| Cult of Mac

Universal Control on Mac and iPad is one of Apple’s most magical features yet

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Universal Control
It "just works," and it does so magnificently.
Photo: Apple

Universal Control, which is finally in testing ahead of its public debut, lets you control a Mac and an iPad with the same keyboard and mouse, bringing the two computers closer together than ever before. It’s particularly handy if you rely on both macOS and iPadOS apps and find yourself regularly switching between them.

The feature looked pretty ambitious and exciting when Apple previewed it during its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote back in June. And now that it’s here (mostly) and we’ve had the chance to try it out, we firmly believe it is one of Cupertino’s most magical features to date.

Here’s why Universal Control will knock your socks off.

How to enable wide spectrum audio for FaceTime calls in iOS 15

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Enable wide spectrum audio for FaceTime calls
Make sure everyone gets heard on a conference call.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

iOS and iPadOS 15 bring a number of nice improvements to FaceTime, including some new audio modes that may come in handy in certain situations.

The new wide spectrum audio is one you might want to use during conference calls. Here’s what it does — and how to enable it on iPhone and iPad.

Fun new emoji coming in iOS 15.4 will let you salute, melt and tear up

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Fun new emoji coming in iOS 15.4 will let you salute, melt and tear up
Here are some, but not all, of the new emoji coming soon to iPhone and iPad.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Soon you’ll be able to use an emoji to show that your battery is low. Or that you’re melting, are feeling ambivalent or patriotic, or getting teary-eyed. This is because the crop of fresh emoji approved in fall 2021 will debut when iOS 15.4 does.

Then they be used in texts, emails … wherever.

How to enable background blur for FaceTime video calls in iOS 15

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How to enable background blur for FaceTime video calls in iOS 15
Use Portrait mode to bring background blur to FaceTime on iPhone and iPad.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

iOS and iPadOS 15 bring a number of big improvements to FaceTime — including voice isolation and the ability to blur your background during video calls like you can on Zoom and other video calling platforms.

We’ll show you how to enable the background blur feature using Portrait mode on iPhone and iPad.

iOS 15.3 is here for your iPhone bugs

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iOS 15.3 is here for your iPhone bugs
iOS 15.3 fixes a nasty Safari bug.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Egor Kamelev/Pexels

Apple made iOS 15.3 available to all compatible iPhone models Monday. The update squashes at least one bug that recently made headlines. But there are no new features.

Apple also introduced iPadOS 15.3 to erase many of the same bugs. And macOS Monterey 12.2 and watchOS 8.4 debuted, too. tvOS 15.3 arrived Monday as well.

How to enable voice isolation for FaceTime calls in iOS 15

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Enable voice isolation for FaceTime
Keep kids' voices out of your remote meetings.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Remote meetings on FaceTime are a lot calmer in iOS and iPadOS 15, thanks to a feature called voice isolation that blocks out background noise. Even better, the feature works in other video-calling applications, including Zoom and Google Duo.

Here’s how you can enable it on iPhone and iPad.

Release candidate shows iOS 15.3 will be just bug fixes

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Mac malware is real. Watch out.
Bug fixes aren't exciting, but they're necessary.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple seeded the iOS 15.3 release candidate to developers on Thursday, along with the iPadOS equivalent. Surprisingly, the updates appear to include nothing but bug fixes and security updates. There are no new features. Still, I t’s possible these will take care of a headline-making WebKit bug that leaks user information.

Release candidates for macOS Monterey 12.2, watchOS 8.4 and tvOS 15.3 are also out on Thursday.