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Issue 251 Sampler | September 2012 | @MacFormat

The latest MacBooks reviewed!

Make movies on your iPad Edit and share your movies on the go

Set up. Discover. Enjoy!

R E L SAMP Better portraits in Photoshop Add stunning hard-light effects to photos

We’re number 1! The UK’s best-selling Apple mag!

Rip DVDs to iTunes How to make a digital copy of a DVD

KIT RATED Apple Airport Express Logitech Ultrathin case ● Seagate Backup Plus ● ●

Steve Jobs: The Movie

The latest cameras

Our picks for who should play Steve!

The best compacts for around £300

The iPad app for all your Apple needs

The new MacFormat app Download it today!

to MacFormat, the UK’s best-selling Apple magazine save & subscribe today See inside!

n this special sampler of the September issue of MacFormat we show you some of the great content that the full issue contains. We’ve got a breakdown of the new version of OS X Mountain Lion and also review the amazing new MacBook Air and MacBook Pros. In case you didn’t know, we redesigned MacFormat last month and launched a new iPad app version. I’m pleased to say that feedback about both the new-look mag and app has been really positive. Generally people love the interactive features of the new app, but the biggest request we’ve had is the ability to add bookmarks – I’ve passed your requests to our technical team who tell me it’s “on the list”, so lets keep our fingers crossed! If you haven’t tried the app it’s just £2.99 on the App Store, so give it a go and get the full issue 251. You can order the print edition from www.myfavouritemagazines. See you next month on 11 September for more from the world of Apple.


on the cover MacBook Pro vs Air New Macs reviewed

All you need to know about Mountain Lion Inside the new OS X

Make movies on an iPad

Video editing on the go

Photoshop portraits Learn new design skills

Rip DVDs to iTunes

Store everything digitally

Steve Jobs: The movie Graham Barlow Editor-in-Chief

Who should get the lead role in the new biopic?

The latest cameras

6 sharp shooters tested

meet the Team | your macformat experts Ian Osborne

Tim Hardwick

Alex Thomas

Luis Villazon

Matthew Bolton

Tech Champion

Apps Guru

Creative Pro

Apple Expert

iOS evangelist

Ian has been up to his neck in Apple kit this issue, reviewing the new MacBook range, and that’s just the way he likes it.

Stuck at home with pink eye, Tim still managed to proof pages from his sickbed. Back in the office, we designed him an iPatch.

Alex managed to fit in a short holiday to the Alps this month. Naturally, he took his perfect partner with him – his iPad.

Always happy to tackle the toughest of end-user problems, Luis dispatches several Apple gremlins to an early bath this issue.

Still waiting for the next iPhone release with bated breath, Matthew is spending his time dreaming of what iOS 6 will bring.

We round up the stories that matter to you

Is an iPad mini on the horizon? 19cm

Media reports claim Apple will introduce a 7.85-inch iPad in time for Christmas as it fights for control of the tablet market



The big story

7.85-inch screen

eports suggest that Apple has a 7.85-inch trick up its sleeve – a smaller, cheaper iPad set to take on Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7 at the low end of the tablet market. The New York Times, Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal have all chimed in to confirm these claims, saying the smaller iPad will boast a 7.85-inch display. Speculation that Apple intends to introduce such a product has been in circulation since 2011. In 2010, Apple’s late co-founder, Steve Jobs, condemned 7-inch tablets as ‘tweeners’, saying they weren’t big enough for great tablet apps. It has been reported that Apple’s first iPad prototypes were 7-inch devices, which prompted Jobs to ask they were good for anything other than “surfing the web in the bathroom”. Apple currently owns the tablet market, holding 61% of the world’s tablet sales, but it has been feeling some impact from Amazon’s heavily subsidised 7-inch Kindle Fire. If it exists, the ‘iPad mini’ is Apple’s attempt to widen the addressable market for its industry-defining tablet.


Apple in pictures Eye-catching images from the world of Apple p11

The team’s picks from the Store

Media of the month p12

Competition between Apple and Amazon, each with their own music and film download services, is intense. Amazon is reported to be looking to introduce a larger Kindle Fire with which to take on Apple directly. It’s also busy courting developers in an effort to bring apps and games to its tablet. “Amazon is a very viable platform and we are encouraged by the speed at which they are moving,” said Niccolo de Masi, Chief Executive of game developer Glu Mobile. “They have a very good chance of being the number-three player in developer revenues, ahead of Microsoft, if they execute over the next few years.”

Bitter pill Writing in The Guardian, Apple alumni and former BeOS boss, Jean-Louis Gassée, said: “If Apple comes up with a smaller iPad later this year, it will be a killer product.” He argued that even if the device takes sales from the existing iPad range, it’s still preferable to ceding the small-size tablet market to the Android devices manufactured by the likes of Amazon and Asus (which makes the highly rated Nexus 7 tablet for Google). Previous episodes of the now long-running iPad mini soap opera suggest the new device will be thinner and equipped with lower specifications than the current model. It’s expected to use the same non-Retina 1,024x768 display used in the first- and second-generation iPad models. A report from iOS website iMore claims the tablet will ship with just 8GB of storage in order to keep costs low. Japan’s Macotakara website suggests the new Apple tablet might resemble an iPod nano, at least in design, and be just 7.2mm thin. The same report claims that

Jean-Louis Gassée said: “If Apple comes up with a smaller iPad later this year, it will be a killer product”

We’re most excited about

Gadgets that we like p14

One more thing

When technology gets in the way of humanity p16

I use my Mac for… People pushing boundaries using Apple devices p18

Apple in QUOTES What people are saying about Apple right now

Tim Cook

iPad speculation needn’t be far-fetched. Apple has diversified a winning product to protect its market before – recall the iPod mini? production will take place at Foxconn’s new plant in Jundiaí, Brazil. Horace Dediu, founder of industry analysis website Asymco, believes Apple may market the new device as a large iPod touch rather than as a smaller iPad. This will lay particular focus on media consumption – reading, movie watching, music – while the larger iPads would remain the Rolls Royce of the tablet fleet. Iron Capital co-founder, Eric Jackson, says, “I think this is a slice of the tablet market that More in appeals to some users who want a smaller the mag! form factor to take with them on the go.” Buy the full Apple watchers currently expect the new issue 251 today! device to ship by October at $250-$300, near the anticipated introduction of the iPhone 5.

Team Talk The Nexus 7 has had a positive reception, proving that a midsized tablet works, and the Kindle Fire has captured everybody’s imagination. If Apple enter this market at around the £200 mark I think they’ll clean up.

I think a seveninch tablet is a solution looking for a problem, and is an unnecessary addition to the current iOS line-up. Other manufacturers seem to like this tablet size, but since when has Apple followed trends set by others?

[t] @gbarl

[t] @ijosborne

“I’m looking forward to all the private discussions I’ve set up this week.” Apple CEO meets media execs at private industry retreat. Apple TV talk?

Wells Fargo

“The iPhone 5 will be the biggest product launch in consumer electronics history.” Hype is building for the world’s most sophisticated smartphone.

Steve Ballmer

“We are trying to make absolutely clear we are not going to leave any space uncovered to Apple.” MS boss still giving it the fighting talk.

Philipp Karcher

“The ‘Windows first’ days, especially in mobile devices, are absolutely over. Microsoft may wish it otherwise, but that’s not how people are working.” Forrester analyst warns Microsoft to embrace competing platforms.

More in the mag! Words: Gary Marshall Illustrations: Paul Mitchell

Two movies about Steve Jobs are in production – but will they really do him justice? We have our own ideas hen Steve Jobs died last year, many of us heard the sound of Apple fans grieving – but as Jobs’ authorised biography rocketed to the top of the book charts, the sound Hollywood heard was the sound of jingling cash registers. It’s hardly surprising, then, that old interviews have been quickly repackaged and sent to cinemas (Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview appeared in US cinemas in May) while studios are rushing to capture Jobs’ story on film. There are two biopics currently in production: jOBS, starring Ashton Kutcher, and Steve Jobs, adapted from Walter Isaacson’s biography by The West Wing and The Social Network writer Aaron Sorkin. The films will be very different. jOBS will concentrate on Jobs’ life from leaving college to his triumphant return to Apple, while Steve Jobs is likely to be longer, wordier and interested in Jobs’ entire life. But they are both likely to


Buy the full issue 251 today!

encounter the same problem: while Jobs was an extraordinary man who created an extraordinary company, his story isn’t particularly visual. When he made computers in his garage this was world-changing, but watching him agonise over the perfect shade of beige for a computer case or demand the removal of floppy disc drives from the original iMac is hardly going to make for gripping cinema. However, that got us thinking. How would the world’s greatest film directors make the Steve Jobs story a must-see movie production? We started to wonder how differently the story would be told by Hollywood’s different directors, and who would be best for the job. After some heated discussions, we settled on a shortlist: the peerless, and some would say brainless, action movie director Michael Bay of Transformers and Pearl Harbor fame; David Fincher of Fight Club, Se7en and The Social Network; Pixar’s John Lasseter, director of Cars and A Bug’s Life as well as executive producer of Bolt, Finding Nemo and Brave; the inimitable Coen Brothers, who brought us Raising Arizona, Fargo and O Brother, Where Art Thou?; and last but definitely not least, the late, great Norah Ephron, writer of When Harry Met Sally and writer/director of You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless In Seattle. What might they have done with the story of Steve – and would any self-respecting Apple fan actually want to see the results? Stock up on popcorn and pass the pick ’n’ mix as we try to re-imagine ‘Steve Jobs: The Movie’.


Steve Jobs: Android Killer

actio n

Schmidt Happens Director: Michael Bay Starring: Shia LeBeouf (Steve Jobs), Megan Fox (Steve Wozniak), Mickey Rourke (Eric Schmidt), Jason Statham (Jonathan Ive) Certificate: 15 Running time: 203 minutes

We suspect that if Michael Bay were to be given a screenplay about Steve Jobs, he’d speed-read it – and the only bit that would get his attention would be the word “Android” and Jobs’ expletive-ridden rant about the “f***Ing stolen product” that he intended to “wage thermonuclear war” over. Androids? Theft? Thermonuclear war? That’s more than enough for Bay to make a movie – hell, make a trilogy! A quadrilogy! But it’s hard to imagine a realistic-looking Steve Wozniak making the final cut, so expect Woz to become a pretty lady with a tendency to bend over pumped-up muscle cars while wearing the skimpiest bikinis imaginable. Similarly, Eric Schmidt is not muscular enough to be a Michael Bay baddie. In Bay’s version, when Steve Jobs says “war” he means it, ordering design-guru Jonathan Ive to build him a robotic super-suit that he can use to smash Schmidt, Google and every Android device on Earth. Character development taken care of, Steve Jobs: Android Killer would then spend the remaining three-quarters of its running time showing Jobs’ and Schmidt’s robot suits bashing seven shades of crap out of one another to a loud Linkin Park soundtrack, with the battle interspersed with gratuitous explosions, helicopters and shots of Megan Fox.

Swipe Everybody wants to change the world Director: David Fincher Starring: Edward Norton (Steve Jobs), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Eric Schmidt), Christopher Lloyd (Steve Ballmer) Certificate: 12A Running time: 120 minutes

ler l i r h t

Fincher would explore the friendship between Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt, the ways in which Apple and Google’s partnerships repeatedly outmanoeuvred Microsoft (Christopher Lloyd in his best bit of bald buffoonery since he played Uncle Fester in The Addams Family), and the subsequent fallout when Jobs discovered the extent of Schmidt’s duplicity. In lesser hands the role of Jobs in particular could easily become a scenery-munching Al Pacino shoutfest, but Edward Norton has the acting chops to deliver a nuanced portrayal that encompasses both Steve Jobs’ legendary charm and his famous rages. Anybody can shout, but Norton can do cold fury like nobody else – remember American History X? – and he’s got just the right amount of cheekiness to do a convincing Reality Distortion Field too. When Norton as Jobs finally blows his top once he’s discovered the truth about Schmidt you’ll be shrinking back in your seat in fear. Swipe wouldn’t just be an opportunity for Norton to show his range, though: the talented Mr Hoffman would bring real gravitas to the Eric Schmidt role, and as we’ve seen in films such as Doubt and Capote, he can make even repellent people interesting and worth watching. To him, Android’s imitation of iOS is just business – but to Jobs, it’s a deep and personal betrayal.


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mountain lion

All you need to know about

Mountain Lion

Say hello to Apple’s latest big cat. OS X 10.8 has arrived…

pple’s latest update to OS X

Hit the ground A brings several new technologies to the Mac. But, as with all of running with the Apple’s apps there’s no instruction manual to follow once you’ve installed Mountain latest version of Lion. So, you’ve navigated the system requirements, purchased your new OS from OS X, as we explore the Mac App Store (or simply bought a new Mac), and now you’re ready to get some of its amazing going with Mountain Lion, but you don’t know where to start. With so many exciting new features new features touted by Apple prior to its Words: Ben Harvell

launch, it can be hard to see the big cat for the trees when you first access your new OS, which is why we’ve prepared this special guide for you. Follow us as we take you on a guided tour of the biggest new features of OS X Mountain Lion and show you how it will change the way you use your Mac. We’ll also introduce you to a few of the fun little changes in Mountain Lion and some things you may not have even heard of. So, let’s get started with the best new features.

mountain lion

Take note of Notes Let’s kick off with some of the new apps in Mountain Lion. If you’ve upgraded from Snow Leopard or Lion, you’ll remember there being a separate section within Mail for writing notes, which you could access on all of your devices that shared your MobileMe or iCloud account. Now MobileMe has been consigned to its place on the Apple scrapheap, iCloud is your path to syncing notes to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. As with iOS devices, your notes are now no longer found in Mail but as their own app called, simply, Notes. The implementation of Notes is better than ever in Mountain Lion. There is a range of new features such as the Share button. This enables you to send the contents of a note, complete with images and other attachments, to Mail or the new Messages app. You can even pin notes to your desktop rather than use the outdated Stickies!

Notes now has its own app and lets you pin any notes you make to the desktop.

Remember, remember Reminders Reminders is another convert from iOS, allowing you to create reminders on your desktop that automatically sync via iCloud to your iOS devices. You can sort reminders into different categories, create to-do lists and set your devices to notify you of a reminder when you arrive or leave a location, or at a certain time on a specific date. Each reminder can be given a priority and you can check off tasks that you’ve completed on any of your synced devices.

More in the mag! Buy the full issue 251 today!

Check your Messages You may have already seen Messages as part of the beta version; if not you should make it one of your first ports of call. The app, like all of the new additions in Mountain Lion, syncs with your iCloud account and lets you continue iMessage conversations from your iOS devices when you’re at your Mac. You should have set up iCloud when you first ran Mountain

Lion, in which case, your messages should appear right away. If not, you can head to System Preferences and enter your iCloud details so you’re ready to join the conversation. Messages enables you to send images, videos and other attachments in the same way you would on an iPhone or iPad and also offers delivery receipts so you know friends have received your message.

improve | iLife

Print photos as a set How to use iPhoto to combine multiple images on a single print SKILL LEVEL

Could be tricky

IT WILL TAKE 10 minutes


Photo, inkjet printer, A4 photo frame

Printing photos is usually pretty straightforward, whatever software you use. But how are you going to show off your prints afterwards? If you’re going to mount them on the wall or put them in a photo frame, there’s a bit more work to be done yet on the presentation. You can just fit prints straight into a frame, but professional framers use ‘mats’ – thick cardboard sheets with rectangular cutouts – to act as

If you want greatlooking results quickly, iPhoto’s print templates are unbeatable

More in the mag! Buy the full issue 251 today!


an inner frame for the photo and create a more professional-looking result. These are tricky to make and require special equipment. A professional framer might also mount several photos together in the same frame, so that you can have a little photo story on your wall rather than just a single picture. Now iPhoto can’t cut its own mounts, of course, but it can create a 3D framing effect that looks like the kind of bevelled ‘mat’ that the professionals use. It can also combine up to four pictures in a single print, without any complicated layout adjustments or manual alignment. It’s true that you don’t get an awful lot of control over the layout. But if you want great looking results quickly, iPhoto’s print-templates are unbeatable. Rod Lawton

QUICK LOOK in the frame Fake bevel

iPhoto creates the 1 illusion of a real bevelled photo mount by shading the edges of the frame to create a three-dimensional bas-relief effect.

Image layout

The arrangement 2 of the photos is decided by the layout template you choose. You don’t have control over the sizes, but in a way this simplicity is part of the appeal.




Zoom to fit

Vertical shots are zoomed to fit horizontal placeholders, and vice versa. If you click on a photo, you can increase the zoom and frame it as you wish. 3

Add a title

You can choose a layout template with or without a text caption box at the bottom. Click the Settings button on the iPhoto toolbar to choose a different font or size. 4

iLife | improve HOW TO | use iphoto to create a photo collage

1 Select your photos

You can either create a new album containing the photos you want to print, or select a series of photos within an existing album. Use the ç+p keyboard shortcut to open the Print dialog, where you’ll see a series of print layout themes to choose from.

2 Print layout themes

In the Print dialog, you’ll see five different options. Standard prints a single photo on a single sheet, while Contact Sheet prints thumbnails - like a visual reference to an album. But the three options we’re interested in are Simple Border, Simple Mat and Double Mat.

3 Layout options

Select Simple Mat, for example, and iPhoto brings up this window, with your photos displayed one per sheet, with a frame applied. If you click the Layout button at the bottom of the toolbar, a pop-up menu offers you a choice of One, Two, Three or Four photos per page.

spot edit

4 Print design

5 Swapping pictures

6 Zoom and crop

7 Choosing new pictures 8 Change the design

iPhoto offers vertical-format prints or horizontal, and the option to add a text caption underneath. iPhoto combines vertical and horizontal placeholders, and although you can choose which type is at the left/right or top/ bottom, that’s the extent of your control.

If a photo hasn’t been cropped as you’d like, click on a picture and you’ll see a zoom bar appear. Drag the slider to the right to enlarge the picture. When you do this the ‘hand’ button to the right becomes active, so you can drag the picture within the frame.

iPhoto automatically ‘populates’ the layout with your photos, resizing them to fit the placeholders. If you don’t like where it’s put them, just drag a picture from one placeholder to another and the two pictures are swapped over. Again, sizes are adjusted automatically.

You may want to swap the photos on the current page with others you originally selected. The top strip in the print layout window shows your prints, but if you click the ‘View photos’ button to the left, you can select different photos and drag them onto your layout.

If you spot a picture that needs enhancing, just double-click on it to open it in the Edit window. When you’ve finished, click the Printing button, top left, to return.

To alter the caption on your layout, just select it and start typing. You can use the popup panels on the toolbar to select a different background – or a new theme entirely. But be warned: this will reset your whole design, so you’ll have to choose the layout all over again.


MacBook Air 11-inch and 13-inch Apple’s ultra-portable gets even more desirable HHHHH MacBook Air 13-inch HHHHH MacBook Air 11-inch £999 MacBook Air 13-inch, 128GB, 1.8GHz Core i5 £849 MacBook Air 11-inch, 64GB, 1.7GHz Core i5 Manufacturer: Apple Inc, Processor: Dual-core Intel Core i5 Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000 Memory: 4GB of 1600MHz DDR3L

The first MacBook Air was a novelty product; an incredibly slim, light and portable supplement to your main Mac, but too expensive, and not powerful enough to use as your sole computer. Four and a half years later, though, today’s Air is a much more powerful beast and definitely a credible machine in its own right. The mid-2012 MacBook Air refresh uses the latest Ivy Bridge processors, the third generation of Intel’s Core i chips. These replace the second-gen Sandy Bridge processors used last year. The out-of-the-box Airs all use dual-core Core i5s, running at 1.7GHz for the 11-inch models and 1.8GHz for the 13-inch versions. Both are slightly faster than the equivalent models from the previous generation, but only by 0.1GHz. The Ivy Bridge processors include the new Intel HD Graphics 4000

refreshed notebook range. Once again, there are two models in each screen size. Online configuration options for the pricier 11-inch and 13-inch models allow you to increase their storage capacities to up to 512GB, twice the size of the 2011 release’s maximum. Comparing the 2012 13-inch and 11-inch MacBook Airs with an 11-inch 2011 model that was

chipset, which is up to 60% more powerful than the previous generation. All 2012 MacBook Airs have 4GB of memory, whereas before the entry-level 11-inch model had 2GB. This can be boosted to 8GB (twice as much as before) if you order through the Apple Online Store. Faster 1600MHz DDR3L is used, which is an improvement from the 2011 model’s 1333MHz RAM.

Faster memory and better graphics give the new MacBook Airs a significant advantage across the board upgraded using the Apple online store shows how a casual glance at the stats can be misleading. With its 1.8GHz Core i7 Sandy Bridge processor, you might expect the custom-configured Air, which we

Other improvements include a 720p FaceTime HD camera, which is three times the resolution of its predecessor, plus USB 3.0 ports, the faster protocol making its longawaited Mac debut across the

The two new MacBook Airs are outwardly identical to the previous release. tested last year, to out-perform the standard 2012 models. Not so. Faster memory and better graphics give the new MacBook Airs a significant advantage across the board, as you can see in our benchmarking graphs. The MacBook Air goes from strength to strength with this 2012 refresh. The new Ivy Bridge processors and faster RAM give Apple’s ultra-portable notebook a significant power boost, while improved options to increase storage capacity and onboard memory will appeal to high-needs users. Ian Osborne

A superb and highly portable notebook that makes few compromises to achieve its portability. MacBook Air 13-inch, 128GB, 1.8GHz Core i5

benchmarks | testing PERFORMANCE

Very light and portable Great new CPU and graphics


MacBook Air 13-inch, 1.8GHz Core i5 128GB, mid-2012

MacBook Air 13-inch, 1.8GHz Core i5 128GB, mid-2012

MacBook Air 13-inch, 1.8GHz Core i5 128GB, mid-2012

MacBook Air 11-inch, 1.7GHz Core i5 64GB, mid-2012

MacBook Air 11-inch, 1.7GHz Core i5 64GB, mid-2012

MacBook Air 11-inch, 1.7GHz Core i5 64GB, mid-2012

MacBook Air 11-inch, 1.8GHz Core i7 256GB, mid-2011

MacBook Air 11-inch, 1.8GHz Core i7 256GB, mid-2011

MacBook Air 11-inch, 1.8GHz Core i7 256GB, mid-2011














Cinebench (CBs)

Call of Duty

iMovie Encoding

Measuring CPU and GPU performance, Cinebench reports its results as a single figure. Multi-core performance quoted. Higher better.

Tested using CoD 4’s Timedemo Wetwork routine. Score recorded as frames per second, averaged over four tests. Higher is better.

We time how long it takes to convert a five-minute test video to iPod format using iMovie’s Export Using QuickTime function. Lower is better.

Faster memory Limited upgrade options

MacBook Air 11-inch, 64GB, 1.7GHz Core i5 Most portable Mac ever Good power upgrade Surprisingly good performance Shorter battery life


Apple AirPort Express AirPort Express proves to be a great way of building a Wi-Fi network HHHHH £79 Manufacturer: Apple, Network: Dual band 802.11n Wi-Fi Ports: 2x 10/100 Ethernet ports, 1x USB

Sneaking out at WWDC, the junior member of Apple’s AirPort range saw some significant and much-needed improvements. Indeed, it’s now a much tougher choice between the AirPort Express and the bigger, more expensive, AirPort Extreme. The first thing you’ll notice is a new design. Apple has done away with the previous form factor, in favour of something resembling a white Apple TV, making the whole thing much more svelte and easier to place exactly where you need it. The biggest improvement, though, is in the most fundamental part of any Wi-Fi base station: its radio. Previously, you had to use

802.11n on either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequency bands; but with the new AirPort Express, both bands are available simultaneously, so you should see better performance at both short and longer ranges with 802.11n devices. In our tests, this was the biggest difference in performance between the old and new versions. While throughput was roughly equivalent at short range, as soon as we went into another room, the signal with the old Express would drop; with the new version, performance at distance was much better. This makes the Express a much better choice if you want to use it as your main Wi-Fi router in a smaller

house, but as with the previous version it also excels if you want to use it to extend an existing network. For covering a house without having multiple networks, this is a great option and AirPort Express is extremely easy to set up. AirPort Express now includes two Ethernet ports, letting you connect to both a broadband router and computer at the same time. However, these ports are still 10/100 Ethernet, rather than the significantly faster Gigabit Ethernet that’s standard on most Macs. Also included is an optical audio port, which means you can use the AirPort Express as a way to get audio from any AirTunes-capable device to your hi-fi setup. The new AirPort Express is a significant upgrade, making it much more capable, and a better choice for more users. Ian Betteridge

The new AirPort Express is a huge improvement and may tempt those looking at the AirPort Extreme. Dual band, excellent reception AirTunes audio support Compact design No gigabit Ethernet

There’s more on our app! You’ll find a stunning video of this device in action on the MacFormat iPad app

The revamped AirPort Express features a smarter design and much improved internals.

Team Talk The new-look AirPort Express is better on all counts, with a more useful design and improved range. The form factor is more convenient, although I wish it had more – and faster – Ethernet ports. [t] @ijosborne

More in the mag! Buy the full issue 251 today!


The missing pieces of OS X Words: Craig Grannell

very major new version of the Mac’s operating system brings with it a slew of changes. Sometimes, these are for the better. We remember when Quick Look first arrived and how comparatively naked a Mac felt that had yet to be updated to Leopard. However, there’s also the dark side to operating system upgrades. Occasionally, things will change and you’ll prefer how they were before. In part, this will be due to getting stuck in your ways, but sometimes it’ll be because Apple’s

OS X is great, but it’s E not perfect. Here are the features (old and new) we’d like in future updates

new way of doing things is actually a bit rubbish. Now and again, you’ll also discover that Apple’s entirely removed a feature that you loved using, turning your upgrade into something more akin to a ‘sidegrade’ or even a step backwards. In this feature, we explore the ten things we think Apple could do to OS X that would make it a better operating system. We’ve included changes to existing features, entirely new ideas and the return of some old favourites, plus the opinions of two interface experts.

OS X keeps evolving, but are all of its changes for the best?


Make a better Finder

The heart of OS X’s interface is in dire need of a makeover Finder is an application so invisible that many Mac users forget it’s an application at all. And yet you’ll use it daily to find and manage documents and files. Finder used to have a reputation for being unstable and buggy, but those problems have largely been dealt with as OS X has matured. However, Finder remains a fairly basic file-manager, offering a handful of views and a sidebar that rapidly fills with items, the icons for which are all the same colour, making it difficult to tell them apart at a glance. Despite those issues, Finder nonetheless remains a suitable (if uninspiring) file manager for the majority of people who own a Mac. But it could be better, especially if Apple embraced features that add-ons and alternatives offer. Both TotalFinder ( and Path Finder ( pathfinder) provide tabbed browsing and dual-pane views. Tabbed browsing is a great way to reduce Finder window clutter – you can have every open window within a single tabbed

pane if you like, or work with multiple tabbed windows, perhaps defined by context. For example, if you’re working on a few projects, you could have a tabbed Finder window for each, so locating related files is easier. A dual-pane mode then makes it simpler to move files between folders. Such changes would benefit Finder but should be optional; relative novices would never have to see them, but ‘power users’ could revel in the increased functionality. We also wouldn’t say no to cut-and-paste, file tagging, and a drop stack for temporarily holding a file during move actions.

You can add tabbed windows with TotalFinder – but shouldn’t OS X have them by now?

tutorials so people can actually use it properly. The single search engine can be frustratingly obdurate unless you know the precise name of the thing you’re looking for and, let’s be honest, even the name iTunes is now hugely inappropriate. We’d like to see Apple take a leaf from iOS here (as it appears to be doing elsewhere, judging by Lion and Mountain Lion) and break iTunes into individual apps: Music, Videos, iBooks, iTunes (the store), and so on. It wouldn’t be an easy task, and Apple having to support Windows as well suggests it won’t happen, but we can dream…

iTunes: It’s like a massive branch of WHSmith but with one vast rotating carousel of random stuff.

Dismantle the iTunes app It’s time for this Jack of all trades to be master of some

We remember how revolutionary and exciting iTunes was when it first appeared, back in 2001. Over a decade ago, digital music was still a novelty and apps dedicated to playing MP3s were aimed at the geekier end of the market. But when iTunes arrived, it was simple and elegant, enabling you to rip, mix and burn. (Now we just activate ‘Shuffle’ mode.) Fast forward a few years and iTunes gained support for Apple’s new iPods and smart playlists, and an integrated music store was added. The problem is, these additions never stopped. Today, iTunes is a bloated monster, tasked with too many jobs and dealing with too many media types. It’s still a jukebox but also houses TV shows, films, podcasts, ebooks and apps. It’s used for managing iOS devices and has a rather naff social network, Ping, lurking like a bad smell. The one-size-fits-all interface is the antithesis of Apple’s own design and UI ethos, requiring plug-ins to add functionality and

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MacFormat issue 251 sampler  

Sample issue 251 of MacFormat (print edition). All you need to know about Mountain Lion, Steve Jobs the movie and the missing pieces of OS X...

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