iOS 11 makes Spotlight search super-powerful

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spotlight search in iOS 11
Spotlight in iOS 11 is a power-users dream, letting you find anything -- whether on the web on on your device -- fast.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Spotlight search gets a big overhaul in iOS 11. The Spotlight updates in initial beta versions of iOS 11 don’t seem quite as spectacular as the iPad’s new Dock, or drag-and-drop, but the small tweaks make the search tool a lot more useful.

Now you can search both your iPad and the web, similar to how you conduct a search in Safari. If you ever used Launchbar, Alfred or Quicksilver on the Mac, the new iOS 11 Spotlight will feel familiar.

iOS 11 Dock makes Handoff worth using again

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iOS 11 handoff
Handoff apps appear in the Dock's rightmost spot.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Handoff is one of those iOS/Mac features that seems great, but is limited in use. However, a simple tweak has made Handoff waaaay better in iOS 11. Now, instead of having a tiny app icon appear in the corner of your lock screen, Handoff apps show up right there in the new iOS 11 Dock.

This simple change has gotten me using Handoff again, instead of ignoring it like I have for the past however many years.

How to use Type to Siri in iOS 11 (and why you’ll love it)

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type to siri prompt
Type to Siri really shines on the iPad.
Photo: Cult of Mac

iOS 11 is Apple’s most keyboard-friendly version of its mobile software yet, but that doesn’t mean you have to hook up an external keyboard to use its best new keyboard-centric features. Today we’ll look at Type to Siri, which can be used whenever you’d usually talk to your favorite digital assistant just by tapping on the usual on-screen keyboard.

Everything you need to know about the iOS 11 Dock

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drag drop iOS 11 dock
The new Dock is essential to iOS 11's drag-and-drop, but there's a lot more packed there.
Photo: Cult of Mac

iOS 11 introduces a new Dock. It is conceptually related to the Mac Dock introduced in OS X, and is surprisingly similar. In fact, the biggest difference may be that so far people seem to love the new iOS 11 Dock, whereas there are still beardos who hate the Mac Dock.

Like its Mac counterpart, the iOS 11 Dock packs in a surprising number of features. Lets take a look at them.

How to use iOS 11’s powerful new screenshot markup tool

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screenshot markup
Screenshots have moved from a semi-secret, mostly-hidden feature to a proper tool.
Photo: Cult of Mac

iOS 11 has added some great new features to the humble screenshot tool. You can quickly view a new screenshot without a trip to the Photos app first, and you can edit and mark it up before saving it. By adding some powerful pro-level features to screenshot markup, Apple has –somewhat ironically — made them way more useful and accessible for everyone.

How to use drag and drop in iOS 11 Maps

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drag and drop maps iOS 11
The more you use it, the more you realize just how great drag-and-drop is on the iPad.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Drag and drop is the headline feature of iOS 11 on the iPad, and rightly so — it changes the whole iOS paradigm, integrating a decades-old desktop feature in a way that makes it feel like drag and drop was just waiting for touchscreens to come along.

It seems like all of Apple’s own apps have gotten a dose of drag and drop in iOS 11, including Maps. Let’s take a look at it.

How to automatically save iMessage pictures to the iPhone Photos app

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save iMessage pictures
Easily save lots of iMessage pictures and movies all at once.
Photo: Cult of Mac

You can’t yet automatically save incoming photos and videos from the Messages app in iOS, but there is a way to quickly select a whole bunch of iMessage pictures and movies, and save them all to your Camera Roll.

Why would you want to do this? The main reason is search. Once your media gets inside the Photos app, it can be searched and included in Memories. Plus, all the pictures of people will get scanned and recognized. In short, right now some of your most valued pictures don’t show up in the place you keep all your pictures. Let’s change that.

How to use iOS 11’s new Automatic Setup

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automatic setup
In iOS 11, you won't need to remember anything when you get a new iPhone.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Apple

Setting up a new iOS device is pretty easy, but it’s about to get even easier thanks to iOS 11’s new Automatic Setup feature, which lets you hold your old device near your new one to transfer across essential info.

All you need to set up a new iOS device are your iCloud login details, and the password for your WiFi network. But even that can be a bit of a pain, especially if you use a super-secure passwords that you store in something like 1Password. In order to get to your passwords, you need to install 1Password. But in order to install 1Password, you need to input your iCloud ID and your WiFi login. Automatic Setup will put an end to that.

Find and delete storage-hogging iMessage chats in iOS 11

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iMessage storage
iMessage gets a bunch of new space-saving features in iOS 11 beta.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Maybe, if you opt for one of the new 512GB iPads, you won’t have to worry about storage space. But for everyone else, iOS 11 has you covered. Now, under a new section in settings, you can whittle down the storage used by the iMessage app, weeding out old conversations, revealing oversized attachments, and even check to see which conversations are taking up the most space.

Let’s see how to use it.

Enable the hidden dark mode in iOS 11 and save your eyes

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iOS 11's Smart Invert feature brings a stunning dark mode
iOS 11's Smart Invert feature brings a stunning dark mode
Photo: Cult of Mac

Some users have been longing for an iOS “dark mode” for quite a while. With iOS 11, Apple is introducing a new Smart Invert feature that replicates the dark mode functionality, though it’s not quite there yet. It builds upon iOS’ classic Invert Colors mode but excludes some images, media and apps that use dark color styles.

Here’s how you can try out the hidden dark mode in iOS 11 right now.