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.

Everything you need to know about Bedtime for iPhone

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Bedtime tells you when to go to sleep, and when to wake up again.
Bedtime tells you when to go to sleep, and when to wake up again.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you’re still using your iPhone’s alarm clock to wake you up in the mornings, you’re about to be amazed at how awesome waking up can become. Right there inside the Clock app is a Bedtime tab, which will make using olde-timey iPhone alarms seem like carrying a wind-up travel alarm clock with you on a business trip.

Not only does Bedtime wake you up with soothing sounds, it also tracks your sleep. It even reminds you when it’s time for bed! Let’s check out what it does and how to use it.

How to add a second face to Face ID in iOS 12

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alternate appearance Face ID
The Cult of Mac dress code makes it hard to use Face ID at work.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

In iOS 12, iPhone X owners gain the option of adding an alternate appearance in Face ID. If you’re a drag queen, if you regularly wear protective head and face gear for your job, or if you’re Bono and you’d like to be able to use your iPhone for that one hour a day that your doctor recommends you remove your sunglasses, an alternate appearance will help your iPhone recognize you.

Can you use it to let a second person access your iPhone? Perhaps. Here’s how to set it all up.

How to use iOS 12’s Live Listen feature with AirPods

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Bluetooth in iOS 11
AirPods plus iOS 12 equals Live Listen.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Back in 1979, the original Sony Walkman had an odd feature. If you pressed an orange button on the end, a built-in mic would connect to the user’s headphones, letting the person hear what was going on in the outside world. This may be the first case of technology being used to mitigate the bad manners surrounding personal audio.

Now, in iOS 12, this type of feature is back — and way more useful than it was in music’s greatest-ever decade. Live Listen is a new iOS 12 feature that pipes live audio from the iPhone’s mic directly to your AirPods. Why? Well, it’s an accessibility feature, but it can be used for much more.

6 reasons you should switch to Safari in iOS 12 and macOS Mojave

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A desert, not unlike the Mojave, where you could go on safari.
A desert, not unlike the Mojave, where you could go on safari.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

In iOS 12 and macOS Mojave, Safari gets solid improvements that will win you back from Chrome — especially if you value your privacy. But while safeguarding your security on the web fuels many of Safari’s great new features, there’s much more goodness to anticipate on iPhone, iPad and Mac.

Let’s take a look at the Mac and iOS versions of the Apple web browser.

iOS 12 brings trackpad mode to every iPhone and iPad

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trackpad mode
Trackpads -- not just for the Mac any more.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Users of 3-D Touch-capable iPhones, and of iPads in general, have long been able to use the devices’ fantastic trackpad mode. It’s a great way to quickly move the keyboard’s insert point (aka cursor) precisely where you want it — and it just got even better.

In iOS 12, this neat trick comes to all iPhones, even those without 3-D Touch. Bonus tip: The update also makes it even easier to use trackpad mode on your iPad.

How to share passwords with AirDrop in iOS 12

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Is this gentleman about to share a password using AirDrop?
Is this gentleman about to share a password using AirDrop?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

iOS 12 adds the ability to share passwords via AirDrop, which is super-duper useful. Maybe you want to send your Netflix password to your spouse so you can watch a movie on his iPad, or maybe you need to share the password you just created for the local grocery delivery service.

In short, any situation in which you previously used a service like 1Password or Dashlane to show your password in large type so somebody else could copy it, you can now use AirDrop instead. Here’s how.

How to scan QR codes from the lock screen in iOS 12

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Knock yourself out scan qr codes
Knock yourself out.
Photo: Thomas Leuthard/Flickr CC

Ever since iOS 11, your iPhone and iPad have been able to detect a QR code in the camera frame, and pop up a banner at the top of the screen to open the link embedded within it. This is a great way to quickly extract a URL from a billboard, or from a particular nerdy lost-cat poster stapled to a utility pole.

Now, iOS 12 brings a dedicated QR-scanning shortcut that you can invoke right from your iPhone’s lock screen. Let’s see how to scan QR codes in iOS 12.

Pro Tip: Instant Markup gets way better in iOS 12

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This is how it feels to use iOS 12's new Markup tools
This is how it feels to use iOS 12's new Markup tools
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bug iOS 12 doesn’t really have any huge new standout features. It’s more a collection of really solid improvements to iOS 11. It sounds odd to say that my favorite new feature is Do Not Disturb during Bedtime, but it’s made a big difference in how I use my iPhone.

Likewise with today’s Pro Tip. iOS markup for screenshots, PDFs and Photos was already good, but new options for the pen tools make it great.

How to use the amazing new iOS 12 Voice Memos app

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iOS 12 Voice Memos redesign is way more than just a lick of paint.
Voice Memos' iOS 12 redesign is way more than just a lick of paint.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Even if you never make a voice memo, you might be interested in Apple’s updated Voice Memos app. Powerful new features in iOS 12 make it much more than just a way to record voice snippets.

In fact, in iOS 12, Voice Memos morphs into a full-fledged audio recorder and audio editing app. As such, it’s useful for people recording interviews, and for musicians working on ideas. Let’s take a look around.