Find and delete storage-hogging iMessage chats in iOS 11

By

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.

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

By

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.

iOS 11 Notes app finally lets you search notes when you save

By

search notes iOS 11
iOS 11 lets you narrow down your target notes by search whenever you save a new snippet.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple’s Notes app got a few headline updates in the iOS 11 section of the 2017 WWDC Keynote — in-line sketches and handwriting recognition for example — but there’s another tiny tweak that might be an even bigger deal than those two. Now, when you use the Share arrow to send a URL, snippet of text, or anything else, to the Notes app, you can search your existing notes, and choose which one you want to add it to.

This is huge, and takes Notes from being a higgledy-piggledy junk drawer to being a real replacement for things like Evernote and Microsoft’s One Note. Now you can keep a note for, say, planning an upcoming vacation, and easily add new places and plans to it as you find them, or quickly add links to a book reading list.

How to customize Control Center in iOS 11

By

control center customization
At last, you can customize the Control Center in iOS 11.
Photo: Cult of Mac

In iOS 11, you can customize the Control Center, removing some of the shortcuts you don’t use, and adding in some new ones. This, combined with Control Center’s new in-depth, 3D Touch controls, makes it a lot easier to quickly access functions you don’t necessarily want to open an app to use.

For instance, you can get quickly access an Apple TV remote, add widgets for alarms and timers, change text size, and even start screen recordings.

Everything you need to know about the new Files app on iOS 11

By

files app ios11
Files is like the Finder for iOS 11.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Files is the new Finder app for iOS 11, and it’s already about a million times better than the basic file-picker it replaces — iCloud Drive. Files is a central place from which to access all the files on your iDevice, and in iCloud. You can find, organize, open, and delete all the files on your device, in iCloud, and on 3rd-party storage services like Dropbox. And because this is iOS 11, Files supports all the fancy new multitasking features like drag-and-drop.

So, lets take a look at what it can do:

How to get your iPhone and iPad ready for iOS 11

By

iOS 11's one-handed keyboard
Get your iPhone or iPad ready for the new iOS 11 update.
Photo: Cult of Mac

iOS 11 is available on Tuesday September 19th, and if your device is compatible, you can go ahead and update, by just tapping the button in Settings>General>Software Update. If all goes well (and it should), then you will wait for a while as the update downloads and installs, then your iPhone or iPad will restart into the new version of iOS, with all the cool goodies it brings.

But things sometimes can go wrong, so it pays to take a few precautions. You might also like to take the opportunity to clean up your device a little. Here’s how to prepare your iDevice for iOS 11.

How to find your custom ringtones after iTunes dumped them

By

custom ringtones itunes
This is a screenshot of the original iTunes, on an iPad.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The latest version of iTunes — 12.7 — removes the App Store. That’s bad news for folks who like to keep backups of old iOS apps around, but good news for people who have bloat and clutter. But the update also removes all your custom ringtones, so you can’t manage them from your Mac.

Don’t despair. You can still download purchased ringtones, and copy your own tones across from the Mac. It’s just not obvious how to do it any more.

How to fix Home button lag on your iPhone

By

The iPhone could get a new home button.
Here's how to fix the Home button delay on your iPhone!
Photo: Sam Mills/Cult of Mac

The Home button on your iPhone has multiple purposes — unlocking your iPhone, bringing up the multitasking menu, returning to the home screen, invoking Siri, etc. Such frequent use can take a toll on the Home button’s responsiveness. Although it is designed to last, it can become laggy or less responsive over time. Surprisingly enough, a large number of Home button issues have more to do with the software rather than the actual hardware.

If you notice that your iPhone’s Home button isn’t as responsive as it used to be, here are a few tips you can use to fix the Home button lag.

How to switch off Auto Brightness in iOS 11

By

Auto Brightness iOS 11
Auto Brightness has been hidden in iOS 11, but it can still be found.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You’ve all been there. You’re sitting near a window or a lamp, reading an excellent article on your iPad — perhaps a well-written How-To from Cult of Mac — and your iPad’s screen Auto Brightness is going haywire. You slide open Control Center, and set it back where you want it, and continue reading. Then, you turn the iPad a little too far towards the light, and the screen brightness creeps up again.

In iOS 10 and prior, you’d just open the Settings app, tap Display & Brightness, and hit the switch for Auto Brightness. In iOS 11, that option has disappeared. The good news is that it hasn’t gone — the Auto Brightness switch has just moved.

How to see which apps are wasting your iPhone battery

By

iPhone battery
Which apps are running riot on your iPhone's battery?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Sometimes an app gets out of control and eats up your battery, even while it doesn’t seem to be active. Once, I had an iPad drained almost completely by a runaway instance of Skype. Or you may have an app that is supposed to run in the background — a synthesizer, or another music app, for example — and you forget you left it running, draining your iPhone battery.

Or perhaps you just want to see how much battery your various apps use. In any of these cases, you can open up a Settings screen that will report which apps have used how much battery, and for how long, over the past day or week. It’s a very handy screen indeed.