How to make Group FaceTime calls on iPhone, iPad or Mac

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Group FaceTime is super easy to use.
Group FaceTime is super easy to use.
Photo: Apple

With the new Group FaceTime feature in iOS 12.1 and macOS Mojave 10.14.1, you can call up to 32 people and chat with them all at the same time.

Apple took some extra time getting this feature working perfectly. Now that’s it’s here, let’s see how to use Group FaceTime on iOS devices and Mac to get in on those massive group chats.

Apple wanted to bring the best of iMessage to every phone

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Messages iOS 10
Carriers didn't want to adopt.
Photo: Apple

Apple will never bring iMessage to third-party platforms like Android, but there was a time when it tried to convince carriers to adopt a standardized version for everyone.

Former iOS chief Scott Forstall has revealed that the company approached operators in an effort to convince them to take a number of features that make iMessage so great and bring them to traditional texting. But due to a number of reasons, the “explorations didn’t pan out.”

Jimmy Kimmel turns Trump’s nationwide text into a Hollywood blockbuster

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Trump text
Trump's texts cause nationwide mayhem in Kimmel's hilarious video.
Photo: Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Giving Donald Trump the power to send a text to every person in the U.S. is a horrible idea, but as Jimmy Kimmel has shown, it could make for a great movie.

Everyone was talking about the first-ever nationwide Presidential alert. Thankfully, it wasn’t nearly as bad as Trump’s tweets. However, during Jimmy Kimmel’s show last night, the late night comedian showed what type of mayhem could ensue if Trump could text whatever he wanted. From cops shooting their iPhones to a man chopping his arm off to get away from Apple Watch alerts, the entire movie concept is truly phenomenal.

Watch the craziness unfold:

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.