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MacLife UK - June 2018

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iMac Pro
Rated: The most
powerful iMac ever!
It’s here! The
$329 iPad for
work & play
your life with
the Watch
Fix HigH
M ay 20 1 8 N O.1 41
Essential tips to
help you solve any
macOS disaster!
Sort startup problems
Stop Wi-Fi issues
Get apps working
Free more disk space
Get from A to B with Maps
Better manage your contacts
Secure your online passwords
Make your inbox more efficient
Top tricks for
all-day life on
your devices
m ay 20 1 8 N o.1 41
w w w. m ac l i f e .co m
fix High Sierra and ioS 11
Get better battery life
learning technology
Whether you’ve yet to upgrade or have
already done so, discover how to make
High Sierra work better for you. Plus:
a troubleshooting guide to iOS 11.
Our essential guide to better battery
life outlines trusted techniques to
ensure your Mac, iPhone, and iPad have
enough juice to get through the day.
The latest high-tech toys are not only
fun, but they can also help your children
learn skills for the future. We round up
the best tech toys for your kids.
>>> Contents
omnioutliner 3
logic Pro 10.4
The new editor reflects on
what the new iPad means
for Apple's future.
imac Pro
asus Blue cave
osmo mobile 2
Prizmo Go
elgato eve Button
Part Time Ufo
Gyroscope Health
DJi mavic air
Bring you Home
mophie Powerstation
6 best aR apps
calDigit TS3 Plus
The new iPad
Apple's latest iPad targets
the education market.
my watchdog
Pulse - Haptic
metronome watch
Drive Scope
Social media privacy
The data-mining scan
haunting Facebook.
myriad calculator
The Shift
Visualize heartrate
with cardiogram
Tidy Up 5
Parallels Toolbox
David Chartier on Apple's
move into healthcare.
educational toys
The best educational hightech toys to prepare your
children for the future.
apple TV
The latest apps and
hottest hardware for
your Apple TV.
Email us your views at
Digital life
Head to for
the very latest news.
Reader Survey
Your chance to share your
views on Mac|Life.
The gear we’re lusting
after, including some
seriously sexy speakers.
Osmo Mobile 2
4 May 2018
iMac Pro
Our experts solve your
Mac and iOS problems.
Turn day into night
using imovie
Better manage your
contacts with cardhop
Secure your
online passwords
Use maps better
Get to grips with
Do Not Disturb
make your inbox
more efficient
create a ringtone in
GarageBand, part 2
fix dull skies in
affinity Photo
Be on time with watch
Random apple memory
We recall Apple’s cute
iMac reptile game.
change is good
this issue it’s time to say goodbye,
and godspeed to editor Alan, for he has
left the building and entrusted me with
Mac|Life. I’ll be your new host, but don’t
worry — I’m not planning to
significantly alter anything just yet
because I believe that Alan has done a
superlative job of giving you, the reader,
exactly what you need to make the most
of all of your Apple devices.
But nothing is ever perfect, and
there’s always room for improvement,
so I’m going to do my best to steer the
magazine in an even better direction.
Ultimately, I want you to be able to
confidently make that purchase knowing that you’re going to get
the most value possible out of your new tech.
With that in mind, I’d be grateful if you could to turn to page 6
and complete our reader survey. It takes about 15-20 minutes to
complete, and will give you the chance to tell me what you like
and don’t like about the magazine, and what kind of content
you’d like to see more of in future. This is your chance to help me
shape the future of the magazine you love.
Aside from changes on the magazine side of things, there are
some interesting times afoot in the world of Apple too. This issue
we take a look at the new iPad (page 10). Sure, another iPad
shouldn’t elicit much fanfare, but this time it’s not just another
iteration. The new iPad is going to include features that will make
it hard to justify purchasing an iPad Pro, including a Retina screen
that’s compatible with the Apple Pencil, more power for
multitasking, and here’s the kicker — it’ll cost just $329.
But the most intriguing part, and one that will surely see a shift
in its customer base, is that Apple seems to be aiming the new
iPad squarely at those in education — those who might normally
buy a Chromebook — with a focus on bolstering its existing
education ecosystem with enhanced iWork apps and specialist
software that make the most of a classroom setting. It’s good
news for students, but I think a low-priced iPad that allows us to
do more creatively is also good news for the rest of us.
>>>ThE TEam
Matt smith
art editor
Matt forgot his iPad
charger on a trip home,
so resorted to reading an
actual, real book!
Rosie hilder
operations editor
It’s all change in the
Mac|Life team. Rosie is
preparing to move to
website Creative Bloq.
alan stonebridge
nick odantzis, Editor
Gone, but not forgotten,
Alan is dedicated to the
cause — he’s just bought
another HomePod!
Twitter: @maclife may 2018 5
“Have your say!”
Want to help shape What you read in Mac|life each issue?
Well noW’s your chance to tell us What you think.
Go to to have your say.
Nick odaNtzis, editor
b i t . l y/m a c l i f e s u r v e y
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Tel +44 (0)1225 442 244 may 2018 7
Your opinions, rants & raves
I am always fascinated by the expensive hi-tech gadgets
featured in Mac|Life. My wife unexpectedly brought home a
$15 pair of Bluetooth earbuds that are perfect for occasional use; at this price
you can buy lots of pairs just in case you lose one or just to keep spare in a
bag for emergency use. An article about inexpensive, but great, gadgets
would be a winner. ricHard bErgEnSTEin
In future we’re hoping to run more group tests that compare gadgets at different price
levels to appeal to all walks of life, rather than those who are just interested in the most
premium products. Check back here soon!
no to HomePod
I ordered two HomePods on day
one. Once I read your posts
about the lack of AirPlay 2 I
canceled both. I will be waiting,
possibly a long time before I
actually purchase them.
ricHard dEal
That’s a shame richard —
apple recently announced the
beta version of ioS11.4 which
showcases airPlay 2’s
abilities. The biggest of these
is multiroom support, so you
can stream music around the
home, as well as use two
HomePods in stereo — a
feature your double purchase
would have been ripe for.
Yes to HomePod
I bought a HomePod for my son
and he loves it! However, is it
possible to play radio stations or
playlists from an iTunes library?
Or is it only for those who
subscribe to Apple Music? I am
thinking of buying one for
myself, but I do not subscribe to
Apple Music. kaY korbEl
You don’t need
Apple Music to
love HomePod.
There’s good news and slightly
bad news here. The bad news
SHarE wiTH US!
8 May 2018
Your April
edition (Mac|Life
139) lists a
program in the “Find rogue apps
slowing your Mac” tutorial
called KnockKnock. Where do I
find this program? I did a search
on the internet and in the Apple
Store but I couldn’t find it. What
am I doing wrong?
bob cUlbErT
is you can’t play radio stations
(other than the default beats 1
station) using Siri voice
control without a subscription.
However, with airPlay on your
iPhone or iPad you can stream
any radio station you like to it;
same for your iTunes library.
on step five of the tutorial you
should see the link — click on
the knockknock link and
download button. double click
the Zip to extract the app,
then drag it to the
applications folder.
Easy viewing
not true?
I have a request as a long time
subscriber to Mac|Life: could
you make the issues viewable in
landscape mode on my device? I
have a 12.9-inch iPad Pro and
rarely ever use it in portrait
mode. Can you imagine reading
magazine issues this way? I’m
hoping you can get this fixed!
larrY griFFiTHS
In the April 2018 issue (Mac|Life
139) you state “At the time of
writing a High Sierra compatible
update is promised but not
available yet” in reference to
the Nikon ViewNX-I application.
That simply is not true. I have
been successfully using the
latest version of ViewNX-i on
both my wife’s MacBook running
Sierra and my MacBook Pro
running High Sierra for at least
a couple of months now.
will windHam
Unfortunately the only way to
read the iPad edition of
mac|life is in portrait mode.
This is by far the best way of
reading the magazine. if you
are determined to read the
magazine in landscape there’s
a solution — go to
and subscribe to this version;
admittedly this is a flat, page
turning version without any
graphics, but it will certainly
do what you desire.
when you work in print there’s
always a chance that
something will have changed
after the magazine goes to
press, which is why we use the
above caveat “at the time of
writing.” an update was made
available a few weeks after the
issue was sent to the printers.
FacEbook: TwiTTEr:
Feed yOUr mINd. FeASt yOUr eyeS.
Updated iPad
and new apps
for education
Apple fights back against Google
with new tech aimed at schools
By Alex SUmmerSBy
APPle hAS UPdAted the 9.7-inch iPad, augmented the
iWork apps, and introduced new specialist software, all
to appeal to the education market. The announcements
came in a special event held on March 27th at Lane
Technical College Prep High School in Chicago, Apple’s
first education-targeted product launch since 2012.
The 9.7-inch iPad now supports Apple Pencil, comes
with TouchID built-in, and is available in Silver, Space
Gray, and a new Gold color, but the price is unchanged
from the previous generation, starting at $329 for the
32GB Wi-Fi model ($299 for schools). Apple Pencil is
available separately for $99 ($89 for schools), although
it was also mentioned at the event that Logitech is
introducing a new Crayon for $49, as well as a $99
Rugged Combo case and keyboard.
Feed your mind. Feast your eyes.
The Apple Pencil was previously supported only in
iPad Pro models. Advanced sensors measure both
pressure and tilt, with low latency, and the iPad’s palm
rejection technology even makes it possible to rest your
hand on the screen while using the Pencil.
The Wi-Fi+Cellular version of the new iPad features
ultrafast LTE wireless (up to 300Mbps), which Apple says
can deliver cellular data connections twice as fast as the
previous iteration (network and carrier permitting).
Pages, Numbers, and Keynote have been updated with
Apple Pencil support, enabling you to draw, sketch, or
write with a Pencil directly in iWork documents, add
color and texture to drawings and diagrams, and more.
A new Smart Annotation feature in Pages, introduced
in beta, enables you to add comments and proof marks
that are anchored to the text they are attached to.
Pages for iOS and macOS now offers eBook creation.
You can create an interactive digital book using a variety
of templates, then customize it using the new drawing
tools or with image galleries and videos from your Photos
library. You can collaborate in real time with classmates
or colleagues to create books together on iPad, iPhone,
Mac, and Books can then be shared and will
display beautifully in iBooks.
Additional new features include Presenter Mode in
Pages on iPad or iPhone. The text can auto-scroll at an
adjustable speed, with text size, spacing, font, and
background color all customizable during text playback.
Integration with Box lets users collaborate in real time
in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote documents stored in
Box. GarageBand for iOS is also being updated, with new
sound packs for students, and there will be a new version
of Clips. The Apple presentation highlighted augmented
reality apps for the classroom including Froggipedia by
Designmate, which enables students to dissect a frog on
the iPad. There will be a new AR module for Apple’s
programming environment Swift Playgrounds.
Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for iOS and Mac are still
free, and come preloaded on the new iPad. If you already
have older versions of the apps, the updates are available
to download from the App Store and Mac App Store.
edUcAtION SOFtwAre
Everyone Can Create is a new, free curriculum coming
this fall, which is designed to help teachers integrate
drawing, filmmaking, music, or photography into their
existing lesson plans for any subject. It includes free
learning resources plus student and teaching guides.
Beginning later this spring, Apple Stores will begin
teaching Everyone Can Create as part of their regular
Today at Apple sessions for educators. The new
> New iPad vs. iPad Pro
Now that the new 9.7-inch iPad supports Apple Pencil, is
there any reason to buy an iPad Pro?
The Pro’s screen is not only larger (10.5 or 12.9 inches), it also has
ProMotion technology (so the screen refreshes faster for less lag or
flicker in moving images) and a True Tone display (so colors and
white balance adjust according to the surroundings). Where the iPad
has two speakers, the Pro has four, for punchier sound. The Pro is
compatible with Apple’s Smart Keyboard, and its A10X Fusion chip is
more powerful than the new iPad’s A10. Finally, the Pro’s camera is
much better, offering 12MP photos (vs. the iPad’s 8MP), optical
image stabilization, a quad-LED True Tone flash, better slow-mo, 4K
video recording (vs.
1080p), and panoramas
up to 63MP (vs. 43MP).
However, the Pro is much
more expensive, starting
at $649. Compare the
specs below or go to
Multitasking on the go is
easier than ever with the
new iPad plus iOS 11.
> New iPad
> iPad Pro
9.7-inch Retina display
2,048 x 1,536 pixels, 264ppi
10.5-inch Retina display
2,224 x 1,668 pixels, 264ppi
A10 Fusion chip
A10X Fusion chip
Apple Pencil support
Apple Pencil support
8-megapixel rear camera,
f/2.4 aperture
12-megapixel rear camera,
f/1.8 aperture
Up to 10-hour battery life
Up to 10-hour battery life
wi-Fi model:
32GB $329 128GB $429
wi-Fi model:
64GB $649 256GB $799
512GB $999
wi-Fi+cellular model:
32GB $459 128GB $559
wi-Fi+cellular model:
64GB $779 256GB $929
512GB $1,129 May 2018 11
>>> Start Feed your mind. Feast your eyes.
curriculum joins Apple’s successful Everyone Can Code
initiative to help teachers keep students engaged.
Apple also announced Schoolwork, a new app to help
teachers create assignments, monitor student progress,
and manage apps in the classroom. Teachers can, for
example, assign a specific activity within an iPad app and
direct students straight to the specific point within the
app. Popular education apps like Nearpod, Tynker, and
Kahoot are already integrating support for Schoolwork.
Schoolwork builds on the success of Apple’s Classroom
app, which teachers use to manage student iPads, guide
students, and share work. With Classroom, teachers can
launch apps, books, and web pages on all student devices
in a class at once, or send and receive documents. They
can view student screens
during class to help students
stay focused, assign shared
iPads to specific students for
class, and even reset a
student’s password. Apple
announced that Classroom
is coming to the Mac in June.
Finally, any teacher or
student with a Managed
Apple ID will now get a hefty
Students and teachers now
get more free iCloud storage.
200GB of free iCloud
12 May 2018
storage, a significant jump
from the previous 5GB.
mAc|lIFe SAyS
All these highly targeted innovations
come because Apple, for many decades dominant in the
US education market, has in recent years lost ground to
Chromebooks. Google has exploited the popularity of its
cheap always-connected laptops among students,
creating dashboards and control software for teachers
and school administrators, constructing a kind of
education ecosystem of its own. Apple needed to fight
back, and is doing so by offering its own education
ecosystem, which builds on its historic strengths,
including its existing library of 200,000 education apps
on the App Store, and adds features such as shared iPads
and management software, taking on Google on key
points. Apple executives are emphasizing explicitly, in
case anyone missed the point, that the enhanced iPad “is
more powerful than a Chromebook or PC.” Apple CEO
Tim Cook said at March’s event that education has always
been an important focus at Apple over its 40-plus-year
history; it certainly looks serious about education now.
Facebook under
fire over data
mining scandal
How the social media giant has found
itself mixed up in a serious data breach
by alex summersby
how to
your data
1 Deny access
If a Facebook app
requests access to
your data, don’t click
“accept” if you’re not
sure about what
you’re sharing.
2 Disconnect
Go to your apps
settings (
mlsettings) and
remove an app
to prevent data
sharing in future.
3 share less
To stop sharing with
third-party apps,
click “Edit” under
“Apps, websites, and
plugins” and remove
your account.
4 no to FrienDs
To prevent friends
sharing your data,
click “Edit” and
uncheck categories
under “Apps other
people use.”
Facebook has publicly apologized
after admitting that the information of
tens of millions of users was apparently
used without their consent.
In mid 2014, Aleksandr Kogan
developed a personality test app,
“thisisyourdigitallife,” which was made
available on Facebook and downloaded by
about 270,000 people. The app collected
data about them and their Facebook
friends, a total of as many as 50 million
people. This was permitted under
Facebook rules at the time, but only for
specific purposes. However, although
Kogan’s app claimed the data would be
used for academic research only, he
passed it on to a consultancy company
called Cambridge Analytica (CA).
CA used “psychographic profiles” built
from the harvested data to send
microtargeted political messages to
identified voters as part of Senator Ted
Cruz’s 2016 Presidential primary
campaign and then the Trump campaign.
It is unproven whether these campaigns
had any influence on the outcome of the
election, but Facebook founder Mark
Zuckerberg took out ads in US and UK
newspapers to apologize for the use of this
data, saying it was “a breach of trust.”
In an earlier post, he also pointed out
that Facebook changed its rules in 2014 to
prohibit apps like Kogan’s from gathering
data about a user’s friends without
authorization. He also said that in 2015,
when it learned that Kogan had shared
data with CA, Facebook banned Kogan’s
app and demanded that he and CA delete
“all improperly acquired data.”
However, whistleblower Christopher
Wylie, then a CA employee, told The
Guardian that Facebook did not press for a
response when its letter to CA initially
went unanswered, nor did Facebook follow
up with checks on computers or storage.
Zuckerberg said Facebook learned from
the media only in mid-March 2018 that CA
“may not have deleted the data as they
had certified. This was a breach of trust
between Kogan, CA and Facebook,”
Zuckerberg said. “But it was also a breach
of trust between Facebook and the people
who share their data with us and expect us
to protect it. We need to fix that.”
According to Zuckerberg, CA claims it
has deleted the data in question. Facebook
also plans to “investigate all apps that had
access to large amounts of information”
before the rules changed in 2014.” Plus,
Facebook will restrict developers’ access
to data further, and add a more prominent
tool for controlling privacy settings and
app permissions within Facebook.
CA is currently under investigation on
both sides of the Atlantic. Zuckerberg said
Facebook is cooperating with
investigators, but the company is facing a
lot of questions about data protection.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said that user
profiling and data collection were now so
extensive that “probably some wellcrafted regulation is necessary.” He also
said that Apple has always made a point of
not monetizing user content or collecting
more information than necessary. May 2018 13
>>> Start Feed your mind. Feast your eyes.
>the shift
Apple’s biggest disruption yet could be to
focus more on the healthcare industry,
predicts david Chartier
pple removed ‘Computer’
from its company name in
2007 — the year of the first
iPhone. While I don’t think
Apple has plans to change its name
again, I do think it has shown
concrete signs of the next major
reason for why it wanted to move
beyond the traditional concept of
computers: our health.
Apple’s first public offering in
the realm of health is the Watch.
Originally pitched as a companion
for everything from health to apps
to notifications, Apple has since
doubled, nay tripled down on the
wearable’s health prospects. Last
year, the company built on that
further by partnering with
Stanford to launch an opt-in heart
study, open to all Watch owners.
I’d say the next big health step
has been into medical records. In
iOS 11.3 (in beta testing at the time
of press), Apple’s dedicated Health
app can securely log into a growing
variety of medical institutions and
providers to download your
medical records. This is a daunting,
complex problem — both
technically and legally. Apple has
an entire presentation at apple.
com/healthcare that outlines
some of where it’s going with this.
There are also the dedicated,
independently run medical clinics
for employees that Apple is
Genius CliniC
“The MacBook’s fine — but you have high blood pressure,
a poor diet, and you need to exercise more…”
creating near its Cupertino
campus. It isn’t the only company
to do this, but the practice doesn’t
seem to be standard yet either. It’s
worth noting that Apple has an
entire medical division that likely
is heavily involved in many, if not
all of Apple’s related initiatives.
I think the last major point to
consider for Apple’s health
ambitions is Tim Cook’s
comments. The first Apple Watch
went through some standard
product verification processes, but
not through the FDA — the agency
that tests medical devices. At the
time, Cook said Apple was working
on other products that could be
subjected to FDA approval. Spoiler
alert: they’re probably smaller and
more wearable than the next iPad.
What does it all add up to? I
don’t think Apple is destined to
become your next hospital or
health insurance provider. But it is
following a standard methodology:
build and polish a new technology,
then bring it to a previously
untapped industry. Think about
what the iPod did to music. Then
how Apple shrunk Mac OS X down
and took over smartphones.
Now that core technology
components have gotten small
enough to wear, Apple has a
powerful tool belt with which to
enter a new industry that happens
to have an annual revenue of
around $1.5 trillion. Beyond this
revenue, health is arguably the
place where Apple could make its
biggest difference yet.
>>> David Chartier is a content strategist and writer with vast experience analyzing the tech world.
He runs the website Finer Things in Tech ( and hosts its podcast, The Finer Things In.
14 May 2018
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>>> Start Feed your mind. Feast your eyes.
Klipsch The Sixes
>>> It’s time to put some seriously ’70s hi-fi
style back in your life. This audio system
combines totally modern tech with a wood
finish and brassy metal details with proper
physical controls, including some retro switches
you won’t be able to stop playing with. These
speakers are active, meaning you don’t need
an amp to power them — just plug in anything
from your Mac to your record player (they have
a phono pre-amp). They even have Bluetooth
for wireless playback. And of course, they
sound absolutely incredible.
16 May 2018
>>> Modular smart lights are getting to be a big
thing, and we’re digging the minimalism of this set.
The kit contains six strips and a corner piece, so you
can create an L-shaped strip of light that highlights
your home, instead of being a big centerpiece. Each
beam has 10 color zones, so you can get great
smooth gradients of hues across the whole thing.
They integrate with HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google
Assistant, and tons of other smart home products,
too — or are simply controlled from the LIFX app.
Dell UltraSharp 32 8K Monitor UP3218K
>>> We’ve had 5K monitors for years now – it must
be time for another upgrade. This giant 31.5-inch
display from Dell has a resolution of 7680x4320 –
almost four times the number of pixels in the iMac
4K’s screen. That’s 33 million pixels. Now, it doesn’t
technically work with Macs at the moment,
because… well, it’s ridiculous. But that hasn’t
stopped us drooling over the amazing levels of
detail you get editing photos on it. We have high
hopes the next Mac Pro will be an 8K monster.
Lighthouse AI
>>> This smart home camera brings AI to video
security. For a start, it’s better than older cameras
at picking out things you need to know — it won’t
mistake a sudden change in lighting as movement
and send you a false alarm. It also has excellent
facial recognition, two-way communication, night
vision, and a full HD sensor. The really neat part is
that you can get information from it by just asking it
— either using your voice, or by typing it in: “Let me
know when Ellen gets home today” will get you
a notification. “Did you see David today between
10am and 1pm?” will search for a clip. It’s genius. May 2018 17
>>> Feature
S i e r r A
Make the latest macOS
work better for you
Written by
Alex SummerSby & HoWArd oAkley
pgrAding to tHe latest
version of an operating
system is more nuanced
than needing to make a full
backup beforehand. There may be
incompatibilities between the
system and your peripherals and
apps to investigate, never mind
lingering bugs in the system.
High Sierra didn’t get off to a good
start, largely thanks to some
18 May 2018
high-profile security risks in its early
incarnations, and some of us have
encountered our share of niggles
with iOS 11, too – though nothing as
bad as macOS’ issues. Perhaps you’ve
been unable to install the upgrades at
all. Whether your problem is with
installing an upgrade, using the
system afterwards, or incompatibility
with third-party add-ons, the
following pages will help.
Fix High Sierra
beFore 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 ($39.99,
As shown in last issue’s Protect Your Digital Life
feature, 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
abouthighsierra. Beyond the hardware needs, it
must be running OS X 10.8 or newer. If it’s not,
install El Capitan first (, and
then upgrade directly to High Sierra: in the Mac
App Store, click the Updates tab and you should
see High Sierra in the list. If it’s not there, look in
the Featured tab, or use the Search field at the top
right of the window 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 Cmd+Q to quit it, then locate
the Installer in the Applications folder. If you’re
comfortable using Terminal, follow the steps Apple
gives at
Alternatively, try Install Disk Creator (free,; 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 Alt, choose the install disk as the one to
start up from, and the installer will run. May 2018 19
>>> Feature
Trouble getting started
Having trouble getting High Sierra to install?
Here are some solutions to try out
HigH SierrA uSuAlly
installs without problems,
but there are a few
common hiccups. If your
hardware and system are compatible
but you get an error message such as
“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 be worth switching from WiFi 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, 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 or it won’t
run, trash the installer app, then
download a fresh copy and open 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 (Cmd+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.
The oldest Macs that run High Sierra came
with Snow Leopard, but you need at least
Mountain Lion to upgrade; if needed, go via
If you’re using Sierra, the operating
system offers some advice on making
space. Choose Apple Menu > About
This Mac, click the Storage tab, then
Manage. Apple provides advice on
using this feature, and on freeing up
space, at
Bear in mind that even if you can
install High Sierra, your Mac might not
support all its features — check at
HoW to Roll back to a known stable version
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.
20 May 2018
Recovery options
Release the keys when one of
those appears. When the macOS Utilities
menu loads, you can reinstall the latest
macOS that was on your Mac, check
and repair the disk using Disk Utility,
or restore from a Time Machine backup.
Revert to start
Hold Alt+Cmd+R at startup to
upgrade to the latest compatible macOS.
If you have Sierra 10.12.4 or later, press
Shift+Alt+Cmd+R to reinstall your
original macOS, or the closest available
— great for rolling back to what works.
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…
you’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 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 and for more information.
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,
installing the first release of this
update could itself disable macOS’ File
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.
Sharing feature. Apple issued a
separate support note with
instructions on how to get it working
A revised update is now available, but
the good news is 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 automatic
updates in this tab.
To ensure you get them, open
System Preferences’ App Store pane
and enable the following options:
“Automatically check for updates,”
“Download newly available updates in
the background,” and “Install system
data files and security updates.” May 2018 21
>>> Feature
App troubles
Many apps don’t play well with High
Sierra, and you may have to
upgrade them alongside macOS
Any SoFtWAre updAte can result in
glitches. The solution is almost always to
upgrade to the newest version of the app in
question. Some older apps, however, aren’t
being updated, so you’ll need a replacement. Before you do
that, see “Keep old apps running” on page 26.
Older versions of Apple’s own pro 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,
so get 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 continue to use apps
bundled with them, such as Soundtrack Pro, Cinema Tools,
and DVD Studio Pro, but none of these work in High Sierra.
FileMaker Pro 15 and 16 are the only versions certified to
work on High Sierra, though there are some issues — see bit.
ly/flmkrhs; 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 there are reported problems.
Microsoft says 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
When a new macOS becomes available, check the websites of your
essential apps; macOS upgrades are free, but sometimes there are
hidden costs that could catch you out.
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 working
on updates. With all Adobe apps, you might need to install
the legacy version of Java 6 from
If an app is vital to you and there’s no High Sierracompatible upgrade available, it’s 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
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 when you upgrade.
After you upgrade to High Sierra, don’t
even think about trying 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 to find a version that’s
explicitly designed to work with your new
22 May 2018
version of macOS. Don’t say we didn’t
warn you.
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 corrupt your data.
Technical changes that are normally invisible
may cause a lot of stress if you use outdated
maintenance tools.
Fix High Sierra
Common issues
Having trouble after installing High
Sierra? Here’s how to tackle some
of the most common issues
Skim 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…
> Video streaming
Videos 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 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 Alt-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 your mAC Won’t StArt
Start up in safe mode (see, 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.
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 recognized, resetting
the SMC (System Management Controller) might help. But,
Apple provides a list of scenarios in which this may be
necessary — see
SettingS Won’t StiCk
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 Alt+Cmd+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
roll bACk to SierrA
Apple recommends High Sierra to ensure you get the
latest security and compatibility enhancements. But it is still
possible to download and install Sierra (on Macs released
prior to High Sierra); use this option if you don’t have a Time
Machine backup from when you ran Sierra that you can roll
back to. You’ll find a link at
Increased browser security in Safari in High Sierra means that
older plugins such as Silverlight may run into trouble — there is
a workaround, though.
> 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 Apple Menu > 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.” May 2018 23
>>> Feature
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.
The act of changing notification
preferences sometimes kicks the Mail
notification system into action.
boot CAmp
Boot Camp works with High
Sierra; even if your macOS volume
has been converted to APFS. But,
some have reported trouble setting
up Boot Camp from High Sierra. If
you haven’t upgraded 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 Alt at startup to enter
Windows, and only set it as your
default system during tasks involving
multiple restarts to avoid having to
hold Alt each time. When done, hold
Alt at startup to enter macOS, then
set that as your default again.
24 May 2018
> Wi-Fi connection issues
Are you finding Wi-Fi flakey? First, you should 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 the old trick of
restarting both 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.
> APFS and disk changes
The 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
images using Disk Utility — say, to keep
an encrypted and password-protected
copy of your tax return in the cloud —
stick with Mac OS Extended format.
A specific kind of disk image, when
formatted as APFS and getting full, runs the
risk of losing data.
> New kernel extensions
After upgrading to High Sierra, you’ll need to grant specific approval for new thirdparty 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.
There, 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.
Fix High Sierra
> Missing free space
There 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 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. See above for tips on deciphering them.
Driver software for a wide
range of printers and scanners
is installed automatically on demand
— see 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 gear.
> 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. Even if “Optimize Mac Storage” is
enabled, some installers fail to get macOS to
delete local copies of files in iCloud Drive.
From Time Machine’s menu bar, choose
Back Up Now. Next, go to Apple Menu >
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, all-flash
storage device connected to your Mac.
Space still not free? In Terminal, use the
mkfile command to create a file as big as the
space you need. So, mkfile 30g testfile.dat
will create a 30GB file. Then trash the file
and empty the Trash; use this to free up
space used by local copies of iCloud Drive
files, making it available to problematic
installers, which then see it as available, and
keeping your cloud-based copies of files.
Simple workarounds can help when an
installer doesn’t work well with
purgeable space. May 2018 25
>>> Feature
Keep old apps running
Some older products won’t work, here’s how to keep them
Some 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. The other options are to
search your Time Machine backups for
the right version, or redownload on
an older Mac, if available.
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, should
help solve this.
Disable Time Machine in Sierra and
disconnect other external drives.
26 May 2018
add the installer
Set the destination
add a shared folder
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.
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.
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.
Continue installing
Install VMware Tools
Update apps
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.
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 ( 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.
Fix High Sierra
iOS troubleshooting guide
Learn about iOS 11 changes and how to pinpoint problems
mAny 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
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
Mac|Life issues 135 and 134. 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 behavioral
changes you need to know about.
> Important iOS changes
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
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. Unpairing and pairing
can also 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. If saving
power is your aim, you’ll need to turn
them off in Settings.
Apps may not be listed in search results until
you turn on their Show App switch in Settings.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth buttons in Control Centre
no longer turn those systems off completely. May 2018 27
>>> Feature
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, which usually requires
you to purchase from scratch.
Failing that, visit the
developer’s website to check if
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.
If there’s no obvious upgrade
path, you’ll need to seek out a
replacement on the App Store.
> Install trouble
Failed upgrade
Short of storage? An over-the-air 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 when it needs
space. To get one back, tap its Home
screen icon. Or, you can manually offload
an app: tap its name, then Offload App.
Sometimes updates get stuck, or fail
part way. This can leave the update
file taking up storage, which stops
you having another go. In Settings
> General > Storage & iCloud Usage >
Manage Storage, look for the
software update. Delete it and try
again. If your device is short
of storage, update it through iTunes.
The ability to offload apps (but retain their data)
is new in iOS 11. It can be automatic or manual.
Device freezes
during startup?
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
hold the Side button until you see
the recovery mode screen; when
iTunes asks, choose Update. When
that’s done, restore your backup.
> Photo & video compatibility
Apps that are 32-bit and so incompatible
with iOS 11 are listed in Settings.
28 May 2018
New 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 secondgeneration 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.
HoW to Troubleshoot your iOS issues
Find the app
If an app causes problems and
is open, close it and open it again. If it’s
unresponsive, force it to quit. Doubleclick the Home button (or swipe up
from the bottom and hold a second
on iPhone X) to open the app switcher.
Back up to iCloud
Before trying anything else,
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.
Reinstall the app
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.
Force quit
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 up on the one you want to quit.
Back up to iTunes
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.
Reset settings
Turn off Find My iPhone/iPad in
Settings > [your name] > iCloud. If you
have a Watch, unpair it now. Before
trying a full factory reset, consider
using Settings > General > Reset > Reset
All Settings as your next step.
Shut down
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 shut down, start it as normal and
check for updates in the App Store.
Remove the app
Try iOS 11’s ability to manually
offload apps, which 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.
Erase and restore
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 backup and try again. If the
issue returns, contact the developer. May 2018 29
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>>> Feature
to be t ter
bat t e ry l i f e
Trusted techniques to ensure your Mac,
iPhone, or iPad gets you through the day
e could all do with a few extra hours
of juice from our portable products
sometimes. Maybe you’re on a long
journey with no charger, or maybe
your device is old and the battery life isn’t what
it used to be. Either way, the result is the same:
you need a bit of magic to keep it going.
Well, magic is exactly what we’ve got here.
Using the tips and tricks on these pages, you’ll
know which power–hungry features you can do
without on your iOS devices or Mac to eke out
every drop of electricity. And we’ll show you
how to check up on your battery, and stay
topped up with power on the go!
Boost your battery
How modern
batteries work
The science behind the power supply
though the specifics
of battery technology have
changed over the years,
the Lithium-ion (Li-ion)
batteries used by gadget
makers first appeared in the
’90s, and the principle
remains the same now.
A Li-ion battery consists
of two electrodes at each end
(the anode and the cathode)
suspended in a solution that
contains lithium ions (hence
the name). The ions are
positively charged, and are
attracted to the cathode, so
they move over to it, making
it positively charged in turn.
This then attracts negatively
charged electrons from the
anode over to the cathode —
and this is how it provides
electricity. Electrical flow is
basically the movement of
electrons through a conductive
system — like water running
through a pipe. The trick is to
make sure that the only path
the electrons can take to get
to the cathode is via the
processor, screen, and so on,
providing these elements with
the power they need along the
way. When you charge a
battery, you attract the lithium
ions to the anode, reversing
the process, ready to go again.
You may know that Li-ion
batteries also degrade over
time. The reason for this is
that some ions become stuck
on the electrodes during each
cycle of charging, reducing
their effectiveness slightly.
Consequently, over a period
of time, this adds up.
cell division
Li-ion batteries are divided
into “cells,” each of which
does what we’ve just
described. A single product
is likely to have multiple cells.
This is the best way to scale
them, since they can discharge
together at a higher overall
level of power, and be charged
simultaneously, more quickly
than one giant battery cell
would be.
> The top six
battery hogs
LCD screens have to be powered
themselves, but need a backlight too.
The result is that they draw a lot of
power, especially at brighter settings.
OLED screens (used on iPhone X
and Apple Watch) don’t require a
backlight, so are kinder on batteries.
2 data streaming
Streaming data at high speeds
between your cell and the nearest tower
requires a lot of energy. More modern
versions are more efficient, but are still
major battery killers.
3intensive applications
Processors are a bit like car engines,
in that they use more fuel the harder you
push them. Any task that requires a lot of
processing power over a long time — such
as converting a video, or the way a game
is constantly using a graphics chip — will
use a lot of battery power.
4 Wi-fi
There’s some debate over whether
mobile internet is more of a battery
drain than Wi-Fi. Either way, sending
data over the air from your device to
your router (and back) will have an
impact on your device’s battery life.
5hard drives
Got a Macbook? Then you should
know that your hard drive could be the
source of a major battery deficit. Think
about it — spinning a magnetic disk at
thousands of revolutions per minute uses
more power than flash storage. If that’s a
concern, it might be time for an upgrade.
Playing games taxes more parts of your phone, draining the battery quicker.
Who would have guessed that
communicating with satellites in low
Earth orbit turns out to be taxing? The
constant location searching your device
does will quickly drain its battery. MAy 2018 33
>>> Feature
Make your Mac
run for longer
Get extra running time from any MacBook’s battery
apple puts in a lot of effort to give its
laptops all–day battery life, despite them
being thinner and lighter than ever. But
it’s always a balance between power,
convenience, and longevity. If you want
to keep your Macbook going for as long
as possible, or get an older model
with a struggling battery a bit closer
to the running time it used to offer, there
are some really effective things you can
do in order to save power.
Each of these will have a small effect on
their own but, in combination, you could
easily eke out an extra hour or two of
battery life — just what you need on a
journey if you’ve left your charger behind.
hoW to Take charge of energy-saving settings
Display brightness
Go to System Preferences >
Displays and move the Brightness slider
to the left to turn brightness down.
Uncheck “Automatically adjust
brightness” to stop it going back up.
Quit unused apps
Click the battery icon in the
menu bar, and look for the “Apps Using
Significant Energy” section. Quit unused
apps to ensure they’re not eating up CPU
cycles when you think they’re idle.
34 MAy 2018
Energy Saver
In System Prefs > Energy Saver,
you can set how soon the display goes to
sleep when your Mac is on battery power
and left idle. The faster you set this, the
more power you’ll save.
Tame online content
Browsers are culprits for high
energy use because of poorly made ads.
A content blocker will save you battery
life. In Safari, go to Safari > Safari
Extensions. Try the Ghostery extension.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
If you don’t need Wi-Fi, turn it off,
as it uses power even if inactive. Do so
from the menu bar icons, or in System
Prefs’ Bluetooth and Network panes for
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, respectively.
Switch chips
On MacBook Pros with two
graphics chips, enable Auto Graphic
Switching in System Prefs > Energy Saver.
If not, your Mac always uses its power–
hungry discrete chip.
Boost your battery
Check battery usage
on iPhone and iPad
Identify where all your mobile energy is going
you’re probably already aware
that iOS works differently to the
Mac with power management.
Apps can’t just run in the
background eating up battery power
— if they’re not visible on screen,
they operate in limited ways in the
background. This means you don’t
have to worry about quitting all apps
to save battery life in quite the same
way — but some apps still hog
energy more than others, and you’ll
want to identify them.
In Settings, tap the Battery option
(in the third group down). The
Battery Usage section will tell you
exactly which apps are responsible
for running down your charge. Apps
are listed in descending order of
culpability, showing what
percentage of your total power
expenditure each is responsible for;
you can also tap the clock icon to see
how long apps have spent on the
screen, and how much time they’ve
been working in the background.
Usefully, rows may also list ways
in which apps might be using your
battery even when not visible.
Mostly, reasons will be obvious —
a podcast app will indicate that it
plays audio, say. It’s the nebulous
“Background Activity” to watch for.
This will generally consist of two
things: fetching data in the
background; and checking your
location. If you see apps you don’t
really use, but are performing a lot
of background activity, consider
uninstalling them. Just two apps can
add up to 5% of usage, which could
mean another hour of charge.
> What is Low Power Mode?
> Background
you’ll find this option at the top of Settings > Battery page, and it’s an
easy way to increase your iPhone’s battery life. Turn it on and it lowers
the screen brightness, turns off apps’ ability to refresh data in the
background, stops the phone listening for “Hey Siri” if you have that
turned on, and limits swish animations. Add all these up and it will result
in hours of extra battery life. When it’s turned on, the battery status icon
is yellow. It turns off when the battery hits 80% full during charging.
you can make it really easy to turn on Low Power Mode by adding an
item to Control Centre. Go to Settings > Control Centre > Customize
Controls, find the Low Power Mode option and tap the green plus symbol
next to it. It will be added to the bottom of the list; drag from the handles
on the right if you want to reorder the list.
Go to Settings > General > Background
App Refresh. This controls which apps
can pull data from the internet even
when the app isn’t visible. you can turn it
all off with the top option, or just stop
certain apps. Doing this will curb the
energy use of apps as an alternative
to uninstalling them, though in some
cases their energy use will be due to GPS
— which we’ll look at overleaf...
App Refresh
Make it perManent
A lot of what Low Power Mode does can be mimicked on a permanent
basis, by turning off the right things in Settings. Go to Siri & Search and
turn off “Listen for ‘Hey Siri.’” Next, go to Display & Brightness and turn
down the brightness (and turn off True Tone if your device has it).
Now, in iTunes & App Store, turn off Updates in Automatic Downloads.
Then, go to General > Accessibility and turn on Reduce Motion to stop
iOS performing some of its more graphically taxing animations. Finally,
tweak Background App Refresh as explained in the box to the right. MAy 2018 35
>>> Feature
hoW to Save even more power on iOS
Location Services
If an app is detecting your
location in the background, it’s burning
battery — GPS is intensive. Go to Settings
> Privacy > Location Services. An app with
a purple arrow icon is checking your
location right now! Let’s take control…
Rein in web content
Once again, the appearance of
ads on the internet can be a big power
suck. You can get content blockers on
iOS too — they’re installed from the App
Store. Download one, then go to Settings
> Safari > Content Blockers and enable it.
GPS on your terms
Tap an app to get three options.
“Never” means the app can’t ever access
your location. “While Using” means it
can only get your location when it’s open
on the screen. “Always” means it can use
it any time, even when in the background.
Cut back on Wi-Fi
Yes, this again! If you don’t use
Wi-Fi, turn it off. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi
and flick the switch. Don’t do it from
Control Centre — in iOS 11, tapping the
Wi-Fi button there simply disconnects
from the current network for a time.
App Store Autoplay
Auto-playing videos aren’t great
for your device’s battery life. Content
blockers stop them on the web, but the
App Store has them too! Well, unless
you go to Settings > iTunes & App Store >
Video Autoplay and turn them off.
Face-down phone
This one’s easy — put your iPhone
(5s onwards) face down when you’re not
using it! The phone knows you can’t see
the screen, so doesn’t light up when a
notification arrives. (Items will be shown
on the Lock screen once you turn it over.)
> Check your battery’s health
As mentioned earlier, Lithium-ion batteries
degrade over time — or sometimes, earlier
than they should. If you’re seeing really low
battery life, check the physical health of
your battery, so you know whether age has
caught up with it, or — if it’s fairly new —
whether you need to take a trip to the
Genius Bar. On your iOS device, in Settings >
Battery, a message should show at the top
of the page saying that your battery needs
to be serviced, if that’s the case.
36 MAy 2018
This is too vague for us. If you feel the
same, try CoconutBattery — a free Mac app
( that tells you the
maximum charge your battery can currently
hold, and how that compares to when it was
new, indicating any deterioration. If you
connect an iOS device over USB, it can show
the same info for that. It also shows how
many charge cycles the battery has been
though. Click the + sign to store data, and
use the History tab to compare over time.
Boost your battery
Settings will help you save juice, but
these gadgets will pump up the power
when you really need it
>>> apple sMart battery case $99
Apple’s own battery case works great with
iPhone 6/6S/7 and (unofficially) 8. The
lumpy back is a little bit weird, but it keeps
the phone edges easy to grip, and it’s
pretty good for protection. (There aren’t
any Apple-certified battery cases
for the iPhone X yet.)
>>> native union JuMp cable $49.99
A compact charging cable and battery pack in one neat, portable piece.
It has USB-A and Lightning plugs built in; you charge the battery over
USB, and plug in your iPhone for an energy boost!
Read the
full review
>>> Mophie poWerstation usb-c XXl $149.95
It’s not cheap, but this 19,500mAh battery can output power at 30W.
Not only can it charge your iPhone and iPad, it carries enough power
for a full charge of a 13-inch MacBook Pro.
>>> torro cases Qi Wireless
charging portable poWer bank $39.99
This 10,400mAh battery pack has a Qi–
compatible charger built in, meaning you
place your iPhone 8 or X on it for cable–
free juice. It also has a USB port, though,
for charging other devices — it’s perfect for
minimalist travel charging. MAy 2018 37
OmniOutliner 3
A superb app for organizing ideas
Free trial. after from $9.99 From The Omni Group,
Made for iPhone and iPad Needs iOS 11 or later
OmniOutliner 3
comes in two
Essentials, which
offers the basics, and Pro,
which adds tools for power
users. You don’t need to pick
one immediately because the
free trial enables you to try
both. When you do decide,
Essentials is just $9.99
— cheap for an Omni Group
product — and Pro $39.99,
or $19.99 for upgraders.
The name OmniOutliner is
a bit of a misnomer, because
there’s much more to the app
than outlining. Think of it
more as a repository for all
your stuff, ranging from your
project to-do list to study
notes or the Great American
Novel you’re writing. If you go
Pro you can also include file
attachments such as images
and audio recordings, which
makes it particularly handy
for college work and projects
involving meetings.
The app works on both iPad
and iPhone: while using the
latter means losing a lot of the
The Pro version is a capable writing and
presenting tool with media embedding.
space available to the bigger
iPad app, it’s useful if you’re
syncing via Omni’s own
OmniPresence sync or via
Apple’s iCloud Drive.
To start using OmniOutliner,
you just start typing. If you
want to indent, tap Tab or the
indent button; if you want to
go the other way, it’s Shift and
Tab or outdent; and if you want
a new line, just tap Return or
app tips
Key features of OmniOutliner 3
Find what you’re looking for
using filters. You can filter the
entire doc or the current topic,
or restrict to show your notes.
38 May 2018
Force Touch adds flyouts
to the Notes and New Row
buttons. New Row has Add
Parent/Aunt/Child options.
In the Pro version, you can
change the font, color, size,
and formatting, or create
your own custom style.
Tough testing, trusted ratings
tap the plus button. Collapsing
and expanding sections is just
a matter of tapping the arrow
next to them.
So far so straightforward.
But it’s what you do after
you’ve written that’s
interesting. For example, when
you filter, you don’t get the
traditional highlight in a block
of text. The app hides all the
rows that don’t match, making
it much easier to see what
you’re looking for. You can
select multiple rows to drag
and drop, which is really
useful, and in the Pro app you
can drag images and files as
well as text from other apps.
There are tons of keyboard
shortcuts for formatting and
highlighting if you’ve got a
hardware keyboard. You also
get a small but decent selection
of pre-defined templates you
can use — although irritatingly
they’re pre-populated, so you
need to delete content to insert
your own. You can now print
and you export to PDF, CSV,
HTML, docx, pptx, and tabbed
text. The Pro version adds
Excel support and OPML links.
Pro also benefits from the
OmniAutomation scripting
we’ve already seen in
OmniGraffle and OmniFocus,
password encryption, custom
templates and themes. It also
offers considerably more
styling options, the ability to
have more than one column
and the option to save filters.
It’s very powerful and feels
closer to a dedicated business
writing app than an outliner.
Which is best? If you’re
a student, Pro is the one to go
for: it makes managing even
the most enormous outlines
a breeze, and the ability to
include media is a real plus.
For us, though, Essentials
does enough.
the bottoM liNe.
Essentials is great for most
users, although formatting’s
a little limited. If you outgrow
it, going Pro is very cheap.
Carrie Marshall
The provided
templates are
crisp and clear
but you’ll need to
delete their text.
OmniOutliner 3
Essentials is decent
Pro adds customization
Extensive export options
Pre-populated templates
excellent May 2018 39
Take a leap into the unknown
$14.99 From Raw Fury Games,
Made for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV Needs iOS 10.0 or later
There’s been a lot of
twin-stick shooters ported
to iOS, but none of them
have been quite like this.
Movement in Dandara is mapped to
the right virtual stick, and shooting to
the left. However, the game’s eponymous
character can’t walk, she can only fire
a grappling hook in the direction you
indicate and, if the surface at the other
end is suitable, pull herself toward it.
Gravity doesn’t matter — she can stand
upside down or on a rotating block —
but occasionally the surface she lands on
is electrified, and she has a limited time
to leap away again. Combat becomes
acrobatic, you’re always trying to get
behind an enemy, or at least out of its
weapon cone, before firing your own.
Death means losing all your collected
currency and restarting from the nearest
activated campground, returning to the
scene of your death to reclaim the cash.
The save system isn’t ideal for a mobile
game, but the movement and shooting
are nicely tuned for a touchscreen title.
Once you’ve got used to them, that is.
The pixel art style, along with the
acrobatic method of traversal and
especially the twirl Dandara performs as
she exits a level, recalls the first Prince of
Persia game, although the environments
To shoot, choose the direction of fire then
release your thumb to unleash bullets.
are much more detailed. The imagination
that’s gone into Dandara’s world shows,
but the game suffers from a feeling of
familiarity and lack of direction, often
leaving you unsure of what to do next.
the bottoM liNe. An exploration
and combat game with quirky controls
and adorable art. iaN eveNdeN
A love letter to gaming
$2.99 From Annapurna Interactive,
Made for iPhone, iPad Needs iOS 10.0 or later
Florence is difficult to review.
First, because in saying too
much, it’d be easy to ruin the
experience for those yet to
play. Secondly, it’s hard to say whether
this really is a game in a conventional
sense. There are certainly game-like
elements, but Florence is perhaps best
thought of as an interactive storybook,
charting a young woman’s first love.
Regardless, the title was created by
the lead designer of Monument Valley,
and so it’s not surprisingly peppered with
clever touches, and full of heart. There’s
no Escher-style architecture to
manipulate here; instead, you get
40 May 2018
interactions that cleverly evoke the feel
of everyday life. For example, Florence’s
existence starts out mundane, and you
early on help brush her teeth, lifelessly
swiping about the screen. But later, you
encounter a conversation between young
lovers, and complete speech balloon
jigsaw puzzles that have fewer pieces as
the pair become more comfortable.
The main snag with Florence is it’s
very short, and broadly devoid of replay
value. There’s not enough “game” to
make you want to go back to the puzzles,
and the story’s brevity means it lacks the
return power of a great book or movie.
Still, as an experiment at the fringes of
Florence is full of sweet touches, such as her
floating on air when she hears music she loves.
gaming and interactive stories, it’s worth
a look — not least if you like the idea of
delving into an intimate, sweet-natured
story on your iPhone or iPad — especially
one delivered in a unique way.
the bottoM liNe. A beautifully
realized tale that’s as fleeting as the
moments it portrays. Craig graNNell
Tough testing, trusted ratings >>> App
Powerful cinemagraph app
Free/$4.99 to unlock features/subscription from $19.99 monthly
From Plotagraph Inc,
Made for iPhone, iPad Needs iOS 10 or later
done right, are
spectacular. For
the uninitiated,
a cinemagraph is a partiallyanimated photograph —
think a portrait of a person
with clouds whizzing
overhead, for example.
They’re hard to make,
so thank goodness for
Plotaverse, an amazingly
powerful iOS app that allows
you to mask the areas of an
image you want to stay still,
choose the areas you would
like to move, as well as the
direction and speed you want
them to go, and create Live
Photos, GIFs, stickers for
iMessage, or images ready
for social media.
The app is split into two
pieces — Plotaverse is a
social network in which users
post their animated images,
while Plotagraph is the part
of the app you use to create
Masking images can be tricky —
attention to detail is a must.
new work. Plotaverse has
plenty of inspirational
images, but Plotagraph is
where the magic happens.
Masking and animating
images can be awkward —
masking off someone’s face
(or worse, hair) on a
touchscreen is challenging,
although we appreciated the
picture-in-picture to let you
mask areas under your digit.
Using smaller brush sizes
also helps, but pro-quality
cinemagraphs do require
work to get right. Once
you’ve worked up an image
you can return to the app to
change elements of its
masking or animation.
With the free version, the
small Plotaverse watermark
is overlaid on all exported
images. But a subscription
removes this and unlocks all
of Plotaverse’s animated
overlays (snow, rain, and fog,
among others, are free).
There are various
subscription plans, including
one-off payments, monthly
billing with or without
contracts and annual
contracts — check the
website for a full list of prices
and deals. Whether these
appeal will depend on your
enthusiasm for
cinemagraphs. However, if
you can tolerate the
watermarks, Plotaverse is
great even without its
optional extras.
The boTToM liNe. A fun,
technically challenging app
capable of truly eye-catching
results. DAVe STeVeNSoN
Plotaverse is
a social network
and powerful
image-cumvideo editor.
Excellent samples and tutorials
Great community
Awesome results
Artistically challenging
great may 2018 41
>>> App Life
Prizmo Go
Capture editable text on the go
Free (IAPs) From Creaceed,
Made for iPhone, iPad Needs iOS 10.0 or later
Prizmo Go promises optical
character recognition (OCR)
on the go. Take a picture of a
page and it translates any
text it sees into editable characters.
Typed text recognition was excellent in
our tests. Although it made the
occasional slip-up if the page was glossy
and had a reflection, it was spot on in
even illumination. We compared it
directly to Prizmo ($9.99) and the results
were almost identical.
You’re limited in what you can do with
the captured text without an In App
Purchase, but $3.99 lets you export more
than the first few words and also gives
you ten credits for cloud OCR, which
increases the number of recognized
languages from 23 to 26. If you’re using
Prizmo Go as a research tool, it’s well
worth it. Other options include 1,000
or 100 cloud OCR credits for $4.99 or 99
cents respectively, or there are
subscription plans also available (from
99 cents to $7.99).
The big news in this release is
handwriting recognition, which requires
one cloud credit per scan. It didn’t do well
in our tests. We tried a variety of
different people’s handwriting, all in
English. Some, it got partially correct but
it thought one was Arabic and another
Aim it at typewritten text and Prizmo Go
produces accurate, editable results.
was Chinese, the latter of which it
translated into just three characters.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell it
that it’s made a mistake before it cashes
one of your credits.
the bottoM lINe. Great
typewritten OCR, but handwriting
recognition was poor. NIk RAwlINsoN
Part Time UFO
Adorable alien is eager to please
$3.99 Developer HAL Laboratory,
Made for iPhone, iPad Needs iOS 9.0 or later
E.T. has a fight on his hands
for the title of most benign
visitor to planet Earth.
The protagonist here is a
sentient spacecraft that’s eager to help
humans with odd jobs. Equipped with
only an arcade game-style claw crane,
you’re tasked with picking up objects
and transporting or assembling them.
The genuinely odd tasks you’re asked
to do include lifting a cheerleader squad
into formation, rebuilding a toppled
museum exhibit that’s broken into pieces,
and carefully balancing assorted animals
on a pole held by an elephant that’s
balancing on a ball.
42 May 2018
The game is fairly flexible with how
you accomplish each stage’s objective.
You can arrange the cheerleaders in all
sorts of implausible ways, for example.
They and other objects you move are
rigid shapes, though they react to bumps
and gravity, making it possible to undo
your hard work if you’re careless.
Each level has three bonus objectives,
for which you’re awarded medals. These
include assembling the cheerleaders in
a way that exceeds a minimum height,
putting the exhibit’s pieces back together
in the correct order, and ensuring no
animals fall off the elephant’s pole. The
game is soon finished if you concentrate
Balancing circus animals is actually among the
more ordinary tasks you’re asked to achieve.
mostly on core objectives. However, it’s
satisfying going back to try your hand at
the rewards you previously missed, which
extends the fun and value.
the bottoM lINe. A short but
sweet physics-based arcade game,
Part Time UFO is charming, accessible
and rewarding. AlAN stoNebRIDge
Tough testing, trusted ratings >>> App
Gyroscope Health
Track everything about yourself
Free/Pro $9.99 a month From Gyroscope Innovations,
Made for iPhone Needs iOS 9.3 or later
The rise of
smartphones over
the last few years
has led to an
exponential increase in the
number of apps to track your
lifestyle and daily habits.
Much of the data from
these apps finds its way into
Apple’s HealthKit, which
provides a convenient, if
uninspiring, summary of
overall wellbeing in the stock
Health app. Third–party app
Gyroscope tries to go one
better, however, by
integrating all these data
points and more into a
unified personal profile that
offers users a detail–rich
story about themselves via
visually impressive daily or
weekly report cards.
Here’s how it works.
Gyroscope’s initial setup
involves granting the app
permission to retrieve data
from as many sources as
Each report card shows tracked data
as a visual graph or map.
possible, from Strava and
Apple Health on the health
and fitness front, to
productivity tracking service
RescueTime and even
movement mapping via
Foursquare and Moves. The
more of these sources you
allow Gyroscope to grab, the
better, otherwise you’ll end
up missing out on what this
“operating system for the
human body” is trying to do.
A good example is the way
Gyroscope tries to detect your
sleeping habits. The app’s
algorithmic AI uses your step
count and combines it with
data from RescueTime to
decide if you were asleep
during a given period of time.
It then looks at location data
from Moves or Foursquare,
and modifies your recorded
sleep times if it sees locations
changing during periods that
it “thought” you were asleep.
We found Gyroscope’s
sleep/activity tracking to be
more accurate than the Fitbit
app alone, but only when all
data sources were available
— disabling just one make its
analyses a lot less insightful.
The plethora of
customizable report cards
(some of which require a Pro
subscription) is impressive,
and all can be shared with
fellow Gyroscope users and
via any social media
integrations. All this is
provided you don’t harbor
privacy concerns.
the bottoM liNe. An
ambitious app that delivers,
if you sync it with multiple
apps. tiM hardwick
data sources
are presented
as a series of
report cards.
Gyroscope HealtH
Tracks pretty much everything
Extra insight via integrations
Not for the privacy conscious
Some features need Pro version
Great May 2018 43
The premier source for everything video games, TV, films, and more.
Tough testing, trusted ratings
Bring You Home
Imaginative puzzle game
$2.99 From Alike Studio,
Made for iPhone, iPad Needs iOS 8.0 or later
The iPad’s large
display can enable
immersive, tactile
experiences that
don’t work on traditional
gaming systems. Bring You
Home is a case in point,
rethinking platform puzzling
by having you directly
manipulate the environment
rather than the protagonist.
Said protagonist is Polo,
a blue alien who’s just seen
his pet kidnapped by villains
who then disappear via a
portal. Polo sets off in
pursuit, falls from a secondfloor window, and faceplants on the ground.
Fortunately for Polo, time
then rewinds, and you are
invited to save his dignity
and face. Tap the play button
and Polo’s fall is broken. He
then leaps through the portal
to find himself in a jungle.
Clambering up a vine, it
snaps, and Polo is in trouble
again. This time, there are
four options — giant
mushrooms, pink beasts with
dangly tails to grab, and a
spiky plant that might work
as a “ladder”…
At this point, you might
think it’s going to be a cinch
to get that pet back, but Bring
You Home quickly ramps up
the difficulty. Scenes
introduce multiple panels,
some that move, and multistep solutions. Single-screen
scenes become complex
webs, where setting Polo off
in a particular direction may
result in a decidedly
unexpected outcome.
Sometimes, the logic is a
touch suspect, and you might
wonder, on seeing Polo killed
several times in a row, if
Bring You Home is too reliant
on trial and error.
Really, though, what
you’re doing is testing a
system. You try something,
note how this affects the
outcome, and figure out how
tweaks might change things.
Only a couple of times during
the game does this become
trying. Mostly, it’s a joy, and
much of that is down to
superb animation, and a lot
of imagination.
Even failure is rewarding,
since Polo’s demise is often
entertaining in itself.
the bottoM liNe. A
wonderful, tactile, inventive
puzzle game that is a joy to
play. Craig graNNell
Correctly order
frames and
reach the exit,
or err and
watch failure
Either’s good.
Bring You Home
Hugely imaginative throughout
Looks and sounds superb
Failure is actually fun
A couple of annoying levels
Awesome May 2018 45
>>> App Life
6 of the best
AR iOS apps
A more exciting reality with an ARKit-based app
The ARKit framework included in iOS
11 enables iPhones and iPads to
superimpose computer graphics over
the real world, allowing developers
to take their apps beyond the screen
and into the user’s environment.
Here we’ve chosen six standout titles
on the App Store that make great use
of the nascent platform in ways you
may not expect. Did you know you
can use AR to rear your own pet
dragon? Or measure your apartment
and then test out how new items will
look in your kitchen? And of course,
there are some puzzle games in
there, too. tim haRdwick
Sky Guide aR
$2.99 made for iPhone, iPad
$2.99 made for iPhone, iPad
conduct aR!
$3.99 made for iPhone, iPad
ARise combines a puzzle game mechanic
with optical illusions to create a novel AR
experience. Escort a knight of the realm
through a high-rise landscape in which
the path is blocked by missing sections.
It’s your job to fill in the gaps by
physically moving around the ascending
levels to look for the right perspective
that lines up the connecting symbols.
It’s challenging but fun.
This beautifully drawn title is a railroad
strategy game that you can play on your
table top. The aim is to ensure the
smooth running of your train through the
canyons of the Wild West, switching
tracks and avoiding collisions in an effort
to transport your passengers to their
destinations. As the levels progress, the
terrain becomes more unforgiving and
the railroad lines get ever-more complex.
Gyro-based stargazing apps have been
around for years, but Sky Guide is the
first to mark out constellations and
planets in the sky overhead. It features
rich data about celestial bodies and neat
time travel controls. And if you have an
Apple Watch, the app can send you a
push notification if an event is about to
happen, like when the International
Space Station is about to drift over.
46 May 2018
Tough testing, trusted ratings
aR meaSuRekit
Free made for iPhone, iPad
ikea place
Free made for iPhone, iPad
Digital measuring tapes were among
some of the first AR apps on the App
Store, but AR MeasureKit does so much
more. It includes several tools — all with
step-by-step instructions — that serve
different purposes, including: a ruler that
follows any trajectory you draw in open
space; a level; a tool for finding the
degree of an angle; and a marker pin for
measuring longer distances.
IKEA has added more than 2,000 items
from its catalog to its AR app, which
enables customers to preview chairs,
tables, sofas, and more in their homes.
Items can be rotated and moved in a
room so you can get an idea of its size
relative to the space. Multiple items can
be added at the same time, and there’s
an option to take a picture that can be
saved to your Camera Roll or shared.
Follow me dRaGon
Free made for iPhone, iPad
If you remember Tamagotchi then you’ve
already got the gist of Follow Me Dragon.
Drake is the cute character at the center
of this fun pet simulation game, and
you’re his custodian. You get to raise him,
feed him, entertain him, and generally
watch him grow day by day as he follows
you around your environment. You can
even play ball with Drake and he’ll ping
it right back to you. May 2018 47
>>> App Life
apps and guides to get more from your watch
Build a free home security system
Free From Ralf Andrae,
Made For iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch Needs iOS 8.0 or later
Would you trust your home
security to a free app? Maybe
not, but MyWatchdog works
well enough it could be
considered an interesting
proof-of-concept. The idea is
to turn your iPhone and seven
other iOS devices connected
through the same iCloud
account into “a reliable and
professional alarm system.”
Your iPhone acts as a central
monitor, controlling all
connected devices as sensors
to provide motion, noise, or
video-based feedback using
watch tip
Customize alerts
For those who are
annoyed by
receiving frequent
text messages,
head to Watch
app on iPhone
and choose
Messages >
Custom instead of
Mirror my iPhone.
Tap Repeat Alerts
48 May 2018
and take control
of how often you’ll
be nagged.
each piece of hardware’s
accelerometers, microphone,
and cameras. It’s a pretty neat
idea and not terribly difficult
to set up, so if you have a
bunch of old iPhone, iPad,
or iPod touch devices lying
around your home, then
MyWatchdog is definitely
worth a look.
Events can also be remotely
accessed from Apple Watch,
which includes viewing a map
of where motion sensors have
been triggered, and even
viewing video recorded
whenever a motion event
takes place. Video must first
be downloaded to your Watch,
so the latter is hampered by
the limitations of watchOS,
which reduce transfer speeds
when Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
are both enabled. You can
also activate and deactivate
the entire alarm system right
from your wrist.
In Live View, unused iOS
devices act as cheap home
monitors, where the main
iPhone can peek in to see and
hear what’s going on in your
home any time of day.
However, for obvious reasons
this doesn’t work on Apple
Watch, and an in-app purchase
is required after the first 10
minutes of use.
the bottoM liNe. It’s not
perfect, but MyWatchdog
mostly does what it promises,
assuming you have the
patience and enough spare iOS
devices to set it up in the first
place. J.R. bookwalteR
Build a free home alarm system
View notifications on Apple Watch
Slow video downloads
No native iPad display support
Tough testing, trusted ratings
Pulse - Haptic Metronome Watch
Take time-keeping to a whole new level
how to
Visualize heartrate
with cardiogram
Free From Crescendo Technologies,
Made For iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch Needs iOS 9.3 or later
Now this is a pretty
novel use of the
Apple Watch’s built-in
haptics — rather than
have a loud
metronome ticktocking away as you
play music, this app keeps time using
a gentle tap on the wrist. Pulse – Haptic
Metronome Watch is minimalist and
easy to use; best of all, the tempo can
be adjusted to any speed you’d like by
simply turning the digital crown.
It’s a great idea for any musician,
although the haptic vibration is just a
little on the soft side for our liking.
The iOS app offers even more, including
custom colors and click sounds (which
sadly don’t apply on watchOS), and a
neat feature called PulseSync, which
allows other players to jam along to the
same time via Bluetooth.
You won’t find much to complain
with this free app but for best results,
keep your Watch screen awake
(Settings > Wake Screen) while in use.
the bottoM liNe. An all-around
nifty watchOS app for any musician
that could use a little more haptic
feedback. J.R. bookwalteR
Myriad Calculator
Not that easy to figure out
Free From Chad Lechner
Made For iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch Needs iOS 10.3 or later
It’s surprising how
few watchOS apps get
it right when it comes
to making simple
math calculations or
figuring out how
much to tip.
Myriad Calculator is the latest to take
on the challenge, applying the notion
of custom-designed worksheets to
make its calculator less boring and
more useful. While this approach works
pretty well on iPhone and iPad, the
smaller Watch screen is tricker to use.
Basic calculations require swiping
between two different views, and the
heaRt healthY
The free cardiogram app
displays Watch health data in a
detailed timeline, making it easier
to see and understand spikes
related to stress, diet, or exercise.
app often hesitates, unresponsive to
touch gestures even when you do
finally get the hang of it. The watchOS
app handles percentages and sales tax
just fine but doesn’t take advantage of
more powerful worksheets from the iOS
app, with the exception of a clunky tip
calculator. Perhaps that’s just as well,
since 33 of the 34 worksheets require
in-app purchases in the first place.
the bottoM liNe. A rare
calculator app for Apple Watch that,
while full-featured, is actually awkward
to use. J.R. bookwalteR
coNtiNUoUS RecoRDiNG
Apple Watch measures your
heartrate every five minutes, but
for a real-time readout, swipe left,
and tap Start to continuously view
and record beats per minute.
SiMple coMplicatioNS
Cardiogram’s watchOS app
includes a complication that
allows you to display the most
up-to-the-minute data available
from supported watch faces. May 2018 49
Logic Pro 10.4
Powerful music-making tool gets an upgrade
Free upgrade, or $199.99 From Apple,
Features Automatic tempo detection, new plugins needs OS X 10.12 or later
Logic Pro 10.4
Great vintage EQs
New multi-FX
Clever tempo detection
Easy to overload CPU
50 MAY 2018
nlike most point releases, Logic Pro 10.4 delivers significant new
features. The first is automatic tempo detection. Instead of having to
choose a tempo before you record, Logic can listen to you play and
adjust the tempo accordingly. You can fine-tune its analysis and it copes
admirably with subtle or dramatic tempo changes. It also works with
imported audio, so it’s easy to add extra instruments or automation to
existing recordings, and you can create DJay Pro-style seamless mixes by
daisy-chaining files together ready for Logic to update their tempos.
It’s a real boon to songwriters, because you can now record your
performance before piling on other instruments and Drummer tracks. There
are two new Drummers — roots and brushy jazz — alongside two new brush
kits. The two new virtual instruments — Studio Strings and Studio Horns —
offer exceptionally realistic performance and extensive customization.
The familiar Space Designer plugin has had a makeover and is joined by
new plugins Chromaverb, Vintage EQ, Step FX, and Phat FX. Chromaverb is a
rebooted PlatinumVerb with a flexible algorithm that creates some
interesting effects, although its real-time visuals don’t work on older Macs.
Vintage EQ is a lot of fun. There are three plugins to choose from: console,
graphic, and tube, and each delivers the warm output of classic hardware; the
console EQ is modelled on the Neve preamps associated with classic rock.
Apple has acquired Camel Audio’s Space and Phat, which are here as Step
FX and Phat FX respectively. They’re multi-FX plugins that enable you to
chain effects together. In Phat FX that means bandpass filtering, distortion,
compression, LFO and limiting; in Step FX you can filter, delay, modulate, and
edit individual steps. Phat is particularly good on bass drums and guitars,
adding subtle warmth and extra kick, while Step offers a lot of fun with filters.
We’re impressed that Apple decided to make these free for existing
customers. If you aren’t already using Logic, the 10.4 update makes an
already superb music production studio even more compelling.
the bottom line. Logic Pro 10.4 is a major upgrade with superb tempo
detection and impressive new plugins. Carrie marshall MAY 2018 51
>>> Reviews
iMac Pro
Extreme price, extreme power
$4,999 From Apple,
Features 5120x2880-pixel Retina display, 3GHz, 10-core Intel Xeon W, 128GB 2,666MHz ECC, 2TB SSD, AMD Vega 64 16GB,
4x Thunderbolt 3, 4x USB 3 (Type-A), 10Gb Ethernet, SDXC card slot, 3.5mm jack, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2
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 highend unit for our review (see the specs
above), but the “basic” $4,999 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 $800 upgrade from the
entry-level specification) or an 18core option ($1,600 more). Going
from 32GB of memory to 128GB costs
$2,400. Customizations add up fast.
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, however,
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, and 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 them, and then works out
whether the two will balance. Either
that or a millionaire who just really
wants the (admittedly irresistible)
Space Gray 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 (errorcorrecting 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
The Space Gray rear side provides an
especially dramatic view of the iMac Pro.
52 MAY 2018
Tough testing, trusted ratings MAY 2018 53
>>> Reviews
comically speedy, just like all Macs
with flash storage these days. This
is part of what makes it so good for
video work (see opposite for our
video pro’s opinion of what 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 performing processoror graphics-intensive tasks.
So, the next thing we tried was our
video export test in HandBrake. In the
benchmarks opposite, you’ll see that
there was 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 having this machine
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 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.
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 5120x2880pixel, 27-inch display that works over
one Thunderbolt 3 cable will set you
back around $1,300, 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
54 MAY 2018
The Thunderbolt 3 ports look identical to
plain USB-C, but they support super-fast
40Gbps transfers and 5K displays.
Apple has accommodated the iMac Pro’s
more powerful components thanks to
a redesigned cooling system.
t h e o n ly t h i n g m o r e a m a z i n g t h a n
t h e F e at o F P r o d u c i n g t h e i m a c
P r o i s t h e P r i c e y o u P ay F o r o n e
thousand or more to get it.
Still, the important thing is that the
screen is totally gorgeous. It’s bright,
the colors 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, glasscoated finish.
The iMac Pro 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 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 color 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 absolute heaven if you have
4K videos to import or if you need up
to two more 5K displays.
The ports have the same problem
regular iMacs have, though, which is
that they’re a real pain to reach
easily. It’s hard enough to get a
USB-A plug the right way up first time
anyway, but especially while
searching around the back of this
beast. You could think about adding a
USB hub or a Thunderbolt 3 dock to
help remedy this problem.
the bottom line. 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. However,
if you only want to know whether the
iMac Pro is a stunningly powerful
miracle of design, though, then the
answer is a definite, resounding yes.
Tough testing, trusted ratings
> 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 to do high-end video editing. And I
ask a lot from them. These days, 4K video is
the norm in my sector, but doing anything in real
time with a timeline full of 4K clips brings a lot of
computers to their knees. I was thrilled to get the
chance to see how the iMac Pro copes with this.
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. Watching 4K footage on the
iMac Pro was a joy. The color space and contrast
showcases footage beautifully, but I soon wished I
had more than 27 inches of screen to monitor the
clips and have space for scrubbing through the
timeline or using other windows. There are
Thunderbolt 3 ports for extra displays, though.
Ingesting footage was instantaneous, and after
I added the 4K clips to a timeline, I was impressed
there were no dropped frames in playback. Adding
multiple live color 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
stabilization — a resource-intensive tool — 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.
Exporting was 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 five times faster than my
usual PC. The process was surprisingly quiet and,
though cooling fans weren’t heard, the iMac Pro
didn’t become noticeably warmer. Amazing.
alun Pughe
> Alun is commercial
film and video director
for Mac|Life’s parent
company, Future. He has
worked with big-name
clients including Canon,
Ducati, Sony, EE, Intel,
and Yamaha.
Benchmarks: Our analysis explained
> geekbench 3
single-core test
> handbrake
video encoding
> tomb raider at 5k
> blackmagic disk
sPeed test read
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.
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.
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.
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.
Index score (higher is better)
Duration (lower is better)
Frames per second (higher is better)
Transfer speed (higher is better)
iMac Pro 10-core 3GHz Late 2017
iMac Pro 8-core 3GHz Late 2017
iMac Pro 8-core 3GHz Late 2017
iMac Pro 8-core 3GHz Late 2017
iMac 27-inch Retina 5K 3.4GHz Mid 2017
9mins 40 secs
iMac 27-inch Retina 5K 3.4GHz Mid 2017
27mins 35secs
iMac 27-inch Retina 5K 3.4GHz Mid 2017
iMac 27-inch Retina 5K 3.4GHz Mid 2017
708MB/s MAY 2018 55
>>> Reviews
Asus Blue Cave is an
aesthetic marvel, it’s
also extremely secure.
Asus Blue Cave
Stalac-tight security and design
$180 From Asus,
Features AC2600 radios, Gigabit Ethernet, Asus AiProtection device security,
parental controls, file and print server
Asus Blue CAve
Great throughput
Additional protection
Interesting design
Some black spots
56 May 2018
The Blue Cave, with its toroidal cavern
gouged through the middle, is a pretty
unique router. As far as we can tell there’s no
practical reason for this design, but it does
give the Blue Cave a visual edge.
Around the back, thankfully, the design
isn’t as radical. There’s a Gigabit ethernet
port to hook up to your modem, four Gigabit
ports for other connected devices, and a USB
3.0 port used for additional expansion. You’ll
also find a physical off switch and a hidden
WPS button for easy device connection.
In terms of performance, we’ve tested
routers with more powerful distance
coverage, but its dual radios, which broadcast
on distinct 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels rather
than meshing the two together, are notably
snappy. We had no trouble streaming 4K
video over Wi-Fi, nor with gaming.
Blue Cave has the edge over its
competitors with its straightforward setup
process via an iOS app. Family management
is another strong point, with Asus’
AiProtection enabling you to collect devices
into groups, then apply usage restrictions to
manage what those groups are able to access
and when. You can also add per-device
bandwidth limiting, if someone’s hogging all
the data. In addition, there’s security built in
from TrendMicro which adds a layer of
protection to everything on your network,
and the Blue Cave makes the most of the
various functions of that aforementioned
USB port with built-in FTP and Samba file
sharing, and its own print server. Neat.
the bottom line. All the extra gimmicks
are a nice touch, and make the Blue Cave
more than the sum of its parts. Alex Cox
CES 2011: BESt of thE BESt
We combed the gargantuan show floor to bring you the early word on this
year’s most exciting Mac and iOS gear. BY NIC VARGUS
ES is a royal flush of nerd-tastic
gadgets and gear—but most of
it isn’t exactly tailored to Apple
fans. You can see everything from TVs
to washing machines to flashlights in the
grand halls of the Las Vegas Convention
Center. That’s why we spent most of our
time in the Apple-centric iLounge, which
doubled in size since last year. When the
dust settled (and our AT&T service bars
finally reappeared), we distilled everything
we’d seen down to these favorites.
By far, the majority of Apple-related
gear at CES was for iPhones and iPads.
So when we saw Mac stuff, we took
notice. By far, the majority of Applerelated gear at CES was for iPhones
and iPads. So when we saw Mac stuff,
we took notice. One of our jackpot finds
was Mobee’s Magic Charger ($49.90,, a nifty and
utilitarian induction charger for the Magic
Mouse. You place the custom battery
pack inside your Magic Mouse, rest it on
the included charging pad, and it charges
wirelessly when you’re not using it. And
it looks rad, as does our other favorite
Maccessory, the H-Squared Mini mount
($49.95,, which was
designed in conjunction with Apple’s Mac
mini team. It replaces your mini’s cover
with a mountable one you can screw
right into a wall. Bonus: there’s also a
screw pattern for VESA mounting, so
you can attach your mini to the back of
a VESA-compatible monitor, like, say, the
Cinema Display. Our favorite little extra is
an optional white LED backlight that gives
your mounted mini some ground-effects
And speaking of style, we saw more
snazzy cases than we knew what to do
with. Amidst the piles of cases, plentiful
as poker chips, we found a couple that
deserved a shout-out. Both Speck
( and Trtl Bot (trtlbot.
com) had sleek cases with pull-out tabs
for stand-up viewing. Mophie brought ace
design to its new Juice Pack Plus ($99.95,, which combines a bigger,
two-day battery with a grippy rubber
coating. And its new iPod touch–only,
gaming-focused Pulse case (price TBA)
rumbles, giving you the kind of force
feedback that you’re used to on your Xbox
or PlayStation.
And speaking of style, we saw more
snazzy cases than we knew what to do
with. Amidst the piles of cases, plentiful
as poker chips, we found a couple that
deserved a shout-out. Both Speck
( and Trtl Bot (trtlbot.
com) had sleek cases with pull-out tabs
for stand-up viewing. Mophie brought ace
design to its new Juice Pack Plus ($99.95,
Here is a TK TK TK
place pullquote to use
if you need one. Use, which combines a bigger,
two-day battery with a grippy rubber
coating. And its new iPod touch–only,
gaming-focused Pulse case (price TBA)
rumbles, giving you the kind of force
feedback that you’re used to on your Xbox
or PlayStation.
And speaking of style, we saw more
snazzy cases than we knew what to do
with. Amidst the piles of cases, plentiful
as poker chips, we found a couple that
deserved a shout-out. Both Speck
( and Trtl Bot (trtlbot.
com) had sleek cases with pull-out tabs
for stand-up viewing. Mophie brought ace
design to its new Juice Pack Plus ($99.95,, which combines a bigger,
two-day battery with a grippy rubber
coating. And its new iPod touch–only,
gaming-focused Pulse case (price TBA)
rumbles, giving you the kind of force
feedback that you’re used to on your Xbox
or PlayStation.
And speaking of style, we saw more
snazzy cases than we knew what to do
with. Amidst the piles of cases, plentiful
as poker chips, we found a couple that
deserved a shout-out. Both Speck
( and Trtl Bot (trtlbot.
com) had sleek cases with pull-out tabs
for stand-up viewing. Mophie brought ace
design to its new Juice Pack Plus ($99.95,, which combines a bigger,
two-day battery with a grippy rubber
coating. And its new iPod touch–only,
gaming-focused Pulse case (price TBA)
rumbles, giving you the kind of force
feedback that you’re used to on your Xbox
or PlayStation.
And speaking of style, we saw more
snazzy cases than we knew what to do
with. Amidst the piles of cases, plentiful
as poker chips, we found a couple that
deserved a shout-out. Both Speck
( and Trtl Bot (trtlbot.
com) had sleek cases with pull-out tabs
for stand-up viewing. Mophie brought ace
design to its new Juice Pack Plus ($99.95,, which combines a bigger,
two-day battery with a grippy rubber
coating. And its new iPod rumbles, giving
you the kind of force rumbles, giving you
the kind of force rumbles, giving you the
kind of force rumbles, giving you the kind
of force touch–only, gaming-focused Pulse
case (price TBA) rumbles, giving you the
kind of force feedback that you’re used to
on your Xbox or PlayStation.
Scosche ( had plenty of
cases too, but we were most impressed
with its new heart rate monitor. The
MyTrek attaches to your arm, instead of
lying across your chest like a traditional
monitor. Want to stay in a specific heart
rate zone? No problem, just tell the
application, and it’ll help you get there
with all sorts of beeps. It can also harness
the iPhone’s built-in GPS to tell you
how far you ran or biked and how many
calories you burned in the process.
When we left Scosche, we could hear
The home of technology MTH•12
>>> Reviews
The Osmo Mobile 2’s
internal motors keep the
camera balanced in
different tracking modes.
Osmo Mobile 2
Cinematic shooting becomes a reality
$129 From DJI,
Needs iPhone 5S or higher, Bluetooth LE 4, iOS 10 or higher
OsmO mObile 2
Smooth camera motion
Copes with movement
Advanced controls
App forces sign in
58 may 2018
DJI makes some very advanced tech for pro
film makers but its latest offering is much
more affordable. The Osmo 2 is a
smartphone gimbal — a device that allows
a camera to rotate smoothly.
The handle of the device contains its
battery, which lasts 15 hours and is charged
over micro USB. There’s a secondary USB
port so you can charge your phone.
Osmo Mobile 2 works in basic mode with
any camera app, but is best when using the
DJI GO app. Once the devices are linked via
Bluetooth, the phone leaps to face you. Move
the whole thing around and it maintains
smooth, cinematic sweeps, continually
adjusting to keep everything balanced.
There are several modes — upright,
underslung, flashlight, or portrait, into
which the unit switches based on how you
choose to position it.
There’s a four-way
joystick on the handle for
precise control and
a zoom for wider or
tighter framing. Inside
the GO app there’s a lot
of options that include
video quality and even
manual controls for ISO
and white balance.
Captured media can be
exported to various sites as well as to iCloud
Drive, Google Drive, and more.
The Osmo 2 Mobile is great for selfbroadcasting. It’s also a serious filmmaking
tool and will definitely give your iPhone
productions a more professional feel.
the bottom liNe. An affordable way to
get amazing cinematic shots from your
iPhone’s camera. holliN JoNes
Tough testing, trusted ratings
Remote iPhone shooting
$39.95 From Just Mobile,
made for iPhone 5 or later needs iOS 9 or later
Without Hey Siri, you have to tap your iPhone or iPad to
control HomeKit. That, or buy a programmable remote that
can invoke a limited number of actions.
Eve Button has an advantage over its rivals: it doesn’t
need a bridge (and a plug socket) to talk with Apple’s tech.
In the Eve or Home app, you can set what happens for a
single press, double-press and long press. Each can activate
one or more scenes, set the state of accessories, or a combo
of those. We noticed a pause between pressing the button
and getting results. It wasn’t long, just 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 HomeKit-connected
power switches — great when heading to work or to bed.
The button itself is competitively priced, though not
cheap. 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 for it to work properly.
the bottom line. A practical HomeKit add-on, but like
many rivals it’s a bit costly. AlAn Stonebridge
While iPhone cameras have improved rapidly,
a phone’s body is a decidedly imperfect shape for
taking some kinds of pictures. Fingers get in front
of lenses, and you can forget any kind of difficult
angles. Until now, that is. Shuttergrip is a
combined mount and remote for iPhone and a
range of other smartphones.
To set up Shuttergrip, put the disc battery into
the trigger section, turn it on and pair over
Bluetooth with your phone. The system works in
one of two ways. When slotted together, the two
parts form a grip that simulates the feel of the
shutter section of a small DSLR. The phone is
clamped securely into the main housing and
makes it easier to hold steady when taking stills or
video. Pressing the shutter button wirelessly
triggers the camera, in whatever mode you have
set on the phone, including burst mode.
The main housing has a universal tripod screw
available to mount on tripods, as well as a lanyard
hole. A wrist strap is also included. The trigger can
be separated and used remotely, which is great for
selfies or for placing the phone in
a remote or tricky position and
triggering shooting from afar.
Black, blue, or gold options are
available, though there’s no
silver. For more creative control
of shooting on a smartphone,
this is a great solution and a
worthwhile purchase, especially
if you shoot a lot.
the bottom line. A handy
and flexible add-on for stable
and creative shooting with your
smartphone. hollin JoneS
Elgato EvE Button
Elgato Eve Button
Control the mood at home
$49.95 From Elgato,
Features Bluetooth LE, CR2032 battery
Nothing to plug in
Makes error-free shooting easier
Easily portable
Trigger the camera remotely
A bit pricey
Lightweight and discreet
Needs a HomeKit hub
Makes camera less pocket-friendly
ExcEllEnt May 2018 59
>>> Reviews
The Mavic Air will easily
fit into a pocket once
folded, yet it offers
amazing 4K video results.
DJI Mavic Air
The best pocket 4K drone around
From $799 From DJI,
Features 4K video (30fps), 12MP stills, 8GB internal storage, 2,375 mAh battery, 15oz
dji mavic air
Very portable
Obstacle avoidance
High-quality video
Needs better range
60 May 2018
DJI’s latest drone takes the best bits from the
powerful Mavic Pro and the compact and
user-friendly Spark. The result is a high-end
drone at a relatively low price point. It’s
small enough to be placed in a large pocket
thanks to its foldable arms, and relatively
easy to carry at 15oz. It’s well built too.
Setting up is easy — just install the DJI Go
4 app and follow the on–screen instructions.
In use, the Mavic Air belies its small size with
a 40mph max flight speed. It’s also pretty
loud. Controlling it is easy thanks to the
Advanced Pilot Assistance System, which
navigates the Mavic Air around obstacles in
flight. It’s also stable in gusty cross winds.
The Mavic Air features a three–axis gimbal,
redesigned to make it more stable than the
Mavic Pro. Sideways panning is smooth, but
moving the camera up and down is still a bit
jerky — it’s best to use Cinematic Mode in
app, which slows it down and reduces
braking to make it smoother. Where the
Mavic Air falters slightly is with its flight
range — it’s 2.5 miles compared with 4.3
miles in the Pro. That’s due to it using Wi-Fi
to connect to its controller, unlike the Mavic
Pro which also uses RF for more range.
With a 4K camera built in, offering an
impressive 30fps at a bit rate of 100Mbps,
images really pop. Footage is crystal clear,
though it doesn’t fair quite as well in low
light — the Pro is better here.
A flight time of 21 minutes isn’t bad, we
think, but for long stints we’d recommend
purchasing the Fly More Combo which gives
you three batteries for just $200 extra.
the bottom line. The DJI Mavic Air is a
powerful drone in your pocket. Unless you
need pro-quality footage, this is the best 4K
drone around. emily mina
Tough testing, trusted ratings
CalDigit TS3 Plus
A dock with ports aplenty
$349 From CalDigit,
Features 14 ports, 85W power supply to MacBook
Powerstation USB-C XXL
A chunky battery with a huge capacity
$149.95 From Mophie,
made for MacBook/MacBook Pro with USB-C port, iOS device
Mophie’s Powerstation USB-C XXL houses a 19,500mAh
rechargeable battery that the company claims will give your
Mac an additional 14 hours of battery life.
The XXL label is apt. This is the kind of backup battery for
a bag rather than a pocket — at 5.9x3.29in and almost 14oz,
it’s hefty. It’s also quite attractive, covered in a fabric wrap
that looks and feels great and protects the battery.
The Powerstation has two ports: the USB-C and a USB-A
port into which you can plug an iPhone or iPad charger. If
you plug the USB-C socket into a power outlet and plug in
an iOS device, the battery will charge the device before it
charges itself. Or you can plug your MacBook or MacBook
Pro into the USB-C slot after charging the battery for a
speedy 30W charge. And you can charge a MacBook and iOS
device simultaneously. The Powerstation’s battery can also
be re-charged from a plugged in MacBook Pro.
The Powerstation did well in our tests, charging our 2016
MacBook Pro 15in’s battery from 25% to 45% while we used
it to edit video in iMovie for two and a half hours.
the bottom line. The Powerstation is a useful, but
expensive recharging option. Kenny hemphill
For generosity with ports, CalDigit’s new dock wins
by a whisker over OWC’s previous best, giving you
14 for expansion and one to connect to and power
even a 15-inch MacBook Pro.
The front side has the same USB-A and discrete
3.5mm headphone and mic jacks as the non-Plus
model, and adds a 5Gbps (USB 3.1 Gen 1) USB-C
port and an SDXC card reader. On the back,
CalDigit has removed the niche eSATA ports from
its original TS3 dock, and doubled the USB-A ports
to four. You still get Gigabit Ethernet, DisplayPort
1.2 and a passthrough USB-C port (enabling
connection of one 5K or two 4K displays), and
there are two brand-new ports: S/PDIF optical
audio output, and a 10Gbps USB-C port (USB 3.1
Gen 2) to support the latest high-speed SSDs.
The price is high, but this doubles as a spare
MacBook Pro power adapter (normally $88 or
$98 with a cable), though the external power
supply means it’s not especially portable.
the bottom line. Our Thunderbolt 3 dock
of choice, with a plentiful supply of data, power,
audio and video ports. AlAn Stonebridge
CaLDiGit ts3 pLUs
Effectively eight USB ports
Adds ports new MacBooks lack
Sensible port arrangement
A costly investment
Mophie powerstation UsB-C XXL
Can provide hours of use
Can charge itself
Looks great
Quite bulky
Great May 2018 61
>>> Reviews
Give your podcasts a professional touch
$49 From Rogue Amoeba,
Needs OS X 10.10 or later
Each audio clip is
represented by a tile
that’s triggered by
a keyboard shortcut.
Very easy to use
Playback multiple clips
Clips can loop
Easy to organize clips
62 may 2018
Whether you produce podcasts, live
theatre or present radio shows, Farrago will
play audio clips at the tap of a key.
Clips are displayed as tiles in Farrago’s
main window. They can be organized in sets
and each set can have up to 80 clips. Each
clip can be named and have a color and
keyboard shortcut assigned to it. Forty keys
are assigned as keyboard shortcuts and each
can be modified using the Option key,
meaning that all 80 clips in a set can have
their own keyboard trigger. In addition, you
can set a keyboard shortcut to pull Farrago to
the front — to avoid conflicts, playback
shortcuts only work when Farrago is the
frontmost app. Clips can be played
simultaneously by pressing multiple keys or
by selecting them and pressing Return.
You can add notes to clips, and configure
them to fade in or out, loop or make all other
clips stop when they’re triggered.
If you record podcasts with other people in
remote locations, you can use Rogue
Amoeba’s Loopback to route Farrago audio
through Skype so everyone can hear it. For
recording podcasts, Farrago can be routed
through the same company’s Audio Hijack.
Farrago couldn’t be easier to use. You get
started with the 25 sample clips. Their
shortcuts, along with their name and a
waveform representation of the audio, are
displayed on the face of their tile. Press the
relevant key and the clip plays. Press again
and it stops. Or press the spacebar to pause.
To add new clips, click on the set you want
to add the sound clip to, navigate to the clip
in the Finder, drag it onto Farrago’s main
window and drop it onto the grid slot with
the keyboard shortcut you want to use. To
change its keyboard shortcut, just drag it to
a different part of the window. Clips can be
organized by dragging them around the
window within a set and color coding them
as required. And they’re stored in Farrago
itself, meaning if there’s a problem accessing
the original it won’t affect playback.
Adding notes, and adjusting clip settings
is done in the Inspector. If you want to see a
clip’s notes in the main window, choose the
list view which, instead of tiling clips, lists
them vertically with notes to their right.
the bottom liNe. Farrago is a great way
to incorporate jingles into your podcast or
performance. KeNNy hemphill
Each set can have up to 80 clips, which you can arrange
by dragging them onto slots and color coding them.
Tough testing, trusted ratings
Easily unlock your Mac
$3.99 From Kane Cheshire,
needs MacOS 10.13, Bluetooth LE, iOS 11.2 or later
Drive Scope
Hard drive health, uncovered
$29.99 From Micromat Inc.,
needs Intel-based Mac, OS X 10.8.5 or later
Hard drives are the weakest link in the Mac, since they’re
more likely to fail before other components. That’s why
manufacturers implement SMART (Self-Monitoring,
Analysis, and Reporting Technology) to predict drive failure.
This data is usually hidden from users, popping up only
when disaster is imminent. Micromat’s Drive Scope can
give you peace of mind, it goes well beyond the basic SMART
capabilities of the company’s TechToolPro by offering a
granular look into the health of connected volumes.
Hard drives typically run diagnostics while idle, but Drive
Scope can initiate self-testing at the click of a button. It’s
almost information overload, but the software provides
plenty of useful stats for non-techies, like uptime hours,
total power cycles, and current operating temperature.
Most important is the Health indicator — as long as it’s
green, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Drive Scope doesn’t
support RAID drives but works with NVMe — which is used
with recent Mac SSD drives. At the moment, this app is the
only way to view this kind of information.
the bottom line. More hard drive and SSD data than
you can shake a stick at. J.R. bookwalteR
Unlox is the name for the new version of MacID (as
Apple objected to the name). The concept remains
the same and focuses on remotely locking and
unlocking your Mac using your iPhone or Watch.
There are multiple options available, all of
which work over Bluetooth LE. The simplest is the
facility to lock or unlock your Mac’s screen by
tapping the iPhone or Watch app. You can use
Touch ID or Face ID on a phone or even a special
pattern tapped on your Mac’s trackpad to do this.
The Watch remains authorized as long as it’s on
your wrist, so its app just needs a tap. On iPhone
or Apple Watch, notifications let you know when
locking activity is taking place. It’s worth noting
that MacOS 10.13 allows unlocking of your Mac
using Watch, though it’s more simplistic.
Unlocking is fast and smooth. Interestingly, the
Mac app can auto lock or auto unlock your Mac
when you move away or back toward it by a
specific distance. This means you’ll never forget to
lock your screen when you leave the Mac.
the bottom line. An efficient way to easily
auto lock your Mac’s screen. hollin Jones
Great for security
Easily customize distance
Unlock via trackpad pattern
MacOS 10.13 now allows unlock via Watch
Drive Scope
Self-test anytime
Supports NVMe SSDs
No RAID support
Driver install required
Great may 2018 63
>>> Reviews
Related info makes it
easy to jump into notes
linked to specific events.
Note taking, reimagined
Free From Momenta B.V.,
Needs OS X 10.12 or later
Date-focused note app
iCloud sync
Limited text styling
No collaboration tools
64 may 2018
Note taking apps aren’t great at keeping tabs
on when entries took place, while calendar
apps focus strictly on date and time, with
little regard to other details. Agenda bridges
this divide, adding a project-based workflow
to make things unique.
This approach comes in handy for linking
notes to specific events. The refined
interface is designed around your agenda,
with a collapsible pane to view upcoming
events and jump directly to related notes
with one click; you can also search across all
projects at once, filtering by date range,
people, or hashtag.
Sample projects do a good job acclimating
new users, and you can import existing
Markdown or Apple Notes to pick up where
you left off. The latter is quite basic —
folders are converted to projects, but entries
lose formatting, including links and images.
New notes offer basic text styles and
formatting (lists, indentations), but you
can’t change font or text size. The lack of an
iOS companion app or collaboration features
are the biggest limitations, but developers
say the former is coming soon; notes can be
synced with other Macs on the same iCloud
account, however.
While Agenda is free, premium features
like new calendar events, saving a search,
and removing watermarks cost $24.99 per
year. Additional features are worth paying
for, since any premium features added over
12 months are unlocked forever. (You’ll miss
out on future additions, however.) This is a
welcome approach, and is one other
developers should adopt.
the bottom liNe. A unique take on Mac
note-taking that will appeal to calendarminded users. J.R. bookwalteR
Tough testing, trusted ratings
Tidy Up 5
Clean up your Mac’s files
From $28.99 From Hyperbolic Software
Parallels Toolbox
Tools to fill in macOS’ gaps
Free trial, $19.99 annually From Parallels,
needs OS X 10.10.5 or later
Toolbox is a disparate collection of tools that are accessible
via a menu bar icon. Click this and a collection of large icons
with descriptive names make it easy to choose from the
tools on offer — now numbering more than 30.
The tools are designed to plug the gaps in macOS, and
range from Download Video (drag and drop links from
YouTube and the like) to adding a menu bar icon for swiftly
switching between different resolutions.
The last two major updates to Toolbox have added six new
tools: Find Duplicates, Make GIF, Clean Drive, Free Memory,
Resize Image, and Screenshot Page. Most are self–
explanatory — Screenshot Page is designed for capturing
long web pages as a single image in your browser.
The latest update also improves existing tools, and it’s
now possible to assign keyboard shortcuts to favorite tools.
This is a little awkward — there’s no prompt to warn you
that a key combo isn’t available; the shortcut simply
doesn’t appear. Another less welcome development is that
Parallels has doubled the cost of Toolbox.
the bottom line. What should be a triumphant update
is spoiled by the price rise. nick Peers
Tidy Up 5 aims to keep your Mac clear of duplicate
and unnecessary files by finding such files and
making them easier to delete.
It does so from a gorgeous interface, with
smoothly animated transitions, and even honest
information about why a search is taking time.
There are two modes: Simple and Advanced.
Simple image search finds pictures that are
identical; in Advanced mode you can hone in on
date, location, even camera used.
Searches are quite quick. When done, Tidy Up
provides detailed suggestions for removal,
showing the path to each file with previews.
The problem with Tidy Up isn’t what it does, so
much as the damage you could do with it. It
doesn’t remove duplicate images in Photos, but
marks them for later removal. We still wouldn’t
unleash it on an important Photos library.
It will happily remove files from Time Machine
backups, which can make them permanently
unusable, and it can wreak havoc on apps too.
the bottom line. A great housekeeping
tool, but use with caution! howard oakley
Tidy UP 5
Excellent interface
Detailed results
Can break documents
No help manual
Parallels Toolbox
Large selection of tools
Simple, but effective
Keyboard shortcuts
Price increase
Good may 2018 65
homE liFE
BEttEr living through smartEr tEchnology
> GeT sTarTed wiTh…
The latest high-tech toys can be great fun — but can also help your
children to develop important skills for the future
By cliFF JosEPh
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 math” – that allow young
children to have fun whilst also learning skills
that will be important for their future
education and career prospects.
Early lEarning
There have always been toys that use
technology to teach children new skills, with
66 may 2018
many generations of kids causing mayhem at
home with chemistry sets and engineering
kits, or perhaps leaning toward more artistic
tools like Etch A Sketch and Spirograph. But
modern tech toys probably started with 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 a programmable “intelligent
brick” that enabled children to build little
robots that could perform a variety of tasks
all by themselves. Twenty years later,
programming and coding are seen as vital
skills, particularly 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
($79.99), 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.
High-tech toys may 2018 67
>>> Home Life
Beware the LEGO SPIK3r! This
scorpion-like bot is equipped
with a crushing claw.
The Play-Doh Touch
app helps to combine
tactile fun with
virtual creativity.
What is sWiFt
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
eight-12 years old — and
is popular with adults.
If your youngsters are confident
enough to handle an iPhone or iPad,
they could try the Osmo Explorer Kit
($197, 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 Co. Game ($39, for
ages 5+) that focuses on running a small
business and handling money.
As Play-Doh fans in our youth, we’re
pleased to see the new Play-Doh Touch
($24.99, for ages 4+), which lets you
mould animal shapes and scan them
into an iPad to create your own on–
screen games and adventures.
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 Parker, Your AR
Bear ($59.99, for ages
3+), which uses an iOS
app to allow children to
interact with Parker
while solving puzzles
and playing games.
risE oF thE roBots
Step up a couple of
grades, and there’s
some 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 $349.99, for ages 10+ — but it’s
very sophisticated, and includes
68 may 2018
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 a Mac version of
its app as well, along with a good
selection of tutorial videos on its website
to help you get started.
LEGO’s rival, the UK-based Meccano,
has its own range of robo-toys, which
are less expensive — typically around
$100-$200 per kit — although they
aren’t so versatile, and tend to focus on
creating one specific robot, such as the
creepy multi-legged MeccaSpider.
High-tech toys
Parker, Your AR Bear by Seedling uses augmented
reality technology to interact with your child.
Apple even has a section devoted to
robots and other educational toys in its
online store, although it’s important to
realize that many “app-enabled” drones
and robots that are marketed as
“educational” are more about play. One
example is 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 (see iFacts for
more information).
Some of the best programming and
coding robots come from more
specialized companies such as UBTECH,
with its Jimu range of robots (from
What is stEm?
The latest buzzword in
educational jargon is
STEM — science,
technology, engineering,
and math — with many
government plans now
focusing on STEM in
schools to prepare
students for the
workplace of the future.
Many online stores also
have special STEM
sections for parents to
check out the latest
tech-equipped toys.
$99.99, for ages 8+), or the CleverBot
family from Wonder Workshop, which
starts at $79.99 for the little Dot robot
for ages 6+, going up to $199.99 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. These 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.
What is stEam?
A variation of STEM,
called STEAM, covers a
wider curriculum —
science, technology,
education, art, and
math. The Osmo iPad
game kits include an art
game, Masterpiece, to
help kids create artwork
with photos taken on an
iPad, while add-on pack
Coding Jam (from
$59.99), focuses
on using coding
blocks to
make music.
> raspberry Pi
The low-cost, highperformance flexible
little computer
With prices starting at less than $10, 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
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 HomeBridge, to
enable you to control a
variety of smart home
accessories through a Pi.
Read more at and, if
you’re good at tinkering, our sister mag
Linux Format ( has a
section all about Pi every issue. may 2018 69
>>> Home Life
FivE oF
thE BEst
Kids just don’t know how lucky they are these days!
thE coding roBot
lEgo mindstorms Ev3
osmo ExPlorEr
gamE Kit
There’s a wide range
of Meccano robot kits,
mostly in the $100-$200
ballpark, but the
MeccaSpider is our
favorite. At 7.5in high, 16in
wide and 18in long, it’s
enough to give you
nightmares, and the
Meccano app includes
some built-in games, too.
The Osmo Explorer Kit
is a great learning toy that
includes a special iPad
docking station, along with
six games that allow your
child to learn about
subjects like coding,
drawing and physics.
You can expand it with
other games, including
Coding Jam for music.
The award-winning Botley
is a really simple robot,
designed for five- to nineyear-old children. If you
don’t have an iPhone or
iPad, fear not, as it doesn’t
need one to work; you use
coding cards to control it
instead. It can follow lines
you draw on paper, and use
sensors to avoid obstacles.
70 may 2018
It’s worth taking time to
shop around, as prices for
the EV3 seem to vary
depending on where you
look. It’s a seriously good
kit, capable of building
several different types
of robot, and includes
smart sensors that you can
program and control using
the EV3 app for both Mac
and iOS devices.
High-tech toys
>smart homE living
nicK odantzis on his love
of child-friendly technology
sWiFt Playgrounds
The Swift Playgrounds app
(iPad only, but also
completely free) was
introduced by Apple
in order to help children —
typically those between
eight to 12 — to get started
with programming. You can
also use Swift to program
some of the robots Apple
sells on its online store,
and at retail.
hE idEa oF gadgets that help
your child learn something in
order for them to better
understand the world around
them is a good one. And if it gives
them a head start in life? Sure,
why not? It’s got to be more
beneficial than them simply
picking up an iPhone or iPad to
do with whatever they desire
when they need something to
keep them occupied. Admittedly,
there’s no replacement for you
spending time with your kids, but
it’s a step in the right direction
in a world where small people
increasingly seem to be hard–
coded to pick up a digital device
as soon as they can walk.
Mind you, we’re probably not
helping with the volume of tech
that we’re filling our homes with.
These days, a child no longer
needs to go and ask their parent
the solution to a burning problem
when there are a multitude of
artificial assistants dotted around
the home that are ready to
respond with a much better
answer than I could come up with.
But there’s some tech that you
simply cannot do without if you
have children. As a new parent,
and a tech aficionado, I’ve taken
to the baby tech scene like a fish
to water (or should I say like a
baby to milk). There’s lots of neat
stuff out there, but the one thing
I’ve really become fond of is the
Netgear Arlo Baby Cam ($199.99, Sure, it might seem
like a lot of money just to keep an
eye on your baby (rather than
what you’d use a smart security
cam for — to catch would–be–
thieves trying to break into your
home), but to me, having the
luxury of putting my sleeping
baby upstairs and then watching
TV downstairs is priceless. Plus,
this is no standard smart cam
because it’s packed with cool
baby-specific features such as
crystal-clear 1080p video that
even works brilliantly at night
(which, let’s be honest, is when
you’ll need it most); colorchanging lights, and a preset
range of lullabies that help sooth
your baby to sleep. Most
importantly for me, it keeps tabs
on the air quality around my baby,
though as you’ll have read last
issue, I’m still undecided whether
knowing about this (and not be
able to do that much about it) is
such a good thing.
There’s one thing I don’t like
about the Baby Cam,
though, and I wonder
if it’s the
engineering team’s
idea of a joke. The
infrared night
vision sensors built
into the ‘face’ look
like devil eyes
— when the Arlo is
wearing its “cute
bunny” outfit, it
brings back terrifying
memories of
Down! may 2018 71
>>> Home Life
apple Tv
The laTesT tvOs apps and The hOTTesT hardware
Visualize your data
If you need to switch off, play Alto’s Odyssey in Zen Mode,
which has a serene soundtrack and no scores or coins.
Alto’s Odyssey
From snow to sand
Two years ago, developer Snowman
dazzled us with the runner-style
game Alto’s Adventure, which
found the title character whisking down snowy
slopes. The beautiful graphics were critically
acclaimed, but now Alto is back with a new
adventure in completely different scenery.
Alto’s Odyssey is a standalone journey. This
time, Alto finds himself sandboarding his way
through the desert, using the same one-touch
trick system that powered the first game, which
enables players to chain together combos and
complete 180 level goals.
Players “soar above windswept dunes,
traverse thrilling canyons, and explore long–
hidden temples in a fantastical place far from
home.” But like the original game, Alto’s
Odyssey isn’t as quite as easy as it looks — there
are plenty of vines, hot air balloons, rock walls,
and mischievous lemurs just waiting to trip
players up along the way. J.R. BookwalteR
72 May 2018
Business users
might not be the
target audience
for Apple TV, but developers
are targeting the hardware as
more than just a streaming
media box. Case in point:
Numerics, an app dedicated to
helping companies visualize
key performance indicators
(KPI), used to reach targets.
Numerics makes creating
visual dashboards a snap,
thanks to connections with
over 40 cloud services so
metrics are updated in real
time. Custom connectors
enable pulling data from
spreadsheets, in-house
systems, or third-party
software via JSON.
You don’t design the
dashboards on Apple TV — this
work is done on iPhone or iPad,
then synced via iCloud. From
there, you use the Siri Remote
to move between different
on-screen widgets and click the
touchpad to open in full screen.
Existing dashboards can be
resized with a click and hold on
the Touch Surface, which
toggles between sizes without
having to go back and edit the
data. You can even use
gestures to flip through
full-screen KPIs for faster
navigation. J.R. BookwalteR
For a visual representation of how your business is doing, Numerics’
visually-rich dashboards provide information on KPIs.
Better living through smarter tech
Build, play, watch
If you’re into lEgO,
chances are you can’t
get enough of those
plastic bricks. lEgO fans can now soak
their eyeballs in free content devoted to
their favorite toy with the lEgO TV app,
now available on Apple TV.
This isn’t just a way to watch lEgO
movies — there are plenty of how-to
videos, as well as specific categories for
browsing content dedicated to heroes,
magic and Fairies, Vehicles, Adventures,
and more. There’s even a News section,
which keeps kids and grown-ups alike
up-to-date on the latest, greatest stuff.
If you’re a lEgO fan, you already
know what you’re getting into here.
make the most of
home entertainment
With the new Apple TV app, users can stream
LEGO content or download it to their TV.
If not, you probably have no need for
this app. But seeing as it’s been
available on iPhone and iPad for a while
now, it’s nice to have this arsenal of
streaming content available on the big
screen at last. J.R. BookwalteR
Oceanic Wonderland HD
VIZIo SmaRtCaSt m65-e0
$1199.99 • VIzIO.COm
If you don’t need a built-in
tuner to receive over-the-air
TV stations, this 65-inch
screen is a pretty fantastic
budget panel that supports 4K
HDR and Dolby Vision
capabilities for vibrant,
colorful images. The tradeoff
is the rather sluggish,
operating system, but this is
still worth considering.
Calm sea waters
If you love the ocean but
can’t afford to travel,
there are plenty of ways
to bring the spirit of the sea into your
living room, without the smell of salt
water and dead fish.
Oceanic Wonderland hD is one way,
and it’s simple to use. A main menu is
used to select from five “amazing
oceanic video wallpapers”: Tropical
Island Waves, Fishes Swimming, Endless
Waves, Amazing Ocean, or Blue Sea.
That’s it, but the video quality is decent,
and hey, it’s free, so there’s that.
Aside from leaving us wanting more,
the app could benefit from
accompanying sound effects. As it
Oceanic Wonderland HD enables you to watch
the sea, but sadly provides no sound.
stands, there’s no audio at all,
presumably so the viewer can play
background music or provide their own
soothing ocean sounds. But it does
seem like an odd omission, even for a
basic app like this. J.R. BookwalteR
logIteCh k480
Bluetooth keyBoaRd
$49.99 • lOgITECh.COm
The Bluetooth keyboard you
never knew you needed, this
versatile model works with up
to three different devices at
the turn of a knob — including
iOS, Android, Macs or PCs, as
well as your Apple TV. It’s also
lap-friendly, cradling a tablet
or smartphone so you can
toggle back and forth easily. May 2018 73
Email Mac|Life at
hot topics
right now
Make sure you check out
these important support
articles on Apple’s
website to better
understand the latest
connect more
With four thunderbolt 3
ports built in, the imac Pro
can support multiple 4K
and 5K monitors. But
which ones can you use?
check out Apple’s advice
on connecting them all up
mAKe homePod
if you’re having problems
getting homePod to
respond, it could be a Wi-Fi
connection issue, or some
other problem. to find out
how to cure this, go to
Get A neW remote For
APPle tV
have you lost the remote
you use with your Apple
tV? then all is not lost,
because you can use your
iPhone or iPad to control it
instead. Apple has a handy
guide on how to do this at
74 May 2018
Ensuring Photoshop docs always open in Photoshop CC 2018 requires
that you quit any older version you might also have on your Mac.
> Trouble with Launch Services
Why, when i double-click a Photoshop document on my mac, does the cc 2017 version of
Photoshop always open, and not the more recent cc 2018?
This appears to be a general problem if you
have both of these apps installed, regardless
of the version of macOS that is running.
In macOS, it’s the Launch Services
interface that is responsible for determining
which app kicks in when you open any file
from Finder. If you don’t like the default as
you suggest, you could select a file in Finder,
choose File > Get Info, expand the “Open with”
section of the window that appears, choose
your preferred app from the pop-up menu,
then click Change All to apply your choice to
all files of the same type.
In this case, though, that method doesn’t
work. Instead, the only way that you can get
a Photoshop file to open in Photoshop CC
2018 is to keep that version of the app open,
and keep CC 2017 closed.
Launch Services works using app
signatures and document types. Here, Adobe
appears to have a bug in its use of app
signatures, which prevents Launch Services
from associating Photoshop’s document type
with CC 2018. As signatures and types are set
in property lists in the apps themselves, you
can’t change them without breaking the app’s
code signature, which is required by macOS’
Gatekeeper feature to protect your computer
from malware. Only Adobe as the developer
can fix this issue.
Tech Support & Techsplanations
Get official documentation at | Get help with hardware at
> Short-life emails in iOS
my wife and i each have an iPhone, plus we share an iPad and imac between us. Why is it
that our iPhones and iPad only retain emails for seven days on one account, but the imac
keeps them for much longer?
This reflects the different ways in which your
iMac and iOS devices are set up to access that
email account. When you connect an email
account to Mail on either platform, it should
check with your mail server whether it’s able
to use the IMAP protocol; these days, this is
preferable to POP, as it makes email easier
to manage when an account is accessed
from multiple devices.
Your iOS devices are set to collect new
messages using the IMAP protocol, which
leaves them on your mail provider’s server,
at least until you manually delete them.
For some reason, Mail on your iMac has
been configured to collect incoming messages
using POP, which downloads the messages
and stores them locally. Usually, a client using
POP will remove messages from the server
after downloading them. Mail has an
advanced POP setting that enables you to
specify when messages should be removed
from the server, though. You can set it to
never happen, or to occur after a specific
duration, such as a week, to give other
devices time to download items.
However, we recommend setting up email
accounts to use IMAP. If your provider limits
your online storage, move old messages to a
local mailbox in Mail on your Mac (Mailbox >
New Mailbox, and set location to On My Mac).
Unless explicitly excluded, this mailbox will be
included in your Time Machine backups. The
downside is that if you need to refer back to
those messages, you must do so on your Mac.
Mail has an advanced setting where you can
specify how long it leaves messages on the server
after they have been downloaded.
& answers
hoW cAn i Best
Protect my old iPAd
AGAinst sPectre?
Apple has updated Safari
in iOS 11 to mitigate against
the Spectre security
vulnerability, but doesn’t
normally provide such
updates for earlier versions
of iOS. If you can’t update to
iOS 11, all you can try is
turning off JavaScript, but
that breaks many websites.
hoW do i Add tAGs to
Files in icloud driVe?
In Files, tap Browse
and locate the file(s) you
want to tag. Tap Select at
the top, tap the file(s) and
then tap the Share button
or icon at the bottom left. At
the top of the Share sheet,
tap the +Tag item to add
existing or brand-new tags. May 2018 75
>>> Ask
When Are KrAcK
Wi-Fi Fixes due?
The KRACK family of Wi-Fi
security vulnerabilities is
fixed by firmware updates
for Apple’s networking
devices. Apple released
firmwares 7.6.9 and 7.7.9
for AirPort devices last
year (installed
using AirPort Utility
for macOS or iOS).
For non-Apple kit,
check manufacturers’
websites for updates.
Why cAn’t i shAre
sKim PdFs ViA icloud?
Skim (an open-source
PDF markup app, puts
its markup in extended
attributes, so as not to
alter the underlying doc.
Most cloud services have
limited or no support for
those extended attributes,
so unless you put your
Skim PDF inside a Zip
archive or similar, all your
work gets stripped and lost.
> Not synced with iCloud
i share calendars and documents between two macs using icloud, but they don’t always
appear to see the same thing. Why not, and what can i do about it?
iCloud offers two classes of sharing: specific
services, such as Contacts, Calendars, and
Photos, and shared file storage in iCloud
Drive. If both of your Macs share the same
iCloud account and are configured the same
way in their iCloud panes in System
Preferences, they should see essentially the
same things. Minor differences can arise when
they run different versions of macOS, as
iCloud features vary slightly across major
releases of the operating system.
One factor which can throw this out of
kilter is the use of private, local Calendars and
other potentially shared data. Consolidate
your appointments into fewer calendars,
and ensure they are all shared on your
iCloud account, not stored locally. Do the
same for Contacts.
When one Mac is disconnected from the
internet, perhaps when at a remote location,
it won’t, of course, be able to see any changes
which have occurred in shared features or on
iCloud Drive. However, when it reconnects to
Apple’s servers, it should quickly bring itself
up to date. If it doesn’t, contact Apple
( to ask it to investigate.
Two Macs with the same iCloud settings on the same account should see the same shared information.
> Replacing macOS Server
We’ve been running our office from macos server, which serves files and our
internal web server. What should we do when Apple discontinues this product?
Apple has warned that it intends on
replacing the current broad range of
services in macOS Server with a version
devoted to “management of computers,
devices, and storage”. As you’re running
Server already, you won’t suffer loss of
features until later this year. Apple hasn’t
been more specific yet, but as of a spring
update, many features will be
“deprecated” and become hidden in
new installations.
Apple’s announcement is at, and lists a range of
alternative server products (most are
76 May 2018
free and open source), which you can use
as substitutes for each of the services
that will eventually be removed.
One established web server
management system to consider is
Webmin (free, This is
based on the Apache web server, and
also covers Postfix Mail Server admin.
If you install additional support for BIND
DNS, Jabber messaging, or databases
such as MySQL or PostgreSQL, it can
configure and manage those too.
Apple recommends using High Sierra’s
existing File Sharing service (in System
Apple is to discontinue key macOS Server
features, so start investigating third-party
alternatives now.
Preferences’ Sharing pane), which should
suffice for even quite large workgroups,
particularly coupled with its new storage
management. Standard shared update
and back-up services should also cope
with your demand, and are also
pleasingly simple to configure.
Tech Support & Techsplanations
> Windows networking freezes Macs
We work from a Windows 2012 server, connected to our macs using the smB protocol.
since upgrading to macos 10.13.2, our macs freeze frequently when performing file and
folder operations. When this happens the only way out is to force a shutdown with the
power button. is there any way around this?
This is a bug in macOS 10.13.2 that’s fixed in
10.13.3 (released in late January), so the
solution is to update. If you can’t, there are
other techniques which should reduce the
frequency of freezing. Apple suggests
preventing macOS from reading .DS_Store file
on shares, forcing Finder to gather all
metadata first, or disabling directory caching.
These are detailed at
You can also try turning off packet signing,
although that reduces security so your
network needs to be well-secured. That’s
described at Sometimes
file sharing needs to be repaired, as it did
after Security Update 2017-001, and that’s
explained at
Other options you might try include
switching from SMB to CIFS, although that
normally brings a significant performance
penalty, or switching from SMB3 to SMB2.
Historically, SMB has broken at some stage
during the life cycle of most major releases
of macOS. You’ll probably find it helpful to
test each macOS update or substantial
security patch on a single Mac before
upgrading all your systems, in case there
are further problems.
High Sierra now uses snapshots on APFS
to allow you to revert a Mac to its pre-update
state very simply, which could save further
problems — see for further
information on how to do so.
hoW do i stAy
connected to the
FAstest Wi-Fi?
In Apple Menu > System
Prefs > Network, use the
padlock (bottom left)
to ensure you can make
changes, then select Wi-Fi
on the left and click
Advanced. In the Wi-Fi
tab, order your preferred
networks so the fastest
connections are at the
top of the list.
hoW do i tell
Where An iP Address
is From?
Use Spotlight to search
for and open Network
Utility, and enter the IP
address in the app’s
Lookup tab. Further detail
may be available in the
Whois tab, but you may
have to try different
servers from its list.
Fine options
to control SMB
with Windows
servers require
using Terminal;
they aren’t
exposed in
Preferences. May 2018 77
>>> Ask
cAn i use sPotliGht to
seArch For metAdAtA?
Indeed, Spotlight indexes most
metadata contained in media
files or in extended attributes.
In Spotlight, use a term like
keyword:contract, for example,
which looks for “contract” in the
keyword metadata. Or, in a Finder
search window — press
Alt+Cmd+[space] — click the
attribute name in a new
criterion’s row, and then pick
Other to choose the
metadata to search.
hoW do i remoVe
old serVices?
To turn off built-in Services, go to
System Preferences > Keyboard
> Shortcuts, and select Services
on the left; clear the checkboxes
next to unwanted items. Thirdparty Services tend to be inside
apps or the Services folders in
Library folders. Generate a list in
a text file, complete with paths to
them, by entering this in
Terminal: /System/Library/
CoreServices/pbs -dump_pboard>
> Preparing to migrate to a new Mac
i am planning on buying a new imac, presumably running high sierra. how can
i best move apps, documents, and data (such as saved passwords) from my current
sierra system to the new imac?
Before your new Mac arrives, have
a thorough clear out of the apps
and personal files stored on your old Mac,
removing anything that you no longer
need. Ensure there aren’t any old
extensions or other software left behind
that might not be fully compatible with
High Sierra. Note that some apps, such as
Adobe CC, must be deauthorized on the
old Mac and then reauthorized on the new
one; anticipate the apps that may be
affected so you can work this out early.
When you set up your new Mac, ensure
it’s on a high-speed network connection
with your old one. For a really quick
transfer, you might be able to connect
both machines directly using target disk
mode over Thunderbolt; start your old
Mac with the T key held down to
effectively make its internal storage an
external drive to your new Mac.
When you start up and run through the
Setup Assistant on your new Mac, you’ll
be invited to migrate your apps,
documents, and settings from the old
system. Accept the invitation, and select
what you want to migrate. If you don’t
want to do it all at once, you can always
run Migration Assistant at a later date to
bring across whatever you leave out.
Migration can take a very long time —
sometimes a day or more — depending on
how much there is to copy across, so a
fast connection between the two
computers is important. You also won’t be
able to use either Mac until it’s complete.
You can connect two Macs using Thunderbolt
and access the contents of the old Mac from the
new one by starting it up in target disk mode.
hoW to Clean Safari when its homepage gets hijacked
Check for malware
Run a malware checker, such
as Malwarebytes or Sqwarq’s DetectX,
to ensure your Mac isn’t infected by
true malware. If it is, you must remove
that infection. Follow the checker’s
instructions until your Mac is clean.
78 May 2018
Clean plugins
Once confident your Mac isn’t
harboring malware, check the two
Internet Plug-Ins folders in the main
library (/Library) and your Home folder
(~/Library). Move anything suspicious to
a holding folder — in Documents, say.
Reset homepage
In Safari’s preferences, reset the
Homepage setting. In a new window,
go to your preferred homepage; in the
General prefs tab, click Set to Current
Page to set it as your homepage. Use a
new window to confirm the setting sticks.
Tech Support & Techsplanations
Why does Time Machine
take so long to prepare
its backup?
How can I ensure that
macOS updates are
received manually?
This is because of a deep traversal scan,
when it can’t use the normal FSEvents
system to determine what to back up.
Repeated or failed scans indicate a disk or
backup problem — run Disk Utility’s First
Aid feature to check their health.
To get urgent security updates but not
automatic updates to macOS, in System
Preferences’ App Store pane check
“Automatically check for updates,” and
“Install system data files and security
updates,” but not “Install macOS updates.”
Our advice may refer to
the following features;
check out the support
articles linked below
for full instructions.
> Tagging files in Terminal
how can i add tags to files by using terminal commands?
Access to tags in Terminal can be
difficult because they’re actually stored in
files’ extended attributes. You can set one
standard colored tag in the
FinderInfo attribute.
In order to set multiple or custom tags on
a file, you need to access
:_kMDItemUserTags instead. This is the
extended attribute that Apple exposes
most to the user (in Finder), but there is
no convenient access to it in Terminal.
The built-in command xattr, for displaying
and manipulating extended attributes, is
made more difficult to use because tags are
stored in a binary format, which is hard to
handle outside a programming language
like Swift or Python.
A third-party command named tag is
available via Homebrew, MacPorts, or from This should make
your task a lot simpler and more flexible.
There’s more info at via The
Eclectic Light Company website, but bear
in mind that it gets quite technical.
macos recoVery
the recovery system
contains tools to help
you look up info online
when macos won’t start,
and to repair or reinstall
the system. learn more
sAFe mode
When you start your
mac in safe mode, macos
performs extra checks
and stops certain thirdparty software from
running. see how to use
it at
reset smc & nVrAm
these features handle
low-level functions and
store key settings for
your mac, respectively.
resetting them can fix
various issues described
at and
Tags are easy to add to files in Finder, but they’re tougher to handle in Terminal.
shAre With us!
hArdWAre issues
your mac includes tools
that check for certain
hardware issues without
going to a Genius Bar.
For macs introduced in
June 2013 or later, see, otherwise
FAceBooK: tWitter: May 2018 79
turn day into night in iMovie
Use color grading and add layered graphics to create a nocturnal look
iMovie, Photoshop
yoU wIll lEaRn
How to grade colors and
tones for a nocturnal look
IT wIll TaKE
15 minutes
Shooting video
at night can be
a challenge,
especially when no
strong light source is available.
The quality of footage can
suffer due to the camera’s need
to increase its ISO speed to
make it more sensitive to low
light; a fast ISO can make the
clip look grainy. To avoid these
problems, many filmmakers
shoot during the day and then
grade colors and tones. This
involves adding a cold blue
hue and reducing saturation
and brightness.
iMovie has a dedicated Day into Night
effect filter, though the result isn’t
particularly realistic. Instead, in this
tutorial, we’ll demonstrate how to
use iMovie’s grading tools to manually
adjust a daytime clip’s color temperature
and tweak its tones to create a more
convincing customized nighttime scene.
To add more atmosphere
to your graded nighttime
scene, go to the Audio
browser and click on
Sound Effects in the left
pane. The Ambience folder
has a suitable Forest
Evening track.
80 May 2018
Audio is key to the atmosphere of a movie. Go to
iMovie’s Audio browser to see what suits your clip.
By compositing a full moon graphic
into iMovie’s timeline you can help sell
the nighttime effect. We created this
project’s moon in Photoshop. iMovie can
interpret the transparency information
in a Photoshop document so that any
object can be added to a video clip on a
separate layer. We’ll show you how to
position and scale a graphic using
iMovie’s video overlay settings.
We’ll also show you how to integrate
the composited moon and the graded
background footage more effectively by
adding a camera move to the clip. The
addition of a vignette effect also helps
blend the elements together.
If you don’t have Photoshop,
don’t worry — you can still follow the
iMovie color grading techniques in our
walkthrough to produce a convincing
day-to-night effect. george CairnS
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
how to Grade color and tone for a nocturnal look
Import assets
Use Go to File > Import Media to
import a clip and an optional doc of the
moon; we created ours in Photoshop
by filling an elliptical marquee selection
with the Render > Clouds filter, then
using Filter > Distort > Spherize.
Cool things down
Drag the middle control on the
same slider to the left to drop the light
levels. The slider to the right controls
saturation; drag it left for duller colors.
Next along is the temperature slider;
drag it left for a blue hue.
Remove transition
By default, the moon will fade
in and then out due to a transition. Set
the duration box to 0 seconds to keep
the moon visible. Make sure that the
“no border” icon is checked or the
moon will have a frame around it.
Preview presets
Drag the video clip onto the
timeline and click it there to select it.
Above the Viewer, click the three
overlapping circles icon, then click next
to Clip Filter. Put the pointer over Day
into Night. It looks gloomy, click Cancel.
add the moon
Drag the Photoshop doc with
your moon graphic into the timeline as
a cutaway layer. It will sit on top of and
run in parallel with the video layer. By
default, the moon has a Ken Burns
movement and is likely the wrong size.
Flatten the layers
To add a Vignette filter effect to
our layered project we need to flatten
it first. Choose File > Share > File. Name
the file “Day to Night flattened,” for
example, and set the quality to “Best
(ProRes).” Click Next, then Save.
Increase contrast
To manually grade the clip, click
on the color correction icon (an artist’s
palette) above the Viewer. On the blue
bar, drag the black control left to
create a stronger contrast that
simulates the harsh light of the moon.
Scale and position
Click the Crop tool. Change the
style from Ken Burns to Fit to remove
movement from the graphic. In the
Video Overlay tool (two rectangles),
switch from Cutaway to Picture in
Picture. Scale and position the moon.
Darken the edges
Remove the items from the
timeline, then go to File > Import Media.
Import the file you just created and
drag it to the timeline. In the Clip Filter
tool, click Clip Filter, then double-click
Vignette to darken the movie’s edges. May 2018 81
>>> Create
Power up your contacts
Quickly find and edit contacts, copy details, and make calls with Cardhop
OS X 10.11 or later, Cardhop
yoU wIll lEaRn
How to use Cardhop to
more efficiently manage
and get in touch
with contacts
IT wIll TaKE
15 minutes
You need a good
reason to replace
apps that come
with macOS.
They’re free, after all. When
choosing Cardhop over
Contacts, that reason is speed
— Cardhop being a fast and
efficient way to manage your
contacts. You can get a free
21-day trial by going to; the app
then costs $19.99.
Cardhop utilizes
information that’s
already stored in Contacts, so when you
first open it you’ll need to grant it access
to the latter’s contents. (If you
accidentally deny access, go to System
Prefs > Security & Privacy > Privacy >
Contacts and check Cardhop.) You can
then try our walkthroughs in order to get
started with Cardhop, find contact details
and make calls or emails, as well as add
and edit contact details.
Also don’t forget to check out two other
useful features. First, the Notes field is
always visible in a contact’s card, rather
than relatively hidden. Use this
prominence to store information that may
prove useful during a call.
Second, when faced with contact details
in text form, select the text, Ctrl-click,
and go to Services > Send to Cardhop.
This creates a new contact with those
details, which you can then edit. We think
all these features are good enough reason
to abandon Contacts in favor of Cardhop.
Craig grannell
How to Get started with Cardhop
Open Cardhop
To activate Cardhop, click its
menu bar icon, or use its keyboard
shortcut (see boxout). You’ll see recent
contacts (which can be removed with
Ctrl-click > Remove From Recents) and
contacts with upcoming birthdays.
82 MAy 2018
View some details
Place the pointer over a
contact. Quick Action buttons appear
if relevant details are stored; click one
to start a message, email, or voice/
video call. Click a contact (or select
with the arrow keys) to open the card.
Access contacts
After you open Cardhop’s
menu, click Show All Contacts for
a sorted list. Click a letter on the right
side to jump to that point in the list.
To hide the list, put the pointer over
All Contacts and click Hide.
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
How to Find details and perform actions
Use search
Cardhop’s search field can
interpret basic keywords and
sentences, which speeds things up.
Type in the field and contacts matching
your term appear. Navigate the list
using the arrow keys to open cards.
Find addresses
Calls and emails
Type “address” after a contact’s
name and their card will open with
their address clearly highlighted. Copy
it with Cmd+C. Or, use “Copy [name]
address” and press Return to put the
address on the Clipboard.
Type “email” or “phone” plus
a name. The contact is shown and the
detail highlighted. If multiple addresses
or numbers are stored, select with the
arrow keys. Press Return to open an
app to send an email or make a call.
How to Add and edit contact details
Create new contact
Start typing a name. If it’s not in
your contacts, press Return to create a
new card for that person. If Cardhop
confuses what you’re typing with an
existing entry, press the upward arrow
key to highlight New Contact first.
Add multiple fields
Specify additional details for a
new contact in the input field by typing
field names before respective values.
For example, “title Area Manager.”
Email addresses and phone numbers
are recognized, and you can add labels.
Make some edits
Cardhop may not get everything
quite right first time, but you can edit
fields easily later on: open a contact’s
card, then click in an existing field to do
so, or click Add Field to add a new one.
And don’t forget to add some notes!
> adjust keY CardHoP settings
Fine-tune display and Quick Action options
Cardhop starts attached to the menu bar, but can be dragged to turn it into a
floating window. Click the gear (bottom right) and choose “Attach to Menu Bar”
to reverse this, “Keep Cardhop in Front” to keep the windowed form visible, or use
the Ctrl+Cmd+A keyboard shortcut to toggle. Cardhop’s preferences contain more
extensive configuration options. Under General, you can adjust appearance
options, and set your own system-wide shortcut to open the app. Under Actions,
you can also define what each of the four Quick Action buttons does. MAy 2018 83
>>> Create
Sign in easily with a keychain
Learn to use iCloud Keychain to store and quickly access online accounts
A Mac, an Apple ID, and
(optionally) an iPhone
or iPad
yoU wIll lEaRn
How to set up and manage
the contents of
iCloud Keychain
IT wIll TaKE
30 minutes
You maY well have dozens
of usernames and passwords
for websites. Remembering
them all is a tall order, but it’s
vital that you don’t start using the same
details for multiple sites; if one website
suffers a security breach, your details
may end up leaking out online, which
could potentially give other people access
to your email, social networks, online
retail sites, all in one go.
Instead, iCloud Keychain can help
you out; it enables you to keep
usernames, passwords, and bank card
details in an encrypted vault on Apple’s
servers. Data stored in your keychain is
available on any Mac or iOS device
signed in to your iCloud account, which
saves you having to remember every
last password.
The keychain even works in
conjunction with Safari’s AutoFill feature
to save you time filling out forms. You
don’t even have to come up with complex
passwords in the first place because Safari
can suggest strong ones when you create
an account on a website.
KennY HempHill
“ R e m e m b e R i n g a l l Yo u R paSSwo R dS
fo R w e b S i t eS i S a ta l l o R d e R ”
How to Work with iCloud Keychain
Get started
On your Mac, go to Apple Menu >
System Prefs > iCloud. On the right, check
Keychain’s box. If you haven’t enabled
two-factor authentication to protect
your Apple ID, then you’ll need to set
a security code — don’t lose it!.
84 MAy 2018
Connect a device
On a Mac that’s signed in to your
iCloud account, tick the same Keychain
box. On iOS, look in Settings > [your
name] > iCloud. You may be asked to
enter the passwords/codes for devices
on which you’re already using keychain.
AutoFill in Safari
In Safari, go to Safari >
Preferences and click the AutoFill tab.
Here you can choose which information
will automatically be filled out in forms.
The first item pulls details from your card
in Contacts, rather than using keychain.
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
Add passwords
The quick way to add usernames
and passwords to your keychain is Safari
> Preferences > Passwords, by entering
them manually — be careful when typing!
Click Add, enter a site address and your
username and password for it.
Edit keychain
To change a password on your
Mac, follow the site’s reset steps, then
sign in; Safari asks to update your
keychain. Or, preemptively click the
password in Safari’s Passwords
preferences to edit it directly.
Keychain on iOS
In iOS 11, apps can use keychain.
If an app hasn’t been updated for this,
go to Settings > Accounts & Passwords >
App & Website Passwords, hold a finger
on an item, pick Copy Username or Copy
Password, switch to the app, then paste.
Save at sign in
Instead of, or as well as, the
previous step’s method, take advantage
of Safari’s offer to save details when you
first sign in to a site. Also, when creating
a password for a new account, Safari
suggests one; click it to accept it.
View passwords
When you visit the Passwords tab
on a Mac, you’ll need to enter your
password (or use Touch ID) to view items.
Each is only readable when its row is
selected; make sure you don’t leave this
tab open and unlocked for all to read!
Remove password
If you delete an account, remove
its details from your keychain on one
device and they’ll go from others, too. On
a Mac, select it in Safari’s Passwords list
and click Remove. On iOS, swipe left on
it in the passwords list and tap Delete.
Save at setup
Alternatively, click the icon at the
right of the field for another suggestion.
Your credentials are saved to iCloud
Keychain and are available on all devices
you connect to it. Some sites — banks, say
— can request for details not to be saved.
AutoFill on iOS
If Settings > Safari > AutoFill >
Names and Passwords is on and you visit
a sign-in page, saved credentials for the
site are shown as pictured; tap one to fill
out the form, or tap Passwords to choose
from other saved account details.
Add card details
In Safari > AutoFill, click Edit next
to Credit Cards. Click Add and fill out the
details. For security reasons, CVV codes
aren’t stored; they must be memorized.
To edit a detail, click it; altering the long
card number requires your password. MAy 2018 85
>>> Create
Use Maps better
Get from A to B with these handy tips
It May seeM like a fairly simple app, but Apple’s Maps
is full of neat little extras. Successive versions of macOS
have introduced a number of useful features to make
planning a journey easier and faster.
Thanks to Apple’s tight integration of the Mac and iOS platforms,
you can send journey and map info from your Mac to your iPhone.
The app will indicate the weather and temperature wherever the
centre of the map sits, and you can even take a tour of several cities
around the world. So, let’s discover just some of the useful features
of Maps that are easily overlooked. alex Blake
> Use MUltIple taBs
Plan several routes at once
Planning a journey with multiple destinations
can quickly become disorganized. It you want
to plan where to visit while on vacation, for
example, it helps to have several tabs open
to keep track of your options.
To do this, press Cmd+T to open a new tab,
or use Cmd+N for a window. If you have several
windows open at the same time, you can
merge them into tabs in one window by
choosing Window > Merge All Windows.
How to Send directions to your other devices
Specify your journey
First, click Directions, then tell
Maps where you want to travel to and
from. Cities and notable locations autofill
as you type. Once you’ve selected your
start point and destination, Maps will
show you how long the journey will take.
86 May 2018
Pick a route
After you’ve selected a route, click
Details to see the full list of directions.
You can also reverse the starting point
and destination to see details for the
return journey, or choose to go via
a different method (such as by foot).
Send to iOS or paper
Click the Share button, then
choose a device to send directions to.
You can also send to Mail, Facebook, and
more. Export the map and directions in a
printable format, in case your battery
runs out, with File > Export as PDF.
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
QUIck look The interface
Search for a place
The search bar at the top of the window will
automatically suggest places as you type. You
can enter place names, landmarks, venues, and
zip codes, as well as the name of any person
in Contacts whose address you have stored.
GeT locaTion info
A red pin marks your destination. Click it, then the
“i” to get extra info on the location, add it to your
favorites, report an issue, and more. Click a step in
directions to zoom around that part of the journey.
Click and hold on a place to drop a new pin there.
Traffic condiTionS
Once your journey is plotted on the map, pick
Show > Show Traffic to see the conditions on the
roads you are planning to travel on, including
any slow‑moving areas that you should avoid.
Take a Tour
The info box also lets you take a Flyover tour. In
a selection of major cities, this moves over the
destination and shows you notable attractions.
Click the 3D button and switch to Satellite mode
for a similar view that lets you explore freely.
Tailor direcTionS
You can adjust the directions given by Maps to
suit your needs for a particular journey. Click
View > Directions > Driving Options to avoid
toll roads or highways, for example.
check The weaTher
Zoom in and the app shows local weather and
temperature conditions at the top right. This info
is for the location at the center of the map.
> NavIgatIoN
Faster Maps
Maps gets better with
shortcuts and gestures, for
example, use Cmd+L to show
your current location.
Twist two fingers on the
trackpad to rotate the map.
Press Cmd+upward arrow
to return to north-facing
orientation. Zoom in by
spreading two fingers apart
on the trackpad, and zoom
out by pinching them
together. Add a place to your
favorites with Cmd+D; click
the search bar then Favorites
to pick from them. May 2018 87
>>> Create
understand Do Not Disturb
Take a well earned break from the pressures of work and life
An iOS 11 device (most
features work on earlier
YoU wIll lEaRn
How to ignore pesky
intrusions and focus
on the here and now
IT wIll TaKE
10 minutes
Do you crave time away from
the hustle and bustle of daily
life? Phones and tablets enable
us to be always online, but the
boundaries between our digital, work, and
personal lives are increasingly blurred,
meaning we get fewer opportunities to
switch off from the distractions that our
devices bring, short of turning them off.
Apple’s solution to this is Do Not
Disturb — a feature which, when
activated, silences all notifications, alerts,
incoming phone calls, and
messages for a set period
of time or until
you deactivate it.
Don’t worry though;
you won’t miss a
thing. Your iPhone
collects all of the
alerts together,
while your phone
stays dark and silent.
alaN StoNebriDge
How to Work with Do Not Disturb
Activate Do
Not Disturb
Open Settings and tap Do
Not Disturb. Use the topmost
switch to turn on the feature;
on most iOS devices, a
crescent moon is shown in
the status bar when Do
Not Disturb is active.
88 MAy 2018
quiet time
You can turn on Do Not
Disturb from Control Centre
by tapping the moon icon.
You can also have it activate
automatically during certain
hours: turn on “Scheduled”
and tap the From/To box.
Turn it on
A pair of rotating dials
will appear, on which you can
swipe up or down to set an
hour and minute. The From
row will be selected already;
use the dials to set the time
when Do Not Disturb will turn
itself on automatically.
Turn it off
Tap the To row and
set the time that you want
Do Not Disturb to switch off.
At that time, your device will
return to normal, with your
usual notifications and
sounds (change these in
Settings > Notifications).
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
Quick look Selectively allow calls
BlocK all callS
If you really want a bit of peace
and quiet with no interruptions —
and no exceptions — tap the
No One option to silence all
incoming calls.
allow favoRITES
You can add Contacts to your
Favorites list in Contacts. If you’d
like calls from this group to get
through to you even if Do Not
Disturb is active, tap Favorites.
allow gRoUpS
If you’d like a specific group of
contacts to be able to reach you,
tap that group’s name in the list
below; groups can be managed
on a Mac or at
allow all callS
To stop notification banners
and alerts and number badges
on app icons from distracting
you, but still receive calls,
choose Everyone.
> uNDiSturbeD Mac
Tweak silence
Go back to the top
level of Do Not Disturb’s
settings. Under Silence,
there’s a choice: have Do Not
Disturb silence all alerts, or
only when your device is
locked; so, they’ll play when
your attention is on screen.
Allow calls
You may have some
people who you always need
to be able to get through.
Turn on Repeated Calls to
allow a second call from the
same person to get through
if it comes within three
minutes of the first one.
Do Not Disturb is also a feature of macOS and can be
useful as it enables you to focus on a task without
notifications distracting you by appearing at the top right
of your screen. The fast way to toggle it is to hold Alt and
click the menu bar’s rightmost icon; it will dim when Do
Not Disturb is active. Do Not Disturb will stay on until you
manually turn it off, or else until midnight or the next
scheduled time to turn off (you can change these
settings in Notifications Preferences). MAy 2018 89
>>> Create
Tweak email views
Keep track of your conversations more easily
An iOS 11 device, Mail
YoU wIll lEaRn
How to more easily
pinpoint messages in
ongoing conversations
IT wIll TaKE
5 minutes
Threading is a helpful feature
of Mail that enables you to better
see the flow of a conversation. Instead of you having to tap back and forth between messages, you can view the messages that belong together on one page.
Each email appears in its own block, and you simply have to scroll up and down to view the complete conversation. You can customize the look of message threads in several ways. Here, we’ll show you how to do that and work with threaded conversations. alan sTonebridge
how To Recap email conversations
Head to Settings
In Settings > Mail, under
Threading, check “Organize by Thread”
is on. If not, messages from
conversations are listed individually
(as above). Turn on Complete Threads
too and Mail will group even those
messages you’ve moved/archived.
90 May 2018
Identify threads
You can identify threads by
a double arrow at their top right.
Tap it for a list of received messages,
then tap one to view it alone. Or, tap
elsewhere on the row to see all
messages — from participants and you
— in a scrolling view (see next step).
Tweak presentation
The two other threading settings
change the display in ways that can
reduce the amount of scrolling in long
threads. As above, read messages
are reduced in height until you tap them,
and newer messages are listed first for
quick and easy access.
Good design is
all about making
other designers feel
like idiots because that
idea wasn’t theirs.
Frank Chimero
The number one destination for
gra phi c des i gn news, views, an d h ow-to s
>>> Create
record world instruments
Use touch-controlled instruments to add melody to a ringtone
An iOS 11 device,
GarageBand 2.3 or later
yoU wIll lEaRn
How to play and record
world instruments
in GarageBand
IT wIll TaKE
15 minutes
In recent years,
GarageBand’s capabilities
have expanded beyond the
guitars, drums, and synths
that are most familiar to Western ears.
This hasn’t just been by way of new
keyboard presets either — Apple has
added new touch–controlled world
instruments, which offer tactile musical
insight into traditional Eastern fare.
In this tutorial, we’ll be continuing to
make a ringtone (see April’s Mac|Life,
issue 140), and using two Chinese
instruments — the erhu (a two–stringed
bowed instrument) and guzheng (a
plucked stringed instrument) — to add
melody and atmospherics to the eight-bar
loop we already filled with beats.
a p p l e ’s to u c h I n st r u m e n ts
o f f e r tact I l e m u s I ca l I n s I g h t
I n to t ra d I t I o n a l e ast e r n fa r e
92 May 2018
World instruments have also found their way into
GarageBand’s acoustic drum section — these Taiko
Drums are from the Japanese Traditional pack.
Because these are touch instruments
and smart instruments alike, they offer
plenty of flexibility. If you want to pluck
or strum virtual strings, that option is
available. However, in this tutorial we’ll
mostly be using GarageBand’s Autoplay
functionality, so you can quickly lay down
some professional–sounding audio even
if you’re not particularly skilled
with instruments.
Note that before you begin,
you’ll need to go to
GarageBand’s Sound Library
(see and install
the Chinese Traditional touch
instrument pack. Also, if you’re
new to this tutorial series and
haven’t got a drum track ready,
create a new Drummer track
and record eight bars of audio
using whichever drummer and
kit you prefer. Don’t worry
about it sounding Eastern
— the ringtone we’re creating
is very much heading towards
fusion territory, with a mix of
acoustic and electric drums,
world instruments, and —
next issue — some
vibrant electronic bass.
craIg grannell
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
how to Lay down a melody
In music, vibrato is an
effect that consists of
regular changes in pitch.
Rather than a smooth
sound, it appears to
be vibrating.
Get started
Create a new track, swipe to the world
pane and tap Guzheng. This Chinese zither can
be played by tapping or strumming strings.
To add tremolo (rapid repeating notes), hold
the button at the foot of the screen.
Learn your chords
Set Autoplay to 4. We’ll use the chord
progression Em/Am/G/Dm, playing each for
two bars. Tap the Go to Beginning button and
press Play; tap Em when the playhead loops
to 1. Switch to the next chord every two bars.
Set up autoplay
You can compose a melody by tapping
the strings, but smart instruments make things
easier. Tap Chords and you can restrict notes
to specific chords. Or use Autoplay to kick off
a melody that’s always in time and in tune.
Record your loop
Once you’re feeling confident, tap Go to
Beginning and Record. As GarageBand counts
in, tap Em to cue up that chord. Once the eight
bars have been recorded, GarageBand will
loop them. If you make a mistake, try again.
If you’re having trouble
recording cleanly, tap
Settings (the spanner
icon) and lower the tempo
value. Bring it back
up when you’re
done recording.
Play the erhu
Create a new track and choose Erhu,
a two-stringed bow instrument with a distinct,
clean sound that’s great for melodies. Tap
and slide the strings to play, and use the
slider to adjust the amount of vibrato.
add live effects
The erhu also offers effects buttons for
grace notes, trills, and a “horse” noise. Again,
composing a melody isn’t simple, so feel free
to use Autoplay (set to 1 sounds good) and
record the same chords used in step 3. May 2018 93
>>> Create
Fix dull skies in affinity Photo
Swap out gray clouds with Serif’s photo-editing app on your iPad
iOS 10.3 or later,
Affinity Photo
yoU wIll lEaRn
How to select parts
of your image and
replace them
IT wIll TaKE
20 minutes
Modern digital caMeras
have a problem. Actually,
they have several, but one
that is encountered time and
time again is a lack of dynamic range —
the inability to capture both very light
and very dark tones in an image.
This leads to either a silhouette, where
a dark subject — be that because your
subject is actually dark, or merely darker
than an extremely bright backdrop — is
unrecognizable except for its outline
against a perfectly exposed background,
or a nicely exposed subject with the sky
behind them washed out to pure white.
If you’re getting such shots, it’s often a
good idea to take a picture of the sky with
no obstructions so you can composite it in
later, creating a kind of HDR image with
both subject and sky properly exposed.
This is especially useful when you’ve been
shooting fast–moving objects such as
planes, when you might not get much
time to play around with your settings.
94 May 2018
There are other reasons to replace a
sky, of course — you could have been
taking photos on a gray winter’s day, and
want to turn it to glorious summer, or just
to improve the overall look and feel of an
image. A new sky can completely change
the mood of a photograph, bringing
warmth where there was coldness,
or removing a sense of foreboding caused
by storm clouds piling up on the horizon.
Affinity Photo on iPad makes it easy to
replace a sky. With its selection tools you
can choose exactly which parts of an
image you want to change, and the ability
to use layers enables you to blend your
new sky in with what’s already there.
Here, we’ll use Affinity Photo to brighten
up a cold, gray backdrop by pasting in a
more summery sky behind a Catalina
seaplane. The technique works great for
subjects set against the sky like this, yet
is also excellent for brightening landscape
shots. Or you could go in the opposite
direction, of course. ian evenden
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
How to Replace a photo’s background
Affinity Photo is split into
personas — working
environments that have
specialist uses and change
the tools available to you.
You switch between them
using the icons to the
right of the three dots
near the top left corner.
Getting started
Having opened the image that needs
its sky brightening up, you need to make a
selection. A selection masks off any areas of
the image outside its borders, so any changes
you make won’t affect them.
Polish the selection
Use Refine Selection (at the bottom of
the left toolbar) to fit your selection outline
tightly to the subject’s edges. When done, tap
the check mark in the tool’s options, then the
three dots (top left) and pick Invert Selection.
Make a selection
Using the Smart Selection tool in the
Selections persona, brush over the subject
of your photo — the bit you want to keep. Use
a smaller brush for the edges and make sure
Snap to Edges is selected.
Pick a new image
Now your background is selected,
replace it by switching to the Photo persona,
tapping the three dots again and choosing the
Place command. Your new image won’t appear
until you drag out a box for it with your finger.
Images you open or place
in Affinity Photo don’t
have to be on your
iPad; they can be
in the cloud, and selecting
that option gives you
access to many
popular services.
adjust layers
The new sky image will go on a new
layer on top of your original, so use the Layers
palette to move it behind. It will disappear, but
select the new top layer and use the three dots
> Pasteboard > Cut to make the old sky vanish.
Tweak and share
With your sky replaced, your subject is
still on a separate layer, and can be moved and
scaled. When you’re happy with the picture, tap
the icon of a document with three dots inside it
(top left), then tap Export and save the picture. May 2018 95
>>> Create
Be on time with your Watch
The many ways that Apple’s wearable helps you avoid lateness
An Apple Watch,
an iPhone
yoU wIll lEaRn
How to set timers and
alarms on Apple Watch,
look to the future, and
monitor traffic delays
IT wIll TaKE
10 minutes
The poinT of having a watch
is to make sure that we do
what we need to in a timely
manner. The Apple Watch is
changing how we do that — expanding
from “telling the time” to add things like
letting you know when your next calendar
appointment is, or buzzing you with an
alarm when it’s time to do something, or
even letting you know that the traffic is
bad so you don’t wind up late.
The aural and haptic feedback from the
Watch also makes it extremely difficult
to miss an important notification or alert,
so even though your iPhone can do all
the things we’re talking about, wearing
the Watch really is the best way to make
sure you don’t miss a thing.
In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to
set alarms and timers right from your
Watch itself, and how its built-in
mapping tools can help avoid those
aforementioned travel woes.
There are even different ways to get
a view of what you have coming up
depending on which Watch face you
choose, so we’ll run through that as well.
Being able to quickly look ahead and
check what’s on your planner for the day
is definitely another bonus to having
a mini-computer on your wrist.
One thing we don’t mention is
notifications, because we’ve assumed you
use Apple’s built-in apps. If you use
third-party apps — a calendar app such
as Fantastical, for example, or a
reminders app such as Due — you’ll need
to make sure you have notifications
turned on for those apps on your Watch,
otherwise you might miss something.
In the Watch app on your iPhone, you
can control the notifications for every app
individually (in the Notifications option).
We’d suggest turning on the red dot to
indicate unread notifications. Then scroll
down until you see the list of third-party
apps. You can flick the switch on any one
to make notifications for that app on your
Watch mirror those on your iPhone.
The final step is to make sure that you
notice the alerts! In the Sounds & Haptics
menu, make sure the audio alerts are loud
enough, and haptics are buzzy enough for
you to feel them. MaTT BolTon
hoW To Use alarms and timers
Set an alarm
Open the Alarms app on your
Watch. Previous alarms can be reused
by flicking a switch. Or, tap Add Alarm.
Use the crown to snooze an alarm, or
the side button to stop it. Watch
alarms can’t be set to repeat daily.
96 May 2018
Set a timer
Open the Timer app. You can
quickly tap a pre-created length of
time, or scroll down to Custom and
select that, then choose a length of
time. If you use the Siri watch face,
any time remaining will show in it.
Use Siri
You can ask Siri to set timers
and alarms. Say “Hey Siri, set a timer
for 10 minutes” or “set an alarm at
8am.” If Siri mishears, tap the switch
on an alarm to turn it off, or a timer’s
length to open the app and change it.
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
hoW To Stay ahead of traffic
Smart notifications
When you create an event with
a location in Calendar on your iPhone,
you can choose when it should alert
you. “Time to Leave” assesses the
traffic, and notifies you (including on
your Watch) when it’s time to go.
Travel time in Maps
In the Maps app on your Watch,
you can look up locations (entering text
by scribbling or dictation), and then
get walking, driving, or public transport
directions. These will show an
estimated time for each option.
Siri will help
The Siri watch face is designed
to be proactive, and one thing it’s able
to do is look at your work address in
your contact info, work out what time
you normally arrive, and start warning
you if traffic conditions will affect that.
hoW To Know what’s coming next
Siri Watch face
We’ve already mentioned it, but
the Siri watch face is designed to show
you what you need to know next — so,
that’s upcoming appointments, timers,
alarms, and more. You can scroll to go
through the list, and look ahead.
Time Travel
On other watch faces, turn
the crown and the time will dial ahead.
The calendar complication considers
this and shows what’s on your schedule
at whatever time you dial in! Press the
crown to return to the present.
Calendar in Dock
In your iPhone’s Watch app, you
can set which apps appear in the Dock
on your Watch. Set it to Favorites and
add Calendar at the top. Now, when
you press the side button, you’ll see
your schedule, which updates live.
> ThaT sync-ing feeling
Start on iPhone, get alerts on Watch
We’ve talked about setting alarms and timers on your Apple Watch, but you
don’t need to create them there. Set them on your iPhone and your Watch
will make noise and buzz on your wrist to alert you. And in the case of alarms,
you can snooze or dismiss them from either device. Oddly, your previous or
regular alarms don’t actually sync between your Watch and iPhone — that is,
if you look in both devices’ respective apps, they’re not mirrored — but the
important thing is that you can’t miss an alert. May 2018 97
>>> RAM
adam banks remembers how a genetically modified reptile
gave the first iMac its cutest selling point
its internet connectivity — one of the
features symbolized by the new “i” prefix
— was the big story, the iMac was also
ready for 3D gaming.
Above the hardware sat Apple’s
QuickDraw 3D, an innovative software
layer conceived to bring 3D to consumer–
level computers. It was promoted to
developers with a cute rollercoaster
simulator, Gerbils, commissioned from
Pangea, a small software company
founded by Brian Greenstone in Austin,
Texas. Pangea had been releasing
popular games for a decade, going back
to the Apple IIGS, and the QuickDraw 3D
software development kit made the new
realm of 3D “unbelievably easy to pick
up,” said Greenstone.
When the iMac shipped in August
1998, it came with Nanosaur, a 3D firstperson shooter (FPS) from Pangea. It
was by no means the first modern FPS
for the Mac: Quake and Tomb Raider II
had been hits the previous year. But
Nanosaur didn’t demand twitch reactions
or pixel-perfect jumps, and players
needed just 20 minutes to complete
its simple treasure hunt in a colorful,
family-friendly world.
Then as now, the Mac was nobody’s
first choice as a games machine, mainly
offering late ports of selected PC titles.
But Nanosaur embodied Apple’s ethos of
technology in the service of accessibility.
With its smooth, lush graphics and casual
appeal, it was the first thing new iMac
owners would show friends and family,
and all ages could have a go, regardless
of computer or videogames experience.
This was gaming for the rest of us.
98 May 2018
>>> Save money on
your next Mac buy
>>> Upgrade your
home network
>>> The best apps to
replace Apple’s own
May 29
Contents subject to change
WHEN STEvE JObS unveiled the iMac
on 6 May 1998, he stressed that not only
did it look different to other personal
computers aimed at the home, it was
also more powerful. As well as the
233MHz G3 CPU, that power came from
ATI Rage GPUs, precursors of the AMD
Radeon cards in today’s Macs. So while
Instantly access the current issue
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