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?

iMessage flaws leave iPhone open to hijacking

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Messages iOS 10
That doesn't mean you should stop using it.
Photo: Apple

Security researchers have uncovered new flaws in iMessage that could give hackers control of your iPhone or iPad.

Apple has already patched five similar bugs, but several are still present in recent versions of iOS. What makes these particularly concerning is that a potential attack requires no input from the user.

How to add a custom iMessage avatar in iOS 13

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Memoji are awesome. Here's how to make your own.
Now you can use Memoji in iMessage profiles.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You know how you can add an avatar to pretty much any social app ever, and all your friends, family, contacts, etc., will see it? Well, in iOS 13 you can finally do the same for iMessages.

No longer will you have to hope that your contacts use a nice photo of you, or worry that your boss is using a picture of a cute pig or pussycat to represent you in the group chat. Now you can add and share your own avatar, or even a Memoji. Let’s see how.