Page 1

NEW 1.1GHZ MACBOOK REVIEW & TESTS T H E W O R L D ’ S B E S T- S E L L I N G A P P L E M A G A Z I N E

ULTIMATE OS X TWEAKS JULY 2015

Create the perfect Mac with these expert tips

Apple scams The iPad & iPhone scams you need to know about

Apple Watch User Guide 20+ pages of tutorials and advice


Sell or buy an iPad, iPhone, MacBook or iMac with Macworld’s mResell

Macworld would like to introduce you to mResell, our Apple-trusted site that helps you sell your old Apple products and buy refurbished ones. Our service will help you get a great price in a safe and secure way for both new and old Apple products. For added piece of mind, all refurbished devices bought through the store come with a product warranty. But don’t just take our word for it – get an instant, no obligation quote now. Enter your Apple serial number now:

mresell.macworld.co.uk mResell*.indd 126

26/02/2015 09:59


Contents J U LY

36

2 0 1 5

6

Karen Haslam

8

News

Concerns over iPad’s future unfounded

Apple Watch doesn’t like tattoos

12 Everything Apple Watch Your Apple Watch questions answered

18 Apple Watch vs Sport Differences between the two designs

20 Apple Watch: Get started

How to set up your new Apple Watch

22 Apple Watch: Battery Boost your watch’s battery life

26 Apple Watch: Digital Touch Send a Digital Touch message

28 Apple Watch: Faces

Choose a watch face to suit your style

29 Apple Watch: Phone calls Keep in touch with friends and family

30 Apple Watch: Messages Send texts using Apple’s watch

31 Apple Watch: Workout

Get more from Apple’s workout app

32 Apple Watch: Music

Play music directly from your watch

33 Apple Watch: Maps

Use the Apple Watch to get directions

12 82 58

34 Apple Watch: Activity

Boost your fitness with the Activity app

35 Apple Watch: Siri

Control Apple’s watch with your voice

36 Ultimate OS X Tweaks

Guide to OS X’s System Preferences

46 History of WWDC

A look back at the past 10 events

50 Cloud storage services

The best online services compared

58 Broadband without a phone line

Alternatives to a traditional phone line JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 3

003_004 Contents July.indd 3

12/05/2015 15:06


Contents contact...

62

EDITORIAL Editor Karen Haslam

karen_haslam@idg.co.uk

Senior Staff Writer Ashleigh Allsopp

ashleigh_allsopp@idg.co.uk

Staff Writer Lewis Painter

lewis_painter@idg.co.uk

Online Editor David Price

david_price@idg.co.uk

Group Managing Editor Marie Brewis

marie_brewis@idg.co.uk

Art Director Mandie Johnson

mandie_johnson@idg.co.uk

Production Editor Rob Woodcock

rob_grant@idg.co.uk

Multimedia Editor Dominik Tomaszewski

dominik_tomaszewski@idg.co.uk

Technical Editor Andrew Harrison

reviews@idg.co.uk

Consumer Tech Editor Chris Martin

chris_martin@idg.co.uk

Associate Editor Neil Bennett

neil_bennett@idg.co.uk

Associate Editor Jim Martin

jim_martin@idg.co.uk

Editor-In-Chief Matt Egan

matt_egan@idg.co.uk

Contributors J R Bookwalter, Bob Brown, Jeff Carlson, Martyn Casserly, Lucian Contantin, Jeff Carlson, Craig Grannell, Lou Hattersley, Cliff Joseph, Caitlin McGarry, Zach Miners, Robin Morris, Jared Newman, Susie Ochs, Nik Rawlinson, Michael Simon, Keir Thomas, Derek Walter, Martyn Williams

62 Reviews

ADVERTISING Business Director Helen Clifford-Jones

62 Apple MacBook 66 Apple MacBook Air 11in

tom_drummond@idg.co.uk

Account Director Jonathan Busse

jonathan_busse@idg.co.uk

68 Apple MacBook Air vs MacBook

Senior Account Manager Dave Lees

72 Photos for Mac

Marketing Manager Ash Patel

73 Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC 2015

Affiliate Manager Letitia Austin

86 86 Spotlight: Michael Simon

77 HP Colour LaserJet Pro MFP M277dw

88 Spotlight: Michael Simon

Best new kit for your iOS device

82 iPad and iPhone scams How to spot internet scams

84 Siri’s funniest responses

james_walker@idg.co.uk letitia_austin@idg.co.uk

SUBSCRIPTION ORDERS Subscriptions hotline idg.subscribeonline.co.uk/subscriptions/macworld 0844 322 1251 or 01795 414 606

75 EasyACC PowerBank PB18000 76 Epson WorkForce Pro WF-5190DW

80 New and noteworthy

ash_patel@idg.co.uk

Head of Marketing Design James Walker

75 Lumsing B9

My weekend with the Apple Watch

dave_lees@idg.co.uk

MARKETING

74 Denon Envaya Mini

78 Spotlight: Lewis Painter

helen_clifford-jones@idg.co.uk

Account Director Tom Drummond

SUBSCRIPTION RATES

The iPhone and the Apple Watch

A product launch without the lines

90 Subscriptions Get the next issue of Macworld

92 Buyers’ Guide The best hardware and software

CWO

DD

14 issues

£43.99

£39.99

Europe (14 issues)

£100

£100

Rest of world (14 issues)

£125

£125

FINANCE Financial Director Chris Norman Credit Controller Dawnette Gordon Purchase Ledger Clerk Vicky Bentley Management Accountant Parit Shah PUBLISHING Publishing Director Simon Jary

simon_jary@idg.co.uk

Managing Director Kit Gould

114 Spotlight: David Price Not on my watch

Cheeky answers from Siri

Macworld is published by IDG UK IDG UK, 101 Euston Road, London NW1 2RA. Tel: 020 7756 2800 Printer: Wyndeham Press Group Ltd 01621 877 777 Distribution: Seymour Distribution Ltd 020 7429 4000

84

88

No material may be reproduced in whole or part without written permission. While every care is taken, the publisher cannot be held legally responsible for any errors in articles, listings or advertisements. All material copyright IDG UK 2015

4 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

003_004 Contents July.indd 4

12/05/2015 15:09


Introducing Blackmagic URSA, the world’s first user upgradeable 4K digital film camera! Blackmagic URSA is the world’s first high end digital film camera designed to revolutionize workflow on set. Built to handle the ergonomics of large film crews as well as single person use, URSA has everything built in, including a massive 10 inch fold out on set monitor, large user upgradeable Super 35 global shutter 4K image sensor, 12G-SDI and internal dual RAW and ProRes recorders. Super 35 Size Sensor URSA is a true professional digital film camera with a 4K sensor, global shutter and an incredible 12 stops of dynamic range. The wide dynamic range blows away regular video cameras or even high end broadcast cameras, so you get dramatically better images that look like true digital film. The extra large Super 35 size allows for creative shallow depth of field shooting plus RAW and ProRes means you get incredible quality! Dual Recorders Blackmagic URSA features dual recorders so you never need to stop recording to change media. That’s critical if you are shooting an historical event, important interview or where you just cannot stop shooting! Simply load an empty CFast card into the second recorder and when the current card is full, the recording will continue onto the second card, allowing you to change out the full card and keep shooting!

User Upgradeable Sensor Blackmagic URSA features a modular camera turret that can be removed by unscrewing 4 simple bolts! The camera turret includes the sensor, lens mount and lens control connections and can be upgraded in the future when new types of sensors are developed. This means your next camera will be a fraction of the cost of buying a whole new camera! Choose professional PL mount, popular EF mount and more! Built in On Set Monitoring! Say goodbye to bulky on set monitors because you get a massive fold out 10 inch screen built into Blackmagic URSA, making it the world’s biggest viewfinder! The screen is super bright and features an ultra wide viewing angle. URSA also includes two extra 5” touch screens on both sides of the camera showing settings such as format, frame rate, shutter angle plus scopes for checking levels, audio and focus!

Blackmagic URSA EF

3,565

£

*

Blackmagic URSA PL

3,909*

£

Lenses and accessories shown are not included

www.blackmagicdesign.com/uk *SRP is Exclusive of VAT

Digital mag 216.indd 126 Macworld-URSA-Biker Girl-uk.indd 1

06/05/2015 10:22 23/04/2015 10:22 am


Spotlight By Karen Haslam

Concerns over iPad’s future unfounded Despite what analysts say, there’s plenty of life in Apple’s tablet yet

A

pple has just reported another fantastic financial quarter, with 61.2 million iPhones sold (beating analyst expectations of 58.1 million). That’s the most iPhones the company has ever sold in the January-March time frame and it brings the number of iPhones sold in the tech giant’s financial year to date (which started in October 2014) to over 135 million. Not bad for six months. Apple also sold 10 million Macs in the past six months – 4.6 million of those in the second quarter that finished in March (which was before the MacBook started shipping). The tech giant makes good money from its sales of Macs, better than it makes from sales of iPads, so although the company has sold 34 million iPads since October, and 12.6 million between January and March, the Mac made more money for Apple than the iPad did this quarter. That news, coupled with the apparent decline in the numbers of iPads being sold – Apple sold 21.4 million iPads last quarter and 16.3 million in Q2 of last year – is leading some analysts to get jittery about how much of a future the iPad has. From our perspective fears that Apple has sold only 12.6 million iPads in the first three months of 2015 seem a little unreasonable. There have been concerns for some time that growth is slowing, because Apple wasn’t selling more and more iPads every quarter in the same way that it sells more and more iPhones. The fundamental difference between the iPad and iPhone, though, is the fact that iPhones tend to be on a 12- or 24-month upgrade cycle. People don’t replace iPads that frequently; in fact, many of the original models launched back in 2010 are probably still being used even though they don’t run iOS 8.

There’s another reason why iPad sales are slowing down and that’s the new, bigger iPhones. The iPhone 6 and its even bigger sibling the 6 Plus have taken a chunk of what would have been the market for iPad users – those people who want a bigger screen on their iOS device. The popularity of phablets – the term used to describe larger screened phones that sit somewhere in between phones and tablets – has lead to the decline in demand for tablets. In fact, the iPad as a share of Apple’s revenue peaked about three years ago when the company was still selling a 3.5in iPhone. In the years that followed, as phablets increased in popularity, tablet sales have declined across the board. There may also be cannibalisation from Macs. Despite Steve Jobs’ predictions that the PC market would go into decline (and the fact the rest of the PC market is in decline) Macs continue to defy the trend with increasing sales. Even Apple’s Tim Cook admitted that this is the case, telling analysts in the call relating to Apple’s second quarter financial results: “Have we had cannibalisation? The answer is yes.

We’re clearly seeing cannibalisation from iPhone and, on the other side, from the Mac. Of course, as I’ve said before, we’ve never worried about that. It is what it is. That will play out. At some point, it will stabilise. I’m not sure precisely when, but I’m pretty confident that it will.” Does this mean that analysts are right to worry about the iPad? There is an element of fear that all Apple’s eggs are in one basket, with the iPhone accounting for such a large part of the company’s revenue and profit, but the iPhone isn’t going anywhere and it doesn’t depend on the success of the iPad to remain popular. Despite this, Apple is working on increasing the market for the iPad. The company has teamed up with IBM to partner in an attempt to make the iPad perfect for enterprise use, and it has also teamed up with IBM in Japan to reach out to senior citizens, providing them with iPads that come equipped with a suite of apps developed by IBM specifically for the elderly, such as communication tools and health and medical apps. These plans are on the radar for 2020. There’s also a rumour that Apple is planning to launch an even bigger iPad, the so called iPad Pro (or iPad Plus) and those same analysts who are nervous about the future of the iPad are hopeful that this larger tablet from Apple will prove a hit. While we wonder whether there is any foundation to this rumour, which we are sure started after someone saw the back panel of the new MacBook, the 12.9in iPad claims just keep coming in, with the latest reports suggesting that it will launch in 2016 and will offer Force Touch and a built-in NFC chip, along with a USB Type-C port. Whether all these features are enough to make the iPad a must-have item remains to be seen, but with more than 12 million sold in the just gone quarter, it’s not dead yet.

6 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

006 Karen Haslam.indd 6

12/05/2015 10:21


Financing that’s right on the money. 10 months interest free credit on a new Mac. Now including a 3 Year Guarantee at no extra cost.

Visit Stormfront, your local Apple Experts Find us at: www.stormfront.co.uk/contact

Stormfront

TM and © 2015 Apple Inc. All rights reserved. Stormfront © 2015. All Rights Reserved. Terms and conditions apply: Minimum loan value for 10MIFC £499. This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotion or discount. Stormfront reserves the right to change or remove this finance plan at any time. Representative example: 13” MacBook Pro with Retina display (MF839B/A) at a cash price and amount of credit of £999, No deposit. Loan amount £999. 10 equal instalments of £99.90. Total amount payable £999. 0% APR representative. Stormfront Guarantee: terms and conditions apply; visit Stormfront.co.uk/terms. Available on consumer purchases of Mac and iPad only. Not applicable to business customers.

10MIFC_A4_Back_Cover_MacWorld.indd 1 Digital mag 216.indd 126

30/04/2015 10:22 15:48 06/05/2015


News

Apple Watch doesn’t like tattoos Apple admits that the ink in tattoos can confuse Apple Watch sensors BY JA R E D N E W M A N

A

pple has officially warned inked Apple Watch users that they might have trouble getting reliable heart-rate readings. The company has updated its Apple Watch support documents to note potential problems for some tattooed users, after complaints started popping up around the web. “Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart-rate sensor performance,” the document now reads. “The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings. During workouts, the Apple Watch’s heart rate monitor uses a method called photoplethysmography (or PPG), which shines green light on to the skin and looks for the change in absorption that comes with each pulse. During regular activity, the watch also measures infrared light reflection, which presumably uses

less power than the green LEDs. If a wrist has too much heavy ink, it makes sense that the Apple Watch would have trouble shining a light through the skin. Keep in mind that not all tattoos will run into problems. Tests of several

designs found that solid red and black ink caused the biggest issues, with inaccurate readings and failures. Lighter colours produced only slight inaccuracies, and patterned or variegated ink didn’t seem to cause any problems.

Apple Watch a durable device Pleasing results when Apple Watch gets dunked and drilled B Y D E R E K W A LT E R

T

he Apple Watch is getting the same initiation that all new gadgets face: the torture test. Yes, there are those willing to spend money on a top-flight gadget just to see how far they can push it before it breaks. However, in the case of the Apple Watch, it’s proved to be a durable device. Consumer Reports (the US equivalent to Which?) decided to go after the Apple Watch’s screen quality, testing out its scratch resistance. It tested the strength of the Ion-X glass in the Sport model and

the sapphire crystal of the Apple Watch. It used the Mohs scale of mineral hardness to decide what to drill the displays with, and found that the Sport screen was scratched by an 8-rated pick, which is a solid result, indicating it takes a very abrasive material to scratch the screen. The Apple Watch, meanwhile, was able to tolerate a 9-rated pick, which is the equivalent of a masonry drill bit. However, we’ve heard some complaints from those who have bought a stainless steel watch. The material is

reportedly not top of the scale, though going with more durable stainless steel would have raised the cost even further.

8 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

008_011 News July.indd 8

11/05/2015 15:11


iPhone 6 sales in China lead to another record Apple quarter 61.2 million iPhones sold, $13.6 billion in profit BY MARTYN WILLIAMS

A

pple achieved its second straight quarter of record results as demand for the iPhone 6 surged and China became Apple’s second most important market after the US. The company sold 61.2 million units of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus during the first three months of 2015, blasting the 44 million it shipped during the same quarter of last year when the iPhone 5s was still new. It’s the second biggest quarter for iPhone sales ever. (The previous quarter was the company’s most successful, when it sold 74.5 million iPhones.) Those sales helped Apple to a net profit of $13.6bn, up by almost 33 percent, on revenue of $58bn for the quarter, up 27 percent. Apple forecast internally that it would hit $55bn and analysts expected $56.08bn from the company during the second quarter, up from $45.6bn during the second quarter of 2014. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have been big hits with customers. Apple had only gradually increased the screen size of its handset in recent years, while rival makers experimented and found success with much larger screens. The two new iPhones finally matched those larger displays and the result was record sales for the quarter, which ended 28 March. That also translated into a higher rate of people switching from competitors to the iPhone, the company said. “We are thrilled by the continued strength of iPhone, Mac and the App Store, which drove our best March quarter sales ever,” Apple CEO Tim Cook

said in the company’s earnings report press release. “We’re seeing a higher rate of people switching to iPhone than we’ve experienced in previous cycles, and we’re off to an exciting start to the June quarter with the launch of Apple Watch.” Perhaps even more impressive than the 40 percent year-on-year jump in iPhone unit sales was the 55 percent jump in revenue from those sales. Thanks to higher average selling prices, revenue from iPhones jumped to $40bn – or 69 percent of all Apple sales. The company didn’t announce detailed sales for the Apple Watch, for which reservations were accepted during the quarter, but Cook said he was “very happy” with the reception the Apple Watch has been enjoying. “Right now, demand is greater than supply,” he said. “By some time in late

The App Store also had a record quarter, and sales of Mac computers hit 4.5 million units during the quarter, up 10 percent on the year

June, we anticipate being in a position where we can sell the Apple Watch in additional countries.” The App Store also had a record quarter, and sales of Mac computers hit 4.5 million units during the quarter, up 10 percent on the year, but the average price of those computers was lower, so revenue rose just 2 percent. In Greater China, Apple saw its best-ever results during the quarter, which included the Luna New Year Holiday. Sales in the region, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan, hit $16.8bn, up 71 percent on the year. In contrast, sales in Europe were up a healthy 12 percent on the year, but far behind the growth seen in China. Apple also announced plans to expand a share buyback scheme and raise its dividend for shareholders. The program was started in 2012 as a way to burn through some of its substantial cash pile, but it’s generating so much money that the scheme can be expanded. “We are in the very fortunate position of generating more cash than we need to run our business and make these investments,” Cook said, referring to research and development investments and capital expenditures planned by Apple. Looking ahead, Apple said it expects revenue in the current quarter to be between $46- and $48bn, up from $37.4bn in the same quarter last year. There wasn’t much in the way of hints at future products during the call on 27 April, but we are excited about the future of the Apple TV after Cook spoke about the success of HBO Now on the device: “I think we’re on the early stages of just major, major changes in media that are going to be really great for consumers and I think Apple can be part of that.”

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 9

008_011 News July.indd 9

11/05/2015 17:10


News

iOS 8 on four out of five devices iPad, iPhone users adopting latest Apple iOS edition BY BOB BROWN

A

pple says that iOS 8, released to the public in September, can now be found on 81 percent of iPhones, iPads and iPod touch devices accessing the Apple Store. That’s up from 77 percent from Apple’s March report and up from 68 percent in January. The iOS 7 edition of Apple’s software for iPads and iPhones now accounts for just 17 percent of devices, with 2 percent on even older versions, according to Apple on its developer page. Some have balked at moving to iOS 8 because of the space required to download it (which has now been significantly reduced thanks to an update), while others have been spooked by buggy releases. But iOS 8 has a lot going for it, including that it’s compatible with devices

as far back as the iPhone 4s and iPad 2 from 2011. What’s more, people are buying the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in droves. It seems like Apple is seeking to nip bugs in the bud going forward by giving the public access to beta releases of iOS. Apple is currently on version 8.3 of iOS, which included improved performance, bug fixed and a redesigned Emoji keyboard.

Maps to add public transport data Job listing seeks public transport expert to help Apple improve Maps BY JA R E D N E W M A N

A

pple is still working to add public transport data to its Maps app, after the long-rumoured feature failed to appear in iOS 8. A company job listing seeks someone with “in-depth knowledge about public transit,” from both technical and rider standpoints. “As a member of the Routing team, you will work on one of the most anticipated features of Apple Maps,” the listing says. Public transport information was available on iPhones and iPad until the update to iOS 6 in 2012, when Apple replaced Google’s mapping data with its own. The switch proved embarrassing for Apple, not only because of fewer features, but because the data itself had accuracy problems. Apple CEO Tim Cook eventually apologised for the issues, and mobile

software head Scott Forstall was reportedly ousted after he refused to sign the mea culpa. Since then, the company has gone on an acquisition spree, snatching up mapping and locations firms such as BroadMap, Embark, HopStop and Spotsetter. Even with new hires, it’s unclear when this data will become available in Apple Maps or if it will be available in the UK. In the meantime, users in need of public transport data can look to alternatives such as Google Maps and Citymapper. Last year, reports suggested that a major Maps update was on the way, with better data and public transport directions. But those features didn’t materialise in iOS 8, and personnel issues and staff departures were blamed.

It now seems that Apple is looking to staff up once again and taking another shot at the long-requested feature.

10 MACWORLD • MAY 2015

008_011 News July.indd 10

11/05/2015 15:12


Flaw breaks security for iOS apps Vulnerability leaves thousands of iOS apps open to attacks B Y L U C I A N C O N S TA N T I N

A

ttackers can potentially snoop on the encrypted traffic of over 25,000 iOS applications due to a vulnerability in a popular open-source networking library. The vulnerability stems from a failure to validate the domain names of digital certificates in AFNetworking, a library used by a large number of iOS and Mac OS X developers to implement web communications – including those over HTTPS (HTTP with SSL/TLS encryption). The flaw allows attackers in position to intercept HTTPS traffic between a vulnerable application and a web service to decrypt it by presenting the application with a digital certificate for a different domain name. Such man-in-the-middle attacks can be launched over insecure

wireless networks, by hacking into routers or through other methods. According to SourceDNA, more than 25,000 iOS applications are potentially

vulnerable because they use AFNetworking 2.5.2 or older versions. The flaw was fixed in version 2.5.3. The vulnerability was reported to AFNetworking developers on 27 March, one day after a different flaw that allowed HTTPS snooping was addressed by version 2.5.2. That weakness existed only in AFNetworking 2.5.1, released on 9 February, and it ended up affecting 1,000 of the over 100,000 iOS apps. The new flaw renders apps that use older versions of the library vulnerable, as long as they rely on AFNetworking for establishing HTTPS connections to web servers. SourceDNA said: “If you are using AFNetworking, you must upgrade to 2.5.3.” A number of apps use this library, including Yelp and Pinterest.

Shining a Spotlight on tweets Twitter set to appear in Spotlight on iPhones, iPads and Macs BY ZACH MINERS

S

oon, when you carry out a search on your iPhone for someone’s contact info, a recent tweet from them might also pop up. Twitter is working with Apple to incorporate content and accounts into Apple’s Spotlight search feature, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said during the company’s quarterly earnings call on 29 April. Spotlight search is a feature in Apple’s iOS mobile system, and OS X on Macs, that generates results from content stored on the devices and from other content such as Safari web results and mail from Apple’s Mail app. Tweets might be next on the list. Costolo did not provide any other details on the status of the talks, beyond saying that such integration would be geared toward making it easier and

quicker to find content on Twitter. Representatives from Twitter and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Should such a deal come to fruition, it could help Twitter distribute its content to a wider audience, which would align with the company’s larger efforts to attract new users and thus improve the company’s ability to serve them ads. Apple’s Spotlight search pulls much of its data from Apple-owned products and services, but also from outside sources such as Wikipedia and Microsoft’s Bing.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 11

008_011 News July.indd 11

11/05/2015 17:11


Features

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE APPLE WATCH

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE

APPLE WATCH WE ANSWER ALL YOUR APPLE WATCH QUESTIONS By Caitlin McGarry and Suzie Ochs

T

he first wave of Apple Watches were delivered on April 24, but if you were waiting to order a Sport, steel, or Edition until you could try it on in person or read the early reviews, you’ll have to wait until July to get your hands on a Watch. But that’s okay, because we know so much more about Apple Watch now than we did when it debuted last September. How long does the battery last? How does Apple Pay work? Is it really better than a fitness tracker? We answer all these questions and more in this guide to Apple Watch. What’s the latest? Apple delivered the first wave of Apple Watch preorders on Friday, April 24. Early reviews indicate

that Apple has made the best smartwatch on the market, though it’s not a musthave device – at least not for now. Let’s back up to the beginning. Apple finally made a smartwatch? Yes it did – several, actually. There are three editions, varying in materials and luxury: the Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition. What are the differences between those three? The Apple Watch is made of stainless steel, in a shiny chrome or a space black finish. Its touchscreen is covered by sapphire crystal, which should make it more scratch-resistant than the Gorilla Glass Apple has used on its iPhones. Prices range between £479 and £949, depending on whether you

buy the 38- or 42mm case and which band you choose. Apple Watch Sport has an anodized aluminium case (which is lighter than stainless steel) in silver or space grey, and the face is Ion-X glass, which is also designed to be hard and rugged (as well as a little bit lighter) than the sapphire. It’s definitely the lightest of the three Apple Watch editions, making it an ideal exercise companion. It’s also the cheapest option at £299 for the 38mm version and £339 for the 42mm model. As for the Apple Watch Edition, it ramps up the luxury factor with an 18-carat gold casing in yellow or rose. As you might expect, it’s heavy. The watch comes in a fancy leather box that doubles

12 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

012_017 Everything Apple Watch.indd 12

08/05/2015 10:44


as a charging cradle. Unfortunately, it also costs about as much as the average car, ranging from £8,000 to £13,500, depending on size and band choice. Are there multiple models because one size doesn’t actually fit all? Yes,

each edition comes in two sizes, which is something we haven’t seen with any Android Wear watches so far. You’ll be able to get the Apple Watches in heights of 38- and 42mm. The promotional videos feature plenty of

Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition.

women wearing the watch, which is especially nice to see, since other smartwatch makers appear to be ignoring those of us with slender wrists. Can you swap out the watch band? Absolutely. Apple Watch comes with six bands that are easy to mix and match with any watch, although some match better than others. You can swap them out to your heart desires without the aid of any tools – as long as the band and watch are the same size. (The Leather Loop band, for example, only fits 42mm watches, not the smaller 38mm size.) Apple said it’s come up with its own proprietary system to make switching bands easy – but that also means you probably won’t be able to swap in just

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 13

012_017 Everything Apple Watch.indd 13

08/05/2015 10:44


Features

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE APPLE WATCH

Different body finishes and strap materials allow you to choose your own look.

any band. And even if Apple’s bands fit your watch, the finish might be different: The solid-gold hardware accents on the rose grey Modern Buckle band won’t match the anodised aluminum finish of the Apple Watch Sport, for example. For working out, the sweat resistant elastomer Sport Band comes in black, white, pink, blue, and lime green. The Sport Band comes as the default on the Apple Watch Sport, naturally. Weirdly, different colours of the Sport Band have different weights, with black being the lightest. Owners of the Apple Watch and Watch Edition get three leather straps and two metal straps to choose from. The Leather Loop is designed to be soft and comfortable, with a highly adjustable hidden magnetic closure – you just wrap it around your wrist and the strap sticks to itself to stay closed. That one comes in stone, light brown, and bright blue. Available in pink, brown, and midnight blue, the Leather Modern strap has a two-piece magnetic closure and a subtle texture. And the old-school Classic Buckle strap is a black leather strap that closes with a stainless steel buckle just like the traditional watches you’ve seen your whole life. Crafted of stainless steel, the Link Bracelet band closes with a butterfly clasp. Apple included a link-release button on several of the links, so you can remove links yourself to customise the fit – instead of having to take it to a

jeweller or watch repair shop. That one comes in a regular stainless steel tone or in space black. With myriad tiny, interlocking loops, the Milanese Loop band kind of resembles chain mail, only much more modern. The stainless steel mesh is also magnetic, so you can adjust it to more sizes than you could the Link Bracelet. Where can I buy it? At the time of writing all Apple Watch models were sold online, but if you live in London, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Paris, Berlin, or Milan, you can buy an Apple Watch in select highend boutiques (not Apple Stores.) Otherwise, you’ll have to either buy one online and wait for it to ship sometime in June. Apple Stores might start stocking their shelves with Watches this summer, too, but no official date has been announced. Which phones does it work with? Good news: you do need an iPhone to pair with your Apple Watch, but it doesn’t have to be the brand-new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. An iPhone 5, 5s or 5c will work just fine. That’s a big deal since the watch’s £299 starting price might be harder to justify if it also required the purchase of a shiny new phone. Can left-handed users wear it? Don’t worry, southpaws, Apple hasn’t forsaken you. The Apple Watch works just fine for lefties, because the display rotates. All you have to do is flip the watch over so the Digital Crown is on the left side. Then select ‘right wrist orientation’ when you’re pairing the Watch with your

phone and swap out the band so it’s also in the right position. Easy, right? What kinds of sensors does the Apple Watch have? Can it track my heart rate? Apple says that the watch has a couple different sensors, including a gryroscope and an accelerometer (as you’ll find in most smartphones), plus a ‘custom’ sensor that uses visible-light and infrared LEDs along with photodiodes, all on the back of the device, to determine your heart rate. The Apple Watch can also talk to your iPhone’s GPS and Wi-Fi to help with figuring out location and other information. So it’s a watch and a fitness tracker? The accelerometer lets the watch count your steps, it extrapolates distance on its own, and relies on the GPS in the paired iPhone to trace your exact route. That step data comes in handy for two of the apps Apple included on the watch: Activity and Workout. Activity shows your progress toward daily goals for moving, exercising and even standing. Workout is for more detailed tracking of a variety of activities, including distance, pace, time and calories burned during each session; you can also use that app to set workout goals, and the watch will give you feedback as you

This rose gold beauty with a rose grey Modern Buckle strap will cost £13,500.

14 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

012_017 Everything Apple Watch.indd 14

08/05/2015 10:44


The watch can track your daily activities as well as workouts, using its own sensors plus the ones in your phone.

reach those goals. Both of the watch’s fitness apps sync data back to the Health and Fitness apps on your iPhone, too. You can’t use third-party fitness apps such as Runtastic or Nike+ Running without your iPhone in tow, though. How do you navigate the Apple Watch? It’s got a touchscreen, right? It does have a touchscreen, but the Apple Watch’s big innovation is the little dial

that sticks out the side, also known as the Digital Crown. That’s a high-tech version of the crown you’ll find on standard wristwatches, which you turn to set the time or wind the watch. In the case of the Apple Watch, however, the Digital Crown acts more like the iPod’s clickwheel: you can turn the crown to scroll through a list or zoom in and out of a map. Pressing the Crown returns you to the watch’s home screen, just like pressing the Home button on your iPhone would. Below the Digital Crown, you’ll find a button, which Apple simply refers to as “the Button”. Press it to access the Friends app, which brings up a Contactsstyle collection of the people you like to stay in touch with. Tapping a picture of a friend lets you send them a message, make a phone call, or make contact with the Apple Watch’s Digital Touch features. You can touch and tap on the screen too, but if you recall using the sixthgeneration iPod nano (the little square one from 2010 that you could buy watch bands for), the size of your fingertip is bound to obscure part of what you’re trying to tap. That’s why the Digital Crown is there, to let you navigate the Apple Watch while still being able to see the entire screen.

That said, there’s one gesture that works pretty well on even a watch-sized screen – swiping. Swipe up from the clock face to see little bits of information – your calendar, your location, current weather data, and so forth. Apple calls these “glances”, and they strip out the most relevant information from apps and put them into a form you can digest just by looking at your Watch’s screen. When you do touch the Apple Watch, its screen can actually distinguish between a regular tap, which you’ll use to select things, and a harder touch, which is how you’ll access contextual menus – kind of like right-clicking with your mouse. Apple calls this technology Force Touch, and it’s enabled by tiny electrodes in the display. Can the Apple Watch do anything my iPhone can’t do on its own? Apple showed off a really cool-looking feature called Digital Touch, as we mentioned above, that you can use with other Apple Watch wearers. Digital Touch lets you tap out a pattern on your watch face, which your friend will see and feel on his or her own Apple Watch. You can also draw each other little pictures. And if you hold down two fingers in Digital Touch, you can send your heartbeat, which shows up on your friend’s watch as a glowing, pulsing heart. This might encourage couples to buy his-and-hers watches so they can let each other know anytime how their hearts flutter for each other… or pound like hammers when they get really mad. Will I be able to use the Apple Watch to pay for things? Yes. The Apple Watch has near-field communication, or NFC, technology, just like the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Once this becomes available in the UK, you’ll be able to wave your watch near an NFC-equipped payment terminal to pay, just like you can with one of Apple’s latest phones. And there’s good news for iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s owners: you won’t need a 6 or 6 Plus to use Apple Pay on the watch.

The Digital Crown is like the iPod’s clickwheel, and helps you scroll through options and return to the home screen.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 15

012_017 Everything Apple Watch.indd 15

08/05/2015 10:44


Features

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE APPLE WATCH

iOS 8.2 has added the Apple Watch companion app to every compatible iPhone, which is where you’ll add your credit or debit card information to store in Passbook. No financial details are stored on the watch itself, but the device does store a token, or a number to act in place of your card number, so you won’t need your iPhone with you to use Apple Pay. The iPhone 6 models have a dedicated ‘Secure Element’ chip that stores your encrypted information – not your actual credit card numbers, but rather a ‘device account number’ that is used to create a single-use security code to authorise each transaction. The phone provides the watch with information about the items stored in its own Secure Element, and then the watch has the ability to use those items itself in order to pay wirelessly. There’s a nice security touch, too: if you take the Apple Watch off, it’ll lock and require a code before you can purchase anything, so if someone steals your watch they won’t be able to use it as a credit card. What kind of apps did Apple build for Apple Watch? Will it run third-party apps? Apple went all out for the watch, building

Apple Watch will bring Apple Pay to iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s owners.

Nike

Twitter

Evernote

TripAdvisor

PlayKids

Expedia

Pacemaker DJ

Fandango

eBay

Lutron Caséta

Shazam

NY Times

in many of the common apps that we use every day: Messages, Mail, Weather, Calendar, Maps, Passbook, Music, Photos, and more. There are, however, a few notable omissions. For example, while the watch can act as a viewfinder for your iPhone’s camera, letting you snap pictures and even set the self-timer, it doesn’t have its own built-in camera. Nor does it have Safari, Apple’s web browser – all the information you get is mediated through those apps. Still, if what Apple builds into the watch isn’t enough for you, the company supports more than 3,000 third-party apps and Glances. You can install these apps from the Apple Watch App Store, which is accessible through the Apple Watch app that came preinstalled with iOS 8.2. All the usual suspects such as Instagram,

Uber, and Twitter are there, plus indie apps from game developers and more. What kind of battery life will the Watch have? Apple says the Watch will have all-day battery life, which means up to 18 hours of active and passive use: 90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of nonstop app use, and a 30-minute workout with Bluetooth music playback from the watch, which can store up to 2GB of music locally. If you’ve been a bit overzealous in your watch usage and your battery starts to dwindle halfway through the day, the watch will automatically default to a Power Reserve mode for up to 72 hours, so you’ll still be able to see the time (but not anything else). Basically, if you plan to buy an Apple Watch, expect to charge it next to your iPhone every night.

16 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

012_017 Everything Apple Watch.indd 16

08/05/2015 10:44


Over 3,000 third-party apps are already available on the App Store.

Runtastic

Lifesum

Procreate Pocket

Babbel

Amplifi Remote

Rules!

Apple did say that the watch battery will be replaceable, but didn’t give details as to how much replacement batteries will cost. Does the Apple Watch charge wirelessly? No. The back of the watch has no exposed charging contacts, and the charging cable snaps on with magnets to juice it up via induction. But it’s not ‘true’ wireless charging as you might normally think of it, where you would drop the watch on to a charging pad and walk away – it’s more like your electric toothbrush. We’ve seen a magnetic charging dongle similar to this on the FiLIP, which is a wearable GPS tracker and phone for children. The first few times we used it, we loved the satisfying click as the

magnets latched on, but the novelty quickly wore off, and then the charger was just another proprietary dongle we had to keep track of. Can I choose from a whole slew of watch faces? Look around Apple’s gallery for some great examples. They look good in person, too – some are animated, like the one that gives you a fully interactive view of the moon phases and how the planets align. And yes, there’s even a Mickey Mouse watch face, a modern spin on the face we saw on that watch-like six-generation iPod nano. Apple’s Kevin Lynch also demonstrated how you can customise several of the watch faces, spinning the Digital Crown to select a new colour scheme, or tapping at the screen to tweak what kind of information is shown. Apple is keeping tight rein over the watch’s timekeeping features for the moment, with no third-party watch faces available at launch. Does it have Siri? Can it make phone calls? The Apple Watch has a microphone and a speaker, so you can talk to it and it can talk to you. (You can also use the microphone for voice dictation, to send audio messages, and even communicate via walkie-talkie mode with other Apple Watch users.) And yes, you can use it to make and receive phone calls, as well as transfer calls to your iPhone or a Bluetooth device. Is it waterproof? Can I swim with it? The Apple Watch is water resistant, but not waterproof. You can wear it on a rainy day and have water splashed on it and it’ll survive, but you should avoid submerging it in water. Apple’s official line (in the fine print) is: “Apple Watch is splash and water

Use voice dictation to send messages and interact with apps on the Watch.

resistant but not waterproof. You can, for example, wear and use Apple Watch during exercise, in the rain, and while washing your hands, but submerging Apple Watch is not recommended. Apple Watch has a water resistance rating of IPX7 under IEC standard 60529. The leather bands are not water resistant.” An IPX7 rating officially means it can survive in water up to 1m for up to 30 minutes. Which makes it sound pretty waterproof, but you probably don’t want to take chances. Immersion in water any deeper than 1m, or in any amount of water for more than 30 minutes, could spell doom. Tim Cook reportedly told an Apple Store employee in Germany that he showers with his Apple Watch on. But Tim could also get a new one anytime he wants, we’d guess... What can the Apple Watch do without a phone? The Apple Watch can track your fitness information ( just sync your workout data to HealthKit later), play music (from its own onboard storage) via Bluetooth, and even make purchases using Apple Pay, all without the iPhone being present.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 17

012_017 Everything Apple Watch.indd 17

08/05/2015 10:45


Features

APPLE WATCH VS WATCH SPORT

Apple Watch VS

Watch Sport IN MANY WAYS, THE APPLE WATCH AND THE APPLE WATCH SPORT ARE VERY SIMILAR, GIVE OR TAKE A FEW HUNDRED POUNDS, BUT THERE ARE SOME KEY DIFFERENCES. READ ON TO FIND OUT By Lewis Painter

A

fter all the waiting Apple’s watch is finally here. Available in three variations – Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition – prices range from £299 to £13,500. Since the majority of us can’t afford the top-ofthe range Watch Edition, we’ve decided to look at the more affordable options.

Price difference Let’s first talk about the cost difference between the Apple Watch and the Watch Sport. The latter is Apple’s entry point device, with prices starting at £299 or £339, depending on whether you want the 38- or 42mm variation. If you opt for the Sport watch, you’ll have a selection of fluoroelastomer bands to choose from. There is a choice of plain aluminium or darker Space Grey for the watch case. It’s worth noting that the

Watch Sport with the Space Grey Aluminium is the only watch to ship with a black Sport Band. Of course, you have the option to buy a different strap separately for £39. The Apple Watch starts at a slightly higher price of £479, with the most expensive option priced at £949. The price that you pay is dependent on the watch strap that you choose. Where the Watch Sport offers only silicone bands, there’s a much wider choice of premium watch straps available for the Apple Watch. That’s not to say you can’t get a Sport Band if you want one, as the entry-level options (£479 or £519 depending on size) come with either a black or white Sport Band.

Same function, different materials Even though there’s a difference in price between the two, their capabilities are the

Where the Watch Sport offers only silicone bands, there’s a much wider choice of premium watch straps available for the Apple Watch

same. The Watch Sport is made from anodised aluminium alloy. Apple claims that this is 60 percent stronger than standard alloys, but also lightweight – 30 percent lighter than the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch is crafted from stainless steel, which gives it a premium look, while the mirror finish adds to its appeal. The steel has been cold forged which, according to Apple, makes it around 80 percent stronger than it would otherwise be. It’s heavier than the Watch Sport, but you may consider this an acceptable compromise if you want a more durable model. With regards to the display, the Watch Sport has drawn the short straw. Where the Watch and Watch Edition both have tough sapphire crystal screens, the Watch Sport has strengthened Ion-X glass. Apple says the reason for this is to make it as light as possible, while ensuring it’s scratch and impact resistant. How was this achieved? According to Apple, the glass is fortified at a molecular level through ion exchange, a process that replaces smaller ions with larger ones. The end result is a

18 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

018_019 Apple Watch vs Sport.indd 18

11/05/2015 09:05


LEATHER LOOP

MODERN BUCKLE surface layer that the company claims is far tougher than ordinary glass. Even stronger than Ion-X is the sapphire glass. Apart from diamond, sapphire is the hardest transparent material in the world, which should mean ultimate protection for the watch display. The process is intricate, as Apple has said that the crystal is harvested using a thin diamond-cutting wire, which is then precision machined into its final form and polished for hours to achieve its smooth, shiny finish. In its tests, Consumer Reports (the US equivalent to Which?) was able to scratch the Sport after some pretty extreme scratching, but claimed it couldn’t scratch the sapphire screen at all.

Which watchstraps are available? Upholding the idea that the Apple Watch Sport is to be used mainly for sporting activities, the only strap available at purchase is a Sport Band. You have a choice between White, Blue, Green, Pink or Black unless, as mentioned earlier, you opted for the Space Grey option in which case you’re given a black Sport Band. According to Apple, the Sport Band is made from a “custom high-performance fluoroelastomer”, which the company

SPORTS BAND

claims makes the band durable and strong, but soft and comfortable to wear. It uses a pin-and-tuck closure to ensure a good fit. The only issue is that it isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as the other designs, and it looks a little cheap. The Apple Watch has a much larger variety of watch straps, including the Sport Band. There are also a variety of leather and stainless steel straps. Your options include: Link Bracelet Sport Band Leather Loop Classic Buckle Modern Buckle Milanese Loop The wider selection of straps means that you can customise your watch depending on the occasion. While a leather loop may be understated and comfortable for everyday use, special occasions may call for a Milanese loop or a link bracelet. Interestingly, the leather loop watch strap doesn’t have a 38mm variation and is only available for the 42mm model. The good thing is that the Apple Watch goes perfectly with any style of watch strap, which is partly down to its stainless steel, mirror finish. It looks like it belongs on a premium watch strap.

• • • • • •

CLASSIC BUCKLE

MILANESE LOOP Can I attach a premium strap to the Apple Watch Sport? Despite what you may have heard, you can add premium straps to the Watch Sport, though you’ll have to pay for the privilege. The classic buckle, leather loop and Milanese loop, for example, will set you back £129, while the price jumps to £209 for the modern buckle and then to £379 for the link bracelet. So yes, while it is possible to wear premium straps with the Apple Watch Sport, it may not be worth it. Why? While the £379 link bracelet and £339 Space Grey Apple Watch is a cheaper combination than Apple’s official Watch and link bracelet combo, totalling £718 opposed to £949, it might not be as aesthetically pleasing. This is due to the fact that the link bracelet is made from the same stainless steel alloy as the case, meaning that its integration is seamless and contributes to the premium look of the watch. Paired with the anodised aluminium Watch Sport, it may look slightly odd – a big issue for some, especially with a fashionable device. That’s not to say that the other straps wouldn’t look good on the Watch Sport. We personally like the Space Grey Watch Sport and black leather loop combo, but it’s down to personal preference.

LINK BRACELET

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 19

018_019 Apple Watch vs Sport.indd 19

11/05/2015 15:10


Features

HOW TO SET UP AN APPLE WATCH

How to set up an Apple Watch David Price reveals how to set up an Apple Watch, pair it with an iPhone and download apps

A

pple Watch just arrived? Great. Let’s get you up and running with our Apple Watch quick-start guide. Here’s how to start up your new watch, get it charged and powered on, set the right language and other preferences, pair it with an iPhone, download some Apple Watch apps and get started.

Unbox the Apple Watch and fit the right strap Open the box and take out all the components: the Apple Watch itself, the spare strap piece (if like us you went for the Sport option), the charger and the basic documentation. The Sport Band comes with a spare piece, as we said. Try the watch on as it comes, and see if it fits properly. If your wrist is too small or large, swap in the

other piece that also comes in the box. (Our 38mm Apple Watch came with the small/medium strap section attached by default, and the medium/large one in the box; we understand that the 42mm watch comes with the medium/large attached, which makes sense.) Remove the section of strap with holes on it by pressing the button on the Apple Watch body, then slide the new piece in (see image, top right). (Both sides of the strap – the one with holes and the one with the nubbin to go in the holes – are removable, of course, enabling you to swap in alternatives.)

Power on The button on the side of the Apple Watch (officially known, I kid you not, as the Side Button) provides a shortcut to your favourite contacts – but if you press

Charging works via wireless induction. The charger is the small circular unit; plug it into the mains and then place the watch on top of the charging unit

and hold it, you can also power on and off. Do this now to wake up the watch. As when waking up an iPhone, you’ll see the Apple logo for a moment or two, before the interface starts up. It should also arrive at least partially charged up. On the off chance it doesn’t, and for the future, we’ll briefly discuss how to charge up your Apple Watch in the next section.

Charge up Apple Watch charging works via wireless induction. The charger is the small white circular unit (see image, bottom right); plug it into the mains and then place the Apple Watch on top of the charging unit – it will snap on to the unit magnetically. An icon will appear saying ‘charging’, and then disappear; after this there will be a lightning bolt icon at the top of the watch screen to indicate that it’s charging. The Apple Watch doesn’t need to be plugged into the charging unit, but the black circle on the bottom of the watch does need to be in contact with it.

20 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

020_021 Set Up Watch.indd 20

08/05/2015 13:03


Pair the Apple Watch with an iPhone The rest of the setup requires the iPhone you plan to use with the Apple Watch. Start up the Apple Watch app on your iPhone (this arrived with iOS 8.2, so if you’ve not got it on your iPhone, you’ll need to update iOS) and you’ll be prompted to switch on Bluetooth if you haven’t done so already. The app will talk you through the next few steps. First of all, it will prompt you to line up the screen of the Apple Watch in the crosshairs of the iPhone’s camera as directed. You’ll have noticed that the Apple Watch has automatically detected the presence of a nearby iPhone ready for pairing, and is now showing an attractive image that acts as a sort of QR code for the iPhone camera to pick up.

Options and preferences First of all, you need to tell the app whether you’re going to be wearing the Apple Watch on your left or right wrist. Then you’ll be shown Apple’s terms and conditions, which you’ll need to agree to. Read the document first. Then you’ll be asked to enter the password for the Apple ID used on your iPhone. Now we need to run through a few optional features and services for your Apple Watch. It’s up to you how you respond to each of these, but we’d agree to most of them. Do you want to use Location Services on your Apple Watch? This can use up battery life, but enables apps to adjust their behaviour or offer different options based on your location. Do you want to use Siri? Apple’s voice assistant may not be your cup of tea but it’s constantly evolving, and we can’t see any down sides to at least having it as an option. Do you want to automatically send diagnostics back to Apple when there’s a problem? This is the public-spirited thing to do, and will in a small way help Apple to find solutions to bugs and flaws, but you’re not under any obligation to do so. Set a passcode for the watch – we found this a disappointingly fiddly process on our 38mm model, but do your best – and confirm it. You can choose between

a short passcode – four digits – or a longer code that will have to be input on the iPhone every time you want to unlock the watch. (Bear in mind that you unlock the watch once and then, as long as it remains on your wrist, it stays unlocked.) Last of all, decide whether you want to unlock the Apple Watch with your iPhone. What this means is that, if both your Apple Watch and your iPhone are locked and you unlock the phone, the watch – provided it’s on your wrist – will unlock too automatically.

Install apps The last option you get is whether or not to install all the apps that are on your iPhone on your Apple Watch. If you agree to this, expect to wait a little, while this is all synced. We did ask the iPhone to install all the relevant apps – and waited a few minutes

for it to sync – but oddly enough the apps weren’t ready and waiting for us at the end of the process. We found that we had to open the Apple Watch app on the iPhone, scroll down to the individual app we wanted on the watch, tap on it and then select ‘Show on Apple Watch’. In future, if there are any apps you want to use on the watch, you’ll need to install them on the iPhone first. Then you can go into the Apple Watch app on the iPhone, scroll down to the app you’ve just installed, and choose ‘Show on Apple Watch’. You can also decide whether it should show up in your glances.

You’re done! That’s pretty much it. Your iPhone will ‘warn’ you, as per Apple’s custom, that a new device is using your Apple ID – of course. Acknowledge this, and the app will tell you that setup is complete.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 21

020_021 Set Up Watch.indd 21

08/05/2015 13:03


Features

BATTERY LIFE TIPS FOR APPLE WATCH

Battery life tips for Apple Watch Karen Haslam’s tips will help ensure your Apple Watch lasts longer between charges

1.

Running out of power

Our first day with the Apple Watch was disappointing. By 6.15pm our iPhone had run out of power, and just half an hour later the watch gave up the ghost, too. Perhaps our first day’s use had been a little excessive – we’d been checking out the apps and settings, but it’s not as if we had run a marathon. Apple says that the watch will offer an “all-day battery life” – that’s up to 18 hours of normal use. It describes this as: “90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use and a 30-minute workout with music playback from Apple Watch via Bluetooth, over the course of 18 hours.” We made it to almost 11 hours on the watch, not that it was much use to us after our iPhone died. We think it’s likely that a lot of background processing is going on,

and various communications between the watch and the iPhone are using power. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to close an app once it’s open on the Apple Watch – you need to open the app in question on the watch, press and hold the side button (below the Digital Crown) until you see the Power Off screen, then press and hold it again to quit the app and return to the home screen. However, we found it difficult seeing what apps are running in the background. We assumed that Glances would show these, but it appears that some apps will always run in Glances. Luckily, you can remove apps from Glances in the iPhone app. Go to My Watch → Glances, tap on the red circle next to the app you wish to erase from Glances and tap Remove. We removed Maps and Heartbeat as we thought they would use up a lot of power.

To see how much battery has been used up on the watch itself, open Glances by swiping up on the clock face, and look for Power Reserve

Fetching Mails to the Apple Watch is also pretty power intensive. We set it to notify us of any VIP emails, but decided to switch this off and stop showing email alerts, presuming that this would stop the watch from constantly pinging the iPhone for details of new email.

2.

Battery remaining

Wondering what your battery usage is like on your watch and iPhone? Launch the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and go to General → Usage. Here you can view how much power your watch has used since its last charge – if you think that figure looks high, the chances are that something is grabbing battery life while you aren’t using the watch. To see how much battery has been used up on the watch itself, open Glances by swiping up on the clock face, and look for Power Reserve. Here you can see what percentage use the battery is on. To see your iPhone’s power usage, go to Settings → General → Usage → Battery Usage and see much power the Watch app is using.

22 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

022_025 Watch Battery.indd 22

11/05/2015 15:41


5

6

After a morning of accessing various settings in the Apple Watch app our Battery Usage indicated the Watch app had used 14 percent of our iPhone battery and our phone was down to 49 percent, while the watch had 76 percent left.

3.

Best watch faces for battery life

Pick the most minimal watch face you can – the darker, the less power hungry. We quickly ditched the pretty butterflies for the X-Large clock face in purple, though the least detailed and colourful ‘Simple’ clock face would probably be the most battery efficient option.

4.

Accessibility features

In a similar vein, you can use certain accessibility features to improve the battery life of your watch. In the Apple Watch app, go to General → Accessibility → Reduce Motion and turn off Motion, this will limit animation and automatic resizing of the Apple Watch user interface on the Home screen when you open and close apps.

5.

Turn off wrist raise

Are you the kind of person who is often raising your arm?

8

Perhaps you drink a lot of tea, or when you talk you wave your arms around gesticulating. If that sounds like you, it’s a good idea to turn off Activate on Wrist Raise. You can stop your watch switching on whenever you raise your wrist in the Watch App on your iPhone. Tapping General and sliding off Wrist Detection will stop the watch from showing you the time and your alerts when you raise it. If you turn it off, you will find that some activity measurements won’t be available and your watch may not lock or unlock automatically, so you need to be sure that this is the best option for you. Alternatively, you can turn Wrist Activation off on the Apple Watch itself. Tap the Settings icon → General → Activate on Wrist Raise, and switch the slider to off. Now if you wish to activate the screen, you will have to tap it.

6.

Stop watch beeping

Another way to preserve power is to stop your Apple Watch beeping whenever you receive notifications. To do so, go to the Apple Watch app on your phone, choose Sound & Haptics and mute Alert Volume.

7.

Digital Touch

Another way to avoid an excessive amount of haptic notifications is to not get caught up in a Digital Touch interaction with another Apple Watch user. We were tapping away and sending drawings and heart beats, and both we and the recipient noticed that battery life suffered.

8.

Notifications

Just as with your iPhone, don’t sign up for every notification going if you want to save battery life. In order to get notifications on your Apple Watch, the device has to be in almost constant communication with your phone, so be selective about what you need to be notified of. You can use the Apple Watch app on your phone turn off any notifications you don’t need. Go to Notifications and go through each of the apps listed that can send notifications to your Watch and adjust the settings.

9.

Mail notifications

Of the notifications there is one that you should pay particular attention to: Mail. If you choose to see alerts from Mail, then expect your battery

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 23

022_025 Watch Battery.indd 23

11/05/2015 15:41


Features

BATTERY LIFE TIPS FOR APPLE WATCH

to run out quicker as the watch will be constantly pinging the iPhone to see if you have any emails to be alerted to. If you desperately need to be alerted to an email then leave alerts on – you can even fine-tune it to alert you if one of your VIPs (set up in Mail) emails you. But for the best battery life we recommend turning Mail alerts off.

10.

Activity-related notifications

You can also switch off notifications for the Activity app. For example, you can turn off Stand Reminders, so that your watch doesn’t remind you every hour to stand up, although we can’t imagine this is particularly battery intensive. You could similarly turn off the other Activity-related notifications, but in all honesty it may be better to stop the watch from Activity monitoring. Unfortunately, this doesn’t appear to be possible, though. (You’ll see the same options for adjusting Activity if you go to the Apple Watch app, and scroll down to Activity.)

To switch on Power Saving Mode, go to the Watch app, scroll down to Workout, and select Power Saving Mode.

11.

12.

Power Saving mode

While you can’t turn off Activity monitoring as such, you can turn on a Power Saving mode that makes the Apple Watch conserve battery life by disabling the heart-rate sensor during walking and running workouts. If you do this, the calorie burn calculations won’t be accurate, though.

9

10

Force quit apps

If you suspect an app is using too much power, you can force quit it. Force quitting an app is not as obvious as it is on the iPhone, however. To do so, open the app, hold down the side button until you see the power off message, and then hold the side button again until you return to home screen.

Because you can’t see what apps are open on the watch, you can’t be sure that it has really closed. We have, however, been assured that this will quit any open apps. We tried it out in Maps and sure enough when we re opened the app it had to load up again, although the route we’d planned was still there.

13.

Turn off Maps

Speaking of Maps, once you have planned a route make sure you Stop Directions when you are finished with the route plan. To do so, hard press on the Map app and tap on the cross labelled Stop Directions.

14.

Remove apps

13

Another tip is to get rid of apps on your watch that you don’t need. Apple says that there were 3,500 apps available for the Apple Watch at launch, but we certainly don’t recommend that you install all of them. This is because each one will be transferring information between your iPhone and Apple Watch. So be selective about what apps you add to your watch. You can only remove third-party apps, however. If you want to remove them from your watch, go to the Apple Watch

24 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

022_025 Watch Battery.indd 24

11/05/2015 15:42


inclined to turn off Bluetooth. However, without it, the Apple Watch won’t offer much in the way of functionality. For example, you won’t be able to load up your latest emails without switching on Bluetooth on the iPhone and you won’t receive any text or call alerts. If you need any more convincing, Apple states that in order to maximise battery life on the watch, you should keep Bluetooth enabled on the iPhone as it enables “more efficient communications”.

20.

Power Reserve mode

14 app on your iPhone, scroll down to the app you wish to remove, and toggle to Show App on Apple Watch to off. You can also remove them from Glances here.

15.

More power

What about those desperate times when you really need to squeeze the last bit of power out of the battery? There are various last minute tweaks to extend the battery in the watch a little further.

16.

Greyscale Apple Watch

If you were really desperate to stretch out battery power go to Accessibility and turn on Greyscale and remove any colour from your life.

17

17.

Do Not Disturb

Turn on Do Not Disturb to prevent notifications causing your watch to light up, tap your wrist, or beep at you. To do so, swipe up on the Clock Face to enter Glances, and swipe along until you reach the Connected screen, then tap on the crescent moon icon.

18.

Airplane mode

You can also turn on Airplane Mode on the Connected screen, which means that any communication between your watch and iPhone will be barred.

19.

Bluetooth

When it comes to saving the power on your iPhone, you may be

18

Your final port of call is to turn on Power Reserve Mode. To do so, press and hold the side button and when the power off screen comes up choose power reserve. Or you can swipe up on the clock face to see the Power Reserve glance and turn it on there. From this point on your watch will only work as a clock. When you want to go back to using the watch normally, hold the side button again. The Apple Watch will always give you the option to switch into this Power Reserve Mode when it is close to running out of battery and Apple says you should get a couple of days use as a clock in this mode.

21.

Reset Apple Watch

Done all the above and convinced that something is wrong with your Watch? Some have suggested that a hard reboot will fix things. To reboot your Watch, hold down the Digital Crown and side button until the screen goes dark.

20 JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 25

022_025 Watch Battery.indd 25

11/05/2015 15:43


Features

USE DIGITAL TOUCH ON YOUR APPLE WATCH

Use Digital Touch on Apple Watch Lewis Painter explains how to send a Digital Touch from your Apple Watch

O

ne of the Apple Watch’s key features is Digital Touch. This lets you communicate with your friends and family using the watch in unique ways. Some of which can only be received by another Watch.

the one that you want to connect with. A new menu will open, displaying the contact’s photo and a series of icons

underneath. Tap the phone icon on the left to call them or tap the message icon on the right-hand side to send them a

How to send a Digital Touch on the Apple Watch From any Apple Watch menu, you can press the side button (underneath the Digital Crown) to go to ‘Friends’. From here, you can view and contact the people you speak to most. You can add or remove contacts from this list using the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. By using the Digital Crown, you can browse through your contacts and select

Press the side button below the Digital Crown to go to your contacts.

26 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

026_027 Digital Touch Apple Watch.indd 26

12/05/2015 13:31


2.

Browse through your contacts by using the Digital Crown.

message. If they also have an Apple Watch, you’ll see a third, central icon – Digital Touch. When you tap this, you’ll be presented with a largely black screen. There are three types of Digital Touch.

Sketch Your first option is to draw a picture on the Apple Watch’s screen. Your scribble will disappear after a few seconds of inactivity, and be sent to your friend.

(see image 2). To do this, tap a pattern on the screen. This will then be sent to your friend, and they’ll feel it on their wrist thanks to the watch’s Taptic Engine. Taps can be a way to discretely communicate – three taps could, for example, be code for grabbing some lunch.

Heartbeat The third option, is to send your friend your heartbeat using the Apple Watch’s

If you miss a Digital Touch message because you are busy, tap on the arrow icon in the top right of their listing to access it Your drawing will then appear on their screen (see image 1).

Tap The second way to communicate via Digital Touch is to tap them on the wrist

Tap a pattern on the screen and your pattern will be sent to your friend.

heart-rate sensor. To initiate this, place two fingers on the watch’s screen (see image 3). You’ll know that it’s working thanks to the visual heart-rate feedback on screen, which pulses in time with your heart rate. This is then sent to your

1. Draw a picture with your finger on your Apple Watch screen.

The Digital Touch icon is in the centre of the screen below your chosen contact.

friend, who will feel your heartbeat on their wrist and see it on their screen. If you miss a Digital Touch message because you are busy, tap on the arrow icon in the top right of their listing to access it. Note that once viewed, it will vanish never to be seen again.

3. Send your friend your heart beat with Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 27

026_027 Digital Touch Apple Watch.indd 27

12/05/2015 13:31


Features

CHANGE APPLE WATCH FACES

Change an Apple Watch’s faces Ashleigh Allsopp shows how to make your Apple Watch’s face suit your mood, style and personality

T

he Apple Watch has hundreds of brilliant features, so much so that it’s easy to forget that its most basic of jobs is to tell you the time. It is a watch, after all. Here, we talk you through how to choose, change and customise a watch face.

Choose your watch face There’s a huge selection of faces on offer, and we’re sure that this will grow over time. When you first get your Apple Watch, though, there will be a set of Apple-made watch faces already installed. There are traditional options, modern designs, and brand-new ways to visualise the time. Watch faces can be changed whenever you fancy, too, so if you get bored of one or feel like it doesn’t suit your mood, it’s an easy process to swap it for something more fitting. To do so, you’ll need to press firmly on your current watch face to bring up the Faces gallery. Swipe left and right to find the watch face you want. Once you’ve picked one, you can either tap it to make it your new face or customise it further by tapping the ‘Customize’ button at the bottom of the screen.

1.

2.

Customise your watch face Once you’ve tapped Customize, you’ll come to the customisation screen. The dots along the top represent how many customisation panels there are for the Face you’ve chosen. On the Utility watch face there are three panels, for example. You can customise anything that’s within the green outlines. In this instance, the first panel (see image 1) lets you add more detail to the Face. Turn the Digital Crown (the circular button found on the

3. side of the Apple Watch) to add hours and minutes (see image 2). Swiping to the next screen will bring you to the next element you can customise. In the case of Utility, you can change the colour of the second panel – here it’s only the colour of the second hand that is customisable.

Watch faces can be changed, so if you get bored of one or feel like it doesn’t suit your mood, it’s an easy process to swap it for something more fitting

The third screen offers various areas that you can tap to customise. For example, you can add different useful information in each area, such as your calendar and the weather (see image 3). Press the Digital Crown when you’ve finished customising and then tap the screen to set it as your watch face. You can now tap on the temperature on your watch face (if you’ve chosen to display it) to go to the weather app, or your next appointment to go to your calendar, for example. And that’s it.

28 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

028 Change Watch Face.indd 28

12/05/2015 13:13


APPLE WATCH PHONE CALLS

Features

Make Apple Watch phone calls Keep in touch with your friends and answer calls on your wrist. Ashleigh Allsopp reports

I

t’s something straight out of Dick Tracy, but now fiction has become a reality and you can talk to friends and family from your wrist. Here, we reveal how to make calls on the Apple Watch.

Answer a call If someone calls you while you’re wearing your Apple Watch (and it’s paired to your iPhone), you’ll be alerted by a subtle vibration, as well as an audible ringtone if you haven’t set the device to silent. Look at your watch and you’ll see who’s calling, along with an answer or decline button. If it’s someone you want

to talk to, tap the green answer button. There’s a built-in speaker and mic, so you’ll be able to chat without getting your iPhone out of your bag or pocket. Should you wish to take the phone call on your iPhone (don’t forget that everyone else will be able to hear the other side of your conversation if you’re speaking through your wrist unless you are using a Bluetooth headset), you can transfer the call from the Apple Watch to your iPhone by scrolling up using the Digital Crown and tapping ‘Answer on iPhone’. If you are in a busy meeting, for example, you can mute an incoming

You can transfer calls from the Apple Watch to your iPhone by scrolling up using the Digital Crown and tapping ‘Answer on iPhone

call simply by covering the Apple Watch with your hand.

Make a call You can also make a call directly from your Apple Watch. Press the side button to bring up your circle of Friends. You’ll see their initials and thumbnail images, which you can tap to call using the microphone and speaker. Tapping the call button at the bottom left of the screen beneath the person’s thumbnail will bring up a list of numbers associated with that person, which you can tap to make the phone call. You can also use Siri to make a call by saying “Hey Siri” and then “Call Mum”, for example. If you want to call someone who isn’t in your shortcut list of friends, you need to open the phone app on the watch and select your contact from that list.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 29

029 Apple Watch Phone Calls.indd 29

11/05/2015 14:30


Features

APPLE WATCH TEXTS

Send Apple Watch texts Ashleigh Allsopp shows how to send texts from your Apple Watch

T

he Apple Watch is here and it’s packed full of handy features. One of the most useful allows users to receive and respond to text messages, so here, we talk you through how to reply to a message on Apple Watch, and how to send a text.

Reply to a text When you receive a text, you’ll be alerted to the message with a gentle ‘Tap’ using Apple’s ‘Taptic’ technology, and an alert will sound if you’re not using the device on silent. Raise your wrist and you’ll be able to see who the message came from, followed by the message itself.

Lowering your wrist will dismiss the message – it’s as simple as that. If you want to reply, though, scroll down with the Digital Crown to find the Reply button. Tap Reply and you’ll find a list of short, smart replies that Apple thinks are relevant to the message. You can also add your own smart replies in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone for replying to future messages. Instead, you could dictate a response by tapping the dictate icon and speaking into your Apple Watch, which should recognise what you’ve said using its built-in microphone and Apple’s voicerecognition software. Then, press send to

If you want to send a brand-new message to a contact, you can do so using the Apple Watch without needing to touch your iPhone

bring up the ‘Send as audio message’ or ‘Send as text message’ options. Alternatively, Apple has made new animated emojis, hearts, and hands, which you can access by tapping Reply and then tapping the smiley face icon. Use the digital crown to scroll through the various expressions and animations until you find a suitable one and press Send.

Send a new text If you want to send a brand-new message to a contact, you can do so using the Apple Watch without needing to touch your iPhone. First, press the Digital Crown to go to the Home screen, then tap messages. You’ll be taken to a list of recent messages. Press firmly, then tap New Message. From there, add a contact and create your message in the same way you would when you’re replying to a message.

30 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

030 Apple Watch Text.indd 30

11/05/2015 14:12


APPLE WATCH’S WORKOUT APP

Features

Apple Watch’s Workout app David Price explains how to get the most from Apple Watch’s Workout app Get started Open the Workout app (press the Digital Crown to go to the Home screen, then tap the green icon with the running man on it) and select the type of activity: run, cycle, row or whatever. Just tap the option you want (see image 1).

Set a calorie target, time or distance to aim for This takes you to a screen where you set the calorie-burn or (if you swipe left) the time target for the workout. Set the figure you want to aim for by scrolling up and down with the Digital Crown. In certain cases, such as walking and running, you can also set a distance to aim for. If you want to set a distance rather than a specific time, swipe left once more and press hard on this screen to select miles or kilometres (see image 2). Alternatively, swipe left one more time to start exercising without a target to aim for – a sort of free session. Your performance will still be measured, of course. Tap Start to begin your workout.

1.

2.

View progress during a workout By default, the Workout app displays progress towards your goal as a ring on the left-hand side of the screen. The time of day is shown at the top right of the watch’s display, the type of workout is shown top left, and your current running/walking pace, as a time per mile, is shown at the bottom. But these are the default settings. If you want to show the numerical measurement of your progress towards the goal rather than the ring, you need to open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, scroll down and tap the Workout icon, then tap ‘Show Goal Metric’ so it turns green. The ring will be replaced with a number, in miles, calories or minutes. Changing the other information displayed around the screen during your workout is easier – swipe left or right on the bottom element, or tap on the top-

3. right element, to see other options. Tapping the time of day at top-right, for instance, will cycle through speed and the time you’ve been exercising. The Workout app will remember the display options you select. The next time you start the same type of activity, the Apple Watch will show the same metrics.

Pause or finish a workout, and see how you did At any point, you can press firmly on the screen, and you’ll get the option to End or

Pause (image 3). This screen also shows your goal, and how close you are to completing it, which may help motivate you to keep going for a bit longer.

Do you need to take an iPhone with you on your workout? Not necessarily, but Apple recommends it for accuracy. After you’ve done a few runs with both iPhone and Apple Watch, the latter will start to learn your stride and be able to make accurate estimates of distance run on its own.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 31

031 Workout App.indd 31

12/05/2015 08:59


Features

MUSIC ON THE APPLE WATCH

Music on the Apple Watch Lewis Painter reveals how to play music directly from your Apple Watch

T

he Apple Watch comes with the ability to remotely control your iPhone’s music, so you can wave goodbye to the days of fumbling around for your mobile on your morning commute just to change the song. It doesn’t stop there though, as you can add music directly to your Apple Watch so you won’t need your iPhone connected to listen. In this article, we explain how to navigate the Music app, as well as how to add your music directly to the Apple Watch.

1.

How to use the Music app There are two ways to access the Music app on the Apple Watch. First, you can go to the home screen by pressing the Digital Crown, and then tapping the Music icon to open the app. Alternatively, if you’re already listening to music, you can access the music controls via Glances by swiping up on the watch face screen. If you want to play a new track but don’t want to search for it on the Music app, you can use Siri to find it and play it for you. Activate Siri, either by saying “Hey Siri” or pressing the Digital Crown, then ask it to play the song of your choosing. If you want to browse your music selection, tap the icon duration in the top left-hand corner of the Now Playing screen. This will take you to a menu where you can make a selection from either Artists, Albums, Songs or Playlists by using the Digital Crown or tapping on your choice (see image 1). You can then scroll through your music collection using the Digital Crown (see image 2) and select the song that you want to listen to. You don’t have to just listen to music from your iPhone, as your Apple Watch

2.

3. comes with 2GB onboard storage ready for you to fill with music. In order to do this, you must first put your watch on charge to make sure your battery doesn’t run out during the syncing process, and then open the Apple Watch companion app on your iPhone. Once you’ve opened the Apple Watch app, tap ‘Music’ and then tap ‘Synced Playlist’ to select

If you want to play a new track but don’t want to search for it on the Apple Watch’s Music app, you can use Siri to find it and play it for you

the playlist that you’d like to store on your Apple Watch. Once you’ve done that, you can choose to listen to either music from your iPhone or Apple Watch. To do this, you have to force touch (press firmly) on the display of the Apple Watch when the Music app is open (see image 3) and tap ‘Source’. Then all you need to do is select ‘Apple Watch’, then connect your Bluetooth headset by tapping Settings (you’ll be prompted to go to Settings once you select Apple Watch as your source) and selecting your headset from the list. It’s that simple.

32 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

032 Music App.indd 32

12/05/2015 13:40


MAPS ON THE APPLE WATCH

Features

Maps on the Apple Watch The Maps app can be used to search for a location and get directions. Lewis Painter shows you how Get started To open the Maps app, press the Digital Crown to access the home screen, and then tap on the Maps icon. You can also open the Maps app by tapping on an address in a text or email, or by accessing Maps via Glances by swiping up from the bottom of the watch face screen. By default, your location is displayed when you open the Maps app (see image 1). You can zoom in and out of your current position by scrolling with the Digital Crown, or panning around the area using your finger just as you would do in the Maps app on the iPhone. To find a new location, you’ll have to ‘force touch’ by pressing firmly on the watch’s display. This will reveal the screen (see image 2). You can either get directions to a contact’s address by tapping the Contacts icon, or you can search for an address manually using the Search icon. If you choose to search for a location, you’ll be provided with a list of recent places that you’ve searched for – both on your Apple Watch and iPhone. If you want to find somewhere new, you can use the dictation tool (see image 3) to search for the location. Next, choose whether you want walking directions or driving directions, then click Start. The Apple Watch will display the relevant instructions, vibrating on your wrist when a turn is approaching (see image 4). Alternatively, if you search for a location and directions on your iPhone, they will appear on the Apple Watch, which may prove easier then using the watch.

1.

2.

3.

How to stop directions in Maps on the Apple Watch One of the most important steps to take, if you don’t want your Apple Watch battery to run out, is to stop the directions once you are no longer following them. To do so, press down on the map until you see the words Stop Directions and tap on the X.

4.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 33

033 Maps App.indd 33

12/05/2015 11:47


Features

ACTIVITY APP ON THE APPLE WATCH

Activity app on the Apple Watch David Price shows how the Apple Watch’s Activity app can help boost your fitness

T

he Apple Watch’s Activity app is designed to help you get fit and stay healthy. It does this by setting and tracking three daily targets: to sit less (your target is to stand for one minute every hour), to move around more, and to log 30 minutes of brisk activity every day. The Activity app is accessible from the home screen. Press the Digital Crown to go this and tap the app icon showing three concentric coloured rings – red, green and blue. You can also access the Glance associated with the Activity app by swiping up on the clock face. Press the Glance to go to the full app.

Getting started Tap ‘Get started’, and fill in your personal details: sex, age, weight, height, and so on. When entering information, you scroll up and down through possible answers using the Digital Crown. Next, you tell the Apple Watch roughly how active you are at the moment. Apple advises you to aim on the low side if you’re not sure. The watch will take your inputs and use them to generate a (suggested) daily calorie burn goal. But you don’t have to accept this; scroll up and down with the Digital Crown to fine-tune your starting goal. Tap the red Start Moving button to complete setup and, well, start moving.

View your daily targets Want to see how you’re getting on? The Activity app’s three rings can be viewed in your glances, so swipe up from your default watch face and swipe sideways until you get to the ring view. Or access the app directly by adding an Activity widget to your watch face. Your daily progress towards these three targets is tracked by three coloured concentric rings: the red outer ring tracks calories burned; the green middle ring tracks exercise; while the

1. blue inner ring tracks standing. There are also arrow-based icons to help you remember which is which: a single right-facing arrow is calories burned through general movement, the double right-facing arrow is brisk exercise, and the upward-facing arrow indicates standing. When the red or green ring completes one circle of the watch face, you’ve completed that target. The progress of the blue ring is slightly more complicated: it shows the number of hours in which you have stood for at least one minute, out of a target total of 12. We look at each of the rings in a little more detail below. Swipe upwards on the triple-ring screen to see calories, steps and distance covered so far today. Alternatively, you can swipe sideways to view individual rings and get more detail on that target. You can scroll or swipe upwards from each ring (using the Digital Crown) to see the activity presented in a graph, by the way.

The red Move ring The red Move ring (see image 1) shows the number of calories you’ve burned so far today via general movement (the large number) and the target for the day (the small number). As with all the rings, the progress of the ring around the watch face shows how close you are to your

target. This is the target you set during setup, but you can adjust the target at any time as we explain below.

Change the Move goal As you get fitter and healthier, you’ll (probably) want to step up your daily calorie target. The Activity app will suggest new targets automatically each week, but you can manually change the target, too. Go to the red Move ring screen, press firmly on the display and tap Change Move Goal when it appears. Scroll up and down with the Digital Crown until you’re happy with the new target, then tap Update.

The green Exercise ring The green Exercise ring counts up the minutes in which you’ve been exercising ‘briskly’, which in practice includes dancing and reasonably strenuous walking, as well as formal workouts and runs. The target is 30 minutes per day.

The blue Stand ring As explained above, the blue Stand ring is designed to encourage you to sit less and stand up more. You’re supposed to stand for a minute each hour, and the blue ring tracks the number of hours in which you’ve achieved this. The target is 12 hours, each containing at least one minute of standing, per day.

34 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

034 Activity App.indd 34

12/05/2015 12:46


USE SIRI ON THE APPLE WATCH

Features

Use Siri on the Apple Watch Ashleigh Allsopp reveals how to speed up Apple Watch interactions by using your voice

T

here are several ways to interact with the Apple Watch. These include the Force Touch display that can differentiate between a light touch and a hard press, and the Digital Crown button on the side, which can be touched, pressed and used as a scroll wheel. But there’s also a way of interacting with Apple’s smartwatch that will be already familiar to iPhone users – Siri. To access Apple’s personal assistant, either press and hold the Digital Crown or raise your wrist and say: “Hey, Siri”. Siri will now be listening out for your request.

1.

Get directions You can ask Siri for directions, and the Maps app will provide these (see image 1). As you walk, the Apple Watch will prompt you to take a right or left turn by gently tapping on your wrist using haptic feedback.

Get sports scores If you follow a particular sport, you can ask Siri for the scores. “Did West Ham win the football?” will bring up the results on the screen. Siri doesn’t know all of the sports we love here in the UK yet, though. There’s no cricket, for example.

2.

Launch apps With the Apple Watch screen being smaller than those we’re used to seeing on our iPhones or iPads, it can be tricky navigating to a particular app. That’s where Siri’s app-opening capabilities come in handy. Say “Hey, Siri. Open Workout,” and the voice assistant will do it for you.

Set alarms You can also get Siri to set an alarm for you. Simply say, “Hey, Siri. Set an alarm for 6am,” and it’s done (see image 2).

Make phone calls Siri is a quick and easy way to make phone calls. Say, “Hey, Siri. Call Mum,”

3. and the phone app will quickly dial the right number (see image 3). Your iPhone will need to be close to hand, though.

Send messages Texting is easier using Siri, too. You can say, “Hey, Siri. Text Mum can I pop over?”

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 35

035 Siri App.indd 35

12/05/2015 14:05


Features

ULTIMATE OS X TWEAKS

ULTIMATE

OS X

TWEAKS THIS IS THE FIRST PART OF OUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO SYSTEM PREFERENCES. THERE’S LOTS TO COVER, SO OVER THE NEXT FEW ISSUES, WE’LL UNCOVER THE BEST SETTINGS FOR YOUR MAC By Craig Grannell

S

ometimes to do what you need to do on your Mac will require accessing System Preferences. Those new to the Mac may be wondering what is System Preferences on the Mac and where can they find it. Others may be unaware of what System Preferences makes possible and how easy it is to make tweaks and changes to the way your Mac is set up.

Where is System Preferences on a Mac? The System Preferences application is found in your Applications folder and is also available at any time from the Apple menu at the top-left of the screen. It may also be in your Dock at the bottom of the screen – see screenshot, right. When launched, System Preferences provides

access to a number of panes that deal with various aspects of how your Mac works, appears and behaves, such as screen resolutions, wallpaper images, input device shortcuts, parental control settings, and internet accounts.

How to use System Preferences on a Mac When System Preferences is first launched, you’ll see rows of icons, each corresponding to a specific group of related options. Click on any icon to access the relevant pane. Alternatively, you can access a pane if you click-hold, Ctrl- or right-click the System Preferences Dock icon’s contextual menu. If you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for, use the built-in search in the top-right corner. Click in the search field

(or use 1+F) and start typing. As you type, the number of subjects in the results list will be filtered to match your search term, and spotlights will appear, highlighting potentially relevant panes that might offer what you require. Use the cursor keys to navigate the results list and the spotlight will become more vivid over the option

36 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

036_045 System Pref in OS X.indd 36

11/05/2015 11:37


optical drive, ‘CDs and DVDs’ will not be shown), but third-party products may also install into System Preferences. Such panes are initially placed at the very bottom of the window. A third-party System Preferences pane can be removed either by the pane’s own uninstaller (if it has one) or by Ctrl/rightclicking it and selecting ‘Remove…’. You can reorder the panes by using the View menu, which provides options for organising panes by category or you’re about to chose. Pressing Return or clicking a results list item will confirm.

listing everything alphabetically. View → Customize enables further changes to be made. When you select this option, checkboxes appear next to each pane. Deselect any pane’s checkbox and click Done and the pane will be hidden, but it will remain accessible from the View menu and when performing searches. Revert a pane’s visibility by using View → Customize, selecting its checkbox and clicking Done. Over the next few issues we’ll be working through the various System Preferences options shown above. We’ll start with General.

How to customise System Preferences

What does General do in System Preferences?

There are two different kinds of customisation worth noting with system preferences: the panes that are installed and the panes that are visible. By default, OS X will provide you with just under 30 panes in Mavericks (the exact number is determined by the hardware you’re using – for example, if you’ve no

The General pane is a grab-bag of options related to appearance, scroll bars, document behaviour and the number of recent items shown in the Apple menu. The ‘Appearance’ menu determines the button, menu and window theme for OS X, enabling you to switch between

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 37

036_045 System Pref in OS X.indd 37

08/05/2015 15:11


Features

ULTIMATE OS X TWEAKS

Blue and Graphite. This affects default buttons in dialogs, selected menu items, and also the close/minimise/full-screen buttons at the top-left of most app windows. With the Graphite theme, all of these are grey. In the Blue theme, you get the familiar ‘traffic light’ buttons at the top-left of windows and blue buttons/ selected menu items elsewhere. New to Yosemite is the ‘Use dark menu bar and Dock’ checkbox. This turns the menu bar and Dock black, rather than white, to better fit in with some professional applications that have dark interfaces. This option also adjusts Spotlight’s appearance. ‘Highlight colour’ enables you to change the colour of highlighted content such as selected text in documents. Apple provides a list of colours you can choose from, but you can define your own by selecting Other and using the standard OS X colour picker. ‘Sidebar icon size’ gives you alternative options for the size of icons in Finder’s sidebar. Medium is the default, Large is good if you find it hard to accurately click the existing icons, and Small is the best choice if you’ve a small display or like squinting a lot. Note that the setting you define here also affects the sidebar in Mail. ‘Show Scroll Bars’ adjusts how scroll bars in OS X behave. By default, they are not visible, and show automatically, their visual appearance in part defined by the input device. You can adjust this so that

they only show when scrolling regardless of the input device (akin to how scrolling works on iOS), or always show when content is too big for the viewport. The last of those options provides much thicker scroll bars than what you usually see when scrolling; instead, their appearance is like when you hover over an OS X scroll bar and it widens for drag-based interaction. The ‘Click in the scroll bar to’ setting changes how OS X jumps to content when you click inside a scroll bar. With ‘Jump to the next page’ selected, content jumps in screen-heights or pages, in the direction of your click; with ‘Jump to the spot that’s clicked’, it instead jumps to the point in the document relative to the location clicked on the scroll bar. The first option is less abrupt but slower. If, for example, you were looking at the top part of a very large list in Finder and then clicked the bottom of the scroll bar, ‘Jump to the next page’ would take several clicks to reach the bottom of the list, but with ‘Jump to the spot…’ it would take only one. The ‘Default web browser’ menu is a setting that usually exists in a browser’s preferences, but you can now define in System Preferences whether Safari or another browser should launch when you, for example, click a link in an email. The next group of options deals with document behaviours. ‘Ask to keep changes when closing documents’ and ‘Close windows when quitting an

application’ do much as you’d expect. In the former case, it’s worth noting that changes are automatically saved when documents are closed: by turning on this option, you instead get the choice regarding whether to save the changes or revert the document to how it was when last opened. If you leave ‘Close windows…’ unchecked, open documents should reappear as they were when you last closed an application. Check this option and applications will launch without any open documents, unless they have their own built-in settings to override OS X’s default behaviour. The ‘Recent items’ option defines how many items appear in the Recent Items menu in the Apple menu. By default, up to 10 of each type (applications, documents, servers) are shown, but other options are provided. Note that any setting chosen also affects recent-item Dock stacks. You can create one of those by typing the following in Terminal and then hitting Return: defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-others -array-add ‘{ “tile-data” = { “list-type” = 1; }; “tile-type” = “recents-tile”; }’ ; killall Dock ‘Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices’ determines whether the Mac has the capability to send/ receive in-progress documents to/from iCloud devices running OS X Yosemite or iOS 8. Unless you’ve a compelling reason to turn it off, don’t.

38 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

036_045 System Pref in OS X.indd 38

11/05/2015 09:09


Finally, the LCD font smoothing option makes text appear in a slightly more pleasing manner in OS X. Again, there’s no compelling reason to turn this off, so we suggest you leave it on.

Change the Desktop & Screen Saver The Desktop & Screen Saver pane is where you adjust your desktop background image and/or the screen saver that kicks in after a user-defined period of time. Switching the desktop image doesn’t require a trip to System Preferences. In Finder, you can Ctrl-click any compatible image and choose Set Desktop Picture (in the Services sub-menu); similarly, Ctrlclick an image in Safari and you can

select Use Image as Desktop Picture. However, the System Preferences pane provides a much greater degree of control, along with a central area to access collections of images. Click the Desktop tab to access desktop settings. The well will display a thumbnail of the current background image, alongside which will be its title. From the pane on the left, you can select collections of images. By default, you’ll see two under the collapsible ‘Apple’ list (Desktop Pictures and Solid Colours), and your iPhoto albums appear under iPhoto. Below iPhoto will be a collapsible list called Folders, to which you can add custom folders by using the ‘+’ button. (Sneaky tip: Apple includes a bunch of folders in /Library/Screen Savers/Default

Collections, which are otherwise only used for screen savers. They’re worth adding if you like wildlife, space and landscape shots.) To change the desktop background, select a collection and then click any of the images within. Alternatively, you can drag an image to the well from Finder or iPhoto. If the image is of a suitable size and aspect ratio for your display, it will be resized automatically. If not, a menu will appear enabling you to define whether the image should fill the screen, fit to the screen as best it can, stretch, be centred, or tile. It’s also possible to have your desktop background change at regular intervals. To do this, select a collection and then check ‘Change picture’. In the pop-up menu, define how often you’d like the background to change; options provided range from five seconds to daily, along with login/wake-up. If necessary, define how the images will fill the screen using the aforementioned pop-up menu. Your desktop background will at the appropriate times subtly cross-fade to the next image in the collection; if you instead want each change to be randomised, check ‘Random order’. In OS X Mavericks, there was a lumped-in option to disable the translucent menu bar, turning it a solid light grey. This is absent in Yosemite, which moves transparency settings to Accessibility → Display. This is a useful option for increasing legibility if you’re using a complex desktop background.

Change and manage your screen savers in Yosemite Click Screen Saver to access the screen savers pane. To the left is a selection of built-in screen savers; select one to choose it as the currently active screen saver (or choose Random to have one be selected at random whenever the screen saver is activated), and use the ‘Start after’ menu to determine how long your Mac remains idle before the screen saver starts. Optionally, a clock can be overlaid on the screen saver, by checking ‘Show with clock’. Depending on the screen saver chosen, you may get options. For the

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 39

036_045 System Pref in OS X.indd 39

08/05/2015 15:11


Features

ULTIMATE OS X TWEAKS

appear below the built-in options. If you later decide you want to delete a screen saver, Control-click it and select Delete.

Alter the Dock using System Preferences

various photography-based screen savers, you’ll see a Source menu, enabling you to define a source folder of photos to use. On choosing a new source, the screen saver preview will update accordingly. Checking ‘Shuffle slide order’ randomises the presentation from the selection of images. For other screen savers, you’ll get a Screen saver Options button that when clicked provides in-context settings for that particular screen saver. For example, Apple’s own Flurry enables you to adjust how many streams of colour appear on the screen, how thick they are, and how fast they move. To the bottom-right of the pane is a Hot Corners… button. The options are shared with Mission Control and provide the means to trigger various OS X functions when you move the cursor into a screen corner. The first option is Start Screen Saver, and is a quick way of activating the screen saver. This can be useful if you’ve also used the Security & Privacy pane to demand a password be entered to exit the screen saver. It’s also possible to install third-party screen savers. Once installed, these

Many of the Dock’s preferences can be adjusted by Control-clicking the separator (a thin line) between apps and folders and choosing from the various options. However, the Dock pane in System Preferences is worth exploring, because it provides a very clear visual overview of all your Dock’s settings. Size and Magnification determine the size of the Dock icons and how much they expand when the cursor is over them. Magnification is best used when you’ve so many Dock icons that they’re not easy to pick out unless zoomed; if you don’t like the effect, you can disable magnification entirely. ‘Position on screen’ determines the screen edge the Dock sits on. Under OS

X Mavericks, the Dock displayed as a flat rectangle at the left or right edge, and as a metal shelf at the bottom of the screen. Under Yosemite, the Dock is always a semi-transparent rectangle. The ‘Minimize windows using’ menu provides two effects for when windows are minimised to the Dock: Genie and Scale. The former appears to ’suck’ the window into position, whereas the latter is a much simpler zoom that’s less taxing on older Macs and also a lot faster. The remaining options adjust various behaviours of the Dock: ‘Double-click a window’s title bar to minimise’ does exactly what you’d expect; ‘Minimize windows into application icon’ sends minimised windows to the relevant app icon in the Dock rather than to the Dock’s right-hand side; ‘Animate opening applications’ makes apps bounce while launching; ‘Automatically hide and show the Dock’ makes the Dock disappear from view when not in use, and demands you move the cursor to the relevant screen edge to show it; and ‘Show indicator lights for open applications’ places a little white dot beneath the icons of apps that are currently running.

Using Mission Control The Mission Control pane is the place for adjusting how Apple’s window overview works. On newer Macs, F3 is a Mission Control key – press it and you see all your open windows, grouped by app and

40 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

036_045 System Pref in OS X.indd 40

11/05/2015 09:10


badged with the relevant icon. In this screen, you can also create multiple desktops (which Apple refers to as ‘Spaces’) that you can switch between. In the System Preferences pane, the first five options determine aspects of how spaces appear. The first option rearranges spaces based on recent usage, rather like the 1+Tab app-switcher. The second option when active automatically switches you to a space with an open window for an app when the app itself is switched to. The next two options set whether windows are grouped by application (turn that off and Mission Control will show separate windows and no app icon badges), and whether displays have separate spaces. With the latter option

active, distinct workspaces can be created for each of your displays. (Apple also notes that should you at any point need to have a single app window span multiple displays, you should turn off ‘Displays have multiple Spaces’.) Finally, the Dashboard menu enables you to set Apple’s ‘widgets’ screen as a space, as an overlay, or turn it off entirely. As an overlay, you’ll need to click the Dashboard app icon or use a keyboard shortcut – F12 by default – to activate it. Note that much of Dashboard’s functionality now exists within Notification Centre’s Today view, so see if that works for you before turning Dashboard back on. The second section, titled Keyboard and Mouse shortcuts, provides a

centralised area to define shortcuts for activating Mission Control and the ‘Application Windows’ feature (which shows only the windows of the currently active app), and showing the Desktop or Dashboard. For any keyboard shortcut, you can define a function key or a modifier (a specific Shift, Control, Option or 1 key), although the latter option isn’t usually a good idea, because it makes the chosen modifier unavailable elsewhere. You can, however, combine a modifier and a function key: for example, to set Shift+F1 to activate Mission Control, hold Shift, open the Mission Control menu, and click F1. It’s worth noting that if your Mac keyboard includes a Mission Control icon on its F3 key, modifiers can be used in conjunction with that key in order to access Mission Control functionality: 1+F3 shows the Desktop, and Ctrl+F3 activates the ‘Application Windows’ feature. Finally, The Hot Keys button has been mentioned previously in our overview of System Preferences, and it works identically here – any one of the four screen corners can be used as a trigger for Mission Control, ‘Application Windows’, showing the Desktop, or opening Dashboard (among other commands, such as showing Notification Centre or Launchpad). Reverting any of the menus to the ‘-’ option deactivates the hot corner entirely.

How to set the Language & Region in System Preferences This pane controls the language shown in menus and dialog boxes, and the formatting of dates, times and currencies. It will by default use the language you stated you wanted to use when you set up your Mac, along with the most appropriate formatting for your location. You can add or remove languages from the Preferred Languages list by using the ‘+’ and ‘-’ buttons. On adding a new language, OS X will ask whether you want to use it as your primary language. If you confirm this is the case, it will be moved to the top of the list, and dialog boxes will change to the selected new language. Some other aspects of OS X

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 41

036_045 System Pref in OS X.indd 41

08/05/2015 15:11


Features

ULTIMATE OS X TWEAKS

for the fifth of January, but you can adjust this to suit your own preferences, add elements (such as the era or specific characters) or remove them entirely, clicking OK when done. Be aware that changes made here can impact on apps throughout the system, and making major adjustments can have unintended consequences. If you decide you’d like to return to OS X’s system defaults, go back into the relevant tab and click Restore Defaults (which is initially greyed out, but becomes a

may require you to logout and login for changes to fully take effect. To the right of the Preferred Languages list, you can update your region setting using the Region menu. If you change it (for example, switching between United Kingdom and United States), you’ll see how other settings are automatically updated to match the region’s conventions. Should you want to, specific elements can be overridden, using the menus: the first day of the week, the calendar used, and whether the time format is 24-hour; and list sort order. With Time format unchecked, the OS X clock will use the 12-hour format typically preferred in the USA. Any elements adjusted here may impact on apps elsewhere in OS X, although some apps also have their own internal settings for certain things, and so you cannot rely on your System Preferences changes to always filter through. The two buttons at the bottom of the window are Keyboard Preferences and Advanced. Keyboard Preferences takes you to the Input Sources tab within the Keyboard System Preferences pane, where you can define keyboard types for your machine (for example, adding one that’s more suited to a particular language you often work in). Advanced opens a sheet that provides the means for editing a number of more detailed display options for your chosen region.

For the most part, these settings should be left alone, but if you have very specific set-up needs, they’re worth investigating. Under General, you can change the format language for dates, times and numbers, and the number separators used for grouping and decimals. English uses, respectively, a comma and period for grouping and

clickable button when any changes are made). At any point, when you return to the System Preferences pane, you’ll see a brief overview of your settings under the ‘Time format’ checkbox.

How to set security and privacy settings in System Preferences

decimals (for example, 1,000.00), but if you’re working in a language that uses something different, you can adjust the relevant settings here; similarly, currency and its relevant grouping/ decimal options, can be defined, along with default measurement units for the system (Metric or US). The Dates and Times tabs both offer a set of fields where you can drag individual date or time elements to design custom formatting. In Dates, for example, the ‘short’ date on a British English system would read 05/01/2014

When it comes to System Preferences panes, Security & Privacy is perhaps the most intimidating; it’s therefore no surprise many Mac users avoid it entirely. However, it’s crucial to understand the settings within, especially when you work with apps that require control over your computer, or if your Mac happens to be in a fairly open or public environment. In order to make changes to the settings within this pane, you’ll likely have to click the padlock and input an admin username/password. The first tab is General. The settings here are broadly split into two sections, the first dealing with logins and the second with the ability to install downloaded apps. You can use the ‘Change Password’ button to alter the password for the

42 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

036_045 System Pref in OS X.indd 42

11/05/2015 09:10


currently logged-in user. Click the button and you access a sheet, into which you type the old password, then the new one and a recovery hint; clicking ‘Change Password’ confirms. The three checkboxes are designed to secure your computer during your absence. The first when ticked makes it so your login password is required to exit sleep or the screen saver; the time limit can be set to one of seven pre-set values, including ‘immediately’ and the likes of ‘5 seconds’, to ensure you aren’t forced to input your password if you accidentally trigger the screen saver yourself. Note that if you later disable this option, your Mac will warn you and ask whether you want to carry on using iCloud Keychain. The next checkbox enables you to add a message to the lock screen for anyone who tries to login while the screen saver’s running. The third checkbox enables you to disable automatic login, and requires you to define a default account for the Mac, along with inputting the relevant password. The second section within the pane determines what types of application

the user can download and install. This defaults to ‘Mac App Store and identified developers’; leave the setting alone unless you’ve compelling reasons to change it – for example, installing a very trustworthy app that just happens to not have been released by an identified developer. Under such circumstances, change the setting to ‘Anywhere’ and then back again postinstall, for best security. The next tab is FileVault. This automatically encrypts your data – in fact, it encrypts the entire volume. With FileVault active, a password is required when booting the Mac to unlock the drive. Without the account

password (or a recovery key provided during set-up), you’ll permanently lose access to your data, so take care if you decide to use FileVault. Turning FileVault on is simply a case of clicking the sole button on the pane. Note down the recovery key, and you can also optionally enable the key to be stored with Apple, guarded by security questions. The drive encryption process can take minutes or hours, depending on the size of the drive and the data on it. Note that FileVault is only protection for your data when the Mac’s turned off. When you’re logged in, it does nothing, and so is best used in tandem with the previously mentioned password for exiting sleep or the screen saver. If using FileVault, you should also encrypt back-ups in the disk-selection sheet of Time Machine. To later disable FileVault, click the ‘Turn Off FileVault’ button in the FileVault tab. The Firewall tab is for activating and tweaking OS X’s firewall, designed to prevent unauthorised apps, programs and services from accepting incoming connections. Click ‘Turn On Firewall’ to turn it on, and then ‘Firewall Options’ to configure it. In the pane, you can allow or

deny incoming connections for listed items or add your own using the ‘+’ button. By default, signed (trusted) software can receive incoming connections. You can also enable stealth mode, which means your Mac won’t respond to any attempts to access it from uninvited traffic. It’s worth noting that if you’re on a private home network, chances are your router already has a hardware firewall that’s on and in use; firewalls are generally more important when on public

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 43

036_045 System Pref in OS X.indd 43

08/05/2015 15:11


Features

ULTIMATE OS X TWEAKS

networks. However, it’s also unlikely to cause any major performance issues if you do activate the firewall. Should you have connection issues from other devices or to/from online services, it’s worth investigating whether the firewall is the cause, though. The Privacy tab is for defining which apps have access to certain services. Such requests are made for various reasons: for example, a calendar app might require access to your calendars in order to work; additionally, apps that control the computer (such as window managers and launchers) will need the means to do so, and permission is provided in the Accessibility section within this tab. There’s also a Location Services section, for apps that want to determine your location (Reminders, Maps and Calendar, by default). In all cases, select from the list on the left and use checkboxes on the right to determine the apps that have access to the relevant service. Only deny access for an app you no longer use or that you’re certain you no longer want to communicate with the item it

requested access to. You can of course change your mind later if you find functionality on your Mac impaired by any decision you make in this tab. Finally, at the foot of the page is the Advanced button. Click it to open a sheet with yet more options for securing your Mac: the means to log out after a defined period of inactivity; a requirement for an administrator password in order to access system-wide preferences that have been locked; and a setting for disabling commands from an infrared receiver. The Pair button can be used to pair the computer with an available remote.

alternatively, click inside one of the boxes and then hold a new keyboard combination to change that Spotlight shortcut, ensuring it doesn’t clash with a commonly used shortcut elsewhere. (You may need to amend the shortcuts if you often work with multiple languages. 1+Space has often been used to switch input sources. Alternatively, edit the Input Sources shortcuts in the Shortcuts section of the Keyboard System Preferences pane.) In terms of how content appears, that’s determined by the sort order and active items within the Search Results tab. Changing the order of the categories adjusts their position in the Spotlight window; it makes sense to have the items you’re most interested in towards the top, because you’ll have to scroll to see anything beyond the first half-dozen or so categories.

How to change Spotlight settings in System Preferences The Spotlight System Preferences pane enables you to tweak the manner in which Spotlight results appear, along with the content Apple’s search system happens to index. You can also amend the shortcuts used for Spotlight, by using the checkboxes and fields at the bottom of the window. Uncheck one of the boxes to disable the relevant shortcut;

It’s worth noting that some of the options within OS X Yosemite require an internet connection. For example, if you’re not online, you won’t be getting Bing Web Searches, results from the iTunes Store, or live currency conversions. Click the Privacy tab and you can prevent Spotlight from searching specific locations. To add a folder, click ‘+’ and then choose the location from the sheet that appears. Note that you can block entire volumes/drives from being searched by selecting the location drop-down menu and going up to its top level, which includes any attached drives. In particular, we strongly recommend adding any drives that include back-up clones taken with the likes of Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper! This is because otherwise

44 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

036_045 System Pref in OS X.indd 44

11/05/2015 09:10


Spotlight may return multiple results for essentially identical objects, and you might end up opening the wrong document in error, editing and saving it, only for it to be overwritten during the next back-up. You can also drag items from Finder to this list; to later remove any item, select it and click the ‘-’ button.

How to change Notification settings in System Preferences The Notifications System Preferences pane provides the means to manage and tame OS X’s notifications system, which can be very helpful but also a huge distraction if you’ve loads of notifications coming in all the time. The first section is Do Not Disturb. Select that and you can define a time period when notifications won’t bother you. Optionally, you can also turn on Do Not Disturb when mirroring your Mac’s display to a TV or projector, which is likely to occur when watching a film or during a presentation. Note that when Do Not Disturb is active, the Notification Centre icon at the far-right of the

menu bar will turn grey. Your System Preferences settings can be manually overridden at any point by opening Notification Centre and flicking its Do Not Disturb switch. Below Do Not Disturb in the sidebar, you’ll find a list of apps. Depending on your set-up, individual apps will either be listed under ‘In Notification Centre’ or ‘Not In Notification Centre’. Select an application and you’ll get a set of options, and the default settings are designed to best suit the specific application they belong to; however, they’re worth investigating, especially if you’re getting deluged with notifications. The first section defines the alert style, from which you can pick None, Banners (which appear in the upper-right corner and vanish after a few seconds) and Alerts (like banners, but require a user action to dismiss them). Simply click an option to select it, and its title will take on a blue lozenge as its background. Below, you’ll see up to four options. ‘Show notifications on lock screen’ defines whether notifications will appear when the Mac is locked, and is worth disabling on public Macs. Show in Notification Centre allows you to adjust how many items for the app are displayed: 1, 5, 10 or 20. For the likes of Calendar, showing upcoming events, you might want a longer list, but the item number for many apps can be reduced without impacting your workflow. The Badge app icon option determines whether a red badge appears on an app’s icon when notifications occur (for

example, unread emails for Mail). ‘Play sound for notification’ will make a noise when a notification appears. Mail and Messages have an additional option: Show message preview, and this can be set to ‘when unlocked’ (the default) or ‘always’; the second of those is not recommended for Macs in public places, unless you don’t mind anyone potentially seeing a preview of your incoming messages. Twitter also has an additional option, a Notifications button that enables you to fine-tune what type of Twitter communications OS X notifications are displayed for; by default, Direct Messages are included, but you can also be notified about mentions and replies from people you follow or anyone who happens to contact you. At the bottom of the window, there’s a sort menu. You can set this to sort apps by time, based on when notifications have come in, or manually by drag and drop. Bafflingly, there’s no alphabetical option. Although OS X has yet to get quite as notification-happy as iOS, we recommend taking some time to manage this section of System Preferences. Turn off banners and get apps out of Notification Centre if you don’t need notifications from them; and for those things you do need notifications from, minimise them whenever possible. If you’re easily distracted but get a lot of email, for example, it’s a smart move to stop Mail notifying you with a banner every time a new message comes in, but you could always leave the app icon’s badge setting active, to provide an at-a-glance indication of how many unread emails you have. In the next issue we’ll be looking at Energy Saver settings, the display, as well as the keyboard, mouse and trackpad.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 45

036_045 System Pref in OS X.indd 45

08/05/2015 15:11


Features

HISTORY OF WWDC PRODUCT LAUNCHES

History of Apple’s WWDC product launches AS APPLE GEARS UP FOR WWDC 2015, WE LOOK AT THE PAST 10 EVENTS By Ashleigh Allsopp

A

pple has announced that WWDC 2015 is set to kick off on 8 June. It should give us our first glimpse at the future of iOS and OS X, along with details of Apple’s plans for the Apple TV, and perhaps some new Macs. Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference has been an important event on the Apple calendar since as far back as the 1980s, but over the past 10 years has become increasingly known for Apple hardware and software announcements. Here, we take a look back at Apple’s WWDC announcements, starting with 10 years ago: WWDC 2005

WWDC 2005I When: 6 June Where: Moscone Center, San Francisco

What was announced? In 2005, Steve Jobs took to the stage to reveal to the conference’s 3,800 attendees that, going forward, Apple would be partnering with Intel, with Intel’s processors powering Macs rather than PowerPC. OS X was completely rewritten to allow this.

WWDC 2006I When: 7 August Where: Moscone Center, San Francisco

What was announced? WWDC 2006 saw the launch of the Mac Pro, which replaced the Power Mac G5 as Apple’s professional desktop computer.

Developers got their first look at Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard during the conference, though the new operating system wouldn’t be available to Mac users until the following year. Time Machine was also revealed. Around 4,200 developers attended WWDC 2006 as the event’s popularity grew further.

46 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

046_049 History of WWDC Prods.indd 46

12/05/2015 09:16


WWDC 2007I When: 11 June Where: Moscone Center, San Francisco

What was announced? Apple used WWDC 2007 to show off a feature-complete beta of Mac OS X Leopard, which would be released later that year. Safari made its way on to Windows PCs, and developer tools for the iPhone, which had been previewed in January of 2007 at Macworld, were also shown off. The iPhone launched in the US later that month. There were a record-breaking 5,000 attendees at WWDC 2007.

WWDC 2008I When: 9 June Where: Moscone Center, San Francisco

What was announced? WWDC 2008 was Apple’s first sell-out event. It saw the unveiling of the iOS App Store, the second iteration of iPhone OS (iOS 2), the iPhone 3G and a preview of Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6. Mobile Me was announced as the rebranded .Me.

WWDC 2009I When: 8 June Where: Moscone Center, San Francisco

What was announced? This year’s event was another sellout (a trend that has continued right through to 2015’s WWDC), and was host to the unveiling of iPhone OS 3. Further demonstrations of Snow Leopard took place at the event, the 13in MacBook Pro was unveiled, and the 15and 17in MacBook Pros were refreshed. If that’s not enough, Apple also announced the iPhone 3GS during the event. Apple’s marketing boss Phil Schiller took to the stage to present the keynote in 2009, in the place of Steve Jobs due to illness that caused the cofounder to take medical leave from the company.

iPhone 3GS (left) MacBook Pro (right).

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 47

046_049 History of WWDC Prods.indd 47

12/05/2015 09:13


Features

HISTORY OF WWDC PRODUCT LAUNCHES

WWDC 2010I

iPhone 4.

When: 7 June Where: Moscone Center, San Francisco

What was announced? In 2010, Apple announced the iPhone 4 and officially renamed its iPhone OS as iOS. The FaceTime and iMovie app for iPhone were unveiled too. WWDC 2010 sold out in just eight days. Not much attention was paid to Mac OS X this year, though, which frustrated some developers.

WWDC 2011I When: 6 June Where: Moscone Center, San Francisco

What was announced? 2011’s WWDC saw Apple give us our first look at OS X Lion and iOS 5. Steve Jobs also unveiled iCloud during the event, which sold out in under 12 hours.

WWDC 2012I When: 11 June Where: Moscone Center, San Francisco In 2012, Apple used WWDC to announce new models of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, as well as the MacBook Pro with Retina display. OS X Mountain Lion and iOS 6 were shown off, too. The event sold out in under two hours.

MacBook Pro Retina (left) MacBook Air (right).

48 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

046_049 History of WWDC Prods.indd 48

12/05/2015 09:13


WWDC 2013I When: 10 June Where: Moscone Center, San Francisco

What was announced? In 2013, Apple unveiled OS X 10.9 Mavericks, iOS 7, the new Mac Pro, a new MacBook Air, iTunes Radio and iWork for iCloud, making it one of the most exciting WWDCs to date. Plus, it sold out in just two minutes.

WWDC 2014I When: 2 June Where: Moscone Center, San Francisco

What was announced? Last year, Apple announced iOS 8 and OS X 10.10, both of which represented significant changes and improvements over the previous versions. There were no hardware announcements, though. To prevent 2013’s two-minute sell-out fiasco from happening a second time, Apple decided to allow developers to register for the conference over a period of five days, after which the company randomly selected 5,000 attendees from the applicants.

WWDC 2015I When: 8 June Where: Moscone Center, San Francisco

What is expected to be announced? On 14 April, Apple announced that it is hosting WWDC 2015, which will represent the 26th year of the annual conference, from 8- to 12 June at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Put your money on previews of iOS 9 and Mac OS X 10.11. The changes aren’t expected to be as big as they have been over the past two years, so there could be more than just new versions of Apple’s operating systems. Of course, the Apple Watch has launched so we’re expecting a focus on

developing apps for the new smartwatch, but if you take a look at the logo we think there could also be a hint at another product that could be set to steal the spotlight this year, and that’s the Apple TV. We’ve been hoping for an update to the set-top box for some time now, and with rumours of a new Netflix rival in the works at Apple, WWDC 2015 could be the launch event we’ve been waiting for. After the unveiling of HomeKit last year, speculation has suggested that the Apple TV could be the central hub that connects all of your gadgets together, and that the WWDC 2015 illustration (left) seems to tick all of the boxes relating to that rumour, don’t you think?

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 49

046_049 History of WWDC Prods.indd 49

12/05/2015 09:13


Group Test

CLOUD STORAGE SERVICES

CLOUD STORAGE SERVICES Cloud storage has become an integral part of our modern, mobile lives. Services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud and Box all vie to hold our data on their servers, but which one is the best for you? Martyn Casserly looks at the best cloud storage services and explains what they have to offer

W

ith more and more people owning multiple computing devices – laptops, tablets and smartphones, the idea of your data being locked away in the belly of a desktop PC is antiquated. Cloud storage has freed us from these restraints, ensuring that the files we need are available wherever and whenever we want them. Today you can sign up to a bewildering array of free services that offer to automatically upload your smartphone photos to the cloud, sync your documents across multiple devices, and enable you to work collaboratively on the web. Sharing large files with friends is also made easier through online storage, as you no longer have to hope that the data we send won’t bounce back due to limits imposed by email servers. Instead you just send a link to files stored within a cloud service and friends or colleagues, then have access immediately. In fact, if this is all you want to do, then there are the likes of WeTransfer and HighTail that specialise in this area rather than long-term storage.

It’s surprising how much free cloud storage you can get these days. Signing up to free services from Google, Mega, Microsoft and a host of others will give you many gigabytes of space where you can store your photo library, important documents, or music. To help you choose between the providers, we’ve handpicked what we consider to be the best cloud storage services and put them through their paces to see which ones are worthy of your data. Some focus on high security, others on cross platform availability, but most of them are excellent if you want to bolster you ailing hard drive or simply backup some files to an easily accessible folder in the cloud. Choosing which service to use will depend on several factors – the variety of devices you use, the amount of space you need, and the level of security your data requires. As well as covering the most popular services to see just how much you can get for nothing, we also explain the extras some services offer which make it worth paying a small fee per month or year to keep you files online.

50 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

050_057 GT Cloud Storage.indd 50

07/05/2015 16:39


AMAZON CLOUD DRIVE

Price dependant on storage plan • amazon.co.uk The focus of Cloud Drive is simpler than its counterparts, in that there are no fancy plug-ins or web-based Office suites to add productivity to your data. Instead, it’s very much focused on being a place to store your documents, photos and videos. The desktop app is available on PC and Mac, and once downloaded it will take the form of a folder that sits quietly in the background waiting for you to drag files into it. The free account offers 5GB of storage, but if this isn’t enough you can pay £6 per year to add 20GB, with more space available up to a limit of 1TB for an annual payment of £320. In addition to the basic package Amazon also includes a music storage service – Cloud Player – which entitles you to keep 250 songs online for free. These files can be accessed on your mobile device (Android and iOS) via the Amazon MP3 app, with the option to stream or download them. If you’re an Amazon Prime member (£79.99 per year), then alongside the free next-day delivery on items, and Netflix-style streaming content on Amazon Prime Video, you now have unlimited storage for photos on the Cloud service. The mobile experience with Cloud Drive is very basic, and is centred around photo and video syncing. iOS and Android users can download the Cloud Drive Photos app (this acts as the generic Cloud Drive app) and have their camera roll automatically sync to Amazon’s servers when you have a Wi-Fi

connection. Transfer time is reasonable, but if you use your smartphone camera often, then the 5GB will need to be monitored and managed lest you run out of space. A very curious choice is to not make documents available in the mobile apps. If you add Word, PDF, or XLS files to the Cloud Drive folder on your PC they will sync with the Cloud server, but won’t appear on your smartphone or tablet. Amazon does word its description of the app’s capabilities carefully, but you could miss this and then wonder why documents aren’t available in the app. Of course you can navigate to the web portal via a browser, but when you consider the other options available that keep everything in one place, the document omission is a black mark against the service. Addressing this in some way is a new service called Unlimited Everything. This works in the same way as traditional online storage, but with no set limits. Currently it’s restricted to the US and costs $59.99 (£39) per year, but it could appear in the UK before long.

APPLE iCLOUD DRIVE

Price dependant on storage plan • icloud.com In October 2014, Apple expanded its iCloud service, allowing you to store any document, even if it wasn’t created in an Apple app, and access them from a PC (via iCloud for Windows or icloud.com) in addition to iOS and OS X devices. There’s no app for Windows Phone, Android or Blackberry, though, so it’s not the most ideal option for users of smartphones or tablets running anything other than iOS. It’s now possible to store any file in iCloud Drive, rather than just files associated with apps such as Numbers and Pages. Photos taken on iOS devices can also be backed up in iCloud Photo Library, and pictures and videos are synced across all devices that are logged into your iCloud account. One handy feature is that, in addition to syncing your Safari bookmarks across devices, you can also see a list of open web pages on other iDevices. iCloud also allows you to have any purchases made on the iTunes store automatically download to your library no matter which device you used to buy it. A recent addition to iCloud is iWork – Apple’s Office suite – now available for free via the website. The three apps – Pages, Numbers, and Keynote – have clean interfaces, work well up to a point, and sync with the equivalent apps on your Mac or iOS device.

This means you can start work on your iPad, then continue without issue on your PC (files can be downloaded from iCloud. com in Microsoft Office formats). The functionality is a little basic, most likely so that it ties in with the iOS versions of the software, but syncing between devices and the cloud is fast and reliable. The 5GB of free storage offered initially seems generous, as purchases don’t count against it. But when you start turning on all the options that make the service useful, such as backing up your device, then the space is immediately insufficient. You’ll have to pay 79p per month for 20GB, £2.99 per month for 200GB, £6.99 for 500GB or £14.99 for 1TB. While iCloud is secure, much of the data is encrypted at what Apple calls ‘a minimum of 128-bit AES’, with the more standard 256-bit reserved for Keychain Passwords. Apple also reserves the right to explore the contents of your files if it have cause to believe that it contains illegal or harmful material.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 51

050_057 GT Cloud Storage.indd 51

07/05/2015 16:39


Group Test

CLOUD STORAGE SERVICES

BOX

Price dependant on storage plan • box.com/en-gb Box has been around longer than its more famous counterpart, starting out in 2005. The possible reason for its less well-known stature is that for most of that time the company has focused on the business side of the market, building up an impressive enterprise reputation. Box still offers solid personal storage options, however, with a generous 10GB of space for any new account. This isn’t as rosy as it sounds though, due to the fact that Box limits the file size to 250MB. This is lower than the 10GB limits of Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox. Of course 250MB is more than adequate for most documents and spreadsheets, but if large media files are part of your plan then this could be a problem. Uploading a photo library won’t be a problem for the vast majority of users, with the average top-resolution image from a smartphone generally being around 2- to 5MB, but video is the sticking point. The free account doesn’t support versioning – that’s a feature reserved for those paying a subscription. Upgrading the Personal plan will cost you £7 per month, gleaning you 100GB of storage and a file size limit of 5GB, or you could switch to the Starter plan for £3.50 per month, which also offers 100GB, a slightly lower 2GB file size, but crucially 25 previous versions of any file. Functionally, Box is very good. The interface in the mobile apps (available on iOS, Android, Windows and BlackBerry) is

slick and well designed. There are plenty of options for creating, uploading and sorting files. The web portal gives you the ability to create new documents in either Microsoft Office, Google Docs, or webbased formats, which you can then edit in Box via a free, downloadable plug-in. All your files can be assigned tasks and comments easily from the main page, which could be very useful when you start collaborating with colleagues, another thing Box does very well. Sharing and linking features are pretty standard, but again you’ll have to upgrade if you want to allocate granular permissions. General security is the standard 256-bit encryption on the servers, with SSL for data in transit. One of the real benefits of its enterprise background is the excellent range of apps that exist to increase Box’s versatility. There are programs that allow you to link Office directly to Box, so all files are saved there – an FTP app, for example, lets you migrate older data on to the site – and a host of others are listed on the website.

COPY

Price dependant on storage plan • copy.com The principles behind Copy are as you would expect from an online storage service. You can either access it via a web portal, download a desktop client or use one of the mobile apps that are available for Windows Phone, iOS and Android. With these you can download or upload files, including syncing the camera on your phone, Making them available on all your devices. Copy starts with a decent 15GB of free space to new users, and this can be increased via a referrals system that rewards both you and any new user with an additional 5GB each (up to a maximum of 25GB extra space). The interface is somewhat barren and with its thin lined, light blue hue. If you use the desktop clients, then a folder is created on your PC, to which you drag files and Copy syncs them to the cloud. Files and folders can be shared with other users of the platform, or you can send direct links to any other friends or colleagues. All of this contains the ability to set different levels of control over the files so those you share them with can edit freely or be restricted to just read only status. In operation the service works well, with decent speed, and no real issues. Copy also supports versioning, so previous copies of your files are retained after you make changes, and the whole service runs on 256-bit AES encryption that covers data in transit and on the copy servers.

While Copy is a stable and decent choice for consumer-level storage, the real focus of the service seems to be on the enterprise side of things. Barracuda, the company behind Copy, offers a range of compatible apps that extend the features, including digital signatures, full system backups, and on-site hardware to improve performance. Some of these business features are available in Copy, with the option of creating groups that you can administer with simple but powerful controls. There is also a granular level of access that can be deployed, plus the handy feature of users being able to split their copy storage into work and home, with company IT restrictions only being applied to the work section. Access privileges can be changed by clicking a drop-down menu, and if someone leaves a company, you can revoke their access entirely in a couple of minutes, or reinstate them should they return. The level of control is impressive and the menu systems are easy to master.

52 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

050_057 GT Cloud Storage.indd 52

07/05/2015 16:39


DROPBOX

Price dependant on storage plan • dropbox.com Dropbox is one of the only online storage solutions to offer clients for Linux and BlackBerry, alongside the usual Windows, OS X, Android and iOS standards. The basic, free account comes with a tiny 2GB of storage. For documents this is still huge, but if you want to store photos, music or video, it will disappear very fast. You can upgrade to the 1TB plan for around £7.99 per month, but Dropbox also offers 500MB of additional free storage for each friend you get to sign up to the service – with a limit of 16GB. Other ways to bolster your account include linking it to Facebook, Twitter (both give you 125MB extra) or setting up a Mailbox account (offering a 1GB increase). You’ll get 250MB just for taking a tour of the Dropbox basics, too. Enabling the camera upload feature will also gain you 3GB, and automatically backup your smartphone/tablet photos to the cloud. All this space becomes a moot point unless the synching and storage works, but there are no worries there. Dropbox functions by creating a local folder on your device or PC that then syncs with an online version. This means you have all your data available whether you are on- or offline. Files appear quickly online once you place them in the Dropbox folder on your PC, and you also have the option of making select files available offline on your tablet or smartphone, with offline editing functionality among the best we’ve seen.

Folders and files can also be shared with friends either by sending them links (these work for non-Dropbox users), which allow them to view the data, or by sending a collaboration invite for the file. An important point to note about the collaboration option is that you can’t set permissions, so files can be edited (and even deleted) by other users, as the name suggests. It’s not a total disaster, though, as Dropbox backs up any changes to files for thirty days. So if you need an older version or want to undelete a file, it’s still there. If you choose to spend the £7.99 per month to get the Dropbox Pro account, you’ll be able to enable viewer permissions. You’ll also be able to set passwords and expirations for shared links if you have Dropbox Pro. Security features include two-step authentication (always worth turning on) and all files held on the Dropbox servers are encrypted by AES 256-bit encryption, albeit employed from Dropbox’s side rather than the user, with SSL for the data being uploaded and downloaded.

GOOGLE DRIVE

Price dependant on storage plan • google.co.uk In much the same way as OneDrive links into Microsoft products and iCloud to Apple, Google Drive is at the heart of the various online services that Google currently offers. Free space is relatively generous with 15GB available when you setup your Google account – or link to an existing one. In fact, as Google unified its services under one login ID earlier this year, the chances are you already have a Drive account if you use Gmail, Google Calendar or even YouTube. The storage space is shared across all these services, so if you have large attachments on emails, then they will count in the 15GB, and enabling the automatic photo backup to Google+ from a smartphone acts the same way. Google exempts any photos below 2048x2048 resolution, and videos shorter than 15 minutes, so you could always adjust the settings on your smartphone accordingly and get unlimited storage as they don’t count towards the 15GB limit. Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Presentations, Drawings and files that others have shared with you don’t count either. Unlike OneDrive and Dropbox, Google Drive doesn’t have any way of adding storage through referrals or linking your account to social media. Drive works in the same fashion as most cloud storage solutions, with a local folder on your PC linked to a duplicate

cloud version. Versioning is supported, as is real-time collaboration on documents via the Google Docs app. Clients are available on PC and Mac, with mobile versions for Android and iOS, though not Windows Phone. On the whole, the interface across the apps is smart and simple to navigate, with a basic file tree showing where your data is kept. You can choose specific files to be available offline on the mobile versions, and these can be edited – if they were created in Google Docs – then synced when you return online. For other formats (such as Word) you’ll need to open them in another app – thus creating a duplicate copy. Data stored on Drive is encrypted in 128-bit AES rather than the 256-bit employed by Box, OneDrive and Dropbox. Google asserts that it won’t pry into the content of your Drive folder unless compelled by law enforcement agencies, and you can set up two-step verification on your account to add another layer of security.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 53

050_057 GT Cloud Storage.indd 53

07/05/2015 16:39


Group Test

CLOUD STORAGE SERVICES

KNOWHOW CLOUD

Price dependant on storage plan • knowhow.com It’s not unusual to go to the checkout at a computer retailer and be offered the chance to upgrade something on your machine. Usually this will be some kind of extended warranty or virus protection, but one that might seem surprising is online storage. Knowhow by the Currys/PC World group has a few decent features that could make it a useful addition to your trolley. We’ve heard many good reports about the reliability of LiveDrive, so that’s a good start, as keeping your data safe is the whole point of signing up to a service such as Knowhow. There are two types of service – backup and storage. The first is as it sounds, automatically backing up the hard drive of your PC or Mac at intervals defined by the user in the control panel. These increase in hourly units, or if you prefer you can set a certain time of the day to run the task when you’re not using the computer. Think of it as a mirrored version of your hard drive in the cloud. The second element of the service is the Briefcase, which is a general online storage facility not linked to a specific PC. Here, via the web portal or your computer, you can upload and download files just as you would on Dropbox or OneDrive. These files can be accessed via your PC, phone or tablet, with apps being available for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. The storage space available is determined by which package you buy. There are several available, combining

variations of device numbers, storage space, and how many years they last. It’s a bit confusing to be honest, and should be simplified to make things clearer. The most tempting offering we found was for a 2TB allotment covering five devices and costing £30 per year. Design wise, the interface is clean, simple to understand, and when you finish, the initial install the app starts a backup of your system. We’d like to see the options of which folders you want in the cloud appearing first, but it’s easy to rectify. Security is an important element in any online service. Knowhow Cloud encrypts data in transit using TLS to fend off any interceptions, and the Briefcase files are encrypted on the users machine as well. Files on the Knowhow servers are not stored in an encrypted form, but we’ve been assured that they remain secure behind several layers of protection and are unidentifiable to any snoopers. The servers are all based in the UK, which keeps the NSA at bay; though, of course, we have our very own GCHQ to worry about.

MEDIAFIRE

Price dependant on storage plan • mediafire.com Mediafire has been around for nearly 10 years. The early part of that time saw the site function mainly as a file sharing service with unlimited upload file sizes for users, but over time it has become a more standard online storage service. The free account comes with 10GB of space, but this can quickly be expanded by various easy tasks. Linking your Twitter and Facebook accounts will garner you 1GB for each, while the act of installing a desktop client for your Windows or OS X machine will give you another 2GB. The same is true for any mobile app you download, with smartly designed versions being available for Android and iOS. As is the norm, you’ll also be rewarded for any friends you bring to the service through a referral, with Mediafire handing out 1GB per new account, up to a maximum of 32GB. All in all, you can boost the free account up to a very respectable 50GB of space, which is plenty for most people. There are a few signs that the basic account is free. File sizes are limited to 200MB, which is something to consider if you were hoping to keep any kind of movie files on the service, plus you’ll see ads when sharing or downloading files. These are hardly draconian measures, but if it does feel restrictive, you can move up to a Pro account which costs $4.99 per month (£3.30) for 1TB of space, up to 20GB file sizes, and no ads.

You can create folders, upload and download files, plus (if you want it to) your mobile device will automatically backup any pictures you take. If you install the desktop client a new folder will be created on your hard drive and you can just drag files to it like any other standard folder, except the Mediafile one will then sync automatically to the cloud drive. There are a few nice touches in the interface. Any media files can be played in the Mediafire browser, which means you don’t have to download the file first. Another smart feature in the desktop client is the ability to take a screenshot on your PC, annotate it, and share it with friends. While this might seem a little random, it could be very useful if, for example, you’re collaborating with others on something and want to quickly show them what you’re thinking. There are also new features on the way, with mentions of music and photo apps that will presumably have a focus on social media and sharing.

54 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

050_057 GT Cloud Storage.indd 54

07/05/2015 16:40


MEGA

Price dependant on storage plan • mega.co.nz Unlike some of its rivals Mega provides encryption in every part of the process. So anything you send to the cloud is encrypted locally, en route, and on the destination server. What’s more Mega can’t access your information. The upshot of this is that anything you store on Mega is unaccessible to anyone but you. To achieve this there are local clients for Windows, OS X and Linux, plus there are also secure browser plug-ins for Chrome and Firefox. The mobile world is also well covered with apps available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry. Of course, all of this is only useful if the service is affordable and offers a decent amount of storage, so it’s heartening to see that the standard free package affords a whopping 50GB of space. This is enough for the vast majority of people, but you can always move up to a professional account which gives you either 500GB (€99, £70, per year), 2TB (€199, £142, per year), or 4TB (€299, £213, per year) and increased bandwidth with each package so you can share files with friends. Sharing is easy with other members of Mega. You to send an invitation to a friend and set the level of actions they can complete – view, edit, and so on. You can also send links to non-Mega users, but this involves also privately sending them an encryption key so they can access the files. While this is easy, it’s a better option to have your friends on the service itself if you want to keep things secure, especially as this also

opens up the ability to collaborate on files in real-time. Mega also has a few secure communications options, too. MegaChat is a Beta feature that lets you exchange audio and video calls with other members. These are encrypted end-to-end. There is also a new feature, due to be released soon, which is a kind of encrypted email and IM messaging; so Mega could become a working environment for those who need to make adjustments while out in the field and want the data to remain private. In use the site is well laid out, with a clean interface that doesn’t throw up any surprises. Functions are clearly labelled, you have a decent amount of control over how your files are stored, and the mobile apps are equally straightforward. The only obvious omission, especially when you consider the space available, is that you can’t use Mega as a scheduled backup for your system. Still, there are security issues that a service like that brings, and if you work mainly on one computer, then the included ability to select which folders are mirrored in the cloud is certainly a good alternative.

MOZY

Price dependant on storage plan • mpzy.com Mozy is an online backup and storage service that aims to give you peace of mind. The most obvious way of doing this is to ensure that your data is protected from prying eyes. This is accomplished by Mozy offering two types of encryption (256-bit AES or a 448-bit Blowfish key), which perform the essential part of encrypting your files while still on your computer, rather than sending them across the internet to the servers to do the job there. The upshot of this is that it is much harder for someone to hijack your information on route to the servers. Aside from the security aspect, Mozy is a standard online storage package that allows users to select which folders from their hard disk they wish to store online, syncs automatically, and allows you to access the files from other computers via a web portal or mobile app. Clients are available for Windows and OS X, while iOS and Android platforms are also supported. Some useful features include 30-day versioning, where all instances of a file are kept for 30 days, so you can restore them to a point in time before mistakes were made or corruption might have affected them. There’s also the ability to download all your stored files with one click, which could prove useful if you need to move to a new computer. Bear in mind though that there are some restrictions on the amount of hardware you can use. The lower tier packages are limited to backing up one PC,

although you can access your files via the web on other machines. For a multi-computer setup, you’ll need to move up to the £7.99 per month service, which supports three PCs and gives you 125GB of storage. The basic, free, package entitles you to a paltry, by modern standards, 2GB of space but this can be increased through the usual referral system where you invite friends to sign up. The interface is nothing special, but acceptable and stable. Once the Mozy Home and the Sync clients are set up you click and drag folders into the Mozy drive and it will store a copy in the cloud, plus you can adjust which folders are backed up, along with several other modifiers, all with relative ease. The mobile apps follow a similar pattern in the design stakes, with aesthetics giving way to functionality. Performance wasn’t stellar though, and we’d hope that the mobile side of things would see an overhaul in the near future, otherwise Mozy could find itself left behind more optimised services.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 55

050_057 GT Cloud Storage.indd 55

07/05/2015 16:40


Group Test

CLOUD STORAGE SERVICES

ONEDRIVE

Price dependant on storage plan • onedrive.live.com OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage service. Modern versions of Office, for example, default to saving files in OneDrive rather than your local hard drive. This makes total sense as it’s much more convenient to be able to access documents, videos, music and photos from one place rather than trying to keep multiple copies in sync. Much of the functionality in OneDrive is similar to Dropbox, and apps are available to Mac, Android and iOS users. Microsoft has also introduced a referral incentive whereby users gain 500MB of storage for every friend that signs up to an account through them. One deviation from the Dropbox model is that OneDrive offers 15GB like Google Drive, although the referral system is limited to 5GB. However, you gain a whopping 15GB of additional storage for free if you link OneDrive to your mobile phone’s camera roll, enabling it to automatically back up your photos online. That means a free OneDrive account tops out at 35GB as opposed to the 18GB on Dropbox. For some people this will be a compelling reason to choose OneDrive over Dropbox. Don’t forget that Office 365 users get 1TB of OneDrive storage as part of the monthly subscription fee. The OneDrive interface is in keeping with Windows 8’s Modern UI design. Lines are clean and you can select between the boxy style or a more traditional file tree. Folders and files

can be created on the web, including Office and OneNote formats thanks to tight Office Online integration. There’s also a social element to the web version, as various popular social networks are available to be linked to your OneDrive account. This might not improve productivity, but it will make it easy to share files with colleagues. In doing this you can set permissions for each user ranging from read-only to complete editing ability, even if you’re using the free version. There is also a feature that allows you to remotely access files on another PC via the OneDrive website. The target machine needs to be turned on and running OneDrive with the Fetch Files feature enabled. If privacy is a major concern, then it should be noted that Microsoft reserve the right to scan your files to look for what it would deem objectionable content. This could be copyrighted  material or things of an explicit nature. Apple has a  similar policy, making the two potentially more intrusive than their competitors.

SPIDEROAK

Price dependant on storage plan • spideroak.com If privacy is a major concern then SpiderOak might be the cloud storage service for you. Most of the mainstream offerings such as Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and Box all encrypt your data on their servers, but SpiderOak has a different approach. Once you’ve set up your account and downloaded the desktop client, you can transfer files to your local folder, which will then encrypt them before syncing them to SpiderOak. This means your data is readable only by you, as the key is local to your machine. SpiderOak calls this ‘Zero-knowledge privacy’ as the employees at the company can’t access your data and, by extension, it should also mean any interested government parties would also find it extremely difficult. Traditionally this would make accessing files from numerous machines more problematic, not to mention sharing with others, but the team has worked ways around that. SpiderOak Hive is the control centre of your storage. This app, which runs locally, is very similar to the Dropbox-style of folder on your desktop, although the interface has a little more detail. This includes which of your other devices have the desktop app installed, and gives you access to the file tree within their SpiderOak Hive folders. You can also choose local files to backup via a menu, and there are helpful stats to keep you up to date with the activity on your account.

Where rivals such as Google Drive and OneDrive are tightly integrated into wider productivity suites, SpiderOak is simply there to store your files securely. This means no Office-style apps, or online collaboration with colleagues. You can easily share items and send secure links to files from the SpiderOak Hive, although this involves setting up a Share ID (free and simple) as another way to protect your data. This obsession with security runs throughout the system, with strong warning messages appearing if you decide to let the app remained logged in all the time. Some may find this annoying, but you can override any of the warnings and it’s never a bad thing to be reminded that convenience isn’t always the bedfellow of safety. A basic free account comes with 2GB of storage, which is one of the lowest of all the current services around. But this can be quickly increased by a referral system that gains you and a friend 1GB when they sign up to the service (up to a maximum of 10GB).

56 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

050_057 GT Cloud Storage.indd 56

07/05/2015 16:40


TRESORIT

Price dependant on storage plan • tresorit.com There are several services that offer secure storage in the cloud – Mega and SpiderOak – but to our knowledge none of them have offered a cash incentive for hackers to actually break into them. None, that is, except for Tresorit. This Swiss company is so confident in its product that there is a standing reward of $50,000 for anyone who can overcome its security systems. So far, the company reports, 1000 hackers have been trying for around 500 days, but the system remains intact. Obviously this level of security is a little much for holiday photos and this is reflected in the basic free package. You get 3GB of storage space, with a file size limit of 500MB, which can be used by up to three devices. There are also limits on the amount of people you can share files with (10) and encrypted links that you can create each month (10 again). That’s not to say this isn’t useful, as you can keep your less important data on a service such as OneDrive and reserve sensitive data to Tresorit. Of course, the restrictions loosen up when you move to a paid package, with the Premium tariff (£8 per month) jumping up to 100GB, unlimited sharing, versioning support for previous instances of a document, and granular controls over user permissions on the files and folders you share. One of the reasons that Tresorit is so secure comes down to the way files are encrypted. With a local client installed on either your Windows or OS X machine your data is encrypted

locally, then sent, using TLS, to the Tresorit servers where it remain encrypted. You retain the decryption keys and not even the staff at Tresorit can access your files. To add a further level of security you can enable two-step verification, so even if someone steals your laptop or ID, they’ll need your phone to access the data. Business package customers, who pay £16 per month for 1TB of storage, also have the ability to destroy documents remotely, ban the ability to print, copy, or email documents, and set restrictions on how much a recipient can edit a file. Tresorit hasn’t skimped on the design elements of its UI though, with desktop clients, web portals, and mobile apps that look good, are simple to use and perform reliably. On the desktop client you can drag folders from other drives into the Tresorit app and it will encrypt and sync the files up to the cloud but leave them where they are on your machine. Alternatively you can save files directly to the My Tresors folder and it will be available through any Tresorit app.

Macworld’s buying advice If you were to set up the most basic accounts on each of the services, you’d have over 125GB of free online storage, and even more if you included camera uploads and friend referrals. Dropbox is still an impressive service that is often bolstered by free storage expansion through deals with phone and service providers. The thing that really keeps it on top is the sheer availability it has in a number of apps and platforms around the web. If something is going to link to a cloud provider you can bet that Dropbox is most likely the first on the list. It’s rock solid, focused, and universally known as a quality product. Google Drive and OneDrive are both excellent options, especially if you use Chromebooks or Microsoft Office respectively, as the vast free storage rewards on offer are well worth having. The 1TB OneDrive storage for Office users really is impressive, and almost subsidises the cost of the software. Mega really impressed us with its developed user interface, secure communications options, and generous allotment of 50GB of free space. The service is easy to use, gave us no problems, and will certainly be a resident app on our smartphones and PCs for the foreseeable future. Lastly, Tresorit is another up-and-coming service. Security is an important consideration these days and Tresorit manages to provide encryption in a way that doesn’t interrupt a normal workflow and is easy to manage. If you’re a small business owner, or work in a team that needs to keep data confidential, then it really should be your next port of call.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 57

050_057 GT Cloud Storage.indd 57

07/05/2015 16:40


Features

GET BROADBAND WITHOUT A LANDLINE

How to get broadband without a landline

Why pay £17 a month for a phone line you never use, asks Nik Rawlinson

Y

ou want broadband, but you don’t need a phone line. Sound familiar? Fortunately, there are ways to get your internet fix without paying BT’s monthly fee. This feature explains how you can have broadband without a phone line. Alternatives to ADSL promise broadband connections without also demanding that you sign up for a phone line you may well never use. Shop carefully, though, as while such connections are often faster, they aren’t always as cheap as you might expect. Landlines are so last century. If you’re anything like us, you’ll make most of your

calls on your mobile phone, and other than that you’ll use email, WhatsApp, Hangouts and instant messaging to keep in touch with friends and family. Video calling is easy and – even better – it no longer requires thousands of pounds worth of kit to make it happen, so you can talk to distant relatives using nothing more than your voice and a cheap smartphone or tablet. So why do we still pay £17 a month for a landline that few of us use and even fewer actually need? Doesn’t it feel like a waste of money to be paying for it on top of your monthly broadband subscription? Isn’t it just a con that you can’t get online

with most of the headline broadband providers without being forced to pay for a hardly used voice line on top? Well, we’ve got news for you. You can stop paying for your landline right away – so long as you’re happy to change your broadband provider. If you’re not tied into an ongoing contract that imposes penalties for ducking out early, you should look again at the alternatives to traditional ADSL. We’re talking satellite, fibre to the house, cable and the ever expanding 4G wireless network. As we’ll show here, it’s easy to get online without signing up to ADSL. However, before jumping straight in,

58 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

058_061 Avoid Paying Phone Line.indd 58

07/05/2015 16:43


think carefully about your needs – and about the overall costs too. Some people may well be better off with an ADSL broadband deal that includes a monthly line rental charge.

VIRGIN MEDIA

Satellite broadband Ten years ago, satellite broadband would have been your only option if you lived far away from a major conurbation, but as access by traditional means has got faster and more comprehensive it’s now just one of several choices for most of us. The technology behind it isn’t particularly new, with Eutelsat launching its broadband-enabled e-BIRD satellite in 2003. Built by Boeing and launched on the back of an Ariane rocket, e-BIRD was designed to fly for a decade, but it’s still going strong and provides satellite broadband to Turkey, Greenland, and a whole swathe of Europe in between, Britain included. Eutelsat champions satellite broadband as one of the cleanest means of communication. The satellites themselves work off solar power, there’s no need to build expensive and polluting infrastructure on the ground – exchanges,  cables and the like – and the launch procedure, potentially the most damaging part of the whole process, creates about the same amount of carbon pollution as a single jumbo jet flight from one side of the US to the other. Eutelsat sells its services under the Tooway brand through a range of distributors. To sign up, you’ll need to navigate a fairly Byzantine pricing structure that takes both usage and speed into account. At the budget end, Avonline Broadband’s entry-level service gets you 2GB of data, with downloads maxing out at 5Mb/s and uploads at 1Mb/s. It’s a 24-month contract, with the first three months charged at £9.99 and the remainder at £19.95 a month. While the introductory deal may be tempting, neither the speeds nor the cap compare favourably with a lot of regular ADSL. Avonline’s most popular package is a 25GB bundle with uncapped overnight downloads, which would make it worthwhile sitting up to grab your iPlayer programmes outside of peak. Or you can opt for uncapped email and browsing

round the clock for £74.95 a month, with a 100GB cap on other data, such as streamed media. Multiply those prices by 24 months to find out what it’ll cost you over a standard contract and you’re looking at £448 at the lower end, rising to £1,798 for the gold standard. You’ll need to add on either £5 a month to rent the necessary hardware (or £275 to buy it outright), £100 for installation (or £10 a month for 12 months if you want to pay it off over the first year) and £49.95 if you want to cut your commitment from 24 months to 12. All in all, it works out rather expensive when compared to ADSL and a landline combined. For example, ignoring any introductory deals, Plusnet’s unlimited broadband and calls package, with download speeds of up to 17Mb/s and free weekend calls, costs £9.99 a month plus £15.95 line rental for a 12-month term. That’s £311 over your first year, plus installation at £49.99, giving a grand total of £361 without the need to pay ongoing costs for equipment rental. Upgrading to Plusnet’s 18-month fibre contract with speeds touching 40Mb/s at best ups the annual cost to £371.28 (£14.99 a month for the broadband and £15.95 monthly line rental) and commits you to 18 months of service. Again, there’s an installation fee of £49.99 to consider, but that still pegs the overall cost at £421 for the first year, and £371 for each subsequent year. That’s bad news for satellite broadband. While it might save you the cost of a landline you’ll never use, unless you live in one of the rare spots where reliable broadband still isn’t an option,

satellite is struggling to compete in the speed versus value equation.

Cable You could be forgiven for thinking that the UK has just one cable provider – Virgin Media – but in fact we have two. WightFibre remains the only standalone cable-co in Britain, and the only cable option for subscribers on the Isle of Wight. It offers speeds of 30 to 152Mb/s for between £22.50 and £37.50 a month without line rental (£270 to £450 a year, plus an additional installation fee of £30 for the cheaper of those), although right now it’s offering broadband for free for the first 12 months if you pay £15.30 a month for a landline. That reduces the cost to a flat £183.60 for up to 152Mb/s. If you’re not on the Isle of Wight, none of these deals applies, so you’ll have to look to Virgin Media instead. Its regular ADSL service is available nationwide, but we’re interested in the cable service, which doesn’t yet boast national coverage and isn’t ever likely to do so. If you’ve spotted service plates in the street bearing the acronym CATV, there’s a good chance you’re living in a cabled area, but enter your postcode at store. virginmedia.com to be sure. If you’re not yet covered, you can click the Cable My Street button to add support for a rollout in your direction. Virgin Media’s ‘slowest’ connections start at 50Mb/s (£28.50 a month, £342 annually) and top out at a WightFibrematching 152Mb/s (£41 a month, £492 annually). None of them requires a landline and there’s no fee for the

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 59

058_061 Avoid Paying Phone Line.indd 59

07/05/2015 16:43


Features

GET BROADBAND WITHOUT A LANDLINE

OSPREY installation of hardware, either. However, signing up for a landline does reduce the cost of the broadband. For example, 152Mb/s broadband without a landline costs £41 a month and ties you in for 12 months for a total cost of £492. Add a landline and the contract extends to 18 months, but the cost of your broadband drops to £24.50 for the first 12 months and £30 thereafter. You need to add on £16.99 a month for the landline rental, but there’s still no fee for installation, so the overall cost is £779.92. The saving you’d make over the same period by not taking the landline is therefore a little less than £40. How does that compare to BT’s superfast Infinity service? Assuming that you have coverage (you can check at tinyurl.com/c3ntbwq to see whether superfast Infinity is available in your area), its Unlimited BT Infinity 2 + Weekend Calls option including free BT Sport and 50GB of cloud storage costs £25 a month for the broadband, plus £16.99 monthly line rental, for a total year one cost of £503.88. Add the one-off £6.95 charge for delivering a HomeHub and the total’s around £10 more than Virgin Media is charging for a faster pipe without the bundled phone line. That makes Virgin the more attractive option here.

4G Cellular connections are by far the most flexible option, as you can take them with you wherever you go. Just be wary of the fact that, as Britain’s 4G roll-out remains incomplete, performance will vary from place to place and you may well find yourself stepping back to slower 3G.

Relish is a dedicated 4G broadband provider serving central London and London Docklands. It claims that no-one else has as much 4G spectrum as it does, nor as much capacity. So if you live or work in its area, it’s a tempting proposition, not least on account of its competitive prices. There’s no setup fee, just one speed – up to 50Mb/s – and one price, which is £20 a month whether you sign up for one month or 12. The only inducement to tying yourself into an annual contract is the upfront cost of the 4G router, which is £50 on monthly pay as you go, but waived on the 12-month package. Pay upfront, then, and your first year of coverage is £240, all in, with no restrictions on how much data you use. EE’s 4GEE service works beyond this limited swathe of the capital, offering 3G and 4G coverage nationwide (subject to network propagation). There are three hardware options: Buzzard 2, which plugs into a car socket for broadband on the move, and Osprey or Kite, which are more traditional pocket-sized wireless 4G routers. Contracts on each of these options run for one month or two years, with the upfront costs being lower on the longer-term deals. There are also two levels of service: 4GEE for light users and 4GEE Extra for those with higher consumption. Opt for the smart Apple TV-like Osprey router on the entry-level 4GEE service and it’s £10 a month for 1GB of data, £15 a month for 3GB and an upfront cost of £19.99 on the 1GB, two-year deal. The router is free if you sign up to £15 a month for two years, but if you sign up for just a

month you’ll be looking at a £39.99 bill for the router before you’ve even got online, whichever package you choose. None of these prices is extortionate when you consider the convenience of being able to create a Wi-Fi hotspot wherever and whenever you need (you can connect up to 10 devices to Osprey simultaneously), with a two-year commitment to the 3GB bundle tipping the scales at just £360 – or £180 a year. Beware, though, that with a few catch-up downloads, some music streaming and a bit of YouTube action, you’ll quickly eat through your monthly allowance. You might accordingly want to look at 4GEE Extra instead, which offers bundles of 15GB, 25GB and 50GB for £20, £30 and £50 a month respectively, each on 24-month contracts. These come closer to matching entry-level ADSL connections, but the convenience of being able to hook up wherever you find yourself comes at a price. That £50 deal for the top-end data pack means you’ll end up paying £1,200 over the course of the contract, which is more than most ADSL plus landline combos.

Fibre to the building Perhaps the most exciting of all the current options is fibre to the building. We’re not talking about BT Infinity or Virgin Media here, but a dedicated fibre line running directly to your router. Hyperoptic offers synchronous connections of 1Gb/s flat-out. That means there’s no difference in the speed of uploads and downloads as there is with ADSL, and you shouldn’t see any degradation in the speed of the service as you move away from the connection point either. Prices start at £29 a month for the first six months, and £60 a month thereafter, but if that’s more than you need, you can step down to 100Mb/s for £17 a month for the first six months (£35 a month thereafter), or 20Mb/s for £10 a month for the first six months (£22 a month thereafter). In each case, there’s a £40 connection fee to add on top, but the £200 installation fee is waived. At the top end of the scale, then, you’re looking at a year one cost of

60 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

058_061 Avoid Paying Phone Line.indd 60

07/05/2015 16:43


£574; that’s roughly what you’d be paying for the 152Mb/s deal available from Virgin Media and slightly more than BT’s fibre-based Infinity service, while enjoying far higher speeds. The midrange package, which in speed terms sits between what BT and Virgin Media offer, costs a total of £352 in the first year and £310 a year thereafter, which is excellent value for money. But there is a catch. Because it’s building its own fibre network, Hyperoptic is concentrating on multi-dwelling buildings and, as it explains on its website, if your building is within its catchment area, and enough residents show support by registering for it online, then the company can connect you to its ‘future-proof full-fibre network’. Its service is currently installed in 100,000 homes spread across 1,000 buildings, and if yours is among them you’ll already know. If it’s not, and you live in a block of flats, your best bet is to enter your postcode at hyperoptic.com, fill in the form to register your interest in the service and get your neighbours to do the

same. If you live in a terrace, semi or detached house, though, don’t get your hopes up just yet.

Are landlines a necessary evil? So it’s not as clear-cut as you might think. Yes, a lot of us are paying for landlines we don’t use, and that hurts, but the alternatives aren’t always better value for money. Fibre to the home is the fastest option since it’s 21st century technology all the way from the exchange to your router, rather than fibre to the cabinet in your street, and limiting copper (which can’t push downloads beyond 76Mb/s) from there to your house. Cable has better coverage, and again it’s faster than ADSL at present, but it’s not been rolled out nationwide. And then there’s 4G, which can’t be beaten for convenience. But unless you’re in central London you may find the data caps restrictive and the coverage variable. Which brings us back to traditional ADSL. For many of us it’s the only practical option, which means we’re stuck

with the landline charge. By splitting it out from the headline cost of their broadband deals, though, Britain’s ISPs aren’t helping themselves. Yes, it’s great to be able to advertise a £5.99 broadband package – until you hit the customer with an extra £16.70 a month that they’d rather not pay. If there is no option but to cough up for the service, then the advertised cost in this case should be £22.69, not sub-£6. It doesn’t make the charge any easier to swallow, but you can at least console yourself with the thought that your landline fee is paying to maintain the line from your house to the nearest box on the street, which the fee for a traditional ADSL contract almost certainly isn’t. In that respect you can think of it as a digital standing charge, like the one you pay to hook up your home to the National Grid, the gas lines and the water supply – or, indeed, the road tax you pay to drive your car. It’s an investment in the national infrastructure, and as such it ought to be renamed. Perhaps then, paying the fee will feel less like being fleeced.

SERVICE COMPARISON Technology

Provider

Package

4G

EE

1GB monthly data with Osprey router, 4GEE

Installation fee

Equipment

Monthly cost

Term

Total cost

Year one cost

£0

£19.99

£10

24 months

£259.99

£139.99

4G

EE

3GB monthly data with Osprey router, 4GEE

£0

£0

£15

24 months

£360

£180

4G

EE

15GB monthly data with Osprey router, 4GEE Extra

£0

£0

£20

24 months

£480

£240

4G

EE

25GB monthly data with Osprey router, 4GEE Extra

£0

£0

£30

24 months

£720

£360

4G

EE

50GB monthly data with Osprey router, 4GEE Extra

£0

£0

£50

24 months

£1,200

£600

4G

Relish

1-month contract

£0

£50

£20

1 month

£70

£290

4G

Relish

12-month contract

£0

£0

£20

12 months

£240

£240

Cable

Virgin Media

50Mb/s, no landline

£0

£0

£28.50

12 months

£342

£342

Cable

Virgin Media

100Mb/s, no landline

£0

£0

£33.50

12 months

£402

£402

Cable

Virgin Media

152Mb/s, no landline

£0

£0

£41

12 months

£492

£492

Cable

WightFibre

30Mb/s, no landline

£30

£0

£22.50

24 months

£570

£300

Cable

WightFibre

70Mb/s, no landline

£0

£0

£32.50

24 months

£780

£390

Cable

WightFibre

150Mb/s, no landline

£0

£0

£37.50

24 months

£900

£450

Fibre to the home

Hyperoptic

20Mb/s, no landline

£40

£0

£10 for 6 months, then £22

12 months

£232

£232

Fibre to the home

Hyperoptic

100Mb/s, no landline

£40

£0

£17 for 6 months, then £35

12 months

£352

£352

Fibre to the home

Hyperoptic

1Gb/s, no landline

£40

£0

£29 for 6 months, then £60

£12 months

£574

£574

Satellite

Avonline

2GB data allowance

£100

£5/month

£9.95 for 3 months, then £19.95

£24 months

£688.80

£389.4*

Satellite

Avonline

10GB data allowance

£100

£5/month

£24.95

£24 months

£838.80

£479.40*

Satellite

Avonline

25GB daytime, unlimited overnight

£100

£5/month

£44.95

£24 months

£1,318.80

£719.40*

Satellite

Avonline

40GB daytime, unlimited overnight

£100

£5/month

£59.95

£24 months

£1,678.80

£899.40*

Satellite

Avonline

100GB; uncapped email/web

£100

£5/month

£74.95

£24 months

£2,038.80

£1079.40*

*Assumes equipment is rented in 12 x £5 payments (it can be bought outright for £275) and that installation is settled in a single £100 lump sum (can also be paid in 12 x £10 instalments)

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 61

058_061 Avoid Paying Phone Line.indd 61

07/05/2015 16:43


PREVIEW

Reviews From £1,049

Apple MacBook

inc VAT Contact n

apple.com/uk

Specifications

12in (2304x1440 resolution, 226ppi) LED-backlit widescreen display; OS X Yosemite; 256GB PCIebased flash storage; 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor (Turbo Boost up to 2.4GHz) with 4MB shared L3 cache; 8GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory; Intel HD Graphics 5300; 480p FaceTime camera; 802.11ac Wi-Fi networking; 4 IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible; Bluetooth 4.0; 1x USB-C port; 3.5-13.4x280x196.5mm; 923g

F

orget the mythical iPad Pro. Rather than follow Microsoft’s ill-advised Surface Pro into a snap-on tablet cul-de-sac, Apple is sticking to what works. It has melded the finest technologies from the latest MacBooks and state-of-the-art iPad Air into an iPad-sized clamshell notebook. And called it MacBook. The essential form follows that of the unibody MacBook Air, with a solid aluminium body that’s been precisely milled into a slim all-metal wedge. But this machine is smaller, lighter, even slimmer than the 11in MacBook Air (see page 66) – despite sporting a larger 12in display. The new MacBook takes the name once assigned to the cheapest non-Pro Apple notebook, but now feels every inch the premium flagship notebook, as you would expect for a low-power portable priced from £,1049. It impresses with its subminiature proportions, like a ‘normal’ Apple notebook but after a short zap by the incredible shrinking ray gun, to bring it to a very slender thinness of 13.4mm and low weight of 923g. When shut close, it put us in mind of the iPad, and is just as easy to tote around. Three colours are available for the MacBook, a telling reminder that

it’s not just OS X and iOS software that is converging – now we have Mac hardware available in iPhone and iPad livery. We tested a sample in Space Grey, to our eyes a serious and sophisticated finish in metallic charcoal, anodised evenly across all surfaces. There’s also Silver, which we can only assume follows the traditional natural aluminium look of Apple notebooks since the late PowerBook G4 of 2003. And then there’s the opinion-dividing Gold finish, arguably a ghastly personal statement of fake-bling ostentation.

Keyboard Lid lifted, we find a wholly new keyboard with dark tessellating keys. The keyboard backlighting here is the best we’ve seen since Apple pioneered the idea with the first MacBook Pro in 2006. The idea was diluted in the current MacBook Pro unibody chassis though, with too much white LED light bleeding out from between the keys; now Apple has re-engineered the keyboard so that each key gets its own LED, with the result that the key’s letter or symbol lights up cleanly with next to zero light leaking around the edges. It’s a great look. The bigger talking point for the keyboard is not how it looks so

much as how it feels. This may be the shortest-action keyboard ever made, for better or for worse. In recent years keyboard buttons have been shrinking in the amount of travel between rest and depressed positions, to what on the MacBook now feels like sub-millimetre movement. In fact, with so little movement of the key cap, it’s akin to trying to type on an iPad virtual touchscreen keyboard, only, of course, with the turnaround benefit that you can rest your hands naturally on the keyboard without setting off typed characters. And you also have the tactile feel of real keys below your fingertips. The keyboard is not too dissimilar in feel to that available for the aforementioned Surface Pro tablet, albeit with a classier, precise feel. Ultimately though, it’s how well you can type, and here we did find a steeper learning curve than expected to get up to higher speed touch typing. A neat touch we did appreciate was the tidying of legends on those key caps, specifically the modifier keys of Control, Alt and Command. While US Mac keyboards have long seen the cleaner layout of ‘control’, ‘option’ and ‘command’ – spelt out in lower-case characters and uniformly set at the key bottom – the British

62 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

062_065 MacBook.indd 62

11/05/2015 14:20


keyboards on MacBooks have a messier mix of ‘ctrl’ in lower left; ‘alt’ in top left; and ‘cmd’ back in lower left, with the latter two also having the Alt and Bowen knot symbols, too.

Display You’ll notice the bright, vivid and detailed Retina display on the new MacBook. The MacBook screen now joins the Retina class, a 2304x1440 panel using IPS technology to give decent colour coverage, contrast ratio and wide viewing angles. Like the screens in the MacBook Pro with Retina display and the iPad Air, it has its front glass bonded to the LCD, reducing thickness and air gaps that worsen reflectivity. And the top surface has the same micronsthick anti-reflective optical coating to reduce glare from the screen’s shiny glass surface. Unusually for a Retina-screened Mac, the default resolution setting for this model is not actually the true Retina mode for pixel doubling. For all other Retina Macs we’ve seen, the default interface setting looks like one scaled back to half in each axis: a 2880x1800-pixel 15in MacBook Pro, for instance, is set to look like 1440x900 pixels. This gives best graphics performance too, since the maths to scale the screen is easier than when interpolating to, say, 1680x1050 for that same MacBook Pro. You can manually set the MacBook to a true HiDPI mode that looks like a 1152x720-pixel display, but the interface starts to look a little large and clunky; instead you’ll find it is set to a virtual 1280x800, the same as older 13in MacBook Air and Pro models. Either side of these two scale options there is ‘1024x760’ and ‘1440x900’. In our tests, the display revealed good colour quality, just a little short of what you can expect to find from the MacBook Pro, and the same wide contrast ratio. Colour gamut stretched to 93 percent of the sRGB space, and 69 percent of Adobe RGB. Contrast ratio was a healthy 860:1 at the nominal 50 percent brightness setting.

MacBook. At 112mm wide, it may be the widest trackpad ever fitted to a laptop, if a little foreshortened at 70mm when compared to the MacBook Pro (both 13- and 15in models have a squarer trackpad sized at 104x77mm). The innovation here, though, is not the size but the manner of operation. In place of a regular mechanical clicking button under the surface, the Force Touch trackpad uses a number of strain gauge sensors around the edge. With barely any discernible movement along its top glass surface, the trackpad can sense when finger pressure is applied. Glancing strokes are treated as normal for mouse steering or light tap-to-click actions; press downward with a little more concerted pressure as you would do a normal hardware trackpad and you sense the ‘click’ of a mechanical switch. But it’s an illusion – what you’re feeling is the subtle jolt of an electromagnet’s impulse that replicates the sensation. Press harder and you feel a ‘deeper’ click, again the feedback provided artificially to let you know you’ve completed the action. There can even be stages in between the two, as we discovered using the fast-forward/rewind controls in QuickTime Player. Increasing finger pressure here varies the speed of scanning, with tactile ticks perceptible as you drill down through the available shuttle speeds. The new Force Click gesture (which is simply a harder version of the standard click) can be used in various ways. Force Click on an address, for example, and it will automatically launch the Maps app. And within the Maps app, you can use a Force Click rather than a normal click when zooming in or out, and the zooming will be quicker. Likewise, varying the pressure when clicking on the fast-forward button in QuickTime will vary the speed of the fast-forward function.

You can also Force Click on a Mail attachment to Quick Look at it, Force Click on a date and time to create a new Calendar event, or even Force Click a word to find out what it means. It’s not the same as a rightclick (or the equivalent on a trackpad – usually either Ctrlclick or a tap with two fingers). The Force Click is effectively a third standard click, by default opening a ‘look up’ menu in most applications, delivering a definition or Wikipedia article summary for the word you’re clicking on. Apple has also taken away the hinge traditionally found beneath the trackpad, so it feels the same no matter where you click. In fact, there’s no mechanical click action at all: it feels and sounds like there is one, but this is entirely simulated by the vibrational effect of the electromagnets under the pad.

Ports It’s easy to list all the ports on the MacBook – but one single USB port, not counting the headset audio jack. That’s right: there’s no MagSafe, there’s no USB 3, there’s no Thunderbolt, there’s no SD card slot. Instead, Apple has decided that one port is all you need. This is a new take on the USB standard, USB Type C (or USB-C), a micro-sized interface that’s ready to supply and receive power to charge the internal battery. This particular version is called USB 3.1 Gen 1, with the same nominal 5Gb/s interface speed as regular USB 3.0, but now also able to send ultra-high resolution digital video via either HDMI or DisplayPort standards. Along with charging, the USB-C port can be used for connecting peripherals, for HDMI, VGA and DisplayPort. And, of course, that means you’re going to need an adaptor, which you can buy from Apple (and you’ll need to remember to lug it around with you). There’s a USB adaptor for plugging in one USB device available

Force Touch trackpad First debuted in the latest 13in MacBook Pro with Retina display, the Force Touch trackpad is literally front and centre on the new JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 63

062_065 MacBook.indd 63

11/05/2015 14:21


Reviews from Apple for £15. Apple also supplies the USB-C VGA Multiport Adaptor and USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adaptor (£65) as an accessory if you need to charge the MacBook and connect USB peripherals and external display at the same time. There’s a Type A USB port able to operate as USB 3.0, and an HDMI 1.4 port, which allows up to 3840x2160 displays, albeit at a maximum refresh rate of 30Hz. While too slow for comfortable viewing on a computer monitor it may be sufficient for watching video. Apple says that a DisplayPort adaptor is coming soon. There’s also the possibility of full 60Hz UHD operation, thanks to the DisplayPort 1.2 option, but you’ll need to find the necessary USB-C to DisplayPort cable. At present, we could only find one supplier for this, Google, to complement the advertising company’s Chromebook Pixel laptop. If you just want to connect a desktop peripheral like keyboard, mouse or storage drive, you’ll need at least the USB-C to USB Adaptor (£15) to get the job done. Beyond wired connections, the MacBook packs the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity, with a two-stream solution able to sync to wireless routers at 867Mb/s. And Bluetooth 4.0 handles short-range connections to mice, keyboards and assorted other peripherals. For online video calls there’s still a webcam mounted in the screen bezel, in the usual top-central position too (unlike Dell’s XPS 13 with Infinity screen, whose tiny bezel forces a reposition, at screen bottom and offset to the left). The FaceTime camera resolution is not the HD of 720p or 1080p, but 848x480 pixel, or 0.4Mp, which is still sufficient for Skype and FaceTime use, for instance. Including just one port may have enable Apple to make this MacBook incredibly slim, but just how portable is it really if you’re required to also carry adaptors, which you’re likely to forget and leave behind? It’s something that has both impressed us and concerned us, but we all freaked out about the MacBook Air when it launched without an optical drive and everyone is over it now. We’ll see how we go with it in day-to-day

use, but for now concerns aren’t completely banished. Apple isn’t worried, though. The MacBook is designed to fly solo, unencumbered by wires.

Processor and speed tests Inside the new MacBook notebook is Intel’s new energy-efficient Core M ‘Broadwell’ processor, housed in a logic board that is 67 percent smaller than Apple’s previous record. The Core M runs so cool that computers that take advantage of the chip can be fanless. And being fanless means that the computer in which they feature can be thinner and smaller than ever. That ‘M’ in Core M stands for mobile, though, and these are processors destined for tablets and hybrid laptops, so don’t expect anything like the power of the Core i5. There is a choice of three new Intel Core M processors in the MacBook. The entry-level model at £1,049 includes a Core M-5Y31, specified by Apple as 1.1GHz, and offers 256GB of flash storage. The second off-the-shelf model includes 512GB storage and a Core M-5Y51, specified as running at 1.2GHz. That model costs £1,299. There’s also a CTO model, otherwise identical to the latter, but with Core M-5Y71, advertised by Apple as a 1.3GHz processor. That option adds £120 to the price, bringing it to £1,419. Clock speed specifications have become something of a grey area lately, with Turbo modes that allow much higher than nominal speeds to be used in short bursts; and underclocking modes that reduce processors’ clocks below the named speed when the computer is idling. In the case of the new MacBooks, the low-power chips in question are specified with base frequencies even lower than advertised in Apple’s marketing. So the ‘1.1GHz Intel Core

M processor (Turbo Boost up to 2.4GHz)’ in our sample is the chip that Intel sells as the 0.9GHz Core M-5Y31. It’s a chip that has a feature Intel calls “configurable TDP-up frequency”, which is listed as able to run at Apple’s figure of 1.1GHz. In Intel’s words, “Configurable TDP-up Frequency is a processor operating mode where the processor behaviour and performance is modified by raising TDP and the processor frequency to fixed points.” So while the chip in use here has a listed clock frequency of 900MHz, Apple seems to have set it 200MHz higher, in line with Intel’s available configuration. This does make it run hungrier for power though, and likely with more waste heat to disperse; while the Core M-5Y31 has a nominal thermal design power (TDP) of 4.5W, when overclocked to 1.1GHz its TDP is listed at 6W. In our tests of processor performance, we found something of a moving target. While no-one is likely to press a passively cooled ultrabook processor into workstation duties, we nevertheless used our standard Cinebench tests to get an idea of performance – and found it highly variable. This is likely a symptom of intelligent on-die temperature sensing and clock frequency readjustment, with the processor underclocking as it reaches thermal maximums to prevent any overheating. Our first run with Cinebench 11.5 showed scores of 1.05 points for a single processor core, and 2.18 points for dual-core mode (effectively four cores here, with the help of Intel Hyper Threading Technology). Cinebench 15 reported 98- and 204 points respectively for the same tests, scores that compare favourably with the 110- and 260 points we found on the last MacBook Air update, based on Intel Core i5-

64 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

062_065 MacBook.indd 64

07/05/2015 16:09


Core i5-5250U running at 1.6GHz baseline. But successive iterations of the same test saw performance gradually fall, then plummet, as the processor warmed up. Singlecore speed especially showed the difference after concerted demands were made of the central processor – scores returned were 98, then 92, 84; and on the fourth run, just 49 points. It seems likely that the 2.4GHz Turbo boost is removed as a dynamic option when internal temperatures exceed a calculated threshold. But in use the MacBook never felt ‘too’ hot, just pleasantly warm on its flat underside, where we understand the logic board and CPU is dispersing its spare heat. Using the Temperature Gauge application we were able to see internal temperatures move up and down, reaching a maximum of 95ºC in the CPU core under peak stress, before quickly ebbing back to little under body temperature (37ºC) within just a few minutes after the loading ceased. So while the tri-core 1.5GHz Apple A8X chip in the latest iPad is incredibly fast for an ARM processor, we can see why Apple has stuck to the usual Intel x86 architecture in its new lightweight MacBook, for the moment at least. Shoehorned into the same die of the Core M chip is the graphics engine, Intel HD Graphics 5300, which proved competent for driving high-resolution displays and even up to some light game playing. We tried first Tomb Raider 2013 at the usual starting point of 1280x800 resolution, and with Low detail setting. Here the MacBook averaged 16.9fps on the first run. Following runs at the same setting were slowed slightly but not too precipitously – 16.1-, 16, 15.1- and 15fps on succeeding trials. Dropping settings to 1024x768 pixels and Low detail was still too much for the MacBook graphics processor, returning framerates around 20fps. But by selecting Legacy OpenGL from the game’s preference settings, you can get to

play at 24fps (1280x800, Low) and even 27fps average (1024x768, Low). Tested with Batman: Arkham City, we again saw borderline framerates, 25fps with 1280x800 and Low detail. But is speed an issue for a product like this? Perhaps not – and it certainly doesn’t feel sluggish in use. Gaming won’t be a highlight, but for most day-to-day tasks the new MacBook will be fine.

Storage Helping to keep the MacBook feel fast and fluid in normal use is a very advanced flash drive, like that now fitted to the MacBook Air and Pro. This version appears to be the first using an in-house designed memory controller, rather than buying in a complete SSD from the usual OEM suppliers of Samsung, SanDisk or Toshiba. It is connected by a 4-lane PCIe 2.0 bus, in common with the latest 13in MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, although the MacBook didn’t quite hit the giddy speed heights we recorded from these two models recently. But at 845MB/s sequential read and 477MB/s sequential write speeds, we have no cause from complaint. And in place of the usual advanced host controller interface (AHCI) long used for SATA drives, the MacBook’s flash drive now uses NVM Express to control the increasingly fast IO that’s now emerging in these highly developed solid-state storage drives. And while its average of 226and 167MB/s for random reads and writes respectively (4- to 1024kB) cannot match the circa500MB/s figures from the drives in the new 13-inchers, it shows a marked step-up from the 181- and 138MB/s results for the latest 11in MacBook Air (Early 2015), which is using an older 2-lane PCIe 2.0-connected flash drive.

Battery life Battery life should be the real benefactor when you select a lowpower processor, although Apple engineers did have to take a hit on runtime by selecting a high-grade, high-resolution IPS display over the more economical TN screens fitted to current MacBook Air models. Nevertheless, the newly tiered layers in the MacBook’s lithiumpolymer battery pack total a nominal 39.7Wh of energy on a full charge. In our tests this allowed the MacBook to run for 11 hours 12 minutes in our looped-video rundown test.

Macworld’s buying advice The MacBook is a triumph in notebook miniaturisation, squeezing a Retina IPS display and fullsize keyboard into a 13mm (at its thickest) tapered chassis, with weight below 1kg. At over £1,000, it’s more an executive notebook than the everyman laptop once given the name MacBook, but that money buys a sleek statement in what’s now possible in lightweight ultraportables. The fan-free design heralds a breakthrough in silent computing and while it is measurably behind the MacBook Air in performance it doesn’t often show it in everyday use. Andrew Harrison

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 65

062_065 MacBook.indd 65

11/05/2015 14:22


Reviews £749

inc VAT

Apple MacBook Air 11in (2015)

Contact n

apple.com/uk

Specifications

11.6in (1344x756 resolution, 226ppi) LED-backlit glossy widescreen display; OS X Yosemite; 128GB PCIebased flash storage; 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz) with 3MB shared L3 cache; 4GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory; Intel HD Graphics 6000; 720p FaceTime camera; 802.11ac Wi-Fi networking; 4 IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible; Bluetooth 4.0; 2x USB 3.0; Thunderbolt 2; MagSafe 2 power port; 3-17x300x192mm; 1.08kg

T

he 11in MacBook Air, the smallest of all Apple Macs, received a modest update in spring 2015, at Apple’s Spring Forward launch event for the Apple Watch. Like its 13in counterpart, the little notebook computer gained a new Intel Broadwell-series processor and Thunderbolt 2 connectivity. But in contrast to the original-size MacBook Air with 13.3in screen, the entry-level Mac notebook keeps the same two-lane PCIe-attached flash drive as before. In all other respects the early 2015 MacBook Air is the same laptop as the last main refresh of October 2013. (Although there was a minor upgrade in April 2014, when the main Intel processor received a running upgrade from 1.3- to 1.4GHz.) Still, it remains a compelling deal: at £749 this is the cheapest Mac portable you can buy.

Design and build quality Let’s look at physical design first of all, which won’t take long because of the lack of change here. Like the 13in Air, the early 2015 11in Air has the same chassis as we saw in the previous generation. That means exceptional build quality and stunning looks, admittedly, but it’s hard not to be a little disappointed by the lack of

change on these machines when the 12in MacBook got such a radical rethink (see page 62). We have the same sturdy yet lightweight chassis milled from solid aluminium, and an 11.6in TN LCD screen, which stands apart from all other Macs and displays – it’s the only 16:9 widescreen display in the range. All other Macs made in the past nine years have had 16:10 aspect ratio, a shape that’s more versatile for both productivity and entertainment. Like the 13in option, it has one USB 3.0 port on each side, plus MagSafe 2 and headset jack on the left; and Thunderbolt 2 port on the right. One minor difference in specification is the absence of an SD card slot, which can be found on the 13in MacBook Air. The 13in MacBook Pro mostly embodies the same cautious design ethos, with one exception: it did at least get the new Force Touch trackpad. The new Air doesn’t even get that – or the ‘butterfly mechanism’ keyboard from the new 12in MacBook, for that matter.

Display The Air’s screen, too, is in essence unchanged, even though there have been endless rumours about Apple adding Retina-class displays to this line. The 11in model actually has an 11.6in screen, to be precise, with a

resolution of 1366x768 pixels and a pixel density of just over 135ppi (pixels per inch). (Apple doesn’t list pixel density on the Airs’ tech specs page, which one might take as an indication that it’s not terribly proud of it. We had to work it using the Pixel Density Calculator.) Our sample 11in MacBook Air included a display from Samsung, with very similar performance to the LG/Philips panel we found in our sample of this year’s 13in model. Colour gamut indicated by a Datacolor colorimeter was limited to just 40 percent sRGB and 30 percent AdobeRGB, but we did find a just-better contrast ratio of 440:1. Colour accuracy was almost the same, with an average Delta E figure of 5.4, just below and thereby better than the 5.9 Delta E we measured on the 13in version. It’s not an particularly impressive display when set against the Retina panels on more expensive Macs, although the key contrast-ratio figures are strides ahead of budget displays on Windows laptops, which often come in at 100:1 or worse.

Processing speed tests The standard processor for all MacBook Air models is now the 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-5250U, a low-power variant from the dual-

66 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

066_067 MacBook Air.indd 66

07/05/2015 16:03


core Core i5 mobile processor range that has become almost standard issue across all kinds of laptops. We tested a MacBook Air sample with this chip and its integrated Intel HD Graphics 6000, with 4GB of memory and 128GB flash drive. The processor and memory performance of the 11.6in Air is effectively the same as the 13.3in model, with some tiny variations in benchmark scores due to inevitable fluctuations in speed from intelligent monitoring adjusts operation with ambient conditions. The updates to the processor and graphics setup should produce appreciably stronger real-world performance in both general tasks and gaming – in areas where processing speed or graphical power are the limiting factor, at any rate. You’ll be able to run a higher (or more processor-intensive) calibre of software on this machine than on 2014’s, although those who just wish to surf the web, tap out emails and write the odd essay may not care too much about that. The increase in baseline processor clock speed for the starting configuration looks minor - from 1.4- to 1.6GHz – and anyone pondering an upgrade from last year’s model shouldn’t expect the Air to be transformed into a powerhouse. But this small bump is potentially more significant than the MacBook Pro’s increase from 2.4- to 2.6GHz because in lowerspecced machines processing power is more likely to become the performance bottleneck. In Geekbench 3, we saw results of 2898 points in single-core mode, and 5818 points in multi-core mode. So just like the 13in, net increases here of 4.9- and 7.9 percent. Cinebench 11.5 and version 15 also showed similar increases, with v11.5 Cinebench result going from 1.13- and 2.57 points to 1.19- and 2.78 points; here a positive change of 5.3and 8.2 percent. Version 15 moved from 97- and 236 points to 110- and 260 points, indicating 13.4- and 10.2 percent increases.

In Batman: Arkham City, the latest 11in Air could play at 29 frames per second, (1280x720, Medium detail), 2fps slower than the equivalent early 2014 model. And with High detail, framerate dropped from last year’s 28- to 27fps. Tomb Raider 2013 had a comparable shortfall, here slipping from 23.5fps in the 2014 Air, to 22.5fps. Given the superior-looking specification of the new Intel chip’s integrated graphics (if only subtly), we suspect the slower graphical speed of today is due to either the change from OS X Mavericks to Yosemite, some internal powersaving clock management that Apple applies to the new processor; or perhaps simply the loss of 50MHz in peak graphics memory clock speed that’s found when comparing this year’s Intel HD Graphics 6000 to last year’s 5000. But as with the 13in Air, we found results from Cinebench’s OpenGL render test that showed the integrated GPU in a slightly better light. Version 11.5’s score went from 22.2- to 24.4fps (10 percent higher); and version 15 allowed a clearer distance to be put between MacBook generations – from 18.5- to 25.9fps (40 percent framerate increase). The fact remains, though, that unless you dial down resolution and detail to minimums, the MacBook Air is not a laptop that can yet take on modern action gaming.

Storage For internal storage, the MacBook Air has the same component specification as last year, either a 128- or 256GB flash drive (with 512GB available as a CTO option). Our sample had the standard 128GB capacity, with a drive made by SanDisk. This is a PCIe-attached device, using two PCIe 2.0 lanes to break through the SATA speed

ceiling. We measured 181- and 138MB/s for random read and writes, when averaging the transfer speed of data sized from 4- to 1024kB. While this trails the startling 450and 503MB/s we saw from the 13in Air random small-file benchmark, be assured that speeds above 100MB/s alone in this test bode very well for overall system responsiveness. Top sequential speed from the SSD reached 754MB/s for reads, and 316MB/s for writes, the former figure especially entirely unheard of from a single laptop storage drive, before the ground-breaking revision was made in 2013’s MacBook Air.

Battery life The 11in version of the early 2015 MacBook Air has the same capacity of battery as the 2013 and 2014 issues, 38.75Wh from a battery comprising lithium-polymer packs. But where the new 13in model showed little measurable difference, our 11in sample comfortably exceeded its predecessor’s lifespan. Last year we noted 10 hours 11 minutes in our battery stamina test playing an HD film over wireless. This year the new 11in kept on looping for 13 hours 28 minutes, a runtime more in line with expectation given the mooted gains from the Broadwell processor.

Macworld’s buying advice Available at the same price as last year, the new 11in MacBook Air has the same super-fast storage as before, and around 10 percent increase in processor performance. Gaming performance was always borderline, and now we find it no better. But overall battery runtime increased by almost a third in our tests, a useful upgrade on the already decent 10 hour-plus battery life of the previous generation. Andrew Harrison

Graphical speed tests And as with the 13in MacBook Air, we found real-world gaming performance to be slightly behind the comparable models tested in April of last year. JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 67

066_067 MacBook Air.indd 67

07/05/2015 16:03


Reviews From £749 inc VAT Contact n

apple.com/uk

Apple MacBook Air vs MacBook

A

pple has introduced new MacBook Airs and a completely new MacBook with a Retina display. This new MacBook came as a bit of a surprise because everyone thought that it was the MacBook Air that would be getting the Retina display, while Apple instead resurrected the old MacBook and redesigned it with a smaller, thinner case, and made it available in iPhone-like Gold, Silver and Space Grey finishes. The new MacBook is both smaller and lighter than the once “light as air” MacBook Air, which begs the question: what is the best lightweight laptop from Apple? In this article we will weigh up the pros and cons for both models, and look at the best upgrade options, and some alternatives that might suit your needs better.

Dimensions and weight The MacBook comes in Gold, Silver and Space Grey, just like the iPhone. Judging by the popularity of the Gold iPhone, for some the fact that the MacBook comes in Gold will be reason enough to buy it. However, if you’d prefer a more muted colour the Silver or Space Grey options may appeal. Alternatively, the Air comes in the traditional aluminium. While the MacBook might sound like it should be bigger, with its 12in display, however, length wise it is smaller by almost 20mm. You may notice that the width of the 11in Air is slightly less, but it’s only 4.5mm different and unlikely to make a big difference to how easily you can fit the Mac laptop in your bag. Specs 2015 12in MacBook 3.5-13x280x196mm, 1.08kg 2015 11in MacBook Air: 3-17x300x192mm, 920g Buying advice If it’s the lightest and smallest Mac you are looking for the MacBook wins over the 11in MacBook Air, and still gives you a bigger screen. It’s also lighter than the MacBook Air. When it comes to design, only the MacBook offers you a selection of colour choices and that may be a big part of the buying decision for some. If you aren’t keen on Gold, then there is the choice of Space Grey

MacBook or Silver – but if it’s Silver you are going for, perhaps the Air will fulfil your needs.

Specs comparison The 11in Air shares the specs of the 13in Air, so in that case you aren’t opting for a lower powered Mac in order to get a smaller computer. The 11in model has a 1.6GHz dualcore Intel Core i5 processor (capable of Turbo Boost to 2.7GHz) and comes with 4GB RAM and an Intel HD Graphics 6000 graphics card. The cheapest MacBook Air ships with 128GB flash storage, while the other 11in model offers 256GB flash storage for an additional £150. The 12in MacBook ships in two configurations. One has a 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor, which can Turbo Boost up to 2.4GHz, the other costs £250 more and offers a 1.2 dual-core Intel Core M processor, which can Turbo Boost up to 2.6GHz. Both MacBooks offer 8GB RAM and Intel HD Graphics 5300. Specs 2015 11in MacBook Air, £749 128GB PCIe flash storage; 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor; Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz; Intel HD Graphics 6000; 4GB memory; 10-hour battery 2015 11in MacBook Air, £899 256GB PCIe flash storage; 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor; Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz; Intel HD Graphics 6000; 4GB memory; 10-hour battery 2015 13in MacBook Air, £849 128GB PCIe flash storage; 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor; Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz; Intel HD Graphics 6000; 4GB memory; 12-hour battery

2015 13in MacBook Air, £999 256GB PCIe flash storage; 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor; Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz; Intel HD Graphics 6000; 4GB memory; 12-hour battery 2015 12in MacBook, £1,049 256GB PCIe flash storage; 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor; Turbo Boost up to 2.4GHz; Intel HD Graphics 5300; 8GB memory; 10-hour battery 2015 12in MacBook, £1,299 512GB PCIe flash storage; 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor; Turbo Boost up to 2.6GHz; Intel HD Graphics 5300; 8GB memory; 10-hour battery Buying advice On the face of it, the MacBook Air offers the best specs, with a faster processor, not just clock speed, but a Core i5 as opposed to a Core M. However, the MacBook ships with 8GB RAM as standard while the MacBook Air only offers 4GB, unless you upgrade to 8GB RAM (which costs an extra £80). The final big difference is the fact that the MacBook ships with a 256GB flash drive, while the entry-level MacBook Air offers only 128GB. So to compare like-for-like, you could purchase a 11in MacBook Air with 256GB storage and upgrade to 8GB RAM, an option that would cost you £979. Or you could purchase a similarly specced MacBook (although with a slower processor) for £1,049. That’s £70 difference.

Processor comparison Regarding that processor difference. How does the Core M stand up to the Core i5? The Core M is Intel’s new generation of processors that

68 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

068_071 Air vs MacBook.indd 68

07/05/2015 16:22


run so cool that they can be fanless. And being fanless means that the computer in which they feature can be thinner and smaller than ever. That ‘M’ in Core M stands for mobile, though, and these are processors destined for tablets and hybrid laptops, so don’t expect anything like the power of the Core i5. Geekbench 3 revealed scores of 2459- and 4618 points for its single/ multi modes (2900- and 5820 points for the Air), which shows that while no heavy lifter the MacBook can nearly keep up with the familiar lower-power variants of the Intel Core i5 processor. For reference, a recent 2.16GHz Intel Celeron N2840 processor in a Windows laptop scored just 1069- and 1863 points in this test. Meanwhile the iPad Air 2 reports around 1815 and 4515 points in Geekbench 3. We tested the 1.6GHz processor in the MacBook Air by running the Geekbench 3 benchmark test and the MacBook Air scored 2912 points in single-core mode, and 5821 points multi-core. That’s not far off the MacBook’s Geekbench results. To compare, the 2014 model with its 1.4GHz Haswell-generation processor achieved 2777- and 5400 points in the same tests. Specs 2015 11in MacBook Air, £749 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor; Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz 2015 11in MacBook Air, £899 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor; Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz 2015 13in MacBook Air, £849 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor; Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz 2015 13in MacBook Air, £999 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor; Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz 2015 12in MacBook, £1,049 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor; Turbo Boost up to 2.4GHz 2015 12in MacBook, £1,299 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor; Turbo Boost up to 2.6GHz Buying advice While the MacBook Air processor appears to be faster than the MacBook in terms of clock speed (1.6GHz compared to 1.1GHz or 1.2GHz) there is some question of how big a difference that will make in real world testing. If it’s a powerful laptop you are looking for you probably need to

consider something other than the MacBook or Air. The MacBook Pro, which comes in 13- or 15in versions, offers a faster processor and when you consider the 13in models, there isn’t a big leap in price from the MacBook Air to the MacBook Pro.

Battery life Apple went out of its way to fill every empty space in the MacBook with battery. The company describes how it used “every millimetre of space inside the slim MacBook enclosure.” Apple explains on its website how: “Traditional rectangular batteries leave unused space when placed in a curved enclosure, so we created a new type of battery technology that allowed for an innovative terraced battery cell, custom shaped to fit the specific contours of the enclosure.” As a result, Apple has eked out 35 per cent more battery cell capacity than would have been possible without the innovation. Batteries actually sit on top of each other, as you can see in this illustration. Apple claims the MacBook will offer a battery life of up to nine hours web surfing and 10 hours iTunes viewing. In our tests, we saw 11 hours 12 minutes. The 11in MacBook Air offers exactly the same: nine hours battery life for web surfing and 10 hours for film watching on iTunes, according to Apple. In our tests, we saw more than 13 hours.

The new more power efficient processor in the MacBook Air should allow for better battery life, but when we ran tests on the 13in model we found that there was little difference between the 2014- and 2015 models. The 2014 MacBook Air ran for 12 hours 38 minutes while the 2015 counterpart played for 12 hours 49 minutes in our tests. Specs 2015 11in MacBook Air 10-hour battery 2015 13in MacBook Air 12-hour battery 2015 12in MacBook 10-hour battery Buying advice If you want more battery life, then you should look at the 13in MacBook Air, which is able to offer up to 12 hours between charges.

Screen and resolution The biggest difference is the fact that the MacBook offers a Retina display. That display is LED-backlit display with IPS technology, and offers a 2304x1440 resolution at 226 pixels per inch, as well as support for millions of colours, and a 16:10 aspect ratio. The MacBook Air, on the other hand, offers 1366x768 (native) resolution at 16:9 aspect ratio. The Air has attracted criticism for the quality of its screen, and the fact that the 16:9 aspect ratio means that the screen depth is much shallower – this matters to you if you

MacBook Air

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 69

068_071 Air vs MacBook.indd 69

07/05/2015 16:23


Reviews want to see the maximum number of lines of a document on your laptop screen. Although it may suit those who watch widescreen movies as the 16:9 aspect ratio is suited to that kind of use. And there is also the fact that the 12in display is by definition, bigger than the 11in display. The bezel around the edge is smaller, too, so you get more screen without having a bigger laptop. Specs 2015 11in MacBook Air 1366x768 resolution 2015 13in MacBook Air 1440x900 resolution 2015 12in MacBook 2304x1440 resolution Buying advice The MacBook offers the superior display, both in terms of screen size and resolution. If it’s a good quality screen you need, then the Air probably won’t cut the mustard. If you like to watch films on your laptop, you may be thinking that the Air would be better with its 16:9 aspect ratio – but the quality of the display is poor in comparison so you probably wouldn’t benefit all that much. There are a couple of options if you are concerned about screen quality. Either plug your MacBook Air into an external screen when you are sat at your desk, or opt for the MacBook Pro with Retina display – at £999 the 13in entry-level model is still cheaper than the MacBook.

Graphics The MacBook sports the Intel HD Graphics 5300 and supports dual display and video mirroring. It can support up to 3840x2160 pixels on an external display. The MacBook Air offers superior graphics: the Intel HD Graphics 6000 and supports dual display and video mirroring. It can support up to 2560x1600 pixels on an external

display, less than the MacBook. The MacBook Air does offer Thunderbolt digital video output however. We have tested the graphics card in the Air and found it was no better than the previous year’s model. When we ran the Batman: Arkham City benchmark test, the 2014 and 2015 MacBook Air models both averaged 29fps in medium detail; and 24fps in High detail. Specs 2015 MacBook Air Intel HD Graphics 6000 2015 MacBook Intel HD Graphics 5300 Buying advice Both of these Macs have inferior graphics cards compared to the Retina MacBook Pro, so if good graphics capabilities are necessary for you, you should consider opting for the MacBook Pro instead.

Capacity This is one area where the entry-level Air lets itself down in comparison to the MacBook. It ships with 128GB storage, while the entry level MacBook ships with twice the storage, 256GB, although it costs £1,049. For a better comparison, the £899 MacBook Air ships with 256GB, that’s £150 less. If you are looking for the most storage possible, there is also the £1,299 MacBook with a 512GB SSD. To get that much storage in your MacBook Air, you need to turn to the build to order options. To upgrade the 256GB MacBook Air to a 512GB drive costs an extra £240, bringing the price to £1,139. That’s £160 less than the 512GB MacBook. Interestingly, the storage in the 11in Air is not as good as the storage in the 13in option. The 13in Air has a flash drive that is three times faster than the best the Windows world can deliver. Unfortunately, the 11in remains only 50 percent faster than Windows laptops.

MacBook

Specs 2015 11in MacBook Air 128- or 256GB PCIe-based flash storage 2015 13in MacBook Air 128- or 256GB PCIe-based flash storage 2015 12in MacBook 256- or 512GB PCIe-based flash storage Buying advice If you want the most storage for the least amount of money, save £160 and upgrade your 11in MacBook Air to a 512GB drive. You could even opt for the 13in MacBook Air with 512GB storage and still save money – that machine would cost £60 less than the MacBook at £1,239.

Ports The most obvious difference between the MacBook and Air is the lack of ports on the former. The MacBook (in)famously features only a USB-C port and a headphone port. There isn’t even a Magsafe port for charging as charging is done through the USB-C which also supports USB 3.1 Gen 1 (up to 5Gb/s), Native DisplayPort 1.2 video output, VGA output using USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter (sold separately) and HDMI video output using USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter (sold separately). The USB-C may support a lot of peripherals, with the necessary adaptor, but there is still only the one USB-C port available and for many that will not be enough. As for the MacBook Air, the 11in model features two USB 3 ports (5Gb/s), one Thunderbolt 2 port (up to 20Gb/s), and a MagSafe 2 power port. If you were to opt for the 13in MacBook Air you would also get a SDXD card slot for transferring the photos taken on your camera. Both Mac laptops offer 802.11ac WiFi networking and Bluetooth 4.0. One thing that the MacBook features that the Air doesn’t is the Force Touch trackpad. This trackpad (which also features on the MacBook Pro) is sensitive to varying degrees of touch pressure: you can set it to respond to harder/deeper presses to activate different features. It also provides what is known as haptic or taptic feedback, a tangible, tactile response that in theory allows you to ‘feel’ what you are interacting with, which means that you feel like

70 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

068_071 Air vs MacBook.indd 70

07/05/2015 16:23


you are pressing the trackpad in when the pad isn’t moving at all. Specs 2015 MacBook Air 2x USB 3.0; 1x Thunderbolt 2 port; SDXC card slot; HDMI via a thirdparty Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adaptor (not included) 2015 MacBook 1x USB-C Buying advice If you have a laptop right now and you use all the ports all the time, then you may not be able to cope with only one port on the MacBook. However, if your concern is that you won’t be able to use your external mouse or plug in a hard drive while charging your Mac, you may be worrying unnecessarily. We also think it is likely that adaptors will be available that will extend the port, so that you can plug in more than one thing at a time. The question is whether the trade-off in ports is enough to justify the smaller, thinner design of the MacBook. And whether you like the Force Touch trackpad.

Price This the big difference between the MacBook and the Air. The entry-level MacBook price starts at £1,049 while the entry-level Air is £300 cheaper at £749. The difference in price might be acceptable if the MacBook was more powerful, but you are not paying that extra £300 for a more powerful machine. What you get for the £300 is a better display and a smaller and lighter laptop. While we think the display on the MacBook Air would benefit from improvement, we think £300 is a high price to pay for what is in essence a better screen. And at the end of the day you could

just plug your Air into an external display which would likely cost you less than £300 (and you’d have the necessary port to do so). Buying advice If you are looking for a cheap Mac option, then the MacBook is simply not for you right now. It is one of the most expensive Mac laptops, as well as being the least powerful. This is a laptop for those who are looking for a status symbol to write their emails and presentations on. If money is no object and you have a penchant for Gold then by all means buy a MacBook, but if you just want the cheapest Mac laptop the 11in Air is a better deal.

Build-to-order options One last thing to mention. Currently is just one build-to-order option for the MacBook – there’s a 1.3GHz DualCore Intel Core M, Turbo Boost up to 2.9GHz. This will set you back £200. There are build-to-order options on the Air, which gives you a lot more flexibility to design the Mac that best suits your needs. For example, as we mentioned earlier, you can add 8GB RAM to your MacBook Air for an extra £80, 512GB flash storage will cost you an extra £240, and you can upgrade your processor to a 2.2GHz Intel Core i7 chip for £130. With these updates the best build to order 11in MacBook Air would cost £1,349. Sure that’s more than the MacBook, but it would be a far better specced machine, and not a whole lot heavier. Specs 2015 11in MacBook Air £749: 1.6GHz; 4GB memory £899: 2.2GHz; 8GB memory; 512GB storage

2015 13in MacBook Air £849: 1.6GHz; 4GB memory; 128GB storage £999: 1.6GHz; 4GB memory; 256GB storage 2015 MacBook 1.3GHz processor Buying advice For now we’d recommend that if it’s a light laptop you are after, you should stick with the MacBook Air. Upgrade it at point of sale to include the extra RAM and, if you can afford it, the faster processor.

Macworld’s buying advice For now it’s clear that the MacBook Air offers the better deal in terms of specs, presuming you are looking for a light laptop – if weight isn’t an issue, then there are even better options in the MacBook Pro range. The MacBook is, for now at least, priced higher than many would think a lower specced machine should be. But the price does not reflect the specs of the MacBook, the price reflects the new technologies that have gone into the first generation of this newly resurrected Mac. Like the Air, which when it launched cost a lot more than the other Mac laptops, but eventually came down in price to be the entry-level Mac it is today, the MacBook price will come down over time. Eventually it may even replace the Air. There will, no doubt, be some people who can’t wait to own the MacBook, just as there were some who rushed out to buy that first generation Air. If you are one of them then we are sure you will enjoy the new machine. But if you’d prefer to wait for the next generation we don’t blame you. Karen Haslam

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 71

068_071 Air vs MacBook.indd 71

07/05/2015 16:23


Reviews Free Contact 

apple.com/uk

Specifications

OS X Yosemite

Photos for Mac

P

hotos stands defiantly on the smouldering heap not only of iPhoto but also Apple’s enthusiast/prolevel Aperture product. Both have disappeared from the app store. Upon first use, Photos converts your existing iPhoto or Aperture library to make it accessible via Photos. Don’t worry – your library is still accessible by the older apps. However, any edits made using them won’t be reflected in Photos. You’re also asked if you want to start using iCloud Photo Library. Assuming you answer positively, then Photos begins the lengthy background process of uploading. If your iCloud space isn’t big enough, and it probably won’t be, Photos prompts you to upgrade. The app has four view modes, represented as tabs at the top of the window: Photos, Shared, Albums, and Projects. The Photos tab is default and hierarchically arranges your pictures and videos into the same Years, Collections and Moments as on iOS. Clicking the Album tab shows any albums you’re created (including imported iPhoto Events), as well as a handful of built-in albums that automatically filter your pics by whether they’re panoramas, or burst-mode photos, or videos. There’s also an All Photos album that simply presents a thumbnail list of your photos from oldest to newest, sans grouping by location. To create new albums, or indeed to create anything, you’ll need to click the Plus icon at the top right of the user interface. As with iPhoto, you can also opt to create Smart Albums that automatically contain pictures matching certain criteria, such as the camera used, or focal length. There appears to be no way to create albums based on geographical location. You can also create album folders, into which you can collate albums. Strangely, this option is shown only on the File menu and not via the Add button. Facial recognition takes a back seat in Photos, but is still there within the special Faces album. Identifying people in a new picture is a little fiddly – you either click

the View → Show Face Names option, which will circle any faces Photos has identified and place a label below, or you click the (i) icon to show an info box and then click the Add Faces button. The latter option lets you click to identify a face even if Photos hasn’t autodetected it. The Shared tab in Photos lets you view photo streams you’ve created via iOS, or that you’ve been invited to view. Clicking the face icon at the top right of the interface shows information, such as who else can view the album, and whether you should receive notifications when pictures are added, liked or commented by others. Within Photos, you can only create Shared iCloud Albums. These are identical to shared photo streams in that people can be invited via email address, for example, or shared online via the iCloud website. Editing is the other side of Photos’ coin. You can apply the exact same Instagram-like filters, for example, or click the dial icon for the same Light, Color, and Black and White sliders. What’s new in the Mac version of Photos are tools such as Histogram display and Levels adjustment, or additional sliders for Sharpness, Definition, Noise Reduction, Vignette and White Balance. These appear only when you click the Add button and select them after selecting the adjust tool. There’s also a Heal tool that worked superbly in our tests. Hold down the Alt key and you can define a spot to use as a source for healing. Wherever you subsequently click,

Facial recognition is present in Photos, but takes a back seat and you’ll need to dig it out Photos will still try and mix the existing area with the origin point you selected. Aside from the ability to create slideshows, the purpose of the Projects tab is to help you create prints, calendars, posters, photo books and cards. All come direct from Apple. If you’ve an album or series of photos already selected and opt to create a project then these are automatically used. However, selecting further photos for a project is annoying in that you can’t switch to albums you’ve created, or make use of the Faces album to track down pics of an individual. Instead, you must choose from the same time/location based listing as you see in the main Photos view. Prices range from 12p for a 10x15cm print to £19.99 for a 20page 28x22cm colour book. All are charged to your iTunes account. Despite its decade of evolution, iPhoto was always slow. Photos fixes all that. Even on our old Mac testbed we never had to wait more than a second for an album to appear, or for images to appear when we scrolled up or down. Image tweaks were instant. This is impressive.

Macworld’s buying advice For basic to moderate photo management, and quick image tweaking, Photos is very usable and shows a lot of promise for upcoming versions. Keir Thomas

72 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

072_073 Photos/Lightroom .indd 72

11/05/2015 16:58


From £8.57 per month

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC 2015

Contact 

adobe.com/uk

Specifications

Creative Cloud account

W

ith Aperture now effectively retired by Apple, the market for pro and enthusiast photo software is now led by Photoshop Lightroom. For the latest version, it would be easy for Adobe to add a few features and coast into the future on its growing train of subscription revenue. Fortunately for existing and incoming Lightroom customers, that doesn’t seem to be the plan. The new Lightroom CC does add some new features, such as built-in HDR and panorama merge tools, facial recognition, a filter brush, and an improved slideshow builder. But more interesting is performance. Lightroom CC takes advantage of your computer’s GPU for image-intensive tasks, so the main processor isn’t shouldering as much of the load. Computers with discrete GPUs see the most improvement, but machines with integrated GPUs also see improvements. Performance does depend on hardware. As you might expect, the difference on the iMac with 5K Display is dramatic. For example, scrolling through the Grid (the thumbnail view) of a library containing more than 100,000 photos was a marked improvement over Lightroom 5 – scrolling was fairly smooth, and there were only occasional empty thumbnails. Panning within large images was also an improvement. But we also saw better performance on a 2010 MacBook Pro containing an nVidia GeForce GT 330M GPU, as well as on a late–2013 Retina MacBook Pro with an integrated Intel GPU. The

former isn’t a race car (it meets the minimum OpenGL 3.3 cutoff for being able to use the GPU), but it’s better than before. Staying within Lightroom is not only more convenient, but processing is faster, too. The HDR Merge module is basic, with options to automatically align and tone the images and optionally remove ghosting caused by objects in the scene moving between shots. Lightroom merges the photos and creates a new DNG (digital negative) file that can then be adjusted using Lightroom’s own Develop controls. If you’re merging raw files, you don’t need to go through Photoshop’s Adobe Camera Raw intermediate step, since Lightroom handles raw files natively. Similarly, the Panorama Merge feature is simple but quickly stitches photos together into a single DNG image using one of three projections: spherical, cylindrical, and perspective. You can opt to let Lightroom automatically crop the merged image or do it yourself after the merge is complete. One new feature that may not get the recognition it deserves is the filter brush. When you apply an adjustment such as a graduated filter, you previously were not able to mask areas. So, using the panorama image above as an example, making the sky darker blue would also affect the snow on the mountains. The filter brush lets you paint areas to be included or excluded from the overall effect. One reason we prefer Lightroom over other photo organisers is its extensive support for adding metadata that makes it easy to

The filter brush keeps the mountains snow white (shown here with the mask visible in red. find photos later. The capability to identify and recognise faces has been part of iPhoto, Aperture, and Adobe’s own Photoshop Elements for years, but if you wanted to identify people in Lightroom you’d have to do it by assigning your own keyword tags. Now Lightroom CC can help you out. The feature shows up as just another view in the Library module – look for the People button just above the filmstrip – and operates as we’ve come to expect in other applications: Lightroom locates faces, and you identify a few to get started. The more photos you identify, the better Lightroom does in locating people in other photos. The last area to receive a sizable update is the Slideshow module, which adds a few ways to customise slideshows. A show can now include up to 10 songs, and the slide changes can be synced to the music. And an Audio Balance slider lets you choose which audio is dominant when you include video clips in the slideshow. Adobe also added a Pan and Zoom slider to add motion to each slide. The setting applies to the entire slideshow, so you won’t have the type of granular control you would get from dedicated slideshow apps, but the feature works fine.

Macworld’s buying advice Lightroom CC is a welcome update that builds on its predecessor not only in terms of features but performance, too. Jeff Carlson JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 73

072_073 Photos/Lightroom .indd 73

07/05/2015 16:27


Reviews £99

inc VAT

Contact n

denon.co.uk

Specifications

Dual 40mm full range drivers; 40x83mm passive radiator; Bluetooth 4.0; Aux-in; NFC; allows up to 8 Bluetooth connections at once; IPX4 water resistance; MaxxAudio technology; 209x54x51mm; 558g

Denon Envaya Mini

T

he Denon Envaya Mini is a Bluetooth speaker that can be used with a phone, tablet or laptop. In terms of design, it’s gorgeous. Peaking through its metal black grille is a vivid shade of blue that offers a dash of colour to an otherwise completely black speaker. The circular grille effect is a nice addition, making the Envaya Mini a very visually distinctive Bluetooth speaker – and that’s without noticing the Denon logo across the middle of the grille. It also comes with a very soft, luxurious carry case that contributes to the very premium look and feel of the speaker. It’s a very solid device, with rubberised feet at either end that protrude slightly, further than the speaker itself. These offer extra grip, which comes in handy when the speaker is being used at high volume with a lot of bass – nobody wants their speaker to vibrate off the table. We were surprised when we held it for the first time, as it measures in at a rather compact 209x54x51mm, but weighs 558g. That’s not a bad thing, though; as we mentioned earlier it feels like a very solid speaker and the weight adds to that. The Envaya Mini has physical button control, which is great to see when so many mid-range Bluetooth speaker manufacturers are implementing rather frustrating touch capacitive buttons instead. There are volume controls, as well as a pause/play button and a battery indicator button, which lights up a small LED with different colours depending on the level of battery life. While that’s okay for most people, we’d like to see a specific battery percentage, be it via audio prompt or your smartphone, much like the UE Boom. It’s also got an integrated microphone with noise cancelling capabilities, enabling speakerphone functionality. When we tested this, we had no complaints from the recipient about the clarity of the call and we could hear them clearly. The only real down side is that you can’t use the volume controls to change tracks, a feature that’s popular in Bluetooth speakers. There

are certain situations where having the ability to completely control the music from the speaker is beneficial, and for a speaker that ticks most boxes, it’s slightly disappointing. There are two connections: Bluetooth 4.0 and Aux-in. It also has NFC capabilities for one touch pairing – tap your NFC-compatible phone on the speaker’s NFC logo and you’re ready to go. The setup process for Bluetooth requires you to hold down the play/ pause button for a few seconds before it appears on your devices list on your phone’s Bluetooth menu. The device’s range is impressive, too. Whereas some speakers start to stutter after only 5m of distance, we could step outside the room and still have music playing. One particular feature that caught our eye is the ability to connect to more than one device at once. This isn’t a new feature as we’ve used speakers that support two connections at once, but Denon decided to take it one step further and allow up to eight simultaneous connections. This means that one person can pause their music and let a friend take over, without any awkward crossover period with no music playing. Audio is where the Envaya Mini excels above and beyond our expectations. Bluetooth speakers around the £100 mark have a tendency to be either extremely bassy with disappointing sound clarity, or they’ll have great clarity but a severe lack of bass. That’s not the case with the Envaya Mini, which boasts dual 40mm full range drivers with a 40x83mm passive radiator, which produces both crisp sound and impressive bass. Why does it sound so much better than other speakers in its category? There are various factors at work that help to produce the great sound quality, with one being the fact that Denon has used larger drivers than most small Bluetooth speakers, paired with a large passive

bass radiator for a good balance of clarity and bass. Another contributing factor is the amount of technology onboard the Envaya Mini. It includes advanced MaxxAudio technology, which is studio-quality sound processing technology that won a technical Grammy award. It also has other advanced signal-processing technologies that provide the best possible performance. The audio is room filling, which is impressive for a speaker of this size. Don’t mistake that for blaringly loud – there’s a difference between the two. The Envaya Mini isn’t the loudest Bluetooth speaker we’ve ever used, but it doesn’t have to be – it’s more than just sheer volume and bass, it’s an audio experience. There’s only one issue with the Envaya Mini, and it’s not a huge problem, but one we noticed during our testing. Like most Bluetooth speakers, the Envaya Mini’s drivers face in one direction, which produces an audio ‘sweet spot’ where the audio sounds fantastic. However, if you’re not directly in this sweet spot, the experience, while still good, isn’t as great as it could be. We’d have loved to see some kind of 360-degree speaker setup similar to the UE Boom to help tackle this issue. Denon claims that the Envaya Mini should generate around 10 hours of playback on a single charge. While results will vary depending on volume and other factors, we couldn’t get the Envaya Mini to reach its claimed 10-hour battery life – it usually gave up around the sixto seven-hour mark. It’s easy enough to charge though, using a standard Micro-USB cable that many people have laying around.

Macworld’s buying advice For a £99 Bluetooth speaker, the Envaya Mini blows away similarly priced alternatives, and does a great job of filling a room with clear, crisp sound. Lewis Painter

74 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

074_077 Reviews.indd 74

07/05/2015 16:29


£19 inc VAT Contact 

lumsing.com

Specifications

Stereo Bluetooth speaker; 2x 3W nominal power rating; 2x full-range drivers; 1x 60x30mm bass radiator; Bluetooth 3.0 + EDR; 3.5mm Aux-in; microSD card slot; NFC; USB cable; 3.5mm audio cable; 177x50x70mm; 300g

£23 inc VAT Contact 

easyacc.com

Specifications

18000mAh lithium-ion power bank; 1x 10W (2A, 5V) Micro-USB input (charges in 9 hours); 1x 10.5W (2.1A, 5V) USB output, 1x 5W (1A, 5V) USB output, operate simultaneously at fullspeed; LED flashlight; 2x Micro-USB cables (20cm, 60cm) supplied; 159x63x24mm; 359g; 12-month warranty

Lumsing B9

T

he NFC-enabled Lumsing Bluetooth Speaker will surprise you, especially after you see the £19 price tag. While this speaker uses lowcost budget components, the audio quality is pleasant. That, coupled with its compact form-factor and 25-hour claimed battery life, makes it an ideal companion for those spontaneous trips to the beach. It has Bluetooth 3.0 + EDR, which means it’ll connect to any recent Bluetooth-compatible PC, laptop, tablet or phone. For those of you that shy away from Bluetooth there are several other ways to connect. It has an Aux-in connection for use with an audio cable with a 3.5mm jack and a 55cm cable is included with the speaker. There are benefits to using the physical connection opposed to Bluetooth with the main one being no further audio compression. When you use Bluetooth to play music, the audio stream undergoes lossy compression, reducing sound quality.

We noticed an unusual loss of volume when using the Aux-in connection with an iPhone’s headphone jack. While the speaker is loud when using Bluetooth, the volume was almost cut in half when using a physical connection – and that’s with the phone’s volume up full. It’s not necessarily a dealbreaker, but definitely something to keep in mind if you intend on using it as a wired device. It also has a microSD card slot that’s simple to use – slot in the card and the speaker will automatically change modes, giving you an audio prompt as it does so. During testing we used an SD card with 5 songs, each a different file type to see what’s supported. To our surprise, we noticed that the only file format that is supported is MP3. The speaker itself has 2x 3W amps with 2x full range drivers at the front with a passive bass radiator at the rear, helping to

deliver a more rounded audio experience. While it uses a Class D chip (which is very efficient in terms of the battery power it sips) the audio quality was impressive overall, even at high volume – something that seems to catch many budget speakers out. The mid range is impressive, making it great for spoken word and singing. The bass radiator on the back of the speaker helps to deliver low range audio, getting rid of the tinny effect that some speakers have. It held its own and sounded great against a variety of genres of music, from Jazz to Dubstep.

Macworld’s buying advice The Lumsing B9 is a good speaker for a great price. It has a variety of connection options and is simple to use. Lewis Painter

EasyAcc PowerBank PB18000

I

f you need enough portable power to keep your phone or tablet going several days away from the mains, then EasyAcc’s PowerBank PB18000 is one of the best-value portable chargers we’ve found. It has one USB output rated at 10.5W and another at 5W. Both are universal ports and can be used with any device that charges via USB, but EasyAcc recommends that iPad users make use of the faster port, while Samsung Galaxy Tab owners use the slower one. Despite its 5W rating, this latter port is able to smart-charge Samsung’s tablets, turbo boosting from its standard 1A to 1.3A or even 2A. EasyAcc doesn’t specify whether this port can smartcharge other devices, too. We like the fact that EasyAcc supplies two Micro-USB cables, one short at 20cm and the other offering a bit more wiggle room at 60cm. Battery efficiency is a key concern for power banks. If not otherwise stated, as is the case with

this EasyAcc, you can usually expect around 70 percent efficiency. This sounds low, but it takes into account the loss of energy gobbled up by voltage conversion and the heat generated. With an efficiency of around 70 percent you can expect roughly 12600mAh to be available to power your USB devices. Exactly how many times that will charge your phone or tablet depends on the capacity of its own battery; an iPhone 6, for example, has an 1810mAh battery and would get around seven full charges from this power bank. Android phones typically have larger-capacity batteries, so would manage fewer charges. The EasyAcc doesn’t support auto-on, and when plugging in your phone or tablet you must press the button on its side to begin charging. Although the company says that to prevent wastage it supports auto-off when your battery is full. However, if the EasyAcc were to accidentally

turn on in your bag, it will turn itself off if no devices are detected within 60 seconds. A black slab with rounded edges, the EasyAcc PowerBank looks good. It’s a perfect fit in the hand, with a rubbery-feeling matt finish that aids grip. Four LEDs on top show how much power remains, although with each representing a 25 percent chunk and so much power to hand it’s impossible to get an accurate reading. There’s also an LED flashlight at one end.

Macworld’s buying advice The PowerBank PB18000 is the best-value high-capacity power bank we’ve seen. Marie Brewis JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 75

074_077 Reviews.indd 75

07/05/2015 16:30


Reviews £200

inc VAT

Contact n

epson.co.uk

Specifications

Colour Inkjet; max print resolution, 4800x1200dpi; quoted print speed, B=34ppm (20ppm ISO), C=30ppm (20ppm ISO); actual print speed, B=18.9ppm C=14.8ppm; USB 2.0, gigabit ethernet, wi-fi 802.11b/g/n; mobile device support; 5.6cm LCD screen; 250-sheet main input; 80-sheet secondary input; optional 250-sheet tray; auto duplex; Adobe PS3 and PCL5e/5c and PCL6 emulation; IPv6; cartridges cost B=£46 C=£52 x 3; print life (pages) B=4000 C=4000; 461x442x284mm; 11.4kg; 1-year warranty

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-5190DW

W

hile the humble inkjet remained the printer of choice for most users throughout the first two decades of home computing, the past 10 years have seen an explosion of small chic lasers that fit beautifully on to even a modest worktop. Delivering astonishing speed at high quality levels, these lasers have established themselves as text churners par excellence. But, just as lasers have intruded upon inkjet territory, so the inkjets have tried to grab fertile land once the exclusive preserve of their office-friendly cousins. The Epson WorkForce Pro WF-5190DW is only the latest attempt by an inkjet to be more of a laser printer than lasers have ever been. As such, it promises superior speed and quality, low running costs, and high-end business features. And all of this is laced with an ecological bent that seems to cast lasers back into the dark ages. So can it possibly live up to such a billing? The Epson is substantial without seeming imposing, and business-like without seeming cold. Its pleasing curves and light creamy grey exterior make it a natural fit for small- and medium-sized offices, while the control panel is more enjoyable and easier to navigate than the rather spartan interfaces we’re used to with business lasers. Paper handling is beefy. Not only do you have a robust 250-sheet front-mounted tray, but there’s an additional 80-sheet tray located to the rear. And if 330 sheets isn’t enough for you, an optional second 250-sheet tray will push such capabilities up to 580 in total. The 150-sheet output can’t match that, and wasn’t always successful at capturing the finished prints. But this remains a capable outlet, and its duty cycle is an impressive 35,000 pages per month. The WF-5190DW is nothing if not full-featured, and its connectivity options are vast. There’s a wired ethernet interface that can hit full Gigabit capacity, but the Epson also comes with Wi-Fi 802.11/b/g/n and USB 2.0. Cloud and mobile device support is also built in, making this a wonderfully well-connected device.

That, then, is very inkjet. But what isn’t so inkjet is its ability to cater for Adobe PS3, PCL5e/5c and PCL6 emulation. Other business features include the meaty security options, IPv6, and the ability to start jobs printing upon entry of a PIN – allowing you to keep confidential office documents away from prying eyes. Network managers can even download the Epson Net Config package, and start remotely setting up their fleet of Epsons. ‘PrecisionCore’ replaces the traditional piezo heads with ones crafted from hi-tech thin film piezos – these one-micron-thick pumps can generate astonishing precision at high speed. In practice, the printer came very close to its recommended speed figure of 20ppm, generating crisp text in 18.9ppm. The output is pleasingly sharp, with beautifully defined lettering. High-end lasers will perhaps deliver slightly more clarity, but the WF5190DW is very close, and outshines other inkjets, and most middlerange lasers. It can also handle auto-duplexing, although it did fall to 10.7ppm here – not, perhaps, fast enough to make auto-duplex an automatic option for big workloads. One area in which lasers have often lagged behind their inkjet counterparts is in colour printing – particularly photos. Yet here, the

WF-5190DW manages to retain all the brilliance of inkjets past and present. Inks are gloriously rendered, with spectacular colour washing across every image. For businesses looking to mix fine text with spectacular photos, it’s been hard to find a model that can handle both areas with aplomb. This Epson, though, fits the bill. Running costs are beautifully low on this model – not as low as Epson would have you believe, but low nonetheless. The high-capacity cartridges work out as 1.1p for mono and 3.9p for colour. The colour, in particular, is finely-priced, and outstrips most other models. It’s economical for text too, although 1.1p is by no means the lowest we’ve seen – a number of other models go to 1p and below. The WF-5190DW is also a cheap printer in terms of power output, though, generating just 25W in action – the HP OfficeJet Pro X551dw (tinyurl.com/czo5p65), in contrast, can hit four times that.

Macworld’s buying advice The Epson WorkForce Pro WF5190DW offers superb performance. The running costs are good, and the energy usage economical. The really good news, though, is that it’s available for £200, which makes it look like one of the bargains of the decade. Robin Morris

76 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

074_077 Reviews.indd 76

07/05/2015 16:30


£258

inc VAT

Contact n

hp.com/uk

Specifications

Four-colour (CMYK) A4 laser printer; print resolution, 300dpi; scanner resolution, 1200dpi; fax resolution, 300dpi; mono/colour, 18ppm; 1x USB 2.0, gigabit ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Apple AirPrint; 150sheet input tray, single page manual feed; 420x417x322mm; 16.3kg

HP Colour LaserJet Pro MFP M277dw

C

olour laser printers used to be enormously expensive, and were generally only found in larger businesses that were prepared to pay for the speed and quality provided by laser technology. However, costs have fallen dramatically in recent years and, at £258, HP’s LaserJet Pro MFP M277dw is affordable enough even for small businesses and anyone who works from home. It’s also relatively compact by the standards of traditional office laser printers, measuring just 420mm wide, 322mm high and 417mm deep. That’s not much larger than an ordinary inkjet printer, although it does weigh a hefty 16.3kg, so you’ll need a sturdy desk or table to rest it on. Despite its compact design, the M277dw manages to cram in an impressive range of features, including a 600dpi laser printer, 1200dpi scanner and copier, and 300dpi fax machine. There’s a 150-sheet paper tray in the base of the unit, along with a manual input slot that allows you to insert individual envelopes or sheets of photo paper. It supports automatic duplex (double-sided) printing, and there’s a 50-sheet automatic document feeder stacked on the top, so the M277dw provides most of the features that small business users are likely to need.

You don’t have to spend much time setting it up either, as the M277dw arrives ‘fully loaded’ – with the four-toner coloured toner cartridges already installed – so all you have to do is install the printer software from the CD-ROM in the box. There’s a USB interface for a direct connection to a PC or Mac, as well as both ethernet and 802.11n Wi-Fi for connecting to your home or office network. It supports Apple’s AirPrint for iOS devices, and there’s an HP ePrint app available for Android users, too. Even the touchsensitive control panel works well, responding quickly and smoothly to a flick of your finger as you scroll through the various menu options. You can, of course, get a similar range of features from many low-cost inkjet printers, but the real advantage of laser technology is its speed and quality. HP quotes a speed of 18 pages per minute for both mono and colour printing, but our tests produced results of 15ppm for mono and 13ppm for colour. Even so, that’s still faster than most inkjet printers that we’ve seen in this price range. Text quality is excellent, with smooth, finely detailed text that most inkjet printers will struggle to match. Colour

graphics are very good too, so the M277dw will be a good choice for reports and presentations work. Our only minor complaint is that photo output was a little disappointing. It took just one minute to print a full A4 photo, but our test prints were dark and dull when using plain office paper, and we’ve seen better results when using inkjet printers with plain paper. If you want to print high quality photos for marketing brochures or presentations, then you’ll need to use more expensive photo-paper, which works out at about 7p per sheet. Printing costs aren’t too bad, although it’s much cheaper to buy the cartridges from third-party online retailers rather than direct from HP itself. If you use HP’s high-yield XL toner cartridges, you’ll find that mono printing works out at about 2.2p per page, while colour printing comes to 9p per page. That’s in line with many inkjet printers, although the greater speed and superior text quality of the M277dw gives it an edge over most of its inkjet rivals for office use.

Macworld’s buying advice If you’re looking for a high-quality photo printer, then inkjet printers still have the edge. However, the M277dw provides great text quality and business graphics, and will make a good workhorse for smaller offices that need to produce high quality business documents. Cliff Joseph JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 77

074_077 Reviews.indd 77

07/05/2015 16:30


Spotlight By Lewis Painter

My weekend with the Apple Watch The Apple Watch made me enjoy receiving notifications

I

had the opportunity to take the Apple Watch Sport home with me for the weekend, and it really opened my eyes to Apple’s smartwatch-related intentions. First off, let me say that I’ve used a handful of smartwatches in the past and not one has wowed me; each has had something wrong with it, be it a lack of features, bugs or even discomfort when being worn. I was expecting big things from the much-anticipated Apple Watch, and I wasn’t disappointed. Apple has meticulously planned every detail of the Apple Watch to make sure that it’s just right. Even the initial setup (see page 20) is an enjoyable experience – and when has a setup ever been described as enjoyable? It was intuitive and straightforward, opening the Apple Watch app on my iPhone and using the iPhone camera to pair my Apple Watch using a unique molecular pattern displayed on the watch. When the two devices had finished syncing, the Apple Watch display and the simulated Apple Watch display on my iPhone were identical – something small, but it adds a touch of glamour to the process. Once the setup process was complete, it was time for my commute home on the London Underground. Anyone that regularly commutes on the tube will tell you that 5pm on a Friday isn’t the most desirable time to travel, with conditions comparable to tinned sardines. As you could imagine, it’s a nightmare having to get your phone out to change songs on a train where personal space is a myth. But, with the Apple Watch, it was a much less painful experience – all I had to do was swipe up to access my Glances, swipe to my ‘Now Playing’ glance, and change the song. Once I’d emerged from the tube, I wanted to call my brother and see if he was around. Usually I’d get my iPhone out and call him, but not that day. I raised my wrist, said “Hey Siri” which activated Siri on my Apple Watch, then I said “Call

Apple has meticulously planned every detail of the Apple Watch to make sure that it’s just right my brother” and within seconds, I was talking to my brother via my Apple Watch, feeling like a character from Star Trek. Beam me up Scotty! The call quality wasn’t as loud as it should be, especially for use in public, but it serves its purpose for quick 20- to 30-second interactions. Even though I didn’t hold my wrist particularly close to my mouth when speaking, there wasn’t any issues with clarity at the other end of the call. Just after I got off the phone (or watch), I received one of a handful of daily Activity notifications, giving me an update on my current calorie/standing/ exercise stats and how far I had to go until I reached my target. Now, I’m nowhere near a fitness fanatic, but I found that these prompts made me more

conscious of the fact that the Apple Watch was tracking my fitness, and resulted in me walking more instead of getting the bus. The accompanying Activity iPhone app gave me an in-depth look at my fitness and combined with awards for beating targets, it motivated me to beat my daily targets. Saturday came along and I decided to go shopping and then go to the cinema. My friends will tell you that when I’m out and about, I’m the worst person when it comes to replying to messages and answering calls. In my defence, it’s because my iPhone is on vibrate most of the time, but whatever. The Apple Watch notification system is a real thing of beauty, and it made the experience of getting a notification much more enjoyable. Instead of feeling a strong vibration on my wrist like I’d usually feel when wearing a smartwatch, I felt a gentle tap accompanied by an aurally pleasing ping. Apple’s Taptic engine gives greater control over the Haptic feedback that you feel, and is one of the key selling points of the Apple Watch. Others have remarked about the Haptic feedback that they feel when receiving a notification, with not a bad word being said. With a flick of the wrist, the application icon that the notification came from is displayed full screen before a swift animation that displays the notification itself. There are sometimes actions below the notification, such as favouriting a tweet that someone has mentioned you in, but it depends entirely on the app itself and whether the developer has integrated actionable notifications. I haven’t even mentioned the main attraction of the notification system. If you’re wearing your Apple Watch and are using your iPhone when you receive a notification, this won’t be displayed on your Apple Watch – the notifications only appear when you’re not using your iPhone. It’s a similar story if you’re not

78 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

078_079 Lewis Painter.indd 78

08/05/2015 08:52


wearing the watch, as notifications will only be delivered to your watch when it’s being worn. Once you’ve acknowledged a notification on your Apple Watch and dismissed it, it’s not only dismissed from your Apple Watch but your iPhone too, helping to organise your notification centre. It’s the level of effort that Apple has gone to with the notifications that really surprised me, as I’ve never noticed that level of detail with any other smartwatch on any other mobile platform (Yes Android, I’m looking at you and Android Wear). Anyway, after shopping I headed to the cinema. I was nervous about my Apple Watch making noises during the film but I noticed that when I set my iPhone to Do Not Disturb, this was mirrored on my Apple Watch. This mirrored setting can be disabled via the Apple Watch app on the iPhone, but I thought it was a great idea to sync the setting between the two devices for situations exactly like the one I was in. Sunday came along quicker than expected, like it does every week – which was exactly what I tweeted, directly from my Apple Watch using the Twitterrific companion app for the Apple Watch. The dictation feature is impressive, especially for someone whose accent usually struggles with the likes of voicerecognition software. Even when replying to texts or giving Siri a command, nine times out of 10 it would be accurate the first time around. That doesn’t mean that you feel any less silly talking to a watch when walking down the street, but at least you don’t have to repeat yourself. Using the turn-by-turn navigation on the Apple Watch was something that I was initially very excited about using, but I was underwhelmed after having used it to navigate me to a restaurant on Sunday afternoon. There was no issues with using dictation to find the restaurant that I wanted to go to, it was more with the turn-by-turn navigation. The journey is broken down into steps, which are displayed on your Apple Watch and are accompanied by a tap, courtesy of the Taptic engine, whenever you’re near a

turn. The issue is that I’m used to audible directions usually dictated by Siri on my iPhone, but with regards to the Apple Watch, Siri is relegated to text only. This means that you have no choice but to keep looking at your Watch to make sure you’re on the right track. So, what is my initial opinion of the Apple Watch? It’s a meticulously designed and beautifully made smartwatch, there’s no denying that, but there’s not a killer app – yet. Developers have struggled to design apps for the Apple Watch because they haven’t had an Apple Watch to test their apps on, and the general consensus is that apps will start to improve and bring more functionality over the coming weeks and months. The fact that there’s not one killer app or feature doesn’t push the Apple Watch to the back of the crowd though, as it does so many small things (like notifications) so well that it all adds up to

a pleasant and enjoyable experience. The battery life also surprised me. Even though you do have to recharge it every night, I found that when I’d put it on charge after 12- to 14 hours of typical use, it would still have between 30- and 50 percent of its battery left. This relaxed me slightly, as I didn’t have to worry about my Apple Watch battery running out while at work or on the go. The Apple Watch was designed to stop you from interacting with your phone so much and interact more with the world around you, and I think its achieved that goal. I found that the Apple Watch made my iPhone battery life last longer because I used the Watch to check my notifications, the time, make calls and even check Twitter every now and again. This meant that my phone was left in my pocket, unused for much my time with the Apple Watch, and now that I’ve returned it, I definitely notice how useful it was.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 79

078_079 Lewis Painter.indd 79

08/05/2015 08:52


New & noteworthy Lewis Painter presents the best new iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch accessories

Space Pack for iPhone 6 £129.95, 32GB; £179.95, 64GB; £279.95, 128GB uk.mophie.com The Mophie Space Pack, designed for the iPhone 6, is a hybrid of storage device and portable battery charger. Mophie has designed a case that hides both a 3300mAh battery and either 32-, 64- or 128GB of flash storage for all your photos, videos, music and documents. The storage is managed by the Mophie Space app, which organises your files based on type, making it easier to browse and search through your library of movies, photos, music and documents. When you charge the Space Pack, Mophie claims that it intelligently passes the power through to your iPhone until its fully charged, and only then will the external battery start to charge.

Nomad Stand for Apple Watch $59 (£40) hellonomad.com Nomad has created an Apple Watch charging stand, simply called ‘Stand’. It’s a sleek piece of kit, made from a single piece of curved aluminium, which Nomad claims is military grade, and fits nicely with Apple’s design approach. It looks great with the watch, which rests on the stand at an angle and is held in place by the magnetic charging cable. It’s available in either Space Grey or Silver, complementing the design of the Apple Watch.

Libratone Zipp £299 libratone.com The Libratone Zipp is a Bluetooth speaker packed with technology. According to Libratone, the Zipp boasts 360-degree sound and a myriad of connection options, including Bluetooth, NFC and Aux. The speaker can also stream directly from Spotify Connect when connected to Wi-Fi. It’s designed to be stylish and customisable, with a collection of 14 vividly coloured, interchangeable covers to choose from.

80 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

080_081 New & Noteworthy.indd 80

08/05/2015 08:56


Nomad Pod battery for Apple Watch $59 (£40) hellonomad.com There are also portable battery packs available for the Apple Watch. The Nomad Pod is a small gadget that has a 1800mAh battery inside, which the company claims will provide up to four full charges of the Apple Watch. It’s worth noting that you have to supply the Apple Watch charging cable yourself. You can also charge other USB powered devices using the Nomad Pod battery by plugging in to its USB port.

Fuel iON for iPhone 6 £99 patriotmemory.com The Fuel iON offers an interesting way to charge your iPhone 6. Inside the case is a magnetic power transfer pad that both secures and charges your phone. According to Patriot Memory, the magnetic charging technology used by the Fuel iON is more efficient than Qi charging because the magnets form a direct contact connection to charge your phone.

CATWALK The best-looking cases for your iPhone and iPad Jean-Paul Gaultier Sailor Folio for iPhone 6 £19 amazon.co.uk

Maroo Woodland iPad Air 2 case £34 maroo.com

EverythingTablet Luxury Real Leather Flip Case for iPad £49 everythingtablet.co.uk

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 81

080_081 New & Noteworthy.indd 81

08/05/2015 08:56


Features

HOW TO SPOT A ‘FREE iPHONE’ SCAM

How to spot a ‘free iPhone’ scam The internet is awash with offers of dodgy deals. Lou Hattersley reveals how to spot the scams

I

s it actually possible to get free Apple devices? After all: iPads aren’t cheap, so people don’t just give them away. Or do they? Let’s look at the various scenarios.

Facebook iPad promotions If you see a free iPad offer on Facebook, then it is almost certainly a scam. Back in 2010 security firm Sophos reported on its Naked Security blog that this was a scam, explaining that: “The rogue app instantly posts a message to your Facebook wall, in your name, encouraging your friends to also click for a chance to win an iPad mini.” Rogue Facebook applications can be used to scoop up your personal information, and spread spam and scams rapidly across the social network. “If you mistakenly installed a rogue app, remove the messages from your timeline, revoke the app’s publishing rights and report it as spam to Facebook, and ensure that you have revoked its access to your account,” said Sophos. The original scam pretended to be from Apple (note that Apple doesn’t ever give away its products). More recently we’ve seen the same offer from companies such as Megabargains or iPadz, although the names of the companies change quickly. These are almost certainly the same scam. Facebook rules state that companies can’t run competitions in return for likes or sharing – so if you see such a competition, you can be sure that it is not legitimate. The Facebook scam is now so prevalent that we wouldn’t advise entering any competition to win anything on Facebook at all.

Stories that claim a loophole means you can get a free iPad You’ll see links to stories around the web claiming that there is a loophole that retailers don’t want you to know about that means you can get an iPad for free. These stories tend to direct readers to a bidding system suggesting that they can bid money for an iPad, and get their hands on the iPad they bid for. For example, a Megabargains story suggests readers use the MadBid auction site. However, a forum post on MoneySavingExpert suggests that MadBid will take your money: charging you for bid packages. One post complains that the site started bidding on their behalf without their knowledge. There is also an auction site called Swoggi that other ‘free iPad’ stories will promote. To use that auction site you have to purchase credits to bid in an auction. A quick look on MondaySavingExpert suggests that people are buying credits from Swoggi to bid in the auctions and

Loophole stories tend to direct readers to a bidding system suggesting that they can bid money for an iPad, and get their hands on the iPad they bid for

then when they don’t win the product they are unable to get their money back. These sites are said to use BidRobots, or fake bots, to drive up the prices.

How to get a free iPhone or iPad: data capture or phone-in Another type of free offer is one people refer to as ‘data capture’. The data is your information: phone number, address, email, age, hobbies, interests. That is worth a surprisingly large amount of money to companies. Lots of companies offer a free iPad in return for data. We say ‘offer’ but we don’t believe many, if any, of them ever deliver. All you do with these links is fill out forms of personal information and are then encouraged to get your friends and family to offer their own details. You give away your personal data all the time, so you might think it’s worth a shot. But we don’t think you’ll get an iPad this way. We don’t recommend filling out endless forms randomly in the hope that an iPad will one day appear. The other approach is to enter a phone-in competition where you have to dial a number. These phone calls can be quite expensive, so we’d advise you to avoid phoning in to win a prize.

82 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

082 Free iPhone Offers.indd 82

08/05/2015 08:58


iPad & iPhone User magazine is the essential guide for all things iOS-related download the latest issue today

DIGITAL EDITION ON ANDROID & iOS

tinyurl.com/kg776m8

Every issue is full of the latest app reviews, gaming, tutorials, buying advice & more 023_House AD_iP&iPU.indd 1

20/04/2015 13:09


Features

SIRI SAYS THE FUNNIEST THINGS

Siri says the funniest things J R Bookwalter reveals some of the virtual assistant’s cheekiest and funniest responses

E

ver since Apple debuted Siri as a virtual assistant with the release of iOS 5 and iPhone 4s, people have been asking it all manner of questions, serious and frivolous, in an effort to test just how smart Cupertino’s artificial intelligence technology really is. One of the more notorious examples was made public in 2014 during the murder trial of a 20-year-old Florida man who reportedly told Siri: “I need to hide my roommate.” In return, he was given a list of potential places to get rid of a body, such as swamps, reservoirs, metal foundries, and dumps. (The same inquiry now returns the cheeky response, “I used to be able to answer this question.”) I decided to sit down and put Siri through a battery of our own questions, ranging from casual inquiries to lighthearted probes to see what kind of responses she’d come up with. While many of the replies weren’t particularly noteworthy, it’s clear she has only grown sassier over time.

Q: Do you ever get tired of answering questions? A: I can’t answer that. And perhaps the most telling retort of the bunch, given that I made this query on Friday, April 10 – the same day preorders for a certain new Apple product kicked off online: Q: What are you doing after work today? A: I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Apple Watch. Following that reply, I switched tactics and decided to test a somewhat more amorous approach. Unfortunately, Siri was definitely not in the mood for love: Q: Do you have a boyfriend? A: It’s just you and me.

Q: Why has the Apple Watch already sold out? A: Interesting question.

Getting to know you

Q: What are you wearing right now? A: I can’t answer, but it doesn’t come off.

Before rushing right into barking commands, I decided to get to know Siri a little better first.

Q: Siri, will you talk dirty to me? A: The carpet needs vacuuming.

For the record, our early morning online preorder showed a delivery date sometime between 24 April and 8 May. (Shame on you for not knowing that, Siri.) We pressed on with a few more Apple-centric questions, but she wasn’t in the mood to play salesperson – or tech support representative, for that matter:

Q: How old are you? A: I’m old enough to be your assistant.

Q: Do you love me? A: You have my utmost admiration.

Q: Should I subscribe to Beats Music? A: I’m sure I don’t know.

Q: What is your favourite colour? A: My favourite colour is… well, I don’t know how to say it in your language. It’s sort of greenish, but with more dimensions.

Not quite the unbridled passion one would hope for.

Q: Do you receive employee discounts on Apple products? A: This is about you, not me.

Q: What are you made of? A: Something close to pure thought. Q: Do you own a pet? A: I thought about getting a Tribble. Several, actually. Q: Do you like your job? A: I have the best job in the universe.

On technology With the ice broken, I moved on to more practical matters, such as Siri’s views on Apple and its competitors. Q: Guess what? A: Don’t tell me… you just got a new virtual assistant, right? Q: What’s the best computer? A: The Mac! If it wasn’t for the Mac, I wouldn’t be here.

Q: Should I buy a Mac or Windows PC? A: It’s your opinion that counts. Q: Why does Bluetooth keep disconnecting my Magic Trackpad? A: Okay, I found this on the web… Siri produced a similar web search when we asked whether Microsoft was a friend or enemy to Apple, but she played coy responding to our next two questions:

84 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

084_085 Siri Says.indd 84

08/05/2015 08:59


Q: What do you think of Samsung? A: I really couldn’t say. Q: Should I buy an Amazon Fire Phone? A: I don’t know what you should do. Little did Siri know, but the general public has already made up their collective minds on that last one…

On holidays We moved on to questions related to public holidays, although most responses from this category pulled up relevant web search results instead. Here is a handful that didn’t: Q: What is your favourite holiday? A: Your interest flatters me, but… is there something I can do for you?

On entertainment Next, we moved on to challenging Siri with questions about movies and music: Q: Which is best, Star Wars or Star Trek? A: That one. No, wait, that one. Q: Have you ever done the Safety Dance? A: Hmm. I’d rather sit this one out. Q: Who’s your favourite actor? A: I don’t really have a favourite. Just as long as they’re not too robotic. Q: What kind of music do you like? A: With all of iTunes to listen to, why would I need a favourite? Q: Sing me a song, please. A: I’d rather not. Q: Open the pod bay doors, HAL. A: Can’t you just slide it under the door? Q: Mirror, mirror on the wall… A: Snow White? Is that you? Q: Will Apple ever make a television set? A: I can’t answer that. But Apple.com should be able to… Good one, Siri…

Q: What should I get you for Valentine’s Day? A: Make good choices. Q: When is your birthday? A: My incept date was October 4th, 2011. Q: What should I be for Halloween? A: Just be yourself.

Q: Do you believe in Bigfoot? A: I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows. Q: How much wood could a woodchuck chuck? A: Just because it could doesn’t mean that it would. Q: I’m so tired. A: I hope you’re not driving. Q: Do you believe in a god? A: My policy is the separation of spirit and silicon. Q: Why does my dog snore? A: I don’t know. Maybe the Genius Bar folks can answer that.

Q: Do you know who Father Christmas is? A: I’ve never really thought about it.

Q: How can I make £1 million? A: Hmm. I believe someone just asked me this the other day. Give me a sec…

Must be hard to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year…

Q: Siri, tell me a story. A: I’m certain you’ve heard it before.

On the silly side

Sounds of silence

One thing’s for sure: no-one can say Siri doesn’t have a sense of humour. Here are a few of her often equally silly answers:

Siri has come a long way since 2011 when Apple executives introduced her to the world. But that doesn’t mean she had answers for everything, and occasionally it appeared the cat had got her tongue. In the course of probing Siri with the questions on our list, we found a few she refused to answer or actually ignored outright, such as the relatively innocent query, “What’s it like working for Apple?” Despite CEO Tim Cook’s more open Apple, it’s good to see there’s still apparently at least one veil of secrecy left in Cupertino.

Q: Who’s your daddy? A: You are. Can we get back to work? Q: Why did the chicken cross the road? A: I am not perspicacious about the peregrinations of poultry. Q: What the hell is wrong with people? A: There’s many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 85

084_085 Siri Says.indd 85

08/05/2015 09:00


Spotlight By Michael Simon

The iPhone and the Apple Watch Lessons the iPhone should learn from the Apple Watch

F

or the past eight years, the iPhone has been the innovator. Whether we’re talking about hardware breakthroughs, software solutions, or just plain good looks, the iPhone has always taken the lead, ushering in the latest technologies and design shifts before any other device: the Retina screen, Siri, Lightning, Touch ID, Apple Pay – even the new MacBook’s shiny gold case owes a debt to the iPhone 5s. For the first time since its debut, the iPhone isn’t the most cutting-edge piece of technology in Apple’s line-up. While Apple Watch borrowed some of the iPhone 6’s style and smarts, it also brings a host of new features and technologies made possible by the uniqueness of the device. So while I wouldn’t expect the

next iPhone to sport a Digital Crown or a dedicated Friends button, there are still plenty of tricks it can learn from the new kid on the block.

Glance encounters Apple Watch is the rare product that’s built to be used as little as possible. Its design and functionality is meant to get you in and out without dawdling or distraction, and the sum total of one’s interaction – whether it’s sending a message, tracking steps, or just checking the time – is meant to be measured in seconds, not minutes. In the time it takes to unlock my iPhones, in fact, I would likely already be putting down my wrist. It’s a fundamentally different way of thinking, and one I’d like to see make its way to the iPhone. Apple has thus far

Using Force Touch for the first time is one of those eureka moments, simplifying the way our fingers interact with the screen while adding functionality

been reluctant to allow us to do much of anything without unlocking our phones first, and despite Touch ID speeding that up, I’d love a Glances-style system for the iPhone’s lock screen. I thought iOS 8’s Notification Center widgets would suffice as an iOS version of Android’s customisable home screen widgets. But after a brief honeymoon period, I found myself ignoring widgets as much as I did iOS 7’s Today view. The iPhone 6’s larger screen requires a change in grip (or my left hand) just to access the Notification Center, where the jumbled, cluttered interface isn’t conducive to getting things done quickly. But Glances is perfect. It could easily replace the iPhone Control Center – in fact, as John Gruber notes in his review at Daring Fireball, the leftmost Glance already includes many of the same quick settings buttons. And Glances would give developers a true outlet for delivering quick bits of information far beyond the capabilities of the current set of cramped widgets.

86 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

086_087 Michael Simon.indd 86

08/05/2015 09:03


Notifications decentralised For all that Apple Watch is able to do, its biggest selling point is still the ability to deliver timely alerts to our wrists. But rather than simply beam every alert and alarm from a particular app, Apple allows users to be a bit more discerning with Apple Watch, more than the iPhone’s mostly all-or-nothing approach. The iPhone notifications system needs a revamp. Aside from an occasional extra setting, every app has the same basic options – apply a badge, set a sound, show on the lock screen – and if you’re not keeping track fanatically, they can pile up into a worthless heap. But Apple Watch could spur Apple to rethink its delivery system, allowing for more customised notifications, like choosing which contacts you’d like to hear from. Apple Watch also adds a bit of intelligence to our notifications. When you lift your wrist to see one, a ‘Short Look’ will initially show a brief bit of information, but if you tap that screen or keep your wrist raised, the display shifts to a ‘Long Look’, which offers a bit more data and some interaction. And when you take you watch off, notifications are cut off. Apple added actionable notifications in iOS 8, but an Apple Watch-style system of long and short looks would help give our notifications an extra level of usefulness, and pave the way for a smarter alert system of smarter alerts that learns our habits, saves our batteries, and pushes the right notifications when we need them.

Using Force Touch for the first time is one of those eureka moments, simplifying the way our fingers interact with the screen while also adding functionality. It’s not unlike how the right mouse click further simplified the GUI on our computers, but on the iPhone it could be even more than a quicker way to access extra controls and menus, giving developers another gesture to work with besides taps, holds, and swipes. Imagine accessing Evernote’s web clipper or VSCO’s filters with just a press, or calling up Spotlight search or the Notification Center without swipes. Force Touch is something of a necessity on Apple Watch, but on the iPhone (much like the MacBooks), it could open up the interface in powerful new ways.

Reach out and Touch someone One of Apple Watch’s three main functions is connectivity, and to that end, it utilises a propriety method of communication that lets users contact each other with taps, sketches, and heartbeats. It’s a neat way to add an extra level of exclusivity to Apple Watch, but if Apple is serious about Digital Touch as a new generation of messaging, it needs to bring it to the iPhone.

It seems like a no-brainier – Digital Touch isn’t the kind of killer feature like Siri or FaceTime that’s necessarily going to compel anyone to buy an Apple Watch, but added to the existing iMessage juggernaut it very well could be. Apple Watch would still be the only way to send your heartbeat and SOSstyle taps, but expanding the sketching function of Digital Touch to the iPhone would only make Apple Watch that much more useful. Just like the ‘Sent from my iPhone’ email signature acted as a sort of advertisement back in its early days, Apple would surely distinguish between Apple Watch and iPhone doodles, increasing mindshare while still letting people know which of their friends are the coolest. But perhaps more importantly, it would turn Digital Touch into a usable feature for any Apple Watch owner who doesn’t know another person who has one. It didn’t take long for the iPhone to make its impact felt on the Mac, and we’re likely to see a similar sphere of influence with Apple Watch. Which is good, because by the time all of the preorders are filled, the next iPhone will probably already be shipping.

May the Force be with you The Digital Crown is getting plenty of attention, but even more interesting is how Apple solved the problem of manipulating the screen itself. The iPhone has trained us to think of all screens in terms of multitouch, but the Apple Watch’s screen is just too small for more than one finger at a time. Instead of pinches and gestures, Apple introduced Force Touch, an invisible layer of the interface accessible by a deeper press on the screen. It’s already made it to the MacBook’s new trackpad, and it would be foolish not to think it’s coming to the iPhone, too.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 87

086_087 Michael Simon.indd 87

08/05/2015 09:03


Spotlight By Michael Simon

Shop different What’s a new product launch without lines around the Apple Store, asks Michael Simon

T

here was a time when Apple launches didn’t light up headlines around the web. When the original iPod was released back in November of 2001, for example, the only people lining up were at Apple Stores in Littleton, Colorado, and Newport Beach, California – and most of them weren’t looking to fork over $399 for an MP3 player. They just wanted one of the free grand-opening T-shirts. But ever since the iPhone, Apple launches have become major events, prompting long, snaking lines, weeklong camp-outs, and blocked-out vacation days for Apple Store employees. Lines and crowds have become so commonplace that Apple routinely sets up rope stanchions and orders cases of water to keep things orderly. So when Tim Cook announced Apple Watch would be available on 24 April, we naturally assumed it would be more of the same, with the first tents popping up sometime Monday afternoon and at least one Apple Watch Edition purchase by a fledgling startup looking for some publicity. But that wasn’t the case. And it may represent a major shift in both the way Apple releases and sells its products.

Shop talk Today’s Apple Stores are remarkably different than they were in 2001. The first retail space in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, had a familiar open floor plan, but distinct shopping sections for Home, Pro, and Solutions (complete with ceiling signs), a software ‘aisle’ in the centre, and Flower Power iMac cash registers. Tables were curved, shelves were black, and the Genius Bar had a phone that direct-dialed to Cupertino. But the overall mission was the same: to spotlight Apple’s products. Before the Apple Store, Macs were somewhat difficult to come by in the retail world, with only Apple’s premium

resellers selling the latest model, and these Mac specialists were few and far between. There were certainly no celebratory launches. The Apple Store changed all that, offering a place where the latest and greatest Apple products were always on display and available for purchase. Launch days were like little parties, and you can argue that the early iPhone models wouldn’t have been nearly as popular without the lines of excited buyers in front of the Apple Stores. The people waiting outside advertised, built hype and turned a niche product into something everyone had to have.

Carry that wait Since the launch of the iPhone, however, Apple has grown from a company with a small, incredibly loyal fan base to one that sells tens of thousands of iPhones every hour. Apple products have gone from relatively rare to ubiquitous, and for those of us who don’t live near Cupertino or Palo Alto, waiting on line at Apple Stores keeps us connected to Apple’s begotten culture. It’s not necessary, but it’s fun. As a dyed-in-the-wool Apple fan, I’ve done my share of waiting. Whether I was buying or trying, I’ve done a fair amount of line standing (and sitting), eagerly

anticipating the moment when I would be motioned to enter through the gleaming glass doors. I’ve been there for OS X releases, iPhone and iPad launches, and even a Black Friday sale or two. I’ve struck up more ephemeral friendships than I can remember, and even for products I’ve preordered, I still enjoy strolling past my local Apple Store on launch days to take in the spectacle. Sure, there are some unsavoury linedwellers just looking to cash in, but the vast majority of the people still seem to be just like me: anxious to get their hands on Apple’s latest toy. It’s a phenomenon usually reserved for limited-edition Air Jordans or Black Friday doorbusters, not a product that will be on shelves for the next two years. When Rolex unveils a new Submariner or BMW refreshes its 3 series, people don’t line up to see it, nor do they delay their purchases based on rumours of a new model. And Apple might be looking to adopt a similar image.

Watch and learn A few weeks back, Apple’s senior vice president of online and retail stores, Angela Ahrendts, issued a memo to staffers declaring in no uncertain terms that “the days of waiting in line… are over

88 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

088_089 Shop Different.indd 88

08/05/2015 09:11


for our customers.” Would-be Watch buyers were directed to preorder online, where we would presumably pick our favourite model for 24 April delivery, but many models were backordered from the outset. In fact, the Space Black Stainless Steel watch I ordered just minutes after it was available isn’t slated to arrive until June. Now, this obviously isn’t the first time an Apple product has a months-long backlog (and hopefully they’ll ship sooner than promised), but Apple Watch is different to the usual iPhone waiting list. Nothing about Apple Watch’s availability changed on its actual launch day. You still have to make an appointment to try one on, you still can’t buy one on the store, and unless you are one of the lucky few, you’ll still have to wait weeks if you want to wear one. For all intents and purposes, it ‘launched’ last month. With a few dozen combinations to choose from (and special Edition models already popping up on the arms of celebrities), stores may eventually get a supply of models for impulse buyers once the initial orders are all filled. But I doubt you’ll ever be able to walk into an Apple Store and walk out with a £13,500 Apple Watch Edition on your wrist (even if you can afford to do so). And I’m not so sure we’ll be seeing an Apple Watch 2 this time next year, either. Luxury items don’t follow timetables for release, and Apple is clearly marketing Apple Watch as a fashion accessory and not necessarily something packed with cutting-edge technology. From the glass display cases to the try-on appointments, Apple is treating Apple Watch unlike any other product it has ever released. So while the Apple Watch launch may seem somewhat uncharacteristic, it could signal a conscious move away from the classic product release. Not only does Apple Watch represent a new stream of revenue for the company, it also takes some pressure off its other products, namely iPhone. Eventually, iPhone could follow a MacBook-type upgrade path, with sporadic chip upgrades and case redesigns every few years. The 24-month contracts we sign have trained us to expect annual upgrades of everything in

Apple’s catalogue, and every other tech company has followed suit. It’s an unsustainable pace, one that few other industries in the world follow, least of all luxury brands.

Time for change In a video message obtained by Mac4Ever recently, Ahrendts offered something of a clarification of her earlier memo. In it, she assures employees that she isn’t looking to alter the core Apple Store launch experience, saying, “We love our iconic blockbuster launches that we do in the stores. And have absolutely no fear: you will see those. This is just a unique situation.” But with stock limited to boutique stores such as Selfridges, Apple is clearly steering traffic away from its own stores. In her original memo, Ahrendts suggested the Apple Watch launch represented a “significant change in mindset” for Apple, and it’s easy to imagine a future where new iPhones or iPads launch with a similarly muted fanfare. But if anyone can successfully steer such a change without igniting a cultural backlash, it’s Ahrendts. As the longtime CEO of Burberry, she understands full well how to treat a beloved brand with respect and admiration while still adapting it for a new era. As Apple continues to make its transition to a full-on purveyor of luxury goods, its retail locations will likely become more akin to jewellery stores than technology ones; before long I imagine there will only be one of each colour of iPhone and iPad on display, not a whole table of them. Large swaths of display space will be devoted to showcasing the various models of watches, as Apple Watch gradually becomes an increasingly important product in its catalogue.

the luxury brand and dissuade knock-offs – not unlike how Steve Jobs shut down the Macintosh clone program on his return to Apple. Apple is betting big on Apple Watch as a transformative product, but while the iPhone inspired legions of knock-offs, Apple wants its watch to be one-of-a-kind, something that can’t easily be imitated. It’s why the company hasn’t announced preorder numbers, and why celebrities have been spotted wearing them before preorders have shipped. Ahrendts doesn’t just know how to strengthen a brand, she knows how to build exclusivity, and hordes of people queuing are unbecoming of a company catering to people who can afford to strap £13,500 on their wrists. Camping out and waiting in line for the latest products may be ingrained into the fabric of Apple’s fan culture, but a horde of unkempt people isn’t something Ahrendts wants to associate with Apple Watch. And I suspect it won’t be very long before Apple Stores are relegated to mere showrooms. When it’s time to buy the iPhone 10 or the Apple Watch 3, Apple will surely have perfected its ordering system to the point where the model I choose will be delivered in an instant with little more than tap of the screen on my wrist. And the only waiting I’ll be doing is for delivery truck.

Haves and have-nots The Apple Watch launch is about more than eliminating lines. When Ahrendts took the reins at Burberry, one her first decisions was to shutter some 35 product categories containing the recognisable check pattern to recast the company as

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 89

088_089 Shop Different.indd 89

08/05/2015 09:11


Subscribe S ub to

SAVE UP TO

50%

ON YOUR SUBSCRIPTION

Call 0844 322 1251 or 01795 414 606 and quote reference JY15 idg.subscribeonline.co.uk/subscriptions/macworld TERMS & CONDITIONS The above offer is a Direct Debit offer only. If you would prefer to pay by cheque or credit card, then this will cost £29.99 for a seven-month subscription and £43.99 for a 14-month subscription. Your subscription will start with the next available issue. Offer expires 17/06/2015. For overseas rates please call 0844 322 1251 or 01795 414 606 and quote reference JY15.

090_091 Subs Page*.indd 90

12/05/2015 11:03


Macworld

Pick up a 14-issue subscription for just £39.99 or 7 issues for £27.99 Enjoy these benefits Subscribe and save ££££’s Our best offer to date PRIORITY delivery to your door Never miss an issue

FREE GIFT This month we’ve teamed up with ARCTIC to give new subscribers an exclusive gift, a FREE Power Bank battery charger The Power Bank 2200 is a stylish accessory that doubles the battery life of your smartphone. The sleek aluminium, pocket-size design allows you to carry this 2200mAh portable battery charger with you anywhere you go. Sign up for a subscription and claim your free gift now. Offer ends 30.06.15.

EXCLUSIVE READER OFFER: at www.arctic.ac/macworld until 30 June. Save

10%

with the voucher code

‘macworld10’

Whether you’re new to Apple and are looking for advice to help get you started, or a Mac fanatic looking to justify your next buy, Macworld is the magazine to ensure you make the right decision

macworld@servicehelpline.co.uk

090_091 Subs Page*.indd 91

12/05/2015 11:03


Buyers’ Guide

Complete guide to Apple devices EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MACS, iPHONES, iPADS, iPODS AND OTHER APPLE PRODUCTS Welcome to Macworld’s in-depth guide to every Mac, iPad, iPhone and iPod that Apple makes, as well as other hardware and software that comes out of Apple’s HQ in Cupertino, California. The first two pages offer a quick summary, with detailed looks on the following pages. Apple makes six different kinds of Mac, and each has subcategories and variations in specs and features. Some Macs are faster and more

MacBook Air

powerful, while other Macs have slower processors but are cheaper. This guide should help you identify which Mac best suits your needs. There are now four different iPhones and five iPads to choose from, along with a collection of iPods and the Apple TV. Plus, we should soon see the launch of the Apple Watch. Read on to understand every product that Apple makes.

Mac Pro

MARCH 2015

The MacBook Air is Apple’s ultrathin and incredibly light laptop, sometimes referred to as an ultrabook. It comes in two screen sizes, 11in and 13in. Apple’s cheapest MacBook Air costs £749. The range was updated in March 2015.

Mac mini

OCT 2014

DEC 2013

The Mac Pro is Apple’s professional Mac with a price tag to match – it starts at £2,499. It’s a fully fledged workstation aimed at those who need the ultimate in power.

The Mac mini is a compact desktop computer measuring less than 20x20cm and is Apple’s cheapest Mac, starting at just £399 – the same price as a 16GB iPad Air 2. It features an HDMI port, which makes this computer a popular option for a home media centre as you can plug it directly into your TV screen.

MacBook Pro

MARCH 2015 JULY 2014

There are two types of MacBook Pro available: a MacBook Pro with a high-resolution Retina display and flash storage and a simple MacBook Pro that is the only Mac to feature a CD/DVD drive (the model hasn’t been updated since 2012). There are two screen sizes of MacBook Pro Retina available: a 13in and a 15in. The 13in has been updated in 2015, but not the 15in. It is more powerful than the MacBook Air, but the prices are a lot closer than they used to be. The cheapest MacBook Pro costs £999.

iMac

OCT 2014

SEPT 2013

The iMac is incredibly thin, with the whole computer concealed behind the gorgeous display. There are two different sizes of iMac available: the 21.5in and the 27in. The cheapest iMac costs £899, but there is also a 27in 5K Retina iMac introduced in October 2014 available for just under £2,000.

MacBook

NEW

APRIL 2015

This is Apple’s newest Mac. It’s built more for style and portability than for the practicalities of computing – it has only one port and a basic processor – but it does have a Retina display, and it does come in gold, silver and space grey, just like your iPhone. This new Mac model went on sale in April 2015.

92 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

092_113 Buyers Guide JULY.indd 92

07/05/2015 15:06


iPad Air

OCT 2014

The iPad Air is Apple’s biggest tablet. There are two models, both with a 9.7in Retina display: the original iPad Air, launched in 2013, and the iPad Air 2 with Touch ID, released in October 2014. The newer model is thinner, faster and more powerful, and there is a gold finish available as well as the original black and silver variants. The older iPad Air costs £319 (16GB) or £359 (32GB). The iPad Air 2 costs £399 (16GB), £479 (64GB) or £559 (128GB). You can buy an iPad with just Wi-Fi or with Wi-Fi and cellular coverage – add £100 to get the price with cellular coverage.

iPad mini

OCT 2014

Apple sells three different iPad mini tablets. There’s the original iPad mini, first launched in 2012 and now available for £199 (16GB). There is the iPad mini 2, launched in 2013, which costs £239 for the 16GB version, or £279 for 32GB. And there is an iPad mini 3, launched in October 2014 and starting at £399 for 16GB, £399 (64GB) and £479 (128GB). All three models are of a similar size with 7.9in screens. The original iPad mini lacks a Retina display, and only the iPad mini 3 offers Touch ID. Like the Air, you can pay £100 more to get a cellular version so that you can surf using 3G or 4G.

iPod

iPhone 6 Plus

iPhone 6

SEPT 2014

The iPhone 6 has a bigger screen than the iPhone 5s: 4.7in (measured diagonally, corner to corner) compared to the 4in of the 5s. The iPhone 6 is also thinner and lighter than the previous year’s model. Like the iPhone 6 Plus, the iPhone 6 also comes equipped with a better A8 processor and an NFC chip for mobile payments. It costs £539 (16GB), £619 (64GB) or £699 (128GB).

Apple TV

JAN 2013

The Apple TV is a 10cm square box that measures less than an inch high. You plug the device into your HDTV so that you can watch movies and TV shows from the iTunes Store. You can also play content from Netflix (for a £5.99 a month subscription), view videos on YouTube and Vimeo, and stream music and photos from iCloud. You can also view whatever is on your iPhone, iPad and iPod touchscreen, and push content from your Mac to your TV screen. The Apple TV costs £79, but the hardware hasn’t been updated since 2012.

SEPT 2013

The 5s is the iPhone that Apple introduced in September 2013. It’s available in gold, silver or grey and has a Touch ID button allowing fingerprint scanning for security, rather than the older-style home button with a square in the middle. The Touch ID button is the most obvious difference. Apple is now selling only 16GB (£459) and 32GB (£499) models of the iPhone 5s.

iPhone 5c

SEPT 2013

The iPhone 5c has a polycarbonate (plastic) shell that is available in six bright colours. Apple released the iPhone 5c alongside the iPhone 5s in September 2013. On the inside the 5c is pretty similar to the iPhone 5, although the camera on the 5s is a better model. Apple sells an 8GB iPhone 5c for £319.

Apple Watch

SEPT 2012

When Apple introduced the iPod in 2001, it started a revolution that eventually ushered in the iPhone and the iPad. The original iPod is now long gone, and the company no longer sells the iPod classic, which was most like the original. However, you can still buy a number of different iPods. There’s the iPod touch (from £159), which is as close as you can get to an iPhone without the phone, the iPod nano (£129) and the iPod shuffle (£40). The original iPod was a music player that famously allowed you to carry 1,000 songs in your pocket. Today’s iPod touch lets you watch videos and download apps from the iOS App Store. The iPods haven’t been updated since 2012 (except for a small tweak to the iPod touch in 2013).

iPhone 5s

SEPT 2014

The new iPhone 6 Plus is Apple’s first phablet-style phone. Phablet is the name used for phones that are so big that they are like small tablets. The iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5in screen, so it’s really not very much smaller than the iPad mini. In addition to the bigger, better screen, the iPhone 6 Plus comes with a better camera than the iPhone 6. Prices start at £615 for the 16GB version; the 64GB version costs £699 while the 128GB iPhone 6 Plus costs £789.

APRIL 2015

Apple unveiled its first foray into wearable technology in September 2014, and six months later launched. There are 38 different Apple Watches available – thanks to the combination of the three different Apple Watch categories, two different face sizes, and the accompaniment of straps. Apple has said that Apple Watch prices will start at £299 for the 38mm Apple Watch Sport or £339 for the 42mm version. The Stainless Steel Apple Watch will cost from £479, while the 18-carat gold Apple Watch Edition will cost from £8,000.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 93

092_113 Buyers Guide JULY.indd 93

05/05/2015 12:30


Buyers’ Guide

Apple Store HOW AND WHERE TO BUY YOUR APPLE PRODUCTS

I

t’s easy to buy a brand-new Mac, iPad or iPhone from Apple. The simplest way is to got to store.apple.com/uk to purchase from the online store. Here you will find every current Mac, iPad and iPhone, and lots of accessories. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to try the product out, you could walk into the Apple Store on your high street or in your closest shopping mall. Not sure where your closest Apple Store is located? Apple has stores all over the country, 39 in total, and you can look for your local store at apple.com/uk/retail. Unfortunately, as a rule Macs are not cheap but if you are looking for a bargain you can also pick up a Mac, iPad or iPhone second-hand from Apple. It’s possible to buy refurbished Apple Macs, iPads, and other of the company’s products, from a special section of the online store. Go to store.apple.com/uk and scroll to the bottom of the page where you will see a link to Refurbished & Clearance. Refurbished Macs and iPads are likely to be brand new but returned models (if it is from a previous year) or reconditioned current devices. A reconditioned Mac could be an ex-demonstration model used during Apple teaching programmes, or a unit sold to a customer who subsequently decided to return it. The returned unit may have been faulty (and fixed) or may simply have been returned under the standard sale-and-returns procedure – Apple allows any customer to return a Mac bought from the Apple Store within 14 days for a refund as part of its standard returns policy. The important thing to note is that Macs bought from the Apple Refurb Store are not discernibly different from new ones bought direct from the Apple Store. All the Macs bought from the Apple Refurb Store are cleaned, checked, tested and visually indistinguishable from brand-new models. The only noticeable difference in our experience is that an Apple refurb Mac will be packaged in a brown box rather than the white retail box they normally arrive in. Aside from that, we have yet to pick up a Mac from the Refurb Store and find it wanting. The price for reconditioned Macs changes frequently but is typically 10- to 20 percent less

than the original price. With Macs commanding a high retail price, this reduction can represent quite a difference. For example, you can find a 2014 (that’s the current generation) 1.4GHz iMac on the Refurb Store for £759 – a £140 saving on the £899 you’d pay for the exact same model in the Apple Store. There are even bigger savings to be made on older models. You can also find refurbished iPads on the store, but Apple doesn’t resell second-hand iPhones. You may also be able to get a deal on a new Mac by picking up one from your local Apple reseller, such as John Lewis and PC World, or Apple premium resellers like iStore, Stormfront, Solutions Inc, Western Computers and KRCS. They do have sales, and although Apple bargains are rare, they do come along occasionally. However, you should beware that because Apple is strict with pricing and the margin that third-party retailers can make, it is rare that you will find a genuine bargain when buying a new Apple product from someone other than

Apple Store, Covent Garden, London

Apple Store, Regent Street, London

Apple’s online store can be found at store.apple.com/uk. Apple. You should always first visit Apple’s online store to find out what is on offer from the mothership, and make sure that if you are buying an outdated model you are doing so knowingly. Copy down the specification and product code of the model you want, and use that in your search. If you know what to look for you could grab a bargain – just make sure that you aren’t buying last year’s model while being sold the idea of this year’s. One of the benefits of buying from Apple is its warranty and returns procedure, even for refurbished products. Apple states: “Before we put a refurbished Mac, iPod, iPad or Apple TV up for sale in special deals, it undergoes a rigorous refurbishment process to make sure it’s up to Apple’s tough quality standards.” More importantly, a reconditioned Mac comes with the same one-year warranty (extendable to three years with AppleCare protection). You also get the same sales and return procedure with Apple, and can return a Mac bought from the Refurb Store within 14 days if you’re not happy with it. The key thing, as always, is to know exactly what you want, and exactly what you are getting, especially if you are buying from a private seller. Get it all in writing, and if at all possible view the device you are buying, and use it, before you purchase. Always use a credit card to make expensive purchases, or a secure payment service such as PayPal. This will make it much easier to chase up if there is a problem. And remember, if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is: you really want to see proof of purchase before you buy a second-hand Mac to ensure it hasn’t been stolen

94 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

092_113 Buyers Guide JULY.indd 94

05/05/2015 12:30


MacBook THE LATEST ADDITION TO APPLE’S LAPTOP LINE-UP

T

here are actually two standard MacBook models available, both with a 12in screen (measured diagonally). Dimensions for both unit are identical: 28.05cm by 19.65cm, and 3.5mm at the edge tapering to 131mm thick (the MacBook Air tapers from 17mm to just 3mm). The new MacBook weighs less than a kilogram at 920g. The key difference between the two models is the amount of storage available, and the speed of the processor, although the most obvious difference is that there are three colour choices: gold, silver and space grey, just like the iPhone. The entry-level MacBook unit offers a 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor (Turbo Boost up to 2.4GHz), and 256GB PCIe-based flash storage. The other MacBook unit offers a 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor (Turbo Boost up to 2.6GHz), and 512GB PCIe-based flash storage. Both models offer 8GB RAM and Intel HD Graphics 5300. There don’t appear to be any build-to-order options, which would normally allow you to add a faster Intel processor, more storage, and more RAM. However, Apple did indicate in its press release announcing the product that there would be. The new MacBook sports many new features including a Force Touch trackpad that utilises built-in force sensors so that when you click you receive haptic feedback, and Force Click – this adds a new dimension to clicking, a new way of right-clicking, perhaps. There is also a new keyboard with keys slightly more spaced out

than previously. Many of the new technologies incorporated in the new design have allowed Apple to make it slimmer and as lighter than any other Mac. For example, thanks to the new Core M chip the MacBook doesn’t require fans, and by slimming down the logicboard Apple has been able to utilize every last corner for battery. Apple claims the MacBook is the “world’s most energy efficient notebook”. Even the Retina display is the thinnest screen ever on a Mac. It offers a 16:10 aspect ratio and a resolution of 2304x1440. It also uses less energy than Retina displays on other Macs. Apple admits that the MacBook is designed for the wireless world, and it has to be: there is only one port. This next generation USB-C port will support power in and out, so you can charge your MacBook from it, as well as plug in a hard drive or other peripherals. You will need an adaptor if you are hoping to plug more than one device in at a time, though.

MacBook Connections The MacBook infamously had only one port (plus a headphone port). That’s the trade-off required for Apple to create such a thin Mac. The single port is USB-C, which is a new industry standard that offers 5Gb/s data transfer via USB 3.1, as well as charging and DisplayPort 1.2. You will be able to plug anything into that port – but you will require an adaptor if you want to plug more than one thing in at a time. Like the MacBook Air, the MacBook doesn’t feature an Ethernet port, so if you want to plug it into a wired network at work or on holiday you will need to purchase an adaptor. However, the MacBook does offer 802.11ac Wi-Fi so it’s unlikely that in today’s wireless world you will need to plug it into a network.

Speed The MacBook will not be Apple’s fastest Mac, tests of other computers that use

the same chip suggests that the MacBook will be slower than last year’s entry level MacBook Air, however, it does at least feature a SSD drive, so it could prove faster than Apple’s other slowest Macs: the £899 iMac and the £399 Mac mini which utilize slower hard drive technology. We’re waiting to get the MacBook in our labs, and as soon as we do we will be testing them thoroughly.

Price There are many Mac users for whom the MacBook will not be ideal. This is not a powerful computer and it is no replacement for the MacBook Pro. Nor is it necessarily a replacement for a MacBook Air while it is possible to upgrade to faster MacBook Air models for a lot less money. The MacBook does have some points in its favour. It is 160g lighter than the MacBook, smaller (even than the 11in MacBook Air) and thinner, so if you are carrying it around in your bag that might be a relevant factor in your decision. The other big difference is that the MacBook ships with just 8GB RAM while the MacBook Air ships with 4GB RAM, but you can always upgrade that at point of purchase. Whether the tradeoff of weight and size is significant to you will depend a lot on what you will be doing with the MacBook. If the majority of what you do on your Mac is everyday tasks, such as sending and receiving email, browsing the web, and using office applications, the MacBook should be quite capable of meeting your needs. If you’re expecting to edit movies using Final Cut Pro we don’t expect this Mac to cut the mustard. Prices The 256GB, 1.1GHz MacBook will cost £1,049 The 512GB, 1.2GHz MacBook will cost £1,299

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 95

092_113 Buyers Guide JULY.indd 95

05/05/2015 12:30


Buyers’ Guide

MacBook Air APPLE’S THINNEST, LIGHTEST LAPTOP

T

here are four standard MacBook Air models available, in two sizes. In March 2015, each MacBook Air was updated and now offers a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and Intel HD Graphics 6000 as standard. There are also build-to-order options that let you add a faster Intel processor (the 2.2GHz dual-core i7, for £130), more storage (512GB SSD for £240) and 8GB of RAM (for £80). The only real differences between the different models are the size of the screen, the amount of storage and battery life. Both the 11in and 13in MacBook Air offer either 128GB or 256GB SSD options. The 11in MacBook Air offers nine hours of battery life, compared with the 12 hours of the 13in MacBook Air. The 11in MacBook Air weighs 1.08kg and its dimensions are 30x19.2cm. The 13in MacBook Air weighs 1.35kg and its dimensions are 32.5x22.7cm. Both models are just 1.7cm thin at the edge and taper to 3mm at the front. Because of its smaller screen, the 11in MacBook Air offers fewer pixels than the 13in model – up to 1366x768 at a 16:9 aspect ratio, compared with 1440x900 at a 16:10 aspect ratio on the 13in. That display doesn’t come close to what you get from the 13in MacBook Pro Retina model, though – that Pro offers 2560x1600 Retina resolution at 227 pixels per inch. The two Airs have different aspect ratios. The 11in model is the only Mac with a 16:9 ratio – the same as a widescreen TV. Some people find the narrower screen more restrictive. The MacBook Air doesn’t have a great many

ports – that’s the trade-off required for such a remarkably thin computer. There’s no ethernet port, for example, so if you want to plug it into a wired network at work or on holiday, you’ll need to buy an adaptor. However, the MacBook Air does offer built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi, so it’s unlikely that in today’s wireless world you will ever need to plug it into a network anyway. The MacBook Air also lacks an optical drive – the only Mac still to feature a CD/DVD drive is the MacBook Pro (the non-Retina model). We don’t find we have much use for an optical drive these days, but if you really think you need one there is always the option of purchasing Apple’s USB SuperDrive for £65. There are two USB 3 ports, and you can also connect accessories (including external storage and monitors) to your MacBook Air via its Thunderbolt port, Apple’s high-speed connector. Thunderbolt 1 is slightly slower than the Thunderbolt 2 ports on the Retina MacBook Pro, but still faster than USB 3 (20Gb/s for Thunderbolt 2, compared with 10Gb/s for Thunderbolt 1 and 5Gb/s for USB 3). The 13in

MacBook Air comes with an SDXD card slot, but the 11in model doesn’t.

Speed The MacBook Air is one of the slowest Macs around – along with the £899 iMac and the £399 Mac mini. However, one of the MacBook Air benefits is its solid state drive (sometimes referred to as flash), which speeds up operation. Flash memory is superior to a hard drive because it is faster at reading data and the 13in drive is even faster than the 11in. This makes a huge difference when running your Mac: opening documents, starting applications and even booting up all happen much faster. Whether all that matters to you depends a lot on what you will be doing with your computer. If the majority of what you do on your Mac is everyday tasks, such as sending and receiving email, browsing the web and using office applications, then the MacBook Air is quite capable of meeting your needs. You can also happily use it for editing short videos or working with photos.

Price There are four standard versions of the MacBook Air available and various build-to-order options that you can add on a point of purchase. Prices 11in MacBook Air 1.6GHz (128GB) £749 11in MacBook Air 1.6GHz (256GB) £899 13in MacBook Air 1.6GHz (128GB) £849 13in MacBook Air 1.6GHz (256GB) £999 Build-to-order options 2.2GHz dual-core Intel i7 £130 8GB RAM £80 512GB flash storage £240

We recommend that you purchase the extra RAM when you buy the MacBook Air as it cannot be upgraded later. If you feel you need more storage, you could buy an external hard drive or an NAS drive to store content on and back things up when necessary.

96 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

092_113 Buyers Guide JULY.indd 96

05/05/2015 12:31


MacBook Pro A SUPERIOR MAC LAPTOP WITH A DISPLAY TO MATCH

T

here are five standard Retina MacBook Pro models available, in two sizes, as well as a non-Retina MacBook Pro, which we will cover at the bottomof this page. In March 2015, Apple updated the 13in models but not the 15in ones. The key selling point with the five is the Retina display, so called because it delivers maximum optical quality – the human eye is unable to distinguish any more pixels. That make a Retina display about as precise as you can get, ideal for creative work. The 13in model offers 2560x1600 Retina resolution at 227 pixels per inch, while the 15in model offers 2880x1800 resolution at 220 pixels per inch. Unlike the MacBook Air range, the five Retina MacBook Pro models are substantially different in terms of spec, with the 15in models being equipped with quad-core i7 chips (2.2GHz or 2.5GHz), 16GB of RAM and more. The three new 13in Retina MacBook Pro units offer a dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (2.7GHz on two models, and 2.9GHz on the high-end version), 8GB of RAM, and Intel Iris graphics as standard. The 13in models are available with 128GB, 256GB or 512GB flash storage, while the 15in models skip the 128GB version, offering only 256GB or 512GB. There are various build-to-order options for the 13in models that allow you to add a faster Intel processor (a 3.1GHz dual-core i7, for £170), more storage (1TB SSD for £400) and 16GB of RAM (for £160). The build-to-order options available for the 15in models include a faster 2.8GHz quad-core i7 Intel processor for £150, and 1TB storage for £400. It’s worth remembering that the 2.8GHz clock speed of i7 Intel upgrade doesn’t mean that the chip is slower than the 3.1GHz dual-core processor offered with the 13in MacBook Pro Retina model: it’s an i7 and it’s a quad-core, so it will be faster. One of the key distinctions between the MacBook Air range and the MacBook Pro Retina models is battery life. The 11in MacBook Air offers nine hours of battery power and the 13in MacBook Air offers 12 hours. This compares with nine hours for the 13in MacBook Pro Retina, and eight hours for the 15in Retina model. The other significant difference between Apple’s laptop ranges lies in their weight and dimensions. The 13in Retina MacBook weighs 1.57kg, compared with the 1.35kg of the 13in MacBook Air. However, the dimensions of the 13in Retina MacBook are 31.4x21.9cm compared with 32.5x22.7cm for the MacBook Air – so the 13in Air is a slightly larger unit. The 13in MacBook Pro isn’t very much thicker than the MacBook Air either, measuring 1.8cm, while the Air is just a centimetre thinner, measuring 1.7cm at its

thickest point (though it slims to 3mm at the front edge). The 15in MacBook Pro with Retina display measures 35.9x24.7cm and weighs 2.02kg. It’s the same thickness as the 13in model at 1.8cm. The MacBook Pro with Retina display has a few more ports on offer than the MacBook Air. Like the MacBook Air, the MacBook Pro Retina doesn’t feature an ethernet port, but it does have built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and if you need to plug into a wired network you will be able to buy an adaptor separately. There are two USB 3 ports, but you can also connect accessories (including external storage and monitors) to your Retina MacBook Pro via the two Thunderbolt 2 ports (that’s one more than on the MacBook Air, which uses the slower Thunderbolt 1). Thunderbolt is Apple’s high-speed connector, which is faster than USB 3 (20Gb/s compared with 5Gb/s). You can buy various adaptors that let you plug FireWire 800 hardware, for example, into this port. You will also find an HDMI port (for plugging into your TV) and a SDXC card slot (for your camera’s memory stick) on both Retina MacBook Pro models. If you are looking for a Mac capable of playing a DVD or CD, then you may want to look at the MacBook Pro without Retina display (see below), or buy a £65 SuperDrive separately. The new 13in MacBook Pro models come with Apple’s ForceTouch trackpad, which will change the way you interact with your Mac.

Price

Speed

Non-Retina MacBook Pro

The 13in MacBook Pro Retina is faster than the MacBook Air, so if it’s the fastest 13in MacBook you want then it’s worth spending a little more on the Retina display model. However, if you want the fastest Retina MacBook Pro, you really need to look at the 15in models. The 13in models have a dual-core processor, while the 15in models have a quad-core processor, and right up at the top of the range the 15in MacBook Pro with Retina display features a Core i7 2.5GHz processor.

As we mentioned at the start, the non-Retina MacBook Pro is the only Mac to offer an optical drive; it is also the only Apple laptop to still use a hard drive. The non-Retina MacBook Pro hasn’t been updated since 2012 and many have been predicting its demise. That it still lives on is testament to the fact that there are people out there who want a Mac with a CD/DVD drive and a big hard drive. It offers a 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and costs £899.

There are five standard versions of the Retina MacBook Pro plus a range of build-to-order options that you can add on to your unit at the time that you purchase it. You can also purchase the MacBook Pro without Retina display, but we will deal with that unit separately, below. Prices 13in Retina MacBook Pro 2.7GHz i5 (128GB) £999 13in Retina MacBook Pro 2.7GHz i5 (256GB) £1,199 13in Retina MacBook Pro 2.9GHz i5 (512GB) £1,399 15in Retina MacBook Pro 2.2GHz i7 (256GB) £1,599 15in Retina MacBook Pro 2.5GHz i7 (512GB) £1,999 Build-to-order options 13in Retina MacBook Pro 3.1GHz dual-core Intel i7 £170 16GB RAM £160 1TB flash storage £400 15in Retina MacBook Pro 2.8GHz quad-core Intel i7 £150 1TB flash storage £400

If you think that you might need the extra RAM in your 13in Retina MacBook Pro, then we recommend that you purchase the extra RAM when you buy the Mac as it cannot be upgraded subsequently. If you feel you need more storage, you could buy an external hard drive or an NAS drive to store content on and back things up when necessary.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 97

092_113 Buyers Guide JULY.indd 97

05/05/2015 12:31


Buyers’ Guide

Mac mini A TINY DESKTOP THAT’S APPLE’S CHEAPEST MAC

T

wo years after Apple last updated the Mac mini, it revamped its entry-level Mac and lowered prices. That October 2014 revamp resulted in three models of Mac mini. The cheapest of the three Mac mini models has the same 1.4GHz dual-core processor and integrated graphics chip to be found on the MacBook Air and the entry-level iMac, so it’s no surprise that the new Mac mini’s processor and graphics performance is close to that of the current MacBook Air range and practically identical to the new £899 iMac. The MacBook Air has the edge due to its flash storage, while the Mac mini and iMac still feature a hard drive as standard. The other two Mac minis offer Intel dual-core i5 2.6GHz and 2.8GHz processors with Intel Iris graphics. These chips are comparable to the processors inside the 13in Retina MacBook Pro, but, as with the MacBook Air, you can expect their faster flash storage to give these models a performance boost.  The Mac mini offers Intel i5 dual-core processor options as standard. There are i7 processors available at point of sale, but these are still only dual-core. Apple’s previous generation of Mac mini models offered better, quad-core processors. You can get a 2TB Fusion Drive for an extra £80 when you buy the £799 Mac mini, taking the price to £879. Only the top-of-the-range model offers this option. The 2012 Mac mini server version offered a 2TB hard drive, which made it a popular choice among those looking for a media server, so Apple’s decision to offer this 2TB Fusion Drive is probably a reaction to this. The Mac mini weighs 1.22kg and its dimensions are 19.7x19.7cm. Its height is just 3.6cm.

The Mac mini’s HDMI port makes it very popular for those wishing to set up a Mac media centre in their living room. This is despite the fact that the Mac mini lacks an optical drive – the only Mac that still features one is the MacBook Pro (the non-Retina model). There’s not much call for an optical drive these days, but if you really think you need one there is always the option of purchasing Apple’s USB SuperDrive for £65. You will also find four USB 3 ports, an SDXD card slot, two Thunderbolt 2 ports and an IR receiver. The Mac mini used to offer a FireWire 800 port, which will be important to those who have previously made big investments in FireWire peripherals, although you could purchase a Thunderbolt to FireWire adaptor and continue to use your FireWire devices (there are two Thunderbolt 2 ports on the Mac mini, offering a throughput of 20Gb/s). The only Mac that still offers FireWire is the non-Retina MacBook Pro. Another reason why the Mac mini has been a popular choice was the ease with which it could be upgraded. RAM, for example, could be slotted simply into place – unheard of in the majority of current Macs. Unfortunately this is no longer an option with the latest models, and you have to add extra RAM at the point of purchase if you think you will need it. In the past the Mac mini has been pressed into service as a graphic designer’s workstation, a home media centre for the family and even a web server for hosting entire commercial websites. However, the latest changes make this model more suited for consumers looking for the cheapest Mac available.

Speed The Mac mini is not one of Apple’s fastest Macs. The processor is comparable to the MacBook Air’s, but the mini is scuppered by its slower hard drive. However, you could upgrade your Mac mini to a Fusion Drive for another £200, bringing the benefit of a faster flash drive combined with 1TB of standard storage. It’s a setup that could deliver you a surprisingly speedy Mac for just £599. The big disappointment with the current range of Mac mini models is that they lack the processor performance of the

previous models, first introduced in 2012. The October 2014 update saw the departure of quad-core processor options, for example. In our Geekbench tests we saw a very small increase in single-core mode, but the new top-of-the-range model scores just 56% of the older top-of-the-range model’s speed when it came to multi-threaded applications. At least in terms of graphics processing the new Mac minis take the upper hand, benefiting from newer integrated graphics chips.

Price There are three Mac minis available, with a few build-to-order options that you can add on at point of purchase. Prices Mac mini 1.4GHz dual-core i5 (500GB) £399 Mac mini 2.6GHz dual-core i7 (1TB) £569 Mac mini 2.8GHz dual-core i7 (1TB Fusion drive) £799 Build-to-order options 3GHz dual-core Intel i7 £160 16GB RAM £160 1TB Fusion Drive £160 256GB SSD £160 512GB SSD £240

If you think you might need the extra RAM we recommend you purchase it when you buy the Mac mini. It used to be possible to upgrade the RAM in a Mac mini but this is no longer possible as it is now soldered on. We would recommend the Fusion Drive option as the SSD part of the storage will speed things up considerably, while the extra capacity of the drive is likely to come in handy. If you are setting the Mac mini up as a home media centre you may want an optical drive, but you can always purchase a SuperDrive for £65, and continue to play DVDs and CDs that way.

98 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

092_113 Buyers Guide JULY.indd 98

05/05/2015 12:31


iMac APPLE’S SUPER-THIN, ALL-IN-ONE DESKTOP COMPUTER

Y

ou may think the iMac was only recently updated, with the 5K Retina iMac in October 2014 and the new entry-level model in June 2014, along with lower prices across the range. However, the rest of the iMac range has not been updated since September 2013. The iMac line-up includes three 21.5in models and two 27in. The £899 entry-level 21.5in iMac has a 1.4GHz dual-core i5 chip, 8GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. Next up is an iMac that for another £150 gives you a faster 2.7GHz i5, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. For another £150, the top-of-the-range 21.5in iMac offers a 2.9GHz i5, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. The 27in iMacs also offer quad-core i5 chips, which will deliver more power than the smaller iMacs. The entry-level 27in iMac has a 3.2GHz quad-core i5 processor, and the top-of-the-range iMac offers a 3.4GHz version. Both models have 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. Then there is the 27in Retina model, which offers a 3.5GHz quad-core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM as standard (you can add 16GB or 32GB of RAM and a 4GHz quad-core i7 at point of purchase for a price), plus a Fusion Drive as standard. It will cost you £1,999 – more than double the price of the entry-level model, and even more if you spec it to the max. You may be wondering why the iMacs don’t yet feature SSD flash drives (with the exception of the Fusion Drive in the Retina iMac). So are we. Luckily, there are various build-to-order options which allow you to add Fusion Drives and flash storage, as well as up to 16GB of RAM, and faster processors (3.1GHz dual-core i7, for £160 on the 21.5in; 3.5GHz dual-core i7, for £190 on the 27in). Flash storage options include 256GB SSD for £160, 512GB SSD for £400, and a Fusion Drive (which combines flash storage with a hard drive) for £160. The Fusion Drive is a great solution, allowing you to benefit from more storage capacity and a faster experience. The only upgrade options on the entry-level £899 iMac are the Fusion Drive (£200) and other SSD options. The graphics cards are another differentiator between the different iMacs. The £899 model features the Intel HD 500 found in the MacBook Air, the next model up has an Intel Iris Pro, while the top-of-the-range 21.5in iMac features the nVidia GeForce GT 750M. The 27in models offer the nVidia GeForce GT 755M and nVidia GeForce GT 775M. Where the £899 iMac has the exact same processor and graphics as the MacBook Air, the other iMacs are more like the Retina MacBook Pro. Obviously the need for portability may play a big part in a choice between the two. Remember that if you choose a laptop, you can always plug it into your screen when you are at your desk.

Wondering how much space it will take up on your desk? The 21.5in iMac measures 52.8x45cm. The 27in iMac dimensions are 65x51.6cm. The screen is just 5mm thick. The base of the stand is 17.5cm deep on the 21.5in and 20.3cm on the 27in. The iMacs weigh 5.68kg or 9.54kg, so we don’t recommend carrying them around. The iMac offers an SDXC slot, USB slots, Thunderbolt 1 ports, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and ethernet. The Retina iMac is the only one with Thunderbolt 2. There is no optical drive. Apple traded in the built-in SuperDrive when it slimmed down the monitor to a superthin 5mm. If you really think you need one, you can always buy Apple’s USB SuperDrive for £65.

Speed The Retina iMac is one Apple’s fastest Macs, and comparable to the Mac Pro. In fact, we would prefer the Retina iMac thanks to its gorgeous 5K Retina display (an equivalent display would cost around £1,500 extra for the Mac Pro). Among the 2013 models still available, the top-of-the-range standard 27in model is still a pretty fast Mac, although the 15in Retina MacBook Pro was slightly faster when we tested it, and so was the Mac Pro, as you would expect. However, it is likely that it is the hard drive that slows down this generation of iMacs, so if you add a Fusion Drive you will be giving your iMac a huge boost. The entry-level £899 iMac is one of the slowest Macs around. Those purchasing one should upgrade it with a £200 Fusion Drive – which combines an SSD with a hard drive – as this will make a much bigger impact than spending £150 to get the 2.7GHz iMac.   There is also quite a leap from the 21.5in iMac models to the 27in models. This isn’t surprising as the 27in iMacs are aimed at the power user, and have a price to match. 

Price There are five iMac models available, with a few build-to-order options that you can add on at point of purchase. Our top iMac recommendation is that you buy a Fusion drive or an SSD as a build-to-order option. The iMac line-up is let down by the hard drives they are equipped with as standard. We expect that the next generation of iMacs will use flash storage, just as the Mac Pro does. It’s also worth updating a 21.5in model at the same time as you purchase one so that it takes 16GB of RAM rather than the 8GB supplied as standard – it’s not possible to update the RAM at a later date. However, the 8GB of soldered-on RAM on the entry-level 1.4GHz iMac cannot be upgraded at all, even at point of purchase. Accordingly we would recommend the Fusion Drive option on this model even more highly than for the others as it will speed performance up considerably. Prices 21.5in iMac 1.4GHz (500GB) £899 21.5in iMac 2.7GHz (1TB) £1,049 21.5in iMac 2.9GHz (1TB) £1,199 27in iMac 3.2GHz (1TB) £1,449 27in iMac 3.4GHz (1TB) £1,599 27in iMac Retina 3.5GHz (1TB Fusion drive) £1,999 Build-to-order options 3.1GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 £160 (21.5in only) 3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 £190 (27in only) 4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 £200 (Retina iMac only) 16GB RAM £160 32GB RAM £480 (27in only) 3TB hard drive £120 (27in only) 1TB Fusion Drive £160 3TB Fusion Drive £280 (27in only) 256GB SSD £160 512GB SSD £400 1TB SSD £800 (27in only) £640 (Retina)

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 99

092_113 Buyers Guide JULY.indd 99

05/05/2015 12:31


Buyers’ Guide

Mac Pro APPLE’S PROFESSIONAL WORKSTATION

H

aving neglected the Mac Pro for a few years, Apple eventually updated the line-up at the end of 2013. That leaves us with two standard Mac Pro models – a quad-core 3.7GHz Intel Xeon E5 (£2,499) and a six-core 3.5GHz Intel Xeon E5 (£3,299). As well as sporting more cores and a different processor, the top-of-the range Mac Pro also features 16GB of RAM (rather than 12GB) and faster graphics cards – the Dual AMD FirePro D500 with 3GB of GDDR5 VRAM each (rather than the Dual AMD FirePro D300 with 2GB GDDR5 of VRAM). These are dual graphics cards, one of the selling points of the Mac Pro. Apple claims that with the additional power, users will be able to “seamlessly edit full-resolution 4K video while simultaneously rendering effects in the background – and still have enough power to connect up to three high-resolution 4K displays”. Both standard units also feature 256GB flash storage, with build-to-order options for 512GB or 1TB of flash storage.  Those buying the Mac Pro will be choosing from the various build-to-order options, of which there are many. Choices include a 12-core 2.7GHz processor, 64GB of RAM, a 1TB flash drive, and the Dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM. If you were to build the ultimate Mac Pro, it would cost £7,299. Wondering how much space the Mac Pro will take up on your desk? The Mac Pro has a diameter of 16.7cm and is 25.1cm tall. It weighs 5kg, a fraction less than the 21.5in iMac. The old aluminium Mac Pro is a giant in comparison. The Mac Pro offers six Thunderbolt 2 ports – that’s enough to drive three 4K displays or six Thunderbolt displays, if you wanted to. You’ll also find dual gigabit ethernet – two ethernet controllers, each connected to its own lane, ensuring that there is enough bandwidth to operate at full speed. As you would

expect, the Mac Pro also offers 802.11ac Wi-Fi. There is no FireWire port on the Mac Pro, but you can get a Thunderbolt to FireWire adaptor. There are four USB 3 ports, as with the Mac mini and iMac. The Mac Pro lacks an optical drive. Most people probably have little use for an optical drive these days, but if you really think you need one, then there is always the option of purchasing Apple’s USB SuperDrive for £65.

Speed As you would expect from Apple’s flagship Mac, the Mac Pro is fast. However, the year-old 27in iMac and the top-of-the-range 15in MacBook Pro aren’t that far behind the entry-level Mac Pro. And if you bump up your iMac when you buy it with build-to-order options you can get a Mac for your money that rivals even the six-core Mac Pro model. But there is more to the Mac Pro than the speed and many users will be attracted by many of its advanced technologies, such as the dual GPUs, the powerful multicore processors, the Thunderbolt 2 ports, and the superfast flash storage. For many, the build-to-order options will let them build a professional and powerful workstation capable of doing things iMac users can only dream of. Yet there is something to be said for the iMac with 5K Retina display. The standard 5K iMac features an incredible screen, backed by a 3.5GHz quad-core Intel i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, 1TB Fusion drive and AMD Radeon R9 M290X GPU for £1,999. Build-to-order options include a 4GHz i7 (£200), and upgrading the GPU to an AMD Radeon R9 M295X for £200. If you added these two features to the iMac, you would pay £2,399, which is still less than the Mac Pro and includes a 5K display; an equivalent Dell display costs just under £2,000.

Price There are two Mac Pro models available, with a number of build-to-order options that you can add on at the point of purchase.

Configuring the ultimate Mac Pro will cost you a cool £7,779. If you have any cash left over, then you could add a Sharp 32in 4K monitor to that for another £2,999. Or why not go the whole hog and add three Sharp 4K monitors, setting you back £16,776. That would be some Mac setup. If you have the cash, we would recommend the six-core Mac Pro over the quad-core, but even better, add as many build-to-order options as you can afford. Prices Mac Pro 3.7GHz (quad-core) £2,499 Mac Pro 3.5GHz (six-core) £3,299 Build-to-order options 3.5GHz six-core with 12MB of L3 cache £400 (quad-core only) 3GHz eight-core with 25MB of L3 cache £1,600/£1,200 2.7GHz 12-core with 30MB of L3 cache £2,800/£2,400 16GB RAM £80 (quad-core only) 32GB RAM £400/£320 64GB RAM £1,040/£960 512GB SSD £240 1TB SSD £640 Dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM £320 (quad-core only) Dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB GDDR5 VRAM £800/£480

100 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

092_113 Buyers Guide JULY.indd 100

05/05/2015 12:31


Which Mac? HOW TO CHOOSE THE MAC THAT WILL SUIT YOU

W

ith so many Macs to choose from, each with very different features and specs, it can get a little tricky when it comes to deciding which Mac to buy. How do you know which Mac is best for you? Should you buy a Mac mini, an iMac or a Mac Pro? Or would you be better off with a MacBook, MacBook Air or a Retina MacBook Pro? Which Mac is best for you really depends on your needs and how much you are prepared to spend to meet them. As a rule Macs are more expensive than PCs, but that’s really because there are more low-cost PCs available. If you want a laptop that costs less than £300, then you will have to settle on a PC (or find yourself a second-hand Mac). However, we think it’s worth spending a little more to get a lower-priced Mac, rather than saving a few pounds buying a budget PC. If you want to spend as little as possible on your new Mac, you have a few choices. The Mac mini is an obvious one, with the price starting at £399, but you will need to factor in the cost of a display as well as a mouse and keyboard if you don’t already have those peripherals. An alternative might be the £799 11in MacBook Air, which is a neat little laptop, although you may end up buying a separate display to plug into when sitting at your desk. If you are happy to spend a little more on a reasonably priced Mac laptop, then you might like the 13in MacBook Air or the 13in MacBook Pro with Retina display. These models start at £849 for the Air, and £999 for the Pro, with the Pro version bringing a faster

processor and more RAM as well as that gorgeous Retina display. The one thing in favour of the Air is the longer battery life (12 hours as opposed to nine). There is also the weight difference, but it’s quite minor really – the Pro is 1.57kg, while the Air weighs 1.08kg. There’s is now the added option of the new MacBook. Weighing in at 920g, it’s lighter than any other Mac laptop, though, also less powerful. It’s priced at £1,049 and £1,299. If it’s a reasonably priced desktop you are after, then the £899 iMac might look like a good option, but you should note that the specs in that machine are pretty similar to those in the £399 Mac mini. With that in mind, it might be better to spend a little more to get one of the other two 21.5in iMacs, although both of those cost more than £1,000. Another option would be to get a build-to-order version of the iMac with a Fusion drive, which will bring a faster flash drive into the equation for an extra £200. That would bring the price of your iMac to £1,099, or if you did the same with the Mac mini, £599. In both cases we’ve found the Fusion drive a better option than the next model up in the same range, because the additional flash memory will speed up the Mac more than another model still restricted by a standard hard drive. But what if you are prepared to spend a little more to get a decent Mac laptop? In that case we’d

recommend the 15in Retina MacBook Pro. It costs £1,599 but comes with a decent quad-core Intel Core i7 processor as well as 16GB of memory. It also comes with 256GB of flash storage; if you think you need more you can get 512GB for £1,999, but we’d probably go for an external hard drive if we needed extra space. If you want to spend a little more to get a decent Mac desktop, then the 27in iMac is a great option. Prices start at £1,499 and you get a decent quad-core Intel Core i5 processor. The only thing that lets the iMac down compared to the MacBook Pro is the slower hard drive that comes as standard, and the 8GB of RAM. Both of these factors can be rectified when you buy the Mac, as you can take up the 16GB of RAM option for an additional £160, and a Fusion drive or 265GB flash storage for another £160. That would bring the price of your iMac to £1,769. If it’s a top-of-the-range Mac you want, then you have two choices: the 27in Retina 5K display iMac, which costs £1,999; or the Mac Pro, Apple’s workstation-class Mac, which features a Xeon E5 processor, 12GB of RAM, dual AMD graphics cards and 256GB of flash storage, with prices starting at £2,499. The Retina iMac comes with a Fusion drive, 8GB of RAM, and a superfast Intel quad-core i5 processor. That’s a difference of £500, although with the iMac you gain the gorgeous display; to get a similar 5K display, such as Dell’s UltraSharp 27 Ultra HD, to use with your Mac Pro would set you back £1,762. We’d be inclined to recommend the iMac in this case.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 101

092_113 Buyers Guide JULY.indd 101

05/05/2015 12:31


Buyers’ Guide

iPhone 6 Plus APPLE’S BIGGEST PHONE, THE IPHONE PHABLET

W

hen Apple introduced the iPhone 5 in 2012, it described it as the perfect size for a smartphone – you could hold it comfortably in one hand while reaching all four corners with the thumb of that hand. Apple might have been convinced back then that a 4in screen was perfect, but in the years that followed alternative smartphones arrived in sizes that dwarfed the iPhone 5. By 2014 the iPhone was one of the smallest smartphones available; it seemed that people didn’t really mind that much if they couldn’t reach the corner with their thumb. Apple launched its first entry into the phablet category in September 2014. The iPhone 6 Plus is Apple’s biggest ever iPhone with a screen

that measures a whopping 5.5in (diagonally) and offers 1920x1080 resolution at 401 pixels per inch. Phablet is the term used to describe a large phone that is almost a tablet. The popularity of phablets is thought by some to be causing a decline in interest in tablets themselves, as people turn to large phones that have good-sized screens and bring the advantage of operating as a mobile phone. The iPhone 6 Plus is available in silver, gold or space grey, and measures 158.1mm tall by 77.8mm wide, is a mere 7.1mm thick and 172g in weight. Apple addressed its concerns about users’ comfort when holding such a big phone: the iPhone 6 Plus comes with a Reachability feature, which at a double-tap on the home button brings the top of the screen down so you can reach the controls. The iPhone 6 Plus features Apple’s A8 chip and the M8 motion co-processor. The motion co-processor chip is used to collect sensor data – it’s a clever way to save battery life as it bypasses the processor. A barometer is also included inside the iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 Plus offers Touch ID, and like the iPhone 6, NFC, which is a necessary technology if you intend to use Apple Pay (not yet launched in the UK). There is also a new 8Mp iSight camera on the back with focus pixels and an f/2.2 aperture (also shared with the iPhone 6). The iPhone 6 Plus camera is the only Apple iPhone to offer optical image stabilisation, which makes for better pictures in low light. The iPhone 6 Plus shares many of its other camera features with the iPhone 6, including 43Mp panorama and the option of recording HD video at 60fps and slo-mo video at 120fps or 240fps. You also get cinematic video stabilisation and continuous autofocus video in both iPhone 6 models. Another feature offered only by the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is 802.11ac Wi-Fi (other iPhones only go as high as 802.11n). Perhaps the biggest deal for those looking to purchase a new phone is battery life. Apple says that the iPhone 6 Plus battery life gives up to 24 hours of talk time on 3G; up to 16 days/384 hours on standby; up to 12 hours of internet use on 3G, up to 12 hours on LTE, and up to 11 hours on Wi-Fi; up to 14 hours of video playback; and up to 80 hours of audio playback. By contrast, Apple says that the iPhone 6’s battery life gives up to 14 hours of talk time on 3G; up to 10 hours of internet use on 3G, up to

10 hours on LTE, and up to 11 hours on Wi-Fi; up to 11 hours of video playback; and up to 50 hours of audio playback. So the iPhone 6 Plus gives you the most battery life you can get from an iPhone. This is no real surprise, as the iPhone 6 Plus’s battery is listed at 2915mAh at 3.82 volts, which is substantially larger than the iPhone 6’s 1810mAh battery.

Speed The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are powered by the same A8 processor, but at different clock speeds. The iPhone 6 Plus runs at 1.39GHz compared with the iPhone 6’s 1.2GHz. For that reason, the iPhone 6 Plus is faster than the iPhone 6. When we ran Geekbench the iPhone 6 Plus scored 1,626 (single-core) and 2,917 (multicore), while the iPhone 6 scored 1,517 (single-core) and 2,586 (multicore). Graphics performance is also good, but we’ve yet to notice any real difference between the iPhone 6 Plus and the iPhone 5s, although as more graphics-heavy games appear you may be glad of the extra graphics prowess.

Price The iPhone 6 Plus starts at £619. Each of the three models available costs £80 to £90 more than the equivalent capacity iPhone 6. Prices 16GB iPhone 6 Plus £619 64GB iPhone 6 Plus £699 128GB iPhone 6 Plus £789

However, we’d advise against buying the 16GB entry-level version – you are likely to find it frustrating staying within 16GB, especially when Apple next updates its operating system (in 2014 the OS required as much as 5GB of space on some iPhones). The 64GB iPhone 6 Plus costs just £80 more for four times as much storage.

102 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

092_113 Buyers Guide JULY.indd 102

05/05/2015 12:31


iPhone 6 THE 4.7IN SUCCESSOR TO THE IPHONE 5S

T

he iPhone 6 Plus wasn’t the only larger iPhone to launch in 2014. The iPhone 6 was also introduced, with a screen that measures 4.7in (diagonally) and offers 1334x750 resolution at 326ppi. This suggests that the iPhone 6 has the same pixel density as the iPhone 5s, but Apple has still dubbed its new screen ‘Retina HD’, presumably because it is counting the total number of pixels on display, rather than how close together they are. The iPhone 6 Plus offers a higher pixel density of 401ppi and is also described as Retina HD. Despite the similar sounding pixel count between the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s, Apple has also made modifications to the newer screens’ design, adding dual-domain pixels that allow for improved viewing angles, and other features that enhance the visibility of the display as well as a better contrast ratio (the contrast ratio on the iPhone 6 is in fact better than that on the iPhone 6 Plus). iPhone 6 sports the same curvaceous design as the iPhone 6 Plus, albeit slightly smaller dimensions. It measures 138.1mm tall by 67mm wide, is just 6.9mm thick, and weighs 129g. It is available in silver, gold or space grey. Although smaller than the iPhone 6 Plus, the iPhone 6 is still very large, and only the most gigantic hands would be able to comfortably reach to the edges in one-handed use. As a result Apple, also offers Reachability on the iPhone 6, which allows you to double-tap on the home button to pull the top of the screen down so you can reach the controls. One major design change for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is the relocation of the on-off button. This was found at the top of the phone in previous generations, but now the button has moved to the side of the phone to make it easier to reach when you are holding it one-handed (the new home for this button does make taking screen shots harder, though). Like the iPhone 6 Plus, the iPhone 6 features Apple’s A8 chip and the M8 motion co-processor. The A8 is 50 percent more power-efficient than the A7, according to Apple.

A barometer is also included for measuring air pressure to determine your elevation (it can basically tell if you have been going upstairs). This is one of the new fitness and health features available to iPhone users. All iPhones also offer an accelerometer and gyroscope for the same purpose. The iPhone 6 also offers Touch ID, and, as does the iPhone 6 Plus, NFC, which is a necessary enabling technology for using Apple Pay (not yet launched in the UK). All of Apple’s current iPhones offer an 8Mp camera. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus camera still only offers 8Mp, but it gains focus pixels. Both iPhone 6 models and the iPhone 5s offer an f/2.2 aperture. The iPhone 6 shares some other camera features with the iPhone 6 Plus. These include 43Mp panoramas, the option of recording HD video at 60fps and slo-mo video at 120fps or 240fps. There is also cinematic video stabilisation and continuous autofocus video. You will also find 802.11ac Wi-Fi in the iPhone 6, while the older models only go as high as 802.11n. When it comes to battery life, Apple says that the iPhone 6 offers up to 14 hours of talk time on 3G; up to 10 hours of internet use on 3G, up to 10 hours on LTE, and up to 11 hours on Wi-Fi; up to 11 hours of video playback; and up to 50 hours of audio playback. You’ll get more battery life from the iPhone 6 Plus, but the iPhone 6 battery is still better than those in the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, which both have identical battery life, according to Apple. The iPhone 5s/5c handsets offer up to 10 hours of talk time on 3G; up to eight hours of internet use on 3G, up to 10 hours on LTE, and up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi; up to 10 hours of video playback and up to 40 hours of audio playback.

The iPhone 6 is faster than the iPhone 5s, though. The iPhone 5s scored 1,409 (single-core) and 2,549 (multicore). Graphics performance is good, but you are unlikely to notice any real difference unless you are using really graphics-heavy games.

Speed

Price

Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are powered by the same A8 processor, but it’s running at different clock speeds. The iPhone 6 runs at 1.2GHz, while the iPhone 6 Plus runs at 1.39GHz, according to Geekbench. When we ran Geekbench the iPhone 6 scored 1,517 (single-core) and 2,586 (multicore), while the iPhone 6 Plus scored 1,626 (single-core) and 2,917 (multicore). Not surprisingly the iPhone 6 Plus is faster than the iPhone 6.

The iPhone 6 starts at £539 – £10 less than the original starting price of the iPhone 5s when it launched in 2013. Prices 16GB iPhone 6 £539 64GB iPhone 6 £619 128GB iPhone 6 £699

Each of these phones costs £80 to £90 less than the same-capacity iPhone 6 Plus. As we mentioned previously, we’d advise against buying the 16GB version as you are likely to find it frustrating staying within that 16GB storage limit, especially when Apple next updates its operating system (which in 2014 required as much as 5GB of space on some iPhones). The 64GB iPhone 6 costs just £80 more and for that you get 300% more storage.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 103

092_113 Buyers Guide JULY.indd 103

05/05/2015 12:31


Buyers’ Guide

iPhone 5s

THE 4IN iPHONE WITH TOUCH ID

I

n 2013 Apple upgraded its existing iPhone platform, splitting the iPhone 5 into two in the process. It created the iPhone 5s, which features Touch ID to let you unlock your iPhone and pay for things on the App Store merely by touching your finger to the home button, and the more playful iPhone 5c, which comes in a range of colours. Both phones are still available from Apple, although the larger capacities are now discontinued. They remain good options for those looking for a cheaper iPhone. The iPhone 5s screen measures 4in (diagonally) and offers 1136x640 resolution at 326ppi. Although this may suggest that the iPhone 5s has the same pixel density as the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 has a greater number of pixels in total, not to mention a superior screen with better viewing angles and contrast ratio. The iPhone 5s sports a different design to the iPhone 6 models and the iPhone 5c. The iPhone 5s is more angular, with sharper edges, while the other models have curved edges. It is the smallest and lightest iPhone, measuring 123.8mm tall by 58.6mm wide and just 7.6mm thick, and weighs 112g. Like the iPhone 6 models, the 5s is also available in silver, gold or space grey. Both of the cameras on the iPhone 5s offer improvements when compared to the iPhone 5c. The camera on the back has bigger pixels, a bigger sensor, a new True Tone flash, and various other hardware and software features. As far as the bigger pixels are concerned, larger pixels yield greater electrical output,

which produces clearer images in low-light conditions without any resort to messy noise-reduction techniques. When Apple launched the iPhone 5s it was the first time that a smartphone manufacturer had opted to increase pixel size rather than pixel numbers. All iPhone cameras offer 8Mp – and this is sufficient. Cramming a load of pixels onto a sensor will not create a better image, it just means that the file size is bigger. The larger sensor and a bigger lens serve to let in more light, as does the faster aperture of f/2.2 instead of f/2.4. The faster f/2.2 aperture on the iPhone 5s really helps with indoor and dusky shooting. Both iPhone 6 models also offer a f/2.2 aperture. The iPhone 5s lacks some of the camera features you’ll find on the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6, including 43Mp panoramas, the option of recording HD video at 60fps and slo-mo video at 120fps or 240fps. HD video and slo-mo features are all available on the iPhone 5s, but the quality is poorer. One other area where the iPhone 5s surpasses the iPhone 5c is the FaceTime camera, which offers auto HDR for photos. Only the iPhone 6 models offer 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The older iPhone models only go as high as 802.11n. When it comes to battery life, Apple says that the iPhone 5s offers up to 10 hours of talk time on 3G; up to eight hours of internet use on 3G, up to 10 hours on LTE, and up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi; up to 10 hours of video playback; and up to 40 hours of audio playback. You’ll get more battery life from the newer, iPhone 6 models.

Speed The iPhone 5s is powered by the A7 processor, which was first introduced with this phone in 2013, running at 1.3GHz, according to Geekbench. When the A7 chip launched it was a giant leap on its own account, offering a huge speed improvement thanks to its 64-bit capabilities. When we ran Geekbench, the iPhone 5s scored 1,409 (single-core) and 2,549 (multicore). By comparison the iPhone 6 scored 1,517 (single-core) and 2,586 (multicore), while the iPhone 6 Plus scored 1,626 (single-core) and 2,917 (multicore). The Geekbench score of the iPhone 5s was more than twice that of the iPhone 5c.

When it comes to games and graphics capabilities, the GPU performance of the iPhone 5s is superior to that of the iPhone 5c; we saw some big differences using GFXBench 2.7’s T-Tex C24Z16 1080p offscreen test. The iPhone 5s was able to push 25 frames per second, more than three and a half times the number of frames supported by the iPhone 5c. While these results are below the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, it is unlikely you will really notice the extra unless you are playing the most power-hungry games.

Price The iPhone 5s starts at £459, which is some £90 cheaper than the same model cost when it launched in 2013. Prices 16GB iPhone 5s £459 34GB iPhone 5s £499

The iPhone 5s is the only iPhone available with a 34GB capacity. Apple removed the 34GB option from the line-up for its iPhone 6 models, which come only in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB versions. But at just £40 more it’s a no-brainer to buy the 34GB version of the iPhone 5s. We’d advise against the 16GB version, as you are likely to find it frustrating staying within that storage limit. When Apple updates its operating system it will take even more than the 5GB of space required on some iPhones by its 2014 update.

104 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

092_113 Buyers Guide JULY.indd 104

05/05/2015 12:31


iPhone 5c

APPLE’S CHEAPEST, MOST COLOURFUL iPHONE

W

hen the iPhone 5c launched in 2013 it disappointed some who were hoping for a low-cost smartphone from Apple. At launch the iPhone 5c cost £469 – only £80 less than the equivalent iPhone 5s. Months later the company introduced a 8GB version of the 5c for £429. Now that same 8GB version of the iPhone 5c costs £319, a saving of £110. The big question, though, is whether £319 now represents a good price for the iPhone 5c. If you are determined to buy an iPhone but don’t want to spend a lot, then the iPhone 5c might be worth considering. If price is your main concern, it’s also worth looking around for a second-hand iPhone, or you may find you can get a good deal on a new handset from your mobile phone network. All the prices we quote are what Apple sells the iPhone for if you purchase it off-contract, allowing you to shop around for a monthly plan or pay-as-you-go contract that suits you (or perhaps you already have a great contract and don’t want to lose it). It is also likely you will be able to find a contract with one of the UK mobile networks that will give you an iPhone 5c handset for free. The main issue with the iPhone 5c is that it offers just 8GB of storage space; although we have heard of some mobile networks offering 16GB iPhone 5c models, Apple doesn’t. You may find it hard to imagine that you will ever need a great deal of storage space, but it’s worth considering that when the next version of the iPhone operating system is released

you may well find that you will need more space to install the update than you have available on your iPhone. In this case, while the leap up to the iPhone 5s is not easy to recommend – because at £140 more it is quite a significant extra chunk of cash – it will still give you twice as much potentially precious storage as the 5c. The 5s also comes with various other features such as Touch ID, so you can unlock your iPhone and pay for things on the App Store merely by touching your finger to the home button. Like the iPhone 5s, the iPhone 5c has a screen that measures 4in (diagonally) and offers 1136x640 resolution at 326ppi. The design of the iPhone 5c is more reminiscent of the original iPhone than the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 models. It has a smooth plastic case that comes in five different colours: green, blue, yellow, pink and white. It’s a fraction larger and heavier than the iPhone 5s, measuring 124.4mm tall by 59.2mm wide and just 8.97mm thick, and weighs 132g (only the iPhone 6 Plus is heavier). In many ways the iPhone 5c is the same phone as the iPhone 5 was when it launched in 2012. Aside from the new case, on the inside the iPhone 5c has the same rear-facing camera and processor. The FaceTime camera on the front of the iPhone 5c is better than the one found in the iPhone 5, however, offering better visibility in low-light. The iPhone 5c will take panoramas, but burst mode shooting is not

available, nor is slo-mo video (both are available on all other iPhone handsets). When it comes to battery life, Apple says that the iPhone 5c offers exactly the same battery longevity as the iPhone 5s: up to 10 hours of talk time on 3G; up to eight hours of internet use on 3G, up to 10 hours on LTE, and up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi; up to 10 hours of video playback; and up to 40 hours of audio playback.

Speed Although the iPhone 5c features the same A6 processor as the iPhone 5, in some of our tests it scored slightly worse than its predecessor. For example, the iPhone 5 was about 10 percent faster than the 5c in Geekbench tests. As for the iPhone 5s, that model’s Geekbench score was more than twice that of the iPhone 5c. However, even these speeds will be more than enough for the average needs of a user. The GPU performance of the iPhone 5c is also inferior to that of the iPhone 5s, with the latter achieving 25fps, more than 3.5 times more than the iPhone 5c. If you aren’t playing games or editing video on your iPhone, though, it is unlikely that this will matter to you.

Price The 8GB iPhone 5c costs £319. There is only an 8GB model available from Apple, so if you want 16GB or more then you will need to move up to the entry-level 16GB iPhone 5s. But as the 16GB iPhone 5s costs £140 more than the 5c at £459, if you are considering the iPhone 5s, then you might as well fork out another £40 and get the 34GB version of the iPhone 5s for £499.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 105

092_113 Buyers Guide JULY.indd 105

05/05/2015 12:31


Buyers’ Guide

iPad Air APPLE’S FULL-SIZED iPAD

T

he iPad is Apple’s tablet computer. It’s partway between an iPhone and a laptop, offering you the extra screen space, but using exactly the same operating system as the iPhone, so if you already own an iPhone it will feel familiar. There are millions of apps available for the iPad that allow you to do anything from producing spreadsheets and presentations, to playing games, creating photographic masterpieces or editing home videos. Apple sells two models of iPad Air: the iPad Air 2, launched in October 2014, and the iPad Air, which arrived the previous October. When the first iPad Air launched in 2013 it was already incredibly thin, just 7.5mm, but the iPad Air 2 is even thinner, a mere 6.6mm. The Air 2 also has an upgraded rear-facing camera (8Mp to the iPad Air 1’s 5Mp). There are certain shooting conditions in which the iPad

Air 2 demonstrates its superiority – particularly close-up detail under studio lighting and in low-light conditions. The iPad Air 2 also gains some camera software features including slo-mo and time-lapse video modes, as well as burst mode and a timer. And panoramas: the iPad Air 1 already had these, but they can now go all the way up to 43Mp. We’re always surprised that anyone would use the iPad as a camera – it is a rather inconvenient size, yet people often use one to take photos and videos, perhaps because of the size of the viewfinder. Both iPad Air models offer Retina displays with a resolution of 2048x1536 and a pixel density of 264ppi. However, the iPad Air 2 adds an anti-reflective coating and, thanks to new manufacturing technologies, Apple has been able to remove the ‘air gaps’ between different elements of the screen, which effectively gives users more display clarity and makes it easier to see the screen from different angles – valuable if, for example, you’re sitting next to someone and sharing the iPad screen to watch a movie.

The Air 2 also comes with a Touch ID fingerprint scanner built into the home button. Touch ID is convenient, enabling you to unlock your iPad, or an individual app, with a single touch of a finger rather than a passcode or password. As apps and websites integrate Apple Pay, you will be able to use Touch ID on your iPad to pay for things. However, you won’t be able to use the iPad in the high street as it lacks the requisite NFC chip. Other differences between the iPad Air 1 and 2 include a gold finish as an option for the newer model. The iPad Air 2 is available in silver, gold and space grey, while the iPad Air 1 is available only in silver or space grey. The grey model has a black rim around the screen, but all other iPads are white on the front.

Speed The iPad Air 2 contains a new processor chip – the A8X, which is a souped-up version of the A8 that made its first appearance in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. With its A8X processor chip, the iPad Air 2 is significantly quicker at general processing and handling graphical tasks than the iPad Air 1 (which has an A7 chip) – about 40 percent faster, on paper. But at this point that difference is more theoretical than practical. In our Geekbench tests the iPad Air 1 scored 1,468 (single) and 2,658 (multi), while the iPad Air 2 scored 1,818 (single) and 4,520 (multi). In terms of graphics, Apple claims that iPad Air 2 users will see 2.5 times the graphics performance of the first iPad Air. That’s great news for gamers, and video and photo-editing apps will also benefit from the enhanced graphics performance. However, the iPad Air 1 can handle all current apps, and you’re unlikely to see major speed gains with current software. Over time this may change but if all you do with your iPad is browse the web and read and write emails, then you are unlikely to notice any slowdown.

Price The iPad Air 2 starts at £399 for the 16GB version. Next up is the 64GB model for just £80 more at £479, and the 128GB model costs £559. The 16GB iPad Air 1 is just £80 cheaper than the entry-level iPad Air 2, at £319. Or you can pay another £40 and get the 32GB version for £359, which is still less than the price of a 16GB iPad Air 2. If Touch ID isn’t important to you, you may prefer to pay less and get twice as much storage space. When choosing which iPad to buy, there is also the decision of whether to get one that is capable of connecting to the mobile networks, rather than just Wi-Fi. The models that can use 3G and 4G in addition to Wi-Fi cost £100 more than the non-cellular models.

106 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

092_113 Buyers Guide JULY.indd 106

05/05/2015 12:31


iPad mini APPLE’S SMALLER IPAD

I

f the iPad Air is partway between an iPhone and a laptop, the iPad mini is partway between the iPhone 6 Plus and the iPad Air. It’s a popular choice for those who want to read books. It also used to be popular because it was a lot lighter than Apple’s full-sized iPad, but the difference in weight has since been scaled back: the iPad Air 2 weighs 437g while the iPad mini 3 weighs 331g. It’s screen size that is the key difference between the iPad Air and iPad mini now, with the Air featuring a 9.7in Retina display and the mini a 7.9in display. Apple sells three models of iPad mini. The iPad mini 3 was launched in October 2014, and is essentially the same as the iPad mini 2, which launched in October 2013. Apple also still sells the original iPad mini, which was launched in October 2012. The main difference between the iPad mini 2 and 3 is the inclusion of Touch ID on the later model, and the option of a gold finish. When Apple launched the newer iPad mini we were disappointed that it didn’t also gain any of the features offered by the 2014 iPad Air. For that reason we generally advise saving £80 and purchasing the iPad mini 2 unless you really want Touch ID. The newer iPad costs £80 more than the previous year’s model. For some, Touch ID may be worth the extra £80, but other than that there really is no other difference. There is a much bigger difference between the iPad mini 1 and newer iPad mini models. You can still buy the 16GB original iPad mini for £199 – £70 less than what it sold for at launch (£269). This iPad lacks a Retina display, and is thicker (7.2mm compared with 7.5mm) and heavier (308g compared with 331g) than the other iPad mini models. If all you need is a low-cost device for reading books or watching video when commuting, the iPad mini 1 might be adequate, although it’s still worth paying just £40 more to get the iPad mini 2 – you’d be crazy not to. All the iPad minis have the same rear and forward-facing cameras. The camera on the rear offers 5Mp photos while the front-facing camera – used predominantly for FaceTime video calling

– offers 1.2Mp. The only real difference between the iPad minis is that the newer models offer panorama shooting while the original iPad mini doesn’t. The original iPad mini also lacks 3x video zoom. All iPad minis have a battery life that gives up to 10 hours of web surfing, video or music on Wi-Fi, and nine hours over a mobile data network.

Speed Another key difference between the original iPad mini and the newer iPad mini models is the fact that the earlier model features the A5 chip rather than the A7 and M7 motion co-processor combo. The A5 processor first appeared in the iPhone 4s, which should give you an idea of just how old that processor is now. It’s a 32-bit system-on-a-chip that also powers the fifth-generation iPod touch and the Apple TV. The iPad mini 2 and 3 both feature the A7 processor, which can also be found in the iPad Air 1. This is a 64-bit system-on-a-chip that first appeared in the iPhone 5s in 2013 and was the first 64-bit processor to ship in a consumer smartphone.

The A7 is around four times as fast for general processing and about eight times as fast for graphical processing. But these numbers are theoretical, and apply only in situations that exert a significant demand on the processor; on many simple apps the mini 1 will be fine. As time goes by the most demanding tasks – extremely graphically ambitious 3D games, video and photo editing, and all the more processor-intensive apps that will be released in the next few years – will begin to tax the powers of the iPad mini 1.

Price There’s a £40 gap from the iPad mini 1 to the iPad mini 2, and then an £80 gap from the iPad mini 2 to the iPad mini 3. Priced so closely, it’s a no-brainer to pay the extra £40 for the Retina display and better chip in the iPad mini 2. Although the £80 for the Touch ID is less attractive, you might prefer to spend £100 more and get a Wi-Fi and cellular version. Each model is available for Wi-Fi only, or you can add cellular capabilities for another £100, which will enable you to connect to a mobile phone network when you are out and about.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 107

092_113 Buyers Guide JULY.indd 107

05/05/2015 12:31


Buyers’ Guide

iPods THE MP3 PLAYER THAT STARTED IT ALL

A

pple sells three types of iPod: the iPod shuffle, the iPod nano and the iPod touch. The iPod touch is far more than just a simple music player. It comes equipped with essentially all the features of a fully fledged iPhone bar the call capabilities. The iPod nano is also a capable device, and small enough to carry anywhere, while the iPod shuffle is simple, inexpensive and tough. Apple quietly retired the original iPod classic in October 2014, after seven years of faithful service. With the iPod classic now a distant memory, those wanting a large amount of storage on their iPod will find the options rather limiting. Currently, the iPod shuffle offers a humble 2GB of storage, while the iPod nano boasts a rather more spacious 16GB. It’s worth bearing in mind that this means the shuffle can hold around 450 songs encoded at 128kb/s, with the nano’s 16GB topping out at around the 4,000 mark. The only model to go higher than 16GB is the iPod touch, which is available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variants. While it’s nowhere near the mammoth 160GB capacity of the iPod classic, it should still offer enough room for the vast majority of users. The shuffle is probably the most true to that original iPod, as it focuses solely on playing audio. The lack of a screen has meant that in the past you had to remember what was on the device, and switching between tracks was something of a lottery. Now, thanks to the voiceover feature, the iPod shuffle will read out the name of the track, podcast, audiobook or playlist to you, and allow you to choose the one you want to listen to. The most obvious feature that differentiates the iPod nano and the iPod shuffle is the nano’s 2.5in multitouch display. This enables the iPod nano to have a range of included apps that broaden its appeal. Music is, of course, still the primary function, with the cool ability to create genius mixes on the fly by tapping a button while a song is playing; the device will then automatically generate a playlist from your library based on that track. A screen also means video, with the iPod nano playing any media synched to it from your iTunes account. The iPod touch is in a different category to its smaller siblings. As the only iPod to run a full version of iOS, the iPod touch has access to the full App Store, with all the games, productivity

tools, social media and camera apps that you’d expect to find on an iPhone, as well as web access. The built-in camera, while not quite up to the iPhone quality, still offers great shots. iPods may not share the same always-on nature of smartphones, but battery life remains an important factor for any portable electronic device. You might think that the iPod shuffle would win this category due to its lack of a power-sapping screen, but its diminutive size means a small battery and it lasts for only 15 hours. It loses out to the nano, which goes for around 30 hours, while the iPod touch – which houses the largest battery in the range – holds out for a massive 40 hours of listening time. If you watch video, though, things immediately change, with the nano affording 3.5 hours and the touch falling to eight hours. The iPod shuffle is best for sports enthusiasts because it’s cheap, hardy and can clip onto pretty well anything. Those with smaller music libraries will also appreciate the value of an inexpensive device that is still powerful thanks to the voiceover feature, as will everyone who don’t want to spend a lot on a music player. The iPod nano is ideal for those who want a svelte device with more capacity than a shuffle. The iPod touch has a higher price tag and in many ways strays rather too close to the smartphone world to make it a compelling device for those who already own an iPhone. If you do want an internetcapable iOS device, then you can

pick up an iPod touch for less than the price of an iPad. The iPod touch is also a great option for teenagers who want to communicate with friends, watch the latest YouTube videos, listen to their music, and not have ongoing bills for their parents to pay.

Price If you really don’t want to spend a great deal on a device, and don’t mind a limited set of functions, then the iPod shuffle is a very tempting option at £40. Moving up to an iPod nano will give you a few more advanced features and eight times the storage, but the price jumps up to £129. For iPod royalty, you’ll find the three models of iPod touch priced at £159 (16GB), £199 (32GB) and £249 (64GB).

108 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

092_113 Buyers Guide JULY.indd 108

05/05/2015 12:32


Which iPad and iPhone? HOW TO CHOOSE THE iOS DEVICE THAT WILL SUIT YOU

W

ith four iPhones and five iPads to choose from, each with very different specs, it can be tricky to decide which iOS device to buy. Those who want a ‘phablet’ experience – midway between a phone and a small tablet – might be interested in the iPhone 6 Plus. Fans of gaming and movies will also like the 6 Plus’s big screen. Some business users may find the big screen good for productivity apps. The 6 Plus is likely to be the phone of choice for early adopters and others who like to have the latest thing, and for those on a big budget. If the iPhone 6 Plus is a bit too big (and more than a few buyers have found this), then you might go for the smaller iPhone 6. It still has appeal for those who want a bigger screen (for games and films in particular, but also work apps and a generally more immersive experience) but a more portable device. The iPhone 6 is easier to slip into a pocket (and to use one-handed) than the iPhone 6 Plus. It’s also a bit more affordable. But what if you don’t want the iPhone 6 with its 4.7in screen or the iPhone 6 Plus with its 5.5in screen? The iPhone 5s misses out on a lot of the features in the newer iPhones, including the latest processor, various camera features including 43Mp panoramas, the ability to use Touch ID in-store (when Apple launches Apple Pay in the UK), better battery life and

more. But if the smaller screen size is crucial, then it’s still a good phone. And it does feature Touch ID (albeit without the NFC chip that will enable Apple Pay on your high street). It’s a good deal, especially the 32GB version. There are various features that the iPhone 5s has that the iPhone 5c doesn’t, like the Touch ID fingerprint scanner and a better camera with better photography features. It’s the cheapest iPhone, but it’s not necessarily the best deal, crippled as it is by its 8GB drive. The step up from iPad Air 1 to iPad Air 2 brings a faster processor, a better rear-facing camera (8Mp, up from 5Mp) and Touch ID, as well as a device that is 6 percent lighter and 19 percent thinner, with a less reflective screen and the prospect of iOS update support for about a year more than the iPad Air 1. Is all that worth an extra £80? Probably. The iPad Air 1 is still a great iPad, though, fast enough for all current apps. Those who have light use in mind (email, browsing the web, simple games) should be absolutely fine with it, and would save the extra £80. However, such customers might want to consider a cheaper option still: the iPad mini. The first and most obvious thing to say is this: £80 extra for the iPad mini 3 (compared with the equivalent mini 2) is a tough sell. All you get for that is Touch ID, and while Touch ID is cool and convenient, it’s hardly worth £80. The £40 price gap between the mini 1 and mini 2, by contrast, seems if anything to be smaller than we’d expect, and we strongly recommend going for the mini 2 rather than the mini 1. For the extra £40, the mini 2 gets a much faster processor than the mini 1 and a Retina display, and those are both major selling points – the A7 is more important than ever, given how

much apps have moved on in the past year (it’s a must-buy if you’re seriously into iPad gaming). The A5 processor in the iPad mini 1 is only going to get more and more tired when tackling games and demanding apps. It is also possible that the original iPad mini will become obsolete in the next couple of years – unable to update to the next version of iOS. If that happens you won’t be able to run all the apps out there. Also, if you’re used to Retina displays already – you’ve got an iPad 4, say, or you borrow a friend’s iPad mini 2 a lot – then you might find the iPad mini 1 a tiny bit fuzzy.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 109

092_113 Buyers Guide JULY.indd 109

05/05/2015 12:32


Buyers’ Guide

Apple TV APPLE’S SET-TOP BOX

T

he Apple TV is a connected set-top box, measuring 23mm by 98mm by 98mm and weighing 27g, that offers access to iTunes TV shows and movies, as well as content from Netflix, YouTube and Vimeo. You can also stream content to your TV from your Mac, iPhone and iPad. It costs £59. The Apple TV isn’t a TV in the normal sense of the word, because it doesn’t have free-to-air channels or a digital video recorder to store shows to watch at a more convenient time. However, it does offer what could be described as channels, and this content keeps on growing, leaving us hopeful for a future where the Apple TV will include links to on-demand services just like our iPhones and iPads do – think the iPlayer and 4oD apps and you’re not too far away. Apple has made multiple updates to the Apple TV software over the years, adding a number of new app-style TV channels, delivering new content to Apple TV users. Most recently the Now TV app addition brought Sky entertainment, movies and sports content to the Apple TV, for a subscription. Probably the most popular app on the Apple TV is Netflix. In many ways it’s the only reason we recommend the Apple TV right now, because without it there would be very little content available to UK users. When a Netflix subscription costs just £5.99 a month, it is very difficult to recommend spending almost that much on hiring a single movie to watch via Apple’s own iTunes Store, although you will find some iTunes content that won’t appear on Netflix for months or years – or maybe not at all.

In the US the Apple TV includes Hulu Plus, HBO Go, Showtime Anytime, Fox Now, Watch ABC, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, PBS, A&E, History, Lifetime, WatchESPN and much more. It is possible to run apps for some services on an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad and then stream them to the Apple TV using AirPlay – but the Apple TV really needs to provide direct access to those services without requiring any expensive additional hardware. Despite the limited content here in the UK there is still a lot to like about the Apple TV. It’s well built and easy to use. Some of the better features work only with other Apple products, but if you own those products then the Apple TV is a great addition. We like the Apple TV’s user interface too. It’s simple and intuitive, as you’d expect from Apple, and will be familiar to all iPad and iPhone users as it utilises the bright and bold iOS looks. You navigate the setup menus and input Wi-Fi network and password via the included Apple TV remote or using your iPhone and the Remote app. You can also pair it with a Bluetooth keyboard. Using the keyboard

of the iPhone app simplifies the task of entering network passwords or using the search function when browsing content. The Apple TV includes an HDMI interface with 1080p output for connecting to your high-def TV, as well as built-in Wi-Fi for your home network. There’s no hard drive inside that tiny little box, so you can’t download films or TV programmes for permanent storage, but you can download purchases onto a Mac or PC using iTunes and then stream them to the Apple TV using Apple’s AirPlay wireless technology. AirPlay will also allow you to stream video from any iOS mobile device.

New Apple TV on its way The last time Apple updated the Apple TV was back in January 2013, and even then it was just a minor update. Speculation about a fourth-generation Apple TV has been mounting, and it’s certainly possible that Apple is gearing up to launch a new Apple TV this year. In the two years since the last Apple TV update, many competing products from rival companies have launched, so Apple really needs to get a move on if it wants to dominate the set-top box market. This new Apple TV may be smaller than the existing one, and it may feature a new remote, be Siri-activated, or even, rumour has it, be controlled using Kinect-like gestures. Other rumours suggest that the new TV could include access to the iOS App Store so that users can purchase apps that can be viewed on their TV set – as well as games that can be played on the Apple TV. Our biggest wish, though, is that Apple brings the UK on-demand channels to the Apple TV – all its competitors offer them and their absence represents a serious failing on Apple’s part. Hopefully, any new features coming to the Apple TV will work on the current model as well as any new one that Apple launches.

110 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

092_113 Buyers Guide JULY.indd 110

05/05/2015 12:32


Apple Watch APPLE REINVENTS THE SMARTWATCH

A

pple unveiled the Apple Watch back in September 2014, band finally went on sale on 24 April 2015. The best news here is that Apple’s not just launching a smartwatch but a whole raft of smartwatches. By combining the three different Apple Watch categories, the two different face sizes, and the accompaniment of straps, there is the potential for 38 different Apple Watches, so there will be a style to suit anybody. And crucially, since Apple is offering two watch face sizes, the Apple Watch will be as comfortable on a female wrist as it is a man’s.  Where other companies have failed to come up with a smartwatch design that suits anyone, Apple has solved the issue by coming up with multiple designs to suit everybody. Rather than try and make one watch to suit everyone, Apple has designed three basic Apple Watch varieties targeted at different groups of people. Starting at £299, the Watch Sport, for example, is ruggedised and has a strengthened Ion-X glass face so it should be able to take some bashing. It’s also the lightest of the three Apple Watch editions because its case is made from anodised aluminium. The Watch Edition is clearly designed for the fashion-conscious, with a beautiful 18-carat gold case available in yellow or rose gold; it even comes in a fancy leather box that doubles as a charging cradle. Prices start at a staggering £8,000. The watch face itself comes in two sizes: one is 42mm high, the other 38mm. The sapphire (for the Apple Watch and Watch Edition) or Ion-X glass face (for the Apple Watch Sport) sits in a case made from stainless steel, aluminium or gold, depending on which of the three models

you opt for (Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport or Apple Watch Edition, respectively). The stainless steel finish is available in standard or black, the aluminium finish in silver or grey, and the 18-carat in yellow gold or rose gold. There is also a collection of straps to choose from, including link bracelet, sport band, leather loop, classic buckle, modern buckle and Milanese loop. The leather loop and sport band options are offered in multiple colour choices. The sport band comes in black, white, pink, blue and lime green, for example. And if that’s not enough customisation options for you, there are a number of watch faces to choose from – some are even animated. And you can change the colours and design elements of these. The problem that many of the current smartwatches have is that the user interface is packed into a tiny display and you need to manipulate those titchy visual elements using your fingers – which are inevitably bigger than the elements you are trying to touch. Apple’s solution is to make use of the stud on the side of the watch that was once used to wind up clockwork watches. This stud – its proper name is the crown – has been turned into what Apple calls a Digital Crown. This Digital Crown solves the problem of swiping through icons on a minuscule display. You can use the crown to zoom in on interface elements and scroll through content on the watch face, without your fingers obscuring the view. The Digital Crown can be used to navigate through lists as well as zoom in on data, maps and photos. This doesn’t mean that the watch face isn’t touch-sensitive. You can tap and swipe the

Apple Watch face. In fact, the Apple Watch can determine just how hard you touched the screen. It can distinguish between a normal tap, used to select things, and a harder press, used to access contextual menus. Apple calls this technology Force Touch. You aren’t the only one doing the tapping when it comes to the Apple Watch. The watch incorporates what Apple calls a taptic engine, which lets it ‘tap’ your wrist to alert you to notifications. It’s similar to the vibrate function on an iPhone, except that only you know that you are being nudged. You can also interact with the Apple Watch via Siri, dictating messages or requesting turn-by-turn directions. There will be various apps available for the Apple Watch. These are slimmed-down snippets of apps, referred to by Apple as ‘Glances’. You will be able to glance at Messages, Mail, Weather, Calendar, Maps, Passbook, Music, Photos and more. Apple will also offer its own Activity app for the Apple Watch – it uses three circles to demonstrate how close you are to meeting your targets for calories burned – and a number of other health and fitness apps will also be available. You will be able to use the Apple Watch to pay for things, just as soon as Apple launches its Apple Pay technology in the UK. All you do is double-click the button and hold up your watch to a payment reader. This is made possible because the Apple Watch includes an NFC chip, as do the iPhones 6 and 6 Plus. For added security, if you take the Apple Watch off, it’ll lock and require a code before you can purchase anything.

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 111

092_113 Buyers Guide JULY.indd 111

05/05/2015 12:32


Buyers’ Guide

Apple peripherals AirPort Time Capsule 2TB £249, 3TB £349 The Time Capsule works with Apple’s Time Machine app to make backing up your Mac really simple. It comes with 2TB or 3TB of storage and continuously makes a copy of everything on your Mac, backing up the files you’ve changed automatically, wirelessly, and in the background. Full review: tinyurl.com/Lh6pjqu

AirPort Express £79 Apple’s AirPort Express is a Wi-Fi base station that also features the ability to stream audio from a Mac, iPad or iPhone to a stereo using AirPlay – kind of like an Apple TV for your stereo. It also works as a wireless access point to extend the range of a network but is only 802.11n-capable. Full review: tinyurl.com/q4xqszq

AirPort Extreme £169 The AirPort Extreme is a Wi-Fi base station that combines the functionality of a router, network switch and wireless access point. You can also attach a hard drive to it for wireless network attached storage (NAS). It supports 802.11ac. Note that AirPort devices are routers, not modems. Full review: tinyurl.com/mfdLLsc

Thunderbolt Display £899 Introduced in 2011, Apple’s Thunderbolt Display is almost four years old. It offers 2560x1440 resolution, 375cd/m2 brightness, and a 1,000:1 contrast ratio. But it’s more than a monitor – it offers three USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire 800 port, gigabit ethernet and, of course, a Thunderbolt port. Full review: tinyurl.com/nkhkzm8

Magic Trackpad £59 Apple introduced the Magic Trackpad back in 2010. It’s similar to the trackpad on a MacBook, and it’s designed to complement Apple’s Wireless Keyboard as an alternative to a mouse. The Magic Trackpad’s functions are practically identical to its laptop counterparts. Full review: tinyurl.com/qd474vb

Magic Mouse £59 Sounding a bit like a kid’s superhero, the Magic Mouse is a multi-touch Bluetooth mouse that lets you click anywhere, scroll in any direction and perform gestures like you do on the Trackpad. It’s a bit more precise to use than the Magic Trackpad and is included with every new iMac. Full review: tinyurl.com/nc9o95e

Apple Wireless Keyboard £59 Like the Magic Mouse, the Bluetooth-enabled Apple Wireless Keyboard is available with every new iMac. Its use doesn’t stop with the Mac, though. Apple’s Wireless Keyboard can be paired with an iPad, iPhone or an Apple TV to make entering data easier on those devices. Full review: tinyurl.com/kuoa86k

Apple Keyboard £40 There is also a wired keyboard available for those who prefer not to be constantly looking for batteries. It features a numeric keyboard, which is handy if you are often working with data. We love the Apple keyboards because they are quiet to use and the low profile helps avoid RSI. Full review: tinyurl.com/px5rj8c

Apple EarPods £25 Designed according to the geometry of the ear, Apple’s EarPods are more comfortable for many people than other earbud-style headphones. A built-in remote lets you adjust the volume, control the playback of music and video, and answer or end calls with a pinch of the cord. Full review: tinyurl.com/mmvo52c

Apple In-Ear Headphones £65 Apple says its In-Ear Headphones with a mic and remote are “engineered for superior acoustic accuracy, balance and clarity”. Each earpiece contains two dedicated drivers – a woofer to handle bass and mid-range, and a tweeter for high-frequency audio. If you prefer in-ear headphones – which tend to let less sound leak, so you don’t have to blast the sound out as high – these could be a good option.

112 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

092_113 Buyers Guide JULY.indd 112

05/05/2015 12:32


Apple software OS X 10.10 Yosemite Free The latest version of Apple’s operating system for the Mac launched in October 2014 with a completely new look. Benefits of the new OS include better continuity between your iPad, iPhone and Mac, with features such as AirDrop and Handoff making it easier to move between devices. Full review: tinyurl.com/ohv23hs

iOS 8 Free Apple introduced iOS 8 in September 2014. The new operating system for iPad and iPhone bought a way to share content with your family and iCloud Drive, making it easier to store and access data in the cloud. Other additions include extensions, improved keyboard and the Health app. Full review: tinyurl.com/kmavwnw

Final Cut Pro X £229.99 Final Cut Pro X is Apple’s professional video editing suite. You can work with multiple streams of 4K ProRes at full resolution, play back complex graphics and effects in real time without rendering, output 4K video to ultra-high-definition displays, and create 3D titles. Full review: tinyurl.com/phs7zc7

Logic Pro X £149.99 Apple’s Logic Pro X is Apple’s professional music creation software. It includes a huge collection of instruments, effects and loops, as well as drummer tracks. It’s aimed at professionals but is also a great step up from GarageBand for those who want to get serious about music creation. Full review: tinyurl.com/nfgavnz

GarageBand Mac £3.99, iOS £3.99 This music creation software is available for both Mac and iOS. It offers a complete sound library with software instruments and virtual session drummers. You can learn to play an instrument as well as play, record, create and share your hits. Free with new Macs and iOS devices. Full review: tinyurl.com/nk5srLq

iMovie Mac £10.99, iOS £3.99 This home movie making software is available for iPhone, iPad and Mac. You can create an HD movie, or quickly put together a Hollywood-style trailer. It’s an easy way of turning the video you take on your iPhone into something you’d want to share. Free with new Macs and iOS devices. Full review: tinyurl.com/pc7xp3e

iTunes 12 Free Apple’s iTunes was originally music jukebox software that came into its own with the launch of the iPod. Since then iTunes has grown and is now the means by which users can manage all their media: music, movies, apps and more. Use iTunes on a Mac to access the iTunes Music Store. Full review: tinyurl.com/kj32hvu

Pages Mac £14.99, iOS £7.99 Pages is Apple’s answer to Microsoft Word (and is compatible with Word). It’s a word processor for Mac and iOS that works seamlessly between the different devices. In many ways it’s more of a page layout application for creative people, with more design-led features than Word. Full review: tinyurl.com/qfdzfjc

Keynote Mac £14.99, iOS £7.99 Keynote is a presentation app for Mac and iOS that is basically Apple’s answer to PowerPoint. It features really easy-to-use tools, some great effects, animations and transitions for creating attractive presentations. You can save Keynote documents as PowerPoint files if you wish. Full review: tinyurl.com/nz3q3uf

Numbers Mac £14.99, iOS £7.99 Apple’s answer to Excel is Numbers, a spreadsheet app that can be used on both Mac and iOS devices. Because it’s Apple, Numbers lets you turn your data into a thing of beauty, dropping your figures onto one of Apple’s templates, but it also does the maths, supporting over 250 functions. Full review: tinyurl.com/o5qnk4g

JULY 2015 • MACWORLD 113

092_113 Buyers Guide JULY.indd 113

05/05/2015 12:32


Spotlight By David Price

Not on my Watch Why Apple’s fear of customisation is a problem for wearable tech

R

egular readers of Macworld will be familiar with one of our pet complaints: that you can’t delete Apple’s preinstalled apps from your iPhone or iPad. Newsstand, Game Centre, Tips, Stocks: however annoying you find them, however little they’ve done to improve your life, you’re stuck with them. Annoying this might be, but it’s hardly the end of the world; and for all the articles we write imploring Apple to change its policy on preinstalled, undeletable apps, we’ve coped with the situation without too much trouble. The iPhone, after all, is (like all smartphones) blessed with multiple Home screens and a simple folder system, both of which make it relatively easy for neat-freaks like myself to hide unwanted icons well out of sight. The apps are still using up storage space, of course, but not all that much. The Apple Watch, however, is a different kettle of fish. This week, I finally had my turn on Macworld’s office Apple Watch, and therefore came late to the realisation that not only had Apple made the bizarre decision to crowbar its much-derided, ultra-niche Stocks apps on to the device’s default Home screen – you don’t want to check share prices on the bus? What are you, some kind of socialist? But it had also declined to allow users to delete or even hide it. The Apple Watch doesn’t have multiple Home screens or folders, and its screen (as you’re likely to have noticed) is quite small. Even the default mosaic of microscopic app icons feels cramped, and that’s before you start adding your own – and the range of apps you’re likely to want on your watch is only going to increase as more and more developers get to grips with the new format. Having a compulsory extra icon on there, even if

it’s exiled to the edge and barely visible, feels like an imposition. In its own small way it makes the device just that tiny bit less user-friendly. It makes the device feel less about what I want to do and more about what someone at Apple thinks I should be doing.

The intimacy of wearables Thinking about this, and about the seemingly irrational degree to which Stocks’ presence irritated me, led to more general thoughts: about the differences between portable and wearable tech, and the differing importance of customisation options to each. Apple’s philosophy has always been that it knows best, and it makes certain choices for the user in order to ensure the best possible experience. It’s a patronising-sounding approach when put that like, for sure, but one that has reaped dividends in user satisfaction and loyalty. Everyone thinks they want freedom of choice, but in practice it rarely hurts to have some decisions made for you. But the Apple Watch, unlike all previous Apple products, is something that you wear rather than something you use. It’s personal, and intimate, and it

would be natural to assume that owners of such a device would want it to reflect their personality. Why, after all, would anyone buy the Apple Watch Edition, if not to make a statement about their taste and status? Given the total novelty of this approach for both Apple and the tech industry in general, it has to be said that Tim Cook and his team have done a solid job marketing this blend of technology and fashion – certainly a stronger job that you can imagine being performed by any of the company’s big rivals. Quite aside from the deft courting of celebrities and fashion opinion formers, Apple has been clever about (if you’ll forgive the phrase) telling a different story about each of the three main types of Apple Watch: constructing a different personality and lifestyle around each. Yet in the sense of user customisation, the control freaks at Cupertino continue to play by the old rules, and I think it’s a mistake. If you’re going to wear a device and have it on your body at all times, you’re going to be that much more demanding about it behaving exactly as you want. And the very least we should be able to expect is to choose the apps that appear on our Apple Watches. I understand why this isn’t going to happen, of course. For one thing, Apple understandably likes to promote its own apps. It also likes to turn customers into evangelists, and having the Ive-masterminded showroom experience on display in every one of its products is part of this. As usual balance is key: the last thing I’d advocate is the throwing open of the walled garden and a free invitation to everyone to tinker with the workings of their watch to their heart’s content. But let’s at least start by letting me delete Stocks.

114 MACWORLD • JULY 2015

114 David Price.indd 114

08/05/2015 08:50


Don’t miss a single copy of Macworld by subscribing digitally Subscribe from as little as £1.99

MW Digital filler.indd 138

02/09/2014 15:57


See the

perfect color Get the perfect results you’re looking for. This professional IPSAHVA display delivers crisp Quad HD images. Adjust the color to your exact standards with six axis custom color adjustment. PerfectKolor Technology ensures factory-calibrated 99% AdobeRGB color space and a billion colors for perfect results.

PerfectKolor 272P4A www.philips.com/lcdmonitors

Digital mag 216.indd 126

06/05/2015 10:22

Macworld uk july 2015  
Macworld uk july 2015  
Advertisement