| Cult of Mac

Insiders are buzzing about Apple’s upcoming headset [The CultCast]


CultCast 595: AI-generated image of Apple CEO Tim Cook wearing an AR/VR headset, along with the CultCast logo.
No, Apple's headset likely won't look like this AI-generated image.
Image: Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: Well-placed sources say Apple’s AR/VR headset blew them away. Even the guy who dreamed up the Oculus Rift says it’s great.

The more we hear about the device nobody seems to need, the more intrigued we become. And with WWDC23 just weeks away, we don’t have long to wait for answers to our questions. In the meantime, we can imagine the possibilities …

Also on The CultCast:

  • How Apple’s M3 chip will stack up against its predecessors.
  • Five hidden features in iMessage that you should try ASAP.
  • Erfon finally gives us an update on his beloved, but beleaguered, original HomePod.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

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5 hidden features in iMessage


Hidden iMessage Features
You probably won’t find these features on your own.
Image: Jonatan Svensson Glad/Wikimedia Commons/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

In the United States, iMessage is one of the first features iPhone users mention as a benefit over Android. In the rest of the world, nobody cares, because everyone uses WhatsApp and other cross-platform services.

But there are a lot of cool features inside the Messages app these days — we’ve previously covered how to edit and unsend messages and share your screen. Here are five more hidden features inside Apple’s messaging app. Keep reading or watch the video below.

How to back up your iMessage history and save on storage space


Back Up Just A Minute
Or, more accurately, back up your iMessage history.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

You can back up your text messages (and iMessages) with iMessage Exporter, a free tool for the Mac. Whether you want to preserve your family message history for sentimental reasons, or need to keep conversation records for business, iMessage Exporter will get the job done.

You might already back up your messages in iCloud, but Apple charges an arm and a leg for space. You can save space (and money) by making a local backup and clearing out your cloud storage.

Share your screen to (and from) any Mac, right from the Messages app


Help Out Your Parents
Screen Sharing is a great way to give remote tech support.
Image: Daniel Aragay/Wikimedia Commons/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

A little-known feature in macOS lets you share your Mac’s screen to someone else’s Mac directly from iMessage — no third-party apps or downloads required.

It’s great if you need to give tech support to a family member in a pinch; often you just need to see what’s happening instead of counting on what your dear old father is trying to describe over the phone. Get him to share his screen with you, and you likely can solve his problem quickly.

Even better, it’s not complicated setting up screen sharing on a Mac like it is on a PC. It takes only a few clicks in the Messages app. Let me show you all around this awesome hidden feature.

Apple makes Messages safer for kids in more countries


UK iPhones will soon scan for iPhone sexually explicit images in texts sent to children
The iPhone's Communication Safety in Messages feature is expanding to half a dozen more countries around the world.
Image: Apple

iPhone users in six additional countries have access to a tool intended to protect children from sexual predators. The countries now getting access to Communication Safety in Messages are in Europe, Asia and elsewhere.

The optional feature warns kids if they receive or attempt to send photos containing nudity.

How to edit and unsend messages in iOS 16


Edit messages, undo send and mark messages as unread in iOS 16.
Edit messages, undo send and mark messages as unread in iOS 16.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Have you ever wanted to edit and unsend messages in iOS? Like when you texted your mom “Finally got laid today” when you meant to say “paid.”

Thankfully, with iOS 16 and Apple’s other upcoming OS upgrades, you can edit and unsend iMessages. Let me show you how this feature works.

iMessage gets competitive new features in iOS 16


iMessage conversation, with an edited message notated by a label
In iOS 16, you'll be able to edit your iMessages to ensure you don't accidentally call your boss Babe... again.
Photo: Apple
WWDC22 - Brought to you by CleanMyMac X

Apple’s Messages app is getting great new features in iOS 16 that will give users greater control over the way they communicate with friends, family and co-workers.

iMessage is already arguably one of the biggest chat services, thanks to its deep integration with iPhone and the rest of the Apple ecosystem. The new features, including the ability to tweak or delete messages that have already been sent, should make it even more competitive — and potentially less embarrassing.

Meet friends, track kids, send your ETA: How to use location sharing on iPhone


How to share your location on iPhone: Location sharing is a powerful iOS feature that can quickly connect you with friends and family.
Location sharing is a powerful iOS feature that can quickly connect you with friends and family.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Location sharing is a highly versatile and useful feature of iOS. When you’re trying to meet up with someone, traveling in a new place or spending a day out with friends, you can quickly share where you all are. It proves super-handy in big public spaces like malls, amusement parks and stadiums.

Giving directions on precisely where to pick up someone along a street block or in a parking lot is made much easier by sending a pin in an iMessage chat. With Family Sharing, I can see if my wife is on her way home without first sharing her ETA in Apple Maps. Another benefit is that I can use Find My to ping her phone if it’s lost in the house.

Here’s how to use location sharing.

iPhone will soon alert parents if kids send or receive nude pics


iPhone Messages app will warn parents if kids send, receive nude photos
Children and parents will be alerted by the Messages app of sexually explicit photos.
Photo: Apple

Starting with iOS 15.2, iPhones will be able to detect if an iPhone or iPad user gets or sends a text with sexually explicit photos. The goal is to protect children from sexual predators.

The feature is optional and uses on-device machine learning so that Apple does not have access to the images.