WhatsApp’s newest feature fixes group chat notification chaos

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WhatsApp group notifications
No more notifications you don’t need to see.
Photo: WhatsApp

WhatsApp’s group chat function can be incredibly useful for all kinds of things. But when a bunch of people are talking, your phone gets bombarded with notifications and they suddenly become unbearable.

WhatsApp’s newest feature hopes to fix that by allowing only selected people to send messages.

Gmail for iOS just got a big notifications upgrade

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Gmail iOS
Suck it, spam messages!
Photo: Google

Some of us need to have email notifications enabled, but we don’t want our iPhone to ping every time a spam message hits out inbox. Gmail just got a big notifications upgrade that solves this problem.

Its official iOS app now uses artificial intelligence to provide notifications for your most important emails only.

How iOS 12’s smartest features put users firmly back in control

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Time for bed screen time downtime
Time for bed. iOS 12 lets you choose who can disturb you.
Photo: Apple

WWDC 2018 bug Cult of Mac Maybe the most important new feature of iOS 12 is something that helps you to do less with your iPhone, not more.

If any other company had introduced Screen Time, the new system-wide toolset for limiting phone distractions, then it would (rightly) be dismissed as a gimmick, a sop to the increasing worries about phone addiction. But as is typical of Apple, Screen Time looks like it took a lot of work to get just right.

Screen Time may seem to be about combatting app addiction, and reducing the amount of time “wasted” on your iPhone. However, taken together with the new Do Not Disturb settings in iOS 12, it’s more about putting users back in control of their iPhones.

Sketchy photo purports to show iOS 12’s new features

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ipad ios 11
iOS 12 could pack a ton of big surprises.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

We’ve seen some incredibly sketchy Apple “leaks” over the years. This one, a photo that purportedly shows an iOS 12 upgrade ready to be installed on an iPhone, is up there with the most ludicrous.

Here’s what the image claims we’ll get when Apple’s big update rolls out this fall.

iOS 12 concept dreams of grouped notifications and more

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iOS 12
It's time for Apple to bundle notifications.
Photo: Matt Birchler

The grand unveiling of iOS 12 is just a few weeks away and there’s one feature on everybody’s wishlist: grouped notifications.

iOS 11’s notification screen is a mess when you get multiple notifications from the same app, but developer Matt Birchler has created a simple concept that shows how Apple could make the lock screen notifications so much better.

Here’s how they would look:

How to get alerts when iOS games and apps go free

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Free game alerts
Who wouldn't want to play UNICORN 3D - Colour by Number?
Photo: Cult of Mac

Are you an iOS gamer? Do you love games so much that your iPhone may as well be a pocket games console? And do you also hate paying developers to make those amazing games for you? Then good news! because today’s how-to shows you how to get alerts whenever a top game gets its price reduced to free.

Quick Tip: How to force Face ID to pay attention to you

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iPhone x notifications face id
iPhone X hides notification previews until you look at them.
Photo: Apple

Face ID is almost perfect, but that only makes it even more annoying when Apple’s facial-recognition tech doesn’t work like you’d expect. For instance, if you’re sitting at your desk and you glance at a notification on your propped-up iPhone X, the screen unlocks and lets you read the notification’s full content. But sometimes it doesn’t notice you looking, and the notifications stay locked.

What do you do in this case? Do you grab the phone and give it a shake, the same way you do to trigger raise-to-wake on other iPhones? No. There’s a shortcut, although you will need to lift at least one finger to use it.

Master your iPhone X with these tips, tricks and how-tos

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iPhone x unboxing
Fresh out of the box.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

The iPhone X is Apple’s most exciting iPhone in years. It packs an incredible portrait camera, ditches the home button so it can squeeze and iPhone Plus-sized screen into a regular-sized body, and adds Face ID.

If you want to read all about your new iPhone X, or to see what the fuss is before you purchase one, check out this roundup of all Cult of Mac’s iPhone X coverage.

iPhone X keeps your notifications secret from people who aren’t you

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iPhone x notifications face id
iPhone X hides notification previews until you look at them.
Photo: Apple

Thanks to Face ID, the iPhone X knows when its owner is looking at it, and can hide the content of your notifications until you do so. Now, if somebody else picks up your iPhone X and takes a peek at your incoming alerts, it will only see a list of the apps that have notifications for you. The content of the alerts remains hidden until you look at the screen, and Face ID expands the boxes to show you your messages.

The twist is that you can already do something very similar with Touch ID, just by changing one setting.