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January 2017 CONTENTS MACUSER How a little iOS magic in every new Touch Bar adds security 7 Why Apple won’t make an ARM-powered Mac 11 Apple’s Federighi: ‘Every intent’ to support automation in macOS 16 MacUser Reviews 17 Hot Stuff 34

iOSCENTRAL Apple offers new battery for iPhone 6s phones 39

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar Review 64

Apple, let us choose the apps we want to use in iOS 41 Stopped playing Pokémon Go? 8 reasons to start again 44 iOS Central Reviews 51 What’s new at the App Store 57 iPhone and iPad Cases 58


Evolution of Apple’s laptops 79

A USB dongle can hijack all your Web accounts and router 87 Disable calendar invite spam on iPhone, iPad, and Mac 92 Troubleshooting some nasty Safari malware 95 Track work hours with TSheets 100

PLAYLIST AppleScript, the perfect adjunct to iTunes: An open letter 105 The artist photos in iTunes are useless. They shouldn’t be 108 Ask the iTunes Guy 111

HELPDESK Mac 911: Migrate an old Mac, recover a security code and more 117 JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 3



Editorial SENIOR EDITOR Roman Loyola ASSOCIATE MANAGING EDITOR Leah Yamshon STAFF WRITERS Caitlin McGarry, Oscar Raymundo SENIOR CONTRIBUTORS Adam C. Engst, Glenn Fleishman, Lex Friedman, Rob Griffiths,

John Gruber, Jim Heid, Andy Ihnatko, Joe Kissell, Ted Landau, Rick LePage, Ben Long, Kirk McElhearn, John Moltz, John Siracusa, Derrick Story COPY EDITOR Sue Voelkel


Advertising Sales SALES MANAGER Duane Hampson 415/978-3133

Production DIRECTOR, PRODUCTION Nancy Jonathans



Michael Friedenberg


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Photo By: Peggy Sirota

Be the breakthrough. Breakthroughs are the patients participating in clinical trials, the scientists and doctors working together to advance the ďŹ ght against cancer, and the brave survivors like Tonya who never give up. Let’s be the breakthrough. To learn about appropriate screenings and clinical trials or to help someone with cancer, go to #cancerbreakthrough


News and Analysis About Macs, OS X, and Apple

How a little iOS magic in every new Touch Bar adds security It seems like Apple put a Watch under the hood of the new MacBook Pro’s touch-based interface for security and interaction. BY GLENN FLEISHMAN






or years, people have speculated iOS device with Touch ID. about whether Apple would ditch When you enroll, your fingerprints in macOS in favor of iOS, shedding Touch ID, the underlying data (support. desktops and turning laptops into is pushed something like an iPad Pro in a fixed into Secure Enclave, and can’t be pulled clamshell. A version of iOS has apparently back out. When you touch the sensor after come to the Mac, but not in a way that anythat, the characteristics of your fingerprint body expected. The new Touch Bar has a get sent to Secure Enclave, which deterseparate brain, a custom T1 ARM procesmines whether they’re a close enough sor system-on-a-chip (SoC), that looks to match. Secure Enclave is used for other be running a stripped-down variant of iOS, purposes, including storing and processpossibly derived from watchOS. ing authorization information for Apple Pay. Steve Troughton-Smith ( Apple also confirmed in a briefing that stroughtonsmith), an iOS developer the T1 also controls the ISP (image signal known for deep examinations of how the processor) for the FaceTime camera in the operating system ticks, put the pieces MacBook Pro, which is a dandy thing together (, indeed. While it may seem like an oversome of which rely on information provided by Apple While it may seem like an overstated during on-the-record press risk, an undesirable party gaining access briefings and on its site (go. to your camera without your knowledge is a huge vulnerability. 201610), and some from examining files within the newest release of Xcode, which allows developers to take advanstated risk, an undesirable party gaining tage of the Touch Bar. access to your camera without your knowlIt makes sense, because Apple has edge is a huge vulnerability. Some super paired Touch ID in iOS with its custom geeks dig in and remove video driver Secure Enclave chip, a tamper-resistent software, though malware that can exploit security vault that’s separate from but your system can certainly reinstall it intertwined with an iPhone or iPad’s prosecretly. Others put tape over the camera cessing circuitry. There’s a Secure Enclave (, a chip in every Touch Bar, just as in every surprisingly effective low-tech strategy. 8 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

However, routing camera access and data via a more heavily secured separate processing system reduces the surface area substantially of an attacker trying to gain access. The Touch Bar and macOS interact with one another, with macOS rendering graphics and pushing them to the Touch Bar, which handles touch-interface events and sends them to macOS to interpret. This

sounds like two small children driving a car: one can see the road and use the steering wheel, while the other is down below pushing the accelerator and the brake pedal.

FEWER PATHS TO EXPLOIT Apple having a separate processor and OS to handle Touch ID is good news for consumers, because iOS, watchOS, and




tvOS are more clamped down than macOS, which remains more open to inspection and manipulation as a generalcomputing platform. While iOS has suffered exploits, there should be even fewer paths to the Touch Bar to find and trigger flaws, as it acts as a peripheral rather than running apps directly. At the time of the announcement, I assumed Apple could never make a Touch Bar–equipped keyboard, because of the necessary security required for a Secure Enclave chip and connection to a processor. But given that the T1, the Secure Enclave, and the Touch ID sensor are tightly integrated, this entire subsystem could make its way into a Touch Keyboard. Such a keyboard would probably draw too much power to be wireless, and because of the graphics rendering and touch events would require a consistent and fast connection for responsiveness, either USB-C or USB Type A. Because the Touch Bar runs separately, macOS doesn’t have to be in an active state for a user to interact with Touch ID. Apple says you’ll be able to unlock your Mac (and switch among enrolled users with fast-user switching) with Touch ID, but hasn’t provided the full workings yet. Unlike an iOS device, which is effectively fully secured when asleep, a Mac has just a thin veneer of protection unless it’s powered down. 10 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

I recommend always having FileVault 2 enabled on your Macs (via the System Preferences → Security & Privacy). It’s the optional, built-in, full-disk encryption that locks away the encryption key until you power up and log in. Behind the scenes, a cold boot from a powered-down state launches a special login via the Recovery Disk, as your startup volume remains encrypted and unavailable. Can Touch ID let you bypass entering a password at a cold start? Nope. As with iOS, Apple has a variety of conditions (go. under which Touch ID can’t be used, and you have to enter your passcode to re-enable it. One of those is a restart (whether a power down/power up or a system initiated reboot), because a restart assumes you might not want someone else to gain access to the device, even if they have access to—well, to you. Biometric authentication via a fingerprint on a Mac raises the same security and safety issues ( disabletouchid) it does for iOS. If you’re at risk of domestic or criminal assault or unwarranted government intrusion, your fingerprint can be used to unlock a Mac just as easily as an iPhone. You might choose to not use Touch ID on a MacBook Pro for the same reason, or be just as sure about powering down your Mac as you would an iOS device. ■

Why Apple (probably) won’t make an ARMpowered Mac Sure, Apple could transition to ARM chips in its Macs. Here’s why it probably won’t. BY JASON SNELL


ith every release of a new iPhone powered by another cutting-edge processor designed by Apple, the rumbling grows. It’s ampli-


fied by the perception that the Mac is being delayed and hamstrung by the moves of the Mac’s chip supplier, Intel. It’s the theory that, one of these days, Apple is going to break from Intel and JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 11



power its Macs with an Apple-designed Apple provided emulation technology— processor related to the ones in the this time branded “Rosetta”—that would iPhone and iPad. emulate PowerPC code on Intel Macs. It’s a story with a certain amount of Okay, so the 680x0 era lasted 10 years. sense behind it. It seems like several Mac The PowerPC era lasted 12 years. We’re models have been delayed because Intel’s now almost 11 years into the Intel era. All chips just weren’t ready in time, or weren’t things being equal, the time seems right ready in enough supply. The latest hubbub for a fourth processor transition, and soon. about the MacBook Pro being limited to It could definitely happen. I don’t want 16GB of RAM ( to say that it won’t ( touchbar) is due to Apple’s choice of a osxonintel), because Apple’s desire to low-power Intel chipset that couldn’t chart its own course and not be beholden handle more memory. And it’s true, the Mac Having proven itself a capable chip designer is no stranger to a prowith the A series, Apple could very well cessor transition. It’s dump Intel and strike out on its own. happened three times in the 32-year life of the Mac, so roughly once a decade. to other companies for key parts of its products is well known. Having proven SWITCHING IT UP itself a capable chip designer with the A The first was from the Motorola 680x0 series, Apple could very well dump Intel series processors that powered the Mac and strike out on its own. during its first decade of life. In March But I don’t think Apple will. 1994, Apple switched to the new PowerPC REASONS WHY APPLE WOULD processor architecture created by an Beyond simply establishing its indepenalliance of Apple, IBM, and Motorola. Older dence from Intel, Apple might choose to code compiled for the 680x0 processor move the Mac (or some Mac models) to series ran in emulation on PowerPC chips. ARM processors simply because the job of The second was from PowerPC chips engineering the iPhone has made Apple to Intel processors, a transition that was very, very good at creating powerful, announced in mid-2005 (go.macworld. energy-efficient processors. Once you’ve com/intelfaq2005) and began in early got the skills to design such powerful 2006. Like the previous chip transition, 12 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

processors yourself, it isn’t hard to imagine those same people turning their attention to the Mac. Two-thirds of the Macs Apple sells are laptops. Laptops also need a balance of power and energy efficiency. Presumably a Mac laptop running an Apple-designed chip would follow The Mac Pro was the last Mac to transition to Intel processors in 2006. a similar trajectory, run Windows in emulation, or use Boot allowing Apple to reduce the size of its Camp to boot into Windows. Developers battery so it could be even thinner and can use Windows development environlighter than today’s models. Or, alternately, ments on their Mac. Game players can the size of today’s models but with more reboot and play No Man’s Sky on their power and battery life. iMacs. This is a convenience that would REASONS WHY APPLE go away should Apple leave Intel behind— MIGHT NOT or more accurately, it would be a return There are lots of arguments against Apple to a world where running Windows on a making ARM-based Macs. None of them Mac was a slow, cumbersome emulated are deal-breakers, but they all accumulate experience. to suggest that making a break from Intel Even an ARM Mac would need more chips would be a painful transition. ports than this. In the past decade, a lot of Mac users The iPhone and iPad have a single data have become accustomed to the ability to port: the Lightning port. Macs generally





have more complexity. Unless Apple’s only ARM Mac ever was a new version of the MacBook—with its single USB-C port— Apple is going to have to integrate other connection types, including Thunderbolt 3. Right now Apple gets a lot of stuff for free by using Intel’s chipsets, but if it goes its own way it’s going to have to license those technologies and build them itself. Then there’s the compatibility slog. Older apps will need to be recompiled to run on ARM. Those apps with active developers will probably be fairly easily recompiled, but people use older apps, too. Apple could create an Intel emulator, à la Rosetta, to add compatibility—but at the cost of speed. The Mac has been through


this twice before, and it could do it again if it needed to.

THE REAL REASON IT PROBABLY WON’T If the Mac market (and the PC market overall) were a thriving, growing business that was a major part of Apple’s future direction, I would probably be ready to beat the drum for a forthcoming ARM transition. And yet…the Mac is less than 15 percent of Apple’s total business, and its sales are relatively flat in an overall PC market that’s contracting (go.macworld. com/q3flatsales). I don’t mean to sound the alarm bell about the Mac—I think it’s got a good


future ahead of it, and I’m one of those people who believes there will be a bunch of new Mac models in 2017, despite the empty year 2016 has been for the Mac (go. Apple probably shouldn’t pull engineers off the top-selling iPhone to develop chips for the Mac. But a processor transition is a major undertaking. It requires a huge engineering effort, both in terms of hardware and software. Mac speeds largely start where iPhone and iPad speeds end; Apple will have to push hard to add even more power to it chip designs to support the higher-end applications of the Mac. And every moment Apple’s chip designers are working on new custom Mac chips is a moment they’re not focused on the next generation of iPhone processors. The Mac’s great strength is that, unlike iOS, it’s a mature platform with users who are comfortable using computers in the traditional mouse-and-keyboard context. Just as it doesn’t make sense for Apple to


turn the Mac into something it’s not (like a tablet), it doesn’t make sense for Apple to force Mac users through a processor transition. The Mac is the platform of stability and “classic” computing interfaces; iOS is where all the change (and growth) happens. And that strikes at the heart of it: The Mac will continue to grow and evolve, but it will do so within some very specific constraints. Meanwhile, the iPhone drives the bulk of Apple’s revenues and will do so for the foreseeable future—and that’s Apple’s biggest priority. The Mac gets a lot of benefit from riding along with Intel’s chip developments for personal computers, and it saves Apple from having to divert its attention from iOS in order to invest more resources in a small portion of its business. Now, watch: Apple will announce an ARM-based MacBook in the spring of 2017. It’s not impossible, not at all. But I’d bet against it. Apple’s got too much riding on the growth and improvement of the iPhone to put its stable platform through an upheaval. ■ JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 15


Apple’s Craig Federighi: ‘Every intent’ to support automation in macOS Apple VP responds to concerns about the future of AppleScript and Automator in macOS. BY ROMAN LOYOLA


n mid-November, Apple let go of Sal Soghoian ( about.html), who was the company’s Product Manager of Automation Technologies—meaning he was responsible for AppleScript and Automator. The news about Soghoian, who worked at Apple for nearly 20 years, raised concern in the Mac community that Apple no longer was interested in automation features in macOS. Maybe the latest news from Apple will help ease the concerned. According to 9to5Mac (go.macworld. com/appleautomation), one of its readers sent an email to Apple Senior VP Craig Federighi about the future of macOS automation. The reader received the following response and forwarded it to 9to5Mac, which has verified the email: Hi [redacted], We have every intent to continue our support for the great automation 16 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

technologies in macOS! Thanks for being an Apple customer! — craig As you can see, the email lacks details. We don’t know a roadmap for AppleScript and Automator, nor do we have any insight as to how automation is being handled on the macOS team. As 9to5Mac notes, it’s possible that automation is in maintenance mode, a status of a feature that’s still supported but isn’t set to have any new features. Why this matters: Automation features like AppleScript and Automator let users create scripts that can perform tasks. It’s especially handy for performing repetitive tasks. You can create a script and have macOS do all the work for you. iOS doesn’t have any automation features, so third-party solutions such as Workflow ( are used. It could be possible that if AppleScript and Automator aren’t upgraded in future macOS releases, third-party scripting tools will have to be considered. ■


The Latest Mac Products Reviewed & Rated



PARALLELS DESKTOP 12: A NEARLY PERFECT BLEND OF WINDOWS AND MAC Parallels Desktop 12 adds 20 one-click utilities to its bag of tricks, along with improved performance for Windows virtual machines. BY J.R. BOOKWALTER

Mac users are fortunate to have not one, but two excellent commercial virtualization software packages to choose from, not to mention less-polished free alternatives like Virtual Box ( In what has now become an annual ritual, VMware ( and Parallels ( have updated their respective Fusion ( and Desktop ( products to coincide with the recent release of macOS Sierra.

Last year, both companies delivered ambitious new versions to capitalize on back-to-back debuts of Windows 10 and OS X El Capitan, but the 2016 editions are somewhat more subdued by comparison. VMware marked the occasion by launching Fusion 8.5, a maintenance update with no new features. Having celebrated its tenth anniversary for Desktop earlier this year, Parallels encouraged engineers to come up with at least one unique new feature to justify the JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 17



The only “new” Parallels Desktop 12 feature is the stand-alone Toolbox application, which consolidates 20 Mac utilities into a single menu-bar icon.

upgrade to version 12, although the company’s usual relentless innovation produced a mixed bag this time mmmmh around.

OPEN THE TOOLBOX Ironically, the marquee feature of Parallels Desktop 12 ($100 one-year Pro Edition or Business Edition subscription; $80 Standard Edition one-time purchase; $40 Student Edition one-time purchase) isn’t part of the core software at all, but a bundled stand-alone application called Parallels Toolbox (; sold separately for $10) which is installed via Preferences. Toolbox consolidates 20 common, everyday tasks into a 18 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

single menu-bar window, making them easier to find and use. These tools offer one-click simplicity for downloading or Desktop 12 converting video, recording PROS audio, muting the microphone, • 20 bundled Toolbox utilities for one-click common Mac or performing system tasks tasks such as locking the screen, hid• Big performance gains ing the desktop, preventing • Always ready in background option for your Mac from going to sleep, faster launch times • Schedule Windows 10 and Do Not Disturb, which maintenance, software temporarily pauses notificaupdates CONS tions and Dock activity. Conve• Toolbox adds third Parallels nient? Yes. But none of the menu-bar icon • No more contextual menu utilities are particularly special in Control Center or unique, and power users are • Promised macOS Sierra Storage Optimization likely to have their own alternasupport missing tives already installed. PRICE $80 Others are grouped into COMPANY categories, providing functionality for taking

Why run only the latest version of macOS Sierra when you can install other macOS versions as virtual machines and run them at the same time?

Parallels Desktop 12 can also be used to run Windows, and works seamlessly with the latest Windows 10.

screenshots, screen recording, archiving files, or managing time. I found the stopwatch, alarm, timer, and date countdown in the latter group particularly handy, since I typically defer such tasks to my iPhone or Apple Watch. Toolbox strictly works on the host OS—it has nothing to do with enhancing Mac, Windows, or Linux virtual machines.

One unfortunate side effect of Toolbox is that you’ll now have three separate Parallels icons taking up space on the menu bar: one for Toolbox, another for Desktop (when it’s actually running, of course), and a third for Parallels Access, the company’s $20 per year remote access service (included with annual Desktop subscriptions). There’s clearly JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 19



room for some consolidation here, and the individual tools also add icon clutter to Launchpad, but at least they can be organized into a single folder there.


Shutdown in the Options tab, Always Ready In Background is accompanied by a handful of custom settings that determine how VMs behave when launched, closed, or shut down. One of my biggest Windows 10 pet peeves is the heavy-handed approach to automatic updates. I don’t use Windows daily, so every time I launch Parallels Desktop, performance is degraded as updates start installing in the background. The new Maintenance option allows such tasks to be blocked until the scheduled time, such

If you spend an equal amount of time in Windows and macOS, Parallels Desktop 12 offers a number of welcome enhancements. Performance has been boosted across the board, with 25 percent faster access to shared folders and snapshots, and noticeably speedier suspend and resume—under five seconds on my 27-inch iMac Retina 5K. VMs can now be configured to launch automatically when your Mac starts up, leaving them paused in the background while idle to avoid consuming valuable CPU time. (Remarkably, this continues to work even after quitting Desktop.) Hate Windows 10’s pushy software updates? Now you can block them until Located under a more appropriate time with the new Maintenance feature in Parallels Desktop 12. Startup and 20 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

Parallels Desktop 12 includes a one-year subscription to online cloud backup service Acronis for safely backing up virtual machines up to 500GB in size.

as a weekend when my iMac isn’t in use. (VMs must be open at the time.) PD12 includes one year of free online storage (500GB) from Acronis, which can be used to back up your virtual machines. Desktop 12 also makes using Windows on the Mac more seamless. Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents in Safari can be configured to open in their respective desktop Office 365 applications, and passwords entered in Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge can now be saved in your Mac keychain. Last but not least, Parallels offers independent screen resolutions for multiple displays. In full-screen mode, my iMac runs Retina Display resolution, while the adjacent 27-inch Thunderbolt Display works as an extended 2560x1440 desktop, each in their own Space. (Sadly, there

are no independent settings for backgrounds.) There is at least one area where Desktop 12 takes a step back. Contextual menu shortcuts have been inexplicably removed from Control Center, which I always found quite handy for quickly reclaiming storage from my Windows VMs without having to open the Configure window.

BOTTOM LINE If you already have an annual subscription, installing Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac is a no-brainer. Although the new Toolbox utilities aren’t compelling enough on their own to justify $50 for a perpetual license upgrade, the performance improvements and macOS Sierra support certainly are. ■ JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 21




RADIO SILENCE 2: SET IT AND FORGET IT MAC FIREWALL FOR OUTGOING CONNECTIONS Monitors behind-the-scenes network activity and allows users to selectively block outgoing connection. BY J.R. BOOKWALTER

Although macOS looks deceptively simple FIREWALL BUDDY Four years ago, Macworld reviewer to end users, anyone who’s launched Brendan Wilhide praised Radio Silence Activity Monitor may be shocked to discover ( as “perjust how many helpers, daemons, services, haps the easiest firewall [he’s] and other processes actually ever used” and like fine wine, run behind-the-scenes, helping mmmm h this Mac Gems utility has only power your favorite software. Radio Silence 2.1 improved with age. Radio Such background tasks often PROS Silence 2.0 ($9, radiosilencefeed off available Internet ΄6Mbh͹c^͹dbR?MPSWaRfMZZS^a ^dcU^W]U]Rcf^aYMPcWeWch bandwidth, consuming precious loses none of its ΄DRMZ͹cW\R]Rcf^aY\^]Wc^a memory at the same time. simplicity, but sports a flatter ΄ERZRPcWeRZhOZ^PY M__ZWPMcW^]b͜_a^PRbbRbSa^\ If you’d like to curtail this macOS Sierra-inspired UI, \MYW]UaR\^cRP^]]RPcW^]b kind of covert background along with a network monitor CONS activity, there’s an inexpensive, that sheds light on everything ΄FaWMZeRabW^]Rg_WaRb`dWPYZh ͈ V^dab͉ well-designed, and easy-to-use that uses your Internet con΄;]QWeWQdMZOZ^PYRQ M__ZWPMcW^]bPM]ͭcOR Mac utility that not only keeps nection to “phone home.” cR\_^aMaWZhcda]RQ^SS tabs on which apps are beamAt this point you may be PRICE $9 ing signals back to the motherthinking, “macOS ships with a COMPANY ship, but also selectively blocks built-in firewall in System PreferEMcRPVW them from doing so. ences, so why do I need Radio 22 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

Silence?” The answer is simple: Apple’s software is designed to monitor incoming connections, while Radio Silence does just the opposite, keeping tabs on applications or other software communicating with remote servers outside the user’s control. After installation, Radio Silence automatically runs in the background when the Mac is started. There’s no menu-bar icon or other visual indication it’s working. Double-clicking the app opens a window where you can block or monitor apps, and Radio Silence continues running even after this window is closed. Despite lurking in the background, Radio Silence doesn’t impact system performance in the least. A free, fully functional trial version is available, but be sure to clear your schedule, because the software expires 24 hours after installation. If you need more time, just shell out the $9. The developer backs up this excellent utility with a 30-day, “no-questions-asked” return policy. (Not that you’ll need it.)

SILENCE IS GOLDEN Like the original release, Radio Silence 2 selectively blocks outgoing connections by adding selected applications to a blacklist. This is now done from the Firewall tab, and once added, the blockade takes effect immediately. It’s handy for parental control over a shared computer; I added iTunes to the list, which then

With a fresh coat of macOS Sierra-inspired paint, Radio Silence 2 makes it one-click easy to silence outgoing network connections from any application.

blocked the ability to stream Apple Music songs that hadn’t been previously downloaded for offline playback. There’s no way to whitelist blocked applications on an individual basis without removing them from the list, a feature I hope will be added in a future update. However, a toggle switch in the bottom right corner allows users to temporarily turn off the firewall on a global basis. The second tab, Network Monitor, offers real-time feedback about what’s going on JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 23



under the hood. Some of this information may seem startling at first; processes like usbmuxd, which handles communication between iTunes and iOS devices, initiate thousands of outgoing connections in a relatively short amount of time, for example. (Fear not, this is normal behavior.) Active processes are displayed as a number in Network Monitor, and clicking one shows the time, host, and port being used for each connection in the list. To silence the host application or process, simply click the Block button to add it to the blacklist. It’s worth noting, however, that a block affects the entire application. There’s TOP: Radio Silence 2 no way to microfeatures an activity monitor that offers a manage multiple peek into which connections from the applications and same source. processes are

BOTTOM LINE For less than 10 bucks, Radio Silence 2 is an indispensable Mac utility to monitor outgoing network activity and selectively block applications from phoning home to the mothership. ■

“phoning home” to a remote mothership, making it easy to block them from doing so with a click. BOTTOM: Common processes that maintain a connection between iTunes and your iOS devices can rack up thousands of outgoing pings in a short space of time, but Radio Silence 2 provides real-time feedback.



PDF EXPERT 2: GOODBYE PREVIEW, HELLO AFFORDABLE PDF EDITING ON MAC PDF Expert 2 goes beyond the capabilities of the built-in macOS Preview app, with the ability to edit PDF text, adjust or replace images, add links to text, and much more. BY J.R. BOOKWALTER

Readdle’s PDF Expert ($60 on the App Store, special $40 price directly from Readdle pdfexpert2) is a fast, slick document viewer with annotation tools that gives Apple’s Preview a run for its money.

ACROBAT WHO? With the release of PDF Expert 2, Readdle not only delivers PDF editing, but also comes surprisingly close to feature parity with the reigning PDF heavyweight, Adobe Acrobat DC. Want to add links or redact




text inside a PDF document? No problem. Need to keep PDF files from potential prying eyes by protecting documents with a password? Consider it done. By far the most impressive new features are the ability to edit text and images. Whether fixing a last-minute typo or swapping out a company logo, PE2’s slick user interface makes it a snap, although the tools are fairly basic. I successfully replaced one image from a magazine article, but couldn’t match the 20-degree angle of the original; the rotate tools only work 45 degrees at a time. Readdle managed to add this functionality and still run circles around the performance of Preview, which has always been notoriously slow to launch or open files. By

comparison, PDF Expert 2 is greased lightning. It’s so fast, I’ve made it my default application for all PDF files. When it comes to advanced features, Acrobat still has the upper hand for now. Power users who need optical character recognition or frequently convert between PDF and text files like Microsoft Word will find PE2 lacking; tools to optimize scanned pages or reduce the size of PDF files are also absent.

EFFORTLESS TRANSFER Editing may be the star of PDF Expert 2, but there are welcome improvements to the existing annotation lineup as well. The biggest is Stamps, which allow users to mark up documents using virtual imprints;

mmmmh PDF Expert 2 PROS

΄7MbcB57eWRfRa͜]^ffWcV cVRMOWZWchc^RQWccRgcM]Q W\MURb ΄4^\_aRVR]bWeRM]]^cMcW^] c^^Zb͜W]PZdQW]UbcM\_b ΄DRMQQZRFaM]bSRa\^aR aRZWMOZRcVM]:M]Q^SS CONS


While the built-in Preview app can handle basic annotation, PDF Expert 2 lives up to its name with stamps and other advanced features. 26 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017



Whether it’s replacing a logo or resizing images, PDF Expert 2 makes it easy to do on the Mac.

a wide variety are included, but you can also create your own. The crop tool also comes in handy, offering the option to trim just the current page, or an entire document at once. Readdle addressed my second-biggest complaint about the previous version by enabling users to import images to use as a signature, in addition to existing keyboard and trackpad methods. You can even use Apple Pencil to create a new signature on the iPad Pro, which syncs back to the Mac as well. Speaking of working together, PE2 supports Handoff ( handoffsupport), but the built-in Readdle Transfer provides a better way to transfer files between devices. (It’s the only option for those who purchase outside of the Mac App Store.) Open a document on the iOS version while PDF Expert is running, and a

little blue icon lights up on the toolbar next to the Share button. Use the pull-down menu to select the document, and it instantly opens on the Mac. This feature also works the other way around, and more reliably than Handoff. While PDF Expert 2 is more affordable than competitors like Adobe Acrobat DC or PDFpen, the price also increased accordingly; owners of the first version (originally $20) receive the update free of charge. Based on Readdle’s track record, I’m confident the third chapter in the PDF Expert saga will check off most of the remaining items on my wish list.

BOTTOM LINE Faster than Preview and nearly as featurepacked as Adobe Acrobat DC, PDF Expert 2 is proof sequels can be superior to the original in every way. ■ JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 27




FONTEXPLORER X PRO 6 REVIEW: NOW WITH MORE TOOLS TO MANAGES YOUR FONTS Better font classification, web previews and updated plug-ins highlight this minor upgrade. BY JAY J. NELSON


An up-to-date font management utility is a necessary tool in every creative professional’s toolbox. While not as huge an upgrade as the previous version (go.mac, FontExplorer X Pro 6 ($99, $49 upgrade adds a variety of helpful new features for modern designers. If you skipped version 5, you’ll appreciate the Welcome Tour, available under the Help menu. FontExplorer Pro is an extremely robust program, and version 5 added many powerful new features. The

Welcome Tour includes an overview of the product, its key features, what’s new, and how it interacts with Monotype’s FontExplorer Server product (sold separately).

gories, all of which can be used to build smart sets. Monotype Font If a font is available in the Explorer X Pro 6 PROS Monotype libraries and you • Automatic font have an internet connection, classification FontExplorer can automatically • Enhanced web previews • Auto-activation plug-ins for assign categories for you. latest apps ENHANCED FONT (Monotype’s libraries include CONS • Minor new features TOOLS more than 20,000 fonts from PRICE In previous versions, FontExmost font foundries.) In my $99 plorer allowed users to assign testing, FontExplorer successcategories to each font. Verfully classified almost all of the sion 6 brings a new user interface for fonts from major foundries, some of the classifying fonts and many new sub-catefonts from smaller foundries, and very few of the strange display fonts I’ve collected over the years. The Font Tile View introduced in FontExplorer Pro 5 displays a word or two in each font, making it easy to find a font that has a specific flavor. In version 6, the Enhanced Font Tile View lets you display the first two letters of the font name in The new Classification window lets you choose from a wide variety of each tile. standard categories, or click the Auto Classify Fonts button to let FontExYou can now also plorer classify them for you. You can also create and use your own custom categories. view detailed font





The enhanced Font Tile view with rounded corners, colored letters and colored backgrounds.

The Font Detector can list the fonts used in more than 30 different types of documents, without opening the document.

information when you mouse over each tile, add rounded corners to the tiles, change their foreground and background colors and even gradually change the background color from the first to the last tile. In previous versions, FontExplorer always created a new Set from fonts you import together. In version 6, the Import preference lets you define whether or not a new Set is created when importing fonts. The “Detect Fonts in Documents” feature scans a document without opening 30 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

it, displaying a list of the fonts used in that document. You can then choose to activate or deactivate fonts used in that document, create a new Set from those fonts, or generate a report. In addition to document types commonly used by graphics professionals (pdf, eps, svg, svgv, indd, idml, icml, icmt, ai, pages, key, rtf and rtfd), version 6 can now detect fonts in these additional 19 document types: • docx, dotx, pptx, ppsx, potm (Microsoft Office Open XML)

• odt, fodt, ott, odp, fodp, otp, odg (Open Document) • sxw, stw, sxi, sti, sxd (Open Office 1.0) • sketch (Sketch) • sla (Scribus) As in previous versions, FontExplorer X Pro 6 lets you temporarily replace the fonts in blocks of text on any webpage. When you find a combination you like, FontExplorer can generate the CSS code required to use it, and create a new FontExplorer set that contains only the fonts you used. That’s an amazing feat in itself. In version 6 you can now edit the text

on the webpage and view the page as it would appear in several different web browsers, devices and operating systems.

AUTO-ACTIVATION PLUG-INS Professional graphic design software such as Adobe InDesign, InCopy, Illustrator, Photoshop and QuarkXPress require special plug-ins if you want your font manager to automatically activate the correct version of fonts used in an existing document. FontExplorer X Pro 6 provides plug-ins for the newest releases from Adobe and Quark, as well as earlier versions.

You can preview any web page, replaced by any fonts you have (including web fonts in WOFF 2.0 format), as the page would appear in several different web browsers in iOS, Mac and Windows operating systems.




Auto-activation plug-ins are available for all recent versions of Illustrator, InCopy, InDesign, Photoshop and QuarkXPress.

UNICODE 9 SUPPORT OpenType fonts use the Unicode standard to organize glyphs (characters), and FontExplorer X Pro 6 can show every one 32 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

of the 128,172 possible glyphs available in Unicode 9. This is handy for finding and viewing the 19 symbols for the new 4K TV standard

The Info window lets you find, view and copy/paste any character in any font, and limit your view to specific categories.

or the 72 new emoji characters, including new smilies and people, animals and nature, and food and drink.

font stores and other client capabilities. (Windows users may use the current FontExplorer 3.5.1 to connect to FontExplorer X Server 3.)

SERVER SUPPORT FontExplorer X Pro 6 can function as a client to the new FontExplorer X Server 3 (available as a separate product). When connected to the server, users can now enjoy new abilities including automatic and manual font classification, labels, ratings and comments. The server administrator controls permissions for each client, including exporting server fonts, availability of online

BOTTOM LINE While version 6 is a relatively minor upgrade, the features carried over from version 5 are tremendously powerful. This version’s support for macOS Sierra, plugins for the latest apps from Adobe and Quark, and detection of fonts in Microsoft Office documents make version 6 a worthwhile upgrade for most users, and a necessary one if you skipped version 5. ■ JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 33


Hot Stuff

What We’re Raving About This Month


The ExoLens Zeiss lenses offer the best possible image quality with the least amount of equipment and fuss. While the lenses may seem pricey, they deliver. Photos taken with these lenses displayed colors that are perfectly in phase, crisp details, and no distortion. The ExoLens Zeiss lenses use an aluminum bracket that fits over the iPhone, and you screw on the interchangeable lenses to the bracket. The frame has a hot-shoe mount and a tripod boss for attaching a standard tripod screw. The ExoLens Zeiss Wide-Angle Lens Kit for the 6 Plus/6s Plus is $200 in the Apple Store. It includes a wide-angle lens (18mm equivalent), a bracket, a protective aluminum lens hood, and a lens cap. The ExoLens Zeiss Telephoto 2.0x lens is $200 (lens only) and the ExoLens Zeiss Macro lens is $150. —GLENN FLEISHMAN



Until Apple creates a worthy competitor, Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo devices are the best digital voice assistants you can put in your smart home. The Echo can control your home’s lighting, play music, estimate your commute time, operate a timer,

across the house to get its attention. And the

answer trivia questions, read books and news

least-expensive Echo—the new second-gen

bulletins to you, tell you which movies are at

Echo Dot—is one of the best Echos yet. At

your local theater, and so much more. You can

only $50, it can do everything its more-expen-

order a pizza from Dominoes, a ride from Uber, or virtually

sive siblings can do for much less money, but you

anything from Ama-

might want to con-

zon. Once you have

nect it to a better

one, you’ll want one

speaker system (its

in every room so

built-in speaker is a

you won’t have to

little chintzy).

yell “Alexa!” from




Hot Stuff


iFixit’s $59.95 Classic Pro Tech Toolkit

driver kit, and an assortment of

includes everything you need to repair

precision tweezers. The tools are well

anything from an iPhone to an iMac, if

balanced, impeccably designed,

you know how to use them. You get

comfortable to use, and wrapped in a

70 different tools, including a tech

compact Velcro pouch. (—

knife, a small suction cup, a 54 bit

Jeffery Battersby —JEFFERY BATTERSBY



The Latest on the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and App Store

Apple offers new iPhone 6s battery for phones that suddenly shut down Apple said the problem has been discovered in a few iPhone 6s smartphones. BY JOHN RIBEIRO





pple has said that a few iPhone an unresponsive touchscreen (go.mac Those who 6s smartphones are unexpecthad already fixed their phones for the edly shutting down, confirming issue were offered a refund on the differa problem reported recently ence in the cost. by a Chinese consumer protection group. Apple’s wireless carrier partners are The company said the problem is not participating in the battery replacerestricted to a small number of phones ment program for the iPhone 6s, so eliwithin a limited serial number range that gible users have to contact Apple retail were manufactured between September and October last year. Those who had already fixed their Apple said it was not a safety issue, and appeared to suggest that phones for the issue were offered a the problem would be resolved by refund on the difference in the cost. a replacement battery which the company offered for free. It did not stores, authorized service providers, or say how many iPhone 6s phones were technical support. Users have been affected and in which markets. advised to back up their data to iTunes or The China Consumers Association iCloud, turn off their Find My iPhone facility, asked Apple to investigate problems with and erase all content and settings in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s phones that were preparation for the battery change. automatically shutting off (go.macworld. “If your iPhone 6s has any damage com/6sshutdown). The unexpected shutsuch as a cracked screen which impairs downs were said to happen when the the replacement of the battery, that issue phone’s battery charge dropped to will need to be resolved prior to the between 60 and 50 percent. battery replacement. In some cases, there The battery replacement announcemay be a cost associated with the repair,” ment came less than a week after Apple Apple said while announcing the program offered to repair for a reduced price of ( US$149 iPhone 6 Plus devices that had Users who believe their iPhone 6s display flickering or multitouch issues. phones were affected by the issue, and That problem was called “touch dishave already paid to replace the battery, ease” in August by repair guide website can contact Apple about a refund, the iFixit, as it was characterized by a gray, company said. ■ flickering bar at the top of the display and 40 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

Apple, let us choose the apps we want to use in iOS Freedom of choice. It’s what we want. BY KIRK McELHEARN


pple’s desktop and mobile operating systems provide a full suite of applications that allow you to do most of what you want without downloading any additional apps. You can browse the Web,


send and receive email, manage calendars and contacts, and much more, all with the stock apps included in macOS and iOS. But on macOS, you have the choice to not use those apps. Say you want to use Microsoft Outlook instead of Apple JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 41



double-click a .txt file, it opens with the app you’ve selected. To do this, select a file, press Command-I, then expand the Open With section if it’s not already expanded. Click the pop-up menu and select the app you want to use, then click Change All. But iOS offers no such option. If you tap a URL, it opens in Safari. If you tap a link to In macOS Sierra, change the default web browser in the General pane of System Preferences. To change the default email client, go to Mail’s send an email, it General preferences. opens in Mail. The default calendar is Mail; you can make this change, and Apple’s Calendar app. And so on. You may when you click a link to send an email, not want to work that way and because Outlook will open. Or if you want to use Apple doesn’t give you any choice, you’re Chrome instead of Safari, the same thing stuck with workarounds: using share will happen: URLs you click will open in sheets to open a webpage in a different Google’s browser. browser; copying an email link or address You can even change the default app to create an email; and so on. to open any specific file type on the Mac. You might subscribe to Google’s or Say you work with plain text files, but have Microsoft’s cloud ecosystems, either a text editor you prefer to Apple’s TextEdit. because you choose to or because your You can change this so every time you business imposes it. You’d save a lot of 42 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

time if you could open new links automatiknow lots of people who are frustrated by cally in apps such as Gmail or Outlook. the complications of using a browser and (Yes, you can get and send email from email client they don’t like on their iPhones these services in Apple’s Mail, but the and iPads. I also prefer Google Maps to other apps may have features you want or Apple Maps; the latter is full of erroneous need.) You may information, and is want to use a lot harder to read. calendar apps We’re at iOS 10, from these and Apple still companies as hasn’t allowed well. And there users to make are plenty of these choices. It reasons to use seems ridiculous Google Chrome that, with a mature instead of Safari; operating system, if you use it on we’re still locked the desktop, you into Apple’s may want to sync default apps. It’s all your booknot rocket science marks and activity to make these to be able to changes; after all, access the same there are protocols information on that funnel your iPhone. requests to spePersonally, I’m cific handlers, the quite happy with same way they do Safari and Mail, on the Mac. Let us though I don’t use choose the apps Apple’s Calendar; we want to use: It’s I use BusyCal (go. time to let iOS users have the busycal3rev), both same freedom of on the desktop choice as Mac Change the default app for a specific file type on and on iOS. But I users. ■ the desktop. JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 43


Stopped playing Pokémon Go? Here are 8 reasons to start again BY ANDREW HAYWARD


or a few weeks this summer, it seemed like everyone was playing Pokémon Go. You could tell at a glance, typically, as players stared slavishly at their screens (more so than usual) while stumbling about, congregating around real-world landmarks as they passed them. But just as quickly as the phenomenon ramped up, it faded away as players com44 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

plained about repetition and tedium. Pokémon Go was pretty rough around the edges at launch, and it still has plenty of room to grow and improve, but the experience has already gotten quite a bit better—especially of late. Haven’t fired up the app in months? Here’s a look at what you’ve missed, and why you might want to get back to the hunt.

DAILY BONUSES Part of the reason that Pokémon Go loses steam over time is that the rewards feel thinner. As you reach higher and higher player levels, the amount of XP needed to ding the next level grows dramatically. Thankfully, Niantic just added daily bonuses that reward players for logging in on consecutive days, and they can really chip away at those XP tallies.


You’ll get bonus XP and Stardust for the first Pokémon you catch each calendar day, as well as bonus XP and extra items for the first PokéStop check-in each day. On the first six days in a row, you’ll only see 500 XP and 600 Stardust extra for a capture, but reach day seven and you’ll get a big 2,500 XP and 3,000 Stardust bounty. Likewise, on day seven of a PokéStop check-in, you’ll notch 2,500 XP and even more items. Play daily!




BEST BUDS Back in September, Pokémon Go added the Buddy System, which lets you designate a single Pokémon to be your favorite of them all. What’s the point, besides the adorable concept and flashbacks of Ash and Pikachu from the classic cartoon? Well, the pairing can earn you a heap of extra candy, which is used to enhance and evolve your Pokémon.


You earn candy based on how much you walk with your Buddy equipped, and each monster has its own distance needed to net one piece of candy. Pikachu gets a candy with each kilometer I walk, for example, while a Snorlax or Onix gets one piece every 5km I walk. I’ve earned 40 Pikachu candy just from the Buddy system, and used them to evolve it into a Raichu.


SPECIAL EVENTS Themed events not only help break up the tedium of the daily grind in a game like Pokémon Go, but they also give you incentive to get out and play. We saw that with October’s Halloween event, the game’s first, which made some nice changes for the few-day stretch. Most importantly, the promotion made it so that candy was earned four times as quickly, so my Pikachu picked up a piece with every quarter-kilometer walked. Also, you got twice the candy for captures,

transfers, and hatching eggs. And that’s not all, either: the world was also populated with loads of spooky Pokémon, such as Ghastly, Haunter, and Gengar. Hopefully we see some more holiday events before the year’s up. ’Tis the season!

COMMON CHANGES You can only catch so many Pidgey and Rattata before you never want to see them again—yet in many areas, that’s all you see the majority of the time. Common Pokémon can be great for power-leveling your character, especially Pidgey and Weedle that only require 12 candy to evolve, but it would be nice to see a bit more variety out in the world. Luckily, that’s starting to happen. Earlier this month, Niantic tweeted that areas rife with Pidgey, Rattata, and Zubat would have a wider array of encounters, but that’s not all: you also won’t hatch Pidgey or Rattata from


eggs anymore, which saves a bit of disappointment. Also, Eevee now hatches only from 5km eggs, and no longer comes from 10km ones. JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 47



TRAINING IMPROVEMENTS Most Pokémon Go players have probably battled it out in local gyms to try and take over the spot for their faction, but have you also trained at one of your faction’s gyms? It’s handled the same way, only you’re fighting an ally instead of an enemy, and the goal in this case is to earn some XP while building prestige to help keep the 48 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

gym aligned with your color. Niantic recently tweaked the way training is handled, as you can now bring up to six Pokémon into battle instead of just one. And helpfully, now the Pokémon you face have their CP adjusted based on your own trainer level, so you won’t have to battle severely overpowered opponents just to get a little work in.


POKÉMON GO PLUS We covered the Pokémon Go Plus in greater depth when it released in September, but here’s the quick skinny. It’s a tiny Bluetooth device wearable as either a wristband or clip on your clothes, and it pairs with the game to allow you to play in some respects even when you don’t have the app open on your screen. It tallies walking distance when the phone is in your pocket, so you hatch eggs faster and get more candy, plus you can press the little button when it buzzes to check into PokéStops and automatically throw a Poké Ball at any familiar Pokémon you encounter. The Plus has some limitations and can be annoying, as well, but it also offers a big daily boost with little participation needed. Sadly, it’s still pretty much impossible to find at the $35 list price. Separately, Apple Watch support is coming to Pokémon Go, although it was

NEW TRACKER IN TESTING Niantic has changed the Pokémon tracking system in the game a couple times, and the current version (called Sightings, available from the lower right) just isn’t very useful. Meanwhile, the developer has tried to block third-party applications from tapping into the API to help players locate Pokémon around them. What gives? Well, there’s a better official solution

expected by the end of September and it’s still missing in action. Keep an eye out, however, as it should be along any time now.

coming to the app, and it’s already testing in and around San Francisco, as well as in Arizona and Washington. The new Nearby screen will show a photo of a nearby landmark, along with the Pokémon spotted there, plus you can zoom out on the map to see a pretty precise location of where it’s found. We’ll all be netting more unfamiliar Pokémon once the new tracker rolls out globally. JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 49



100 MORE POKÉMON COMING Without a trading mechanic—which is coming eventually—it’s doubtful that many people in the world have collected all 145 Pokémon that have been spotted to date (out of 151). Still, given that there are more than 700 total monsters in the franchise with the recent release of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon for Nintendo 3DS, people want more. And they’re coming.


Data hackers at The Silph Road have been mining the Android version’s APK files for clues, and just this month, the code began listing the second generation of Pokémon from #152 (Chikorita) to #251 (Celebi). There’s no word on when to expect all of these extra Pokémon to start appearing in the game, but if they all come at once, that’ll provide a big dump of fresh, exciting action. ■


The Latest iOS Products Reviewed & Rated


It seems everyone has a favorite calendar app, but it’s rarely the one Apple ships with iOS. I’ve tried many over the years, finally settling on Fantastical 2 ( tastical-iphone), along with Calendars 5 ( BusyCal ( html) for their traditional month views. If you tend to focus on 12 hours at a time, there’s a new solution with a different look and feel.



DIALS CALENDAR: iPHONE APP PUTS A UNIQUE SPIN ON DAILY EVENTS Dials Calendar presents each day’s events on a dial instead of a traditional list view, and syncs with popular cloud-based calendar services. BY J.R. BOOKWALTER

Dials Calendar (free on the iTunes Store go. eschews traditional week and month views in favor of a unique approach. The dark user interface feels nothing like other calendars you’ve used, with events for the current 12-hour period appearing as colored pins placed around a clock dial at the scheduled time, and a running countdown to the next scheduled event. A tap or swipe narrows the focus to morning or evening events, and the weekly calendar across the bottom expands to show an entire month, with color-coded dots that match synced calendars (iCloud, Google, Outlook/ Exchange, or a standalone Dials account). Tapping a pin expands to reveal event duration, with options to add notes, view locations in Apple Maps, chat with attendees, or view a detailed summary. JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 51



mmmh Dials Calendar


The clock motif works well for dragging start and • Support for major cloud-based calendar end pins to estabservices lish event times, • Countdown to next event but all-day events CONS • Clock approach works best require a complete with lighter schedules 360-degree trip • Finger gymnastics required to add all-day events around the dial. • No Apple Watch, native iPad Other than this support cumbersome gesture, Dials can be comfortably used one-handed with your thumb. There’s a dropdown menu at top to display all-day events in a list, but otherwise you never get a complete 24-hour view. I really like how Dials integrates with contacts, adding a personal touch by displaying photos of who you’re meeting with, along with maps of each location. But without an Apple Watch app and native display support for iPad, PROS

• Unique clock-based design with dark user interface

Despite the unique approach, Dials does have a month view tucked away at the bottom of the main screen.


Dials Calendar takes the traditional calendar for a spin with a 12-hour dial view that integrates with contacts, maps, and popular cloud services.

Dials isn’t yet a replacement for my favorite calendar(s).

BOTTOM LINE Dials Calendar puts a spin on traditional calendar apps, but the unique approach works best for those focused on one day at a time. ■


RELAY: MAPS APP FOR iOS HAS MORE THAN ONE DESTINATION ON ITS MIND It does something Apple Maps can’t do: Map out multiple destinations for a single trip. BY J.R. BOOKWALTER


Smartphone apps have made it easier to go on vacation and discover interesting landmarks, eateries, and other local hotspots. But most maps work with a single destination. There’s no easy way to map out an entire sightseeing excursion across town in advance.

MAPPING MULTIPLICITY Relay ($2 on the App Store go.macworld. com/relayapp) is a universal iOS app designed to address this admittedly first-world problem. Powered by Apple Maps, Relay allows users to search for and pin multiple locations on a single map, then recall them all when the time comes to make that journey. In addition to multiple destinations, Relay is built to handle an unlimited numJANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 53



Relay uses Apple’s mapping data, but provides a way to chart a course to multiple destinations from a single map.

Relay provides turn-by-turn directions to each destination, but lacks the ability to navigate automatically while in transit.

ber of maps. For example, a Summer Vacation 2017 road trip could span multiple states with all of the stops along the way. Or you can create maps specific to the city you’re planning to visit, dropping pins everywhere you want to go. As you add locations, they appear in a stacked, numbered, and color-coded list. There’s an option to manually rearrange

the list, so it’s not necessary to enter pins in the order you plan to visit each one. The list can also be collapsed to focus only on the map. Each entry can be expanded. The first tap shows how long it takes to get to there, with shortcuts for directions or to delete that location. Another tap provides a tap-friendly phone number and web link


current position and calculate how long it takes to reach a destination, the app can’t be used for turn-by-turn directions while driving. Relay gets the first part of the equation right by showing each leg of the journey in a list, but the user is required to manually select each turn, making it unsuitable for navigation while in the driver’s seat. Thankfully, Relay includes routing Relay can create an unlimited number of maps, but guidance for transit and walking as well as they don’t automatically sync between devices— by car, two methods better suited for this instead you’ll have to share them via email. app. Multi-destination navigation comes in for fast calling or browsing, and there’s handy while walking or taking a bus space to take notes here as well. There’s between sightseeing spots around town, also an actions pop-up menu, which can although you’ll need to keep your device be used to delete, mark as complete, get out since there’s no Apple Watch support. directions, or rename entries. Last but not least, there’s no way to hand maps off to other navigation apps LIMITED NAVIGATION capable of handling automated turn-byWhile Relay traverses the big turn directions. Relay was picture stuff pretty well, the app pretty good about finding all mmm shifts to neutral on little details. of the destinations I searched Relay for iPhone If you own multiple devices, for, but could benefit from PROS • Create maps with multiple there’s no way to automatically added hooks to Foursquare destinations or Yelp for displaying compresync maps between devices • Route guidance for car, transit, or walking hensive information without via iCloud or another service. • Unlimited maps, leaving the app. You can, however, share maps destinations CONS via email, which at least allows • No automatic turn-by-turn BOTTOM LINE users to map out trips in navigation Relay makes it easy to create • Lacks iCloud sync between advance on the more spacious devices maps with multiple destinaiPad, then open them on the • Can’t rearrange destination list from main view tions, but doesn’t allow you to iPhone before heading out. PRICE do much with them when it’s Although Relay takes advan$2 time to go. ■ tage of GPS to determine your JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 55



Julius Gaines, SINCE 1933. He’s got a curious intellect that can’t be satiated. Now, he and 1 in 6 seniors face the threat of hunger and millions more live in isolation. So pop by, drop off a hot meal and say a warm hello. Volunteer for Meals on Wheels at



APP STORE Pie Pie (free, app) lets you create 360-degree videos, even though your iPhone isn’t equipped with a 360-degree camera. Take a panoramic video “slice” by moving your phone in an arc—here’s video of the results—then share your creations with friends on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media services.


SLETTERS Sletters (freemium, sletters) is like a mixture of crossword puzzle, Tetris, and Scrabble: “Slide letters in any direction however many times you need in order to form the words that appear on a predefined list.” The makers say this game is the perfect workout for your mind.

Truebill (free, truebill) has a been around a few months, drawing attention as a cool new way to help users track and manage their finances and keep their heads above water. Sign up and link your bank accounts, after which you can instantly see everything you’re paying for on a recurring basis. Want to unsubscribe from that recurring payment? It takes one click. Version 2.0 recently launched with a new, easier interface to guide new users.

Bear Bear (freemium, go.macworld. com/bearapp) “ is a beautiful, flexible writing app for crafting notes and prose.” You can create quick notes, code snippets, or in-depth essays. The app also includes a focus mode to help you concentrate, as well as advanced Markdown and other markup options that are an online writer’s best friend. You can even stay on task by adding to-dos to individual notes. It’s also available for the Mac. —JOEL MATHIS JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 57


iPhone & iPad Cases

This month’s roundup of iPhone and iPad cases includes fashionable cases and bags for your iPhone and iPad. By Joel Mathis


With a vast selection of colors and patterns to choose from, the Icon Wallet (iPhone 7 and 7 Plus; $49.95 to $59.95 MSRP, starting at $17.63 on Amazon, go.mac is a standard folio case with a not-sostandard look. With room for up to five credit cards, the case includes interior cash pockets, an elastic closure, and a molded phone bed that grants full access to the iPhone’s buttons and ports.



The Messenger Bag (all iPad models except 12.9-inch iPad Pro; $280 MSRP) sports a dedicated compartment for your iPad, with a fold-over flap secured by a magnetic closure for safe transportation. Made with genuine leather, the bag also features an external zippered pocket for your accessories, a quick-access front pocket for your iPhone, and an adjustable shoulder strap.





The black or red Sleeve (all iPad mini models; $50 MSRP, on sale for $34) sports a fashionable weaved-fabric exterior accented with leather trim. The sleeve’s insulation protects your iPad from extreme temperatures, while its microfiber lining offers scratch prevention and extra padding. The case includes convenient zippered closures to keep your contents safe and an additional compartment for your accessories.



The eye-catching Fringed Metal (iPhone 7; $120 MSRP) is sure to make a statement with a set of gorgeous metallic chains hanging from its back. Made with genuine leather, the dual layer case offers military grade protection, sports matching metallic buttons, and comes in three great color options—gold, black, or rose gold.





The Custom Case (9.7-inch iPad Pro; starts at $79.95 MSRP) gives the word “customizable” a whole new meaning by letting you customize every piece of this case, all the way down to the elastic band that keeps its cover securely closed. You get your choice of color or pattern for its exterior finish, interior lining, and spine wrap. The case sports a thick birch frame, is compatible with the iPad Pro’s magnetic wake/sleep feature, and comes with an optional hidden compartment for an Apple Pencil. For more customization, you can add a camera opening in the back, a magnetic closure, or a multi-angle stand.



The Leather Cover (9.7-inch iPad Pro; $46 on Amazon) is a case/bag hybrid—perfect for those of us who schlep around all sorts of iPad accessories. The case doubles as a stand in landscape orientation, and includes room for credit cards and cash, a handle for transportation, and an Apple Pencil holder in the back. It also offer a removable shoulder strap and a back pocket for your accessories, and comes in five solid tones.



VIDEO To see the review video, go to go. mcbkprotouchvid




MacBook Pro with Touch Bar:

The 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros are naturally thin, fast, and expensive. But the innovative new Touch Bar makes them surprisingly delightful to use.

By Susie Ochs

pple gave its new MacBook Pro a thinner, sleeker case, which demanded a new, lowertravel keyboard, a new venting system, and even a smaller battery. But while I appreciate a Mac that’s smaller and lighter, I’d rather have a Mac that’s easier or just more fun to use. These 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros with Apple’s new Touch Bar are both. The Touch Bar brings my favorite things about the iPad Pro’s software keyboard to the Mac. The amount of useful shortcuts it adds is ridiculous, and this is before most thirdparty developers have even had a chance to add Touch Bar






13-inch MacBook Pro, 2.9GHz Core i5, 256GB storage (late 2016)

15-inch MacBook Pro, 2.6GHz Core i7, 256GB storage (late 2016)


The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is more pleasant to use than its predecessor, and a great (if pricey) upgrade for MacBook Air owners too.

The combination of faster storage and RAM, a gorgeous 15-inch screen, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, and the innovative Touch Bar make this the best Mac laptop money can buy.



• Touch Bar adds contextual, customizable, multi-touch controls in place of function keys

• Can drive two external 5K displays plus the built-in Retina display

• Extra-bright screen with P3 color gamut


• More-powerful speakers CONS

• Great battery life

• Keyboard is a step down from previous generations






The Touch Bar is designed to blend in and look like keys, not a bright, glowing display.

support. Even for a premium price—and these Macs aren’t cheap—I think the Touch Bar makes this a much more compelling buy than the MacBook Pro with function keys ( mbpfunctionkey).

MEET THE TOUCH BAR The Touch Bar is an OLED strip that’s tempting to call a display, but Apple wants developers and users to think of it as an input device, not a display. You can’t adjust its brightness yourself, for example,

I customized my Control Strip to include volume, brightness, a screenshot button, and Siri.

because if it was too bright it would start looking more like a display than a set of keys. It’s also optimized for viewing at a 45-degree angle, looking down from above, which is odd for any screen. Nonetheless, the Touch Bar stays visible and legible even if you are sitting at an offangle to your Mac. The Touch Bar is incredibly handy not only because its controls change to match the app you’re using, but also because it’s so customizable. Visit System Preferences → Keyboard, and you can choose what happens when you press the Fn key. The default shows the function keys: F1, F2, and so on. But if you never use those keys, you could also have the Fn key expand the Control Strip to full size. The Control Strip is a set of four of your favorite keys, and it stays on the right side of the Touch Bar all the time. You can

choose which four buttons you want in System Preferences → Keyboard by clicking Control Strip. That will display a grid of buttons on your screen, and then you use the MacBook Pro’s giant trackpad to drag them from the screen directly onto the Touch Bar. The default set of Control Strip keys is brightness, volume, mute, and Siri, but you can select from tons of useful shortcuts, like buttons to take a screenshot, start dictation, open Notification Center, or put your Mac to sleep. Sure, you could use keyboard shortcuts and hot corners to do these things instead, but having them on the Touch Bar is better. The Control Strip has room for four buttons, and you can tap an arrow to expand it to the full set of controls that once lived on the row of function keys (screen brightness, Mission Control, Launchpad, keyboard backlighting, iTunes controls, volume controls). The Escape key, which is no longer a real physical key, hangs out on the left side of the Touch Bar almost all the time. The only time it goes away is when you expand the Control Strip to its full length, JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 67



but when that happens, an X button shows up where you’d expect Escape to be, and tapping X shrinks the Control Strip again to reveal the Escape key. Keyboard shortcuts that use Escape still work (like CommandOption-Escape, to force-quit an app), but if you’re concerned that the Touch Bar itself could freeze up and prevent that, you could always remap Escape to a different physical key ( mcbkpro). I’m not going to bother, because in my time with the Touch Bar, it’s worked perfectly.

USING THE TOUCH BAR IN APPS Along with the Escape key and the Control Strip, the Touch Bar presents app-specific controls in the center, and that’s where the real magic happens. This is just a short list

Favicon of your favorite sites: How cool is that?!


of the ways the Touch Bar delighted me in each app. • In Mail, the Touch Bar makes sorting the inbox fast and easy, with buttons for Flag, Archive, and Delete, as well as a button that guesses where you might want to file each message. • In Safari, when a video starts playing, a pause button and scrub bar appear on the Touch Bar. Tapping that pause button is a much quicker way to shut the video up than having to find the cursor onscreen, then find the video and hover over it to get the player’s pause button to appear. • Also in Safari, when you select the Location bar to type in a new URL or search term, the Touch Bar fills with favicons for your favorite sites. The first

time I saw the Macworld logo on the Touch Bar, I giggled out loud. • When filling out forms in Safari, QuickType suggestions on the Touch Bar will pop up with your name, address, phone, and email when you tab to those fields. • In Messages and Mail, the emoji picker gets a button on the Touch Bar. Tap it and you can scroll through all the emoji or jump to a certain category. It’s faster than pressing Command-Control-Space and then using the Character picker to find and click emoji with the trackpad. • In Calendar, if you select an appointment that someone else invited you to, there’s a button on the Touch Bar to send that person a message. • If I’m trying to navigate with mostly the keyboard, dialog boxes can sometimes

The new MacBook Pros will speed up your emoji workflow considerably.

pull me out. Now, the options in a dialog box also show up on the Touch Bar. • I also love how the Control Strip’s volume and brightness controls are a single button, and not two buttons (one to increase, one to decrease) like on a function-key Mac. You just tap the button to see a slider, and you can even tap and keep your finger down to slide up or down, even if your finger isn’t directly on top of the slider. A smooth slider makes more sense than having to tap-tap-tap a single key to crank the music or brighten your screen. Mostly, the Touch Bar just adds a new level of surprise and, dare I say, delight to using a Mac. It’s a bigger deal to me than Sierra’s addition of Siri, because while talking to my computer in the middle of my office isn’t something I’m comfortable doing, using the Touch Bar isn’t a stretch at all. My hands are already on the keyboard, and my eyes are already on the screen, so the Touch Bar is in a great spot for my eyes to flick down while my fingers reach up. JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 69



Top: The Touch Bar can speed up surfing in Safari. Bottom: The Touch Bar makes choosing colors so easy, I might start color-coding my note-taking just for fun.

Tapping a button on the Touch Bar takes less movement than reaching down to the trackpad to click that same button onscreen. Sure, keyboard shortcuts are even faster, but I don’t remember keyboard shortcuts for even a fraction of the buttons I see on the Touch Bar. Third-party developers are adding Touch Bar support too. Apple says that Microsoft Office, Photoshop, Pixelmator, the Omni Group’s apps, djay, and many more apps will be updated to support the Touch Bar. Some apps have limited support without an update—I’m typing this in Byword 2.7 ( byword27), which doesn’t have official support as of this writing, but the Touch Bar is showing me the same QuickType options and emoji picker that I enjoy in apps like Messages and TextEdit. If I select some text, I get the same formatting controls in the Touch Bar as I would in Mail or Pages. I’ll take it. 70 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

Speaking of QuickType suggestions, this is one area where the Touch Bar falls flat. I type about 80 words a minute, and suggestions just can’t keep up with that, lagging as far as two words behind my fingers. While I’m in the midst of typing a sentence, the words tend to freeze up and only change when I stop typing. But the suggestions can be useful if you’re a hunt-and-peck typer, or you’re, say, holding a sandwich in one hand while one-

You have to click a Touch ID button in 1Password’s login screen to be able to unlock your vault with Touch ID, but it’s much faster than typing in a complex password.

finger typing with the other. (Hey, a lot of us eat lunch at our desks.) I love being able to customize the Touch Bar. Check the View menu of the Finder and all your Apple apps (except, frustratingly, iTunes) for an option to Customize Touch Bar, and then you can rearrange the buttons on the Touch Bar itself, or use the trackpad to drag new buttons from an onscreen menu right off the bottom of your display, where they drop down onto the Touch Bar. It’s a cool effect, and fairly intuitive even the first time. The Touch Bar also has Touch ID, which lets you log in to your Mac, authenticate Apple Pay transactions in Safari, and authorize purchases in the iTunes and App Stores without having to type your password. I also love being able to use Touch ID in System Preferences, instead of typing my Mac’s password. Developers can use Touch ID too—1Password already added support, letting you unlock your password vault with Touch ID, just like you can on iPhones and iPads with Touch ID.

Overall, it’s just really cool to have contextual controls on top of the keyboard—I praised the 12.9-inch iPad Pro’s software keyboard ( ipadpro5things) on the first day I got it because it had enough real estate to include extra buttons and controls. Ditching the function keys on the MacBook Pro gave Apple that extra real estate to bring the best parts of iOS—the freedom to put buttons where they’re most useful, when they’re most useful—to the Mac.

PERFORMANCE Let’s not forget that there are computers attached to these Touch Bars. In my earlier review of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with function keys ( pro), benchmarks showed only a slight improvement in CPU speed over the previous generation, but much better graphics performance. These MacBook Pros did a little better. Apple supplied us with stock, entrylevel models of the 13-inch and 15-inch JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 71



MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. The 13-inch has a 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 8GB of 2133MHz RAM, Intel Iris Graphics 550, and 256GB of storage. The 15-inch model has a 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 16GB of 2133MHz RAM, Radeon Pro 450 graphics with 2GB of memory, and 256GB of storage. We also had a stock model of the 13-incher with function keys, which makes comparing them across the line pretty easy. In Geekbench 4.0.1, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar scored 3927 in 72 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

the single-core 64-bit CPU test, which is 5.3 percent faster than the previous generation’s score, and 4.2 percent faster than the just-released 13-inch 2GHz MacBook Pro with function keys. The 15-inch MacBook Pro scored 4216, which is just 1.5 percent better than 2015’s 15-inch MacBook Pro ( mcbkprocorei7) with 2.5GHz quad-core Core i7 with 16GB of RAM and a discrete AMD Radeon R9 M370X. In the multi-core CPU test, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar bested last

GEEKBENCH 4.0.1, SINGLE-CORE CPU TEST 2.6GHz 15-inch MacBook Pro, Touch Bar (late 2016)


2.9GHz 13-inch MacBook Pro, Touch Bar (late 2016)


2.0GHz 15-inch MacBook Pro, function keys (late 2016)


2.5GHz 15-inch MacBook Pro (mid-2015) 2.7 GHz 13-inch MacBook Pro (early 2015)

4,151 3,724

1.6GHz 13-inch MacBook Air (early 2015)

3,219 0






Geekbench 4.0.1, single-core CPU test. Longer bars are better. The top three are this year’s Macs, and the bottom three are last year’s.

GEEKBENCH 4.0.1, MULTICORE CPU TEST 2.6GHz 15-inch MacBook Pro, Touch Bar (late 2016)


2.9GHz 13-inch MacBook Pro, Touch Bar (late 2016)


2.0GHz 13-inch MacBook Pro, function keys (late 2016)


2.5GHz 15-inch MacBook Pro (mid-2015)


2.7 GHz 13-inch MacBook Pro (early 2015)


1.6GHz 13-inch MacBook Air (early 2015)

5,719 0





Geekbench 4.0.1, multicore CPU test. Longer bars are better. The top three are this year’s Macs, and the bottom three are last year’s.




GEEKBENCH 4.0.1, OPENCL BENCHMARK 2.6GHz 15-inch MacBook Pro, Touch Bar (late 2016)


2.9GHz 13-inch MacBook Pro, Touch Bar (late 2016)


2.0GHz 13-inch MacBook Pro, function keys (late 2016)


2.5GHz 15-inch MacBook Pro (mid-2015)


2.7 GHz 13-inch MacBook Pro (early 2015)


1.6GHz 13-inch MacBook Air (early 2015)

15,887 0






Geekbench 4.0.1, OpenCL benchmark. Longer bars are better. The top three are this year’s Macs, and the bottom three are last year’s.

CINEBENCH R15, OPENGL TEST 2.6GHz 15-inch MacBook Pro, Touch Bar (late 2016)


2.9GHz 13-inch MacBook Pro, Touch Bar (late 2016)


2.0GHz 13-inch MacBook Pro, function keys (late 2016)


2.5GHz 15-inch MacBook Pro (mid-2015)


2.7 GHz 13-inch MacBook Pro (early 2015)


1.6GHz 13-inch MacBook Air (early 2015)

24.1 0





Cinebench R15, OpenGL test. Longer bars are better. The top three are this year’s Macs, and the bottom three are last year’s.


year’s 13-inch Pro by 7.9 percent, and this year’s function key model by 3.8 percent. The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar was actually edged out by last year’s version in this test. In Geekbench’s OpenCL test, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar scored 30826, using the Intel Iris Graphics 550—that’s 59 percent better than the last generation. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with function keys has Intel Graphics 540, and so this Touch Bar model scored 8.6 percent better. The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar scored 42827 in Geekbench’s

OpenCL test when using the AMD Radeon Pro 450 graphics, which is 38.7 percent better than the last gen. This model has 2GB of dedicated graphics memory, but you can upgrade to a Radeon Pro 460 with 4GB of memory for $200. The 15-inch MacBook Pro also contains an Intel HD Graphics 530 chip that can be used to extend battery life during less-intensive tasks. Using Cinebench’s OpenGL benchmark to further test the graphics, the 13-inch MacBook Pro achieved 36.8 frames per second, which is 27.5 percent faster than 2015’s entry-level 13-inch

Once enough people upgrade, I’ll miss seeing a sea of lit-up Apple logos in the live-streams of tech events.




While I miss the last generation’s keyboard, the giant Force Touch trackpads on the new MacBook Pros are a big improvement.

MacBook Pro, and 9.4 percent faster than this year’s 13-inch MacBook Pro with function keys. The 15-inch MacBook Pro scored a whopping 70.4 frames per second, which is 13.7 percent faster than the last generation. So does this mean the 15-inch Mac is powerful enough for pro video editors, even with a maximum of 16GB of RAM? Probably. There’s a chance Apple will increase the RAM to 32GB next year if it updates the MacBook Pro line to Intel’s next-gen Kaby Lake processors, but even now, one professional video editor (go. who uses Final Cut Pro finds the MacBook Pro “buttery smooth.” It’s worth noting that the 76 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

15-inch MacBook Pro can drive two 5K external displays, plus the 2880x1800 built-in display, and still have ports for two external Thunderbolt RAID arrays.

REDESIGN PROS AND CONS The redesigned bodies of both models are thinner and lighter than the MacBook Pros they replace, but there are trade-offs to achieve these svelter profiles. The low-travel keyboards use Apple’s new butterfly mechanism. This keeps the nicely sized keys from wobbling if you strike them off-center, but I much prefer having more travel, like on the last generation of MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air line. In fact, I’d be willing to carry a thicker laptop

to keep that style of keyboard. (It’s a multiple apps open, dozens of Safari tabs personal preference, of course.) open, streaming music on Spotify, and The fan vents on the bottom, one on occasionally indulging in some video either side, are another quirk. They feel almost Oh, and the Apple logo doesn’t light up sharp if you happen to anymore, just like on the 12-inch MacBook. run your finger across them, and since they’re That’s a bit of a bummer. on the bottom of the machine, I’d worry about getting water in them if I happened viewing with Sierra’s picture-in-picture to spill something on my desk. feature. More detailed battery testing will Oh, and the Apple logo doesn’t light up come in a separate article. anymore, just like on the 12-inch MacBook. BOTTOM LINE That’s a bit of a bummer. These new MacBook Pros have a lot What isn’t a bummer are the new going for them. Their biggest weakness, speakers, my favorite non–Touch Bar across the whole Touch Bar line, is price. feature of the new machines. Apple The 13-inch model I tested is $1,799 withexplained that since they are connected out any upgrades, and the 15-inch is right to the battery with no transformer $2,399. Going to 512GB of storage is between them, the speakers can get twice $200 extra, and 1TB is $600 extra, which the peak power—and you can really hear also seems like a lot. (To compare, last the difference. Music sounds great when year’s 15-inch MacBook Pro with a discrete you turn the volume all the way up, and AMD graphics chip started at $2,499, but the speakers are powerful enough to that included 512GB of storage.) provide satisfying sound while watching These prices could come down a little movies, TV, and sports. The 15-inch modbit next generation, but if you need a el’s speakers seem to have more oomph MacBook Pro right now, the late 2016 than those of the 13-incher, but both can models are solid performers. If I were ably fill a hotel room with music, if you buying one for myself, I’d go with the should want to leave your portable Blue13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and tooth speaker at home. max out the storage, although the 15-inch Battery life is also solid, with both model is even better. ■ models lasting a full day of heavy use, with JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 77

a hairbrush.

Recycle me.



Apple’s PowerBooks, iBooks, and MacBooks have come a long way in 25 years. By Jason Snell


n a moment of somewhat unexpected nostalgia at its most recent media event, Apple pointed out that it was the 25th anniversary of the PowerBook. (It’s good to know that, 27 years later, Apple still would rather nobody remember the Mac Portable [].) I’ve been a Mac laptop user since the original PowerBook era. That ancient history is my history. Since 1991, Apple has gone through seven distinct eras when it comes to its laptop strategy and design. JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 79



PowerBook 100

THE CLASSICS: THE 680x0 ERA The original PowerBooks (and, sure, the Mac Portable) used the Mac’s original processor, the Motorola 680x0 series. The first generation of PowerBooks took the world by storm, which is why it’s their anniversary that Apple noted. I distinctly remember a magazine story attentively describing entertainment-industry executive Barry Diller hobnobbing at an L.A. restaurant with his PowerBook on the table in front of him. My first PowerBook was from this era, though it wasn’t in the original generation, but in the second wave, released in 1992. 80 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

In the fall of 1992 I was a grad student, and my rationale for buying a PowerBook at The Scholars Workstation—UC Berkeley’s campus computer store—was that I could write stories anywhere, not just on my Mac SE back at my apartment. I got the message that my PowerBook 160 (go., capable of displaying 16 shades of gray!) had arrived for pickup the day after I went home sick for two weeks with mono. It would’ve been the perfect time to break in my PowerBook…but instead I wrote a bunch of short stories in longhand. This era also saw the introduction of the PowerBook Duo (go.macworld. com/pbduo), one of the most interesting Macs ever made. It was a legitimately small laptop—4.1 pounds, in 1992!—and was Apple’s only real experimentation with the idea of a laptop with a docking station. The Duo Dock sucked in the laptop (sort of like a front-loading VCR…you remember those, right?) and connected it to an external display, expansion cards, a video card, and even a processor upgrade. Though the Duo was unlike any Mac ever made, its successors include the MacBook Air and the one-port Retina MacBook. The PowerBook 500 series, code-named “Blackbird,” was Apple’s first major Power-

Book redesign. I know people who loved those laptops, though I never had one—and in my opinion, they never really paid off people’s initial excitement about them.

FOUR DIGITS: THE POWERPC ERA The next era of Mac laptops really put the power into the PowerBook name. The PowerPC processor entered, and all the numbers went from three to four digits. Apple released an updated version of the PowerBook 500 series, the PowerBook 5300—and its batteries started catching on fire. (Sound familiar?)

My laptop of this era was the PowerBook 1400 (, a gray laptop with a delightful twist—a clear slide-out window where you could put custom art to make your laptop your own. (In true 1990s fashion, my laptop featured a picture of a Vorlon ship from Babylon 5.) The most interesting laptop of this period was the Duo’s successor, the PowerBook 2400c ( pb2400c). It was a 4.4-pound PowerBook that was hard to find, didn’t sell particularly well, but was—like Spinal Tap—big in Japan. After the 2400c was discontinued in the United States, Apple offered an

The utterly amazing PowerBook Duo.





Apple’s first real consumer-focused laptop, the iBook, also premiered during this era. Powered by a G3 processor and wrapped in translucent plastic reminiscent of its desktop cousin the iMac, the original iBook looked a bit like a toilet seat. It was adorable, right down to the flip-out plastic handle. I never owned one, but around this time my parents had sold my childhood home and moved into a motor home, ready to travel all around the country, so I bought a Blueberry iBook for them to use on the road.


The customizable PowerBook 1400.

This was a laptop from a new Apple. The big white Apple logo on the back was the first sign. The rubbery wrapping materials and curved edges were another tip-off. This design persisted through three hardware generations, including the addition of FireWire. I had one of these laptops—they were huge (with a 14-inch diagonal display), but they were incredibly cool looking for the time. 82 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

Today, if you think of a Mac laptop, you probably think of a silver slab with a big Apple logo on it. This is the era where that started. Apple’s first attempt to make the

Mmm, so many iBook flavors... IMAGES: APPLE

Look how delicate that PowerBook G4 Titanium hinge looks!

ultimate silver laptop was the Titanium decision that it’s still following today: Make PowerBook G4. It was a mind-blowing laptops out of anodized aluminum. The product for the time, at just 1 inch thick. I Aluminum PowerBook G4, introduced in remember this model fondly, because it’s 2003, was a lot larger than today’s models, the laptop I used to post the APPLE’S FIRST ATTEMPT TO MAKE THE first pictures of my new baby ULTIMATE SILVER LAPTOP WAS THE daughter in 2001. A couple of TITANIUM POWERBOOK G4. years later as a toddler, my daughter would grab the back of my PowerBook’s display and snap it but it’s still recognizably a modern Mac right off its hinges. laptop. I fell in love with the 12-inch version of She wasn’t a super-powered baby. the PowerBook G4, beginning a love affair Apple learned a lot about materials sciwith small laptops that continues to this day. ence from the Titanium PowerBook, ENOUGH POWER: including two key points: Titanium was THE INTEL ERA light but brittle (snap!) and that paint flakes Steve Jobs eventually got tired of putting pretty easily off metal. The Titanium Powthe word power on every professional erBooks looked great when they were Mac, and Apple’s abandonment of the new, but they were prone to breakage and PowerPC processor was the perfect time their paint got scuffed quite easily. to move away from the name PowerBook. These lessons led Apple to make a IMAGE: APPLE




And so in 2006, Apple put the 15-year-old beat. And it was impossibly easy to replace PowerBook name—as well as the more the hard drive. recent iBook—out to pasture and replaced LET’S GET SMALL: them with the MacBook and MacBook Pro. THE MACBOOK AIR ERA Thus began the Intel era. While the MacBook Pro has continued to To be honest, the names and processors be refined, and added a Retina display in changed, but the look of Apple’s laptops 2012, the biggest change in Apple’s largely remained the same. The polycarbonate iBook—a plastic version of the standard Mac laptop design THE FIRST MACBOOK AIR WAS A rather than the fanciful original CURIOSITY, AN UNDERPOWERED (AND design—morphed into a new UNDER-PORTED) DEVICE THAT WAS Intel-based MacBook. I loved the UNBELIEVABLY THIN AND LIGHT. original 13-inch MacBook, especially the black color variant, and approach to laptops came in 2008, when that was my main Mac for a few years. I’d the MacBook Air arrived on the scene. write about pro systems for Macworld and The first MacBook Air was a curiosity, an then go back to using a consumer laptop, underpowered (and under-ported) device but the size of that MacBook couldn’t be

The MacBook Air will be missed.



The 2016 MacBook comes in four colors.

that was unbelievably thin and light. Two years later, Apple’s second crack at the MacBook Air—in 13- and 11-inch variations— turned the curiosity into a legitimate hit. By most accounts, this is the most popular Mac laptop model of the last six years. As a fan of small laptops, I glommed on to the 11-inch Air and still haven’t let go. Later models could be ordered with fairly powerful i7 processors and came with fast SSD storage. My three-year-old MacBook Air is still powerful enough to handle pretty much any task I ask it to perform. Today, the MacBook Air era is coming to an end ( The 11-inch model is now only being sold to education markets and the 13-inch model seems unlikely to ever be updated again. But the thin, light Air pointed the way forward for Apple’s entire laptop product line. IMAGE: APPLE

TODAY: THE SPACE GRAY ERA It definitely feels like the current MacBook and MacBook Pro models belong to a new era, one that’s just beginning. From the introduction of USB-C connectors to the option to get a Mac laptop in a color that’s not silver to the presence of the Touch Bar, Apple’s laptop design is following newer rules than it has in the past. But everything old is new again. My PowerBook 160 weighed 7 pounds, sported a 25MHz processor, 4MB of RAM, a 40MB hard drive, a modem, a floppy drive, and ADB, Mac serial, and SCSI ports. The MacBook weighs 2 pounds, sports a 1.1GHz processor, has 8GB of RAM, 256GB of flash storage, and one USB-C port. Who knows what the future holds? ■ JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 85

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A USB dongle can hijack all your Web accounts and router in 30 seconds, even if your computer is locked A security researcher finds a gaping hole in automatic network connections made by plugging in a dongle. BY GLENN FLEISHMAN





proof of concept from security researcher and software developer Samy Kamkar shows that macOS, Windows, and Linux computers can have any previously active Web logins hijacked merely by plugging in a tiny Unix device via USB or Thunderbolt, even if the computer is locked and password protected, and possibly even when it seems to be asleep. It can also hijack many router brands on the same network. PoisonTap ( exploits several interlocked network and browser design features, rather than relying on an operating system, hardware, or browser flaw. This will make it harder to root out and resolve. Kamkar said in an interview, “The interesting attacks to me are by design: how do you exploit the protocol rather than a single buffer overflow that gets patched the next day.” Kamkar debated how to release news of this flaw, but it’s such a long-standing problem in plain view, that he believes it’s likely been found quietly before. There was no one company or product affected, but effectively all of them. “This is a continuous problem we’ve had for years and years and years,” he said. “I just had to release it.” The good news, however? Someone needs physical access to your machine, although only for 30 to 60 seconds. And


quitting your browser before walking away from your computer mitigates the attack entirely. Operating system makers and router makers will be able to release broader mitigations too, if they decide they care about it.

BACKGROUND INJECTIONS When you attach a device that offers a network interface, like a USB-to-ethernet adapter, all major modern desktop operating systems discover it when it’s plugged in, and immediately add it to your list of network connections. This also works over Thunderbolt on a Mac and some other systems with Thunderbolt support. (You can install third-party software on some platforms that blocks new networks, but this attack might bypass those because of how it works.) The PoisonTap proof of concept relies on the Raspberry Pi Zero ( blog/raspberry-pi-zero) platform, a tiny $5 computer that runs Linux and has various interfaces. When a PoisonTap device is plugged in via USB or Thunderbolt, it boots in about 30 to 60 seconds and identifies itself as a network adapter. With a normal network adapter connected to a normal network that uses automatic assignment (via DHCP), the operating system tries to assign an address by asking for one over the adapter. A net-

worked DHCP server hears the request what seems to be an encrypted (https) and responds with an offer of an IP (Interpage, your browser is probably sending net Protocol) address on the local area out background requests to ad networks network (LAN), the LAN’s address range to refresh ads, to beacons that monitor for other local devices, and the address of your time on a page, and to any number of the gateway or router. other status updates and page-element A computer doesn’t have to be awake refreshes. “Everyone I know and work with and unlocked. USB and Thunderbolt network Even if the OS is seemingly asleep, it may adapter recognition hapaccept and manage USB and Thunderbolt pens automatically whenconnections in its low-function level. ever the OS is active. Even if the OS is seemingly asleep, it may accept and manage USB and Thunderbolt connecand myself—I have 20 to 30 tabs open tions in its low-function level. and a couple of windows,” Kamkar said. PoisonTap acts as both adapter and As soon as one of those requests is fake network, and responds with a netmade, PoisonTap leaps into action. It work range that encompasses all Internet hijacks the request and replies with a page addresses. On a Mac, automatically added that loads the top million sites ranked by networks are dropped to the bottom of the Alexa—yes, a million—background conlist in the Network pane of System Prefernections that are invisible when viewing ences, which gives them a lower priority, the Web browser. Kamkar says he uses a meaning they should be ignored for most technique that causes a page to be purposes unless the higher-ranked netretrieved without rendering it in the work connections (like Wi-Fi or ethernet) browser, even invisibly, which allows what are unavailable. should be a crippling set of operations to But by assigning the entire Internet as happen. the network range, Kamkar bypasses this The goal is to grab Web session tokens restriction, and can respond effectively to stored as browser cookies and then ship any request. them back to the attacker through a The PoisonTap device now waits for connection that’s also created in the any unencrypted Web connection. If you browser. Opening a session from a have any tab open in a browser, even on browser that has previously logged in JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 89



causes the browser to Once in place in a browser, PoisonTap code issue a request that can access secure local corporate networks contains a stored through browser requests, and send data off cookie, which often through its remote connection. allows a session to continue without send data off through its remote re-entering a user connection. name and password. The PoisonTap If that’s not enough, PoisonTap also device intercepts those connections and runs software that lets it test for routers on grabs the cookie as well as any other the local network, and then use a default information. administrative password to access and While those cookies should be sent reconfigure them. This works even if a over https connections, which are increasrouter can’t be reached remotely over the ingly used by default or preferentially by Internet, as long as the password hasn’t major sites of all kinds, Kamkar said sevbeen changed, or if the current browser eral weaknesses let PoisonTap work has connected and stored the router’s around this. Not all servers mark cookies password. as “secure only,” which allows PoisonTap to “If you can get into the router, you can send an http (unencrypted) request and change DNS for everyone on the network,” have the browser send a cookie that it Kamkar said. By changing the DNS server previously only relayed securely. values on a local router to a malicious And only some servers use a configuremote location, PoisonTap can hijack the ration technique that forces a capable entire network’s unencrypted traffic, or browser to always use https. If that’s not in potentially install malicious router firmware place, and it’s not yet heavily used, Poisonthat’s far worse, turning it into part of the Tap can create the plain http connection. growing Internet of Things botnet problem. The attack takes just seconds after the PoisonTap hardware boots, at which point MITIGATING A GAPING HOLE the actual device can be unplugged. All This may sound pretty hideous and, yes, the pages remain silent, cached indefiindeed, it is. But because of the physical nitely, and active as secret backdoors. proximity requirement, you may not be Once in place in a browser, PoisonTap vulnerable unless your computer is ever code can access secure local corporate networks through browser requests, and unattended in a place that other people 90 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

have access to. This can include work, if you have a desktop machine you leave running overnight or while away, and another employee or contractor (or even maintenance staff) can gain brief access. If you’re concerned about others having access to your machine while it’s locked but not powered down, you can quit any running browsers, and PoisonTap has no effect unless someone left it plugged in, which is very risky for this kind of physical-access attack. You can also shut your computer down. As more sites use encrypted connections preferentially and configure their servers to always force a browser that can make an https connection to do so, this problem starts to leak away, but will remain for any sites that don’t. Operating system makers could prevent most USB and Thunderbolt attachments while a device is locked. This seems obvious, except perhaps for a keyboard or mouse. OSs could also alert users about newly discovered networks and require approval. And they could block attempts to define a network as big as the whole Internet. Nearly all networks that people routinely use are scoped to a very narrow range, typically a couple hundred addresses with the same first numbers (like to Anything beyond a couple of orders of magnitude used for a corporate or large

public network should be blocked and an alert shown. Browser makers could also prevent certain actions from happening on a massive scale. The kind of technique that Kamkar uses has little rational purpose, and might be possible to monitor for among other malicious behavior. A user could be alerted, much like some browsers warn and then block excessive modal dialog alert boxes from appearing in a browser tab—the ones you have to click to dismiss. Finally, router makers are way, way, way behind the curve already, and this is yet another way in which weak security practices allow ease of access. Routers can be preconfigured with certificates that create secure connections over a local network, preventing malicious software of this kind or elsewhere on a network from sniffing and gaining access. It may seem depressing to hear about an ostensibly easy-to-implement, irritating-to-block security hole that makes you want to pour glue into your computer ports. (That’s one solution, and used in some secure settings.) But vigilance remains the watchword, coupled with giving feedback to the companies that make the products we use to keep upping the security they use and monitoring more heavily for automated behavior that couldn’t possibly be beneficial to a user. ■ JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 91


How to disable calendar invite spam on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac Did an invitation to buy products appear repeatedly in your calendar in the last few days? You can fix it. BY GLENN FLEISHMAN


n apparently huge number of iOS and macOS users received calendar invite spam recently. If you began seeing


an invitation to an event in your calendar listings for Ugg Boots, Ray-Ban sunglasses, and other products, it’s because spammers took advantage of a long-avail-

able feature in iCloud that extracts invites from email and presents them as notifications in calendar apps. The ones I received were set as a repeating event, making the invitation show up on every day of my calendar. Some users started receiving this spam weeks ago (, but the distribution accelerated only around November 23 or 24. I’ve found scattered references as far back as August. The standard iCalendar format can package an invitation in an ICS file, a format you’re probably familiar with for adding events from other calendar services or subscribing to a school or sports calendar via a website. Apple automatically examines ICS attachments sent via email to your iCloud email account, whether or not it’s from a known recipient. By default, an iCalendar invitation gets extracted and shown to you in all your linked calendars in iOS and macOS. This spam includes a URL in the event description. Previous batches tried to trick

people into visiting DHL and other sites, but the current large wave is designed to entice an unwary user into clicking it for a bargain. If you click the invite, you can respond with Accept, Decline, or Maybe. However, no matter what you click, that response is sent back to the inviter, which will surely trigger more spam, because they know your account received the request and you interacted with it. (This assumes the inviting account or server hasn’t been shut down already.) In iOS, you can slide left and then choose Delete, which removes the invitation without providing a response. No similar option appears in macOS. The best option, however, is to disable this automatic invitation parsing altogether. Because iCloud handles the behavior for incoming email, you have to make the change at the iCloud website: • Go to your iCloud Calendar page ( via a desktop browser. (Apple doesn’t allow you to use via mobile Safari.)

If you began seeing an invitation to an event in your calendar listings for Ugg Boots, Ray-Ban sunglasses, and other products, it’s because spammers took advantage of a long-available feature in iCloud that extracts invites from email and presents them as notifications in calendar apps.




Switch the Invitations option away from in-app notifications to avoid calendar event spam.

• Click the gear icon in the lower-left corner. • Select Preferences. • Click the Advanced icon. • In the Invitations section, change the option from In-App Notifications to Email To iCloud Address. Now spam invitations will appear in your inbox—or, more likely, get automatically marked as spam and never bother you. This is slightly inconvenient if you routinely received and wanted calendar notifications for invitations sent via email— you’ll have to look for these in your inbox 94 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

and click to add them to your calendar. If you have outstanding invitations that you can’t delete after making that change, follow these steps: • Via iCloud, iOS Calendar, or any calendar app in macOS, create a “spam” calendar. • Assign the invitation to the spam calendar without clicking Accept, Decline, or Maybe. • Delete the spam calendar. Click the Delete and Don’t Notify buttons when prompted. ■

Troubleshooting some nasty Safari malware Jason Snell’s sister ran into a persnickety pop-up asking her to call an 800 number. Instead she called family tech support! BY JASON SNELL


need Apple advice,” My sister texted me last week. “I got a message that my computer is blocked due to an unexpected error. It gives me a number to call to fix it. Does that sound legit?”

No. It did not sound legit. What’s worse, the error message gave her an 800 number to call, which she did, and the person on the other end of the line offered to share her screen and tried to sell her $200 in security software. JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 95



That was the point at which her Safari’s home page, so it loaded immediinstincts kicked in and she got off the call ately on launch. and asked me for help. The culprit in all I did a whole lot of web searching to this was a pop-up message in Safari, come up with possible ways of fixing this. which read in part: “Your Apple Computer It seems impossible, but there’s no way to has been blocked. Mac iOS alert! System reset Safari’s settings from outside Safari. I might be infected due to unexpected error! Your Her question for me was simple: How do I Browser might be get access to Safari back and make sure this hijacked or hacked.” doesn’t happen again? Ironically, this “warning” message is a common form of malware suggested we delete a bunch of Safari’s itself. The problem is that the pop-up preference files, but that had no appreciaappeared every time my sister opened ble effect. Safari, and it proved impossible to dismiss We did try a few things that, after the the pop-up and then access Safari settings fact, I was told are the most standard ways before the pop-up reappeared. Her questo work around a malicious webpage in tion for me was simple: How do I get Safari. access to Safari back and make sure this First: Try to launch Safari with the shift doesn’t happen again? key held down. This should prevent Safari It took a couple hours of trying to get from opening the pages that were open the answer. If you or a family member of the last time Safari was running. Unfortuyours gets infected by this same approach, nately, it doesn’t prevent Safari from maybe I can save you some time and loading its home page. heartache. Second: Load Safari, then Control-click THE SURE-FIRE SOLUTIONS on its icon in the Dock and choose Force The cause of the “infection” seemed Quit. Try this a couple of times and Safari obvious to me right away: Safari was may get the message that there’s someloading a web page that contained a thing severely wrong on startup and JavaScript script that spawned the pop-up instead start without loading anything. We message. Because it loaded immediately, I tried to Force Quit numerous times and it had to assume that it had been set as had no apparent effect. 96 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

Third: Download Malwarebytes Antimalware for Mac (malwarebytes. com/antimalware/ mac). I had this recommended to me by numerous people, including some Apple techs, and though my sister couldn’t download anything because Safari was the only web browser she had installed, I was able to download the app and transfer it Malwarebytes is free and trustworthy. to her via Messages. She installed and ran it–but no luck. tion, any of these approaches may solve Fourth: Update to El Capitan or Sierra the problem. Unfortunately, they didn’t if you haven’t. This probably would’ve solve mine. solved my sister’s problem, and was SCREEN-SHARING: actually the next step I was going to try A HAIL MARY when I found what proved to be the It wasn’t fun trying to troubleshoot my solution. Apple added a lot more malsister’s computer problems via Messages. ware protection in the move from What I wanted to do was control her Yosemite to El Capitan, including fixes screen and see if I could figure it out on that stop many browser-based hijack my own. But for whatever reason–perhaps methods. My sister was running Yosembecause her Mac was running Yosemite?–I ite, unfortunately. couldn’t find any way to share screens Depending on your particular infestaJANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 97



directly within Messages. No combination of iMessage or AIM or Google Talk allowed me to get access to Message’s screen-sharing features. What ended up saving my bacon was TeamViewer (, one of Macworld’s picks for great ways to control a Mac remotely ( controlmac). It’s free, and I was able to send the lightweight QuickSupport app ( to my sister via Messages. She opened the app, gave me the ID code and password, and I was able to control her screen. If you find yourself in a jam and need to control someone’s screen remotely, definitely check out TeamViewer. I was

TeamViewer was a big help, and easy to set up.


impressed with how quickly we got it set up and working, and it’s free for personal use. (Businesses pay a subscription fee to use the tool.)

IN THE END, COMMON SENSE WINS Despite all of my attempts, a couple hours had passed and nothing had worked. Finally I turned to a suggestion I’d seen in a couple of message threads about browser malware, one that I had dismissed as a last resort because it was something I couldn’t do myself, but would need to step my sister through via text message. It was this: Disconnect the computer from the Internet entirely. Unless you’ve

Disconnect the computer from the Internet entirely. Unless you’ve got a hardwired Ethernet connection, this generally means turning off Wi-Fi. That’s it. If there’s no malware hosted locally, that pop-up can only be generated by loading a remote webpage that’s set as the Safari home page got a hardwired Ethernet connection, this generally means turning off Wi-Fi. That’s it. If there’s no malware hosted locally, that pop-up can only be generated by loading a remote webpage that’s set as the Safari home page. If you’re not on the Internet, the webpage can’t load. Which means the JavaScript script never runs, which means the infernally blocking pop-up message never appears. So I disconnected from TeamViewer and instructed my sister to turn off her Wi-Fi and open up Safari. Sure enough, this simple solution is what broke through the logjam. When she opened her Safari preferences, sure enough, her home page had been set to a weird “free deals and coupons” domain. Once she deleted that URL from her Safari settings, she was able to turn her Wi-Fi back on and the problem was over. Or at least, all over but the important aftermath: I told her to update to Sierra immediately, consider getting some simple

malware protection software, and not click on suspicious links. Also, downloading a second web browser’s never a bad idea, in case something terrible happens to your first choice. And under no circumstances should you call a phone number that appears in a pop-up on your Mac, or allow an unknown party to control your Mac. Even doing a Google search for the words in a particular fake alert box may not help you–because the creators of the scam may have built whole websites with those keywords in order to lure you in and get your money or access to your computer. If your Mac seems disabled, take it to an Apple Store, a local Apple tech in your community, or call Apple support directly. With any luck, My sister will never have a problem like this again. And if someone you know ever gets caught in this particular loop, I hope my two hours of troubleshooting will allow you to get to the solution faster than I did. ■



Track your valuable work hours with TSheets TSheets has great timecard management and integrates with QuickBooks Online and Xero. BY JEFFERY BATTERSBY


have long been on a search for a good time tracking app that integrates well with a business accounting package. While it’s been quite some time (go.mac since we’ve taken a look at it, FreshBooks ( timesheets-and-time-tracking ) offers excellent built-in time tracking and continues to up its business accounting game. For my money (For real! I pay for and use) Marketcircle’s Billings Pro is the best time tracking and invoicing software I’ve 100 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

had the pleasure to use, but it’s not an accounting package, so I still have to pay for QuickBooks Online to track income and expenses. I also have to create duplicate invoices, one that I send from Billings Pro ( and another for accounting from Quickbooks Online ( I’ve recently had the pleasure of playing with TSheets (, an online timecard app that integrates with QuickBooks Online and Xero (,

and there’s a lot to love. It offers great time tracking and timecard management with a ton of integrations that make it very versatile.

WEB TIME TSheets (free for one user; pricing and fees for multiple users available) is a web-based time clock application, similar to Redcort Software’s Virtual TimeClock ( virtualtimeclock), that helps you track employee’s time, whether they work in a physical office or in the field. TSheets provides browser-based clients for Macs and PCs and other portable devices that have browsers but no downloadable app options. There are standalone apps for iOS and Android devices (you can use tablet devices as kiosks for login if you choose), with options for clocking in via text, Twitter, and telephone. The iOS and Android apps also provide real-time location tracking for employees who are on the clock (it does JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 101



not track anyone who is not clocked in) which you can use to confirm that field employees are where they say they are and to guide you if you need to figure out which of your field employees it makes the most sense to send to a specific location. From a management perspective,


TSheets offers excellent tools for scheduling employees, managing overtime, and approving timecards. Managers and employees have the ability to adjust timecards to reflect actual time worked, but it’s important to note that TSheets keeps an audit trail that is Department of

Labor compliant, so any changes made are tracked and can be used in the event of some kind of dispute. If you need to keep a handle on overtime, you can install a TSheets add-in that will send managers alert messages when employees are working overtime. TSheets also provides an add-in that allows managers to schedule and easily adjust the schedule for employees, which is particularly useful for restaurants and other businesses that don’t work typical 9-to-5 hours and who need to make sure everyone knows when they need to be in and ready to work.

TAKE YOUR ACCOUNTING ONLINE One of TSheets more powerful features is its integration with online accounting packages such as QuickBooks Online and Xero. TSheets can automatically import information from these accounting packages, such as client and job information, and have your employees link that information to their timecards. These integrations work well, but at this time they require you to approve time and then export data to your online accounting package of choice. I did see a demo of a TSheets integration with QuickBooks Online that is

expected to be released before the end of the year. This new integration allows you to approve time sheets and work with TSheets within QuickBooks Online, providing a unified experience that doesn’t force you to bounce between the two online interfaces. If you aren’t using either of these online accounting applications you can export time sheet data and import the resulting file into your accounting app or payroll service.

SAD TROMBONES As much as I love TSheets, and I do, as is the case with so many accounting and time tracking applications, sometimes TSheets doesn’t think simply enough. For some businesses what’s really important is to be able to track and invoice for time worked on a particular project. With TSheets and QuickBooks Online it’s assumed that you’re going to use QuickBooks payroll service, so there’s no billing until you’ve set up payroll. I did not get to test it, but it appears that Xero will allow for time billing without requiring payroll services. If you don’t use either of these accounting packages TSheets offers a basic invoicing add-in that may suit your needs, but TSheets isn’t an accounting package, so you will still need something in addition to TSheets for accounting. ■


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Everything You Need to Know About iOS, iTunes, and Mac-Based Entertainment

AppleScript, the perfect adjunct to iTunes: An open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook Recent developments in Cupertino makes it seem as if AppleScript could be on the way out. Let’s hope not. BY KIRK MCELHEARN




Dear Mr. Cook, I was chagrined to learn that Sal Soghoian, who was Apple’s Product Manager of Automation Technologies, was let go for “business reasons” (macosxautomation. com/about.html). Mr. Soghoian had been with Apple for nearly 20 years, and was the keeper of the flame for technologies such as AppleScript, Automator, and more. In my writings about iTunes (, I’ve often explained to readers how they could extend iTunes’s feature set using AppleScripts. Most of these have been written by Doug Adams, proprietor of Doug’s AppleScripts for iTunes (, a site that started out as a repository of tools to extend iTunes, but has become an essential resource for iTunes users. [Full disclosure: Doug and I host a podcast together (] No application can do everything its users need, and none should offer everything they want. For this reason, AppleScript has long been the perfect adjunct to iTunes, which is already feature-rich (some say “bloated,” but I disagree, and doesn’t need more options and tools. Many of these AppleScripts are designed to tag files, edit their metadata to correct errors, improve consistency, and ensure that users can find the files they want, and help them efficiently use smart playlists. It’s not clear whether the termination of Mr. Soghoian means the demise of AppleScript altogether, and particularly in iTunes, but many developers, iTunes users, and others ( are concerned by this decision. You see, it’s all about freedom. Freedom to do things we want that Apple doesn’t think we need to be able to do. Freedom to explore. Freedom to discover new ways to link applications, to interact with files, to create our own solutions. We can’t expect apps to cater to all our whims, and tools like AppleScript and


Automator allow us to go a step further and discover ways to do things that Apple never even considered. A lot of the AppleScripts I use with iTunes allow me to tweak the text in file metadata. For example, I use Remove n Characters From Front or Back (go. often to delete extraneous words in song titles when I rip CDs. In the Gracenote database that iTunes uses to add metadata when ripping, you often find live recordings where (Live) is present after each track name. A script like that allows me to quickly remove this text that I don’t need. Find Album Artwork with Google ( lets me search for artwork when iTunes can’t find any. And Dupin ( dupinapp.php) lets me scour my library for duplicate tracks; something I do often, since I rip a lot of box sets of classical music, many of which contain music that I already have from different releases. Siri can’t do any of this. I know you want us all to embrace streaming, via Apple Music, but it’s frustrating, if you’re a serious music listener, to deal with the poor metadata (go.macworld. com/applemusicmeta) in Apple’s library, the tracks that go missing, and the many problems with iCloud Music Library. In addition, some of us have large CD collections, and plan to keep buying CDs. I don’t pretend to have any idea what “business reasons” have led to Mr. Soghoian being terminated, but I speak for many iTunes users who depend on this technology to maintain their media libraries in iTunes. Please, Mr. Cook, don’t shut us out. While AppleScript is not widely used, it is a valuable technology for iTunes users. Don’t take away our freedom to explore, to innovate, to solve problems with this tool. Yours sincerely, Kirk McElhearn



The artist photos in iTunes are useless. They shouldn’t be. Why is such a vital part of the iTunes experience so neglected by Apple? BY KIRK MCELHEARN


hen you’re browsing your iTunes library, trying to choose what music to listen to, there are several ways to do this. If you’ve made playlists, you can look in the sidebar and pick one of your favorite mixes, or choose a smart


playlist based on your favorite music. If you’re an album-only person, you can switch to Albums view, then scroll until you find an album you like. It’s easy to do this if your music has artwork, because you can spot your favorites at a glance. But perhaps you want to scan the

When iTunes cannot find a photo for an artist, it uses this drab multi-colored microphone.

artists in your library to see if there’s one who grabs you, or perhaps to find an old favorite you haven’t listened to in a while. You switch to Artists view, and, if you’re a visual person, you’re lost. In the latest version of iTunes (and in the iOS Music app) most of the artists’ names are illustrated by the same drab microphone graphic. It wasn’t like this before. Here’s what Artists view looked like in iTunes 12:

In the image, every artist has an illustration. Some were photos pulled from the iTunes Store, but if none were available for the artist, iTunes used artwork from one of their albums in your library. There were problems with this: you weren’t able to choose which album was used, and the one that iTunes selected might not have Only a handful of artist photos display in iTunes 12.5.




been the best visual reminder of that artist. But at least there was something. In iTunes 12.5 and the iOS 10 Music app, I see artist photos for perhaps 10 percent of my music. And it’s not a question of whether the music is purchased or ripped, or whether it is locally stored or comes from Apple Music. These artist photos all come from Apple’s database, which is used for Apple Music and the iTunes Store. If anything, I’d expect Apple Music tracks to show more artist photos, but on my MacBook, where I have only music from Apple Music, the number of artist photos is about the same as on the large iTunes library on my iMac, where the majority of music is ripped from CDs. When there are artist photos, they’re often no help in identifying who they represent. Take a photo of a band and shrink it to a small circle, and I defy you to tell who it is. To the right is a shot of a number of group photos, with the names blurred; there’s no way you’d be able to know who’s in these photos. iTunes and the iOS Music app should make choosing and playing music easy. iTunes 12.5 has simplified many of the app’s interface elements, with larger text and much bigger album artwork. But artist lists seem to have been forgotten in this redesign. While it wasn’t ideal before, since you couldn’t choose which album was used to illustrate an artist, the current 110 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

Here are some bands in my iTunes library. The photos don’t give me any idea who they are.

display makes Artists view difficult to navigate. Sure, you can spot an artist’s name in the list, but the visuals made it even easier. It’s not much to ask to be able to choose an image for artists in this list instead of seeing a long column of microphones. ■

Ask the iTunes Guy: Mysterious iCloud Status, deleting songs from a playlist, and more iTunes can be overwhelming, but Kirk McElhearn is here to help. BY KIRK MCELHEARN


ometimes too much information makes things confusing; iTunes’ display of iCloud Status for movies and TV shows is one example. I explain what this means. I also ILLUSTRATION: MICHAEL SLACK

discuss how to delete songs from a playlist on iOS 10, how to combine playlists in iTunes, and what happens when iTunes Match is turned off.




CLOUDY iCLOUD STATUS Q: A friend showed me his iTunes library recently. In his Movies library, he has a column called iCloud Status, which says something about each of his movies. In my iTunes library, if I display that column, everything is blank. Why is this? A: This is an interesting question, but the answer is rather prosaic. The iCloud Status column is meant to show the status of music tracks in iTunes Match or iCloud Music Library. Apple has a support document ( 03564) explaining what these various statutes mean. I had never noticed that this column can display for movies (and for TV shows); it isn’t available for apps and audiobooks, for example. But for videos, this column only displays one of two possible statuses: Purchased or Ineligible. Obviously, Purchased means you’ve bought the video from the iTunes Store, and Ineligible is for videos you’ve ripped and added to your iTunes library. But there’s no iTunes Movie Library, at least not yet, so the existence of these statuses is a bit odd. Unless Apple is planning to let us match movies to the iTunes Store some time soon… Given the way the movie and TV industries work, I’d not hold my breath about that being possible, though I’d love to see it. Imagine if you could insert a DVD 112 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

The iCloud Status column displays for movies or TV shows, but only offers two statuses.

in your Mac’s optical drive and have the iTunes Store match a movie? That would be really great.

MATCHLESS MUSIC Q: I’ve had an iTunes Match subscription for a number of years but I’m going to let it expire when it runs out this month. When I turned off auto-renew, I saw a message saying that my matched and uploaded tracks would no longer be

available on iCloud. I understand that, but will all the matched songs, downloaded from the cloud, stay on my computer? And if I sign up for iTunes Match in the future, what then happens? A: All the songs on your computer stay on your computer. Which means if there are any that are in the cloud and not on your computer, you need to download them before you unsubscribe, or you’ll lose them. If you re-subscribe at a later date, then iTunes re-matches all your music; it won’t retain your library in the cloud. (Though it might actually do so for a few weeks after your subscription runs out, just in case you change your mind.)

DELETE A SONG FROM AN APPLE MUSIC PLAYLIST Q: How do you remove a song from an Apple Music playlist? I’m using the most recent version of iOS 10. A: Yep, Apple changed things again. Before, you could just swipe a track to the left to delete it from a playlist (but not from your device). Now, there’s a new way to do this. View a standard (i.e., not smart) playlist. Tap the Edit button at the top right of the screen. Tap the red – (minus) button, then tap Delete.

HOW TO COMBINE PLAYLISTS Q: I want to combine all my different playlists into one so I can then separate the

Deleting tracks from a playlist on iOS 10 takes a few more steps than before.

list into two different playlists for different types of music. How can I do this? A: Combining playlists is simple, but it may be complicated if you have a lot of playlists. To start with a simple example, lets say you have three playlists, A, B, and C. If you want to combine them, create a new playlist; let’s call it Z. Next, drag each of the playlists (A, JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 113



If you try to add songs to a playlist that are already in that playlist, iTunes will alert you.

B, and C) onto the Z playlist in the iTunes sidebar. This will add all the songs of each playlist to the Z playlist, but will also ensure that no songs are duplicated. If any of the songs you drag are already in the playlist (Say A has a few songs that are also in B), iTunes will alert you and ask you if you want those songs to be duplicated, or if you want to skip them. This can be a bit more complicated if you have lots of playlists. Some users have dozens, even hundreds of playlists. If you want to combine them all, the above process can take a long time. Doug Adams’ Merge-Delete Playlists (go.mac

114 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017 AppleScript can do what you want. Select two or more playlists, and click the Merge button. His $2 Playlist Manager ( plmanager) does even more. In addition to merging playlists, at can rename them, export them, mass-delete them, and much more. â– 

Ask the iTunes Guy Have questions of your own for the iTunes Guy? Email him at itunesguy@ for his consideration.

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Answering Your Questions and Sharing Your Tips About Getting the Most From Your Mac

Mac 911 Solutions to your most vexing Mac problems. BY GLENN FLEISHMAN & MICHAEL CONNELL

The best way to migrate an old Mac’s system to a new Mac Q: After five years, I am considering the purchase of a new iMac. In migrating from the old to the new is the best choice Migration Assistant, Time Machine, or SuperDuper? — Les Rosenbaum


A: It depends on the vintage of machines you’re migrating from and to. If the new Mac can run the same operating system as the old one, I’d lean towards using SuperDuper ( or Carbon Copy Cloner ( However, if you can’t run the same version of macOS/OS X on both computers, a clone won’t work: it can’t boot on the new JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 117


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machine, and you need to pick Time Machine or Migration Assistant. If you want to use a cloning tool, follow these steps: 1. In SuperDuper or CCC, make a full clone of your current computer, either as a disk image or as a mountable volume. Either way, you’ll need to be able to access this clone on the new machine. 2. Start the new computer using macOS Recovery ( en-us/HT201314): hold down Command and R during startup until you see a macOS Utilities screen. 3. Select Disk Utility. 4. Select the internal drive or boot partition in the list at left. 5. Click the Restore button. 6. From the Restore From popup menu, select your clone. If it’s a disk image, click the Image button to find it on a mounted drive. 7. Click Restore and be prepared to wait a long while!

8. When the restoration is complete, exit Disk Utility and select ; → Startup Disk. 9. Select the drive to which you restored your clone, and then click Restart. 10. If you miss and can’t complete step 9, restart and hold down the Option key at startup, and select the startup volume you just restored. If this doesn’t work, it’s possible your old Mac doesn’t have all the system files necessary to work with your new Mac. You can also pursue Migration Assistant during initial setup of a new computer or after setting up an account. Migration Assistant can guide you through connecting another Mac, or you can select a Time Machine backup. I’m inclined here to recommend a Time Machine backup on an external drive that can be connected directly to the new machine. The process should be faster and have less complexity than connecting two computers. Disk Utility can restore a volume from another volume, including a disk image containing a clone.


The Recently Deleted album only contains images that you went through hoops to get rid of.

How Photos removes media from albums Q: I can’t find recently deleted photos in Photos. I have the Recently Deleted trash can icon in my Photos sidebar, but the photos I have recently been deleting are nowhere to be seen. In the edit menu, I am able to select Undo Remove Photo from Album and have the image reappear. — Doug Dean

A: Photos doesn’t make the distinction as clear as it could between deleting from an album and deleting the media file. When you’re viewing an album, selecting one or more items and pressing the Delete button corresponds to Remove [X Photos/Videos] from Album. The media remains present in Photos, but it’s no longer part of that

album. That’s why the Undo option works and displays Undo Remove Photo from Album. You can find the images by searching or browsing in your library. Apple makes it harder to delete a photo or video. You have to select one or more items, and then right-click and select Delete [X Photos or Videos]. Pressing the Delete button on the keyboard doesn’t make anything happen. And, if you have iCloud Photo Library enabled, you’ll be prompted after choosing the Delete item to make sure you understand it will be deleted on all your linked devices and from At that point, the deleted images wind up in the Recently Deleted album.



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How to recover an iCloud security code after you’ve been locked out Q: How can I recover my iCloud Security Code? I entered the wrong iCloud security code a number of times for my iCloud Keychain, and now I’m locked out. It’s a 4-digit PIN, just like my ATM, and I wasn’t thinking and kept entering my ATM PIN. Is there any way to recover an iCloud security code? A: Because you’re now locked out, your iCloud Keychain has been disabled on the device you were using, and your keychain in iCloud will be deleted as well. You might see one of the following messages: > “Security Code Incorrectly Entered Too Many Times. Approve this iPhone from one of your other devices using iCloud Keychain. If no devices are available, reset your iCloud Keychain.” > “Your iCloud Security Code has been entered too many times. Approve this Mac from one of your other devices using iCloud Keychain. If no devices are available, reset iCloud Keychain.” Here’s the best course of action, as advised by Apple’s support page.


IF YOU CAN ACCESS AN APPROVED DEVICE THAT USES YOUR iCLOUD KEYCHAIN: You can create a new iCloud Security Code from another device that also uses your iCloud Keychain. Follow these steps:

If it’s an iOS device: > Tap Settings → iCloud → Keychain → Advanced > Select Change Security Code > When prompted, enter your Apple ID password > Enter a new iCloud Security Code

If it’s a Mac (using OS X Yosemite or later): > Go to Apple menu → System Preferences and click iCloud > Select Options, next to Keychain > Select “Change Security Code” and then enter a new iCloud Security Code Then, go back to the device where

your iCloud Keychain was disabled: > iOS device running iOS 8 or later: Tap Settings → iCloud → Keychain, and then turn on iCloud Keychain > Mac running OS X Yosemite or later: Go to Apple menu → System Preferences → iCloud, then select Keychain


iOS device (iOS 8 or later): > Go to Settings → iCloud → Keychain, and toggle on iCloud Keychain. Enter your Apple ID password if promoted > Tap Approve with Security Code, then Forgot Code > Tap Reset iCloud Keychain, then Reset to confirm. Follow the onscreen steps to create a new code.

Mac (OS X Yosemite or later): > Go to Apple menu → System Preferences > Select iCloud, then Keychain, and enter your Apple ID info if prompted. > Click Use Code, then choose Forgot Code > Click Reset Keychain to replace your keychain in iCloud, then Reset iCloud Keychain to confirm. Follow the onscreen steps to create a new code

For more on iCloud: > Tune up your two-step Recovery Key ( > The difference between backing up an iPhone to iCloud and iTunes (go.mac > How to set up a new Mac securely and update an older one (go.macworld. com/macsecuresetup)

Upgraded to Photos? Here’s what you can do with that old iPhoto library Q: I understand that the Photos library utilizes hard links to photos in my iPhoto Library, but now I want to delete the iPhoto Library since I won’t be using it anymore. If I delete the iPhoto Library then will these hard links be linked to nothing, or will the actual photos from the iPhoto Library be copied into the Photos Library? — Dave Price

A: Dave refers to the way in which Apple reduced the storage requirements when upgrading from iPhoto to Photos. Rather than copy all your original files over, Apple opted to use hard links, a form of Unix filesystem record-keeping that doesn’t have a metaphor in the real world. With a regular file, it exists in one place on a drive. If you want to reference it elsewhere, you might create an alias, which has a modified icon and and (by JANUARY 2017 MACWORLD 121


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default) the word alias at the end of its name. This is a variant on a deeper Unix option called a symbolic link that works largely the same way. An alias or symbolic link doesn’t duplicate the file and it doesn’t move it. The file exists in one place, and the links or aliases point to it from elsewhere as a convenience. A hard link is something different. The file still exists in one place on the disk, but can have multiple references to that file that are independent of each other. So the original image file of a photo in iPhoto can be hard linked in Photos, and you could say that it doesn’t precisely exist in either place, but as a sort of abstract item that equally exists in both places. (Quantum entanglement is the closest thing we have in reality, and it doesn’t work yet at a macro scale.) Deleting a hard link in one place leaves all the other references intact. When the number of hard links drops to just one, you’ve just got a file! No hard links at all. And deleting that one reference, the file itself, truly does throw the file in the trash. 122 MACWORLD JANUARY 2017

Thus, delete your iPhoto Library, and— ostensibly—you won’t delete any files shared by Photos through hard links. Having said all that, please make a complete backup of both your iPhoto and Photos libraries before deleting the iPhoto Library. You should be able to toss it and lose nothing, but I’m not so blithe as to suggest you whistle while you’re emptying the trash and assume all is well. ■

Ask Mac 911 We’ve compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions we get, and the answers to them: to see if you’re covered. If not, we’re always looking for new problems to solve! Email us at including screen captures as appropriate. Mac 911 can’t provide direct email responses or answers for every question. For that, turn to AppleCare, an Apple Store Genius Bar, or the Apple Support Communities.