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iOS 10

Secrets of Apple’s apps revealed p44

Discover the hidden power of Apple’s cloud syncing service on all your devices p20

HOW TO : Use iWork’s live collaboration tools Run old Mac software and OS versions Master iOS 10’s new notifications Make a video slideshow on iOS

the New

MacBook Pro reviewed! Worth the hype?




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Master iCloud Drive

The ultimate Mac survival guide

The power of Apple apps

iCloud Drive enables you to work smarter across your Mac and iOS devices. Here’s our guide to getting the best out of Apple’s online storage service…

Keep your Mac secure. Prevent unnecessary crashes. Fix problems. It’s all here in our detailed survival guide!

Delve deeper into Apple’s latest iOS apps and you’ll find communication and productivity features that’ll boost the capabilities of your iOS device.


Check out our latest subscription offers on p52

We explore all the benefits that iCloud Drive brings to macOS and iOS. jan 2017 3

>>> Contents






Scanbot 6 Pro



Matt Bolton ponders the concept that ”computers are bicycles for our minds.”




MyScript Nebo






Head over to




Premiere Elements 15


OmniGraffle 7



The Complete Fairytale Play Theater


Acronis True Image 2017




Aurora HDR 2017


Mini Metro




The Bug Butcher


Radio Silence


Invisible, Inc.




6 brain-testing iOS games




Lumo Lift

100 Use iWork’s new Collaboration feature


Satechi Slim Aluminum Keypad





Lifestyle-enhancing gadgets for your home.


Apple TV Apps and hardware for your Apple TV.



FM Radio PRO

6 great accessories for the new MacBook Pros


Cat Translator Deluxe

Get more from USB-C and Thunderbolt 3.


AtomicBox Arcade


Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless

Game Loop


How to: Use IFTTT DO Widgets




LaCie Rugged USB-C 4TB

Crave The gear we’re lusting after.


Starry Station

$50 iTunes card


Sid Meier’s Civilization VI


Mad Max

Starry Station

4 jan 2017

Run very old Mac software

106 Make your website’s words work 108 Make use of richer iOS notifications 110

Master iOS 10’s Music app


Create a photo slideshow in iMovie


Random Apple Memory

What would you buy…?


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

The Shift

Brianna Wu looks at how Apple needs to up its game against fresh competition.


Get smart

Meet Setapp

David Chartier looks forward to what’s next after the Touch Bar.


Here’s the tech that can give you a sporting edge.


Pro user issues

Is this about to become the Netflix of Mac apps?


Smart sports

Photoshop Elements 15

57 How pro is the MacBook Pro? And a look at ceramic casing for iPhones…






MacBook Pro 13-inch 2GHz Late 2016


The launch of Lisa, and a new generation of computers. Plus, what to expect next issue.

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DaVinci Resolve 12.5 features ResolveFX, an amazing collection of high performance plug-ins such as blurs, light rays, mosaics, and more! You also get transitions, title generators, keyframe animation, speed ramp effects and Fusion Connect, which lets you link and send shots to Fusion for visual effects!

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

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

Read more news, reviews, and tutorials at

EDITORIAL Editor Matt Bolton operations EDITORS Jo Membery, Ed Ricketts CONTRIBUTORS Adam Banks, J.R. Bookwalter, George Cairns, Jamie Carter, David Chartier, Emma Davies, Craig Grannell, Kate Gray, Kenny Hemphill, Cliff Joseph, Joseph Leray, Gary Marshall, Amber Neely, Howard Oakley, Joe Osborne, Nick Peers, Jennifer Phin, Nik Rawlinson, Dave Stevenson, Alan Stonebridge, Luis Villazon, Brianna Wu ART aRT editor Mat Gartside Contributors Apple, Simon Claessen, ThinkStock BUSINESS vice president sales Stacy Gaines, Vice President Strategic Partnerships Isaac Ugay, East coast account director Brandie Rushing, East coast account director Michael Plump, mid west account director Jessica Reinert, west coast account director Austin Park, west coast account director Brandon Wong, west coast account director Tad Perez, director of marketing Robbie Montinola director, client services Tracy Lam Director, retail sales Bill Shewey MANAGEMENT Editorial Director Paul Newman GROUP ART DIRECTOR Graham Dalzell PRODUCTION HEAD OF PRODUCTION UK & US Mark Constance PRODUCTION controller Fran Twentyman Project Manager Clare Scott PRoduction assistant Emily Wood

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The easy guide for Raspberry Pi users PG.32



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Segways for the mind? “I think one of the things that really separates us from the high primates is that we’re tool builders. I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet. The condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. And, humans came in with a rather unimpressive showing, about a third of the way down the list. It was not too proud a showing for the crown of creation. So, that didn’t look so good. But, then somebody at Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency of locomotion for a man on a bicycle. And, a man on a bicycle, a human on a bicycle, blew the condor away, completely off the top of the charts. “And that’s what a computer is to me. What a computer is to me is it’s the most remarkable tool that we’ve ever come up with, and it’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.” That’s a Steve Jobs quote, and it’s one I’ve been thinking about a lot in the context of the new MacBook Pros Apple has released. Tools are created to solve a problem for the people who use them. To relieve a burden. The new MacBook Pros have an all-new way of doing this in the form of the Touch Bar, but with their only data connections being Thunderbolt 3 ports, you now need adapters for many different totally standard connection types. The previous Pros handled this burden with their SD card readers, standard USB 3 ports, Thunderbolt 2 ports, and HDMI. Now Apple has placed this burden on you. You must make sure that you never forget your adapters wherever you go. If your work depends on it, and you’ve forgotten or dropped one, you suffer. The question is whether the balance of new features is worth it. This will depend on your situation – for me, the Touch Bar models are a good fit (we didn’t receive them in time to fully review this issue). But it still makes we wonder whether we can confidently say the new Pros are bicycles for the mind, or more like Segways, adding as many complications as they solve.

>>>the team

Mat Gartside Art Editor Mat’s glad there’s a 2TB iCloud Drive option now. He has a lot of cat pics.

Jo Membery Operations Editor Jo’s Desktop is a mess, but at least it’s a mess across all her devices!

Gary Marshall Contributor Gary is switching from Dropbox to iCloud Drive. He’s a bit tense.

Matt Bolton, Editor Twitter: @matthewbbolton

8 Jan 2017

Your opinions, rants & raves

Your article on email signing and encrypting (#121, p104), was easily one of the most important pieces I’ve seen in quite some time. Good job! You helped me make my own selfsigned certificate, something which is entirely adequate for my needs. It’s far easier than the one-year certs that I’ve used in the past. You really need to do more on this topic because of the continued threat of email hacking. I’m not a national figure, and not doing illegal activities, but I don’t like the thought that other people might read my mail. We live in a new “normal,” and your information helps make our lives a bit more secure. Keep up the good work! Alan Wilcox I’m really glad you found this article helpful – by now you’ll have seen our follow up in issue #122 extending this to iOS, too. We’ve been gently increasing our coverage of apps and services relating to personal privacy, such as file encryption apps, or tools such as Radio Silence on p75, because we agree that people need to know how to protect their sensitive data. We believe macOS 10.13 will offer new, powerful tools too.

We use Alt, but you’ve got Options. your Mac. Just drag and drop. They also include backup tools for your iPhone’s data overall, or for individual elements, such your messages, calendar, contacts, and so on. In fact, iMazing is included with the Setapp subscription software package – see p12!

Alt beef

Control Center offers shortcuts, but could they be shorter?

Airplane turbulence

Classic connection

Every app capable of connecting to the internet displays a tiny airplane icon in the upper left corner of the screen when in Airplane mode. Couldn’t Apple make it a switch for turning that mode off, rather than requiring us to thumb up the Control Center, tap the airplane icon there, and then dismiss Control Center to return to what we were doing? Doug

What do you guys recommend as the best software I can use to transfer content stored on my Apple iPod Classic to my iTunes library? David Hill

Once upon a time, we’d have said Apple reserves tapping the top bar for skipping to the top of a page, but as of iOS 9 it included the “back” button up there to take you back to previous apps, so maybe it would consider adding an option like this in the future.


PodTrans ( is a free app designed to transfer music to and from an iPod without needing to use iTunes sync, so is probably your first step for this task. Other iOS device management apps that we’ve reviewed in the past can also help here: iMazing 2 ( is our current pick of these, but there’s also iExplorer ( Both cost $39, but also enable you to transfer any data between your iPod, iPhone, or iPad and

If you can show me one Apple keyboard with an “Alt” key on it, I’ll buy you lunch. It just aggravates me every time I see it in Mac|Life. Why? Nick Make mine a Reuben sandwich, Nick, because every one of Apple’s current keyboards has a key labeled Alt. Some know it as the Option key (which it’s also currently labeled as), and Apple has used the å symbol for it. The problem is that Apple hasn’t been consistent with its labeling over the years – some older keyboards say Option, while some don’t, but do use the symbol. Some had both! For a time, Apple was selling different keyboards with different versions of the Alt key, but they all still said Alt, so that’s what we go with.

Email: Facebook: Twitter: jan 2017 9



See our latest subscription offers p52

Is Apple keeping up with the kind of advances pro users are crying out for?

Is Apple leaving the Mac’s pro users behind? With the arrival of the new MacBook Pros, some are wondering if there are too many cons in Apple’s Pros BY Matt Bolton

10 jan 2017

Apple’s recently released new MacBook Pro line-up was the kind of dramatic redesign that usually excites its community of users, but reaction to the two new 13-inch models and the 15-inch model has been mixed. The new models are smaller in volume, thinner, and lighter than their predecessors – the 13-inch model is thinner than the MacBook Air, even. They have updated processors with more powerful graphics chips, and new brighter screens with the wide color gamut seen in the iPhone 7 and Retina iMacs. And they have the Touch Bar – a touchscreen strip that replaces the function keys above the keyboard, offering controls depending on the context of the app you’re in. (The low-end 13-inch model on p64 includes a row of function keys still.) It’s an impressive redesign, bringing elements of the 12-inch MacBook and iPad Pro designs into the

Feed your mind. Feast your eyes.

Will your next iPhone be ceramic? Why it might (and might not) be Apple’s material of the future BY Matt Bolton notebooks. But it has high-end users asking questions about some of Apple’s decisions. high-end hopes The new MacBook Pros are limited to a maximum of 16GB of RAM, for example, due to the use of LPDDR3 RAM, which is a low-power memory type, to extend the Pros’ battery life. The 16GB restriction is a limitation of the Intel chips Apple is using, but if Apple had opted to use DDR4 RAM, it could have offered a 32GB option – but battery life would have been lower. For most people, 16GB is much more than enough RAM… but Macs have never been about just the majority’s needs. For high-end video and image-editing pros, or developers working with many virtual machines, 16GB can be very limiting. Similarly, it includes only Thunderbolt 3 ports for connectivity. These are very flexible, powerful ports, but pros with existing accessories they rely on will require adapters. Apple did cut the price of adapters to mitigate this, however. These changes come on top of Apple having not updated the Mac Pro for over 1,000 days, the Mac mini for over 750, and forcing high-end apps to either dumb down or leave the Mac App Store due to technical restrictions placed on apps there. Each problem isn’t the end of the world in itself, but when viewed as a whole, it leaves pros wondering if Apple really gets them still.

An iPhone with an edge-toedge display has been rumored for a while, but while it’s easy to imagine an iPhone with a screen that fills the front face, it’s much harder to engineer it. One of the major problems is with the strength of the frame around it – as you go thinner and thinner and take away space for support, aluminum could be too soft for the job. An alternative material is needed, and one that Apple has recently started using for the first time is perfect for the job: ceramic. The new Apple Watch Edition is made in white ceramic, which is four times harder than stainless steel. It also dissipates heat well, and it looks just fantastic. In fact, its glossy white finish is a fine pair with the new Jet Black finish on the iPhone 7 – and goes intriguingly with a rumor that Apple is planning a “Jet White” iPhone in the same shiny finish as the Jet Black model. The material also wouldn’t scratch in the same way the Jet Black iPhone is prone to – ceramic can be as hard as sapphire. As if to show off just how good ceramic can be for phones, Chines manufacturer Xiaomi has already made a handset very similar to what people are predicting for the iPhone. Called the Mi Mix, it has a 6.4-inch edge-to-edge touchscreen, but

because there’s only the tiniest hint of bezel around most of the display, it’s barely any bigger than the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus. Its rear case and buttons are all high-end ceramic, in glossy black. And it’s a real looker. However, there is a problem with ceramic phones: actually making them. Ceramic is a lot harder to manufacture at large scales than aluminum, so while Xiaomi can produce a relative handful of phones to show off its design strength, producing tens of millions is another matter. Apple’s entire manufacturing process is geared for aluminum, and to switch to emulating the ceramic Watch’s process for iPhones, product designer Greg Koenig estimated that Apple would need over 10 times the number of milling machines and an additional 200,000 employees. We hope it happens, but don’t hold your breath.

The Xiaomi Mi Mix is a very cool design.

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

Meet Setapp: the Netflix of Mac apps Subscription service Setapp could be the post-App Store future BY matt bolton

Subscription-based apps are one of the biggest trends in software right now. After Adobe proved how successful it could be for pros with Creative Cloud, lots of consumer apps are beginning to experiment with it as a source of income – especially with Apple announcing that it would allow more apps on the App Store to use subscriptions. The problem is making this work for us, the users: if we use a dozen apps, and they all want a subscription, it could really add up. The reason Creative Cloud works so well is that it offers a range of software, but most of the Mac apps we know and love are from indies with just one or two products. But there may be a solution. Setapp ( is a new service, currently in beta, that promises to be the Netflix of Mac software, 12 jan 2017

providing you with access to over 40 apps from different developers, ranging from useful little utilities to big creative software. You get the likes of HTML5 animation studio app Hype; word processor Ulysses; iPhone data transfer app iMazing 2; duplicate file finder Gemini II; personal finance software Chronicle; and lots more. At the moment, the planned price at launch is $9.99 per month, and the whole thing is really easy to use. You download the Setapp app, sign up, and a folder is added to your Application folder, containing icons for all available apps. To use one, just double-click it like any other; an installer screen appears and the app is downloaded, ready for use. It’s simplicity itself, and having all the apps at your fingertips even before you technically install them is especially cool. In a world where more people than ever are willing to try software, but few are willing to pay, Setapp is a really bold experiment, bringing the Mac app community closer together. Developers don’t have to worry about the restrictions the Mac App Store enforces, and users get the latest versions, with new apps added in the future. Most importantly, there’s nothing like it on any other platform. With an even more rounded collection of apps, we’d go so far as to say Setapp could be the Mac’s killer app for the future in a way the Mac App Store should have been, but never was – cementing it as the computer platform with the best tools, readily available.

>the shift Change is coming to Apple’s notebooks, and david chartier says the new Touch Bar shows us the direction


e often hear how Apple is an iterative company. It plots and plans, they say, and rolls out new ideas and technologies in a gradual, deliberate process in order to train us for what’s coming next. I believe this is what’s happening with the new MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar. I think something major this way comes. Think about the first iPhone in 2007 – no App Store, no copy or paste, no App Extensions, no Document Providers, no iMessage... not even multitasking or folders. Year after year, Apple rolled out a couple of the features we now take for granted, trying not to hit us with too much too quickly. The little details can ebb and flow, but there was always a greater vision, a course plotted. Now think about the Touch Bar. A replacement for the whole Function key bar, the Touch Bar can display basic buttons, rich color palettes, music- and photo-editing tools, you name

The MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar? I think something major this way comes…

it. As a sign of its commitment, Apple highlighted new Touch Bar features and controls for nearly all of its own apps. Clearly, it’s been working on this for a while. I believe the Touch Bar represents the start of something significant – a set of training wheels for a major new shift, this time for notebooks and possibly even traditional desktop computers. Reading between the lines of recent interviews with Apple execs like Craig Federighi, Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, and Chief Design Officer, Jony Ive, I believe Apple is preparing us for a new kind of desktop, laptop, and/or other type of computing experience that incorporates touch and contextual interfaces at its core. If we speculate about the next step after the Touch Bar, it seems pretty clear to me that a multitouch, color trackpad in MacBooks could be next. Apple already spent the last couple years turning it into glass, removing the physical movement, and adding 3D Touch and haptic feedback – the foundation is all there, now it just needs to turn into a screen. But what about the keyboard? Well, new MacBooks have a much thinner keyboard with keys that travel far less than any other

MacBook, and touchscreen typing is becoming the norm for a new generation of customers, an increasing number which have grown up touchscreen-first and, in some cases, touchscreen-only. After the trackpad takes the next step into touch, something like a touch-based, haptic-powered keyboard that is also a contextual,

The Touch Bar’s contextual capabilities are impressive, and a sign of things to come. multitouch display doesn’t seem too far-fetched anymore. The last piece of this puzzle is the software that will power it all. macOS has too much core design centered around mouse pointers and clunky file systems. It would be something entirely new – not iOS scaled up for desktops, and not macOS with bolted on touch-based options. Something built to fit the needs of a new kind of computer.

>>> David Chartier is a content strategist and writer with vast experience analyzing the tech world. He runs the website Finer Things in Tech ( and hosts its podcast, The Finer Things In. jan 2017 13

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

6 great accessories for the new MacBook Pros Get more from USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 with these add-ons BY Matt Bolton

LG’s UltraFine 5K display opens up a world of color. And offers three USB Type-C ports. a magnetic breaking point.

Just like Apple’s MagSafe connectors, Griffin BreakSafe’s breaking point design means the cable will detach when it’s suddenly pulled, saving your notebook from a dangerous drop.

Apple’s redesigned 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros are its thinnest and lightest pro-level notebooks ever, and along with that change in design comes a change in its ports. The new models include four Thunderbolt 3 ports and a headphone jack as their only connections (the $1,299 model that doesn’t include the Touch Bar has two Thunderbolt 3 ports). This brand new connection type is physically the same as USB Type-C, as seen on the 12-inch MacBook, making the two connectors interchangeable. It’s also how you’ll power the new notebooks. A new design and new connection type means new add-ons, too, so we’ve collected six of the best MacBook Pro accessories.

14 jan 2017

Satechi USB-C Combo Hub This tiny multiport hub plugs into a USB Type-C port, and provides three standard USB 3 ports, as well as SD card and microSD card readers. For $35, it’s a no-brainer.

Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock HD Taking advantage of Thunderbolt 3’s

40Gbps speeds, this dock provides Ethernet, three USB 3 ports, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, DisplayPort video output, and more. It can support two 4K displays at once.

Griffin BreakSafe Worried about the lack of MagSafe charging on the new MacBooks? This USB Type-C cable adds it back in – one of its connectors has

LG UltraFine 5K Display Connect this 5K display to your MacBook Pro using a single Thunderbolt 3 cable for glorious 5K images in a wide color gamut. It also acts as a connection hub, thanks to its three USB Type-C ports.

Kanex USB-C to HDMI 4K Adapter Want to plug your new MacBook Pro into a TV? This $20 adapter can handle up to 4K.

iKlear Cleaning Kit No one wants to have a fingerprintsmeared Touch Bar. This kit will keep it clean!

Take advantage of Thunderbolt 3’s 40Gbps speeds with Belkin’s comprehensive HD dock.

>game loop Apple is dominant in portable gaming, but a new device is coming. Brianna wu looks at how Apple needs to step up its game


he 2007 release of the iPhone is probably the most seminal event in technology history. It devastated camera sales and portable music devices, and sent the game industry into a tailspin. As Apple monopolized the casual game market, Wii sales plummeted and Microsoft and Sony were forced to concentrate on hardcore gamers. Nintendo’s 3DS and Wii U stumbled hard out of the gate, sharing the casual market with increasingly ubiquitous Apple devices. Enter 2016 and the release of the Nintendo Switch - the first truly post-iPhone console. It’s a sexy concept - a thin tablet that can be placed in a dock to play on your television, or thrown in a bag to play on the go. The controllers

Versatility and affordability should make the Nintendo Switch a popular gaming option.

are versatile, and can be snapped on the sides to play games like Zelda - or unsnapped to play multiplayer games with friends. Most Nintendo hardware has a cheap, toy-like feel - but the Switch understands it’s competing with iPads and iPhones. Even though sales of games on iPhone are slowing, the tablet market is still strong. Last year, games sales on mobile eclipsed consoles. Nintendo knows this, which is why its newest console aims directly at that market. We don’t know what the price will be for Nintendo Switch, but it’s all but certain it will be cheaper than a PS4 or Xbox One; for the price of an entry level iPad, gamers will have an entertainment device that can be used as a tablet and an Apple TV. As with their past consoles, it’s a good bet that steaming services like Netflix will be available. From a hardware perspective, the Nintendo Switch is made with a very popular Android architecture: Tegra. While it’s unlikely the Switch will be built to natively run Android games, it’s not out of the question. Fortunately, there’s a lot Apple can do to cement their position as the mobile game leader. Somehow, Apple still doesn’t have a mascot in 2016. Nintendo has Mario, Sega

has Sonic, Apple needs a character that speaks to their values. Apple also needs their own high-profile first-party games, free of In-App Purchases. Without these exclusive offerings, Apple’s gaming ecosystem will continue to be a series of ephemeral experiences. Apple also need to work with developers to improve controller support on Apple TV games. One of the biggest draws of the Nintendo Switch is the mobility from couch to coffee shop. On iOS, features

Apple can’t expect its mobile domination to go unchallenged – it must be ready to fight

such as iCloud and Continuity are already built to compete, but Apple doesn’t have game experiences that draw you in. Chances are, this would also boost iPad sales. There’s no company that makes accessible games like Nintendo. Yet, despite having better games, they’ve been losing to Apple hardware for almost 10 years. In 2017, Apple can’t expect its mobile domination to go unchallenged - they better show up ready to fight.

>>> Brianna Wu is the head of development at Giant Spacekat, developer of Revolution 60 on iPhone and iPad, and is a regular speaker at industry events, as well as host on the podcasts Isometric and Rocket. jan 2017 15

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


Naim Uniti Atom Around $2,000 >>> While Naim is marketing the Uniti Atom as an “all-in-one music player,” you do actually have to add speakers… and it’s multiroom too, so that’s more than one pair. Still, the highfidelity sound is incredible, while the wireless connectivity and app control work faultlessly (as does the remote, which pairs with the device so you can even use it from a different room). You can stream over AirPlay, Spotify, Tidal, and more, or plug in a USB drive. The software can also receive over-the-air updates, effectively futureproofing the system.

16 jan 2017

Oakley Radar Pace smartglasses $449 >>> The Oakley Radar Pace smartglasses are very clever indeed for runners or cyclists. Pairing with external sensors (speed, distance, and so on) and internal sensors (accelerometer, gyroscope), they feed performance data to the Radar Pace app and provide a personalized coaching system, relaying information via a pair of removable earphones. The glasses are primarily hands-free, but you can also interact using taps and swipes on the touchpad in the temple. The lenses themselves filter out UV rays and have been tested to high-impact standards.

Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature headphones $899 >>> To celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary, Bowers & Wilkins has developed the gorgeous P9 Signature headphones. A slanted driver improves the fit of the earcup, which in turn helps to eliminate distortion, producing the kind of audio you’d expect from high-quality loudspeakers. The headband and earcups are made from fine Italian cross-hatch leather. The headphones are wired only – register the purchase of a pair of these headphones from early 2017 onwards, and you’ll receive a complimentary Lightning cable.

Star Trek TNG Bluetooth Communications Badge $79.95 >>> “In my experience, communication is a matter of patience, imagination,” says Captain Jean-Luc Picard. But now, it’s also a thing of frivolous sci-fi cosplaying! Star Trek fans can pay homage to their heroes with this fully functional, officially licensed Bluetooth communications badge. Connect your phone, iPad, or Mac to enjoy hands-free chat, or give it a press to access Siri. You even get the classic “chirp” sound effect to emulate that genuine Enterprise experience. While it may not be made to the highest of specs considering the price, it is a working device, and a lot of fun. jan 2017 17

>>> Start

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

The BFG Mark Rylance, Penelope Wilton, Ruby Barhill $19.99 Steven Spielberg and Roald Dahl are one hell of a match, and this new version of The BFG lets the renowned director mix the heart and flair he puts into his films with the creepiness and emotion of Dahl’s story. The film follows 10-year-old Sophie after she spots a mysterious figure lurking the streets after dark, and is whisked off to the world of giants, who aren’t all as kindly as the Big Friendly Giant. Visually, it’s just as inventive as it should be, too – especially the dream world. It’s very true to its source material, in the best possible way.

18 jan 2017

SteamWorld Heist Image & Form $6.99 We recently reviewed this turn-based game of cartoony robots having shoot-outs when it released on the Mac, and gave it a glowing verdict – and the iOS port works excellently. You’ll steer a ragtag crew of robots around a galaxy, trying to stop the threat of scrappers turning your rusty friends into spare parts through carefully aimed gunplay. Levels are freshly created every time you play, so it’s never quite the same, and different levels can have different restrictions or objectives, keeping things interesting. It’s really well written, and super fun.

Born to run Bruce Springsteen $14.99 No, not the album: the book. A few years off his 70th birthday, Bruce Springsteen reveals the full story of a life of rock and roll stardom with this autobiography, tracking everything from his musical awakening and religious upbringing, the early days of being a band leader in New Jersey, hitting the big time with the E Street Band, to his life now. It’s an amazingly open and honest book, where he reveals as many mistakes as triumphs, and doesn’t try to ignore or spin the low times. It tells you huge amount about the man behind the icon, giving you an ever greater insight into his music.

I’m Alone, No You’re Not Joseph $7.99 This second album from family band Joseph (made up of three sisters) is full of rich melodies driven by acoustic instruments. It moves deftly from ’70s-style harmonies and pounding drums, to more soulful fare that floats along through twanging guitar chords. It’s engrossing, really enjoyable stuff, perfect to lose yourself in for the cold winter days.

TOTAL spend


The premier source for everything video games, TV, films, and more.

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iCloud Drive

20 jan 2017

Master iCloud Drive

With iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, iCloud Drive has grown up. Find out how to make the most of Apple’s documentsanywhere approach by Craig Grannell


e’ve come a long way from the days when that sole copy of an important document went up in smoke if your computer happened to have a bad day. Today, the internet enables you to store all manner of content in the cloud, safe in the knowledge you can later retrieve it, while simultaneously adding the convenience factor of easy access across a range of devices. The snag is that cloud-based storage can be a tricky concept to get your head around, and available services each have various limitations and quirks you must be aware of. Apple’s iCloud Drive is – as of macOS Sierra and iOS 10 – perhaps the most intuitive example of cloud storage on the market and yet even that is something you need to figure out and master. Fortunately, Mac|Life has done the heavy lifting for you. In this feature, we explore how iCloud Drive works across the Mac, iPhone and iPad, how to share your Desktop and Documents folders, privacy concerns to be aware of, what eats into your storage allocation, and the importance of backing up your iCloud Drive data. jan 2017 21

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iCloud and your devices Find out how iCloud Drive works on your Mac, iPhone and iPad One of the least appealing aspects of cloud-based storage and syncing services on the Mac has been their tendency to require some kind of special folder. Whether you’re using the likes of Dropbox or Google Drive, you have to alter where you save your files by default, to make them accessible on all your devices. Apple’s system with iCloud Drive still uses a particular dedicated folder (named “iCloud Drive” unsurprisingly), but its thinking is to have the process cause the least amount of impact on your existing habits. Apple’s at its most audacious here with Sierra’s single-click moving of the Desktop and Documents folders to become sub-folders


How to Master iCloud Drive on your Mac

Easy access The fastest way to iCloud Drive in Finder is by pressing ß+ç+I (the shortcut for Go > iCloud Drive). If a Finder window’s open, you can access iCloud Drive from its sidebar, provided that shortcut is enabled in the Sidebar tab in Finder’s preferences.

22 jan 2017

iCloud in apps When opening files from within an app, you can select iCloud Drive from the Open dialog’s sidebar. iCloud Drive locations are also in the Recent Places pop-up menu. Similarly, in Save dialogs, you can save your documents to an app’s iCloud Drive folder.

File management In Finder, you can drag and drop files between iCloud Drive folders, but be mindful of apps that expect their docs to stay in the app‘s own folder, especially when working across macOS and iOS. Within an app, File > Move To lets you move the current document.

Master iCloud Drive

within iCloud Drive (without affecting how you use these two folders normally), which we explore on p26. Elsewhere, apps increasingly have the capability to save documents to their own dedicated folder in iCloud Drive, which can be immediately accessed in the app’s iOS version, should it be fully compatible with the Mac version’s files. The trick is to have apps save to the iCloud Drive folder by default, rather than you having to manually select it. Pages, Keynote and Numbers work like this, for example. GarageBand, however, does not, because the Mac version is more advanced than the one you get on iPhone and iPad (though files created on an iPhone or iPad can be transferred to Mac). These folders are all readily accessible in Finder, too – click the iCloud Drive icon in the Finder sidebar; if it isn’t visible, go to Finder > Preferences, click the Sidebar tab, and ensure iCloud Drive is ticked in the iCloud group. Note that should you later move a file from iCloud Drive to a folder on your Mac’s local storage, an alert will interrupt the action. For example, drag something from TextEdit’s iCloud Drive folder to your Downloads folder and you’ll be prompted to confirm that you’re sure, and stating the item will be “deleted from iCloud Drive and your other iCloud devices.” However, should you choose to delete a file that’s located in iCloud Drive simply by sending it to the Trash, you get no such warning. Although there’s variation in how Mac apps handle file management, differences are much more overt on iOS, which can have a substantial effect on how you interact with iCloud Drive. In the early days of iOS, it was common for apps to save documents in their own dedicated folders. As far as you would see, your documents were being saved “inside” the apps. So, if you want to open a Pages document, you would open Pages first, then the document; contrast this with the Mac, where you can use Finder to locate a document and then double-click it to open an app, or use an Open dialog within an app to navigate the entire file system, rather than one app-specific folder.


Tap Locations in Pages to view alternative storage options.

In many cases, this is still how iOS works. Plenty of apps haven’t moved on at all – you still only get access to files housed in the app’s dedicated folder. Others, such as Apple’s iWork apps, give you access to such a folder as the default for saving work, but add further options. Using the Share icon, you can move a file to a new location within the iCloud Drive folder, or tap Locations to gain access to alternative locations (which you can use to get items from remote servers using the likes of Panic’s Transmit) or iCloud Drive’s document picker, which enables you to create jan 2017 23

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new folders in iCloud Drive beyond just the default app folders, as well as select where you want to save your file. The last of those things is also accessible in the iCloud Drive app. If you don’t see its icon on the Home screen or in Spotlight, search for iCloud Drive on the App Store to access it on your device. (In iOS 9, the app is instead added by going to Settings > iCloud > iCloud Drive and turning on “Show on Home Screen.”) If you remove the app, it won’t affect your documents in iCloud Drive – it just acts as a way for you to view, open, and even rearrange the documents stored there. Just tap a folder to view its contents, and tap a file to open it in an appropriate app, if iOS recognizes that it has one (this works with Pages, Numbers, and Keynote files, for example). If you want to open a file with an other than the default, tap and

hold your finger on it, and choose the Share option, then select the appropriate app. Files without recognized apps will open with a preview if they’re in a format which iOS can read, or otherwise just a view of the file type. You can tap the Share button to select an app in which to open the file. You can also delete the file using the trash can symbol, or move them using the Folder symbol. You can also access the Move option by tapping and holding on a file. If you want to move or delete more than one file at a time, tap Select at the top, tap all the files you want to affect (which adds a check mark), then tap New Folder, Move, or Delete at the bottom, depending on what you want to do with the files. Deleted files can be recovered, but not from the iOS app or Finder – see p30.

explained… iCloud Drive on iOS

24 jan 2017

Build a selection Tap Select to mark and take action on one or more items. Files and folders can be deleted; docs can also be moved, and you can create new folders here, too.

Search for files If you don’t want to hunt through your folders in iCloud Drive, use the Search bar. As you type, matching files and folders will be displayed below.

A different view By default, iCloud Drive displays icons, but you can switch it to a view that’s akin to a hybrid of the List and Column views from Finder, using this button.

The status bar The foot of the screen shows how many files and folders are in the current view and, importantly, displays how much iCloud space you have left.

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Your desktop, anywhere In Sierra, all those files you dump on the desktop can be put online automatically, making them available on any Mac, PC, or iOS device ne big advantage of cloud-based storage is that it frees you from needing to have a specific device to hand in order to get at essential files. If all your files are readily accessible on all of your devices – whether you’re currently using an iMac with a huge screen, putting your feet up with a MacBook, cradling an iPad or iPhone, or even using a PC or Android tablet – you’re freed from having to worry about where you saved an important document and whether you can access it. (At least if your devices can connect to the internet to sync things!) With iCloud Drive, Apple doesn’t yet enable you to sync the entirety of your Mac’s storage to the cloud, but it does now offer an almost absurdly simple method for sharing your Desktop and Documents folders between all your devices. As shown in the walkthrough


26 jan 2017

opposite, the process is as simple as checking a box, waiting a while for everything to upload, and then accessing your files and folders anywhere you’re able to sign in to iCloud. However, there are caveats to be mindful of. First and foremost, iCloud Drive isn’t a bottomless pit. In fact, it’s not even a terribly deep pit if you stick with its free tier, which gives you a miserly 5GB of space, beyond which you have to pay. If you want to store 1TB of data on iCloud Drive – which, admittedly, is pretty excessive – it’ll cost you $9.99 per month. Secondly, iCloud Drive is reliant on internet connectivity to keep everything in sync across your devices. If you have the world’s slowest connection (bear in mind its upload speed is likely slower than downloading), you should perhaps steer clear of putting massive files in iCloud Drive. Sadly, Apple doesn’t provide granularity in iCloud Drive’s settings. We’d love to have the ability to put our Desktop online and keep Documents on local storage. Right now, you can’t do this, so if you want to omit files from iCloud Drive, you must put them in other folders on your Mac. However, Sierra makes allowances for when you have lots of free space in iCloud Drive but little on your Mac; it stores locally files it thinks you’ll need (those you’ve used recently) and keeps others online; they stay where you left them in Finder, with a cloud icon, and download on demand.

Master iCloud Drive

How to Work with Desktop and Documents in iCloud

Set things up During Sierra’s install, you’ll be asked whether to store Desktop and Documents folders in iCloud Drive. If you initially declined, you can enable it in iCloud’s System Preferences pane: click Options next to iCloud Drive and check Desktop & Documents Folders.

Try an older Mac Although pre-Sierra Macs can’t sync Desktop and Documents to iCloud Drive, they can access those synced from Sierra. In Finder, pick Go > iCloud Drive. Items dragged from iCloud Drive to a pre-Sierra Mac are moved; hold Alt at the same time for a copy.

Access your files Files awaiting upload or in the process of uploading show a progress indicator. Once done, there’s no real sign anything’s changed with your Desktop and Documents folders compared to El Capitan, other than them being under iCloud in Finder’s sidebar.

iCloud Drive on iOS In iOS’s iCloud Drive app, you can access Desktop and Documents folders synced from Sierra. Tap a folder to open it, then tap a file to download and view (if its type is supported). Alternatively, tap the Share icon to send the item to another app for viewing or editing.

Use multiple Macs If you activate syncing of Desktop and Documents on more than one Mac, their contents and changes are synced to those Macs (if online). If a Mac joins in later, its Desktop/ Documents go in a folder named after the Mac; things aren’t merged for you.

Find files online When you’re using a non-Apple device, you can get to your files: sign in using your Apple ID at and click iCloud Drive. Your folders will (sometimes slowly) load. This works in Chrome on Android by checking “Request Desktop site” in the menu. jan 2017 27

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Get more from iCloud Drive Top tips for working smarter with online storage

Deal with conflicts One of the dangers in having documents stored in the cloud is they can potentially be open on multiple devices simultaneously. When that happens, the app in question should alert you that modifications are not in sync, and outline the open versions of the document, and what devices are using them. You can then pick which version or versions to keep. >

Upload using a web browser We noted earlier you can get at your files in iCloud Drive by signing in to By clicking the upload button there, you can select a document to send to the folder you’re viewing. This can be useful if you use a PC at work, want to read a document on your iPad on the way home, and work on it in a compatible Mac app in the evening. >

Manage Should you have Mac or iOS apps you don’t want to use iCloud Drive for storage, access can be disabled individually. Mac: Go to System Preferences > iCloud and click Options next to iCloud Drive. In Documents, clear the checkboxes next to the relevant apps. iOS: Use the switches in Settings > iCloud > iCloud Drive. >

28 jan 2017

transfer Although you can use other services alongside iCloud Drive, easy integration of files and folders across devices might make migration appealing. The simplest way is to drag and drop in Finder – from Dropbox to Documents, say. First, check you have enough space in iCloud, and archive old items offline, so you use less iCloud space and things upload sooner. >

Master iCloud Drive

Don’t duplicate media If you’re using other Apple cloud-based systems, don’t duplicate content within iCloud Drive. There’s no point using iCloud Music Library in iTunes and iOS’s Music app and storing identical copies of your audio files in iCloud Drive – at that point, you’re effectively paying twice.

local documents If you put Desktop and Documents in iCloud, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a local folder, too. In your Home folder, add a folder for things you want to keep locally, call it Local Documents and file consistently so you know where specific items are located, and add it to Finder’s sidebar, too.


Use the Dock Adding iCloud Drive folders to the Dock can present interesting options. Drag a folder from Drive to the right part of the Dock for quick access. Also, in Finder hold Alt, choose Go > Library and drag Mobile Documents to the Dock for access to synced iCloud files – beyond even those you can see in Finder. This is useful for backing up content created by iOS apps that lack their own iCloud Drive folder but still save there – say, shared audio projects in Korg Gadget, or saved progress for games.



Make more folders By default, iCloud Drive will contain folders for those apps that have created one for their documents. If you’re syncing your Mac’s Desktop and Documents folders, they’ll also be located there. However, there’s nothing to stop you adding your own folders. On your Mac, do so the usual way (File > New Folder in Finder). On iOS, use the iCloud Drive app: go to the folder where you want to make a new one, tap Select and then tap New Folder. In the dialog, give your folder a name and tap Create. > jan 2017 29

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Check storage levels You can see how much of your iCloud storage allowance you’ve used in Settings > iCloud on an iOS device, in System Preferences > iCloud on Mac, or at by choosing the Settings option. You can upgrade your storage to a bigger plan from the first two of these options.

Recover deleted data In’s Settings option, scroll to the bottom to see four options: Restore Files; Restore Contacts; Restore Calendars and Reminders; Restore Bookmarks. If you’ve recently deleted data in these categories and have come to regret it, you can view recently deleted files here, and bring them back!



project dependencies One of the new features in iCloud Drive is Optimize Mac Storage (in iCloud’s preferences, under iCloud Drive > Options > Documents). The idea is if your Mac lacks the storage to contain all your iCloud Drive documents, older items will be stored online. Such prioritization should be seamless, but we’ve seen reports that the system does not always recognize when you have projects reliant on a number of external files. For example, design, video, and audio apps often require templates and resource files. If Sierra decides some aren’t current, they may sit in iCloud rather than on your Mac, causing issues – not least if you’re offline when you need them. There are workarounds: don’t use Optimize Mac Storage; carry a copy of all your docs; or store key projects in a local folder. >

disable sync You would think that if you decided to stop syncing Desktop & Documents to iCloud Drive, Apple would leave your files and folders alone, and no longer sync them to iCloud. Instead, Apple creates fresh, empty Desktop & Documents folders in your Home folder. If you want docs from iCloud back, you must manually move or copy them from iCloud Drive. Moving them will free up space on iCloud Drive, but they won’t be >

30 jan 2017

available on other devices; copying them doubles the space they take up, as there’ll be two copies. Should you later re-enable the feature, the freshly made folders vanish. Anything in them is placed in the folder of the same name in iCloud Drive, in a folder named after the computer it came from (say, “Documents – Mac mini”). Turn the feature off and on several times and you may end up with several such folders, and a mess.

Master iCloud Drive

iCloud, privacy and security Worried about the safety of cloud services? Keep your account and data safe ecurity and privacy are major concerns when utilizing any cloud-based service. Ultimately, any data that’s online could in theory be accessed by someone other than you. Of course, Apple makes it extremely tough for anyone to break into your account, through a mix of technology and recommendations. Apple states iCloud “uses a minimum of 128-bit AES encryption – the same level of security employed by major financial institutions – and never provides encryption keys to any third parties.” Apple adds that encryption keys for the likes of iCloud Keychain (which syncs Safari usernames and passwords, payment card info, and Wi-Fi network details) are created on your devices, and Apple can’t access the keys, nor can it see or access your data. When setting up, devices require approval from another, already authorized device to ensure nothing


untoward is going on. But when it comes to simply signing into iCloud Drive and other services or content that use your Apple ID, they are by default protected only by your username and password. The former is an email address and may be easy to guess; therefore, ensure your password is not easy to work out. Similarly, when asked to input answers to security questions, obscurity is recommended. Social engineering could enable someone to blaze through such a thin barrier if they know enough about you, but not if rather than entering the street you grew up on, you instead use a string of symbols that you note down somewhere safe so you yourself can later refer to them. Under lock and key To further secure your account, turn on two-factor authentication. This can be started in System Preferences’ iCloud pane: click Account Details, then the Security tab.

e m a i l a dd r ess es ca n b e g u ess e d : m a k e passwo r d s t r i c ky Turn on two-factor authentication and run through the process. Once done, when you sign in to Apple services using your Apple ID you’ll be asked to verify your identity with a six-digit code sent to another device, or a phone number you trust. When it comes to privacy in general, it’s also worth noting that Apple talks about the subject a lot, including at its high-profile events. Apple wears high standards when it comes to privacy like a badge of honor, because it wants you to trust the company and sell you more hardware and services. You’re not the product to be sold in your relationship with Apple – which isn’t the case to the same extent with some of Apple’s competition. To read more about Apple’s stance on iCloud security and privacy, read its tech note at The company also offers a specific note regarding security and iCloud at jan 2017 31

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iCloud Drive myths debunked Discover what uses your iCloud space and whether backups are still necessary (spoiler: they are)

wo areas where there are often misconceptions regarding iCloud relate to storage space and the safety of data (in the sense of iCloud being treated like a backup system). If you plan to use iCloud Drive a lot, you need to be aware that doing so almost certainly won’t be free. Apple provides just 5GB of storage per iCloud account, and in some cases that’s not enough for a single iOS device backup. Right now, Apple offers four paid tiers: 50GB for 99¢; 200GB for $2.99; 1TB for $9.99; 2TB for $19.99. These charges are billed monthly. So, how do you know how much space you’ll need? Well, if you run out, you’ll be alerted and iCloud Drive will stop syncing until you either shell out more money to upgrade to a more expensive tier, or you free up space by deleting content stored in iCloud. Things are a bit more


As you commit more data to iCloud and outgrow the 5GB of space Apple gives you for free, you can get more for a monthly fee.

complicated than that, though, because not everything you store in iCloud counts against your storage plan. In short, the following eat into your iCloud storage plan space: iOS device backups; iCloud Photo Library; email and attachments in an iCloud email account; data within apps that use iCloud; anything synced using iCloud Drive (including Desktop and Documents folders). Photo Stream, however, does not count against your iCloud storage plan, nor does Apple Music – including matched and uploaded files (since you’re paying for that separately). Purchased content from iTunes (apps, games, movies and so on) also doesn’t count against your storage, unless you download files to a synced folder. Don’t do that, though, since you can always access such files through iTunes on Mac, or by using relevant apps (App Store; iTunes; Music) on iOS. Burgeoning demand If money’s no object, go for a tier that will give you room to breathe beyond all the data you currently need to store online. If you’re prudent, spend a little time managing what gets put there. You could, for example, just put current work in Desktop and Documents and archive old and completed projects to a local folder on your Mac. It’s also worth periodically clearing out and archiving files saved within iCloud apps, which can sometimes be weighty, especially with high-quality audio files and multi-layered images made in photo editors like Pixelmator. As noted earlier, the other subject that can cause confusion about cloud storage is the notion that it always safeguards data, protecting files and folders in case of a local storage disaster. There is some truth in this.

32 jan 2017

Master iCloud Drive

Should your MacBook suffer a sudden drinks spillage or take a tumble, you can access your iCloud Drive from another device, and sync them to a replacement Mac. But that doesn’t mean iCloud Drive shouldn’t be treated with a little caution. First, it’s worth remembering that Sierra is new, and so it will have kinks that need ironing out. If one such kink were to blaze through your files like a forest fire, you may have a problem. Similarly, iCloud in general occasionally loses a random thing. When that’s a Calendar entry, it can be frustrating. If it were to happen to a report you’ve been working on for months, it could be careerending. Then there’s the issue that iCloud Drive only enables you to restore or get at files that still exist. Accidentally wipe a file and it vanishes from all of your devices. Fortunately, there are ways to protect against disaster. If you delete something by mistake, sign in to, click Settings, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Restore Files (under Advanced). You’ll see a list of items you can restore to their previous

location on iCloud Drive. It’s worth noting that anything deleted over 30 days ago is gone, though. On that basis, it’s worth investigating a backup system to regularly back up your Mac and keep older files safe. Time Machine is a great start, but if you want more flexibility, we’ve got you covered: see p43. Selective, scheduled backups Regular readers may recall we recommend making bootable clones of Macs in addition to using Time Machine, but that’s not what we want here. Instead, we want to safeguard only whatever new files you store on iCloud Drive. In Get Backup Pro, you could schedule a daily backup of your iCloud Drive folder only to an external drive, and set “Delete older backup versions” to Never, so you can dive back through your files in an emergency. If you use SuperDuper! (see p42), you could use its “Copy newer” or “Copy different” settings; click Options and look under the General tab. Respectively, they overwrite files only when newer or different ones are found, so you just back up new or changed files in iCloud Drive.

The contents of your iCloud Music Library aren’t counted against your iCloud storage; your Apple Music or iTunes Match subscription imposes a 100,000song limit instead. jan 2017 33

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Mac The ultimate

survival guide Nik Rawlinson equips you with the knowledge you need to keep your data safe and your Mac in working order

SECURE A work computer, games console, family planner, photo album, and a music library… your Mac is an integral part of your life. To prevent that information falling into somebody else’s hands, or your Mac being compromised by outside attack, we’ll walk you through various options for tightening its security. 1

34 jan 2017

PREVENT Prevention really is better than cure when the “cure” for a significant crash could be spending days trying to reclaim your data. Take practical steps to monitor your Mac when a problem crops up, or even ahead of time, and you can predict or forestall problems before disaster is even able to strike. 2

Mac Survival Guide

RECOVER Should the worst happen, don’t panic – we’ll show you how to fix common Mac problems without reaching for your backups. If you need to seek help, we’ll also show you how to check for obvious hardware faults without first hauling your Mac to a Genius Bar, and how to gather evidence that could help resolve your problem. 3 jan 2017 35

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How to Go beyond the built-in firewall

Install Little Snitch 3 This app (about $35, obdev. at) tracks network traffic going in and out of your Mac. When it detects a new connection it’ll ask whether to allow or block it. 1

36 jan 2017

what to trust If you’re sure you trust the connection, you can authorize it forever or until you quit the associated app. You can deny those you don’t trust on the same basis. 2

Tighter control Pick an alternative duration from the pop-up menu, and specify below whether to block specific ports and services or subdomains on an internet server. 3

Mac Survival Guide


Mac security

Macs are generally considered more secure than PCs, but there are further steps you can take to protect your data

Set your Mac to demand a password immediately after falling asleep or running the screen saver.

Manage rules Over time, the number of alerts will reduce as you give instruction to the app. You can change previous choices by deleting or amending entries in its main window. 4

You’ve already taken a sensible step to keeping data secure: you’ve chosen a Mac. macOS is widely rated as one of the most secure operating systems, and Apple’s continued focus on encryption and privacy is a valid reason to remain optimistic. However, it’s best not to be complacent about security. Local security Start boosting security by setting a strong password, and change it regularly. In the Users & Groups preferences pane, we recommend opting to use your iCloud password to log in if you’re on OS X 10.11 El Capitan or earlier, so you can change it on all of your Macs at once to minimize the duration a cracked system remains vulnerable. This isn’t possible in Sierra, though: it asks you to set a different user account password on first run. Set macOS to demand a password upon waking from sleep or the screen saver in the Security & Privacy pane’s General tab, and minimize the number of apps that have access to core data such as your contacts, calendar, and photos in that pane’s Privacy tab. Network security Go to the Firewall tab and make sure the firewall is switched on. It will run in addition to any firewall on your router to control what can (or

can’t) use your network connection; unlike many firewalls, it enables you to manage communications on a per-app basis, rather than blocking specific ports – more brutal in its effect, but easier to manage. Click Firewall Options and consider unchecking the option to allow signed apps to receive incoming connections automatically. You can also enable stealth mode so that your Mac ignores attempts to probe it with small packets of data; hackers can do that to identify vulnerabilities. By not responding, your Mac won’t give anything away. Finally, boot in macOS Recovery (see p40) and choose Utilities > Firmware Password Utility to stop an intruder resetting account passwords – see for instructions.

macOS’s firewall makes it easy to manage which of your apps can reach the internet. jan 2017 37

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Problem prevention

OS X will often alert you to upcoming problems, if you know where to look Mac old-timers will often advise keeping around 10% of your startup disk free for temporary storage. These days, that figure may seem a bit excessive now that drive capacities are far larger. However, if you’re using an older computer, or a Mac with a small amount of memory, either add more memory or free up some storage to improve performance. Use Activity Monitor to check memory usage; if the Memory Pressure graph regularly shows orange or red, more memory will mean macOS doesn’t have to write the contents of memory used by idle apps out to disk in order to free up some for apps that need it. On a Mac with a hard drive (not flash storage), keep at least the same amount of free storage as your Mac has memory, so the latter’s contents can be saved to disk if the Mac enters Safe Sleep when its battery runs low or it’s left idle for a long time. You might want to think about upgrading to a faster hard drive, or even an SSD, for

If you suspect your Mac isn’t able to run its maintenance scripts automatically, run them yourself in Terminal.

38 jan 2017

further gains – you’ll find visual guides for many Macs at Optimal performance macOS runs optimization scripts overnight if your Mac’s turned on or in sleep mode, but you can force them to run manually at any time by opening Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities) and typing: sudo periodic daily weekly monthly (or any combination of the last three words), then pressing ®. Though macOS is good at keeping things in order, apps can interfere with its settings, causing problems. Permissions define who can access, execute, write to or delete a file on disk, and are used to limit the damage that unauthorized users or routines can cause. It’s possible for an app to erroneously lock a file by changing its permissions, which could cause other apps to crash when they can’t access a required resource, such as the place where iTunes records play counts for tracks. Up to OS X 10.10, open Disk Utility, select the startup disk, click the First Aid tab, then Repair Permissions. As of OS X 10.11, System Integrity Protection ( protects the permissions of important system files and apps, which are now checked and repaired automatically when you install system updates. If your Mac’s running slow, you should be able to diagnose the problem using Activity Monitor (again, in the Utilities folder). If your Mac is hot or its fans are running at high speed, click the CPU tab, then the “% CPU” column header to sort processes by usage. Similarly, use the Disk tab to diagnose which app is thrashing storage, and Memory and Network to check general slowness or a slow internet connection. You can force an unresponsive app or a process hogging resource to quit, but do this with care: only quit those for which your own username appears in the User column, and save your work first, if possible, to minimize potential data loss.

Mac Survival Guide

Check SMART status of disks

How to Maintain a keychain

SMART (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology), is built in to many hard drives and some SSDs, allowing them to detect potential problems and predict their own demise. In Disk Utility, select a drive in the sidebar to view its SMART status (bottom of the window). This may help you to back up and install a new drive in time to avoid losing data. Disk Utility can’t check the status of most external drives, though. See p40 for another great monitoring tool. Keychain contents Your keychain stores usernames and passwords for automatic insertion into web forms, authentication windows, and apps. It’s a timesaver, but get into the habit of revoking access rights. 1




D Investigate your data Open Keychain Access from the Utilities folder, select a keychain at the top left, then All items under Category. Scroll through the entries to find keys for apps that you no longer use. 2

Activity Monitor Diagnose unresponsive apps Resource management Switch between various resource monitors by clicking the tabs that run across the top of Activity Monitor. A

Identify any resource hogs Click a heading to sort the list on that particular attribute and highlight those that are resource-hungry. B

Excise old information If you find an item you no longer use, such as an old email account’s password or certificate for a site you no longer visit, rightclick it, choose Delete, then enter your password to authorize its removal. 3

Kill stalled processes Click a sluggish or unresponsive process, then click the “X” (top left) to force it to quit. If possible, save your work first. C

Identify things Many items are crucial elements of OS X. You can search online to learn more about them – don’t quit them just for the sake of it. D jan 2017 39

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Recovery options

When quick fixes don’t work, all is not lost… If your Mac is unresponsive or exhibiting problems that can’t be resolved using the tips in the previous section, use your Mac’s diagnostics tools to check for physical problems before contacting Apple for support. First, eject and detach all external devices, then shut down your Mac. Power on your Mac and hold d while it starts up until you see either Apple Diagnostics or Apple Hardware Test. (If you’ve completely erased your Mac’s startup disk in the past, you can start Apple Diagnostics from the internet by holding Alt+d instead.) On Macs introduced in June 2013 or later, your Mac will run Apple Diagnostics. When finished, either return to macOS if no problems are found, or restart in macOS Recovery (hold ç+r), a hidden partition that enables you to repair certain problems or reinstall macOS. Macs introduced prior to June 2013 use Apple Hardware Test. If this utility finds any problems, it gives an error code for you to quote to Apple or an authorized service

40 jan 2017

provider when seeking their assistance. If your Mac shipped with OS X 10.7 (Lion) or an earlier version, you’ll need to use the diagnostics tools supplied with it – on Applications Install Disc 2 or the MacBook Air Software Reinstall Drive. They’re accessed by inserting the original optical disc or connecting the USB drive to your Mac and then following the same steps described to the left. Repair in the Recovery system If you are running OS X 10.10 or an earlier version, have tried repairing permissions in Disk Utility as described in the previous section, and it hasn’t solved your problems, repeat the operation after starting up in OS X Recovery, which you can enter by holding ç+r at the startup sound. Select Disk Utility from Recovery’s main menu and repeat the repair process. Recovery also lets you reinstall the operating system from scratch. This will give you the most recently installed version of OS X if you use the local Recovery partition, or the one that shipped with your Mac if you use Internet Recovery. Recovery also provides an option to restore your Mac’s contents from a Time Machine backup (provided you haven’t excluded system files from your backups). Any of these methods is an effective means of solving most problems, but will lead to data loss if you don’t have a recent backup. If you’re suffering from persistent kernel panics, in which the screen dims and is overlaid by multi-language messages, or your Mac is forgetting small but important details between sessions, such as preferred volume or startup disk, reset your Mac’s NVRAM (non-volatile random-access memory), which stores key settings. Power on your Mac and hold ç+Alt+p+r as soon as you hear the startup sound until you hear the sound a second time, then release and allow startup to complete. The 2016 MacBook Pros don’t have the startup chime – hold the

Mac Survival Guide


How to Make an OS X install disk

>>> Keep your backups up to date, and don’t rely on just one. Pairing a local backup on an external drive with an online service such as Crashplan, Backblaze, or Carbonite is ideal. >>> After an app or OS X crashes, save the details from your Mac’s log files and submit them to the developer. Even if you don’t understand the information, they will.

USB drive Connect your drive (12-in MacBooks need a USB-C adapter or drive). Open Disk Utility, select the drive (in the sidebar), click Erase, enter a name, select OS X Extended (Journaled) as format and GUID as scheme. Click Erase.

OS X installer Download macOS from the Mac App Store but quit the installer when it opens – you don’t want to reinstall the OS. Instead, you’ll use a media creation tool hidden inside it to turn your USB drive into an install disk.

copy files In Terminal, type sudo then a space; drag the installer onto the window to add the full path to the command line. Press ∫ to remove the space, then add /Contents/ Resources/createinstallmedia, then add a space.

Finish up Type --volume and a space. Press ß+ç+c in Finder and drag your USB drive onto Terminal. Leave the space, type --applicationpath and a space, drag in the installer, again leave the space, add --nointeraction.

Wait a while Press ®. After entering your password, Terminal will reach into the installer to use the media creation tool to copy installation files to your USB drive and make it bootable. Leave Terminal alone until you see “Done.”

install disk Your disk is ready to install macOS on other Macs. Connect it to one and reboot, hold Alt at the startup sound until you’re asked to select a startup disk. Choose the disk you just prepped and the macOS installer will load.



>>> If your Mac crashes on startup, restart in safe mode by holding ß after you hear the startup sound, then disable login items for your user account in System Preferences > Users & Groups. 3

keys for 20 seconds immediately after powering on the machine. help the helpers Should all else fail and you need professional help, give as much info as you can by pulling crash reports from logs. macOS can send crash data to Apple and app developers if you allow it in Security & Privacy prefs, under Privacy > Diagnostics & Usage. You can review what’s been sent by opening Console (Utilities folder) and choosing Diagnostic & Usage Data – best done from an admin user account. Automatic reporting is described at If you opt out, your selection in Console can be exported (El Capitan or earlier) using File > Save Selection As, or copied and pasted into TextEdit in Sierra.



6 jan 2017 41

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Additional protection

Continue to monitor your Mac with these third-party options > TechTool Pro 9 TechTool Pro ($99, provides an extended selection of checks of your Mac’s health, some of which are those built in to OS X, such as SMART status testing. However, it includes many more checks: of Bluetooth and other networking hardware, electrical and temperature sensors, and even fan operation. These can help to highlight a small issue before it becomes a big one. Sierra support isn’t available at the time of writing, but Micromat says it’s coming soon. The app provides a System Preferences pane, TechTool Protection, that monitors a

subset of its tests in the background. This also includes a check of how much free space remains, which is especially helpful on small drives as you can be alerted earlier than macOS’s own warning would kick in.

> Data Rescue Data Rescue ($99, can help recover lost files, even after erasure or reformatting, or if a disk fails to mount. Quick Scan only works on volumes, recovering files in original hierarchy. The Deleted Files Scan searches for patterns in the hope

42 jan 2017

If the Mac you want to monitor is a headless one, perhaps used as your file server and to cache personal iCloud data and store downloads, the app can be configured to email you when a problem is detected.

> Backup apps of finding files; it’s supported by FileIQ – drag in new file types to teach the app. Deep Scan looks at all data on a drive and takes about three minutes per GB. There’s also a cloning feature that attempts to make a one-to-one copy of a disk, so you can scan that instead.

A bootable clone of your disk is a very useful backup tool in case your main drive fails, and the basic free version of SuperDuper! ( is a great way to create them. Its paid-for version ($27.95) adds extra features including scheduling, scripting, and more.

For many of these features, though, we’ve teamed up with Get Backup Pro ($19.99, to get you them for free! See the next page for more of its features, but this app offers scheduled clone creation, regular backups, and even folder syncing to external drives.


Keep your data safe with your FREE backup app Download Get Backup Pro 2 today and secure your files! > Create bootable disk clones > Encrypt and compress your backups > Sync files between computers and drives > Automate your backup and sync schedule


backup app worth $19.99

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Quickly back up data, create bootable and encrypted backups, sync folders across Macs and attached drives, and be confident that your data is safely stored in case of system failure or file loss.

Download Get Backup Pro 2 now from Reader offer valid until Tuesday, January 10 2017 jan 2017 43

>>> Feature

Unlock the power of Apple’s apps There’s more to your iPhone and iPad’s default apps than meets the eye. Gary Marshall shows you how to take advantage of iOS’s hidden power 44 JAN 2017

he App Store has always been the big promise of the iPhone and iPad – a world of amazing apps, just a few taps away. But when you get your first device, the only apps available to you are Apple’s own default apps. These sometimes get a bad rap, with a lot of people replacing them with other options as soon as they get the chance. But just because these apps are the default apps doesn’t mean they’re not surprisingly powerful. The amount of options they give you is often overlooked, even by those who use them regularly. Here, we’re giving these apps their due, and showing you how you can get a whole lot more from your iOS device than you realized, without having to change a single thing. However you use your iPhone or iPad, these tips could make your life easier.


The power of Apple apps

Mail How to Make Mail even smarter


Manage your mail


Search the cloud

Intimidated by your inbox, or any other folder? Tap on the funnel icon in the bottom left corner and Mail filters email according to set criteria. By default it shows unread mail, but if you tap Filtered By, you can set your own criteria.

When you add a file attachment to a Mail message, you’re not just limited to the images on your iOS device. You can attach a document or image from iCloud, Dropbox, or other storage apps you have installed, too. Just tap the paperclip and then tap Locations to select the source.


Book your events


Follow the thread

When Mail spots what it thinks is an event in your messages, it shows the “1 Event found” status bar at the top of the email. Tap on Add and you’ll see the familiar Calendar pop-up with the relevant details already added for you; you can then add more details if necessary.

Mail can automatically organize your mail by conversation, pulling in messages from wherever they’re stored so you can see the entire thread. This is either brilliant or insanely annoying, and if you don’t like it you can turn it off in Settings. JAN 2017 45

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Calendar Calendar now communicates effectively with other iOS apps > Never forget

> Better together

One of our favorite Calendar features in iOS 10 is its ability to interrogate other apps to find out if you should have added something to your schedule but didn’t. In our case that means scanning Mail messages for ticket confirmations, but it works for travel reservations too.

One of the most important changes in iOS 10 is the communication between different iOS apps (and thirdparty apps), which can make life a lot easier. For example, if you have an appointment somewhere you’ve already been, Calendar will look at your Maps history to find the address, and use Maps’ traffic and public transit data to suggest setting out early for an appointment. 3D Touch has been implemented well too, so you can hard-press on a Calendar invite to accept or reject it.

> Everything in its place This image shows Calendar’s app-aware cleverness in all its glory. We’ve booked a flight and received an email confirmation, and as you can see from the gray color, Calendar has spotted it and added it to its Events Found In Apps calendar. What might not be so obvious is what else it’s done. It’s interrogated our booking email to get the flight departure and landing times, it’s pulled out the airline’s confirmation code and the names of the passengers, and it’s even pulled up a map of our destination airport.

46 JAN 2017

There’s more. It links directly to the original message in Mail so that we can pull up additional information, such as scannable boarding cards, and if the event was created by somebody else we can tap on Created By to see the Contacts card for that person - so a FaceTime call is just two taps away. It’s clever stuff, and while it doesn’t always happen quite so smoothly - for example, Calendar may have spotted our flight, but it didn’t notice our Airbnb reservation - when it works it’s genuinely helpful.

The power of Apple apps

Messages How to Be a Messages master


Stop the spam



Messages is often the target of people trying to sell stuff or of companies trying to annoy us when we’re watching TV. Go into Settings > Messages and enable Filter Unknown Senders to silence them.

Text and emoji are so last year. Messages now enables you to reply with a… er, a beautiful piece of handmade art like the one you see here. Just tap the icon of a heart with two fingers on it.


Save your data


Silence is golden

If you’re on a limited data plan or often wander where data connections are sluggish, the last thing you want to do is send huge hires images. Use Settings > Messages, Low Quality Image Mode.

If you’re in a busy group chat, the constant notifications can become irritating. You don’t have to leave the conversation, though: tap the i in the top-right corner and turn on Do Not Disturb. It silences that conversation.


Archive your audio


Get to the point

Do you want to keep your friends’ or partner’s audio messages forever rather than see them vanish? Go into Settings > Messages > Expire and you can remove the two-minute limit for permanent preservation.

One particularly useful timesaving feature in Messages is the ability to tap on a conversation’s information button and scroll directly to the images or file attachments shared in that conversation. JAN 2017 47

>>> Feature

Contacts It’s just a name and a number, right? No, there’s so much more…

Link Contacts combines multiple contact details into a single contacts card for one person.

OS 10’s Contacts app might not look like the most exciting thing on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, but it’s a deceptively powerful information manager. While you can use it as a simple phonebook, it’s capable of a lot more. If you add someone to your Contacts, you can specify a particular ringtone or incoming text, so you might have some doomy music for the parents and the sound of birds singing for your partner. There’s also a new Emergency Bypass option. This overrides Do Not Disturb, so if there’s a particular contact who absolutely must get through to you day or night, you can set that up. Once you’ve done that, you have the familiar options for home and work addresses, more phones than any sensible person should have, Facebook, Twitter, web addresses, and so on. There are also fields for instant messaging apps - Skype, MSN, Google Talk, Facebook Messenger, even our old friend ICQ - and profiles on networks such as LinkedIn, and in the unlikely event a site or service isn’t listed you can add one. You can also add


48 JAN 2017

custom fields to your contact cards to store information that hasn’t already been catered for. Contacts communicates with Maps to get maps for the physical addresses you enter, and you can share those maps when you share the contacts card. Tapping on the map opens it in Maps, and you can tap to get directions from your current location. You can take a note of the person’s birthday or wedding anniversary, record names of their family members or colleagues, and add notes for anything else. You can combine multiple contacts for the same person into a single contacts card by scrolling down to Link Contacts. And of course, if you’re syncing contacts between devices, you can be talking to somebody on your phone while reading their info off another device. They don’t know that the reason you can remember their husband’s name is because the information’s in front of you. One thing that isn’t immediately obvious is to put your contact Favorites on the Today view as a widget. It follows the Favorites section of the Phone app and has room for up to eight entries, so you might have home and mobile numbers for your partner, FaceTime for the kids, and Messages for a friend. It effectively puts a speed dial on your Lock screen. Don’t forget about Siri, either. You can train Siri to use particular contacts, so for example if you tell Siri that “Daphne is my wife” then Siri remembers that for future reference, enabling you to say “Hey Siri, call my wife.” And you can tell Siri to call you anything you like.

If you don’t want to miss a call from a particular contact when Do Not Disturb is turned on, use the Emergency Bypass feature.

The power of Apple apps

Maps How to Get the most out of Maps


Explore options


Go public

Maps has had a dramatic facelift in iOS 10, and we think it’s a vast improvement. Here we’ve asked for directions to a particular location, and Maps is showing us the possible routes and live traffic.

If you live in or near a big city there’s a very good chance that Apple’s public transit information is available to you. It’s particularly handy in confusing and really busy places such as cities.


AirDrop it


Discover more

In iOS 10, once you’ve planned a route you can AirDrop it to someone else with an Apple device, or you can send the journey through what Apple calls a Routing App – an app such as Google Maps – as in the next tip.

Apple has worked very hard on making Maps as useful as possible, and when you search for a place of interest you’ll see all kinds of information: contact details, photos, Wikipedia entries, and reviews.


Open it up


Get to the point

The new, more open Apple realizes that not everybody wants to stick with Apple’s own apps - so you can now send the route to another GPS app. Maps shows what’s installed as well as App Store suggestions.

The latest version of Flyover, which enables you to see 3D models of buildings and entire cities, is really stunning. The level of detail is absolutely astonishing, and it’s as fun as it is useful. JAN 2017 49

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Reminders 1 Scheduling iPad notifications are day-based, but on iPhone you can be notified when you arrive or leave somewhere.

5 1

2 Priority After “None,” there are three levels of priority. The exclamation marks appear next to the item.

2 3



3 List Reminders enables you to keep multiple lists and sync via iCloud. You can share lists with others too. 4 Notes Keep background info, thoughts, URLs and other data here and they’ll appear in small print below the item. 5 Tick list The interface is deliberately simple. To mark a task as complete, just check the circle to the left of the item. 6 Speak to Siri Reminders works well with Siri: “Hey Siri, remind me to get milk at the store” automatically creates a reminder.

50 JAN 2017

et’s be honest. Reminders is probably iOS 10’s least impressive app. But while it’s not going to satisfy the productivity crowd and it’s not something you’d want to use to manage a project, it’s still a great little app for organizing everyday activities and sharing lists with friends. And when you combine Reminders with Siri and/or the Apple Watch, it does actually become considerably more impressive and useful. Reminders is a simple list manager, and you can store lists on your device or sync them via iCloud. To add an item just type in the space; to mark it complete, just tap on the circle next to it. Incomplete items stay


visible, and completed ones disappear from view. And that’s pretty much it. You can color-code your lists for easy identification and share them with other iOS users, but if you’re looking for the kind of app that you can use to manage every minute of your day then this isn’t the app for you. But that’s okay, because what Reminders does, it does beautifully. It sits there in the Notifications area so you can see what you’ve got on for the day. It pings if you want it to, and doesn’t if you don’t. And if you use it on the iPhone, you can tell Siri to remind you at a particular location and feel like you’re living in the future. It’s well suited to the Apple Watch too, with its simple interface working well on the Watch’s comparatively tiny screen.

The power of Apple apps

Notes How to Use Notes to organize everything


Get marking


More the merrier

Notes can include images and PDF documents, and that means you can use Markup to annotate them, highlight key points or sign them off. It’s particularly handy if you want to point to a particular detail.

Notes aren’t just for you: you can share your Note with others via an invitation on Messages, Mail, Twitter or Facebook. Any changes to your Note will then be shared automatically with everybody.


Check it off


Find what you want

The lines between the Notes and Reminders apps look awfully blurry at times: you can use Notes to manage to-do lists and checklists, although you can’t schedule reminders by time or location.

Just like Messages, Notes enables you to see just the file attachments. Look for the thumbnails icon at the bottom left of the screen. This takes you to Attachments view for the current folder.


Add images


Keep a secret

Pictures can communicate more effectively than words. Notes can add images in two ways: by importing from your library, or by taking a photo or video. The result is then embedded in your Note.

Not every note wants a wider audience. To keep top-secret world domination plans away from prying eyes, tap on the Share icon and then on Lock Note. Use a password others won’t guess and you won’t forget. JAN 2017 51

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Scanbot 6 Pro

Improved feature set for this scanning app Free ($7.99 Pro upgrade) Developer doo GmbH, Platform Universal Requirements iOS 9 or later

Scanbot 6 Pro adds new annotation colors, as well as more robust tools for editing and managing PDF files.

54 jan 2017

If you typically snap photos of documents and save them in the Camera Roll, Scanbot 6 is a revelation. The app provides a far slicker user interface, plus a robust set of tools to capture, manage, and share single or multi-page documents with ease. Automatic edge detection eliminates the need for manual cropping, although recognition tends to be slow in low light situations or when documents blend into the background too much. However, the quality is fantastic, and documents are saved in your choice of PDF or JPG files with a minimum resolution of 200 dpi. The core app is free, which includes the ability to also scan QR or other barcodes, enhancements (filters, crop, rotate), and automatic upload to cloud services iCloud Drive, Dropbox, or Evernote; the latest update adds OneDrive and Amazon Drive to the mix. But the

one-time Pro in-app upgrade is highly recommended for those who want to do even more with their scans. For starters, Scanbot 6 Pro automatically performs optical character recognition (OCR), which enables extracted text to be copied or searched. Smart file naming speeds up the process, along with WebDAV and FTP uploads, and the ability to add pages to existing scans. You can even capture documents and immediately send via text message, although the iMessage app lacks the full complement of editing features. With version 6, Scanbot has also become a capable PDF editor. Users can now reorder, add, delete, and rotate pages within documents, add encrypted password protection, or run OCR on imported documents created elsewhere. The built-in annotation features have likewise been overhauled with additional colors and tool sizes, although we do wish there was a way to import or sync existing signatures and sign on the iPhone in landscape mode,

Scanbot 6 intelligently automates the process of capturing documents. rather than scribbling on a narrow portrait display. The biggest change in the latest version is relatively subtle – the interface has been refined and simplified, with a new emphasis on workflows that allow users to perform common tasks more quickly. If you frequently scan documents and immediately print or share them, Scanbot 6 streamlines this process considerably. the bottom line. Scanbot 6 is the best mobile scanner around, but do yourself a favor and spring for the Pro upgrade. J.R. Bookwalter


High-quality mobile scanner app Integrates directly with popular cloud services Occasionally slow edge detection iMessage app lacks editing functionality (crop in particular) excellent

Tough testing, trusted ratings


A very capable portrait-enhancing tool $1.99 Developer Secondverse, Platform Universal Requirements iOS 8 or later

This review goes out to all the iPhone photographers who are looking to take their photography skills to the next level. Today we check out FabFocus, a point-and-shoot photography app that aims to produce images that look like they’ve come from a DSLR. The ideal situation for using FabFocus is to simulate those high-end portrait images you can take on the iPhone 7 Plus. Simply open the app, snap a portrait, preferably one with a distant background. Using the masking tool you can paint over your subject. From there, you can blur your background and

even change the way background points of light look, just like a DSLR camera. You may be wondering if the photos are as good as the portrait style ones you can now take with the new iPhone 7 Plus. We’re going to be very honest here: no, they’re not. An app isn’t going to be able to fully simulate cutting edge hardware, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give it a whirl. It does a great job as a piece of entry-level software and provides absolutely fantastic results for anyone who wishes to give their portraits a bit of a boost. Overall, we think this is a fantastic app to add to your iPhone photography

The masking tool can be used to select fine details of subjects in the foreground. arsenal. Sure, it’s not going to replace a high-end camera, but if you haven’t made the leap to the iPhone 7 Plus yet, or if you’re not looking to spend the money on a DSLR, it’s a good tool. the bottom line. A great app to keep on your iPhone, especially if you’re into selfies and portraits. Amber Neely great


Family organizer with teething problems Free (subscription required for some features) Developer Picniic Labs, Platform Universal Requirements iOS 9 or later, optimized for iPhone 6

When it comes to families, there’s nothing harder than getting everyone on the same page. Between juggling the kids’ afterschool activities, special events, and staying on top of where everyone is at any given time, parents have their work cut out. Picniic is an iPhone app designed to bring order to everyday family chaos. After setting up an account, parents add each member of the household, who log in using the same credentials. The free version includes a shared calendar, grocery, recipe, and to-do lists, and group events schedule, with the ability to subscribe to cloud-

based calendar services or automatically share events created inside the app. Unfortunately, the iOS app doesn’t offer native iPad display support – tablets and desktops require signing into the web app, which is only available with a paid subscription (currently $11.99 per month or $49.99 annually). This was kind of a deal breaker in our case, since the kids have iPads, where Picniic only runs in extra-chunky 2x mode. (Yuck.) A subscription also unlocks additional features like a meal planner, info locker for storing secure contacts or other data, and events tracker. Some of these tools are genuinely useful, but there’s no free

Picniic keeps tabs on the whole family, but many features require a subscription. trial period to get a sense of how they work; others like the Find My Friendsstyle family locator are redundant. the bottom line. Picniic brings the whole family together, but the lack of a native iPad app makes it less useful for households with younger kids without iPhones. J.R. Bookwalter solid jan 2017 55

The Pencil fluidity is great, as is the palm rejection for accurate writing.

MyScript Nebo

Futuristic note-taking on iPad Pro Free Developer MyScript, Platform iPad Requirements iOS 9.1 or later

Shapes and arrows are converted easily for diagrams.

56 jan 2017

MyScript Nebo is a fairly standard note-taking app in that you can make hand-scrawled notes with the pencil, or draw sketches, or add images from elsewhere. What’s clever is that is detects your writing live as you note things down. You see a little gray line of text above your words, showing what the app thinks they say (which is usually accurate, but if it’s slightly off, you can tap a word to choose near alternatives). When you’ve done making your note, you can doubletap what you wrote, and the app converts it

into clear, typed text instantly. But you can also format notes this way! Draw bullet points and they get turned into bullets in a list when you convert. Underline headings and they get made bigger and bolder during conversion. Then you can copy this text to paste elsewhere. Oh, and if you make a mistake, you just scribble over the incorrect part, and it instantly vanishes – and this works on handwriting or already converted text. And it has a diagram mode for drawing shapes and arrows that get converted to neat graphics, along with a special mode for math formulae. It is phenomenally cool, and it really works. Mostly. It can struggle to see lines of written notes as connected, so you get two separate blocks after conversion, which is fiddly

for copying. We also found it mixed words from one line into another a few times. You can’t edit text using standard text tools once it’s converted, which seems odd (though you can rewrite with the Pencil in converted blocks, which helps). It all works like magic, but Fantasia magic, where you might not be totally in control. It’s also weak in terms of note organization. Multiple individual notes can be stored in a Collection, and multiple Collections can be stored in a Folder – but you can’t move notes around once created. You can’t give notes a name, and you can’t add tags, or search for notes (you can search within a note, which is excellent). It does have good export options, though. The app was free at the time of writing, but is planned to have a cost later. the bottom line. When it works, it’s brilliant. But it has foibles, and needs better note organization. Matt Bolton MyScript Nebo

Converts notes to text easily Lots of clever, fast ways to work Detection has some issues Note organization is weak Good

Tough testing, trusted ratings >>> App



The sky’s (not quite) the limit $3.99 Developer Celestial Dynamics, Platform Universal Requirements iOS 7 or later

If you’re into outer space and stargazing, CosmicWatch is a great app to check out. While it does tell you the time in any part of the globe, the primary goal of Cosmic-Watch is to give you insight into what’s going on around the Earth at any moment. Cosmic-Watch is simple enough for anyone to use, from space-loving kids to adults who are well-versed in astronomy. There are a few options on the left side of the screen that enable you to check out what constellations are visible and where to find them, where the inner planets are on their journey around

the sun, and a feature that shows you where planets and eclipses are going to be visible. Not only can you see what’s currently going on, you also can skip back and forth through time to find out what the sky looked like, or will look like, on any other day. Our only problem with the app is that it doesn’t provide any additional info – no encyclopedia-style articles about the planets, constellations, or anything else – not even links to the relevant article on Wikipedia. This app is designed solely as a sky map, which may make it a less attractive option for learning than something like Sky Guide. With that

Star maps show where constellations are in relation to points on the globe. in mind, it’s mainly older kids and adults who are already interested in simple stargazing who will find Cosmic-Watch particularly useful. the bottom line. Cosmic-Watch is polished, easy to use, and could become the at-home astronomer’s go-to app when preparing for an evening of scanning the skies. Amber Neely good

The Complete Fairytale Play Theater Get the kids playing with plays $4.99 Developer Nosy Crow, Platform Universal Requirements iOS 8 or later

If you have kids, you need this app: it’s a brilliant concept, executed with aplomb. It enables the little ones to set a stage, choose characters, and record their very own story. Tap to start, edit your title, and tap your first scene. You can choose from a variety of backgrounds (we’re talking a lot of options here), then select your characters and furnish them with props if you like. While adding elements, you can zoom in and out for more control

of where things go, and it’s easy to just pull things offstage at any point. Our kid panel initially thought that the Record button was for audio only, but it actually records the action too; so you can flip your character round or move them offstage, for instance. You can also add preset background music or record your own sounds. The children loved this element – coming up with crazy dialogue, adding explosive sound effects, and singing songs. Our only minor gripes are that you can’t add text – if, say, you

The illustrations are gorgeous, and there are so many different options to choose from. wanted to make it more like a storybook (that said, it’s a theater app, not a book creating app) – nor import your own images, which would have been great for using a kid’s photo as a character. the bottom line. Offers beautiful illustrations, an incredible range of elements to choose from, and a real child-friendly ease of use. jo membery awesome jan 2017 57

It’s easy to try out a preset program and then make your own tweaks to the actions to explore the options.


A bright, colorful coding app for kids $2.99 Developer Urbn Pockets, Platform Universal Requirements iOS 9 or later

It looks like modern art as much as a way to build code.

58 jan 2017

Every time a new coding app for kids gets released, we wonder if this will be the one to really get them engaged. TinkerBlocks looks the part, with its colorful, simple layout, and tools to let kids build basic programs. At first we thought we’d hit “Info” to get ourselves acquainted, via a mini tutorial maybe. But no, this displays an adult-led description of the app: “The blocks have the potential and scalability of any

real procedural programming language….” We also thought the thumbnails at the top were example programs, but they were IAPs (with a pretty weak math question as security, although kids have to get past your iTunes’ restrictions, too). From the Home page, you can tap a question mark for annotations to discover more. On the right are a number of basic starter projects: tap one to see the bare bones, or use the stylus icon to edit. The options are pretty impressive. You can add input/ output controls (image, video, text, and more), control features (countdown/timer), an impressive set of sensors (location, tilt, shake, face and motion detection, and more), and a few effects (such as preset graphics, text, and sounds). If the icons are not

obvious, you can press one to find out what it does, then drag one over to the list of actions. It’s easy to change order using drag-and-drop, and easy to delete an action by dragging it left until the trash can appears. We found the image tool a little frustrating. On our iPhone, the app couldn’t access our Camera Roll despite having given it permission; then it could access it but reported “an issue” with every image. This worked fine on an iPad. We experienced a similar working/not working issue with face detection. There’s definitely a learning curve to the app, and parents will almost definitely have to assist young “developers.” Once comfortable with the concept, though, the results should keep your kids engaged so they enjoy tinkering without supervision. And it’s easy for them to share their creations – maybe a bit too easy. As with the IAPs, the restriction is just a simple math question. the bottom line. There’s a lot to take in, but also a lot on offer once your little coders get the hang of things. JO MEMBERY


Colorful, engaging interface A lot of tools to play with D espite annotations, there’s quite a learning curve R estrictions are possibly too easy for slightly older kids to bypass good

Tough testing, trusted ratings >>> App


Mini Metro

It’s all on the line in this smart puzzle game $4.99 Developer Dinosaur Polo Club, Platform Universal Requirements iOS 8 or later

It’s tempting to look at a subway map and think, ah, that looks easy – but Mini Metro helps you learn that no, it is not easy at all. There is just one important thing to do in Mini Metro: connect differently shaped stations using train lines. The instant understanding that what you’re looking at is a map of a metro means that the game is able to use very few words or instructions to guide you, and your stations and passengers are all helpfully coded by what shape they are. Triangle passengers want to go to triangle station, squares want to go to

square stations. It’s your job to connect the stations with lines in an efficient manner to make sure that overcrowding doesn’t happen – because that’s how you lose the game. The simplicity and minimalism of the design and the interaction are perfectly done and make Mini Metro a wonderful, easy game to pick up. However, the tight quarters of a smaller iPhone screen can make it difficult to make the exact moves you want to, and less-than-accurate touchscreen controls mean that sometimes you’ll try to delete a line and end up creating some hellish nightmare of tangled lines and resentment.

The line colors in each level correspond to the ones used in each city’s metro system. It’s fun to replay, and new cities such as Paris, Montreal, and Berlin are unlocked as you play, but the issues with the touchscreen make it really difficult to progress past a certain level. Once you’ve started messing up by accident, it’s hard to claw it back. It’s better on iPad. the bottom line. An excellent, minimalistic game that doesn’t quite translate to smaller touchscreen devices. Kate Gray great

The Bug Butcher

You’re an exterminator… IN SPACE $3.99 Developer Noodlecake Studios, Platform Universal Requirements iOS 8 or later

Classic arcade action with updated graphics – that’s the pitch behind The Bug Butcher, in which you take on a bunch of space-nasties that bounce and ricochet around the room. The game takes place in several different levels, each with several waves of enemies – huge, bulbous pink balls that split in two when you’ve shot them a few times; electrified enemies that belch out bullets; spiders that attempt to eat your friend. You have limited lives, and several special moves and effects that can do things like increasing your rate of fire or freezing enemies.

It’s repetitive, but quite satisfying, and the fact that your character is shooting vertically the whole time feels quite novel. It’s awfully small on a four-inch iPhone screen, though, which makes quick decisions and reactions quite tricky. What’s more, the controls are the standard left/right in one corner and shoot/use special move in the other, which, while it does replicate that arcade feeling, means it’s easy to mess up without the tactile feedback of a controller. The levels get quite frantic as they progress, which means you’ll die more frequently, so it would feel more fun if the controls weren’t quite as slippy.

Avoiding the bounce of the different enemies is key to surviving each wave. Overall, it’s a snappy and fun arcade game that doesn’t quite translate perfectly to mobile: it requires accuracy and speed that touchscreen controls just can’t handle. Still, if your thumbs are sufficiently small and grippy, you might get on just fine. the bottom line. A novel, fast-paced arcade game, but with touch controls that suffer on some iOS devices. Kate Gray good jan 2017 59

Stepping into a yellow-highlighted spot gets you into cover. Whether you’ll remain safe for long is another story.

Invisible, Inc.

Think you’re a smooth criminal? $4.99 Developer Klei Entertainment, Platform iPad Requirements iOS 8 or later; iPad Air/iPad mini 2 or later

Everything you’ve not at least peeked at is shrouded in ominous, intriguing darkness.

60 jan 2017

To be honest, we don’t know how James Bond does it; spying is stressful work. As an employee of the titular Invisible, Inc., you’re a cyber-spy tasked with gathering intel to ensure the success of a counterstrike on a fellow corporation. Think that’s pressure? You ain’t heard the half of it.

What it boils down to, in playing terms, is controlling a pair of agents (you start with two, but unlock more as you go along) as they infiltrate various offices in bids to smuggle out data, steal augmentations, and so on. Each turn grants you a certain number of action points per agent, which you use for movement, peeking around corners, anticipating patrol routes and, in rare cases, actually attacking. Sometimes you’ll really need to get guards off your case – and steal their keycards – but once knocked-out hostiles come to, they’ll be extrasuspicious… but using your firearm alerts everyone else to your presence. You’re backed up by Incognita, your AI assistant. As long as she’s got power (which you can boost by hijacking computers), she can

hack security cameras and other systems. Careful use of her power points is key to your success, and adds an extra layer of consideration – disable this camera rather than sneaking around it, or save some juice for what’s ahead? Every few turns, the security level ratchets up… along with your blood pressure. The fact you can only see the parts of the level that your agents have set eyes on adds to the tension – could that newly recruited security detail be lurking around this corner? If they are, you’ll only have a single move or so to dodge out of their line of vision once they’ve spotted you. If there’s more than one of them, it’s often impossible. Trust us, you will get caught, repeatedly. What results is an incredibly tense, well puttogether turn-based strategy game, with plenty of replayability thanks to its procedural environments. the bottom line. It’s as tough as graphene – and not always entirely “fun” – but Invisible, Inc. is deep, varied, and rewards perseverance. Emma Davies

Invisible, Inc.

L ooks and sounds slick, with decent voice acting C ampaign encourages multiple playthroughs L ower difficulty settings offer “rewinds” to take you back a turn Interface is sometimes clumsy great

Tough testing, trusted ratings >>> App



6 brain-testing iOS games Give your mind a workout with these IQ-stretching apps BY KATE GRAY

Sometimes it’s nice to wake yourself up on the commute to work with a nice little brainteaser. Be warned, though – these particular iOS games are not easy, but if you relish the idea of having something to challenge you on your phone, then step right in. The ultimate in brain-testing games, Human Resource Machine ($4.99, Universal) attempts to make programming fun and accessible. If you’re not a huge fan of logic, steer well clear – but if you’ve always wanted to try the terrifying art of learning how a computer thinks, then this will really test you. There’s a mysterious, slightly creepy overarching story about the apocalypse, too. What more could you want? Threes! (Free/$2.99, Universal) can be played one-handed, as there is only one thing you can do: swipe. Threes! tasks you with one goal, which is to make bigger numbers. You do that by swiping matching numbers into each other (they giggle every time), making them bigger. You carry on, at least until you run out of matches and the game totals up your high score. Then, you play again. And again.

Human Resource Machine puts the fun in “learning coding fundamentals.”

Blek takes drawing into a strange new frontier – you’ll need to think ahead. You’ll never be done with Threes!, and you’ll never be satisfied with your high score. In a good way. The Room (Free, iPhone; 99¢, iPad) is more narratively-driven than most other puzzle games, although it might take a while to figure out what the narrative is. The Room is a bit like a video game version of a Japanese puzzle box, as you twist and turn and walk around a confusing yet beautiful cabinet, poking and prodding until you find a secret compartment containing a key that hopefully opens up another secret compartment. It’s also absolutely beautiful. Some of the best puzzles are the most simple. You can play them over and over, chasing a high score or next level, and never worry that you don’t understand what’s going on. With Hundreds ($2.99, Universal), you tap gray circles until they total 100. If they touch when they are red, you die. It’s a game of fast-paced tapping and adrenalin as you try to avoid the various traps and other floating circles that mean your doom. It’s really satisfying to swipe a touchscreen and see it transferred

into digital calligraphy, and Blek ($2.99, Universal) plays on that – create a gesture, like an arced line, and the game automates that gesture over and over. The goal is to touch all the blue dots, but not the black ones – your gestures have to be perfect to get each level right. But watching your gesture repeat without you means letting go of a certain amount of control - can you do that? Probably the most cuddly game on this list, Alphabear (Free, Universal) is for word-lovers. Letters appear on a grid, and you select them one-by-one to create words. Longer words mean more points, words with rare letters in – like Scrabble – are worth more. And there’s the sweet little addition of the titular bears. After each level, they’ll say a prewritten sentence like “Life is better when you have ____” where the blank is filled in with a word you’ve played that round. Hilarity ensues.

Word puzzling just got cute. As you use letters, you create bigger and bigger bears. jan 2017 61

>>> App Life

Watch apps and guides to get more from your watch

FM Radio PRO

Virtually spinning the platters that matter 99¢ Developer AppAspect Technologies Platform Universal Requirements iOS 8.1 or later

When we were young, FM radio was good for about 15 or 20 different stations at the most, and limited only to what could be picked up by the antenna from a fixed radius around our house. The advent of the internet has broadened that scope dramatically… to include the entire world. FM Radio PRO touts 24/7 streaming from more than 70,000 radio stations around the globe, sorted by genre so it’s easier to browse for something to listen to.

watch tip

Scribble a reply Prefer to reply to text messages by hand? In watchOS 3, scroll past the emoji, voice, and drawing options. Tap Scribble, and use the grid to write a letter. Delete incorrectly recognized letters

62 jan 2017

or add a space before tapping Send.

From the Universal app, you can also search for station names, or even narrow the focus to specific artists, albums, or countries. On Apple Watch, FM Radio PRO is a bit more limited – by hard pressing the screen, you can search by genre or go directly to favorite stations you’ve already marked in the main app. You can also start, stop, and skip to the next or previous track, but this only controls playback from the connected iPhone; no audio comes out of the Watch itself. The main app makes up for its Apple Watch limitations in a few ways, most notably the ability to record a currentlyplaying station for up to two hours, which is then available for offline playback. Sadly, there’s no way to initiate recordings (or access them remotely) on the Watch. Last but not least, FM Radio PRO also includes alarm and timer functionality, for those who like to wake up and go to sleep with their favorite stations already in progress. The app pulls content from

SHOUTcast, and offers an ad-free experience for no more than a buck. the bottom line. There are more radio stations than you can shake a stick at, but Apple Watch support is limited in the initial release. J.R. Bookwalter

FM Radio PRO

T une in to 70,000-plus radio stations around the world Remote control for genre and favorites  atch app offers basic W remote control functionality No Watch audio playback solid

Tough testing, trusted ratings

Cat Translator Deluxe

It’s a scientific breakthrough! Oh, wait…

How to

Use IFTTT DO Widgets

99¢ Developer Dima Komar, Platform Universal Requirements iOS 8 or later

We know what you’re thinking: seriously, an app for translating what your cat is saying? But the “Made for ages five and under” rating and the “This is for entertainment only” disclaimer in the description makes it clear this is a bit of fun for cat lovers. It’s a novelty app for pet owners with particularly chatty felines. The main app offers 12 icons, each with a cutesy drawing of a cat emulating the emotion that will be played once you tap it. The entirety of the Apple Watch app

comprises five of these, so it’s little more than a soundboard for playing short cat samples. On the iPhone and iPad, there’s also a Siri-like microphone button, which you might expect is for recording your cat and “translating” their meows back to plain English. What it actually does is “translate” human to cat — there’s no way to do the reverse. As a bonus, the app includes an iMessage sticker pack. the bottom line. A mixed bag, and not of the cat food kind. J.R. Bookwalter okay

AtomicBox Arcade Free of charge

Free Developer Yreaction Multimedia, Platform watchOS Requirements iOS 10 or later

A fun smartwatch variation on the Pong theme, AtomicBox Arcade uses the Digital Crown to rotate a small box and collect charged atoms (the black dots) while avoiding uncharged atoms (the red dots) which threaten to derail your gameplay. Sounds easy enough, but once charged atoms that haven’t yet been captured start coming into contact with uncharged atoms, it gets a whole lot harder. At first, it plays surprisingly fluidly with responsive control, but

GET READY On your connected iPhone, download version 3 or higher of the IFTTT app from the App Store. Swipe right from the Home screen and add the IFTTT widget.

things get a little more sluggish once a bunch of atoms start bouncing all over. The game is complemented by sound effects, which is a nice touch for a standalone Watch app, and the frame rates are quite good overall. The connected iPhone app can’t be used to actually play the game, but it does integrate with Game Center to show off your high score and leaderboards. the bottom line. A fun distraction, but gameplay tends to get slow once there’s too much action on-screen. J.R. Bookwalter good

ADD WIDGETS Open IFTTT on iPhone and select My Applets. Go to Settings (gear icon) > DO widgets > Get Widgets to select from a selection of ready-made applets.

ONE TAP Launch IFTTT on Apple Watch and use the Digital Crown to scroll through your installed DO widgets, then tap to activate. (Compatible widgets only.) jan 2017 63



MacBook Pro 13-inch 2GHz Late 2016

A new low-end Pro, or a new high-end Air? $1,499 Manufacturer Apple, Feature 2GHz Intel Core i5, Intel Iris Graphics 540, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD


ou could be forgiven for thinking that the lower-end model of Apple’s newest MacBook Pro is a Pro in name only. When Apple talks about it, it compares it to the MacBook Air, rather than the previous Retina MacBook Pro models. It didn’t equip it with its new Touch Bar control strip. And compared to the two models with Touch Bar, it has fewer ports, and a considerably lower processor speed at 2GHz (the $1,799 13-inch model is 2.9GHz). Apple emphasizes that this new MacBook Pro is actually thinner than the MacBook Air at the Air’s thickest point, has a smaller overall footprint, and is essentially the same weight. Based on a quick glance, you almost feel like it would make more sense if Apple had made this a new 13-inch version of the MacBook, with the Pro name reserved for models with the Touch Bar – it would have made for a clearer line-up, arguably. As we started to test and use it, we could see why Apple was happy with the Pro name for it, though. Its dual-core Intel Core i5 processor seems like it could be lightweight, but it actually proved to be approximately as powerful as the 2.7GHz processor in the previous-generation entry-level model (which is still available). That machine managed our real-world video encoding test in 57 minutes, while this machine took 55 minutes. This amount of processing power makes it more than capable of mid-range video editing and photo work – impressive to fit in a smaller, lighter frame with the same battery life. Even more impressive is the big step forward in graphics power of the new chip. Intel’s Iris 540 GPU is a much more advanced design, and this can produce some big results. In our Batman: Arkham City test, we got an improvement in frame rate of more than 50% over the previous model, taking it from a game that you’d have to play with the settings turned down, to one you can happily play with everything on High. This is great for other intensive apps, such as Photoshop or Final Cut Pro, which can use GPU power to speed up certain tasks. It’s still no gaming powerhouse (Batman is quite an

64 jan 2017 jan 2017 65

>>> Reviews

HAndbrake video encoding test



13-inch MacBook Pro (Late 2016)

57 minutes

13-inch Retina MacBook Pro (Early 2015)

55 minutes

13-inch MacBook Air (Early 2015)

74 minutes

To test real-world processor capability across multiple CPU cores, we re-encode a Blu-ray-quality video. Lower numbers are better.

Frames per second

13-inch MacBook Pro (Late 2016)

35 fps

13-inch Retina MacBook Pro (Early 2015)

20 fps

13-inch MacBook Air (Early 2015)

14 fps

bo er und


Th The



3p or t s al so c harge it –

o. y tw l n o but there’s

We run the built-in benchmark in Batman: Arkham City at 1920x1080, with settings on High. Higher numbers are better.

The MacBook Pro is thinner and lighter than ever – more like a MacBook Air.

66 jan 2017

old game, and anything even slightly newer, such as Tomb Raider, can’t be played smoothly on High settings) but it’s a big improvement. Another huge improvement is the storage, which is now so fast, it’s getting ridiculous. In BlackMagic’s Disk Speed Test, we recorded a speed of 1,241MB/s for writing to the MacBook Pro’s internal SSD (which is almost three times what we recorded in the previous model). We had to switch to Xbench to get accurate drive read speeds (BlackMagic’s tool stops at 2000MB/s…), which recorded around 3,000MB/s at the peak, as promised by Apple. It’s just an astonishingly fast set of storage – perfect for those working with giant media libraries, including video editing and photography. The machine comes with 8GB of RAM, which should be fine for most people. You can upgrade to 16GB when you buy, and you can also get more than the 256GB of storage it comes with by default, or upgrade the processor to a 2.4GHz Intel Core i7 model – but the $300 price for the latter is the same cost as upgrading to the 2.9GHz Touch Bar model, so just do that instead.

There’s more than just internal changes in the MacBook Pro. There are usability changes throughout the new design, from the screen to the trackpad. The display is still a 2560x1600 Retina display, but is now much brighter and features the wide color gamut seen on the Retina iMacs, iPad Pros, and iPhone 7. This is nice for pros working on cinema-quality video or high-end photographers, though perhaps they won’t be using this particular machine for that work. However, it does let anyone view the wide color photos that the iPhone 7 takes in their full glory. The brightness is something that’s often more subtle, since a lot of time you’ll likely have it down around the half-brightness level just in standard home lighting. But if you’re in a much brighter place at risk of reflection, it can help a lot. Overall, it’s just a really detailed, vivid, stunning screen. The keyboard is now the new style that premiered with the 12-inch MacBook, though in an updated form, with switches that have a marginally “clickier” feel, offering a bit more feedback. We know the new keyboard is a divisive topic: we really liked it on the MacBook, and this version is slightly improved. We love the crisp feel with the large size of keycap, and find it perfectly accurate and comfortable. But we know the lack of travel (and accompanying

Tough testing, trusted ratings

short, sharp feedback) isn’t to everyone’s taste. If you didn’t like it before after giving it a chance, we doubt anything will have changed. The trackpad has had a size increase too, though again we found this also to be a subtle improvement. More space for dragging your finger around is nice, and the bigger size didn’t interfere with our typing at all, but it’s not quite a revelation. Loud and quiet Apple has also included new speakers, which are a vast, vast improvement. They deliver a much more full sound across the range, with especially improved bass helping to make everything feel less tinny. They also go a bit louder than on the old model. Ironically, in other ways, Apple has made the machine impressively quiet – we only noticed the fans make significant noise when running our Tomb Raider graphics test. Just browsing the internet was silent. Battery life is fantastic, too. Apple still rates for around 10 hours of usage, so it can last a whole work day, but that depends on what your work entails. We used the machine on and off

The keyboard is an improved version of the 12-inch MacBooks – which some people love, and some hate. As a replacement for an entry-level MacBook Pro, it’s a major drop in native connectivity. How much of a problem this is will depend on your setup. If you have quite the command center of connected accessories, you’ll want to look to either the Touch Bar model (which has four ports), or getting a powered hub (which will cost about the same as upgrading). That idea of approaching this as an Air vs a Pro holds true in a lot of aspects when it comes to judging this machine. As an Air replacement, it’s wonderful – more powerful, more usable, with a Retina display – though it’s also massively

t wo thunder b olt 3 p orts don ’ t go far w hen one is also your p ow er connection power without ever pushing it down past 65%. For writing the first draft of this review, we unplugged, wrote in Pages for over an hour with the display at half brightness, and used just 5% of the battery. All that said, we can’t talk about usability without discussing the ports. Two Thunderbolt 3 ports don’t go very far when one of them is also your power connection. Adapters for basic USB and SD card readers are inexpensive (see p14), but you’ll definitely need to invest in one. For those coming at this machine as a MacBook Air replacement, this will probably seem okay.

more expensive at $1,499 compared to the 13-inch Air’s $999. As a new entry-level Pro, it’s a really nice machine for those who work on the go, but you’d need to value the extra portability and better screen a lot to buy it over the $1,299 previous model still on sale, while also not being willing to spend the extra $300 to upgrade to the superior Touch Bar version. the bottom line. We really, really like this machine – it’s fast, usable, with a lovely screen. But it’s sitting in a slightly awkward middle ground in Apple’s line-up – one of the other models may suit you better. Matt Bolton

MacBook Pro 13-inch 2GHz late 2016

T hin and light new design G ood usability improvements J ust two ports could be a problem P rice is an awkward middle ground Good jan 2017 67

>>> Reviews

Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 Nice new features, but a costly option $99.99 (Upgrade $79.99) Developer Adobe, Requirements OS X 10.10 or later, 4GB RAM

The Guided edits feature has been expanded.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 15

 ew Guided edits N make good learning opportunities S mart keywords make searching images easy  ot a particularly N compelling upgrade V ery close in price to a year’s Creative Cloud subscription solid

68 jan 2017

Photoshop Elements’ challenge is not only to keep adding features that don’t step on the toes of its bigger Creative Cloud brother, but also to justify its very existence and price. After all, it’s only $20 cheaper than a year’s worth of a Creative Cloud subscription to both Photoshop and Lightroom. Front and center this year is Elements’ ability to “liquefy” shots of people. Faces are automatically recognized and features can be subtly tweaked: a mouth can be made a little smilier, or you can adjust the spacing between someone’s eyes or the height of their forehead. It’s certainly possible to accidentally achieve silly results, but by keeping the size of our adjustments under control we were pleasantly surprised at the subtle effectiveness of some of our changes. Dehazing has also made its way down Adobe’s product line. This applies an intelligent contrast boost to images with atmospheric haze. In our experiments, landscapes showed the feature to its best effect, boosting contrast in hazy areas while

leaving clear foregrounds untouched. A promising-sounding shake-reduction tool is also included, theoretically allowing photographs shot at too-slow shutter speeds to be salvaged. This also falls into the “surprisingly effective” category, although our tests showed the telltale haloes of over-enthusiastic sharpening. Photoshop Elements’ Guided panel – a range of step-by-step edits – has gained new tricks, such as the Photo Text tool, which creates a block of text, masked off so that your background image assumes the shape of the words you type. Elements’ Organizer – a cut-down version of Bridge – has also had an injection of new features: select a group of images and click Quick Fix and you’re able to batch process images with saturation, exposure, and clarity tools. Its search tool has also grown impressively: as Organizer rakes through your photo folders, it allows you to search not only by face or geolocation, but by the content of a photo. Enter “Taj Mahal,” for instance, and Organizer will return any shots of that landmark you have. the bottom line. A reliable bit of software with some useful new features. Think carefully before choosing this over a Creative Cloud subscription, though. Dave Stevenson

It’s also easy to see previews of nearly every effect, which is great for beginners in particular.

Tough testing, trusted ratings

Adobe Premiere Elements 15

Get to grips with fixing, editing and sharing video

Guided mode helps you produce creative results with Expert tools, such as showing video in text.

$99.99 (Upgrade $79.99) Developer Adobe, Requirements OS X 10.10 or higher

Premiere Elements 15 works with Photoshop Elements via Adobe Elements Organizer. The Organizer lets you import and view stills and clips, plus add keywords and ratings. If you need to fix, edit and share video clips, you can launch Adobe Premiere Elements from within the Elements Organizer and get to work. The Premiere Elements workspace looks similar to that of Photoshop Elements. It even features a Guided editing mode that takes the video novice through various editing procedures.

You can overcome a video’s exposure and color problems in Premiere Elements in similar ways to Photoshop. For example, Photoshop Elements 14 introduced haze removal; this tool is in Premiere Elements 15 as an automatic drag and drop effect. The effect works well, although it’s arguably a bit of a

gimmicky tool, since haze can help add atmosphere and depth to a landscape. Premiere Elements now has the ability to recognize people in clips; this helps its Smart Trim feature to remove problem sections while prioritizing moments featuring friends and family. You can also use facial recognition to add camera moves, such as Pan and Zoom. The new Remix feature analyzes your music track and cuts it into segments so that it will end on an appropriate moment. The Video Collage tool provides a quick way to drag clips and stills into template windows so that they play on the screen at the same time, and is an entertaining way to share memories to Facebook or YouTube. the bottom line. A great entry-level app for Photoshop Elements users who want to develop their video skills. george cairns

Adobe Premiere Elements 15

Guided editing mode Creative templates Effective music remix Gimmicky de-haze great jan 2017 69

>>> Reviews

OmniGraffle 7

Is it lucky number time for this leading graphics tool? $99.99 (Standard), $199.99 (Pro) Developer The Omni Group, Requirements OS X 10.11 or later

OmniGraffle’s diagramming smarts are clear when connecting boxes in diagrams.

OmniGraffle 7

E fficient, customizable and usable interface Infinite canvas with optional limitations Improved export panel with new preview S ome of the really great new stuff requires Pro great

70 jan 2017

OmniGraffle is primarily a tool for working on precision graphics – for prototyping, wireframes, charts, and diagrams. However, its toolset and functionality is such that it nudges into territory occupied by Illustrator and Sketch when, respectively, used for (fairly simple) illustrations and the kind of flat interface design that remains in vogue. As such, OmniGraffle provides a selection of drawing and shape tools, inspectors to adjust the properties of selected objects, powerful layering functionality for arranging artwork, and the means to export everything to formats suitable for screen or print. As objects are added to the canvas, smart and manual guides make lining things up a cinch, and magnets make connecting boxes in diagrams painless. Workflow can be further sped up by way of reusable components (“Stencils”), which include icons, device wireframes, basic shapes, colors, and home furnishing objects. In use, OmniGraffle has a friendliness that belies its underlying power. Rather than deluging you with palettes and options, the clean, straightforward interface feels like something almost anyone could get to grips with. This latest update has seen refinement

in this area, and the new unified sidebar now houses tabs for canvas, guides, outline, and selection views. For newcomers, the features within should impress: for example, manual guides can be set very precisely, and the selection tool enables you to quickly get at related objects, filtering by canvas and object type. Neatly, guides can be toggled just by clicking on a ruler. Another new feature is the infinite canvas. This is great for projects of initially unknown dimensions. Usefully, its infinite nature can be limited to specific directions. Working on a fixed-width web page mockup with content of unknown length? OmniGraffle has you covered. Using the sidebar, you can also easily get at objects on massive canvases, through commands to scroll or zoom to a selection. (This also alleviates an annoying quirk of the app: huge jumps between zoom settings.) Be warned some of the best features are, frustratingly, reserved for the Pro version, most notably sharing layers across multiple canvases, and artboards – containers that act as export regions for objects on layers above. Still, the 14-day trial should help you pinpoint features you favor. the bottom line. A strong update that improves OmniGraffle’s workflow, efficiency, and scope. Craig Grannell

Stencils can speed up workflow when working on projects with common elements.

Tough testing, trusted ratings

Acronis True Image 2017 Copy to the cloud

From $49.99 Developer Acronis, Requirements OS X 10.9.5 or later


Type out sums, watch totals appear $3.99 Developer Ekin Koc, Requirements OS X 10.9 or later

Seemingly taking its cue from Acqualia Software’s Soulver, CalcPad is a notepad that does sums as you write them. It covers all the basics – you can perform basic calculations, write out conversions, and dabble with variables. Unit conversions happily accept a level of natural language input (such as “27 meters in feet”), and currency conversions use current rates if you have a net connection. Variables are defined in a basic math-like manner, with a little added intelligence. For example, you can set “x=4” and then use “x” in subsequent calculations. But you can also recall a previous line with “prev” and assign that value as a variable. This provides scope for more complex calculations, given that your note and its values can be updated at any point. It’s impossible, though, to not make comparisons with Soulver, which is a far richer app. Soulver’s natural language smarts are superior, and it enables you to drag and drop line values as dynamic tokens. CalcPad’s also lumbered with a rather limiting single-window interface. the bottom line. Simple and quite effective, but less feature-rich and flexible than its rival. Craig Grannell

Acronis True Image 2017 is best described as a hybrid backup product – it can create disk images of entire drives, or back up selected files and folders. It’s also increasingly tying itself into Acronis’ cloud-based backup service, with annual subscription packages available – the base price gets you a one-year sub with 50GB storage. The cloud options are increasingly pervasive; it’s the default option whenever you set a backup. You’ll also need it to back up your iPhone or iPad, or if you want to take advantage of the two biggest new features in True Image 2017: Facebook profile backup, and the Online Dashboard, to use True Image remotely through your web browser. One other welcome new feature allows you to search and recover individual files from images. True Image still doesn’t feel particularly quick – it took over two hours to back up 178GB from a SSD drive to fast USB 3.0 storage, for example. the bottom line. Capable enough, but we don’t like its increasing cloud focus. Nick Peers acronis true image 2017

Lots of backup choice Flexible and adaptable Not particularly fast Increasingly reliant on the cloud solid


Straightforward to get started with Can cope with conversions and variables Interface can be restrictive and limiting Trash/delete icon offers no undo solid jan 2017 71

>>> Reviews

Aurora HDR 2017 gives users an amazing range of options.

72 jan 2017

Tough testing, trusted ratings

Aurora HDR 2017

Professional editing for HDR enthusiasts $99 Developer Macphun, Requirements OS X 10.10.5 or later



 reat range G of flexible tools HDR-specific filters  f limited appeal O to more general users Costly GREAT

DR photography is the practice of merging multiple exposures of the same composition to create shots with greater dynamic range than normal cameras can produce. So, if you have a landscape photo with very bright highlights and very dark shadows, high dynamic range processing can produce an image with neither over-exposure or under-exposure. The main purported benefit is an image with lots more detail in bright and dark areas, but over the years HDR processing has come to define an entire style of digital photography, noted for its highly saturated, metallic-looking images. The effect itself falls squarely into the like-it-or-loathe-it category of image processing, but for converts of the style, Aurora HDR offers a wealth of tools for merging bracketed exposures, or creating HDR-style images from individual shots. You’ll get the most value from Aurora if you commit to HDR photography, taking at least three different bracketed exposures each time you take a shot. With this approach you can take advantage of Aurora’s excellent shot-alignment tool, which lines up images that differ slightly in their composition due to wobbly tripods and so forth. For those looking for a quick hit, Aurora also offers a wealth of one-click filters. In keeping with HDR’s polarizing aesthetic, these filters range from the fairly subtle to the positively eyeball-watering, but

photographers who want more control and are willing to get their hands a little dirtier will find Aurora worth its admittedly high asking price. The right-hand toolbar offers a vast number of sliders and controls, from the industry standard (curves, color temperature, exposure, and so on) to HDR-specific tools missing from the likes of Lightroom or Affinity Photo: controls such as a software polarizing filter, HDR-specific denoising, as well as an ingenious luminosity mask that allows you to select parts of an image based on how bright they are. You can also create adjustment layers, unlike Lightroom. A further boost to Aurora’s credentials is the presence of a professional-grade batch processing mode. Very usefully, this lets you select a folder full of images and not only choose a filetype and resolution for them, but will also automatically align folders that contain bracketed exposures – again, a boon for purist HDR photographers. It’s those photographers who will get the most from Aurora – using its presets on single exposures won’t produce radically different results from most other applications. But the integrated imagealignment tools, batch processing, and fine-grained editing controls make it well worth the asking price for fans. the bottom line. An awesome selection of tools for power users. Dave Stevenson jan 2017 73

>>> Reviews


An app for posting to WordPress blogs, but with flaws $29.99 Developer Moray Taylor, Requirements OS X 10.11 or later, internet connection, WordPress blog

Previewing existing articles: you can also view, trash, like, and reply to comments.


T he basic setup seems pretty good  arkdown and HTML M views work fine A slew of problems writing and editing Q uite a few crashes during testing poor

74 jan 2017

These days WordPress is a pretty great web content system, with a surprisingly solid editing interface. Whether you use or self-host a WordPress blog elsewhere, setup is usually a case of clicking a few buttons. Editing then takes place in a window with basic word processing controls (structural formatting and the like), a distraction-free mode, and the means to hack in HTML via a Text tab. The point is that any Mac-based WordPress blogging app has a lot to live up to, and Wilde does not make the grade. Conceptually, at least, it’s well considered. You can create local or remote drafts, the former meaning you can tap out blog posts while cruising along on a plane without internet access, and later schedule them. At that point they upload to your blog, and move to a scheduled posts tab. There’s a media sidebar for quickly looking through uploaded images and adding new ones, plus the editing view enables you to switch between Markdown, HTML, WYSIWYG, and – if it’s available – a live preview. During testing, connecting Wilde to existing blogs was simple, if a touch unfriendly. Existing content was displayed, albeit only after a manual refresh. Edits

could then be made and submitted. However, any changes made to articles on our test blogs reset their publication dates to the moment the edit was sent. Not good. With new content, things too often had a tendency to fall apart in more dramatic fashion. We posted several articles that showed up blank before realizing we needed to manually save prior to publishing. (The tiny dot indicator on the article’s tab isn’t obvious, especially if the tab is hidden.) The WYSIWYG view, though, is the low point. It seemingly can’t parse basic HTML from existing content, and has all kinds of problems with styling – add a blockquote, and getting back to normal text on subsequent lines is a trial. It also spits out HTML that would have sensitive web developers breaking down in tears. The Markdown option is better, fortunately, but you can use Byword for writing in Markdown and posting to a WordPress blog – and it has a nicer interface and much lower price. As it stands, that – or nothing at all – seems a better bet than using Wilde. the bottom line. A blogging app that could find favor with many people, but that right now just doesn’t cut it. Craig Grannell

The WYSIWYG view doesn’t tend to work very well, although the Markdown and HTML views are fine.

Tough testing, trusted ratings

QuickQuad Great gradients $2.99 Developer Elena Drozhzhina, Requires OS X 10.10 or later

Radio Silence

Inexpensive firewall and monitor $9 Developer Juuso Salonen, Requirements OS X 10.10 or later

There was a time when Mac applications operated entirely without “phoning home” to a remote server. These days, it’s rare to find an app that doesn’t check in with some faceless mothership. Radio Silence runs in the background, keeping tabs on these apps and behind-the-scenes components, and also acts as a secondary firewall, preventing software from making connections to the outside world, rather than blocking incoming connections. The app is separated into Firewall and Network Monitor tabs. The former is used to block individual applications; the latter provides real-time feedback on active connections, each of which can be blocked with a mouse click. There are no additional settings to fiddle with, and the application is always working in the background without impacting performance. The only downside is the free trial version is limited to just 24 hours, which isn’t nearly long enough. The developer also offers a generous 30-day return policy, but this app is so good, we’d be surprised if anyone ever actually took advantage of it. the bottom line. As easy to use as it is awesome – does exactly what it promises. J.r. BOOKWALTER

Color gradients are a really nice way to add some flair to designs, but like any design technique, it takes a lot of practice to create good ones. This super-simple app generates 36 square random color gradients for you. Don’t like them? Hit a button and it creates a new set of 36. See one you like? Click it for more tools. Each gradient has four mixing colors, and you can manually adjust these, or use the sampler tool to copy a color from anywhere on-screen. You can also save the gradient in the app to view or alter in the future, export it to various image formats at any size you want, or open it in other apps. Pros will bemoan the lack of adustment over how the colors mix, but it’s a nice tool for giving options to the artistically challenged. There are a few annoyances, though: you can’t easily view the corner colors of the gradients as web-ready RGB values, for example, and it produced too few softer, pastel gradients for our liking. the bottom line. Gradients for dummies! A nice little tool. Matt Bolton QuickQuad

Save and export gradients at any size Adjust gradient colors easily Doesn’t display RGB values Little here for pros beyond inspiration Good

radio silence

Easy to use firewall and real-time network monitor Selectively block applications and processes from remote connections Works completely in background, even when application is closed Trial version limited to 24 hours excellent jan 2017 75

>>> Reviews


Add some magic to printed pictures… and some dollars $129 Manufacturer LifePrint, Requirements iOS 8.1 or later, active Bluetooth connection


haring life’s precious moments on social networks is fun, but for those raised with old-school prints, nothing beats holding memories in your hands. LifePrint is a portable printer that attempts to merge the analog past with the digital present.


P ortable 2x3 photo printer  yperPhoto adds H augmented reality video to still images B elow average print quality  elies on expensive R custom photo paper solid

76 jan 2017

Weighing seven ounces and measuring five inches long, three inches wide, and an inch thick, LifePrint is among the smallest printers we’ve seen. Powered by a USB-rechargeable battery, this Bluetooth-connected device prints 2x3 images from your iPhone or social networks using special sticky paper, which can be peeled and attached to anything. LifePrint uses Zink technology for ink-free printing, so image quality and color reproduction leaves a lot to be desired. Prints take about 30 seconds, although it seems longer because the

app first uploads images to a built-in social network, which also allows you to print photos shared by others. There’s no way to print without posting, although photos can be made private. Photo paper is sold in packs of 10 sheets; a three-pack costs $19.95 plus $8 shipping, which comes out to a pricy 93¢ per sheet. But this printer has a trick up its sleeve: the ability to link a 10-second video to the image, which is revealed by holding the print in front of the iPhone camera while in HyperPhoto mode. While this bit of augmented reality delight initially feels like something pretty special out of a Harry Potter story, it’s actually a gimmick that won’t hold your interest for long. the bottom line. LifePrint is a neat idea, but the print quality and consumables cost impact on its desirability. J.R. Bookwalter

Tough testing, trusted ratings

Satechi Slim Aluminum Keypad Extend your keyboard

$39 Manufacturer Satechi, Features Bluetooth connectivity

Lumo Lift

This slouch sensor could lift its game $79 Manufacturer Lumo, Features Lumo Lift sensor, set of clasps, USB charging dock

This little wearable is designed to improve your posture when sitting. Attach the Lumo Lift to a shirt or bra just under the collar bone, then enter weight and height into the app. Sit at your desk, with your back straight, and double-tap the Lumo Lift. You can get the device to buzz just three seconds after you start slouching, or after 10 minutes. You need to align the sensor each time you change position, which is tiresome. During testing it felt like it was picking up a move forward with the shoulders often, rather than a slump in the back, and we found the results inconsistent and unreliable. The app provides a posture goal, but the “trends” graph lacked real insight. Having said that, the app isn’t too preachy, and it does get you thinking about posture. The device itself is neat, and battery life is good, lasting about five days. However, it’s easy to leave the device attached to the previous day’s clothes and forget about it the next day… maybe even leading to a laundry accident. the bottom line. Gets you thinking about posture, but a lack of meaningful data means mixed messages and un-actionable goals. jamie carter

If your job involves a lot of number crunching or data entry, a dedicated keypad can be a big help, but Apple has eliminated them from its current product range. This Bluetooth keypad is designed to match Apple’s new Magic Keyboard in its looks (it’s an aluminum wedge shape), though it also comes in gold to match the 12-inch MacBook, and Space Gray to match the MacBook and new MacBook Pros. Its keys are a different style to Apple’s latest keyboards (they more match the older chiclet style of its previous models, with longer travel) and are just a little on the soft side for us – just a bit more feedback would be preferable. Some may also be annoyed at the fact that the = key has been swapped for a backspace. The change is easy to get used to, and we didn’t mind it, but it’s something to be aware of. It also pairs easily, though you may need to skip Apple’s keyboard setup assistant. the bottom line. A useful add-on that matches your Apple gear well. Matt Bolton Satechi slim aluminum keypad

Get the keypad back! Easy to pair and use Rechargeable battery Slightly soft keys Great


Encourages good posture App fetches activity data Unscientific data High price okay jan 2017 77

>>> Reviews

Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless A luxurious Bluetooth sound stage

$399 Manufacturer Bowers & Wilkins, Features Bluetooth 4.1 Class 2, 3.5mm cable, micro-USB, AAC, aptX and SBC codecs

T Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless

Gorgeous sound  ireless, but still with W brilliant sound quality  o active noise N cancellation Initial discomfort great

78 jan 2017

hese over-ear headphones are Bowers & Wilkins’ second entry into the world of wireless headphones. Sensibly, a detachable 3.5mm cable acts as a fallback for when the integrated battery runs out (around 17 hours). The leather padding on the over-ear cups is soft, but the headband isn’t very flexible at first; we could feel the outline of the cushion shape against our head, and though this got better after a couple of weeks, and will ease up more as you fit and remove the cans, that and the 11.4 oz weight give a poor initial impression of comfort. For storage, the cups tuck inwards into the headband’s arch, and a quilted pouch is provided to add protection.

Active noise cancelling isn’t featured, and at low volume you can clearly hear people around you, though dynamic range from music is good regardless – even quiet sounds stand out. With the volume set at 50%, some chatter is still audible, but the music dominates. We couldn’t listen for long beyond that volume, as things are simply too loud to bear. The midpoint gives crisp sound, instruments are easy to distinguish, and bass is satisfying, justifying the high cost. If you can handle tightness while wearing in, this is a beautiful audio experience. the bottom line. The P7 Wireless lacks perfect isolation, but the gorgeous sound quality is worth the investment. Alan Stonebridge

Tough testing, trusted ratings

LaCie Rugged USB-C 4TB Bumper storage

$249 Manufacturer Lacie, Features USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 1) and USB-A (USB 3.0) cables, 1.2m drop resistance, rain resistance


DIY touchscreen for iMac $239 (21.5-in), $259 (27-in) Manufacturer AOGEK, Requirements iMac 21.5- or 27-inch (2009 or later), Mac OS X 10.7 or later, available USB port on iMac

MaskTouch affixes to the front of any 21.5-inch or 27-inch iMac released since 2009, including current Retina 4K and 5K models. About a quarter-inch thick, the glassless frame uses an infrared beam to detect when fingers are placed on the iMac, turning the entire display into a touchscreen. MaskTouch works without software drivers, and requires no tools for installation. The frame ships with double-sided tape on all four corners, so mounting is as easy as peel and stick. A short USB cable snakes under the iMac, plugging into a free port on the back for both power and touch input. Your iMac’s vanishes behind the all-silver frame, but the FaceTime camera and Apple logo remain exposed. When the panel powers up or registers touch input, the bottom cutout glows blue. MaskTouch is undeniably cool, but the lack of touchscreen support in macOS makes this more of a novelty than a useful tool. It’s handy for drawing, navigation, and Mission Control, but not precise enough for tapping on-screen buttons. the bottom line. Nice concept, but macOS limits the accessory’s true potential. J.R. Bookwalter

This bumpered drive boasts a USB-C port and cable for the latest Macs, a USB-A cable for other models, and it’s powered over USB. Inside is a single 4TB hard disk. LaCie quotes a max transfer rate of 130MB/sec, though our tests showed the drive is capable of more, peaking at 161.7MB/sec in sequential writes. LaCie’s figure is reasonably close to the mean averages our tests measured for sequential reads (117.2MB/sec) and writes (119.7MB/sec). Random read/write operations held up well against other portable hard disks we’ve tested. In fact, it delivered slightly faster mean and peak rates. The drive weighs in at 14 oz, and LaCie says the drive works, with aesthetic damage, after being driven over by a one-ton car. The bottom line. Impressive performance for a portable hard disk, and the rubber bumper and the firmness of the metal body instil confidence. Alan Stonebridge lacie rugged usb-c 4tb

Good speed and build Drop, shock, and rain resistant Pretty compact and light for such a protected drive Costly per gigabyte great


Infrared touchscreen display frame for iMac Easy installation, requires no tools or software drivers Too imprecise for clicking small buttons Not all gestures match those used by Magic Trackpad good jan 2017 79

>>> Reviews

80 jan 2017

Tough testing, trusted ratings

Starry Station

Simplicity is the name of this router’s game. Oh, and reliability… and speed… $299 Manufacturer Starry, Features Dual-band network with additional 5GHz, touchscreen interface to identify issues, support-center callback



E legant, simple touchscreen offers lots of information  Steady, reliable connection  ay need to move M source connection for best results Gets noticeably loud great

onfiguring Wi-Fi setups ranges from the annoying to some sort of sorcery that we dare not meddle with. But the Starry Station promises to simplify Wi-Fi in your house with an interface that makes sense. The front of the device sports a glossy white plastic shell, while the back is a brushed aluminum plate with concentric cooling vent holes, and the good-looking touch interface makes it attractive enough to have on display. That’s good for Starry, because it’s counting on customers placing the Station in open areas for the best possible signal. Equipped with just two Ethernet ports, one for the WAN connection to your modem or gateway, the device’s focus is on wireless. Inside are dual-band, 4x4 MIMO 802.11ac (a/b/g/n, too) transceivers, and the whole thing is powered by two dual-core processors – one for the network and one the interface. Setting up the Station takes – quite literally – five minutes. You’re then provided with a Wi-Fi Health percentage score, which collates your ISP’s provided speed, your connected devices’ capability, and the signal strength to each device. From there, you can test the specific speed that your ISP is providing from within the device. Swiping to the left provides deeper details and trends over time. This way, if you see that you’re not

getting what you’re paying for, you now have the proof to take to your ISP. In an idle state, the Station displays the devices on its networks as planetary bodies orbiting a star. Those in red are in bad shape network-wise, while those in blue are doing fine. The size of the orb is dictated by how much bandwidth that device is using. If you have an issue with your Wi-Fi, you can request a call from customer support straight from the device by leaving your number. We found that the Starry Station provided a stable connection, with download speeds remaining at their peak for longer, and with fewer dips in Mbps, than a standard Verizon router. Of course, your connection depends on your devices’ hardware as well, but we experienced barely a hiccup with connection or download speed. We did find that the device’s fan is noticeably loud, something we’ve rarely encountered in routers before. We’d have preferred to see more granular control over device access and bandwidth considering the $299 price tag, too. And if your router’s been hidden away in a closet, you may have to consider moving the source connection to get the best possible positioning for the Starry. the bottom line. If you’re only remotely tech-savvy, Starry Station is well worth considering. Joe Osborne jan 2017 81

>>> Reviews

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

25 years on, the strategy ruler returns once more $59.99 Developer Firaxis Games, Requirements OS X 10.11 or later, 2.7GHz Intel Core i5, 6GB RAM, 1GB graphics card/Intel Iris Pro

Beset by America to the west and Arabia to the east, the French Empire isn’t long for this world.

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

F lexible enough to accommodate most player styles  ew tweaks encourage N interesting choices from the ground up Excellent music and art R ival AI remains diplomatically and tactically uneven excellent

82 jan 2017

Civilization, celebrating its 25th anniversary, has never strayed from its expansionist spirit: turn by turn, tile by tile, build units and structures to grow your empire and fight (or engineer) your way to victory. The sixth entry arrives with a colorful if slightly cartoony art style, a new way to win, and a refreshed focus on city administration. Of the four victory conditions available in Civ VI, Domination, Science, and Culture remain unchanged, while a Religion victory replaces V’s Diplomacy route: found a religion and proselytize more than 50% of the cities in each nation. These four paths to victory seem discrete, but no single decision is separate from the spider-web of strategic choices that came before and after. Even a straightforward Domination victory relies on a campus district to keep stay ahead of the constant technological arms race. Districts may be the biggest change facing long-time Civ players. Instead of cramming everything into the city center, specialized buildings – theaters, harbors, barracks –

now occupy their own tile on the map, conferring a host of empire-wide benefits. The hexagonal tiles introduced in Civ V take on greater importance, since districts receive bonuses based on their surroundings. Squeezing the most out of your Russian Lavra means reserving a tile flanked by mountains and forests, and because districts can’t be razed or rebuilt, Civilization VI demands purposeful, long-term strategy. This extends to international diplomacy as well. Each rival leader sets “agendas” that guide their behavior and relationships – move a knight too close to Delhi, and Gandhi won’t hesitate to threaten nuclear winter; destroy too many wetlands and face the ire of environmentalist Hojo Tokimune. Sadly, AI leaders remain cartoonishly over-reactive and trigger-happy, despite their aversion to sound military tactics. This would normally tarnish a strategy game of Civilization’s pedigree, but online and hotseat multiplayer effectively mitigate any AI clumsiness, and Civ VI’s new look skews any expectations of realism or finesse: when the Hanging Gardens of Babylon are built in downtown Birmingham, does it matter that Cleopatra is grumpy? the bottom line. Civilization’s subtleties reveal themselves over dozens of games. If history is any pointer, future expansions will build on this rich foundation. Joseph Leray

Marshaling each individual unit for an invasion can be tedious, but the tactical advantages are worth it.

Tough testing, trusted ratings

Mad Max

The post-apocalypse on your Mac, shiny and aluminum

Not surprisingly, crunching vehicular combat is a big part of Mad Max.

$29.99 Developer Feral Interactive, Requirements OS X 10.11.6 or later, 3.2GHz Intel i5, 8GB RAM, 2GB VRAM

Mad Max isn’t an adaptation of any of George Miller’s seminal post-apocalyptic odes to internal combustion. Still, this game faithfully recreates the Mad Max films’ tone and timbre. You play as the eponymous Max Rockatansky in a desolate, open-world wasteland, and spend the bulk of the experience working with the petty war chiefs who oppose Lord Scabrous Scrotus’ expansion into their territory. In practice, this means destroying the “guzzolene” refineries, War Boy strongholds, and supply convoys that dot the ruined landscape. Doing so lowers Scrotus’ “threat” in a given region and confers “scrap,” Mad Max’s ubiquitous and infinitely collectible currency. Max’s car – christened the Magnum Opus – is the defining experience. There’s a fundamental joy in taking in the

Outback’s austere beauty at high speed, but there’s equal pleasure in ramming enemy vehicles. The Magnum Opus is also the primary beneficiary of the “threat” system, with the best upgrades unlocked by lowering it. Open-world games tend toward repetition and an overreliance on collecting, and Mad Max is no different. While there are usually a few ways to approach any given fight, there simply isn’t enough variety in the types of missions available. The Wasteland is ostensibly divided into three factions, but reused assets for enemies and NPCs render them indistinguishable in practice, which is a shame the bottom line. Languid and relaxed, Mad Max lacks Fury Road’s operatic frenzy, but offers solid combat and riveting driving mechanics. Joseph Leray

mad max

C ombat and driving are fundamentally solid C aptures the mood and tone of Mad Max  ice interplay of N narrative and sidequest systems R epetitive side-quests and re-skinned enemies solid jan 2017 83

home LIFE Better living through smarter technology

> get started with‌

Sma rt sports Need to improve your golf swing or your backhand, or just to swim a bit faster in the pool? Here’s the tech that can give you a sporting edge BY CLIFF JOSEPH

84 jan 2017 jan 2017 85

>>> Home Life

The Wilson X Connected Football measures spin rate, velocity, and more.

pple has been helping us all with our exercise routines ever since the first iPod made trips to the gym a bit less tedious, way back in 2001. The iPhone went further, allowing you monitor distance and speed, and could even work out how many calories you were using. But sport isn’t just about burning calories. There are many sports where you can use digital technology to improve your performance and technique – whether it’s stroke efficiency in the pool, top-spin in tennis, or perfecting your long football


n o t a ll s p o r t s a r e a b o u t s p ee d . W he n p l ayi n g t e n n is o r g o lf, t he a cc u r a cy o f y o u r backhand or putting counts throws upfield. Apple’s clearly got its eye on the sporting market with the new Apple Watch Series 2, and there are plenty of other devices now available for both the amateur and professional athlete. Fitness trackers have been one of the great technology success stories of recent years, with dozens of attractively designed fitness bands and sports watches now offering a variety of features for monitoring performance during exercise. However, most fitbands and watches are simply designed as general purpose devices 86 jan 2017

for use in the gym or when you’re out running. They’re fine for checking how far you run or walk each day but, of course, there are many people who focus their efforts on other sports that may require more specialized features. Apple was clearly aiming at a more serious sporting audience with the Series 2 version of the Apple Watch. The original Apple Watch was limited by the need to pair it with an iPhone, which immediately ruled out it out for many sports as you could only use it if you also had an iPhone strapped to your arm. However, the new Apple Watch Series 2 now includes built-in GPS, which means that you can leave your iPhone safely at home and use the Watch Series 2 to monitor your speed and distance travelled for running, cycling, hiking, and many other pursuits. Admittedly, Apple’s got plenty of competition here, with products such as the new TomTom Spark 3 range, which includes a number of models between $130 and $250 that are designed for a variety of different sports. Garmin’s another big name here, with its high-tech Fenix watches that look like something out of a James Bond film and are even more expensive than the Apple Watch. And, of course, the other big improvement in the Watch Series 2 is that it’s waterproof – or, rather, “water-resistant” – opening up the Watch Series 2 to swimmers. There are a number of alternative fitness bands that are waterproof and can be used in the pool, such as the Swimmer’s Edition of the popular Misfit Shine ($120), but the more competitive

Smart sports

swimmer might want to look at a specialized swimming watch, such as the Garmin Swim ($150), which can track speed and distance, and can even analyze the efficiency of your strokes. Take Your Best Shot Of course, not all sports are about speed. You can cover a lot of ground when playing tennis or golf, but that’s less important than the accuracy of your backhand or your putting. There are quite a few smart devices designed for golfers, including hand-held sensors and watches that can compile statistics such as the number and distance of shots. But if you want to improve the actual quality of your shots then you can try the popular Zepp Golf 3D Swing Analyzer, which was recently upgraded, and costs around $150. This can be attached to your glove and monitors the full 3D movement and speed of each swing, so that the Zepp app can offer tips on how to improve your technique. Zepp makes a similar sensor for tennis – and one for baseball too – which can be attached to the racket handle in order to record data on your racket speed, backswing, and spin. It also has a special “serve” mode that animates your service action on your iPhone screen so that you can see where all those double faults are coming from. Babolat makes a tennis racket with a built-in sensor, but that obviously limits your choice of racket.

And, yes, you can even get a smart football too. There are a number of wearable sensors that you can use to monitor your movement and speed on the field, but for technique, you need the Wilson X Connected football, which can measure the spin rate, distance, velocity, and even spiral efficiency of your throws. It’s $200, but if you’re serious about improving, it’s one hell of a coach to have, with all data sent to your iPhone for analysis. Wilson also make a basketball with the same kind of sensors, while soccer fans should look for the Adidas miCoach Smart Ball, which is similar. There are more advanced devices too, including motion-capture systems that can monitor every movement of your entire body in order to improve performance or reduce the risk of injury. That’s getting more into the realm of professional sport, but most of the devices we’ve looked at here are affordable enough for many amateur athletes. Of course, buying one of these devices doesn’t automatically make you better at your chosen sport, but it can at least show you areas where you need to improve – and the rest is up to you.

Zepp’s tennis and golf sensors track and monitor your swing, offering three-dimensional analysis to help improve your racket or club position. jan 2017 87

>>> Home Life

Five of the best We recommend five of the best smart devices for sport and exercise





Wilson X Connected football $200

Apple Watch Series 2 From $369

Garmin Swim $150

TomTom Spark 3 Music $170

> The Apple Watch Series 2 includes built-in GPS, 50m water-resistance, and an improved screen for outdoor use, making it much more suitable for running, cycling, swimming, and other sports. The Nike+ model is best for sport, with a perforated strap and the Nike running app.

> A good, affordable option for the keen swimmer, the Garmin Swim can monitor your speed and distance covered in the pool, and also record your SWOLF (swimming efficiency) rating to help you improve performance. It can even tell the difference between butterfly, freestyle, and other strokes.

> Designed to match the size and weight of a regulation football (it also comes in a junior version, and there’s a basketball equivalent), this ball is full of sensors that can detect spin, velocity, distance, and more. The data is fed back to your iPhone, so you can improve your technique.

88 jan 2017

> The new Spark 3 range is a good all-round choice for sport and fitness. Prices start at $130 for a basic model with GPS and water-resistance to 40m. However, the Spark 3 Music model also includes 3GB of memory for storing and streaming your favorite workout tunes.

Smart sports

> What Else Should I think About…

The f ut ur e is s mart spand ex Forget smartwatches and fitness bands and take a look at the relatively invisible future of fitnesswear ost of the sports devices that are currently available either go on your wrist, or are attached directly to a piece of equipment, such as a football or tennis racket. However, there’s a lot of work going on with wearable technology, particularly


5 Zepp Golf 2 3D Swing Analyzer $150 > Zepp makes sensors for several different sports, but it’s most well-known for this popular golf sensor. The sensor clips onto your glove while you’re playing, and can evaluate your swing speed, backswing, and other details, and then offer tips on how to improve.

with smart fabrics that are capable of monitoring your physical condition while you’re exercising. The spandex experts at Under Armour actually launched a “smart shirt,” called the E39 about five years ago. It included sensors that allowed it to monitor your heart rate and breathing, although it didn’t really take off at the time. More recently Ralph Lauren has launched its new PoloTech Shirt ($295), which performs similar functions and communicates its readings to an app on your iPhone or Apple Watch. A Finnish company called Myontec has developed smart shorts that can monitor muscular stress in your quads and hamstrings. These shorts are expensive (between €400 and €800) but if they can help professional athletes perform better, or even prevent injury, then they could help bring wearable technology into the mainstream.

Forget having to wear or carry a device: data captured by your clothing is the “Next Big Thing” in fitnesswear. jan 2017 89

>>> Home Life

How To

Ge t fi t wi t h A pp le Watch Ser ies 2 jargon buster SWOLF A mash-up of swimming and golf, SWOLF refers to the efficiency of your strokes when swimming. The number of strokes and the number of seconds needed to swim a length are added to give your SWOLF score. A lower SWOLF score is better.

Start a workout GPS and waterproofing make the Apple Watch Series 2 a truly useful fitness device. As well as running, walking, and swimming, the Workout app can track indoor workouts, such as on an exercise bike.

Run along now During a run, you can see distance, your heart rate, calories, and how far through your workout you are. You can divide your run into segments. GPS accurately tracks you, and you can review your route on a map.

color coding After your workout, the Activity app on your iPhone can color-code the speed data from Watch Series 2, enabling you to analyze your performance in detail during each stage of your workout. 90 jan 2017

Start a swim Watch Series 2’s swim tracking can tell what kind of stroke you’re doing, and it also detects your change of direction at the end of the pool – once you’ve told it the pool length. It can track open-water swimming via GPS.

View your activity Workout data is fed into the Activity app, so you can also view details on an iPhone. For an outdoor run, say, those details include a route map, calorie info, heart rate, pace, distance, and any segments you recorded.

The home of technology

>>> Home Life Better living through smarter tech

get Smart Connected gadgets to enhance your lifestyle

TP-Link Talon AD7200 $350 >>> TP-Link has become the first manufacturer to support the 802.11ad standard for Wi-Fi, with its Talon AD7200 router. It’s costly, but this new standard is a step forward and designed for heavy-duty tasks such as streaming 4K video. Also known as “WiGig,” this new form of Wi-Fi transmits a signal on the high-speed 60GHz band, capable of speeds as high as 4600Mbps. The Talon is also backwardscompatible with 802.11ac and 802.11, so total throughput on all three bands is a massive 7200Mbps. TP-Link says that the Talon can transfer 4K movies as large as 100GB in around eight mins, compared to 14 mins for

92 jan 2017

802.11ac routers, or a full hour for an 802.11n router. The 60GHz band has limited range, though – like Bluetooth, it’s pretty much confined to a single room. Although the Talon can use 802.11ac to transmit a signal with longer range. It’s not going to change things overnight; you’ll need super-fast broadband in order to stream 4K video and, of course, your Macs, iPhones and other devices would need to support 802.11ad in order to get the benefit. Still, Apple has always been keen on Wi-Fi technology, and we don’t think we’ll have to wait long to see new gear from Apple that supports this new generation of super-fast Wi-Fi.

Sengled Snap $150

>Smart home living

>>> Security and lighting are probably the two most popular types of home automation devices, so Sengled has decided to bring them together with its Snap lighting system. This power-efficient LED lightbulb is sturdily built, so it can be used indoors or out in a garden or porch. And, hidden sneakily inside, is a 1080p high-def camera with a microphone, motion detection, and infrared night mode. It uses Wi-Fi to stream the footage, so you can easily view it from anywhere.

Change isn’t easy. So Jennifer Phin is enlisting some smart help

Neato D3 $450 >>> Robotic vacuum cleaners sound like a great idea, but many models are expensive. Neato’s bringing the price down with its new Botvac D3, which now sneaks in at under $500. Like other models in its range, the D3 can be set to automatically sweep different rooms and areas within your home, and its built-in battery can cover up to 1,800 square feet on a single charge. There’s also a D5 model, priced at $675, for larger homes up to 3,000 square feet.

>>> I’ve made a resolution: to eat healthily. Easy. Eat more veg; don’t stockpile Reese’s Pieces like you’re hoping to use them as rudimentary currency come the apocalypse; join a gym instead of a Wine of the Month club. Standard stuff. Sadly, knowing what to do and actually doing it are two different things. My home is filled with boobytraps: fancy guest cookies! Toddler lunch cheese! All of my meal planning goes out the window at the grocery store, when I enter a fugue state that ends with me outside, clasping three tomatoes, a bread roll, and toilet paper. The baby has often helpfully shoplifted an avocado, but I really can’t rely on infant kleptomania in the long-term. So I’ve dug out an old fitness friend: Withings Wi-Fi Scales, a scale that measures weight and body fat then tracks both in a variety of nerdpleasing graphs. I’ve also set up iTakeControl, a tracking app designed to help with binge eating disorders but that can also be helpful for anyone who needs to snack more mindfully. My final effort to live as a functioning adult rather than a human carb refinery is a Reminders list synced with my husband, so we can keep a running list of sensible foods, including allcaps notes like “FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS BUY BUNDT” or “GOT (1%) MILK?” So hopefully, this time next year, fancy guests should find more than crumbs in the cookie jar, and my daughter won’t appear in headlines like “Hass Hassle As Baby Bandit Strikes Again!” It’s probably for the best. jan 2017 93

>>> Home Life

apple tv The latest tvOS apps and the hottest hardware

Sonic CD

Still in glorious 16-bit Free

Sniff out the hot deals on iTunes without having to wade through all the categories yourself.

CheapCharts Shop and save Free

Between apps, movies, TV shows, music, and books, there’s plenty of great stuff to buy on iTunes. But why pay full price? Smart shoppers wait for the best deals to hit before spending any hardearned cash. Wouldn’t it be great if there were an app for tracking all the deals on iTunes? Enter CheapCharts, a free Universal app that tracks what’s on sale at iTunes and makes it easy to buy in a couple of taps. There are no ads and no In-App Purchases to contend with, although the Apple TV version strictly focuses on movies, TV, and apps, since that content is the most readily available there. CheapCharts features large, colorful artwork along with IMDb ratings and Rotten Tomatoes scores, and highlights movies that offer iTunes Extras, to help you make a buying decision. You can even sort the display by various criteria including Latest Price Changes, Price, Greatest Savings, and more. Go save! J.R. Bookwalter 94 jan 2017

Sega America continues bringing its classics back to the big screen, this time with Sonic CD. With both of the original Sonic the Hedgehog adventures ported to Apple TV, it was just a matter of time before the distant shores of Never Lake appeared on our TV screens. This retro favorite has been lovingly restored to its former 16-bit wonder. That includes the original standard-definition introduction animation, presented in its native 4:3 aspect ratio, for authenticity. (The rest has been adapted for

16:9 HDTV screens, though, so it’s easier to play, and looks excellent.) The game works well with Siri Remote, but you’ll ideally want to invest in a Bluetooth controller. Best of all, Sonic CD is now free, and includes Universal support for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch in addition to Apple TV. Yes, you’ll have to deal with the occasional ad, but they can be removed with a $1.99 In-App Purchase. For the retro gaming crowd, nothing compares to seeing an old favorite back in action… or perhaps you can try it for the first time. j.r. bookwalter

Replicate the original experience by leaving your Apple TV on for days at a time in order to “save” your progress.

Better living through smarter tech

Channels 2.0

home theater

Real live TV $24.99

Apple’s half-baked TV app doesn’t go nearly far enough in bringing live television to Apple TV, but thankfully there are third-party developers busy working on the ultimate cord-cutting experience. The recently redesigned Channels gets a whole lot closer, complete with the ability to pause, rewind, and fast-forward live channels. However, you’ll need external hardware to power the experience, in the shape of an HDHomeRun box, which can be used with local over-theair channels or a cable subscription. What Channels brings to the experience is rich guide data, HD streaming with 5.1

Make the most of home entertainment

What’s on TV? Live TV, that is… yes, it really is still a thing outside of sports. surround sound and closed captioning, and the ability to peek at what else is on while you’re watching another show. There’s no DVR capability, but HDHomeRun gear works with the Plex DVR beta for that. j.r. bookwalter


Sony XBR-65Z9D $5,999 Many AV enthusiasts are loath to spend this kind of money on a 65-inch panel, but Sony has outdone itself with stunning HDR picture quality, color, and contrast like never before. And no wonder: there are more than 600 LEDs powering this backlit screen, although the built-in audio and Android TV OS are fairly average.

He still writes (some of) the songs Free (subscription required)

Barry Manilow: for those of a certain age, the name sends a chill of pleasure or dread down the spine. Now ManilowTV has arrived on Apple TV. Powered by VHX and also available on iPhone, iPad, Android, and Roku devices, this all-access subscription streaming service offers five specially curated performance videos, benefit concerts, award evenings, private shows, rehearsals, and more each and every month, for only $9.99 after a seven-day free trial period. We’re talking about a 1991 Showstoppers concert at the Paramount Theatre in New York,

Her name was Lola – she was a showgirl… And the story continues on ManilowTV. a 55-minute “Making of 2AM Paradise Café” behind-the-scenes video, and a greatest hits performance in Sydney, Australia from 1994 – each with written personal memories of the event by the Man(ilow) himself. j.r. bookwalter

iCarbons Dark Wood Skin $14 Here’s an inexpensive way to customize the media box and Siri Remote with a “premium quality vinyl decal” that offers a dark, textured 3D woodgrain look and feel. The residue-free 3M Comply adhesive applies bubble-free, but nevertheless remains easy to remove when the day comes you want to go back to simple black. jan 2017 95



that you must enter into the web page. If you’ve enabled two-step verification, you may also receive a code on your designated device. Once done, you can sign in using your new Apple ID (the new email address) on each device. If your Apple ID is tied to a “special” Apple address (ending,, or, you can’t change it for another – but you won’t need to, as it’s separate from your ISP. Of course, in your case this all is pretty moot, as you can no longer access your old email. You may need to contact Apple for help via apple. co/2dfUXdI as your current Apple ID may no longer work.

Removing a stubborn kernel extension

Before changing your Apple ID’s primary email address, sign out of your account.

Changing an Apple ID address I recently changed ISP, and my email address changed as well. I notified Apple of that change, but since then I’ve been unable to use any Apple service or the Mac App Store. Whether I try my old or new passwords, they always fail. How can I restore access to my Apple ID? Your Apple ID is an email address which you must be able to access, because Apple will contact you on it. That address can only be associated with one Apple ID. When your email address changes, you’ll need to inform Apple using a specific method. First, sign out of your

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Apple account on every device that signs into it. Then, preferably on a Mac, sign in at and click Edit to the right of the Account section, click Change Email Address, then enter your new email address. Apple will next send an email to that address, containing a verification code

I found and removed the Soundflower extension from the Library folder in /System, and now it has reappeared in the top-level /Library folder. How can I get rid of it permanently? Soundflower is an old kernel extension. It’s designed to capture, as a single stream, all audio which is output by the operating system, enabling you to route it as an audio input to another app for processing. Originally developed by developers Cycling ’74 for use in its audio apps, it was later taken on by Rogue Amoeba, and is now available through GitHub ( as open source software. Unfortunately, development is currently dormant, and it’s almost certainly best avoided with recent versions of OS X/macOS, including 10.10, 10.11, and 10.12. El Capitan won’t enable you or an installer to place such extensions in /System/Library/Extensions, but your first copy of Soundflower will have migrated from your previous system, which did allow that, when you upgraded to El Capitan. Any more recent installation of it, perhaps as part of other audio software, could only place it in /Library/Extensions because of El Capitan’s System Integrity

Tech Support & Techsplanations

> Locked files won’t go away

It’s trivial to remove kernel extensions like Soundflower that have been installed into the top-level Library. Protection (SIP) technology, which prevents non-Apple files from being placed in system folders. That can only be deactivated very deliberately by restarting in the Recovery system and entering a command in Terminal. Whichever folder it’s in, simply drag the file to the Trash; SIP doesn’t protect non-Apple items, but you will have to enter your credentials as an admin user to move the file. It’s wise then to restart your Mac and empty the Trash.

I have some old files on my Desktop that I think must be locked, as I can’t move them to the Trash to delete them. How can I get rid of them? Locked files are shown with a padlock on their icon, and if you try to drag them to the Trash you should be asked whether you actually want to remove them. If you confirm that you do, you should then be able to empty the Trash normally. There are other ways in which files can become blocked from being trashed in this way. If they’re still marked as being in use by an app, you should see an error reporting that. Similarly,

if you don’t have the appropriate permission to remove them from the folder they’re in, that will be detailed in a dialog. You can determine which of these is the likely cause by selecting a file in Finder and choosing File > Get Info to inspect its settings: the window that this opens contains useful clues, such as the

file’s locked/unlocked and permissions status. Files that are damaged can also be blocked from deletion. You may find it helpful to start up in safe mode (, or even to start up in the Recovery system (apple. co/2cC1uhX) and run Disk Utility’s First Aid feature on the relevant drive.

How to reboot in safe mode? Does the Mac have a safe mode and how do I activate it? I’ve come from a Windows computer. Yes, there’s a very similar mode on the Mac which essentially loads just the bare minimum level of drivers and other system software, so you can try to diagnose if any third-party apps are being troublesome. Shut down the Mac, wait 10 seconds, then press the Power button to start up. At the startup sound, hold down ß until you see the Apple logo and progress bar. Check in System Information that Boot Mode says “Safe.” Jut reboot to get back to your normal Mac mode.

Why do Time Machine backups take so long? I’d been happily running OS X 10.9 on my Mac mini, and just upgraded it to 10.11. Now it seems to be taking

forever for Time Machine to prepare a backup. How long should it take, and should I just let it run? The first backup after such a major upgrade is likely to take a long time, and is also more likely to get stuck partway. Tens of thousands of files at least will have changed, and Spotlight will have a major task reindexing your backups, too. The latter is essential now, and can’t be turned off. Let that first backup run overnight. If it still doesn’t appear to be making progress, you can try restarting, possibly even starting up in safe mode, and letting it have another attempt. Also check logs in Console. Time Machine’s entries are relatively simple and clear, and start with the identifier Even if other entries are incomprehensible, those ones should make some sense. You can always try the time-worn method of turning Time Machine off and on again in its System Preferences pane.

Time Machine’s preferences pane gives you a good idea as to whether it’s making any progress through a backup. jan 2017 97

>>> Ask

How can I remove Parallels completely?

To make a new shared album, select some pics and click the Share icon then iCloud Photo Sharing.


How to share from Photos over iCloud I’m running the latest release of OS X 10.11 El Capitan and Photos 1.5 on my Mac. How can I share a folder of photos with a friend using my iCloud account? First turn on a feature in the iCloud pane in System Preferences: click the Options button next to Photos and ensure that the last item, iCloud Photo Sharing, is enabled. Next, open the Photos app and assemble an album of images that you want to share. It can contain a maximum of 5,000 photos and videos in all. Remember that these will be uploaded to and stored in iCloud, so you’ll need a robust internet connection, particularly if there are many images in the album that’s to be shared. They don’t count against your iCloud storage use, although Apple imposes some (fairly liberal) limits on shared albums, which are detailed at When you’re ready to share the album, select it and then choose File > Share > iCloud Photo Sharing. This will generate a link that you can send to your friend, so they can safely access your shared photo album. You should never give anyone access to your

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iCloud account as a shortcut, of course. iCloud Photo Sharing works with Macs and iOS devices, and PCs that have iCloud for Windows (apple. co/2ctTjXx) installed on them. The latter is detailed in If your friend wants to access the photos from an Android device or unsupported system (such as an outof-date web browser), or they can’t connect to iCloud, you may have to look at other photo-sharing services, which may charge a subscription fee or be more complex.

Why don’t Energy Saver settings work? I’ve got a custom set of settings in the Energy Saver control panel in Preferences, but for some reason they always revert to the default settings when I reboot. Help? It’s most likely to be a problem with the settings file itself, perhaps to do with permissions or slight corruption. Click Restore Defaults in its pane, or try moving its settings file from /Library/Preferences/ SystemConfiguration/ PowerManagement.plist to your user account’s Documents folder, restart, and try again. That’ll clear a stuck settings file by creating a fresh one.

Although I thought that I’d need to run Windows software on my iMac, Parallels Desktop is just wasting disk space. How can I remove it from my Mac to free up storage? The Parallels Desktop app and its supporting files take quite a lot of space, but it’s usually the virtual machines you create in the app that use the most. You can just drag the Parallels Desktop app to the Trash and then restart your Mac, but this still leaves some remains behind, so Parallels provides a proper uninstaller and instructions at to do a more complete and tidier job of it. Virtual machines are disk images containing the hosted operating system, such as Windows, and all the files for that system. Before removing them, make sure you have copied all documents and other files that you might want to keep from them. Trashing a virtual machine loses its contents completely, and there’s no undo (unless you’ve backed up the machine elsewhere, of course). By default, Parallels stores your virtual machines in ~/Documents/ Parallels (the “~” being your user folder) or /Users/Shared/Parallels; their extension is “.pvm.” To remove them, drag them to the Trash and empty it. As you can see, uninstalling complex software can be quite difficult these days. For other software, first check its

Parallels Desktop’s uninstaller isn’t signed, so you must right-click it and choose Open rather than double-click it.

Tech Support & Techsplanations

publisher’s support pages. Some more generic strategies for removing apps from your Mac are detailed at

Bought and paid for How do I sort iTunes tracks to see songs I’ve bought online, rather than those I’ve ripped from CD and so on?

Select the Songs view and choose View > Show View Options. Add the Purchase Date column, then click its header to sort tracks to see those from Apple Music or the iTunes Store, grouped by album when possible.

Adobe CS5 and system upgrades I’d like to upgrade my iMac to OS X 10.11 El Capitan in prep for later moving to macOS Sierra, but I’m worried my main apps – Adobe InDesign and Photoshop CS5 – will be incompatible. Any ideas? Although Creative Suite 5 apps are now unsupported, most people find they work well on El Capitan, with few if any significant glitches. Creative Suite 6 is even more compatible, and if you can afford it, Creative Cloud has no problems at all working with El Capitan or macOS Sierra. The main problem with CS5 apps after an OS X upgrade relates to Java. They need the legacy Java SE runtime from If you don’t install that afterwards, your CS5 apps


> Routed to the spot I’ve just installed a new modem-router, which works well with my Macs. However, our iPad has lost several apps, Maps won’t work, it can’t check for updates, or download the missing apps. What has gone wrong? Check that your iPad is properly connected to the internet through your new router. In its Settings app, tap Wi-Fi and ensure that the Wi-Fi switch at the top is in its on position. Tap the info icon for the selected network connection and then check that the iPad has an IP address assigned to it, either automatically using DHCP or a static one, as in a Mac’s Network pane.

Go back to the top level of Settings and check the iPad is signed in with the correct Apple ID: Scroll down and tap iTunes & App Store, and then verify the Apple ID at the top. If those are correct, go back to the top level of Settings again and to General > Software Update. This should check that the iPad is running the latest version of iOS. If not, an update should be offered for download and installation, during which you should connect the iPad to power. Persistent problems in spite of a good Wi-Fi connection and correct Apple ID can sometimes be overcome by

won’t run. Other apps may need Oracle’s latest Java ( Install it after the legacy version and the two should coexist fine. Once you’ve upgraded, check that file paths, particularly for scratch disks, point correctly to your startup disk, as those sometimes get mangled in the process. So far, all reports we’ve seen suggest that CS5 works well under Sierra after following the Java update, though there may be small issues.

restarting: hold down the Sleep/Wake button, drag the slider to turn off the iPad, then hold the Sleep/ Wake button again to start up. If this still doesn’t resolve things, there may be an issue with the Apple ID, for which you’ll need Apple’s help.

Creative Suite 5 apps need the legacy Java 6 runtime, which is available for download from Apple’s website.

Email: Facebook: Twitter: jan 2017 99


Use iWork’s new Collaboration feature Discover how to jointly edit documents live in Pages, Keynote, and Numbers REQUIRES macOS Sierra or iOS 10 or later; latest versions of iWork apps, or suitable browser you will learn How to invite others and work jointly on your documents IT WILL TAKE 15 minutes

Want to collaborate in real time with others in Pages, Numbers, or Keynote? Thanks to the newly unveiled iWork Collaboration feature, you can. The feature works with the latest versions of your iWork apps in macOS Sierra, iOS 10, and even through supported web browsers on PC and Mac (namely Safari, Internet Explorer, and Chrome). Once invited, each user’s changes are clearly color-coded to make them easy to follow – and your document is dynamically updated in real time as the changes occur. The document owner can also switch on Tracking Changes to keep a close eye on what edits have been made, and by whom. Note, only those editing

the document on another Mac or iOS device can edit the document when Tracking Changes is switched on; users have view-only access. You can get a quick overview of how your document is being shared with a quick glance at the Collaborate button – if it’s checked, the document has been shared with others, and if that check changes to show a number, that’s how many people are currently editing it. Click the button for a more detailed overview; the document owner can also change how (and with whom) the document is shared. Not all of your iWork apps’ features are currently supported when collaboration mode is switched on – they’re grayed out in the app’s menus. nick peers

Quick Look iWork collaboration

Track Changes If switched on, all changes are clearly marked and color-coded according to who made them.

Real-time changes Watch edits as they’re made by other people – cursors and selection boxes are labeled and colored. 100 jan 2017

Collaborate button The button also shows you how many people are currently editing the document.

Manage collaboration Click the button for a menu giving you a more detailed view and access to sharing options.

How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad

How to Collaborate with others

Start collaborating Open your document and click the clearly marked Collaborate button. An information message pops up – check the box “Don’t show this again” before clicking Continue to move on to the next step.

Set permissions By default, anyone who accesses the document – by link or invite – can edit the document. To restrict access to viewing and printing, click the Permissions drop-down menu to choose “View only.”

Monitor changes Both parties will now be able to see what the other person is doing to the document as it’s edited in real time using the tools provided (see the annotation for details). Choose Edit > Track Changes to monitor edits.

Invitation method Next, choose which communication method to use. You’ll be prompted to enter contact details at this point unless you’re using Messages or Mail – matches will pop up from your Contacts as you start to type names.

Choose recipients Click Share. If sharing via Mail or Messages, a new message will be composed with a clickable link for your recipient to use. Add their name or email to the Message window and click Send to fire off the invite.

Review edits All edits are color-coded to help you see who’s done what. Roll your mouse over an individual change to reveal a pop-up menu allowing you to accept or reject that change. All collaborators can do this.

Add password Click “Share Options” to choose who has access. Invite-only means only specific people have access; “Anyone with the link” provides a shareable link. If you choose the latter, click “Add Password” to add extra security.

What happens next Your recipient will receive the link via email or Messages – if it’s invite-only, clicking this will prompt them to open the relevant iWork app on their Mac or iPad. A shared copy is downloaded to their iCloud Drive.

Stop sharing Document owners can revoke sharing via the Collaboration button – expand “Share Options” and click “Stop Sharing.” Invitees can roll the mouse over their own name, click the … button and choose “Remove Me.” jan 2017 101

>>> Create

A USB floppy drive will cost you very little, and enable you to read the disks on which very old software was supplied.

Run very old Mac software Necromantic tricks to bring long-forgotten software back from the grave REQUIRES A Mac installed with the old OS (even if it no longer works) you will learn How to run outdated versions of OS X, and the classic Mac OS, on your current Mac IT WILL TAKE 1 hour

102 jan 2017

It’s a strange quirk that software becomes obsolete much quicker than hardware. You can still buy an external USB floppy disk drive from Amazon for less than $15 that will read disks created on a Macintosh Classic from 1990; yet there are apps written for Leopard that won’t run in El Capitan just seven years later. Documents that you access regularly survive the passage of time because they get migrated from one format to the next, as you upgrade your Mac. But the dusty box of floppy disks with that unfinished first novel in MacWrite, and your father’s carefully researched family tree in an old version of FileMaker Pro, are unreadable binary detritus on a modern Mac. Being able to run old software is the best way to rescue these files, but old Mac apps can be fun, too. Even though we undoubtedly live in a golden era of computer and video games, there are

still some genuinely worthy classics from the ’80s and ’90s. But you don’t need to lovingly restore an actual Macintosh Plus just to play Lode Runner; modern Macs easily have enough horsepower to emulate the older Mac operating systems. Virtually a PowerPC Let’s start with OS X. A lot of apps originally developed for 10.5 Leopard or 10.6 Snow Leopard won’t run on later versions. Snow Leopard was also the last version of OS X to support PowerPC processors. So, if you have any software that originally ran on a G3, G4, or G5 Mac, that’s as far as it could be upgraded. Unfortunately, running Snow Leopard isn’t as simple as just taking the original install DVD and putting the system on an external drive. An operating system from five years ago doesn’t have the right drivers for lots of the hardware on a modern Mac, such as a Retina display or

How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad

Revisit the wonders of Mac OS 9 using SheepShaver – but you’ll need to find a Mac ROM image too.

USB 3 ports. Instead, you should use either Fusion 8.5 ($68, or Parallels Desktop 12 ($80, Either of these can create a virtual machine that runs within your existing OS and allows you to install and run a completely different operating system on top of that. The virtualization software takes care of interfacing with your modern hardware, so it works even with older operating systems. The only tiny complication is that Apple’s licensing agreement doesn’t allow the regular edition of Snow Leopard to be installed on a virtual machine, so you need to buy a copy of Snow Leopard Server instead. This works just the same as the regular edition of Snow Leopard (apart from some system administration features that you’ll never use) but usefully, it will also install correctly under Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion. You can pick up a copy of Snow Leopard Server on eBay for about $50. Perhaps you need to roll the clock back even further and run software designed for Mac OS 9? If you still have a Mac running 10.4 Tiger, you might be able to run them using the Classic environment, but this will only work on a Mac with a PowerPC processor. You can’t run the Classic environment on an Intel Mac, even if you’re running 10.4 from within Parallels or Fusion. For that, you’ll need to download SheepShaver (free, This strangely named utility emulates the PowerPC

hardware so that you can install OS 9 – or even OS 8. Because it’s emulating a different hardware architecture, SheepShaver needs to use the system ROM files from one of the older Macs. These are copyrighted by Apple, so you can’t legally use them unless you also own the physical Mac they came from. ROM files for various older Mac models are available for download, though, so you don’t need to go through the rigmarole of copying off the system ROM from that old G3-powered Mac in your basement.

JARGON BUSTER get to the good stuff Once you have OS 9 running inside your emulator – see the walkthrough on p105 – you’re ready to install some apps. Even if you no longer have the original disks for your software any more (or perhaps even a drive that will read them!) there are lots of apps that are classed as abandonware. This is a legally gray area whereby very old software that’s no longer available commercially is distributed for free by enthusiasts. It’s technically still software piracy, but the original copyright holder either can’t be traced or chooses not to enforce their copyright. In any case, some would argue that downloading it is an ethical act of software preservation. Macintoshgarden. org maintains an extensive library of Mac abandonware, including some classic games from the ’90s.

An emulator is an app that mimics another computer or operating system so that it can run software designed for that system.

You can run Snow Leopard and its apps using virtualization software. jan 2017 103

>>> Create

Quick Look Using Mac OS 9 in an emulator

Menu bar The Special menu is like the  menu in macOS. Shutdown ends your session and closes the emulator.

Mac OS 9 virtual disk This folder in SheepShaver acts like the internal hard drive of the emulated Mac.

Control Strip This is similar to macOS’s System Preferences. However, many of the settings in this strip are overridden by SheepShaver.

Sharing disk This actually points to a folder in OS X. Use it to move files between OS X and Mac OS 9.

Although you can download apps directly from the web browser running in OS 9, you’ll generally find it much easier to download the files in macOS and then move them to the emulated OS 9 environment. SheepShaver uses a shared folder for this purpose; files you place in that folder from macOS will appear in a virtual disk called “Unix” on the OS 9 desktop. Bear in mind that when you add a new file, you’ll need to close and reopen the Unix folder in OS 9 to see the changes.

Quick tip Having trouble reading old install disks? You’ll find an archive of Apple abandonware, including System 1.0 to Mac OS 8, at 104 jan 2017

going back even further Most software you find online will in the form of .sit files, which have been compressed using the StuffIt utility, and so you’ll need StuffIt Expander (free, bit. ly/mlsitexp) to enable you to double-click a .sit file in OS X to expand it; you’ll then normally see a .img disk image. Mount these in the emulated OS 9 by adding them to the list of disks in SheepShaver’s preferences. When you quit SheepShaver and restart it, the disk image will appear on the OS 9 desktop, and you can open it and run the app’s installer. Finally, if you want to get really retro, there are apps written back when Macs

used the Motorola 68000-series of processors, before even the PowerPC chips. These models ran System 7 and earlier. Modern Macs have so much more computing power than these that you can run a faithful emulation of System 7 using JavaScript in your web browser ( 2cHZW6C). This is a great way to give you a feel for what you’re letting yourself in for, but only a few apps and games are available this way. To run anything else, you’ll need to install Basilisk II ( As before, you’ll need to own a copy of the OS and the system ROM that you’re emulating. Think of this as a more convenient way to access the software on an old Mac you already own, rather than a way of getting a whole extra virtual computer. Emulating your old Mac’s OS is also a great way to get at software on a Mac that no longer works – it’s a sort of virtual repair. Basilisk II can emulate a Macintosh Classic or a Macintosh II, and it can theoretically run operating systems back to version 1.0 from 1984. In practice, System 6 is usually the furthest back you need to go. Luis Villazon

How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad

How to Emulate OS 9 in SheepShaver


Download SheepShaver SheepShaver is a free emulator available from To use it without infringing Apple’s copyright, you’ll also need to own a PowerPC Mac, because the emulator requires a copy of the system ROM to work.

Start up the emulator With the ROM file in SheepShaver’s folder, open the app. The blinking ? shows the ROM is recognized by the emulator. If you no longer have the OS 9 install discs for your Mac, you can download a disk image file from

The system ROM There are utilities that will copy the ROM file from your old Mac, but it’s much easier (and necessary if that Mac no longer works) to get a working copy from Save it as “Mac OS ROM” in the SheepShaver folder.

A system ROM tells the operating system how to connect to the computer hardware. It’s roughly equivalent to the EFI firmware used on a modern Mac.

Name your disks Click Browse to locate the ROM file from earlier. Click Create and name the virtual hard disk “MacOS9HD.” Use the other Browse button to point to a folder outside SheepShaver’s so you can transfer files between OS 9 and macOS.

make room

Tweak other settings Choose a memory (RAM) size for your virtual machine (you can be generous), then click the Miscellaneous tab, turn on “Use Raw Keycodes” and browse to the keycode file in the SheepShaver folder. Enter slirp in the Ethernet Interface box.

Install OS 9 In macOS, select the OS 9 image file, press ç+I and lock the file. SheepShaver will see it as a CD. In SheepShaver, click Add, select the file, then press ≈+œ to restart the emulator. In OS 9, initialize the disk as Mac OS Extended and wait for it to finish.

Make sure you specify a large enough virtual disk for your emulator. Remember, the size is listed in megabytes rather than gigabytes! jan 2017 105

>>> Create

Make your website’s words work Learn why you need to think about words for humans and robots alike REQUIRES RapidWeaver you will learn How using words in different places in your websites helps build your search rankings IT WILL TAKE 30 minutes

part 3 of 5 Next issue:

Working with media and advanced options

Some website owners focus really hard on their site’s visual design and don’t pay too much attention to the words on their web pages. That’s a mistake, because the words on your site make a massive difference to the two groups that’ll be looking at them: humans, and Google’s robots. Let’s start with the latter. Google’s software crawls the web, scanning pages and classifying them. The specifics of how it does that change over time, but fundamentally Google cares about the quality of a web page. Old tricks such as sticking in popular keywords – “You don’t have to be Britney Spears to get a great gravel driveway!” – don’t work any more, and while it’s important to include any relevant keywords in your website, there’s no need to get carried away. That doesn’t mean you can’t give Google a hand, though. META tags, which

are bits of data that describe a page, aren’t visible to human visitors to your site. However, they are visible to Google, and the right ones can help make your site easier to classify and find. You’ll learn how to work with META tags in RapidWeaver in the walkthrough on the next page. As for the humans, who better to turn to for inspiration than Apple? One of its copywriting tricks is to talk about “you;” to say “Take them out and they’re ready to use with all your devices” about AirPods instead of eulogizing about frequency ranges. The old adage “Sell the sizzle, not the steak” is good advice for sales sites – but even completely unsalesy sites benefit from this, too. You can talk about what “you” can see, do or feel, where “you” can go, what “you” can experience, how whatever you’re writing about makes “your” life better. Gary Marshall

Visual guide Formatting tools

The sidebar This is where your site’s pages are accessed, along with global site settings.

The editing window Click the buttons at the top center to switch between the editing and preview modes.

106 jan 2017

The Inspector This is where you add extra code and tweak the settings for the page in the middle.

Formatting options Use this set of controls to apply styles and basic formatting, such as left/right alignment, bold and italics.

How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad

How to Make your site worth reading


Write your words If you haven’t already done so, add pages to your site by clicking the + (Add) button and choosing Styled Text. Select a page, click Edit (top center), and then type words into the page, using the toolbar for formatting.

Add global tags Adding meta tags such as your site’s description helps Google scan your site. For tags that need to apply across the whole site, select Code under Settings on the left, click Metatags and enter the appropriate text.

Keep it simple Click the Preview button to see the results. If you see a large part of white space at the right of the page, that’s because your template has room for a sidebar. Don’t want it? You can turn it off in the Inspector on the right.

Metadata is data that describes data. A page title is metadata: it tells Google and your web browser what the current page is called.

Be more specific It’s also a good idea to add pagespecific meta tags, such as descriptions. To do so, select the appropriate page and then click the Meta Tags button in the Inspector. You’ll see a box where you can add a description.

keep it connected

Customize page titles Many of RapidWeaver’s templates use the page title as a headline, and you can customize this at the bottom of the Inspector’s General tab. Here we’re changing the title and slogan for our example accommodation page.

Check for readability Using a readability gauge such as is a great way to check you haven’t written something that’s hard to read. Click the Test by Direct Input tab, paste your text in, and then click Calculate Readability.

The more sites that link to yours, the better your search ranking – but only if they’re good quality links from reputable sites. jan 2017 107

>>> Create

Make use of richer iOS notifications Learn how to stay on top of things with iOS 10’s improved notifications REQUIRES iOS 10 you will learn How to keep track of, and attend to, events and communications, and filter out things that can wait IT WILL TAKE 15 minutes

the basics of notifications haven’t changed much in iOS 10. They still appear for a moment in a strip across the top of the screen when your device is unlocked, accumulate in Notification Center, and are shown on the Lock screen so you can attend to any you might have ignored or missed from one place later on. They also still display numbered counts on apps’ Home screen icons to remind you of how many missed events you’ve got to catch up on. But the updated operating system enables apps to provide more than just a bit of text and a few actions you might take in response. For example, when you receive a text message, as well as responding to it in place you can scroll back through your conversation to check what was previously said. These capabilities apply to third-party apps from the App Store too, and provide you with much greater control without the need to pull you out of an app.

Notifications work largely the same across all iOS devices, but your iPhone is a 6s/6s Plus or 7/7 Plus, 3D Touch provides you with a more consistent experience for dealing with things like notifications, from the Lock screen or a banner. Notice that there are no longer tabs at the top of Notification Center for moving between the Today view and Notifications. The Today view is still present: you only have to swipe left to right on Notification Center to find it. So, on a Plus-size iPhone, you can reach and interact with the Today view much more easily while using your device one-handed. The Today view is also available at the Lock screen, as we explained last issue. Just swipe left to right to view it. Finally, after you’ve configured an app in Settings > Notifications, tap its name in the bottom group at the top level of Settings; often the same controls are repeated here, but occasionally you’ll find extras. Also check any configuration page within the app itself. Alan Stonebridge

How to Work with notifications

Clear a notification Banners and alerts can get in the way of things. To quickly dismiss one without taking action, swipe upwards on it. 108 jan 2017

Set up app notifications To configure notifications for any app that uses them, go to Settings > Notifications and tap the app’s name. Each has the same basic set of options. Some provide extras, such as previewing messages on the Lock screen.

Refine your choices To disable all notifications from an app, switch off Allow Notifications. Otherwise, set whether items appear on the Lock screen, are added to Notification Center, play a sound, or show as a badge on the app’s icon.

How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad


Respond to a banner

Opening notifications

When a banner (or alert) appears at the top of the screen, tap it to go to the relevant place in the corresponding app, or swipe down from it (or apply 3D Touch if your device has it) to respond from where you are.

At the Lock screen, swipe right on an item to jump to the corresponding place in its app to deal with it. To respond to one in Notification Center, tap it instead, as swiping right there will take you to the Today view.

Richer notifications

Without 3D Touch

iOS 10 enables apps to show richer content when you open a notification in place, instead of going to its corresponding app. If your device has 3D touch just press hard to pop open the richer view.

An app’s notifications that appear at the top of the screen while you’re busy can be configured to disappear (banners) or stick around (alerts).

On devices without 3D Touch, you can swipe right to left on the notification to reveal an option to View the notification. Tap this and you get the same rich notifcation view as if you’d used 3D Touch.

lock it off You can disable access to Notification Center at the Lock screen in Settings > Touch ID & Passcode (or Passcode on some older devices).

Clear old notifications Regardless of whether your device has 3D Touch, at the Lock screen or in Notification Center you can dismiss an item by swiping left on it and tapping Clear. Depending on the app, other commands may be available here, too.

Clear all notifications Notification Center groups old items by reverse order of date. To clear a whole group of items, tap the X to the right of its heading. To get rid of all notifications, apply 3D Touch to an X and then tap Clear All Notifications. jan 2017 109

>>> Create

Master iOS 10’s Music app Discover the improvements that help you browse and listen to tracks REQUIRES iOS 10 you will learn How to navigate and get the most from the redesigned Music app IT WILL TAKE 15 minutes

quick mini controls

apple has made many changes to Music in iOS 10, and it’s now a much better app to use. However, among the changes is one that may require you to think a bit harder at first. Notice that there’s no longer an ellipsis next to library items, which used to reveal contextual commands. On a device with 3D Touch, you only have to press firmly on an item to reveal the same options, but on those without it you have to hold a finger on an item for a couple of seconds instead. This works on song and artist names in the alphabetical lists, album and playlist artwork, and even the Mini Player bar that appears across the bottom of the screen when music’s playing. The actions available differ by item, but they generally include adding it – whether it’s one track or a collection of them – to a playlist or the queue, downloading it so you can play it while offline, or marking it as something you love or dislike to influence the suggestions in For You. You’ll find an important new item called Optimize Storage listed under the Downloads heading in Settings > Music. However, it’s only present if iCloud Music Library is enabled further up the page. When this feature’s off, iOS doesn’t touch your music when it needs space to

Tap the Mini Player and scroll down for loop and shuffle controls, or to manage the queue. You can start shuffled playback from anywhere in your library.

You can ensure your device always contains some songs with Optimize Storage. 110 jan 2017

You can apply 3D Touch to many items to take quick action, assuming your device supports it. download an app or play other media. When it’s switched on, you can tell iOS to retain no less than a certain amount of music on your device, or you can choose None to give it free rein to remove all of your music if need be. taking control If you prefer to manage things manually, you can now do this from the app’s own page in Settings, rather than having to dig around elsewhere. Tap Downloaded Music (even if you sync music from iTunes on your Mac) for an overview of what’s using space. Whether you are at the list of artists, albums, or an album’s track list, you can quickly reclaim space by swiping left on any item and then tapping the Delete button. If you’re not interested in Apple Music, you can switch it off in Settings > Music. This hides For You and Discover, but moves Connect – posts from artists and curators – to the bottom bar. As in iOS 9, you can hide Connect by going to Settings > General > Restrictions and turning off the switch labeled Apple Music Connect. This leaves Library, Radio, and Search in the bottom bar. Sadly, there’s no way to separate out the Playlists view from your library. Even so, this leaves you with a much leaner and more efficient view. alan stonebridge

How to Browse and interact with Music

Browse your library Your library has moved from the right-most position in the bottom bar to the leftmost. On iPad, there’s no longer a separate Playlists icon in the bar; they’re available through the pop-up, top left of the Library page.

Recommendations Tap “For You” for hints on music you might like, based on your listening habits and things you’ve rated. Swipe on rows to see additional items, then apply 3D Touch or a long press to a suggestion to react to it.

Search for music Tap Search and you’ll see your recent searches and what other people have looked for, saving you typing the same things. Otherwise, tap the box, specify whether to look in your library or Apple’s collection, then type.

Customize Tap Library, then tap Edit to choose which categories are shown or hidden. Here you’ll find the Compilations, (Music) Videos and Genres options to add, and you can remove any from the Library page.

Connect with artists Scroll past the suggestions on the For You page to find posts from artists. Tap the account icon (top right) to review suggested artists, or apply 3D Touch/long press to an artist name in the Search results to follow them.

Interact with results Search results respond to 3D Touch or a long press too, giving an option to download an item if it’s already in your library, or to add it and then download it. Use this to stock up on tracks before you go offline.

Quick access To change the order in which categories are listed, drag from the handles to the right of them. Next, tap Done, then swipe upwards to see new additions to your library. These support the 3D Touch/long press gesture.

Internet radio Tap Radio to listen to Beats 1 or a themed station. Personalized stations you’ve previously created, by applying 3D Touch/a long press to an item you chose as an indicator of your mood, can be found by scrolling down.

Browse local music The Library tab includes a view that shows solely music downloaded for offline playback. A reminder that you’re not seeing your whole library appears at the top. Tap Library in the bottom bar to see everything again. jan 2017 111

>>> Create

Create a photo slideshow in iMovie Put together a movie of your images using iMovie for iOS REQUIRES iMovie for iOS you will learn How to add photos, effects, and music to an iMovie project on iOS IT WILL TAKE 1 hour

The new Memories feature in iOS 10 enables you to create photo slideshows from images in your photo library and customize them – but it’s no substitute for creating your own photo slideshow from scratch. Of course, there’s an app for that too, which you may have on your iPhone or iPad already: iMovie. Screen time It’s really straightforward to pull photos from your Photo Library into iMovie and create slideshows, adding the transitions you choose, specifying exactly the music you want and even tweaking the moving Ken Burns effects so they work in exactly the way you want. You can add a soundtrack, too – either one of iMovie’s built-in theme music tracks or a song from your own Music library. If you choose one of your own songs, it needs to be stored on your device. If you want to add some fun to your slideshow, you can choose from one

of iMovie’s library of sound effects. Each effect can be applied to an individual photo. With a little creativity you could make your slideshow very entertaining! By default, each photo in the slideshow is onscreen for four seconds, but you can easily change that – to match the length of a sound effect, for example – by tapping the photo in the timeline and dragging the yellow bar on the right edge left or right. Once you’ve finished your slideshow, iMovie makes it very easy to share on, for example, iCloud Photo Sharing or YouTube. You can also save it on your iOS device to play later. And, if you choose that option and have an Apple TV, you can replay it on a TV using AirPlay. The first step in our process is to create an album in the Photos app to host the photos you want to use in the slideshow. It’s not essential, but it’ll be easier later on if you do it this way – it saves having to hunt for photos when you come to import them to iMovie. Kenny Hemphill

How to Create and edit an iMovie slideshow

Create an album In Photos, tap Albums and then the + at the top of the screen. Give the album a name. Tap Save then navigate to the photos you want to add. Tap a photo to add it, then navigate to the next one. Tap Done when you’re finished.

112 jan 2017

Create a slideshow Launch iMovie and tap Movie. Tap Create Movie at the bottom of the screen. Then tap the + at the left of the screen to add a photo. Tap Albums, then the album you just created. Tap a photo to add it to the slideshow.

Add more photos The photo you added is now on iMovie’s timeline. To add another, tap the + again and repeat the process. Repeat as needed until all the photos you want in your slideshow are on the timeline in iMovie.

How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad

Change the order If the photos are in the order you want them to play, great. If not, tap and hold on one until it “pops,” then drag it to where you want it on the timeline. Repeat until all the photos are in the right order.

Add a song In the Media Browser, tap Audio, choose from Albums, Artists, or Songs, and navigate to the song you want to add. If the track is in iCloud, you’ll be prompted to go to the Music app and download it first.

Add a filter Tap the photo in the timeline to which you want to add the filter. Tap Filters at the bottom of the screen and tap a filter to preview. If you don’t like it, try another. When you find one you like, tap the timeline to apply it.

Change transitions By default, iMovie puts a onesecond dissolve between photos. To change it, tap the transition icon between two photos, then choose a transition and length from the menu. Repeat for each transition you want to change.

Add sound effects In the Media library, tap Sound Effects and scroll through the list of effects until you find the one that you want to add. Tap Use and then drag it onto the photo in the timeline where you want it to play.

Add a project filter Instead of adding filters to photos, you can add one to the entire slideshow. Tap the settings cog at the top of the screen and choose the filter you want. Optionally, turn on the “Fade in from black” and “Fade out to black” filters.

”Ken Burns” effect Tap on the photo you want to customize; the “Ken Burns” controls are at the bottom right of the image. Tap the start button and drag the image to where you want it at the start. Do the same with the end button. Tap the timeline to finish.

Add titles Tap the photo in the timeline you want to add titles to (usually the first one), then tap the T at the bottom of the screen. Tap a style, then tap the placeholder in the viewer and type in the text for the title.

Export slideshow When you’re finished editing, tap Done and then tap the share button at the bottom of the screen. Choose where you want to share it. For YouTube, tap the icon then log in to your account and fill in the options form then Share. jan 2017 113

>>> RAM Random Apple Memory



Adam Banks remembers the all-in-one computer that brought us the graphical user interface

Before the Macintosh changed everything, there was Lisa.

be impractical to deliver such a product by 1981, he was replaced by John Couch, assisted by Jef Raskin. It was at this time that Raskin persuaded Jobs to visit Xerox’s PARC (Palo Alto Research Center), and the rest is history. Instead of an upgraded Apple II, the Lisa would be a new generation of computer with a graphical user interface. Officially, Lisa stood for Local Integrated System Architecture. Unofficially, it was named for Jobs’ own new generation, his estranged daughter Lisa, born in 1978. Both the software and hardware were cutting-edge, and a full suite of office

software was included. This pushed up the price. Launched in January 1983 at $9,995, the Lisa sold a few thousand units to ambitious early adopters, but never took off. By now Jobs had wrested the Macintosh project from Raskin, and it was this more affordable system that would ignite the personal computer revolution. Couch is now Apple’s Vice President for Education.


114 jan 2017

>>> Get more from iOS 10

>>> The big guide to Photos for Mac

>>> MacBook Pro w/ Touch Bar reviews

jan 10

Contents subject to change

In 1978, Apple was the wunderkind of the computer industry. The Apple II – the first complete system you could take home and use – was selling well to enthusiasts, and corporate users would soon flock to it with the arrival of Dan Bricklin’s VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet. It was time to plan the next machine for the lucrative business market. For $2,000, Apple’s marketers decided, it should offer a built-in green screen, more professional than the Apple II’s TV set connection, and a highcapacity floppy drive. When the original project manager told Steve Jobs it would




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