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Upgrade yoUr Mac apps! Powerful alternatives to replace Apple’s built-in OS X apps p34




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tiPs & triCks >>>


awesome new features for your iPhone & iPad p20


PAgeS Of Advice fOr iOS And mAc

HoW To : give your mac a health check use Pages for desktop publishing digitize your cassettes and vinyl create stylish art – no skill required!

TUrn an old Mac inTo a MacHine p48 >>> PluS





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104 ioS 10 tips, tricks, and secrets

Upgrade your mac apps

turn an old mac into a minecraft machine

Discover all the amazing new features and hidden secrets in iOS 10, with our huge guide to this massive update!


Check out our latest subscription offers on p54

Get more from your Mac with these great alternatives to OS X’s default apps – you’ll be able to work more efficiently, save time, and have a better experience.

We show you how we turned an old MacBook into a dedicated Minecraft machine to keep kids entertained.

Kids yearning for a Minecraft Mac of their own? We can help with that! oct 2016 3

>>> Contents







Scrivener for ioS


aoc Q2781PQ


camera+ for iPad


busycal 3




winZip mac 5


marvel - Design apps on Your Phone


Disk Drill 3


boinx mimolive


reelgood 71

HoudahGeo 5


Paste – Smart clipboard


corel Painter 2017


mail Designer Pro 3





Head over to


Share Email:


10 years of intel macs The decade since Apple changed its processors.






Guild of Dungeoneering




Super Stickman Golf 3

the Shift David Chartier on how Apple turned iMessage into a force to be reckoned with.



apple’s first tV show Is Apple getting into TV production in a big way?


Discover the latest Wi-Fi technology for your home.

consider Matt Bolton on whether or not iOS needs to “mature.”



Severed 76

Sketches Pro


7 apps for doing something new with video


aSwY ondo air Speaker v2


buffalo linkStation lS520De


freecom mHDD Slim


Sony DSc-rX10 iii


withings body cardio


b&o beoplay H5






leGo Star wars: the force awakens

6 tips… to make you a Pokémon GO master.



Game loop


Simon Says

Brianna Wu laments the state of big-name games on mobile devices.




How to: Share your location



$50 itunes card What would you buy…?


Star Wars Battle Quads

4 oct 2016

Get smart Lifestyle-enhancing gadgets for your home.


apple tV Apps and hardware for your Apple TV.


ask Our Apple experts answer your burning hardware and software questions.


lay out newsletters in Pages

104 Give your mac a once-over 106 rescue your old audio media 110

easily make art in assembly


transitions in Keynote on ioS


random apple memory

The gear we’re lusting after.


Next-gen wi-fi

Why the Power Macintosh G4 Cube ultimately failed to reinvent the desktop. Plus, what to expect next issue…

Visit The march of technology never stops, so neither do we. Mac|Life’s website is now part of the new and improved TechRadar, so you can grab your fix of Mac and iOS news over at

You’ll get all the latest news and tutorials for Mac, iPhone and iPad, as well as other trusted reviews, news, and how-tos that have made TechRadar one of the world’s top tech sites. We’ll see you there!

read more news, reviews, and tutorials at

EDITORIAL Editor Matt Bolton opErations Editors Jo Membery, Ed Ricketts ContriBUtors Adam Banks, J.R. Bookwalter, George Cairns, David Chartier, Emma Davies, Kate Gray, Christian Hall, Matt Hanson, Tim Hardwick, Kenny Hemphill, Cliff Joseph, Sarah LeBoeuf, Joseph Leray, Gary Marshall, Keith Martin, Rob Mead-Green, Amber Neely, Howard Oakley, Nick Peers, Rob Redman, Lizzie Shepherd, Dave Stevenson, Alan Stonebridge, Luis Villazon, Brianna Wu ART art Editor Mat Gartside ContriBUtors Apple, Alex Duce, Thinkstock BUSINESS viCE prEsidEnt salEs Stacy Gaines, viCE prEsidEnt stratEgiC partnErships Isaac Ugay, East Coast aCCoUnt dirECtor Brandie Rushing, East Coast aCCoUnt dirECtor Michael Plump, mid wEst aCCoUnt dirECtor Jessica Reinert, wEst Coast aCCoUnt dirECtor Austin Park, wEst Coast aCCoUnt dirECtor Brandon Wong, wEst Coast aCCoUnt dirECtor Tad Perez, dirECtor of markEting Robbie Montinola dirECtor, CliEnt sErviCEs Tracy Lam dirECtor, rEtail salEs Bill Shewey MANAGEMENT Editorial dirECtor Paul Newman groUp art dirECtor Graham Dalzell PRODUCTION hEad of prodUCtion Uk & Us Mark Constance prodUCtion ControllEr Fran Twentyman projECt managEr Clare Scott prodUCtion assistant Emily Wood

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Volume 10, Issue 11

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MAC|LIFE (issn 1935-4010) is published monthly by future Us, inc., one lombard street, suite 200, san francisco, Ca 94111 (650) 872-1642. periodicals postage paid at san Bruno, Ca, and at additional mailing offices. newsstand distribution is handled by Curtis Circulation Company. Basic print subscription rates: 13 issues U.s. $24.95, foreign: $39.95. U.s. prepaid funds only. subscriptions do not include newsstand specials. POSTMASTER: send address changes to po Box 2024, langhorne, pa 19047, Usa. ride-along Enclosure in the following editions: none. standard mail Enclosure in the following editions: none. Canadian returns should be sent to imEX global solutions, po Box 25542, london, on n6C 6B2, Canada. future Us, inc. also publishes Maximum PC, Official Xbox Magazine, and PC Gamer. prodUCEd in thE UnitEd statEs of amEriCa. SUBSCRIBER CUSTOMER SERVICE: mac|life Customer Care, po Box 2024, langhorne, pa 19047, Usa. online: toll free: 1-844-779-2822 (opening hours: mon- fri 8am to 7pm; sat 10am to 2pm Edt). Email: REPRINTS: future Us, inc., 4000 shoreline Court, suite 400, south san francisco, Ca 94080. phone: (650) 872-1642. fax (650) 872-2207. website: AND NOW, A WORD FROM OUR LAWYERS: Entire contents copyright 2016, future Us, inc. all rights reserved. reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. future Us, inc. is not affiliated with the companies or products covered in mac|life. all information provided is, as far as future is aware, based on information correct at the time of press. readers are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to products/ services referred to in this magazine. we welcome reader submissions, but cannot promise that they will be published or returned to you. By submitting materials to us, you agree to give future the royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive right to publish and reuse your submission in any form in any and all media and to use your name and other information in connection with the submission.

BReaKInG LIMITaTIOnS When a neW device or platform launches, one of the words that gets thrown around a lot is whether it’s “mature.” It’s a phrase that doesn’t really mean anything in itself, but it’s evocative enough that we can easily understand what’s intended. We forgive exciting software early in its life for missing what seem like big features, because it’s not mature yet – we look forward to a time when it will have “grown up” and gained more rounded features. If it doesn’t get these features, it’s at risk of being left feeling immature, while its competitors become gray-haired and “distinguished.” The release of iOS 10 has got me thinking about where iOS is in its life cycle. Is it mature now? Certainly it’s very stable, and on iPhone has pretty much all the features 99 percent of people want. This maybe feels less true on iPad, even with tools such as split-screen apps. But maybe that’s because we have different judgments on what mature means for these two devices: on iPhone, we mostly look at it in comparison to its competitors; on iPad, we might look at it more in comparison to the Mac. This is the iOS device closest to the existing form of a computer, and Apple very much pushes the iPad Pro as a productivity device. But workflows are completely different on an iPad compared to OS X (or macOS), so when you compare the two, it can feel like the iPad isn’t as capable of doing the work you do on a Mac, or not as easily. This creates a dilemma for Apple. Does it take steps to make the iPad feel more viable for people’s previous workflow, and so “mature” it in the process? Many people (including me!) would like greatly expanded Mac-like drag-and-drop support on iPads, especially between split-screen apps, and there’s a growing number of areas in iOS where drag-and-drop is used. But doesn’t that miss the point of iOS? Why create a new platform just to copy the old methods? I don’t think the iPad has to do things the same way as my Mac to feel mature, but I think it does have to do them at least as fast. iOS 10 makes some steps in this area, but there’s still more to do yet.

>>>ThE TEam

Mat Gartside art editor Mat’s favorite iOS 10 feature is smarter Maps. Look, we all get lost sometimes…

Jo Membery Operations editor Jo’s loving Raise to Wake. She keeps just lifting her iPhone and putting it back.

David Chartier Contributor David’s happy that iMessage can reach its full potential – see why on p13!

MaTT BOLTOn, Editor Twitter: @matthewbbolton

8 OcT 2016

Your opinions, rants & raves

As a subscriber to Mac|Life, I’m waiting on an article about how to work around two missing functions in El Capitan: 1) We no longer have Secure Empty Trash, a vital feature for any serious user; 2) Erase unused space on an HD/ SSD, which used to be a function in Disk Utility. These two features are vital for security. Windows 10 has both. I can’t believe Apple’s programmers can’t figure out how to erase files on an SSD, if that’s the problem. There must be an app for erasing files/folders… but do these apps have a problem with SSDs? With regard to erasing unused space on a HD, I have no idea what to do. GEorGE roSS SSDs manage data differently to hard drives, which made the two features you’re talking about unreliable, so Apple has removed them, even from hard drive machines – though they’re both accessible from the Terminal. If you’re worried about security, you can use FileVault ( to encrypt your drive (this will slow HDD Macs). 2017’s update to macOS should include disk encryption as standard, solving the security problem.

Guided Access lets you disable touch input on an iOS device.

Easy screen locking

creative features

I would like to see Apple offer a way to “lock” the screen on a displayed photo. When you pass your phone around to show people a picture, it is too easy to “accidentally” slide to other photos, which you might not want to be viewed. bUddy HaTcHEr

Please do an issue on GarageBand and some of the neat things you can do. A big tutorial on Photos and some tricks on using it would also be appreciated. robErT HanSEn

This would be useful feature, especially when showing pictures on the iPad to relatives who aren’t ioS-savvy, and often accidentally swipe away. Just a little padlock in the Photos app’s interface would do it. That said, you can sort of do this now, with the Guided access feature – it’s a bit more heavy handed and slow to use than your suggestion, buddy, but it does the same thing: stops the touchscreen working. See mac|life #119 p112 for a guide!

SHarE wiTH US!

we covered Photos when it came out, of course, but it will get some new tricks in macoS Sierra, and more and more extensions are becoming available, so we’ll for sure consider revisiting it soon! we also recently included a guide to imovie on mac, so we may do the same for Garageband – email if that’s something you’d want, and let us know what else you’d like to see!

Projecting thoughts I have in my hands a Lenovo tablet that’s very light, but has a projector

More GarageBand? More Photos? More Pages? Let us know what you like!

inside. You never notice it, except for a lens for the projection – this is a great idea! raFaEl bEvErido we’ve seen similar products before, and i’ve tried an iPhone case that included a projector. it always seems like a great idea (easily share your photos and videos, or presentations, with anyone, anywhere), but the problem is the projectors themselves – they’re never good enough! They just can’t squeeze in the required light power to really shine a bright, worthwhile image. definitely better in theory than practice.

keeping updated If you have automatic updates on iPhone enabled, do you have to be signed into iTunes for apps like Snapchat to update? Sara if you’re signed in with your apple id in the “iTunes & app Store” page of the ioS Settings app, and have Updates turned on in automatic downloads, your apps should always be up-to-date.

Email: FacEbook: TwiTTEr: OCT 2016 9



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The first MacBooks and Intel iMacs looked a lot like their PowerPC predecessors.

10 years of Intel Macs The story of Apple’s not-entirely-painless move from the trusty PowerPC processor to Intel’s chips BY Matt Bolton

10 oCT 2016

In 2006, apple made a huge change to its Macs, one few people would have anticipated just a few years before – it switched from using Motorola’s PowerPC processors to Intel chips. Apple and the PowerPC chips were a long-term pairing, and seemed inseparable. Sadly (for nostalgics, at least), expectations of what a processor would do were moving on, and Motorola’s silicon was struggling to keep up. When it came to single-core processors, the PowerPC units were brutes, and Apple made blisteringly fast machines with the G4 and G5 at the helm. But the PowerPC architecture was starting to look like a dead end. The G5 chip was hugely powerful, but it was also large and power-hungry, and getting it into an inch-thick notebook (because a notebook being an inch thick was still impressive back then) just looked totally unfeasible; Apple’s PowerBook line finished its life still using the G4.

Feed your mind. Feast your eyes.

the future of the humble hard drive There’s life in the old disk yet – we explain the latest HDD technologies BY Matt Bolton On top of that, multi-core processors were clearly the future, based on Intel and AMD’s performance successes with their chips – especially in creative areas such as video editing, where Apple prided itself as being a strong pro choice. The only option was for Apple to switch processor types, and in 2005, it announced that it would be moving to Intel, with the first MacBooks launched in 2006. apple had Been hiding a secret version of OS X that could run on Intel’s processors for years – it was originally created by an engineer who wanted a project he could work on while at home, so he could move away from Apple’s HQ when his first child was due. In late 2001, he showed it to Apple for the first time, and it instantly became a serious “skunkworks” project, worked on in secret offices away from other engineers. The transition to Intel wasn’t totally smooth: the first Intel Core Duo processors ran hot, and developers’ apps needed to be rewritten to work on Intel machines, so there was no guarantee all your apps would work if you upgraded. Intel’s secondgeneration Core 2 Duo chips fixed the first problem, while time and enthusiasm for the power of the new machines led developers to fix the second (some faster than others). PowerPC chips still went on, too – they powered the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, released in late 2005 and late 2006 respectively.

SolId-State flaSh storage is much faster and smaller than hard drive storage, making it a favorite of Apple for its devices, with hard drives becoming less common – and often, where they are used, they’re combined with flash storage in a Fusion Drive. You might expect that the falling cost of flash storage will make hard drives obsolete eventually, but hard drive manufacturers have a few tricks up their sleeve yet that will keep the technology ahead of the cost-per-gigabyte curve. Over the next couple of years, new technologies will allow hard drive manufacturers to potentially double the storage density of drives (albeit in more expensive, high-end drives), and they predict that it could double again by 2020. Currently, drive manufacturers are launching models that can fit more spinning platters of disks inside their enclosures by sealing the drives and filling the empty space with helium rather than air, which reduces the drag as they operate. More platters means more storage capacity in the same space. However, these are expensive to produce at the moment, so may not become widespread in consumer drives. They’re useful for data centers, though, since they also reduce power consumption. The next big jump will be “heat assisted magnetic recording,” which is exactly what it sounds like:

the disk is heated by a laser when it’s being written to, which allows for data to be written more densely. This technology is still in the development stage, but it’s thought it could be used in commercially sold drives by 2018 or 2019. It’S quIte lIkelY that hard drives will ultimately lose their place in Apple’s consumer computers over time, due to the power, size, and speed advantages flash drives have. Flash drives are also better for those who need a huge amount of storage in the small space – you can buy a 15TB SD in the form factor of a 2.5-inch hard drive. But that SSD costs $9,690, so it remains… niche. For those who need large drives at low cost – for personal external file storage and backups, or for business data-center use (since the cloud is only getting more and more important) – hard drives will be clicking and whirring for a few more years yet.

Think you’ve seen the last of these? They’re not done just yet. oCT 2016 11

>>> Start Feed your mind. Feast your eyes.

early access

Pre-release games and software available now

Toys oF War $14.99 Like a mix of Micro Machines and Bomberman, in this game you and your friends drive toy-like versions of military vehicles in a small maze, and blow the hell out of each other – last one standing wins! The vehicle options all feel different and have special powers, the rounds are short and sharp, and it’s damn good fun. Version TesTed: 0.4.7

PlaneT cenTauri $14.99 It’s another game of 2D crafting and survival, like Terraria or Starbound (see p84), in which you’ve been dropped on a planet and must explore and equip yourself to survive. The style is lovely retro pixel-art that looks great in Retina, and as you progress, you discover animals to tame, mechs to build, and more. Version TesTed: 0.6.2

12 oct 2016

Planet of the apps: apple’s first TV show Apple gets into making content – but is it doing it in the right way? By MaTT BolTon For The lasT few years, there have been lots of rumors of Apple getting into producing original content, in the same way that Netflix has. And indeed, Apple has started to fund video content – but in a kind of piecemeal way. As so many things do these days, it started with Taylor Swift. Apple released a documentary about Swift’s world tour for her album 1989 exclusively on Apple Music, available to subscribers of the service. In the last few months, Apple has bought the planned

spin-off series of Carpool Karaoke, a popular segment from The Late Late Show with James Corden. This will also be available to Apple Music subscribers. In late 2016 and early 2017, the first show created by Apple will film: Planet of the Apps, a reality show where teams of app developers compete to prove their idea is worthy of being invested in by venture capitalists, who may invest up to $10 million. The entrants will be guided partly guided by celebrity hosts, including Gwyneth

Paltrow and (both of whom have launched tech products). The idea is to let people see how apps are created. While all these shows sound fine, it does seem like a half-hearted approach, and Apple Music is an odd hosting ground for them. It’s true that the Taylor Swift documentary and Carpool Karaoke are music themed, but how many people think of Apple Music as a video hub? Perhaps if Apple ever launches a video subscription service, it will fit together better.

>the shift To let iMessage reach its potential against stiff, established competition, Apple took a very Apple approach, says david chartier


pple says Messages is the most popular iOS app, with billions of iMessages sent each day. iMessage has also become a tentpole of Apple’s mission, and marketing, around protecting our privacy. As significant as all this is, though, iMessage is far from the most popular messaging service in the world, and Apple finally seems to care enough to something about it. Apps popular around the world – WhatsApp, Line, and Facebook Messenger, to name a few – evolved messaging far beyond mere text, photos, and emoji. Come this fall with iOS 10, Apple will turn iMessage into a full-blown platform that might actually join the 21st century of messaging. a while ago, I wrote about all the things messaging apps now enable users to do, from paying for cabs and other services, to playing games, to organizing events and so much more. A big driver of this trend is a mild backlash against social media and the sharing of our data with dozens of invasive, see-all services. Because of its private, justbetween-us nature (or at least the perception thereof), messaging has become the go-to place for all sorts of tasks that were previously strewn across multiple apps, services, and intimidating privacy polices.

When it debuted fall 2011, iMessage served a great purpose: it allowed us to quickly, easily, and freely message others with no text or photo limits, around the block or across the world. Around that same time, though, a number of other major messaging services debuted, including Facebook Messenger (August) and Line (March). WhatsApp arrived October 2010! Since then, most of these services have skyrocketed in users, who all iMessage joins the modern chat world thanks to app support.

helped drive this expansion into adding all these useful features beyond simple texting. iMessage, by comparison, hadn’t grown or evolved much as a service until Apple’s WWDC 2016 announcement of an iMessage App Store for iOS 10. While the company added some wild, optional special effects that can add some extra style to each message, the real meat and potatoes is all the functionality this will finally bring to iMessage users. For example, Square Cash, the app for easily sending cash to other people, immediately announced iMessage integration so you can pay friends quick, right from the same place you talk to them. On stage, Apple also demoed an iMessage app for DoorDash, which helps working teams pick a group lunch order. Of course, the iMessage App Store will also have a big shelf for stickers – large images, sometimes animated and created around franchises like Star Wars or big cartoons, that have been wildly popular in most other chat apps. One of the most exciting things here is that Apple answered competition in one of the most Apple-like ways. Instead of adding a feature here and there, it turned iMessage into a full-blown platform, ripe for dev innovation. iMessage can finally become so much more.

>>> David Chartier is a content strategist and writer with vast experience analyzing the tech world. He runs the website Finer Things in Tech ( and hosts its podcast, The Finer Things In. oct 2016 13

>>> Start Feed your mind. Feast your eyes.

6 tips to make you a Pokémon GO master Catch ’em all, or just get started, with these hidden tricks BY Matt HansOn

Throw a curve ball successfully when catching creatures to maximize your XP gains.

vary your routine to maybe find something new.

Not every location you hunt for Pokémon in will make for augmented-reality magic, and if you turn it off using the switch at the top-right, it’s actually easier to catch Pokémon.

Last issue, we wondered if Pokémon GO was going to be a continued big hit, or just a short-term fad. Well, weeks after its release, it’s still going strong, with Pokémon hunters congregating in parks and key locations around towns and cities to catch the cute critters as they appear, while the developer has dropped hints about future updates. Though it appears to be quite a simple game, there’s a lot of hidden complexity you can take advantage of – tricks that make it easier to find and catch Pokémon, or to level up and gain the great rewards (and rare Pokémon) available to higher-level players. So whether you’re thinking of trying the game for the first time, or you’ve been hunting for a while, be sure to try out these hidden tips.

Get Pikachi as your starter When you first begin the game, you’re shown three Pokémon you can start with. But if you walk away from these Pokémon

several times, a Pikachu will appear instead.

Play at different times of day Some Pokémon appear only at certain times, so

Who doesn’t love Pikachu? Make sure you get him as your starting Pokémon.

14 OCT 2016

turn off aR Seeing Pokémon in the real world is half the fun, we know, but flick off the “AR” button in the top-right corner of the capture screen and they’re easier to catch!

throw a curve ball When capturing a Pokémon, before you throw a ball up, move it in a small circle with your finger. This creates a curve ball, and if you catch the Pokémon with it, you get bonus XP.

Level up with Lucky eggs You level up by gaining XP from catching or evolving Pokémon. Lucky Eggs double how much XP you get, so use one when at a lure, or when you have loads of Pokémon to evolve.

name eevee to steer its evolution Eevee can evolve into three different forms, and you can choose which by renaming the Eevee before evolving it. Name one “Sparky,” “Rainer,” or “Pyro,” to get an electric, water, or fire type respectively.

>game loop Brianna wu thinks its time for big game developers to create better, tailored iOS titles – especially for her beloved Final Fantasy series


quare enix has been betting big on iOS since the beginning of the App Store. Yes, its ports of core Final Fantasy games have been big sellers, but it hasn’t been afraid to experiment. 2011’s Imaginary Range was a bold interactive comic book, and Lara Croft Go was called the best mobile game of 2015 by many. Square is a company that understands iOS, delivering far better games than its competitors. This month, Square unveiled Mobius Final Fantasy, its latest title in the famous and long-running Final Fantasy franchise. It’s probably the most gorgeous Square game yet on iPhone. It has a classic Final Fantasy job system, the animation is amazing, and the soundtrack sounds like it came from the great Nobuo Uematsu himself. And yet, Mobius Final Fantasy is a disappointing experience. Rather than use all its great work to tell a story, the point is to get you sucked into endless combat. You’ll spend as much as $74.99 to keep leveling up.

none of these games captures what made me love final fantasy in the first place

There isn’t just one Final Fantasy game designed around in-app combat purchases; currently there are three flagship Final Fantasy games with that design. Final Fantasy Brave Exvius was released just a month ago. It’s a deep game, where you’ll pay to summon echoes of past Final Fantasy characters and fight your way through dungeons. It’s good, but ultimately shallow. For old-school fans, Final Fantasy Record Keeper is probably the best of the three – you’ll restore records from Final Fantasy 1 through 14. It uses sprites from the NES and SNES games, and reimagines modern ones in their classic 16-bit style. Your knowledge of boss tactics from past games is deeply rewarded. I’ve sunk several hundred hours into it. Yet none of these games captures what made me love Final Fantasy in the first place: exploring deeply imaginative worlds made by the best art team in the business. They cash in on nostalgia, charging me periodically for the privilege. It’s time for Square to develop a real Final Fantasy experience on iOS. What would a core iOS Final Fantasy look like? Combat would look closer to Record Keeper than a traditional Final Fantasy game. It should be simplified, fast and fluid – not hunting through menus for the

Fight, fight, fight – but where’s the story in the mobile Final Fantasy games?

right attack. Replaying Final Fantasy 7 on iOS shows us that traditional dungeon design doesn’t quite work on mobile. Many of the core concepts of a role-playing game, such as towns, would need to be rethought. The main faults of iOS roleplaying games are characters and story. On consoles, combat has always been the thing we endured to get through the story. Mobile gets this formula reversed, giving us paper-thin characters made to justify combat. It may be good for IAP sales, but it won’t be remembered. Playing Final Fantasy VIII was the moment that inspired me to become a game developer. This generation has never had a moment like that on mobile; it would be a shame if we’re the last to experience that.

>>> Brianna Wu is the head of development at Giant Spacekat, developer of Revolution 60 on iPhone and iPad,

and is a regular speaker at industry events, as well as host on the podcasts Isometric and Rocket. oct 2016 15

>>> Start Feed your mind. Feast your eyes.


Star Wars Battle Quads Pre-order from $200

>>> Okay, this new Millennium Falcon from won’t help you send Darth Vader spinning off into the depths of space, but it can fly at a speed of 50 mph (the Speeder Bike, X-wing and TIE Fighter versions will be a little slower, with an average speed of 35 mph), do 360-degree tricks and have laser fights with up to 24 other pilots. Yep, with other pilots. Each of these drones is a quad-copter with translucent plastics used to hide the propellers fixed beneath each vehicle, and uses on-board sensors for an aerial game of laser tag. Pre-order now to feel the Force in the fall.

16 OCT 2016

i.dime From $48

>>> We were disappointed when Apple persisted with a 16GB base model for the iPhone SE, so if you find yourself running out of space on your device, try i.dime. It’s one part iPhone case (for 6/6s models as well as 5/5s/SE), one part clip-on storage boost. Put on the case and the i.dime unit attaches to the back, offering up to 256GB of storage – that also makes it great for quickly sharing files with anyone else who has an i.dime case. It also comes with a small USB dongle that holds the i.dime, allowing you to easily transfer files between your iPhone and Mac.

Modobag $1,199

>>> Travel can be exhausting. From one connecting flight to another, as you struggle on little sleep to be bright-eyed at the morning meeting… Why not let your bag take a little of the strain? The Modobag is luggage and motorized ride all in one! It offers a memory-foam seat on a crush-resistant aluminum chassis, with telescopic handlebars and quick release footpegs. You can travel up to six miles on a single charge of its battery, at speeds of either 5 mph or 8 mph. Aside from zipping you around from A to B, the case also boasts two backlit USB ports for charging your devices from it.

Insta360 Nano $199

>>> The Insta360 Nano is the world’s first HD camera to shoot and live-stream high definition virtual reality and panoramic stills and videos directly from an iPhone. This brilliant little piece of tech simply clips onto an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s or 6s Plus, enabling you to take panoramic action shots or videos when the mood strikes. It can even be attached to a bike or boarding helmet, drone or selfie stick for some seriously impressive on-the-go footage. It captures 3040x1520 images and 3040x1520 at 30fps video, and stores up to 64GB of footage and stills on a microSD card. OCT 2016 17

>>> Start

$50 iTunes Card How would you blow 50 bucks on music, movies, books, TV shows, and apps? BY Matt BoltoN

The Jungle Book Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley $19.99 Just as Disney’s 1967 Jungle Book was a 2D animation tour de force, this new film is a CG one, putting Mowgli (Sethi, doing an impressive job as the only real thing that appears on-screen) on the run from the menacing tiger Shere Khan (Elba), with a little help from his animal friends and adoptive family. The animals look incredible, and the fact they speak doesn’t even look that out of place. You might argue the voice actors are too recognizable, but it’s worth it for Scarlett Johansson’s brilliant Kaa and Murray’s Baloo. It’s a kinetic, lavish family adventure.

18 oct 2016

Train kiT Stripey Design $2.99 This looks like one of those games where you need to lay rails to guide trains to their destinations, but it’s actually an intentionally aimless toy box. As with a model train set, you lay tracks, add junctions, tunnels, and scenery, and then just let the trains go and admire your creation. It’s created in a cool, cartoony 3D look, and you can even view from inside the train, as if you’re the driver. It’s great for kids to just tinker around with, and watch their worlds tick along. It’s by the same developer as the lovely, clever app Sneak, where kids hide from shy monsters that appear on the screen, and try to sneak up on them.

harry PoTTer and The Cursed Child J.K. Rowling $14.99 It turns out the Harry Potter series wasn’t as finished as J.K. Rowling had claimed, with a new play picking up the story of Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s children from the end of the seventh book. Sadly for magic fans, the play is only on in London (for a while at least), but you can get this book of the script to pick up the story. It follows Harry’s son, Albus, as he makes an awkward start at Hogwarts, befriending Scorpius Malfoy (son of Harry’s rival Draco) – and getting sucked into a plot to change time that appears innocent, but poses a much bigger risk than it seems.

lighT uPon The lake Whitney $9.99 This album is all about the warm folky rock of the ’60s and ’70s, mixing inspiration from modern indie records with an almost tangible love for the likes of The Byrds. It’s present right from the first track, which calls to mind the gentle richness of Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross. The album was even recorded on tape (rather than digitally), to really drive home that analog feeling. It’s a fun album of cheery old-school tunes.

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>>> Feature

iOS 10 104 tipS, trickS, and SecretS!

The newest version of iOS introduces some of the biggest changes in recent years – but far from being just a flashy redesign, there are many cool and exciting new hidden features to discover. Our in-depth guide explains all‌ BY aLan StOneBridGe

20 OCT 2016

iOS 10 tips, tricks, and secrets!

The LOCk SCreen The Lock screen has been revised in iOS 10, and you don’t even need to press a button to show it if you leave Settings > Display & Brightness > Raise to Wake on (this needs an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus). Unlocking your device now requires you to press the Home button, rather than swiping.


Raise to Wake is complemented by a setting that unlocks a device with Touch ID without even needing to press Home: Settings > General > Accessibility > Home Button > Rest Finger to Open. This is helpful on large iPhones. Note it only works on devices with Touch ID.


Notification Center and Control Center are still accessed with swipes inwards from the top and bottom screen edges, respectively, but Today view has been moved: swipe right on the Lock or Home screen.


The camera is accessed more easily at the Lock screen, too. Rather than swiping upwards from the bottom right, swipe left from anywhere.


COnTrOL CenTer Swipe up from the screen’s bottom edge to see the new-look Control Center. At first it seems to have fewer controls than in iOS 9, but it’s clearer when features in the top row are active, thanks to stronger use of color. Swipe left to bring a second card of controls into view.


On 3D Touch devices, deep press the flashlight and app shortcuts in the first card’s bottom row to: choose from one of three flashlight brightnesses; set a 1, 5, 20 or 60-minute timer; copy Calculator’s last result; or jump straight into photo, video, slo-mo, or selfie camera mode.


Video and audio streaming controls are split between cards in Control Center. To send video to Apple TV, tap AirPlay Mirroring on the first card. To choose an audio output, which might use

3 OCT 2016 21

>>> Feature

M a n Y O f t h e w i d G e tS YO u ca n a d d tO t h e tO daY v i ew O f f e r i n t e ract i v i t Y

using 3D Touch on a folder uncovers a way to rename that item in fewer interactions than with regular taps.

3D Touch enables you to manage app downloads. This is especially useful when restoring an iCloud backup.

AirPlay, Bluetooth or even a cabled connection, tap the bottom row on the second card (or choose one from the right column on iPad). If you’ve set up accessories and scenes in the Home app, swiping left on Control Center a second time reveals shortcuts to Home options you’ve marked as favorites. Tap things like lights to toggle their status, or use 3D Touch for additional control, such as sliding a finger up or down to adjust a light’s brightness. Tap the house icon to open the Home app.


3D TOuCh enhanCemenTS A firm press on an iPhone’s Home screen folder offers an option to rename it. When you tap that, the folder opens with its current name wholly selected so you can type over it.


When a folder displays a badge notification, you don’t need to go inside it to find the app. Apply 3D Touch to the folder and its Quick Actions will list apps inside that have notifications.


You can now 3D Touch an existing entry in the reminders app to quickly add a time or location for it.

quick tip TODaY View Many of the widgets you can add to the Today view offer interactivity, which may take you to a particular place in the app, much like tapping a notification does. If you only want to open the app, though, just tap its tiny icon at the widget’s top-left corner.

22 OCT 2016

Downloaded a cool app and want to tell someone about it? You don’t need to find it on the App Store in order to share a link to it. Just 3D Touch its Home screen icon, choose the Share command, then pick a method from the Share sheet.


Concerned about your cellular data usage? Apply 3D Touch to the Settings app’s icon in iOS 10 for a shortcut to the Mobile Data page, where you can monitor and manage it, including any Personal Hotspot set up.


Some apps show a summary and extra shortcuts when you 3D Touch their Home screen icon. For example, Reminders shows timed items, Calendar shows upcoming events and alarms. Tapping Add Widget (top right) adds this to Today view; but consider how many you want to add, in case Today becomes too crammed, and so less useful.


When an app is downloading, 3D Touch its icon on the Home screen to pause the download, cancel it or, if multiple apps are downloading, prioritize it by moving it to the top of the queue.


Save yourself a couple of taps when retrospectively adding a time or location to an item in Reminders by using 3D Touch on the item.


nOTifiCaTiOnS anD wiDgeTS Notifications can offer greater interactivity in iOS 10. When one appears, 3D Touch it (or swipe down from it on devices without 3D Touch) to see actions you can take. For example, Messages displays recent interactions to save you opening the app to refer back to them,


iOS 10 tips, tricks, and secrets!

SpOTLighT when you tap Spotlight’s search bar, below the suggestions of apps you might want to use are some of your previous searches. Tap one to perform it again.


at the top right of some groups of results are the words “Search in app.” if a group doesn’t include an item you expect to see, tap these words to open the corresponding app and automatically perform the same search inside it.


when an app is among the results of a Spotlight search, apply 3D Touch to its icon to access its Quick actions and widget, where applicable, just like on the home screen. This also works for relevant apps in Spotlight’s Siri Suggestions box but, strangely, not in Today view’s Siri app Suggestions widget.


notifications are chronological. apply 3D Touch to a cross (to the right) for an option to clear all items.

and HomeKit-compatible doorbells can show who’s at the door, with options to use the intercom or unlock the door. To quickly dismiss all items in Notification Center, apply 3D Touch to one of the crosses to the right of a heading (such as “Yesterday”), then tap Clear All Notifications. This really does clear everything, not just items under the heading you pressed.


There’s no longer a sort option in Settings > Notifications, because iOS 10 always presents your notifications in reverse chronological order.


while using an app, jump straight to Spotlight, with the keyboard ready for input, by slowly dragging downwards from the screen’s top edge until you feel a vibration, then let go. Devices without 3D Touch lack the conformational buzz; let go when the search bar reaches its resting position.


Spotlight can now search for your files stored in iCloud Drive – their contents as well as filenames, as on the mac. if you don’t want this for any reason, turn off iCloud Drive’s switch in Settings > general > Spotlight Search.


Spotlight can show results from wikipedia, apple’s stores and other online sources. if you want to limit it to searching your own content, switch off Settings > general > Spotlight Search > Suggestions in Search.


notification Center and Today view each have a Spotlight search bar at the top. This is even available when you open notification Center while in an app, enabling you to look up things without returning to the home screen.


pull slowly from the top of the screen to open Spotlight anywhere. OCT 2016 23

>>> Feature apple has redesigned music’s navigation, with more obvious methods of browsing your library.

You can set how much music you want to keep on your device, so you always have something to listen to.

music now supports Split View, so you can investigate what’s in apple music’s library as you read about an artist you’ve just discovered.

muSiC anD mOre in the new-look music app, tap Library to browse your collection, including playlists. at the top of this page are ways to browse, such as by artist, album, or song title. Tap edit to add videos, genres, compilations, and composers, or to turn off anything you don’t need. Drag on the grips to the right to reorder these items, then tap Done.


quick tip

in Settings > Videos you’ll find separate playback quality settings for wi-fi and cellular networks.

24 OCT 2016

Downloaded music is now a view in its 2 own right, rather than a switch you can toggle. when you select it from your library options, you can browse your music as normal, except you only see what’s been downloaded. as in iOS 9, it adds a bar to the top of the screen as a reminder you’re not seeing everything from the apple music library. no matter how deep you’ve gone into this view, tap Library to see all your music – not just what’s downloaded to the device. To see tracks coming up after the current one, tap the miniplayer’s bar at the bottom of the screen, then swipe upwards on the expanded miniplayer.


You also need to swipe up on the expanded miniplayer to access shuffle and repeat controls. if the items in the queue are the contents of an album or playlist, enabling shuffle has an immediate visible effect on their order.


The queue no longer scrolls back in time; tap for You, where the top row of items shows albums from which you’ve played tracks, just not the exact ones. Tap See all for a longer history.


The music app now works with Split View on supported ipads – handy if you want to check out an artist’s output while reading about them, for example.


iOS 10 tips, tricks, and secrets!

quick tipS gaming

The Game Center app no longer exists in iOS 10. Its services remain available for games to use, though they must provide an interface for leaderboards and the like. Set your nickname and whether your profile is public in Settings > Game Center.


Developers can add a screen recording feature to their games, which saves to the Camera Roll. If your kids might not understand the consequences for storage, you can disable this feature in Settings > General > Restrictions > Screen Recording.


To prevent iOS removing music from your device’s storage to make room for other stuff, go to Settings > music > Downloads > Optimize Storage and pick the minimum amount to keep. This only appears if iCloud music Library is enabled.


The adjacent automatic Downloads 8 switch differs from the one in Settings > iTunes & app Store; whereas the latter downloads iTunes Store tracks no matter the device you bought them on, this one downloads tracks added to your iCloud music Library even if they were imported from a CD or another store on your mac. ensure iCloud music Library is enabled on all relevant devices for this to work.

You can stop Look up from finding information online.

You can invite notes collaboration through popular apps and services.

LOOk up


The new Look Up option (which replaces Define in the contextual menu when you select a word) displays results from online sources such as Wikipedia and the App Store. To restrict it to searching your personal data only, switch off Settings > General > Spotlight Search > Suggestions in Look Up.

Notes now lets you collaborate with others. Edit a note, then tap the person-like icon with a + on it, choose how to send an invitation, and then fill out the recipient’s details.



Managing dictionaries has moved to Settings > General > Dictionary.

Only the creator of a note can invite people. If collaborators don’t have iOS 10, they’re directed to to edit the note there. Changes are shown in real time, with a temporary, eye-catching highlight.

Even if you disable Look Up’s online search capability, it’ll still offer a Search the Web option to submit your terms to whichever search engine you use in Safari.

Notes (and Mail) are easier to work with on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, sporting a Mac-like, three-pane interface that uses the larger screen to show more information.




3 OCT 2016 25

>>> Feature

SCreen reaDer


iOS 10’s screen reader now permits corrections to mispronunciations. In Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech > Pronunciations, tap + to add one. You can speak or type it out; tap Play (top right) to test how iOS will say it. You can set a language to which the pronunciation applies, which voices use it, whether it’s case-sensitive, and which apps it works in.

Contacts’ new look makes it clearer that icons are tappable. With a contact card selected, you can hold a finger on, or 3D Touch, the icons in the row under the person’s name. This displays a list of that person’s contact methods of that type.


iOS 10 lets you fix its screen reader’s mispronunciations, and set languages and apps use your corrections.

Tap and hold on the Send button in messages to bring up the different animations.

iOS 10 can read out what you’ve just typed. In Settings > General > Accessibility > Typing Feedback, the options under Character Feedback tell it to read out individual characters or accented ones. Below that, you can instruct it to read out words after you type them. There’s also an option to speak auto-corrections that are made to your text, and another to hold on a predicted row in the top row of the QuickType keyboard to have it spoken.



Do Not Disturb is great for getting a bit of peace, but perhaps there are some people you never want to ignore. Edit a person’s card in Contacts, tap the Ringtone or Text Tone row, then turn on Emergency Bypass. This can be set differently for calls and text messages.


As with Calendar events, iOS 10 enhances the ability to detect contact details, extending it from just Mail to other apps too. If you don’t want this at all, though, switch off Settings > Contacts > Contacts Found in Apps. When this kind of contact shows up in Spotlight search results, it’s clearly labeled as having been found in an app.


If you have multiple accounts (such Google, iCloud, Exchange, and so on) set up on your device, you can choose which is the destination for new contacts in Settings > Contacts > Default Account.


imeSSage appS anD new OpTiOnS Tap the A next to the Messages app’s composition box, then swipe horizontally on the drawer that opens to browse your iMessage apps and stickers. Tap the four ovals to see all of them or get more from the App Store.


The #images app is a great start: it lets you search the web for animated GIFs so you can quickly send them to the person you’re speaking to. Tap the upwards-pointing arrow to see more of what’s available.


26 OCT 2016

iOS 10 tips, tricks, and secrets!

in accessibility settings, tell iOS 10 which color vision problem you have and it’ll adjust all of its output to suit.

ViSuaL aiDS if you have colorblindness, you can view content more easily. in Settings > general > accessibility > Display accommodations > Color filters, identify the kind that affects you and iOS will adjust its color output to compensate. The effect’s intensity can be tweaked.


The buiLT-in Contacts has quick buttons for contacting people, which can link to third-party services. SCreen reaDer Tap the camera icon in Messages for a live camera view (tap it to take a 1. new iOSphoto) 10’s screen and to reader show now recent permits pictures to corrections the right. Swipe to mispronunciations. right to use fullincamera Settings > general controls> or accessibility to find an >older Speech image. > pronunciations, tap + to add one. You can k Tap or type theitheart out; tap icon play to draw (top right) Digital to test 4 o iOS Touch will say messages. your it. You Thecan recipient set a language sees to them which build the up pronunciation in exactly the applies, way which you drew voices them. use Tapit, the whether up arrow it’s case-sensitive, for a larger drawing and which area, or apps theitcues should onwork the right in. for special effect gestures. 2. iOS 10 can read out what you’ve just typed. ttings Tap Digital > general Touch’s > accessibility camera >icon Speech to > 5 yp ngtake feedback, a photo the(the options white under button) Character or feedback record a video tell it (the to read redout one) individual and draw on it. characters Sketches on or videos accented also ones. playJust back below at your that, you original can instruct to read out whole words after you type them. ere’s To send also an a message option to with speakaautospecial 6 co ections animation that are – on made its to bubble your text, or and another fullscreen to hold – hold on on a predicted the Sendrow button. in the top row Invisible of theInk QuickType obscures keyboard your text to have or media it spoken. until the recipient swipes over it.


magnifier helps you check out tiny things, such as small print on contracts or the text on the back of apple devices, using a special camera mode. Switch it on in Settings > general > accessibility, go back a level, scroll down, tap accessibility Shortcut and set it to magnifier.


To use magnifier, tripleclick the home button. Drag the slider or pinch the


view to zoom, and tap the lightning icon to illuminate the scene using your iphone’s flash. Tap the shutter release to freeze the view (this doesn’t actually save a photo). You can zoom and pan it in this state. To compensate for poor contrast, tap the three circles, then: swipe horizontally on the view to apply a color filter; adjust the brightness and contrast sliders; or tap the icon at the bottom left to swap bright and dark colors. Tap the circles to be able to zoom and pan again.


if, say, you want to enter text you viewed in magnifier, close magnifier by pressing home. when you open it again, it will have retained its frozen image.


M aG n i f i e r h e L pS YO u c h ec k O u t t i n Y t h i n G S, S u c h aS S M a L L p r i n t OCT 2016 27

>>> Feature

messages is a whole lot more fun now that you can send special effects, animated gifs, and even your own drawings.

Double-tap a message bubble to use Tapback, which offers six quick responses; your choice is affixed to the bubble.

You can enable read receipts for individual conversations. Tap Details (or the i in a circle) at the top of a message thread, then switch on Send Read Receipts.


Save time finding emoji: write some 8 words, tap the emoji key to highlight suitable words which can be replaced, then tap a word to replace it.


The keyboard’s suggestions bar suggests emoji you might want to

use. In addition, if you start using another language, its word suggestions follow suit without you needing to switch keyboard. The suggestions bar will now offer up information that logically follows on from what you’ve typed, such as phone numbers (“You can reach me on…”), addresses (“My ZIP code is…”), and birthdays (“Josh’s birthday is…”).


To tweak or annotate an image in a message, tap it, then tap Edit. Changes made here don’t affect the original image. You can also tap Markup to enable sketching tools.


Double-tap a message, then choose a quick response: a heart, a thumbs up or down, “ha ha,” double exclamation points, or a question mark. Your response is attached that bubble.



28 OCT 2016

Save data with Settings > Messages > Low-Quality Image Mode.

iOS 10 tips, tricks, and secrets!

mapS anD hOmekiT You can tell maps to never include bus, subway and light rail, suburban rail, or ferry journeys when plotting directions. find this option in Settings > maps > public Transport.


maps can work out where you parked and automatically drop a pin there for you, provided Settings >


Clock’s bedtime feature gives you a nudge when it’s time to rest, so that you get the sleep you need.


maps > Show parked Location is switched on and your car has a bluetooth or Carplay stereo. if you don’t have an apple TV to use as a conduit for remote control of homekit accessories while you’re away, use an ipad that’s always online and plugged in. Turn on Settings > home > use this ipad as a home hub.


M a pS ca n wO r k O u t w h e r e YO u pa r k e d and drOp a pin there

Clock’s Bedtime feature enables you to dial in the time you need to wake up and sets a corresponding bedtime to ensures you get the necessary amount of sleep. Tap Bedtime and follow the steps to set up an alert that prompts you to go to bed. The feature feeds basic sleep analysis data into Health. This wake-up time alarm isn’t affect by Siri’s alarm commands.


Tap Options to choose: days of the week that you’re prompted to get ready for bed; how far in advance of your target bedtime that happens; a sound that gently gets louder to wake you; whether to vibrate as well; and the overall volume.


Once you’ve set up Bedtime, you can make adjustments to it when needed. Drag on the colored arc between the icons on the clock’s circumference to move both the bedtime and wake-up time.


Clock’s Stopwatch feature on the Phone now offers a chronograph view as well as the existing digital one. Swipe horizontally on the timer area to switch between them.


Don’t have a fourthgeneration apple TV? You can use an ipad that’s home and online as a conduit for remote control of your homekit accessories. OCT 2016 29

>>> Feature

message threads now look more like they do in mail for mac. also, it‘s easier to remove yourself from mailing lists.

maiL apple has split settings for mail, Contacts, and Calendars into three discrete pages. mail has a couple of new items under Threading to complement Organize by Thread. “most recent message on Top” toggles the order in which messages are shown.


Complete Threads ensures all messages 2 in a conversation are shown, even if you’ve moved some to other mailboxes. when you double-tap the arrows next 3 to a thread in the messages list, the constituent messages expand downwards to show short summaries, which might immediately uncover the one you want. Tap elsewhere on a thread’s row to see the whole conversation in a long, scrolling view, with each message presented like a piece of paper. Swipe left or right on these, just like items in the messages list, to take quick action.


applying a filter enables you to narrow what’s shown in a mailbox without having to type in the search bar.

30 OCT 2016

To pull one message forward and read with a slightly bigger font and longer line length, tap its header. To return to the whole conversation, tap Done.


when mail sees an unsubscribe link in a message, it adds a shortcut to that link’s target to the top of the message. Tap the cross on the right of this to dismiss it so mail will no longer prompt you for that particular list.


holding a finger on the trashcan icon now offers the archive message action as well as Delete message.


Tapping mail‘s search bar presents four shortcuts to common searches (which used to require you to type a few characters for mail to suggest them): messages that are unread; flagged; from your designated Vips; or with attachments. To apply two or more, you still must type part of the additional ones to get mail to suggest it.


Tap the icon of a circle containing three lines of diminishing length to toggle the filter for the current mailbox. a description of the active filter appears to the right; tap it to choose from the same criteria the search bar suggests, plus use the ability to exclude messages not directly addressed or copied to you. mail remembers filter settings individually for each mailbox.


iOS 10 tips, tricks, and secrets!

t h e p eO p L e a L B u M i n p h OtOS S h OwS fac eS t h at t h e a p p h aS d e t ect e d f r O M p i ct u r eS

phOTOS The People album in 1 Photos shows faces that the app has detected from your pictures. Drag favorites to the space at the album’s top for quick access. Tap a face to see more photos and Memories featuring that person. It may have recognized more faces but not be showing them – perhaps because you have few pictures of those people. Tap + (Add People), tap faces you want in the People album, then tap Add. Watch out for separate pictures of the same person; tap them, followed by Merge.


that the app has picked out, choose Hide. Photo’s new image analysis capabilities extends beyond faces to animals, objects, and scenery. The app scans your photos, and is able to pick out animals such as dogs (even down to certain breeds), places such as the beach or an apartment, or objects. It also detects facial expression, including smiling and surprise. You don’t need to do anything to attach this information to photos – you can just start searching for items by name!


The Places album groups 5 photos by where they were taken, and spreads them into smaller groups as you zoom in.

Tap a photo on the map to see photos from that location, or tap Grid for a scrolling view of larger thumbnails of all pics taken in the area you’re looking at. You can use the Markup tools in Photos. Edit a picture, then tap the icon of three dots in a circle, then choose Markup. If you don’t see it, scroll to the right, tap More, then turn on Markup’s switch and tap Done.


newS The News app enables you to choose which of your subscribed channels are allowed to send you notifications (if capable). Tap the bell icon at


You can also merge faces at the top of the People album: first, tap Select, then some faces, then Merge. If you don’t want to see a person here


photos analyzes your library’s contents, enabling you to look up pictures that contain specific people, objects and scenes. OCT 2016 31

>>> Feature

Safari on the ipad has speedy options for showing two sites at once and managing tabs.

Safari favorite channels in news can be sorted, and some can provide notifications about updates.

To view two sites at once in Safari (on ipads that support Split View), hold a finger on a link and choose Open in Split View. each has its own set of controls.


the top of the Favorites page to alter these settings. You can sort your favorite channels in News, too. Tap the Favorites heading at the top-center of the eponymous page to sort by name, most recent, or those read most often.


That quick way to close all tabs is also available on iphone – handy, since Safari will happily let you open hundreds of tabs!


alternatively, drag a 2 tab down from the tab bar, then to the left or right edge of the screen. The first view shrinks as a cue.

Try pinch-to-zoom on a site that doesn’t normally allow it. in Safari in iOS 10, you can take a closer look even if the designer doesn’t want you to.

another route into Split View is to hold on the Show all Tabs button and choose Open Split View. This is handy if you want to open one of your favorites.

The bookmarks and reading List tabs in Safari’s sidebar now each have a search bar; swipe downwards on either’s contents to reveal it.

Universal Clipboard enables you 2 to copy text, images and video between Macs and iOS devices signed in to the same iCloud account provided , provided they’re Handoff compatible.

To revert to showing one fullscreen site: drag the last tab from one view to the other’s tab bar to merge them, or tap that tab’s cross if you no longer need it.

One of the actions when you hold on a link is Share, which saves a little time and cellular data if it’s something you think a friend will like but don’t care to read yourself.

A new action in iOS’s Share sheet now enables you to save things directly to iCloud Drive. In Photos, for example, tap the Share button and choose Add To iCloud Drive. In Mail, tap and hold on an attachment.

alternatively, hold on the Show all Tabs icon, then choose merge all Tabs, or even choose Close <number> Tabs to close all of that view’s tabs at once.

exTraS Many of iOS 10’s built-in apps can 1 be removed, including Tips, Stocks and Weather. Tap and hold to make them jiggle, then tap the x, just like any other app. You can get them back from the App Store.


32 OCT 2016







if you don’t want to be given the opportunity to use apple pay to buy from websites, turn off Settings > Safari > Check for apple pay.



MAc 34 OCT 2016



pps Get more from your Mac with these great alternatives to OS X’s default apps ver wondered if there’s something better than Apple’s Mail, more capable than Calendar, or superior to Safari? This feature looks at the most-used Mac apps and shows you how to power up OS X with better third-party alternatives. Some are free, but we don’t shy away from those


with a price; our choices are genuine enhancements for your Mac. Preinstalled software has existed as long as there have been home computers, but the truth is that many people today rarely venture further. That’s not surprising when you think about it – after all, the modern Mac comes supplied with all the basics you need to perform all manner of tasks, from organizing your day to navigating files. However, as much as Apple has improved its apps over the years through various updates

to OS X, developers have sought to plug gaps, fill niches, and try new things. Often, the result is software to thrill a dedicated few, but sometimes the end result is accessible and powerful enough to warrant serious consideration by anyone. Some aren’t cheap, but as we’ll show you, apps such as Fantastical are really worth it. We’ll explore apps to replace Calendar, Mail, Safari, Notes, Finder, TextEdit, and more. With them, you’ll be able to work more efficiently, save time, and have a more fulfilling Mac experience.

>>> OCT 2016 35

>>> Feature

Fantastical Get a smarter calendar to help manage your busy schedule 1 nlEss you have the memory of several elephants and are the most organized person around, it’s likely that you make use of a digital calendar. Apple’s own Calendar is a good app in this field. It’s easy to use, has a design that marries clarity and elegance, and is mostly reliable. On that basis, you might wonder why you would need to upgrade to something else, but any doubts you have will


Calendar Comes free with your Mac Clean, easy-to-use interface Easy to toggle each calendar’s visibility No list view of events Reliant on Notification Center for quick glances

Calendar is preinstalled on every Mac. It’s a smart, slick, modern-looking app, and it’s usable too, providing several views of your schedule, and strong integration with Apple’s iCloud service to sync data between all your devices.

36 OCT 2016


disappear as soon as you start using Fantastical ($40, The app started out differently from most of its rivals, which tend to be very traditional in nature. Instead, Fantastical lived in the menu bar and used natural language input. Rather than having you input details into various fields, the app encourages you to type as if talking to an assistant, interpreting your >>> words and extracting


FantastiCal Excellent natural language input for events List view for quick browsing Speedy access in menu bar Costs $40, and iOS version is a separate purchase ($5) No mini-calendars

Fantastical 2 is a true rival to the Calendar app, with plenty of innovations, such as displaying all your events in a sidebar, a menu bar icon to quickly find things, and calendar sets that can show or hide based on your location.


ThE MonTh cAlEndAr

>>> At the top of the sidebar is a small calendar. Unlike Calendar, there’s no way to see several of these at once, but you can use the arrows or swipe two fingers left or right when the pointer‘s over the minicalendar to preview a different month. Colored dots under a date indicate events on it from specific calendars. Only three dots can be shown under a date, regardless of how many events are scheduled that day.

Upgrade your Mac apps





A lisT oF your EVEnTs

>>> Fantastical’s List view is an endlessly scrolling ticker that makes it far easier to see your day’s events and those that are upcoming. It’s linked to the main view on the right, so moving the Week view a couple of weeks into the future will update the list too. Similarly, scroll the list and the main view adjusts. You can set it to show only events from today, or today and tomorrow, in the app’s Appearance preferences.


An oVErViEW oF ThE yEAr

>>> Like Calendar, Fantastical’s Year view provides a heat map, intended to show at a glance how busy you’re going to be on any given day. Light yellow days have few events. Those that are red should probably be investigated, in case you can reschedule something. Unlike Calendar, however, you don’t have to click a date to see what’s scheduled – put the pointer over one to get a quick preview of events.


ThE Mini WindoW

>>> The Mini Window starts life in the menu bar. Click Fantastical’s icon there to reveal upcoming events, a month calendar (which defaults to the current one), and the means to add a new event by double-clicking a date. Search for an existing event by clicking and typing at the top. Click the cog icon (bottom right) and choose Detach Mini Window to make it float above other windows.


FAnTAsTicAl’s prEFErEncEs

>>> Fantastical’s preferences contain many ways to tailor the app. In General, you can pick a default calendar and reminders list for new items. Under Calendars, you can create calendar sets to pick which are shown in one click, or when you arrive at or leave a location. In Alerts, pick which go to Notification Center, and set default times. In Advanced, you can adjust options relating to maps and time zones. OCT 2016 37

>>> Feature

the details on your behalf. This level of convenience made it a must-buy for a large number of Mac users, many of whom had enjoyed its charms on iOS. A nEW lEAsE oF liFE With version 2, Fantastical grew up. Rather than being an accessory to Apple’s Calendar, the app’s developer decided it was time to replace it. Now, we have an app that betters Apple’s in almost every way. Fortunately, Fantastical hasn’t lost touch with its roots. Although it’s now a full app, Fantastical’s menu bar component remains, providing you with fast access to the month’s calendar and upcoming events, along with the ability to input details for a new event or search for an existing one. Fantastical’s menu bar icon proves useful, too; it shows today’s date by default, but you can optionally add the weekday

Fantastical works with your existing iCloud calendar and reminders data, as well as other popular services.

or month, or set it to detail today’s remaining events or incomplete tasks. The menu can be invoked with a click, or by pressing ≈+Alt+Spacebar. (You can edit this shortcut in the app’s General preferences.) ThE big picTurE Fantastical’s main window is more like Apple’s app – with day, week, month, and year views – though with a large

sidebar on the left. The sidebar houses a small calendar that initially shows the current month, beneath which is a list that summarizes your events. That list is the other big benefit over Calendar, since it gives you a very quick and easy way to scroll through upcoming events; this encourages focus compared to scanning events across many days on a traditional calendar.

hoW To | Add A n ev enT u si n G p l A i n l A n GuAGe

crEATE A nEW EVEnT Set Fantastical to its Day view. Click the + above the sidebar to start a new event and type “Lunch on Sunday.” The main calendar dims and the event is highlighted there, updating as you type.


38 OCT 2016

Add A TiME & durATion Next, add “at 1pm for two hours.” These details are automatically added to the “starts” and “ends” fields in the card below the input area, and the Lunch event on the main calendar adjusts too.


rEFinE iT FurThEr Optionally, add a location and an alert, such as “alarm one hour before”. Assign the event to a calendar by typing a slash and the calendar’s name – one letter often works, such as “/h” for “home.”


Upgrade your Mac apps

in Fantastical’s Year view, place the pointer over any date to get a preview of the events scheduled for it.

However, the sidebar and main view are linked to each other, so selecting something on one updates the other, ensuring both are zeroed in on the same event. Each view therefore actually reinforces the other, providing useful context. MAkE A dATE WiTh dEsTiny You can add new events from either part of Fantastical’s window – the process for doing so in the sidebar is outlined in the guide to the left. In short, you can often type a description of an event like you would say it out loud, and Fantastical will understand what you mean. Calendar makes a stab at doing this, too, but isn’t as smart regarding nuance and details. For example, “Meet Christian at 11am at Starbucks for two hours on Friday, and set an alarm 30 minutes before” works perfectly in Fantastical. In Calendar, the meeting’s duration is reduced to an hour and lacks the alarm, which you then have to set manually. This isn’t to say Fantastical gets everything right every time, because it doesn’t.

The calendars you see can be activated based on your current location.

But experiment a bit and, where necessary, learn its vocabulary and you’ll find it’s a great timesaver – far superior to Calendar for adding events using plain language. sET up For succEss Another area in which Fantastical beats Apple’s app is calendar management. To be fair, the latter is simpler, listing all your calendars in its sidebar, where you can show or hide them individually based on want you need to see. With Fantastical, the process is more involved, but it can be automated in an interesting manner. In the Calendars section of the app’s

preferences, you can turn on and off individual calendars, and you can also create calendar sets, which enable you to show or hide several at once. You can switch between sets manually in View > Calendar Sets, using the pop-up at the bottom of the sidebar (or using the keyboard shortcuts listed there), or automatically, based on your location. So, you can arrive at work and have your office calendars ready and waiting, go home and see your personal ones – and, we guess, go on vacation and occasionally stare at a calendar that states “Vacation! Yay!” as an all-day event every day for your blissful time away. OCT 2016 39

>>> Feature

Airmail use this Mail replacement to sort, compose, and manage email with ease lThough iT has plenty of options, Apple’s Mail feels quite rigid in use. The main reason to switch to Airmail ($10, airmailapp. com) is that it’s so flexible and accounts for people with vastly different ways of working with email. Also, its wealth of options make it extremely efficient for blazing through bulging inboxes, throwing yourself with joyful abandon towards the great promised land of Inbox Zero. It all starts with browsing your messages. This works in much the same way as in Mail, enabling you to sort your inbox by various criteria, such as sender, subject, or date;


unlike Mail, keyboard shortcuts are already assigned for these, speeding things up a little. Airmail goes further, though, with a set of filters that make life a bit easier. For example, you can quickly hone the list to just messages with attachments (although, sadly, you can’t just browse the attachments on a grid view – we really hope the developer will add this in a future version). It’s also possible to show or select all of the emails in your inbox that are from the same sender. When it comes to actually dealing with your messages, Airmail provides a wealth of tools. Actions can be assigned to gestures and inputs. There

are left and right swipes for quick gesture control of your messages, just like in Mail, but also four buttons that sit at the top of the Message Detail pane; a few keyboard shortcuts can have actions assigned to them as well. With a little setting up and development of muscle memory, you can quickly fire through your inbox unsubscribing from mailing lists, bouncing spam messages, archiving email, and uploading documents. (Airmail can be linked to cloud services, so you can send attachments directly to the likes of Dropbox or an FTP server, or even save entire messages to Evernote.)

Apple M A i l vs. A i r M A i l Mail


>>> Apple’s Mail is a usable and somewhat customizable email client. You can add plugins to extend its functionality, and fiddle around with the interface to make it more suitable for you. It is, though, somewhat rigid in how you work with email.

>>> Airmail feels like a more modern app than Apple’s, partly due to its iOS-inspired design. Still, this is a proper Mac app, fully utilizing tools such as keyboard shortcuts, and with plenty of power and features if you want to do more than Mail allows.

40 OCT 2016

Upgrade your Mac apps

A qu i C k TO u r O F A i r MA i l 3


1 4

plug in For producTiViTy Airmail also has a task-based approach to email, although these features are optional. You can mark a message as a “to-do” (needs action), a “memo” (something to memorize or stash), or “done.” If you don’t have time to deal with something right now, but don’t want it in your face, the relevant message can be snoozed instead. Also, if you’re a fan of fully fledged task managers, you can send messages their way instead. Airmail has plenty to offer above and beyond Apple’s app where composition is concerned, too. Although Mail gives you the capability to format messages (something Airmail broadly matches in terms of text styles and font access), Airmail interestingly lets you type in Markdown, with

>>> The accounts (shown) and folders columns can be hidden entirely. When expanded, the latter shows your folders, or mailboxes. You can pick the icon that’s used for an account.


>>> The selected inbox’s appearance is defined by the Theme option in the Appearance preferences. You can toggle whether emails are threaded by conversation, and apply filters to the list.


a split-screen live preview of how your message will appear as you do so. This is a niche feature, of course, but it’s something that will be welcome if you’re one of those people who lives and breathes Markdown, and so find yourself adding a hash symbol before a heading in Mail before sadly realizing the app is not Markdown-aware.

>>> Up to four action buttons can be set up in this bar. Additional options are accessible by clicking the ellipsis (three dots) to the right of the four.


>>> The message detail pane is optional. Message threads are collapsed by default, but you can alter this by turning on “Expand Conversations” in the app’s Appearance prefs.


Airmail enables you to style the text in your messages using Markdown syntax, and see a live preview of it. OCT 2016 41

>>> Feature

google chrome A better way to browse if you’re not monogamous with Apple

hich WEb browser is best for you comes down to the type of person you are, to some extent. Safari’s a solid choice on the Mac – broadly dependable and well-integrated into the operating system. Also, if you’re wedded to the Apple ecosystem, there’s sense in sticking with it to share tabs and data across your Macs and iOS devices through iCloud.


OTher Apps

Opera OperA.COM >>> This web browser has doubled down on speed and privacy, with an ad blocker and VPN (virtual private network) in recent releases. It also aims to be kind on your MacBook’s battery.

FireFOx biT.lY/FOx >>> Mozilla’s browser isn’t especially Mac-like, but it is fast and customizable. You can quickly tailor its toolbar, or install any number of addons and themes.

tOr TOrprOjeCT.OrG >>> If you want the utmost privacy, Tor essentially bounces your communications around the world, preventing anyone learning your location and visited sites.

42 OCT 2016

However, not everyone has such a straightforward setup. Perhaps you also use an Android device, a Google Chromebook, or a Windows PC, in which case Chrome ( is a smart choice for your Mac, because it affords you a continuity of experience and data on which you’d otherwise miss out completely. If you don’t care at all about Google services, there are still two very good reasons to consider Chrome. Historically it has been far superior to Safari when it comes to implementing cutting-edge web standards, meaning it’s more likely to work with emerging technologies, such as advanced web games. In our experience, Safari works reasonably well with many such titles, but if something doesn’t work, chances are it’ll be just fine in Chrome – at which point you might well end up wondering if you should just use it full-time. The other motivation to use Chrome is extensibility. Safari provides support for extensions, but the sheer range of them for Google’s browser dwarfs what’s available for Apple’s. In part, this is due to Google’s attempts to make Chrome a viable platform in and of itself. Regardless, a quick visit to the Chrome Web Store reveals all kinds of extensions

for working with popular web services, blogging, communicating with friends, downloading content, and tailoring the browser. Managing Chrome extensions is simple, and in many cases you can choose whether they work in the Incognito private browsing mode. ExTrA spiT And polish There are smaller touches in Chrome that make it pleasant to use. It has long enabled you to mute a noisy tab quickly – something Safari only recently caught up with. It also has options to duplicate a tab or reload it in the background – useful when you’re shopping or you want to keep several pages current, for example. There is one downside to Chrome that’s worth noting, though, which is its tendency to be pretty resource-hungry. Quite often on MacBooks, you’ll find Chrome lurking in the “Apps Using Significant Energy” naughty list when you click on the battery icon in the menu bar. However, quite how much Chrome will drain your battery will be down to your particular usage. So, if you yearn for a browser that’s more extensible than Safari, and that’s wellintegrated into Google’s services, at least give Chrome a go – just keep an eye on your Mac’s battery usage if you do!

Upgrade your Mac apps

Evernote Take your notes further with improved access, search and OCR smarts iTh os x El Capitan, Notes underwent some big changes. Rather than only offering text notes, the app acquired some enhanced formatting options, such as the ability to style text as headings or checklists, place images (including hand-drawn sketches on iOS), and add map and web links. Of course, it works well across Macs and iOS devices equally. Evernote ( goes a lot further, though. Like many alternatives here, it works on more platforms, and it can capture and store pretty much anything – even entire web pages.


Notes also pales by comparison when managing large collections. It lets you store notes in folders, but that’s about it. In Evernote, individual items can be tagged to group related files across multiple notebooks. It lets you share notes for collaboration, as well as merge or assign reminders to them. Evernote is clever with images too. You can annotate them, and the service attempts to read text in scanned docs. It’s quite something to send a scan to Evernote and find it’s fully searchable right away. Evernote has other tricks too, but you’ll need to pay to use some of them. Unlike

Apple’s app, you don’t get the entire thing without paying. Your monthly uploads are restricted to 60MB, and you must be online to access notes on iOS (though not on the Mac). Evernote Plus ($34.99 per year) gives you 1GB of uploads per month and the ability to add emails to notes. Premium ($69.99 per year) can search within PDFs, scan business cards, and show previous versions of notes. We think Evernote’s worth the cost, not least due to its feature-richness. Even the relatively limited free version is worth a look, though a recent change limits you to using it on two devices.

hoW To | sTOr e A nd TAG r eC e i pTs A n d OTh e r d O Cu Me n Ts

uploAd An iMAgE Evernote examines each image you add to it, and enables you to search any text within them. Scan or photo a receipt, crop and save the image, then drag it on to Evernote’s Dock icon.


Add soME inFo Evernote should automatically recognize the image is a receipt. Even so, change the note’s title to something suitable. Click in the Tags area and add terms you’ll later use to find the receipt.


sEArch in EVErnoTE Use Evernote’s search field to search for your tags. Next, search for a word within the receipt’s text – Evernote will often find it, showcasing its power to store snippets besides your typed words.

3 OCT 2016 43

>>> Feature

path Finder increase your comfort when working with files and folders hE WEbsiTE for Path Finder ($40, neatly sums up the main reason to use it instead of Finder: “Path Finder’s philosophy is to let you work how you want”. This isn’t the case with Apple’s file browser. While Finder has improved in recent years with things like tabs, it isn’t nearly as flexible as this third-party rival. At a glance, Path Finder doesn’t look all that different


from Finder, but you’ll immediately notice there are a lot more panes in its window. Whereas Finder has a sidebar and optional status and path bars, Path Finder has a bottom shelf with four configurable panels. If that’s not enough, you can add four more to the right-hand side of every window, and a Cover Flow pane that sits above the Icon, List or Column view you’ve chosen for the main one. Because of this flexibility,

Fin d YOur wAY A rOu nd pAT h F i n d e r 2

pATh F i n d e r Ti ps 4

1 3

The Path Navigator and Bookmarks Bar provide fast access to folders but also enable you to navigate your Mac’s file system. Just click the former or right-click the latter and venture into Contents.


44 OCT 2016

In Path Finder’s application menu, you can opt to use the app’s own desktop (so clicking there doesn’t activate Finder), and, in a nod to old Mac hands, a desktop-based Trash icon!


The Drop Stack at the top of the sidebar is a place you can use to temporarily store files while moving things between folders. The stack‘s contents can be compressed, emailed or moved as one.


The Filter field works much like Finder’s search. Use it to filter the current folder by name. Click the magnifying glass icon to switch criteria – to search your whole Mac, for example.


Path Finder has the potential to become confusing and cluttered; but with focus and care it can vastly speed up common tasks you would normally perform in Finder. Search filtering is extremely fast, the dual-pane mode is excellent for manually copying items between two folders, and its contextual menu can be customized to include only those options you need when you right-click or tap two fingers.

dual-pane View use this mode to move files around more easily. if you like to use keyboard shortcuts, press ! to open this mode, use @ or † to move the focus between panes, and use %, ^, &, or * to copy, move, compress, or decompress items to the other pane, respectively. BatCh renaMe select two or more items, then choose Commands > batch rename. in the new window that opens you can use advanced options.

Upgrade your Mac apps

ulysses A versatile and powerful replacement for TextEdit ExTEdiT is an app with roots that go right back to the Mac’s early days. Early versions of Mac OS bundled TeachText, which later evolved into SimpleText. TextEdit is the similarly straightforward successor on OS X – yet it’s surprisingly versatile in many ways, boasting a text engine that’s used throughout a large range of Mac apps. Notably, you get access to plenty of formatting


options, making for an experience akin to a stripped-back word processor. What you don’t get is a great deal of help when it comes to writing and finding what you’ve previously written. polEs ApArT Ulysses ($45, is almost the polar opposite of TextEdit, and yet for many people who do a lot of writing, it’s the perfect replacement. It lacks word-processor-style

formatting, but the structure of your text can still be outlined using a markup syntax such as Markdown, in which a hash (#) signifies a heading and hyphens denote items in an unordered list. More importantly, Ulysses boasts a library that houses everything you’ve ever written in the app. You can organize documents into folders, or create smart containers based on conditions relating to the content or creation date of files. You can also virtually or permanently merge a multipledocument selection in the library, or to export such selections to a range of different formats. Along with powerful searching plus syncing your devices via iCloud, Ulysses proves itself to be one of the most capable tools around when it comes to writing. While it won’t allow you to set a heading in 48pt Comic Sans and color it red, or add a ton of inline images from Photos, Ulysses provides a superb environment for crafting, saving, and later rediscovering your words. OCT 2016 45

>>> Feature

M Ore GreAT A lT er nAT i v es Replace Calculator, Activity Monitor, Preview, and Time Machine!


i sTAT Me n u s

Calculator’s instantly recognizable interface is nice, but it limits flexibility for complex calculations. By contrast, Soulver ($12, is weird at first but far superior once you grasp the basics. You enter calculations in plain language and it extracts the numbers and does the math. Line totals become tokens that can be used in later lines, everything updating as figures are changed. Calculations can be saved, or exported to other formats.

If you run a lot of apps and background utilities, it pays to keep an eye on your Mac’s resources. Apple’s Activity Monitor kind of gets in the way, so iStat Menus ($18, puts resource monitoring in the menu bar, where tiny graphs detail how your Mac’s doing; click one and a drop-down menu provides extra detail. It’s also a great replacement for the menu bar clock, with a configurable world clock, sunrise/sunset times, and a world light map.

p d F ex perT


Preview is great for opening PDFs, adding annotations, and moving a few pages around. Spend some time with PDF Expert ($60,, though, and you’ll see it’s like Preview Pro. If you regularly organize pages, PDF Expert’s page thumbnail preview makes it a cinch to drag pages to reorder them. To merge PDFs together, just use the app’s Merge Files command. With accessible annotation tools too, PDF Expert is a worthy Preview replacement.

With Time Machine, Apple provides a way to safeguard data from disaster. Rather than just backing up data, though, SuperDuper ($28, clones your drive, making a bootable backup that can be used to start your Mac and have you up and running again in minutes. SuperDuper’s also useful for “archiving” an old Mac’s final state. Still, since Time Machine backups are more regular, we recommend using it and SuperDuper together.

46 OCT 2016

Upgrade your Mac apps

other great apps More useful replacements for built-in options

skype skYpe.COM

kindle AMzn.TO/2AqYwdq

>>> FaceTime’s excellent when it works, but we find it can choke on poor connections. Also, it’s only on Apple devices, but skype’s on every major platform, and can be used to call phones at cheap rates, making it a great substitute.

>>> This suggestion veers very much towards the practical. Objectively, kindle isn’t especially good, but it does give you access to Amazon’s colossal bookstore, which works with far more devices than Apple’s ibooks format.

>>> This replaces the regular Open and save dialogs, speeding up tasks by giving you access to recent folders, open Finder windows, and more.

spOtiFy spOTiFY.COM


VlC videOlAn.OrG

>>> iTunes is a bit bloated these days. spotify is more svelte, doubling down on streaming in a manner that’s more usable than Apple Music. its weekly playlist is particularly great.

>>> Okay, this isn’t a Mac app – you access it in a browser – but Google’s maps are better than Apple’s for finding places, planning journeys, and checking out places with street view.

>>> it’s a stretch to say this is a quickTime replacement, as Apple’s app works fine with many movie and audio files. Yet vlC’s a great option when you get files in strange formats.

drOpBOx biT.lY/MFdri

alFred AlFredApp.COM

BettertOuCh tOOl bOAsTr.neT

>>> iCloud drive gives you a place to store files online, providing you with access to them on various devices. however, dropbox has a ton of app integration, superior sharing options, and works on more platforms.

>>> if you feel spotlight could and should do more, try Alfred. its interface is akin to spotlight’s, but offers far more control over whatever file you select. The app’s also extensible, so you can add functionality using plugins.

deFault FOlder x biT.lY/MFdFx

>>> This add-on for your input devices enables everything from customizable key sequences to extra multi-touch gestures to get more from your Apple trackpad or Magic Mouse. OCT 2016 47

>>> Feature

Turn an old Mac into a…

MACHINE Can you really play games on a 10-year-old MacBook? We show you how to set up a decent Minecraft Mac – purely for the children, you understand… by luis villazon

ssuming you’ve got younger children – say, from around the ages of 6 to 12 – or nieces, nephews, godchildren, or any combination of the above… well, chances are they’re into Minecraft. And by “into,” we mean “obsessed to the point of playing for hours or maybe days at a time.” That usually means a Mac or iPad being commandeered for the purposes of block-busting, usually at the most inconvenient times. Now obviously, you’re not going to want to shell out on a new Mac just to indulge the little one’s whims, no matter how much you love them. But an entire Saturday frittered away on video games is every child’s birthright, and playing Minecraft might set them up for a lucrative future career of 3D modeling or tree punching. The answer? Dig out an old MacBook, or source one cheaply, and turn it into a dedicated Minecraft machine, safe from the temptations of the wider web in general. So first, we need to find a suitable model.


48 OCT 2016

The black MacBook was Appleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premium consumer laptop in the days before aluminum unibodies. OCT 2016 49

>>> Feature

Minecraft with all the detail options turned up ran at an unplayable 5fps on our MacBook – but we fixed it!

Minecraft looks a little worse at low detail and resolution, but the boost in its frame rate makes it more playable.

50 OCT 2016

Initially, we’d hoped to find a second-hand mid-2010 MacBook, with a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor and 4GB of memory. That’s still really capable and would run Minecraft very comfortably. Unfortunately, it also holds its price pretty well, and we couldn’t find one for less than $250 on eBay. So we started making optimistic bids on slightly older models. We were soon watching a dozen auctions and trying to remember when they all

ended. Eventually, in a haze of deadlines, things got away from us somewhat – and so it was that we ended up with a 2006 MacBook for $75, including delivery. This model is a big step down, though, being the first of the Intel MacBooks. It has a Core Duo processor, not a Core 2 Duo, which is 32-bit and so unable to run OS X Lion. Worse, this one came with a faulty memory slot, so it was stuck at just 1GB. On the plus side, it was updated to Snow Leopard, and the case had just enough scrapes and cracks that we could turn it over to a young kid with a clear conscience. MAkINg It sAfE – The first step was to partially sanitize the desktop. We pulled everything off the Dock, except for Finder and Trash (which can’t be removed), and changed Finder’s preferences so the hard drive’s icon didn’t show up on the desktop. We set new Finder windows to open the Desktop folder by default, and then hid the sidebar and toolbar for good measure. This didn’t stop us from quickly getting to other

Turn an old mac into a Minecraft machine

Notes Polycarbonate Macs can look to be in poor condition, but scuffs may mean a bargain.

folders if we needed to for whatever reason, but it limits the amount of chaos that a child can do by randomly clicking and dragging on the desktop. Next we needed to find an up-to-date web browser. The last version of Safari that will run on the Core Duo is 5.1.10, which dates back to September 2013. That’s three years of vulnerabilities and web technology advances that this browser doesn’t know about. If you try going to YouTube in Safari 5.1.10, for example, you’ll just get an error page. We don’t really want children accessing the web on this computer, but it’s still important to have an up-to-date browser installed, in case we need to troubleshoot a problem on it. Chrome won’t run past version 38 (from 2014), so we ended up installing Firefox 47, which is the latest version and still has a 32-bit executable. We made a local Applications folder for the admin user account and moved Safari and Firefox from the main Applications folder to it. The soon-to-be owner’s account won’t be an admin, so anyone using it won’t be able to access this folder.

Some other hardware questions How do I create a new user account? In System Preferences > Accounts, click the padlock at the bottom (if it’s locked) and enter an admin password, then click the + under the list of accounts. Choose Administrator from the pop-up menu at the top if you want the account to have full access to the Mac, or Standard to restrict its ability to change settings. Fill out the name and password details in the relevant fields, then click Create User. How much memory can be fitted in a 2006 MacBook? Provided that all memory slots are working (unlike ours), you

can put 1GB modules in each, for a total of 2GB. You can look up the specs of old Macs at, or in MacTracker ( Can I play DVDs on a 2006 MacBook? Yes. Its SuperDrive can read DVD-Videos (but not Blu-rays) using OS X’s built-in DVD Player app. The aged CPU copes quite well even with playing HD video files.

You should make sure the child’s user account is set to Standard only, not Administrator.

BloCky grApHICs – Minecraft’s current version is also a 64-bit app, so we had to locate the 32-bit version, which is tucked away at Minecraft_legacy.dmg. We installed it and put a shortcut to it in the Dock. We could have set the Dock to auto-hide itself and put a shortcut on the desktop, or even added the game to the kid’s login items OCT 2016 51

>>> Feature


DowNloAD optIfINE At, click Downloads in the menu at the top of the page. The website runs JavaScript that requires you to turn off pop-up blocking before it’ll load. So, in Firefox’s preferences, click Content and clear “Block pop-up windows.” Next, click Privacy then “Remember history,” and choose “Use custom settings for history.”


INstAll tHE MoD OptiFine needs to be installed to the same folder as Minecraft, because it directly modifies the Minecraft launcher. Typically this will be in the Applications folder. You can tell it’s installed correctly by a new user profile called OptiFine on Minecraft’s main launcher menu. You need to select this to enable the tweaks.


CoNfIgurE Its sEttINgs Press œ in the game and choose Options > Video Settings > Other from the menu. Click “Show FPS: ON” then return to the game to measure your Mac’s performance; the frame rate is shown at the top right. Experiment with the detail settings to find a balance between video quality and frame rate you’re happy with.


Encouraged, we went through the other options and turned off anything that might require the CPU to do any thinking at all. Smooth lighting and clouds were disabled, we set particles to minimal, and dropped the rendering distance to “lower.” This brought the frames per second up to 12–14 – still not great, but just about playable for Minecraft.

Prices of second-hand early MacBooks range from double digits well into triple figures, depending on model.

52 OCT 2016

to start it automatically – but part of our reason for finding a cheap MacBook, rather than a cheap games console, was to subtly encourage computer literacy. Knowing how the Dock works and how to start an app is an important skill these days, like learning to tie your shoelaces. When we fired up Minecraft for the first time, the results were underwhelming. In fullscreen mode at 1280x800 resolution, we were getting five frames per second. Not good enough. So we opened the game’s video settings and changed Graphics to “fast” instead of “fancy.” Just doing this roughly doubled the frame rate.

spEED ruN – Then, after some searching, we came across We had to disable cookie blocking in Safari’s preferences just to get this clanky webpage to load, then cancel the pop-up for the dreaded MacKeeper, and close the tab that opened without our asking. Then we had to spot the inconspicuous text link to “OptiFine_1.10_HD_U_B7.jar,” surrounded by ads for other games. Apart from that, downloading this optimization mod was straightforward. OptiFine supposedly uses more efficient rendering and 3D calculations to improve Minecraft’s performance right out of the box. We didn’t notice a difference on this

Turn an old Mac into a Minecraft machine

gAMEpAD & MousE It’s easier to play with a mouse or gamepad add-on

If you plug an external mouse into older MacBook models, it may be mistaken for a keyboard, but you can happily ignore this.

Mac, but it’s possible the benefits are more pronounced on faster models, or need more memory to be effective. Of more interest were the extra tweakable options that OptiFine adds to Minecraft’s settings menu. We were able to turn off shadows, fog, clouds, stars, and the sky texture, and use 2D drawing shortcuts for translucent blocks, weather and dropped items. Even better, we could change the game resolution, which is normally fixed at the native resolution of the computer. By dropping to 800x600 pixels, we bumped the frame rate to 22–25fps, which is quite usable. Minecraft’s graphics are deliberately blocky anyway, so a lower resolution is much less noticeable than in other games. (In fact, it’s good enough that we just wasted over an hour writing this last paragraph, while wandering around our world to “check the frame rate…”) In the end, we set up a working Minecraft computer for less than $100 (plus $27 if you don’t own Minecraft already) – cheap enough to give to a little one without stressing that it might get damaged. Consider also that the LEGO Minecraft Nether Fortress set, for example, is about the same price as this laptop – and our machine will probably better prepare a young player for the world in which they’ll grow up and learn in the future.

>>> ApplE’s trACkpAD’s are the best-in-class at what they do, but they’re still not well suited for games (and neither is the Magic Mouse, due to its single-mechanism design). Minecraft will be a lot more fun to play with an external mouse or gamepad. When it comes to a mouse, just about anything USB will work, even on older Macs – you can usually just plug in and go. If you go for a wireless mouse, you’re more like to have problems, such as the Mac’s Bluetooth version being too old, or a custom wireless receiver unit not being easily supported. Plus, then there are batteries to manage.

That’s our advice with a gamepad, too. You can get a USB Xbox 360 pad for about $27. To make it work with Minecraft, you need to download and install the OS driver at, and configure its key bindings with an app such as Joystick Mapper ($4.99, Mac App Store). To do this, you just need to know what keys Minecraft uses for different action, then assign them to a button on the gamepad in Joystick Mapper.

A wired Xbox 360 controller is an ideal, reliable controller for Mac gaming. OCT 2016 53

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Scrivener for iOS For any kind of writing, this is essential $19.99 Developer Literature & Latte, Platform Universal Requirements iOS 9 or later

The contextual menu in the text editor is one of the features that makes writing in Scrivener a joy.

56 OCT 2016

If you do any kind of longer-form writing at all, Scrivener for Mac has always been a favorite, and now it’s on iOS too. Almost all the features that make Scrivener so great on the desktop are present. Add the ability to sync across devices using Dropbox and you have a candidate for the best platform for writing anywhere. Those of us who love Scrivener do so because it allows us to start writing at any point in a report, document, novel, or screenplay in the knowledge we can easily re-arrange chunks at a later date. Sections can have notes attached and be organized in folders. They can be dragged

around on a corkboard to change the order in which they’re compiled, and you can even choose an image to be displayed on the corkboard to represent each section. So, you could create descriptions for characters in a novel and choose a photo of somebody who resembles the character to be displayed on the corkboard, then view all your characters as faces. Scrivener also supports split-screen mode on the iPad, allowing you to see research notes or images alongside the text you’re writing, whether they’re Scrivener or another app. Neat touches abound and reveal themselves as you need them. The keyboard, for example, has 24 “function” keys that provide easy access to punctuation marks and cursor keys, as well as tools for highlighting sections, adding footnotes, and creating hyperlinks. Some of these features can also be accessed from the contextual menu that pops up when you tap and hold on text. From there you can also choose to paste styled or unstyled text, split text into different chunks, add comments

Adding images to character or location sheets is a useful tool for visualizing.

and share sections of text. There’s also a typewriter mode that keeps the line you’re working on centered on screen. Scrivener for iOS doesn’t have all of its desktop counterpart’s features: some templates are missing, for example. Still, there’s more than enough here to make it essential for anyone who uses Scrivener on a Mac or Windows – and serves as an excellent introduction to what is now a complete writing platform for anyone who doesn’t. the bottom line. Arguably the Mac’s best writing app is now one of the iPad’s best. Kenny hemPhill

Scrivener for ioS Syncs with Mac over Dropbox Lots of extra keys on keyboard Supports split-screen on iPad Templates from desktop version not supported excellent

Tough testing, trusted ratings

Camera+ for iPad Our favorite iPhone camera brings its best tools to iPad $4.99 Developer tap tap tap, Platform iPad Requirements iOS 8 or later

Camera+ is one of the best iPhone photography apps, but its iPad version had lagged behind in terms of the latest and greatest tools – but no more! Version 2 of Camera+ for iPad updates the app’s look to be more modern (though still eschewing the standard iOS style for its own interface), and crucially includes a new set of tools called “The Lab.” This includes high-quality adjustments ranging from sharpen and blur tools, to color and tone tweaks, to effects such as film grain. It also includes Clarity Pro, the special filter that has always been the app’s ace in the hole. The basic version of this

filter boosts contrast and vibrancy to turn even the roughest phone photo into a smart-looking snap. The Pro version lets you adjust the individual aspects of this filter, so you can apply the same effect more subtly to boost better photos. Not only have these great new tools been added, but they include support for Apple Pencil, so you can apply them selectively – though the implementation is poor, sadly. You can choose different brush sizes, but not how hard the edges are. You also can’t see which areas you’ve selected (or deselected, since the default is to apply the effect globally, then let you erase sections) clearly – there’s no colored

You get a preview overlay of what size the brush will be, but not where you’ve actually applied it.

overlay as you draw, which makes precision extra hard. Still, the photo tools themselves are great, though lack the precision of something like MaxCurve. Its camera mode is also good, with easy manual settings. the bottom line. A very fine set of tools, but it’s a shame the brush support is weak. matt bolton Great

Folioscope Eat your frozen heart out, Disney Free Developer 1Button, Platform Universal Requirements iOS 8.0 or later

From the minds behind App Store best-selling puzzle game Quetzalcoatl, in which you trace snakey shapes with your finger, comes Folioscope. Unlike its predecessor, though, Folioscope is not a game – it’s a pocket-sized animation studio. If you’re an animation wizard who requires billions of buttons to press and all the artistic range of Photoshop, you might find Folioscope a bit lacking. However, it does offer a surprising range of tools, such as onion-skin layers that let you trace over your last frame, and various pen sizes and styles that give you an impressive range of looks to work with.

You can’t make the next Studio Ghibli film, but that’s not in the spirit of Folioscope anyway. On an iPad, with a stylus or Apple Pencil, you can make detailed shorts, though they may be limited to primary and secondary colors. On iPhone, you’re stuck with whatever your finger can create. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; sometimes art is inspired by creative restrictions. You can save your creations as a GIF file, which is wonderful, because then you can easily throw them on Twitter, Facebook, a blog, or just send in an iMessage. Folioscope may be limited, but it opens up a difficult art form to people who might want to learn, and that’s just brilliant.

Left: The sort of thing talented people can do. Right: The sort of thing we can do.

Our only slight niggle is that there’s no way to banish the ads with a one-off In-App Purchase, which would be a useful option, especially for heavy users. the bottom line. Whether you want a bit of fun or you’re genuinely very good at art, Folioscope is great to have at your fingertips. Kate GRay excellent OCT 2016 57

Simple tools make it easy to bring your app ideas to some kind of life.

Marvel - Design Apps on Your Phone An easy way to bring apps to semi-life Free Developer Marvel Prototyping, Platform Universal Requirements iOS 9 or later

An in-app gallery serves up ideas and inspiration.

58 OCT 2016

Lots of people have had a moment when they’re suddenly struck by that One Great App Idea – maybe you have too! But unless you have prosumer or professional tools, your best shot at articulating that idea to someone is usually a

bar napkin or ineffectual hand gestures. Fortunately, there’s Marvel (nothing to do with comic books), part of a relatively new, niche wave of apps that aim to bring the art of the “app mockup” to the rest of us. Marvel is a purpose-built diagramming app with a few clever perks that help bring your app ideas to interactive semi-life. You have simple tools to draw shapes, add text and photos, and even bring in a handful of stock icons and photography to spice things up. The key feature is the ability to link app screens to buttons, allowing your audience (or potential investors) to tap around as if it’s a real app. If you could use some app design inspiration, Marvel

provides a wealth of creative sparks with an in-app gallery. Since Marvel is a hosted service, it’s easy to share your app mockups with others, complete with multiple screens and any interactivity you add. Marvel does a decent job, but we find the app lacking a few key tools and features that seem obvious and necessary. For example, it’s difficult to create a number of typical interface elements to use across many or all screens, such as the navigation “tab bar” along the bottom of many apps such as Safari, Tweetbot, and Apple’s own Phone app. A little planning can help, though – if you create those template items in your first screen, then duplicate that screen as the basis for all others in your project, it’s a functional workaround. Still, workarounds shouldn’t really be necessary for a tool that designed to speed up the prototyping process. But we can’t be too hard on it considering Marvel is one hundred percent free. It beats a napkin, anyway. the bottom line. Lacks a few obvious features, but it’s a good, free way to start mockingup apps. DaviD ChaRtieR

Marvel - Design apps on Your phone An app mockup tool anyone can use Easy stock icon and photo integration Interface confusing at times Some tedious tasks, lacks obvious tools gooD

Tough testing, trusted ratings

Reelgood Feel like finding a flick to fill up some free time? Free Developer Reelgood, Platform iPhone Requirements iOS 9 or later

Keeping track of every film you want to see can feel like a Herculean task. After all, superhero movie fans alone have nearly 70 movies planned between now and 2020 to look forward to. And there’s probably almost as many Star Wars films planned now… Reelgood keeps track of all the movies you want to see from one convenient iPhone app, sending a notification when they hit theaters. But that’s not all: Reelgood also knows where the cheapest legal places are to rent, buy, or stream flicks. The app offers a clean, simple user interface with a focus on poster artwork.

Across the bottom are three tabs. Discover is where users search past or upcoming content, marking titles they’ve already seen. You can also add to a Watchlist, which appears in a separate tab and can be filtered a variety of different ways; oddly, though, sorting by release date isn’t one of them. There’s also an Activity tab, which adds a social component by showing what friends and other community members are into. Once you’ve selected a movie, Reelgood displays showtimes for current theatrical releases, and/or a list of streaming services like Amazon, VUDU, Netflix, and Hulu that offer the movie.

Once you’ve found a movie, Reelgood helps you find the cheapest place to buy, rent, or stream.

If you have any of those apps installed, Reelgood launches them with a tap, but purchasing requires a trip to Safari for everything but iTunes. the bottom line. Reelgood is the Robin to your Batman, a reliable sidekick for keeping track of all your favorite movies in one place. j.R. bookwalteR great

VisualRuler Turn your iPhone into a functional ruler $1.99 Developer Altaibayar Tseveenbayar, Platform iPhone Requirements iOS 9 or later

How many times have you needed to quickly measure something, only to find you didn’t have a measuring tape on hand? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. That’s where VisualRuler comes in – it’s a handy app that turns your iPhone’s camera into a functional ruler. To use VisualRuler, you’ll have to place a credit card (or any card at the same standardized size of one) near the object you want to measure. The app should automatically recognize the card. You can then trace around the object you want to measure, using preset shapes or connected lines. Because it knows the

size of the card, the app can do some quick math to figure out the size of the object you want to measure. It’s a relatively fast process and can be used by kids and adults. It’s worth noting that VisualRuler doesn’t store any of the information in the images you take, but we suggest using a gift card rather than a credit card if you’re worried. There are some limitations with VisualRuler that we should be clear about. The app can only measure in the 2D visual plane and doesn’t handle perspective distortion terribly well. It also can’t measure large objects well, as the credit card needs to be somewhat comparable in size. Ultimately it’s never going to be as precise

VisualRuler determines the object’s size based on the credit card’s dimensions.

as a real ruler, but VisualRuler will help you estimate the size of objects easier and more accurately than eyeballing them. the bottom line. Endlessly useful for those times where you need to know the (approximate) size of something without wanting to find measuring tape or a ruler. ambeR neely good OCT 2016 59

He’s just saying what we’d all be thinking, really.

Guild of Dungeoneering Building a basement of cards $3.99 Developer Gambrinous, Platform Universal Requirements iOS 8 or later

Room exits have to align, but other than that, the dungeon is truly your oyster.

60 OCT 2016

Fantasy gaming can seem to take itself too seriously. All those armored shoulder plates, stat counts and weirdly named wizards can seem a bit… po-faced to outsiders. Guild of Dungeoneering is aware of this perception, and does all it can to undermine it. You don’t have any friends, so you’ve decided to set up your

own adventurers guild – that’ll show them. And you’re going to do so while accompanied by a number of entertainingly snide, bard-esque tunes. Rather than steering your characters through a dungeon with a certain number of moves per turn, you instead lay out the dungeon for them, placing down cards down to create corridors, position enemies and stash loot conveniently in their paths. You can place up to three cards per turn, after which your hapless hero will head off in the direction marked by the footprints trailing out in front of them. They’ll set out towards the nearest point of interest, whether that’s the enemy closest to their own level, or – even more keenly – a shiny trinket. As such, you’re as much architect as adventurer, engineering dungeons that coax your 2D

charges in the desired direction. Combat, when it comes – and how often it does is largely up to you – takes the form of card battles. You can deal physical or magical damage (although both deduct from the same health bar), as well as blocking or… standing still and scratching your head. Really. Both heroes and foes can boast different traits – we loved playing as the Bruiser, whose “spikey” trait means they deal damage every time they block an attack, for example. Because your adventurers’ health regenerates after each encounter – and you can pick up some seriously sweet loot, plus a level-up, after each – the game positively encourages you to play dangerously. It’s refreshing to have combat feel so rewarding, and we found ourselves placing as many enemy cards as possible to see how much good stuff we could hoover up before facing each level’s end boss. the bottom line. A simple set of systems, but one that intertwines effortlessly to provide you with deep, entertaining fantasy play. emma Davies

Guild of dunGeoneerinG Accessible, without feeling like you’re being led by the hand The snarky comments from your heroes is a highlight Simple interface for equipping items lets you make informed decisions Some quest types feel decidedly easier than others Great

Tough testing, trusted ratings

klocki Twist (and slide and swap) and shout 99¢ Developer Rainbow Train, Platform Universal Requirements iOS 8 or later

This is puzzlement in its most minimalist incarnation. klocki offers up no menus, no instructions, no reasons for why you’re carrying out these tilearranging tasks. We’ve chosen to believe it’s something to do with aliens. Thankfully, it’s remarkably intuitive. Each puzzle presents you with a set of tiles – initially on 2D surfaces, but progressing to 3D shapes – with lines on them. You need to manipulate these so that the lines connect in satisfactory fashion, at which point they’ll light up and you’re on to the next one. Some tiles can be switched, while others (and indeed whole planes, at some points)

can be spun around, and yet more need sliding about to fit. Each type or combination of these requires a subtly different logical approach from you, whether it’s lining up the corners first, or leaving the fussiest bits for last. The presentation is stylish, all muted blends of pastel shades and uncluttered screens. It means the puzzles are allowed to stand on their own merit – and, given a while to burrow into your brain, they do prove gently compulsive. You can usually solve them through trial and error if necessary, but you’ll still want to see what the next challenge is. There are no move limits here, no time targets to hit,

Our top tip? Corners and dead ends can only logically house certain pieces.

nor gold-star countdowns to aim for. Instead, it’s just you and your ready-tomatch tiles; it’s actually oddly zen. We never thought we’d find ourselves saying that about a puzzle game… the bottom lIne. A no-frills puzzle game that’ll give you a gentle brain-stretch as you chill out. emmA DAVIeS solid

Super Stickman Golf 3 Arcade golf action meets card-collecting Free (with IAP) Developer Noodlecake Studios, Platform Universal Requirements iOS 8 or later

A long-time staple of the App Store, Super Stickman Golf is a 2D golf game that’s all about zany power-ups, strange hazards, and clever shortcuts, rather than… almost anything actually related to golf. This sequel goes free, offering 20 nine-hole courses for nothing, but with an In-App Purchase to remove ads, unlock extra downloadable courses, allow for multiple multiplayer games, and more. You can buy more IAPs, but they’re not essential at all. It plays a lot like the previous games in the series: you aim an arrow for your shot, then start building a power bar, then hit the shot and hope it goes well. There are some

new changes, though – most notably a spin option, so you can try to roll short shots forward, or correct overhits. The other big new feature is that new golfer abilities or aesthetic options come from card packs, which you can win or buy. These contain random cards, which means you get a lot of repeats while hoping for a hat that gives you hazard immunity, but it’s a fun addition. Ultimately, it’s all very similar to the previous games (there are only a few new power-ups or hazards), so if you’ve played before, this game is more about the new courses and multiplayer options than any kind of reinvention. While that means it’s still massively fun, with longevity supplied

Jack Nicklaus never had to deal with acid pools and giant buzzsaws. Who’s the real pro, eh?

by multiple goals for each course rather than just your score, it can feel a bit samey – and one or two courses are more of a slog than pure fun. If you’re new to the game, though, we absolutely recommend it. the bottom lIne. A great addition to a really fun series, but there’s not much new for experienced players. mAtt bolton Great OCT 2016 61

Cut off limbs, use them to upgrade your weapons. No point in wasting good resources, after all…

Severed The cutting edge of iOS games $6.99 Developer Drinkbox Studios, Platform Universal Requirements iOS 8.0 or later

There’s a theme of creepy plant life throughout Severed, creating a feeling of overgrown ruins.

62 OCT 2016

You awake in a strange, colorful world. You progress through the trees to a house. Your house. Your family is gone. Your arm is gone. You stare at the unfamiliar reflection in the mirror, and see behind you the silhouette of some eldritch creature. It informs you that you must save your family, and gives you a sword. Severed begins… Progressing through puzzlefilled temples is the main game, and various monsters attempt to hinder your adventure on a fairly

regular basis. The concept behind Severed is perfect for touchscreens - you use your sword with directional swipes, and each monster can usually be defeated by taking advantage of their directional weaknesses. The monsters change, level up and become stronger as you make your way through the levels, and collecting their severed parts gives you the currency needed to upgrade your weapons and abilities, so you can kill more monsters, faster. It’s your fairly basic “fight/power up/ fight better” cycle, but having to pay attention to how to kill the monsters means the battles don’t feel too repetitive. Layered on top of the path through monsters, puzzles, and bosses is a web of secrets, signposted but never explained. It’ll take lateral thinking to solve some of them, whether that

means using one of your powers in just the right place, or tapping exactly the right brick, or following the confusing symbol-laden instructions found in another part of the temple. They’re surplus to the plot, but usually lead to extra health or magic power. The story is beautiful, told mostly just through the environment, dialog-free gestures, and emotive facial wiggles. The aesthetic – a sort of weird Aztec/Día de Muertos hybrid - expertly treads the line between being absolutely terrifying and stunning. If there’s one bad thing to say about Severed, it’s that its layout is tangled and difficult to navigate. Re-treading ground a must if you want to collect all the secrets - is unpleasantly arduous and complex. But given that the secrets are optional, this problem has no real effect on the bulk of Severed. It’s one of the most interesting, unique, and genuinely creepy games of 2016, with a heartwrenching story that drives you onwards. And it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to play. the bottom line. Beautiful, gripping, and horrifying, Severed truly is a must-play. Kate GRay

Severed Incredible art design Spot-on body-horror Compelling upgrade system Difficult to revisit past temples AweSome

Tough testing, trusted ratings >>> App



7 apps for doing something new with video Unleash your pocket’s inner director, editor, and special FX artist bY daVid chaRtieR

The video-editing tools built into iOS and even Apple’s iMovie cover the basics farely well, but there is so much more than meets the eye in the world of video, so we got inspired to transform your tools of choice. Let’s start out with some basics. Videohance ($3.99, iPhone) feels like your favorite photo filter and “mood” apps, but for videos. It’s packed with effects and textures like light leaks, grit and grain, and blurs, but also adds elements like stylized frames and animated objects. Stop Motion Studio (Free, Universal) is a comprehensive app that leapt over from the Mac. It packs powerful tools for getting started with stop-motion, such as overlaying your previous frame to help line up the next shot, and an automatic mode so you can focus on character movement. Extra features are available to buy. Part silly selfie app, part live broadcasting camera, MSQRd (Free, Universal) brings all sorts of live-

The oddly named MSQRD is one of the best apps for adding effects to spaces.

Stop Motion Studio doesn’t supply patience, but it can help with everything else.

filter, face-swapping, eye-laser (you heard us) tools to your pocket. You can put bunny ears and celebrity effects on your friends, give yourself the “angry Superman” treatment, and run a live, interactive broadcast. cineMagRaph pRo (Free, Universal) is in an interesting space in that it allows you to create unique moving photos. Picture a flag on a beach on a windy day – with Cinemagraph Pro, you could freeze the flag mid-action, but let the water and other elements ebb and flow like normal. In-App Purchases unlock various features. The artistic end of video can take many forms, and FuSed (Free, Universal) opens some inspiring doors all its own. As the name suggests, Fused allows you to combine two videos into unique double-exposures. A time-lapsed city can be seen bustling in the silhouette of a mountain. A stormy ocean could ebb and crash while overlaid on a closeup of a full beer

glass. Various filters, effects, and blend modes are available via IAPs. If your text messaging could use a little more video and music, dubSMaSh (Free, Universal) is the name of your new game. Dubsmash makes it really easy to grab a pop song and film, basically, whatever you want to that tune – then share it with your friends and/or the world. If you’ve ever wanted to drop a truck on your friend or have aliens invade your living room, action MoVie FX (Free, Universal) is the answer. Built by the production studio of J.J. Abrams, Action Movie FX makes it drop-dead simple to toss any number of lighthearted, professional-quality, over-the-top special effects into just about any shot. From tornados wrecking your scene to a Star Wars battle erupting, Action Movie FX is perfect for any opening scene, or climactic baby’sfirst-steps cliffhanger. As usual, it sports In-App Purchases for various themed movie effects.

Liven up those city break movies with a spot of BB-8, thanks to Action Movie FX. OCT 2016 63

>>> App Life

watch apps and guides to get more from your watch

Navigon The first app to turn us away from Maps Free Developer Garmin Wuerzburg GmbH Platform Universal, watchOS Requirements iOS 9 or later

The Apple Watch already has a pretty slick way to view turn-byturn directions from your wrist while navigating with the built-in Maps app, but should you prefer a third-party option, there’s now one available from the folks at Garmin. The free universal Navigon is a departure from the company’s usual paid apps aimed at new users. Let’s get the bad news out of the way right up front: Navigon is only “free” for the first seven days. After that you’ll need to pay $4.99 monthly or $29.99

watch tiP

Tardy no more If you’re late for everything, try setting the time ahead a few minutes with the following. From your Apple Watch, open Settings and select Time. Tap the +0 Min button and use the Digital

64 OCT 2016

Crown to choose how far ahead the clock should be.

annually for either North America or Europe, although unlimited options as well as maps for Australia and New Zealand are also available. As with Apple Maps, you’ll first need to establish a destination from your iPhone before launching the Apple Watch app, but after that it’s pretty much the same experience. Once you set up home, work, or other favorites, you can also initiate navigation to those destinations right from the Watch, bypassing the connected iPhone. We actually prefer Navigon’s more visual approach to displaying upcoming turns to Apple’s, and since the app can download specific states or regions to the iPhone, it can be used in areas where cellular connectivity is spotty or absent entirely – something Apple Maps was never designed to do. Otherwise, Navigon doesn’t tread much new ground on the Apple Watch front, although the main app provides niceties such as current fuel prices (Germany only, so not really of much use), more intuitive address and point

of interest entry, real signage display, and more. the bottom line. Step aside, Apple Maps – there’s a new turn-by-turn navigation app in town that supports Apple Watch, assuming you’re willing to pay for the privilege of using it. J.R. bookwalteR

NAVIGON Turn-by-turn navigation on Apple Watch Offline maps Better graphics, features than Apple Maps Requires subscription or unlimited In-App Purchase after first seven days GreAt

Tough testing, trusted ratings

Simon Says

How to

Red, green, blue, blue, yellow, red 99¢ Developer Daniel Mekis,

Share your location

Platform Universal, watchOS Requirements iOS 8.0 or later

Electronic games in the ‘80s had a little something for everyone: awesome playable fun priced at only a quarter per game at arcades, pared down cartridge versions for home use, and portable classics like Simon, which was little more than a black plastic box with four colored buttons on it. But oh, what a challenge it was! Simon’s diminutive CPU kept players busy by challenging them to repeat the order in which its buttons lit up, going from super-easy to maddeningly difficult

within minutes. This memory twister can now be played from your wrist with the aptly-named Simon Says. Like the original, this unlicensed imitator provides the same basic thrill: Green, red, yellow, and blue buttons that light up and keep score as you attempt to remember the sequence and repeat it. Although the graphics are authentic, there’s no accompanying sound for Apple Watch (or iOS devices, for that matter). the bottom line. A faithful knockoff of a classic, sans the original’s bleeps and bloops. J.R. bookwalteR GOOd

MetaMovie From the big screen to the teeny screen Free Developer Giacomo Nazzaro, Platform Universal, watchOS Requirements iOS 9.2 or later

You might love movie trailers, but can you imagine watching them on a tiny Apple Watch display? That’s not quite what MetaMovie does, but you can use the app to explore cast and synopsis information or even view photos from favorite movies, all with your iPhone safely nestled in your pocket or purse. As a Universal app, MetaMovie offers several improvements over Apple’s Trailers, notably popular movie quotes while YouTube-hosted content is buffering, and the ability to navigate

heRe i am If your friends have the same good taste and also own an iPhone and/or Apple Watch, it’s easy to share your current location right from Messages.

cast and crew information while viewing by swiping right during playback. The developer’s native language clearly isn’t English, as evidenced by the occasional button text, in-app map, and news tab, which is entirely in Italian. The situation is similar on Apple Watch, which replicates the Movies, News, Maps, and Favorites sections — but drops Collections, which groups similar trailers. the bottom line. You can’t actually watch movie trailers on your Watch, but most everything else works pretty well. J.R. bookwalteR sOlId

maP in a meSSaGe Open the Messages app on Apple Watch and browse to the thread for the person you want to receive your location, then tap the thread to open it.

taP to SenD In the thread, deep press the Watch display and select Send Location. This will automatically send a pinned map of your current location. OCT 2016 65

AOC Q2781PQ A slim and stylish display, with multiple input ports $339 manufacturer AOC, Features 27-inch, 2560x1440, DisplayPort, 2x HDMI, VGA


AOC Q2781PQ Attractively styled Multiple inputs Very slim bezels Minimal tilt range GreAt

66 OCT 2016

OC’s latest monitor is a good-looking display with a native resolution of 2560x1440 pixels. First impressions are of an unfussy, quietly stylish display; slim, metal-framed, and with a strong stand that’s a single leg of aluminum, bent into a half-closed rectangle. There are downsides to this voguish appearance, though: it has a tilt range of no more than 14 degrees, and – like many displays today – there’s no height adjustment option, so if you want it to be higher, get a stand. (Not a VESA mount, sorry; there’s no fitting for that.) Most of this monitor is a simple slim rectangle, with a slightly thicker section on the back where the circuitry and ports live. This is where you’ll find a DisplayPort, two HDMI sockets, and a VGA socket for any embarrassingly old tech. It can autoswitch to an active port or let you pick one manually, making this a good choice if you want to use it with, say, a Mac, a PC, and a games console. AOC describes this as a “four-sided frameless” display, possibly aiming to tap into the gamer passion for treating displays like tile-friendly panels to be butted up together. In truth it’s more like a micro-bezel; a couple millimeters of aluminum wrapped around perhaps 5mm of black surround. But the reality is more interesting than this technical description makes it sound. The product does a very good job of being physically unobtrusive, letting the active display area itself do the talking. The LED backlit panel handles color well, although if you want a high-end proofing display, this isn’t quite it. Our Datacolor Spyder colorimeter clocks it at over 100% sRGB, but 79% of Adobe RGB; very good, but not perfect for pro-level design work. It’s no 4K screen, but the 2560x1440 pixels look sharp. This 16:9 ratio is just a little more widescreen than a MacBook display’s 16:10 shape; at this size it’s a sensible width-height ratio, and the resolution doesn’t demand more GPU horsepower than, say, a modest MacBook can manage. At $339 MSRP (so you might find it cheaper online) it’s priced pretty well for its class, the styling is far better than most, and it has multiple inputs. On the downside it has respectable but not industry-leading color reproduction, limited physical adjustment options and... well, that’s more or less it. the bottom line. An attractive monitor that would satisfy anyone this side of obsessive color proofing. Keith martin OCT 2016 67

>>> Reviews

BusyCal 3 Too busy to look for a Calendar replacement? Here you go $49.99 Developer BusyMac, Requirements OS X 10.11 or later

Prefer to display your events as a list? BusyCal is happy to oblige.

BusyCal 3 Redesigned menu bar app Timed to-dos Now available on iOS iCloud Reminders display bug GREaT

68 OCT 2016

We actually really like most of Apple’s built-in apps. They’re easy to use, get the job done, and work largely the same across iOS or Mac. But there are some, such as Calendar and Reminders, that we’ve shunned in favor of superior third-party alternatives. BusyCal 3 looks and feels a lot like Apple’s Calendar, right down to the nearly identical icons, but the former offers a number of improvements. Among them is a redesigned menu bar app which now includes a mini-month calendar and a scrolling event list similar to Fantastical; plus a detailed info panel in the lower-right corner of the main app, which can optionally be displayed in a floating window. Reminders are integrated into BusyCal 3 as to-dos, which show up alongside regular events on the main calendar and as a list in the right-hand panel. We couldn’t get iCloud reminders to show up until adding a new to-do in BusyCal, but after that everything worked as expected. One improvement with the latest

version is support for timed to-dos, so that reminders can now be assigned specific times as well as dates. There’s an option to display an inline 10-day forecast of temperatures (along with moon phases), either at your current location or a designated city or ZIP code. This feature comes in handy when planning outdoor events for the week, and the same data is replicated in the menu bar view as well. We also prefer BusyCal’s smoother scrolling, which allows Magic Trackpad owners to zip between days, weeks, or months with just a swipe. The biggest new feature has been borrowed from Apple’s Calendars app, which debuted travel time with OS X Mavericks three years ago. It works the same: when entering a new location-based event, BusyCal automatically determines how long it takes to drive or walk there, and pushes an alert to you based on current traffic conditions when it’s time to leave. It’s nice to have, despite being so tardy in arriving (ironically). Last but not least, there’s finally a Universal iOS version with a feature set identical to the Mac. The app isn’t free (currently $4.99) and the month view feels a little cramped on iPhone in portrait view, but otherwise it does a fine job of replicating the OS X experience on mobile. the bottom line. BusyCal 3 doesn’t have many new ideas, but remains a solid alternative to Apple’s apps. J.R. bookwalteR

BusyCal 3 doesn’t try to reinvent the calendar, instead offering welcome improvements over Apple’s software.

Tough testing, trusted ratings

Disk Drill 3 Data recovery for Mac or iOS Free ($89 Pro upgrade) Developer 508 Software, Requirements OS X 10.6.8 or later, 64-bit processor

WinZip Mac 5 The compression tool gets a smart update $29.95 Developer WinZip, Requirements OS X 10.8 or later, 64-bit processor

For many Mac owners, OS X’s built-in Archive Utility is perfectly suitable for tackling occasional downloads from the internet. But WinZip offers a more comprehensive arsenal of tools for crunching or extracting content from ZIP, ZIPX, RAR, LHA, 7Z, JAR, and WAR archives. The previous version integrated cloud services iCloud Drive, Dropbox, and Google Drive while introducing ZipShare, a free service for files up to 500MB. Version 5 builds upon that foundation by automatically generating links when uploading to connected cloud services. Paste the resulting URL into another app and you’re ready to share in seconds. Our favorite new feature is the Actions pane, where you can add frequently used features, such as encryption or link sharing, prior to saving. Actions also work with the enhanced resize feature, which now offers six compression levels for reducing image file sizes when archives are created. Although WinZip looks and feels like a native OS X application, it’s limited compared to cheaper rival BetterZip, which also tackles classic Mac-centric archives such as Stuffit, HQX, and DMG disk images. the bottom line. Fast and user-friendly, but missing support for legacy Mac compression types. J.R. bookwalteR

Disk Drill 3 is a free Mac disk management utility that has added iOS and Android recovery tools to its comprehensive lineup. The basic version offers a host of features including disk cleanup, the ability to find duplicate files, byte-to-byte backups, a bootable recovery drive, and disk health monitoring, while the paid Pro upgrade adds even more. The good news for veteran Disk Drill users is that version 3 introduces a much-needed fresh coat of paint across the entire user interface, offering a flatter appearance and more intuitive layout. The new iOS data recovery feature is used to recover bookmarks, calendar events, call logs and chats, contacts, notes, and files (those stored within apps as well as photos in the Camera Roll); iTunes backups can also be restored, but they were much slower in our tests. The initial scan can be timeconsuming even with the device plugged into USB, and is best suited to lower-capacity devices. the bottom line. Disk Drill 3 adds mobile data recovery to its arsenal, making this a winning upgrade. J.R. bookwalteR

disk drill 3 Background disk health monitoring New iOS, Android data recovery options Refreshed interface Slow iOS data recovery on larger capacity devices excellent

WinZip Mac 5 Integrated cloud services with automatic share links Actions pane for applying tasks prior to compression No support for popular legacy formats such as Stuffit Limited cloud storage options good OCT 2016 69

>>> Reviews

Boinx mimoLive Broadcast slick shows live from this Mac-based TV studio $199 per year for personal/education use, $699 per year for commercial Developer Boinx Software, Requirements OS X 10.10 or later

Trigger assets such as captions and insert images with a click of the layer’s Live button.

Boinx mimoLive Trigger and combine a wide range of assets on the fly Customize template layers to create sophisticatedlooking shows Produce and share live content quickly Too expensive for an individual domestic user good

70 OCT 2016

This app is like a TV studio that enables you to create and broadcast shows directly from your Mac. It helps you gather assets (such as photographs, graphics, and video clips) and then trigger them as and when needed. For example, you might want to create a short video sequence that showcases the highlights of your recent vacation. You could record the live feed from your Mac’s FaceTime HD camera and host your show as its presenter, and just tap a keyboard shortcut (or click on an asset) to play a pre-recorded video clip or share a scenic shot during your broadcast. mimoLive’s key panels are arranged in a logical fashion. You drag video clips and stills to the Sources panel on the far left, plus include live video inputs from attached cameras. These sources can then be added to the Layer Stack panel. The ability to organize content in layers is very valuable, as you can place assets above the live video feed layer and overlay captions,

logos and graphics on your show’s presenter. The Layer Stack also provides useful graphics templates that you can modify, such as lowerthird captions, weather icons, and picture-inpicture inserts. All these layers can be triggered by clicking their adjacent “Live” button at any time during the broadcast. After selecting an asset from the Layer Stack, you can fine-tune the way it looks and behaves in the Placer column. Here you can create custom keyboard shortcuts that will make a particular asset go live during your broadcast or recording. You can choose to have the asset appear instantly or dissolve in and out. You can rehearse talking to camera and triggering your assets until you’re ready to broadcast. When assets from the Layer Stack are live you’ll see them in the Program Output panel. Your show can be recorded as a QuickTime movie (which you can then tidy up in iMovie if necessary). Alternatively, it can be streamed live from your Mac to YouTube Live or Facebook Live, once set up. Given the cost of mimoLive, it may suit organizations more than individuals, but it could find a home everywhere from business conferences to church services. the bottom line. An effective way to combine and present clips, stills, and graphics as a live broadcast or as a shareable recording. GeoRGe CaiRns

After rehearsing your show you can stream it live or record it as a movie for export elsewhere.

Tough testing, trusted ratings

Paste – Smart Clipboard Manage copied data better $9.99 Developer Dmitry Obukhov, Requirements OS X 10.10 or later

HoudahGeo 5 Geotag your DSLR shots $39 Developer Houdah Software, Requirements OS X 10.10 or later; active internet connection

HoudahGeo 5 imports images from cameras or SD cards as well as the folders and photo libraries already on your computer, uses a variety of methods to determine where pictures were taken, then adds the appropriate EXIF, XMP, and IPTC metadata to JPEG or RAW files. It’s ideal for photos taken with a DSLR. Geotagging works automatically when used in conjunction with supported GPS track loggers, but there’s another method if you don’t want to invest in such accessories. Simply take a photo at each location as you travel with your iPhone or cellular-equipped iPad, then load those images into the same HoudahGeo project as your DSLR files. Click the “Geocode from Reference Photos” button on the toolbar, and the software matches them up. HoudahGeo currently can’t write metadata directly to OS X Photos libraries, an Apple restriction the developer says will be lifted with this fall’s release of macOS Sierra; iPhoto, Aperture, and Adobe Lightroom libraries work just fine, however. Sierra will also deliver Apple Maps, MapBox, and MapQuest data. the bottom line. You may not know where the photos on your Mac were taken, but HoudahGeo 5 can figure it out and update metadata with ease. J.R. bookwalteR

Paste is a clipboard manager than opens as a drawer at the bottom of your Mac’s screen. When you copy something, it’s automatically added to Paste, whether it’s text, a link, an image, or more (you can exclude apps in its preferences – Keychain Access is excluded by default). You bring up Paste by hitting ç+ß+v, though you can change this, too. Paste does its job well, displaying what you’ve copied in a clear view, with previews of images or text (and you can select one and hit spacebar to Quick Look for more), though we wish it gave you a web preview of copied links. You can search for things you’ve copied, and assign them to “pinboards” for grouping relating stuff, though this process could do with more keyboard shortcut support. You can manually copy and paste into documents from Paste, or simply double-click (if you install a little helper app). An iOS companion is on the way, too, but not out yet. the bottom line. A very Apple-like clipboard manager, with useful features. matt bolton

Paste – smart CliPboard Automatically copies things Very Apple-like design Useful organization features… …that could be faster to use Great

HoudaHGeo 5 Add, edit, or delete geotags from digital photos Reference mode matches GPS data from iPhone photos Support for dedicated GPS track loggers No support for OS X share extension Great OCT 2016 71

>>> Reviews

Corel Painter 2017 introduces smart glaze and texture tools.

72 OCT 2016

Tough testing, trusted ratings

Corel Painter 2017 The veteran natural-media app is back for more $399 manufacturer Corel, Requirements OS X 10.9.5 or later


he last few years have seen Painter keep its place at the top of the naturalmedia painting app pile, but it’s been hard to see where it could go forward. Fortunately, in the 2017 edition the developer has innovated with new tools, as well as improving existing ones. The app itself hasn’t changed much in feel or operation, which is a good thing and ultimately allows the new features to feel less like bolt-ons for the purposes of upgrades, and more like integral parts of the software. The toolset is pretty comprehensive, as well as very realistic. It’s very easy to get to grips with, especially if used with a tablet. Many tools respond to stylus angle and rotation, as well as position, so you can angle to create broader shading with a #2 pencil, or work with shaped-tip ink pens. Painter 2017 adds a number of new tools, the most notable being the texture and glazing tools. The texture tools enable you to intelligently work textures into your work based on underlying imagery. There are a number of presets, but it’s simple to add your own. You could easily take a photo of a concrete wall, define that in Painter, then use that to add texture to your artwork in a variety of ways. The most obvious use for this would be for fast-working concept artists who need to define a look, or even for 3D artists painting texture maps for use in CG. The glazing tools are a set of transparent brushes that build up as a real-world glaze would, enhancing depth and color. Painter comes with a number of preset brushes and, as with all Painter brushes, there is a huge amount of control and customizability available. This continues with the interface as a whole, with palettes that can be moved, collapsed, stacked, or hidden, and layouts that can be saved. Painter 2017 doesn’t stop there. The interactive gradient tool has been tweaked and now gives better performance, alongside some new options, such as edit nodes – a helper for applying gradients to existing art. There’s also a new Gradient Express tool, which is aimed at relieving the problems of staring at a fresh document and not knowing how to start. The gradients can have brush styles applied for rapidly working out a color theme or background, to get you thinking creatively when you need it. This, in conjunction with the texture tool, is a great way to start any piece. It’s hard to criticize what is an excellent app, but if anything it can suffer from being too comprehensive; it’s easy to forget some of the options, as there are just so many. The interface isn’t as modern as many other apps, but it does its job well. the bottom line. A surprisingly innovative update to an excellent art app, with interesting new tools and enhancements. Rob Redman

Corel Painter 2017 Comprehensive selection of tools Gradient options are great Excellent, lag-free performance User interface looks a little dated exCellent OCT 2016 73

>>> Reviews

Mail Designer Pro 3 Make email more attractive with this excellent design tool $89.99 Developer Equinux AG, Requirements OS X 10.9 or later

Forget HTML coding: using Mail Designer Pro is like desktop publishing, or using Pages.

Mail Designer Pro 3 Really easy to use Templates are great Purely a design tool Apple Mail doesn’t support mobile designs great

74 OCT 2016

Email marketing can be very effective, but it can also be very expensive: crafting something that looks good not just on a Mac but on Windows and on every conceivable kind of mobile device can be a big job with big bills attached. If you’re a small business or organization without in-house designers, Mail Designer Pro could be a better option. Mail Designer Pro is designed for small businesses, individuals, clubs, and groups who need to create good-looking and effective emails such as promotional emails or newsletters. It’s a template-based system offering 72 different designs that you can tweak by using text blocks, buttons, banners, photos, videos, and textures, and it looks and feels like using Pages’ drawing tools, or a beginnerfriendly DTP package. The quality of the supplied templates is very good, and you’d have to try really hard to produce something that didn’t look professional. The most important part of Mail Designer Pro isn’t the

design part, though. It’s the ability to ensure that your design looks right not just on your Mac, but on whatever device your recipients may have. They might be checking their mail on an iPad, or on a Galaxy S7, or on an Apple Watch. Mail Designer Pro enables you to see what your design will do on each of those platforms, and its faithful simulations enable you to check whether your color scheme will clash with a Rose Gold iPhone, or if your killer opening will be truncated on an Apple Watch. In addition to simulating devices, Mail Designer Pro also enables you to control what appears on particular platforms - so for example, the Inbox Snippet enables you to specify what text appears in the recipient’s mobile inbox before they actually open the email, and you can see which parts of the chosen template are desktop-only or mobileonly and edit them accordingly. The app doesn’t deliver email; once you’ve finished you can export to the MailChip or Campaign Monitor email services, but you can also export as HTML or stationery. We wouldn’t recommend the latter, though: it doesn’t support responsive design, so it’ll send the desktop version to everyone. the bottom line. Ideal for people who need great email flyers or newsletters, but don’t have the coding skills. gaRy maRshall

You can also preview your design on specific devices, from iPhones to Androids and Apple Watches.

Tough testing, trusted ratings


LandscapePro offers quick masking to enable you to apply effects almost instantly.

Edit your images in minimum time From $79.90 Developer Anthropics Technology, Requirements OS X 10.7 or later

This is a tempting alternative to the complexity of Photoshop for landscape enthusiasts. Click areas of your image to define grass, sky, water, people, and so on, then refine your masks by dragging the pointer. Next, choose your effects. The app’s presets – which have intuitive names such as Morning, Storm, and Sunset – offer instant, impactful results, and you can apply different effects to each area – warming up your foreground but not your sky, for instance. You can even drop in entirely new skies from the app’s built-in library. LandscapePro applies effects intelligently, so a fiery new sunset will cast a new color on the ground below. Getting good results often proves tricky, though – LandscapePro struggles to create

accurate masks automatically, which means there’s much clicking and dragging required to get correct cutouts. Also, the app’s whole-image presets often look heavyhanded and out of place. The Standard edition is the most affordable version, but still expensive at $79.90. To open raw files, among other tasks, you’ll need the $119.90 Studio edition; you could get almost a year’s subscription to the far superior Photoshop and Lightroom for that same amount. LandscapePro needs to be more compelling to compete for all but the most drive-by landscape photographers. the bottom line. A strong concept with lots of potential, but as it is, it isn’t worth the cash. DAVe SteVenSon

Landscapepro Good flexibility Applies effects intelligently Poor value for money A little too simplistic for keen photographers weak OCT 2016 75

>>> Reviews

Kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; book illustrations are a natural fit, but Sketches Pro covers every style with ease.

76 OCT 2016

Tough testing, trusted ratings

Sketches Pro Make your mark with this great drawing application $19.99 manufacturer Tayasui, Requirements OS X 10.10 or later


SketcheS Pro Slick and unobtrusive user interface Excellent tool selection and quality Photoshop compliant Limited blending styles for layers great

ayasui’s Sketches Pro is a popular iOS art app, and the fact that it’s made its way to the Mac App Store is a welcome one. But can it deliver on the same streamlined yet versatile experience the mobile version offers? In a word, yes. This is one of the cleanest, slickest, and most intuitive painting applications you will find, and does away with the need to break from your creativity to figure out how to achieve something. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the layout, though; the selection of tools cater for just about everything you could need. Each has a selection of options, such as a round or square tip. The app is smart, too – if you select a watercolor brush and don’t have a watercolor layer active, you’re asked if you want one added. Wet layers act as you might expect, allowing you to blend strokes for a very realistic result. Even smarter, if you’re using a watercolor paper, you can paint a stroke then click inside that stroke to add extra details. This constrains to the initial stroke, unlike a normal paper, where a single click would add a random splat or daub. Each tool has some element that makes it feel special, from the thickness and opacity controlled by pressure, to the wonderful fill tool, which opens a pop-up library of patterns, all of which have a handcrafted look to them. Choose one, draw a shape and that shape is instantly filled with the chosen pattern, for beautiful crosshatching and print effects. The selection of patterns has been well thought-out, and if you want to use one to fill an entire layer, a quick right-click-and-drag does it for you automatically.

Essential to any art app is color control, and Sketches Pro doesn’t disappoint. A thin menu of swatches lives in its own tool palette (all of which can be moved around to suit) with a selection of presets, and it’s simple to add more. The standard Photoshop Alt+click works here too, for on-the-fly color picking. These days, having a good layer system is almost as essential as color controls, and Sketches offers an elegant solution. The palette is simple, with controls for adding layers, layer opacity and visibility, but middle-click and you will see a few of the lesser-used options, including a (small) range of blend modes. In use, every tool is responsive, smooth and ultimately fun and productive. You right-click to access pop-up size and opacity sliders for each tool, and with simple zooming controls and Photoshop-compliant shortcuts for just about everything, you’re on to a simple but powerful winner. The only criticism that can be aimed at the developer is the occasionally buggy save dialog, which crashes now and then. Otherwise it’s stable, no matter how complex the drawing, and huge fun. That’s without even mentioning the brilliant smart ruler, the knife tool, or the excellent blender brush. If you’re a digital artist then this is definitely one to check out. That there’s also an iPad app to work on the go sweetens the deal. the bottom line. In use, Sketches Pro is a dream. Results look excellent and, other than a small bug, there isn’t much to dislike. Every digital artist should give this a try. Rob Redman OCT 2016 77

>>> Reviews

ASWY Ondo Air Speaker v2 We’re a bit up in the air about this one… $199 Manufacturer ASWY, Features 360-degree sound, wireless charging, LED touch controls

ASWY OndO Air SpeAker v2 A conversation piece… Impressive looks Cumbersome plastic holder Underwhelming sound WeAk

78 OCT 2016

Floating speakers are a sure sign that we’re finally living in The Jetsons – either that, or manufacturers are running out of ideas to cram into their equipment. Sure, when you see the Air Speaker in action for the first time, you can’t help but be mesmerized by how it hovers above its base unit (powered not by The Future, but simple repelling magnets). In fact, it’s quite easy to become distracted by the speaker’s constant rotation. However, we never warmed to the Air Speaker beyond it being anything other than a conversation piece. It isn’t meant to be just for show, however. Its maker says the its levitating, 360-degree sound projection cuts wave absorption into surfaces, producing a cleaner sound – and there’s wireless

charging for the battery, too, with a claimed 12-hour life. Although we never thought of its sound quality as explicitly poor, we found it underwhelming, and it failed to pack the kind of punch we’ve experienced from some other Bluetooth speakers of a similar size. If you were seriously considering buying this, it’s the novelty factor that probably prompted your interest in the first place. Sadly, even getting the speaker to float isn’t without its problems. You have to use a cumbersome plastic holder in order to make the speaker stay where it’s supposed to be, and even then it tends to float slightly off the base’s center. the bottoM line. Weird, but not wonderful, thanks to some awkward design and assembly. Christian hall

Tough testing, trusted ratings

Freecom mHDD Slim Attractive storage at an unattractive price $143 manufacturer Freecom, Features 1TB/2TB (tested), USB-A and USB-C cables

Buffalo LinkStation LS520DE A network drive that fails to impress $100 manufacturer Buffalo, Features 1GHz dual-core CPU, 256MB memory, 2x SATA II bays This is a no-frills, two-bay network drive with RAID (0 or 1) support. The base model is diskless – we tested it with Seagate drives. It’s much smaller and lighter than other two-bay drives we’ve tried, and while the plastic casing seems durable, the drive caddies are a tad flimsy. It’s rounded out by a USB 3.0 port at the back for adding more storage. Functionality is similarly stripped back. Highlights are a private cloud and BitTorrent, along with AFP, Time Machine, DLNA, and an iTunes audio server. The drive is mostly easy to set up, with a Mac app that takes you to its web interface. The drive’s performance is disappointing. Tests drew attention to its old SATA II interface: using SMB, it managed 49 and 30MB/s in sequential read and write operations for standard (small) transfers, 13 and 30MB/s for random ones, 98 and 73MB/s for large transfers, and 93 and 76MB/s for very large ones, all of which makes it the slowest NAS we’ve tried in a while. the bottom line. Lacking features, underspecced and overpriced – this is a NAS drive to avoid. nick Peers

High-capacity 2.5-inch hard drives can feel thick, but this one is just a third of an inch tall. It weighs only 5 oz too, even though its body is metal. Two USB cables are bundled with it: one to connect to a USB-A port, found on most Macs, and a USB-C for 12-inch MacBooks and any future Macs with it – though that’s only expected at this price. As for performance, the drive is what we’d expect from a 2.5-inch hard disk, though a few things stood out. While minimum rates for sequential transfers on drives of this kind aren’t stellar, the mHDD managed respectable 30.4MB/s and 27.8MB/s rates for reading and writing, respectively. Its mean sequential rates of 120.4 and 121.6MB/s are typical, and its peak rate of 167.7MB/s when writing is solid, even if not the best. In random reads and writes, the drive’s slightly behind others we’ve tried, but not by much. the bottom line. A solid performer that’s attractive and forward-thinking, but at a premium price. AlAn stonebridge

frEEcom mHDD Slim Physically lovely Both USB-A and USB-C cable supplied Thoroughly average performance Far too expensive SoliD

Buffalo linkStation lS520DE Small, light chassis Expensive Limited features Sluggish performer wEak OCT 2016 79

>>> Reviews

80 OCT 2016

Tough testing, trusted ratings

Sony DSC-RX10 III A hugely capable camera in almost every respect $1,498 manufacturer Sony, Features 24-600mm (25x) zoom lens, 20.1 megapixels, 4K video, 2.95-inch LCD, 4.41 lbs


Sony DSC-RX10 III Excellent and fast 24-600mm lens Superb stills and video quality Poor autofocus at longer focal lengths Large and heavy gReat

ike its predecessor the Mk II, the Sony RX10 III is aimed at the serious enthusiast end of the photography market: anyone looking for ultimate image quality and telephoto reach in a bridge-style package. The RX10 III has the same 20.1-million-pixel Exmor CMOS sensor, and offers the same excellent 4K video functionality, as the Mk II. In fact most features and functions are identical, so the main talking point is the large and impressive Zeiss 24-600mm lens. There’s no getting around the bulk of the Sony RX10 III. It’s very well made and comfortable in the hand, but more casual users will be deterred by its size (and price). However, if you want the ultimate image quality in a bridge camera, it’s hard to look beyond the class-leading performance of the RX10 III’s Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens. This lens performs extremely well throughout its zoom range; details are perhaps not quite as crisp as from the Mk II’s, but given the far greater reach of this lens, that’s not surprising. At most focal lengths the lens is remarkably sharp wide open. At its wider end we did notice softness at the far left side of the frame. However, at telephoto focal lengths, the image is impressively detailed across the frame, right up to the maximum zoom of 600mm. We were certainly impressed by the quality of the RX10 III’s JPEGs, even at higher ISO

settings. Colors are punchy and pleasing, with plenty of options for customization, and resolution and dynamic range are both very good. Using noise reduction at its lowest setting gave a good compromise between detail and noise, with files very clean and detailed up to ISO 1600; the raw files do have more detail, but the difference is surprisingly small. Autofocus is something of a mixed bag, though. At wider focal lengths the AF is pretty snappy, working well for both still and moving subjects. At the longer end of its range, however, AF is really very slow, even with still subjects; it’s accurate once it’s found its target, but the lens is prone to hunting. Meanwhile, video enthusiasts won’t be disappointed with an excellent range of filming options, with 4K and HD modes and the ability to extract 8MP stills from 4K movies. The High Frame Rate feature is a great option, enabling you to create slow-motion videos – and we were also very impressed with the camera’s ability to handle both mixed and contrasty light when shooting movies. the bottom line. There’s class-leading image quality on offer here, and its 4K and HD video functionality is also superb. It’s a large, relatively heavy, and expensive camera, though, and is let down by its disappointing autofocus performance in some situations. lizzie Shepherd OCT 2016 81

>>> Reviews

Looks like regular scales, but the Cardio can tell you a lot about your body.

Withings Body Cardio A wave of extra data for fitness fans $180 Manufacturer Withings, Features Measures weight, fat, muscle, bone and water mass, Pulse Wave Velocity

Withings Body Cardio Extra measurements over its predecessor Good all-round health checking Good integration with app Integrated battery great

82 OCT 2016

Withings’ new scale (replacing the WS-50 Smart Body Analyzer) sports a leaner physique of its own, and measures more about yours. It also retains the WS-50’s clear display, which warns if you’re leaning during a weigh-in. The Body Cardio, and the cheaper $130 Body scale introduced alongside it, checks your water percentage (a disappointing omission on the WS-50), together with muscle and bone mass. Results appeared consistent and reliable, and we saw only 0.2 lb variation between the Cardio and the WS-50 – which is the smallest amount they log. For whatever reason, fat mass always showed as a few percent less on the Cardio compared to the WS-50.

Exclusive to the Body Cardio model is Pulse Wave Velocity, which tracks the vibration along your arteries when your heart beats, as an indication of arterial elasticity; rigid might mean you’re at risk. These measurements appear only in the Health Mate iOS app. Our results were in accordance with a previous diabetes check-up. Advice that a weight loss program might help seemed pretty basic, but the app details directly related lifestyle factors as well. As a minor point, we’re not so keen on the use of an integrated battery. the bottoM line. Excellent, though justifying the extra $50 over the Body depends on your commitment. AlAn Stonebridge

Tough testing, trusted ratings

Meem Charge and backup anywhere $90 manufacturer Meem, Features Lightning connector, 32GB capacity

B&O Beoplay H5 Premium wireless earbuds $250 manufacturer Bang & Olufsen, Features Bluetooth 4.2, magnetic clasp, USB charging cube

These days, audio companies see wireless buds as a fertile market. Bang & Olufsen has thrown its hat into the ring with the H5 earphones, delivering on its premium mandate for top-notch design and sound, but with a few caveats. The plastic, solidly made earpieces come with a thick braided cable, four pairs of silicone tips and three sets of anti-wax foam tips. In our tests, the standard silicone tips had the comfiest fit and seal, and delivered the best treble and bass response. Design-wise, the most attractive features of the H5 are its magnetized buds, which click together around the neck and turn off when not in use. The inline, three-button remote is thin and indistinct, but its volume, pairing and call answering functions work as expected. The H5 sounds great, and can be further tweaked with the Beoplay iOS app. B&O supplies a small magnetic charging brick in the box that lets you connect the buds to a USB outlet, and at this price you won’t want to lose it, especially when the charge only lasts five hours. the bottom line. Are the buds outstanding enough to justify the price? Probably not, but we still think their design smarts will be worth the outlay for audiophiles. tim hardwick

iCloud is the backup solution for your iOS devices and Apple wants to keep it that way. Yes, you can still use iTunes and your Mac, but that’s become a bit of a manual chore in the days of the cloud. So why on Earth would you want another offline solution for backing up your data? Well, the designers of Meem think there’s a gap in the market for a travel backup solution while you’re away from Wi-Fi or a mobile network signal. We can see the point, and as you need to charge your iPhone every couple of days, it’s good to know there’s a cable out there that backs up while you’re doing so. As you charge, Meem backs up your contacts, calendars, messages, photos, videos and music. You do, of course, need to use its app to do this, and that’s where the trouble begins. Meem’s designers have taken the “mirroring” metaphor a bit too far, with a split-screen interface where the “copied” side is in reversed text! It’s overkill and then some. The app has a nasty progress bar, and it’s all too confusing. the bottom line. For peace of mind it’s useful, and for travel too, but it’s costly and the software’s a bit crazy. christian hall

meem Always good to have another backup option Unnecessarily bizarre software Only 32GB version for iPhone available Gestures are more trouble than they’re worth weak

B&O BeOplay H5 Premium sound Premium design Premium price Disappointing battery life gOOd OCT 2016 83

>>> Reviews

Starbound Minecraft meets Terraria meets a whole load of marvellous weirdness $14.99 Developer Chucklefish Games, Requirements OS X 10.9 or later, 64-bit Intel CPU, 2GB RAM, internet connection

This stairwell likely isn’t up  to building codes, but it will  have to do in a pinch.

Starbound Randomly generated worlds are consistently surprising and fun Deep crafting and building systems Combat is rudimentary and side quests samey Mechanics can be overwhelming and not always explained well great

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For a game called Starbound, you spend a lot of time planetside – underground, exploring labyrinthine corridors and mining coal, copper and gold. This is a terraforming game of surprising ambition, wonder, and charm. Procedural generation provides Starbound’s heft: dozens of solar systems created uniqely for you, ripe for plunder, each with unique flora, fauna, and inhabitants. There are forest planets and desert worlds, of course, but also horrifying biomes of fleshy tentacles and neon slime. You’ll find cannibal tribes living in decrepit ruins, or a village of anarchist chimps opposing the MiniKnog regime. At least one planetoid’s mantle housed an abandoned civilization of teeny buildings menaced by stomping robots. A thin story about the universe’s impending doom gives context and impetus to your star-hopping exploration, but Starbound is a crafting game at heart and full of strange vignettes and unpredictable interactions. With a “matter manipulator” in hand, you collect raw material and bend it to your will. Your matter manipulator will vacuum up the coal and timber you need for torches and campfires; it can also be used to build ad hoc stairs, or to block a stampeding bipedal lizard with a wall of dirt.

Eventually, your needs will outstrip mere survival: homemade shepherd’s pie, a boomerang made of bug bits, a rustic cabin with garden out back. You can recruit shipmates, found colonies, capture pets, and build everything from tasteful lamps, to railguns, to secret volcano strongholds. A cephalopod horror may be stirring in the  cosmos, but there are always pearlpeas to pick,  Fluffalo to raise, and armor to forge. Whether you become a farmer, architect, or mercenary, Starbound is serene in its domesticity, giving players ample ways to direct the minutiae of their own pixel-art terraria (and yes, the game of that name is very similar, at least in terms of looks). There is a flipside to Starbound’s prodigious scope and variety, however. The combat and platforming are pedestrian at best, yet feature heavily in the instanced missions that push the story along. Despite a lengthy introduction, some of Starbound’s most basic systems aren’t explained: it’s one thing to know your recently hunted steak should be cooked, but another to know to open the campfire menu instead of the inventory. Randomized side-missions are plentiful, but become repetitive. Thankfully, Starbound’s three-year stint in Early Access means that a bevy of guides are available. the bottom line. Scattershot at times, Starbound admirably blends crafting, survival, and platforming. Joseph leRay

Ranged weapons don’t do much damage, but it’s good to  play it safe when a gnome-squashing robot is on the loose.

Tough testing, trusted ratings

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Ah yes, the iconic Stormtrooper volleyball scene – unforgettable.

The winning combo of Star Wars and LEGO strikes back $39.99 Developer TT Fusion/Feral Interactive, requirements OS X 10.10.5 or later, 1.8GHz Intel processor, 4GB RAM, Intel HD 5000/AMD 4850/NVIDIA 130 graphics, 18GB storage At this point, there could be a LEGO video game of any franchise and people would play it. Of course, not all sagas are Star Wars, and the latest LEGO adaptation has been treated with special care. LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens adds a few new elements to the tried-and-true formula, but it’s the extra story content and humorous Easter eggs that make it a special treat. The main beats of the story follow the film’s plot, though some events have been fudged to fit LEGO’s quirky brand of storytelling. Jakku, the Millennium Falcon, and even Endor have been bricked, with players taking the roles of the film’s many memorable characters. Rey can climb and use her staff to great impact, while Chewbacca is able to throw thermal detonators, and Han Solo’s grappling hook comes in handy. It’s a charming way to experience the story again, but better yet, there are hidden tidbits throughout just waiting to be found.

Unlockable side missions reveal more lore, load screens spout trivia, and many of the cast even recorded additional dialog. For the most part, no matter which character you are, you’ll be using your weapon of choice to smash the environment, collect hidden treasures, and bash bad guys. It also adds third-person shooting portions – complete with cover! – and while they play a bit like Baby’s First Shooter, it’s a fun way to shake things up. Also new is building multiple contraptions with the same pile of LEGO bricks, either to unlock a secret or continue in the game. This adds a bit more depth to a relatively simple game. It’s unfortunate, though, that after so many years there are still camera issues and glitches, such as characters falling through floors into space. the bottom line. This doesn’t fix what’s not broken, building on the simple-but-fun LEGO game formula with tidbits for Star Wars diehards. Sarah leboeuf

Lego Star WarS: the Force aWakenS New dialog and bonus scenes build on the film Tweaks to the formula move the series forward Occasional glitches come without warning The series still suffers from camera issues great OCT 2016 85

home life Better liviNG throuGh Smarter teChNoloGy

> get started WIth…

Next-GeN Wi-fi We have more and more devices hooked up to our home networks, but the latest Wi-Fi routers are designed to take the strain By Cliff JoSePh

Backward compatiBility Each new version of Wi-Fi is backward-compatible. So, a Mac or iPhone with 802.11n Wi-Fi will work with an 802.11ac router, but at 802.11n speeds. That’s still enough for most home broadband services, so you don’t need a new Mac too.

If your Wi-Fi signal is poor at the far reaches of your home, a new router could improve your experience.

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e’ve looked at a wide range of home automation devices in the last few months, from smart lightbulbs to security cameras and thermostats. The one thing all these devices have in common is their reliance on Wi-Fi to connect them to the Internet of Things (IoT). This explosion of devices means that there’s more and more pressure on our home Wi-Fi networks, whether it’s streaming video on Netflix, online gaming, or the kids vlogging their teenage fun to the world on YouTube. Wi-Fi technology has to evolve to take the strain of all this communication, and we’re currently at a tipping point where the next generation is about to arrive. The latest Wi-Fi routers include several new features that can improve both speed and reliability, so here’s our guide to the next-gen gear that you need to power your smart home.


There’s a lot of jargon surrounding Wi-Fi and routers, and it can be quite confusing for anyone thinking about upgrading to the latest, greatest Wi-Fi tech. However, there are a few key features that you should look for if you want to improve the speed and reliability of your home Wi-Fi network. Wi-fi aNd mimo aNd haloW, oh my The current version of Wi-Fi used by most recent home routers is called 802.11ac, although there are still quite a few people using routers based on the older 802.11n standard. Routers that use 802.11n have a maximum speed of 450 megabits per second (Mbps), whereas 802.11ac steps right up to 1.3 gigabits per second (Gbps), so that’s an obvious improvement that makes it worth upgrading. All 802.11ac routers also provide “dual-band” features that allow them

e v e N i f yo u u P G r a d e to a router With more a d va N C e d W i - f i , o l d e r maCS aNd ioS deviCeS Will Still Work With it

JarGoN BUStEr Look out for routers that provide an option called QoS (Quality of Service). This feature enables the router to recognize apps, such as games or Netflix streaming, that need a fast connection, causing it to prioritize their network traffic to ensure the best possible performance. OCt 2016 87

802.11ac Wave 2 routers will better support multiple family members being able to do different stuff online at the same time.

to transmit data at frequencies of both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. That’s important, as the 2.4GHz bandwidth has become increasingly crowded and prone to interference in recent years, so using the 5GHz band can help to reduce interference. That said, 802.11ac itself is still a work in progress, and routers such as Apple’s AirPort Extreme are actually known as “802.11ac Wave 1.” These Wave 1 routers can use multiple antennae to transmit multiple signals simultaneously in order to improve the overall speed of data transfer. This technique is called SU-MIMO: Single User-Multi-In/Multi-Out. The “single-user” part means that the router transmits data to a single device at a time at high speed, rapidly switching between devices for simultaneous use. The latest Wave 2 routers, however, use a more advanced feature called MU-MIMO (Multi-User). This allows the router to transmit separate signals to multiple devices simultaneously, providing better

mu-mimo alloWS a router to traNSmit S e P a r at e S i G N a l S t o m u lt i P l e d e v i C e S S i m u lta N e o u S ly, P r o v i d i N G B e t t e r PerformaNCe aNd reliaBility 88 OCt 2016

Next-gen Wi-Fi >>> Home


as more of your family indulges in intensive online activities, the limitations of your router will become more apparent.

Wigig will provide very fast speeds, making it suited to data-intensive applications such as 4K video streaming.

Older routers used to transmit data in all directions in the hope that the signal would reach any devices within range. the latest 802.11ac routers use beamforming to aim it at individual devices more accurately.

performance and reliability. Wave 2 routers can provide greater speed too; the fastest we’ve seen so far is Netgear’s R7800 router, which can reach speeds of up to 2.53Gbps, although the forthcoming R8500 claims to go as fast as 5.3Gbps. These high-end routers are designed for demanding applications such as gaming and streaming video, which need really high performance. However, the Internet of Things is bringing new types of devices into our homes, which often have different requirements. Devices such as security cameras and thermostats don’t require super-fast Wi-Fi speeds, but they do need to be very power-efficient as they generally need to run for 24 hours a day, often on batteries. With that

in mind, the next step in Wi-Fi evolution is 802.11ah – also known as “Wi-Fi HaLow.” Instead of providing higher speeds, 802.11ah adds the ability to transmit data on frequencies below 1GHz, which don’t need very much power. These lower frequencies also provide longer range, which means that you can use your smart devices all around your home, as well as in larger buildings such as schools and offices. However, 802.11ah isn’t due until early 2017, and it already faces some competition for control of the Internet of Things. Some of the home automation devices that we’ve seen recently have already opted for rival wireless technologies known as Zigbee and Z-Wave. TP-Link has recently announced a router called the SR20 that is specifically designed for home automation, and will combine standard 802.11ac Wi-Fi with support for both Zigbee and Z-Wave. CaN’t thiS thiNG Go aNy faSter? At the other end of the spectrum to the low-speed, low-frequency technologies, there’s a more specialized form of Wi-Fi in the works, known as WiGig or 802.11ad. WiGig will step right up to 60GHz frequencies, which have fairly short range but are very, very fast. This will be useful for 4K video services and virtual reality games, which will need really high speeds but will only need to stream data to one or two nearby devices, such as a games console in your front room (or an updated Apple TV that can actually handle 4K video…). We’ve already heard news of one WiGig router that is on its way from TP-Link, called the Talon 7200. More interesting are the rumors that the iPhone 7 will include WiGig for streaming your 4K video recordings, so that’s one important new Wi-Fi technology that you could find in your pocket before the end of 2016. OCt 2016 89

>>> Home Life Next-gen Wi-Fi

five of the BeSt The best gadgets for improving your home network





aPPle airPort extreme $199

Zyxel av2000 homePluG Pla5456 $85

tP-liNk aC1200 Wi-fi raNGe exteNder re355 $60

d-liNk dir-879 aC1900 exo router $150

> The AirPort Extreme is very easy to use, but it’s only an 802.11ac Wave 1 router, so we hope for a Wave 2 model soon. You also have the option of buying a version with a hard drive included, called Time Capsule, which can be used for wireless Time Machine backups from all the Macs in your home.

> This is a really well-priced powerline package to help your internet reach the Wi-Fi “not-spots” in your house, at speeds of up to 1800Mbps. It offers two Ethernet ports for connecting wired devices, and has MIMO technology for keeping the streams flowing even for multiple demanding uses.

> If you want to extend the range of your wireless signal, this repeater is excellent value and a great performer, offering 802.11ac Wi-Fi dualband connectivity in a much bigger area than your router alone can manage. TP-Link has several nearly identically named products – make sure you get the right one.

> The AC1900’s big, fat antennas look really clunky, but they have special signal amplifiers to ensure the maximum possible range and speed for your Wi-Fi. It has dual-band 802.11ac too, and features such as QoS to prioritize gaming and video, and a guest network that visitors can join.

90 OCt 2016

> What else shOuld I thInK abOut…

PoWerliNe adaPterS When Wi-Fi isn’t an option, use the cables already running through your home i-Fi is a really quick and convenient way of connecting devices to your home network. Even so, many of us find “dead  spots” in our homes that the signal can’t reach, away from the router. This is where powerline gear can be a lifesaver. Powerline adapters connect devices to your network via your existing electrical sockets.


5 NetGear NiGhthaWk aC2600 x4S r7800 $270

You need one adapter to connect your router to a nearby power socket, and an additional adapter that plugs into a socket in the room where you have that pesky dead spot. You then connect your device to the powerline adapter using an Ethernet cable. Prices start at around $60 for a two-adapter set that provides theoretical speeds of up to 500Mbps, but for a little more, you can get models that achieve speeds of up to 1200Mbps (see left). Another option is that you can buy “range extenders,” such as the  TP-Link AC1200, that extend your existing Wi-Fi network beyond its normal reach by rebroadcasting the wireless signal.

> This router looks as cumbersome as its name sounds, but it’s seriously fast, designed for gaming and streaming video. It’s pretty expensive, but it crams in all the latest “Wave 2” features, including dualband 802.11ac, MU-MIMO and data transfer speeds of up to 2.53Gbps. OCt 2016 91

>>> Home Life Smart thermostats

> hOW tO

S e l eCt Wi -fi frequeNCy BaNdS NamE yoUr NEtwork The name of your network is called its SSID (Service Set Identifier). You can change this name if you want to make it easier to remember.

unified, dual-band broadcasts a dual-band router creates two separate Wi-Fi networks, using the 2.4ghz and 5ghz bands. Many routers give them the same name (our “Maclife” network here) which means you can’t switch between the two bands at will.

Open your router’s settings We’re using airPort utility on a Mac to change an airPort extreme’s settings. Other routers’ manuals will tell you how to view their settings in a browser. by default, the 2.4ghz and 5ghz networks use the same name and password.

JarGoN BUStEr Within the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, there are a number of channels that can carry your network’s data. Most routers select one automatically, but you can pick one manually in your router’s admin tool to reduce interference.

92 OCt 2016

split into discrete networks In airPort utility’s Wireless Options, check the box to enable the separate 5ghz network, and give it its own name. In many routers, there are 5ghz network settings, where you can choose not to “sync” it with the 2.4ghz network.

Connect to the best one We now have a new entry in our Wi-Fi list for our 5ghz network, “Maclife 5ghz,” which we can connect to for reliably higher speeds. remember, only 802.11n and 802.11ac devices can use the 5ghz band, though that includes all recent apple devices.


Your complete guide to the planetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most CN N complex machine CN N





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>>> Home Life Better living through smarter tech

ConneCted gadgets to enhanCe your lifestyle

Logitech POP Home Switch Starter Set $99

>>> Logitech first branched out into the smart home market with its Harmony Hub, which can be used to control your home entertainment setup as well as some smart home devices – including Philips Hue lights, smart locks, smart thermostats and more – from your iPhone with great automated options. Now Logitech is taking that home technology control further with its POP buttons, which are simple, big buttons you can press to trigger your smart home devices to do various things. They work with a range of accessories, including those mentioned above, as well as Belkin WeMo switches and Insteon’s full home automation systems. Each button is battery

94 OCT 2016

powered – so it can be placed anywhere – and connects to the POP Bridge, which actually sends commands to the devices. Each button can be programmed with three different actions, which are triggered by how you press it: once, double-press, or press and hold. Each of these can trigger an elaborate automation setup, including connection with the Harmony Hub. So, you could have one by the couch that you press once to trigger your movie mode (including turning down the lights), or double-press to switch to your PlayStation 4, or press and hold to turn everything off. The starter set includes the bridge and two buttons, but you can buy more to dot around the home.

Pawbo Camera

>Smart HOme LIvIng $199

>>> We’ve seen plenty of security cameras and baby monitors in recent months, but the Pawbo is the first one we’ve looked at that’s specifically designed for keeping an eye on your pets. It’s expensive, but along with a 720p video camera, the Pawbo Camera has a speaker and a microphone, so you can talk to your pets when you’re away from home. You can also play games using its built-in laser pointer, and there’s even a little tray that dispenses treats to keep your furry friends happy.

She just wants them to be friends, but Siri has a beef with JennIfer PHIn

Bellabeat Leaf $119

>>> Some smart trackers have masqueraded as pieces of jewelry for a while now, but the Bellabeat Leaf is aimed at women’s wellbeing as well as fitness. The Leaf is wearable as a bracelet, a pendant, or just as a clip, and can track sleep, steps, and calories. Its app includes other options, including period tracking, meditation, and even stress warnings – the app can predict when you might feel overwhelmed based on factors like your activity levels, which often act as a guide. It’s made of wood and stainless steel, and is really smart and discrete.

>>> In my mInd, Siri is my glamorous household assistant, a bit like JARVIS in the Iron Man movies, if Iron Man was a disheveled housewife and Stark Tower was a four-room apartment with mold problems. Sometimes, the fantasy lives up to the reality; I control the lights, the TV, and my music library across multiple rooms using my iPhone or the Siri remote. When it works, it’s bliss. “Hey, Siri!” I yell, often pre-dawn, sometimes from bed. “Play Teletubbies!” And those blessed neon weirdos magically appear on the TV to hypnotize my kid for five minutes, so I can make coffee or stumble to the bathroom or stare blankly into space. “Thank you, Siri.” “No problem, Jenny.” Good times. More often, though, Siri and I have a tense relationship. It usually starts when Siri mocks my accent. “Hey Siri, play Cheers.” Long pause. “Here’s what I’ve found for IKEA dining chairs.” “Cheers.” “I don’t drink, Jenny.” And so on. Then it muscles in on conversations with my daughter. I sometimes hand her my phone to hold if she’s bored in line at the grocery store and she’ll trigger Siri as I’m talking to her. “Can I have a hug?” “I’d like that, Jenny,” pipes up Siri from her clammy little hands. When she squeals excitedly in response, she gets a frosty “I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch that.” Living with Siri is, in reality, probably a bit less Iron Man and a bit more Golden Girls. We remain together despite odd misunderstandings (Siri’s) and fairly terrible hair (mine). Thank you for being a friend, Siri. Friend. I SAID FRIEND. OCT 2016 95

>>> Home Life

apple Tv The laTesT tvOs apps and The hOTTesT hardware

Mars: New Home Now you’re the Martian… with a gun Free

Easy access to your Lightroom library right from the Apple TV – ideal for showing off your photographic masterpieces.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Big-screen photos Free (Creative Cloud subscription required) One of the benefits of subscriptionbased software is that new features can be rolled out at any time. If you happen to be a photographer or designer with a Creative Cloud membership, there’s now one more reason to be happy, with the arrival of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for Apple TV. Unlike the desktop and mobile versions of Lightroom CC, the Apple TV app isn’t about editing photos, but rather sitting back and enjoying them in all their big-screen glory, either one at a time or as a slideshow. Thanks to cloud sync, edits and new uploads made on one device will appear on the Apple TV app as well, always in the best quality. It’s easy to navigate collections and photos to find the one you’re looking for, and once that image is on screen, a press on the Touch surface zooms in to display as much detail as the original file allows – perfect for vacation photos. J.R. BookwalteR

96 OCT 2016

In 2036, humans finally colonize Mars, successfully changing the atmosphere to sustain life millions of miles from Earth. But four years later, all communication is cut off; it’s your job to see what happened. That’s the premise of Mars: New Home, a new game for Apple TV and iOS devices. Not to spoil the surprise, but once you’re dropped onto the red planet, the Martians start coming over the hill in droves, intent on snuffing you out. The “shoot to kill” gameplay in Mars: New Home becomes fairly repetitive after a while, but the

good news is that it’s absolutely free — there are no In-App Purchases to spoil the fun. The graphics and haunting music are quite good, although this initial release features only a single scene. (More monsters — including those of the flying variety — are promised for the next update.) Although Mars: New Home works well with the Siri Remote, Bluetooth gamepads are also supported and definitely enhance the fun. Last but not least, the iOS version can optionally be played with or without VR (virtual reality), for an extra level of excitement. J.R. BookwalteR

As with so many things in video games, this attempt to settle on a new planet ends with quite a lot of shooting.

Better living through smarter tech

iDigital Big Clock TV Edition Did sir order one gigantic clock?

Home tHeateR


Remember the days of squinting across the living room to see the time displayed on your VcR or cable box? Well, you definitely won’t need to squint to see the clock with the iDigital Big clock TV Edition app. claiming the dubious honor of “the biggest digital display time available” for Apple TV, iDigital Big clock does exactly what it promises: Fills your available HDTV screen real estate with the current time and date. It’s like one of those nightstand LcD clock radios, only much, much bigger. Seriously, this is one huge clock that’s viewable from across the room/house. iDigital Big clock works with 12- or 24-hour

Make the most of home entertainment

It looks a lot like this… but the size of your TV. So there’s no excuse for lateness.

time formats, and defaults to the color red since the developer says this makes it most visible from far away, because red has the longest wavelength. However, if you prefer to be different, a one-time 99¢ In-App Purchase unlocks five other colors. J.R. BookwalteR

Night Flight Plus

Sony UHP-H1 $349.99 SONy.cOM If you want Ultra HD results from your existing Blu-ray library, look no further – this 1080p HD player offers impressive, real-time 4K upscaling, Hi-Res Audio, and versatile connectivity, with USB, HDMI, optical, and analog outputs. It’s also built to play anything you can toss at it – with the exception of natively Ultra HD Blu-rays, sadly.

Retro cult TV returns – this time on demand Free (subscription required)

If you had cable television during the ’80s, it was probably tuned to USA Network, a basic channel specializing in raucous entertainment in the days before an endless parade of Law and Order: SVU reruns took hold. One of the more interesting programs was Night Flight, a staple which aired from 1981 to 1988 before landing in a syndication graveyard once the calendar flipped into the ’90s. All that new wave music and ’80s excess is available again with Night Flight Plus, an Apple TV app featuring original episodes and cult feature films exactly as they were first aired. But this time, the viewer is in charge, able to call up

Thirty bucks for a year’s worth of this has to be a good deal for ’80s nostalgics.

on-demand entertainment at the click of their Siri Remote. There’s only one downside: while the app is free to download and allows browsing, a $2.99 per month ($29.99 annual) subscription is required to view. Sadly, there’s no trial period, either. J.R. BookwalteR

aPPle tV Remote aPP FREE APPLE.cOM As promised at WWDC, Apple has launched a new remote app that enables you to control your Apple TV right from your iPhone, with the Siri Remote’s functionality replicated in full. Swipe around at the top to navigate, use the familiar buttons (including Siri voice control), and so on… but you also get a full keyboard to type on, and Now Playing views. OCT 2016 97



Patrick Wardle. Check your iMac with those and you can be confident that they’ll detect any malware you may have acquired at some point. In the future it’s absolutely vital that you don’t click on links in messages unless you’re certain they’re genuine and trustworthy. If you have the slightest doubt, don’t follow them: move on to the next message and, when you have a bit more time, return and check out the previous message in more detail. Your Mac is only one click away from disaster.

Weird RAID drive Having finally plucked up the courage to create a RAID drive setup, and reading up on the best way to do it, I think I’ve successfully managed it. However, Disk Utility shows the contents of the RAID in a very weird way. Have I done something wrong? Probably not. El Capitan’s Disk Utility lacks RAID management features, but still shows such drives, albeit in the disjointed fashion you’re seeing. Management has to done in Terminal: enter diskutil appleRAID. Thankfully, macOS Sierra will reintroduce graphical tools for this, so if you can hang on for the update, you should find working with your RAID is much easier in the future.

Social engineering is a common tactic used to manipulate you into installing software you don’t really want.

HoW DID BITDeFenDeR GeT on My iMAc? I erroneously opened an email that appeared to be from a friend. In it was a link to a site promoting a weight loss product. A little later, I inadvertently ran an app called Bitdefender that had appeared on my Mac. Does this mean my Mac is now infected? Bitdefender is intended to clear out iffy software, rather than being malware itself, but it’s controversial and designed to extract money from you. We strongly recommend you remove it, and avoid doing anything that could bring you to install other unwanted apps on your Mac: the next one could be malicious.

98 OCT 2016

Mercifully, Bitdefender has its own removal tool, which you should use as soon as you can. If you are looking for tools that are completely free yet invaluable to detect and prevent malware, visit, as the tools there are written by one of the leading experts in Mac security,

External drive in trouble I upgraded my iMac (Late 2011) by adding a 250GB SSD and combining that with its internal 1TB hard disk to make a Fusion Drive, using the instructions in Mac|Life #113. When I set this up, the hard disk was wiped clean, and I restored from my Time Machine backup. All looked good apart from my Mail folder, the contents of which appear in a folder named Recovered Folders. The messages stop around 2012, with nothing more recent. Where can I find and restore my missing email messages? It’s most likely that something went wrong with your restore from the Time Machine backup: either that didn’t work properly, or the backup itself has become broken. It’s worth trying this again, as

Tech Support & Techsplanations

> Beating the download cap

To access Time Machine backups of your user account’s Library folder, choose Go > Library in Finder, then open Time Machine.

sometimes a restore operation that’s failed subtly like this can work second time round. Ensure that OS X is up to date before restarting the restore. If you can’t get this to work properly, try a manual restore. This used to be easy – just a matter of copying over the Mail folder from your backup – but it has become more complex of late, as Mail now requires more files to be in place before it will recognize your existing mailboxes properly. From Library in your Home folder in the last backup, try manually copying the following folders to the new disk: Mail, Accounts, Containers/, Containers/, and Mail Downloads. If you have another backup besides the Time Machine one you’ve been using, such as a clone of the disk made using Carbon Copy Cloner, that might be worth trying in addition.

Broken PDF attachments in Apple Mail? I normally check my mail first on my iPhone, where I haven’t experienced problems viewing PDF attachments. However, when I read the same messages on my MacBook Pro, I often get errors that PDF attachments are missing, or may be damaged and unreadable. What’s causing this, and how can I fix it? This might result from Mail’s settings on your MacBook Pro. Open its preferences, select the Accounts tab, and then for each of your accounts go to the Advanced tab and try the following. Ensure there’s a check mark next to “Automatically download all

What’s the most efficient way to obtain software updates for my iMac and MacBook without exceeding my internet download cap? The largest updates you’re likely to need are to OS X itself. Rather than downloading them from the Mac App Store, check Apple’s support pages ( a day or so after release. Search for something like “OS X 10.11.5” – depending on the update in question, obviously – and get the smaller, incremental update (which updates only from the version immediately before its target), not the much larger “Combo” version. These are delivered

as disk images, which you can copy to, and reuse on, additional Macs. Mac App Store apps can be copied from one Mac to another, but you may be asked for your Apple ID to reauthorize the second one. See if you have trouble.

attachments.” Next, go to the Viewing tab, and ensure “Load remote content in messages” is also checked. These should guarantee all PDF attachments are properly downloaded to your Mac. If the issue persists despite those settings

Another potential solution is to use OS X Server, which can cache updates for OS X, apps, personal iCloud data, and other store downloads when one Mac requests it, and distribute it to others as needed, but this imposes its own overhead. Besides, it’s somewhat overkill.

being correct, next try to rebuild any affected mailbox(es). Select one on the left and choose Mailbox > Rebuild, then repeat for additional mailboxes. If you still can’t reliably access PDFs sent to you, the best workaround is to try saving them elsewhere and then opening the saved files.

Digging through emails

Mail has two preferences that can affect the display of PDFs, whether attached or embedded from a web server.

I’m somewhat obsessive about keeping emails archived and have some in my “collection” going back many years. Spotlight is okay for searching these, which I often have to do, but it’s somewhat limited. Are there any alternative solutions which provide more flexible searches, without the need to set up yet another database? OCT 2016 99

>>> Ask

doing this for many playlists, once it’s done you shouldn’t have to do it again, and it does give the flexibility to have some playlists look different.

Is it safe to turn the power off, or not?

iTunes remembers view options for each playlist, so you’ll need to invest time in setting them all up the way you want.


There are several that use Spotlight data, which you may find perform better for searching your email messages. Try EasyFind (free, or Tembo ($15,, which actually searches all file types.

iTunes 12.4 playlist layout woes I‘ve been trying to follow an article on TechRadar ( about changing the playlist view in iTunes, but I’m having problems, as what is shown there doesn’t correspond to

Tembo displays search filters in a plain fashion on the right.

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what I see in iTunes version 12.4.1. In particular, I want each of my playlists to show in the same “classic” format. What am I doing wrong? This is because iTunes 12.4, released after that article was published, has altered everything again. The first change is that you must now switch between different layouts by choosing an option in View > View As, instead of using the control that used to be near the top-right corner of the window. This has caught out many people, and brought us a torrent of questions on the subject. The snag with the various options for the available layouts is that they’re set individually for each playlist. To access these options, select a playlist in the sidebar, then choose View > Show View Options. These options should let you get your playlists looking the way you prefer, but you’ll have to work through every playlist individually. There’s no way to set a default, or apply settings to several playlists at once. Though it’s tedious

can you settle an argument for me? I’m an old-school computer user and I’ve always been wary of turning off the power to a computer – even a Mac – that’s frozen, if there’s no other way of rebooting it. I’m pretty sure this can potentially cause problems with the disks, corrupting data. However, my friend insists modern computers are much more resilient when it comes to this. Who’s right? Both of you, in a way. You should always give it a minute or two in the hope that it will restart automatically. If that doesn’t happen, hold down the power button until the Mac shuts down Really, you should only ever shut it down by turning off the power supply in a dire emergency, as that’s likely to cause problems, as you say. The fact is that no matter how sophisticated the file system in modern Macs (or any other computer) becomes, cutting off power when data is being written to disk always has the potential to corrupt the file system.

Securing the truth from prying eyes Is it possible to verify that an HTTPS connection is truly secure? Maybe it’s me, but I’m becoming more and more paranoid about web security.

Safari’s summary includes lots of info, including whether a site’s certificate is valid.

Tech Support & Techsplanations

Indeed it is. To check this, connect to the website in question. Once it has loaded, you should see a padlock icon to the left of its address. If there isn’t one there, the site isn’t secure, period. Click the padlock to check the site’s security certificate for final confirmation.

Get started with iMessages and FaceTime Although I’ve been using iPhones for years, I’ve never actually used iMessage. How can I add my number to activate it, and use FaceTime? Chances are your iPhone is already set up and ready for both of these features. First check the date and time on your phone are correct, then go to Settings > General > Software Update to check your phone has the latest version of iOS. If it doesn’t, back up your device, then download and install the latest update. You’ll probably find it easiest to set up Messages and FaceTime while you’re

> No more book printing from Aperture I spent the last two months laying out an Aperture photo book of my trip to the Antarctic. When I started, Apple hadn’t warned it would discontinue printing of Aperture photo books. now my book is complete, clicking the Buy button doesn’t work, and directs me to Photos. I can’t face laying out all 96 pages again. How can I still use my Aperture photo book? Although it’ll take a little more work, you should be able to avoid starting again. The first thing to try is to import your Aperture library into Photos, to see what changes. Your whole library, including book projects, should be migrated. If the result looks good, or can be tweaked easily, that could save you

any further effort. If you find you’re going to have to work from the Aperture book, the best option is to turn it into a PDF and use another print service that can work from that. Frustratingly, the Buy button used to provide the option to generate a PDF of your book, complete with dust jacket, but you can still “print” a PDF and provide a

separate file for the dust jacket if you create one. One specialist print firm that’s used to working with Aperture books is You could export PDFs of individual pages, import those into Photos, then add them to a book. PDF is preferable to JPEG, as it’s more likely to retain your images’ original quality.

Configuring iMessage or FaceTime is straightforward, using their respective pages at the top level of Settings.

using a good, fast Wi-Fi network. Go to Settings > Messages and ensure iMessage is turned on at the top of the page. Tap Send & Receive, and check you’re signed in with your Apple ID. You should be reachable by iMessage at your phone’s number, and you can make yourself reachable on any email address associated with your Apple ID. Below, you can choose which one of


those details is used to identify you when you start a new conversation. If your phone number doesn’t appear, sign out on all your iOS devices, then tap “Use your Apple ID for Messages” on this iPhone alone, and sign in. Once done, you can sign in again on your other devices. Now try sending a message to a friend who uses iMessage: in the app, create a new conversation,

add a contact detail your friend uses with iMessage, type your message, then tap Send. Apple explains how to resolve problems at FaceTime is set up in a similar way, in Settings > FaceTime. In the app, type a name or contact detail in the box, or tap + to browse contacts. Now you can sit back and enjoy using these extremely useful features.

eMAIL: FAceBooK: TWITTeR: OCT 2016 101


lay out newsletters in Pages Discover the desktop publishing power of Apple’s word processor

REQUIRES > Pages 5 or later LEVEL > Medium IT WILL TAKE > 20 minutes

Not oNly is Apple’s Pages an excellent word processor, its Page Layout mode works more like a desktop publishing (DTP) app. This is ideal when you want to create magazine-like layouts, starting with a specific number of pages and arranging text and pictures on each, rather than flowing text through however many pages it might require and then finishing. Here we’ll look at the basic techniques for laying out a page. One thing Pages can’t handle is double-page spreads, also known as “facing pages.” It did have this ability until 2013, and we’d like to have it back, but for now you can only lay out documents intended for printing

on individual sheets of paper, or on multiple pages that come in a pile or stapled at a corner. Sadly, you can’t design bound books or magazines that the reader opens to see a left and a right page. That’s why the templates supplied in Pages’s Newsletters category have only two pages: they’re intended to be output on the two sides of one sheet. It’s a decent newsletter format for a modest amount of content. Do be aware that newspaper-style columns are set in a smaller point size than the 12pt (or thereabouts) you might use for word processing. Try a text size of about 8-9pt, with fairly tight line spacing, for neat and legible columns. AdAm BANks

Visual guide Finding your way around Pages Page Layout mode The Page Layout mode (see step 1) lets you work like a print designer with options such as “Stay on Page,” which places elements in fixed positions on the page, so they don’t move with your text.

Make room Each box you create has an optional text wrap; any text which it overlaps moves across to flow around it, or down to be totally out of the way underneath it.

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Gutter talk A box’s text can flow in columns, usually of equal widths. “Gutter” means the space between them.

Insets A text inset is good for colored or tinted boxes, but for column layouts set it to 0 so text fills to the margins.

How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad

How to lay out a page from scratch JARGON BUSTER

Make a box for body text Make a new document based on Pages’ Blank template. Choose File > Convert to Page Layout and click OK. Choose View > Show Layout to see frames. Click the Text button to make a text frame, and size it to fit the space.

Add an image Go to Insert > Choose and select an image file. It pushes the text aside: this is a text wrap, which is tailored in the Arrange tab. See how Object Placement defaults to Stay on Page, not Move with Text as is the default in word processing documents.

Add some dummy text

Dummy text is often known as “lorem ipsum,” after the fake Latin that’s traditionally used (as seen in Pages’ built-in templates).

Paste in any available text as dummy (filler text), select it all (ç+A) and use the Fonts palette (ç+T) to size it to about 9pt. In the Layout section of the Format inspector’s Text tab, set the number of columns to 3.

Add a box for a title Click the Text button again to add a new frame, then drag that frame to the top of the page, resize it and enter your masthead’s text. Set the text’s size in the Fonts palette again. Drag the picture below it, leaving neat gaps.


Add an inset picture Text wraps can get more interesting than we’ve seen in our results so far. Use Insert > Choose to add another picture, then, with it selected, choose Format > Image > Mask With Shape > Oval. Your image is now cropped inside a circle.

Complete your layout Drag the slider and handles to resize and position within the circle. Click Done. Drag the circle and its handles to position it on the page (between columns wraps more legibly). Add a headline, and fill in the header and footer.

To recrop a picture, right-click it and choose Edit Mask. You can now move and resize the image within its frame, as with shape masks. OCT 2016 103

>>> Create

Give your Mac a once-over Quickly test your hardware and diagnose errors with MacCheck

REQUIRES > MacCheck, Disk Utility LEVEL > Medium IT WILL TAKE > 5 minutes

Whenever an app quits unexpectedly, or your Mac restarts after freezing, you probably want to run a quick check to reassure yourself that there’s nothing more seriously wrong with it. You could restart and run Apple Diagnostics, or start up OS X Recovery to run Disk Utility’s First Aid feature – but by then it’ll be lunch and you’ll have got nothing else done. These are ideal situations to run a quick and lightweight check, so that you can get back on with what you were doing. To this end, it’s time for MacCheck from When you first open this app, it’ll ask you to register for a free serial number – there’s no price attached. MacCheck is much like a health-screening for your computer. It performs a quick run through the most important indicators of significant problems with a Mac’s hardware. It checks the results of the last power-on self-test (POST), memory, and several kinds of storage error, as well as the battery on portable Macs. If you get a set of green lights at the end of the tests, you can be happy that, whatever it was that

happened, your Mac remains in good health. If any test returns a red light, you need a strategy and the tools to follow it up. Most errors found during the power-on self-test are likely to be with memory, and should have attracted your attention at that time, as you would have experienced problems during your most recent startup. Battery problems tend to be straightforward, and are typically fixed by replacing the failing battery. MacCheck only tests internal drives, so it won’t recognize an external RAID drive even if it was set up using OS X’s software-based RAID tech. Drives with a hardware-based RAID controller normally have their own maintenance tools to check and report their status. Use Disk Utility to check software-based RAID drives. If you suspect a hardware fault, Apple Diagnostics ( is the ultimate check. Power on your Mac and hold d until it appears. You may get a choice of regular or extended checks; in the first instance, pick the former. Note any error code to quote to AppleCare or a Genius Bar. hoWard oakley

How to Test your computer with MacCheck

Start the tests MacCheck inspects your computer and works out what tests it can perform. There are no options to choose from, and the app always runs all the tests that it can on the hardware you’re asking it to check. Simply click the Start button.

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See the result As the app works through its tests, each one’s icon changes from amber to green or red, showing whether your Mac passed or failed that item. The Volume Structures test invariably takes longest, according to the drive’s capacity.

Browse the log If you get any red lights, click on the Log button at the top right to inspect MacCheck’s testing log. This should give you a good idea as to what to do next, so you can further diagnose and fix any problems the app detected.

How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad

How to Investigate memory faults

Check memory

Scan your memory

Memory errors can cause MacCheck’s power-on self-test or memory test to fail. If either comes up red, choose  > About This Mac and then click the Memory tab to check what memory is installed and successfully detected.

MacCheck runs one test on a sample of memory, typically around 1–2GB out of 8GB. Paid-for apps like TechTool Pro (about $100, can test more intensively, and help pinpoint the fault so you can replace faulty modules.

Run a checker Specialized memory testing tools like ATOMIC ($60, can be used to test even more memory, and can run tests for half an hour or more as a stress test. This can help bring troublesome intermittent faults to light.

How to Investigate disk errors

SMART diagnostics Some SMART diagnostic indicators are better predictors of disk failure than others. Use a specialist tool such as DriveDx ($25, to investigate a SMART error, and its tips will advise appropriate action.

Disk Utility First Aid Input/output and disk errors are best repaired using Disk Utility, preferably from the Recovery system (hold ç+r at the startup sound). Select the drive rather than volume on it, so it can check and repair low-level disk structures too.

Try specialist repair If Disk Utility can’t fix your drive, use a specialist tool such as Drive Genius ($99, If damage is substantial, try to make at least one backup, then initialize the disk using Disk Utility. If old, consider replacing the drive.

> Beyond MacCheck Two things MacCheck doesn’t test, for speed and simplicity, are external drives and graphics cards. Checking and repairing external hard drives is best done using Disk Utility. Macs don’t normally monitor the SMART status of USB drives, but should over Thunderbolt. Graphics processors are tougher; TechTool Pro tests their memory, but Apple Diagnostics can miss serious faults. After storage, they are among the components most likely to fail. OCT 2016 105

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Amadeus Pro ($60, is a wellestablished audio recording app that’s ideal for digitizing your records and tapes.

rescue your old audio media Give your old records and tapes a new lease of life on your devices

REQUIRES > Amadeus Pro, GarageBand or a similar app; audio capture hardware to suit your hi-fi or turntable setup LEVEL > Medium IT WILL TAKE > 1 hour

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If you’re a musIc fan, you’ve probably amassed all kinds of music on various formats over the years – vinyl records, CDs, MiniDiscs, and cassette tapes being the most popular. While much of your music has probably ended up on services such as Apple Music or Spotify, and can easily be bought on or streamed to your Apple devices, there are bound to be some tracks that have never appeared on any download store – maybe because your tastes are a little obscure, the label or artist hasn’t reissued them digitally, or you have some stuff you want to keep listening  to for sentimental reasons – treasured mix tapes, recordings of your kids, and so on. Perhaps you’re just enjoying the vogue for all things retro and have been refreshing your old vinyl collection, but your purchases didn’t come with download codes for digital versions. So what are you going to do? If you’re a vinyl junkie, you have a couple of options. One is to buy a USB-equipped turntable, such as the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon USB ($379),

which you can plug into a USB port on your Mac and record from using software such as Amadeus Pro ($60, or GarageBand (free with new Macs). Or, you can team up your Mac with your existing hi-fi and do it that way. If you’re thinking of converting old cassette tapes or MiniDiscs, your options are a little more limited. Older Macs included built-in analog and digital audio inputs as standard, but the most recent models don’t. That means you’ll need to add some third-party hardware to get your old media into your modern Mac. Get the Gear The most affordable option for  most users is the Griffin iMic ($40), which  includes 3.5mm microphone and line-in analog audio inputs so you can record whatever you like. You’ll also need suitable cables to carry the sound signals from your source into the iMic. If you’re planning to record straight from your existing hi-fi, you’ll need a stereo RCA phono to 3.5mm  jack cable (available online for around $3 to $10,

How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad

Visual guide editing a recording in amadeus Pro

Playback and recording The toolbar in Amadeus Pro offers various controls, such as buttons for playback and recording functions.

Whole sound overview The top waveform shows the current recording. The highlighted area indicates the part that’s zoomed in below.

though the more money you spend the better the audio quality will be). Your local hi-fi store will be  able to advise you on the best options. If you’re recording from a turntable that doesn’t have USB, your best bet is to connect your Mac to a hi-fi amp with a built-in phono preamp  (which boosts the audio output from your turntable so you can hear it through your speakers and your Mac), or use an external phono preamp such as the Pro-Ject Phono Box MM ($79). You won’t need a preamp if you’re recording from other old formats, such as cassette tapes, as your existing hi-fi amp will be able to handle them  without additional amplification. Get connected The next step is to connect your hi-fi to your Mac. You’ll find instructions on how 

Audio channel tracks Below the overview are separate tracks that show waveforms of the audio’s left and right stereo channels.

Audio quality The bottom-left corner shows the sampling rate and depth of your recording. Click here to change it.

to do this in your hi-fi amplifier’s manual. In essence, you’ll need to connect the left and right RCA phono ends of the RCA phono to 3.5mm  jack cable to a suitable RCA analogue audio output  on your amplifier, and then plug the 3.5mm jack  in to the line-in audio input of the Griffin iMic  and make sure that device’s Mic/Line switch is set to the Line position. Before you dive in with an audio recording app on your Mac, it pays to make sure the sound coming into your computer is as “clean” as possible. If you’re recording vinyl, make sure your turntable is properly set up (its manual will explain how), its needle is free from fluff, and the  disc itself is free from dust and fingerprints by  using a suitable anti-static brush or cloth and cleaning solution. For cassette tapes, ensure

QUIcK TIp When recording, choose the highest quality you can. Aim for at least CD quality (16-bit, 44.1kHz), then save the result as a high-quality AIFF file.

JARGON BUSTER Decibel (dB) is a unit of measurement that identifies the intensity of sound. In Amadeus Pro, audio levels are measured on a scale of -60db to 0dB. OCT 2016 107

>>> Create


The Griffin iMic is one of the easiest and most affordable solutions for getting old analog audio into your Mac.

your deck’s playhead and tape pinch rollers are free of dirt using a cassette cleaning kit. This might seem like a lot of over-fussy housekeeping, but if you’re going to archive your collection, you’ll want the best possible quality. Get recordInG Make sure the Griffin iMic is  connected to a spare USB input on your Mac, then go to  > System Preferences > Sound > Input and select Griffin USB Audio Interface. This ensures  your Mac is ready and listening to sounds coming from your hi-fi source. Now open GarageBand,  Amadeus Pro or whatever audio recording software you’re using. The next step, if you’re recording from analog sources such as cassette tape or vinyl, is to get your recording levels right. Most recording software measures these levels on a scale from -60dB (decibels) to 0dB. Ideally you want most of what you’re recording to be in the mid range (around -30dB to -20dB), with loud passages peaking at -10dB to -3dB and only very seldomly hitting 0dB. If the recording regularly hits 0dB, you’ll experience “clipping” – a form of audio distortion that you definitely want to avoid. Perfect Peaks The best way to avoid clipping is to find out which part of the source sounds the  loudest, play it, and then monitor it using your audio recording software. The software you’re using should show the majority of sounds you’re recording occur around -30dB to -20dB (often represented by green indicators), sometimes tip over into -10dB to -3dB territory (yellow) and

very occasionally hit -3dB to 0dB (red). If the sounds you’re recording are too quiet or too loud, you can usually manually adjust your recording software’s gain (or volume input controls) to make them louder or quieter. Your best bet when recording is to err on the side of caution. You can always adjust loudness later, once the initial recording phase is complete. Another thing to consider is the quality level you want in the finished recordings of your old  media. Most audio recording software provides a range of options from super-high quality to CD quality, down to MP3 or AAC. The level to choose depends on what you’ll listen to the music on, and how much storage space you’re willing to allocate to the recordings. Amadeus Pro, for example, lets you choose anything from 128kHz/32-bit recording (highest quality) to 6kHz/8-bit (lowest quality), with many options in between. The higher the quality you choose, the larger the resulting audio file will be,  but with storage being so affordable these days  your best bet would be to pick the highest quality available and save that as a “master” recording, which you can then convert to a smaller file type  for listening on your iPhone or elsewhere. Once you’ve chosen your recording quality and adjusted levels, press the software’s Record  button, cue up your turntable or cassette deck, then sit back and let your old-school music do its thing. You can find out how to edit your music and  get it ready for importing into iTunes in the walkthrough opposite. Now get spinning! rob mead-Green

JARGON BUSTER Apple Lossless is an audio codec that retains the audio quality of the original recording, but creates files that are only half the size of CD‑quality AIFF files.

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Amadeus Pro enables you to tag individual tracks in a long recording by choosing Sound > Sound Info > Metadata.

How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad

How to record analog media JARGON BUSTER Normalization is a way to adjust the volume of a recording so its peak loudness level reaches a set limit. It can be a good way to make quiet recordings louder.

Choose your source In order to start digitizing your analog media, connect your Griffin iMic to your Mac, then head to System Preferences > Sound > Input and choose the iMic as your audio source. There is no need to adjust the input level at this stage of the process.

Start recording Once you’re happy with the input level, cue up your source from its start again, click Stop in the pane and clear what was recorded (ç+A, then ∫), then click Record again and start playback; you can monitor progress by putting a check mark next to Playthrough.

Set your levels In Amadeus Pro, press the Record button in the toolbar. Start playing the audio you want to record, then adjust the gain (input level) using the sliders in the top half of the recording pane. Make sure the loudest sounds only very occasionally reach 0db.

Stop and save If you’re recording a whole album, note that Amadeus Pro will record it as a single audio file, which you’ll then need to split into individual tracks. For now, choose File > Save to preserve the whole album in a single file. We recommend AIFF for the highest quality.


Edit and split To identify each track, scrub through the audio file using your mouse or trackpad to find the beginning and ending of each one. When you’ve identified a track’s boundaries, select it by clicking and dragging through the timeline, then Choose Edit > Copy To New File.

Export to iTunes In the new file’s window, choose Sound > Show Sound Info, click Metadata and then add the file’s Title, Album, Artist, and so on. Next, choose File > Export to iTunes Library to add this track to Apple’s music app. Repeat this process for each of the album’s tracks.

Amadeus Pro includes a tool to help repair digitized recordings by banishing clicks, pops and other nasties. To use this tool, choose Window > Repair Center. OCT 2016 109

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easily make art in assembly This simple iOS drawing app is surprisingly capable

REQUIRES > Any device running iOS 8 or later; Assembly LEVEL > Easy IT WILL TAKE > 30 minutes

110 OCT 2016

There’s a loT that’s appealing about vector drawing. Clean lines, editable shapes, and results that scale to any size without pixellating. Then again, it means using Bézier curves. Nobody likes Bézier curves. Even Pierre Bézier, who invented them, probably used to dread people asking about them at his fancy French parties. Assembly is a rather wonderful iOS app that lets you draw on your touchscreen. There’s no Bézier pen tool, just lots of preset shapes that you can place, scale, rotate and duplicate. They snap to match each others’ size and shape, so it’s easy to draw neatly. Assembly is free, but you can add themed sets of shapes as 99¢ In-App Purchases, or pay $15.99 for all current and future packs. That’s tempting if you (or your kids) enjoy the “Fuzzy-Felt” approach, but it’s not necessary. adam Banks

Quick look The interface Save, export & projects menu Tap here for options to export your work to share or edit, or go back to the screen that shows all your drawings.

Turn snapping on or off Smart guides and snapping are Assembly’s secret weapon. To position objects freely, tap here.

Tool icons Tap to move the selected objects, flip it, duplicate it, rotate by 90 degrees, or delete it.

Shapes, styles and text Find objects to add in the Shapes tab, add color and formatting in Styles, or add text to your drawing.

How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad

How to assemble a drawing

Draw a circle Open Assembly and tap the “New Project” square. Swipe through the shapes at the bottom to find a circle, and tap it to make one. Drag the round handle to resize it. (You can use two fingers to drag around the artboard.)

Group and duplicate Tap one object and hold on it, then tap the others in turn to select them all. Tap the lock icon (bottom left) to group them. Tap the icon with two squares at the right to make a copy, and drag it aside.

Complete the body Use a quarter-circle for a claw, color it yellow, then add copies to complete the feet. To make the body taller, add a narrow block (from Basics) and color it to match by tapping the eyedropper, then the body.

Apply color fills Add another circle on top. Make this smaller, and drag it to the right. To color the circles, tap the Styles tab, then tap the button with three dots to see a color picker. Choose from the wheel or the palettes below it.

Arrange stacking

Complete the eye Returning to the Shapes tab, tap “Basics” to pop up more shapes. Swipe left until you get to “Tiles.” Find a circle with one squared corner, then a semicircle, and position them as shown. Notice how they snap to align.

Add features

From Tiles, draw another semicircle for the beak and color it yellow. Then draw a circle with a flat bottom for the owl’s body, and enlarge it. Now it covers up the eyes and beak. Tap the down-arrow icon to send it behind.

Use more shapes from Tiles for the ears and wing. Copy the wing shape, size it down and make further copies for the feathers. Notice how the smart guides help you not only align shapes but space them evenly.

Add background

Complete the pic

Draw a square filling the artboard, color it dark blue to represent the night sky and send it to the back. Now add a single line, from “The Strokes” in Shapes, and use the Stroke setting in Styles to set its thickness. Color it brown.

Add triangles for the branch end and twig; they won’t snap to the stroke, so pinch to zoom and position them. Finally, select the eyebrows and, in Styles, give them a shadow, using the joypad to move it downwards. OCT 2016 111

>>> Create

transitions in Keynote on ioS Add animations to your presentation while working on-the-go

REQUIRES > iPad, Keynote LEVEL > Medium IT WILL TAKE > 25 minutes

Keynote for ioS is a great presentation tool, but you’re missing a trick if you use it solely to show text and graphics through a series of static slides. Instead, make use of Keynote’s transitions and build effects to inject animation into your slideshow and grab your audience’s attention. There are two ways to build movement into your presentation. The first involves animating individual objects – text, tables, charts, shapes, or photos – using a series of build effects. There are over 30 to choose from, both simple (such as Appear and Blur) and complex (Flash Bulbs and Shimmer). These are split into two types: build-in effects bring objects into your presentation, while build-out effects take them away again. These build effects are executed in a sequence, so by carefully ordering them you can generate some sophisticated animated effects.

Visual guide Add transition effects Select slide First select the slide you wish to add a transition effect to, then tap the + next to “None.”

Pick effect A list of available transitions will appear under the Effects tab – tap one to select it.

Preview Tap the Play button (top of the Transitions window) to see how the transition will look.

Tweak options Select the Options tab, where you can fine-tune the transition’s behavior in more detail.

112 OCT 2016

The second method uses transition effects to make the move between slides less jarring. They work in a similar way to animations, and there are over 40 to choose from. They include Magic Move, a special transition that’s designed to allow you to move objects around the slide in addition to applying regular build effects – all with the absolute minimum of effort. It’s tempting to dive in and overwhelm your audience with a wide number of different effects, but we’d recommend you restrain yourself! The best slideshows tend to mix and match one or two effect types to give your presentation a consistent narrative and structure. It’s also worth limiting the total number of animations on each slide – instead of introducing an effect for every single object, pare back your animations to produce a lean, understated presentation. nicK PeerS

How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad

How to Animate your slides

Choose first object First, tap the object that you’d like to bring onto the slide first, selecting “Animate” from the pop-up menu. Tap + next to “None, build in,” then select your first effect, tapping Play to see how it looks.

Build-out effects If you want to remove an object from the slide, tap it and choose Animate as before, but this time tap + next to “None, build out.” Choose your effect type and options in the same way as you set up the build-in effect.

Move objects A duplicate of the slide will be created. Move your object or objects to their final spot on the second slide (you can also add build-in and build-out effects for them at the same time). Tap Play to preview.

Tweak effect Switch to the Options tab to tweak settings relevant to the effect you’ve chosen – you can change the length of the effect, choose a direction and set how the animation starts: when you tap, or after the previous effect.

Rejig running order

Text animations Continue adding effects to each object you wish to animate – if you animate certain objects, such as bulleted lists, use the Delivery tab to decide how the text is brought on-screen – all at once, or in stages.

Magic Move

Animations are ordered according to when they’re created – first come, first served. However, switch to the Order tab and you can change them around by tapping and dragging elements into a new order.

If you’d like to animate an object so it moves from one position to another across the screen, you’ll need to make use of a special kind of transition called Magic Move. Tap the slide and choose Transition > Magic Move > Yes.

Add new objects

Multiple moves

You can also remove existing objects using a build-out effect, and introduce new ones in their place too. Just add the new object to the slide, position it accordingly and then set up a built-in effect to bring it in.

Want to move the objects again? Select your second slide and repeat steps 6 and 7 – another duplicate will be created, ready for you to move and animate the objects as you wish. This lets you create complex effects. OCT 2016 113

>>> RAM rANdOM ApplE MEMOry

power Macintosh G4 cube Adam Banks recalls when Apple tried and failed to reinvent the desktop computer for the 21st Century

The Cube was very much an example of form over function – unsuccessfully, in this case.

polymethyl methacrylate enclosure. A twoinch gap above the desktop allowed cables to emerge invisibly from sockets in the machine’s bottom panel and trail away through a large cut-out. Apart from a large Apple logo on the front, the case was otherwise blank except for the top, which featured a large grille for heat dissipation (achieved without a fan), a DVD slot mirrored by an additional grille, and a touch-sensitive power button. This button drew the first complaints from users, who found themselves accidentally turning off the computer. Other grumbles followed. The transparent acrylic looked wonderful until cracks appeared in

it; those bottom-mounted sockets were awkward to reach; and while the internals slid out beautifully, few upgrades were practical. Its high-end 450MHz G4 processor made the Cube more expensive than the more flexible 400MHz G4 tower, but, likely due to heat issues, it actually performed no better. The G4 Cube, discontinued after just a year, remains a groundbreaking design – and its legacy is obvious in today’s Mac Pro.


114 OCT 2016

>>> Get started with macOS Sierra

>>> The iOS power-user guide

>>> Your Mac survival guide

OcTObEr 18

Contents subject to change

As THE 1990s drew to a close, Steve Jobs, reinstalled as “interim CEO,” had revitalized every strand of Apple’s computer range. But Jobs and his industrial design protégé, Jonathan Ive, wanted to mark the millennium even more strongly. The concept was simple: A Power Mac would be stripped to its essential components, housed in the minimum possible space; yet desktop-class performance, connectivity, and accessibility would be preserved. To achieve this, the motherboard, graphics card and storage were shoehorned into a cubic chassis – echoing Jobs’ earlier NeXTcube workstation – suspended in a




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