How to customize Mail swipe gestures on iPhone

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A mail box
Mail used to be such a pain to use.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple’s Mail app has gotten pretty good. And one of its best features is mail swipe gestures: being able to swipe an email in your message list and quickly delete, archive, move, or flag that message, and lots more besides.

With gestures, you can speed through your inbox, deleting the cruft, archiving boss mails, and filing messages, all with single swipes. It makes dealing with mail easy, if not actually fun.

The default swipes gestures are fine, but you can customize them to do exactly what you want. Let’s see how.

How to stop Facebook eavesdropping on your conversations

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facebook eavesdropping microphone
Learn how to stop apps from accessing your iPhone's microphone.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

A few months back, we started hearing a lot of creepy stories about folks having real-life, in-person conversations with friends, and then getting Facebook ads on the same subject soon after. Was Facebook using their iPhone/iPad’s microphone to eavesdrop on them, then serving ads based on what it heard? Technically, it’s not much different to Google scanning your email and serving ads based on their content. In reality, it’s a whole ‘nother level of creepy.

This is what it’s like to control the HomePod

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The HomePod was a no-show in 2017.
HomePod's launch could be right around the corner.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s HomePod speaker has once again leaked new information about its self ahead of its launch, including how you’ll manage its settings once you finally get one.

Screenshots from HomePod testers in France have leaked out online showing the different settings options you’ll be able to choose from in the HomePod iOS app.

iOS 11 lets you text requests to Siri instead of talk

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Siri
iOS finally has a command line.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Talking to Siri can be a bit embarrassing when you’re in crowded public spaces, but with iOS 11, Apple is finally allowing users to submit questions to the digital assistant via text.

Apple didn’t mention the new feature during its WWDC 2017 keynote, however it’s already become one of our favorite additions in the new beta because it gives iPhone and iPad owners the closest thing yet to a command line.

To enable the feature, follow these steps:

How to quickly search settings in iOS

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iOS search settings
You'll be surprised at the how many settings are unearthed by a simple search.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The iOS Settings app is more like a chaotic junk drawer that a neatly-organized filing cabinet. Back when the iPhone launched, it was tidy, with only a few items, all methodically arranged. Then, as more and more features were added to iOS, their settings were tossed in there like you toss spare keys into that kitchen drawer with the rubber bands and spare fuses. Unlike a real junk drawer, though, which will slice your fingers with hidden tools and pieces of broken teacup if you rummage too hard, the Settings app has a way to ignore the detritus and get straight to the setting you want: Search settings. This feature is essential, but very few of the folks I asked about it this week even knew it existed. This how-to is for them, and for anyone else who hates changing settings.

How to quickly change iOS Settings with 3D Touch

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3d touch settings shot
Get quick access to the settings you change the most.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Perhaps the best way to ease yourself into the relaxing, time-saving bathtub of increased productivity that is 3D Touch is to start by pressing a little harder on Apple’s own app icons. Specifically — in today’s article at least — the Settings app icon, where you will find quick-access shortcuts to your most often-used settings. Let’s take a look:

How to use Text Replacement to avoid typing the words you hate

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Text Replacement shortcuts in iPhone
Text Replacements are easy to set up, and save a ton of time and hassle. You can even use them with emoji.
Photo: Cult of Mac

What if you could type out any of your email addresses just by tapping on the same key a few times? Or do Google searches over and over on a favorite website just as easily? What about easily typing that special symbol that’s so hard to reach on the iOS keyboard that you usually never bother? All this, and more, can be yours, if only you’ll spend a minute or two setting up some text replacement shortcuts. Let’s do it right now.

How to keep creepers off your WhatsApp profile

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WhatsApp on iPhone
WhatsApp payments are on the way.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

WhatsApp is a messaging app popular with people all over the globe, but you probably don’t want it to turn into a tracking app for your stalker.

Plus, it probably has private information in it that you’d rather not have other people know about, right?

Here’s how to lock it all down so you can keep creepers off your WhatsApp profile.

How to find the exact setting you need in iOS 9

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Settings Search iOS 9

Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

iOS has so many settings in one app, it’s kind of ridiculous.

Whether you want to change preferences for an app or the operating system itself, a trip to the crowded Settings app can often be a frustrating experience.

iOS 9 — still in beta — has a solution for that information overload though: Search.

Here’s how to access it.

Customize your Apple Watch settings

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This screen is way too small for all the tweaks available. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
This screen is way too small for all the tweaks available. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Getting your Apple Watch set up is fairly basic, but to truly make this your own personal device, you’ll need to dig into the Apple Watch settings.

You can do all of these things on the Apple Watch itself, but why force yourself to tap and swipe on that tiny screen? Use the Apple Watch app on your iPhone for a much more pleasant experience. You can thank me later.