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.