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) messages swamped by a flurry of notifications for that inane group conversations about match-flavored Kit Kats? Or maybe you want to keep your iPad’s notifications switched on, but you want to mute iMessages messages from your boss until Monday, because she has no concept of boundaries? Then 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 surprises devs with fifth iOS 11.2.5 beta

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iOS 11
Apple just released a new iOS beta.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

It took Apple nearly no time to go from beta 4 to beta 5 on the latest update for iOS 11 that’s currently in development.

Developers were surprised to receive iOS 11.2.5 beta 5 this morning, just two days after Apple released the last beta build full of bug fixes and performance improvements for the iPhone and iPad.

Try these great emoji shortcuts on iPhone and iPad

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emoji iPhone quicktype
What dog doesn't like sushi?
Photo: Cult of Mac

Who doesn’t love emoji? People with bad eyesight, that’s who. Everyone else, everyone everywhere, loves the little pictures of medals, flags, headphones, eggplants, and feces. What we don’t like is finding them by swiping around the keyboard section of an iPhone screen. In some ways it’s a metaphor for human existence. We love to manipulate the meaning of symbols through context and juxtaposition, the way a standup comic does, but we’re too lazy to spend the time to do it properly.

Happily for the future of the human race, there are shortcuts to great emoji if you’re using iOS. Let’s take a look.

These are all the things Spotlight can find on your iPhone and iPad

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spotlight
A picture of a light, to illustrate Spotlight search.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Spotlight is Apple’s search technology for Mac and iOS, and it can help you find almost anything. Not just stuff on your iPhone, either. Spotlight can also help you find nearby places, look up words in a dictionary, and even do currency and unit conversions, all from one search box. Let’s take a look at everything Spotlight can do on your iPhone or iPad.

Apple Pay Cash comes to Apple Watch in watchOS 4.2

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apple pay iphone x
Apple Pay Cash works on iPhone and Apple Watch.
Photo: Apple

The official launch of Apple Pay Cash is finally here and you can even use it to send friends money from your Apple Watch.

Apple released watchOS 4.2 to the public today, bringing a host of new features and bug fixes, including support for the new Apple Pay Cash feature that started trickling out to iPhone users yesterday.

Apple seeds fourth beta of iOS 11.2

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iPhone X
iOS 11.2 has some special tweaks for iPhone X.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is back with a new batch of beta updates for developers today, bringing a host of bug fixes and performance improvements to the iPad and iPhone with the fourth build of iOS 11.2.

The new update comes just four days after Apple released the last iOS 11.2 beta update. Developers can also grab the fourth beta builds of watchOS 4.2 and tvOS 11.2.

Apple Pay Cash finally arrives in iOS 11.2 public beta 2

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Apple Pay
You can now send friends money via iMessage.
Photo: Apple

The future of digital payments has finally arrived on the iPhone. Sort of.

Apple’s new peer-to-peer payments system called Apple Pay Cash is finally rolling out to public beta testers today with the release of the public beta for iOS 11.2 beta 2 and watchOS 4.2 beta 2, giving iPhone and iPad users the ability to send money to each other electronically.