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Apple releases important iOS 15 security patch

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iOS 15.3 is here for your iPhone bugs
iOS 15.7.1 takes care of a long list of security bugs.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Egor Kamelev/Pexels

iPhone users not on iOS 16.1 can now update their handset to iOS 15.7.1. Apple says it “provides important security updates.” It closes almost 20 security holes in the OS.

There’s also iPadOS 15.7.1 that does the same for iPad.

Today in Apple history: The App Store hits 200 million downloads

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App Store
The App Store racked up 200 million downloads in less than five months.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

October 22: Today in Apple history: The App Store hits 200 million downloads October 22, 2008: During an Apple conference call, Steve Jobs reveals that a user downloaded the 200 millionth app from the App Store that very day.

The news comes less than five months after the launch of the App Store, and only a month after Apple surpassed 100 million app downloads.

How to get the battery percentage back on iPhone

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Get your battery percentage numbers back in the status bar!
Get your battery percentage numbers back in the status bar!
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Being able to see your phone’s battery percentage right in the status bar is incredibly useful — but Apple killed it five years ago. Until today that is, with iOS 16.

You can, once again, get the battery percentage in the status bar for the first time since 2017.

50 million Android users crave that sweet iOS look

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50 million Android users crave that sweet iOS look
"Is that the new iPhone?" "Not exactly..."
Image: Samsung/LuuTinh Developer/Cult of Mac

An app to make Androids copy the look of iPhone running iOS is widely popular. So many people wish their Android was an iPhone that Launcher iOS 16 has been downloaded over 50 million times from Google Play. And a rival app has just as many.

That sure is a lot of jealous Android users.

How to force iPhone reboot with simple Siri command in iOS 16 [Pro Tip]

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How to force iPhone reboot with simple Siri command
Rebooting your iPhone is as easy as asking Siri to do it. And you don't even have to say "please."
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Pro-tip-4If your iPhone or iPad locks up, iOS 16/iPadOS 16 will let get out of the jam by rebooting the device with a simple Siri command. It’s the easiest method I’ve found to get the handset or tablet going again when there’s a problem with the touchscreen, or the device is just misbehaving.

Here’s all you have to do.

Dive in: Latest iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 public betas are stable enough to try

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Dive in: Latest iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 public betas are stable enough to try
iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 bring some welcome new features. And you can try them out now, if you can tolerate their bugs.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Tired of just reading about the new iPhone Lock Screen and want to try it? Really eager to make full use of an external screen with your iPad? There’s good news: Apple released new public betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 this week, and my testing shows they’re stable enough for average users to try them out.

That said, be cautious. These are prerelease versions — they still have bugs. The final versions aren’t expected for months, and there’s still plenty of room for improvement

9 ways to make your iPhone less addictive

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Here are my tips for spending less time on your phone.
Here are my tips for spending less time on your phone.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

I would not say I have an addiction to my iPhone. I’m a computer nerd; I have an addiction to my Mac. It’s mostly the same, except I can pretend it’s productive.

Many clearly suffer from smartphone addiction, though. If you feel the impulse to unlock your iPhone at every empty moment, or scroll through an app when you feel like you should be getting to bed, here are my tips for making your phone a bit more boring.

iOS 16 lets users report spam SMS messages as junk

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iOS 16 lets users report spam SMS messages as junk
Apple is making it easier for iPhone users to fight the scourge of spam texts.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The upcoming iOS 16 will help battle the growing problem of spam text messages. The latest beta includes the ability to report SMS messages as “junk” to the user’s wireless carrier.

iPhone users already can report spam messages that come through Apple’s own iMessage service.

How to install the iOS 16 developer beta

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Get access to the new features and APIs in iOS 16 with the Developer Beta today.
Get access to the new features and APIs in iOS 16 with the Developer Beta today. Featuring my dog, Indy Anna Jones.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

iOS 16 was announced with some awesome, radical new features: a completely redesigned Lock Screen, a shared Photo Library for families, editing and un-sending iMessages, advanced new features in Maps and more. It’s especially hard this year to wait until September to get your hands on it.

Developers have a busy summer ahead of them, too. I spoke with some developers while at WWDC (no, I’m not done flexing that yet) and afterwards on Twitter. Developers are especially excited about creating Lock Screen widgets for their apps, using the new advanced features of SwiftUI and experimenting with the Live Text API.

But you don’t have to wait to get your hands on the beta. Registered developers can install the iOS 16 developer beta today. According to Apple, the Public Beta will be coming sometime in July. If you pay $99 for a developer account, installing the beta on your device is fast and easy. Here’s how.

Hands on: 5 best new features of iOS 16

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A highlight of iOS 16 is a new Lock Screen
The new Lock Screen is just one of the best new features in iOS 16.
Image: Apple

There’s a lot to like in iOS 16, so I couldn’t resist installing the first beta to test the best new features. Here’s my hands-on experience with the new Lock Screen, improvements in the Messages and Mail apps, and more. These are just my favorites from the couple of days I’ve had to test the initial beta.

Plus, the next version of iOS adds other features that might be great — when Apple gets them working right.