How to share your Focus status with select contacts in iOS and iPadOS 15

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How to share Focus status
Let others know when your notifications are disabled.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

It’s possible to share your Focus status with select contacts in iOS and iPadOS 15, so that friends and family members don’t think you’re just ignoring their calls and texts.

Here’s how you pick and choose who sees that your notifications are disabled while you’re busy.

How to create and customize Focus modes in iOS and iPadOS 15

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Create and customize Focus modes in iOS 15
Keep your iPhone quiet when you're busy.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 ship with a brand-new feature called Focus mode that lets you set up different notification profiles based on your activities. You can have one for work, one for play, one for sleep, and more.

Here’s how to create and customize new Focus modes on iPhone and iPad.

How to translate text in images using Live Text in iOS 15

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Translate text in photos in iOS 15
Translate almost anything in an instant.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Live Text in iOS and iPadOS 15 is a terrific new feature that makes the text in your photos interactive. You can use it to copy and paste quotes, call phone numbers, find addresses and more.

Here’s how to use Live Text on your iPhone or iPad to translate signs, posters, and other things written in a foreign language.

Apple blocks security updates for those who won’t install iOS 15

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iOS security update
Apple won't offer security updates on iOS 14 anymore.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple is more aggressively encouraging users to update to iOS 15 by stopping security updates for those who don’t.

Cupertino previously made security improvements available as a separate release — and vowed to keep delivering them for those who stick with iOS 14 “until you’re ready to upgrade.” Just a few months later, that’s changed.

Apple smashes Messages, CarPlay and HomeKit bugs with iOS 15.2.1

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iOS 15.2.1 update squashes some bugs in Messages and CarPlay.
iOS 15.2.1 squashes some bugs in Messages and CarPlay.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

iPhone users got small “bug fix” update on Wednesday. iOS 15.2.1 takes care of problems with Messages and CarPlay. And a HomeKit bug that made the news recently. In addition, iPadOS 15.2.1 is also out to take care of the same Messages bug.

Both updates are available for all, and are ready to be installed immediately.

How to copy text from your photos using Live Text in iOS 15

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How to copy and paste from photos in iOS 15
Live Text works surprisingly awesomely in iOS 15.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

iOS and iPadOS 15 introduce a brilliant new feature called Live Text, which not only identifies text in your photos, but also allows you to interact with it. You can use it for all kinds of things, like making a call, sending an email, or looking up directions to an address.

Here’s how to use the feature to copy and paste text from your images on iPhone and iPad.

European carriers team up to block iCloud Private Relay on iPhone and iPad

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iCloud Private Relay
The feature undermines "European digital sovereignty," they say.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

European are joining forces in a bid to block iCloud Private Relay — a feature Apple introduced in iOS and iPadOS 15 to bolster its privacy protections. It seems some have already begun disabling it on cellular plans.

A group, which include Vodafone and T-Mobile, has signed an open letter that says Private Relay prevents them from obtaining “vital network data,” and will impact their ability to “efficiently manage telecommunication networks.”

Messages bug sends read receipts even when they’re turned off

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Messages replay
"Why are you ignoring me?"
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Some iPhone and iPad users are being plagued by a Messages bug that causes read receipts to be sent even when they are disabled. The problem seems to affect devices running iOS 15 or later.

There is no permanent fix for the issue yet, but there is one thing you can do that may eliminate the problem for a short time.

WhatsApp is adding contact photos to notifications on iPhone

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WhatsApp contact photos in iPhone notifications
The feature is already in testing.
Image: WABetaInfo/Cult of Mac

A future WhatsApp update will bring contact photos to your notifications on iPhone. The feature, which requires iOS 15 or later, is already being tested among beta users in version 2.22.1.1 of the app.

This is just one of many improvements WhatsApp has started working on for its iPhone app. Others include revamped contact pages, and a Community feature that gives admins more control over their groups.