iOS 11

iOS updates might drain your battery faster

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iOS 10 wins in a battery life comparison with iOS 11 and iOS 12.
iOS 10 wins in a battery life comparison with iOS 11 and iOS 12.
Photo: iAppleBytes

A side-by-side test of four iPhones running current and older iOS versions found that the more recent ones drain batteries more quickly.

This result is likely to feed the concerns of people who refuse to upgrade their iPhone’s operating system for fear that doing so will render the device useless.

iOS 11 users can’t access the App Store or Apple Music

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iOS 11
Do you have problems with iOS 11?
Photo: Apple

Some iOS 11 users are having trouble accessing the App Store and Apple Music, according to online reports.

The services have been unusable for over a day for a number of users who are yet to upgrade to the latest software — despite being shown as online on Apple’s System Status page. There is a weird workaround that has proven useful for some, however.

iOS 12 users can’t downgrade to version 11

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Once you go iOS 12 you'll never go back.
No backsies. Once you go iOS 12 you'll never go back.
Photo: Wendelin Jacober/Pexels

Be warned: anyone who upgrades their iPhone or iPad to iOS 12 no longer has the option to downgrade. It’s not possible to go back to any version of iOS 11. Not that there’s much reason to want to.

This isn’t an unusual move. With today’s release of iOS 12.0.1, going to iOS 11 would be two jumps back, and it’s very rare for Apple to allow that.

Almost half of all iPhone and iPad users are already running iOS 12

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The official iOS 12 release date is next week, but you can download it now.
Are you enjoying iOS 12 yet?
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Almost half of all iPhone and iPad users have already upgraded to iOS 12, according to new data.

It’s an impressive adoption rate for a major upgrade that’s only been officially available for just over two weeks. Its speedy uptake can likely be attributed to its new features and significant performance improvements — especially for older devices.

85 percent of all iPhones and iPads run iOS 11, can upgrade to iOS 12

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iPhone 7
Virtually every iPhone and iPad runs iOS 11. And they'll soon be able to make the jump to iOS 12.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has no problem getting operating system upgrades out to its customers. The vast majority of iPhone and iPad users are running the latest iOS version. And all of these people will be able to make the jump to iOS 12 later this month for free.

Contrast that with Apple’s chief rival. Just a small percentage of Android users have a recent version.

iOS 12 brings big improvements to iPhone’s Portrait mode

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truedepth iphone x camera portrait lighting
Portrait mode never looked so good on iPhone.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

iOS 12 packs a whole host of significant improvements that Apple didn’t get a chance to showcase during its WWDC preview. One of those, according to one developer, is a greatly-enhanced Portrait mode for compatible iPhone models.

The image below highlights the impressive difference between a Portrait photo taken with iOS 11 and another taken with iOS 12.

How to use Do Not Disturb While Driving

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This car hasn't been disturbed while driving for quite some time.
This car hasn't been disturbed while driving for quite some time.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple’s Do Not Disturb While Driving feature has the potential to make you less of a menace on the road. Introduced in iOS 11, Do Not Disturb While Driving automatically switches your iPhone into Do Not Disturb mode when you hop in your car and drive off. While in this mode, iOS suppresses all notifications so you can pay attention to keeping that ton of metal, glass and cupholders from permanently ruining — or ending — the life of a pedestrian or cyclist.

But don’t worry! If you do receive one of those text messages that you previously thought were more important than the lives of your fellow commuters, the sender will get a reply telling them that you’re driving, and that you are now a better person.

All of this is customizable, of course, so let’s see how to set up Do Not Disturb While Driving.

How to use a blank home screen on iPad, and why you’ll love it

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Look at this blank home screen. Just look at it.
Look at this blank home screen. Just look at it.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

What’s on your main iPad home screen? Is it organized so that you can find your most-used apps quickly? Or have you decided to arrange the icons by color? Or divided up the grid by adding a row of blank spaces? Those are pretty neat ideas, but today I’m going to suggest you do something even more radical. How about keeping your home screen entirely blank? No icons, no folders, nothing. Just the Dock, Spotlight search, and an easier-to-use iPad.

iOS 11.4.1 and macOS 10.13.6 are nearly ready for release

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iOS 11
There are fresh beta versions of iOS and macOS. But they probably aren't the ones you're waiting for.
Photo: Apple

The wait is nearing the end for the next iPhone and Mac operating systems. However, these aren’t the big upgrades announced last month. Instead, iOS 11.4.1 and macOS 10.13.6 will fix bugs in the current versions.

Apple just released the fifth beta version of each of these. The full release can’t be far behind.

Apple busts out new betas for its old software

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iPhone X home screen
A new iOS beta is out!
Photo: Apple

iOS 12 and macOS Mojave are all the rage after WWDC 2018, but Apple’s not quite done working on iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra.

Developers received a fresh batch of beta updates this morning, including the second builds of iOS 11.4.1 and macOS 10.13.6, both of which bring a host of bug fixes and under-the-hood improvements.

PDF Viewer supercharges the native iOS 11 Files browser [Review]

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PDF Viewer uses iOS 11's Files browser to do its work.
PDF Viewer uses iOS 11's Files browser to do its work.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

A month or so back I was searching for a PDF app that would use the native Files browser on the iPad, but add features not available in Files app’s built-in PDF viewer. The result of that search was PDF Viewer, an app that is almost impossible to find on Google, but which is simple enough to be perfect for many people.

Apple surprises devs with new iOS and macOS betas

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Developers must support iPhone X screen iOS 11 SDK
This is probably the last iOS 11 update.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

It’s only been a day since Apple released iOS 11.4 to the public, but the first beta for its successor is already here.

No, we’re not talking about iOS 12 beta 1 — which should come out next week. Apple dropped a surprise batch of beta builds today in the form of iOS 11.4.1, macOS 10.13.6, tvOS 11.4.1 and watchOS 4.3.1. The updates bring a bunch of bug fixes to all of Apple’s platform ahead of the grand unveiling of iOS 12 and macOS 10.14 at WWDC 2018.

‘Black dot of death’ Unicode bug crashes iOS Messages app

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Black dot of death
This text message will crash your iPhone.
Photo: EverythingApplePro

Another Unicode text bug has been discovered in iOS, which will repeatedly crash Apple’s Messages app by overloading its memory.

The “black dot” message contains an emoji like ⚫, although it’s not actually the emoji which causes the message to crash the app. The bug affects iOS 11.3 and the current iOS 11.4 beta seeds. A similar message recently did the rounds on Android. As of yet, Apple has yet to release a fix.

Pro tip: Stop iOS automatically adding suggested apps to the Dock

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suggested apps dock
Suggested apps are a great Dock feature, but you can still switch them off.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugI love the new iOS 11 Dock. Do you love the new iOS 11 Dock? I bet you totally dig it. But maybe we love it a little too much, and end up jamming it so full of apps that every icon becomes too small to tap. If that’s the case, then you might appreciate this tip. Did you know that you can remove the three-app section on the right side of the dock? The one where iOS automatically shows apps it thinks you might want to use right now?

Remove annoying clutter from iPad Spotlight searches

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spotlight
No, not this kind of spotlight.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you use Spotlight to find stuff on your iPhone or iPad, you’ll be familiar with the mess of results you get when you search. Maybe you’re searching for a note or an email about that really important thing, only the actual results you want are buried under a heap of nonsense from twitter, from YouTube, from all the Ebay classifieds you’ve viewed, and so on.

The good news is, you can trim these results, eliminating the noise you don’t need. The even better news is that recent versions of iOS do this is a much more elegant way.

Leaked Apple memo details efforts to stop leaks

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Apple leases new offices near to Apple Park
Apple is cracking down on leaks.
Photo: Duncan Sinfield

Apple issued a stern warning to employees this week about leaking confidential information to the media.

In a leaked memo detailing Apple’s efforts to stop leaks, the company says it caught 29 leakers in 2017. Of those caught, 12 were arrested. Apple told employees they are “getting played” by journalists and bloggers that approach them with flattery in exchange for information.

iOS developers get new tools that let you download and delete iCloud data

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Apple takes privacy seriously
A pop-up in iOS 11.3 gives Apple's commitment to privacy.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple is giving developers new tools that will allow iPhone and iPad users to download and delete any personal information being stored in iCloud.

Developers received word of the new tools today which were created in order to help developers comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation that goes into effect this May. The new laws mean developers will be forced to comply anytime a customer requests to access manage, restrict or delete personal data.

How to use Split Screen on iPad

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split screen
No, not this kind of split screen.
Photo: Thorsten Hartmann/Flickr CC

The iPad has an amazing split-screen mode. It’s called Split View, and it lets you use two apps side-by-side. On certain iPads, you can even float a third app over the top. Split View lets you drag and drop text, pictures, links and almost anything else between apps, just like on a Mac or PC. It’s also super-easy to use. Let’s see how.

Find out if iOS 11 jailbreak is right for you

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Cydia jailbreak
Cydia is now compatible with iOS 11. Here’s which tweaks you can use.
Photo: Cydia

iOS 11 finally has its first jailbreak with Cydia support. If you’re yet to use our guide to installing Electra 1.0.1, which supports all of Apple’s latest devices, you need to check out this list of Cydia apps and tweaks compatible with iOS 11 to find out if it’s still worth it.