iOS 12.2 makes audio messages sound way better

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iOS 12 Voice Memos redesign is way more than just a lick of paint.
Your voice messages get a quality boost in the latest iOS 12.2 beta.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Among the changes hidden in the new iOS 12.2 beta is improved audio quality for audio messages sent using the Messages app.

The switch involves transitioning over from the previous 8000 Hz .AMR file format to .24000 Hz .CAF files. What this means from a listening perspective is that audio messages now sound clearer and louder. Check out this direct comparison.

How to save and print your iMessages and WhatsApps

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Get your freshly-printed WhatsApps here.
Get your freshly-printed WhatsApps here.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Yes, this sounds like a joke about the olde worlde CEO who has his secretary print his emails, then transcribe his dictated replies. But printing message threads can be pretty useful. Lawyers, for example, may want a printed record, or a PDF, of a message thread. And even regular humans might appreciate a well-formatted archive of their messages that can be easily searched and marked up.

You still can’t do this on your iDevice. However, thanks to the amazing iMazing Mac app, you can quickly create PDFs of your messages, and even print them. Onto paper.

How to send GIFs without sending GIFs

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It’s hard to convey a moving photo with a still image, but doesn’t this smoothie look delicious?
It’s hard to convey a moving photo with a still image, but doesn’t this smoothie look delicious?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Quick question: How do you send a GIF selfie from your iPhone? One answer is just don’t bother. It’s too much hassle. Another way is to use this handy shortcut to make one. But there’s a third way, which is also the best way: Don’t send a GIF at all.

If you and your intended GIF recipient both use iOS devices, there’s a much better option.

How to send selfies with stickers

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Who wouldn’t want to receive this totally non-creepy stickered-up selfie?
Who wouldn’t want to receive this totally non-creepy stickered-up selfie?
Photo: Cult of Mac

You already know how to take a selfie. It’s probably the first thing you did when you got your iPhone up and running. But did you know you can take a selfie and add stickers? Right there in the Messages app?

Your friends are already hungry for another one of your awesome selfies. Imagine how fired up they’re going to be when they see those stickers.

How to place and receive phone calls on iPad

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Remember these?
Remember these?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Ever looked at your iPad and thought, “I’d love to hold that huge thing up to my ear and make a phone call. I’d look to-ta-lee badass. Now, where’s my cellphone holster?”? Bonus points if you had this thought while looking at a huge 13-inch iPad Pro.

Of course, it might actually be handy to make calls on your iPad, especially as you probably would use AirPods or EarPods to do so. Your iPhone may be charging, or in another room, or maybe you’re there with a number ready to call on your Mac or iPad. Now, the iPad still can’t use its cellular connection to send or receive SMS messages, or make phone calls, but if you have an iPhone nearby you can use it as a bridge to do both. Bonus: This even works with the Wi-Fi-only iPad.

How to instantly track a flight from the Messages app

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This flight tracker is built into every iPhone and iPad track flights
This flight tracker is built into every iPhone and iPad.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

It’s Christmas season, and you know what that means: Extra-long queues at airport check-in and “security;” once-a-year travelers who won’t just get out of the plane’s aisle and just sit the hell down; and of course parents/kids/friends who insist that you never emailed them the details of your flight.

We can’t fix the queues, the morons who mill in the aisles, or your lying friends and family, but I can show you how to quickly track a flight right from the Messages app, or anywhere else you see a flight number written down on your iPhone. Let’s take a look.

How to make Group FaceTime calls on iPhone, iPad or Mac

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Group FaceTime is super easy to use.
Group FaceTime is super easy to use.
Photo: Apple

With the new Group FaceTime feature in iOS 12.1 and macOS Mojave 10.14.1, you can call up to 32 people and chat with them all at the same time.

Apple took some extra time getting this feature working perfectly. Now that’s it’s here, let’s see how to use Group FaceTime on iOS devices and Mac to get in on those massive group chats.

WhatsApp finally adds support for stickers

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WhatsApp stickers

Photo: WhatsApp

WhatsApp is one of the biggest messaging platforms on the planet, and it has somehow gone without support for stickers — until now!

Some users now have the ability to send and receive stickers, and the rest will be able to enjoy the same functionality on both Android and iOS in the coming weeks. A selection of sticker packs from WhatsApp own designers are available, and third-party packs are coming soon.

How to use the new iOS Comic Book photo filter

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Shoot your own comic-book remake of
Shoot your own comic-book remake of A Scanner Darkly.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

iOS 12 has a great new camera filter: Comic Book. It turns your selfies and photos into pretty convincing pen-and-ink-style drawings, complete with flat blocks of color. It even works with Animoji selfies.

But hold on one second. You won’t find this filter in your iPhone’s Camera app, or even in the Photos app. Instead, you need to fire up the Messages app and use the camera there.