iOS 11 makes Spotlight search super-powerful

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spotlight search in iOS 11
Spotlight in iOS 11 is a power-users dream, letting you find anything -- whether on the web on on your device -- fast.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Spotlight search gets a big overhaul in iOS 11. The Spotlight updates in initial beta versions of iOS 11 don’t seem quite as spectacular as the iPad’s new Dock, or drag-and-drop, but the small tweaks make the search tool a lot more useful.

Now you can search both your iPad and the web, similar to how you conduct a search in Safari. If you ever used Launchbar, Alfred or Quicksilver on the Mac, the new iOS 11 Spotlight will feel familiar.

How to use Type to Siri in iOS 11 (and why you’ll love it)

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type to siri prompt
Type to Siri really shines on the iPad.
Photo: Cult of Mac

iOS 11 is Apple’s most keyboard-friendly version of its mobile software yet, but that doesn’t mean you have to hook up an external keyboard to use its best new keyboard-centric features. Today we’ll look at Type to Siri, which can be used whenever you’d usually talk to your favorite digital assistant just by tapping on the usual on-screen keyboard.

New Siri icon in iOS 11 may hint at iPhone 8’s virtual Home button

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The iPhone's home button could be going away.
The iPhone's home button could be going away.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple may have left a big clue in iOS 11 that points to huge design changes coming later this year to the iPhone 8.

While doing some testing with the new Do Not Disturb When Driving feature, eagle-eyed Apple observers have spotted a new icon for Siri in iOS 11 that appears to be a perfect replacement for the Home button Apple is supposedly planning to ditch.

Take a look:

Hands on: Does watchOS 4 give Apple Watch what it needs?

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Apple Watch
watchOS 4 is available to developers, take an early look at what's new with our video!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Along with new versions of iOS and macOS, Apple unveiled its next major update for the Apple Watch at WWDC. The first watchOS 4 beta is now available to developers, and we’ve been trying out all its new features and improvements.

Check out the video below to see watchOS 4 in action.

Hands on: macOS High Sierra packs tons of surprising features

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beta
macOS High Sierra brings powerful updates to the Mac.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

macOS High Sierra doesn’t pack as many updates as iOS 11, but Apple’s latest desktop software delivers plenty of new features worth drooling over.

After using the first High Sierra beta for the last few days, I’ve been blown away. Check out what’s new in the macOS High Sierra hands-on video below:

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:

Apple finally proves it’s serious about AI

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Apple AI
Apple's ready to embrace machine learning.
Photo: Gordon Johnson/Pixabay CC

Sitting on a cash pile of billions, Apple’s not a company that’s used to being left behind. But when it comes to artificial intelligence, that’s exactly what has happened in recent years. While companies like Google and Facebook led the way with cutting-edge AI, Apple lagged. It was embarrassing for a company in Apple’s position to miss out on the single best tech revolution taking place at the moment.

But during Monday’s WWDC 2017 keynote, Apple went a long way toward making amends.

HomePod smart speaker will totally rock (and control) your house

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Apple's new HomePod smart speaker is ready to rock your house.
Apple's new HomePod smart speaker is ready to rock your house.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s upcoming HomePod smart speaker will “reinvent the way we enjoy music in the home,” says Apple exec Phil Schiller, who offered a sneak peek at the product today.

Calling it a “breakthrough home speaker,” he outlined how the 7-inch wireless speaker will work seamlessly with Apple Music — and totally rock the house, while also giving you a way to control your house.