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APPLE’S HITS AND MISSES OF 2016 THE WORLD’S BEST-SELLING APPLE MAGAZINE

FEBRUARY 2017

FROM IDG

Apple in 2017

Why we’re looking forward to the year ahead

154

PAGES iPhone 7 Plus photoshoot

Apple’s AirPods hit the right note


Contents News 4 7 11 13 15

Tim Cook reaffirms commitment to the Mac‌ Nokia and Apple’s patent dispute Raspberry Pi can breathe life into old Macs Nintendo to release two or three games a year PokĂŠmon Go for Apple Watch ďŹ nally here

Review 17 26 34 46

Apple AirPods Adobe InDesign CC 2017 Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 Super Mario Run

Mac Features 53 68 72 79 83

Apple in 2017 Technologies to keep an eye on in 2017 Apple’s biggest hits and misses of 2016 The products Apple discontinued in 2016 Guide to System Preferences in Sierra

Round-up 107

Latest Mac games

iOS Features 118 132 137

iPhone 7 Plus photo shoot A wishlist for the iPhone in 2017 Ask the iTunes Guy

How To 141 145  ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 

Use Levels adjustments in Photos Downgrade to an older version of OS X


Welcome... W  

elcome to the latest edition of Macworld. 2016 was an interesting year for Apple. The ďŹ rm’s latest MacBook Pros came with the fantastic new Touch Bar and there were updates to the Retina MacBook and Air. 2016 also saw the introduction of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, albeit controversially without headphone jacks, and a return to the 4in form factor with the popular iPhone SE. Plus there was the release of the Apple Watch Series 2 and a new 9.7in iPad Pro. So what does 2017 have up its sleeves for Apple fans? On page 53, we don our prognostication hats and investigate every rumour we could ďŹ nd to bring you our predictions for 2017. When Apple removed the headphone jack off the iPhone 7, it also unveiled a new set of wireless earbuds called AirPods and claimed they were so great users wouldn’t mind the missing headphone jack. After nearly three months of waiting they are ďŹ nally here. You can read our thoughts on page 17. The best camera is the one you have with you and if that camera happens to be an iPhone 7 Plus, then you are going to be just ďŹ ne. We pushed its Portrait mode to the limit and compared the results to a DSLR. You can see our results on page 118. Plus, we’ve our usual reviews, features and tutorials, so you can get more out of your hardware.

Opinion 146

What the Mac needs in 2017 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5


News: Tim Cook reaffirms commitment to the Mac But no major upgrades planned for 2017, writes Caitlin McGarry

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he Mac Pro and Mac mini have languished for years. The iMac faces increased competition from rivals like Microsoft’s Surface Studio. The MacBook is thinner and lighter than ever, but not more powerful. Critics say it’s clear that Apple has put the Mac on the

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back burner. In a memo to employees, CEO Tim Cook said nothing could be further from the truth: “We have great desktops in our roadmap,â€? he wrote, according to TechCrunch. “Nobody should worry about that.â€? But it’s not that simple. A recent report from Bloomberg outlined the internal troubles facing the Mac team at Apple and spilled the updates coming this year. Spoiler alert: They’re minor. The iMac is getting a new AMD graphics processor and USB-C ports, while the MacBook and MacBook Pro will see slight processor upgrades. So what’s going on at Apple? There seem to be a few problems, according to Bloomberg. There’s just one software engineering team working on both macOS and iOS, and most of those engineers prioritise iOS, which means the iPhone and iPad have outsized inuence. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – those two product lines account for 75 percent of Apple’s worldwide revenue. But the lack of focus on the Mac has led to the departure of many Mac hardware designers, who noticed that design chief Jony Ive and his team were no longer interested in weekly check ins to review Mac concepts or check out prototypes. Before the iPhone and iPad became Apple’s top priority, there was a singular vision for the Mac. Now, the team works on multiple prototypes with different features simultaneously, which means no one concept has the full attention of anyone.

The computer is political The Mac is also caught in the crosswinds of political change. Donald Trump has promised to 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5


bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States and has criticized Apple for making its devices in China. Apple did produce the Mac Pro in the US, but had to make its own assembly tools and train production staff on how to make the computers, which slowed down the manufacturing process. Cook may be hoping to stave off future criticism from Trump by meeting with him. He was part of the group of tech leaders who sat down with Trump in December. In his memo to employees, Cook explained that job creation, tax reform, renewable energy, and human rights are a few of the issues that will be affected by the incoming administration, and that it’s important for Apple to be at the table when conversations about those issues take place. “Personally, I’ve never found being on the sideline a successful place to be,â€? the CEO wrote. “The way that you inuence these issues is to be in the arena. So whether it’s in this country, or the European Union, or in China or South America, we engage. And we engage when we agree and we engage when we disagree. I think it’s very important to do that because you don’t change things by just yelling. You change things by showing everyone why your way is the best. In many ways, it’s a debate of ideas.â€?

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News: Nokia and Apple’s patent dispute Companies are at odds over fair licensing of the H.264 video codec and other technologies. Grant Gross reports

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n international patent dispute has broken out between Apple and Nokia over the Finnish mobile network vendor’s licensing terms for the widely used H.264 video codec and other technologies. 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


Nokia has started legal action against Apple in Germany and in the US, alleging that the smartphone giant has infringed 32 of its patents. ItsÂ ďŹ ve lawsuits follow an Apple suit ďŹ led in California last month. The US tech giant accused Nokia of working with patent assertion ďŹ rms Acacia Research and Conversant Intellectual Property Management to “extract and extort exorbitant revenues unfairly and anticompetitivelyâ€? from Apple and other smartphone makers. Nokia was not named as one of eight defendants in the Apple lawsuit. Nokia’s patent infringement lawsuits, ďŹ led with the Regional Courts in Dusseldorf, Mannheim and Munich in Germany and the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, cover patents related to displays, user interfaces, software, antennas, chipsets, and video coding, Nokia said. The ďŹ rm is planning to ďŹ le more lawsuits in other jurisdictions, it said in a press release. The eight patents covered in one of Nokia’s Texas lawsuits are related to the H.264 Advanced Video Coding standard approved by the International Telecommunication Union, according

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to Nokia’s complaint. A second Texas lawsuit covers 10 patents for a range of other technologies. Apple products using the H.264 video codec include the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple Watch, Macs, and Apple TV, Nokia said in its complaint. “Despite all the advantages that have been enjoyed by Apple, Apple has steadfastly refused to agree to license Nokia’s H.264 patents on reasonable terms,â€? the Finnish Firm’s lawyers wrote. “Dozens of companies have licensed Nokia’s patents for use in their products... Apple, however, refuses to pay Nokia’s established royalty rates.â€? Apple did not immediately respond to a request for a comment on the lawsuits. As part of the ITU standards process, Nokia agreed to grant licenses for the H.264 decoder on reasonable and nondiscriminatory, or RAND, terms, the company said. However, the ITU standard covers only the decoder, and not the encoder, the complaint said. The Finnish ďŹ rm has offered Apple a license for the encoder technology on RAND terms, but Apple has refused to pay, the company asserted. “Nokia has negotiated in good faith and made substantial efforts to enter into a license agreement with Apple on reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms,â€? its lawyers wrote. Nokia research has contributed to “fundamental technologiesâ€? used in Apple products, Ilkka Rahnasto, head of Patent Business at Nokia, said in a press release. “After several years of negotiations trying to reach agreement to cover Apple’s use of these patents, we are now taking action to defend our rights.â€? 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


Apple’s lawsuit, meanwhile, alleges that Nokia is working with outside patent assertion ďŹ rms to skirt its RAND patent commitments to standards bodies. Nokia promised it would “license its patents fairly,â€? Apple’s lawyers wrote. Nokia is working with the patent lawsuit ďŹ lers on a “scheme to diffuse and abuseâ€? the company’s patents by extracting “exorbitantâ€? royalties, they alleged in their complaint. The Finnish ďŹ rm’s aggressive patent licensing efforts came after the company largely exited the smartphone-making business, Apple’s lawyers wrote. “Unable to compete with innovative companies such as Apple – which had developed a revolutionary hardware and software platform – Nokia quickly transformed itself,â€? Apple’s lawyers wrote. “It changed from a company focused on supplying cell phones and other consumer products to a company bent on exploiting the patents that remain from its years as a successful cell phone supplier.â€? The Apple lawsuit is “unrelated to our own complaintsâ€? against the company, a Nokia spokesman said. “By failing to agree to terms, Apple is seeking an unfair advantage over our other licensees and we are taking steps to protect our inventions and defend our rights,â€? he added.

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News: Raspberry Pi can breathe life into old Macs The Raspberry Pi Pixel desktop experience is now available as an early version for x86-based Mac, reveals Ian Paul

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he Raspberry Pi Foundation has revealed a present for all the good little Linux lovers and Raspberry Pi fans in the world, as the organization announced they’ve ported an early prototype of the Raspberry Pi’s Pixel desktop experience to Mac. That means you can now run the gorgeous Pixel desktop experience natively on your regular laptop by booting from a USB drive. Pixel (Pi Improved Xwindows Environment, Lightweight) is a Linux desktop experience based on Debian Linux. The Raspberry Pi Foundation 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


ďŹ rst rolled it out to Pi devices in September. Pixel is designed to be a low-resource desktop environment that’s more full featured than your typical Raspberry Pi desktop distribution. For now, Pixel for Mac is just an experiment, and an early one at that. Upton warns that some hardware conďŹ gurations may not work properly due to the wide variety of hardware out there. If this version of the Pixel desktop turns into a more official project the Raspberry Pi folks will work to ďŹ x any issues that arise.

It’s for antiques, too The great thing about the Pixel desktop is that it can run on almost anything – especially older hardware. To run Pixel you’ll need at least 512MB of RAM, a requirement that any computer built in the past decade will easily clear. You can download Pixel directly from the Foundation’s website and burn it to a DVD or USB drive. To use it you’ll need to set your PC’s BIOS to boot from your chosen media before looking to the internal storage drive. Macs need to press down ‘C’ at boot; however, Upton warns that some newer Macs may not be able to get Pixel to boot properly; It’s a bug that the Foundation engineers are working to ďŹ x. Pixel for Mac can be set to run in a ‘persistent mode’ meaning any work you do on the operating system will be saved between sessions. You’ll need a larger USB drive to allow for a partition to save data and ďŹ les, but if you do that you’ll have a mini-computer you can run separate from your machine’s primary operating system.   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


News: Nintendo to release two or three games a year Michael Simon reveals gaming giant’s new strategy

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n an interview with Japan-based Kyoto NP, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima revealed that Super Mario Run (page 46) is just the start of a new strategy for mobile gaming. The company plans to release two or three new games next year, and continue that pattern beyond 2017, he said. Previously it was reported that popular titles Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing were on tap for a mobile release. 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


He offered no information on whether future games will release simultaneously in the App Store and Play Store, but Nintendo has already said it is working on bringing Super Mario Run to Android phones. The iPhone-exclusive side-runner has amassed some 50 million downloads in its ďŹ rst week, making it the fastest-downloaded app in Apple’s history. However, the game’s ÂŁ7.99 price tag and relatively simple formula has riled some users, and despite its popularity, it only has a two-and-a-half star rating in the App Store. With the success of PokĂŠmon Go and Super Mario Run, the company has proven that its characters can stand alone, and it’ll be interesting to see how the upcoming launch of the Nintendo Switch tablet-style console plays into its new strategy.

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News: PokĂŠmon Go for Apple Watch ďŹ nally here The watchOS companion app will send you notiďŹ cations when a PokĂŠmon is nearby, writes Oscar Raymundo

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okĂŠmon Go for Apple Watch (free) has ďŹ nally been released into the wild. A companion to the popular mobile game, this watchOS app will send players notiďŹ cations about nearby PokĂŠmon and track your distance towards hatching PokĂŠmon eggs and receiving candy for your Buddy PokĂŠmon. It will also send players notiďŹ cations when a PokĂŠStop is nearby, as well as let them know when their eggs have hatched or when they’ve been awarded a medal. The watchOS app also highlights the game’s ďŹ tness component. Each 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


PokĂŠmon Go play session will be logged as a workout, so your gameplay will count towards fulďŹ lling your personal Activity rings for the day. So now, PokĂŠmon Go can help you achieve your New Year’s ďŹ tness resolution. One thing you can’t do, however, is catch PokĂŠmon. You will still need to pull up your iPhone for that. If this new Watch integration is making you curious to try the game for the very ďŹ rst time, check out our beginner’s guide to PokĂŠmon Go. The creators of PokĂŠmon Go have already proven their interest in the wearables realm. Earlier this year, they ventured into it with the launch of PokĂŠmon Go Plus (pictured), a ÂŁ35 device that lights up and vibrates when PokĂŠmon are nearby. But this device looks like it was designed for kids. PokĂŠmon Go and Apple Watch, on the other hand, are a perfect match. The watchOS companion app liberates players from having to be glued to their iPhones for most of the gameplay, while helping avoid running into traffic. Meanwhile, the debut of PokĂŠmon Go could signal the Apple Watch becoming more indispensable in the realm of ďŹ tness, gaming, and augmented reality.

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Review: Apple AirPods £159 inc VAT ΄ apple.com/uk

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hen Apple removed the headphone jack off the iPhone 7, it also unveiled a new set of wireless earbuds called AirPods, and claimed they were so great, users wouldn’t mind the missing headphone jack. The AirPods 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


didn’t come out for nearly three months after the new iPhone’s release, but now that they’re here, they’ve solved every problem an iPhone 7-using music lover could have, right? Oh, heavens no. Like so many Apple products before them, the AirPods bring with them as many problems as they solve. With no onboard buttons, the AirPods require users to ask Siri to do everything, from changing a track to adjusting the volume. What’s more, Siri doesn’t have the same abilities in all music apps – an arbitrary restriction set by Apple to steer you toward Apple Music.

The ďŹ t But let’s start with the ďŹ rst question everyone has about the AirPods. Aren’t you worried they will fall out of your ears? Thankfully they stay put when we’re dancing, head banging, jogging, hanging upside down, riding a stationary bike, sprinting to catch the bus, and shaking my head around smacking my temple like we’re trying to dislodge water stuck in my ear. Really, they aren’t going to fall out. This reviewer’s skin is on the oily side, and sometimes in-ear ’buds with silicone tips get a little oily, and we have to wipe them off or keep shoving them further into my ears for a good seal. The wired Apple EarPods (you know, the cheap pair that comes with your iPhone) ďŹ t okay, and we’ve been wearing them since the iPhone 7 launch. But the EarPods wire does trip us up from time to time, getting snagged on armrests when we’re on the bus, or requiring adjustment when we’re wearing a scarf.  ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


So few wanted to go wireless, and knew the AirPods had to be comfortable enough to wear all day, and not fall out. It turns out they’re very comfortable, virtually the same shape as the EarPods but with more heft. They perch right in our ear canals and stay put better than the EarPods or silicone-tipped earbuds.

The sound We care more comfort than sound because I’m not an audiophile. We listen to lots of music, and can tell good earphones from terrible ones, so Apple’s bundled free EarPods suit us just ďŹ ne for streaming music and podcasts. We used to rock a pair of Bose MIE2i in-ear ’phones (since discontinued) when my iPhones had jacks for them, and we expected the AirPods to fall somewhere in between these earphones and the EarPods. Well,

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we’re happy to report the AirPods sound great – just as good as the Bose set, with full, detailed sound and plenty of volume. The AirPods sound better than the EarPods, but they have that same kind of ďŹ t, where the bud itself just rests in your ear opening, instead of going way down into your ear canal. And since they don’t have a silicone or foam tip like the ’buds that get shoved more deeply into your ear, they don’t seal off outside noise as fully. But their impressive volume quickly drowns out your surroundings. Once my iPhone is at about 60 percent volume, we can no longer hear myself speak at a normal volume while we’re wearing the AirPods. The white stems that hang down from the AirPods hold the microphone, which you’ll need for voice calls, and speaking with Siri. We used Siri to make a voice call both indoors and outdoors, and the people we chatted with reported a slight echo common to Bluetooth phone calls, but only when we pressed them to evaluate my sound. All in all, the sound was good enough for calls.

The controls Speaking to Siri, though, somewhat mars the AirPods experience. To turn up the volume with the free EarPods, you click a button on the inline remote. With the AirPods, however, you have to double-tap one AirPod, wait for your music to pause and the Siri chime to sound, and say “Turn it up� (or, even better, “turn up the volume,� just to make sure Siri will understand). Then you wait another couple of beats for your music to resume, now two notches louder. If you say “Turn  ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


it up to 50 percent,� the volume still gets turned up two notches louder. It’s an annoying process, so you’re better off using the volume controls on your phone – if your phone is in arm’s reach. Siri can also control Apple Music and your own music collection stored in Apple’s Music app. But Apple chose not to give full Siri control to third-party music apps, and that’s a huge bummer when you try to use earbuds that require the use of Siri. In Spotify, we could turn the volume up and down, and skip to the next track. But to start a song over (three clicks on the EarPods remote, 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


thank you very much), we couldn’t say “start this song over,â€? though “go back one trackâ€? was more responsive. And, obviously, I couldn’t call up speciďŹ c artists, albums, playlists, and songs. The AirPods are at their best when you are all-in with Apple devices and services. If you’re a die-hard user of Spotify or Pandora, these might not be the headphones for you. But either way, Siri is just too slow and buggy to be a rock-solid control set. We quickly found myself wanting to just use the controls on the iPhone itself. As a side note, we’ve never appreciated iOS 10’s Raise to Wake feature so much until we got my AirPods, since we can bring up the lock screen play/pause, forward, and rewind buttons so easily, and leave Siri out of it. The auto-pause feature does work well, and mostly seamlessly across apps. When you are listening to the AirPods, and you take one out of your ear, the sound pauses. When you put it back in your ear, it starts playing again. While the feature is mostly solid, it isn’t a sure thing. A few times the music would start playing again after we’d stuck one AirPod in my jacket pocket while talking to a cashier. Other times, taking an AirPod out would pause a podcast in Pocket Casts, but putting it back in wouldn’t start it playing again. Instead, we had to hit Play on the iPhone itself. If you do want to play music on only one AirPod for some reason, you can just press Play on the iPhone after taking one out. Even with a little ďŹ nicky behaviour, we love this feature. We’re also testing a pair of Libratone wireless headphones right now, and they have a feature where you can mute the sound by cupping  ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


your hand over one ear. We’re glad companies are thinking about easy ways to silence the sound so you can say hello to neighbours or conduct a transaction politely. But pausing is better than muting, especially for podcast fans, so AirPods have the edge there.

The little things Because Apple makes these, the AirPods are locked in to iOS 10 like no other headphones will ever be. You can check the battery life in the

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Battery widget in NotiďŹ cation Centre. Even just opening the charging case with the AirPods inside will pop up a notiďŹ cation on your phone showing the charge level of your AirPods and the case. The charging case is brilliant. It’s small and white and easy to stash in a pocket or bag. It kind of looks like a fancy package of dental oss, with a top that ips open and shut with a tight magnetic click. The AirPods charge inside this case, so if you keep them there when they’re not in your ears, and then remember to charge the case now and then, keeping the AirPods charged isn’t too much of a burden. The case itself charges via a Lightning port, so we just try to remember to top it off while using the AirPods at out desk. In our tests, the AirPods easily get Apple’s stated ďŹ ve hours of music time per charge. We’re at ďŹ ve hours on our stopwatch right now, in fact, and the AirPods have 12 percent charge left according to the Battery widget in iOS 10. Apple says the case should have about 24 hours of battery life in it, and just 15 minutes in the case can power your AirPods for three more hours (it got 4- to 79 percent). The AirPods make a sad little sound when they reach 10 percent so you’ll know they’re almost out of juice. Connecting the AirPods to an iPhone for the ďŹ rst time is as easy as opening the case. A message pops up on the iPhone offering to connect, and when you do, the AirPods also appear in the Bluetooth menu of any Macs (running macOS Sierra) you use with the same iCloud account. Switching to an iPad and Apple Watch with the same iCloud account is similarly easy, and you don’t have to trick your iPhone into unpairing with  ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


the AirPods to listen to them on a different device. They’re always paired to everything, and you can just select AirPods on that thing and press play. The back of the charging case has a round white button that’s barely visible. With the AirPods in the open case, you can press and hold that button to turn a tiny LED in the case white. That means they’re in pairing mode, and you can pair them to an Android phone or another Bluetooth device, although without Siri or the extra features.

Macworld’s buying advice The three-button remote on wired earbuds is a much faster, easier way to control your music than double-tapping one ear and then trying to get Siri to do what you want. But I can’t help liking the AirPods – the cool design and powerful sound just keep me coming back. We just wish they had another gesture, or smarter/faster Siri, to be as convenient as what they’re replacing. Susie Ochs

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Review: Adobe InDesign CC 2017 £17.15 per month inc VAT ΄ adobe.com/uk

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nDesign CC 2017 is Adobe’s ďŹ rst full version number upgrade since InDesign CC 2015 three years ago. The improvements will be welcomed by users who use advanced OpenType fonts, use a Retina display, create footnotes, or open documents from a networked ďŹ le server.

OpenType enhancements Although InDesign supported many advanced OpenType features in previous releases, the controls for those features were deeply hidden in far-ung submenus attached to menus that are accessed from panels that may not be open.  ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


Gloriously, they are now brought into the full sunlight of InDesign’s document interface. To access advanced OpenType features such as alternate characters, fractions and stylistic sets, all you have to do is click on the tiny ‘O’ badge that appears below a selected text frame or selected text. Here’s how it works. One character: To see alternates for a selected character, select only that character. Hover over the selected character to see its alternates appear below the character. Click on an alternate to apply it.

Fractions and Ordinals: To change the format of a typed fraction such as 3/4 or 5/8 to a true fraction, select the typed fraction and click on the ‘O’ badge. Its true fractional form will display and you can click it to apply it. Use the same technique for ordinals such as 2nd, 3rd and 4th. 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


Converting typed fractions to true OpenType fractions (left), and converting ordinals (right). Be careful when converting several ordinals positioned next to each other. As shown here, InDesign can get confused and revert the second ordinal character in previous ordinals back to its full size. Note the large ‘d’ in ‘2nd’ and ‘3rd’

Selected text: To see alternates for a selection of text, select the text. Click the ‘O’ badge to see that text with various combinations of alternates. Click on any combination of alternates to apply them.

The Warnock Pro OpenType font has an alternate swash glyph for the ‘d’ in the selected text. It can also apply true small caps to the selection

Selected text frame: To see all the alternate options for the text in an entire text frame, select the text frame and click on the ‘O’ badge. Click on any combination of alternates to apply them.  ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


These are the advanced OpenType options for the text in the Warnock Pro font used in this text frame. InDesign helpfully shows previews of some of the alternate glyphs

Stylistic Sets: Font designers often create pleasing combinations of alternates for you and collect them into what’s known as a stylistic set. To see the stylistic sets available for all the text in a selected text frame, click on the ‘O’ badge at the bottom of the text frame. (If the designer assigned names to the sets,

These are the advanced OpenType stylistic sets available for the text in the Adios Pro font used in this text frame. InDesign helpfully shows previews of some of the alternate glyphs

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those names will appear; otherwise, the sets are simply numbered.) To apply a stylistic set, choose it from the list that displays.

Performance The new GPU Performance feature can improve image preview quality and the document preview quality during zooming and panning, if you have a Mac that supports a Retina display and the Mac has at least 1MB of VRAM. (Supported Macs include the iMac 4K, iMac 5K, MacBook Pro Retina, Mac Pro connected to a HiDPI monitor, and Mac mini connected to a HiDPI monitor.) If your system meets these requirements, InDesign renders your document using the GPU instead of the CPU and sets the Display Performance to High Quality. To enable and disable this feature, click the rocket icon at the top of InDesign CC 2017’s Options bar shown in the following screen shot.

Hover over the GPU Performance icon in InDesign’s Options bar (circled) to see the status of this feature. Click it to open the GPU Performance preferences window

When you click the rocket icon, InDesign displays the GPU Performance preferences window shown opposite.

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InDesign’s GPU Performance Preferences window lets you control how the GPU Performance feature works, see your computer’s graphics card, and learn more about this feature at Adobe’s website (circled)

In our testing with GPU Performance enabled, graphics of all ďŹ le types displayed more clearly than they did with GPU Performance disabled. Panning and zooming was also smoother. However, PNG ďŹ les were slightly jagged compared with the same ďŹ les viewed in QuarkXPress 10 or higher, as were rotated PSD and TIF ďŹ les. 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


In previous versions of InDesign, if you opened a document stored on a network server rather than from your computer’s hard drive and then you disconnected from the network for any reason, InDesign would crash. Now InDesign caches your document to your local drive so that you can work with the document even if the network crashes. When the network comes back, the application invisibly reconnects to it. If the network doesn’t come back, you can save your document to your local drive.

Footnotes enhancements In previous versions of InDesign, if you inserted a multi-column spanning headline in a multi-column text frame, footnotes from text above the headline would appear immediately above the headline instead of at the bottom of the column of text. In version 2017, you can force those footnotes to appear at the bottom of the column. To change this setting for an entire document, choose Type > Document Footnote Options. To apply this setting to only the selected text frame instead of the entire document, choose Object > Text Frame Options > Footnotes > Enable overrides (span or not).

File format changes Besides the updated features described above, this upgrade uses a new document ďŹ le format that can only be read by users of version 2017 or higher However, this shouldn’t be a big issue for most users because Adobe’s subscription model allows subscribers to download the most current version any time.

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To share 2017 documents with users of InDesign CS4 through 2015, a 2017 user can choose File > Save a Copy and then choose ‘InDesign CS4 or later’ from the Format menu. This saves a copy of the document in IDML format.

Macworld’s buying advice While the improved features are limited in scope, InDesign users will appreciate this upgrade if your documents use footnotes or you open documents from a networked ďŹ le server. If you have a Retina display, you’ll enjoy the far better graphics previews. And all users will enjoy exploring the long-hidden advanced features of some OpenType fonts. Jay J Nelson

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Review: Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 £55.27 inc VAT ΄ adobe.com/uk

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s smartphone cameras advance, offering features that rival and sometimes exceed the point-and-shoots of old, hobbyist interest in photography has surged, not only for documenting friends and family, but for recording a critical world view – similar to classic street or landscape photography. When Apple posts billboards of scenes shot by amateurs and pros using their iPhone, it’s not hard to see where the inspiration comes from. For those who want more visual tricks than Apple Photos offers they turn to Adobe Photoshop Elements, an app designed for consumers who seek an easy way to achieve sophisticated special

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effects. Elements, now in its ďŹ fteenth iteration, is no Photoshop, but a good number of its advanced features are derived from the company’s agship app and namesake. Adobe is wise enough not to mess too much with the basic formula and general interface of this app, preferring to enhance and add to its features. With version 15, the updated Organizer companion rocks brand new search capabilities and batch processing, while a new crop of guided edits refresh the main editing package.

Organizer The Adobe Elements Organizer, an analog to Photoshop’s Bridge, acts like a mini digital asset management system, keeping track of all photos and videos to make them accessible to the two main Elements apps, Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements. Aside from import/export and organisational functions like ratings and tags, the Organizer features face recognition, geotagging, and built-in maps. The Organizer is also the place for basic ďŹ xes like rotation and auto-correction. In version 15, it does a lot more. The Organizer now has more intelligent capabilities, like its new Smart Tags feature. From the search interface you can see exactly what tags the app has placed on your images. Google Photos, Flickr, and Apple Photos already use artiďŹ cial intelligence to automatically determine content for tagging photos. Adobe says that deep learning algorithms were used to develop the Smart Tags feature, but that there is no ongoing AI technology running in the Organizer. 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5


Photoshop Elements Organizer Smart Tag and visual search interface

You can use the app’s enhanced search functionality to quickly scroll by Smart Tags, People, Places, Date, Folders, Keywords, Albums, Ratings and Media Types, whose icons run down the left side of the window. You can choose from the icon or just type in search criteria in the box at the top of the window. You can use the And or Or command to narrow down your search from thousands of images, video, audio, and projects to ďŹ nd the item you want. Note that each smart tag search builds on the previous one, so make sure the text box at the top reects only your current search.

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Type in or use Smart Tags to combine or exclude keywords in your search

The Organizer’s new Instant Fix update now lets you batch correct photos imported into the app. Just group together your chosen shots, and the new interface offers a set of adjustable sliders to ďŹ x them all simultaneously for clarity, colour, light, brand new special effects, and more.

Editor Adobe’s Quick, Guided and Expert editing modules lie at the heart of the Editor, making it the go-to app for amateurs seeking a more sophisticated but accessible alternative to Apple Photos. This version debuts ďŹ ve new guided edits to perform complex tasks via step-by-step instructions. In this version, however some were better than others. 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


Picture text While it can be a fairly straightforward task to accomplish that beloved classical postcard effect of ďŹ lling in lettering with a landscape or other images, you need the proper tools and know-how. Elements’ new Photo Text guided edit makes it drop dead simple to achieve. The feature lets you choose from the fonts within your system and even lets you add an embossed look and drop shadows for a professional ďŹ nish.

Pick from your own font collection; fat ones work best for stuffing in pictures

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Put a photo inside your text for that old-time postcard look, or maybe a Springsteen album cover

Just choose the Type tool and start typing. You can select and cycle through all the selections to help you decide. After you choose your font, you can enlarge, ďŹ t, and apply some simple effects. Occasionally, this feature had glitchy performance; we’d choose a font and start typing without it registering any letters on the canvas. In that case, we cancelled and started over to achieve the advertised results.

Art transformation Creating art from photos is swiftly becoming a worldwide phenomenon. Photoshop Elements’ new Painterly module offers a nod to that by letting 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


Original photo art: Mask your photo, use textured brushes to reveal parts, layer texture in the background, and top off with a ďŹ lter

you add a canvas background or watercolour brush strokes to your photos. There are only ďŹ ve brush styles, but you can change their size and background colour to alter the look. The module is aided by a minimal number of textures and effects. We found this effect a little half-baked. It’s understandable that Adobe wants to keep the tool simple, but in the future, we’d like to see more enhancements with additional brush shapes and textures as well as better ways to blend them.

Multiple effects The new Effects Collage guided edit allows you to construct an artistic presentation by carving up  ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


Three special effects in one

a single photo into several sectors, automatically adding a different special effect to each one. It’s an intriguing idea, but not every photo will lend itself to the limited number of effects combinations offered. It would be nice if you could adjust the borders yourself, though there were quite a number of selections to choose from in each preset. It would be great choose which effects go where rather than just having to use the built-in template. But that’s a minor quibble with this cool feature, which dresses up mundane pictures in a pleasing way.

Camera, action Say you don’t know how or were unable to catch a cool motion shot? Or maybe the scene should have had more action than it really did? The new Speed Pan guided edit adds a motion blur behind your 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


A National Park Service horse carries a ranger through Central Park

subject to create a feeling of movement. Just select the subject and let the software do the rest.

Original frames Elements always shipped with many assets, including picture frames for scrapbookers and blog posters. Version 15 gives you Frame Creator, a new way to create your own custom frames instead of having to choose the app’s pre-made ones. The idea is to give users headroom to expand the capabilities of the software without having to use the built-in artwork. These new frames can be saved in the app’s frame format and used with any photo, plus you can share them with friends. We found this to be one of the least intuitive guided edits. Despite the instructions accompanying each frame tool, the outcome was hard to visualize and involved too much experimentation for a quick result. It would have  ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


Why use built-in frames when you can create and share your own unique ones?

been easier had Adobe included some shapes in this module with ways to tweak the edges instead of depending on user sleight of hand.

Attitude adjustment The new Adjust Facial Features tech ďŹ rst originated in Photoshop Fix, and then migrated to Photoshop CC as the Face Aware Liquefy feature. Making faces look friendlier has come 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5


into vogue for everything from social media portraits to group shots and selďŹ es. While I’m not a huge fan of enhancing people’s faces, some photos do beneďŹ t from that slight transformation of a neutral expression into a smile. But that’s not all you can do. You may want to correct a squint that goes with that frown, or otherwise make slight cosmetic changes to lips, nose, and even the shape of the face. But don’t go crazy, because applying these effects can distort the natural looks of your subject. While the deďŹ ning blue circle does not move and you can’t resize it – and on at least one image we tried – it cut right in the middle of the

Smiling face looks pretty natural, when nothing but a smile will do

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face, enlarging the image helps to rectify that issue. Also it would be helpful if each eye could be adjusted separately, as squints (and faces) are not necessarily symmetrical.

Better ďŹ ltering Filters are a great way to try on new looks for special or not-so-hot photos, and an updated Filter Gallery not only lets you choose a cool ďŹ lter but also ďŹ ne-tune the details. You can easily try out each ďŹ lter by clicking it, where it will apply directly onto the open photo, and then use individual controls to tweak. While the main ďŹ lter was applied in real time, the advanced ďŹ lter sometimes appeared in a small preview box that was harder to see.

Macworld’s buying advice Photoshop Elements 15 is a mature product that gets new and enhanced features on a yearly basis while keeping an elaborate and engaging interface consistent and easy to use. If you are a photo enthusiast who seeks special effects goodness without the learning curve, Photoshop Elements is the ticket. While we found at least two of the new guided edits less than compelling, improvements to the Organizer were uniformly useful. For the very most part, Photoshop Elements 15 performed well without lag time on most operations, but occasionally we encountered glitches or intermittent buggy behaviour. Adobe says that it recommends Elements for macOS Sierra, and despite a crash here and there, the app functioned as expected. Jackie Dove 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5


Review: Super Mario Run £7.99 inc VAT ΄ supermariorun.com/en-gb

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uper Mario Run is easily one of the most anticipated iPhone and iPad games to date. Nintendo’s game takes the full-edged Super Mario side-scrolling experience that we’ve seen for the past 30-plus years and streamlines it for touchscreens and one-handed play.

Modes The game is nominally split into three modes, although the ďŹ rst, World Tour, is sure to dominate your play time, at least at ďŹ rst. World Tour is Mario as it would ordinarily be understood: a series of worlds, each divided up into three conventional  ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


levels and a Bowzer’s castle boss level to ďŹ nish up. (In this simple structure SMR harks back to the very earliest Mario games.) The second mode, Toad Rally, is a bit more unconventional and social: it involves trying to beat the performances of other players. You’ll be presented with a series of high scores, in effect recorded by real-world players, and if you see one you reckon you can beat, and have a spare ticket to pay for entry (these are acquired in World Tour), you can take it on. You play against a ghost of the player’s performance, ‘as live’ as it were, and try to pick up more coins, impress more Toads and generally outperform your rival in the time allowed. (It’s also possible to play Toad Rally games against actual friends you know in the real world, as a sort of local multiplayer. This doesn’t cost tickets, but doesn’t earn you rewards either.) The ďŹ nal mode is called Kingdom Builder and is really just a place to go to spend your ill-gotten gains from the other two modes. You gradually build up your own little kingdom, adding decorative elements and new buildings when your acquired resources allow it; some of the new buildings bring with them bonus games and other goodies. This is where impressing Toads in Toad Rally is particularly important: if you impress them, they’ll come and live in your kingdom, and the more Toads you’ve got of each colour, the more other stuff you can unlock.

Gameplay The essence of SMR across both World Tour and Toad Rally, the principle underlying every design decision, is that it is played with one hand. 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


(Entertainingly, Shigeru Miyamoto says this is to allow players to eat a hamburger at the same time, but it seems more likely to be a decision made with commuter gaming in mind.) Which means it’s an endless, or rather auto runner – albeit nowhere near as limited as that implies. Whereas traditional Mario games occupy multiple buttons and both hands at once – the left hand working the joypad on a Wii controller, for instance, and the right hand controlling one button for jumping and another for running, shooting ďŹ reballs, and so on – this game only ever requires one button, and that’s jump. That button is most of the screen. Mario is automatically and continuously – with some exceptions we’ll discuss in a moment – propelled at maximum velocity to the right, which instantly removes the need for a joypad, a run button and the rest. (There are no ďŹ re owers in the game, so there’s no need for a button for these; indeed, other than the size-up mushroom there are no power ups at all.) All you need to do is decide when to jump, and how high – a longer press produces a bigger jump. This probably sounds rubbish, barely a game at all. But the surprising thing is how full a game it feels, and how quickly you stop missing the old control method – the one we had drilled into us back in the last millennium. Mario has lots of different jump and ip moves, depending on what he’s jumping off or the way you time it, including the ability to slide down vertical blocks and jump off in the opposite direction when you fancy. And the makers have worked hard to populate the game  ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


with other mechanisms for stalling, halting or reversing Mario’s progress: stop blocks, backip blocks, doors on ghost levels, bubbles that take you backward, special wraparound levels where leaving the screen on the right brings you out on the left and your real aim is to progress vertically. The backwards-drifting bubble appears the ďŹ rst two times you die on each level, although you can use up a bubble voluntarily if you miss something vital If we mention there’s a timer that kills you if it runs out, you’ll get an idea of how much control and responsibility you have over Mario’s forward progress. It’s a game about agency just as much as urgency. We think they’ve pitched it just right. Indeed, at the same press event where we ďŹ rst tried out Super Mario Run, we also got to try out the (much more traditionally controlled, and very fun) Mario Maker on the 3DS, and it actually felt a little pedestrian in comparison: with no surging impetus to the right we were able to bimble about and think about everything, rather than the manic hurtling that Mario is all about at its best. Mario really, really 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


works as an auto runner. (We say auto runner rather than endless runner because, in World Tour at least, these are proper levels with a beginning and end, complete with agpole and little castle. There is a planned arc to each level; you’re not just running until you die, like in a Temple Run clone.) And that initial batch of levels, even though many of them seem fairly easy to complete, offer plenty of replayability. As well as the usual gold coins, there are ďŹ ve pink coins hidden on each level; get them all in a single run-through and you unlock a new version of the level with ďŹ ve purple coins, this time hidden in far more difficult places. Finish the level with all ďŹ ve of those and you unlock the black-coins level, the hardest of all.

Always-online requirements Since we ďŹ rst played Super Mario Run at Nintendo’s offices (where naturally there was a consistent Wi-Fi connection), it’s become apparent that the game requires an internet connection to play – even for the non-social, single-player World Tour Mode. This appears to be an anti-piracy measure. (Yep, piracy, that great scourge of the App Store.) We tested this out for ourselves and, sure enough, whenever we turned on Airplane Mode, or went through a tunnel on our commuter train, or the office Wi-Fi was just being spotty, we got an error message. If there isn’t a good connection you cannot start up the app; and if you’re in the level select screen and choose a new level, you won’t get anywhere. If you’re in the middle of a level and lose connection you’ll be allowed to ďŹ nish the level, but at that point the error message

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will reappear, just before Mario gets his points. (You can die and retry a level several times with no connection. It’s when you try to do something else that it falls down.) Clearly this is a concern. One of the great advantages of SMR’s single-button control method is the fact that you can play it easily while commuting, but this means a wide range of commuters – Tube passengers, and rail passengers going through a tunnel, and anyone travelling through an area with spotty 3G or using a Wi-Fi-only iPad – is out of luck. A signiďŹ cant caveat now hangs over would have been an enthusiastic recommendation of this game.

Macworld’s buying advice We went in with an open mind but a degree of scepticism; could Mario be transplanted into a modern mobile game with his soul intact? But the fun we’ve had with Super Mario Run has put most of those fears to bed. It may be free, but the pricing model is fair and non-exploitative (faint praise, perhaps, but by 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


no means assumed in the murky world of in-app purchases). Some may baulk at ÂŁ7.99 to unlock the full game, but it’s a one-off payment, perfectly good value in our view for a full and beautifully designed game, and you get plenty of opportunity to try out the early levels for free before committing yourself. No one is getting tricked out of their money. And the auto running aspect seems completely natural, thanks to the sheer effort the designers have put into making each level work with the new control method. This is the gold standard of level design we have come to expect from the Mario team over the years. The greatest compliment we can pay the designers is that this just feels like another Mario game. To achieve that on mobile is astonishing. However, the requirement that you have access to an internet connection in order to open and run the app is hugely disappointing. This kind of thing caused annoyance when Diablo 3 came out in 2012, but that was a PC game, so a consistent internet connection was a reasonable expectation. But this is supposed to be a mobile game, and there are numerous situations when you’ll want to play the game but won’t be able to because of this absurd, unnecessary and infuriating ‘feature’ of the game. If it wasn’t for the always-online requirement, this would have been a ďŹ ve-star review – and if you’re going to always play in locations with a secure and consistent connection, and you’re not worried about Nintendo’s servers going down, then you can continue to treat this as a glowing recommendation. But for the rest of us, this is a hugely frustrating y in an otherwise charming ointment. David Price

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Feature: Apple in 2017 Martyn Casserly rounds up what we can expect this year

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016 was an interesting year for Apple. It saw the introduction of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, albeit controversially without headphone jacks, and a return to the 4in form factor in the popular iPhone SE. Plus there was the release of the Apple Watch Series 2, a new 9.7in iPad Pro, and an apparently Brexit-related unwelcome hike in prices across the board. So, what does 2017 have up its sleeves for Apple fans? We’ve donned our prognostication hats, investigated every rumour and trend we could ďŹ nd, 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5


all to bring you our predictions for 2017. It looks like it could be a big year.

Apple Watch 3 Apple released the second generation of its Watch in September of 2016 which added GPS, internal upgrades, and water prooďŹ ng to the design. This was accompanied by the watchOS 3 update that increased performance and functionality for not only the new models but also the original range. We expect to see Apple announce the third iteration of its Watch in September 2017, hopefully for around the same price as the current models which start at ÂŁ369, although that is far from certain after the increases we saw at the end of 2016. There’s little in the way of ďŹ rm evidence suggesting what the Apple Watch 3 will look like, but it’s fair to say that you should expect a model that’s very similar to the current version. Some experts have postulated that there could be a Watch S release in March of 2017 that would include additional storage space, but this remains a rumour at best. Several news sites have also speculated on the possibility of a round display, much like the one found on the Moto 360 Android Wear device. It’s widely expected that the Watch 3 will include a front facing camera that could be used for selďŹ es or FaceTime calls, as Apple holds a patent for such a device and Watch OS 2 introduced support for FaceTime audio calls. The new model is also likely to feature a Micro-LED display, which would be lighter, thinner, and brighter than the LCD panels currently used.

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Another common thought is that Apple will ďŹ nally introduce 3G or 4G capabilities to the Watch, in order to make it more independent from the iPhone. We’re not convinced by this. Apple likes its devices to be closely tied together, and the battery life problems that come with cellular capabilities might make it an unattractive option at this time. It’s still early days for the Apple Watch, so we fully expect this to be a quiet evolution rather than revolution. Thinner, lighter, faster and longer battery life is the mantra, and we’d be very happy with that.

iPhones 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, so many are expecting Apple to pull out all the stops and release something special. iPhone SE 2 The ďŹ rst model to appear will be the iPhone SE 2 or SEs, replacing the existing (and rather popular) SE that was introduced in March 2016. Expect the new model to be released in the same timeline and feature the existing, classic design, but with 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5


iPhone SE

upgraded internals such as the A10 chip found in the current iPhone 7 and a more powerful camera. In all honesty we’d love to see the original SE remain an option, and a price cut could make it a very attractive proposition, but this would make Apple’s iPhone range quite complicated so it’s more likely that the little powerhouse will be retired. iPhone 7s or 8 There has been much discussion over what the new iPhone will be called. Normally Apple would continue its tick-tock rhythm of a new design one year followed by the S version which upgrades only the internals. But the iPhone 7 featured a minimal change to the design of the 6 and 6s, which leads many to think that Apple is saving the big changes for its 10th Anniversary model: the iPhone 8.

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Perhaps the biggest expected change to the design of the iPhone 8 is the removal of the Home button to allow an edge-to-edge glass display. But what of Apple ID and the ďŹ ngerprint sensor? Well, there have been several reports that Apple intends to include technology that allows the screen itself to act as a ďŹ ngerprint sensor, thus removing the need for a physical button. This would be a truly remarkable innovation and give iPhone users display sizes on par with many premium Android devices but in a compact format. MacRumours also asserts that Apple is intending to use a exible OLED display rather than the LCD panels that have appeared on previous iPhones. This could make the devices lighter while also offering more vivid colours and contrasts. Another feature often found on Android phones is that of wireless charging, and it looks very likely that this will be included on the iPhone 8. Some rumours even suggest the Apple will include long-range wireless charging, with Bloomberg Business reporting that the company wants to implement the game changing technology that could charge an iphone from several feet away, and could have it ready for 2017. The Jet black colour introduced with the iPhone 7 has been very popular, but its tendency to scratch easily is thought to have prompted Apple to return to a glass back and front design for the iPhone 8. There might also be new Deep Blue and Space Black colour options if the reports on various Japanese sites are to be believed. One interesting idea that’s gathering pace is that the new model will include Augmented Reality 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


software, which overlays relevant information on any place or thing that you point the camera at. While we’ve yet to see proof of this, it would be a very cool addition. So with a new edge-to-edge design, software enabled ďŹ ngerprint detection, long-range wireless charging, better display, plus the usual internal upgrades, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus really could be a worthy way to mark a decade at the top. Roll on September 2017.

iPads iPad Air 3 There was no new iPad Air in 2015 or 2016 so some Apple fans are hoping for an update to that model soon; but we suspect that the 9.7in iPad Pro has now displaced the iPad Air line. In fact we’re not convinced that Apple will release another Air-branded product at all, as signalled by the 13in MacBook Air’s tiny update this spring and the retirement of the 11in version. If Apple does surprise us and announces an iPad Air 3 then we’d hope for a faster processor, better camera, and 3D Touch (although KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo doesn’t think 3D Touch will make an appearance, apparently due to production issues). But our bet would be on the Air 2 being iPad Pro family the last of its family line.

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iPad mini 5 Given that the Mini 4 was last updated in September 2015, it’s clear Apple isn’t too focused on its smaller tablets. This could change in 2017 though as rumours suggest that March could see the introduction of a Mini Pro with upgraded components, a new thinner, tougher aluminium chassis and the inclusion of a Smart Connector to match that of the other iPad Pro devices. iPad Pro 2 With the 12.9in iPad Pro arriving in November 2015, and the 9.7in Pro in March 2016, it’s hard to guess the plans for this line. Our suspicion is that Apple will update both in spring 2017, but much will depend on how effectively they have dealt with the stagnating iPad sales problem we’ve observed in the past few earnings calls. One way to stimulate interest could be the introduction of a new size. Ming-Chi Kuo has stated that Apple will offer three Pros in 2017, but not a Mini as you might think, instead a 9.7-, 12.9- and new 10.5in variant. He makes sense of this by explaining that the 9.7in Pro will be a lower powered version than it’s bigger brothers. Other rumours doing the rounds argue that there will be a 10.9in version instead of the 10.5in one Kuo is backing. This could also feature a design change that eliminates the bezels and makes use of the software ďŹ ngerprint detection technology that is expected to appear in the iPhone 8. There’s no doubt that iPads are in a transitional period at the moment, but Apple seems to be pushing the Pros as the way ahead. 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


Apple TV It might have escaped the attention of many people that 2017 actually marks the 10th anniversary of Apple TV. With this in mind some think that Apple could celebrate the occasion with an update to its little black box. Whether this is true or not remains a mystery, as there have been very few credible rumours about any new developments inside the Apple campus. Then there’s also the fact that the usual gap between iterations of Apple TV tends to be two or three years.

Macs The Mac Pro The Mac Pro is long overdue a refresh as it hasn’t been updated since its launch in 2013. The once futuristic device now looks a little long in the tooth, having been bypassed by generations of Intel chips that never made it into the chassis. Will Apple update the Mac Pro in 2017 or has it given up entirely on this professional Mac workstation? At this point we really don’t know. Rumours of release dates and potential upgrades have come and gone, but nothing has appeared. Some are buoyant that March 2017 will be the event where new Pros are announced, but we’ll just have to wait and see. MacBook Air With the introduction of the 12in MacBook and the new, lightweight 13in MacBook Pro the writing seems pretty much on the wall for the old MacBook Air. Apple has already retired the 11in model in 2016, and once the 12in MacBook gets an update in  ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


2017 to hopefully add an additional USB-C port and upgrade the awful keyboard, there won’t be much room left for the Air brand. All many of us wanted for the 13in model was to get a retina screen and a spec bump, but we suspect that will never happen and the MacBook Air, like the iPad Air, is on the way out. MacBook Pro With the MacBook Pro having only just been released as 2016 draws to a close, we won’t expect much to change until very late in 2017. The massive redesign has already caused quite a reaction, so we’d rule out anything signiďŹ cant happening in the next iteration. Instead we think there will most likely be a shift to Kaby Lake chips, which in turn could open up higher RAM options. Other than that all we really want are the prices to come down. 12in Retina MacBook update Apple launched its incredibly thin and light 12in MacBook back in March 2015, and the MacBook’s ďŹ rst birthday saw a solid if unspectacular update – various sensible specs boosts, and a rose gold colour option. The third iteration of the 12in MacBook is likely to appear in spring 2017. Rumours are thin on the ground right now, but some of the wilder speculation has suggested that it might feature 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


a ‘Force Touch keyboard’ – a keyboard, in other words, that doesn’t actually move in response to your key presses, instead simulating presses through haptic feedback just like the Force Touch trackpad. Sounds pretty bizarre – not to mention difficult to use for touch-typing – but that’s the sort of thing you tend to hear this far ahead of a launch. We think it’s more likely that Apple will install the second generation of its buttery keyboard that appeared on the new MacBook Pro instead. Mac mini Ah Mac Mini, where did it all go wrong? After being hobbled in 2014 by what can barely be considered an upgrade, Apple has left the Mini to fall fallow. Now we don’t know whether 2017 will see a resurrection of its fortunes, but all here at Macworld are rooting for the little guy. iMacs The iMac range last saw updates in 2015 that moved the high-end models over to Intel’s Skylake processors, and the 21.5in models to Broadwell chips. What 2017 holds in store for the range is still uncertain, as Intel’s chipsets seem to be slightly out of step with Apple’s demands at the moment. Bloomberg has reported that new iMacs are on their way, so it seems the two companies have worked it out, but details are as yet unknown as to what upgrades the devices will be running. Mac processor updates Despite Apple’s adventures into processor design it’s unlikely we’ll see the company rolling out its  ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


own chips in its desktop and laptop machines unless it can make them fully compatible with the current Intel line-up. Wonderful though it would be to run iOS apps alongside OS X software, Apple would need to give developers several years’ notice to update their applications to run on any new architecture, so expect to still be buying Intel-driven machines for at least the next 12 months. Force Touch Keyboard A Force Touch keyboard could be in the works, too – as a supplement to the Magic Trackpad 2 – if a recent patent ďŹ ling is anything to go by. The 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5


switchless design would allow Apple to produce even thinner MacBooks, and also to take into account the force with which a key is pressed, which will be a boon for anyone making music on their Mac. In the opposite direction it should allow for haptic feedback, which could possibly be used to signify to vision-impaired users that they’re correctly striking a particular key.

Software and services iOS 11 Apple traditionally announces new version of iOS in June, followed by the release in the autumn. So far the only strong rumour about the new operating system is that it will include an improved ‘naturalsounding’ Siri as Apple works to improve the behaviour and response of its voice interface.

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Another strong possibility is the inclusion of a Dark Mode with black backgrounds rather than the bright white normally found on iOS, and there’s an outside chance that your Contacts could become active in iOS 11, meaning you can see when people are available to chat. macOS Like iOS 11, the new version of Apple’s Mac operating system will be unveiled at WWDC 2017 in June, and then roll out in the autumn. So far there are no real rumours about what Apple will include in the new update. Siri integration was at the centre of the 2016 release, so it’s possible that those features will be enhanced and improved upon for the 2017 update. watchOS 4 WatchOS is developing nicely and in 2017 we expect to see the introduction of Sleep Tracking,

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which would further bolster the ďŹ tness focus of the Apple Watch. tvOS Last and probably least of Apple’s four software platforms, tvOS nevertheless got a decent update at WWDC 2016 which we think will probably carry it through 2017. Apple Pay Alongside these headline developments, there will be a whole series of speed bumps along the way as Apple extends and reďŹ nes its Apple Pay offering. We anticipate that Apple Pay will be accepted in a wider range of headline stores. Apple Music With 20 million subscribers Apple Music has made a decent start, but is it good enough to continue

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this momentum and can it really compete with the likes of Spotify? As for Beats 1, we’re not convinced this is making the impact Apple hoped for, but the we probably aren’t the target market for it. We’d like to see more radio channels tuned to less trendy music choices. There are also rumours that streaming on Apple Music could be enhanced, with highresolution better quality audio for that service – up to 96kHz/24-bit, according to a report on Macotakara. Since the 3.5mm headphone jack is limited to CD quality sound this appears to back up the motives for Apple ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7, as the Lighting port can offer HD audio. Apple Music may also prove to be the one thing that keeps the iPod on the shelves in 2017. If you’d asked us what we thought of its chances at the close of 2014, we’d have said ‘slim’, but 2015 saw Apple deliver the ďŹ rst proper update to the iPod touch in three years, and it’s now providing another entry ramp for the ďŹ rm’s ÂŁ9.99 per month music subscription service. That alone means it makes sense to give it at least 12 months to prove itself. The same can’t necessarily be said of the nano and shuffle, which are each available in just one conďŹ guration and, without streaming abilities, offer no ongoing revenue source. 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


Feature: Technologies to keep an eye on in 2017 Apple doesn’t announce products too far in advance, but it has teased a few areas of interest. Dan Moren reports

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s the new year begins, it’s only natural to look ahead to what might the upcoming year have in store for us, and our favourite technologies companies? There’s plenty of speculation about what areas might attract Apple’s attention in the year ahead, but looking at the current state of affairs, it’s not hard to point to a handful of technologies that

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already seem to have piqued the interest of the folks in Cupertino. Some of them are things the company is already working on, and some of them are just now getting traction. Of course, it’s entirely possible that none of these things will ever see the light of day, much less appear in 2017. But it’s not as if the company isn’t going to release any products in the next 365 days, and it seems unlikely that Apple won’t roll out products with at least some new features in the mix. (Unless, of course, Apple truly is doomed, but probably not.)

Machine learning Apple’s interest in machine learning has clearly been developing for a while now, but it’s only been in the past year or two that the company has pulled back the curtain a bit to show exactly how much it’s invested in the technology. Between a lengthy interview with veteran technology journalist Steven Levy and announcing it would share its research with others in the ďŹ eld, it’s clear that machine learning and AI are already central to Apple’s products, and will only become more so in the future. Perhaps the biggest question is whether those AI skills will include not only the subtle, underlying uses that the company has talked about in the past – things like search suggestions, or trying to predict your next destination in Maps – but also ďŹ gure in with Siri, which has seen increasing competition from the likes of Google, Amazon and Samsung. Virtual assistants are unquestionably one of technology’s major battleďŹ elds in the next decade, 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


and the company with the smartest option is going to have a huge advantage.

Augmented reality Tim Cook has made more mentions of augmented reality than possibly any other technology that the company currently doesn’t use in its products. He’s described it as something people will use every day and said that Apple is “high on AR for the long run.â€? Frankly, where there’s smoke, there’s ďŹ re, and Tim Cook looks a bit like a cartoon character who just drank a bottle of hot sauce. Exactly what Apple’s AR play will look like is the real question, whether it will simply come in the form of software for the company’s existing products, like the iPhone, or whether it marks an entirely new product line, Ă  la Microsoft’s bulky but promising HoloLens. Given the company’s focus on design and aesthetics, it’s hard to imagine Apple spending too much time developing any sort of product that people wouldn’t want to wear or at least carry with them at all times, so a cumbersome headset or ugly glasses are probably not where the company is focusing its efforts. On the other hand, it seems as though a feature just built in to an iPhone would be viewed as underwhelming.

Health care During Steve Jobs’s tenure at Apple it seemed clear that his personal love for music inuenced much of Apple’s direction in product development; in Tim Cook’s Apple, the same could be said about health and ďŹ tness. Over the past few years, Apple has  ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


invested heavily in health with products like the iPhone and Apple Watch, as well as software like HealthKit, CareKit and ResearchKit. Something tells me Apple is far from done with its plans for helping its users with health-related matters. Earlier this year, the company purchased a ďŹ rm named Gliimpse that aims to let users collect all their health information in a single place and easily manage and share it. That, to me, sounds like Apple may be investing in a more comprehensive approach to using your devices to track and manage your health. And, knowing Apple, such a product would probably also harness hardware like the Apple Watch and iPhone to collect further information – all for the purposes of keeping its users healthy.

A little of this, a little of that There are plenty of other areas in which Apple has demonstrated interest in recent years. Cars, for example, and their attendant mapping and self-driving features; OLED edge-to-edge display for upcoming iPhones; security, encryption, and privacy; and, of course, the company still doesn’t seem to have quite nailed down its TV streaming plans, despite many half-hearted attempts. There’s a lot for Apple to choose from when it comes to the company directing its attentions and energy. No matter what, 2017 promises to be another year full of surprises, some good, some bad, but all of them interesting. 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


Feature: Apple’s biggest hits and misses of 2016 Caitlin McGarry looks back at the ďŹ rm’s successes and failures

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pple has been doomed for decades, if the steady stream of headlines about the company, its stock price, and its product lineup are to be believed. If The Macalope has taught us anything, it’s that the Apple deathwatch business is a brisk (and bizarre) one. The truth is much more complex. But by any measure, 2016 was a particularly tough year for Apple. The company endured a bitter legal ďŹ ght with the FBI, saw its ďŹ rst revenue decline in more than a decade, and faced backlash over hardware tweaks in its upgraded agship products: the iPhone 7’s lack of a 3.5mm audio jack and the overhauled MacBook Pro’s less-than-pro speciďŹ cations for a decidedly pro price. But there were also some bright spots: the success of the 4in iPhone SE, the upgraded Apple Watch Series 2, and the release of iOS 10, which turned Siri into a platform. Let’s look back at 2016, the year the headphone jack died.

RIP, headphone jack When rumours that Apple was planning to remove the headphone jack from the iPhone ďŹ rst started swirling, the internet collectively freaked out. Some called it an outright user-hostile decision. Was everyone supposed to sacriďŹ ce their wired   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


headphones and other peripherals for Bluetooth ones? When Apple senior VP Phil Schiller formally announced the change and called the decision “courageous,â€? Apple critics scoffed. But then the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus debuted, and it turned out that a lot of people were okay with Apple’s decision, especially because a pair of Lightning earphones and an audio jack dongle were included in the box. The company hasn’t yet reported its holiday quarter earnings, which would reect just how many iPhones it sold, but the iPhone 7 Plus and jet black iPhone 7 were completely sold out on launch day. A case of limited supply or over-the-top demand? It seems like the latter. While Google celebrated its inclusion of the headphone jack in its agship Pixel phone, Samsung is reportedly hitching its wagon to Apple’s decision (of course) by ditching the headphone jack in its next device.

Delayed AirPods Apple didn’t just release a headphone jack-less iPhone. It had a companion accessory lined up, its own cordless Bluetooth earphones called AirPods. The £159 accessory was slated to ship in October, Apple said at its September iPhone launch 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


event, but the earphones were delayed for months, reportedly due to connectivity issues. Apple started taking preorders on 13 December and shipments began arriving on 19 December, but availability both online and in-store was limited, and shipping estimates quickly slipped to February. But at least Apple made it in time for the holidays, even just barely. The good news: They’re pretty awesome.

Second-generation Apple Watch The AirPods may have shipped months after they were scheduled to, but the overhauled Apple Watch appeared right on time. Apple released two versions at different price points, both with upgraded processors that made native apps run much faster (a big sticking point with the ďŹ rstgeneration watch). The Series 2 impressed us with GPS, a brighter display, and its new water-resistance, perfect for swim-tracking. If you don’t need all of those features, the Series 1 is just as powerful, but cheaper. Some say the Series 2 is what the ďŹ rst-gen watch should’ve been, but Apple’s intensiďŹ ed focus on health and ďŹ tness is a natural progression.

Apple versus FBI In February 2016, Apple faced one of its greatest challenges ever: pressure from the federal government to unlock a terror suspect’s iPhone. The iPhone at the center of the legal ďŹ restorm was a 5c model locked with a passcode and set to destroy all of its data after 10 wrong passcode unlock attempts. So the FBI asked Apple – then   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


tried to legally compel Apple – to write software that would allow the government to bypass the iPhone’s security mechanisms. Apple refused. The ensuing weeks-long legal battle put Apple at the center of a debate about encryption, privacy, and what tech companies are obligated to do for their users and for the authorities. Apple argued that any software it created for the so-called “good guysâ€? would eventually end up in the wrong hands. The FBI ended up ďŹ nding another way into the iPhone and dropped their case against Apple.

iPhone sales start slipping Apple reported its ďŹ rst quarterly revenue decline in 13 years in the second quarter of 2016 because of sliding iPhone sales, a trend that continued as the year progressed. This year, the company reported its ďŹ rst yearover-year revenue decline since 2001, down from $233.7 billion in 2015 to $215.6 billion. For comparison, Microsoft’s revenue in the 2016 ďŹ scal year slipped from $93.6 billion to $85.3 billion year-over-year. Can the iPhone 7 Plus’s insanely great camera, the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar, or Apple’s laser focus on services reverse the downward revenue trend in 2017? Apple certainly hopes so. 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


MacBook Pro ďŹ nally gets a refresh Apple ďŹ nally gave its professional-grade MacBooks a refresh after four years of minor tweaks, and it sure was a big change. The company replaced the keyboard’s function keys with a contextually aware OLED touchscreen strip that changes according to the app you’re using. Apple also went all-in with USB-C ports. The Touch Bar has been a big hit with reviewers – we loved it, too – but the refreshed 13- and 15in laptops have been roundly criticized for their pricing (ÂŁ1,449 for the smaller base model), 16GB max RAM, and issues with graphics glitches. There were also reports about battery life, but Apple resolved those with a macOS Sierra update addressing the battery time estimator.

The Apple Car that will never be Or will it? Rumours that Apple was working on a self-driving car started swirling in late 2015, but this year the rumour mill kicked into overdrive. There were reports of staff upheavals and changing   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


strategies, and in the fall it became clear that Apple was switching gears. The company is no longer building its own car from scratch – instead, it is looking to build an automotive system to power an autonomous car developed by a partner experienced in areas where Apple is not. As it turns out, mass-producing vehicles and mass-producing iPhones are not the same. Better for Apple to bow out before launching a product doomed from the start than to proceed just to prove a point.

iPhone SE launch One of Apple’s under-the-radar successes in 2016 was the iPhone SE. Who knew there was such a huge market for a small phone? Apparently, Apple knew, which is why the company released the 4in SE after supersizing its line-up with the 6 and 6 Plus in 2014. The SE has the lowest starting price of any iPhone at £379, the stylish look of the iPhone 5 (a design favorite), with the speed, power, and same great camera as the iPhone 6s. It also has a headphone jack, if that’s your jam. Released in March, the SE reportedly prevented a potentially larger iPhone sales slip than Apple experienced this year. Turns out that if you give the people what they want, they will buy it.

iOS 10 opens up Siri Apple’s voice assistant Siri has languished behind its chief rivals, Amazon’s Alexa and whatever Google is calling its voice-activated assistant now (Google Assistant or Google Now, depending on what device you’re using). Part of that is due to 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


Apple’s hard line privacy policy, which limits Siri’s capabilities. But iOS 10 made Siri more open by allowing third-party app integration. Now you can use Siri to hail an Uber, send a Viber message, search for restaurants on Yelp, or ďŹ nd images on Pinterest, among a slew of other capabilities. iOS 10 also turned Messages into a platform with GIFs, stickers, Apple Music integration, and an iMessage App Store using texts to send money via Venmo, play games like Words with Friends, and share sports scores through ESPN. iOS 10 was a huge step forward for Apple.

iPhone 6 glitches The iPhone 6 and 6s were plagued with problems in 2016. Toward the end of the year, Apple ďŹ nally addressed a spate of battery complaints about iPhone 6s models. First the company said it was limited to a “small numberâ€? of iPhones produced between September and October of 2015, but then acknowledged the problems were more widespread than initially thought. The company launched a battery replacement program. Apple’s press releases about the issue have all been in Chinese, but affected American iPhone owners can take advantage of the free battery replacement, too. iOS 10.2 includes a diagnostic tool that will help Apple ďŹ gure out exactly why its batteries are randomly shutting down. The iPhone 6s battery problems surfaced just after Apple addressed a touchscreen bug in the 6 and 6 Plus, dubbed ‘Touch Disease’. Earlier in the year, Apple ďŹ xed yet another bug, ‘Error 53’, which caused Touch ID to fail.  ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


Feature: The products Apple discontinued in 2016 Roman Loyola reveals those that reached the end of the line 11in MacBook Air In October, Apple announced that the MacBook Air would as only a 13in version. The 11in model is no longer available to the general public. If you really, really want one, you have to ďŹ gure out how to get in on a volume purchase by an educational institution – that’s the only channel where the 11in MacBook Air is available.

13in non-Retina MacBook Pro Apple switched the MacBook Pro to Retina displays in 2012, but the company kept one non-Retina MacBook Pro in its lineup: a 13in model that was originally released in June 2012. (The non-Retina is the bottom laptop in the picture above. A Retina MacBook Pro is on top.) It was discontinued this year, and it was the last Apple laptop that you could get with FireWire 800 and ethernet. 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


Thunderbolt and LED Cinema Display Last July, Apple discontinued the Thunderbolt Display. Released in 2010, Apple actually stopped making the LED Cinema Display on 2013, but you could ďŹ nd it for sale. Now there are no signs of either display on Apple’s online store. Maybe you can ďŹ nd one at a retailer, if you hurry.

AirPort Time Capsule, AirPort Extreme, and AirPort Express In November, Bloomberg reported that Apple dissolved the wireless router division. For now, you can still buy an Apple router on its online store, but the products haven’t been updated in a long time. You’re better off with a third-party device.

MagSafe MagSafe isn’t a product, but it is a much-loved feature of past Mac laptops. Apple stopped using breakaway power connector on the current  ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


MacBook or MacBook Pro. Those two laptops use Thunderbolt/USB-C for power, and a good yank on a connected power cable will send the laptop ying off your lap or tabletop.

Third generation Apple TV Four years after its release, Apple pulled the plug last October on the third-generation Apple TV. The current Apple TV is better, but Apple was selling the older device for ÂŁ69, which is a lot cheaper than the current device (ÂŁ139).

Original iPad Air When Apple updates an iOS device, it sometimes keeps the older device around at a reduced price, giving buyers an affordable option. The original iPad Air, released in October 2013, served that purpose. But when Apple revealed the 9.7in iPad Pro last March, the company discontinued the original iPad Air. The iPad Air 2, which came to market in October 2014, is the only Air model in the iPad line-up.

Apple Car The hardware (the car) is done, but the software has a chance to live on. Last October, a Bloomberg report said that Apple decided to scrap the car and pivot Project Titan to autonomous driving software. The development team has until late next year to prove that its self-driving system is feasible.

iOS 9 downgrades iOS 9 isn’t really dead, but If you upgraded your iOS device from iOS 9 to iOS 10, your device has passed the point of no return. Last October, Apple stopped 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


signed iOS 9.3.5, which prevents anyone who has iOS 10 installed from downgrading the OS.

iOS Game Center app If you’re heavy into iOS games, then maybe you miss the Game Center app. It was essentially Apple’s attempt at a gathering point for the gaming community. The Game Center service live on, though; you access Game Center features through the games themselves, and adjust the settings in Settings > Game Center.

‘OS X’ Apple’s Mac operating system is still with us, but the moniker ‘OS X’ is dead. The Mac operating system is now called macOS, which ďŹ ts better with Apple’s other operating systems (iOS, watchOS and tvOS). If you’re looking for an installer of the last version of OS X (called El Capitan), try looking in the Purchased section of the App Store app.

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Feature: Guide to System Preferences in Sierra In the second of our three-part series, Craig Grannell reveals how to personalise your Mac’s settings Display settings The options you’ll see within the Displays pane are in part reliant on your Mac hardware. At a minimum, you’ll see Display and Colour tabs for, respectively, setting resolutions and colour proďŹ les. If you’ve multiple displays, that will add an Arrangement tab; some displays will also provide an Options tab. Within the Display tab, you’ll see an image representing your display (or the closest Apple 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


equivalent), Resolution options, a Brightness slider, and some other settings that are determined by your hardware set-up. Under Resolution, ‘Best for display’ sets your display to the most optimal choice. Click Scaled to instead select from other supported resolutions. Hold Alt when clicking Scaled and you’ll get a larger list of resolutions. Some of these may not be supported well by your display, so use caution. Holding Alt and clicking Scaled a second time reverts the list to recommended resolutions for your machine. Resolution: On non-Retina Macs, speciďŹ c resolutions will be listed (such as 1920x1200); on Retina Macs, you instead get pictorial representations of what your selection will achieve, labelled with the likes of ‘Larger Text’ and ‘More Space’. Clicking an option will immediately change your display’s resolution.

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The Brightness slider adjusts the display’s brightness setting more rapidly than using your keyboard’s media keys (F1 and F2), and on notebooks you’ll have an optional checkbox for automatically adjusting brightness; this is worth keeping on at all times unless you ďŹ nd it doesn’t work well for you. The other options you may see are: Rotation: Adjusts the rotation of the screen to 90-, 180- or 270 degrees. Refresh rate: Adjusts the refresh rate. Gather Windows: In multiple-display setups, you will get a separate Displays pane on each screen. Clicking this button gathers them all on to one screen. Detect Displays: If you’ve multiple displays connected and the Arrangement tab does not appear, hold Option and click Detect Displays to give the pane a nudge. AirPlay Display: This mirrors the display to another compatible screen, such as your television via an Apple TV. This option can be more easily accessed by checking ‘Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available’. This gives you a drop-down AirPlay menu alongside the likes of Spotlight and your menu-bar clock. Note that should you own a Retina Mac and/ or want a more traditional resolution switch in the menu bar, consider installing the free but capable Display Menu (tinyurl.com/hecvezt), the userfriendly Resolutionator (tinyurl.com/zep6s84), or the extremely versatile SwitchResX (madrau.com). 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


The Color tab is something typical users will never need to visit, but if you work with photography and design, you may need to calibrate your display. Unchecking ‘Show proďŹ les for this display only’ will list some popular proďŹ les you can choose from. ‘Open ProďŹ le’ loads the current proďŹ le into the ColorSync Utility app, so you can delve into its details in the ICC ďŹ le format. Delete ProďŹ le deletes any selected custom proďŹ le but will not remove those that are preloaded on to your machine. The Calibrate option loads the Display Calibrator Assistant, a wizard for calibrating your display and creating a new bespoke proďŹ le for your particular setup. The initial screen includes an ‘Expert Mode’ checkbox for users who require additional options beyond the defaults. The aforementioned Arrangement tab appears when multiple displays are connected. If two   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


displays are mirrored (denoted by the ‘Mirror Displays’ checkbox), basic representations of them will be overlaid. When this option is not selected, you can drag the displays around to change their positions. Typically, it’s common to place one next to the other, providing a logical pathway for your mouse cursor to use, but you can place one on top of the other, if you wish. One of the displays shown in this tab will have a menu bar on, and that can be dragged to another to make it the primary display; however, as of OS X Mavericks, every display has its own menu bar anyway. Finally, the Options tab provides settings speciďŹ c to that display, such as using the display power button to sleep/wake the Mac or power down/power up the display, or disabling its own brightness controls. Click the lock and authenticate with your username to make changes.

Energy Saver options The Energy Saver pane is designed to adjust power settings based on user-deďŹ ned criteria, which can be especially useful when eking out extra minutes from a notebook. You may need to click the lock and login to make changes. Again, there are variations on this pane, depending on the hardware you own. Desktop machines get a single pane with separate sliders for deďŹ ning how long the Mac should wait before sleeping the computer and display. Further options enable you to sleep disks when possible, wake the Mac for network access, and to start-up your Mac automatically after a power failure. ‘Enable Power Nap’ is also available for Macs with newer 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


processors; when selected, this option enables your Mac to perform basic tasks while sleeping, such as backing up to Time Machine and making iCloud updates. The Schedule button provides further control, enabling you to deďŹ ne a start-up/wake time and a sleep time. These can each be set to run daily, only on weekdays, only on weekends, or only on a speciďŹ c day of the week. The Energy Saver pane on notebooks make some changes to these options, providing the means to deďŹ ne different settings for battery power and when you’re using a power adaptor. The Battery tab logically removes automatic restart after a power failure and waking for network access. You can also show your current battery status in the macOS Sierra menu bar by clicking ‘Show battery status in menu bar’. The MacBook Pro with Retina display makes further adjustments, removing the ‘Computer sleep’ option and adding the means to prevent the computer from sleeping automatically when the display is off. In all cases, Restore Defaults will revert your Mac’s settings to factory defaults.

CD and DVD settings The CDs & DVDs pane only appears if you have an optical drive for your Mac. This doesn’t need to be a built-in drive – just one that’s attached to and recognised by your system. The ďŹ ve menus are all broadly similar, enabling you to set a default action when certain types of optical media are discovered by your Mac, namely  ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


the insertion of: a blank CD; a blank DVD; a music CD; a picture CD, and; a video DVD. If the option is set to ‘Ask what to do’, you’ll get a dialog box on inserting a relevant disc. Alternatively, you can deďŹ ne a speciďŹ c application or script to run, or tell your Mac to do nothing by selecting ‘Ignore’.

Keyboard settings The Keyboard pane provides a great deal of control over keyboard input. The Keyboard tab has controls that change how your hardware works. The Key Repeat and Delay Until Repeat sliders, respectively, determine how rapidly a character repeats when its key is held down, and the delay that occurs before the repeating starts. Not all keys repeat. Although you can create a

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row of hyphens by holding ‘-’, holding a letter will instead bring up a pop-up with related alternate characters, such as Ă  or ä when holding ‘a’; typing the adjacent number to any of these makes a selection without using the mouse. The awkwardly named ďŹ rst checkbox in the Keyboard pane, ‘Use all F1, F2, etc. Keys as standard function keys’, determines whether the top row of keys on your keyboard performs actions such as adjusting brightness and switching tracks in iTunes, or literally sends function-key-presses. The latter is often helpful in design software. Tick the checkbox and special features will require you to also hold the ‘fn’ key to activate them. If you’re using an older keyboard with a newer Mac, certain functions may not be available via special keys, but FunctionFlip enables you to remap keys to the likes of opening Launchpad (F4 on newer keyboards). However, you’ll need to approve its use in Security & Privacy. The second option enables you to access the Keyboard Viewer and Emoji & Symbols from the menu bar; these appear under a single menu extra. If you also have multiple input sources (see later), this menu extra will likely display as a ag. If not, the icon resembles a small keyboard with a Command icon. Underneath these checkboxes are two buttons: one to set up a Bluetooth keyboard, which brings up the standard OS X discovery window, and one to change how ModiďŹ er Keys work. Using the menus in the drop-down sheet, you can turn off modiďŹ ers (Caps Lock, Control, Option/Alt, Command), or swap them round. Unless doing so for accessibility  ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


reasons, they’re best left alone. ‘Restore Defaults’ in this window restores factory settings. The Text tab provides a wealth of autocorrection features. To the right are checkboxes for automatically correcting spelling, and, as of macOS Sierra, automatically capitalising words and adding a period with a double space (like on iOS). The Spelling menu provides the means to select a language (automatic by default). Software will sometimes override any deďŹ ned system default, and require you to speciďŹ cally turn on such changes in Edit > Spelling and Grammar/ Edit > Substitutions, or equivalent settings. Below the Spelling menu are options for automating smart quotes/dashes, and also for setting the formatting of smart quotes.

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The Replace/With table is for adding speciďŹ c corrections, which is useful for regular typos you make that macOS does not correct or spellings it erroneously updates. It can also be used as a basic text expansion tool, for example expanding ‘omw’ to ‘On my way!’. It’s also possible to add multi-line entries in the With column by holding Option/Alt when hitting Return for a new line. Your shortcuts will be shared using iCloud and can be especially handy on iOS where typing’s typically slower. Experiment with using words followed by a double comma, which expand out to regularly used phrases or hard-to-access characters, such as â€˜ďŹ vestar,,’ becoming ďŹ ve unicode stars. (Double comma is a good ‘trigger’, since it’s a pairing you’re unlikely to use elsewhere, and the comma key is readily accessible.) The Shortcuts tab houses system-wide and custom app-speciďŹ c shortcuts, which are userdeďŹ nable. These are categorised in sections, selected from the pane on the left; click one and you’ll see all associated shortcuts on the right. Below the right-hand pane is a Restore Defaults button that reverts any changes for the current category alone. Shortcuts are edited by double-clicking the zone to the right of a shortcut’s name and then holding your preferred key combination. For example, select Screen Shots in the left pane, then doubleclick to the right of ‘Save picture of screen as a ďŹ le’ and hold Ctrl and §. This will update the shortcut for taking a screenshot from the standard Shift-Cmd-3. Should you create a custom shortcut that clashes with another, you’ll be informed (a warning triangle   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


will be displayed, and also highlight the relevant category where the clash has occurred) and should then change one of them. In App Shortcuts, you can create your own shortcuts for menu commands that don’t have them, or ones you want to change. Click +, choose an application (or ‘All Applications’ if you want your shortcut to apply across all apps with the same command), type the exact menu title, and then add your shortcut. Click Add to continue. For example, if you’d like a quick shortcut for exporting PDFs from TextEdit, you’d choose TextEdit in Application, type ‘Export as PDF‌’ in Menu Title, and then click inside Keyboard Shortcut and add your shortcut (such as Cmd-E). Note that the ellipses is required in Menu Title; that can be typed using Alt-;. 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


Be careful to not override existing shortcuts within applications when adding custom ones, and note that you cannot revert this entire section to factory defaults; instead, you can select individual shortcuts and use the ‘-’ button to delete them. At the foot of the window, you can adjust how the Tab key works. By default, it will switch the cursor focus between text boxes and lists. So in Safari, for example, pressing Tab switches you between input boxes on a web page, but if ‘All controls’ is active, Safari tabs and web page buttons are added to the cycle. In Mail, instead of only tabbing between panes and search, ‘All controls’ adds buttons and the ‘Sort by’ menu to the cycle. Generally, the defaults are ďŹ ne and faster, but ‘All controls’ is a useful accessibility aid; you can also use Ctrl-F7 to toggle this command in an ad-hoc manner rather than triggering it in System Preferences. The Input Sources tab enables you to add different keyboard layouts that you can switch between, such as ones that aid input in alternate languages, or the Dvorak ‘simpliďŹ ed keyboard’, which rearranges the keys in an attempt to increase typing rates and decrease errors. On selecting a keyboard, a preview of the layout is shown. Optionally, you can choose to show the input menu as a menu extra, whereupon you’ll see a ag or icon (as appropriate) in the menu bar to denote your current keyboard. Click it and choose a source to switch to it. You can also from this menu select the Character Viewer and Keyboard Viewer. Shortcuts > Input Sources will appear on adding a second input source. This enables   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


you to deďŹ ne a shortcut to switch to the next/ previous source (Cmd-Space by default, which clashes with Spotlight, so it’s best to change that to something else). The ďŹ nal checkbox enables you to automatically switch input source when you’ve chosen an input source for a document. The setting remains active only until the document is closed. For example, if you were working in two documents, one in English and another in Icelandic, you would choose Icelandic as the input source for the latter. Then as you switched between documents, OS X would toggle your input source between English and Icelandic keyboards without you having to do so manually. The Dictation tab, when available, provides access to the interface for setting up dictation

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functionality. You choose an input source from the menu under the mic icon, select a language from the ‘Language’ menu, and choose a shortcut for activating dictation (Fn twice by default) from the ‘Shortcut’ menu. Within the ‘Language’ menu, you can add further languages by selecting ‘Add Language‌’ and choosing from the options in the sheet that appears, but note each may lead to a download. When dictation is active, a little microphone pop-up appears and you can start talking. If you’re using enhanced dictation (which is on by default in macOS, but may require a download when activated for older systems), words will appear roughly as you speak. If not, you’ll have to occasionally pause to let your text upload, get translated and then download to your Mac. While dictation accuracy isn’t perfect, you can improve your resulting text by manually stating punctuation and styles (such as ‘comma’ and ‘new paragraph’); rather oddly, the system understands ‘smiley face’ and ‘frowny face’, too. You can also use the keyboard to edit text while you speak. Using your shortcut again will turn off dictation, or you can click the Done button on the pop-up.

Mouse options The Mouse pane is where you deďŹ ne settings for a mouse connected to your Mac. The pane’s appearance can vary greatly, and is fully contextual, the options presented depending on your hardware. On opening the pane without a mouse connected, it will show an image of Apple’s Magic Mouse, and state your Mac’s searching for a mouse.   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


The pane will update when a Bluetooth mouse is found and you can then (if relevant) start the set-up process; alternatively, you can just plug in a USB mouse. Regardless of the hardware you add, Set Up Bluetooth Mouse remains a button option at the bottom-right of the pane; adjacent, if relevant, will be your Bluetooth mouse’s battery level. Apple provides a support document on pairing Bluetooth accessories with a Mac. Plug in the most basic possible mouse and you’ll see ‘Tracking speed’ and ‘Double-Click speed’ sliders, which, respectively, enable you to adjust how far the cursor moves across the screen when you move your mouse, and how quickly you need to double-click the mouse button for that action to be registered by macOS. Only set either value towards Slow if you’re a relative newcomer or require slower responses for accessibility reasons; otherwise, tend towards Fast, especially with tracking. Doing so means you can cover more screen space with smaller mouse movements. 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


With more powerful/capable mouse hardware, you’re likely to see more options. Plug in a twobutton mouse and you can deďŹ ne the left or right button as the ‘primary’ one for click events (the other being reserved for the contextual menu); mice with scroll wheels will add a ‘Scrolling speed’ slider. Multi-button mice, such as Apple’s old Mighty Mouse, may provide the means to assign actions to speciďŹ c buttons, for example triggering the application switcher. With Apple’s original Magic Mouse, you get a signiďŹ cantly different Mouse pane, split into two tabs: Point & Click and More Gestures. Each of these houses a small number of options, and also videos of each option in use; these automatically play back when you hover the mouse cursor over the relevant item – you don’t need to click. Point & Click includes a Tracking slider, and also checkboxes for ‘Scroll direction: natural’, ‘Secondary click’ and ‘Smart zoom’. ‘Secondary click’ when active enables you to use the right-hand side of the mouse as a virtual right-click button; the option can be switched to the left of the mouse by using the pop-up menu under the item’s label. The other two options when active echo iOS devices. ‘Smart zoom’ enables you to double-tap in Safari to zoom the content the mouse cursor is over; a second double-tap reverts. When active, ‘Scroll direction: natural’ scrolls content in the direction you move your ďŹ nger, like you’re pushing or pulling it. Turn off this setting and macOS will behave as older versions of OS X did, with your drags essentially controlling scroll bars rather  ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


than directly manipulating content. (So dragging downwards would scroll content upwards.) In More Gestures, you can activate commands for swiping between pages with one or two ďŹ ngers, swiping between full-screen apps with two ďŹ ngers (assuming the previous option is not set to use twoÂ ďŹ ngers), and accessing Mission Control with a two-ďŹ nger double-tap.

Trackpad options The Trackpad pane enables you to deďŹ ne functionality for your notebook’s built-in trackpad, or for a Magic Trackpad connected to a desktop machine via Bluetooth. Like the Mouse pane, if no trackpad is found, you’ll see an image of Apple’s Magic Trackpad and the pane searching for one; again, there’s a set-up button and you can refer to Apple’s support document for pairing advice.

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Available options will vary depending on the hardware you have available. The Trackpad pane provides three tabs: Point & Click; Scroll & Zoom; and More Gestures. Many of the options can bring macOS inputs closer to what you experience on iOS. Hovering the cursor over any of the options provides a video that’s representative of the hardware you’re using. Point & Click’s options are all about moving the cursor and manipulating on-screen content. With ‘Tap to click’ active, you only need to tap your trackpad for a click event, rather than pressing down until the hardware physically clicks; we recommend this setting unless you accidentally trigger clicks all the time. ‘Secondary click’ enables you to bring up context menus with a two-ďŹ nger tap, or alternatively (via the menu options) by clicking in the bottom-right or bottom-left corner. If Look Up & data detectors is active, you can three-ďŹ nger tap on a word and a pop-up will provide its dictionary deďŹ nition. The ‘Tracking speed’ option enables you to adjust how far the cursor moves in relation to your gestures (in much the same way as the equivalent option in the Mouse pane). On hardware that supports it, you will also be able to deďŹ ne the click pressure and toggle Force Click and haptic feedback. (This being used when performing gestures such as Quick Look with a more forceful click.) In Scroll & Zoom, there are four optional settings: Scroll direction: natural; Zoom in or out; Smart zoom; Rotate. ‘Zoom in or out’ and Rotate are two-ďŹ nger gestures (respectively, pinch and rotate)  ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


that ape iOS equivalents, zooming or rotating documents in compatible apps. ‘Scroll direction: natural’, as per the Mouse pane’s setting, ‘pulls’ scrolling content in the direction your ďŹ nger moves, like it does on a touchscreen; and ‘Smart zoom’ intelligently zooms and unzooms a section of a web page in Safari. The ďŹ nal tab, ‘More Gestures’, provides a raft of options: Swipe between pages; Swipe between fullscreen apps; NotiďŹ cation Center; Mission Control; App ExposĂŠ; Launchpad; Show Desktop. In each case, activating the option will enable you to trigger the labelled action by performing the associated gesture, for example accessing Launchpad by pinching with a thumb and three ďŹ ngers. In the case of the swipe settings, Mission Control and App ExposĂŠ, there are alternate gestures available, 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


although if you select a setting that clashes with an existing one, the new choice will be activated and the other will be disabled. Note that relatively modern Apple hardware is more nuanced in terms of its capabilities than the settings you ďŹ nd within System Preferences. BetterTouchTool is worth checking out if you want to experiment with additional and more complex gestures for controlling your Mac via its trackpad.

Printer and Scanner options The Printers & Scanners pane is used to set up printers and scanners, deďŹ ne default settings for use, and to access options for a selected device. The default options are deďŹ ned using the two menus at the foot of the window, and enable you to choose a printer (‘Last Printer Used’ or a speciďŹ c device) and paper size. The initial selection for the latter of these will differ by region (US Letter, A4, and so on). Otherwise, this pane will begin life empty. Clicking the ‘+’ button enables you to start adding a printer or scanner. The process of installation may vary by model and type of connection. For reasonably modern hardware, you may ďŹ nd macOS is capable of very quickly installing a wireless printer that you’ve already connected to your network. In such cases, the printer can be added by selecting it from the list (although networked printers will sometimes take a few seconds to appear after the window is ďŹ rst opened) and clicking Add. If necessary, macOS may ask permission to download software for your printer; click Install if such a dialog appears.   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


When working in an office setup, you may need to use the IP or Windows tabs instead. The former gives you ďŹ elds for entering the IP number of a printer and the protocol to use, along with the name and location of the printer. The Windows tab is for accessing printers installed in a Windows workgroup environment. Note that if you have virtualisation software installed, you may ďŹ nd instances of your existing printer within this tab. There is obviously no need to install it a second time. Once a printer is installed, select it from the list and you’ll see its information (name, kind and status). The ‘Open Print Queue’ button opens the printer’s jobs window; ‘Options & Supplies’ will give you details about the printer, enabling you to change its name under the General tab, and access ink levels under Supply Levels. Some printers may 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


offer further buttons, including website links, Driver (for details about the printer driver that’s in use) and Utility, which opens a separate printer app. Towards the foot of the window is a checkbox for sharing the printer on the network. Select it to do so. If your device also happens to be a scanner, you will see separate Print and Scan tabs. The latter provides an Open Scanner button that launches the standard macOS scanning interface.

Sound options The Sound pane is where you deďŹ ne system alert sounds, and settings for audio inputs and outputs. Accordingly, it has three tabs: Sound Effects, Output and Input. The largest section of the Sound Effects tab enables you to select an alert sound. Funk is the default; Sosumi will likely be a fun alternative for Mac veterans, given its Mac OS roots. You can add your own alerts by placing custom AIFFs into  ~/Library/Sounds (for just your own account) or /System/Library/Sounds (for all accounts). You’ll need to restart System Preferences to access custom sounds from the menu. Below this pane are settings that affect the alert sound. ‘Play sound effects through’ enables you to deďŹ ne through which output you’d like alerts played. This defaults to your choice of sound output device, but can be overridden by selecting an alternate option (for example if you want alerts to play through your Mac’s speaker and not a headset you’re using for gaming). The alert volume level can be adjusted to suit, using the slider; and with the checkboxes, you   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


can deďŹ ne whether user interface sound effects are played (such as dragging something to the Trash) and whether you get audio feedback when changing volume using the keyboard’s media keys (F11 and F12) At the foot of the window is a global volume slider and mute checkbox (F10 is the keyboard alternative), along with a button for displaying the Volume menu-bar extra, which enables you to change the volume by clicking it and dragging the slider. The Output and Input tabs enable you to select a device, respectively, for audio output 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


(such as headphones, USB headsets and devices, and Apple TVs over AirPlay) and input (linein, microphones, and so on). On selecting an output device, those that support it will provide a Balance slider to adjust where the centre of the stereo image is positioned; for a selected input device, you can adjust the input volume while simultaneously seeing the input level. Depending on your recording software, this pane is worth being mindful of if you ďŹ nd recordings too quiet (input level too low) or distorted (too high). When using the internal mic, you’ll get an option to use ambient noise reduction, which attempts to reduce background noise. Leave this on, unless you’ve a good reason to disable the option. It’s also worth realising that macOS isn’t always especially intelligent regarding whatever you’ve plugged into your Mac. With USB audio devices, it will attempt to correctly identify them and display their names within System Preferences. However, if you use a standard stereo minijack lead to connect external speakers or output your Mac’s audio to an amp via the Mac’s headphone socket, macOS has no way of knowing this, and so that output will simply be called ‘headphones’. Note that you needn’t access System Preferences just to perform quick switches of output and input audio sources. With the aforementioned menu-bar extra activated, Alt-click it and instead of the volume slider, you’ll see a list of available output and input devices; to switch to one, just select it in the menu. AirPlay devices will be badged with the familiar icon, differentiating them from other sources.   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


Round-up: Latest Mac games Andrew Hayward looks at the best new releases

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he start of any year is always a great time for Mac games and 2017 is no exception. Over the following pages we round up the most enticing new releases, including top tactical offering Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, while zombie romp Dying Light and platformer N++ both warrant serious attention.

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1. Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun Price: ÂŁ34.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/hso42qm) Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun is a tactical stealth experience set in the Edo period in Japan, letting you guide ďŹ ve skilled assassins as you serve the Shogun to defeat resistance ďŹ ghters across the land. And you’ll command multiple heroes at once in many cases, using their differing abilities to work together to defeat the immense enemy forces. What makes Shadow Tactics so intriguing is the overhead perspective – unique for a stealthaction experience – and the measured pace, as you’ll need to consider each move to ďŹ nd success in these tense battles. Steam user reviews are absolutely glowing, with players calling it one of the best games of 2016 and a tribute to the old-school Commandos military tactics series, plus there’s a free demo available if you’re curious.  ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


2. Dying Light: The Following (Enhanced Edition) Price: ÂŁ39.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/oj9o978) Dying Light is a game worth knowing if the idea of bashing through, or leaping over, loads of zombies excites you. The core game ďŹ nds you trying to survive in an open city full of disease-packing attackers, with the added ability of parkour skills to vault up walls and across rooftops. Of course, you can also use and craft weapons if you prefer to dispatch them violently instead. This complete package also comes with The Following expansion, which drops a sequel-sized chunk of bonus content into the game. Personal acrobatics are swapped for fun-ďŹ lled dirt buggies amidst the massive new setting, and it makes the overall experience impressively vast. All told, it’s a fun and exciting zombie romp. 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


3. N++ Price: ÂŁ10.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/gto8Lct) The makers of N++ say they’ve spent the past 12 years “perfecting the platformerâ€?, and given the overwhelmingly positive reviews on Steam and 90 score on Metacritic, it seems a fair number of people agree with them. N++ doesn’t have the visual punch of Super Mario or Rayman, but it features some of the toughest and most rewarding platform-hopping action you’ve ever seen. And loads of it: N++ includes 2,360 different handmade levels to conquer, as you’ll use your momentum to thrust a tiny ninja through mazes ďŹ lled with murderous robots and other hazards. N began life as a Flash game and then became N+ on consoles, but N++ is the grandest realization of the concept to date – and an ‘Ultimate Edition’ update will nearly double the content in early 2017.  ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


4. Lata Croft Go Price: ÂŁ7.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/z36wLbc) If you don’t have a current smartphone or tablet, or simply prefer not to play games on touch devices, then you probably missed out on Lara Croft Go, one of the best mobile adaptations of a classic game franchise to date. Like Hitman Go before it, this smart puzzler ďŹ nds the iconic Tomb Raider heroine trying to solve her way through a series of environmental puzzles. While the play-at-your-own-pace design makes a lot of sense for smaller screens and on-thego attention spans, now you can play it on Mac. It’s a great experience on any platform: this is a challenging, yet approachable puzzle game, not to mention a spin-off that maintains the essence of the action/adventure source material. And it’s a really attractive little game, to boot. 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


5. Tattletail Price: £3.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/z6q4539) Five Nights at Freddy’s built an effective survival horror experience around cute and cuddly creatures, and now Tattletail is here to follow in its footsteps. This compact creeper is designed around the premise of a fake talking plush toy sensation from the late 1990s, and there’s a rumour about a recalled Mama Tattletail with a protective urge and a thirst for blood. To keep Mama at bay, you’ll need to satisfy your strange Tattletail toy’s demands to keep him silent, which means feeding and recharging him – as well as keeping yourself quiet as you wander through your dark home. Like FNAF, the silly starting point here gives way to surprise scares, and the handful of early Steam reviews are all pretty positive so far.

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6. Her Majesty’s SPIFFING Price: ÂŁ14.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/h7wLmqa) Brexit has seemingly been bad news all around in the real world, and in Her Majesty’s SPIFFING, the Queen of England has responded by dissolving Parliament, restoring her rule, and ďŹ nding a new way to build power: by sending a hero into space to claim a Galactic British Empire. And that hero is you, Captain Frank Lee English, along with your companion, Aled. This point-and-click adventure about the Special Planetary Investigative Force for Inhabiting New Galaxies (ahem, SPIFFING) ďŹ nds you solving puzzles in space, interacting with an array of interesting characters, and soaking in plenty of strongly British humour. It’s supposed to be fairly short, only lasting a few hours in total, but it seems to make a strong impact while it lasts. 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


7. Please Don’t Touch Anything 3D Price: ÂŁ10.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/gp8skeo) It’s a simple request – that is, ‘don’t touch anything’ – but when you see one big, red button on a control panel in front of you, the temptation to press it is very real indeed. And in Please Don’t Touch Anything 3D, you actually do need to touch that button, which then brings up other buttons, knobs, switches, and screens, all of which also need to be used in the correct sequence. Be careful: pressing the wrong button can lead to a nuclear apocalypse or other grim results, but that’s all part of the trial-and-error, puzzle-solving fun here. It’s a brain-twisting experience, and one that really takes advantage of the 3D environment all around you following the original 2D rendition.

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8. Drive!Drive!Drive! Price: ÂŁ14.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/zzntwon) If you ďŹ nd speedy racing games to be a bit too intense or stressful, then Drive!Drive!Drive! may not be for you. Why? Because it’s three racing games in one: or rather, it tosses you into three simultaneous races that you’ll need to manage by constantly switching from one track to the next. Yes, that is a totally crazy concept. You’ll only actively control a car in one of the races at a time, with the AI steering your cars in the other, but the AI driving isn’t great, so you’ll want to switch frequently to try and nudge ahead on all three tracks and secure the overall victory. It’s as much of a management game as a racer, although with wild, rollercoaster-esque courses, Drive!Drive!Drive! is never tedious.

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9. Snowball! Price: ÂŁ1.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/j9z8aLz) Snowball! also has an exclamation point in its name, but it’s actually a whole lot more chill than the last game on this list. This is a fairly low-key spin on pinball, but instead of playing within the conďŹ nes of a traditional table, you’ll smack a rolling, humansized snowball around a cartoonish version of a homemade mountain course. It’s extremely charming at a glance, looking like the kind of gag that some friends would make at a ski resort, and the Super Nintendo-esque, 16-bit aesthetic only adds to the appeal. Snowball! seems a bit lightweight on the surface, but consider two things here: it’s only ÂŁ1.99 on Mac, plus there are plenty of secret areas to discover if you play the ‘table’ the right way.

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10. The Little Acre Price: £9.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/jp4js35) Fans of old-school adventure games will get a kick out of The Little Acre. It starts in Ireland in the 1950s, as Aiden seeks his missing father and ends up in a strange fantasy land, so Aiden’s own daughter Lily goes off in search of him. You’ll play as both Aiden and Lily in this pointand-click affair, and between the hand-drawn look and voice acting, The Little Acre really does emulate the classic genre experiences in look and feel. Steam user reviews are more positive than critics, the latter of which claim that it’s too short and easy to really explore its characters and premise, but it looks like it could be a solid pick for anyone seeking something warm-hearted.

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For video clips, go to tinyurl.com/zqacnmo

Feature: iPhone 7 Plus photo shoot Just for fun, we pushed Portrait mode to the limit and compared the results to a DSLR. Susie Ochs reports

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he best camera is the one you have with you, the old clichĂŠ goes, and as we found in our experiment, if that camera happens to be an iPhone 7 Plus, you’re going to be just ďŹ ne. The dual-lens camera system lets it take better photos than any smartphone we’ve tried, and the Portrait mode in iOS 10.1 is a lot of fun to play with. Adam, staff photographer at our sister publication Macworld US, was eager to see what the 7 Plus could do, so we hired a model to recreate the kind

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Photo 1

of fashion photo shoot that he would normally do with his trusty Sony a7R II with a Canon 50mm lens. We shot indoors in low lighting as well as full light, then took the show on the road for outdoor shots in a couple of locations near the office. Our model, Alina Lee, did a wonderful job, and Adam came away more than a little impressed with what Portrait mode could do. Now, we must note here that we tested Portrait mode while it was still in beta, and this isn’t a formal, scored review – just an experiment we did for fun. We wanted to see how Portrait mode (this ďŹ rst version of it, anyway) would react to different lighting conditions, and how its method of keeping your subject in focus while blurring the background would compare to a full-frame DSLR. Plus, Adam is a dedicated Android user, and he just wanted to 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


Photo 2

see how far Apple has come with the iPhone 7 Plus. Who could blame him, right? We started in low light, indoors (Photo 1). This is barely enough light to trigger the depth effect – you’ll see a yellow Depth Effect label appear on the screen when you’re at the right distance and lighting level to make it work. In this shot, we’re pushing the distance a little bit too – typically, Adam says, a portrait would be a little tighter on her face. Since Portrait mode uses the 6.6mm ‘telephoto’ lens on the iPhone 7 Plus, which has an f/2.8 aperture and no optical image stabilization, you can see some noise, but all in all this isn’t too bad for an indoor photo. Another low-light, indoor shot (Photo 2) and we still get the depth effect. In the depth effect shot on the right, you can see how some of the ďŹ ne pieces   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


Photo 3

of hair around her head get completely blurred out, but the blur effect also smooths out some of the noise on her arms. Again, we’re pushing what Portrait mode is intended to do – this isn’t enough light for the best result, but it still looks interesting. And since the mode defaults to keeping both the original and blurred versions of each photo, you really don’t have much to lose by experimenting. For our next set of photos, we stayed indoors but cranked up the lighting. In this shot, Adam was again experimenting with how far he could get from Alina and still get the depth effect (Photo 3). It seems like we got the best results inside of 2.5m, but it was possible to push it up to 3.5m and still get it to work. The blurring is minimal in this image because she’s relatively close to the background. 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5  


Photo 4

Once we got close up (Photo 4), we started to see how Portrait mode works to isolate Alina’s face. In this image, you can see how her entire face is kept perfectly in focus, like it would be if you masked it in Photoshop, while her hair (seen on the left side of the photo) is immediately very blurred even right next to the face. Taking this same shot with a DSLR, we wouldn’t expect her entire face to be in the same plane of focus. Her left eye, for example, and her nose are angled closer to the camera lens than her right eye, but the iPhone 7 Plus keeps them in the same focus. The strap on her dress is even closer to the camera lens, but it’s blurred because the camera didn’t isolate it to stay sharp along with her face. It’s an interesting effect, just not what we would expect from a full-frame DSLR.   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


Photo 5

Then we went outside (Photo 5), where we found an alley illuminated with beautiful afternoon light reecting off the windows of the building behind us, almost like we’d planned it that way. In this shot, you can see Portrait mode having some problems with the very outer edges of Alina’s hair. (Sometimes you can control for that, if it’s less windy or you load up on hair products, but for this experiment, the yaway hairs are our friends.) It does okay with the larger pieces, and it’s understandable that it couldn’t isolate every strand. The depth effect also blurs the texture of her shirt a little, and it’s slightly odd how the background is equally blurred right behind her as it is all the way back. With a DSLR, the amount of blur would increase as you approach the horizon. Adam says that a talented Photoshop user could 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


Photo 6

reproduce this blur effect with software, but it’s pretty remarkable that the 7 Plus camera can do it for you, in real time as you’re taking the photo. During the shoot (Photo 6), we started seeing a lens are leaking in, but that lets us point out the way Portrait mode isolates just a person’s face and blurs everything else. Here the are appears in the foreground, but since it doesn’t cross her face, Portrait mode still applies the blur effect. In the next shot (photo 7), Adam managed to catch the are across Alina’s face. On the right, you can really see how Portrait mode masks her face. The are actually widens on the top of her head, then snaps back to its original shape as it crosses her face. The blur on her shirt is pretty noticeable in this pair too. Since it’s just a texture, it’s not a big deal   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


Photo 7

Photo 8

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Photo 9

here, but another time when I used Portrait mode to photograph my husband wearing a San Francisco Giants sweatshirt, it was a little odd to see the type in the logo become harder to read. In Photo 8, Adam included a couple of distracting elements in the background – the speed limit sign in the alley along with a couple of guys drinking beer or something. Portrait mode did a great job keeping the focus on Alina. We like how the brick wall on the photo’s right side doesn’t blur out too much, and her hair looks great. But we did lose a little bit of sharpness in her clothes– check out the bit of zipper and the two snaps you can see on her jacket, for example. Mostly we think of portraits (Photo 9) being taken in portrait orientation, but it’s worth mentioning that iOS 10.1’s Portrait mode works   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


Photo 10

Photo 11

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Photo 12

in landscape orientation too. This is one of our favourite shots from the day. While iOS 10 does support capturing and exporting RAW images, Apple’s own Camera app sticks with JPEGs as a rule. In fact, Adam noticed that the Portrait versions are about half the ďŹ le size as the untouched photos, so the Camera app is already making all the decisions about what data to keep and what to discard. So it’s unlikely we’ll see RAW support added to the Portrait mode anytime soon, but it sure would make Adam happy. He exported the Portrait photo and edited the JPEG to get the ďŹ nal result, but naturally, a JPEG is already compressed and doesn’t offer the editing exibility that a RAW ďŹ le would. Sometimes, we found we liked the sharp image better than the depth effect version. This shot   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


Photo 13

Photo 14

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Photo 15

(Photo 10) in front of the Bay Bridge is one of those times, but maybe we just don’t have the heart to blur out such a notable landmark. Adam did some edits on the Portrait version of the bridge photo (Photo 11), to attempt to bring some sharpness back to Alina’s sweater and the stitching on her jeans. For a few images, Adam put an edited Portrait photo (Photo 12) taken with the iPhone 7 Plus next to a photo taken with his Sony a7R II. Then we showed them to a bunch of people around the office and had them guess which was taken with the ‘real’ camera and which was taken with the smartphone. Not everyone got it right! This close-up in the alley (Photo 13) is another one of our favourites, but since the background isn’t so far from the subject, the blurring effect is   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


somewhat subtle. You can still notice the effect having trouble with the edges of her hair, and adding a little too much blur to the texture of her shirt, especially the collar. But when Adam edited the Portrait mode version in Photoshop (Photo 14), he was able to get some of that texture back. The pairing (Photo 15) showing the edited Portrait mode photo on the left, and a similar shot taken with the Sony a7R on the right, impressed everyone we showed it to. In fact, even a fellow camera geek on our video team was fooled, identifying the iPhone 7 Plus shot as being taken by a DSLR. If you know to look at the ďŹ ne yaways around her head, you might get it right. But otherwise, these are delightfully close. In the end, Adam admitted he’s more than a little jealous of the capabilities of the iPhone 7 Plus – even with the Portrait mode in beta. It’s not perfect, and we are eager to see how Apple might improve it in future versions – now that the full release is out, we’ll be doing some follow-up testing. But just the fact that you can do this with a smartphone is incredibly cool.

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Feature: A wishlist for the iPhone in 2017 Every iPhone gets a better camera, but Apple needs to come up with a VR plan too, argues Jason Snell

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here was a time when the iPhone wish list was miles long. In the early days of the smartphone, there were so many clear gaps that it wasn’t a question of what features needed to be added, but in what order. But as the tenth anniversary of the announcement of the iPhone nears, the wish list has dwindled. The gaps have been ďŹ lled in. The smartphone is amazing, essential, and a bit boring. Still, we can dream, can’t we? And so here’s a list – both mundane and fantastical – of the iPhone features we’re dreaming of for 2017.

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More camera improvements Phone cameras can always get better, so we’d like to see Apple keep the ball rolling in 2017 when it comes to iPhone camera updates. As a fan of the smaller phone model, we’d like to see it add the second camera currently only offered on the iPhone 6 Plus. More innovation when it comes to mingling hardware design with software would be great, too. Can iOS provide more fun effects when it’s got access to two high-resolution still and video cameras? Could it combine the front and rear cameras to create something that approaches a 360-degree view? What about the ability to shoot video horizontally and vertically and choose which orientation you’d prefer to share after the fact? We’re sure Apple’s photo team has a bunch of ideas. We’re looking forward to seeing what they pull out of the hat next.

iCloud storage changes Apple loves its services revenue line, but there’s a difference between add-on services and fundamental features of your hardware. For too many years Apple has skimped on the cloud storage you get when you buy an iPhone, and that needs to change. With the release of new iPhones in the fall, we’d love to see a revamped approach to iCloud storage. Sure, that could be as easy as raising the free tier of iCloud storage from 5GB to 10-, 15- or even 20GB. Even better would be granting an additional amount of storage to your Apple ID every time you add a new iOS device. Those grants 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


could be limited to a couple of years, if necessary. But when we buy an iPhone, the cloud storage that allows me to use it safely and replace it if it’s stolen and upgrade to a new phone when we’re ready should be part of what we’re buying. We’ll pay extra to store documents or my entire photo library online, but backup should be covered. People should never have to see a warning that threatens to discontinue backup unless they pay Apple money for more storage.

Family Sharing ďŹ xes Speaking of Apple IDs, a few years ago Apple introduced Family Sharing, and hasn’t really improved it since. It’s past time. It’s time for families to be able to access a shared iCloud Photo Library, for instance. Families should be able to share iCloud storage space too, so we don’t have to buy a terabyte for myself and then spend another ÂŁ6.99 per month for my wife’s devices to back up separately.

Syncing Photos data The latest improvements to the Photos app use machine learning to let you search for objects in your photos without any manual tagging. It’s pretty cool, but every time you set up a new device it has to scan your entire library anew. 2017’s software update should allow photo metadata to ride along with the photos in iCloud Photo Library, so that when we buy a new iPhone it doesn’t spend a couple of nights getting very warm while it rescans the photos that all my other devices have already scanned four or ďŹ ve times.   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


A better screen The iPhone’s screen is great, but it could always be better. As much as it’s improved, glare in bright sunlight is still an issue. The screen could always be brighter. And of course, everyone would prefer if the screen was even harder to scratch and less breakable if you drop it. It may be a long time before there’s a truly unbreakable iPhone, but every year Apple should try to get closer.

Improved waterprooďŹ ng The iPhone 7 is the ďŹ rst iPhone to claim water resistance, but it’s still not exactly safe to take it in the pool and take underwater photos. Today’s iPhones should survive a brief dunking but officially they’re just ‘splash-proof’ – and if your phone’s seals fail, you will discover that Apple’s warranty doesn’t cover water damage. Let’s get there. Apple should keep pushing its waterprooďŹ ng tech. The more moisture it can survive, the better.

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A better setup experience Apple should make the act of buying a new iPhone one that’s pure pleasure. Unfortunately, too many times the iPhone setup experience can be frustrating. Apps take forever to restore, data has to slowly crawl over iCloud (or iTunes). The easier Apple can make this experience, the better.

A new iPhone SE We suspect the iPhone SE is going to be an every-two-years sort of update, but we’d love to see a new iPhone SE – this time with iPhone 7-calibre hardware – released this spring. A lot of people really like the smaller-sized iPhone, and the iPhone SE has proven to be surprisingly successful. Keep the ball rolling.

An answer for Daydream VR Okay, this is a ridiculous one and we think there’s no way it’s going to happen, but we’d love to see Apple take on VR headsets by creating its own version of Google’s Daydream View – in other words, an accessory that lets you use an iPhone to create a virtual-reality headset. The iPhone already has most of the necessary processing power and sensors to be a VR rig. All that’s needed is some tools for developers and an Apple-built accessory that brings it all together. The truth is, Apple is probably more focused on augmented reality than virtual reality, so a pure VR headset seems like an awful stretch. But let us have this one. After all, what better time to dream about the future than when we’re on the precipice of a new year?   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


Feature: Ask the iTunes Guy Kirk McElhearn answers your iTunes questions

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he recent release of iOS 10.2 saw a number of changes to Apple’s mobile operating system, as well as some tweaks to the iOS Music app. In this week’s column, I tell you what’s changed, so you can be up to date: I explain the 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5  


new way to sort albums and songs by artist or title, and I show you how you can (ďŹ nally) rate your songs again on your iPhone or iPad. I then answer a question about music disappearing from the iTunes Store, and discuss what to do if you’re tired of renting music from Apple.

Sorting songs and albums Q: I just updated my iPhone to iOS 10.2, and there isn’t an option to sort music in the Settings. How do I alphabetize my music by song title now? A: When iOS 10 was released, Apple made a number of changes to the Music app. One of these changes affected the way songs and albums sorted when viewed in the app.

Tap Sort, then tap Title or Artist to choose how songs or albums display

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The release of iOS 10.2 this week has changed this again. You still have the same options, but the way you apply them is different. This time, the change is positive, since you can now access this setting directly from the Music app. When you view your music by Songs or Albums, you’ll notice the word Sort at the top right of the screen. Tap this to display a menu, which then allows you to choose which criteria you prefer. Note that this is no longer a global setting; you can have, say, albums sort by title and songs sort by artist.

Rating songs in iOS 10 (ďŹ nally) Q: I’ve heard that I can rate my songs again in the Music app in iOS 10.2. How can I do this? A: Star ratings have indeed returned to the iOS Music app. But it’s a bit tricky to ďŹ nd them. You ďŹ rst need to go to the Settings app, then the Music settings, and toggle Show Star Ratings. Next, to rate a song, start playing the song, tap the ‘...’ button at the bottom right of the display, then tap Rate Song in the menu that displays. In the dialog that pops up, tap a rating, then tap Done. You can also rate a song that you’re not currently playing. Tap and hold a song name, and you’ll see the same menu that offers a Rate Song option.

Where did my music go? Q: I recently realized that I no longer have a song that I bought from the iTunes Store several years ago on my iPhone, or in my iTunes library. When I search the iTunes store, the song and album are 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5  


not even there anymore. Can Apple just randomly delete purchased music? A: It’s not Apple who does this, it’s the record labels. It’s pretty rare in my experience, though I have a couple of albums, or even tracks on albums, that are no longer available. You should always back up the content you buy from the iTunes Store, because there is a small chance that, for some reason, a record label or movie studio may remove some items from sale.

I want to buy, not rent my music Q: I cancelled my Apple Music subscription, and it ends in a couple of weeks. But there are plenty of albums I want to buy. Is there an easy way to view music that was added by Apple Music but not purchased? A: Yes, there is. All you need to do is make a smart playlist with the following conditions: Match music for the following rules and iCloud Status is Apple Music. You can then check the playlist to see what you may want to buy. If you click the ‘...’ icon next to an album or track, you can choose Go To > Show > Song in iTunes Store, and buy it easily.

View this playlist to see which tracks in your iTunes library come from Apple Music

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How To: Use Levels adjustments in Photos Apple’s Photos has powerful tools for making your pictures spectacular. Lesa Snider shows how

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hotos for Mac sports some seriously advanced image editing controls in its Adjustments panel, the most powerful of which is Levels. Amazingly, while a Levels adjustment in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements has just three sliders, Photos has eight. This gives 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5  


you precise control over the brightness levels of all the tones in your image. For example, you can control brightness levels in just the darkest shadows, just the midtones, just the lightest highlights, in the tones that fall between shadows and midtones, and in the tones that fall between midtones and highlights. To open a Levels adjustment for a selected image, ďŹ rst press the Return key to make sure you’re in Edit mode, then in the list of tools on the right, click Adjust to open the Adjustments panel. If Levels doesn’t appear in the list of Adjustments, click Add at the top right of the list and choose Levels from the resulting menu. Hover over the Levels section that appears in the list of Adjustments to see the controls shown in the image below. If you click the Auto button, Photos will try its best to improve all the brightness levels in your image. If you like what you see, you’re done. To adjust the image even further, drag the sliders at the bottom to the right or left to increase or decrease the brightness in each range of tones. To change the range of tones being affected by the bottom sliders, drag the top sliders left or right. When you move the sliders, Photos adjusts the image’s tonal values accordingly. For example, if you drag the Whites slider left to (an imaginary setting of) 85 percent, Photos changes all the pixels that were originally 85 percent or higher to 100 percent (pure white). (Translation: They get brighter.) Similarly, if you move the Blacks slider right to (an imaginary setting of) 5 percent, Photos darkens all the pixels with a brightness level of 5 percent or lower to 0 (pure black). Photos also   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


redistributes the brightness levels between 5 percent and 85 percent, boosting the image’s overall contrast by increasing its tonal range.

Copy Adjustments onto other images Whipping pictures into shape can involve a lot of time and slider scooting. If you’ve got a bunch of pictures that require the same ďŹ xes – for example, they were all shot at the same time with the same lighting conditions – it would be tedious to repeat your efforts on every single photo. Fortunately, you don’t have to do that. You can simply copy your adjustment settings from one photo and paste them onto another. This can be a gigantic timesaver if you have a slew of images taken under the same lighting conditions. Apple put a lot of thought into the Copy Adjustments command. Because you only want to copy and paste general changes – those that affect lighting and colour – that’s all the command does.

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In other words, the only stuff that gets copied are the changes you make with the Enhance and Filter tools and the Adjustments panel. Changes you make with the Rotate, Crop, Retouch and Red-Eye tools aren’t included. To copy a change from one image to another, select your adjusted image (image A) and press Return to switch to Edit mode. Then choose Image > Copy Adjustments or press Cmd-Alt-C. Then, open the other picture (image B) and choose Image > Paste Adjustment or press Cmd-Alt-V. When you do, Photos applies the colour and lighting corrections you made to image A onto image B. (Another way to copy or paste adjustments is to Ctrl-click a photo in Edit mode and choose Copy Adjustments or Paste Adjustments from the menu that appears.) Unfortunately, you can only paste changes onto one photo at a time; you can’t select 100 thumbnails and paste changes onto all of them in one fell swoop. But if you’ve got a bunch of pictures to paste edits onto, you can speed up the process by opening Photos’ thumbnail browser and using the arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate through the pictures. To see the thumbnail browser, switch choose View > Show Thumbnails or press Alt-S. Use the arrow keys to move from photo to photo and then press Cmd-Alt-V to paste your changes onto each one. Now that you know how to adjust brightness levels in any area of your photo and how to copy adjustments from one photo to many others, take a break. Breathe. Then come back and apply your new-found expertise to many photos as you like.   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


How To: Downgrade to an older version of OS X Installing an older version of OS X isn’t as easy as you think it would be, writes Glenn Fleishman

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acworld reader Roxsanne Roush wants to go back in time. She purchased a 2011 iMac that had El Capitan installed, but needs to run a previous version of OS X as she relies on Adobe Creative Suite 5.5. She wants to revert to Mavericks. It always makes me nervous moving backwards with operating systems, because so much can go wrong. The easiest way to revert is to install an older, compatible version of OS X on an external drive. The 2011 iMac models have USB 2.0 but also FireWire 800. You can purchase a FireWire 800 drive that’s probably faster than the internal drive and offers more capacity at a reasonable price. Download the Mavericks installer – obtaining it can be a challenge if you don’t have a copy already – and choose the external drive as a target. Then you can use the Startup Disk preference pane to switch drives if you want to swap between using Mavericks and El Capitan. Since you don’t have much on the iMac, you could copy the ďŹ les you need, and perform and erase and install operation by creating a bootable ash drive version of the Mavericks installer. 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 


Opinion: What the Mac needs in 2017 Apple should stop neglecting its desktop Macs, say goodbye to spinning drives, and more, argues Jason Snell

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he new year is a time to reect about what’s happened and ponder what’s to come. Last year I made a list of things I wanted to see from the in 2016; the results were fair to middling. Truth be told, 2016 was a rough year for Mac watchers. There were new MacBook Pros and a slightly updated MacBook, and of course OS X became macOS, but there were no new Mac desktops for the ďŹ rst time in a long time. Keeping in mind that these lists are always a mixture of informed guessing and sheer

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wishcasting, here’s a list of some of the things I hope we see from the Mac in 2017.

Mac Pro: Wanted, dead or alive The all-new Mac Pro was unveiled in 2013, a groundbreaking new design with a near-silent fan and loads of CPU and GPU power. Phil Schiller boasted about Apple’s Mac innovation. It was an interesting, if controversial, approach to a high-end computer. And then: nothing. For three years, the Mac Pro has sat on Apple’s price lists with no price or speciďŹ cation changes to speak of. At some point, it becomes embarrassing to even attempt to sell such an out-of-date product at the full price set in 2013. You could argue that Apple crossed the line into embarrassment in 2015, but it’s certainly reached that point now. This needs to end, one way or another. Either it’s time for the Mac Pro to be discontinued and shown the door, or it’s time for Apple to update it – either by keeping the existing design but with the latest Intel hardware, or by tossing the ‘trash can Mac’ into the trash and doing something new. Which will happen? It depends on which tea leaves you read, apparently. I’m inclined to be optimistic: If Apple truly wanted to kill the Mac Pro, wouldn’t it be dead already? The lingering suggests to me that Apple really is working on a replacement, and delays have left the company in this embarrassing position. Also, I think there’s a place in the Mac product line for a Mac that can fulďŹ l needs that an iMac simply can’t match. I’m pretty satisďŹ ed with my 2014 5K iMac (which, last 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5  


time I checked, was still faster than the lowest-end Mac Pro models), but there are some people who really want lots of processor cores and workstation performance. It would sure be great if Apple could please them–but at this point even admitting they won’t ever be satisďŹ ed would be an act of mercy.

The Mac mini, dead or alive Speaking of Macs that need a ďŹ nal disposition: What’s up with the Mac mini? It’s been the most neglected Mac in terms of updates for a long time, but it seems like it’s past time for one. The Mac mini is never going to be a huge hit, but it’s a useful product for schools, as a server, attached to TV sets, and all sorts of other wacky places. I’ve had a Mac mini running in my house for more than a decade now. I’d like the little guy to survive. Or maybe Apple should solve both of these issues with a single new product: a desktop Mac without a display that can be outďŹ tted with processors from the mid-range to the high end, something that’s more like a Mac mini at its base price but more like a Mac Pro at the high end. Unreasonable? Probably. Unlikely? Certainly. But if it happens, I’m going to point at this paragraph and nod like I knew it all along.

Next-generation MacBook This was on my list last year, and I’m bringing it back until I get satisfaction: I’d like to see Apple take a second crack at the MacBook, two years after introducing it. Adding support for Thunderbolt 3 would be swell, and adding a second USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 port would be even better.   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


While Apple’s at it, how about some more colour in the Mac line? The MacBook – already available in gold, rose gold, space grey and silver – seems like the best place to start. I’d like a metallic blue MacBook, myself.

Eliminate the spinning disc Another item I’m replaying from my 2016 wish list: Apple needs to clear spinning-disc hard drives out of the iMac line. I know that ash storage is expensive and the drives are small – that’s why I consider the Fusion Drive an acceptable transitional form. But it’s absolutely criminal that the base-model 4K iMac is still sold with a spinning disc rather than a Fusion Drive. The Mac experience is vastly improved with fast storage; those slow spinning drives in the low-end iMacs don’t cut it.

iMac revisions and Touch ID After major revisions in the falls of 2014 and 2015, Apple’s iMac line went untouched in 2016. That needs to change in 2017. As with all Macs in 2017, I’d expect these new iMacs to feature USB-C/ 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5  


Thunderbolt 3 ports rather than traditional USB and Thunderbolt ports. (It’s possible that Apple will also offer some older ports for transitional purposes, but I wouldn’t count on it. A clean break seems far more likely.) Now that Apple has introduced the Touch Bar and Touch ID on the MacBook Pro, it’s hard to imagine one or both of those features coming to the iMac. Touch ID is a natural. I’m not sure if Apple would release a new external keyboard with an onboard Touch ID sensor, or integrate Touch ID into the iMac hardware itself – touch the Apple   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


logo, for example – but once you’ve unlocked 1Password for Mac with a ďŹ ngerprint, you really don’t want to go back. My dream would be a Magic Keyboard, or equivalent, with both a Touch Bar and a Touch ID sensor. But would the ergonomics of the Touch Bar work when your computer’s display isn’t right above your keyboard like it is on a laptop? And would the battery life be remotely decent? And would Apple foist the new MacBook Pro keyboard design on all of us and kill the existing (and quite nice) Magic Keyboard design? All good questions that I hope 2017 will answer, one way or another.

A macOS that knows about networks and batteries Most of the new features in macOS the past few years have taken their inspiration from iOS. So let’s continue down that line with a new version of macOS that is much smarter than its predecessors when it comes to networking and battery use. On iOS, the operating system and apps are able to vary their behaviour based on network status. If you’re on Wi-Fi, a podcast app might download a bunch of episodes, but it might refrain if you’re on a metered cellular connection. This awareness is incredibly useful for cellular connections with bandwidth caps. But guess what happens when you’re on a Mac and you tether to an iPhone or a mobile hotspot? The Mac will suck as much data as possible, because it has no awareness of what kind of network it’s on. The iPhone, because it was designed for mixed networking, doesn’t do this 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5  


(except when there are bugs, of course). You can also use the Settings app to bar apps from using cellular networking entirely. Users have a lot of power and control over how their apps behave. It’s time for Apple to bring that understanding to the Mac. We tether our laptops to cellular connections all the time these days. (Especially since there are no cellular-capable Macs – presumably because macOS has been unable to behave responsibly on those networks.) While we’re at it, how about adding a Low Power Mode in the style of iOS to macOS? Low Power Mode would be a signal to the operating system and various apps that the user is trying to eke out as much run time as possible with whatever battery life is left.

Feature parity with Messages for iOS Stickers and effects and all the other fun stuff in Messages for iOS 10 can be seen, but not sent,   ?24IAD>5΄763DG2DK 


by macOS. 2017 is the time for that to change. (And while we’re at it, Apple, can we get a major update to the emoji picker for macOS? Yours is still not great.)

A new generation of user automation In 2016 we learned that Mac automating product manager Sal Soghoian was laid off from Apple and his team scattered. It’s a sad situation, but I’m going to (again) try to be optimistic and hope that Apple has a new approach to user automation on the horizon. There are plenty of languages out there on which to build an entire new scripting framework. JavaScript seems to make a lot of sense, and Apple already built one approach that uses it, but maybe Swift is the one that would have the most political beneďŹ t inside Apple? I don’t really care, so long as someone at Apple is pointing at the Mac and suggesting that it’s worth automating tasks and letting users wire different apps together in interesting ways. Alas, I don’t think I can call this one a prediction, more like wishful thinking. Apple hasn’t shown a whole lot of interest in making its own apps scriptable, let alone building a whole new generation of automation support inside macOS. iOS automation happens largely in spite of Apple, rather than being enabled by it. I don’t think it’s likely that this will change in 2017, but you’ve got to have hope. 763DG2DK ΄?24IAD>5 



Macworld UK – February 2017