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Issue 301 July 2016 @macformat

Perfect your film edits with our advice on the best techniques + Make an iPod classic live on!

23 amazing add-ons to make you a true Apple Genius Apps to improve memory usage Refresh all your workspaces Clone an OS X installation PLUS!

iCLOUD MUSIC Take full control of all your iCloud Music Library tracks

Boost AirPlay’s performance

Secure your home with iOS

More control of your audio




IP cameras, locks and more!





iOpener Game-changing tech from the world of Apple and beyond

Pictar gives you DSLR-style controls for your iPhone photography.

Pictar Take your iPhoneography further – who needs a DSLR? There are many iPhone accessories that claim to revolutionise your phone’s photography, but few are as interesting as Pictar. It’s a DSLR-like grip for your iPhone that massively extends its camera’s capabilities. From a multistate shutter release to zoom control, exposure compensation wheel and a customisable ‘smart wheel’, Pictar gives you much more control over the pictures you shoot. It’s even got a cold shoe mount so you can attach lighting accessories, and a tripod socket too. It’s the ideal accessory for taking your iPhoneography to the next level. $90 (about £62) INCLUDES Pictar, wrist strap (neck strap also available) WEBSITE WORKS WITH iPhone 4 to 6s (Pictar Plus model for 6 Plus/6s Plus) @macformat



Turn to page 44

Apple’s annual conference for developers is just around the corner and will fill us in on new features in the brand-new version of OS X, which we’ll be able to try out in beta form this summer, ahead of its full release in the autumn. Until then, we know you’ve mastered most of the features of El Capitan, but it’s time to make your Mac even better with some of the very best add-ons for it. In this month’s cover feature you’ll learn how to speed up OS X, manage your Mac’s memory, tweak the most important apps, improve your workspace, add custom icons and perform many more tricks. Also this month, we delve into the world of smart security in our Apple Home section. With an iOS device at your side you can use smart technology to help protect your home. You can install security cameras that you can observe from your iPhone, lock doors and windows, and control much more. Our home automation guide explains it all, starting on page 21. For would-be movie directors out there, our all-new guide to the latest version of iMovie for the Mac will help you turn your home videos into a masterpiece. We get straight to the heart of iMovie’s top features so you can skip the bits you don’t need and discover how to edit the right way. If you’re looking for a new laptop, our review of the 2016 MacBook on page 90 gives you all the information you need to decide if this year’s model is the one for you.

Meet the team


Alan Stonebridge Production Editor As well as bigger news at WWDC, Alan’s eager to see how extensive the reworking of Apple Music integration in iTunes turns out to be.

Alex Blake Commissioning Editor With summer on the way, Alex is planning on entirely filling the Choice section with reviews of sun cream and sandcastle buckets.

Paul Blachford Managing Art Editor The MacBook Pro line-up is looking a bit tired, and Paul’s hoping the update that’s rumoured to be coming soon isn’t all the about colours!

Seth Singh Digital Art Editor Seth’s grown rather attached to the office MacBook, and reckons he can pull off the Rose Gold look around town.


Issue 301 July 2016




Boost your Mac’s performance, and your own, with our amazing OS X tweaks and enhancements


The core Apple news you need to know about



Our top picks of the month for Mac and iOS



Amazing stats from the world of Apple



Going deeper into the hot topics of the month



The team’s views on the latest Apple tech



Build the smart home of the future today



Stay safe with clever cameras and sensors



Record video and a log of who’s in your home



Do more with

iMovie Top tips to help you make movies as smartly and quickly as possible


A security device that senses subtle vibrations

6 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016 @macformat


Issue 301 CONTENTS



Howard Oakley solves your Mac and iOS issues






Our verdicts on the latest hardware and apps, including Apple’s new 12-inch MacBook



Turn to page 44



Think inside the box to fix tricky situations



Get help with picking your next piece of Apple hardware and the best add-ons to go with it


Stop desktop difficulties dragging you down



Swipe away your touchscreen troubles



WIN! Smart Home 20


security kit


Your chance to win £650 of kit


In association with



Head here if you’ve missed an issue



What’s coming in MF302, on sale 5 July



Our pick of the best of readers’ photographs


Take greater control of what audio is streamed




Use the presentation tool for video animations


LOVE YOUR MAC Inspiring ideas for revamping old Apple kit


Mimic popular effects using Affinity Designer



Learn how your online music library works



Use your iOS device’s camera as a scanner



Capture beautiful light trails using your iPhone



Organise important notes in Outline+ for iOS



Have your say on all things Apple-related



Put yourself at the heart of a 3D scene



An imaginative illustration of a Mac’s insides @macformat


What’s inside 8–10 RUMOUR & NEWS The core Apple news you need to know about




Our top picks of the month for Mac and iOS APPLE RUMOUR

12 APPLE FACTS Amazing stats from the world of Apple

14–15 NEWS FEATURE How good are Apple’s green initiatives?

16 OPINION Adam Banks casts a sceptical eye at AI

18 SPLIT VIEW The team’s views on the latest Apple tech

Contact us Email your queries and your questions to Keep up to date by following us on Twitter @macformat Join the conversation at macformat


iPad Pro 2 A plus-size upgrade for a plus-size tablet? For all its noteworthy design chops, the iPad Pro has one rather glaring omission: 3D Touch. Sure, the Apple Pencil is a superb drawing tool and helps you produce amazing artwork, but its pressure sensitivity isn’t used to replicate the functionality of the iPhone’s 3D Touch tech. Besides, we’d rather see those features in the form of 3D Touch on the larger screen, so that you don’t have to spend an additional £79 on Pencil to use them. Will 3D Touch make it into the next-gen iPad Pro? KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo doesn’t believe so, citing production issues in Apple’s supply chain as the main obstacle. Apple may not be able to scale up the tech to iPad 1 Pro screen sizes, and it may not be able to meet demand for such a tablet in any case. But Apple is BETTER APPLE PENCIL famous for its supply chain management, and we’ve A recently-unearthed Apple been surprised before. Don’t rule this one out yet. patent hints at interchangeable Beyond that, we’re looking here at the iPad Pro nibs, an integrated eraser and in the main, simply because we don’t know whether even Touch ID for the Apple Apple will even continue working on the iPad Air Pencil. Whether the patent range come September. Now that the iPad Pro comes will ever become a reality is in two sizes and packs in a whole lot of power, is the debateable, but we’d love to see Air a redundant line? Time will tell, but for now here’s these features in the Pencil. what we expect to see in the Pro come autumn.

Alex says…

I’d love 3D Touch to be added to the iPad Pro – it may persuade me to buy one!


BETTER CAMERA The 9.7-inch iPad Pro debuted with a 12MP rear-facing camera. Could Apple go one better and upgrade that come September, say to a 16MP shooter? Your snaps would look great even if it’s quite a bit of bulk to shoot with. @macformat


THE POLL WE ASKED… When did you last purchase something from the Mac App Store?


0-3 months ago

4-6 months ago

49.5% 3

17.25% 27% More than 1 year ago


7-12 months ago

Log on and see next issue’s big question! 1


Hot on the heels of the tech giant’s latest moves…


2017 iPHONE DESIGN The iPhone 8 will come with an edge-to-edge, bezel-free display that has an embedded Touch ID sensor, according to noted blogger John Gruber.



An alternative theory put forward by Ming-Chi Kuo gives the 2017 iPhone a 5.8inch curved OLED display, but only in the large Plus model. 3




If there’s one thing we’ve come to expect from Apple updates, it’s thinner designs for its products. The 12.9-inch model isn’t exactly bulky, but considering how much Apple squeezed into the thinner 9.7-inch iPad, a more slimline 12.9-inch model may be possible.

You never know, Apple may pull a rabbit out of its hat and bring 3D Touch to the iPad Pro after all. This would certainly be a headline feature and would help take Apple’s most powerful tablet to the next level – provided it can overcome its supply chain issues. @macformat


APPLE CAR The Wall Street Journal says Apple’s purchase of ridesharing app Didi Chuxing provides a “rich data source” on self-driving vehicles – useful for the Apple Car.




THE COST OF iPHONE PARTS IN 1991 PRICES Think the iPhone 6s Plus is expensive? If you went back to 1991 and assembled the components in an iPhone, it would cost over $3m. Back then, 1GB of memory would set you back roughly $45,000; today, it’s worth about 55 cents.

14,000 TOTAL PEOPLE WORKING FOR APPLE IN 2007 Today Apple is a gigantic global company with over 100,000 employees, but before the launch of the first iPhone it was much more modest, with a ‘mere’ 14,000 workers.

2,700 THE NUMBER OF LISA COMPUTERS IN LANDFILL Apple’s Lisa computer was not a success. Launching at $9,995 ($23,700 today), it was discontinued in 1986, after just three years of availability. In fact, up to 2,700 of them are buried in a landfill site in Utah.

10 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016

pple is reportedly working on a dedicated HomeKit app, which is expected to be unveiled as part of iOS 10 at WWDC on 13th June. Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem enables developers to connect their products to iOS devices. For example, it allows users to control a Philips Hue lighting system from their iPhone, adjusting its colour and brightness all from Philips’ own app. Thermostats, locks, security cameras and more can also be controlled using HomeKit. In its current incarnation, though, HomeKit is merely a framework. This means that every product that uses it has


MacBook sales down 40% 2.53 million sold Even Apple laptops cannot beat the declining PC market ales of Apple laptops have fallen 40.4% since Q4 2015, twice the market rate of 19%. That puts Apple in sixth place in the laptop market with estimated sales of 2.53 million in Q1 2016, down from 3.4 million in the last quarter of 2015. Its market share now sits at 7.1%, which is a big drop from the 9.7% that it controlled in late 2015. While Apple remains well ahead of rivals Samsung and Toshiba, Lenovo swept to the top spot with 22.2% market share, slightly ahead of HP on 20.4%. TrendForce, which conducted the research, blamed the drop on Apple’s


its own app – the result is that users with a lot of HomeKit-enabled items have to access them through a mass of different apps made by their manufacturers, and so each presents features in different interfaces. Releasing a consolidated HomeKit app, rumoured to be called Home, would enable smart home users to consolidate their HomeKit tech in one place, making it easier to adjust multiple devices’ settings. Apple didn’t unveil a HomeKit app when the system was first announced, but doing so now could help the tech really take off in a major way by making the various devices easier for users to manage.

inactivity in the laptop market for its declining sales. While its PC rivals were offering consumer laptops equipped with Intel’s Skylake architecture, Apple didn’t bring any new MacBooks to market in Q1. Sales of iMacs remained strong in the declining PC market, but Apple’s laptops clearly haven’t escaped the punishing market conditions. However, Apple is expected to unveil MacBook Pros with Skylake at WWDC. The 12-inch MacBook was updated in April 2016 – will it be enough to restore declining sales of Apple’s laptops?

Apps & Games APPLE CORE



Our top picks of what’s worth watching and playing this month


Filters for Photos FREE

[ MOV I E]

Make more of Photos on OS X, thanks to Macphun’s new app Macphun was the first company to introduce extensions for the Mac version of Photos. All of its apps are compatible now, but if you’re looking a quick way to add some arty effects to your snaps, then try out Filters for Photos. This app gives you 30 custom filters to play with (although you have to sign up to a newsletter to get the full set) and you can use its masking brush to selectively adjust parts

of an image. It’s a handy enhancement, especially as you only get eight filters as standard in Photos. You can preview all the changes in real time as you would expect, and also mix filters to create unique effects. When you’ve finished your edits, you can export to various apps, including all of Macphun’s own tools as well as Photoshop, and there’s the usual crop of options for sharing on social media.

HAIL, CAESAR! £13.99 This comedy set at the end of the golden age of Hollywood is suitably star-studded, including the man who’ll play young Han Solo in 2018.


12 MONKEYS £16.99

[iO S A PP]




INKS £1.49


Mail has improved in recent years with gestures to triage messages, but this alternative goes further with links to more easily unsubscribe from mailing lists, faster searching, more smart folders that pick out your bills and the like, and additional swipe shortcuts. Why you need it: To make it easier to deal with messages. What’s it best for: Getting things done more quickly.

In this colourful twist on pinball you must get the ball to come into contact with each coloured surface to cause paint-like eruptions. Stylish looks and fine controls make this a more precise challenge than simply keeping a ball in play to rack up points. Why you need it: Hours of bite-sized challenges. What’s it best for: As a way to develop pinball control skills.

Three respected artists – Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs – join forces to layer their distinctive vocal styles against lush instrumentation. If you listen to just one track, make it Atomic Number, which we’ve been addicted to since it debuted in February. Why you need it: Three great artists working in unison. What’s it best for: Now, this is what we call a supergroup. @macformat

It’s not quite as clever as the 1995 film, but the second season is off to a fine start by messing with characters in great time-travelling fashion.

[A PP]

STORAGE ANALYZER 79p Get a graphical look at your Apple TV’s storage space, CPU and memory usage with this rather swish-looking app.

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 11

APPLE CORE Facts & Figures


Apple 115,000 IN NUMBERS We all know Apple’s fortunes have changed massively since its future looked uncertain in the mid-1990s, but do you know just how big numbers about it are today?

The number of people directly employed by Apple. If you were to include Apple’s supply chains and jobs created through its systems, such as third-party iOS developers, the number rises to 1.9 million in the US alone.




$53.4 billion $1,693.11 How much Apple made as profit in 2015. That’s over $1bn per week. It made $10.5bn in its most recently reported quarter (Q1 2016), 22.8% down on that period of 2015!

Apple’s revenues in 2015. That’s about the GDP of Sri Lanka, and more than most of the world’s nations, in fact.


13 years

5 2003




Apple’s Q2 2016 earnings marked its first quarterly drop in over a decade. (It’s still one of the most profitable companies.)












The profit Apple made every second in 2015.



Apple sold more than 230 million iPhones in 2015. It’s sold 125.9 million in the first two quarters of 2016.

Apple wasn’t first with laptops, but it made them the most desirable computers around. Find out how… @macformat



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Fusion’s GPU acceleration gives instant feedback while you work, so you spend more time being creative and less time waiting! Fusion 8 Studio also includes optical flow and stereoscopic 3D tools, along with unlimited free network rendering and tools to manage multi user workflows, track assets, assign tasks, review and approve shots, and more!

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Work Faster with Nodes Fusion uses nodes to represent effects and filters that can be connected together to easily build up larger and more sophisticated visual effects! Nodes are organized like a flow chart so you can easily visualize complex scenes. Clicking on a node lets you quickly make adjustments, without having to hunt through layers on a timeline! *SRP is Exclusive of VAT.

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APPLE CORE News Feature

For our latest subscription offer see page 44!


The green Apple Apple’s remarkable journey to become a climate change world leader WRITTEN BY ALEX BLAKE iam, Apple’s “pretty cool R&D project”, in the words of VP of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson, was front and centre at the company’s March event. Kicking off a product launch with an environmental initiative may seem odd for a technology firm, but not Apple. And it isn’t afraid to tout other aspects of its environmental efforts, either. Its 2016 Environmental Responsibility Report is a stat attack that the most ardent treehugger would be proud of. 93% of the electricity Apple facilities use worldwide is renewable (and it’s at 100% in 23 countries). In 2015, Apple had helped prevent 335,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. And by March 2016, it had announced 521 megawatts of solar projects. That’s pretty good going for a company that Greenpeace once castigated for its poor environmental record. Indeed, Apple wasn’t always an industry leader in green thinking. In its 2006 Guide to Greener Electronics, Greenpeace Liam is Apple’s recycling lambasted Apple for showing robot, designed to take no obvious intent to reduce apart an iPhone and sort its parts for recycling. dangerous materials from its


14 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016

Apple isn’t afraid to tout aspects of its green efforts

manufacturing process. Apple scored a meagre 2.7 out of 10 for its efforts. By 2015, that had all changed. Apple topped the charts in Greenpeace’s Clicking Clean report, which opined that “Apple’s commitment to renewable energy has helped set a new bar for the industry”. For instance, rather than sending them to landfill, Liam’s many arms disassemble returned iPhones and send their separate parts off to be recycled. This helps avoid stuffing landfills with dangerous parts like leaky batteries – landfills that are often picked through by people searching for valuable parts, thus exposing themselves to hazardous chemicals. Many of the changes have partly occurred due to public pressure. Greenpeace’s Green My Apple campaign of 2006 encouraged Apple fans to write to Steve Jobs asking him to change the company’s ways. Shortly after, Jobs pledged to do that. After Friends of the Earth reported on appalling conditions in tin mines used by Apple’s suppliers in Indonesia, the company focussed on improving them. One major sticking point for campaigners was Apple’s trademark secretiveness. @macformat

Saving the environment APPLE CORE

The company was accused of hiding the sources of many of its components, such as those that could have come from conflict zones or exploitative employers. But as part of its changing business practices, it now regularly publishes progress reports covering its efforts to tackle climate change, worker exploitation and the use of conflict materials. Such was the about-turn that the Clicking Clean report scored Apple an ‘A’ in every measured category: energy transparency; renewable energy commitment and siting policy; energy efficiency and mitigation; and renewable energy deployment and advocacy. But these days, Apple doesn’t just hold itself to the highest environmental standards – it does so for its partners, too. One way is by insisting that the facilities it shares with other companies also work to high environmental standards. It ensures that the electricity provided to its shared data centres is 100% clean, for one thing. This philosophy doesn’t just apply to electricity. Apple played a key role in the funding and development of a recycled water project in Cupertino that will supply its Campus 2 site, as well as the city of Sunnyvale, California, by providing $4.8m of the $17.5m cost of the project. There’s also Apple’s Clean Water Programme, which sees the company working with its suppliers to train employees and identify ways they can @macformat

The new Apple Campus 2 has been designed with sound recycling and environmental policies firmly in mind.

reduce water usage at their facilities. To date, the programme has helped save over 14.3 billion litres of water. Of course, there’s a knock-on effect on both Apple’s competitors and business partners, who are changing their ways to keep up with the Cupertino giant. “Renewable commitments by internet companies [like Apple] have had a big impact in driving renewable power in several key markets”, Greenpeace asserts. Apple isn’t just a leading trendsetter when it comes to its products; in terms of its environmental efforts, everyone else is trying to play catch up too.

Ahead of the pack The packaging for the 21.5-inch iMac takes up 53% less volume and weighs 35% less than that of the original 15-inch iMac.

Greenpeace’s Clicking Clean report scored Apple an ‘A’ in every category

While 100% of the energy supplied to Apple data centres is clean, eBay’s figure stands at a mere 10%. Where Apple used to be one of the most secretive of tech firms when it came to energy transparency, that ignoble crown has now been claimed by Amazon. Apple’s transformation from green pariah to shining example has been remarkably fast. Although the process was started by Jobs, it has been under Tim Cook that the company has made the most strident progress, and its rigorous self-reporting shows just how seriously it takes its green commitments and responsibility to the planet these days. As with so many things, where Apple goes, others follow. Its environmental record is just one other way that it makes its rivals green with envy.

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 15


ADAM BANKS… GOING DEEPER THAN A FORCE CLICK WITH MUSINGS ON THE WORLD OF APPLE Smarter than a robot butler, bots are the new answer to everything. Or maybe they’re not. First, they need to really understand the question Hey Siri: you’ve got competition. Dag Kittlaus, the Norwegian developer who created the voice-controlled assistant before selling it to Apple, has demonstrated a more advanced version, Viv. The name is supposed to refer to the Latin for ‘life’. To anyone in the UK, it sounds like a capable but stressed woman who works for the council at the desk next to Roz. Which, as a model for thinking machines, makes a lot more sense than ‘evil genius’. Viv would just be a curiosity except that ‘bots’, software agents that interpret users’ intentions and carry them out, are Silicon Valley’s new favourite buzzword, overtaking ‘3D printing’, ‘virtual reality’ and ‘not paying any tax’. Will bots replace user interfaces? Will bots replace devices? We don’t know yet, but posts about bots are already replacing posts about Uber, which can only be a good thing. Viv works much like Siri, or Google’s Voice Search, or Amazon’s Alexa, or Microsoft’s Cortana, or Yahoo’s Sorry What Wait What’s Happening Is It 2003 Yet. It listens to you asking questions in English, then applies logic to various databases to construct an answer. Kittlaus says it works better because it ‘generates a program’ to map out the meaning of your input and because it’s ‘taught by the world [and] knows more than it is taught’ – a classic claim for artificial intelligence. You’ll recall that a test for artificial intelligences that communicate through natural language was proposed by Alan Turing, the Bletchley Park computer scientist played by Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game. That title came from Turing’s description of a challenge where a judge would

The only way they’d pass the Turing test is against the cast of Geordie Shore

16 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016

try to distinguish whether a participant in a conversation was a person or a computer. The annual Loebner Prize for chatbots is based on Turing’s test. It does not go well. Despite organisers’ indefatigably optimistic spin, competitors always type exactly the kinds of things you’d expect from a chatbot, peppering meaningless non-responses with perky slang. The only way they’d pass the test is against the cast of Geordie Shore. These bots are a long way from being fit for purpose, and they don’t even have to read train timetables or check the weather forecast. AI researchers are trying to do better. One Google-sponsored group ( col) is working on a ‘variational autoencoder’ that “learns codes not as single points, but as soft ellipsoidal regions in latent space” – coincidentally the title of Moldova’s 2016 Eurovision entry. Trained, amusingly, on a corpus of ebooks that includes lots of romantic fiction, it comes up with paragraphs such as: “it was dark and cold . there was a pause . it was my turn .” The writing team on Netflix’s Pretty Little Liars should probably worry, but ultimately the bot is generating language-like strings without truly grasping anything. Among the processing techniques used is “sampling from the posterior”. Well, quite. By parsing looser queries and accessing more sources, bots will make our lives ever easier. But anyone who says we’re close to tech truly understanding us is talking out of their apps.

ABOUT ADAM BANKS Adam is Apple to the core, having reported on the world of Macs since the 1990s. As a writer, designer, art director and print production contractor, he divides his time between the Northern Powerhouse and the Creative Cloud. @macformat



“Cook isn’t a person who brims with mad visions and wants to take wild risks.” Apple won’t buy Tesla, says journalist, because Tim Cook would clash with Elon Musk




The MacFormat team debates the hot Apple issues of the day, using their iPhones of course!


45%! Turn to page 44

Alan says… My  is from Late 2013, and the bit that really  lets it down is its ageing GPU.

Yeah, Apple’s graphics processors look a bit long in the tooth! 


“We’re no longer going to refer to Apple as the iPhone company.”

I doubt I’d notice a difference in CPU and storage. It’d be great is the 15-inch model could shed some of its 2kg weight. 

Above Avalon analyst says cars could be big for Apple

The Pro was slim for 2012, but last year’s MacBook, well… Thunderbolt 3’s USB-C ports might help shed a bit of bulk, too.


I wonder if Thunderbolt 3 and Skylake would help with slimming down. Will we even get a 15-inch model with a discrete GPU? Pro models tend to get hotter. 

“They’re making profit, and they should share the responsibility for our city, but they won’t.”

Don’t forget Apple’s terraced  tech, either!

Cupertino mayor complains that Apple isn’t paying its full share of tax to the city

you’ve I’d forgotten about that! Okay, convinced me. Bring it on, !


“Powering your iMessages with 100% renewable[s] – because our planet deserves our best thinking.” On Apple’s commitment to sustainability on Earth Day

18 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016

NEXT ISSUE What was your WWDC 2016 highlight?


“Can I borrow some money off you” tap to edit

You still haven’t returned the lawnmower I lent you. @macformat

COMPETITION Win D-Link security kit


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and a Monitor HD to keep your home safe and secure when you’re away. But that’s not all. We’ve also thrown in two additional Smart Plugs to control your connected devices, two extra Door & Window Sensors to keep a check on all your home’s access points, plus a Home Monitor 360 smart security camera with night vision. Finally, this amazing bundle also comes with a Home Music Everywhere device to stream your favourite tunes to any compatible speaker in your home, via both AirPlay and DLNA.

THE QUESTION For your chance to win this amazing smart home security bundle, just answer the following question: What is the range of the D-Link Wi-Fi Motion Sensor? A) 5 metres B) 8 metres C) 10 metres For more details about D-Link’s range of smart home devices and other products, visit

To enter, you can visit our website at For full terms and conditions, go to By sending your entry, you agree to these competition rules and confirm you are happy to receive details of future offers and promotions from Future Publishing Limited and carefully selected third parties. This competition closes on 4 July 2016. Over 18, GB residents only. @macformat

What’s inside 22–25 SMART HOME SECURITY Keep a close watch on your property using camera and sensor tech



LIVE SMARTER The smart home is here – live the Apple dream today!

26–27 TUTORIAL How to use the Netatmo Welcome camera and app

28–29 HOME GADGETS Essential kit to elevate your abode from ‘home’ to ‘smart home’

Contact us Email your queries and your questions to Keep up to date by following us on Twitter @macformat Join the conversation at macformat Get the latest subscription offers at

Some security cameras are wireless, so they’re easy to position wherever you need to watch from your devices.

Better safe than sorry, so they say. So why not use the latest smart tech to keep your home safe and sound? here are so many products now available in the home automation field, and many more on the way, that it’s hard to keep track of them all. In recent months we’ve seen everything from voice-controlled lighting systems to smart fridges that can tell you when you’re out of milk. But one thing that will appeal to everyone is the possibility of using affordable smart technology to improve their home’s security. Whether you live in


student digs or a David Beckham megamansion, we all need to protect our belongings and our families, and the tech industry has responded with an almost bewildering selection of security products for the modern smart home. However, there are a few key security product categories that it’s worth knowing about, so we’ve rounded up some of the latest kit of those kinds that can protect your home and give you some extra peace of mind. Read on for our safe and secure advice!

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 21

APPLE HOME Smart Home Security

Get started with

Smart Home Security The latest ingenious tech allows you to keep an eye on your home even when you’re away from it

Who goes there? Always check whether a security camera includes a night-vision mode, so it can capture good quality images when it’s dark in your house. Also, check whether the camera’s specs list the distance this mode is able to cover. Some cameras also offer a ‘cloud vision’ feature that’s designed for outdoor conditions, which can be quite useful for monitoring a garden and similar exterior areas.

22 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016

e all want to keep our homes safe, so it’s not surprising that so many companies have entered the home security market in recent years. For most people, though, a security camera is their obvious first choice. There’s a huge range of options available here, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to keep your home safe either. You shouldn’t cut too many corners, though, as many cheaper cameras are really just designed for video calls with friends, or for use as a baby monitor. We’d recommend spending a decent amount of money on a camera that’s


specifically designed with security in mind. The best security cameras that we’ve seen recently generally come in at around £150 to £200, and should provide a resolution of at least 1280x720 pixels, or preferably Full HD resolution (1920x1080), as well as options such as a night-vision mode for 24-hour security.

Software security The software included with these cameras is also important. Logitech’s Circle has a neatly designed app that can create a time-lapse video summary of the events it records each day. Another standout security feature is face recognition technology used in Netatmo’s Smanos’s app offers remote control of its W100 alarm, and you can monitor what the camera and mic are picking up.

Smart Home Security APPLE HOME

When you don’t want to be observed at home, you can cover the Myfox Security Camera’s lens.

The Smanos W100 connects to your phone line so it can still alert you even if Wi-Fi’s down.

Welcome camera, which scored a publicity coup recently when it caught a burglar at an owner’s home in Paris. Most security cameras are designed to work on their own, but Netgear’s Arlo Q and Arlo Wire-Free cameras allow you to link up to 15 cameras together to monitor larger homes or offices. Mind you, some people find it a bit creepy having a camera watching them at home, so you could consider the Myfox Security Camera, which includes a remote control shutter for privacy when you want it. But, like a number of these cameras, Myfox requires a monthly subscription if you want to store your video recordings online, which is something you need to check before buying any security camera (see What Else Should I Consider, p27).

Netatmo Welcome’s face recognition enables it to send a message to your phone if it doesn’t know someone’s identity.

One other video option worth considering is a video doorbell, such as DoorBird’s D101 Video Door Station or the forthcoming Smart Video Doorbell from Smanos. Neither records video, but both have motion sensors and can warn you if there’s someone loitering around your front door, and you can stream the live video to your phone to see what’s going on.

Sensors A camera can be a useful security tool, but putting one in every room can turn out to be pretty expensive. A more affordable option that you can use in several rooms is a contact sensor that can be attached to a door or window frame to alert you when an intruder enters your home. Contact sensors only work with individual doors and windows, but you can also buy motion sensors that can detect any type of movement within a room, or in an area around a front or back door. These sensors are generally sold as part of a larger security kit with a hub that can control multiple sensors and other devices, and the hub provides the tech that connects the sensors to your home network, allowing them to send an alarm to your iPhone or iPad when you’re away. Samsung is perhaps the best-known name.

Let’s go outside! To monitor outdoor areas you’ll need to ensure your camera can cope with a bit of rain. Netgear’s Arlo Wire-Free system gets brownie points for its weatherproof design. Netatmo has a new outdoor camera called Presence coming in the summer that’s also weatherproof, and it includes a floodlight that turns on when it detects an intruder.

A contact sensor can be attached to a door or window frame to alert you to a break-in @macformat

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 23

APPLE HOME Smart Home Security Devolo’s Home Control Starter Pack includes a contact sensor, a smart metering plug, and a hub.

Explained Presence sensors

Who you gonna call? It’s still up to you to call the police if you receive an alert on your smartphone. However, some security kits, such as the SwannOne, allow you to pay a fee so a private security firm can immediately respond to any alarm. It’s an optional extra, but the cost could turn out to be worthwhile if you’re often away from your home or office.

Its SmartThings Starter Kit (£200) includes a motion sensor and a contact sensor for doors and windows, along with a ‘smart plug’ that can turn lights or other devices on and off automatically. Devolo’s Home Control Starter Pack is a little more affordable (£180), but only includes one contact sensor, a smart plug, and a hub. Both kits allow you to buy additional sensors for about £30 to £40 each, so it doesn’t cost too much to extend either system to other areas around your home. However, these kits are really designed for general-purpose home automation, rather than focussing purely on security.

Security first and foremost If you want every penny you spend to go towards security, consider a starter kit from a company with a more specialised background in the field. Smanos’s W100 is good value at around £160, as it includes a contact sensor and a motion sensor, and its eye-catching, retro-looking control hub also houses a massively loud siren that will probably wake everyone within a five-mile

Beyond the basics? The control hubs sold with security system starter kits allow you to add a variety of additional sensors and other devices. Smanos’s W100 can also control a Smanos camera or doorbell, while D-Link and Samsung both sell water sensors that can warn you if they detect leaking water, hopefully catching the problem before it’s able to cause a lot of damage and a huge repair bill.

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In addition to contact and motion sensors, some companies offer presence sensors as well. These vary from one manufacturer to another, but the most common type is a little key fob that you give to a child so that you can tell when they arrive or leave home.

Always check to see if there are any hidden costs, such as monthly cloud storage fees radius. Another affordable option is the Smart Home Security Kit from D-Link, which costs about £200 and includes a contact sensor, a security camera, a hub, and an alarm siren. In both cases you can buy additional sensors and cameras to extend the system to cover your entire home as required. If you really want to go to town, one of the most complete security kits we’ve

The Netatmo Welcome app displays the date and time of unexplained and known people’s movement, and shows a live camera view.

seen to date is the SwannOne Smart Home Control Kit, which contains an extensive selection of security devices, including a camera, two contact sensors, and a motion sensor with a microphone that allows it to analyse and recognise specific sounds, such as breaking glass. Again, though, this kit requires a monthly subscription fee in order to use its full range of features. These extra fees aren’t always obvious, so you should always check to see if there are any hidden costs involved with this or any other security kit or camera that you might want to buy.

Smanos’s W100 talks to its sensors on a different frequency band than Wi-Fi to avoid interference

FIVE OF THE BEST We recommend some of the best security systems to get you started

Smart Home Security Kit £200

Netatmo Welcome £199

Arlo Wire-Free From £180

Smanos W100 £160

DoorBird Video Door Station D101 £275

Competitively priced, this kit includes a central control hub, a contact sensor for a door or window, an alarm siren, and a security camera. The hub lets you expand the kit as well, such as by adding a motion sensor or a water sensor, which are available separately.

One of the more unusual applications of this kind of tech, the D101’s motion sensor and night-vision mode enable it to detect movement around your front door all day long. It can stream a video image to your phone so that you can see what’s going on outside.

The Welcome is one of the more expensive security cameras for home use, but it’s packed with useful features. As well as motion detection, it features face-recognition tech and a memory card, so you can store video without paying for online storage.

Netgear has a number of cameras in its Arlo range, but the Arlo Wire-Free is the most versatile model. As well as having a weatherproof design and six-month battery life for outdoor use, you can buy kits with up to three cameras to cover your whole home.

One of the most affordable security kits around at the moment, the W100 includes a contact sensor, a motion sensor, and two remote controls. Its control unit also includes a 110dB siren, and can be used to control cameras and additional devices too. @macformat

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APPLE HOME Smart Home Security

1 1

MAKING CONTACT A contact sensor consists of two separate parts. One is attached to the door or window itself, while the other sensor sits right next to it on the door or window frame.

Explained Z-Wave Most security sensors run on batteries, but they save power by using Z-Wave tech. This is a low-power wireless system that requires less power, and is less prone to interference, than conventional Wi-Fi networks.


SEPARATION ANXIETY As soon as the two parts are separated, indicating that the door or window has been opened, the sensor sends a signal to its control hub, which then sends a warning notification to your iPhone.

A contact sensor is a more affordable way to detect intrusion that you can use in several rooms


HOW TO Monitor your home with Welcome Genius Tip! If you’re feeling clever, you can set up your own FTP server – online, or by using OS X Server – to store video from Netatmo Welcome without any extra fees.

1 On the cards

In many ways, Netatmo’s Welcome is a typical security camera, but it has appealing extras, including both Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity, and an 8GB memory card to store video without paying a fee for online storage.

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2 In motion

Like any security camera, Welcome can detect movement in its field of vision and send a warning to your phone. Its app lets you adjust settings to decide on conditions that cause Welcome to record a video or send a warning. @macformat

Smart Home Security APPLE HOME


HIDDEN COSTS: ALWAYS READ THE SMALL PRINT Is your security and the chance of convicting an intruder worth paying a regular fee? ost security cameras will stream live video to your iPhone so that you can see what’s going on at home while you’re away. But there may be times when you need to record and store video clips as well – perhaps as evidence of a possible crime. That’s when you may find that you have to pay extra in order to safely store them online. Netgear’s Arlo will store your videos for free for one week, beyond which it costs you £6.49 or £9.99 to keep them for 30 or 90 days. Logitech’s Circle only stores video for one day, with no paid options available at the moment. In some cases – Nest, Myfox and Swann, we’re looking at you – there’s no free storage at all, so you have to pay for a subscription if you want


to keep your recordings online. Netatmo’s Welcome stands out here, as it includes an 8GB memory card that lets you store video on the camera. Netgear has just released a new Arlo Q model that includes a memory card slot, though you’ll have to provide the storage media yourself. Netgear’s Arlo system had made it into our Store Guide recommendations for its good video quality and cloud storage.

Jargon Buster

3 Face time

If you can get your kids to stand still long enough, you can train Welcome to recognise family members, as well as trusted friends or neighbours. It’ll ignore those people, and only warn you if it detects a face it doesn’t know. @macformat

4 Video downloads

As well as sending warnings, Welcome’s app logs every time motion or face it detects, so you can quickly keep an eye on things back home. You can also download videos from the app to your iPhone’s Camera roll.

IFTTT (If This Then That) is an interoperabilty standard, similar to Apple’s HomeKit, that enables devices from different manufacturers to work together. Netatmo’s Welcome app can work with the IFTTT app (free, App Store) so that it turns on a Philips Hue lighting system, say, when the camera sees you enter a room.

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HOME GADGETS Indoors or outdoors, here’s the tech you need to create your new smart home

Cocoon £299

For even more smart home advice subscribe today!

We weren’t able to include See page 44 the Cocoon in our security feature this issue, as it’s only just emerging from its own Nestling inside the Cocoon crowdfunding cover on IndieGogo. It’s not is a technological butterfly due to go into full-scale production until this called Subsound that’s summer, but if this unremarkable-looking been developed and gadget lives up to its claims it could be a real patented by the game changer for home security products. company’s software Developed by Leeds-based Cocoon Labs, engineering team. the device looks like a fairly straightforward Many cameras use a security camera. It ticks all the usual boxes microphone to enhance their motion with a high-definition 1080p camera for detection capabilities, but the breakthrough video, night-vision mode, motion detection, offered by Subsound is that it can detect microphone and a roof-rattling 90dB siren. subtle vibrations – not just in a single room, Of course, there’s an app for iOS and Android but throughout your entire home, and it can devices to keep you in touch with it when analyse those sounds and vibrations to you’re away from home. develop a profile of your home that helps it to recognise unusual activity. If you’ve got kids, it’ll recognise that Smart sounds they charge up and down the stairs There are plenty of other security cameras during the daytime, but if it then that provide those features, and at £299 hears a quiet tread on the stairs the Cocoon is quite a bit more expensive than when they’re at school it’ll most of its rivals. However, Cocoon Labs says send an alert to your iPhone. the device is more than just a camera, and The video camera will only describes it as a complete, all-in-one security allow you to see what’s system for your entire home. going on in the room where the Cocoon is located, but at least you’ll have some idea of what’s happening at home. The real test will be whether or not the Subsound tech lives up to expectations, and we hope to take a closer look at Cocoon in a future issue.


The idea behind Cocoon’s integrated Subsound tech is that you don’t need to set up sensors around your home for it to monitor activity.

Subsound can detect and analyse subtle vibrations throughout your entire home for unusual activity 28 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016 @macformat


Parrot Pot $99 (about £69)


Parrot first muscled in on the gardening scene with its Flower Power sensor, and its new Parrot Pot goes a step further by being able to water the plants for you. Like the Flower Power, the Parrot Pot has a number of built-in sensors that can monitor the levels of light, temperature, fertiliser and moisture, and it transmits that information to an app on your phone. However, the Parrot Pot can also store two litres of water, which it will automatically release in small doses when it detects the plant is too dry. It’s perfect for when you’re away on holiday, or if you can simply never figure out how often you need to water the darn things in the first place.


Smarter Fridge Cam £TBA Samsung’s internet-connected Family Hub Refrigerator is a bit crazy, but if you simply want to get your fridge online without spending £3,500, you could look to the new Fridge Cam instead. Developed by Smarter, the company behind the iKettle, it sits in your fridge and takes snapshots of the contents for you to view on your iPhone, enabling you to quickly check to see if you need to pick up some milk on the way home. Smarter is dithering about the device’s UK pricing, but it’ll certainly be cheaper than buying an entirely new fridge.


Haverland SmartWave From £260 The jury is still out on whether electric radiators are cheaper and more efficient to run, but they’re certainly a lot smarter than traditional gas heating systems. As well as a built-in thermostat, the SmartWave range of radiators includes sensors that can detect movement in each room and automatically adjust the heat as you come and go during the day. The radiators cost between £260 and £440, depending on the size of room you want to heat. Splash out another £99 and you get a Wi-Fi hub that connects the radiators to your home network, so you can monitor and control your heating system from your phone when you’re out and about.


NEXT ISSUE @macformat

Be smart about your family’s wellbeing with helpful health and fitness tech!

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference takes place in June, and we expect to see major updates for both iOS and OS X. However, an important addition to iOS already arrived in March with CareKit. It’s an extension of the health and fitness features available in Apple’s Health app, but it goes a lot deeper than just monitoring the distance you run, or the number of calories you consume each day. CareKit includes a number of software modules that allow people to monitor the symptoms of various illnesses, to keep track of their medication and treatment plans, and to share information with their GP or hospital. Developers can use those modules to make apps that focus on specific illnesses, such as diabetes or asthma, and that information can then be compiled in CareKit to provide a detailed overview of your health, symptoms and medication plans. Several CareKit apps have already been announced, and we’ll come back to this topic in our next issue.

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Kenny Hemphill shows you how to tweak your Mac to boost its performance – and your own!


e’ve shown you in previous issues how you can get the best from El Capitan by tuning it, personalising it and optimising it. If you’ve implemented the tips and advice in those features, it should be running very well – but there’s still more you can do to make OS X faster, more effective and, just as importantly, even more enjoyable to use. Third-party tools in the form of free and paid-for apps and system extensions allow you access to parts of the operating system Apple makes it difficult to reach in order to

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optimise or personalise it. Whether its tweaking settings and features of built-in apps, customising the look and feel of the OS, or under-the-hood fine tuning, there are a number of tools to do the job. Of course, Apple provides tools of its own, such as Terminal, to allow you to access built-in but hidden tweaks. We’ll cover those too. We’ll also show you the best way to prevent disaster if things go wrong, by looking at the options for backing up your Mac. Just in case things do go irretrievably pear-shaped, we’ll take you through the process of reinstalling OS X from scratch. @macformat



There are few all-rounders on the Mac App Store better than Evernote. Designed to store notes, Evernote has evolved into a powerful tool to help you manage research and run multi-person projects. From clipping web pages to storing notes from recordings made on your iPhone, there are many ways to use it.

The Mac has no shortage of list-making apps, but Wunderlist stands out from the crowd for its powerful features. You can assign tasks to other members of a team, for example, and they can assign things to you too, of course. Syncing with the iOS version is instant and, importantly, free.

Dashlane, Password managers are fast becoming a must-have for anyone who uses a computer or mobile device. Dashlane’s one of the best, enabling you to create and securely store passwords, bank card details and anything else that you need to keep safe. Dashlane even performs an audit of your login details.

1 3


EL CAPITAN’S BEST BITS > Split View Perfect for research, Split View divides the screen vertically between two apps – the default split is 50/50, but that’s adjustable by dragging from where the apps meet in the middle. @macformat

Clever Spotlight OS X’s search tool is smarter than before. Give it a Premier League team name and it’ll show the team’s last result. Type ‘yesterday’ to see docs you worked on and events from the previous day.

Mute tabs in Safari Fed up of videos auto-playing and making a racket? Safari lets you mute a specific tab from the speaker icon on it, or mute all but one tab by å-clicking the speaker icon on it.

Manage Mail Mail alerts you, just below a message’s subject, when it finds new info in the body that it can add to Contacts or Calendar for you. It also has swipe gestures, like on iOS, for triaging messages.

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 31

FEATURE Get more from your Mac

Speed up El Capitan F ear not if your Mac’s running slowly, as there’s plenty you can do to speed it up. Even if it’s running relatively well, there’s always room for a little optimisation. As with any improvement, start with the low-hanging fruit – the stuff that’s causing the biggest impediment to performance and is easiest to fix. Here, Activity Monitor is your friend. Open it from /Applications/Utilities (or enter its name in Spotlight) and click on the Memory and CPU tabs to find out which processes are hogging the most processor cycles and RAM. Perhaps some belong to a tool you no longer use, in which case quit it. You’d be surprised by how many CPU cycles an open, but hidden, Firefox tab can use.

Close any apps you’re not using. These days its takes seconds to launch an app, the time saved by keeping one open isn’t worth it, so free up resources for other apps to use as needed. Got lots of log in items you never use? Get rid of those in the Users & Groups preferences pane. Otherwise, they’ll sit in the background, eating precious resources. Restarted your Mac lately? No? Do it now. It’ll thank you with a performance boost. Finally, if you have the money and your Mac can take more RAM, upgrade it. If you have more funds available, swap your hard drive for an SSD and your Mac’ll give Nico Rosberg a run for his money.


Memory Purge

(Free, > Memory Clean displays the amount of free memory that’s available in the menu bar. Click on its icon there and you can free up memory. Memory Clean is best used after you’ve quit a particularly memory-intensive app such as Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Pro or a game.

(Free, > Like Memory Clean, Memory Purge sits in the menu bar. Click its menu bar icon and you can see real time stats on how your Mac’s memory is being used. You’ll also see a list of the apps that are using significant memory. One-click and memory is freed up for other tasks.

Memory Monitor

Memory Cleaner X

(Free, > This app comes with different themes and lets you customise the way it displays information. So, you could opt to see a circular diagram of memory usage, for example. It has one-click optimisation, along with a widget for Notification Centre’s Today view.

(Free, > For finer control over how memory is cleaned, try this. It allows you to trigger automatic cleaning when a large app quits (normally things are kept until the space is needed) and to set the frequency of automatic purges. It also shows which apps are using most memory.

32 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016 @macformat

Running slowly? SMC > Your Mac’s system management controller (SMC) is a key component that manages power usage, monitors temperature, and controls its fans. The SMC is also responsible for status indicators, the keyboard backlight and

Speed up login other core features. Occasionally the SMC goes rogue — one symptom is the fan kicking in so hard that it sounds like a jet getting ready for take off — and needs to be reset. Others are apps taking an age to launch and MacBooks not charging properly. Resetting it should be a last resort.

Press these keys to reset the SMC:

ß+≈+å (Left Shift)


NVRAM > If you’re a Mac user of a certain vintage you’ll remember PRAM (parameter RAM), and that resetting it was staple advice for a problematic Mac. On Intel Macs, PRAM has been replaced with NVRAM (standing for non-volatile random access memory),

1 Find your login items

In System Preferences, click the Users & Groups icon. Select your account, then click the padlock (bottom left) and enter your password. Click the Login items tab.


which does much the same job, but stores much less data. Backed by a separate battery, it stores your selected startup disk, time zone, speaker volume, screen resolution and, if your Mac has just crashed, details of what went wrong. As with the SMC, resetting NVRAM is occasionally necessary.

Press these keys to reset the NVRAM:

ç+ å + P + R (Command)




2 Remove items

Hold ç and select any login items you don’t need or use, then click the – (minus) below to remove them. If you’re not sure you need an item, leave it alone.

Make Safari faster Untangle the web browser Switch off Flash

Empty caches

Clear History

> One of the main reasons for sluggish performance in Safari is auto-loading of Flash content on sites. Install the ClickToPlugin ( extension to switch off Flash (and other plug-ins you specify) and choose on a case-by-case basis which videos load.

> Safari caches info from every site you visit to quicken loading in future, along with thumbnails for the Favorites view. However, the cache can get bloated. In Safari’s Advanced preferences, turn on ‘Show Develop menu…’, then choose Develop > Empty Caches.

> Storing details of every website you visit can be useful in allowing you to find something you saw previously, even it was weeks ago. Storing so much data, however, can also slow down Safari. Choose History > Clear History, pick a duration, then click Clear History. @macformat

3 Avoid typing a password Though you can set your Mac to log in automatically, that’s a security risk. Use your iPhone’s Touch ID sensor or its proximity to log in to your Mac by adding MacID (£2.99,

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FEATURE Get more from your Mac

Tailor with TinkerTool


pple has built dozens of options into OS X that control things like the way the Finder displays files and folders, the Dock’s behaviour, and how animation works in features like Launchpad. However, it has hidden these settings from us mere mortals and made sure they can only be controlled using Terminal. Thankfully, enterprising developers have taken it upon themselves to put a friendly user interface on those options so you can control them at the click of a mouse button. TinkerTool is one such app that provides a battery of customisable preferences so you can make your Mac work the way you want it to. Nine sets of options are displayed along the top of TinkerTool’s window, along with a tenth option that enables you to undo any changes you make.

or servers. The Dock tab also lets you modify how Launchpad works, allowing you to disable the fade effects when you open and close Launchpad, as well as the animation when you switch between pages.

Fine workflow fixes

Options are grouped logically under headings like Finder, Dock and Desktop, and clicking one reveals options you can customise. Click on Dock, for example, and you can enable an option that adds a highlight to the item under the pointer in a Stack’s Grid view, or you can add a Stack that lists recently used items – either apps, documents

Under General, you can set the file format and location for screenshots, and switch off the animation when windows open. Handily, you can also increase the active resize area around window edges to make grabbing them easier. You can even enable half-star ratings in iTunes, and set QuickTime Player to automatically play movies when they’re opened. It’s worth remembering that the tool isn’t making major modifications to your system, just making it easier for you to access options Apple provides, albeit without a preferences pane.


Make your Stacks rid of useful Finder features Dashboard 1 more 2 Customise 3 Get Click Dock in TinkerTool’s toolbar. In the Stacks section, ‘Add stack for recent items’ is the most useful as it adds a new stack to the Dock that shows recently used apps when you click it. ≈-click the Recent Items stack to set it to show recent docs or servers instead. ‘Highlight selection when using grid view’ adds the effect we mentioned above. When done, click Relaunch Dock to make your choices active.

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The first option in the Finder tab, ’Show hidden and system files’, allows you to see all the files Apple normally hides, such as the ‘.DS_Store’ files that store Finder attributes for volumes and folders. Only check this box with good reason. Other options, such as disabling sound effects, switching off animation and removing features such as ‘Eject’ are more useful. Turn on those you want, then click the Relaunch Finder button.

Apple disabled Dashboard by default in El Capitan and put an option to restore it, and choose whether it’s displayed as a space or an overlay, in Mission Control’s preferences pane. In earlier versions of OS X, however, Dashboard is turned on by default. TinkerTool allows you to switch it off. You’ll find this option right at the bottom of TinkerTool’s Desktop tab. Just put a check mark in the box to deactivate Dashboard.

over screenshots 4 Control

There are all sorts of reasons for taking screenshots – it’s an easy way to record order confirmations from online stores, say, or as evidence of a web chat with a customer service rep. They’re normally stored as PNG files on your desktop, but you can change their format and destination in the General tab. You can also choose whether shadows are included in shots of single windows, and if filenames include the time taken. @macformat

Get more from your Mac FEATURE

Improve your workspace M ost of us sit at our Macs and start working without giving much thought to the way we actually work. Too often, the result is a desktop cluttered with files and folders, windows all over the place, and a rather disorganised working environment. Thankfully, there’s a great deal you can do to improve things by using built-in features and third-party tools. First, make use of full-screen apps and Spaces. Many modern apps can operate in full-screen mode, introduced in Yosemite, whereby clicking the green button at the top-left corner of a window makes it take over the whole screen.



Download and install Ubar. You’ll be asked to go to System Preferences’ Security & Privacy pane’s Privacy tab, where you need to click Accessibility and give Ubar permission to control your computer.

You can swipe three fingers left or right on a trackpad, or two on a Magic Mouse, to easily move between apps, or swipe up with three fingers on a trackpad, or tap two on a Magic Mouse’s surface, to open Mission Control and see all your Spaces. Get BetterTouchTool (about £5, and you can create your own Multi-Touch and Force Touch gestures to control your Mac. You can even use it to map gestures to keyboard shortcuts.

Get some breathing space Move the pointer to the top of Mission Control to display thumbnails of all your Spaces. To add a new Space, click the + at the right of the Spaces bar. You can drag Spaces into the order you want. In Mission Control’s pane in System Preferences, uncheck ‘Automatically rearrange Spaces based on most recent use’ to maintain your arrangement. Place the pointer over a Space and click the ‘x’ that appears at its top-left corner. Any windows there will be pulled into the current Space, or the first one if you were looking at the Space you just closed. Spaces for full-screen apps show two inward-pointing arrows instead, whcih take the app out of full-screen mode and put it in the first Space. You can free up screen space by hiding the Dock until the pointer reaches

When combining apps in Split View, you can drop the second one’s window on the left or right side.

its screen edge. Do so in the Dock’s pane in System Preferences. If your Mac’s screen is small and you want the Dock to stay visible, you might want to move the Dock to the side so it doesn’t eat into the vertical height available to windows. If you’ve just switched from Windows to OS X, you’ll love Ubar ($20 – about £14, It replaces the Dock with something like Windows’ taskbar. Ubar can have up to five rows, and it has a Favourites area for your most-used apps. Click an app to show thumbnails of its windows above the bar. Hidden apps are greyed out and unresponsive ones have a hatched red background. Press ≈ and you’ll see each one’s CPU and memory usage.


Click the Ubar icon at the bottom-left corner of the screen and you’ll see the ‘Start’ menu. Place the pointer over Applications and you’ll see a list of all the apps from that folder. Click one to open it.


Place the pointer over ‘Ubar’ in the Start menu and click Preferences. Click the Menu tab and you can customise what appears in the Start menu. Clear the check mark for items you want to remove. @macformat

BetterTouchTool allows you to create custom gestures for all aspects of controlling your Mac.

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 35


Fancy custom desktops

A 1 Group and sort files

Think of View > Arrange By as ‘Group By’ – picking an attribute groups items under relevant headings. Sort the items within groups in View Options (ç+j).

pple provides some pretty awesome images in every version of OS X for you to use as desktop backgrounds. Go to System Preferences’ Desktop & Screen Saver pane, click Desktop, then select Desktop Pictures on the left. Click a thumbnail to set that image as your background. Select Pictures on the left instead to use an image from there, or click + (bottom left) to use one from another folder. One of the best resources for third-party desktop backgrounds is Search for ‘desktop wallpaper’ followed by the current month and year to get a selection of images with a calendar on them for that month. Most are available without a calendar too, and all come in multiple sizes for different screen resolutions. You can change the icon of a file or folder: select the item and press ç+I, then click the icon in the Info window and paste an image to use. (In El Capitan, you can no longer do this for system files and apps like iTunes and Safari.)

2 Change Finder’s toolbar Pick View > Customize Toolbar and drag tools from the panel to the toolbar. Use Space to add a fixed-width gap; the Flexible Space adjusts with window size.




Streamline the view

Memorising the shortcuts in the Go menu and for major features will enable you to hide the sidebar and the toolbar (look in the View menu) to free up space.


4 Set folder view options

Open a folder, choose View > Show View Options, and pick settings for this folder only. Click Use as Defaults to apply to all folders when using the same view.

36 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016


Free, This app provides you with an alternative to Finder for file management. It has a dual-pane interface, and each pane can have multiple tabs. It also makes copying and moving files much easier, and you can rename them at the same time. You can even perform actions on multiple files simultaneously, or add actions to a queue.



Free (Donationware), Quicksilver is a Spotlight alternative that’s actually far more capable. Call up its window, start typing, then press † to see actions it can perform on the item you’ve selected. Plug-ins are key to Quicksilver’s usefulness, enabling you to quickly access things in Evernote, control iTunes playback, and access information stored in 1Password, say. @macformat

Get more from your Mac FEATURE

Path Finder

Path Finder builds on the basic Finder concept with dozens of improvements. Among its best features, the Drop Stack lets you collect files from separate locations that you want to move to a single destination. It also provides Shelves for displaying a selected file’s attributes, which can be set to display a preview of the file, the details you’d normally use the Get Info window to see, or even an iTunes browser. Drawers that slide out of the bottom, left and right sides of the main window provide access to a Terminal window, recent files, and currently running



$39.95 (about £27),

$29 (about £20),

processes. As with Commander One, it allows you to have two panes active together. If you want a turbocharged alternative to Finder, this fits the bill.

HoudahSpot is like a supercharged version of Finder’s Smart Folders. Like those, you start with a broad search term, then refine it by adding filters. So, you can include or exclude certain file types, or specify dates between which matches must have been created or last modified. Where Finder saves searches as a Smart Folder, in HoudahSpot you create templates — forms that contain your criteria. Multiple criteria can be grouped to create snippets, which can then be reused in future searches.


This file-searching tool enables you to look inside packages and displays file locations in a separate column. It supports Quick Look and allows you to use Boolean operators. Buttons on its toolbar enable you to reveal a file’s location in the Finder, open it, or share it. EasyFind isn’t the easiest to use, and it supplements rather than replaces Finder. However, if you’re familiar with interrogating


databases and using Boolean operators for your searches, you might find it a good addition to your file-finding arsenal.

€24 (about £18),

Similar to Quicksilver, this alternative to Spotlight has extra features, such as the ability to play albums by name in iTunes. LaunchBar lets you add events to Calendar directly from its window by typing the name of the calendar to which you want to add the appointment, then the name of your event followed by ‘@‘ and the date and time – all without using the mouse or @macformat

trackpad. It lacks Quicksilver’s range of extensions and its versatility, but for many people it’s easier to use. It’s a paid-for app, though, unlike both Quicksilver and Alfred.



Alfred is primarily an app launcher but it also has access to useful system commands. So, type ‘trash’ to see the contents of your Trash folder or ‘empty trash’ to empty it, for example. In some respects it has been surpassed by Spotlight since version 2 was released (Alfred 3 is in beta at the moment). However, while Spotlight has focussed on pulling in results from the likes of movie theatres and the iTunes Store, Alfred’s appeal is its simplicity and its utility. So, to get a word’s definition, you’d type ‘define’ then the word. Spotlight lacks such precise control, so typing a word buries its definition among a variety of results. Alfred’s customisable, lightweight and free, and the £17 Powerpack makes it even more powerful.

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 37

Get more from your Mac FEATURE

General commands


erminal. It’s a word to strike fear into many Mac users. Most of us think of it as being a complex and terrifying beast that we’re best keeping well away from. But nothing could be further from the truth. Firstly, Terminal is just an app like any other. It does allow access to things deep inside OS X, which is perhaps where some of the fear comes from – the deeper we can go, the more likely we are to do something that causes serious problems. The other aspect of Terminal that causes trepidation in otherwise confident Mac users is that to use it you have to type special commands. But by learning those commands Terminal is tamed. You do plenty of genuinely useful stuff with Terminal, of course. It provides There are parts of prominent OS X features that Apple gives you no graphical means to customise, but you can do so in Terminal.

one of the best ways to customise your workspace to deal with a Dock that’s packed full of icons. The following command adds a blank space that you can drag to the position you want in order to organise app icons into groups: defaults write persistent-apps -array-add '{"tiletype"="spacer-tile";}' Run this multiple times to add more spacers, then type killall Dock and press ® to make them appear. Remove a spacer by dragging it up off the Dock until you see a tag labelled ‘Remove’, then let go – just like removing an app. If you hide apps you’re not using by pressing ç+h (or å+ç+h to hide apps other than the foreground one, any windows those apps have open don’t appear in Mission Control, nor are they shown in the Dock like minimised ones. Despite this, you can tell an app is still running thanks to the indicator under its Dock icon, but you’re left to click its icon to remind yourself of what windows it has open, if any. To tell apps that have no windows open from those that are hidden and may have windows open and using resources (namely processor time) you might need for something else, enter the following command to make hidden apps’ icons semi-transparent:

After you’ve reset Launchpad’s layout, you can use Launchpad Manager ($7.99 – about £5, launchpadm to quickly knock things into shape.

defaults write showhidden -bool YES; killall Dock If you’ve organised Launchpad’s icons and got into a mess, perhaps because the system you devised no longer works well, enter this command to reset Launchpad to its default layout of built-in apps on the first page and third-party ones on later ones: defaults write ResetL aunchPad -bool TRUE; killall Dock There are third-party apps that keep your Mac from going to sleep, but you can do it by entering caffeinate in Terminal to prevent sleep indefinitely (see Tricks in Terminal, left, for how to interrupt it). To postpone sleep for a definite duration, use this form:


caffeinate -u -t 900

The -u after the command’s You can rerun commands you’ve name stops the screen going recently typed in a Terminal window to sleep, and the numeric value without retyping them by pressing that follows -t is the duration, … on the keyboard to navigate to in seconds, that you want to the previous command and then prevent sleep mode kicking in. pressing ®. Also, you can To reverse the effects of one interrupt a command by of these commands, run it again but pressing ≈+C. substitute FALSE for TRUE, NO for YES, or ‘delete’ instead of ‘write’. @macformat

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 39

FEATURE Get more from your Mac

If you need to reinstall


einstalling the operating system is a last resort, and in recent versions of OS X it’s very rarely necessary. However, there may be occasions when things go so badly wrong that you decide a complete reinstallation is your best option. A single backup is okay, but you should make more than one, and at least one should be a complete clone of your Mac in its current state. That way, you’ll capture all the preference files, app data and other settings you use. Once you’ve cloned your Mac (see opposite), you’re ready to start the process of reinstalling OS X. You’ll need to do what’s called a ‘clean installation’. That is, one that wipes your startup disk completely first. For this, you’ll need a bootable installer for the system you want to use, preferably on a USB stick, though a DVD or empty hard drive will work. Apple details steps to make an

install disk using installers from the Mac App Store at Next, select the install disk in the Startup Disk pane in System Preferences and restart. At the list of options, pick

Bootable disk clone Perfect copy of your startup disk Can start up from it Can only clone one volume at a time Can be problematic over a network Takes time to create

Cloning your hard drive is a good way of creating a snapshot of your drive – every single file on it – at a given time. If you’re about to reinstall OS X, a clone’s essential as a way to get into a full, working system if you run into problems. It’s also

40 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016

useful when taking your MacBook on a trip, and as a failsafe for your regular, incremental backup. But, it’s not a good idea it to be your only backup, because you must remember to update it regularly. It’s also not ideal for laptops as the clone should be made to a physically connected drive.


Disk Utility, select your startup disk, click Erase, set format to OS X Extended (Journaled), then click Erase. Quit Disk Utility and pick the option to install OS X to put it on your freshly erased drive.

Time Machine Updates itself incrementally Can back up everything, including external disks Easy over a network Can’t start up from it Regular backups can cause performance problems Doesn’t retain old versions forever

Time Machine lets you back up multiple volumes to a single destination. It makes hourly, incremental backups and works with local drives or compatible network storage, making it ideal for MacBooks. It also makes restoring individual files or even entire volumes

easy in OS X, or in OS X Recovery if that won’t start. You can’t start up from a Time Machine backup, but OS X 10.7 and higher have OS X Recovery – if that’s damaged too, many recent Macs can use OS X Internet Recovery (hold å+ç+R at the startup sound) to try to restore or reinstall OS X. @macformat

Get more from your Mac FEATURE


1 Prepare destination drive 2 Open SuperDuper Connect the drive you want to clone your startup disk to. In Disk Utility, select the drive (not the volume), click Partition, set it to one partition in OS X Extended (Journaled) format, then click Apply.

Get SuperDuper ( and open it. Select your Mac’s startup disk as the source and your back-up drive as the destination. Carefully ensure ‘Backup – all files’ is selected.

BEST BACKUP BUYS Recommended drives to back up your Mac – or even a family’s worth AirPort Time Capsule From £249 If you need a Wi-Fi router and a drive for Time Machine, Time Capsule fits the bill. It’s not cheap but the router’s good and it’s easy to set up. Or, use an AirPort Extreme (£169) with a USB hard drive.

Seagate Backup Plus Slim £70 At £70 for the 2TB version, this drive is excellent value. It’s small and light, and it comes with back-up software for the Mac. There’s also an app that allows you to backup from an iOS device.

WD MyCloud Mirror From £239 This NAS drive has a built-in safety net in the form of two mirrored disks. Starting at 4TB, there’s loads of room for family backups, and it supports Time Machine. @macformat

3 Make the clone

Click Copy Now and wait for the app to do its thing. Once done, test the clone by restarting, hold å at the chime and select the clone. It should be just like the source Mac. Store the clone safely.

BULLETPROOF BACKUP Here are the critical considerations for a robust backup regime Be comprehensive If you plan to use Time Machine to back up your Mac, it’s worth taking a little time to plan your strategy. Firstly, Time Machine shouldn’t be your only backup – it’s good and rarely fails, but it would be foolish to rely on it alone. Supplement it either with regular cloning to a removable drive or by backing up to an online service like CrashPlan ( or BackBlaze ( Ideally, you would do all three.

(NAS) drives that work too. If you want to use a NAS make sure Time Machine compatibility is in its specs.

Network speed If you use a NAS drive, connect it to your router by Ethernet, rather than Wi-Fi. It’ll work faster and be more stable.

What’s important? You can exclude volumes and folders from your Time Machine backup, but only do so if you can afford to lose their contents.

Pick a drive

Don’t delay

Choose your destination drive carefully. Apple recommends AirPort Time Capsule for Time Machine, but you can use any direct-attached storage, and there are lots of network-attached storage

Don’t ignore Time Machine warnings — if it can’t connect to your back-up drive, for example, it won’t back up your data. If you need to take action when the disk is getting full, you should do so immediately.

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 41

Get more from your Mac FEATURE

What should OS X 10.12 do? E l Capitan consolidated much of the work Apple did with Yosemite and added a few new features of its own. But there’s plenty of opportunity for the next version of OS X, which should be previewed at June’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference. Top of many people’s wish lists for OS X 10.12 is Siri for Mac. It’s five years since Apple’s talking assistant first appeared on iOS and there have been persistent rumours about a Mac version ever since. Could this be the year it we get it? Hands-free operation is less of an issue on a computer than it is on a mobile device, but Siri’s continuing omission from OS X does feel odd.

Listen to developers The Mac App Store could do with a big overhaul, along with Apple’s policies for apps that use it. The Store’s failings, such as the difficulty in discovering new apps, along with Apple’s pricing and security policies (in particular, sandboxing) have driven developers away from the store in recent years.

Even after version 12.4’s navigational tweaks, iTunes still needs serious attention. Better still, Apple could get rid of it and start afresh with separate apps for music, video, books and podcasts, just like on iOS. Shoehorning the iOS App Store into an app that’s also a media manager, music and video store, and podcast tool has made iTunes unwieldy. The Split View feature in OS X is terrific, but could be improved further. How about allowing more than two apps to share the screen. On today’s super-wide desktop displays that would make a lot of sense.

Apple’s cleaned up navigation a bit in iTunes 12.4, reintroducing a persistent sidebar, but there’s still room for improvement.

Touchy subjects We’d also like to see system-level support for unlocking a Mac using an iPhone’s Touch ID sensor or an Apple Watch. The third-party app, MacID (see page 33), allows you to do it, but having it built into the OS would be a great help.

Photos has been around for more than a year now, and while it’s a decent stab at combining iPhoto and Aperture, it’s missing several key features that users of the latter app in particular really miss. We’d love to see the return the Loupe tool for close-up examination of images, as well as de-duplication features and organisational tools similar to those in Aperture. For example, we regularly used Aperture’s star ratings to group images together and view only those with a specified minimum rating.

Build on the past

Split View in El Capitan is very useful, but it’d be better still if it could show more than two apps. @macformat

This is a very long shot, but we’d like to see QuickTime X regain some of the features lost with QuickTime 7’s demise. The A/V controls window in the latter was rudimentary yet useful for adjusting brightness, contrast and gamma in dark or otherwise low-quality videos, for example. We’d also like to see QuickTime gain support for a much bigger range of codecs. Its usefulness as a media player is hamstrung by the limited number of codecs it can play. Finally, while the introduction of tabs in Finder was welcome, how about a few more additions like the ability to have two panes side-by-side? More extensive keyboard commands like those found in Commander One would be welcome to avoid reaching for a mouse or trackpad.

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 43

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JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 45

180 PAGES! Packed with expert advice on Apple’s latest Mac OS




The only guide you need to get more from your Apple tablet

The only guide you need to get the best from your Apple Watch

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pages of iPhone help and advice In-depth guides to iOS 9 Tips for all Apple apps Secrets and shortcuts


Digital edition of this book!* See page 178 for more information

Buy your copy at

What’s inside 48–49 USE KEYNOTE IN NEW WAYS Go beyond business to make video animations





Your new-look guide to getting more from your Apple kit

Take greater control of what audio is streamed

52–54 MAKE CREATIVE TEXT EFFECTS Mimic famous effects in Affinity Designer


56–57 MASTER iCLOUD MUSIC LIBRARY Learn how your online music library works

58–59 TURN PAPER DOCS TO DIGITAL Use your iOS device to preserve paperwork

61 SHOOT LONG EXPOSURES Recreate this classic technique on iPhone

62–63 TRACK PROJECTS USING OUTLINE+ Put all sorts of project notes in this smart app

64–67 MAKE IMMERSIVE PANORAMAS Place yourself at the centre of a VR picture

Understand iOS gestures A tap is a brief contact of (usually) one finger on your device’s screen.

Swipe means move one or more fingers across an item or the screen, then let go.

Pinch means move two fingers together or apart, usually to zoom in or out.

To drag is to move a finger across the screen to scroll or pan around content.

A flick is like swiping, but it’s quicker, and is often used to scroll content more quickly.

Touch and hold means lightly rest your finger on an item and wait for a reaction.

Master Mac keyboard shortcuts When you see a shortcut like ç+å+C, hold all but the last key, then press that one.

≈ means the Control key, labelled ctrl, and shown as ^ in shortcuts in the menu bar.

ç is the Command key, which is also labelled cmd.

ß is the Shift key, which is typically just labelled shift.

å means the Option key, labelled alt or opt.

∫ means the Delete key, which deletes to the left of the

insertion point. Press ƒ+ ∫ to delete to the right. † is the Tab key, which shifts the focus between some controls in windows and web forms. Turn on Full Keyboard Access in System Preferences to jump between all controls.

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 47


Make more of Keynote Go beyond business docs and make eye-catching animated videos IT WILL TAKE 30 minutes YOU WILL LEARN How to make sophisticated video animations using Keynote. YOU’LL NEED Keynote 6

The powerful Magic Move transition is Keynote’s pièce de résistance

Keynote is a great tool for making presentations; clever, intuitive and full of nifty tricks. In fact, it’s too good to be used only for staid business presentations. Here, we’ll explore the app’s animation tools, which you can use for infographics and similar projects to get across your message. The trick to not making something too cheesy and distracting is to ignore practically all of the options available in Keynote’s list of animations. If you use ‘Fireworks’ or ‘Comet’ more than once in your life it’ll probably be too often! We’ll look at three different effects: drawing lines, creating magical charts that animate the display of data, and the Magic Move transition, Keynote’s pièce de résistance.

Beyond build effects Magic Move is particularly well named. Unlike the other effects, which animate objects on a single slide, Magic Move compares attributes of those that exist in two adjacent ones – their size, colour or position, say – and, over the

transition’s duration, morphs each from its first state to its second. By setting strategic effects to play automatically when a slide or object is shown, you can build up an amazing sequence of animated objects and layouts. The walkthrough opposite details how to set objects to animate. You’ll also want to play around with the duration of each build effect and transition between slides. Use the Preview buttons found in the Animate inspector and the Build Order window to test effects in isolation, or select a starting slide on the left and click Play in the toolbar. When you’ve nailed orders and timings, pick File > Export To > QuickTime. If any part of your ‘presentation’ would require a click to advance, the export dialog lets you set how long the rolling animation will hold on those states before it advances. Also note its Format option, which determines the exported video’s resolution; before you build any slides, open the Document inspector and check the slide size is appropriately set for where the video will be presented. Keith Martin

EXPLAINED… Keynote’s animation controls 1


The Navigator This panel on the left gives you a bird’s-eye view of your slides, which helps with Magic Move creations.

Animate 4



Sequencing Use the Build Order window to group objects’ animations and to set delays between them.

48 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016


4 2


This sidebar shows options for the chosen effect. ‘Build In’ will have some differences to ‘Build Out’.


Preview/Play Use the Preview buttons to test effects, and the toolbar’s Play button to check a longer sequence. @macformat

Animations in Keynote APPLE SKILLS

HOW TO Use Keynote’s animation tools

1 Draw a sketchy line

2 Animate the line

3 Set the build order

4 Dynamic data

5 Animate together

6 Split into steps

Animating lines can be an effective way of putting life into something. Use the Shape button in the toolbar to create a line, select the line, then open the Format inspector’s Style pane to give the line arrowheads and a hand-drawn look.

Interactive charts bring data to life. Click the toolbar’s Chart button, choose Interactive, and pick column, bar, scatter or bubble. Each comes with sample data; select the chart on the slide, then click Edit Chart Data to provide your own.

Open the Animate inspector from the toolbar, go to its Build In pane, then click the Add an Effect button. Select Line Draw from the list and tweak its settings; try setting a duration under one second. Add a few more lines like this.

The Animate Inspector’s Build Order tool works with interactive charts too. Try animating a chart alongside other objects. With thought and practise you can produce effective combinations of movement for infographics.

7 Magic Move keyframing 8 Magical text effects Copy and paste objects from one slide to the next, then change their looks and position – or duplicate the first and change the copy. Select the first slide, open the Animate inspector and set Magic Move as the slide’s transition. @macformat

If there’s a text box present on both slides, the options to match by word or by character can fade or slide things around. You can use the latter to reveal the solution to an anagram, say. Try them out to get a feel for their behaviours.

Click Build Order to show all of the objects on the slide that have animations applied. Select the first line and set it to draw automatically (After Transition), then select the other lines and set them to build with the first one.

Change a chart’s Delivery setting in the Build In pane. You can choose to build all sets continuously (one after the other), or specific sets from your data. Use the latter to focus on a particular set, pausing the animation’s progress till a later slide.

9 Effects sequence

In the Animate inspector, set the slides to start automatically. Build effects on the first one will play, then the Magic Move transition, then any build effects on the second slide – tailor their durations, as most are a little long by default.

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 49


Get greater control of AirPlay Go beyond built-in AirPlay support to stream any individual Mac app’s audio IT WILL TAKE 20 minutes YOU WILL LEARN How to use AirPlay to stream audio from a single Mac app to multiple speakers. YOU’LL NEED OS X 10.9 or higher, an AirPlay receiver.

Airfoil fixes AirPlay’s flaws by enabling you to beam audio from an individual app that isn’t iTunes

One of the biggest benefits of Apple’s ecosystem is that the ability to stream music to speakers on your local network is baked in. AirPlay enables you to send your Mac’s audio output to an AirPlay-compatible device. This can be an Apple TV – whether the latest version (which starts at £129) or the £59 third-generation model; an AirPort Express router, which includes a 3.5mm mini-jack that can output an optical or analogue signal; or various third-party AirPort-compatible devices costing from about £30 up to several hundred for high-quality speakers. The drawback is that selecting an AirPlay receiver in your Mac’s Sound preferences (or by å-clicking the speaker icon in the menu bar) results in all sound from your computer being sent to the receiver. That’s fine if you’re just running Spotify, but start a YouTube video and its sound will be beamed as well. (In terms of restricting what’s sent, OS X only allows you to specify that interface sound effects should continue to play through its built-in speakers.) If you’re using AirPlay to stream audio from a background app on an iOS device and you start to play a video in another app, the former sound will cut out and the video’s audio

component is sent instead. Sadly, there’s no way to overcome this limitation on iOS. You get slightly more control in iTunes for Mac, because only sound from that app will be broadcast, and you can send it to multiple AirPlay receivers. You can use this to build a multiroom sound system around your Mac. If you want to beam music from another app in isolation (Spotify is perhaps the most obvious choice, though an online radio station playing in a browser tab is another possibility), you can come unstuck.

Fixing things on a Mac It’s here that Airfoil (about £25, rogueamoeba. com) comes in useful. This affordable bit of software enables you to choose an app that’s running on your Mac and send its audio – and nothing else – to any AirPlay speaker on your network. It can even send audio to multiple receivers at once, and the recently released Airfoil 5 lets you create groups of speakers for easy selection. Here, we’ll show you how to use Airfoil and its iOS counterpart app, Airfoil Satellite, along with a clever workaround that lets you control multiple speakers straight from an iOS device. Dave Stevenson

HOW TO Make AirPlay work better >

Genius Tip! Airfoil can be set to automatically disconnect from remote speakers after a certain amount of time, which is useful for freeing them up when you’re no longer using them.

50 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016

1 Set up an AirPort Express

If there are one or more AirPort Expresses on your network, go to each one’s settings in AirPort Utility (for Mac or iOS), enable AirPlay, and give each speaker a sensible name so you know where your music will be heard.

2 Get Airfoil

Go to and download Airfoil 5 for your Mac. There’s a trial version if you want to give it a whirl first, which adds static after 10 minutes of playback to encourage you to splash out. @macformat

Enhance AirPlay on the Mac APPLE SKILLS

CONTINUED… Make Airfoil work better

3 Open Airfoil

4 Choose a source app

5 Make some groups

6 Get Airfoil Satellite

When you open the app you’ll see a list of all available AirPlay devices. Of course, your Mac and your AirPort receivers need to be on the same network, but they can use a mix of wired and wireless connections.

Press ç+, to open Airfoil’s Preferences window and click Groups. Here, you can click the + button to create a new group, then put a check mark next to the speakers you want to stream to when that group is selected.

At the top of Airfoil is the name of the app it’s currently capturing sound from. Here, we’re using Safari to beam a spot of BBC Radio 4 throughout our home. Lots of different apps work very well with Airfoil.

Jargon Buster Airfoil Satellite allows you to turn different hardware into Airfoil receivers. Linux and Windows PCs, Macs, plus iOS and Android devices are supported.

Airfoil’s companion app for iOS is free, and enables your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad to be designated as an AirPlay target. It lets you pick from every Airfoil-controlled speaker on your network, and adjust each’s volume.

Genius Tip!


Control from an iPhone

Airfoil Satellite for Mac lets you perform the ultimate trick: control audio playback on multiple devices running Airfoil at once. Open Airfoil Satellite on your Mac, then start broadcasting to it from an iOS device. @macformat


Pick Satellite as the source

Next, open the main Airfoil app on your Mac and choose Airfoil Satellite as its source. Select the AirPlay speakers you want, and voila: you have control of music throughout your home without being tethered to your Mac.

If you’re using Airfoil with Spotify, don’t forget Spotify Connect, which lets you control Spotify’s playback from any device signed in to the same account.

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 51




Draw persona This mode creates scalable artwork. You can pick File > Export to output as a bitmap graphic at any resolution.

Apply brushes to strokes 1 1 2 3

3 2


On page 54 we’ll use this easy technique for a naturallooking painted text effect. 4


Create your own gradients


The Gradient tool enables you to place colours directly onto objects, avoiding any guesswork.

Add some layer effects Duplicate your text in multiple layers and use blend modes to build up more complex results.

Get creative with text effects Master 3D, translucent and painted type in Serif’s powerful Affinity Designer IT WILL TAKE 1 hour YOU WILL LEARN How to combine layer effects and use brushed strokes for advanced creative results. YOU’LL NEED OS X 10.7 or higher, Affinity Designer.

Sometimes you’ll need a block of type to look different and really pop out 52 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016

Ask any typographer what’s the most impressive decorative effect you can add to text, and they’ll say leaving it the heck alone. They’ll insist that plain black or solidcoloured type, skilfully set in a well-chosen font, will have more impact than the fanciest graphical treatment. But nobody ever listens to typographers, so let’s do it anyway. Sometimes you’ll need a block of type to look different, especially when it has to pop out distinctively from other content around it. The broadcaster Sky, for example, presents its three-letter logo as a glass block: when overlaid on video or swirly backgrounds, it nicely refracts them, and when set by itself it gets a rainbow fill.

Know where to start The right tool for decorative type is a vector drawing program, and Serif’s Affinity Designer (£39.99, Mac App Store) is a good choice. Although it lacks some of the features of Adobe Illustrator, such as 3D extrusions and path operations that can roughen edges, it has useful tricks of its own, and its ability to mix vector and bitmap layers can be handy for

combining type and images. It also works quickly, so you can adjust things while you watch rather than guessing what the results of your actions will look like. For the first of our two techniques, we’ll recreate the look of Sky’s logo using Affinity Designer’s layer effects. No app has a magic button for a complex effect like this, but by identifying the key features of the original and combining layers to mimic them, you can get close. In order to go further, you would really have to redraw everything from scratch, adding shading manually as overlaid vector shapes. Without going to that trouble, you’ll have to make a few compromises on exactly where highlights and shadows fall. On page 54, we’ll explore another realistic effect: painted text. Again, Affinity Designer can do most of the work for you, once you know how. Be aware that the app’s brushes are still a bit unreliable in the current version (1.4.1), and you might run into odd problems like options disappearing when you try to click them. In that case, cancel and have another go, or try, for example, changing a brush’s settings before applying it to a shape rather than after. Adam Banks @macformat

Text effects in Affinity Designer APPLE SKILLS

HOW TO Create a glassy logo effect

Jargon Buster

1 Enter some text

2 Apply a rainbow gradient

3 Set a stroke

4 Adjust bevelling/embossing

Launch Affinity Designer and start a new document (press ç+n). Press t to select the Artistic Text tool, then drag it across the blank page to set the text size. For best results, make your characters a few hundred pixels high.

Add an outline to your letters by dragging the Width slider in the Stroke panel to the right. The stroke seamlessly takes on the same gradient. Now, in the Effects panel, put a check mark next to Bevel/Emboss and click the cog.

Each layer lets those below show through based on its blend mode, set in the Layers panel. Experiment to learn what each mode does.

From the pop-up menu at the top left, pick a font: we used Arial Rounded. Press G for the (gradient) Fill tool, and add suitable colours by clicking on the line to create nodes and using the Colour panel to apply colours to them.

The Sky logo has two highlights on each letter; we’ll create one at a time. Leave Type set to Pillow. Increase the radius and reduce the shadow to 0%. For a shinier effect, pick a convex profile and raise the angle of elevation.

Genius Tip! Affinity Designer’s rendering of layer effects can be slightly choppy. To minimise the issue, draw your text big and export your result at a higher resolution than you need.

5 A second layer effect

Press ç+J to duplicate your text layer. In the Layers panel, change the blend mode of the new top layer to Lighten. Click its ‘fx’ icon and adjust the bevel/emboss effect for the second highlight, switching its direction. @macformat

6 Add a 3D outline

Make another duplicate of this layer and set its fill to None. Use a 3D effect to create the glassy outline. Again, you’ll need to experiment to get the right look. We finished off by adding an outer shadow to the bottom layer.

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HOW TO Create painted lettering

1 Apply a texture line style 2 Increase width to fill in 3 Double up the effect Enter some text in a font that’s fairly heavy and has rough edges. We used Trattatello, included in OS X since 10.10 Yosemite. In the Stroke panel, dial up some width and click the fourth style option, Texture Line Style.

In the Brushes panel, choose a wispy brush: we used ‘Water 2’. Next, go back to Stroke and increase the width until the letters just about fill in. Go too far and you’ll get weird cutouts appearing; use trial and error to settle on a good result.

Press G and, at the top left, set the Fill tool’s context to Stroke, and add a couple of complementary colours to the gradient. Duplicate the layer and set the copy’s blend mode to Overlay. Reverse the gradient and apply a different brush.

HOW TO Create rounded type

1 Convert text to shapes

Sharp corners can interfere with many visual effects. If you can’t find a suitable rounded font, fake it. This technique won’t work on ‘live’ text, so once your type is ready, convert it to shapes by choosing Layer > Convert to Curves.

2 Use the Corner tool

Press C to switch to the Corner tool. Hold ç and click on a letter to reveal its nodes. Now click a corner point (square node) to select it, then drag it to round it off. Try this with any number of corners. (Press ç+z to undo mistakes.)

3 Round all corners

Hold ß+ç, click all of your letters, then – don’t skip this – press ç+A to select all of their nodes. Click the radius setting at the top and drag the slider. All of the corners change together. You can still tweak individual nodes, though.

Create a see-through effect Modify your glass type to use over an image So, you’ve made a shiny rainbow logo, but how do you use it as a translucent overlay, like on those Sky ads? Select each layer in turn and, in the Swatches panel, change their rainbow gradient fills and/or strokes to 50% grey (a range of grey tints is helpfully provided). Now ß-click to select all the layers in the Layers panel, ≈-click one of them and press ç+G to group them, then change the group’s blend mode from Passthrough to Hard Light. Choose File > Place or use Copy and Paste to add a photo, then move its layer to the bottom of the stack.

54 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016 @macformat




Online music

Add tracks

An item stored online displays a cloud icon. Double-click its row to stream it, or click the icon to download it.

4 3



Local music Items without a cloud are stored locally. To free up space, select some item(s), press ∫, then click Remove Download.

After searching Apple Music, click the ellipsis on a result and pick Add to My Music to put it in your online library. 4

Offline music


When you’re offline, use View > Only Downloaded Music; a coloured bar appears, with a link to show everything again.

Master iCloud Music Library Put all your music online to stream or download on demand at any time IT WILL TAKE 15 minutes YOU WILL LEARN How to put your entire music library online so you can access it wherever you can get online. YOU’LL NEED iTunes 12.4 (earlier versions may include critical bugs).

Apple Music and iTunes Match aren’t designed to replace your original files. Still, back up! 56 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016

For many of us, the days of handling physical media to play music are long gone, but maybe you still sync tracks from your Mac to an iOS device using a cable. The next step in making access to your music more readily available is to put it online, so you can access it from any of your devices on a whim over Wi-Fi or a mobile network. Apple’s solution is iCloud Music Library, which requires a subscription to either iTunes Match (£21.99 per year) or Apple Music (from £9.99 per month). If a large portion of your music originally came from places other than the iTunes Store, or if your iOS device simply can’t contain all of it at once, the cost can soon prove worthwhile for the extra convenience. Subscribing to either service turns on iCloud Music Library in iTunes’ General prefs. Music bought from the iTunes Store or added from Apple Music’s catalogue is added to your iCloud Music Library and appears in My Music on your devices, ready to stream or download. Existing content in your local library is then processed to make it available online, which is a potentially lengthy process, depending on the quantity of it, though some smarts are

applied to save time if it’s found that Apple has its own copies of items. The same process is followed when you add new music, whether it’s from CD or other physical media, or an audio file free of digital rights management (DRM) from a store such as Amazon Music.

Matching your other music Music from other sources is checked to see whether it can be matched to something in Apple’s library by taking a kind of fingerprint. If a match is found, Apple’s version is added to your iCloud Music Library, though the original version will remain on your Mac; if you stream or download a matched track on another of your devices, you get it as a 256Kbps AAC file. The aim of matching is to avoid having to wait for all your tracks to upload, and to reduce the burden on Apple to store duplicates of the same items for many people. It mostly works well, though some have found they get inexact matches – censored versions, for example. Tracks for which Apple has no match go through a few checks to determine a course of action. If one is encoded in Apple Lossless, AIFF or WAV format, a temporary 256Kbps AAC file is created and uploaded to your @macformat

iCloud Music Library APPLE SKILLS

online library, but the original remains on your Mac. A song won’t be uploaded if: it’s over 200MB; more than two hours long; it’s an MP3 or AAC file encoded at 96Kbps or less; or it fits another restriction listed at bit. ly/mtchRstrct. Your online library is limited to 100,000 songs, which will accommodate most people’s music collections, though not all.

Don’t use it as a backup Apple states in support docs that neither service replaces the original copies of tracks on your Mac. Though that’s the intended behaviour, don’t trust your music to it. Case in point: iTunes 12.4 fixes a glitch that garnered attention after one person blogged about

tracks being removed from their Mac. At the bottom of the support doc just referenced is a warning not to treat Apple Music as a back-up service, and to keep a separate copy of your music in case your Mac is damaged or lost. Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper are good for this. Ask a trusted person to safely store the copy away from your master version. That said, there’s a difference between the two services that can help after a catastrophe. With Apple Music, matched songs that you redownload have DRM applied, and can only be played while your sub’s active. Matched tracks from iTunes Match download free of DRM, so you can play them even if you later let your subscription lapse. Alan Stonebridge

Jargon Buster iTunes in the Cloud is an older term Apple has used to describe the ability to auto-download iTunes Store purchases to all your devices, along with the optional benefits of iTunes Match.

HOW TO Set up and work with iCloud Music Library

1 Sign up for iTunes Match 2 Sign up for Apple Music 3 Let the matching begin If you don’t care about Apple Music and only want to put your existing music online, open iTunes and choose Account > View My Account, sign in, and click Learn More next to iTunes Match. Follow the sign-up process, then skip to step 3.

If you want access to Apple Music’s catalogue as well, select Music (top left), click For You to the right, then follow the sign-up process. It’s a little more involved as you must give guidance about your tastes to aid recommendation features.

Once you’re signed up, iTunes will start matching your tracks to Apple’s catalogue. The time this takes depends on how many obscure tracks are in your iTunes library, as well as your internet connection‘s upload speed.

4 Augment your library 5 Keep your library pure 6 Hide Connect After you use the search bar to find content in Apple Music’s library, you can add items to your library: click the ellipsis next to one – for an individual tracks, put the pointer over it first – and choose Add to My Music from the contextual menu. @macformat

By default, Apple Music items added to a playlist also end up in your library, but disabling ‘Add songs to My Music when you add them to your playlists’ in iTunes’ General prefs can help to ensure your library only contains what you own.

At the top of iTunes’ General prefs are settings for Apple Music and iCloud Music Library. Turning off the former also disables access to iCloud Music Library. To hide things such as Connect without this happening, use the Restrictions tab.

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Adjust your scan’s colours by tapping here. Use the Magic Colour feature to optimise them automatically.

Change your scanned doc’s orientation by tapping the Rotate Left or Rotate Right icons here.



Crop Scanbot’s good at detecting doc edges, but you can adjust them yourself: tap Crop, then drag the handles.





If you discover shadows or other unwanted artefacts on your scan, tap here to ditch it and start over.



Turn paper docs to digital Scan high-quality documents using your iOS device’s camera IT WILL TAKE 20 minutes YOU WILL LEARN How to use Scanbot to scan documents with an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. YOU’LL NEED iOS 8.0 or higher. Scanbot.

Scanbot can snap almost any kind of document, straighten it, and save it as a PDF or JPEG 58 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016

If you regularly find yourself needing to capture information from business cards, documents and notes, the brilliant Scanbot ( is just what you need. It uses your iOS device’s camera to snap almost any kind of document, as well as barcodes, QR codes and even photos, and then saves them as PDFs or JPEGs ready to share on a wide range of cloud-based services, on a WebDAV or FTP server, or by email. While the free version of Scanbot provides you with access to almost all of its features, we recommend that you buy one of the in-app purchases to upgrade to either the Pro (£5.99) or VIP (£7.99) version. You’ll then be able to create folders, annotate and sign documents, and use optical character recognition (OCR) to search or copy a document’s text. You’ll soon find all kinds of uses for Scanbot, and it’s by far the easiest way to digitise your documents without investing in a regular scanner.

Perfect the process On the opposite page we’ll explore the main ways you can use the app, but before you start there are a couple of things you should know.

The first is to make sure your document is well-lit, and that it’s either lying on a flat surface or at least placed parallel to your iOS device’s camera. Next, make sure you place your document on a background of suitably high contrast. Scanbot will attempt to frame the document’s edges and straighten things out, but it can’t perform miracles. Luckily it’ll warn you if the document is too dark or too light, or if it’s having problems detecting the document’s edges (perhaps because you’ve placed a white document against a white background, say), giving you the opportunity to try again. However, you can also capture a document manually, and then use Scanbot’s built-in editing tools to square up the document’s edges, correct its colours, and so on. Scanbot also lets you choose how your document is captured. You can either get the app to capture it automatically as soon as it recognises there’s a page in front of your device’s camera, or you can take more manual control. Either way, Scanbot’s features are so powerful and so useful that you’ll soon wonder how you ever managed without it. Rob Mead-Green @macformat

Digitise documents APPLE SKILLS

HOW TO Use Scanbot to digitise documents

1 Choose your settings

2 Get the text

3 Feel the quality

4 Be ready to scan

5 Scan your document

6 Change capture settings

7 Annotate and protect

8 Document actions

9 Text-handling actions

Open Scanbot, tap the cross if it tries to scan a document, then tap the cog at the top-left corner for a pop-up menu where you can change settings, such as whether to auto-upload your scans or enable Text Recognition (OCR).

Go back again, then tap Advanced Settings. You can opt to autosave scans in your device’s photo library as well as in Scanbot. Set Start With Camera based on whether you want the camera’s view, ready to scan, when you open the app.

If you’re happy with the scan, save it. Tap the document preview and then the Pencil icon to perform actions on the doc: highlight key sections, add a password to protect it, add comments, or even add a signature by drawing on the screen. @macformat

To capture text from documents, tap Text Recognition (OCR), turn on the switch, and then choose the languages you want to capture. It’s best to pick only those you’ll actually use as this enables the app to deliver more accurate results.

Tap the +, then position your device over your document. The app should auto-capture and straighten it, then ask whether to save it. If the capture fails Scanbot will warn you, so you can take action, such as steadying the camera..

Alongside the Pencil icon are further actions you can take with your captured document, enabling you to create custom workflows, add pages, move the doc to a folder within Scanbot’s storage, or to delete it from your device.

Tap the back arrow (top left), then tap Scan Quality & File Size. Scanbot can capture documents at 200dpi or higher; for optimum results, set the slider to High or Best. Below will be confirmation of quality and relative file sizes to expect.

Use the five icons near the capture button to tell the app whether you’re scanning a multi-page document, and to toggle automatic snapping, QR code detection and OCR. On an iPhone, the lightning bolt toggles the flash on and off.

Tap the three dots (top right) for even more actions, including the ability to show and copy recognised text (to paste from a business card into Contacts, say), search the text, or share the document on a cloud service such as Dropbox.

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Master your iPad Essential apps and tips

Enjoy movies, music & podcasts like never before! EACH ISSUE JUST £2.99 / $4.99, SUBSCRIPTIONS FROM £1.99 / $2.99


Creative photography APPLE SKILLS

Shoot long exposures Unleash your creativity by making the most of night-time photography IT WILL TAKE An hour YOU WILL LEARN The basics of long exposures, and how to use Slow Shutter Cam. YOU’LL NEED iOS 7.0 or higher. Slow Shutter Cam.

Used at night, this technique shows moving light sources in your picture as beautiful trails

One of the vital things to understand for photographers is shutter speed. Simply put, the shutter is the bit in a camera that opens and closes to let light hit the sensor so a photograph can be taken. The longer the shutter is open, the brighter and blurrier an image. The problem is this: in iOS’s built-in Camera app, things are kept simple and the device sets a shutter speed automatically. This works out great most of the time, but in challenging environments, such as at night, it can be a struggle to get the desired result. Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to photographing light trails. A beloved technique of photographers, long exposures at night record moving light sources as beautiful light trails – but only if you’re able to set your camera to shoot an exposure that lasts for a few seconds or longer. This is where Slow Shutter Cam (£1.49) comes in. It allows you to set a shutter speed from a quarter of a second up to 60 seconds, and even allows you to set a ‘bulb’ exposure, where the sensor records for the whole duration that you press the shutter button. In the tutorial below we concentrate on light trail images, but Slow Shutter Cam offers

loads of options. For example, tap the menu icon at the bottom-right corner of the screen and you can choose to save the images you capture as higher quality TIFF or PNG files. Or, if you simply want to take steady images, the app’s Low Light mode, which you’ll find by tapping the cog icon in the bottom-left corner, lets you take them of static subjects.

Steady your camera To take good long exposures, you’re going to need a tripod. If you try this technique while holding your iOS device you’ll just get blurry messes out of the app. Of course, this means you’ll also need to invest in a way to secure your iPhone or iPod touch to it. For this, we continue to recommend the Glif mount (£27,, the width of which can be adjusted to fit different sizes of iOS device, all the way up to the iPhone 6s Plus. Finally, you need to find a place with light trails to capture. Motorways are the cliché we’ve opted for here, though there are plenty of other scenarios you can use to experiment: kids waving sparklers, fireworks displays, and busy waterways at night are all options that should inspire you to get creative. Dave Stevenson

HOW TO Take long exposures with Slow Shutter Cam

1 Get set up

Once you’ve found the perfect place, set up your tripod and ensure it doesn’t get buffeted around by the wind. In Slow Shutter Cam, tap the menu icon and set Self-Timer to three seconds to stop you nudging the camera when you take a pic. @macformat

2 Focus

Focussing in the dark is tricky, so your best bet is to tap the screen on the headlights of a passing car, then tap the AF icon – second from the top here – to lock the focus. This may take a bit of trial and error, but it’s crucial to get it right.

3 Fire away

The centre button fires the camera after your preset interval. If you choose not to clear the image after the exposure is finished, subsequent ones are overlaid on top of it – useful if your first attempt doesn’t give quite the finish you’re after.

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Manage project notes Take your notes to the next level with the power of Outline+ IT WILL TAKE 20 minutes YOU WILL LEARN How to take control of a number of different projects or assignments that require compiling various elements. YOU’LL NEED An iPad, iOS 9 or higher, and Outline+ (£7.99).

You can adapt Outline+ to fit just about any project you like

Your iPad is the perfect device for creating, managing and sharing notes, and you’ll find that Outline+ (£7.99 from the App Store) offers a handy one-stop shop for all your digital notebook needs. It’s similar to Microsoft’s OneNote tool (and your notes can be synced to and from OneNote via OneDrive), which makes it incredibly flexible. You can adapt the app to just about any task you want, whether that’s project-managing your next work assignment, planning your next holiday itinerary, or simply using it as a repository for all of the tasty quick recipes you stumble upon and want to keep around. In fact, why not use it for both work and pleasure? You can create multiple notebooks in it, allowing you to cover all your needs while keeping things separate. Each notebook can be broken down into section groups, sections, pages and even subpages, allowing you to match the structure to the complexity of your project – Apple’s Notes app falls short here. The annotation below explains how this works.

If Outline+ has one weakness, however, it’s that it doesn’t allow you to move pages between sections, or to rearrange sections into groups once they’ve been created, so take the time to consider and plan your structure before you begin.

Populating notes Each page can contain multiple elements – text, photos, file attachments, and even annotatable PDFs. The step-by-step guide opposite reveals how this works, but don’t think that’s the end of it. Outline+ is packed full of other clever features. You can sync your notebooks with various cloud providers to back them up and access them from other iOS devices or your Mac (via a separate purchase from the Mac App Store), for example. Individual pages can be exported as PDFs for sharing, while you can even embed hyperlinks to other pages in your notes to aid navigation. Full instructions on these and other features are covered in the user guide notebook in the app. Nick Peers

EXPLAINED… Manage your notebooks 1



Notebooks Tap the three-line icon to reveal your notebooks and organise your projects in them.


Section groups Tap on a notebook’s name and pick New Section Group to create an extra layer of organisation.

62 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016



Tap a section name to rename or delete it, or to assign it a different colour that’ll help you to identify it.

2 4


Hierarchy Notes are placed on pages. You can nest pages inside other pages for another level of hierarchy. @macformat

Manage your project notes APPLE SKILLS

HOW TO Create and manage notebooks

1 Create a new notebook 2 Manage pages

3 Add text

Tap the three-line icon to reveal the Notebooks panel, followed by + and Create Notebook. Give your notebook a name and tap OK. Hold a finger on ‘New Section 1’ to rename and colour it, and to add a password to protect it.

You’ll see that a page, currently named Untitled Page, has been created. Change the name listed in the main page view by giving the page a title. Tap + at the bottom of the folder view to add more pages. Drag them to reorder them.

4 More text options

5 Add freehand sketches 6 Insert images In the group of icons on the right of the note, tap the pencil to draw freehand, or tap the pen to insert handwriting. A selection of tools is displayed above the writing area – hold a finger on one of these tools to tweak its settings.

Tap the + button to add images from your iPad or a new photo. Photos can also be imported from other apps: hold a finger on a photo in another app, pick Copy, switch to Outline+, then briefly hold down a finger and pick Paste.

7 Resize and move

8 Attach other content

9 Keep building

The keyboard also has controls that add tables, and bulleted and numbered lists. Tap the checkbox icon for additional markers you can add: checkbox (enabling you to mark something as complete), starred, question, contact and highlight.

Tap once on an image to reveal handles that enable you to move and resize it. Double-tap it to reveal other options, or hold a finger on it to bring up a magnifying glass that you can drag around the photo to view it up-close. @macformat

You can attach other files to notes by choosing ‘Open with…’ in another app, then Outline+ as the destination. Most file types appear as attachments in Outline+ (tap one’s icon to open its app), though PDFs can be ‘printed’ to add annotations.

Tap the three-line icon to hide the Notebooks panel and free up some space. Now tap anywhere on the note itself to create a floating section of text. Format the text using the style tools provided on the on-screen keyboard.

Add new pages and sections to your notebook as required for additional content. In Outline+’s settings you can encrypt your notes and add a password, and tap Synchronization to link the app to Dropbox, Box, OneDrive or SharePoint.

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Make immersive panoramas Get started with virtual reality imaging by making interactive VR photos IT WILL TAKE At least 30 minutes YOU WILL LEARN How to create 360° VR photographs and publish them as interactive web tours. YOU’LL NEED A camera with a wide-angle or fisheye lens, or a Ricoh Theta. PTGui and Pano2VR.

Creating VR images is easy if you know the right tools and techniques 64 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016

Virtual reality is this year’s hot topic, with head-mounted displays including Google Cardboard, Samsung’s Gear VR, HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift seemingly everywhere now. As well as it being easy to look around interactive VR videos and images on YouTube, Google’s various StreetView and BusinessView experiments, and sites such as, and, making your own 360° VR panoramic photography is simple – or at least achievable if you know the right tools. By VR panoramas, we don’t mean simple ‘wide sweep’ shots like those you can take on an iPhone. We mean images that go all the way around, covering the full 360°. They can cover the full top-to-bottom view, so you can look up and down too. These fully immersive productions are called ‘spherical’ panoramas, and ones that don’t include the top (zenith) and bottom (nadir) are cylindrical panoramas. You can use any camera to create a 360° panorama, although for the spherical kind a

panorama head will help you turn and tilt your camera properly. (There are apps that produce these as you wave your iPhone around, but they’re quite limited in scope and quality.)

Shooting suitable images Use a digital SLR or equivalent if possible, and fit the widest angle lens you can lay your hands on. If you have a fisheye lens, that’s ideal – don’t worry, the distortion disappears automatically during processing – but only use an add-on fisheye adaptor as a last resort, because their optical quality is generally poor. Take multiple photographs, each with 25% or so overlap with the previous one. These will be ‘stitched’ together to produce one seamless (ideally) end result. The trick to a successful stitch lies in turning your camera around the optical centre of its lens. This avoids the problem of parallax, where things in the overlap between pairs of photos are in slightly different positions. You can judge this fairly well by eye, turning the lens over a spot on the ground, perhaps dangling a weighted string to @macformat

Make 360° panoramas APPLE SKILLS

help you judge more accurately. With practise this can be effective, but true precision needs a specialist panorama head. These turn the camera around the ‘no-parallax point’ of the lens with millimetre-level accuracy. Set your camera to full manual mode for every attribute. Differences in exposure in different parts of your scene will lead to problems later; if any feature is in automatic mode, the different shots won’t match up as easily. Remember, you’ll be creating one final image from individual photographic parts.

Processing the pictures Once you have your shots it’s time to stitch them together. Photoshop’s Photomerge feature is just about okay for making basic cylindrical panoramas, but it’s no good for spherical creations. PTGui (£78, is a dedicated panorama-stitching app that’s perfect for this job. It has an incredible range of controls that can be rather daunting to new users, but its streamlined ‘simple’ mode is fine for regular work. The app runs as a functional demo that creates watermarked output, so you can try before you buy. If the process of shooting multiple photos and then stitching them together sounds too daunting, don’t panic. Just get yourself one of the growing number of one-shot panorama @macformat

cameras. Ricoh’s Theta (see MF297, p93) is a great option for quick panorama snaps, and there are similar new products including Kodak’s SP360 4K (you’ll need two), Nikon’s forthcoming KeyMission 360, and others. The quality of the final image won’t be as high as with a DSLR and a panorama head, but for ease of use these special cameras really can’t be beaten. If you take this route you can skip the first two steps of the walkthrough on page 67, which cover stitching images together, but remember that you’ll get the best quality if you shoot and stitch images yourself. Once you have your panoramic image, it’s time to turn it into something you can look around on your own Mac, and upload to a web site for others to look at in their own desktop or mobile devices. PTGui has an option for

Jargon Buster A VR panorama is an image that wraps around a full 360°. One way to view them is using a head-mounted display (HMD), such as Google Cardboard, now in the UK for £15 each.

Genius Tip!

VR panoramas can place you in wide scenes, like the one across the top of this page, or in more intimate settings.

Get PTGui support from the guides and forum at, where its developer and other users give answers and advice.

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EXPLAINED… Pano2VR 5’s interface 1


Panorama properties

Information pop-ups

Set crucial parameters of your imported images, videos and sounds in this panel.





The Tour Browser This shows all the panoramas you have in your Pano2VR ‘tour’, and if they have incoming links.

Put the pointer over a hotspot or other added item for detailed info about what that item does.


Output settings Use this panel to configure how your final pano is built. All panels can float free or be docked.


Jargon Buster A cylindrical VR panorama has a limited vertical viewing angle. A spherical one has an unrestricted 180° vertical view.

Genius Tip! Help with the Pano2VR app can be found at, and tips and advice for the Ricoh Theta camera is at

66 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016

exporting web-ready panoramas, and the Theta app exports to a free account on, but there’s no scope in those tools for enhancing the panorama or creating tours. For that, we’ll use Pano2VR (about £94,, a tool that greatly simplifies the production of enhanced panoramas and linked tours. Drop a panoramic image into this app, pick a few options, and you can then export Flash and HTML5 interactive VR panoramas. If you use panoramas made with a Ricoh Theta, use Image Capture to copy the fullresolution images from the camera to your Mac. Pano2VR will automatically level them for you, based on the data that the Theta embeds in its images. To adjust any panorama’s levelling by hand, just hold L while dragging the view, or type pitch and roll values into the bottom part of the Properties panel. Once you have multiple panoramas in Pano2VR, adding links to let someone jump from one to another is simple. If your images include GPS metadata, simply choosing Tour > Automatic Linking and picking one of the two options will do this for you. Alternatively, both point and polygon hotspots can be added and used as links between ‘tour nodes’ (different panoramas) or as links out to regular web addresses. Step 4 of our walkthrough shows basic linking between panoramas, but there

are other link options to explore. By default, titles given to hotspots are shown when they are hovered over. This is controlled in the Hotspot section of the Output panel, along with the appearance of polygon hotspots. As shown in step 5, you can add graphics, videos and even fake lens flares to panoramas as interactive overlays. Try using PNG images with transparent areas for a bit of visual sophistication – but don’t overuse the lens flare trick, because it gets old very fast.

Outputting your panorama Finally, export your panorama in the most suitable format, as shown in step 6. HTML5 is a good choice for modern web browsers, though Flash is still a useful fallback for older ones. The Output panel’s Transition section allows a number of different visual effects to be applied when moving between panoramas. The Before and After options can add zoom in and out effects, helping to convey a feeling of movement between virtual locations. For two-up, Google Cardboard-style VR headset support, select the ‘cardboard’ option from the Output panel’s Skin list, and in the Template option in the Output panel’s HTML section. This makes a two-up linked display that works perfectly on an iPhone in any head-mounted display. Keith Martin @macformat

Make 360° panoramas APPLE SKILLS

HOW TO Create 360° VR panoramas

Jargon Buster

1 Import and align images

2 Create a panorama

3 Set viewing parameters

4 Link multiple panoramas

In a new PTGui document, click Load Images and pick your photos. Next, click Align Images to make the app attempt to stitch the pictures together. You can push individual pictures around in the Panorama Editor window.

Drop two panorama images into Pano2VR and drag the first to your preferred start view. Choose Window > Viewing Parameters to open the Viewing Parameters panel, then click the Set button to fix the starting point view.

In Create Panorama, you can set the output size and format (pick TIFF for the best quality). Once output, Publish to Website in the Tools menu can make a simple web version, but we’ll use Pano2VR as it has more features.

The zenith and the nadir are the upwards and downwards views in a spherical panorama. The latter shows your tripod unless it’s edited or shot handheld.

Choose Elements > Point Hotspots and then double-click in your panorama to add a hotspot. Choose Window > Properties, set the Link Target Type to Tour Node, and pick your second panorama in the Link Target URL list.

Genius Tip!


Add graphics

Choose Elements > Images and doubleclick in a panorama. In the next dialog, pick the image you want in the panorama. Drag to scale, rotate and position it. In the Properties panel, set Click Mode to Pop Out Normal. @macformat


Export your VR panorama

Choose Window > Output, then click the green + icon and pick HTML5 from the list of options. Add a ‘skin’ of ready-made controls from the Skin pop-up menu, then click the cog icon to generate your interactive panorama.

The best panorama heads are from and, though the Philopod technique ( Philopod) can work well.

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 67


Discover the no.1 choice for web designers and developers. Each issue is packed with the latest trends, technologies and techniques, plus exclusive video tutorials. Don’t miss it!


What’s inside 69 MAC SOFTWARE How to go about backing up a massive collection of media.




EXPERT ADVICE Our resident genius solves your Mac and iOS problems

Thinking inside the box to refresh the parts other tips can’t reach

72–73 MAC OS X Sage advice to help you overcome the worst Mac maladies

74 iOS SOFTWARE Swipe away your touchscreen troubles and love iOS once again

Trusty Carbon Copy Cloner can maintain a copy of a drive’s contents, and a history of changed files.

How do I back up a 3TB iTunes library? Contact us Email your queries and your questions to Keep up to date by following us on Twitter @macformat Join the conversation at macformat Get the latest subscription offers at

I keep my iTunes library on a 6TB WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo, which is set up as a mirrored RAID array that gives me 3TB of actual storage capacity, but the drive is running low on free space. I also have a LaCie 2big Thunderbolt drive with two 3TB disks set up as a RAID mirror. How should I use these to ensure my library is properly backed up?


by J O H N B R O O M F I E L D

To implement a solution, you need a strategy that meets your need to be able to restore the contents of a failed drive containing your whole library. If the library’s contents were bought from the iTunes Store, they could all be downloaded again; devoting expensive storage to backups


may not be a good use of those resources. However, redownloading 3TB of tracks would normally take a very long time. Frequency of backups, an important factor in determining required capacity, depends on how often files change. Most contents in an iTunes library are likely to be unchanged over time. One potentially efficient solution would be to keep your current drives, each operating as a 6TB volume, and use Carbon Copy Cloner (£27.50, to maintain a back-up set from one drive to the other. This provides 6TB, so your library can grow, but it’s prone to data loss if one disk in each array fails at the same time (compared to up to three in your current, less capacious arrangement). Unless the library changes daily, you may only have to run that back-up routine every few days or so.

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 69

GENIUS TIPS Mac Hardware

Mac Hardware Thinking inside the aluminium box to refresh the parts that other tips can’t reach Networking quick-fire questions How much memory can be installed in a MacBook Pro? > Memory can’t be upgraded in the latest MacBook Pro models, and the maximum Apple will supply is 16GB. However, the top 15-inch model has a Radeon R9 M370X GPU with 2GB of video memory, and which doesn’t borrow main memory, which the Iris Pro GPU in other models does.

How did an update make my Air’s trackpad wonky? > Odd, jittery behaviour can sometimes be resolved by opening the Trackpad pane and checking its settings. If it continues, it could be caused by old info on your startup disk: try starting in safe mode, which might clear that up – or, download and install the latest OS X Combo updater.

70 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016

Bluetooth’s broken on my iMac I’ve just replaced my old Mac mini with a brand new 27-inch iMac Late 2015 model, which is running OS X 10.11.4. Whenever I’ve started it up, Bluetooth is unavailable in System Preferences, which stops me using my new Magic Keyboard and Mouse, and I’m stuck with using my old USB peripherals. I’ve tried resetting the SMC and trashing the file, but neither of these actions has helped. Apple Diagnostics reports the hardware is fine, and the only fix which does work – at least until I shut the iMac down – is to start up in safe mode. Is my new iMac a dud?


by N E I L O A S T L E R

It may sound suspiciously like your iMac’s logic board is defective, particularly after all that you’ve tried. Sometimes a bad solder connection can result in an inconsistent fault, which is most likely when starting a Mac up from cold. However, that Bluetooth works in safe mode suggests


What you haven’t tried yet is to reset NVRAM, which is good practice after resetting the SMC

The System Information tool, accessed through  > About This Mac, only gives information about your Mac’s Bluetooth hardware when its driver is loaded.

that the root cause of your problem is more likely to be in software or firmware. The one thing you haven’t tried yet is to reset the NVRAM (non-volatile RAM – called Parameter RAM, or PRAM, on older Macs, hence the following key combination). Hook up your USB keyboard to the iMac and then shut down the computer. Turn it on again and keep ç+å+P+R held down from when you hear the startup sound until you hear it a second time, then release the keys and let your Mac start up normally. It’s good practice to do this after resetting the SMC. If that doesn’t help, take your iMac to a Genius Bar or return it for in-warranty repair. @macformat

Mac Hardware GENIUS TIPS

My MacBook’s fans are always on

How can I monitor temperatures and fans in my Mac?

After I updated my MacBook Air to OS X 10.10.5, its fan has been running almost as soon as I’ve started to use it, reducing its battery life drastically. The only thing I can see wrong is that one process in Activity Monitor is using around 200% of the CPU capacity, even without any apps running. What is wrong?

> Several apps can do this, but TG Pro (about £11, is the most comprehensive. An easy way to get it is to buy Temperature Gauge (£10.99) from the Mac App Store, run it once, then go to tgproupd to upgrade it.


by E L L I O T H U M M E L

Try an ordinary restart, or safe mode by holding ß at the startup sound. If the fan doesn’t behave itself then, reset the SMC and NVRAM. Shut down the


MacBook Air, keeping its mains adaptor connected with the mains supply on. On the MacBook’s built-in keyboard, press and hold the (left-hand) ß+≈+å keys and the power button all at the same time, then release them. Press the power button to start up the MacBook, and hold down ç+å+P+R when you hear the first startup sound until you hear it a second time, then release the keys. If that doesn’t help, restart with the d key held for Apple’s diagnostic utility, and check out your hardware: it – specifically one of the fans – might need repair, or maintenance if it has become clogged up.

If your Mac’s fans don’t settle down after restarting and with no significant app activity, run a diagnostic on the hardware.

What can I do about my iMac’s dying optical drive? The internal optical drive in my 27-inch iMac (Late 2009) has stopped working properly. It now rejects CD-R discs, even those which it burned itself. I took it to a Genius Bar, where they told me that it’s considered obsolete and that they couldn’t replace the optical drive because they’re no longer stocked. A friend’s Apple USB SuperDrive doesn’t work properly on the iMac. How can I provide it with a fully-functional optical drive again?


by D A N I E L G A R C I A

The first solution to try is to give the drive a gentle and fairly dry clean using one of the better optical drive cleaning kits available from good audio and

A @macformat

Apple’s external SuperDrive doesn’t work with all Macs, but many thirdparty ones work fine these days.

Can I hack Apple’s USB SuperDrive to work with any Mac? > Before El Capitan, you could edit /Library/Pref erences/SystemConfigu ration/ plist to recognise it on any Mac. That file’s now protected by System Integrity Protection, but the necessary change can be made from OS X Recovery: restart and hold ç+R from the startup sound, then follow the instructions at

electronics retailers. It mustn’t be abrasive, nor too wet, which could damage the rest of your iMac. If that doesn’t fix the problem, or the issue recurs soon after, the optical drive will need to be replaced. This can be either another internal unit if you can get your hands on one, or an external drive. A good, Apple-certified engineer should be able to source an appropriate drive, and will reuse the plastic inserts from the old one in order to to keep dust out of your iMac. If they can’t manage that, you’ll need to locate a suitable USB 2.0 drive that’s sufficiently compatible with your iMac. Apple’s external SuperDrive works with Macs from 2008 that don’t have an internal one, but not with other Mac models. However, you should have no problems using a drive from another manufacturer.

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Mac OS X Shine a spotlight on sagacious solutions to your most maddening Mac maladies Software quick-fire questions Can I interact with windows that are in the background? > Normally you need to activate a background window with one click, after which further clicks instigate actions. Unlike in Microsoft Windows, OS X has no global setting you can alter to change that, though a few apps, such as MarsEdit, behave differently with respect to their own windows.

Would 1Password help to remember my passwords? > Yes. It’s an excellent solution for anyone who struggles to remember passwords. It syncs with Macs, iOS devices, and Windows PCs, and can store extra info that iCloud Keychain can’t. But you still need to remember its master password. It’s wise to also keep written copies in a safe, secure place.

Apple ID passwords and email addresses A friend forgot the password for her Apple ID. She used to live in France, and when she initiated Apple’s Forgot Password procedure, instructions were sent to her old French email address. She can still access that, but not for much longer, so she now uses a Gmail address instead. Can she change her Apple ID’s registered email address so that, should she need a password reset in the future, she’ll still be able to receive the message?


by M A L C O L M W E A T H E R H E A D

instructions for changing an Apple ID’s email address at Many Apple ID accounts are associated with an (or or address, which is readily accessed using

It’s safer to have at least two email addresses, to help you tell real and phishing messages apart

She can change her registered email address, and she must do so as a matter of urgency, before her French one shuts down. Apple provides detailed


Apple’s Mail or another email app. This is the simplest way of maintaining your Apple ID, but you may not want another email account to manage, so you can use an existing address, such as one from Gmail, as your Apple ID. Ensure you’re able to read any messages that Apple may send to that address. Although it’s a tad more complex, it’s much safer to have at least two addresses: one used solely for Apple ID messages and associated with that ID, and one for general messages. This helps you tell real messages from phishing attacks, as any genuine messages from Apple about your account will go to that private address. You should enable two-step verification (or two-factor authentication, to make it harder for someone Make sure the email address that’s associated with your Apple ID is to break into your account. correct to ensure account access.

72 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016 @macformat


How can I recover a folder I trashed by mistake?

What’s the best way to close my wife’s account? When I bought my iMac a couple of years ago, I used Migration Assistant to set it up from my old MacBook. But that laptop used my wife’s account as its primary user, and that was transferred across to the iMac. Each time I start up my iMac, it opens in my wife’s name, and I have to log out and back in to access my account. How can I adjust the iMac so that mine is the main account, and my wife’s account is removed?


by C O L I N H E A T O N

The first admin user account that’s created is special in OS X, so although it’s possible to fudge things in the Users & Groups pane and in Terminal, it’s far better to make the necessary changes by setting up from a clean installation of OS X.


Dashboard will no longer load any widgets for my user account Dashboard has suddenly stopped working properly on my iMac, although the same set of widgets installed on my MacBook Pro still works fine, and they also work in the other account on the iMac. Restarting the iMac in safe mode makes no difference, and I’ve tried repairing permissions and the startup disk without any joy. What’s causing this, and how can I fix it?


The primary admin user account, which is created during the initial setting up of OS X, has particular importance and is best not tampered with.

Ensure that your iMac is fully backed up, preferably keeping an extra copy of important documents, including your keychain. Keep the backup ready with a high-speed connection to your iMac, then restart in OS X Recovery (hold ç+R at startup) and use Disk Utility to erase the startup disk, then install OS X on it, making yourself the sole and admin user. During setup, use Migration Assistant to transfer just your documents and settings from the backup.

widgets during this process. Move everything from /Library/Widgets into one of them, and the contents of ~/Library/Widgets into the other, then start to restore one at a time until you discover which causes the issue. If you can, immediately obtain an updated version or a fresh copy of any widget that’s problematic, then continue restoring the remaining widgets into their correct folders one at a time, in case more than one’s at fault. Because this problem is confined to a single user, it’s most likely to be an issue with a widget in ~/Library/Widgets (the tilde, ~, signifies the path to the logged-in account’s folder). Sometimes just moving them all out and back again sorts out the problem.

by S I M O N S I M P S O N

This is a sporadic problem that most commonly occurs when one or more installed widgets won’t load properly, and blocks others from loading. The best way to tackle it is to uninstall your widgets, then add them back one at a time to find the culprit. Create a couple of folders in your user account’s Documents folder to contain all your

A @macformat

Even if you use a basic set of Dashboard widgets, they can become damaged and prevent Dashboard from loading.

> There are some recovery utilities, such as Data Rescue, that try to recover things, but success isn’t assured. The more you’ve used your Mac since you emptied the Trash, the lower the chance of complete recovery. A Time Machine backup would save you the bother of trying such an app, of course.

I think I’ve found a bug in OS X. Can I report it? > Yes. Check in support forums (discussions. first to see if it really is a bug, then complete the feedback form at feedback/macosx.html. You are very unlikely to get any email response from Apple when using this form; if you want one, tweet its new @AppleSupport account.

How do I know which keys type special characters? > These are shown in the Keyboard Viewer, which is available in the menu bar after you turn it on in the Keyboard pane’s Keyboard tab. With the window open, hold a modifier key, such as å or ç, to see special characters it makes available when pressed along with other keys.

2016 | MACFORMAT | 73


iOS Software Swipe away your touchscreen troubles and rekindle your love of Apple’s mobile devices iOS software quick-fire questions What can I do about receiving junk iMessages? > Messages sent in that way (and shown in blue) have a Report Junk link under them if the sender isn’t in your contacts. Tap that, then Delete and Report Junk for Apple to investigate. Report junk SMS or MMS messages to your service provider, and tap Details, then ‘i’ next to the sender’s number, then Block this Caller.

Why won’t a Wallet pass appear on my Lock screen? > Location Services needs to be turned on, and that pass’s Suggest on Lock Screen option has to be enabled too. If the pass still doesn’t appear, it may be the merchant that provided it doesn’t support the Lock screen suggestion feature: check with its support site to find out.

Dictation with a Smart Keyboard still attached I love my iPad Pro and its wonderful Smart Keyboard, but it has one hideous failing: it’s impossible to use iOS’s dictation feature at the same time. To be able to dictate again, I have to yank the Smart Keyboard off. Do you know of any way of fixing this so that I can dictate while keeping the keyboard attached?


by F R A N C I S C O A R A N G O

There’s a solution for this in iOS 9.3, so make sure your iPad Pro’s running at least that version by checking in Settings > General > About. If it’s still running an older version, go to Settings > General > Software Update to get the latest version of the operating system. Once you’re on the latest version of iOS, connect your Smart Keyboard and tap in a text field or a document’s body. The Shortcut Bar should then appear across the bottom of the iPad’s display. At the right end of the bar is a downwards-pointing arrow that you would normally tap to dismiss the bar and free up a little bit of screen space. Instead of tapping it, though, hold a fingertip on it for a moment and the full software keyboard should appear shortly afterwards, complete with its


microphone key, enabling you to once again speak the text you want to appear. This can be a little cumbersome thanks to the short delay before the software keyboard appears. When you’ve finished dictating, tap Done, then tap the software keyboard’s bottom-right key (which shows a keyboard and an arrow) to slide it off the screen, once again leaving only the Shortcut Bar visible at the bottom of the screen. Search for ‘Hardware keyboard improvements and fixes’ at for descriptions of other keyboard enhancements that were introduced in iOS 9.3.

Hold a fingertip on the arrow at the right end of the Shortcut Bar to open the software keyboard

In iOS 9.3, Apple introduced various improvements for working with hardware keyboards.

74 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016 @macformat



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What’s inside



Inspiring ideas for revamping your old Apple devices

Boost an iPod to carry more songs than ever before in your pocket

80 HOW TO FIT NEW iPOD STORAGE Find out how to lever open an iPod and kit it out with flash storage



An iPod classic… with a twist his month I thought I was going to have to admit failure for the first time in this series. The plan was to upgrade an old iPod classic’s 30GB hard drive to something more capacious. This is a fairly popular hack, and commercial adaptor kits exist to make it easy. Depending on your iPod model, it’s possible to upgrade to a disk as large as a terabyte, which would be greater than my current Mac mini. Then I hit a snag: the iPod ‘RLoD’, or Restore Loop of Death. With less than a week to go before my deadline, the iPod wouldn’t restore from iTunes, on either the new disk or its original one. If you want a fun afternoon, search for ‘iPod classic restore loop’ using Google. You’ll get results back to 2007, but no hard answers. This column was all set to be a ‘How not to’ guide until, at the last minute, I fixed it, and in a Forget iCloud Music simple way too – but let’s Library and put 1TB of tracks in your pocket. start at the beginning…


Contact us Email your queries and your questions to Keep up to date by following us on Twitter @macformat Join the conversation at macformat Get the latest subscription offers at

LUIS’S APPLE CLASSIC! In 1990, the ‘pizza box’ Mac LC was Apple’s cheapest colour Mac. For about £1,500 you got a Mac with a 16MHz Motorola 68020 processor, 2MB RAM and a 40MB hard drive. This ran at about three quarters of the speed of the Mac II, released three years earlier, as its 32-bit processor was stuck on a 16-bit bus. However, its 512x384-pixel, full colour screen was far better than the EGA graphics of PCs at the time, and Apple sold half a million in the first year.

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 77

LOVE YOUR MAC iPod classic

Hardware quick-fire questions How do I restart my iPod classic? > On an iPod with a Click Wheel, slide the Hold switch to the locked position, then unlock it, and then hold down the Menu and Select (centre) buttons simultaneously for about six seconds.

What causes an iPod’s Restore Loop of Death? > It can be triggered in several different ways, but ultimately it means that the OS can’t load from the disk. Put the iPod in Disk Mode (do a hard reset as described above, then hold Select and Play), reformat the iPod using Disk Utility, then try restoring again.

What is iPod Diagnostics? > If reformatting and restoring doesn’t help, try a hard reset followed by holding the Select and Previous buttons. The iPod will display a menu that allows you to run automated tests or check each component separately. Run the IO test to check the health of the hard drive.

78 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016

Upgrade the hard drive Boost the number of songs you can fit on your iPod classic

he fifth-generation iPod was the first version to support video, and it came in 30GB and 60GB versions. Storage in these older iPods was simply a 4,200rpm Hitachi hard drive. Replacing this with flash storage is an easy way to upgrade the iPod’s capacity, and solid-state storage is also more robust than a spinning hard disk and doesn’t need so much power, so this ought to improve battery life as well. I didn’t actually own an iPod classic before I started this project, so I went hunting on eBay. You can find fifth-generation models for about £50 if you’re reasonably patient. Besides the usual minor scuffs and scratches, the one I ended up with had some weird marks on the Click Wheel, as if it had been splashed


with something that stained the plastic. This wasn’t easy to see in the auction photos and I initially assumed that it was just a reflection on the glossy surface. Well, we all know what happens when you assume…

A choice of flash The iPod’s hard drive uses the older ATA interface, so an adaptor is required to replace it with an mSATA solid-state drive. A company called iFlash sells adaptor cards specifically designed for iPods from the fifth-generation onwards ( In the end, I decided to get the adaptor for CompactFlash cards instead of mSATA. The storage is a little more expensive but the adaptor itself is cheaper (£12, if you’re playing along at home), and if

CompactFlash cards are easily removable, so you could even maintain multiple music libraries. @macformat

iPod storage boost LOVE YOUR MAC

I need to reformat the CompactFlash card outside of the iPod, it’s much easier to just plug it into a USB card reader than to use an external mSATA drive caddy. For the CompactFlash card, I simply typed ‘128GB Compact Flash’ into Amazon’s search bar and clicked ‘Buy now with 1-Click’ on the cheapest result. Two days later I received a card, with a capacity of 128 megabytes. I suppose this is partly my fault for not checking the description on the page carefully enough – but really, why would anyone sell a bulky CompactFlash card with just 128MB of storage? Luckily, returning it was almost as simple as buying it (and I had no qualms about using the free courier collection option rather than posting it, to teach Amazon a lesson for its inaccurate search results). I replaced the part with a Lexar 128GB CompactFlash card from eBay for £40.

Getting inside the iPod If you look at videos and walkthroughs online, you’ll come away with the impression that the iPod classic’s case is sealed tighter than a fresh oyster, and requires a safecracker’s toolkit to prise open. There are no screws holding it together, just a series of steel clips spot-welded to the inside edge of the metal backplate. If you try to pry it apart with a screwdriver, the leverage will almost certainly chip the edge of the acrylic front plate. iFlash sells several tools designed to overcome this

If you try to pry it apart with a screwdriver, you’ll almost certainly chip the edge of the front plate challenge and they’re quite cheap, so I bought all of them to compare and contrast. The ‘4pcs Opening Toolkit’ (£1.75) consists of two small plastic crowbars and two guitar plectrums. It worked tolerably well, but I chipped a fair bit of plastic off the crowbars in the process, so I don’t think they would stand repeated use. The thinner of the two plectrums is the more useful one, but it really is an ordinary plectrum, so if you’re a guitarist, @macformat

try your own first. The ‘Metal Spudger’ (£1.50) is too thick to easily slide into the gap between the front and back plates, but it comes in handy later on for easing ribbon cables back into the case. The best opening tool by far was the ‘Flexible Pry Tool’ (£1.85), which is just a very thin, flexible strip of stainless steel with a plastic grip down the middle. Armed with this, I can open the iPod in about seven seconds, and in the course of this project I’ve removed the back of the case about 20 times with no damage to the iPod or the tool.

The best opening tool actually says ‘best’ on the side, as a handy mnemonic.

Too good to be true The drive inside isn’t screwed in, so swapping it is simply a matter of releasing the ZIF connector and sliding out the drive. The entire upgrade took me less than 10 minutes, and I was congratulating myself on an extremely easy project this month. That was until I tried to restore the operating system to the new drive. iTunes immediately identified that the iPod was in recovery mode (because the hardware hadn’t found any OS on the new drive) and began downloading version 1.3 of the software – but that’s as far as it got. The iPod screen showed the Apple logo and the progress bar, then rebooted itself and repeated. This is the dreaded Restore Loop of

The most capacious iPod offered more storage than any iPhone or iPod touch to date – and it can go larger!

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 79

LOVE YOUR MAC iPod classic

HOW TO Install a CompactFlash card

1 Open up the iPod

Carefully insert the flexible metal pry tool between the iPod’s acrylic front and metal backplate. Run it along one long edge and gently lever up to release the clips. Work around the other sides till the front comes away. Don’t pull suddenly, to avoid dislodging the ribbon cables that run to the battery and the screen.

2 Remove the hard drive 3 Fit the flash storage With careful rotation, it’s possible to open the iPod up, without disconnecting the long ribbon cables. The drive should lift up to reveal the ZIF connector on its underside. Use two fingers to rotate the black locking bar up and towards the drive. Pull the bar from the ends, not the middle, because it’s quite delicate.

Push the CompactFlash card into the adaptor and sit the adaptor in the front half of the case, with the card facing you – upside down compared to the way the hard drive was installed, though this is the right way round. Push the ZIF locking bar closed and carefully rotate the two halves of the case back together.

Death I feared. I tried removing the CompactFlash card and reformatting it, removing and reinstalling the ZIF adaptor, and even leaving the iPod rebooting overnight, just in case it recovered all by itself. It didn’t. Putting the iPod in diagnostic mode and running the IO test showed some random and nonsensical disk temperature readings, but I’m quite sure this is just because a CompactFlash card doesn’t have a temperature sensor on it

Check both the brand and specs of your CompactFlash card are iPod-compatible to avoid an endless restore loop.

Next Issue! Luis dusts down a trusty old iMac G5 to bring its operating system and other software up to date and make it a useful computer once again.

80 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016

I checked the card against a list known to work with older iPods to begin with. One possible solution would have been to put the original disk back in, restart the iPod in Disk Mode, then use SuperDuper ( to clone the drive across to the CompactFlash card directly. This ought to have bypassed the iTunes restore, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to test this hypothesis because the old disk wasn’t being recognised by the iPod now either. It may have become corrupted when I first removed it. For the next two days I was completely stuck. Then I had an epiphany: when I ordered the original CompactFlash card, thinking it was 128GB, not megabytes, I made sure to check

Models besides the fifth-generation iPod can also be upgraded to a larger capacity drive.

the make and model against the list of cards that were known to work with older iPods at But, when I switched it for the thousand-times-bigger replacement, I had skipped this step. Checking again, I saw that the Lexar 128GB UDMA7 card is explicitly listed as not working with the fifth-generation iPod classic. Mystery solved! Swapping this for an Integral Ultima Pro card fixed the problem and the iPod worked again. @macformat

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JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 81












Get started As a novice, start by choosing File > New Trailer to get a handy storyboard with placeholders for shots (landscapes, closeups, and so on). Drag an appropriate clip onto each one.

R T I P -i M

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R T I P -i M



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suite k c i l s s ’ e e iMovi s u dicate a u r o e y o s t p s l irns he on editing tool ve projects a C e g r Geo roducti l issues and gi al polish p t s o p of ua ion profess audiovis


hether you’re new to video editing or you’ve been using a different app for it, prompted by memories of iMovie’s interface being clunky and its toolset being limited, it’s well worth taking a fresh look at the latest, more sophisticated incarnation of Apple’s video editing and sharing app. It has all the tools you need to import, organise, edit and share your footage as eye-catching and professionallooking projects, with bells and whistles such as music, animated transitions, and captions. Indeed,

82 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016

you can even turn your holiday clips into a slick, Hollywood-style trailer with minimum time and effort thanks to the app’s Trailer templates. You can also share your polished video productions directly to various social networks, including YouTube and Facebook. Apple has been refining iMovie for decades, so it knows everything you might need. To help you get your movies looking their best, we’ll show you how to use cutaway layers to speed up your editing workflow, insert new backgrounds with compositing tools, and fix production problems such as camera shake and colour casts.

Do more with iMovie FEATURE

Master the basics of iMovie > Traditionally, video was shot on tape, so it had to be copied (or digitised) into iMovie by playing the tape in real time. You can still import from tape, but these days your videos are more likely to come from an iPhone or a digital compact or SLR camera. iMovie’s Import window lets you browse

to a device, memory card or folder and import footage (or even photos) into an Event. Events are chronological in iMovie’s library. Since your clips are digital files, they can be imported in a fraction of tape’s time. You can then edit your rambling raw footage into a short, slick and shareable story!


Import to event

Choose File > New Event and give it a label that indicates its contents. Pick File > Import Media, browse to a memory card or folder, and select some clips. Pick your new event in ‘Import To’, then click Import Selected. You can then view the imported clips in the event.


Select a section

Preview the clips in an event by moving the pointer over them; they’ll play in the Viewer (right). When you see something interesting, drag to select that section (indicated as a yellow border). Click the + to add it to the timeline. Sections you’ve added are shown with an orange line.








Trim clips

With several clips added to your timeline, you can drag from within them to change the order in which they play. This makes editing a video similar to swapping things around in an essay. You can extend or shorten a clip by dragging the trim handle at its start or end.



Use transitions to move between clips in an eye-catching fashion (see above). Click Transitions (top left) to access and preview the built-in set of 24. Drag a transition’s thumbnail between clips in the timeline to add it, and double-click it there to change its duration.


Cool captions

Click Titles near the top of the window and add a title by dragging and dropping it from the browser onto the timeline. Edit its text’s colour, size and font in the Viewer just like in a word processor. Like other clips, you can move and trim the title’s purple bar in the timeline.


Make music

Music can make clips flow together more coherently. Click Audio at the top of iMovie for a rich range of scores you can drag onto the timeline and position precisely. Drag the green clip’s horizontal line down to lower the music volume so that dialogue is more audible.

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FEATURE Do more with iMovie

Essential edits > Learn how to perform editing techniques to make perfect movies


Create a new movie


Add clips to the timeline

Choose File > New Movie. You’ll see themed templates that automatically add graphics, titles and transitions as you add clips to the timeline. This is great for a novice, but if you want freedom to add those manually, select No Theme.

Move the pointer over clips in My Media to see their content. Drag across one to select a section of it, then click the + to add that to the timeline. To extend a placed clip, drag from its right edge. Add a few clips to start telling your story.


Make a split edit

Move the pointer over a timeline’s clip to find a place to split it. Click to put the playhead there, then ≈-click the clip and choose Split Clip. You can drag either of the split parts elsewhere in the timeline, or insert footage between them.

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Adjust thumbnail size


Use the Precision Editor


Insert a clip

To make your imported footage easier to browse, click the cog in the My Media panel. Drag the Clip Size slider right to enlarge thumbnails. Fit more clips in the panel by dragging the Zoom slider left, or right to show more frames from each.

We want this digging dog’s plume of pebbles to fly out at the wide shot’s end and flow into the close-up. Double-click the first’s trim handle to open the Precision Editor, then drag each clip left or right to set end and start points accurately.

A quicker way to split a clip in the timeline and insert media in the middle is to perform an insert edit. Select part of a clip in My Media, then drag it onto a clip in the timeline. Pick Insert from the contextual menu that appears. @macformat


Do more with iMovie FEATURE O



Ducking audio




Retime a clip

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Picture in picture




Add a cutaway








To ensure dialogue is audible against a music track, select a clip in the timeline, click the Volume icon above the Viewer, then put a check mark next to ‘Lower volume of other clips’ so music dips while the clip you selected plays.

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For visual variety, break up a long clip with a cutaway shot. Drag a selection from My Media above an existing clip in the timeline. Drag the cutaway’s bar to alter when it appears. This gives you more freedom than inserting into the timeline.

Select the cutaway, click the overlapping rectangles icon above the Viewer, then use the pop-up below to combine the cutaway and lower layers as a split screen, or a moveable Picture-in-Picture effect with optional drop shadow or border.

Video can go from real-time to slow motion playback. Split a clip, then click the second part and choose a speed in Modify > Slow Motion. A tortoise icon appears. Drag the clip’s retiming handle (at its top-right corner) to fine-tune its speed. @macformat

Add a voice over > Enhance your movie’s continuity


Test your levels


3, 2, 1, Go!


Stop recording

A voiceover helps to link shots. Position the playhead where you want to speak, click the mic under the Viewer, then Voiceover Options (right of the red button). Set the volume so the level is green, with occasional orange peaks.

Without headphones, the movie’s sound may combine with your speech and create feedback. Turn on Mute Project in the voiceover options to prevent this. Click the red button, then start narrating after the three-second countdown.

Narrate as you watch the action unfold in the Viewer. A green audio clip appears in the timeline; its orange end indicates you’re still recording. Click the red button to finish, then play back your movie to hear the voiceover in context.

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Going deeper > Access more post-production tools to give your movies extra content and texture

Improve your sound quality The acronym GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) certainly applies to an iMovie project’s sound. If a source clip’s audio input levels are weak then it’s never going to sound professional even if you boost the levels. If you interview someone in a noisy location, try clicking the Noise Reduction icon above the Viewer and putting a check mark in the Reduce Background noise box. However, this won’t sound as good as interviewing in a quiet location. Flat and weak audio tracks can be given a bit more impact by using the Equalizer’s Voice Enhance preset.


lot of the time, you’ll use iMovie to ‘sort the wheat from the chaff’ by cutting, trimming, swapping and inserting footage on the timeline to tell a story. This will give you a concise and entertaining film to share with family and friends. However, iMovie has a few more post-production assets for you to call upon if you want to add extra texture to your projects. As well as the Picture in Picture effect we looked at earlier, you can also use cutaway layers to create split-screen effects that display two parallel timeline clips at the same time. Go into the Video Overlay Setting’s style menu and choose Split Screen, then use the Position pop-up menu to arrange the clips side by side or top and bottom. Another slider enables you to make

the cutaway clip slide in, share the screen with the underlying clip, and then slide out. The Transitions browser is well worth exploring too, as a few wipes and mixes from one shot to the next also adds texture.

Transparently clever If you have a YouTube channel, you may want to make an appearance during the programme in a creative way to help personalise your show. The Video Overlay Green/Blue Screen style enables you to replace a cutaway layer’s blue background with footage from the underlying layer. Below, you can see we shot some ‘talking head’ footage with a large blue card on the wall to create a blue background. We didn’t have enough card to fill the left of the frame, but iMovie’s compositing clean-up tools allowed us to mask that area and make it transparent.










To capture usable blue-screen footage, make sure your background is evenly lit and no shadows are cast on it. We used daylight in our example.

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When it comes to recording voiceovers, your Mac’s built-in mic will capture lots of room echo as well as your narration. To capture more professional-sounding voiceovers, buy an external USB mic. This enables you to get the mic closer to your mouth to capture a clearer, stronger sound. Mics such as Blue’s Yeti can also be set to record using narrower audio patterns so they only ‘listen’ to your voice from the front of the mic, yet avoid capturing echoes that bounce off the wall behind it. A few sheets of card with glued-on foam tiles will absorb room echo and help you produce rich, clean The Equalizer has presets for enhancing narration without various kinds of audio. a big budget.


Capture clean voiceovers

If your blue- or green-screen background didn’t fill the frame, iMovie provides tools to correct for that and fill in the gaps. @macformat

Do more with iMovie FEATURE

Polish up your footage > Overcome problems created in shooting by using iMovie’s post-production fixes TIP

-i M R Match Color tool. This is TA O S V E I an effective way to get STAR TIP timeline clips looking consistent. iMovie’s Handheld shots can be Color Correction iMovie can fix shaky footage, steadied, sacrificing some tools (the next icon but there’s no substitute info from the clip’s edges. for shooting using a tripod. to the right above This will avoid your clip’s the Viewer) enable selected clip for dominant composition being cropped by stabilisation. you to boost the motion and then irons out saturation of drab the worst of the wobbles colours to make them more to create an easier-to-watch, attractive. They also enable you to Steadicam-style effect. You can also brighten up underexposed clips and add movement within statically framed boost their contrast to help overcome shots (and photos) using the Ken Burns in-camera problems with exposure. tools, which are found by clicking the The Clip Filters enable you to creatively Cropping icon above the Viewer. grade your clips colours and tones, Once your movie has great colour, as well as add special effects such as healthy tones and clearer sound, vintage film artefacts. you can polish up your production by adding extra assets, such as animated maps from the Backgrounds browser. Shake it off These can be customised to illustrate If you shoot handheld, your footage a journey’s start and end point, which may suffer from distracting camera is a great way to introduce a vacation shake. Above the Viewer is a powerful video, for example. Stabilization tool that analyses the







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Stabilise footage


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ost video cameras attempt to accurately record a subject’s colours and tones, but due to various factors (such as highcontrast scenes or using incorrect in-camera colour balance settings) your footage may need tweaking in post-production to look its best. Fortunately iMovie is geared up to help you solve common production-related problems quickly and easily. The Color Balance icon above the Viewer (a circle whose halves are different shades) enables you to warm up a cold-looking colour cast, or cool down a warm one, to get a range of natural-looking colours. You can remove colour casts automatically or use the eyedropper to manually sample an area that should be a neutral white to get a more accurate colour balance. You can even get one clip to match the colours in another using the handy

Create iMovie titles > The slick animated titles provided by Apple will help to make your movie look more professional. Position the playhead on a suitable shot in the timeline and then click the Titles browser. If your project has no theme, you’ll have 48 different title styles to play with. Many titles are animated, so move the pointer over one’s thumbnail to preview it in the Viewer. When you see a title that suits your subject matter, doubleclick its thumbnail and a title clip @macformat

will be added to the timeline. You can drag the purple bar to change the timing of the title’s appearance, or drag the end or start of the bar to trim its duration. To customise properties such as font and colour, click the Title Settings icon above the Viewer. Here we used the eyedropper to sample the child’s yellow bucket so that our title complemented the clip’s content. Once you’ve added a title or two, and dropped in opening and closing

The eyedropper can be used to lift a colour from your footage to customise your movie’s titles.

themes from the Audio browser’s Jingles folder, your movie’s ready to be seen by others. In File > Share, pick a destination such as Facebook, YouTube or email, or make a customsized video using the File option.

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the best we can find from a reputable online dealer, excluding delivery.

Worth considering, though there may be better options



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A waste of your money and everyone’s time; do not buy!

The MACFORMAT Awards Awarded to a five-star product we believe is truly exceptional in its category. Given solely at the discretion of the Editor.

Given to a hardware or software product that might not be the very best in its category, but is a noted for affordability.

Our group test winner gets this award for being the best of its kind when pitted against other comparable products.

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 89


MacBook (Early 2016) One year on, can Apple’s tiny marvel rekindle our love for the ultraportable? Reviewed by CHRISTIAN HALL £1,049 MANUFACTURER Apple, DISPLAY 2304x1440-pixel Retina display PROCESSOR 1.1GHz Intel Core m3 (Skylake) MEMORY 8GB STORAGE 256GB flash storage GRAPHICS Intel HD Graphics 515 CONNECTIVITY USB 3.1 (Gen 1), 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0

hen we first picked up the 12-inch MacBook last year, we were all awash with the kind of awe that only Apple seems to be able to pull off with products. Packing the kind of tech it did into the diminuitive housing made Steve Jobs’ jiffy bag trick with the 2008 MacBook Air seem rather mundane, even by the standards of its time. You can’t help but love this MacBook’s form factor, which makes you feel like it’s the laptop you ought to own for true portability and that ‘throw-in-a-bag’ need we all get sometimes – don’t actually throw it, though! The tiny MacBook was something of a revelation for us last year. Apple’s penchant for the super-slim was once again brought to the fore, thanks to some rather clever terraced battery technology, making this the thinnest Apple laptop to date. However, with its low-power (and therefore low-performance) Intel processor and single port for power and data, we thought it might turn out to be a bit like the first-generation MacBook Air: a brilliant ultraportable concept that would need time to mature into a genuine contender for our cash. But we rather


In true Apple style, a new upgrade means a new colour option, too. This time it’s the turn of Rose Gold!

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When you get used to the travel of the keys and the Force Touch trackpad, you’ll love this portable wonder.

underestimated it: not only was it plenty powerful enough for light use, but its fanless operation, Force Touch trackpad, smart new keyboard and Retina display made us fall in love with it. Now we’ve got a second generation, with a more powerful Skylake processor, significantly faster storage, better graphics and longer battery life. Let’s begin with the processor. This is Apple’s first dip into Skylake architecture on its mobile range, and the model we tested had the entry-level 1.1GHz Core m3 processor. In our benchmarking tests using Cinebench and Geekbench, we saw an improvement that was less than 10% over the 2015 model’s Intel Core M (Broadwell) chip. That was initially disappointing, but the real game changer came when testing the speed improvements in the new flash storage. Here, write speeds showed a boost of around 46% (678.8MB/sec, @macformat



up from 464.7MB/sec). Read speeds were also seriously impressive, improving by more than 20% to reach 930MB/sec, up from 773MB/sec in the 2015 model. Coupled with faster memory (now 1866MHz LPDDR3, instead of 1600MHz), this year’s MacBook does see some dramatic improvements to test results under certain conditions. While it made little difference to gaming frame rates in our benchmarks, its video encoding abilities absolutely smashed the time in which the 2015 MacBook could convert a 30-minute, Blu-ray-quality video, which we partly attribute to the faster memory and much improved flash storage. So, what we get here isn’t a vast leap in performance in all departments, but the @macformat

MacBook 1.2GHz £1,299

MacBook Air 11-inch £899

SPECIFICATIONS 1.2GHz Intel Core m5 processor 8GB memory (1866Mhz) 512GB flash storage Intel HD Graphics 515 USB 3.1 (Gen 1), 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0

SPECIFICATIONS 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor 4GB memory (1600MHz) 256GB flash storage Intel HD Graphics 6000 2x USB 3.0 ports, 1x Thunderbolt 2 ports, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0

speed tweaks do result in a generally more responsive notebook than last year’s model. Together with a better graphics processor for smoother animations, plus a longer-lasting battery (we squeezed an extra 16 minutes out of it in our BBC iPlayer streaming test, taking us to 470 minutes overall), this is certainly a reasonable upgrade given none of the housing has been reconfigured to cater for the newer components inside it. It’s worth remembering that the MacBook is totally fanless too, so it operates silently. That’s an experience we’re used to with iOS devices, so it’s a joy to have it in a Mac as well. We hope the next MacBook Pro follows suit.

Driving forward

Alan says…

A second USB-C port is conspicuous by its absence. Apple has stuck ridgidly to its one-port policy here, but a year on from the original we’re still not quite on board with it. The single USB-C port for data and power is, much like the processor, perfectly fine most of the time, then suddenly it’s a source of frustration. Yes, it’s a wonderfully portable machine, the finest Mac ever produced in

Although the design remains unchanged, Apple has done a good job of updating its tiny MacBook. I just wish it had added another USB-C port so I don’t have to choose between data and power – an issue we faced when getting our benchmark software onto this lustfully light Mac!

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Like the 2015 MacBook, we adore this tiny laptop’s finish, which dispenses with the black ‘clutch cover’ found on other kinds of portable Mac.

BENCHMARKS Our analysis explained MacBook (early 2016)

MacBook (early 2016) 30

470 MacBook (early 2015)

MacBook (early 2016) 16

MacBook (early 2015) 454

MacBook Air (11-inch, 2015)

MacBook Air (11-inch, 2015)

456 0

VERDICT There’s still much to love about this tiny machine, and it’s definitely speedier than the original.

+++++ Extremely portable Slight CPU boost Very good flash storage improvement Not for everyone

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MacBook (early 2015) 14



MacBook Air (11-inch, 2015)

57 500





15 60










Minutes (Higher is better)

Duration (lower is better)

Frames per second (higher is better)

BATTERY LIFE TEST With the MacBook using Wi-Fi to get online, we continuously stream the news channel from BBC iPlayer until the laptop’s battery is depleted. The display’s brightness is permanently set to 50% during this test.

HANDBRAKE VIDEO ENCODING We transcode a Blu-ray–quality video file into H.264 format using Handbrake to test multi-core processor performance, which pushes all cores to max output.

BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY 1080P For a real-world gaming test, we use the benchmarking tool in the game Batman: Arkham City, with graphics set to High and the resolution set to 1080p.

that category, but you still get a sense of wanting at least one more USB port, perhaps on the opposite side, to allow for mains power while another is freed up for data. Regardless of what add-ons you buy for the MacBook, you’d better be sure you’re using cloud-based services like iCloud Drive or Dropbox to move files around. For many that will already be the case, but others will demand physical storage rather than using the cloud.

Worth the upgrade? We said last year that it felt like Apple was a little ahead of its time with the MacBook, and we can’t entirely shed that feeling this year either. But, if you want to go all-in on USB-C and its good points (speed, charging and video output in one port), you’ll be on the cusp of the ‘one-port revolution’ with this Mac. Note, though, that the USB 3.1 specification used is Gen 1, just like last year. Gen 2 offers transfer speeds up to 10Gbps, but the older port spec found here is limited to 5Gbps.


In considering the early 2016 MacBook, you really have to weigh up your MacBook options quite clearly. It’s not the easiest purchase decision to make in the world of Apple, and it’s the 13-inch MacBook Pro that many people will be better off with overall. A boost in processing power is always welcome, but as we’ve seen, the new Skylake chip used here doesn’t really offer enough of a boost if you’re looking to run demanding, processor-intensive tasks. The lack of a 16GB memory upgrade means multitaskers and high-end video editors ought to be looking at the Pro. The flash storage improvement here, though, means that if you were set on this variety of Apple laptop, now’s the time to buy. We’re sure Apple is committed to this ultraslim design going forward, and the tiny logic board inside could be bolstered further. A 2017 model may well get 16GB memory and further CPU changes, but as it stands this is a limited yet surprisingly capable laptop you’ll love a little more each time you open its lid. @macformat


Philips 275P4VYKEB Massive resolution in a well-designed but costly case Reviewed by KEITH MARTIN £908 FROM Philips, FEATURES 5120x2880pixel resolution, 2x DisplayPort, USB, audio

If you need a 5K display with accurate colour, this is the display to get – if it works with your Mac

VERDICT It’s only compatible with some of the latest Macs, but it works extremely well when paired with the right models.

+++++ 98% Adobe RGB Huge resolution Sturdy build Only works with a few Mac models @macformat

fter an agonising wait, the new Philips 5K monitor is finally with us. This display has a massive 5120x2880 resolution, which equates to 14.7 megapixels. The result is more space for tool palettes, multiple documents side by side, or the ability to show 4K video plus editing tools on a single screen. In typical fashion Philips has named this the 275P4VYKEB, but we’ll call it the ‘5K display’. Physically, this is a well-designed screen. The display is substantial, unsurprisingly, and the stand allows tilt, swivel and height adjustments with more-or-less fingertip control. Philips calls it the ‘SmartErgoBase’, and it does its job well. The display has a few extras including three USB 3.0 ports – one with fast charging – plus a 2MP webcam, microphone, and couple of speakers. The speakers are rated at 2W, so while they’re stereo and perform fine for video playback, they’re not going to fill the room with tunes. The display controls are touch-sensitive, but the labels are positioned where they’re easy to see, so it’s simple to tweak settings as needed. This 5K display is a bit of a beast. We don’t mean so much its overall size; while it’s a little thicker than today’s average display, this is a 27-inch display after all. No, it’s a beast in what it demands from your Mac. First of all, if you don’t have a Mac that can support dual-cable 5K output then forget it. You might be able to use this at a much lower resolution, but you lose the entire point of this device. Rather minimally, Philips says that “all Macs that support a 5K resolution” will work with this display; what this boils down to is the Mac Pro from late 2013, the Retina 5K iMac from late 2014, or the MacBook Pro from early 2015 – or newer, of course. As this display is a dual-cable monster it needs two


Unlike some displays, this one has a capable, sturdy base.

DisplayPort sockets to run. Either that, or two Thunderbolt ports and a couple of DisplayPort adaptors.

Is it worth the expense? Philips says this 5K monitor display achieves 99% Adobe RGB and 100% sRGB. As with the 27-inch E-line 4K display, it comes near-asdammit to this; DataColor’s Spyder Elite pegged it at 98% Adobe RGB, making it an excellent display for critical colour work as long as you keep it freshly profiled. It supports more than a billion colours, and in use this equates to colour and clarity that’s among the best we’ve seen. It has the same ultra-wide 178-degree viewing angle as the 4K display, and it can even be rotated 90 degrees to portrait orientation. We’re not sure how often this would be used, but it’s a feature. The price for this 5K monitor almost £1,000, so this is obviously not a budget device, and it does cost substantially more than its 4K brother. Also bear in mind that the 5K iMac starts at £1,449 for an entire computer. But if you absolutely, positively need to have the most pixels in the room, and need them to be delivering highly accurate colour, get your wallet out. But remember, only if your Mac can handle the dual-cable requirements of this demanding 5K monitor.

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The home of technology


OWC Aura 1TB Fit more files on recent MacBooks £570 FROM OWC, FEATURES Envoy Pro enclosure (USB 3.0), Torx T5 and Pentalobe P5 screwdrivers reathe easy if you bought an Air or Pro since 2013 and regret not paying for more storage at the time. This SSD for Late 2013 and later MacBooks costs a pretty penny – more than the £400 we’d have paid Apple for 1TB in the first place – but if you buy the upgrade kit, not just the bare drive, you get an enclosure for your old one. Fitting the Aura isn’t difficult, though it requires care that you don’t drop any tiny screws, and that you keep them arranged to put back in the correct holes.


VERDICT Though expensive, the Aura is a good way to delay a full MacBook replacement.

+++++ Simple to fit High cost per gigabyte

OWC sells a kit with an enclosure to make use of your Mac’s original drive.

OWC provides the necessary tools, and installation took us about 20 minutes in total. To transfer your existing system, it’s best to first put a fresh installation of OS X on the Aura to add a Recovery system, then restore from a Time Machine backup. If you want to upgrade to give more room to Boot Camp, grab OWC’s software update to allow Boot Camp Assistant to recognise the Aura.

The drive’s transfer rates didn’t match our original Samsung storage (Apple uses drives from other companies too, some of which also don’t match it). At 476.2MB/sec on large sequential writes, the Aura’s 259.1MB/sec slower, and large sequential reads reached 722.5MB/sec (down 64.9MB/sec). We didn’t feel it day-to-day, but you may with large Thunderbolt transfers.


G-Drive Mobile USB-C A high-performing portable drive £107 FROM G-Tech, FEATURES 1TB hard drive (7,200rpm) USB-C (3.1), USB 3.0/2.0

his portable hard drive arrived on the same day that Apple announced a new version of the superslim 12-inch MacBook. That Mac has a single USB-C port, so if you want a speedy back-up drive for your shiny new MacBook then a USB-C drive such as this is your only real option. It's available in a number of different colours to match the MacBook. It weighs just 170g and is just 1.3cm thick, so it’s easy to carry around. There’s only one capacity


VERDICT The design is fairly conventional, but this is one of the best USB-C portables.


High-speed drive Only 1TB capacity @macformat

This drive includes cables for the new USB-C port as well as the traditional USB-A type.

available, with 1TB storage, but it’s competitively priced at £107 and the 7,200rpm hard drive is faster than the 5,400rpm drives used in many of its portable rivals. G-Tech provides two cables with the drive – one USB-C, and one for the USB 3.0 ports found on other Macs. When connected to the USB-C port on a MacBook, the drive reached a write speed of around 113.6MB/

sec, which is about what we’d expect from a conventional USB 3.0 port. However, the read speed surprised us, leaping right up to 200MB/ sec. You can question the wisdom of only having one port on the MacBook, but you’ll still want to add extra storage, perhaps even just for Time Machine. This USB-C drive’s performance stands out, making it a good choice.


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Steljes Audio NS3 Vintage quality and modern tech £199 FROM FEATURES Bluetooth, RCA, 3.5mm analogue, and optical inputs, USB port here are some great compact speakers around nowadays, but it’s still hard to beat the more expansive sound stage and separation that you can get from a good set of stereo speakers. The NS3 speakers are an affordable option for anyone who wants high-quality stereo audio, and they’re versatile enough to be used with a variety of devices, or as part of a home hi-fi setup. Coming in eight different colours, the smart-looking cabinets are solidly built, and


VERDICT Great value stereo speakers, suitable for a desktop Mac, iOS devices or home hi-fi.

+++++ Good range of ports No built-in subwoofer

Samsung T3 1TB Massively portable, but costly £288 FROM Samsung, REQUIRES OS X 10.7 or higher FEATURES USB-C port, USB-C to USB-A cable, AES 256-bit hardware encryption WEIGHT 51g he USB 3 solidstate drives we’ve tested lately all perform pretty similarly. Transfer rates on most peak around 430–440MB/sec, so we were unsurprised that Samsung’s new portable SSD followed suit with 437.4MB/sec large transfers. Its overall performance was also what we expected. The T3’s metal enclosure feels more suitably premium than the plastic body of its predecessor, the T1, though there’s no major practical difference between them.


VERDICT The T3 is tiny and light, but you can save a lot of money if design doesn’t matter.


Future-proofed port Minor ejection issue

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The classy NS3 cabinets look good and sound great, and they’re small enough to fit on a desktop.

a quick check around the back of the right-hand speaker reveals RCA, 3.5mm analogue and optical ports. There’s Bluetooth streaming for mobile devices, and you can even charge a tablet or smartphone from the USB port on the back. Most importantly, they sound great for a speaker system in this price range – delicate enough to handle the acoustic warblings of

Capacities start at 250GB for only a little more than the T1 would have cost you before the new drive was announced, and the top capacity is now 2TB, which will cost you about £581 – about £100 more than building a physically larger drive from a bare SSD and a less pretty enclosure. The difference at lower capacities, including the 1TB model tested, falls accordingly. The drive offers encryption at the hardware level. With this applied, you initially see a volume that contains a tool for password entry to unlock your files. Doing so caused the first volume to be ejected in such a way that OS X alerted us about premature ejection.

Damien Rice, but with enough power and detail to blast out the multilayered harmonics of Queen at full tilt. The 90W output is more than enough to fill a room, and the bass is respectably full for desktop speakers that measure just 21cm high. There’s a subwoofer output as well, so you can add a separate sub if you really want to kick up the bass at party time. CLIFF JOSEPH

After the T1’s plastic enclosure, this is more like it for the money.

If you’ll only use the T3 with Macs, you could use OS X’s equivalent (but softwarebased) encryption to avoid this minor annoyance.



YI Action Camera kit A supercharged GoPro rival, for peanuts Reviewed by ALI JENNINGS From $101 (about £69) FROM YI Technology, FEATURES 16MP camera, Sony EXMOR sensor, 155° lens

The YI’s video performance is exceptionally close to that of the GoPro range

VERDICT The YI really stands out among budget action cams as something solid, backed by exceptional video quality.

+++++ Brilliant video quality iOS app is well thought-out Hugely affordable No screen or GPS @macformat

his action camera is comparable to the GoPro Hero3 Silver when it comes to video options, yet it can be purchased for as little as a third of the price. YI Technology’s approach is different to most: the camera is supplied on its own, and all the usual extras – including the waterproof housing, memory card and mounts – need to be purchased separately from the manufacturer. Even taking the purchase of accessories into consideration, the outlay for a fully equipped YI is still less than the majority of other budget kits. We looked at the YI Action Camera Kit, which includes the camera, a selfie stick and a simple Bluetooth remote. It’s almost double the price of the base unit, but it’s worth it for those few extras. There’s no screen – you control the camera entirely from the companion iOS app. The only direct controls on the camera are the shutter button to start and stop recording, a button for power and to switch between stills and video, and a Wi-Fi activation button. To the right of the shutter button on the app display, a small icon highlights which mode you’re in and tapping gives access to the different options. In addition to stills and video are Timer, Time-lapse and Burst mode. Further settings can be accessed via the cog icon in the top right of the interface. These options include adjusting the video quality, switching from NTSC to PAL and changing the device name, plus options such as date and time, time stamp display and more. Top resolution is now 2K at 30fps (thanks to a recent firmware update) and the lowest 480p at 240fps. There are many more options, including 1080p at 60fps and 720p at 120fps.


For the price, the YI is a superb action camera and warrants serious consideration for your cash.

Switching between resolutions and frame rates shows that the camera really does have the potential to shoot strong footage at 2K, and even 480p if you feel the need to do so. All other modes, such as time-lapse recording, are accessed through the app. Press record and there’s a noticeable delay of about two seconds before it shows a clear live view of the scene. But video quality is where the YI really stands out, and it’s exceptionally close to that of the GoPro range. Colours are well-balanced, without the over-saturation and excessive contrast that is a common issue with many of the most recent budget video cameras. The 155° field of view also gives the pronounced fish-eye distortion typical of the style of these cameras.

Hot on GoPro’s trail Motion reproduction is an important factor for any action camera, and here it again provides smooth, clean footage that can be slowed down easily to create good-quality slow motion clips. Low-light performance is an issue, but then that’s a common problem with all action cameras. The YI just about manages to control the noise, and footage shot indoors and in low light – within reason – is perfectly usable. Changes in exposure are handled well and the camera quickly balances exposures without too much of an issue. If you’re looking for a cheap but decent action camera, then you can’t go wrong with this number – it’s GoPro’s most dangerous rival.

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 97


Boost your home connectivity with a high bandwidth 802.11ac router Reviewed by NICK PEERS

hen we first started talking about wireless routers in the early years of last decade, things were rather slow, masked by the fact that our new home broadband connections were much slower still. As wireless standards have improved, speed and range have improved significantly – as have our home broadband connections’ capabilities. The number of devices in our homes has also exploded in the nine years since Apple first revealed the iPhone. The 802.11ac standard has been with us in earnest for a few years, and we’re now seeing some really super gear. 802.11ac is essentially a supercharged version of 802.11n and has several benefits – high throughput, faster speeds and it’s better able to cope with our many-device homes and modern uses such as streaming HD video to several devices at once. It does this through the use of the 5GHz frequency – in fact, all of the routers here have two networks – a standard 2.4GHz 802.11n


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network and a 5GHz network for use with 802.11ac. Not all of your devices will be 802.11ac compatible, so they won’t see the 5GHz network. 5GHz is a less busy frequency in our homes since there are plenty of other devices – such as DECT landline phones – that use 2.4GHz and there are only three non-overlapping channels. By contrast, 5GHz has 23 non-overlapping channels, making it

The number of devices in our homes has exploded in the nine years since Apple first revealed the iPhone far less prone to interference and better for gaming and multiple HD streaming. Another technology utilised by 802.11ac is so-called beamforming. Rather than sending out omnidirectional signals indiscriminately, 802.11ac routers learn where your device is and sends stronger signals in that direction.

How we tested Firstly, we configured the routers to see how easy set-up was. Next, we connected two 802.11ac Macs to the 5GHz network for each router. All three devices were in the same room with other devices – a ‘dirty’ environment. Then we ran TamoSoft’s Throughput Test on each Mac and did a test to record the average throughput in Mbps (megabits per second) over two minutes. We checked the throughput again from the end of the garden (about 15 metres away) to check for any drop off. @macformat

Wireless routers APPLE CHOICE

ROUTERS ON TEST… D-Link DSL-3590L Fritz!Box 7490 Linksys EA8500 Netgear Nighthawk D7000 TP-Link Archer VR2600 Synology RT1900ac


Things to consider… Everything you need to know before getting started


Types of router

There is a mix of routers here. The Linksys and Synology can connect to a fibre or cable modem. The D-Link, Fritz!Box, Netgear and TP-Link are modem routers, so they connect directly to your phone line.



We first saw MIMO tech several years ago: multiple streams of data are sent between the router and client devices. MU-MIMO enables each device to have its own separate stream.


Parental controls

All of these routers have parental controls built in, offering you the ability to restrict access to certain client devices between @macformat

certain times. Some can also restrict access to certain websites that may not be appropriate for young eyes.



Apart from the Fritz!Box, all of the router manufacturers offer apps so you can easily configure your router. Linksys’ Smart Wi-Fi is one of the best, enabling you to set bandwidth priorities, parental controls and more.


The ASUS RT-AC3200 has one 2.4GHz and two 5GHz networks, so you can run devices on separate networks, thus reducing interference.

Guest networks

These routers also provide the ability to give your friends and family guest access – without giving them your main access code. This can be handy if you’re using the router in an office where you often have visitors.

…or lower? The Zyxel NBG6616 will still connect up both 2.4 and 5GHz compatible devices, but it will do it with a slower max speed: 300Mbps for 2.4GHz and 867Mbps for 5GHz.

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Test 1 Performance

Test 3 Features

Do they address the need for speed?

Core capabilities on offer

All of the routers featured here will cover large homes and dead spots will be rare unless you have very thick walls or a large home. You’ll still need extenders to get a network to stretch outside if, say, you want to reach an office shed. The very best performers were unsurprisingly the MU-MIMO-boasting Linksys (347Mbps) and TP-Link, but the excellent and multi-talented Fritz!Box wasn’t far behind. The performance of all three is reflected in their price, but the Fritz!Box price point is more to do with the extra connectivity features it has. We scored the Fritz!Box as high as the Linksys because it attained that level of speed despite not having MU-MIMO. The Synology was fastest of the rest (265Mbps) with the Netgear and D-link not far behind. We found all our routers very reliable with no drop-outs, which is superb.

There is an incredible level of standard features across this range of routers, and their dual 2.4GHz and 5GHz band networking ability is top-notch. You’ll be able to connect up every Wi-Fi device you have, even if it’s years old. The Linksys and TP-Link stand out because they have MU-MIMO, but others also – the Fritz!Box for its telephony capabilities, for example. The Synology even has an SD card slot – you can share files on the SD card across your network as if it was a NAS device; it’s a nice touch. The Synology also comes with its own stand. And as we’ve said elsewhere, all the routers have USB 3.0 ports for sharing storage devices. You can also share a USB printer this way, too – although with more and more printers having Wi-Fi plus AirPrint and Google Cloud Print capabilities, this often isn’t necessary.



D-Link AC1900 Fritz!Box 7490 Linksys AC2600

+++++ +++++ +++++

Netgear Nighthawk TP-Link AC2600 Synology RT1900ac

+++++ +++++ +++++

D-Link AC1900 Fritz!Box 7490 Linksys AC2600

+++++ +++++ +++++

Netgear Nighthawk TP-Link AC2600 Synology RT1900ac

+++++ +++++ +++++

Test 2 Connectivity

Test 4 Extras

Hook up all the things!

Bonus features to sweeten the deal

Even though these are wireless routers, cable junkies will not be disappointed. All boast four Gigabit Ethernet ports each, while all but the D-Link also have an extra Gigabit WAN port for connection to a cable or fibre broadband modem (the Fritz!Box doesn’t have the extra port, but can use one of its four LAN ports for this purpose), plus connectivity to the phone line for fibre or ADSL broadband. The D-Link, Fritz!Box, Netgear and TP-Link also have phone line ports (RJ-11) for connection to ADSL2+ or fibre broadband (the D-Link only does ADSL). All the routers have USB 3.0 ports. The usual use for this would be to plug in a hard drive so you can share it across the network. The Fritz!Box has an interesting feature up its sleeve: it can also act as a base station for IP phones as well as ordinary old phone lines.

Most of the routers have apps for iOS (and Android) to configure various settings, with the exception of the Fritz!Box. Our favourite is Netgear’s Genie app. Several of these products enable you to turn the Wi-Fi on and off – useful if you want to stop access overnight, for example. Some include the ability to turn off all wireless networking without turning the actual router off (D-Link, Fritz!Box and Linksys), while the TP-Link even enables you to turn off each of the 2.4 and 5GHz networks individually. The Netgear has a switch to turn off the somewhat overbearing LEDs (except to let you know it’s still working). We were generally impressed by the standard of the browser-based configuration interfaces; setting up routers like this has become far easier over recent years with much of the process completely automatic.



D-Link AC1900 Fritz!Box 7490 Linksys AC2600

+++++ +++++ +++++

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Netgear Nighthawk TP-Link AC2600 Synology RT1900ac

+++++ +++++ +++++

D-Link AC1900 Fritz!Box 7490 Linksys AC2600

+++++ +++++ +++++

Netgear Nighthawk TP-Link AC2600 Synology RT1900ac

+++++ +++++ +++++ @macformat

Wireless routers APPLE CHOICE

THE WINNER Netgear Nighthawk A winning combination of price, connectivity and features he Netgear has to be our winner. Not only is it among the best performers for the non-MU-MIMO set, its connectivity is second to none, the Netgear Genie iOS app is excellent, and setting it up is easy. Crucially, it’s also the second cheapest here and represents really rather good value for money. As you’ll have gathered from the scores you see below, there were no bad routers in


The Nighthawk’s connectivity is second to none, the Netgear Genie iOS app is excellent and setup is easy this test. The MU-MIMO routers impressed on speed, but it’s not enough to recommend them over significantly cheaper options like the Netgear and Synology when they’re such good performers themselves. We also loved

Christian says… Putting up with a poor connection at home can be frustrating, but pick any of these routers and you should see an instant improvement. For a (relatively) small investment you get a router that’s far superior to the basic boxes sent out by your service provider.

You can even turn off most of the Netgear’s LEDs so it’s not so gaudy – just flip the switch on the back.

the Netgear’s ability to connect to standard, ADSL, fibre and cable equipment, meaning that even if you change or upgrade your broadband you won’t necessarily need to change your router. The antenna arrangement isn’t the tidiest (it’s actually rather ugly and plasticky), but the Netgear Nighthawk is clearly the best all-rounder here.

How do they compare? >THE SPECS
















ADSL2+ and VDSL (fibre) Cable/wired connection ADSL2+ and VDSL (fibre) ADSL2+ and VDSL (fibre) Cable/wired connection








2.4GHz AND 5GHz



























1x DSL phone connector, 2x USB 3.0, 2x analogue USB 2.0, USB 3.0 phone

2x USB 3.0, 1x WAN Gigabit Ethernet

1x DSL phone connector, 1x DSL phone connector, 1x USB 3.0, 1x Gigabit 2x USB 3.0, 1x WAN 2x USB 3.0, 1x WAN WAN Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet Gigabit Ethernet SD card reader























+++++ +++++ +++++ +++++

+++++ +++++ +++++ +++++

+++++ +++++ +++++ +++++

+++++ +++++ +++++ +++++

+++++ +++++ +++++ +++++

+++++ +++++ +++++ +++++


FINAL VERDICT @macformat

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Fantastical Flexibits’ version 2.2 update to its flagship calendar app brings winning results Reviewed by TIM HARDWICK £39.99 FROM Flexibits, NEEDS OS X 10.10 or higher

Fantastical 2.2 has laid down a marker for Mac business calendar apps to aspire to

antastical has evolved over the years from an intelligent minicalendar and reminders app that lives in the menu bar, to a full-fledged windowed replacement for Apple’s stock solution, boasting multiple calendar account and iCloud support. The app’s latest update develops it a step further with some additional features and full integration with Microsoft Exchange. For anyone new to Fantastical, the app uses a colour-coded layout to display your schedule and helpfully integrates reminders into your daily dealings. Key to its function is a list view of upcoming events and reminders that augments the calendar, and remains visible regardless of whether the calendar is showing a day, week, month, or year layout. This alternative calendar app has also won over plenty of fans thanks to its use of natural language processing to create calendar events and reminders from textual descriptions. Press the + button and type “lunch with Ben at Jamie’s /h”, for example, and the app schedules it in your home calendar, using the /h specifier to identify the calendar by name (reminder requests are dealt with in a similar


VERDICT This convenient and far better alternative to Apple’s Calendar app comes of age.

+++++ Beautifully designed Exchange support Intelligent processing Can print calendars

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Upcoming events in your schedule appear in the list view, which can be opened in a separate window if you want.

way). Fantastical now also recognises partial matches for place names, which removes a step when you want to include an address in an event. Of course, the standard method of inputting events – double-clicking on a day in the calendar view – remains present. Existing accounts can be added from System Preferences or within Exchange, and you can manually link to accounts, including those from Google, Yahoo, Fruux, and a range of CalDAV-compatible calendars. If you use Exchange, you’ll welcome the new ability to sign in using Fantastical’s own preferences instead of having to go through Apple’s Calendar app. This, coupled with full push support to the Exchange server, increases the sense of integration.

A blessing for businesses Fantastical 2.2 also introduces a separate interface for Exchange users that enables easier discovery of contacts’ and meeting rooms’ availability, as well as the ability to send and respond to meeting invitations. Elsewhere, multiple event drag-and-drop should come as a boon if you’re involved in team delegation and planning, while the facility to ‘float’ different time zones alongside each other will prove a breath of fresh air for cross-continent administrators. If you’re already a Fantastical user, you’ll welcome the update, especially its new print options and location suggestions as you type a sentence to describe a new event, but the big news here is really for corporate users. With its support for shared calendars, Google Hangouts and global address list lookup, plus the many other benefits for Exchange users, Fantastical 2.2 has laid down a marker for Mac business calendar apps to come. @macformat


Paintstorm Studio An adaptable toolset for artists $19 (about £13) FROM Paintstorm Studio, NEEDS OS X 10.7 or higher hould you want to dabble with some digital painting or sketching, this app may be the best way to improve your skills. It comes with a huge array of tools and default content, in the form of preset brushes, patterns, and more. As a beginner, this enables you to learn in the quickest way, because you can see settings as you use them. Although the results are superb, with brushes that excel in many ways, it’s the app’s pure adaptability that makes it a winner. Some of the interface’s aesthetic choices


VERDICT Thought for the user makes this a unique tool that should be in every artist’s Dock.

++ ++++ Adaptable interface Some bits look dated

The app ran really smoothly on our old 13-inch MacBook Pro.

look a little dated, but the implementation is fantastic. You can move and resize every palette, and create your own by dragging tools to set up your own unique interface for better use of your screen. This adaptability can be seen within individual tools. Using a simple graph you can shape a brush stroke’s path however you like. This can be used for many things, from pushing harder mid-stroke to

building a complex brush to paint ferns or leaves. One feature of real note is the perspective tool. Imagine painting a hillside using a brush to draw blades of grass that automatically get smaller in the distance. The tool isn’t truly 3D in nature, but if you want to paint a piece with a lot of depth it can be a big help, constraining a brush stroke to fit the perspective guide.


Gemini 2 Weed out your duplicate files £7.99 FROM MacPaw, NEEDS OS X 10.10 or higher uplicate files are a pain to stay on top of, but thanks to Gemini they’ve suddenly become more manageable. The original app targeted duplicates only, but version 2 can flag up similar files too, making them easy to compare and remove through its relatively straightforward interface. It also promises to learn from your decisions, such as which folders you favour when choosing files to keep, to ensure its one-click ‘Smart Clean’ is safer to use. Gemini can search iTunes and Photos libraries as well as


VERDICT A powerful duplicate finder with plenty of tools and safeguards to justify the price.

++ ++++ Fast, effective scans Slow file previews @macformat

Gemini 2’s new features include the ability to search for similar files as well as duplicates.

folders – just choose where to search and let it strut its stuff. You can choose to trust the scan’s findings and click Smart Clean, or exercise the more cautious (and sensible) option to review each entry. Duplicates and similar files are listed separately, and only the former are selected for deletion (you can choose Duplicate > Select > Deselect All to clear what’s preselected before review).

The app provides built-in safeguards – files are moved to the Trash rather than deleted instantly, and a list of what’s been removed is shown with options for restoring one or more items before finishing the job. Throw in innovative tools and options – the app can be configured to replace duplicates with hard links, for example – and you’re left with a genuinely useful tool.


JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 103


Capture One Pro No longer just about the ‘capture’ €279 (about £266) FROM Phase One, NEEDS OS X 10.10.5 or higher, internet connection to activate apture One made its name as a pro option for tethered shooting. A cable connects your camera to your Mac, where you check composition, adjust camera settings and carry out quick post-shoot enhancements. That’s still a big part of it, with seamless tethered shooting extended to compatible Canon, Nikon and Sony cameras. Not only do you get a ‘live view’ on a Mac’s comparatively big screen for accurate composition and settings adjustment, but pro photographers can liaise with remote clients during a shoot


VERDICT An excellent library manager and a good Lightroom rival, but its layer system is basic.

++ ++++ Improved processing No plug-in support

Version 9 has a brand-new raw image processing engine.

using Capture Pilot for iOS. Online sharing’s also possible. The app also has powerful organisational tools, with the suggested method being to put your images in a ‘Catalog’. For large collections, expect a long wait while it scans folders and creates previews. Sorting is made trivial with star ratings, colour-coding, keywords, dates and places. Filters and search criteria enable rapid lookup, and

albums and smart albums gather images from folders without making duplicates. Version 9 really comes to life in the quality of its raw image processing, empowered by a brand-new engine. Adjustments such as colour, exposure and lens correction can be applied locally using a somewhat rudimentary layers system that falls far short of Photoshop’s implementation.


BookMarkable Link to and from almost anything £4.49 FROM Ondrej Florian, NEEDS OS X 10.9 or higher ouldn’t it be great if you could link to files the way you link to web pages? OS X can do that to some extent using aliases, but to link a master document to various disparate files usually demands you use a heavyweight writing app, such as Word or Scrivener. Enter BookMarkable, which enables you to add file or folder hyperlinks to any app that supports embeddable links in its documents. The app provides you with a floating panel and a menu bar icon. The former is for bookmark creation, and the


VERDICT This is a useful tool for Evernote users, and those document types it works with.

++ ++++ Enhances Evernote Doesn’t like every app

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To create a link to a file or a folder, you drag and drop the item onto this panel.

latter is for creating and managing your bookmark collection. Simply drag a file or folder onto the floating panel, change any details – the link text, the app it should open with, a screenshot if the destination app supports rich text – and you can then drag the bookmark from there into a document. When it works, it works very well, but some features expect you to use Apple’s default apps and

accounts – so, for example, we couldn’t bookmark Gmail messages in Apple’s Mail app or drag calendar events from Fantastical onto the panel. However, one group of people in particular might like BookMarkable: Evernote users; that app’s ability to link to files on your Mac was removed for security reasons back in 2014. Use this app to overcome that limitation.

GARY MARSHALL @macformat


TextExpander 4 Subscription-only, but is it worth it? From $40 (about £28) per year FROM SmileOnMyMac, MADE FOR iPhone, iPod touch, iPad hen an update to an app is released, people usually focus on what’s new. With TextExpander 4, the focus has been on what’s missing. SmileOnMyMac now has its own cloud-based syncing platform for TextExpander, which replaces Dropbox and iCloud and enables group sharing of snippets. The subscription model introduced for version 4 costs about £28 a year, compared to the £3.99 that TextExpander 3 cost outright.After an outcry, upgrade pricing of $20 (about £14) is available for existing


VERDICT A superb timesaver, but all that’s new is group sharing and subscription pricing.

++ ++++ Amazingly powerful The price isn’t right

You can use TextExpander to create form letters and emails.

customers, and version 3 has returned for people who want to stick with other cloud services for syncing or don’t want subscription software. TextExpander remains a wonderful app. It installs as a third-party keyboard in iOS and offers improved autocorrection and all kinds of snippets, from frequently used text, dates, emoji and phrases to formatted text and code blocks. Many big-name

apps support it directly, and the TextExpander keyboard covers the apps it doesn’t integrate with. But you can say the same about the old non-subscription version too. Developers have to pay the bills, of course, but our job is to discover whether a new app is better than an old one. For individual TextExpander users, we suspect the answer to that is currently no.


VideoSoap 5 Make your videos sound less noisy Free FROM Soundness, MADE FOR iPhone, iPod touch, iPad ne of the biggest problems when recording video using an iPhone or iPad’s built-in mic is unwanted noise. Whether it’s cars on a busy road or the background hum in a rowdy office, it’s an undesirable distraction. VideoSoap aims to solve that by removing unwanted noise from your videos – but that’s not all it does. It can boost audio that’s too quiet or dampen audio that’s too loud. And now, in version 5, the app allows you to use your iPhone as an external mic and cancel noise before it’s recorded.


VERDICT Quick and easy noise removal, but lacking fine control over the audio in your videos.

++ ++++ Easy to use Not so good with bass @macformat

VideoSoap’s controls are simple, but lack fine control over noise removal.

You need to run a cable between your iOS device and the microphone socket on a DSLR or camcorder. The app then picks up the audio from the iOS device’s microphone, processes it – cancelling noise and enhancing the audio if you choose – before routing it to the headphone jack for the cable to carry it to the camera. The app does a good job of eliminating high frequencies in background noise. Lower

sounds, such as wind noise, are muffled but remain. The live mic feature is similarly less good with sounds lower down the spectrum. We found best results came from a combination of the Denoise, Enhance and Boost controls. While the app itself is free, saving, exporting or using the external mic features requires an in-app purchase, which costs £7.99.


JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 105





Your complete guide to the best Apple hardware and third-party accessories elcome to MacFormat’s Store Guide, the place to go to find out about all the Apple kit that matters – updated this issue to include the revamped 12-inch MacBook with speedier specs. We’ve chosen our top products from Apple’s product line-up, plus the best third-party kit that meets our quality standard. Whether you’re a recent convert or a seasoned Apple user, we highlight a model of each product that’s ideally suited to your needs. So, check our handy tables to see which Mac, iPad or iPhone is best for you. We’ve also highlighted the gold standard in audio, storage, cameras, and many other categories to complement your Mac or iOS device with the best accessories.


Who’s it for? ENTRY LEVEL



You’re just getting started in the world of Apple and need to know where to begin.

A firm Apple user, you’re ready to move on and get even more from your tech.

Apple is your life. You prize quality and want the best that money can buy.

iMac Ever since the famous Bondi Blue iMac debuted way back in August 1998, Apple’s all-in-one desktop computer has been setting standards in gorgeous design and powerful performance. Apple’s spirit of innovation was as clear back then as it is today – the iMac was the first Macintosh to abandon the floppy disk in favour of USB ports, and its bright, colourful aesthetic set it apart as a playful pretender in a world of staid beige boxes. These days Apple is again pushing boundaries with the iMac, blessing all of its 27-inch models with the world’s best display, which has a massive 5K (5120x2880) resolution. Add in a quad-core Intel Core i5 processor (configurable from 3.2GHz up to 4.0GHz), 8GB of RAM, a fast and capacious Fusion Drive, and a powerful AMD Radeon R9 graphics processor – and the large iMac is the desktop system to own. In 2015, Apple lowered the price of the top-spec 27-inch model by £150 and introduced the first 21.5-inch iMac with a Retina 4K display. All iMacs (except the entry-level, 21.5-inch model) have a quad-core processor.

Choose an iMac

= Retina display

Monitor .......................................109 Ultra HD monitor .............109 Portable storage..............109 Network storage..............109 Wireless router...................109 Thunderbolt dock ...........109 Printer...........................................109 Desktop speaker ..............109 MacBook bag........................109

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Wireless speaker...............110 Portable speaker ...............110 On-ear headphones.......110 In-ear headphones..........110 Portable battery.................110 Action camera ......................110 IP camera....................................110 iPhone stand...........................110 Apple Watch stand ..........110


iMac.................................................106 MacBook ....................................107 MacBook Pro ........................107 Mac Pro .......................................107 Mac mini .....................................107 iPhone..........................................108 iPad...................................................108 iPad Pro.......................................108 Apple Watch...........................108


21.5-inch 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i5

RAM 8GB of 1867MHz LPDDR3 GRAPHICS Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 STORAGE 1TB (5,400rpm) DISPLAY 1920x1080 (IPS, sRGB gamut) ALSO Magic Mouse 2, Magic Keyboard



Inside your buying guide…


21.5-inch 3.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i5

RAM 8GB of 1867MHz LPDDR3 GRAPHICS Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 STORAGE 1TB (5,400rpm) DISPLAY Retina 4K (IPS, P3 gamut) ALSO Magic Mouse 2, Magic Keyboard




27-inch 3.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i5

RAM 8GB of 1867MHz DDR3 GRAPHICS AMD Radeon R9 M395 STORAGE 2TB Fusion Drive DISPLAY Retina 5K (IPS, P3 gamut) ALSO Magic Mouse 2, Magic Keyboard

£1,849 @macformat






MacBook Pro

Mac Pro

The baby of Apple’s laptop family, the MacBook was recently updated with slightly improved specs and a new Rose Gold colour. Weighing in at just 0.92kg, it’s Apple’s most lightweight laptop but still packs in a 226ppi pixel density in its 12-inch Retina display. The MacBook is powered by an Intel Core M processor (at 1.1GHz, 1.2GHz or 1.3GHz), which doesn’t require a fan to keep cool, so the MacBook runs silently. It also features a Force Touch trackpad, which can trigger different responses as you apply more pressure. All models of the MacBook come with 8GB of 1866MHz memory, with no option to add more, and Intel HD Graphics 515 – that’s 25% faster than the previous iteration – and there are 256GB or 512GB flash storage options. There are four colour options: Silver, Space Grey, Gold, and the new Rose Gold.

Following hot on the heels of the MacBook, the MacBook Pro recently gained a Force Touch trackpad. At the same time, the MacBook Pro range saw small boosts to its Intel and graphics processors. The top-of-the-line model is currently the only one to offer a discrete graphics processor, in the form of the AMD Radeon R9 M370X – the other models have an integrated Intel Iris or Iris Pro graphics processor. All except the entry-level MacBook Pro are equipped with a Retina display, in either 13-inch or 15-inch sizes. They also have two Thunderbolt 2 and two USB 3.0 ports, an SDXC card reader, and their flash storage ranges from 128GB to 1TB, depending on the model you pick as a starting point. Battery life is also improved, with the 13-inch model lasting 10 hours and the 15-inch model going strong for nine hours.

If you need power – and we mean serious power – this is the computer for you. Even the entry-level model comes with 12GB of RAM, a quad-core 3.7GHz processor, 256GB of speedy PCIe flash storage and dual AMD FIrePro D300 graphics cards. However, with a price point to match, it last being updated in 2013, and Thunderbolt 3 just around the corner, consider holding out for the next version.


12-inch 1.2GHz RAM 8GB of 1866MHz dual-core LPDDR3 Intel Core m5 GRAPHICS Intel HD Graphics 515 SSD 512GB


12-inch 1.3GHz RAM 8GB of 1866MHz dual-core LPDDR3 Intel Core m7 GRAPHICS Intel HD Graphics 515 SSD 256GB or 512GB

£1,249 or £1,419 @macformat





12-inch 1.1GHz RAM 8GB of 1866MHz dual-core LPDDR3 Intel Core m3 GRAPHICS Intel HD Graphics 515 SSD 256GB

MODEL 13-inch 2.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i5

RAM 8GB of 1866MHz LPDDR3 GRAPHICS Intel Iris Graphics 6100 SSD 256GB






Choose a MacBook Pro

15-inch 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7

RAM 16GB of 1600MHz DDR3L GRAPHICS Intel Iris Pro Graphics SSD 256GB





Choose a MacBook

15-inch 2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7

RAM 16GB of 1600MHz £1,999 DDR3L GRAPHICS AMD Radeon R9 M370X SSD 512GB

From £2,499


Mac mini

From £399

A welcome update in 2014 brought a £100 price drop to the most affordable Mac. The mini has some interesting talking points: the entry-level model has a 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB of RAM, making it akin to the entry-level MacBook Air but with a 500GB hard drive and no display. Higher end models come with 1TB storage (a Fusion Drive option is available), 8GB of RAM, a better graphics processor and either a 2.6GHz or 2.8GHz Intel Core i5 for £569 and £799, respectively. Those models can be upgraded to Core i7 processors, though there are no quad-core options available – you’ll need an iMac for that.

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 107







iPad Pro

Apple brought 3D Touch to the iPhone with the 6s and 6s Plus, providing extra interactions depending on the level of pressure you apply to the screen. For example, a light press on an email lets you ‘peek’ at its contents, so you can decide whether to delete it or, with a firmer press, ‘pop’ it open to reply to it. While the new iPhone SE lacks 3D Touch, it matches many features of the iPhone 6s, from a 12MP rear camera and 4K video recording to an A9 chip and M9 motion coprocessor. All that comes in a compact 4-inch case, so it has plenty of power and is perfect for anyone put off by the larger iPhones. All models have front-facing cameras for video calls. There’s also Live Photos, which capture the moments before and after you take a photo to make a short video, plus all feature high-quality Retina displays.

Aside from the beautifully gargantuan 12.9-inch iPad Pro (see right), there was a small but very welcome change to Apple’s tablet line-up last September with the addition of the iPad mini 4, which is essentially an iPad Air 2 in a smaller chassis. The Air 2 hasn’t changed since late 2014, though. On the software side, iOS 9 has brought multitasking features, which are a boon for productivity. You can slide a second app over the right side of the one you’re working in (great for quickly checking email), then dismiss it to get back to work. Picture in Picture enables you to watch video in a corner of the screen – but it may be a bit too small on the mini. Those two features work on the Air 2, mini 2 and Pro and newer models. There’s also Split View, on the Air 2, mini 4 and Pro, which lets you work on two apps side by side.

The iPad Pro now comes in 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch sizes, packed with either 32GB, 128GB or 256GB of storage. All models except the 32GB, 12.9-inch one are available with the option of mobile network connectivity. The Pro’s A9X chip is the most powerful in any iOS device, and it has an impressive four-speaker sound system, too. Adding the pressure-sensitive Apple Pencil makes it an accomplished drawing tool.

iPhone SE (4-inch display)

CAPACITY: 64GB PROCESSOR: A9 3D TOUCH No CAMERA 12MP photos, 4K video recording


iPhone 6s (4.7-inch display)

CAPACITY: 128GB PROCESSOR: A9 3D TOUCH Yes CAMERA 12MP photos, 4K video recording


iPhone 6s Plus (5.5-inch display)

CAPACITY: 128GB PROCESSOR: A9 3D TOUCH Yes CAMERA 12MP photos, 4K video recording


108 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016







iPad mini 4





iPad Air 2






Choose an iPad


Choose an iPhone

12.9-inch iPad Pro



From £499



From £259

Apple’s first foray into the world of high fashion certainly turned heads when it arrived on the scene. Apple has since released a slew of updates in the form of watchOS 2, which expands the capabilities of third-party apps, as well as a range of new case colours and strap options (although hardware specifications are unchanged). Among the new straps are several Woven Nylon models in various vibrant colours, plus a snappy yellow Sport Band made of comfy fluoroelastomer. The Watch comes in aluminium, stainless steel or 18-carat gold cases, the first of which now has Gold and Rose Gold colour options. @macformat

Mac Hardware STORE GUIDE

BEST BUYS… curated picks of third-party kit MONITOR




ViewSonic VP2772 £569

AOC U3277PQU £574

Samsung T3 SSD From £95

If you’re not fussed about 4K but still want exceptional image quality, this IPS display is truly superb. It offers 99% coverage of the Adobe RGB colour space, 10-bit colour and a 2560x1440-pixel resolution. It has HDMI 1.4, DVI and Mini DisplayPort connections, and four USB 3.0 ports for expansion.

The recent winner of our 4K displays group test, this 32-inch screen is a joy to work with, and a monitor of this size is the perfect setting for 4K to really come into its own. From stunning picture quality and top-notch contrast ratio to the reasonable price for such a wide display, it’s a winner all round.

This drive’s performance is typical for a USB 3 SSD, but we’re enamoured by its compact form, which makes it stand out, as well as its lightness – it weighs just 51g. It also sports AES-256 hardwarebased encryption, and comes in capacities up to 2TB, though you’ll need considerable cash in order to buy the largest one.





Western Digital My Cloud Mirror £255

Netgear Nighthawk D7000 £140

CalDigit Thunderbolt Station 2 £180

Winner of MF294’s NAS group test, the My Cloud Mirror provides Apple-like ease of use – but it’s no Time Capsule knock-off; with top performance (thrashing its group test rivals when it came to writing large files), whisper-quiet operation and a good range of features, it’s great if you want more from a NAS.

This is one of the best 802.11ac routers you can get. It was one of the fastest models in MF301 ’s group test, and it can connect to ADSL, fibre and cable equipment, so it’s not stymied if you change your broadband setup. Its iOS app is great, and it’s hugely affordable for what it offers. A winner all round.

Our MF297 group test winner got the nod for its beautifully compact form and superb menu bar tool, which lets you eject individual drives as you please (something its rivals failed to offer). It’s not the most laden with ports, but has everything that most people will need, and comes in at a great price point.





Brother HL-3150CDW £149

Steljes Audio NS3 £199

Knomo James £169

This versatile laser printer got the nod in MF300’s group test. Its light design, feature list, and impressive print quality make it a great choice for home office users. AirPrint and Wi-Fi connectivity means it plays nice with your iOS devices. It’s not great for printing photos, but is a winner at everything else.

With room-filling audio blasted out from 90W stereo units, the NS3 is a superb speaker set. It’s delicate enough for acoustic warblings but packs enough power for hair-raising multilayered harmonics. Bluetooth and swish looks complete the package. If you want quality audio, get this.

A beautifully made bag with a surprising amount of space inside. You’ll love the little touches, such as its big chunky zips and flashes of colour. It’s easy to turn the Knomo James into a smart office bag by removing the backpack straps, and Knomo provides each bag with a tracking ID in case yours goes AWOL. @macformat

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 109

STORE GUIDE Mac Hardware

BEST BUYS… curated picks of third-party kit WIRELESS SPEAKER



Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless £499

Kef Muo £299

Plantronics Backbeat Pro £125

This airship-inspired speaker is certainly striking, but it’s more than just a looker, with crisp, clear treble and refined bass output over previous Zeppelin models. Support for Bluetooth, Spotify Connect and AirPlay makes for plenty of connectivity, and dynamic EQ ensures controlled bass at all volumes.

Hi-fi king Kef brings its audio know-how to the portable speaker world and blows away the competition. Firm bass, a rich, detailed sound and sturdy build combine to form one impressive package, while you won’t be let down by the solid battery life. It’s one of the best portable speakers you can buy.

Wireless headphones are often blighted by meagre battery life, but not so with these cans, which run for more than 25 hours. They offer active noise-cancelling, brilliant wireless range, superb comfort and a huge range of intuitive touch controls, making these the wireless headphones to beat.




RHA MA 750i £90

Apple iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case £79

GoPro Hero4 Session

These in-ear buds impress on nearly every level. They come with easy-to-use inline controls and a steel-reinforced cable, while faultless low and mid range reproduction and a crafted, premium feel make them earphones of distinction. They are a world away from Apple’s cheap earbuds.

Despite that silly-looking hump on its back, the official battery case for the iPhone 6 and 6s is impressive. It’s easy to fit, the buttons feel great, and the soft inner lining protects against scratches. It isn’t the largest capacity case, yet it has more than enough juice for busy days, and the bump is surprisingly comfy.




GoPro has built a truly formidable reputation for itself as an action cam champ, and rightly so. The Hero4 Session may be compact, but it’s a great all-rounder. Internal waterproofing, an outstanding app and impressive video quality, combined with an affordable price tag, make it a firm favourite at MacFormat.


Logi Circle £120

Just Mobile AluBolt £41

Nomad Stand for Apple Watch £50

Winner of MF299’s group test, the Logi Circle is packed with features. It’s so easy to use and can be powered by batteries, making it highly portable. With a wide 135° field of vision, it captures plenty of detail, and is very affordable. The Logi Circle is a barnstorming all-rounder, and looks great on your mantlepiece.

Charge your iPhone in style with this simple yet elegant stand. From the curved backstop to the rounded aluminium base, it oozes Apple-esque design chops and will fit right in among your other Apple kit. The Lightning connector can be tilted to help mount your iPhone on it, which is a nice touch.

Nomad’s stand is an absolutely gorgeous Apple Watch charging dock – carved from a single piece of curved aluminium, it looks like it could have been designed by Apple. Its weighty base keeps everything in place and the cable management is so tidy that it looks like there’s no cable there at all.

110 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016 @macformat

MacFormat, Future, Quay House, The Ambury Bath, BA1 1UA Tel +44 (0)1225 442 244

NEXT ISSUE OS X 10.12 & iOS 10




ADVERTISING Commercial Sales Director CLARE DOVE Senior Advertising Manager LARA JAGGON Director of Agency Sales MATT DOWNS Advertising Director JOHN BURKE Head of Strategic Partnerships CLARE JONIK Advertising Manager MICHAEL PYATT Account Sales Manager ANDREW TILBURY PRINT & PRODUCTION Production Controller FRANCES TWENTYMAN Production Manager MARK CONSTANCE MANAGEMENT Managing Director – Magazines JOE McEVOY Group Editor-In-Chief PAUL NEWMAN Group Art Director GRAHAM DALZELL LICENSING Senior Licensing & Syndication Manager MATT ELLIS Tel +44 (0)1225 442244 PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS Tel 0844 848 2852 Web Email Printed in the UK by William Gibbons Distributed in the UK by Seymour Distribution Ltd, 2 East Poultry Avenue, London, EC1A 9PT Tel 020 7429 4000

Your Mac is about to change. We report on all the major updates coming in OS X 10.12, unveiled at Apple’s WWDC event in June

ALSO INSIDE… Which is the best home NAS drive? Control your home with cool iOS tricks iTunes 12.4: what’s new and how to use it The complete guide to pro iOS photography




Our print and digital bundle gets you the paper magazine as well as our iPad edition

CONTRIBUTORS EDITORIAL: Adam Banks, Matt Bolton, George Cairns, Dan Grabham, Craig Grannell, Tim Hardwick, Kenny Hemphill, Ali Jennings, Hollin Jones, Cliff Joseph, Gary Marshall, Keith Martin, Rob Mead-Green, Howard Oakley, Nick Peers, Rob Redman, Dave Stevenson, Luis Villazon ART: Apple, Future Photo Studio (Adam Gasson, Neil Godwin), iStockphoto, Jamie Schildhauer

22,457 PRINT 12,821 DIGITAL 9,636 Jan–Dec 2015 A member of the Audited Bureau of Circulations

© Future Publishing Limited 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. The registered office of Future Publishing Limited is at Quay House, The Ambury, Bath, BA1 1UA. All information contained in this magazine is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. Readers are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/ services referred to in this magazine. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Future a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine, including licensed editions worldwide and in any physical or digital format throughout the world. Any material you submit is sent at your risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be liable for loss or damage.

ON YOUR MAC Read on the big screen: subscribe with Zinio at Zinio subscriptions do not include a print copy of the magazine. @macformat

We are committed to only using magazine paper which is derived from well managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. Future Publishing and its paper suppliers have been independently certified in accordance with the rules of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 111

PHOTO STREAM Shot of the month

GET INVOLVED! The iPhone is the world’s most popular camera, but it takes a bit of work to get a truly excellent shot. Why not show us your creations? Simply email us at and your work could be showcased on these pages!

Humber Bridge, Yorkshire by A N D R E W D O W N I E

EQUIPMENT iPhone 6 I took this during a morning walk along Hessle Foreshore, looking out towards North Lincolnshire. The view of the bridge was particularly impressive given the striking lighting, mist and sky. I used the standard Camera app in HDR mode to capture the image. The only further editing I did was to straighten the image on an iPad Air 2 using the Photos app. I didn’t need to apply any filters or post-production effects. Typically I prefer ‘pure’ shots anyway!

Photo album Great shots that make it into our image gallery

Amaryllis David Jennis used a 5s on a tripod to snap this oil-painting-style shot.

Kirkwall, Orkney Tim Williams crams it all in with this harbour shot from the Orkney Islands.

112 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016 @macformat

Get in touch CONTACTS

Contact us

Have your say on all things Apple! LETTER OF THE MONTH! CLOUD AUTOMATION I have followed your article in issue 299 on ‘Save Web Receipts To iCloud’ and successfully created the Automator workflow for the Print Plugin. This inspired me to create my own Automator workflows for a number of other activities, including those for Photos using actions from the Photos automation website as described in your article. However, I cannot get the Service workflows to work as intended in the Photos application. I can successfully execute workflows from the Script menu – for ‘Show Location In Maps’, for example – but the Service workflows do not appear in the contextual menu when a photo is selected and ‘right-click’ is performed. The Workflows are correctly located in my user account’s Library/Services folder. However, other Automator Service workflows for other applications, such as Finder, appear in the contextual menu as expected. I am running OS X 10.11.4. by P E T E R S H E P P A R D

ALAN SAYS… Where Services appear differs between apps. In Finder, you can right-click to access them through the contextual menu, but there’s no such item in the contextual menu when you right-click an item in Photos. This is a shortcut that some apps provide as an extra convenience. However, all apps provide access to relevant Services in their application menu. Choose Photos > Services and the ones you’ve created should be listed. If not, create a new user account, rebuild your Service and test it there, in case something on your usual account is obstructing it.

Email your queries and your questions to

by locksmiths). With the Mac still off, I wiped the receiving socket with a clean earbud soaked in alcohol. Both gave off visible black muck! After this cleaning process, the charging light went green when 100% charged! by M I K E K E L L Y

PAUL SAYS… Nice tip Mike, but if anyone else tries this we suggest waiting a while after drying off the alcohol rub, just to be sure it’s dry.

INDEXING ISSUE Following your Synology DiskStation 216+ review (MF299), I would like to make the following comments. Having had a DiskStation 414 attached to my network for several months, my main issue is that should you choose to index media files so they provide a complete description of the media file (title, picture, cast, etc), be aware of the time it takes (there’s no indication provided). I’m still waiting for my video files to be indexed to access about 1.2TB of data! So far – I’m at 11 days and counting – the network folder has been unavailable for use by my Mac.



by B R I A N D A V E Y

I have recently purchased a 9.7-inch iPad Pro and have no complaints apart from the plethora of preloaded apps that it came with that seemingly can’t be deleted. This leaves me with apps that I will never use taking up valuable memory. The same applies to iPhones. Why does Apple do this?

I just want to save anyone with a MagSafe connector any service agro and perhaps save £65 on a new charger! Symptoms: False red LED on the connector and also charging info states fully charged, though that’s actually false. An Apple Support engineer suggested ‘resetting’ the charging circuit software, but while waiting the hour they said it may take, I looked at the magnetic plug with spring-loaded pins and the female receiver block in the MacBook Pro. They looked dirty, so with the power off I cleaned the pins with an earbud soaked in rubbing alcohol, then wiped the pins with a pencil lead (basically graphite, as used

CHRISTIAN SAYS… We understand that you didn’t receive a response from Synology, so we approached it. Its reply to us was: “Media Indexing should only take a short time to progress through. For the indexing to have been happening for over 11 days, this would indicate there is possibly an issue that requires rectifying on the NAS. However, the Shared folder should still be usable as the Indexing process doesn’t affect folder access (though until indexed it won’t show a video in the Video Station UI)”. With your customer Support Ticket Number, Synology said it will investigate further to try and resolve your issue.

by D A V I D F R E N C H

CHRISTIAN SAYS… Apple doesn’t allow you to delete these apps, but they take up little space. I put those I don’t use in a folder called ‘Apple’. Recently, Tim Cook said Apple’s looking at allowing default apps to be hidden. That’s not necessarily the same as uninstalling them, though. @macformat

JULY 2016 | MACFORMAT | 113

TIME MACHINE Classic Apple kit given a unique makeover

Above: A little Einstein represents ‘Genius’, while the 1984 advert from Ridley Scott is referenced too.

Apple Macintosh litho print A retro schematic with a passion for all things Apple Want to adorn your home office wall with a piece of nostalgic Apple art? Well, design agency Dorothy has created this beautiful cutaway print that imagines the internal going-ons of the original Apple Macintosh. The miniature Mac world, entitled Inside Information: Apple Macintosh, is full of Apple workers and numerous references to Mac culture from down the years, such as OS X Snow Leopard, El Capitan, Mission Control, Spotlight and GarageBand. It’s a three-colour lithographic print on 120gsm uncoated paper. If you loved the Where’s Tim? graphic in our last issue, you’re sure to love this gorgeous design too. £30 WEBSITE DIMENSIONS 70x50cm

NEXT ISSUE ON SALE Tuesday 5 July 2016 114 | MACFORMAT | JULY 2016 @macformat