Moving to the Mac TRANSFER DATA, USE OLD HARDWARE AND STAY SECURE.
At one point, all of us were new to the Mac. We all opened up that box and pulled out the new machine, and wondered if we’d be able to figure it out. If you’re reading this magazine, chances are, you did. As Apple has been fond of pointing out for ages, a huge percentage of the people who buy new Macs every year have never used one before. Which means lots of people are still having that first Mac experience. And you probably know some of them. If so, you’ve no doubt been called on to explain things to new Mac buyers. You’ve probably helped with a few initial purchases, too. If you’ve ever worried about the advice you’ve given to the Mac newbies, you’ll find answers here to their most common questions. You can read this story and advise them, or just clip it out and hand it to them. Either way, you’ll help them get their bearings in their new Mac world.
Illustrations by Harry Campbell
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(www.zerothree.com.au) and My Mac (mymac.com.au). Also, there are a number of department stores that have permission to sell Apple products.
How to buy your first Mac BY CHRISTOPHER BREEN You’ve thought long and hard about it and have decided to make the switch from your Windows PC to a Mac. The hard part’s over, right? You just traipse to an electronics boutique, slap down your credit card, learn the secret handshake and you’re a Mac owner. Not exactly. Some questions remain to be answered. Where are Macs sold? Should you skip retail stores altogether and purchase your Mac online? Is it possible to buy an older model for less money? And are post-purchase protection plans worth the money?
Educational discounts. Apple offers discounts for educators and students. Professors, teachers, students and staff of primary and secondary schools and higher education institutions receive discounts for both Macs and Apple software. To see if you are eligible, visit the Apple in Education page (www.apple.com/au/ education).
BUYING DIRECTLY FROM APPLE Like any smart retailer, Apple wants the lion’s share of the profit when selling a Mac, and so it provides itself with perks that it doesn’t share with other retailers. To begin with, when you order online, you can custom-configure your Mac – add
more memory or storage, for example, or upgrade the processor. You can also choose to sign up for Apple’s One to One service, where for $129 a year (extendable to three years) Apple will not only transfer data from an old Mac but also offer training on a drop-in basis at an Apple retail store. Apple also sells refurbished models for a discount (more about this later), which is something other retailers can’t do. And Apple performs many repairs and replacements on-site, whereas authorised retailers often have to return problem products to Apple for exchange or repair.
JANUARY 2014 www.macworld.com.au
IF YOUR MAC HAS A BUILT-IN DISPLAY (A LAPTOP OR iMAC), APPLECARE IS WORTH THE COST.
The third-party advantage. Apple doesn’t hold all the cards, however. These retailers offer the same warranty that Apple does and some physical stores with Apple Authorised Reseller status will migrate data from one Mac to another for free. In a small store, it’s easier to establish a personal relationship with the owner and employees. And those people aren’t limited to telling you only what Apple wants you to hear. They often have advice for working around issues that Apple employees can’t discuss.
WHERE TO BUY A MAC Macs aren’t sold everywhere. Apple maintains tight control over who can sell its products – increasingly so since the Apple retail stores were launched. The source. There are 20 Apple retail stores around Australia – Tasmania and the Northern Territory, however, are still without a store. To find the one nearest to you, visit Apple’s Retail Store page (apple. com/au/retail). You can also shop for your Mac at Apple’s online store. Third-party retailers. Apple isn’t your only choice. You can buy a Mac in person at Apple resellers such as Zero3
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Custom fit. Shop at the online Apple Store and you can customise your Mac’s configuration.
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BEST GAMES FOR iOS
FROM PUZZLES, TOWER DEFENCE AND STRATEGY TO SPORT, CASUAL AND FREE GAMES: THE BEST GAMING APPS FOR iPHONE, iPAD AND iPOD TOUCH
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GAMES Double Fine Productions iPHONE & iPAD FREE
Middle Manager of Justice is a superhero-themed base-building game in which the heroes are preening, stereotype-spouting goons who divide their time between punching thugs, watching TV and manning call centres. You’re their middle manager, working out where best to spend the squad’s pitiful income while assigning your heroes to dole out fist-based justice to assorted evil-doers. Utterly shallow, but the game is aware of that - which is why it works so well.
REAL RACING 3 GAMES Electronic Arts iPHONE & iPAD FREE
GAMES Imangi Studios iPHONE & iPAD FREE
Like the ubiquitous first game, Temple Run 2 is an ‘auto-runner’ wherein you make snap reactions as your fleeing Indiana Jones-alike strives to dodge fatal drops, spikey boulders, hitting walls at speed and the enormous monkey-monster that forever pursues him/her. Death is inevitable, as is having ‘just one more go’.
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TOP 5 FREE GAMES
UNDERCROFT GAMES Jagex Games Studio
iPHONE & iPAD FREE
The Real Racing series is deservedly idolised. But Real Racing 3 - another beautiful and accomplished racing game - follows a different racing line, offering itself for free while touting for income via in-app purchases. The game is gorgeous, even though there is quite a lot of pressure to spend real-world money.
TEMPLE RUN 2
JANUARY 2014 www.macworld.com.au
MIDDLE MANAGER OF JUSTICE
An old-school RPG very much in the vein of Eye of the Beholder, Undercroft harks back to a simpler time when men were men and roleplaying games were turn-based. Hasn’t been updated in a couple of years - hhow we’d ’d llove the h excuse to ddig out our old party - but its low-fi charms remain undiminished.
PANGOLIN GAMES Feedtank iPHONE & iPAD FREE
A physics-based puzzler in which you bounce a cute little creature around a level and try to get him to the goal with as few shots as possible. Sort mid-air of like crazy golf played in mid air with a scaly animal instead of a ball. We like this a lot, and the basic game is free. It’s probably worth shelling out for the extra levels, though.
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Apple iPad mini with Retina display Apple’s small tablet has received a big upgrade.
ometimes it’s the little things. Introduced in late 2012, the iPad mini was as slow as the iPad 2 (which was then almost two years old). It didn’t have the gorgeous Retina display that Apple had added to the iPad earlier in the year. But none of that mattered because, for some people, smallness rules. The original iPad mini may not have been on the cutting edge, but it was half the size of the full-size iPad and half the weight, and those two facts mattered more than a state-ofthe-art processor or a pretty screen. But why compromise when you can have it all? The new iPad mini with Retina display is here, and it eliminates the original mini’s two biggest failings by adopting Apple’s A7 processor and gaining a gorgeous high-resolution
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screen. The only catch is that the iPad mini is no longer half the size of the iPad: With the introduction of the iPad Air and slight increases to the thickness and weight of the mini, the latter is now roughly two-thirds of the size and weight of its larger counterpart. The lines separating large and small iPads have blurred. But fans of the smaller iPad should still rejoice. The iPad mini with Retina display addresses every weakness of the previous model. It’s the iPad mini Apple probably wished it could have made in 2012, but just couldn’t. Hello again, familiar friend. At a glance, the Retina iPad mini sports the same styling as the iPad Air, with a flat metal back that curves up at the sides to meet the glass front.
Mini workhorse. The Retina iPad mini is powered by Apple’s new powerful and power-efficient A7 chip.
Like the original iPad mini (still being sold by Apple, now for $349), it comes in two colour schemes: white front with silver back or black front with 'space grey' back. (The original mini came in black-on-black, but Apple has replaced the black metal finish with this new grey finish; it’s nice, but the all-black style more closely matched the front of the device.) The Retina iPad mini has the same collection of ports as both the iPad Air and its own predecessor: a headphone jack, Apple’s Lightning connector port and (on cellular models only) a SIM slot. As on the iPad Air, there are now two microphones on the mini, rather than one. Apple says this improves audio when you’re shooting videos or video-chatting via FaceTime. The rear-facing camera remains a five-megapixel model that won’t win any awards but will do in a pinch, and the front-facing camera has been slightly upgraded, with a sensor that should improve image quality in lowlight FaceTime sessions. These are the same cameras you’ll find in the iPad Air. The Retina mini’s small stereo speakers also seem the same as those in the non-Retina model; they’re placed so close together that it’s difficult to notice much stereo effect. The Retina iPad mini measures 20cm long by 13.5cm wide, and 0.75cm thick. That’s the same thickness as the iPad Air, but it’s
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accurate impression. This is a device that’s only slightly larger and heavier than the non-Retina iPad mini, but has a full-on Retina display and a modern A7 processor. In a year, Apple has taken a device that was small and light but equipped like an iPad 2, and replaced it with one that’s still pretty small and light, but equipped like an iPad Air.
Pixels on pixels. The secondgeneration iPad mini features a beautiful 326 pixel per inch, 2048 x 1536 display.
When you’ve got it, flaunt it. The iPad mini with Retina display eliminates the two best reasons not to buy an iPad mini. First, the screen. The original iPad mini had the same number of pixels as the original full-size iPad: 786,432 (a 1024 x 768 display). It was packed into a slightly smaller space, so its pixel density was higher, but it was hardly a Retina-quality display – and it showed. The iPad mini with Retina display – well, it’s got it right there in the name: this is the highest-resolution iPad ever. The Retina mini packs the same number of pixels as the full-size iPads (3.1 million, a 2048 x 1536 display) but packed into smaller space, for a density of 326 pixels per inch. (That’s the same density as on the iPhone, but spread across 2.4 million more pixels.) It’s a good display, too. It’s not quite as bright as the Air’s screen, but the difference is barely noticeable.
Colours are displayed uniformly, gradients are smooth, and viewing angles are wide. The colours on the iPad mini’s screen don’t seem to be quite as saturated as those on the iPad Air’s, but it’s still a fine-looking display; there’s nothing cheap-feeling or cut-rate about it. One of the problems with the original iPad mini’s display was that it was doubly compromised. Not only was it not a Retina-calibre display, but it was also physically smaller than those of the full-size iPads. The result was that many apps (most notably magazine and comic-book apps, but there are many other examples) just looked a little too small on the iPad mini. Buttons got smaller, text got smaller and, unless an app’s developers specifically worked to support the iPad mini, users were left with a low-resolution screen full of type that was just a little bit too compact. The smaller-size thing is still an issue here; an app designed for a full-size iPad will now display on the iPad mini at Retina resolution, but everything is still a little bit smaller than on the iPad Air. Reading a magazine or a comic book on the Retina iPad mini is a better experience than on the original mini, because while things are still small, at least they’re clear. If you were born in the 1970s or later, you’ll find that reading comics on
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3/10 of a millimetre thicker than the non-Retina iPad mini. A veteran iPad mini user could probably notice the difference when holding the device between thumb and forefinger, but it’s almost imperceptible. It seems unlikely that any accessory engineered for the original iPad mini would not also work on the new model. In our testing, Apple’s iPad mini Smart Case and iPad mini Smart Cover both worked just fine. This new iPad mini also weighs more than its predecessor, mainly owing to a larger battery that has a capacity of 24.3 watt hours (compared to the original iPad mini’s 16.3 watt hours). The Retina model is between 20 and 30g (or roughly seven percent) heavier than the non-Retina mini. (The full-size iPad gained roughly eight percent when it went Retina.) For those weighing their iPad options, the Retina iPad mini is nearly 140g lighter than the iPad Air. But while the iPad mini with Retina display is lighter than the iPad Air, it’s actually more dense. Picking up the iPad Air, it feels almost impossibly light; as with the iPhone 5 series, it’s a bit like picking up a cardboard tablet sitting on a desk at a furniture store. The Retina iPad mini definitely feels weightier, like a whole lot of technology got packed into a very small space. And that’s an
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