Mac iPad iPhone ï£¿Watch
MAC ARE YOU?
2016 Five reasons to be excited
EVERY MAC PUT TO THE TEST NEW INSIDE THE NEW MACBOOK PRACTICAL BUYING ADVICE MACBOOK FULLY TESTED
FIX YOUR W Wi-Fi PROBLEMS
Master Network Utility in OS X
NEXT-GEN PRO APPS
Power up your iPhone SE or iPad Pro
BUILD YOUR FIRST iOS GAME Create an App Store classic
EXPERT MAC SECURITY TIPS
Protect your Mac against hackers
Welcome iCreate 160 “We’re expecting big Mac announcements in the very near future” This is an exciting time to be a Mac user. After what seems like keynote after keynote that focused on iOS devices, we’re expecting big Mac announcements in the very near future, possibly as early as Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in June. Apple has already got the ball rolling, updating the gorgeous 12-inch Retina MacBook. We’ve taken it for a spin this issue and given it the full iCreate test treatment. That’s likely to be just the start, so our main feature this month asks: Which Mac are you? Packed with practical buying advice, we’ve taken a look at every Mac in Apple’s line-up to find out who is best suited to what model. We’ve also got a great round-up of next-gen pro apps for those of you with new iPhones and iPads. These devices are now so powerful, and we show you the apps that push them to their max. You’ll find over 40 pages of tutorials and projects for all your devices too. That’s a lot to get stuck into. Enjoy!
Philip Morris Editor
Meet the experts George Cairns
When it comes to video editing, George is our fountain of knowledge. Check out his tutorial on creating a cross-processed look in iMovie on page 26 and fall in love with its retro vibe.
This month Roland has been delving deep into the depths of OS X, giving you guides to securing your Mac on page 40, and mastering Network Utility on page 46.
As a former iCreate Features Editor, Stephen knows everything there is to know about Macs. That’s why we put him in charge of the Which Mac are you? feature on page 12.
Contents... Discover the creative treats in store this month
Visit the iCreate online shop at for back issue s,
bookazines & DVDs
NEXT-GEN PRO PPS
52 Power up your new iPhone SE or
iPad Pro with the best of the App Store
94 FileSilo Tutorial files
This issueâ€™s brilliant assets
Expert video guides
Walking you through new features
Royalty-free clips for project use
The new way to get all your creative resources
WHICH MAC ARE YOU?
buying advice to make www.filesilo.co.uk/icreate 12 Practical sure you get the right Mac 4
Get more from your devices 22 Photos
• Master the Zoom tool for precise edits • Add a vignette for a stylish ﬁnish
Master the Zoom tool for precise edits
• Create a custom cross-processed look • Split, insert and connect clips
• Structure using the Arrangement Track • Ducking and deleting audio regions
Structure using the Arrangement Track
Track App Store and iTunes sales
38 Also this month… Features, reviews and expert advice 06 Trending
Five reasons to be excited about Apple’s 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference
08 5 Things
What we learned this month, including a potential new HomeKit app
34 Logic Pro X
10 5-minute projects
36 Final Cut Pro X
12 Which Mac are you?
40 OS X
52 Next-gen pro apps
• Create MIDI from audio using Flex Pitch • Create and edit a Multicam sequence
top tips to keep 40 10 your Mac secure
Love iCreate? Subscrib today e
• 10 top tips to keep your Mac secure • Find duplicate ﬁles with Gemini 2 • Restore three-ﬁnger drag gestures • Solve Wi-Fi issues with Network Utility • Set up your Mac’s built-in ﬁrewall • Add a screensaver password
• Take and edit stunning photos on iPad • Sort Notiﬁcation Centre by time • Build an iOS game without code • Track App Store and iTunes sales • Add a rhythm accompaniment to songs in Music Memos
70 Apple Watch
• Make the most of the new features in Maps
72 Apple TV
• Organise your Apple TV apps into folders
Quick tips for making the most out of iCloud on all your devices
We put every Mac to the test to ﬁnd which model you should buy Enhance the latest iOS hardware with these next-generation apps
74 Genius Bar
Get all your common Apple problems solved by our resident expert
98 Time Machine
A look back at classic Apple hardware
The iCreate reviews The latest kit gets the iCreate treatment 18 MacBook (Early 2016) 80 Backpack group test 82 Kito+ Health Tracker 83 Manfrotto TwistGrip 84 ViewSonic Pro7827HD 85 Ediﬁer MP700 86 Xqisit Bluetooth Stereo Headset BT iE200 90 Yoink 91 MyAlbum 92 Disk Analyzer Pro 93 Firewatch 5
Five reasons to be excited about WWDC Exciting times ahead for Siri, Apple Watch, macOS, HomeKit and more
Siri, HomeKit and Apple Music will land an upgrade
If the speculation is to be believed – and much of it is very well-informed – then it’s going to be a big WWDC for Siri, particularly when it comes to iOS 10 upgrades. Siri is becoming more and more important to iOS and there’s little doubt we’ll see more capabilities, more integrations and more tricks, just as we did at WWDC 2015. There are also whispers of a proper HomeKit app as it graduates from mere background service to fully-fledged consumer tool. It’s about time HomeKit started making serious inroads in the smart home space, and this event could be its chance to get thrust into the spotlight. What’s more, we’ve heard that Apple Music is getting a massive overhaul – if Cupertino engineers can put together a slick front-end to match the already impressive library of tunes, Spotify executives should be seriously concerned. Will iTunes finally get dragged into the modern era too? We can only hope so.
Apple Watch will break free from the iPhone
We’re not going to see the Apple Watch completely cut ties with the iPhone just yet – at least not until version 2 – but we’re definitely moving in that direction. Apple has already told developers that its watch creations need to run as standalone apps by the start of June, which happens to be WWDC time. That clue suggests watchOS 3 is going to be even more enabling than watchOS 2 was. We’ve also got all our fingers crossed that Apple will open up the gates for anyone to create their very own custom watch face too.
Here’s hoping for a big iTunes-related announcement at WWDC
We’re looking forward to improvements in the stock apps too (we’ve already seen plenty of these since watchOS 1) and here’s hoping Notes finally makes the jump from phone to wearable. We’ve got a feeling Apple Watch might be one of the stars of WWDC 2016 and we should hear plenty about its on-board software.
OS X is getting a new name
The fact that Apple wants to rename OS X to macOS (to match iOS, watchOS and tvOS) is no secret at this point – especially as Apple already spilled the beans by using the term on the environmental section of its own website before any announcement had been made. It seems unlikely that Apple would go into a rebranding like this without some major new features to back it up, and we’re hearing that ‘Fuji’ (the codename for El Capitan’s successor) will finally bring Siri to the desktop. It’s inevitable that it’ll happen eventually, and 2016 is likely to be the year when the assistant app makes the jump. Of course we’ll also get some sweet treats as far as native app upgrades go too: the rumour mill says Photos is in line for a substantial boost and we’d expect a slew of new refinements for the various iCloud apps and services too.
The Apple Watch should be less reliant on the iPhone than ever by the end of WWDC
Siri: from the iPhone and the Apple Watch to macOS?
Apple’s TV ambitions could extend beyond hardware into programmes and content
Apple could do a Netflix
Apple could do a Netflix this year, not by launching its own video streaming service (though that’s a possibility), but by producing its own shows and content. Apparently Apple is making a show about apps to begin with, which sort of makes sense. There’s been no official confirmation so far, but the rumours are that Apple pal Dr. Dre is filming a series of shows in the Los Angeles area, programmes that will eventually be available exclusively on Apple Music. It’s not quite Game of Thrones, but it’s something else to look forward to if you’re a fan of everything else Apple produces. And a fully-fledged Netflix competitor might not be too far away either. Rumours like this have been circulating for some time now, and WWDC 2016 would be the perfect place for Apple to announce a series of deals with the TV networks for live broadcasting rights.
There might even be new hardware
WWDC is primarily about the software, but hardware launches have been known to happen too – some analysts think the Apple Watch 2 will break cover while there have been whispers about a long-overdue MacBook Pro upgrade too. We’re not going to get any iPhones, of course, but it is the turn of Apple’s smartwatch and line of high-end laptops to get some attention after a pile of other hardware-related announcements over the last 12 months. If the MacBook Air is going to continue alongside the new, thinner MacBook then it’s possible we’ll get new Airs to look at too. As for Tim Cook pulling up on stage in an Apple Car, we think that’s a bit too outlandish for this year’s WWDC – even if it’s looking very likely that some kind of automobile innovation is on the cards in the next few years. Roll on 13 June when WWDC 2016 gets underway.
“A fully-fledged Netflix competitor might not be too far away... rumours like this have been circulating for some time now”
Things we learned this month
A dedicated HomeKit app could be coming to iOS 10 Home automation is going to be massive. The process of automating everyday tasks in your home from a personal computing device, such as your Nest thermostat, is already a reality, but it’s still a bit of a clunky experience. Early adopters to the scene still require an app for each of their products. What would be brilliant is if Apple provided an all-in-one hub for all the
products (and their apps) that are compatible with HomeKit. Well, we’ve been tipped off that a HomeKit app will likely be included in the next version of Apple’s mobile operating system. Expect it to work in the same vein as Health (it could be called Home) and be an app where you can control everything, without having to load separate apps. HomeKit has been around for long enough now, so it’s about time Apple gave it some love.
“A HomeKit app will likely be included in the next version of Apple’s mobile operating system” Students get a huge Apple CareKit apps have arrived Music discount Apple Music on the App Store CareKit
Apple Music is set for a complete overhaul, with its development team rumoured to want to shake the app up by redesigning the interface to focus more on cover art. What we do know for certain is that there’s a new pricing structure to the music streaming service in place for students – it works out as a 50 per cent discount on a single-user subscription. In America that translates to a monthly fee of only $4.99, and the discount is also available in the UK, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
The first apps built with Apple’s open source CareKit software framework have gone live on the App Store. Announced at Apple’s ‘Let us loop you in’ keynote in March, CareKit is in place to help developers build apps focused on medical care. It has the potential to monitor medical conditions, track medicine intake and share the data with doctors. It’s an exciting development, and the first third-party apps are now in use. One Drop, for example, is an iPhone and Apple Watch monitor for diabetes sufferers.
“CareKit is in place to help developers build apps focused on medical care. It has the potential to monitor medical conditions”
Apple Support has now been refreshed Safari
Fresh from having a new Twitter page dedicated to fixing all your common Applerelated problems, the Official Apple Support home page on Apple’s website has been given a fresh update. It was long overdue, but it now looks and, more importantly, works great. You can search the Support pages easily, or head straight to a product page if you want an overview. There’s even a Popular topics sections that’ll help you get information on trending topics, such as managing your Apple ID or helping out those new to iPhone.
iPhone named as most influential gadget ever iPhone The iPhone has been named as TIME magazine’s most influential gadget of all time. Topping the top 50 list, TIME said Apple’s smartphone, released in 2007, had “fundamentally changed our relationship to computing and information.” And who are we to disagree! iPhone sales actually fell year-on-year (from 61 million to 51 million) for the first time last year, but demand for the new iPhone SE is expected to exceed supply. Tim Cook has hailed the four-inch phone as “very strong”. So it’s not all doom and gloom at Cupertino.
5 TO TRY TODAY
Making the most of iCloud is not as simple as setting up the service and letting it run in the background. Not all features are turned on by default, so you need to activate them to get them up and running. We’ve detailed how to activate three of iCloud’s lesser known features below, starting with iCloud Photo Sharing on your iPhone, before getting the iCloud Drive icon to show up on your iPad’s home screen and then deleting old backups with a Mac.
Turn on iCloud Photo Sharing 1
iCloud Photo Sharing is one of iCloud’s best features, enabling you to create albums to share with other people or subscribe to other people’s shared albums. Here’s how to make sure you can see it as an option, and then activate it.
1 Find iCloud settings
2 Select Photos
From your main iCloud menu, head to your Photos sub menu. Look for the colourful flower icon, which will be under iCloud Drive.
In the Photos menu, right down at the bottom, is the iCloud Photo Sharing option. Make sure you activate it by flicking the green switch to On.
1 Use iCloud Drive icon
2 Show on Home Screen
3 Move into place
From your iPhone’s home screen, find your Settings app and tap on it. Now scroll down until you find the iCloud menu. Tap on it to open.
3 Flick to green
Show the iCloud Drive icon 2
By default, the iCloud Drive app is hidden, which is a bit odd considering the amount of unused apps on your home screen that you can’t hide. Follow these three steps to make the iCloud Drive app icon visible.
Again, tap on your Settings icon and navigate to the iCloud menu. Tap on that and select iCloud Drive, which shows as being On already.
The second option will be Show on Home Screen. This does exactly what it says, making your iCloud Drive app visible and ready to use.
By default the iCloud Drive icon will be placed on the last page of your home screen. Enter Wiggle mode to move it to your preferred place.
Delete old iCloud backups 3
Your iCloud account will store old device backups by default. You need to manually delete any unnecessary old ones, which is advisable given how much space they can waste. Just make sure you don’t actually need the backup!
1 Visit System Preferences 2 Manage backups You can do this easily on your Mac. Go to your System Preferences and find the iCloud category. Click on it to see this account overview.
Click on the Manage tab in the bottomright. From the screen that appears, select Backups and then click the backup you want to delete.
3 Confirm deletion
Apple will give you a warning asking to confirm that you’re sure you want to delete the backup. Click Delete to banish the backup for good.
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Work Faster with Nodes Fusion uses nodes to represent effects and filters that can be connected together to easily build up larger and more sophisticated visual effects! Nodes are organized like a flow chart so you can easily visualize complex scenes. Clicking on a node lets you quickly make adjustments, without having to hunt through layers on a timeline!
Whether you need to pull a key, track objects, retouch images, animate titles, or create amazing 3D particle effects, Fusion has the creative tools you need! You get a true 3D workspace, the ability to import 3D models and scenes from software like Maya and 3ds Max, along with hundreds of tools for compositing, paint, animation and more!
Fusion’s GPU acceleration gives instant feedback while you work, so you spend more time being creative and less time waiting! Fusion 8 Studio also includes optical flow and stereoscopic 3D tools, along with unlimited free network rendering and tools to manage multi user workflows, track assets, assign tasks, review and approve shots, and more!
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Remember that if you’re a student at school or university you can get discounts across the Apple Store.
WHICH MAC ARE YOU?
It’s time to choose a new Mac… but what should you pick?
here are few better feelings than buying a brandnew Mac – that new Mac smell as you open the box, the beautiful Apple logo beaming up at you… there’s just nothing like it. Aside from the excitement of the new machine you’ll soon be using, the whole buying, opening and setting up process is an enjoyable experience in itself. But when it comes to buying a new Apple computer, there are plenty of big decisions you need to make before you stroll out of a store carrying a bag of goodies or click Confirm on the Apple website. Picking the right machine for you is a tough choice, and there are a lot of elements to consider. Do you want it to be portable, or can it be a desktop Mac that will rarely move? Desktops usually offer more power at a lower price, as well as a larger screen, but you can’t take it out and about with you. Then, once you’ve worked out which type of Mac is best for you, working out your budget is essential. There are plenty of price points for different Macs, and each offers different processors, storage and RAM. Plus, they’re usually upgradeable, so you can power up your machine before you even reach the checkout. It all sounds a bit daunting, doesn’t it? But don’t worry, we’re here to talk you through the process of choosing your new Mac, so that you’ll walk out of the Apple Store safe in the knowledge that you’ve now got your hands on your perfect machine.
If you want to save cash, check out Apple’s Refurbished store online. This is where Apple sells a small selection of devices for reduced prices. You might get lucky!
Which Mac are you?
The 27-inch model of the iMac has a slot on the rear that allows users to upgrade the RAM themselves, which is a considerably cheaper option than upgrading at the checkout.
Should you choose Apple’s ultimate all-in-one? Here’s the low-down on this brilliant desktop We’re huge fans of the iMac here at iCreate. We use them every day to make this very magazine, and with good reason. The large range of iMacs, along with their range of price points, means that there is pretty much an iMac for everyone. And while they are more expensive than some of the other Macs that Apple makes, the power on offer behind that massive screen is unmatched by any of the smaller models. If you can forego portability in favour of power, picking the perfect Mac comes down to one question: “Which iMac fits my budget?”.
Big is beautiful
For those with less to spend, you can pick up the smaller, 21.5-inch iMac without a Retina display starting at a respectable £899/$1,099. This machine isn’t exactly a powerhouse with its 1.6GHz processor, but you still get a lot for your money. If you can stretch further though, you can upgrade that 21.5-inch display to a 4K model, which packs 14
in four times the pixels of the cheaper model, and plenty of power to keep you flying along as well. The difference, though, is enormous – the display is so crisp and clear that it’s perfect for those editing photos or videos in high resolutions. For those really serious about video editing, or design work of any kind, an upgrade to the 27-inch model makes the whole thing even more impressive. Every model now includes a Retina display, only these are a whopping 5K – meaning you can edit a 4K video at full resolution on-screen, and still have space for the timeline and library in Final Cut Pro. For pros this is a seriously big deal, so if you can’t afford a Mac Pro, the 27-inch model is an absolutely fantastic back-up option.
Under the hood
The reason for that? The immense power that is hidden behind that big, beautiful screen. While
the sides of the iMac taper down to just 5mm, the bulge on the back of the Mac packs in all kinds of clever tech. 8GB of RAM is standard across all the iMac models, along with a huge 1TB hard drive. You also get powerful, quad-core Intel Core i5 processors across almost the entire range, which goes far beyond what is offered by Apple’s laptops. They’re all upgradeable at the checkout too.
The iMac is also incredibly well-connected – it offers four high-speed USB 3.0 ports, two
Typically, desktop Macs oﬀer more power for less money than a laptop, as the manufacturing involved in keeping everything small and portable is expensive.
The old Mac mini allowed users to unscrew the bottom and access the innards to add more RAM or even upgrade the hard drive. Unfortunately, the panels on the latest models are glued shut.
A tiny, affordable Mac that hides a surprising amount of power Apple’s often-overlooked desktop might not be your first thought when you’re looking for a new Mac, but it is by far Apple’s cheapest model. This makes it a great choice as a first-ever Mac, or as a media server from which to stream movies, music and TV shows to Apple TVs and other Macs around your home. The biggest downside is the lack of display, which means you’ll need to invest in a third-party option or hook it up to your TV. However, the midlevel model is only slightly less powerful than the mid-level iMac at a fraction of the cost, making the mini surprisingly good value for money. While the iMac is big and beautiful, the mini is a little powerhouse that people usually forget about. For those wanting power for photo and video editing, you’ll need to go for at least the mid-level mini and consider upgrading the hard drive to a Fusion Drive; this will push up the price, but if you can pick up a cheap display for less than £100/$150 you’ll have a great Mac for far less than an iMac.
Why you need this Mac First-time Mac owners looking for an affordable switch from Windows You want to use your Mac as a media server Anyone willing to upgrade to a Fusion Drive at the checkout for extra speed Doesn’t come with display or peripherals
Power like this is meant for the pros
Thunderbolt ports, an Ethernet port and an SDXC card slot on the rear. It lacks the HDMI output that the MacBook Pro includes, sadly, but when you have a screen this big you probably won’t miss it too much. The iMac is for people who want to get some serious creative work done – if you have external hard drives full of photos and videos, or a camera that you’re constantly connecting to your Mac for editing, this is the one to go for.
Why you need this Mac
Extreme power under the hood, impressive storage options and great connectability If you need a big, beautiful display on a budget The 27-inch iMac is the perfect model for anyone who does video editing or design work You do lose out on portability
the total price to almost £8,000/$9,800. Not one This desktop line has always been aimed for those of us wanting to do a little light squarely at professionals. A Mac photo editing then, but it can still be Pro is the Mac that movie Power the perfect choice for someone. studios would use to edit Its customisation options mean their Hollywood blockbusters, or of three you can tailor the build to the music producers would choose The Mac Pro uses a unique work you’ll be doing – if you’re to mix their next number one. triangular design under that working with a lot of video, you The latest model is incredibly metal casing, which allows air can add better graphics cards, powerful – it goes far beyond to be pulled up through the or if you’ll be working across what the iMac can offer, and centre of the machine and multiple apps you can push up metaphorically laughs in the faces out of the top to keep the RAM. These options are very of the laptop line and Mac mini. the internals cool. expensive, but if you’re looking at a And, of course, it has a price point to Mac Pro you’re likely already prepared. match – with upgrades you can push up
Why you need this Mac A professional who edits Hollywood blockbusters or number one singles Offers much more power than an iMac The customisation options mean you can add a better graphics card or more RAM A price tag to make your eyes water
Which Mac are you? MacBook Pro with Retina display
Power, portability and a stunning display
The MacBook Pro with Retina display is for those that don’t want to compromise on power when they’re on the move. The Pros feature powerful processors, a beautiful screen and a full complement of connections to keep you working when on the go. It’s great for photographers thanks to the brilliant Retina display. Video editors, too, will enjoy the power of the Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and the Intel Iris graphics, which combine brilliantly. The lower-end model is slightly underpowered for those wanting to do more serious work, so choosing the high-end 13-inch Pro, or even upgrading to the 15-inch model, may be best for those that really need the most power on the move. However, the Pro is the heaviest and largest of the MacBooks that Apple currently produce, and compared to the Air and the MacBook it is actually fairly bulky. If size and weight are as, if not more, important to you than power there are better options out there, such as a 13-inch MacBook Air with a Core i7 processor.
Why you need this Mac
Power it up
The MacBook Pro with Retina display increases in price depending on the amount of storage, but you can upgrade the processor to get more power if you need it.
For creative professionals on the go who can’t compromise on power and speed The Retina display is a huge upgrade over the Air A full set of connectivity ports You’ll need the 15-inch model to get real ‘Pro’ level performance
Is the entry-level laptop still a winner in the Mac line-up?
Unlike the latest MacBook, the Air features a MagSafe 2 charging port. Magnets keep the cable attached, but when tugged it will disconnect safely rather than pull your laptop onto the floor.
The 11-inch Air is by far Apple’s cheapest laptop. While the entrylevel device isn’t going to be winning any awards for pure power, what it does offer is everything needed for students, youngsters or people who just want a small, portable laptop that will let them surf the web and check their emails. While the MacBook now takes the crown for being the smallest and lightest laptop from Apple, the Air is still impressively svelte. Upgrade options give you plenty of choice, and the higher-end models really do offer a respectable amount of power. You’ll miss out on the Retina display, but the Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 connections make this a great all-rounder. The 13-inch model now contains 8GB of RAM as standard too, which is worth the extra cash.
Why you need this Mac
Entry-level price with a surprising amount of power, and plenty of extra configuration options The perfect choice for students in higher education Could be a viable option for iMac owners as a second, portable Mac It shows its age without a stunning Retina display
You’ll usually ﬁnd upgraded MacBook Air models in the Apple Refurbished store – you could pick up last year’s model for up to 15 per cent oﬀ!
The MacBook began life as Apple’s entry-level laptop when it stopped making the iBook in 2006. It originally featured a white plastic design – now it’s Apple’s lightest aluminium notebook.
Why you should be excited by MacBook The little MacBook is aimed at people who don’t mind compromising on connectivity or power if it means they have the thinnest, most portable laptop imaginable. That might sound a little bizarre, but what it means is that this is a great companion for those who own an iMac, Mac mini or even another MacBook such as a Pro, but simply long for a slimmer, lighter frame.
The power of portability
And that frame really is tiny. This is the thinnest, lightest notebook Apple has ever made, making it more portable than any laptop before it. In terms of its footprint, the case is actually only marginally larger than that of the 11-inch MacBook Air; when you place one on top of the other, the Air almost entirely covers the MacBook. However, inside you get a full-sized keyboard, a 12-inch Retina display and a full speaker system, ticking boxes that the Air just passes by. The weight is really noticeable, especially if you’re used to a larger laptop, and the portability makes this ideal for those that travel a lot or just need to save space when they’re on the go.
The Air is a more affordable option if portability is a key feature for you, but if you have the budget you really can’t do better than the MacBook if you’re always on the go.
The recent upgrade to the MacBook’s processors has also pushed its abilities in a fairly impressive way. The lower-end model now performs closer to last year’s top-end model, while the more powerful versions boast even better Geekbench scores. However, because the chips inside need to be so small in order to fit into the tiny frame, the MacBook’s chips are actually less powerful chips than you’ll find across Apple’s other laptop lines. They may be the latest Skylake Intel processors, but they still can’t quite match Apple’s other notebooks if you’re focused on performance. If all you’re looking for is a machine for internet browsing, email, Netflix and perhaps some photo editing, this will work for you, but for those wanting Photoshop editing or heavy movie editing in apps like Final Cut Pro X, the MacBook Pro is definitely the way to go.
The other downside of the MacBook is the lack of ports on offer, which is why it works so well as a secondary device for owners of another Mac. If you can use your USB 3.0, Thunderbolt and SD card devices in another Mac, then the single USB-C port on the side of the MacBook really won’t trouble you. For those that want a seriously multi-purpose machine though, you’ll need to invest in at least one adapter if you want to stick with this portable Mac. Of course, if you use services like Dropbox or iCloud Drive, have photos transferring automatically from your iPhone or USB pen drive, this is the perfect Mac to fit in with your cloudpowered life.
Why you need this Mac The perfect Mac if you prioritise portability and want to make a design statement If you are fully making the most of the cloud Your main computer tasks include email, web browsing, using Photos and watching Netflix USB-C is this Mac’s only connection port
Which Mac are you?
â€œPortability is the name of the game here... MacBook is outrageously thin and lightâ€? 18
MacBook (Early 2016) From £1,049/$1,299
Key features All-new Skylake processors • 10-hour battery life • New rose gold finish
One year on from its introduction, the MacBook is still the most controversial Mac that Apple has delivered since the original Air back in 2008. Back then, the 19mm-thin laptop was astonishing, but also prohibitively expensive, and limited connectivity made many write it off as a foolish venture by Steve Jobs’ company. Eight years on and the Air is one of the best-selling laptops in the world, and the benchmark to which many other companies are working. And that was why we didn’t even think about writing off the MacBook when it launched in 2015. The ultra-thin laptop was incredible in different ways to the Air – yes, it was absurdly thin and light, but this time the tiny notebook packed in a beautiful Retina display and a full-sized keyboard and trackpad. Instead of two ports, the MacBook offered just one, and never apologised for it. Get on board the USB-C train, it said, or look for another laptop. It was bold, it was brash, and it knew exactly what it was. There was some concern from commentators that customers wouldn’t quite understand a product like this, but one year later, with a newly upgraded model in front of us, we’re starting to get it.
Learn more apple.com
Available from apple.com
The new Intel Skylake processors bump up the power under the hood fairly nicely, offering a boost to all aspects of the user interface, but this is particularly noticeable in video editing; exports are faster, and everything just feels a little snappier. This is also thanks, in part, to the faster SSD drives that the new MacBook is packing, which offer a significant speed bump over last year’s models. What impresses us is that despite these new, more powerful components, Apple is now actually squeezing more life out of the super-thin, super-engineered batteries. You may not get the ten hours they claim if you’re watching endless YouTube videos on maximum brightness and volume, but if you take this out for a day of work you won’t need to worry about carrying a charger. And, let’s face it, that’s what you will be doing if you’re thinking about picking up a new MacBook – portability is absolutely the name of the game here. Like we said, the MacBook is outrageously thin and light. Most of the iCreate team use MacBook Airs every day when away from their desks, so trust us when we say that the difference between the two is noticeable as soon as you pick up the new laptop. 19
Which Mac are you?
MacBook (Early 2016) 1.1GHz dual core Intel Core m3
MacBook Air (Early 2015) 1.6GHz dual core Intel Core i5
MacBook Pro with Retina display (Early 2015) 2.7GHz dual core Intel Core i5
We tested the entry-level model of the new MacBook with Geekbench 3 using the 64-bit test, then compared it to the entry-level models of Apple’s two other MacBook lines – the Air and Pro. Despite the upgrade to the MacBook’s processor and SSD, it still lags behind the competition. Geekbench is only a guide, but it’s always worth considering when choosing a new laptop.
The full-sized keyboard uses a new keyboard technology that means the keys are firmer and better-lit
A single USB-C port is the only connection aside from a headphone jack, so you may need some adapters
However, while we are starting to understand what the MacBook is all about, and why Apple loves it so much, we’re still not totally sold. The new processors do boost things, but the performance still just isn’t on a par with the MacBook Air, let alone the powerhouse that is the MacBook Pro. There are obvious advantages of the MacBook over both of those – the Retina display over the Air and the size and weight over the Pro – which makes choosing the right laptop all about balancing what you want and need from your Mac. If you need a machine for serious video and photo editing, forget the MacBook and go for the Pro, which will handle it all with ease. The MacBook still just isn’t powerful enough for those more serious creative tasks. But if you’re looking for a way to browse the web, watch Netflix at home and do a little work now and then, this will definitely suffice. The USB-C port is also still problematic. We understand the thinking – the MacBook is aimed at those that live life in the cloud, don’t need much internal storage and never connect anything so primitive as a hard drive or printer to their laptop. But there will always come a point when you need to plug something in, whether it’s a USB drive
It’s still taking us a while to get used to Force Touch on the Mac, but it works flawlessly on the new MacBook
or a charger for your iPhone, and buying a new cable or adapter for those times quickly becomes expensive. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying that this is a definitive reason not to buy the new MacBook, because there is so much to like. The keyboard is wonderful, and unlike any other Mac keyboard we’ve used. The enormous trackpad is lovely to use. The design is stunning, and we liked the new rose gold colour far more than we expected. What we’re really trying to say is that you need to know exactly what you want before you buy a Mac right now. That’s one reason we wanted to write this feature, because the question of which Mac is right for you has never been more applicable than at this moment. The MacBook is definitely going to be a perfect choice for certain people, as long as they know what they’re getting into. For others, there are far better choices elsewhere, whether it’s the MacBook Pro with it’s monstrous power, or the all-round performance, connectivity and portability of the Air. That doesn’t make the new MacBook a bad laptop, far from it in fact. It just means that you need to work out what your priorities are before you decide to enter the Apple Store.
There’s so much to like about the MacBook, especially with its many improvements in the latest model, but it’s designed for a very specific group of users. If you aren’t in that group, look elsewhere.
.com is so 1997. Stand out from the crowd and .design your domain name to reflect what you do!
Master the Zoom tool for precise edits Learn how to troubleshoot specific problems in our close-up look at the Zoom tool Difficulty Time needed
Your photographs may look great when viewed on your iPhone’s screen, however your device’s relatively small display isn’t the most effective place to indulge in some quality control, even if you can zoom in for a closer look by simply pinching. What may look nice and sharp on a phone’s display may turn out to be soft when viewed in Photos. The Zoom tool enables you to view a photograph’s pixels at actual size, and this is the only way that you can actually tell if they are indeed sharp or soft. It’s also important to fix pictures at full magnification, so that you can avoid over or under-sharpening, and the Zoom tool can also help you to spot and fix problems such as excessive noise.
Use the Zoom tool in Photos for effective quality control
Use this Zoom slider to zoom with precision to a custom magnification. You can drag the slider right to zoom in and magnify the shot by a specific percentage. Here we’re viewing the shot at 100% but we can manually choose any magnification value between fit to frame and 200%.
Zoom with one click
Instead of using the Zoom slider you can click on the adjacent face icons. The large face lets you zoom in by specific increments of 100% and 200%. Click on the small face icon to zoom from 200% to 100% and click again to make the shot fit the frame.
Knowledge base Add metadata
The View menu offers even more ways to zoom in and out of your image. You can also use the Command key in conjunction with the plus and minus keys to zoom in or out.
A helping hand
Once you’ve zoomed in for a closer look, the Hand tool will automatically appear. Click and drag within the image to re-position the visible content so you can spot problems with focus or noise.
Once you’ve summoned the Info panel (see step 1 of the boxout), you can add extra information to the selected image file’s metadata, including keywords. Once you’ve typed some in, go to View>Metadata to activate the Keyword metadata display option. A keyword icon will then appear on the relevant photo’s thumbnail, indicating that keywords have been attached.
By pressing Cmd and the + key you can zoom in using increments of 66%, 132% and 200%. Cmd and the - key will zoom out to 100%, then 50%, then Fit.
Master the Zoom tool
1 Magnify thumbnails
2 Scroll through shots
3 Adjust zoom slider
4 Zoom in, zoom out
5 Edit effectively
6 Fit the frame
Once you’ve imported your photographs into Photos you’ll want to give them a closer look. To make it easier to identify a thumbnail’s content, drag the Zoom slider to the right.
At 200% magnification you can spot problems like colour fringing, but blocky pixels make it difficult to see if the shot is soft or sharp. Use View>Zoom out to display the pixels at 100%.
Double-click a thumbnail to make it fill the screen. You can then use your mouse to scroll through your enlarged photos to check for problems such as incorrect colour balance.
Drag inside the magnified image to view the areas that are important. Here we’ve clicked on Adjust and given delicate details more punch using the Definition and Sharpen tools.
To get a closer look at the selected picture’s pixels, click the Edit button. By default the shot will fit the screen. You can drag the Zoom slider to magnify it up to a maximum of 200%.
The Z key lets you toggle between zooming in to check pixels at 100% and zooming out to view the entire shot. The wider view helps you spot problems such as a cold colour cast.
Make less noise Unlike soft clumps of analogue film grain, digital picture noise can be unsightly. You can only really see noise and fix it effectively if you zoom in for a closer look. Images shot using a high ISO speed are especially prone to noise, so it helps if you summon the photo’s metadata to see if it is likely to feature nasty picture noise. You can then work at 100% magnification to get a balance between smoothing noise while still preserving important detail.
“You can only really see noise and fix it effectively if you zoom in for a closer look”
1 Access metadata
Choose Window>Info (or press Cmd+I) to open the Info panel. This features the camera settings used to capture each shot. The higher the ISO value, the more likely the shot is to suffer from noise. Browse to find a high ISO value shot.
2 Zoom in and fix
Click the Edit button and then tap the Z key to view your photo at 100%. You’ll be able to see any ISO-induced noise more clearly. Click Add and choose Noise Reduction. Drag Luminance Noise right to smooth out the grain.
Add a vignette for a stylish finish Use Photos’ Vignette option to create impressive effects Difficulty Time needed
Encouraging the viewer’s eyes to be drawn to the focal point of your image can be a tough task for a photographer. It’s vital to frame the photo in such a way so that the subject of your shot is the first thing your viewer is drawn to, but there are many ways to achieve this outside of framing too. Of course you can crop your photo to get your subject in exactly the right spot, but you can also add a vignette effect to draw the eye towards the middle of your shot. Combine this with some firstclass framing and you’ll have an image that says exactly what you want it to say. Here’s how to add a vignette effect to a photograph using nothing but your Mac’s Photos app.
Enhance the vignette effect
Combine with additional editing tools to make your image pop
Adjust the balance
You can use the dropper tool in the White Balance menu to adjust the colour of your shot. Use the different options to pick the best white point and combine it with the vignette for amazing outcomes.
Subtlety is key
There’s no need for your vignette effect to be huge, bold and obvious. You don’t want the viewers’ eyes to be drawn to the corners of your shot because you overdid the effect. Instead, keep it subtle and ensure that it does the job of moving people’s eyes to the centre of the frame.
Light and colour
If you prefer to apply your vignette to a colour image, you can use the Light and Color controls to lower the saturation and increase the contrast to create cinematic results.
Black and white
Combine the Black & White option with a vignette for a darker, broodier image. You can push up the contrast and lower the brightness, which when combined with a vignette will result in a moody effect.
Add a grain
In the Black & White menu, you can also choose to add more grain to your image. Combine this with a strong vignette and some bold contrast changes to create an arresting image.
You can make the vignette eﬀect even more intense by exporting the image out of Photos, then dragging it back in and adding a second layer of vignette.
Add an amazing vignette
1 Let’s get editing
2 Add the vignette
3 Adjust the Strength
4 Access further options
5 Change the radius
6 Edit the softness
First of all, find the image you want to add a vignette to and click the Edit button in the topright corner of the window. Click the Adjust option in the menu on the right of your image.
You can hover the cursor over the Vignette option and click the downward-facing arrow next to Auto to expand the menu and access the extra editing options available.
By default, only Light, Color and Black & White are enabled. Click the Add button at the top of the menu and choose Vignette from the dropdown menu that appears.
Use the Radius slider to alter how much of the image is covered by the darker vignette colours. Combine this with the Strength setting until you’re happy with the look.
The effect will be added as soon as you click it. You can use the slider to adjust the Strength of the effect in the new Vignette panel that appears at the bottom of the list.
Now you can finish by editing the softness of the vignette – make it harder to get more black, or move the slider over to the right to reduce the intensity of the darker colours.
Create a vintage shot While a vignette can be applied to add a stylish feel to your photographs, it can also be used in combination with other effects to make your shot feel older and nostalgic. Early cameras added vignettes by accident, simply because not enough light reached the corners of the paper, and now you can imitate this effect using the editing options within Photos to make your image look and feel like a classic. It’s far easier than you might think to get that retro look, and here’s how to go about it.
“Use the editing options within Photos to make your image look and feel like a classic”
1 Drain the colour
Use the Effects menu to quickly add a vintage feel to your image. The Process, Transfer and Instant filters all drain the colours in different ways, so select the one that works best for the photo you’re working on.
2 Add a vignette
Now open up the Adjust menu once again and add your vignette. You can also use the Cast option in the Color menu to make your image appear yellower, in order to create a retro sepialike effect.
Create a custom cross-processed look Grade a clip by combining filters and colour adjustments Difficulty Time needed
If you’re after a way to make your video footage more striking, one technique is to tweak its colours to give it a more analogue, filmic look. This can be achieved by mimicking the surreal shifts in colour hue that were produced when film was developed using the wrong mix of chemicals in the darkroom. iMovie does have a Vintage clip filter that’s designed to recreate this cross-processed look, but the colours it creates are a little garish and it also makes your filtered clips look noticeably similar to those produced by other iMovie users. You can’t directly adjust the properties of an iMovie filter, but by combining it with other colour correction tools and editing in layers, you can refine the look to instead create something unique.
Combine filters and colour correction tools
1 Create new project
2 Add clip to timeline
3 Apply clip filter
4 Examine the results
5 Tweak saturation
6 Adjust temperature
Choose File>New Movie, then in the Create window, click No Theme. Click OK>Create>Choose File>Import Media and browse to a start file that has a blue sky.
The colours look over-cooked. Unlike Final Cut Pro X, we can’t directly modify the colour and tonal changes to create more subtle results. However, we can reduce the saturation. 26
In our example we’re using a clip of Tower Bridge, which will lend itself well to a vintage filter makeover. Double-click to select your clip in the Browser and drag it to the timeline.
Click on the colour correction icon. This gives you access to colour and tone tweaking tools. Drag the Saturation slider to the left to make the filter’s colours less garish and more subtle.
Click on the clip in the timeline and then the Clip filter icon above the viewer. Let the cursor hover over a filter to preview its effect on your clip. Click to apply Vintage.
To take away some of the warm orange colour cast from the filtered clip, drag the Temperature slider left a little. This cools down the clip and makes the whites look less yellow.
If you’re unsure about the identity of a particular icon in iMovie’s toolset, simply let the cursor hover over it until a yellow tool tip appears.
Create your own unique looks from preset filters Knowledge base
This icon gives you access to handy colour and tone tweaking tools, which you can use to adjust the garish preset colours and clipped tones produced by one of iMovie’s preset clip filters.
The cross-processing method that results in highcontrast tones was probably discovered by accident in a photographer’s darkroom. If you developed print film using chemicals designed for processing slides (or vice versa), this could cause blue skies to take on a cyan hue. This stylised look is still popular in television commercials and dramas.
Customised filter look
Here’s the end result of our tutorial: a subtler, filmic look. The sky’s colours still have a retro cyan hue but they’re noticeably less saturated. The contrast is flatter too, restoring detail in the shadows and highlights.
Work in layers
Over-cooked filter effect
The Video Overlay setting’s Opacity slider enables you to mix the filtered version of a clip on one layer with the original clip’s unfiltered colours and tones on another. This allows you to produce customised filter effects.
This section of the screen shows the effect of iMovie’s preset Vintage filter. The sky is given a cross-processed cyan hue but it’s clearly oversaturated. The highlights are clipped and lose detail, and the shadows are crushed and look too black.
7 Alter contrast
The filter creates a high-contrast clip with blown-out whites and crushed blacks. Drag the Adjust contrast slider towards the middle to restore detail to the highlights and shadows.
8 Select original clip
The cross-processed clip’s colours and tones look less over-cooked, but you can mix them with the original clip’s colours and tones for more subtle results. Select the original clip.
9 Mix original with filtered
Drag the clip into the timeline and place it on a layer above the filtered version. Click the Video Overlay icon and drag Opacity left to mix the original clip with the filtered one. 27
Split, insert and connect clips Take greater creative control of your clips in iMovie’s flexible timeline Difficulty Time needed
All it takes is one glance at your social media feeds and you’re sure to be bombarded by a multitude of video clips all vying for your attention. Now that we have so much viewing choice, our own video productions need to catch and hold a viewer’s attention before something more interesting distracts them. One way to keep them engaged is to cut long, dull events into a montage of short, sharp shots using iMovie’s editing tools. This project’s source clips are statically framed, so we’ll add a greater variety of movement by splitting and re-timing some of the sections, adding jump cuts and inserting dynamic shots to make a more eye-catching and snappier sequence.
Faster editing techniques
Trim, insert and connect your clips to make your videos more engaging
This handy drop-down menu enables you to take clips (or selected sections) from the My Media browser and add them to your programme’s timeline. The Insert command splits the timeline at the Playhead’s location and drops a selected clip into the gap.
Fade in and out
Once you’ve connected a clip as a cutaway you can use the Fade slider to make the cutaway clip fade in and out. This acts like placing a Cross Dissolve between split clips in the timeline, but with a connected cutaway it’s much easier and faster to fine-tune the timing of the action and the duration of transitions.
Knowledge base Tighten it up
No time to waste
After splitting a clip into chunks you can speed up the action by accessing the Speed Editor. Drag the control handle left to speed up a clip so the action unfolds more quickly.
Make a connection
Instead of inserting clips directly into the timeline you can use the Connect command to add them on a separate cutaway layer. You can then drag the contents of this layer around to fine-tune when the connected clip appears.
Once you’ve inserted clips into the timeline or connected them as separate cutaway layers, feel free to split and trim some clips to give them a shorter duration. This helps the action flow more quickly and lets you cut to more interesting events. Check out our Edited Movie file to see a tighter version of the project.
Instead of using the Edit menu to insert or connect clips, tap the W key to insert one or Q to connect it as a cutaway.
Expand your editing techniques
1 Create new project
2 Trim the start point
3 Split the clip
4 Speed up a section
5 Insert a clip
6 Add a transition
7 Trim the clips
8 Make a selection
9 Connect a cutaway clip
Choose File>New Movie. In the Create window, click No Theme. Label it Editing Movie before clicking OK>Create. Choose File>Import Media and browse to our clips on FileSilo.
You now have three sections. Right-click on the second section and choose Show Speed Editor. Drag the control handle to speed the clip up to a duration of two seconds.
Trim the end of the Sparks clip to shorten it by two seconds. Trim the start of the following clip so that the man starts to climb down the ladder as soon as the transition finishes.
Double-click to select the Lifting clip in the browser. Click the + icon to add the whole clip to the timeline. Drag the start of the clip right to trim away the first four seconds.
Scrub the Playhead to where the background man lets go of his ladder. Double-click the Sparks clip and choose Edit>Insert. This splits the timeline and inserts the clip.
Place the Playhead where the foreground man steps on the ground. In My Media, select the section of the Silhouette clip where the men carry the wall panel. Choose Edit>Connect.
Drag the Playhead right until the foreground manâ€™s foot is on the ladder. Right-click on the clip and choose Split Clip. Split it again when the background manâ€™s foot touches the floor.
Click on the Transitions icon. Drag the Puzzle Right transition between the Sparks clip and the rest of the programme. This transition echoes the vertical lines of the wall panels.
The connected clip appears on a separate layer. You can drag it left or right to fine-tune the continuity of movement between the two angles. Check our Edited Movie on FileSilo. 29
Structure using the Arrangement Track
Define the positioning of verse, chorus, bridge and more in your GarageBand compositions Difficulty Time needed
As your music-making experience with GarageBand progresses and you begin to create longer compositions, it wonâ€™t be long until you start structuring your tracks. Songs tend to have definable parts and recognisable sections, traditionally starting with a beginning or intro before taking a melodic journey through verses, choruses, bridges and instrumental solos until the outro to finish. GarageBand usefully provides an Arrangement Track that segments and uses markers to label precisely where these individual passages are situated. In this tutorial weâ€™ll demonstrate how these are applied and take a look at how this is used to perform structure-aware edits.
Structure your songs with the Arrangement Track
1 View the Arrangement Track
2 Add arrangement markers
3 Resize markers
4 Move song sections
5 Copy markers
6 Replace or delete
To start, typically you have a project loaded with tracks that follow at least a rough, basic working structure. From here navigate to Track>Show Arrangement Track.
Sections can be moved by clicking the marker to select it before dragging it over another marker in the track. The markers and all track content below is cut and swapped. 30
Click the plus button in the top-left corner to create new section markers along the Arrangement Track. Hover over and click the label to select one or type in your own.
You can quickly duplicate markers and song sections by doing the exact same thing again, but this time holding the Alt key and dragging it into a new position.
Arrangement markers should be sized to span the corresponding song section below. Hover over the marker edge before clicking and dragging out across the required duration.
Markers can be replaced by dragging one over another while holding the Cmd key. Select and press the Delete key to clear track content and then delete the marker itself.
Markers are added sequentially with no gaps between, but you can insert a marker into the track by holding the Cmd key and clicking the desired position.
Around the Arrangement Track
Take a tour of the core tools associated with this useful feature Knowledge base
Show the track
The Arrangement Track is not shown within new projects by default, similar to the Master Track. To work with it, you must first show it by navigating to Track>Show Arrangement Track from GarageBand’s main menu.
Locked tracks and automations
Once your arrangement markers are positioned, they not only label the song sections but also enable collective project edits to associated tracks. This includes actions such as moving, copying and deletion as described, but it’s worth noting that these edits cannot happen if the associated tracks are currently locked. Remember also that any arrangement edits also include track automation curves.
Resize and rename
Arrangement markers are added in lengths of eight bars, but it can be easily resized to span the project section it resides above. The label can be clicked and renamed to best describe the chosen song area.
Once shown, the arrangement track itself doesn’t look or behave like any other track and is positioned below the timeline along the top of the Tracks area. It almost functions like an x-axis header row for defining track regions below.
Add Marker button
An Add Marker option is situated in the Arrangement Track’s header to the left, denoted by a plus sign (+). Click this to add as many new arrangement markers from left to right as required.
Before or after?
The Arrangement Track can be as useful for structuring new songs as it is for quickly arranging pre-populated projects. For example, if you know you want to build a typical verse-chorus-verse composition over a set duration and span a certain amount of bars, the arrangement markers can form a guide to adding tracks. Conversely, rearranging songs using the arrangement markers is better performed and finalised before adding vocal lines or lead instrumentation that segue between each section.
“Rearranging songs is better performed before adding vocal lines or lead instrumentation”
1 Arrangement template
By creating a series of arrangement markers first, you can define a typical song structure over a typical duration. From here a blank project can be built up around intro, verses, choruses and the like to fit those fundamental arrangement rules.
2 Seamless rearrangements
Rearranging song sections quickly using markers is invaluable, but this technique doesn’t work so seamlessly with vocal or lead lines, which naturally overlap between verse and chorus. These are best added afterwards.
Ducking and deleting audio regions Discover how to remove audio sections to provide space for other tracks Difficulty Time needed
When editing GarageBand projects and mixing or fitting tracks together, you might discover clashing sections of audio. There may be certain points where two or more signals overlay each other and it doesn’t quite work, or perhaps you’ll find that a backing track could be quietened down at certain points. In music production terms, this technique is known as ‘ducking’ and refers to the lowering of volume for certain tracks in order to create space for another. This is useful for emphasising lead or vocal lines over a musical backing, and although GarageBand once had a dedicated ducking feature, it is now achieved using automation curves. Find out how, along with how to delete unwanted sections completely.
Get to grips with the key workspace areas and tools relevant to track ducking
Knowledge base Noise Gate plug-in
Another related tool for automated signal volume control is GarageBand’s Noise Gate plug-in, found within the Smart Control Inspector panel. Applied by default, this behaves like a virtual gate that opens and closes to only allow out track signal noise beyond a certain decibel level. You control that threshold using the slider, and it’s an ideal alternative for gating out low-level track noise instead of simply ducking.
The Editor panel provides a close-up on the corresponding track’s audio and makes the selection of portions for deletion more precise. Click and draw a highlight box on the underside of the track, then hit Delete to remove.
To automatically apply volume changes or ‘ducks’ along the track timeline, we use volume automations. Show these within the main project workspace via Mix>Show Automation or the ‘A’ key shortcut, ensuring the yellow (volume) line is selected.
A more permanent method of ducking is to actually remove audio sections. This is useful for perhaps deleting redundant periods of total silence, sections containing unwanted noise or just abandoning moments of error you might overdub later.
Ducking audio volume is achieved by plotting curves on the track’s automation line. By literally ducking that line down using a downward slope and returning it back, you form a fade of any required length.
When applying multiple volume fades with automations, you’ll ﬁrst want to ensure that Mix>Move Track Automations with Regions is selected.
Duck and delete specific audio tracks
1 Backing and vocals
2 Show volume automations
3 Find the duck point
4 Volume fades out
5 Volume fades in
6 Multiple duck curves
7 Region removal
8 Delete the selection
9 Duplicate and keep
Typically you’ll need at least two tracks in your project, so here we have a basic backing section we’ll ‘duck’ to emphasise each of the vocal bursts running throughout.
Click on the yellow curve twice to add two pivot points, before dragging the second one down to a desired volume level to create the fade down where the other audio starts.
You could instead remove sections you wish to duck by deleting audio regions. Highlight the section in the Editors panel by drawing a line along the underside of the track.
Start by displaying the track automations by selecting Mix>Show Automation from the top menu and ensuring the yellow volume curve is selected on the track you wish to duck.
Add a third point where the other audio track stops, then click to add a fourth directly after. Drag this one back up to fade the volume curve back up to the initial level.
Click the highlighted area on the top half of the track to split the audio at both start and end points. Hit the Delete key to remove the selected section from the track.
Zoom the tracks using the slider in the topright corner and move to the timeline point where the first and second tracks overlay. This is where you’ll plot your curve.
Play back that section to hear the automated track duck behind the other. You can then apply the same technique, adding multiple fading curves to all the audio sections.
Rather than deleting, duplicate the track via the Cmd+D shortcut and drag the isolated track portion down. You can now duck its volume independently or mute it. 33
Logic Pro X
Create MIDI from audio using Flex Pitch Generate MIDI regions from pre-recorded audio with this handy editing technique Difficulty Time needed
Ever had a recording where the performance is great but the poor-quality sound simply ruins it? How cool would it be to either replace this part as a whole or enhance its sound with a second, MIDI-generated part? And what if you could even use the generated MIDI data to display a score for another musician to re-record a new part from? Well, you’re in luck, as Logic Pro X has two different solutions for producing MIDI parts from recorded audio. One is its drum replacement feature which works best for unpitched, rhythmic source material, but the one we’re going to be illustrating here involves using Flex Pitch to analyse monophonic melodic material and generate MIDI data from it.
Convert audio regions to MIDI
1 Import source material
2 Let’s get flexing
3 Leave it to Logic
4 Start editing
5 Have a closer inspection
To follow along with these steps, import the audio file ‘Audio 2 MIDI Bass.wav’ from the Tutorial Files folder (www.filesilo.co.uk/ icreate) into a new Logic project at 110bpm.
Select Flex Pitch from the sub-menu. The Flex Pitch editor will appear, with rectangular bars superimposed over the waveform. These represent the detected note pitches. 34
To enable Flex Pitch for the recorded track, first double-click on the audio region and click the Flex button next to the View sub-menu in the Audio Track Editor pane.
Zoom in on the waveform and check that the note pitches have been detected correctly. For instance, two similar-pitched notes have been detected as one long note here.
Now click the Turn on Flex button in the dialogue box that appears. Logic will then go ahead and analyse the selected audio region for pitch and timing information.
This is a relatively easy fix. Select the scissor tool and click in the centre of the note bar at the correct point in the waveform to split the detected notes, as shown.
As well as correcting the detection by splitting notes with the scissors tool, you can also use the glue tool to join notes that have been incorrectly split.
Flex your MIDI muscles
Convert audio files to MIDI regions instantly with Flex Pitch
Depending on the instrument you choose to play the MIDI part, you may need to use the Transpose feature in the region inspector to shift your converted MIDI notes into the correct register.
The term monophonic means one note at once, so this technique only works on parts where only one note happens at a time, such as solo voice, flute, single-note guitar lines, bass parts or synth leads. This rules out complex keyboard parts or layered vocal harmonies where the melodic information would be too difficult to accurately separate into a MIDI region.
With this button enabled, you can view the audio track’s flex information directly in the Arrange pane and the track header.
If the detected note velocity information doesn’t suit the velocity response of your chosen instrument preset, you may end up with missing or quiet notes. Just turn up the note velocity values of these to compensate.
The velocity of each note in the generated MIDI part will be an approximation of the loudness of the notes in the original audio.
7 Create MIDI
Once you’re happy that the pitch detection is now correct, choose the ‘Create MIDI Track from Flex Pitch Data’ command from the Track editor pane’s Edit sub-menu.
8 Region to be cheerful
Logic will create a new MIDI region and place it onto an instrument track below the original audio. Here, Logic has randomly selected Retro Synth’s default patch to play the part.
9 Swap instruments
Click the ‘i’ button in the toolbar to open the Library pane and select the instrument you want to play the new MIDI part. We’ve chosen Alchemy’s Analog Saw Punch preset. 35
Final Cut Pro X
Create and edit a Multicam sequence Cut between different camera angles with a tap of the keyboard in Final Cut Difficulty Time needed
When documenting a live event it can be beneficial to film the action from at least two different angles and shot sizes, so that when it comes to the editing stage you can cut from a close-up of your subject to a wide shot, and back again. Traditionally this can take up a lot of editing time, as you need to ensure that the action flows continuously when you cut from one camera angle to another. To speed up the editing process, Final Cut Pro X enables you to combine the footage from your two cameras into a single Multicam clip. You can view both clips simultaneously in the Angle view and tap on a clip to cut to it. This lets you vision mix between the clips, so that you can jump from one angle to another with a simple click.
Edit with more precision
Trim your start and end points with speed and efficiency
Once you’ve combined the two shots you can view both angles simultaneously in the Angle view. Click on an angle to make it active. The razor indicates that you’re cutting to a particular angle.
The Multicam technique simulates the work performed by a vision mixer. This is a box that takes the live video feed from two cameras on location and sends it to a separate video recorder. The vision mixer’s operator can tap buttons to cut between the two cameras (a wide shot and a close-up, for example) and edit the programme live.
In the browser we have two source clips of the same action – a wide shot and a close-up. We also have a Multicam clip that is a combination of both the wide and close source clips. This icon indicates that this is a Multicam clip, meaning it has two camera angles embedded in it.
Thanks to the Multicam clip, you can vision mix by tapping 1 to cut to the close angle and 2 to jump to a wide shot. This is much faster than splitting and trimming two separate clips in the timeline to get the action to flow.
Active audio angle
When you cut between two different camera angles the sound quality may differ. Here we’re looking at a wide-angle camera but listening to the higher quality sound from the close-up camera, thanks to the audio options in the pop-up menu.
To help Final Cut Pro X sync two camera angles together into a Multicam clip, you need to make sure that you enable audio recording on both cameras.
Vision mix with the Angle view
1 Import clips
2 Play the clips
3 Create Multicam clip
4 Show the angles
5 Cut to a wide angle
6 Head back to close
7 Use keyboard shortcuts
8 Choose a sound source
9 Replace audio
Choose File>New Event. This gives you a new event with an empty project. Choose File>Import>Media and browse to import our Wide.mov and Close.mov clips on FileSilo.
Final Cut Pro will combine the two clips into one synchronised Multicam clip. Drag this clip into the timeline and then choose Window>Viewer Display>Show Angles.
Continue playing the programme. Instead of clicking on angles in the Angle viewer you can tap the 1 key to display the close angle in the timeline and 2 to cut to the wide angle.
The clips show the same action from two angles. Don’t worry about the poor-quality audio from the wide angle, as we’ll be using the better sound from the close-up clip.
Tap the Spacebar to play the Multicam sequence. When the presenter turns to the wide camera at around 14:08, click the razor blade on the wide-angle thumbnail.
The sound from the wide camera is poor. Right-click on the wide shot and choose Active Audio Angle>Close. This replaces the poor wide sound with the better close audio.
Shift+click on both clips to select them in the Event window. Right-click and choose Create Multicam Clip, label it and make sure ‘Use audio for synchronisation’ is ticked.
Play the programme to around 22:17 and as the presenter turns back to the close-up camera, tap the close angle in order to cut to that view.
Right-click on the wide section near the end of the timeline and replace its audio with the sound from the close clip. Now the sound will be consistent when you cut from wide to close. 37
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10 top tips to keep your Mac secure
Avoid harmful apps, adware, browser hijackers and more with our ten crucial security tips The Mac is much more secure than other computers we could mention, but there are still harmful apps out there that should be avoided, adware that display irritating adverts so often it drives you nuts and browser hijackers that redirect web searches in Safari and can even change your homepage. Viruses are thankfully rare, but malware – the general term for anything harmful to your computer – is not. You need to protect your Mac by implementing the security tips outlined here, which are sure to keep you safe while using the internet. Much security advice is simply common sense, such as avoiding dubious websites, ignoring email scams and so on. Keep your wits about you and you will rarely have a problem.
Always avoid wares sites
Wares sites, such as Pirate Bay, have many corruptive apps. You might think you are downloading a free app, but with no checks and no policing of such sites you won’t know it’s malware until you install it. Avoid pirated apps offered for free.
Seek reputable developers
Not all software is in the Mac App Store and there are some great apps available elsewhere, so you just have to be careful where you get them from. Go direct to the developer rather than a third-party site; for example, get Photoshop from Adobe.
Disable Safari auto-open
Safari can automatically open files that are downloaded, but this is a security risk and a bad app could masquerade as a safe one. Go to Safari>Preferences and select the General tab. At the bottom, clear the tick against ‘Open “safe” files after downloading’.
Trust in Apple
The Mac App Store is the safest place to buy apps and download free ones. Developers must adhere to strict rules when creating and submitting software, and Apple checks that apps meet certain standards. Extra security means dodgy apps are rare.
Avoid fraudulent sites
Block bad apps
Open System Preferences and click Security & Privacy. Click the padlock and enter your password. Look under ‘Allow apps downloaded from’, and set it to Mac App Store for maximum security. This prevents the installation of any apps that have been downloaded from elsewhere.
If you unknowingly visit an unsafe website, Safari can warn you or completely block it. Go to Safari>Preferences> Security and tick the Fraudulent sites option. It may not know every harmful site on the internet, but you’ll still be much safer.
Sometimes security ďŹ‚aws are found in OS X and Apple will release an update to ďŹ x them. Check the App Store for any recent updates and install them.
Protect your Mac
How to secure your files and ensure maximum safety Enable FileVault
If someone gains access to your Mac, your files, personal information and more is at risk. FileVault prevents this by encrypting the disk. Enable it here.
Enable the Firewall
A Firewall is a very important security feature as it prevents hackers and dangerous apps from accessing your Mac through the internet or local network. Click the tab and turn it on.
No automatic logins
If you automatically log in to your account when your Mac is started, it allows anyone easy access. Disable it and your Mac will be more secure.
Viruses and malware
While Macs are far less likely to become infected by a virus than other computers, they are still vulnerable to a multitude of malware out there. You need to always remain vigilant when browsing, downloading files and receiving email, and only ever trust reputable sites and companies.
Set a strong password
You should make a password for your account to prevent other people from accessing your personal files. It must be hard to guess, so click this and change it if necessary.
Scan with Anti-Malware
Anti-Malware for Mac (malwarebytes.org) is a free security tool that scans the disk for malware and PUPs (potentially unwanted programs). It removes bad apps, pop-up advertising and other malware and cleans up the system.
Disable Safari extensions
Beware of email attachments
Malware is often spread using email, so think twice before opening an attached file. Messages often claim to be from your bank, Apple and other places and tell you to open the attachment. Do not do so unless you can be 100 per cent certain of the source.
Install security software
Cleanup tools like Anti-Malware only work after you have been infected with malware or bad apps. Get real-time protection by installing free security software and tools such as Avast (avast.com), Sophos (sophos.com) and others. It costs nothing to add those extra levels of security.
There are many harmful extensions for Safari and you need to check what is installed. Head to Safari>Preferences> Extensions. Clear the Enable box or uninstall any extension that you are not absolutely sure is safe. Avoid extensions offered on websites, as they may be malware.
Find duplicate files with Gemini 2 Recover lost disk space occupied by duplicates using this cleanup tool Difficulty Time needed
No matter how organised you keep the disk drive contents, it’s still highly likely that you will have many duplicate files occupying valuable disk space and unnecessarily adding to the clutter. When you need a file, you may not even know whether you are looking at the latest version or an older copy. Gemini was a popular app on the Mac App Store that helped to solve this predicament, finding file duplicates stored in different places on the disk. Now Gemini 2 has arrived, and with its new interface it is even better at tracking down devious doppelgängers. Our step-by-step guide details how to clean up your Mac’s disk drive using this very useful app.
Track down and delete duplicates
1 Start over
2 Add folders
3 Start scanning
4 Sort and browse
5 Auto-select files
6 View duplicates
You’ll see this screen when running Gemini for the first time. On subsequent runs it restores the last session, but a Start Over link in the top-left corner returns here.
The results are displayed and a menu at the top enables them to be sorted by size, name, count and so on. Select the view you want in the top-right corner next to Search. 42
Click the plus button and then select one or more folders to scan. Pictures, Music, Movies and Documents are where duplicates are most likely to be found. Click Open.
A quick way to select duplicate files is to use the menu at the top. When finding photos, the oldest is always the original image, so click Newest to select duplicates.
Click the Scan for Duplicates button and wait for it to finish. Afterwards, it may or may not show a Smart Cleanup button. Ignore that and click Review Duplicates.
Expand a duplicate to see the other files. Click the small icons to view them by file location, date, dimensions and size. Tick the boxes to manually select any duplicates.
The video guides on the MacPaw website (macpaw.com/gemini) are for Gemini 1, but they are soon to be updated for Gemini 2. Check them out.
Browse the scan results
View and select duplicate or similar files
Browse the categories
The scan results are organised into categories – what you see depends on the file found. Select each category to view and select files for deletion.
Knowledge base Ignore small files
Gemini 2 can be set to ignore small files under a certain size. There is little space to gain from deleting them and it reduces the amount of files you have to browse and check when reviewing the files for deletion. Go to Preferences in Gemini and click the General tab. Select one of the file sizes from the menu, such as 1MB, or simply choose Automatic.
Pick a view
These two buttons offer different views when browsing the duplicate files. The first displays them as large thumbnails in a grid layout, the second a single file with a preview and file info.
View the files
At the right-hand side of a file are two numbers. The second is the number of duplicates and the first is the number selected. Tick the boxes under the file to select any you don’t want.
At the top are exact duplicates, which are files that are identical. Here are similar files. They aren’t the same, but you might want to delete them anyway. An example is a resized photo.
7 View selected files
After spending some time selecting duplicates, click Selected on the left to see all the files chosen for deletion. If you are happy, click the Remove button in the corner.
8 Open Photos
Photos on the disk are deleted by Gemini, but those in the Photos app cannot be deleted. You’ll see this message telling you to open the Photos app to continue the cleanup.
9 Delete from Photos
Open the Photos app and select the Albums tab. If there is a Gemini Duplicates album, open it and select all the photos. Right-click them and select Delete Photos. 43
Restore three-finger drag gestures
Have three-finger trackpad gestures stopped working in El Capitan? Here’s how to fix them Difficulty Time needed
The MacBook’s trackpad and the Magic Trackpad accessory for iMacs are capable of recognising a variety of gestures, and it does more than just move the mouse and accept taps with one finger. You can use two, three or four fingers to scroll, move, and access several different features and functions, and a favourite gesture for many users is the three-finger drag. Position the mouse over the title bar of an app or window and then drag it around the screen using three fingers on the trackpad. It’s much easier than trying to click, hold and drag, which requires two hands. If you’ve found that three-finger gestures are no longer functioning on your device, which has been the case for a fair few people after the upgrade to El Capitan, simply follow our guide to enable them again.
Enable three-finger dragging
More gestures There are several three-finger gestures out there and you can find these in Trackpad in System Preferences. Select the More Gestures tab.
1 Open System Preferences
Go to the Apple menu in the top-left corner and select System Preferences. Trackpad dragging isn’t found in the Trackpad option as you might expect; click Accessibility instead.
3 Enable dragging
There are controls for adjusting the window scrolling speed, but what we are interested in is the Enable dragging option. If it’s disabled, as it is here, tick the box. 44
2 Select trackpad options
Select Mouse & Trackpad in the list of Accessibility sections. To make it easier to return here you can tick ‘Show Accessibility status in menu bar.’ Click Trackpad Options.
1 Access Mission Control
4 Try it out!
2 Use App Exposé
Click the menu and select the three-finger drag option. Click OK and then try it out by positioning the mouse in the title bar and dragging. It should function as expected!
Do you make heavy use of Mission Control? Make it easier to access by ticking the option and then selecting ‘Swipe up with three fingers’. The animation will demonstrate how it works.
App Exposé is another great feature of OS X, helping you to declutter your desktop, and it is easily accessed with a three-finger swipe. Tick the option and select ‘Swipe down with three fingers’.
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Solve Wi-Fi issues with Network Utility Use this application to check your internet connection and Wi-Fi network Difficulty Time needed
Network problems can sometimes be difficult to solve and knowing where to start is certainly not easy. When you cannot access a website in Safari, is the website down? Is there a fault with your router or the Wi-Fi connection to the network? There are always several potential reasons for why such issues occur, so what you need is a way to discover exactly where the error lies. Network Utility can do just that. Problems can occur with several devices on your home or work Wi-Fi or LAN, and although this app cannot fix the faults themselves, you will know exactly what needs to be fixed in order to solve the issue.
View network information
Discover information about the network and any potential problems
Your IP address
If you ever need to know your IP address, it is displayed here. This is an internal private address used on the local network, and is not accessible to others via the internet.
Knowledge base IP addresses
All network devices have an IP address, displayed as four numbers like 192.168.1.254. The router, which connects to the internet, has a public IP address assigned by your ISP. All the devices on your network, like Macs, iPhones and iPads, have private IP addresses that only you see.
This menu lists the network connection methods including Wi-Fi and Ethernet. Select the relevant one to display the information below. More than one network interface may be active, so check them all.
These transfer statistics show 59k packets sent, 67k received and not a single error. A high number here would indicate a problem with the network. Reboot the Mac and router to solve it.
How fast is your network connection? If the network appears to be running slowly, check this figure. A low figure (below 60) indicates a problem. A high figure (above 100) means a fast connection.
For further information on Network Utility, there is an Apple Support page. Go to support.apple.com/en-gb/HT202790.
Get to know this OS X utility
1 Search for it
2 Find your router
3 Check the internet
4 Get IP addresses
5 Check your devices
6 Use Traceroute
Network Utility is a hidden app, so hold down Cmd and press the Spacebar to open Spotlight search. Enter ‘Network Utility’ and then click it in the search results.
What is the IP address of a website? How about your Apple TV? Enter the URL or the network name into the box and click Lookup. The IP address is displayed below.
You might need to access the router to check it or change settings. Click Netstat on the Netstat tab to see the default gateway and type those four numbers into Safari.
Want to check your wireless printer or Apple TV is working? Select the Ping tab, enter its IP address, set it to four pings and click Ping. A 0.0% packet loss is perfect.
Is the internet working? Is your favourite website down? Enter the URL on the Ping tab and send four pings. If there is 0.0% packet loss in the statistics, everything is a-okay.
If you talk to tech support about internet problems, they may ask for Traceroute reports. Enter a URL and click Trace. Click the report and press Cmd+A to copy and mail it.
Secret utilities Network Utility is one of several secret utilities that are hidden on the Mac’s disk drive. There is another utility, Wireless Diagnostics, that can be useful for tracking down many network problems, so try running it if you are struggling with intermittent Wi-Fi or a slow network. The report it saves to the desktop is very technical and a challenge to understand, but the app does display some useful tips and advice on the screen afterwards.
“The Wireless Diagnostics utility can be useful for tracking down many network problems”
1 Find the tools
Click Computer on the Go menu and open the Mac’s disk drive. Open the System folder, followed by Library>CoreServices>Applications. Here is a collection of secret utilities, including Network Utility and Wireless Diagnostics.
2 View the summary
Wireless Diagnostics checks the Wi-Fi network and saves a report to the desktop. Ignore it and look at the summary. It suggests that the Wi-Fi channel is crowded and to restart the router. Click the blue ‘i’ buttons for more tips.
Set up your Mac’s built-in firewall Make the most of OS X’s built-in security features Difficulty Time needed
If you’re serious about security, you’ll already know the purpose of a firewall. Put simply, it’s a gatekeeper between your Mac and the internet, controlling which applications your machine can accept incoming connections from. Some PC users may have to download a separate firewall application, but for Macs there’s one installed with every modern copy of OS X. Your Mac’s firewall is actually disabled when you first open its Preferences pane, but don’t worry, that’s simply because most modern wireless internet routers have their own firewalls already in place. Your Mac’s firewall is a great additional level of security, though, so follow the steps below to find out how to set it up.
Set up your Mac’s firewall
1 Find the firewall
2 Unlock your options
3 Turn it on
4 Go in-depth
5 Block it all
6 Allow signed software
You’ll find all the related options for your firewall under the Security & Privacy pane in System Preferences. Once you’re in there, click on the Firewall tab at the top.
Clicking on the Options button will open up a sheet with more fine-grain settings for your firewall. You might not need these often, but they’re worth understanding. 48
When you open the Firewall tab, you’ll find all the options greyed out. To edit them, click on the lock icon in the bottom-left of the window and enter your admin password.
Checking ‘Block all incoming connections’ will block connections for all apps and services, except the ones that allow you to find things like shared printers on your network.
You’ll find that your Mac’s firewall is turned off by default – which is not much help! To get started, click the Turn On Firewall button and wait for it to fire up.
By default, your firewall allows signed software (like apps downloaded from the Mac App Store) to receive incoming connections. You can turn this off, but it’s not recommended.
You’ll be prompted automatically every time a new application that’s not signed with a certiﬁcate needs to access incoming connections on your Mac.
Opening firewall ports
Allow incoming connections for specific applications Knowledge base
You may see some unusual names in your apps lists; it’s worth looking them up if you’re unsure of what they might mean. They may well be innocent, but if you’re conscious of your Mac’s security, it doesn’t hurt to check.
Why open a port?
It’s very rare that you’ll need to open a port for a specific application, particularly if it’s been signed and already has access to incoming connections. However, if you’re a developer or using custom software, for example, you may have to complete this manual step to ensure that the app you’re using can work properly. Always be sure to proceed with caution, though.
Select and block
Clicking on any of the rules gives you the option to block incoming connections on a per-app basis. Be aware that for some apps this may damage their functionality, so take caution!
Got the green light?
Add an app
Apps in the list of rules that have a green dot next to them are allowed to access incoming connections. In other words, a port is open for them to pass through the firewall.
To open a new firewall port for an app, click on the plus icon at the bottom of the list. This will load a Finder sheet in the Applications folder to choose the app you want to add.
7 Hard to find
If you’re extremely security conscious, enabling the stealth mode option will mean that your computer won’t respond to other devices attempting to find it on a network.
8 Allow specific apps
The main section of the firewall options sheets allows you to block or allow incoming connections to specific apps. See the annotations for more details.
9 Finish and lock
When you’re happy with your firewall’s settings, click OK to save them. Finally, click the padlock icon in the bottom-left of the window to ensure they can’t be tampered with. 49
Add a screensaver password to OS X Increase the security of your Mac by password protecting the screensaver Difficulty Time needed
Step away from your Mac for a few moments and you leave it easily accessible to absolutely anyone. Others could view your personal information, delete files, change important settings, access websites and a lot more besides. Adding a password to your screensaver can protect your Mac, because as soon as someone touches the keyboard or moves the mouse, it prompts for a password. You can even start the screensaver yourself – one quick mouse movement and your Mac is locked, allowing you to walk away with the knowledge that your personal information is as safe as houses. Perfect for use at work or if you live with others who you don’t trust to respect your privacy!
Set the screensaver password
Configure the screensaver
Increase security by setting the screensaver to start whenever your Mac is idle, or set it to start immediately.
1 Open System Preferences
From the Apple menu in the top-left corner select System Preferences. The screensaver password options are not in Desktop & Screen Saver, instead head to Security & Privacy.
3 Set the delay
It is useful to set a delay before a password is required, giving you a chance to cancel the screensaver if you don’t want it. Click the time and set it to five seconds. 50
2 View password settings
Select the General tab and tick the Require password box. You will be asked to enter a password after a screensaver is activated, so choose one that can’t be guessed easily.
1 Set the timer
4 Change the password
2 Set up Hot Corners
If you want to edit the password used to log in after a screensaver kicks in, it’s simply a case of clicking Change Password. Enter the old one and then the new one twice.
Go to System Preferences and click Desktop & Screen Saver. Select the Screen Saver tab and click Start after. Select a short time so that the screensaver activates soon after being inactive.
Click Hot Corners, choose a corner and select Start Screen Saver. Now you can instantly start a screensaver, locking the Mac, by simply pushing the mouse into the selected screen corner.
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Next-gen pro apps
NEXT-GEN PRO APPS Enhance the latest iOS hardware with these next-generation apps
The iPhone SE is the phone that many have been waiting for – it combines the impressive power of the iPhone 6 models while squeezing everything into a much more manageable form. Despite the fact that the smartphone world may be upgrading to larger phones with screens that can offer more depth when watching movies and playing games, there is still a strong collective desire to use a phone as a convenient portable device that never gets in the way of what you want to do. It’s only when you pick up and play with an SE that you can begin to truly appreciate just how wonderful the design really is, and we’ve been playing around with a selection of powerful apps that really take
full advantage of what it can offer. Similarly, the new iPad Pro retains all of the power of its big brother, but in a lighter, smaller form – it is a highly capable device that takes advantage of the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard accessories, and even offers some hardware advantages over the larger model including a better camera and faster wireless capability. The ‘Pro’ moniker is not lost on the latest iPad Pro and we’ve unearthed a selection of apps that are designed to give you professional capabilities and performance in a much smaller space. The iPhone SE and iPad Pro may be smaller, but they are more capable than ever. The next generation of apps is already here.
The new 4K video feature captures incredible quality HD movies, but will take up a lot of memory space if you use it often.
Get more from your new camera Take advantage of the new 12MP, 4K video-capable camera
Tap and view
The preview mode of your potential photo is excellent, and you can still tap anywhere on screen to change the focal point of the shot.
Manual – Custom exposure camera £2.29/$2.99 When you have great quality camera hardware, it makes sense to gain as much control as possible over the features that are available. With the Manual app, you gain independent control over focus, white balance, the ISO and shutter, alongside a bundle of additional features. From a live histogram to a delayed shutter for long exposures, this app could easily replace the default camera app on your iPhone SE – it’s just as easy to use, too. Your iPhone photos are about to look better than they ever have before.
Make sure AF (auto-focus) is not selected and then tap and slide on the dots to manually focus. It’s an efficient system that offers a lot of control.
Manage the ISO
Tap and hold the ISO option and then scroll up and down to choose any option from ISO 34 all the way up to ISO 1500.
The iPhone SE is a brilliant combination of power and portability, and when used with the right apps the experience gets even better. For many this is the perfect phone, and with good reason.
Tap this icon to change the visible grid on-screen, choose a new theme and deal with shutter delays. There are six options to choose from.
Five essential camera apps Enhance all your photos and videos in an instant Camera+ £2.29/$2.99 Camera+ may be one of the oldest iPhone camera apps out there, but its feature set and originality is still way ahead of much of the competition. The huge range of features are almost endless.
AfterFocus £0.79/$0.99 The eventual goal of phone cameras will be to rival DSLRs, but you can already create DSLRlike snaps with AfterFocus. The UI is sublime, making it incredibly easy to use, and the end results are fantastic.
ProCamera £3.99/$4.99 If you want an app that includes every possible feature you could ever need, ProCamera is a decent option. Throw in live editing with 78 filters and effects and you have a do-itall camera toolbox.
Warmlight £1.49/$1.99 You could purchase a camera app and a separate photo editor, or you could buy Warmlight and do everything in one. With live filters, manual controls and timers, you have all you could need.
Instant: The Polaroid Instant Camera £1.49/$1.99 Apps like Instant are considered to be more of a novelty than a professional tool, but this app works perfectly on the SE to add some retro personality to your snaps.
Next-gen pro apps Edit 4K video on your iPhone SE
You can now capture and edit 4K videos anywhere
Push your iPhone SE to the limit
The little device can handle anything you throw at it
Capturing 4K video on the iPhone SE is a mightily impressive feature, and one that means you will never need a dedicated camera ever again. You can now edit these moments in iMovie directly on your device itself, which historically would have required highend desktop computers. iMovie is incredibly efficient and easy to get your head around, allowing you to edit your 4K clips in a multitude of ways, with the end results being simply amazing.
Apple Maps is built in to the iPhone SE and is more than competent, but TomTom GO Mobile offers a huge range of features that let you navigate to absolutely anywhere. Real-time traffic, world maps, safety cameras, points of interest and advanced lane guidance are just some of the useful features, and it all works within a highly professional interface that is always easy to understand at a glance. Time to throw away your old sat nav system.
Enjoy glorious Live Photos
Install a new Live Photo for your iPhone every week
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Understand your body
For revision or sheer curiosity, this is a stunning app
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It’s great fun to capture Live Photos and, with the iPhone SE fully supporting this feature, you can use them to spruce up your lock screen background. With Live Wallpapers for Me, you can download professional-quality animated images to use as your phone’s wallpaper, which come alive with a touch of the screen. You can download a lively new background every week, and all completely free too.
1 View every bone
When you open the app, you will see a familiar skeleton on the screen. You can zoom in and rotate it with your fingers, or tap a bone for more detailed info.
2 Select a bone
Tap the bone you need and select Fade others to view it in detail. You can also hide all of the surrounding bones or tap the left arrow to draw a note next to it.
3 Tap for essential info
Tap ‘i’ and a description will appear detailing which bones are attached to it and its purpose. You can also jump to surrounding bones using the thumbnails.
Touch ID on the iPhone SE has the advantage of working slightly slower than on the iPhone 6. You can use your lock screen again!
Desktop-quality apps and games The iPhone SE is a mini computer, only more convenient
Who is in the air?
Check friends’ flight statuses or just peruse the skies
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Five apps that you 3D Touch
Make the most of 3D Touch with these apps Magic Piano by Smule
Free Magic Piano takes a novel approach to 3D Touch by sensing the force of your touch on the screen and reacting accordingly. The harder you press, the louder the note will be.
1 See the world’s planes Upon opening, you’ll see planes local to you placed over a realtime map. Zoom in and tap any plane to see information appear at the bottom of the screen.
2 Get even more detail
Tap the double arrow to view everything from current flight speed to altitude to exact flight times. The amount of information included is vast.
Modern Combat 5: Blackout Free
It’s far from easy for a mobile game to offer a consolequality experience, but Modern Combat 5 succeeds in doing just that. Even on the relatively small iPhone SE screen, the action is engaging, immersive and at times extremely complex. It’s a very powerful game, and one which would test the resources of most phones, but remains no problem for the iPhone SE with its A9 chip in-situ that can keep you playing for as long as you like. Compulsive in almost every way, your biggest challenge will be to put this game down.
3 Experience the flight
When you tap the 3D icon, you will see a real-time virtual display of the plane’s movements. It’s almost as if you are travelling on the plane – pretty cool!
An M9 motion coprocessor is built in to the iPhone SE, which means that you can track your steps and distance moved over time. Even better, it has a negligible impact on battery performance.
£7.99/$9.99 A clever calculator app that has been recently improved even further with 3D Touch support. You can now press on the icon to immediately access frequently used options, and you can customise the shortcuts in seconds.
Free Who says that 3D Touch should be exclusively used for apps? In Fallout Shelter the developer has embraced this feature by letting you open any of your saved vaults directly from the main icon.
Free It takes time to create CAD drawings and it’s common to be working on more than one at once. With 3D Touch, you can now conveniently open any of your latest files without having to search for them within the app.
Navmii GPS UK & ROI
Free When you need to travel to a location, it makes sense to be able to select it without delay. Here you can use 3D Touch to immediately see your current location or navigate to work or home.
Next-gen pro apps
Get more from Apple Pencil Analog meets digital in the most sublime way
Customise the app
There are a few handy settings for you to customise within the app. We all draw and paint differently, and the developers of Procreate have understood this need.
No extra touches
Palm detection is used to ensure that only the Apple Pencil touches the screen where you want it to. A simple but very useful solution for serious artists.
No more errors
It is incredibly easy to step back and remove any errors in an instant. This will give you the confidence to experiment with your creations in a variety of ways.
Analog or digital?
If you have the talent, the Apple Pencil in Procreate can help you to produce images that do not look digitally created at all. It’s an artist’s dream setup.
The right tools
Procreate provides a huge variety of tools so that you will always be able to create new images just how you want to.
Draw, paint and sketch
Procreate takes advantage of Apple Pencil’s precise and flexible input by enabling you to draw, paint or sketch at any time.
Best app for Smart Keyboard It’s very easy to build an iPad Pro laptop Byword £4.49/$5.99
The Smart Keyboard is an innovative accessory that lets you manage high levels of data input with ease. When used with the right apps, it has the potential to replace your old laptop when working away from the office or home. We recommend Byword, which also allows you to sync your docs across your all devices.
1 Lose the keyboard
When you are writing documents, the on-screen keyboard will cover the majority of your work. This doesn’t matter when you want maximum portability, but it can get in the way.
2 Get focused
The large iPad screen and Smart Keyboard work perfectly with the minimalist apps that dominate the iPad app store. You can focus on exactly what you need to while working.
3 Work efficiently
Markdown is fully supported in Byword and will let you write more efficiently over time. As you get used to the way it works, you will find yourself breezing through your work.
The four speakers are cleverly designed so that you are less likely to cover them with your hands. Apple’s design props shine through again.
Make every pixel count
Apps that sound great on iPad Pro
The world has never looked so good
Immerse yourself in the brilliant four-speaker sound setup
Living Earth £3.99/$4.99
Google Play Music
It’s only when you open the Living Earth app that you realise just how impressive the iPad Pro screen is. Not only does the app offer one of the most brilliant visual designs available, it also gives a huge amount of real-time information with just a couple of taps. From maps that display the current temperature, humidity and wind to weather forecasts and a world clock, there is a vast amount to explore and it’s all held within a sublime UI. It really is one of the very best iPad Pro apps you can buy.
Edit in finite detail
The iPad Pro screen highlights every part of an image
Free If the Apple Music UI is too crowded for you, Google Play Music also offers millions of tracks but in a more restrained interface that works well on the iPad Pro.
£2.99/$3.99 Good audio quality should not just be reserved for music. With Pocket Casts you can also enjoy immersive podcast audio that will draw you further into each episode.
£3.99/$4.99 A huge screen and four speakers make for a perfect virtual mixing setup and djay 2 sits at the heart of it. This app shows off the Pro’s excellent audio capabilities.
1 Separate the parts
You can tweak and improve every individual element of an image so that your work is focused on the key area at hand. Pixelmator makes each part of the image as clear as day.
2 Touch to tweak
The on-screen controls are designed to make complex changes feel as natural as possible, giving you endless opportunities to experiment with any potential changes.
Work from anywhere
You can create and work on an iPad Pro
Coding apps are surprisingly resourcehungry, but they are seen as the Holy Grail by those who want to use an iPad in place of a laptop. Coda is the app that these people have been waiting for, because it looks incredibly clean on an iPad Pro screen and takes full advantage of an attached Smart Keyboard. Potentially, apps like this mean that anyone can leave their laptop at home and work wherever and whenever they need to. It includes every feature that the serious coder needs to work on the move, including local and remote file management.
3 Change the focus
The iPad Pro screen helps you to see the whole picture; you can change the focus and immediately see how your tweaks affect the entire image. It’s visually brilliant.
£14.99/$19.99 Final Touch is a professional recording studio that works on your iPad Pro, leveraging the wonderful audio quality in a variety of ways. It’s an excellent tool.
Always hear the best
The speakers on the iPad Pro automatically adjust when turned around, so that the high frequencies always come from the top. It highlights the level of care Apple put into the iPad’s design.
Next-gen pro apps Multi-tasking made easy Numerics £7.99/$9.99
Let your iPad’s powerful chip help you learn Interactivity makes the whole learning experience much more engaging
Molecules by Theodore Gray
1 It feels real
Because the iPad Pro screen is so sharp, all the data you want to view is immediately clear and easy to understand. It just works.
2 Highlight transactions
You can also use the Apple Pencil to highlight transactions in a human way. It’s an effective way to manage data.
Understanding how the major elements are bonded together doesn’t exactly sound like a fascinating subject, but if you have to learn it or are simply curious, this app will bring the subject to life. It uses the power of the iPad Pro chip to push everything along smoothly, and it also lets you interact with each element on-screen in an incredibly natural way. The content is varied and deep, but the presentation and UI remain by far the stand-out features in an app that really harnesses the power of the iPad Pro.
3 An unlimited form
You can monitor as many transactions as you need to by swiping around the screen to focus on what you need to see.
The fast lane These apps are designed to utilise your iPad Pro’s wireless speeds The new Wi-Fi and 4G antennas let datahungry apps and games work quicker than ever before. This means that you will see a noticeable improvement in performance with the iPad Pro in many of the apps that you currently use.
Amazon Video Free
Amazon Video lets you stream movies and TV shows wherever you are and, because the data required is relatively large, the iPad Pro is well-placed to always ensure a seamless viewing experience.
Free There is nothing worse that having to wait for a track to play, even for a few seconds, but Spotify Music will now stream every track instantly. It will feel as though the songs are stored on your iPad Pro.
You can store thousands of files online using Dropbox, but the upload process can at times be slow. Prepare yourself for much quicker upload and download times in the future on your iPad Pro.
£1.49/$1.99 Certain games are graphically intense and often require extra components. Say goodbye to troublesome interruptions thanks to faster wireless speeds now available on Pro.
You will likely have suffered in the past with buffering when using online video services, but you will see this much less often on the iPad Pro. Wireless is an incredibly important feature on all iPads.
The Retina Flash on the new iPad Pro uses the screen to illuminate your face rather than a ﬂash. It works very well indeed.
Take advantage of Metal gaming Metal games are one step ahead of the rest
AG Drive £2.99/$3.99
AG Drive can be enjoyed on any iOS device, but on the iPad Pro it is a truly immersive and frantic experience. This is a seriously quick game that benefits from the power of the iPad Pro, especially the large and pin-sharp screen. You will want to try this game on the ‘big’ iPad screen.
Epic Zen Garden Free
That certain something
The visual effects can at times be hard to notice, but if you see a game using the API, you will feel a variety of improvements in the experience.
Lumino City £3.99/$4.99
From a visual standpoint, Lumino City is truly breathtaking. It is a marvel to play on any device, but install it on an iPad Pro and we soon become lost for words. Amazing visuals, deep gameplay and a thoroughly original experience makes this a highly recommended addition to your app collection.
Shadows are important
You will know when you are playing a game made with Metal because shadows are particularly accurate. It’s an underrated part of gaming, but they can make a huge difference.
Multitask in style
Don’t forget that you can run two apps at once on the iPad Pro screen, which is a huge bonus if you are working with it. The feature is amazing on the larger version.
Free The FaceTime HD camera is so good that it will show every single blemish, which is both a good and bad thing! Well, now you can fix everything with this app. Free This app offers a variety of ways to edit your selfie shots so that you can make them as original as possible. A great addition to the FaceTime HD camera.
Express yourself with your new iPad Pro
Epic Zen Garden is not a game as such, but more of a demonstration of what Metal can do. Download it and touch each object to see how they react.
Metal helps games to perform much more efficiently, and this will likely mean that environmental objects such as water and trees can gently move all of the time.
Use the FaceTime HD camera
Free Flipagram is designed to let you tell your story, and what better way to do so than to capture yourself using the FaceTime HD camera? It’s a fun app with a variety of features.
Metal makes it possible for developers to create realistic environments that can respond to your touch. This is perfect for creating immersive games and demos like Epic Zen Garden.
Boomerang from Instagram Free
This app turns your selfie shot into ten photos that can then be shared as a very short video. It’s fun, convenient and very expressive.
Take and edit stunning photos on iPad Use the powerful editing tools within VSCO to create amazing photographs Difficulty Time needed
Now that the iPad Pro has the same camera as the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, there has never been a better time to start snapping on your tablet. This 12-megapixel marvel takes incredible photos and the new screen offers the highest saturation ever, so you’ll see the very best colours in your pictures. Of course that doesn’t mean you can’t take and edit amazing images if you have an older device. All iPads pack some impressive camera kit that means you’ll be able to shoot and edit quickly with the benefit of the larger screen. And VSCO is the perfect app to do it in – not only can you use the built-in camera to shoot, you can edit within the app itself and upload and store your photos in your own personal photography portfolio.
Shoot, edit and share on iPad
1 Take your photo
2 Alter the settings
3 Find your shot
4 Add a filter
5 Change the intensity
6 Edit your image
First, tap the plus button in the top-left of the screen and choose Camera from the menu. You can tap the bar on the right to quickly take a shot without changing any settings.
Tap the Sliders button to enter the editing screen, then tap the Brush icon to see a list of filter options available. Tap one to instantly apply it to your image. 60
Alternatively, tap the circular icon in the topright of the screen and you can lock the white balance, add different grids or make the entire screen the shutter button.
A slider will appear on the right-hand side of the screen which allows you to increase or reduce the intensity of the filter – drag the circle down to lessen the effect on your image.
When you’ve taken a shot you like, press the Menu button in the bottom-right and tap the Library option. All your shots will appear there, so tap the one you want to edit.
When you’re happy, tap the Back arrow and then the Wrench icon to enter the editing menu. Here you have standard controls like Exposure and Brightness, plus a few others.
You can add any photos from your device to VSCO – just tap the plus icon when you’re in the Library to open shots from the Photos app on your iPad
Share your shots and get inspired
See what the community is uploading with VSCO
If you want a place to store all your favourite edited photos online, VSCO offers a great way to do it. You can create an account for free, and once you’ve uploaded your shots they are viewable within the app itself on any device you sign in to, as well as the VSCO website. You can then access them all wherever you are.
The Explore section is the place to go to get inspiration for your own work. It pulls together images from other users of VSCO, so you can see a whole range of different shots and styles all in one place.
When you’re in the Explore section of the app, the photographer’s name will appear below each image in the feed. You can tap the name to view more of their photos, and if you like their work, you can follow them.
Upload your own
Once you’ve signed up for a free account, you can upload your own images to a personal online space, or make them public so that other users can see them when they enter the Explore tab in their own app.
If you love an image and want to save it to your own library, doing so is as quick as double-tapping the image in question. It will be saved instantly, so you can view it or even edit it back in the Library section.
7 Straighten and perspective
You can adjust the straightness of your image using the settings on the left, and even change the perspective of your shot if something went a little wrong during shooting.
8 Clear and sharp
Use the Clarity and Sharpness controls at the bottom to create a really impressive result from your image – it would look great combined with a black and white filter.
9 Layer it up
You can check all of the effects that you’ve added to the shot by looking at the layers menu in the top-right corner of the screen. It has never been so easy to edit your photos. 61
Sort Notification Centre by time
See your notifications in the order in which they arrive thanks to a new iOS 9 feature Difficulty Time needed
Switch to time-based sorting
1 Alter your settings
To change the way you view your incoming notifications, head to the Settings app. Navigate to Notifications and tap Sort Order. It may well be automatically set to Manual. 62
Being able to receive notifications from various apps has long been a vital feature within iOS, but it has not been without fault. Instead of being displayed in the Notification Centre in the order in which they arrived, notifications have been grouped by app, making it difficult to work out which was the most recent. This issue came to the fore with the advent of Touch ID, where pressing the Home button unlocked the device straight away, giving you barely any time to register the latest on-screen notifications. But with iOS 9, this problem has been resolved. No longer do you need to go down the list to spot new arrivals, and you can now sort your notifications based on time.
2 Change to Recent
You will see two options: Recent and Manual. Tapping Recent ensures the notifications are sorted by the time in which they arrive rather than by the app that sent them.
3 Group by app
If you want notifications in order, regardless of app, disable Group By App. Otherwise, they will be sorted by each individual app and it wonâ€™t be clear which arrived most recently.
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Build an iOS game without code Make your very own App Store classic in less than an hour Difficulty Time needed
Have you ever fancied producing your own game but always been put off by the need to learn a complex programming language? Well, luckily that’s where the GameSalad app can step in to simplify the process. Aimed at non-coders, it provides a drag-and-drop-based visual editor that you can use to create virtually any genre of game you please. It will still take hours of effort to pull off a true masterpiece, but the principles of development will take no time at all to fathom. We’re here to introduce you to the very basics of GameSalad, creating the most primitive of collect-‘em-ups that will hopefully give you enough confidence to explore further.
Finding your way around GameSalad
The interface can feel daunting, but it’s really rather friendly
Publishing a game
When you are ready to publish a game, GameSalad makes the process relatively straightforward, especially for titles you’re earmarking for HTML5. You willl need to make a developer account for the likes of iOS and Android, though.
Art and sound
There are no art or music creation tools within GameSalad, but you can create them in an external package and then load them into your game. If your artistic or musical skills aren’t up to scratch, then click either Images or Sounds in an actor’s Library and select Purchase. You’ll be taken to the GameSalad Marketplace, which also sells templates and tools.
The Library is broken down into three sections: Behaviours, Images and Sound. Behaviours are actions that determine what happens when an event occurs in the game. They are dragged into the Rules for an actor.
Rules relate to actors and operate on the basis of ‘if this, then that’. There are persistent and action behaviours: playing music when something collides is an action behaviour, for instance, whereas rotation is persistent and continues until another rule tells it to stop.
Attributes are important because they hold various adjustable values that define how an actor operates in the game – how it speeds up or slows down, for instance. They can also be used to record scores and display text.
GameSalad is a 2D game creation tool which means that anyone who is looking to replicate Doom in the delights of true 3D will have to go elsewhere.
Start making your first game
1 Begin a project
2 Create an actor
3 Lend it attributes
4 Produce rules
5 Add a behaviour
6 Use actor
7 Create collectibles
8 Build the scene
9 Produce enemies
Once opened, you’ll see a welcome window with an option for creating a new Blank Project. Click this and complete the Project Info form, selecting your platform of choice.
We want the actor to move around on a keypress. Click Create Rule and input: ‘Actor receives event’ when ‘key’ (select ‘left’ via the onscreen keyboard) is ‘down’.
Games need more actors: walls, enemies, collectibles and the like. Create a new actor with the rule: ‘actor receives event’, ‘overlaps or collides’ with ‘actor of type’, ‘Actor 1’.
Select Scenes and click Initial Scene for your first level. On the editing screen, click the plus icon in the top-left window. This creates an actor – a visible object in your game.
Now tell GameSalad what happens when the left key is pressed. Look at the Library window in the bottom left, drag Move to the Rule and make the direction 180.
Add the behaviour Destroy, then drag collectibles to the scene. In Preview, when the main actor collides with them, they disappear. For some danger, we’ll add another actor.
Double-click the actor to open its attributes screen. Here you can drag over an image and configure its position, size, physics and more. We’ll make it our main character.
Repeat the last two steps for ‘right’ (0), ‘up’ (90) and ‘down’ (270). Drag your actor to the screen, click Preview and it should move around when pressing the cursors.
Our new actor will be the enemy. Open Actor 1 and add a Rule saying that when it collides with Actor 3, it is destroyed. Go back, add the enemy to your scene and preview it. Enjoy. 65
Track App Store and iTunes sales
Set alerts so that you never miss out on a potential bargain with this price tracker Difficulty Time needed
Find the best bargain apps
1 Select the media
By tapping the menu in the top-left corner of the screen, you can view the range of media tracked by CheapCharts. Tap the type of entertainment you’re after or select Apps. 66
From time to time, app and entertainment companies like to promote their creative wares with a promotional price-drop. But unless you’ve constantly got your eye on the App Store or iTunes, the chances of you coming across them in time is remote. That’s where CheapCharts comes in handy to automatically track the apps that best suit you. It’s a free, easy-to-use app that lets you keep track of price trends and set relevant alerts. It enables you to be as specific or general as you wish with your preferences, not only showcasing bargain apps that you have your eye on but highlighting lots that you may not. You may never have to pay full price again.
2 Choose the chart
As well as enabling you to search for a specific title, you can see the most popular items on iTunes and the App Store, or tap Apps on Sale to see the most recent discounts.
3 Narrow down results
Toggle between iPhone or iPad apps, singles or albums, and movie rentals or purchases. View genres and tap Latest Price Changes to sort by rating, price, savings and date.
If you want to change your iTunes Store preferences, you can do so within the app by going to Settings>Preferences and altering any relevant settings.
Explore the extra options
You will be shown a snapshot of deals that you may be interested in under My Deals. Any that you add to your Wish List will also be shown here.
Tailor CheapCharts to ensure you don’t miss crucial price drops
The CheapCharts blog should flag up some of the best bargains of the day as recommended by the app makers. It’s worth checking from time to time.
Knowledge base Create price alerts
You can manually create alarms for more general purchases as well as individual apps. Tap the menu button and select Alerts. Tap Create own Price Alert and go down the list, choosing genres, release year, prices and so on. This way you’ll be notified of any media or apps fitting your selected criteria.
4 Watch and hear
As well as toggling between HD/SD and filtering by IMDb ratings, you can watch trailers. There are also previews for singles and albums via an integrated player.
The Settings option lets you schedule your notifications. You can also select the deals you want to see.
If you have flagged up any apps or media, you will be able to view and manage them under Alerts>Wish List. There will also be some suggested app offers.
5 Filter prices
CheapCharts also lets you view media by price. Select Price Filter from the main menu and on the results page you’ll see various price bands to suit your budget.
6 Set price alerts
Swipe left and tap the star button on any app or media that you want to monitor for price drops. Consider activating Push Notifications too so that you can quickly bag a bargain. 67
Add a rhythm accompaniment to songs Learn how to apply and tweak intelligent drum or bass parts within iOS Music Memos Difficulty Time needed
Add a rhythm accompaniment to song ideas
1 Bring in the bass
With a recording already in your Ideas list, you can begin adding rhythm accompaniments by tapping on the bass guitar icon button. This adds a default bassline to the audio playback. 68
For musicians and songwriters, Appleâ€™s Music Memos is already proving to be a really useful addition to iPhone and iPad. Anyone familiar with its older sibling Voice Memos will know how handy it remains for recording spoken notes, and previously the app would be used to capture song ideas too. However, Music Memos has extended that idea brilliantly by adding intelligent tools for notating chords and even a rhythm accompaniment. Using GarageBand-like smart instrumentation, quick song ideas can now be followed by bass guitar and drum tracks. By analysing the audio recording for timing and melody, Music Memos can add basic rhythm sections in the tap of a button, but also tucks away effective controls for customisation. Drum patterns and bass lines can be made louder, softer and more or less complex, and you can choose from Vintage or Modern kit sounds or go with an Upright or Electric bass to better match the vibe of your fledgling composition. Whatâ€™s more, you can adjust the detected tempo and time signature before cleverly using a Downbeat control to synchronise the waveform. In this guide, weâ€™ll look specifically at how to add a rhythm accompaniment and how to shape it to fit your ideas.
2 Drop in some drums
Similarly, you can instantly add an automatic, default drum accompaniment by tapping on the drum icon button immediately alongside. Tap either again to toggle off as desired.
3 Bring up advanced controls
Press and hold the bass or drum buttons to access advanced customisation controls. Do this from the Ideas or Details screens or using the Bass/Drum tab at the top of the panel.
The Downbeat setting within the Edit Time screen lets you shift the audio region along the track until it better matches the downbeats and time bars.
Rectifying those rhythms
Knowledge base Time and tempo
As far as the drums go, the timing profoundly directs the rhythm accompaniment. Time and tempo can be changed via the Edit Time screen, accessed via the 4/4 time signature icon shown across the top of the Details screen. Switch time signatures here between 3/4, 4/4 and 6/8, while opting for Half, Regular or Double the detected tempo and adjusting the downbeat positioning as required.
The key areas of interest for amending your accompaniment Edit Time button
Show the Details screen by tapping a recording within the main Ideas list. Here you can visualise how the audio fits the timing bars, using Edit Time to adjust signature, tempo and downbeat position.
The first controls enable selection between the types of instrument. On the Bass tab you can pick between Electric or Upright basses, whereas Drums toggle between Modern and Vintage Kit sounds.
Bass and drums
This control lets you define how loud, quiet, single or complex you want the selected accompaniment to be by dragging the blue puck within the padâ€™s x/y axis. The drums also have buttons for choosing hi-hats, cymbals and toms.
These two icon buttons can be tapped to toggle on the bass guitar and/or the drums. Press and hold either to pop up the instrumentation panel to edit both bassline and drum pattern.
4 Control complexity
Both rhythm instruments share an identical control for defining their soundâ€™s volume and complexity. Drag the blue puck within the pad area to alter the bassline or drum pattern.
5 Choose instrument type
The Bass tab offers a choice between two instrument types. The first option sounds the bassline as a traditional Electric bass guitar or as a more organic Upright double bass.
6 Select kit and drum choice
The drum controls provide a subtle choice between a more punchy Modern Kit and a warmer Vintage Kit tone. You can also toggle use of hi-hat, cymbal and tom-tom fills. 69
Make the most of the new features in Maps Get to grips with the Nearby search feature and updated Glances options in watchOS 2.2 Difficulty Time needed
1 Find Nearby
Explore the new Nearby feature
Open up the Maps app on your Watch and scroll down until you see the Nearby button at the bottom of the screen. You should see it below the Search and My Location options. 70
With the Apple Watch still in its infancy, every new update to watchOS brings with it some handy new features. The latest upgrades to the Maps app are some of the most useful yet, improving Maps’ Glances feature and adding a new way to search for nearby places and get important details in seconds. As well as being able to use Siri to search for places, in Nearby you can select from a number of categories (Food, Shopping, Fun and Travel) and find everything from grocery stores and shopping centres to health services and movie theatres – especially useful if you’re in an unfamiliar city or country, or even if you’re just trying to find a new restaurant near home. You can see nearby places along with their relevant Yelp ratings, opening times, contact details and location, and you can even set up directions right from where you are. Glances have also been updated for even easier access to directions, allowing quick navigation to home or work. Set up these relevant addresses beforehand and you can get instant access to directions whenever you need them. Read on to find out how to make the most of these new updates.
2 Pick a category
Tap on the Nearby button to reveal four categories – Food, Shopping, Fun and Travel. Don’t worry if these seem a little generic, as they break down into further sub-categories.
3 Get specific
Picking a category will reveal its subcategories, so you can find exactly what you’re looking for. For example, in Fun you can find Recreation, Movies and Nightlife.
Missing the new Glances features? Check it’s been enabled in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and that watchOS is updated to version 2.2.
Explore the enhanced Glances
The Nearby feature wasn’t the only useful update in watchOS 2.2…
If you regularly find yourself setting up Maps for a long journey home, being able to swipe up into a Glance and simply tapping a button to do all the hard work really does feel great.
Knowledge base What is Yelp?
If you’ve been using iOS for long enough, you’re likely to have already encountered Yelp. As well as being an app available on the App Store, this third-party service is heavily integrated into Maps, bringing together user reviews of restaurants, shops, nightlife and more. It’s a great way to get a feel for a place before you decide to visit.
Get to work
Like the Home button, tapping Work will immediately set Maps to direct you from your current location to your place of work, providing you’ve set that up beforehand.
If you know the name of the location you’d like to get to, hit the Search button and say it loud and proud. Your Apple Watch should pick it up correctly and direct you there.
4 A screen full of stars
Once you’ve selected a sub-category, you’ll be presented with a list of relevant places to scroll through. They handily include ratings from Yelp in this list as well.
Probably the most useful addition to Glances is a shortcut to the Nearby place search. This takes you directly into the Maps app (and into step two of this tutorial).
5 See the details
Tapping on any of the places in the list will give you all of its details, including a contact number, address and map location — useful for making reservations at restaurants.
6 Get directions
Scrolling through places will give you a few options on how to get there. You can choose to get directions for walking, driving or using public transport (if available). 71
Organise your Apple TV apps into folders Learn how to better organise your apps in tvOS Difficulty Time needed
Being able to sort your apps into folders has been a feature in iOS for years now – it’s a great way of organising your home screen into more manageable sections, especially if you own a fair number of apps. Rather bizarrely, given that the fourth-gen Apple TV model’s biggest selling point is its brand-new App Store, you couldn’t organise apps into folders from the off. Apple has now added that functionality in the latest tvOS update, and in this tutorial we’ll show you how to organise your apps into folders with the help of the Siri Remote. As you can imagine, it’s as easy as simply clicking and swiping a few times. We’ll also look at how to delete apps if you’re running out of space.
Inside an app’s Settings menu
What options are available for app customisation? Default settings
Each app will have a series of settings you can change. Podcasts, for example, will let you change how often the app refreshes to show you new content.
Podcasts will even enable you to Delete Played Episodes if you switch this option to On. Make sure you investigate what your apps can do, just like you would with your Mac or iOS device.
Knowledge base What takes up space on my Apple TV?
How to find this menu
From your Settings menu, scroll down to the Apps option. Here you’ll find a list of your apps that have additional preferences. Here’s what the Podcast app’s looks like.
This number at the bottom of the menu shows you which version of the app you are running. Handy information to know if you don’t have apps updating automatically.
In short, it’s apps, games and anything you download from iTunes, Apple Music and Photos. Apple has limited the size of apps to 200MB, while tvOS also has an On Demand Resources feature, which only downloads the parts of an app a user needs and keeps the rest in the cloud.
Not sure when a new version of tvOS is available to install? Make sure you have Automatically Update turned On in the Software Updates menu.
Put apps into folders
1 Update your OS
2 Enter Wiggle mode
3 Create new folder
4 Access more options
5 Rename folders
6 Organise home screen
The ability to organise your apps into folders is only available to those Apple TVs running tvOS 9.2 or later. Head to your Software Updates menu to check.
You can manually create a new folder too. In Wiggle mode click on the Play/Pause button on the Siri Remote to see this screen. Scroll to the appropriate option and click.
When you click and hold on an app it will enter the Wiggle mode that should be familiar to anyone who uses iOS. This lets you move the app icon with the Siri Remote.
tvOS won’t always get the folder name correct. You can change the title easily by entering it letter-by-letter or by holding down the mic button and dictating the title.
Swipe the remote’s trackpad to move the icon around. Here we’ve dropped it onto another icon to automatically create a folder. tvOS has even given the folder a name.
When you’re finished organising your apps, your Apple TV home screen will look something like this. It’s a much cleaner way of viewing and opening your apps.
Delete Apple TV apps The fourth-generation of Apple TV comes in two sizes – 32GB and 64GB. Storage isn’t infinite, so you’ll need to be mindful of the amount of apps and games you are downloading to your little box. Of course, if you’re primarily interested in streaming, storage won’t be much of a problem for you. However, for those who are running short on space, knowing how to delete apps is a handy trick to understand.
“Be mindful of the amount of apps and games you are downloading to your little box”
1 Press for Options
On the Apple TV home screen, scroll down until you see all your apps. Find the app you want to banish for the time being, hover over it and press the Play/Pause button on your Siri Remote to see your available choices.
2 Delete the app
You’re presented with a list of options to choose from. Handily the Delete option is the top one, highlighted in red. Click it, confirm the action and you’ll no longer see the app available on your Apple TV home screen.
Genius Bar Our Apple devices and the software on them are some of the finest computing products on the planet, but even they have their moments. That’s where we come in; to give you expert advice and get you back up and running in no time
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The place to come for key technical terms made easy to understand SSD A hard drive with no moving parts and a fast data transfer rate, resulting in a quicker boot-up time and a low failure rate. SMC A System Management Controller that controls your keyboard, fans and power for your Mac. Pilcrow A ¶ symbol that marks the start of a new paragraph or a new section of text. Sync Having the same set of data in two locations by copying from one device to another. Function keys Keys at the top of your keyboard that allow you to perform useful functions, such as adjusting the volume and screen and keyboard brightness. Apple ID An overarching account that allows you to use all Apple systems, such as iCloud and the App Store, with just one login.
Pressing the Fn key twice activates Dictation on your Mac
I can’t start Dictation using Fn as this key doesn’t exist on my keyboard. How can I start it? David Evans
1 System Preferences Launch System Preferences by clicking on the Apple logo and choosing the option from the drop-down menu. Click on the Dictation & Speech icon.
2 Customise shortcut
Click on the Dictation tab and navigate to the Shortcut field. Select ‘Press Fn (Function) Key Twice’ and choose Customize from the drop-down list.
3 Choose a key
Press any key on the keyboard to set this as your Dictation shortcut. It needs to have the Cmd key in – choose the combination carefully!
Press the Cmd, Ctrl and Spacebar keys to view and insert hundreds of alternative characters and emojis into text in any app on your Mac.
Can I work on iMovie projects online by syncing my iMovie library to the cloud via Dropbox or iCloud Drive? Carl Woodward If you’re travelling around and want to preserve the space on your Mac, an external drive would be the first port of call, but this isn’t convenient for everyone. So, uploading your iMovie library to the cloud is an ideal solution, and definitely possible. We recommend using Dropbox – it installs a local folder into Finder, selectively stores files locally and syncs files to your Dropbox account when you have an internet connection.
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Edit your iMovie projects online and on the go with Dropbox
I send Pages documents to a PC user, but the paragraphs disappear. How can I insert a paragraph symbol into my Pages document? Paula Smith
1 Select paragraph
Place your cursor at the end of the last sentence in your first paragraph. Press the Ctrl, Cmd and Spacebar keys.
2 Characters pane
A floating Characters pane will appear. Here, you can insert all manner of alternative characters such as trademarks and emojis.
3 Insert pilcrow
Select ‘Punctuation’ from the lefthand column. Double-click the pilcrow symbol (¶) to insert it and clearly mark all your paragraphs.
How do I sync a specific Music folder on my Mac over to my iPhone and my iPad? Paul Francis Connect iPhone to iTunes
Plug your iPhone into your Mac and launch iTunes. Select the iPhone icon in the top left-hand corner of the iTunes interface. Your iPhone and some options will appear on the screen.
Add your music to iTunes
Click on the File menu and choose Add to Library. In the pop-out window that appears, navigate to the folder of Music that you want to import onto your iPhone and press Open.
Sync your songs
Find your music
Click back to your iPhone and choose Music from under the Settings heading in the left-hand column. Ensure that the Sync Music box is checked. Next, check ‘Selected artists, albums, and genres’.
Mark a tick in the box next to the tracks you want to sync over to your iPhone from the Playlist, Artist and Albums boxes. To begin the sync, click on the Apply button.
Is it possible to give my MacBook Pro a name, in the same way that I can give one to my iPhone? Sure thing! Head to System Preferences and click on the Sharing icon. Click in the Computer Name field at the top of the screen and enter a name for your MacBook Pro. You’re all set. I recently re-installed El Capitan, but the info at the bottom of my Finder window has disappeared. How can I get it back? No need to worry, for there is a way! Start by launching Finder and head to the View menu. From the list of drop-down options, click on Show Status Bar. You will now find that the folder info will appear at the bottom of the screen as normal. The amount of storage used by my Applications folder doesn’t match between the Folder info and the Storage report. What’s going on? Not all applications are stored in your Applications folder. The Storage report counts the combined size of all of your applications, which might be the cause of the disparity. For a comprehensive look at how your storage space is used, purchase the storage analysis app DaisyDisk, available from the Mac App Store for £7.99/$9.99.
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I have a lot of homemovie DVDs that I want to copy for my children. How can I go about this on my Mac? Pop the DVD into your Mac and launch Disk Utility. Select File>New Image. From the pop-out menu, select your DVD. Once you have your disc image, you can burn this to a DVD. My iMac won’t recognise my brand-new Apple wired keyboard. Nothing happens when I press keys and the Caps Lock doesn’t light up. Launch System Preferences and click on the Bluetooth icon. Select any existing Bluetooth keyboards here, then click on the cog icon and choose Disconnect from the menu. Restart your Mac and try your new keyboard again. Is there any way for me to disable the brightness keys on my keyboard? They interfere with my monitor’s calibration. Unfortunately, you can’t disable the brightness keys but it is easy to disable the function keys, which will solve the problem. Launch System Preferences in the Apple menu and click on the keyboard icon. Uncheck the ‘Use F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys’ option. Use the Fn key to now use the other function keys as normal.
I accepted a calendar invite but it doesn’t appear on my iPhone or on iCloud. It was sent to an email address not linked with iCloud. Julia Brown Manage Apple ID
Launch Safari on your Mac or PC and head to appleid.apple. com. Sign in with your Apple ID and password (the details you use with iCloud).
Find alternate email
Under the Account heading, you’ll see a list of email addresses linked with your Apple ID. We’re going to add your email address to this list.
Verify email address
Add email address
Enter your email address and press Continue to verify it. The calendar invite will need to be present in order to be added to your calendar.
Click on the Edit button in the Account section. Under the Contactable At heading, click on ‘Add an Email Address’.
Does deleting my iPhone backup give me more space on my phone for photos, media and Pages or Numbers documents? Anna Ford Absolutely! iPhone backups can take up precious space on your iCloud, especially if you have multiple backups. The first thing to do is check out the backups you currently have on iCloud – you might have unnecessary backups on there for devices you no longer own or use. To check, head to Settings>iCloud>Storage> Manage Storage. To delete a backup you no longer need, tap on it and then tap Delete Backup. If iCloud Storage is a real problem, you can upgrade the amount of storage you have by tapping Change Storage Plan.
SMS sent by blocked users disappear into the ether forever
If I block and unblock someone on my iPhone, will SMS sent during the blocked period from that user be delivered once I unblock them? Sam Radcliffe No, they won’t. Once you send a message to someone who is listed on your block list, or they send a message to you, it all but disappears into the ether. The messages are not held on a server anywhere, nor do they sit on a holding server with an expiry date – the same goes for iMessages. It’s the equivalent of sending leprechaun gold via text message… now you see it, now you don’t!
You can upgrade your iCloud storage at any time, giving you more space for photos and documents. Storage starts at 79p/99¢ per month for 50GB.
How do I quickly multiply numbers from two separate columns and display the results in a separate third column in Numbers? Eleanor Frost
1 Insert a new column
Open your spreadsheet and insert a column to the right of the columns to be multiplied, or tap the column if it’s there already.
2 Create your formula
Double-tap the first cell of your blank column and tap the = icon. Tap SUM and the first cell to be multiplied. Tap x and the second cell.
I just purchased a used iPad Air 2. Can I get the iWork bundle for free? Adrian Lewis Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer to this question. As your recently purchased iPad Air 2 was a) used and b) from a third-party seller, the answer falls down to whether the previous owner registered the iPad with their Apple ID. If this was the case, you won’t be able to get the iWork bundle for free, as it’s already been redeemed with another Apple ID. The best way to check is to head to the App Store and then have a look The cloud icon shows that whether you are prompted to the iWork apps are free pay for the apps or not. How do you mask an image with a shape in Keynote for iPad? I can’t find the option to do it – it’s so simple on the Mac version! Mark Harris Fear not, it’s quite a straightforward process to mask an image with a shape in Keynote once you know how. Step one: add the image that you want to mask to your Keynote presentation by tapping on the + icon and then the Picture icon. Next, add a mask shape to your slide by tapping on the + icon again and then the square icon. Choose your shape from the box to add it to the slide. Here’s the slightly tricky bit: tap both the picture and the shape together. A Mask with Shape option will appear. Tap this to mask your chosen image with your chosen shape. Tapping both the image and shape displays the Mask with Shape option
3 Apply your formula
Tap the cell with the formula in. Tap Fill. Drag the yellow box down the column to apply the formula to all the cells.
Is it possible to transfer some of my Pages files from my Mac over to my new iPad Air? Jack Davis Upload to Dropbox
If you don’t fancy using iCloud, upload your Pages files to another service such as Dropbox, which offers a Mac app and an iPad app.
You could alternatively use iCloud Drive to wirelessly sync your Pages documents across all your Apple devices. Find iCloud Drive in Finder.
Turn on Pages
Launch System Preferences and click iCloud. In your iCloud account, turn on iCloud Drive and click on Options next to iCloud Drive. Ensure Pages is ticked.
Connect your iPad and open iTunes. Tap the iPad icon and choose Apps from the left-hand side. Add Pages files in the File Sharing section and sync.
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Can I swap hard drives with different operating systems installed on them in and out of my MacBook? Absolutely! There is nothing stopping you from switching hard drives in and out of your MacBook – just ensure that the OS on the hard drive is at least the same as the one that it originally shipped with. Is it possible to use my 27-inch iMac as a monitor for my new MacBook Pro Retina? Most new iMacs support Target Display Mode. As long as your 27-inch iMac was manufactured in 2009 or later, you’ll be able to use Target Display Mode to connect your iMac to your new MacBook Pro. My MacBook Air is saying that there are “No Batteries Available”. What does this mean? Does the battery need to be replaced? No need to replace the battery – there is a way to solve the problem. Reset the SMC on your Mac. Connect your MagSafe adaptor and hold down the Power, Shift, Cmd and Alt keys at the same time. Release the keys and power on your Mac, and check to see if your battery is recognised. If it isn’t, book an appointment at your nearest Apple Store.
I need a bigger hard drive on my Mac Pro for editing videos. Is it easy to replace? Chris Morris It’s really easy to underestimate the storage that your Mac needs; Final Cut Pro with all its plug-ins and effects can run to almost 50GB when fully installed, and that’s before you add video files into the mix! Fortunately, one of the key selling points of the Mac Pro is that it’s really flexible in terms of upgrading, so replacing the SSD will be a doddle. SSD technology is still relatively expensive but if you have a hunt around online, you should get a reasonably good deal on a replacement SSD. Remember that the SSDs installed in Apple products are uniquely shaped, so do some research before splashing the cash. Once you’ve got your new SSD, follow the steps below to get upgrading!
1 Unlock your Mac
2 Remove outer case
3 Find your SSD
4 Unscrew your SSD
5 Move the SSD
6 Remove your SSD
Before starting your repair, unplug your Mac Pro from the mains. On your Mac, slide the lock switch to the right to the unlocked position.
The SSD is connected to the graphics card on your Mac Pro – look for the quadrant that has a long, thin rectangular stick attached to it.
Pull the SSD slightly away from the graphics card – however, don’t pull the SSD more than 1cm away, as this can result in damage.
Next, lift the outer case upwards, straight up off the Mac Pro. Tip: pushing down on the centre of the fan makes this process easier.
Locate the T8 Torx screw securing the SSD to the Mac Pro in the top centre of the SSD. Remove the screw and put to one side.
Next, lift the SSD directly upwards and out of its slot to remove it from your Mac Pro. Repeat the steps backwards to fit your new SSD.
Apple has released watchOS 2.2, oﬀering improvement to Maps and the heart rate function. Head to the Watch app on your iPhone to install it.
I read recently that Apple only expect the Apple Watch to last for three years. What repairs can I perform to stretch this time out? Denise Lloyd
It’s worth making it clear from the outset that your Apple Watch won’t stop working once it reaches its third birthday. This life span is simply a guideline to work to, and many Apple products will go on to last much longer if cared for properly. Our friends over at iFixit.com have taken the time (no pun intended) to perform a full teardown of the Apple Watch to see what the repair possibilities are. The good news is that there’s definitely opportunity to perform repairs should your Apple Watch encounter any issues – although with a sapphire crystal glass screen, solid steel casing and the ability to withstand a metre of water for 30 minutes, you’d be hard pressed to inflict any real physical damage on the Apple Watch! Let’s dive in and take a closer look at which parts can be repaired.
You can easily switch your Apple Watch band to suit your mood or style. Apple recommends that you only purchase and use bands from the same collection – so no Link Bracelet bands on the Watch Sport!
The antennae and mic cables are both within easy reach after removing the display and battery, providing options for repair if either components fail – both are fixed to the outer parts of the internal casing.
Missing any of these? You can order any parts or tools you might need from www. ifixit.com/store. • iOpener • Tech knife • Opening picks • Plastic tweezers • Plastic opening tools
The display is easy to remove using a tech knife and an opening pick, and only requires you to disconnect two cables inside the Watch, paving the way for easy replacement if your display fails.
The battery is visible once you remove the display of the Watch, and is easily removed from the light adhesive by using either an opening tool or the flat end of a nylon probe tool.
Most components inside the Watch are secured with adhesive, but there are a few rogue tri-wing screws around which don’t fit any common tri-wing screwdriver – this may lead to some issues.
If you would like more help with upgrading your Mac, visit the gadget surgeons at iFixit.com, who kindly contributed these photos.
Backpacks RiutBag R10
£79.00/$114 www.riut.co.uk With no outer zipping, the RiutBag offers protection from theft by having all access to its content held firmly to your back; although once opened, like a smaller fabric suitcase, everything is on display. With two main compartments and a selection of smaller sections for storage, it will stash your kit, but your main compartment will feel a bit like a jumble sale when opened. In keeping with the security aspect, the RiutBag has small zip pouches in each strap, ideal for key storage, however, the spacing of the straps makes the bag feel as if it’s made for a much larger chest/shoulder diameter.
£94.99/$139.95 www.stmbags.com Camo-coloured, explorer-inspired – the Drifter is the hold-all for your tech essentials. Looking like it would be more at home at a festival than an office, the Drifter bridges the gap between capable and experimental. You could forget all about the commute and trek with this backpack and it would still be comfortable, and you can rest easy knowing that your kit is safe, especially with the optional barcode tag. Its inner compartments can hold a 15-inch laptop; there isn’t a great deal for much else when the main section is full, but the side pockets and inner zip pockets do serve to bridge the gap.
Booq Boa Flow
£160.00/$225.00 www.booqbags.com Simultaneously aiding both comfort and security, the hardiest carrier of the bunch is more shell than backpack. There are three main sections designed for DSLR, laptop and general sundries all encased within the toughened shell. With access to the laptop compartment being at your back, safe from harm or theft, the Boa Flow also has a barcoded identity tag stitched into it. Its shoulder straps and padding are sturdy and comfy enough for a long commute and the protective DSLR ledge is removable in order to free up space.
£74.95/$99.95 www.stmbags.com A nifty water-resistant backpack that is ideal for city commutes and short bike rides. It sticks to the back well, but can feel a bit stiff and unwieldy through its rigidity. Featuring a soft fleece interior, it can protect your MacBook Air and iPad as well as cater for a lunch box and books, and there are enough storage pouches to help keep your belongings organised. Purpose-built pockets utilise STM’s convenient CableReady feature, allowing you to pass your cables through your bag to your device for easy charging.
Kito+ Health Tracker £99/$145
Learn more azoi.com
Key features Heart-rate monitor • Respiration rate • Skin temperature
The micro-USB charging hub is nicely compact, featuring a magnetic clasp that makes it easy to connect
The metallic measuring points can read your body’s heat and pulse and can measure your blood oxygen levels
Fitness trackers are integrated into much of the tech we use on a day-to-day basis, be it in our watches, phones via app control or even Google Glass… but what if we could get most of our critical health data from our phone’s case? The answer to this question comes in the form of Kito+. Setting itself apart from the smartwatch and tracker crowd by being part phone case and part removable ECG (electrocardiogram) device, Kito+ is intended to be an unobtrusive, easy-to-use monitor that fits in your pocket. Designed to work with the iPhone 6 and above, the Kito+ simply snaps into the supplied phone casing of your choice and is ready to go (after charging, of course). Don’t have an iPhone 6? You can use Kito+ as a freestanding device, so all you need do is install the Kito+ app, create an account and you’re away. The app is very straightforward; simply follow the on-screen guidelines, holding the Kito+ as instructed, and the process should take no longer than 30 seconds to
Available from azoi.com
read your body’s temperature, pulse, blood oxygen levels and more, all from your fingertips. The data gathered from Kito+ is best built up over time, as it displays an average reading over your choice of hour, day or month – so breaking it out to see what your heart is doing after watching a Game of Thrones episode works, but is ultimately pointless. Other heart-rate monitors may just read bpm and display a number count, but with Kito+, not only do you get a deeper insight into how your body is reacting over a certain time frame, you also get some nifty graphical data. These kinds of features have their benefits depending on how you use the device, but unless you know how to read the data and understand what your levels are like in relation to the parameters of a ‘healthy’ person of your age, then there is a lot of research to be done in order to get the most out of Kito+. A shame, as you’d expect such a tracker to have the ability to compare your results to the typical average.
Extremely compact and portable, if you are a health worker or have a keen interest in your biometric readings, this device will generate an impressive amount of data. If not, it’s a miss.
The Kito+ comes equipped with two different case sizes, able to fit either the large or small iPhone 6 models
Manfrotto TwistGrip Universal Mount for iPhone £39.95/$49.95
Key features Easy to use twist movement • Universal tripod and lighting connections • High-quality aluminium design Learn more www.manfrotto.co.uk
Manfrotto’s TwistGrip is a specially designed mount for the iPhone, enabling users to attach their device to a tripod or monopod, as well as connect external lighting accessories via the cold shoe – extending photographic opportunities for those smartphone enthusiasts among us. The clamp will attach to any iPhone 5 or later and can be fitted to a huge range of supports. In our test the clamp was used with the Pixi Evo 2 Section Mini Tripod, which enables shooting from both a portrait or landscape orientation thanks to its aluminium ball head, which has super-smooth operation. The tripod can be adjusted to varying heights, from 10 to 20 centimetres – perfect for tabletop shooting. The sturdy aluminium design feels robust and weighs just the right amount to feel substantial in-hand, yet is still light and slender enough to be perfectly portable. Furthermore, the innovative twist action is smooth and, when teamed with the
Available from www.apple.com
locking knob, makes attaching the grip to a phone remarkably easy. Smartphones feel extremely secure when fastened to the clamp, however when used with an iPhone in a silicone case it does feel a little precarious – so taking the phone out of the case before using the TwistGrip may be advisable. The Lumimuse Series 3 LED Light and Accessories kit can be attached to the cold shoe with absolute ease for illuminating your imagery, and can be purchased along with the clamp as part of a range of bundles offered by Manfrotto. Simply slide out the black plastic insert on the top of the device to attach an array of accessories, letting users take their smartphone photography to the next level. While £39.95/$49.95 may seem steep for a clamp, especially as additional items like tripods and lighting accessories need to be purchased separately, the creative possibilities that the TwistGrip enables iPhone photographers are simply endless.
The ingeniously placed cold shoe transforms this kit from a simple grip attachment to a photographic necessity
Located on the bottom of the grip, the thread enables it to be attached to tripods with 1/4-inch screws
For avid smartphone photographers, this is a must-have piece of kit. It’s sturdy, well-made, stylish and portable; but the price tag might make us think twice.
Secure the grip to your phone with the rotating knob on the back – it tightens easily for the ultimate peace of mind
ViewSonic Pro7827HD £599/$899
Key features 2,200 lumens of brightness • 22,000:1 contrast ratio • Native 1080p resolution Learn more www.viewsoniceurope.com Featuring a 1.1-1.5 throw ratio and 1.3x optical zoom, the Pro7827HD is flexible and suits most home-cinema setups
The six-panel RGBRGB colour wheel is designed to deliver high-quality colour, and it certainly does the job
£600 is pretty cheap for a projector – especially one with the build quality that the ViewSonic boasts. But you wouldn’t know that this powerful little projector comes in at almost half the price of its more esteemed competitors when it’s actually up and running – thanks to its 2,200 lumens it can combat living room ambience easily, and an easy-to-navigate menu means you can alter settings in seconds for day or night-time viewing. It can throw images better than most other data projectors, too. True blacks and high-contrast images were perfect with anything that we tried using it for – high-level competitive gaming, watching Blu-rays and even just browsing the internet. The images were permanently sharp, and even small white-on-black font sizes were clear to the eye (and that’s also with excess light coming in from under the curtains, too). We had the projector set up at an angle, and the keystoning was satisfyingly easy to figure out
Available from www.projectors.co.uk
and calibrate. There were some boundary options missing from the machine that come as standard on some of the more expensive models, but if you’re happy fiddling around with the settings for a while, you’ll always find a solution to get the image straight and square on the wall. We didn’t once notice any motion artefacts in even the most complex scenes that we threw onto the screen, though some noise did creep in for darker parts of films or games (nothing too distracting, mind). It’s worth noting we only tested this on HDMI, though – there is a noise reduction setting for other inputs. If you’re planning on watching 3D films in your own home this projector might not be the best bet, as there’s noticeable dimming and artefacts do tend to creep in fairly often. The projector’s internal speaker exceeded expectations – we’d go as far as saying that it’s better than 90 per cent of built-in TV speakers (not that that’s saying much!). Still, it’s a lovely addition for anyone struggling to connect the display to a dedicated speaker system.
ViewSonic has packed the projector with a huge range of connectivity options to keep everyone happy
A great, semi-portable projector whose strength lies in its flexibility and adaptability – but it may not hold up to cinephile standards. 90 per cent of audiences will be satisfied, though.
Edifier MP700 £229.99/$229.99
Key features NFC connectivity • Up to eight hours battery life • Designed for balanced sound Learn more www.edifier.com
The market’s flush with portable speakers – all with Bluetooth connectivity and each boasting better battery life than the last. Once you start to hit the premium tier for these devices however, the waters begin to get a bit murky and the brands all blur together, with nothing notable to make one stand out among the rest. Enter Edifier – a relatively small brand when held up against the likes of Sonos and Denon – positioning itself in the premium tier among the big guns, and presenting itself as a luxury lifestyle essential. And with good reason; we took it down to the beach and it lasted a solid six hours playing music at a decent level, with the Bluetooth connection even holding up from over ten feet away. The device’s main gimmick is the NFC activation. Once set up, you don’t have to delve into your phone’s settings every time you want to pair with the device – just tap it to the side like a wireless credit
Available from www.amazon.co.uk
card. It’s a fun little mechanic certainly, but it’s not a game-changer as far as playing music is concerned; we still prefer activating through Bluetooth so we don’t have to bother walking over to the speaker in order to pair it up. The sound is great unless you plan on running low-end, heavy beats through it. The mid-range driver and the tweeters deliver clear sound, no matter how the device is positioned (we found it better if it was directed at us ‘side on’, oddly enough). The bass, though, leaves a lot to be desired – there’s none of that awful rattle when you pump out the low-end, thankfully, but the MP700 never seems to quite achieve the thudding pulse its competitors can with those basslines. The speaker doesn’t deal too well with super-loud volume either – you can hear noise creeping in pretty early on the Bluetooth connection, even if your audio files are FLAC or better.
There are two 3/4-inch mid-range drivers and a single 19mm silk dome tweeter behind that aluminium grill
The speaker is capable of charging up your USB devices, via an input hidden behind a rubber flap on the side
A plucky little speaker that’s great for taking out on picnics or parties. Just don’t expect it to give your gatherings a shock – this is a background noise speaker, but a good one.
A Bluetooth 4.0 connection means uninterrupted playing, and the NFC pairing is a fun, yet gimmicky, option
Xqisit Bluetooth Stereo Headset BT iE200 £49.99/$69.99
Key features Bluetooth 4.1 • 10-metre operation range • 3.5-hour music playing time The magnetic caps keep the wires tidy around your neck, making the headphones quick and easy to access
This middle button is versatile, with the ability to play and pause music as well as answer and hang up phone calls
Learn more www.xqisit.com
Bluetooth overhead headsets are a familiar sight these days – with high-quality, feature-ridden products available from almost every audio brand out there – but it’s rare for a pair of in-ear headphones to get the same treatment. Xqisit bucks this trend with the BT iE200: a pair of small, light, magnetic headphones that span only 70cm. They’re easy to pair over Bluetooth with your iOS device, requiring only long-presses on the BT iE200’s multifunction middle button and a few quick taps in your device’s settings. Once you’re successfully paired, just open up a music app, press play on your device and you can control your music and answer phone calls using the BT iE200’s buttons. Bluetooth connection was pretty seamless in our testing, although the controls weren’t quite so effortless, with long-holds on the multifunction button not always functioning on the first try. Despite its delicate-looking exterior, the BT iE200 certainly packs a punch as far as audio output is
Available from www.boots.com
concerned. Sound quality is immaculate, with good noise reduction and a lot of precision when it comes to trebles and bass – we were surprised to hear some guitar notes and bass drumbeats that we had never noticed before in Kanye West’s POWER, as they both came through so strongly in comparison to our regular beat-up headset. The 3.5-hour music playing time isn’t the best we’ve seen though, and neither is the painful two-hour charge time. The magnetic earbuds are an innovative feature that help to keep the entire ensemble clean and fuss-free. Just hang the headphones round your neck and gently snap the magnets into place to keep them secure when not in use. The headphones are sweat-resistant too, which makes them a perfect choice for working out in the gym or going for a run. Well, in theory, anyway; the distance between the buttons and your neck is a bit too short, making the process of changing music while exercising unnecessarily fiddly.
The headphones seamlessly play your favourite tracks, even when your device is up to ten metres away
A great pair of in-ear Bluetooth headphones from Xqisit that provide phenomenal music quality. It could benefit from a slightly longer cable and a better battery life though.
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POSTERS DIN A3, 100gsm gloss art paper, 4/0 single sided print 100 pieces
Discover more at flyeralarm.com
£18/$29.99 www.kitsound.co.uk Continuing the theme of products solving genuine problems, KitSound’s MyJack converts any AUX In port into a Bluetooth-friendly connection. Once charged (everything you need is in the box), the MyJack gives you five hours of playback/talktime. You need a Bluetooth 4.1compatible device (iPhone 6 and above) and connection is as simple as holding down the MyJack’s only button and putting it into pair mode. It’s a genuine plug-and-play solution and works best in the car, negating the need for messy 3.5mm leads and giving you wireless sound and voice call capabilities.
£59/$79 www.urbanista.com The first thing you’ll notice about the Urbanista Melbourne speaker is just how tiny it is. It’s virtually the same size as an iPhone 6s, just three or four times thicker, making it very pocketable and easy to sling in a bag. Design-wise, the Melbourne feels sturdy and the outer shell is splash proof – even if the flap that protects the micro-USB port does feel a little flimsy. Six hours battery life is pretty standard, but the sound it produces definitely isn’t – it may be small but it fills any room with crisp, loud sound.
TarDisk Pear 2.0 128GB SSD
£99/$149 tardisk.com Storage is one of our big bugbears when it comes to buying a MacBook, and it’s something that a lot of buyers cut costs on. Invariably, that leaves you with a hard disk that quickly gets full. TarDisk is a brilliant solution that lives inside your SDXC port and doubles the storage inside your MacBook Air or Pro. Setup is a bit complicated (you need a Time Machine backup, which raised a few alarm bells at first) but the instructions are dummy-proof and detailed. The TarDisk is made from a unibody aluminium frame, and sits flush to the edge of your MacBook. A real, all-in-one answer.
Mujjo Leather Wallet Case 80°
£35.70/$50.83 www.mujjo.com When it comes to iPhone cases, few come as classy as those made by Dutch manufacturer Mujjo. This Leather Wallet Case protects the back of your iPhone with a suede-lined interior and features a card holder on the outside cut at a distinctive 80-degree angle to help reduce pocket clutter. We found the polycarbonate moulded edges a bit harsh for our liking, but they do strengthen your iPhone at its most vulnerable parts. The leather backing is made from premium vegetable-tanned leather, and naturally looks better over time. It’s what separates this case from the rest of the market.
Transcend JetDrive Go 300K 64GB
£84.99/$94.99 www.amazon.com Storage is a big problem for anyone with a 16GB iPhone or iPad, even if you are paying for iCloud Photo Library. So anything that effortlessly increases our storage options is a winner in our eyes, especially when it comes with an app as intuitive and smooth as Transcend’s JetDrive Go. It makes transferring photos and videos to the Lightning-USB 3.1 drive completely idiot-proof. You can even store backups of your iOS device on it. USB 3.1 is four times faster than the previous generation, resulting in swifter transfers, and the JetDrive Go 300 supports multiple file types from the off.
3 Key Features
Drag and drop
Yoink is not just for copying files. Select and drag text from Pages documents to the Yoink tray
Notes and images
When browsing the web and researching topics, drag images and selected text to Yoink
Yoink 3.2 £4.99/$6.99
Requirements OS X 10.7.3 or later • 64-bit processor • 9.5MB space
Configure Yoink using Preferences. There is support for Force Touch functions in the latest version
“Yoink saves you from the need to set up multiple Finder windows or tabs” 90
The clipboard is an essential feature in OS X that enables us to copy and paste text, images and even files – only one item at a time, mind. Yoink removes this frustrating element by enabling you to copy, paste and move multiple items at once. Yoink is not a clipboard replacement, but in some ways it is very similar. Select something, such as one or more files or folders in a Finder window or on the desktop, and as soon as you begin to drag them, a Yoink tray appears on the left of the screen that you can drop them on. Navigate elsewhere on the disk and the files in the Yoink tray can be dragged out and dropped into the Finder window. Easy! Yoink makes moving files around the disk highly convenient, saving you from the need to set up multiple Finder windows or tabs. But Yoink does more than move/copy files on the disk and it supports many select-and-drag
Learn more eternalstorms.at/yoink
Available from Mac App Store
operations in applications. For example, you can drag images, text and URLs from webpages in Safari and drop them into Yoink. Multiple items can be stored away in order to be opened, viewed and dragged elsewhere. It’s also great for taking notes and researching on the web; text in applications like Pages can be simply dragged to Yoink, emails can be dragged to events in Calendar and more besides. It’s incredibly convenient. The Yoink tray offers a few customisation options depending on your preferences, such as showing and hiding either automatically or by using a keyboard shortcut, and allowing multiple items to be stored as one or split into individual items. Yoink contents survive a reboot and experts can even extend it using Automator scripts. Yoink is a brilliant little utility that is certainly recommended. You’ll soon wonder how you ever managed without it.
An immensely useful tool that adds a tray for copying and moving items such as files, images and text. It is simple, but effective.
3 Key Features
Requirements iOS 8.1 or later • 19.5MB space
Learn more myalbum.com
Our ever-present iPhone means that we always have a camera on hand to document our daily activities and then share them with the world thanks to social media platforms. However, it doesn’t take long before your precious stills get buried among the ever-growing stream of clips and images posted by other people, and before you know it your photo has become a mere needle in a haystack. MyAlbum is an iPhone app that enables you to quickly present photographs and video clips captured on your iPhone in an attractive web gallery that will stand out from the crowd among other people’s random picture posts. Your web-based album even has its own unique URL, making it easy to share your gallery via Twitter, Facebook or as an email link. Others can then find your MyAlbum gallery at any time by simply surfing to its unique web address (rather than scrolling down through your Twitter feed trying to find the relevant photo).
Available from iOS App Store
The beauty of the MyAlbum app is that you can use your iPhone to import, create and share your gallery directly to the internet without any knowledge of web design or the hassle of finding somewhere to host your site. There is no need to gather your site’s HTML and image assets or upload them using file transfer protocol software; all of your video clips and stills are automatically optimised to make them look good online. MyAlbum is really straightforward to use, too. Once you’ve logged in with a Google or Facebook account you can browse to your iPhone’s Camera Roll and select photos and video clips with a few taps. After the selected assets have been uploaded to your free 5GB of designated web space you can use the app’s intuitive tools to add descriptive text, customise the layout and then share your MyAlbum gallery’s web address with everyone you know via Twitter, Facebook or email.
Add text and colour
After importing your videos and images you can add custom text and background colours
Fine-tune thumbnail layout Combine video clips and stills on the same page and change the thumbnail shape
MyAlbum lets you create and publish personal web galleries with ease, so you can present your videos and images in an eye-catching format.
Once you share the link to social media, friends can click on it and open your album in their browsers
“Present photos and video in an attractive web gallery that will stand out from the crowd” 91
Reviews 3 Key Features
Scan any folder or internal and external drive to analyse the disk usage
View and sort
The disk contents can be displayed in a variety of ways. This view is by file type and sorted by percentage
Disk Analyzer Pro £0.79/$0.99
Requirements OS X 10.8 or later • 2.9MB space
Find junk files
Use the Obsolete Files view to find and delete unnecessary and junk files, freeing up more space
“The number of ways you can browse, view and sort the disk contents is excellent” 92
Learn more www.diskanalyzerpro.com
Disk space – or rather, lack of it – is a constant concern for some Mac users. With some drives as small as 128GB, you really have to make an effort to manage it wisely. This is where the Disk Analyzer Pro app can step in to take away the pain and make the process so much easier. Despite a Windows-like interface completely overrun with panels, graphics, buttons and toolbars, it doesn’t take too long to get to grips with how this useful tool operates. Simply choose any disk, partition or folder and Disk Analyzer Pro will get scanning, revealing the results after a few minutes. The folders found are displayed on the left and selecting one displays the contents in the two panels on the right. The top panel displays the disk space used by different file categories, such as images, videos, documents, audio and others. Select a category and the files are listed below, which can be sorted by size or date.
Available from Mac App Store
From here you can find out which files are the biggest culprits in taking up valuable disk space, from large videos, old and unnecessary documents, all those ‘other’ redundant files and so on. The number of ways you can browse, view and sort the disk contents is excellent. The app has a few minor irritations, with copy/ move functions always asking twice if you are sure, slowing down the process. The option to list obsolete files could also be more useful – it lists backups and unnecessary files, but it includes ones you can’t select or delete, which is just confusing. Disk Space Analyzer is not perfect, but more technically minded Mac users will find it very useful for browsing the disk contents in ways not possible by simply using Finder. It is great for working out what is using up all of your Mac’s disk space, but there are better and simpler tools out there for actually clearing the file junk.
Disk Analyzer Pro is cheap and has some useful features. It has a few irritations, but is still recommended if you are short of disk space and would like to know why.
Requirements OS X 10.8 or later • Intel Core i5 • 6GB RAM • 4GB HD space • 1GB Graphics We used iMac (Mid 2011) • 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7 • 12GB RAM • PS4 controller Available from store.steampowered.com
There’s a chilling moment in Firewatch when the prophetic line “the isolation gets to you” is despairingly uttered amidst the copious dialogue. It’s certainly true here and sets out an early manifesto for what this distinctively original adventure game is all about. Set in 1989, a year after the wildfires at Yellowstone National Park, Firewatch drops you into the Wyoming wilderness to, well, watch for fires. From the first-person perspective of Henry, a man escaping a poignant past, the outback-style environment provides an increasingly mysterious world to explore. Our rookie warden would be totally alone if it wasn’t for supervisor Delilah, the disembodied voice carried for company via a small handheld radio. For the most part offering comforting guidance on the myriad of objective missions Henry must react to, Delilah cleverly provides increasingly intriguing companionship central to the plot. This is in no small part achieved
by the intensely engaging voice acting, so critical for a game that very much hangs on creating tension from character conversation. Alongside stellar audio and its musical score, the game also looks stunning thanks to the Unity-engineered 3D landscape that developer Campo Santo has beautifully realised. The fresh, bright and painterly art style is gorgeously lit and the daily transitions from dawn, day, and twilight are magically immersive. Such a place just begs to be discovered and although Firewatch’s forest pathways are largely linear, it still requires compass and map-orienteering skills to avoid getting lost. Henry’s reconnaissance missions are scripted goal-based investigations for driving the story narrative – a type of gameplay that won’t resonate with everyone. However, as an escapist experience awash with gorgeous sights and sounds, Firewatch serves up a slow-burning thriller that strikes a perfect match on Mac.
Firewatch ingeniously opens with backstory exposition, revealing how Henry ended up in this mess
A mission to warn off some skinnydipping teens gradually develops into something far more worrying
Henry gets through enough hiking, climbing and orienteering to claim the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
A summer job simulator gone awry, Firewatch is a fiercely original adventure mystery that creates an immersive experience burning with charm.
The Wyoming-inspired environment is so stunning at times that the game feels like a vacation simulator
“Alongside stellar audio and its musical score, the game also looks stunning” 93
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AirPort Express Release date
June 7th, 2004 • 802.11b/g • 10/100 Ethernet WAN or LAN port • Analog/digital audio output jack • USB Printer Port Original price £99/$129 Price now £79/$99
The AirPort Express is Apple’s lightweight router and Wi-Fi base station designed for home entertainment such as music sharing. The term AirPort simply means Wi-Fi – Apple coined the phrase back in 1999 and has confusingly stuck with it ever since, despite Wi-Fi now being a well-known term. The first generation was released in 2004 and was compatible with the 802.11g wireless standard, and included a Broadcom chipset and a Texas Instruments digital-to-analog converter. The AirPort Express was the first AirPlay device to receive streamed audio from a computer on a local network. Its big brother, the AirPort Extreme, doesn’t have audio output capabilities. 98
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