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MacFormat UK - February 2018

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Best Wi-Fi
routers on test
Improve how
iTunes works
Protect against
iPhone X damage
Issue 321 January 2018 @macformat
The ulTimaTe
Use it as your main machine
Make iOS 11
even better
your iPhone
& iPad
Work faster, work smarter, and
boost your Mac’s performance
Get fit
with smart
gym kit
in 2018
Rivals that were meant
to topple Apple, and
why they failed
Water-resistant SSDs
to protect your data
gENiUs TiPs
Fix your apple issues
with expert advice
Game-changing tech from the world of Apple and beyond
The eyeQ has a built-in 16x
zoom to let you get closer to
the action while recording.
Immersive recording at any event
The eyeQ solves a problem we didn’t even know existed: what if you’re at an event and want
to be immersed in the action, but also record it on your iPhone? This device lets you do both.
It’s essentially a set of digital binoculars – whack your iPhone into the eyeQ and it’ll record what
you see. It’s got a touchpad that feeds into a heads-up display, so you can control the camera
without removing the headset. It’s pretty expensive, but if you’re serious about being
immersed and recording the moment for posterity, it might be worth a shot.
From $249 (about £189) includes eyeQ, Micro-USB charging cable, adjustable neck strap
website works with iPhone 6 or later (except iPhone SE) @macformat
JAnUAry 2018 | MACFORMAT | 3
Available at WHSmith,
or simply search for ‘T3’ in your device’s App Store
up to
Turn to page 40
Welcome to MacFormat’s first issue
of 2018, and hello again to long-term
readers, who might recognise me
from my time as production editor.
To start off the year, our cover feature
is all about getting your Mac working
better. It’s full of tips to improve
performance, and ways to boost your
skills and get more from your Mac.
There’s much more in this issue,
naturally, but before you get stuck in,
we have to talk about the elephant
in the room: High Sierra security. Just days before this issue
went to press, a serious vulnerability in the latest macOS
was disclosed, whereby an intruder could enable and then
log in as the root user, gaining access to every user’s files.
Apple swiftly fixed the issue and a spokesperson provided
us with a statement (see We can only hope
that Apple’s promised review of its processes means it never
messes up this badly again.
Apple’s fix should be installed on your Mac by now, at
least if your App Store preferences are set to allow system
data files and security updates to be installed automatically,
but the fix requires a restart to become active, so you should
check it has been applied: follow the steps at
Meet the team
AlAn STOnebrIdge
Jo Membery
Operations Editor
Jo will have spent the
holidays catching up on
her admin – sorting files
and photos, before she
tries out this issue’s advice
to make her Mac feel new.
Alex Blake
Commissioning Editor
Alex has been wearing a
Santa hat for weeks now,
and reminding us to be
jolly and eat mince pies.
It’s probably best Apple
Watch doesn’t track that.
Paul Blachford
Art Editor
Paul’s been busier than
Santa’s elves, laying out
this issue and planning the
next in time for the Xmas
break. Check p105 for a
hint at the visual beauty
that awaits next issue.
JAnuAry 2018 | MACForMAt | 5
Issue 321
January 2018
Work faster, work smarter, and
boost your Mac’s performance
The latest updates from Cupertino and beyond
Apps & GAMEs
Our top picks of the month for Mac and iOS
Amazing stats from the world of Apple
AppleCare: protecting your Apple investments
Can you
live Without a
Have your say on all things Apple related
Apple software predictions for 2018
spliT viEW
The team’s views on the latest Apple tech
Monitors and machines to track your fitness
Smart devices to suit your strength session
Reach for these, then reach for your weights
6 | MACFORMAT | January 2018
(and use an iPad instead?)
Issue 321 CONTENTs
GENiUs Tips
GENiUs Tips
Howard Oakley solves Mac and iOS issues
Making good on your mobile gear
New kit and apps – we’ve got all the latest
hardware and software reviews
Get help with picking your next piece of
Apple kit and the best add-ons to go with it
Solve Wi-Fi woes and connection conundrums
macOs issUEs
Sagacious solutions to Mac maladies
Turn to page 40
a 32in
4K screen
from aoC
ApplE skills
Clean up your images with Photoshop
Use Automator to make navigation easier
Get Magnet to manage your windows
BACk issUEs
Head here if you’ve missed an issue
Send us your Apple-related shots
What’s coming in MF322 on 16 January @macformat
Luis feels the Force
with a Mac Plus
MAsTER iOs 11 ACCEssiBiliTY
Control your iOS device with ease
Assign custom ringtones and vibrations
macOs skills
Get smart with Contacts on your Mac
January 2018 | MACFORMAT | 7
What’s inside
Word on the grapevine
about future Apple kit
Our top picks of the
month for Mac and iOS
EditEd by
Vrvana’s Totem headset
combines virtual and
augmented reality
in one device.
Our perception on
augmented reality
The iPhone X ain’t
cheap: protect your
big investment
Have your say
New Year’s software
resolutions we’d like
to see from Apple
SPliT viEW
Is iPhone X really
achieving virtual Vrvana
apple snaps up virtual reality headset maker
irtual and augmented reality
(VR and AR, respectively) are
hyped right now, but Apple has
little on show. Given the progress rivals like
Microsoft and Facebook are making in this
area, that seems strange. But it now turns out
the company may be busier than we thought.
Apple has reportedly bought Vrvana, a
company that is working on a mixed virtual
and augmented reality headset called the
Totem. The purchase supposedly cost Apple
$30 million and took place in the summer.
Apple hasn’t commented on the alleged
takeover – usually the company issues a
Contact us
Email your queries to
Join the conversation at
or on Twitter @macformat
8 | MACFORMAT | January 2018
boilerplate statement explaining that it buys
other firms from time to time. At the time of
writing, Vrvana’s website was still up and
running, although its social media pages
had not been updated since August 2017.
Vrvana’s Totem headset has yet to be
released. It works by recording the world
around you using a set of cameras. It then
projects that onto its 1440p OLED display.
That method allows it to combine both virtual
and augmented reality into a single view.
This is different from the approach taken
by Microsoft’s HoloLens, which displays
augmented reality images onto a transparent
troubled path
The device was pushed back
several times over the years
pple’s HomePod speaker
has been delayed into early
2018. But that’s not the only
delay it has faced – a recent report has
highlighted that Apple has been working
on the Siri speaker since 2012, with
various revisions along the way.
Apple’s HomePod team was supposedly
taken completely by surprise when Amazon
released the Echo in 2014. It bought an Echo,
took it apart, and apparently scoffed at its audio
quality, according to the report.
However, Apple dithered, cancelling and reviving
the HomePod project several times. As a result, Amazon now
has a sizeable lead in the market. Apple hopes to sell about four
million HomePods in 2018, but has a lot of catching up to do.
headset display; Vrvana’s approach allows
the headset to do a lot more.
Totem’s built-in cameras help to track
its position in space; infrared cameras are
used to detect a user’s hands. Apple may
decide to use Vrvana’s technology and
integrate it into its own device, rather
than make use of the device wholesale.
WE ASkEd… What do
you think of Apple’s new
Face ID technology?
A great Apple
It looks
Seems a
bit creepy
to me!
I prefer
Touch ID
Log on and see next
issue’s big question!
Hot on the heels of the
tech giant’s latest moves…
Think the iPhone X is
expensive? Rumours suggest
Apple is working on a 6.5-inch
Plus model, to be released in
2018. Better save the pennies.
Reality check
Apple has been rumoured to be working
on a VR or AR headset – or potentially a
set of AR glasses – for some time now.
This latest move appears to signal the
company’s intent to catch up with its
rivals in this area.
In particular, rumours have swirled of
an Apple augmented reality headset that
features a built-in display, a dedicated
processor and an ‘rOS’ operating system.
That form factor would fit well with
Vrvana’s Totem (as opposed to a set of AR
glasses), so the purchase makes sense.
According to reports, Apple is hoping
to finalise its headset by the end of 2019,
Microsoft has been working on its HoloLens headset,
which displays augmented reality onto a screen.
and ship the resulting device as early
as 2020, barring any delays.
In addition to the Vrvana acquisition,
Apple has bought a number of other AR
companies in recent months, including
Metaio, Flyby Media and Faceshift. These
have all been software companies; Vrvana
is the first VR hardware company that
Apple has acquired, perhaps signalling an
intent to progress its headset
project at a greater speed.
Tim Cook has made his
enthusiasm for AR clear,
saying: “I could not be
more excited about AR.”
apple may decide to use
Vrvana’s technology and
integrate it into its own device
The US Patent & Trademark
Office has published a patent
application from Apple for a
foldable iPhone display. It was
originally filed in Q3 2016.
Apple is reportedly planning
on releasing a sequel to the
budget-friendly iPhone SE in
the second half of 2018. It’s
expect to cost around £340.
January 2018 | MACFORMAT | 9
investment in
video & music
apple’s second spaceship
Apple is known to be
ramping up its video
production work, and a
new report from Loup
Ventures posits that the
company will offer
all-in-one video and
music subs within two to
three years. That would
rival the likes of Netflix
and Amazon, and focus
mainly on original
content. It reckons
Apple will benefit from
a running start with
75 million subscribers.
Central & Wolfe campus to take off soon
hile everyone’s been focusing
on the new Apple Park, a second
Apple ‘spaceship’ is just about
ready. It’s located in Sunnyvale, California,
about five miles from Cupertino, and while
it’s noticeably different to the Apple Park
building, it shares plenty of the same design
traits. Its grand, sweeping facade and floorto-ceiling glass walls clearly mark it out as
belonging to the same family.
Apple calls it the Central & Wolfe campus.
It’s due to open in early 2018, and will house
thousands of Apple employees.
Details of the campus first emerged in late
2015, but it has been largely overshadowed by
Micro lights
Q4 2017
results are
rather good
New iPhone screen
technology on the way
We’re used to Apple
making lots of money,
and there was no
surprise when Tim Cook
announced the firm’s
fourth-quarter 2017
results. Apple made
$52.6 billion in this
period, up 12% on the
same period last year.
Sales of 46 million
iPhones brought in
$28.8 billion, iPads
made $4.8 billion, Mac
sales came to $7.1
billion, and services
made $8.5 billion.
Not bad going, then.
he iPhone X is Apple’s
first phone equipped with
an OLED display. Still, that’s
not stopping the company looking ahead
to the next big thing in display tech.
According to a number of reports,
that technology is based around
MicroLED screens. Like the OLED
display in the iPhone X, MicroLED
screens are composed of light-emitting
diodes that produce their own light,
resulting in excellent contrast ratios.
However, MicroLED components
are much smaller than their OLED
equivalents, meaning that a MicroLED
screen can be incredibly thin and light.
And that’s where Apple comes in. The
company is well known for its quest to
make its devices ever more svelte, and
making use of MicroLED technology
10 | MACFORMAT | January 2018
Apple Park in both the media and popular
imagination. Designed by architecture firm
HOK, it is clearly visible from several blocks
away due to its size and impressive design.
Like Apple Park, Central & Wolfe has ample
underground parking to minimise the visual
impact on the campus, and to improve its
environmental impact.
On the ground floor there will be a fitness
centre, a cafeteria, a conference centre and a
500-person amphitheatre. Upstairs, the office
spaces will be open plan, according to HOK.
Apple Park opened to employees in April
2017, while construction was still going on.
Its visitor centre opened in November 2017.
could greatly help in that
endeavour when it comes
to the iPhone.
But due to the microscopic
scale of making a MicroLED
array, the manufacturing
process can pose a lot of
problems. According to a
Digitimes report, Apple scaled
back its MicroLED efforts in
Taiwan, although it was also
noted that it could be relocating
its efforts to the US instead.
Samsung is also reportedly
looking into the technology, as is
Facebook for its Oculus virtual
reality headset.
Apple has only just started using
OLED tech, but is reportedly looking
for the next breakthrough. @macformat
apps & games APPLE CORE
Our top picks
of what’s worth
watching and
playing this month
[M ac a PP]
Scrivener 3 $45 (about £35)
[ MOV I E]
duNKiRK £13.99
Get the write stuff on your Mac
it’s safe to say that here at
MacFormat, we love Scrivener –
it won issue 319’s group test,
after all. Since then the app has
been updated with a whole host of changes
and new features.
For one thing, developer Literature and
Latte says the interface has been ‘overhauled
and modernised’ to bring it up to date. There’s
a new bookmarking tool in the Inspector pane,
Christopher Nolan turns
his masterful eye towards
a pivotal moment in Allied
wartime history. As the
bombs fall and bullets fly,
British soldiers pray for
an unlikely rescue.
allowing you to link documents in a project.
The Compile window has also received a
redesign, giving you formatting options
when exporting a project, a preview pane,
as well as settings for the project.
As if that wasn’t enough, there are
updates to text styling, outlining, filtering,
metadata, searching and much more. If you
do a lot of writing on your Mac, Scrivener 3
is certainly worth checking out.
Wikipedia is full of
useless knowledge, and
this podcast is devoted
to the best of it. Need
some pub quiz ammo?
Start taking notes.
[iO s a PP]
[iOs GaME]
[itunEs stOrE]
If you find that the
default auto-correct
in iOS is more grate
than great, give Grammarly
Keyboard a try. As you type,
the app automatically finds
errors and suggests how to
fix them. It works for spelling,
grammar, incorrectly used
words and more.
Why you need it: An easy-touse and invaluable tool.
What’s it best for: Error fixes
when you’re in a hurry.
Finding shelter in a
mysterious mansion
after you suffer a
car crash, can you unveil the
building’s secrets and survive
its dangers? A tribute to noir
visuals and Hitchcock mystery
storytelling, White Night is a
horror game you won’t be
able to escape from.
Why you need it: Get a dose
of horror on your commute!
What’s it best for: Scaring
you silly while looking great.
A look back over
Elbow’s impressive
20-year career,
The Best of features a cover
of Golden Slumbers by The
Beatles. The band is also
releasing a two-disc deluxe
edition of its greatest hits
compilation, in case one disc
doesn’t sate your appetite.
Why you need it: One band’s
retrospective of British rock.
What’s it best for: An easy
introduction to the group. @macformat
[t V shOw ]
SEASON 4 £12.99
With Tommy Shelby
and the Peaky Blinders
at risk of ‘annihilation’,
Shelby must return to
Small Heath in order
to fight for survival.
January 2018 | MACFORMAT | 11
APPLE CORE Facts & figures
despite making up
less than half of all
ARKit-only apps,
games still account
for 62% of all ARKit
app revenues.
Let us enhance your current
perception of augmented reality
Over a third of all
iOS apps made
using just ARKit
(rather than adding
ARKit elements)
are games.
Since September 2017,
apps that use iOS 11’s
ARKit framework have
been installed over
three million times.
Apple has been
thinking about VR/AR
headsets for at least
10 years, with its first
patents on the subject
filed back in 2008.
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12 | MACFORMAT | January 2018
ts ket
lys mar 21. n.
t a R/AR y 20 billio
ar al V ion b 11.4
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L IF E . . .WHE RE ’ S
With so many demands from work, home and family,
there never seem to be enough hours in the day for you.
Why not press pause once in a while, curl up with your
favourite magazine and put a little oasis of ‘you’ in your day.
To find out more about Press Pause, visit;
APPLE CORE News feature
For our latest
subscription offer,
see page 40!
X-tra coverage
Protecting a new iPhone X with AppleCare+ cover seems like
a given – but is it the best option? writteN by ALEX BLAKE
he iPhone X is incredible in a
great many ways. Incredibly
advanced. Incredibly sexy.
Incredibly expensive. If you’ve
bought one, you’ll want to protect your shiny
new gadget, so AppleCare+ seems like a
natural choice. However, is it the best way to
give you peace of mind if something goes
wrong? Over the next few pages, we’ll take a
look at the options available so you know the
best way to protect your costly investment.
Firstly, let’s take a quick look at what
rights are guaranteed to every citizen thanks
to UK legislation. Under the Consumer Rights
Act 2015, you have up to six years to return
an item that was faulty when you bought it
(in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; you
get five years in Scotland), although after the
first six months the onus is on you to prove
that it was faulty at the time of purchase.
Incidentally, that six-year (or five-year) period
is much more generous than the two-year
return period guaranteed by the EU.
The criteria for return are that the iPhone
had to have been faulty or damaged when you
received it, or wasn’t fit for purpose, or was
not as described. If you return it within the
first 30 days after buying the device, you are
legally entitled to a full refund. If you do so
within the first six months, you’ve got to give
Apple a chance to repair or replace the faulty
product (if that’s unsuccessful, you can then
get a full refund).
14 | MACFORMAT | JANuAry 2018
includes a lot,
but it won’t
cover you in all
The glass back is great for
wireless charging, but it’ll
cost you if it gets damaged.
Of course, this all applies to damage that
was already present in the iPhone X when you
bought it, so doesn’t cover you for anything
that happens to it once it’s in your possession.
For that, you’ll need AppleCare+ or thirdparty insurance. Let’s start with AppleCare+.
AppleCare+ coverage
AppleCare+ is Apple’s own insurance cover
for its products. You can purchase it when
you initially buy an Apple product, or within
60 days of the date of purchase. For iPhone X,
it costs £199 for two years of coverage, and
covers you for up to two instances of
accidental damage within that period. Each
claim has an excess: £25 for screen repairs, or
£79 for anything else. You also get two years
of priority support from Apple. On top, you
get coverage for batteries that retain less than
80% of their original capacity, plus coverage
for earphones and accessories that were
included as part of your iPhone X purchase.
AppleCare+ includes a lot then, but won’t
cover you in all eventualities. It does not cover
you if you lose your iPhone or it gets stolen,
and you need to take factors like that into
consideration when weighing up whether to
buy an AppleCare+ plan. UK plans exclude
the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
Apple wants you to buy AppleCare+ – that
much is clear from the repair prices it charges
if you don’t have AppleCare+ cover. At the
time of writing, repairing the screen of the @macformat
News feature APPLE CORE
Buying AppleCare+
couldn’t be simpler, but
you need to check that
it provides the kind of
cover you’re looking for. @macformat
JANuAry 2018 | MACFORMAT | 15
APPLE CORE News feature
iPhone X will set you back £286.44 if you
don’t have coverage (compared to £25 if you
do). Other damage, such as cracking the glass
back of the device, will cost a galling £556.44.
For comparison, those same repairs will cost
£156.44 and £356.44 respectively if you have
an iPhone 8, so there’s a large premium for
owning an iPhone X. Even worse, those UK
prices for iPhone X repairs are actually more
expensive than Apple charges in the US:
$279 and $549, respectively.
With prices like that, AppleCare+ can save
you some serious cash. Assuming you bought
AppleCare+ for iPhone X and needed the glass
back of the phone to be repaired, you’d pay
£278 in total (£199 for AppleCare+ coverage
and the £79 excess for ‘other damage’). Getting
the screen repaired would cost you £224.
Those are savings of £62.44 for a screen
repair and £278.44 for other damage. That
means anything that falls under the ‘other
damage’ category will basically save you 50%
if you have AppleCare+ compared to not
having it – a huge saving considering how
expensive iPhone X repairs are.
Of course, if you have to get the screen
repaired twice you’ll save £323.88 with
AppleCare+ coverage, and you’ll save an
eye-watering £755.88 on two instances
of ‘other damage’. Food for thought.
Other benefits
AppleCare+ isn’t just about repairs – you also
get 24/7 priority access to Apple support via
phone calls or over web chat for the two-year
length of AppleCare+. Without that, you only
get 90 days of telephone support from Apple,
You can even find out about your
repair options from the support
section on your iPhone X.
Paying a late
return fee on
top of the
charges is
Credit where credit’s due
You’ll gain an additional layer
of protection if you purchase
an iPhone X using a credit card.
Under Section 75 of the Consumer
Credit Act, you get free protection
for any purchase you make with a
credit card costing between £100
and £30,000.
In practice, that means that if
Apple goes bust (unlikely) or the
iPhone X is faulty when you buy it
or is never delivered to you, you
can claim the full amount back
from your credit card company.
16 | MACFORMAT | JANuAry 2018
You don’t have to have paid
the full amount, and can still claim
if you’re buying the iPhone with
monthly repayments. The value
of the item is the important thing,
not how much you’ve paid.
You don’t get this kind of
protection with a debit card, so it’s
worth considering using a credit
card when buying an iPhone X.
Finally, some premium credit
cards offer additional protection if
your iPhone is lost or stolen, often
within 90 days of purchase.
starting on the date you bought the iPhone.
As well as help for iPhone, AppleCare+ also
includes troubleshooting for iOS, iCloud,
wireless networks and Apple’s own iOS apps
(such as Safari, FaceTime and Mail).
With AppleCare+, there’s also an Express
Replacement Service, plus the ability to get
your device repaired at a local Apple Store
when travelling in Europe. The Express
Replacement Service will be particularly
attractive to many people, and it’s something
that you can’t get without AppleCare+. This
is where Apple will send you a replacement
device before you’ve returned the faulty one.
Apple includes packaging that you can use to
return the damaged iPhone to the company.
The replacement device will either be new
or ‘equivalent to new’, according to Apple.
It essentially means that you can get back
to using an iPhone as quickly as possible.
There’s a one-off fee of £79 to have Apple
send you a replacement device, which is quite
reasonable considering you’re getting a new
(or ‘equivalent to new’) device. Note that even
if you have AppleCare+ coverage, you’ll still
have to pay the out-of-warranty fee of £556.44
if you’ve already used up your two instances
of accidental damage coverage, as well as a
£7.44 shipping fee. That’s where AppleCare+’s
two-claim limit could be an issue. If you’re
accident prone and think you might exceed
two damage claims, you may want thirdparty insurance; we’ll discuss that shortly.
If you don’t send Apple your faulty iPhone
within 10 business days, you’ll be charged a
replacement fee for Apple to send you a new
iPhone X. That’s £999 for the 64GB model,
and £1,149 for the 256GB one. If your faulty
phone arrives late with Apple, the company
will remove the replacement fee but will still
charge you a late fee of £225 for the 64GB
iPhone X and £300 for the 256GB model.
Apple determines that an iPhone X is late if it
arrives between 10 and 20 business days after
the replacement is shipped to you. That’s a
strong incentive to send your faulty phone to
Apple as quickly as possible – even paying a
late fee on top of the AppleCare+ charges is
expensive, never mind the replacement fee!
Third-party insurance
While AppleCare+ can be a whole lot cheaper
than getting Apple to repair your iPhone X if
you don’t have coverage, you may still be able
to get a better deal elsewhere.
For example, we found that insurance @macformat
News feature APPLE CORE
firm Insurance2Go offers a specific iPhone X
policy that costs £109.99 a year at the time
of writing. That puts it at £219.98 for two
years of coverage, a little over the £199 that
AppleCare+ costs for the same length of
time. However, for that extra £20.98 you’ll
be covered if the phone is lost or stolen,
and you’re covered for up to £1,000 of
unauthorised phone calls (none of which are
covered by AppleCare+). Accidental damage
is also included, as it is with AppleCare+,
except that there’s no limit on the number of
claims you can make during your coverage
period; AppleCare+ limits you to two claims.
The excess fee is £50 with Insurance2Go’s
plan – if you’ve broken the iPhone X’s screen,
the excess with AppleCare+ is lower, but
Insurance2Go’s excess is cheaper than the
£79 you pay under AppleCare+ if you’ve done
any other damage to your phone.
Ultimately, you need to decide whether the
extra £20 (in this example) is worth the extra
coverage. But if you’ve already shelled out a
grand or more on a shiny new iPhone X, that
probably doesn’t seem like very much for the
extra peace of mind it’ll give you.
Of course, it’s not a cut-and-dried
situation; there are other things to consider.
Most third- party insurance companies won’t
offer instant replacement of a broken iPhone
X in the same way that Apple does. Mobile
networks often do include this benefit as part
of their own insurance packages, but at a
steeper cost than AppleCare+; EE’s iPhone X
insurance will set you back £288 for two
years, for example. AppleCare+ also gets
you priority access to Apple’s support staff,
giving you a level of expert knowledge that
an insurance company won’t be able to
provide. If you want that kind of access and
support, or simply can’t bear to be without
an iPhone X for long after it breaks and want
Apple repair charges without cover
iPhone model
Screen repair only
Other damage
iPhone X
iPhone 8 Plus
iPhone 8
iPhone 7 Plus
iPhone 7
iPhone 6s Plus
iPhone 6s
iPhone 6 Plus
iPhone 6
iPhone SE
iPhone 5s
iPhone 5c
iPhone 5
iPhone 4s
See ‘other damage’ fee
You can check your device’s
eligibility for various levels of service
it to be replaced almost instantly, AppleCare+
may be the best option for you.
If you already have contents insurance,
you should check whether you can include
an iPhone X on your policy. If you can, that
may simply be the best option of all.
Any insurance is better than no insurance,
especially when it comes to the painfully
expensive repair costs of the iPhone X.
AppleCare+ offers a lot, but it may not be the
best option if you want coverage for a lost or
stolen phone, for example. Conversely, if you
value getting a quick replacement for a broken
iPhone or want to get priority access to Apple
support, you should give it some thought. The
worst thing you can do is not get any cover
at all; a device as expensive as the iPhone X
needs to be protected one way or another. @macformat
JANuAry 2018 | MACFORMAT | 17
CONTACTS Get in touch
Contact us
Have your say on all things apple!
Email your queries
and your questions to
£ £
Three years ago I upgraded from a 24-inch
iMac to a 27-inch model in order to keep up
with developing technology. I then had to
spend almost £100 to buy adapters as ports
had changed from FireWire to Thunderbolt.
Late last month, I upgraded to the new
27-inch iMac for the same reason. Once
again, I’ve had to spend £140 on adapters,
as ports have now changed from Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C).
Why does a company that makes more profit than entire continents’
GDP penalise loyal return customers with hefty charges for adapters that
must cost very little to produce? After spending almost £2,000 on the
iMac, this is painful. Why not include them in the box?
b y M i c h a e l Wa l l
AlAN SAyS… I feel your pain, Michael. When I upgraded my MacBook
Pro, I bought adapters that would now cost £156, though I benefitted
from Apple’s (sadly temporary) price drop on everything from its USB-A
to USB-C adapter to LG’s Thunderbolt 3-equipped UltraFine displays.
The impact of port changes is more keenly felt this time around, at
least on portable Macs or by users of certain types of peripheral. With
some areas of its product line-up, Apple seems to recognise that port
changes might be controversial to the point of being damaging. A good
example of this is the Lightning to 3.5mm
headphone jack adapter that’s bundled
with the iPhone 7 or later – imagine the
uproar if Apple had not just dropped the
built-in jack but also made you pay for an
adapter. It would be a welcome gesture of
goodwill if Apple were to include even one
The author of our Letter
USB-C adapter – the plain USB-A one – with
of the Month receives a
every MacBook Pro, for example, to ensure
prize! Email us to be in
you’re not left high and dry if you decline/
with a chance of winning a
forget/are unaware you might need to buy
MagicBridge from Twelve
one when you purchase a new Mac.
South to hold your Magic
As much as its stings, though, I can see
Keyboard and Magic
logic on Apple’s part in not doing this
Trackpad 2. Find out more
1 or 2; devices that use the
older Thunderbolt standards are relatively
niche, and used by a small proportion of
Mac users. The cynical part of me can see
that this is an opportunity for Apple to
make even more money on adapters. Then
the environmentally conscious part of my
Win a
18 | MACFORMAT | January 2018
At £30 more than the 4th-gen model, you can futureproof
your Apple TV purchase to some extent by going 4K.
mind kicks in and thinks maybe it’s not a good
idea to manufacture millions of adapters –
even the plain USB-A type – that many people
may never use, given the 12-inch MacBook’s
one USB-C port is enough for many people.
In that regard, I’ve also been hoping for
Apple to show real environmental courage
and stop bundling its cabled EarPods with
every iPhone, mostly because I never use
them. Deduct their cost and let each of
us choose our headphones. However,
I expect a lot of people are pleased with
the convenience of them being bundled.
Also, for better or worse, the white buds
and cables keep Apple in the minds of people
who see them around – free advertising!
Apple TV 0k
Firstly, let me say I enjoy your Store Guide
for Apple kit. However, I am concerned as to
why the Apple TV does not feature. Is there
a reason for this omission?
by Mik e Sage a n te S
Alex SAyS… Thanks for the feedback about
Store Guide, Mike. The omission of Apple TV
is due to space, combined with it being a
relatively easy buying decision compared
to a Mac or an iOS device.
Apple TV 4K models only have storage
capacity as their distinguishing characteristic,
and the best reason to upgrade from a
4th-gen model is support for 4K and HDR
formats; we haven’t discovered any tvOS
apps that would compel one to upgrade on @macformat
Get in touch CONTACTS
Confusion Drive
I have been a subscriber to your excellent
magazine for years, and give old copies to
my local dental surgery. The February 2016
issue [#296] contained a Make Your Own
Fusion Drive article. I kept a photocopy of
the article, but on reading to the end, it
closes with ‘you’re now ready to build your
Fusion Drive’. This implies that the second
part of the process would be in the
following issue. Please would you tell me
how I can obtain a copy of this second part?
by Jack Si v eW r igh t
JO SAyS… Wow, we’re delighted to know
that article is proving useful to long-term
readers. Maybe it’s due for a re-run for
newer readers in need of a relatively
inexpensive way to keep an older Mac
in service, given that recent versions of
macOS work on pretty old hardware.
Jack, unfortunately, you haven’t
the basis of Apple TV 4K’s A10X Fusion chip
alone. So far, the 4K version boils down to
a straightforward case of that being your
best option if your current equipment is
ready for it, or if you plan to upgrade to
a 4K television any time soon.
I have a 2015 MacBook Pro and I use it mainly
for video editing. Since updating my Mac to
High Sierra, it runs at a very slow pace. Videos
used to play instantly. Not now. I could go and
make a cup of tea it takes so long! I would like
to back track to Sierra again. I hope there
is another update to rectify this.
by tony S
pAul SAyS… Anecdotally, High Sierra
certainly seems to have produced more than
its fair share of negative feedback. Though
we haven’t encountered anything as serious
as your problem on the Macs here, none of
the MacFormat team has needed to work on
any video projects in the last few months.
If this is crippling, macOS Recovery and Time
Machine can get you back to an older system.
If you have a peculiar problem with High
Sierra that you’re unable to fix for yourself,
remember that you can contact Howard
Oakley on, who’ll try
to advise on ways to investigate the problem
further, if not provide an outright solution. @macformat
archived the whole article – it should be
four pages long, the last page containing
the six steps that combine your SSD and
hard drive into a Fusion Drive. No worries,
though – we’ll sort you out with the
missing content this time around.
As we’ve had other positive feedback
about the Fusion Drive project, we’ll look
at running an updated version soon.
Meanwhile, if you’re in need of a back
issue, turn to page 82 to find out how
to order printed or digital versions.
If your Mac has Thunderbolt or USB 3,
you have a really easy upgrade route, as
long as you don’t mind an external box
running off it. If the fastest connection
available to you is an internal bay, you may
prefer to replace the internal hard drive
with a larger SSD. The process is trickier
and riskier, requiring a guide for your
specific model (search and
a suitably safe workspace.
Regretting buying a Mac with a plain
hard drive? USB 3 on recent models
offers an easy, affordable upgrade.
revs his delOrean up
tO 88mph tO see where
apple’s sOftware
might gO in 2018
After a 2016 quieter than a product launch at a BlackBerry
store, 2017 was really strong for Apple, especially when it came
to hardware. However, software was a little less strong across
the board, so here’s what I’m hoping to see from Apple in 2018.
First up is a smarter Siri. One of the few stumbles for Apple
this year was HomePod slipping into 2018, but I think Apple
should take its time to get it right at launch, and maybe look to
re-announce it at an event in March, alongside expanded Siri
capabilities. Siri works well for key stuff like understanding
what you’re saying, but compared to Google Assistant or
Amazon Alexa, what it can actually
do is pretty limited. Expansions
through SiriKit in iOS 10 were a
sign of exciting things to come…
except they didn’t come, at least not
with iOS 11. Perhaps HomePod will
be able to access more types of
knowledge at first, and then maybe
in iOS 12, we’ll get something more
next-generation for Siri overall.
A real software low point this year was tvOS, with zero
interesting changes. In the UK, the best thing Apple could do is
get more catch-up services on tvOS and get them working with
Siri, but even beyond that, apps on it feel like they’ve stalled.
Adding options like Picture in Picture or Slide Over so you can
view Twitter’s reactions right alongside Strictly are obvious
next steps, but I’m not sure these would actually make anything
better, or that I’d ever use them. I hope Apple focuses more
towards the video side, making that work worldwide, maybe
with recommendations and other ways to find new shows.
High Sierra also failed to excite, despite adding a new file
system (that sounds like it’s sarcasm, but I’m sorry to say that it
isn’t). I’m not sure we’ll see a big change to the desktop concept
this year, but I think it could benefit a lot from more of iOS’s
predictive options. Suggesting apps and documents based on
behaviour or whether they’re named in messages (a bit like
how dates get picked out for entering calendar appointments
now) could be great. The Mac App Store also needs a complete
overhaul, and hopefully we’ll see that – but it has to be about
more than just a smart new design for users. The store needs
updating at a fundamental level for developers, with more
flexible options for the apps
The iPhone’s multitasking hasn’t
themselves, otherwise a new
really changed in years, but what
coat of paint won’t make any
we do on phone has gotten more
intense, so we need more flexibility.
major difference.
Maybe in
iOS 12, we’ll get
something more
next-gen for Siri
20 | MACFORMAT | January 2018
If HomePod is going to stand out in the suddenlyvery-crowded smart speaker market, Siri’s going
to need to get a lot smarter, and quickly.
And then there’s iOS. The iPad had a
fantastic year, but it felt kind of light on the
phone side. I think we can hope for similar
productivity boosts to iPad for iPhone in
iOS 12. Multitasking should be a lot smarter,
so I think a Dock and new app switcher
screen is likely. And with the new taller
iPhone X screen as standard, I’d love to see a
Picture in Picture video mode where the top
of the screen stays playing video, while you
use apps in the bottom two-thirds. I’m not
convinced about split-screen apps overall, but
when I’m travelling for work, still juggling
multiple tasks, my iPhone may be my only
computer, and I know it could do that better.
Matt is the editor of Future’s flagship
technology magazine T3 and has been
charting changes at Apple since his
student days. He’s sceptical of tech
industry hyperbole, but still gets warm
and fuzzy on hearing “one more thing”. @macformat
APPLE CORE Split view
The MacFormat team debates the hot Apple
issues of the day, using their iPhones of course!
Alex says…
Turn to page 40
“The onus is on
retailers, the onus
is on us to continue
to evolve.”
“whAt dO yOu thInk Of
yOuR iPhOnE x thEn?”
You’re always the first one in the office to
invest in the latest bit of Apple tech. Are you
thinking that the iPhone X is the ‘future’?
Retail chief says the
mission of Apple Stores
is not yet complete
Alan says…
JOny IvE
Face ID is extraordinary – I want it on all my
Apple kit! But it may be a while before we get
compelling apps made just for iPhone X.
“The path of
holding onto
features that have
been effective…
leads to failure.”
The phone is so expensive, especially as this is
Apple’s first offering of facial recognition.
Design chief says Apple
mustn’t rest on its laurels
when it comes to design
And we’ve yet to see a killer AR or TrueDepth
app. Animoji are fun, though.
“I don’t fully
why performance
has seemed to
stagnate on the
Android side.”
How are you adapting to the new gestures?
Habit kept me reaching for the Home button
for just one day. Now I find myself swiping up
to unlock my iPad. The new gesture of swiping
across the bottom bar to switch apps is great.
Geekbench developer says
Apple is way ahead of
Android in performance
But you have to charge it frequently, right?
I’ve heard battery life is really pretty poor.
It lasts me plenty, though I have notifications
and background app refresh off for things like
Facebook. As for wireless charging, current
pads supply up to 7.5W. I prefer the safety net
of 50% in 30 mins from my USB-C charger.
Siri...ously? @macformat
“Hey Siri, Is Santa real?”
tap to edit
‘I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear
that. I don’t want you to get a
lump of coal this year.’
“I think customers
were ready to have
one more thing in
the iPhone line
that was new and
very different.”
Marketing head believes
there was an unmet
demand for iPhone X
JANUARY 2018 | MACfORMAt | 21
A beautiful 4K display
with a wide colour
gamut from AOC
Write, draw, create and edit on a gorgeous
high-resolution monitor from AOC. We’ve got
a stunning 4K display to give away, helping one
lucky winner to transform their workspace.
A great monitor is something that
has to be seen to be believed. Find the
right one and it can completely change
the way you work, giving you more
accurate colours and a larger canvas
on which to get things done.
That’s why we’re giving away an
AOC U3277PWQU monitor. Its superb
4K display brings a huge amount of
space to your desktop, which is perfect
for editing large photos or working on
multiple documents at once. It clocks
in at 32 inches diagonally, helping it to
make the most of that resolution.
That’s not all. As well as a high pixel
density, the AOC U3277PWQU also has
22 | MACFORMAT | JAnuAry 2018
a wide colour gamut, meaning it can
reproduce a wider range of colours
than traditional displays. Not only is
that a great boost if you work in image
or video editing, but it can make simple
things like watching a movie more
lifelike and enjoyable.
It’s equipped with two USB 3.0 ports
and two USB 2.0 ports. And if you want
to connect it to a MacBook or use it as a
second display for an iMac, this display
has you sorted: it’s got both an HDMI 2.0
port and a DisplayPort connector, for
smooth output even at full 4K.
So whatever you want to use it for,
you’ll be sure of a fantastic experience.
We’ve got one AOC U3277PWQU 4K
display to give away. For your chance
to win, answer this question:
The AOC u3277PWQu uses
which version of HDMI?
A) 1.3
B) 1.4
C) 2.0
For more information about the AOC
U3277PWQU 4K display and about
AOC’s full range of other products for
your Mac, visit the company’s website
To enter, you can visit our website at (web address is case sensitive).
For full terms and conditions, go to By sending your entry, you agree to these
competition rules and confirm you’re happy to receive details of future offers and promotions
from Future Publishing Limited and carefully selected third parties.
This competition closes on 15 January 2018. Over 18, GB residents only. @macformat
What’s inside
The monitors and the
machines that can help
track your fitness
jump to it
From gym kit to
wearables, you’ll find
smart devices to suit
five of
the best
Fitness kit that works
hard to scrutinise
your workouts
EditEd by
cliff joseph
Get fit for 2018
The smart home is
here – live the Apple
dream today!
the iPhone and Apple Watch are
great for routine workouts, but you
can take your training to the next
level with the latest fitness devices
ere we are again. It’s that time
of year – Christmas is upon us
and the goose isn’t the only one
that’s getting fat. Needless to
say, many of us will kick off 2018 with the
traditional New Year’s resolution to hit
the gym and shed a few pounds. And, of
course, we all know that we can use our
iPhones or Apple Watch to monitor our
daily exercise and fitness levels.
However, many people may also want
to go a bit further and set specific training
targets, such as improving stamina for a
marathon, or lap speed in the swimming
pool. A straightforward smartwatch or
fitness tracker might not be the best option
here, but there are plenty of other smart
devices and equipment that can help you
meet your fitness goals for 2018.
Contact us
Email your queries
and your questions to
Keep up to date by
following us on Twitter
Join the conversation
Get the latest
subscription offers at
Combine a Wahoo monitor
with the RunFit app and you
can observe your heart rate,
count calories burned and
keep tabs on your reps.
JANUARy 2018 | macformat | 23
apple home Hi-tech training
Get started with
Hit the road, hit the gym – or just stay at
home and sweat with the latest training tech
Which Apple
Watch is best?
The Apple Watch
Series 1 is still available,
from £249, and includes
a heart rate sensor and
accelerometer for
tracking speed and
distance when you’re
exercising outdoors.
The new Series 3, from
£329, is water resistant
for swimming, includes
GPS and an altimeter.
Do I need GymKit?
If you exercise
outdoors, you can use
your iPhone or Apple
Watch to track your
speed, distance covered,
and calories burned.
But you don’t actually
move off the spot when
you’re using a treadmill
or cycling machine in
a gym; GymKit can
record data directly
from the exercise
machine then transfer
it to the Apple Watch.
he gym is the first port of call
for most people who want to
improve their fitness, and apple
recently unveiled big plans to
get into the gym business. But rather than
opening a chain of elegantly designed gyms,
Apple came up with GymKit, a new piece of
software that is included in watchOS 4. GymKit
allows treadmills, rowing machines and other
types of fitness equipment to record data
about your workout, such as distance, speed,
and calories burned, and transmit that data
directly to your Apple Watch.
Of course, an iPhone or Apple Watch can
already monitor how far or fast you run when
you’re jogging or cycling around the park, but
they’re less useful if you’re simply running on
the spot on a machine in the gym. But a running
machine that works with GymKit can use an
NFC chip (near-field communication) to record
the details of your workout in precise detail,
and then simply push that data over onto
your Apple Watch.
Apple has announced that it is working with
all the main manufacturers of gym equipment
to add GymKit support to their products,
including LifeFitness, StairMaster, and Nautilus,
and some of them have even promised to
release their first GymKit-compatible machines
by the end of this year. However, most gyms
tend to update their equipment every two
24 | macformat | JANUARy 2018
or three years, so it could take a while for
Apple’s new tech to reach UK high streets.
Work it out
If you want to get started a little sooner then
there are still plenty of options available for
taking your training to the next level.
The Apple Watch does include both heart
rate and motion sensors, but it’s something of
a jack-of-all-trades device, so for many sports
a more specialised heart sensor can be useful
(or just cheaper than buying an Apple Watch).
Wahoo is perhaps the most well known name
here, as its Tickr range of sensors is sold in
Apple Stores. The basic Tickr model starts
at just £40, and provides precise, real-time
monitoring of your heart rate and calorie
consumption. For more detailed monitoring
there’s the Tickr X for £65, which includes
additional sensors for running and other
sports, as well as a special ‘treadmill’ mode
so that you can use it in the gym as well as
running outdoors.
Other affordable sports tech that comes
in for less than £100 includes devices such
as the Tangram range of smart skipping ropes
(or ‘jump ropes’ if you prefer a less childish
term). The Smart Rope Pure starts at £60, and
includes magnetic sensors that can monitor
your jump rate and calorie consumption, and
its Smart Gym app for iOS and Apple Watch @macformat
Hi-tech training apple home
As well as Bluetooth and
NFC, many fitness devices
use another wireless tech
called Ant+. This was
originally developed by
Garmin for its own range
of fitbands, but has since
been adopted by Wahoo
and several other fitness
companies. @macformat
JANUARy 2018 | macformat | 25
apple home Hi-tech training
With clever tech and
LEDs displaying your
data, Tangram has
changed the face of the
lowly old skipping rope.
Do gyms really
need GymKit?
It might take a while for
new GymKit-compatible
equipment to arrive in
your local gym. However,
many exercise machines
already include Bluetooth
connectivity or NFC
chips, which allow them
to communicate with
the manufacturer’s
own apps on iOS and
Android devices.
Concept2 can help track
rowing, cycling and skiing
with a wide variety of
gym-style machines.
What about
fitness trackers?
Apple Watch includes
dozens of features that
have little to do with health
or fitness. If all you want
is a basic fitband that can
monitor speed, distance
and heart rate, there are
many cheaper alternatives.
One of our favourites is the
Misfit Ray, which starts at
just £36 and looks like
a friendship bracelet.
It doesn’t have a screen,
but can use Bluetooth to
send data to your iPhone
when you get back home.
allows you to program interval training
routines and other types of workout. You can
also buy the Smart Rope LED for £80, which
has a series of LEDs embedded in the rope,
which create a lingering after-image that
displays your workout data hovering in mid-air
as the rope spins round and round.
We’re also fans of the Zepp range of sports
sensors. Some of these – such as the tennis
and golf sensors – focus more on technique,
helping you to improve the accuracy and
precision of your game, but Zepp also makes
a football sensor for £100 that you can wear
inside a special calf sleeve. This monitors your
performance during a match, and can record
data such as your sprinting speed, kick speed,
and the distance covered during a match to
see if your fitness is up to scratch.
Bicycle race
If you’re willing to spend a bit more money,
you can buy your own rowing machine or
cycling machine for use at home. Concept2
is one of the main manufacturers in this field,
and its range of rowing machines, cycling and
‘ski-erg’ machines are great for working on
general cardio fitness. They’re a bit pricey, with
its Model D rowing machine starting at around
26 | macformat | JANUARy 2018
£860, and £1,188 for the
BikeErg cycling machine,
but Concept2’s products are used in a lot of
gyms as well, and there’s a small industry of
third-party apps that work with the company’s
fitness equipment. This data can be fed into
Apple’s Activity and Health apps, of course.
A less expensive option for use at home
is a ‘trainer’ – a special stand that you can use
to convert an ordinary bike into a stationary
exercise machine, complete with Bluetooth
connectivity for your iPhone.
Along with its Tickr heart sensors, Wahoo
makes a number of Kickr trainers, starting at
£500 for the Kickr Snap. For an additional
£500 you can buy the Kickr Climb, an add-on
for the Snap that raises and lowers the front of
the bike to simulate hill climbs. The company
even makes a range of accessories for its
fitness gear, such as a ‘desk’ stand you can
place in front of your bike so that you can
do some work on your laptop while you’re
exercising on your bike. And if that’s too
expensive for you, both Wahoo and Garmin
have a range of affordable ‘bike computers’,
starting at less than £100, that turn your old
rust bucket into a high-tech smart bike with
GPS and other fitness features. @macformat
A House Of Commons report
claims that 36% of adults in
the UK are overweight, while
27% are medically obese.
1 in 3
The number of overweight
or obese children at Year 6
school age, according
to the NHS.
The number of applications
for the 2018 Virgin Money
London Marathon.
If you want to track
your cycling, you can
add smart tech to
your regular bike with
Garmin’s Edge 20.
More than half of those
applicants have never run
a marathon before –
so get training now!
five of the best
take it to the limit with these smart fitness devices
Apple Watch
Series 3
From £329
Garmin Edge 20
Tangram Smart
Rope Pure £60
Wahoo Kickr
Snap £500
Wahoo Tickr X
Cheaper than most
smartwatches, the Edge
20 is a ‘bike computer’
that can add smart tech
to your bike. It includes
GPS location tracking
and downloadable route
maps, and there are a
variety of modes for
indoor or outdoor use.
Skipping is a great
workout for many sports
as it improves both
fitness and footwork.
The Smart Rope Pure
can monitor the speed
and number of jumps,
plus calories burned, and
its app lets you program
interval training routines.
Don’t like cycling in the
rain? Kickr Snap will allow
you to turn an ordinary
bike into a versatile
exercise machine to use
at home. The Snap app
lets you monitor speed,
resistance, and also
program workouts
and ‘virtual courses’.
Tickr X is more than just a
heart rate monitor. It can
also monitor and analyse
cycling cadence to
improve technique, or
ground contact time for
running. It’s also got a
number of indoor modes
for use with running and
cycling machines in a gym.
Apple Watch Series 3
is packed with fitness
features. Along with a
heart rate sensor and
accelerometer, it’s water
resistant for swimming,
supports GPS, and boasts
an altimeter. The cellular
model starts at £399. @macformat
JANUARy 2018 | macformat | 27
28 | MACFORMAT | JANUARY 2018 @macformat
Work faster
and smarter,
and boost
your Mac’s
Written by Craig Grannell > @macformat
ou may at times feel your
Mac experience is akin to
squelching through a bog.
And the thing is, although
ageing hardware can cause
problems, the way you use your Mac is
often just as much to blame. The reality
is that, over time, your Mac accumulates
all kinds of cruft, which slows everything
down; moreover, your own workflows
and habits may have ingrained in you
inefficient ways of working.
This feature is all about giving
you a new Mac. Not in a literal sense –
MacFormat’s budget sadly doesn’t
stretch to taping a free MacBook to
every magazine. What we mean is that
we’ll outline all kinds of ways to boost the
effectiveness of your Mac, and thereby
also your productivity.
Hardware will be covered, but the
reality is that the vast majority of Macs in
recent years are essentially sealed boxes.
The days are long gone when you could
safely crack open a Mac, replace a bunch
of its internal components, and end up with
a sort-of-new, screamingly-fast computer.
Mostly, then, we’re looking at everything
else: ways in which you can ‘think different’
about how you use apps; new methods for
interacting with your Mac – and how to be
more effective when doing so; user-friendly
methods of automating certain processes,
and recommendations for moving key data
and your workflow to the cloud.
Take on board our advice and, even
though your Mac itself may remain broadly
unchanged, it will nonetheless feel like
it’s been reborn, as you head towards a
smarter, faster, more productive future.
Optimise your Mac
input devices
Whether you’re using a keyboard, mouse or trackpad,
there are ways to speed up working with your Mac
Explained... Finding a clearer perspective
Adjust your
In System Preferences, the
Keyboard pane has options
for fine-tuning how your
keyboard works with your
Mac, including defining new
keyboard shortcuts, and
creating text replacements.
Explore your
2 mouse options
Whatever mouse you’re
currently using, the Mouse
pane provides settings to
change how it works. Tracking
speed is perhaps the most
important – ramp it up to
the maximum you feel
comfortable with.
your trackpad
The Trackpad pane offers
three tabs full of options.
Again, tracking speed is worth
increasing, but also turn on
‘Tap to click’, so you tap lightly
to select items on your Mac,
rather than having to press.
Use Spotlight
Sure, you can launch
apps on your Mac by clicking
icons in the Applications folder
or Dock. But it’s often faster to
press ç+[Space] to fire up
Spotlight, type a few letters,
and use the arrow keys and
® to open what’s selected.
Power up with
5 BetterTouchTool
BetterTouchTool (from £4, is a single utility
designed to enhance all of
your input devices. Using this
app, you can define all manner
of triggers to perform your
choice of actions.
6 Get
trackpad gestures
Your Mac’s Magic Mouse or
trackpad understands many
more gestures than System
Preferences provides options
for. With BetterTouchTool,
you can create gestures that
use up to five fingers or a firm
press on a trackpad corner. @macformat
The ultimate refresh MAC REBORN
Power up your
Mac’s input devices
1 Type accented letters
For fast access to accented letters,
hold a letter key down to see a pop-up
menu; press a number key to select the
character in the corresponding position.
Or, learn specific shortcuts in Keyboard
Viewer (activated in the Keyboard tab of
System Preferences’ Keyboard pane).
access to
menu commands
2 Keyboard
To access a menu command without
navigating menus, press ç+ß+/
to bring up Help, and start typing
the command’s name. Use the arrow
keys to navigate the menu and ® to
confirm. This is also great when you know
the name of a command but don’t recall
its whereabouts in an app’s menus.
3 Use Hot Corners
In the Mission Control pane of
System Preferences, click Hot Corners.
In the sheet that then appears, define
what you want to happen when you move
the mouse cursor into each corner. This
can be a lightning fast way to trigger
your screen saver.
in a decent
window manager
4 Invest
Don’t waste time precisely positioning
windows – get a window manager to do it!
BetterTouchTool offers options for this,
but Moom ($10, is
better. Have it instantly snap a window to
a user-defined area by using a keyboard
shortcut or gesture, or by dragging out
the desired position on the screen.
apps from
the keyboard
5 Open
BetterTouchTool enables you to set
keyboard shortcuts to instantly open
favourite apps or folders. The action to
use is Open Application/File/AppleScript.
Shortcuts that involve ≈+ß+[letter]
won’t clash with anything else.
6 Ditch your mouse
Mice are a dated input device, and
poor ergonomically. Consider a trackpad
so you can use gestures, or a pen-based
tablet on which the surface is mapped to
corresponding points on your display –
then you can jump to a position by lifting
the stylus and setting it down elsewhere.
Hey, Siri!
Saying ‘Hey Siri’
works for your
iPhone and iPad.
A workaround
can add it to your Mac, too.
In Siri’s System Preferences
pane, select Customise in the
Keyboard Shortcut pop-up
menu, and use å+[Space].
(This differs from the similar
predefined shortcut in the
pop-up, which requires you to
hold those keys, not just press
them.) In the Keyboard pane’s
Dictation tab, turn on enhanced
dictation. (This may require a
400MB download.)
Go to the Accessibility
preferences pane, select
Dictation on the left, and define
‘Hey’ as the dictation keyword
phrase. Click the Dictation
Commands button, tick Enable
advanced commands, and click
+ to create a new command. In
‘When I say’, type ‘Siri’, and set
Perform to Press Keyboard
Shortcut. Repeat the keyboard
shortcut from earlier. Click
Done. Hey, Siri! is now all set.
How to: Define a custom keyboard shortcut >
1 Find a shortcut
Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to
speed up workflow on your Mac – it’s far
easier to prod a couple of keys than to
move the pointer to a menu item. But
some items don’t have shortcuts, such
as File > Export as PDF… in TextEdit. @macformat
2 Create a new shortcut 3 Define a shortcut
In System Preferences > Keyboard >
Shortcuts > App Shortcuts, click the +
button just below the right-hand pane.
Select an app from the Application menu
(or All Applications if you want the
shortcut to be available everywhere.)
Next to Menu Title, type the menu
command exactly (including ellipses –
å+;). Click inside Keyboard Shortcut
and press your desired key combination.
Choose something that doesn’t clash with
existing ones. Click Add. Now try it out.
Mac workflow
Stop doing boring things again and again – use automation
to collate documents and perform tasks on your behalf
Explained... Finding a clearer perspective
Start using
Smart Folders
In Finder, you can create
Smart Folders, which are
automatically filled with items
that match your specified
criteria. The contents could
be anything from recently
saved JPEGs to all items that
you’ve tagged with a red label.
Smart Playlists
Smart Playlists in
iTunes provide the means to
create collections of music
that continually adapt. For
example, you might create
one for recent additions you
haven’t played at all, or stuff
you’ve told the app you love
yet haven’t played for months.
Smart Mailboxes
By default, Mail gives
you a sole Smart Mailbox:
Today. This contains all the
messages that arrived today
from all your accounts. But as
you’ll see in our tips, you can
create more useful mailboxes.
Understand rules
The make-up of smart
containers varies slightly from
app to app, but the foundation
is always rules/conditions.
Figure out in plain English
what you want items to match,
and then set about defining
that using the menu options.
Text replacement
If you’re always mistyping something, familiarise
yourself with the Text tab in
System Preferences’ Keyboard
pane. There you’ll find a table
in which to specify text you
want to replace with longer
phrases, plus system-wide
settings for shortcuts such as
turning straight quotes curly.
Automate tasks
Automator is used to
build workflows that perform
tasks on your behalf. In the
hands of a programmer, it’s a
hugely powerful facility, but
the drag-and-drop system’s
suitable even for beginners. @macformat
The ultimate refresh MAC REBORN
Automate more
stuff on your Mac
Create multi-line
text replacements
In the Text tab of System Preferences’
Keyboard pane, you can set short phrases
that you want to be replaced with longer
blocks of text. This is great for accessing
extended characters, and you can also
paste multi-line text that you’ve written
in TextEdit into the With column – ideal
for boilerplate replies to emails!
Automate quitting
every app
Scale images
with Automator
If you often have many apps open,
you can quickly close them all using
an app built in Automator that contains
the Quit All Applications action. Choose
whether apps ask to save changes; you
can also remove specific apps from the
action, so they remain open.
Automator can resize images. With the
Scale Images action, set the number of
pixels for each one’s long side. The app will
offer to add a Copy Finder action to retain
the originals, rather than replace them.
Make an ‘urgent’
Smart Mailbox
It’s easy for email to get lost in amongst
the many items in your inbox. Create
a Smart Mailbox with the conditions
‘Message is in Mailbox Inbox’ and ‘Date
received is not in the last 7 days’. This
will contain email that arrived over a
week ago – which needs dealing with.
‘unread’ Mailbox
5 Create
On iOS, Apple provides a handy Unread
folder for unread emails across all your
accounts. Create a Smart Mailbox on
your Mac to do the same. Simply add a
‘Message is unread’ condition; optionally,
add a ‘Message is not in mailbox Junk’
condition to omit junk mail.
6 Rotate iTunes tracks
In iTunes, create a Smart Playlist
with the rule ‘Last Played not in the last
30 days’. Add a ‘Media Kind is Music’ rule.
The playlist will include tracks you’ve not
heard during the past month. You can
then refine this as necessary with ratings
and artist information.
For anyone who
downloads and
works with a lot
of files, Mac
housekeeping can feel like
endless tedium. Hazel ($32 –
about £24,
is designed to toil on your
behalf. Setting it up involves
you identifying specific folders,
and then creating rules to
process files in those folders
based on conditions that files
must match.
Hazel works in a similar
manner to Smart Folders.
So you can, for instance,
have Hazel examine your
Downloads folder and send
any music it finds to iTunes,
PDFs to ~/Documents/PDFs,
and images to Photos. With
a system like this in place,
anything still lurking in
Downloads can then be safely
trashed – and Hazel will even
empty the Trash on a regular
basis, saving you the bother
of doing so yourself.
How to: Create a search service in Automator >
1 Set things up
You can select text and run a Google
search on it from the ≈-click contextual
menu, but let’s make a service that uses
DuckDuckGo. Create a new Service, and
drag Run AppleScript to the right pane.
A basic script structure will be added. @macformat
2 Create your workflow
On the return input line, replace input
with: ""
& (input as string). This sends the
selected text to DuckDuckGo. Add Display
Webpages beneath the Run AppleScript
action. This opens the result in Safari.
3 Save and use
Save the service as Search with
DuckDuckGo. It can now be selected from
the Services menu when text is selected in
an app. In System Preferences > Keyboard
> Shortcuts, create a shortcut for instant
access to the service.
Live in the
Hurl your Mac and every other device into
the future by fully embracing the cloud
Explained... Store and sync in the cloud >
Use iCloud
Make any Mac feel
reborn by embracing iCloud.
When you fully utilise iCloud,
important data is instantly
available on any of your
Macs – no more half-finished
bits and bobs scattered
across multiple computers.
Share folders
In iCloud Drive’s options,
you can choose to store your
Desktop and Documents
folders online. Files in them
then sync across Macs signed
into your Apple ID, and are
available on iOS devices too.
Sync Safari across
3 your devices
When using iCloud across your
various Macs and iOS devices,
you can view a list of Safari
tabs left open on them from
any one device. Bookmarks
and your browsing history
sync across them too. Turn on
iCloud Keychain to sync site
logins and payment details.
Optimise photos
If you’re a keen
photographer, consider
storing all your photos and
videos in iCloud. On doing so,
even edits become available
on all your devices – and your
Mac will only download
originals when there’s space.
Use Google Drive
Google Drive gives you
15GB of online storage for
free. With Google’s Backup
and Sync app, you can
integrate Google Drive into
Finder to access your Google
Docs, and also sync specific
folders for online back-up.
Check out
6 Dropbox
Dropbox only offers 2GB for
free, but has very widespread
support in apps across all
platforms. You can selectively
sync, too, which makes it
suitable for use as an onlineonly locker for files you’re
currently working on. @macformat
The ultimate refresh MAC REBORN
Refresh your Mac
by using the cloud
Optimise Mac storage
The days of new Macs having way
more storage than their predecessors
are over – a problem if you have a lot of
media. iCloud Drive provides a solution:
in System Preferences > iCloud, click
on iCloud Drive’s Options button and
turn on Optimise Mac Storage. Older
documents are offloaded to iCloud
when storage space is needed.
online for your
office tasks
2 Go
Apple now offers online versions of
its office-oriented apps like Pages and
Numbers, but Google’s online suite
remains the industry leader. Consider
using Docs (word processing) and
Sheets (spreadsheets) if you want fast
access to your work on any platform,
and to very easily collaborate live with
your friends and colleagues.
with Dropbox
3 Share
Need a more optimal way to share
your screenshots? Take a look in
Dropbox’s Import preferences and
tick ‘Share screenshots using Dropbox’.
Grabs taken on your Mac in the normal
manner will then instantly be moved
to your Dropbox folder, and you can
then share links to them with people.
wary of operating
system differences
4 Be
When using Apple’s cloud services,
be mindful that certain features may
require a specific system. For example,
pinning and tables in Notes are part of
iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra. Pinning
doesn’t happen in earlier systems,
and tables aren’t shown at all.
access on
your iOS devices
5 Easy
When using iCloud Drive and storing
your Desktop and Documents folders
there, a major advantage in terms of
speeding up your workflow is the
ability to access these folders
on your iOS devices. Open the Files
app and you’ll find those folders in
the top level of iCloud Drive. It’s worth
noting that iOS devices only download
files on demand, not by default.
Stream all
your music
So you’re the type
of person who
enjoys having great
sounds pumped
into your ears at all times. But
large music collections take up
space on your Mac, and aren’t
particularly portable – at least
not without faffing about
synchronising tracks – which
then eat into the limited storage
on iPhones and iPads.
If you’re going all-in with
the cloud to revitalise your
Mac experience, consider a
music-streaming service.
Apple Music will integrate
with an existing collection in
iTunes and works across
macOS, iOS, watchOS, tvOS,
iTunes for Windows and even
Android, but other services
are pretty great too, including
those from Spotify, Amazon
and Google.
How to: Create a shared to-do list >
1 Create a list
Make your Mac work for you by using
it to create lists you can access on all your
devices – and share with other people, too!
Open Reminders and click Add List. Name
your new list – ‘To-do list’ or similar – and
drag it where you want it in the left pane. @macformat
2 Share your list
When you place the pointer over your
list, a button appears to the right. Click it
to open a pop-up menu. In the Share With
field, type the email address of the person
you’d like to share the list with. (Note that
they must have an iCloud account.)
3 Use your list
Both parties can now use the list,
which will be updated and synchronised
across all of their devices. To stop sharing
a list with someone, select their name in
the pop-up menu and press the ∫ key.
You cannot undo this action.
your apps
Keep an eye on your apps, consider their uses,
and look at streamlined alternatives
Explained... Get to know your application station
Check your apps
Open the Applications
folder to see everything that
you’ve installed. Also check
the Applications folder within
your user folder, if it exists,
in case you’ve installed some
apps specifically to your user
account for your use only.
View by size
When viewing your
Applications folder, choose
View > as List. Sort your apps
by clicking column headers;
click Size to see which of them
take up lots of space. Consider
deleting some apps if your
storage is running low.
View by usage
You may also have a
number of apps installed that
you never use. ≈-click on a
column header, turn on the
Date Last Opened column,
and then sort the list by it.
You can now see when you
last used each app. Consider
which you no longer need.
Monitor app loads
If your Mac often feels
sluggish or locks up, open
Activity Monitor and keep an
eye on the CPU and Memory
tabs. If specific apps are
putting too much load on
your Mac, start considering
alternatives to use instead.
Prune login items
In the Users & Groups
pane of System Preferences,
select your account and click
Login Items. If anything listed
here is something you don’t
need, or at least not every
time you log in, select it and
remove it from the list.
Review apps’
6 support files
Some apps install many
gigabytes of support files,
such as GarageBand and its
loops. Use GrandPerspective
(free, grandperspectiv. to locate
large blocks of files that you
may never need. @macformat
The ultimate refresh MAC REBORN
Tips for being
Use appropriate apps
for the task in hand
Suitability is an important consideration
when it comes to app usage. Think of what
you’re trying to achieve, and then the best
way of going about that. Don’t just shove
everything into Pages, for example – use
Reminders for lists, Numbers for tabular
data, and Notes for gathering research.
Find more efficient
If you use only a fraction of an app’s
capabilities, you might instead go for
something simpler. Only care about words,
rather than page layout? Consider iA
Writer over Word or Pages. Only do basic
image editing? Photos can do that – you
don’t need Photoshop or Affinity Photo.
about processes
to fix issues
to external storage
2 Learn
5 Offload
If you’re not sure what a process does, use
Google or similar to look it up and find out.
Sometimes, you’ll find quitting processes
rather than apps in Activity Monitor can
fix issues – such as killing Photos Agent to
get a stalled Photo Stream working again.
default apps
3 Reconsider
Some Mac users merrily install tons of
apps. Every time something new and shiny
appears, it’s instantly downloaded. But it
pays to look again at what Apple provides.
Many of the company’s own apps are
powerful, and work very well with iCloud.
When you download new apps outside
of the Mac App Store, you likely get an
installer dumped in Downloads. You’re
free to offload installers to external
storage, and you don’t need them on
your Mac – they’re just clutter that takes
up space. If you have macOS installers in
Applications, they’re a huge waste.
6 Prune your menu bar
Some apps place status icons in
the menu bar. That area can fast become
crowded and make items designed for
quick access hard to find. Disable any you
don’t use – look in their apps’ preferences.
Prep for
If you have an
iOS device, you
may have noticed
a large number
of apps and games stopped
working with iOS 11. That’s
because Apple’s newest mobile
operating system nixed support
for 32-bit apps. The Mac hasn’t
killed off such apps yet, but
Apple has announced the
process will begin in 2018,
whereupon all Mac App Store
apps will have to be 64-bit.
To find out what 32-bit
apps you’re running, start by
choosing  > About This Mac.
Click System Report to open
the System Information utility.
In that app, select Applications
(under Software in the left
pane). Finally, click the 64-bit
column header to separate
32-bit and 64-bit apps in the list.
Don’t trash 32-bit apps just yet,
but keep an eye out for updates
(or 64-bit alternatives if the app
in question hasn’t been updated
in a number of years).
How to: Work with Activity Monitor >
1 Check CPU usage
Open Activity Monitor (found in the
Utilities folder), and click the CPU tab.
Click the % CPU header and also choose
View > My Processes. Your account’s
processes will be listed by CPU usage.
Note down any that overload your Mac. @macformat
2 View memory usage
Use the Memory tab in a similar
fashion. Click the Memory header to list
running processes by memory usage.
Sometimes you’ll find individual Safari
tabs cause memory pressure problems. A
quit and restart of the browser can fix this.
3 Quit unruly apps
Unresponsive apps are displayed in
red, and you may need to force them to
quit. You can kill any process from Activity
Monitor by selecting it, clicking the close
button (the x at the top left), and choosing
Quit – or, if necessary, Force Quit.
Upgrade your
Mac’s hardware
Revitalise your Mac by treating it to some new
hardware – whether internal or external
Explained... Handling your Mac’s hardware
Find out about
your Mac
In the  menu, choose About
This Mac. This is the central
area for finding out more
about your Mac, including
details about the model such
as its graphics processor,
connected displays, and
installed memory and storage.
View storage
Select the Storage tab
and you get an overview of all
connected disks. Used storage
is broken down into categories,
so you can check out whether
your Mac’s drives are clogged
up with photos, apps, or other
types of data.
Get your Mac’s
model number
When you want to know about
upgrading a Mac, you’ll need
to know its specific model
type. This is displayed in the
Overview tab of About My
Mac, which details the Mac’s
release year and display size.
Check out the
4 fine details
Under Overview, click System
Report. This opens the System
Information utility, which gives
you a more detailed look at
what’s inside your Mac. Select
any category from the sidebar
to learn more about it.
Print a report
Should you need to
provide some of your Mac’s
details to a store or repair
centre, use File > Print to take
a copy of the selected
category’s details. As always
in macOS, you can print to a
PDF to get a digital copy.
View storage
6 recommendations
Choose Window > Storage
Management to open a list
of recommendations. Here,
you’ll see whether you have
options to offload data to the
cloud (or just delete it), which
may have a positive impact on
your storage upgrade needs. @macformat
The ultimate refresh MAC REBORN
Power up your Mac
with new hardware
Upgrade your
1 Mac’s
Most modern Macs are sealed, but 27-inch
iMacs still have upgradable memory, as
do many older models. Go to  > About
This Mac > Overview to find out what your
specific Mac model is. The Memory tab
details installed memory, and provides
a button to Apple’s upgrade instructions.
If you can add memory, it’s worth doing.
Get an SSD to
things up
2 speed
If your Mac still has a hard drive rattling
around inside it, consider upgrading to
an SSD. You’ll find that Information will
be accessed far more rapidly, greatly
speeding up everything from startup
to opening apps. You may be able to
upgrade older Macs yourself; if concerned,
find an Apple repair expert to assist.
Trash redundant files
Even if you don’t swap out your
Mac’s internal drive, there are things
you can do to make it feel reborn. For
example, wheel out GrandPerspective
again, search for redundant files, and
trash them. This alone can speed up
a Mac if its startup disk is getting full.
4 Use external drives
Should you not be keen on deleting
a bunch of files, even if you no longer
actively use them, offload them to an
external hard drive. If the documents
are of importance, make sure you have
at least two backups of them.
5 Improve your Wi-Fi
If your main Mac problem is internet
connectivity being sluggish, consider
three things: upgrade to fibre broadband
if it’s available; get better hardware (free
routers are often relatively poor); and look
at Wi-Fi extenders for buildings where the
signal can’t get through loads of walls.
6 Get a USB hub
Simple, cheap ‘upgrades’ can often
make a big difference. If you have an iMac
and are sick of disconnecting and plugging
in USB devices, grab a USB hub. Boom:
instant access to a ton of ports.
Increasingly, people use
notebooks rather than desktop
computers. They’re great for
portability, but not for your
back, given that you typically
type while hunched over the
keyboard. Poor ergonomics
shouldn’t be ignored – back
complaints are a major problem
for computer users.
If you have the space and
funds, look at getting yourself
an external display, and connect
a wireless Apple keyboard and
trackpad to your notebook.
You’ll have more screen space
in which to work, and a more
natural setup for typing and
interacting with your Mac.
Your Mac hardware won’t
necessarily feel reborn as a
consequence of such changes –
but you may well do.
How to: Turn your iPad into a second display >
1 Install Duet Display
If you have an iPad hanging around
doing nothing when you’re using your
Mac, turn it into a second display. Go to and click Download Mac.
Find the file in Downloads and go through
the steps to install the helper tool. @macformat
2 Activate Duet DIsplay
In the Security & Privacy pane of
System Preferences, select Privacy and
then Accessibility. Unlock the pane (you’ll
need an admin password), and tick Duet.
You’ll now need to restart your Mac, after
which Duet will be in the menu bar.
3 Connect your iPad
Install Duet Display (£14.99, App
Store) on your iPad, open the app, and
then connect your iPad to your Mac with
a Lightning cable. Use Duet’s settings to
adjust resolution and quality. You can
also enable a virtual Touch Bar.
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The source for tech buying advice
| March 2017
What’s inside
remove image
Clean up images
with Photoshop
improve itunes’
EditEd by
jo membery
Your in-depth guide to
getting more from
your Apple kit
Use Automator
to make life easy
organise your
Get Magnet to
manage your windows
master ios 11
Control your iOS
device with ease
know who’s
Assign custom pics,
ringtones and vibrations
to certain contacts
Understand iOS gestures
A tap is a brief contact of
(usually) one finger on your
device’s screen.
Swipe means move one or
more fingers across an item
or the screen, then let go.
Pinch means move two
fingers together or apart,
usually to zoom in or out.
To drag is to move a finger
across the screen to scroll
or pan around content.
A flick is like swiping, but it’s
quicker, and is often used to
scroll content more quickly.
Touch and hold means lightly
rest your finger on an item
and wait for a reaction.
Master Mac keyboard shortcuts
When you see a shortcut like
ç+å+C, hold all but the
last key, then press that one.
≈ means the Control key,
labelled ctrl, and shown as ^
in shortcuts in the menu bar.
ç is the Command key,
which is also labelled cmd.
ß is the Shift key, which is
typically just labelled shift.
å means the Option key,
labelled alt or opt.
∫ means the Delete key,
which deletes to the left of the
insertion point. Press ƒ+∫
to delete to the right.
† is the Tab key, which shifts
the focus between some
controls in windows and web
forms. Turn on Full Keyboard
Access in System Preferences
to jump between all controls.
janUary 2018 | macFormat | 43
APPLE SKILLS Mac software
Remove unwanted
objects from pics
Learn this very useful skill of rescuing photos
by getting rid of intrusive elements
A few hours’ practice
you wILL LEArn
The difference
between the
Clone Stamp and
Healing Brush tools
you’LL nEEd
An imperfect image,
Photoshop CC
unfortunately, not every
image can be perfect, and
often unwanted elements
make their way into even the
most carefully considered compositions.
And that’s before you consider the unwanted
intrusion of dust spots.
Photoshop CC 2018 (and earlier versions)
offers a wealth of tools when it comes to
cleaning up images. Being able to heal dust
spots, clone out bigger intrusions, and select
and mask areas of an image so you can drop in
entirely new elements is fantastically handy.
Accidentally caught an awkward-looking
passer-by in the frame? A few minutes’ work
and you can get shot of them completely.
Taken the perfect eBay photograph but forgot
to blow the dust off your unwanted gadget?
A bit of healing can sort things out. Let us
show you how. Note: we’ve used Photoshop
for this tutorial, but similar tools are available
in many photo editors. dave Stevenson
Raw or heal
Camera Raw filter
is the best place
to heal from, but if
you’ve only got a
few spots to deal
with, the Healing
Brush will do the job.
Brush over
The Clone Stamp
tool is for brushing
another part of
an image directly
over something you
want removed.
How to Remove objects in Photoshop CC 2018
1 Pixual healing
The Healing Brush tool is for removing incidental blemishes –
skin defects on people, for instance, or small amounts of dust or
hair. Drag the brush over the defect and Photoshop samples
from a nearby area, matching brightness and colour.
44 | MACForMAt | JANUARY 2018
2 Use the Camera Raw filter
Press ß+ç+A to open the Camera Raw filter, which has
a very powerful healing tool. Press B to select it, and use the
square bracket keys to change the size of the brush. As a rule,
you want to use the smallest brush possible. @macformat
Image cleaning APPLE SKILLS
The Healing Brush
and Clone Stamp
tools work like other
brushes; you can
vary their size,
as well as factors
such as feathering
and opacity.
Experiment to get
the perfect result.
Jargon buster
The Clone Source
panel allows you to set
up to five sources to
clone from, as well as
being able to rotate or
offset your samples.
You can set clone
sources from any layer
or document that’s
open in Photoshop.
Genius tip!
Easy does it. Avoid
making very large
changes in an attempt
to get the job done
sooner: poor-quality
cloning is very easy
to spot, particularly
in printed images.
Creating paths
Paths enable you
to select just the
part of your image
you want to edit,
helping to prevent
accidental brush
strokes elsewhere.
3 Close up and personal
Press å+ç+0 (zero) to view your image at 100% – this
will allow you to discern much smaller spots. Press h to switch
from the Healing Brush to the Hand tool, and drag around your
image so you can check the whole thing over. @macformat
4 Be precise
If Photoshop heals over a spot and you don’t like the result,
press ç+Z to undo it. Alternatively, drag the green dashed
circle somewhere else on the image to change where Photoshop
takes its sample from. Press V to hide these dashed circles.
JANUARY 2018 | MACForMAt | 45
APPLE SKILLS Mac software
How to Remove objects in Photoshop CC 2018
5 Visualise spots
6 Remove bigger objects
7 Set sample area
8 Clone wars
9 Mark the area to edit
10 Turn it into a selection
Press Y to visualise the spots in your image. This highcontrast view of your image visualises spots as bright white
specks, allowing you to quickly identify and sort them. It’s worth
frequently switching this view on and off to do the best job.
With the area to work on enlarged, press S to select the
Clone Stamp tool. Photoshop then copies directly from one area
of the image over that which you want removed. Hold å, then
click in the area you want to sample from.
With the skirting and floor sorted out, we need to get the
fine detail around the table’s edge sorted. It’s awkwardly on the
side of the table, so to avoid cloning the table unnecessarily,
we’ve used the Path tool to outline the edge of the table.
46 | MACForMAt | JANUARY 2018
This image, illustrating a projector running a video game,
is a work in progress – the cables straggling away from the unit
are a real distraction. They’re too big to use the Healing Brush
tool, so the Clone Stamp tool is best.
With an appropriate area selected, click and drag over the
area you want to replace. We’re working on the skirting board
first, being careful to sample directly from the horizontal line
between the skirting board and the floorboard so it matches.
Open the Paths panel (Window > Paths). In it, ç-click the
path you just made to convert it to a marquee selection. Now
any Clone Stamp alterations you make will be restricted to the
marquee and you won’t risk changing other parts of your image. @macformat
from all good
newsagents and
Print edition available at
Digital edition available at
Available on the following platforms
APPLE SKILLS Mac software
input & scope
These two
pop-up menus
tell a workflow
what input it
will receive and
which app it will
be used in.
The contents
of the selected
Library section
or search results
are listed here.
Drag and drop
actions into the
right pane.
A collection
of predefined
actions that
you can use to
quickly build
Build your
workflow on
the right from
library items,
recorded actions
or a mix of both.
Improve iTunes’ navigation
Use Apple’s powerful automation tool to make it easier to get around
15 minutes
How to create
Services and give them
keyboard shortcuts
yOu’LL nEEd
iTunes and an
admin password
so Automator
can do its thing
In iTunes, you
can navigate
much of the
interface from
the keyboard –
but not all of it
Automator must envy Siri.
While Apple’s digital assistant
hogs all the headlines,
Automator just gets on with
the job of automating things on your Mac
and gets hardly any credit. It’s an incredibly
powerful app, and it’s nowhere near as
frightening as it looks.
Automator’s job is to take care of common
tasks for you. It’s effectively a programming
tool, but once you’ve done the prep work,
it can generate the necessary script for you.
All you need to do is show Automator what to
do and it’ll record how to do it.
One of the brilliant things about Automator
is that you can use it to add features that
Apple hasn’t got round to yet. For example, in
iTunes you can navigate much of the interface
from the keyboard – switching between kinds
of media or moving the focus to the search
bar, say – but there aren’t shortcuts for the
buttons to switch between Library, For You,
Browse, Radio and the iTunes Store. As you’ll
discover, Automator can fix that, and lets us
assign whatever keyboard shortcuts we want.
Automator is all about automation, and
Macs are very wary of anything automated in
case it’s malicious software. That means if
you’ve got a fairly untouched installation of
macOS, Automator might be blocked from
controlling your Mac. In that case, your Mac
will tell you so when you try to run your
Automator workflow, and you may have to
give permission to Automator or iTunes in
System Prefs > Security & Privacy > Privacy.
iTunes triggers
Let’s explain what we’re going to do in this
tutorial. First of all, we’re going to record the
action of clicking on one of iTunes’ buttons.
Then, we’re going to turn that recording into
the AppleScript for the new Service our
keyboard shortcut will trigger. We’ll then edit
that slightly and copy it for each button, giving
us five in total. Then we’ll create our shortcuts.
Note that when we edit the AppleScript,
we add a ‘return’ command: that’s to prevent
error pop-ups if there are fewer than five
buttons in the middle of iTunes’ navigation bar.
We’ll make five shortcuts to match the number
of sections in the Music category, but other
kinds of media have fewer sections, and we
don’t want pressing shortcut four or five to
make our Mac angry. Gary Marshall @macformat
Make iTunes better APPLE SKILLS
How to Improve navigation in iTunes
1 Start in Automator
2 Copy the event
3 Add AppleScript
4 Amend the script
Choose File > New, create a Service and then
set the pop-up menus above the right pane to
‘no input’ and ‘iTunes’. Click Record and press
ç+† to go to iTunes, then click a navigation
link, such as For You. Stop recording.
Click Actions (top left), search for ‘Run’
and drag ‘Run AppleScript’ into the workflow
pane on the right. Select all of the text in the
script and press ç+V to replace it with the
AppleScript for the action you recorded.
Jargon Buster
A workflow is an
organised, repeatable
process that starts at
A and gets you to B.
It could be a program,
a recipe or a procedure.
Your workflow should contain a ‘Watch
Me Do’ action. In it, you’ll see a ‘Click the…’
event. Select it, press ç+C to copy it, click
the action’s heading and press ∫ to delete it.
Don’t worry, we’re going to bring it back again.
Change the number after ‘delay’ to
0.35 and then replace the text that’s between
‘click radio button’ and ‘of radio group’ with ‘1’.
Scroll down. Replace everything between
‘on error’ and ‘end try’ with the word ‘return’.
Genius tip!
Pair Automator with
your Mac’s dictation
features so that a
spoken command,
chosen by you, triggers
a workflow. See
dictcmd for more info.
5 Save your workflow
Press ç+S to save your workflow and
call it ‘Media Subview 1’. Next, press ç+ß+S
to duplicate the workflow, change ‘click radio
button 1’ to ‘click radio button 2’ and save as
‘Media Subview 2’. Repeat for 3, 4 and 5. @macformat
6 Create shortcuts
Open System Preferences and then follow
Apple’s instructions ( to set up
a keyboard shortcut for iTunes > Services >
Media Subview 1. We’d recommend ç+ß+1.
Repeat for the other Services you created.
Organise your workspace
use Magnet to simplify your desktop layout with a few clicks
iT will TAke
10 minutes
yOu will leARn
How to arrange
windows into areas
of your desktop
yOu’ll need
OS X 10.9 or later
while the Mac desktop is
fairly intuitive, minimising
and reopening multiple
windows can be a real chore,
especially if you’re working with multiple
apps at once. Magnet is a handy window
manager that’s often near or at the top of the
Mac App Store’s paid-for apps chart. It offers
a simple way to arrange windows on your
desktop. Normally it’s £4.99, though it’s
sometimes discounted to as little as 99p.
Genius tip!
For a truly tiled
desktop, consider hiding
the Dock when it’s not
in use. Go to  > System
Preferences > Dock >
Automatically Show
and Hide the Dock.
Use Magnet’s menu bar icon to align windows to different
areas of the desktop. Among the many options, you can
also centre a window on your screen.
50 | MACFORMAT | january 2018
You can use Magnet to automatically
resize windows to a quarter, half or third of
your desktop, and you can stack multiple apps
neatly with just a swish of your mouse or by
using Magnet’s intuitive keyboard shortcuts.
Multiple options
The app offers a broad range of options
for ‘tiling’ your windows beyond the simple
zoom and minimise options offered by macOS.
You can drag iTunes to the bottom-right
corner of your screen so that it takes up
just one quarter of the desktop, allowing
you to browse your playlists as you work.
Why not have Safari take up the upper half
of your screen, so you’re free to browse the
web at the same time?
The latest version of Magnet (2.1) has
now been optimised for High Sierra. Other
changes include support for dividing your
desktop into thirds (see the walkthrough) or
two-thirds portions, as well as compatibility
with Adobe Creative Cloud apps. And if you
have multiple displays, you’ll be pleased to
learn that Magnet can support up to six.
nate drake @macformat
Manage windows APPle SkillS
How to Set up Magnet
1 Authorise Magnet
2 Open Magnet at startup 3 Quartering windows
Once you’ve authorised Magnet,
the app will show a ‘Congratulations’
message, which details exactly how you
can tile windows. When you’re done.tick
the box marked ‘Launch Magnet at login’,
then close the window.
Start dragging an open window from
its title bar, then move the pointer to the
very corner of the screen. You’ll see a
shaded overlay appear. Let go of the
window to automatically snap and resize
it to the shaded quarter (or a close fit).
4 Horizontal windows
5 Vertical windows
6 Tile into thirds
7 Use the menu
8 Magnet shortcuts
9 Magnet tweaks
With Magnet installed on your Mac,
open  > System Preferences > Security
& Privacy. Click the Privacy tab, then
select Accessibility on the left. Click the
padlock (bottom left), enter your admin
password, then put a tick next to Magnet.
Magnet can also arrange windows
to run across the whole width of the top
or bottom half of the desktop. Drag a
window to the left or right edge, and then
just above or below one of the corners
there, then release.
If you find it difficult to tile windows
the way you want by dragging with your
mouse or trackpad, click on your chosen
window and then on Magnet’s icon in the
menu bar. From here you can select any
of the tiling options outlined above. @macformat
Magnet can arrange a window to
take up a vertical half of the desktop,
which is great for working on a document
while researching online. Simply drag a
window to the middle of the right- or lefthand edge of the screen.
Click Magnet’s icon to view keyboard
shortcuts for arranging windows. These
are ≈+å+[another key] by default. To
record a new combo, choose Preferences
from the menu, click next to a shortcut,
then press your desired key combo.
Windows can be arranged vertically
into thirds of the desktop’s width. Drag a
window to and then along the screen’s
bottom edge; use the shaded overlays to
choose a third to fill. Minimum widths
imposed by apps may result in overlaps.
Deselect the ‘Snap windows by
dragging’ preference to limit invoking
Magnet to its keyboard shortcuts or its
menu. If you’d rather not allow Magnet
to affect the app you’re using, click its
menu bar icon and choose Ignore [App].
january 2018 | MACFORMAT | 51
Improve your iOS experience
Accessibility features are for everyone with an iPad or iPhone
30 minutes
How the accessibility
features in iOS 11 can
improve your iPhone
or iPad experience
yOu’LL nEEd
iOS 11 (some
features exist on
older versions of iOS)
Accessibility is something
many people consider an add-on
for those with specific assistive
needs. A well known example
is screen reading software, baked into Macs
and iOS devices to help anyone with a visual
impairment. But modern accessibility’s aim is
to cater for everyone, whatever their specific
needs. So iOS 11 includes settings to benefit
people who have hearing or motor impairment,
too, and issues such as vestibular disorders.
Chances are that if you don’t have any such
concerns, you skip past the Accessibility
section of Settings entirely. That’s a shame,
because ideas and concepts geared towards
easing device use for a subset of people can
often benefit a much wider audience.
And that’s what this tutorial is all
about — highlighting accessibility controls
that can be a boon for anyone who uses
an iPad or an iPhone, whether you have
a specific impairment or not. We start with
three handy-to-have controls in the Display
& Brightness section of Settings, before
delving into the Accessibility section proper.
Craig Grannell
How to Make the most of accessibility features
1 Adjust display zoom
Want content bigger on your iPhone
Plus? In Settings > Display & Brightness,
scroll down to View and tap it. In the
Display Zoom page, you can preview
Standard and Zoomed modes. Select
Zoomed, tap Set and confirm to restart.
2 Increase text size
You can alternatively adjust text
alone. In Text Size (or Settings > General
> Accessibility > Larger Text), drag the
slider. In apps that support Dynamic
Type, such as Mail and Facebook, text will
grow accordingly (or shrink, if you wish).
3 Make text bolder
The option below Text Size is Bold
Text (also found in General > Accessibility
> Larger Text). This emboldens text
throughout iOS, including app names and
button labels. Unlike Text Size, applying it
requires your iPhone to be restarted. @macformat
iOS 11 accessibility APPLE SKILLS
CoNtINUED… Make the most of accessibility features
4 Use Smart Invert
5 Auto-brightness
6 Turn on speech
7 Read out a selection
8 Increase contrast
9 Reduce motion
10 Type to Siri
11 Fine-tune 3D Touch
12 Turn on mono audio
You could invert screen colours
before iOS 11 in General > Accessibility >
Display Accommodations. However, the
new Smart Invert option reverses interface
colours but not media. Alas, while it works
in Photos, it doesn’t for images in Safari.
Use the Speaking Rate slider to
preview how fast the voice will talk. Then
switch to another app, select some text,
and tap Speak. Note how the current
sentence is underlined, and words
are highlighted as they are spoken.
If you want to use Siri somewhere
you have to be quiet, turn on Type to Siri
in General > Accessibility > Siri. When Siri
is activated, you now type in your query.
Note, however, that this entirely overrides
voice input functionality. @macformat
The Auto-Brightness switch used to
be in Display & Brightness. Apple now
thinks you should leave it on, so it has
hidden this setting. If you ‘think different’,
you’ll now find it in General > Accessibility >
Display Accommodations.
If you have trouble dealing with
the semi-transparent interface elements
peppered throughout iOS 11, you can
actually make them look more solid.
In General > Accessibility > Increase
Contrast, switch on Reduce Transparency.
If your iPhone has a 3D Touch screen,
go to General > Accessibility > 3D Touch.
Here, you can disable the feature entirely
if you regularly trigger it by accident, or
you can adjust its sensitivity so that it
requires a firmer press before activation.
Few people use the text-to-speech
feature in macOS, but it’s great for reading
back what you’ve written. We suspect even
fewer realise iOS is capable of the same.
Go to General > Accessibility > Speech, and
turn on Speak Selection to get started.
Had your fill of iOS 11’s dizzying
animations, such as zooming when you
open a folder, and the app switcher? Most
can be stilled by turning on Reduce Motion
in General > Accessibility. Auto-playing
effects in Messages are toggled separately.
Listening out for someone? Want
to use just one earbud, keeping the other
ear free, without missing half your stereo
track? Use General > Accessibility > Mono
Audio to mix the left and right sounds into
a mono signal that’s sent to both channels.
APPLE SKILLS Mac/iOS software
Know who is calling you
Have your iPhone tell you who’s calling before you even say “hello”
20 minutes
How to assign custom
images, ringtones
and vibrations to
your key contacts
yOu’LL nEEd
An iPhone
your iPhone is smarter than
a traditional phone, and so it
follows that it’s able to alert
you to who’s on the other end
of the line when a call comes in. But in order
for this to work well, things need turning on
and setting up, depending on the level of
customisation you fancy.
When a call comes in, your iPhone will
show whatever details are stored for the caller.
If there are none, you’ll just see a number; but
if you keep Contacts up to date, it’ll display any
name, company, and photo that it finds.
In the walkthroughs here, we show you
how to make the photo fill the screen, and
assign custom ringtones and vibrations to
specific contacts. But you can also have your
iPhone announce who’s calling by speaking
their name, saving you even having to glance
its way: in Settings, go to Phone > Announce
Calls, and choose Always. This feature can be
restricted to times when you have headphones
on or, more usefully, when you’re in the car.
Craig Grannell
How to Get fullscreen caller images >
1 Avoid tiny images
If pictures for people in Contacts come
from the likes of Facebook thumbnails,
the result is unimpressive when a call
arrives. Next to the caller’s name, you
see a tiny thumbnail. Of course, you may
have no images assigned at all.
2 Bigger photo
For each contact you want to display
fullscreen, you need a high-quality image
in Photos. Ideally, you want one with
dimensions at least half the vertical
height of your iPhone and roughly
75 per cent of its width.
3 Assign photo
Open a card in Contacts, tap Edit,
tap the photo area and then Choose
Photo. Select a photo to use, then move
and scale it within the circle. (The extra
width will give you more leeway.) Tap
Choose and then Done. You’re all set. @macformat
Caller identification APPLE SKILLS
How to Assign ringtones >
1 Change main ringtone
In Settings, go to Sound & Haptics >
Ringtone. Change it from the default.
This now gives you a fighting chance of
knowing your iPhone is the one that’s
ringing. But you can assign ringtones
to individuals, too…
2 Sounds specific
For each person you want to have
a distinct ringtone, open their card in
Contacts, tap Edit, and tap Ringtone.
Change their tone from the default to
something else. You can also assign
custom Text Tones to individuals.
3 Custom ringtones
If you’re not keen on Apple’s
ringtones, you can create your own in
GarageBand, and share them from the
Browse screen as ringtones. Use loops
or imported audio, or – if short on ideas
– just yell someone’s name into the mic.
How to Feel your phone calls
1 Activate vibrations
Ensure vibrations are on. In Settings,
go to Sound & Haptics, turn on Vibrate
on Ring and/or Vibrate on Silent to suit
your personal preferences. You’ll now
feel when a call arrives. Tap Ringtone
(lower down) to choose a vibration.
2 Good vibrations
Within Ringtone > Vibration, tap
Create New Vibration. In the New
Vibration page, make your own distinct
pattern by tapping/holding the screen.
Tap Stop when you’re done, and then
Play to feel what you created.
3 Assign a vibration
If unhappy, tap Record to have
another go. Otherwise, tap Save, and
name your vibration. This can then
be assigned to one or more people in
Contacts, in the Ringtone page shown
in step 2 of the previous walkthrough.
Control where your calls go
Dial up as much Continuity as you require
When Apple devices are signed in to iCloud and FaceTime using the same Apple
ID, are on the same network, and have Wi-Fi turned on, phone calls can be taken
on any of them. This feature is less impressive when several devices blare at you
simultaneously when a call arrives. In Settings on your iPhone, go to Phone >
Calls on Other Devices to pick which Macs and iOS devices should receive calls.
To stop this on your Mac, untick Calls From iPhone in FaceTime’s prefs. For Apple
Watch, open its app on your iPhone and look in My Watch > Notifications > Phone. @macformat
SUBSCRIBE Buy overseas
> Everyissue
> Getinstant
and get MacFormat wherever you are!
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56 | MACFORMAT | JANUARY 2018 @macformat
What’s inside
keep in
Master Contacts
on your Mac
EditEd by
alan stonebridge
We focus on getting
more from macOS
High Sierra
contacts on
the Mac
macOS High Sierra requirements
Genius tip!
safari so-goody
Being able to customise
websites to suit your
personal viewing
preferences was a boon
in macOS Sierra, but
if you moved off to do
something elsewhere
and returned to that
site, you’d find all the
settings were lost.
No more in High Sierra,
in which the browser
retains the settings
you make (for example,
bigger font size) for
specific websites.
You need at least a MacBook
or iMac from 2009, or a Mac
mini/MacBook Pro from 2010.
You need to be running OS X
10.8 or later.
You need 14.3GB of available
storage for the upgrade.
for advice on using
Time Machine.
Back up your Mac before
upgrading; go to support.
Go to the Mac App Store
and download the free
macOS High Sierra upgrade.
the benefits of running macOS High Sierra
macOS High Sierra is the
most up-to-date version of
the Mac’s operating system.
APFS, a new file system that
makes a Mac sporting a flash
drive even faster.
You can install macOS High
Sierra through the App Store
on your Mac.
HEVC (High Efficiency
Video Coding), also known
as H.265, is supported by
macOS High Sierra.
Metal 2 is a technology built
in to High Sierra that adds
capabilities like virtual reality
and external GPU support.
Safari and Photos get new
features in High Sierra, along
with Siri and Mail.
macOS High Sierra uses
For a full list of features, go to
january 2018 | MacForMat | 57
macOS SKILLS High Sierra
Make more of Contacts
When it comes to Contacts, you can do more on a Mac than on iOS
15 minutes
yOu wILL LeARn
How to use Mac-only
features of Contacts
yOu’LL need
Some people’s info
already added to
the Contacts app
These days, Apple makes quite
a big deal about how a lot of its
apps are broadly the same on
macOS and iOS. Even if you’re
armed with an iPhone, you get the majority
of GarageBand or Numbers features in the
palm of your hand. Which is great until you
need to use some of the bits Apple left out.
Given its relative simplicity on the Mac,
it’s perhaps surprising to realise Contacts isn’t
quite as feature-rich on the iPhone and iPad.
Sure, you can easily access all your contacts
(assuming you’re using iCloud), and the
interface is all very swish. But can you create
groups? Nope. Smart groups? No way. Export
contacts in a range of formats? No. How about
set up a more private version of your own card
to share? Not easily.
Fortunately, you can do all of these things
at speed on the Mac. This walkthrough shows
you how, along with providing a quick peek at
Cardhop, a kind of third-party ‘pro’ take on
Contacts from the folks behind Fantastical.
Craig Grannell
How to Create groups in Contacts >
1 Make a new group
Hover over the iCloud header in
the sidebar and click the + that appears
(or choose File > New Group) to create a
new contacts group. Give your group a
memorable name. The group will sync
to iOS devices and between Macs.
2 Add some contacts
Click All Contacts at the top of the
sidebar to show your contacts. To add a
person to the new group, simply drag
them over the group’s name and let go.
To remove someone, select the group,
then the person’s name, and press ∫.
3 Use Smart Groups
Choose File > New Smart Group.
In the sheet that appears, add conditions
to create a group that automatically
updates. Smart Groups don’t sync via
iCloud, but can be used in Mail. (Consider
prefixing them with SG for faster access.) @macformat
Clever Contacts macOS SKILLS
How to Make your own card more private >
1 Create a ‘me’ card
Go to Contacts > Preferences, and
select vCard. Tick Enable private me
card. At the top of All Contacts, select
your card, and click Edit. Turn off items
in the Share column if you don’t want
them included when exporting your card.
2 Copy and paste
The private ‘me’ card is a Mac-only
feature. A workaround to get a private
card on to iOS is to make a duplicate of
your existing card and then adjust its
details accordingly. To get started, select
your card, and then copy and paste it.
3 Use on other devices
In the copy of your card, delete the
fields/elements you don’t want to share
with other people. Perhaps differentiate
it from your full card with a specific
photo, so you don’t accidentally send
out the wrong one.
How to Export your cards >
1 Check out iOS
On iOS, you can scroll to the bottom
of any Contacts card and tap Share
Contact. This can be sent to any app,
including Files, but is always given the
generic name Text File.vcf, which you’ll
later need to change.
2 Drag and drop
In Contacts for Mac, the process
is swifter and a mite smarter by default.
Drag a contact’s record from Contacts to
Finder – or any other app – and it retains
the name of the contact. The exported
file is otherwise identical to that on iOS.
3 Export to PDF
If you want an old-school list of your
contacts, select one or more of them,
a group, or All Contacts, and choose File >
Export as PDF. Congratulations: you now
have a traditional address book. Now you
just need to print it out.
Start using CardHop
Faster, smarter and menu bar-ier
Although it’s a fairly powerful app on the Mac, Contacts isn’t terribly pleasant
to use. By contrast, CardHop (£14.99, is the Mac app equivalent of
a loyal dog, always sitting patiently in the menu bar, desperately eager to please.
Cardhop’s natural language input makes it a cinch to add and edit contacts,
or perform actions like making a call or emailing someone. The Notes field is
also front-and-centre during searches, for when you need to recall your friend’s
children’s names. That feature alone might be worth 15 quid. @macformat
Can you
live without a
Written by Alex Blake >
(and use an iPad instead?)
Written by Adam Banks >
60 | MACFORMAT | JANUARY 2018 @macformat
Mac-free working ipAd Only
The iPad has matured very nicely, and is
now a very capable – and obviously very
mobile – device. But can it satisfy all
your needs. Could you ditch your Mac?
hen Steve Jobs unveiled
the ipad nearly eight
years ago, he made the
point that it wasn’t just
a bigger iphone or a smaller MacBook –
it was a third kind of device that, for
some tasks at least, would be better
than either. Since then, it’s got better
than even he may have envisaged.
The iPhone needn’t look to its
laurels: nobody wants to stuff a 10-inch
touchscreen in their pocket or hold it
against their ear. The Mac, on the other
hand, has seen Apple’s remarkable
A-series mobile processors creep ever
closer to its territory, and not even the
super-slim 12-inch MacBook can match
a tablet’s portability. So could it be time
to ditch the desktop, nix the notebook,
and make an iPad your main machine?
Apps and accessories
Over the next few pages we’ll take a
tour of the key apps and accessories
that you might rely on to make that a
real possibility. There’s no doubt that
today’s iPads are capable of some
amazing feats, from running recording
studios to flying with airline pilots and
assisting in operating theatres. But to be
truly practical, you’ll first need to make
sure it can cover all the essentials of
everyday computing, without leaving
you running back to the Mac.
Which iPad is best for you?
With four ipad models in the range,
Apple’s £99 pencil may narrow your
choice: it only works with ipad pro.
Third-party pressure-sensitive styluses
for smaller iPads are less satisfactory.
Then again, the 9.7-inch iPad is a
bargain. Its A9 processor isn’t too far
behind the Pro’s A10X, and although its
screen is no better than 2014’s iPad Air 2,
it’s very sharp, has good colour accuracy,
and is brighter.
Ignore the iPad mini, which is too
cramped for work and only comes in
an overpriced 128GB model (£419). The
128GB 9.7-inch iPad is a good buy at
£429; at £339 with just 32GB, we think
the base configuration would be a false
economy for full-time use.
Even the iPad Pro’s default 64GB
is a little tight, with no way to expand it. @macformat
At £769, the 10.5-inch with 256GB is the
sweet spot, with fantastic display quality;
add Apple’s Smart Keyboard (£159) and
it’s still over £300 cheaper than a 12-inch
MacBook. Mobile network connectivity,
at a crazy £130 extra, isn’t essential if you
have an iPhone – just connect the iPad to
your Personal Hotspot. The 12.9-inch iPad
Pro, at £919 for 256GB, is worth the extra
if you need to get lots of work into view.
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro
is the obvious choice
to cover a full range of
tasks, but isn’t the only
option available to you.
ipAd Only Mac-free working
The apps you’ll need
Apps to consider
iOS handles fonts across apps
much like macOS, but has no
Font Book to add or manage
them. AnyFont is the answer, accepting
standard font files from a Mac via the
iTunes app, from email attachments,
or from Dropbox. Admittedly, it’s a bit
cumbersome to use, but it’s also a must
for serious iPad document creation.
Documents 6
iOS 11’s new Files app is a
convenient place to manage
documents, and integrates
third-party cloud services whose apps
you’ve installed. But Documents is more
capable and can view, play and download
files from the web.
Apple’s basic Calculator app only
exists on iPhone. PCalc is a solid
substitute for iPad that uses
the full screen for scientific functions,
conversions and a Reverse Polish Notation
mode. Worth the money for regular use.
ith Apple’s pages,
numbers and Keynote
available for free,
every ipad has the
productivity basics.
Photos can manage your media and
GarageBand is on hand for soundtracks.
Safari covers web browsing, Mail should
accommodate all your email accounts,
and iBooks displays PDFs.
Unless you’re a die-hard Apple purist
who only ever works with other die-hard
Apple purists, however – and if so, we
salute you – you may need a bit more
to complete your do-it-all mobile
workstation. Although Apple’s apps
handle Microsoft documents, there
are limits to the accuracy of their
conversions, so it makes sense to add
Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint,
all designed for iPad and free to install,
along with Outlook and OneNote.
To keep their full functionality after
30 days you’ll need an Office 365
subscription, from £59.99 per year from For arcane reasons,
iPad Pro users without a subscription can
only view documents, while other iPads
get free basic editing for ‘non-commercial
purposes’: see
With drag and drop in iOS 11, in many apps you
can hold a finger on an item – such as a photo,
message or document – and drag it to another
app. Use your other hand if you need to switch
to another app before dropping the item in,
or ask Siri to open it.
desktop deal-breakers
A few of the desktop versions’ more
advanced capabilities aren’t available
even if you pay, which could be a dealbreaker for the iPad if you need them
regularly. For example, you’ll find that
a smaller range of file formats is
supported; Word includes key features
like Track Changes, but lacks endnotes
and equation editing; and Excel’s
brilliantly useful Pivot Tables can’t
be created or manipulated, although
Pivot Tables already set up in a
document are displayed.
To keep in touch with
colleagues, FaceTime is ideal
if they’re Apple users and the
Skype app works fine if not;
Slack also has an iOS app
optimised for iPad, and
integrates with Google Drive,
Beyond the industrystandard, there are very
powerful creative apps
Drag and drop
Apple’s apps can handle Microsoft docs, but it
makes sense to add Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Apple’s Mail app makes it easy to
add accounts, and many people
find it works fine. Others
complain that searching is glitchy and it
lacks convenience features. For the latter,
Airmail is fast and lets you write messages
in HTML or Markdown, as well as assigning
incoming mail to Memo, To Do or Done.
This Apple-owned utility lets you
build workflows (series of steps).
You drag and drop actions, which
then automate one or more apps to achieve
your goals. A workflow might send a preset
text, upload your last photo to a website or
read you the time. The more you use your
iPad, the more it can help. @macformat
Mac-free working ipAd Only
Apple’s Keynote is ideal
for creating and delivering
presentations, but Microsoft
PowerPoint is also available.
Apps to consider
Drag and drop in iOS 11 lets you
drag things from one app and
drop them into another right
away. Yoink is a holding area for multiple
items, accessible via Slide Over, or as a
Share sheet extension or custom keyboard.
As long as iOS is reasonably up-to-date, your iPad
can run business-standard apps like Excel, as well
as advanced creative apps such as LumaFusion.
Dropbox and so on. If you need to do
more with PDFs, Readdle’s PDF Expert
(£9.99, is particularly
comprehensive for the price.
Creative thinking
Creative software companies haven’t
entirely embraced the iPad as a primary
platform. Adobe’s iOS apps are aimed
at different tasks than its Mac software.
Though Photoshop Sketch and Illustrator
Draw use the touchscreen for freehand
graphics, on the whole Adobe’s apps
assume you’ll take your work back to the
Mac (Premiere Clip handles basic rough
cuts that can be imported to Premiere
Pro CC), or act mainly as viewers for your
content (Lightroom CC for iOS only really
makes sense for users of the Mac app).
Beyond the industry-standard names,
however, there are now some very
powerful creative apps for iOS.
While film and TV editors need
top-end Macs, iOS apps like the
established Pinnacle Studio Pro (£12.99, and the fast-rising
LumaFusion (£19.99,
have precise enough tools for serious
work. Affinity Photo (£19.99, affinity.serif.
com) provides most of the features of a
desktop photo editor.
Musicians, meanwhile, have a better
choice of software than on any other
platform. Again, there’s no full equivalent
of Mac digital audio workstations (DAWs)
like Cubase Pro or Apple’s Logic Pro X,
but Cubasis 2.2 (£48.99,
is capable, while iPad-only alternatives
like Auria Pro (£48.99,
are impressive if you don’t need
roundtripping with desktop apps.
Your keychain on the Mac can
store more than just login details.
However, iOS lacks the Keychain
Access app to do this. Dashlane is a flexible
password, autofill and private info manager.
Free for iPad-only use, syncing between
devices costs £29.99 a year.
Preview Zips
Previously you needed a third-party
app to open Zip archives. In iOS 11, tap a
.zip attachment in Mail, tap again after
it downloads, and tap Preview Content.
Each file is shown in turn; tap the Share icon
to save to Files or open in an app.
OmniGraffle 3
Microsoft OneNote is okay, but
many people prefer Evernote to
organise, annotate and sync their
notes. Free for basic use, subscriptions give
you more cloud space, formats and syncing
to more than two devices – starting at
£29.99 per year. Add the Penultimate app to
handwrite searchable notes on the screen.
While sipping their flat whites,
power users swear by
OmniGroup’s tools for organising
and visualising information. This all-purpose
diagramming app brings the precision of
the Mac version to the touchscreen; a Pro
version (£99.99) adds even more advanced
features, including JavaScript automation. @macformat
iCloud is a practical place to keep
documents, but Dropbox is more
versatile and lets you share
whole folders with people in an instant.
With its app installed, Dropbox integrates
with iOS 11’s Files app and Share sheets.
ipAd Only Mac-free working
The accessories
you’ll want
Adonit Pixel
Probably the best stylus for
non-Pro iPads, using the same
tech as Adobe’s pricier Ink, this
doesn’t feel as responsive as
Apple Pencil does on the Pro’s
special screen, but it works well.
Twelve South
Compass 2
Apple Lightning
Digital AV Adapter
The Smart Keyboard and other folding
covers hold your iPad at a better angle for
typing, but if you’ve bought a case that
doesn’t prop up, use this portable stand
to lift your tablet to 20 or 59 degrees.
Providing an HDMI output and a Lightning passthrough for simultaneous charging, this connects
your iPad to almost any modern TV or projector
for presentations or watching videos.
Logitech K780
This Bluetooth unit beats
keyboard cases for regular
typing, and will fit most
courier-type bags. A ledge
holds your iPad, or you can
prop it up separately at a
comfortable distance.
64 | MACFORMAT | JANUARY 2018 @macformat
Mac-free working ipAd Only
Brydge 9.7
Apple offers no keyboard for the
new 9.7-inch iPad. This aluminium
model has a stiff hinge, feeling
more laptop-like, and also comes
in iPad Pro sizes. You have to
charge it separately, though.
Word assistance
Apple Lightning to
USB Camera Adapter
The iPad has a built-in dictionary with
definitions, examples and thesaurus from
US and British sources. Select any word,
tap it and choose Look Up. To add more
dictionaries, go to Settings > General
> Dictionaries, where a range
of languages is covered.
This adapter converts your iPad’s Lightning port to USB
Type A. Ostensibly this is to import images – it doesn’t
support other file types – but is equally useful to connect
a standard MIDI-to-USB adaptor (around £6) for music.
There’s a £39 USB 3 version for newer iPads.
Rode i-XLR
Shuliancable Flat
HDMI Cable 5m
For professional podcasting or audio recording,
forget the cheap mics sold as iOS accessories and
invest in this XLR adaptor plus a quality mic suited
to your task – you’ll hear the difference.
The best way to present from iPad is wirelessly via
Apple TV, but where it’s not available you’ll need your
Digital AV Adapter and a long, tangle-free HDMI cable
like this, with slim plugs to fit all sockets.
£125, @macformat
What’s inside
Options for image
file formats
ioS Software
Swipe away your
touchscreen troubles
and love iOS once again
We help to solve
your Wi-Fi woes and
connection conundrums
Sage advice to help
you overcome the
worst Mac maladies
Contact us
EditEd by
Should i convert my
JPEGs to HEiF files?
Although I keep Raw images taken
with my camera, my Mac has tens
of thousands of JPEGs made from
them. Could I save space by converting them
to High Sierra’s HEIF?
by N i c k E a s t o N
Probably, but don’t commit much
effort just yet. Although High Sierra
and iOS 11 introduce support for
high-efficiency formats for still images (HEIF)
and video (HEVC), support is limited at
present, and they may yet change.
The initial releases of High Sierra don’t
include any tools for creating HEIF files, and
most third-party apps which work with images
can’t save to the new format. You can open
Email your queries
and your questions to
Keep up to date by
following us on Twitter
Join the conversation
Get the latest
subscription offers at
66 | MaCforMat |
howard oakley
macOS 10.13.1 still
doesn’t include full
codec support to
enable most apps
to write HEIF files.
Our resident genius
solves your Mac and
iOS problems
HEIF images in Preview, and save them as
JPEG, PNG, and other formats, but if you can’t
readily transcode from older formats into HEIF
your proposal won’t work.
Third-party tools which can write to the
new formats are based on the open source
FFmpeg tool, which you can use directly in
Terminal if you wish. As this works in Sierra
and older versions of the system, you don’t
need High Sierra for conversion, though that
makes viewing and decoding much easier.
Look at Image2HEIF (£2.99, Mac App
Store), which is based on FFmpeg, with its
basic interface for transcoding from JPEG or
PNG, and limited control over image quality.
Results look impressive, with little loss of
detail in files half the size of equivalent JPEGs.
iOS software GeNIUS tIPS
iOS software
Swipe away your touchscreen troubles and
rekindle your love of Apple’s mobile devices
iOS software
How can I
download apps
with iTunes 12.7?
> From that version on,
Apple has removed
access to iOS apps,
ringtones, and some
other features, which
you’re supposed to
access directly on iOS
devices, or through
High Sierra’s Content
Caching feature.
You can install iTunes
12.6.3 from
apps-itunes, which
supports those older
features, iOS 11, and
iPhone 8, but requires
an old version of your
iTunes Library.
How do I scan a
QR code in iOS 11?
> Reading QR codes
couldn’t be simpler
now. In Camera’s
Photo or Square mode,
position the QR code
centrally in the view.
Once the camera
focuses on the code,
a notification will
appear; tap it to act
on the code’s content.
Using iOS 11 with
macOS Sierra
I’ve held off upgrading to iOS 11
because I can’t yet upgrade my
Macs to High Sierra. Would I face
compatibility problems if I mixed iOS 11
with Sierra systems?
by D a v i D a r m s t r o N g
Very many iOS and Mac users
have successfully upgraded to
iOS 11 while staying with macOS
Sierra. As usual, there are trade-offs to be
made, and there’s no doubt that to get the
most out of iOS 11, you’d be better off running
High Sierra when you can.
Where you’d lose out are those new
features in iOS 11 which don’t work with
macOS Sierra. A good example of these is
tables in Notes: if you insert a table into
a note in iOS 11 and then try opening that
note in Sierra, the table isn’t just formatted
if you insert a table into
a note in iOS 11 then try
opening it in Sierra, the
content is omitted
crudely, but that content is omitted
completely. macOS Sierra also lacks
support for the new HEIF and HEVC image
and video formats, although third-party
software and automatic conversion
should help address that. (See the question
on the previous page for more on this.)
Obviously, the more that you share
between your iOS devices and Macs, the
more likely this is to trip you up. Having said
that, all the key features of iCloud and shared
Running iOS 11 lets you add neat tables to Notes, but these
can’t be seen at all when viewed in macOS Sierra.
data which are present in iOS 10 and macOS
Sierra still work fine.
Because iOS is more of a closed system,
in which security is paramount, the security
enhancements in iOS 11 are an important
consideration too: these now include a fix
for vulnerabilities in Wi-Fi’s WPA2 protocol,
for example. But the cost is that all your old
32-bit iOS apps will cease functioning, unless
they can be updated or upgraded.
JAnUAry 2018 | MaCforMat | 67
GeNIUS tIPS networking
We help to solve your Wi-Fi woes
and connection conundrums
Most networks grow without proper
structure until they hit problems.
Step back and redesign yours to
be clean, efficient and robust.
Why does myway.
com keep popping
up in Safari?
> If you keep seeing
unwanted content
appear in your browser,
first check that you
haven’t got any
unwanted software or
malware, by running an
antivirus utility such as
Malwarebytes (free,
Also check your Internet
Plug-Ins folders in the
Library folders at the
top of your startup disk
and in your account’s
Home folder for
unwanted items which
might be causing this.
Can WordPress
blogs provide
selective RSS
> Yes, as can many
others. The RSS news
feed for the main
content of
is at
feed/. The feed for
content in a category
called categoryname
would be at http://blog.
feed/, and you can even
focus on a tag named
tagword,say, with the
address http://blog.
Streaming radio dropout
Over the years, my home network
has grown. It now has good Wi-Fi
coverage over most of the house
thanks to four base stations, but my TV,
recorder and DVD player require wired
Ethernet, which is delivered using TP-Link
powerline adaptors. When I added a Sonos 1
music player, it suffers infrequent random
dropouts in radio streams. Could this be the
result of my reliance on powerline adaptors?
by D a v i D H i g N E t t
Yes, but you may well have other
problems. Like many networks, yours
has grown over the years and not
been properly planned. The time has come
to design and implement it so that it’s robust
and expandable, and not likely to suffer
interference or conflicts.
If you can, connect your Wi-Fi base
68 | MaCforMat | JAnUAry 2018
stations, wired systems and modem-router
with proper Ethernet cabling. Powerline
networking can work very well, but uses
domestic electric wiring to transmit network
traffic. Even the best and most modern wiring
is designed to deliver power safely, not to
transmit high volumes of digital signals. It can
be sensitive to your own domestic electrical
appliances cutting in and out, and heavy
equipment in nearby buildings. It’s also
completely unshielded.
When planning your network, connect
non-portable devices using Ethernet as much
as possible. This will give them better
bandwidth and reduce the number of devices
using wireless networking. Position your Wi-Fi
systems to optimise local cover without
conflicting with one another, or spilling into
the street and areas with public access. It’s a
major task, but well worth the time and effort. @macformat
networking GeNIUS tIPS
How to protect
against the KRACK
Wi-Fi attack?
If you suspect a website is getting blocked, first check that it
isn’t being blocked by your Mac or router’s firewall.
Network Utility’s Traceroute tab will show each step of the
connection from your Mac to the server hosting the site.
is my iSP blocking my websites?
Since early this week, I’ve been
unable to access my own websites
over my home Wi-Fi, although I
can connect to them normally via a 4G
connection. My ISP blames the website
hosting service. How can that be?
by s t E v E c a r t E r
Before testing any further, ensure
that you’ve turned off any software
firewall on your Mac, and that the
firewall in your modem-router allows all
outgoing connections.
Can’t send email
Since upgrading to High Sierra,
I’ve been unable to send
messages from Mail to any
account apart from Mail
reports that ‘trying to log into this
SMTP account failed’, although
they’re set as they were in Sierra.
by P H i l i P B E a v E N
This is an old problem which
happens when an update
corrupts Mail’s list of SMTP
servers. To fix it, you’ll need a copy
of the correct details for each of
the services, as you need to delete
existing entries and make new ones.
Open Mail’s preferences and click
the Accounts item, then with an account
A @macformat
Try making your iOS device share
its 4G connection using Personal Hotspot,
and then set that as your Mac’s internet
connection. If you find that works fine,
it demonstrates that it is in fact your ISP
blocking your sites.
You can get confirmation of this by
opening Network Utility, which is tucked away
on your startup disk yet accessible by typing
its name in Spotlight, and entering the web
addresses in its Traceroute tab. If that can get
no further than your ISP’s servers, you can get
back to the ISP and challenge its response.
If Mail stops sending to SMTP servers
which seem to be properly configured,
delete them all and add them afresh.
> El Capitan and later
were fixed in updates on
31 October; every other
Wi-Fi-equipped device
will eventually need a
software or firmware
update. Unless you
operate Wi-Fi in a public
area, your risks should
be small, and updates
will roll out quickly.
Can I share my
iCloud allowance
with my partner?
> If you’re using macOS
High Sierra or iOS 11,
you’re able to set up
storage sharing as part
of their Family Sharing
feature, provided you’re
subscribed to a 200GB
or 2TB storage plan.
You’ll find full details
selected on the left, click on the Server
Settings tab. This displays a single pop-up
menu, with that account’s outgoing mail
server listed.
Click on that menu, and select the Edit
SMTP Server List item at the bottom. Select
each of the SMTP servers in the list at the
top in turn, and use the – (minus) button to
delete each one until the list is empty.
Click on the + button to add back each of
your SMTP servers one at a time, using the
details you recorded. Then click on OK, and
step through each of your accounts in turn,
setting its SMTP server from your new list.
Finally, quit Mail, just to ensure
everything is saved correctly. When you
open Mail again, you should find that
sending messages works normally again.
JAnUAry 2018 | MaCforMat | 69
Shine a spotlight on sagacious solutions
to your most maddening Mac maladies
What to do when
High Sierra’s
installer froze?
> Start up in Recovery
(ç+R) or Internet
Recovery (å+ç+R) ,
then open Disk Utility
and run its First Aid
feature on your startup
disk. It may be better to
perform a reinstallation
of macOS from the
internet before going
any further, as by using
Internet Recovery your
Mac should be taken
directly to High Sierra.
Hard route back to Sierra
I’m having problems with High
Sierra – it’s taking ages to verify my
videos, which use to play almost
instantly. How can I get back to Sierra?
by t o N y s H E r r i N g t o N
The first thing you need is a copy of
a recent Sierra installer. If you don’t
have one to hand, you may already
have noticed this version of the system is no
longer openly listed on the Mac App Store,
and doesn’t appear in the Purchased tab.
Look down the page at to find a
link that will open Sierra’s otherwise hidden
product page to download the installer.
If you already have a copy tucked by, you’ll
need an 8GB USB memory stick or external
drive formatted and set up as a bootable
installer. This is easily done using DiskMaker X
(, or you can follow Apple’s
instructions in Terminal at
The other essential ingredient is a very
recent backup, such as that made by Time
Machine, from which to restore your Home
folder and third-party apps.
Start up from the bootable installer drive
through the Startup Disk pane, or by selecting
it in the Startup Manager (hold the å key
during startup). If your normal startup disk
was converted to APFS, you’ll next have to
reformat it using Disk Utility from the bootable
installer; if it’s still in HFS+ format, that is
optional but probably a wise choice.
Then install Sierra, bring it fully up to date
to version 10.12.6, and migrate files and apps
from your backup using Migration Assistant.
Why won’t
Spotlight work
on my APFS
hard disk?
> The initial release of
Apple’s new file system,
APFS, in High Sierra
isn’t supported
on Fusion Drives or
traditional hard disks.
Although Spotlight
search failure isn’t a
common problem, for
the moment APFS is
simply too unreliable
except on SSDs.
Reformat the disk
in Mac OS Extended
(HFS+) format and it
should be fine again.
Before you can revert
back to Sierra, you’ll
need a copy of its
installer app, which
does not appear in
your Purchased list.
70 | MaCforMat | JAnUAry 2018 @macformat
When you’ve located the
last log message containing
‘system boot:’, look back
at the previous shutdown
to identify problems.
Why do some JPEG
images not preview
in Quick Look?
Stuck when shutting down
Following the MacFormat
guidelines, upgrading to High Sierra
went fine. The only snag is that
when I shut down, sometimes the pointer is
left on a black screen and my Mac gets stuck.
When I then force shutdown, I get a warning
when next starting up that macOS didn’t
shut down correctly. How can I fix this?
by D a v i D s i m P s o N
This is a shutdown panic or freeze,
and should never occur. It happens
when macOS is trying to shut
everything down, but something brings
> Quick Look uses
plugins installed in its
folders in the various
Library folders. JPEG
previews should use
macOS’s built-in support
for the format, but some
files don’t work as well
as they should. A restart
often improves this.
it to a grinding halt. Your problem is identifying
what that something is.
Test whether it affects another account
on your Mac: if it doesn’t, then it’s likely to be
old or broken software in your Home folder,
probably in ~/Library, rather than an issue
within macOS itself.
The best way to identify the cause is by
browsing the log after such an ‘improper’
shutdown, using Consolation (
downloads). Search for ‘system boot:’, which
marks the beginning of the startup process,
then work back to the entries before the
shutdown for clues about what went wrong.
Why do I have to
set the clock?
> Check it’s set
automatically in the
Date & Time tab of the
eponymous pane in
System Prefs, and that
the server listed there is
right for your location,
not the US default.
High Sierra uses a new
service for this, which
sometimes plays up.
back to backing up problem
Time Machine backups were
working fine over Wi-Fi to my
Time Capsule until I went
away for six weeks with my iMac. When
I returned, they took over half an hour,
and ended with ‘Backup verification
incomplete’. How can I get them
working normally again?
by D a v i D s m a l l
When your Mac has been away
from its normal backup disk
for so long, its next backup is
likely to take a long time and may well
involve verification, as well as a ‘deep
traversal scan’ of your Mac. These are
much better performed with your Mac
connected to your Time Capsule, or any
other networked backup storage, by
A @macformat
Once backups are running more
normally again, check them using
T2M2 from the same site.
If you can’t get backups working
normally due to failed verification,
it may be best to start from scratch.
Make an archive copy of your old
backups if you can and wish, then
initialise the Time Capsule and set
the first backup going
Once Time Machine seems to be back up and running again, run
over Ethernet.
T2M2 when it isn’t backing up to see details of earlier errors.
wired Ethernet, rather than by Wi-Fi.
You may also find it wise to keep
an eye on your Mac’s logs during this
period, as problems in Time Machine
are not particularly well reported except
in the log. Apple’s Console is not much
use for this, and you should find my
free Consolation tool from eclecticlight.
co/downloads much more helpful.
JAnUAry 2018 | MaCforMat | 71
The next big
things that
took a swing
and missed
uch is Apple’s dominance in
the tech world that it seems
every other company is out to
take it down. The media seems
fond of the idea too, often resulting in a
bevy of breathless headlines exalting the
next ‘Apple killer’ of some form: the next
iPod killer, the next Mac killer, the next
iPhone killer – you get the idea.
Sometimes these devices come from
major Apple rivals like Sony or Microsoft,
backed by almost limitless funds and
expertise. Other times they’re brought
out by small teams that think they’ve hit
the jackpot where all others have failed,
and can bring down the Cupertino giant.
Of course, not every Apple killer
ends in murderous success. Some put
up a good fight but ultimately can’t
land the final blow. Others never live
up to the hype that gets bestowed on
them. And some never even make it
to market, becoming vapourware and
disappearing in the wind.
Over the next few pages, we’ll take
a look at some of the more notable
rivals once thought destined to take
Apple’s crown. From recent flops to
vintage disappointments, these are
the Apple killers that weren’t. @macformat
Did these devices stand a chance?
That’s an easy call
pple hit the jackpot
with the iPhone,
a device that has
become the company’s bestselling device and brought
it untold riches. Naturally,
other companies wanted
to get in on the action and
knock Apple from its lofty
perch. The list of so-called
iPhone killers is long, but
three devices stand out: the
Essential Phone, the Palm
Pre and the Nokia N97. From
sleek high-end devices to
keyboard-equipped retro
throwbacks, all are yet to
make the grade.
August 2017
Even before it launched, the
Essential Phone was being
touted as a potential iPhone
killer. Word spread that
former Apple engineer and
Android founder Andy Rubin
was involved, while shadowy
leaked photos of the device
quickly went viral.
The Essential Phone
seemed to be a device
destined for success. Aside
from the Rubin connection,
it has a modular camera
system, an edge-to-edge
glass screen, wireless
charging and a titanium
shell. It’s a high-end phone,
no doubt.
But if anything, the
Essential Phone is a good
example that something that
looks good on paper doesn’t
necessarily equate to roaring
sales in practice. According to
a report published a month
after the phone launched, it
had only sold 5,000 units
through its network partner
Sprint (sales of unlocked units
remained unknown). A month
later, Rubin and co knocked
$200 off the $649 launch
price. Missed launch deadlines
and lacklustre software added
to the issues. Essential isn’t
dead, but its rocky start has
failed to kill off the iPhone.
APPLE kiLLERS Techno assassins
June 2009
Before the iPhone came
along, Palm was a big name in
the mobile world. It developed
the PalmPilot, the first globally
successful personal digital
assistant (PDA) device. It also
made the Treo 600, one of the
first smartphones. But all of
those past successes counted
for little when the original
iPhone came and steamrolled
the competition in 2007.
By 2009 it was make-orbreak time for Palm. Its big bet
was the Palm Pre, a slide-up
touchscreen phone that also
came with a keyboard. It ran
on webOS, the first mobile OS
that allowed multitasking.
From tacky designs to
bad timing, all these
devices crashed out
That wasn’t enough to save
Palm, though. Dodgy software,
a flimsy slider mechanism and
fragile screens were all issues.
HP bought Palm in 2010, and
shelved the brand name just
a year later.
Creative Zen
June 2009
Like Palm, Nokia was another
company left reeling by the
iPhone. The N97 was the
Finnish firm’s answer, on which
it pinned a lot of hopes. Sadly
for Nokia, the N97 was a huge
disappointment, and failed to
unseat Apple.
Like the Palm Pre, the N97
featured a slide-out keyboard,
although the Nokia device was
meant to be used in landscape
pple’s first big mobile
device success story shook
up the portable music
world. It took a while for everyone
else to catch up, and there has been
no shortage of rivals over the years
who think their device is the one to
overcome the iPod. Sadly for them,
they never succeeded.
December 2005
orientation. It was an eyecatching design, and the phone
sold pretty well, but nowhere
near enough to rival the iPhone.
That was due to a multitude
of issues. The camera scratched
easily, the maps software was
almost unusable, and the OS was
very buggy. It never met its
potential, and may even have
contributed to Nokia’s decline.
As any Apple competitor knows, to trade blows
with Apple you have to have the looks as well
as the tech. The Creative Zen Vision:M tried to
compete on both fronts, launching an impressive
MP3 player that came in a range of attractive
colours. It clearly caught the
eye, landing prizes at the
2006 CES show and a
Red Dot Design Award.
It had ‘more’ than the
iPod in terms of features:
a better screen, an FM
radio, a voice recorder.
But it was thicker and
heavier, and, despite
its decent looks,
didn’t have the
cool factor of
the iPod. @macformat
Techno assassins APPLE kiLLERS
Zune 30
February 2015
November 2006
When Apple’s biggest rival
comes out with a product
to take down the iPod,
you have to take notice.
Unfortunately for Microsoft,
it got it wrong with the Zune.
Initial sales of the first
model were strong. It took
9% of the portable media
market during its first week;
still a long way behind the
iPod’s 63%, but not bad.
That didn’t last long.
Sales dropped from $185
million during 2007’s
Christmas season to
$85 million a year later.
Apple sold $3.37 billion
worth of iPods during
2008’s Christmas period.
Microsoft’s problem was
that it was too late. The iPod
was established, and the
Zune just wasn’t different
enough to succeed.
Microsoft’s Zune was late, but
the PonoPlayer was even later.
This device – created by Neil
Young – was a high resolution
audio player coming in at $400
a pop. That sounds OK… until you
realise it was launched in 2015.
It was always going to be a
hard sell. The age of mass market
standalone music players was
long gone, with most consumers
happy to store their tunes on
their phones. But the PonoPlayer
was even more niche, as it
focused on high-resolution audio.
Despite raising a massive
$6.2 million on Kickstarter,
PonoPlayer quickly fell away.
Its online store went offline in
2016 and remains so.
Sony Vaio
October 2004
January 2002
Pocket VGF-AP1
As with many things, when
Apple released the iPod in
2001 it changed the way
we viewed a device. Sony, it
seems, didn’t pay attention.
The catchily named Vaio
Pocket VGF-AP1 launched
three years after the first @macformat
iPod, yet still sported the
clunky looks of the media
players of old.
Worse, it only played
files in the ATRAC3 format,
and had a confusing array
of 25 buttons on the front.
Stylish, it was not.
Jukebox Recorder
Big, blocky and built like a
brick, the Archos Jukebox
Recorder is about as far
removed from an iPod
as it’s possible to be.
Amazingly, despite its truly
hideous design, it was one
of the smallest digital music
players on the market (bar
the iPod, of course).
Still, it managed to find
a degree of popularity
due to its USB 2.0
its easily
replaceable batteries and
the fact that you could
replace its hard drive with
a bigger laptop one.
Of course, with a design
like this it was never going
to usurp the sleek, designconscious iPod.
Archos 9
PC Tablet
October 2009
Tablet computers
that needed extrastrength medication
fter the success of the
iPod and iPhone, rumours
swirled of Apple’s next
project: a tablet computer. Before
the iPad was even revealed, rivals
claimed that they had the device to
beat the nascent ‘iSlate’.
In a familiar story, Apple routed
the competition. Some were buggy,
some were slow, and some never
even made it into the wild. They
crashed and burned while the iPad
went from strength to strength.
Slate 500
October 2010
The problem with predictions is
they don’t always come true. Case
in point: the HP Slate 500, touted
as an iPad killer for the masses
before the iPad was even out.
But after delays and rumoured
changes, it ditched the consumer
market and launched as an
enterprise product instead.
It was basically a touchscreen PC
with the keyboard removed. It ran
Windows 7, but had no specialist
touchscreen software, instead relying
on Windows’ mediocre facilities.
That made it hard to do any
serious work without hooking up an
Cancelled April 2010
While iPad copycats have abounded for
years, Microsoft’s Courier project was a
little different. It comprised two touchscreen
devices and a stylus, held together by a book-like
cover. The target market was creatives who might
sketch ideas into the device on the go.
However, Microsoft preferred to develop Windows 8
for tablets, and the Courier project was cancelled within
a few weeks of the iPad’s launch. It was a novel vision for
tablets that never made it out of the blocks.
While the HP Slate 500’s touchscreen
issues were partly due to Windows,
this device had no such excuse. That’s
because its 1GB of memory wasn’t even
enough to run its operating system well.
It also made for a frustrating user
experience. Apps could take minutes to
load, the touchscreen was inaccurate
and laggy, while the low-resolution
display was a pain to look at. A pitiful
three-hour battery life rounded off
the problems. Apple really didn’t have
anything to worry about with this device.
external keyboard
and mouse, which
defeated the purpose
of a mobile tablet and grated
with its business outlook. Its $799
price wouldn’t have helped either.
January 2007
October 2015
Computer contract
killers that lacked
the fatal touch
Zen AiO
if there’s one idea that won’t go away,
it’s that desktop computers should
come equipped with touchscreens.
The HP TouchSmart series reflected
this belief, positioning its devices as
all-in-ones that one-upped the iMac
thanks to their displays.
Of course, the iMac is still here
and the TouchSmart desktops aren’t,
thanks to dated appearances and
sluggish internal specs.
The iMac sports an iconic look, so
it’s no wonder it has its imitators.
The Asus Zen AiO may be the bestlooking of the bunch.
Of course, that may be because it’s
mimicking the iMac. But for all its good
looks, this machine has failed to knock
Apple from its perch. Apple remains one
of the few PC companies not to lose
sales in recent years; Asus has been
struggling in comparison.
f all the Apple devices in
this roundup, the Mac is
the longest-surviving. Like
a wily despot that outmanoeuvres
its rivals, the Mac has seen off its
fair share of would-be killers.
From svelte and shiny laptops
to high-end all-in-one desktops,
we’ve seen plenty of ‘Mac killers’
over the years. But most have
found that you need more than
looks to usurp Apple and seize the
crown for yourself.
March 2009
When it first launched, the MacBook Air was the
ultra-portable laptop to beat. Dell reckoned it had
done that with the slimline Adamo – at 0.65-inches
thick, it was thinner than Apple’s 0.76-inch
Air. But for a £1,400 laptop,
it was surprisingly flimsy, and
its internals struggled to justify
its eye-watering price.
The Apple Watch killers that ran out of time
September 2013
July 2013
Galaxy Gear
The Samsung Galaxy
Gear shows why rushing
to beat Apple isn’t
always a good idea.
Lacklustre design, poor
battery life, limited apps and an
uncomfortable strap meant it was
a flop. It was replaced just seven
months after going on sale. @macformat
The watch that
kickstarted an industry
was gone just three years
after going on sale. After
raising $10 million via
crowdfunding and selling millions of
units, the Pebble just couldn’t keep up
with its rivals’ innovations. It was bought
by Fitbit in 2016.
TAG Heuer
November 2015
Even traditional watch
firms have felt the pinch
from Apple. Swiss company
Tag Heuer responded to the
popularity of smartwatches
with the Connected watch, which looked
more like a traditional timepiece. Suffice
to say, it hasn’t yet dented Apple’s
vice-like grip on the market.
What’s inside
Inspiring ideas for
revamping old
Apple kit
But this Mac
isn’t up to much
hOw TO gUT
Luis dabbles with
the dark side of
more Mac internals
Contact us
EditEd by
Combat case mod
ormally, when I fail to get an old Mac
working, I try to save my confession
until the final paragraph so that I
can first regale you with tales of my clever
diagnostics and ingenious repairs. But let’s cut
to the chase. When I opened up the case of this
Mac Plus, the rusty fiasco that greeted me made
it clear this was a non-starter. The power supply
board showed no voltage on any of the DC rails
and there was extensive water damage.
There is one other Mac Plus in the Haq
Collection I acquired recently, but it doesn’t have
a power supply board, so cannibalising the two
isn’t an option either. The case is still in good
condition though, so this seems like an ideal
opportunity for a case mod, without the guilt of
destroying a potentially salvageable Mac. And it
so happens that I have the perfect project.
Can Luis turn
this Mac oldling
into a robot droid
to help train
Jedi younglings?
Email your queries
and your questions to
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78 | MAcfORMAT |
Before the smartphone, and even before the Palm organiser, there was
the Apple Newton. Released in 1993 after six years and $100 million in
development costs, the Newton only sold 50,000 units in its first
three months and quickly became a white elephant. The handwriting
recognition was unreliable, the AAA batteries ran down too quickly
and the first-generation model couldn’t even connect to your desktop
computer. But the Newton did bring us the term Personal Digital Assistant
(PDA) and it helped to define the genre that led us to the iPhone. @macformat
Museum piece LOVE YOUR MAc
Jedi Master Luis,
with his robot droid –
Mannequin Skywalker.
Build a fighting robot that looks like a classic Mac
or the past three years, I have
attended the Sci-fi weekender
conventions (,
cosplaying with my daughter and son-in-law
as the (wholly unofficial and unlicensed)
Jedi Training Academy. The two of us
blindfold would-be Jedi Knights and fly little
quadcopter drones around their heads, while
they try to knock them out of the sky using
just their latent Force powers, and a foam
lightsaber. This year, our promising Padawans
had a new challenge because I built a full-size
combat robot for them to spar with.
Deadly droid
Mannequin Skywalker, as the robot is known,
has three main subsystems. The base is a set
of motorised wheels that clamp to a three- @macformat
metre wooden beam. The contestants must
balance on the beam while they fight, and
Mannequin can advance or retreat along it.
The torso has a separate motor that allows
him to pivot and swipe with the foam
lightsaber gripped in his robot hands. The
head uses a Bluetooth speaker for trash talk,
and 8x8 LED matrices for the eyes, which can
display different expressions. The whole thing
is radio-controlled by me, using an RC model
plane transmitter. This uses one joystick for
the fighting action and all the different moods
and expressions are selected using the other
joystick, in combination with various switches.
Normally when I build cosplay props, I use
foam and cardboard and just keep adding a bit
here and trimming a bit there, until it looks
right. But this robot has moving parts with
JANUARy 2018 | MAcfORMAT | 79
LOVE YOUR MAc Padawan Plus
The 64 LEDs in each
eye can be controlled
independently to
allow animated
eye expressions.
How easy is it to
cut the Mac case?
The whole of the outer
case is made of plastic –
probably ABS – so it’s
easy to drill or saw
through. If you’re using
power tools, run them
at their slowest speed,
to avoid melting the
plastic and gumming
up your blade.
How to I avoid
‘twitching’ on my
robot’s motors?
This can be caused
by ‘back EMF’ from
the relay coil. When
the relay is turned
off, the magnetic field
from the coil collapses
and this rapid change
induces a current in
any nearby wires. You
can protect against this
with a diode in series
with the 5V line to the
relay board. It is also
a good idea to include
a 220uF capacitor
between the power
and ground wires,
to smooth out any
sudden voltage spikes.
narrow tolerances,
so that was not going
to work here. Instead
I had to model the whole
thing in CAD, which meant
teaching myself how to use
CAD. I opted for Fusion 360 (
mostly on the basis of its price, which is zero
for home hobbyists, but it also turns out to be
an extremely powerful design tool.
Every component in your design keeps
a separate track of all the edits you make.
This is way more than just an undo history –
it’s more like the time travel in Back to the
Future. If I create a 2D sketch and then
extrude it into a 3D object, I can jump back
at any point, edit the sketch and Fusion 360
will propagate the changes back through the
timeline. This includes intelligently redoing all
All under programmable microcontrol: an Arduino
Mega handles the radio control and all the motors.
80 | MAcfORMAT | JANUARy 2018
the other edits I have
made since then. And all this
is done on a Mac mini from 2012!
Making it real
A CAD model by itself, though, is just a pretty
picture. You need a 3D printer to turn it into
reality. I used this project to justify buying
myself the Prusa i3 MK2S (£560 from and I am now a complete
convert. I originally thought it would just
be the easiest way to make the cogs for the
gearbox – and it undoubtedly was. But I totally
underestimated how useful it would be for all
the other fiddly bits.
I don’t have a big workshop with a lathe
and lots of fancy drills and saws. But the
magic of 3D printing let me create custom
brackets and mounts, with the confidence
that if they fitted together on the screen,
they would fit together in real life. I even
used a flexible rubber filament to print the
tyres for Mannequin’s wheels.
Mannequin’s electronics are controlled by
two Arduino programmable microcontrollers
( An Arduino Mega handles the
radio control and the motors, and an Arduino
Uno in the head drives the LED matrices for
the eyes. The motors are scavenged from two
cordless drills, but they run on 18V and draw
large currents, so you can’t switch them
directly from an Arduino. I used a 24V relay
board, with four relays to switch between
forward and back on each of the two motors. @macformat
Padawan Plus LOVE YOUR MAc
How to Gut a Mac Plus
1 Get inside
Undo the two screws at the back, near
the bottom, with a Torx T15 screwdriver.
To get at the top screws, recessed into
the carry handle, you’ll need to firmly
tape a Torx T15 screwdriver bit to the
end of a pencil to fashion a makeshift
screwdriver extension; wrap the tape
tightly and it should be strong enough.
2 Power board
Disconnect the green/yellow earth
lead and the two large connectors going
to the CRT tube. There’s a thick red, hightension line connected to the tube. Pull
back the ‘suction cup’ cover; squeeze the
connectors together to pull free. Undo
the three Phillips screws and remove the
power board from the chassis.
Microsecond timing
To program an Arduino, you essentially use a
simplified dialect of C++, and upload the code
over a USB cable. I used the cloud-based
development environment at create.arduino.
cc, so that I could write the code on my
desktop, but then access it from my MacBook
Air to upload changes while Mannequin was
still mounted on his beam.
i totally underestimated
how useful a 3d printer
would be for fiddly bits
Radio control transmitters work by sending
modulated pulses less than 2 milliseconds
long. To work out the position of each joystick
on the controller, the Arduino Mega has to
time these pulses very precisely. That’s easy
to do using open-source libraries available at The only snag
is that writing different patterns to an LED
matrix also requires accurate timing, and
the libraries for that can interfere with the
radio control code.
That’s why I used two Arduinos. The Mega
at the base of the robot would receive the
commands from the RC controller and create
a 4-bit code representing the expression @macformat
3 Disk drive
Undo the four screws holding the
CRT to the front bezel and lift it out.
Disconnect the ribbon cable from the
floppy drive. The motherboard should
now slide out from the back. The floppy
drive chassis is held in place by three
Torx T15 screws at the top and two more
under the drive itself.
Mannequin should display. This was then
passed along a 4-wire cable that ran up the
central tube that supported the torso. This
‘spinal cord’ was constantly being plugged and
unplugged every time I took the head off, so
the delicate pins took a lot of punishment.
When we were setting Mannequin up on the
first morning of Sci-Fi Weekender, pin 3
snapped off as I was plugging it in and I had to
perform the most precarious bit of soldering
of my life, balancing on tiptoes on a narrow
beam with just the light from the torch app on
my iPhone to see by.
So that’s the robot, but where does the
Mac Plus come in? It’s Mannequin’s helmet!
After I had removed the CRT screen and
everything else (see above), I took the empty
case and cut a hole in the bottom for the spine
tube and hot-glued the 3D printed skull chassis
into place. The front bezel is held in place with
simple 3D-printed clips so I can still get at the
internals for maintenance and to change the
battery that powers the Arduino. Classic Macs
obviously aren’t canon in the Star Wars
universe, but whenever someone pointed this
out, I just explained that Mannequin was
cosplaying as an Earth computer! I’m happy
with how this project turned out and it was by
far the easiest one I’ve done for Love Your
Mac so far – but only if you don’t count the six
months I spent building the rest of the robot!
Next issue!
Luis fires up a Power
Mac 4400 – the only
Power Mac with the
floppy drive on the lefthand side! But does this
machine have any other
redeeming features?
JANUARy 2018 | MAcfORMAT | 81
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What’s inside
Neat speakers,
noise-cancelling cans,
a smart scale, and lots
more Apple-friendly kit
EditEd by
Our authoritative reviews
help you make more
informed choices
Which water-resistant
SSD is right for you?
802.11ac routers –
we pick out the best
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Edit pics using AI or
with a cloud-focused
app, clone your Mac
Compare files,
dominate the world,
and up the ante on
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Manifesto – our ratings explained
Our reviews are totally
independent; we’re not
affiliated with Apple or
anyone else, nor are we
influenced by advertisers.
You can trust us to give
an honest assessment
of a product’s worth.
The prices quoted for
products are correct at
the time of writing and are
the best we can find from
a reputable online dealer,
excluding delivery.
Worth considering, though
there may be better options
A brilliant thing in all regards,
and worth every penny
Fundamentally flawed; look
at alternatives as a priority
Strongly recommended; any
flaws are only minor concerns
A waste of your money and
everyone’s time; do not buy!
the MACFORMAT awards
Awarded to a
five-star product
we believe is truly
exceptional in its
category. Given solely at the
discretion of the Editor.
Given to a
hardware or
software product
that might not be
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but is noted for affordability.
Our group test
winner gets this
award for being
the best of its
kind when pitted against
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january 2018 | MACFORMAT | 83
APPLE CHOICE Mac/iOS hardware
Logitech MX Sound
Affordable Bluetooth speakers
Reviewed by Cliff Joseph
£89.99 FROM Logitech, FEATuREs 12W (RMS) power
output, Bluetooth 4.1, 2x 3.5mm audio inputs, 3.5mm audio output
ogitech’s new MX mice and
keyboards have gone down
well here at MacFormat by
providing ingenious features, such as
the ability to quickly switch control
between two separate computers.
The company’s new MX Sound speakers
attempt to provide similar versatility
when you’re listening to music on your
Mac, iPhone or iPad.
The two compact speakers stand just 16cm
wide and high, so they’ll sit comfortably on
either side of your Mac without taking up too
much desk space. They provide Bluetooth for
iOS devices, and can pair with two devices at
once. There are also two 3.5mm connectors
for audio input from a Mac or other wired
device, and a headphone connector as well.
And, just like the other Logitech MX
products, the MX Sound enables you to
switch between devices – either Bluetooth
or wired – quickly and easily. All you have to
do is pause the audio on one device and then
start playing a track on the other, and the
MX Sound will automatically detect the new
audio input and switch over for you.
The one thing missing here is a USB port.
Given the speakers’ compact design, it would
be handy to power them straight from a USB
port on a Mac or PC. That would make it even
simpler to set them up, especially if you want
to use them with a laptop that gets moved
from room to room at home. Admittedly, the
Bluetooth streaming might require mains
power, but it’d be nice to have the option of
running the speakers off USB for a simple
Respectable sound
quality in compact
and affordable
stereo speakers.
Compact 2.0
speaker system
Good sound quality
Only modest bass
Lacks USB Audio
The MX sound does a good
job for such a compact little
set, coping well with massed
harmonies and open,
expansive soundstages
wired connection. As it
stands, it’s a shame no
such port is present, as that
might have allowed the speakers
to support USB Audio input; that’s
increasingly important now that devices
such as the iPhone and iPad can use their
Lightning-to-USB cable to deliver digital
audio that provides higher quality than
either Bluetooth or a conventional 3.5mm
wired connection.
Bass light
You’re not going to get hi-fi quality from
speakers costing £90, but the MX Sound
does a good job for such a compact little set.
The speakers produce a warm, full sound
with the massed harmonies of Somebody
To Love by Queen, and manage to create
an open, expansive soundstage for the wide
atmospherics of Enya’s Orinoco Flow.
The only minor disappointment is the bass
output. To be fair, the little bass port on each
speaker (which does double duty as a stand)
adds some body to the mid-bass on pop tracks
like Blondie’s Rapture, but the small speakers
do struggle to get down to the deeper,
electronic bass of Prime Evil by The Orb.
There are bigger and better speakers
around, but if you need just a compact set
of desktop speakers to enhance music and
video on your Mac and mobile devices, the
MX Sound will do the trick very nicely,
without costing the earth. @macformat
Logitech MX Sound APPLE CHOICE
Despite the small price
and small size, the
MX Sound manages
to go surprisingly big
on audio output. @macformat
APPLE CHOICE Mac hardware
Synology DS418play
Easily stream audio and video
£446.18 FROM Synology,
FEATURES 4 drive bays, 2GB memory (upgradable)
he DS418play
is the latest in a
line of Synology
network-attached storage
(NAS) boxes that have
been designed to stream
audio and video to devices
on your home network.
The DS418play is a
four-bay NAS that can be
configured as a RAID array
for speed or protection.
Unlike other Synology NAS
boxes, it transcodes video
and audio on the fly, so you
can store files on its disks
(not included) and then
stream them to an app, such
as Synology’s own video
A high-capacity
streaming media
server that doubles
as a NAS all-rounder.
Transcodes 4K
video in real time
Lots of features
player or the popular VLC on
your iPhone or iPad, even
when iOS doesn’t support
the original file format.
The operating system is
easy to set up, allowing you
to copy video shot on an
iPhone to the NAS, then
play it back on other devices
on your network.
The DS418play boasts
a faster processor and a fair
bit more memory than its
predecessors; it supports up
to 40TB of storage and can
transcode two channels of
H.264/HEVC 4K video at
the same time. The server
also supports hardware
Home network storage
and streaming made easy.
encryption for file
transmission, and it can be
used as a destination for
Time Machine backups, as
well as a regular file server.
Apps available for iPhone
and iPad enable you to
stream audio and video and
manage files. With the apps
added to iOS’s Share sheet,
you can share photos and
videos to the NAS box, too.
Support for CCTV cameras
and direct downloads round
out the DS418play’s
comprehensive feature set.
KEnny HEMpHill
OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock
Power up your Mac’s storage
£300 FROM Other World Computing,
FEATURES 5x USB 3.1 (Gen 1), 3.5mm analogue audio in/out,
S/PDIF, FireWire 800, Gigabit Ethernet, Mini DisplayPort, SD card reader
his dock for
expanding your
MacBook Pro
offers an abundance of
ports. Notably, in contrast
to the Elgato and CalDigit
rivals we’ve tried, it has
FireWire 800 for legacy
devices, and an SD card
reader and optical audio
output, both of which are
omitted from recent
MacBook Pros.
There’s also a Mini
DisplayPort, which may
make up for the slightly
higher cost of this dock –
the aforementioned Elgato
A great choice for a
13-inch MacBook Pro
with Thunderbolt 3,
if you really need
five USB-A ports.
Five USB 3.1
(Type A) ports
Costs a lot of dough
86 | MACFORMAT | JANUAry 2018
and CalDigit rivals use
the full-size DisplayPort,
but you may already have a
Mini DisplayPort adapter
and a suitable cable from
an older Mac.
This is the best-specced
Thunderbolt 3 dock we’ve
tried for variety and quantity
of ports – with an impressive
13 in total. Two of its USB-A
ports can provide higher
power to an iPad, say, if you
install a driver.
With 13 ports to choose from, this
dock offers impressive connectivity.
If a dock is the ointment
for connectivity complaints
with Thunderbolt-3equipped MacBooks, beware
that there is potentially a fly
in it, depending on your
Mac’s screen size. This dock
provides only 60W to charge
your notebook, so a 15-inch
model’s battery may drain
under a heavy workload.
AlAn STOnEbRidgE @macformat
Bowers &
Wilkins PX
The PX is available
in black-and-silver
or black-and-gold
An impressive first
noise‑cancelling effort
Reviewed by JOn PORteR
£329 FROM Bowers & Wilkins, bowers‑
FeatuRes Active noise cancellation, smart controls,
aptX Bluetooth, 22‑hour battery life, three environment filters
There are three
modes to pick
from in the
companion app
B&W is late to the
party, but it’s been
worth the wait.
Noise cancellation
USB‑C charging
Lacking in definition @macformat
ireless noise-cancelling
headphones feel like the
pinnacle of private listening
technology. In this regard, the PX
headphones are a massive success.
The feature-set is a masterclass in
covering all the bases of a modern pair of
headphones. Charging by USB-C? Check.
A non-proprietary 3.5mm jack? Check.
A complete set of physical button controls?
Check. A respectable 22 hours of battery life?
Check. Bluetooth aptX HD support? Check.
More impressive is the ability of the
headphones to understand when you’re using
them and when you’re not, turning off simply
by removing them from your head. You can
even pause them by lifting just one of the
earcups off your head.
Occasionally the technology can misfire.
There were a couple of moments when we
paused our music with the headphones still
on our head, only for it to resume playing after
a couple of seconds in confusion, but these
problems were few and far between, and it’s
possible to change the sensitivity of this
feature in the PX’s companion app.
Noise-cancelling performance
We tried the PX on a noisy underground
train during rush hour using their default
(‘Flight’) noise cancellation setting and
they performed admirably, with a level
of cancellation that’s up there with the
likes of Bose and Sony.
If you want a more granular level of
control, there are three noise-cancelling
modes to choose from in the companion app,
with each designed to cancel and let through
certain frequencies more than others.
The ‘City’ setting is designed to let
through traffic noise, so you can walk the
streets with improved safety while using
the headphones. ‘Office’ lets through higherfrequency voices so colleagues can talk to you.
Finally, ‘Flight’ is focused on eliminating the
low rumble of a plane’s engines.
We love the functionality of the PX, and
its noise cancellation easily competes with
the established players, but its sound quality
doesn’t quite hit the same heights that we’ve
come to expect. The biggest problem is the
mids and trebles, which have a fuzziness to
them that means complex soundstages can
end up feeling a little squashed.
Listen to the likes of Radio Protector by
65daysofstatic and when the song really gets
going, the headphones make the sound feel
messier and noisier than it should be. Overall
this leads to a loss of detail that, while not the
worst we’ve experienced, is a step behind
what we hope for at this price point.
At the bassier end, the cans fair a great
deal better. Play Freeze Me by Death from
Above 1979 and its driving bass line is present
in spades. It’s tight, it’s punchy, and its given
the space to really hold the song together.
It feels odd to complain about the PX’s
sound quality, but it’s a sign of just how
mainstream noise-cancellation technology
has become that at this price we’re able to
expect premium sound quality in addition
to everything else the headphones offer.
QardioBase 2
Second-gen rechargeable smart scale
£129.99 from Qardio,
features Bluetooth 4, USB to Micro-USB cable for recharging
ardioBase 2 is a
connected smart
scale that tracks
your weight, in addition
to body mass index, body
fat percentage, and
other statistics. It’s also
rechargeable, and supports
up to five different users,
so the whole family can use
the scale to help them reach
their fitness goals.
Step on the scale in bare
feet and the QardioBase 2
takes measurements and
uploads your results to your
Qardio account. Haptic
feedback lets you know when
the scale is done – good
QardioBase 2
integrates well into
Apple’s universe and
is simple to use.
Works with
Apple Health
Slow feedback
because complete readings
take about 12 seconds.
Green LEDs display
your weight and body fat
percentage, and the app
offers additional stats,
such as changes in your
body’s water, bone, fat and
muscle composition.
Weights can vary
slightly, and experts don’t
put much stock in the other
measurements these kinds
of scales take, so don’t take it
as gospel. Additional modes
are available for pregnant
The QardioBase2 is easy to set
up and offers more than just weight
readings for up to five users.
women and users with
medical device implants,
and there’s feedback in
the form of icons.
The companion iOS
app walks you through
the process of creating a
Qardio account, as well as
connecting to your Wi-Fi
network. There’s also an
Apple Watch app to make
it even easier to track your
progress. ray aguilera
SanDisk iXpand Base
Charge and back up in a cinch
£105.99 (128GB) from SanDisk,
features 32-256GB storage, iPhone charging base
harging your
iPhone is a
perfect time to
back up precious data.
The SanDisk iXpand Base
makes killing two birds
with one stone a snap.
The base is a four-inch
puck about an inch thick
with a metal bottom, and a
soft rubber top where the
iPhone sits. Plug a USB to
Lightning cable (which isn’t
included) into the base, then
tuck it away inside a groove
along the edge. Note: there’s
no wireless charging or
backup capability – iXpand
only works when plugged in.
Backup and charge
for your iPhone –
except if you use
iCloud Photo Library.
Charge and
back up at once
App is too basic
The iXpand Base
provides a one-stop
way to both charge and
back up your iPhone.
A standard SD card with
32, 64, 128 or 256GB comes
preinstalled, formatted FAT
for the first, while the larger
capacities opt for exFAT. You
can swap these out with your
own SD card. Backups are
done from the iXpand Base
app, which automatically
springs into action when
opened. Unfortunately, the
app is a little too basic for our
taste, but it gets the job done.
Use iCloud Photo
Library? Then the iXpand
Base may not be your best
option. The app has to go
through the lengthy process
of downloading everything
at full resolution. However, it
works well with traditional
camera rolls. Once backed
up, you can purge content
to free up device space, then
view or restore it at any time.
Jr Bookwalter @macformat
Head to head APPLE CHOICE
SE730H 256GB
£139.35 FROM Adata,
FEATURES IP68 dust and waterproof, USB-C port
Design HHHHH
This SSD is metallic save for black plastic ends. One end
pulls out of the body and pivots away to reveal the USB-C
port, but our (theoretical, not encountered) concern is a
bump to the cap might pull it out, leaving the port exposed.
Portability HHHHH
The drive is 7.3x4.4x1.2cm and weighs just 33 grams.
Size-wise, that’s in line with other small SSDs we’ve
tested, though the weight is even lower than the gorgeous
Samsung T5, our favourite tiny drive, which is 51 grams.
Performance HHHHH
Adata’s drive features a USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface for better
transfer rates on a suitable Mac. The peak rate we got was
528.2MB/sec when reading, but mean averages were as
much as 74.2MB/sec behind Tuff’s performance.
This drive looks nice, its body’s ridged form and the feel of
the material make it comfortable to grip, and the protective
promise – working after an hour in 1.5m of water – are nice
extras over drives of similar cost and size. But robustness
makes us nervous; the drive’s fairly easy to disassemble.
We love this drive’s ridged and grippy body,
but the full-back cap over its USB-C port and
its overall build quality inspire less confidence.
Reviewed by AlAn STOnEbRidgE
portable SSDs
Tuff 1TB
£449.99 FROM CalDigit,
FEATURES IP57 dust and waterproof, USB-C port
Design HHHHH
Tuff’s body is metal at its core, but with a removable
bumper that’s available in other colours. Water resistance
(one metre for 30 minutes) comes from a small plug in the
bumper that fills the cavity where the USB-C port resides.
Portability HHHHH
At 13.5x9x2.1cm, Tuff is one of the largest external SSDs
we’ve tried; CalDigit uses the same design for hard drives.
It comes with an optional ‘protective archive box’, which
also stores both of the bundled USB-A and USB-C cables.
Performance HHHHH
Tuff’s peak rate of 521.8MB/sec when reading is behind
Adata’s drive, but in every other test its peak and mean
averages were on par with or better than it. Tuff is as good
as other (non-RAID) USB 3.1 Gen 2 drives we’ve tested.
This drive also features a USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface, which is
great news for recent Macs. On top of the smart design, the
tough storage box certainly boosts the protective value,
and it’s barely any more costly than other SSDs we’ve seen
that lack a dust and water cover, such as Samsung’s T5.
Tuff may be oversized compared to its rival
here, but the design of its seal and its packaging
feel well considered for its protective purpose.
APPLe cHoIce Group test
ac routers
there’s never been so much
power to help you move data
around your home
reviewed by DAN GRABHAM
AC RouteRs
on TeST…
Asus DsL-AC88u Wireless Modem Router AC3100 £215
D-Link AC3150 ultra Wi-Fi Router DIR-885L £195
Linksys eA8300 tri-band £150
Netgear Nighthawk AC2300 £135
tP-Link Archer C5400 V2 £230
synology Rt2600ac £225
90 | MAcFoRMAT | JaNuarY 2018 @macformat
Wave 2 routers APPLe cHoIce
e’ve looked at a group
test of 802.11ac routers
previously here in
MacFormat, but things move
on and we’ve now got a complete
range of routers featuring new
technologies. These ‘second
generation’ or ‘Wave 2’ 802.11ac
Wi-Fi routers feature MU-MIMO –
or Multiple User, Multiple Input
Multiple Output technology.
The 802.11n and 802.11ac routers
we’ve had for the last decade have used
MIMO technology, but they could only
deal with one device at a time. That’s no
occurrence. And these devices now
consume a lot of bandwidth. MUMIMO resolves the issue.
So this latest generation of routers
can deliver consistent high speeds to
all your devices thanks to an extra
send and receive antenna, additional
channels for newer devices that can use
the 5Ghz band, and increased capacity.
strong field
We’ve picked some terrific options
from popular Wi-Fi manufacturers,
and they’re presented for you over the
next few pages. Many of these routers
are very similar in
terms of their wireless
capability, and that’s
not surprising
considering they’re
based on the same
wireless standards,
and in some cases will have the same
wireless chipset inside.
It’s an incredibly strong field, that’s
for sure. But who will come out on top?
We’re streaming content, games
and more to multiple devices,
such as Mac and iPad, and these
devices consume a lot of bandwidth
good for the devices and uses we have
now, where streaming content, games
and more to multiple devices, such as
your Mac and iPad, is an everyday
How we
First, we recorded
each device’s peak
throughput over the
course of two minutes.
then we copied a 1tB
file between two client
Macs and timed how
long the file took to
copy. We repeated
this twice and took
the average time. We
also tested them in
everyday use, and
gauged performance
when we were 20
metres away with
numerous walls and
obstacles in the way.
Fritz!Box 7590
things to consider…
there are some even
more expensive routers,
believe it or not, like the
£310 Fritz!Box 7590
which we’re going
to test next issue!
a few advanced features to look out for
USB ports
some of our routers come
with usB ports. With these, you
can decide to share a storage drive
across your network. this is really
useful if, for example, you have a
bunch of video files on a usB stick
you wish to share to various devices.
It’s also handy for backing up.
Routers vary wildly in price.
second generation 802.11ac routers
aren’t cheap currently and that’s
because of the more complex chipset
inside. We recommend shopping
around as prices also fluctuate
quite a bit – expect some postChristmas discounts.
ADSL connection
Most of our routers are
ethernet, meaning they need to
connect to an ethernet feed. the
Asus boasts ADsL connectivity,
too, but that’s not a deal-breaker as
you can get ADsL versions of some
of the other models here. Most ADsL
broadband providers give you a router,
but you can turn off the routing
capabilities so they’re basically just
a modem and then you can connect
up your new super router to that box.
How it looks
this is a bit of a weird one,
but routers aren’t designed to be
shut in cupboards. they’re designed
to be front and centre in the home.
so appearance is important – as it
should be for any tech you’re about
to spend a decent wedge of cash on.
…or lower?
Linksys Max-Stream
Amazon’s best-selling
Mu-MIMo 802.11ac
router is the Linksys
Max-stream eA7500
AC1900 Mu-MIMo
Gigabit Wi-Fi Wireless
Router. It’s not as well
specced as the routers
here, but it’s £120.
JaNuarY 2018 | MAcFoRMAT | 91
APPLe cHoIce Group test
test 1 Feature set
test 2 Performance
a look at the basics
speed is what it’s about
The feature set of all these routers is
impressive – there’s not a lot to choose
between them, although the cheaper
Linksys and Netgear don’t have quite
the same capacity as their more expensive
brethren. But all have the latest 802.11ac
Wave 2 standard and all are rather simple
to set up, even if some of the quick start
guides are a little lacking in useful detail.
Moving on, there are several striking designs in this test,
not least the TP-Link Archer and D-Link. The Asus router is also
a formidable presence, clearly aimed at gamers after ultimate
performance. The TP-Link is the cleverest design though, with
the antennae folding really neatly into the unit. Unfortunately, the
remainder of the units here are quite uninspiring designs, even if
the Linksys does win in the usability stakes with its clear and
precise display panel and simple-to-use setup app for iOS.
In terms of sheer wireless performance,
there were two that stood out – the Asus
DSL-AC88U and the TP-Link Archer
C5400 V2. The D-Link AC3150 came in a
clear – and very successful – third place in
our tests. We were really surprised at how
speedy the file copy times were with all our
routers but of course all 802.11ac routers
are very proficient at communicating with just a couple of devices.
It’s with stacks of devices like iPads, HomeKit tech, Apple TV
and more that 802.11ac Wave 2 routers really come into their own
– particularly if you’re streaming Full HD or 4K video content
around your home. It’s worth pointing out that the Linksys,
Netgear and Synology will still be capable enough for any
multi-device home. If you only have a handful of connected
devices though, it might be worth looking at a more budget
option for your 802.11ac connectivity needs.
Asus DsL-AC88u
D-Link AC3150
Linksys eA8300
Netgear Nighthawk
tP-Link Archer
synology Rt2600ac
Asus DsL-AC88u
D-Link AC3150
Linksys eA8300
Netgear Nighthawk
tP-Link Archer
synology Rt2600ac
test 3 connectivity
test 4 Value for money
Wireless and wired connections
extras and overall value
All of these routers offer exceptional
connectivity options. As we’ve mentioned,
the Asus offers the bonus of being able
to connect up to ADSL broadband,
although this is not a deal-breaker as
various other 802.11ac routers are available
with ADSL options. The Asus does also
offer compatibility with the new
standard, though. For wired connections, you’re looking at a
reasonably standard four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports across
all these routers, with an additional WAN Ethernet port for
connecting to a broadband model.
In terms of wireless connectivity, there are different speeds on
offer; at peak performance we found the Asus and TP-Link are the
best performers, with the Netgear, D-Link, Linksys and Synology
close behind. But you can’t go wrong with any of these options as
you can see from the consistently high scoring below.
At these price points, a USB port for
file or printer sharing is a given and you
can share network drives, for example,
with all these routers. The Synology takes
this a step further with an SD card slot
– useful if you have a newer MacBook Pro
or MacBook which doesn’t have an SD
card slot (especially considering USB-C
SD card converters are pretty rare).
In terms of price, the Linksys and Netgear score high – they
represent excellent value for money when you consider what
they’re up against here and the fact that some of the others are
around £100 more. The TP-Link is a fantastic router, for example,
but is it worth £95 more than the Netgear? You could also question
the price hike for the in-between D-Link. The Asus has a similar
problem and it comes down to whether you want to pay a
premium to get the very best you can get.
Asus DsL-AC88u
D-Link AC3150
Linksys eA8300
Netgear Nighthawk
tP-Link Archer
synology Rt2600ac
92 | MAcFoRMAT | JaNuarY 2018
Asus DsL-AC88u
D-Link AC3150
Linksys eA8300
Netgear Nighthawk
tP-Link Archer
synology Rt2600ac
HHHHH @macformat
Wave 2 routers APPLe cHoIce
The Asus DSL-AC88U offers
super performance and
ADSL compatibility, too.
asus DsL-ac88u
alan says…
super-powerful wireless performance
his was a tough decision. Really
tough. These 802.11ac routers are
similar in many ways, but some
clearly offer better performance than others.
And that’s why we plumped for the Asus.
If you buy this router, you’ll not only get a
stunning-looking device, but you can rest
assured that you’ve bought something that’s
the best compromise between power and
price. It smashed our performance tests,
offers super connectivity options (including
ADSL) and it will power your wireless
network for years to come.
If the TP-Link had been a little cheaper
it would have been more difficult, but it’s
slightly pricier than the Asus. The Linksys
and Netgear are cheaper,
but offer less in terms of
performance. For just a little
more, the Asus gives you
everything you could need.
this was a tough decision. really tough.
Many aspects of these 802.11ac Wave 2
routers are very similar
In recent years, my
home network’s been
run by Apple’s 802.11ac
AirPort extreme. I wish
Apple would develop
that further because,
as routers go, it’s really
easy to manage. these
days, that network is
under a lot of demand,
from streaming media
on a smart tV, online
games, app updates,
and more. It’s a shame,
but I have to consider
alternatives that might
do a better job overall.
do they
> Asus DSL-AC88U
> D-Link AC3150
> Linksys EA8300
> Netgear Nighthawk
> TP-Link Archer
> Synology RT2600ac
ADSL and Ethernet
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
2.4 and 5Ghz
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
2.4 and 5Ghz
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
2.4 and 5Ghz
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
2.4 and 5Ghz
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
2.4 and 5Ghz
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
2.4 and 5Ghz
TiME To CoPy
A 1Tb fiLE
1min 58secs
2mins 10secs
1min 42secs
1min 50secs
1min 56secs
2mins 2secs
Note: The final verdict scores reflect the overall opinion of a product and are not necessarily an average of the criteria listed in the table. @macformat
JaNuarY 2018 | MAcFoRMAT | 93
APPLE CHOICE Mac software
AI-powered photo editor
$30 (about £23) FROM Photolemur,
NEEDS OS X 10.11 or later
hotolemur takes
an unusual
approach to photo
editing, placing artificial
intelligence and automatic
image analysis front and
centre. It uses them to look
at the different parts of a
picture and then apply 12
‘smart technologies’ to adjust
various characteristics.
It’s very straightforward:
load up one or more pics and
the software performs its
analysis. Use the before/after
slider to see what changes it
has made. You don’t get
control over the individual
processes, but you do get a
A simple-to-use app
that gives surprisingly
good results when
punching up photos.
Very easy to use
Little manual control
Use the slider to preview
the before and after results.
slider that controls the level
of the whole effect from 0 to
100%. You can start again if
you’re not happy, or easily
export if you are.
Anyone familiar with
image editing will recognise
the collection of processes
being applied: colour, detail,
exposure, contrast, dehazing
and noise reduction, among
others. The end result is a
punchier and more vivid
image. It never pushed the
image too far in our tests,
and using the single variable
slider means you can apply a
more subtle effect if you like.
Photolemur works well,
replicating the kinds of
changes an experienced
editor might make, though
perhaps inevitably without
the small touches that a more
detailed eye would pick out.
Nonetheless, it’s good for
applying quick fixes to your
photos. HOlliN JONES
Carbon Copy
Cloner 5
Easily create bootable clones
£31.10 FROM Bombich Software,
NEEDS OS X 10.10 or later
reating a bootable
clone of your
startup disk
can get you out of sticky
situations if, for example,
you want to perform a
clean install of macOS.
Carbon Copy Cloner does
more than create bootable
clones, but that remains its
core function. And if you’re
using High Sierra, version 5
supports that system and its
new file system, APFS.
This release has a guided
restore function that walks
Cloning your Mac or
backing up specific
folders has never
been easier.
Supports APFS
Backup scheduling
The yellow tip boxes can be useful,
even if they are a bit difficult to read.
you through restoring files
when you start your Mac
from a cloned backup. The
new Cloning Coach watches
in the background as you
configure tasks, alerts you
to potential problems, and
advises on avoiding them.
Other new features are
focused on managing tasks.
The Outlook view displays
tasks in calendar form that
makes it easy to see which
are scheduled. Tasks can
also be organised in groups.
Aside from its utility,
perhaps the best thing about
the app is its logical interface,
although there is still room
to improve. Sometimes tips
spill off the screen’s edge,
and on Macs with small
displays, the window can’t
be made small enough to see
them, so you have to drag it
around. KENNy HEMpHill @macformat
Mac software APPLE CHOICE
Edits remain live across all
devices. Start working on one
device, finish on another.
Lightroom CC
Lightroom moves to the cloud as part of a radical overhaul
£9.98 per month for Lightroom CC and 1TB cloud storage/£9.98 per month for Photography Plan with Lightroom CC,
Lightroom Classic CC, Photoshop CC and 20GB cloud storage FROM Adobe, needs OS X 10.11 or later
ightroom has been popular with
pro photographers for many
years thanks to its cataloguing
and editing abilities. The desktop version,
now called Lightroom Classic CC, is still
available and little changed from the previous
version. Co-existing alongside it, however,
Adobe has released a new, cloud-focused app
called Lightroom CC. Although it has many of
the core features of the ‘old’ Lightroom, it’s
been given the ‘prosumer’ treatment, with
more advanced tools removed and more focus
on automatically doing things for you.
The biggest change is that Lightroom now
insists on uploading your originals and edits
to the cloud, with storage space based on your
subscription tier. There is an option to also
store originals locally, but not to ignore the
cloud. So at best you’re keeping one copy on
your Mac and another online.
This is good for backup, but professionals
who regularly shoot hundreds of gigabytes
of raw images in a month are quickly going
to have to pay to upgrade their storage. This
change is mostly aimed at letting you work
An impressive
cloud-focused app;
advanced users may
find it a little lacking.
Great interface
Cross-device editing
Lacks advanced tools
Limited storage @macformat
across devices, and to this end the Lightroom
app for iOS has been completely overhauled
as well, with near feature parity with the Mac
and Windows apps. Uploading to the cloud is
automatic, so all your devices and edits are
available on every device.
Keep it clean
All versions now have a stripped-back
interface with editing and correction tools
sliding in from various panels. The tools are
still very good for cropping, tonal and colour
adjustments and more. While they do go
beyond the (much improved) tools in Apple’s
Photos Mac app, many of the more detailed
tool options are now missing, which will
trouble professionals.
For hobbyists and home users this is less of
an issue, and you can still achieve remarkable
edits and improvements to pictures as well
as creating albums, adding tags and sharing
much more easily across all your devices.
More advanced users, however, will want
to see more flexibility and fine-grained tools
return in future updates. HOllin JOnes
Kaleidoscope 2
Spot the difference
£19.99 FROM Black Pixel,
NEEDS iOS 11 or later
his is a filecomparison app
with a razorsharp focus, geared
towards productivity.
It’s the kind of thing you’d
expect on a Mac, not an iPad.
Throw plain text, Word
docs, or HTML or other code
at it and you can quickly spot
differences in a two-up or
unified view. The app also
supports Split View, which
is just as well, given that it
lacks the Mac version’s text
merge feature.
With images, everything
suddenly feels fiddly. You get
a number of viewing options:
A solid but
occasionally flawed
app for comparing
files on iPad.
Text comparisons
Image controls irk
Kaleidoscope operates well when
working on a couple of text files.
an A/B switch, a two-up
scrolling view, a split view
with a slide bar – and all do
the job. But the A/B view has
small buttons and the split
view slider handles work
independently, so you can’t
swipe back and forth across
the image with a finger.
When it comes to folders,
importing appears to be an
issue. Drop a couple of text
files on Kaleidoscope and
you’re comparing them
almost instantly. Open a
couple of web archives and
the app appears to seize up.
You’ll have more success if
you reduce folders to a dozen
items each, but even then
importing can take a while.
There’s ambition here,
not only regarding the app
but also the iPad. Just be
aware of its limitations,
and put it through its paces
during the two-week free
trial. CRaig gRaNNEll
Total War —
World domination is never easy
£4.99 FROM Feral Interactive,
NEEDS iOS 10.2 or later
his game puts you
in the sandals of
Alexander the
not-yet-Great, and asks
you to conquer the known
world within a time limit.
Apart from the constant
fear of running out of time,
little else has changed since
the series’ previous iPad
release. Manoeuvre armies
and recruit new units to gain
strategic advantage. Bump
into an opposing army, or lay
siege to a city, and you’ll be
dropped into the meat of the
A classic series in a
classical setting, but
it’s just way too hard.
Huge real-time battles
Frustratingly difficult
March across the world map
to find enemies to fight with.
action – real-time battles in
which you control individual
regiments and generals.
The interface has been
intelligently designed for a
touchscreen, but without the
responsiveness of mouse
control, and a view that
doesn’t zoom out far enough,
your micromanagement can
become a stop-start affair.
It’s rather difficult too,
and that’s a shame. The
100-turn limit and its
associated need to keep
attacking makes the game
ideally suited to flights and
toddler naps. Conflicts are
suitably epic: seeing so many
units fighting at once is a fine
display of iPad power, while
custom and one-off battles
add longevity. Sadly, the
learning curve is likely
to put off many people.
iaN EvENDEN @macformat
Procreate 4
(Left) Any brush can be used in Smudge mode
to move or blend colours on the canvas.
(Above) Layer masks let you paint out areas
of a layer without deleting the content.
Amazing art app gets even better
£9.99 FROM Savage Interactive, NEEDS iOS 11.1 or later
There’s a clever
use of gestures,
so you can find
extra settings
with a swipe
Procreate is a
serious creative tool.
At £9.99 all-in,
it’s great value.
Wet paints
Easy to use
Strokes and effects
not editable later @macformat
rocreate is aimed squarely
at artists – whether dabblers
or full-time professionals – both
for finished artwork and visualisation,
where a scene or character is roughed
out. So you can get results quickly, but you also have the depth and precision to produce polished work if you wish.
This is a big update. The neat interface is more streamlined than ever, with everything clearly and logically laid out in drop-down panels accessed from the top toolbar, making it easy to switch colours and brushes. The app’s developer has also made clever use of gestures, so you can find extra settings with a swipe, not unlike using keyboard shortcuts.
In the Layers panel, for example, swiping a layer to the left reveals options to duplicate, lock or delete it. Tapping the selected layer pops up a contextual menu with more advanced commands, including the new ability to add a layer mask. You edit this using any of the brushes, painting areas dark to hide the contents of the layer. This does need to be more sophisticated, but it provides another means of non-destructive editing.
That’s one respect in which Procreate still feels a little lacking overall. You can undo with a two-finger tap, or hold your fingers down to wind back as many steps as you want, P
but there’s no way to edit individual strokes or effects later, or change the resolution of a canvas. Still, this suits the app’s painterly approach, which is enhanced by a new set of wet painting brushes. These feel convincingly real and interact satisfyingly with any colour on the canvas. There’s also a Smudge mode that makes any brush act as if it’s being dragged over wet paint.
Stylus support
An iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil is the ideal setup: both pressure and tilt are supported, and you get detailed control over how brushes (which include pencils, pens, and airbrushes) respond. For other iPads, many Pogo, Jot and Wacom active styluses are also supported. Even with a basic rubber stylus (or your finger) you can get impressive results moving paint around to make textures and backgrounds.
On a first-generation iPad Pro, Procreate’s new 64-bit graphics engine, using iOS’s Metal API, ensures it almost always keeps up smoothly with your strokes when working at the screen’s native 2048x1536 resolution, or even higher. Inevitably, you see some lag on slower iPads, but rival painting app ArtRage struggles even on iPad Pro with canvases large enough for professional work. ADAM BANkS
JUnE 2017
EditEd bY
AlEx BlAkE
Your complete guide to the best Apple
hardware and third-party accessories
elcome to MacFormat’s
Store Guide, the place
to go to find out about all
the Apple kit that matters, whether
you’re looking for your next iPhone
or a powerful new desktop Mac.
We’ve highlighted the model of
each product that’s ideally suited to
your needs, whether you’re a recent
convert or a seasoned Apple user.
So be sure to check our handy tables
to see which Mac, iPad or iPhone is
best for you.
We’ve also handpicked the gold
standard in audio, storage, cameras,
and many other categories, helping
you complement your Mac or iOS
device with the best accessories.
All of these third-party devices have
been reviewed in the magazine.
OCT 2014
Ever since the famous Bondi Blue iMac
debuted in August 1998, Apple’s all-in-one
desktop computer has been setting standards
in gorgeous design and powerful performance.
Apple’s innovation was as clear back then as it
is today – the iMac was the first Macintosh to
drop the floppy disk in favour of USB, and its
colourful aesthetic set it apart as a playful
pretender in a world of staid beige boxes.
Today, Apple is again pushing boundaries
with the iMac, blessing all of its 27-inch models
with a massive 5K (5120x2880) resolution and
a wide P3 colour gamut. Add in Intel Core i5
and i7 CPUs (configurable from 3.4GHz up to
4.2GHz), a fast and capacious Fusion Drive, and
powerful AMD Radeon RX graphics processors,
and the 27-inch iMac is the desktop system to
own. At WWDC in June 2017, Apple refreshed
the entire range of iMacs, with discrete GPUs
coming to all but the entry-level model, newer
Intel CPUs, brighter Retina displays and more
Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Choose an iMac
Higher-end models come with 1TB of
storage included (Fusion Drive and
SSD options are available), 8GB of
memory, a better graphics processor
and either a 2.6GHz or 2.8GHz Intel
Core i5 for £679 and £949. Those
models can be upgraded to a Core
i7, but there aren’t any quad-core
options available at the moment.
Expect updates in 2018.
An update in 2014 brought a £100
price drop to the most affordable
Mac, but rises in late 2016 added
£80 back on. The mini comes with
some interesting talking points: the
entry-level model has a 1.4GHz dualcore Intel Core i5 CPU and 4GB of
memory, making it one of the lowestspec Macs around, with a 500GB
hard drive and no display.
intel core i5
MEMORY 8GB of 2400MHz ddr4
GRaphics aMd radeon pro 555
sTORaGE 1tB (5,400rpm) hard drive
DispLaY retina 4K (ips, p3 gamut)
aLsO Magic Mouse 2, Magic Keyboard
Key specifications
intel core i5
MEMORY 16GB of 2400MHz ddr4
GRaphics aMd radeon pro 570
sTORaGE 1tB fusion drive
DispLaY retina 5K (ips, p3 gamut)
aLsO Magic Mouse 2, Magic Keyboard
Mac mini
intel core i7
MEMORY 16GB of 2400MHz ddr4
GRaphics aMd radeon pro 580
sTORaGE 2tB fusion drive
DispLaY retina 5K (ips, p3 gamut)
aLsO Magic Mouse 2, Magic Keyboard
£2,609 @macformat
JUnE 2017
JUnE 2017
Apple tips
MacBook Pro
The baby of Apple’s laptop family,
the MacBook was updated at WWDC
2017 to get Intel Kaby Lake processors
and faster SSDs. Weighing in at just
0.92kg, it’s Apple’s most lightweight
laptop but still packs in a 226ppi pixel
density in its 12-inch Retina display.
The MacBook is powered by an Intel
Core M processor (configurable to Core
i5 or i7), which doesn’t require a fan to
keep cool, so the MacBook runs silently.
It also features a Force Touch trackpad,
which can trigger different responses
as you apply more pressure. All models
of the MacBook come loaded with 8GB
of 1866MHz memory, which can be
boosted to 16GB, and Intel HD Graphics
615 – an upgrade from the previous HD
Graphics 515 – and there are 256GB or
512GB flash storage options. There are
four colour options: Silver, Space Grey,
Gold, and Rose Gold.
Apple debuted the new MacBook Pro
in October 2016 with an OLED strip of
app-specific controls called the Touch
Bar. The Force Touch trackpad was made
larger to give more room for gestures,
and the keyboard was also updated to
have a second-generation version of the
butterfly keys from the 12-inch MacBook.
The MacBook Pro range then got a
further boost at WWDC 2017, when both
the 13-inch and 15-inch models had their
processors updated to Intel’s Kaby Lake
models. The larger of the two also had
its graphics card upgraded to give more
powerful Radeon Pro options.
you get two or four Thunderbolt 3
ports (depending on the model), which
are also compatible with USB-C devices,
and through which you can charge the
MacBook Pro. The 13-inch and 15-inch
sizes remain, although the entry-level
13-inch lacks a Touch Bar.
Choose a MacBook
12-inch 1.3GHz
intel core i5
1866MHz lpddr3
GRaphics intel Hd
Graphics 615
sTORaGE 512GB ssd
12-inch 1.4GHz
intel core i7
1866MHz lpddr3
GRaphics intel Hd
Graphics 615
sTORaGE 512GB ssd
intel core i5
2133MHz lpddr3
Gpu intel iris plus 640
sTORaGE 256GB ssd
Touch Bar no
intel core i5
2133MHz lpddr3
Gpu intel iris 650
sTORaGE 256GB ssd
Touch Bar yes
intel core i7
2133MHz lpddr3
Gpu radeon pro 555
sTORaGE 256GB ssd
Touch Bar yes
1866MHz lpddr3
GRaphics intel Hd
Graphics 615
sTORaGE 256GB ssd
Key specifications
12-inch 1.2GHz
intel core m3 @macformat
Key specifications
Choose a MacBook Pro
From Stormfront, your
local Apple experts
Split screen
In iOS 11, Apple updated the way
compatible iPads handle multiple
apps simultaneously. The most
useful of these is arguably split
screen. With this facility, you can
have two apps open on screen,
provided the apps support it.
Open your first app, and then
quickly swipe up from the bottom
of the screen to show the dock.
Tap and hold the icon for the
second app then drag this to the
left or right of the screen and
release. If done correctly there
should be a dark grey line down
the screen; you can then drag
this line from left to right to
arrange the windows.
you can also drag and drop
text and images from one app to
another, such as Safari to Mail.
If the second app floats over the
first, this is called Slide Over. To
get the apps in split screen, drag
down from the top of the floating
app until you see the split screen
divider appear.
Ellie Otley, Darryl Elkins
SEpT 2017
JUnE 2017
JUnE 2017
iPad Pro
Apple always had to do something big
for the iPhone’s tenth birthday, and it’s
done that with the iPhone X. Sporting a
glass back to allow wireless charging and
a gorgeous edge-to-edge, OLED, Super
Retina display measuring 5.8 inches
across, it’s big news all over.
Its better cameras don’t just mean
great photos – they allow for Face ID,
the face-scanning technology that is the
latest, safest way to unlock your phone
(goodbye Touch ID and Home button).
But don’t let the new kid on the block
overshadow the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus –
they’re great phones in their own right.
They get wireless charging too, plus
revamped cameras, a new A11 Bionic
chip, and new augmented reality tech.
All new models come in 64GB and
256GB capacities. The pricing for the
iPhone 8 starts at £699, the 8 Plus at
£799 and the iPhone X at £999.
Apple shifted the iPad range around in
March 2017, replacing the iPad Air 2 with
a 9.7-inch model simply called ‘iPad’. The
entire Air range has been phased out,
but the iPad mini 4 is still available.
The 9.7-inch iPad features an A9 CPU
and M9 motion coprocessor, and comes
in 32GB and 128GB storage flavours. The
Retina display has been made brighter
compared to the Air 2, but the new iPad
is slightly thicker and heavier. It’s also
got an 8MP rear camera and a 1.2MP
front-facing camera.
On the software side, the iPad adds
multitasking features, which are a boon
for productivity. you can slide a second
app over the right side of the one you’re
working in, then dismiss it to get back to
work. Picture in Picture enables you to
watch video in a corner of the screen.
There’s also Split View, which lets you
work on two apps side by side.
The iPad Pro comes in 10.5-inch and
12.9-inch sizes, packed with either 64GB,
256GB or 512GB of storage. All models
are available with the option of mobile
network connectivity. The Pro’s A10X
chip is the most powerful in any iOS
device, and it has an impressive fourspeaker sound system, too. Adding the
pressure-sensitive Apple Pencil and
120Hz refresh rate makes it a smooth,
accomplished drawing tool.
iphone se
capaciTY: 128GB
pROcEssOR: a9
FacE iD no
caMERa 12Mp photos,
4K video recording
iphone 8
capaciTY: 64GB
pROcEssOR: a11 Bionic
FacE iD no
caMERa 12Mp photos
(dual-camera), 4K video
iphone X
capaciTY: 64GB
pROcEssOR: a11 Bionic
FacE iD yes
caMERa 12Mp photos
(dual-camera), 4K video
Key specifications
ipad mini 4
capaciTY 128GB
pROcEssOR a8
cONNEcTiViTY Wi-fi
caMERa 8Mp
TOuch iD yes
Key specifications
9.7-inch ipad capaciTY 128GB
pROcEssOR a9
cONNEcTiViTY Wi-fi
caMERa 8Mp
TOuch iD yes
Choose an iPad
Choose an iPhone
ipad pro
capaciTY 256GB
pROcEssOR a10X
cONNEcTiViTY Wi-fi
caMERa 12Mp
TOuch iD yes
SEpT 2017
lATE 2018
From £329 (Series 3)
The Watch is Apple’s quiet revolution,
and it’s now the number one watch in
the world. Series 3 is meant to cement
that status quo.
To achieve that, Series 3 lets you
make and receive calls from your wrist
for the first time – the sci-fi dream is
now a reality. you can also stream Apple
Music to the device, giving you one more
reason to leave your phone at home.
Performance-wise, the processor has
seen a 70% speed boost, and the new
W2 wireless chip is far faster and more
power efficient. All that, yet the case is
still the same slimline size.
Apple is introducing new colours
and bands, plus a new dark grey colour
for the high-end ceramic model. @macformat
Accessories STORE GUIDE
bEst buys… Curated picks of third-party kit
Viewsonic Vp2772
philips 328p6VJEB
Freecom mssD MaXX 512GB
If you’re not fussed about 4K but still
want exceptional image quality, this IPS
display is truly superb. It offers 99%
coverage of the Adobe RGB colour space,
10-bit colour and a 2560x1440-pixel
resolution. It has HDMI 1.4, DVI and Mini
DisplayPort connections, and four USB
3.0 ports for expansion.
We love this display. At 32 inches
diagonally it’s big enough to make its
4K resolution worthwhile, and its colour
rendering is excellent – 100% of sRGB,
93% of Adobe RGB and 97% of the P3
gamut that Apple’s new MacBook Pro
uses. It’s big, bold, beautiful and superb
for productivity and colour work alike.
This drive is the fastest portable SSD
we’ve ever tested. Freecom claims its
write speeds can reach 700MB/sec, but
in our tests it blazed past that to reach
713.8MB/sec write speeds and 907.3MB/
sec read speeds, thanks to its USB 3.1
Gen 2 capability. It’s costly, but worth
it if you feel the need for speed.
Drobo 5D3
This router has an awful lot going for it.
The winner of issue 321’s group test, the
Asus scored an impressive five stars in
three out of four categories. It performed
brilliantly in our tests, has excellent
connectivity (with both Ethernet and
ADSL options), and it looks great too. It
will keep your network powered for years.
The winner of
MF317’s head-to-head
review introduces a
whole new level of
connectivity to your
Mac. Equipped with
two Thunderbolt 3
ports for blazingly fast
file transfers, plus many more ports, you
won’t be lacking options to hook up your
devices. And it can even charge the latest
15-inch MacBook Pro.
With two blazing fast Thunderbolt 3
ports and a 5Gbps USB-C port to boot, the
Drobo 5D3 can provide you with rapid file
transfers to and from your Mac. you can
load it up with up to five HDDs or SSDs of
differing capacities, giving you plenty of
flexibility for storage options. It’s pricey,
but a worthy investment.
asus DsL-ac88u ac3100
calDigit Thunderbolt station 3
Epson EcoTank ET-2600
Netatmo presence
sTM Kings
The Eco-Tank ET-2600 has a fairly high
cost, but its innovative cartridge-free
design will save you a ton of money
in the long run. It’s got a scanner and
copier, plus Wi-Fi and USB connectivity.
Replacement inks are cheap, working out
at a mere 0.2p per page for mono text,
and just 0.35p per page for colour.
The netatmo
Presence is an
impressive outdoor
security camera. Set
in a sturdy housing,
it’s built to defy the
elements. It has a builtin floodlight to deter
intruders, and a 100° field of view
recorded in 1080p. There’s also an SD
card included, making it easy to store
and access your footage.
your MacBook
needs protection,
and the STM Kings
backpack is the best
way to guarantee
that. Winner of this
month’s group test, it
cleverly suspends
your MacBook away from the floor to
prevent bumps. With loads of storage,
comfortable straps and a snazzy design,
it’s a great all-rounder. @macformat
STORE GUIDE Accessories
bEst buys… Curated picks of third-party kit
Kef Egg
Libratone Zipp
pioneer XDp-30R
With rich, warm
sound that works
with pretty much any
genre, the KEF Egg
speakers are ideal
partners for your
Mac. They support
high-quality aptX
Bluetooth too, making them perfect for
wireless playback. Quirky design, solid
build quality and support for external
subwoofers makes them a great choice.
Want a multiroom
audio system in your
home? This little speaker
is your best option,
hands down. It cleaned
up in issue 309’s group
test, scoring five stars
in every test category.
From top-notch sound to tons of great
features, the Zipp is a superb choice. It
even boasts AirPlay for great integration
with Macs and iOS devices.
Love music as much
as we do? Then you’ll
want to get your mitts
on one of these. It
plays high-res audio
files, and absolutely
blows MP3 files out of
the water. One listen
will change the way you hear your audio
tracks and, unlike other high-res audio
players, it’s reasonably priced. It really
will rock your world.
pioneer Rayz plus
If you own an iPhone
7, you’ll know the
struggle of trying to
listen to music and
charge your phone at
the same time. These
in-ear Lightning
headphones solve
that, thanks to their built-in charging
port. They’ve also got great audio quality,
excellent noise cancellation and will pause
your tunes when removed from your ears.
apple iphone 7 smart
Battery case £99
Despite that sillylooking hump on its
back, the official battery
case for the iPhone 7 is
rather impressive. It’s
easy to fit, the buttons
feel great, and the soft
inner lining protects
against scratches. It isn’t the largest
capacity case, yet it has more than
enough juice for busy days, and the
bump is surprisingly comfy.
Gopro hero5 Black
We looked at
GoPro’s Hero5
action cam back
in issue 311, and
it coloured us
impressed. GoPro
improved its cam’s
usability, and its a
cinch to get started with the Hero5 Black.
Add in superb 4K video quality plus a
great range of shooting options and
you’ve got a hugely powerful camera.
Transcend Drivepro 230
Blue Microphones Raspberry
Garmin Vivoactive hR
Dash cams help
record what happens
when you drive – useful
if you’re in an RTC. If
you’re in the market
for one, this cam is
one of the best.
Packed with Wi-Fi,
GPS logging, Full HD video and a night
view as well, you get an awful lot for your
money. There’s even a free 16GB memory
card included in the box.
Don’t be fooled by this
mic’s small form factor;
it punches hugely above
its weight. Its close-up
sound is intimate and
bassy, and brings out
the best in any voice.
no matter whether
you’re recording an interview, creating
a podcast or just jamming with your
band, its clarity and depth makes it
easy to recommend.
Packed full of
tracking features
for a host of sports,
and filled with
genuinely insightful
metrics, this is a
fitness smartwatch
for nearly any
occasion. Its battery will last you days,
perfect for the odd weekend hiking trip.
With all this, it’s not hard to see why it
won MF308’s group test.
102 | MACFORMAT | JANUARY 2018 @macformat
bEst buys… Curated picks of third-party apps
affinity photo
Final cut pro X 10.3
RapidWeaver 7
It’s hard not to love
Affinity Photo. Whether
you’re fancy yourself
a seasoned pro or a
photo novice, you will
find it powerful and
easy to use. Its interface has the perfect
blend of ease of use and quick access to
powerful features, and its useful batch
processing is a great addition. An app
that packs both power and practicality
for less than £50? We’re in!
Apple’s Final Cut Pro
has always been a good
option for video editors,
but the latest version
makes it even better.
It introduces ‘roles’,
which can be colour-coded to make your
timeline’s components easier to navigate,
something that’s further boosted by the
streamlined interface. It supports the
Touch Bar, too, plus wide colour on the
new MacBook Pro.
Ever since Apple
stopped updating iWeb,
Mac users have been
searching for the ideal
replacement. Well look
no further – it’s
RapidWeaver. Don’t know code? no
worries, RapidWeaver lets you design
visually if you want to. you can build any
type of page and publish to any type of
platform, and extend its functions with
thousands of addons.
About £35
Different people often
need different things
from a writing app,
but Scrivener handles
so many things
expertly. The winner
of MF319’s group test has templates for
scripts, short stories, novels and much
more, allowing you to quickly get stuck
in. That means it’s great value for
money given its unrivalled flexibility.
It’s the writer’s writing tool.
When disaster strikes
and your hard drive
fails, having a backup
can be a lifesaver. This
app makes creating and
restoring from backups
an absolute breeze. It comes with a helpful
guided restore feature, plus a Cloning
Coach that monitors what you do and
looks out for potential problems. If you’re
looking to clone or back up your hard
drive, this is the app you need.
When it comes to
making music on your
Mac, djay Pro is our
favourite app by far. It
comes with everything
you need to make
amazing professional music, from
coloured waveforms to a four-deck view
and even true-to-life grooves on the
virtual records. It integrates neatly with
Spotify, and its MacBook Pro Touch Bar
integration is very handy.
Free, £9.99 per month (Premium)
Despite strong
competition from the
likes of Tidal, Apple
Music and Amazon,
Spotify is our top musicstreaming choice. It hits
all the right notes, from its fair price to its
curated playlists. Its library is one of the
largest on the market, and its interface is
simple and straightforward to use. And,
unlike Apple Music and Tidal, it has a free
tier as well. @macformat
carbon copy cloner 5
djay pro
Fantastical 2
£38.99 (Mac), £2.99 (iPhone)
If you find your
calendar and reminders
are getting out of
control, Fantastical is
the app for you. It
supports natural
language entry, so that you can enter
events and reminders as you would speak
and Fantastical will get to work. It’s got a
nifty menu bar window, plus a great
interface, clever calendar management
and a powerful iOS app to boot.
Feeling inbox anxiety?
The solution could be
Spark, a free email app
for Mac and iOS. It’s
centred on a ‘smart
inbox’, which prioritises
your emails based on importance – no
more losing that vital work email among
a sea of spam. you can snooze emails
and be reminded of them later, and
search via natural language too. And
to top it all off, it’s free.
PHOTO STream Shot of the month
GeT On InSTaGram
Share your images with us by using the
hashtag #MacFormat and we’ll print the
best here in the magazine. While you’re
there, follow @MacFormat (Twitter) and
@MacFormatUK (Instagram).
Winter blues?
Here’s a reminder of summer
BY kiku77777
Forget cold wintery thoughts
and think warm, sunny days
and beaches! Thank you to
Kiku77777 (who also sent us
an iMac shot in our August
issue, #315) for reminding us
that despite the days closing
in fast, we can look ahead
to sunsets on the beach.
This shot was taken at Bude,
and the composition is great.
The ripples on the water add
texture, and the sea defence
uprights lead your eye to that
amazing skyline. Cracking shot.
Share your pics with us using
the hashtag #MacFormat on
Instagram. In each issue
we’ll pick our favourite
to feature on this page.
to do!
1 Open an Instagram account.
2 Follow @macFormatUK (of course).
3 Take a picture of, or with, your Apple kit.
4 Share it on Instagram or Twitter.
5 Use the hashtag #MacFormat.
6 Feel the warm glow of an
appreciative apple community.
7 See if you made it onto the
pages of this very magazine!
8 repeat. @macformat
MacFormat, Future,
Quay House, The Ambury
Bath, BA1 1UA
Tel +44 (0)1225 442 244
To email, enter
Editor alan stonebriDge
Art Editor paul blachforD
Operations Editor Jo membery
Commissioning Editor alex blake
Head of Art & Design roDney Dive
Senior Art Editor Jo gulliver
eDitorial: Ray Aguilera, Adam Banks, Matt Bolton,
JR Bookwalter, Nate Drake, Ian Evenden, Dan Grabham,
Craig Grannell, Kenny Hemphill, Hollin Jones, Cliff Joseph,
Gary Marshall, Howard Oakley, Jon Porter, Dave Stevenson,
Luis Villazon
art: Apple, Future Photo Studio (Neil Godwin, Olly Curtis)
Commercial Sales Director clare Dove
Senior Advertising Manager lara Jaggon
Director of Agency Sales matt DoWns
Advertising Director John burke
Head of Strategic Partnerships clare Jonik
Advertising Manager michael pyatt
Account Sales Manager anDreW tilbury
international licensing
MacFormat is available for licensing.
Contact the international licensing department
to discuss partnership opportunities…
International Licensing Director matt ellis
print subscriptions & back issues
tel 0844 848 2852
iMac celebration next issue
The 20th anniversary of the
20 years
of the Mac
that saved
Head of Newstrade tim mathers
Tel +44 (0)1202 586200
print & proDuction
Head of Production UK & US mark constance
Production Project Manager clare scott
Advertising Production Manager Joanne crosby
Digital Editions Controller Jason huDson
Production Manager frances tWentyman
Managing Director, Magazines aaron asaDi
Editorial Director paul neWman
Group Editor-in-Chief graham barloW
Art & Design Director ross anDreWs
Finance & Operations Director angie lyons-reDman
Commercial Finance Director Dan Jotcham
printeD by
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DistributeD by
Marketforce, 5 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5HU Tel: 0203 787 9001
print 13,634 Digital 9,387
Jan–Dec 2016
A member of the Audited Bureau of Circulations
Also inside…
iphone x: your migration and gestures guide
save time on group emails with Workflow
picture perfect: build better panoramas
get to grips with the Files app in iOS 11
… and more!
on sale
16 Jan
Don’t miss it –
subscribe toDay!
Contents subject to change
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reserved. No part of this magazine may be used, stored, transmitted or reproduced
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Apple storage history
From the humble floppy to the latest Fusion Drive
Written by Graham Barlow
he way we store data has changed radically
from the early days of home computing to the
modern era. From early data cassette storage on
the Apple II in 1977 to the solid-state drive of the latest
MacBook Pro, storage has gone through something of a
physical and price revolution. Here we track the changes.
The iMac SE brought CD
burning to the masses with
a built-in CD-RW drive.
October 1991
Apple released the
PowerBook 140 (as
well as two other
models) with 20 to
80MB hard drives.
February 2008
While you could plug
a hard drive into an
Airport Extreme, Time
Capsule in 2008 was
Apple’s first network
storage device,
enabling you to back
up your Mac to a hard
drive over Wi-Fi.
October 2012
Introduced on the
2012 iMac and Mac
mini, a Fusion drive
is Apple’s name for
a hybrid drive that
combines an SSD of
24GB or more with
a hard disk drive
and presents it as a
one combined unit.
1987 onwards
Apple started
introducing built-in
hard drives with the
Macintosh SE range.
Hard-drive equipped
models had a 20MB
SCSI hard disk. Of
course, it was possible
to attach them
externally before that.
June 2007
As well as breaking
new ground in smartphones, the iPhone
started Apple’s love
affair with flash
storage. Fast solidstate drives later
found their way into
the MacBook range.
October 2010
The super-slim
MacBook Air was
Apple’s poster child for
an SSD in a laptop. The
MacBook Air option
with a 64GB SSD drive
was expensive, but fast.
Apple went on to
introduce flash storage
to the MacBook Pro
and MacBook range.
next issue
On sALe
Tuesday 16 January 2018
The original (Bondi
Blue) iMac from 1998
was groundbreaking
because it dropped the
floppy drive in favour of
a USB port, but it was
the iMac SE, called the
‘Flower Power’ iMac,
from early 2001 that
had the capability to
burn its own CDs with
a 24x/8x/4x CD-RW
drive. The 24x was the
read speed, the 8x was
the CD-R write speed
and the 4x was the
rewrite speed. CD-R
discs were now cheap
enough for people
to afford, and CD-RW
discs, which could be
rewritten, were also
affordable as storage,
although not as reliable
for backing up as a hard
drive. CD-Rs could
easily be scratched, like
regular CD-ROM discs.
June 1977
Apple launches
the Apple II, which
initially had an audio
cassette interface for
storing data. Apple
recommended using
the Panasonic RQ309
in some of its early
January 1984
The original
Macintosh 128K had
a 3.5-inch internal
floppy drive.
It contained the
disk-based MacOS
system, but could be
safely ejected once
the computer was
turned on, so you
could use the drive
for other things.
The first
floppy disk
Floppy disks
offered computer
users data storage
in the guise of thin,
flexible magnetic units
enclosed in rectangular
plastic cases. They
were developed in the
late 1960s and became
ubiquitous for personal
computers before
being superseded
by higher-capacity
USB flash drives and
CD-ROM discs. The
popular 1.44MB High
New York Apple Store
floppy disk was
introduced in 1987.
Floppy disks commonly
came in 8-inch, 5.25-inch,
and 3.5-inch sizes.
The Zip disk
The Zip drive was
introduced by Iomega
in 1994. It proved really
popular because it
offered a disk capacity
of 100MB – perfectly
filling a niche market
for more storage than
a standard floppy
provided. Capacities
reached 750MB but,
by the early 2000s, the
Zip disks’ time was up.
Zip disks were perfect for
passing files around the office.
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