How to make Siri announce and read your messages

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Announce Messages with Siri
Siri can now read out your incoming messages, automatically.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

In iOS 13.2, Siri can announce your incoming messages and read them to you. This is the kind of feature that is so useful, and obvious, that it seems like it should have always been there. It’s called Announce Messages with Siri, and it does just that.

Here’s how to set it up and use it

How to get around with Apple Maps’ Look Around in iOS 13

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Look around on iPad
Look Around is like GTA, only you can't steal cars or murder people.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Look Around is Apple’s answer to Google’s Street View, and it’s about a zillion times better — if your area has coverage, that is. Look Around is just getting started, and covers very few places. Street View, on the other hand, is available for pretty much anywhere, including underwater, up mountains and on hiking trails.

Why is Look Around better? Well, it’s faster, for one. And it just looks nicer. The images are super-high-resolution and full-screen. Using it on a 13-inch iPad Pro feels like taking a virtual street tour of a neighborhood.

Apple Arcade launches early to glowing reviews

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Apple Arcade preview
Apple is inviting iOS 13 beta testers to try Apple Arcade too.
Photo: Apple

The wait for Apple’s all-you-can-play gaming service is over for some people beta testing iOS 13. The Apple Arcade launch isn’t supposed to come until Thursday. However, many people running betas of the next version of Apple’s mobile operating system already started playing.

iPhone 11 Pro camera proves irresistible to meme-makers

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That big, beautiful iPhone 11 camera bump makes quite an impression.
That big, beautiful camera bump makes quite an impression.
Photo: Apple

The new three-camera array on the back of the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max really got Twitter cooking.

It didn’t take long after today’s “By Innovation Only” event for internet jokers to hit us with their best stovetop memes. But the laughs don’t stop there. Apple fans and haters alike saw everything from electric razors to Pokémon characters in the new iPhone design. Check out some of the best cheap shots taken at Apple’s iconic new design.

iOS 13 is probably ready for you right now

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iOS 13.1 beta 1 adds Books reading goal, brings back almost every feature dropped in previous betas.
iOS 13.1 beta 1 brings back almost every cool feature dropped from previous betas.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

After the release of iOS 13.1 beta 2, iOS 13 is probably good enough for you to install and use. I’ve been running the new iPadOS on an old test iPad since the very first version, and it has been glitchy all the way. But as of the latest developer beta, almost all of the problems have been ironed out.

So, is the iOS 13 beta really stable enough to install?

Make the most of mouse buttons in iOS 13

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iPad mouse mappings
The iPad is fantastic with a multi-button mouse.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

For some of you, one of the main reasons to jump on iOS 13 right away is mouse support. You can connect any Bluetooth or USB mouse to your iPad, and use it pretty much like you’d use a mouse on the Mac.

You can even use a multi-button mouse. And guess what? You can assign all of those buttons to mouse functions. I’ve been using a mouse with my iPad on and off throughout the beta period. During that time, I’ve come up with a shortlist of the most useful mouse button features in iPadOS 13.

How to get Portrait mode-style depth of field with any iPhone or iPad

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Portrait Photos, no iPhone X required.
Take Portrait mode-style photos, no iPhone X required.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

We’ve written a lot about the Focos photo app here on Cult of Mac, because it’s like the Photoshop of focus. The universal iOS app lets you edit the focus of your Portrait mode photos in crazy depth (pun intended). But v2.0 just launched, and it’s hands-down amazing.

Focos 2 uses machine learning to calculate the depth of any photo, and then apply portrait-style blur to it. That means you can take portrait photos on the iPad and, wildest of all, you can apply a portrait background blur to photos you’ve saved from the internet.

How to add a custom iMessage avatar in iOS 13

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Memoji are awesome. Here's how to make your own.
Now you can use Memoji in iMessage profiles.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You know how you can add an avatar to pretty much any social app ever, and all your friends, family, contacts, etc., will see it? Well, in iOS 13 you can finally do the same for iMessages.

No longer will you have to hope that your contacts use a nice photo of you, or worry that your boss is using a picture of a cute pig or pussycat to represent you in the group chat. Now you can add and share your own avatar, or even a Memoji. Let’s see how.

Check out the redesigned share sheet in iOS 13 beta 5

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Ipad on wet chair
Sharing is caring, etc.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Up until the latest developer beta 5, the iOS 13 share sheet has been a mess. At the top is the truly excellent quick-share row, which automatically suggests sharing destinations that you use often — iMessage and email contacts, AirDrop destinations, and so on. Then there was the familiar row of app icons.

However, below that came a single long list of B&W labels, mixing up all the other sharing options, along with all of your shortcuts. It was impossible to use. It also felt like a placeholder for a new UI design.

Now, that new design has been added, and it’s … OK. There’s still no color differentiation for your shortcuts, and the list is still too long, but you can customize some sections. Let’s take a look at the new iOS 13 share sheet options.