How to scribble text replies in watchOS 3

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watchOS 3 lets you scribble notes to friends.
watchOS 3 lets you scribble notes to friends.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Responding to text messages on Apple Watch gets a lot easier with watchOS 3, thanks to a new feature that lets you scribble letters instead of just using canned replies.

The new handwriting option has quickly become one of my favorite features on the big update that just landed on Apple Watch by giving wearers the ability to say whatever they want without depending on Siri.

Here’s how to reply with scribbles when you get a text:

WhatsApp beta adds support for bold and italic text

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Bold and italics in WhatsApp.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

WhatsApp makes it easy to express yourself with emojis and images and other kinds of modern media — but what if you prefer the good old written word?

Until now, the platform has only supported basic text with zero formatting options. But in the latest WhatsApp beta, users have the option to use bold and italic text in their messages.

Apple Watch’s disappearing logo is tiniest mystery ever

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Some users are reporting a problem with the back of their Apple Watch.
Some users are reporting a problem with the back of their Apple Watch.
Photo: dougie70w/Apple Discussions

Looks like we’ve got some wear issues on the Apple Watch, especially the Space Gray ones. There are posts on Reddit and the Apple Discussion Forums that show both the Apple logo and actual text etched into the back of the watches peeling off.

Apple Discussions user dougie70w says that he bought his Apple Watch at the beginning of June “and the band started to peel part so bad that I replaced it with an after market metal band that I purchaced on Amazon.”

He’s got an appointment at a local Apple Store today and hopes that having Apple Care will let him get a replacement.

App Watch: Plain old text and widgets (lots of widgets)

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Widget, widgets, widgets. Boy, have we got some widgets for you. And text. Plain text. Plain old text, turned into a calculator. And widgets. Did I mention those? Weather widgets. Battery widgets. And yes, text widgets.

Read all about these new widgets and other new apps in this week's App Watch.


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How to set up a foolproof note-taking system for writers and other nerds (Part 3)

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Welcome to the final part of our series about note-taking for writers (or anyone else). Today we’re going to look at getting clippings and bookmarks into Evernote, to be stored and accessible alongside your scanned, paper-based notes (Part 1) and your text notes grabbed on your iPhone or Mac (Part 2).

We’ll use a few apps and services to get this done – EverClip, Mr Reader, IFTTT and Pinboard are the main ones.

As ever, you could just do much of this using Evernote and its web clipper, but this only works in Safari and Chrome on the desktop. In 2014! Clearly that’s no good. Let’s see how we can do it better.

iThoughts Notes App Fixes Up iPhone Text Selection

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Text selection on iOS is still a pain in the ass. Some apps fix it up with extra buttons above the virtual keyboard, but Thoughts 2, an iPhone notes app, adds extra buttons to the text selection itself. This makes it easy to expand and contract the selection one character at a time which – given the fickle nature of text fields in iOS – should help a lot.

How To Replace Text Emoticons With Emoji [iOS Tips]

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Sure, you use the Messages app to send along SMS and iMessages all day long. You know how to use Emoji’s, too, with a tap on the international keyboard button on your iPhone.

I bet you even use regular text emoticons, like semi-colon and parenthesis to create a wink, or colon and parenthesis to create a smile.

But have you ever tried to have your iPhone turn your text-based emoticon into an Emoji? I bet you haven’t.

Quickly Save Text From The Web To Your Desktop [OS X Tips]

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Click to see animation.
Click to see animation.

Ever been surfing the web and find a nice bit of text you want to save? You can highlight the text with your cursor, copy, and paste into an app like Text Edit or Notes, sure, but maybe you just want a quick and easy way to put the bit of text aside to use later.

There’s no need to bother with opening an app and pasting in the text in OS X. Text clipping has been around for quite a while, but it’s a feature that we rarely use, for one reason or another.

Liquid For Mac Wrangles Text Selections From The Keyboard

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Liquid looks set to be a fixture on my Mac. It’s an app which lets you carry out transformations and operations on any selected text, which doesn’t sound like much unless you write for a living, or just have to wrangle lots of letters. It’s actually been around for quite a while (the current version is 4.3), but I figured that if I hadn’t heard of it yet, then maybe you hadn’t either.