47 AMAziNg APPlE gifts Awesome accessories for iPhone, Mac, iPad, and much more! p34
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Over 60 tips and tricks! Get more from your Mac with Appleâ€™s latest upgrade p20
HOW TO : Discover new features in Photos Clear drive space on your Mac Get your email organized in Mail Encrypt communication on iOS
Unlock the power of iMessage apps and timesaving shortcuts! p109
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D EC E M B E R 20 1 6 N O.1 22
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Hidden secrets of macOS Sierra
The apple Gift Guide
Broadcast yourself online
Worried about Santa turning up with another pair of new socks this year? Then leave our handy Gift Guide open on your coffee table! All the best gear to wish for.
How to plan, record, edit, and market your own video productions. Check out our top tips and hardware recommendations to help you make amazing movies.
Last issue, we introduced macOS Sierra. This month, we dive right in to help you make the most of the great new features.
From setup to final edits, weâ€™ve got all the top tips for broadcasting your own footage online.
Check out our latest subscription offers on p54
maclife.com dec 2016 3
apple watch Series 2
alto – Email Organized for You
PDf Expert 2
Timelines – Time Tracking
Head over to techradar.com.
Consider Matt Bolton re-evaluates the Apple Watch.
Smart bots and screens
live Home 3D
Is Apple keeping up with AI advances? And microLEDs.
Mondly: learn languages
Highly – Highlight to Share
Lifestyle-enhancing gadgets for your home.
apple TV Apps and hardware for your Apple TV.
Sennheiser PXC 550 wireless
David Chartier says apps need to keep up with new iOS developments.
Submerged: Miku and the Sunken City
Samsung 750 Evo 500GB
6 great Mac projects
Battlefleet Gothic: leviathan
Netgear arlo Q Plus
adam Elements iKlips Duo
104 Encrypt email anywhere
106 Tailor your style in Rapidweaver
Game loop Brianna Wu advocates apps that entertain and educate.
6 of the best security and privacy apps Outpost Defender
How to: maximize rewards with wallaby
The gear we’re lusting after.
Pattern – Design Drawing
Get organized and creative over the winter season.
How to record and watch 4K video at its best.
Apple is bringing its cloud team together to improve its services.
$50 iTunes card What would you buy…?
Our Apple experts answer your burning hardware and software questions.
100 Discover the new features in Photos 102
How to use Sierra’s Optimized Storage
109 Manage iMessage apps 110
learn iOS 10’s lock screen
Organize email on iOS
Random apple Memory The pull of the “One more thing” catchphrase… Plus, what to expect next issue.
4 dec 2016 maclife.com
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Visit techradar.com 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 www.techradar.com.
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EDITORIAL Editor Matt Bolton opErations Editors Jo Membery, Ed Ricketts ContriBUtors Adam Banks, Gareth Beavis, J.R. Bookwalter, David Chartier, Amy Davies, Craig Grannell, Kate Gray, Christian Hall, Phil Hall, Tim Hardwick, Lucy Hattersley, Kenny Hemphill, Leif Johnson, Hollin Jones, Cliff Joseph, Sarah LeBoeuf, Gary Marshall, Amber Neely, Howard Oakley, Nick Peers, Jennifer Phin, Dave Stevenson, Alan Stonebridge, Matt Thrower, Brianna Wu ART art Editor Mat Gartside ContriBUtors Apple, Susan Kare, Joe Ravi, ThinkStock BUSINESS viCE prEsidEnt salEs Stacy Gaines, firstname.lastname@example.org viCE prEsidEnt stratEgiC partnErships Isaac Ugay, email@example.com East Coast aCCoUnt dirECtor Brandie Rushing, firstname.lastname@example.org East Coast aCCoUnt dirECtor Michael Plump, email@example.com mid wEst aCCoUnt dirECtor Jessica Reinert, firstname.lastname@example.org wEst Coast aCCoUnt dirECtor Austin Park, email@example.com wEst Coast aCCoUnt dirECtor Brandon Wong, firstname.lastname@example.org wEst Coast aCCoUnt dirECtor Tad Perez, email@example.com 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 13
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URSA Mini lets you shoot true digital ﬁlm quality that’s dramatically better than a DSLR! Blow your clients away with URSA Mini 4.6K, the only camera that lets you shoot with the true digital ﬁlm quality of a high end Hollywood feature ﬁlm! You get a handheld, Super 35 digital ﬁlm camera that works with your existing Canon DSLR lenses, has a 4.6K image sensor with 15 stops of dynamic range. URSA Mini 4.6K records video as camera RAW and ProRes so you can edit, color correct and deliver results that are far superior and look better than anything you can shoot on a DSLR!
Record in RAW, ProRes and more You never have to stop recording because URSA Mini features two CFast 2.0 recorders! When one card is full, recording continues on the next so you’ll never miss an important moment! Unlike DSLRs that heavily compress video, URSA Mini records 12-bit RAW ﬁles that preserve all the dynamic range and quality captured by the sensor. You can also record ProRes ﬁles that are easy to edit and use less storage!
Dramatically better than DSLR Video
Includes DaVinci Resolve
URSA Mini features a custom 4.6K digital ﬁlm sensor that shoots up to 60 frames per second with 15 stops of super wide dynamic range! That means your images will retain shadow and highlight detail simultaneously without clipping. You’ll get clarity and textures that are impossible to capture with a DSLR or regular video cameras! Imagine shooting indoors with the correct exposure and still seeing every detail through the windows outside!
URSA Mini includes DaVinci Resolve 12.5 Studio, the same professional software used to edit and color correct Hollywood feature ﬁlms, television shows and commercials! With DaVinci Resolve 12.5 Studio you get the world’s best professional editor and color corrector, along with incredible new effects so you can edit, color correct, add effects and deliver projects from start to ﬁnish, all in one single software tool!
Lightweight and Portable URSA Mini’s perfectly balanced body is rugged, yet lightweight and comfortable for all day shooting. There’s even an optional shoulder mount kit that lets you move from tripod to handheld in seconds! Everything you need is built in, so you don’t have to carry around extra equipment. You get a super bright 5” fold out touch screen for monitoring video, displaying timecode, histograms, audio meters, focus peaking and more!
Blackmagic URSA Mini From All models include DaVinci Resolve 12.5 Studio for editing and color correction. Electronic Viewﬁnder, lens and accessories sold separately.
One tO WAtCh? In thIs Issue, you’ll find our review of the Apple Watch Series 2 (p66). I know a lot of our readers don’t think the Watch is worth considering, but as I said last issue, and we mention in the review, a second look is definitely warranted if you previously dismissed it. Partly, that’s down to things changing with the Watch itself. You’ve got the new models, the Series 1 and Series 2, both of which include a faster processor than the original model. Then the Series 2 adds better waterproofing, built-in GPS, and a brighter screen. Then you have watchOS 3, which is not far off being a total do-over for the Watch’s software. It changed how some of the most fundamental parts of the OS worked, changing key ways of navigating, and even demonstrating a slightly different design language, with easy shortcuts to key options prevailing over using the fiddly Digital Crown to select things. It makes for something that’s more useful – I use the analogy of it being a “remote control for your iPhone” a lot, because I think that pretty accurately describes both why it’s useful (it means you don’t need to pull your phone out and delve into apps for light information as often), and how necessary it is. Which is to say: not necessary at all. Just like TVs decades ago, your iPhone is totally functional without it. But it’s nicer to have it. But there’s another reason I think it’s worth taking a second look: it tells us a lot about Apple, and the company’s future. It’s a move further away from the “trucks” of computers, as Steve Jobs called them, which are unwieldy for light information tasks. Apple made the phone and tablet the place to go instead. And then it looked at what tasks could be even smoother on a wearable – notifications and Siri being key, so you spend less time in apps. Apple is shifting things that don’t require constant attention to ever more invisible devices. Can a product similar to Amazon’s Echo Dot (p37) be far behind? I think Apple expects artifical intelligence to be part of this – adding convenience through automation. It’s computing as part of your lifestyle, not as a hobby, and the Watch is a huge step on the way.
Mat Gartside Art editor Mat wants 12 Lightning cables as his gift this year, to pre-empt losing them.
Jo Membery Operations editor Jo wants an end to tangled wires. She’s asked for a Wi-Fi printer, or a machete.
hollin Jones Contributor Hollin wants an iKlip AV to turn his iPhone into a pro camera setup.
MAtt BOltOn, Editor Twitter: @matthewbbolton
8 DEc 2016 maclife.com
Your opinions, rants & raves
My 2009 iMac is running under OS X 10.6.8 and works perfectly. I use it mainly for database, Excel, and Word and don’t want to upgrade since several programs such as FileMaker and Quicken are not compatible with the latest version of OS X, and I really don’t want to spend the money again to upgrade the software when the current versions are fine. I don’t want or need iCloud, or the host of other new features which come with the later versions of OS X. My iPhone SE will not sync with my iMac. Since I print a monthly calendar for my desk from my iMac, I am forced to do double entry, once on the iMac in iCal, and once on the iPhone in its Calendar app, which is a pain. Is there anything you can suggest that would force syncing the calendar apps between the two? Gary molivEr By far the best option is to use a cloud service – in your case, Google Calendar, since iCloud requires OS X 10.7. You only need to set it up with your devices once, after which it will work in the background, without intruding on you. Any other solution is limited by the age of your OS X version.
Remember, you can stop apps from unknown sources being able to run.
In the Ask section of your October 2016 issue (#120), a reader wrote to you about Bitdefender on his Mac. You responded by saying it is intended to clear out iffy software, but it’s controversial, and you strongly recommend removing it. I was perplexed and concerned by this, because Bitdefender as a security suite (anti-virus, firewall, etc) was rated by Maximum PC (a sister magazine to yours) as a top pick for security suite software in a feature many months ago. It’s as a result of the article I purchased Bitdefender security/anti-virus software for my Mac and PC, and to-date have been pleased with the results. Now I am concerned. Can you help me understand if there is a difference between what Bitdefender offers on the website as security software suites, versus
SHarE wiTH US!
the link the reader clicked in the email which populated his/her Mac with a Bitdefender app which should be removed? JoHn lEE There’s no problem with a legit, purchased copy of bitdefender! but if it just appears on your mac without you knowing what the source is, then a) it could be an altered, malicious version of the software, or b) it could be legit, but still a free version designed to encourage you to pay for it, which may annoy you. always err on the side of safety.
key problems For years, I’ve been using QuicKeys to switch between applications using the function keys. Last month, iTunes upgraded to 12.5.1, and now, when I press
Some older apps can have issues with newer versions of macOS.
some of the function keys, they no longer work as programmed, instead they bring up iTunes and either restart the track I was listening to or start a new track. I phoned Apple Support and they were clueless, suggesting that I update to OS X El Capitan. It took 28 hours to do so, and the problem still remains. Any suggestion on how to fix this? Dan EGGlESTon Quickeys 4 only “substantially” works with oS X 10.7 or later, so lots of things may have gone wrong. Go to System Preferences > keyboard and check the “Use F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys” box, to see if that helps. otherwise, try reinstalling Quickeys, in case that kicks things back into gear.
band practice I read in Mac|Life #120 that you are thinking of doing a GarageBand article. That would be awesome! I want to learn how to create a song, but can’t seem to get the hang of GarageBand. roGEr SHavEr Quite a few of you have got in touch about this… so we’ll do it!
Email: email@example.com FacEbook: facebook.com/maclife TwiTTEr: twitter.com/maclife
maclife.com dec 2016 9
START FEED YOUR MIND. FEAST YOUR EYES.
Okay, we’re not expecting Siri to turn into this, but it does need to get smarter.
Check out our latest subscription offers on p54
AI is the future, but is Apple keeping up? The bots are coming, and there’s concern over Siri’s stagnating smarts BY MAtt Bolton
10 dec 2016 maclife.com
Most tech IndustrY watchers are in agreement that the next playing field for the big companies is artificial intelligence, in the form of smart bots that can recognize your sentences and give relevant answers. Siri is the obvious archetype of this, but you’ve probably seen bots appearing in some of your apps too: Facebook has several bots you can chat with to request things, Slack has a built-in bot assistant for certain tasks, Mondly (reviewed p59) and Duolingo include bots you can have a brief conversation with to learn a language… and it’s spreading. Even Amazon has Alexa on the Echo devices to chat to at home. This is inevitably causing an arms race to have the smartest bot – and there’s concern that Siri isn’t keeping up. Siri’s ability to understand speech has been improving dramatically over the years, but what it can do with those words still feels frustratingly limited. Integration with
Feed your mind. Feast your eyes.
Meet microled, the next display tech Thinner, brighter screens BY MAtt Bolton Apple’s personal apps (Contacts, Calendar, and so on) isn’t bad, and Apple has web sources for certain kinds of information on board, but if you ask it general questions, it often falls flat. Walt Mossberg of recode.net recently wrote of his frustrations that Siri couldn’t tell him when the next presidential debate was, and when he asked about the weather in a particular location, it found a less obvious place with the same name. Google’s Now assistant had no problems with the same questions. John Gruber of Daring Fireball noted his frustration that Siri’s contextual understanding is nowhere near where we’d expect it to be. Even if you ask Siri about an event and it tells you the date and time, ask it to add that to a calendar and it’s stumped. And the problems are fixable: Apple corrected Siri’s responses to the phrases Mossberg highlighted shortly after he revealed them. But that doesn’t help people at the time they need the information – and if people give up on Siri, it won’t matter if Apple actually makes it smarter. The assumption will still be there that it’s not worth using. We know that Apple is working on big developments in AI, no doubt including more Siri smarts – but it needs to move quickly to change people’s minds, and most of all it needs to work on Siri’s consistency. An assistant that only gets it right 50% of the time won’t cut it – especially with Samsung, Google, and more all touting their own new, smarter assistants on new devices.
As we wrIte this, the internet (well, some of it) is excited by rumors that the next iPhone may use an OLED screen, which offers richer contrast and lower power usage than the LCD displays currently used in all Apple products except the Apple Watch (which already uses OLED). OLED means “organic light-emitting diode,” where each pixel actually generates its own light (unlike LCD technology, which requires a backlight to be shone through its pixels). OLED is currently the pinnacle of the display world… but there’s another screen technology on the horizon that could knock it off that position. Known as microLED, it’s kind of exactly as it sounds: screens would be made up of thousands of tiny LEDs. And we mean tiny. A functioning display was shown off in 2011 where each LED was just 12 microns in size, or 0.012mm each. That’s much smaller than the pixels used in Apple’s current LCD displays – it’s more like the size of the light-receiving pixels in the camera, rather than the screen. In practice, you’d use several of these microLEDs grouped together to reproduce the equivalent of one pixel of an LCD screen. And they work just like a larger LED, emitting their own light, so the screen wouldn’t require a backlight. This means that microLED screens could be much thinner
than current displays, show more detail, use much less power, but also be much brighter and more visible in sunlight. It’s highly likely that Apple is working on this kind of display: it bought a company named LuxVue Technology in 2014 that specialized in the technology. Sony is also a leader in this area, showing what it branded a Crystal LED HDTV prototype back in 2012. It then didn’t show the technology again until 2016, when it revealed a variant of the technology named CLEDIS, designed for large information boards (such as advertising), with the expectation that it might be used in home TVs as soon as 2017. Early products will be extremely high-end, though – it’s hard to say when they might be cost-effective enough for Apple’s products, but we can’t wait.
Sony showed off its huge 8K cLedIS microLed display this year.
maclife.com dec 2016 11
>>> Start Feed your mind. Feast your eyes.
pasteBot Free From Tapbots, the team behind the excellent Tweetbot Twitter client, comes this app for managing your clipboard content. You can easily search things you’ve copied, and apply clever filters to alter the content while pasting it (such as making text lowercase). Eventually, your clipboard will sync between Macs. Version tested: 2 Beta 8
©Joe Ravi CC-BY-SA 3.0
Pre-release games and software available now
apple makes its cloud teams clearer Cloud services staff will come together in 2017 By Matt Bolton
airheart $14.99 This twin-stick shooting game tasks you with flying around in an airplane you can customize, trying to catch “skyfish” while defeating pirates, and flying ever further up until you reach the stratosphere. Its colorful, looks great, seems technically solid, and has lots of replay value from tinkering with your craft. Version tested: 0.1
12 Dec 2016 maclife.com
apple’s history with cloud services has always been a little bumpy, but iCloud works very well for most people. However, there are arguments that it’s still behind the competition: iCloud Drive lacks some of Dropbox’s advanced file management features, Apple Music’s cloud library could be flaky when matching tunes, there can be conflicting file problems when devices get stuck offline… problems that most services can have, but we expect the best from Apple.
It looks like Apple is making changes to get more from its cloud services. Currently, different services within iCloud are handled by teams scattered around Apple’s many buildings. In 2017, the cloud teams will all be moved into one place (possibly 1 Infinite Loop, according to a report, since all teams based there currently will move to the new “spaceship” campus). The idea is that the different teams can better collaborate if they have easier working access to each other, so that current
services can not only be improved, but there can be more innovation in new services and how current ones are used. Apple is also said to be working on a new cloud infrastructure named “Pie,” which is intended to replace its reliance on Amazon and Google’s cloud systems for iCloud’s underlying framework. We’re pleased to see Apple make big moves in this area: the cloud is right at the heart of computing’s future, and getting it wrong creates issues for us users more than anyone.
>The shifT Some people still don’t embrace iOS for work, and david charTier says that’s no surprise when the biggest apps don’t adopt key new features quickly
rom simple beginnings, iOS has grown into a deep, powerful platform that has brought new workflows and possibilities to over a billion people – around eight hundred million more than the Mac has ever sold. Despite that, iOS has no shortage of stumbling blocks that hold it back, one of the largest being its own industry. If you’ve spent any time watching the evolution of iOS, you know the ebb and flow. Apple announces new features mid-summer at WWDC,
it’s important to think of “new features” as real solutions to real problems
developers get immediate access to begin testing and building for them, and Apple releases the new OS and new devices in fall. Instead of “new features,” though, I think it’s important to think of them as real solutions to real problems. Some may be less crucial than others, but remember how fundamental a shift mobile devices have been. Thing is, some large, crucial parts of the industry often take too long to adopt these solutions for their customers. Whether it’s laziness
or red tape due to a mixture of bureaucracy and technical complications, some key apps have been guilty of holding back their users with years-old solutions. Take Google Drive, for example. It took Google nearly two years to add support for the iOS 7 share sheet, which enables us to easily move documents between apps. Considering the new, Finder-less approach iOS takes to managing files, this was a particularly egregious offense from a company with no shortage of engineering resources. Dropbox is another more recent example. In early October, Dropbox released a significant update to its iOS app, adding things like basic PDF signing and markup to avoid having to switch to other apps as often. Notably missing, though, was support for Split View, a feature Apple added over a year ago in iOS 9. It’s multitasking for the new age, and Dropbox had passed it over after a year of updates and even its first major update after iOS 10. These aren’T just “new features” or disposable cogs for the hype machine. They’re meaningful, measurable improvements and new doors that iOS opens for the hundreds of millions who now use it every day. I know people who have written entire, successful books on
their iPhone. I also know a lawyer who works entirely on an iPad Pro, and I once met an Apple Store manager who sold their Mac after they realized an iPhone can handle both their work and home needs. When industry giants like Google, Dropbox, and others neglect to keep pace with industry innovations, they hold the entire industry back. “You can’t get work done on an iPad” is the new “the Mac is just for graphic designers.” I’m not sure if there is a grand solution, but I’d imagine hearing from their customers more often couldn’t hurt. The next time these companies fail to let you work the way you need to on iOS, giving them a reasoned App Store review or support email could make more of a difference than you might think.
Google Docs is one of the most popular office tools, but was slow to support Split View.
>>> David Chartier is a content strategist and writer with vast experience analyzing the tech world. He runs the website Finer Things in Tech (finerthings.in) and hosts its podcast, The Finer Things In.
maclife.com Dec 2016 13
>>> Start Feed your mind. Feast your eyes.
6 great Mac projects for the cold winter nights Get organized and creative with these rewarding tasks BY Matt Bolton
Gemini 2 will scan your Mac for duplicate files, enabling you to maximize storage space.
It’s easy to make a slideshow in iMovie! Just drop the photos you want onto the timeline, make a few tweaks if necessary, and you’re done. You can add transitions or a soundtrack, or keep things simple.
as it gets colder out there, with longer and darker nights, it’s a great time to try something cool with your Mac. Here, we suggest some projects that are all easy to do, but that may teach you some new skills on the way. They’ll take a bit of time, but at the end you’ll have something great to show for it, whether that’s an organized Photos library, a leaner Mac, a useful home inventory, a well-kept budget, or a beautiful video slideshow. Of course, these aren’t the only cool ideas for what you can do with your Mac this issue! See p20 for our big feature on macOS Sierra’s hidden features, p104 for how to secure your emails from malicious prying eyes, p106 for how to make a tailored website, and much more!
Make a slideshow with iMovie The new Memories feature in Photos is great, but making your own video slideshow is even better – it’s easy
with iMovie! You can browse your Photos library and drop images onto the timeline, then adjust cropping and zoom level with the tools in the Viewer pane in the top right.
Experiment with Numbers, and keep track of your expenditure with a personal budget tracker.
14 dEc 2016 maclife.com
tidy your files Computers tend to build up junk files over time. Gemini 2 and CleanMyMac 3 (get both from macpaw.com) are great for reclaiming space and speed. Both have free trials available!
Polish up your Photos library Photos’ new search tools make it easy to find images and sort them into albums! See p22 and p100 for more.
Create a personal budget sheet Numbers comes with templates that are perfect
for setting up personal budget tracking – and they work across Mac and iOS.
start a home inventory Records is an easy database app for Mac – why not start a log of your home’s contents? Get a free trial from records.team.
automate boring Mac tasks Automator is a way to build little “programs” on your Mac by dragging actions into an easy workflow view. It can convert images, move files, and more! It’s in your Utilities folder.
>game loop The world of TV shows and movies expands to your phone: Brianna wu explains how the Mr. Robot app entertains as well as educates
irst of all, if you haven’t seen Mr. Robot, put down Mac|Life for a second and hit iTunes. You can grab season 1 for $24.99. It’s one of the best shows on TV, intelligently exploring issues of cybercrime, class tension, and mental health. Apps and games based on TV and movie properties tend to be cheap cash-ins - ask anyone that fell for downloading The Hunger Games’ tie-ins. But Mr. Robot is the glorious exception, delivering something that is both very old and very new a text adventure. The geek cred of this game is established instantly. Named Mr. Robot:1.51exfiltratiOn.ipa, it mimics the file extension used to upload games to the App Store. You’re treated to a looping movie where you find a phone on the sidewalk and pick it up. From there, the game takes you to the ECorp Messaging interface, a pseudo phone operating system, complete with with contacts, text messaging, photos, email, and notifications.
when the characters of mr. robot start contacting you, it feels very immersive
Not long afterwards, your “phone” starts malfunctioning, formatting the files - and people start texting you. Before long, you’re introduced to characters from the Mr. Robot world, and have to social engineer your way into recovering the file that was erased. It’s a metaphor that works amazingly well. Socially, we live our lives on our phones. Texting, surfing, talking to friends. So, when the characters of Mr. Robot start contacting you, it feels very immersive. The excellent writing helps - the abrasive report of Darlene nails her character on the show. You’ll talk to jilted lovers, men who have cheated on their wives, and even children that have grabbed their parent’s phones. It’s the little details that make this game work. When text is displayed, it doesn’t just appear - it appears as if you were really writing it, with typos and moments of erasing and rewriting. When a message is coming, there’s an indicator that someone else is “typing” and a slight delay. Best of all, many of the messages you’ll receive have nothing to do with the plot. It’s just nonsense from a phone that isn’t yours. The delay in playing helps it feel immersive. You can’t play through the story in one sitting - it works like real life. You send a text, wait a
while, eventually get a reply. You’ll find yourself checking your phone throughout the day waiting for your story to continue. Perhaps the best part of Mr. Robot:1.51exfiltratiOn.ipa is an illustration of social engineering attacks. Earlier this year, the head of security at Facebook wrote a blog reminding people that most successful hacking attempts aren’t
The app throws you into conversations that take place over several hours or days.
due to clever coding exploits they’re with simple phishing schemes. Playing this game will make you more aware of how you could be vulnerable. Mr. Robot:1.51exfiltratiOn.ipa is only $2.99 on iPhone and iPad. My single complaint with the game is there’s not a sequel already.
>>> 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.
maclife.com dec 2016 15
>>> Start Feed your mind. Feast your eyes.
CRAVE THE GEAR WEâ€™RE LUSTING AFTER
Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid porsche.com Around $100,000
>>> Revealed at the Paris Motor Show, the new Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is a petrol-electric dream machine. The 455 hp beast has an electric-only range of 31 miles before the 2.9-litre V6 engine kicks in, meaning a claimed fuel economy of 113 mpg. Top speed from the V6 engine is 86 mph. Various driving modes allow you to either have the car charge while driving, run on electric alone, or let the car decide the power source. Inside, a 12.3-inch touchscreen display allows for various driver tweaks to increase efficiency. Start saving now for its 2017 US launch!
16 dec 2016 maclife.com
Cinebody S6 cinebody.com $199
>>> One for retro video lovers. Insert your iPhone 6 or 6s into the Cinebody case, open the accompanying app, and connect the cable to enable the microphone and trigger at the front. Now you’ve got an ergonomic way to shoot video on your iPhone! You can use the eyepiece to line up your shots, record great-quality audio using the microphone, and you just press the trigger to start shooting. There’s also a cold shoe mount for adding lights or handles, and you can buy lenses (a 0.45x macro and 2x telephoto) for just $30, giving you extra shooting options.
4moms Self Installing Car Seat 4moms.com $499
>>> It’s not often that new parents get to “crave” about technical gear, but smart technology is getting everywhere, including baby transport. Yes, this car seat comes with its own compatible app. According to 4moms, four out of five kiddy seats are installed incorrectly, but this seat self-installs. Clip the base into the back seat, then use the app to trigger the level and tension feature. Once you’re ready with your baby in the carrier, just slot the carrier into the base. The company also does a smart powerfolding pushchair that charges as you walk, can charge your iPhone, and boasts an LCD dashboard with speedometer.
Elysium Chair davidhugh.com $26,000
>>> How much? Yeah, but you want to be comfortable, don’t you? There is, apparently, a sweet spot between reclining and sitting that results in our body weight being evenly distributed. The Elysium chair incorporates a carbon fiber skeleton, designed to mimic the kind of feeling achieved through flotation therapy, to make you feel weightless. David Wickett, creator of the chair, completed a PhD in bioengineering, in pursuit of this ultimate goal. There are, apparently, only a limited number of chairs being released, so if you’ve got the money and you want total comfort, don’t sit around…
maclife.com dec 2016 17
$50 iTunes Card How would you blow 50 bucks on music, movies, books, TV shows, and apps? BY MaTT BolToN
Star trek Beyond Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, John Cho $19.99 The latest Star Trek film was directed by Justin Lin, who turned The Fast and the Furious into a hit series. You might think that would continue J.J. Abrams’ run of keeping these films as glossy adventures, but actually he goes a little more back to the roots of Star Trek as a franchise, exploring personal relationships between its ensemble crew… with some slick CG action scenes too, still. Well, it’s Hollywood, after all. It feels much more like an episode of the TV show than a lot of other blockbusters, and we found that refreshing and fun, even if some elements stumble.
18 DeC 2016 maclife.com
a game of throneS enhanced edition George R.R. Martin $8.99 While fans of Martin’s wildly popular series are waiting anxiously on the sixth book that he’s definitely going to get finished any day now (cut him some slack, okay? His direwolf keeps eating his drafts), they can at least try to sate themselves with this gorgeous enhanced iBooks version of the first entry in the series, complete with interactive maps, notes from Martin himself, family trees to keep track of things, and fantastic illustrations. The other four released books will get the same treatment over the next few months, so it’s also a great place to start!
Banner Saga 2
The Naked & Famous $9.99
This beautifully drawn, smartly designed game was released on the Mac a few months ago, earning a prestigious “Excellent” 4.5 out of 5 rating from us – and now iPhone and iPad gamers can get in on the action. The Banner Saga series of games is focused on rich, evocative story sections punctuated by turn-based tactical battles. The art is all beautiful handdrawn Viking-like figures, and the game offers great food for the brain in its battles, and the heart in its highstakes story. It’s one of the unsung gems of both the iOS App Store and Mac App Store, so whichever platform you’re on, if you love fantasy drama, give this a try!
These fine purveyors of sharp eletronica are back with their third album, which polishes the sound the band has been working on since its first release: crunching synths that veer between being “rock”-like and “dance”-like, bouncing rhythms, and a big focus on letting vocals stand out and carry the music at times. Some might have hoped for more changes, but we’re happy with a cool band doing what they do best.
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HIDDEN SECRETS OF
sierra 80 tips and tricks to get more from your Mac with Apple’s latest upgrade wOrds: ChristiAn hAll, luCy hAttersley, Kenny hemphill, CrAig grAnnell, AlAn stOnebridge
pple’s greAt at getting users excited about the new features in its annual upgrades to the Mac. This time, it was all about Siri, your desktop in the cloud, and more clever Continuity cross-platform tools. These are fantastic headline features, but Apple doesn’t like to get too detailed about how it all works. That’s where we come in. We already brought
20 DEC 2016 maclife.com
you our look at how to make the most of Sierra’s top features but now we dive into detailed changes that Sierra offers, no matter how subtle! We go over those headline features again, uncovering all the tricks that will help you get the most from them, but we also look at macOS’s window management, iTunes and Apple Music, Photos, and the new-look Messages.
macOS Sierra tips
m A C | l i f e ’ s FAv O R I T e S I e R R A T I P S
>>> I love that I don’t have to type my password whenever I wake my MacBook, thanks to Auto Unlock, which bypasses password entry if I’m wearing my Apple Watch. It’s a bit buried away, though: go to – System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General. Also, when the text in a notification is truncated by its two-line height, you can now simply drag down from the bottom edge to expand the text message and read it in full. And when files are syncing with iCloud Drive, you can click the progress indicator next to it in Finder’s sidebar for more detail.
>>> I like some of the simplest tricks in Safari, such as the ability to undo the closure of more than just one tab by pressing ç+Z multiple times. Alternatively, you can reopen a specific tab that’s further back in the sequence by choosing it from the new History > Recently Closed menu. Simple things like this make Sierra a joy to use on my iMac. I also think the Reduce Motion feature is great if you don’t like the animated transitions in Mission Control and other parts of macOS. You’ll find it in > System Prefs > Accessibility > Display.
>>> I like some of Finder’s new tricks: by default, Finder asks for confirmation before moving things from iCloud Drive to elsewhere. This gets irritating if you enable Sierra’s ability to put your desktop in iCloud and save things there temporarily… you’ll find an override in Finder’s Advanced preferences. There’s also an option to separate out your files and folders in the same bunch of preferences. This puts folders first in your Finder view (above your files), which I think really helps when you need to quickly drill down into your Mac’s subfolders to find something.
maclife.com DEC 2016 21
>>> Feature macOS Sierra tips
macOs sierrA PHOTOS
> Find people by face
> Process other faces
> Name a person
The way people are identified and organized has changed. To see them, click Albums, then double-click People. You’ll see faces the app has identified. Double-click one to see the images it believes are one person.
Photos doesn’t necessarily show all of the faces in the People album. To see more, click the Add People box next to the last face, click a face to select that photo, then click Add near the top right of the window.
Move the pointer over an unnamed face in the People album and click Add Name, then type that person’s name. Photos suggests matches from Contacts. If it’s correct, click it. If not keep typing the name.
> Merge faces
> Hide unwanted faces
> Quick access
In the People album, again click Add People. This time, ç-click two or more of the faces then Merge & Add (top right) to tell the app faces identified are the same person. Photos will merge the photos under one person.
If there are too many faces in the People album, you can hide those you don’t want to see. ç-click on the faces you want to hide to select them, then right-click on one of the selected photos and choose “Hide…”
If you have a great number of faces in the People album, ç-click those you want to mark as favorites, then drag them to the Favorites section (top of the window). If it’s out of view, it’ll reappear when you drag.
> Pick a flattering shot
> Fix mistaken identity
> Revisit old memories
Photos automatically selects the “Key Face” for each person, but you can change it. In the People album, double-click the person for whom you want to set a new key face, then right-click the photo you want to use instead and choose Make Key Photo.
If Photos has wrongly identified a person, double-click the person in the People album and click Show All (scroll down if you can’t see it) to see relevant pics. ç-click any that are incorrect, then right-click one and pick “[name] is not in this photo.”
The Memories feature gathers photos of events and people, to look at individually or as a slideshow. Go to the Memories view. If Photos has auto-generated any, double-click one to see its contents, then click the toolbar’s play button to start the slideshow.
22 DEC 2016 maclife.com
> Make memories To manually create a memory, open an album, then click Show as Memory (top right). Scroll down and click Add to Memories. All the photos in the album will be included in the memory.
> Hide a memory To remove a memory you no longer want to see in Photos, whether it’s one the app has autogenerated or one you’ve manually created, click the Memories tab and then select all the memories you want to get rid of by ç-clicking on them. Next, rightclick on one of your selection, then simply choose Remove Memory from the contextual menu. The items you selected will then disappear from the Memories view.
> Pick a visual theme To choose a new theme for a memory’s slideshow, open the memory, click Play on the toolbar, click the Themes tab, and then pick a theme. A preview of your selection appears in the popover. Click Play Slideshow to view the animated memory fullscreen.
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> Add music To add your own music to a memory’s slideshow, first make sure it’s in your iTunes library and stored locally on your Mac, not in iCloud. Click the play button, then the Music tab. either navigate to the track you want or search for it, then click on it, and finally click Play Slideshow.
> Amend a memory To remove a photo, you must hide it or delete it completely. To hide one, right-click it in the Photos, Memories, or Albums view and choose Hide Photo. To get it back, choose view > Show Hidden Photo Album, right-click the photo in that album and choose Unhide Photo.
> Search specificity
> Guide Photos’ memory selection
Photos can identify thousands of objects and bits of scenery in your photos, which it analyzes on your Mac rather than a remote server. Type a word such as “beachball” in its search bar to see how many photos match it – beaches first, then beachballs as you type more.
each time you add a new memory or remove one, you’re telling Photos about the memories you’re interested in. This trains the feature so that it makes better decisions. The final way to train it is to tell it which are your favorite memories of those it has created, guiding it when it makes more automatically. Repeat the steps to remove a memory, but choose Add to Favorite Memories instead; these appear under Favorite Memories in the Albums view.
24 DEC 2016 maclife.com
macOS Sierra tips >>> Feature
> Speak to search
> Annotate a photo
If you prefer voice control to typing, open Siri from the Dock, the menu bar, or using its keyboard shortcut and then tell it to search Photos for whatever you want to see. It’ll search Photos and display images it thinks match your request, which it displays above them.
Double-click a photo so it fills the app’s window, then click Edit Photo (three-slider icon, top right). Click Extensions at the bottom of the list of tools down the right of the photo, then click Markup. You can write text, add shapes or symbols, draw freehand, or even add a magnifying glass effect to draw attention to an area. Click Save Changes when you’re done. To remove annotations, edit the photo and click Revert to Original.
> View by locale In the Albums view, open the Places album (it will only be visible if at least one photo has geolocation data). You’ll see a map that centers on where most of your shots were taken. Zoom in using the + button at the bottom right of the window and pics that were bunched together will spread out as you get closer to their location. The more you zoom in, the more spread out they become, and the more precisely they are then located on the map.
> Get brilliant pictures Brilliance is a new tool that lightens shadows and recovers blown out highlights. edit an image, click Adjust, add the Light adjustment, then click the downwards-pointing arrow to the right of the Light heading. Drag Brilliance’s blue line to see how it changes the image.
> Edit Live Photos
> Change a location
> Add missing location
Open a Live Photo and then edit it (click the button that shows three sliders). You’ll see a yellow circle next to the image’s location, time, and date info that turns the live part on or off – but in Sierra’s Photos edits you make while the live bit is on are applied to it as well.
To move an image on the Places album’s map, right-click on it and pick Get Info. In the Info window, drag the red pin on the map. This also works for multiple selected photos with an identical location; if they’re different, pick Image > Location > Remove Location.
To add a location to a photo that isn’t geotagged, perhaps because it was shot on a camera that doesn’t support it, rightclick on a photo and choose Get Info. Start typing a location name or zip code into the Assign a Location box and pick a location from the list of suggestions.
maclife.com DEC 2016 25
desKtOp & dOCuments > Set things up When you install macOS Sierra, one of the initial set-up steps asks whether you want to store all your files from the Documents and Desktop folders in iCloud Drive. Put a check mark in the box to activate this feature.
> In System Prefs If you decide to turn this feature on after initial setup, open the iCloud pane in System Prefs, click Options next to iCloud Drive, go to Documents, and put a check mark
You can make the contents of your desktop available on iOS.
next to Desktop & Documents Folders in the list of things that can store files in iCloud.
> Syncing In Finder’s Icon view, add a new file to Desktop or Documents and you’ll see a small upwards-facing arrow and an indication of how long the upload will take. In other views, progress is displayed as a circle that gradually fills. With small files, this process will be almost instantaneous; but be aware that very large files may take a long time to upload.
Optimize Mac Storage manages which files are stored locally.
or in an app’s Document Picker. They are also accessible by signing in at iCloud.com.
> Access anywhere
> Remove from iCloud
The main benefit of this feature is file access. On Macs using the same Apple ID, all your Macs will sync to the two folders in iCloud Drive, making your desktop the same across them. On pre-Sierra Macs, the folders will be in iCloud Drive. On iOS, access them in the iCloud Drive app (Go to Settings > iCloud > iCloud Drive > Show on Home Screen to dispay this app)
Files stored in iCloud Drive eat into your iCloud storage, of which you only get 5GB for free (you can buy more). If you’re running low on space, you can move files from iCloud Drive into a non-synced folder, such as your Pictures folder, or an external drive. When you do so, you’ll be warned the files will be deleted from iCloud Drive; click Move to confirm.
> Finder In Finder you’ll find subtle changes. In your Home folder, Desktop and Documents will be gone. To directly access the folders in Finder, use Go > iCloud Drive (or ß+ç+I). Desktop and Documents will be nestled alongside other iCloud Drive folders. You can also access the folders in the iCloud group in Finder’s sidebar, or add them to the Dock’s right side.
26 DEC 2016 maclife.com
macOS Sierra tips
windOw mAnAgement > Manage your menu bar Prior to Sierra, you could hold ç and then drag Apple’s status icons in the menu bar to rearrange them – and now you can with third-party ones, too. Removing Apple icons has changed a little, though – after ç-dragging one downwards off the menu bar, wait for a cross to display next to the pointer before letting go. (Third-party icons are still removed by way of their app’s preferences.)
YouTube requires you to right-click twice and choose enter Picture-in-Picture from the second contextual menu. Some services are not yet compatible with Picture-in-Picture.
> Window resizing Double-click a window edge or corner to expand the window to the same desktop edge or corner. Hold Alt to expand the window the opposite way; apply to a corner to fill a desktop.
> Manage tabs In the Dock’s preferences, set “Prefer tabs when opening documents” to Always. Windows of compatible apps will then open in tabs. Pick Manually to always use separate windows.
> Manage tabs You’ve likely used tabs in Safari before. Many other apps now support them. In Maps, for example, use ç+t to open a new tab, and the Window menu to manage tabs and merge all of the app’s windows into a single one.
Drag the Picture-in-Picture window and you’ll find that it will snap to the nearest desktop corner when you let go. Hold ç and you can then drag the window to position it exactly where you want it. If you drag the window towards the left or right edge of the desktop, you’ll notice that it turns translucent; let go and it becomes a collapsed tab. Simply click the tab to get the video back. To put the video back into the browser window, click the Picture-in-Picture button; alernatively, you can click its window’s close button to pause it too.
> Try window snapping
> Enter Picture-in-Picture Like the iPad, the Mac can now play web videos from Safari in a floating window that stays on top of others, including fullscreen apps. On videos that display standard playback controls, simply click the button that looks like two little screens. The process may vary on other services: vimeo’s button is smaller;
> Use Picture-in-Picture
Sierra’s tabbed display of windows applies only to fullscreen apps by default.
There’s a subtle window snapping feature that may be better described as edge resistance. Slowly drag a window towards a screen edge, the Dock or another window and it won’t overrun it; instead it’ll stick to its edge.
>>> Feature macOS Sierra tips
get tO grips with siri
> Get info about your Mac
> Find and work with files
You can ask Siri for all kinds of information about your Mac. Try “How much hard drive space do I have?”, “How much iCloud storage do I have?”, “What's my Mac’s serial number?”, or “How much RAM is in this Mac?” This is a lot easier than heading into the About This Mac window, though you can click Show Details in Siri’s window to open that (normally done through the menu) to get more indepth information about your computer.
One of Siri's best uses is to locate files and folders on your Mac. Say “Show files in my Downloads folder” to view those files in Siri, or “Open my Documents folder” to go straight there in Finder. Try combinations like “Show files I created last week” or “Show my recent Pages documents,” too. You can drag files from Siri directly to the desktop or a Finder window to create a shortcut, or hold Alt and drag one to create a copy of it.
> Pin searches to the Today view
> Family business
If you find yourself using Siri to find the same thing over and over, you can add that search query to Notification Center’s Today view. Try this out by saying “Search the web for images of cats.” In Siri’s window you'll see a small plus sign above the images it has found. Click that and Notification Center will open and the search query will be pinned there. every time you go there, you’ll see the latest images of cats found online.
You can make FaceTime and Messages more personal by letting Siri know about your family. Open Siri and say “Send a message to my dad,” for example. Siri asks for your dad’s first and last names. Say them and you’ll then be asked to confirm your dad’s phone number or email address (read from Contacts). Now when you say “Send a message to dad,” Siri will listen to your dictation and send the words to him without you typing.
28 DEC 2016 maclife.com
> Create reminders Reminders gets a whole lot more useful when you ask Siri to remind you about items in Safari and Mail. Say “Remind me about this later” and a link to the item will be added to Reminders. You can even say “Remind me about this tomorrow morning” to get a reminder when you wake up.
> Enable “Hey Siri”
> Restart your request Siri’s understanding is still developing, and with repeated use you’ll also get better at finding its limitations. It’ll misunderstand you at times, though, and you’ll want to start again. You needn’t close and reopen Siri; say “Clear” or “Restart” and it’ll wipe the conversation and begin a new one.
Saying “Hey Siri” to activate the assistant is great on iOS, but it isn’t part of macOS (presumably so you don’t activate both your Mac and iPhone at the same time). However, you can add it using macOS’s Dictation Commands feature. In System Preferences’ Keyboard pane, click the Dictation tab. Turn on Dictation and then Use enhanced Dictation. When enhanced Dictation’s files have downloaded, go to Accessibility preferences, select Dictation on the left, then turn on “enable the dictation keyword phrase” and type “Hey” (without quotes) in the box below. Click Dictation Commands, check “enable advanced commands,” then click the + button, and enter “Siri” in “When I say.” Set Perform to Press Keyboard Shortcut, then press ≈+Spacebar and click Done. Finally, in Siri’s preferences, change its shortcut to ≈+Spacebar. Now when you say “Hey Siri,” it’ll kick into action.
> Play some music
> System Preferences
> Siri preferences
You can play Apple Music tracks by asking for an artist, song or genre, or with phrases like “Play music that’s good for concentration,” or “Play music that’s good for relaxing. even if you don’t use Apple Music, you can say “Play Beats 1.” Say “Pause” or “Stop playing” to halt playback.
You can adjust many settings with Siri. Try “Turn Bluetooth off” or “Turn on Do Not Disturb” and that item’s switch will appear in Siri’s window, where you can toggle it. You can’t tell your Mac to shut down or sleep this way, but you can say “screen saver” to activate that.
Just say “Open Siri settings” to see them all. The Language item guides Siri’s expectations of your pronunciations; various english dialects are available. Siri’s voice initially matches your location but doesn’t have to. You can silence Siri’s responses by turning off voice Feedback.
maclife.com DEC 2016 29
>>> Feature macOS Sierra tips
itunes And Apple musiC ven befOre macOS Sierra, Apple was in the process of making iTunes easier to understand, not least by reintroducing the app’s persistent sidebar (while browsing your library) to make navigation clearer. Many people still find the app’s integration with both the iTunes Store and the Apple Music subscription service a little jarring. With iTunes 12.5, included with Sierra and also available as an update all the way back to OS X Mavericks, Apple has further tweaked things for a cleaner-looking interface, and it has added new preferences to make iTunes work better for you.
> i m p r Ov e m e n ts tO A p p l e m u s i C 1
With the category selector (top left) set to Music, three Apple Music-related features are listed between Library and Store to the right: For You, Browse, and Radio. When you click one of these items, the page you’re shown now displays its name in very large type. To the right of that headline will be the names of subsections of that category; click those to explore what they have to offer.
30 DEC 2016 maclife.com
Apple has rolled Connect, the feature that keeps you up to date with artists’ activities, into the For You section, which offers personalized recommendations. This is a natural place for Connect to reside (rather than a discrete item in the navigation bar, as it was before) because its contents are also tailored to the artists you explicitly choose to follow or whose music you add to your library.
Be more choosy
You can prevent the automatic following of artists and give yourself full manual control of whose Connect posts you are shown. To do this, choose Account > Profile, clear the checkbox for Automatically Follow Artists, then click Save. To see who you’re following, pick Account > Following. Click a Following badge to unfollow someone, or click Find More Artists and Curators to see Apple Music’s suggestions.
Browse (previously called New) is also broken down into subsections: New Music, Curated Playlists, videos, Top Charts, and Genres. This is a big improvement, because it’s quicker to get straight to the content you want, the amount of scrolling required is reduced, and options are presented as smaller morsels that are easier to digest. The Radio tab is also divided into more focused subsections now.
> Better behaviors
> Get back star ratings
> Offer feedback
There are also tweaks to how you browse your music library. The Recently Added category presents you with a much longer timeline than before, which is broken down into periods going all the way back to when you started building your iTunes library. They start with This Month, followed by Last 3 Months and Last 6 Months, after which the contents of your library from even further back in time are listed under the year in which you added them.
Since Apple Music started, iTunes has offered two systems for rating tracks: traditional star ratings (out of five) and a heart icon for tracks you love, the latter of which influences what suggestions appear in For You. In iTunes 12.5, you may find stars no longer appear when you put the pointer over an item, but they are still available, which is good given the flexibility they offer for Smart Playlists. You just need to turn them on in iTunes’ General prefs.
With internet radio stations, iTunes already allowed feedback on tracks to guide what gets played, but elsewhere it only allowed you to mark tracks as loved. That’s now gone. For the track that’s playing, choose Song > Dislike or put the pointer over the status area, click the ellipsis that appears, then choose Dislike. For tracks, place the pointer over their row in, say, a track list, hold Alt and click the adjacent heart – it’ll then be struck through with a line.
> Hide some clutter
> Check on song lyrics
> Save storage space
With iCloud Music Library enabled, the Albums view can look ugly thanks to the number of album covers that are likely to have a download badge in their bottom-left corner. You can now hide these icons: go to iTunes > Preferences and turn off “Grid view download badges.” After doing this, to download a whole album just right-click its cover and choose Download, or expand its track list and then click the download badge to the right of its title and artist.
iTunes can now retrieve lyrics for tracks. To see them for the track that’s currently playing, click the list-like icon to the right of the status area, then click the Lyrics tab in the panel that appears. To see lyrics for an item in your library, select it, press ç+I, then click Lyrics. This even works for tracks imported from CD that Apple Music has matched against Apple’s library, but you’ll probably find some that aren’t obscure for which Apple doesn’t yet have lyrics.
In iTunes’ Advanced preferences there’s a new item that permits the app to remove movies and Tv show episodes once you’ve watched them. It’s a simple but effective change – the kind that, once you start using it, you wonder why it wasn’t introduced sooner, nearer to when limited-capacity flash storage became the norm in portable Macs. enabling this behavior is one of the recommendations made by Sierra’s Optimized Storage feature (see p102).
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>>> Feature macOS Sierra tips
mAster messAges > Richer web links Links to websites are more visual in Sierra’s Messages thanks to their richer presentation. When you paste an address into Messages, it’s turned into a preview image with the page’s title as its caption. Click to open the page.
> Quick responses Tapbacks are quick, prebaked ways to indicate your reaction to a message. Hold right-click on a
message, then choose Tapback. Choose your response by clicking one of the six icons: a heart, thumbs up, thumbs down, “ha ha,” exclamation, or question mark. The recipient will see your response attached to that message.
> Video playback You can share videos in Messages from YouTube, vimeo and other sites, and play them inside conversations. When you send a link to a video’s page, Messages shows just the video from it in the conversation; click the play button to watch it in place.
> Large emoji You can now send giant emoji to your friends. To do so, click on the smiling face at the right end of the message composition box and click an emoji from the popover that appears, or type one of the common textual shorthands, such
as :-) or <3. As long as you don’t include any regular text in your message, any emoji you send will be larger than text.
> Writing & animations On watchOS and iOS, Messages provides the ability to sketch out messages on the screen using a finger and send them as images. You can also tap out animations, such as fireballs, or share your heartbeat. Sadly, you can’t yet create these animations on the Mac, but you can receive and view them.
> Dictate messages You can send messages using Siri. Be careful not to confuse this with Messages’ audio recording feature. When you click the mic icon to the right of the message composition box, Messages records your voice and sends it as an audio file. To get Siri to transcribe your message, open its window and then say “Send a message to,” followed by the name of your intended recipient.
32 DEC 2016 maclife.com
Check out the perfect gifts for any Apple fan – or maybe yourself…
34 dec 2016 maclife.com
The Apple gift guide 2016
1. Apple WAtch apple.com From $269
2. Apple tV apple.com $149
3. Apple Airpods apple.com $159
The ultimate iPhone accessory? It takes calls, includes Siri, helps you stay fit, displays messages discreetlyâ€Ś and it even tells the time. With watchOS 3, we think the Watch has come of age, and starting from $269 for an aluminum Series 1, it makes a great gift.
The Apple TV brings home entertainment into the app age. You can easily find whatever you want to watch with the Siri remote, which includes voice search and easy swipe-based navigation. Download apps for watching movies and TV shows, as well as other great apps and games.
Appleâ€™s wireless in-ear headphones are very smart: they pair just by being placed near your iPhone or iPad, and their carry case includes its own battery to charge them on-the-go. They stay in your ears well, and the built-in mic efficiently picks out your voice from noise, which is great for Siri.
4. Apple lightning dock apple.com $49 Want to charge your iPhone 7 while listening to music on headphones that use the old-style jack? This dock provides power to the phone, and audio output through a 3.5mm port on the rear. It comes in different finishes, and is great for any model of iPhone.
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1. Apple lightning to sd cArd cAMerA reAder apple.com $29 Apple added support for raw image files in iOS 10, so this is ideal for iPad-owning photo lovers – they can import DSLR images and edit them on the iPad’s big high-res Retina display.
2. rAzer MechAnicAl keyboArd cAse razerzone.com $169 This is the ultimate keyboard for those using the iPad Pro as a serious work device. Its mechanical keys are made for heavy duty, comfortable use. It’s a killer mix of old and new technology. It’s quite loud, though, we have to admit…
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3. Audeze sine audeze.com $499
4. logi bAse logitech.com From $99
If you want to get someone high-end Lightning headphones for their iPhone 7, these are the very best. They use planar magnetic drivers (instead of standard cone drivers) to create astounding, balanced audio that’s supremely detailed. They feel great, too.
Available in two sizes (one for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and one for the 12.9-inch), this is a stand that charges through the Smart Connector, so it can sit in landscape orientation more easily. It’s expensive, sure, but it’s our favorite desk stand for the iPad Pro.
5. WAcoM bAMboo slAte wacom.com $149 Write notes on this pad of paper with its special pen and they just appear on your iPhone or iPad, where you can turn the writing into editable text to paste into other apps! It works with any paper, and is brilliant for meetings, designs, and more.
The Apple gift guide 2016
1. JAbrA MoVe Wireless jabra.com $95
2. AMAzon echo dot amazon.com $49
Looking for wellpriced wireless headphones for an iPhone 7? These balance cost, comfort, and audio quality perfectly. Theyâ€™re very light on the head, but deliver full sound, and come in different finishes.
Get a voice assistant for your house! The Echo Dot is a little device that listens out for commands. You can ask it to control certain smart home products, find out information, play music, and even request an Uber.
3. iQunix zAnd amazon.com $39
4. netAtMo WeAther stAtion netatmo.com $149
This is a great way to mount any iPad on your desk safely. Its micro-suction pads hold the iPad in place really, really securely so you can tap away without fear of it falling off. It gives your iPad a bit of an iMac look too, which we really like.
This set enables you to monitor current conditions inside and outside your home, such as air quality, humidity, and more. You can add different sensors to the setup too, such as rain meters. The app is beautifully clear.
5. griffin itrip clip griffintechnology.com $19 4
Got an iPhone 7 and a pair of headphones you love? Forget the adapter and use this: plug your headphones into it and it turns them wireless, via Bluetooth. Its clip design is convenient, as are its controls.
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1. uprosA iphone cAses uprosa.com $25 Give your iPhone a look to talk about with these cases featuring scientifically themed images. There are dozens of designs, with real images captured using microscopes by actual scientists. Each case comes with the image’s backstory.
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2. lifeproof fre lifeproof.com $64 Possibly the ultimate in iPhone protection, this waterproof, dustproof, drop-proof case can survive almost any accident. It’s perfect for beach holidays, pool-side, construction work… anything risky, really. It adds a bit of bulk, but not that much for its level of protection.
3. creAtiVe MuVo Mini creative.com $49
4. studio neAt glif studioneat.com $28
Here’s an inexpensive, wireless speaker that sounds great. The Muvo Mini is small and light enough to carry around, is weather-resistant, looks smart, and can be used for handsfree calls. It connects via Bluetooth, so works with loads of devices.
Serious about iPhone photography? The Glif makes it easy to attach your phone to a tripod, and includes extra tripod screw threads so you can add other equipment, such as lights. Its smart expanding design holds any kind of phone securely.
The Apple gift guide 2016
nAnoleAf AurorA sMArter kit nanoleaf.me $199 Weâ€™re totally in love with these cool, futuristic smart lights. each panel is a triangle (this starter kit comes with 9 panels and a control box), and they can fit together in any pattern you want to make, from a simple hexagon to a sprawling line. each has its own colorful Leds, so patterns of colors can spread in gradients across your design, if you choose. They work with HomeKit, so are Siri compatible, and are easy to control from the Home app or control center.
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40 dec 2016 maclife.com
1. decAlguru MAcbook decAl decalguru.com $13
2. speck seethru MAcbook cAses speckproducts.com $49
3. henge docks VerticAl dock hengedocks.com $119
4. trAnscend JetdriVe lite 360 transcend-info.com From $69
Give your notebook a new look with these striking decals. There are dozens to choose from, including the simple (like the oldstyle Apple logo above), to elaborate characters and designs. Most use the Apple logo cleverly as part of their shape, and all look excellent.
Protect your MacBook from bumps and scrapes with these translucent cases from Speck – they’re available for all MacBook models, and come in a range of colors, from clear or classy black through to funky bright shades that remind us of the G3 iBooks.
We love Henge Docks’ practical and spacesaving vertical dock – it holds your MacBook upright, and connects to its various ports, which you can then access via the ports on the Henge Dock itself. Models for the MacBook Pro or Air are available.
Bought a 128GB MacBook and now worrying about storage space? This fits in its SD card slot, flush with the case (there are different models for each MacBook), and gives you an extra 128GB or 256GB of space. It’s fast, simple, and a good value.
The Apple gift guide 2016
1. tWelVe south hirise for MAcbook twelvesouth.com $69
2. sAtechi usb type c to usb type A satechi.com $14
Lots of people use their notebooks on their desk, but with the screen at a height that’s bad for your neck. Fix that problem with the HiRise – the height is adjustable, and we love its simple design. You’ll want an external keyboard and mouse, though.
If you know someone who has a 12-inch MacBook, get them this. It’s a simple USB Type-C to USB Type-A adapter that can be attached to a keyring, so it’s always there when it’s suddenly needed. It’s cheap, and comes in MacBook colors.
3. sAndisk ultrA duAl driVe usb type-c 128gb sandisk.com $42
4. oWc usb-c dock macsales.com $149
Got a 12-inch MacBook and a model that only takes USB Type-A, and need to copy large files between them? This USB stick has both connector types on it, and a smart design to slide the connectors inside when not in use, protecting them.
Love the portability of the 12-inch MacBook, but want more ports when you’re at your desk? This dock has everything you need: power, another USB Type-C port, four USB Type-A ports, HDMI, Ethernet, SD card reader, 3.5mm jack… and it comes in the MacBook’s colors.
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1. edifier r1700bt edifier.com $149
If you like listening to music at your desk, but want something better than Apple’s built-in speakers, this set from Edifier sounds excellent for its price, providing rich, smooth audio. The units are made with real wood, and can connect using Bluetooth, so no extra messy cables.
2. sAtechi f3 sMArt Monitor stAnd satechi.com $44 Raise your iMac or monitor to a more comfortable viewing height, and get some extra connectivity while you’re at it, with this monitor stand. It supports your screen, adds storage space under it, but also has USB 3 ports on the front, and audio jacks.
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3. MAtiAs tActile pro matias.ca $149 Do you miss the days of serious keyboards? The clattering keys of the Apple Extended Keyboard II are considered by many to be the best ever made. Well, this keyboard uses the same switches, making it feel just like the old AEK. It’s loud, solid, and we love it.
4. tWelVe south bAckpAck for iMAc twelvesouth.com $34 This versatile little shelf attaches to the “arm” of an iMac, ready to hold stuff for you. Mounted hidden behind the back, you could place a back-up drive on it; mounted to the front and lower down, it could hold your keyboard when it’s not in use.
5. seAgAte expAnsion portAble hArd driVe 1.5tb seagate.com $69 We all know someone who doesn’t back up properly. Save them from themselves with this smart-looking, capacious USB 3.0 drive. It draws all the power it needs via USB, is a great price for 1.5TB, and writes data pretty quickly.
The Apple gift guide 2016
1. Apple WAtch sports bAnd apple.com $49
2. Just Mobile tiMestAnd just-mobile.com $39
Give your Apple Watch a new look. Apple’s Sports Bands feel great, come in a wide range of colors, look pretty smart, and aren’t too expensive. We really like the Product Red model pictured here, some of the profits from which help to fund AIDS research.
This is our favorite Apple Watch charging stand, thanks to its striking design and small footprint. Slot your Watch’s charger in the top, run the cable down the stand’s grooves, and then just pop your Watch on to charge overnight, where it’s held in by magnets.
5. pArrot sWing And flypAd parrot.com $139
3. Jetech leAther loop bAnd ijetech.com $19
4. AdAM eleMents iklips duo adamelements.com From $99
Want a cool leather Watch band for less money than Apple’s? These look amazingly like Apple’s Leather Loop magnetic bands, for a really low price. The company has other bands too, including Milanese Loops, steel links, and much more.
This USB drive has two connectors: standard USB and Lightning, making it a great way to move large files between Mac and iOS. Ideal for storing HD videos to watch on the go, without filling your device’s space – or transferring 4K video from iPhone to Mac.
Parrot’s latest minidrone mixes the versatility and vertical takeoff of a quadcopter with the more smooth control of a winged aircraft. It can be piloted from your iPhone, or with the precise joysticks of the included FlyPad controller.
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2. neW MAc soy cAndle twelvesouth.com $24 The ultimate gift for a Mac superfan: this candle replicates the “new Mac smell” when you open the box of an Apple product for the first time. It’s cheaper than buying a new Mac… 2
1. beAsts of bAlAnce beastsofbalance.com $99 This fun game for kids and adults alike tasks you with balancing geometric creatures on a special plinth. An iPad app tells you what to balance, and whether you’ve done it correctly. It’s full of silly, tense joy. 3. steelseries niMbus steelseries.com $47 Know someone who loves games on their iPad, iPhone, or Apple TV? This gamepad works with all three, enabling console-style control for compatible games. It’s really comfortable to use, and well-made.
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The Apple gift guide 2016
1. littlebits littlebits.cc From $99 Want to encourage some engineering creativity in kids? The sets from Littlebits are just fantastic: color-coded electrical components click together like Legos, making it easy to build complex devices that include sensors, speakers, switches, lights, and motors!
3. sphero sprk+ sphero.com $129 Both learning tool and toy, Spheroâ€™s SPRK+ is a small round robot that can be driven remotely for fun, or programmed from its iOS app using either a beginner-friendly block system, or full code editing.
2. susAn kAre print kareprints.com From $99 One for the old-school Apple lover: large, modern prints of designs by original Macintosh icon designer Susan Kare. The designs are striking â€“ itâ€™s hard to choose just one!
4. iconic book iconicbook.com $26 This coffee table book is packed with original photography of Apple products from the last 40 years, including pictures of some rare prototypes and very limited release products. An Apple fan essential.
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46 dec 2016 maclife.com
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maclife.com dec 2016 47
Plan your shoot
WiTH any creaTive proJecT, planning is essential. That goes double for video shoots, when you’re likely to be constrained by time, money, and location. Turn up without enough batteries and your whole day could be ruined. You’ll want to have a good idea of exactly what you’re going to need to capture before you arrive to avoid getting caught out. Write a shot list if it helps, at least as a guide. A fundamental thing to consider is how many cameras you’re going to need. If you’re sure it’s just one, that’s great. For any kind of interview footage it’s common practice to shoot two angles of the subject and then cut between them in the edit to keep things interesting. If the interviewer is to be in the occasional shot as well, a third camera may be needed.
Much like going on holiday, methodically listing things you’ll need can save a day’s shooting.
a and b fooTage When choosing your cameras, it’s important to use models that will output footage of similar quality. If your A and B camera footage looks very different, it’s going to create an uneven end product. If you need to shoot using a DSLR as your main camera and an iPhone as your secondary camera for budgetary
reasons, factor this in to the way you shoot, perhaps saving the iPhone footage for cutaways or B-roll (supplementary footage that can be cut in when editing). Make a list of everything you need to take – even boring stuff like tripods, lights, power equipment and batteries – and get it all ready the night before. This way you’re less likely to forget something vital.
Portable LED lighting provides even lighing, is fairly inexpensive, and many models can be stand-mounted or fitted to the accessory shoe of a camera.
DSLR cameras such as Canon’s EOS 700D or Nikon’s D3300 (p78) shoot beautiful video, but are more affordable than prolevel video cameras.
IK Multimedia’s iKlip A/V is a grip mount for smartphones that helps to eliminate camera shake and provides a pro mic input.
A gun mic such as Røde’s VideoMic Pro can be mounted on your camera and provides far superior audio quality to most cameras’ built-in mics.
Tripods are indispensable when shooting many types of video. You can get away with a moderately priced one.
Take control of your shooting schedule by compiling a gear list
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Lighting & angLes Illuminating advice on how to ensure you capture the right mood ligHTing and framing are crucial To capturing great-looking footage. Our eyes see things differently to a camera lens, so it’s vital to spend time with your cameras to get things right. Lighting should be even and flattering to your subject. Frame the subject correctly for the situation; in interviews this often means placing them in the left or right third of the frame. Make sure your camera is level, because off-axis footage is of limited use. Don’t be afraid to tweak the white balance of your camera to compensate for lighting conditions – it’ll save time when editing.
shooting insidE sound >>> Your camera will have a built-in microphone, but it’s far better to use a dedicated external mic for sound recording. Such mics are battery-powered and can cost around $120. Usually they will mount on top of your camera, provided it has an audio input, and send sound directly to the video being recorded. Alternatively, you can connect the mic to an iPhone or a portable recorder. If you need to record sound to a device other than the camera, sync it with your video later in software – though this can take time and patience.
Use multiple lights placed off-camera to achieve flattering lighting conditions in the shot. Use your camera’s white balance control to tweak the light level and color temperature that the camera records. Frame shots to include everything you want and exclude that which doesn’t serve to improve the shot.
Record at least two different but complementary angles of any interview footage.
Use your camera’s auto white balance when moving – it helps with changes in light.
Keep your camera at the correct level for the kind of footage you’re shooting – often eye level.
Don’t overlight a shot, as this can bleach the results and fixing in post-production can adversely affect picture quality.
Use a camera cage or grip when moving around to help mitigate camera shake and keep your footage nice and level.
Don’t use zany angles unless you have a good reason. Shaky, flying footage makes audiences dizzy.
Don’t place a subject dead center in the frame unless there’s a good reason to do so. Instead, use the left or right third.
Make use of a cameramounted light if the available natural light is low, but try to avoid harsh close-up lighting effects.
Don’t shoot in low light unless your camera is set up to deal with it. Low light makes autofocus much harder for a camera.
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smart shooting Shake off bad habits and learn good techniques, like taking test footage at the start and ensuring plenty of editing options WiTH your sHooT planned and your gear set up, you can get to work. Before your first take, it’s crucial to do a dry run to check everything is working. Shoot 10 to 20 seconds of test footage and sound and then play it back to confirm video and audio are being captured as you intended. Also check for things like focus and eyeline. Is your subject in focus, and do they appear to be looking at the right target in the footage? If you’re filming yourself, this stage will involve switching between being behind and in front of the camera until the setup is correct. It’s good to shoot “clean” footage, unless you’re an expert focus puller. Clever effects can be added later in software much more
improve on the iphone’s video stabilization with an accessory like Zhiyun’s Z1 smooth-c.
easily than trying to correct jerky zooms or other errors that stem from trying to be too clever during shooting. Shoot more B-roll footage (cutaways, detail shots and ambient shots) than you think you need, so you have plenty of choice. Shoot as much footage as you can, because it’s better to have more than you need than not enough. B-roll is brilliant for covering up edits in your main footage. If possible, shoot the same scene from multiple angles to give yourself choices later. If something is wrong, shoot it again rather than assuming it can be fixed during editing. If you move locations, recheck all your gear before resuming filming – settings can get accidentally changed in transit.
tips for gEtting pErfEct shots
keep iT smooTH don’t move a camera left to right or up and down quickly, because the footage will be disorienting for the viewer and focus and lighting will also suffer because of the rapid movement. 1
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focus your aTTenTion While you shoot, watch your viewfinder rather than looking directly at your subject. What’s important is what the camera sees, so you should focus on prioritizing that. 2
THink cinemaTically Frame your subject – whatever it is – sympathetically. For an interview, for example, this could mean using depth of field to blur the background while enhancing the subject. 3
Post-production techniques to achieve a perfectly polished end result ediTing is WHere your video project really takes shape. Whatever the nature of your film, there are some basic rules to follow. Pacing is vital to any video and creating a snappy edit can be the key to success. Viewers will quickly tire of a video in which there are boring segments where nothing really happens. Scenes that linger too long also feel odd, so be ruthless, cutting anything that slows down the narrative while also allowing shots just enough time to create the impact the story needs. Basically, keep it interesting and be sure it makes sense. You might understand what’s going on, but will your viewers? Besides the importance of creating a coherent timeline where things happen at the right time and viewers are given the information they need, you can also create visual interest with cutaways. A core technique of any editing, cutting to alternative views or images while someone continues to speak prevents the camera lingering endlessly (and boringly) on one person. Also use the editing stage to alter the appearance of footage, perhaps adjusting color or light levels, cropping or zooming in on shots, and adding transitions where appropriate. Editing is also the point at which you balance and mix the different audio tracks in a project – such as a voiceover, music and ambient sound – to create a polished final product.
crEating a snappy Edit can bE KEy to succEss
Zoom in posT You can use cropping and zooming tools in your editing software to crop into footage, reframing the shot. don’t zoom in too far, however, or you risk degrading the image quality.
geT close up By zooming in on your timelime you can get all the way down to individual frames. This makes cuts and edits much more precise, especially when you have snapping switched on.
play WiTH color You can use presets or custom color controls to easily “grade” your footage, making it warmer or colder, or even tinting it however you like to make it look more cinematic.
cuT for effecT Make cuts to maintain interest and dynamism. cuts are used much more frequently than transitions, which tend to give a piece a slower pace. Transitions are used in film more than on TV.
sound deparTmenT Sound is also important. Make use of multiple audio tracks where necessary to create the desired effect, and keep an eye on levels. Some video editors include a dedicated audio mixer for this.
use in and ouT poinTs Many editing apps let you choose in and out points of a clip and then drag just that bit to your timeline – quicker than dragging the whole clip and chopping it up to get the part you want.
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marketing your video Know your audience and make sure your promotional efforts match it your finisHed video Will ideally have been recorded and edited at 720p HD as a minimum, or preferably 1080p. When it’s time to export it from your software, it’s a good idea to export a highest-quality version as well as any lowerquality versions you do. When you upload to a site such as YouTube or Vimeo, the site will create different quality versions for streaming over lower bandwidth connections, but it can’t boost the resolution of your video any higher than the original upload.
Vimeo has a wealth of options for organizing, downloading and even replacing videos you’ve uploaded.
Your choice of destination for a video will depend on its content and what you hope it will achieve. Sites like YouTube and Vimeo are the best-known video hosting sites, and Vimeo’s paid tier allows you lots of options for how your video is tagged, shared, and streamed. YouTube also offers a fair few ways to customize your content, and it’s free, which is probably why it’s the go-to video hosting site. Promotional videos need to be snappy, to the point, professionally produced, and to strongly convey their message. Remember that attention spans are very short, so get to the point quickly. More creative projects like films obviously have a different audience, and are more concerned with telling a story over time than selling you something. If you’re promoting a video, pick places where it’ll likely get the largest audience: Facebook, YouTube, and maybe Linkedin, if the project is business-related.
social MEdia TWiTTer Keep it snappy for Twitter users, who are used to videos of no longer than a minute.
linkedin High production values will impress business-focused users on this site.
youTube Upload to YouTube for the widest possible audience across all devices, worldwide.
facebook Make your video publicly available so it can be shared among users with no restrictions.
google+ Google Plus and YouTube are part of the same company, so you can tie your accounts on the two services together.
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APP LIFE THIS MONTH’S MOST INTERESTING iPHONE & iPAD APPS
Dials Calendar A new way to keep a rounded schedule Free Developer DayDial, dialsapp.com Platform Universal Requirements iOS 9 or later
Dials gives your calendar a clockbased makeover, providing a unique look at your 12-hour day, morning, or evening events.
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The demise of the popular Sunrise calendar app sent many iPhone owners in search of a suitable replacement. While there are plenty of great options – Fantastical 2, BusyCal, and Calendars 5 are three of our favorites – those in search of something exciting and fresh can shake up their schedule with a new kid on the block. Dials Calendar offers a completely different experience, one that substitutes the traditional day/week/month view you know and love with a clock-based design. The dark user interface definitely takes some getting used to, with events appearing as color pins placed around a clock-like dial at scheduled times; tapping a pin displays additional details for that event. By default, the home dial provides a peek at the next 12 hours (there’s no way to view all 24 hours at
once), with a running countdown to your next event; you can also switch to time or date views. A tap or swipe puts the focus on only morning or evening events, and the weekly calendar across the bottom can be expanded to reveal the entire month, with color-coded dots that correspond to all of your calendars. This approach starts to make sense when assigning event times, which is done by dragging start and end pins around the dial. But it’s a little more awkward with all-day events, which requires moving the end time all the way around until it connects with the start time back at the top, at which point a bell rings to confirm. A drop-down menu at the top displays details for all-day events, including buttons to add notes, chat with attendees, or view a summary. One nice touch is how Dials integrates with Contacts and Maps, providing visual flair by showing photos of the people you’re scheduled to meet with, as well as the location where the event takes place. The result is a calendar that can be navigated using your thumb with the device held in
Event summaries include a map, so you can see where you need to meet up.
one hand, which mostly works even on larger devices like the iPhone 7 Plus. (Dials can be installed on an iPad, but sadly lacks native display support for tablets.) The app can be used independently with a Dials account, or synced with major cloud services such as iCloud, Google, and Outlook/Exchange. the bottom line. Dials Calendar isn’t for everyone, but its “rock around the clock” approach is unique, and shows itself to be useful for onehanded use. We’d like more display options, though. J.R. bookwalteR DIALS CALENDAR Visually rich dark user interface Home Dial countdown to next event Clock approach less ideal for busy calendars All-day events require circling entire dial gooD
Tough testing, trusted ratings
Alto AOL lives – and it’s offering a new kind of email app Free Developer AOL, aol.com Platform Universal Requirements iOS 9 or later
The email app market is a saturated one, and it’s often hard to find one that suits your exact needs. Alto attempts to be the email app for people who are busy with events, flights, and other exciting things, and it does it quite well – but maybe not well enough to bother replacing the default app with it. Its main appeal is that it can sort your emails into categories such as Travel, Personal, Banking, and Social – but these appear to be based on an imperfect algorithm, because some promotional emails appeared in Personal, and Airbnb is definitely not a bank. It also sorts all emails
with a photo into a folder, but this includes every image-based signature, invitation, logo, and attachment in your inbox – which, if it’s your work email, is a lot of useless images. Like Airmail and Outlook, you can snooze emails so you can reply to them at a more convenient time, too. At a glance, you can see all your receipts, tickets, and flights in a stylish card format, which is something Mail sorely needs – although support seems pretty limited (Apple and Eventbrite information works with it). Alto also only displays four emails on-screen in your inbox at once, compared with Mail’s seven, which means more scrolling to get to the one you’re looking for.
There’s a section called “Cards” which collects all your tickets, receipts and invoices.
Other than all that, it’s another email app. It’s not bad, it’s not mindblowing, it’s just a useful, organized place where all your email goes. the bottom line. A perfectly functional email app that has a few useful features for busy businessy types. Kate GRay GOOD
Timelines Keep on top of contract work $7.99 Developer Glimsoft, timelinesapp.io Platform iPhone Requirements iOS 8 or later
If you’re someone who works for multiple clients, you’ll know the only thing harder than juggling deadlines and receivables is keeping track of which client you’re working for at any given time, and for how long. Or, you might just want to track your time management in general. Timelines is an iPhone app designed to ease this burden. You need only tap a button from a Notification Center widget, Apple Watch, or the app itself to start or stop time tracking in a chosen category. An unlimited number of these so-called “timelines” can be set up to track multiple clients, projects, hobbies, and more.
Once a tracked event has been recorded, the iPhone app is used to add a note or assign an optional title. Color-coded data appears on a scrolling timeline, and zooming into a given day or time period is just a pinch or two away. The app is amazingly intuitive and easy to use, although the nature of its horizontal scrolling makes Timelines best suited to landscape mode, and having a larger screen will certainly help. Visually rich statistics are just a tap away too, with a pie-chart breakdown and details on how much time was devoted to each timeline. There’s also an option to export statistics in just two taps for a given week,
Tracking your time is as easy as tapping a button on the iPhone app or Apple Watch.
month, or year in PDF or CSV format, but unfortunately this can’t be done with data for a single day only. the bottom line. Timelines takes the headache out of tracking time on your iPhone or Apple Watch, provided you don’t forget to manually start and stop events. J.R. booKwalteR EXCELLENT
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There’s lots to play around with, but you’re not guided towards a complete design.
Vintage Design Instant hipster graphics $2.99 Developer Appfever, appfeverapps.com Platform Universal Requirements iOS 8 or later
There’s quite a wide selection of preset elements within categories, all in a retro lineart style.
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Subtitled “Logo Maker & Poster Creator DIY,” this is a design app for non-designers. Simply by picking elements and moving them around, you construct a logo or banner graphic from preset elements, a selection of typefaces, and your own text. There’s more depth than you might expect. Pick a Background,
Badge, or Decoration and you get a couple of dozen choices, but each one is a category revealing a couple of dozen options. For example, one of the Backgrounds is a defocused twilight scene with vivid colors and bokeh light circles. Tap on it and you get a choice of 17 similar scenes. The Decoration graphics could be more comprehensive: there’s a cupcake, for example, but no ice cream cone; a butcher’s diagram of a cow, but not a sheep. Even the additional bundles available as IAPs (99¢ for each of three sets, or $1.99 for all) might leave you needing more. You can import images from other sources, though. Over 150 fonts are included – quite a lot to scroll through in a one-line horizontal menu, but they’re clearly previewed – and the Edit options allow you to adjust letter spacing or curve text along an
arc. Typography is limited: a font called Champagne comes with an “alt” version providing extra flourishes, but the only way to apply these to individual characters is to create them as separate text blocks, and lining them up isn’t easy. Any element of a composition can have an overlay, selected from a range of mostly grungy textures, and all colors can be set using swatches or an RGB picker. You can export a PNG, a JPEG, or a layered Photoshop file for further editing, uploaded to Adobe’s Creative Cloud service. These can be cropped, but the working canvas is always in portrait orientation at the iPad’s screen resolution. We’d expected a templatebased approach, offering retro logo clichés ready to customize. Instead, your background, badge, decoration, and text ingredients get dropped in the middle of the canvas. That leaves a big portion of the job of “designer” to you, and with no options to align elements or copy styles between them, it’s laborious to produce something neat. the bottom line. The ingredients are good, but as a simple way to create graphics, it’s a missed opportunity. ADAm bAnks
VINTAGE DESIGN Lots of elements to work with Color, opacity, and texture controls No templates to get you started No smart guides, snap, or align functions SolID
Tough testing, trusted ratings >>> App
Sidekix Have fun exploring cities on foot Free Developer WEGO as one Ltd, getsidekix.com Platform Universal Requirements iOS 7 or later
Have you ever wanted to plan out the perfect afternoon or evening, packed with the most amount of entertainment with the least amount of effort? Well, look no further, as that’s exactly what Sidekix is designed to do. Sidekix is a navigation app, not dissimilar to the built-in Apple Maps in your iPhone. The real difference, however, is that instead of getting you to your destination as fast as possible, Sidekix wants you to get there while having as much fun as possible. Enter your destination into the search bar and Sidekix will plot a route that includes various points of interest along the way.
One of the greatest things about Sidekix is that it’s specifically geared for casual pedestrian travel. It offers turn-by-turn directions for those traveling on foot, links to reviews of the stops along the way, and allows you to pick different themes for your trip. Looking to do some window shopping on the way to the local theater? Select the fashion/shopping route. Want to have a fun staycation in your own home city? Pick the route for entertainment, which includes museums, theaters, art galleries, and public places of interest. While it may not be an app for everyday, Point-A-to-Point-B navigation like Apple Maps is, Sidekix certainly proves itself when
Pick a route based on your interests, including restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues.
it comes to helping you plan the perfect night out on the town. We think that this is an app for everyone who enjoys getting out and seeing what a city has to offer. the bottom line. Perfect for both tourists and locals looking to maximize fun and minimize time and effort spent planning. AmbeR neely excellent
Mondly Converse your way through language learning Free Developer ATi Studios, mondlylanguages.com Platform Universal Requirements iOS 7 or later
Duolingo has garnered a well-deserved reputation as one of the easiest ways to learn new languages on a mobile device, but it’s not the only game in town. One of the fastest rising contenders is Mondly, which offers interactive lessons in 33 different languages (including Chinese) – more than any major competitor. Mondly is a Universal iOS app (also available as a web app) divided up into 17 conversation modules. The service is designed to help those who have trouble memorizing words and phrases with traditional methods. The first category, Hello, is free in all available languages,
and users can dive straight in without having to sign up for anything. The app uses a series of games to learn new languages, but the fun doesn’t have to end there if you’re not into the idea of purchasing the in-app upgrades (available in bundles starting at $4.99). The Daily Lesson provides a new opportunity to learn every day, whether it’s memorizing words accompanied by a photo or guessing the correct sequence to short phrases. New to version 5.0 is Chatbot, a Siri-style interface for practicing conversations. Mondly will first say something in the chosen language, then help guide you toward the correct answer, which is entered
Chatbot makes it easy to practice conversations in a new language using a Siri-style interface.
with a tap-and-hold on the microphone button. Chatbot uses speech recognition from Nuance, so it’s highly accurate and a whole lot of fun to use. the bottom line. Mondly uses games and gestures to help learn new languages, but the real fun is in the conversational new Chatbot feature. J.R. bookwAlteR great
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>>> App Life
Highly Not the highlight we were hoping for Free Developer Highly, highly.co Platform Universal Requirements iOS 8 or later
Highly lets you save snippets of articles you’re reading and share them with friends on social media. Presumably, these are snippets you find notable in some way, like a 22-year-old entrepreneur talking about going for your goals, or something. However, it’s a total mess to use. You have to open the app from Safari to use it, which makes it feel less efficient and quick than just screen-grabbing the quote and sharing that. On top of that, it’s quite hard to share things in a convenient way – it takes too long to load, and your actual shared link takes your friends to Highly, rather than immediately to the original article.
Also, highlighting on an iPhone is not a fun activity. It’s imprecise and frustrating, so the highlights will end up cutting off mid-sentence or you’ll accidentally highlight an advert for formula milk instead of that very deep quote about sunsets. Your highlight feed within the app will also be populated automatically with “popular” highlights, which mostly consist of boring self-congratulatory Silicon Valley types, and whoever “Andrew from Highly” is, popping up and congratulating you on doing the thing the app is designed for. So who is this app for? Probably those same Silicon Valley types, or the kind of person whose Instagram is full
It’s similar to Medium’s highlighting system, but no one reads Medium for the highlights.
of inspirational quotes about carpe-ing the diem. But it’s too difficult to actually use it for its intended purpose, and obfuscates the process with inconvenience and fuss. the bottom line. A platform for highlighting and sharing quotes that’s too fussy and awkward to become a staple app. Kate GRay okay
Pattern – Design Drawing Block-sketching for iPad – and that’s about it $2.99 Developer Andrew Chung, pattern.is Platform iPad Requirements iOS 9.2 or later
Sketching out a block diagram – whether a floor plan for a new kitchen or a wireframe for a website – ought to be simpler than drawing apps usually make it. Andrew Chung, formerly a designer at Facebook, must know the feeling, so he’s developed his own app. Pattern reduces the drawing process to two basic touch interactions. The screen shows a grid of dots, which you can adjust from the first of three icons to show small, medium, or large squares. Pinch out anywhere and a rectangle appears, snapping to the grid; it’s labeled with its size (measured in large squares),
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and updates as you drag to size and position it. This feels intuitive, and since everything snaps, the results are always neatly aligned and spaced. From the second icon, you can pick a triangle or ellipse instead, or a line, which can be rotated to any angle. Shapes won’t rotate, though, and we couldn’t get lines to draw near the edges of the canvas. Dragging your finger across the screen draws a freehand line, which we found was mostly useful with the iPad Pro’s Apple Pencil, for annotations. Pattern is satisfyingly simple, but has a basic flaw: the canvas is stored as one bitmap. You can rub parts out with an
You’ll be creating neat diagrams in seconds, but won’t be able play with them too much.
eraser, but you can’t select shapes and remove or recolor them, so it’s easy to mess up and have to start again. Storing the shapes as vectors would be much more flexible. the bottom line. It makes block drawing easy, but rotation, labeling and editing are big misses. aDam banKs okay
Tough testing, trusted ratings
Submerged: Miku and the Sunken City Exploration without combat $4.99 Developer Uppercut Games, uppercut-games.com Platform Universal Requirements iOS 9 or later
Submerged is a game about a sunken city, made by three former developers of BioShock – a game about a sunken city. The difference is that BioShock’s Rapture was underwater on purpose, and the world of Submerged is more of a 200-years-after-anatural-disaster sort of sunk. You play Miku, a young girl whose brother is mortally wounded, and your task is to attempt to keep him alive as he writhes around in feverish pain. Each day, you have something new to collect: bandages to stem the bleeding; water to keep him hydrated;
fire to keep him warm. It looks like a survival game, but it’s really not. There’s no real threat – no combat, no urge to eat or drink to make it to the next day, just the imperative to fetch an item for your brother to drive the plot onwards. Most of the time it looks quite beautiful – sunlight glinting off the waves, highrise hotel buildings coated with a layer of damp moss, whale tails appearing from nowhere to crash in front of you. However, the graphics limit which devices can run the game – it has to be iPhone 6 or iPad Air 2 or later. Anything else will slow down severely and suffer crashes.
And if you can run it, there are issues. The controls, for both foot and boat navigation, are pretty frustrating. Tap once to move, and swipe to look around and decide the direction you’re moving in. Sounds simple, but once you’ve tapped to move, Miku just keeps moving until she bumps into something. Climbing is handled with swipes, which feel sluggish, and can cause camera bugs. Careful exploration provides extra information and clues on what happened to your family and the sunken city, but you might be disappointed that there’s not more information on the latter. Submerged is a perfectly pleasant, tranquil experience (controls aside), just not on iOS devices – it simply doesn’t fit them well enough. the bottom line. A cool experience, but annoying controls and high device demands frustrate. Kate GRay
You can see the areas you’ll travel to before you get a chance to reach them.
Submerged: miku and the Sunken City Atmospheric, evocative design Refreshing to have no combat Only works on limited number of devices Incredibly battery-intensive okay
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Close-range battles tend to have devastating results.
Battlefleet Gothic: Leviathan Providing a whale of a time $5.99 Developer Grand Cauldron, battlefleetgothic-leviathan.com Platform Universal Requirements iOS 7 or later
Spacecraft or space squid? It’s a bit of both.
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This spaceship combat game isn’t about daring dogfights and precision strikes; it’s about lumbering, awkward capital ships and devastating ordnance, and the tactical challenges that brings. Rules-wise, it’s simple. Ships have to move forward each
round before they can turn. The bigger the craft, the further it must go and the less it can pivot. Mostly you need to maximize the targets in range of the left and right weapons batteries mounted on each ship. Then it’s down to a virtual dice roll to see which shots hit. It’s vintage naval strategy: keep your cruisers away from enemy broadsides while leaving them able to deliver their own. Yet there’s added depth. Ships have regenerating shields, but each hit leaves a permanent blast marker of debris on the battlefield that nullifies a shield, so you’ll need to weave around the resulting maze, focusing on foes wallowing in the mire. All those markers create a visual mess on the battlefield. With battleships, smaller craft,
missiles, and control icons on top, it gets hard to tell what’s going on. There’s also an order system, allowing ships to sacrifice firepower for maneuverability, and vice versa. The game is easy to learn but it can take a while to master the interface. That’s unfortunate, especially given how welldesigned the tutorials are. One short introduction unlocks the campaign so you can get playing, then each subsequent tutorial delivers rewards such as in-game rerolls. It’s a clever system that gets you started fast, but rewards time spent mastering details. Campaign play adds a little extra strategy and an enjoyable narrative. When you’re done there’s still plenty of fun to be had playing individual skirmish games against the AI or over a network; the variety of ships and setups will keep you entertained. Leviathan gives you an experience of the thrills and depth of interstellar conflict at a grand scale. Though it can get a bit messy to play, the core fun of outsmarting and outshooting your opponent is excellent. the bottom line. A roughedged but deep and rewarding game for strategy and tactics lovers. matt thRoweR
Battlefleet Gothic: leviathan Great balance of strategy and luck Variety of game modes Well-designed tutorial system Messy interface and confusing graphics Great
Tough testing, trusted ratings >>> App
The best iOS security and privacy apps Keep your data private and secure when you’re online By kenny hemPhill
Your iPhone and iPad are inherently secure – only software approved by Apple can run on iOS, for example. But, like anything, they have a weak link: you. For example, if you use the same easy-to-guess password for every website or user account, you’re leaving a door wide open for trouble. 1Password (Free/$9.99 Pro, Universal) allows you to securely store just about anything you need to keep safe. Whether it’s user account details, credit card information, or software license numbers, you can encrypt it and access it from any device. 1Password now uses its own servers to sync with multiple devices (you’ll need a subscription, which starts at $2.99/month). When it comes to surfing the web, for complete browser anonymity you’ll need you to use the Tor network, which bounces your web activity off relays, keeping your IP address hidden. To use it, you’ll need a special browser and red onion ($1.99, Universal) is among the best.
1Password allows you to store everything from passwords to software licenses securely.
Hide your web browsing activity on public Wi-Fi networks using Free VPN.
If you’re interested in finding out who’s watching you while you surf, Ghostery (Free, Universal) is the answer. This alternative browser allows you to view what it calls “the invisible web” – the tracking cookies that ad networks and others use to gather data. It displays information about who owns the cookies and links to their privacy policies and opt-out options. If you regularly use public Wi-Fi networks, you should use a VPN (virtual private network) to encrypt data. VPNs can also be useful to access sites and content that would ordinarily be blocked on a given Wi-Fi network, say in an office. Free vPn by VPN Master (Free, Universal) does exactly that, allowing you to browse anonymously, preventing your data from being put at risk, and disguising the content you want to access. Apple’s iMessage encrypts your conversations, as does WhatsApp. But if you want more features, like
encrypted voice and video calls and self-destructing messages, silent Phone (Free with subscription, iPhone) is the one. You can even use it for encrypted file transfers. When it comes to protecting PDFs with a password, there are a number of ways to do it. You could make it impossible to open the PDF without a password, or you could just prevent printing or copying without inputting the password. PdF Password Protect your PdFs ($2.99, Universal) allows you to do all three. Want to use cloud storage but dubious about the security of iCloud or Dropbox? Try sPideroakone (Free, Universal). Data is encrypted in transit and on the SpiderOak servers. The iOS app is designed to be used in conjunction with SpiderOak Hive, the company’s Dropbox-like storage and syncing service. As with Dropbox, you can access your files in the iOS app and open them in other apps. SpiderOak doesn’t store your password, so save it in 1password!
Want to know who’s tracking you around the web? Ghostery will tell you.
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>>> App Life
watch apps and guides to get more from your watch
Outpost Defender Four games for a buck? Nice 99¢ Developer Brian McIntosh Platform watchOS, iPhone Requirements iOS 10 or later
Smartwatch app developers are increasingly taking aim at games, despite (or maybe because of) the tiny display and limited controls available on most wearables. One of the latest efforts is Outpost Defender, which brings arcade-style gaming to Apple Watch complete with multiple levels, slick graphics (for a smartwatch, anyway), and increasingly difficulty. Outpost Defender is actually four games in one. The first, a kind of sideways Space Invaders
Re-enable screenshots Apple disabled the default screenshot shortcut in watchOS 3, but it’s easy to resurrect if you want to. On your paired iPhone, open the Watch app and go to My Watch > General. Scroll to the
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bottom and toggle the Enable Screenshots slider.
homage called Invasion!, pits players against a wave of enemy fighters, while the second, Asteroids!, is a wrist-friendly tribute to that particular Atari classic. The third is Black Hole!, a Tempest-style dodge-’em-up in which players must avoid deadly gamma bursts while being sucked into the aforementioned galactic anomaly. The fourth and final game, Canyon Run!, brings the action back down to Earth, as players try to survive tight turns while navigating a deadly ravine. The iPhone app itself is simply a delivery method for the app, since all of the action takes place on Apple Watch. Gameplay is pretty basic and about what you’d expect – the only available control is turning the Digital Crown as your ship fires repeatedly and/or avoids approaching objects. Black Hole! is the most difficult to play, requiring players to spin the Digital Crown more slowly. There’s sadly no audio to accompany the visuals, which is probably best considering this is the kind of thing that will likely be played during a spare moment in a waiting room. The frame
rates are surprisingly good, and everything loads quickly, although the app pushes the limits of the Apple Watch at times, usually crashing unceremoniously in the process. the bottom line. Given that it comes out to just a quarter per game, Outpost Defender is a fun way to kill a few minutes. J.R. bookwalteR
OutpOst DefenDer Four smartwatch games in one Looks and plays well enough No audio Limited control gOOD
Tough testing, trusted ratings
Doesn’t cross off everything we wanted Free Developer Purple Cover, anylistapp.com
maximize Rewards with wallaby
Platform watchOS, Universal Requirements iOS 8.3 or later
When it’s time to hit the grocery store, we leave the house without a paper shopping list. That’s because AnyList takes care of this messy business on the iPhone, so we can breeze through the aisles. One thing that’s been missing from the equation is Apple Watch support, to avoid the need to pull the device out of a pocket each and every time. Thankfully, with the arrival of AnyList 5.5, our prayers have been answered – now it’s easy to open a list and start tapping off items as they’re
purchased, all while the iPhone stays in your pocket or handbag. The initial implementation is fairly rudimentary: you can turn the Digital Crown to scroll through existing lists in your account, which are color-coordinated like the main app. But selecting a list displays only the items yet to be purchased, rather than everything in that list. Tap an item and it’s immediately crossed off the list, but there’s no way to add new items using voice dictation. the bottom line. This is pretty basic so far. J.R. bookwalteR sOliD
Shazam Music-matching at the flick of a wrist Free Developer Shazam Entertainment, shazam.com Platform watchOS, Universal Requirements iOS 8 or later
Shazam certainly isn’t new to iOS or Apple Watch, but with the arrival of iOS 10 and watchOS 3, the music-identifying app is worthy of another look if you haven’t used it in a while. For starters, Shazam now offers an automatic option – simply tap the button on your Apple Watch screen, drop your wrist, and wait for the app to notify you that a match has been made. But that’s not all: the latest update also brings Watch complications into the fold, so accessing Shazam can be done with a
SiGn UP The free Wallaby app saves money by showing which credit cards rack up the most rewards at nearby stores. Download and link your accounts to get started.
turn of the wrist and a single tap. Best of all, matches include cover art and the option to view lyrics without ever having to pull out the iPhone. Shazam is seriously one of the closest things we have to true magic, and it’s one of the first third-party apps even casual music lovers should install on any smartphone, tablet, or wearable they own. the bottom line. Just when you thought Shazam couldn’t get any cooler, along comes watchOS 3 support for complications, and auto-matching with a single tap. J.R. bookwalteR excellent
cateGoRY View Open Wallaby on your Apple Watch to see which payment methods will generate the most reward points at 15 different types of retail stores.
what’S neaRbY A right swipe switches to Nearby, a list of businesses closest to your current location, all matched to the best available rewards for your credit cards.
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TOUGH TESTING, TRUSTED RATINGS
Apple Watch Series 2 Fitness takes over the Apple Watch From $369 Manufacturer Apple, apple.com Features Built-in GPS, heart-rate sensor, water resistant up to 50m
here are two key questions to ask about the Apple Watch Series 2: is it a big enough upgrade, and has Apple done enough to make its smartwatch more a necessity than an indulgent luxury? In this new model, you get a more water-resistant design for swim tracking, a GPS chip, and a faster processor. And there’s watchOS 3, which radically improves the functionality of the Watch overall. With the cheapest 38mm version of the Series 2 costing $369 (the 42mm version starts at $399) the new Apple Watch is a hard sell to anyone who isn’t a fitness diehard and GPS chip obsessive. The highest-priced ceramic Edition model (for those “indulgent luxury” fans) comes in at $1,299; it does feel more premium (plus its case is four times as hard as Stainless Steel, according to Apple). The good news is that Apple will continue to sell the original Apple Watch, upgraded with the same faster processor that’s in the Series 2, for a cheaper price. The Apple Watch Series 1 costs $269 for the entry-level Sport Edition. The design is unchanged in the Series 2. The curved edges, the formed glass, the quality of the spinning Digital Crown on the side of the Watch all feel fantastic, and while they don’t necessarily excuse the high price, they do go a long way towards qualifying it. The displays are the same size and resolution, with the 312x390 (42mm) and 272x390 (38mm) OLED displays
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flowing attractively into the side of the Watch’s frame. The key improvement here is the brightness: the Watch Series 2 screen can now display at 1,000 nits… which is bright. As the Watch 2 is now water-resistant, the display has been augmented with a “wet mode,” which locks the display and disables touch functionality. The screen is impressive – more than sharp enough, as well as being colorful and clear in sunlight. Processing Power The big spec upgrade on the Apple Watch 2 is a new dual-core processor. Combined with 512MB of RAM (reportedly), the Series 2 whips along under the finger compared to the original. That said, the response isn’t instant – it’s a single beat when you press the dock button or hit the main menu. When flipping between apps it’s great, but opening the dock with the apps you use isn’t as speedy as you might expect. If you want to change things on the Series 2, you often need to go to your iPhone and the quite complex Watch app. Apart from brightness of the screen, there aren’t that many elements you can change from the Watch itself. watchos 3 The watchOS 3 software upgrade is the platform the Apple Watch has been crying out for, coming with some smart tricks that really make use of the additional hardware of the Series 2. It’s
Thanks to the faster processor and watchOS 3, app response is much slicker on the Series 2.
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The design of the Series 2 is nearly identical to the original, but it does have a brighter, clearer screen.
amazing in retrospect that Apple didn’t launch the original Watch with the dock, a place for your 10 most-used apps (which you can set) that’s accessed by pressing the side button. And with the new software comes the ability for apps to show you more information. There are still limitations: you can’t see WhatsApp photos on the smaller screen (despite being able to see your own snaps), Facebook updates are just notifications that you need to look at on your phone, and you can’t properly browse tweets. The app experience is still a long way from being indispensable; there are some nice tweaks but it’s odd how few third-party apps still aren’t native (as in, working without the phone attached) – you can’t open Google Maps, or
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message through Slack or order an Uber if your iPhone isn’t around, even when connected to Wi-Fi. Good app experiences can be very slick, though, and hard pressing the screen to bring up more options stops things becoming cluttered. There’s now an emergency SOS feature on the Watch that we love – press the power button and you bring up an SOS call option. You can also set this to trigger automatically after a countdown when you press the power button, and notify contacts of your location when triggered. It’s an excellent feature for the vulnerable. Built-in gPs The big hardware upgrade on the Apple Watch Series 2 is the addition of GPS. In fact, the Series 2 not only packs GPS but also hooks up to GLONASS, the Russian variant of the global positioning satellite system, so it has more chance of picking up your precise location. The GPS lock seems pretty strong, but the Watch is vague when it comes to feedback. There’s no clear way to know you’ve got a satellite fix, with the Watch filling in the early points where you might not have a signal with accelerometer data. That’s a useful idea, and unique to Apple. However, we’d happily trade off a few seconds at the start of the run to get confirmation of a GPS fix. Throughout our testing though, the GPS tracking did appear to be pretty accurate. When it came to health monitoring, the first Apple Watch was on the simplistic side, and some data, including heartrate, wasn’t always totally accurate. This time? The heart-rate monitor uses precisely the same technology as before, and as
Tough testing, trusted ratings
The water-resistant body and swim mode now mean you can track your swimming sessions.
such is equally as inaccurate. It’s fine for sedentary actions and general health tracking, but when running it often said our heartrate was far, far higher than it was – but this is common for wrist-based heart monitors. workout data Apple knows how to make an interface – for hardcore fitness fans, Apple makes it easy to tell the Watch you’re going on complex runs or doing certain training types. Annoyingly, the new method of pausing a workout by pressing the Digital Crown and side button together should be a brilliant feature, but was inconsitent for us. The bigger issue for fitness use is still the third-party app experience. The Workouts app is fine if you’re just thinking about trying to beat your personal best, but we need apps from Nike, Strava, and Adidas (among others) to bring a new level of functionality. Sadly, the forthcoming Nike app doesn’t seem to add much more than the Apple Workouts app – although it’s not been released yet, and may change from the demo. The great part of that app, though, is that when it does arrive you’ll finally be able to upload the data you’ve gleaned from the Apple Watch to your favorite sites, rather than having to run an app on your phone and have the Watch act simply as a second screen. Still, it’s all easier to use than ever in significant ways. Has Apple made the perfect running watch? Not at all – but it’s a massive step in the right direction. If it can solve the heart-rate monitoring issue, then that would go a long way towards making this the perfect all-in-one device. The GPS accuracy is excellent, the battery life is stronger
than expected, and the user interface is clean and usable. If Apple could create a “Pro” running app – one that didn’t just tell you how far you’d gone or how long for, but actually gave you a dedicated plan – it would be a runner’s dream. It’s not just running, though: the Series 2 is adept at other tracking tasks. These range from cycling to elliptical machines to “other” workouts, which gives you the equivalent calorie burn to a brisk walk. All these fitness modes are fairly rudimentary – more of a chance to track against yourself than upload to a wider fitness community. Swimming tracking is the big new feature, and while, again, this doesn’t tell you much beyond how far you’ve gone and for how long, Apple has coded the accelerometer and gyroscope to be able to tell when you’re changing lengths. Once you enter the length of your pool at the start of the workout, the Watch will be able to give you a pretty good idea as to how you’ve done. It’s a shame that Apple hasn’t gone all-out on fitness this year, adding in tailored programs designed to get you fitter or faster by varying the styles of workout. It’s in prime position to do just that – instead of relying on third-party apps. general use Fitness is at the heart of the Series 2, but it’s not the only reason to own a Watch. The less active among us still get a device that acts as something like the equivalent of a remote control for our iPhones. It makes it easy to view notifications without breaking what you’re doing, and answer calls without your phone in-hand. The dock makes it easier to get quick information from apps (they now load data in the background, so you shouldn’t need to wait) – you won’t need to reach for your phone as often. We admit that’s a luxury – but the point of luxuries is that they’re really nice to have, and once you try it, you may not want to go back. That said, these features are not unique to the Series 2 – the cheaper Series 1 will do these things just as well (though it has a less bright screen). The battery life is also largely unchanged – it can get through a couple of days of light use, but you’ll mostly need to charge it every night. When using it for intense continuous fitness tracking, you can get around five hours from it. the BottoM line. It’s still not quite a mustbuy, but the Watch is more compelling than ever, and the Series 2 is a big boost for fitness lovers. gareth Beavis & Matt Bolton
The Breathe feature is surprisingly great, encouraging you to take time to chill out.
APPLE WATCH SERIES 2 Water-resistant GPS onboard Expensive Apps still need work gREAT
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Notebooks Is this the app to organize your Mac life? $19.99 Developer Alfons Schmid, notebooksapp.com Requirements OS X 10.7.3 or later
Notebooks uses the familiar 3-pane layout of file managers, mail apps and note-taking apps.
Notebooks Very fast Files aren’t in a database Fairly limited editing A few bugs solid
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It’s easy to end up with your digital data scattered far and wide: your photos here, your notes there, your to-do list over there, and your top-secret plans for world domination lost in a far-flung folder. Notebooks offers an alternative, by enabling you to keep everything you need in one app. We say one app but we really mean two, because Notebooks is also available on iOS and syncs with the Mac version we’re looking at here. On iOS it replaces PDF readers and text editors, task managers, and to-do apps, and it attempts to do the same on the Mac. Notebooks is essentially Finder with editing, or Mail for documents. You create “books,” which are basically folders, and those books can contain subfolders and notes. A note might be a plain text file, or an image, or a Word document, or formatted HTML, or Markdown text. Notebooks doesn’t mind: it sticks the note wherever you tell it to. That’s different from apps such as Ulysses, which store content in their own database – a fine method, unless something goes wrong. By sticking with files and folders, Notebooks enables you to access your content from any other app and frees you from the worry of database contamination or corruption. If you’ve used Mail or any text editor you’ll get it instantly. There’s a three-pane view
showing books, notes, and note contents respectively, and in the latter pane you can switch between editing view and formatted view – so if you assign styles in your edit for items such as headings, you’ll see those styles applied in the formatted view. Images can be embedded into documents. You can attach reminders and tags, export in Markdown or PDF format and set your own formatting rules, and there’s a fast search facility that you can use to scan the current note or all of your notebooks. If you’re writing to a target, you can keep track of word and character counts in the bottom right-hand corner of the status bar. If you’re already using Notebooks on iOS then getting the Mac version is a good idea, as it offers a consistent experience across iOS and macOS. If you’re coming to it fresh, however, you might want to consider other options first: we prefer Ulysses for everyday text editing and web content creation, Scrivener for long-form writing and large projects, and Microsoft’s OneNote for note-taking. the bottom line. Notebooks is good and works well with its iOS sibling (which also allows for recorded voice memos) and will appeal to many user types, but it’s up against some very serious competition, and it does have some limitations. GaRy maRshall
Notebooks isn’t limited to text. You can import and embed images, PDFs, and Office documents too.
Tough testing, trusted ratings
Budget Planning Gold Want to save? Don’t buy this $9.99 Developer New Technologies, newtech-ltd.com requirements OS X 10.10 or later
PDF Expert 2 Expert PDF editing? Almost $59.99 Developer Readdle, pdfexpert.com requirements OS X 10.10 or later
The main thing that strikes you about PDF Expert 2 is how effortless it is to use. Drop in a PDF and it just seems obvious how to go about things. Open the Thumbnails grid view and quickly rearrange, rotate, add and delete pages, or append other documents. Extracting specific pages takes just a few seconds. Double-click a page for bigger changes. You can add standard PDF annotations, scribbling over items that need correcting, adding notes, and signing documents. You can also dive into the content of the PDF itself, directly editing existing text, importing images, and converting text and images into links to websites or other pages. You can redact content with black bars, too. Occasionally, edits don’t work perfectly. Updated text can be a problem – if you lack the original document’s fonts, they’ll change to something else, and the alignment rarely matches. And although embedded images are easy to replace, backgrounds are untouchable, and imagery initially behind text appears in front of it post-edit. For less ambitious editing, though, it’s hard to fault this app. It’s intuitive, extremely snappy even on aging Mac hardware, and won’t break the bank. the bottom line. Minor shortcomings aside, this is a usable, efficient, and responsive PDF editor. Craig grannell
Budget Planning Gold is billed as an ad-free “balance tracker,” but we found little helpful or convenient with this financial management application. This is about as barebones as it gets; with such limited utility, it’s astonishing the developer has the audacity to charge $9.99. Budget Planning tracks multiple cash, debit, or credit card accounts (but oddly, no checking or savings) in over 30 currencies. A few basic income and expense accounts are included, but you can add others as needed and assign them one of more than 100 different icons for easier identification. Once you start adding income and expenses, History, Budget, and Statistics views provide a visual reference of spending. Unfortunately, the threadbare simplicity is hijacked at every turn by poor usability – account balances don’t automatically update as money is spent or received, and US currency and dates are displayed inconsistently. the bottom line. If you really must, download the free version – the paid edition of Budget Planning is like investing in fool’s gold. J.r. bookwalter BuDgEt Planning golD Manage multiple cash, debit, or credit card accounts in over 30 currencies Inconsistent display of US currencies, dates No support for checking or savings accounts Barebones financial management Poor
PDF ExPErt 2 Really easy to use Effective toolset Minor editing issues No character recognition capabilities grEat
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>>> Reviews Tough testing, trusted ratings
Hydra One-click HDR editing for all – too good to be true? $59.99 Developer Creaceed, creaceed.com Requirements OS X 10.11 or later
Hydra for Mac Good performance Wide range of export options Expensive At its best when used in conjunction with other editing software Good
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igital cameras – whether that’s the iPhone or an expensive DSLR – have a problem. Compared to the human eye, the amount of dynamic range they can capture is very limited. Dynamic range is the range of brightness, between total shadow and very bright highlight, present in an image. High dynamic range photography, or HDR for short, offers a possible solution. Photographers take a series of images from the same position, varying the exposure of each one so that the first shot captures the darkest details in the frame, and the last shot captures the very brightest elements. These images are then merged – a process that Hydra is dedicated to. You can import either a single image to produce an HDR-style image, or a series of different exposures for truly high dynamic range output. We tried a variety of images, using series of shots that varied in exposure by between one and five stops. When working with multiple images, Hydra has an alignment tool that allows you to create reference points and then drag translucent versions of your shots over one another to line them up perfectly. This works really well, although we found the app’s automatic image alignment was also very reliable. Hit Develop and you’re taken to one of the most comprehensive HDR processing toolboxes we’ve ever seen. Image blending is initially automatic, but there are plenty of manual adjustments to keep fans of HDR work busy, including range compression, highlight recovery, and shadow boosting. For more fire-andforget artists, there is a range of 11 presets. To the eye of many editorially minded photographers these will be pretty garish, with intense colors and sharpening. Higher-quality, more subtle results are available with the far finer-toothed adjustments options. Performance is excellent, far faster than Adobe Lightroom CC’s sluggish HDR photo-merge tool. When you’re done, images can be exported as JPEG or TIFF files in a professional-spec range of color spaces, or as OpenEXR or Radiance files. For HDR photographers, Hydra is pretty compelling – it’s dedicated to exposure blending and offers a decent blend of performance – and, once you get into its adjustment options, produces great results. However, at $60, it isn’t cheap for a processing application that, essentially, does one job, no matter how well that job is done. It’s more expensive than Serif’s Affinity Photo, which also has HDR exposure blending (albeit in a more cumbersome way) with its other editing tools. the bottom line. Hydra is good at what it does, and is worth investigating for HDR aficionados, but the price will be too high for many. Dave StevenSon
Hydra can produce some pretty atmospheric results, particularly for photographers who work in demanding light.
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Live Home 3D Designing your dream interior the easy way $29.99 Developer BeLight Software, belightsoft.com Requirements OS X 10.9 or later
With thousands of built-in objects and materials to choose from, the only limitation with Live Home 3D is your imagination.
Live Home 3D Easy home design with 2D floor plans and 3D rendering Intuitive user interface Cumbersome layer management with larger projects Weak landscape design tools great
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If you’ve ever fancied remodeling a room in your home, but haven’t a clue how to go about planning the changes, then you need to try Live Home 3D. This successor to Live Interior 3D makes the process of designing a new house or interior so deceptively simple and fast. If you have existing blueprints for your dream home, it’s easy to import scans of existing 2D floor plans and create a detailed 3D model, complete with furniture and all the trimmings, or start from scratch using the software’s intuitive tools to throw up virtual walls, windows, and more. At every step of the way, Live Home 3D displays exact measurements for each room, which can be assigned custom names for easier identification. The Room tool makes it supereasy to draw a complete space, then attach it to any part of the house. There’s even a slick drawing tool for adding rounded walls in a few clicks. The user interface is laid out in a comfortable and logical tabbed style, which turns what could be a rather daunting task into a whole lot of
drag-and-drop fun. One area where there’s still a little room for improvement is how Live Home 3D handles elements – organizing layers becomes a challenge as houses grow in size, and there’s no way to easily search for the one you want to tweak. Although Live Home 3D handles basic landscape design, it’s not particularly adept at it, especially if your planned home is on anything other than flat ground. It’s much better at sprucing up digital homes with a library of over 1,500 objects, which can be decorated with more than 2,100 different built-in materials; if that’s not enough, an optional Extras Pack adds another 600-plus materials for only $9.99. When the house is complete, you can take a virtual 3D walkthrough, export projects to social networks, or even share 360° panoramas directly to Facebook. The developer provides detailed video tutorials to help get started, and there’s a free trial version to get a flavor of the software before you decide. There’s also a Pro version ($69.99) available for those who want to tinker with structures taller than two stories or require more complicated roof, balcony, or porch designs. the bottom line. Live Home 3D makes designing your dream house easy and fun. J.R. bookwalteR
From 2D floor plan to 3D walkthrough, Live Home 3D makes it easy and fun to plan the interior of your dreams.
Tough testing, trusted ratings
iMazing 2 Back up iOS without iTunes $39.99 Developer DigiDNA, imazing.com requirements OS X 10.7 or later; iOS 5 or later
Archiver 3 A to Z of compression from Amiga to Zip $19.99 Developer Incredible Bee Ltd, incrediblebee.com requirements OS X 10.11 or later
If you’ve ever wondered what to do with a Tar, Gzip or a RAR; needed to compress or decompress specific kinds of files; or just want to pack more files onto your drive, Archiver 3 is aimed at you. It compresses and decompresses more than 30 different kinds of files, but it’s capable of even more. You can split compressed files and compress them again to make them even smaller, you can Quick Look at the contents of archives and app bundles before you expand, you can encrypt files to keep them safe and extract multiple archives simultaneously. It even has its own compression format for media files. And the interface is so user-friendly, everything is completely effortless. Archiver isn’t the only heavy-duty archive manager around, but it’s less than half the price of Stuffit Deluxe, it’s very flexible and easy to use. If you spend a lot of time shrinking things for storage or sharing, it’ll save you countless hours – and if you’re sending things online it’ll reduce your bandwidth usage. If you only need to merge the odd RARs then go for something free, but if you’re constantly compressing it delivers a lot of bang for just under 20 bucks. the bottom line. Who knew file compression could be so much fun? Archiver 3 is a real timesaver too. Gary marshall
iMazing 2 provides an alternate method for backing up and restoring mobile data on any iOS device running iOS 5 or later. (Vintage devices like the original iPhone are supported too, but only for basic file transfer, music export, and app management.) A Mac (or PC) is required, but iMazing works with USB or Wi-Fi connections; the former is preferred, since it’s much faster. In addition to backups and drag-anddrop data transfer to or from your iOS device (music, photos, messages, notes, voicemail, call logs, and more), iMazing’s neatest trick is the ability to copy from an older device to its new replacement. We used it to clone from an iPhone 5 to iPhone 6s Plus – it was a mostly seamless process that makes you wonder why Apple can’t make it this simple in the first place. iMazing has another leg up on iTunes – you can choose to store backups anywhere, freeing up internal storage. Archived backups are optimized to reduce the amount of space required, and can be automatically purged at user-selected intervals. the bottom line. Step aside, iTunes – iMazing 2 is now the most versatile way to back up and transfer content to or from your iOS devices. J.r. bookwalter
iMAZinG 2 Transfer contents of one device to another in single step Back up to any volume with archiving Cloning still requires initial device setup (iCloud, Siri, etc) Lengthy initial scan of thumbnails with larger iCloud Photo Library GreAt
Archiver 3 Really easy to use Very quick operation Wide format support Excellent compression options excellent
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Drobo 5N A five-bay network storage box with hot-swappable drives $489 manufacturer Drobo, drobo.com Requirements OS X 10.9 or later
D Drobo 5n Drives can be mixed and matched Drives can be swapped while unit is running SSD cache option Noisy great
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robo has built its business on storage systems that allow you to mix drives of different speeds and capacities, from different manufacturers, and hot swap them when you need to add capacity or replace a failing drive. The “5” is a reference to the number of hard drive bays and the “N” the fact that this is a network storage device. To that end, the Drobo 5N has a gigabit Ethernet port that enables you to connect it to your router, or directly to your Mac. There’s one additional storage slot, to fit an SSD which can then be used as a cache for the files you use most often, in a similar way to Apple’s Fusion Drive. The configuration of the SSD/hard drive arrangement is done automatically. The 5N has built-in redundancy, so if a drive fails, the storage array is automatically re-configured to avoid using that drive, while the storage is rebuilt –
with redundancy – using the remaining disks. You can then pull out the failed drive, slot in another one and the Drobo will rebuild the array again to include the new drive. Setting up the Drobo was straightforward enough – both hard drives and SSD are easy to slot into position. We did experience glitches while the Drobo Dashboard software was configuring the 5N, however. It seemed to take an age to find the unit on the network and then insisted on updating the firmware. It then restarted automatically but again took several minutes to be “found” by the software. That done, the 5N worked like a charm. It took six minutes to copy 24GB of data from our iMac and we were able to remove one hard disk and add two more without interruptions. the bottom line. A good, but expensive, backup or file sharing system. Kenny hemphill
Tough testing, trusted ratings
Samsung 750 Evo 500GB Samsung’s latest budget SSD $136 manufacturer Samsung, samsung.com requirements A Mac or drive enclosure with a SATA III interface
Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless Bluetooth headphones with stunning sound $399 manufacturer Sennheiser, sennheiser.com Features Active noise cancelation, Bluetooth 4.2, touch controls In the wireless-first world of the iPhone 7, these headphones are king. The PXC 550 can switch between two paired devices, and the battery can last a huge 22 hours. The active noise cancellation has an auto-adaptive mode and three equalizer presets. There are three mics, with a useful TalkThrough feature, to hear someone nearby. The headphones also feature a built-in limiter to avoid sudden jumps in levels. You control playback with touch gestures, which takes some getting used to. Most importantly, the audio is wide, rich, and detailed, with full-bodied power in the bass. The noise cancelation works very well, although we did detect a slight hint of hiss. The PXC 550’s earcups are not particularly roomy, but the pads are well shaped and light. The adjustable headband makes up a neat collapsible frame for folding away – and the headphones smartly power off when you lay the cups flat. the bottom line. The PXC 550 sounds absolutely great, a single charge lasts for ages, and the noise cancellation is excellent. Master the touch controls and you’ll really love these as your next high-quality headphones. tim hardwick
Samsung’s 750 Evo is a 2.5-inch SSD that can boost an older Mac’s performance, or be used in an external case. We were pleased by improvements in minimum transfer rates over similar drives we’ve tested; the 750 Evo outperformed in all areas, not least in random writes with a minimum transfer rate of 37.9MB/sec. Mean and max transfer rates are very close to its nearest competitors, with less than a 10MB/sec difference in most cases. Sequential reads and writes averaged 354.3 and 335.4MB/sec, and maxed out at 428.4 and 413.8MB/sec, respectively. Its mean averages in random reads and writes were within the same range of difference. However, it maxed out at 287.3MB/sec in random reads (compared to 333.1MB/sec for an SSD Now UV400), yet it was comfortably closer in random writes, trailing on 325MB/sec compared to 344.3MB/sec. the bottom line. A great choice for upgrading internal storage. However, if you’re making an external drive, Samsung’s T3 only costs a little more than this plus an enclosure. alan Stonebridge SamSung 750 eVo 500gB Decent capacity Good value per GB Max random write rate falls short Three-year warranty compared to five-year warranty of some other models great
SennheiSer PXC 550 WireleSS Good, full-bodied sound Comfortable to wear for long periods Strong battery life Touch controls take a bit of getting used to aWeSome
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A great value, entry-level DSLR offering impressive levels of detail.
78 Dec 2016 maclife.com
Tough testing, trusted ratings
Nikon D3300 Nikon’s entry-level DSLR offers more detail than ever before, and is the ideal first step into more serious photography $549 manufacturer Nikon, nikon.com Features 24.2 megapixels, 5fps continuous shooting, ISO 100 - 12,800 (expandable to 25,600)
NIKON D3300 High pixel count Easy shooting modes Image quality Screen not touch-sensitive excelleNt
he D3300 is designed to be an entry point for people new to DSLRs, and for us, it’s the best you can get right now. It mixes strong features such as its 24-megapixel sensor and shooting rate of 5fps, with a burst rate for up to 100 fine quality JPeGs. The camera can also record Full HD movie footage at framerates up to 60p and with continuous autofocus. There are Special effects on tap, allowing you to jazz-up JPeG files and videos with a collection of styles. These effects can be previewed on the LcD screen, so you can see exactly what you’ll get once you trigger the shutter. A dedicated 420-pixel RGB sensor gathers exposure, white balance and focus information. Meanwhile, an 11-point autofocus system provides extra sensitivity. And, most importantly, the images it takes are just excellent. They’re full of detail, and thanks to those strong autofocus and exposure capabilities, look lifelike and include very little noise. The D3300 handles low-light, high-sensitivity situations very well too. Noise only really starts to become apparent when shooting at ISO 3200 above, and even then it’s at an acceptable level. The new 18 - 55mm kit lens is collapsible. This does mean that start-up time from packed away is a little slower than other cameras, but you can leave it extended for a quicker start. A dial on the back is used for altering the aperture/shutter speed, depending on the mode
you’re in. On the top plate you’ll find a mode dial for switching between exposure modes. You’ll also find an exposure compensation button and an info button, which helpfully turns off the rear display to avoid distraction. A quick menu is accessed by pressing an “i” button on the back of the camera. Use the directional keys to pick a setting – such as white balance – then press OK to bring up the options. Unfortunately, this menu can’t be customized. There’s also a function button near the lens mount. By default, holding this down will allow you to change the ISO, but you can change this to control JPeG quality and white balance. Autofocusing speeds are high, especially in daylight or well-lit conditions. Speeds drop a little in lower light conditions, but it’s only when it gets very dark that the lens struggles. Focusing speeds do drop significantly when using Live View, so it’s only really recommended if you’re shooting something stationery, or from an awkward angle and can’t use the viewfinder. The D3300 has a fixed 3.0-inch LcD screen with a 921,000 dot resolution. When shooting, the camera displays three circles which represent shutter speed, aperture and sensitivity (ISO). The viewfinder is optical and offers a 95% field of view. the bottom line. A fantastic entry-level camera with superb detail reproduction and a decent lens. Amy DAvies & Phil hAll
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Netgear Arlo Q Plus Smart security camera gets upgraded $249 manufacturer Netgear, arlo.com Features 135° wide-angle 1080p camera with night vision, microSD card slot, seven-day free cloud storage
S Netgear arLO Q PLUS Superb security features Generous seven-day free cloud storage 1080p HD and night vision About $30 too costly great
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mart cameras have so many bells and whistles, it can be easy to get seduced, and forget what your real requirements actually are. At the end of the day, most people want smart cameras for one thing, and one thing only: security. Strip away all the extras, and many cameras seem to come up short in one way or another. The Arlo Q family is the exception. The Arlo Q Plus is basically the Arlo Q (a perfectly capable security camera) with two added extras: a Power over Ethernet cable, which provides you with the option of connecting your camera directly to your router or switch (and drawing power from it too), and a microSD card slot, which enables it to record locally even when your internet connection is down.
Otherwise it’s the same deal as the Arlo Q: multiple detection zones, motion and sound detection, two-way audio, generous free cloud storage, and integration with ifttt.com. The cherry on the cake is the selection of customizable modes. These allow you to tweak existing modes, which you can set to a schedule for night-time surveillance, or link to the geofencing mode. We’re big fans of all these features, and everything works great, but $249 is a hefty premium to pay for them. the bottom line. The Arlo Q Plus is overpriced, but it delivers some great smart home security features. If you’re not prepared to spend the extra, the Arlo Q also has a lot to offer for a more reasonable $199. nick Peers
Tough testing, trusted ratings
GekkoXL A flexible tripod for the outdoors $25 manufacturer Zuckerim, zuckerim.com Features 1/4-inch tripod screw, smartphone holder
Adam Elements iKlips Duo Smart storage for iOS and Mac From $99 manufacturer Adam Elements, adamelements.com Capacity 32/64/128/256GB Requirements iKlips app, iOS 8 or later
This flash drive has two connectors: Lightning on one end, and USB 3.1 on the other. At its most simple, it’s a way to transfer files between iOS and Mac, but it also does much more than that. Install the app on your iPhone or iPad and it adds a new option in iOS’s Share sheets to export a file, photo, or anything to the drive, where it will be stored. When you open the app, you also have the ability to browse files stored on the iKlips Duo (which you can then open in apps, or play media directly from it), or to browse your iPhone’s photo library to transfer items to the drive. That’s all great, but it also has some built-in “apps” of its own – you can record video or audio directly to the drive, for example, bypassing your iPhone’s storage completely (though these tools are very basic). You can also back up all your photos, videos, contacts, calendars, and even Facebook to it with one tap. It even has a YouTube browser you can use to download videos from the service to the iKlips’ storage to watch offline! And plugged into your Mac, it’s just a standard, fast USB drive. We love it… but the app needs more polish – its layout can be really confusing, and the English isn’t always perfect. the bottom line. A new iOS essential for us – flexible storage that offers a backup solution. matt bolton
If you like to get out into the wilderness and want a good way to take photos of yourself, or just hold your camera still, this flexible tripod is a great option. The GekkoXL’s three legs have a silicon outside around a steel underframe, which is flexible. You can bend the legs into a tripod shape for flat surfaces, or adjust that shape if they need to go on an uneven surface, or even wrap them around a fence or tree branch to hold the camera steady. It comes with a clip that holds your iPhone (it’s secure enough, though we prefer the locking clip of the Glif iPhone mount), which attaches to the GekkoXL by way of a tripod screw. This means you can also use it for GoPros or dedicated cameras – DSLRs would be ambitious, but Micro Four Thirds and similar cameras are fine. We’re impressed with its stability and flexibility. Dots on the “feet” help it to grip securely, and the three legs can wrap tightly around something, keeping your phone firmly in place for that killer shot. the bottom line. Great for everyone from extreme sports lovers looking for the perfect group shot, to beach lovers who just want to take a still, level photo of the waves. matt bolton
GEKKoXl Firm steel frame under silicon Holds well, and easy to get a level shot Smartphone or camera use out of the box DSLRs will test its balance EXcEllEnt
AdAm ElEmEnts iKlips duo Really useful set of tools Fast storage Works with Mac and iOS More app polish needed GrEAt
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Mafia II If you can make it in Empire Bay, you can make it anywhere $29.99 Developer 2K Games, 2k.com Requirements OS X 10.10.5 or later, 2GHz Intel Core i3 or higher, 4GB RAM, Intel HD 4000/AMD 5000 series or better graphics with 512MB VRAM, 8GB storage
You can tell it’s fictional New York because there’s barely any traffic.
MAFIA II The setting beautifully brings the open world of Empire Bay to life A fitting soundtrack sets the tone Last-gen character models are awkward Nothing revolutionary about the shooting good
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It’s a classic mob story: boy emigrates from Italy to the US with his family in hopes of finding the American dream. Boy grows up, gets into trouble, and goes off to war to avoid jail. Boy comes home and rejoins bad crowd, getting cozy with local families. This is the tale of Sicilian-born, Empire Bay-raised Vito Scaletta’s rise from poor dockworker’s son to made man. Mafia II takes a lot of its cues from the Grand Theft Auto series, like the open world design, bounty of cars to steal and drive, and plentiful firearms. Where it differs, however, is the setting. The first chunk of the game takes place in 1940s Empire Bay, an obvious facsimile of New York City, during the height of WWII. Veteran Vito comes home with no money and no job, but his childhood best friend Joe introduces him to some local gangsters. Things go smoothly for awhile – if you call regular gunfights and police evasions smooth – but Vito’s crimes catch up with him and he ends up in prison. By the time he gets out, it’s the 50s, and the culture has changed, as evidenced by
the fancy new cars and rock music on the radio. Though its third-person shooting could only be described as generic, Mafia II’s presentation makes it easier to overlook that. Empire Bay feels alive and lost in time, with authentic music and vintage everything setting the scene. You’ll want to spend some time taking it all in, which is good, because the cops are real sticklers about the speed limit in the Mafia world. Vehicle shops and retail stores provide more customization for Vito’s cars and his own clothing, and if you’re looking to upgrade, there are quite a few weapon shops around the bay as well. Though the first few hours of the game feel quite linear, eventually you’re granted more freedom to pursue side missions and explore Empire Bay at will. It may have only recently made its way to Mac, but Mafia II is a six-year-old game, and it’s showing its age. Character designs are distinctly last-gen, with stiff, awkward animations. It doesn’t affect the gameplay, but it can be distracting if you’re used to more modern graphics. Ultimately, it’s not a dealbreaker, because in spite of its shortcomings, Mafia II is consistently fun to play. the bottom line. It suffers from outdated tech and generic shooting, but Mafia II is still a worthwhile adventure. SaRah leboeuf
Stealing rations while the city is caught up in the conflict of World War Two? What could possibly go wrong?
Tough testing, trusted ratings
It’s sport, but not as we know it.
A ridiculous version of soccer that fires on all cylinders $14.99 Developer Psyonix, rocketleaguegame.com Requirements OS X 10.8.5, Intel Core i5 2.4GHz, 8GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or better
If there’s a sport that can’t be improved with the addition of high-octane cars that drive like you’re in Looney Tunes, we don’t want to know about it. Rocket League pits teams of jet-propelled vehicles against each other, knocking a huge ball around, trying to get it into the goal at the other end. The arenas have curved corners, so you’ll never stop suddenly against a wall – the game is constantly flowing as cars careen past other using their boost ability, smashing the ball around unpredictably, and bouncing each other out of the way. Even at this base level, this is a stupidly fun game. But where Rocket League really shines is once you’ve played a while, and realize just how tactical you can be. You car’s speed boost is a versatile tool, helping you move
across the field quickly, but also enabling you to destroy other cars, and even to fly, beating everyone else to the ball. It’s all about timing. And with practice, you can pull off brilliant feats, using your car’s hood to chip the ball over opponents, or meeting it in the air to cut off the other team’s attempt at scoring. It’s so simple to get started with – you just drive! – but with practice you develop incredible skills and find real depth and teamwork. It runs well on Macs (be sure to play with a controller), there are many variants on the game to keep it interesting, and we just love it. the bottom line. An incredibly fun, arcadey sports game, whether you like sports or not. Easy to get started with, but rewards practice. matt bolton
Rocket League Fun, fast-paced action Simple controls Surprising depth and finesse is possible Multiple modes and regular updates awesome
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home liFe Better living through smarter technology
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> get started with…
4K video 4K’s not just a buzzword – it’s here to stay, and the iPhone and iMac are leading the way By cliFF JosePh
here’s no doubt that 4K is the next step in video technology, but like any new buzzword, it can be a bit confusing at times. The term 4K itself is, shall we say, “flexible.” And to confuse things further, it’s often referred to as UHD (Ultra High Definition), too. We’ll look at the technical details later, but 4K generally refers to a video image or a screen that’s about 4,000 pixels wide and approximately 2,000 pixels tall. Compare that to Full HD video (1080p), which measures 1920 pixels wide and 1080 pixels tall, and you can see that 4K video has four times higher resolution, enabling it to render images with much greater clarity and detail. This is where the sceptics pipe up, arguing that most people just don’t need to buy a brand new TV with that sort of resolution. It’s true that 3D TV party failed because there simply weren’t enough good 3D movies and TV shows to justify the expense of buying a new TV – but that’s not the case with 4K. Services like Netflix and Amazon are already offering some of their top content in 4K, and there have been rumors for some time now that Apple is planning to offer 4K video downloads from the iTunes Store, too. The technology got another big
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>>> Home Life 4K video
get comfy with a 4K curvy tV screen.
boost recently when Sony and Microsoft released new versions of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One game consoles to support 4K output for gaming and video. But, the real clincher is that millions of people are already walking around with iPhones and similar devices that allow them to record their own 4K videos at the tap of a button. You can go snowboarding with a 4K action camera stuck to your helmet, or take in magnificent vistas with a 4K camera drone. It’s easy to upload your 4K videos to social networks such as YouTube and Facebook, and, of course, it makes sense to watch those videos on a 4K TV or computer screen that really shows them in all their pixel-packed, ultra high-definition glory. and 5K too… Apple loves its eye candy, and it’s often been ahead of the curve with display tech, having launched the first 27-inch iMac with a full 5K display back in 2014. The 5K iMac is actually quite good value for money since a basic 5K monitor, such as Dell’s popular UP2715K, costs more than $1,000 on its own, while the 27-inch iMac combines an eye-popping 5K display with a fairly powerful computer from $1,799. We’re not quite so keen on the 4K version of the iMac. It starts at a still fairly costly $1,499, but while its 4K display looks fantastic, some of its other components aren’t as hot. Its integrated graphics processor is a little bit weak for such an expensive computer, and it comes with a slow 5,400rpm hard drive instead of a Fusion Drive or SSD. If you use a portable Mac, a Mac Pro, or Mac mini, you can add a separate 4K display to it (see apple.co/2dwCUkO for Mac models that support this). We’ve seen a few
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28-inch monitors with 4K resolution for as little as $360, although if you’re doing serious video editing, photography, or graphic design, you may find it worth investing in something more expensive, such as Dell’s P2715Q ($510), which offers more precise color reproduction for professional work. tv times Many people will be introduced to 4K technology by adding a new TV to their living room, which you can use to show 4K video from Netflix or games on the latest 4K-compatible versions of the PlayStation and Xbox. You can get 4K films on Blu-ray, but you’ll need to have a compatible player. Prices for 4K TV sets – which are often referred to as Ultra HD – start at around $500 for a 40-inch screen, although we’d be tempted to pay a bit more for one of the elegant new curved TV screens, such as Samsung’s KU6500 range, which starts at about $600. A TV at that sort of price should also include HDR – high dynamic range – which provides better contrast and more vibrant colors.
K e e P yo u r i P h o n e sa F e when Filming outdoors By using a 4K action cam, such as goPro’s hero5 BlacK, instead
t h e s tat e o F t h e a r t i s oled, which can Produce r e a l ly s t r o n g c o n t r a s t and more vivid colors However, the current state of the art in televisual eye candy is OLED screens, which can produce really rich, moody shadows and stunning colors. It’s difficult to manufacture OLED screens, though, so prices are likely to remain high for the time being, and conventional LCD screens will remain the mainstream, mass-market choice for the foreseeable future. You could certainly do worse than treat yourself to a new 4K television for Christmas this year. You could hold off and wait for prices to come down a bit more, but with 4K video and gaming already making a big splash, it’s a great time to jump into the next generation of home entertainment.
the Xbox One s and the Playstation 4 Pro can output a 4K signal to your Ultra hd tV.
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>>> Home Life 4K video
Five oF the Best The best gear for creating, editing, and watching 4K video
27-inch imac with retina 5K disPlay From $1,799 apple.com
dell P2715Q $510 dell.com
goPro hero5 BlacK $399 gopro.com
samsung ue49Ku6500 $899 samsung.com
> If you have a Late 2013 Mac Pro, Late 2014 Mac mini, 12-inch MacBook or another recent Mac, you can connect a standalone 4K display to it, to have a high-res second screen. Dell has a few 4K and 5K models, but the sweet spot for us is this 27-inch model with a 3840x2160 resolution. It’s detailed, with great color reproduction.
> If you like extreme sports but prefer not to risk your iPhone, look at GoPro’s latest 4K action cameras. In the new Hero5 range, the Black and Session can shoot 4K at 30fps, and the former also has a touchscreen, GPS, and can shoot raw photos. They’re waterprood, dustproof, and produce really excellent-quality video.
> You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to 4K and Ultra HD televisions at the moment. We really like the latest curved screens though, which add a bit of IMAX drama to your home movie experience. This big 49-inch 4K model featuring HDR produces beautiful images, and is a bargain at this price.
> Apple launched the first Retina 5K iMac back in 2014. Despite the starting price, this is probably the best value for money in the entire Mac range, balancing its cost with powerful internals and that stunning screen. It’s the perfect machine for video editing, graphic design, and photo editing.
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> what else shOUld i thinK abOUt…
ca n i stream at 4 K Fr om my iP ho ne to aPP le tv ? When it comes to enjoying 4K video on your television, Apple’s set-top box remains a work in progress ometimes Apple makes some strange decisions. It set a new standard for desktop displays when it launched the iMac with Retina 5K display ahead of all its PC rivals, and all current iPhone models can record 4K video too. Yet when it updated the Apple TV last year, it neglected to include support for 4K output, restricting the device to just 1080p HD video (1920x1080 pixels). This means that there’s currently no way to play the 4K videos you’ve recorded on your iPhone on a 4K TV
at their original resolution by sending the footage through your fourth-generation Apple TV. This also applies to Apple’s $49 Lightning Digital AV Adapter, which enables you to plug an iOS device straight in to an HDMI port on your TV; this is also currently limited to 1080p. There’s already plenty of 4K video on Netflix and YouTube, and rumors are that Apple plans to soon sell 4K movies on the iTunes Store. We hope a new 4K-capable Apple TV will be announced soon – maybe by the time you read this.
lg B6 oled $2,297 lg.com > If money is no object, this is the TV for you. It has a 55-inch screen with 4K resolution and the latest OLED tech for outstanding image quality. It’s even got a Harman Kardon onboard sound system to beef up the audio experience, so you don’t need to go for the full surround sound setup. You might still want to, though…
the revamped apple tV introduced in late 2015 is a great machine but, suprisingly, it lacks the ability to output a 4K video signal to a compatible tV.
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>>> Home Life 4K video
> hOw tO
s h a r e an d PuBlis h 4K vid eos JARGON BUSTER If you’ve got a lot of Full HD video files (that is, their resolution is 1920x1080 pixels), you will find that many 4K TVs can upscale your videos. Upscaling uses some clever maths to enhance the quality of conventional HD video so that it looks better on a 4K display.
share wirelessly from iOs the 4K videos on your iPhone are stored in the Photos app. You can transfer them to your Mac wirelessly using airdrop or icloud, or upload to Facebook and Youtube, say, though this may reduce the resolution.
try a cabled connection Your iPhone may not always be near a wi-Fi network – and even then wi-Fi is a bit slow for transferring large video files. it’s often quickest to use a lightning cable to transfer your videos to Photos on your Mac.
ScAliNG OpTiONS On an iMac that has a Retina 4K or 5K display, go to the Displays pane in System Preferences, then hold Alt and click the Scaled button. This reveals all the resolutions you can choose for the desktop, such as to gain extra space for your windows.
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save space on your iPhone the same sharing options are available in Photos on the Mac, so you can keep your phone free and leave your Mac to handle uploading and sharing. Of course, doing this can also free up more space on your iPhone.
the flexibility of iMovie don’t forget about iMovie. as well as providing simple editing tools, it enables you to share lower resolution and lower quality versions of your videos online, while keeping the original editing project in 4K for the future.
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>>> Home Life Better living through smarter tech
get smart ConneCted gadgets to enhanCe your lifestyle
Veho Kasa LED Bulb veho-world.com Around $30
>>> Wi-Fi connected lighting systems are useful, but also costly, often being sold as kits with two or three bulbs for $100 or more. Veho’s Kasa bulbs opt for Bluetooth, which is cheaper and allows you to start with a single bulb for around $30. The disadvantage of Bluetooth is its limited range. To make up for that limitation, the Kasa iPhone app provides you with extensive scheduling options. The app can control up to 32 bulbs, either individually or in groups of
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linked bulbs, and the bulbs can remember the schedules so that they turn themselves on or off even when you’re away from home and well out of range. The Kasa bulbs are multicolor (choose from over 16 million colors), and the app enables you to set “moods” with different hues. They’re not spectacularly bright (equivalent to a conventional 40W bulb), but they’re fine for general lighting, or a bit of mood lighting in the evening.
>Smart hOmE LiVing
>>> If you’re careful with visitors at the door, you’ll be interested in the Ding. The doorbell is Wi-Fi enabled, allowing you to screen callers. Some similar products use cameras, but the Ding is audio only. Instead, when your doorbell rings, you get a chime from the stylish speaker, and an alert on your phone via the app, and you can talk to your visitor right from the phone. Then, if it’s your neighbor complaining about your barking dog, you can always pretend you’re away on business! Just make sure you don’t speak too loudly…
It’s not strange to have a house full of video cameras, JEnnifEr Phin insists…
SproutsiO sprouts.io $699
>>> If you want to grow your own herbs and vegetables, but are worried about a lack of space (or a lack of green fingers), here’s a solution. The SproutsiO hydroponic/ aeroponic system is all set up with seeds, nutrients, and light source. All you need to do is add water – being a smart microgarden, the app will notify you when to water. There’s no soil, so you don’t have to wash the produce. And the system is modular, so you can “grow” your plot. Growing your own veg can result in significant savings, which is good, as each module costs $699.
>>> By far thE weirdest thing I have to do to convince visitors that I am a functioning member of society and not, say, a Venusian surveillance operative, is to switch off our spare room webcam. Wait, it’s not as bad as it sounds. It started fairly innocently – we were traveling over the winter holidays and wanted to check in and make sure no Grinches were stealing Christmas. So we set up a Withings Home camera and had great fun logging in and watching pine needles accrete on the floor. Then we moved out for a weekend while workmen renovated our bathroom. We put the camera (in full view) in the hall so we could check progress. Then we had a baby and now there is barely a square foot of our house not covered by a camera of some kind. Most have night vision, in order to make her look as scary as possible in the middle of the night when I log in just to check how she’s… ARGH! HER EYES ARE GLOWING, FETCH THE HOLY WATER! So yes, the cameras are unnecessary, and they weird a lot of people out, but I’m glad we have them. When I’m alone with the baby all weekend, I ask my husband to check in to make sure I haven’t fallen ill or died under a pile of toppled spatial development toys, leaving her to fend for herself. And when she does something new – sitting, crawling, offering her first bon mot over a slice of quiche – I text my husband at work so he can watch it live. Our security tech doesn’t really give us more security, but it gives us peace of mind, and hilarious screenshots, and the dizzying legal rush of occasionally thinking there’s a poltergeist in our baby’s bedroom. Priceless.
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>>> Home Life
apple Tv The laTesT tvOs apps and The hOTTesT hardware
The Home Depot DIY Projects Be the next Handy Manny Free
Fantastic new shows with no nasty hidden catch! Apart from the sudden huge drain on your time…
The CW Cord-cutters, rejoice! Free
You know how exciting it is whenever a popular television network announces Apple TV support, only to discover the fun has been spoiled because the app requires authentication with a cable or satellite provider? With the arrival of The CW, there will be no such “sad trombone” moments to endure. That’s because full episodes of your favorite shows are absolutely free to stream without a paid subscription of any kind – let alone having to sign up with a username and password. Download, launch, and start streaming the hottest superhero shows like Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl, or keep up to date with comedies like Jane the Virgin and iZombie, among others. There is one small catch, however: only the most recent five episodes of each series are made available, so you’ll want to carve out enough time to watch them all before older stuff starts getting bumped out of rotation. But it’s better than actually paying for cable, right? J.R. BookwalteR
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Don’t consider yourself handy with a hammer and nails? Does the mere mention of “do-it-yourself home improvement” send chills down your spine? The Home Depot DIY Projects has come to the rescue with an Apple TV app designed with you in mind. Packed with step-by-step how-to videos ranging from simple updates to the bath or kitchen, all the way up to more ambitious tasks like installing a hot water heater or an outdoor
paver patio, The Home Depot will not only sell you all the stuff to make these dreams a reality, but will also now show you how to do them as well. The Apple TV app is well organized by room, so it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. It includes a comprehensive list of what’s required, including all of the tools and materials necessary to get the job done. If you’re not even sure where to start, the New Projects menu has scores of ideas categorized by season. J.R. BookwalteR
Watching someone doing it themself is strangely relaxing… enough to distract you from doing the actual job for another few hours, anyway.
Better living through smarter tech
Movies get social Free
If you’re a movie fan – and let’s face it, if you own an Apple TV, that’s probably the case – there’s now a social network designed with cinema lovers like you in mind. Letterboxd recently took the leap from the iPhone to your favorite home theater box, making it easy to browse or search for films and see what everyone’s talking about. Better yet, signing in with a free or paid Letterboxd account allows viewers to add newly-discovered titles to your personal Watchlist, which syncs right back to other devices you own. Users can also rate, like, or mark movies they’ve already watched from the comfort of the couch.
Make the most of home entertainment
discuss your favorite cult but obscure horror flicks on Letterboxd.
Letterboxd entries also feature reviews from other members as well as a trailer button, perfect for checking out previews of new and upcoming flicks. Last but not least, the Popular section shows what others are talking about, so you’ll never miss what’s hot. J.R. BookwalteR
lG oleD65G6 $5,999 lg.com LG’s latest Signature lineup is aimed squarely at “the most discerning individual.” If that sounds like you, this 65-inch 4K HDR OLED wonder is sure to dazzle. With impressively deep blacks, bonded picture-onglass, audio designed by Harman/Kardon, and Dolby Vision on board, the G6 looks and sounds like the TV to beat.
Death-defying stunts Free
For kids growing up in the ’70s, there was no one cooler than the legendary Evel Knievel, who performed some of the world’s most daring, death-defying stunts. Now the folks at Barnstorm Games have created a way to relive the daredevil hero’s greatest feats on your Apple TV. The officially licensed Evel Knievel game recreates 27 of the man’s most challenging jumps, in nine historic locations including Las Vegas, Chicago, Ontario, and London. Along the way you’ll have 11 amazing motorcycles (including the jet-powered Stratocycle) to choose from, with the opportunity to collect eight classic outfits and 20 special helmets.
This is great, but where are all the admiring crowds? We’re nearly killing ourselves here.
With a Siri Remote in hand, have fun doing wheelies, flips, loops, and other stunts over flaming hoops, spingboards, cranes, and other obstacles. As Evel himself used to say, “Anybody can jump a motorcycle… the trouble begins when you try to land it!” J.R. BookwalteR
iPazzPoRt kP-810-56S $39 ipazzportusa.com The Apple TV Remote app takes some of the sting out of entering text on your television. But if you’re looking for a physical approach, this case offers affordable protection for your Siri Remote, along with a Bluetooth-connected keyboard built into the back for tackling those pesky logins or searches Siri might not understand.
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TECH SUPPORT & TECHSPLANATIONS
volume and display afterwards, but the fans should drop back to normal. If not, take your iMac to a Genius Bar for a complete check-up. Further crashes during sleep may disappear in Safe mode (hold ß at the startup sound); this turns off third-party extensions, which should tell you if one of them is to blame.
Sidebar favorites in dispute
Utilities such as System Monitor can provide useful info about internal temperatures and fan speeds.
MaC FanS STuCk On Full blaST
The two versions of Finder’s sidebar, listing Favorites, Devices, and so on, have somehow become different on my Mac running OS X El Capitan 10.11.5. Viewed in Finder, that sidebar looks correct, with a single Desktop item. However, viewed in an app’s Save dialog, the Desktop item is shown twice under Favorites. Why is this, and how can I fix it? This shouldn’t be possible, as both those sidebars are generated by the same code in OS X, and should be identical. To verify that, start an app, create a new document, then open the Save dialog, positioning it on the left of your screen. Then bring a Finder window to the front on the right, so that you can see both sidebars at once. Next, choose Finder > Preferences and click the Sidebar tab. Uncheck the Applications item there; that item should immediately disappear from Favorites in Finder and the Save dialog. Sometimes such preferences get stuck, and trashing the file at ~/Library/ Preferences/com.apple.Finder.plist (the “~” means your home folder; in Finder,
My iMac (27-inch, Mid 2010) started crashing when asleep, and now its internal fans are stuck blowing at full speed, even after resetting its SMC. What’s wrong with it? Shut down your iMac, leave it to cool off for 10 minutes or so, then start it up in Apple Hardware Test (see apple. co/2b3FhpK for instructions on how to access that; you may need the install discs that came with your Mac). If that tool’s test results check out as normal and your Mac’s fans stay full on, reset the SMC and then its NVRAM. To do this, shut down your Mac, unplug the
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power cord and disconnect all peripherals apart from any Ethernet cable and your keyboard and mouse. Plug the cord back in, get your hands ready to hold down ç+Alt+p+R, and start up your Mac. As soon as you hear the startup sound, hold down those keys until you hear the sound a second time, then release them, and allow the Mac to start up as normal. You may need to correct settings such as
The sidebars in Finder windows and Save dialogs should remain in sync, and comply with what’s set in Finder’s preferences.
Tech Support & Techsplanations
hold Alt and choose Go > Library) can allow it to be saved properly. However, the two locations’ behavior should remain consistent and reliable even if the preferences can’t be saved properly. If the two sidebars don’t behave identically, your Mac most probably has the remains of an old third-party utility that modifies Save dialogs, such as Default Folder X. Restarting in Safe mode (hold ß when you hear the startup sound) should disable that so you can confirm this, allowing you to identify and remove those remains later.
Back to the recent past Is it possible to revert to running OS X El Capitan 10.11.3 from the current 10.11.6 version? Yes, although it is complex to say the least, and exposes your Mac to security risks. You’d need to install El Capitan from scratch, and then update it using the Combo installer for 10.11.3 before manually restoring your apps, documents, and so on, from your Time Machine backup. Bear in mind that some current versions of apps might not work even then.
Black screen iMac lockout at seemingly random times, the display of my iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2011) goes completely black, and the system is then unusable, so I have to perform a forced shutdown using its power button. This iMac has a Radeon HD 6770M graphics card. Why is this happening? Given the Mac’s vintage, a dying graphics card or other hardware could be to blame. Several models of graphics cards have suffered premature failure – probably because of the introduction of lead-free solder – and some have had their warranties extended as a result. Before you take the Mac in for repair, check its logs in Console. After this next happens and the Mac has restarted, open Console and search for BOOT_TIME, which should take you back to the last startup. The entries right before that may give a better idea as to what went
> Why won’t Spotlight index a drive? Spotlight indexing has stopped working on my Mac’s internal drive. If I remove that drive from under Privacy in Spotlight’s preferences, indexing never completes, and my Mac’s logs are full of repeated errors about “mdworker” failing. I’ve tried forcing the index to be rebuilt, but the problem recurs. How can I fix this? This usually happens because mdworker, the background service which builds the metadata indexes used by Spotlight, is choking on files or folders that it can’t cope with. Sometimes messages in macOS’s logs reveal which files are causing the problems, and help you work out what to do
to eliminate them. They’re usually preference lists (plists) or similar, which can be trashed to allow indexing to work. When there’s no help from your Mac’s logs, use the exclude list in the Privacy tab to work out where offending items are. Remove your internal drive from that list, but add back its top-level folders. Take them out of the list one by
one until indexing breaks, and repeat this process to narrow the issue down to one or more individual files. If you don’t use Spotlight much, you could leave the drive or individual folders that are troublesome excluded. You can’t turn off indexing of Time Machine backups, though, as Time Machine relies on Spotlight’s indexes.
the Mac could still have a graphics card problem, which may only be possible to fully diagnose with Apple’s in-house tools. The Mac may be inadvertently trying to enter Target Display Mode (as when you press ç+@). You might stop that by temporarily restarting in Safe mode, or by checking the settings in the Displays preferences pane. Reviewing settings in System Preferences can halt display problems, but they’re often due to a failing graphics card.
Stop following me
wrong at the time of the black screen. Otherwise, run Apple Hardware Test or Diagnostics; if that reports a hardware fault, you’ll need to take the Mac for repair. If the hardware checks out,
Can macOS block internet tracking? In System Preferences, the Security & Privacy pane’s Privacy tab has a Location Services item, where you can prevent apps determining your location, but to stop browser-based
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To revert a file or folder’s icon back to its default, select it at the top of Finder’s Get Info dialog, then pick edit > Cut.
tracking, look in your browser’s preferences. Safari has specific control over this: in its Preferences menu, go to the Privacy tab. You can block cookies and website data totally if you want, or manage which sites they’re allowed for. You also get granular control of websites’ use of location services here. Finally, there’s a checkbox that enables a Do Not Track setting that requests websites don’t track your data – but it’s possible sites will override this and track you anyway, so don’t rely on it alone!
Mac mini memory Can I upgrade the memory in my Mac mini (late 2014)? Sadly not. There are no memory slots, and the modules fitted in your mini are soldered in. Even if you could find someone to desolder those chips, the maximum memory that model supports is 16GB, unless Apple was to release a firmware update to support more.
How do I go about fixing a faulty folder icon? OS X changed the appearance of one of my folders. although other folders still
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display with the regular, blue icon, my Music folder now looks like a file. How can I fix this? Select the folder in Finder and choose File > Get Info. At the top of the window that opens will be the current, incorrect icon. Click on that to select it, and then choose Edit > Cut from the menu bar to remove it. You can also use this capability to apply a custom icon to a file or folder by pasting a graphic into that image well. Changing icons might indicate underlying disk problems. It’s worth starting up your Mac in Recovery mode (hold ç+R before you hear the startup sound) and running Disk Utility’s First Aid tool from there to check and repair your startup disk. Once done, restart your Mac as normal.
which it forgets the next time it starts up. How can I get it to remember the correct layout? This usually happens when one of the two keyboard preference files is corrupt. There’s one in Library at the top of your startup disk, and another in your user account’s Library, so your Mac knows which to use before and after you log in. The first to check is the latter. In Finder, hold Alt and choose Go > Library. Open the Preferences folder there and locate the file named com.apple. HIToolbox.plist; move it elsewhere, such
Keyboard keeps going back to older layout I moved to the uS some time ago with my uk-bought Mac Pro, an early 2009 model running El Capitan. I have it set to use my uk keyboard, but whenever it starts up it reverts to using a uS keyboard. I then set it back to using a uk keyboard in System Preferences,
Keyboard preferences are saved in two files, either or both of which can get corrupted and cause layout confusion.
Tech Support & Techsplanations
as Documents. Next, restart your Mac, and set up your keyboard normally using the Input Sources tab in the Keyboard pane. That change should persist after your next startup or restart. If it doesn’t, you may need to remove that same file from your account’s Library folder again, and from the Preferences folder in the top-level Library folder before restarting. That’ll change the keyboard settings that are applied both before you log in, and afterwards.
The energy Saver pane is useful, but doesn’t seem to work well with all models of iMac.
Go to sleep! Why can’t my I set Mac to sleep without sleeping its disk? Although the Energy Saver pane offers the ability to prevent hard disks from sleeping during system sleep, this does not work in some recent models of iMac. If you don’t want your disks put to sleep, those models will also then not let the system go to sleep either.
> Stop iCloud Photo Library using storage I’d avoided iCloud until recently, when I wanted to show photos from my iPad on a TV. I put them into my iCloud Photo library using my Mac, and they duly showed up on the iPad. However, they appear in the iPad’s Photos app even when the device’s Wi-Fi is turned off. I don’t want hundreds of pictures cluttering up the device. How can I only collect them from the cloud when I need them? iCloud Photo Library stores all of your pictures in iCloud, but doesn’t necessarily lumber all the devices you’ve connected to your iCloud account with the whole library. Control its behavior by going to Settings > iCloud > Photos. When you enable iCloud Photo Library on that page, your iPad will inevitably
keep indexes and thumbnail images for your whole library. Below that, though, you have an option of choosing either Optimize iPad Storage or download and Keep Originals; the latter uses more storage space, but tap the former and your iPad will manage its use of local storage as efficiently as possible. If your iPad has ample free storage, it may well still keep copies of your most commonly used photos and videos locally on the iPad. However, when the iPad is more pushed for free space, it’ll leave the fullsize originals in the cloud, downloading them only as needed. You can tell how much local storage iCloud Photo Library is using by going to Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage
Storage (under the Storage heading, not iCloud). Scroll down the list to find the total used by Photos & Camera, tap that, and you can confirm how much local space your photo library is using. You could turn on iCloud Photo Library only when you need it, but you’ll need to be happy waiting for it to sync each time.
Tap Optimize iPad Storage to keep storage space used by photos to a minimum.
SSd upgrade Can I upgrade the SSD in my iMac’s Fusion Drive? SSDs in Apple’s Fusion Drives are replaceable, but upgrading that part would require the skills of an Appletrained engineer. It would also require some software surgery afterwards. One solution, using a USB 3 or Thunderbolt drive instead of making internal changes, is detailed in our “Make Your Own Fusion Drive” feature in Mac|Life April 2016 (#113).
SHaRE WITH uS!
USB 3.0 ports
How can I make my mid-2010 Macbook Pro run faster? This MacBook Pro has memory slots: increasing memory and replacing the hard disk with an SSD should make the Mac quicker. Installing two 4GB or even 8GB DDR3-1066 SO-DIMM modules should cost from $50.
Can I add uSb 3 ports to my Mac Pro (Mid 2012)? Several PCI Express cards offer four USB 3 ports and work in late Mac Pro tower models. Sonnet’s Allegro Pro costs around $130 and is well proven, but cheaper cards from Inateck can cost as little as $40.
EMaIl: firstname.lastname@example.org FaCEbOOk: facebook.com/maclife TWITTER: twitter.com/maclife
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Create hoW to Do anythIng on your MaC, iPhone & iPaD
Discover new features in Photos macOS Sierra 10.12 makes it much easier to find your pictures
REQUIRES > macOS 10.12 LEVEL > Easy IT WILL TAKE > 20 minutes
While viewing an individual photo, click Details (or scroll down) to reveal memories the app believes are related or somehow similar.
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Whether you’re a hobbyist or a pro, photography is such a popular activity that it’s no wonder that some of Sierra’s biggest changes are in the Photos app. These improvements go further than previous changes, which addressed shortcomings that stemmed from Apple replacing the app’s popular predecessor, iPhoto, and starting from scratch with its photo management tool. One of the most prominent new features is Memories, which live in an eponymous tab in the app’s toolbar. Over time, the app picks out collections of pictures it thinks you might want to see again, typically comprised of pictures taken on or around the same date, or around a particular location. You can scroll through this automatically generated timeline to look back at all the memories the app has picked out. However, that’ll only get more unwieldy as the timeline gets longer, so the app enables you to add a memory to a collection of your favorites, which are stored in a folder in the Albums tab. The app also lets you delete a memory if you disagree that it’s something you’ll want to look at often – perhaps there are one or two interesting images in it, but many more that you’re not that fond of.
Note that this only deletes the memory; its contents remain in your photo library. A memory can be played as a slideshow by opening it and then clicking the toolbar’s Play button, but there’s no option there to export it as a movie to share with others. However, click the adjacent + button, choose Slideshow, make a few decisions, and the slideshow is saved to the Projects tab. Select it there, then choose File > Export > Export Slideshow. IntellIgent analysIs Photos’ other big new feature is automatic analysis of your photos – not just so you can then browse them by the people they contain, like in previous versions, but so you can search for pictures that contain a specific object or kind of scene. Until your entire library has been scanned, the People album will show a count of how many photos have been scanned and how many remain. Analysis takes place when your Mac is connected to power and Photos isn’t open. Open Activity Monitor, click the CPU tab and find photoanalysis; it’s responsible for analysis – notice it’s suspended while Photos is open and resumes its duties as soon as you quit the app. alan stonebrIDge
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
How to revisit photos in sierra
Old memories Photos adds to the Memories tab over time, so keep returning to that tab to see what it has picked out for you. As time goes by, you’ll see it fill up with large thumbnails, each with their relevant date emblazoned across their middle.
At a glance Double-click a memory to open it, then scroll down to see the pictures that Photos has decided belong together, people it has identified in them, a map showing where the photos were taken, and related memories.
Play as a slideshow
To add a memory to your favorites in the Albums tab, right-click it in the timeline and choose Add to Favorite Memories – or click that at the bottom of its overview. Both places also offer an option to delete the memory.
Memories aren’t just about gathering pics in album-like groups. At one’s overview, click the toolbar’s Play button, choose a theme – this includes a score, which you can swap for a track from iTunes – and click Play Slideshow.
Sierra’s version of Photos also recognizes thousand of types of object and scene. In the search bar, enter text such as “beach,” “tree’,” or “no people.” The search engine is basic in other ways; you can’t enter two separate terms.
Among the list of search results will be matching items, including slight variations on the term you entered (such as “palm tree”), and counts of matches in each category. Click a search result to see all matching photos.
See them on a map If photos in a memory have location data attached, they’ll be plotted on a map. Double-click the map for a closer look, or click Show Nearby Photos to have the app reveal more from nearby, but perhaps not in this memory.
Browse by person Under Albums, open the People album to see faces the app has detected. Put the pointer over one, click Add Name and type. Click Add People to see more; if several are the same person, hold ç, click them, then Merge & Add.
mAKE fRom A mEmoRy To use a memory as the basis for a calendar, book, card, or some other project, open its overview, click + in the toolbar and choose an option.
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how to use Optimized Storage Discover how the latest macOS helps to ensure you have enough space
REQUIRES > macOS Sierra 10.12 an iCloud account LEVEL > Easy IT WILL TAKE > 10 minutes
One Of the conveniences Apple has added in macOS Sierra is Optimized Storage, which helps you to keep space free for your next task. The feature is tucked away in the About This Mac window’s Storage tab, where there’s a new button labeled Manage next to the breakdown of how your startup disk is being used. Clicking this button opens a new storage management window (which is actually part of the System Information app, located in the Utilities folder; in it, choose Window > Storage Management). Many of the things you can accomplish in this window can be done elsewhere in Sierra and its bundled apps, as long as you know where to look. But the window consolidates prime methods for saving space in one place, and provides advice on things you might have overlooked (or be unaware of) and how much space you might be able to reclaim. It’s a good idea to at least open the app and check its recommendations, some of which
may relate to older preferences you’ve already discounted, and some that are new in Sierra. Changes you make in the window (except for apps you trash) apply only to the current user account, but your choices will affect others who share your Mac. You might save even more space by asking them to follow suit. Beyond the 10 minutes this process will take, you’ll need to allow time for your Mac to do its part – to process photos, say, which depends on other factors such as library size, whether you’ve already enabled iCloud Photo Library, and your upload speed. If you turn on iCloud Drive’s ability to keep only recently used files on your Mac as space gets low, files appear in Finder, but with a cloud and arrow icon you can click to redownload them ahead of time and guarantee their availability when you’re offline – or you can double-click one to open it. Some of the options here store files in iCloud instead of on your Mac, so upgrading your iCloud storage may be wise. AlAn StOnebridge
Quick look the Optimized Storage window Recommended changes The window opens to this page, suggesting some key ways you can save on storage space.
Additional categories Several items on the left detail space used by various apps, which you might want to reclaim.
Mail attachments This category lets you turn on auto-download of only recent attachments – or none at all.
Monitor progress The window doesn’t need to remain open – you can simply reopen it to check lengthy tasks’ progress.
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How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
How to free up space on your Mac
Find the feature Choose > About This Mac and click the new window’s Storage tab. This shows categorized breakdowns of used space on your Mac’s directly attached storage. There’s a Manage button next to only the current startup disk. Click it.
Files in icloud drive Photos obtains a full-quality copy from iCloud when you edit a picture. As for files in Drive, selecting that option turns on a new item in iCloud Drive’s preferences that keeps only recently used files on your Mac if space gets low.
Recover lost files As long as you haven’t excluded the Trash from Time Machine backups, open a window on the Trash in Finder and then choose Enter Time Machine from the service’s menu bar icon. Browse back in time and restore the file, like any other.
Review suggestions The Storage Management window opens, with Recommendations selected in its left pane. On the right, ideas of how you can save space are described, with a button next to each item. Click one for more info, then accept or ignore it.
Movies and TV The next suggestion is equivalent to turning on an item in iTunes’ Advanced preferences. It instructs iTunes to remove movies and TV episodes from your Mac after you’ve watched them, potentially saving you lots of space due to their size.
Reduce clutter The fourth option is the same as clicking Documents in the left pane. It can take a while for your drive’s contents to be analyzed before big items appear under Large Files, where they’re listed alongside when they were last opened.
Store in the cloud The first item’s wording will suggest storing files and full-quality photos in iCloud, depending on whether you’ve already set iCloud Photo Library to keep optimized versions on your Mac if space is low (possible before Sierra).
Auto-empty Trash Sierra can be set to automatically remove items that have been in the Trash for longer than 30 days. This is the same as enabling an item in Finder’s Advanced preferences. Past the grace period, items can still be recovered from Time Machine.
Trash unwanted files Select an item under Large Files, Downloads or File Browser and press the Spacebar to preview it, or ç+∫ to trash it. Be careful as File Browser is less safe than you might think; you can trash the folder that holds your iTunes library, say.
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encrypt email anywhere How to use a self-signed certificate to encrypt messages beyond Mail
REQUIRES > An S/MIME capable email app, or an iOS device with iOS 5 or later LEVEL > Medium IT WILL TAKE > 25 minutes
Stick with the default Personal Information Exchange (p12) file format – Mail for iOS and many other apps can read it.
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In our prevIous issue (#121), we showed you how to digitally sign and encrypt messages in Mail by creating your own self-signed certificate in Keychain Assistant. But what if you manage your email in a different app, or want to encrypt emails on your iPhone or iPad too? The good news is that you can use your certificate in other apps and on other devices by exporting it to a passwordprotected file. This file is then either imported into an email app on your Mac or transferred to your iOS device for use in its version of Mail. First, if you haven’t already, follow last issue’s tutorial to create your self-signed certificate using Keychain Assistant. Next, open Keychain Access from /Applications/Utilities (or by searching for it in Spotlight). Select My Certificates in its left-hand pane, then locate your certificate – to verify you’ve chosen the correct one, double-click it and check its Usage reads “Digital Signature, Key Encipherment” and its “Purpose #1” entry in the Extension section says “Email Protection.” Once identified, right-click the certificate and choose Export <Certificate Name>. Leave the default file type as “Personal Information Exchange (.p12)” so you end up with a suitable filename, then choose where to store your exported p12 file. Click Save, enter a strong password and click OK. Verify your request with your user account’s password and click Allow. If you want to use your certificate in another email app, verify that app supports S/MIME email
When exporting your certificate, protect it with a strong password so you can safely transfer it to iOS by email.
encryption, then check its help system or website for instructions on importing your certificate into the correct account. Taking Thunderbird as an example, go to Tools > Account Settings, select the relevant account, and select Security in the left-hand pane. Click View Certificates, click the Your Certificates tab, and then click Import. Select the p12 file you exported, click Open, then enter the password you set earlier and click OK again. Once the certificate has been imported, click OK to return to Account Settings and click the Select button under Digital Signing. Follow the prompts and choose Yes when prompted to use the imported certificate to both encrypt and decrypt messages. You should see the certificate is selected for both digital signing and encryption – leave the other options as they are and click OK. Now when composing messages, click the Security button at the top to choose to sign and/or encrypt each individual message when you send it – you can only encrypt messages to people who’ve shared their own S/MIME certificates with you through Thunderbird. The process is similar with Postbox (search support.postbox-inc.com for “SMIME” to find a set-up guide). Other apps, such as Airmail, require a plugin to work – AMPlug S/MIME Beta (bit.ly/amsmime) in Airmail’s case. On the other hand, Outlook has direct access to your keychain, so no export is required. Instead, simply select your target account in Tools > Accounts, go to Advanced > Security and click the Certificate pop-up menu under Digital Signing to connect it to yours. nIck peers
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
How to set up your certificate on iphone or ipad
Transfer to iPhone The simplest way to transfer your exported certificate is to email the p12 file to yourself. Make sure you set a strong password on the file in the first place to protect the certificate, in case it’s intercepted in transit.
View your profile If the profile doesn’t automatically show up, switch to the Settings app and go to General > Profiles. Tap your name to view your profile; this is also where you’d go if you ever want to delete the certificate from your iOS device.
Encrypt by default Tap Back and then tap the option to encrypt messages by default, and then turn on its switch; it’ll only be applied for recipients who’ve shared their S/MIME certificate with you. Return to the top of your account settings and tap Done.
Open the p12 file Open Mail on your iPhone, then locate and open the message you sent to yourself. Tap the p12 file that’s attached to open it. Mail should indicate the file is an Identity Certificate, but that it’s not signed. Tap Install to continue.
Link to your account Go to Mail, Contacts, Calendars at the top of Settings and tap your account. If it’s the primary iCloud one, tap Mail > Advanced > Advanced. If it’s a secondary account, tap its name > Mail > Advanced. For others, tap their name > Advanced.
Get ready to use it All future mail you send from this account will be automatically signed by default. To encrypt messages with a selected contact, first request that they send you a message that has their own digital signature attached.
Install the profile Enter your device’s passcode, then read the warning about the profile not being signed. That’s fine; just tap Install twice to continue. Enter the password you applied to the p12 file, then tap Next, followed by Done.
Enable S/MIME At the bottom of the page you’ll find an S/MIME switch. Turn it on and then tap the Sign row that appears below it. To enable digital signing of your messages, turn on the Sign switch; your certificate should be visible and selected.
Add their certificate Tap the sender’s name in the From part of their message’s header, then tap View Certificate. If you’re happy with it, tap Install to make it trusted, then tap Done. From now on your conversations with that person will be encrypted, too.
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part 2 of 5 Next issue:
How to make sure your site is worth reading
tailor your style in rapidWeaver Make your pages look even better by learning how to tweak templates
REQUIRES > RapidWeaver, OS X 10.11 LEVEL
Last issue we showed you how to create new pages for a website using RealMac’s beginner-friendly web design app, RapidWeaver. In this second instalment, you’ll discover how to change the way those pages look, and what they contain.
> Easy IT WILL TAKE > 30 minutes
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a tempLate for success RapidWeaver is a template-based system, so it provides a range of professionally designed sites for you to choose from. You then add your content, and if you want to change the entire design you can just choose another template and watch your content update automatically. So, you might start off with the wintry shades of the Lander theme and then decide you prefer the purple tones of the Tesla one, or you might decide what your site really needs is the photo gallery from the Kiki theme. No problem: just bring up the Themes panel, select the one you want and the visual changes are applied instantly. There’s more to themes than just colors, though. They also set your site’s slogans and
footers, specify whether there should be sidebars and whether those should appear on the left or the right, and they can be used to specify how photo galleries look and behave. In many cases, you’ll find that the perfect look for your own website involves taking one of RapidWeaver’s premade designs and making a few tweaks. When it comes to changing bits of the app’s templates, there are several places you can do it. First of all, there’s Settings > General in the left sidebar (choose View > Show Source List if it’s not visible). This is where you set the site’s title and slogan, the copyright message or other footer, the contact details and little things such as the site logo and favicon (the little logo that appears in the address bar and favorites list in your browser). Click Advanced at the bottom of that page to customize even more options, such as whether breadcrumb navigation (the element that shows visitors their place on your site in this style: Home > About Us > Our History) should be disabled. The next place to look is under Master Style in the left sidebar. As the name suggests, the master
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
Visual guide rapidWeaver’s interface
Pages and settings This is where your website’s pages are listed, as well as where you access the site’s settings.
editing and preview pane Here we’ve clicked Preview in the toolbar so we can see what our page will look like in a web browser.
style is the boss of how your entire site looks, so it’s where the template sets out decisions such as what color the navigation menu should be, what colored overlay (if it’s part of your chosen theme) should go over the main banner photo, how big the fonts should be, and so on. This is also where you specify elements such as the background color of form fields and whether banner images should be displayed at the top of the page. eNgage maNuaL override Each theme has its own master style, but there’s nothing to stop you from editing that style by selecting Master Style in the sidebar, clicking the
The inspector Much like in the iWork apps, this sidebar provides a series of tabbed panels that enable you to fine-tune your pages’ properties and design.
The Styles tab Here we’re looking at the various elements of our website’s appearance: the colors, what’s displayed, font size, and so on.
Inspector button on the toolbar, and then making whatever changes you want. Once done, you can save the modified style by clicking the cog at the top of the inspector and set your choices as your site’s new master style. The third place where you can change how your site looks is within each individual page. With a page selected at the top of the sidebar, bring up the inspector and you’ll see six tabbed panels: General Settings, Page Sidebar, HTML Code, Meta Tags, Styles and Page Options. We’ll return to some of these next issue, but for now we’re interested in General Settings, Page Sidebar and Styles. The General Settings tab has three key
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a language used to describe the style info for a page or site. RapidWeaver creates your site’s CSS files automatically.
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QUIcK TIp You can apply different templates to pages of your site, but it’s a good idea to harmonize fonts and colors so things don’t look weird.
parts at the bottom, under the heading Override Default Settings, which enable you to specify a different page title, slogan, or footer than those set out in the master style. If you want, you can use this tab to change the page’s filename and whether it should open in a new window. The default is to open it in the current browser tab. The Page Sidebar tab only has content if the sidebar has been enabled in the master style. If it has, you can edit the code accordingly: it supports both plain text and HTML code, so you can add links, images, and other content if you want. Last but most definitely not least, there’s the Use Master Style option at the top of the Styles tab. If this contains a check mark, the page will follow your site’s master style, but you can apply a completely different template to the current page – so, all of your site could use the same template, except for your photo gallery. Using a different template for a page often means it’ll have a completely different color scheme too, and that’s where the rest of the Styles tab comes into play. With Use Master Style unchecked, you can change the colors, layout, font size, backgrounds for form fields, and so on, ensuring that the page still fits with the rest of your site’s color scheme. It’s generally a bad idea to present people with jarring design changes midway through a site, so the ability to apply another template but edit its colors is useful to have.
That said, we need to echo Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben here and point out that with great power comes great responsibility. The whole point of a template-based system is that you don’t have to play around with individual parts of pages, so it’s important to make any changes in the right place. Wherever possible, make changes to the master style, so that they’re applied site-wide. Page-specific changes are only really necessary when a template can’t do what you want on a page. Live previeW of chaNges One thing we really like about RapidWeaver is that if you’ve clicked on the toolbar’s Preview button, when you edit things in the Styles tab you’ll see changes applied to the page that’s open as you make them – so, if you decide to enable the sidebar you’ll see it pop up in its designated place, and if you decide not to have big banner images you’ll notice them disappear when you select “banner hidden” from the Site Banner Overlay pop-up menu. This takes the guesswork out of building your site because you can see right away whether something works or not. Don’t be afraid to experiment. RapidWeaver lends itself to “what happens if I change this?” exploration. If all else fails, you’ll find the original templates are still there if you get a little bit too experimental. Happy tweaking! gary marshaLL
How to change the appearance of your site
General settings If the inspector isn’t already open, click the toolbar button that shows an “i” in a circle to open it. The inspector’s first tab, General Settings, enables you to change the current page’s title and override default settings for your site.
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Modify master style Select Master Style in the sidebar on the left to see your site’s global style settings. Use the inspector to make any changes you want to those default settings: they’ll automatically be applied to the whole of your website.
Override defaults Sometimes you’ll want to make changes to a page, but not your entire site. In the inspector, bring up the Styles tab (fourth from the left). This enables you to make changes that only apply to the page you’re currently viewing.
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
Manage iMessage apps Take advantage of the new apps iOS 10 has brought to iMessage
REQUIRES > iOS 10 LEVEL > Easy IT WILL TAKE > 10 minutes
With the arrival of iOS 10, iMessage has received some big changes. The iPhone’s most-used app (according to Apple) now has mini-apps of its own, a fun feature for two or more people who use iMessage to keep in touch. These new apps can cover a wide variety of uses, from conducting business to having fun, and even just helping to make collaborations between people a little bit easier. Currently the most common iMessage apps are stickers, which can be used as a sort of third-party emoji. Many of these stickers include fun animations, and can be dragged atop photos and messages as an embellishment. These apps are often standalone and can be installed wholly within iMessage. The fun doesn’t stop at stickers, though, and has extended to games. You can now challenge friends to games and top each others high scores,
Navigating around iMessage Apps Open iMessage and tap the App Store icon, which looks like an “A.” Here you’ll see a list of installed apps. Some apps on your iPhone may have companion messaging apps that show up here. Tap and hold to rearrange your apps; tap the “x” to uninstall them.
all within the message window. It’s worth noting that these games often require a separate app that resides on your Home screen and links to the app within iMessage. There’s also a plethora of apps geared toward productivity: add events to mutually shared calendars, use apps such as Evernote to create collaborative notes, and check off tasks on a to-do list that everyone can contribute to. You can even download apps like Square Cash to send and receive money with ease. We’re glad that Apple has chosen to add apps to iMessage, and we’re excited to see what developers are looking to do with it. If you haven’t already, we suggest that you download iOS 10 and take a look at the new iMessage apps. They’re installed through separate App Store available inside the Messages app, though some of your current apps may include an iMessage app within their main download. AMber Neely
Installing new iMessage Apps Tap the Store button, which will take you to the iMessage App Store. From here you can browse or search for new apps and install them. It will highlight new apps just like the main App Store. Apps can be free or paid, and you can see screenshots of them.
Managing iMessage Apps While you’re in the iMessage App Store, you can select the “Manage” tab. Here, you’ll find convenient switches that enable you to turn on and off iMessage companion apps to the other apps you already have installed on your iPhone or iPad.
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learn iOS 10’s lock screen Make more of your iPhone or iPad without unlocking it
REQUIRES > iOS 10 LEVEL > Easy IT WILL TAKE > 10 minutes
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In iOS 10, Apple has revamped the Lock screen. It’s also added a third, even simpler way to wake an iPhone SE, 6s/6s Plus, or 7/7Plus. As long as Settings > Display & Brightness > Raise to Wake is switched on, you can start interacting with your iPhone. You can still access Notification Center or Control Center with swipes from top or bottom. There’s no longer a camera icon to swipe upwards from to take a photo – it’s been replaced. There’s also a difference in how you unlock devices that lack Touch ID; rather than swiping across the screen to reveal the keypad and enter your passcode, press the Home button a second time. On the iPhone 6s/6s Plus, 7/7 Plus, though, stick with the Sleep/Wake button or Raise to Wake options – the second-generation Touch ID sensor in them responds so quickly that by the time you lift your finger off after waking the device, you’ll probably have unlocked it to the Home screen. Consider making your stats, conditions, and medications from the Health app available at the Lock screen. In Health > Medical ID > Edit, turn on Show When Locked. AlAn StOnebrIdge
Quick look lock screen Suggested app Swipe up from any app icon that appears at the bottom left of the Lock screen to unlock and open to that app.
Today view Swipe left to right on the Lock screen to see widgets that summarize info, from apps and shortcuts to particular features.
Widgets You can tap items on widgets to go to them in the relevant app, or tap the app’s icon (top left) to simply open it.
Quick photos iOS 10’s Lock screen doesn’t feature a camera icon as a shortcut to that feature; swipe right to left across the Lock screen to open the Camera app.
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
How to Use and tailor the lock screen
Missed notifications Notification Center is accessible from the Lock screen. Swipe down from the screen’s top edge to see items you’ve ignored or missed. Make sure an app’s Show on Lock Screen switch in Settings > Notifications is on to have it appear here.
clear notifications Hold a finger on (or 3D Touch) the cross that’s to the right of headings in Notification Center (Today, Yesterday, and so on) and tap Clear All Notifications. Alternatively, swipe left on a notification and tap Clear to get rid of just that one.
Audio and home
Respond to an item Tap a notification to go to that item in its app. Swipe left on one for actions you can take, or apply 3D Touch to take a closer look before deciding what to do; choices in Settings > Notifications may require you to unlock your device.
Tailor your widgets
Swipe up from the bottom for shortcuts to features such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and to lock the screen orientation. You can Tap to change settings, or apply 3D Touch to icons in the bottom row for extra options, such as flashlight intensity.
Basic audio controls are on the Lock screen, and extras, such as which speaker to send audio to, are available by opening Control Center and swiping left. If you’ve set up HomeKit devices in Home, swipe left again to view your favorites.
Many apps show a widget when you 3D Touch their Home screen icon. To add it to the Today view (and hence the Lock screen), tap Add Widget. Tap Edit at the bottom of Today to manage all your widgets, including their display order.
If you’re concerned about privacy or security, in Settings > Touch ID & Passcode, you can disable Lock screen access to Today, notifications, Siri, Apple Pay, responding to calls with a message, and controlling HomeKit hardware.
To stop apps being suggested at the bottom left of the Lock screen based on previous usage, and others you don’t have yet which may be useful at your location, you’ll need to turn off Handoff in Settings > General > Handoff.
If you’d rather require that your device be unlocked to access Control Center – to stop anyone changing any of the settings there – go to Settings > Control Center and turn off Access on Lock Screen.
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Organize email on iOS Bring order to your chaotic mailboxes with Mail’s organization tools
REQUIRES > iOS 10 LEVEL > Easy IT WILL TAKE > 25 minutes
It can be a full-time job keeping on top of the avalanche of mail that keeps appearing in your mailbox. Thankfully, the iPad’s Mail app is on hand to help you not just regain control of your inbox, but stay on top of it going forward too. We’ve assumed you’ve set up at least one of your email accounts in Mail – if you want to add more, you can do so by heading to Settings > Mail > Accounts. There are useful presets for iCloud, Microsoft Exchange and Outlook, Google, Yahoo, and AOL, plus an all-encompassing Other option where you can manually enter details of other POP3 or IMAP mail servers. Tap “< Mailboxes” at the top left of the screen to revert to Mailboxes view, and you’ll see a number of views available. The All Inboxes view is likely to be too confusing, but you’ll see each mailbox’s Inbox listed below this along with a VIP view. Below this are additional links to each mailbox – tapping these expands the view to reveal folders. You can customize the Mailboxes view by tapping “Edit” to show or hide inboxes and other useful filtered views, such as Flagged
messages, Attachments, and a Today view. Tap and drag the horizontal lines on the right of a view or folder to change its position, or tap New Mailbox to create a new folder, which you link to a specific account in which it will reside. You can also nest folders inside other folders – just navigate to the point where you want the folder to sit, then tap “Save.” iOS 10 IMprOveMentS The recent release of iOS 10 also introduced some useful new features that will help you speed up the way you process mail. First, look out for an Unsubscribe option at the top of messages that Mail’s identified as being from mailing lists. And second, you can apply filters to your current view (check out the step-by-step guide opposite). Finally, you have more control over how threaded conversations are displayed. Go to Settings > Mail and find Threading. You can now opt to view the most recent message at the top, plus show complete threads, even when some of the individual messages have been moved to other inboxes. nIck peerS
How to Move and delete mail
Individual email Tap on a single mail to view it, then process it using the buttons to Flag, Move, Delete (or Archive if Gmail), Reply/ Forward/Print, and compose a new mail message. These are at the top on iPad, or at the bottom on iPhone.
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Multiple messages You can process email in bulk too. Tap Edit next to the Inbox, then use the check boxes to select your messages before tapping one of Mark, Move, or Delete (Archive in Gmail) at the bottom of the message list.
Move messages If you tap Move, you’ll be shown a list of available folders in the current mailbox. Tap “< Accounts” if you’d like to move the messages to a different mailbox, select the account and finally tap on the target folder.
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
How to Use gestures to manage email
Swipe to process
The quickest way to process an individual message is to swipe it left or right – swipe right and you’ll see either an Unread or a Read option. You can tap this, or swipe all the way, to apply that action to the message.
If you swipe left you’ll see more options appear: Flag (the default option if you swipe all the way), Delete/Archive or More… The latter reveals a pop-up menu with more options, including Reply, Forward, and Move Message.
customize gestures Go to Settings > Mail > Swipe Options to change the quick actions for both left and right swipes by tapping the appropriate option and choosing from the available list of options – choose None to disable the gesture.
How to add filters to your mailbox
Apply unread filter Tap the filter button (bottom left corner) of the Mail screen to apply a filter that only shows unread mail. To apply a different filter to your messages, tap the Unread text under “Filtered by.”
Set new filter A Filter pop-up menu will appear. You can opt to include unread and/or filtered messages from the options, plus add a filter that shows only messages addressed directly to your mailbox.
More The final switches enable you to apply two more filters – the first will only show messages containing attachments; the second restricts the view to showing email from VIP-designated contacts only.
> Switch accounts When you compose a message, Mail will select your default mailbox as the email address you’re sending from. You can change this when you’re composing a message: tap the “Cc/Bcc, From:” field to expand it, then tap the From field and pick your chosen account address from the pop-up menu. Alternatively, change the default account: navigate to Settings > Mail, scroll down and tap Default Account to select your preferred account.
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raNdOM applE MEMOry
One more thing… adam Banks recalls how Steve Jobs’ keynote flourish became tradition “Oh yeah,” he announced, “we’re profitable.” It was the moment that ended Apple’s period in the wilderness and began its ascent to market dominance. 12 months later, Jobs pulled the same trick when he revealed new iMacs in a range of candy colors: “There is one more thing – and we’ve managed to keep it secret.” That secrecy gave “One more thing” its power (as Lieutenant Columbo well knew). For a decade, Apple products had trickled out in the wake of detailed speculation by the tech press, fed by company insiders who saw no need for discretion. Jobs had run a tighter ship at NeXT, and believed groundbreaking products would have the most impact if they were unanticipated.
“One more thing” heightened the effect. Over the next 13 years, until Jobs’ very last public appearance, the trope would be applied to innovations like AirPort Wi-Fi (1999), Mac OS X’s Aqua user interface (2000), the miniaturized iPod shuffle (2005), the unibody aluminum MacBook (2008), and FaceTime (2010). Though Steve Jobs is no longer with us, the tradition continues at Apple keynotes: the Apple Watch and Apple Music were both “One more things,” announced by Tim Cook to wild appreciation.
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FrOM THE earliest days of Apple, Steve Jobs showed a talent for the theatrical that his successor, John Sculley, never quite matched. When the founder returned to his company in January 1997, the stage was set for him to bring back the buzz. By the summer, Jobs had ousted current CEO Gil Amelio and delivered a Macworld Expo keynote that brought cheers – when he took to the podium – and jeers, as he introduced Bill Gates in an unexpected business partnership. But it was in January 1998 that the “interim CEO” added a new dramatic touch. Walking off the stage in San Francisco, after a low-key speech with no hardware to unveil, Jobs stopped.
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