone survey
I wanted a Galaxy S10, but I'm stuck with iPhone.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

How to finally get iMessages on Android

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AirMessage
AirMessage bridges the gap between iMessage and Android.
Photo: AirMessage

Android lovers can finally bust out of the green bubble life without owning an iPhone.

Thanks to a new app that brings iMessage to Android, you can now enjoy one of Apple’s best features even if you don’t have an iOS device. It’s not a perfect solution and you’ll need a Mac but it’s better than any of the other workarounds we’ve seen.

Best of all, it’s totally free!

How to send GIFs without sending GIFs

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It’s hard to convey a moving photo with a still image, but doesn’t this smoothie look delicious?
It’s hard to convey a moving photo with a still image, but doesn’t this smoothie look delicious?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Quick question: How do you send a GIF selfie from your iPhone? One answer is just don’t bother. It’s too much hassle. Another way is to use this handy shortcut to make one. But there’s a third way, which is also the best way: Don’t send a GIF at all.

If you and your intended GIF recipient both use iOS devices, there’s a much better option.

How to send selfies with stickers

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Who wouldn’t want to receive this totally non-creepy stickered-up selfie?
Who wouldn’t want to receive this totally non-creepy stickered-up selfie?
Photo: Cult of Mac

You already know how to take a selfie. It’s probably the first thing you did when you got your iPhone up and running. But did you know you can take a selfie and add stickers? Right there in the Messages app?

Your friends are already hungry for another one of your awesome selfies. Imagine how fired up they’re going to be when they see those stickers.

iOS 12.1.3 brings fresh fixes for iMessage, CarPlay and iPad Pro

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iOS 12 false update popup
Grab the new iOS update now!
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

The first iOS update of the year is finally ready for the masses.

Apple is releasing iOS 12.1.3 today, bringing a number of bug fixes and performance improvements to the iPhone and iPad. iOS 12.1.3 is a minor update and doesn’t contain any big UI changes or new features, but it resolves some important issues with CarPlay, iMessage, Photos and the iPad Pro.

Apple ‘in discussions’ over bringing RCS messaging to iOS

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Messages replay
Is Messages due for a big upgrade on iOS?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is said to be “in discussions” over adding Rich Communications Services (RCS) to iOS.

The upgrade to traditional text messaging would allow for some iMessage features — like read receipts and typing indicators — when talking to friends who use Android and other platforms.