Stop Apple’s spam notifications with this hidden setting

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Nobody likes spam. Here's how to stop Apple spam notifications, i.e. marketing notifications.
Nobody likes spam. Nobody.
Photo: Jesper Sehested/Flickr CC

On a podcast this week, I heard the hosts complaining that they get all kinds of spam notifications from Apple. Their iPhones pop up promotional alerts about Apple Pay, apps, Apple Music, Apple Pay, podcasts and more.

“WTF?” I thought, because I don’t get anything like that. I checked through my notification preferences, sure that I’d find something in there, but no. So why wasn’t I getting all this Apple spam?

Because Apple hid the setting. You can turn off all those junky Apple spam notifications. You just have to know where to look.

How to stop Apple Card from bombarding you with notifications

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Apple Card with iPad
Switch off those pesky Apple Card notifications
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Are you enjoying your new Apple Card? Isn’t running up debt great when it is accompanied by a titanium card and a stylish app? But what you might not be enjoying are the Apple Card notifications that started to pop up on your iPhone.

Here’s how to stop them. But beware: It’s an all-or-nothing proposition that clearly illustrates an annoying problem with iPhone notifications.

3D Touch a folder to see only apps with notifications

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Perhaps the greatest 3D Touch trick ever.
Perhaps the greatest 3D Touch trick ever.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You’re going to L-O-V-E this tip. You know how sometimes you see a folder on your iPhone’s home screen, and there’s a red notification badge on the folder itself? That badge is a summary of all the unread notifications of the apps inside the folder. Of course, at this point you just ignore it, because you don’t want to swipe through the pages of never-used apps inside the folder, just to see which apps have unread alerts.

But what if there was a way to quickly see which apps in that folder have outstanding notifications. Well, there is! And you’re going to kick yourself when you see how easy it is.

Tame your notifications with iOS 12’s Instant Tuning

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Instant Tuning lets you tweak alert settings as you get them.
Instant Tuning lets you tweak alert settings as you get them.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

“Instant Tuning” is the rather odd name that Apple gave an excellent new iOS 12 feature. You know how some apps on your iPhone keep popping up notifications you never want or need? And you keep telling yourself that you will dig into the Settings app and switch them off? Only you never, ever get around to this annoying busywork? Instant Tuning is for you.

Now, when a notification comes in, you can access the notifications settings for that app right there in the notification itself. This is huge, and makes culling your notifications way easier. Which in turn makes your most important notifications, like text messages or that sweet eBay auction you’re following, stand out more.

Showdown! iOS 12 vs. Android 9 Pie

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Which wins the features arms race, Android 9 Pie vs. iOS 12? Here's how they compare.
Which wins the features arms race, Android 9 Pie or iOS 12? Here's how they compare.
Illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Android 9 Pie has landed on Google Pixel devices just a month before Apple rolls out iOS 12. Both come with a long list of new features and improvements, but is one better than the other?

Here’s how Android 9 and iOS 12 compare.

WhatsApp is bringing media previews to iOS notifications

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WhatsApp on iOS
WhatsApp users have been waiting for better notifications.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

WhatsApp notifications on iOS are about to get a lot more useful.

The popular messaging service is now testing media previews that let users view images and even animated GIFs before opening a message. Today’s update has also added the ability to use Siri to send messages to groups.

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
View all your messages individually if you prefer.
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.