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au g u ST 20 1 7 N O.1 31
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Great features
of the next-gen
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alSO iNSide 10.5-inch iPad Pro, MacBooks, iMac & iMac Pro, augmented reality
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things 3
PDf expert 6
Editor Alan Stonebridge
is still reeling from the
WWDC cavalcade of news.
the new imac Pro
thunderbolt 3 Dock
Banktivity 6
swift Publisher 5
flux 7
my Passport ssD
satechi type-c
Pro Hub
Prizmo go
iPad Pro gets a new
size, refreshed specs
to the moon
audirvana Plus 3
Bringing the battle to the
traditional laptop.
contour 2
the best apps for
the barbecue season
B&O Beoplay P2
A welcome refresh
of the popular lineups.
strava Running &
cycling gPs
Kyocera ecosys
cloudmounter 2
the shift
sky cylinder
Parallels toolbox 1.7
imac and all macBooks
are updated
telegram messenger
How to manage events
with fantastical 2
game loop
Apple’s serious boost to
its graphics technologies
has Brianna Wu excited.
the apple HomePod
Apple’s upcoming
HomePod speaker wants
to get Siri into our living
rooms too – but how well
does it stack up against
its rivals?
Apple appeals to the
hearts and minds of
professional Mac users.
David Chartier is
heartened by the WWDC
apple tV
Apps and hardware for
your Apple TV.
Our Apple-loving experts
answer your questions.
Power up copy
and paste
think differently
about email
master mission control
top mac security tips
get help with the
apple support app
make stylish email
signatures for iOs
introducing alchemy
in garageBand
find your airPods
using your iPhone
learn what’s new
in watchOs 3.2
Random apple memory
iTunes: how it all began.
4 aug 2017
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The march of technology never
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The number one destination
We combed the gargantuan show floor to bring you the early word on this
year’s most exciting Mac and iOS gear.
for graphic design news,
views and how-tos
ES is a royal flush of nerd-tastic
gadgets and gear—but most of
it isn’t exactly tailored to Apple
fans. You can see everything from TVs
to washing machines to flashlights in the
grand halls of the Las Vegas Convention
Center. That’s why we spent most of our
time in the Apple-centric iLounge, which
doubled in size since last year. When the
dust settled (and our AT&T service bars
finally reappeared), we distilled everything
we’d seen down to these favorites.
By far, the majority of Apple-related
gear at CES was for iPhones and iPads.
So when we saw Mac stuff, we took
notice. By far, the majority of Applerelated gear at CES was for iPhones
and iPads. So when we saw Mac stuff,
we took notice. One of our jackpot finds
was Mobee’s Magic Charger ($49.90,, a nifty and
utilitarian induction charger for the Magic
Mouse. You place the custom battery
pack inside your Magic Mouse, rest it on
the included charging pad, and it charges
wirelessly when you’re not using it. And
it looks rad, as does our other favorite
Maccessory, the H-Squared Mini mount
($49.95,, which was
designed in conjunction with Apple’s Mac
mini team. It replaces your mini’s cover
with a mountable one you can screw
right into a wall. Bonus: there’s also a
screw pattern for VESA mounting, so
you can attach your mini to the back of
a VESA-compatible monitor, like, say, the
Cinema Display. Our favorite little extra is
an optional white LED backlight that gives
your mounted mini some ground-effects
t l
Graphic design
with. Amidst the piles of cases, plentiful
as poker chips, we found a couple that
deserved a shout-out. Both Speck
( and Trtl Bot (trtlbot.
com) had sleek cases with pull-out tabs
for stand-up viewing. Mophie brought ace
design to its new Juice Pack Plus ($99.95,, which combines a bigger,
two-day battery with a grippy rubber
coating. And its new iPod touch–only,
gaming-focused Pulse case (price TBA)
rumbles, giving you the kind of force
feedback that you’re used to on your Xbox
or PlayStation.
And speaking of style, we saw more
snazzy cases than we knew what to do
with. Amidst the piles of cases, plentiful
as poker chips, we found a couple that
deserved a shout-out. Both Speck
( and Trtl Bot (trtlbot.
com) had sleek cases with pull-out tabs
for stand-up viewing. Mophie brought ace
design to its new Juice Pack Plus ($99.95,, which combines a bigger,
two-day battery with a grippy rubber
coating. And its new iPod touch–only,
gaming-focused Pulse case (price TBA)
rumbles, giving you the kind of force
feedback that you’re used to on your Xbox
or PlayStation.
And speaking of style, we saw more
snazzy ca es than we knew what to do
with. Ami st the pi es of c ses plentiful
as poker chips, we found a couple that
deserved a shout-out. Both Speck
( and Trtl Bot (trtlbot.
com) had sleek cases with pull-out tabs
t d
i i
M hi b
And speaking of style, we saw more
snazzy cases than we knew what to do
with. Amidst the piles of cases, plentiful
as poker chips, we found a couple that
deserved a shout-out. Both Speck
( and Trtl Bot (trtlbot.
com) had sleek cases Get
with pull-out
for stand-up viewing.Bloq
brought to
design to its new Juice
Plus ($99.95,
with, which combines a bigger,
our weekly
two-day battery with a grippy rubber
coating. And its newgraphic
iPod touch–only,
gaming-focused Pulse case (price TBA)
rumbles, giving you the kind of force
feedback that you’re used to on your Xbox
or PlayStation.
And speaking of style, we saw more
snazzy cases than we knew what to do
with. Amidst the piles of cases, plentiful
as poker chips, we found a couple that
deserved a shout-out. Both Speck
( and Trtl Bot (trtlbot.
com) had sleek cases with pull-out tabs
for stand-up viewing. Mophie brought ace
design to its new Juice Pack Plus ($99.95,, which combines a bigger,
two-day battery with a grippy rubber
coating. And its new iPod rumbles, giving
you the kind of force rumbles, giving you
the kind of force rumbles, giving you the
kind of force rumbles, giving you the kind
of force touch–only, gaming-focused Pulse
case (price TBA) rumbles, giving you the
kind of force feedback that you’re used to
on your Xbox or PlayStation.
Scosche ( had plenty of
cases too, but we were most impressed
with its new heart rate monitor. The
MyTrek attaches to your arm, instead of
l i
h t lik
t diti
two-day battery with a grippy rubber
coating. And its new iPod touch–only,
gaming-focused Pulse case (price TBA)
rumbles, giving you the kind of force
feedback that you’re used to on your Xbox
or PlayStation.
application, and it’ll help you get there
with all sorts of beeps. It can also harness
the iPhone’s built-in GPS to tell you
how far you ran or biked and how many
calories you burned in the process.
When we left Scosche, we could hear
Here is a TK TK TK
place pullquote to use
if you need one. Use
Web design
Digital art MTH•12
A brAve new world
Apple Took us by surprise at its
Worldwide Developers Conference.
Naturally, we were expecting a lot
of exciting news about the next round
of operating system upgrades, but the
company didn’t stop there. It revamped
most of its Mac lineup, expanded that
range with a brand new model for
creative professionals, unveiled a new
size of iPad Pro, and majorly enhanced
the display in both versions of its
premium tablet. This issue is packed
with details about all of these things,
and reactions from our columnists
David Chartier and Brianna Wu.
Naturally, I’m excited about the operating system upgrades,
but one thing stood out at WWDC, and has been rolling around
my mind ever since the event: augmented reality (AR). Even
ahead of WWDC, it was no big secret that Apple would throw its
weight behind the technology, which superimposes computergenerated imagery on top of the real world by way of a device’s
camera; in February, Tim Cook told UK newspaper The Independent
that he views AR as “a big idea, like the smartphone.”
In that interview, Cook also said: “I get excited because of the
things that could be done that could improve a lot of lives. And be
entertaining.” Looking at the AR demos that formed a lengthy
segment of Apple’s WWDC keynote address, you’d be forgiven
for thinking AR is mostly about the latter – and I’m sure there’ll
be plenty of fun examples flooding the App Store toward the end
of the year. Think about the ways doctors and medical students,
real estate, and tourism, to name a few, could use the tech to
enhance healthcare, business, and learning. The redesigned App
Store in iOS 11 will be a beautiful place to showcase all of this.
Whether we’re talking entertainment or serious applications,
I haven’t been this excited about the future of apps in a long time.
Perhaps not even since the App Store opened in July 2008 and
turned the iPhone from an intriguing communications device
into… well, anything developers could make an app for.
>>>ThE TEam
Jo gulliver
senior Art editor
Jo just got a work laptop
“upgrade,” but now she
wants the new 15in Pro.
ed ricketts
operations editor
Ed’s still trying to process
all the info – but AR has
definitely caught his eye.
david Chartier
WWDC made the Mac
and iPad exciting again
for David. He’s not alone.
AlAn sTonebridge, Editor
Twitter: @maclife
8 aug 2017
Feed Your Mind. FeASt Your eYeS.
Hello, iMac Pro
Apple’s powerful new computer
is big on processing and price
BY AlAn StoneBridge
APPle iS MAking a pitch for the hearts and minds of
professional creatives and software developers with the
latest member of the Mac family. The iMac Pro is a
workstation-class range of all-in-one computers with
the kind of processing power needed by the likes of
virtual reality content creators and 3D graphics artists.
The computer sports a 27-inch Retina 5K display with
a P3 wide color gamut and 500 nits brightness. Its Xeon
processor will be available with 8, 10, or 18 cores, with
graphical power provided by an AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56
with 8GB of High Bandwidth Memory 2, or a Vega 64
with 16GB of HBM2 as an option.
There’s 32GB of 2666MHz DDR4 ECC memory as
standard, which can be upgraded to 64GB or 128GB.
Unlike the regular iMac range, the iMac Pro will be
available with a solid-state drive only – 1TB by default,
with 2TB and 4TB options also available.
“This will be our fastest and most powerful Mac ever,
which brings workstation-class computing to iMac for
the first time,” said John Ternus, Apple’s vice president
of Hardware Engineering. “We reengineered the whole
system and designed an entirely new thermal
architecture to pack extraordinary performance into
the elegant, quiet iMac enclosure our customers love.”
tHe coMPuter and its accessories sport a Space Gray
design, and the wireless keyboard includes a numeric
keypad. (Apple has already started selling a silver and
white version for $129: It features
a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, and four Thunderbolt 3
(USB-C) ports, four USB 3 (Type A) ports, an SDXC card
slot, a 3.5 mm headphone port, and, for the first time on
a Mac, 10Gb (10-Gigabit) Ethernet.
The iMac Pro should ship in December. Its starting
price of $4,999 reflects its high specs and the pro uses
it’s intended for. Even the entry-level price puts the iMac
Pro beyond the reach of most consumers. Alongside its
announcement, though, Apple refreshed its mainstream
21.5-inch and 27-inch iMacs – learn more on page 12 . AUG 2017 9
>>> Start Feed your mind. Feast your eyes.
iPad Pro gets a new size
and refreshed specs
The long-rumored 10.5-inch iPad is now available
to buy – and further challenges the traditional laptop
BY AlAn stoneBridge
After just 14 months on sale,
the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is no more.
Apple has replaced the smaller of
its premium tablets with a new
10.5-inch model, equipped with
a 2224x1668-pixel resolution to
maintains the Retina display’s
density of 264 pixels per inch.
Apple has accommodated the
larger screen by reducing the borders
around the panel by almost 40
percent, and slightly increasing the
device’s width and height over the
9.7-inch model by 0.2 and 0.4
inches, respectively. The 10.5-inch
iPad Pro weighs 1.12 oz more than
its 9.7-inch predecessor; however,
its thickness remains the same.
With a refresh rate of up
to 120Hz, the new iPad
Pro works even more
smoothly with the Pencil.
10 AUG 2017
size isn’t the only display change
to the refreshed iPad Pro lineup.
Both the 10.5- and 12.9-inch models
come equipped with a ProMotion
display, which supports a refresh
rate of 120Hz, double that of
any previous iPad. This enables
ultra-smooth motion wherever
it’s of benefit, and iOS is able to
dynamically adjust the refresh rate
to suit what you’re doing at any
given time. For example, it might
be reduced if you’re reading iBooks,
for which refreshing 120 times per
second is unnecessary.
The biggest practical benefit of
the higher refresh rate is evident
when you’re using an Apple Pencil.
Apple’s stylus delivered impressive
response times even with a firstgeneration iPad Pro. However, the
new display further reduces latency
Additionally, the rear camera has
gained optical image stabilization,
an f/1.8 aperture – previously f/2.4
(10.9-inch) or f/2.2 (9.7-inch) – and
a six-element lens, up from five in
the first-generation models.
There’s also a quad-LED True Tune
flash to deliver more natural-looking
illumination, which is something
the original 12.9-inch model lacked.
Each iPad Pro’s front-facing
camera has an 8-megapixel sensor,
a reasonable boost over the old
9.7-inch model’s 5 megapixels and
a massive increase on the lackluster
1.2 megapixels of the very first iPad
Pro. The aperture in both models is
unchanged at f/2.2, but the FaceTime
camera matches the rear one in
capturing the wide color gamut.
Apple’s Smart Keyboard and
Pencil enable iPad Pro to be
used for a diversity of tasks.
to just 20 milliseconds
to give a more natural
impression in response
to your interactions with
the Pencil.
there Are other changes beyond
the screen, too. The new size and
its larger 12.9-inch sibling are each
equipped with an A10X Fusion chip,
which has a total of six processing
cores: three for high performance
and three for high efficiency, with
the load managed by an Appledesigned performance controller,
just as in the first generation.
the ProMotion display
enables ultra-smooth
motion wherever
it’s of benefit
The chip also includes a 12-core
graphics processing unit.
Apple says the new specifications
don’t affect battery life compared to
older models. It says to expect 10
hours of surfing the web, watching
video, or listening to music. Informal
testing conducted by Mac|Life in our
first few days with the new 12.9-inch
model suggested that this may
actually be a conservative figure;
after a mix of web browsing, using
Apple Pencil in various art and
note-taking apps, and listening to
music, it lasted more than 44 hours
on standby and around 14 hours and
45 minutes in active use.
CAPturing Photos and videos with
these iPads is also improved, thanks
to the addition of the same camera
system found on the iPhone 7.
That means you get a rear camera
with a 12-megapixel sensor – that
isn’t any different between the
9.7-inch and 10.5-inch models,
but it’s a significant boost from
the original 12.9-inch iPad Pro’s
8-megapixel photos.
the exPerienCe of transferring
photos taken with a DSLR to a firstgeneration iPad Pro was different
depending on which screen size you
picked, as 9.7-inch models limited
camera accessories to USB 2 speeds.
Now, though, it doesn’t matter
which of the new models you choose,
as all are capable of USB 3 transfer
rates – that’s a real time-saver if
you’re copying large numbers of
photos or long videos to the tablet.
Further boosting the iPad Pro’s
potential as a professional tool or
an alternative to a laptop, Apple has
doubled storage capacities across the
range. Indeed, the $949 and $1,099
models now match the $1,599
12-inch MacBook Pro in terms of
room for your data.
Come the fall, iOS 11’s improved
multitasking features look set to
turn the iPad Pro into an even more
capable MacBook replacement –
you can read more about that in
our feature starting on page 16. AUG 2017 11
>>> Start Feed your mind. Feast your eyes.
iMac and all
are updated
A welcome refresh of
the popular all-in-one
and portable lineups
BY alan sToneBridge
apple has revaMped the specs of
all types of MacBook, as well as the
21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac lineup.
Together with a Mac Pro spec boost
in April, this leaves the Mac mini as
the only Mac untouched in 2017.
The new iMacs are the first with
Thunderbolt 3 ports – two of them.
Their Intel Core processors use the
Kaby Lake architecture. Versions
with a Retina 4K display start at
$1,299. That price gets you a quadcore, 3GHz Core i5 processor, and
discrete graphics: a 2GB Radeon Pro
555, or a 4GB Radeon Pro 560 in the
$1,499 model. 27-inch iMac graphics
are a 4GB Radeon Pro 570 or 575, or
an 8GB Radeon Pro 580. The top spec
has a quad-core, 3.8GHz Core i5,
with a 4.2GHz Core i7 as an option.
All iMacs have 8GB of memory as
standard, upgradable to either 32GB
or 64GB. Memory in 21.5-inch iMacs
has returned to being upgradeable,
though by official service providers.
The 12-inch MacBook also has Kaby
Lake processors, the best being a
dual-core, 1.4GHz Core i7. Storage
is said to be up to 50 percent faster.
Graphics come from an integrated
Intel HD Graphics 615 chip. Though
8GB memory remains standard,
16GB is now an option.
The MacBook Pro has Kaby Lake
too, up to a dual-core, 3.5GHz, Core
i7 (13-inch, from $1,299), or a quadcore, 3.1GHz Core i7 (15-inch, from
$2,399). All 15-inch models have
discrete graphics – a 2GB Radeon
Pro 555 or 4GB Radeon Pro 560.
Both MacBook Air models now
feature a dual-core, 1.8GHz Core i5.
The entry-level 15-inch MacBook Pro has increased graphical capabilities thanks to a discrete GPU.
12 AUG 2017
>The shifT
Apple has revitalized the Mac and iPad,
believes david charTier, with a raft of
new announcements at this year’s WWDC
ew people could argue that
the Mac and iPad haven’t
stumbled over the last couple
of years. Much of Apple’s
focus seems to have been on the
iPhone, its new mothership
headquarters that actually live up
to the name, the Apple Watch,
launching video content like Planet
of the Apps… you get the idea.
While I’m certainly not trying
to paint a picture of doom and
gloom – the company is doing
great overall – some community
sentiment has soured as of late.
Pro-oriented Macs have
languished for a couple of years in
terms of significant updates, and
people have become increasingly
upset and vocal about it. To directly
address some of this discontent,
Apple talked with a handful of
press in April to discuss what
went wrong with the Mac Pro’s
2013 redesign, and to announce
a major revamp coming in 2018.
It rarely talks so candidly.
The iPad Pro is my computer of
choice these days but it, too, has
executives have
repeatedly affirmed
apple’s commitment
to the ipad and Mac
stumbled on its own unique
challenges. While Apple’s tablet
has already sold more units in its
seven years than the Mac in its
28-year history, Apple has at times
struggled to explain its nature and
purpose to consumers. A notable
decline in sales, existing customer
upgrades, and general growth in
recent years hasn’t helped either.
Through all this, executives
have repeatedly affirmed Apple’s
commitment to the iPad and Mac,
and I do believe they’re being
genuine. In fact, at its Worldwide
Developers Conference (WWDC)
in June, I think Apple delivered the
most significant examples of this
commitment. What’s more, I get
the sense that the community is
happy with Apple’s releases and
direction for both iPad and Mac.
To summarize,
Apple announced
major additions to the
forthcoming iOS 11, many
designed especially for the
iPad to address longstanding
frustrations and requests to
make it a more formidable and
flexible work machine. Even
though Apple rarely releases
hardware at WWDC, there was
a significant iPad Pro hardware
update, major MacBook Pro
performance improvements,
macOS High Sierra, a big iMac
bump, and even a preview of an
iMac Pro due in December. Apple
also introduced major Mac tools
and partnerships for augmented
reality and virtual reality – areas
of focus for the entire industry.
Put another way, Apple showed
that it’s been listening – to us, to
the industry, and to its many
no-longer-niche communities
that care. Not that I ever doubted
it overall, but a Mac Pro going over
three years without an update,
and a “replace your PC” iPad going
seven years without essentials like
drag and drop, were not good looks
for the company.
Apple has proved that it’s
getting the iPad and Mac back on
track, and we’ll all be better for it.
The new iPad Pros are just one sign that
Apple is actually listening to its users.
>>> David Chartier is a content strategist and writer with vast experience analyzing the tech world.
He runs the website Finer Things in Tech ( and hosts its podcast, The Finer Things In. AUG 2017 13
>>> Start Feed your mind. Feast your eyes.
>gaMe loop
Apple’s latest hardware and software
initiatives should bolster one of its weakest
areas, graphics support, says Brianna wu
icture walking into a
business event and having
everyone’s names and job
titles displayed on a virtual
name tag. Or having a virtual Nerf
war in your office and never having
to pick up darts. Or even capturing
Pokémon in the real world – not
staring at your phone, but seeing
Pikachu as if he were real.
All this sounds like science
fiction, but it’s not. It’s called
“augmented reality,” using
computers to add information
and graphics to what you see.
For years, we’ve had hints Apple
was working on an AR product and at this year’s WWDC it all but
announced it. 2017 is the year
The iMac Pro will be a dream come true
for game developers working with 3D.
14 AUG 2017
Apple went all-in on nextgeneration graphics.
For years in this column, I’ve
expressed frustration at Apple’s
commitment to 3D technology.
It has always been willing to settle
for “good but not great.” When an
iPhone game is made with Unity
or Unreal, that’s largely because
Apple’s development tools aren’t
great for 3D games. Every time
you can’t buy a game on Steam
because it’s not made for MacOS,
it’s because of Apple’s lukewarm
commitment to 3D.
But all that’s about to change.
The most exciting news to come
out of WWDC was the iMac Pro:
a beast of a machine in Space Gray.
The iMac Pro comes with a killer
display, a ridiculous number of
cores, and powerful graphics
capabilities. Many tech journalists
raised their eyebrows at it, not
understanding who it was made
for – but it makes perfect sense to
any 3D professional.
the iMac Pro is a dream machine
for the CPU-intensive work of
building 3D game levels and art
assets. Most games calculate
lighting effects ahead of time,
which can take days to finish on
a traditional Mac. The 18-core
iMac Pro monster could chew
For years in this
column, i’ve expressed
frustration at apple’s
commitment to 3D
Apple’s External Graphics Development Kit, announced at WWDC, includes a Thunderbolt 3 enclosure and a graphics card.
through that work in a matter of
minutes. Until now, it was difficult
to develop 3D games on a Mac. That
won’t be the case for much longer.
The other huge news to come out
of WWDC got little mention in the
keynote that the consumer press
covered, but was covered in depth
during Apple’s “State of the Union,”
an engineering-centric talk for
developers – meaning most
journalists didn’t even see it.
Apple is using its Thunderbolt 3
technology to let you augment
your Mac’s graphical power with
an external GPU.
But what about VR, the hot
technology trend of the moment?
Well, developers can buy the $599
virtual reality development kit today
through Apple’s developer program.
You can take a Mac laptop, plug it
into the VRKit, and start developing
virtual reality games immediately
using the HTC Vive headset.
If you’ve never experienced the
Vive, it is stunning technology. You
place two sensors in a room, which
wirelessly track your headset and
controllers. My favorite Vive game is
Space Pirate Trainer, an arcade game
where you dodge and shoot endless
waves of attack drones. It’s an
addictive blast, and makes you
feel like you’re in an action movie.
Of course, VR games have proven
themselves to be mostly a fad failing to make significant money or
catch on with the public. That’s why
the clues that Apple is working on
AR instead of VR are so promising.
Augmented reality doesn’t obscure
the world around you - it adds to it.
enter arkit, a powerful technology
which Apple demoed at WWDC.
ARKit uses the dual cameras of
high-end Apple iOS devices to
calculate depth and use it in a scene.
Apple demoed a Lego Batman game
where you aimed an iPhone at a
table, seeing a virtual Lego world.
You could walk around a virtual
Batmobile, explode bricks, and
trigger animations of Lego Batman.
arkit is a brilliant
strategy for apple
because it won’t require
users to buy ar glasses
ARKit is a brilliant strategy for
Apple because it won’t require users
to buy AR glasses - you can see the
content with your phone. This will
enable most consumers to be
introduced to the idea without
spending a dime, while allowing
dedicated consumers to purchase
a more seamless experience.
Apple’s other big bet on graphics
is Metal 2, which promises to address
some of the persistent graphics
deficiencies on macOS. One of the
biggest problems with gaming on
the Mac is the poor performance
compared to Windows. Metal 2 takes
significant steps to address this,
trying to reduce the need for older
technologies such as OpenGL.
For years, Apple’s graphics tech
has been mediocre at best. But this
year’s WWDC demonstrated the
company’s newfound commitment,
with completely overhauled and
reinvented graphics systems.
From hardware through software
to development tools, Apple settled
for nothing but revolutionizing what
was possible.
If you’re interested in developing
AR products, my suggestion is to
place all your bets on Apple.
>>> Brianna Wu is the head of development at Giant Spacekat, developer of Revolution 60 on iPhone and iPad,
and a regular speaker at industry events, as well as host on the podcasts Isometric and Rocket. AUG 2017 15
>>> Feature
Power up with
macOS High Sierra
watchOS 4 & tvOS
pple’S Worldwide Developers
Conference (WWDC) delivered a
quartet of stunning software updates
that are coming to your Mac, iPhone,
iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV this fall.
Of Apple’s four operating systems, it’s iOS 11
we’re most excited about. It offers refinements
to make things you already do quicker and easier
to accomplish, includes creative and fun new
things to do with photos and videos, and looks
set to introduce a whole new class of apps and
games through augmented reality.
It’s an even bigger update on the iPad, with
huge improvements to multitasking, and newly
added support for drag and drop between apps.
16 aug 2017
On the Mac, the name of the next version of
macOS, High Sierra, may give you an impression
that this system update, like Mountain Lion and
Snow Leopard, is a relatively simple refinement
of its immediate predecessor – and we have to
say Apple didn’t do a great job of dispelling that
notion during its keynote. Since then, though,
it has disclosed a bunch of interesting features
we think you’ll be eager to get your hands on.
Read about them on pages 30 and 31.
Apple Watch and Apple TV are also getting
new features, of course, which are on pages 32
and 33. And if you can’t wait for the fall, see the
box opposite for details of how you can try out
beta versions of iOS, macOS, and tvOS.
iOS 11 and macOS 10.13 unveiled
try the beta…
>>> public betA versions of
iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, and,
for the first time, tvOS should
be available by the time you
read this.
Sign up to participate in the
public beta at
If you choose to test out any of
these beta versions, remember
that you could encounter some
issues, so make sure you back
up your data. Also, for High
Sierra, it’s wise to put it on a
separate drive away from your
existing installation.
Bear in mind that the public
beta software is confidential.
By signing up to access it, you
agree not to disclose details,
publish screenshots, or share
the software with other people
who aren’t also in the public
beta program. Only details
publicly disclosed by Apple
itself are considered to be
no longer confidential.
You should find an app
installed as part of the beta
versions that enables you to
provide feedback on any bugs
you discover, or to suggest
changes to the software.
Installing a public beta
version does not void your
hardware warranty. However,
bear in mind that it’s best to
install on a device that isn’t
your main one, if possible.
You can restore your Mac
or iOS device to non-beta
software by following Apple’s
instructions at
Before installing any of Apple’s
operating system betas, read
its Frequently Asked Questions
at aug 2017 17
>>> Feature
Control Center
A more powerful and easier-to-use way to adjust iOS device settings
OntrOl center is a little awkward
in iOS 10, so the new version reverts
to a one-page design, meaning you
no longer have to swipe left or right
just to reach the set of controls you need.
Instead, controls are neatly grouped, and there
are additional settings just a firm press away.
You might think Control Center looks a lot
more cluttered when you first open it, but
there’s a smart hierarchy to the way controls
are laid out, and settings you’re less likely to
want to alter are tucked away.
One of our favorite changes is that the
redesigned interface dispenses with some of
the clumsy, Mac-like controls. Notice in the
screens here that the volume and screen
brightness controls are no longer adjusted by
dragging a small handle along a track. Instead,
they’re shown as two vertical strips; you only
18 aug 2017
have to place your finger on one of these and
swipe up or down to adjust its value.
At first, it might appear that some important
controls are missing. For example, the one that
redirects your device’s audio to an AirPlay speaker
or Apple TV, the switch that toggles Night Shift on
or off, and the controls for your favorite HomeKit
accessories and scenes. In reality, what’s changed
is that Control Center now makes more extensive
use of 3D Touch than it does in iOS 10. Pressing
firmly on some controls, or on groups of them,
you uncover more detailed settings such as those
just mentioned.
3D Touch can also be applied to the group of
connectivity icons at the top left, which initially
shows four switches for Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi,
Bluetooth, and cellular data. Pressing firmly on
this group reveals AirDrop and Personal Hotspot,
and status descriptions for all six items.
iOS 11 and macOS 10.13 unveiled
Control Center
for iPhone
clearer notifications
>>> Apple hAS revamped the
way notifications are presented
in iOS 11, which should help if
you’ve ever found yourself
disoriented by the differences
in their arrangement between
Notification Center and the
Lock screen.
When your device is
unlocked and you swipe down
from the top of the screen to
open Notification Center, at
first you’ll see only recent,
unattended items – just like on
Control Center is busy
but smartly divided up
into logical groups.
using 3D Touch on the
brightness slider reveals
a switch for Night Shift.
at last, you can toggle
Personal Hotspot from
the Lock screen.
Press on the audio group
to find the control for
where sound is sent.
the Lock screen. However, by
then swiping up you’ll reveal
a history of items going back
chronologically through time.
Though this sounds like
a small change, it brings a
greater sense of continuity
regardless of whether you’re
checking notifications after
plucking your iPhone from a
pocket, or taking a few minutes
out of doing something else on
your phone to deal with items
that you’ve ignored for a while.
Beyond aesthetics and interactions, Control
Center sports a huge practical improvement:
there’s a bunch of extra controls you can choose
to add, and you can remove the familiar alarm,
flashlight, camera, or calculator controls if you
don’t use them. The additional controls include
shortcuts to Low Power Mode, Dynamic Text size,
and the special Magnifier camera mode, which is
an accessibility feature introduced in iOS 10. aug 2017 19
>>> Feature
Apple promises continuity of conversations across all your devices
he MeSSAgeS app gained
apps and stickers last year,
but accessing all the ones
installed by apps on your
device has been a cumbersome process
in iOS 10. Apple has redesigned the
app drawer; app icons are shown in
a scrolling row across the bottom of
the screen, which you swipe to find the
one you want. As you do so, the row’s
height increases to make it easier to
pick out the app you want – simply tap
it to access stickers or other features.
For a number of years one of our
greatest frustrations with Messages
has been inconsistent records of
communications when moving from
one device to another. Apple’s solution
to this is to store a copy of all the
messages you receive in iCloud, and
have all your Mac and iOS devices use
that collection. Messages you delete
in one place disappear from all your
other devices, too.
Naturally, this might concern you
when it comes to privacy; but Apple
says that delivery of your messages
is end-to-end encrypted.
Due to storing your long-term
archive of messages in the cloud, only
recently received items are cached on
your devices; older ones are retrieved
on demand. And If you send a lot of
photos and videos, they’re put in the
cloud on the go, so devices’ periodic
iCloud backups will complete faster.
Apple pay
>>> Apple’S cOntActleSS payment and iMessage
systems pair up in iOS 11, enabling you to send money
to friends, family, or colleagues right from your
conversations with them.
Let’s say you’re talking with a friend about booking
cinema tickets. They use an app to purchase the tickets
and send you an iMessage to let you know how much
you owe them. You then tap the Apple Pay icon in
Messages’ app drawer (or the Apple Pay suggestion that
appears above the keyboard), confirm that the amount
the app has picked out of the message is correct, then
place your fingerprint on your device’s Touch ID sensor.
Money received is held on an Apple Pay card in the
Wallet app; you can either keep it there to fund future
payments using Apple Pay (in a retail store or online),
send it on to another person, or transfer it to your bank.
20 aug 2017
Thanks to a redesigned app drawer,
it’s much easier to find stickers and
add-on apps in Messages now.
iOS 11 and macOS 10.13 unveiled
The new-look App Store
A thorough refresh could reignite your love for finding new apps
he App StOre is now nine years old,
and its presentation has been looking
a little stale. That changes in iOS 11,
with a new look inspired by the Music
app’s 2016 redesign. The store opens to a Today
page, which includes a new app of the day and
a new game of the day, a list of themed apps that
changes each day, stories about developers, and
tips on how to use certain apps.
Promotional images on the Today page can
automatically play video as they scroll into view,
so beautiful games really ought to catch your eye.
If you don’t check the store for a few days, you
can keep scrolling down the Today page to catch
up. Developer stories benefit from the same kind
of rich presentation as iOS’s News app, including
embedded videos and pullquotes. At the bottom
of a story is a link to share it with others, as well
as a button to buy the app you’ve just read about.
Games are the biggest area of the App Store,
so their domination of the store’s opening page
in iOS 10 is understandable. However, apps
sometimes barely get a look in as a result, so
one aspect of the refreshed store design to look
forward to is that apps and games, along with
popularity charts, are separated out into their
own dedicated pages. As with the Today page,
you’ll find playing tips from the App Store’s
editors among the content on the Games page.
In-app purchases will be highlighted among
the store’s recommendations for the first time.
This could draw your attention to new content
you’d otherwise miss if you’ve removed a game.
Product pages are also overhauled in the
redesign; they look familiar overall, but the rating
from customer reviews, chart position, minimum
recommended age, and Editor’s Choice badge
(where applicable) are highlighted more clearly. aug 2017 21
>>> Feature
Photos &
Smaller files, better quality
Photos’ new
Loop and Bounce
filters help you
to have fun with
Live Photos.
22 aug 2017
here’S greAt newS when it comes to
taking photos and videos with your iOS
device: On the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7
Plus, video is captured in HEVC format.
This is the next-generation successor to the
H.264 format you’re probably already familiar
with after years of it being used in Apple’s and
other manufacturers’ video cameras, and for
content delivery from places like the iTunes Store.
Sometimes referred to as H.265, the HEVC format
allows for up to twice the compression compared
to H.264. This is fantastic news if you bought an
iPhone 7 with a low storage capacity and often
find yourself running out of space.
The underlying technique used in HEVC also
applies to photos, so your iOS devices will no
longer shoot in JPEG but High Efficiency Image
Format (HEIF – pronounced “heef”). You’ll get
the same sort of reduction in size as video, too,
though Apple has stressed these are still high
quality formats; though they’re more heavily
compressed, that’s due to the algorithm’s
efficiency rather than more data being discarded.
There’s no need to be concerned about what
this means for compatibility with older devices;
when you use AirDrop or email to send media to
someone, or post to Facebook or another social
network, your device will fall back on a format
those destinations can use.
The iPhone 7 Plus’s portrait photography
mode, which uses the device’s dual-lens camera
to apply a depth-of-field effect to images,
is enhanced in iOS 11 to deliver improved
performance in low light. Overall image quality
is also improved, with support for optical image
stabilization, the True Tone flash, and high
dynamic range (HDR).
Additionally, expect third-party apps to start
doing their own clever things with the depth
information captured by the 7 Plus’s camera,
as iOS 11 provides developers with a method
that enables access to that data.
iOS 11 and macOS 10.13 unveiled
Be even more creative
with photos and videos
Subtle and not-so-subtle tweaks to make snapping more fun
pple’S MAchine learning efforts were
already applied to your photo library
in Sierra and iOS 10, enabling you to
search for objects and certain kinds
of scene without having to manually tag images
in advance; the app recognizes trees, beaches,
cars, and many more things.
This feature gets even smarter in High Sierra
and iOS 11, enabling you to search for sporting
events, outdoor activities, “Night out,” weddings,
and many more events. The Memories feature
now supports portrait playback, automatically
reformatting its auto-generated movies to that
orientation; in Apple’s examples at least, the app
manages to keep the subject of photos and videos
within the portrait frame.
The capabilities of Live Photos are enhanced
too, with options to trim, mute, loop, and bounce.
The loop option analyzes a video to compute a
seamless loop, according to Apple, while bounce
plays some action and, upon reaching the end,
plays the same frames backwards to the start,
then repeats. Cue plenty of instant memes and
animated GIFs. And, at last, you can choose which
frame of a Live Photo’s movie component is used
as the key photo.
Photos also includes an effect that mimics
capturing a long exposure with a traditional
camera, where moving objects such as water in
a stream become softened. Apple demonstrated
the kind of results you can achieve with this on
a relatively static landscape with water running
through it. Though the original Live Photo (above
left) looks relaxing, there’s a serene, dream-like
quality to the water once the long exposure effect
has been applied to the clip (above right). aug 2017 23
>>> Feature
The iPad
Get ready for big changes!
he ipAd changes the most with iOS 11,
gaining major usability enhancements
that might even convince you to buy
one instead of a MacBook the next time
you need a new computer.
The Dock evolves from a simple place to keep
up to a mere six of your most-used apps visible
on all pages of the Home screen. You’re able to
access iOS 11’s Dock at a moment’s notice even
while you’re using an app, by swiping up from
the bottom edge of the screen.
Drag and drop
works just as it
does on the Mac,
even supporting
multiple selections.
24 aug 2017
The iPad’s new Dock works a lot like the one
in macOS in more ways than this. As on the Mac,
there’s a dividing line towards its right end. You
choose which apps are persistently shown to the
left of that line simply by dragging and dropping
them from the Home screen as normal.
The items to the right of the line are picked
for you by iOS itself. The operating system
automatically fills this area with a few apps it
thinks you might want to use next – another
example of the machine learning Apple is keenly
promoting as part of this iteration of iOS. That’s
also where to look when you want to transfer an
in-progress task from another of your nearby
devices to your iPad, using the Handoff feature.
The new Dock is about more than providing
a new way to quickly switch between apps. When
you reveal the Dock while using an app, you can
drag the icon of another app from the Dock to the
side of the screen to open it in the temporary Slide
Over view. If you decide to keep that app open,
you can pin it open in Split View to refer to as you
work in the original app.
cOntrOl center
In the past, swiping upwards from the bottom
edge of the screen was used to reveal Control
Center. It still is, but you either need to swipe up
again from the already revealed Dock, or you can
jump straight to Control Center by swiping
iOS 11 and macOS 10.13 unveiled
the dock evolves from
a simple place to keep up
to a mere six of your apps
further up the screen in the first place. Control
Center is shown down the right-hand side of the
new-look app switcher, which makes better use
of the iPad’s abundant screen space. Rather than
recent apps being presented like a stack of cards,
their thumbnails are laid out in a grid that
provides a clearer view and direct access to more
apps at once. Similar to Mission Control on the
Mac, this switcher gives a clear reminder of which
apps are paired in Split View, with a pair of app
icons and names above the relevant thumbnails.
The Dock and the redesigned app switcher aren’t
just designed to help you switch between apps
more quickly. They also enable another new
feature on the iPad: drag and drop. Photos, web
addresses, selected text, and much more can be
picked up and dragged over an icon on the Dock,
then dropped into that app. You can even use one
hand to begin this process, then tap additional
items using your other hand to add them to what
you’re holding in the first one.
on the iPad
is now about
more than
just running
two apps
side by side.
quickly type SpeciAl chArActerS
iOS 11 provides a new on-screen keyboard on the
iPad, on which many keys are adorned with a
second character in gray. Rather than having to
switch to a different set of keys or hold ß to type
these, you place a finger on a key, slide it down a
short way, then let go – and that’s it! aug 2017 25
>>> Feature
Do more with your music
Going social and getting collaborative – sounds good to us
pple SeeMS to have realized that, for
many of us, the social side of music is
much more personal than following
favorite artists or curators and reading
what they post to Apple Music’s Connect service.
So in iOS 11’s Music app, as long as you have an
Apple Music subscription, you can stay up to date
with what your real friends are listening to by
looking under the heading “Friends are listening
to” in the For You page.
This feature at last puts your customizable
Apple Music profile to more use than just for
the attribution of your comments on artists’
posts. You can set your profile to be private or
public, choose which playlists are shared with
friends, and your and your friends’ chosen profile
pictures are displayed as attribution on items in
the aforementioned row in For You.
The biggest news concerning music is the
announcement of a new Apple-branded speaker
called HomePod. This is the first speaker under
the Apple brand since 2006’s short-lived iPod
Hi-Fi. As well as putting out room-filling sound,
HomePod contains an array of six microphones
26 aug 2017
that enable you to give commands by speaking to
Siri. HomePod also supports AirPlay 2, an updated
version of Apple’s media-streaming protocol
that supports multiroom audio. You can read
more about HomePod starting on page 68.
An Apple Music sub also unlocks collaborative
playlist creation when you have a friend visiting;
several people can queue tracks over AirPlay 2
without interrupting what you’re listening to.
Apple has also announced that AirPlay 2 will be
supported by Apple TV, on which you’ll be able to
control multiroom music playback from the Siri
Remote or by speaking to the virtual assistant.
Finally, Apple has introduced a new framework
for app developers, MusicKit, that enables their
apps and games to be given full access to your
library, including tracks that are stored in the
cloud. Apps will be able to create playlists, add to
your library, plus search playlists, stations, and
Apple Music’s 40-million strong catalog (if you
subscribe to the service). We’re hoping this
enhancement spurs developers into offering
stronger, more capable alternatives to iOS’s
built-in Music app.
iOS 11 and macOS 10.13 unveiled
cities with
mall maps
Find your
way indoors
nOrth AMericA
Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles,
New York, Philadelphia,
San Francisco, San Jose,
Washington DC
Never got lost in an airport again
Hong Kong, London, Tokyo
AvigAting with Maps in iOS 11
offers extra detail as you travel from
A to B. The speed limit is displayed
at the top left of the screen, and lane
guidance appears across the top of the screen
so you can get into the correct position ahead
of the next junction along your journey.
In iOS 11 the reach of Maps is extended to
cover the interior of malls and airports. For the
former you get detailed floor plans, along with
a business directory and the ability to search
for retailers, as well as browsing by floor.
For airports, features such as checkpoints are
marked, helping you to navigate the often
labyrinthine structures and catch your flight.
As with previous features added to Maps,
the list of cities in which malls and airports are
covered at launch is pretty short, being mostly
focused on large cities. Apple says it plans to
add hundreds more indoor maps to the service
every month, though.
cities with
airport maps
nOrth AMericA
Baltimore, Chicago (ORD,
MDW), Denver, Detroit,
Houston, Indianapolis,
Jacksonville, Las Vegas,
Los Angeles (LAX, SNA),
Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville,
New York (JFK, LGA), Newark,
Oakland, Philadelphia,
Pittsburgh, Portland,
San Diego, San Jose, Seattle,
Toronto, Vancouver
Amsterdam, Berlin (Tegel,
Schönefeld), Doha, Dubai,
Geneva, Hong Kong, London
(Heathrow, Gatwick)
do not disturb while driving
>>> Apple SAyS CarPlay is
its safest solution for using
your device in a vehicle, yet
many of us simply don’t have
this technology available.
So it’s extending the Do Not
Disturb feature to work while
you’re driving.
It uses Bluetooth to
connect to your car or, if
your car doesn’t have that,
it employs your iOS device’s
Wi-Fi to detect the Doppler
effect and determine that
you’re moving in a car. Your
device then asks if you’d like
to enable Do Not Disturb
While Driving. If you accept,
your device’s screen goes
black and notifications won’t
flash up on its screen.
Try to wake the device and
you’ll be reminded that the
feature is enabled. You can
override the block, so the
feature’s effectiveness
ultimately depends on your
sense of responsibility.
Do Not Disturb While
Driving can tell anyone who
texts you that you’ll get in
touch when you finish your
journey. And like regular
Do Not Disturb, you can set
exceptions to ensure certain
people can always reach you. aug 2017 27
Cooler than the virtual kind?
iM cOOk has been talking up the
potential of augmented reality (AR) for
months, so it wasn’t entirely surprising
that Apple had something to say about
it during its developer conference. But we weren’t
expecting to be so thrilled by what was shown.
The idea is that when you hold up your iPhone
or iPad, information from the device’s camera is
analyzed by an app, which is able to detect
surfaces in your surroundings and then composite
objects onto the live view on your device’s screen.
Why would you want to do this? One embryonic
AR example from the early days of the App Store
used your location and the coordinates of nearby
train stations to render virtual signage that would
show you the general direction and distance to
those stations. As long as you weren’t in a rush,
28 aug 2017
it was a fun way to explore a new neighborhood
while making your way somewhere, occasionally
checking in with the app.
Ar fOr everyOne
Apple is banking on AR becoming a big thing,
so it has given third-party developers a new
framework, ARKit, to enable them to more easily
build apps and games around the concept.
The software uses a device’s camera and
motion sensors to provide fast, stable motion
tracking of the world around you. It’s able to
detect planes – surfaces such as tables, walls,
and floors – and it’s designed to work in your
real-world surroundings.
ARKit can estimate ambient light, which Apple
says helps with the rendering side of things, and
also with estimating the scale at which virtual
objects should be rendered into a scene. ARKit
works with Apple’s own SceneKit rendering
engine, and Apple also announced support for
Unity and Unreal Engine, popular third-party
alternatives often used in game development.
The company boasted that the results of this
effort will work on many iOS devices already in
iOS 11 and macOS 10.13 unveiled >>> Feature
Machine learning: the future is now
>>> AnOther new
framework introduced
at WWDC was CoreML
(Machine Learning).
It provides developers with
a means to add intelligence
to their software, perhaps
to analyze how you use
your device – an example
being iOS’s Siri App
Suggestions widget –
or even images and sound.
One of the best-known
examples of machine
learning today is computer
vision: the ability to detect
and track faces, text, or
a barcode, and even to
identify objects. This is
already used in Photos’
use, and that this means ARKit is instantly the
largest AR platform in the world.
Scandinavian furniture retailer Ikea has used
AR for a while now, so it’s little surprise that it
threw its weight behind Apple’s announcement
soon after WWDC, with plans to use it to show
how its products will look in your home.
On the lighter side, ARKit enables games like
Pokémon Go to superimpose characters upon
the real world, making the popular outdoor
collectathon a lot more like what we had in mind
when it was first announced – and then some,
because swiping a Poké Ball to capture a critter
makes use of ARKit’s ability to detect surfaces,
and causes the ball to bounce against the ground
for added realism.
Perhaps the most impressive ARKit demo
shown off at WWDC was from Wingnut AR,
filmmaker Peter Jackson’s studio dedicated to
creating augmented reality content. Wingnut’s
Creative Director, Alasdair Coull, showed an
environment rendered in Unreal Engine 4 and
“projected” on an iOS device’s screen so that the
action took place on a large, flat tabletop (see the
upper-left picture). Coull showed how you can
search engine to enable
you to search for specific
objects and scenes without
having to tag them.
Apple used the classic
example of translating a
phrase from one language
to another to demonstrate
natural language processing
(NLP). iOS provides APIs to
help identify what language
you’re speaking, to discern
entities among your words,
and to sort through words
to work out which should
be grouped as a single item
for analysis. Perhaps soon
your iPhone will be your
voice when you visit a place
that uses another language.
Flat surfaces
are ideal for aR.
physically walk around and move in and out of a
scene to see things from any position you choose.
He promised an AR experience from Wingnut will
be released on the App Store later this year.
AR’s impact on battery life is unclear; rendering
complex 3D scenes can be draining, on top of
which ARKit keeps the camera active. But the
demos we’ve seen so far have our minds racing
over how AR could change scripted storytelling,
never mind interactive entertainment – and let’s
not forget its more serious applications. aug 2017 29
>>> Feature
Our 12 most
anticipated features
nO MOre intruSive Online AudiO
Apple’s aware that online video that
automatically plays when you land on
or scroll down a page is irritating, and sometimes
embarrassing. Safari deals with that by stopping
videos that include audio from playing in the first
place. Of course, you can tell the browser to make
exceptions if you want to.
iMprOved privAcy frOM trAckerS
Apple’s machine learning initiative is
applied in Safari to stop your online
activity being tracked and used to target you with
tailored content that isn’t always beneficial.
Time will tell how effective this is; similar
initiatives are often circumvented by websites.
Drag and
macOS 10.13
High Sierra
For Sierra, the only way is up
he next version of macOS, dubbed
High Sierra, is in part about laying
groundwork for the future –
or bringing the Mac into line with
other platforms, depending on how you look
at it. For starters, it will follow in the footsteps
of iOS 10.3 by replacing the Mac’s aging file
system with Apple File System (APFS). Apple says
this has performance and security benefits, and
will enable further innovation for the future.
Like iOS 11, High Sierra adds support for HEVC,
enabling up to 40 percent better compression of
video you’re working with. Playback of 4K HEVC
video requires at least a sixth-generation
(Skylake) Intel Core processor, though.
Apple’s modern graphics API, Metal, reaches
version 2, and adds capabilities needed by virtual
reality content creators, plus support for external
graphics cards on some Macs. There’s more to
High Sierra than technological changes behind
the scenes, though. Here are our highlights.
30 aug 2017
cuStOM Site SettingS
Safari has previously provided the ability
to adjust the default zoom level for all
sites. Apple has recognized that you may want to
use different settings for specific sites, so you can
tell Safari to automatically use the Reader view for
pages that it supports, what a site’s page zoom
percentage should be, whether a site can autoplay
video, and whether to prompt you or provide
automatic access to your cam, mic, and location.
MOre quickly find eMAilS
Mail’s search feature can feel a little
rudimentary at times, so the new version
adds an important feature to help you pinpoint
an important old message: it highlights likely
matches, or Top Hits, above all other search
results. These rankings take into account things
like messages you’ve read and your designated
VIPs, and the algorithm learns as you use it –
machine learning once again!
keep iMpOrtAnt nOteS in Sight
The capabilities of Notes have grown
considerably in recent years, and you
may no longer feel the need to use third-party
alternatives such as Evernote. But the more you
use Notes, the more likely it is that important
stuff will get lost among the many items you
create – so in High Sierra you can pin those
notes to the top of the app.
iOS 11 and macOS 10.13 unveiled
ShAre fileS frOM iclOud drive
We’ve been hoping for this feature ever
since Apple discontinued MobileMe and
iDisk, the predecessors of iCloud and iCloud
Drive. When you share a link with someone,
they work on your original copy, which ought to
reduce – and perhaps even eliminate – your need
to send email attachments.
Once MOre, with feeling, Siri
Both High Sierra and iOS 11 include voices
for Siri that sound more natural, with the
ability to convey subtle inflection. This news is
like music to our ears, and we’re hoping Apple
can use this development to similarly enhance
the Mac’s Text-to-Speech feature.
But if all you want is to quickly make a picture
more striking, colorful, or dramatic, there are
new filters for that, too.
third-pArty phOtO editOrS
It seems you’ll no longer be dependent
on apps providing an extension in order
to access their tools within Photos. When you
choose an app from the Edit With menu and
make changes to a picture using that app’s tools,
your alterations are automatically saved back to
your Photos library.
There are
plenty of
features to
look forward
to in macOS
High Sierra.
tAbulAr dAtA in nOteS
Got a few related figures to jot down and
thinking Apple’s Numbers spreadsheet
is overkill for the job? Or maybe you have other
sets of data that are best summed up in a table.
You can do all that in Notes now that it supports
the creation of tables.
live phOtOS frOM fAcetiMe
The FaceTime app can save precious
moments in calls as Live Photos, which
are stored in your Photos library. Presumably
to address privacy concerns, both people on a
call receive a notification to tell them this has
been done. This all sounds good, though we’re
conscious of how short Live Photos are.
ShAre yOur iclOud StOrAge
If you’re reluctant to pay for more iCloud
storage for your family members, there’s
great news. Soon you’ll have the ability to share
a single plan among multiple people – though
only if you choose a 200GB ($2.99/month) or 2TB
($9.99/month) plan. (In case you were wondering,
Apple recently discontinued the 1TB plan, and
reduced the price of the largest tier.)
AdvAnced phOtO editing
The Photos app continues to evolve,
gaining powerful color manipulation
tools. Firstly, the app now has a Curves tool –
as found in many professional image editing
apps – enabling subtle contrast adjustments with
just the tweak of a few points on a curve. There’s
also a new Selective Color tool for isolating and
selecting where you want changes to be applied.
the beginning of the
end for 32-bit software
>>> yOu MAy have followed our
tutorial in issue 129 about checking
which of your iOS apps will require
a 64-bit update, or an outright
replacement, for iOS 11. If not, you
can read it at
Thankfully, macOS High Sierra
doesn’t pose the same problem for
any 32-bit software that you depend
upon, but Apple is widely reported to
have told developers it’ll be the last
version of macOS to provide 32-bit
app support “without compromise.”
Apps submitted to the Mac App Store
from January 2018 will need to be
64-bit to be accepted by Apple.
To check which of your software
isn’t 64-bit, open System Information
(in /Applications/Utilities) and, under
Software, click Applications. Review
the software listed here, then do the
same for Preference Panes. aug 2017 31
>>> Feature
watchOS 4
The wrist-based assistant gets smarter about your schedule
fter yOu inStAll the latest version
of watchOS, your Apple Watch will
provide a more helpful way to keep
on top of the many tasks that fill your
day. When you switch to the new Siri
watch face, you’re just a turn of the Digital Crown
away from seeing what’s coming up next or later
in the day.
The face proactively looks at events you’ve
scheduled and intersperses helpful nudges, such
as prompts from the Breathe app, items from
your Reminders lists, Time to Leave prompts to
ensure you don’t get caught up in a jam, and much
more. WatchOS 4 also includes a fun animated
help with fitness goals
>>> yOur Watch will
analyze how you’re
doing with goals in
the Activity app, and
provide personalized
daily encouragement
to help you stay on
target. It’s smart
32 aug 2017
enough to point out
to you when you’re
lagging behind late in
the day, and will offer
a suggestion – a walk
or run for a number of
minutes – to make sure
you close your activity
rings. And there’s
a new exercise in the
Workout app, High
Intensity Interval
Training, which is said
to more accurately
track calorie burn in
cardio exercise.
face featuring Woody, Buzz, and Jessie from
Pixar’s Toy Story films, and a moving kaleidoscope
face that’s just plain pretty.
You can keep up with your interests with alerts
from the News app, which identifies articles that
fit with your interests. You can tap for a summary,
or save the story to your reading list on iPhone.
For those moments when you need to show
someone else your Watch’s screen, Apple has
added the ability for the device to rotate what’s
on its display – at last!
the future Of wAtch AppS
WatchOS 4 opens up new possibilities for
third-party apps. For starters, it allows more
types of app to run in the background, extending
it from workout apps to third-party navigation
apps – allowing them to be shown on the screen
when you raise your wrist – and memo apps,
which are able to continuously record audio.
Additionally, this version of the operating
system works with more Bluetooth devices, and
it probably won’t surprise you to learn that many
of the newly connectable devices have a health or
fitness bent: Apple talks about connectivity with
smart surfboards, tennis rackets, and baseball
bats to help analyze your sports performance,
and continuous glucose monitors to help with
your nutritional needs.
Apple also says it has made improvements
to how an app’s interface and code run on the
Watch’s processor, so that things run faster and
are more responsive.
iOS 11 and macOS 12.13 unveiled
tvOS 11
Even Apple’s video streamer and
games box gets some attention
Or A lOng time, Amazon’s Prime
Video service has been a notable
omission from Apple TV. Many other
content providers have plugged their
apps into the box’s TV app, which offers a
single place to catch up on all your programs.
So, one of Apple’s first announcements at
WWDC was… you guessed it, Amazon Prime
Video is coming to Apple TV later this year.
That means you’ll no longer have to use AirPlay
on your iPhone or iPad to send Amazon’s shows
to a bigger screen.
Apple also disclosed that the fourth-gen
Apple TV can work as an AirPlay 2 receiver,
so your television’s speakers can be part of
your multiroom audio system.
If you own a pair of AirPods, it might please
you to know that the manual pairing process
for connecting them to Apple TV is no longer
necessary. The little black box joins the ranks
of Macs and iOS devices in recognizing your
headphones when it and they are signed into
the same iCloud account, taking away a small
yet irritating hassle.
Additionally, for the first time tvOS will be
part of Apple’s public beta program this
summer. This involves updating the software
via a Mac over a USB-C cable, using iTunes. aug 2017 33
>>> Feature
Use your Mac’s built-in tools to make
sure your kids have a safe experience
when you can’t be there
here’s no substitute for sitting
with your child when they’re
using a computer to make sure
they don’t see or do anything
that might be harmful.
However, which parent hasn’t had to
divide their time between their kids and
household chores? As your kids grow older,
they may also deserve a certain amount of
privacy when using the family Mac, too.
Fortunately, macOS offers the next
best thing to watching over your kids’
shoulders: parental controls. These can
be configured by creating managed user
accounts for your children, and you can
then enable or disable specific features.
34 AUG 2017
For instance, you may choose to disable the
webcam and iTunes Store altogether, or set
time limits on when the Mac can be used.
Parental controls also includes “whitelists”
and “blacklists” for websites, and apps to
make sure your children are accessing only
age-appropriate content. The settings are
smart and you can make exceptions on a
case-by-case basis.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to set
up managed accounts for your children,
as well as how to tailor the parental control
options as you see fit. You’ll also discover
some common ways tech-savvy kids try to
circumvent parental controls, and how you
can reduce the chance of this happening.
Master Parental Controls AUG 2017 35
>>> Feature
Learn the basics of
accessing and configuring
Parental Controls from
System Preferences
Use the Apps
tab’s search bar
to find apps you
want to allow
your child to use,
then check the
boxes beside
them to grant
36 AUG 2017
The accounT you initially set up in your
own name on your Mac is known as an
administrator account. Admins can make
system-wide changes, such as installing new
software. You can use this account to manage
the parental controls that are applied to other
accounts, and you can also set up managed
user accounts. These can only access the apps
and content that you specify.
If your kids already have an account on the
Mac, follow the steps in the guide opposite to
convert their user account to a managed one.
If setting up your Mac for the first time, or if
you and your children currently share a user
account, follow the steps at
to create a managed account from scratch.
Mischief Managed
Once a managed account has been set up, click
Open Parental Controls (bottom right of Users
& Groups). Later on, you can manage things
in System Preferences > Parental Controls.
Access to the Parental Controls pane requires
an admin account’s details to be entered.
In this pane you can work through the
options in the various tabs to decide what
level of access is best for your child. By default,
the Apps tab is selected. The first option here
disables all webcams – the Mac’s built-in
FaceTime camera, and any external ones
you connect. Like all other settings, if your
child needs to enable this for a special
purpose, you can do so from their account
by entering your admin password on a
one-time basis.
The second option determines whether
or not your child can join multiplayer
games that use Apple’s Game Center
platform. Bear in mind that not all games
you install will make use of this – they
may use other technologies to facilitate
multiplayer gaming – but you can further
restrict individual apps if you want.
Check the third option, then click
Manage to set up a pre-approved
whitelist of contacts with whom your
child is allowed to exchange emails.
This restriction applies only to the Mail
app itself, not to webmail services, but
you can filter websites, too.
Enable “Limit Applications on this
Mac” to ensure your child can only
open apps on a pre-approved list.
Master Parental Controls
how To Set up a managed user account
disallow adMin righTs
If your child already has an
account on the Mac, go to  > System
Preferences > Users & Groups. Select
your child’s account on the left, then
make sure “Allow User to Administer
this Computer” is unchecked.
apply parenTal conTrols
Click the Enable Parental Controls
checkbox. Your child’s account now
appears as Managed in the left-hand
pane. Click Open Parental Controls,
enter your admin account’s credentials
when prompted, then click Unlock.
This is on an opt-in basis, meaning
you must specifically approve each
app by checking the box next to it.
Use the search box to find apps.
Click the Web tab to configure
browser restrictions. By default,
standard and administrator user
accounts on a Mac are allowed
unrestricted access to websites.
Select “Try to limit access to adult
websites” and click Customize to
specifically list which sites are
allowed and which should be
blocked. If you have very young
children, you may prefer the third
option, which limits web access
to a select list of sites. You can
explicitly add more sites using the
+ button. These restrictions apply
regardless of browser.
In the Stores tab you can block
your kids’ access to the iTunes
> Keeping logs
Parental Controls keeps a log of your
child’s use of apps, and websites they
visit. To access these, click the padlock
at the bottom left of Parental
Controls, then enter your admin
account’s credentials. Select your
child’s account, then click Logs to see
their activity. First click on the “Show
Activity for” pop-up to filter by time.
There are two tabs: Applications
and Web. Click the former to display
a helpful pie chart which shows how
your child has been dividing their
times between apps. The box on the
right contains exact details. Click the
arrow to the left of an app to see the
times and durations of its use.
The Web tab displays a list of all
sites accessed, along with a pie chart
detailing how long your child has
spent on each one. You can open sites
from here to check their suitability.
pick privileges
Work through the tabs and decide
which privileges to grant. Pay careful
attention to the Apps and Web entries.
Once your child has used the account,
click Logs (bottom right) to check which
apps and websites they’ve accessed.
Store, iTunes U, and the iBooks
Store. If this seems like overkill, use
the other options, which enable you
to filter music with explicit content
or enforce the age limit on movies,
TV shows, and apps. You can even
block books that are marked as
having explicit content.
seT TiMes
If you’re not so much worried about
the content your child accesses as
how long they spend on the Mac,
click the Time tab. You can limit
the time a child can spend logged in.
You can also prevent them from
logging in at certain times – say,
after 8 p.m. on a school night.
Certain apps require access to
data on your Mac, such as Contacts
and Calendar. Go to the Privacy tab
to disallow access to anything, such
as Twitter and Facebook, to which
you think apps don’t need access.
You can always change them later.
In the Other tab you can disable
Siri, prevent burning DVDs without
permission, and display a simplified
Finder that’s harder to hack. AUG 2017 37
>>> Feature
Learn about the
workarounds for parental
controls that your little
darlings may try…
Here Terminal has been used to
create a hidden admin account
named “hiddenuser.” Note how
the account doesn’t appear in
System Preferences or Finder.
38 AUG 2017
you May well encounter some resistance to
setting up parental controls. As you’ve seen,
macOS enables you to tailor the operations
your kids can perform, according to how
responsible they are. But some kids may
decide to take to the internet in an effort to
circumvent controls, and indeed there are a
number of websites devoted to getting around
the very restrictions you’ve just set up.
The security of the restrictions depends on
you keeping your user account’s password
safe, so be sure to change it if your child used
to share your account, or if you suspect they
may know it. Make sure to do the same for
any other admin accounts.
Your child’s next best option if they want to
undermine parental controls is to try to create
a new, hidden admin account, meaning they
can log in to the Mac and have unrestricted use
of its features.
Tech-savvy kids
There are several ways to create a new admin
account, such as enabling the root account,
or restarting in single-user mode and entering
the necessary commands. Once this is done,
a tech-savvy kid will most likely
hide the account so it doesn’t
appear in the usual /Users folder,
nor in System Preferences >
Users and Groups.
Follow the steps in “Detect
hidden user accounts” opposite
to make sure your child hasn’t
already done this. Next, consider
setting a firmware password
(see top right). This prevents
anyone from starting up the Mac
in single-user mode and entering
commands that create a new
account, or otherwise interfere
with your parental controls.
If you do choose to set a
firmware password, this will also
be required each time you want to
start up in macOS Recovery, in
which the “root” account can be
enabled and passwords reset.
Another option your child may
try is to install another operating
system, such as Ubuntu Linux, on a flash drive
and start up from this. As the system would
load from that drive into memory, no trace of
> Set a firmware password
Enable parental controls for apps to make sure
that software can’t run from an external drive.
your child’s activities would be
left on the Mac. You can prevent
starting up from external drives
without first entering the firmware
password by following the box to
the right. Write down the firmware
password and keep it safe; if you
forget it, you’ll need to take your
Mac to an Apple Store or Authorized
Service Provider to reset it.
sMoke and Mirrors
Should your kids find they’re unable
to create an admin account on the
Mac or start up in another operating
system, they may try to find
workarounds within macOS itself.
Go to System Preferences > Users
& Groups and make sure the Guest
account is disabled, as parental
controls don’t log any activity there.
If you haven’t set up explicit app
restrictions, gifted kids may try to
install “portable” apps to an
external drive and run them from
there. You can prevent access to
external drives by choosing the
Most modern Macs support firmware
passwords, but if you’re unsure yours
does visit to check
whether your model is compatible.
Restart your Mac and hold ç+r
to open macOS Recovery. Once that
loads, click Continue on the language
selection screen if it appears.
From the menu bar, choose Utilities
> Firmware Password Utility. In the
new window that opens, click Turn
On Firmware Password. You’ll be
prompted to enter your password
twice. Make sure this is different to
your user account’s password, and
note it down in a safe place. Click
Set Password when you’re ready.
Simple Finder option in the
Parental Controls pane’s Other
tab. Alternatively, choose to limit
applications in the Apps tab to only
those you approve.
Although you can block individual
websites, your kids may be able to
circumvent restrictions by visiting
a web proxy – a website designed to
bypass controls like these, which
will fetch the website for them as
well as hiding the identity of
whoever visits. Keep a close eye
on their account logs; if you find
Restart the Mac. You will be able to
log in as normal. However, from now
on if you or anyone else wants to
start up from a different drive, enter
single-user mode, or access macOS
Recovery, the firmware password will
need to be entered.
If anyone tries to start up your Mac from
another device, they’ll see this screen
prompting for the firmware password.
they’ve been visiting a proxy site,
add it to the banned list.
Certain websites, such as The
Pirate Bay, maintain mirrors –
multiple copies of the same web
page at different locations around
the internet. Because of this, while
one mirror such as
may be on the blocked list, another
such as may still load
with no problems.
Again, watch your child’s web
activity closely and add mirrors of
sites to the block list as necessary.
> Detect hidden user accounts
Open Terminal, which is in /Applications/
Utilities. In the app’s window, enter the
following command:
sudo defaults write /Library/Preference
s/ Hide500Users
-bool FALSE
This command should reveal any hidden
accounts on the login window. If all
seems in order, log back in to your own
account, open Terminal as before, and
enter the command:
dscacheutil -q user | grep -A 3 -B 2 -e
uid:\ 5'[0-9][0-9]'
This lists every user account on the Mac.
Check the “name” value of any you don’t
recognize. The “dir” value tells you the
location of an account’s home folder;
if one doesn’t start with “/Users” it’s a
hidden account. To remove it from your
Mac, enter sudo dscl . -delete and then
its “dir” value. For example: sudo dscl .
-delete /var/hiddenuser
To unhide an account and investigate it
further, enter sudo dscl . create and
then a space, the account’s “dir” value,
another space, then IsHidden 0 – say,
sudo dscl . create /var/hiddenuser
IsHidden 0 AUG 2017 39
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Things 3
Getting things done more elegantly
$9.99 Developer Cultured Code,
Platform iPhone Requirements iOS 10.0 or later
Progress wheels
help you manage
your projects.
42 AUG 2017
Things first came
out in 2008, when
iPhone productivity
apps were a novelty
and skeuomorphism was the
go-to interface design
philosophy. The to-do list app
checked both boxes at the
time, but despite occasional
updates it fell behind rivals
like Wunderlist and Todoist,
which brought their own
innovations to the “Getting
Things Done” category.
Five years in the making,
Things 3 aims to close the gap,
and it’s efforts are
mostly successful.
A minimalist
interface replaces
the old one, and
makes to-dos a lot
more adaptive and
flexible, with tags,
checklists, subheadings (new),
start dates, and
deadlines responding
to a range of gestures
to make organization
simpler. The new
Quick Find feature
enables global
searches from within
any to-do, while a
circular progress indicator has
been added to let you keep
better track of your projects.
The Today and Upcoming
sections have been rethought,
and now helpfully integrate
iOS calendar events. The next
day’s to-dos now also appear
at the top of the Today list at
the stroke of midnight, while
a new subsection called This
Evening makes structuring
your tasks more intuitive as
the day unfolds.
Perhaps the best new
feature is the big blue Magic
Plus button that lives in the
bottom corner of the screen.
Dragging it to any location
instantly generates a relevant
item there, such as a subheading in a project, or a task
with a due date in your inbox.
Neat touches like this
suggest ease of use has
remained at the forefront of
the developer’s mind over
version 3’s long gestation –
which makes the inability to
use natural language input in
the task entry field, and the
lack of a universal app, all the
more surprising. (The iPad
version is also considerably
more costly at $19.99.) As it is,
Things 3’s Magic Plus Button makes
item creation simple.
however, Things 3 is a solid
release that should re-energize
your motivation for Getting
Things Done.
the bottom line. Things 3
is generally solid, and singleplayer Things veterans will
love the new design, but look
elsewhere if you have to
address collaboration needs.
tim haRDwick
Things 3
Smart, modernized interface
Calendar integration
iPad app a separate $20 purchase
No collaboration tools
Tough testing, trusted ratings
PDF Expert 6
Document editing par excellence
$9.99 Developer Readdle,
Platform Universal Requirements iOS 9.0 or later
When it comes to editing
PDF files, mobile apps have
always been more limited
than Mac or PC. Leave it to
the folks at Readdle to deliver desktopclass features that go beyond basic
annotation, form-filling, and signatures.
PDF Expert 6 adds the ability to also
edit text, add or replace images, and
redact sensitive information inside
documents. It’s a brilliant update that
turns the app into a true productivity
powerhouse for all but the most
advanced PDF capabilities.
In addition to the trio of new editing
features, you can also add web links to
text or pictures. The tools at your
disposal are exceptionally intuitive;
for example, after selecting an existing
image inside a document, you have the
ability to rotate, replace, save, crop, copy,
or delete, as well as resize or reposition
it with ease.
Editing features require an additional
in-app purchase, which costs $9.99, and
replace the iPad version’s woefully
inadequate Markup tool, a workaround
that allowed rudimentary text editing for
free. PDF Expert 6’s editing features are
well worth the one-time upgrade, though.
The remaining new features are free
for existing users, including an interface
PDF Expert 6 delivers desktop-class text
and image editing capabilities to mobile.
overhaul with enhanced search, outline
editing, and the ability to passwordprotect documents. Cloud support is
also more robust — edits are now saved
directly to your favorite service.
The boTTom line. iOS’s best PDF
editor gets better. J.R. bookwalTeR
Think you can’t be a good singer? Think again
Free Developer Himanshu Singh,
Platform iPhone Requirements iOS 9.3 or later
With very few exceptions,
good singing is something
we learn, not something
we’re born with: the more
you train your voice, the better you get.
Before you call that expensive vocal
coach, give Vanido a try. It’s a free app
that aims to make voice training fun,
and it does so by working out your vocal
range – insuring the exercises aren’t too
low or too high for you – and then getting
you to practice some simple notes and
sounds. Technology comes into play with
its real-time analysis, which shows you
exactly how well or how poorly you’re
managing to hit each note.
The objective is to sing every day, not
to sing until you’ve lost all motivation.
Even the most woeful performance
generates skill points that you can use
to feel good about yourself – and the
exercises are deliberately short and
simple so you won’t feel overwhelmed
or frustrated.
The app is clearly a work in progress;
for example, while it logs in to Google
or Facebook, there aren’t any social or
collaborative features to make those
logins necessary. We also found the audio
a bit choppy on our headphones while
singing, which was a little off-putting.
But we did find ourselves raising our
Vanido gives you three exercises a day, every
day. The more you do, the more you unlock.
vocal game once our ego had recovered
from the on-screen evidence that we
weren’t Nat King Cole.
The boTTom line. As a voice coach
it’s probably too simple right now, but
Vanido has lots of promise for perfecting
your pitch. gaRy maRshall
OKAY AUG 2017 43
Layers are surprisingly handy
even when you’re working on
a 32x32‑pixel canvas.
Retro art, modern app
$24.99 Developer Rizer,
Platform iPad Requirements iOS 9.0 or later
Pixaki can now
be used for
animations and
sprite sheets.
44 AUG 2017
Pixaki 3 is a pixel
art editor, aimed
at digital artists
who want to evoke
the feel of everything from
Susan Kare’s wonderful icons
for the original Mac through to
the delicate pixel work found
in a slew of gaming greats. This
might reek of nostalgia, but
pixel art remains big business;
many games still utilize this
style, as do illustrators wanting
their craft to stand out, and
who value the precision
placement of every dot.
Pixaki’s main interface is
split between the canvas and a
toolbar. The selection of tools
– pencil, eraser, fill, shape, selection, and eye-dropper – is
small but enough for this kind
of art. Optionally, you can slide
in a sidebar housing the layers
list and color palette, and
another with Pixaki’s new
animation system.
During testing, the app
proved responsive and usable,
and although pixel art’s nature
means a stylus is beneficial, it still works fine when scribbling away with a finger. Pixaki’s animation system is simple,
but you do get control over
speed – along with onionskinning, so that you can
faintly see adjacent frames.
Extended use unearths
plenty of additional touches.
You can prod a zoom button
for an instant “actual size”
preview of your work. The fill tool works superbly, doubling
up as a color replacer for
non-contiguous pixels –
even across multiple layers.
Animated GIFs, palettes from
other apps, and reference
layers for tracing can all be
imported. Export options
include everything from
layered PSDs through
to sprite sheets for games.
On occasion Pixaki stumbles
slightly. Moving content on a
layer is cumbersome, requiring
a select/move dance. When
editing existing animations,
you can’t duplicate a new layer
across every frame. And we
would have loved a visual grid
overlay, and custom line
widths for the shape tool.
For the most part, though,
the app feels like a properly
professional effort to bring pixel art to iPad – the perfect
place to create it.
the bottom line. A great
update to what was already the
iPad’s leading pixel art app.
CRaig gRannell
Very pleasant to use
Strong import/export options
Fill tool is great
Occasionally cumbersome workflow
Tough testing, trusted ratings
Turn your photos into paintings
$2.99 Developer 3DTOPO,
Platform Universal Requirements iOS 8.2 or later
The App Store isn’t exactly
short of photo-filtering apps,
but Oilist offers something
a little different: 4K-ready
images based on famous painting styles.
Unlike a lot of apps it doesn’t generate
the same result each time, and watching
it work its magic on your photos is
undeniably hypnotic.
It’s also undeniably hot. Our iPhone 7
Plus started feeling warm to the touch
within a minute of opening the app, and
within five minutes it felt extremely warm
through its protective plastic case. The
battery meter was almost as hypnotic as
the app: Turning a picture into an oil
painting depleted the Plus’s battery
rather rapidly, the percentage dropping
by one every 45 seconds or so. This is
not an app you’ll want to use when
you’re far from a power socket.
The results are interesting, if a little
patchy – landscapes and objects look
great, but faces aren’t quite so
impressive. It pays to play around with
the various options, though; Oilist is an
app that rewards experimentation, and
you’ll often stumble across a really great
effect you didn’t know you wanted.
While the app continues to refine the
picture as long as it’s open, you can save
a 4K still to your Camera Roll at any time.
Oilist’s filters aren’t as effective with faces
as they are with objects or scenic views.
Oilist isn’t a must-have, but it’s still
interesting and can produce some
beautiful results. Just don’t forget to
take your charger with you.
The boTTom line An interesting
and often mesmerizing app, but it’s a
serious battery hog. GaRy maRshall
Prizmo Go
Scan and share text with this OCR tool
Free Developer creaceed,
Platform Universal Requirements iOS 10.0 or later
Prizmo Go takes the
optical character recognition
capabilities from the Prizmo
document scanner and hives
them off into a separate app.
The free version enables you to snap
a picture of any text document with your
iPhone’s camera and turn the image into
text. There’s support for 10 languages
and the text can be read aloud using
text-to-speech or VoiceOver.
Buy the Export Pack for $4.99 and the
text can be sent to another app; or you
can copy and paste text to another
iOS app, or your Mac using iOS 10 and
Sierra’s Universal Clipboard capability.
Prizmo Go can also import images
from your Photo Library, or another app,
and perform text recognition on them.
Buy credits for the Cloud OCR service
($0.99 for 100 or $4.99 for 1,000 – first
10 free) and Prizmo Go can recognize 22
languages and improve its performance.
Processed text highlights web and
email addresses, phone numbers, and
map locations: tapping on those triggers
Safari, Mail, the phone app, or Apple
Maps, as appropriate.
In use we found Prizmo Go to be both
quick and accurate, when using Cloud
OCR. Its image stabilization and text
highlighting both worked very well.
When the OCR is finished, you can select
text and copy it to the Clipboard.
In fact, we had no complaints about
Prizmo Go at all.
The boTTom line: If you need
a tool to do quick and accurate text
recognition from images, Prizmo Go
is nothing less than ideal.
Kenny hemPhill
The premier source for everything video games, TV, films, and more.
Tough testing, trusted ratings
Enticingly simple, surprisingly hard
$2.99 Developer Noodlecake Studios,
Platform Universal Requirements iOS 7.0 or later
You may have played a game
like Invert before, in which
you are presented with a
grid, and several buttons
around the perimeter that flip some of
the tiles on the grid to change their color.
Your objective is to turn all the tiles the
same color, and though Invert starts off
fairly slowly and easily, it soon becomes
maddeningly difficult once you get to
the later levels.
The first few levels are mostly square,
which means even the most spatially
challenged players can probably figure
out what each button does. Later,
though, the grids change shape, from
triangles and hexagons to confusing
double-helix shapes and twisty diamonds.
Invert is a relatively short game,
especially if you breeze past the first
10 shapes, each with eight different
configurations to solve – but once you’re
done with the regular puzzle mode you
can switch to “Challenge” to solve as
many puzzles as you can against the
clock, and eventually “Expert,” which is
like Challenge but obviously much harder.
Invert is the kind of game that is
immensely satisfying in the same way
that it’s satisfying to arrive at an elevator
just as the doors open, or to find spoons
that stack perfectly. Seeing the colored
The dynamic animations are what make this
game stand out from other puzzles.
tiles flip over in a very stylishly animated
way feels like cosmic alignment, with you
the architect of it all.
The boTTom line. A brain-tickling
puzzle game that will suit lovers of
Rubik’s Cube and other precise puzzlers.
KaTe GRay
To The Moon
A heartbreaking tale of love and loss
$4.99 Developer X.D. Network,
Platform Universal Requirements iOS 7.0 or later
First released in 2011 on PC,
To The Moon remains one
of the best examples of
a narrative told in a game.
You play as two scientists, working
for a company that is able to alter the
memories of dying people in order to
make them believe that they achieved
their life’s wish. You begin the game at
the house of Johnny, an old man on his
deathbed, already unconscious and
unable to help. His wish is clear, though:
He wants to go to the moon, though he
can’t remember why.
It’s up to you, the two scientists, to
travel through his memories in reverse
chronological order, gradually piecing
together what happened and figuring out
a way to perfect and shape it into a life
where Johnny goes to the moon.
The game itself is simple: it may look
like an old-school role-playing game in
the vein of Pokémon, but it’s not. There’s
little interaction beyond finding objects
that will take you to the next memory,
and while this may be frustrating if
you’re expecting a jam-packed adventure,
the lack of bombast makes the sweet, sad
story shine all the brighter.
To The Moon makes for a great mobile
game, as it’s simple, easy to play, and
able to be taken in bite-size chunks.
To The Moon employs a pixel-art style that’s
reminiscent of old-school Japanese RPGs.
Make sure you listen to the music, too –
it’s one of the most wonderful game
soundtracks, with plaintive, melancholic
piano that fits the mood perfectly.
The boTTom line. To The Moon was
excellent in 2011, and now it’s excellent
and portable. A must-play. KaTe GRay
aWeSOMe AUG 2017 47
Chuck’s reading panel isn’t the
best, but there’s a 3D Touch
preview that shows more.
Too many messages? Chuck ‘em
Free Developer 410 Labs,
Platform Universal Requirements iOS 10.0 or later
You can organize
individual emails,
or apply options
to messages
en masse.
48 AUG 2017
Our significant
other has an inbox
that gives us the
willies: where our
inbox is as neat, clutter-free
and well-tended as a suburban
lawn, their inbox is an
untamed jungle full
of crazed monkeys
where messages
hang around for
months unread, and
urgent messages of
great importance are
lost in a tsunami of
spam. It’s as mixed
as our metaphors,
and what it really
needs is a good
clean-up, courtesy
of Chuck.
This app’s purpose
in life is to gather
a whole bunch of
messages and chuck
them out of your
inbox – or inboxes – either
permanently or temporarily,
so that you can get on with
your life. It gives you a
bird’s-eye view of your email,
grouping messages by subject,
sender, or date, and it supports
multiple mail accounts for
those of us forced to use
multiple addresses or aliases.
As well as iCloud it runs Gmail,
Outlook, Yahoo!, Comcast,
Office 365, AOL, and
It’s ridiculously quick on
even the busiest email account,
and its interface works really
well on iPhone: There’s an iPad
version too, but we felt much
more comfortable with Chuck
on the smaller screen, where
it feels just right when used
one-handed. It supports
landscape on Plus-size phones
too, delivering a familiar if
cramped two-pane layout that
enables you to see messages -
although if they’re formatted,
only a few lines at a time.
Chuck isn’t the best way to
read email, but it’s superb at
organizing it. You can select
huge numbers of messages at
once and then move, spam,
delete, star/unstar, or mark
them as read/unread. The app
has a “chill” option that hides
messages for a specific number
of days - handy if you’re on
vacation, for instance.
Chuck’s built-in search is
lightning fast, and the ability
to manage multiple inboxes
simultaneously makes email
management effortless.
If you work in the sort of
environment where buttcovering emails ping all day
long, or you take part in very
busy email discussions, the
app will save you enormous
amounts of time. It’s not our
favorite email app for everyday
use, but when the going gets
tough it’s the app we turn to
to remove the dead wood.
the bottom line. If email
feels like an avalanche, chuck
all the inessential ones away,
because this is a superb app
for achieving inbox zero.
gaRy maRshall
Very fast
Multiple accounts
Hide emails for days
Not the prettiest app
Tough testing, trusted ratings >>> App
The best apps for the barbecue season
Chargrill like a boss with these tasty apps
bY GarY marshall
We love to grill so much that if
there was a way to grill soup, we’d
do it. But what really makes our
heat-loving hearts sing is our
favorite cooking apps – and with
a few well-chosen ones on your
home screen you can be the
chargrill queen, the cookout king,
the barbecue boss.
PaPrika ($4.99, separate iPad
and iPhone apps) isn’t just for BBQ
chefs: It’s just as useful for paleo
or veggie cooking. It’s a recipe app
that integrates beautifully with
Safari in iOS and on the Mac, so
when you spot a great grill idea on
Kitchn or Serious Eats you can pop
up the share sheet and send the
recipe to Paprika. It then magically
turns the shared page into separate
sections, records the nutritional
information, and even saves a
photo. It organizes your grocery
list by category and makes it easy
to adjust quantities for when
you’ve got the whole family
coming over.
From grilling to greens, Paprika is our go-to
recipe app for saving, shopping, and serving.
Multiple meats are easy: GrillTime keeps
an eye on each individual timing.
Good grills offer a range of
mouthwatering meats, but that
means multiple timings: ribeye
needs speed, chilli dogs need even
heat, and chicken can’t be pink.
Say hello to GrillTime ($1.99,
iPhone), which enables you to set
multiple timers for different kinds
of meat and veg. Those timers are
pre-set for your preferred state of
done-ness, and you can add
custom timers if you’re doing
something unusual. Best of all,
the timers are available on your
Apple Watch too.
If you’ve got the Weber grill,
you must get the Weber Grills
app (Free, Universal): It combines
a recipe book, timers and how-to
guides covering everything from
how to choose the right fuel and
arrange it in your grill to getting
the perfect sear on your steak.
There’s a grocery list feature,
Apple Watch support, and some
really useful videos, and while the
emphasis is very much on grilling
meat there’s plenty of useful
information for any kind of chef.
Grill-iT! ($0.99, iPhone;
$1.99, iPad) is a spin-off from
the excellent Grilling Companion
website and a welcome alternative
to grilling apps that are a bit too
meaty. The recipe selection has a
strong showing for veggies and
starters, as well as meaty main
events. You’ll find classics such as
Beer Can Chicken, but also more
interesting things such as grilled
chicken with gruyère and
caramelized onions, and a recipe
that uses cauliflower instead of
steak. No, really.
You know you’re serious about
steaks when you’ve got an iGrill.
Weber’s Bluetooth-based
thermometer is overkill for the
odd backyard BBQ, but it’s brilliant
if you’re trying to do something
low and slow. The app Weber
iGrill (Free, Universal) connects
to the probe and shows the current
internal temperature of your food.
Weber’s app is a great how-to guide, with
good tips as well as recipes and a timer. AUG 2017 49
>>> App Life
apps and guides to get more from your watch
Strava Running & Cycling GPS
Specially optimized for Watch Series 2
Free Developer Strava,
Platform iPhone, watchOS Requirements iOS 10.0 or later
If you own an Apple Watch and
regularly run or cycle, Strava
can turn these activities into
a socially aware game you can
share with friends, by joining
challenges and setting new
leaderboard personal records.
The app even helps discover
new places to run or ride,
using iPhone geolocation data.
With Watch Series 2’s GPS
support leveraged in this
version, you can leave your
iPhone behind if you own
Apple’s latest smartwatch.
The completely reengineered
waTch TiP
Gradually fade in
With watchOS 3.2
on Apple Watch
Series 2, you can
combine the
General > Wake
Screen > Wake
Screen on Crown
Up setting with
Theater Mode.
With both items
enabled, slowly
50 AUG 2017
turn the Digital
Crown upward to
raise brightness.
watchOS app allows runners
to record a full workout from
start to finish, with real-time
display of time, pace, distance,
speed, and heart rate.
When a workout is finished,
Strava presents an instant
summary on your wrist, which
can be synced to your account
with a tap on the Save button.
With previous versions, you
needed to carry an iPhone
regardless of which Watch
model you owned.
That will still be the case
if you own a first-generation
or Series 1 Apple Watch, but
thanks to improved watchOS 3
support, the recording
experience takes place entirely
on your smartwatch, rather
than on the connected iPhone.
Regardless of which Watch
you own, a number of features
like coaching, post-workout
analysis, and live feedback
require a paid Premium
subscription, which starts
at $5.99 per month.
There is one downside to
the updated app, however;
you now have to choose
between Watch or iPhone
when starting a new run or
ride, whereas the previous
version allowed both devices
to work in tandem.
The boTTom line. Apple
Watch Series 2 owners will love
Strava’s support for built-in
GPS, but it’s great even with an
older model. J.R. bookwalTeR
strava running & cycling gps
Support for built-in GPS
on Apple Watch Series 2
Real-time data display
Subscription required
for Premium features
Older Apple Watch models
require iPhone for GPS
Tough testing, trusted ratings
Sky Cylinder
how To
The game’s pretty much in the title…
Manage events with
Fantastical 2
Free Developer Khang Le,
Platform Universal Requirements iOS 8.0 or later
How high can you
stack the cylinders?
That’s the premise
of Sky Cylinder,
a deceptively
challenging free app
that works on Apple
Watch, iPhone, iPad, and even Apple TV.
The graphics are bright and colorful,
while the gameplay is leisurely — at
least initially. The real challenge is when
you tap on the pulsating white circle at
the top of the stack, which determines
the size of the next cylinder to fall from
the sky. Misjudge how much space you
need and it’s game over. On Apple
Watch, Sky Cylinder is sadly a silent
affair, but the graphics are no less
impressive and you can keep an eye
on the current time while playing.
One advantage over the iPhone app
is that there are no banner ads to spoil
the fun, although you’ll need to open
that version if you want to accept
challenges or keep tabs on where you
stand against other players.
The boTTom line. Tends to be
repetitive after a while, but the graphics
are nice and it’s challenging enough.
J.R. bookwalTeR
Telegram Messenger
Off-the-cuff chatting
Free Developer Telegram,
Platform Universal Requirements iOS 6.0 or later
With over 100 million
active users,
Telegram Messenger
isn’t the new kid on
the block when it
comes to mobile
instant messaging.
But the cross-platform service stands
as a shining example of what can be
done with the diminutive platform.
Most impressively, Telegram users
don’t miss much in terms of features
when running the watchOS version.
Chat messages can include the usual
assortment of dictated text, stickers,
locations, and emoji, not to mention
aDD eVenTS
To quickly add a new event,
Force Touch your Apple Watch’s
display, tap Add Event, then speak
to enter a reminder or details
using natural language.
preset phrases that make it easier
to talk without a keyboard.
You can also view incoming photos,
stickers, locations, documents, or
videos, and there’s a shortcut to
open any message in the iPhone
app. In addition to starting new chats
and viewing user or group profiles,
you can block unwanted users.
The Apple Watch app hasn’t yet
been updated to leverage watchOS 3,
so performance isn’t quite up to par.
The boTTom line. A better way to
instant-message. J.R. bookwalTeR
leSS comPlicaTeD
By adding a complication,
you can not only see the current
day at a glance, but also jump
directly into Fantastical’s watchOS
app with a single tap.
ReminD me
Opening the app displays
events for the next two weeks, but
you can also tap Reminders to get
a peek at everything that’s coming
up on your lists. AUG 2017 51
Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Dock
True one-cable convenience for MacBook Pro
$300 manufacturer Elgato,
requirements macOS 10.12 or later, Thunderbolt 3 port
thunderbolt 3
Charges MacBook Pro
Good port arrangement
Cable is just 1.6 feet
Only three USB-A ports
52 AUG 2017
he capabilities of Thunderbolt 3 enable this dock to deliver on the
promise of great convenience in a way earlier models couldn’t; as you
come and go, you only have to deal with one cable, which now carries
power to your MacBook Pro, video to a display, and data to peripherals.
On top of that, Elgato provides a utility that sits in the menu bar, from
which you can safely eject devices with a couple of clicks before unplugging
your Mac. When we’ve reviewed older docks, only a few rival manufacturers
recognized that this is an integral part of a dock’s convenience.
This particular dock is capable of delivering up to 85W to a computer,
so you can use it even with 15-inch MacBook Pros. It took us just a couple
of days to appreciate that we no longer had to carry an extra charger in
case our Mac needed a top-up during the day. There’s a downside, though:
the cost of this dock is considerably higher than its $199 predecessor.
When considering the dock’s value, weigh up how many ports you’ll use
from day one against the cost of USB-C adapters to do the same job.
(Of course, adapters have the added convenience of being portable in their
own right.) And, since the dock charges your MacBook Pro, also consider that
the cost of a second power adapter is $88 or $98, depending on your model.
In terms of ports, there’s little change from Elgato’s previous docks.
There’s a USB 3 (Type A) port on the front, plus discrete 3.5 mm ports for
a mic and headphones. At the back are two more USB 3 (Type A) ports,
Gigabit Ethernet, a full-size DisplayPort (so you may need to buy a new
cable), and a passthrough Thunderbolt 3 port for daisychaining more devices.
You can chain a 4K or 5K display, or even just a USB-C to Lightning cable
to charge an iOS device; you’ll need to connect your Mac for the latter
scenario, or switch to using a USB-A cable with one of the older ports to
charge without your Mac around. And if you have an older dock and don’t
have, nor plan to get, a high-res display, a Thunderbolt 2 adapter is cheaper.
the bottom line. Costly but convenient. Some docks have more ports,
but Elgato’s latest is a sound investment, capped off with an app that shows
consideration for how you’ll use it with a MacBook Pro. AlAn Stonebridge
The Thunderbolt 3 Dock
seems expensive at first, but
it could work out to be better
value than separate power
and USB-C adapters. AUG 2017 53
>>> Reviews
Summary view offers a
comprehensive look at
your financial situation.
Banktivity 6
A fitness tracker for your finances? Well, kind of…
$64.99 Developer IGG Software,
Requirements macOS 10.12 or later
Banktivity 6
More features
than Quicken
Free cloud iOS sync
Hangs when saving
to Dropbox
Extra cost of iOS apps
54 AUG 2017
Personal finance apps have a checkered
history on the Mac, but developer IGG
Software’s native iBank has typically been
a bright spot. Last year, the veteran software
rebranded as Banktivity, and the release of
version 6.0 not only gives Quicken a run for
its money, but does it one better with a
handful of convenient new features.
Workspaces is the coolest addition,
enabling you to open recent transactions
from one account in a new window while
browsing in the Summary view at the same
time, for example. Tags wind up being the
handiest feature, used to track spending for
a specific transaction type so you can view
expenditures as a report: great for keeping
tabs on how much that new hobby costs, or
where funds are spent on household repairs.
A free 30-day trial makes it easy to give
Banktivity 6 a spin, although the conversion
process isn’t entirely seamless. We were able
to import existing data from Quicken 2017
without much trouble, but linking accounts
to their online equivalents was a hassle that
required repeated logins for multiple
accounts at the same bank. Occasionally
we had to repeat the process, because the
application would hang while saving the
document file to our Dropbox folder.
Although Banktivity is cheaper than Quicken,
direct access requires a recurring subscription
($4.99/month, $39.99/year), which winds up
making it more expensive in the long run. It can
securely sync data with your iPhone and iPad,
but purchasing both apps costs another $30;
the mobile versions are superior to Quicken’s
free offering, however.
the bottom line. Banktivity is a
worthwhile investment that gives Quicken
a run for its money. J.R. bookwalteR
Tough testing, trusted ratings
Swift Publisher 5
Can a DTP app at this price really be any good?
Swift Publisher 5 offers
powerful Mac desktop
publishing with an
intuitive interface.
$19.99 Developer Belight Software,
Requirements macOS 10.10 or later
The Mac and desktop publishing have
been the computer equivalent of peanut
butter and jelly since Apple’s computer
debuted in 1984. Now, though, if you
depend on traditional DTP for home or
small business, you no longer have to fork
over big bucks to get things done.
Swift Publisher 5 is an affordable,
easy-to-use app for designing printed
media, and also happens to be one of
the fastest and most full-featured
page-layout programs around. Whether
you’re a novice or veteran designer, the
app makes it a snap to create and print
flyers, letterheads, brochures, and more,
with over 300 customizable templates and
a library of thousands of clip art images to
choose from.
Version 5 adds several convenient form
templates including purchase orders and
credit applications, all of which can be
tailored to your specific needs. At long
last, Swift Publisher includes the ability
to create double-page spreads, offering a
more professional user interface for viewing
two pages side-by-side while designing longer
newsletters or booklets. In our testing,
performance was noticeably faster
compared to the previous version.
There are also customizable grids,
improved text-box linking, the ability to
switch measurements between pixel and
pica, and integration with Belight’s Art
Text 3 for quickly adding 3D text styles.
A few pro features are missing: You can’t
export to PDF or EPS files in CMYK, nor
preview in that color mode, and vectorbased files still import as bitmap images.
the bottom line. This is the best Mac
DTP bang for the buck. J.R. bookwalteR
publisher 5
Affordable Mac DTP app
Double-page spreads
Templates and clip art
No CMYK preview
excellent AUG 2017 55
>>> Reviews
Flux 7
An innovative web design and coding tool
$99.99 Developer The Escapers,
Requirements OS X 10.11 or later
Hold down the mouse or
trackpad button on a page
to reveal a pop-up list of
elements in that area.
Visual web design
Easy access to code
Confusing interface
Some bugs
56 AUG 2017
Flux 7 is a web design and production tool
that tries to rethink the old ways of creating
pages and sites. It presents an innovative
mix of visual and code-based web page
design items for use within your pages,
a central area for showing the HTML or CSS
file being edited, and a pane on the right for dealing with properties, attributes, and
actions for whatever’s selected.
This version has an impressive list of new
features: Code Context, for exploring options
relevant to any given tag or property;
previews for Google Fonts; CSS assistants
right in the code editor; CSS clipping path
support, and more, all within the same
method of working as before.
Flux 7 can be used in two main ways: as
a WYSIWYG assembly tool where the prime
approach is the visual structure of the page,
or as a code tool, where you work with syntaxcolored code for HTML and CSS. You can show
both, although the vertical arrangement of
the two views means there’s then not much
room for seeing your page’s content.
The WYSIWYG view presents elements
(divs, images, paragraphs, and so on) as
selectable objects that can be moved around
at will. When working in the code view,
clicking a tag calls up a lengthy list of the
parameters that can be used with it, while
ç-clicking on a property pops up a small
panel with editing options.
While Flux 7 is unarguably clever, if you
don’t really understand web coding you’re
going to struggle. Getting anything done
beyond very simple sites requires a fairly
intimate knowledge of HTML and CSS, and
until you get your head around the app’s
idiosyncracies you may feel quite frustrated.
Drag-and-drop layout is a seductive
promise, but it can be frustrating in practice:
if elements aren’t handled well they can
effectively vanish, or resize strangely when dragged. The workflow ends up being more about selecting items then editing properties
rather than dragging them around.
Flux 7 is unarguably powerful, but its
interface is quirky; sideways tabs, text items
in the title bar that are buttons or menus or
just labels, overlapping elements... it almost
feels like there’s just too much on offer and it needs to figure out how to handle it all.
The bOTTOM LINe Flux is a powerful and
innovative but confusingly quirky website
editor. KeITh MaRTIN
The new Code Context feature helps you find and
understand HTML and CSS code details, and apply them.
Tough testing, trusted ratings
Type-C Pro Hub
Expand a new MacBook Pro
$100 manufacturer Satechi,
Features 2x Thunderbolt 3 connectors
My Passport SSD 256GB
Fast and affordable portable storage
$100 manufacturer WD,
Features USB-C port/cable, USB-A adapter, hardware encryption
WD’s first solid-state drive is a conveniently small and light
affair, with a USB-C port that meets the USB 3.1 Gen 2 spec.
WD says it can reach a transfer rate of up to 515MB/sec.
The attractive ridged part might appear metallic, but it’s
plastic, like the black section. Though WD says the drive
is shock-resistant to 6.5 feet, it still feels a little cheap.
The drive comes with a USB-C cable and a thumb-sized
adapter that attaches firmly to one end, so you can connect
it to a computer with USB-A ports. It offers 256-bit AES
hardware encryption and password protection of any
partitions you create on it; an unlock tool is held on
a separate partition that appears upon connection.
Our review unit was 256GB – it’s also available as 512GB
and 1TB. It gave us a peak transfer rate of 465.4MB/sec and
an average of 393.4 in our sequential read test. In our
toughest test, randomly writing data, the peak and average
were 404.6 and 246.6MB/sec, respectively – 80.8 and
56.1MB/sec ahead of the Samsung T3 we rated highly last
year. That’s solid, but lower than quoted peak performance.
the bottom line. My Passport SSD is a good, affordable
drive with appealing features. AlAn Stonebridge
Satechi’s Aluminum Type-C Pro Hub Adapter is
specifically for the latest MacBook Pro design,
taking up two USB-C ports, but offsetting that
with port types the computer normally lacks.
It has two USB-A plus full-size SD and MicroSD
ports on the side, and an HDMI port at the back.
There are also two USB-C ports: the back one for
40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 transfers, the supply of up
to 87W of power, or 5K display connectivity, and
the front for 5Gbps bandwidth but not charging.
Though it’s $30 more than Apple’s Digital AV
Multiport Adapter, you get an extra USB-A port
and storage connectivity here. The 4K-capable
HDMI port is limited to 30Hz output, which means
you’ll get less smooth motion on an external
display of that kind, but that’s also true of Apple’s
(and many other) USB-C to HDMI adapters.
It’s a little unnerving that the hub is elevated
slightly above a desk, but you’d have to purposely
push down to put pressure on its connectors.
the bottom line. Though more costly than
Apple’s similar offering, the Pro Hub gives you a
better range of ports. AlAn Stonebridge
satEchi tyPE-c Pro hub
Good selection of ports
Adds SD and microSD card readers
Slim and light design
No protective cover for connectors
WD My PassPort ssD
Small and lightweight
Solid enough performance
Good security features
Plasticky feel
ExcEllEnt Aug 2017 57
>>> Reviews
The default settings
sound great, but you can
tweak upsampling and
other parameters too.
58 AUG 2017
Tough testing, trusted ratings
Audirvana Plus 3
Can a simple app really take you to audio nirvana?
$74 Developer Audirvana,
requirements OS X 10.9 or later
AudirvAnA Plus 3
Superb sound quality
High-res streaming
Clean and simple
Audiophile price
udirvana is designed for playing high-res
audio, which is music recorded at a much
higher sampling rate than CD. High-res
audio usually comes as AIFF, ALAC, or FLAC
files, and the app supports the controversial
MQA high-res streaming format that’s used
by many premium music streaming sites, too.
MQA – Master Quality Authenticated – is
essentially a way of squeezing (and digitally
fingerprinting) lossless formats such as
FLAC, and while it enables higher-than-CD
quality in relatively small file sizes, it does
so by throwing out some of the key musical
detail. You’d need seriously expensive gear to
notice the difference, but then high-res audio
is aimed at precisely the kind of people who
do have seriously expensive audio equipment.
If you already have high-res audio, you can
bring it into Audirvana by pointing the app at
specific folders for it to monitor, or you can
sync with your iTunes library. That means
resyncing every time you add new music,
which isn’t ideal. (Note that lower quality
audio files also work with the app.)
Alternatively, you can stream: Audirvana
can connect to Qobuz, Tidal, or Highresaudio
VirtualVault. You get a free month of Qobuz
and three free months of Tidal with the app.
As for the app itself, remember iTunes
before it got flabby? That’s Audirvana.
The main window shows the song or album
art, there’s a sidebar for playlists and sources
down the left side, a right sidebar for album
data, and there are transport controls at the
top. As music’s playing you’ll see its format
and sound quality at the top right of the app,
and the DAC (Digital Analog Converter)
output quality at the top left.
Audirvana sounds fantastic. With plain
320Kbps MP3s it’s noticeably clearer than
iTunes, but when you head into high-res audio
territory it’s like moving from black and white
to Technicolor. Much of the difference will
depend on your headphones or speakers,
of course, but tracks such as Radiohead’s
“Burn The Witch” or “Identikit” in 24-bit,
96KHz breathe in a way MP3s don’t.
You can adjust the audio engine properties,
force upsampling of lower quality tracks, and
bring in Audio Unit plugins, but even without
messing around it’s rather like having your
ears squeegeed. Basically, if you love music
you’ll love this app.
the bottom line. Got high-res audio
hardware or headphones? This app brings
out their magic. Gary marshall AUG 2017 59
>>> Reviews
Contour 2
Is your screenplay sick? Contour can cure it
$39.95 Developer Mariner Software,
Requirements OS X 10.7 or later
The new interface is a
little dark for us, but it
is clear and effective.
Contour 2
Excellent advice
Couldn’t be easier
Learn from big hits
Not a writing app
60 AUG 2017
If you think you’ve got a blockbuster in your
brain, Contour can help you get it out - but
it isn’t a writing or screenwriting app. It’s
a story development system, an app you use
before firing up Final Draft or Scrivener.
What Contour does is very simple.
It encourages you to think about your story
in terms of the tried-and-tested three-act
structure that’s used in many blockbuster
books and films, and it includes a good
selection of real screenplays so you can
see exactly how that structure is used
in big-name movies. If seeing your story
nestling among American Beauty, Slumdog
Millionaire, The Dark Knight, and Star Wars
doesn’t motivate you, nothing will.
Instead of a blank slate, Contour presents you
with questions. Who is your hero(ine)? What is
their goal? What’s in their way? By asking these
and providing explanations and illustrations,
the app forces you to think very clearly about
your characters and your story, moving from
the initial setup to the second and third acts,
describing plot points and key moments as
you go. Rather brilliantly you can move from
your story to the real screenplays and see
exactly what they’ve done in the same
sections, which means you’re learning from,
and comparing your work to, genuinely
successful films.
We’re not huge fans of the new, dark
interface (the old, lighter one is still there
in the app’s preferences), but Contour is
very simple and straightforward, with useful
options including a pop-up guide to the
current story, printable structure sheets
and beat sheets, and a pop-up panel for
recording stray ideas. The export options
are fairly limited, though: You can only
export as Contour XML or as rich text.
We like Contour a lot, but there’s an
obvious flaw here: if you fancy yourself as
an auteur or intend to create experimental
cinema that laughs in the face of three-act
structures, this app is not for you. On the
other hand, “blockbuster” needn’t mean
giant robots battering lumps out of each
other: The model used here is just as
applicable to Pixar’s Up or Jim Carrey’s Liar
Liar. If you’ve tried to write a hit but found
yourself running out of steam halfway
through, Contour may be just what you
need to finish your masterpiece.
The BOTTOM LINe Contour’s a simple but
effective story development app for wouldbe Hollywood hitmakers. gaRy MaRshaLL
Not all ideas occur when you’re at your desk. Contour
also has an iOS app you can use when you’re mobile.
Discover another of our great bookazines
From science and history to technology and crafts, there
are dozens of Future bookazines to suit all tastes
>>> Reviews
62 AUG 2017
Tough testing, trusted ratings
B&O Beoplay P2
Does the P2 live up to the B&O luxury name?
$169 manufacturer B&O Play,
Features 10-hour play time, two-hour charging time, Bluetooth 4.2, USB-C port,
USB-C to USB-A cable included
B&O BeOplay p2
Good bass for the size
Fantastic design
A pouch or carry case
would be useful
he Beoplay P2 is a little different from other Bluetooth speakers.
Not only does it offer seriously good performance for such a small
package, but it blurs the line between “smart” and “dumb” speakers
with its gesture and voice controls.
It’s a lot smaller than you might expect, at only 5.5 x 3.2 x 1.1 inches and
9.7 oz, and comes in three colors: black, beige, and blue. Setting up is pretty
easy. We recommend downloading the Beoplay app, which guides you along
and offers tips on how to use the speaker. The app also provides a battery
life indicator, as well as firmware updates.
When you take the speaker out of the box, you may notice that it’s missing
something most other Bluetooth speakers have: controls. In reality, they’re
hidden. The power button is located under the logo on the bottom of the
speaker, while playback controls are shifted from physical buttons to gesture
or voice controls.
To play or pause your music, you simply double-tap the speaker grill.
You can also use that double-tap gesture to control your digital assistant –
which you can then use to control your music. For example, when we set it
up, double-tapping activated Siri, which we could then ask to play a playlist,
skip to the next song, and so on. It’s a cool feature, and is a good way for B&O
to try to tap into the smart speaker craze without having to develop an
assistant of its own.
Inside the P2 there’s a single tweeter and a midrange driver, which put
out mono audio. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – such a small speaker
probably wouldn’t sound very stereophonic even if it did have two tweeters.
You may also be surprised by the bass on offer here; it’s relatively thick and
powerful, and while some may prefer a little more sub-bass content than such
a small speaker can typically offer, the bass doesn’t hold back. The midrange
is well-tuned too, offering a good amount of low mids and a slight dip in the
upper-mid area. The sound is quite rich and warm, which we really enjoyed.
B&O claims the speaker will last for 10 hours of playing time, and that
was in the ballpark according to our tests, but results will vary depending on
how loudly you’re listening to your music.
The boTTom line. The Beoplay P2 is an excellent compromise on size
and sound quality. In fact, for this size we would argue that you can’t get
much better. ChrisTian de looper AUG 2017 63
>>> Reviews
Kyocera Ecosys P5026cdw
A laser printer with distinct strengths
$469 manufacturer Kyocera Document Solutions America,
Features USB 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity, SD/SDHC card slot
Kyocera ecosys
Impressive print speeds
Prints quietly
Primitive user interface
Tiny two-line display
64 AUG 2017
yocera is targeting the small to mediumsized business with this mid-priced color
laser printer. It’s a step up from noisy and
slow budget laser printers, and more efficient to
run than inkjet rivals, making it suitable for a
busy office that’s reliant on paperwork.
This is strictly a no-frills printer, not a
multifunction device, so there’s no scanner or
fax on board and Kyocera advises against loading
photo paper. What you can do is fill the 250sheet paper tray with Letter, or the 50-sheet
multipurpose tray with envelopes, and print at
a steady rate of around 26 pages per minute.
In terms of connectivity, you get integrated
Wi-Fi alongside the usual square USB port,
plus there’s also a front USB port for inserting
a flash drive – but there’s no NFC compatibility.
Kyocera has also ignored the trend for everlarger touchscreen interfaces: a humble two-line
mono LCD panel is all you get, with rudimentary
cursor buttons to navigate through the primitive
and awkward user interface.
The companion app, called Kyocera Mobile
Print, is a free download for iOS and Android
devices, and it presents an attractive interface
for printing wirelessly from your smartphone.
Disappointingly, though, you can’t check the
printer’s toner levels from the app.
Plain text on A4 paper looks fabulous from
this razor-sharp laser printer, especially when
you introduce some color. These look bold and
perfectly contained, and as colorful documents
take exactly the same amount of time to print,
it’s tempting to drop in some red, yellow, and
blue text just to brighten things up.
The boTTom line. If you don’t mind
persevering with a tiny LCD, the P5026cdw’s
output is fast and consistent, achieving an
impressive print quality, and it has plentiful
paper and ink capacity. Jim hill
Tough testing, trusted ratings
Toolbox 1.7
Easy access to useful tools
$9.99/year developer Parallels,
requirements OS X 10.10.5 or later
CloudMounter 2
Mount all your cloud storage in Finder
$29.99 manufacturer Eltima Software,
requirements OS X 10.10 or later
One of the greatest strengths of cloud storage services like
Dropbox and Google Drive – the fact that they mirror
your cloud data on your Mac – is also a big weakness.
Mirroring data and syncing it across devices makes it
quick and easy to access, but also takes up valuable storage
space on your Mac. CloudMounter offers to make those
drives available without needing to mirror their data on
your Mac, thus not taking up any extra space. It can also
encrypt any cloud drive or any folder on a drive.
Once you’ve logged in to each cloud service, the app
mounts the drive in the Finder and from there on, it’s
just like using a local volume, albeit a little bit slower.
The app supports Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive and
Amazon S3, as well as FTP and WebDAV servers. We found
it worked seamlessly, with the only slight difference
between using, say, Dropbox in CloudMounter and
Dropbox’s own app being a slight delay in accessing data
when using the former setup.
the bottom line. If you don’t mind a waiting a few
seconds to access your files, CloudMounter is an excellent
way to save space on your Mac. Kenny hemphill
This utility’s menu bar icon reveals a menu of tools
for common tasks, including downloading videos
from the likes of YouTube by pasting a link; an
enhanced Do Not Disturb mode that stops Dock
icons bouncing; and hiding icons on your desktop.
This version enhances the video download and
screenshot tools, and adds four brand new ones:
an audio downloader, a screen resolution switcher,
a presentation mode that suppresses intrusive
system behaviors, and Airplane Mode to toggle
both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on or off in fewer clicks.
Tools are shown as large icons, which you can
add to the Favorite & Recent area at the menu’s
top, the menu bar, or the Dock. The library can be
collapsed to make the app’s menu more compact;
still, color to aid navigation would be welcome.
It’s also a pity you can’t assign simple keyboard
shortcuts to your favorite tools. Parallels promises
the addition of more tools, but you’ll need an
active subscription to receive them.
the bottom line. A nice bunch of tools, yet
icons are a bit lacking, and there are no keyboard
shortcuts to favorites. AlAn Stonebridge
Parallels toolbox 1.7
Resolution switcher and Airplane Mode
Simple to use
No keyboard shortcuts
Dull, monochromatic icons
Cloudmounter 2
Save space on your Mac
Can encrypt data
Easy to set up
Slightly delayed access compared to mirroring
Great Aug 2017 65
>>> Reviews
Who knew agriculture could be this savage?
$14.99 Developer Aeiowu,
requirements OS X 10.10 or later
The novel seesaw
mechanic invigorates
the roguelike genre
Random levels and
daily challenges
High difficulty
is a real barrier
Enemy behavior isn’t
always clear
66 AUG 2017
he serenity suggested by TumbleSeed’s
clean look and pleasantly bouncy
soundtrack doesn’t arrive until after
several hours and dozens of deaths. If your
moment of zen ever materializes at all, it will
only be after you make peace with the fact
that the power and glory of the natural world
wants to kill you.
After an ecological disaster unsettles its
mountain home, the titular tumbleseed is
tasked with cresting the summit in order
to restore balance. Rather than guide our
monocular pip directly, however, players
handle a long, taut vine that stretches across
the bottom of the screen: the W and S keys
control the left end, the arrow keys the right,
and TumbleSeed’s delicate physics do the
rest. This teeter-totter mechanic snakes the
tumbleseed ever upward, through five biomes
littered with deep black pits and teeming with
deadly wasps and slithering serpents.
TumbleSeed’s novel control scheme is
wrapped around a larger structure that
merges the economy of grand strategy
games with the bareknuckle terseness
of a roguelike. Scattered through each
procedurally generated forest and tundra
are freshly tilled plots in which to plant your
active ability: “Heartseeds,” for example,
replenishes health, and “Thornvine” sprouts
an arrow-tipped tendril that’s used to attack
any maggot or moth in your path. The rub is
twofold: abilities cost “diamonds” to cast, and
there are limited plots in which to do so. The
skills at your disposal change with each climb
up the slope and can be swapped on the fly,
keeping your tactics and strategy fresh over
the course of a broadly repetitive experience.
For all its originality and charm, however,
TumbleSeed is hardly broad in its appeal.
The controls are finely tuned, but even savvy
players will careen wildly into the abyss on
occasion, especially as the game overly relies
on fast, aggressive enemies to flush players
out of safety. True to its roguelike label,
failure comes early and often, and always
sends you back to the foot of the mountain,
with nothing to show but a bit of extra
knowledge for your trouble. TumbleSeed is
exacting and punitive, but players who take
the village elders’ advice to heart — ”Roll
patiently and persist” — will find themselves
blossoming in due time.
the bottom line. Players of a certain
temperament will find TumbleSeed’s subtlety
of movement and nuanced strategy beguiling.
For the rest of us, it remains a joyful toy,
highlighted by confident design and charm.
Either way, it’s one of the most striking
games of the year. Joseph leray
Tough testing, trusted ratings
You’ll need more
than one Thornvine
to convince snakes
to mind their business. AUG 2017 67
home life
better livinG throuGh smarter technoloGy
> get started with…
Apple’s HomePod speaker wants to put Siri in our living
rooms, but how does it stack up against its rivals?
by cliff joseph
a p p l e d o e s n ’ t wa n t t o
a d m i t i t, b u t h o m e K i t
h a s fa l l e n w ay b e h i n d
amazon and GooGle
68 aUg 2017
ice president of Worldwide Marketing
at Apple, Phil Schiller’s explanation
for the introduction of the HomePod
speaker was simple: “We love music,”
he said. He then went into loving detail about the
HomePod’s great sound, its “seven beamforming
tweeters,” and “real-time acoustic modeling.”
Then, right at the end of its introduction at this
year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC),
he casually mentioned that the HomePod also
works with Apple’s HomeKit platform and the
Home app in iOS 10. This is the real key: Building
HomeKit into the HomePod means that Apple
finally has a voice-controlled smart assistant that
can compete with Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Apple doesn’t want to admit it, but HomeKit
has fallen way behind Amazon and Google in the
smart home market. So the HomePod is actually
a carefully disguised change of strategy from Apple,
and it means that the battle for control of our living
rooms has just begun for real.
But what, if any, advantages does the HomePod
have over Amazon and Google’s more established
smart assistants? Let’s see.
Apple HomePod aUg 2017 69
>>> Home Life
A Siri animation plays on
the HomePod’s top side in
response to interactions.
at a f u n d a m e n ta l l e v e l ,
siri, GooGle home, and
amazon echo’s alexa all
w o r K i n v e r y s i m i l a r w ay s
Google Home has a lot of
promise as it looks to extend
its “skills” in the future.
70 aUg 2017
pple has had an eye on home
automation for a long time. Siri was
able to control lights, thermostats,
and other home devices long before
Amazon Echo and Google Home got in on the act.
Yet it’s Amazon and Google that have grabbed
all the headlines recently – until, that is, Apple
announced its new HomePod speaker system at
WWDC in June. So how was it that Apple found
itself uncharacteristically on the back foot in this
important new market?
At a fundamental level, Siri, Google Home, and
Amazon Echo’s Alexa all work in very similar ways.
You speak to them – perhaps asking about the
weather, giving an instruction to play some music
on Spotify, or telling them to turn off your living
room lights – and your voice commands are
shunted across the internet to a server at Apple,
Amazon, or Google. The server translates your
voice commands, and then prompts your device to
respond with the required information or actions.
There are some differences in emphasis. Google
Home can draw on the vast power of the company’s
search engine to root out even the most obscure
snippets of information, while the Echo can plug
into Amazon’s global sales network and send
a drone to airlift a pizza to your front door. Siri
works well with other iOS apps on your iPhone,
Apple HomePod
how does
it sound?
Apple says the HomePod is
spatially aware, learning about
its surroundings and its position
within a room. The HomePod
analyzes the acoustics of the
room and adjusts its sound
output to fine-tune your music
to its best. So you should get
top-notch sound whether the
speaker is placed near a wall
or in the middle of a room.
enabling you to quickly dictate and send an email
or text message, or create a reminder or to-do list.
But, in all three cases, the basic process of
translating and responding to your voice
commands works in the same manner.
siri in a box
However, the way this technology is
presented to people varies, and you have
to give Amazon credit for making the first
move with its Echo speaker, which was
unveiled in 2014. Amazon Echo – and the
recently launched Google Home – are very
easy to use. They’re simple, self-contained
devices that just sit on a shelf or coffee table
so that they can listen out for commands from
everyone in your family. But, until recently,
Siri has really been restricted to your personal
devices – typically your iPhone, which lives
primarily in your pocket. Siri was not a distinct,
self-contained product, like Amazon Echo and
Google Home. And it certainly wasn’t designed
to stay at home and be shared with others.
That’s why Apple launched the HomePod.
In fact, it admitted as much when CEO Tim Cook
said “We have a great portable music experience.
But what about the home?” He and Phil Schiller
Amazon’s Echo Show boasts
a screen, so you can view
news videos, for example.
why do siri and
homepod need
internet access?
technology is seriously
complicated, and requires
more processing power
than the HomePod,
Amazon Echo, or Google
Home currently possess.
So these devices really
just act as microphones
that send your voice
commands across the
internet to powerful
servers that run voicerecognition software
and then respond to
your commands.
is it safe?
Sending your voice
commands to servers
run by Apple, Google, or
Amazon obviously poses
a threat to your personal
privacy. Google and
Amazon both make
money by collecting as
much data about their
users as possible, but
Apple has a much stricter
privacy policy. It does
collect data from your
devices, but says that
it doesn’t use that
data to identify you
personally – so it
can’t be used for
advertising, or
to monitor your
online behavior. aUg 2017 71
>>> Home Life
talked a lot about the great “spacious sound”
of the HomePod speaker, and how you can use Siri
to control Apple Music and playlists. And, of course,
you can use Siri on the HomePod to check the
weather, sports results, and other information –
just as you already do with Siri on the iPhone.
But the HomePod’s secret weapon isn’t just Siri.
That’s why Schiller eventually, and casually,
mentioned that the HomePod has a built-in
“HomeKit base.” Forget all that marketing talk
about “We love music” – that HomeKit base is
what the HomePod is really all about.
HomeKit is the software that Apple developed
specifically in order to control lights, heating,
and other home appliances. The great strength of
HomeKit – and the Home app that was introduced
with iOS 10 – is that it allows you to link multiple
devices so that they work together (but only if
those devices are all compatible with HomeKit).
The Home app gives you the ability to create
f o r G e t t h at m a r K e t i n G
ta l K – t h e h o m e K i t b a s e
i s w h at t h e h o m e p o d i s
r e a l ly a l l a b o u t
“scenes” that trigger a number of actions or devices
all at the same time. You could, for instance, create
a “bedtime” scene that automatically turns off all
your downstairs lights and air conditioning when
you go to bed, and maybe a “wake-up” scene that
turns everything back on again in the morning.
There’s a problem here, though. The Home app
on your iPhone can’t do that all by itself. You can
use it to control individual devices, such as telling
Siri to turn your lights on or off. But if you want to
use “scenes” to control the lights and heating
together then – at the moment – you need an
Apple TV or an iPad, which can act as a HomeKit
base (or hub) and link those devices for you.
Unfortunately, Apple TV has never been a big
seller to the extent of the iPhone, and – as with the
iPhone – people tend to carry their iPads around
with them, which meant Apple hasn’t had a central
home device that would always be in living room to
compete with Amazon Echo and Google Home.
So, this coming December, the HomePod
effectively presses the reset button on Apple’s
plans for home automation. It’s game on once
more, and it’ll be fascinating to watch the titanic
battle as Apple, Amazon, and Google slug it out
for control of the home of the future.
all to G e t h er now
HomeKit is the HomePod’s secret weapon
Just like Siri, Amazon Echo and Google
Home can use voice commands to control
a variety of devices and appliances in your
home – perhaps turning your heating off,
or turning down the lights when you go to
bed. However, they’re not so good when it
comes to controlling more than one device
at a time. That’s an area where Apple’s
HomeKit software, which is built into the
HomePod, has a real edge.
The Home app in iOS 10 works with
HomeKit too, and it allows you to create
“scenes” that perform complex tasks, such
as turning both your lights and heating on
or off at the same time. There’s also a more
powerful option in the app, automations,
which gives you even more control – such as
72 aUg 2017
the ability to monitor your location using
GPS on your iPhone, in order to turn on
your lights as you approach your abode,
maybe turn on your smart coffee maker, and
even turn on “dumb” devices (Elgato makes
a HomeKit plug that can do the latter.)
Amazon Echo (shown to the right) and
Google Home have an automation option,
but it requires you to use a separate service,
called IFTTT. This is really a form of simple
computer programming, so you do have to
put in a bit of effort to use it properly.
Apple’s HomeKit platform automatically
handles these controls for you, potentially
making the HomePod far more powerful
and easier to use than either Amazon Echo
or Google Home.
Apple HomePod
>smart home livinG
jennifer phin hopes a smart
meter will curb her spending
what devices will
worK with homepod?
You can use Siri on the
iPhone or HomePod to
control home appliances,
such as lighting or
thermostats – but only
if those appliances are
compatible with Apple’s
HomeKit platform. This
is quite a complicated
undertaking, so there
aren’t many devices
currently available that
support HomeKit.
Apple’s hope is that the
HomePod will sell well
and encourage more
manufacturers to support
HomeKit in the future.
what about
Cortana is Microsoft’s
voice-assistant equivalent
to Siri. However, Cortana
mostly runs on Windows
PCs, which means that it’s
a lot more desk-bound
than Siri. We have heard
that Harmon Kardon is
working on a speaker
called Invoke, which is
designed to bring Cortana
into living rooms at last.
This means that 2018
will see a huge four-way
battle play out between
Apple, Amazon, Google,
and Microsoft.
here’s no denying it, I am
terrible with money. I get
paid, then I hit the town like
a newly minted oligarch for
three weeks, hopped up on boba
tea and avocado rolls, buying
craft supplies more expensive
than gold (“Do you have this
Arctic musk ox yarn in fuchsia?”)
and dressing my child as a circus
monkey. The final week of the
month is then spent in shameful
poverty, eating Wheaties for
dinner, charging my laptop at
the library, and training my child
for her future career as a circus
monkey. I know, I know; I’m
embarrassed for myself. I hope
at least it makes you feel better
about your comparatively sound
financial skills.
so you can imagine
my total-yetinexplicable
surprise and horror
when, at the end
of a long winter,
I opened a bill from
our energy supplier
that was… hefty.
The kind of bill
that makes you see
spots, or wobble a
little and grope for
a chair.
“How can this
be?” I railed at my
husband. “All we’ve
done is watch TV
and heat the house!
And run all of our
appliances at once,
sometimes just for a bit of
kid-subduing white noise!”
My husband is a sensible and
environmentally conscious
man, and had only one solution:
a smart energy monitor (of the
measuring kind, rather than the
computer screen type).
Our energy provider sent two
burly guys to do mysterious
things to our fuse box and water
heater, then set the meter itself
on our coffee table and drove off,
cackling manically (I like to
think, anyway).
The meter has changed me.
No more boba, not when the TV is
costing 15 cents an hour. We can
make coffee at home – although
really, do we really need to be
heating water anyway? What
about iced tea instead?
Wait, look at the meter!
Who’s running the air
conditioner? Just open a
window! And loosen that
monkey costume a little,
for crying out loud – it’s
got to last for another
few months.
If your energy provider hasn’t installed a smart meter,
products like Elgato’s HomeKit-compatible Eve Energy
can give you insight into your electricity usage. aUg 2017 73
>>> Home Life
apple Tv
The laTesT tvOs apps and The hOTTesT hardware
What on earth is Gilbert eating?
This app’s not just eye candy for drone fans: You can learn
how best to fly the hardware too, before investing in one.
Fly the friendly skies
Drones have made it possible
for almost anyone to shoot highdefinition video from a bird’s-eye
view without breaking the bank, and now the
world’s leader in civilian hardware is bringing
that footage straight into your living room.
The DJI app for Apple TV can be used to watch
drone footage shot by others, but also to view
and share your own video uploads. Many of the
curated videos were shot in 4K resolution, so
they look quite stunning, even on the current
Apple TV’s 1080p HD output.
DJI also includes categories with tutorial
videos to help new owners get up to speed
quickly, as well as the ability to shop for new
drone hardware right from your couch.
Even if you don’t own DJI’s highly touted
drone hardware, this free app is worth installing
just to bask in the warm glow of aerial content
from all over the world, and no registration is
required to use it. J.R. BookwalteR
74 AUG 2017
Vomit would
seem to be a
subject for a platform game,
but that’s exactly what Eggggg
– The Platform Puker is all
about. In this action-packed,
crazy experience, a character
named Gilbert — inspired by the
relatively obscure Norwegian
movie Gilbert’s Revenge — must
escape from mean Aunt Doris
and navigate his way to a
birthday party across town.
But there’s just one problem:
Gilbert is extremely allergic
to eggs, and his journey is
thwarted at every turn by
angry cyborg chickens. The
only skill Gilbert can rely on
is his ability to vomit like a
fountain, which he must turn
into a superpower to escape
the clutches of his enemies.
The game is as absurd as it
sounds, but it’s also a whole lot
of fun if you like the idea of
taking an old-school Super
Mario Bros.-style platformer
and turning it on its head,
with a throwback to the gross
Garbage Pail Kids days.
Controls are smooth and
touch-friendly, and there are
21 insane levels of vomit-fueled
fun to, uh, hurl yourself into.
There’s an iMessage sticker
pack too. J.R. BookwalteR
Perma-puking Gilbert makes his way across a surreal landscape,
continually menaced by evil cyborg chickens. How’s that for a game pitch?
Better living through smarter tech
Curated music videos
The latest update to the
Apple TV app is turning
the ad-supported service
into a modern MTV, thanks to curated
playlists that learn from your personal
browsing and viewing habits — the more
you watch, the more personalized the
content becomes.
The all-new layout jumps directly into
a comfortable lean-back mode from the
moment you open the app, with artist
stations to fit most any taste or mood.
There’s also a unique “peek-insideplaylist” mode that offers a preview.
Content curated by Vevo’s in-house
editorial team serves up programming
perfectly tailored for the time of day,
Make the most of
home entertainment
As ever, the more you watch and favorite
things, the better the recommendations are.
big events, or holidays, while fluid
controls enable you to navigate
through playlists without exiting to a
static details page. And you’re still able
to curate your own Vevo account in just
a couple of taps. J.R. BookwalteR
SamSung Qn65Q9FamFXZa
QleD 4k tV
$6,000 • SAMSuNG.CoM
Featuring a gorgeous industrial
design and unprecedented
color levels, this 65-inch TV
offers QLED (Quantum Dot)
and a 360-degree viewing
angle. The monolithic panel
is powered by the new Eden
user interface, which stays
impressively out of the way
for the most part.
live and on demand
Venerable cable sports
network ESPN has taken
the wraps off this
redesigned Apple TV app. Rebranded
with the network’s name rather than
the WatchESPN moniker, the new app
automatically launches into a live
stream from one of the company’s
networks when you open it, provided
you have a cable subscription.
And that’s not all: The app now
includes ESPN Video on Demand,
a collection of on-demand videos
providing hundreds of hours of curated
sports content from its most popular
shows, including 30 for 30, E:60,
outside the lines, SC Featured, World
More sports than even the most avid
armchair athelete can take in at once.
Series of Poker, X Games, and more.
one thing remains the same: You’ll
need to authenticate with a cable,
satellite, or streaming provider to
enjoy most of these goodies.
J.R. BookwalteR
HDHomeRun connect
$99 • SIlICoNDuST.CoM
If you’re looking to add live,
over-the-air television to
Apple TV, look here. With dual
tuners and the ability to also
watch on smartphones and
tablets, this MPEG-2
transcoder converts your
antenna’s signal to a stream
that’s accessible over Ethernet
or Wi-Fi with no monthly fees. AUG 2017 75
subscription-based service – from
Malwarebytes, for instance, Mac
Internet Security X9 (,
or something similar. These will
necessarily be more intrusive, though.
Also worth looking at are
Objective-See’s other free tools,
such as BlockBlock, RansomWhere?,
and What’s Your Sign. Little Snitch
( is great for checking
outgoing connections, too.
It’s essential not to leave it to
software to protect you, though.
The most powerful and effective
antivirus protection is you, and
your suspicions and caution.
If you don’t check every incoming
email before clicking on links, and
every web page you view, then no
software will fully protect you from
the consequences. Most phishing
attacks, other scams, and malware
exploit the weakest link, the human –
sometimes very cleverly.
The invisible log
TaskExplorer scans all running tasks, checks them against the VirusTotal master malware database,
and provides you with further detailed information about code that’s running.
LookINg for proTECTIoN
I’ve read a lot about security risks on the Mac recently, such
as the HandBrake malware you talked about last issue, and
the threats you’ve covered in your weekly email newsletter.
I’m looking for new antivirus software to replace AVG Free
on my iMac. What should I look at?
There is no “one size fits all” in
antivirus protection, as the solution
you pick depends entirely on your risk.
As a minimum, if you only download
apps from the Mac App Store and are
a light and cautious user of social
media and websites, you should keep
a couple of tools at hand in case you
need to check out anything suspicious.
Objective-See’s TaskExplorer (Free,
76 AUG 2017 and something
like Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Free, should suffice.
People at higher risk might
regularly download software from
plain HTTP websites (as opposed to
secure HTTPS sites) and already have
had a couple of close calls from social
media links and other websites. If that
is you, you’ll need the protection of a
When I used El Capitan, I kept an
eye on my Time Machine backups
in Console. When that didn’t work in
Sierra, I switched to running a small
script. Now that I’ve updated to
10.12.4, even that doesn’t work any
more. Why not?
You’re one of the few Mac users
who is running in normal user mode,
rather than as an admin user. One of
the undocumented changes in the
Sierra 10.12.4 update is that log access
no longer works unless you’re logged
in as an admin user, although log
entries are still made. At the moment
When running in normal user mode, no tool
can find entries in Sierra 10.12.4’s log,
although they’re still being made.
Tech Support & Techsplanations
no one is quite sure whether this
is a passing bug or a permanently
changed feature, however.
The best solution is to switch to
your Mac’s first admin user account
when you want to access the logs,
using that script or any other means
of doing so. There’s no tool which can
work around this, and it affects both
the bundled utility Console and the
log show command in Terminal, which
can’t find or show any log entries.
In Terminal’s command line, you
can use the sudo command to run as
a named admin user from within your
normal user account. It’s even possible
to run apps that way. However, it can
be tricky to set up, and can only be
used interactively; you can’t do it
when you’re not there.
Wake up!
Why won’t my iMac retina 5k’s
display wake from sleep?
If you have one or more external
displays and applied the Sierra 10.12.4
update, this is a known bug. Disable
display sleep, and rely on a
screensaver to darken your displays
instead. This should be fixed in 10.12.5.
If it’s your only display, run Diagnostics
to see if it’s a graphics card issue.
Details are at
Shrink bloated PDFs
I keep scanned copies of utility
bills as pDf files. Although I haven’t
changed the scanner settings since
upgrading to Sierra, the scanned
file sizes have shot up from around
600kB to nearly 4MB. How can
I get them down to a reasonable
size again?
This is the result of Sierra including
new support for handling PDF data in
its PDFKit library, which in its early
releases had some serious bugs.
Many of those have been fixed over
successive updates, but some remain.
If you’re going to keep PDF files as
long-term records, it’s worth taking
the trouble to optimize their storage.
Scanned PDF file size can be reduced
> Screen-sharing bug
Since updating to macoS
Sierra 10.12.4, I’ve had
problems accessing my
Mac using screen sharing
and VNC from my ipad.
Using another Mac is
fine, but authenticating
using the ipad’s onscreen keyboard fails.
Using a Bluetooth
keyboard with the ipad
works fine. What’s up?
This is a bizarre bug
which appears to be
confined to that version
of Sierra, which means
the on-screen ß key
doesn’t work on the iPad.
If you enter a password
containing capitals,
Apple’s VNC server – to
which the iPad is trying to
connect – sees lowercase
letters and rejects it.
As you’ve discovered,
you can work around it
by not using an iOS
on-screen keyboard;
a Bluetooth keyboard
or a Mac will do nicely,
though. You could also
change your password
so it doesn’t use capitals.
The issue is independent
of your choice of VNC
app on iOS, and appears
to occur somewhere
between 10.12.4 and
Apple’s VNC Server. If you
substitute another VNC
server, such as RealVNC
(, then the
on-screen keyboard works
normally again.
If macOS 10.12.4’s Screen Sharing feature no longer accepts
your password from an iOS device, try eliminating capitals.
by converting the documents, and
scan settings, to grayscale or black
and white, which shouldn’t affect
the legibility or usefulness of most
of your documents.
There are plenty of different thirdparty apps which can compress images
in PDF files very effectively, and you
should try some out to see how
effective they are on your documents.
Suitable products include Adobe
Acrobat Pro, PDF Compress, and PDF
Pro Compressor. Several are available
through the Mac App Store, and some
offer a trial through their website.
Tweak their settings to get suitable file
sizes without sacrificing legibility, and
compress existing scans as a batch.
Eventually, as this new version of
PDFKit stabilizes and it compresses
embedded images properly again,
its file sizes should reduce to those
achieved in El Capitan. However,
custom compression should bring you
some benefits even then, and may be
worth using on your old files created
in El Capitan, too.
Adobe Acrobat Pro and others offer a range
of options which can help compress PDFs. AUG 2017 77
>>> Ask
When adding a new printer to System Preferences’ Printers & Scanners pane, your Mac should
automatically detect the hardware if it’s properly connected to your computer or network.
Old out, new in
I have bought a new printer to
replace an old one, and I want to
connect it to my Mac running Sierra.
What’s the best way to do this?
In theory, this is a pretty simple
operation. Disconnect your old printer,
connect your new one, and power it
up. Open the Printers & Scanners pane.
Click the + near the lower left to add
your new printer, which your Mac
should now be able to find.
Wait for an hour or so, then open
the App Store app and check that
there are no updates, as there may be
a newer version of the printer driver
than the one built into Sierra.
If you’re keeping your old printer
in reserve, you need not remove the
old one, but you’ll want to make the
new printer the default one. If you’re
passing the old printer on or recycling
it, select it in the Printers & Scanners
pane and click the — near the lower left
of the pane to remove it.
The great majority of printers which
can be used in Sierra are supported
by drivers supplied by Apple as part
of macOS. A few models may benefit
from the installation of additional
software, or even a different driver,
supplied through the manufacturer’s
support website. If the driver built
into macOS works well, you should
stick with that.
78 AUG 2017
Sometimes the vendor’s own
software enables additional features,
but normally the driver supplied
through Apple is the most compatible.
Apple lists current supported printers
current iphone is connected by its
headphone jack to a special adapter,
which transmits its audio output
to those appliances. If I were to
get an iphone 7 which lacks that
headphone jack, how could I connect
this adapter?
Although the iPhone 7 doesn’t have
a headphone jack built in, there’s a
Lightning-to-headphone-jack adapter
cable included with it, which should
connect happily with the special
adapter you use to transmit audio to
your hearing appliances.
The snag with this is that an iPhone
only has one Lightning port, so you
can’t use that single port for audio
output when you want to charge the
iPhone, for example.
There are other adapters available
which address this: for example, the
Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge
There’s always one
Why does one external drive power
down when my Mac’s asleep?
There are issues with power
management settings on certain Macs.
Even when Energy Saver is set to not
put drives to sleep, some internal or
external drives will go to sleep when
the system does. The only workaround
is to disable system sleep altogether.
No 4K is not okay
Why won’t my iphone 6 plus play
4k video?
The 6 Plus supports H.264 video
up to 1080p; supporting H.264 at
4K requires the next more powerful
graphics chip, the PowerVR GT7600,
fitted in the 6s, 6s Plus, and even the
SE, although those, along with the
7 and 7 Plus, only support 4K at 30
frames per second, and still stream
video over AirPlay/Lightning at 1080p.
How to connect with
hearing appliances
I rely on expensive, professionally
fitted hearing appliances. My
You no longer need an intermediate adapter
to transmit iPhone audio to hearing aids.
It can be done directly using Bluetooth.
Tech Support & Techsplanations
RockStar, which costs around $40.
You should also discuss this with the
audiologist who deals with your
hearing appliances; there are now
more than 20 manufacturers that offer
“Made for iPhone” appliances which
connect wirelessly and directly with
iPhones and iPads using Bluetooth.
Apple provides a full listing at apple.
co/2rYLr2e, where it also explains
what you need to do to pair them.
For example, Starkey’s Halo range
of appliances is detailed at
haloaids. Once paired with your
iPhone, the company’s TruLink app
enables you to use extra features,
such as Live Listen. This feature
enables you to use the iPhone’s
built-in directional microphone to
acquire sound, which is then
transmitted by Bluetooth to your
other appliances.
Speedier printing
I’m using my fourth Canon printer,
a pIXMA Mg7750. Although I’m
pleased with its output, Canon’s
Easy photoprint EX is painfully
slow, and can take over two minutes
printing a photo. What can I do to
speed this up?
Minimize delay by connecting
the printer using a wired Ethernet
connection rather than Wi-Fi. After
that, speed is a trade-off against
quality: the higher the quality of print
that you want, the longer the process
inevitably takes.
Rather than using Canon’s software,
compare speed and quality with
something like Adobe Photoshop CC –
a trial version is available – and also
Sierra’s own printer driver.
Speed is compromised in more
affordable printers; when you pay
more, your printer has a more
powerful processor and more memory,
> Recovering trashed emails
I was clearing out a ton
of emails from iCloud and
inadvertently selected
all – instead of just the
messages I had originally
selected – before deleting.
I was puzzled when those
messages promptly
vanished from my iMac,
which connects to the
same iCloud account.
How can I get them back?
When you keep your mail
in iCloud, changes made
on one connected device
alter what’s stored in
iCloud, thus what all other
devices see. This means
that all your devices
can access your latest
incoming messages, and
you can reply to them
using any device. But it
also means that deleting
messages removes them
from iCloud and all
devices connected to it.
If you’re using Apple’s
Mail or another mail client
which keeps trash, you
could of course retrieve
your messages from
there before they are
automatically removed –
which is a setting made
in Mail > Preferences >
Accounts > Mailbox
Behaviors. If the trash
has been emptied already,
then your only chance is
to retrieve messages
from the most recent
Time Machine backup
you made before deleting
them. If you don’t have a
recent backup, then sadly
your messages have gone.
With Mail as the foreground app, open Time Machine to browse
and restore individual messages from your backups.
enabling it to do more work in
preparing an image for printing. This
gives the software on your Mac less
work to do, and preparation is quicker.
Finally, ensure that you’re running
the latest version of macOS, with its
latest printer drivers. This is important
because Sierra introduced
considerable changes in printing and
PDF to El Capitan, and those features
have improved markedly with each
update, and should continue to.
Adobe Photoshop CC offers a sophisticated
range of controls for printing pictures.
fACEBook: TWITTEr: AUG 2017 79
>>> Create
Power up copy and paste
Pastebot gives you multiple clipboards, copy/paste filters, and more
OS X 10.11 or later,
Pastebot trial,
internet connection
yoU wIll lEaRn
How to get started with
Pastebot and use it to
boost copy and paste
on macOS
IT wIll TaKE
10 minutes
Click ç on an individual
pasteboard or filter item
in the main window.
You can then assign it a
unique keyboard shortcut.
80 AUG 2017
The basics of copy and paste
have barely changed since
the Mac’s earliest days.
And that’s fine – after all, part of the Mac’s appeal is its elegance and simplicity. Even so, it can feel limiting to only have a single clipboard
if you frequently use copy and paste.
It’s here that Pastebot can prove
transformative, hugely improving productivity through multiple pasteboards and powerful filtering.
The app costs $9.99 from the Mac App Store, but you can grab a free trial from for this tutorial.
On installing the app, you’ll need
to run through a quick process to install
a script (click Open Scripts Folder when prompted, and then Save Script). It then pays to familiarize yourself with the app’s preferences. Use the Blacklist section to have Pastebot ignore certain
apps (such as Keychain Access or 1Password, to avoid manually copied
login details being stored in the app).
The General section houses options for fine-tuning the maximum clipping size and number kept, iCloud sync, and how the app displays.
The Shortcuts section is also vital from an efficiency standpoint, enabling you to create global keyboard shortcuts for actions, such as showing the clipboard or filters windows. Usefully, you can also add a shortcut for any custom pasteboard you create, to quickly access it regardless of the app you’re using at the time. craig grannell
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
how To Master Pastebot in minutes
Copy and paste
In Safari, go to
techradar. ç-click the logo and select
Copy Image. Then select and copy
the biography using ç+C. In a new
TextEdit document, use ç+V.
The text is pasted, but not the image.
Stash favorites
Go to Window > Main Window.
Click + and choose New Pasteboard.
Name your pasteboard. Drag clippings
to it from the Clipboard list, clipboard
viewer, or by copying and pasting into
the pasteboard in the usual manner.
Create a filter
Copy TechRadar’s Twitter
address from Safari. In Pastebot’s main
window, click General under Filters,
then the blue + to create a filter. Click
Preview to open the preview window.
Call your filter “Lazy address email.”
Clipboard history
Press ç+ß+V to open the
clipboard viewer, which shows your
recently copied items. Assuming
you’ve not copied anything new, the
image will be listed second. Press 2
on your keyboard to paste it.
Find a quirk
Search history
Pastebot can hold up to 1,000
“current” clippings. Open the clipboard
viewer and start typing – your list will
filter to show matching items. Navigate
them with the arrow keys and press ®
to paste what’s selected.
Zap with a filter
Back in step 1, formatting came
along for the ride when you pasted the
text – and this can happen when
copying from word processing software
such as Word as well. Pastebot can
filter out everything but text.
Instead of immediately pasting,
bring up the clipboard viewer, press
ç+® to open the filter window, and
select Convert to Plain Text. On hitting
® again, only plain text will be pasted
into your document.
Filter properties
Use your filter
Turn off Apply to Each line.
From the menu, select Quote Text. In
Before Content, type an intro, and in
After Content a sign-off. Use carriage
returns to adjust formatting, guided
by the preview. Save your filter.
In a new Mail message, follow
the process from step 6 to use your
filter on a copied address. If you use
the filter often, give it a shortcut (see
Genius Tip). Explore Pastebot’s other
filters for further possibilities. AUG 2017 81
>>> Create
Think differently about email
Discover how to reignite your enthusiasm for email with Spark
Spark, OS X 10.11 or later
yoU wIll lEaRn
How to get your email
under control
IT wIll TaKE
10 minutes
If, lIke us, you spend a lot
of time reading and replying
to email, it’s easy to feel
swamped by an overstuffed
inbox. Apple’s Mail app does a decent
job of filtering things, but it lacks some
useful features that make email much
easier to manage, such as automatic
replies, automatic classification of
incoming messages, and the ability to
snooze messages until it’s time to deal
with them. Spark (Free) offers all those
things not just on the Mac, but on iOS
and the Apple Watch too.
Spark starts with what it calls the
Smart Inbox, which organizes your
incoming messages into Personal,
Notifications, and Newsletters, with
Personal at the top. When messages have
been read but not filed they move to the
Seen section, and if you want to come
back to them later you can Snooze them
so they’ll pop up at a more convenient
time. Snoozing automatically works
across all your devices.
One of our favorite features is Quick
Reply, which enables you to set up simple
responses for those messages you need to
acknowledge but don’t feel like writing
a whole response to. Simply set up the
Quick Reply messages you want to use
and then choose the correct one for any
given message; so, for example, we’ve
got a “Thanks, but this isn’t one for us”
message as well as the default “Call me,”
“Cool,” and “Thanks” responses. The app
also works with the Touch Bar on the
new MacBook Pro, enabling you to quickly
respond or file messages with a tap.
We’ve made Spark the default email
client on our Mac, iPad, and iPhone
because it’s a great way to manage busy
inboxes – and it’s very customizable too,
so it’s easy to change to suit your own way
of working. You’ll see in the walkthrough
how to change the app’s appearance, how
messages are signed, and even set your
own keyboard shortcuts. If email makes
you anxious or irritable, Spark might just
be the solution. Gary Marshall
how To Set up Spark and start sorting
Get connected
Spark works with all major
email providers including Gmail, iCloud,
and Outlook, and you can manually
configure it if your particular provider
isn’t covered. In this example we’re
going to choose Google.
82 AUG 2017
See your mail
Enter your details (and the code
for two-factor authentication if you
use it – which you really should) and
you should see something like this:
a traditional three-panel mail layout
with various folders and tags at the side.
Find your folders
If you want to add your own
folders to the sidebar, just click More
at the bottom of the sidebar and then
navigate to the folder you want to add.
Click the star to add it. You can create
new and Smart Folders here, too.
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
See the sidebar
As you can see above, adding
a folder to the sidebar also adds any
subfolders it contains. You can now
file a message in any of those folders
by dragging and dropping it onto the
appropriate one.
Set up new Snoozes
You can customize the Snooze
options to fit your own requirements.
Go to Spark > Preferences > Snoozes
to specify what “later today” means,
and to set the specific days or times
for other Snoozes.
Sign your name
Another welcome feature is
support for multiple signatures, which
you can create in Spark > Preferences
> Signatures. Spark will try to pick the
correct signature for each message,
which is clever.
Get swiping
If you’re using a MacBook, swiping
horizontally on its trackpad uncovers
two important options: Delete, which
will ditch the selected message in the
Trash folder, and Snooze, which hides
the messagel for a specified time.
Create Quick Replies
We love Spark’s choice of Quick
Replies, which enable you to reply
instantly to messages if you don’t have
time to type up a more detailed response.
In Spark > Preferences > Quick Replies,
you can create your own replies.
Edit your inbox
In Spark > Preferences > Smart
Inbox, you can customize how the
Smart Inbox works – for example, by
grouping personal messages across
multiple accounts or per account, or
by hiding specific categories.
Choose your Snooze
As you can see above, there are
multiple Snooze options: later today,
tomorrow, the weekend, next week…
there’s even a Someday option if you
like to be vague. You can also select
a specific date.
Get back fast
Here are Quick Replies in action.
Simply scroll to the foot of a message,
click the Quick Replies button and
then choose the one you want to use.
There’s a brief delay in sending, just
in case you change your mind.
Make Spark speedier
Last but not least, allow us to
introduce Spark’s range of customizable
keyboard shortcuts. You can change the
defaults by clicking one you want to
change and then pressing the keys
you want to use. Easy! AUG 2017 83
>>> Create
Master Mission Control
Work more efficiently with multiple desktops in macOS Sierra
macOS Sierra
(some features work
in older versions)
yoU wIll lEaRn
How Mission Control can
help organize your apps
and your desktop
IT wIll TaKE
15 minutes
Mission Control has been
a feature of macOS since 2011,
though its roots go back to
Exposé, which made its debut
all the way back in 2003 with OS X 10.3
Panther. As the name implies, Mission
Control acts as the control center from
which you run your Mac. In reality, you
could use your Mac for years without ever
relying upon it, but it’s handy when you
need to find that one crucial window
you’ve lost, or you simply need to get a
handle on which apps you have running,
because it provides an instant overview.
Mission Control has been refined
over the years, with the biggest change
in recent versions being that it spreads
out all the windows that are open, rather
than grouping them in stacks labeled with
the corresponding app icon. Additionally,
the row of thumbnails of virtual desktops,
or spaces, now only appears when you
move the pointer to the top of the screen.
Here you’ll learn how to use Mission
Control in macOS Sierra to manage your
apps and desktop spaces, and how you
can customize it in System Preferences.
alan stonebridge
QuiCk look Mission Control’s interface
RUnnIng appS
When you open Mission Control,
all windows in the current space
spread out into their own screen
areas to show what’s going on.
84 AUG 2017
Top baR
Move the pointer to the top of
the screen in Mission Control to
reveal this bar, where you can
access all your desktop spaces.
These are like multiple displays
you can swap between. Click one
in the top bar to switch to it, or
click the + to open a new one.
ThE DocK
The Dock becomes visible when
you’re using Mission Control,
so you can open or switch to a
particular app by clicking its icon.
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
how to Work with Mission Control
Get an overview
To open Mission Control, swipe
up with three fingers on your trackpad
or double-tap two fingers on a Magic
Mouse. All open windows in the current
workspace spread out. Reverse/repeat
the gesture to return to the desktop.
Move apps around
To move a window to a different
space, drag and drop it onto an existing
space’s thumbnail in the top bar. Or,
drop it onto the + symbol at the top
right of Mission Control to make a new
space and put the window in it.
Dashboard settings
Also in Mission Control’s prefs,
you can set Dashboard to display as a
temporary overlay or a space in its own
right, and which function key reveals it.
You can set a more exotic key combo in
the Keyboards pane, under Shortcuts.
Switch apps
Apps that are minimized keep
running, so videos continue playing
and web pages update. To switch to
an app, click its Dock icon to bring it
to the foreground; if its window is
minimized, this should restore it.
Add workspaces
Drag a window to a gap in the
top bar to switch it to full-screen mode.
Full-screen apps can be accessed via
Mission Control or using the å+†
app switcher. Drop another window on
one’s space to enter Split View mode.
Change shortcuts
Also in Mission Control’s prefs,
you can set shortcuts to move windows
aside and see the desktop, and to view
only the current app’s windows from all
spaces. Hold one or more of ß, ≈,
Alt, and ç to use them in a shortcut.
Add a new space
Move the pointer to the top bar
to reveal your spaces. To add one, click
the + at the top right. To delete one,
put the pointer over it and click the X.
Click one to go to it and leave Mission
Control, or Alt-click to stay in this view.
Tweak settings
To customize Mission Control,
go to  > System Preferences > Mission
Control. Use the two pop-ups labeled
Mission Control to set your own mouse
and keyboard shortcuts to the feature;
this is helpful for non-Apple mice.
> Group by app
By default, windows in Mission
Control are spread out without
overlaps, but you can check “Group
windows by application” in Mission
Control’s prefs, which stacks them. AUG 2017 85
>>> Create
top Mac security tips
How to stay safe when using your Mac at home or on public Wi-Fi hotspots
macOS (feature
applicability varies
by version)
yoU wIll lEaRn
How to check you’re
not exposing the info
on your Mac and in your
online accounts to
unnecessary risk
IT wIll TaKE
20 minutes
Security iS a constant worry,
so your choice of a Mac instead
of some other kinds of
computer is certainly a good
decision. However, while the Mac has
enjoyed a reputation for security in the
past, that doesn’t mean you can ignore
the cunning ways you can be tricked into
revealing information. For example,
phishing attempts, email attachments,
and sharing too much at public Wi-Fi
hotspots are just some of the problems
that can affect your security.
To make sure your data stays safe, work
through our fundamental security tips to
ensure that your Mac is well protected,
that it isn’t “leaking” details (especially
if you use public Wi-Fi hotspots), and that
you understand and avoid common traps.
roland Waddilove
Quick look Firewall options
One way to boost security,
especially when using
a public Wi-Fi hotspot, is
to use a VPN to encrypt
your internet activity.
Also, remember to use
long, complex passwords.
86 AUG 2017
Check this box to turn
up firewall security to
the max. The Mac blocks
all connection attempts
over the network, apart
from essential ones.
allowEd appS
This is a list of all the
apps that are allowed to
communicate over your
network connection.
Search online for any
you don’t recognize to
check it isn’t malware.
BlocK accESS
If you find an app in
the list that you don’t
recognize and which
looks suspicious, click
here and set its network
access rights to “Block
incoming connections.”
HIdE yoUR mac
There are easy ways
for nefarious people to
detect your Mac over
a network. Enabling
stealth mode stops this,
and is useful when using
a public Wi-Fi hotspot.
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
HoW to Shore up your Mac’s security
Disable file sharing
It can be useful to be able to
share files, printers, screens, and other
features while at home, but you should
disable them in System Preferences’
Sharing pane when using your
MacBook on other networks.
Fraud warnings
Safari is able to warn you about
unsafe websites before you even go to
them. Again with Safari in the
foreground, go to Safari > Preferences
> Security and check the “Warn when
visiting a fraudulent website” setting.
Email attachments
Malware can be distributed
through email attachments – and this
isn’t just used to target Windows PCs.
Do not open or download files from
emails unless you know they are from
a trusted source and safe.
Encrypt the disk
Encrypting your Mac’s storage
prevents anyone else from accessing
its contents. Go to System Preferences
> Security & Privacy > FileVault and
click “Turn on FileVault” – your Mac is
then encrypted even as you use it.
Avoid “safe” files
Safari can automatically open
supposedly safe files after downloading
them, which is convenient for you but
also for malware. In Safari’s General
preferences, clear the checkbox next
to the corresponding option here.
Where to get apps
The Mac App Store is the safest
place to get Mac software, as Apple
vets what’s featured. If you must get an
app from elsewhere, use its developer’s
published checksum to verify the file is
unaltered – see
Safari extensions
There are great extensions
for Safari, but some risky places on
the internet to download them from.
Stick with Apple’s curated collection
for safety: in Apple’s web browser,
choose Safari > Safari Extensions.
Avoid Java
Java has been reported to have
been used by malware authors for
years. Only install it if absolutely
required. See
regarding the browser plugin, and for uninstallation steps.
Avoid links in email
Phishing tries to trick you into
revealing details of your Apple ID, bank,
PayPal, and other accounts. Treat
emails asking for login details with
suspicion and don’t click links; If in
doubt, go to a site’s address manually. AUG 2017 87
>>> Create
Get help with the Apple support app
Connect with support staff to get help with an Apple product in minutes
iOS 9.0 or later
yoU wIll lEaRn
How to use Apple Support
to determine your best
course of action to resolve
a problem with a device
IT wIll TaKE
5 minutes
AppLe support is legendary
within the tech industry, and
is widely recognized as the
benchmark for customers
who need help with products that are
important to them.
The Apple Support website (support. is cleanly laid out and fairly
easy to navigate, but there are still some
hurdles to jump if you want to reserve an
appointment or get direct help. The Apple
Support app for iOS makes this all easier.
It detects the specific model of device
you’re using and puts it at the top of the
list of all your devices, though it also
enables you to get help with others you
have registered to your Apple ID. The app
makes the entire experience of seeking
advice quicker and more natural, in part
thanks to the rapid process of drilling
down through categorized problems
which are described in plain language.
shAun McGiLL
Quick Look Navigating the Apple Support app
yoUR dEvIcES
If a device, be it an
iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple
Watch or TV, is signed in
to your Apple ID, it’ll be
listed in the app ready for
you to request support.
You’ll find most subjects
are covered in the
categories on offer, or you
can enter keywords above
the category list to filter
the offered solutions.
88 AUG 2017
The fine details you need
to check to get support,
such as your device’s
model, serial number,
and warranty status are
all just two taps away.
ExTRa Info
Each category lists
support articles, which
can be useful to gain
knowledge quickly and
potentially solve your
problem without a call.
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
how to Get help from Apple Support
At the top level of the app,
tap Apps & Software to get
assistance with software
issues and general advice
on accomplishing tasks.
It knows you
When you sign into the Apple Support
app using your Apple ID, any device that is
associated with your ID will be listed. Tap the
one you’re having a problem with to begin the
process of getting support.
Select an option
You will be presented with various
options of how to get support from Apple.
You can: schedule a call, choose to call Apple
Support later, or read a related article which
may solve the problem for you immediately.
What’s the problem?
Once you’ve selected the problematic
device, you can pick from various categories.
Tap the one that best fits your issue, followed
by the corresponding problem description, or
type keywords in the bar above the categories.
Help on hand
If you choose to receive a call, select a
suitable time slot from those that are available.
You’ll see a confirmation screen and an option
to add the call to your calendar. It’s then simply
a case of waiting for the personal call.
and locaTIon
In person
For appointments at an Apple Store,
you can select from service centers that are
near to you on a handy map. After choosing
one, pick the time slot that best suits you from
the selection of available appointment times.
Check your coverage
After you select one of your devices
from the list, tap “Product Details” below its
name to check your Apple warranty eligibility,
serial number, IMEI number (iPhone), and a link
to relevant consumer rights information.
Tapping the top-left icon
on the app’s opening page
reveals a history of your
support requests, and an
option to change your
country and find local
service wherever you are. AUG 2017 89
>>> Create How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
make stylish email signatures for ios
Learn how to add website and even FaceTime hyperlinks to your signature
Pages for iOS,
Thunderbird for macOS
yoU wIll lEaRn
How to add hyperlinks to
email signatures in iOS
IT wIll TaKE
5 minutes
many of us like to include
hyperlinked text in our email
signatures. Often this will be a
link to a website – perhaps for
your business, or maybe one for each of
your social network accounts.
Sadly, the ability to create signatures
in iOS’s Settings app is limited, and
doesn’t allow for hyperlinking text at all.
Thankfully, you can use Pages, which is
now free for devices running iOS 10.0 or
later, to work around this limitation. The
steps below show how to accomplish this.
What you can’t do solely with an iOS
device, though, is create links that enable
contacts who also use Apple devices to
call you using FaceTime – Pages doesn’t
permit you to link to resources accessed
using protocols other than HTTP. So,
we’ll show you how to use a Mac app with
proper HTML-based message editing to
achieve this. alan stonebridge
How to Style and hyperlink email signatures for iOS
Write your signature
In Settings > Mail > Signature,
type your signature, and select words to
apply a bold, italic, or underline style to.
Copy the text to the Clipboard, then
paste it into a blank Pages document.
Set up Thunderbird
Configure your email account in
Thunderbird on your Mac: choose Tools >
Account Settings > Account Actions > Add
Mail Account. For some popular services,
server settings are added for you.
90 Aug 2017
Add hyperlinks
Select a part of your signature
you want to hyperlink, then tap Link in
the contextual options. Insure “Link To”
is set to Webpage, enter an address next
to Link, tap Done, and repeat as needed.
Check composition
Select Composition & Addressing
and insure “Compose messages in HTML
format” is enabled. Email your sig from
iOS to the account just set up, then rightclick it and pick Edit As New Mesage.
Set your signature
It‘s wise to avoid changing your
text’s font – keep it matching the rest of
your email contents. Text color changes
are fine, though. Copy and paste your
signature back into the box in Settings.
Add FaceTime links
Select text to link, choose Insert >
Link, and type facetime-audio:// or
facetime:// then your FaceTime email
or number. Email back to your iOS device,
and copy and paste it as your signature.
The home of technology
>>> Create
introducing alchemy in GarageBand
Master the basics of your mobile music studio’s exciting new synth
GarageBand 2.2, iOS 10.3
or later, and an iPhone 6,
iPad Pro, iPad Air 2,
iPad mini 4 or newer
yoU wIll lEaRn
How to access the
Alchemy synth and
adjust its sound
Back in 2015 you may have
heard about and wondered
why Apple acquired music
plugin maker Camel Audio,
which made a product called Alchemy.
Fast-forward a little and Alchemy has not
only been added to Logic Pro X in August
2016, but now GarageBand for iOS, too.
GarageBand 2.2 gives you a full mobile
version of the software, integrated into
Apple’s music creation app as a virtual
synth that boasts a wealth of sounds to
discover. Alchemy features an eight-way
Transform Pad that can be controlled
with gyroscopic motion to apply fluid real-time effects.
In this introductory guide we’ll pick
out Alchemy Synth’s key features and
explain how to control the myriad
possible sounds. Mark Billen
IT wIll TaKE
20 minutes
How to Get to grips with Alchemy
Synth selection
Finding Alchemy in GarageBand’s
revised menu is straightforward. Under
the Keyboard section you should see the
Synth option now labelled as Alchemy
Synth, so tap this to get started.
92 AUG 2017
Alchemy’s interface
To economise space, Alchemy
opens with its control area hidden and
showing only the keyboard under a thin
silver panel. Tap the button second from
top right to reveal Alchemy’s controls.
Play with keys
Like all of GarageBand’s keyboardbased instruments, you sound the synth’s
notes by pressing the available keys.
Press multiple keys simultaneously to
form chords, as you would on a piano.
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
Latch locking
Above the fourth and fifth keys
you’ll see a Latch button. Slide this right
and it handily locks a sequence of notes
as you play them, making it easier to
then preview the effect of your edits.
Gyro Control
The button below toggles Gyro
Control. Turn this on to more fluidly move
the Transform Pad’s framing box across
each snapshot by tilting or rotating the
device while playing notes.
Chord Strip mode
Use the button on the far right,
above the keyboard, to toggle Chord
Strip mode. Tap a key to play the chord
above it. The Autoplay knob selects a
pattern that plays when you tap a chord.
Delay and Cutoff
To the right of the controls area
are an initial two knobs. Notice that
switching between snapshots moves their
settings, so you can also manually adjust
these to edit the effects.
Sound snapshots
The fun starts as you play notes
and adjust the synth’s sound. Use the
Transform Pad above by dragging the
framing box across the eight labeled
areas, or snapshots, to alter the sound.
> Audio Unit Extensions
GarageBand 2.2 also introduced
the ability to use instruments
provided as Audio Unit Extensions
in third-party apps. Learn more
about this at
How to Advance with Alchemy
Transform Pad
Sound controls
XY pad controls
The Transform Pad consists of
eight snapshots: Ensemble, Phased,
Solo, Pulse, Soft Pad, Stutter, Bounce
and Underwater. Drag the box over
these to transform sound accordingly.
The control knobs define each
snapshot’s sound, and can be tweaked
manually. Swipe left to see and adjust:
Delay, Cutoff, Reverb, Resonance,
Swing, Unison, Stutter, and Vibrato.
Swipe further left to find two
XY pads. Drag the blue pucks on them
to adjust the parameters assigned to
their axes: Multimix 1 and 2 on the first,
Phaser and Panning on the second. AUG 2017 93
>>> Create
Find your Airpods using your iphone
The latest version of iOS helps you locate your in-ear buds
iOS 10.3 or later,
Find My iPhone
yoU wIll lEaRn
How to track down lost
or missing AirPods using
your iPhone or iPad
IT wIll TaKE
5 minutes
AppLe’s Airpods Are great
for listening to music and
chatting hands-free, but their
diminutive size means there’s
every chance that you will misplace them
from time to time. With the replacement
of just a single bud by Apple costing $69,
replacing your tiny white headphones
could leave you seriously cash-strapped.
Thankfully, help is at hand. As of iOS
10.3, Apple has made it much easier to
find missing AirPods. It has integrated
a Find My AirPods function within the
Find My iPhone app, so you don’t have to
aimlessly rip your house apart only to find
they’re stuck down the back of the couch.
Instead, when you activate the feature,
a chirping noise will sound for a couple of
minutes, hopefully pointing the way to
the headphones’ location if they’re
nearby. Let’s see how to use this, and also
how to check on iCloud for your AirPods’
last known location. dAvid crookes
Quick Look Use to track your AirPods
Sign in to,
select Find iPhone and
click All Devices. Then
click AirPods to see their
whereabouts on the map.
Each entry in the list has
a different-colored dot.
Blue indicates the device
you’re using to track your
AirPods, and green means
the AirPods are online
and able to play a sound.
94 AUG 2017
oUT of RangE
A gray dot means your
AirPods cannot be
tracked. They may be
turned off, in their case,
or out of battery power.
When the AirPods are
disconnected, Find My
iPhone shows only the
time and location when
they were last connected.
Play ThE SoUnD
Click this button to
instruct your AirPods to
make a chirping sound.
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
How to Use Find My iPhone to locate AirPods
If you’ve only lost one
AirPod, it’s best to avoid
confusing Find My iPhone
by placing the one you
still have in its case,
to prevent its location
from being picked up.
Open the app
To track your AirPods on an iOS device,
you need to use the Find My iPhone app. Open
it and wait while it attempts to look for your
devices. If the AirPods are within Bluetooth
range (up to 328 ft), it will locate them.
Tap for actions
With your AirPods selected in the list
of devices, you’ll see an option at the foot of
the screen labeled Actions. Tap this in order
to display couple of useful options to aid you
in locating your AirPods.
Select the buds
If your AirPods are top of the list, their
location will be immediately shown on the map.
Otherwise, select them from the list of devices
at the bottom of the screen. They will then be
pinpointed on the map.
Play a sound
One option is to force the buds to make
a noise, by tapping Play Sound. The AirPods
will emit a beeping sound which increases
in volume the longer it takes to find them,
so you can track them down if they’re nearby.
loST yoUR
aIRPoDS’ caSE?
Mute an AirPod
If you’ve lost just one AirPod rather
than the pair, you can opt to mute the sound
coming from the one that’s in your possession.
Just tap Mute Left or Mute Right and the noise
from the respective bud will be canceled.
Locating further away
What if there’s no connection between
the AirPods and your iPhone or iPad? In this
case, Find My iPhone looks for the AirPods’
last known location. Tapping the car icon gives
you directions to the headphones.
You’re only able to locate
your AirPods if they are
outside of their case.
Sadly, there’s also no
way of locating a lost,
empty case itself. AUG 2017 95
>>> Create
learn what’s new in watchos 3.2
Apple refines the latest Watch software with some subtle touches
Apple Watch
yoU wIll lEaRn
How to use the new
features in the latest
Watch operating system
IT wIll TaKE
5 minutes
The evoluTion of the Apple
Watch and watchOS has been
carefully managed by Apple,
and there are good reasons
for this. With a display the size of a
watch face, it would be extremely easy to
overcrowd the screen and make things
too complex, so Apple has decided to add
only new features that are truly beneficial
on a day-to-day basis.
The latest system update, watchOS 3.2,
fits in perfectly with this mindset, with
subtle new features that you’ll use time
and time again. The best features are
those that blend in seamlessly, and this
is true of Theater Mode, SiriKit, and the
small color changes throughout. Read
on to learn more about all of the new
watchOS 3.2 features. shaun mcgill
how To Make the most of watchOS 3.2
Find Theater Mode
Once you’ve installed watchOS
3.2, swipe up from the bottom of your
Apple Watch’s screen and you’ll see a
new layout. In the bottom right corner
is a new icon for Theater Mode.
96 AUG 2017
Use Theater Mode
Tap the new icon and it turns
orange. When it’s enabled, silent mode
is automatically turned on, and when
you raise your wrist the Watch’s screen
remains dark rather than turning on.
New colors
Apple has made available a new
selection of Watch straps, and made
some tweaks to the colors available
within the watch faces to suit these.
The new colors are very subtle.
How to do anything on your Mac, iPhone & iPad
Quick look What else is new?
a TIny chanGE
The only obvious visual
change in watchOS 3.2
is the rearrangement
of Control Center.
Other parts of the
operating system look
identical to before.
When app developers
take advantage of SiriKit
on the Apple Watch,
you’ll be able to book
rides and do so much
more without needing
to pick up your iPhone.
a SImplE
When Theater Mode is
enabled, a small icon
gives you an at-a-glance
reminder that it’s on.
STylE chanGES
The new colors that can
be added to each watch
face work well to match
the selection of new
Apple Watch straps.
A consistent style
The new colors mean that you
can choose one of the new straps and
match the watch face to it, so the theme
throughout is consistent. These small
touches add a lot of style.
SiriKit on board
The addition of SiriKit to watchOS
means that app developers are now able
to do things that were not previously
possible on your Apple Watch. Apps
which use these will appear over time.
Theater Mode enables
you to sleep with your
Watch on your wrist
without being disturbed
by the screen lighting up.
Indeed, there are multiple
uses for this feature.
The changes in watchOS
3.2 are deliberately
restrained, but they are
significant in that you will
use them every single day.
SiriKit advantages
For example, you will be able
to send payments, book rides, start
workouts in third-party apps, and
potentially a lot more without even
needing to touch your iPhone. AUG 2017 97
>>> RAM
When MP3 got big, Apple bought its now-famous app, recalls adam Banks
Back in the day, even iTunes
came on a CD. Check out the
app’s brushed-metal interface.
Casady & Greene’s SoundJam MP, and
hired its developers – including Jeff
Robbin, who would stay to become VP
of consumer applications. SoundJam’s
applet window had a mono brushedmetal interface, like Apple’s QuickTime
Player 4, with play/pause, skip, and
volume controls; a playlist function;
and a visualization of swirling patterns
responding to sound. Those were the
features of iTunes 1.0, which was unveiled
in January 2001 as an Apple innovation.
A major addition was the ability to
record tracks to CD, inspiring the slogan
“Rip, Mix, Burn.” Since transferring MP3s
to CD, and vice versa, was technically
an infringement of copyright, this would
be endlessly quoted in legal analysis.
Newly hired hardware expert Tony
Fadell, engineer Jon Rubinstein, and
designer Jonathan Ive were already
at work on the iPod, which arrived in
October. When, the following year, Jobs
himself signed off the record label deals
that created the iTunes Music Store, the
stage was set for a revolution in our
consumption of music.
98 AUG 2017
>>> 50 quick fixes for
macOS and iOS
>>> Publish like a pro
with Pages
>>> Reviews of new
Apple hardware
aug 22
Contents subject to change
IN 1999, MP3 was suddenly huge. The
new audio file format meant tiny digital
players could store a couple of album’s
worth of songs copied from a PC – a cool
alternative to a personal cassette or
CD player. Apple didn’t make portable
devices, but Steve Jobs wanted the Mac
to go MP3. He emailed independent
developers Cabel Sasser and Steven
Frank, who’d invited him to try their
player app, Audion. But they were being
courted by online giant AOL, and Sasser
thought it “only fair” to delay.
Jobs didn’t wait. He bought the rights
to an already popular MP3 program,
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