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How to set iPhone to automatically answer calls

Before iPhone came along, certain Nokia handsets and some feature phones by other vendors had had the option to automatically answer an incoming phone call on your behalf.

Beginning with iOS 11, your iPhone supports the same feature as well. Rather than use Siri, this option prompts your phone’s stock Phone app to pick up the call for you.

The feature is, of course, optional and works with all kinds of calls, including regular voice calls, Wi-Fi calls, FaceTime audio and video calls and VoIP calls from apps such as WhatsApp and Skype that integrate with the stock Phone app via Apple’s CallKit framework.

Before we get to it, keep in mind that this feature requires iOS 11 or later.

When to use Auto-Answer Calls

You may want to use the ability for your iPhone to automatically answer incoming calls on your behalf whenever you’d like to use the phone hands-free. For instance, if you’re driving a car that doesn’t have CarPlay or working out at a gym or running while listening to music on your AirPods, you might be tempted to try out this handy capability.

And if you use Apple Watch, which lets you make and receive calls using your paired iPhone’s cellular network, the Auto-Answer call should come in handy in a bunch of other situations when interacting with your phone may be impractical.

Needless to say, if you’d rather pick and choose what you want to answer, this new feature probably won’t be suited to your needs.

How to set iPhone to auto-answer calls

1) Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.

2) Tap General → Accessibility → Call Audio Routing.

3) Tap Auto-Answer Calls at the bottom of the Call Audio Routing screen.

3) On the next screen, slide the switch Auto-Answer Calls to the ON position.

The feature is disabled by default.

4) Optionally, set the duration of time your iPhone will wait until the call is auto-answered.

5) Close out the Settings app.

Auto-Answer Calls and Do Not Disturb mode

The Auto-Answer mode plays nicely with iOS’s Do Not Disturb mode.

When Auto-Answer is used in conjunction with Do Not Disturb, your iPhone still answers incoming calls from contacts in your Favorites while it’s in Do Not Disturb mode.

1) Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.

2) Tap Do Not Disturb.

3) Enable Do Not Disturb, either by toggling the Manual switch or set up a custom schedule by sliding the Scheduled switch to the ON position, then set quiet hours for DND.

4) Now tap the Allow Calls From option on the Do Not Disturb screen.

5) Tap the Favorites option.

6) Close out the Settings app.

This will allow calls and messages from favorited contacts through while Do Not Disturb is on.

Combined with the Auto-Answer setting, your iPhone will automatically answer all incoming calls when not using Do Not Disturb, but only the calls from Phone’s Favorites will be auto-answered when the phone is in Do Not Disturb mode.

White-listing contacts for Auto-Answer Calls

Wouldn’t it be great if the Auto-Answer Calls feature allowed you to create a white list so your iPhone would automatically pick up only the most important calls from select people? While that’s not possible directly, you can take advantage of a workaround solution.

In short, it involves turning Do Not Disturb mode on, disabling the Allow Repeat Calls option and setting up the Emergency Bypass feature for your cherry-picked contacts.

1) Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.

2) Tap Do Not Disturb.

3) Slide the Manual switch to the ON position to turn Do Not Disturb on.

4) Disable the option Allow Calls From found on the Do Not Disturb screen.

5) Close out the Settings app.

6) Open the Contacts app.

7) Tap the contact card of the person you’d like to whitelist, then tap Edit.

8) Tap Ringtone, the turn on Emergency Bypass near the top of the contact card.

9) Tap Done to get back to the previous screen.

The Ringtone entry on the contact card should now read “Emergency Bypass on”.

10) Tap Done to save the changes and close the contact card.

This shall allow sounds and vibrations for calls from that particular contact to come through even if Do Not Disturb is on, in turn allowing your iPhone to automatically answer the call as long as the Auto-Answer option has been turned on in Settings.

The downside: in order for this to work, you must use Do Not Disturb without the Allow Repeat Calls option while setting up Emergency Bypass for each and every contact you’d like through.

Need help? Ask iDB!

If you like this how-to, pass it along to your support folks and leave a comment below.

Got stuck? Not sure how to do certain things on your Apple device? Let us know via [email protected] and a future tutorial might provide a solution.

Submit your how-to suggestions via [email protected].

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How to switch Home screen of your Apple Watch between list and grid view

Prior to watchOS 4, Apple Watch used to present the installed apps arranged in the default hexagonal grid, always focused on the Clock app in the center of the Home screen.

On watchOS 4, users who dislike the honeycomb grid view have been given the option to switch the Home screen of their Apple Watch to the new list view.

List view, as you can imagine, ditches the hexagonal grid and replaces app icons with an alphabetically sorted list that you can quickly get to by pressing the Digital Crown. Here’s how to switch between list and grid-based Home screen app layout on your Apple Watch.

This feature supports any Apple Watch model with watchOS 4 or newer.

How to switch Apple Watch Home screen between list and grid view

1) Press the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch to get to the Home screen.

2) While on the Home screen, press the display of your Apple Watch firmly with Force Touch to reveal a hidden menu with two options:

  • Grid View—Use the default honeycomb app layout.
  • List View—Browse your apps in the scrollable list view.

After tapping either option, Apple Watch adapts its Home screen to the selected layout.

How to select apps in list view

List view sorts your watch apps alphabetically from A-Z, making it easier to quickly find the app you’d like to launch. To scroll through the list, just turn the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch.

To launch an app, tap its row.

Unlike grid view, which makes it easy to rearrange apps using the companion Watch app or by tapping-and-holding anywhere on the Home screen to enter the jiggle mode, list view does not allow you to change the order in which your apps appear in the scrollable menu.

One last thing: the Watch app does not provide the option to switch between grid and list view—you must do that directly on your Apple Watch, using the instructions provided above.

Need help? Ask iDB!

If you like this how-to, pass it along to your support folks and leave a comment below.

Got stuck? Not sure how to do certain things on your Apple device? Let us know at [email protected] and a future tutorial might provide a solution.

Submit your how-to suggestions via [email protected].

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Brawl Stars: Tips, tricks, and cheats!

Become the ultimate brawler with these handy tips, tricks, and cheats!

Brawl Stars' frantic and fun combat system makes the game easy to pick up and play, but difficult to master. Each character has different abilities, stats, and weapons that give way to endless strategy possibilities; however, some strategies will make you a much better brawler overall, regardless of which character you like to play.

Brawl Stars has four main game modes: Smash & Grab, Heist, Showdown, and Bounty, each with a different objective. I'll give you some handy tips and tricks for each mode to make you the best brawler you can be!

Smash & Grab

In this game mode, each team is tasked with grabbing crystals from the center of the map while battling the opposing team. When a player dies, they will drop all of the crystals they have onto the battlefield. The first team to collect 10 crystals and hold onto them for the 16-second countdown wins the match. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you hold on to those pesky crystals!

Use obstacles to your advantage

When you're playing Smash & Grab, you'll notice there are various obstacles scattered across the battlefield. If you're smart about the way you play, you can use these objects to your advantage.

Most characters cannot shoot through rocks, barrels, mushrooms, and the other objects, making them perfect for ducking behind for cover. If an enemy is chasing you, try running around these obstacles to put a little cover between your brawler and incoming fire.

Cover doesn't protect you from everything. It's important to remember that some brawlers' special abilities can break through these obstacles and still hurt you, so be careful when you see that yellow ring around your enemies.

Don't take on tank brawlers alone

Brawlers that have a lot of Hit Points are hard to take down, especially if you're trying to do it alone.

When you see an opponent using a tank character — like El Primo and Bull — it's best to wait for backup from your teammates. This will not only ensure your survival, but it'll also stop the tanks from picking off brawlers with lower HP.

When your team has 10 or more crystal, run away!

You can call this a coward's move all you want, but if you care about winning, it's one of the best strategies.

Once your team has 10 or more crystals, and the 16-second countdown to victory begins, head to the bottom of the stage where your team spawns. This forces the opponents to go on an all-out offensive and consolidates your firepower into one place.

Not only will it take more time for the other team to reach you, thus killing off precious seconds on the countdown, but if you do die, your teammates will be close by to pick up any crystals you may have dropped. Plus, you're right near your spawn point, so getting back in the fight will happen more quickly.

Protect the character with the most crystals

It may seem a little counterproductive to throw yourself in front of enemy fire, but if your team is close to winning, you need to protect your teammate with the most crystals.

Throw yourself at the enemy, doing as much damage as possible, while putting space between your opponent and your crystal-carrying teammate.

Even if you die in the process and the countdown stops, crystals are the golden ticket in Smash & Grab; you're going to want to give up as few as possible.

Go after the enemy with the most crystals

If you find yourself in a position where the enemy has initiated the victory countdown, you'll need to kill your opponents strategically.

Go after the brawler that has the most crystals; that way if you kill them, they will drop their spoils, and you can grab them, turning the tide of the match.

This strategy works best if you work together and attack the same target.

Attack Poco

Poco is the only brawler in the game that can heal his allies while simultaneously attacking his enemies. This unique talent makes him extremely good at keeping crystal carriers alive.

If you notice the enemy team is using a Poco, kill him as quickly as possible every time you see him. This will prevent the enemy team from healing its wounds so quickly and give your team a better chance of finishing it off.

Run away and heal

Unless you or one of your teammates has selected Poco as their brawler, the only way to heal damage is by not taking enemy fire for a few seconds.

If you find yourself running low on health, try to escape combat and allow your brawler the chance to heal. Remember, you can use obstacles to your advantage and even hide in tall grass!


In Heist, you'll either be on the defending or attacking team. The defending team is responsible for preventing the attacking team from breaking open the safe that guards all their crystals.

Each match of Heist only lasts 2.5 minutes; if the safe is still standing by the end of the countdown, the defending team will be victorious. If not, the attacking team will win.

Here are some tips to make sure your team claims victory!

Use your special ability on the safe

When you're the attacking team in Heist, it's important to do as much damage to that safe as you possibly can.

I know it may seem hard to save your special abilities when there are perfectly good enemy brawlers attacking you, but special abilities are typically quite powerful. Opening that safe is the only objective in Heist; your best attacks should be used against it.

Blow up the TNT crates

You'll notice the safe isn't completely unprotected; there's a fence providing cover around it. Like most obstacles in the game, you'll be unable to penetrate the fence with a normal attack; however, the TNT crates will blow up said fence if you cause them to explode.

Attack the TNT crates early and demolish that fence, so your team can attack the safe from all angles.

Alternatively, if you're the defending team, try to prevent your opponents from shooting those explosive crates!

Try using long-range brawlers

The battlefield in Heist is less cluttered and finding hiding places is a lot harder. With your opponents out in the open, brawlers with long-range weapons excel.

Try playing with characters like Ricochet, Brock, and Colt to take advantage of the open battlefield. Damaging enemies before they can get close enough to attack you will just make them easier to mow down.


The only game mode that isn't 3v3, Showdown, is a 10-player free-for-all where the last brawler standing wins!

Travel around the map cautiously as everyone is out to kill you and you won't respawn! Be on the lookout for barrels, as they contain power-ups that will give you an edge over your opponents.

The longer you last in a Showdown, the better the rewards you'll get at the end of the match. Can you survive until the end? These tips and tricks will help you do it!

Break open charge crates

In Showdown, you'll come across charge crates that have a big white lightning bolt painting on the side. Inside these crates is a special potion that will increase your character's stats, making them better at brawling. The more potions you have, the stronger your character becomes. Get as many of these potions as you can early on!

Pro tip: When you defeat an enemy, any potions they have will drop, and you can pick them up!

Seek out weaker characters

While you're out and about collecting potions to increase your strength, look for characters that have fewer potions than you.

By attacking weaker characters, you'll make yourself even stronger by stealing their potions, and you'll have the upper hand.

Let the others fight it out

Once again, this may seem like a cowardly move, but it can be quite effective.

Find a patch of tall grass and stay put. If you don't move in tall grass, enemies won't know you're there. You can let the other brawlers battle it out to thin the herd.

Then, when you're ready, spring out from the bushes and launch an offensive on an unsuspecting character.


Bounty is a good ol' team-on-team deathmatch. Collect stars for your team by defeating opponents, but try not to get picked off yourself. The team with the most stars at the end of the match will claim victory! Read on ahead, and I'll give you some tips on how to collect the most stars and secure a win for your team.

Tank brawlers excel in Bounty

Playing characters like Bull and El Primo gives you a slight edge in Bounty.

They're harder to kill because they have so many Hit Points and that means the opponent's team will be getting stars more slowly. I have had plenty of success in Bounty on teams that consist of at least one tank brawler.

Lots of tips from Smash & Grab will work in Bounty

These two game modes have a lot in common, and plenty of the advice I laid out for being successful in Smash & Grab will serve you just fine in Bounty.

Go back and read my Smash & Grab tips and tricks and start using obstacles to your advantage, killing Poco quickly, and avoiding taking on tank characters by yourself.

Do you have any tips?

Share your experience and knowledge with the iMore community! Let us know your tip and tricks in the comments below.

How to have Messages sync your chats across devices

Starting with iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, Apple’s Messages app provides a useful new cloud-syncing feature, called Messages on iCloud. With it, when you sign in to another new device all of your conversations are automatically synchronized through iCloud and appear automagically in the Messages app on the new device.

Like with iCloud Photo Library, the Messages on iCloud feature keeps your conversations and attachments continually synchronized across your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac devices in a manner that helps preserve storage.

With Messages on iCloud, deleting an embarrassing message you don’t want in your transcript on one device automatically removes it from all the other devices you own, and vice versa.

Here’s how to set up and use Messages on iCloud.

Before we get to it, Messages on iCloud requires:

  • iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with iOS 11 or later
  • Mac with macOS High Sierra or later

The feature is not directly supported on Apple Watch.

The benefits to using Messages on iCloud

As mentioned, this feature saves your entire message history in iCloud, so all your conversations and attachments are available when you sign in to Messages on a new device.

Messages caches the most recent chats on the device and older ones are loaded on demand from iCloud. This lets you save space on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac.

Messages on iCloud also makes for smaller and faster iCloud backups.

That’s because the Messages database is not included in your iOS device backup in iCloud since it’s already there. Perhaps most importantly, Messages on iCloud helps you keep the size of the Messages database on your device under control.

Messages is notorious for keeping deleted messages in its database—chats and attachments are simply marked for deletion, which lets iOS optimize the Messages database when storage is low. It is not uncommon for Messages to store years worth of saved and deleted chats on your device, with no way to manually slim down its database without jailbreaking.

With Messages on iCloud, those storage issues become a thing of the past.

As a bonus, should you ever lose your iPhone or accidentally wipe out everything, simply sign in on your new device and all your chats are loaded from iCloud.

Best of all, you don’t have to give up your privacy and security when using this feature: with Messages on iCloud, all your chats are end-to-end encrypted, just like before.

How to enable Messages on iCloud

You must enable the feature separately on every iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac you own.

iPhone and iPad:

1) Launch Settings on your iOS device.

2) Tap Messages.

3) Slide the switch Messages on iCloud to the ON position.

The first time you turn this feature on, your device will need to upload the Messages database to iCloud. Depending on the number of chats and attachments you have in Messages, this may take anywhere between a few seconds to a couple of minutes or more.


1) Launch Messages on your Mac.

2) Choose Preferences from the Messages menu.

3) Click the Accounts tab in the Messages preferences window.

4) Select your iMessage account from the list on the lefthand side, then tick the box next to “Enable this account” if it hasn’t been turned on already.

5) Now tick the box next to “Enable Messages on iCloud”.

Messages will start downloading your chat archive from iCloud, which may take a while depending on the number of conversations and saved attachments in your account.

If the Messages on iCloud is already enabled on your other iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac, Messages may put up a prompt offering to enable it on this Mac, and vice versa.

If so, a single click on the Allow button is all it takes to enable Messages on iCloud.

How to manually force-sync Messages to iCloud

Before turning off Messages on iCloud for all of your devices, it may be a good idea to force the Messages app to perform one final sync with iCloud.

iPhone and iPad:

1) Launch Settings on your iOS device.

2) Tap Messages.

3) Tap the link “Sync Now” underneath the Messages on iCloud switch.

NOTE: The date and time of the last sync are shown underneath the “Sync Now” link.

This will ensure you have an up to date Messages database in iCloud, which may come in handy if you lose your device or accidentally wipe out everything.

If you don’t have Messages on iCloud enabled, you won’t see this option.

How to disable Messages on iCloud

You can disable Messages on iCloud for your current device only or have it turned off at once across all iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac devices that have it enabled.

iPhone and iPad:

1) Launch Settings on your iOS device.

2) Tap Messages.

3) Slide the switch Messages on iCloud to the OFF position.

A prompt asks if you’d like to turn the feature off for just this device or all of your devices.

Choose what you’d like to do:

  • Disable This Device—Disables Messages on iCloud for just this device.
  • Disable All—Disables Messages on iCloud for all of your devices.

Choose either option or tap Cancel to abort the operation.

Turning the feature off prompts your device to download the most recent Messages data. “By disabling Messages on iCloud, your Messages data will be downloaded to your device and will no longer sync to iCloud,” reads the feature’s description.

As mentioned before, it’s a good idea to manually force the Messages app to sync with iCloud before disabling this feature. The date and time of the most recent sync are displayed underneath the “Sync Now” link in Settings → Messages on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and in the Messages preferences window on your Mac.


1) Launch Messages on your Mac.

2) Choose Preferences from the Messages menu.

3) Click the Accounts tab in the Messages preferences window

4) Untick the box next to “Enable Messages on iCloud” to turn the feature off.

If Messages on iCloud is active on other devices, your Mac will ask if you’d like to disable the feature for just this computer or for all your devices.

Need help? Ask iDB!

If you like this how-to, pass it along to your support folks and leave a comment below.

Got stuck? Not sure how to do certain things on your Apple device? Let us know at [email protected] and a future tutorial might provide a solution.

Submit your how-to suggestions via [email protected].

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How to disable ‘Behind the Lyrics’ pop-ups in Spotify

Spotify is perhaps one of the largest names in the music-streaming industry, and while Apple Music is indeed catching up, a large number of iPhone users are still using the third-party alternative.

Despite its popularity, many Spotify users aren’t fond of the persistent Behind the Lyrics feature that interrupts your view of the album artwork whenever music is playing.... Read the rest of this post here

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