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Reviewing 2016 and looking forward

STAFF PICKS Do you wish your Mac had a touchscreen? ANTHONY CARUANA


ver the last couple of months we’ve seen new iPhones, updates to the Apple Watch, new operating systems for Apple computers, watches, phones and tablets, and a new MacBook Pro. That’s a lot of new products for a company many pundits say is stagnating. Putting together this month’s issue of Macworld Australia has been a lot of fun. I often receive messages from readers who say we don’t cover the Mac enough. In this issue, we have a first look at the new MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar – an allnew way of interacting with your Mac and controlling apps. I suspect a new Apple keyboard will hit the market in the new year with an integrated Touch Bar. We also have a long feature story delving into macOS Sierra. Although Apple now updates its software each year, there are plenty of new features to explore. I wonder if this will be the last ‘version’ of macOS and Apple will follow the market, adding new features and releasing them incrementally.

I’ve spent a few weeks with the Apple Watch Series 2. I’m fortunate that Apple sends me a review sample of most new products, so I had a couple of weeks to try the latest model. It’s not perfect, but it’s now a very good smartwatch – good enough that I’ve opened my wallet and purchased one of my own. I chose the Apple Watch Nike+. As a keen, if not slow, runner, this seemed like the best option for me. I can always dress it up with a more upmarket band for more formal occasions. As this is our last issue for 2016, I want to wish you all a safe and prosperous Christmas and New Year. I work with many publications over the course of the year. Editing Macworld Australia is my favourite job. I get to play with great hardware, follow the most innovative company on the planet and communicate with passionate readers. I’m looking forward to more of the same in 2017.

I’ve jumped ship, and use an iPad Pro for a lot of my work when I’m travelling. But I don’t feel like I need one when I’m in the office with my Mac mini. MADELEINE SWAIN I do sometimes find myself reaching up… but no, ergonomically, I’m happy that it doesn’t. ALICIA PINNOCK Using an iPad for simple day-today tasks, having a touchscreen on my Mac would make the transition between the two easier! MONIQUE BLAIR I wish my Mac had a touchscreen, so that I could play ultimate sessions of Bejeweled and Fruit Ninja in my spare time.

DECEMBER 2016 / ISSUE NO. 221 CONSUMER TECH DIVISION (Macworld Australia & MacTalk): Publisher Chris Rennie Editor Anthony Caruana @anthony_caruana Subeditor Madeleine Swain Business Development Manager Neha Minhas +61 3 9948 4918 MACWORLD AU PRODUCTION: Production Manager Alicia Pinnock Design and Digital Prepress Monique Blair NICHE MEDIA: Chairman Nicholas Dower Managing Director Paul Lidgerwood Commercial Director Joanne Davies Content Director Chris Rennie Financial Controller Sonia Jurista Subscriptions Freecall: 1800 804 160 CTP/Print Graphic Impressions ISSN 2200-2375. Macworld Australia is a publication of Niche Media Pty Ltd ABN 13 064 613 529. 1 Queens Road, Melbourne, Victoria 3004 Australia. Macworld Australia is published under licence from International Data Group Inc. and Mac Publishing LLC. Macworld Australia has reprint rights to Macworld (UK & US), publications of International Data Group Inc. and Mac Publishing LLC. Macworld Australia is an independent journal and not affiliated with Apple Inc. Material appearing in in Macworld Australia is copyright and reproduction in whole or part without express permission from the publishers will result in litigation. Editorial items appearing in Macworld Australia that were originally published in the US and UK additions of Macworld are the copyright property of International Data Group Inc, which reserves all rights. Macworld is a trademark of International Data Group Inc. Products in Gadget Guide are included for information purposes only and carry no endorsement from Macworld Australia. This issue may contain offers and competitions that if you choose to to participate, require you to provide your personal information. Niche Media will use this information to provide you with the products and services requested. We may also provide this information to contractors and third parties involved who provide the products and services on our behalf (such as mail houses and suppliers of subscription premiums and promotional prizes). We do not sell your information to third parties under any circumstances, however they may retain the information we provide for future promotions, activities of their own including direct marketing. Niche Media will retain your information and may use it to inform you of other Niche Media publications and promotions from time to time.



Features 09




14 macOS SIERRA Apple’s new operating system for the Mac builds on the past and looks to the future

It’s taken a while, but Apple has finally got its iPhoto replacement up to snuff





Reviews 40 41 42 43 46 48 49 50

Ultimate Ears Megaboom iRig HD2 Schlage Sense iPhone 7 Plus and iOS 10 iPhone 7 cases BusyCal Philips Brilliance DeskJet 3270



WHERE ARE THE LAPTOPS? I am heartily sick of hearing about Apple Watches, iPhones, earphone pods, macOS, iOS and just about everything except new Mac laptops! I know that none of this is the fault of Macworld Australia, but as a publication that supposedly reports on (and I hope to) Apple about its offerings I thought you should be aware of not just my feelings, but those of a great number who depend upon Apple’s laptops. Almost every laptop model is well out of date, even the MacBook, which is also well overpriced in Australia. I read regularly of what Apple is proposing for its laptops, but the reality of it is that Apple is now resorting to what Microsoft used to do and putting a great number of its loyal supporter in promise land. I have been an Apple fan since before Steve Jobs was sacked from Apple; I have loyally tried just about every laptop offering over the years and, frankly, I think Apple has lost its way, big time! If it wants to concentrate on watches, TVs, cars or whatever, that’s fine, but either allow others to develop laptops or set up a separate company to do so in parallel with everything else that’s keeping Apple staff employed. At the moment, even with macOS, we’re the poor relations. There’s no point in having a beautiful operating system when the laptops required to benefit from it are anything up to two years out of date… in computer terms, that’s ancient! Cosmetic updates don’t cut it. We need computers that have all the functionality of their predecessors and more, but with faster chips, bigger memory and greater connectivity.

When, oh when, will Apple realise that a reputation is not solely built upon what they’ve done in the past, but what they can achieve in the future? Rumour and conjecture abound, but nothing is being delivered. A very angry and despondent Apple user.

Peter J Gray

The good news is Apple responded and released a slew of new notebooks with an update to the ‘traditional’ 13in MacBook Pro, as well as two new Touch Bar models. And there was also an update to the 15in. You’ll be pleased that this month we’ve slotted in a first look at those new notebooks, as well a deep dive into macOS Sierra. Personally, I’m looking out for a new Mac mini and updated Cinema Display. While it was the Mac that allowed Apple to flourish as a company, it seems that the company sees its future as being a consumer electronics and services business. That’s why it now has four distinct platforms, each with its own products. That said, I wonder what Steve Jobs would think. When he returned to Apple after his exile, he rationalised the company’s products by drawing a four-box grid with consumer and professional on one axis, and desktop and laptop on the other. Any product that didn’t fit one of the four boxes was summarily executed. I wonder if Apple would benefit from a similar exercise in refocusing today. On the other hand, it’s hard to argue with its massive revenues and bank balance.







HAVE YOUR SAY USER GROUPS ARE STILL IMPORTANT A few weeks ago, I asked members of Mac user groups to reach out and let me know what they were doing and offered them an opportunity to reach out to the broader Mac community. Lynette from iTandCoffee sent me the lovely note below. If you’re a member of an Apple user group, feel free to send me an email. If you’d like, and the logistics line up, I’d be happy to come and speak to the group and meet the members.

Ed. Hi Anthony. I am a huge fan of Macworld Australia, and am an avid reader. I regularly share links to Macworld Australia articles in my business newsletter, which goes out to iTandCoffee clients and subscribers fortnightly. iTandCoffee is a Melbourne business that has a strong focus on helping those who are relatively new to the world of technology and its various personal devices. We specialise in Apple products, but cover any topic that our clients need covered, with a focus on helping people use their technology to enhance their lives – to make them more connected, informed, organised and entertained. Around 90 percent of our clients are women, and a large majority are over

the age of 60. These are people that have previously struggled to find the help they needed with their technology and love the style of support and education they receive at iTandCoffee. We run small, relaxed, fun, social classes at our café-style shop in Glen Iris, and our ‘Getting to Know your Mac’ classes are really popular and always get great reviews from those who attend. We also hold a monthly Mac User Group, which is usually attended by those who have attended the classes, or who don’t want to attend class, but just need help with getting to know the basics (and sometimes the ‘not so basics’) of their Macs. In the new year, we will be hosting monthly iPad and iPhone user group sessions as casual morning and afternoon tea meetings. We also host monthly ‘Free Friday’ sessions for those clients who have paid a yearly $30 subscription to our iTandCoffee Club. There are so many people out there who would benefit from the iTandCoffee style of technology support and education – and we would love any help that you can offer in spreading the word about our classes, services and user group meetings. In July we won the 3AW/Momentum Energy Small Business Award. This has helped a bit, but it is always difficult to ‘spread the word’ to those who could benefit from what we offer. Keep up the great work at Macworld Australia.


Q Letters should be emailed to with a subject header of ‘Letter to the Editor’ or by post to: Macworld Australia Mailbox, Suite 1418, Level 14, 1 Queens Road, Melbourne, Victoria, 3004. Please include your full name and address, including state or territory. Q Comments on stories or Forum posts on are also eligible for the prize. Q We reserve the right to edit letters and probably will. Q Letters of fewer than 200 words are given preference.

This issue’s prize to the Macworld Australia reader who has submitted what we think is the most interesting letter is a Joby Griptight GorillaPod – a stand for smaller tablets provides a fun, flexible mounting stand for your tablet. Paired with a GorillaPod tripod, this stand allows you to position your tablet for the best viewing – wrap around your leg or chair, position on railing or stand on the rubber foot grips. RRP $59.95

TERMS AND CONDITIONS. Letter of the month 1. Instructions on how to enter form part of these conditions of entry. 2. To enter send tips or queries to with a subject header of “Letter to the Editor”. Entries will be judged by the editorial staff of Macworld Australia. The judges’ decision in relation to any aspect of the competition is final and binding on every person who enters. No correspondence will be entered into. Chance plays no part in determining the winner(s). Each entry will be individually judged based on its degree of interest. 4. Employees, their immediate families and agencies associated with this competition are not permitted to enter. 5. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for late or misdirected entries. 6. The best entry/entries as determined by the judges will win the prize(s). 7. The Promoter is neither responsible nor liable for any change in the value of the prize occurring between the publish date and the date the prize(s) is claimed. 8. The prize(s) is not transferable and will not be exchanged for cash. 9. The winner(s) will be notified by email. 10. All entries become the property of the Promoter. 11. The collection, use and disclosure of personal information provided in connection with this competition is governed by the Privacy Notice 12. The Promoter is Niche Media Pty Ltd of 1 Queens Road, Melbourne, Victoria 3004 Ph 03 9948 4900, (ABN 13 064 613 529).




he Apple Watch Series 2 corrects many of the problems I had with the original model. Despite Apple talking up the first model’s sporting credentials, without an integrated GPS or the ability to go for a swim, it was never going to get the enthusiasm of anyone but those looking for the most basic activity tracking. When first released, the Apple Watch’s user interface was clunky and slow. watchOS 3 has ironed out most of the wrinkles, including what I’ve found to be a drastic improvement in battery life.

watchOS 3 Before getting into the hardware, I think it’s important to note watchOS 3 is a massive improvement on its predecessors. Not only does it allow applications to run on the watch directly – the first version of watchOS rendered the Apple Watch into a kind of dumb terminal where programs ran on the iPhone and sent data to the watch’s display – but there is a massive difference to the original Apple Watch’s battery life. When I first received my Apple Watch review unit, I was lucky to get through a day of using it before needing to put it on the charger. Now, it usually has in excess of 50 percent charge by bedtime, assuming I






start with a full charge when I wake up. And, if I connect it to a charger for about 30 minutes during the day, I never worry about running out of juice.

THE APPLE WATCH PRODUCT RANGE There are two main models for the Apple Watch. They are designated as Series 1 and Series 2. The Apple Watch Series 1 is not a renaming of the first Apple Watch. The original model has been discontinued. The Series 1 and Series 2 are functionally identical save for three differences. The Series 2 has a much brighter screen, is waterproof to 50m and has an inbuilt GPS receiver. The Series 1 also has a different processor to the Series 2. It has a dual core version of the S1 processor or from the original Apple Watch while the Series 2 boasts a new dual-core S2 power plant.

The Apple Watch Series 1 is made with an aluminium body and comes with a Sports Band made from fluoroelastomer. The Apple Watch Nike+ Series 2 has a customised elastomer band with a contrasting colour scheme and holes for letting perspiration evaporate more easily. The other models come with a variety of sports, nylon and leather bands. The two less expensive Apple Watch Series 2 models come with either space grey or silver aluminium bodies, the Hermès is made from stainless steel and the Edition is Apple’s first foray into using ceramic casings.


Each different model comes in 38mm and 42mm versions. Apple Watch Series 2 is then divided into four sub-products. Apple has released a special sport model in collaboration with sports apparel maker Nike. There’s also a model for the fashion conscious that is co-branded with Hermès. The remaining two versions of the Apple Watch Series 2 are simple called Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition.

Setting up an Apple Watch for the first time is straightforward, but it does require an iPhone. As far as I can tell, it can’t be used with an iPod touch or iPad. Once the phone is set up – the pairing process is pure Apple and uses a very fancy animation to identify the device with the Watch app – it is ready to use in about 10 minutes. If you’re updating from the original Apple Watch, you can simply restore the settings from that device to the new one. Almost every criticism I had of the first Apple Watch has been addressed in the new model. It’s faster, more responsive and, as noted above, the battery lasts at least 50 percent longer in my experience. The challenge of battery tests is that they don’t always reflect your specific usage



patterns. I’ve used the Apple Watch for navigation, to monitor my sleep, to track runs, answer text messages and deal with other notifications. It easily makes it through my typical workday. One of my most used features is Scribble. When I receive a text or instant message, I can either reply using one of the prepared responses such as ‘OK’ or ‘See you later’, or I can scribble on the screen with my finger. I simply write each letter for the words I’m using to reply and watchOS can recognise what I’ve written. I’ve found it to be quite accurate – making errors perhaps five percent of the time. I wouldn’t reply to a long email using the feature, but it’s very handy for scribbling out a quick response. Replies can also be sent using the new language of the millennial generation – emojis. One thing I did notice was that the new Apple Watch is a little thicker than its predecessor. If you recall, the iPad 2 was thicker than the first model, as Apple packed more features in and needed to boost battery capacity. I suspect the new waterproofing and the addition of the GPS receiver have resulted in a minor beefing up.

ON THE ROAD As a keen, if slow, runner I was really looking forward to taking the new Apple Watch on the road. Apple’s Activity app, on the watch, lets you choose from a number of activities, including wheelchair-focused ones for people with a disability. The GPS locked in instantly and I was able to take off and track my runs easily. The watch was comfortable to wear and it was easy to check my progress and to pause and resume a run when I needed a pit stop. The data that synced back to the iPhone’s Activity app included kilometre split times, average heart rate and a map of the route I used. However, other data such as cadence (the number of steps taken per minute), stride length and graphs showing how my heart rate changed through the journey are not provided.


These are common from most exercise apps. Annoyingly, while Apple is happy to receive health data from third parties such as Strava, it won’t automatically sync run data to Strava. This is not a difficult thing for Apple to do, as Strava uses the ubiquitous TCX file format to import data from other sources. For those who prefer the Apple Watch Nike+, there’s some tight integration with the Nike Running Club app and service.

IS IT WORTH UPGRADING FROM THE ORIGINAL? If you’ve updated to watchOS 3 and have no need for an integrated GPS or waterproofing, then the case for upgrading is pretty thin. I held off buying an Apple Watch because the lack of an integrated GPS was a showstopper for me. Fortunately, Apple furnished me with a review unit (which I have returned), but I have spent

my own hard-earned money on an Apple Watch Nike+. But if you jumped in as an early adopter and the new features are valuable to you, updating to the new model makes sense. If the new Apple Watch was thinner and could get to three or four days of battery life rather than one or two days, then I think Apple would have hit the smartwatch jackpot.

PRICING Apple Watch Series 1: $399 for 38mm, $449 for 42mm Apple Watch Series 2: $529 for 38mm, $449 for 42mm Apple Watch Nike+ Series 2: $529 for 38mm, $579 for 42mm Apple Watch Hermès Series 2: from $1779 for 38mm, from $1859 for 42mm Apple Watch Edition Series 2: from $1779 for 38mm, from $1899 for 42mm C



A selection of Apple, Mac and iOS news from The iPhone sales were better than

year 2016 – clearly not a failure by any

expected: analysts had forecast 44.8

stretch of the imagination, but still a slight

million phones shipped in Q4, which

drop from last year’s US$233.7 billion haul.

Apple handily exceeded. Apple made a US$9 billion profit off US$46.9 billion in revenue in Q4, down year-over-year from a US$11.1 billion profit off US$51.5 billion in Q4 of 2015. And while profits and revenue


are down pretty much across the board, Apple is again choosing to focus on its

Is Apple phasing out the MacBook Air?

services, a bright spot in the company’s

It certainly seems so, with the 11in Air no

portfolio. Services revenue, which includes

longer for sale and the 13in model getting

iCloud, Apple Music, iTunes and the App

a new rival in the 13in MacBook Pro, and

Store, grew 24 percent to US$6.3 billion in

Apple won’t be updating the 13in MacBook

the fourth quarter.

Air going forward.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in the

The Pros are more expensive than

company’s earnings report that the

the Air, but they’re also more powerful.

company is “thrilled with the customer

The new 13in Pro with function keys starts

response to iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and

at $2199 with a 2GHz dual-core i5, Intel Iris

Apple Watch Series 2”, as well as the

Graphics 540, 256GB flash and 8GB

popularity of its services.

of RAM. For $500 more, you get the

Analysts had expected Apple to sell 45 million iPhones, 8.5 million iPads and 5.1 million Macs, resulting in revenue of US$47

Touch Bar, Touch ID and 2.9GHz Intel Core i5 processor. With just one MacBook Air model

billion – better than most companies, but

hanging around, it’s clear that Apple is

down from US$51.5 billion year-over-year.

focused on the 12in MacBook (which has

Apple itself anticipated revenue of US$45.5

just one USB-C port – kind of a problem if

billion to US$47.5 billion. The company

you use a lot of peripheral devices) and its


did both better than expected, with iPhone

new Pro laptops.


refresh of the MacBook lineup.

sales better than anticipated and 9.2 million iPads sold, and worse, with 4.9 million Macs sold. Mac revenue continued its decline with a 17 percent drop year-over-year, a trend Apple may be able to reverse by its recent But Q4 is never a standout for Apple.

Before Apple launched its new Macs, it

Instead, we look to the company’s holiday

rescheduled its Q4 earnings report so

quarter, where the bulk of its iPhone sales

that Macs would dominate the headlines

occur. The company is forecasting revenue

instead of the company’s snooze-worthy

of US$76 billion to US$78 billion in Q1 2017.

(for Apple) Q4 report. The company sold 45.5 million iPhones

Apple has watched its revenue grow by leaps and bounds every year since 2001,

in the fourth quarter – also its final quarter

as VentureBeat noted, when it reported

of fiscal 2016 – though that includes just

US$5.36 billion in revenue, but that ended

two weeks of iPhone 7 sales and only the

in the fourth quarter of 2016. The company

earliest signs of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7

reported its first full year-over-year decline

catastrophe impact.

with US$215.6 billion in revenue for its fiscal


its slump. IDC analysts blame the tablet

legitimate notebook replacement devices

without the MacBook Air, Apple won’t have

sales slump to low-cost two-in-one laptops

that should manage to keep average

a single sub-$1500 laptop in its lineup. (The

flooding the market.

prices up,” IDC’s tablet research director

12in MacBook starts at $1999.) There’s

“The race to the bottom is something

always the iPad Pros – there you have a 9.7in

we have already experienced with slates

and 12.9in to choose from. The 9.7in model

and it may prove detrimental to the market

starts at $849, but that’s the base 32GB

in the long run, as detachables could easily

model and doesn’t include accessories like

be seen as disposable devices rather than

the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil.

potential PC replacements,” IDC’s senior

The MacBook Air is a solid laptop and it would be a shame to see it disappear altogether. The Pro is more computer

research analyst Jitesh Ubrani said in a press statement. Despite Apple pushing sales for its latest

Jean Philippe Bouchard concluded.


than most people need, and the 12in

high-end iPad Pro models, the earlier iPad

Apple did away with plenty of popular

MacBook’s single port and high price tag

Air and iPad mini models are the Cupertino

features in its new MacBook Pro lineup,

can be tough to stomach.

company’s best-selling tablets, accounting

including SD card support and MagSafe

for two-thirds of its shipments in the third

adapters. But a classic, underappreciated


quarter. Apple continues to be the tablet

attribute, the famous Mac startup chime,

leader, but it still saw sales decline by 6.2

also fell on the chopping block.

revenues remained flat, however, thanks to

change, spotting that instructions on how


some sales of the more expensive iPad Pro.

to reset the new laptop’s NVRAM lacked

Samsung, Lenovo and Huawei were

a reference to the startup chime. Pingie’s

Apple, Samsung, Amazon and other tablet

also strong tablet sellers this quarter,

team later said they were able to confirm

vendors shipped just a combined 43

although like Apple these vendors all saw

the change after getting their hands on a

million units in the third quarter of 2016,

sales decline. Even though Samsung’s

new MacBook Pro.

according to a new report by IDC. These

two-in-two TabPro S got good reviews, it

figures mark a year-over-year decline of

remains uncompetitive, according to IDC.

do away with the well-known sound is

14.7 percent, and more evidence that

And sales of Lenovo’s Yoga Book, another

due to the new laptop’s automatic startup

the worldwide tablet market continues

well-received product, were not counted

feature. The Pro is designed to turn on

because IDC considered it a traditional PC.

as soon as you open the laptop cover, or

The only vendor on the top five list of

when it’s connected to an external power

percent year-over-year. IDC points out that

tablet manufacturers to see an increase in sales was Amazon, largely thanks to a

Pingie was the first to notice the

The best guess as to why Apple would

source while the lid is open. Why this matters: the startup chime

Prime Day sale in July when Fire tablets

(or Mac boot sound, if you’d prefer) is

were 30 percent off. In the third quarter,

a piece of Apple history, having been

Amazon saw a 319.9 percent sales

around in its current form since 1999.

increase year-over-year.

It’s so recognisable that it even made an

Why this matters: even though prices

appearance in Pixar’s Wall•E. But Apple

for both two-in-ones and slate tablets

has no use for unnecessary nostalgia, as

continue to decrease, IDC predicts that

we saw when the iPhone’s Slide to Unlock

prices will remain stable.

feature unceremoniously died this year. The

“We’re witnessing real tectonic

end of the startup chime is also something

movements in the market with slate

of a trend for PCs – Microsoft did away

companion devices sold at the low-end

with the sounds in Windows 8.

serving a broader platform strategy, as

If you’re dying to hear that lovely

Amazon is doing with Alexa on its Fire

F-sharp major chord every time your

Tablets, and more expensive productivity

MacBook opens, you can apparently still

tools closer to true computing and

enable it from the terminal. C


But none of those options are cheap and,






SIRI COMES TO THE MAC Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, is the marquee feature of macOS Sierra. It’s also the most

obvious feature that signifies the iOSification of macOS. When Siri is active, it works exactly as it does on iOS. However, there is no default setting to allow Siri to activate by saying, ‘Hey, Siri’ like you can on iOS. (You can get voice activation to work if you create a Dictation Command to trigger the Siri keyboard shortcut.) The default keyboard shortcut for Siri is to hold down Command-Spacebar, or you can click the Siri icons in the menu bar and in the Dock. Siri works best for me when I perform web searches for everyday life-type stuff. When I ask Siri for places near me, or for specific news like sports scores, it almost always results in what I’m looking for. As a writer and editor, I perform a lot of web research, and I’m always gathering files together to create content. Siri can be used to search the web for images and, conveniently, the images in the results can be dragged and dropped to the Mac from the Siri window. Siri can also be used to find files on the Mac. Siri can be used to configure a limited set of system preferences. You can tell Siri to: • “Increase my screen brightness” • “Put my computer to sleep” • “Start my screen saver” • “Turn on Do Not Disturb” • “Turn on/off Dictation” • “Turn the system volume up”, or • “Turn Wi-Fi off”. For anything else, you have to figure out the correct phrase to get you to the system preference you need. For example, I like to have a plain white desktop on my Mac; it’s easier to deal with when I take screenshots. But when I told Siri to “Change the desktop”, I got web search results (the first result was a Windows XP how-to). I had to tell Siri to “Open the Desktop System Preferences” to get what I wanted. (Lesson learned.) One major caveat about Siri: it currently works only with Apple apps. I use Microsoft Outlook for my work email, and when I asked Siri to read my latest email, it read a very old email that was in Apple Mail. Apple confirmed with me that the Siri third-party API is currently only for iOS.

After using Siri for a while, I couldn’t help asking myself how useful Siri is on the Mac. Siri’s usefulness on iOS is emphasised by the iPhone’s relatively small screen size, the single-screen nature of the operating system, and the need for hands-free usage. My initial response was that on the Mac, Siri feels more like a luxury than a must-have. Usually, Mac users have their hands on the keyboard and mouse. Even if you haven’t committed several keyboard shortcuts to memory, you can probably do something like launch a browser and type in a search for sandwich pictures faster than telling Siri to do the same task. Then I came to a realisation I didn’t expect. When using any computer interface, there’s a certain amount of tedium involved. In Unix, it’s typing out commands. On iOS, it’s tap, tap, tap with your finger. On the Mac, it’s double click, Shift click-click-click, right-click, highlight, and click to select a command, for example. The little tasks you have to do to make your computer do what you want get tedious, and you’re not really aware of it until you start to use Siri. Asking Siri to perform a web search of pictures of sandwiches may not be as fast as launching a browser, typing in sandwich, hitting Return and then clicking the Images tab in Google, but it’s not as tedious. That tedium wears on you, subconsciously, but Siri helps alleviate it. I’ve always thought that having more ways to do things on your computer is good, and Siri on Sierra allows for that. That’s a good thing.

UNIVERSAL CLIPBOARD On the surface, Universal Clipboard seems like such a simple feature: it’s copy and paste that works across your Mac, iPad and iPhone. While it’s such a simple feature, I find it to be very useful. Universal Clipboard is part of Apple’s Continuity feature set that works between Macs and iOS devices. In order for Universal Clipboard to work, you must have devices that meet the Continuity system requirements. For example, MacBook Pro models made in 2011 or earlier aren’t



ith macOS Sierra, Apple, as with previous desktop OS versions, integrates even more features that were introduced in iOS, the operating system for the company’s mobile devices. But Sierra doesn’t just add features found in iOS, it also does more to make your Mac and your iOS devices work together. Considering that, nowadays, most people’s primary computers are iOS devices, it’s fitting that macOS Sierra does more to cater to those users’ needs. Before we dive into Sierra, let’s address the main question: should you upgrade? First, you need to determine how compatible your Mac is. The older the Mac, the more likely a feature won’t work. Apple also has information on what features are available based on region and language at Checking this first may answer the upgrade question for you. You also need to see if your software will still work with Sierra. If your software worked with El Capitan, Yosemite or Mavericks, there’s a good chance it will work with Sierra. Check with the developer of your most vital apps before you upgrade. I’ve been using Sierra since the public beta and, on the five Macs I’ve been using, I haven’t had a single stability problem. That’s one less thing to consider. Once you’ve determined that your Mac is compatible to a point you’re satisfied with and your software is good to go, then it gets a little more complicated. One way to look at it is to gauge how much you use iOS. If you use your iPad and iPhone a lot, then you’ll appreciate Sierra features like Siri, Universal Clipboard and Apple Pay. Let’s take a look at the main new features of Sierra, and see how they fit into your workflow. (And if you do decide to upgrade to Sierra, be sure to back up your Mac before you run the Sierra installer. Always back up before installing any operating system upgrades.)




compatible with Continuity and, thus, don’t support Sierra’s Universal Clipboard. Other requirements include logging in to an iCloud account on each device, turning on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and keeping the devices within proximity of each other. To use Universal Clipboard, you copy from your Mac or iOS device just as you normally would. Then go to your recipient device, and perform a paste. If you’re pasting on a Mac, you may see a progress bar indicator. On iOS, you see a message window stating the device your paste is coming from. I did find one hiccup involving Microsoft Word. When copying text from a Word document, it pasted in iOS 10 Notes as Chinese text. Apple said it is investigating this issue, and I’ll provide an update to this review when it is fixed. Otherwise, I didn’t have any problems copying and pasting from within different apps. If you use a third-party clipboard manager, Universal Clipboard may not work with it. As someone who works in content creation, Universal Clipboard is a long awaited function. No more emails or text messages I send to myself, or using

AirDrop to transfer an image file that I want to place in a document. Universal Clipboard saves me several steps and helps me be more efficient.

iCLOUD DESKTOP AND DOCUMENTS Though I don’t have hard data to back it up, I suspect many Macworld Australia readers use an online file storage service like Dropbox. I do, because I often use different Macs, and Dropbox makes it easy to get to my files. Even if the Dropbox software isn’t installed, all I need is an internet connection and a browser. And though Apple didn’t tell me so, I suspect that part of the reason iCloud Desktop and Documents exists is because Apple, like Dropbox, is in the online storage business. Why should all that business go to Dropbox, et al? In my opinion, an online storage component should be part of any modern operating system. Data lives on the internet and in the cloud, and we’re using multiple computers (Macs, iPhones, iPads, even PCs) on a daily basis. iCloud Desktop and Documents is compelling because it’s pretty much seamless. After you set it up, anything you

save to your Desktop or Documents folder gets saved to like-named folders in your iCloud account, and that data is synced to your other computers. For example, if I save a file to the Desktop on my work computer, I can go home and find the same file on the home Mac. Or I can use the iCloud app on my iPad to access the file. If I have to use my son’s PC, I can use the iCloud for Windows app. The catch is that you need to make sure you have enough iCloud Drive space to accommodate your files since the files in Desktop and Documents count against your iCloud allocation. Apple provides 5GB for free. After that, it’s $1 per month for 50GB, $3 per month for 200GB, $10 per month for 1TB and $20 per month for 2TB. For me, iCloud Desktop and Documents, worked fine. On my test Macs, when I saved a file to the desktop, it shortly appeared on the desktops of the other Macs. I didn’t encounter any issues, but I should make clear that I probably don’t use my desktop like a lot of other people. I use my desktop as a temporary file location, and I save files to it but I will move them to their more permanent location after a short while. I think a lot of people use the desktop in a more


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complicated way, and so iCloud Desktop and Documents may or may not work.

OPTIMISED STORAGE A few years ago, Apple decided to sacrifice the spacious capacity of hard drives for the speed of flash storage in its laptops. The speed gains were impressive, but people are making more videos and photos, and those files eat up storage space. Users need to pay more attention to managing their local storage. Optimised Storage provides more tools to manage your local storage. The Store In iCloud option requires a subscription to iCloud Drive. A free 5GB tier is available, but you will probably want to sign up for more storage. ($1 per month for 50GB; $3 per month for 200GB; $10 per month for 1TB; and $20 per month for 2TB.) The Optimise Storage option works with emails in Apple Mail specifically, and only with iTunes movies and TV shows. Essentially, it deletes those files from your local storage and downloads emails from your email server and videos from the iTunes Store if you want to use them, which means you need an internet connection.

You can uninstall applications through this interface. Any app bought through the App Store will be completely removed. As for third-party apps bought outside the App Store, Apple says that it has been making an effort to encourage developers to follow its standard procedures for proper app installation, so if a developer has done this, you should be able to uninstall any app bought outside of the App Store along with all of its components. Storage management is one of those chores everyone hates doing, but is necessary – there’s always a sense of panic when you’re working on a project and you run out of space. Optimised Storage performs a lot of these tasks behind the scenes, which is convenient. Hopefully, flash storage will become more affordable and capacities will increase to a point that users will be using Optimise Storage less and less.

PICTURE IN PICTURE If you’re watching a video in either Safari or iTunes, you can click on the new Picture In Picture icon, which will open the video in a floating window that snaps to one of the four corners of your display. What’s great about the Picture In Picture window is that it always stays on

top, so if you open an application and a file within that app, the video window doesn’t get buried underneath the windows you’ve opened. Picture In Picture isn’t a vital feature to Sierra. In other words, I don’t think it’s a feature that will drive people to upgrade. But it is one of my favourite features. I was part of Macworld’s ‘home base’ crew during the coverage of Apple’s iPhone 7 event and Picture In Picture certainly came in handy. I had the video stream of the event playing in a Picture In Picture window in the upper right corner of my display and, while I switched between our chatroom, our web content management system, TextWrangler, Photoshop and whatever other apps I used, the video window was always there, always visible. It made a tremendous difference. I imagine most people will use Picture In Picture more for entertainment, but it can also be good for, say, playing a how-to video while you follow along on your Mac. It’s one of those features that falls under the radar, but should be appreciated by all users.

TABS I probably spend the vast majority of my time on my Mac using Safari, and I’ve




APPLE PAY With Apple Pay, you don’t have to worry about filling out online forms with billing and shipping information. It’s all in Apple Pay, and it’s secure. According to Apple, over 300,000 websites will support Apple Pay when Sierra ships. However, Apple Pay relies on your iPhone or Apple Watch, even when you’re shopping in Safari on your Mac. When you are processing an Apple Pay payment on your Mac, the Mac looks for your iPhone or Apple Watch, and you must confirm your purchase on one of those devices. When I’m at home, I sometimes shop online while sitting on the couch, with my Apple Watch and iPhone docked in my office on the other side of my house. So Apple Pay’s reliance on an external device can be an inconvenience. But it’s a security measure; having Apple Pay process payment without some sort of external confirmation could lead to the unwanted use of your Apple Pay account by anyone other than you using your Mac. It’s a small compromise to make for the sake of security.

MORE STUFF There’s more to macOS Sierra than what’s been touted in Apple presentations and on the company’s website ( sierra). Here are a few of my favourite new features that play a smaller role in the Sierra showcase.


grown accustomed to opening webpages in new Tabs under one window. It’s easier to find the window I need, and it helps cut down the onscreen clutter. Bringing Tabs to the general Mac user interface makes sense. I no longer have to try to figure out where a window is when I want to move files; you can just click and drag a file over to the tab to move it. Tabs also works in many Apple apps, like Maps, Numbers and Mail. Apple says that Tabs automatically works with many document-based third-party apps, with no developer adoption required. But as of this writing, Microsoft Office apps still open documents in separate windows.



You know how in iOS, when you tap the spacebar twice, it creates a fullstop? Now you can do that in macOS Sierra. Sure, it’s not that big a deal, since the fullstop key is near the spacebar, whereas on iOS, you have to navigate to another section of the on-screen keyboard. But if you frequently write on iOS and your muscle memory kicks in when you’re on your Mac, it’s a good feature to have – when it works. I have found that some third-party apps, like Microsoft Word 15.11.2, TextWrangler 5.5.1 and Firefox 48.0.2 don’t allow this, so you can’t completely depend on it. AUTO UNLOCK. OK, actually, Apple made this a promoted feature. But really, you only care about this feature if you have an Apple Watch, and a lot of you don’t have one. Instead of typing in your password on your locked Mac, your Mac instead senses the presence of your Apple Watch and then unlocks itself. Your watch has to be on your wrist and authenticated (meaning you unlocked it with the passcode at some point), otherwise it won’t work. Features like this one, where Apple can take advantage of its ecosystem, are nice to have. SHARED NOTES. In the Notes app, you can now share a note with other users, and they can modify the note. It’s a nice collaboration tool for work, or an easy way to make sure you’re all on the same page about the grocery list at home. Collaboration works on iOS 10, too. MESSAGES. If you are using Messages in iOS 10, then you may be disappointed in the lack of improvements in Sierra Messages. You can see the Digital Touch messages, handwritten messages, invisible

ink messages and stickers sent from an iOS 10 device, but you can’t create those same kind of messages in Sierra. The new Sierra Messages does allow for website previews, bigger emojis and Tapbacks, which are iconic responses to text bubbles. Bottom line. Overall, macOS Sierra isn’t a major overhaul of the Mac operating system, but I have a greater appreciation for the new features than I have for past revisions of OS X. They are ones I’ve wanted or needed, which means I find macOS Sierra a very satisfying upgrade. Apple Pay, Universal Clipboard and Auto Unlock have more demanding requirements than the other features, so you may not feel the urgency to upgrade if you have an older Mac. For example, if you have an older Mac, you can’t use Universal Clipboard – be sure to check the compatibility requirements. If you own a Mac and have been keeping up with the upgrade cycle, you should install macOS Sierra. I usually say to not upgrade immediately, and wait for Apple to release its first 10.12.1 update. That’s just to play it safe; companies like Apple do their best to address bugs and make fixes during the beta cycle, but there’s always a chance something major can show up when the software becomes widely available. But macOS has been pretty stable for a while. I still think it’s a good idea to wait, but I wouldn’t blame you if you upgraded sooner rather than later. You shouldn’t have to wait for features that will benefit you and make your Mac easier to use. Plus, the upgrade is free. C







RealMac Software US$100, US$60 UPGRADE

RapidWeaver 7 offers several upgrades to its website-building toolkit. Unfortunately, it also inherits the central limitations of its predecessor. I liked the new features in RapidWeaver 7, particularly the SEO Health Check, which scans your site and then guides you through a checklist of steps that will help your site get noticed by search engines more effectively. Each step is clearly explained, and bringing my sample site up to snuff only took a few minutes. RapidWeaver’s publishing engine was slightly shaky in version 6 but shines here. It’s easy to enter information for multiple FTP (File Transfer Protocol) servers and then swiftly upload to each. For each server, the publishing engine can automatically back up your site files to a separate location on a regular basis, or every time you publish the site. Version 7 builds in easier ways to add Google Analytics, meta tags and other features to your site’s code. It also adds live site previews in Safari or the browser of your choice. It’ll even automatically find and list all the browsers on your hard drive for you. The live preview worked well in my tests bringing RapidWeaver 7 up to parity with many of its higher-end rivals in this respect. RapidWeaver 7 packages all this, plus four new themes with support for responsive design, which automatically adjusts to different devices’ screen sizes. And version 6’s best features haven’t gone anywhere, including its excellent and easy tools for making and editing blog entries, photo galleries and contact forms. Realmac offers an excellent online knowledge base and a selection of how-to videos. However, a lot of the biggest stumbling blocks from the previous version are still around. And some of those new themes aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. I’m still not a fan of RapidWeaver’s bifurcated approach to building webpages. You add text and images to a blank canvas in the Edit pane, and then switch to Preview to see how they look in your finished template. This makes it easier to switch templates and try different designs. But you can never view and edit your prospective site simultaneously.

Though some of the new themes look great, there’s still only so much you can do to customise them. If you want a sidebar on any page of your site, it’ll have to be on every page; I couldn’t find a way to toggle that feature on a page-by-page basis. Most troubling, even my two favourite new themes had crucial flaws. For no reason I could find, Kiki’s navigation wouldn’t display a submenu under one section of my site, rendering those pages effectively invisible. And Voyager looked sharp and appealing on my Mac, but rendered poorly on my narrow iPhone screen. Finally, RapidWeaver’s biggest strength remains its greatest hindrance. Realmac has cultivated a thriving marketplace of thirdparty add-ons for the program, including some that add powerful layout features and other valuable abilities. But you’ll have to pay up for them; some of the most popular ones cost US$50 or more. Several of RapidWeaver’s competitors already incorporate similar features. They may not be as sophisticated, but they don’t cost extra. I can understand why Realmac wouldn’t want to alienate its developers by duplicating their work in the main program’s feature set. But for users who don’t want to keep opening their wallets, the current approach leaves RapidWeaver feeling hobbled in comparison to many of its rivals. What RapidWeaver 7 does well, it does really well. But I can’t give the program an unqualified recommendation when so many of its rivals do more and cost less without requiring additional purchases. – NATHAN ALDERMAN



Paragon Software Group US$39.95

Boinx US$49.99

Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac has been updated. This tool is used to protect, maintain and manage your macOS system, now with full support for the latest – macOS Sierra. All current users of the product receive a free update to this unique software tool, which covers every aspect of a Mac’s computer life cycle, from drive partitioning and regular backup to system migration, flexible disaster recovery options and secure wiping of recycled storage. The new version fully supports macOS Sierra, all Mac drives and can be used to create bootable recovery media, so you can restore macOS system volumes or accomplish drive partitioning in macOS Sierra 10.12.

Stop motion animation has been a feature of modern cinema for over a century. iStopMotion makes it easy to create your own movies using this time-honoured Hollywood technique. The original King Kong, Jason and the Argonauts and even Star Wars used this technique. The application works by taking sequential pictures of an object or scene where you manually move something by a small amount. It then puts the images together into a movie. For example, you could create a clay model, build a scene using LEGO or use some other modelling tool. You can easily add backgrounds and foregrounds allowing you to create very complex scenes with little effort. Once you’ve created the animation use iMovie or Final Cut to add titles and sound effects.



If you want to travel back in time, install a copy of Roxio Toast 15, the Mac disc burning utility the user interface of which has remained almost untouched for five years. Roxio Toast 15 offers few new features, aside from a one-click shortcut to open the new Secure Burn application. It comes in two flavours: Titanium and Pro, which adds Blu-ray and several photo-centric applications. Time has stood still for the software. The user interface and feature set remain unchanged from version 11. One could argue this makes sense given the shrinking market for optical discs and the fact that Apple no longer produces Macs with an internal optical drive. My work relies on DVD and Blu-ray video discs, but Toast 15 is unreliable. Disc burning isn’t the problem; I haven’t had a single coaster out of the dozens I’ve created. Switching to the Video tab is the headache, which causes a spinning beach ball for up to 30 seconds the first time it’s opened. The highlight of Toast 14 was MyDVD, an application with authoring tools for adding chapter stops, titles and custom menus with music. The Pro version includes over 100 MyDVD templates, but lacks support for ProRes files and suffers from stability issues. There are two new members to the lineup: Slice, a basic editor for trimming video clips, and Secure Burn, a utility for saving passwordprotected files and folders to encrypted Mac-formatted discs or thumb drives. Slice makes it easy to import video clips, drag to select sections you want to keep, and then export a new MP4 file after rearranging the resulting series of clips. Unfortunately, videos shot with the iPhone often don’t maintain the correct orientation and export quality is quite poor. If you already own a previous version of Toast that works, hold off upgrading or skip this version, and hope for a complete overhaul next year. – J R BOOKWALTER






HOW TO SET UP macOS SERVER’S VPN SERVICE BY JEFFERY BATTERSBY If you have Apple’s Server app, you have access to an excellent VPN server that’s simple to set up and easy to use. The acronym VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and VPNs allow users to be anywhere in the world and create a secure connection to private networks. VPNs secure your data using data encryption and tunnelling. In the simplest terms, using a VPN is like connecting a very long ethernet cable from a computer anywhere in the world to your private network.

VPN AND THE SERVER APP If you have Apple’s Server app, you have access to an excellent VPN server that’s simple to set up and easy to use. Before you begin configuring your server, let’s take a look at the configuration settings for Server’s VPN service. Open the Server app and select the VPN service in the Server’s sidebar. Unless you’ve already turned this service on, the service should be off and unconfigured. Let’s take note of the services settings: • Status – tells you whether the service is on or offline and should be able to determine your public IP address. • Permissions – to manage which users or groups will have access to the VPN service. • Configure VPN for – lets you set the

VPN protocol you’ll be using to allow access to your server. VPN Host Name – the Fully Qualified Domain Name you can use to access your VPN server (requires properly configured DNS). Shared Secret – used as a way for VPN clients and servers to confirm each other’s identities. Client Addresses – the number and configuration of IP addresses you will provide to VPN clients. DNS Settings – DNS server information you will provide to clients so they can access network resources. Routes – information provided to VPN clients so they know how to talk to computers on your Wide Area Network (WAN); i.e. other offices.


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• Configuration Profile – creates a configuration profile you can send to VPN users so they do not need to manually configure VPN settings. To set the VPN service up we’re going to stick to using the defaults for most of these settings, but we will make a few changes to start the service up. Verify that each of the VPN settings reflect the following: • Status – offline. • Permissions – All users, all networks. • VPN – should be the fully qualified domain name of your server. • Shared Secret – you will need to enter information in this field; it can be something you know, such as Apple, potato chips, balderdash, or it can be a series of gibberish characters such as ;lk’puqertln.kadpfu; you do not need to remember or re-enter this information). • Client Addresses – click the edit addresses button and enter 11 in the Assign: field and enter the IP address you want your VPN server to begin assignments with in the ‘Starting at’ field. • Important – you need to make sure the IP addresses you add here do not conflict with existing IP addresses on your network; if there is a conflict you will create networking issues for either your VPN clients or for other DHCP clients on your network. • DNS Settings – the VPN service will

automatically pick up your server’s DNS information; you only need to make changes or add servers here if you need your VPN clients to use different DNS information than your server does. • Routes – leave these settings at their defaults.

CONFIGURE PORT FORWARDING In order for your VPN to work properly port forwarding needs to be configured on your router. We can’t cover this in too much detail here, but if you’re using an Apple AirPort base station in your network, the server app can automatically configure those settings. • Click your AirPort base station in the sidebar of the Server app. • Click the Enter Password button. • Enter the configuration password for your AirPort. The Server app will automatically configure your AirPort to route any external VPN traffic to your VPN server.

INSTALL YOUR VPN ON A CLIENT COMPUTER AND CONNECT The last step in this process is to set up the VPN service on a client computer and then connect to your server. The Server app makes iOS and Mac configuration easy, all you need to do is click the Save Profile button. You can give the configuration file a unique name,

then install it on any client you want to connect to your Server. On the client: • Double-click the profile. (If you don’t know what profiles are or how they work, check out our series on Profile Manager.) • When asked if you want to install the profile, click Continue. • When asked if you’re sure, click Continue. • Add a user ID (you can also leave this blank) then click Install. • Enter an administrator password and click OK. Installing this configuration profile creates a new network interface in the Network preference in System Preferences. To make it simpler to connect to your VPN: • Open the Network preference in System Preferences. • Select the new VPN network interface. • Put a check in the box that says, ‘Show VPN status in menu bar’. • Close System Preferences. • Click the VPN menu in the menu bar. • Select your VPN. • Log in. You should now be securely connected to your private network and should be able to access all the computers and printers in your network. Note: if you want to remove the VPN interface, you have to delete the configuration profile. C



TERROR SUSPECT’S LOCKED iPHONE COULD LEAD TO A SECOND APPLE/FBI SHOWDOWN BY CAITLIN MCGARRY In the wake of a mass stabbing at a Minnesota mall that was linked to the terrorist group ISIS, the FBI is looking for answers on a passcode-protected iPhone. “Dahir Adan’s iPhone is locked,” FBI special agent Rich Thornton told reporters at a press conference, according to Wired. “We are in the process of assessing our legal and technical options to gain access to this device and the data it may contain.”

The FBI has other evidence in its possession: 780GB of data from Adan’s computer and other devices. But it wants to crack his iPhone to find out more information behind the terrorist attack that left 10 people wounded. It’s unclear what iPhone model Adan owned or the operating system installed, and those two facts could determine whether the FBI takes Apple to court again. The 20-year-old, who reportedly told his family he was going to buy a new iPhone the night of the stabbings, was killed by an off-duty police offer. If the FBI tries to brute force his passcode by guessing number combinations, it risks erasing the iPhone’s data. If Adan’s iPhone was running iOS 8, 9 or 10,

Apple is unable to crack it without inventing a tool to circumvent its own security measures. The company refused to do so earlier this year in a similar situation, but the FBI found another way in. The agency refused to disclose how it hacked an iPhone 5c belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters earlier this year, claiming it just doesn’t know how. It’s unclear if it could use the same tool on Adan’s iPhone. Why this matters: The FBI didn’t say that it had asked Apple to unlock the phone, or whether it even needs Apple’s help. But if this situation is similar to the locked iPhone 5c at stake in the San Bernardino terrorist attack, it could set the stage for another showdown between Apple and the FBI. C


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MICROSOFT GOES AFTER SLACK WITH NEW TEAMS SERVICE BY BLAIR HANLEY FRANK Microsoft is jumping into the workplace collaboration space by launching a new product it calls Teams. Teams allows groups within a company to divide into subgroups and set up individual channels to discuss their work. The chat-based workspace integrates deeply with the rest of Microsoft’s Office 365 productivity suite. The application is in public beta on the web, Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. It’s a move by the tech titan to compete with Slack and HipChat, two group chat programs that create communal space for people to discuss what’s going on at the office. Microsoft previously held that Skype for Business was the answer for Office 365 users interested in workplace group chat. Users can start a conversation about a particular topic, and keep everything about that topic organised in one place. An Activity tab gives users a bird’s-eye view of all the different conversations that are going on inside a team. Whenever a user uploads a document into a channel or direct message, everyone in that channel will be able to view the document live using Office Online. The same thing goes for notes saved in OneNote. Microsoft’s enterprise chops and massive existing Office 365 user base is going to be one of its biggest assets when it comes to going head-to-head with the likes of Slack. Microsoft Teams will be free to Office 365 Enterprise customers. The beta supports 70 external connectors and 85 bots. It’s available for users in 181 countries, with an interface localised to 18 languages and is expected to be generally available early next year. C




XERO DRIVES INNOVATION WITH JAMF Xero is a New Zealand-based company that provides cloud-based accounting software for small- and mid-sized businesses. Established in 2006, the company has grown rapidly and now has more than 1400 employees. Headquartered in Wellington, Xero has established offices in Australia, the UK and the US. Its focus is on developing and providing simple-to-use yet powerful accounting tools for a growing client list.

THE CHALLENGE As it evolved from a start-up business into a global provider of accounting software, Xero experienced a range of growing pains. Rapidly increasing staff numbers and an expanding geographic footprint meant the company’s IT team had to work hard to ensure an appropriate infrastructure was in place. “By late 2013, we had a large number of Apple devices within the company,” says Andrew Jessett, internal IT manager, Xero. “This included around 480 iMac desktops and MacBook notebooks, and a growing number of iPads.” This Apple fleet was taking an increasing proportion of the internal IT team’s time to deploy and manage. Setting up new staff members, accommodating people visiting from other offices, and carrying out upgrades and patches had become complex and cumbersome. “We realised we had to find a better way of tackling all these tasks. We knew our staff loved their Apple devices; however, this had to be weighed against the time that it was taking to keep them all secure and operating properly.”

THE SOLUTION After examining a number of Apple device management tools, a decision was made in December 2013 to implement the Casper Suite from JAMF Software. “We evaluated a number of options, but nothing came close to having the level of functionality offered by JAMF,” says


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Jessett. “We quickly realised the Casper Suite could provide the level of support that we were very keen to have in place.” Working with a JAMF deployment expert, the internal Xero IT team rolled out the new tool across the company and had it up and running within a couple of weeks. “Deployment was remarkably straightforward, and we were soon enjoying the features and benefits built into the product. JAMF’s expert training and certification support was also invaluable and very well-received at Xero during this time,” says Jessett.

THE BENEFITS With JAMF’s Casper Suite in place, the IT team quickly noticed some welcome changes. The process of setting up new staff members with an Apple device had been reduced from hours to just minutes. The Casper Suite also allowed each device to be quickly configured and connected to the relevant network domains.

“The improvement it has given us in our on-boarding process for new staff has been quite dramatic,” says Jessett. “While it’s hard to quantify in financial terms, it has freed up many man hours for our IT team.” Jessett says JAMF has also streamlined ongoing tasks such as configuring new printers for users and shifting people between locations. Where each such activity would have occupied an IT team member for hours, now it can be completed automatically. JAMF has also helped Xero ensure that all Apple devices in use have been properly patched and encrypted for extra security. As well as good IT practice, this is a requirement for audit compliance for a publicly listed company. “We are automatically alerted if a machine on our network is not properly encrypted or has not received any latest patches,” says Jessett. The JAMF tool also helps if any of Xero’s Apple devices are stolen or lost.

As well as tracking the device, any data stored on it can be remotely wiped and the device disabled. Jessett says being able to offer staff the option of using Apple devices in the workplace has also given Xero an edge over many other potential employers. “Particularly in New Zealand, it can be rare for a business to have an Apple ecosystem in place,” says Jessett. “Because we can offer this, it makes Xero an even more attractive place to work.”

FUTURE PLANS As the Xero workforce continues to expand, senior management are considering adopting a bring your own device (BYOD) policy that would allow employees to use their own computers and tablets in the workplace. “We are looking at how JAMF could help us manage these extra devices if this strategy is adopted,” says Jessett. “It will be another way that JAMF is adding value to our organisation.” C






hen people ask me for the single best reason to upgrade to macOS Sierra, the answer I give them doesn’t involve Auto Unlock or iCloud Drive. It’s version 2.0 of Photos, the biggest update to Apple’s photomanagement utility app since it debuted in the spring of 2015. I’ve been using Photos 2.0 extensively all summer as a part of my testing of macOS Sierra. My six favourite features make Photos almost singlehandedly worth the upgrade to Sierra.

IT CAN FIND A ZEBRA IN A HAYSTACK Apple spent a lot of time at its Worldwide Developer Conference last winter promoting the machine-learning algorithm that sits at the heart of Photos for Mac and iOS 10. But you know what? It’s awesome. Apple’s not the first to go down this path – Google Photos does the same thing – but Apple’s doing it on its own devices and not sending any of your stuff to be processed in the cloud. There’s no interface for this feature. When you upgrade to Sierra, Photos begins indexing your photo library, scanning every picture and detecting any information it thinks it recognises, whether that’s faces, places, objects… you name it. This isn’t anything approaching omnipotence – the algorithm is apparently tuned to recognise about 4000 different


29 DECEMBER 2016

items. And it’s far from perfect. When I searched for dogs, I got pictures with dogs – and with cats, and no animals at all. But I also got lots of pictures of dogs. Let me give you another cool example. On a whim, I typed 'zebra' into the search box in Photos. Up popped four photos that I took of a pair of zebras at the San Diego Wild Animal Park a decade ago. Out of more than 10,000 pictures, Photos found the four pictures I took with zebras in them. It’s a pretty neat trick. And while it’s not perfect, it’s a great tool to use to track down an elusive photo in a large library.

IT DUSTS OFF OLD PHOTOS AND MAKES THEM LIVE AGAIN When Apple introduced iPhoto many years ago, it was the dawn of the age of digital photography, and the metaphor it used to describe photo management was that of a digital shoebox. In 2016 it’s a couple of dozen shoeboxes with memories spanning decades. That’s a lot of photos – and most of them you’ll never, ever look at again. Memories is a feature that aims to change that. Using all sorts of different techniques, Memories gathers up collections of photos and presents them to you as a ready-built trip down memory lane. Memories mines your recent past. If you take a road trip to Oregon, you are almost certain to see that trip appear as a Memory a few days later. It’ll show you the best of the past week or month. But it’ll also dive deep, showing you photos that you took on this date in the past. It will also use some of the data gleaned from the machine-learning algorithm to

come up with fascinating collections. One I saw was called ‘In Nature’ and featured a bunch of pictures of my kids with various wilderness backgrounds. It pulled out a selection of photos from my son’s first birthday. Memories does the job. It surfaces, well, memories – photos that I know are in my library, but that I’m rarely (if ever) motivated to view. I admit to getting a little emotional more than once at the images that Memories chose to show to me. In a good way.

IT SHOWS YOU YOUR PHOTOS ON A MAP iPhoto had the ability to display all your photos on a map, based on their geolocation data. When Photos was released, this feature was strangely stripped back, so you could only view a map of photos taken at a very specific time. But now the map is back, and not only can you look at your entire library on a map, but you can also drill down into specific events, albums and more. In fact, Memories displays a map at the bottom, to show you where the photos were taken. I love this feature because it lets me relive trips, whether they’re large (all the pictures I took in Bermuda) or small (a map of all the different spots where I took pictures during a mile-long beach walk).

IT USES ALL ITS POWERS TO CONNECT MEMORIES Memories is a great feature, but I’m impressed with the fact that Photos uses all the metadata at its command to generate

a list of related memories at the bottom of every memory. A memory featuring my kids at a ballpark in San Diego will generate related memories involving my kids, San Diego and even other ballparks. A memory from a Christmas visit to my mum’s house in Arizona generates links to other Christmases, other visits to Arizona, and other trips we’ve taken with my mum. This is a subtle side effect of the fact that a machine-learning algorithm is scanning all your photos: Photos can see what you’re looking at, identify what the photos have in common and generate whole other collections that relate in some way.

IT LETS YOU DRAW ON YOUR PHOTOS It’s silly, but in Sierra, Photos lets you use the Markup extension to edit your photos by drawing on top of them. Silly, yes, absolutely, but sometimes it can be useful! Every now and then I find myself wishing I could draw an arrow to point to something or circle something and send it to a friend. And now, with Markup, I can.

IT GETS ALONG WITH THE APPLE TV This isn’t a Mac feature per se, but with the release of tvOS 10, the fourth-generation Apple TV now has proper access to your iCloud Photo Library. It can display albums, memories, the works. Apple TV access to your photo library before was pretty sad. But now you can sit down on the sofa, pick up the remote control and look at your photos on that big living room TV. C




GADGETGUIDE Klipsch Reference Headphones

Klipsch has announced the debut of four new headphones, including two with Bluetooth. The Reference Over-Ear Bluetooth and On-Ear Bluetooth headphones were released in conjunction with wired Reference Over-Ear and second-generation On-Ear headphone models. The Reference On-Ear Bluetooth and Over-Ear Bluetooth headphone models boast up to 20 hours of high definition wireless streaming Reference Over-Ear and Over-Ear Bluetooth headphones use patented Klipsch Balanced Dynamic (KBD) driver technology, which puts you closer to the music by equalising the weight of the driver’s diaphragm. KBD driver technology significantly improves the sound, reducing the driver’s inter modulate distortion (IMD) by removing lead wires from the diaphragm. The difference is noticeable as bass becomes fluid and connected to the midrange and high frequencies without becoming bloated or disconnected. The headphone’s soft and deep ear cushions are contoured to the shape of the ear, adding valuable comfort and separating music from outside noise. The ear cups provide articulation in every direction, ensuring that pressure is applied evenly across the entire ear, allowing for hours of wear. Both models come with a built-in universal microphone and also include a simple pass-through cable when the use of Bluetooth wireless technology is not an option. Reference Over-Ear headphones offer listeners a three-button remote and mic for seamless control of music and phone calls on iPhone, iPad and iPod devices. The flat, tangle-resistant cable enables hassle-free storage and transport. Klipsch’s Reference Over-Ear headphones combine comfort and sound quality, while adding a hard-shell travel case and the ability to remove the included cable and ear cushions. The Reference On-Ear II, On-Ear Bluetooth, Over-Ear and Over-Ear Bluetooth headphones are available in a black or white finish and come with a hard-shell travel case and a one-year warranty. From $251.52 / Klipsch /


OWC has announced its newest external storage solution – the OWC miniStack. Stacking perfectly with a Mac mini, the powerful and convenient hard drive boasts exceptional performance and capacities without sacrificing space. It is an ideal solution for Mac mini users to expand storage for documents, movies, photos, music and backups, featuring the ability to store and stream a personal collection of HD videos, music and photos, utilise it as an extension of media libraries for home entertainment systems, manage a large volume of RAW images for maximised photography workflows and accelerate pro-audio workstations for music production. The OWC miniStack comes as either a bare-bones enclosure or loaded with a hard drive. From US$79.95 OWC

Flip 30 Portable Device Recharger Technology is now a big part of our outdoor experiences. Wearable devices, smartphones and action cameras are extremely helpful in helping us navigate, capture and experience the great outdoors. However, they all rely on battery life and not many devices tend to last more than a couple of days. Goal Zero is an expert in all things portable recharging and solar, renowned for its Flip 10 and 20 portable rechargers. It has now announced the Solar ReadyTM Flip 30 – the most power-packed unit within the Flip series. Both the Flip Series 10 and 20 are capable of fully recharging a range of electronic devices including smartphones, action cameras, torches and speakers. The Flip 30 is even more powerful. Its 7800mAh charge capacity provides 300 percent backup power, which allows you to charge your smartphone three times on a full charge. Despite its charge capacity, the Flip 30 is compact and weighs only 193g. This makes it perfect for extended periods sans power outlet without the unit noticeably weighing you down. The Flip 30 is the ultimate wilderness companion, thanks to its ability to be charged by the sun’s rays – this will come in handy when on an extended camping or hiking trip. If you’re only heading out for a few days, simply flip up the USB charging tip and plug the unit into your laptop for a short five hours and you are good to go. The Flip 30 Recharger is designed to make your outdoor life easier, from its compact size all the way to its ability to pass through charge. It is the next step in the portable charging accessory field – stylish, portable, ecofriendly and practical in every way. From $49.00 Goal Zero

Bag of Riddim 2 The new Bag of Riddim 2 by House Of Marley will keep the beats with you wherever you go. Take it on a road trip, to the park while you shoot some hoops or simply set it up in your home. However it’s used, you’ll find that this updated Bluetooth device is extremely versatile. Being 25 percent smaller than its predecessor, the Bag of Riddim 2 weighs less and is more compact than before, without any sacrifice in sound quality – making it every music lover’s envy. $299.95 House of Marley

Wacom MobileStudio Pro Wacom’s MobileStudio Pro is a lightweight, powerful mobile computer for on-the-go creators of digital content. It provides unparalleled feel and accuracy to any creative session and features the newly designed Wacom Pro Pen 2, with better accuracy and pressure sensitivity than the company’s previous professional pen. There are 13.3in and 15.6in MobileStudio Pro computers with five configurations to choose from. Industrial designers, engineers and 3D modellers will find a host of features in the MobileStudio Pro that will make their workflow more efficient. While individual models of MobileStudio Pro vary, all come with Intel processors and memory and storage configurations, ranging from 128GB up to 512GB. NVIDIA Quadro graphics on the 15.6in model of MobileStudio Pro help speed computer-generated imagery and digital content creation and bring it to life. From $2649 Wacom


OWC miniStack







t’s thinner, lighter and smaller all around, but the new MacBook Pro makes a big impression. The trackpad on the 15in version is downright ridiculous – twice as large as the trackpad on the previous generation – but I didn’t look down and say, “Holy cow, that is a seriously huge trackpad,” until I’d been using it for a couple of minutes. Because it’s really all about that gorgeous Touch Bar. Apple doesn’t do touchscreen Macs, but the Touch Bar adds a strip of ultrahandy iOS-style contextual controls right where you need them, and the rest of the MacBook Pro received great updates too. After my limited hands-on time, I think it has the right mix of power, portability and ports to satisfy users of previous MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models. Let’s dive right into my first impressions – we’ll follow up with a full review later.

TOUCH BAR The Touch Bar, which replaces the row of Fn keys on top of the MacBook Pro’s keyboard, enables new functionality like Touch ID to unlock the Mac and make Apple Pay purchases in Safari without needing to authenticate with an iPhone or Apple Watch. It’s made of smooth glass, so it feels great under your fingers, just like the trackpad itself.

The Touch Bar changes based on what you’re doing, including predictive controls in some apps. The Touch Bar supports multi-touch, in case you need to tap or slide on more than one control at once. This would come in handy in some apps, like djay Pro, but since the bar isn’t really tall enough for common multi-finger gestures like pinch-to-zoom, I was content to poke at it one finger at a time. I love how you can customise the Touch Bar’s default controls. Just pick View > Customize Touch Bar from the Finder menu, and you get a full suite of buttons you can drag right down to the Touch Bar. The options are similar to what you see when customising the toolbar in your Finder windows. But the coolest part of the Touch Bar is how quickly it changes as you switch apps. I used it for scrolling through a full-screen album in Photos, as well as for scrubbing through the timeline in Final Cut Pro. Both were fast and responsive. When I opened a new Mail message and started typing, however, the QuickType suggestions shown in the Touch Bar lagged behind my fingers. I had to consciously slow down to be able to see the predictions and select them from the Touch Bar, so it was faster to just type the entire word with my fingers. Happily, pulling up the scrolling emoji menu in Messages and choosing an emoji from the Touch Bar

is a million times faster than pressing Command-Control-Space and using the Characters menu, like I have to do on my MacBook Air today. The other killer Touch Bar feature may be predictive suggestions in Mail. When you’re looking at a list of messages in your Inbox, you’ll see a button on the Touch Bar that says ‘Move to Vacations’ or the name of another folder the app thinks is suitable. Mail seems to be guessing based on context, such as the sender and content of the message, and I can’t wait to see how well it does with the volume of email I get every day.

THE NEW KEYBOARD The new MacBook Pro models have a low-travel keyboard similar to the 12in MacBook, but Apple says it uses a secondgeneration butterfly mechanism to give the keys a better feel. They don’t seem to travel physically further, but it’s possible Apple did increase the travel distance slightly. Apple says it just used slightly different materials for a different feel under your fingers. There are no haptics in the keyboard. The keys feel about the same to me as on the MacBook. They don’t wiggle back and forth if you happen to strike one off-centre, and they make a deep clicking sound when you pound on them. But when I switched back to my trusty 2013


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MacBook Air to write this hands-on, my fingers immediately preferred the bouncier mechanism of Apple’s old laptop keys. I’ve never had trouble with the MacBook keyboard, and I’m sure I’ll get used to this one too, but I do like the old kind better.

PORTS ON BOTH SIDES If you were worried Apple would ditch the headphone jack on the MacBook Pro, you can exhale now. (After all, Apple did ask its customers a while back if they were using it!) Every MacBook Pro model has a headphone jack on the right-hand edge. Don’t ever leave us, audio port. You also get four Thunderbolt 3 ports on the 13in and 15in models (only two on the lower-end 13in MacBook Pro with Function Keys, but we’re discussing the Touch Bar models here). Apple put two on each side, and it’s kind of cool how all the ports can charge the laptop

or connect to Thunderbolt, DisplayPort 1.2 and USB-C devices. I’m used to having dedicated ports for each IO method, so the flexibility is appreciated, and it’s a relief Apple went with four instead of, say, two. You’ll still need adapters for some things, like peripherals that use USB-A or Thunderbolt 2 ports, or an SD card reader, since that slot is gone. But having multiple ports may let you avoid picking up one of the USB-C docks that MacBook owners need if they want to connect more than one device at a time.

ONLY FIRST IMPRESSIONS The beautiful Retina screen is unchanged from previous generations and, with the new Mac line-up, every notebook Apple sells is now Retina. In our full review, we’ll dive more deeply into the performance of the updated processors and GPU, as well as Apple’s promised 10-hour battery

life. But, from what I’ve seen so far, the updated MacBook Pro is going to be worth the wait.

PRICING The 13inch MacBook Pro starts at a recommended retail price of $2199 with a 2.0 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage, and ships today. The 13in MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar and Touch ID starts at $2699 and features a 2.9 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, 8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage. The 15in MacBook Pro starts at $3599 and features the Touch Bar and Touch ID, a 2.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.5 GHz, 16GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage. C




Cool software for the iOS & Apple Watch.


PONS and Paragon Software /

iPHONE, iPAD $22.99 PONS Russian Illustrated Dictionary for Android and iOS has been developed by leading language instructors. This dictionary app presents information in a new and unique way – with corresponding illustrations for every word. More than 5000 words and phrases are grouped into 13 essential topics for everyday life, covering everything from emergency situations to education, and work to hobbies and culture. ‘Telling’ illustrations are specially designed to help memorise new words faster. Users can find the right word by its image, without having to know the correct spelling. The combination of quick translations, audio pronunciations and colourful images makes learning a foreign language easy and fun, while frequently searched words are added to favourites for faster access.



Celestial Dynamics AG /

Bynd GmbH /

iPHONE, iPAD $5.99

iPHONE FREE with in-app purchases


Cosmic Watch helps users understand the relationship between time and the apparent movement of stars in the sky. You can use the app to know the current real time of any location on the planet, or to determine planetary positions in the past, present or future. It’s recommended for use with the iPhone 4 or later, or the iPad 3 or later.


Bynd combines all your feeds – Twitter, Facebook and more – into a central hub. Version 2.0 has launched with an array of new features, including private messages, push notifications, landscape mode for videos and more.




Pleeq Software /

Shiny Frog /

iPHONE $4.49

iPHONE, iPAD FREE with in-app purchases



Most navigation apps rely on maps to get you from point A to point B. Anchor Pointer uses a compass to guide you when access to maps is difficult, such as when your cellular data plan is limited. It guides you by using a compass to point you on your way and lets you save any position and find your way to it. Or you can store your car position in a big car park and find it later.

There are lots of word processors out there, but Bear claims to be perfect for everything from quick notes, to code snippets, to in-depth essays. Focus mode helps you concentrate, and advanced Markdown and other markup options are an online writer’s best friend. Full in-line image support brings your writing to life, and keeps you on task by adding to-dos to individual notes.



Digixart Entertainment /

Intuit /

iPHONE, iPAD FREE with in-app purchases

iPHONE, iPAD FREE with in-app purchases


Lost in Harmony follows the story of Kaito and Aya, teenaged friends forced to deal with a deadly monster. The game is a stagebased auto-runner, with the characters skateboarding and dodging obstacles in time with the soundtrack, which includes classics, newly composed music and an homage to an old puzzle game.


QuickBooks Self-Employed gets your business ready for tax time by categorising expense, invoice, receipt and tax data for your business, and automatically tracking the kilometres you drive. You can also invoice on the go. The app lets you track expenses, note mileage with its integrated log book and issue invoices for your small business, freelancing or contracting position. Receipt tracker allows you to attach receipts to each expense. It’s fast, easy and convenient – no training required. It can also connect your bank account, so you can easily categorise business from personal expenses, and there’s reporting so you can track your profit and loss and see your whole finance picture all in one place.



The difference between backing up an iPhone to iCloud and iTunes BY JEFFREY BATTERSBY


ecently I was hiking with my iPhone when I got caught in a torrential rainstorm. I had on a rain jacket that was supposed to be completely waterproof, including the zippered front pockets, which is where I put my phone when the rains arrived. As it happens, they weren’t waterproof enough and my phone took on more than a couple of drops of rain. I won’t go into the details of the damage, but I wasn’t worried because I have AppleCare+ and a full iCloud backup, which put me in good stead once I had a new phone in my hands. But, an iCloud restoration also meant I had to be near Wi-Fi and plugged in to get my phone back up to speed. So, I created an iTunes backup before I replaced my phone at the Apple Store. I could see my damaged phone in iTunes, but the display was dead. So, I plugged in, backed up and got my phone replaced, and I restored my backup from iTunes. To my great surprise that restoration didn’t include all of my apps. Some were there and up-todate, but most weren’t. I sent a tweet to Apple Support and got a link to a support article on Apple’s website, but it wasn’t clear from the article what ‘content’ wasn’t being backed up. So I tweeted Apple Support again asking about apps and was told that I had to ‘transfer all purchases when prompted’. Which was curious, because I didn’t recall being prompted.

I ended up restoring from my iCloud backup, but decided to play with the iTunes backup to see whether I’d missed something. I had not. There was no prompt to transfer purchases. Digging further into the backup article, I hit a link for transferring purchases in iTunes, which has changed from previous versions of iTunes. If you’re not using iCloud to back up your iOS device and want smooth sailing when you restore a new iOS device from a backup, make sure all the apps on your iOS device are in your iTunes app library. Note: your app data is always backed up. Even if you restore an app a few days later, that data will reappear. Every time you back up your iOS device and you know you’ve downloaded new content from the iTunes Store: 1. plug your device into your Mac 2. click the File menu 3. select the Devices menu, and 4. select the Transfer Purchases From [Your iOS Device] menu item. This will result in a complete backup of your iOS device when using iTunes to back up your device. iCloud always backs up all of your apps and data. If you have the option to use iCloud, do it, and use an iTunes backup as a failover. In the event that you haven’t done this prior to your restoration, all is not lost. There are two ways to get your apps back.

You can remember and re-download every app fresh from the iTunes Store on your iOS device, or: • open iTunes • select Apps • click the App Store tab • click the Purchased link in the iTunes account section of iTunes • click the Not In My Library tab • locate and download all the apps you remember having on your iOS device, or, • click the Download All button at the bottom of the page. Once you download the apps you can restore your backup to your new device and all your apps and their associated data will reappear on your iOS device. One last thing: choosing the Encrypt option when backing up your iOS device will save passwords for all your email accounts, so you won’t have to re-enter them later. C




pple’s Disk Utility is the go-to app for managing storage devices on your Mac. For many years, the Disk Utility app stayed the same in terms of features and user interface. With OS X El Capitan, Disk Utility got a major facelift and Apple removed any ability to set up and configure a redundant array of independent disks (RAID). In macOS Sierra’s Disk Utility, the RAID features are back. Here’s how to set up and configure a software RAID using macOS Sierra’s Disk Utility.

HOW TO SET UP A RAID IN macOS SIERRA’S DISK UTILITY This will erase any data on the disks you want to use for the RAID. 1. After you connect your storage devices to your Mac, launch Disk Utility from the Utilities folder that resides in your Applications folder. 2. From Disk Utility’s main window, click on the File menu and select RAID Assistant. 3. On the opening screen of the RAID Assistant, select the RAID type. • (Striped) RAID 0: This one’s all about speed. It doesn’t offer data protection, so you’ll need to rely on another backup system, like Time Machine. • (Mirrored) RAID 1: The same data is written to all the drives. If a drive fails, your data is intact. • Concatenated (JBOD): This takes your drives and uses them to create

one storage volume. It doesn’t offer data protection or better speed. Choose your type, then click Next. 4. Disk Utility will show the drives eligible for the RAID format you select. The app shows the disk, and underneath each disk is a list of the partitions on that device. Click on the checkbox next to the disks you want to include in the RAID. When you select a disk, all the partitions are automatically selected. When setting up a RAID 1, you have to decide if a drive should be a RAID Slice or a Spare. A RAID Slice is a drive that’s an active part of the array and mirrors your data. A Spare is a drive that sits in waiting until a Slice fails, then data is mirrored to the spare automatically. If you have two drives, they each need to be set as RAID Slice. If you have more than two, you can set one as Spare.

Click the Next button after you’ve selected your disks. 5. Now set the properties for your RAID. • Name: give your RAID a name. • Format: most people should select Mac OS Extended (Journaled). • Type: this is what you selected back at the beginning of the procedure. To change it you have to start over. • Capacity: this is based on the drives you selected in the previous step. • Chunk size: since data is written across drives, it is broken into pieces. Chunk size determines the size of those pieces. If you work with large files, like with video or 3D graphics, choose 128K or 256K. If you are a more general purpose user who does email, writes, or works in spreadsheets or databases, choose 32K or 64K. • If you are building a RAID 1, you’ll see an option to ‘Automatically rebuild’. This means that if a drive is removed and then replaced, the data will automatically be restored to the new drive. Once you click Next, your Mac will start to configure your RAID array, so don’t click it until you are ready. 6. Double-check your properties, then click Next. Your Mac will go to work configuring your RAID. When the setup is done your RAID will be available for you to use. C


How to configure a software RAID in macOS Sierra’s Disk Utility







Reader Darryl Rehr sent in a tip about a new keyboard shortcut in macOS that baffled not just him by its previously unseen behaviour, but also a tonne of Apple phone support staff. Near the end, they nearly had me erase my hard drive and restore from Time Machine. Thankfully, I was sceptical. Darryl had found all his messages in Mail missing except new ones. He assumed corruption or other problems, and went through troubleshooting and then calling Apple support. The culprit was Command-L, which triggers filters. This keystroke hasn’t been used for this purpose in previous releases. The filter menu provides a couple of visual cues that filtering is active in the modern Mail view. If you’re using the modern Mail layout, default for multiple releases, there’s a visual indicator at the top of the messages list that has a blue label showing the applied filter, like Unread, and the filter icon reverses out to mostly black. It’s still a bit subtle, but it’s at least noticeable. (It doesn’t seem that you can define more of these filters; Mail comes with several prefab ones. However, if you’re using the classic layout for Mail, as Darryl was, there’s no onscreen indicator at all! You’d have to know you pressed Command-L by accident, or know to look in the View menu, where an item labelled Disable Message Filter appears. (You can turn on the classic look in Mail > Preferences > Viewing, where you check the box Use Classic Layout.) Glenn Fleishman



Christoph Stork’s photo libraries are overflowing. He owns a MacBook Pro with a 750GB drive, but has an iPhoto library that weighs in at 190GB and a Photos library that takes up 250GB. His drive is almost full and he’s not sure how to proceed. How can I know whether the pictures in the iPhoto library are also in the Photos library? How can I move a portion of the older images away while keeping the last few years on the laptop? If you followed the steps to import your iPhoto library into Photos whenever you started using Photos, all of the library’s full-resolution images weren’t duplicated. Instead, Apple chose to use ‘hard linking’, which Jason Snell explained back in April 2015. Instead of creating a copy of the iPhoto media, hard links just allow the same file to be linked in two or more places. Unlike an alias, which has a special icon and just points to another file, the hard link reference looks and acts exactly like it is a file. This means that, in this case, the 190GB and 250GB iPhoto and Photos library likely contain a whole lot of overlap. Thumbnails, modified images and other internal data structures aren’t duplicated from iPhoto, and take up separate space in each library. New images imported into Photos would explain its larger size. My suggestion for proceeding in this and similar cases is to get an external 1TB (or larger) USB 3.0 drive, which are relatively cheap. Copy the iPhoto library there before deleting it. (Deleting a file that’s hard linked in other places only


deletes a reference; the original file remains in place for its other uses, so don’t worry about that.) For as long as older versions of iPhoto continue to work, you can open any library on a mounted volume by holding down Option at launch, and then navigating to the library and selecting it. The same is true for Photos, although Photos continues to be updated, and should work across many, many future macOS releases. If you want to archive part of your Photos library, get PowerPhotos (US$30), a third-party app that has a lot of features missing in Photos. It will let you create a new library and copy images over, rather than using an awkward export method. To find just older images, I suggest creating a Smart Album with the criteria for the date range you want, and then selecting all the images in the Smart Album and creating a regular album from it. You can then use PowerPhotos to create a new Photos library, copy that regular album and all its contents to the new library, and delete the album and associated media from your main Photos library. PowerPhotos includes a licence for iPhoto Library Manager, which has similar features. Both apps can identify duplicates within a library to reduce a library’s size if you have many images that were imported multiple times or duplicated internally. I highly recommend making more than one backup of the photos and libraries you migrate off your main drive. It can be inexpensive to store data you don’t plan to modify at Amazon S3, or you can use Google Drive, iCloud Drive or other options Glenn Fleishman


Reader Philipp Englin has an Apple Time Capsule, and he’d like to be able to access its internal hard drive when he’s away from his network. He knows there’s an option to share the internal disk – and with a Time Capsule or AirPort Extreme, any external disks – but the checkbox doesn’t appear for him. I realised that if I set my router mode under Network to DHCP and NAT from the current Off (Bridge Mode), then the Share Disks over WAN option will appear. Major problem: the internet no longer works when I do that. Philipp has an FiOS connection that requires him to use its supplied modem to feed his internet service. And what he wants to do is perfectly reasonable, but it’s hard to accomplish without making some sort of change. A DHCP server can assign out addresses automatically to any device that connects to a network. A NAT server maps private, ‘fake’ addresses on a local network to a gateway address (or sometimes multiple addresses). (They’re fake because they can’t be reached from the rest of the internet, but they work within your network.) Together, NAT and DHCP on an Apple or other router let you have a single path to the internet that all your hardware can share without any configuration: it connects to the gateway, gets assigned a private address and all its traffic has routes to the broader world. You can share an AirPort Extreme or Time Capsule disk over the internet if the base station is set up to hand out network addresses via DHCP and NAT. Bridge mode lets a router act as an extension of another networked

router that’s handling this addressassigning function. In Philipp’s case, the FiOS router handles DHCP and NAT. With the Apple router not being able to manage the interaction with the rest of the internet, Apple opted to not play other games and just disable remote disk access, while also not allowing remote configuration via AirPort Utility. This is a little odd, because Apple ostensibly relies on functionality like that used for Back to My Mac, which has been available for several years in macOS, and which lets you share access from one Mac to another, when both are logged into the same iCloud account, for screen sharing and connected drives. One option is to turn the broadband modem into a bridge. Not all providers allow this, and I can’t offer any generic guidance, as every network operator and modem combination will be

different. In general, see if your ISP offers tech-support documents or other help that will let you turn on bridge mode with its supplied router or one you obtained, and then you can enable DHCP and NAT on just the Apple Wi-Fi base station connected directly to the broadband modem. When I had Comcast service, I was able to purchase a Linksys router and set it to bridging. A second option is to enable and cope with ‘double NAT’. That’s when your modem uses DHCP and NAT, and a base station connected to the modem also offers its own. It’s like nesting layers. This gives you access to all the DHCP and NAT features of an Apple base station, but the two layers of NAT sometimes prevent connections from the outside world from breaking through. AirPort Utility will also warn you about the double NAT. A third option is to install remote screen-sharing software on another Mac on your network, assuming you have a Mac that you can leave running. I use iTeleport to tunnel back in – it even works via double NAT – for a screensharing session, and can then access drives and other items on the local network via that remote screen. It’s more tedious than simply mounting a drive remotely, but it does the trick. More expensive businessoriented remote-access apps can provide the same remote screen-sharing feature, but also allow access to mounted and networked drives. TeamViewer may be the best solution, because it has file-transfer features, but is available at no cost for personal use. An identical corporate edition, intended for system administrators, is quite expensive. Glenn Fleishman







Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth speaker


ltimate Ears has slammed down the gauntlet with its Megaboom portable Bluetooth speaker. This loud-andproud, thoroughly weatherproof speaker produces enough sound to fill the average backyard, and it comes with a richly featured app that will make it the life of any party. A pair of 2in full-range drivers and dual 2in by 4in passive radiators in a cylindrical enclosure create a near 360-degree sound field. The 875g speaker comes with a plastic carrying case and its built-in rechargeable battery is rated to up to 20 hours. Large plus and minus buttons on the Megaboom’s face let you raise or lower the volume manually. Its cap ends are rubberised, with the top end carrying the unit’s power and Bluetooth-pairing buttons. Remove the waterproof gasket on the bottom of the speaker and you’ll find its micro-USB charging port and a 3.5mm aux input for analogue audio sources. With that gasket in place, the Megaboom is rated IPX7, meaning it’s certified as waterproof when submerged in up to 90cm (three feet) of water for up to 30 minutes. The Megaboom isn’t a Wi-Fi speaker, but it’s fitted with Class 1 Bluetooth radio rated for line-of-sight wireless range of 30m. You’ll get less than that in the real world, where physical obstacles will be between your smartphone or tablet and the speaker.

You can pair two Megabooms, reducing the frustration many of us have had with older Bluetooth devices that must be paired one at a time. And support for NFC (Near Field Communication) makes pairing even easier – just tap the source against the speaker and you’ll never have to drill down into your device’s control panel. The Megaboom has a built-in microphone, so you can use it as a speakerphone. It won’t put conference room vendors out of business, but it’s good enough. An Android and iOS app adds even more functions, including the ability to customise the colour of its user interface to match the speaker – a cool attention to detail. Three other features are particularly noteworthy: an alarm clock, EQ (equaliser) customisation and a Double Up mode. The Megaboom’s EQ allows you to tailor the speaker for the particulars of its playback environment. You can apply extra bass when you’re using the speaker in a wide-open space and there’s a small-room EQ setting that tamps down those lower frequencies when you’re using the speaker in a small room. You can create custom EQ settings to your heart’s content. Removing the gasket on the Megaboom’s bottom reveals the micro USB charging port and 3.5mm analogue input. The gasket must be re-secured for the Megaboom to maintain its water-resistant rating.

Double Up allows you to pair two UE Megaboom speakers to either function as a stereo pair or as a mirror of each other, which will allow you to fill even larger spaces or pump up the volume. No matter how loud I cranked the Megaboom, this speaker never broke a sweat or surrendered under the weight of extreme harshness or compression. Its 360-degree design also does a remarkable job of reducing off-axis coloration. The Megaboom’s sound does accentuate the bottom end. Because of its cylindrical design, it doesn’t have the precise, pinpoint imaging and open mid-range that some of its competition in this price range deliver. Those quibbles aside, this speaker consistently delivered great – though not textbook perfect – performance. Macworld Australia’s buying advice: The Megaboom rocks. Its almost perfect balance of design, sound and features make this one of the best all-around, portable Bluetooth speakers on the market for in-home or outdoor audio. C

– THEO NICOLAKIS ULTIMATE EARS PROS Great sound; great design CONS Slight lack of precision $288


41 DECEMBER 2016

Hands-on with the iRig HD 2


’ve given the iRig HD 2, the latest digital guitar/bass interface from IK Multimedia a workout and I’m pretty impressed. Over the last couple of years I’ve been happily using the top of the range iRig Pro to connect my guitar to my iPad where I have a number of guitar modelling apps. For the techos, the iRig HD 2 uses 24-bit analogue to digital conversion with a high-end 96 kHz sample rate, which delivers high-quality sound to the level of the Pro. Hence the HD tag. Compared to the Pro with one input and one output, the HD 2 has one in and three out. For starters, I plug in to the HD2 with a standard guitar cable, then connect the unit via the provided USB cable to my Mac where I have AmpliTube waiting. More of which later… It all works easily with a nice clean sound. Alternatively, with the second provided cable, I can connect to my iPad via Lightning. On the left-hand side of the unit is a gain control, and a multicolour LED indicator lets me know if I’m too loud or too soft. There is also a standard quarter-inch output socket, which I can use to connect

directly to an amplifier. There is also an integrated headphone out jack with a high-quality preamp and a volume control on the right-hand side of the unit. This will be pretty useful for people considering the iPhone 7, because you can still use your old headphones without having to go down the Bluetooth path. Next to the headphone jack is an FX/Thru switch. So, if I’m connected to a Mac, iPhone or iPad, I have the choice of sending the output either processed (FX) or unprocessed (Thru) to my amplifier. Finally, there’s a little plastic bracket that clips onto the back of the unit through which I thread the provided Velcro strip and attach the unit to my mic stand. Very neat. As a real sweetener to this deal I get free download of full versions of AmpliTube 4 for Mac and AmpliTube for iOS. The Mac version in particular gives me an amazing array of fully customisable amplifiers, effects pedals, microphone models (which I can position to suit in front of a range of speaker cabinets) and a vast number of optional add-ins from industry greats Ampeg, Fender, Morley Seymour Duncan et al.

Summing it all up, I have the same crystal-clear sound as I’m used to with the Pro, with the expanded range of output options. For me, there’s only one slight downside. The gain control on the Pro is a rotatable metal disk on the front of the unit with an indent to show you where you’re at – much easier than the plastic scroll wheel on the side of the HD 2. To justify its title the Pro also has an input for a MIDI controller, a phantom power switch to accommodate condenser microphones and a battery compartment for independent power, but I haven’t used these features. The iRig HD 2 at $190 sits nicely between the iRig Pro at $270 and the entry level iRig 2 at $75 C


IK MULTIMEDIA PROS Professional quality signal processing; impressive array of output options; rugged compact design; free AmpliTube CONS Gain control not as practical as the Pro $190



Schlage Sense


pple’s quest to embed itself into every aspect of your life extends right from the front door of your home. Its HomeKit platform works with various home automation hardware and software. The Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt brings the ability to remotely manage your home security and to unlock your door with a key, app or via Siri. I’ve installed a few door locks in my time, so I was intrigued as to how easy or difficult the Schlage Sense would be. It is designed to replace existing deadbolts, which typically use a standard configuration with respect to the holes that are drilled into the door. The kit includes all of the screws and plates you’ll need, including different plates for the door jamb, as well as reinforcement plates to make the installation more secure. The review unit supplied to me came with part of a door with the appropriate holes drilled into it, so I could do a full installation without having to replace my own front door. There’s a Schlage Sense app, which I needed to download before getting started with the installation that provided video instructions. Once the lock was installed, I paired the Schlage Sense to my iPhone using the app. As well as connecting the lock to my iPhone, I was prompted to add the device to

Apple’s Home app. This app creates a central location for controlling all HomeKit-enabled devices. Once it was added to home, I could access the Schlage Sense from my iPads and Apple TV 4. The Schlage Sense provides you with three different modes of operation. This is important as you won’t be locked in or out of your house should you lose your iPhone. A touchscreen on the outside lets you enter by tapping in a code. It’s set up with two default codes, but you can add more so each member of your household has their own code – it holds up to 30 separate codes. Or you can create codes for visitors that you disable after they’ve left. There’s also a fully manual mode using a key. Schlage only provided one key, so you’ll want to get a copy or two made. And, when you’re inside your home, there’s a knob that can be used to lock or unlock the deadbolt. The lock mechanism is very smooth. The bolt moves in and out very easily, assuming you’ve lined everything up correctly during installation. HomeKit offers great promise for those looking to invest in home automation. In the past, getting systems to interoperate was tricky and required a lot of messing around in order for devices from different manufacturers to work together.

HomeKit is still in its very early days, but my experience with the Schlage Sense had me thinking – why would I bother? The lock, on its own, offers very little benefit to being part of HomeKit. But if the lock could be linked to my lighting, climate control and other domestic systems, then I think it would make a little more sense. Using HomeKit I could then create a system where my door automatically unlocks when I open my garage door, the air-conditioner or heater turns on, and the lights are activated automatically. But, then again, none of those tasks are particularly taxing, so I’m still left with a degree of ‘why bother’. Macworld Australia’s buying advice: The Schlage Sense is a well-made piece of kit that does exactly what it’s meant to do. The big question is – what value does it add over and above a traditional deadbolt? C

– ANTHONY CARUANA SCHLAGE PROS Secure; HomeKit integration CONS Expensive $399.95




ach year, the tech world waits to see what new software and hardware will be unveiled. This year, during WWDC in July, Apple unveiled the 10th version of its mobile computing platform, iOS 10. A short time later, the company took the wraps off its newest mobile computer. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus look a lot like their predecessors. They sport the same screen dimensions, weight and shape, and all the buttons look like they are in the same place. In particular, the 4.7in iPhone 7 could pass for an iPhone 6 or 6s if not for the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack (I’ll get to that in a moment) and changes to the home button. The iPhone 7 Plus sports the same changes, but adds a new camera arrangement to the back plate. The 5.5in iPhone 7 Plus has two rear-facing cameras. By using two cameras and some intelligent software, the new iPhone is able to capture richer images. Of course, as is the case with each new iPhone, there are a slew of other changes under the covers. A new faster processor, better power management and increased system memory mean this new iPhone is the most advanced model Apple has released.

CUTTING TO THE CHASE – THE HEADPHONE JACK SAGA There are few secrets these days, so it was not surprising that the rumours of Apple removing the ubiquitous headphone jack proved to be true.






How much this affects you will depend greatly on how you use your iPhone. So, when I say it’s not that big a deal, you need to understand how I use my iPhone. My iPhone is primarily a communications device. In particular, instant messaging, iMessage, SMS, WhatsApp and Facebook are the primary means I use to communicate with people. I get a lot of email – 200 messages a day is about the minimum – but I tend to read and manage that on an iPad or on a fullsized Mac. I make and receive a few calls each day, but I either answer those using my car’s hands-free system, using the iPhone’s speakerphone function or the old-fashioned way, by holding the phone to my ear. Although I listen to a lot of music on my iPhone 7 Plus, I tend to do it when I’m in the car. For that I can either use Bluetooth or connect over USB directly into the Lightning port. I do use headphones from time to time. My preferred pair is a set of Bose earbuds that use a 3.5mm jack. I don’t find the adapter many people have complained about to be a big problem. It attaches to my headphones easily and is quite hard to remove – I doubt it will fall off in my bag and get lost. In short, the adapter is an inelegant solution, but it does mean you won’t need to ditch your old headphones any time soon.

AN IMPERFECT DESIGN I’ve used a lot of different smartphones. As well as every iPhone released in Australia, I’ve used numerous Android and Windows phones from several manufacturers. None are perfect. But the iPhone 7 Plus, and the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s before it all suffer from a particularly annoying design flaw in my view. When using the iPhone’s rear camera, you can use the Volume Up button to operate the shutter. This is a great feature as it means you don’t have to tap the screen while shooting; it makes the iPhone camera experience much more like a traditional camera.

The problem is the power button is positioned almost directly opposite the Volume Up. That makes it difficult to hold the phone and press the Volume Up to take a picture without accidentally switching the phone off. Older iPhones and the iPhone SE have the power button on the top of the phone’s body. Somewhere along the line an engineering decision was made at Apple that compromised the user experience. I’m not sure this would have slipped past Steve Jobs’ keen eye for design.

BATTERY LIFE My primary use of the iPhone 7 Plus is a data-centric one. Although I do make and receive a few calls each day, my primary use of the iPhone is as a mobile computer. I spend far more time using instant messaging services, email, the web browser and apps than I do making and receiving calls. My typical habit is to put the iPhone 7 Plus on a charging dock next to my bed each night. As well as charging it, this

makes it easy to hit the snooze button when the alarm goes off. In about a month of use, I’ve not yet run out of charge before the end of a workday. Typically, by around 5pm, I have between 40 and 60 percent of the charge remaining, although that can be a little lower if I use Maps to find my away around when I’m in unfamiliar surroundings. One of the habits I’ve built over the years is carrying a charging cable for my iPhone (and, now, the Apple Watch) in my bag so I can grab a few minutes of charging time through the day. I find that, rather than waiting for the battery level to fall to a critical level, I can work almost continuously. My advice is that a few minutes here and there will get you through most of a day.

NO MORE HOME BUTTON Another stalwart feature that’s been present in every iPhone has been jettisoned in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The Home button is no longer an actual button. It’s


THE CAMERA Apple continues to invest in companies that can make the camera better with each iteration of the iPhone. The iPhone 7 Plus actually has two rear-facing cameras that work together to give greater resolution and a superior image when using the iPhone’s zoom. A new feature, called Portrait mode, allows you to shoot images where the main object in the foreground is sharp while the background is blurred – the sort of thing seasoned photographers can do easily with a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera by disabling automatic focus. This effect is called ‘bokeh’. To access this, you’ll need to be running iOS 10.1 or later, as the feature wasn’t ready when iOS 10 was first released. While this alone isn’t a good reason to invest in a new iPhone, it highlights that more of us are taking photos with nontraditional cameras and are demanding more from our mobile devices. My experience with the feature was mixed. When it worked, it worked well, but it seemed quite finicky about distances from the main object in the image. I doubt that I’ll use the feature very often, but I’m sure it will get a run from time to time. I’d also like Apple to do something about the way the camera protrudes from

the back of the device. It’s a very inelegant piece of design – not at all the Apple way.

MY DAY TO DAY EXPERIENCE It’s very hard for me to separate my impressions of the iPhone 7 Plus from my thoughts on iOS 10 – the two form part of a single experience. This is my first Plus-sized iPhone, so it took a few days for me to get used to holding it comfortably. Coincidentally, I bought a new car at about the same time as I purchased the iPhone and discovered the extra size made it hard to find a good spot to place the phone while driving. I prefer to not have the screen visible when I’m behind the wheel. When using Maps, I’m happy with the audible instructions coming through my car’s sound system and, if I need any other data, I find a quick glance at my Apple Watch suffices. As far as responsiveness goes, the iPhone 7 Plus is no slouch. Apps open quickly, everyday actions execute swiftly and I had no problems with any app compatibility other than the importing of boarding passes to the Wallet app. But that’s something that seems to break with every major iOS update and it was rectified quickly. With the iPhone 7 Plus’ 5.5in display sitting between smartphone and tablet sizes I’ve found my iPad use has changed. Tasks that I’d turn to my iPad for I tend to do with my iPhone now. For example, when I turn the iPhone to landscape orientation I can view websites that I used to go to my iPad for.

Also, I find email easier to manage. Partly, this is because of the new Unread filter you can turn on via the small round icon at the bottom left corner of the screen in Mail, but also because the iPhone 7 Plus’ display is wide enough for a two-pane email view.

THE FINAL WORD The iPhone 7 Plus is my first foray into the world of plus-sized smartphones. And, while it took some getting used to, I’m finding it a more than competent device. But it is flawed in my view. While the battery life and performance are excellent in my view, the button placement really bothers me. If I had an iPhone 6 or 6s Plus I’m not sure I’d be upgrading – I moved from a regular-sized iPhone 6s. But if you’ve been using an older iPhone from the iPhone 5 era, then there are lots of good reasons to upgrade. Better performance, longer battery life and a superior camera are quite compelling in my view.


32GB 128GB 256GB

$1079 $1229 $1379


32GB 128GB 256GB

$1269 $1419 $1569 C


been replaced with a circular area equipped with Apple’s haptic feedback system. When you press the Home ‘button’ it feels as if a button is being depressed, but the Taptic Engine simulates the depression and feedback of a button press. In Settings, you can adjust the strength of that feedback. My guess is this is a sign Apple will drop the button completely in the next iPhone. Already, rumours suggest the iPhone 8 – yes, rumours of the next iPhone are already flying around, barely moments after the latest model was released – will be completely made of glass with no bezel. The entire surface of the device will be used for the screen. That means the button will disappear. For me, this makes very little difference. Touch ID still works in the same way and, if anything, is even faster than it was in previous models.






he new iPhone 7 may look a lot like its predecessor, but the removal of the 3.5mm headphone port and new camera arrangement in the iPhone 7 Plus means you’ll need to re-accessorise if you decide to update to the latest model. I’ve taken a look and road-tested three of the newest cases on the market.


EVO WALLET CASE Often, when I go out I only really need to carry my iPhone, driver’s licence and a credit card. The Evo Wallet Case, from Tech21, enables me to do just that. The detachable card storage section holds a couple of credit cards and, I’ve found, up to four notes of actual cash money, in a flap that protects the face of the iPhone 7 Plus I used to test it. All of the iPhone’s ports and switches can be accessed while in the case – even the SIM card slot. I was also able to sit the iPhone on a Lightning Charging Dock without having to extract the phone from the protective sheath. At just 70g, the Evo Wallet Case doesn’t really add a lot of heft to the iPhone 7 Plus. The casing not only looks good and is functional, but also offers drop protection from 3m. Tech21 $59.95

I’m an avid runner and occasional cyclist. And while I’m not usually a fan of carrying my iPhone on a run, there are times when it’s essential – particularly while I’m on a remote trail. Quad Lock is a system consisting of a case and a series of different mounts – one for the car, a cycling mount and an armband. With one case, you can mount your iPhone – there are cases for the iPhone 5 or newer – on several different mounts. I tested the Quad lock system with an armband and the case. The case slips over the iPhone 7 Plus and provides ready access to all the ports. This isn’t a ruggedised case, but will offer decent protection for everyday activity. Placing it on Quad Lock’s proprietary mount is simply a matter of positioning it and twisting. Once it was secured, I wasn’t able to remove my phone from a mount unless I followed the process of pushing a lever and twisting. The armband I used was soft, comfortable and allowed for arms ranging from spaghetti to Schwarzenegger. Quad Lock From $69.95 for case and armband run kit

DEFENDER OtterBox has been making ruggedised cases for portable devices since the 1990s. And that experience shows. The Defender would be unlikely to win the reality TV show Australia’s Next Top Model, but it would probably make it through a season of Bear Grylls’ Running Wild. In order to make the speakers and microphones accessible, the Defender doesn’t cover them, but creates a seal around them. Other points of potential ingress for dust and water are covered with sealed covers that can be opened when you’re away from potential contaminants. The polycarbonate shell is designed to withstand drops and other everyday incidents that could damage your iPhone. Interestingly, I couldn’t find any specific certification other than OttterBox’s own process. As well as the case, the Defender I reviewed shipped with an outer slipcover that included a belt clip. That clip can be rotated and used as a kickstand, so you can sit the iPhone up while watching a movie or viewing other content. C Otter $59.95




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BusyCal 3


alendar is the weakest of Apple’s built-in apps (with Reminders a close second). While the Mac version is passable enough, the iPhone app is borderline useless, even with the month and list split-screen view enabled. After initially cosying up to the iOS-only Calendars 5, I eventually settled on Fantastical 2, despite initial reservations about the lack of a good month view on the iPhone. Occasional bugs with recurring to-dos aside, I’ve never looked back. That is, until the recent release of BusyCal 3, a sequel four years in the making. Back in 2012, OS X Mountain Lion 10 and iOS 6 were the latest and greatest Apple had to offer. At US$65, I didn’t pay much attention to BusyCal at the time, although Macworld sang its praises in a review, calling the integration of Calendar and Reminders “far superior” to Apple’s dual-application approach. And while that’s still true today, the folks at BusyMac had their work cut out for them catching up to younger rivals like Fantastical. For the most part, they’ve succeeded: BusyCal 3 has been overhauled with a modern user interface that takes more than a few design cues from the Calendar in OS X El Capitan. Aside from the Info panel along the right-hand side, the two

applications could almost be mistaken for one another. With version 3, BusyCal plays catch-up, most notably adding travel time, a feature Apple introduced three years ago. If you’ve used it before, the implementation here is identical. While adding location-based events, BusyCal displays how long it takes to drive or walk there, and then uses current traffic conditions to alert you when it’s time to leave the house. BusyCal 3 delivers impressive enhancements in other areas, such as smooth infinite scrolling for trackpad owners, and a revamped Info panel that integrates synced Apple Reminders as a to-do list. To-dos can be assigned specific times or dates, and appear in the main calendar view alongside regular events. BusyCal 3’s menu-bar app has received a makeover, adding a mini-month calendar perched atop a scrolling event list. While it’s a welcome improvement, the menu bar is mostly for show and nowhere near as functional as Fantastical, where you can add and edit events without opening the main application. The return of BusyCal is reason enough to celebrate, but this time it’s not alone. For the first time, there’s now an iOS version as well. That means Mac users can finally have the same experience across platforms,

rather than being forced to use a different calendar on a mobile device. The iOS app is a faithful port of the desktop edition. However, it lacks a Today widget, 3D Touch and sharing extension support, so it feels unfinished. You also can’t sync accounts or settings, a minor inconvenience for those of us with multiple devices. I was quite happy to see a month view in BusyCal 3, although it feels a little cramped on my iPhone 6s Plus. Rotating to landscape helps, but it’s strictly for viewing; you can’t add or edit events with the iPhone held this way. I had the opposite problem on my iPad Pro; text is too small and there’s a lot of excess white space, but no settings to compensate for either. There are a few fun flourishes to be found: emojis and icons added from the Mac’s Graphics panel show up on iOS. When adding a new event, BusyCal 3 conveniently scrolls that date to the top of the calendar for better visibility, briefly animating with a subtle confirmation. Macworld Australia’s buying advice: While I remain partial to Fantastical 2 for its full-featured menu-bar app alone, BusyCal 3 is a winning combination for anyone looking to make a break from Apple’s underwhelming built-in apps. C

– J R BOOKWALTER BUSYMAC BUSYCAL 3 (iOS) $4.49 BUSYCAL 3 (MAC) $65 PROS Consistent between iOS and macOS; integrates calendar and to-dos; natural language support CONS Have to manually add accounts


Philips Brilliance 25in LCD Monitor


hen Apple released the new MacBook in 2015, it did away with every port other than the headphone jack and the all-new USB-C connector that can carry data, video and power with a single cable. Flash forward to October 2016 and Apple went a step further removing all ‘legacy’ ports from the MacBook Pro – other than the headphone jack – replacing them with a swag of USB-C ports. Aside from the market speaking, loudly, about the need for dongles to convert USB-C to a bunch of other connectors that are still on the market, the MacBook created another problem. One port can only connect to one thing at a time. And when that one port supplies your MacBook with power, that doesn’t really leave much room for anything else. Philips’ response is the Brilliance 25in LCD Monitor. A single USB connection to the MacBook will deliver power to charge the notebook computer’s battery, provide video

output and let you connect other peripherals via three USB ports, as well as cabled Ethernet. There is also a pair of stereo speakers. The Brilliance is, effectively, a docking station for the MacBook or October 2016 MacBook Pro. There are also VGA, dual-link DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort inputs. Switching between inputs is easy so you can connect other devices as well as your Mac. This 25in screen delivers images at a resolution of 2560 by 1440 – the same as the recently discontinued Apple Cinema Display. When I connected the Brilliance to a MacBook my first impression was that the display quality was on a par with Apple’s monitor. The ultra thin bezel means the images extend almost right across the entire display. It’s also quite thin, so the display won’t take up masses of desk space. And, if you use a pair of Brilliance displays, there won’t be a lot of space between the left and right images. The downside of making the

Macworld Australia’s buying advice: With Apple currently out of the monitor business, the Philips Brilliance 25in LCD Monitor is a solid and well-priced alternative. It offers good quality images and plenty of adjustment so you can set it up optimally for your desk. C

– ANTHONY CARUANA PHILIPS PROS Lots of ports; plenty of adjustment CONS Fiddly adjustment $569


display so thin, though, is that the power is delivered via a large external supply. As well as offering height adjustment – an important feature so you can set up your desk in an ergonomically sound manner, the Brilliance can be rotated. This means you can use it in portrait orientation as well as the standard landscape. For those who work with documents this can be a better way to work. It can also be tilted. One of the problems with many LCDs, particularly low-cost ones, is that their viewing angle is limited. Once you’re off-centre they can be hard to read. The Brilliance employs an IPS LCD. IPS stands for In Plane Switching. It delivers a high-quality image that can be seen at wider viewing angles. Optimising the image for your work environment is a little fiddly. The touch-sensitive buttons on the bottom bezel aren’t clearly labelled and getting things just right will require dropping the brightness from the outof-the box default of full brightness. Once I did that, colours were much more vibrant and blacks were deeper. It’s important to note the Brilliance isn’t designed for high accuracy colour reproduction – it’s an office monitor designed for general use.




HP DeskJet 3720 All-in-One


here was a time when all-inone printers that could print, scan and copy cost an arm and a leg, and took up a tonne of space. But HP’s DeskJet 3720 turns that on its head. When I first took this multifunction device out of the box I had to check that it really was an all-in-one as it barely takes up more space than a compact printer. The DeskJet 3720 supports both USB and Wi-Fi connections. For some reason, HP insists on including a driver CD, which seems wasteful given the printer setup for macOS and Windows will install the latest driver automatically. I used the iOS app to install the device using my iPad. When first turned on, the DeskJet 3720 broadcasts its presence over Wi-Fi. I launched the HP AiO (All-in-One) Remote app, connected to the printer’s wireless network and went through a simple setup process that connected the device to my office network. One thing that I did find annoying is that HP has equipped this device with two cartridges – black and a combination cyan, magenta and yellow. This means if one of the colours in the combination cartridge is used before the others, the entire cartridge needs to be replaced. The cartridges come in two capacities. Standard cartridges, which cost $24 each, are good for about

100 pages each, with high yield ones costing $44 for black and $54 for tri-colour and delivering approximately 300 pages. As well as being able to print using my office network, the DeskJet 3720 can be used via a direct wireless connection. That means if a guest wants to use the printer, they can directly connect wirelessly without accessing the rest of your network. Print performance was very good. I sent a variety of documents including text and text with images to the device. Documents, emails and PDFs containing a combination of different colour, typefaces and borders were printed promptly. Text was clear and images, even on plain paper, looked pretty good. Two pages of text on plain A4 paper was delivered in well under a minute. A more complex threepage PDF was out in a couple of minutes with a photo printed to five by seven photo paper taking a couple of minutes. I also printed photos onto glossy photo paper with the DeskJet 3720. My past experiences with low-cost printers set my expectations quite low, but I was surprised at the quality of the output. Photos taken in a number of settings under natural light, some very unusual artificial lights and professionally shot portraits all looked excellent. Shadows and highlights

were clear and colours were rendered vividly without being overpowering. Scanning worked quite well, but was limited to a single page at a time – there’s no multi-sheet feeding option. I scanned several pages as well as photos and was happy with the results. Once a page is scanned, it can be saved as either a PDF or as a JPG image. Scanned pages could then be printed, making the DeskJet 3720 a handy copier for a small office. Paper handling is perhaps the DeskJet 3720’s greatest weakness. The input tray is limited to about 60 sheets of plain paper, but if you need to use different types of paper then there’s just a single tray. Macworld Australia’s buying advice: At just $79 it’s hard to go past the HP DeskJet 3720 if you need a printer that delivers good output as long as your print volumes are modest. This makes it a good option for students or sole traders. C

– ANTHONY CARUANA HP PROS Small; easy setup; AirPrint CONS Tri-colour consumables; paper handling $79

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