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MacLife UK - January 2018

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Read the
definitive
iPhone x
verdict!
6 iOS apps to
build a better
you in 2018
Save money on
your heating with
a smart thermostat
MAC
iPHONE
iPAD
JA n uA ry 20 1 8 n O.1 36
A sound
investment?
9
HigH
sierra
timesavers
Beats Studio3
Wireless on test
to excite, delight,
and make your
life easier
DEtOx
yOur mAc
quick techniques
for clearing out
the clutter
HOW TO :
Recompose pics in Photoshop
Monitor iOS batteries remotely
Convert scanned pages to text
Get Siri to tell you who’s calling
Ja n ua ry 20 1 8 n O.1 36
w w w. m ac l i f e .cO m
18
30
50
Detox your mac
cool things your mac can do
iPhone X: the verdict!
Bring your Mac back to factory-fresh
condition with our in-depth guide to
decluttering — from locating and
removing duplicate and redundant files,
to Cloud storage, to a whole fresh start.
Your Mac is packed with incredible
features that will excite, delight and
make your life easier. Here you’ll
discover nine of the very best.
We put Apple’s new flagship phone
through its paces and reveal whether it
lives up to all the hype — and whether
it’s worth that eye-watering price tag.
clean up
your mac
>>> Contents
38
06
08
09
12
13
38
Procreate 4
50
iPhone X
Head to techradar.com for
the very latest news.
40
SoundShare 3
54
Synology DS418play
consider
41
Billminder 4
55
Keyboard maestro 8
The editor gets to grips
with the stunning new
iPhone X.
41
Visual codes
55
SuperTab 3
42
Kaleidoscope
57
adobe Photoshop
elements 2018
44
freeways
58
Beats Studio3 wireless
headphones
60
Vmware fusion 10
61
carbon copy cloner 5
62
logitech mX Sound
Bluetooth speakers
Share
66
Get started with
Home Thermostats
Take back control of your
home heating bills with
the latest generation of
smart thermostats —
devices you can easily
control from your iPhone
or iPad, even remotely.
72
apple TV
The latest apps and
hottest hardware for
your Apple TV.
flower
Apple says it hasn’t taken
shortcuts with security.
46
6 iOS apps to help
create the new you
They’re watching you
48
endless Traffic
Are your apps filming
you? Google researcher
spots security hole.
49
airruler
49
emi calculator
- loan manager
64
wD my cloud
Home Duo
49
How to make use of
your watch’s flashlight
65
Owc Thunderbolt
3 Dock
80
recompose pictures
in Photoshop
65
SanDisk iXpand Base
84
Stay focused while
using your mac
86
convert scanned pages
to digital text
88
monitor iPhone and
iPad batteries remotely
90
Organize with Picniic
92
Hear who’s calling
94
never miss eBay alerts
96
master iOS 11’s
accessibility tools
98
random apple memory
face iD defended
The Shift
force Touch tables?
Do protoypes and patents
hint at the next big thing
to hit Apple Stores?
16
50
45
David Chartier says the
Mac is still core to Apple
and its customers.
14
45
Digital|life
Email us your views at
letters@maclife.com.
10
58
62
Logitech MX Sound
Bluetooth speakers
Game loop
Brianna Wu on when
gaming monetization
crosses the line.
54
Synology
DS418play
4 Jan 2018 maclife.com
74
ask
Our experts solve your
Mac and iOS problems.
The original iPad launch.
The home of technology
techradar.com
Visit techradar.com
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EDITORIAL
Editor Alan Stonebridge
opErations Editor Rob Mead-Green
ContriBUtors Adam Banks, Gareth Beavis, J.R. Bookwalter, David Chartier, David
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i to the poWer of x
We’ve finally got our hands on the
iPhone X, and you’ll find our review of
Apple’s cutting-edge smartphone in
this issue. I have to agree with Gareth
Beavis, our reviewer, that it’s a
stunning piece of tech — though it’s
unarguably expensive, which might
stop many people buying it. Don’t
worry, because the great tech that’s
packed into the iPhone X is sure to
filter down to more affordable models
in Apple’s smartphone lineup over the
next few years.
I’ve used a Plus-size iPhone for three
years, and found the practicalities of
its larger screen have outweighed any concerns of unwieldiness
for me. The Plus isn’t for everyone, though, and I expect the
iPhone X will prove popular with people who want a very large
phone display in a leaner package. That’s what the iPhone X
offers: its case dimensions are much closer to an iPhone 8 than
an 8 Plus, albeit with a taller, slightly narrower screen.
Even for me as an ardent fan of the Plus, the iPhone X has
quickly become a delight to have around. It fits more comfortably
in my jeans pocket, even when in Apple’s Folio Case, which covers
the front and back. I’ve even had to check I have it on me, because
I no longer feel an oversized phone pressing against my thigh.
Naturally, there’s a period of adjustment to an iPhone that has
no Home button. It took me a couple of days to stop reaching for
one to return to the Home screen, and I sometimes find myself
there when I forget the new route into Control Center. However,
jumping between apps is more elegant thanks to an alternative to
the app switcher: swiping across the bar at the foot of the screen.
Even after 10 years of the Home button, these changes caused
by its removal are becoming second nature. Still, I’ve found
myself swiping up to unlock my iPad on a few occasions. I hope
Apple brings its depth-sensing Face ID tech to that device sooner
rather than later. Actually, forget using a fingerprint or proximity
to unlock devices. As long as Face ID proves to be as secure as
Apple claims, I want this brilliant convenience on all my devices.
>>>ThE TEam
Matt Smith
art editor
Matt has fended off the
temptation of iPhone X
with a retro 16-bit console.
rob Mead-green
operations editor
Rob has been scanning
his documents in iOS 11’s
Notes app. All of them.
Craig grannell
Contributor
After reviewing Freeways,
Craig is now re-planning
his whole hometown.
alan Stonebridge, Editor
Twitter: @maclife
8 Jan 2018 maclife.com
Your opinions, rants & raves
I am long retired from a PC-centric work world, but my
genealogical work requires that I gather a great amount
of information from the internet, with which I make
PDF, JPEG, TIFF, DOCX, and other files to share with
people who may use a PC. If I were to purchase a new
MacBook with a flash drive that was formatted with APFS, would
others with a PC be able to read these files when I create them on
my computer and send them to theirs? bill HoyT
It’s good news, Bill. The introduction of APFS (Apple File System) as the
default file system on SSD drives in High Sierra means under-the-hood
changes to the way your files are stored and organized on your drives —
and in turn how many files you can store, how securely, and how quickly
you can access them — but the file formats themselves are not affected.
PDFs are still PDFs, TIFFs are still TIFFs, JPEGs are still not as good as
TIFFs, and so on. You’ll still be able to open your existing files, up-todate versions of Time Machine and other backup apps will continue to
save files and access previously-saved files seamlessly, and you should
have absolutely no problems sharing new or old files with PC users.
Thoughts on iPhone X
Love it! I had an iPhone 6s.
I was never able to get Touch ID
to work for me, but Face ID has
not failed me once. It’s fast and
easy. I don’t miss the Home
button, and the learning curve
to use iPhone X is easy and
quick. The screen is great, the
processing is fast, and it feels
great in my hand. The only
drawback is the same issue
with all iPhones: The edges are
so smooth that without a case,
the phone will slip out of your
hand in a second.
ronald mEndoza
Share your
thoughts on
iPhone X
at letters@
maclife.com.
Setup couldn’t be any simpler:
It asks you to put your old
phone nearby. Unlocking your
phone is so quick. Only issue I’ve
encountered was restoring from
an encrypted iPhone backup,
SHarE wiTH US!
but that was because I couldn’t
remember the encryption
password initially…
carminE lavino
I find the Animojis infantile
and sophomoric. I couldn’t
fathom Craig Federighi
acting like a caricature while
demonstrating Animoji, and
then the applause from what I
had considered an adult, aboveaverage compilation of highly
intelligent people. Ciao for now.
mikE volPE
Scare tactics
Upon receiving your latest
Mac|Life newsletter, I decided
to install High Sierra. But first
I decided to read the TechRadar
article you linked to about High
Sierra problems and how to fix
them. I was horrified — so
Is High Sierra for the hard-core user
only? It pays to be cautious this time.
many problems! Shouldn’t there
be a disclaimer with High Sierra
— “For Nerds Only”? Equally,
would it not be a good idea to
add a footnote: “Phone the
Apple helpline... It’s free!”?
bErniE mccann
High Sierra has introduced
more fundamental changes
than most macoS versions
we’ve seen for some time, and
it’s true that this has led to
more incompatibilities and
glitches than usual, notably
with games and adobe’s
creative cloud apps. if you
can, we’d recommend cloning
your hard drive using carbon
copy cloner and trying out
High Sierra on the clone first.
digital edition
Do I understand correctly the
digital version of Mac|Life is not
accessible via OS X?
JoHn k. HowE
we produce more than one
digital edition of mac|life.
There’s a fully-interactive
app for iPad, which you’ll find
in the app Store, and also a
version you can read on a mac
(or Pc) using the zinio app.
Find out more at zinio.com.
Email: letters@maclife.com
FacEbook: facebook.com/maclife TwiTTEr: twitter.com/maclife
maclife.com Jan 2018 9
© Image by Puk Patrick
stArt
FeeD yoUr MInD. FeAst yoUr eyes.
Apple denies
Face ID issues
with iPhone X
“Quality and accuracy unchanged”
by LeIF Johnson
APPLe generALLy Isn’t known for releasing quick
statements regarding rumors about its devices, which
makes it all the more remarkable that Apple responded
lightning-fast to a Bloomberg story claiming it scrimped
on Face ID quality to get the iPhone X out in time.
In an email statement to our sister website TechRadar
on October 25, Apple flatly denied the truth of the
Bloomberg report, entitled “Inside Apple’s Struggle to
Get the iPhone X to Market on Time.” At least, it denied
the article’s specific claim that Face ID may no longer
have the “one-in-a-million” chance of failure Apple
touted in its reveal presentation last September.
“Bloomberg’s claim that Apple has reduced the
accuracy spec for Face ID is completely false and we
expect Face ID to be the new gold standard for facial
authentication,” an Apple spokesperson said.
These are strong words for a company that usually
releases the same canned statement about how it doesn’t
discuss rumors when these kinds of things pop up.
“Customer excitement for iPhone X and Face ID has
been incredible, and we can’t wait for customers to get
their hands on it starting Friday, November 3,” the
statement to TechRadar continued. “Face ID is a powerful
and secure authentication system that’s incredibly easy
and intuitive to use. The quality and accuracy of Face ID
haven’t changed. It continues to be a one in a million
probability of a random person unlocking your iPhone
with Face ID.”
Apple’s statement doesn’t deny most of the claims in
the article, which purports to give an insider’s look into
Face ID uses the iPhone X’s
cameras and 30,000 infra-red dots
to create a 3D map of your face.
Feed your mind. Feast your eyes.
squabbles over component
manufacture associated with the
iPhone X from the always dubious
“people familiar with the situation.”
But here’s the particular line that
Apple appears to have a beef with:
“To boost the number of usable
dot projectors and accelerate
production, Apple relaxed some
of the specifications for Face ID,
according to a different person
with knowledge of the process. As
a result, it took less time to test
completed modules, one of the major
sticking points, the person said.”
FAce the FActs
The Bloomberg report still claims
that even a downgraded version of
Face ID is likely to still “be far more
accurate than Touch ID, where the
odds of someone other than the
owner of a phone being able to
unlock it are one in 50,000.”
But Apple isn’t backing down.
Considering its usual silence in
situations like this, it might be
worth taking its reply seriously.
The good news is that we’re
putting Face ID to the test in our
iPhone X review in this issue,
although when we first tried the
iPhone X following the reveal event,
the staff member demonstrating
the phone kept having to turn the
display off and on again to activate
the authentication system.
This isn’t the first time Face ID
— which is replacing Touch ID on
the iPhone X — has become news
for the “wrong” reasons. It also
failed to work properly during
the presentation given by Apple
executive Craig Federighi at the
iPhone launch event in September,
although Apple said this was due
to other people handling the phone
prior to the presentation. In essence,
it said, Federighi’s troubles were
proof that Face ID was working “as
it was designed to.”
WPA2: is your Wi-Fi
network at risk?
Proof-of-concept code exposes
wireless security flaw
by rob MeAD-green
tWo beLgIAn reseArchers
have published details of a
serious flaw in the WPA2
protocol, which helps keep Wi-Fi
networks secure. Mathy Vanhoef
and Frank Piessens of the
Katholieke Universiteit Levuen
in Belgium say the vulnerability
makes it easy for hackers to steal
passwords, read the content of
emails, intercept bank details, or
even insert ransomware and
other malicious content into TCP
packet streams — and no network
is safe without being patched.
To prove the point, Vanhoef and
Piessens produced a proof-ofconcept code called KRACK (Key
Reinstallation AttaCK), which is
able to exploit the four-way
handshake used between client
devices (such as your iPhone or
Mac) and the WPA2-protected
Wi-Fi network they’re connected
to. The researchers even set up
a website at krackattacks.com,
which explains the WPA2 flaw in
more detail.
While it seems Android and
Linux operating systems are
particularly badly affected,
macOS, iOS and tvOS are
vulnerable too — just not to the
same extent. Apple has already
included a patch for the WPA2
flaw in its latest security updates:
macOS High Sierra 10.13.1,
Security Update 2017-01 Sierra,
Security Update 2017-01 El
Capitan, iOS 11.1, tvOS 11.1 and
Apple’s AirPort Extreme is not affected
by the WPA2 vulnerability.
watchOS 4.1. We recommend you
update your devices as soon as
possible to make sure you’re
protected. More details on the
security updates can be found
at bit.ly/sec_update. Apple’s
current AirPort Extreme is not
believed to be affected. However,
older routers from third-party
brands are likely to be vulnerable
— unless they’re patched with a
firmware update too.
Until you’ve updated your
devices, your best bet would be
to avoid using public Wi-Fi, or use
a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
to encrypt your data before it’s
transmitted. You should also try
to use sites that have https://
encryption, and connect to your
router using an Ethernet cable.
maclife.com Jan 2018 11
>>> Start
Someone is
watching you
Apps can film and take pictures of you
— thanks to iOS camera permissions
BY RoB Mead-GReen
GooGle enGineeR Felix Krause
has detailed a vulnerability in iOS
that means any app with permission
to use the camera on your iPhone or
iPad can secretly film you or take
pictures of you — whether you are
aware of it or not.
The problem stems from the fact
that once you give an app permission
to access your camera, it can do so
at any time provided that it’s in the
foreground… and Krause has
created a demo social
networking app called watch.user,
which does exactly that, to show
how the potential exploit works.
Talking about the issue on his
website at krausefx.com, Krause
says: “iOS users often grant camera
access to an app soon after they
download it (e.g., to add an avatar
or send a photo). These apps, like
a messaging app or any newsfeedbased app, can easily track the user’s
face, take pictures, or live stream the
front and back camera, without the
user’s consent.”
There is also an issue with facial
recognition technology, says Krause.
“Using the new built-in iOS 11 Vision
framework, every developer can very
easily parse facial features in real
time, like the eyes, mouth and the
face frame.”
Although Apple is pretty good
at policing the apps posted on
the App Store, its checks and
balances aren’t flawless — as it
discovered last April with the
Uber app, which secretly
tracked users even after
they’d finished using the
ride-sharing service.
Krause says the best
way to protect yourself
from rogue apps that
may try to take
Krause’s app shows
the exploit in action.
Face recognition? Great, but any app
can parse your facial features.
advantage of your iPhone or iPad’s
camera in this way is to revoke
permission for all apps, to use only
the built-in Camera app, and to use
the image picker in an app rather
than giving it blanket access to
either the contents of your Photos
library or your camera roll.
The other way, of course, is to
cover the camera on your device
when you’re not expressly using it by
buying a camera cover, or placing a
piece of insulation tape or even a
sticky note over it. It’s inelegant, but
it might just protect your privacy.
Krause has reported the issue to
Apple and says there are several easy
fixes - which include: forcing an app
to display an icon when the camera
is active; allowing camera access
only temporarily; and adding an LED
indicator light to the front and back
cameras on iOS devices that light up
when the camera is in use. Apple
could prevent apps from bypassing
this tell-tale indicator by sandboxing
apps the way macOS does.
>the shift
Apple’s standing isn’t all about iOS devices,
says david chartier — the Mac is still
core to the company and its customers
T
en years ago, when the
iPhone had just launched and
many of us were still carrying
iPods, Apple was far from
anything you could call “the
largest company in tech.” Today,
by measures such as market cap,
Apple is the most successful
company in the world. While this
might be largely attributable to the
success of the iPhone and iPad, the
Mac is still core to Apple and its
customers. But is it still unique
and relevant enough to the broader
industry? The answer might not be
as straightforward as you think.
I’m not going to compare specs
or toss out a storm of confusing
acronyms. But in the big picture,
the personal computing landscape
has changed dramatically over just
the past decade. Much of our file
storage and collaboration has
moved to “The Cloud” — apps
and services that support most
major platforms, or at least run
in platform-agnostic browsers.
Sometimes there are feature
discrepancies. One app might have
more up-to-date support on Mac,
iPhone, or iPad, while another
launches new features on Windows
and Android first, then Apple later.
The point is that, depending on
your line of work or play, it might
be easier than ever to not have to
care about the maker or operating
system of the device you’re using.
On the hardware side, Apple
switched the Mac from niche,
increasingly outpaced PowerPC
processors to Intel, the same kind
of processors that dominated its
Windows-powered competitors.
Between 2005 and 2007, the inside
of the Mac changed to resemble its
rivals more than ever.
However, if you will allow me to
riff off an old saying, a Mac is more
than the sum of its parts. I think
that’s true now more than ever.
While Apple has long played the
game of comparing hardware
specs, it has always focused more
on building great tools with that
hardware. Anyone can buy or build
a fast car. Only a driver can drive it.
The Mac will probably never
appeal to everyone, whether
because of Apple’s focus on the
premium end of the market or a
sheer dislike or misunderstanding
of the company. But Apple’s
strength lies in the platforms it
builds on top of its hardware, and
the appeal of those platforms is
rooted in thousands of little details
— from industry-leading features,
such as out-of-the-box cross-app
integrations, to the exceptional
development tools it provides to
the developer community. Apple
didn’t just turn the Mac into a
great software platform, it grew
the Mac into a compelling platform
for platforms to thrive.
>>> David Chartier is a content strategist and writer with vast experience analyzing the tech world.
He runs the website Finer Things in Tech (finerthings.in) and hosts its podcast, The Finer Things In.
maclife.com Jan 2018 13
>>> Start Feed your mind. Feast your eyes.
Are Force Touch
tables coming to
Apple Stores?
Prototype tables appeared in New York
and San Francisco for iPhone 6s launch
moore’s
law isn’t
working
Making processors
is getting harder
BY roB meAd-green
BY roB meAd-green
A whole new way to interact
with products in Apple Stores
may be coming sooner than you
think, thanks to some clever tech
revealed in a patent application
submitted by Apple to the US
Patent and Trademark Office
(USPTO) and spotted by the
Patently Apple website.
The application, filed in Q2
2016, describes the use of Force
Touch technology in a displaytopped table, which can interact
with any iOS device connected to
it — pressing on the screen on an
iPhone, for example, will cause
the table to respond with sound
and graphics. And the idea isn’t
as far-fetched as it might sound.
Two years ago, Apple actually
installed two prototype Force
Touch tables in its flagship San
Francisco and New York stores,
the aim being to show off the
3D Touch capabilities of the
then-new iPhone 6s. A video
posted on YouTube at bit.ly/
forcetouchtable shows visitors
in one of the stores pressing on
an animated graphic of a fish
on an iPhone 6s connected to
the table; when they do so, the
fish flits away, disappearing
moore’S lAw, which states
that the number of transistors in
an integrated circuit (typically a
processor) will double every two
years, is no longer true — or so says
Morris Chang, CEO of the Taiwan
Semiconductor Manufacturing
Company (TSMC), which makes
Apple’s A11 Bionic chip for the
iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X.
Chang made the comment at
a technology forum to celebrate
the company’s 30th anniversary,
stating that while transistor density
will continue to increase, it won’t
increase at the same rate as it has
until now — and that the year 2025
will be a major challenge.
Some kind of slowdown seems
inevitable. Recent CPU updates
from Intel, such as Kaby Lake, have
focused more on energy efficiency
than pure processing grunt, and
Intel is struggling to move to a
10nm process, which will enable it
to squeeze even more transistors
on to a processor die. Consequently
its “Cannonlake” architecture is
being pushed back to 2018.
Intel co-founder Gordon Moore
made the observation about
transistors in 1965, and it proved to
be correct for decades afterward.
Apple illustration for the Force Touch table.
off-screen, and ripples of water
emanate from the iPhone and
across the table, according to
how forceful the touch was.
In the patent application,
Apple clearly states that “display
tables may be used, for example,
in a retail setting to present
products to consumers and to
showcase features of these
products,” although they do
seem a little reminiscent of
Microsoft’s Surface Table (now
PixelSense) — albeit in a much
more limited and focused way.
Today, of course, Apple actually
uses tethered iPads in store to
display and demonstrate product
features, but who knows what
the future might bring…
need help with macoS or ioS 11?
Head to our regular Ask section every issue, which is packed with solutions to common Mac and iOS problems,
as well as links to important Apple Support articles that can help you even further.
14 JAn 2018 maclife.com
Stay up to date with the
latest Apple news
Sign up for our weekly email newsletter at
maclife.com
>>> Start Feed your mind. Feast your eyes.
>game loop
Despite being a huge Final Fantasy fan,
Brianna wu found a very compelling
reason not to keep playing A New Empire
“D
o not install that
game,” my friend
ordered, when I told
him there was a new
Final Fantasy game. “If you feel
the urge, throw your phone into
traffic. It will be cheaper than
getting hooked.”
I thought this was hyperbole.
It’s not. I have been gaming since
1985, and Final Fantasy XV: A New
Empire is the most aggressively
monetized game I’ve ever seen.
If you’re reading this and asking
“how bad can it be?” I urge you:
Do not risk installing it to find out.
You might know the developer
behind A New Empire from the
uncomfortably sexualized
television ads for Game of War
starring Kate Upton. In the 2015
Super Bowl, Upton is sitting in a
bathtub for no discernible reason,
then puts on a bustier armor and
declares, “The thing about
empires: The bigger you build
them, the more your enemies want
to knock them down.”
I might have wondered how a
game from a relatively unknown
developer could afford Super Bowl
ads starring a supermodel. I don’t
wonder about that now. In A New
Empire, many in-app purchases
are $99 a pop. If you’re lucky,
you’ll end up spending only a
few hundred dollars.
Others aren’t so lucky. One
player I know personally spent
$18,000 unlocking tier five troops.
Many high-level players in my
realm have spent at least $4,000 to
unlock tier four troops. Everyone
that hasn’t spent $4,000 is cannon
fodder for the people who have.
The power differential is so stark,
there’s no way for a pay player to
beat someone who isn’t, often
wiping out hours or weeks of work.
“Pay to win” is often hyperbole
— but the only way to win in A
New Empire is to pay. A lot.
I never installed Game of
War because it wasn’t tied to a
franchise I cared about. But Final
Fantasy? I am all about Final
Fantasy. I can tell you the lyrics for
Celes in the Opera House in Final
Fantasy VI. I scored the Pink Tail
in Final Fantasy IV. I can actually
describe the plot to Final Fantasy
XIII-2, which isn’t normal or
healthy. So believe me when I
say I wanted to love this game.
A New Empire is essentially a
reskin of 2015’s Game of War. If it
© Game of War — 2015 Superbowl Commercial
Supermodel Kate Upton promoted Game of War by sitting in a bath for a Super Bowl ad.
16 Jan 2018 maclife.com
Every player in this picture spent
about $4,000 on in-app purchases.
at this point, you’re so far in, it’s hard to give
up that investment and abandon ship
Spend enough money to
save your hero, or lose
most of your progress.
wasn’t so aggressively monetized,
it would be brilliant — because the
game itself is addictive and fun.
The idea is, you have an empire you
must build from scratch. You make
buildings, they generate resources,
you use those resources to make
new buildings. Some buildings
make troops, which you use to
destroy other empires.
None of that is unusual — there
are many games like that. Where
A New Empire gets you is the sunk
cost fallacy. The first few hours are
easy and fun. So, when the first
$99 pack promises you “double
resources generation” for life, it’s
high but it’s easy to justify it. “Just
$99 and that’s it!” you think.
Except that’s just the beginning.
Because it’s not enough to
generate resources. You also need
to buy another $99 pack to store
the resources. Then another $99
to halve the amount you spend on
buildings. Then another $99 to
halve the amount you spend on
research. Only then do you find out
all the money you spent helped
only tier one resources. And you
must repeat for tier two, then tier
three and tier four. At this point,
you’re so far in, it’s hard to give up
that investment and abandon ship.
Risk is another gameplay
element that incentivizes spending
money. In A New Empire, your
hero can be captured, which can
wipe out much of your progress in
the game. You have three days to
capture them back. For all three
of those days, you can’t hunt
monsters, and your defensive
power is halved. Fear of losing all
this makes those $99 packs look
much more appealing.
The frustrating part about A
New Empire is that it’s otherwise
a really great social experience.
The game rewards working in
guilds, which must coordinate
attacks together to succeed. My
realm, Eminent Haven, has its
own Game of Thrones inspired
backstory of betrayal and intrigue
between major powers. No game
writer made this; it’s the history
of the place we’ve built and the
actions we have taken.
Despite that, I realized Final
Fantasy XV: A New Empire wasn’t
a game I would ever win — it was
just I game I could continue to
not lose. And without goodbyes,
without fanfare, without
explanation, I simply deleted it.
>>> Brianna Wu is the head of development at Giant Spacekat, developer of Revolution 60 on iPhone and iPad,
and is a regular speaker at industry events, as well as host on the podcasts Isometric and Rocket.
maclife.com Jan 2018 17
>>> Feature
Clean up
your maC
Give your Mac the deep clean it has been waiting for!
Cleaning. DeCluttering.
tiDying. In the real world,
these things can be a hassle,
but you at least have the
advantage of knowing when to do them.
(Hint: If you can’t get into a room for the
piles of boxes and other rubbish, or can
draw in the dust atop your surfaces, it’s
time.) In the world of computing,
however, clutter can be largely invisible.
Over the years, digital cruft builds up
as you install new apps, moving your Mac
further away from its pristine factoryfresh state. And as you gradually fill its
drive with new documents, only Finder’s
status bar, assuming you have it turned
on, provides any real indication of the
current state of play regarding available
storage. But, sooner or later, you’ll get a
dreaded warning that your Mac’s running
low on free space.
We’ve all been there — although most
of us never get as bad as one Mac|Life
writer, who discovered one time that
there wasn’t enough room on his Mac
to even take a single screenshot.
>
18 Jan 2018 maclife.com
And sometimes there are other reasons
why you may need to clean up your Mac
— for example, when you have a system
clash that’s hard to pin down, making
your Mac behave in a strange manner.
The idea behind this feature is to
outline different ways you can declutter
a Mac: finding and removing documents
and apps you no longer need; shifting
data to the cloud; and a “start from
scratch” approach when things have
already gone horribly wrong. And
because you’re probably using an iPhone
or iPad too, we’ll also spend a little time
explaining how you can keep those
devices in tip-top condition.
After all, we should be far from the
days when you have room only for that
single snap left at an all-important
event. That was understandable in
a world of film, but not so much
when devices start out with many
gigabytes of storage.
maclife.com Jan 2018 19
>>> Feature
prune your mac files
Claw back acres of space by scanning your Mac and
getting rid of documents and other files you no longer need
B
F
E
a
D
C
explaineD Finding a clearer perspective
a
SCan your Drive
Prettier apps exist to
examine your Mac, but
few are more usable
than GrandPerspective
(Free, grandperspectiv.
sourceforge.net). Go to File >
Scan Folder to scan your
Mac’s entire drive and give
you a graphical overview.
B
SeleCt itemS
Click an item to highlight
it. You’ll also see how it
sits within any group of
20 Jan 2018 maclife.com
associated files (such as
Applications, or tracks in
iTunes). The Focus buttons
(top left) move the selection
up and down the hierarchy.
C
view item DetailS
Whatever the selection you
make, the path to the item
will be shown in the status
bar at the foot of the
GrandPerspective window
— along with the crucial value
that tells you how much
space it is taking up.
D
perform aCtionS
Ctrl-click a selection and you
can perform actions on it
using the contextual menu
— notably, previewing the
item using Quick Look,
or viewing it in Finder, prior
to you potentially deleting it.
E
Beware of Deletion
In GrandPerspective’s
preferences, you can decide
whether the app can move
files to the trash, and
whether confirmation is
required to do so. If unsure,
turn off this capability of the
app and delete files using
only Finder.
F
reSCan & repeat
GrandPerspective doesn’t
provide a live view of your
Mac’s drive. If you delete
items, they’ll still appear in
the app and simply be greyed
out. Therefore, for ongoing
pruning, make several
changes and then rescan
your Mac with the app.
Detox your Mac
Dump your
ioS apps
> 6 quick ways to declutter a mac
traSh maSSive appS
Never use iMovie? That’s over
2GB of space you can get back. Open
/Applications in List view and sort
by size to see what you can remove.
1
With the arrival of
version 12.7, iTunes
is no longer the
place to browse the
app Store, nor to download and
manage iOS apps. If you’re using
it and were in the habit of
downloading iOS apps to your
Mac, you may now have a large
and redundant archive of files.
These downloads are found in
~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/
Mobile applications, with apps
varying in size from a few
megabytes to several gigabytes.
Back up to external storage and
you can trash the folder, because
these apps will never again be
updated on your Mac. (You can,
however, later put one back on
a device, by dragging it from
Finder to the device in iTunes.) If
you can’t bear to part with the
app Store or any other features
removed in iTunes 12.7, download
and install iTunes 12.6.3 instead.
Delve into DownloaDS
2
If you download lots of things in
Safari, the files initially get saved in
~/Downloads. If you don’t clean that
folder out, it’ll be full of junk like app
installers. Delete any you don’t need.
prune DeviCe BaCkupS
We recommend backing up your
iOS devices to iCloud and also
3
manually to iTunes, but the latter
takes up space on your Mac. You
can use the Devices tab in iTunes’
preferences to remove backups.
remove legaCy photoS
When Apple replaced iPhoto
with Photos, all your pictures and
videos were migrated to the latter,
meaning you no longer need your
original iPhoto library. Back it up to
an external drive, then delete it.
4
Delete macoS inStallerS
Apple’s installers are well
behaved: After you’ve installed a
macOS update, they vanish. That is
unless you’ve made a manual copy.
You can offload these to an external
storage drive and then delete them.
5
Don’t forget the traSh
The Trash isn’t things you’ve
wiped from your Mac, but items that
are awaiting deletion. Until you empty
the Trash (Ctrl-click it and choose
Empty Trash), anything inside it still
takes up space on your Mac.
6
If you still have the original iPhoto Library lurking
around, you can back it up and delete it.
how to Scan with System Information
Get started
Choose Apple menu > About
This Mac, click the Storage tab, then
click the Manage button. A window
will open, detailing file types taking up
space on your Mac. For example, click
iOS Files for a list of iOS backups.
Recommendations
Click Recommendations at the
top of the sidebar to view ways you can
optimize storage and reduce clutter,
remove Trash items after 30 days,
remove watched videos from iTunes,
and review whether files are needed.
View and delete
For those categories that
directly list files, hover over an item
and click the magnifying glass to view
it in Finder, or the cross icon to delete
it. Note: the latter action bypasses the
Trash, deleting an item immediately.
maclife.com Jan 2018 21
>>> Feature
use the cloud
Stop littering multiple copies of documents across
your devices by making use of cloud services
a
B
D
C
E
F
explaineD Make the most of iCloud
a
iClouD SynC
If you use iCloud, documents
and other data can be
synchronized across your
Mac and iOS devices,
avoiding duplication or
copies of files at various
stages of completion.
B
Share DeSktop
& DoCumentS
Opt to store your Desktop
and Documents folders in
iCloud Drive, and they’ll be
accessible and kept in sync
22 Jan 2018 maclife.com
across Macs with Sierra or
later, iCloud Drive in iOS 10,
and Files in iOS 11, if signed
in to your iCloud account.
C
optimize
In iCloud Drive’s prefs, turn
on Optimize Mac Storage. If
space is low, your Mac works
out what you’re unlikely to
use soon and turns the
local copy into a link that
redownloads the file from
iCloud if needed. Be wary of
any files with dependencies.
D
watCheD viDeoS
If you download a lot of
movies and TV shows from
the iTunes Store, they’ll take
up gigabytes of storage. Your
Mac can automatically delete
any items you’ve watched. To
do that, click the appropriate
checkbox in the Advanced
tab in iTunes’ preferences.
E
Store your
photoS in iClouD
In the iCloud section of
Photos’ prefs, check iCloud
Photo Library. Your photos
and videos will all be sent to
iCloud and synced across all
your devices (along with any
edits you have made) —
assuming you have enough
iCloud storage, of course.
F
optimize photoS
When photos are stored in
iCloud Photo Library, you can
opt for full-res originals to be
stored locally. If local storage
is insufficient, choose
Optimize Mac Storage.
Detox your Mac
Syncing
feeling
> 6 iCloud tips for your mac
keep favoriteS Safe
Cloud services are generally
reliable, but they aren’t perfect. Make
sure you have a local backup of your
files on an external storage drive, and
ideally another one off-site.
iCloud is free, you’ll need to pay a
small monthly free for additional
storage if you need it. As of macOS
High Sierra and iOS 11, you can share
iCloud storage across families if you
sign up for the 200GB or 2TB tiers.
take Care when Deleting
Cloud-based syncing means you
have the same files everywhere; but it
also means if you remove something
it’s gone from everywhere. Deleted
files can be retrieved for up to 30 days.
get into Streaming
You can get back loads of space
by simplifying your music collection.
Back up and then trash local copies
from iTunes, and then stream your
favorites from Apple Music instead.
Something missing? Restore just that
from the backup you created.
1
as we note below,
apple does not
give you any kind
of control over what is synced
to iCloud Drive when using the
Desktop & Documents Folders
setting. Therefore, anything
stored there will take up space
on any Mac that’s signed into
your iCloud account.
The Optimize Mac Storage
option is a workaround to some
extent, since it’ll download only
the files it thinks you need when
space is at a premium. You can
also consider splitting your
documents between local
archives (in a user-created
~/Local Documents folder) and
synced content stored in iCloud.
However, you’re then risking
complication and clutter, and
might want to consider Dropbox
or Google Drive unless apple
later offers more control in a
future macOS or iOS update.
2
3
enough SpaCe
While your first 5GB of storage in
4
uSe iBookS
iBooks is useful for decluttering.
It supports ePub and PDF formats, so
it can house your digital docs, books
and comic books, which can all be
accessed across all your devices.
5
uSe prior to nuking
Over the page, we talk about
performing a clean install on your
Mac. Keep your files in iCloud to bring
them back quickly once that’s done.
6
iBooks is a handy holding place for PDFs and ePub
documents when you’re sorting storage.
how to Selectively sync cloud services
Manage iCloud
Prune Dropbox
iCloud is all or nothing when it
comes to syncing. Whatever’s stored
there will end up on your Mac, unless
you’re really low on space and have
activated the Optimize Mac Storage
option — which decides for you.
Dropbox is much friendlier
in this regard. Access the service’s
preferences from its menu bar app,
select Sync, then click “Choose folders
to sync.” You can then decide which
folders will be synced to your Mac.
Tame Google Drive
Select Preferences from the
vertical bar button, then Google Drive.
Click “Sync these folders only,” then
choose which to sync. You can also
sync folders from your Mac, including
your Desktop and Photos library.
maclife.com Jan 2018 23
>>> Feature
Start from scratch
The most extreme of cleaning options is to strip
your Mac right back and effectively start again
the SolutionS we’ve
looked at so far for
decluttering and cleaning
your Mac have been fairly
minor — the rough equivalent of a
bit of dusting, or trashing old boxes
that have been stacked in a corner
for way too long. But there’s a more
extreme option — the decluttering
equivalent of “nuke it from orbit.”
We’ll now explore this course of
action, which starts with beginning
afresh, reverting your Mac to the
equivalent of factory settings. After
that, you’ll gradually build it back up
to a workable state, restoring your
documents, media, and apps.
>
Starting again
Although there’s a sense of
busywork when peering into your
Mac with GrandPerspective, starting
from scratch is serious hard work.
You can’t expect to finish a complete
Mac refresh in an odd half-hour.
Instead, you’re going to need to set
aside a day or more of Mac time. It’s
also going to be a dull, tedious slog,
with a lot of waiting around.
You might then reasonably
ask why you’d want to do this.
What are the advantages? In what
circumstances would this be
considered a good idea? We can think
of two. The first is when there’s
something very wrong with your
Mac, and you have no idea how to fix
it. You may have tried repeatedly to
get your Mac running smoothly, but
it’s stubbornly resisting. This is rare,
but low-level issues can occur after a
Mac has accumulated the detritus of
several years of use and updates.
Installing apps, services, and
hardware can take their toll.
The second reason is that it can be
immensely rewarding to start again
with a clean slate. Sure, you can
delete the odd app you don’t think
you need, but what about deleting all
of them? And the same with files and
data? You’ll then quickly find out
what you really need (instead of just
having stuff hanging around for the
sake of it). As we’ve said, this is an
extreme option, and not for the
faint-hearted, but it can be an
effective way to bring sanity and
calm back to your Mac experience.
Before you begin, ensure you have
at least two copies of anything
important from your Mac. We have
shown you how to back up your vital
stuff in the past, and so we won’t go
into depth here. But we strongly
recommend making at least one full
> file system switching
If your aim in starting from
scratch is to clean your Mac
and quickly reinstall all your
personal user data from Time Machine,
note that Time Machine backups are
file system independent.
So, if you tried the macOS High
Sierra public beta and converted your
Fusion Drive to aPFS, which is not
supported in the final public release,
you can make one last backup, erase
24 Jan 2018 maclife.com
the Fusion Drive to macOS Extended
format, install the non-beta macOS
High Sierra, then use the Setup
assistant — or Migration assistant
after setup — to restore content from
the backup. This also means that if
your Mac’s startup disk is purely flashbased, and so is forcibly switched to
aPFS by High Sierra, your old Time
Machine backups are not rendered
useless to it.
The preparation is a little intimidating, but
there’s nothing like a fresh install of macOS
to really clear things out.
Declutter your Mac
clone of your Mac using Carbon
Copy Cloner ($40, bombich.com) or
SuperDuper! ($28, shirt-pocket.com/
SuperDuper), which will copy
everything — apps, library files
and documents. A separate Time
Machine backup is a good idea, too.
Also, if you’re not using iCloud,
consider turning that on for your
calendar, notes, and keychain.
On a blank USB flash drive (with
at least 16GB of free space for macOS
High Sierra), create a bootable
installer. You’ll need a macOS
installer from the Mac App Store,
and Install Disk Creator (Free,
macdaddy.io/install-disk-creator)
or follow the steps at bit.ly/macos_
boot. Restart your Mac while holding
Opt, and select the installer you just
created. When the macOS Utilities
window appears, select Disk Utility.
Use the Erase feature to format your
> Supporting documents
When starting from scratch
on your Mac, be aware that
a clean install mean wiping
the entire contents of your
startup drive. That means anything
that previously had dependencies will
need those reinstated to fully function.
You might find clean installs of music
software lack custom instruments, for
example, and creative apps may lack
plug-ins. Copy across an old movie or
a podcast project, and it’ll work only
if it can still find any files you added.
This is why it’s important to have a
clone of your original system, so you
can copy across files you later need.
note that files in your user account‘s
Library folder will be hidden on clones,
but can be reached in Finder with Go >
Go to Folder; for the path, use the
format /Volumes/[vol name]/Users/
[user name]/Library/.
Mac’s usual startup disk as either
APFS, if it’s a solid-state drive (SSD),
or as macOS Extended (Journaled)
with a GUID Partition Map scheme
if it’s a hard drive or Fusion Drive.
Quit Disk Utility and
install macOS from the
macOS Utilities window,
choosing your newly
formatted drive as the
destination. Once the
process is complete, you’ll
need to enter your Apple ID
and other details.
could do the job instead. With your
documents, copy across supporting
files for current projects, but leave
other old stuff on your backup
drives unless it’s needed one day for
reference or revival. That way, your
Documents and Applications folders
will be cleaner and simpler, far easier
to manage, and take up less space.
It’s also worth noting that this
can go hand-in-hand with cloud
services. Sure, you could just copy
your entire iTunes library back to
your Mac — and perhaps you should,
if you have many meticulously
generated playlists. Alternatively,
you could start using Apple Music or
Spotify, massively reducing space
usage, creating music collections
that will sync across devices, and
potentially discovering new music
instead of listening to the same old
stuff. After all, if you’re starting
afresh with your Mac, there’s no
reason why you can’t do so (to some
extent) with your music.
Finally, a word of warning: take
care of your backups. These will now
be where your Mac “history” lives
— not on your Mac itself. Be very
careful to not overwrite them or
damage them. Again, this is why
making multiple copies of your
documents — instead of relying on
just one — is a very smart idea.
get your life BaCk
At this point, you have all
sorts of choices. You could
copy across the contents of
your entire user folder
from a clone of your drive,
or restore from the Time
Machine backup. But a
smarter move is often to
restrict installation and
copy just the things that
it turns out you really need.
For example, rather than
installing (from the Mac
App Store and elsewhere)
all your favorite apps, wait
until you need one first —
and consider whether
you might already have
something installed that
maclife.com Jan 2018 25
>>> Feature
automatic tidying
Use Hazel, Smart Folders, and some new good
habits, to keep your Mac permanently cruft-free
a
F
C
E
D
B
explaineD Automate your Mac’s clean-up routine
a
inStall hazel
Hazel ($32, noodlesoft.com)
is an app that can automate
your ongoing maintenance,
using rules you set up. It
monitors folders for you and
performs specified actions.
B
Start Defining
your ruleS
Open System Preferences >
Hazel and add a folder to
watch using the Folder pane’s
Plus button. Then create
rules for that folder, adding
26 Jan 2018 maclife.com
each using the Plus button
beneath the Rules pane. You
can have duplicate files or
broken downloads trashed
automatically, for example.
C
BuilD aCtionS
If you’ve ever created a
playlist in iTunes, the steps
for creating rules are similar
here. You define conditions
that trigger actions when
any, all, or none of the
conditions are met. Use the
Preview button to test a rule.
D
remove appS
In Hazel’s Trash tab, you
can enable its App Sweep
feature. This tries to remove
application support files
when you delete an app,
thereby potentially freeing
up more space than just
trashing the app alone.
E
automate traSh
macOS can be set to
automatically erase items
that have been in the Trash
for 30 days, but Hazel offers
many more timescale
alternatives — and you can
optionally set a maximum
Trash size, too.
F
uSe Smart folDerS
Alongside Hazel, or instead
of it, you can also use Smart
Folders to keep tabs on
certain file types. In Finder,
click File > New Smart Folder.
Set up searches for recently
added large files, say, to
make sure you’ve actually
done something with them.
Detox your Mac
two macs
in one
> form good habits for a clean mac
Don’t Dump on DeSktop
It’s tempting to drop everything
on to the desktop. Don’t! Use it to
house a single current project, or as
just a temporary location for files.
1
You might think we’re
killjoys for suggesting
you keep new app
installs to a minimum. But the
cruft that accumulates from
countless apps can sometimes
cause problems for your Mac.
One alternative is to create
a sandbox — a new partition,
created using Disk Utility, into
which you install a second copy
of macOS. This sandbox can be
used to test new apps, and since
you’ll have to restart into it,
you’ll be much more likely to give
any apps you install there proper
focus for a set period of time.
Doing this, of course, won’t
save you space, but it can keep
your main partition relatively
pristine, while also retaining a
space for you to have fun with
any apps you want to try.
alternatively, if you can afford it,
get a cheap second-hand Mac to
do much the same with.
DownloaDS zero
You’ve probably heard of Inbox
Zero — dealing with every email by
the end of each day. Do the same with
downloads. File anything you want to
keep, then get rid of everything else.
2
minimiSe new app inStallS
3
There’s no point cluttering up
your Mac with apps you never use.
Figure out those that help you most
and/or you enjoy, and scrap the rest.
avoiD DupliCation
Many files have their proper
place — they don’t need two. For
example, say you download music
from Bandcamp and drop it into
iTunes; assuming you allow iTunes to
organise your media, you no longer
need the originals in Downloads.
4
SenSiBly name itemS
Cruft sometimes appears over
time because you don’t know what
— or where — your documents are.
Figure out useful naming and filing
conventions and then stick to them.
You’ll be more likely to find and use
things that you’ve previously saved.
5
ConSiDer gamifiCation
If it’s tricky to get good habits
going, gamify them. Momentum
Habit Tracker (Free, Mac App Store)
gives you three free “habits” you can
track, one of which can be a daily
attempt to keep your Mac cruft-free.
6
If you allow iTunes to organize your media, you can
delete the originals from your downloads.
how to Create new Hazel rules
Import into iTunes
Set your rule’s condition to Kind
is… Music. Set a first action to “Import
into iTunes” (the playlist will default to
Library). Add an action “Move to folder
Trash.” This will then delete originals
after they’ve been imported.
Trash installers
Flag old items
This rule needs two conditions.
The first: Extension is dmg. The second:
Date Added is “not in the last 1 month.”
Set the action to: Move to folder Trash.
Files of that type added over a month
ago will be automatically binned.
Use the same date condition
as in the previous step, but omit the
Extension part. Use the “Set color
label” action, and set the label to red.
Old items will now be labelled, making
them easier to spot for pruning.
maclife.com Jan 2018 27
>>> Feature
iOS
Clean up ioS devices
Use iOS 11’s tools — and a handy Mac app — to keep
your iPhone and iPad in tip-top working order
a
B
C
D
E
F
explaineD Breaking down storage information
a
viSit SettingS
Go to Settings > General >
iPhone/iPad Storage and
you’ll see something similar
to the image shown above.
Be mindful that it can take
a short while for the entire
page to fully load.
B
Break it Down
At the top of the page, you’ll
see your device’s maximum
storage, and what types of
media are currently eating
28 Jan 2018 maclife.com
up space. This feedback gives
you a good starting point
when it comes to pruning.
C
offloaD appS
As of iOS 11, your iOS device
can automatically offload
apps and games when
storage is low. This can free
up space, and you don’t lose
anything — simply tap an
app’s Home screen icon to
redownload it; its docs and
data will still be present.
D
uSe iClouD
iOS unsurprisingly suggests
using iCloud Photo Library if
you’re not already doing so.
Note that you may need to
pay for additional iCloud
storage space to use this.
E
review meDia
If it’s present, tap Show All
to see additional suggestions
for videos and attachments,
both of which can take up a
lot of space. In all cases, you
can preview individual items
before deleting them.
F
examine appS
Scroll down for a list of all
the apps and games installed
on your device, with those
taking up the most room at
the top, and the date you last
used each. You can delete
or offload apps manually, if
you want. You can always
redownload apps later, but
deleting will trash their data.
Detox your Mac
removing
32-bit apps
> optimize ioS device storage
explore reCent uSage
Although you can’t reorder apps
in the Settings storage overview by
date, you can see when each was last
used. If that date’s a while ago — or
“Never Used” — remove the app.
1
as of iOS 11, app
developers must make
all their apps 64-bit
compliant to take full advantage
of the processors used in iPads
and iPhones — 32-bit apps and
games are no longer supported.
In Settings, go to General >
about > applications. any items
listed under “no updates
available” won’t launch at all
on iOS 11. Chances are, many
of these items will never be
updated either, and are now
therefore just clutter.
For anything in the list you
no longer care about, just delete
it. If there’s something lurking
you’d hoped to return to one day
(such as a favorite game), or you
have an inkling that an update
may be imminent, offload the
app instead. That way, if or when
an update does appear, you can
reinstall it, and any associated
data will have been preserved.
Create Date folDerS
2
If you like to try new apps and
games, consider storing them in
folders by the date you downloaded
them. If you haven’t used one after
a while, you can easily delete it.
3
offloaD viDeoS
Videos shot on your iOS device
can take up loads of room. If you don’t
use iCloud Photo Library, get into the
habit of connecting your device to
your Mac, and save videos there. This
safeguards them and frees up space.
CheCk SoCial meDia appS
Apps such as Facebook and
Twitter tend to cache content locally,
to speed up browsing. You can often
free up hundreds of megabytes by
deleting and reinstalling such apps,
or disabling local storage if they offer.
4
Stream your poDCaStS
If you’re a podcast fiend and
have loads of subscriptions, your app
of choice might be storing gigabytes
of shows on your device. Switch to
streaming where possible, to save on
space and reduce clutter.
5
traSh unwanteD ioS upDateS
Your device will automatically
download iOS updates. You can delete
any unwanted updates in Settings >
General > Storage, although why not
back up your device and install them?
6
Import videos shot on your iOS device to your Mac,
if you’d rather not delete them.
how to Explore a device with iMazing
Get started
Plug a device into a Mac with
iMazing (imazing.com) installed, and
you can delve into various media types
by selecting them in the app’s sidebar.
Note: to access all categories, iMazing
will first have to make a backup.
Prune content
iMazing enables you to export
and then delete photos, videos, music,
and books outside of iTunes — although
the free version limits how many items
you can do this with. Paying $40 will
unlock the app’s full functionality.
Save messages
The app also enables additional
types of tidying — for example, select a
conversation in Messages and you can
archive it to PDF, and quickly export all
of its attachments, before deleting it
and freeing up the space it all took up.
maclife.com Jan 2018 29
9
>>> Feature
cool
things
your
ma
c
macOS masterclass
Your Mac is packed with
incredible features that
can excite, delight, and
make your life easier.
Gary Marshall details
some of the very best…
ometimes you can have
too much of a good thing:
Our Macs are so good at so
many things that some of
their best features remain unexplored.
There’s even a scientific name for it:
the paradox of choice. Faced with lots
of options, we often stick with what we
already know.
That’s a shame, because some of
these features could save you stacks
of time or simply make your apps more
efficient. That means it’s a good idea
to go all Indiana Jones inside macOS,
uncovering the valuable treasures
that might otherwise stay hidden. And
unlike Indiana Jones, you don’t need to
worry about booby traps — nothing here
is going to send a big boulder rolling
around your system.
Over the next few pages, you’ll
discover three kinds of lesser-known
features of macOS. You’ll learn about
shortcuts that enable you to get things
done more quickly, to automate
repetitive tasks, and to eliminate
everyday irritations. You’ll uncover the
features that can deliver what you want
without having to open a dedicated app.
And you’ll discover little treats that
Apple’s developers have added simply
to make life with a Mac better and keep
you smiling. Whether you want to speed
up your workflow or just put an emoji in
an email, we’ve got you covered.
s
can do
maclife.com Jan 2018 31
>>> Feature
automatic text
& shortcuts
Find yourselF
typing the same
thing again and
again? A long
email address, perhaps, or a
funny string of characters, or a
polite go-away to emailers who
send you irrelevant stuff? Then
head directly to the Keyboard
pane in System Preferences,
where magic awaits.
In the Text tab there, you can
create your own shortcuts —
keywords you type which
macOS replaces with a longer
phrase. So, for example, if we
01
type “shrug” with a semicolon
before it, we get “¯\_( )_/¯”
while “sorryno” with
a semicolon in front gives us
“Thanks for this. I’ve passed it
on to X, who’ll get in touch as
soon as possible.”
While you’re in that pane, go
to the Shortcuts tab, where
you can create your own
keyboard shortcuts for menu
items, or edit existing ones.
Want Opt+Cmd+E to bring up
Preview’s Export dialog? Select
App Shortcuts on the left, then
the + to set it up.
Text shortcuts are huge timesavers, especially for boilerplate
replies and your most commonly used phrases.
multi-touch
gestures
When it comes to a Mac’s built-in
trackpad or the Magic Trackpad, it’s
easy to forget just how much it can
do. Most of us know about tapping
— two-fingered tapping to Ctrl-click, and the
gestures for zoom, scroll, and rotate — but there
are more, as you’ll discover in System Prefs >
Trackpad. Two-fingered swipes move between
pages or open Notification Center; three-fingered
dragging moves items around; a three-fingered
tap looks up a word or uses macOS’s data
detectors for contextual actions; and fourfinger gestures show the desktop, display
Launchpad, open Mission Control or App Exposé,
or move between full-screen apps. Enable them
in System Prefs’ Trackpad pane, except for threefinger drag, which is in the Accessibility pane.
Don’t forget Magic Mouse gestures: You
can double-tap with two fingers to open Mission
Control, swipe two fingers left or right to move
between full-screen apps, or swipe one finger to
move between pages — in Safari, say.
02
There are so many trackpad
gestures for your Mac, it can be
hard to remember them all.
32 Jan 2018 maclife.com
macOS masterclass
nix your notifications
notiFications can be
useful, but sometimes you
don’t want to be alerted
when Jennifer posts yet
another “here’s what I made for
dinner” pic to Facebook, or when
you receive an unimportant email.
You might be in a meeting,
delivering a presentation, or simply
trying to concentrate. To turn off the
display of notifications temporarily,
hold down the Opt key and click
Notification Center’s icon at the
far right of the menu bar. The icon
becomes dimmed to confirm that
new notifications won’t appear when
they’re received.
As in iOS, you can make Do Not
Disturb mode engage automatically.
In System Preferences’ Notifications
pane, you can tell your Mac to enter
03
Do Not Disturb mode when its display
is asleep, when it’s mirroring its
display to a TV or a projector, or at
specific times of day. You can also
specify whether Do Not Disturb should
allow notifications about phone
calls to appear on screen.
Notifications aren’t always welcome. You can
disable them manually, or between set hours.
sign pdFs with a pen
are you still printing
documents, signing
them with a pen, and
scanning them in
again? You’re not alone, but there’s
a much better way to do it in macOS.
First of all, get a good pen and sign
your name — black on white paper
works best, and thicker pen nibs
give the best results. Open your
document in Preview, and click the
Markup button in the toolbar. You
should now see a new toolbar of
markup tools below the main one.
Click the sixth icon from the left,
which looks a bit like a signature,
and then choose Create Signature.
Now for the fun part. Hold your
signature up to your Mac’s camera
and position it so it’s shown in the
04
on‑screen preview. Click Done to see
the result. If you’re unhappy with it,
you can retake the shot. Preview stores
your signature for access later on, and
enables you to move, resize, and rotate
it just like any other object.
Preview enables you to store a digital copy of
your signature for signing PDFs.
super
services
under every
app’s name in
the menu bar,
you’ll see a Services
sub-menu. Services are for
performing specific tasks within
apps, such as searching for the
selected text using Google, or
sending info from one app to
another. They can be
exceptionally useful if you’re
willing to spend a bit of time
setting them up.
Once again, go to System
Preferences’ Keyboard pane,
click the Shortcuts tab, and
select Services on the left. You’ll
see a big list of things your Mac
can do, many of which are not
enabled. Some of the available
services are global, meaning
they work in every app, but some
are app-specific. Services that
are checked appear in the
aforementioned sub-menu.
For example, if you enable
Summarize you can create a
short overview of the selected
text in almost any app; if you’ve
installed the Scrivener writing
app, you’ll see services to add
the selected text to your
project’s notes, clippings, or
the currently open document.
05
Services make your Mac even more
practical. They’re great timesavers.
maclife.com Jan 2018 33
>>> Feature
talk to your mac
you knoW siri enables you to search for
things using your voice, but you might not
know that your Mac has a superb dictation
system too. All you need to do to dictate
words is quickly press the fn key twice and then start
speaking. There’s a bit of a lag between speaking and
seeing the results on screen, but the speech recognition
system is very fast, and you can also use commands, such
as “new paragraph.” You can see the full list of commands
at System Preferences > Accessibility. Choose Dictation
from the left-hand pane, then select Dictation Commands.
To get the best possible performance, which requires
about 700MB of disk space, turn on Enhanced Dictation
(in System Preferences > Keyboard > Dictation). This saves
the feature having to communicate with Apple’s servers
and does the work on your Mac, thus enabling it to work
even when you don’t have an Internet connection. It
makes the results a little less accurate but much faster.
Your Mac is also able to read text to you. Go to System
Preferences > Accessibility > Speech to set a keyboard
shortcut and the voice that will speak whatever text is
selected when you press that key combo.
06
Dictation is even better if you
enable its enhanced mode and
use a good-quality microphone.
do math in spotlight
sometimes it’s
the little things
we love the
most, such as
Spotlight’s ability to do
much more than search
your Mac’s storage and your
web browsing history. Once
you summon it using its
menu bar icon or by
pressing Cmd+Space, you
can get it to work out math
— for example, typing
“100/3” immediately
displays 33.333333, and it
shows the results as you go
along in longer calculations.
Spotlight can convert
currencies, too. Typing
“$350 in Euro” works out
07
34 Jan 2018 maclife.com
the Euro value based
on today’s exchange
rate. It can also convert
temperatures: Type “5°C”
and Spotlight tells you
that’s 41° Fahrenheit. It
can even let you know about
the weather: Type “Weather
in New York” for the local
forecast. Then there’s
football scores — type
“scores” followed by a
team name — and word
definitions — type the word
on its own, or preface it
with “define.” If Spotlight’s
scope is too broad, head to
System Preferences >
Spotlight to limit which
results it displays.
Spotlight can calculate currency conversions and do math,
and look up word definitions and even weather forecasts.
macOS masterclass
You can use emoji just
as you do on iOS: Press
Cmd+Ctrl+Space to open
the Character Viewer.
insert emoji
language purists
may weep, but if you don’t
use emoji you’re missing
out on a lot of fun —
especially on social media, where a
picture can tell a thousand words and
a string of emoji can make even the
dullest post look interesting. The emoji
08
keyboard is obvious in iOS, but it’s a little
more hidden in macOS. To bring it up,
press Cmd+Ctrl+Space.
The pop-up that appears is a compact
view, with the most popular emoji shown
first and icons representing different
categories at the bottom. If you click on
the icon at the top right, you’ll see the
full Character Viewer window — with not
just emoji, but arrows, bullets, currency
symbols, math and science symbols, and
special punctuation marks. It’s worth
switching to this view if you find yourself
using the same emoji repeatedly, since
you can add individual ones to your
favorites list for faster access.
cache content
For anyone With multiple Macs
or iOS devices, you can reduce your
Internet bandwidth usage with High
Sierra’s Content Caching feature. It’s
useful if you have a monthly download limit, but
it’s also a great timesaver. It stores downloads
such as software updates and iCloud files, and
when another Mac, iOS device, or Apple TV
wants such content, it’ll check with your Mac
to see if it has already been downloaded. If it
has, the device takes that version instead of
downloading it again from the Internet.
For best results, your main Mac should have
an Ethernet connection to your router, with
other devices on Wi‑Fi. You can enable Content
Caching in System Prefs > Sharing. If you have a
complex network setup you might need to tweak
it; by default it works only on a single subnet,
such as your Mac having the address 10.0.0.2
and other devices 10.0.0.3 onwards.
09
Content Caching helps you avoid downloading duplicates of data from
iCloud or Apple’s App Stores. See bit.ly/content_caching.
maclife.com Jan 2018 35
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maclife.com JAn 2018 37
APP LIFE
THIS MONTH’S MOST INTERESTING iPHONE & iPAD APPS
Procreate
Amazing art app gets even better
$9.99 From Savage Interactive, procreate.art
Made for iPad Air, iPad mini 2 or later Needs iOS 11.0 or later
Procreate isn’t
a photo editor,
but Luminance
brushes add
lighting effects.
38 Jan 2018 maclife.com
Procreate was one
of the first apps to
take full creative
advantage of the
iPad, and this fourth version
confirms it’s still ahead of its
rivals. It’s aimed squarely at
artists — whether dabblers
or full-time professionals —
both for finished artwork and
visualization, where a scene or
character is roughed out. So
you can get results quickly, but
you also have the depth and
precision to produce polished
work if you wish.
This is a big update, with
changes both above and below
the surface. The neat interface
is more streamlined than ever,
with everything clearly and
logically laid out in drop-down
panels accessed from the top
toolbar, making it easy to
Layer masks let you paint out areas of
a layer without deleting the content.
switch colors and brushes.
The developers have also made
clever use of gestures, so you
can find extra settings with a
swipe, which is not unlike
using keyboard shortcuts.
In the Layers panel, for
example, swiping a layer to
the left reveals options to
duplicate, lock, or delete it.
Tapping the selected layer pops
up a contextual menu with
more advanced commands,
including the new ability to
add a layer mask. You edit
this using any of the brushes,
painting areas dark to hide the
contents of the layer. This does
need to be more sophisticated,
but it provides another means
of non-destructive editing.
That’s one respect in which
Procreate still feels a little
lacking overall. You can undo
with a two-finger tap, or hold
your fingers down to wind back
as many steps as you want,
but there’s no way to edit
individual strokes or effects
Tough testing, trusted ratings
later, or change the resolution
of a canvas. Still, this suits
the app’s painterly approach,
which is enhanced by a new set
of wet painting brushes. These
feel convincingly real and
interact satisfyingly with any
color on the canvas. There’s
also a Smudge mode that
makes any brush act as if it’s
being dragged over wet paint.
An iPad Pro with Apple’s
Pencil is the ideal setup: both
pressure and tilt are supported,
and you get detailed control
over how brushes (which
include pencils, pens, and
airbrushes) respond. For lesser
iPads, many Pogo, Jot, and
Wacom active styluses are also
supported (see procreate.art/
faq/). Even with a basic rubber
stylus or your finger, you can
get impressive results moving
paint around to make textures
and backgrounds.
On a first-generation iPad
Pro, Procreate’s new 64-bit
graphics engine, using iOS’
Metal API, ensures it almost
always keeps up smoothly with
your strokes when working at
the screen’s native 2,048 x
1,536 resolution or even higher.
Inevitably, you see some lag on
slower iPads, but rival painting
app ArtRage struggles even on
iPad Pro with canvases large
enough for professional work.
The boTToM liNe. Procreate
is a serious creative tool. At
$9.99 all-in, with no in-app
purchases required, it’s great
value. AdAM bANks
Any brush can be
used in Smudge
mode to move or
blend colors on
the canvas.
App Tips
Get started with the Procreate app
Pinching the canvas zooms
and rotates it, so you can paint
from any angle. Flick-pinch to
pop it back to full-screen size.
Every session is automatically
recorded, and you can save a
time-lapse video from the
Actions menu at any time.
This version integrates iOS 11’s
new file system, so you can
drag pictures and more to and
from iCloud or elsewhere.
You can set the top toolbar
and brush size controls (left)
to hide themselves when you
brush near them.
Procreate
Responsive performance
Convincing wet paints
Easy to use yet won’t limit you
Strokes and effects not editable later
excellent
maclife.com Jan 2018 39
Party Mode enables your
friends to add to the playlist,
with video on Apple TV.
SoundShare 3
Simple and clever music sharing
Free From Mateus Abras, soundshareapp.com
Made for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch Needs iOS 8.2 or later
SoundShare uses
Apple Music,
Deezer and Spotify.
40 Jan 2018maclife.com
From the homemade compilation
tapes of the ’80s to
today’s shared links
from Apple Music and Spotify,
one of the great joys of
music is sharing your
discoveries or favorites
with others. SoundShare
was designed to do just
that, and to do so in a way
that made sharing as easy
as possible — it doesn’t
matter if you’re on Apple
Music and your friend is
on Spotify or Deezer;
SoundShare finds the
right song in the
appropriate service.
Version 3 has two key
improvements. First, it
uses MusicKit, the iOS 11
framework that enables
deeper integration with Apple
Music. This means apps such
as SoundShare can access
personalized playlists and
recommendations in much the
same way the Apple Music app
does. Second, and even more
fun, it has a Party Mode.
With Party Mode you can
invite friends to collaborate on
a playlist. It’s best for — you
guessed it — parties, where a
single iOS device can handle
everybody’s requests and send
to a wired or wireless speaker
system. No more pairing
multiple devices, swapping
cables, or worse, giving others
your passcode. It works really
well, although the ability to let
others interrupt playback with
their own choices could be a
problem if any of your friends
are impolite and have terrible
taste in tunes. In a nice touch,
SoundShare can even stream
Party Mode videos to Apple TV
by finding them on YouTube.
There are a couple of
caveats. Spotify sharing
doesn’t work with the free
version of Spotify; you need
to have a Spotify Premium
account. SoundShare can work
only with what’s available, so
differences between streaming
services’ catalogs may prevent
you from sharing the odd track
between two different music
services. You can’t share with
anybody who doesn’t have the
SoundShare app, so Android
owners are not able to take
part in Party Mode. And we
encountered the odd bug,
such as when the Invite option
trapped us in a Contacts page.
But overall SoundShare 3 is a
clever and effective way to
share music with friends.
The boTToM liNe.
SoundShare 3 makes music
more social, and Party Mode is
good fun. Gary Marshall
SoundShare 3
Asuperbwaytosharespeakers
GreatAppleMusicintegration
Cross-service,notcross-platform
Occasionalinterfaceweirdness
Great
Tough testing, trusted ratings
BillMinder 4
Finance app makes welcome return
$4.99 From return7, return7.com
Made for iPhone, iPad Needs iOS 10.3 or later
When it comes to staying on
top of payments, BillMinder
does the job better than
most — or it did, until regular
updates stopped coming in early 2013,
suggesting the app had been abandoned.
Thankfully it has not been, and here’s a
new version with a cleaner interface,
which nicely complements iOS 11.
It’s a good news/bad news scenario,
however: BillMinder 4 is a completely
new app, with no free upgrade for users
of the previous version. That said, the
$4.99 price tag is reasonable, especially
considering the app is now universal and
works equally well on iPhone and iPad.
You can get up to speed pretty quickly
by logging into your account and syncing
data from the previous version, but you
may be faced with hundreds of bills
showing up past due after abandoning
the app two years ago. What’s worse,
there’s no way to bulk clear such entries,
short of marking them paid one at a time.
None of this will be a hassle if you’re
new to the app, and the developers have
added useful functionality missing from
the previous version, such as the ability
to export CSV files or send data to
PocketMoney, the popular financial app.
One area still lacking is reports, which
no longer have a dedicated tab. In its
BillMinder 4 includes native iPad support — and
it works equally as well as the iPhone version.
place is a new dashboard view that
provides a graphic-rich look at monthly
and category totals along with the
percentage of bills paid on time, but
no way to export this information.
The boTToM lINe. A welcome
return, but we’re sticking with Chronicle
for now. J.R. bookwAlTeR
Solid
Visual Codes
Make your own QR codes in seconds
Free (IAPs) From Benjamin Mayo, visualcod.es
Made for iPhone iPad Needs iOS 11.0 or later
After years of ignoring QR
codes, iOS 11 finally supports
them: Open the Camera app,
point it at one of these
square pixellated barcodes wherever you
see it, and an alert pops up offering the
action or information contained in it.
Most commonly QR codes will take you to
a website, but they can also be used to
send you to a location in Maps, add an
entry to Contacts, and more. One handy
idea is to use a QR code to log into a
Wi-Fi network, saving you the trouble of
typing the username and password.
But how do you create your own QR
codes? Visual Codes makes it easy: Tap
Add Code, then enter the URL, phone
number, contact info, or whatever you
want. The code is generated immediately.
Now what? You could take a
screenshot (press Home and Sleep
together), crop it to the code, then do
whatever you want with the image.
Better, add the $1.99 in-app purchase to
get buttons that let you share, save, or
print codes. A separate purchase at the
same price enables you to scan existing
QR codes into the app. Your own codes
are always kept safe for re-use.
The author says there are competing
standards for QR codes, so it’s not
certain they’ll all work with every device
You can create QR codes containing various
different types of information.
or every QR code reader app (dozens are
available for iOS and Android). They’ll
always work for iOS 11 users, though, and
basic URLs at least should work pretty
much universally.
The boTToM lINe. A quick and easy
way to generate basic QR codes on your
iPhone or iPad. AdAM bANks
ExcEllEnt
maclife.com Jan 2018 41
Kaleidoscope is at its best
when you’re working with a
couple of text documents.
Kaleidoscope
Spot the difference
$19.99 From Black Pixel, kaleidoscopeapp.com
Made for iPad Needs iOS 11.0 or later
With images,
Kaleidoscope’s
controls are
sometimes fiddly.
42 Jan 2018maclife.com
With Kaleidoscope,
the app’s almost as
important for what
it represents as
what it does. This is a filecomparison app with a razorsharp focus, geared towards
productivity. In other words,
it’s the kind of thing you’d
expect on a Mac, not an iPad.
In fact, Kaleidoscope does
exist on the Mac. For $70, it
rapidly enables you to compare
two text documents, a pair of
folders, or a couple of images.
It’s fast, efficient, stable, and
very much geared towards the
power user. On iPad, it tries to
do the same, although ends up
coming off second-best.
This isn’t initially apparent,
especially not when working
with text files. Throw a couple
of TXT, DOC, HTML or code
documents at it, and you can
quickly spot differences in a
two-up or unified view. The
app also supports Split View,
which is just as well, given that
it lacks the text merge that’s
part of the Mac version.
With images, everything
suddenly feels fiddly. You get
a number of viewing options
— an A/B switch; a two-up
scrolling view; a split view with
a sliding bar — and all do the
job. But the A/B view has small
buttons and the split view’s
slider has drag handles that
work independently, so you
can’t swipe it back and forth
across the image with a finger.
It would be good to be able to
“lock” the handles in place.
When it comes to folders,
import appears to be an issue.
Drop a couple of text files on
Kaleidoscope and you’re
comparing them almost
instantly. Open a couple of web
archives, and the app appears
to seize up. You’ll have more
success if you reduce folders to
a dozen items each, but even
then import can take several
minutes. However, the app
clearly indicates files that have
changed or are unmatched, and
double-tapping a file opens it
and its twin for comparison.
There’s ambition here, not
only regarding the app but also
the iPad. Kaleidoscope is also a
good iOS 11 citizen, usable and
useful. Just be aware of its
limitations, and be sure to put
it through its paces during the
two-week free trial.
The boTToM liNe. A solid
but occasionally flawed app for
comparing files on iPad.
Craig graNNell
Kaleidoscope
Greattextcomparisons
Reallyeasytouse
Imagecontrolsmayirk
Nomergefortextfiles
Good
The premier source for everything video games, TV, films, and more.
www.gamesradar.com
This intersection idea didn’t
go entirely to plan. Sorry,
virtual motorists!
Freeways
Get your kicks doodling Route 66
$1.99 From Blinkbat Games, captaingames.itch.io
Made for iPad Needs iOS 8.0 or later
It might look
horrifying, but
this road layout
actually works.
44 Jan 2018maclife.com
We’re all guilty of
being drawn to the
gaming equivalent
of glitter. And as
iOS devices have increased in
power, many games have
started to look an awful lot like
console fare. Like moths drawn
to beautifully rendered lamps,
we all flit, forgetting it’s how
a game plays that’s really
important. Which is just as
well for Freeways, given that it
looks like it was scrawled on a
wall; and yet it has compelling
foundations that place it at the
pinnacle of strategy-oriented
iPad puzzlers.
The basics involve getting
automated vehicles from A to
B, by way of road systems you
quick-sketch. Each singlescreen challenge provides road
signs and buildings. Hold any
of them and colored arrows
spring forth, pointing out
where traffic needs to go; each
arrow’s thickness shows the
volume of cars and bikes that’ll
be heading in that direction.
During the early levels, you
get by with the odd rotary or
intersection, and feel smug
when you tap the simulation
button and watch your traffic
flowing in fast-forward. Before
long, though, you end up faced
with far too many exits, and
not enough space — so you
make use of the game’s ability
to raise sections of road,
creating junctions that look
like someone dropped concrete
spaghetti from on high.
It comes across like Mini
Metro meets Flight Control,
as realized by a bag of crayons.
And every time the map zooms
out to reveal yet more freeways
to tackle, you’ll be grinning at
the game’s deviousness. One
thing that won’t raise a smile,
though, is its resolute “no
undo” stance. An intentional
feature to stop you from trying
to be a perfectionist, it ensures
immediacy but is infuriating
when you blunder — or the
game doesn’t connect a road as
expected — and you have to
start again. It’d also be nice to
get an inkling of each level’s
high-score potential, rather
than you having to take a risk,
obliterating a road design and
starting again, in the hope of
improving your “efficiency.”
That said, what’s a human
doing designing roads in this
automated future anyway?
The boTToM liNe. Looks
like garbage, plays like a
dream. Craig graNNell
Freeways
Extremelyeasytogetinto
Plentyoflayoutvariation
Fewhigh-scoretargets
Lackofundocanfrustrate
excellent
Tough testing, trusted ratings
Flower
Be a petal on the wind and soar
$4.99 From thatgamecompany, thatgamecompany.com
Made for iPhone, iPad Needs iOS 10.3.3 or later
It’s hardly a secret
that flowers can
brighten up a
space, whether
it’s a nicely planted border of
chrysanthemums in the back
yard, a vase of red roses on a
restaurant table, or a solitary
daisy poking through a crack
in the sidewalk. But if you
buy into Flower’s message,
they can even conquer the ills
of industrialism. Perhaps
that’s what those hippies
meant about “flower power.”
Not that you’ll need to
grow your hair, don a pair of
flares, and move to San Fran
to harness it. Flower’s
conceit is a simple one: You
control the wind, gently
buffeting along first one
petal and then, as each
level progresses, a veritable
confetti-shower of them.
Your main aim is to brush
past the flowers growing in
clusters across the level,
causing greenery to spread
across the murky landscape.
Originally released on PS3
in 2009, the game relies on
tilt controls to direct the
breeze. In all honesty, it’s a
little frustrating — it feels
like it ought to be a fluid,
intuitive interface, but it can
be a struggle to make tight
enough turns or to swoop
at a suitably precise angle.
But these doubts are
not enough to sour the
experience. Put simply,
Flower is a delight, with your
next steps always highlighted
by some clever level design.
It’s impressive, given the
total lack of dialog, written
prompts, or tutorials, as you
progress from spreading
pollen to activating wind
turbines and destroying the
detritus of urban civilization.
“Experience” is a more
accurate word for Flower
than “game” — you’re not
chasing points, fretting about
time limits, or scattering hit
points. Instead, you float
about watercolor scenery at
your own pace, accompanied
by an orchestral score. It’s
worth slowing up to make
the most of Flower, since you
could zoom through it in an
hour or so. Go on, take some
time out to smell the flowers.
The boTToM liNe. A
unique combination of
relaxing gameplay and green
ethics. eMMa Davies
In real life, you’d
totally want to
Instagram this.
Flower
A real treat for the eyes and ears
Fun and relaxing to play
A clever concept that successfully
resists overcomplication
Controls could be smoother
Great
maclife.com Jan 2018 45
>>> App Life
p
du
un
Ro
6 iOS apps to help
create the new you
Get the New Year off to a brilliant start by
getting fitter, healthier and more productive
New Year resolutions often peter out
in the first few weeks. But there are
some fantastic apps that can help
you think more long-term and stay
on course to achieve your 2018 goals.
Here we pick six apps that can
help create a fitter, healthier you
— some of which have a social
dRink ContRol
Free (iaps) Made for iPhone
Regulating your alcohol intake is a whole
lot easier with this app. It enables you to
set your favorite beverages (several
types are included) and track the calories
and alcohol units you’re drinking over
time. That logged data can then be
viewed in insightful charts, enabling you
to see how much money you spent on
beers in the last month, for example.
46 Jan 2018 maclife.com
duolingo
Free (iaps) Made for iPhone, iPad
aspect to promote camaraderie, thus
boosting your resolve to achieve that
ideal weight or break that bad habit.
By keeping track of your progress
every day — and rewarding you for
your achievements — these apps can
also help you see how much you’ve
achieved over time. tiM HaRdwiCk
So you want to learn a new language but
don’t have the time? Duolingo challenges
that idea with bite-size lessons that you
can pick up anytime, anywhere. It makes
the entire process fun with games and
quizzes, so you can earn points for
correct answers, race against the clock,
and level up as your vocabulary gets
better. Best of all, it’s completely free.
MyFitnesspal
Free (iaps) Made for iPhone, iPad
done
Free (iaps) Made for iPhone, iPad
MyFitnessPal offers something for
everyone looking to get fit and healthy.
Tune your diet with the help of the food
database (home to over five million
entries!) and use the recipe calculator for
a preview of the nutritional value of your
home-cooked meal. The app also has a
Calorie Counter, and includes a capable
fitness tracker with 350 exercises.
Mastering life goals begins with building
consistently good habits, and that’s
where this app comes in. Done supports
healthy routines by enabling you to set
goals and track your ability to complete
them multiple times a day, week, or
month. The more often you check off a
goal, the longer your goal streak, and the
higher your motivation to keep at it.
nike+ Run Club
Free Made for iPhone
If motivation is what you need to get
running, then this is the app for you. It
features personalized coaching plans
that adapt to your performance, trophies
to celebrate achievements, audio-guided
running workouts with guidance from top
athletes, and a neat community aspect to
plug in to. If you’re a Nike+ Apple Watch
owner, this download is a no-brainer.
HeadspaCe
Free (iaps) Made for iPhone, iPad
Mindfulness meditation has taken off in a
big way in recent years, with scientific
research backing claims that it can help
improve concentration and reduce stress.
Headspace is an elegant mindfulness app
that asks for a few minutes of your time
each day to achieve a state of zen, and
includes a free 10-day beginner’s course
that guides you through the essentials.
maclife.com Jan 2018 47
>>> App Life
watch
apps and guides to get more from your watch
Endless Traffic
Fun but limited retro-style game
Free From Samiroy, samiroy.com
Made For iPhone, Watch Needs iOS 10.0 or later
Apple Watch games are
something of a mixed bag.
Most tend to be a fun diversion
when you have a few minutes
to spare, but are otherwise a
pretty forgettable experience.
Endless Traffic makes an
admirable attempt at porting
an addictive old-school arcade
classic to watchOS, but that
effort is mostly for naught.
You’ve played this one
before: An endless stream of
traffic converges on a busy
intersection, and it’s up to
you to avoid a crash by safely
waTch Tip
Disable Playback
With watchOS 4,
playback controls
for media apps
are displayed
automatically. To
disable, browse to
General > Wake
Screen from the
iPhone Watch app,
then toggle off
Auto-launch
48 Jan 2018 maclife.com
Audio Apps. Press
the side button,
then find the Now
Playing option to
bring it back when
you need it.
directing automobiles along
the safest route. The graphics
are a big improvement over the
eight-bit retro editions this
game was inspired by, and the
iPhone takes great advantage
of haptic feedback and multitouch to keep things fun.
Unfortunately, Endless
Traffic’s gameplay doesn’t
translate nearly as well on
Apple Watch, where you’re
resigned to spinning the
Digital Crown in an attempt to
stop traffic from piling up on
the main intersection. The
graphics are cropped for the
tiny screen, but otherwise
translate as well as can be
expected. Just don’t expect
much in the way of variety
— it’s basically the same
gameplay over and over again,
which tends to get old quickly.
The biggest limitation here,
though, is a complete lack of
sound — you’ll miss the
satisfying sound effects of
cars slamming into each other,
which fail to accompany those
cute “Crash!” graphics on
screen at the moment of
impact. There’s no sound of
any kind, which feels like a
missed opportunity for an
otherwise fun and lightweight
game such as this.
The boTToM liNe. Despite
a welcome bump in graphics
quality, the fun you’ll have
with the iPhone version
doesn’t translate so well to
the Apple Watch, where the
experience is entirely silent.
J.R. bookwalTeR
EndlEss Traffic
Graphics translate well to watchOS
iMessage stickers
watchOS gameplay is very limited
No sound effects
Okay
Tough testing, trusted ratings
AirRuler
how To
AR measuring app with on-Watch display
Make use of your
Watch’s Flashlight
$0.99 From Nam Kennic, namkennic.com
Made For iPhone, Watch Needs iOS 11.0 or later
ARKit has done
wonders for making
Augmented Reality
mainstream, enabling
developers to come
up with many clever
iOS 11 apps. One of
the more curious is AirRuler, which
turns your iPhone into a virtual ruler to
measure length, height, or distance.
In practice, AirRuler isn’t all that
accurate. There are two different
modes: One for smaller objects where
the user aims the camera at two points,
and another best suited to measuring
height or distance.
AirRuler supports watchOS, turning
the Apple Watch into a digital readout
as measurements are made. That may
not sound like much, but it makes the
process easier, since you can see the
results as measurements are taken
without the graphics getting in the way.
You’ll need an iPhone 6S or later to
use AirRuler. The app can also capture
photos or videos of AR measurements.
The boTToM liNe. Apple Watch is
relegated to sidekick status, but winds
up aiding in the measurement process.
J.R. bookwalTeR
sOlid
EMI Calculator – Loan Manager
Work out your monthly payments on your wrist
Free From AppzCreative, appzcreative.com
Made For iPhone, iPad, Watch Needs iOS 8.0 or later
If you’re interested in
a mortgage, new car,
or other bank loan, a
standard calculator
will only get you so
far — especially when
estimating monthly
installments. Better known in the
banking industry as “EMI,” this is the
amount of your principal plus interest,
amortized over the loan term.
Although an App Store search turns
up several items with the name “EMI
Calculator,” this particular one caught
our eye because it’s free and includes
support for Apple Watch. It’s also
coNTRol ceNTeR
watchOS 4 introduces a
handy new Flashlight mode, which
can be found by swiping up from
the bottom of the Watch screen
to summon Control Center.
surprisingly adept at tackling the basics
and has a straightforward interface.
Calculations can be done in four
ways: By EMI, amount, percentage rate,
or period. Although this kind of math
isn’t something you’ll do every day, it’s
cool to be able to access such data
from your wrist. The iPhone app also
enables you to quickly find your nearest
bank, ATM, or other financial institution.
The boTToM liNe. Free and easy
to use, this app is a quick way to
estimate how much you’ll pay on your
next loan. J.R. bookwalTeR
sOlid
liGhT iT Up
Tap the Flashlight icon on
the right to illuminate the entire
display with white at maximum
brightness. Swipe down or press
the Digital Crown to dismiss it.
ThRee MoDeS
But wait, there’s more!
Swipe left once while Flashlight
is active to quickly flash between
white and black, or twice to enable
red safety mode for runners.
maclife.com Jan 2018 49
tougH testing, trusted ratings
iPhone X
Changing the face of Apple’s smartphone
From $999 From Apple, apple.com
Features 5.8-inch Super Retina HD display with True Tone, Face ID, A11 Bionic chip, 12MP
camera, wireless charging (charging pad not included)
T
his is the biggest shake-up in
the market since Apple’s original
iPhone defined the smartphone
a decade ago. It also seems risky, axing
reliable key elements such as the
Home button and Touch ID, instead
introducing new methods of navigating
and unlocking — and charging a lot
more for the privilege: The iPhone X
costs $999 for the basic 64GB model,
and an eye-watering $1,149 for the
256GB version. So what does your
money buy you?
The 5.8-inch OLED display is leaps
ahead of the screen in the iPhone 8
and 8 Plus for many reasons: the
sharpness, the color quality, the fact
that it fills the whole front of the
phone. The screen is also taller, but
while it looks larger than the iPhone
8 Plus’s 5.5-inch display on paper, it’s
only marginally bigger in terms of
screen real estate — it’s just stretched
upwards. The term “bezel-less” is not
quite accurate, either: There are slight
bands around the edges of the screen,
but they don’t mar the experience —
instead they give your fingers
something to land on.
The notch at the top is something
that’s going to divide opinion. Apple
has taken a chunk out of the top of the
screen to house the new TrueDepth
50 Jan 2018 maclife.com
camera, and it encroaches on the
display. In portrait mode this is hard
to notice, and the way the status bar
spills around it is nice. But in landscape
orientation it will annoy if you expand
a movie to fill the screen rather than
display letterboxed.
Unfortunately, many app developers
are not ready for the taller format,
with almost all apps we used packing
black bars above and below the display,
and those that take advantage of the
aspect ratio displaying some glitches.
Developers are likely to quickly fix their
code, but right now it’s disappointing.
It’s inherently harder to make out
detail in darker scenes in HDR movies,
but compared side-by-side with iPhone
8, the overall richness, depth, and
quality for movies is higher here.
Facial Features
Face ID, Apple’s face-recognition
system — which replaces the
fingerprint-scanning Touch ID — is
simple to set up: Just spin your head
around a couple of times and you’re
ready to go. This system has far
exceeded our expectations for the
new biometric technology.
t H e i P H o n e X i s e a sy t o u s e s i n g l eH a n d e d ; i t b a l a n c e s n at u r a l ly i n
tHe Hand, witH tHe glass and
m e ta l c o m b i n at i o n F e e l i n g g r i P P y
Unlike the displays on the iPhone 8
and iPhone 8 Plus, the iPhone X screen
includes HDR playback. It can show
movies encoded in the HDR10 and
Dolby Vision formats (but not 4K,
sadly) and, combined with the OLED
display, the images offer much more
depth and realistic color reproduction.
If you’re watching a scene with
explosions in it, the effect is incredible.
That’s not to say there won’t be
some transition required from your
current iPhone. There’s a slight delay
at times, and you need to be looking at
the handset to make it work. There are
reports of Face ID not working as well
in certain lighting conditions, but we
haven’t encountered these issues.
An issue does crop up when using
Apple Pay. Where previously you’d
Tough testing, trusted ratings
maclife.com Jan 2018 51
approach the reader with your thumb
over the Home button and it would
instantly verify payment, with the
iPhone X you need to double-click the
side button to activate Face ID, have it
register your face, and then it’ll be
ready to pay. It’s not a tough system to
master, but it’s not as easy as before.
Animoji, the feature that enables
you to create talking emoji using the
TrueDepth camera, is fun — you can be
a talking robot or a poop, among other
avatars. The precision of the face
mapping is truly impressive. But it is a
novelty, not something you’ll buy this
phone for (unless you plan a career
in Animoji karaoke, of course). And
while you can share videos of Animoji
with friends using apps other than
iMessage, it’s not straightforward to do.
The 5.8-inch OLED Super Retina HD display with
True Tone technology is absolutely stunning.
52 Jan 2018 maclife.com
missing Home
iOS 11 operates a little differently on
the iPhone X. The main difference is
the lack of a Home button. This has
been replaced by gestures. Swiping up
from the foot of the screen now does
the job the Home button used to do.
This takes some getting used to, but
becomes automatic after a day or so.
Beyond that, however, Apple has made
things a little too convoluted. To open
the app switcher, say, you do a short
swipe upwards and pause for a
moment… Go too far and you’ll just
access the Home screen. To shut down
apps, it’s no longer a swipe but a press
and then a swipe. This doesn’t feel
intuitive — and the same can be said
for the new gesture where you swipe
right on the foot of the screen to move
between recently-used apps.
Control Center now lives to the right
of the notch at the top of the screen,
with the notifications panel on the left.
We like the placement of these two
— having Control Center at the bottom
got in the way of too many apps in the
past. If you’re using the iPhone X in
landscape mode, though, you’re going
to run into trouble. Without the notch
to separate them, the notifications
panel takes up the bulk of the space
The glass back allows for wireless charging
— we’ll break down charging options and
times in a later issue.
at the expense of Control Center, and
you’ll need to swipe accurately from
the top right corner to access it.
Gaming on iPhone X is strong, in
part thanks to the A11 Bionic chip. The
new penchant for AR gaming, where
games are played within a plane
overlaid on real-world surroundings, is
a key part of Apple’s new strategy, and
we managed to play a game of The
Machines with aplomb.
And don’t forget about the excellent
Taptic Engine — it really enhances
gaming. You’ll get a real sense of
a machine-gun firing, taking hits
yourself, or swiping through a list with
a real clicking feel in the hand.
Premium Price, Premium Feel
The iPhone X feels like a premium
handset. While it weighs less than the
Tough testing, trusted ratings
t H e n o t c H at t H e t o P o F t H e d i s P l ay
w i l l d i v i d e o P i n i o n — a P P l e H a s ta k e n
a cHunk out oF tHe screen to House
tHe new truedePtH camera, wHicH
e n c r o a c H e s o n t H e d i s P l ay
iPhone 8 Plus (6.14 ounces compared
to 7.13 ounces), the iPhone X feels
more substantial, in a good way. It feels
strong and solidly built, although early
tests show that all that glass won’t
stand up well to being dropped. The
glass front and back panels are also
smudge-suckers, and the outer band
gets covered in fingerprints fast.
But while the rear of the phone is
glass, as on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus,
there’s a different design language at
play here. Every button is elegantly
embedded into the rim of the phone,
yet there’s a sharpness to each key.
The iPhone X is surprisingly easy
to use single-handed; it balances
naturally in the hand, with the glass
and metal combination feeling grippy,
and most thumbs will be able to roam
comfortably over the slippery surface.
You’ll need to drag down notifications
and Control Center with the digits of
your other hand on most occasions,
but the iPhone X is a good mix of
a large phone screen while being
ergonomic enough to use in one hand.
The front-facing 7MP TrueDepth
camera can sense depth incredibly
well, and the Portrait mode can now
be used with the front-facing camera
to take great selfies. Not only will this
produce a great background blur, but
you can also change the lighting, or cut
yourself out of the picture and place
yourself on a blank background.
The rear camera is similar to the
one on the iPhone 8 Plus. Both have
a 12MP dual-sensor array (for taking
zoomed-in pictures, or capturing a
good depth-of-field), but the iPhone X’s
telephoto lens has an f/2.4 aperture,
where on iPhone 8 Plus it’s f/2.8 (and
only the wide-angle lens has optical
image stabilization). So, the iPhone X
delivers shots rich with detail, and
low-light performance is a touch better
than with previous iPhones.
The camera could do with opening
a little faster from the Lock screen
(although you can now apply a firm
There are 12MP wide angle and telephoto
cameras, and the iPhone X boasts optical
image stabilization on both.
press to the camera icon to reach it,
instead of swiping), but it’s hard to
fault the natural, clear, and crisp
photos. Video capabilities are also
among the best on the market, with
4K recording at 60fps delivering fluid
footage, although it will take up a good
chunk of space on your device.
Apple has gotten things almost
entirely right with the iPhone X. The
price is steep, but you get a high-res
OLED screen, wireless charging, water
resistance, millions of apps, up to
256GB to store them in, lightning-fast
download speeds, AR effects, speedy
and reliable face recognition, great
speakers, and sublime photos from
both front and back cameras.
Is it perfect? Of course not. The
notch at the top of the screen irks, and
the bezels are a little too heavy to call
it bezel-less. The camera isn’t marketleading (although it’s very good), and
despite its innovations the iPhone X’s
dizzying price is impossible to ignore.
All that said, the iPhone X is the
closest to perfection Apple has ever
come with an iPhone.
tHe bottom line. If you’re okay
with the sky-high price, you’re going to
love the iPhone X. garetH beavis
iPhone X
The best iPhone screen so far
Face ID tech is genuinely impressive
No wireless charger included
So expensive
Awesome
maclife.com Jan 2018 53
>>> Reviews
Synology DS418play
Easily stream audio and video on your home network
$462.80 From Synology, synology.com
Features 4 drive bays, 2GB of RAM (upgradable) needs Router with spare Ethernet port
T
Synology
DS418play
Transcodes4Kvideo
inrealtime
Easytosetup
Lotsoffeatures
TherearecheaperfourbayNASboxesavailable
ExcEllEnt
54 JAN 2018maclife.com
he DS418play is the latest in a line of
Synology network-attached storage
(NAS) boxes that have been designed to
stream audio and video to all of the devices
on your home network.
The DS418play is a four-bay NAS that
can be configured as a RAID array for speed
or redundancy. Unlike other Synology NAS
boxes, it transcodes video and audio on the
fly, so you can store files on its storage drives
(not included) and then stream them to an
app, such as Synology’s own video player or
the popular VLC on your iPhone or iPad, even
when iOS doesn’t support the file format.
The DS418play has a faster processor
and more memory than its predecessors; it
supports up to 40TB of storage and can
transcode two channels of H.264/H.265
4K video simultaneously. It also supports
hardware encryption for file transmission.
And it can be used as a destination for Time
Machine backups, as well as being a regular
file server. Apps available for iPhone and iPad
enable you to stream audio and video and
manage files. With the apps switched on in
Share sheets, you can share photos and
video to the NAS box, too. Support for CCTV
cameras and direct downloads round out a
comprehensive set of features.
The DS418play’s OS is easy to set up and
configure. We had no problems installing
storage drives, starting it up, and getting our
Mac to discover the box on our network. We
copied video shot on an iPhone to the NAS,
and played it back on other devices on the
network as well. We also uploaded video and
audio content via the Finder on a Mac and
then streamed it to our iOS devices.
The boTTom line. If you want a highcapacity streaming media server that doubles
as a NAS all-rounder, the DS418play fits the
bill perfectly. Kenny hemphill
Tough testing, trusted ratings
SuperTab 3
App switcher dials it up to 11
$10 From SpriTec Software, supertab.me
needs OS X 10.8 or later (10.10 for Voice Control)
Keyboard Maestro 8
Keys to productivity
$36 From Stairways Software, keyboardmaestro.com
needs OS X 10.10 or later
Keyboard Maestro is a macro app used to “conduct your Mac
like a pro.” You define trigger and action pairs, and then let
rip. What differentiates Keyboard Maestro from the
competition is its far-reaching capabilities. Although you
can simply set a key to open a folder, to do so is a waste.
The app bundles initial macros to examine, which provide
a taste of its true power. For example, when you trigger
Paste Selection Into Last Application, it copies a selection,
switches to the last used app, pastes, and then switches
back. A moment of thought should result in countless other
time-saving macros you could set up.
Chances are, you’ll be able to. Keyboard Maestro updates
are primarily about more triggers and more actions — and
version 8 is no exception. You can now send messages, get
URLs, and prompt for list selections. New triggers include
your Mac idling, or headphones being plugged in. Gesture
triggers make an appearance, although as drawn squiggles,
sadly, rather than swipes and taps. A rare disappointment
in an otherwise impressive and powerful app.
The boTTom line. If you want a flexible and powerful
macro tool, this is the best around. Craig grannell
You can’t fault SuperTab 3’s ambition of trying to
make an app switcher the center of your workflow.
Instead of Cmd+Tab just showing app icons, it
provides configurable rows of goodies to explore.
In some cases, this works well. With active apps,
you can quickly cycle through their open windows.
You might have one row for recent apps, and
another for the Dock’s contents. Hot keys can be
assigned to items for instant launching.
But for many item types, this isn’t an optimal
interface. It’s initially exciting to add custom
items and folders, but it soon becomes tiresome
staring at rows of practically identical thumbnails.
On-hover previews are problematic, too, working
only with a limited number of document types.
SuperTab 3 works best as a hot-key launcher
twinned with a switcher for apps, windows, and/or
visibly distinct folders. It’s broadly impressive, but
Witch is a better, souped-up take on Apple’s app
switcher — and has added window smarts.
The boTTom line. Interesting but messy,
and a poor match for too many item types.
Craig grannell
supertab 3
Solid app switching
Hot key triggers
Poor handling of many item types
Iffy preview
solId
Keyboard Maestro 8
Hugely flexible
New actions/triggers
Improved help
Gestures disappoint
excellent
maclife.com Jan 2018 55
Tough testing, trusted ratings
Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018
Entry-level photo editing software gets its yearly refresh
$99.99 From Adobe, adobe.com
needs 64-bit multi-core Mac, OS X 10.11 or later, 4GB RAM, 5GB drive space
Photographers can set their watches by
Photoshop Elements’ update every year
— Adobe has clearly nailed some complex
logistics. More complicated: coming up
with an annual refresh that appeals every
time. Photoshop Elements 2018 is either
an $80 upgrade from an earlier version,
or a $100 purchase if you don’t have it
already. So what has Adobe added to keep
photographers tempted?
There are no huge interface overhauls
here, something that has been true for
the last few updates of Elements, and it’s
starting to make the software look and
feel dated, particularly since Apple’s
Photos app has been given a new lease of
life in macOS High Sierra. All of Elements’
existing appeal is there, though — the
interface is clean, and there are easily
enough tools that if you’re unwilling to
give the full-blown Photoshop a try,
you’ll still be able to get started fast.
Guided edits are effectively interactive
tutorials to help you do things, such as
creating layer masks with shape overlays,
or double exposures. Both these, and a
few others, are new and work well.
There are a few new features. Auto
Selection attempts to isolate a subject
when you draw a marquee selection
around it, while “Open closed eyes”
Photoshop Elements’ new auto-select tools make
quick-and-dirty cutouts much faster.
attempts to rescue images where your
subject has been caught mid-blink. The
former works reasonably well, providing
rough-and-ready cutouts and getting a
selection ready for the Refine Edge dialog
faster. Opening closed eyes requires two
photos — one with a subject blinking
and one without. We had trouble with this
— “No face found” is a common error
message. When it does work, on virtually
identical images where closed eyes are the
only difference, it works nearly perfectly,
but then the question is why you would
need to open a subject’s eyes when you
have a similar photo with them open.
If you’re not already an Elements user,
this is a powerful photo editor and a
worthy alternative to a Creative Cloud
subscription, although the Photos app
may serve you just as well. For upgraders,
this is one to miss.
The boTTom line. A usable, powerful
photo editor. But it’s expensive, so look
around elsewhere first. Dave STevenSon
Elements’ new eyeopening technology
occasionally works well.
Adobe PhotoshoP
elements 2018
Powerful
Guided edits useful
Expensive
Little for upgraders
solid
maclife.com Jan 2018 57
>>> Reviews
Beats Studio3 Wireless
Great functionality let down by so-so sound
$349.95 From Beats By Dre, beatsbydre.com
Features Noise isolation, on-board controls, in-line remote needs Bluetooth
T
Beats studio3
Wireless
Greatwireless
performance
Topbatterylife
Soggymids
Lackssub-basspower
youmaywant
Great
58 JAN 2018maclife.com
hese are Beats’ premier full-size wireless
headphones. Most of the frame is plastic,
and the pads are soft synthetic leather,
which ultimately doesn’t matter much. Beats’
build quality has been criticized over the
years, but seems perfectly good here.
The headphones’ Pure Adaptive Noise
Cancelling (Pure ANC) appears designed to
avoid distortion caused by cancellation of
louder sources, which we’ve heard next to
subway car doors, say. It doesn’t solve a big
real-world issue, however: wind whistling
around the pinhole microphone creating more
noise. These headphones are slightly more
susceptible to this than some.
The tech is reasonably effective, though,
making cities less stressful, stopping engine
noise ruining your music, and avoiding the
need to raise volume in noisy places. Yet ANC
in Bose’s QuietComfort 35 is significantly
better. Pure ANC leaves the Studio3 Wireless
with a slight low-mid frequency noise bed.
Some ANC headphones sound like digital
tinnitus; these are more like a record player.
Sound isn’t overly bassy or juvenile.
There’s width similar to some of the best
portable headphones’, with a quite forward
presentation. This makes key parts of a mix
seem close to your ears, ensuring sound isn’t
too relaxed. Relatively conservative low bass
is one potential surprise. Sennheiser’s
Momentum 2.0 cans, for example, are more
aggressive here, making kick drums stand out
and seem more powerful.
There’s a thickness in the upper bass and
low mids, rather than a sub-bass gut punch.
In many situations it works well. Podcasts
aren’t underpinned by bass rumble, but
voices sound robust. With vocal-led music,
particularly a gravelly crooner such as
Leonard Cohen, this is imperfect; it stops
music sounding properly separated, and can
seem abrasively resonant with certain songs.
We’ve heard this from Beats before, and
noted how it makes the soundstage seem
constrained. This flaw is largely absent in
rivals, most damningly Urbanista’s Seattle
Wireless. These Beats sound better in other
respects, but it’s not good that something
one-third of the price has more coherent
mids. The treble is slightly safe too, lacking
a little compared to rivals of this price.
Battery life is good — 22 hours with ANC
and wireless on, or up to 40 without ANC.
Apple’s W1 chip makes connecting to your
phone straightforward.
The boTTom line. The Studio3 is solidly
built and has decent noise cancellation.
However, overall sound quality lags behind
its chief rivals. Andrew williAms
Tough testing, trusted ratings
maclife.com JAN 2018 59
>>> Reviews
VMware Fusion 10
Run Windows and macOS side by side
$79 ($49 to upgrade from Fusion 7 or later) From VMware, vmware.com
Needs Any Mac from 2011 or later except 2012 Mac Pro (with Intel Xeon W3565), OS X 10.11 or later
Unity mode enables you to
run Windows programs as
though they were native
macOS applications.
VMware
Fusion 10
Quick and fuss-free
Cheaper than a PC
Smooth running
Existing versions may
suit you just as well
Good
60 Jan 2018 maclife.com
We reviewed Parallels Desktop in Mac|Life
134. This month we’re turning our attention
to Fusion, its main commercial competitor.
Installation is a breeze, once you’ve
authorized an extension that’s needed
and macOS High Sierra blocks. It should
complete in less than a minute, and even
installing Windows — which takes a while
longer — is almost entirely automated. Stick
with the defaults as far as you can and leave
it alone for half an hour, and when you
return the guest OS will be up and running.
It’s not only cheaper, but also less hassle
than buying a PC. Windows apps are snappy
on a 2012 Mac mini, both inside the Windows
environment and when running as floating
macOS windows, and with your networking
settings carrying through you should be able
to get online right away. You can also access
commonly-used Windows apps by rightclicking the Fusion icon on the macOS Dock.
The only real disappointment is that when
Windows is running in full screen you can’t
sit another app beside it in Split View.
This version’s reduced power consumption
will appeal if you use a MacBook — as will
Touch Bar support, which gives anyone
with the latest MacBook Pro direct access
to commonly-used controls. Support for
Apple’s Metal Graphics should be of broader
interest, promising more accurate rendering
and enhanced gaming performance.
Yet Fusion suffers from a problem
common to many mature products: it’s
difficult to know what else to add to justify
the price of an upgrade. Naturally there’s
support for the latest versions of Windows
and macOS, but many of the other
improvements are aimed at power users,
such as integrating automation tools for use
in testing pipelines, the option to simulate
data loss and network latency, copying guest
data, and enabling Windows Virtualization
Based Security, which protects the operating
system kernel from malware. These are all
valuable additions, but few of them will help
you to justify the outlay if you simply want to
run Windows on your Mac at home or in a
small business environment.
The boTTom liNe. Fusion won’t cause any
confusion if you’ve never used virtualization
software before. If you’re a power user it’s a
solid upgrade. But you may find that existing
versions meet your needs. Nik RawliNsoN
Being able to run Windows and Mac apps side by side
gives you the best of both worlds.
Tough testing, trusted ratings
Carbon Copy Cloner 5
Still the easiest way to create bootable clones
The yellow tip boxes can
be useful. Unfortunately,
they can also be very
difficult to read.
$39.99 From Bombich Software, bombich.net
needs OS X 10.10 or later
There are many reasons why you’d want
to create a bootable clone of your Mac’s
startup drive — or any other connected
drive. Perhaps you’re performing a clean
install of macOS, for example. Or simply
deleting or overwriting large amounts of
data. In each case, a bootable clone can
get you out of trouble should something
go disastrously wrong.
Carbon Copy Cloner does much more
than create bootable clones, but that
remains its core function. And if you’re
using High Sierra, Carbon Copy Cloner
supports both the new OS and APFS.
New features in CCC 5 include a guided
restore function that offers to walk you
through the process of restoring files
when you boot from a CCC backup. The
Cloning Coach is also new. It watches in
the background as you configure tasks,
alerts you to any potential problems, and
gives advice on how to avoid them.
The other new features in CCC 5 are
focused on managing tasks. An Outlook
view displays tasks in a calendar format
that makes it easy to see which ones are
scheduled to take place. Tasks can also be
organized in groups.
Aside from its utility, perhaps the best
thing about Carbon Copy Cloner is its
interface, which is logically laid out. There
is room for improvement: sometimes tips
can be displayed beyond the edge of the
screen and, with no way to resize the CCC
window, the only way to see some of them
is to drag the window around.
The boTTom line. Carbon Copy Cloner
is an excellent tool. Cloning your Mac or
backing up specific folders has never been
easier. Kenny hemphill
Carbon Copy
Cloner 5
SupportsAPFS
Veryeasytouse
Backupscheduling
andmanagement
Tipsdisplaybeyond
screenboundaries
exCellent
maclife.com Jan 2018 61
>>> Reviews
Logitech MX Sound
Affordable Bluetooth speakers
$99.99 from Logitech, logitech.com
features 12W (RMS) power output, 2x 3.5mm audio inputs needs Bluetooth, 3.5mm audio out
W
Logitech
MX Sound
Compact2.0
speakersystem
Goodsoundquality
Onlymodestbass
NoUSBaudio
eXceLLent
62 JAn 2018maclife.com
e liked the new MX mice and keyboards
released by Logitech recently, which
provided ingenious features such as
the ability to quickly switch control between
two separate computers, and the company’s
new MX Sound speakers attempt to provide
similar versatility when you’re listening to
music on your Mac, iPhone or iPad.
The two compact speakers stand just
160mm wide and 160mm high, so they’ll
sit comfortably on either side of your Mac
without taking up too much desk space. The
speakers provide Bluetooth for iOS devices,
and can pair with two devices at once. There
are also two 3.5mm connectors for audio
input from a Mac or other wired device, and
a headphone connector as well. And, just
like the other Logitech MX products, the MX
Sound enables you to switch between devices
— either Bluetooth or wired — quickly and
easily. All you have to do is pause the audio
on one device and then start playing a track
on the other one, and the MX Sound will
automatically detect the new audio input
and switch over for you.
You’re not going to get hi-fi quality from
a set of speakers costing $100, but the MX
Sound does a good job for such a compact
little set of speakers. They produce a warm,
full sound with the massed harmonies of
Somebody To Love by Queen, and manage to
create an open, expansive soundstage for the
widescreen atmospherics of Enya’s Orinoco
Flow. The only minor disappointment is the
bass output. To be fair, the little bass port
(which does double duty as a stand) on each
speaker adds some body to the mid-bass
on pop tracks like Blondie’s Rapture, but the
small speakers do struggle to get down to the
deeper, electronic bass of Prime Evil by The
Orb. There are bigger and better speakers
around, but if you need just a compact set of
desktop speakers to enhance music and video
on your Mac and mobile devices then the MX
Sound will do the trick very nicely, without
costing the earth.
The boTTom line. The MX Sound
manages to squeeze very respectable sound
quality into compact and affordable stereo
speakers that make a great companion for
a desktop Mac, iPad or iPhone. Connectivity
is good, too, with quick and easy switching
between Bluetooth and wired connections.
Cliff Joseph
Toughtesting,trustedratings
maclife.com JAn 2018 63
>>> Reviews
WD My Cloud Home Duo
delivers spacious, secure
storage for the home.
WD My Cloud Home Duo
Large-capacity storage in a stylish, convenient package
$699.99 (16TB) From Western Digital, wdc.com
Needs OS X 10.10 or later, iOS 9.0 or later, internet router with available Gigabit Ethernet port
WD My ClouD
HoMe Duo
Easy to set up and use
Syncs cloud storage
Noisy while active
Limited apps available
Great
64 Jan 2018 maclife.com
WD My Cloud Home combines high-capacity,
cloud-connected storage in an easy-to-use
package. No more paying monthly fees to
upload gigabytes of content over poky
internet connections; storage is located
inside your home or office, available from
anywhere just by plugging the included
Gigabit Ethernet cable into your router.
Unlike single-drive models, My Cloud
Home Duo houses a pair of hard drives in a
handsome, relatively compact package, with
capacities ranging from 4TB to a huge 16TB.
Duos are configured RAID1 by default, which
cuts storage space in half but offers data
protection when one drive fails; you can also
reformat and trade security for maximum
storage capacity. The unit gets a bit noisy
during read/write activity, so you’ll want to
place it away from your desk.
My Cloud Home takes only a few minutes
to set up, and with WD Discovery for macOS
installed, mounts on the Desktop like other
volumes. There’s a mobile app for automatic
backup of photos and videos or viewing
content from anywhere, but the lack of
native iPad support is a disappointment.
Considering the network connection,
transfer rates are impressive: Around
90MB/s read and 60MB/s write, fast enough
to play 1080p HD video. This comes in handy
when using the included Plex Media Server
app, which streams content to devices
without a WD app, such as Apple TV.
There’s also an app for connecting cloud
storage services and social networks, which
syncs files to your personal cloud, as well as
IFTTT for incorporating My Cloud Home into
other workflows. The app selection pales in
comparison to true NAS devices, however.
The BoTTom
liNe. Personal cloud
storage gets a big
upgrade, thanks to
dual hard drives that
provide valuable
peace of mind. WD
My Cloud Home Duo
offers convenience
and ease of use in a
product that looks
great anywhere.
J.R. BookwalTeR
Tough testing, trusted ratings
iXpand Base
Back up iOS without a Mac
From $49.99 From SanDisk, sandisk.com
Features 15W fast charger, 6ft cable
OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock
Packed with the ports your Mac lacks
$299 From Other World Computing, macsales.com
Features 5x USB 3.1 (Gen 1), 3.5mm analog audio in/out, S/PDIF,
FireWire 800, Gigabit Ethernet, Mini DisplayPort, SD card reader
This dock for expanding your MacBook Pro offers an
abundance of ports. Notably, in contrast to the Elgato and
CalDigit rivals we’ve tried, it has FireWire 800 for legacy
devices, and an SD card reader and optical audio output,
both of which are omitted from recent MacBook Pros.
There’s also a Mini DisplayPort, which may make up for
the slightly higher cost of this dock — the aforementioned
rivals use full-size DisplayPort, but you may have a Mini
DisplayPort adapter and suitable cable from an older Mac.
This is the best-specced Thunderbolt 3 dock we’ve tried
for variety and quantity of ports. Two of its USB ports can
provide higher power to an iPad, say, if you install a driver.
If a dock is the ointment for connectivity complaints with
Thunderbolt-3-equipped MacBooks, beware that there is
potentially a fly in it, depending on your Mac’s screen size.
It provides only 60W output to charge your notebook, so a
15-inch model’s battery may drain under a heavy workload.
The boTTom line. A great choice for a 13-inch MacBook
Pro with Thunderbolt 3, if you really need five USB ports or
other extras your Mac doesn’t have. AlAn STonebridge
Charging your iPhone is a perfect time to back up
the data stored there. SanDisk iXpand Base makes
it a snap to kill these two birds with one stone.
The base is a four-inch puck about an inch thick
with a metal bottom and soft rubber top where
the iPhone sits. Plug a USB to Lightning cable
(not included) into the base of the unit, then tuck
it away inside a groove along the edge to keep
things tidy. There’s no wireless charging or
backup — iXpand works only when plugged in.
A standard SD card with 32, 64, 128, or 256GB
comes pre-installed. Backups are done from the
iXpand Base app, which automatically springs into
action when launched.
This isn’t a good fit if you use iCloud Photo
Library, since the app has to download everything
at full resolution during backup, but it works well
with traditional camera rolls. Once it’s all backed
up, you can purge content to free up device space,
then view or restore it at any time.
The boTTom line. Simple backup and
charge, except for iCloud Photo Library.
J.r. bookwAlTer
SandiSk ixpand baSe
Charge and back up at once
Swappable SD cards
Not ideal for iCloud Photo Library users
App is too basic
SOlid
OWC ThunderbOlT 3 dOCk
Five USB 3.1 (Type A) ports
Built-in Mini DisplayPort
Costs a lot of dough
Only 60W charging
exCellenT
maclife.com Jan 2018 65
home liFe
Better livinG throuGh smarter technoloGy
> Get started with…
Get started
with smart
thermostats
Take back control of your home heating bills with the latest
generation of smart thermostats — devices you can easily
control from your iPhone or iPad, even remotely
By cliFF JosePh
he possibility of saving some money
on your heating bills meant that
smart thermostats were among
the first devices to emerge in the home automation market, and with energy prices rising all the time they continue to be a popular purchase. There is plenty of choice these days, with a variety of different designs available. Most of these new thermostats will simply replace the existing thermostat on your wall, although some
do include a separate wireless adaptor that allows you to move the thermostat from room to
room. Some use high-tech touchscreen controls, while others opt for more old-fashioned buttons and dials that mimic traditional thermostats.
Yet these design features are often just skin deep, and most smart thermostats concentrate t
66 Jan 2018 maclife.com
on providing the same core set of features, which are generally controlled by an app on your iPhone, iPad or other mobile devices. The majority of these apps will enable you to program daily and weekly schedules to turn the heating on or off at specific times, or set temperature limits so that your home is always
kept at a comfortable temperature.
Having an app on your iPhone also enables
the thermostat to monitor your location, so it can turn itself on and warm things up when it sees that you’re on your way home from work in
the evening and within a defined distance (using a feature known as “geofencing”). Most apps can analyze your energy usage to help you save money, and can send notifications of unexpected events — so if the heating suddenly comes on while you’re out at work, say, then that might
Smart thermostats
maclife.com Jan 2018 67
>>> Home Life
mean someone’s left a window open. These similarities mean most of the smart thermostats
now available will suit a variety of houses, condos and apartments. The only thing to watch out for is hidden costs, such as installation fees, which can add to the basic cost of some smart thermostats.
One of the first smart thermostats to arrive in the US was the Learning Thermostat from Nest, which boasts a stylish circular design. Available for $249, the third-generation model lacks HomeKit compatibility, but you can still control it from your iPhone or iPad using the free Nest app for iOS.
The Learning Thermostat is so called because it “learns” when you turn the temperature up or down (up during the day and down at night, for example) and then uses that information, built up over its first week, to automatically create a heating schedule for you — potentially saving you money in the process. The Learning Thermostat is also fully programmable, of course, and it includes a feature called Farsight, which automatically makes it light up and display the time or temperature whenever you walk into a room.
The Learning Thermostat works very well and has the advantage of working with other Nest products, such as the Nest security camera and its forthcoming video doorbell, called Hello. There was a rumor that the Nest thermostat might add support for HomeKit, but since Nest is owned by The brilliantly designed
ecobee3 Lite thermostat
works with HomeKit.
68 Jan 2018 maclife.com
Google, and since the Google Home smart speaker is a direct rival for the new Apple HomePod, we’re not holding our breath on that.
homeKit hardware
If you want a smart thermostat that fully supports
HomeKit — because you want to control it with an Apple TV, Siri or Apple’s HomePod smart speaker — then the $169.95 ecobee3 Lite is ideal. You can pair it with up to 32 separate sensors located around Smart thermostats
what is zoninG?
An ordinary thermostat
will simply turn your
heating on or off.
However, many smart
thermostats provide
a “zoning” option as well.
This is more expensive,
as it requires additional
adaptors that you connect
to individual radiators, but
does provide greater
control over the heating
in individual rooms.
h av i n G a n a P P o n y o u r P h o n e
a l s o e n a B l e s t h e t h e r m o s tat
Elgato’s Eve Degree is
incredibly affordable
— and portable.
t o m o n i t o r y o u r l o c at i o n
your home (sold separately in packs of two for $79) to keep tabs on the temperature in each room, and it’s easy to control, either using the free app for iPhone or iPad or via its touchscreen front panel. Honeywell’s Lyric T5 is cheaper at $149.95, and also supports HomeKit. It’s sold on the Apple Store, so it’s easy to find, as is the more expensive Honeywell Lyric Round, which costs $249.95. The Lyric Round offers additional features, such as the ability to control humidity as well as temperature, automatically firing up the air-conditioning when needed. Like the other smart thermostats here, it offers geofencing, enabling it to turn on your HVAC system automatically as you get closer to home or shut it down as you get further away.
Also available on the Apple Store, the iDevices Thermostat costs a more modest $129.95. While it’s not as stylish as either of the Honeywells or the
ecobee3, it’s fully-programmable and HomeKitcompatible, and can be controlled using your voice alone, thanks to Siri.
Last, but by no means least, is the Elgato Eve Degree — incredibly affordable at just $69.95, it’s ideal for renters because it’s battery-powered, it’s relatively portable, and it uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to connect with your iPhone or iPad. It also works seamlessly with HomeKit.
what is GeoFencinG?
The thermostat app can
use your iPhone’s GPS to
monitor your location.
You can then establish a
perimeter — or geofence
— around your home that
activates the thermostat.
So, if you drive home from
the station every night,
the app can turn on the
heating once you come
within half a mile of home.
Nest’s Learning
Thermostat is one
smart device.
installation
Whichever smart thermostat you choose, installation is fairly straightforward: you’re effectively replacing your existing thermostat with a new, smarter one. But if you have any doubts about your ability to do it yourself, ask a local electrician or HVAC engineer to do it for you.
maclife.com Jan 2018 69
>>> Home Life
Five oF
the Best
We recommend the best smart thermostats for your Apple Home
1
2
3
4
elGato eve deGree
$69.95
elgato.com
honeywell lyric t5
$149.95
honeywell.com
nest learninG
thermostat
$249
store.nest.com
ecoBee3 lite
$169.95
shop.ecobee.com
> Ideal if you’re renting or
don’t want your thermostat
to be permanently fixed to
a wall, the Eve Degree is a
battery-powered device
that’s great for controlling
temperature and humidity
in your home. Compatible
with Apple HomeKit, it uses
Bluetooth Low Energy tech
and is beautiful to look at
and easy to use.
> Honeywell’s Lyric
thermostat takes pride
of place on the Apple
Store, and its HomeKit
support makes it a good
option for iPhone users.
The price doesn’t include
installation, however, so
you’ll need to find a local
electrician or HVAC
engineer to install it
for you.
70 Jan 2018 maclife.com
> There’s no HomeKit
support, sadly, but the
Learning Thermostat from
Google’s Nest will earn its
keep. It’s smart enough to
monitor both your energy
usage and your family’s
routine, adjusting the
heating automatically and
saving you the trouble of
programming it yourself.
> This smart thermostat
is stylish and works with
HomeKit, making it easy
to control using Siri, a
compatible Apple TV or
even the new HomePod, or
its touchscreen display or
the free app for iPhone or
iPad. Team it with ecobee’s
range of smart sensors
(sold in pairs) for even
better HVAC control.
Smart thermostats
>smart home livinG
JenniFer Phin tries to find a
reason not to get smart buttons
T
5
idevices thermostat
$149
store.idevicesinc.com
> While it’s not quite as
stylish or as fully-featured
as some of the other smart
thermostats here, this
model from iDevices gets
all the basics right — and
has all the functionality
you need. It’s even
HomeKit-compatible. You
can request professional
installation directly from
the iDevices store.
he Phin household is
locked in disagreement over which Amazon Dash Buttons to order. Obviously the correct answer is “all of them,” but once again we are thwarted by the threat of losing our rental
deposit, figuring that covering every flat surface in Wi-Fienabled online ordering buttons probably isn’t wise.
I am lobbying hard for hardcore home essentials buttons. Imagine a world where we never run out of laundry detergent or toilet paper or Pop Tarts! Meanwhile my husband has weird concerns over the brands available — should we commit to Listerine mouthwash? Will our weekend slow-brew artisan coffee ritual turn into an environmentally-inadvisable Cinnabon-flavoured Keurig frenzy through sheer ease of availability? Are we the sort of family that publicly acknowledges its over-consumption of Goldfish Crackers? The answer to that one, obviously, is yes.
Meanwhile, whenever we browse the Buttons on-screen, our toddler desperately begs us to order the button for Canine Athlete, a vitamin for active dogs, because she thinks it will allow her to order dogs. Through some discussion, I have also established that she believes the dogs will be owned and/or delivered by Rainbow Dash, one of the more popular My Little Ponies.
Husband is also interested in hacking the Buttons to perform other functions. “Like, we could use one as a light switch! Or to order pizza!” Which I agree is interesting until he adds: “You just have to catch the data slug… or sniff out the packet or something.” Uh-huh. You do that, dude. I’ll be over here ordering all the crackers. If you could ask the data slug to dress up as a delivery pony, that’d be ideal.
>>> Home Life
apple TV
The laTesT tvOs apps and The hOTTesT hardware
Beasts of Balance
Hybrid digital board game
Free (requires Core edition)
Watch your favorite TV shows without the need for satellite
or cable with Mohu TV and its AirWave antenna.
Mohu TV
Through the AirWaves
Free
Mohu is a name familiar to many,
thanks to the company’s line-up of
antennas that enable cord-cutters
to watch favorite network shows sans cable or
satellite. Not content with conquering live TV,
Mohu recently debuted AirWave, an antenna
equipped with streaming capabilities, which
enables everyone in your house to tune in.
The AirWave hardware requires a free
companion app to function. That’s where Mohu
TV comes in, streaming live, local feeds from
the built-in tuner and providing free network
television from the likes of ABC, CBS and more.
Mohu TV also includes a cable-style 14-day
program guide, which requires no monthly
subscription, and there’s a “carefully curated”
selection of internet-based streaming channels
to enhance the experience. Be sure to install
AirWave first, which is required to use the app;
the hardware costs $149.99 from Best Buy. So
much for “free” TV… J.R. BookwalteR
72 Jan 2018 maclife.com
Games like
Jenga don’t
typically
translate well to digital,
but this game combines
real-world physical pieces
with a virtual Pokémonstyle component designed
for between one and five
players. Beasts of Balance
challenges you to build
balancing towers and
fabulous worlds using all
of the skill, strategy, and
creativity you can muster.
Although the game works
just fine on iPhone and
iPad, Beasts of Balance is
ideal for Apple TV. The app
is free, but a $99 Core
Edition is required, which
includes 24 sculpted pieces
called “Artefacts” that
players stack on a special
sensing platform known
as the Plinth of Life.
When a player touches
an Artefact to the platform,
it appears on screen,
turning into an amazing
beast that lives in a digital
world. There are hundreds
of potential creatures to
explore, and the one who
builds the tallest tower
wins. Perfect for family
games night!
J.R. BookwalteR
Beasts of Balance combines real-world
“Artefacts” with family-friendly gameplay.
Better living through smarter tech
Momento – GIF Maker
Bring photos to life
Home
tHeateR
Free
It’s never been easier
to make animated GIF
videos, but being able
to watch them on the big screen
remains a challenge. That all
changes with Momento.
Although it sadly lacks the
customization niceties of the iOS
app, the tvOS edition is about as
easy to use as it gets. Allow the app
to access your iCloud Photo Library,
and a grid of thumbnails pops up,
already animated and ready to view
with a click of the Siri Remote.
Momento works automatically
when there are multiple still
photos taken around the same
make the most of
home entertainment
Momento enables you to enjoy animated GIF
videos on your Apple TV.
time, as well as with videos in your
library. There’s a short delay as
files are downloaded but GIFs play
automatically and then advance to
the next one after a few seconds of
playback. J.R. BookwalteR
DisneyNOW
SamSung un49mu7000FXZa
$799.99 • sAmsung.com
Not every room in the house
deserves a top-of-the-line TV,
and this 49-inch 2017 model
hits the sweet spot with
bright, colorful HDR in an
affordable, space-saving
design. The trade-off is no
Dolby Vision support, but for
a playroom or guest room, this
one provides an all-around
quality picture on a budget.
All together now
Free
Cutting ties with cable
or satellite companies
might be easy on the
wallet, but it does come with
compromises. Case in point:
Launching multiple apps to watch
favorite TV shows. Disney has now
eliminated one such headache by
combining the former Disney
Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD,
and Radio Disney apps into one.
The rebranded shingle provides
everything a kid aged two to 14
could ever want, complete with full
episodes of your favorite shows, a
personalized experience, original
movies, games, and more.
Disney Now combines four previously
separate Disney apps into one. Great.
You’ll still need a verified
subscription to access live or
on-demand content. Otherwise,
Disney has done a good job, and
there are parental controls too.
J.R. BookwalteR
nyRiuS aRieS PRo
$249.99 • nyrius.com
If your TV and Apple TV have
to be placed far apart, this
wireless HDMI transmitter and
receiver combo will reunite
them, no cables required.
Think of it as an invisible
HDMI cable, although this
3D-capable hardware is best
paired with older Apple TV
models, since 1080p HD is the
maximum resolution available.
maclife.com Jan 2018 73
ASk
Email Mac|Life at ask@maclife.com
TECH SUPPORT & TECHSPLANATIONS
Hot topics
right now
Make sure you check
out these important
support articles on
Apple’s website to
better understand
the latest features.
Some ioS 11 deviceS’
video appearS black
in final cut pro X
at the time of writing,
apple hasn’t updated
final cut pro X to work
with Hevc video clips.
it describes a workaround
at bit.ly/ml136ask1.
if GaraGeband
won’t open after
you update to ioS 11
Some people find that
Garageband won’t open
in ioS 11. until apple
issues a permanent fix,
it suggests following the
workaround that’s given
at bit.ly/ml136ask2.
you can Still Get
Sierra if HiGH Sierra
iSn’t riGHt for you
if you’re using a macoS
older than Sierra and now
want to upgrade but find
High Sierra has issues
with hardware or apps,
you can still get Sierra.
See bit.ly/ml136ask3.
74 Jan 2018 maclife.com
> Are my backups at risk?
my mac backs up to four places: a local time machine backup, a naS, dropbox, and each
month to an external drive. if attacked by ransomware, would those be at risk?
Unfortunately, much of that depends on how
well written the ransomware is, and what
vulnerabilities it exploits.
Ransomware typically starts by encrypting
local storage. Because macOS has System
Integrity Protection (SIP), system files and
bundled apps can’t normally be encrypted.
Ransomware is therefore most likely to
start with your Home folder; if that’s large,
it could take hours to encrypt completely.
SIP protects only your startup volume,
so eventually the ransomware could get to
encrypt your backups, when they’re mounted.
With multiple backups, that’s unlikely to
happen before it announces its presence or
you detect it. When your monthly drive isn’t
connected, malware can’t attack it, making it
a valuable part of your protection strategy.
Although anti-virus products normally
incorporate checks and signatures once
malware has been identified by researchers,
most can’t offer good protection until the
malware is known about.
Generic techniques are the only means
of protection from unknown malware;
Objective-See’s RansomWhere? from bit.ly/
objectivesee_ransomware uses a generic
approach and should warn you very early
if ransomware starts encrypting your files.
RansomWhere? is free to download and use.
Tech Support & Techsplanations
Get official documentation at support.apple.com | Get help with hardware at support.apple.com/repair
> Handoff won’t connect
i’m trying to connect my new ipad and iphone 7 with my macbook air using Handoff, but
can’t get any of them to see any other. each time i try, i get the report that they were
unable to connect “as this device is not supported.” what am i doing wrong?
Handoff usually just works,
but when it doesn’t, it can be
very hard to fix. Basic checks
are simple: On your MacBook
Air, open About This Mac and
then click the System Report
button to open the System
Information window. Select
Bluetooth in the left-hand
pane and check to see
whether the main pane
shows Handoff is supported.
Check that your Mac and
iOS devices each have both
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi turned
on, and are signed into the
same Apple ID on the same
Wi-Fi network. Enable
Handoff in the General pane
on your Mac, and on each
iOS device in Settings >
General > Handoff.
From there, it’s a case of
trying various little magic
tricks which may or may not
get it working…
On each device, sign out
of iCloud, and back in again.
On your Mac, try trashing
the Bluetooth preference file
at /Library/Preferences/com.
apple.Bluetooth.plist, and
resetting the SMC and
NVRAM. For your Mac and
devices, restarting them or
shutting down and starting
up again can suddenly
get them to work.
If after trying all these
you still have no joy at
getting Handoff to work,
your best bet is making an
appointment at your nearest
Genius Bar and getting them
to try. It’s possible that you
have a hardware problem,
or perhaps your Wi-Fi router
is playing up.
Quick-fire
questions
& answers
wHat’S tHe beSt
protection from mud
for an ipHone?
A sealed case cover, such
as the Griffin Survivor
Extreme, seals controls
and ports and provides
water resistance. Mud is
often quite abrasive, so
inspect the case when in
use. When it’s soiled, rinse
the case clean and use an
old soft toothbrush to
gently remove debris.
How can i eXtend
battery life in
patcHy coveraGe?
In areas with patchy
coverage, searching for a
signal is a substantial drain
on your iPhone’s battery.
Low Power Mode does
little to help, though. The
only way to get better
battery life is to switch on
Airplane mode until you’re
back in better cellular
reception conditions.
maclife.com Jan 2018 75
>>> Ask
How do i Get my
mac to remember
itS volume SettinG?
If your Mac is forgetting its
sound volume setting when
starting up, this is because
it isn’t being stored in
NVRAM (formerly PRAM).
Reset that by starting with
the Cmd+Opt+P+R keys
held down until the second
startup chime (or more
than 20 seconds on a new
MacBook Pro), then release
them and let your Mac
start up normally.
doeS keepinG my
Hard drive awake
Help it laSt lonGer?
Spinning up a hard drive
increases mechanical wear.
Hard drives last longer if
you set Energy Saver to
not put them to sleep, and
leave your Mac running at
all times rather than
shutting it down at the
end of each day.
76 Jan 2018 maclife.com
> Start up restarts
when i start or wake my imac (mid 2011)
running 10.11.6, it often spontaneously
restarts several times before working, even
in Safe mode. i’ve reseated and tested the
memory. there are crash reports referring
to Gpu resets. is the graphics card dying?
These restarts are almost certainly caused
by repeated kernel panics, most probably
reflecting a failing graphics card, but they
could result from El Capitan’s fragility.
Run Apple Hardware Test (AHT, or
Diagnostics on recent models) first. Shut
down and disconnect all external devices
apart from a wired keyboard and mouse and
any wired Ethernet connection. Start up, and
immediately press and hold D until the AHT
icon appears. Select language, click the right
arrow, and begin the test. Initially, run normal
rather than extended testing. If you can’t get
your mouse to work, use the cursor and the
Return key. Sometimes AHT or Diagnostics
won’t detect graphics card faults, which
should return an error code starting with
VFD, typically VFD006. More extensive
diagnostics at a Genius Bar may be needed.
If there’s definitely no hardware fault,
browse your logs following starting up. For
El Capitan, check out bit.ly/electriclight_
readinglogs. Consider upgrading to macOS
Sierra, which is more stable in this respect,
and better supported.
Tech Support & Techsplanations
> Wiping data from an old Mac
How can i wipe all personal files from my old mac prior to its disposal?
First deauthorize all apps,
including any Adobe CS/CC
apps. Open iTunes and go to
Account > Authorizations >
Deauthorize This Computer.
Now make at least two
copies of anything on
that Mac which may be of
importance, so that you can
retrieve it in the future.
Once that’s done, sign
out of iCloud on that Mac,
and allow this to remove
iCloud data from the
Mac; that data will still be
accessible on other Macs
using that iCloud account.
Finally sign out of your
account in the Messages
app’s Preferences.
To erase your Mac’s
storage, when running
Mavericks or later, the Mac
must be connected to the
internet. Start it up in
remote Recovery mode
by holding down the
Cmd+Opt+R keys. Select
Disk Utility, then select your
startup drive, and click
the Erase tab. Erase free
space too, selecting a level
between the two extremes
of fastest and most secure.
Erase your storage and
set it to Mac OS Extended
> My MacBook Pro
can’t stay awake
my macbook pro enters a wake-sleep loop every
minute, running until its battery is drained. this was
resolved with Sierra, but has now returned. energy
Saver is set for system sleep after one minute, and
the log gives a “Shutdown cause” of –60 each time.
any idea how can i fix this?
This is very unusual. These cycles may be the result
of a serious disk error. Shutdown Cause codes given in
the log following startup, and sometimes when waking,
should be 5, indicating the previous shutdown was
“clean.” Negative values imply hardware issues.
A cause code of –60 indicates a serious disk error,
normally a bad master directory block. First test for
hardware faults by restarting in Diagnostics mode
(holding down D) and running its tests, then restart in
Recovery mode (holding down Cmd+Opt+R) and run
Disk Utility’s First Aid on your startup SSD.
If it can’t be repaired, restart in Recovery mode,
reformat the SSD, reinstall macOS from there,
and restore from your backup. If that doesn’t
fix it, make an appointment at a Genius Bar.
(Journaled) format, then
quit Disk Utility. If your Mac
is being sold or passed on
to another user, select
Reinstall OS X. When that
process reaches the step of
inviting you to select your
country and region, press
Cmd+Q and shut your Mac
down. When any new owner
starts it up, it should now
present them with a
Welcome screen just like
a new Mac, and all your old
data will be gone forever.
You can find out more about
getting rid of an old Mac at
bit.ly/electriclight_old_mac.
can i upGrade my
imac 27-incH late
2014 for Hevc?
The only iMacs with
hardware acceleration for
HEVC are 5K 27-inch Late
2015 models with Skylake
chipsets, and all 2017
models with Kaby Lake.
Because this depends on
the chipset, there won’t
be any way to extend
support to earlier models.
my imac iS lifeleSS!
Verify it’s getting power
by using a different
socket and mains cable.
Reset its SMC by
disconnecting all cables,
including power, for 15
seconds, then reconnect
and wait for five seconds
before pressing the Power
button. Still no signs
of life? Then it needs to
be repaired.
maclife.com Jan 2018 77
>>> Ask
How can i run an
unSiGned app
in Sierra?
The simplest way is to
select the app in Finder
and use Finder’s Open
command to open it. The
first time you do this after
downloading the app,
you’ll have to opt to open
the app despite its missing
signature, but once it has
been run, full Gatekeeper
checks are not repeated.
How mucH free Space
do i need on SSd for
macoS HiGH Sierra?
In addition to the space
needed for a major macOS
update, if you start up
from an SSD, the installer
will need extra free space
to convert it to APFS. It is
not readily predictable, but
most upgraders will find
10GB of space an absolute
minimum, with 50GB much
more comfortable.
78 Jan 2018 maclife.com
> Finder Favorites stuck
when upgrading to a new macbook pro, i can’t rearrange
the order of items in finder windows’ favorites, something
which used to work fine. although i can drag them into the
order i want, they revert to standard when i next start up.
is this a corrupt preference file, and how can i fix it?
These are classic symptoms of a preference
file that isn’t saving the changes you made,
and the property list in question should be
~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist,
which stores the great majority of Finder’s
settings. The traditional way to fix this would
be to move that file to another folder, such
as Documents, then to log out and log back
on again, or restart.
The snag with this is that macOS now
manages preference files in a complex way,
and you may find that the regenerated
preference file still doesn’t solve the problem.
In that case, use free tools such as Prefs
Editor (bit.ly/prefs_editor) or PrefEdit (bit.ly/
pref_edit) instead.
There may also be more problems with
your preference files, such as incorrect
permissions settings, which can stop them
working normally. Apple has recently started
to recommend that these can be addressed
by repairing their permissions — not in the old
way as before El Capitan, but those in your
Home folder. Apple provides complete details
about this in bit.ly/preference_permissions,
and we look at this at bit.ly/electriclight_
repairingpermissions and provide simpler
tools to help perform the repair.
> Ins and outs of quarantine
How does macoS Sierra know whether an app has been downloaded from the internet
or not, and so run a full security check on it?
When your web browser, or most apps
capable of downloading apps and installers,
saves that download, it automatically
attaches quarantine information to the file —
in the form of an extended attribute, or xattr,
with the name com.apple.quarantine — and
puts it into quarantine. This information is
also recorded in the database at ~/Library/
Preferences/com.apple.LaunchServices.
QuarantineEventsV2
When you try to open or run that app,
or any app installed from a quarantined disk
image, archive or installer bundle, the Finder
notifies Gatekeeper, which performs a full
check on its signature(s). This ensures that,
if a signature has been revoked, for example,
macOS will refuse to run it and compromise
security. If the app passes that check, or you
opt to run it without a valid signature, a flag
in the xattr is changed to indicate that the
full check has been performed successfully,
and Gatekeeper won’t be asked to check it
as thoroughly again.
Don’t try to circumvent these checks by
using tools like curl that bypass them, or by
tampering with the quarantine xattr: they’re
there to protect you from malware.
Tech Support & Techsplanations
essential
support
articles
> Why the extra passwords?
when i start my macbook pro up and log in, i’m prompted for my password for two
keychains, named local items and login. How can i stop this?
This happens if your Mac has two keychains
it needs to open, neither of which uses your
current password. This probably resulted
from changing your login password, but that
change not being reflected in your keychains.
When you enter your login password, it’s
used for two functions: to open access as
that user, and to open that user’s default
keychain, the one named login. If the
password used for the login keychain no
longer matches that used to log in, when
the Mac comes to open the user’s login
keychain, it discovers that the password it
has doesn’t match that for that keychain,
so it will prompt you to enter the current
password for that keychain.
You can fix this using Keychain Access, in
the Utilities folder. Start that app, and select
your login keychain at the left of the window.
In the Edit menu, use the Change Password
for Keychain “login”… command, and change
the password to the same password you use
when logging in to your Mac.
You may need to open the Local Items
keychain and copy-and-paste items from that
into your login keychain so that macOS will
never need to open that keychain either.
This should ensure that each time you log
in to your Mac from now on, macOS can open
the login keychain without any need for the
separate alert, and that it can find all the
information it needs there.
How do i fiX errorS wHen backinG
up my icloud drive?
You can work around Time Machine errors
such as this by adding your iCloud Drive to its
exclusion list, via the Options… button in the
System Preferences > Time Machine pane.
How do i uSe an apfS SSd or uSb
flaSH drive witH Sierra?
If you’ve formatted removable storage using
this new file system, you can’t use it with
Sierra or earlier. Share it from your High
Sierra system instead.
Our advice may refer to
the following features;
check out the support
articles linked below
for full instructions.
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
at bit.ly/mlrecovery.
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 bit.ly/mlsafemode.
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 bit.ly/mlresetsmc and
bit.ly/mlresetnvram.
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
bit.ly/mldiag, otherwise
see bit.ly/mlahwt.
SHare witH uS!
email: letters@maclife.com
facebook: facebook.com/maclife twitter: twitter.com/maclife
maclife.com Jan 2018 79
CREATE
HOW TO DO ANYTHING ON YOUR MAC, iPHONE & iPAD
Recompose shots in Photoshop
Use Content-Aware Fill in Photoshop to rework your images
REQUIRES
Photoshop CC, and a
picture to recompose
YoU wIll lEaRn
What Content-Aware Fill is
and how best to use it
IT wIll TaKE
30 minutes
It used to be that cropping
an image went only one way
— smaller. Cropping in to an
image usually means making
the subject of your shot bigger, and
discarding pixels around the edge of the
frame. This is useful; not only does it
mean you can draw attention to your
subject, which is helpful if it’s small, but
you can also reposition it in the frame if
it’s strangely placed to begin with.
With Photoshop CC, cropping doesn’t
necessarily mean zooming in. Take
rotating a shot, for instance. Ordinarily,
rotating an image creates white space at
its corners, but Photoshop automatically
constrains your image — that is, makes
it smaller — to avoid this white space
showing up in your final image. The
app’s Content-Aware cropping tech fills
these white spaces with automatically
generated new pixels, based on patterns
and colors nearby. dave stevenson
How to Give your image more space
GEnIUS TIp
When cropping an image,
consider cycling through
Photoshop’s composition
guides — select the Crop
tool and hit O (the letter)
— for composition ideas.
Find a suitable image
Not all images are great for contentaware cropping. Lots of really fine detail, or
faces, at the frame’s edge can cause problems.
Landscapes like the above, with lots of sky, are
likely to work better. If only it weren’t tilted…
80 Jan 2018 maclife.com
Set up the Crop tool
Press C to select the Crop tool, and
note the new options immediately above your
image. The first thing to check is that the first
pop-up menu, which lets you pick the aspect
ratio of the image, is set to Original Ratio.
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
QuIck Look The Crop tool’s options
BlanK BITS
A blank area shows up as
grey/white checkerboard.
This will print as white,
and needs to be dealt with
to produce a great result.
aSpECT RaTIo
You can keep the image’s
original aspect ratio, but
others are available from
this pop-up — square is
good for Instagram, say.
lEvEl IT Up
The Straighten tool won’t
make wonky lines straight
but turns sloping horizons
level — a real boon for all
landscape photographers.
ChECK IT
The all-important ContentAware checkbox. When it’s
filled with a check mark
here, Photoshop will work
its magic on blank areas.
ovERlaYS
This spiral overlay is
known as the golden ratio,
but others are available.
The grid is valuable for
getting images level.
GEnIUS TIp
Use the straightener
Photoshop’s Straighten tool enables
you to draw a line along the horizon and level
the image to it automatically. Hold Cmd, then
drag across the horizon of your image. When
you let go, your image will level up.
Make the magic happen
With your image level, you’ll notice you
now have grey and white checkerboard at the
corners. Ordinarily you’d delete these, along
with some of the image. Instead, make sure
Content-Aware is checked, and press Return.
Unlike many Photoshop
tools, the Crop tool can
work destructively. You
can make a backup of
images before using it,
just in case, or otherwise,
uncheck Delete Cropped
Pixels in the Options bar,
and you can later choose
Image > Reveal All to
restore excluded areas.
maclife.com Jan 2018 81
>>> Create
JaRGon BUSTER
Some tools in Photoshop
are destructive, meaning
they change image data
for good — at least once
you close the file, which
clears the undo history.
This includes many
brushes and retouching
tools, and adjustments not
applied as adjustment
layers (which are
nondestructive).
Get closer
For images you’re using online, this is
all you have to do. For those you’ll print, it’s
worth being more detail-oriented. Look at the
fine details, and look for repeating patterns
generated by the content-aware crop process.
Content-aware Fill
Press Shift+F5, or choose Edit > Fill,
and you’ll see the Content-Aware Fill dialog.
Make sure the pop-up at the top of it reads
“Content-Aware,” then press Return. You’ll
then find that the pattern disappears.
Beyond boundaries
Content-aware cropping also enables
you to zoom out as well as in. Here, we’d like
our volcano to be a bit smaller in the frame, so
we can run text around it. Press C, then drag
the box beyond the original shot’s boundaries.
82 Jan 2018 maclife.com
Outline the pattern
This repeating pattern is subtle, but will
stand out in a big print. It’s easy to fix, though.
Press L to select the Lasso tool, then draw
loosely around the pattern you want to fix. An
accurate outline, in this case, is unimportant.
Fill again
If you still have a repeating pattern, try
repeating the Content-Aware Fill process. The
result will change each time, so just stop when
you achieve a less obvious result, then press
Cmd+D to deselect the area you changed.
More space
Press Return to see the recomposed
image. Thanks to the Content-Aware Fill, which
has filled-in the extended canvas area very
credibly, you can give your photo’s subject
more space and add a convincing background.
A designer knows
he has achieved
perfection not when
there is nothing left to
add, but when there is
nothing left to take away.
Antoine de SAint-exupéry
The number one destination for
graphic design news, views, and how-tos
creativebloq.com
>>> Create
stay focused on your work
Discover how the free Be Focused app can help you get more done
REQUIRES
Be Focused,
OS X 10.9 or later
YoU wIll lEaRn
How to get into a better
pattern of work and rest
with the help of a neat
little menu bar utility
IT wIll TaKE
10 minutes
Be Focused is a free app from
the Mac App Store that helps
you stay focused on the work
and personal tasks you do on
your Mac. Whether you’re writing a report
for work, updating your blog, browsing
the web, or doing something else, the app
tracks the time you spend on each task.
The app uses the Pomodoro technique,
a method that’s used to focus on tasks
and avoid distractions, dividing your time
into work and rest periods. A timer is
started and you work until it counts down
to zero, when an alarm or notification
tells you to stop. Then comes a rest period
before you begin another session of work.
The idea is simple, yet surprisingly
effective at focusing your attention.
Be Focused goes further than that by
also functioning as a to-do list manager
and time tracker. You can add tasks you
need to do directly to Be Focused, and
check them off when they are done.
If you need to track the time spent on
projects, the app shows how much time
each task took, and you can view weekly,
monthly, and other reports. It’s a great
way to get a complete picture of how you
spend time using your Mac.
After a few weeks or even days of using
Be Focused, you’ll have a much better idea
of how your computer time is spent.
RoLand WaddiLove
Quick Look View productivity reports
FIlTER ThE vIEw
Click the app’s menu icon,
then the cog, and choose
Reports to open this
window. Set Tasks to “All
tasks,” or select a task
below to see when you
did it and for how long.
ThE TaSK
Before starting the timer,
click here to select the
task you’re about to work
on. The work period will
be added to time spent
on that specific task and
shows up in the report.
SEE dETaIlS
The green bars in the
report chart show when
you spent time on tasks.
Clicking a bar shows the
tasks you worked on as
well as how many work
periods you worked.
ThE TImER
By default, work periods
are 25 minutes long and
rest periods are 5. Click
the timer to start work,
and keep going until the
app tells you to stop.
84 Jan 2018 maclife.com
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
HoW to Track your tasks and time
Open the app
Download Be Focused from the
Mac App Store and open it. When it’s
running, a timer icon is added to the
menu bar. Click that and a panel opens
with a big 25:00 in the middle. Click
the list icon in the bottom-left corner.
Start the timer
Click Back to return to the timer.
In the pop-up menu at the top of the
panel, select one of the tasks you just
created. Click the play icon just below
the timer, and start working! Continue
till you’re told to stop 25 minutes later.
add time periods
Sometimes you might work on
your Mac and forget to start the timer
to record your activity. To fix that,
Ctrl-click a task in the list and choose
“Edit number of intervals.” Enter how
many periods you worked on the task.
The To Do list
add your tasks
The To Do list shows the tasks
you need to do, but right now it’s
empty. You must add items to the list
to start properly using Be Focused.
Click the plus icon in the bottom-left
corner of the list to add an item.
Any task you perform on your
Mac, whether it’s for work or personal
such as gaming or shopping online,
should be added to the app’s To Do list.
Use the + to add multiple tasks you do
regularly; you can add more later.
Complete tasks
Return to the To Do list. When
a task is completed, click the circle to
its left and it’ll be moved to the Done
tab. Click that tab to review all of the
tasks you’ve finished, or to restore a
task you’ve checked off by mistake.
adjust the times
Click Back again, then click the
cog icon at the bottom-right corner of
the menu and choose Settings. Use the
pop-up menus here to customize the
length of work intervals, and short
and long breaks as you prefer.
Remove Done tasks
All completed tasks are stored
so that you can analyze them and
review the time you expended doing
each one. You don’t need to remove
completed tasks, but you can do so by
Ctrl-clicking them and choosing Delete.
Select the sound
When a work or break period
comes to an end, Be Focused can play
a sound to alert you to that fact.
Select the sound you want or, if you
prefer silence, select None. The app
also provides a chronometer sound.
maclife.com Jan 2018 85
>>> Create
convert scans of pages to digital text
Find out how to convert a picture of a document into an editable form
REQUIRES
OCRTOOLS,
OS X 10.6.6 or later
YoU wIll lEaRn
How to take a document
that’s been digitized as
an image and turn it into
editable text, and
optionally translate its
contents, too
IT wIll TaKE
15 minutes
You maY stiLL have a
wealth of documents that are
not easily available in digital
form. Perhaps you have old
newspaper cuttings related to your family,
recipes you’ve collected from magazines
over the years, or a thesis from your
college years that’s now available to you
only as ink on paper. We do so much with
digital text today that it feels strange to
use anything else, but there’s an easy-touse and efficient app called OCRTOOLS
that enables you take scanned versions
of documents and automatically convert
them into easy-to-edit digital text on
your Mac.
Here we’ll show you how to make the
most of OCRTOOLS with straightforward
tips that’ll improve the app’s accuracy at
recognizing and converting characters.
You’ll need to obtain OCRTOOLS from the
Mac App Store, where it’ll cost you $4.99.
shaun mcGiLL
o c Rto o L s ca n t Ra n s L at e t h e t e x t
i n i m aG es f R o m 37 L a n G uaG es
Quick Look OCRTOOLS’ interface
no nEEdlESS
opTIonS
OCRTOOLS’ core features
are all represented by
buttons in its window’s
toolbar, so you can get
down to work in seconds.
ThE RIghT ImagE
Any image that includes
text can be used in
OCRTOOLS, though you’ll
need to ensure the text
is legible for it to work
accurately. Clean, straight
images should work fine.
86 Jan 2018 maclife.com
ThE RESUlTS
You can see and check
the results of conversion
and translation in an
instant, because they
are always on view, along
with the original scanned
document at the top.
JUST ThE STaRT
Converted and translated
text aren’t trapped inside
OCRTOOLS, of course. You
can copy and paste either
from the middle or bottom
pane into another app.
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
how to Convert images to text
Flat works best
Trying to convert text from an
image where the text is not straight
can produce some unusual results.
Here’s an example of what you might
get from a document that’s askew.
Select an image
Click the “Open image” button
at the right-hand end of the toolbar,
and choose the file to process. It could
be a photo of a newspaper or a scan of
a document. Legibility is critical.
Fine-tune an image
If you don’t have an app that
can rotate images arbitrarily, try
ToyViewer (Free, bit.ly/mltoyviewer).
Choose Operation > Rotate, enter an
angle, click OK, then save as a new file.
Convert the text
Click the Recognize button and
the app will do the optical character
recognition work for you. Note that the
conversion process can take time for
harder-to-read images. Be patient.
Three panels
Now open OCRTOOLS. When
you first do so, you’ll be presented with
three totally empty panels. This may
seem unusual, but once you start using
the app it’ll soon begin to make sense.
Use the text
You can now manipulate the
text in the middle pane of OCRTOOLS.
Select some and then copy and paste
it into your preferred editing app using
the same methods you’d normally use.
> tRansLate text
OCRTOOLS is capable of translating
the text you capture in up to 37
languages. You can choose which
languages to use, and then convert
text from an image that’s in another
language, converting and translating
it all within the same app.
This feature alone can prove useful
if you’re researching a subject from old
documents that aren’t available in your
own language(s). Note, however, that
this feature uses an Internet-based
service, so avoid using it to translate
personal or otherwise sensitive info.
Select a language
Open and convert your scanned
document as above. After the app has
converted the text, click the “Translate
language” pop-up in the top bar and
pick a language to translate to. Again,
be patient as the app does its work.
Copy and paste
The translation will eventually
appear in the window’s bottom pane.
You can interact with it there in exactly
the same ways as with the converted
text in the middle pane, enabling you
to copy and paste it into another app.
maclife.com Jan 2018 87
>>> Create
Monitor iPhone and iPad batteries
Receive a notification when your iOS device’s battery starts to run low
REQUIRES
An iOS device, iTunes,
and iBetterCharge
YoU wIll lEaRn
How to use a tool on your
Mac to be notified of low
batteries on iOS devices
over your network
IT wIll TaKE
10 minutes
How often does this happen
in your life: you’re rushing out
somewhere and grab your
iPhone to take with you, but
discover it is down to 20% charge. Or
maybe the niggling situation for you
is when you sit down to watch Netflix on your iPad only to find the battery is about to run out. It’s frustrating when you need
to use an iOS device and realize its battery
needs charging. One solution to this is to
monitor the charge on your Mac.
iBetterCharge is a free tool that shows
the battery level of your iOS devices in
your Mac’s menu bar. Once set up, it
works wirelessly, enabling you to see
whether devices using your home’s Wi-Fi
network, but not necessarily in the same
room as you, need charging. You can
even get notifications to nudge you to plug in devices when their batteries fall
below a certain level.
The main limitation is that although
any number of devices can be added, they
must all sync with the same account in
iTunes on your Mac. RoLand waddiLove
set uP iBetteRcHaRge and tHeRe wiLL
B e n o e xc u s e fo R f L at Bat t e R i es
Quick Look iBetterCharge’s interface
add nEw dEvIcE
Use the menu bar icon to
identify an iPhone or iPad
you want to monitor. Any
number of devices can be
added, provided they sync
with your iTunes account.
connEcT
ThE cablE
To add an iOS device to
iBetterCharge, first
connect it to your Mac
using a USB cable. Once it
has been identified to the
app, it can be unplugged.
88 Jan 2018 maclife.com
MonIToR YoUR
baTTERY lEvElS
Click iBetterCharge’s
menu bar icon and you’ll
see the battery level of
each of your configured
devices, listed by name,
with percentage level.
PREfEREncES
Never forget to charge
your devices again. In the
app’s preferences you can
configure it to notify you
when a device’s battery
falls below a certain level.
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
How to Monitor iOS devices’ battery levels from a Mac
Get iBetterCharge
iBetterCharge is free, but is not
in the Mac App Store. Download it from
softorino.com/ibettercharge. Doubleclick the zip file and then drag the app
to your Applications folder.
Trust your device
When an iPhone or iPad is
connected, iBetterCharge detects it
and this message appears. You might
need to wake the iOS device, unlock it
and tell it to trust your Mac.
First run
The first time you open the app,
some introductory pages will be shown.
Click through them until you get to this
page. Notice how the app adds an icon
to the menu bar for quick access.
Sync over Wi-Fi
Open iTunes, if it doesn’t open
automatically when you connect your
iOS device. Click the device icon (top
left), then enable “Sync with this
[device] over Wi-Fi” under Options.
add a device
Either click Start in the app’s
main window, or click the app’s menu
bar icon and choose “Add New Device.”
To add your iPhone or iPad you must
first connect your device over USB.
View your devices
iBetterCharge can now connect
wirelessly to your device, and displays
its battery level provided the device is
connected to your Wi-Fi network.
Repeat these steps for all your devices.
set uP notifications
Being able to see the charge status of
your iPhone by clicking an icon in your
Mac‘s menu bar is useful, especially if
you’ve left it in another room. This
capability is great for monitoring
shared devices like the family iPad, too,
which may be used by your partner or
kids and left around the house with
little charge. If you set iBetterCharge to
display notifications when a device’s
battery falls below a certain level, you
can take action before it becomes a
problem. Now there’s no excuse for
your iOS devices’ batteries being flat.
Configure warnings
Click iBetterCharge’s menu bar
icon and choose Preferences. In the
Notifications tab, set the warning level
where you like between 5% and 50%,
and set whether you see banners, hear
sounds, or have the app’s icon animate.
Ignore devices
You might want to monitor all
your iOS devices’ batteries. However,
you can ignore select devices if you
wish and choose to monitor only your
kids’ iPad, say. To select devices, click
Ignore List in the app’s preferences.
maclife.com Jan 2018 89
>>> Create
organize your family with picniic
Coordinate family life more easily with this bright and breezy app
rEQUIrEs
Picniic and a free account
yoU wIll lEarn
What Picniic has to offer
to help keep your family
organized and informed
of what’s going on
IT wIll TaKE
15 minutes
When any group of people is
involved there are bound to be
times when appointments get
missed, tasks fail to get
completed, and not everyone knows what
is happening all of the time – and families
are no different. Picniic is a handy method
of automating a lot of the communication
that family life involves.
Quick look Picniic’s interface
GET hElp
Picniic’s intelligent assistant, Pia,
adds a whole new dimension to
the organization experience and
can be fun and useful for each
member of the family. Speak to
Pia and it will help you out.
rEal-TImE UpdaTEs
The creation of a calendar entry
or task can be set for everyone
to be reminded or just for select
members. Completed or deleted
items are mentioned here, too.
EvEry basE
covErEd
Shopping lists can be
created and edited as a
group, to-dos allocated to
individual family members,
and real-time location
tracking lets you keep an
eye on your kids. These
and Picniic’s other
features can make family
life run more smoothly.
90 Jan 2018 maclife.com
sharE yoUr TasTEs
This is a great place to store
treasured recipes handed down
through the generations, or even
those from books. Keep them
here and your kids might surprise
you with their cooking skills.
UnlocK IT all
Some features are unavailable
until you sign up for a premium
plan. Tiles for them appear in
Picniic anyway, so you can learn
more from within the app.
You tell the app about the people in
your family group, and then largely allow
it to deal with all of the important aspects
of your lives using tech many of us already
use each day. Notifications of new tasks
are sent instantly, and everyone attached
to your family group is able to add
reminders or just fun stuff that’ll make
your family smile. Shaun Mcgill
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
hoW to Keep your family informed of things
powErfUl
shoppInG lIsTs
Sign up for Picniic
Download the app to your iPhone for
free and set up your profile, which includes
providing the app with an email address.
Ensure the data you add is accurate and as
complete as possible.
Explore the interface
Once the process of identifying your
family is complete, you’ll be presented with
Picniic’s main interface. Take some time
to familiarize yourself with the various panels
— the colorful layout is fairly easy to learn.
add family members
You now need to spend a few minutes
adding each member of your family who you
want to be involved in the group. Again, an
email address for each member is required;
this defines the entire experience.
You can create multiple
shopping lists by tapping
the Plus icon on that page.
Within a list, tap Edit, then
“Edit order of aisles” to
plan your path around a
store. Tap Remaining to
filter items as you check
them off, or Start Over to
clear all checked items or
to delete the whole list.
add a shared entry
When you tap the calendar panel, say,
and add a new entry, remember that it’ll be
visible to your whole family. Consider what
should be included and what’s personal —
maybe keep the latter in iOS’s Calendar app.
connEcT
calEndars
a clever assistant
Pia is the name of the intelligent
assistant that’s built into Picniic, which
proactively helps your family work and play
together using clever voice interactions. Learn
a lot more from the blog at bit.ly/ml136pia.
Unlock extra features
Some features require you to pay for
a premium subscription. They include a meal
planner, a family locator (or you could use
Find My Friends), an encrypted locker for info.
Annual subs are far better value than monthly.
This feature imports the
contents of calendars
from other services,
rather than maintaining a
persistent connection to
them. In Apple’s Calendar
app, say, create a new
calendar, move family
events to it, and then
connect to it in Picniic.
maclife.com Jan 2018 91
>>> Create
hear who is trying to call you
Rather than look at your phone to see who is calling, let Siri announce them
REQUIRES
iPhone, plus (optionally)
Hiya or another caller ID
lookup/blocking app
YoU wIll lEaRn
How to have Siri announce
caller names, depending
on whether you’re in a car,
using headphones, or just
using your phone
IT wIll TaKE
5 minutes
Siri doeS much more than
simply answer your queries
and tell you jokes. It can also
be used to announce who is
trying to contact you, interrupting an
incoming call’s ringtone for a brief
moment to tell you the caller’s name.
You can assign different ringtones to
your contacts instead, of course, but
that requires more effort on your part to
ensure each person’s ringtone is set to
something that identifies them uniquely,
or at least their connection to you.
As well as being useful if you have
vision problems, having Siri announce a
caller’s identity means you don’t have to
fish around in a pocket or bag and check
your phone’s display — and it works if
you’re using headphones too, which is
welcome if you’re rushing somewhere.
It also helps when driving, keeping you
focused on pulling over safely if you don’t
have a hands-free setup. david crookeS
Quick Look Get Siri to tell you who’s calling
annoUncE callS
Go to Settings > Phone >
Announce Calls. Unless
Never is selected, Siri will
announce caller names
after your ringtone, or say
“Unknown Caller” if it’s
not one of your contacts.
alwaYS
annoUncE
Tap this and, as long as
your phone is not muted,
Siri will say who is calling.
The sound can come from
your iPhone’s speaker, so
think about your privacy.
92 Jan 2018 maclife.com
HEadpHonE/caR
Rather than risk touching
your iPhone while driving,
select this to have Siri
announce callers through
your headphones or your
car’s hands-free system.
HEadpHonE onlY
Don’t have Bluetooth in
your car, or prefer not
to have callers’ names
announced to passengers?
Have Siri announce calls
privately to your earpiece.
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
how to Set up call announcements
BlocK UnwanTEd
InTERRUpTIonS
To prevent Siri announcing
unwanted repeat callers,
tap “i” next to their
numbers in the Phone app
Recents tab, then “Block
this Caller.” Or, make use
of bit.ly/hiyaapp to send
pests direct to voicemail.
Dig into Settings
If you want Siri to announce who is
calling you whenever your iPhone rings, then
you need to go to the top level of the Settings
app. In the fifth group of features down, which
begins Accounts & Passwords, tap Phone.
Make your choice
There are four possible behaviors.
You can get your iPhone to always announce
whenever an incoming call is received. With
Always selected, caller announcements can
play through your iPhone’s built-in speaker.
Find the correct option
The option you want on the item
settings page is the very first one under the
Calls heading: Announce Calls, which has
Never next to it by default. Tap that option
to see the other available choices.
Use in a car
Select “Headphones & Car” and Siri can
announce callers through your car’s Bluetooth
audio system. You can’t enable announcements
for the car only and not your headphones. This
is so that it works with hands-free headsets.
aIRpodS
aSSISTancE
Use with headphones
The car option also announces calls
through your headphones. If you want Siri
to announce calls only when you’re using
headphones, not when your car’s hands-free
system is connected, pick Headphones Only.
accepting a call
Now when your iPhone rings, provided
it is not muted, Siri will speak to tell you who
is calling, so you won’t have to pick up (or even
glance at) your phone to find out. Either accept
or decline, or let it ring out to voicemail.
You can set AirPods to
become the active mic
when you insert one into
an ear. In Settings >
Bluetooth, tap the “i”
next to your AirPods and
ensure Automatic Ear
Detection is enabled. Also
choose whether both
pods or a specific one will
function as a microphone.
maclife.com Jan 2018 93
>>> Create
Never miss an eBay auction
Ensure that you’re alerted as soon as your dream items are listed
REQUIRES
eBay app and account
YoU wIll lEaRn
How to configure eBay to
send you notifications of
items when they appear
on the auction site
IT wIll TaKE
5 minutes
eBay provides a global
marketplace for anyone in
almost any field to sell items
to like-minded enthusiasts,
and makes it easy to find what you want
with a simple search. Maybe you’re
restoring an old car, bike, or instrument
and need one final vintage component to
complete your build… However, there
Quick Look Manage your searches
SavED SEaRchES
Tap My eBay in the bottom bar,
then Saved (or Following), to see
a list of your saved searches. Tap
the Edit button to manage your
saved searches, including those
you get notifications about.
DElETIng SEaRchES
If you want to remove older
searches from your saved list,
simply tap Edit, then the item(s)
to remove, then the red Delete
button. This can’t be undone.
JaRgon BUSTER
A notification on iOS can
take several forms. It can
be a number badge on an
app’s icon, a sound effect,
a banner that appears at
the top of the screen, or
an item listed on the Lock
screen. All but the first
are effective for staying
up-to-date with the eBay
auctions you’re watching.
94 Jan 2018 maclife.com
may be times when the exact item you
want isn’t listed, so what do you do?
Hope that it becomes available the next
time you launch the app and search?
Nope! With just a few simple taps you can
ensure that you receive notifications, via
email or direct to your iOS device’s screen,
as soon as an item that matches your
search criteria is listed. ryaN Butt
REcEIvIng
noTIfIcaTIonS
Tap either the envelope or the
phone icon to toggle your search
alerts on or off. Enable email and
phone notifications, and it’ll be
hard for you to miss new listings.
follow SEllERS
Tap Members (or in some versions
of the app, Sellers) and you can
choose to follow favorite sellers,
too, and even receive alerts when
they list new items.
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
How to Get notifications of matching auctions
EnaBlE eBaY
noTIfIcaTIonS
Perform a search
Tap Search in the bottom bar. On the
next page, type keywords into the search field,
then tap Search on the keyboard. Try to be as
detailed as possible in your description to
drill down to the exact item you want.
name the search
You can now type in a custom name for
the search to make it easily identifiable in your
list of saved searches. Far more important are
the other two options, which determine where
you’re notified of new auctions.
Tap to save
When you conduct the search, all of the
auctions that match your search criteria will be
listed. Instead of scrolling down the results on
this occasion, tap Save at the top left of the
page. A form requesting details will appear.
Make sure the eBay app
is permitted to display
notifications on your
device. Go to Settings >
Notifications > eBay and
enable Allow Notifications.
Also choose which forms
of notification are used
(see Jargon Buster on
previous page). Finally,
on iPhone, allow eBay to
use cellular data.
Enable email alerts
If you flick the switch next to “Email
alerts,” you‘ll receive emails whenever new
items matching your criteria are listed. This is
helpful if you’re looking for rare items or don’t
mind getting notified of every matching item.
TaKE
conTRol
Get notifications on iOS
If you’re desperate for a particular
item, consider enabling “Phone alerts” too, so
notifications of matching items are delivered
straight to your iOS device’s screen, and set an
appropriate type of notification — see sidebar.
Save your search
When you’ve applied your desired
options to your search, tap the Save button to
store it. Ensure you’ve enabled notifications in
Settings (see “Take Control”) to be told when
auctions that match your criteria are listed.
iOS 11 has a new setting,
Show Previews, at the top
of Settings > Notifications.
If set to When Unlocked or
Never, consider overriding
it for eBay alone: tap eBay
further down that page
and set the Show Previews
there to Always, to see at
a glance if an auction alert
is urgent without having
to touch your device.
maclife.com Jan 2018 95
>>> Create
master ios 11’s accessibility tools
accessibility features are for everyone with an iPad or iPhone
REQUIRES
iOS 11. Some features
exist on older versions
of iOS, too.
YoU wIll lEaRn
How the accessibility
features in iOS 11 can
improve your iPhone
and iPad experience.
IT wIll TaKE
30 minutes
Learn
iOS
11
Accessibility is something
many people consider an
add-on for those with specific
assistive needs. A well-known
example is screen reading software, baked
into Macs and iOS devices to help anyone
with a visual impairment. But modern
accessibility’s aim is to cater for everyone,
whatever their specific needs. So iOS 11
includes settings to benefit people who
have hearing or motor impairment, too,
and issues such as vestibular disorders.
Chances are that if you don’t have
any such concerns, you skip past the
Accessibility section of Settings entirely.
That would be a shame, because ideas and
concepts geared towards easing device use
for a subset of people can often benefit a
much wider audience. And that’s what
this tutorial is all about — highlighting
accessibility controls that can be a boon
for anyone who uses an iPad or an iPhone,
whether you have a specific impairment
or not. We start with three handy-tohave controls in the Display & Brightness
section of Settings, before delving into
the Accessibility section proper.
crAig grAnnell
m o d e r n Acc ess i b i l i t y ’s A i m i s to cAt e r
fo r e v e ryo n e , w h At ev e r t h e i r n e e ds
how to Make the most of iOS accessibility
Adjust display zoom
Want content bigger on your
iPhone Plus? In Display & Brightness,
scroll down to View and tap Standard. In
the Display Zoom page, you can preview
Standard and Zoomed modes. Select
Zoomed, tap Set and confirm to restart.
96 JAn 2018 maclife.com
Increase text size
You can alternatively adjust text
alone. In Text Size (or Settings > General >
accessibility > Larger Text), drag the
slider. In apps that support dynamic type,
such as Mail and Facebook, text size will
grow accordingly (or shrink, if you wish).
Make text bolder
The option below Text Size (or
Larger Text in accessibility) is Bold Text.
This emboldens text throughout iOS,
including app names and interface
buttons. Unlike Text Size, it requires you
restart your iPhone to apply the changes.
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
Use Smart Invert
Auto-brightness
In General > accessibility > Display
accommodations, you could always
invert colors; but Smart Invert now
reverses interface colors but not media.
alas, while it works for Photos, it doesn’t
work for images in Safari.
The iOS auto-brightness toggle
used to be in Display & Brightness. apple
now thinks you should leave it on, so has
hidden it. If you “think different,” you can
now find it in General > accessibility >
Display accommodations.
Read out a selection
Use the Speaking rate slider to
preview how fast the OS will talk. Then
switch to another app, select some text,
and tap Speak. note how the current
sentence is underlined, and words are
highlighted as they are spoken.
Type to Siri
If you want to use Siri somewhere
you have to be quiet, turn on General >
accessibility > Siri > Type to Siri. When
Siri is activated, you now type in your
query. note, however, that this entirely
overrides voice input functionality.
Increase contrast
If you have trouble dealing with
the semi-transparent interface elements
peppered throughout iOS 11, you can
make them look more solid. In General >
accessibility, tap Increase Contrast, and
then reduce Transparency.
Fine-tune 3D Touch
On an iPhone with 3D Touch, go to
General > accessibility > 3D Touch. In this
pane, you can disable the feature entirely
if you regularly trigger it accidentally, or
you can adjust its sensitivity so that it
requires a firmer press before activation.
Turn on speech
Few people use speech on macOS,
but it’s great for proofing your written
documents. We suspect even fewer
realize iOS is capable of the same. Go to
General > accessibility > Speech, and turn
on Speak Selection to get started.
Reduce motion
Had your fill of iOS 11’s dizzying
animations, such as folder zooms, and
the app switcher? Most of them can be
stilled by turning on reduce Motion in
General > accessibility. auto-playing
Messages effects are toggled separately.
Turn on mono audio
Listening out for someone? Want
to use just one earbud, keeping the other
ear free, without missing half your stereo
track? Use General > accessibility > Mono
audio to mix the left and right channels
into a mono signal sent to both channels.
maclife.com JAn 2018 97
>>> RAM
raNdOM applE MEMOry
ipad
It wasn’t a bigger iPhone, it was a better PC. adam Banks
remembers the launch of Apple’s multi-touch tablet
Software chief Scott Forstall took to
the stage to explain how the iPhone OS
(later iOS) had been adapted to the big
screen. But no publishers were invited to
unveil their interactive concepts. Jobs
had reacted angrily to Time, Inc.’s
premature demonstration of a digital
Sports Illustrated for the anticipated
Apple tablet. With Wired and Popular
Science, this would become a top-selling
digital edition — but the iPad never did
transform publishing. Instead, just as
Steve had predicted, its versatility and
simplicity made it the new consumer
choice in portable computing.
The iPad was seen as the future of publishing.
Things didn’t quite turn out that way.
NEXT ISSUE ON SALE
NEXT
MONTH
98 Jan 2018 maclife.com
>>> Ditch your Mac
and work on iPad?
>>> Boost Mac and
iOS performance
>>> Smart exercise
kit for gym or home
JaN 09
Contents subject to change
IN 2009, ruMOrs emerged that Apple
was working on a tablet computer. By the
end of the year it was the talk of the
industry. Not the computer industry —
the publishing industry.
Adobe helped Condé Nast mock up its
tech magazine, Wired, on a touchscreen,
while Bonnier, publisher of Popular
Science, and design studio Berg
produced a widely shared video of what
it called “Mag+.” Interactive magazines,
like CD-ROMs in the 1990s, were to be
the next digital content revolution.
On January 27, 2010, a visibly unwell
Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad at San
Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the
Arts, although it was two months from
shipping. Highlighting how users of
iPhones and MacBooks were using them
for web browsing, music and video,
games and e-books, he proposed
a “third category of device” that
was “better at these tasks” —
unlike the then contemporary
netbooks, which Jobs pointed
out weren’t “better at anything.”
Confirming the name “iPad,”
which many had dismissed as
unintentionally amusing, Jobs
showed off “the best web
browsing experience you’ve ever
had” and the full-size on-screen
keyboard, “a dream to type on.”
Later, Jobs said his first
inspiration for the iPad was
imagining typing on glass.
Work on the device had started
in the early 2000s, eventually
spinning off into the iPhone.
MAC
iPHONE
iPAD
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