| Cult of Mac

How to take control of any Mac via iMessage screen sharing


Look at that lonely screen. It just wants to be shared.
Look at that lonely screen. It just wants to be shared.
Photo: JD X/Unsplash

Did you know that you can take remote control of another Mac’s screen via iMessage screen sharing? If you’re troubleshooting a family member’s Mac, for example, you can ask them to share their screen with you, and then take over from your own Mac. This is a hell of a lot quicker than trying to talk them through the deeper recesses of their Mac over the phone.

And, of course, it’s pretty easy to set up. Let’s take a look at how to share screens using Messages on the Mac.

How to share photos safely with Shortcuts


Removing geodata won’t always protect a photo’s location
Removing geodata won’t always protect a photo’s location
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Did you know that every photo you send via iMessage, or other messaging services like WhatsApp, contains all that photo’s location data? If you snap a picture in your home, anyone who’s receives that photo will be able to see where you took it on a map.

The same goes for uploading images to online auction sites, or internet forums. The good news is that it’s easy to sanitize your images with Shortcuts.

How to remove location data from photos you share


Remove location data maps on bench

Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

When you share a photo via email, iMessage or most other apps, you also send the location of that image. No big deal, right? You’re only sending pictures to people you know anyway. But what about when you sell something on a site like Craigslist or eBay? If you don’t manually remove location data from your pictures, anyone can see where you took your photo, which is probably your home.

Right away, anyone can see where you live, and what you have at home. You still might not care, but if you do, here’s how to remove all that information before you send a photograph. (You’ll also learn about an interesting quirk in iMessage.)

How to save only your most treasured iMessages in OS X


Keep only what you want, get rid of the rest.
Keep only what you want, get rid of the rest.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac (Original image by Patryk Sobczak/Unsplash)

When it comes to the Messages app, saving all your iMessages can be a good thing, letting you go back in time and see the delightful conversations you’ve had with your loved ones or even just checking to see where you’re supposed to meet up on Friday.

Of course, there might be a few of them, however, that you’re not super keen on saving. You may not want to get rid of an entire iMessage conversation thread, but there might be bits of it you’d rather forget.

Here’s how to get rid of parts of your iMessages while saving only your most treasured iMessages in OS X.

Pro Tip: How to sync iMessages across your devices


Make sure you get your iMessages no matter where you are.
Make sure you get your iMessages no matter where you are.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bug I’ve always loved being able to pick up an iMessage conversation that I started on my iPhone right on my Mac, and vice versa.

Unfortunately, I’ve been having an iMessage issue for the last few months — I can have conversations via Messages on my Mac and conversations via Messages on my iPhone, but my iMessages have stopped synchronizing across my devices.

Unicode of Death got you down? Here’s how to fix it


Unicode of Death 2015
I didn't actually send someone the Unicode of Death. Don't believe anything Rob LeFebvre says.
Screen: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Some iPhone users are getting a flashback to 2013 as a new version of the so-called “Unicode of Death” has returned to wreak havoc with their iMessages.

The security exploit, which activates when someone sends you the message in the image above, reportedly forces jailbroken handsets into Safe Mode and completely removes other units’ ability to access the Messages app.

How to mark all iMessages as read on your iPhone


Apple's iMessage platform is in legal trouble.
Too many unread iMessages? Try this simple trick. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

If you’re like me, you’ve got a ton of unread iMessages on your iPhone and tapping through them all just to get rid of your app badge anxiety seems like a bit too much effort.

Apple has your back, though, with a nicely designed way to mark all your iMessages as read. It might not be apparent at first glance where to find this magic trick. Here’s how.

How to master Messages in iOS 8


Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Tons of new features make iOS 8's Messages app more powerful than ever. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I’ve pretty much become a full-time texter these days, using Apple’s Messages app on my Mac and iPhone to send iMessages (to friends and contacts who use iOS or OS X) as well as regular text messages (to people outside the Apple ecosystem).

iOS 8 brings great new changes to the mobile version of the Messages app, some of which might not be immediately apparent. Here’s a look at the new features and how best to use them.

Block iMessage Senders On Your Mac [OS X Tips]


Messages Prefs

Sometimes, you might have a certain someone who gets a little, shall we say, overzealous in trying to message you. Since your iPhone and Mac can both receive iMessages, you might get interrupted by the flurry of messages from this certain contact.

While you can block iMessage senders on your iPhone or iPad, it hasn’t been possible in Mac OS X Mavericks until the latest update to 10.9.2, available through the Software Update panel of the Mac App Store.

Now, though, you can block and unblock any contact in your Contacts app with aplomb, right from your Mac.

Sneak A Peek At Your Mail Or Messages List [iOS Tips]



iOS 7 has brought some great new gestural support, like being able to swipe from the left side of the screen to go back a page in apps like Settings, Mail, and Safari.

Did you know, though, that you can use the same gesture to peek at your list of email or iMessages from within those specific apps? I didn’t either, so figured I’d pass it along to you.