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MacFormat UK - May 2018

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iOpener
Game-changing tech from the world of Apple and beyond
The SonarPen
connects to your
iPad?s headphone
jack, so you don?t have
to worry about the
pen?s battery life.
Despite it?s low price,
the stylus supports
both palm rejection and
pressure sensitivity.
Unlike Apple Pencil, SonarPen?s
pressure sensitivity works with
all iPads, not just Pro models.
SonarPen
Drawing inspiration from this affordable stylus
While Apple Pencil is undoubtedly a brilliant stylus, at � it?s also undoubtedly expensive.
If that price tag puts you off buying one, take a look at the SonarPen. At $29.95 (about �),
it?s a fraction of Pencil?s cost. It supports palm rejection to prevent accidental input, is pressure
sensitive, has a shortcut button, and comes with a magnetic holder. It?s not wireless, instead
relying on a colourful cord connected to your iPad?s 3.5mm headphone jack, so there?s no need
to worry about a battery running out while you work. It?s compatible with non-Pro iPads, too!
From $29.95 (about �) INCLUDES SonarPen, magnetic pen holder
WEBSITE sonarpen.com WORKS WITH All iPads except first-generation model, iPhone 4s or later
macformat.com @macformat
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 3
ON SALE NOW!
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Turn to page 40
More than six months have already
passed since Apple released macOS
High Sierra and iOS 11 into the wild.
The former, in particular, has had a
rough start in life, and perhaps you
haven?t upgraded. But Apple has
fixed serious problems that raised
eyebrows early on, and this issue?s
cover feature will help you through
any lingering problems with installing
the upgrade, how to go about it in a
sensible way, and how to fix post-install problems with your
apps ? including a way to keep incompatible apps running.
The feature also covers Apple?s mobile operating system,
with a guide to changes along with a general troubleshooting
process that?ll help you pinpoint problems on iOS devices.
Some readers have expressed that we don?t pay enough
attention to older kit (see Letters, page 19). We?ll be looking at
how we might address that need. However, sometimes your
hand will be forced into upgrading, often when repairs become
uneconomical, so this issue?s second feature is full of tips to
help you save money when you replace your current Mac.
We were also asked when we might review the iMac Pro.
Apple loaned us a souped-up, 10-core setup ? check it out on
page 82. Few might even entertain the idea of buying one, but
it?s worth reading the benchmarks and our pro video editor?s
thoughts on whether it?s good value.
Meet the team
ALAN STONEBRIDGE
EDITOR
editor@macformat.com
macformatuk.tumblr.com
facebook.com/macformat
twitter.com/macformat
Jo Membery
Operations Editor
Having recently acquired
a second-hand 15-inch
MacBook Pro, Jo?s now
working her way through
our Genius Guide to fixing
High Sierra issues!
Alex Blake
Commissioning Editor
Alex recently inherited
an Apple Watch, and has
a newfound appreciation
for Apple?s wearable.
(Just don?t show him
Apple?s new straps!)
Paul Blachford
Art Editor
Paul has spent this issue
lusting after the iMac Pro,
its stunning and colouraccurate display, and
the amount of time the
space grey beauty could
save on 3D rendering work.
Instagram.com/MacFormatUK
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 5
Issue 325
April 2018
macformat.com
l
8
APPLE CORE
8
RUMOUR & NEWS
The latest updates from Cupertino and beyond
11
APPS & GAMES
Our top picks of the month for Mac and iOS
12
APPLE FACTS
Amazing stats from the world of Apple
14
MACFORMAT INVESTIGATES
Can HomeKit make a comeback?
18
LETTERS
Have your say on all things Apple related
20
OPINION
Matt Bolton comments on a contrite Apple
21
SPLIT VIEW
The team?s views on the latest Apple tech
APPLE HOME
23
LEARNING TECHNOLOGY
68
The new generation of toys from the Toy Fair
24
STEM AND STEAM
Leisure time can now be educational time, too
27
TOP TECH TOYS
The best coding apps and robots for kids
6 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
Save money
on your next Mac
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SUBSCRIBE
TODAY!
Issue 325 CONTENTS
and get a
free
gift
80
GENIUS TIPS
62
APPLE CHOICE
79
APPLE CHOICE
The new iMac Pro ? plus, all the latest
hardware and software reviews
98
STORE GUIDE
Get help with picking your next piece of
Apple kit and the best add-ons to go with it
62
GENIUS TIPS
Howard Oakley solves Mac and iOS issues
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63
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64
OFF THE COVER PRICE!
TURN TO PAGE 40
iOS SOFTWARE
Making good on your mobile gear
PERIPHERALS
We help to solve your hardware hassles
66
MAC SOFTWARE
Our spotlight on solutions to Mac maladies
82
56
APPLE SKILLS
iMac Pro
REVIEW
44
POWER UP YOUR TRACKPAD
Use BetterTouchTool to boost Multi-Touch
46
BOOST APPLE ID SECURITY
Set up two-factor authentication
48
USE HOT CORNERS
Activate functions just by moving the pointer
REGULARS
74
50
MIX VIDEO RESOLUTIONS
Combine different types of footage in iMovie
78
BACK ISSUES
Head here if you?ve missed an issue
104 PHOTO STREAM
Send us your Apple-related shots
105
NEXT MONTH
What?s coming in MF326 on 8 May
macformat.com @macformat
LOVE
YOUR
MAC
Luis tries to print using
classic hardware
52
SPEED-TYPING FEATURES
How to get clever with iOS?s keyboard
56
DISCOVER ALCHEMY SYNTH
Create a bassline in GarageBand
58
APPLE WATCH: STAY SAFE
Set up health and safety features
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 7
What?s inside
8?10
RUMOUR & NEWS
Word on the grapevine
about future Apple kit
11
APPS & GAMES
EDITED BY
ALAN STONEBRIDGE
Our top picks of the
month for Mac and iOS
12
APPLE FACTS
Portable Macs
in numbers
14?17
MACFORMAT
INVESTIGATES
Can HomeKit
make a comeback?
18
LETTERS
Have your say
Could this be the
ultimate portable
powerhouse? A dualdisplay could be a
winning combination.
20
OPINION
Matt Bolton on
being careful what
you wish for
21
SPLIT VIEW
Is Apple right to focus
on fixes, not features?
HOT TOPIC!
Dual-screen MacBook plans
Lower screen would operate as a virtual keyboard
Contact us
Email your queries to
letters@macformat.com
Join the conversation at
facebook.com/macformat
or on Twitter @macformat
8 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
hile its rivals have forged ahead
with 2-in-1 laptop/tablet devices,
Apple has stayed well clear. The
company has never shown willingness to
merge the MacBook and iPad lines, always
keeping them firmly separated.
However, that might soon change, as Apple
has been granted a patent for a device that
could become a dual-display MacBook.
The patent (number 9,904,502 with the
W
US Patent and Trademark Office) was filed
in September 2015, but was only granted
in February 2018. It details a product that
contains two separate displays that are
connected via a hinge axis. The displays
could be rotated along this hinge, allowing
it to be used in different orientations.
Alternatively, Apple also notes that the
two screens could be connected magnetically,
potentially allowing the concept to be applied
macformat.com @macformat
Apple is always working on
the next big thing, and the
next big thing after that, too?
THE POLL
WE ASKED? How much
have you spent on hardware
add-ons for your Mac?
Nothing
�0+
Apple is working on product ideas going into the 2020s
hat interesting products has
Apple got up its sleeve for the
coming years? That?s a closelyguarded secret, but in a recent interview
with Fast Company, CEO Tim Cook said
Apple is working on ideas that will not
see the light of day until the 2020s.
Cook explained that Apple probably
starts a lot of its projects well before its
W
to the iPad Pro in the form of a detachable
second screen, like the Smart Keyboard.
These options allow for a number of
different possibilities. For example, one
of the displays could be used as a virtual
keyboard and trackpad, replacing the
physical keyboard used in current portable
Macs. This could then change its function
depending on the situation, much like the
Touch Bar on the current MacBook Pro
design. The patent explains that the
primary display would be an LCD screen,
while the secondary display (used in place
of the keyboard) would be use OLED, also
like the Touch Bar.
The patent also explains that the
displays would be polarised, so that you
could use them with sunglasses on. This
polarising feature would help to suppress
glare and reflections if you use the device
in bright conditions, too.
competitors, but sometimes takes longer
to release them in order to get them right.
The company has been working on a
number of major projects recently, from
the recently released iPhone X, iMac Pro
and HomePod to the Mac Pro, which
doesn?t yet have a firm release date.
It?s certainly keen to build hype, however
mysterious, for what lies beyond that.
Haptic feedback
Of course, you may not like the idea of
using an on-screen keyboard as opposed
to a regular physical one. However, Apple
appears to be addressing those concerns
with another patent that outlines how
the device could use haptic technology
to give feedback on the virtual keyboard.
This would not only give feedback when
you press a virtual key, but could use an
electrostatic charge to simulate the edge
of a key ? useful for touch-typists.
In the patent, Apple insists that
traditional keyboards lack the flexibility
of a virtual equivalent, which can change
its functions depending on the app you
are using (interestingly, this closely
mirrors Steve Jobs?s introduction of
the original iPhone).
By integrating haptic feedback,
Apple can build an adaptable keyboard
while retaining sensations
that are useful for accurate
and comfortable use.
Other keyboard patents in
recent years suggest this is an
area of deep interest for Apple.
The device could use haptic
technology to give feedback
from the virtual keyboard
macformat.com @macformat
19%
33%
2020 vision
Under �0
21%
27%
�0-�9
Log on and see next
issue?s big question!
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facebook.com/macformat
No iTunes
Store for firstgen Apple TV
If you?re still using a firstgeneration Apple TV, from
25 May you?ll no longer
be able to access the iTunes
Store on that device. Apple
has classed the first-gen
model as ?obsolete?, meaning
Apple will no longer service it.
Although Apple explains
that this access restriction is
due to ?security changes?, it
has not explained what those
changes are. However, it does
say that the first-generation
Apple TV will not be updated
to address them.
If this will affect you,
you?ll need to consider
upgrading to a newer model,
seeing as Apple will no
longer offer to support it.
Apple has also ended
iTunes Store
support for Windows
XP and Vista PCs.
Apple has classed the
first-gen Apple TV, from
2007, as obsolete.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 9
APPLE
NEWS
ROUNDUP
A GAMING PUSH
FOR APPLE TV
TRADEMARK
UPDATE NOW
COVERS GAMES
iPhone X Plus expectations
Apple TV?s trademark
filing has been updated
to now fall under a class
that covers ?video game
consoles; controllers for
game consoles; video
output games, namely,
video output game
machines for use with
televisions; apparatus
for electronic games
adapted for use with an
external display screen
or monitor?, suggesting
this area might get
some attention soon.
Apple said to be expanding the iPhone X range to widen its appeal
fter lower-than-expected sales
of iPhone X, Apple is reportedly
going to bring out an ?iPhone X
Plus? this year. According to a Bloomberg
report (which builds on work by analyst
Ming Chi-Kuo, who has a good track record
when it comes to Apple rumours), Apple will
release a 6.5-inch version of iPhone X.
That will make it the largest-ever iPhone,
dwarfing iPhone 8 Plus (with a screen size of
5.5 inches). And with a more spacious screen
comes a larger resolution, claimed to be
1242x2688 pixels on an OLED display.
Interestingly, the report claims that Apple
is considering whether to make the 6.5-inch
A
phone a dual-SIM model, allowing you to
easily switch mobile providers while you?re
on holiday, for example.
Aside from the 6.5-inch phone, both the
report and Ming Chi-Kuo claim that Apple
will release a second-generation 5.8-inch
iPhone X, alongside a 6.1-inch model with a
lower price tag. All three models will include
Face ID, but the 6.1-inch phone?s display tech
will be LCD rather than OLED to save costs.
As with the original iPhone X, all three
devices will feature edge-to-edge displays.
The lower-cost model will supposedly be
made from aluminium, with the other two
devices being made from stainless steel.
APPLE-BRANDED
HEADPHONES
HIGH-END CANS
RUMOURED FOR
LATE 2018
Despite owning Beats,
Apple is reportedly
working on a set of highend, Apple-branded
headphones. According
to Bloomberg, the cans
will be wireless and
feature active noisecancellation (ANC) tech,
possibly using the same
Pure ANC as Beats?
Studio3 headphones.
According to reports,
the Apple headphones
could come out in late
2018, although they
may end up pushed
into next year.
10 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
Google hosts iCloud data
iCloud hosting switch sees Microsoft Azure lose out
pple has long used
cloud storage
from Amazon
and Microsoft to host
iCloud data, and now
Google has been added
into the mix.
In 2016, Apple agreed
a multi-million dollar deal
with Google to use its Cloud
Platform, according to reports
published in early 2016.
Now, according to Apple?s
A
iOS Security guide, iCloud
hosts data using Amazon S3
and Google Cloud Platform;
the guide no longer makes
reference to the Azure cloud
hosting platform run by
Microsoft, which iCloud
has used in the past.
Since iCloud stores your
contacts, calendars, photos,
documents and a lot of other
personal information, all of
these things could, in theory,
end up on Google?s or
Amazon?s servers.
Apple stresses in its
guide that your data is divided
into chunks and securely
encrypted ?using AES-128
and a key derived from
each chunk?s contents that
utilizes SHA-256?. So,
although Google and Amazon
host the data, the companies
can?t read it. There?s also no
user-identifying information.
macformat.com @macformat
Apps & games APPLE CORE
APPLE
TV
PICK OF THE MONTH
Our top picks
of what?s worth
watching and
playing this month
[iBOOK]
The Secret History of Mac Gaming
�.99 Take a look at entertainment in the pre-OS X era
The Mac went through some
rough years in the 2000s
where entertainment software
was concerned. Even after the
switch to using Intel processors, the Mac still
misses out on a lot of titles. But back in the
Macintosh Classic era through to the start of
the 21st century, Apple?s platform was host to
a whole bunch of quirky and innovative titles
that are all but lost in the mists of time.
This iBook will bring back a flood of
memories. Its game profiles conclude with
catch-ups on what developers went on to do.
We?d have liked more screenshots of
these classics, simply because we no longer
have the hardware to run them. The Secret
History is nonetheless packed with info,
amounting to more than 400 pages? worth
of insights into an easily overlooked yet
intriguing aspect of the Mac?s past.
[ MOV I E]
Film Stars Don?t
Die in Liverpool
�99
A drama based on the
book by the Liverpudlian
lad who dated Hollywood
actress Gloria Grahame
in her twilight years.
[PODCAST]
Disgraceland
FREE
[iO S A PP]
[iOS GAME]
[iTUNES STORE]
Noted
Part Time UFO
FREE
�99
The Lookout
Laura Veirs �99
If you attend lots
of meetings or
lectures, this app
helps you focus on listening,
which research suggests
helps with retention. The free
version is good for meetings,
but large settings might be
worth you subscribing to use
the noise reduction feature.
Why you need it: To help you
focus on what?s being said.
What?s it best for: The ability
to bookmark timecodes.
Created by the
same developer as
Nintendo?s Kirby
series, Part Time UFO puts
you in the role of a helpful
little UFO visiting Earth. Use
its crane arm to load cows
onto trucks, lift cheerleaders
into formation, reconstruct
toppled sculptures, and more.
Why you need it: Short, but
surprisingly satisfying fun.
What?s it best for: 27 levels
with 81 bonus objectives.
Veir?s collaboration
with Neko Case and
k.d. lang in 2016 is
one of our favourite albums
of the decade, and this, her
first solo work in five years,
is also a delight. Described
as a concept album, its theme
is the fragility of the things
we value most in life.
Why you need it: Thoughtful
and exquisite folk-pop songs.
What?s it best for: Watch Fire,
with guest Sufjan Stevens.
macformat.com @macformat
Peel back the skin of
the rock music industry
and discover its seedy
underbelly in tales of
murder, mayhem and
extramarital infidelity.
[T V SHOW ]
Lost in Space
NETFLIX
The Irwin Allen classic
gets resurrected again,
and we?re delighted that
Doctor Smith is played
by the outstanding
Parkey Posey.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 11
APPLE CORE Facts & figures
1
PORTABLE MACS
IN NUMBERS
Untethering the Mac from its wallmounted lockdown gave us a far more
portable way of working and playing
3
> There were
256,000 pixels
in the Macintosh
Portable?s 640x400
display. It could fit
inside the popular 13-inch Retina
MacBook Pro?s display 16 times.
16
2
330%
> The ironically-named
Macintosh Portable
was not exactly a
lightweight device.
At 7.2kg, it weighs
more than the
Mid-2017 iMac,
which is 5.66kg.
> Apple?s laptops have shed weight
in recent years. Sitting at 3.04kg,
2000?s iBook G3 was 330% heavier than
the 0.92kg MacBook released in 2015.
iBook G3: 3.04kg
PowerBook G4: 2.4kg
4
MacBook Air: 1.35kg
5
�490
�
2,349
�
2,490
> Today?s 15-inch MacBook Pro might look expensive with
its �349 starting price, but Apple has been consistent
with its pricing. May 1998?s PowerBook G3 started at
$2,299 ? the equivalent of about �490 today.
12 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
> The first Wi-Fi-
enabled Mac was
1999?s iBook G3.
It also had a 56k
modem, which
would take more
than 204 hours
to download the
4.8GB installer
for High Sierra.
6
�080
12-inch MacBook: 0.92kg
> While MacBook Pro
base storage has shrunk
with the move to SSDs,
you can upgrade to a
2TB SSD ? more than
double the maximum
hard drive size in 2011
of 750GB. It?ll cost you
at least �080, though!
macformat.com @macformat
�
;9@0::<,:-69
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RURUDUHLQFOXGHGDVSDUWRIDQ\LQFOXVLYHRUIUHHPLQXWHVDOORZDQFHVLIRIIHUHGE\\RXUSKRQHWDULII)RUIXOOWHUPVDQGFRQGLWLRQVSOHDVHYLVLWELWO\PDJWDQGF2IIHUHQGV$SULO
APPLE CORE News feature
For our latest
subscription offer
see page 40!
INVESTIGATES
Can HomeKit
make a comeback?
Once exciting and futuristic, HomeKit has been
overtaken by its rivals. Does it stand a chance?
WRITTEN BY
ALEX BLAKE
he annual Consumer Electronics
Show (CES) in Las Vegas may be
a promised land of all things tech,
but Apple is always conspicuous
by its absence. Apple usually skips CES in favour
of its own events, where it has more control, so its
absence at CES 2018 was not surprising.But has
that CES shyness led to HomeKit, Apple?s home
automation platform, failing to capture attention?
CES is, after all, a propaganda stage of epic
proportions. Apple?s somewhat bashful approach
stands in stark contrast to that of two of its main
rivals, Amazon and Google, who have been keen to
take advantage of the free press the show affords.
During the last two years, first Amazon and then
Google have made concerted efforts to make people
aware of their smart home platforms. At CES 2018,
for example, Google plastered Las Vegas with
billboards and even wrapped the city?s monorail
trains in giant adverts. All of that contributed
to heightened awareness of the platform among
show-goers. Not only that, but the show stalls
and booths were packed with gadgets and gizmos
all designed to work seamlessly with Amazon
Alexa and Google Home.
Still, that doesn?t mean that Apple is always
T
14 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
totally absent from CES, even if the company itself
stays away. In the past, the show would be full of
companies desperate to get in on Apple?s lauded
ecosystem, with all manner of speakers, cases,
clocks and more built for iPhones and Macs. This
year, that felt like a distant memory, with Alexa
and Home being the platforms du jour.
While Amazon and Google may advertise their
presence, third-party manufacturers also jump on
board and promote these platforms through their
own products. Yet HomeKit-compatible devices,
though present, were in short supply this year,
drowned out by a flood of competing alternatives.
Putting your home in order
Despite being backed by the world?s biggest
company, HomeKit has struggled against its
rivals, and that has been due in large part to the
restrictions Apple put on HomeKit developers
in the past. In particular, devices were previously
required to use a hardware-based authentication
system. This meant manufacturers had to include
an Apple-approved authentication chip in their
products. If customers already had a non-HomeKit
device from the manufacturer, they?d have to buy
a replacement to work with HomeKit, or a bridge,
macformat.com @macformat
HomeKit versus rivals APPLE CORE
a new
ra
unveiled
Nanoleaf mote for its Auro
re
12-sided nels at CES, but es
a
ic
lighting p eKit-enabled dev
m
other Ho and far between.
were few
macformat.com @macformat
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 15
APPLE CORE News feature
if the manufacturer made one.
According to a Reuters report published
in January 2017, Apple charged between 50
cents and $2 for each of these compatible
chips in small orders, with prices dropping
for larger quantities. That was a significant
financial obstacle to any company that
wanted to get its devices into as many homes
as possible. Reuters also asserted that Apple
required developers to buy specific Wi-Fi and
Bluetooth chips that cost more than rival
options, further adding to the cost.
There were other onerous restrictions that
Apple placed upon would-be HomeKit device
manufacturers. According to the Reuters
report, HomeKit devices had to be made in
specific factories certified by Apple. Reuters
has claimed to have seen a confidential
document listing these factories, numbering
more than 800, yet supposedly only a few of
them specialise in home automation products.
Due to this limited list of fabrication plants,
manufacturers couldn?t always get the best
prices or work with their preferred partners
(although they could ask Apple to certify an
unlisted factory).
Furthermore, manufacturers had to send
product samples to Apple?s headquarters in
Cupertino, where Apple would extensively
test them for compatibility; this process could
take three to five months, during which time
the manufacturers were prohibited from
announcing that they were seeking HomeKit
certification. While this process could find
previously unknown defects or issues in
products thought to be ready for sale, as was
the case with Nanoleaf, a smart lighting
New, software-based
authentication for
HomeKit accessories
means more companies
are finally supporting
the HomeKit platform.
Evidently,
Apple has since
realised the
disadvantaged
position its own
policies put it in
Best of the rest >
Aside from Apple, Amazon and
Google, there are a few other
notable smart home platform
providers. Samsung has made
considerable efforts in this area,
and has recently merged its 40+
smart home apps into the new
SmartThings system. With the
company?s financial clout, it could
become a notable rival.
Another important firm is
Wink, currently owned by i.am+,
a company formed by musicianturned-tech-mogul Will.i.am. Its
16 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
platform works with products from
37 different brands, but currently
is not compatible with HomeKit.
Another, smaller company is
Loxone. Centred on a miniserver
that acts as your home?s hub, the
Loxone system contains over 150
products that can control anything
from heating and lighting to blinds
and windows to locks and doors.
And of course there?s Cortana
from Microsoft, which currently
works with Wink, SmartThings
and other smart home systems.
system, it also represented a significant
hurdle and time delay to any company that
wanted to get a product to market quickly.
Simply put, that all meant it was far easier
and cheaper for manufacturers to make smart
home devices that worked with Alexa and
Home, and skip HomeKit support altogether.
Evidently, Apple has since realised the
disadvantaged position its own policies put
it in, and has changed its course. In June 2017,
the company announced that it would be
switching to a software-based authentication
system. Once iOS 11 came out, that meant any
developer could issue a firmware update to
make a device compatible with HomeKit.
Consequently, consumers no longer need to
buy a new device to ensure they can use
Apple?s system. Still, it makes one wonder:
if the new software authentication system
can do everything that the previous hardware
system did, why then did Apple not use a
software system in the first place?
Regardless, the new setup means anyone
with an Apple developer account can build
a HomeKit device. Although they must still
sign up for Apple?s MFi (Made For iPhone/
iPod/iPad) licensing programme if they want
to sell the devices to the public, they can
create a HomeKit device for their own use
without needing to gain MFi approval.
This change is showing some signs of
bearing fruit. In September 2017, The Verge
reported that ?Apple HomeKit devices are
suddenly booming?. The outlet said that the
rise in HomeKit-compatible devices was a
direct result of Apple loosening the reins on
smart home developers who want to make
macformat.com @macformat
HomeKit versus rivals APPLE CORE
HomeKit privacy and security >
Apple says that it has your
privacy and security in mind in
relation to controlling accessories
using HomeKit. It says it doesn?t
harvest data about which of them
you control, or how you use them ?
such as usage patterns. Commands
are encrypted in transit, including
when sent from a remote location
via your Apple TV, HomePod, or a
persistently powered and online
their gadgets work with HomeKit. Among
the products being updated to work with
HomeKit were Netatmo security cameras,
Ikea smart lights, sensors and switches, plus
Logitech security cameras. As well as those
updates, several companies such as Philips,
August, Elgato and Latch have announced
or launched brand-new HomeKit devices.
That?s all well and good, but the time
Apple spent correcting its earlier mistakes
has seen Amazon and Google surge ahead
in the smart home market. Apple has a lot
of catching up to do.
Companies such as Nanoleaf
used to have to put their kit
through Apple?s timeconsuming testing regime.
What can Apple do?
Removing the hardware authentication
requirement from HomeKit devices was
the right move, but was it too late?
The problem is that HomeKit is partly
held back by Apple?s own philosophy. The
tight control Apple has always had over its
products and ecosystems held back HomeKit
in the past (with the hardware authentication
requirement), and it threatens to limit its
potential for expansion in the future.
That?s because Apple has not opened up
access to Siri across its various devices that
can act as a home hub (HomePod, Apple TV
and iPad) to third-party app developers.
(HomeKit accessories, though, can provide
limited voice control, such as turning lights
on or off, or querying the temperature or
whether a door is locked.) So while Amazon
Alexa and Google Assistant have spread far
and wide in smart homes, Siri is a seriously
constrained assistant. For example, it offers
no integration with ride-booking services,
macformat.com @macformat
Apple needs to
better explain
HomeKit?s
benefits to
consumers and
manufacturers
iPad acting as your home hub to
allow remote access. HomeKit also
acts as a go-between for apps you
use to configure automations, and
prevents third-parties being able to
access your location.
But, like any software, HomeKit
isn?t infallible. At the end of 2017,
Apple had to quickly plug a security
hole in iOS 11.2 that could allow an
attacker to control accessories.
which is possible with Alexa. Third-party
apps and services on Apple?s platforms
don?t integrate with HomeKit to extend its
capabilities at present (unlike Alexa Skills),
putting HomeKit at a clear disadvantage ?
at least for now.
In an ideal world, Apple would open up
access to Siri to any third-party developer
that wants to use it, obviously with some
conditions and restrictions on usage. That
hasn?t happened yet, given the overarching
control Apple wields over its systems,
pitched as being in the interests of people?s
privacy. However, that may change at June?s
Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC)
when it announces the next evolution of
its various platforms.
As we argued last issue (#324), Apple
needs a more affordable and versatile smart
home platform for app developers to work
with. Neither HomePod nor Apple TV allow
that, at least not yet; beyond HomeKit?s
limitations, they cost a lot more than rivals.
Furthermore, Apple needs to encourage
people to make use of HomeKit by better
explaining its benefits to consumers,
developers and accessory manufacturers.
It has long prided itself on the security and
ease of use of its products. That?s the message
it needs to push with HomeKit, and it already
has a number of useful security features in
place to bolster it. For example, HomeKit is
reliant on security provided by your Apple
ID, such as the encrypted iCloud Keychain.
It?s not too late for HomeKit, and Apple is
taking steps in the right direction. But it must
make a huge effort at WWDC and beyond if
it?s to catch up with its rivals, put right the
mistakes of the past and truly establish
HomeKit as a worthy smart home platform.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 17
CONTACTS Get in touch
Contact us
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and your questions to
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LETTER OF THE MONTH!
What?s up with Apple?
Thank you for a great magazine. A very
informative and interesting read. One of
the informative and interesting articles
I read was ?top-notch innovation? for the
iPhone (in your Apple Core section, in
MacFormat?s March issue, #323).
I have invested heavily in Apple
products the last couple of years, having
switched from Microsoft systems, because I was impressed with the design
and quality of Apple?s products and that they just work. Until now.
Recently, I?ve become disillusioned. Having bought the highest spec
iMac at the time of purchase, with a 3TB drive and maxed-out memory,
processor and graphics card, after two years of use the drive has failed.
Not what I expected after splashing out over �000 for a desktop.
I am also disillusioned and disappointed with the iPhone X offering.
Yes, it is a high-performing phone, but that notch, that ugly notch. It just
spoils the design. Then there?s the all-glass construction, and the huge
cost of repair if either the front or the back of the phone gets damaged.
So I read with interest the possible launch in 2019 of the reduced notch
in the next iPhone. Will it be aesthetically acceptable for me to upgrade,
I wonder? The notch is the primary reason I haven?t upgraded to iPhone X.
This, together with the other issues (battery software slowdown, and
the susceptibility of the chips to Meltdown
and Spectre bugs), have dented my
Q LETTER OF
confidence in Apple and its products.
THE MONTH
Has Apple lost its way? Is greed for
profit and growth affecting quality? Is it
worth spending three times as much for
an Apple product anymore? I am beginning
The author of our Letter
to think it is not.
of the Month receives a
BY CHRISTOPHER HOUGHTON
prize! Email us to be in
with a chance of winning
ALAN SAYS? I had a similar experience
a Night Cable from Native
with
a failed hard drive in a PowerBook G4,
Union. This ultra-strong
just
over
a year after purchase. That just
three-metre cable has a
happens with some drives; statistically, it?s
weighted ball to help keep
it in place. Find out more
all but inevitable, though that doesn?t make
at nativeunion.com.
it any more palatable when it happens.
I ended up running that Mac off a FireWire
drive for a year before I could afford to get
the internal one fixed.
The notch on iPhone X is an acquired
taste; I tend to have strong gut reactions
to visual changes, but quickly settle down.
Win a Night
Cable?
The notorious notch is something we?ve quickly got
used to ? in most circumstances; it stands out a mile
in full-screen games that play in landscape though.
That?s the case with iPhone X. In fact, I?ve
quickly grown used to the notch in most
circumstances, except for games played in
landscape orientation, where its diabolical
intrusiveness puts a large dent in my sense
of immersion. Let?s hope the reduced notch
size happens ? and looks much better.
We also took a look at the battery/
processor speed issue in MacFormat #323,
and there was consensus among the team
that Apple could have handled it better ? at
least by disclosing it in explicit terms in iOS
10.2.1?s release notes. The fallout from that
is on Apple, but it?s likely to be a while before
we can tell if there?s a measurable migration
of customers away from the iPhone due to it.
On the subject of the Meltdown and
Spectre bugs, though, they originated with
processor designers rather than Apple.
The bugs affect more than one hardware
manufacturer, an unintended consequence
of a processing optimisation technique that
has been widely used in designs across the
industry for many years. Not all processors
are impacted by them, but given that Intel
processors are so widely used in Windows
and Linux PCs, it?s not like switching
operating systems offers a ?simple? fix.
I was rather impressed that Apple began
rolling out partial fixes for those issues weeks
before they were publicly disclosed at the
start of the year. I?m a lot more concerned
about the serious lapses that were seen in
High Sierra?s early versions, which really
dented Apple?s reputation for me.
macformat.com @macformat
Get in touch CONTACTS
Fear of being left behind
In last month?s Letter of the Month, Dave Phelan expressed
my exact feelings with his accusation that MacFormat now
concentrates on rich pro users, to the exclusion of the rest of
us. I also have older kit; after all, Apple gear is well built and
lasts a long time, so why exclude kit that is not exactly hot off
the assembly line? OK, Luis does his thing with older kit and
I enjoy reading that, but so much of the mag now is something
that I leaf through rather than settle down to read. You may
have to change your title to MacForPros!
Having said all that, it?s a nicely produced publication and
you have, at last, stopped flirting with extremely lightweight
fonts on strange-coloured backgrounds!
BY SUSA N PL AT TER
ALEX SAYS? Thanks for following up on David?s concerns,
Susan. We?re aware that many of our readers don?t spend
a huge amount of money on new Apple hardware. We cover
new Macs in the reviews section because a lot of readers
want buying advice on those models, especially after
Apple?s most recent price adjustments based on currency
fluctuations and other factors, which took the entry level
price of an iMac ? equipped with a plain hard drive that?s
High Sierra runs on some Macs that are nine years old, though hardware
performance plus app and peripheral compatibility might hold you back.
really old hat in 2018 ? above the �9 mark, and that kind
of figure is a price barrier for many people.
However, I expect that it?s other content in the magazine
that?s aggravating to yourself and Dave, so we?ll be in touch
with you directly to discuss this further and learn where you
think we can make tweaks to address the needs of people
like yourself who are running older Apple hardware.
Meanwhile, we?ve extended the closing date for our
survey to give all our readers, including irregulars, plenty
of opportunity to have their say ? see below.
Digital issue archives
I have been a subscriber to MacFormat for
many years and I?m wondering if I can get
the digital versions. There are certain ?how
to? pages I want to keep on file.
I have tried scanning pages using the
Scanner Pro app, but they don?t scan clearly.
BY IAN BARNES
JO SAYS? Up until a few years ago, we used
to offer subscribers access to a PDF archive.
At some point before my time, that ended,
likely due to resourcing constraints.
You can subscribe to our print and digital
bundle (see page 40) to get both formats for
nominally more than a print subscription on
its own. The bundle gives you access to the
digital edition through our official app. This
works well if you want to read the magazine
on a 9.7-inch or larger iPad, but sadly our
app is not available for reading on a Mac.
If you want to read MacFormat on your
Mac, see our partner, Zinio (zinio.com), which
offers Mac, iPhone and iPad apps. It?s the
most flexible option for reading us digitally.
Sadly, though, if you also want the print
edition, we?re unable to offer Zinio as part of
our print and digital bundle. Our subscriptions
aren?t set up to allow for this eventuality.
We?ll feed back this gap in our offering to
our subscriptions team, though.
macformat.com @macformat
Have Your Say
We want to hear your opinion on what we?re
covering in MacFormat and how well we?re
addressing your needs as an Apple fan.
Take part in our reader survey at
bit.ly/mfsurvey2018
The closing date of this survey is Friday 15 June, 2018
APPLE CORE Opinion
MATT BOLTON?
WANTS APPLE TO BE MORE OPEN
ABOUT WHAT GOES ON INSIDE,
BUT ALSO NEEDS TO BE CAREFUL
WHAT HE WISHES FOR?
Last April, when Apple opened up about the state of the Mac
Pro, I was delighted. Senior executives invited journalists
for a round-table discussion about why the 2013 model hadn?t
worked out. The phrasing came with a lot of Apple positivity,
but it was a big mea culpa, admitting that it had gambled on
workloads that benefit from multiple GPUs, but pro software
wanted a big, single GPU, and the system just couldn?t handle
the heat needs of that kind of setup. ?We designed ourselves
into a bit of a thermal corner,?
said Craig Federighi.
Apple laid its mistakes bare in
front of a fuming professional
market, and in doing so took a lot
of the sting out of the fury.
Personally, I went from angry and
frustrated over the lack of updates
to the Mac Pro, to patiently
waiting and frustrated. I now knew what to expect (a new
modular Mac Pro, though not for a couple of years), and I know
why things had been quiet. Mostly, it made me think: why
doesn?t Apple do this more often? How much ill will could
be negated if we understood the actual challenges involved?
Fast-forward to March 2018 and we get an expos� in
The Information that digs into the history of Siri at Apple. This
isn?t Apple airing its own dirty laundry, as in the Mac Pro
event, but it had the same effect on me. The report says that Siri
was actually cobbled together inefficiently for its
launch, and that the years since then have been
spent modernising its core ? in one case, a feature
that used to require 500 servers to power was
reduced to needing five, purely from a code rewrite
to make it more efficient.
Like the Mac Pro discussion, it changed my
view on Siri a lot. I went from ?Why the hell has it
barely progressed in over six years?? to ?Oh, that?s
a shame but makes sense. I?m excited for what
Apple can do now, though!? Knowing the details
behind screw-ups really does soften me up ? the
company?s employees are human after all! But it
wasn?t just my view on Siri that changed from that
story. The reason Siri
is struggling is reported
We know internal struggles
happen at Apple, including
to be the result of petty
over the iPhone ? but those
battles elevated that device. management infighting,
and a pretty severe lack
They?ve held Siri back.
Apple laid its
mistakes bare?
Its employees are
human, after all!
20 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
The Mac Pro was an amazing bit of kit, but its one-size
approach definitely did not fit all.
of leadership. Though I now understood the
technical constraints, the social ones started
to eat at me. Is this important feature really
being squandered by egos clashing? I wonder
what else is being held back that way.
And now I look at the Mac Pro discussion
again, and I see whatever the opposite of
a silver lining is there, too. How did Apple
wind up with a design that wouldn?t suit the
pro software is was aiming to run? Was it not
speaking to the likes of Adobe? Did it ignore
them? Did they tell Apple what it wanted to
hear for extra support?
I wanted to know what was in Apple?s
forbidden closet of mystery ? I still do! ? and
got my wish. I don?t know why I was surprised
to find it was skeletons.
ABOUT MATT BOLTON
Matt is the editor of Future?s flagship
technology magazine T3 and has been
charting changes at Apple since his
student days. He?s sceptical of tech
industry hyperbole, but still gets warm
and fuzzy on hearing ?one more thing?.
macformat.com @macformat
APPLE CORE Split view
SPLIT VIEW
The MacFormat team debates the hot Apple
issues of the day, using their iPhones of course!
Jo says?
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?DO YOU THINK SMARTPHONES
REALLY ARE ADDICTIVE??
Yes and no. As handheld computers, the
smartphone has revolutionised how we go
about things. For the better, for the most part.
Alex says?
woz.org
?I designed a
computer but
Steve is the one
who made it
into a product.?
TIM COOK
apple.com
?[A lot of people
said] it could
never work
because it didn?t
have a physical
keyboard.?
I know what you mean. I organise my life with
notifications and reminders. I still use paper,
but I just need a nudge to check my diary!
I think my iPhone use is productive; I don?t
spend all day on Instagram or Snapchat.
If I?m getting stuff done, I?m happy with that.
The first iPhone was slated
by some, but still became
a ?category definer?
I use WhatsApp a fair bit, but it?s for family
and social admin. Stuff like that, with a
number of people trying to communicate,
takes a gazillion landline calls or emails.
NORMAN WINARSKY
bitly.com/winarsky
?Surprise and
delight is kind
of missing [from
Siri] right now.?
My concern is more with social media. It?s the
endless wasted hours checking the status of
friends, worrying if someone?s liked a post?
One of the creators of Siri
says it needs to work hard
to catch up to its rivals
Yes, and I think in this ?smart age?, that kind of
addiction is a serious concern. My son spends
too much time watching YouTube videos of
video games after spending too much time
gaming. I need a good Wi-Fi control app.
MOBY
moby.com
The parental controls in macOS are great
(covered in our August 2017 issue) ? I think
we?ll see more like them in iOS pretty soon.
Siri, read me a haiku?
tap to edit
I?ll give it a try,
although I?d rather tell you
if it?s raining out.
macformat.com @macformat
STEVE WOZNIAK
Wozniak explains the
key difference between
himself and Steve Jobs
Agreed. I commute on the train and read the
news on my phone, but I also read books or a
newspaper ? if I have smartphone addiction,
I?ve also got a paperback addiction.
Siri...ously?
APPLE
IN QUOTES
?You do know
at some point
this is going to
have a camera
and a phone
attached to it??
Musician claims he inspired
Apple to move from iPod
to iPhone with these words
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 21
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What?s inside
23-27
PLAY & LEARN
Thanks to coding,
playtime is now a lot
more interactive
EDITED BY
CLIFF JOSEPH
24
PI, STEM
& STEAM
We look at the
apps and bots that
offer educational
programming
27
TOP TECH TOYS
The toys on our
birthday wish lists
LIVE
SMARTER
The smart home is
here ? live the Apple
dream today!
Apple Home isn?t just about light
bulbs and security cameras ? there
are some great tech toys that can
help children develop their skills
and education at home
pple has always been
involved in education.
Right from its earliest days
back in the 80s, the graphical
interface of the Mac proved popular in US
schools and colleges, and got many young
kids started with programming in the same
way as the ZX Spectrum and BBC Micro
did here in the UK. These days, of course,
young children seem to be born with an
iPad in their hands, and there?s a huge
number of educational apps available
that can help with the three ?Rs? ?
reading, (w)riting and ?rithmetic.
The modern world needs a variety
of skills, though, and there are plenty of
other high-tech toys that can help kids
to develop a wide range of scientific and
creative skills, and after last month?s
smart home show report from CES,
we came back home to check out
the latest high-tech developments
from the Toy Fair in London.
A
Contact us
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letters@macformat.com
Keep up to date by
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@macformat
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The LEGO Gripp3r robot features
powerful grasping ?fingers? so you
can get it to grab things for you.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 23
APPLE HOME Tech toys
The latest high-tech toys can be great
fun ? but can also help your children to
develop important skills for the future
What is Swift
Playgrounds?
Swift is a programming
language released by
Apple in 2014. It was
designed to be simpler
than the Objective-C
language Apple
developers were using
until that point, and
easier to get into
for people without
prior programming
experience. In 2016,
Apple introduced Swift
Playgrounds, an iPad
app that introduces
Swift to children aged
8-12 years old ? but is
popular with adults, too.
What about AR?
Apple has big plans for
augmented reality (AR),
and the tech is starting
to find its way into
educational toys. Even
toddlers can get started,
with toys such as Parker,
Your AR Bear (�, for
ages 3+), which uses an
iOS app to allow children
to interact with Parker
while solving puzzles
and playing games.
24 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
he CES show that
takes place in
Las Vegas every
January always
makes headlines, even if it?s
sometimes dismissed as just
?toys for boys?. But there?s
another show that happens every
January that is meant to be all about
toys. Admittedly, London?s Olympia
conference centre isn?t as glamorous or glitzy
as Vegas, but this year?s Toy Fair had more than
its fair share of high-tech highlights.
In amongst all the classic board games that
seem to be making a comeback, and the recent
barrage of ?poop? toys (apparently inspired by
Apple?s latest collection of emojis), there was a
really strong showing from STEM toys ? ?science,
technology, engineering and maths? ? that allow
young children to have fun whilst also learning
skills that will be important for their future
education and career.
T
Early learning
There have always been toys that use
technology to teach children new skills, with
many generations of kids causing mayhem at
home with chemistry sets and engineering kits,
or perhaps leaning towards more artistic tools
like Etch A Sketch and Spirograph. But modern
tech toys probably started with good old LEGO
back in 1986, when it first introduced LEGO kits
that included a motor that could be controlled
by a computer. Then, in 1998, LEGO released the
hugely popular Mindstorms kits, which included
macformat.com @macformat
Tech toys APPLE HOME
Parker, Your AR Bear
by Seedling uses
augmented reality
technology to interact
with your child.
Explained
Programming
languages
There are lots of
programming languages
in use these days. Apple?s
Swift is ideal for coding
on Macs and iOS devices,
but other languages that
are simple for children to
learn include Google?s
Blockly, and the graphicsoriented Alice for slightly
older students.
macformat.com @macformat
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 25
APPLE HOME Tech toys
Raspberry Pi
The low-cost, high-performance
flexible little computer
With prices starting at less than �,
the compact and affordable Raspberry
Pi computer has really helped to make
programming popular in recent years.
There are several models of Pi available.
All consist of a simple circuit board that
holds the main computer processor,
memory and a few USB ports. You can
What is STEM?
The latest buzzword in
educational jargon is STEM
? science, technology,
engineering and maths ?
with many government
plans now focusing on
STEM in schools to prepare
pupils for the workplace
of the future. Many online
stores also have special
STEM sections for parents
who want to check
out some of the latest
tech-equipped toys.
What Is STEAM?
Not all tech toys focus
exclusively on science and
technology. There?s a
variation on STEM called
STEAM that covers a wider
curriculum ? science,
technology, education, art
and maths. The Osmo iPad
game kits include an art
game called Masterpiece
that helps children to
create artwork by copying
photos that they can take
with an iPad?s camera.
There?s also an add-on
pack for the Osmo kit,
called Coding Jam
(�), that focuses
on using coding
blocks to
make music.
26 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
extend Pi?s
capabilities with add-ons
such as a mouse and keyboard,
camera, and even a touchscreen display.
There are several ways of using an
iPhone or iPad with a Pi ? in fact, an iPad
can act as a screen for the tiny device,
and there are projects online, such as
a programmable ?intelligent brick? that enabled
children to build proper little robots that could
perform a variety of tasks all by themselves.
Twenty years later, programming and coding
are seen as vital skills for the future, and
there?s now a whole new generation of robot
toys available for kids of all ages.
One of the ?Hero? awards at this year?s
Toy Fair went to Botley, The Coding Robot
(from �), a cute little two-wheeled robot
designed for children as young as five years
old. Botley keeps things simple for young
children, using ?coding cards? to introduce
simple programming concepts, with no need
for a smartphone or tablet.
If your youngsters are confident enough
to handle an iPhone or iPad, they could try
the Osmo Coding Game Kit (�, for ages 6+).
The Osmo kit includes a number of LEGO-like
blocks that represent simple programming
commands, along with a special docking stand
that transfers those commands to your iPad
so that your child can animate and control a
little computer-graphics pet on the screen.
There are other Osmo games that can help
with different skills too, such as the Pizza
Company game that focuses on running a
small business and handling money.
As old Play-Doh fans, we?re also pleased to
see the new Play-Doh Touch (�, for ages 4+),
which lets you mould little animal shapes and
There?s now a whole new
generation of robot toys
for kids of all ages
HomeBridge, to enable
you to control a variety
of smart home accessories
through a Pi.
Read more at raspberrypi.org and, if
you?re good at tinkering, our sister mag
Linux Format (linuxformat.com) contains
a section all about Pi every issue.
The Play-Doh Touch app helps
to combine actual tactile fun
with virtual creativity.
then scan them into an iPad to create your
own on-screen games and adventures.
Rise of the robots
Step up a couple of school years, and there?s
some really serious robot action going on.
LEGO is still going strong, of course, and
the latest Mindstorms EV3 enables you to
create a variety of different robots from a
single kit. The EV3 is a little pricey ? at �0,
for ages 10+ ? but it?s very sophisticated, and
includes components such as touch and light
sensors that allow your robots to navigate
their way around obstacles all by themselves.
And, as well as offering iOS and Android apps
for programming your robots, LEGO is one of
the few companies that also has Mac and PC
versions of its app as well, along with
a good selection of tutorial videos on
its website to help you get started.
LEGO?s arch-rival, the UK-based
Meccano, has its own range of
robo-toys, which are a little less
expensive ? typically �0-�0
macformat.com @macformat
Tech toys APPLE HOME
FIVE OF THE BEST
Kids just don?t know how lucky they are these days!
Botley,
The Coding Robot
From �
LEGO
Mindstorms EV3
�9
Meccano
MeccaSpider
�0
Osmo Coding
Game Kit
�
Swift Playgrounds
Free
learningresources.co.uk
lego.com
meccano.com
playosmo.com
The award-winning
Botley is a simple robot,
designed for children 5-9
years old. You don?t even
need an iPhone or iPad,
as you can use coding
cards to control it. It can
follow lines you draw on
paper, and use sensors
to avoid obstacles.
Shop around, as prices
for the EV3 vary (�0�0). It?s a great kit,
capable of building
several different types
of robot, and includes
smart sensors that you
can program and control
using the EV3 app for
Mac and iOS devices.
There?s a wide range
of Meccano robot kits,
mostly �0-�0, but
the MeccaSpider is our
favourite. At 19cm high,
41cm wide and 46cm
long, it?s enough to give
you nightmares, and the
Meccano app includes
some built-in games, too.
The Osmo Gaming Kit
is a great learning toy
that includes a special
iPad docking station,
along with three games
that focus on coding,
drawing and physics.
You can expand it with
other games, including
Coding Jam for music.
The Swift Playgrounds
app (iPad only, but also
completely free) was
introduced by Apple
in order to help young
children ? typically ages
8-12 ? to get started with
programming. You can
also use Swift to program
some of the robots Apple
sells online and at retail.
per kit ? although the Meccano kits aren?t quite
so versatile, and tend to focus on creating just
one specific robot, such as the super-creepy,
multi-legged MeccaSpider.
Apple even has a section devoted to robots
and other educational toys in its online store,
although it?s important to realise that many
?app-enabled? drones and robots that are
marketed as ?educational? are more about
play ? like the Star Wars BB-8 droid by
Sphero, whose movements can be
controlled by an app on iOS devices,
but which teaches coding in a more
limited fashion through Apple?s
Swift Playgrounds app for iPad.
Some of the best programming
and coding robots come from more
specialised companies such as
UBTECH, with its Jimu range of
robots (from �0, for ages 8+),
or the CleverBot family from
Wonder Workshop, which starts at � for the
little Dot robot for ages 6+, going up to �0 for
the more complex Cue, which is aimed at older
children from 11 years upwards.
All of these robots can help with general
programming and coding skills,
although some are also designed
to work with Swift, the latest
coding language developed
by Apple. The Swift-compatible
robots are labelled with a
special ?Code With Swift? logo
at Apple?s online store, so if
you want your kids to get rich
and support you in your old
age by designing the next
Instagram or WhatsApp, then
that?s a good place to
get started.
bit.ly/swiftplgr
UBTECH?s Jimu Robot AstroBot
kit comprises three different
robots ? the AstroBot, Rover
and Astron ? or you can design
your own using its iOS app.
Beware the LEGO Spik3r! This
scorpion-like bot is equipped
with a crushing claw.
macformat.com @macformat
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 27
Downloading High Sierra adds an installer app
to the Applications folder, from which you can
make an install disk to use on multiple Macs.
Before you upgrade
B
efore you begin to troubleshoot
your existing High Sierra setup
or install the system afresh,
take time to spring clean your Mac.
Get everything in order, then make a
backup of your entire system using Time
Machine or, better, a cloning app such as
Carbon Copy Cloner (�.88, bombich.
com). As shown in last issue?s Detox and
Back Up special, this means you?ll have
a complete backup you can revert to if
need be. (After you?ve installed High
Sierra, ironically, Time Machine will
automatically save a Local Snapshot
of your system before installing any
macOS update.) Even if High Sierra
installs smoothly, people have reported
various problems occurring afterwards,
so you?ll be glad to have a backup from
which to restore such vital data.
Verify your Mac can run High Sierra
at bit.ly/abouthighsierra. Beyond the
hardware needs, it must be running
OS X 10.8 or newer. If it?s not, install
El Capitan first (bit.ly/getelcap), and
then upgrade directly to High Sierra:
When you click the Mac App Store?s Updates tab, it can take a while for available updates to appear.
If you have multiple Macs on which to install a macOS update, download from support.apple.com instead.
macformat.com @macformat
in the Mac App Store, click the Updates
tab and you should see High Sierra in the
list. If not, look in the Featured tab, or use
the Search field at the top right to find it.
If you?re updating several Macs and
don?t want to have to download the
installer each time, it?s possible to create
a bootable macOS installer on a USB
flash drive or an external hard drive with
at least 12GB of space. Any data already
on this will be erased. You?ll need to use
a Mac with High Sierra, Sierra 10.12.5,
or El Capitan 10.11.6 or newer, with an
internet connection to download the
installer. Once downloaded, the installer
will open automatically; press �+q
to quit it, then locate the Installer in the
Applications folder. If you?re comfortable
using Terminal, follow the steps Apple
gives at bit.ly/create-installer.
Alternatively, try Install Disk Creator
(free, macdaddy.io); in it, select the target
USB drive, then the macOS installer, and
click Create Installer. Eject the drive when
it?s ready. To use it, connect it to the Mac
you want to upgrade, restart the Mac and
hold �, choose the install disk as the one
to start up from, and the installer will run.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 29
FEATURE Fix High Sierra & iOS 11
Trouble getting started
Having trouble getting High Sierra to install?
Here are some solutions to try out
M
ost times, High Sierra
installs without problems,
but there are a few common
hiccups. If your hardware and system
are compatible but you get an error
message along the lines of ?macOS
High Sierra download has failed? or
?installation could not continue?, then
it could be that your internet connection
or Apple?s server is too busy. Try again
later, ideally at a quieter time of day.
It might also be worth switching
from Wi-Fi to an Ethernet cable, so your
connection is as reliable as possible.
In the Mac App Store, choose Store >
Check for Unfinished Downloads, and
you should be able to resume any stalled
downloads. If not, choose Store > Sign
Out, then sign in again.
If you get an error message saying
installation has failed, something is
missing or damaged, or just ?an error
occurred? while verifying or installing,
restart your Mac, then open your
Applications folder, locate the installer
app (named ?Install macOS High Sierra?),
and double-click it to run
it again. If you get an
error message again or
it won?t run, trash the
installer app, then try
downloading a fresh
copy and opening it.
Make room
Verify there?s enough free
space. To install High
Sierra, the target drive
needs at least 14.3GB of
space available. Check how much you
have by choosing Go > Computer and
use Get Info (�+I) or turn on Finder?s
status bar (View > Show Status Bar),
which appears across the bottom of the
app?s windows ? if you have more than
one drive or partition, make sure you?ve
selected your Mac?s startup disk.
If you?re using Sierra, the operating
system offers some useful advice on how
to make space available. Choose � >
About This Mac, click the Storage tab,
then Manage. Apple provides advice on
The oldest Macs that run High Sierra came with
Snow Leopard, but you need at least Mountain Lion
to upgrade; if needed, go via Sierra: bit.ly/get1012.
using this feature, and general advice on
freeing up space, at bit.ly/gain-space.
Bear in mind that even if you can
install High Sierra, your Mac might not
support all its features ? if one isn?t
available to you, check its requirements
at bit.ly/high-sierra-spec.
HOW TO Roll back to a known stable version
1 macOS Recovery
If macOS won?t load, restart holding
C+R after powering on and your Mac
will start from its built-in Recovery
partition. Many Macs since 2010 can fall
back on Internet Recovery, indicated by
a globe instead of the Apple logo.
30 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
2 Recovery options
Release the keys when one of those
appears. When the macOS Utilities menu
loads, you can opt to reinstall the latest
macOS that was on your Mac, check
and repair the disk using Disk Utility,
or restore from a Time Machine backup.
3 Revert to start
Holding �+�+r at startup will
upgrade to the latest compatible macOS.
If you have Sierra 10.12.4 or later, press
�+�+�+r to reinstall your original
macOS, or the closest available ? great
for rolling back to one you know works.
macformat.com @macformat
Fix High Sierra & iOS 11 FEATURE
What Apple has fixed
High Sierra got off to a shaky start with some serious bugs,
but the good news is that Apple has been on the case?
Y
ou?ve probably read all about
the flaws in the earliest
versions of High Sierra.
Some were a good deal more serious
than the usual minor bugs that crop up
in any operating system release, but
Apple has worked to address them in
successive updates. This applies even
to issues that weren?t its fault, such as
the so-called Spectre and Meltdown chip
vulnerabilities ? fundamental design
flaws in processors, including (but not
limited to) the Intel processors used in
Macs. Apple included ?mitigations? for
these in 10.13.2 and newer.
The earliest reported problem was
a flaw in keychain services, which meant
that malicious code could steal the
contents of your keychain, including
critical passwords. The second was
a bug that affected encrypted APFS
volumes, APFS being the Apple File
System, introduced in High Sierra and
applied automatically to your startup
disk if it?s an SSD (though that specific
volume is only optionally encrypted).
When such a volume was mounted and
Even some of our writers held off installing High Sierra on their main computer, sometimes due to
software compatibility issues, but also because of the disclosure of serious mistakes on Apple?s part.
installing the first release of this update
could itself disable macOS?s File Sharing
feature. Apple issued a separate support
note with instructions on how to get it
We?d normally suggest holding back to find out
what issues early adopters find, but based on past
issues, we suggest updating High Sierra quickly
you were prompted for its password,
the password itself was displayed, in
plain text, instead of your password hint.
Both of these (and other bugs) were
fixed in updates ? see bit.ly/hs-suppupdate and bit.ly/hs-password-fix.
A grass-roots issue
The ?root user? vulnerability enabled
anyone to gain administrative access
to your Mac simply by logging in with
the username ?root? and leaving the
password blank. Apple fixed this in
Security Update 2017-001. Ironically,
macformat.com @macformat
working again: bit.ly/repair-fileshare.
A revised update is now available, but
you won?t need it if you?ve updated
to 10.13.3 (or later), as this version
includes both fixes.
Our best advice is to keep up with
the latest macOS updates and install
them at once. It?s true that updates often
break something else, and we?d normally
suggest holding back a week or so, and
checking online forums to find out what
issues ? and what fixes ? early adopters
have found. It?s your choice, but with
such serious vulnerabilities having been
discovered in High Sierra already,
we recommend keeping it up to date.
Make frequent backups and you?ll have
the option of stepping back if an update
causes you problems ? remember that
Time Machine paired with macOS
Recovery provides the option of rolling
back your system to an earlier version.
To check for updates, Go to the Mac
App Store?s Updates tab. Note, however,
that some critical security fixes are
released as automatic updates.
By default, your Mac checks for these
fixes daily, and when an automatic
security update is available, it installs
automatically and displays a notification
to tell you so. You therefore won?t see
those updates in this tab.
To ensure you get these fixes, open
System Preferences? App Store pane
and make sure these three options are
enabled: ?Automatically check for
updates?, ?Download newly available
updates in the background?, and ?Install
system data files and security updates?.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 31
FEATURE Fix High Sierra & iOS 11
App troubles
Many apps don?t play well with High Sierra, and
you may have to upgrade them alongside macOS
A
ny software update can result
in glitches and problems.
High Sierra is a major macOS
revision with far-reaching changes under
the hood, and inevitably this has meant
problems with some apps.
The solution is almost always to
upgrade to the newest version of the app
in question; in the vast majority of cases,
you can do so free of charge. Some older
apps, however, aren?t being updated,
which means you might need to find a
replacement, but before you invest time
in that, see page 36 for another option,
but bear in mind that to implement it
you need the installer for a previous
operating system version.
Older versions of Apple?s own
professional apps are not compatible
with High Sierra. This includes Final Cut
Pro X (10.3.4 and earlier), Logic Pro X
(10.3.1 and earlier), and associated
tools such as Motion, Compressor and
MainStage. You?ll need to upgrade to
the latest versions. You should also
update to GarageBand?s latest version.
Although Final Cut Studio and Logic
Studio were superseded some time ago,
many people have continued to use apps
that were bundled with them, such as
Soundtrack Pro, Cinema Tools and
DVD Studio Pro, but none of these
will work in High Sierra.
FileMaker Pro 15 and 16 are
the only versions certified to
work on High Sierra, though
the publisher acknowledges
a small number of issues ? see
bit.ly/flmkrhs; it says that older
versions haven?t been tested.
AutoCAD 2015 and earlier
are not compatible; versions
2016 and newer are, with the
latest updates applied.
Microsoft Office 2011
isn?t supported,
but 2016 and
Office 365 are,
though some have reported problems.
Microsoft says to update Office 2016
to version 15.38 or newer.
Creativity and games
Adobe Acrobat 2017 and Acrobat DC are
compatible but there are some issues,
which Adobe promises to fix in a future
release. Earlier versions, such as Acrobat
X, aren?t compatible. Adobe Bridge CS5
and earlier will not work; you?ll need to
upgrade to CS6. Photoshop Elements 10
and earlier won?t work. Photoshop CS4
is incompatible; CS5 and 5.1 have some
problems, but Photoshop CS6 and CC
seem to work fine. Adobe warns however
that even 2017 versions of Illustrator
and InDesign might have problems; it is
When a new macOS becomes available, check the
websites of your essential apps; macOS upgrades
are free, but hidden costs could catch you out.
working on updates. With all Adobe apps,
you might need to install the legacy
version of Java 6 from bit.ly/java6se.
There are issues with numerous
games, including Civilization V, Call of
Duty 2, Myst III Exile and Riven X. Check
the publisher?s website to see if it has
released an update, or possibly stick
with Sierra until you?ve finished them.
If an app is vital to you and there?s
no High Sierra-compatible upgrade
available, it might be possible to run it
using an older version of macOS within
a virtual machine. We?ll explain this
technique later.
Disk and system maintenance tools
Technical changes that are normally
invisible may cause a lot of stress if
you use outdated maintenance tools.
32 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
Disk utilities, and other apps
including some anti-malware
checkers and cleaning apps,
are designed to manage data
at a low level and are a
potential minefield.
After you upgrade to High
Sierra, don?t even try to use
your older version of tools
such as DiskWarrior, Carbon
Copy Cloner, SuperDuper and
the like without first checking
the website of the publisher
for a version that?s explicitly
designed to work with your
version of macOS.
This applies to any macOS
update, but particularly to
High Sierra due to extensive
underlying changes. It also
applies even if your Mac has
a hard drive rather than an
SSD that?s been converted
to the new file system, APFS.
Trying to use older versions
of maintenance utilities such
as TechTool Pro, Drive Genius
and App Cleaner will not only
be unreliable but could end
up corrupting your data.
macformat.com @macformat
Fix High Sierra & iOS 11 FEATURE
Common issues
Having trouble after installing High Sierra? Here?s how
to tackle some of the issues that have been reported
S
kim some online discussion
forums and you?d be forgiven
for thinking High Sierra breaks
pretty much everything. Some people
report that their Mail, Contacts or
Messages are lost or not synced. Apps
stop working. Wi-Fi or Bluetooth fall over.
There do seem to be bugs that Apple
has still to fix. Certain fonts ? even key
ones such as Times ? might stop showing
up in Apple apps. Apps might not play
videos that are over 1GB in size from an
external drive without a tedious process
of ?verifying?, which can take several
minutes. But most glitches, it seems,
can be cured with a little tweaking?
Mac won?t wake from sleep
If your screen keeps going black and
your Mac won?t wake again, it takes
several minutes after a key press
for the computer to wake up, or
you?re being unexpectedly logged
out of your user account, first go
to � > System Preferences > Energy
Saver pane. If your Mac?s startup
disk is a plain hard drive (not a
Fusion Drive or an SSD), disable
?Put hard disks to sleep when possible?.
As a temporary workaround, in the
hope that Apple fixes the cause of the
sleep issues, also set the Computer
Sleep slider to Never. Then, go to the
Security & Privacy pane, click the
padlock and enter an admin account?s
credentials. Click Advanced, then
uncheck ?Log out after [number]
minutes of inactivity?.
V
Increased browser security in Safari means that
older plug-ins such as Silverlight may run into
trouble ? there is a workaround, though.
> Start up in safe mode (see bit.ly/
macsafemd), which performs some
basic housekeeping, cleans out some
caches, and disables unnecessary
extensions, fonts and startup items,
all of which could be the cause of the
issue. If your Mac works in this mode,
restart in its normal mode to see if
the problem is gone there, too.
Q Other sleep or power issues
> If your MacBook won?t wake or
sleep, the fan is racing when there?s
no intensive activity underway, its
battery isn?t charging, or USB devices
aren?t being recognised, resetting the
SMC (System Management Controller)
might help. But, Apple provides a list
of scenarios in which this may be
necessary ? see bit.ly/mfresetsmc.
Q Settings won?t stick
Video streaming
ideos not playing, or glitchy,
or sometimes saying ?Video
cannot be played?? Some
subscription-based streaming services
use Microsoft Silverlight, which hasn?t
been updated for High Sierra; it?s only
certified for 10.6 through to 10.11. For a
start, install the latest version and see
Q If your Mac won?t start
bit.ly/check-silverlight if it won?t install.
As of High Sierra, Silverlight can?t
access local files by default, which may
include downloaded/buffered videos.
In Safari > Preferences > Websites,
select Silverlight on the left, then
�-click the pop-up menu next to the
problematic website and disable ?Run
in Safe Mode?. Confirm when asked.
This may do the trick, but note that
doing this presents a security risk.
> If system settings such as sound
volume, display resolution and time
zone won?t stay the way you set them,
reset the NVRAM (non-volatile
random access memory) ? hold down
�+�+p+r at startup and release
when you hear the startup sound a
second time, or see the Apple logo.
Further details about NVRAM are
at bit.ly/mfresetnvram.
Q Roll back to Sierra
> Apple recommends High Sierra to
ensure you get the latest security
and compatibility enhancements.
But if you really can?t get on with it
and need the previous version, it is
still possible to download and install
Sierra (on Macs released prior to
High Sierra); use this option if you
don?t already have a complete Time
Machine backup from when you ran
Sierra that you can roll back to. You?ll
find a link to access Sierra?s Mac App
Store page at bit.ly/get-sierra.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 33
Q Mail notifications
> Stopped seeing notification
banners when you receive new
emails? In System Preferences?
Notifications pane, select Mail on
the left and change the alert style
(to None, say), then back to Banners.
If that doesn?t help, restart in safe
mode (as described earlier), open
Mail there and try sending a test
email to yourself. If notifications
now work, restart in normal mode
and try sending another test email.
Wi-Fi connection issues
A
re you finding Wi-Fi flakey?
First, check you?ve installed
the latest macOS updates.
Next, click the Wi-Fi menu bar icon and
turn off Wi-Fi, wait a few seconds, then
turn it on again. Do this for Bluetooth,
too, as AirPlay and Continuity features
such as Handoff use it to discover
nearby devices. Also try restarting
The act of changing notification preferences
sometimes kicks the system into action.
Q Boot Camp
> Boot Camp works with High
Sierra; even if your macOS volume
has been converted to APFS. But,
some people have reported trouble
setting up Boot Camp from High
Sierra. If you haven?t upgraded to
High Sierra yet, set up Boot Camp
from your older system, as this may
save you a lot of time. Otherwise,
if setting up from High Sierra fails,
make a full backup of the macOS
volume, perform a clean install
of Sierra, set up Boot Camp from
there, upgrade to High Sierra, and
then restore your backup over it.
If your macOS volume is now
APFS-formatted, Windows can?t
see it, so the option to restart in
macOS fails. Hold � at startup
to enter Windows, and only set it
as your default system (in macOS?s
Startup Disk pane) during tasks
involving multiple restarts (such as
installing updates) to avoid having
to hold � each time. When done,
hold � at startup to enter macOS,
then set that as your default again.
34 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
your router and your Mac.
Check whether Wi-Fi is working on
other devices. If so, click the Wi-Fi icon
in the menu bar, turn off Wi-Fi, open
network preferences, click Advanced,
then select the network you?re having
trouble with. Click the minus button to
delete it. Turn Wi-Fi on, then reconnect
to network and enter its password.
New kernel extensions
A
fter upgrading to High
Sierra, you?ll need to grant
specific approval for new
third-party extensions you install.
Examples are Logitech Options and
Intego VirusBarrier. You?ll see an alert
saying ?System Extension Blocked?
that prompts you to go to System
Preferences > Security & Privacy.
Go there immediately; a note will
say ?System software from developer
[Name] was blocked from loading?.
Click Allow only when you know that
an action on your part has caused
this to be listed. All that developer?s
extensions within the same app can
then run. Extensions installed before
you upgraded don?t require reapproval.
APFS and disk changes
T
he developer of Carbon Copy
Cloner (CCC) found a serious
problem with APFS-formatted
sparse disk images. This kind of image
is designed to expand as data is added,
up to the limit of the volume on which
it?s stored. However, APFS-formatted
sparse disk images fail to track free
space accurately, and so allow storage
operations to continue even if there
isn?t room on the underlying volume.
A file might seem to copy to an
image, but remounting the image will
reveal the file is corrupted or missing.
CCC has removed support for this type
of image. But, if you create sparse disk
A specific kind of disk image, when formatted as
APFS and getting full, runs the risk of losing data.
images using Disk Utility ? say, to keep
an encrypted and password-protected
copy of your tax return in the cloud ?
stick with the Mac OS Extended format.
macformat.com @macformat
Fix High Sierra & iOS 11 FEATURE
Missing free space
T
here may be discrepancies
between what free space is
shown in Finder, in About This
Mac?s Storage tab, and in Terminal.
The culprit is usually Time Machine?s
local snapshots, which can fill as much
as 80 per cent of your disk space;
they also include files you?ve deleted,
so it can seem like this space hasn?t
been reclaimed.
About This Mac counts all this as
used space in the System category,
while Finder counts it as ?purgeable?
and therefore available. It should be
freed up as needed. Clicking Time
Q Peripherals
Machine?s menu bar icon and choosing
Back Up Now ought to nudge macOS to
jettison the local snapshots and flag
the space as truly free.
Other space may be taken up by the
Home folders of other users on your
Mac, if there are any. Those may be
invisible to you. Spotlight?s index files
and other system items take up some
space. Finally, in APFS, any other
volumes (which may be created by
macOS itself) share free space within
the low-level APFS ?container?, but this
is hidden; About This Mac and Disk
Utility show it as ?other volumes?.
About This Mac?s storage charts aren?t so easy to interpret in High Sierra without some technical knowledge.
> Driver software for a wide
range of printers and scanners
is installed automatically on
demand? see bit.ly/prntscan.
Check the hardware manufacturer?s
website for new updates. Printers
that support AirPrint might not need
additional software. Accessories
that require custom software
extensions to be installed, such as
Wacom tablets, Logitech mice, and
some others, may have problems in
High Sierra until these are updated.
If a Bluetooth device won?t work,
go to System Preferences? Bluetooth
pane, put the pointer over its name,
and click the X revealed to the right
to disconnect the device. Now set
the device to pairing mode (check
its manual for how to do this); when
it appears in the Bluetooth devices
list on your Mac, click Pair next to it.
Printer/scanner drivers installed by macOS
are updated for you, but you?ll need to check
manufacturers? sites for other types of kit.
Steam and free space
Although macOS is meant to free up
?purgeable? space when it?s needed,
installers such as Steam?s don?t
always work properly with this and
may fail. Even if ?Optimise Mac Storage?
is enabled, some installers nonetheless
fail to get macOS to delete local copies
of files you?ve stored in iCloud Drive.
From Time Machine?s menu bar,
choose Back Up Now. Next, go to � >
About This Mac > Storage to check free
space; backing up should have purged
local snapshots ? which, in High Sierra,
are created on every APFS-formatted,
macformat.com @macformat
all-flash storage device connected to
your Mac, even if it?s a desktop model.
Space still not freed up? If you?re
comfortable in Terminal, use the mkfile
command to create a file at least as big
as the space you need. For example,
Simple workarounds can help when an installer
doesn?t work well with purgeable space.
mkfile 30g testfile.dat will create a
30GB file. Once done, trash the file and
then empty the Trash; you can use this
to free up space used by local copies
of iCloud Drive files, forcibly making it
available to problematic installers, which
then correctly see it as available, and
keeping your cloud-based copies of files.
Steam puts game files in its Library
folder rather than Applications, and you
can make room by culling old ones. In its
Library tab, white items are currently
installed. ?-click any you no longer
need; choose Uninstall to regain space.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 35
FEATURE Fix High Sierra & iOS 11
Keep old apps running
Some older products won?t work, so here are two ways to keep them around
S
ome hardware and
software doesn?t
work in High Sierra.
One solution is to keep Sierra
or earlier running in a virtual
machine (VM). You can install
it in VirtualBox 5 or Parallels
Desktop 13, but we?ll show the
process in VMware Fusion 10.
You?ll need a copy of the
installer for your older version
of macOS or OS X (Lion or
later). An obstacle here is
if your current Mac shipped
with a newer version; the
Mac App Store will refuse to
download the older installer;
there?s no override for this.
Search your Time Machine
backups, or redownload on
an older Mac, if available.
1 Add the installer
2 Continue installing
3 Set the destination
4 Install VMware Tools
5 Add a shared folder
6 Update and install apps
If this is your first virtual machine, starting
VMware Fusion displays this window, into which
you drop your copy of the Install macOS Sierra
app. If you already have a virtual machine,
choose File > New to display this window.
Once the virtual machine has been set up,
Fusion will proceed with the lengthy macOS
installation process. At times it may appear to
restart the machine in Recovery mode. When
it does, select Install macOS and click Continue.
Q Don?t have a VM?
> Use Carbon Copy Cloner
to make a bootable copy
of your Sierra installation
on an external drive, then
upgrade your internal drive
to High Sierra. This gives
you the ability to start up
in either system.
Start up your Mac using
the external drive when you
need to use Sierra. Note
that this doesn?t work well
with Time Machine, though,
and Sierra throws up errors
with APFS disks. Paragon?s
APFS Retrofit Kit (free,
bit.ly/papfskit) should help.
Disable Time Machine in Sierra and
disconnect other external drives.
36 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
macOS is installed into the Macintosh HD
virtual drive within the machine. Provide your
Apple ID if you want to connect to the Mac App
Store for updates and apps. That?ll require the
usual authentication, as if this were a new Mac.
Click on the spanner in the toolbar, select
Sharing, turn on this feature and then click the
+ button to add a shared folder. This provides
the best way to share and transfer files
between the two versions of macOS.
To install VMware Tools so you can move
files between Sierra and High Sierra, choose
Virtual Machine > Install VMware Tools. A disk
image will mount; run the installer that?s in it.
Sierra will restart with the tools running.
Download Sierra?s 10.12.6 Combo Update
(bit.ly/126co) in the VM if it?s using High Sierra?s
internet access, or in High Sierra and transfer
via the shared folder. Install it, then your apps.
You can run Sierra in a window or full screen.
macformat.com @macformat
Fix High Sierra & iOS 11 FEATURE
iOS troubleshooting guide
Learn about iOS 11 changes and how to pinpoint problems on iPhone and iPad
M
any bugs that existed in early
versions of iOS 11 have now
been fixed, and upgrading
should be fairly painless. If you?re
curious about what has been resolved,
Apple maintains a detailed list at bit.ly/
ios11notes. Note that this isn?t exhaustive,
though ? from its contents, you wouldn?t
have a clue as to why an app might no
longer show up in Spotlight?s search
results, for example. (We?ll talk about
that specific issue in a moment.)
Many changes in iOS 11 are beneficial,
and if your device can take the upgrade
but you haven?t installed it, read our past
coverage in MF #318 and #320. As with
High Sierra, there are some stumbling
blocks, but over the next few pages we?ll
help you overcome them, and show how
to track down persistent issues whether
you?re using iOS 11 or another version.
iOS 11 has matured into a generally reliable release, with plenty of good
new features, but there are behavioural changes you need to know about.
Important iOS changes to know about
If you valued the extended keyboard in
landscape mode, note that it is absent
in iOS 11. Key order in the bottom row
also changes when rotating an iPhone
(but not an iPad), swapping the Emoji
and 123 keys, and moving the mic key
even further. Google?s Gboard lets you
make your own custom keyboard.
If an app no longer appears in search
results after upgrading, locate it in the
Apps may not be listed in search results until
you turn on their Show App switch in Settings.
macformat.com @macformat
list In Settings > Siri & Search. Tap its
name there and turn on the Show App
switch; this isn?t available for every app,
but where it is shown, it initially matches
the Search & Siri Suggestions item?s
state, hiding the app in results as well
as its contents.
Connectivity clashes
As is common with updates, iOS 11 can
result in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi oddities,
and these can affect pairing with a
Watch. After upgrading to iOS 11 and
watchOS 4, your Watch may lose its
connection with your iPhone.
Try shutting down both devices and
then powering them on again. If that
doesn?t help, you?ll need to unpair them,
which is best started on your Watch.
Once they?re unpaired, turn your Watch
off and then on again, before pairing it
with your iPhone in the normal fashion.
Similarly, unpairing and then pairing
can fix other Bluetooth issues.
The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth buttons in
Control Centre no longer work as you
might expect; turning them off in iOS 11,
merely disconnects from networks and
devices until 5am. This is to ensure
AirDrop, AirPlay, Continuity, and Watch
connections are unaffected. This means
that power is still supplied to the radio
hardware. If saving power is your aim,
you?ll need to turn them off in Settings.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth buttons in Control Centre
no longer turn those systems off completely.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 37
FEATURE Fix High Sierra & iOS 11
Q The 32-bit issue
> Ideally before you move to iOS 11
(and while running at least iOS 10.3),
go to Settings > General > About >
Applications. You?ll see a list of any
32-bit apps on your device, which
will stop working if you upgrade.
If there?s no update available for
the versions of those apps you already
own, go to the App Store and search
for each app?s developer name. They
might offer an upgrade as an entirely
new app, but that usually requires you
to purchase from scratch.
Failing that, visit the developer?s
website to check if it states the app
is discontinued or has been taken on
by another company. Some, such as
The Omni Group, offer upgrade pricing
if their new app detects an older
version is installed. So, don?t delete the
old one till you?ve checked for this, as
iOS 11 refuses to download 32-bit apps.
If there?s no obvious upgrade path,
you?ll need to seek out a replacement
on the App Store.
Trouble installing
S
hort of storage? An over-theair update may fail because the
process needs more space to
store the update. One solution is to use
the latest version of iTunes on your Mac:
open it, connect your device using its
cable, click the device icon near the top
left of iTunes and click Check for Update.
Once you?re on iOS 11, you can avoid
this situation in future. Go to Settings >
General > [Device] Storage. Accept the
recommendation to offload apps if you
are okay with iOS deleting apps on your
behalf when it needs space ? it?ll retain
their data. To get one back, tap its Home
screen icon. Or, you can manually offload
an app of your choosing: tap its name
below, followed by Offload App.
The ability to offload apps (but retain their data)
is new in iOS 11. It can be automatic or manual.
Failed upgrade or update
> Sometimes updates get stuck, or fail
part way. This can leave the update file
taking up storage, which then prevents
you from having another go. In Settings
> General > Storage & iCloud Usage >
Manage Storage, look for the software
update. If you see it, delete it and then
try again. If your device is very short
of storage, you may find it better to
perform the update through iTunes.
What if my device
freezes during startup?
> Apple and service providers can help,
or try the following advice from Apple
to enter recovery mode (if you have an
up-to-date backup). Connect the device
to iTunes on your Mac, then force it to
restart: On an iPhone 6S or earlier or
an iPad, press Home and Sleep/Wake;
on a 7 or 7 Plus, press Volume Down and
Sleep/Wake; or on 8, 8 Plus or X, press
and release Volume Up, then press and
release Volume Down, and then hold the
Side button. Hold the buttons till you see
the recovery mode screen; when iTunes
prompts you, choose Update. When
that?s done, try restoring your backup.
Photo & video compatibility
N
Apps that are incompatible with iOS 11,
because they?re 32-bit, are listed in Settings.
38 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
ew HEIF and HEVC still image
and video formats in iOS 11
take up less storage space on
your device. They roughly double the
amount you?re able to store. Capturing
media using them requires an iPhone 7
or 7 Plus or later, a 10.5-inch iPad Pro,
or a second-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro,
which have A10/M10 or A11 Fusion/M11
chips that enable hardware encoding.
Choose the format that?s used in
Settings > Camera > Formats. Pick High
Efficiency for the new formats; Most
Compatible is good to ensure files work
with other apps and workflows relying
on older formats ? particularly useful if
you use a Mac app that doesn?t work
with HEIF/HEVC. When you share HEIF/
HEVC content to a destination whose
support for it is unclear, iOS 11 will
autoconvert it to a more compatible
format, which imposes a slight delay ?
a progress indicator is shown.
Older iOS devices can view, edit
and duplicate HEIF and HEVC files, but
their hardware limits the resolution and
frame rate of video they can work with.
If the hardware in your device supports HEIF/HEVC
encoding, set them as the default to save space,
or opt for older formats for broader compatibility.
macformat.com @macformat
Fix High Sierra & iOS 11 FEATURE
HOW TO Troubleshoot your iOS issues
1 Find the app
2 Force the app to quit
3 Shut down
4 Back up to iCloud
5 Back up to iTunes
6 Remove the app
7 Reinstall the app
8 Reset settings
9 A full erase and restore
If an app causes problems and is still
open, close it and try opening it again.
If it?s unresponsive, force it to quit.
Double-click the Home button (or swipe
up from the bottom and hold a second
on iPhone X) to open the app switcher.
Before trying anything more
involved, make a backup of your device.
To do so using iCloud, connect to Wi-Fi,
then go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud
> iCloud Backup and enable this feature.
Start a manual backup and let it finish.
In the App Store, tap Today in the
bottom bar, then your profile image at
the top of the page, and then Purchased.
Tap Not on this iPhone/iPad, locate the
app in the list of past purchases, and tap
the download icon to reinstall the app.
macformat.com @macformat
Swipe horizontally to find the app,
then swipe upwards on its preview to
force the app to quit. On iPhone X, hold
your finger on an app?s thumbnail until
red minus buttons appear, then swipe
upwards on the one you want to quit.
To back up using iTunes instead,
open iTunes on your Mac, connect your
device, click its icon at the top left, then
click Back Up Now. Once the backup is
complete, eject the device and then
disconnect it from your Mac.
Turn off Find My iPhone/iPad in
Settings > [your name] > iCloud. If you
have a Watch, it?s wise to unpair it now.
Before trying a full factory reset,
consider using Settings > General > Reset
> Reset All Settings as your next step.
If restarting the app doesn?t fix
the problem, shut down your device by
holding the Sleep/Wake button and using
the slider to turn it off. Once it has fully
shut down, start it up as normal and then
check for updates in the App Store.
First, try iOS 11?s ability to manually
offload apps, which only deletes the app
from your device, not its data. If that
doesn?t work, hold a finger on the app?s
Home screen icon till it jiggles, tap the X
that appears on it, then tap Delete.
Next, reset your device in Settings >
General > Reset > Erase All Content and
Settings. Reinstall the app and see if it
works. If it does, reset again, restore from
your last backup and try again. If the
issue returns, seek the developer?s help.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 39
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MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 41
;OLZV\YJLMVY[LJOI\`PUNHK]PJL
techradar.com
What?s inside
44-45
POWER UP YOUR
MAC?S TRACKPAD
Use BetterTouchTool
to make the most
of Multi-Touch
EDITED BY
NEW
IDEAS
JO MEMBERY
46-47
BOOST SECURITY
ON YOUR APPLE ID
Your in-depth guide to
getting more from
your Apple kit
Protect your data with
two-factor authentication
48-49
USE HOT CORNERS
BOOST
APPLE ID
SECURITY
p46
Activate features just
by moving the pointer
50-51
HOW TO MIX VIDEO
RESOLUTIONS
Combine different types
of footage in iMovie
52-55
HIDDEN SPEED
TYPING FEATURES
Get clever with iOS?s
on-screen keyboard
56-57
DISCOVER THE
ALCHEMY SYNTH
Create an electronic
bassline in GarageBand
58-59
STAY SAFE WITH
APPLE WATCH
Set up health and safety
features on your Watch
Understand iOS gestures
A tap is a brief contact of
(usually) one finger on your
device?s screen.
Swipe means move one or
more fingers across an item
or the screen, then let go.
Pinch means move two
fingers together or apart,
usually to zoom in or out.
To drag is to move a finger
across the screen to scroll
or pan around content.
A flick is like swiping, but it?s
quicker, and is often used to
scroll content more quickly.
Touch and hold means lightly
rest your finger on an item
and wait for a reaction.
Master Mac keyboard shortcuts
When you see a shortcut like
�+�+C, hold all but the
last key, then press that one.
? means the Control key,
labelled ctrl, and shown as ^
in shortcuts in the menu bar.
� is the Command key,
which is also labelled cmd.
� is the Shift key, which is
typically just labelled shift.
� means the Option key,
labelled alt or opt.
? means the Delete key,
which deletes to the left of the
insertion point. Press ?+?
to delete to the right.
? is the Tab key, which shifts
the focus between some
controls in windows and web
forms. Turn on Full Keyboard
Access in System Preferences
to jump between all controls.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 43
APPLE SKILLS Mac software
Power up
your Mac?s
trackpad
Enhance your trackpad
with BetterTouchTool
IT WILL TAKE
30 minutes
YOU WILL LEARN
How to use
a third-party tool to
add new capabilities
to your Mac?s trackpad
YOU?LL NEED
OS X 10.10 or later,
BetterTouchTool
Your trackpad recognises far
more gestures than Apple
provides access to in System
Preferences? Trackpad pane.
But BetterTouchTool can unleash the full
power of the Multi-Touch surface.
The app lets you choose from additional
gestures and assign actions to them. Treat
the examples we give here as a starting point
and then experiment with ideas of your own.
(In Manage Presets, export a backup of your
BetterTouchTool settings, then reimport them
later ? a great way to reuse them on a second
Mac, such as an iMac with a Magic Trackpad.)
BetterTouchTool also offers more nuanced
general trackpad controls. In the app?s toolbar,
click the Advanced button and then Trackpad.
You?ll see a range of options for fine-tuning
how your trackpad works. If things go a bit
weird, you can click Reset All Settings.
You can install a free 45-day trial from
boastr.net (a two-year licence costs �30;
a lifetime one is �). Open the app, click
the icon it adds to the menu bar, choose
Preferences, then click the Trackpads tab
below the toolbar. Let?s begin! Craig Grannell
EXPLAINED? Find your way around BetterTouchTool
1
3
Rule targeting
Our tutorial
uses global
rules, but you
can specify an
app and define
gestures and
actions to work
in it alone.
Gestures
menu
The Touchpad
Gesture menu
is where you
choose the
gesture you
want to trigger
your action.
1
4
2
Actions menu
Gesture help
If you need a
reminder of how
a gesture works,
click it in the list
and watch this
animated guide.
44 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
2
3
4
Use the
Predefined
Action menu
to choose the
action you want
your gesture
to invoke.
macformat.com @macformat
Trackpad boost APPLE SKILLS
HOW TO Enhance your trackpad?s behaviours
1 Pick a trackpad gesture 2 Choose an action
We?ll first define a gesture to take
a screenshot ? which you can?t do in
System Preferences? Trackpad pane.
Click Add New Gesture. In the Touchpad
Gesture pop-up, pick TipTap Right from
the Three Finger Gestures category.
From the Predefined Action pop-up,
pick Capture Screenshot (Configurable)
under Screenshots. Click Capture Whole
Screen(s) and, if you wish, remove the
underscores and {random} from the
name and adjust the save destination.
3 TipTap screenshots
4 Move a window
5 Duplicate a rule
6 Test your gestures
We?ll now create a gesture to snap
a window to half of the screen. For the
gesture, use 5 Finger Swipe Right (you?ll
find it in Five And More Finger Gestures);
set the action to Maximise Window Right
from the Windows Resize & Move group.
Select step 4?s gesture. Copy it with
�+C and paste it with �+V. You can
now select and edit the duplicate. Below
the Touchpad Gesture pop-up, tick �.
From the Predefined Action pop-up, pick
?Resize window to Right Third?.
7 Trigger the app switcher 8 Replace Hot Corners
Use a gesture to bring up macOS?s
app switcher, without your fingers having
to leave your trackpad. Set up a gesture
that uses ?3 Finger Double Tap? to invoke
the Application Switcher action (from the
OS X Functionality category).
macformat.com @macformat
You can use macOS?s Hot Corners
feature to activate the screensaver, but
it?s quicker to click your trackpad than
move the pointer to a corner. In a new
gesture, select Corner Click Bottom Left
from the Single Finger Gestures category.
Click Save to confirm. Now you can
try out your gesture. Rest two fingers on
the trackpad and then tap with a third to
their right. If all was set correctly (see
above), a screenshot will be saved to the
location you specified during step 2.
Open a Finder window. Perform
a five-finger rightwards swipe and the
window will resize to fill the right half
of the screen ? but only the right third if
� is held. Think about ways to expand
on these shortcuts to suit how you work.
9 Stop accidental usage
In the OS X Functionality group, pick
Start Screen Saver (or Lock Screen from
System Actions). To avoid triggering in
error, tick one of the modifier key boxes,
such as �. If your Mac has a Force Touch
trackpad, consider a Force Click gesture.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 45
APPLE SKILLS Mac/iOS software
Boost your Apple ID?s security
Learn how to set up and use two-factor authentication
IT WILL TAKE
30 minutes
YOU WILL LEARN
How to set up and
use two-factor
authentication
YOU?LL NEED
A Mac running
OS X 10.11 or later
and/or an iOS device
running iOS 9 or later
Two-factor authentication
(2FA) is a security feature
in iCloud, introduced with
iOS 9 and El Capitan. It?s an
evolution of two-step verification (2SV).
The latter pushes a security code to a
device using either SMS or Apple?s Find My
iPhone system; 2FA pushes a notification
to ?trusted devices? linked to your account.
This tells you that someone has requested
a verification code and shows you a map of
the location where the request was made.
You can then reject the attempt to access
your account, or allow it and have the code
sent to the trusted device you?re using.
In addition to at least one trusted device,
you?ll also have to register at least one trusted
phone number. Apple encourages you to
register more than one, such as your home
phone ? rather than the iPhone that you?ve
connected to your iCloud account.
As well as having Apple send you a code,
you can manually generate one yourself from
one of your trusted devices. Kenny Hemphill
HOW TO Use two-factor authentication
Genius tip!
What about
older systems?
On systems that don?t
support entering a 2FA
code, sign in as normal
and the code will be
sent to your trusted
devices. Append the
code to the end of your
Apple ID?s password
in the password box.
46 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
1 On a Mac (2SV not in use)
Choose ? > System Preferences and go to
the iCloud pane. Click Account Details, then
click Turn on Two-Factor Authentication. If you
created your Apple ID in iOS 10.3 or macOS
10.12.4 or later, this feature will already be on.
2 On a Mac (2SV is in use)
In Safari, go to appleid.apple.com and
sign in. Click Edit in the Security section and
click Turn off Two-Step verification. Create
new security questions and type in your date
of birth. Now follow step 1 to turn on 2FA.
macformat.com @macformat
Two-factor authentication APPLE SKILLS
CONTINUED? Two-factor authentication
3 On iOS 10.3 or later
In Settings, tap your name at the top
of the first page, then Password & Security.
Tap Turn on Two-Factor Authentication and
then Continue. Two-factor authentication will
now be turned on for your iCloud account
and supported devices.
4 On iOS 10.2 or earlier
In Settings > iCloud, tap your Apple ID
followed by Password & Security. Tap turn
on Two-Factor Authentication followed by
Continue. You may be asked to answer your
Apple ID security questions to proceed
further with this.
5 Add your phone number
On the next page, choose your country
then type in the number of the phone you want
to use. Choose either text message or phone
call to receive the verification code. When you
get the code, type it into the boxes on screen.
Genius tip!
Sign-in approval
With 2FA, you receive
an alert showing the
location of a device that
tries to sign in to your
iCloud account. The
location may not be
accurate, but use good
sense; if it appears
when you haven?t tried
signing in somewhere,
click/tap Don?t Allow.
6 Update your phone number
In Password & Security settings, tap Edit.
Tap the minus to remove a number, or Add a
Trusted Phone Number to add one. Choose to
verify using text message or an automated
phone call, then enter the code you receive.
Genius tip!
7 Manage trusted devices
Sign in to appleid.apple.com; enter the
verification code when you receive it. Scroll to
your devices. To remove one, click on it, then
Remove, then Confirm. New devices are added
here when you sign in to iCloud on them.
macformat.com @macformat
8 App-specific passwords
App-specific passwords allow third-party
apps to access your iCloud data. Next to
Security at appleid.apple.com, click Generate
Password. Follow the steps and type the result
in place of your usual password in the app.
How do I turn off 2FA?
If someone gains
access to your account/
device and turns on 2FA
without permission,
click Turn Off TwoFactor Authentication
at the bottom of the
confirmation email
you receive from
Apple. The link is
valid for two weeks.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 47
APPLE SKILLS macOS High Sierra
Use Hot Corners
Activate features by moving the pointer to corners of the screen
IT WILL TAKE
5 minutes
YOU WILL LEARN
How to activate
functions simply by
moving the pointer
YOU?LL NEED
macOS
You might have heard of
the Hot Corners feature in
macOS, but are you actually
using it? Hot Corners enables
you to perform a multitude of functions simply
by moving your pointer to one of the corners
of the desktop.
The Hot Corners feature is rather well
hidden in System Preferences, but once you
know where to look, you?ll find out just how
easy it is to activate. Jo Membery
Hot Corners can save you time in activating features
such as the screen saver, Launchpad and Mission Control.
EXPLAINED? Key features
2
Application Windows
The Application Windows action
shows you a Mission Control-like
view of all open windows from just
the app you?re currently using.
Great if you?re working on multiple
Numbers spreadsheets, say!
1
Desktop
If you?re someone who keeps
files on the desktop, the ability
to move windows out of the way
to reach them in an instant will
save you laboriously closing or
moving things around.
3
2
3
Disable Screen Saver
1
Doing a presentation that
focuses on one slide for a long
time, or watching a video?
Use the Disable Screen Saver
action to ensure your screen
doesn?t go to sleep.
Add instant security
If you?re worried about prying eyes
glancing at your Mac?s screen, even
when you?ve used a Hot Corner to put it
to sleep without clicking anything, make
sure you make this change in System
48 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
Preferences? Security & Privacy pane.
Put a tick next to ?Require password?
and then choose Immediately from the
adjacent pop-up menu. This ensures
nobody can access your account after
you move away from your desk.
Notification Centre
This feature contains a plethora of
information about what needs your
attention and what you?ve got coming up.
Set up a Hot Corner to get at that info
without having to click its menu bar icon.
macformat.com @macformat
Hot Corners APPLE SKILLS
HOW TO Activate and use Hot Corners
1 System Preferences
2 Hot Corners
3 Your options
4 Activate actions
5 Test them out
6 Disable a corner
1 A secret option
2 Add a modifier
As with most system tweaks in macOS,
this one requires you to make a visit to
System Preferences. Open that app, click
Mission Control in the top row and you?ll
see a button for Hot Corners.
You only have four corners to play
with, of course, so experiment with the
line-up of actions to see what serves you
best. Pick actions from as many of the
menus as you want. Click OK when done.
Click that button. In the panel that
opens, the four corners of the desktop
are represented as pop-up menus. Click
one to see all the actions you can assign
to that corner.
Any action you?ve assigned is
activated automatically when the pointer
reaches the corresponding corner, saving
you remembering menu item locations or
keyboard shortcuts. Test all of them.
There are handy system shortcuts
available, such as showing Mission Control,
Launchpad, or the current app?s windows.
You can also start the screen saver, or put
the display to sleep.
Hot Corners are very useful if you
need to use a non-Apple keyboard or
mouse. If you want to remove one?s
action, though, set its corresponding
pop-up menu back to the ? (dash) item.
Prevent
accidental
actions
While using your Mac, you might find
yourself accidentally triggering the
Hot Corner actions you?ve assigned.
This is frustrating. Thankfully, there is
a workaround that uses one or more
modifier keys. This means you have
to hold down one or more of several
special keys before you?re able to
trigger a Hot Corner?s assigned
action. Without those keys held
down, nothing will be triggered.
macformat.com @macformat
Adding a modifier key to a shortcut
is an easily overlooked feature in macOS.
In the Hot Corners panel, hold down one
or more modifier keys ? (�, �, � and
?) when choosing an action from one
of the pop-up menus.
The symbols for the keys you?re
holding will be prefixed on the actions.
Keep them held and choose an action.
If you held only �, say, when you move
the pointer to the corner now, you?ll need
to hold that key to trigger the action.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 49
APPLE SKILLS Mac software
Mix different video resolutions
Shoot and combine HD and 4K footage in the same iMovie project
IT WILL TAKE
15 minutes
YOU WILL LEARN
How to shoot
multiple resolutions
and combine them in
the same timeline
YOU?LL NEED
iMovie 10.1 or later
Genius tip!
Your iPhone, and gadgets
such as the GoPro Hero 6 Black
camera, can record video
footage at different resolutions
and frame rates. The iPhone?s default video
recording resolution is 1080p HD at 30 frames
per second (fps). This high-definition footage
looks great on TV and YouTube.
However, there are situations where you
might want to change your iPhone?s default
video recording resolution. To save storage
space on your phone (and capture more clips),
you can drop the resolution to 720p HD. This
smaller high-definition resolution will still look
okay when viewed on social media sites, but it
may look a little fuzzy when combined with
higher resolution files in an iMovie project.
You can also record slow-motion (slo-mo)
clips on your iPhone using the 720p HD
resolution. This is worth doing to benefit from
a higher frame rate of 240fps, which ensures
smoother motion in a slo-mo sequence than
you?d get by simply slowing down a standard
30fps clip, or even the highest quality 1080p
option of 120fps. Slo-mo clips enable you to
portray an event or action in a visually poetic
way, without jarring jumps between frames.
Different resolutions can be combined in iMovie. Make
sure you set the final resolution when editing?s complete.
Shooting 4K gives you footage with a very
high resolution. When you use a 4K clip in a
1080p HD iMovie project, you can crop it to
zoom in without creating fuzzy-looking pixels.
You can also add Ken Burns zoom and pan
effects without a drop in image quality. The
downside of shooting at 4K is that you?ll soon
fill your iPhone?s storage. A one-minute-long
4K clip takes up nearly six times more storage
space than a minute of 720p HD footage.
In this walkthrough, we?ll talk you through
how to shoot a range of differently sized clips
and then combine the different resolutions
into a consistent 1080p HD project.
George Cairns
HOW TO Combine different resolutions
To check the resolution
of your imported clips,
?-click on the iMovie
Library file (in your
Movies folder) and
choose Show Package
Contents. In the folder
named after your event,
open the Original Media
folder, select a file, then
press �+I for info.
1 Choose a resolution
On your iOS device, go to Settings > Camera
> Record Video. The 1080p HD at 30fps default
balances high-quality footage without filling
up your phone. 1080p HD at 60fps creates
larger files, but their motion looks smoother.
50 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
2 Compose your clip
Use a tripod, such as the Manfrotto Pixi
mini with a phone clamp (pictured). As well as
producing stable footage, a tripod will help
you check how the image is composed. This
can lead to more professional-looking clips.
macformat.com @macformat
Mixed-resolution projects APPLE SKILLS
CONTINUED? Combine resolutions
Genius tip!
Note that the first clip
you add to a timeline
sets the resolution of
the entire project. So, if
you want to work in 4K,
make sure you add a 4K
clip to the timeline first.
3 Capture some clips
4 Slow motion settings
5 Import clips
6 Create a new movie
Feel free to change the resolution when
capturing different subjects. A 4K size will
suit wide shots, as you can zoom into specific
subjects while preserving quality. Drop to
720p HD if you run short of storage space.
In iMovie on your Mac, click iMovie Library
(left pane); choose File > New Event and name
the event. Connect your iPhone to your Mac
using its USB cable. Go to File > Import Media,
browse to your iPhone, then choose Import All.
To capture moving subjects ? for example,
an engine?s billowing steam ? in a creative way,
go to Settings > Camera > Record Slo-mo. 720p
HD at 240fps will capture a very smooth and
slow version of any fast-moving subject.
The clips will be imported from the iPhone.
Slo-mo clips are indicated by a circular icon (at
the top left of their thumbnails). Click Projects
(top left of the window), then Create New and
choose Movie. A new timeline will appear.
Genius tip!
To make imported
slo-mo clips
automatically play
back in slow motion
once you add them
to the timeline, go to
iMovie > Preferences
and tick the box by
the Slo-Mo clips label.
7 Set project size
The clips in your event will be of various
resolutions. Drag a 1080p HD video from the
Media Browser into the timeline. Afterwards,
click Settings (under the Viewer) to confirm the
project is 1080p ? see Genius Tip, top right.
macformat.com @macformat
8 Add clips
Clips you add to the timeline will be scaled
to 1080p. 720p slo-mo clips might look a little
soft due to them being upscaled to 1080p.
4K clips will look sharp, even if you zoom into
them manually or apply the Ken Burns effect.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 51
Uncover iOS?s hidden
speed-typing features
The productivity-boosting tricks concealed under your keyboard
IT WILL TAKE
25 minutes
YOU WILL LEARN
How to type faster
with iOS?s built-in
keyboard shortcuts
YOU?LL NEED
An iOS 11 device
(some features work
on older versions)
To switch
to another
keyboard,
tap the globe
or emoji key
52 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
You might think that to get
any serious typing done on an
iPhone or iPad you need to use
an external keyboard. While it?s
true that you can do that ? over Bluetooth,
using a Smart Keyboard, or using Apple?s
Lightning to USB adapter ? if you learn the
little tips and tricks Apple has baked into the
on-screen keyboard, everything from a tweet
to the next great novel is well within the reach
of your fingertips. Let?s get typing!
We?ll start with something fundamental.
Most people will only really use one keyboard
for typing, but you can set up several. One
main use for this is for typing in different
languages; adding other keyboards in Settings
> General > Keyboard > Keyboards doesn?t
just change the layout of the keys to match
conventions in that country (AZERTY rather
than QWERTY in France, for example), or even
the input method entirely, but it changes the
autocorrect dictionary, too. (Here?s a really
hidden feature: you can override the keyboard
layout change ? to retain the benefits of the
autocorrect change without the confusion of
letters moving around ? by tapping the name
of the keyboard you?ve added in this list.)
If you do type in more than one language,
therefore, and have been cursing autocorrect
for mangling your words, here?s the solution,
and it even works for different versions of
English; handy if you sometimes need to
?humor? our ?neighbors? in America without
causing ?offense?.
1 To switch between the keyboards
you add (in the order you set them in Settings
> General > Keyboard > Keyboards), tap the
globe icon at the bottom left of the keyboard.
If you only have one main keyboard installed,
this will instead be a smiley face, as it toggles
to the emoji keyboard.
Emoji and special characters
So long as you have the Predictive bar turned
on, though, it can act like emoji search, and
you don?t even have to switch to that
keyboard; type ?chips?, say, and the last option
in the predictive bar is the French fries emoji.
macformat.com @macformat
Keyboard tricks APPLE SKILLS
1
Tap it to replace the word with the emoji.
(Even this is localised, delightfully; this
particular example doesn?t work with
the US English keyboard, since ?chips?
are crisps in America!)
You might be used to tapping ?123? to
switch to the layout with numbers, but if you
only need to type a single character from this
keyboard, it can be more efficient just to drag
your finger from the ?123? to the desired
number key ? the keyboard will temporarily
switch layout in between ? then release to
get back to the usual keyboard.
If you?re on any iPad except the 12.9-inch
(and only then when using optimised apps),
you also see secondary characters on the
keys; just flick down on the key to type them.
2 Hold a finger on a key to see alternate
characters, and voil� ? you can type ?voil�!
It works for less well-known things, too; hold
on the � sign, for example, and you get other
currency symbols, or on the full stop when
entering a web address in Safari to see other
domains, such as .co.uk, .com and more.
Move the insertion point
The traditional way to move the insertion
point, or caret, around on iOS is to hold a
finger on the text you were writing, and
then use the magnifying glass pop-up to
get it into the right place. That?s a little
fiddly and prone to error around the edges
of the screen, and there is a better way on
iPad, and iPhones with 3D Touch.
macformat.com @macformat
2
3
On an iPad, you can just slide two
fingers around the keyboard to move the
caret, and on an iPhone with 3D Touch, just
press firmly on the keyboard with one finger
to switch to this mode, then slide your finger
around. Once you?ve moved the caret to where
you want it on iPad, lift your two fingers, set
them down again, wait a beat, then move;
you?ll then be selecting text.
On iPhones equipped with 3D Touch ?
the pressure-sensitive display technology
that was introduced on the iPhone 6s ? you
have extra options for text selection, though
they take some trial and error to learn. Once
you?ve pressed firmly on the screen to move
the caret, you can reposition the caret over
a word and then press even harder to select
just that word. That bit?s easy enough, but
with practice you can also double-press to
select the whole sentence at once, or triplepress to select the whole paragraph.
3 You can combine the two-finger and
3D Touch shortcuts with dragging. Let?s say
you have a three-sentence paragraph and
want to copy only the first two sentences;
press firmly to start moving the caret,
position it anywhere over the first sentence,
double-press to select that sentence, then
drag to the second, which will be selected in
its entirety ? though the paragraph?s final
sentence will be left out.
In either scenario, you can grab the little
handles that appear at each end of your
selected text to fine-tune what you?re picking
Genius tip!
Made a mistake? You
needn?t reach for the
Undo button to roll back
your text; just shake
your device, provided
Settings > General >
Accessibility > Shake to
Undo is switched on.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 53
APPLE SKILLS Keyboard tricks
Genius tip!
If you use multiple
email addresses, text
replacements can work
out quicker for typing
them than relying
on the keyboard?s
QuickType suggestions
bar. For example, you
might use @icl to type
your iCloud address,
@gma for Gmail, and
@lst for an alias you
use for newsletters
and other mailing lists.
up, if necessary, and you can also tap either
of these handles to bring up the options bar,
with cut, copy, paste and other options, if they
aren?t already visible.
Capitals and special characters
Let?s go back to something easier: switching
to capital letters. This can be as simple as
tapping � to switch only the very next
character you type to uppercase, or doubletapping it to turn on Caps Lock. Note that
you can use the same slide technique we
mentioned for the ?123? keyboard switch;
slide from the � key to a letter and it will be
capitalised without the need to dismiss the
caps keyboard afterwards. iOS will try to
be helpful in capitalising new sentences,
but if you don?t like this, you can turn off
Auto-Capitalisation in Settings > General >
Keyboard. Here you?ll also see a toggle for
the full stop shortcut; in case you aren?t
familiar, that enables you to double-tap
the space bar to get a full stop, a space,
and the next letter capitalised.
We mentioned holding a finger on some
keys to get accented forms and
alternative characters.
In iOS?s Accessibility settings are helpful options to
alter the sensitivity of the keyboard and 3D Touch.
On some iPads running iOS 11, keys may
display a second character. Rather than using
� or holding on the key, flick upwards from
the key to type the second character more
quickly. (Settings > General > Keyboards >
Enable Key Flicks must be switched on.)
Keyboard size and position
4
Splitting the keyboard makes
typing easier when holding your
iPad, at least on smaller models.
54 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
There are a couple of things you can do to
change the size and position
of the keyboard.
Keyboard tricks APPLE SKILLS
You can make the
keyboard easier to
use one-handed
by shunting it
over to one side
4 On an iPad, either drag the left and right
of the keyboard apart with your fingers, or
hold a finger on the keyboard icon (bottom
right) and tap Split in the menu that appears;
this separates the keyboard at the sides of
the screen so it?s easier to type with your
thumbs when holding your iPad. Adjust their
vertical position by dragging the icon at its
bottom right. Drag all the way to the bottom
to return to a single, large keyboard.
5 On an iPhone running iOS 11, except
for the 5s and SE, you can make the keyboard
easier to use one-handed by holding on the
emoji/globe icon (bottom left) and choosing
to shunt the keyboard over to the left or
right side of the screen. The keys become
narrower, like on pre-iPhone 6 devices, but
are easier to reach with your thumb.
Don?t feel this has to be a permanent
decision; it makes sense to toggle it when
you?re trying to type while walking, say, even
moving from right to left as you swap hands,
but then switching back to the full-width
keyboard once you get where you?re going;
tap the large arrow next to the keyboard.
Speed up your typing
As well as all this, iOS provides some very
helpful ways to speed up what you type.
Text replacement is a great one, with three
common applications. First, to replace
clusters of characters with short phrases
(such as typing ?omw? being replaced with
?On my way!?), and even ?correcting? weird
iOS autocorrections. Second, to ?type?
characters that would otherwise require
laborious searching/copying/pasting ?
to have ?cprt? become �, say.
The third major use is to type phrases or
longer passages of text that you write often.
For example, you might type ?reply7? and
have iOS replace that with a couple of
paragraphs of text that are your standard
5
6
response to a question you?re frequently asked
by email. Or, if you often search Apple Support
articles in Safari, set up a shortcut to replace
?#spt? with ?site:support.apple.com? so that you
only get Google search results from that part
of Apple?s site. Set up text replacements
in Settings > General > Keyboard > Text
Replacement on iOS, or in ? > System Prefs
Keyboard > Text on a Mac. Whichever device
you do this on, your text replacements will
sync to your other Macs and iOS devices
signed in to the same iCloud account.
Say your words
6 Finally, don?t forget about dictation,
which you?ll find at the bottom of Settings >
General > Keyboards. It works for English even
when your device is offline, and though you
might feel weird doing it in a shared office or
classroom, these days it?s highly accurate ?
and usually much faster than typing, if you
can think and talk in complete sentences.
You can even dictate punctuation and issue
?commands?, such as ?full stop? and ?new line?.
Christopher Phin
Genius tip!
If you find 3D Touch?s
sensitiivity a little ?off?,
adjust it to require a
lighter or firmer press
in Settings > General >
Accessibilty > 3D Touch.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 55
APPLE SKILLS iOS software
Master
GarageBand?s
Alchemy synth
Create an energetic electronic
bass line using an arpeggiator
IT WILL TAKE
15 minutes
YOU WILL LEARN
How to use the
Alchemy synth
and arpeggiator
YOU?LL NEED
An iOS 11 device,
GarageBand
2.3 or later
GarageBand always had a
wide range of sounds, but the
Alchemy synth?s arrival has
been transformative for Apple?s
music-making app. Camel Audio?s Alchemy
had long been regarded as one of the finest
digital synths, and Apple?s acquisition of it
in 2015 was a wise move.
As expected, Apple quickly welded
Alchemy to Logic Pro. What wasn?t expected:
Apple squeezed its flagship synth into
GarageBand for iOS, too. Sure, it?s cut-down
in terms of interface, but you still get plenty
of dials and pads to experiment with.
In this tutorial, we?ll continue making
a ringtone (started in the March issue,
#323). You?ll use Alchemy and GarageBand?s
arpeggiator to construct a bass line. The
arpeggiator keeps things in time, so this
will help to underpin your work.
Before we begin, two tips. First, be
mindful of the bass sounds you use ? too
complex or effects-laden and they?ll muddy
a mix, especially for a ringtone. Secondly, if
you?ve not read previous instalments of this
GarageBand series, you might find Alchemy
alone is enough for a minimal, old-school
ringtone. If not, lay down a Drummer track
before you start the walkthrough.
Craig Grannell
EXPLAINED? Sound manipulation with Alchemy
1
3
Transform Pad
This touch surface
enables you to
manipulate the
currently selected
sound ? even when
playing live.
Framing box
1
2
The framing
box is like a mixer.
Drag it between
snapshots and it
combines them into
something new.
3
2
Snapshots
The pad is
divided into eight
snapshots, each of
which is effectively
a distinct and
unique preset.
56 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
4
4
Gyro control
Use the gyro
control to move
the framing box
by tilting your
iOS device. You
wouldn?t do that
with your Mac!
macformat.com @macformat
Alchemy synth APPLE SKILLS
HOW TO Use Alchemy to record some bass
1 Choose an instrument
Add a track to a song; tap Alchemy
Synth in the Keyboard panel. Tap the
default instrument (above the touch
surface), pick Plucky Synth Bass, then
tap Done. Set the keyboard behaviour
to Glissando and the octave to 0.
2 Set up the keyboard
Tap the Keyboard button (above the
keys, third from the right); select a size
you?re comfortable playing. Turn off
Velocity. Ensure you can see keys A2
to G3. If not, set the keyboard behaviour
to Scroll, drag, then change it back.
3 Play some notes
Tap/hold some notes to get a
feel for the keyboard controls and the
instrument. Experiment with dragging
the framing box as you play to hear how
it can dramatically change the feel and
tone of the selected instrument.
4 Turn on the arpeggiator 5 Set your octave range 6 Record your bass
Tap Arpeggiator (second from the
right) and turn on Run. You can adjust
the arpeggiator?s note order, range and
octave range. Hold down a key. Notice
the sound alternate between the note
you?re holding and one an octave higher.
With the key still held down, tap
the up arrow next to Octave Range, so
it?s set to 3. Immediately, the arpeggiator
will play across three octaves, which
sounds a bit more interesting. Now it?s
time to get recording?
If you?ve followed earlier parts of
this series, we?ll use a progression that
works with the world instruments used
last issue. Tap the red record button and
then hold notes as follows: E3 (beat 1); C3
(3); A2 (4); G3 (5); F3 (7); D3 (8); A2 (8.5).
7 Make adjustments
8 Experiment further
9 Transpose your notes
If you find it tricky to get the timing
of the changes right, tap the Settings
menu (the spanner, top right) and adjust
the tempo. Remember you can re-record
your bass line as many times as you like,
until you?re happy with the result.
macformat.com @macformat
As Alchemy is a MIDI instrument, it
records note data rather than rendered
audio. This means you can play your
recording and retrospectively change
how it sounds by adjusting dials and
pads, or even selecting a new instrument.
Tap the Track Settings button (three
slider icon, top left). In Track Settings >
Transposition, adjust the octave to make
your bass higher or lower. Go up a level.
Under Output, tap solo (headphones) to
listen back to your bass track alone.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 57
APPLE SKILLS watchOS
Stay safe with Apple Watch
Keep watchful eye on your health and safety with Apple?s wearable
IT WILL TAKE
5 minutes
YOU WILL LEARN
How to use and
set up the emergency
and heart-rate features
on your Apple Watch
YOU?LL NEED
An Apple Watch,
an iPhone
A woman?s
life was saved
because she
was able to
call for help
through
her Watch
Having a computer strapped to
your body at all times isn?t just
useful for making sure you don?t
miss alerts and easily setting
timers when you?re cooking. The Watch is a
communications device that?s always to hand,
once you put it on ? which means it can really
come through for you if there?s an emergency.
Earlier this year, a woman?s life was saved
after a severe car crash because she was able
to call for help through her Watch, without
needing to know where her phone was.
The Emergency SOS feature is built in to
watchOS, and we?ll show you how easy it is to
trigger a call to the emergency services when
you need them. For most Watch models, your
phone will need to be within range of your
Watch, because your phone is what actually
makes the call ? however, you don?t need to
actually touch your phone. If you have a
Watch Series 3 with 4G built in, you don?t
need your phone nearby, because the Watch
can make the emergency call directly, even
if you don?t actually have a call plan for it.
That?s not the only way the Watch could
help you in an emergency, though. If you set
up some essential medical information in the
Health app, emergency workers can access it
from your Watch, which could be vital if you?re
unconscious. You can enter your allergies,
blood type, medications and more. We?ll also
show you how to set those details.
Heart-healthy technology
Of course, apart from being a communication
device, the Watch is also a health monitor, so it
may be able to help keep you healthy in more
direct ways. Its heart rate monitor can keep
a constant eye on the old ticker (if you have
a Watch Series 1 or later, it can keep track
of your heart rate during rest or walking
passively; on the first-generation Watch, it
only tracks your heart rate during a Workout,
or when you open the Heart Rate app).
The heart rate monitor is accurate
enough to potentially detect heart conditions,
though it won?t do that on its own ? it?s a tricky
business! What it will do is warn you if things
look iffy. You can set Watch to warn you if
your heart rate is creeping worryingly high
even though you?re not exerting yourself.
There are cases where people have used
these warnings as a prompt to see their
doctors, and been diagnosed with heart
conditions as a result. Your Apple Watch
really could save your life! Matt Bolton
HOW TO Keep an eye on your heart
1 Easy measurements
You can get a heart rate reading by
opening the Heart Rate app on your
Watch, and letting it do its thing! Or, you
can add a complication that includes the
latest reading to some watch faces.
(You?ll need Watch Series 1 or later.)
58 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
2 Heart rate warnings
On Watch Series 1 or later, go to the
Watch app on your iPhone and tap Heart
Rate. Here, you can tell your Watch to
notify you if your heart rate goes above a
certain level during a period of inactivity,
which can be a sign of health issues.
3 Try Cardiogram
The free Cardiogram app from the
App Store can use your Watch?s heart
rate data to give you useful information.
Open the app on iPhone to see graphs
of your activity, and see how things like
your resting rate compare to the average.
macformat.com @macformat
Protect your well-being APPLE SKILLS
HOW TO Use the Medical ID feature
1 Enter details on iPhone 2 Access when locked
On your iPhone, open the Health app.
Tap Medical ID in the bottom bar, then
Edit at the top right. You can now enter
useful information such as your age,
blood type, weight and organ donor
choice, and select emergency contacts.
At the top of the Medical ID editing
screen, make sure ?Show when locked?
is turned on. This means someone who
finds your phone can tap Emergency to
see your details. This capability is also
available on Watch, of course.
3 Medical ID on Watch
Press and hold the side button on
your Watch (the long one, not the Digital
Crown). If you have set up your Medical
ID, a slider labelled as such will be shown.
Someone can slide it to access the same
medical info on your Watch?s screen.
HOW TO Use Emergency SOS
1 How to use it
Press and hold the side button on your
Watch. A screen with an Emergency SOS
slider will appear ? slide it to immediately
call local emergency services. Or, on your
iPhone, press the Sleep/Wake button five
times to use Emergency SOS.
2 Hold to Auto Call
In the Watch app, go to General >
Emergency SOS. Make sure Hold to
Auto Call is turned on; this means if you
hold the side button on your Watch and
don?t let go, it will automatically start the
emergency call ? no fiddly sliding needed.
3 Emergency contacts
Remember setting your emergency
contacts earlier? When using Emergency
SOS, once the call to the emergency
services is done, your Watch will send all
of them a text message saying you?re in
trouble, with your location attached.
Sharing your location
Let people keep track of you when you?re at risk
Emergency SOS shares your location, but that?s only after the authorities have
been called. What if you?re walking home late, or are worried a situation is going
sideways, and want to make sure people know where you are? You can share
your location in Messages on your Watch ? in a conversation, press firmly on the
screen, then tap Share Location. A more serious option is Wearsafe (requires
in-app purchases, bit.ly/wearsafe) ? you can press a button to instantly share
your location and audio of what?s going on with a network of trusted contacts.
macformat.com @macformat
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 59
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MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 61
What?s inside
62
OLD DISK IMAGE
PROBLEMS
How to resolve an
invalid checksum
EDITED BY
EXPERT
ADVICE
HOWARD OAKLEY
63
iOS SOFTWARE
Swipe away your
touchscreen troubles
64-65
PERIPHERALS
Thinking inside the
box to refresh the parts
other tips can?t reach
66-67
MAC SOFTWARE
Sage advice to help
overcome Mac maladies
Contact us
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and your questions to
genius@macformat.com
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62 | MACFORMAT |
Issues with an old disk image
Q
How can I mount an important
old disk image that?s reported
as having an invalid checksum?
by A D E S T U A R T
Read-only or compressed disk images
are checked by macOS when you try
to mount them. When they?re created,
a checksum of their entire contents is saved in
the file, and that?s compared against their
current checksum. If those differ, macOS
reports this error and refuses to mount them.
If you can?t get another undamaged copy
of the disk image, the only way around this is
using the command line in Terminal. As the
image is likely to be damaged, this can cause
problems, and in the worst case could cause a
kernel panic. So save all open work and close
A
Our resident genius
solves your Mac and
iOS problems
non-essential apps. You need to be confident
that the disk image isn?t malicious in any way.
Open Terminal, type a command of the
following form and then press �
hdiutil attach filename.dmg -noverify
where filename.dmg is the name of the
disk image file ? you can simply drag it from
Finder onto Terminal?s window at that point in
the command to substitute the complete path
and filename. If successful, you?ll see a list of
the partitions that have been mounted.
When macOS discovers a checksum issue,
it writes an extended attribute of a type whose
name starts with com.apple.metadata:
kMDLabel_. Sometimes, you might need to
delete that using the command tool xattr, or
the free utility xattred. However, removing
that won?t enable you to mount the disk image.
Once you?ve mounted a
damaged disk image using
the hdiutil command, it may
look fine, but it?s still faulty.
iOS software GENIUS TIPS
iOS software
Swipe away your touchscreen troubles and
rekindle your love of Apple?s mobile devices
iOS software
quick-fire
questions
How do I connect
Watch and iPhone
after updating
to iOS 11.2.5?
> Try shutting down
both devices and then
turning both on again.
If that doesn?t work,
unpair them following
Apple?s instructions
at bit.ly/unpairwatch.
For best results, start
the pairing process on
your Watch. When the
devices are once again
paired, restore the
Watch?s contents from
its most recent backup.
Note that the process
can take a while.
Why don?t iPhone
notifications
appear when the
iPhone is locked?
> This can get changed
during an update,
or simply by mistake.
To restore them, go to
Settings > Notifications.
At the top of the page,
tap Show Previews
and choose Always.
You can also control
separately whether
notifications are
silenced when your
iPhone is locked ?
go to Settings >
Do Not Disturb.
macformat.com @macformat
Not available for offline reading
In spite of setting the option to
save web pages in Safari for offline
reading, when my iPad has no Wi-Fi
connection, Reading List articles are almost
always ?Not available for offline reading?.
Is this a bug in Safari?
Q
by R U S S E L L C A P L A N
Yes, and it is alleviated ? though
not entirely fixed ? since iOS 11.2.5.
You can help Safari cope better
by manually saving pages to its Reading
List, rather than relying on it doing so
automatically. In Settings > Safari, turn
off Automatically Save Offline. After doing
that, when you want to make sure a page
is available for offline viewing, first save it
to Reading List, then open the list, swipe
left on that item and tap Save Offline.
When Safari makes a page available
for offline reading, it saves the page and
linked content to a cache. The tricky decision
A
When Safari makes a
page available for offline
reading, it saves linked
content to a cache
for any service of this nature is how deep
to follow those links. Currently, browsers
for iOS go shallow, and at best will only
save that page and its linked content,
such as its style sheet and images.
Firefox?s similar feature doesn?t appear
to cache any content at present, and so fails
to load pages from its reading list when the
iOS device is in Airplane mode.
Some of the more specialist apps like
Offline Pages (and its pro version) do rather
Although Offline Pages caches content linked directly to
a page, it doesn?t go any deeper, and can still fail to load.
better than Safari, but they still don?t go any
further than one link deep.
If you want more reliable offline reading,
you?d be better off using Offline Pages, or
updating iOS and adding important pages
manually to Safari?s Reading List. Even then,
you?ll trip over its limitations at times.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 63
GENIUS TIPS Peripherals
Peripherals
Thinking inside the box to refresh
the parts other tips can?t reach
Peripherals
quick-fire
questions
Should I access
my network drive
using SMB or CIFS?
> CIFS is an open-source
implementation of the
SMB1 protocol. Opting
to use CIFS will deliver
the slowest but likely
most compatible
implementation of SMB.
That can be useful if
faster versions of SMB,
such as SMB2 or SMB3,
are causing problems,
but it shouldn?t be
your first choice.
How do I check the
SMART status of
my external SSD?
> macOS still doesn?t
support monitoring
SMART status for USB
drives, although it does
for most connected
using Thunderbolt.
Try installing the SAT
SMART Driver from
bit.ly/github_smart; as
it?s a kernel extension,
in High Sierra you?ll
need to approve it in the
Security & Privacy pane
after installation.
64 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
To get the best out of high-quality
print modes, set up scaling and other
options, then save them as a preset.
Photo prints are wrongly scaled
My iMac is running macOS 10.13.3
and the latest printer software,
but Preview and Photos only print
a third of each image to 6x4in photo paper
on my HP Deskjet 3520. All other printing is
fine. How can I print these photos properly?
Q
by P A U L R O P E R
High Sierra?s drivers might need a
little assistance in setting them up for
high-quality print modes. It?s best to
do this using a custom print setting.
Open an example image in Preview, and
then choose File > Print. If you only see a
simple dialog, click on the Show Details button
to expand it fully. Ensure you have the correct
paper size and orientation set at the top and
then, in the pop-up menu halfway down,
A
choose Preview to reveal the app?s controls
for scaling its output to the page.
You should be able to leave Scale to Fit
selected, but might need to switch from Print
Entire Image to Fill Entire Paper. If those don?t
do the trick, switch to using the Scale option
and, because the image is being printed too
large, try reducing the adjacent percentage.
To save these settings, choose ?Save
Current Settings as Preset? from the Presets
pop-up menu at the top of the sheet. Then
you can easily use them the next time you
want to print 6x4in photos.
Specialist photo and image apps like
Affinity Photo provide more extensive and
reliable printing options, which you should
find more suitable if you print many of your
photos in this way.
macformat.com @macformat
Peripherals GENIUS TIPS
Peripherals
quick-fire
questions
Can I use HomePod
to play audio from
my Mac?
Generally, you are better off using printer drivers
supplied with macOS, but they may lack features
from the hardware manufacturer?s version.
Updated driver
causes crashes
I recently updated support for
my Canon Pixma PRO-1 printer.
Following that, when printing a
photo at high quality, the printer software
crashed and the printer was unresponsive.
I can?t understand much of the crash report?s
contents, but it refers to EXC_BAD_ACCESS
(SIGSEGV). How can I fix it?
Q
by S I M O N S I M P S O N
A
That generic error usually indicates
that the software is broken. After an
update, it shows that failed, either
because the update didn?t install properly,
or there?s a bug in the new version.
Check your printer?s firmware is v2.000
or later; if not, update it using Canon?s Printer
Update Utility. Then uninstall it from the
Printers & Scanners pane.
Choose between installing version
16.20.0.0 of the printer driver from Canon,
or leaving macOS to install its latest release.
Normally you?re better off relying on macOS,
but for this model you may find the Canonsupplied driver supports higher quality output.
If that still doesn?t work properly, install
the previous driver if you happen to have a
copy to hand. If you don?t, check with Canon,
which should still be able to supply it.
> If they?re on the same
Wi-Fi network, you can
do this with AirPlay.
Open the Sound pane
in System Preferences;
select HomePod to
use in the Output tab?s
list of AirPlay devices.
iTunes offers its own
AirPlay controls.
Which format
should I use for a
USB memory stick?
> USB flash storage is
usually formatted as
ExFAT, making it usable
on most computers.
There is no reason you
shouldn?t reformat as
Mac OS Extended if
you?re only going to
use it with Macs; High
Sierra can format some
drives as APFS instead.
Thunderbolt drive and High Sierra
If I upgrade to High Sierra, will
my iMac still be compatible
with my Promise Pegasus
R4 RAID, which contains my backups?
Q
by I A N W I N K W O R T H
Yes, provided that you?re
running current versions of the
drive?s software, and that you
update the drive?s firmware.
Before upgrading to High Sierra, visit
the Promise support page at promise.
com/Support/downloadcenter. Select
Legacy products, then model details.
Download the Pegasus Series Utility
for Mac and the Pegasus Series Driver
for Mac, and install them.
It?s worth installing the driver, which
A
macformat.com @macformat
is a kernel extension, before upgrading
to High Sierra, as that version of the
system handles third-party extensions
differently, requiring an additional
authorisation step in order to use them.
With that new version of the
Pegasus Utility installed, you should
be able to upgrade its firmware directly
from within the app, although older
versions sometimes caused problems.
If you do have issues, download the
firmware from the support page and
install it using the Firmware Update
command from the utility?s Admin menu,
as detailed at bit.ly/firmprompeg.
Once your RAID drive is fully up
to date, proceed with the High Sierra
upgrade. When that?s complete, it
should be safe to leave Time Machine
backups turned on, as is the default,
provided that you don?t restart your
iMac in Sierra. That often wipes out the
database which Time Machine uses to
determine what to back up, and may well
force a complete backup of your iMac?s
drive, as if performing an initial backup.
If you have a Thunderbolt RAID array and you?re
thinking of upgrading your operating system,
visit the manufacturer?s website and download
the latest support software for your drive.
GENIUS TIPS Mac software
Mac software
Shine a spotlight on sagacious solutions
to your most maddening Mac maladies
Mac software
quick-fire
questions
How can I check
that an app is
properly signed?
> Download and install
What?s Your Sign? (free,
bit.ly/objseewhatsign).
This utility adds a
?Signing Info? command
to Finder?s contextual
menu. ?-click the app
you want to check,
choose that command,
and you?ll see info
about the developer?s
signature and its
certificate authorities.
I can?t read Apple?s free iBooks
I recently added Apple?s free iOS
user guides for iPhone and iPad to
the iBooks collection on my Mac.
When I try to open either, I?m told that a
different Apple ID was used to buy them,
which isn?t the case, and they work fine on
my iPhone. How can I read them on my Mac?
Q
by M A D D I E P L E A S A N T S
Restart your Mac, and open the
iCloud pane. Sign out, wait a few
seconds and then sign in again.
Also try removing the books from your
Mac and then redownloading them.
If those don?t help, open Settings on
your iPhone. At the top of the first page, tap
your name. You?ll see all your current Macs
and iOS devices listed. Tap your Mac there
and check its details ? in particular that it?s
a trusted device.
A
If that looks fine, shut down your Mac,
wait 20 seconds, and start it up in safe
mode (see bit.ly/macsafemd). That clears
a lot of caches and could help eliminate any
misunderstandings over your account and
the Mac?s authorisations. Then restart your
Mac normally and try again.
If this problem only occurred after a
macOS system update was installed, that
could be the cause. In this case, you need to
download the latest Combo updater for your
current version of macOS (go to support.
apple.com and search for ?combo update? and
your installed version number) and install that,
as it can sometimes fix such strange problems.
Another trick is to repair your home
folder?s permissions ? see bit.ly/repperms.
At the end of all that, if you have no joy,
call Apple support, as only it can fix problems
that might lie server-side with the store.
How can I check
I?m running the
latest Java?
> If you?ve got Java 9
installed, which is the
current major version,
there?ll be a Java icon
in System Preferences.
Click it and a separate
window will open. Go to
that window?s Update
tab to see the version
that?s installed and if
updates are available.
Or, type java --version
in Terminal to see
version details there.
66 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
iBooks should open books
downloaded by your Apple ID,
if that Mac is signed in to the
correct account and trusted.
macformat.com @macformat
Mac software GENIUS TIPS
Treemaps are invaluable for a quick overview of different
types of note; we even use them to manage Genius Tips.
Mac software
quick-fire
questions
Is there an easier
way to edit property
list files than Xcode?
> There are several,
including high-end XML
or text editors like BBEdit.
One of the most friendly
lightweight property list
editors is PLIST Editor
(�99, Mac App Store).
It?s considerably less
frustrating to use than
the tool found in Xcode.
Tinderbox lets you structure your notes in hierarchies, and
using sophisticated links. These notes also form a timeline.
Finding an affordable database
I built databases using FileMaker
Pro 13, and recently created one
for club quizzes. As that version
is getting old (and isn?t supported on High
Sierra), is there an affordable replacement?
Q
by A L E X S A W A R D
Upgrade pricing for FileMaker Pro
starts with version 14, so you?d
have to pay full price to stick with it.
In any case, for this task it would be overkill.
FileMaker used to sell a simpler, more
A
affordable app, Bento, but unfortunately that
was killed off four years ago.
If you really want a database, a close
alternative is Ninox (�.99, Mac App Store).
To check it out before buying, download the
trial version from ninoxdb.de/en.
Consider other tasks you might want to
use this for. If they?re based on structured text
and images, look at a downloadable demo of
Tinderbox from eastgate.com. Billed as a tool
for notes, it goes far beyond, and is ideal for
storing structured information and ideas.
What?s the best
app for drawing
complex timelines?
> Try Aeon Timeline 2
(�.99, Mac App Store).
Though not cheap, it
incorporates a database
into which you can put an
almost unlimited number
of events. You can then
filter those you want
to display in the final
timeline, making it ideal
for authors, project
management, and so on.
Syncing folders to a backup
I used to sync key documents
to a thumb drive, as an off-site
backup. The app I used has
now died, and I?m running High Sierra.
Is there a better way to do this?
Q
by M A R T I N T U C K
There are no less than three
ways, depending on whether
you enjoy writing AppleScript
or shell scripts, or prefer to use a simple
pane in System Preferences.
AppleScript supports Folder Actions,
scripts that run whenever something
changes in a folder, such as adding a
document to it. They?re now more fiddly
to use, as you need to make the Script
A
macformat.com @macformat
menu visible, which is done
in Script Editor?s General
prefs. (Script Editor is part
of macOS, and located in
/Applications/Utilities.)
You?ll need to write your
own script to copy files
Building folder actions in Hazel requires no scripting or programming,
from the watched folder
although it can run scripts you?ve written if you wish.
to your thumb drive.
actions which run when conditions are
You can do the same in a shell
met ? but without the need to write more
script using the fswatch command
complex scripts. For example, it would
(bit.ly/fswatch). Although powerful,
be very simple to copy files added to a
these are not the simplest option.
specific folder to your flash drive. Hazel
Perhaps best for most of our readers
does a great deal more beyond this, and
is Hazel (about �, noodlesoft.com).
can be used to automate workflows that
In its System Preferences pane you can
are usually manual affairs.
set folders to be watched, then define
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 67
Save money
on your
next Mac
Never pay full price for a Mac again with our
economic yet comprehensive money-saving guide!
Written by Alex Blake
pple?s computers are
well known for their
high prices. While you
certainly get a lot for
your money, there?s no
doubting that buying a Mac requires
a big financial investment.
But there?s no need to pay full
price if you know where to look.
There are plenty of clever tips and
A
68 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
tricks that can save you a huge
amount of money, so buying the
Mac you always wanted becomes
a much more palatable prospect.
From sales and specs to rights
and resellers, over the next few
pages we?ll take you through all the
ways you can save a packet when
buying a Mac. Read this and you?ll
never need to pay full price again.
macformat.com @macformat
Buy a bargain Mac FEATURE
Knowing what you need is vital
T
he tech world has a concept
called ?feature creep?, where
a product gains features until
it becomes bloated and complicated.
The same thing can happen when you
buy a Mac. Better add more memory.
And a more powerful processor. Oh,
and don?t forget to get a larger display,
because you?ll need the extra screen
space. Before you know it, you?ve
blown your budget on an absurdly
powerful Mac that?s overkill.
Knowledge is power
The key to avoiding this situation is
ensuring you know exactly what you
need before you start looking at Macs
and get carried away. If you know what
you need ? and are strict about sticking
to that specification ? there?s no need
to spend more than necessary.
For example, do you really need an
Intel Core i7 processor? Many people
insist on having one because it has
become something of a byword for
quality. It?s a powerful processor, but
unless you regularly engage in heavyduty video or photo editing work, you
can go without and save some money.
For processor clock speed
and cores, if you mostly work
with audio then fewer cores
and a higher clock speed can
be beneficial when it comes
to latency. However, video
export and compiling apps
benefit from extra cores
Make sure you know what you intend to do with
working in tandem, despite
your Mac before you buy it. For example, do you
the typically lower clock
need more than 8GB of memory?
speeds in this scenario.
Apple offers a variety of storage
apps or Safari tabs open at the same
options, from normal hard drives to
time, you might need 16GB of memory.
faster Fusion Drives to super-speedy
If you intend to use an external
SSDs. Work out how much space (and
4K or 5K display with your Mac, you?ll
need to make sure the Mac is powerful
enough to run it. The support section
Don?t blow your budget on
on Apple?s website has a page outlining
an absurdly powerful Mac
the requirements for these displays
that you don?t need
(bitly.com/4K5Kreqs).
Bear in mind that most Macs?
speed) you need, but remember that
components can?t be changed ? or not
you can expand it with an external
easily ? after purchase, so you need to
drive down the line.
consider future uses for your Mac at
Similarly, make sure you know
that time. Thunderbolt 3 raises the
how much memory you really need.
possibility of external graphics cards,
For many ordinary tasks, 8GB is plenty.
but Apple hasn?t yet finalised how that
If you expect to use your Mac for more
will work, and we can?t say for certain
intensive tasks, or like having lots of
which models it?s relevant to just yet.
What extras will you need?
Docks and adaptors to expand your options
Apple captured headlines when it
introduced its USB-C MacBook back
in 2015. With just one port, it meant
you could use one peripheral at a time,
or none with the charger plugged in.
If you?ve got a single-port MacBook,
an expansion hub can make a massive
difference. Apple sells a Belkin USB-C
hub with four USB-A ports for �.95,
and there are many similar options.
Apple has already migrated many
Macs to USB-C. So, if you use USB-A
accessories, your new Mac might not
have ports to connect them. The iMac
still has four USB-A ports, but we can?t
macformat.com @macformat
say what?ll happen with the future Mac
Pro and Mac mini. The MacBook and
MacBook Pro have no USB-A ports.
While individual adaptors (such as
USB-A to USB-C, allowing you to hook
up your older peripherals) are great
for portability, a larger dock is often
more practical, especially if you don?t
move around much.
If you?re still running older tech
such as FireWire hard drives, it?s worth
investing in newer kit with modern
connections, rather than buying lots
of adaptors for it ? especially storage
that might be near the end of its life.
Adaptors are good if you
need portability, otherwise
consider a hub or dock.
FEATURE Buy a bargain Mac
Buy from Apple
Getting a Mac from Apple
doesn?t have to be costly
W
hen it comes to buying a Mac
directly from Apple, there
are several ways to save
some money. Before you hand over
your hard-earned cash, there are a
few places you should check first.
One is the clearance section on
Apple?s website, which offers slightly
older Macs (such as those from 2015
and 2016) for a lower price. If you don?t
mind not having the latest and greatest
Mac available, this is a great place to
snag a bargain (see page 72 for more).
Separately, there?s also a section
offering second-hand Apple products
that have been refurbished by the
company, also sold at a discount. While
these are not unused, brand-new Macs
(unlike clearance items), they have still
been tested and certified by Apple, so
you know they?re in a good condition.
Every Mac sold this way comes with
a one-year warranty.
Buying direct from
Apple needn?t
mean breaking
the bank?
However, the items in both the
clearance and refurbished sections get
snapped up quickly. If you?re interested
in buying this type of Mac, it might be
an idea to set the appropriate place as
your web browser?s homepage. Then
you can quickly check for discounted
Macs every time you go online, reducing
the risk that you?ll miss out on
a product you want to buy.
You can buy direct from Apple and
While the cost of buying
still save money with clearance,
a Mac directly from Apple
refurbished and finance options
with one outright payment
can seem daunting, Apple offers
a way of making it more affordable.
Instead of buying the Mac outright,
you can spread the cost over six, 12,
18 or 24 monthly instalments using
PayPal, or up to 48 monthly instalments
with Barclays Finance. There is an
interest rate with these two options
(14.9% at the time of writing), but
do keep your eyes peeled ? Apple
occasionally lets customers pay in
monthly instalments with 0%
interest on your purchase.
Education & employee purchase plans
Use your workplace benefits to get money off a Mac
Apple offers a number of ways to
save money on its products through
your place of work or study. If you?re
a student or teacher, for example, you
can save up to �0 on a new Mac
through the Apple Store for Education.
You?ll need to provide your UNiDAYS
registration info, or alternatively you
can register with Apple using your
ID or acceptance letter.
As well as that, Apple runs ?back
to school? sales every year, usually in
August. They?re a good opportunity
to get your Apple gear at a discount.
Making work pay
If you?re a student or work in academia, you can get
money off in the Apple Store for Education website.
70 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
Many larger workplaces are signed
up to Apple?s Employee Purchase
Programme (EPP), which offers
discounts of varying levels on many
first- and third-party products. This is
available online and in retail stores.
You can buy a limited number of
discounted Macs, iPads, iPhones and
iPods each calendar year, for yourself
or friends and family. Check the terms
and conditions shown when you first
sign in to your company?s special EPP
web address to confirm the limits on
device types. AppleCare can also be
purchased at a discount, along with
add-ons such as adaptors, cables
and displays. Savings vary between
products, and not all are eligible.
macformat.com @macformat
Buy from a reseller
Get extra savings on a Mac
from third-party retailers
W
hile Apple offers discounts
from time to time, you?ll
often get more money off
from third-party resellers. But before
you get started, it?s a good idea to buy
from an authorised reseller or service
provider; that way, you?re buying from
Apple-approved companies. Moreover,
any repairs at an Authorised Service
Provider are done using genuine parts
by people trained by Apple.
Many of these resellers offer deep
discounts around Black Friday, so if
you?re not in a huge hurry it?s a good
idea to wait until then. For example,
last year KRCS offered 10% off all
Macs, and in 2015 and 2016 you could
get 12% off. That also included build-toorder (BTO) models where you specify
your own specs; not all resellers reduce
their prices for BTO Macs, so ensure
you shop around before you settle on
a place to order from.
If you don?t mind buying kit that isn?t
brand-new, some shops sell ex-display
units. Make sure you read the product
description and, if possible, test out the
unit before buying so you know exactly
what condition it will be
in. It?s a good idea to test
things like battery cycle
count to make sure no
parts are worn out. You
also need to be fast if you
see any ex-display units
on sale ? naturally, they?re
usually limited in supply, so
if you?ve already decided
what Mac you want and
you see it on sale, go for it
while you can.
If you want to buy a new Mac, make
sure you check third-party retailers
for significant discounts.
Bargain hunting
On the other hand, if you want to buy a
brand-new Mac but don?t mind if it isn?t
the latest model, the best time to buy is
just after new models come out. At that
time, many resellers will reduce their
prices in order to shift old stock and
free up space for newer Macs. As a
result, you can pick up a bargain for
yourself. Check out page 72 for more
information on this.
If you want to buy from a reseller,
consider how that might affect your
support and AppleCare options. Make
Protect your purchase
Your consumer rights and insurance options
Apple provides its own insurance
policy in the form of AppleCare. It
covers your Mac for up to three years
of hardware servicing from Apple or
from an authorised technician, plus
software support and technical
assistance by phone or a web chat.
Still, you should shop around before
you decide to plump for AppleCare. For
example, while AppleCare for Mac will
cost between � and �9 (based on
which Mac you buy), John Lewis offers
a two-year warranty for free with every
Mac it sells. And unlike AppleCare, that
warranty covers accidental damage,
macformat.com @macformat
which AppleCare does not (annoyingly,
it is covered in the US, but not the UK).
In England, Wales and Northern
Ireland you have up to six years to
return a product that was faulty when
you bought it (five years in Scotland).
If you do so within the first 30 days,
you are entitled to a full refund. If it?s
within the first six months, you have to
give Apple a chance to repair the faulty
Mac. Still, this all covers damage that
was already present when you bought
the Mac, so it?s best to have some form
of insurance (AppleCare or otherwise)
to give you extra protection.
sure you keep your receipt and
AppleCare Proof of Coverage (if that
applies), as Apple might ask to see them
if you need it to service your Mac. Many
resellers also offer their own support
services in addition to those from Apple.
If you aren?t sure where your nearest
authorised reseller is, head over to
locate.apple.com, select a service and
enter your details. You can look up
numerous resellers, service providers,
training centres and consultants, all
approved and authorised by Apple.
Team talk >
Alan says...
My parents saved
more than �0 by
waiting until Black
Friday to upgrade their sevenyear-old Mac mini. Unless you
urgently need to replace your
Mac, I recommend doing that.
They were able to put the
difference towards upgrading
another component. They
stretched their budget a little
further to upgrade the 2.5-inch
hard drive ? old and slow tech ?
to a 256GB SSD, making their
new computer more responsive
at a more palatable cost.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 71
FEATURE Buy a bargain Mac
Do you need the latest and greatest?
Save a bunch of money by purchasing an older Mac
A
no need to go for a more expensive
model just because it?s newer.
Auction websites such as eBay are
a particularly good place to look for
deals. Lots of people sell their old Macs
when newer models get released, and
you can take advantage of that and
snag a bargain. If you?re lucky, you may
even find someone selling a Mac for far
below its value to get any money they
can to put towards their own upgrade.
There may be another way to save
money on a slightly older Mac a little
closer to home: check to see if your
work intranet has a page where your
colleagues can list items for sale. You
never know, someone might be selling
a Mac for a good price.
pple is the master of bringing
out new products, with each
launch hotly anticipated. But
if you can resist the urge to buy the
latest shiny computer, you can save
yourself a load of money.
A lot of resellers will drop the price
of previous-generation Macs when new
ones go on sale. If you don?t mind a less
up-to-date model, this is an option to
consider. As we mentioned on page 69,
it?s important to make sure you know
what you want in a Mac. If a previousgeneration Mac does exactly what
you need it to, there?s
Second-hand steals
You might also be able to find a good
deal on a second-hand Mac in shops
like CEX. As well as that, some of
these shops offer warranties on
Macs. CEX, for example, has a
two-year warranty with Macs,
although this only covers software
faults and does not include
physical damage. If you need
to return a Mac to CEX within
If you?re thinking of buying a second-hand Mac,
some reputable retailers offer a warranty.
the first 30 days after purchasing it,
CEX will try to repair it; if that?s not
possible, it will give you a full refund.
If you need to return the Mac in the
first six months and require a refund,
CEX will offer you the current or
original value (whichever is lower).
Smaller second-hand stores might
have older Macs in stock, but check
if they offer a warranty.
Team talk >
Jo says...
I recently bought
a second-hand
MacBook. My spec
requirements were low-level, but
I was reluctant to buy from online
second-hand sites ? Macs aren?t
cheap even when second-hand,
and there?s an element of risk.
Luckily, my friend frequently
upgrades, so I got a deal from
someone I trust. It also meant
the computer had already been
maxed out. There?s no warranty,
but I was lucky enough to know
that the MacBook had been
well looked after.
Raise money from your old Mac
Sell your unneeded tech to raise some cash
If you want to raise some extra cash
to put towards the purchase of a new
Mac, consider selling your old computer.
Apple offers a trade-in scheme and will
give you cash to recycle your old Mac,
but the prices it offers are not always
the best available.
If you want to get an idea of how
much your Mac is worth, use a website
called mac2sell.net. It?s prices are often
a little on the generous side admittedly,
but it can be useful to see how much you
72 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
might be able to sell your model for.
Perhaps the best way to get an
accurate sense of how much you might
raise is by checking other listings on
eBay. Watch auctions of the same
model as the one you want to sell,
as that shows what people are willing
to pay (rather than Buy it Now items,
which often don?t sell at all).
However you sell your old Mac,
it?s an excellent way to reduce the
amount you need to save up.
macformat.com @macformat
Four ways to get a better deal
Checklist
Know what you need
What?s the best way to avoid
spending more than you should?
Knowing what you?ll use the Mac
for. Do you need powerful parts,
or will a simpler Mac do the job?
Do your research, read reviews and
make sure you make an informed
decision before you overspend.
Shop around
Newsletters
You should never just buy your Mac
from the first shop you find. Shop
around, use price comparison websites
and browse sites like Money Saving
Expert to pick up some useful tips on
getting the best deal.
There?s nothing worse than finding out
about a fantastic deal after it?s ended.
Make sure you don?t miss out: sign up
to retailers? newsletters. They?ll email
you when they launch a sale or cut Mac
prices, enabling you to take advantage.
Be active but patient
If you?re not in a hurry, wait
until the big sales, like Black Friday,
for the best deals. At the same time,
if you see a top deal or a clearance
Mac that you want, make a move
before it?s gone!
Shop around
Whatever you do, don?t just
buy a Mac from the first shop you
find ? see what other sellers charge.
If you find a seller that has a great
warranty but high prices, see if they
will price match. TechRadar has a
good price-checking tool; use it to
explore your options. Only buy once
you?re happy you have a great deal.
Loyalty card points
TechRadar deals
Signing up for loyalty cards is pretty
much a no-brainer ? they?re free, and if
you shop regularly enough you rack up
points quickly. With a John Lewis card,
you can put points towards a new Mac
and get the company?s longer warranty.
Our sister website TechRadar features
a price comparison tool (see the bottom
of any of its Mac reviews), and regularly
features round-ups of the best Mac
deals. It also occasionally gets exclusive
money-off deals, so keep checking back.
Buying a second-hand Mac
You have some rights, but exercise caution
The rights you get when you buy
second-hand goods really depend on
whether you bought from a store or
an individual. Buying from a retailer
guarantees you the right to cancel
your purchase within 14 days. You are
protected by the Consumer Rights Act,
which lets you get a refund if the item
is faulty or not as described, and the
retailer must let you know about any
defects before you buy.
Any Mac sold by a retailer must
macformat.com @macformat
be of ?satisfactory quality?. Superficial
scratches probably won?t entitle you
to a refund, but major damage should.
If you buy from a private individual,
your rights are more limited. The Mac
must still be as described. So, if it?s
described as new, it can?t be secondhand; if it was described as an ?Apple
laptop?, it can?t be another brand.
The seller isn?t obligated to disclose
faults, though they can?t misrepresent
what they?re selling.
Check before you buy
If you?re buying a secondhand Mac, view it in person if
possible. It is a good idea to check
its battery cycle count and other
indications of overall health. You
don?t want to negate your savings
by having to spend on repairs.
Protect your purchase
If you spend a lot of money
on a Mac, protect it with a warranty
or insurance policy. If prices are
similar, consider buying it from the
retailer with the best warranty.
Know your rights
The rights you get when you
buy a Mac depend on a lot of things,
such as whether it?s second-hand
and whether you bought it from a
retailer or an individual. Read up
on what you?re entitled to in order
to avoid any nasty surprises.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 73
REUSE
OLD KIT
What?s inside
Inspiring ideas for
revamping old
Apple kit
74-77
NEW LIFE FOR
OLD PRINTERS
Luis tries to churn out
introspective essays on
retrospective printers
77
MAKING THE
CONNECTION
Can an old Mac and
a printer communicate
after all this time apart?
Contact us
Email your queries
and your questions to
lovemac@macformat.com
Keep up to date by
following us on Twitter
@macformat
Join the conversation
at facebook.com/
macformat
Get the latest
subscription offers at
macformat.com
74 | MACFORMAT |
EDITED BY
LUIS VILLAZON
Print from a classic Mac
his month, I am delving back
into the collection of vintage
Macs and Apple hardware,
kindly donated by MacFormat reader
Tim Haq. There are two printers in this
collection; if I could get one to work,
I could print directly from a classic Mac.
Strangely, I do still use my Macintosh
SE, as I find the scatter-clack sound of
the classic Mac keyboard soothing.
Back in the March 2017 issue (#310),
I converted one of these keyboards to
work with modern USB machines, but
I also enjoy Microsoft Word running on
System 6.07, with the fan whining as I
squint at the tiny monochrome screen.
I write pointless introspective essays
and first chapters of books that I?ll
never finish. Given the hassle of copying
files onto a floppy disk, the best way to
back up these jottings would be to print
them out. Then they could be locked in
a safe and marked ?to be destroyed in
the event of my death?. As a sort of
posthumous, hard-copy clickbait.
T
The Macintosh SE is a pleasure to use if you like the sound
of whirring fans while squinting at a small mono screen.
CLASSIC APPLE KIT: POWERBOOK 5300CE
The PowerBook 5300ce was introduced in 1995 for a price that
would make us wince today: $6,500. But it was the first PowerBook
to use the new PowerPC processor and the first to use an 800x600
SVGA display. It was also very compact for its time, and smaller even
than the ?WallStreet? PowerBook G3 that was released three years
later. The 5300ce didn?t sell well though. As well as the high price,
the plastic case was notorious for cracking and the Lithium battery
had to be recalled due to the fire risk.
macformat.com @macformat
Resurrecting old printers LOVE YOUR MAC
Vintage print
Can a printer still work after 25 years of neglect?
2
1
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
StyleWriter
Paper feed
Ink cartridge
Apple?s first inkjet printer can print
one black-and-white page per minute
at a resolution of 360dpi.
The sheet feeder can be detached
from the StyleWriter to allow single
sheets to be fed in manually.
The StyleWriter?s print engine is made
by Canon, so Canon BC-10 bubblejet
cartridges are compatible with it.
4
5
6
Cables
LaserWriter Select 360
Toner cartridge
The StyleWriter only supports a serial
connection. The LaserWriter can
handle serial, parallel or (very slow)
networking over AppleTalk.
The LaserWriter is capable of
600dpi resolution with an output of
10 pages per minute. This printer has
a minimum lifespan of 300,000 pages.
Refurbished Apple toner cartridges
(part number M1960GA) are still
available for the LaserWriter and
should last for 4,000 pages.
macformat.com @macformat
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 75
LOVE YOUR MAC Power to the printer
Old Age Printers
There may be ink issues, and worse, but Luis wants his printing fix
Quick-fire
questions
Which of Apple?s
vintage laser
printers have
LocalTalk support?
Nearly all LaserWriters
do. Exceptions are the
Personal LaserWriter
320, LS and SC, and
the LaserWriter Select
300 and 310 models.
Does toner go off?
Laser printer toner
is made up of plastic
mixed with carbon or
other pigments ground
into fine particles
(roughly the same
particle size as soot
from a diesel engine).
Although the plastic is
stable, it will eventually
settle and clump if left.
Most cartridges are
still usable after three
years, if stored in sealed
packing. But once
opened, moisture and
temperature variations
can give uneven prints
after a year or so.
If your printer has
been sitting idle for a
few years, its toner cartridge
probably needs replacing.
76 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
he smaller of the two printers is
the Apple StyleWriter. This was
introduced in 1991, back when I was
still printing on dot matrix printers with an
ink ribbon. The ink cartridge will definitely
have dried out to worthlessness by now, but
compatible Canon cartridges are still quite
easy to get hold of. Less easy to replace is
the AC adaptor. I looked through all the boxes
of cables and oddments that came with the
Haq Hoard, but there was no power brick
with a barrel jack that fitted the printer. The
boilerplate markings on the underside of the
printer state that it requires 9.5V DC. Although
I have a ridiculously large collection of ?wall
wart? AC adaptors, none of them output
precisely 9.5V. However I did find a 12V
adaptor with the correct size of barrel jack.
Provided you have a power source that is
at least 2V higher than the voltage you need,
you can always convert it to a lower voltage
using a ?buck converter?. This is a solid-state
device that essentially switches the power
on and off extremely quickly to reduce the
effective output voltage. I use these all the
time for Arduino projects, and I have a bunch
of them that are tunable. You turn a little
adjuster screw on the top to dial the voltage
down to whatever you need.
T
Barrel of fun
I cut the barrel jack connector off to splice
in the buck converter, but stupidly, I forgot
to check the polarity of the connector first.
In most devices the sleeve of the connector
is ?ground? and the inner tip is the positive
connection, so I soldered in the buck converter
with that assumption. The converter has a
The flashing yellow light of doom is not what you want
to see. This translates to ?call a service engineer?.
The StyleWriter is in excellent mechanical condition,
but it suffers from a strange electrical fault.
The LaserWriter, however, is electrically sound, but delve
a little deeper and it?s rustier than a sunken U-boat.
blue LED that normally shines annoyingly
bright when it is powered up, but as soon
as I plugged in the printer, the LED went out.
Unplugging it lit the LED again, so at least
I hadn?t blown the converter, but why was it
losing power? The StyleWriter uses 23W of
power. At 9.5V, this means it draws 2.4 amps.
The converter is rated for 3A and the power
brick for 2A. Technically, I was overloading the
adaptor by 20%, but there ought to be enough
headroom for this to have worked, at least for
a short while. I tried swapping the polarity on
the barrel jack connector, just to make sure
but still, no dice. Conclusion: the StyleWriter
has an internal short circuit somewhere.
What about the LaserWriter, then?
Its condition is much worse, with very nasty
corrosion on the internal rollers. But when
I plugged it in, it made some very promising
whirring and humming noises, so I was
encouraged to press on. The paper tray
macformat.com @macformat
Paper jam writer LOVE YOUR MAC
HOW TO Connect an old printer to a classic Mac
1 Cable
Classic Macs have two serial ports that
use the 8-pin, mini-DIN connector. The
one with a printer icon doubles as the
LocalTalk port (Apple?s network tech
before widespread Ethernet). Macs from
the 80s and early 90s are able to use a
LocalTalk connection box to share access
to a printer that supports this protocol.
2 AppleTalk
With the printer connected and on,
in System 6 or 7, click and hold the Apple
icon on the system menu and select
Chooser. Select the printer from the
left-hand pane and click the radio button
that?s labelled AppleTalk (bottom right).
LocalTalk is the cable spec, the actual
network protocol is called AppleTalk.
Squashed pins: unfortunately, the AppleTalk cable appears
to have been mistaken for an Apple Desktop Bus cable.
was jammed shut so tightly that I was
convinced I?d missed some hidden catch to
unlock it. It was only when I became so
desperate that I didn?t care about breaking it
that I pulled hard enough for it to finally pop
out. Along with my shoulder. There seemed
to be plenty of toner left in the cartridge,
given the way it leaked out onto the floor.
Crushed pins
The LaserWriter has connectors on the back
for a Centronics parallel cable, and 25-pin
serial, but my Mac/SE seems to expect the
Chooser will automatically query the
printer to find out the print settings and
paper sizes it supports. This will be saved
to a preferences file that is used for all
future print jobs. Should one Mac try to
print while another one is in the middle
of a print job, LocalTalk simply stalls the
second Mac until the first one is finished.
printer to be networked
over AppleTalk. I have an old
AppleTalk cable, but it has
evidently been mistaken for
an ADB (Apple Desktop Bus)
cable at some point in its life.
Although both cables have the
same mini-DIN plug, they use
different numbers of pins.
Forcing the 8-pin AppleTalk
cable into a 4-pin ADB socket
had squashed the extra pins
flat. I tried straightening them
out with a pair of needle-nose
pliers but, to nobody?s
surprise, the bent pins
promptly snapped off. Luckily,
an eBay search and �99 will
still get you a new AppleTalk cable today.
My Mac SE recognised the LaserWriter
immediately, and I watched excitedly as the
green LED on the printer front panel flashed
to show it was receiving my document. For
15 seconds I actually dared hope. Then the
flashing green was replaced with flashing
yellow, which means ?call a service
engineer?. It turns out that it isn?t
just the tray that is jammed. The
entire paper feed mechanism is
rusted solid. Back to saving my
jottings on floppy disks, I guess.
When I plug it in, it makes
some very promising whirring
and humming noises?
macformat.com @macformat
3 Settings
If your AC adaptor doesn?t
supply the right voltage,
you can splice in an
adjustable buck converter.
Next issue
Luis cleans up some of
the old Macs and lists
them on eBay. Will he
make enough money
to cover the cost of
the bubble wrap and
packing tape?
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 77
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78 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
macformat.com @macformat
What?s inside
80-87
HARDWARE
The iMac Pro,
bone conduction
headphones, a posture
aid, and much more?
EDITED BY
BUYING
ADVICE
ALEX BLAKE
88-91
GROUP TEST
Our authoritative reviews
help you make more
informed choices
Which fitness
smartwatch is king
of the workout
92
HEAD TO HEAD
iMAC
PRO
p82
Two water-resistant
portable speakers try
to make a splash
93-95
MAC SOFTWARE
Logic Pro X, a menu
bar enhancer, network
security and more
96-97
iOS SOFTWARE
A focal length photo
editor, a top-notch racer,
and a sleep-tracking app
Manifesto ? our ratings explained
Our reviews are totally
independent; we?re not
affiliated with Apple or
anyone else, nor are we
influenced by advertisers.
You can trust us to give
an honest assessment
of a product?s worth.
The prices quoted for
products are correct at
the time of writing and are
+++++
the best we can find from
a reputable online dealer,
excluding delivery.
Worth considering, though
there may be better options
+++++
+++++
A brilliant thing in all regards,
and worth every penny
Fundamentally flawed; look
at alternatives as a priority
+++++
+++++
Strongly recommended; any
flaws are only minor concerns
A waste of your money and
everyone?s time; do not buy!
The MACFORMAT Awards
Awarded to a
five-star product
we believe is truly
exceptional in its
category. Given solely at the
discretion of the Editor.
Given to a
hardware or
software product
that might not be
the very best in its category,
but is noted for affordability.
Our group test
winner gets this
award for being
the best of its
kind when pitted against
other comparable products.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 79
APPLE CHOICE Mac hardware
Philips
328P6A
Colour-accurate display
with great connectivity
�9 FROM Philips, philips.co.uk
FEATURES USB-C, HDMI, DisplayPort and VGA,
10-bit colour panel, 99% Adobe RGB gamut
If your Mac
has USB-C,
you can treat
this display as
a complete
data hub
VERDICT
Delivers impressive
colour reproduction
and works very well
with USB-C Macs.
++
++++
USB-C support
Colour reproduction
Good ergonomics
Moderate resolution
80 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
hilips is well known for
monitors, among many other
things. It has a reputation to
uphold, and it clearly knows it. The
32-inch ?328P6AUBREB? (fortunately, also
referred to as the ?Brilliance QHD LCD
monitor with HDR?) is aimed squarely at the
colour-critical design and production market.
The product design is Philips? tried-andtested format: a swivel base with a springloaded arm that provides fingertip-height
adjustment ? assuming you have strong
fingers. This is a swivel display, too; it can
rotate 90� if you prefer a portrait orientation
display, although you?ll need to set the display
rotation in System Preferences yourself.
The display?s bezel is slim and therefore
unobtrusive. The sleep and on-screen display
controls on the bezel are the touch-sensitive
variety, but there are clear labels over the
sensors that make them fairly easy to use.
In case you missed it above , this is a
USB-C display, though it also has video inputs
for HDMI, DisplayPort, and the ancient but
unkillable D-SUB (VGA). Even the humble
MacBook can drive this display at its full
resolution at 60Hz as a second screen, while
drawing 60W for charging. In addition,
there?s an Ethernet port and two USB-A (3.0)
ports, so if your Mac has USB-C, you can treat
this as a complete data hub.
P
Quality, not quantity
The display resolution is Quad HD, that?s
2560x1440 to pixel counters. Spread over
this 32-inch screen, it?s not Retina-class ?
at 93 pixels per inch ? but what?s actually
more important than pixel count is the
quality of the image. Philips bills this as a
?High Dynamic Range? display, achieving
99% of the Adobe RGB colour gamut ?
The resolution could be higher,
but this is a great option if you
want a large display.
and our tests bore this out. (To put this into
context, the best of our 4K monitors group test
in 2017 achieved 92% of Adobe RGB.) The
display?s internal processing is done in 12 bits
per colour and displayed at 10 bits, and the
LCD panel itself has an extremely wide
viewing angle typical of this IPS display tech.
Like other monitors in the Philips range,
this includes a Philips LowBlue Mode. This
reduces shortwave blue light wavelengths
in a bid to improve ?well-being? and safeguard
vision, although if colour is important to you,
you may notice the slight effect this has on
what?s displayed. It?s your call about using it,
but it?s there as an option.
Pro, not party
The display includes built-in speakers,
positioned low in the back. These aren?t
going to rock a party, but they are far from
the awful tinny excuses we?ve found in some
displays. Adjusting the volume requires a
trip to the on-screen displays and the bezelbased controls. This is a somewhat slow
process, but to be fair it?s an issue that?s
standard across most displays.
In use, this is an impressive, colouraccurate display that provides rich support
for Macs with USB-C ports, without
compromising other connection options.
The screen can justify its place in a serious
professional workspace, yet it?s actually
relatively affordable. It?s not a 4K display,
so if pixel count is critical, keep shopping.
But for colour accuracy and USB-C support,
this is a great choice. KEITH MARTIN
macformat.com @macformat
Mac/iOS hardware APPLE CHOICE
Bone conduction
technology means that
you can hear music
without the need for
intrusive earbuds.
AfterShokz Trekz Air
Immersive sound without intrusive earbuds
�9.99 FROM AfterShokz, aftershokz.co.uk
FEATURES Bluetooth 4.2, IP55 water resistance, sound leak reduction technology
The open-ear
headphones
work by bone
conduction, so
you still hear
external noise
locking out ambient noise is fine
in the gym, but can be dangerous
elsewhere. If you?re out on a run in
an urban environment or commuting through
busy streets and stations, you need to hear
what?s going on around you. Cue open-ear
sport headphones like the Trekz Air.
These wireless open-ear headphones work
by bone conduction, AfterShokz calls this
?OpenFit?, and it allows you to hear external
noises. One of the bone conduction transducers
is equipped with a mute button; located on the
left-hand side, it?s easy to find when, say, you?re
crossing a busy road.
With a titanium wrap-around band covered
in soft silicone, Trekz Air is light (a mere 30g),
strong and flexible, and stayed in place whatever
we did. It sits comfortably within a small dimple
area at the top of the jawbone.
It?s a really subtle, careful and clever design.
Trekz Air can also be worn around your neck,
shoved into a pocket or balanced on a hook,
which is all useful stuff for a pair of headphones
designed to be used when exercising. The same
goes for the IP55-rated waterproof build.
B
VERDICT
Clever, and so comfy
you forget they?re on,
but battery life and
audio quality suffer.
+++++
Fits securely on head
Flexible, lightweight
Sound quality
Short battery life
macformat.com @macformat
Trekz Air lets you immerse yourself in music but retain
the ability to hear what?s going on around you.
On each side of the device there?s a small
fingertip-sized housing that contains batteries
and controls. The controls are simple: on the
right-hand side are volume buttons, which
send a tone to the speakers with every press
(and a higher-pitched tone when the maximum
volume is reached). That?s important because,
as open-ear headphones, there is always a risk
of sound leakage.
We didn?t actually think sound leakage
was a major problem; people close to you can
definitely hear what you?re listening to if your
music is at full volume, but only if you?re in
a very quiet environment. In that respect, the
headphones work well in office environments,
where you can listen to music without worrying
that you?ll miss a barked order from the boss.
So-so sound
Although intended for use during sports, we
found Trekz Air fine for general use, and the
noise-canceling microphones enable clear
voice calls. Bluetooth pairing with our phone
was easy and the signal reliable.
The sound is good enough for the gym or
office (and much fuller than cheaper open-ear
headphones), but not as good as a pair of regular
earphones. In a busy city centre or in blustery
wind, we found that volume and bass levels
weren?t high enough ? and at full volume you
start to feel the vibrations in your jawbone, with
the odd sensation of a slight tickle in your ears.
More of an issue is the short battery life,
which lasts just six hours. However, a quickcharge mode gives you enough juice in 15
minutes for an hour in the gym. That middling
battery life really is the trade-off for the clever
lightweight design. JAMIE CARTER
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 81
APPLE CHOICE Mac hardware
iMac Pro
Extreme price, extreme power
From �899 (�039 configurattion tested) FROM Apple, apple.com/uk
DISPLAY 5120x2880-pixel Retina display PROCESSOR 3GHz, 10-core Intel
Xeon W MEMORY 128GB 2,666MHz ECC STORAGE 2TB SSD GRAPHICS
AMD Vega 64 16GB CONNECTIVITY 4x Thunderbolt 3, 4x USB 3 (Type-A),
10Gb Ethernet, SDXC card slot, 3.5mm jack, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2
The only thing
more amazing
than the feat
of producing
the iMac Pro is
the price you
pay for one
The Space Grey rear side is
especially dramatic. Not that
you?ll really get to enjoy it.
82 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
he iMac Pro is a wolf in sheep?s
clothing ? somehow, Apple has
packed a workstation with up to
an 18-core Xeon processor in a frame the
exact size of the regular 5K iMac. The only
thing more amazing than the engineering feat
of producing it is the price you might pay for
one. But this is a truly pro machine, and that
kind of power comes at a cost.
Apple provided us with a very high-end
unit for our review (see the specs above), but
the ?basic? �899 model offers an eight-core,
3.2GHz Intel Xeon processor, a less-potent
8GB AMD Vega 56 graphics card, 32GB of
memory, and a 1TB SSD. It?s all hugely
configurable ? even beyond our beefy unit,
you are able to choose a 14-core processor
(a �440 upgrade from the entry-level
specification) or an 18-core option (�160).
Going from 32GB of memory to 128GB alone
costs �160. Customisations add up quickly.
If you?re wondering what the benefits are
of spending that kind of money on a hulking
supercomputer that fits behind a monitor,
you can probably already rule out the iMac
Pro as being for you, even if you can afford it.
If you?re a video editor, you will see big
benefits from having multiple cores to render
high-res footage and play it back in real time.
Programmers compiling
code will benefit from big
parallel computing output.
Extreme Photoshop users
will find the giant memory
option useful. To make it
worthwhile, you probably
have to be someone who
looks at the price of the
iMac Pro, calculates how
much time it could save,
and then works out whether
the two balance. Either that
or a millionaire who just
really wants the (admittedly
T
You get a Space Grey mouse,
keyboard and trackpad
exclusively with iMac Pro.
irresistible) Space Grey finish for their
powerful desktop computer.
But the gist is this: the reason this costs
so much is that it?s using workstation parts
like ECC (error-correcting code) memory,
which means your huge, vitally important
work is less likely to become corrupted and
crash apps out, losing you time and money.
If you need it, you need it. If not, go cheaper.
Power play
Okay, enough sensible money and specs talk.
You want to know how fast it actually is to
use, right? Obviously, it?s fast. Really fast.
Everything you do is effectively instant,
though that?s partly down to the storage,
which is comically speedy, just like all Macs
with flash storage these days. This is part of
what makes it so good for video work (see
page 85 for our video pro?s opinion of what
macformat.com @macformat
iMac Pro APPLE CHOICE
ALTERNATIVE CHOICES
iMac 27-inch 5K
3.8GHz �249
SPECIFICATIONS
5120x2880-pixel
Retina display
3.8GHz quad-core
Intel Core i5 processor
8GB memory (up to 32GB)
2TB Fusion Drive
8GB AMD Radeon Pro 580
it?s like to actually use for 4K video editing).
Since this performance isn?t unique to the
iMac Pro, its speed only really stands out
from other Macs once you start processoror graphics-intensive tasks.
So, the next thing we tried was our video
export test in HandBrake. In the benchmarks
on page 84, you?ll see a huge boost over the
regular 5K iMac: this Pro model is three times
faster! That?s what we mean about the price
being worthwhile if it saves you a lot of time.
It?s a similar story when it comes to the
computer?s graphics. The Vega 64 chip in our
review unit is AMD?s big powerhouse, meant
to battle the top-end cards from rival Nvidia,
and there?s big performance here. In Unigine
Heaven benchmarks, it doubles the score of
the 5K iMac, which is a good start. But that?s
not real-world usage. The more important fact
is that, if you want to play games in 4K or even
macformat.com @macformat
5K, you can. Not always
super-smoothly, but games
a few years old, like the
Tomb Raider reboot, can
hit 30fps in 5K and 60fps in
4K at higher quality settings.
This Mac is also powerful
enough for VR content creation, which
Apple?s keen to push, though it?s still only
just getting started on Macs, really.
One thing that softens the price of the
iMac Pro is that it?s basically a workstation
with a free 5K screen included. A standalone
5120x2880-pixel, 27-inch display that works
Apple has accommodated the iMac Pro?s more powerful
components thanks to a redesigned cooling system.
MacBook Pro 15-inch
2.9GHz, �699
SPECIFICATIONS
2880x1800-pixel
Retina display
2.9GHz quad-core
Intel Core i7 processor
16GB memory
512GB PCIe-based SSD
4GB AMD Radeon Pro 560,
Intel HD Graphics 630
Alan says?
I can?t deny that I?d
love to own an iMac
Pro, but the regular
27-inch iMac has an
amazing screen in its
own right; the extra
processing power of
the iMac Pro would be
wasted on me in most
tasks anyway. But if
I were doing video
editing and graphics
work, I couldn?t ignore
the Pro so easily.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 83
APPLE CHOICE Mac hardware
BENCHMARKS Our analysis explained
iMac Pro 10-core 3GHz Late 2017
4914
iMac Pro 8-core 3GHz Late 2017
9mins 40 secs
iMac Pro 8-core 3GHz Late 2017
35.7
iMac Pro 8-core 3GHz Late 2017
2485.5MB/s
iMac 27-inch Retina 5K 3.4GHz Mid 2017
3856
iMac 27-inch Retina 5K 3.4GHz Mid 2017
27mins 35secs
iMac 27-inch Retina 5K 3.4GHz Mid 2017
19.2
iMac 27-inch Retina 5K 3.4GHz Mid 2017
708MB/s
MacBook Pro 15-inch 2.9GHz Mid 2017
MacBook Pro 15-inch 2.9GHz Mid 2017
Test not possible on other available models
MacBook Pro 15-inch 2.9GHz Mid 2017
4144
0
1000
2000
3000
4000
2578.0MB/s
22mins 32secs
5000
6000
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
0
15
30
45
60
75
90
0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500
3000
Index score (higher is better)
Duration (lower is better)
Frames per second (higher is better)
Transfer speed (higher is better)
GEEKBENCH 3
SINGLE-CORE TEST
This tests the capability of a single
processor core. Many more common
tasks on a Mac will only use a single
core at a time. Intel?s Turbo Boost
technology comes into play here.
HANDBRAKE
VIDEO ENCODING
We transcode a Blu-ray?quality
video file into H.264 format using
Handbrake to test the multi-core
processor performance, which
pushes all cores to maximum output.
TOMB RAIDER AT 5K
(5120X2880)
For a real-world gaming test, we
use the benchmarking tool in the
game Tomb Raider, with the graphics
settings set to High and the display
resolution set to 5120x2880 pixels.
BLACKMAGIC DISK
SPEED TEST READ
Using BlackMagic?s Disk Speed Test
app, we get a reading for the fastest
speed the machine can read files
from its built-in storage, measured
in megabytes per second.
over one Thunderbolt 3 cable will set you
back �400, so getting it as part of the
package here definitely adds to the appeal.
That said, it?s the same panel you get in
the regular 27-inch, non-Pro iMac, so if that?s
the bit that interests you, you don?t need to
stump up five grand or more to get it.
Still, the important thing is that the screen
is totally gorgeous. It?s bright, the colours are
fantastically vibrant, and everything looks
super-sharp, of course. For photography and
4K video playback, it?s pretty much best in
class, although we know some people don?t
like the glossy, glass-coated finish.
It does have one downside, though, which
is that it?s not rated for HDR at all ? having
a built-in way to check your HDR grading
would?ve been a boon for pro video editing.
The 500-nit brightness (comparable to some
monitors that say they are HDR-capable) is a
start, but is way below the 1,000 nits expected
VERDICT
An amazing iMac,
but for a specific kind
of person (or one
with expensive taste).
+++++
Massively powerful
Lovely 5K display
It costs so much!
Lacking in internal
upgrade possibilities
84 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
The Thunderbolt 3 ports look identical to plain USB-C, but
they support super-fast 40Gbps transfers and 5K displays.
for true HDR LCD TVs. It?s also not a native
10-bit display, which is what HDR requires,
instead using spatial and temporal dithering
techniques to mimic 10-bit colour on an 8-bit
display. The difference is small and the
complaint niche, but ?small? and ?niche? are
the main words we?d use to describe this
Mac?s intended audience, so it?s worth noting.
Ports mean peripherals
At the rear, it?s nice to see Apple has avoided
cutting back on connections, as it did on the
MacBook Pro ? you get four USB-A ports,
an SDXC card reader, a 3.5mm jack, the
humble Ethernet port (but with support for
a not-so-humble 10Gbps connection) and four
Thunderbolt 3 ports (which double as USB 3.1
because that uses the same USB-C connector).
Again, the need for Thunderbolt 3 is niche,
but it?s heaven if you have 4K videos to import
or need up to two more 5K displays.
The ports have the same problem regular
iMacs have, though, which is that they?re a
pain to reach. It?s hard enough to get a USB-A
plug the right way up first time anyway, but
especially while fumbling around the back of
this beast. Think about adding a USB hub or
a Thunderbolt 3 dock to help with this.
Would we recommend the iMac Pro, then?
Absolutely, but only if it really works out as
being worth it for you ? and only if you have
the business accounts to calculate that. If you
only want to know whether the iMac Pro is
a stunningly powerful miracle of design,
though, the answer is a firm yes.
MATT BOLTON
macformat.com @macformat
iMac Pro APPLE CHOICE
A pro video editor?s opinion
What the new iMac?s target market really thinks
ver the years, I?ve used a lot of
different computers from various
brands to do high-end video editing.
And I ask a lot from them. Now that 4K video
is the norm in my sector of the industry, this
has really put the cat among the pigeons
when it comes to performance ? doing
anything in real time with a timeline full of
4K clips tends to bring a lot of computers to
their knees. I was thrilled to get the chance
to see how the iMac Pro copes with this.
For my work during the time I had the
iMac Pro, I was using Adobe Premiere Pro
CC with RED raw footage, Canon C200
CinemaRawLite and some lower tier Sony
FS7 XAVC clips to see how it performed.
Watching 4K footage on the iMac
Pro?s screen was a joy. The colour space
and contrast showcases your footage
beautifully, but I soon found myself wishing
I had more than 27 inches of screen to
monitor the clips and still have space for
scrubbing through the timeline or utilising
other windows. The computer does have
multiple Thunderbolt 3 ports for adding
extra displays, though.
O
About our pro
Alun Pughe
Alun is Commercial
Film & Video Director
for MacFormat?s parent
company, Future. He has
worked with big-name
clients including Canon,
Ducati, Sony, EE, Tesco,
Intel and Yamaha.
motion in videos ? took moments and not
the usual minutes to prepare.
The iMac did start to struggle with 8K
RED footage, and when effects were added
a preview render was needed ? but this was
to be expected. 8K is really hardcore.
Exporting was also really impressive.
I queued up a web-friendly, one-minute
video made up of random 4K clips to
export in H.264 format, using a resolution
of 4096x2160 pixels, two passes, and a
target bitrate of 25Mbps. This rendered
within three minutes. That?s as much as
five times faster than my usual (pretty
beastly) PC. The process was surprisingly
quiet and, though cooling fans weren?t
heard, the iMac Pro didn?t become
noticeably warmer. Absolutely amazing.
With various 4K clips in a
timeline, I was immediately
impressed that no frames
were dropped in playback
Ingesting footage was instantaneous,
and after I added the various 4K clips to a
timeline, I was immediately impressed that
there were no dropped frames whatsoever
in playback. Adding multiple live colour
grading adjustments during playback and
making amends to their settings didn?t
affect the experience either ? even when
playing them full screen. At one point,
I had more than four layers of effects on
a clip before playback started missing
frames, and even warp stabilisation ?
a resource-intensive tool for reducing
macformat.com @macformat
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 85
APPLE CHOICE iOS hardware
Just Mobile ShutterGrip
Remote iPhone shooting on a budget
�.95 FROM Just Mobile, just-mobile.com
FEATURES Non-slip ergonomic grip, autoconnects at power on, tripod screw, CR2032 battery
hile the cameras
on iPhones have
improved rapidly,
a phone?s body is a pretty
imperfect shape for taking
pictures. Fingers can get in
front of lenses, and you can
forget about snapping at
tricky angles. ShutterGrip is
a combined grip and mount
for smartphones to fix that.
You pop the battery into
the trigger section, then turn
on the device and pair easily
over Bluetooth with your
phone. The system works in
two ways. When slotted
together, the two parts form a
grip that simulates the feel of
W
VERDICT
A flexible add-on
that makes stable
and creative phone
photography easy.
++
++++
Makes shooting easier
Inevitably adds bulk
the shutter section of a small
DSLR. The phone is clamped
securely into the housing, so
it?s easier to hold steady.
The second method lets
you press the shutter button
wirelessly, which triggers
the camera in the mode set
on the phone, and in bursts
if you hold down the button.
The main housing has
a universal tripod screw
available to mount on tripods,
as well as a lanyard hole, and
a wrist strap is included. As
mentioned, the trigger can be
separated and used remotely,
which is great for selfies ? if
that?s your thing, of course ?
The unit is small and discreet, but
provides greater stability when
holding your phone as a camera.
or for placing the phone in
a remote or tricky position
and triggering from nearby.
Black, blue or gold options
are available to buy. For more
creative control of shooting
on a phone, this is a great
solution and a worthwhile
buy, especially if you take a
lot of photos. HOLLIN JONES
Upright Go
Improve your posture
�.95 FROM Upright, uprightpose.com
FEATURES Posture sensor, adhesive strips, companion iOS app
pright Go is the
tech equivalent
of a bad-tempered
schoolteacher yelling at
you to sit up straight.
The hardware resembles a
tiny computer mouse, which
you wear on your back, and
there?s an app too, of course.
The app and wearable
quickly connect, and the
calibration happens by
you sitting up straight and
pressing a button on your
iPhone?s screen.
Upright Go defaults to
training mode. This buzzes
when you heavily slouch ?
great when desk-bound, but
U
VERDICT
A sleek, elegant
posture trainer,
with just enough
customisation options.
++
++++
Unobtrusive and
adjustable sensor
Fussy training mode
86 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
Feedback is very
responsive, but the
cost of the sticky
mounts for the
device will add up.
annoying when,
for example, you
are attempting to
remove a toddler?s
coat and it keeps
going BUZZ BUZZ
BUZZ. Thanks, tiny
white tech limpet!
You can adjust sensitivity
and volume levels, but for
extended general use, you?re
better off with the recordingonly tracking mode, which
guilts you at the end of the
day with graphs showing
when you?ve failed to sit up
straight. (The battery lasts
about 10 hours. A recharge
takes an hour.)
We have some
reservations about the
adhesive strips used to stick
Upright Go to your person.
You only get five in the box
(which last a week or two
each), and must then buy
packs of 10 for �99. All in
all, though, Upright Go is
unobtrusive, very smartly
designed, and could help if
you want to improve your
posture. CRAIG GRANNELL
macformat.com @macformat
APPLE CHOICE Mac hardware
Adonit Pro 3
Write on your touchscreen
�.99 FROM adonit.net
FEATURES Disc tip, textured grip, magnetic cap
donit makes the
Pixel stylus, an
alternative to
Apple Pencil for non-Pro
iPads. But the Pro 3 is a
passive version, requiring no
Bluetooth and no batteries.
Unlike cheap rubber-tipped
styluses, it has a fine point.
To persuade your iPad to
recognise this, it?s attached
by a ball joint to a fingertipsized transparent plastic
disc, which skates across the
glass as you write or draw.
We first saw this system
years ago in Adonit?s Jot pen,
and it still looks weird ? but
it works brilliantly. After a
A
VERDICT
It works with iPhone,
there?s no battery to
charge, and the closest
you?ll get to a Pencil.
++
++++
Very fine point
Limited palm rejection
few moments you forget the
disc and use the Pro 3 like a
ballpoint. It?s small (maybe
too small for big hands), but
beautifully made; the lid
snaps on over the tip with
a satisfying magnetic clunk,
and to the other end (which
has an integral pocket clip)
to keep it safe while you?re
using the stylus.
The Pro 3 lacks Apple
Pencil?s precision, and you
also can?t lean on the screen
with impunity while using it,
which reduced the neatness
of our writing and drawing.
But it did enable us to work
much more finely than we
The Adonit Pro 3
may lack pressure
senstivity, but the disc
and fine tip help with
writing accuracy.
could with a rubber tip.
If you don?t want to stretch to
a Bluetooth device, starting
at around three times the
price, the Pro 3 is pretty
effective. ADAM BANKS
Elgato Eve Button
Control the mood at home with just a press
�.95 FROM Elgato, elgato.com
FEATURES Bluetooth LE, CR2032 battery
ithout Hey Siri,
you have to tap
your iPhone or
iPad to control HomeKit
scenes and accessories.
That, or buy a programmable
remote that can invoke a
limited number of actions.
Eve Button isn?t the first
of its type; second-generation
Logitech Pop buttons work
with HomeKit, too. Elgato?s
5cm-square and 1.3cm deep
gadget has an advantage:,
though: it doesn?t require
a bridge (and a plug socket)
to talk with Apple?s tech.
In the Eve or Home app,
you can set what happens for
W
VERDICT
A practical HomeKit
add-on, but like many
rivals it?s a bit costly.
++
++++
Nothing to plug in
A bit pricey, and needs
a HomeKit hub on top
macformat.com @macformat
a single press, double-press
and long press. Each can
activate one or more scenes,
set the state of one or more
accessories, or a combo of
those. We noticed a pause
between pressing the button
and getting results. It wasn?t
terribly long, just noticeably
not ?instant?.
We set the button to light
up our living room when
clicked, a double-press to do
the same in our hallway, and
a long press to turn off all
lights and our HomeKitconnected power switches ?
handy when heading to
work for the day, or to bed.
Eve Button comes only in this
metal and black design, which
may not be to your tastes.
There?s just one design,
which may not complement
your decor. Button itself is
competitively priced, though
not what we?d call a bargain.
Still, we quickly grew to
appreciate it as a fixture near
our home?s entrance (though
it?s designed to be portable).
Just bear in mind you need
an Apple TV with tvOS 11 or
an iPad set as your home hub
to pass on your commands.
ALAN STONEBRIDGE
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 87
APPLE CHOICE Group test
Reviewed by TIM HARDWICK
Five wearable devices that promise to
help you lead a healthier, fitter lifestyle
earables made something of a
comeback last year following
a turbulent 2016, in which the
smartwatch market saw sharp declines
across the board. While Apple maintained
its position as market leader with Apple
Watch Series 2, it still had to go back to basics
for its next smartwatch, avoiding replicating
iPhone functions on the wrist and instead
renewing its focus on fitness. Its rivals did
the same, and global smartwatch shipments
have since rebounded.
The most popular devices on the market
W
The most popular devices
promise valuable insights
into your overall health
88 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
promise valuable insights into your overall
health. They provide a wealth of biometric
measures and workout functions to improve
your well-being. But with so many competing
devices, how do you choose between them?
Here, we compare the health and fitness
capabilities of five of the latest smartwatches:
the Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro, Fitbit Ionic,
Garmin Forerunner 735XT, Casio Pro Trek
WSD-F20, and Apple Watch Series 3
(with GPS). We reviewed each in terms of
design, comfort, tracking features, display,
battery life, and app-based analytics. Note: our
main focus is on the specific activity and fitness
tracking smarts of these devices, but if any of
their additional features help achieve that end,
we?ve mentioned those too. Let?s see which
brand came out on top.
How we
tested
Each smartwatch
was tested in various
scenarios calling for
sustained anaerobic
and/or aerobic activity.
This included running,
cycling and highintensity training in
a variety of weather
conditions, and also
tested for everyday
wear. We used a Moov
Burn HR chest strap
and a Yamax SW-200
DigiWalk pedometer
to compare the metrics
that were recorded by
each watch.
macformat.com @macformat
Fitness smartwatches APPLE CHOICE
Higher?
Garmin fenix 5
�9 .99
garmin.com
This steel smartwatch
with GPS packs in-depth
training and analysis
features, and up to two
weeks of battery.
ON TEST?
Apple Watch Series 3
(GPS) From �9
Samsung Gear
Fit2 Pro �9
Garmin Forerunner
735XT �9.99
Fitbit Ionic �9.99
Casio Pro Trek Smart
WSD-F20 �0
Things to consider?
A few advanced features to look out for
1
Workout tracking
A good workout mix is vital for fitness.
Good wearables let you track a variety of
workouts, adjusting for irregular movements
which in turn affect calorie burn and heart rate.
2
Heart rate monitor
3
Battery life
Look out for wearables that measure
not only your heart rate during exercise, but
also your average resting heart rate, which is
considered a better indicator of overall health.
How long does the device run on one
charge? If you?re looking to monitor your sleep
as well as your activity, a device that can?t see
out the day won?t be much good to you.
macformat.com @macformat
4
Fashion style
Will you be wearing your tracker all
the time, or only during training sessions? How
agreeable a device looks is an important factor
to consider if it?s all-day tracking you?re after.
5
Display performance
6
Third-party support
If you read data mid-activity, it helps if
your wearable has a good screen. If it lights up
in the dark, great; if it adapts to ambient light
levels to boost legibility, all the better.
?or lower?
Misfit Vapor
�5
misfit.com/uk_en
Misfit?s GPS-enabled
touchscreen watch
features standalone
music playback
and storage.
Most wearables come with an iOS app
for pairing, but some also let you link up other
third-party apps (like Runtastic) to your device
so you can do more with your biometric data.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 89
APPLE CHOICE Group test
Test 1 Design
Test 2 Metrics
Form as well as function?
What can each device measure?
Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS) comes
in 38mm and 42mm sizes and has an
aluminium case in a silver, gold, or
space grey finish. It looks cool and sits
comfortably thanks to the Sport Band
(available in three matching colours).
Casio?s ?track-and-field? style easily
makes it the chunkiest watch on test.
It?s conspicuous on even large wrists and certainly doesn?t
look casual or fashionable against a shirt sleeve. Fitbit Ionic?s
angular face can?t match Apple?s aesthetic and doesn?t feel as
comfy, but several bands are available that offer better comfort
and style for all-day wear.
The round Garmin can also be accessorised with bands,
but its HR sensor doesn?t sit flush on the back and leaves an
unsightly imprint. The Samsung feels a lot more forgiving on
the wrist, but the wraparound style divides opinion.
All of the watches record elevation,
steps taken and (estimated) calorie
consumption by default. GPS is also
offered across the board for timed
workouts, but Garmin is ahead of the
pack in this area with up to 14 hours
of continuous location tracking.
Apart from Casio, all the watches
here feature heart rate (HR) tracking. Apple Watch takes
a high-resolution recording of your heart rate during
workouts, otherwise it turns the heart rate sensor on only
every five minutes, rather than offering a continuous readout
like Fitbit, Samsung and Garmin do. As an outdoor watch,
the Casio knows nothing of sleep, while Fitbit tracks it closest.
Every other device on test offers decent native sleep tracking
with the exception of Apple Watch, although Series 3?s
improved battery life means third-party apps fill this gap.
TEST RESULTS
TEST RESULTS
+++++
+++++
+++++
Apple Watch Series 3
Casio Pro Trek Smart
Fitbit Ionic
Garmin Forerunner 735XT +++++
Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro +++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
Apple Watch Series 3
Casio Pro Trek Smart
Fitbit Ionic
Usability
Garmin Forerunner 735XT +++++
Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro +++++
Data analysis
Testing everyday performance
How is activity recorded?
Though Apple Watch Series 3?s battery
life is improved over the last model (up to
2.5 days in our tests), it still lags behind
rivals in this area. Touchscreen-wise,
Fitbit and Samsung are tied for second
place behind Apple Watch; both have
excellent responsive displays and, like
Apple Watch, offer a variety of appealing
yet functional watch faces ? but they were able to last four days
in tests. All of those devices adapt to ambient light for optimal
brightness and energy-saving, which makes the two-day life of
Casio?s unremarkable touchscreen seem relatively tame. That?s
also true of Garmin?s tired-looking display, but at least there?s
a trade-off here: the Forerunner 735XT can go up to 11 days
on a single charge, without foregoing basic features like smart
notifications and HR/activity tracking. The Apple, Samsung,
and Fitbit devices also include neat music storage features.
Apple Watch Series 3 records a lot
more workout types than previous
models, and its Activity app has plenty
of motivating achievements. Third-party
integration has also stepped up a notch,
with improved HealthKit support and
the all-new GymKit, which lets you
connect to compatible gym equipment.
Casio?s outdoor emphasis is clear in its comprehensive
trekking, cycling, fishing, paddling and snow sports modes,
but everyday workout options are limited. By contrast, Fitbit
features modes for most exercises like cycling and swimming,
as well as gym machines such as treadmills. Samsung also has
a good selection of workout modes, although its app analytics
aren?t as well presented. But Garmin is still miles ahead here
thanks to its incredible array of sports-tracking options and
heaps of customisation tools in its accomplished iOS app.
TEST RESULTS
Apple Watch Series 3
Casio Pro Trek Smart
Fitbit Ionic
TEST RESULTS
+++++
+++++
+++++
90 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
Garmin Forerunner 735XT +++++
Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro +++++
Apple Watch Series 3
Casio Pro Trek Smart
Fitbit Ionic
+++++
+++++
+++++
Garmin Forerunner 735XT +++++
Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro +++++
macformat.com @macformat
Apple Watch Series 3
ticks a lot of fitness
tracking boxes.
Alex says?
THE WINNER
Apple Watch Series 3
I love using my Apple
Watch Series 1, but the
latest model has me
seriously tempted to
upgrade. It?s Apple?s
approach to fitness that
I like ? encouraging you
to improve every day in
achieveable ways rather
than setting you absurd
targets. Mixing that
philosophy in with the
improved hardware in
Series 3 makes it ideal
if you?re a fitness fan ?
or if you just want to
get a little healthier.
Super-powerful wireless performance
ith its limited everyday fitness
smarts and lack of HR tracking,
the Casio WSD-F20 comes last in
our test; that?s not to write it off, it?s just that
it?s better suited to off-roaders and explorers
looking to map hiking routes than fitness fans
and workout warriors.
W
The Fitbit and Samsung devices are great
for tracking all-day activity and workouts,
but syncing on the former is buggy, and
the latter is marred by a lacklustre app
experience. Neither criticism can be aimed
at Garmin, with its exhaustive analytics and
impressive multiple training modes. But
it?s the superior screen, app
integrations and all-round
tracking performance of
Apple Watch Series 3 that
ultimately won us over.
The superior screen and all-round
performance of Apple Watch
Series 3 ultimately won us over
How
do they
compare?
> THE SPECS
Apple Watch
Series 3 (GPS)
Casio Pro Trek Smart
WSD-F20
Fitbit
Ionic
Garmin Forerunner
735XT
Samsung Gear
Fit2 Pro
PRICE
From �9
�0
�9.99
�9.99
�9
URL
apple.com/uk
casio.co.uk
fitbit.com
garmin.com
samsung.com
TRACKING METRICS
Elevation, steps, calories,
heart rate, pace, distance
Elevation, steps,
speed, distance
Elevation, steps, calories,
heart rate, pace, distance
Elevation, steps, calories,
heart rate, pace, distance
Elevation, steps, calories,
heart rate, pace, distance
OPTIONAL BANDS
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
MUSIC STORAGE
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
GPS BATTERY LIFE
Up to 5 hours
Up to 8 hours
Up to 10 hours
Up to 14 hours
Up to 9 hours
BATTERY LIFE
Up to 2.5 days
Up to 2 days
Up to 5 days
Up to 11 days
Up to 5 days
TOUCHSCREEN
OLED
Dual colour/mono LCD
Colour LCD
Memory-in-pixel (MIP)
Curved super AMOLED
WATER RESISTANCE
Up to 50m
Up to 50m
Up to 50m
Up to 5m
Up to 50m
DESIGN
+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
METRICS
+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
USABILITY
+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
DATA ANALYSIS
+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
OVERALL
+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
Note: The ?nal verdict scores reflect the overall opinion of a product and are not necessarily an average of the criteria listed in the table.
macformat.com @macformat
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 91
Ultimate Ears
Wonderboom
�.99 FROM ultimateears.com
Design +++++
UE?s rugged speaker features a wraparound grille for 360�
audio and volume controls emblazoned across the front.
A soft rubber top and bottom protects it from drops up to
five feet, and keeps it buoyant when submerged in water,
while a rubber cap safely conceals the mini-USB port.
Features +++++
Wonderboom?s 10-hour battery capacity doesn?t weigh it
down, and the pebble-shaped speaker can be submerged
in up to one metre of water for 30 minutes. You can pair
it with up to eight Bluetooth devices and connect up
to two of them at the same time. You can then even
pair a second Wonderboom for a bigger sound.
Audio performance +++++
Whether you?re in the shower or by the pool, this speaker
hits all the right notes. It offers clarity in the midrange
and just the right amount of treble to avoid sounding
harsh in close quarters. Wonderboom has big bass
output, but manages to disperse and manage it so well
that it doesn?t come across as boomy.
Controls +++++
The Wonderboom?s controls are as big as its sound ? its
one-touch pairing button never failed us, and the large
tactile volume controls on the front of its grille are nice
and responsive. Multiple presses of the UE button on the
top also play, pause, and skip songs right from the speaker.
Whether you use the UE Wonderboom in the shower
or take it to the pool, it?s hard to fault the speaker?s
powerful all-day sound and rugged versatility.
Reviewed by TIM HARDWICK
Water-resistant
speakers
Tangent
Pebble Splash
�.99 FROM tangent-audio.com
Design +++++
Thanks to its slim rectangular design and singular row
of top-mounted controls, the Pebble Splash feels sleek
and looks stylish. But despite the rounded corners and
rubber handle, the shape of this unit lacks grip and
makes the plastic rim vulnerable to drops.
+
Features +++++
Concealed beneath the Pebble Splash?s water-resistant
side cover is an auxiliary line-out connection and
a mini-USB power port, the latter providing up to
10 hours of audio on a single charge. The Pebble Splash
also features a built-in microphone for making hands-free
calls or joining conference calls.
Audio performance +++++
The Pebble Splash speaker claims to deliver its audio
from ?multiple? speaker drivers, but most of the music
we played only appeared to come from one side of the
device. It also sounded a little tinny in a shower when
compared to the Wonderboom, and lacked the latter?s
punchy 360� delivery in outside environments.
Controls +++++
The strip of buttons along the top of the speaker?s rim offer
rubberised controls for power, playing and pausing audio,
and skipping tracks forwards and backwards. They feel
responsive to the touch, but we experienced some niggly
dropouts when manually pairing Bluetooth devices.
The Pebble Splash is good looking and offers decent
long-lasting sound, but the bass tends to lack depth
at higher volumes, and we wouldn?t want to drop it.
+++++ VERDICT +++++
92 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
macformat.com @macformat
ChromaVerb is the new
PlatinumVerb, with excellent
effects and cute eye candy.
Logic Pro X 10.4
Real improvements for Apple?s pro music software
�9.99 (free to existing Logic Pro X users) FROM Apple, apple.com/uk
NEEDS macOS 10.12 or later
Space
Designer has
gone Retina,
and it?s joined
by some great
new plugins
VERDICT
A major upgrade
with superb tempo
detection and great
new plugins.
++
++++
Great vintage EQs
New multi-FX
Tempo detection
Check hardware and
plugin compatibility
macformat.com @macformat
oint releases usually mean minor
changes, but Logic Pro X 10.4
delivers big improvements. The
first new feature is tempo detection, which
listens to you play and adjusts the tempo
accordingly. You can fine-tune its analysis,
and it copes admirably with subtle or dramatic
changes. It also works with imported audio,
making it easy to add extra instruments or
automation to existing recordings, and you can
even create djay Pro-style seamless mixes by
daisy-chaining audio files together and having
Logic adjust their tempos accordingly.
You can record performances before adding
instruments and Drummer tracks. Talking of
Drummer, there are two new styles ? roots and
brushy jazz ? alongside two new brush kits.
You also get two new virtual instruments ?
Studio Strings and Studio Horns ? which offer
realistic performance and lots of customisation.
The Space Designer reverb plugin?s
interface is now designed for Retina displays.
It?s joined by great new plugins: ChromaVerb,
Vintage EQ, Step FX and Phat FX. ChromaVerb
is a rebooted PlatinumVerb with a very flexible
algorithm that can create interesting effects.
Vintage EQ is fun. There are three modes
to choose from: console, graphic and tube,
each of which delivers the warm output of
classic hardware ? for example, the console
P
EQ is modelled on the Neve preamps of classic
rock, and delivers a warm, crunchy tone.
Apple previously acquired and integrated
Camel Audio?s Alchemy plugin with Logic, and
now it has done the same with Camel?s Space
and Phat, aka Step FX and Phat FX. These are
multi-FX plugins that let you chain effects
together. In the latter that means bandpass
filtering (filtering of frequencies outside a
given range), distortion, compression, lowfrequency oscillation and limiting; in Step FX
you can filter, delay, modulate and edit steps.
Both plugins have X/Y controllers. Phat is good
on bass drums, guitars and bass guitars, where
it adds subtle warmth and extra kick, while
Step offers fun with filters.
Check your compatibility
If you?re using High Sierra or plan to upgrade
to it, check with your hardware and/or plugin
makers about compatibility: since upgrading
our MacBook Pro we?ve experienced large,
apparently unsolvable issues in Logic with our
processor overloading, even on simple projects.
Still, we?re impressed that Apple decided
to make this a free update if you own Logic:
other firms may well have held back until
Logic Pro X 11. It makes an already superb
music production studio even more compelling.
CARRIE MARSHALL
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 93
APPLE CHOICE Mac software
Little Snitch 4
Find out who your Mac is talking to
?45 (about �) FROM Objective Development, obdev.at
NEEDS OS X 10.11 or later
his app monitors
outgoing network
connections and
alerts you whenever
something on your Mac
attempts to ?phone home?.
That connection could be as
innocent as Mail connecting
to a mail server or as sinister
as a piece of malware
attempting to send personal
data to would-be hackers.
When Little Snitch alerts
you, it asks whether or not
to allow the connection ?
subject to a set of rules you
enable or create.
Version 4 has a number
of improvements, including
T
VERDICT
If you?re concerned
about your Mac?s
security, Little Snitch
is an excellent tool.
++
++++
Silent Mode improved
Requires a little
technical knowledge
The Network Monitor shows you the location of the
servers to which your Mac has made connections.
one that addresses the app?s
Achilles? heel ? persistent
nagging. The redesigned
Silent Mode allows you to
silence alerts and deal with
them in bulk. You?ll still get
notifications at the top right
of the desktop for each
attempt, but you can turns
those off in System Prefs.
Also beefed up is the
Research Assistant that
allows you to discover more
about a connection Little
Snitch has alerted you to,
subject to information
provided by the app that?s
making the connection.
We also like the map view
in Network Monitor that
displays where in the world
the servers to which your
Mac is connecting are
located. KENNY HEMPHILL
Bartender 3
Take back control of your menu bar
�.35 FROM Surtees Studios, macbartender.com
NEEDS macOS 10.12 or later
artender enables
you to control
what appears
in the menu bar and
when. You can hide icons
permanently, relegate them
to the secondary Bartender
menu, or let them
temporarily appear when
they update. You can also
drag and drop menu items
within the menu bar
to rearrange them.
Configuration is handled
in Bartender?s System
Preferences pane, which is
both comprehensive and
clear. Version 3 is largely a
major compatibility update,
B
VERDICT
A great addition to
your Mac, Bartender 3
remains the go-to app
to tame your menu bar.
+++++
Integrates beautifully
Easy to set up and use
94 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
The Bartender Bar now sits on top
of the main menu bar when invoked.
rewritten from the ground
up to play nicely in Sierra
and High Sierra. It enables
you to once again control
system items on the menu
bar without attracting the
unwanted attention of
System Integrity Protection.
There are handy new
features, too. The interface
has been updated so the
Bartender Bar overlays the
menu bar when invoke.
There are also two major
new keyboard shortcuts for
searching and navigating
without moving the pointer.
Bartender 3 is a must-have
app, not just for existing
users (it?s a free update from
version 2), but for anyone
who needs to declutter or
exert full control over the
menu bar. NICK PEERS
macformat.com @macformat
Mac software APPLE CHOICE
Capture One Pro 11
Unimpressed by Lightroom?
Capture One is out to grab you
Reviewed by DAVE STEVENSON
?279+VAT (about �5), or ?20+VAT monthly (about �)
FROM PhaseOne, phaseone.com NEEDS OS X 10.11.6 or later
If you?re a
professional,
there has
never been
a better time
to check out
Capture One
hile it?s unlikely that
Photoshop will ever
stop being top of the
photo-editing heap, things
are a little less clear-cut for
Lightroom. The recent change
to Lightroom Classic was widely panned, and
updates to the software were of the ?less is
more? variety.
Such is the window of opportunity that
Capture One 11 finds itself in, with this latest
version incorporating various improvements
in the hope of luring Lightroom fans. The list
of things that it does that Lightroom can?t is
compelling. You can add up to 16 layer masks,
with variable opacity to allow an incredible
amount of flexibility. Masks can be feathered
and refined once they?ve been added, giving
you the kind of per-pixel adjustments that
Lightroom users can only dream of.
Annotations, which allow you to draw
reminders or instructions on an image so the
next person in the workflow can see what?s
wanted, can be added and then exported as
a layer on a PSD file. It?s a lovely addition, if a
limited one ? you can only draw in freehand
in six colours. For people without a graphics
tablet, a text tool would be handy.
W
VERDICT
A fabulous app well
worth investigating,
albeit with a rather
daunting price.
++
++++
Compelling, high-end
alternative to Lightroom
Great set of updates
Pro-level features
Not exactly cheap
macformat.com @macformat
Annotations enable you to communicate easily with clients
or retouchers ? no more long emails explaining yourself.
Adjustment layers and
layer masks provide
editing ?exibility.
Further collaborative tools include the
ability to use an overlay to aid composition,
and to export a crop as a path in a PSD file,
rather than simply chopping off bits of the
image. The same goes for watermarks, which
can also be exported as layers in a PSD file.
The showstopper
The learning curve is steep, although if you?re
migrating from Lightroom then looking up a
few online tutorials can be helpful. In our tests,
importing in Lightroom was faster, although
the amount of time between clicking Import
and starting work was about the same; it was
just the background import that dragged.
Other benefits continue to be appealing:
the tethering mode is great, its ability to create
a local server for wireless tethering to an iOS
device being a client-wowing showstopper.
Performance, import aside, is also impressive.
If you?re a professional with doubts about
Lightroom?s future direction, there has never
been a better time to check out Capture One ?
a raft of new features make it more powerful
than ever. The sticking point, though, is the
price: Adobe?s Photography Plan, including
Lightroom and Photoshop CC, costs �98
per month; on the other hand, subscribing to
Capture One will set you back more than twice
that, while the standalone app costs about
�5. For everyday pro users, Capture One?s
advantages may be worth the extra outlay ?
for everyone else, it?s certainly worth a 30-day
trial before taking the plunge.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 95
APPLE CHOICE iOS software
Focos
Take control of depth-of-field effects
Free FROM Xiaodong Wang, focos.me
NEEDS iOS 11 or later
ocos lets you alter
focus in photos
from dual-lens
iPhones after you?ve taken
them. Take a photo with it
or Camera?s Portrait mode
and tap the background or
foreground to refocus on that
area. Basic features such as
refocus and aperture work
in free mode, but you need
to unlock the advanced ones
(from 99p/month).
Editing tools start with
simple crop and rotate. Next
is an Aperture slider that
enables you to change the
virtual aperture size from
f/1.4 to f/20. The bokeh shape
F
VERDICT
The best tool for
depth-mapped images
on dual-lens iPhones.
++
++++
Great depth-of-field
editing tools
Initial learning curve
Use Depth Filters to apply effects
to the background or foreground.
The virtual aperture control gives
impressive, realistic results.
tool lets you choose custom
shapes for the bokeh effect.
The Highlights and Vivid
sections provide sliders to
alter lighting and colour, and
the Lens presets simulate the
apertures of real-life lenses.
In the Effects section, you
can drag a slider to spin the
image in 3D to see how the
depth map breaks down.
Each of the Depth Filter tools
affects either the background
or foreground brightness,
contrast, exposure, hue,
sharpness, HDR and other
parameters. You can also
add motion blur, tilt shift
and other creative effects.
There?s not much in the
way of shooting control, but
this app is the best way to
unlock the power of depth
maps. HOLLIN JONES
GRID Autosport
A vrooming great game
�99 FROM Feral Interactive, feralinteractive.com
NEEDS iOS 11 or later
fter years of iOS
gaming being
dismissed, here
we have a genuine AAA
console racer squeezed
into your device. You get
access to 100 cars and 100
circuits, a slew of challenges
and tournaments, and great
configuration options.
If you?re new to simulation
racing you can make use of
driving assists. Confident
console racing aficionados
can disable these, delve into
a racing season, and abruptly
find themselves backwards
in a gravel trap, having first
driven into a wall. You see,
A
VERDICT
An achievement
that shows the
potential of consolestyle games on iOS.
++
++++
Great looks, controls
May overwhelm
racing newcomers
96 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
Touring Cars are good to start off with. Regardless of
what car you use, though, try not to fall down that ravine.
even at its most helpful,
GRID Autosport can be
demanding. You can?t get
away with always pelting
along at full speed. You must
instead learn how your car
handles and discern the best
places to overtake. But this
makes the game all the more
rewarding, and as you delve
into complex car and race
setups, it feels more like
racing and less like simply
barrelling along.
There is the odd niggle ?
a lack of mirrors, longish
loading times, and the game
not saving progress when
you?re part-way through an
event can be a little irritating.
But you won?t find a better
premium console-style
racing experience on iOS.
CRAIG GRANNELL
macformat.com @macformat
iOS software APPLE CHOICE
AutoSleep 5
Wrist-based sleep tracking
Reviewed by TIM HARDWICK
�99 FROM Tantsissa, autosleep.tantsissa.com
NEEDS iOS 10, watchOS 3.2 or later
The core set
of metrics is
also broken
down more
granularly
VERDICT
AutoSleep is now
even better: efficient,
smartly designed
and fun to use.
++
++++
Sleep stats are
accurate and editable
Watch integration
Charging during
the day is necessary
iOS app can confuse
macformat.com @macformat
pple?s watchOS doesn?t
offer a built-in sleep
tracking feature. At first,
there was a logical reason for this:
battery life on the first Apple
Watch rarely lasted beyond the
advertised 18 hours, meaning
the device had to be perched on
a charging dock as you slept.
Fast forward to the Apple
Watch Series 2 and 3 models,
however, and many owners find
their smartwatches can last two
days or more on a single charge.
Third-party developers have since
stepped in to fill the Apple Watch?s
nocturnal feature gap, with AutoSleep
For health reasons, it?s a good idea to monitor to your sleep patterns.
If you want comprehensive feedback, AutoSleep 5 has it all.
generally being the popular choice for
several reasons.
Now in its fifth version, the app?s two
shades of purple on a 12 or 24-hour clock,
biggest draws are its automatic tracking (unlike
with brighter purple indicating deeper sleep.
other sleep tracker apps that depend on you
Within the clock are four separate rings
telling them when you?re going to bed), and its
displaying resting heart rate, sleep time,
strong Apple Watch integration. For instance,
sleep quality and deep sleep in hours.
AutoSleep?s automatic tracking is bolstered by
The core set of metrics, which we found
a feature called Lights Off. When a button on its
to be generally accurate, is also broken down
Watch app is tapped, this feature tracks how
more granularly as you scroll through several
long it takes you to actually fall asleep.
screens. For example, the Recharge screen
shows how close you are to your ideal sleep
goal, while the Quality screen offers sleep rings
Deep sleep metrics
that compare against your seven-day averages.
Another example: in previous versions you had
Tapping the rings also switches you to historical
to sync the app to your iPhone to review your
timelines, which break down into even more
sleep metrics. With AutoSleep 5, the Watch
insightful graphs.
app calculates the data, so you can check if
It?s a lot to take in, and while we were very
you?ve had a good night?s sleep right on your
grateful for the opportunity to study the extra
wrist, where it?s displayed as Activity-style
data, it?s not something that you?re likely to
rings. And if you wake up in the middle of the
be interested in on a daily basis. Happily, the
night, you can check additional rings (in muted
Today widget and Watch app offer a simpler
colours for viewing in the dark) that show how
summary of your sleep patterns.
long you?ve been in bed and how much of that
With the inclusion of sleep-record editing
time has been actual sleep.
at 15-minute increments and a helpful setup
That?s not to say the iOS side of AutoSleep
wizard, all neatly presented in a dark-themed
isn?t just as impressive. The interface is packed
interface, AutoSleep 5 ticks all the boxes needed
with information, so much so that you may find
for a good night?s kip.
it overwhelming at times. Sleep is shown as
A
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 97
STORE GUIDE Apple kit
UPDATED
JUNE 2017
EXPECTED
2018
EDITED BY
iMac
ALEX BLAKE
Your complete guide to the best Apple
hardware and third-party accessories
elcome to MacFormat?s
Store Guide, the place
to go to find out about all
the Apple kit that matters, whether
you?re looking for your next iPhone
or a powerful new desktop Mac.
We?ve highlighted the model of
each product that?s ideally suited to
your needs, whether you?re a recent
convert or a seasoned Apple user.
W
So be sure to check our handy tables
to see which Mac, iPad or iPhone is
best for you.
We?ve also handpicked the gold
standard in audio, storage, cameras,
and many other categories, helping
you complement your Mac or iOS
device with the best accessories.
All of these third-party devices have
been reviewed in the magazine.
UPDATED
OCT 2014
EXPECTED
2018
Ever since the famous Bondi Blue iMac
debuted in August 1998, Apple?s all-in-one
desktop computer has been setting standards
in gorgeous design and powerful performance.
Apple?s innovation was as clear back then as it
is today ? the iMac was the first Macintosh to
drop the floppy disk in favour of USB, and its
colourful aesthetic set it apart as a playful
pretender in a world of staid beige boxes.
Today, Apple is again pushing boundaries
with the iMac, blessing all of its 27-inch models
with a massive 5K (5120x2880) resolution and
a wide P3 colour gamut. Add in Intel Core i5
and i7 CPUs (configurable from 3.4GHz up to
4.2GHz), a fast and capacious Fusion Drive, and
powerful AMD Radeon RX graphics processors,
and the 27-inch iMac is the desktop system to
own. At WWDC in June 2017, Apple refreshed
the entire range of iMacs, with discrete GPUs
coming to all but the entry-level model, newer
Intel CPUs, brighter Retina displays and more
Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Choose an iMac
An update in 2014 brought a �0
price drop to the most affordable
Mac, but rises in late 2016 added
� back on. The mini comes with
some interesting talking points: the
entry-level model has a 1.4GHz dualcore Intel Core i5 CPU and 4GB of
memory, making it one of the lowestspec Macs around, with a 500GB
hard drive and no display.
98 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
Higher-end models come with 1TB of
storage included (Fusion Drive and
SSD options are available), 8GB of
memory, a better graphics processor
and either a 2.6GHz or 2.8GHz Intel
Core i5 for �9 and �9. Those
models can be upgraded to a Core
i7, but there aren?t any quad-core
options available at the moment.
Expect updates in 2018.
ENTRY LEVEL
From
�9
PRICE
21.5-inch
3.0GHz
quad-core
Intel Core i5
MEMORY 8GB of 2400MHz DDR4
GRAPHICS AMD Radeon Pro 555
STORAGE 1TB (5,400rpm) hard drive
DISPLAY Retina 4K (IPS, P3 gamut)
ALSO Magic Mouse 2, Magic Keyboard
�249
UPGRADER
Mac mini
KEY SPECIFICATIONS
27-inch
3.4GHz
quad-core
Intel Core i5
MEMORY 16GB of 2400MHz DDR4
GRAPHICS AMD Radeon Pro 570
STORAGE 1TB Fusion Drive
DISPLAY Retina 5K (IPS, P3 gamut)
ALSO Magic Mouse 2, Magic Keyboard
�929
HIGH END
MODEL
27-inch
4.2GHz
quad-core
Intel Core i7
MEMORY 16GB of 2400MHz DDR4
GRAPHICS AMD Radeon Pro 580
STORAGE 2TB Fusion Drive
DISPLAY Retina 5K (IPS, P3 gamut)
ALSO Magic Mouse 2, Magic Keyboard
�609
macformat.com @macformat
UPDATED
JUNE 2017
EXPECTED
JUNE 2018
UPDATED
JUNE 2017
EXPECTED
2018
Apple tips
MacBook
MacBook Pro
From Stormfront, your
local Apple experts
The baby of Apple?s laptop family,
the MacBook was updated at WWDC
2017 to get Intel Kaby Lake processors
and faster SSDs. Weighing in at just
0.92kg, it?s Apple?s most lightweight
laptop but still packs in a 226ppi pixel
density in its 12-inch Retina display.
The MacBook is powered by an Intel
Core M processor (configurable to Core
i5 or i7), which doesn?t require a fan to
keep cool, so the MacBook runs silently.
It also features a Force Touch trackpad,
which can trigger different responses
as you apply more pressure. All models
of the MacBook come loaded with 8GB
of 1866MHz memory, which can be
boosted to 16GB, and Intel HD Graphics
615 ? an upgrade from the previous HD
Graphics 515 ? and there are 256GB or
512GB flash storage options. There are
four colour options: Silver, Space Grey,
Gold, and Rose Gold.
Apple debuted the new MacBook Pro
in October 2016 with an OLED strip of
app-specific controls called the Touch
Bar. The Force Touch trackpad was made
larger to give more room for gestures,
and the keyboard was also updated to
have a second-generation version of the
butterfly keys from the 12-inch MacBook.
The MacBook Pro range then got a
further boost at WWDC 2017, when both
the 13-inch and 15-inch models had their
processors updated to Intel?s Kaby Lake
models. The larger of the two also had
its graphics card upgraded to give more
powerful Radeon Pro options.
You get two or four Thunderbolt 3
ports (depending on the model), which
are also compatible with USB-C devices,
and through which you can charge the
MacBook Pro. The 13-inch and 15-inch
sizes remain, although the entry-level
13-inch lacks a Touch Bar.
HomeKitt tips
Choose a MacBook
12-inch 1.3GHz
dual-core
Intel Core i5
MEMORY 8GB of
1866MHz LPDDR3
GRAPHICS Intel HD
Graphics 615
STORAGE 512GB SSD
�549
12-inch 1.4GHz
dual-core
Intel Core i7
MEMORY 16GB of
1866MHz LPDDR3
GRAPHICS Intel HD
Graphics 615
STORAGE 512GB SSD
�864
ENTRY LEVEL
�249
PRICE
13-inch
2.3GHz
dual-core
Intel Core i5
MEMORY 8GB of
2133MHz LPDDR3
GPU Intel Iris Plus 640
STORAGE 256GB SSD
Touch Bar No
�449
UPGRADER
MEMORY 8GB of
1866MHz LPDDR3
GRAPHICS Intel HD
Graphics 615
STORAGE 256GB SSD
KEY SPECIFICATIONS
13-inch
3.1GHz
dual-core
Intel Core i5
MEMORY 8GB of
2133MHz LPDDR3
GPU Intel Iris 650
STORAGE 256GB SSD
Touch Bar Yes
�749
HIGH END
ENTRY LEVEL
12-inch 1.2GHz
dual-core
Intel Core m3
macformat.com @macformat
MODEL
PRICE
UPGRADER
KEY SPECIFICATIONS
HIGH END
MODEL
Choose a MacBook Pro
15-inch
2.8GHz
quad-core
Intel Core i7
MEMORY 16GB of
2133MHz LPDDR3
GPU Radeon Pro 555
STORAGE 256GB SSD
Touch Bar Yes
�349
Using your new HomePod to control
HomeKit-compatible accessories is
both novel and practical.
HomePod can control HomeKit
accessories with a single command.
For example, you might have a lamp
and main light in your bedroom,
as well as your HomePod. You can
control each light individually ?
?Hey Siri, set lamp to 20%? or
?Hey Siri, set main light to 60%? ?
or you can control all of them at
once with ?Hey Siri, all lights off?.
You can create scenes in the
Home app to control multiple
accessories simultaneously. Set
your main lights low and turn on
a reading lamp, then say ?Hey Siri,
set my reading scene?.
If you are yet to purchase a
HomePod, the above functionality
also works with compatible iPhones
and iPads. Additionally, iPhone 6s
and later, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and
2nd-generation iPad Pro models
listen for ?Hey Siri? even when
running on battery power.
Ellie Otley, Darryl Elkins
Stormfront.co.uk
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 99
STORE GUIDE Apple kit
UPDATED
SEPT 2017
EXPECTED
SEPT 2018
UPDATED
JUNE 2017
EXPECTED
2018
UPDATED
JUNE 2017
EXPECTED
2018
iPhone
iPad
iPad Pro
Apple always had to do something big
for the iPhone?s tenth birthday, and it?s
done that with the iPhone X. Sporting a
glass back to allow wireless charging and
a gorgeous edge-to-edge, OLED, Super
Retina display measuring 5.8 inches
across, it?s big news all over.
Its better cameras don?t just mean
great photos ? they allow for Face ID,
the face-scanning technology that is the
latest, safest way to unlock your phone
(goodbye Touch ID and Home button).
But don?t let the new kid on the block
overshadow the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus ?
they?re great phones in their own right.
They get wireless charging too, plus
revamped cameras, a new A11 Bionic
chip, and new augmented reality tech.
All new models come in 64GB and
256GB capacities. The pricing for the
iPhone 8 starts at �9, the 8 Plus at
�9 and the iPhone X at �9.
Apple shifted the iPad range around in
March 2017, replacing the iPad Air 2 with
a 9.7-inch model simply called ?iPad?. The
entire Air range has been phased out,
but the iPad mini 4 is still available.
The 9.7-inch iPad features an A9 CPU
and M9 motion coprocessor, and comes
in 32GB and 128GB storage flavours. The
Retina display has been made brighter
compared to the Air 2, but the new iPad
is slightly thicker and heavier. It?s also
got an 8MP rear camera and a 1.2MP
front-facing camera.
On the software side, the iPad adds
multitasking features, which are a boon
for productivity. You can slide a second
app over the right side of the one you?re
working in, then dismiss it to get back to
work. Picture in Picture enables you to
watch video in a corner of the screen.
There?s also Split View, which lets you
work on two apps side by side.
The iPad Pro comes in 10.5-inch and
12.9-inch sizes, packed with either 64GB,
256GB or 512GB of storage. All models
are available with the option of mobile
network connectivity. The Pro?s A10X
chip is the most powerful in any iOS
device, and it has an impressive fourspeaker sound system, too. Adding the
pressure-sensitive Apple Pencil and
120Hz refresh rate makes it a smooth,
accomplished drawing tool.
iPhone SE
(4-inch
display)
CAPACITY: 128GB
PROCESSOR: A9
FACE ID No
CAMERA 12MP photos,
4K video recording
�9
iPhone 8
(4.7-inch
display)
CAPACITY: 64GB
PROCESSOR: A11 Bionic
FACE ID No
CAMERA 12MP photos,
4K video
�9
iPhone X
(5.8-inch
display)
CAPACITY: 64GB
�9
PROCESSOR: A11 Bionic
FACE ID Yes
CAMERA 12MP photos
(dual-camera), 4K video
100 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
MODEL
KEY SPECIFICATIONS
PRICE
ENTRY LEVEL
ENTRY LEVEL
PRICE
7.9-inch
iPad mini 4
CAPACITY 128GB
PROCESSOR A8
CONNECTIVITY Wi-Fi
CAMERA 8MP
TOUCH ID Yes
�9
UPGRADER
KEY SPECIFICATIONS
9.7-inch iPad CAPACITY 128GB
PROCESSOR A9
CONNECTIVITY Wi-Fi
CAMERA 8MP
TOUCH ID Yes
�9
HIGH END
MODEL
UPGRADER
Choose an iPad
HIGH END
Choose an iPhone
12.9-inch
iPad Pro
�9
CAPACITY 256GB
PROCESSOR A10X
CONNECTIVITY Wi-Fi
CAMERA 12MP
TOUCH ID Yes
From
�9
UPDATED
SEPT 2017
EXPECTED
LATE 2018
Watch
From �9 (Series 3)
The Watch is Apple?s quiet revolution,
and it?s now the number one watch in
the world. Series 3 is meant to cement
that status quo. To achieve that, Series 3
lets you make and receive calls from
your wrist without your iPhone around
for the first time ? the sci-fi dream is
now a reality. You can also stream Apple
Music to it ? another benefit that means
you can leave your phone at home.
Performance-wise, the processor has
seen a 70% speed boost, and the new
W2 wireless chip is far faster and more
power efficient. All that, yet the case is
still the same slimline size.
Apple also introduced new colours
and bands, plus a new dark grey colour
for the high-end ceramic model.
macformat.com @macformat
Accessories STORE GUIDE
BEST BUYS? Curated picks of third-party kit
NEW!
MONITOR
ULTRA HD MONITOR
EXTERNAL SSD
Philips 328P6VJEB
Freecom mSSD MAXX 512GB
�6 philips.co.uk
�1 philips.co.uk
�7 freecom.com
Getting a colour-accurate display used
to cost a pretty penny, but this monitor
is both impressive and affordable. It hits
99% of the Adobe RGB gamut ? great for
colour-critical work ? and supports 10-bit
colour. Throw in a host of ports (including
USB-C), an IPS display and a great price,
and you have a seriously good screen.
We love this display. At 32 inches
diagonally it?s big enough to make its
4K resolution worthwhile, and its colour
rendering is excellent ? 100% of sRGB,
93% of Adobe RGB and 97% of the P3
gamut that Apple?s new MacBook Pro
uses. It?s big, bold, beautiful and superb
for productivity and colour work alike.
This drive is the fastest portable SSD
we?ve ever tested. Freecom claims its
write speeds can reach 700MB/sec, but
in our tests it blazed past that to reach
713.8MB/sec write speeds and 907.3MB/
sec read speeds, thanks to its USB 3.1
Gen 2 capability. It?s costly, but worth
it if you feel the need for speed.
Philips 328P6AUBREB
NETWORK STORAGE
WIRELESS ROUTER
THUNDERBOLT DOCK
Drobo 5D3
Asus DSL-AC88U AC3100
CalDigit Thunderbolt Station 3
�1 drobo.co.uk
�0 asus.com/uk
�9 caldigit.com/uk
This router has an awful lot going for it.
The winner of issue 321?s group test, the
Asus scored an impressive five stars in
three out of four categories. It performed
brilliantly in our tests, has excellent
connectivity (with both Ethernet and
ADSL options), and it looks great too. It
will keep your network powered for years.
The winner of
MF317?s head-to-head
review introduces a
whole new level of
connectivity to your
Mac. Equipped with
two Thunderbolt 3
ports for blazingly
fast file transfers, plus many more ports,
you won?t be lacking options to hook up
your devices. And it can even charge
the latest 15-inch MacBook Pro.
With two blazing fast Thunderbolt 3
ports and a 5Gbps USB-C port to boot,
the Drobo 5D3 can provide you with rapid
file transfers to and from your Mac. You
can load it up with up to five HDDs or
SSDs of differing capacities, giving you
plenty of flexibility for storage options.
It?s pricey, but a worthy investment.
PRINTER
IP CAMERA
MACBOOK BAG
Epson EcoTank ET-2600
Netatmo Presence
STM Kings
�9 epson.co.uk
�0 netatmo.com
� stmgoods.com
The Eco-Tank ET-2600 has a fairly high
cost, but its innovative cartridge-free
design will save you a ton of money
in the long run. It?s got a scanner and
copier, plus Wi-Fi and USB connectivity.
Replacement inks are cheap, working out
at a mere 0.2p per page for mono text,
and just 0.35p per page for colour.
The Netatmo
Presence is an
impressive outdoor
security camera. Set
in a sturdy housing,
it?s built to defy the
elements. It has a
built-in floodlight to
deter intruders, and a 100� field of view
recorded in 1080p. There?s also an SD
card included, making it easy to store
and access your footage.
Your MacBook
needs protection,
and the STM Kings
backpack is the best
way to guarantee
that. Winner of
MF316?s group test,
it cleverly suspends
your MacBook away from the floor to
prevent bumps. With loads of storage,
comfortable straps and a snazzy design,
it?s a great all-rounder.
macformat.com @macformat
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 101
STORE GUIDE Accessories
BEST BUYS? Curated picks of third-party kit
DESKTOP SPEAKER
PORTABLE SPEAKER
HIGH-RES AUDIO PLAYER
Kef Egg
Libratone Zipp
Pioneer XDP-30R
�0 kef.com
�4 libratone.com
�8 pioneer-audiovisual.eu
With rich, warm
sound that works
with pretty much any
genre, the KEF Egg
speakers are ideal
partners for your
Mac. They support
high-quality aptX
Bluetooth too, making them perfect for
wireless playback. Quirky design, solid
build quality and support for external
subwoofers makes them a great choice.
Want a multiroom
audio system in your
home? This little speaker
is your best option,
hands down. It cleaned
up in MF309?s group
test, scoring five stars
in every test category.
From top-notch sound to tons of great
features, the Zipp is a superb choice. It
even boasts AirPlay for great integration
with Macs and iOS devices.
Love music as much
as we do? Then you?ll
want to get your mitts
on one of these. It
plays high-res audio
files, and absolutely
blows MP3 files out of
the water. One listen
will change the way you hear your audio
tracks and, unlike other high-res audio
players, it?s reasonably priced. It really
will rock your world.
IN-EAR HEADPHONES
Pioneer Rayz Plus
�9 pioneerrayz.com
If you own an iPhone
7, you?ll know the
struggle of trying to
listen to music and
charge your phone
at the same time.
These in-ear Lightning
headphones solve
that, thanks to their built-in charging
port. They?ve also got great audio quality,
excellent noise cancellation and will pause
your tunes when removed from your ears.
DASH CAM
PORTABLE BATTERY PACK
Apple iPhone 7 Smart
Battery Case � apple.com/uk
Despite that sillylooking hump on its
back, the official battery
case for the iPhone 7 is
rather impressive. It?s
easy to fit, the buttons
feel great, and the soft
inner lining protects
against scratches. It isn?t the largest
capacity case, yet it has more than
enough juice for busy days, and the
bump is surprisingly comfy.
MICROPHONE
ACTION CAMERA
GoPro Hero6 Black
�0 gopro.com
GoPro?s latest
action cam is a
stunner, with 4K
video at 60fps and
1080p video at a
whopping 240fps
for fantastic slowmotion footage. It?s
waterproof to 10 metres, has improved
image stabilisation, wider dynamic range
and better performance in low light than
its Hero5 Black predecessor, too.
FITNESS SMARTWATCH
Transcend DrivePro 230
Blue Microphones Raspberry
Garmin Vivoactive HR
�0 transcend-info.com
�4 bluemic.com
�0 garmin.com
Dash cams help
record what happens
when you drive ? useful
if you?re in an RTC. If
you?re in the market
for one, this cam
is one of the best.
Packed with Wi-Fi,
GPS logging, Full HD video and a night
view as well, you get an awful lot for your
money. There?s even a free 16GB memory
card included in the box.
Don?t be fooled by this
mic?s small form factor;
it punches hugely above
its weight. Its close-up
sound is intimate and
bassy, and brings out
the best in any voice.
No matter whether
you?re recording an interview, creating
a podcast or just jamming with your
band, its clarity and depth makes it
easy to recommend.
Packed full of
tracking features
for a host of sports,
and filled with
genuinely insightful
metrics, this is a
fitness smartwatch
for nearly any
occasion. Its battery will last you days,
perfect for the odd weekend hiking trip.
With all this, it?s not hard to see why it
won MF308?s group test.
102 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
macformat.com @macformat
Software STORE GUIDE
BEST BUYS? Curated picks of third-party apps
PHOTO EDITOR (MAC)
VIDEO EDITOR (MAC)
WEB DESIGN APP (MAC)
Affinity Photo
Final Cut Pro X 10.3
RapidWeaver 7
�.99 serif.com
�9.99 apple.com/uk
� realmacsoftware.com
It?s hard not to love
Affinity Photo. Whether
you?re fancy yourself
a seasoned pro or a
photo novice, you will
find it powerful and
easy to use. Its interface has the perfect
blend of ease of use and quick access to
powerful features, and its useful batch
processing is a great addition. An app
that packs both power and practicality
for less than �? We?re in!
Apple?s Final Cut Pro
has always been a good
option for video editors,
but the latest version
makes it even better.
It introduces ?roles?,
which can be colour-coded to make your
timeline?s components easier to navigate,
something that?s further boosted by the
streamlined interface. It supports the
Touch Bar, too, plus wide colour on the
new MacBook Pro.
Ever since Apple
stopped updating
iWeb, Mac users have
been searching for
the ideal replacement.
Well, look no further ?
it?s RapidWeaver. Don?t know code? No
worries, RapidWeaver lets you design
visually if you want to. You can build any
type of page and publish to any type of
platform, and extend its functions with
thousands of add-ons.
WRITING APP (MAC)
UTILITY (MAC)
SYSTEM ENHANCEMENT (MAC)
Scrivener
Carbon Copy Cloner 5
NEW!
About � literatureandlatte.com
�.10 bombich.com
�.10 macbartender.com
It?s not often that a
sequel is even better
than its predecessor,
but Scrivener 3 is a
great example. Version
2 was already good,
winning MF319?s group test, but version
3 adds so much. Its revamped interface
is hugely customisable, its templates are
fantastic, managing footnotes is a breeze,
and the whole app is light and speedy. If
you write, Scrivener is absolutely essential.
When disaster strikes
and your hard drive
fails, having a backup
can be a lifesaver. This
app makes creating and
restoring from backups
an absolute breeze. It comes with a helpful
guided restore feature, plus a Cloning
Coach that monitors what you do and
looks out for potential problems. If you?re
looking to clone or back up your hard
drive, this is the app you need.
Some apps are so
simple and effective
that you don?t know
how you lived without
them. Bartender is one:
it lets you choose what
appears in the menu bar, and when things
appear too. You can set triggers, such as
an app only appearing when it?s updating,
and rearrange items. Bartender?s settings
are clear and concise. It sounds simple,
but it?ll change the way you use your Mac.
STREAMING SERVICE (MAC/iOS)
PRODUCTIVITY APP (MAC/iOS)
Bartender 3
EMAIL MANAGER (MAC/iOS)
Spotify
Fantastical 2
Spark
Free, �99 per month (Premium)
spotify.com
�.99 (Mac), �99 (iPhone)
flexibits.com
Free
sparkmailapp.com
Despite strong
competition from the
likes of Tidal, Apple
Music and Amazon,
Spotify is our top musicstreaming choice. It
hits all the right notes, from its fair price
to its curated playlists. Its library is one
of the largest on the market, and its
interface is simple and straightforward
to use. And, unlike Apple Music and
Tidal, it has a free tier as well.
If you find your
calendar and reminders
are getting out of
control, Fantastical
is the app for you.
It supports natural
language entry, so that you can enter
events and reminders as you would speak
and Fantastical will get to work. It?s got
a nifty menu bar window, plus a great
interface, clever calendar management
and a powerful iOS app to boot.
Feeling inbox anxiety?
The solution could be
Spark, a free email app
for Mac and iOS. It?s
centred on a ?smart
inbox?, which prioritises
your emails based on importance ? no
more losing that vital work email among
a sea of spam. You can snooze emails
and be reminded of them later, and
search via natural language too. And
to top it all off, it?s free.
macformat.com @macformat
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 103
PHOTO STREAM Shot of the month
GET ON INSTAGRAM
Share your images with us by using the
hashtag #MacFormat and we?ll print the
best here in the magazine. While you?re
there, follow @MacFormat (Twitter) and
@MacFormatUK (Instagram).
Light at the end?
?of the leafy tunnel
BY STEVEWSM
We?ve come closer to home this
issue, with this study in green
from Stevewsm (now a regular
contributor to this page).
Shot in Clifton, Bristol, we love
the darkness of the shaded
branches, the bright green
of the vibrant new leaves, and
the yellows and browns of
the autumnal leaves still
kicking around on the ground.
The dappled leaf effect is great,
and of course, the leading lines
direct your eye to the bright
light at the end of the path.
Share your pics with us using
the hashtag #MacFormat on
Instagram. In each issue,
we?ll pick our favourite
to feature on this page.
WHAT
TO DO!
1 Open an Instagram account.
2 Follow @MacFormatUK (of course).
3 Take a picture of, or with, your Apple kit.
4 Share it on Instagram or Twitter.
5 Use the hashtag #MacFormat.
6 Feel the warm glow of an
appreciative Apple community.
7 See if you made it onto the
pages of this very magazine!
8 Repeat.
macformat.com @macformat
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EDITORIAL
Editor ALAN STONEBRIDGE
Art Editor PAUL BLACHFORD
Operations Editor JO MEMBERY
Commissioning Editor ALEX BLAKE
Head of Art & Design RODNEY DIVE
Senior Art Editor JO GULLIVER
CONTRIBUTORS
EDITORIAL: Adam Banks, Matt Bolton, George Cairns,
Jamie Carter, Craig Grannell, Tim Hardwick, Kenny Hemphill,
Hollin Jones, Cliff Joseph, Carrie Marshall, Keith Martin,
Howard Oakley, Nick Peers, Dave Stevenson, Alex Summersby,
Luis Villazon ART: Apple, Matt Lochrie, Georgine Hodsdon,
Neil Godwin (Photo Studio)
ADVERTISING
Commercial Sales Director CLARE DOVE
Senior Advertising Manager LARA JAGGON
Director of Agency Sales MATT DOWNS
Advertising Director JOHN BURKE
Head of Strategic Partnerships CLARE JONIK
Advertising Manager MICHAEL PYATT
Account Sales Manager ANDREW TILBURY
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Contents subject to change
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ISSUE 326
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The best Apple adverts
Apple gets creative to promote its products
Written by Alex Blake
P
ioneering adverts
are part of Apple?s
lifeblood. Few other
companies have the ability to
consistently inspire awe and
conversation by posters and
TV spots alone. This issue
we?re recapping the best of
Apple?s adverts ? those that
inspired us, intrigued us and
influenced us. They live long
in the memory.
Friends in
high places
Apple has never been
shy to pick up a celebrity
endorsement or two for
its products. From huge
movie stars to handheld
puppets, Apple?s TV ads
are a magnet for mega
stars, from Samuel L
Jackson and Will Ferrell
to Jeff Goldblum.
An early example
saw Kevin Costner in
a swanky office using
an Apple Lisa ? the first
Apple computer to use
a mouse.
Then there?s Kermit
the Frog sadly singing It
Ain?t Easy Being Green
as the camera pans over
a sage-green iMac.
Apple even shot a
mini-movie starring Siri
and Dwayne Johnson.
A comically campy
affair, it follows him
driving through walls
and flies through space
with the help of Siri.
1991
As you speed along
a country road with a
roaring engine pulsing
in your ears, a voice
extols the machine?s
power and handling.
But the camera zooms
out to reveal a twist.
This is no car; it?s the
Macintosh Quadra.
Stylish and clever!
1999
In 1999, the world
was panicking about
the Y2K bug, but Macs
were immune. Apple
highlighted this with
an advert featuring
HAL 9000 from 2001:
A Space Odyssey,
brilliantly remade
and revoiced.
2006
As Mac users, we
like to tell ourselves
we?re different from
PC users. Apple used
this to great effect in
its ?Get a Mac? series,
pitting a trendy Mac
fan against a staid PC
user. Debuting in the
US in 2006, the ads
hit the UK in 2007.
2015
?Shot on iPhone?
had a simple premise:
show the power of the
iPhone?s camera with
customer photos. The
results were beautiful
and surprising in
equal measure.
1983
1990
1995
1983
Arguably Apple?s
most famous advert
was its ?1984? piece.
Inspired by the novel
by George Orwell,
it called on computer
users to fight back
against comformity
in the personal
computer world.
1997
One of the most
famous slogans in
advertising history,
?Think different? first
made its mark in 1997.
It was a play on IBM?s
?Think? slogan that
set Apple apart.
Put it in print
A number of the best
Apple ads have been
in print, where it honed
its minimalist style to
perfection. Witness the
1998 iMac ad with the
slogan ?Chic. Not geek.?
Or the iMac G4 Cube
advert with just a single
sentence: ?(Hint: it?s
a computer.)? Apple
proved that sometimes,
one line is all you need.
2000
2005
2010
2003
Apple advertised
the iPod with dancing
silhouettes on bright
backgrounds ? a great
way to highlight its
fun and lively nature.
2009
A slogan so infectious
it became a selling point
for the iPhone, ?There?s
an app for that? entered
common parlance in
2009. Simplicity itself,
it perfectly summed up
the benefits of the iOS
ecosystem and Apple?s
nascent App Store.
2015
NEXT ISSUE
ON SALE
Tuesday 8 May 2018
Editor?s
choice
My favourite Apple
ads are those for iPods.
If not for them, I might
never have discovered
Chairlift?s Bruises, from
the ?nano-chromatic?
ad in which paint ran
down from a row of
iPod nanos; or Feist?s
1234, from the ad for
my favourite iPod, the
squat 3rd-gen nano.
The ?Welcome Home?
film for HomePod is
the closest Apple has
got in years to the
effective playfulness
of its iPod ads.
9000
9001
ight Go to your person.
You only get five in the box
(which last a week or two
each), and must then buy
packs of 10 for �99. All in
all, though, Upright Go is
unobtrusive, very smartly
designed, and could help if
you want to improve your
posture. CRAIG GRANNELL
macformat.com @macformat
APPLE CHOICE Mac hardware
Adonit Pro 3
Write on your touchscreen
�.99 FROM adonit.net
FEATURES Disc tip, textured grip, magnetic cap
donit makes the
Pixel stylus, an
alternative to
Apple Pencil for non-Pro
iPads. But the Pro 3 is a
passive version, requiring no
Bluetooth and no batteries.
Unlike cheap rubber-tipped
styluses, it has a fine point.
To persuade your iPad to
recognise this, it?s attached
by a ball joint to a fingertipsized transparent plastic
disc, which skates across the
glass as you write or draw.
We first saw this system
years ago in Adonit?s Jot pen,
and it still looks weird ? but
it works brilliantly. After a
A
VERDICT
It works with iPhone,
there?s no battery to
charge, and the closest
you?ll get to a Pencil.
++
++++
Very fine point
Limited palm rejection
few moments you forget the
disc and use the Pro 3 like a
ballpoint. It?s small (maybe
too small for big hands), but
beautifully made; the lid
snaps on over the tip with
a satisfying magnetic clunk,
and to the other end (which
has an integral pocket clip)
to keep it safe while you?re
using the stylus.
The Pro 3 lacks Apple
Pencil?s precision, and you
also can?t lean on the screen
with impunity while using it,
which reduced the neatness
of our writing and drawing.
But it did enable us to work
much more finely than we
The Adonit Pro 3
may lack pressure
senstivity, but the disc
and fine tip help with
writing accuracy.
could with a rubber tip.
If you don?t want to stretch to
a Bluetooth device, starting
at around three times the
price, the Pro 3 is pretty
effective. ADAM BANKS
Elgato Eve Button
Control the mood at home with just a press
�.95 FROM Elgato, elgato.com
FEATURES Bluetooth LE, CR2032 battery
ithout Hey Siri,
you have to tap
your iPhone or
iPad to control HomeKit
scenes and accessories.
That, or buy a programmable
remote that can invoke a
limited number of actions.
Eve Button isn?t the first
of its type; second-generation
Logitech Pop buttons work
with HomeKit, too. Elgato?s
5cm-square and 1.3cm deep
gadget has an advantage:,
though: it doesn?t require
a bridge (and a plug socket)
to talk with Apple?s tech.
In the Eve or Home app,
you can set what happens for
W
VERDICT
A practical HomeKit
add-on, but like many
rivals it?s a bit costly.
++
++++
Nothing to plug in
A bit pricey, and needs
a HomeKit hub on top
macformat.com @macformat
a single press, double-press
and long press. Each can
activate one or more scenes,
set the state of one or more
accessories, or a combo of
those. We noticed a pause
between pressing the button
and getting results. It wasn?t
terribly long, just noticeably
not ?instant?.
We set the button to light
up our living room when
clicked, a double-press to do
the same in our hallway, and
a long press to turn off all
lights and our HomeKitconnected power switches ?
handy when heading to
work for the day, or to bed.
Eve Button comes only in this
metal and black design, which
may not be to your tastes.
There?s just one design,
which may not complement
your decor. Button itself is
competitively priced, though
not what we?d call a bargain.
Still, we quickly grew to
appreciate it as a fixture near
our home?s entrance (though
it?s designed to be portable).
Just bear in mind you need
an Apple TV with tvOS 11 or
an iPad set as your home hub
to pass on your commands.
ALAN STONEBRIDGE
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 87
APPLE CHOICE Group test
Reviewed by TIM HARDWICK
Five wearable devices that promise to
help you lead a healthier, fitter lifestyle
earables made something of a
comeback last year following
a turbulent 2016, in which the
smartwatch market saw sharp declines
across the board. While Apple maintained
its position as market leader with Apple
Watch Series 2, it still had to go back to basics
for its next smartwatch, avoiding replicating
iPhone functions on the wrist and instead
renewing its focus on fitness. Its rivals did
the same, and global smartwatch shipments
have since rebounded.
The most popular devices on the market
W
The most popular devices
promise valuable insights
into your overall health
88 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
promise valuable insights into your overall
health. They provide a wealth of biometric
measures and workout functions to improve
your well-being. But with so many competing
devices, how do you choose between them?
Here, we compare the health and fitness
capabilities of five of the latest smartwatches:
the Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro, Fitbit Ionic,
Garmin Forerunner 735XT, Casio Pro Trek
WSD-F20, and Apple Watch Series 3
(with GPS). We reviewed each in terms of
design, comfort, tracking features, display,
battery life, and app-based analytics. Note: our
main focus is on the specific activity and fitness
tracking smarts of these devices, but if any of
their additional features help achieve that end,
we?ve mentioned those too. Let?s see which
brand came out on top.
How we
tested
Each smartwatch
was tested in various
scenarios calling for
sustained anaerobic
and/or aerobic activity.
This included running,
cycling and highintensity training in
a variety of weather
conditions, and also
tested for everyday
wear. We used a Moov
Burn HR chest strap
and a Yamax SW-200
DigiWalk pedometer
to compare the metrics
that were recorded by
each watch.
macformat.com @macformat
Fitness smartwatches APPLE CHOICE
Higher?
Garmin fenix 5
�9 .99
garmin.com
This steel smartwatch
with GPS packs in-depth
training and analysis
features, and up to two
weeks of battery.
ON TEST?
Apple Watch Series 3
(GPS) From �9
Samsung Gear
Fit2 Pro �9
Garmin Forerunner
735XT �9.99
Fitbit Ionic �9.99
Casio Pro Trek Smart
WSD-F20 �0
Things to consider?
A few advanced features to look out for
1
Workout tracking
A good workout mix is vital for fitness.
Good wearables let you track a variety of
workouts, adjusting for irregular movements
which in turn affect calorie burn and heart rate.
2
Heart rate monitor
3
Battery life
Look out for wearables that measure
not only your heart rate during exercise, but
also your average resting heart rate, which is
considered a better indicator of overall health.
How long does the device run on one
charge? If you?re looking to monitor your sleep
as well as your activity, a device that can?t see
out the day won?t be much good to you.
macformat.com @macformat
4
Fashion style
Will you be wearing your tracker all
the time, or only during training sessions? How
agreeable a device looks is an important factor
to consider if it?s all-day tracking you?re after.
5
Display performance
6
Third-party support
If you read data mid-activity, it helps if
your wearable has a good screen. If it lights up
in the dark, great; if it adapts to ambient light
levels to boost legibility, all the better.
?or lower?
Misfit Vapor
�5
misfit.com/uk_en
Misfit?s GPS-enabled
touchscreen watch
features standalone
music playback
and storage.
Most wearables come with an iOS app
for pairing, but some also let you link up other
third-party apps (like Runtastic) to your device
so you can do more with your biometric data.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 89
APPLE CHOICE Group test
Test 1 Design
Test 2 Metrics
Form as well as function?
What can each device measure?
Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS) comes
in 38mm and 42mm sizes and has an
aluminium case in a silver, gold, or
space grey finish. It looks cool and sits
comfortably thanks to the Sport Band
(available in three matching colours).
Casio?s ?track-and-field? style easily
makes it the chunkiest watch on test.
It?s conspicuous on even large wrists and certainly doesn?t
look casual or fashionable against a shirt sleeve. Fitbit Ionic?s
angular face can?t match Apple?s aesthetic and doesn?t feel as
comfy, but several bands are available that offer better comfort
and style for all-day wear.
The round Garmin can also be accessorised with bands,
but its HR sensor doesn?t sit flush on the back and leaves an
unsightly imprint. The Samsung feels a lot more forgiving on
the wrist, but the wraparound style divides opinion.
All of the watches record elevation,
steps taken and (estimated) calorie
consumption by default. GPS is also
offered across the board for timed
workouts, but Garmin is ahead of the
pack in this area with up to 14 hours
of continuous location tracking.
Apart from Casio, all the watches
here feature heart rate (HR) tracking. Apple Watch takes
a high-resolution recording of your heart rate during
workouts, otherwise it turns the heart rate sensor on only
every five minutes, rather than offering a continuous readout
like Fitbit, Samsung and Garmin do. As an outdoor watch,
the Casio knows nothing of sleep, while Fitbit tracks it closest.
Every other device on test offers decent native sleep tracking
with the exception of Apple Watch, although Series 3?s
improved battery life means third-party apps fill this gap.
TEST RESULTS
TEST RESULTS
+++++
+++++
+++++
Apple Watch Series 3
Casio Pro Trek Smart
Fitbit Ionic
Garmin Forerunner 735XT +++++
Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro +++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
Apple Watch Series 3
Casio Pro Trek Smart
Fitbit Ionic
Usability
Garmin Forerunner 735XT +++++
Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro +++++
Data analysis
Testing everyday performance
How is activity recorded?
Though Apple Watch Series 3?s battery
life is improved over the last model (up to
2.5 days in our tests), it still lags behind
rivals in this area. Touchscreen-wise,
Fitbit and Samsung are tied for second
place behind Apple Watch; both have
excellent responsive displays and, like
Apple Watch, offer a variety of appealing
yet functional watch faces ? but they were able to last four days
in tests. All of those devices adapt to ambient light for optimal
brightness and energy-saving, which makes the two-day life of
Casio?s unremarkable touchscreen seem relatively tame. That?s
also true of Garmin?s tired-looking display, but at least there?s
a trade-off here: the Forerunner 735XT can go up to 11 days
on a single charge, without foregoing basic features like smart
notifications and HR/activity tracking. The Apple, Samsung,
and Fitbit devices also include neat music storage features.
Apple Watch Series 3 records a lot
more workout types than previous
models, and its Activity app has plenty
of motivating achievements. Third-party
integration has also stepped up a notch,
with improved HealthKit support and
the all-new GymKit, which lets you
connect to compatible gym equipment.
Casio?s outdoor emphasis is clear in its comprehensive
trekking, cycling, fishing, paddling and snow sports modes,
but everyday workout options are limited. By contrast, Fitbit
features modes for most exercises like cycling and swimming,
as well as gym machines such as treadmills. Samsung also has
a good selection of workout modes, although its app analytics
aren?t as well presented. But Garmin is still miles ahead here
thanks to its incredible array of sports-tracking options and
heaps of customisation tools in its accomplished iOS app.
TEST RESULTS
Apple Watch Series 3
Casio Pro Trek Smart
Fitbit Ionic
TEST RESULTS
+++++
+++++
+++++
90 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
Garmin Forerunner 735XT +++++
Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro +++++
Apple Watch Series 3
Casio Pro Trek Smart
Fitbit Ionic
+++++
+++++
+++++
Garmin Forerunner 735XT +++++
Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro +++++
macformat.com @macformat
Apple Watch Series 3
ticks a lot of fitness
tracking boxes.
Alex says?
THE WINNER
Apple Watch Series 3
I love using my Apple
Watch Series 1, but the
latest model has me
seriously tempted to
upgrade. It?s Apple?s
approach to fitness that
I like ? encouraging you
to improve every day in
achieveable ways rather
than setting you absurd
targets. Mixing that
philosophy in with the
improved hardware in
Series 3 makes it ideal
if you?re a fitness fan ?
or if you just want to
get a little healthier.
Super-powerful wireless performance
ith its limited everyday fitness
smarts and lack of HR tracking,
the Casio WSD-F20 comes last in
our test; that?s not to write it off, it?s just that
it?s better suited to off-roaders and explorers
looking to map hiking routes than fitness fans
and workout warriors.
W
The Fitbit and Samsung devices are great
for tracking all-day activity and workouts,
but syncing on the former is buggy, and
the latter is marred by a lacklustre app
experience. Neither criticism can be aimed
at Garmin, with its exhaustive analytics and
impressive multiple training modes. But
it?s the superior screen, app
integrations and all-round
tracking performance of
Apple Watch Series 3 that
ultimately won us over.
The superior screen and all-round
performance of Apple Watch
Series 3 ultimately won us over
How
do they
compare?
> THE SPECS
Apple Watch
Series 3 (GPS)
Casio Pro Trek Smart
WSD-F20
Fitbit
Ionic
Garmin Forerunner
735XT
Samsung Gear
Fit2 Pro
PRICE
From �9
�0
�9.99
�9.99
�9
URL
apple.com/uk
casio.co.uk
fitbit.com
garmin.com
samsung.com
TRACKING METRICS
Elevation, steps, calories,
heart rate, pace, distance
Elevation, steps,
speed, distance
Elevation, steps, calories,
heart rate, pace, distance
Elevation, steps, calories,
heart rate, pace, distance
Elevation, steps, calories,
heart rate, pace, distance
OPTIONAL BANDS
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
MUSIC STORAGE
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
GPS BATTERY LIFE
Up to 5 hours
Up to 8 hours
Up to 10 hours
Up to 14 hours
Up to 9 hours
BATTERY LIFE
Up to 2.5 days
Up to 2 days
Up to 5 days
Up to 11 days
Up to 5 days
TOUCHSCREEN
OLED
Dual colour/mono LCD
Colour LCD
Memory-in-pixel (MIP)
Curved super AMOLED
WATER RESISTANCE
Up to 50m
Up to 50m
Up to 50m
Up to 5m
Up to 50m
DESIGN
+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
METRICS
+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
USABILITY
+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
DATA ANALYSIS
+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
OVERALL
+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
Note: The ?nal verdict scores reflect the overall opinion of a product and are not necessarily an average of the criteria listed in the table.
macformat.com @macformat
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 91
Ultimate Ears
Wonderboom
�.99 FROM ultimateears.com
Design +++++
UE?s rugged speaker features a wraparound grille for 360�
audio and volume controls emblazoned across the front.
A soft rubber top and bottom protects it from drops up to
five feet, and keeps it buoyant when submerged in water,
while a rubber cap safely conceals the mini-USB port.
Features +++++
Wonderboom?s 10-hour battery capacity doesn?t weigh it
down, and the pebble-shaped speaker can be submerged
in up to one metre of water for 30 minutes. You can pair
it with up to eight Bluetooth devices and connect up
to two of them at the same time. You can then even
pair a second Wonderboom for a bigger sound.
Audio performance +++++
Whether you?re in the shower or by the pool, this speaker
hits all the right notes. It offers clarity in the midrange
and just the right amount of treble to avoid sounding
harsh in close quarters. Wonderboom has big bass
output, but manages to disperse and manage it so well
that it doesn?t come across as boomy.
Controls +++++
The Wonderboom?s controls are as big as its sound ? its
one-touch pairing button never failed us, and the large
tactile volume controls on the front of its grille are nice
and responsive. Multiple presses of the UE button on the
top also play, pause, and skip songs right from the speaker.
Whether you use the UE Wonderboom in the shower
or take it to the pool, it?s hard to fault the speaker?s
powerful all-day sound and rugged versatility.
Reviewed by TIM HARDWICK
Water-resistant
speakers
Tangent
Pebble Splash
�.99 FROM tangent-audio.com
Design +++++
Thanks to its slim rectangular design and singular row
of top-mounted controls, the Pebble Splash feels sleek
and looks stylish. But despite the rounded corners and
rubber handle, the shape of this unit lacks grip and
makes the plastic rim vulnerable to drops.
+
Features +++++
Concealed beneath the Pebble Splash?s water-resistant
side cover is an auxiliary line-out connection and
a mini-USB power port, the latter providing up to
10 hours of audio on a single charge. The Pebble Splash
also features a built-in microphone for making hands-free
calls or joining conference calls.
Audio performance +++++
The Pebble Splash speaker claims to deliver its audio
from ?multiple? speaker drivers, but most of the music
we played only appeared to come from one side of the
device. It also sounded a little tinny in a shower when
compared to the Wonderboom, and lacked the latter?s
punchy 360� delivery in outside environments.
Controls +++++
The strip of buttons along the top of the speaker?s rim offer
rubberised controls for power, playing and pausing audio,
and skipping tracks forwards and backwards. They feel
responsive to the touch, but we experienced some niggly
dropouts when manually pairing Bluetooth devices.
The Pebble Splash is good looking and offers decent
long-lasting sound, but the bass tends to lack depth
at higher volumes, and we wouldn?t want to drop it.
+++++ VERDICT +++++
92 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
macformat.com @macformat
ChromaVerb is the new
PlatinumVerb, with excellent
effects and cute eye candy.
Logic Pro X 10.4
Real improvements for Apple?s pro music software
�9.99 (free to existing Logic Pro X users) FROM Apple, apple.com/uk
NEEDS macOS 10.12 or later
Space
Designer has
gone Retina,
and it?s joined
by some great
new plugins
VERDICT
A major upgrade
with superb tempo
detection and great
new plugins.
++
++++
Great vintage EQs
New multi-FX
Tempo detection
Check hardware and
plugin compatibility
macformat.com @macformat
oint releases usually mean minor
changes, but Logic Pro X 10.4
delivers big improvements. The
first new feature is tempo detection, which
listens to you play and adjusts the tempo
accordingly. You can fine-tune its analysis,
and it copes admirably with subtle or dramatic
changes. It also works with imported audio,
making it easy to add extra instruments or
automation to existing recordings, and you can
even create djay Pro-style seamless mixes by
daisy-chaining audio files together and having
Logic adjust their tempos accordingly.
You can record performances before adding
instruments and Drummer tracks. Talking of
Drummer, there are two new styles ? roots and
brushy jazz ? alongside two new brush kits.
You also get two new virtual instruments ?
Studio Strings and Studio Horns ? which offer
realistic performance and lots of customisation.
The Space Designer reverb plugin?s
interface is now designed for Retina displays.
It?s joined by great new plugins: ChromaVerb,
Vintage EQ, Step FX and Phat FX. ChromaVerb
is a rebooted PlatinumVerb with a very flexible
algorithm that can create interesting effects.
Vintage EQ is fun. There are three modes
to choose from: console, graphic and tube,
each of which delivers the warm output of
classic hardware ? for example, the console
P
EQ is modelled on the Neve preamps of classic
rock, and delivers a warm, crunchy tone.
Apple previously acquired and integrated
Camel Audio?s Alchemy plugin with Logic, and
now it has done the same with Camel?s Space
and Phat, aka Step FX and Phat FX. These are
multi-FX plugins that let you chain effects
together. In the latter that means bandpass
filtering (filtering of frequencies outside a
given range), distortion, compression, lowfrequency oscillation and limiting; in Step FX
you can filter, delay, modulate and edit steps.
Both plugins have X/Y controllers. Phat is good
on bass drums, guitars and bass guitars, where
it adds subtle warmth and extra kick, while
Step offers fun with filters.
Check your compatibility
If you?re using High Sierra or plan to upgrade
to it, check with your hardware and/or plugin
makers about compatibility: since upgrading
our MacBook Pro we?ve experienced large,
apparently unsolvable issues in Logic with our
processor overloading, even on simple projects.
Still, we?re impressed that Apple decided
to make this a free update if you own Logic:
other firms may well have held back until
Logic Pro X 11. It makes an already superb
music production studio even more compelling.
CARRIE MARSHALL
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 93
APPLE CHOICE Mac software
Little Snitch 4
Find out who your Mac is talking to
?45 (about �) FROM Objective Development, obdev.at
NEEDS OS X 10.11 or later
his app monitors
outgoing network
connections and
alerts you whenever
something on your Mac
attempts to ?phone home?.
That connection could be as
innocent as Mail connecting
to a mail server or as sinister
as a piece of malware
attempting to send personal
data to would-be hackers.
When Little Snitch alerts
you, it asks whether or not
to allow the connection ?
subject to a set of rules you
enable or create.
Version 4 has a number
of improvements, including
T
VERDICT
If you?re concerned
about your Mac?s
security, Little Snitch
is an excellent tool.
++
++++
Silent Mode improved
Requires a little
technical knowledge
The Network Monitor shows you the location of the
servers to which your Mac has made connections.
one that addresses the app?s
Achilles? heel ? persistent
nagging. The redesigned
Silent Mode allows you to
silence alerts and deal with
them in bulk. You?ll still get
notifications at the top right
of the desktop for each
attempt, but you can turns
those off in System Prefs.
Also beefed up is the
Research Assistant that
allows you to discover more
about a connection Little
Snitch has alerted you to,
subject to information
provided by the app that?s
making the connection.
We also like the map view
in Network Monitor that
displays where in the world
the servers to which your
Mac is connecting are
located. KENNY HEMPHILL
Bartender 3
Take back control of your menu bar
�.35 FROM Surtees Studios, macbartender.com
NEEDS macOS 10.12 or later
artender enables
you to control
what appears
in the menu bar and
when. You can hide icons
permanently, relegate them
to the secondary Bartender
menu, or let them
temporarily appear when
they update. You can also
drag and drop menu items
within the menu bar
to rearrange them.
Configuration is handled
in Bartender?s System
Preferences pane, which is
both comprehensive and
clear. Version 3 is largely a
major compatibility update,
B
VERDICT
A great addition to
your Mac, Bartender 3
remains the go-to app
to tame your menu bar.
+++++
Integrates beautifully
Easy to set up and use
94 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
The Bartender Bar now sits on top
of the main menu bar when invoked.
rewritten from the ground
up to play nicely in Sierra
and High Sierra. It enables
you to once again control
system items on the menu
bar without attracting the
unwanted attention of
System Integrity Protection.
There are handy new
features, too. The interface
has been updated so the
Bartender Bar overlays the
menu bar when invoke.
There are also two major
new keyboard shortcuts for
searching and navigating
without moving the pointer.
Bartender 3 is a must-have
app, not just for existing
users (it?s a free update from
version 2), but for anyone
who needs to declutter or
exert full control over the
menu bar. NICK PEERS
macformat.com @macformat
Mac software APPLE CHOICE
Capture One Pro 11
Unimpressed by Lightroom?
Capture One is out to grab you
Reviewed by DAVE STEVENSON
?279+VAT (about �5), or ?20+VAT monthly (about �)
FROM PhaseOne, phaseone.com NEEDS OS X 10.11.6 or later
If you?re a
professional,
there has
never been
a better time
to check out
Capture One
hile it?s unlikely that
Photoshop will ever
stop being top of the
photo-editing heap, things
are a little less clear-cut for
Lightroom. The recent change
to Lightroom Classic was widely panned, and
updates to the software were of the ?less is
more? variety.
Such is the window of opportunity that
Capture One 11 finds itself in, with this latest
version incorporating various improvements
in the hope of luring Lightroom fans. The list
of things that it does that Lightroom can?t is
compelling. You can add up to 16 layer masks,
with variable opacity to allow an incredible
amount of flexibility. Masks can be feathered
and refined once they?ve been added, giving
you the kind of per-pixel adjustments that
Lightroom users can only dream of.
Annotations, which allow you to draw
reminders or instructions on an image so the
next person in the workflow can see what?s
wanted, can be added and then exported as
a layer on a PSD file. It?s a lovely addition, if a
limited one ? you can only draw in freehand
in six colours. For people without a graphics
tablet, a text tool would be handy.
W
VERDICT
A fabulous app well
worth investigating,
albeit with a rather
daunting price.
++
++++
Compelling, high-end
alternative to Lightroom
Great set of updates
Pro-level features
Not exactly cheap
macformat.com @macformat
Annotations enable you to communicate easily with clients
or retouchers ? no more long emails explaining yourself.
Adjustment layers and
layer masks provide
editing ?exibility.
Further collaborative tools include the
ability to use an overlay to aid composition,
and to export a crop as a path in a PSD file,
rather than simply chopping off bits of the
image. The same goes for watermarks, which
can also be exported as layers in a PSD file.
The showstopper
The learning curve is steep, although if you?re
migrating from Lightroom then looking up a
few online tutorials can be helpful. In our tests,
importing in Lightroom was faster, although
the amount of time between clicking Import
and starting work was about the same; it was
just the background import that dragged.
Other benefits continue to be appealing:
the tethering mode is great, its ability to create
a local server for wireless tethering to an iOS
device being a client-wowing showstopper.
Performance, import aside, is also impressive.
If you?re a professional with doubts about
Lightroom?s future direction, there has never
been a better time to check out Capture One ?
a raft of new features make it more powerful
than ever. The sticking point, though, is the
price: Adobe?s Photography Plan, including
Lightroom and Photoshop CC, costs �98
per month; on the other hand, subscribing to
Capture One will set you back more than twice
that, while the standalone app costs about
�5. For everyday pro users, Capture One?s
advantages may be worth the extra outlay ?
for everyone else, it?s certainly worth a 30-day
trial before taking the plunge.
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 95
APPLE CHOICE iOS software
Focos
Take control of depth-of-field effects
Free FROM Xiaodong Wang, focos.me
NEEDS iOS 11 or later
ocos lets you alter
focus in photos
from dual-lens
iPhones after you?ve taken
them. Take a photo with it
or Camera?s Portrait mode
and tap the background or
foreground to refocus on that
area. Basic features such as
refocus and aperture work
in free mode, but you need
to unlock the advanced ones
(from 99p/month).
Editing tools start with
simple crop and rotate. Next
is an Aperture slider that
enables you to change the
virtual aperture size from
f/1.4 to f/20. The bokeh shape
F
VERDICT
The best tool for
depth-mapped images
on dual-lens iPhones.
++
++++
Great depth-of-field
editing tools
Initial learning curve
Use Depth Filters to apply effects
to the background or foreground.
The virtual aperture control gives
impressive, realistic results.
tool lets you choose custom
shapes for the bokeh effect.
The Highlights and Vivid
sections provide sliders to
alter lighting and colour, and
the Lens presets simulate the
apertures of real-life lenses.
In the Effects section, you
can drag a slider to spin the
image in 3D to see how the
depth map breaks down.
Each of the Depth Filter tools
affects either the background
or foreground brightness,
contrast, exposure, hue,
sharpness, HDR and other
parameters. You can also
add motion blur, tilt shift
and other creative effects.
There?s not much in the
way of shooting control, but
this app is the best way to
unlock the power of depth
maps. HOLLIN JONES
GRID Autosport
A vrooming great game
�99 FROM Feral Interactive, feralinteractive.com
NEEDS iOS 11 or later
fter years of iOS
gaming being
dismissed, here
we have a genuine AAA
console racer squeezed
into your device. You get
access to 100 cars and 100
circuits, a slew of challenges
and tournaments, and great
configuration options.
If you?re new to simulation
racing you can make use of
driving assists. Confident
console racing aficionados
can disable these, delve into
a racing season, and abruptly
find themselves backwards
in a gravel trap, having first
driven into a wall. You see,
A
VERDICT
An achievement
that shows the
potential of consolestyle games on iOS.
++
++++
Great looks, controls
May overwhelm
racing newcomers
96 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
Touring Cars are good to start off with. Regardless of
what car you use, though, try not to fall down that ravine.
even at its most helpful,
GRID Autosport can be
demanding. You can?t get
away with always pelting
along at full speed. You must
instead learn how your car
handles and discern the best
places to overtake. But this
makes the game all the more
rewarding, and as you delve
into complex car and race
setups, it feels more like
racing and less like simply
barrelling along.
There is the odd niggle ?
a lack of mirrors, longish
loading times, and the game
not saving progress when
you?re part-way through an
event can be a little irritating.
But you won?t find a better
premium console-style
racing experience on iOS.
CRAIG GRANNELL
macformat.com @macformat
iOS software APPLE CHOICE
AutoSleep 5
Wrist-based sleep tracking
Reviewed by TIM HARDWICK
�99 FROM Tantsissa, autosleep.tantsissa.com
NEEDS iOS 10, watchOS 3.2 or later
The core set
of metrics is
also broken
down more
granularly
VERDICT
AutoSleep is now
even better: efficient,
smartly designed
and fun to use.
++
++++
Sleep stats are
accurate and editable
Watch integration
Charging during
the day is necessary
iOS app can confuse
macformat.com @macformat
pple?s watchOS doesn?t
offer a built-in sleep
tracking feature. At first,
there was a logical reason for this:
battery life on the first Apple
Watch rarely lasted beyond the
advertised 18 hours, meaning
the device had to be perched on
a charging dock as you slept.
Fast forward to the Apple
Watch Series 2 and 3 models,
however, and many owners find
their smartwatches can last two
days or more on a single charge.
Third-party developers have since
stepped in to fill the Apple Watch?s
nocturnal feature gap, with AutoSleep
For health reasons, it?s a good idea to monitor to your sleep patterns.
If you want comprehensive feedback, AutoSleep 5 has it all.
generally being the popular choice for
several reasons.
Now in its fifth version, the app?s two
shades of purple on a 12 or 24-hour clock,
biggest draws are its automatic tracking (unlike
with brighter purple indicating deeper sleep.
other sleep tracker apps that depend on you
Within the clock are four separate rings
telling them when you?re going to bed), and its
displaying resting heart rate, sleep time,
strong Apple Watch integration. For instance,
sleep quality and deep sleep in hours.
AutoSleep?s automatic tracking is bolstered by
The core set of metrics, which we found
a feature called Lights Off. When a button on its
to be generally accurate, is also broken down
Watch app is tapped, this feature tracks how
more granularly as you scroll through several
long it takes you to actually fall asleep.
screens. For example, the Recharge screen
shows how close you are to your ideal sleep
goal, while the Quality screen offers sleep rings
Deep sleep metrics
that compare against your seven-day averages.
Another example: in previous versions you had
Tapping the rings also switches you to historical
to sync the app to your iPhone to review your
timelines, which break down into even more
sleep metrics. With AutoSleep 5, the Watch
insightful graphs.
app calculates the data, so you can check if
It?s a lot to take in, and while we were very
you?ve had a good night?s sleep right on your
grateful for the opportunity to study the extra
wrist, where it?s displayed as Activity-style
data, it?s not something that you?re likely to
rings. And if you wake up in the middle of the
be interested in on a daily basis. Happily, the
night, you can check additional rings (in muted
Today widget and Watch app offer a simpler
colours for viewing in the dark) that show how
summary of your sleep patterns.
long you?ve been in bed and how much of that
With the inclusion of sleep-record editing
time has been actual sleep.
at 15-minute increments and a helpful setup
That?s not to say the iOS side of AutoSleep
wizard, all neatly presented in a dark-themed
isn?t just as impressive. The interface is packed
interface, AutoSleep 5 ticks all the boxes needed
with information, so much so that you may find
for a good night?s kip.
it overwhelming at times. Sleep is shown as
A
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 97
STORE GUIDE Apple kit
UPDATED
JUNE 2017
EXPECTED
2018
EDITED BY
iMac
ALEX BLAKE
Your complete guide to the best Apple
hardware and third-party accessories
elcome to MacFormat?s
Store Guide, the place
to go to find out about all
the Apple kit that matters, whether
you?re looking for your next iPhone
or a powerful new desktop Mac.
We?ve highlighted the model of
each product that?s ideally suited to
your needs, whether you?re a recent
convert or a seasoned Apple user.
W
So be sure to check our handy tables
to see which Mac, iPad or iPhone is
best for you.
We?ve also handpicked the gold
standard in audio, storage, cameras,
and many other categories, helping
you complement your Mac or iOS
device with the best accessories.
All of these third-party devices have
been reviewed in the magazine.
UPDATED
OCT 2014
EXPECTED
2018
Ever since the famous Bondi Blue iMac
debuted in August 1998, Apple?s all-in-one
desktop computer has been setting standards
in gorgeous design and powerful performance.
Apple?s innovation was as clear back then as it
is today ? the iMac was the first Macintosh to
drop the floppy disk in favour of USB, and its
colourful aesthetic set it apart as a playful
pretender in a world of staid beige boxes.
Today, Apple is again pushing boundaries
with the iMac, blessing all of its 27-inch models
with a massive 5K (5120x2880) resolution and
a wide P3 colour gamut. Add in Intel Core i5
and i7 CPUs (configurable from 3.4GHz up to
4.2GHz), a fast and capacious Fusion Drive, and
powerful AMD Radeon RX graphics processors,
and the 27-inch iMac is the desktop system to
own. At WWDC in June 2017, Apple refreshed
the entire range of iMacs, with discrete GPUs
coming to all but the entry-level model, newer
Intel CPUs, brighter Retina displays and more
Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Choose an iMac
An update in 2014 brought a �0
price drop to the most affordable
Mac, but rises in late 2016 added
� back on. The mini comes with
some interesting talking points: the
entry-level model has a 1.4GHz dualcore Intel Core i5 CPU and 4GB of
memory, making it one of the lowestspec Macs around, with a 500GB
hard drive and no display.
98 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
Higher-end models come with 1TB of
storage included (Fusion Drive and
SSD options are available), 8GB of
memory, a better graphics processor
and either a 2.6GHz or 2.8GHz Intel
Core i5 for �9 and �9. Those
models can be upgraded to a Core
i7, but there aren?t any quad-core
options available at the moment.
Expect updates in 2018.
ENTRY LEVEL
From
�9
PRICE
21.5-inch
3.0GHz
quad-core
Intel Core i5
MEMORY 8GB of 2400MHz DDR4
GRAPHICS AMD Radeon Pro 555
STORAGE 1TB (5,400rpm) hard drive
DISPLAY Retina 4K (IPS, P3 gamut)
ALSO Magic Mouse 2, Magic Keyboard
�249
UPGRADER
Mac mini
KEY SPECIFICATIONS
27-inch
3.4GHz
quad-core
Intel Core i5
MEMORY 16GB of 2400MHz DDR4
GRAPHICS AMD Radeon Pro 570
STORAGE 1TB Fusion Drive
DISPLAY Retina 5K (IPS, P3 gamut)
ALSO Magic Mouse 2, Magic Keyboard
�929
HIGH END
MODEL
27-inch
4.2GHz
quad-core
Intel Core i7
MEMORY 16GB of 2400MHz DDR4
GRAPHICS AMD Radeon Pro 580
STORAGE 2TB Fusion Drive
DISPLAY Retina 5K (IPS, P3 gamut)
ALSO Magic Mouse 2, Magic Keyboard
�609
macformat.com @macformat
UPDATED
JUNE 2017
EXPECTED
JUNE 2018
UPDATED
JUNE 2017
EXPECTED
2018
Apple tips
MacBook
MacBook Pro
From Stormfront, your
local Apple experts
The baby of Apple?s laptop family,
the MacBook was updated at WWDC
2017 to get Intel Kaby Lake processors
and faster SSDs. Weighing in at just
0.92kg, it?s Apple?s most lightweight
laptop but still packs in a 226ppi pixel
density in its 12-inch Retina display.
The MacBook is powered by an Intel
Core M processor (configurable to Core
i5 or i7), which doesn?t require a fan to
keep cool, so the MacBook runs silently.
It also features a Force Touch trackpad,
which can trigger different responses
as you apply more pressure. All models
of the MacBook come loaded with 8GB
of 1866MHz memory, which can be
boosted to 16GB, and Intel HD Graphics
615 ? an upgrade from the previous HD
Graphics 515 ? and there are 256GB or
512GB flash storage options. There are
four colour options: Silver, Space Grey,
Gold, and Rose Gold.
Apple debuted the new MacBook Pro
in October 2016 with an OLED strip of
app-specific controls called the Touch
Bar. The Force Touch trackpad was made
larger to give more room for gestures,
and the keyboard was also updated to
have a second-generation version of the
butterfly keys from the 12-inch MacBook.
The MacBook Pro range then got a
further boost at WWDC 2017, when both
the 13-inch and 15-inch models had their
processors updated to Intel?s Kaby Lake
models. The larger of the two also had
its graphics card upgraded to give more
powerful Radeon Pro options.
You get two or four Thunderbolt 3
ports (depending on the model), which
are also compatible with USB-C devices,
and through which you can charge the
MacBook Pro. The 13-inch and 15-inch
sizes remain, although the entry-level
13-inch lacks a Touch Bar.
HomeKitt tips
Choose a MacBook
12-inch 1.3GHz
dual-core
Intel Core i5
MEMORY 8GB of
1866MHz LPDDR3
GRAPHICS Intel HD
Graphics 615
STORAGE 512GB SSD
�549
12-inch 1.4GHz
dual-core
Intel Core i7
MEMORY 16GB of
1866MHz LPDDR3
GRAPHICS Intel HD
Graphics 615
STORAGE 512GB SSD
�864
ENTRY LEVEL
�249
PRICE
13-inch
2.3GHz
dual-core
Intel Core i5
MEMORY 8GB of
2133MHz LPDDR3
GPU Intel Iris Plus 640
STORAGE 256GB SSD
Touch Bar No
�449
UPGRADER
MEMORY 8GB of
1866MHz LPDDR3
GRAPHICS Intel HD
Graphics 615
STORAGE 256GB SSD
KEY SPECIFICATIONS
13-inch
3.1GHz
dual-core
Intel Core i5
MEMORY 8GB of
2133MHz LPDDR3
GPU Intel Iris 650
STORAGE 256GB SSD
Touch Bar Yes
�749
HIGH END
ENTRY LEVEL
12-inch 1.2GHz
dual-core
Intel Core m3
macformat.com @macformat
MODEL
PRICE
UPGRADER
KEY SPECIFICATIONS
HIGH END
MODEL
Choose a MacBook Pro
15-inch
2.8GHz
quad-core
Intel Core i7
MEMORY 16GB of
2133MHz LPDDR3
GPU Radeon Pro 555
STORAGE 256GB SSD
Touch Bar Yes
�349
Using your new HomePod to control
HomeKit-compatible accessories is
both novel and practical.
HomePod can control HomeKit
accessories with a single command.
For example, you might have a lamp
and main light in your bedroom,
as well as your HomePod. You can
control each light individually ?
?Hey Siri, set lamp to 20%? or
?Hey Siri, set main light to 60%? ?
or you can control all of them at
once with ?Hey Siri, all lights off?.
You can create scenes in the
Home app to control multiple
accessories simultaneously. Set
your main lights low and turn on
a reading lamp, then say ?Hey Siri,
set my reading scene?.
If you are yet to purchase a
HomePod, the above functionality
also works with compatible iPhones
and iPads. Additionally, iPhone 6s
and later, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and
2nd-generation iPad Pro models
listen for ?Hey Siri? even when
running on battery power.
Ellie Otley, Darryl Elkins
Stormfront.co.uk
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 99
STORE GUIDE Apple kit
UPDATED
SEPT 2017
EXPECTED
SEPT 2018
UPDATED
JUNE 2017
EXPECTED
2018
UPDATED
JUNE 2017
EXPECTED
2018
iPhone
iPad
iPad Pro
Apple always had to do something big
for the iPhone?s tenth birthday, and it?s
done that with the iPhone X. Sporting a
glass back to allow wireless charging and
a gorgeous edge-to-edge, OLED, Super
Retina display measuring 5.8 inches
across, it?s big news all over.
Its better cameras don?t just mean
great photos ? they allow for Face ID,
the face-scanning technology that is the
latest, safest way to unlock your phone
(goodbye Touch ID and Home button).
But don?t let the new kid on the block
overshadow the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus ?
they?re great phones in their own right.
They get wireless charging too, plus
revamped cameras, a new A11 Bionic
chip, and new augmented reality tech.
All new models come in 64GB and
256GB capacities. The pricing for the
iPhone 8 starts at �9, the 8 Plus at
�9 and the iPhone X at �9.
Apple shifted the iPad range around in
March 2017, replacing the iPad Air 2 with
a 9.7-inch model simply called ?iPad?. The
entire Air range has been phased out,
but the iPad mini 4 is still available.
The 9.7-inch iPad features an A9 CPU
and M9 motion coprocessor, and comes
in 32GB and 128GB storage flavours. The
Retina display has been made brighter
compared to the Air 2, but the new iPad
is slightly thicker and heavier. It?s also
got an 8MP rear camera and a 1.2MP
front-facing camera.
On the software side, the iPad adds
multitasking features, which are a boon
for productivity. You can slide a second
app over the right side of the one you?re
working in, then dismiss it to get back to
work. Picture in Picture enables you to
watch video in a corner of the screen.
There?s also Split View, which lets you
work on two apps side by side.
The iPad Pro comes in 10.5-inch and
12.9-inch sizes, packed with either 64GB,
256GB or 512GB of storage. All models
are available with the option of mobile
network connectivity. The Pro?s A10X
chip is the most powerful in any iOS
device, and it has an impressive fourspeaker sound system, too. Adding the
pressure-sensitive Apple Pencil and
120Hz refresh rate makes it a smooth,
accomplished drawing tool.
iPhone SE
(4-inch
display)
CAPACITY: 128GB
PROCESSOR: A9
FACE ID No
CAMERA 12MP photos,
4K video recording
�9
iPhone 8
(4.7-inch
display)
CAPACITY: 64GB
PROCESSOR: A11 Bionic
FACE ID No
CAMERA 12MP photos,
4K video
�9
iPhone X
(5.8-inch
display)
CAPACITY: 64GB
�9
PROCESSOR: A11 Bionic
FACE ID Yes
CAMERA 12MP photos
(dual-camera), 4K video
100 | MACFORMAT | MAY 2018
MODEL
KEY SPECIFICATIONS
PRICE
ENTRY LEVEL
ENTRY LEVEL
PRICE
7.9-inch
iPad mini 4
CAPACITY 128GB
PROCESSOR A8
CONNECTIVITY Wi-Fi
CAMERA 8MP
TOUCH ID Yes
�9
UPGRADER
KEY SPECIFICATIONS
9.7-inch iPad CAPACITY 128GB
PROCESSOR A9
CONNECTIVITY Wi-Fi
CAMERA 8MP
TOUCH ID Yes
�9
HIGH END
MODEL
UPGRADER
Choose an iPad
HIGH END
Choose an iPhone
12.9-inch
iPad Pro
�9
CAPACITY 256GB
PROCESSOR A10X
CONNECTIVITY Wi-Fi
CAMERA 12MP
TOUCH ID Yes
From
�9
UPDATED
SEPT 2017
EXPECTED
LATE 2018
Watch
From �9 (Series 3)
The Watch is Apple?s quiet revolution,
and it?s now the number one watch in
the world. Series 3 is meant to cement
that status quo. To achieve that, Series 3
lets you make and receive calls from
your wrist without your iPhone around
for the first time ? the sci-fi dream is
now a reality. You can also stream Apple
Music to it ? another benefit that means
you can leave your phone at home.
Performance-wise, the processor has
seen a 70% speed boost, and the new
W2 wireless chip is far faster and more
power efficient. All that, yet the case is
still the same slimline size.
Apple also introduced new colours
and bands, plus a new dark grey colour
for the high-end ceramic model.
macformat.com @macformat
Accessories STORE GUIDE
BEST BUYS? Curated picks of third-party kit
NEW!
MONITOR
ULTRA HD MONITOR
EXTERNAL SSD
Philips 328P6VJEB
Freecom mSSD MAXX 512GB
�6 philips.co.uk
�1 philips.co.uk
�7 freecom.com
Getting a colour-accurate display used
to cost a pretty penny, but this monitor
is both impressive and affordable. It hits
99% of the Adobe RGB gamut ? great for
colour-critical work ? and supports 10-bit
colour. Throw in a host of ports (including
USB-C), an IPS display and a great price,
and you have a seriously good screen.
We love this display. At 32 inches
diagonally it?s big enough to make its
4K resolution worthwhile, and its colour
rendering is excellent ? 100% of sRGB,
93% of Adobe RGB and 97% of the P3
gamut that Apple?s new MacBook Pro
uses. It?s big, bold, beautiful and superb
for productivity and colour work alike.
This drive is the fastest portable SSD
we?ve ever tested. Freecom claims its
write speeds can reach 700MB/sec, but
in our tests it blazed past that to reach
713.8MB/sec write speeds and 907.3MB/
sec read speeds, thanks to its USB 3.1
Gen 2 capability. It?s costly, but worth
it if you feel the need for speed.
Philips 328P6AUBREB
NETWORK STORAGE
WIRELESS ROUTER
THUNDERBOLT DOCK
Drobo 5D3
Asus DSL-AC88U AC3100
CalDigit Thunderbolt Station 3
�1 drobo.co.uk
�0 asus.com/uk
�9 caldigit.com/uk
This router has an awful lot going for it.
The winner of issue 321?s group test, the
Asus scored an impressive five stars in
three out of four categories. It performed
brilliantly in our tests, has excellent
connectivity (with both Ethernet and
ADSL options), and it looks great too. It
will keep your network powered for years.
The winner of
MF317?s head-to-head
review introduces a
whole new level of
connectivity to your
Mac. Equipped with
two Thunderbolt 3
ports for blazingly
fast file transfers, plus many more ports,
you won?t be lacking options to hook up
your devices. And it can even charge
the latest 15-inch MacBook Pro.
With two blazing fast Thunderbolt 3
ports and a 5Gbps USB-C port to boot,
the Drobo 5D3 can provide you with rapid
file transfers to and from your Mac. You
can load it up with up to five HDDs or
SSDs of differing capacities, giving you
plenty of flexibility for storage options.
It?s pricey, but a worthy investment.
PRINTER
IP CAMERA
MACBOOK BAG
Epson EcoTank ET-2600
Netatmo Presence
STM Kings
�9 epson.co.uk
�0 netatmo.com
� stmgoods.com
The Eco-Tank ET-2600 has a fairly high
cost, but its innovative cartridge-free
design will save you a ton of money
in the long run. It?s got a scanner and
copier, plus Wi-Fi and USB connectivity.
Replacement inks are cheap, working out
at a mere 0.2p per page for mono text,
and just 0.35p per page for colour.
The Netatmo
Presence is an
impressive outdoor
security camera. Set
in a sturdy housing,
it?s built to defy the
elements. It has a
built-in floodlight to
deter intruders, and a 100� field of view
recorded in 1080p. There?s also an SD
card included, making it easy to store
and access your footage.
Your MacBook
needs protection,
and the STM Kings
backpack is the best
way to guarantee
that. Winner of
MF316?s group test,
it cleverly suspends
your MacBook away from the floor to
prevent bumps. With loads of storage,
comfortable straps and a snazzy design,
it?s a great all-rounder.
macformat.com @macformat
MAY 2018 | MACFORMAT | 101
STORE GUIDE Accessories
BEST BUYS? Curated picks of third-party kit
DESKTOP SPEAKER
PORTABLE SPEAKER
HIGH-RES AUDIO PLAYER
Kef Egg
Libratone Zipp
Pioneer XDP-30R
�0 kef.com
�4 libratone.com
�8 pioneer-audiovisual.eu
With rich, warm
sound that works
with pretty much any
genre, the KEF Egg
speakers are ideal
partners for your
Mac. They support
high-quality aptX
Bluetooth too, making them perfect for
wireless playback. Quirky design, solid
build quality and support for external
subwoofers makes them a great choice.
Want a multiroom
audio system in your
home? This little speaker
is your best option,
hands down. It cleaned
up in MF309?s group
test, scoring five stars
in every test category.
From top-notch sound to tons of great
features, the Zipp is a superb choice. It
even boasts AirPlay for great integration
with Macs and iOS devices.
Love music as much
as we do? Then you?ll
want to get your mitts
on one of these. It
plays high-res audio
files, and absolutely
blows MP3 files out of
the water. One listen
will change the way you hear your audio
tracks and, unlike other high-res audio
players, it?s reasonably priced. It really
will rock your world.
IN-EAR HEADPHONES
Pioneer Rayz Plus
�9 pioneerrayz.com
If you own an iPhone
7, you?ll know the
struggle of trying to
listen to music and
charge your phone
at the same time.
These in-ear Lightning
headphones solve
that, thanks to their built-in charging
port. They?ve also got great audio quality,
excellent noise cancellation and will pause
your tunes when removed from your ears.
DASH CAM
PORTABLE BATTERY PACK
Apple iPhone 7 Smart
Battery Case � apple.com/uk
Despite that sillylooking hump on its
back, the official battery
case for the iPhone 7 is
rather impressive. It?s
easy to fit, the buttons
feel great, and the soft
inner lining protects
against scratches. It isn?t the largest
capacity case, yet it has more than
enough juice for busy days, and the
bump is surprisingly comfy.
MICROPHONE
ACTION CAMERA
GoPro Hero6 Black
�0 gopro.com
GoPro?s latest
action cam is a
stunner, with 4K
video at 60fps and
1080p video at a
whopping 240fps
for fantastic slowmotion footage. It?s
waterproof to 10 metres, has improved
image stabilisation, wider dynamic range
and better performance in low light than
its Hero5 Black predecessor, too.
FITNESS SMARTWATCH
Transcend DrivePro 230
Blue Microphones Raspberry
Garmin Vivoactive HR
�0 transcend-info.com
�4 bluemic.com
�0 garmin.com
Dash cams help
record what happens
when you drive ? useful
if you?re in an RTC. If
you?re in the market
for one, this cam
is one of the best.
Packed with Wi-Fi,
GPS logging, Full HD video and a night
view as well, you get an awful lot for your
money. There?s 
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