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FULLREVIE REVIEW: FULL W: APPLE WATCH SERIES 3 THE WORLD’S BEST-SELLING APPLE MAGAZINE

FROM IDG

NOVEMBER 2017

macOS High Sierra: EVERY NEW FEATURE REVEALED

iPhone 8/8 Plus Don’t overlook this speedy upgrade

iOS 11:

APPLE’S MOST IMPRESSIVE UPDATE IN YEARS


CONTENTS

9

NEWS

4

Apple probing reports of swollen iPhone 8 batteries

7

Microsoft brings Edge browser to iOS

REVIEWS

9

macOS High Sierra

20 iPhone 8/8 Plus 38 Apple Watch Series 3 51

iOS 11

ROUND-UP

65 Latest Mac games

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CONTENTS

51

FEATURES

38

Guide to Apple Photos 3 76 Help Desk 89 HOW TO

Install macOS High Sierra on your Mac 99 Turn off website tracking in Safari 11 102 Stop autoplay videos in Safari 11 104

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NEWS

Apple probing reports of swollen iPhone 8 batteries We shouldn’t be too worried though, writes Michael Simon

Y

ou might have seen a tweet or Facebook post over recent weeks with a picture of someone’s swollen iPhone 8 case. A handful of such claims have surfaced since the phone started shipping on 22 September, and as expected, they are making headlines all across the web. But there’s no reason to worry yet. Bulging batteries are caused by a buildup of gases inside the cell. It generally affects

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older batteries that are reaching the end of their lifespan, but while it’s rare, it’s not completely uncommon for it to affect new batteries as well. In fact, if you search for ‘iPhone 7 battery swelling’, you’ll find numerous cases of Apple swapping out new iPhones that experienced the very problem being spread across social media. In total, there have only been six reported cases of bulging batteries, an infinitesimally small number when you consider the millions of phones that were likely sold since its launch. Granted, there could be many more that haven’t been posted on social media or news sites, but if it was a widespread issue, we likely would have heard about it by now. Apple has said it is looking into the claims. Faulty smartphones batteries receive a ton of attention these days due to Samsung Galaxy Note7 recall last year. Back in September 2016, reports began to emerge of Note 7s that were spontaneously catching on fire, with photo evidence. In one case, a Jeep was totalled after a charging Note 7 combusted and set the car on fire. Samsung ended up issuing a global recall for the Note 7, and the Federal Aviation Administration banned the phone on all flights. But so far these are different problems. In Samsung’s case, the issue was traced back to several manufacturing defects. In the most common instance, the negative electrode windings were bent within the batter assembly, causing internal short circuits. Other issues included improper welding,

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substandard separators, and missing insulation tape. In short, Samsung’s vendors supplied them with faulty batteries, which weren’t caught before they ended up in shipping phones. But while there’s no evidence of iPhone 8 batteries causing any harm or property damage, a swelling smartphone battery is still cause for concern. Swelling can affect any lithium-ion or lithium-polymer battery, and it can affect all products, not just smartphones. If your iPhone 8 (or any other phone, tablet, or laptop) shows signs of swelling, don’t charge your device or try to puncture the battery. Take it to your nearest Apple Store where they can properly dispose of it. The impact on you at home: Hopefully there won’t be one. The batteries inside our phones are much more dangerous than we’d like to think they are, but considering there are billions of them in the world, the instances of problems are very small. If anything, reports like these highlight the need for a better battery solution that doesn’t rely on chemical-filled cells in our pockets. Apple, Google, and Samsung are no doubt working on the next battery breakthrough, and it can’t come soon enough.

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Microsoft brings Edge browser to iOS Microsoft’s browser finally comes to iOS, reveals Brad Chacos

B

reaking down the barriers between your PC and your phone is one of the biggest goals of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, which is available now. Microsoft has announced that Windows 10’s Edge browser is coming to iOS. All are designed to make shifting files and web pages between devices easy. The mobile Edge browser syncs with your Microsoft account, so your favourites, history,

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Reading List, and customized New Tab Page cross over no matter what device you’re working on. Microsoft’s announcement post doesn’t specify whether your collection of e-books from the Microsoft Store syncs as well, but we’d expect them to do so given the recent drive to turn Edge into an e-reader. The mobile version of Edge also includes a ‘Continue on PC’ button that pushes whatever you’re looking at over to your computer. It doesn’t sound like the mobile Edge browser syncs recent tabs like Chrome does, but this is still a solid start.

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macOS High Sierra RATING:

Free from tinyurl.com/yam4ngco

O

perating system updates can be an exciting time for users. There’s the potential to be more productive with new apps, interface enhancements that make your computer easier to use, and flashy new features that remind you how much of an impact technology can have on your life. If you want to get caught up in the excitement of an OS update, you should read Jason Snell’s iOS 11 review on page 76. iOS 11 is where all the action is right now. With macOS High Sierra (version 10.13) life on the Mac doesn’t change dramatically. It doesn’t

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have a lot of new features that will widen your eyes in excitement. But a lot of the changes are in the background and under the hood, and they lay a foundation for better things to come. With that in mind, let’s address the main question right now: should you upgrade? Despite what I just said about better things to come, there are several new features you can take advantage of now, mostly in Apple Photos. (I’ll provide an overview of the new Photos, but you can find out more on page 76.) Apple’s Notes and Mail apps get a few helpful tweaks, too. So there is something in High Sierra to get your virtual hands on. But these are things you don’t need to get to right away. If you want to put off upgrading to High Sierra, that would be fine, you won’t miss much – though the main reason to upgrade now is because it includes security fixes. Other than that, these are changes that you’ll want to have sooner or later. Then you’ll finally get to see though fireworks – perhaps in virtual reality.

Apple File System APFS (Apple File System) is the key under-thehood feature of macOS High Sierra. Computers needs a file system in order to manage your data, and until now, that file system was HFS+ (Hierarchical File System). It was created because HFS+ was outdated – it was released in 1985. Storage devices are much bigger now, and we create more files than ever (just take a look at your photo collection if you need

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APFS is available when you format a drive in Disk Utility, but it’s currently only for SSDs

proof). Developers have been aching for a new file system for a while, and Apple has finally answered their prayers. There’s a catch, though. APFS, right now, is only available if you’re using flash storage or a SSD (solid-state drive) on your Mac. During the beta run, APFS could be installed on a hard drive or Fusion drive, but that support was pulled when High Sierra reached golden master status. Apple said that hard drive and Fusion drive support will be available in a future macOS update. The features of APFS include: • Built-in encryption and support for full disk encryption

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• Snapshots, which used to record the state of your storage device based on points in time, helpful for backups • Space sharing, which makes it easier to resize and mange different partitions • Faster performance • The ability to better manage very large storage capacities and files When you upgrade to High Sierra, the installer automatically coverts to APFS if you’re using a Mac with a SSD. I didn’t experience any problems that I could attribute to APFS while I used the beta, but that doesn’t mean they won’t happen. With APFS released to the general public, it’s possible new problems could arise. This possibility would be the main reason why you might want to wait to upgrade until the first major High Sierra update is released.

Virtual reality and Metal 2 Virtual reality has made a lot of noise in the PC market, but you haven’t heard much about it for the Mac. Apple hopes that changes with High Sierra, which now has support for VR headsets like the HTC Vive. Apple also has VR partnerships with Valve, Unity, and Epic, and plans for 360-degree video in Final Cut Pro X and Motion. The operating system also includes support for Metal 2, Apple’s graphics API. In addition to support for VR and better performance, Metal 2 has support for external GPU hardware, which could mean you

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macOS High Sierra has built-in support for VR headgear like the HTC Vive

can boost your MacBook’s graphics performance by using Thunderbolt to hook up an external box with a top-end graphics card. You may not be able to take advantage of VR and Metal 2 support right away, though. Developers need to create Mac-compatible VR software, and software needs to be developed for Metal 2. Down the line, we could see some really cool stuff.

HEVC and HEIF Apple has two new file formats that actually debuted in iOS 11: High Efficiency Video Encoding (HEVC) is a new format for video, and High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) is a new format for photos.

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Both of the videos in this still image were encoded at 1080p at 400kb/s. The top video (706KB file) used HEVC (aka. H.265). The bottom video (751KB file) used H.264. Sample files available at x.265.com

HEVC, also called H.265, offers smaller file sizes than the previous standard video format, H.264. Smaller file sizes are important, since we’re now living in a world of 4K video – and if you’ve ever made a 4K video on your iPhone, you know that the files can get pretty big. HEIF does a similar thing: it makes file sizes smaller than compared to JPEG compression. With support for these formats built into High Sierra, you’ll be able you read the HEVC and HEIF files from your iPhone (provided that you have one

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that can create HEVC and HEIF files). Macs with a Skylake processor or newer will be able to provide hardware acceleration for HEVC; Macs with an older processor can still play HEVC, but playback is software-based and performance may be affected. Sometimes it can be scary to use new file formats, especially when the new formats replace ones that are ubiquitous. You can decide to not use the new formats on your iPhone, as explained in our overview of iOS 11. HEVC and HEIF do offer significant benefits, and Apple has made provisions to make sure you can export your HEVC videos and HEIF photos into H.264 and JPEG, respectively.

Safari 11 Finally, something in High Sierra you can really get your hands on: new Safari features. There are several new features in Safari 11, but there are a couple that stand out. The first is control over media auto play. You know those annoying autoplay videos that appear when you visit a website. Safari 11 now gives you the option to stop those videos from automatically playing. Or you can let the video play, but mute the auto. You can create a list of websites with each site having its own settings. With autoplay videos so prevalent on the web (despite the widespread dislike of them), it’s a feature that’s long overdue. The second feature is Intelligent Tracking Prevention. Tracking is used by third parties to aim their advertising at you. The most obvious example of this is when you buy something on the web – say,

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Safari 11 allows users to stop auto-play videos

a salad spinner – and then when you visit other websites, you see salad spinner ads all over the place. ITP prevents this tracking from happening. Safari has a bunch of other new features, such as an always-on Reader mode, persistent page zoom, notification controls, and improved performance. Excited about the Safari 11 features? You don’t need to upgrade to High Sierra to get them. Safari 11 is also available for macOS Sierra; you can install it by performing a software update. If you want to wait to upgrade to High Sierra, you can still get Safari 11.

Photos Photos is the one app in High Sierra that gets the most changes. It has tweaks to the sidebar

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and toolbar, drag-and-drop organization, imports history, improved accuracy with the People album, and more. The Edit mode is redesigned with better access to tools, Live Photo support, and there are also new filters. Photos also has new Project Extensions, so you can use third-party services to create websites, books, and other goods. The changes and new features in Photos are too numerous to go into any great detail in this review. Instead, as we mentioned earlier, we’ve dedicated a whole article to the new Photos (see page 76).

Siri Siri made its debut in macOS Sierra. I don’t find myself using Siri nearly as much as I do on my iPhone; that’s just the nature of how mobile devices are used versus laptops and desktop computers. In High Sierra, Apple has improved Siri by making it sound less robotic and more like natural human-speak. It’s a very noticeable change to me, and I guess there are folks who appreciate it. But Siri’s robotic expression never bothered me, and I really don’t think this is a big deal. I have never once thought, “You know, I’d use Siri more if it sounded more like a person.” What prevents me from using Siri more is that I consistently have a hard time trying to get Siri to understand me. To this day. I still can’t get Siri to regularly understand me saying, “Send a text to my wife.” (And I have to use “my wife” because Siri always misunderstands my wife’s last name, and I have multiple contacts with the same first name.)

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I know I have a terrible voice, and my enunciation needs work (I’ve been told this for years by various professionals), but even if I try my hardest, Siri misunderstands me more often than anyone would like. Since this issue for me hasn’t gotten better, I have to believe that Siri has reached peak comprehension, so I need to change. And I’ve tried, but the only real change I’ll probably make is to not use Siri. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use Siri on a Mac. There are big fans and it works well for them. You’re lucky. You’ll be able to take advantage of Siri’s new integration with Apple Music. Say, “Play some music” and Siri will play songs, and if you want to skip a song, you can say, “Play next” and Siri will play the next song. You can even tell Siri to play specific genres or artist, and even ask for some background information, like “When was this song released?” Have fun with that.

Other changes • The Top Hits feature in Mail displays how much you’ve read an email, past searches, and a message’s relevance to VIP or Favourite contacts to make it easier to find what you need • Spotlight search now can provide flight status • The iCloud setting in System Preferences has been redesigned so you can manage your Family Sharing • MacBook Pro users will find TouchBar improvements • Notes now supports tables and pinned notes

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Spotlight can now access flight information

Verdict macOS High Sierra may not be chock full of juicy new features you can’t wait to use, but that’s okay. What’s more important here is that Apple is setting up the Mac for the future, with APFS, Metal 2 and virtual reality, HEVC and HEIF, and more. If you want to put off upgrading until the first or second major update, that would probably be fine, though consider that upgrading now will install important security updates. Regardless of how you view the new features, the future of macOS looks bright. You’ll need to your Mac to be up to speed to take advantage of it all. Roman Loyola

System requirements • OS X 10.8 or later

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iPhone 8/8 Plus RATING:

/

iPhone 8: From £699 inc VAT from tinyurl.com/y8tmsvn2 iPhone 8 Plus: From £799 inc VAT from tinyurl.com/y8tmsvn2

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A

pple releases a new iPhone every September, and it’s a given that it will be the best ever. But what do you do when the company announces not one, not two, but three new models? How do you rank them and decide which one is the actual best iPhone ever, especially when they don’t all go on sale at the same time? Because of this, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are at an unfair disadvantage right out of the gate. The iPhone X was announced at the same time and is the clear frontrunner when it comes to innovation – it has an all-new design with an edge-to-edge, bezel-less OLED display and a new Face ID technology that lets you unlock your handset just by looking at it. The iPhone 8 maintains the same look and feel of the 6, 6s, and 7, with some changes and enhancements. However, pushing the iPhone X aside, the 8 and 8 Plus make substantial improvements over last year’s iPhone 7, which Macworld’s Susie Ochs said felt “like a beta version of what’s to come.” Well, the iPhone 7 is officially out of beta, and it’s called the iPhone 8.

Familiar design with a glassy addition It’s true: at a glance, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus look almost identical to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. They have practically the same dimensions (138.4x67.3x7.3mm for the iPhone 8; 158.4x78.1x7.5mm for the iPhone 8 Plus), same display size (4.7 inches diagonally for the iPhone 8; 5.5 inches for the iPhone 8 Plus), same button

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and port locations, and they both lack a headphone jack (very sorry to say). If you have a case for your iPhone 7, it will fit the iPhone 8 like a glove. Colour wise, you have three options: space grey with a black bezel, silver with a white bezel, or gold with a white bezel. Gone is the jet black matte finish, and gone is the lovely rose gold option, but Apple switched up its standard gold option to meet us somewhere in the middle. If you compare a gold iPhone 6/6s or 7 to a gold iPhone 8, you’ll notice that the iPhone 8 has a copper-bronze tint to it, where the older models are closer to a champagne gold. I’m low-key obsessed with the new gold option – I think it’s the iPhone’s best colour yet. But if you look closer, you’ll notice one key design difference: it has a glass back, featuring a new glass formula that Corning made especially for Apple. Apple claims that it has a 50 percent deeper strengthening layer over Gorilla Glass. Because of the glass, the 8 models are slightly heavier than the 7 models – the iPhone 8 is 148g, 10g heavier than the 7; the 8 iPhone Plus is 202g, 14g heavier than the 7 Plus. I didn’t notice the extra heft at all when comparing the iPhone 8 to the 7, but it is definitely noticeable in the Plus version. However, the iPhone 8 Plus doesn’t feel like a heavy phone whatsoever. This isn’t the first iPhone to feature a glass back: The iPhone 4 and 4s also had glass, but Apple ditched it with the iPhone 5. I like the look of the glass a lot – it gives the iPhone a nice shine, and also gives it a bit of contrast from the main colour. Take the new gold, for example. The glass back

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gives it a kind of cream-coloured finish, and the gold really pops along the edges. Yes, the glass does make the phone a bit more slippery compared to the aluminium finish of the iPhone 7. I haven’t had a problem with it slipping out of my hands or sliding off of a table or anything unexpected, but it just feels more slippery, generally speaking. And it absolutely will show fingerprints and smudges, even after a few minutes of casual use. If you’re worried about any of the above, then a case is the way to go.

Wireless charging There’s a reason why Apple revived the glass back. The material is more conducive to wireless charging – which can’t travel through metals – and the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are Apple’s first phones

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that support the technology. You can top up your iPhone 8’s battery with any wireless charging pad that uses the Qi standard – just place your iPhone on the pad, and it will begin to charge. It will make the same charging chime and flash the lightning bolt indicator, just as it does with a Lightning connector. Have a case on your phone? No problem: if it’s not metal, it should charge just fine through the case. I’ve tested out the iPhone 8’s charging capabilities with several different cases and haven’t had any problems. I didn’t think this would be a feature that I cared much about, but it turns out, I do. I love that I can just set my iPhone down on the charging pad by my desk or on my nightstand without having to fiddle with a Lightning cable. It will be a lot better when Apple releases its AirPower charging pad in 2018, where I should be able to charge my new Apple Watch Series 3, my iPhone 8 Plus, and my AirPods all on the same pad. There are some downsides to wireless charging, however. To start, you can’t ignore the cost. Apple still provides a Lightning cable in the box when you buy your new iPhone 8 or 8 Plus, but if you picked up one of the charging pads that Apple sells in stores from, for example, Belkin, that will set you back an additional £54.95 from tinyurl.com/ y7dw7Lp6. It’s common to have Lightning cables in every room in the house, but to do the same with charging pads could be a major investment. Wireless charging doesn’t boast of any speed improvements, either. Apple states that wireless

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Apple sells third-party wireless pads, such as this one from Belkin

charging is about as fast as the included Lightning cable and wall plug, and our testing lines up with that claim. There aren’t any wireless charging pads that support fast charging on the market yet, so if you need to reload your battery quickly, you’re better off using a USB-C to Lightning cable with a compatible power adaptor. Also, you can’t use your iPhone while it’s charging, which is annoying. Plus, make sure you pay attention to how you place your iPhone down on the charging pad – if it doesn’t line up with the sensors properly, it won’t charge. During my first overnight charge, I had slightly missed the target and the phone was dead before morning. Because of these reasons, I suggest starting with one pad and keeping it on your nightstand for overnight charging.

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Performance, speed, and special features The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have a brand new chip: Apple’s A11 Bionic, which boasts a six-core CPU and 64-bit architecture. Apple claims that its two performance cores are 25 percent faster than the iPhone 7’s A10 Fusion chip, while it’s four efficiency cores are 70 percent faster. Our Geekbench speed tests support that claim (see the graph below). All I noticed was speed on both devices, especially when compared to my year-old iPhone 7 Plus, which has been sluggish for the last month or so. Apps launched right away, unlocking the phones with Touch ID was quicker than ever, Apple Pay was seamless, and video streaming via Apple Music, Netflix, and YouTube had little to no delay. Running powerful image-editing applications such as Adobe Lightroom? Not a problem on either phone.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are much faster than their predecessors, based on our Geekbench tests. Longer bars are better

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Graphics-heavy games like Super Mario Run with large files? Also fast. Even installing new programs and running updates felt fast. The speed is most noticeable when playing around with augmented reality apps. There are a small handful of AR offerings in the App Store – home decorating apps from Ikea and Housecraft, Sky Guide AR for star gazing, and a dinosaur app called Monster Park – Dino World to name a few – and the iPhone 8 handles all of these better than the iPhone 7. They are ridiculously fun to play around with, too: the apps prompt you to scan the floor around you, which takes just a few seconds, and then you’ll have dinosaurs stomping around your living room in no time. I also noticed slightly better battery performance, too. Both the iPhone 8 and 8

More AR dinosaurs, please

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Plus survived a heavy day of use while I was at Disneyland without needing a charge, where I was constantly snapping photos and videos for my Instagram story, texting, playing games while waiting in line, streaming music, and more. A normal day of use still fares better than my iPhone 7 Plus, every single day that I’ve been testing these phones. Officially, Apple says that battery life is about the same between the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 (12 hours of internet use on the iPhone 8, 13 hours on the iPhone 8 Plus), so your mileage will vary. On a normal use day, I typically have around 25 percent left on the iPhone 8 and 30 percent on the 8 Plus; my iPhone 7 Plus usual hovers somewhere around 15 percent. Chances are, you won’t notice much of a difference unless your older phone has experienced some performance issues (as mine has).

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As for call quality, every call I made on both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus sounded crystal clear, both when using Wi-Fi-based calling or FaceTime calls and while making calls over my cellular network. I haven’t experienced any of the crackling issues that have plagued other iPhone 8 owners. Luckily, Apple has pushed out an iOS 11 update (iOS 11.0.2) that should fix the crackle problem, if you have it. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus maintain the same level of water resistance as the iPhone 7, with a IP67 rating (you can submerge your iPhone for up to 30 minutes in a depth of 1.5m). I took them for a quick dunk in a swimming pool. One caveat: you’ll have to dry off your Home button to use Touch ID, and you should make sure your camera lenses are dry, too. Another welcome feature is the iPhone 8’s TrueTone Retina HD display, which automatically adjusts the white balance on the display to better match the ambient light around you. It’s really noticeable when you compare the iPhone 7 to the iPhone 8 – the iPhone 8 (and 8 Plus) look crisper and warmer. If you don’t have an older iPhone handy, you can toggle this setting off or on while setting up your new iPhone 8 or 8 Plus to see the difference.

The camera Looking at specifications alone, it doesn’t look like the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus has improved their cameras much over the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus. But when using the cameras in the field, there are noticeable improvements.

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The iPhone 8 has a 12 megapixel back-facing camera, with ƒ/1.8 aperture and digital zoom capabilities up to 5x – just like the iPhone 7. It still has optical image stabilization, a quad-LED True Tone flash, noise reduction, auto HDR, and all of the other marquee iPhone 7 camera features. I’ve been using the Plus version of Apple’s phones since the launch of the iPhone 6, and the Plus has always had a better camera over its baby brother. I was really impressed with what the iPhone 8 can do with its camera – all of the photos I took look great, with vibrant colours and sharp details that I wasn’t expecting to see. The camera app hasn’t changed at all in iOS 11, so you can launch it and start taking great photos right away. Because of the speedy A11 Bionic chip, the camera was quick to focus and snap pictures, even if I was in motion. The iPhone 8 Plus has more to offer. Both the 7 Plus and 8 Plus cameras still rock dual 12Mp setups, with a wide-angle lens at an aperture of f/1.8 with OIS, and telephoto lens at f/2.8. The 8 Plus has upgraded its Sony sensor to be more power efficient and to allow ‘deeper’ pixels over the iPhone 7 Plus. Immediately, I noticed a better colour balance on the iPhone 8 Plus over the 7 Plus. Colours were just a bit more vibrant, but in a natural way – nothing seemed heavily filtered or oversaturated. My nighttime and dusk shots had also greatly improved, as the iPhone 8 Plus is better equipped to handle low-light photos (see overleaf).

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The iPhone 8 (top) versus the iPhone 8 Plus (bottom). While the 8 Plus has better sharpness, vibrancy, and balance, both cameras capture beautiful landscape shots

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iPhone 8

iPhone 7 Plus

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iPhone 8 Plus There’s a noticeable difference between the iPhone 8 and the others – the 8 had trouble focusing with the neon signs. There’s a slight difference between the 7 Plus and 8 Plus, with the neon shining a little brighter on the 8 Plus

You still can see some levels of graininess in low-light environments, especially if you’re using the zoom, but it offers better results than the 7 Plus. Mind you, I am not a professional photographer by any means. I don’t own a DSLR, and I’m mostly concerned with how good my photos look for Instagram-related purposes – but even I can clearly see the differences. One feature that left me disappointed is the iPhone 8 Plus’s Portrait Lighting mode, which uses

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depth and facial recognition to selectively alter the image to recreate professional-grade studio lighting effects. This feature is still in beta, so I can’t judge it too harshly yet, but some of our results so far leave much to be desired. Two modes – Studio Light and Contour Light – performed okay, adding a nice level of backlighting and facial details that could be useful in certain settings. However, Stage Light and Stage Light Mono look flat-out silly most of the time. Use these sparingly. Luckily, the default Portrait Mode setting – Natural Light – is a joy to work with. The bokeh effect is soft and subtle, and the clarity of most photo subjects is excellent.

Verdict It’s difficult to put a label on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. It’s a definite update from 2016’s iPhone 7 – even though it looks almost exactly the same – but it’s different enough that it doesn’t deserve to be given an ‘S’ naming scheme. To me, it feels more like an ‘iPhone 7 and three-quarters’: too different to be a 7, not quite different enough to be bumped into a new category. And that’s why, understandably, some iPhone diehards may be bored with the iPhone 8. It’s a big improvement, but not quite innovative enough to be exciting. All of the innovation hype lies with November’s release of the iPhone X. However, the iPhone X might be too radical for many users. Remember when we all flipped out over the loss of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7?

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For some, losing Touch ID and relying on gestures for navigation instead of a Home button will be just as hard of an adjustment. The iPhone 8 might be playing it safe, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. So, who is the 8 and 8 Plus for? If you’re on the iPhone Upgrade Plan (or other similar plan with your carrier), you have no interest in the iPhone X, and the cost difference between your current phone and an 8 isn’t that much, this is a worthwhile upgrade. If you’re rocking an iPhone 6s or older, the improvements here will be noticeable, too. But if you’re on an iPhone 7 and still love it, you can probably stick with your current phone for one more year and be just fine. Leah Yamshon

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Specifications iPhone 8 • 4.7in (1334x750, 326ppi) IPS touchscreen • iOS 11 • Apple A11 Bionic processor • Hexa-core (2x Monsoon + 4x Mistral) • Apple GPU • 2GB RAM • 64/256GB storage • 12Mp, f/1.8, 28mm, phase detection autofocus, OIS, quad-LED (dual tone) flash • 7Mp, f/2.2, 1080p@30fps, 720p@240fps, face detection, HDR, panorama • Wi-Fi 802.11ac • A-GPS/GLONASS • Bluetooth 5.0 • NFC • USB 2.0 • 1,821mAh non-removable lithium-ion battery • Front-mounted fingerprint sensor • 138.4x67.3x7.3mm • 148g iPhone 8 Plus • 5.5in (1920x1080, 401ppi) IPS display • iOS 11 • Apple A11 Bionic processor • Hexa-core (2x Monsoon + 4x Mistral) • Apple GPU • 3GB RAM • 64/256GB storage • Dual 12Mp, (28mm, f/1.8, OIS and 56mm, f/2.8),

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phase detection autofocus, 2x optical zoom, quad-LED (dual tone) flash • 7Mp, f/2.2, 1080p@30fps, 720p@240fps, face detection, HDR, panorama • Wi-Fi 802.11ac • A-GPS/GLONASS • Bluetooth 4.1 • NFC • Micro-USB 3.0 • 2,691mAh non-removable lithium-ion battery • Front-mounted fingerprint sensor • 158.4x78.1x7.5mm • 202g

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Apple Watch Series 3 RATING:

From £329 inc VAT from tinyurl.com/ybpo5k6k

A

pple Watch Series 3 has relieved my Forgotten Phone Anxiety. You know the feeling: You reach your destination and paw at the outside of your pocket to feel the phonesized lump and it isn’t there. And you panic.

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Mind you, my stomach still drops when I realize my phone isn’t with me (even times when I had purposefully left it at home), but now my fears quickly subside. With an LTE-equipped Apple Watch Series 3 on my wrist, I don’t need to turn around and head back to my house. I know that if someone is trying to get in touch with me, they can, and if an urgent email comes in, I can answer it. That being said, I didn’t need more than a couple days with my LTE-equipped Apple Watch Series 3 to see that it’s not meant to be away from an iPhone for very long. Its main selling point might be independence, but it’s still a generation or two away from being a full replacement for your iPhone.

Design Reviews of Apple products generally devote many words to design, but there’s not a lot to say about Apple Watch Series 3. It’s the same dimensions as Series 2 (38.6x33.3x11.4mm or 42.5x36.4x11.4mm, depending on which size you choose), and there’s just one new colour, grey, in the £1,299 ceramic Edition model, as well as a tweaked gold aluminium to match the iPhone 8. That means all old bands, stands, and chargers will work fine. If you want to be picky, it’s about a millimetre thicker than the Series 1 model Apple is still selling. But that’s with more storage (16GB versus 8GB), a bigger battery, GPS, 50m water resistance, a barometric altimeter, and, of course, cellular. I’ve tested several LTE-enabled Android Wear watches that make the 42mm Apple Watch look small, so

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putting such capabilities in the 38mm model is nothing less than a remarkable feat of engineering. Some people are likely to fixate on is the red dot on the Digital Crown. There doesn’t appear to be any technical reason for it, so it’s safe to assume it’s strictly there to distinguish itself from the noncellular models. And that it does. I never really noticed the colour of the Digital Crown before, but the red circle (see above) was hard to miss against my test model’s silver aluminium body and seashell sport loop band. I like it, but I could see why people despise it so much, especially if you’re the kind of person who constantly changes bands. It’s a curious design choice, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see similar flourishes on future models. Apple Watch’s design is already iconic, and I don’t see a massive redesign in the cards for Series 4 or 5. Apple positions its watch as a Rolex or Omega, so the familiarity of the design is important. The red dot is a perfect way to showcase newness, even status, without changing what makes Apple Watch so recognizable.

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Performance While it might look the same as models that came before, Apple Watch Series 3 couldn’t be more different on the inside. Along with LTE, there’s also a new S3 processor and W2 wireless chips, which give it a tremendous speed boost. Navigation and animations are much smoother now, but most importantly, apps open much quicker. The speed of third-party apps was a pretty major pain point with previous generations of Apple Watch (particularly the original model, which most people will be upgrading from), and the new internals make a huge difference. I didn’t experience any lag when launching stock apps, and third-party ones rarely showed the spinning loading ring while updating. Even raise-to-wake seems quicker (though the lack of an always-on display is still annoying). That makes Apple Watch Series 3 much more of a standalone device, even without LTE. Where I mostly relied on my old Apple Watch for quick notifications, by the end of my testing I was instinctively using my Series 3 to respond to messages, check sports scores, even read headlines. Siri’s responsiveness is particularly impressive, but everything from stocks to sports to weather now load within a second or two. By the time the S4 chip comes around, watch apps will be just as fast as the ones on our iPhones, if not faster.

Battery life Apple claims the same 18-hour battery life with either the LTE or non-LTE Series 3 Apple Watches,

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but as with all battery claims, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Apple doesn’t like to give technical specs for its batteries, but iFixit’s teardown found a 279mAh cell inside the 38mm LTE model, a minuscule upgrade over the Series 2’s 273mAh battery. iFixit didn’t open a 42mm model, but presumably its battery is also a little larger than the Series 2 model’s 334mAh one. But while Apple Watch’s battery is a good deal smaller than most of its competitors’, it pretty much blows them all away. With a phone nearby most of the time, I breezed through a full day and most of a second. That includes wearing it while I slept, making calls, checking scores, responding to messages, getting directions – all of the usual things you’d do while wearing it. While Series 3 might pale in comparison to Fitbit Ionic’s four- to five- day battery life, OG Apple Watch upgraders will surely see a nice boost in battery life. Granted, those numbers deteriorate pretty quickly when relying exclusively on LTE. When I left my phone at home and used my watch for everything – including a lengthy stretch of listening to music, a couple Apple Pay purchases, driving directions, and liberal use of the Siri face – I barely got through 8 hours. When I made a straight hour of phone calls, my battery dropped to 68 percent. An hour of music mixed with messages and emails cost a little more than 10 percent. But that’s not a typical use case. When jumping between phone and LTE connection as most people will do, I was easily able to make it through

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a full day. With the exception of making calls and listening to music, I measure my Apple Watch interactions in seconds, not minutes, but even when using it far more than I normally would (both tethered and independently), I never needed to resort to Power Reserve mode.

A healthy boost for athletes Apple has packed its Series 3 watch with some new fitness features as well, and it stacks up well to Fitbit’s New Ionic watch, with an expanded and enhanced Workout app, and a barometric altimeter

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designed to measure elevation. Older watches still measure flights climbed, but it’s that much more accurate on Apple Watch Series 3. Apple hasn’t actually updated the heart-rate sensor for its Series 3 watch, but it’s extracting a whole lot more out of it. Launch the Heart Rate app, and you’ll get a bunch of new data, including your current beats-per-minute reading as well as your resting rate and walking average. Even as a non-athlete, I found it useful, especially the feature that alerts you to any abnormalities (thankfully I didn’t get to test it, however). But music is Apple Watch Series 3’s killer new fitness feature. All throughout watchOS 4 there are little touches that make it easier to listen and control your music: You can swipe left in the Workout app to bring up music controls, a Now Playing box appears on the Siri watch face, and the music app will automatically sync playlists while charging. However, you still can’t play music through the Apple Watch’s speaker, and proper LTE streaming won’t arrive until the upcoming 4.1 update.

LTE brings it all together All of the above upgrades are nice, but Apple Watch Series 3 is all about one thing: its cellular connection. For the first time, an Apple Watch can operate independently of your phone, and it’s a liberating experience. I’ve used a variety of LTE watches from Samsung, LG, and ZTE, and Apple Watch Series 3 is the first that delivers on its promise. Setup with the eSim

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When you walk away from your phone with an LTE Apple Watch, you don’t need to freak out anymore

and my mobile account was remarkably simple, taking less than a minute, and the only setting to speak of is an on/off toggle. LTE takes over when your watch is out of range of your phone. I was very aware of when it was running at first, but after a couple days I stopped obsessively checking to see if my watch was connected. It’s not perfect, however. I didn’t have anywhere near the constant problems with unauthenticated networks that some early reviewers experienced, but there were still instances where my watch showed a red ‘x’ while roaming to indicate that it was disconnected from the cellular network.

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Resetting my phone’s network settings and deleting some old saved networks my Mac helped immensely, but that’s not something you should have to do to ensure a stable connection. Apple issued the 4.0.1 update while writing this review to correct it, but it didn’t fix some of my other occasional problems. In poor coverage areas, I found that the watch routinely dropped its connection where my phone was able to hang on with a bar or two. If I was on a call when I left my house, it consistently dropped when switching from Wi-Fi to cellular. And once it required a hard reset to get LTE going on my watch again. In strong coverage areas, however, my watch worked great. Overall my issues were infrequent and as expected for a first generation product. I did want the ability to add a cellular complication to any watch face. The antenna isn’t nearly as strong as it is on the iPhone, and unless you’re using the Explorer face, you can’t quickly tell how strong your connection is without heading into the mini Control Centre first. I’m hoping this is a new feature in watchOS 4.1, along with a fix for my Wi-Fi handoff issues. But even with the above hiccups, LTE on Apple Watch Series 3 is game-changing. I routinely left my phone on the charger while leaving the house for quick errands or to pick up my son from school, and my watch dutifully kept me up-to-date with notifications. I never missed a message, call, score, or breaking news brief, and Siri’s improved

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responsiveness let me quickly send messages over LTE without needing to scribble letters on the screen. And at times, my watch actually refreshed faster than when it was tethered to my phone.

watchOS still a work in progress Just because you can use Apple Watch without your phone doesn’t make it an iPhone replacement. Even with watchOS 4, many third-party apps still depend on the phone for data retrieval, and things like checking my Twitter timeline, controlling my Hue lights, or peeking at my Ring video doorbell feed just weren’t possible. Developers have slowly been moving away from building Apple Watch apps – just recently Twitter disappeared from the store, and I had major issues with it even before that happened – but I’m hopeful LTE compels them to get back on board. And here’s something that would help spur interest: an on-watch App Store. It’s one of the best features of Android Wear 2.0, and it would be awesome to quickly find and install a watch app while away from our phones. Also missing is a stock Notes app. While there are a few

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third-party options, I wanted a way to quickly ask Siri to take a note and have it sync back to my iPhone. As it stands, that can’t happen. I love having a list view for apps, but the new Dock isn’t as great. It’s basically a task manager/ app switcher, and I much preferred the original Glances or watchOS 3’s snapshots, which would let you get little bits of info without actually opening the app. With the new method, apps need to be launched before they’re updated, like the iPhone’s app switcher. Fast app switching isn’t nearly as useful on the watch as it is on the phone, and I’d like to see Apple revert to the old version in watch OS 5. Glanceability is important, and it’s not really there in watchOS 4.

Say goodbye to the honeycomb screen with watchOS 4’s list option

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My favourite new watch face on watch OS 4 was already the Siri one (sorry Buzz and Woody), but Apple Watch Series 3 takes it to a new level. With LTE connectivity, the Siri face is even more useful when my phone’s not around, as it continuously shows a stream of news, weather, stocks, and photos. LTE and the Siri face didn’t seem to have a noticeable impact on battery life. Third-party app support would make the Siri face that much better, but something tells me we’ll have to wait a while before that arrives. But mostly watchOS is merely a step, not a leap, forward. There are still occasional bugs. For example, I couldn’t take a screenshot despite toggling, restarting, and re-pairing, and the side button is less useful than ever. But you’re still not going to find a better wearable platform.

Verdict For my purposes, Apple Watch Series 3 is a software update and a couple apps away from being my dream device. But even in its current form, it’s miles ahead of its closest competitor when it comes to functionality and parsecs ahead with design. There’s a reason Apple hasn’t visually changed its watch in three generations: It’s nearly perfect. You can quibble over price, but it’s a bit like comparing a Casio watch to a Tag Heuer or a Rolex. You can save a few bucks by getting a cheaper Android Wear or Fitbit watch, but you’ll definitely get your money’s worth by choosing an Apple Watch Series 3. At £329 for the GPS model or

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£399 for LTE, it’s hardly a luxury item anymore. Granted, you can spend £1,199 on a ceramic Edition or Hermès double tour, but the affordable entrylevel sport models look and act just as good. Apple is the only company committed to developing a solid wearable platform. Fitbit’s Ionic is initially underwhelming as a smartwatch, Samsung’s Tizen OS is still struggling with security and adoption, and we’ve yet to see a meaningful Android Wear 2.0 watch after six months of public availability. LTE has its issues – most of which will be snuffed out in the first software update – but Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE is the first cellular smartwatch to get it right. Apple Watch Series 3 might not be an iPhone replacement, but it’s the closest thing to an all-day, independent wearable you’re likely to find. And it’s the best remedy for Forgotten Phone Anxiety. Michael Simon

The Digital Crown’s red dot will tell everyone you’re special

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iOS 11 RATING:

Free

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t seems like almost every year Apple crows that the latest iOS update is the greatest one yet. Yes, when you incrementally add features and fix bugs, every new version is fundamentally better than the previous one. But iOS 11 is more than that: this is a substantial upgrade that dramatically transforms iPad productivity while offering a host of new features that have the potential to make the world around us both safer and more entertaining than ever before.

Changes you can’t miss The day you buy a new iPhone or iPad should be a time of joy. Instead, it’s frequently a frustrating

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exercise in entering in passwords repeatedly while tapping through a long series of questions about activating or deactivating numerous iOS features. Apple’s been gradually improving this process over the years, but it takes a big step forward with the new auto-setup features in iOS 11. In iOS 11, you can transfer key features (including settings, and your keychain passwords) directly between devices by pointing your old iPhone’s camera at the new model, which displays a pattern that allows the two devices to pair with each other wirelessly and begin transferring information. When all was said and done, I still needed to restore my iCloud backup and reload apps from the App Store, but the process was measurably smoother than ever before. Assuming that everyone updates their old devices to iOS 11 before buying new iPhones, this year’s iPhone upgrades should be much smoother for new phone buyers. Control Centre, the interface that lets you make quick changes to your iPhone with a quick swipe up from the bottom of the screen, is completely redesigned in iOS 11. Gone is the old three-page interface, replaced with a single page of icons, buttons, and sliders. You can customize Control Centre now – for example, to add a button to enable Low Power Mode or remove the button for HomeKit. Most of the buttons also provide additional features if you 3D Touch them (or tap and hold if you’re not on a 3D-touch-capable device). It’s a great upgrade. I especially have come to like the slider controls for volume and brightness.

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The new Control Centre (right) is customizable via the Settings app (left)

Some features, such as switching audio output devices or turning on and off a HomeKit device, are now a little less obvious, but once you get used to the new approach, they’re not really harder to access than they were in iOS 10. (I still don’t understand why you can’t quickly switch Wi-Fi networks from Control Centre, though.) With iOS 11, Apple has addressed one of my biggest complaints with notifications on my lock screen and in Notification Centre by bringing them in to alignment with one another. With iOS 11, the lock screen and Notification Centre are merged

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The App Store app is completely redesigned, with a large feature area containing articles about apps, and a simplified app detail screen

together, with the current time, currently playing audio, and current and recent notifications, all scrollable. I used to ‘lose’ notifications after unlocking my phone, and they wouldn’t be visible in Notification Centre, but that seems to be all fixed now. Perhaps the most important part of iOS as a platform is the App Store, so it’s understandable that Apple has been reluctant to mess with success. But with iOS 11, consider it messed: The App Store app has been completely redesigned. There’s a new visual look (inherited from the iOS 10 design of Apple Music), with big banners and large, graphic-rich boxes. But more impressive is the editorial commitment Apple is making, with articles

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spotlighting the app and game of the day, as well as other featured items. In iOS 11, the App Store is a richer, more fun experience – and, I suspect, a more effective tool for selling us more apps. The first time you hop in a car with an iPhone running iOS 11, you’ll be prompted to turn on Do Not Disturb When Driving, a variant on Do Not Disturb that senses you’re in a vehicle (either via sensors or by connecting to a car via Bluetooth) and disables all but the most important alerts. In this mode, app notifications are blocked, as are phone calls and texts from all but the people you choose. You can set the iPhone to auto-reply to certain people you specify, who can then break through the text block if it’s urgent. This is a great feature that’s bound to save lives and prevent traffic accidents. It’s so easy to be distracted while driving, especially by the avalanche of push notifications that our apps send to us regularly. The allowances for call and text overrides are helpful, so I can know that my family can reach me when I’m driving even if I’d prefer not to be bothered by anyone else. While Apple could’ve added many more settings for this feature, I’m glad that it kept things simple. You can’t set apps to break through, for example, and I think that’s Apple’s message that no app notification is worth creating a distracted driver.

Subtle changes Some iOS 11 changes are a little more subtle. The Apple News app is more personalized in iOS 11, with

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You can activate the one-handed keyboard (right) via a new element at the bottom of the keyboard picker (left)

support for a ‘spotlight topic’. If you frequently hold your iPhone in one hand, there’s a new one-handed keyboard layout that pushes all the keys to the left or right side of the screen, so your fingers can reach every key – even on the emoji keyboard. (You bring it up by tapping and holding on the emoji/keyboard button; to return to a normal keyboard, just tap the arrow at the large empty area.) This is an especially nice feature on the larger iPhone Plus models. Apple has added a bunch of features to iOS 11 that aren’t particularly new, even on iOS – but now that they’re integrated into the core apps that come with iOS, they’ll probably find a wider audience than did before. Notes now has a document-scanner mode that will automatically detect the edges of a piece of paper held in front of your device’s camera and use those edges to intelligently crop and adjust the image so that it looks more or less like you scanned it on a flatbed scanner. Notes also now includes OCR (optical character recognition)

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technology, so when you scan or hand-write text (rather than typing it on a keyboard), your device will figure out that text and make it searchable. The Maps app is adding lane guidance, which is a welcome addition – but also one that Google has offered in Google Maps for some time. A few more of the subtle changes: • You now have much better control over Live Photos • Videos and photos are stored in more compact formats and converted on the fly to larger but more compatible formats for sharing (learn more) • You can send money to friends via Apple Pay in Messages (this feature isn’t available until later this autumn) • Siri has an improved voice and a bunch of new features, including translation • Apple Music has added a social layer that shows you what music your friends are enjoying • You can now set the behaviour of a double-tap on the left and right AirPods separately, so (for example) tapping on the right AirPod advances to the next track while tapping on the left one plays or pauses audio

Changes that will take time Most iOS features arrive fully formed, but there’s a whole category of features that won’t reach their potential for a little while, because they rely on outside app or hardware developers to support them.

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Apps like PCalc (left) and Carrot Weather (right) have been updated to include AR features. Other AR applications both silly and useful will fill iOS devices this autumn

ARKit, Apple’s framework for augmented reality apps – apps that can take a live image captured by your device’s camera and then place virtual objects into that space and display the mixed result on the screen – has the potential to be huge. This fall we’ll be inundated with AR apps, most bad, some mindblowingly good. There’s huge potential here, but we’ll need to see how app developers respond to this new technology over the next few months. Similarly, the new Files app looks great. It’s essentially an update of the old iCloud Drive app

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The iOS 11 Files app is a file browser for iCloud Drive and other cloud services

that has expanded its horizons. It’s a full-fledged file browser, so if you’d like to manage files on your iOS device, you can. (If you don’t want to, you don’t need to! Unlike Finder, which is at the centre of the Mac experience, Files is an app like any other, and if you never open it, you’ll basically never see it.) Third-party apps can hook into Files, which means that every possible cloud-storage service you can think of – Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, OneDrive, even SFTP and SMB servers – should be able to hook into Files and appear as a peer to

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iCloud and local storage. This will be a big deal for professionals who need to store and manage files in the cloud – but I’m reserving judgment until I see which players properly support it, and how well it works in practice. Finally, there’s AirPlay 2, Apple’s latest iteration of its device-to-devices media streaming protocol. The proof in AirPlay 2’s quality will be in how well it interacts with hardware, both from Apple and from other manufacturers. Only then will we know if AirPlay is a boon or a bust.

Changes for iPad Some of the most dramatic changes in iOS 11 are limited to the iPad. It’s been two years since the last iOS update to feature prominent iPadonly features, and this year Apple has tweaked many of the multitasking features introduced in iOS 9. This update also brings numerous other iPad-focused features, whether you’re an Apple Pencil user or someone who tends to focus on the software keyboard. Everyone who uses iOS 11 will notice that the Dock at the bottom of the home screen has been redesigned (and the name labels on apps removed), but on the iPad the Dock (not Control Centre) is accessible by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. This enables fast switching between apps, but also provides a palette of app icons that can be dragged out into the iPad interface to create multitasking pairs. Drag an icon out of the Dock to the right or left of the screen, and you’ll see a

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The iOS 11 multitasking view on an iPad, complete with a new Dock (bottom) and the redesigned Control Centre (right)

preview of Split View multitasking. Let go and the second app opens right next to the one you’re running. (Dragging an app into a more central area or onto the border between two existing apps will place it into Slide Over rather than Split View. While apps in Slide Over behave more or less as they did in iOS 9 and 10, they now appear as a floating window rather than an overlay that comes in from the right side.)

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Two apps side by side in iOS 11, with the Dock swiped up at bottom and the Files app providing quick access to recent files

It’s a carefully thought out system that makes multitasking more accessible and tactile. Apps that are in a pair stay together until you unlink them, allowing you to create several pairs of apps and switch among them. While Apple could’ve built the system with more granularity of control (and perhaps that will be an option someday), I think iOS 11 strikes the right balance when it comes to multitasking. The one major drawback is that if an

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app isn’t in your Dock, it’s much harder to add it to multitasking. (If you’re using a hardware keyboard, you can do a Spotlight search and drag the app icon out of the search results, but that doesn’t work if you don’t have a keyboard attached.) iOS 11 brings true drag-and-drop functionality to the platform for the first time. For iPhone users, this feature is limited to dragging data around within an app. But on the iPad, you can drag data between apps. It’s a great feature, though apps have to be updated to really take advantage of it. This feature actually surpasses my expectations, because not only can you drag items between on-screen apps, you can actually begin dragging data and then use the multitasking view to move to a different app, then drop it there. That’s a multi-finger gesture that’s a little complicated to execute, but it feels natural – and it opens every single app on your iPad to dragging and dropping. It’s another huge boost for iPad productivity. There are a few other great changes that iPad users will love. You can now set Notes to open automatically when you tap on the lock screen with an Apple Pencil, which essentially turns your iPad into an on-demand notepad. And on the 9.7- and 10.5in iPads, the new QuickType keyboard lets you type a second characters by tapping with a slight downward swipe. Once you get used to it, it makes typing symbols and numbers far more fluid than when you had to toggle to a different keyboard, tap a key, and then switch back to the standard set of letters.

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Verdict If you’re an iPad user, download iOS 11 immediately. It’s a huge update that makes major improvements to the two-year-old multitasking features, and drag-and-drop and Files have the potential to transform iPad productivity. If you’re an iPhone user – well, who are we kidding, you’re almost certainly going to upgrade to iOS 11, too. And you’ll be right to do so. This is a great collection of new features, Apple’s best iOS upgrade in years. The new, customizable Control Centre is a winner. Do Not Disturb While Driving will make the roads safer. And ARKit threatens to kick off a revolution in augmented-reality applications. This is all great stuff. Jason Snell

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Latest Mac games Andrew Hayward looks at this month’s best new releases

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tching for something new to play on your Mac? Worry not, because we’ve another nice stack of new game releases. XCOM 2 fans will definitely want to check out the huge War of the Chosen expansion, plus new indie games SteamWorld Dig 2 and Hiveswap: Act 1 are both intriguing, while dinosaur-hunting survival hit ARK: Survival Evolved has finally exited Steam Early Access.

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1. XCOM 2: War of the Chosen Price: £34.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/y8et8o4o) Did you finish last year’s epic XCOM 2 and still feel like you wanted even more from the game? Well, now’s you chance to dig back in thanks to the War of the Chosen expansion, which adds nearly a full game’s worth of fresh content to the experience. You will need XCOM 2 to run it, but you’ll want to start with the main game anyway. War of the Chosen introduces the titular new enemy, The Chosen. You’ll also have to fight against the Spectre, an alien race that can create dark copycat versions of your XCOM soldiers. Otherwise, the core tactical strategy gameplay remains intact, which is a good thing for series fans. Keep fighting the good fight against these extraterrestrial invaders.

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2. SteamWorld Dig 2 Price: £14.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/yakwtv5w) We had a lot of fun with the XCOM-inspired SteamWorld Heist, but Image and Form’s steampunk-esque franchise charts a different path in SteamWorld Dig 2 – and it’s straight down below the surface. Like the original Dig, this 2D action game finds you exploring underground as an adventurous robot, as you mine for minerals and battle the threats found beneath. SteamWorld Dig 2 takes its cues from classics like Super Metroid and Castlevania, as you unlock new abilities that expand out the world and deepen the adventure. Press reviews have been even stronger than the original, continuing this indie series’ impressive run over the last few years.

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3. ARK: Survival Evolved Price: £49.99 from (tinyurl.com/k4fuq4s) After more than two years of Early Access availability, ARK: Survival Evolved has finally been released as a full game. However, being a preview version didn’t stop millions of people from buying this large-scale survival game, which finds you battling and/or taming more than 100 different beasts within vast open areas. The island setting seems packed with things to do, including crafting, building structures, farming, and joining tribes, but it also seems like it’s loaded with bugs – and not the flying kind. Steam reviews have been sharply divided since the game left Early Access, and even a player who logged 8,500 hours of gameplay doesn’t recommend buying it.

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4. Hiveswap: Act 1 Price: £5.59 from Steam (tinyurl.com/y7x9tt23) Hiveswap is based on a popular web comic (called Homestuck) . But if you don’t know about either of those things, that’s okay: as the Steam listing suggests, “This game is set in 1994! Homestuck hasn’t even been invented yet!” Fans will get the most out of this first episode of the spin-off game, which has rave reviews from players so far, although it’s designed for anyone who enjoyed 1990s-era point-and-click adventure games. As a young girl named Joey Claire, you’ll find yourself kidnapped by aliens and transported to an unfamiliar world, with slick hand-drawn visuals telling the story all the while. It’s the first of four episodes, with the others to follow at some point.

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5. Sunless Skies Price: £18.99 from (tinyurl.com/yaq66kjo) Sunless Sea earned some glowing reviews a couple years back for its strong literary twist on role-playing, as you explored the waters around Victorian-era London and soaked in the extensive, oft-beautiful writing. Now, sequel Sunless Skies is here, taking the same concept up to the stars. Commanding a ‘spacefaring locomotive’, you’ll explore the heavens as you carry passengers and discover all sorts of stories between far-off ports. However, Sunless Skies is in Early Access on Steam right now, and it sounds like the early version is light on content and still unrefined. If you’re a super fan, however, you can get started now and help shape its future with your feedback.

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6. Niche Price: £13.59 from Steam (tinyurl.com/y8g33ax7) It’s survival of the fittest out in the wild, but what if you’re the one shaping the genetic code that helps some creature try to tough it out? That’s the premise at play in Niche, an intriguing game that recently left Steam Early Access. It’s a turn-based strategy game with simulation elements, and it lets you breed your own species. What makes Niche unique is that it’s based in real genetics, and you can manipulate genetic code in the game (100+ genes) to help adapt and customize your species. The worlds and animals are all procedurally generated, so there’s seemingly endless replayability, and the game sounds like a descendent of sorts of EA’s memorable Spore.

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7. Tyranny – Bastard’s Wound Price: £10.99 from (tinyurl.com/y6vyf2g8) Tyranny was one of last year’s standout role-playing games, and now the studio is back with Bastard’s Wound, an add-on expansion that requires the base game. It opens up a new area of the world and still allows plenty of player choice along the way, plus this expansion has a trio of companion quests to flesh out various character stories. Our sister publication PCWorld played Bastard’s Wound and didn’t find it to be a particularly essential addition. That’s in part because you can only get the full experience if you’re in Act II of the game, or still have a save from back then – otherwise, if you’ve already finished the main game, you’re left high and dry.

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8. Swim Out Price: £4.79 from Steam (tinyurl.com/yaf85qpm) Essentially, Swim Out is a turn-based puzzle game set in a public swimming pool, filled with the kinds of thematically accurate annoyances you might expect: leaping kids, people on giant inflatable rafts, and other swimmers. Your goal is to make it to the exit ladder without crossing anyone else’s path, and to do that, you’ll need to be strategic with your movements – and use some crafty tricks along the way, like tossing beach balls to stun fellow swimmers. The end result feels weirdly like Lara Croft Go, and don’t worry, you’re no less badass in a one-piece and a swim cap.

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9. Dungeons & Dragons: Lords of Waterdeep Price: £10.99 from (tinyurl.com/ycaazbb7) Dungeons & Dragons: Lords of Waterdeep is a much-loved adaptation of the legendary game, and now the digital adaptation of the board game is available on Mac. Playdek’s computer rendition puts the full board game experience on your screen, letting you play online with up to four other players in either real-time or asynchronous battles. Each player takes the role of one of the titular lords, and you’ll aim to amass influence in the city by placing agents, collecting gold, and sending your minions out on missions. The earlier iOS version was well received, and it seems like this Mac version brings everything to larger screens without losing the spirit of the physical version.

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10. Morphite Price: £18.99 from Steam (tinyurl.com/ybfgm77y) Morphite looks like an off-brand version of No Man’s Sky, a hugely-hyped PC and PlayStation 4 game from last year. The similarities extend from the graphical look to the loose, open-ended approach, but at least Morphite doesn’t seem to have launched with major issues. Potential lack of originality aside, the game looks plenty enticing. It’s a space game in which you’ll descend upon procedurally-generated planets and see what’s what, gathering resources and data all the while and potentially blasting some baddies. It’s like a low-key first-person shooter, with less emphasis on intense action and more on exploring at your own pace.

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Guide to Apple Photos 3 The changes, new features, and improvements you should know about. Glenn Fleishman reports

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hotos 3, part of macOS High Sierra, doesn’t bring much that’s truly new. Apple acknowledges this by listing changes as a combination of improvements and enhancements, a welcome bit of frankness. And I’d argue it’s great news, because many of the rough spots in the Sierra release that we heard about repeatedly from readers who ran afoul of them have been smoothed down.

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But Photos has come a long way since its first release in April 2015. That initial foray at replacing iPhoto with something fresher, faster, and better often fell short, because it was missing many features that people relied on with iPhoto. Apple released regular updates, however, and features returned, new ones appeared, and existing ones matured. Some people still hate it – I get emails – but it settled down for the most part. For example, those who have emailed me asking how to force an alphabetical listing of albums in the Photos sidebar will be absolutely delighted. The sidebar now organizes albums into Media Types (things like Slo-Mo, Selfies, and the like) and My Albums, which comprises everything you’ve created. You can nest folders in My Albums as before. Right-click on My Albums, and you can choose Sort By, and select among name, oldest first, or newest first. Bonus: Any of those nested folders you create to organize albums can also be sorted separately by those criteria through a similar right-click. Let’s dig deeper into how Photos has changed.

Memories look like human memories Photos’ Memories feature collects photos around a location, a time or holiday, or a theme determined in part by machine learning, which also then highlights the photos in that assembled set that it thinks are most representative. Let’s just say it could be fairly haphazard in the previous version, producing some howlers in terms

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Photos 3 shows every previous import operation, organized by date

of odd photos chosen – sometimes blurry or nearly empty – and not quite getting what might have made that period significant. The improved Memories feature shows what seems to be a better selection of photos, probably by working harder to find common sets of faces and perform sentiment analysis to find smiles and people looking at the camera. On average, they seem less bizarre, and less like a rogue robot assembled them. And Apple has clearly seeded smart ideas into the mix. Fluffy Friends over the Years shows every dog and cat I’ve apparently ever photographed,

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using the scene analysis algorithms that also let you search by keywords like dog and cat. The slide shows that you can run from Memories, which are automatically assembled from photos and videos, remain delightful random. One created for ‘Glenn’s 32nd Birthday’ – hey, macOS knows my birthday via Contacts, so it can work this out. This feature remains far better in iOS, as it was in the previous versions of both operating systems, because iOS lets you play a slide show as if it were a movie, and adjust settings for how long you want it to be and pick among music named by mood. In macOS, you press the Play Slide show version, which brings up a set of prefab slide show styles, most of which are not that great and are paired with annoying music.

Live Photos I confess I never much liked Live Photos, because there wasn’t much you could do with them, except play them back with the random before/after videos. (iOS 11 seems to have upped the frame rate on those, making them smoother.) Live Photos seemed like a clever idea in search of a reason. While Apple improved some aspects of Live Photos in iOS 10, such as adding image stabilization, they remained a Harry Potterish gimmick. Photos 3 finally lets you create new kinds of results – not just in iOS (where the feature is somewhat hidden), but in macOS as well. Click Edit with a Live Photo selected, and the Adjust tab of the editing window shows Live

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Photos-specific tools at the bottom. You can turn the feature off, as before, and mute its audio, but you can also select a new ‘key photo’, or the image displayed when the photo is at rest. And you can trim out unwanted parts of the clip. But Apple added transformative features common in Instagram and other photo apps: Loop, which turns a subset of the live portion into a continuous cycle; and Bounce, loops in a sequence of forward to the end and then backwards to the beginning. Unfortunately, you can’t select which portion gets these effects – it seems like an algorithm-driven choice. And you can’t (yet) convert your regular videos in full or as clips to apply these features to. A final option, Long Exposure, has a lot of promise. With a still shot that has movement within the frame, you can get a lovely artistic image that captures the feel of movement. Looking through all my Live Photos, I didn’t find many that worked, but Live Photos can be transformed into loops, bounces, and long I will likely now enable exposures Live Photos for specific

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shots that I want to extract as long exposures. The whole editing interface offers significant UI improvements, too, grouping tasks into tabs at the top (Adjust, Filters, and Crop) and letting you turn on and off the depth effect in two-camera photos. A couple of more advanced features appear in the Adjust menu, too: curves, for a different and richer way to re-map the appearance of ranges of colour in an image; and selective colour, which you can use to swap out a specific colour range in an image with an entirely different hue, saturation, and luminance. A toolbar now appears in all Photos views, not

Selective colour, now built into Photos, lets you replace colour families within a photo without making other changes (left, original; right, modified to accentuate changes)

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just edited, that includes a rotation button (hold down Option to toggle it from counterclockwise to clockwise) and Auto Enhance. Photos also now supports editing images in external photo-editing applications by selecting from an Edit With menu. When saved and closed from that external app, those edits become stored as a non-destructive layer in Photos, so you have the original and the revised version.

Improvements to People Apple promised a year ago, before the release of its revamped facial-identification feature, that “People are synced among devices where you’re signed in with the same Apple ID.” That line appeared in the iOS 10 manual, and the company had made other assurances. It never happened, and Apple never answered questions about it or explained itself. My assumption was that before release, Apple found a flaw either in the way they merged dissimilar sets of people on different devices or in the privacy approach it took. You’ll note that Apple didn’t and still doesn’t sync this new algorithmbased People album to iCloud.com. That would put that kind of information in a place where it was at greater risk of being extracted or even subpoenaed. This time around, Apple got whatever right they needed to. People’s overall design has a crisper, bolder look, so that names are more easily readable. The process of identifying and marking people seems better. And Apple says that it’s using technology from Memories to recognize people

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The improved Memories feature now works within People, too, and you can see how good it is about finding smiles and other extreme expressions

together, which provides more accurate ID and facial-expression selection – see my screen capture from People’s assemblage of photos of me – but also offers links to groups and pairs of people found in the same photo, a nice addition. I found that my previous People album recognition carried through with the update, but some images were added that I’m sure I didn’t select. You can just right-click on a photo and select John Doe Is Not in This Photo, and it’s removed.

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Apple says that iCloud sync will reconcile different sets of photos for the same people on various devices.

Third-party project extensions Apple now lets third parties build associated extensions that work with Photos. Previously, only photo filters could be added on. This new category works for creating photo books, ordering framed prints, creating slide shows, and building websites. Apple’s options for cards, calendars, books, slide shows, and prints remain. These extensions come in the form of apps you purchase or obtain for free through the Mac App Store. You have to launch the app before using it, and then (in my testing at least) relaunch Photos for the apps to then appear as options in the Project menu or in the contextual menu’s Create submenu. Apple sent a variety of samples of products made by these companies to our colleagues at Macworld US. • Mpix foil-pressed cards are vivid and quite lovely, although they may be a little too busy with patterns for some people • An Mpix wood-print deep photo box for hanging had a good reproduction of a photo printed on wood on its front • Shutterfly’s 10x10in hardcover book had wellreproduced colour photos, although somewhat oversaturated. The pages were too stiff, however,

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and turning them was like flipping through lightweight cardboard • Mimeo’s 9x11-1/2in hardcover photo book felt completely book-like: a good dust jacket and binding, reasonable weight interior paper for opacity and page turning, and extremely fine photographic reproduction • An ifolor glass print, in which the image is printed in reverse on the back of a solid piece of glass – a technique popularized in American by Fracture – had oversaturated images, leading to areas of flat colour • Two examples of Whitewall’s glass prints were also included, which had excellent tonality

Photos’ Project Extensions allow you to create photo books, cards, mounted pictures, and more directly in the Photos app

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without oversaturation. The photos sent were unfortunately too dark to see clearly how well lighter tones are reproduced, but the differentiation in shades for shadows and dark colours was extremely fine

Photos’ missing pieces Readers ask all the time about Photos library management, and the new release offers no help there. Many readers have multiple libraries they want to merge into a single Photos library, or they have a large library they want to split, in order to archive parts of it, or store it on an external drive. These fundamentally useful features that Apple would be best placed to help with don’t exist. (We recommend turning to PowerPhotos, already updated for High Sierra.) Photos ability to search by date remains extremely poor, especially compared to Google Photos and other tools. There’s simply no good way to say, “Show me what happened on October 31, 2010.” You can use the main Photos album and click Years in the new set of tab buttons the top, scroll to 2010, guess about where October lies, click, and then scroll through Collections. Typing in the date as above into search offers no results. It can’t even do ‘October 31’, splitting it into ‘October’ and ‘31’ and only finding matches for both. The new version does seem to match address well: I typed in 1 September, and saw a lot of photos taken in the month of September at street addresses that began with 1. Search

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performance is far better than iPhoto and early Photos releases, but it remains as poor as all the Sierra versions of Photos.

Machine learning and iCloud Photo Library If you’re using iCloud Photo Library and storing only optimized media on your Mac, you won’t be able to make full use of facial recognition, Memories, or scene-element identification for searching except for images downloaded and cached locally. You can also force downloads for processing by rightclicking a manually created album and choosing Download Originals to This Mac. While this proviso was also true with the previous release of Photos, I think an increasing number of people relying on iCloud Photo Library might run into the problem because of increased media

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storage and the high expense of larger-capacity SSDs. If you chose a 512GB SSD instead of a much-more expensive 1TB SSD or a 1- or 2TB Fusion drive, it seems possible that you also used optimization to prevent filling that drive with media. In my initial High Sierra testing, I’ve only updated my laptop, which lacks the storage to handle the full iCloud Photo Library. (My office iMac has a Fusion drive and the full files, but I’m holding back on my most critical machine as I do with all macOS system updates.) I downloaded albums to check that thumbnails weren’t being analysed. iCloud Photo Library syncs metadata – camera capture details, date, GPS coordinations, keywords, and the like – so other searches and organizational features work as expected.

Verdict Photos 3 for macOS is a significant improvement in interface, flow, and ease of use, but has no standout feature that will make you jump up and down in joy. Hopefully, the changes mean won’t jump up and down in anger and frustration anymore.

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Help Desk Glenn Fleishman answers your most vexing Mac problems

APPLE’S TWO-STEP VERIFICATION GOES AWAY WITH iOS 11 AND MACOS HIGH SIERRA Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a method of protecting an online account. The two factors – things that identify you – in 2FA: something you yourself know, like a password; and something you have that can receive a token to confirm who you are, such as a smartphone.

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Apple’s original two-step system relied on its Apple ID site for set up and management, and could only send codes to iOS devices and via SMS. Its update in September 2015 left two-step in place for those who continued to want to use it, but the 2FA revision was far better. Enrolment happens via iOS and macOS. Apple’s system isn’t as robust as some security experts would like, but it’s definitely better than a password-only option. If you’re still using two-step verification, Apple converts your account to 2FA with iOS 11 or High Sierra. Here’s what you need to know: 1. Your Recovery Key is no longer needed, although you can opt into using it (see below). If you don’t opt in to retain a Recovery Key, you rely on Apple’s account-recovery process. If you forget or lose your password and all your trusted devices and phone numbers, you can contact Apple, which has an intentionally slow process you have to go through to unlock and reclaim your account by proving your identity. 2. You only use the Apple ID site to manage appspecific passwords for third-party calendar, contacts, and email apps. These single-use passwords let you bypass authentication, and became mandatory in June for third-party iCloud access. (If you were using any previously, Apple already stopped allowing them to work! If you wondered why, that’s the explanation.) 3. When you log in and Apple’s system determines you’re not on an already trusted machine or using

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a trusted browser, you’ll get a location popup or dialog on every computer and iOS device connected to the same iCloud account. First, you click or tap Allow on the location. Then, on that device that you approved the location, you receive a six-digit code that you can enter in the browser, app, or OS component requesting it. 4. If you can’t get the location and code to arrive at an Apple device, Apple offers a backup method that lets you send a text message or have an automated voice system call you with the code. 5. If you’re using an OS that was released before Apple’s 2FA support in 2015 or an older version of iTunes for Windows, you may have to log in to an Apple ID account by using that account’s

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password plus a six-digit verification code added to the password. 6. If you don’t receive a 2FA verification code for an older OS login or for a regular 2FA login, you can generate one instead. In iOS go to Settings > account name > Password & Security and tap Get Verification Code. In macOS, open the iCloud system presence pane, and click Account Details, Security, and Get Verification Code. Apple will let those who went through this twostep to 2FA upgrade process use a Recovery Key, even though it’s not available to any new account users or anyone who manually switched from twostep to 2FA before now. By default, 2FA-upgraded accounts rely on the account-recovery process described above. But you can also regenerate a Recovery Key (see tinyurl.com/y9kcwq57), in which case you must keep it safe and secure as a last-ditch way to recover your account. With Recovery Key re-enabled, Apple says it might not be able to help you if you forget your password or its reset by a malicious party and you lose access to all your trusted hardware.

SHOULD YOU KEEP BACKUP DATA IN A SAFE?

Q

Even if somebody steals my iMac and Time Capsule, it is very unlikely the safe will get stolen. And most likely the safe will survive a house fire. I also have an encrypted sparse bundle with mission critical financial data stored there. Given

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the above, would you still recommend a cloud backup service?

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Yes, yes, yes, and also, yes. It’s best to have three copies of your data in distinctly different forms: live on your computers, an easily accessible backup or clone, and an off-site or cloud continuously updated backup. Hard drives are cheap and unlimited cloud-based backup services are cheap. Encryption is free. Off-site storage, in a safe-deposit box or other location, shouldn’t be expensive, either, or could be free. As far as the fireproof safe: it isn’t really what you might think it is. Fireproof safes are fireproof with a bunch of conditions, not against all fires. When you purchase a safe, you’re buying a promise that

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the interior temperature won’t rise above a certain number of degrees for a minimum period of time with a fire of a given temperature. Fireproof safe also have to be waterproof, so that the fire’s cure won’t destroy a safe’s contents. For magnetic media, such as hard drives, you need a safe that limits the interior temperature to 51°C or 65°C even as a fire rages without. The UL certifies safes at 51°C (magnetic media), 65°C (film), and 176°C (paper). CDs, DVDs, and flash memory should survive at temperatures above 65°C, but not as hot as 176°C, and there’s no specific standard for that. You should also look for an ETL certification on a safe you purchase. The UL certifies safes for 30 minutes to four hours at 1,093°C. An average house fire burns at 593°C, so a cooler fire means protection lasts longer. That all sounds great, but here’s the problem. What if the fire burns unchecked for longer than your safe is rated? What if the fire burns much hotter than average because of whatever caused it? What if your safe fails? What if the waterproof seals fail slightly, and the drive is flooded? (Some safes have insurance policies against failure within normal specs, but the data would still be lost.) You should also consider how burglar-resistant your safe is. A determined someone might be able to break into a safe, and steal the backup drive along with your computer and Time Capsule, even if they were looking for other valuables. The moral: back up to the cloud or at least rotate a clone or Time Machine drive regularly to a secure

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off-site location. If you’re worried about your data leaking out to other parties online or if stolen from wherever you’re caching it, you can encrypt external drives and use your own encryption key with several cloud-hosted backup services. Frankly, I’m more worried about your Time Capsule being stolen than everything else: Time Capsule cannot be encrypted, making it a plum prize to a savvy thief.

CAN RANSOMWARE HIJACK MAC BACKUPS?

Q

If I am primarily worried about ransomware on my Mac, which of those backup services do you recommend? If I buy my own backup device, I understand that it can also be taken over by the same ransomware. True?

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This is a terrific question, since ransomware can run quietly over a period of time, or execute while you’re sleeping, leading to encrypted files winding up in your backup set, whether on a remote, cloud-based backup system or with Time Capsule or clones. Since it has only appeared on Macs in small amounts, probably through Trojan horses inserted into subverted software downloads, it’s speculative to know how a widespread attack would operate. But the answer will vary by backup type. 1. For cloud-hosted backups, new files don’t overwrite old ones, unless you’ve configured settings very strangely. These backups incorporate archived versions of old versions of files and retaining some deleted files,

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while adding new ones. You should be able to figure out the point in time that ransomware attacked, and retrieve a snapshot from that period from your backup. For that to change, ransomware would have to be able to access your archives and delete them, and that typically would require manipulating backup client software. It’s unlikely to ever happen, as it’s too complicated and intricate. This would be the safest way to checkpoint files over time. 2. With Time Machine backups through a directly connected or network-mounted drive, including a Time Capsule, your files should also remain intact. However, ransomware designed specifically for macOS could try to take out Time Machine backups by deleting, encrypting, or corrupting them, so it’s impossible to be quite as secure. 3. Clones, or exact copies of a drive, are susceptible to ransomware encryption so long as and whenever they are connected to an infected computer. Having a couple clones to rotate through could help reduce the potential of a clone being similarly encrypted.

HOW TO RECOVER YOUR FILES WHEN YOUR MAC WON’T START UP PROPERLY

Q

I’m having an issue with my Mac, which won’t boot up. It does turn on, starts to load then freezes. I took it into Apple and they suggested a recovery service. What should I do?

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A

I’m not sure precisely how Apple evaluated her computer. My suspicion is that it found the drive is actually damaged and can’t be mounted properly, rather than needing repair. Nonetheless, I advise people to run through this set of attempts first, since disk recovery can be expensive. 1. Try to mount your Mac on another Mac in Target Disk Mode (tinyurl.com/hk64xrr). You may be able to repair the drive even when the Mac won’t otherwise boot macOS, or just copy the files you need even if the drive is damaged. 2. If you’re comfortable with it or can find someone who is, remove the drive from your computer, put it in an external enclosure, and try to mount it on another Mac or run Disk Utility repair operations on it. Many models of Mac laptops had drives you could remove with some ease or some care, and third parties sell hard disk and SSD enclosures. 3. Find a recovery service, such as Seagate Recovery Services (tinyurl.com/ybx3LvoL). Another path to take, if the drive has corrupted data but will mount and can be repaired by Disk Utility, is a data-recovery app. Our colleagues at Macworld US reviewed Disk Drill 2 (tinyurl.com/ yc4kvwpj) about 18 months ago, and it could be the ticket in some cases. (Please also remember to make regular backups via Time Machine, an online host, cloning software, or, preferably a combination of all three.)

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How to: Install macOS High Sierra on your Mac Apple’s update to macOS is now available. Roman Loyola walks you through what you need to do to get it on your Mac

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pple has released macOS High Sierra, which offers new features such as Apple File System, new features in the Photos app, improved video playback, and more. You can get these new features – and the entire operating system – for free. Before you install High Sierra, you should back up your Mac. Run Time Machine or your online backup service if you have one. Set aside some time to run the installer, at least an hour, depending on

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your internet connection speed. Once you’re ready, follow the instructions below. 1. Launch the App Store app, located in your Applications folder. 2. Look for macOS High Sierra in the App Store or go to tinyurl.com/yam4ngco. You can also do a search, but you’ll probably find it in the top marquee carousel or somewhere in the Features section of the store. Click on it once you find it. 3. This should bring you to the High Sierra section of the App Store, and you can read Apple’s description of the new OS there. When you’re ready, click the Download button at the upper left. The download will take a few minutes. The installer software is over 5GB.

4. When the download finishes, the installer will automatically launch. You can quit (Command-Q) if you want to run the installer later. It will be saved to your Applications folder. Click Continue if you want to proceed. 5. Read the software license agreement and click Agree. 6. Select your Mac’s startup drive and click Install. 7. You must enter the username and password

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for the new ‘helper tool’ that the installer wants to install. Enter this information and click Add Helper. 8. The installer will tell you it needs to restart the Mac to proceed. Click Restart.

9. If you have other applications open, the installer will ask to close those apps. Click Close Applications. 10. Your Mac will restart and proceed with the installation. When it’s done, you’ll have High Sierra on your Mac.

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How to: Turn off website tracking in Safari 11 Safari 11 uses Intelligent Tracking Prevention to stop websites cross-site tracking your web activities. Roman Loyola reports

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ver do something on the web, like shop for shoes, and then notice that every other website you visit has ads for shoes? That’s the result of website tracking. It’s a little creepy, the idea that you’re essentially being followed on the web, targeted with advertising. Apple’s Safari uses WebKit as its engine to present websites through a browser window. WebKit has features to reduce the amount of

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tracking a site does, and the latest feature is called Intelligent Tracking Prevention. ITP cuts down on the ability of a site to do cross-site tracking, which leads to the experience I mentioned above. Safari 11 in High Sierra and Sierra uses ITP. You have the option of turning it on or off. Here’s how. 1. In Safari, go to Safari > Preferences. 2. Click on the Privacy icon at the top of the window. 3. In the ‘Website tracking’ section, you have the option to set ‘Ask websites not to track me’. A website may track what you’re doing during your visit. You can tell Safari to ask that website not to track you. Some websites will honour the request, some won’t. 4. Check the boxes if you want these features turned on.

5. Close the preferences window when you are done.

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How to: Stop autoplay videos in Safari 11 In High Sierra (and Sierra, too), you can disable autoplay video and surf the web in relative peace. Roman Loyola shows how

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utoplay video is the bane of the web. You either hate them, or are completely disgusted by them. Fortunately, with Safari 11, you can easily disable it. Here’s how.

Method 1 1. When you’re on a website with autoplay videos, you can change how those video behave. Click on Safari > Settings for This Website or right-click the URL box and select Settings for This Website.

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2. A pop-up will appear underneath the URL box. There is a listing that says Auto-Play. If you move your cursor over the phrase next to Auto-Play, you will see that it turns into a pop-up menu with three choices: • Allow All Auto-Play • Stop Media with Sound • Never Auto-Play Make your selection.

3. Now click anywhere on the screen to make the pop-up disappear. Videos will show a Play

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button. To play a video, click on it. You can always go back to this Safari preference if you want to change a setting for a website.

Method 2 1. In Safari, go to the website you where you want to disable autoplay videos. For example, I’ll use macworld.com. 2. Click on Safari > Preferences. 3. Click on the Websites icon at the top of the main window. 4. Click on Auto-Play in the left column. 5. To the right is a section called ‘Allow websites below to automatically play media’. (That title is misleading, as you’ll see.) You should see the website you are at listed in the window. Click the pop-up menu to the right of the listed website. You will have three choices to select: • Allow All Auto-Play • Stop Media with Sound • Never Auto-Play 6. Make your selection. Once you do, the website will be added to a section called Configured Websites. If you want to adjust the settings for another website, you will see that section, along with a section called Currently Open Websites. 7. At the bottom of the window is a setting called ‘When visiting other websites’. This will tell Safari what to do when you visit a website not on your

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list of configured websites. You have the same three options as shown above.

8. When you are done, close the window. 9. If you decide to Never Auto-Play, videos on a website will be shown with a Play icon, indicating that you need to click the video to play it. You can always go back to this Safari preference if you want to change a setting for a website.

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