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43 mojave power tips

Make your Mac faster, easier to use and even more capable!

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O cto b e r 20 1 9 N O.1 59

upgrade your Mac

Get your Mac perfectly prepped for the macOS Catalina update

iOS 13

Get your iPhone & iPad ready for the new iOS

HOW TO : Back up with Time Machine Ready docs for Windows Access your Mac remotely Save time with iOS shortcuts

Write on!

The best Mac apps to make writing a breeze

>>> Contents

O CTO B E R 20 1 9 N o.1 59

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Get ready for Catalina

Make Mac life even better!

Smart lighting

A new macOS is coming! Before you install it, it’s a perfect time to back everything up and give your machine a good tidy up. Here’s how to do it.

Here’s 43 indispensable shortcuts and clever techniques that you may never have heard of, that’ll help you use your Mac in a faster and more efficient way.

Automated, customizable lighting can make a huge difference to the spaces you live and work in. Here’s how to pick the best smart system for your needs.

4 OCT 2019

61 – Worse Than Death







42 MacBook Pro


The editor takes a look at Catalina's debut.

45 Soulver 3

60 Airmail Zero for Gmail

Digital Life

46 Agenda 6


Memos: Private Search

Sign up to the newsletter for more Mac|Life.

47 4.2


Worse Than Death

Apple’s in the money

47 UNO cable

62 Auxy 6

The company reports record revenue.

48 Plume SuperPods


GIFwrapped 2

iSpy in your home?

50 Commander One Pro 2


Wild Journey

Siri's accused of recording your conversations...


VAVA USB–C Multiport Adapter


6 apps to save the world

Matt Bolton says iOS 13 is a return to form for Apple.


Satechi Dual Smart Outlet


Tough talking

52 Best writing Mac apps


Crave The gear we’re lusting after this month.


Sky Guide 8

VAVA USB–C Hub 8–in–1 Multiport Adapter

56 Total War: Three Kingdoms

Best of the best Mac|Life’s pick of the best apps and hardware


MacBook Pro

Smart lighting We look at the best smart lighting tech.


Upgrade your Apple TV The best accessories to enjoy your Apple TV with


Ask Our experts solve your Mac and iOS problems.

The Shift

Email us your views at




Six times Steve Jobs didn't mince his words.


63 – GIFwrapped


Time Machine basics


iWork and Office docs


Sound advice for iMovie


Adding scenic reflections


Remote access using VNC


Helpful iOS shortcuts


Add more fonts to your iPad


Create your own QR codes


Table of contents in Pages


Apple Quiz Questions to help sort the Apple fools from fanboys. OCT 2019 5

>>> Feature

Get ready for

Catalina A new macOS is coming. Time to tidy up before the move Written by Adam Banks

16 Oct 2019


his year’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) was one of the most feature–packed for years, and much of the good news was for Mac users, with lots of improvements and additions — both visible and under the hood — coming to macOS Catalina. There’s a good chance that your Mac can benefit: apart from the old-school silver Mac Pro tower (2010–2012), which finally drops off the compatibility list, every Mac that could run macOS Mojave can be upgraded to Catalina when it appears this fall. As usual, it’s free. Apple works hard to make updating your Mac’s operating system as simple as possible. All you’ll need to do is find the new version on the Mac App Store, download it, and click Install. The process will take an hour or less without affecting the apps and files on your Mac. It’s not designed to cause any disruption.

Even so, there are two good reasons to pause and take stock of your system before you make the move. One is that, although it’s fairly rare with macOS upgrades, things can occasionally go wrong, whether because of obscure bugs, unforeseen combinations of circumstances, or random events like a power cut or hard drive failure at a crucial moment. You should always have your Mac and any external storage backed up using macOS’ Time Machine or an alternative, but if you’ve been putting it off, it’s particularly wise to get it done before any major operations like installing a new OS. It’s also simply a good opportunity to have a tidy up. That way, you really will feel like you’ve got a new Mac, fresh and ready for everything the next year can throw at it. Let’s see how to do just that.

Image rights: Apple.

Image rights: Apple.

>>> Feature

43 mojave power tips We love the Mac, but some helpful features are near-invisible. Let’s start saving time. (After all, we love that as much as our Macs.) Written by Alan Stonebridge

32 Oct 2019


o you ever think “There must be a better way to do this simple thing”, but you’re at a loss over how or where to do it? Welcome to the club! Even people who’ve used Macs for years miss out on invaluable shortcuts that can, over months and years, help you do things faster and more comfortably. Here, then, is an assorted collection of indispensible techniques that make Mac life even better. Much (but not all) of what you’ll learn here makes use of the modifier keys: Shift, Ctrl, Alt and Cmd. You’ll have seen those symbols throughout your Mac’s menus, where they tell you the key combo to press in future for instant access to the adjacent item. They’re used for many more things beyond menu shortcuts though. As well as knowing which keys to hold down, you need to know where to then click or drag. Allow us to help…

43 power tips for Mojave

Let’s get started… Six ways to protect your files and avoid window overload







Encrypt a USB drive Back up the drive, then open Disk Utility, select it on the left and click Erase. Set its scheme to GUID, format to Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted) for the broadest macOS compatibility or APFS (Encrypted) for 10.13 up, confirm, and set a password.

Quickly quit apps Hold Cmd and press Tab to open the app switcher. Press Tab repeatedly until the app you want is selected, then release Cmd to go to it. But the switcher has other uses. Press Q to quit the selected app, or H to hide its windows, which will return when you next switch to that app.

Accidental trashing It’s especially easy to delete an important file when trying to free up storage space. Select one in Finder, choose File > Get Info, tick Locked in the top group and then close the Info window. Finder will want confirmation if you try to put the file in the Trash.

Organize Safari tabs With quite a few pages open, Safari’s tab bar can get disorganized, making it hard to find what you want. The visual overview can help, but for a little help to tidy things up head to Window > Arrange Tab By. This menu contains options to sort tabs by title or, more helpfully, by website.

Quickly close windows If you have opened a lot of tabs or windows in an app and want to close them all, you needn’t press Cmd+W repeatedly. Instead use Ctrl+Cmd+W to close all at once. If any docs haven‘t yet been saved at all, you’ll be asked to confirm what to do with them.

Minimize clutter It’s easy to end up with a bunch of Finder windows cluttering the desktop. You can help yourself avoid this by holding Alt when double–clicking a file to open it. Finder will send the file to the corresponding app as normal, and close its own window at the same time. Oct 2019 33

>>> Reviews

The best

writing apps for macs We explore five excellent apps that will inspire every kind of writer Reviewed by Carrie Marshall

Tough testing, trusted ratings


riters can be a picky bunch. Some have special pens, others demand a particular kind of notebook or a certain writing location. And on Macs, writers definitely have their favorite apps. Like pens and places, those favorites differ from person to person. Some prize the beauty of the writing environment; others, the speed of the search engine. Some want to use the same app for scripts, scribbles and shopping lists; others want an app that focuses on paid–for projects. There is one thing many can agree on, though, and that’s Markdown. Markdown was created by John Gruber, aka Daring Fireball, and it’s designed to make it really easy to create structured text without sacrificing readability. That structure makes it easy to output the same document in multiple formats, something that writing app developers were quick to notice: if you create a document using Markdown you can then output it to pretty much any format you like. That’s really handy for those who write for multiple

platforms: you don’t need to use one app for blogging, another for creating Word documents, and yet another for making ePub files or PDFs. The five apps we’ve tested here all enable you to export in multiple formats, but they differ in almost every other respect. For example Bear is fun, friendly and instantly accessible, while Scrivener’s many powers take a bit of time to learn. iA Writer and Byword get out of your way so you can focus on your words, while Ulysses enables you to tweak all kinds of things to get your environment just–so. But they all have one thing in common: they can make life easier for all kinds of writers.

How we tested We tested each of our apps with a range of destinations and documents including blog posts, plain text, and formatted work in various formats. We focused not just on ease of use but on whether we could complete the entire job without turning to another app. We also used tagging, keywords, and search to test the apps’ document organization and retrieval.

iA Writer highlights code and formatting, as well as grammar to help make you a better writer. Higher…

Things to consider… Everything you need to know before getting started Do you need to blog? Many apps offer integrated publishing to major blog and content management platforms, so look for one that supports your chosen platform if you blog a lot. Otherwise you’ll end up having to do a lot of copying and pasting.


How do you back up? If you write for a living, you need to be sure that your work is safe and won’t get lost. Some apps, such as Ulysses, store your documents in their own library; others store them as easily backed–up text files.


What can you export? How much control do you have over the finished product’s formatting? This isn’t an issue if you’re writing for others to


Image rights from top: iA, Notion Labs, Grammarly.

illustrate and lay out, but is if you’re producing finished formatted documents. Do you store research? Each of our chosen apps enables you to include images in your documents, but what about providing a home for the things you don’t put in the final document — notes, transcripts, source documents, or drafts? It’s important to have these accessible for easy reference.

Notion $8/month Notion offers writing, editing, and sharing for teams. Its cloud–based app aims to replace Google Docs, Evernote, Trello, and more.


Does it work with other OSes? All the apps here have iOS companion apps, but you may want to view, add to or edit when you’re on an Android device or a Windows PC. That’s much easier to do if your app supports cross–platform services such as Dropbox.


…or lower?

Grammarly Free Grammarly doesn’t do that much, but what it does is very useful: it analyzes your writing and suggests changes that should make it better. Oct 2019 53

home LIFE Better living through smarter technology

> get started with…

smart lighting Still working with boring old bulbs? Lighting has changed, and it’s time you see the difference BY alex cox

othing makes a home feel smart like lighting. Automated and customizable illumination makes a massive difference to the comfort of your entire living space and can, to coin a TV cliché, really bring a room together. Lest you think this is just idle bluster to begin an article about smart lighting… Well… No, hang on, there’s actual science involved. A 2014 article published in the Journal of Building Engineering suggests that automating lighting — and specifically tying lighting, shade, and air conditioning systems together with shared data — “outperforms all other strategies in energy and visual comfort performance”. If you can do it, you should. Looking up is an obvious first step. There are smart options available for all kinds of ceiling fixtures — whether you’re running a bayonet fitting, a screw fitting, or the GU10 configuration more common in flush–fit settings. Some of these are tremendously cheap, though don’t let that be the metric by which you select a bulb. Cheaper usually


68 Oct 2019

means dimmer and dumber. The no–name RGB lighting you’ll pick up at a supermarket is, at least in general, far from smart, toting a basic remote control and throwing out so few lumens that you’ll be lucky if you can see a thing at night. Beware purchases on some inexpensive online retail sites, too: there’s no guarantee of proper testing or of quality, and while lower–end LED arrays may burn bright, they often don’t burn for long. Cheap choices Some manufacturers are driving the price down with what seem to be quality products. Chinese powerhouse Xiaomi has begun bringing its Yeelight brand to our Western shores, and reports suggest they’re both bright and quick to act, putting the company almost on an even footing with the likes of LIFX and Philips Hue in terms of performance. Crucially, though, Yeelight bulbs come in at around a third of the average price of their competitors, at least in terms of RGB bulbs. Interestingly, Donovan Sung, director of

Image rights clockwise from left: LIFX, Eve Systems, Fibaro, Onvis Tech.

Smart lighting

> How to set the mood at sunset

Eve Motion


There’s something classic about the look of the Eve Motion. Its HomeKit–only makeup and IPX–3 water resistance make it a versatile portable trigger for lighting automation in the home or outside.

Fibaro FGBHMS-001 $69.99

Quite why this is designed to look like a terrifying cat’s eye we don’t know, but Fibaro’s tiny sensor can detect light levels, temperature and motion — feeding the lot back to the Home app for your atmospheric automations.

Onvis SMS1 Motion Sensor


A bargain, and one that’s surprisingly capable, with a built in PIR, thermometer and even hygrometer. If you need to switch your lights on and detect how humid it is outside, this cheap Onvis sensor has you covered. Oct 2019 69


Time Machine basics Time Machine makes backups easy — here’s how to set it up on your Mac REQUIRES External storage disk you will learn How to use Time Machine IT WILL TAKE 30 minutes

Backing up your Mac is essential. We know it. You know it. Apple knows it too, which is why it created the Time Machine application to make it as easy as possible to back up your Mac. Sadly, Time Machine’s hardware buddy Time Capsule is no longer with us. However, several NAS boxes do support Time Machine, albeit with varying degrees of success and difficulty in setting them up. (Check out Mac|Life #150 for our group test on four network drives.) The other option is to use a regular external hard drive — fine if you have a desktop Mac, not so convenient otherwise. Time Machine backs up everything except folders you specifically exclude,

then makes incremental backups at regular intervals, deleting old ones when it needs more space. Time Machine also stores a limited number of snapshots on your startup disk in case your external drive isn’t available when you need to restore data. It deletes them when you run short of space. Kenny Hemphill

How to Set up Time Machine

Choose a disk Choose a disk for your backup and connect it to your Mac. If you’re not asked if you want to use it for Time Machine, go to System Preferences > Time Machine, or open Preferences from the Time Machine menu bar item.

80 Oct 2019

Select the disk

Copy disk data

If required, click on the padlock, enter your username and password, then click Select Backup Disk. Click on the storage device you’ve connected, then Use Disk. If you want backups to be encrypted, click Encrypt backups.

If your disk isn’t properly formatted for Time Machine, you’ll be prompted to erase it, so make sure you’ve copied its data elsewhere. Choose Backup Automatically to start regular automatic backups.

Image rights: Apple.


How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad

How to Restore files in Time Machine

Find the date Click on the Time Machine menu bar item and choose Enter Time Machine. When it launches, use the arrows or the slider to navigate to the date you’re looking for. Then navigate to the file or folder.

Restore file or folder Once you’ve found the file or folder, click Restore to put it back in the same location. Or, click on the gear icon in the Finder toolbar, pick “Restore to”, then navigate to where you want to put it.

Restore Mac To restore your Mac from Time Machine, restart while holding Cmd+R. When you see macOS Utilities, choose “Restore from Time Machine backup”. Click Continue until you see a list of backups. Choose one and click Continue.

How to Migrate backups to a new drive

Format the drive Plug in the new drive and erase it in Disk Utilities, formatting it as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) GUID. Select the new drive and press Cmd+I. In Sharing & Permissions, deselect “Ignore ownership on this volume” if selected.

Copy backups To briefly turn off Time Machine, go to System Prefs > Time Machine and uncheck Backup Automatically. Now copy the folder “Backups.backupdb” from the old drive to the new one. Type in an admin name and password.

Old and new Go back to System Preferences > Time Machine. Click Select Disk, pick the new one, then tap Use Disk. You can now turn Time Machine back on, and subsequent backups will be saved with the old ones on the new disk.

> Smart searches

Use the Finder window to access search results When you enter Time Machine and navigate to the date you’re looking for, the Finder window behaves just like a regular Finder window. That means you can use it to search for files. One neat trick is to create a Smart Search and save it, making sure the “Add To Sidebar” box is checked. Now, when you use Time Machine, the Smart Folder with the search results will be accessible in the Finder sidebar. The results will update according to what was on your Mac on that date, and you’ll be able to select files in the folder as you would any other file.

Image rights: Apple. Oct 2019 81

Profile for Future PLC

Mac Life 159 (Sampler)  

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Mac Life 159 (Sampler)  

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