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iCreate UK - Issue 183 2018

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iOS 11
Essential secrets &
shortcuts revealed
Recover lost
High Sierra
Watch TV
on your iPad
Your Siri
Reviewed inside
iCreate 183
“We provide a host of tips and solutions
to help get older Macs fighting fit”
There comes a time in every Mac’s life when age
catches up with it. The advent of larger applications and
more demanding operating systems can take their toll
on slower processors and less expansive hard drives –
but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to upgrade.
This issue we provide a whole host of tips and solutions
to help get older Macs operating at peak performance
as well as exploring if an iPad could be a worthwhile
(and cheaper) alternative to a Mac.
With more features and subtle nuances of iOS 11
coming to the fore in the months since its release, we
felt it an appropriate time to round up the very best tips
and tricks from Apple’s latest mobile operating system
to help you get the most out of it – swipe to page 52
now to check them out. Also in this issue we help you
recover lost passwords in High Sierra, cure you of your
iPhone addiction, demonstrate how you can watch TV
on your iOS devices and help solve all of your iPhone’s
battery problems. All this plus we welcome Apple’s
latest gadget, the HomePod, to the family. Enjoy!
Ryan Butt Editor
Meet the experts
David Crookes
Shaun McGill
George Cairns
If you find yourself staring at your iPhone
screen too often then David will help cure you
of this addiction on page 64. You can also
check out his HomePod review on page 86.
This month, our resident Mac medic
demonstrates how to perform expert CPR on
your old, slow-running Apple computers to
get them performing like new(ish).
This issue our creative expert demonstrates
how to craft well-exposed shots in Photos,
combine clips in iMovie and apply creative
grading to your Final Cut Pro projects.
Discover the creative treats in store this month
How to get older Macs operating at peak performance
Hints tips and tricks
to get the most
out of your iPhone
operating system
Visit the iC
online shoreate
p at
Get more from your devices
28 Photos
sHow to create a correctly
exposed shot
30 iMovie
sDiscover how to combine
video using layers
32 Final Cut Pro X
How to recover lost passwords
in macOS High Sierra
sApply colour and tonal tweaks
to your projects
34 GarageBand
sTune your guitar and bass
using the in-app tuner
36 Logic Pro X
sHow to get started with Smart
Tempo in Logic Pro X 10.4
40 macOS
Find out how to create your
perfect Mac Dock
Discover how to watch TV on your
iPad or iPhone with iOS 11
06 FileSilo
Free font
Stunning font to get creative with
Expert video guides
Walking you through new features
Stock video
Royalty-free clips for project use
The only way to get all
your creative resources
sSpring-clean your Mac’s drive
sHow to fix sound issues
with your Mac
sDiscover how to find lost
passwords on your Mac
sStream an old iPod via
sCreate your perfect Dock
s10 quick and easy ways to
customise your Mac
60 iOS
sHow to solve your iPhone
battery problems
sWatch shows on the TV app
sDiscover how to cure your
iPhone addiction
sSave GIFs sent in Messenger
sGet the most out of Notes
sAdd a launcher to your
Today widgets
sRecord anything using Just
Press Record
74 watchOS
sTrack your sleep
sIncrease your Apple Watch’s
haptic feedback
for back is
bookazine sues,
s & DVDs
this month…
Features, reviews and expert advice
08 Trending News
Is your old iPhone battery dying
prematurely? Then read all about
Apple’s new replacement policy
10 5 Things
Find out what we discovered this
month, including a very imminent
iOS 11 update…
12 5-Minute Projects
Tips on how to get more out of your
macOS and iOS apps and settings
80 Genius Bar
Fix your common Apple problems
with our resident Apple Genius
98 Time Machine
Take a trip down memory lane
with classic Apple hardware
The iCreate reviews
The latest kit gets the
86 Apple HomePod
88 Sonoro STREAM
89 Marshall Monitor
90 BenQ PD2500Q
Design Monitor
91 Polk Signa Solo
92 Accessories
94 Unclutter
96 Bridge Constructor
P rtal
78 Apple TV
sHow to organise your
Podcasts into stations
Free with
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Mac desktops
video tutorials
project files
Kit macOS out with some Discover how to get
All the assets you’ll need
stunning wallpapers
more out of your devices to get creative
All of this
is yours…
and macOS video guides
from MacMost
files to follow along with
your video-editing armour
brighten up your Mac desktop
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ha n
00 re
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Why you can now
get a cheap iPhone
battery replacement
A sinister ploy to force you into buying a new iPhone?
We’re not sold on those claims
Some people believe that Apple
is ‘forcing’ users to upgrade their
iPhones by slowing down older
devices on purpose
Did you know
that you can
get a brandnew battery
installed into
your iPhone – in any official
Apple Store – for the small
fee of just £25/$29? If you
have an iPhone 6 or later
you are guaranteed a
brand-new power source.
Apple will run a diagnostic
test but, regardless of
the results, it will replace
the battery at a hugely
discounted price. That’s even
if your iPhone is outside
the statutory two-year
warranty period.
So why is Apple feeling
so generous? Well, it has
been accused of deliberately
“Apple will run a diagnostic test but,
regardless of the results, it will replace the
battery at a hugely discounted price”
degrading the performance
of batteries in older iPhones,
presumably in an attempt to get
you to go out and buy a brand
new one. Not a good way for
Apple to kick-start its 2018
positive PR campaign.
Well, as you can imagine,
these accusations got Apple
that it released a statement,
of which the highlights went
like this: “We know that some
of you feel Apple has let you
Apple management have denied
those claims, and released a
strong-worded defence of the
battery features in iOS
down. We apologise. There’s
been a lot of misunderstanding
about this issue, so we would
like to clarify and let you
know about some changes
we’re making.”
It continued: “First and
foremost, we have never – and
would never – do anything to
intentionally shorten the life of
any Apple product, or degrade
the user experience to drive
customer upgrades. Our goal
has always been to create
products that our customers
love, and making iPhones
last as long as possible is an
important part of that.”
Apple went into a detailed
response about how
batteries change over time.
The explanation gets pretty
rechargeable batteries are
consumable components
that become less effective
as they chemically age and
their ability to hold a charge
diminishes. Each iPhone
battery is different and how
different users use their device
will have a big effect on its
lifespan. As a battery grows
older, it struggles to cope with
the times when you put it
under intensive pressure. This
can cause your iPhone to
shutdown unexpectedly.
Apple says this is not
acceptable, and in iOS 10.2.1
power management features,
which improved performance
during peak workloads to avoid
unexpected shutdowns, were
introduced. With the update,
iOS dynamically manages the
maximum performance of
some system components
when needed to prevent a
shutdown. This is the move
that has proved controversial,
with some users saying that
Apple is slowing down older
devices on purpose.
At present Apple doesn’t
checking battery degradation.
However, we have found an
alternative in a little-known
Mac app called coconutBattery
coconutbattery). Download
the app, plug in your iPhone,
source and you’ll be able to
see detailed information about
maintain it. We are able to do
the work we love only because
of your faith and support — and
we will never forget that or take
it for granted.”
“A new Battery Health feature is
being added to iOS 11.3 this spring”
your battery, including its age,
the number of times it’s been
charged and its overall health in
relation to when it was factory
new. This will give you a good
idea whether it’s worth a trip to
your local Apple Store.
But you won’t have to
download a third-party app for
much longer. In another sign
that Apple is taking all this very
seriously, a new Battery Health
feature is being added to iOS
11.3 this spring. It’s currently
in beta, but Apple says it
offers even greater power
management transparency
for iOS users.
to customers about battery
performance by saying: “At
Apple, our customers’ trust
means everything to us. We will
never stop working to earn and
Given how quickly Tim Cook
and co came out defending
measures they have taken to try
and rectify any problems, this
doesn’t seem like a sinister ploy
where Apple is trying to trick
you into buying a new handset.
The vast majority of iPhones,
when taken good care of, last
for years and years. A new,
data-hungry OS has historically
always slowed down older
iPhones and iOS 11 proved
no different.
If you’ve got an iPhone 5s
or older, it’s probably about
time to upgrade anyway. Shop
brilliant offers, especially on the
iPhone 7 range. Everyone else?
Get down to your local Apple
Store and get a new battery on
the cheap.
Things we learned
this month
iOS 11.3 coming
this spring
Apple has previewed iOS 11.3, a
major update to its mobile OS which
will include a raft of new features.
The headline feature is once again
ARKit, which with iOS 11’s introduction became
the world’s largest augmented reality platform.
With ARKit 1.5 you can now recognise and
place virtual objects on vertical surfaces like
walls and doors, and you can more accurately
map irregularly shaped surfaces like
circular tables.
Elsewhere, a new Health Records feature
has been added to the Health app, making it
easier to see all your health data from a variety
of sources, and Business Chat enables users
to communicate directly with businesses right
within Messages. iOS 11.3 is set to launch this
spring, so keep your eyes peeled!
“iOS 11.3 includes
a raft of new
features and the
headline feature is
once again ARKit”
Legal issues
threaten Shazam
takeover Shazam
Smart Tempo feature
added to Logic Pro X Mac
Logic Pro X, Apple’s pro music production
studio has been given a new update, featuring a
breakthrough new tempo detection technology
and a number of powerful effect plug-ins, giving
musicians even more creative control and flexibility with their
projects. Smart Tempo is a new advanced tempo detection
technology that automatically manages tempo across all
the content in a project. It gives users the freedom to record
naturally without a metronome or click track. Logic Pro X 10.4
is available as a free update for existing users right now or to
buy for £199.99/$199.99 from the Mac App Store.
Apple’s proposed takeover of
music discovery app Shazam
has been hit by potential legal
issues. After complaints from
numerous countries in its jurisdiction, the
European Commission has said it will
assess the takeover on the grounds that
it might “significantly hurt competition”.
European-based companies like Spotify
look set to lose out the most by being
dropped as a partner by the app, but
these types of assessments are common
place in big takeover deals. Apple had
announced the deal in December 2017
and sees Shazam, a widely successful
iOS app downloaded well over a billion
times, as a perfect match for Apple Music.
“Apple sees Shazam
as a perfect match
for Apple Music”
Apple announces partnership
to support girls’ education Apple
Apple is to become the Malala Fund’s first Laureate
partner, enabling a significant expansion of the fund’s
effort to support girls’ education. Led by Nobel
Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, the Malala
Fund champions every girl’s right to 12 years of free, safe, quality
education. With Apple’s support, the Malala Fund will extend
secondary education opportunities to more than 100,000 girls.
“My dream is for every girl to choose her own future,” says Malala
Yousafzai. “Through both their innovations and philanthropy, Apple
has helped educate and empower people around the world.”
Tim Cook adds: “We share Malala Fund’s commitment.”
Everyone Can Code
expanding across Europe
Swift Playgrounds
Apple’s Everyone Can Code initiative is expanding
across Europe with 70 new colleges and universities
recently adding the coding course to their curriculum.
These colleges and universities are adopting Apple’s
App Development with Swift curriculum, equipping
students with the skills they need to pursue careers in the app
economy. “Coding is an essential skill for today’s workforce, and
through Everyone Can Code, we’re giving people around the world
the power to learn coding,” says Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Since
launching Everyone Can Code two years ago, we’ve seen growing
excitement for the initiative from schools around the world, who are
increasingly incorporating the curriculum.”
One of the topics we get asked about the most is how to protect
children and limit exactly what they can access on Mac or iOS,
from the content they watch to the websites they can access. Well
macOS and iOS have the safety net already in place by providing
an expansive set of options that you can use to apply restrictions
to pretty much everything. Here we guide you through some of
them to help you get accustomed to the limits you can go to.
Start setting
up restrictions
If your child
regularly uses
an iPhone then
you can place certain
restrictions on what they
can access through
the internet, what they
can view and what they
can buy. Start off by
launching Settings.
1 Enable
the option
2 Allow or
3 Restrict
Go to Settings>
General and
then scroll
down to the
option. Tap
on this and
then tap on
the ‘Enable
option and
set a code.
You can now
scroll down
exactly which
apps to allow.
If there are any
apps that you
would prefer
your child didn’t
use then move
the respective
switch to ‘on’.
Go to ‘Allowed
Content’ and
you will be able
to determine
what content
your child can
access through
the iTunes and
App Stores. Tap
next to each
option to make
the changes.
Restrict kids’
web access
Although we try
to trust that our
children behave
responsibly online, there
may be times when
unsuitable content finds
them. Thankfully you
have full freedom to
determine what they can
and can’t access online.
1 Tap on Websites
2 Limit adult content
3 Specific websites only
On your iPad, go to Settings>General>
Restrictions, turn the feature on and
then scroll down through the various
options and tap on ‘Websites’ in the
‘Allowed Content’ section.
You now have three options – All
Websites, Limit Adult Content or
Specific Websites Only. Tapping on the
second option lets you enter URLs for
websites to never allow.
Tapping on ‘Specific Websites Only’,
will limit the websites that your child
can access to only those that you
specify. Tap on ‘Add a website’ and
enter a URL to expand the list.
1 Select user
2 Click on the web
3 Apply time limits
Go to the Parental Controls System
Preferences pane and then click on the
padlock in the lower-left corner and
enter your administrator password to
unlock the options, then click a user.
Click on the ‘Web’ tab at the top of
the Parental Controls and you will see
similar options to the iOS Settings.
Again you can determine exactly which
websites your child can access.
By clicking on the ‘Time’ tab you can
also determine how long your child
can stay at the Mac, setting specific
bedtime routines and also restricting
weekend use.
Parental Controls
Your Mac will
serve up a slightly
different set of
restrictions but to enable
them you must first go
to System Preferences>
Users & Groups and then
set up a new user account
for your child. Click the ‘+’
in the left column to add.
Available at WHSmith,
or simply search for ‘T3’ in your device’s App Store
at peak performance
he rules for computing longevity
are stretched when it comes to
Macs because they are built using
high-quality components and there is
much evidence from millions of people
to suggest that you can get many years
of use out of any Mac. Tales of people
using Macs for ten years or more are not
uncommon and with careful use you can
easily expect to manage normal tasks for
at least five years without any significant
problems. However, if you have an older
Mac that is starting to show its
age there are many ways
to breathe some life
back into it and
here we offer
as many cheap
solutions as
possible to help
you get a few more years from your loyal
digital companion.
You can in theory greatly improve the
performance of an older Mac with just
software and some time, but for relatively
little cost you can also change the heart
of the device to the point that it is at
least twice as quick as before, so you
will need to decide how much you want
to invest from a value perspective. Don’t
spend more than an old Mac is worth on
components, but for a device that has
proved to be reliable over a significant
period of time a small outlay could be well
worth it. There really is something special
about using the same computer for many
years and the sense of achievement in
breathing new life into it will be a positive
experience indeed. So take your pick from
our tips and tricks…
Turbo-charge your Mac
Optimise your
hard drive
If your main disk is running low on space you
will observe a variety of performance issues
as the space gets smaller. Most Mac drives
handle a lack of space well, but there are
always limits and so it makes sense to lose
unnecessary files and free up as much space
as possible. Disk Map will help you do that.
1 Buy the app
In the Mac App Store you
should search for ‘Disk Map’
and purchase as you would
any other app. Install it and
launch to begin the process
of freeing up space.
2 Click the plus
3 Time to scan
4 The disk map
5 Save the space
A small panel will appear
prompting you to select a folder
to view. Click ‘+’ and then use
the resultant Finder window to
select your main hard disc.
Once selected the app will scan
the folder which could take
many minutes if it is a large
drive. Be patient and let it do
the work for you.
A map of your hard drive
will now be displayed with
boxes. Hover over boxes for
more detailed information and
double-click to access.
You can now access any file or
folder and add it to the delete
queue to remove it at the end of
the process. You will save lots
of space.
The Disk Map interface
Disk Map does one thing very well and
that is help you free up space on any
Mac drive. It lets you visually check
to see which files take up the most
space and you can in theory save many
gigabytes in a matter of seconds using
a process that you should never find too
complicated at any point.
“You can in theory save
many gigabytes in a matter
of seconds using Disk Map”
Compression is useful
If you have files that you do not use
often, but which you need to keep, the
ability to compress them is built into
Disk Map. This simple process can also
save you a lot of space.
The delete queue
Deleting files will ultimately save you
the most space and you can build up a
queue of files to remove. This lets you
analyse them before the final trashing to
ensure you do not delete files in error.
For older Mac laptops it is
highly likely that the battery
will start to cause problems
before any other component.
The reality is that only a
replacement battery will resolve
this in the long run, but there
are steps you can take to
prevent the problems before
they occur.
1 A simple monitor
Battery Health 2 is available from the
Mac App Store and acts as a simple
tool to help you monitor current
battery levels and the overall health
of your unit.
2 The main panel
When you open the app you will
see a long panel displaying various
stats such as the maximum mAh of
the battery and what the battery is
capable of now.
The memory hogs
You can instantly see which files and
folders are hogging the most memory using
Disk Map. Just because they are big does
not mean that they are required for future
use so look at the biggest files first.
The full detail
You can check the smallest of files as well
in Disk Map. Potentially, an hour spent
with this app could breathe new life into
your hard disk and ultimately your older
Mac. It could make all of the difference.
3 In the detail
Take time to peruse the ‘Battery
Details’ section to fully understand
how many cycles it has undertaken
and how much life you can expect
from it in the future.
Turbo-charge your Mac
Back up
your Mac!
If your old Mac is showing any
signs at all that a hardware
failure could occur, you really
should take steps to start
backing up the content. There
are multiple options available
and we will highlight just one
that will ensure that if the worst
happens before you save
your Mac, at least all of your
precious data will be safe.
in minutes
In terms of cost versus
performance, adding more
RAM has to be one of the most
effective upgrades for an older
Mac. The older machines tend to
be easier to upgrade than new
ones and you could effectively
double the performance of your
Mac using a simple and safe
upgrade process that will take
you mere minutes.
1 What RAM?
1 Setting up Backblaze
Go to and click the
‘Try it for free’ option. You will need
to enter a username and password,
but can then download and run the
installer for free.
2 Analysing your Mac
Once activated the software may
take some time to analyse your Mac
drive, but you can let it do its work
in the background while you get on
with other things.
Click ‘About This Mac’ in the
top-left corner and then click
‘System Report’. Now click
‘Memory’ to see exactly what
RAM your Mac will accept.
Ensure you check every detail.
2 Buy your RAM
3 Where is it?
When you buy new RAM, do some research
to ensure that the components are of good
quality. You do not need to buy Apple-branded
RAM for an older Mac.
Older iMacs have the RAM below the screen
under a panel you can unscrew. Laptops
also sometimes have easily accessible RAM
modules you can upgrade yourself.
4 Pull it out
5 Job done
The RAM will have a protector strip that you
can pull up. You can now gently remove it
from your Mac, but please be aware of static
when touching any internal components.
Remember the orientation of the RAM modules
and carefully, but with some minor force, push
the new RAM into place. When you power up
your Mac, check the system report first.
3 In the background
The software will run in the
background each day and once you
have a full backup online you can
move on to supercharging your Mac
for future use.
your Mac
Over time macOS and your older Mac fill up
with content and system files you no longer
need, but usually there is never a need to
reinstall the operating system. However,
for an older Mac that is struggling with
performance this task can have an impact
on system performance going forward.
1 What OS?
2 Disable the FileVault
Click the Apple logo and then ‘About This
Mac’ to double-check the exact OS version
you are using. Some older Macs cannot
use the latest version available.
Go to System Preferences>Security &
Privacy and disable FileVault if it is currently
enabled. This is an advisory step that may
make things easier, but it isn’t essential.
3 Restore your Mac
4 The utilities
5 Stay connected
Click the Apple Logo and then ‘Restore’.
Hold down Cmd + R until the Apple logo
appears which may take some time on
older Macs with limited power.
When ‘macOS Utilities’ appears, select
Reinstall macOS and the process will
begin. Be prepared for a long wait while it
runs through the explained steps.
Make sure that you are connected to Wi-Fi
by clicking the top right-hand icon. You will
need to enter the password again, but you
can then let the system do the rest.
“Reinstalling macOS can
help system performance”
A Mac-style iPad app
Just because an app is designed for
iOS does not mean that it is not highly
capable. For many apps, the features
included can easily supplant tasks that
you would previously use a Mac for. Take
time to consider what you need to do and
you may find that the iPad is a capable
Mac replacement for common tasks.
Multiple levels
Many apps offer levels of customisation
that were previously not available on iOS
devices. They cost a little more, but with
some familiarity you may be surprised
at what you can accomplish on an iPad
with the right apps installed.
Every task covered
From complex text formatting
to coding, there are now apps
available for the iPad that take full
advantage of the larger screen and
the sheer power in the high-end
models. It is effectively a laptop in
everything but name.
Keyboard options
The onscreen iPad keyboard
is perfectly usable and is
supplemented by the ability to split
the keys for even easier data input.
There is also a variety of Bluetooth
keyboards available that will make
it feel like a mini laptop.
Innovative advantages
With an iPad Pro you can also use an
Apple Pencil to create in new ways.
Potentially the iPad Pro offers more
options in specific areas than even the
most advanced Macs do. Consider your
options carefully.
Turbo-charge your Mac
5 professional
iPad apps
Think carefully about what you
use your old Mac for and then
take a look at this selection of
professional grade iPad apps.
It is quite possible that you can
replace much of your Mac usage
if you take the time to adjust to
the iPad way of working and thus
give your old Mac even more life
in the future.
“You can replace
much of your Mac
usage with the iPad”
1 iA Writer
If you need a word
processor, but also
want space to focus when
creating imaginative works, iA
Writer is an excellent option.
You could write a full-length
novel on your iPad.
2 Google
Google Docs is
super-reliable and comes with
all of the features and formatting
options you could possibly
need. It really is a joy to use on
any iPad.
3 Pixelmator
Image creation and
photo editing reach
a whole new level in Pixelmator.
You will need to spend time
familiarising yourself with the
extensive feature-set, but the
results are outstanding.
4 Workflow
You can do almost
anything with
Workflow, from connecting to
social networks to automating
complex and repetitive tasks.
The iPad is an excellent device
to manage Workflow on too.
5 LiquidText
PDF Reader
PDFs are the most
often used document format in
many industries and LiquidText
on an iPad will give you all the
power and portability you need
to get things done.
One of the first failings you will
notice with an older Mac that
is struggling for resources is
a slower than average startup
time from cold. To minimise this
you should limit the number
of apps that run automatically
and the good news is that
the process to manage this is
extremely quick and simple.
1 Access your account
Open System Preferences and then
select ‘Users & Groups’. Now click
your account to see which options
are open to you. Limited tweaks are
available in the first panel.
Remove unwanted
programs and widgets
No matter what changes you make to an older
Mac to speed up performance, you should
also consider what is installed and what you
really need. The fewer apps and widgets you
have installed the better for overall system
performance and of course available space.
Some regular housekeeping can make a big
difference to day-to-day performance.
1 Remove apps
2 Remove widgets
3 Be thorough
The quickest way to remove apps
is to navigate to the ‘Applications’
folder in Finder and to then rightclick followed by ‘Move to Trash’.
Your password may be needed.
Hover over the Dock and then
click the ‘Applications’ icon. Click
‘Dashboard’ and then the ‘–’ icon
at the bottom. Now click ‘X’ on any
widget to remove it instantly.
If you want to ensure that all apprelated resources are removed in the
deletion process, apps like Delete
Apps: Uninstaller can help you save
even more space.
Reduce transparency and animations
The areas that can be tweaked in macOS
to speed up overall performance are almost
unlimited. As you take time to disable certain
features they will all add up over time and
TinkerTool ( is an app
that will let you go much deeper with
regards to the changes you can make
to certain aspects of macOS. Use it
with care and you will see even more
performance benefits.
create a more streamlined and efficient
experience every time you use your Mac. Each
little step will be worthwhile even if it is not
obviously noticeable.
Reduce motion
Go to System Preferences>Accessibility and
then click the ‘Display’ tab. Now click the
‘Reduce motion’ option to disable unnecessary
motion-based effects. This is a useful task
to undertake for those with balance or visual
issues as well.
2 Check the items
Click the lock icon and enter your
password to allow changes to be
made. Now click ‘Login Items’ at
the top to see which apps open
at startup.
Dock animations
3 Disable specific apps
Highlight any apps that you do not
want to open automatically at startup
and then click the ‘–’ icon at the
bottom to disable them. A simple
tweak with great benefits.
You can also access the Dock
preferences while in System
Preferences to disable the
animations that are used when
opening apps. Visually it looks good,
but on an older Mac you have to
focus on performance above all else.
Reduce transparency
Reducing the transparency may be
preferable from a visual perspective
for you, but it will also help a little
with general performance. The
improvements in speed may be
minimal, but a second or two saved
each time soon adds up.
Turbo-charge your Mac
Remove desktop clutter
Desktop content is stored in RAM and
as such will use precious resources
all of the time you are using your
Mac. The system needs to display the
content and make it easily accessible,
but do you actually need to load up
your desktop in this way? It is easy
to de-clutter the desktop and stay
efficient in macOS. Here’s a few tips to
help you on your way…
One folder
If you are working on a project which is
taking up much of your time, simply keep
one folder on the desktop for it. That will
give you quick access and de-clutter
your desktop at the same time.
Minimal icons
Try to keep the content stored in the
desktop limited to just the files and
folders you need to access at this
time. You may not notice it at first,
but this will free up more RAM for
other tasks.
Search for files
Manage screenshots
Screenshots will by default be sent to the desktop,
but if you open Terminal and enter ‘defaults write location’ followed by
a folder location they will automatically be saved
away from the desktop in future.
Spotlight Search is incredibly
quick and powerful now and works
efficiently for finding the files you
need. This will help you move away
from multiple desktop files and
folders that do little but slow your
Mac down.
When you open Finder, it is
likely that it will display a view
of its choosing rather than what
works for you. If the folder
displayed by default happens to
be crammed full of content you
are again using resources for
no real benefit and so it makes
sense to change the default
view to one that is more sparse.
Remove browser extensions
It is likely that Safari is the app that you use
most often on your Mac whether it be for work
or play. With this comes the temptation to use
multiple extensions to speed up your usage,
but on an older Mac you could be better off
removing them and doing things manually. It is
better to do something manually than have to
wait due to slow performance.
1 Safari preferences
2 Ticking extensions
3 Uninstall the extension
When you open Safari preferences
you will see a huge variety of areas
that you can tweak. In general you
can look to disable features for
extra performance.
Click the ‘Extensions’ tab at the top
and examine the list that is currently
installed. Untick any extension that
you no longer need to use on a
daily basis.
You will also see an option to
uninstall the extension. Click this
and follow the process to ensure it is
removed for good. It will help Safari
performance just a little.
Clear the cache
1 The default view
Every time you open Finder you are
presented with a folder that is defined
by the system. Changing this takes
a couple of seconds and will save
system resources going forward.
Clearing the cache in Safari is a
simple process that can have a
dramatic effect on the browser’s
performance. You will need to do
this on a fairly regular basis to
have a real long-term effect and
the benefits will become clear in a
short period of time. Much of the
cache content will not be useful
and can be safely removed.
1 The Develop menu
2 Finder preferences
Open the Finder preferences and look
for the ‘New Finder window shows’
option in the ‘General’ tab. You will
see a dropdown menu – click it to
change to a less cluttered folder.
Open Safari preferences and
click the ‘Advanced’ tab at the
top. In the resultant panel you
will see ‘Show Develop
menu in menu bar’ at the
bottom. Tick it.
3 Other Finder changes
You can also minimise the number
of locations that display in the
sidebar. This is a tiny change, but as
we keep saying they all add up to
better performance.
2 Time to experiment
3 Empty the caches
You can use this new menu to play with Safari
features and to access settings that would
otherwise be off limits. Most importantly, you
can improve the overall performance.
In the Develop menu, click ‘Empty Caches’
to free up more performance for your future
browsing. There is no indicator at all that the
process is complete, but it does work.
Turbo-charge your Mac
Manage activity levels
As time passes and the processor
and RAM in your Mac start to
struggle, it is likely that the apps
and processes running are putting
some strain on your system
configuration. More
RAM will help as
will other hardware
changes, but there
are things you can
do to keep your Mac
ticking along in the
short term.
1 The monitor
Open the ‘Utilities’ folder
within Applications and look
for ‘Activity Monitor’. Now
open it and take some time
to study the information
presented. The data is
highly revealing.
2 Sort the data
At the top you will see descriptive titles
which are clickable. Click the left-hand title
in ‘CPU’ to sort by the processes using the
most CPU power.
3 Memory hogs
4 Kill a process
5 Be very careful
You can now do the same with the
‘Memory’ tab. It is possible that one or two
processes are using an excessive amount
of memory which will affect performance.
If a process is exerting too much strain,
highlight it and then click the ‘X’ icon at
the top. This will kill the process which will
work as a short term fix.
Some processes, such as kernel_task, will
use lots of Disk space and are required
parts of the operating system. Make sure
you know what you are terminating.
Free the
A contentious area in terms of
Mac performance tweaking is the
availability of memory cleaning
apps. Some say that they offer
little long-term benefit, but others
swear by them for aged Macs that
need continual help to perform
acceptably. We would advise you
to use one if all other options have
failed to offer improvements for
your Mac.
1 Download an app
2 A simple view
Go to the Mac App Store and search for
‘Memory Clean 2’. Download it and let it install
as normal to start the process of cleaning your
Mac regularly.
Once you click ‘Get Started’ you will be shown
a simple panel with lots of specific memory
information included. A new status bar item is
also available to use.
3 Even more detail
4 Click the cog
Click a ‘?’ To see detailed descriptions of
each set of data. This will help you to quickly
understand the state of your Mac’s memory
and where it may be failing.
Click the cog and then select ‘Clean Memory’
to begin freeing up precious RAM. The
process only take a few seconds to complete
and progress is displayed as it happens.
5 Instant power
The results will be displayed
and the main bar should turn
green. The least this will do is
provide temporary respite for
the memory problems that you
are suffering from.
Turbo-charge your Mac
Extra tricks and tweaks
We have covered the main changes you can make to
supercharge, or at least keep running, an older Mac, but
the list is potentially endless. macOS, like all operating
systems, has many levels and infinite areas where tweaks
can be made which means that you can chip away at the
benchmarks to give yourself a faster machine over time.
1 Remove preference panes
You may not be aware that extra preference
panes are set up, but you can go to System
Preferences and look at the bottom row.
Right-click to remove superfluous ones.
2 Close apps
Close apps that are running in the
background and not being used. You
can do this from the Dock or by pressing
option / command / escape to see what is
3 Empty the trash
4 Trim Enabler 4
5 Restart regularly
General housekeeping is of course
important whether you are running an
older Mac or not and with this comes the
requirement to empty the trash regularly. It
really does help.
If your Mac has an SSD you should
consider installing Trim Enabler 4
( which will continually monitor
and optimise disk health and keep things
running efficiently.
It could be worth getting into the habit of
restarting your Mac every day or shutting
it down fully when it is not in use. This will
greatly help performance every time you
use it.
Verify your drive
Not all issues that slow down an older Mac are
obvious and so we would advise you to run some
checks to ensure that your main hard drive does not
have permissions or other problems that need to
be fixed. It only takes a minute or so to gain a lot of
peace of mind or to fix newly-discovered problems.
1 Access Disk Utility
2 Open First Aid
3 It takes time
Open Applications and then Utilities. Now open ‘Disk
Utility’ to access an app that can maintain and fix all
manner of Mac disc problems in minutes.
Click the ‘First Aid’ icon at the top and then click
‘Run’ to start the process of checking your main
Mac drive. Follow the instructions to get it started.
It may take time for the process to complete, but
with luck everything will pass as it should. If it does
not, you will be instructed on how to fix any errors.
Greater than the sum
When you need to improve the performance of your Mac, or if you
simply desire more power, there are many tricks you can employ to
get the job done. While there is no doubt that exploring the entire
software and hardware setup and then making multiple small changes
will add up to a more streamlined macOS performance, you also need
to do some research to decide what can reasonably be expected in
terms of improvements.
Adding an SSD in place of a traditional hard disc will offer huge
performance gains, but will it be cost-effective if done on an older
Mac with limited processing power and a relatively low RAM
upgrade limit? You will need to decide if a hardware upgrade will
give you the extra life you want or if simple software tricks will
offer the benefits to keep your Mac performing until you decide to
upgrade to a new machine. In an ideal world we would all like to
buy the most powerful Mac available, but with so much scope to
keep older Macs running for a decade and beyond
that would be a needless waste of money unless
very specialist tasks need to be accomplished. Our
overriding advice would be to try a few of the tasks
we have detailed and see how they improve everyday
performance. The more you try, the faster your Mac will
get and it could potentially feel like a new computer
that will last for a few more years to come.
Create a correctly exposed shot
Overcome common exposure problems with help from the powerful Histogram tool
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Many of us shoot photos using our camera’s Auto metering
mode, which can lead to over or under-exposed photos. On
a sunny day your camera may struggle to create a balanced
exposure that includes detail in both the shadows and the
highlights. If a camera meters to reveal shadow detail, it may
over-expose the highlights. If it meters to reveal highlight details,
the shadows may be plunged into darkness. iPhone users
can try using the HDR mode to capture detail in contrasting
lighting scenarios but you may still end up with shots that need
some tonal tweaking. Here, we show you how you can use the
Histogram tool to fix under or over-exposed shots.
How to get a healthy exposure
Use histograms to check the spread of tones
Helpful histograms
The histogram window’s undulating
graph displays the strength and
presence of shadows at the left,
midtones in the middle and highlights at
the right. In this processed shot we’ve
brightened up an under-exposed photo,
causing the graph to slide to the right.
The Exposure slider is definitely a good
place to start, but as it makes global
adjustments you need to be careful. If
you use it to brighten up under-exposed
shadows you can end up over-exposing
brighter highlights.
Selective adjustments
After using the Exposure slider to
brighten up our shot we selectively
lightened the under-exposed shadows
even more with this slider. You can also
selectively claw back missing highlight
detail without under-exposing shadows.
Knowledge base
Boost colour
After brightening up under-exposed shadows you may
find the colours in these areas look desaturated. Drag this
slider to the right to create more vibrant looking colours.
High Dynamic Range photos are ones that feature
detail in the darkest shadows and the brightest
highlights. Your iPhone’s HDR mode performs
this trick by quickly taking three separate shots.
One shot captures shadow detail, the second
captures midtone detail and the third exposes for
the highlights. The three shots are then composited
together to create a well-exposed HDR image.
Raw refers to an uncompressed image file. There’s no universal Raw format.
Our .CR2 file is from a Canon camera. Nikon Raw files have a .NEF suffix.
Step-by-step How to use a histogram
1 Open image
2 Analyse histogram
3 Brighten it up
Choose File>Import. Go to Underexposed_
start.CR2. This is a Raw image which reveals
more detail than a compressed .JPEG file.
Click ‘Review for Import’.
Double-click on the shot’s thumbnail so it fills
the workspace. Click ‘Edit’. The histogram
graph is clumped towards the middle and
left, indicating an under-exposed shot.
Drag the Exposure slider right to 0.40. The
histogram graph slides right, indicating the
presence of brighter highlights. Don’t go too
far or you’ll over-expose the highlights.
4 Lighten shadows
5 Colour boost
6 Before and after
The under-exposed shadows are still lacking
detail. To selectively lighten them without
over-exposing the now brighter highlights,
drag the Shadows slider right to 0.21.
To make delicate details pop out, push the
Brilliance slider right to 0.25. The colours in
lightened shadows can look drab. Drag the
Color slider right for more vibrant colours.
Toggle Light’s tick on and off. The original
histogram is clumped to the left. Now it
stretches to the right, indicating brighter
highlights and a wider spread of tones.
How to reveal
highlight detail
If a shot is over-exposed then the highlights may
be burnt out (clipped) and lack detail. If your
highlights are too over-exposed then there’s
little you can do to recover detail in the brightest
(clipped) areas, even if you shoot in Camera Raw.
For the best results set your camera to meter
the highlights of a scene. It’s then easier and
more effective to lighten up the under-exposed
shadows. In the following walkthrough we show
you how to selectively recover highlight detail if a
shot’s not too over-exposed…
1 Open image
2 Restore highlights
Import Overexposed_start.CR2 and take it into the
Edit workspace. The histogram graph is peaking
towards the right, indicating bright over-exposed
highlights. The over-exposed shadows are mostly
washed out midtones in the middle of the graph.
Drop Exposure to -0.33 to recover some highlight
detail. We can’t drop Exposure too far or we’ll lose
shadow detail. Selectively darken Highlights to
-0.43. The histogram slides left to indicate a more
correctly exposed photo. Push Brilliance to 0.29.
Combine video using layers
Mix layered video clips using split-screen and picture-in-picture effects
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One way to present your video footage in a more eye-catching
way is to combine multiple clips onscreen at the same time.
This is a fun way to create a mini montage that showcases
the highlights of an activity such as a family day out in a more
creative way. We’ll show you how to make your timeline clips
zip in and out of the frame using split-screen effects, which are
perfect for creating short and snappy video sequences to share
via social media. You’ll also learn how to use the Picture-inPicture effect to make the main image shrink into the frame like
a TV news-style insert. Plus, we’ll use music to knit our multiple
layers and effects into a slick sequence.
Combine multiple clips
Create a picture-in-picture effect
Custom look
You can use these options to add a
border to your inserted picture, change
the border’s colour and even add a drop
shadow to make the insert stand out
from the background.
Video Overlay Settings
Once you’ve placed one layer of video
above another clip in the timeline (as a
cutaway layer), then you can click on
this icon to access a range of video
mixing, keying and combining options.
The transition dropdown menu enables
us to make a shot zoom in to fill the
Picture in Picture window, and then
zoom out again. In this example we
used the Swap command to make the
background layer shrink to fill the insert.
Knowledge base
Dropdown menu
Click this dropdown to choose a range
of ways to combine your clips. Using
Picture in Picture the clip on the top
layer fills the screen, while the shot
on the bottom layer is inserted into a
smaller window.
As well as combining cutaway layers using Picture
in Picture or split-screen effects, you can mix
layered clips together using colour. Choose the
Green/Bluescreen option from the Video Overlay
Settings dropdown menu. You can then make
blue (or green) sections on the top layer become
transparent, revealing details from the clip on the
layer below.
When searching through the Jingles folder click on the Time category, which
sorts tunes according to their duration – useful for making a soundtrack.
Step-by-step Present video in multiple layers
1 Import clip
2 Add to timeline
3 Access overlay settings
In My Media, click on ‘iMovie Library’.
Choose File>New Event. Label the event
‘Layer Movie’. Click ‘Import Media’. Browse
to our supplied start clips. Click ‘Import…’.
Drag the ‘Beach’ movie into the timeline to
create a background layer that establishes
our seaside location. Drag the ‘Fetch’ clip
onto a new layer above the Beach clip.
Click on the top layer ‘Fetch’ clip to target
it. Click on the Video Overlay Settings icon
above the viewer to access the Cutaway
dropdown menu. Set that to ‘Split Screen’.
4 Set slide duration
5 Top dog
6 Split a clip
Leave the Position dropdown set to Left, as
this suits the composition of the subjects in
both layers. Set Slide duration to 1 second.
The top layer slides in, plays and slides out.
Add ‘DiggingDog’ as the next top layer clip.
Click ‘Video Overlay Settings’ and choose
Split Screen. Set the Position to ‘Top’ and
then set Slide to 1 second.
Once the dog layer has slid back out towards
the top, place the cursor on the background
‘Beach’ layer. Right-click and choose ‘Split
clip’ from the context sensitive pop-up menu.
7 Background to foreground
8 Fine-tune insert
9 Finishing touches
Drag ‘StoneThrow’ onto the top layer. Click
‘Video Overlay Settings’ and choose ‘Picture
in Picture’. Set the dropdown to ‘Swap’. The
‘Beach’ clip becomes an inset picture.
Drag the ‘Beach’ shot’s corner handles
to adjust its size. Drag inside the insert to
reposition it. Add a border and drop shadow
to make it stand out. Choose a border colour.
Drag the end of the top layer to make it
shorter than the ‘Beach’ clip. This gives the
‘Beach’ clip time to zoom back in and fill the
frame. Add music from the Jingles folder.
Final Cut Pro X
Make colour and tonal tweaks
Take more control of grading using the powerful new Color Curves effect
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Most video clips need a few tweaks to their colours and tones
to create a better looking shot. They may be slightly underexposed or feature flat drab colours (as with our tutorial’s start
clip). Until the upgrade to version 10.4, Final Cut Pro X users
had to rely on the basic Color Board tool to adjust colour
and tone. This enabled them to selectively adjust shadows,
midtones or highlights by dragging one of three control points
up or down. The new Color Curves tool in 10.4 enables you to
selectively tweak tones by adding as many control points as
you like to a curve. You can also creatively adjust colours by
changing the shape of individual red, green and blue curves.
Grade with curve effects
Improve contrast and adjust hue
Colour curves
Luma curve
By default the Color Curve effect’s Luma
(luminance or brightness) curve is a
straight diagonal line. By using control
points to create an s-curve shape we
can darken the shadows and lighten the
highlights to create more contrast.
By lifting the shadows and highlights
of the Red curve we can warm up
these tones and add a ‘golden hour’
style wash of colour to our initially
cold looking scene. Dragging the Blue
channel’s midtones down helps create a
warmer look.
Original clip
Here you can see the original clip
without any changes to colour or tone.
The colours look too cold and blue due
to incorrect White Balance settings. The
shot has a flat contrast and lacks strong
shadows or highlights.
Knowledge base
The many colours in your video clips are created
onscreen by mixing three colour channels together
– Red, Green and Blue. By using the Color Curves
tool to adjust the shape of individual RGB Color
Curves you can also creatively change the hue
of various colours. You can even make selective
adjustments to colours in the shadows, midtones
and highlights.
The Color Curves effect works well in
conjunction with the Hue/Saturation
effect. This enables you to quickly
boost the colour saturation for more
vibrant colours.
To apply the ‘golden hour’ look to other clips click the Save Effects Preset
button. Label the preset ‘Golden Hour’ and store it in the Color category.
Step-by-step Adjust colour and tone using curves
1 Import footage
2 Choose a workspace
3 Apply Color Curves preset
Chose File>Import>Media and browse to our
supplied clip – Click Import
Selected and drag it into the timeline. The clip
is underexposed and has cold drab colours.
Go to Window>Workspaces>Color &
Effects. Tick View. Choose single panel. Click
Scope>Histogram. It lacks strong shadows at
the left and highlights at the right.
The Color effects category is displayed. Drag
the new Color Curves preset onto the clip in
the timeline. In the Inspector, click on Color
Curves 1 ‘switch to color inspector’.
4 Darken shadows
5 Before and after
6 Too blue
Click to place a control point near the left of
the Luma curve. Drag it down to darken the
shadows. The shadow end of the histogram
slides to the left, indicating darker shadows.
The histogram now shows a stronger spread
of tones. The s-curve of the Luma curve has
created a healthier contrast. Click the Color
Curves 1 tick to see the before and after.
The clip looks cold and uninviting due to a
cool colour cast. To create a warmer, more
attractive ‘golden hour’ look, place a point in
the middle of the blue curve and drag down.
7 Warm it up
8 Colour boost
9 Export your clip
Place a control point near the shadow end
of the red curve. Slide it up to warm up the
shadows. Add a point near the red curve’s
highlight end and push that up too.
Drag the Hue/Saturation preset onto the
clip. Click the Video Inspector filmstrip icon
to see the Hue/Saturation preset’s editable
properties. Boost Saturation slider to 0.55.
Thanks to Color Curves we’ve banished the
blues to create warmer ‘golden hour’ style
colours and a more striking contrast. Choose
File>Share>Master File to export your clip.
How to tune a guitar and bass
Learn how to use GarageBand’s built-in Tuner
Time needed
As far as real instrumentation goes, GarageBand has been
designed to support guitars as a most popular choice for
users. Yes of course the connection too of a MIDI keyboard
adds piano and synth control, but it’s the plugging in of an
electric guitar or bass that is commonly how live performances
are captured. So it stands to reason that both need to sound
right so everything is harmonious in the mix. Thankfully a highly
accurate digital Tuner is built in, allowing electric or acoustic
guitars to be tweaked to the correct pitch before recording. In
this guide we’ll look specifically at tuning a six-string guitar and
four-string bass in standard tunings.
Step-by-step Using GarageBand’s Tuner
1 Open Tuner
2 Sharpen up
3 Flatten down
The project must contain at least one Audio
track with sound input from your electric or
acoustic guitar or bass. Select it and click the
Tuner button in the control bar.
The Tuner shows over the workspace. Pluck
a string to see its nearest detected keynote
and if too low or the needle is left of centre
(flat), wind the string up tighter.
Conversely, when the needle is right of centre
the plucked note is sharper than the currently
detected keynote and should be slackened
incrementally to flatten it down.
4 Centre point
5 Tuning a guitar
6 Tuning a bass
When the needle hits the centre point as
close and steady as possible, the plucked
string is in tune with the keynote so the tuner
display shows green instead of orange.
To tune a six-string guitar to standard tuning
each string from the sixth, the thickest string,
must run as E-A-D-G-B-e. Pluck each string
in turn, and adjust to tune accordingly.
Common 4-string bass guitars are also tuned
low to high as E-A-D-G, while 5-string basses
add a lower B note to form B-E-A-D-G or a
high C to tune to E-A-D-G-C instead.
At the bottom-right corner of the Tuner window you will spot a little ‘M’ icon
that can be clicked to mute any detected signal.
Tackling the Tuner
Familiarise yourself with the main elements
of the Tuner’s display with our guide…
Graphic Tuning Display
Tuner’s main gauge has a needle
pointing to the detected sound’s
tuning, versus the target keynote.
Left or right of centre is flat or
sharp respectively, with the display
showing orange until it changes to
green when tuned.
Tuning Field
Set at 440Hz for the
note A above middle C
by default, this ranges
between 410-470Hz and
can be dragged vertically
to adjust. Western tuning
is standardised at 440Hz
so this needn’t really be
The closest pitch of
the plucked string is
detected and the nearest
target keynote displayed
here. This is the note
you are trying to get as
close to zero deviation
from using the graphic
display above.
Knowledge base
Direction of travel
Tune Deviation display
This displays the amount of cents deviating
either side of the detected keynote. So
a minus number means the keynote is
flat, while a positive number above zero
quantifies how sharp the note is.
Tuning a guitar is a process of tightening or
loosening each string to achieve a desired note
pitch. So turning the ‘tuning pegs’ clockwise
tightens the string to sharpen the note, while
slackening counter-clockwise flattens the note. You
basically do this for each string independently until
each is tuned to the target keynote, which on a sixstring guitar is standardised at E-A-D-G-B-e.
The Tuner only functions when it detects a
signal within a selected track. That track must
have either a live input for the instrument or an
acoustic microphone active to hear the pitch of
a plucked string. It’s worth remembering that a
direct electric signal therefore is preferable so no
other background noise is detected to confuse
the Tuner’s accuracy.
Here we’ll examine where you need to look
within your track to ensure the Tuner can detect
a sound signal…
1 Direct input
2 Microphone input
With an Audio instrument track already added and
selected in the project, view Smart Controls (B)
and check Recording Settings in the inspector.
Make sure your guitar or bass interface is selected
under input and a sound signal is coming in.
You can also tune any acoustic instrument from
a microphone. Have your acoustic track selected
and view the Smart Controls inspector to ensure
active input. Open the Tuner and you’ll see the
needle flickering wildly to any background noise.
Logic Pro X
Get started with Smart Tempo in
Logic Pro X 10.4
Be a speed demon with Logic’s new Smart Tempo feature
Time needed
Logic users have had good cause to celebrate over the past
few weeks, as Apple released a shiny new Logic Pro X update
to coincide with January’s NAMM show. Logic Pro X 10.4
brings with it a plethora of new gadgets and toys, the most
prominent of which is Smart Tempo, which equips Logic with
a new set of extremely powerful tempo analysis and editing
capabilities. Configured on a per-project basis in the Project
Settings window, it works in two main ways. You can import
or record a performance without a click track and have
Logic automatically match the project tempo to what you’ve
recorded, or you can maintain a fixed project tempo and have
Logic instantly warp your recorded or imported audio to fit it.
Get smart
Smart Tempo delivers unprecedented levels of timing flexibility
Automatic mode
With this selected, Logic will
automatically switch between Keep
and Adapt behaviour based on whether
a tempo reference is present in the
project. This could be the metronome
being enabled or a region playing,
for instance.
Trim start of new regions
Checking this box automatically
trims the start of new recorded or
imported audio regions to the first
detected downbeat in the audio
file’s waveform.
File Tempo Editor
You can use a variety of handles to
adjust the placement of each tempo
marker. From the top: Set Downbeat,
Move Marker, Scale Selection, Scale
Left Move Right, Scale All and Move All
Knowledge base
Flex and Follow
Align Bars and Beats
This settings determines the resolution
of the tempo analysis. You can elect
to have Logic insert tempo markers at
every bar line (Align Bars) or at every
quarter-note beat (Align Bars and Beats).
Found in the Region Parameter box, the new Flex
and Follow checkbox must be ticked for each
region you want the Smart Tempo function to
work on. It analyses the region’s base tempo and
inserts tempo markers to conform to the project
tempo when Keep mode is selected, or generates a
corresponding tempo map when Adapt mode
is selected.
In Adapt mode, when you move, copy, or edit audio regions, their tempo
variations move with them, just like automation data.
Step-by-step Sync up audio with Smart Tempo
1 Mode select
2 Pane relief
3 Flex and follow
The three Smart Tempo modes – Keep,
Adapt and Auto – determine the way each
project behaves in relation to tempo. Click the
word ‘Keep’ in the LCD display to get started.
Select this item to open the Smart Tempo
Project settings pane. With the settings left as
they are here, Logic will behave as it always
did prior to the 10.4 update.
The behaviour of any future audio files
imported or recorded to the project is set with
these menus. We’ll set Flex and Follow to be
on for all imported audio files as shown.
4 Import drums
5 Tempo file editor
6 Press Play
Drag the file LPX Drums.wav into the project.
As we’re in Keep mode, Logic now warps it
from its original 128bpm tempo to the current
project tempo of 120bpm.
After analysing the file, Logic asks if you want
to open the Tempo File Editor, allowing you to
tweak the placement of the tempo markers
created during the analysis.
Click ‘Don’t Show’ for now, as we can
presume Logic has done a decent job of the
tempo analysis. Confirm this by pressing Play
to hear the loop played at the project tempo.
7 Switch to Adapt
8 Import new audio
9 That syncing feeling
Click on the word ‘Keep’ and switch to
Adapt mode. Logic now displays the tempo
track above the Tracks area, with the current
tempo represented by a horizontal blue line.
Import the file LPX Guitar.wav onto a new
audio track. This guitar part was recorded
without a click, so Logic analyses the file and
adapts the project tempo to fit its timing.
Hit Play now, and the two files are in sync,
with the project running at the tempo of the
freely-recorded guitar part. Switching back to
Keep mode will preserve this tempo map.
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Duplicates Cleaner
Spring-clean your Mac’s drive
Use Duplicates Cleaner to find and delete duplicate files on your Mac’s drive
Time needed
If you have an iMac you probably don’t worry about storage
space, but some MacBook models have as little as 128GB
SSDs. That is severely limiting and even coping with 256GB
can be a struggle. What can you do if the disk is nearly full and
you are running out of space for new apps, photos and music?
One way to gain more space is to delete duplicate files.
Sometimes we accidentally make duplicates by downloading
files twice, copying files as a backup, importing photos or
music twice, and so on. Every disk has duplicate files and
Duplicates Cleaner can find them and delete them. It is a free
app in the Mac App Store, so install it and start cleaning!
Step-by-step Free up drive storage space
1 Open Disk Cleaner
2 Choose a folder
3 Scan results
Install the free Duplicates Cleaner app from
the Mac App Store and run it. It displays this
startup window and your first task is to select
a folder on the disk to scan.
Click ‘Select Folder’ and it opens your home
folder by default. Any folder on an internal or
external drive can be selected, but the home
folder is perfect. Click ‘Scan’.
Scanning SSDs in modern Macs is fast and
the duplicates are organised by category.
Click a category to view only those files or
click ‘View Duplicates’ to see all files.
4 Sort by size
5 Preview files
6 Select and delete
Whether you select all files or a category, click
‘Sort By’ at the top of the file list and select
Size>Descending to list the biggest files
offering the most savings first.
Select a file to view a preview on the right,
such as this video clip. Click the magnifying
glass next to a duplicate below to open a
Finder window to see it on the disk.
Tick the checkbox next to duplicates to
delete or click ‘Multi Select Duplicates’ to
auto-select all duplicates. If you are happy
with the selection, click ‘Clean Duplicates’.
It is a good idea to check the duplicates before deleting them and ask
yourself whether you really need them or if they are just wasting space.
Browse duplicate files
View, preview and select duplicate files
List duplicates
File categories
The files in a category are listed
here. Click ‘Sort By’ to list by size,
date and so on. The numbers on the
right are the number of duplicates
and the number selected.
Select a category to see files of
a particular type, such as music,
video, photo and so on. The
amount of space wasted in each
category is shown so you can
see the worst offenders.
Preview files
Many types of files can be
previewed and here is a music
file. Listen to it by clicking the play
button. Videos, photos, PDFs,
documents, text and other files can
also be previewed.
Knowledge base
Recover deleted duplicates
If you check the free and used disk space before
and after using Duplicates Cleaner you will not see
any difference. The reason is the deleted files are
simply moved to the Trash folder. If you need a
deleted duplicate, recover it from the Trash. To free
up disk space you must empty the Trash to really
delete the duplicates.
Duplicate files
All the duplicates for a file are
listed here. Hover the mouse over
them to see the path, click the
magnifying glass to open Finder,
and tick the boxes to select them
for deletion.
Some built-in
safety features
For various reasons, some file duplicates may
be necessary and there is an obvious danger of
deleting too much. A file with the same name may
appear on the disk and in the Trash for example,
and it should not be deleted.
For this reason, the Duplicates Cleaner
Preferences enable you to exclude certain types
of files. These can be specified by size, folders,
filename or extensions. Before you clean the
disk, it is a good idea to check these settings
and customise them.
1 Set the limits
2 Add exclusions
Open the app’s preferences and use the slider
to skip small files that are not worth bothering
with. If there are folders you do not want to
include in the duplicates scan, click the ‘+’ button
and add them.
The Folders and Extensions tabs have a lot of
sensible exclusions by default, such as system
files and folders, but if there are files you want to
keep, select the Files tab, click the ‘+’ button and
add the names.
System Preferences
Fix sound issues on your Mac
What to do if you have problems with your Mac’s sound output
We had a problem with the sound on one of our Macs recently.
The cause and the solution turned out to be very simple, but it
wasn’t obvious. It was a misconfiguration of the settings. This
Time needed
is true of many sound problems and in nearly all cases an audio
problem is easily fixed if you know where to look.
Here we show you all the important settings and how to
check that the Mac is configured correctly. There are multiple
Download available
volume controls and multiple output options and it is easy to
have the wrong ones set up. Check everything, but if all else
fails, see our instructions on resetting the NVRAM as a last
resort. What should you do first? Restart the Mac.
Step-by-step Find and fix audio problems
1 Turn up the volume
2 Check sound preferences
3 Check sound output
When there is no audio, the first thing to do is
to turn up the volume. Yes, it is obvious, but
it is worth checking. External speakers may
have their own volume control.
Go to System Preferences>Sound>Sound
Effects. Make sure both volume controls are
turned up, the checkboxes are ticked and the
Internal Speakers are selected.
Select the Output tab. Is the sound being
routed to the wrong device, like an Apple
TV? Could earphones be plugged in? Is the
balance slider in the middle? Check it all.
4 Check web sounds
5 Muted web tabs
6 Headphone issues
Problems with hearing video or music online
could be because the volume in the web
player, like YouTube, is turned down. Turn it
up. It’s independent of the Mac’s volume.
The volume may look like it is turned up
both on your Mac and in the video/audio
player, but if a tab is muted you will not hear
anything. Ctrl-click a tab and unmute it.
To check whether there is an issue with the
Mac’s internal speakers, plug in external
speakers or earphones/headphones. Using
external audio is one way to fix the problem.
Having broken speakers or a headphone socket is not the end of the world.
Just use an alternative output device. The Mac can route audio elsewhere.
Check the audio
Are the audio outputs correctly
configured? Check here
Output device
Check the output device on
the menu bar or in System
Preferences. Could you have left
it on Apple TV or another external
device or software? Set it to the
internal speakers here.
Sound effects
macOS plays sound effects and notifications when
certain system events occur. The volume control
for these is independent of the main volume
control. Select this tab and check it and set it.
Audio devices
If you have other output devices
you may find them in this tool. Run
‘Audio MIDI Setup’ in the Utilities
folder and check each of the
devices in the sidebar. Make sure
the output is speakers.
Knowledge base
Fix hardware problems
When there is a problem with the audio on the
Mac, most of the time it is simply a setup problem.
Hardware faults are rare, but if you do have a
speaker problem, the easiest solution is to use an
external audio device. For example, use external
speakers or earphones. Both wired and wireless
devices are at the Apple website.
Balance control
The Mac plays stereo audio and the Balance
slider should be in the middle. To check that
both speakers are working, play some music
and drag the slider to the left, then to the right.
Advanced tests
and fixes
Here we take a look at a couple of more
advanced options for checking and repairing the
audio on your Mac. Resetting the NVRAM will
help, but another possibility is resetting the SMC
(System Management Controller).
The SMC affects several system functions,
but according to Apple the audio is not among
them. However, if you have tried everything
else and are still having audio problems, reset
the SMC. Go to
HT201295 for full instructions.
1 Run audio tests
2 Reset NVRAM
Open Safari, go to and
select ‘Audio Tests’ at the top. There is a great
collection of test sounds that enable you to
thoroughly test the Mac’s audio capabilities and
they may help to identify problems.
Many system settings are stored in a special
area of memory called NVRAM. Sometimes
the wrong settings are stored or it becomes
corrupted. Power on the Mac and hold down
Option+Command+P+R to reset it.
Keychain Access
Find lost passwords on your Mac
If you can’t remember passwords you use, find them in Keychain Access
Time needed
Every website, service and app seems to need a password
these days – far too many for us to remember. Fortunately,
passwords can automatically be remembered for us. For
example, switch on your Mac and it automatically connects
to your home or office network, even though a password is
required; and Safari stores usernames and passwords for
website logins and automatically enters the information. It is
easy to forget passwords when you never use them, however.
What if a friend wants to connect to your home Wi-Fi and you
can’t find the password? What if you forget the login details for
a website? The answer is to look them up in Keychain Access.
Step-by-step Find forgotten passwords
1 Open Keychain Access
2 Check all items
3 Search for items
Open the Go menu and select ‘Utilities’.
When the Finder window opens, double-click
‘Keychain Access’ to run it. This is a utility for
viewing keychains, which store passwords.
Select ‘Login’ at the top of the sidebar and
then select ‘App Items’ to see a full list
containing everything. You may find it useful
to select the Passwords category listing.
If you cannot find the item you need, click in
the search box in the top-right corner and
enter a word or part of a word. Here we
entered ‘bt’ to list BTHubs used for Wi-Fi.
4 View the details
5 Authorise access
6 View the password
When you find the item you want, doubleclick it to open a window showing the details.
It shows the name, the kind of information
stored, and so on. Click ‘Show Password’.
To view the password for an item, Keychain
Access asks you for a password. Enter it.
This is, of course, an administrator password.
System keychains require a username too.
The password for this item is shown in
the password box. If a password is ever
changed, it is possible to enter it here and
update the stored one. Press Esc to close it.
Password managers like Dashlane, 1Password and LastPass do not store
passwords in keychains, so this recovery method cannot be used.
Find lost passwords
Forgotten your password? Here’s how to find it
Select iCloud
To see this website password open
Keychain Access and then select
the iCloud keychain at the top of
the sidebar. Select Passwords for
the category in the lower part of
the sidebar.
Website login
Visit a website that requires you to
log in and if you have previously
visited, Safari will have stored the
password. It automatically enters the
details, but what is the password?
It is hidden.
Find the site
All the websites you log into are
shown in the list. Click the Name
header to sort the items by name.
Find the website that you want
to see the password for and
double-click it.
Knowledge base
Beware of borrowers
If you borrow someone’s Mac, iPhone or iPad so
that you can browse the web and access websites,
you should be aware that they could see your login
details in Keychain Access. If someone borrows
your Mac, iPhone or iPad, you might be able to
access their login details. Always open a private
browsing window and don’t save login details when
visiting websites.
View the password
Here is the website that Safari is
automatically logging into. We can
see the URL, the account name
and, when the ‘Show password’
box is ticked, the password
being entered.
How to see
website logins
One of the nice features of Apple devices is
that they share information through iCloud.
Something saved on one device is then available
on other devices because it is synced online.
This is true of passwords and it is possible to see
on the Mac passwords that were stored on the
iPhone. These may be Wi-Fi passwords or the
login details for websites.
For this to work, go to System Preferences
and click iCloud, and then make sure that the
Keychain box is ticked.
1 View iCloud items
2 View website logins
First, open Keychain and select iCloud in the
Keychains list in the sidebar. All Items can be
selected in the lower part of the sidebar, but you
may find it easier to locate items by selecting the
Passwords category.
Now scroll down the list of items until you come
to a list of website addresses. These are sites
you logged into using Safari on the Mac, the
iPhone or the iPad. Double-click a site and click
‘Show password’.
Stream an old iPod via Bluetooth
Ditch those old AUX cables for good and stream music from your old tech
Time needed
If, like many, you have ditched your old wired music system in
favour of a Bluetooth setup then you may not know that you
can still use your old iPod to supply the music – and it doesn’t
require connecting it with a 3.5mm AUX cable. It may be that
in our ever-changing lives you find that you have music on your
iPod that you don’t have anywhere else and so don’t want
to cast aside your faithful old MP3 player any time soon. Well
the good news is that you can still blast out your classic iPod
playlists through your new wireless setup. All you have to do is
connect your iPod to your Mac, locate it in iTunes and then turn
on Bluetooth in your System Preferences.
Step-by-step Connect up your old iPod
1 Connect your iPod
2 Click on the icon
3 Select music
Start off by connecting your old iPod to your
Mac. If you haven’t used it in a while, give it
a few moments to charge and boot up and
then launch your iTunes app.
A small iPod icon will appear in the top-left
corner of the iTunes interface, click on it to
select your iPod and you will be taken to the
main Summary screen of your device.
In the sidebar, under the ‘On My Device’
section, click on ‘Music’ to display all of the
tunes stored on your iPod. Now it is time to
connect your Mac to your music system…
4 Turn on Bluetooth
5 Play music
6 Shuffle songs
Go to System Preferences>Bluetooth and
make sure Bluetooth is turned on. Look for
your preferred sound system in the list of
Bluetooth devices; connect your Mac to it.
Go back to the iTunes interface, queue up a
song or album on your iPod and then press
the Play button to start streaming. You can
control the master volume from your Mac.
To shuffle the music played from your iPod
click on the ‘Shuffle All’ option in the topright corner and tracks will be played and
streamed from your Mac at random.
Remember, you can eject your old iPod from your Mac by clicking on the
Eject button to the right of your iPod’s name in the iTunes sidebar.
from iPod
Bluetooth options
If you go to System Preferences>Bluetooth and
tick the ‘Show Bluetooth in menu bar’ option
then you will be able to connect to your wireless
sound system straight from your Mac’s menu bar.
Next-gen solutions from
old-skool tech
Connecting your iPod
When you connect your classic
iPod to your Mac you will be able
to click on this icon to select
your iPod, after which the main
Summary screen of your iPod will
be displayed.
Shuffling songs
Clicking on the ‘Shuffle All’ option
will play music at random from
your iPod, which is handy if you
have thousands of songs stored on
your old device.
Knowledge base
Removing old devices
If you still have old Bluetooth devices listed in your
Bluetooth System Preferences (and, subsequently,
your Bluetooth menu bar item) then you can delete
them and tidy things up by right-clicking on them
and then choosing the ‘Remove’ option from the
small menu of options that appears. A neat, wellorganised menu makes it easier to connect to your
sound system quickly!
Navigating the sidebar
All of the content on your iPod,
including music and playlists, will
be selectable from the sidebar that
appears when you click on your
old device. In this case go to On
This Device>Music.
Switch sound
The best thing about streaming tunes from your
Mac is that the music doesn’t have to end if you
switch rooms. If, say, you move out of the lounge,
where your Bluetooth sound system is situated,
and into your office, where your Mac is based,
then you can click on a button within the iTunes
interface to re-route the sound back to your Mac
speakers. Here’s what we mean…
“The music doesn’t have to
end if you switch rooms”
1 Disconnect speaker
2 Switch in iTunes
The more cumbersome option is to click on
the Bluetooth menu bar option, highlight
the Bluetooth speaker that you are currently
connected to and then choose the ‘Disconnect’
option to re-route the sound back to your Mac.
Alternatively, click on the AirPlay button to the left
of the playback controls in the iTunes interface
and you’ll see all available sound systems listed.
Click on ‘Computer’ and the sound will switch
back to your Mac and its connected speakers.
Create your perfect Dock
How to set up a High Sierra Dock that is perfect for all of your productivity needs
Time needed
The Dock is a handy onscreen utility to aid productivity. From
it we can launch our favourite apps, drag folders to it that we
need to-hand and much more. You can drag items to your
Dock to add them, drag them left or right within the Dock to
re-order them and you can also tailor the Dock to some extent
in System Preferences>Dock. But there’s much more you can
do to it with your Mac’s trusty Terminal app. For example, here
we show you how to use Terminal to move ‘Recent Items’ to
your Dock for easy access. Usually found in the Apple Menu,
Recent Items is useful for opening recently used documents
and servers which wouldn’t otherwise live in the Dock.
Step-by-step Add a ‘Recent Items’ stack
1 Launch Terminal
2 Enter command
3 Restart Dock
Go to Launchpad and click Terminal or type
‘terminal’ into a Spotlight search to locate it.
You can enter commands into the Terminal
window to alter aspects of your Mac.
On a single line in the Terminal window enter:
defaults write persistentothers -array-add ‘{ “tile-data” = { “list-type” =
1; }; “tile-type” = “recents-tile”; }’. Hit Enter.
Next, enter the following: killall Dock. This
will essentially restart the Dock to allow the
change to take place. Now take a look at
your Dock – notice anything different?
4 Click to reveal
5 Right-click item
6 Drag to remove
A ‘Recent Applications’ item will appear next
to your Trash. Click on it and all your most
recent applications will fan out making it easy
to launch them when you need to.
Right-click on Recent Applications to see
‘Recent Documents’, ‘ Recent Servers’,
‘Recent Volumes’ and ‘Recent Items’ too.
You can also choose how these are viewed.
When you no longer require this item in your
Dock, either right-click on it and choose
‘Remove from Dock’ or click and hold on it
and then drag it out of the Dock.
Remember, if you have a folder that you regularly need to dip into, simply
drag it into the Dock to make accessing it much easier.
Your Dock System Preferences
Make adjustments the standard way
Set to scale
Kill the magnification
Again, opting for the ‘Genie’ effect
when minimising windows is a
waste of processing power and
could slow your Mac down. Stick to
the no-frills ‘Scale’ effect instead.
Ticking the ‘Magnification’ box
will mean that any app icons you
hover your cursor over will become
enclosed. Save some processing
power and keep this box unticked
and your Dock gimmick-free.
Show indicators
When this option is ticked a
small dot will appear under the
applications in the Dock that are
currently open. This is handy
because you may not realise some
apps are open and using processing
power, so you can close them.
Knowledge base
Force-quitting apps
Automatically hide
If a particular app is being unruly then you can
easily force-quit it from the Dock. By clicking and
holding or right-clicking on an app icon you will
bring up a small menu of options, one of which is
‘Quit’. However, if you then hold down the Alt key
then this ‘Quit’ option will become ‘Force Quit’.
Select it to carry out the operation.
Tick this box and your Dock will
be hidden when unused, which
frees up space on your desktop. If
you need to use your Dock, simply
move your cursor to the bottom of
the screen.
Add spaces
If you find that your Dock has become a little
too cluttered then you can space things out by
employing a cunning Terminal trick. The following
will create invisible tiles that can be positioned
between app icons to space them out, but if you
find later on that you no longer require them,
simply click, hold and drag them out of the Dock
as you would any other tile.
“Create invisible tiles to
place between app icons
to space them out”
1 Open Terminal
2 Rinse and repeat
Open your Terminal app and then enter: defaults
write persistent-apps -array-add
‘{“tile-type”=”spacer-tile”;}’; killall Dock. Once
entered, the Dock will disappear and then reload
with an invisible tile that you can drag left or right.
You can enter the command as many times
as you want to create an invisible tile to drag
between each app icon in your Dock. As we said,
if you find that you no longer need the spaces,
simply drag them out of your Dock to remove.
System Preferences
10 ways to
your Mac
Make your Mac your own with these
quick and easy system alterations!
Whenever we buy a new Mac or inherit an older one, they will be
set up in a certain way, which means that you can either get used
to it or instantly set about changing various System Preferences
to make it your own and set it up in your preferred way. Here we
will take you through ten quick and easy methods for instantly
personalising your Mac, which involve diving under the bonnet
to alter the appearance, applying your own time-saving methods
via Hot Corners, deciding what elements are displayed in your
Finder windows and much more besides. These tips are sure-fire
methods to help you quickly deviate from your new Mac’s factory
settings or to banish the ghosts of previous owners.
Apply custom
sidebar views
In System Preferences>Desktop &
Screen Saver you can apply your
own custom wallpaper by clicking
on the ‘+’ icon and navigating to
the image you would like to use.
There are also ‘secret’ wallpapers
on your Mac that you can find by
typing ‘default collections’ into your
Spotlight search. This should reveal
four additional folders of images.
You can determine exactly what
items are displayed in your
window sidebars by going to
Finder>Preferences and then
clicking on the ‘Sidebar’ tab. Simply
tick the boxes of the items you want
displayed and untick the items you
want to hide from view.
Explore System Preferences
How to customise your Mac
General Preferences
This should be your first port of call
when looking to personalise your Mac
as these options include colour schemes
and general appearance preferences
that relate to windows and your Mac’s
menu bar.
Show/hide preferences
If you click and hold on the grid button
to the right of the arrows and then
choose the ‘Customise’ option you can
decide which System Preferences are
displayed by ticking/unticking the boxes.
Language & Region
Desktop & Screen Saver
Nothing personalises a Mac like a custom
wallpaper. Click on this preference pane
followed by the ‘+’ icon to navigate
to and select your own personal Mac
desktop image, such as a favourite photo
from your album.
This System Preferences pane allows
you to change your region (for the App
Store, etc), pick your preferred first day
of the week, calendar style, time format
and unit of temperature.
Knowledge base
Click on the ‘Advanced’ button under the Language
& Region System Preferences and you can go much
further in terms of personalisation. Here you will find
options to change the character used to separate
numbers, switch the default currency and even the
units of measurement. Tabs for ‘Dates’ and ‘Times’
allow you to create custom formats.
Some System Preferences require you to click on the padlock icon in the
lower-left corner and then enter an administrator password to change.
change your
desktop picture
Rather than having
the same desktop
image day in, day out,
why not change it
regularly? Go to System
Preferences>Desktop &
Screen Saver and then
click on the ‘Change
picture’ box at the
bottom of the window.
You can Set it to change
automatically every
day or even every
five seconds!
Tailor menu bar
In System Preferences>General,
tick the ‘Use dark menu bar and
Dock to make them both a dark
carbon colour and you can also tick
the ‘Automatically hide and show the
menu bar’ option to make it disappear
when not in use. If you need it, simply
move your cursor to the top of the
screen and it will appear.
your clock
Go to System Preferences>Date &
Time and then click on the ‘Clock’ tab.
Here you will be able to change your
menu bar clock from the default digital
style to analogue and even get a
voice to announce the time at regular
intervals and choose from a wide
range of voices to do so.
Hot Corners
In the Desktop & Screen Saver System
Preferences, click Screen Saver>Hot
Corners… for four dropdown menus
(one for each corner of the screen).
Click on a menu to assign a command
to each corner – such as ‘Start Screen
Saver’ or ‘Put Display to Sleep’.
Tailor Spotlight
Your Mac’s built-in Spotlight
search leaves no stone unturned when
it comes to finding files, documents
and items on your Mac, but do you
need it searching everything? Go to
System Preferences>Spotlight>Search
Results and untick any items you don’t
want/need to include in a search.
Change your
colour scheme
Go to System Preferences>General
for options to switch the appearance
(buttons, menus and windows)
between Blue or Graphite and also
change the highlight colour. To choose
a custom colour, choose ‘Other’ and
click on the colour you want to use.
Bring back
Status Bar
Finder windows used to have a status
bar at the bottom that provided at-aglance information like free space,
the number of items in a folder, etc,
but this was removed back in macOS
10.7 Lion. No problem, you can
instantly bring it back by clicking on
Finder>View and choosing the ‘Show
Status Bar’ option.
Hide hard disk
There was a time when
your Mac’s HD was a staple feature
of your desktop, when you would
give it a custom name and icon,
but not these days. By going to
Finder>Preferences>General you can
untick ‘Hard disks’ to hide your Mac’s
HD completely for a cleaner desktop.
Hints tips and tricks to get the most out of
your iPhone operating system
henever a new iPhone or iPad operating
system is released there is a massive swirl
of interest based on all of the hottest new
enhancements and features that Apple showcased in
its traditional pre-release Keynote. But once the latest
iOS is ‘out there’ and a period of bedding-in takes
place, lots of new little nuances come to light that
weren’t necessarily highlighted early on. This is why
we figured it was a good time to turn the spotlight
back on iOS 11 and illuminate various features and
enhancements that we have stumbled across in the
months since release and show you how they can be
used to make your life easier.
If you have an iPhone that doesn’t come with 3D Touch then you can still access certain
quick actions within Control Centre by long-pressing on the various controls.
Extra torch
Type onehanded
You may not have realised that the iPhone
torch has extra settings in iOS 11. To
view them, make sure you have got the
Torch enabled in your Control Centre
(Settings>Control Centre>Customise
Controls) and then 3D Touch (or long-press)
on its icon after swiping up your Control
Centre. You should notice that it now has four
intensities (instead of the usual low, medium
and high) giving you more control over the
brightness of your iPhone flashlight.
While less dexterous iPhone users will
always grip and type on their iPhones with
two hands, iOS 11 nevertheless provides the
option to type one-handed by presenting
different keyboard layouts to facilitate this.
You can access them by long-pressing on the
emoji button in the lower-left corner of the
keyboard when typing, after which you will
be able to shift the keyboard to the left or
right, depending on which hand you are
using to type.
More from iOS 11…
1. Take Live
Photos in
2. More
3. Zoom in
Maps using
your thumb
In the same way that
you can take still
images while shooting
video in the Camera
app, you can now take
Live Photos while
using the FaceTime
app. Go to Settings>
FaceTime and turn on
‘FaceTime Live Photos’
to get snapping.
If you want more time to
deal with notifications
before they vanish
from your screen,
you can now go to
and then tap on each
app to enable the
‘Show as Banners’
notification style and
tap on ‘Persistent’.
It can be awkward
using two hands to
pinch and expand on a
map screen to zoom in
or out to better gauge
your surroundings. No
problem – in iOS 11 you
can just double-tap,
hold and then swipe
your thumb up and
down to zoom in or out.
Customise your Control Centre
How to set up the perfect layout for your needs
The Control Centre has been a favourite with
iOS users since iOS 7 and for good reason.
It allows you to access key features on your
iPhone or iPad, such as a torch and playback
controls for your music, by swiping up from the
bottom of the screen. More utilities were added
with iOS 11 and, as such, Control Centre now
has its own section in Settings. Here you can
make Control Centre unaccessible within apps
(why?) and tailor which utilities are accessible
within your Control Centre, thus being able to
customise it to your own needs.
1. Open Settings
2. Add new controls
3. Re-order controls
Open your Settings app and
then navigate to ‘Control
Centre’. Now you will see
an option called ‘Customise
Controls’ – tap on this to
get started.
You will see the controls
that are currently included at
the top of the screen. Scroll
down and tap the green ‘+’
icon next to other controls
to add them.
You can remove controls
by tapping the red ‘–’ icons
next to them at the top of the
screen and re-order them by
pressing and dragging the list
icons next to them.
Get more from iOS 11
More from
iOS 11…
Instantly edit screenshots
How to instantly edit the screenshots you take
Before iOS 11, when you took a screenshot
(press the Sleep/Wake button and the Home
button together) you had to then open up
your Photos app to edit, mark up or share the
image. Now it can all be done instantly thanks
to a small yet worthwhile addition. When you
take a screenshot in iOS 11 a thumbnail of the
image will be displayed for a couple of seconds
in the lower-left corner of the screen. If you tap
on the thumbnail you will instantly open it up.
1. How to get simpler
Maps guidance
While navigating in the Maps app,
if you don’t need full blow-by-blow,
step-by-step guidance then you can
now tap on the ‘Tap for overview’
option, which will provide an overview
of your journey instead of the full
sequence of directions.
1. Take a screenshot
2. Tap on thumbnail
3. Mark up image
Take a screenshot of whatever
is currently displayed on your
iPhone screen by pressing
the Sleep/Wake and Home
buttons together until you hear
a shutter click.
A small thumbnail will then
be displayed in the lower-left
corner of the screen. Tap on
the thumbnail and you will
instantly open it up on
mark-up mode.
Tap on the colour swatch
to pick an annotation colour
and then tap on one of
the three writing/drawing
implements to start marking
up the image.
4. Duplicate areas
5. Adding elements
6. Share instantly
If you want to cut, copy, delete
or duplicate a part of the
image then tap on the lasso
tool, marker out the area of
the screenshot and then select
an option from the toolbar.
If you tap on the ‘+’ icon to
the right of the toolbar then
you can add text boxes,
signatures, magnify areas and
even add shapes and arrows
to the screenshot.
Tap on the Share icon to the
left of the toolbar and you
will be able to instantly share
the screenshot across a wide
range of apps and services. It
couldn’t be easier.
2. How to move multiple
items at once
If you want to re-arrange your Home
screen then there used to be a time
when you had to move each app icon
individually. Not any more. Just press
and hold on one and then tap others
to add them to the selection and
move them in bulk.
Save storage
3. Use Siri to translate
Siri in iOS 11 is much more versatile
and it can now act as a tour guide.
Simply ask Siri to translate words or
phrases into certain languages and
it will happily oblige, even speaking
the phrases if you are playing them to
someone else.
Those of us that can only
afford base model iPhones
where storage space is at
a premium are constantly
having to consider which
apps we install, all the while
keeping a close eye on the
number of photos we take
and suchlike. Mercifully there
is a new feature in iOS 11 that
helps you free up space. Go
to Settings>General>iPhone
Storage and not only will
you be able to get a detailed
breakdown of how the storage
space on your iPhone is
used, but you can also get
recommendations on how
to free up more – such as
offloading old apps you no
longer use or deleting old
conversations in Messages.
After taking a screenshot, you can either wait for the thumbnail to disappear or swipe it
away to the left to speed up the process.
Set up ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’ manually
Setting DNDWD mode to kick in automatically isn’t a precise science, especially
if you are the passenger and not the driver, so here’s how to do it manually
One of the most well-publicised and beneficial
features of iOS 11 is ‘Do Not Disturb While
Driving’ mode. An extension of ‘Do Not Disturb’
mode that kills all notifications and alerts during
specified periods, DNDWD mode can be set to
kick in automatically when you get behind the
wheel and ensures that no distracting texts, calls,
alerts and notifications come in to risk diverting
your full attention away from the road ahead
when you are driving. Go to Settings>Do Not
Disturb>Activate and then you can choose how
you want DNDWD mode to kick in (Automatically,
When Connected to Car Bluetooth or Manually).
Expanded iOS 11
Camera options
Your iPhone’s Camera
app gets a handful of
brilliant new features
in the latest operating
system. Here we will
guide you through the key
enhancements that you
can toggle on or off by
going to Settings>Camera
1. Set to manual
2. Add control
3. Access and tap
Go to Settings>Do Not
Disturb>Activate and then set
the option to ‘Manually’. Now
back out of these settings
and then tap on the Control
Centre settings.
Tap on ‘Customise Controls’,
scroll down through the list
and tap on the green ‘+’ icon
next to the ‘Do Not Disturb
While Driving’ control to add it
to your Control Centre.
Now, whenever you need to
manually enable DNDWD
mode, simply swipe up to
access your Control Centre
and then tap on the car icon
to instantly enable/disable it.
Preserve Settings
Tapping this option will allow you to save
your settings for the various modes. For
example, you can preserve the last mode
you used, such as Video or Square, keep
the last filter you applied and keep the
same Live Photo settings.
Scan QR Codes
You can get rid of any third-party
QR code-reading apps that you may
have installed because this function
has been incorporated into the
Camera app in iOS 11. All you have
to do is point your camera at a QR
code and a prompt will appear.
If you toggle on this feature
then a grid will be overlaid
on your camera viewfinder
to make it easier to apply
the ‘rule of thirds’ in your
photographs. It will also enable
a level in the form of thin white
and yellow crosshairs that
change colour to help you get
your iPhone perfectly level
when taking shots.
The iOS Camera app used to
shoot pictures in .jpeg and
videos in H.264 formats, but
iOS 11 introduces new HEIF
(High Efficiency Image Format)
and H.265 formats that are
designed to save you space. Go
to Settings>Camera>Formats to
select them.
Get more from iOS 11
Convert websites to PDFs
Transforming a website into a PDF is useful for marking up or reading offline…
Prior to iOS 11 we could only save websites as
PDFs in iBooks but now we have the freedom
to annotate them, share them or store them in
a location of our choice, either on our device
or in iCloud. Here’s a quick guide to creating,
marking up and sharing PDFs…
1. Navigate to site
2. Tap option
3. Mark up PDF
While in the Safari app, navigate to the
webpage that you would like to save as a PDF
and then tap the Share button in the toolbar at
the bottom of the interface.
On the Share screen, scroll through the lower
row of sharing options and you will see the
‘Create PDF’ option. Tap this and the page will
be instantly converted.
You can now tap on the pen icon in the topright corner of the screen to enter markup
mode. Here you can annotate it using the
markup tools at the bottom of the screen.
4. Save PDF
5. Choose location
6. Share PDF
When you have finished marking up your PDF,
tap on the ‘Done’ option in the top-left corner
and you will be asked where you would like to
save your PDF.
After tapping ‘Save File To…’ you will be able
to choose a save destination, which is either
in your iCloud Drive or on your iPhone. Pick a
base destination and then a specific folder.
Alternatively, tap on the markup icon again
and you will see a Share icon in the lower-left
corner of the screen. Tap this to reveal the
usual share menu.
You can change the still image used for Live Photos by tapping ‘Edit’, dragging the slider to
the frame you want and then tapping ‘Make Key Photo’, then ‘Done’.
Type to Siri
Siri, the voice-activated personal
assistant, is undoubtedly a huge
benefit of owning an iOS device, but
many of us are still too self-conscious
about speaking aloud to utilise it –
especially if you are in a public place. No
problem – in iOS 11 you can type your
questions instead of asking them. To do
this, go to Settings>General>Accessibility>
Siri and then turn on the ‘Type to Siri’ option.
Now, whenever you hold down the Home button
to access Siri, a space to type in your questions
discreetly will be present.
More from
iOS 11…
1. Visit cities in VR
Record your screen
One of the new controls that you can swap into your
Control Centre allows you to record the screen of
your iOS devices without the need to connect it to
your Mac and use the QuickTime Player app. Go to
Settings>Control Centre>Customise Controls and
tap the green ‘+’ icon next to the Screen Recording
control. The control will place a Record button within
your Control Centre that you simply tap to record
what is subsequently shown on your screen. This
recording is then saved to your Photos app for you
to edit or share as normal.
The Flyover and City Tours options
have been a useful feature when
exploring the world’s major cities in
the Maps app for a while, but iOS 11’s
new ARKit lets you move your iPhone
around and explore in full VR, which is
very impressive.
Create your own GIFs
How to instantly transform a
Live Photo into an animated GIF
If you own an iPhone 6 or later
then iOS 11 will enable you to
create cool Live Photos that
look like GIFs straight from the
camera. When selecting Live
2. Share Wi-Fi passwords
If a friend comes round to your house
and wants to join your Wi-Fi network
then you can share the password with
them without them having to type it in.
Make sure both devices are running
iOS 11, have Bluetooth turned on and
are close together.
Photos in your Photos app you
can swipe up to reveal further
options and loop or bounce the
image to create a continuous
animation. Here’s how…
3. New Message effects
1 Take a Live Photo
2 Open image
3 Swipe for options
While in the Camera app, tap
on the circular ‘Live Photo’ icon
in the middle at the top of the
screen and it will turn yellow.
Now point and click as if taking
a normal photo.
When you have taken the Live
Photo, tap on the thumbnail
in the lower-left corner of the
Camera interface and the image
will be instantly opened in your
Photos app.
Now tap on the image and
swipe up to reveal extra options,
including ‘Loop’ and ‘Bounce’.
Simply select whichever one
works best and tap Share to
forward it on.
When sending a text in the Messages
app, hold down the ‘send’ arrow,
tap on the ‘Screen’ tab and then you
will be able to experiment with an
even wider range of visual effects to
accompany your message, including
Echo and Spotlight.
Get more from iOS 11
More from
iOS 11…
Control centre extras
Airplane mode
It’s probably the most subtle of iOS 11
enhancements but we thought it well worth
pointing out. Now, after enabling Airplane mode
(bring up Control Centre and then tap on the
Airplane icon), any features you subsequently
enabled while Airplane mode is on will be
remembered the next time you turn on Airplane
mode. For example, if you enable Bluetooth
while in Airplane mode, the next time you enable
Airplane mode Bluetooth will be automatically
enabled within it.
1. Use your iPhone in
Dark Mode
When using your iPhone in bed it
is a good idea to switch to a colour
scheme that is easier on the eyes
and you can do this by going to
Display Accommodations and turning
‘Invert Colours’ on.
2. New Assistive
Touch options
If you go to Settings>General>
Accessibility and tap on
‘AssistiveTouch’, you can turn the
feature on to access another menu
of options on any screen. You can
also customise this menu with more
options, such as one to ‘Restart’
your device.
Choose your
music source
Another worthwhile iOS 11 enhancement is the
option to switch music sources within Control
Centre. You will see an enlarged pane dedicated
to your music controls within the Control Centre,
but if you tap on the signal icon in the top-right
corner of this music pane then an additional
screen will be displayed that lists all of your
available sources (such as Bluetooth speakers
and Apple TV) – just tap one to select it.
Set up your own
panic button
3. Track flights in Safari
If you are expecting some overseas
guests or going on holiday yourself,
you can type airline names and
flight numbers straight into Safari
and then you will be able to get
up-to-the-minute information on that
particular plane.
One of the best new features of iOS 11, from a
safety point of view, is Emergency SOS. Go to
Settings>Emergency SOS and then enable the ‘Auto
Call’ option. Now, if you get into trouble and need
assistance from the emergency services you can rapidly
press the Sleep/Wake button five times and your
iPhone will automatically call for help. There is a
countdown prior to the call being made and you can
cancel the call during this time.
In iOS 11 you can get Safari to define words for you without going to a special dictionary
site. Just type ‘define’ followed by the word and the definition will appear.
Expanded iTunes and
App Store options
Use Mobile Data
If you have automatic downloads
turned on then enabling this option
will mean that your mobile network
is used to download when away
from a Wi-Fi network. This will
eat up your mobile data so we
recommend keeping this option off.
The App Store has been given a massive
overhaul in iOS 11 and there are now more
options that apply to it in Settings>iTunes
& App Store. Here we will guide you
through the key enhancements that you
can toggle on or off…
Video Autoplay
In the new, revamped iOS 11 App
Store, any app pages that you
visit will automatically play a trailer
video. However, if you prefer you
can turn this feature off by going to
Settings>iTunes & App Store and
disabling ‘Auto Play Videos’.
In-App Ratings
& Reviews
It can be annoying while using
third-party apps when a ‘rate
this app’ pop-up appears.
Mercifully you can disable this
for most apps in iOS 11 by
going to Settings>iTunes &
App Store. Once there, simply
disable this option.
Offload Unused Apps
This option will effectively grant
your iPhone permission to get rid
of any apps that you haven’t used
in a while to help free up space.
Documents and data for these
apps will be kept in the event
of you downloading and using
them again.
Automatically answer calls
How to set up hands-free call answering on your iPhone
If you are elbow-deep in a messy task, such as
baking, then it can be problematic if a call comes
through that you need to answer. However, iOS
11 neatly sidesteps this
issue by allowing you
to have your iPhone
answer the call
for you and put
it through to
Here’s how
it works…
1. Open Settings
2. Set to Speaker
3. Auto on
Launch your Settings
app and then go to
General>Accessibility and
scroll down to an option
called ‘Call Audio Routing’.
Tap to select it.
You will now see three main
options which relate to how
the audio is handled when a
call comes in. If you know you
won’t be able to pick up your
phone, tap ‘Speaker’.
Finally, tap on the ‘AutoAnswer Calls’ option and turn
it on by moving the slider. You
can also set the duration of
time to wait before the call is
Solve iPhone battery problems
How to check the health of the battery in your iPhone or iPad
Time needed
Many people find their iPhone operates more slowly as it grows
older. It was thought that this was a deliberate tactic to force
people to upgrade, but we now know the truth. Apple says that
it slows down the performance of the iPhone when the battery
is old in order to extend the battery life. The question is, are you
affected by this? Is your iPhone, or iPad for that matter, running
more slowly than it did when it was new because the battery
is weak? We look at a couple of apps that provide information
on the state of the battery in iPhones and iPads. It is easy to
see when the battery is worn out and whether you need to take
advantage of Apple’s battery replacement scheme.
Step-by-step Check the battery status in iOS devices
1 Check for devices
2 Add an iPhone
3 Trust your Mac
Download coconutBattery from www., unzip it and drag the
app to the Applications folder on the Mac to
install it. Run it and select the iOS Device tab.
Use the USB cable to plug an iPhone or
an iPad into the Mac and then click the big
Refresh button in the middle. It may say that
access is denied. This is normal.
Look at the iPhone or iPad screen and
there is a message asking if you trust this
computer. Press ‘Trust’. This only happens
once – the message is not displayed again.
4 View battery information
5 See phone details
6 Track the health
Information about the battery in the device
is now shown. The important figure is in the
bottom green bar. This iPhone 6 battery is
down to 90.7% of original capacity.
Click the ‘Device details’ button to see the
manufacture date of the device and other
specifications. Down at the bottom is the
cycle count and 236 is low for the age.
Press the ‘+’ button on the iOS Device tab to
save the health and click ‘History’ to see the
cycle count and capacity. Replace the battery
when the capacity is under 80%.
The iPhone battery lasts for 500 charge cycles. A cycle is when you use
100% battery, which doesn’t have to be all in one go.
Monitor the
iPhone battery
Full charge capacity
The full charge capacity is the
maximum charge that can currently
be stored. This falls over time as
the battery gets older and weaker.
Compare it to the design capacity
to see how bad it is.
Check the battery health over time
Device details
Most of the information you need
is on this screen, however, there
is a bit more available by clicking
the ‘Device details’ button. It
shows the age in days, processor
and charger information.
How bad is it?
The lower bar in coconutBattery
shows the battery health as a
percentage. Here it shows the
battery can hold 90.6% of the
original design capacity. That’s
good for such an old device.
Knowledge base
Should I replace the battery?
How bad does the battery need to be before it
starts to affect the iPhone’s performance? When
the lower bar in coconutBattery is above 90%, it
is in good condition. Apple replaces batteries for
free under AppleCare when it falls below 80%
because the performance is limited. At 80 to 85% it
is poor and it’s worth taking up Apple’s offer of
a cheap replacement.
View the history
Click the ‘+’ button on the iOS
Device tab to save the health, then
select the History tab and click
‘History Viewer for iOS Data’ to
open this window. It shows all your
iPhones and iPads.
battery apps
You may think it is odd using a Mac to check the
battery on an iPhone or iPad. Why not simply run
an app on the device itself? We looked at a dozen
battery monitor apps and only one could give any
useful information about the health of the battery,
Battery Life. Even this is not as accurate or has as
much information as coconutBattery. Access to
battery information seems limited on iOS devices.
“Battery information access
is limited on iOS devices”
1 Get battery
Search for Battery
Life by Victor
Robinson in the
App Store and
install it; it is free.
Open it, press the
menu button and
select ‘Runtime’.
The battery time
remaining for
various activities,
like talk time and
video, is displayed.
2 How to show
battery health
Press the menu
button again and
this time you need
to select ‘Raw Data’.
The bar at the top
of the screen shows
the current battery
capacity compared
to when it was new.
Note, however, that
the figure tends to be
a bit over-optimistic.
Apple TV
Watch shows
on the TV app
Apple’s TV app for iOS devices brings your movies
and TV shows together in one place
Time needed
Apple’s TV app is a brilliant portal for numerous digital video
streaming services. By using it, you don’t need to hop from one app
to another to watch your favourite shows. Instead, the content is
brought together in one place – not only saving time but increasing
the opportunity of you stumbling across something new. The app’s
interface is split into four sections: Watch Now has content you can
view immediately via established services or iTunes; Library includes
bought or rented iTunes content; Store lets you buy or rent new
shows; and Search lets you look for content across services. So as
long as you have an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple TV running
iOS 11.2 or tvOS 11.2, you’re in for a televisual feast.
Step-by-step Watch your first TV show
1 Launch TV app
2 Find a show
3 Make a choice
The Apple TV app will have automatically
rolled out to your iOS device (as well as on
Apple TV). Simply tap the TV icon and, to
view streamed shows, tap ‘Watch Now’.
Swipe up and down and you’ll see
recommended programmes along with the
best of major providers such as the BBC, ITV
and Channel 5. Tap ‘See All’ to view more.
When you see a show that takes your fancy,
tap its icon to open the information page.
You will see age-ratings, episodes and the
providers that have the show available.
Apple TV app supports BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, My5, iTunes, Amazon Prime
Video, Hopster, MUBI, Curiositystream, Sundance, Shudder and Netflix.
Find the
shows you enjoy
Discover TV series
There are three available categories: TV
series, kids shows and collections. Each
one of these will allow you to sift through
specific content, which makes finding
enjoyable shows much easier.
Scroll down the screen when
you’re in the Watch Now tab
and you’ll see an option to
browse by category
Manual search
If you know the name of the show
you want to watch, tap the Search icon
and type it in. Search is universal and
it’ll show all the places content can
be watched.
Browse by genre
You can select from one of five genres –
comedy, drama, reality, documentary and
sports – and in each case you will see a
decent-sized list of related shows.
Knowledge base
Pick up where you left off
One of the best features of the Apple TV app is
‘Up Next’. It remembers the TV series you’ve been
watching and lines up the next episode. It also
displays content that you’ve just bought or rented
from the iTunes Store. But it also stores content
you have yet to finish. So if you are signed into the
iTunes Store with the same Apple ID, you’re able to
start watching on one device and finish on another.
View suggestions
Continue to scroll and you will see some
suggested categories/shows. Tap ‘See All’
next to these to open the full list or use your
finger to swipe left and right through them.
4 Choose a provider
5 Download an app
6 Sit back and enjoy
To watch with the suggested video app, tap
the Play button. Alternatively, select a different
video app provider by tapping the three-dot
menu button and making a choice.
The menu also lets you queue the content by
choosing ‘Add to Up Next’ but if you’re ready
to play, it will seek to open the relevant video
app. Tap ‘Get’ if you don’t have it.
The app will install within Apple TV and the
show will play in the video provider’s app
once its ready. Use that app’s controls to
play, rewind, fast-forward and so on.
Cure your
iPhone addiction
Turn your iPhone’s screen to black and white
and you may actually start to use it less
Time needed
Do you find yourself reaching for your iPhone far more often
than you’d wish? Before you beat yourself up, it’s not your
fault. According to design ethicist Tristan Harris, the colours
displayed on our smartphone screens are too alluring. We
are, in a nutshell, addicted and, if that wasn’t bad enough,
emotionally attached. But don’t worry as it appears there is a
solution – and no, it isn’t as drastic as turning the iPhone off.
Instead, simply limiting the colour on your handset seems to
be enough, with experts suggesting that greyscale makes our
phones less appealing so we are less inclined to want to grab
them every few minutes. Here is how to activate it…
Step-by-step Turn your iPhone screen grey
1 Launch Settings
2 Select Accessibility
3 Alter the display
Switching your iPhone from colour to
greyscale is a straightforward process carried
out within the Settings app. So go ahead and
open it and then tap ‘General’.
Once you are on the General settings page,
look down the list of options and select
‘Accessibility’. This menu lists lots of different
ways to alter the look of your screen.
Tap ‘Display Accommodations’. You’ll
see options aimed at people with colour
blindness or other vision challenges but one
of these is useful for what we aim to achieve.
Switching your display to grey also has another knock-on effect: it can eke a
little more life out of your handset’s battery.
What’s in
a colour?
Blue is a well-used colour and you will
tend to find it within icons and apps
that are trying to appear dependable,
professional and trustworthy.
How do developers make
good use of colour to best
capture your attention?
Knowledge base
Yellow is associated with happiness,
energy and optimism which is perhaps
why Snapchat has chosen the colour for
its app icon.
Turn off the sound
If you find that draining the iPhone’s screen of
colour hasn’t achieved the desired effect of making
you check your phone less, then you may want to
consider turning off the sound as well. Thomas Z.
Ramsoy, the chief executive of Neurons which uses
eye-tracking technology and brain scans to study
apps, says this reintroduces “controlled attention”,
removing yet another potential distraction.
We have come to associate messaging
and communication apps with the colour
green and it is said to foster creativity
and productivity. That doesn’t explain
why the iOS message app icon is green
but macOS’s is blue, however.
Red is an indicator of urgency and it
also generates a feeling of excitement. It
commands attention and catches our eye,
hence its use for notifications.
4 Choose Colour Filters
5 Select Greyscale
6 Press Home
You will see that the option marked ‘Colour
Filters’ is turned off by default. Since this
contains the buttons that are needed for the
greyscale mode, you need to tap it.
Now flick the Colour Filters switch into the
‘On’ position by swiping the slider to the right.
Then ensure ‘Greyscale’ is selected from the
options that are listed underneath.
Press the Home button and you’ll see your
icons have turned grey. Tap an app and that
too will be grey. Deactivate by repeating
steps one to five, turning off Colour Filters.
Save GIFs sent in
Like a GIF someone has popped your way?
Save it to your iPhone and use it yourself later
Time needed
GIFs may well be close to 30 years old but they are arguably more
popular today then they have ever been. Funny, celebratory and
often simply rude, they go down a storm on social media and on
message networks but what if you like a GIF so much, that you
want to keep it? With iOS, you can do just that, downloading GIFs
to your phone for later use or just to look back on. But did you
know that, thanks to a new folder within the Photos app, you can
also view them in all of their moving glory? Here we take a look at
how you can save, find, watch and then share any GIFs that are
send to you on Messenger. You can also save GIFs via Safari, with being a particularly great resource for such things.
Step-by-step Create custom vibration patterns
1 Receiving a GIF
2 Swipe up
3 Find the GIF
GIFs can appear within the message threads
of the iPhone’s Messages app. If you like a
particular GIF and you’d like to keep it, then
start by pressing down on the image.
If you’re using a 3D Touch iPhone on iOS
11, the image will pop from the screen –
swipe up and tap ‘Save’. On non-3D Touch
phones, the option appears without swiping.
The GIF will be saved in an album called
Animated which is located within the Photos
app. When you select the GIF, it will play. You
can press the Share button and use it.
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Get the most out of Notes
There is more to the Notes app than you might think…
Time needed
On the surface the Notes app on the iPhone looks simple and
straightforward, but it has hidden features that you may not
have discovered. For example, there does not appear to be
a way to enter coloured text in Notes, or to select fonts other
than the default and monospaced.
However, there is a sneaky way of using colours and fonts in
Notes but you must first create a note on the Apple Mac that
contains them. Open the Notes app, create a note, change the
colours and select fonts, let it sync with your iPhone and you
are ready to start. This Mac note is used as a source of fonts
and colours.
Step-by-step Format with fonts, colours and styles
1 Apply styles
2 Copy a colour
3 Paste a colour
Notes lets you apply styles to text. Position
the cursor within a line of text and press
the ‘Aa’ button in the toolbar above the
keyboard. Select the style, such as ‘Title’.
Coloured text cannot be created on the
iPhone, but a note created on the Mac retains
its colour. Double-tap one of the coloured
words to select it and then press ‘Copy’.
Switch to the note you are writing and longpress to display the toolbar. Press ‘Paste’.
We copied the Magenta word colour and it is
inserted into the note exactly as it was.
4 Style the text
5 Create lists
6 Select a font
Enter the text you want and delete the original
colour word. To style it, double-tap a word
and press ‘Select’, then press the arrow and
‘BIU’. Tap the text style you want.
You may want to create lists with numbers,
bullets and dashes. Type the first item in
the list and then press the ‘Aa’ button in the
toolbar. Tap one of the three lists styles.
Many fonts can be used in the Mac Notes,
but only a small number appear correctly on
the iPhone. Switch to the Mac note and copy
some text in the font you want to use.
The iPhone and Mac sync notes, so the iPhone supports features even
though it does not have the buttons and menus to create them itself.
Make notes stand out
Add colour, fonts and images to notes
Paste anything
Not only can you paste text, the
text formatting is pasted too.
So if the text you copy uses a
particular font or colour, it is
pasted. Then you just edit the
text and replace it.
Coloured text
Create a note with different
colours on your Mac, then copy
and paste the coloured text into
a note. Enter new text and delete
the old text to replace it. You now
have coloured notes.
Format text
There are two ways to format text,
but first you need to long-press
to show the toolbar and then
tap ‘Select’ to highlight the text.
Press the BIU button to apply
bold, italic and underline.
Knowledge base
Advanced notes
The Notes app on the Mac is more advanced
than that on the iPhone and it has more features.
As we have seen, it is capable of using colours
and fonts for text. This is great, but what else can
it do? Experiment with different formatting and
view the note on the iPhone. Use the copy and
paste trick like fonts and colours.
Apply styles
The Notes app contains several
ready-made text styles such as
Title, Heading, Body, bullet lists
and more. Select some text, press
Aa and then press the style you
want to apply.
7 Paste a font
8 Write with fonts
9 Add photos
Switch to the note you are creating, longpress in the note to display the toolbar and
select ‘Paste’. The text and the font are
pasted into the note. Now you can edit it.
We copied some text in Times New Roman
and the font continues to be used as text is
typed into the note. Go back and delete the
font word that was pasted; it’s not needed.
Finally you may want to add an image to
your note. Press the ‘+’ button in the toolbar
and choose ‘Take Photo or Video’, or ‘Photo
Library’. We added a cookie.
AirLaunch – Launcher Widget
Add a launcher to Today widgets
Create shortcuts on the Today screen to launch your favourite apps
and perform many useful actions
Time needed
How useful is the Today screen on your iPhone? With
AirLaunch – Launcher Widget you could make it a lot more
useful and it could become the go-to place to start your
favourite apps. It does more than simply launch apps and it can
perform actions with apps and the contents of the clipboard.
For example, instead of just launching the Facebook app, it
could launch it with a page or group instead of the news feed.
It can also search Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo with the
contents of the clipboard, so you could copy some text in an
app, pull down from the top for the Today screen, tap a button
and see search results, even images and videos. Get AirLaunch
from the App Store (
Customise AirLaunch
Add your favourite actions to the Today screen
Add icons that perform
actions like searching.
This is the clipboard
action ‘Search Google for
clipboard content’ and
below it is a Bing image
search. Copy text and
search with a tap.
Edit items
Press the Edit button to change or
delete items. A small cross is added
to each icon and tapping it removes
the item. Press an icon to change its
action, text label and so on.
Open apps
Many apps can be placed in the
Today widget. This is a bundled iOS
app, but others are supported, like
Twitter, Facebook, Spotify and so on.
Some have special actions.
Phone actions
Add your favourite contacts to
the Today widget and you can
call them with a tap. Add an
item, select ‘System Actions’, tap
Phone and select ‘Call Someone’
to add an icon like this.
Knowledge base
Customise the
Today view
Pull down from the top of the
screen and swipe right to go to the
Today view. Widgets can display
information here and you may see
the weather, calendar appointments
and so on. Scroll right down to the
bottom and press ‘Edit’. All the
widgets are listed and you can tap
the green and red icons to add or
remove widgets.
Go to the Today view and tap ‘Edit’ at the bottom. Drag the icon at the right
side of a widget up or down to reorder them.
Step-by-step Create shortcuts for favourite apps
1 Open AirLaunch
2 Add icons
3 Select an action
When the app is first run, it shows the
AirLaunch Launcher screen. These are the
icons shown in the widget when it is added to
the Today view. Home is the home screen.
Press the ‘+’ button at the bottom of the screen
and four types of icon can be added to the
Today screen launcher. Let’s take a look at
‘System Actions’ first. Press it.
A long list of actions is displayed and these
are all the apps bundled with iOS. Any or all of
these can be added to the AirLaunch widget on
the Today screen. Press ‘Maps’.
4 More options
5 Define an action
6 Add clipboard actions
Some actions simply launch an app, but others
have several options. With the Maps app you
can go straight to navigation or search nearby.
Press ‘Search nearby’ to add it.
Enable a label for the icon and then enter the
search term. Here we have chosen to search
for petrol stations, but it could be anything.
Press ‘Save’ to add it to AirLaunch.
Repeat steps 1 and 2, but this time select
‘Clipboard’ and choose an action. When text
is copied to the clipboard, you can search the
web, images and videos from Today.
Add AirLaunch
AirLaunch adds two widgets to the Today view – there
is the app launcher and an information widget. We
configured the launcher in the main tutorial and here we
take a look at the information widget. Only three items
are included in the free app, but more can be unlocked
by buying them with diamonds. Press the diamond at
the bottom of the home screen to see how many you
have and to earn more for free.
“Unlock more items by
buying them with diamonds”
1 Use
Press the title at the
top of the AirLaunch
screen to show a
menu and select
AirLaunch Widget.
This displays three
widgets and these
can be seen on the
Today screen if the
widget is added.
Press the ‘+’ button.
2 Add a
All of these monitors
show the status
of storage space,
memory used or
free, and network
speed for uploads
and downloads.
Most are locked,
but they can be
unlocked with
diamonds. You can
get these for free.
Just Press Record
Record anything
using Just Press
With Just Press Record you can capture
audio in any place and manage the clips in
a variety of ways.
Time needed
Just Press Record is based around simplicity, but
that is a very good thing because here we have an
app that is so easy to use that you may find it to
be a tool that gets your attention multiple times a
day. If you have a need to record people speaking
or other sounds it will effectively give you an easyto-use voice recorder that offers a few benefits
above and beyond what you may expect. As we
describe what the app does and how to use it, you
may not see how well it works and it is this that
lifts it above much of the competition. Less is more
in terms of the interface here and familiarity could
soon make it essential for you.
Step-by-step Record anything at any time
1 Where to save
2 Give it access
3 Optional settings
4 Time to record
After installing the app, you will
need to decide where to store
all of your audio recordings. We
would suggest iCloud Drive so
that you have a backup and
multiple device access.
The only other part of the
setup process is allowing Just
Press Record access to the
microphone. This is obviously
required for it to work properly
and to capture quality audio.
You can adjust a few select
parameters in the ‘Settings’
screen such as the output
format. You can also switch on a
dark mode option if you prefer a
different kind of interface.
Tap the red Record button to
begin your first recording. The
screen will immediately change
and you can pause the recording
at any time with just one tap.
Press Stop to end the capture.
Please remember to record responsibly. The temptation to record everything
is great, but personal privacy should be of even greater importance.
Extra features
Share the results
Get organised
Always with you
When a recording is selected you
can share it in any way you like.
You also have the option of sharing
the transcription and the audio file
at the same time.
If you tap a file name, it will
immediately change so that you
can rename it. This is crucial for
organising your recordings, but is
not obvious at first.
With an Apple Watch you can use
the app to capture audio no matter
where you are and even if you do
not have your iPhone with you. The
recordings even sync automatically.
5 Set up transcription
6 Mic placement
7 See and hear
8 Your recordings
You will be alerted to a new
permission that is required for
the app to transcribe the words
recognised in a recording. Enable
it and then let the app use its
tricks to transcribe.
The audio capture is excellent
within this app, but for
transcription to work you will
need to ensure that the iPhone
microphone is within range for
the words to be heard clearly.
Experiment a little with
microphone placement and
record yourself to see how the
transcription works. The results
are much more accurate than you
may be expecting them to be.
All of your recordings will be
saved within the app and are
easily searchable should you
need to refer to them later. The
app works equally as well in the
short and long term.
Track your sleep quality
with Apple Watch
Discover how one of the best sleep tracking apps
now comes with support for your Apple Watch
Time needed
Perhaps Apple has simply not woken up to the benefits but
we find it odd that the company hasn’t included a native
sleep tracking feature in watchOS. Maybe it believes most of
us charge the Watch overnight rather than wear it in bed but
decent battery life on later devices now means kipping with
your wearable is entirely feasible.
For that reason, AutoSleep has included live sleep tracking
for Apple Watch in version 5.0 of its app. Although it costs a
whisker under three notes, it accurately assesses the time you
spend sleeping rather than simply lying frustratingly awake. It
also figures how much of that is quality and deep. You get an
indication of your heart rate too.
But what if you still want to charge your Watch at night?
By telling the app of your intention, it will note when you put
your Watch on charge. It will then generate its stats once you
put the Watch back on or touch your iPhone, giving you an
indication of the time spent sleeping.
Step-by-step See live sleep updates
1 Use Lights Off
2 Go to sleep
3 Begin to stir
With AutoSleep, you can keep an eye on how
well you’re sleeping should you wake up at
any point during the night. Open the app on
your Watch and swipe up. Tap ‘Lights Off’.
Now get some rest. A timer will begin on your
Watch, counting how many seconds, minutes
and hours you will spend in bed. The app will
detect when you finally go to sleep.
You can look at your Watch at any time
during the night and it will tell you how much
shut eye you’ve had so far compared to the
amount of time you have spent lying in bed.
With AutoSleep you don’t have to press ‘Lights Off’ before you go to bed,
but doing so ensures the app knows exactly when you’re preparing to kip.
Set your own
sleep targets
Tap the dots
By tapping this button you can set the
number of hours of sleep that you reckon
you need each night by using the + and
– options. You can also set targets for
quality and deep sleep.
AutoSleep includes default
targets but you can make some
alterations. Scroll down within the
Clock tab to reach this screen
Change your profile
Quality sleep
There are three different profiles depending
on your level of fitness. If you’re very fit,
choose Athlete. If you have heart conditions
or a pacemaker, select ‘High’. Otherwise
stick with the default.
Just because you’re asleep doesn’t
mean you are properly resting. We can
sleep lightly or become restless during
the night. AutoSleep makes a note of the
nocturnal dip in your heart rate.
Knowledge base
Using the Watch complication
AutoSleep also has a series of complications
available for your Apple Watch. These are great for
being able to monitor your sleep without having to
open the app. You will be able to see how long you
have slept along with the percentage when using
larger complications. A timer is also displayed if you
have activated Lights off.
Deep Sleep
Your choice of profile will have
an effect on how deep sleep is
calculated. It will also influence the
heart rate ring. This makes it more
relevant and accurate for your body.
4 View the stats
5 Wake up fully
6 Check sleep quality
Swipe up to look more deeply at your stats.
These show how much overall sleep you’ve
had, the amount of quality and deep sleep,
and your sleeping heart rate.
Tap ‘Done’ to turn off the timer and return to
the main AutoSleep screens. You’ll see two
rings. One displays your sleep last night while
the other shows a seven-day average.
Even if you don’t use the Lights Off feature,
the app updates automatically. This set of
rings shows the time asleep, the percentage
of quality sleep and the average heart rate.
Apple Watch
Increase your Apple
Watch’s haptic feedback
Make sure you never miss another notification by
cranking the Watch’s haptic feedback to the max
Time needed
As you will no doubt know, when you receive an alert on your
Apple Watch, you can be notified by a few taps on your wrist.
Sometimes, though, you may feel that the alerts are not intense
enough, causing you to miss an important notification. At
other times, you may feel the feedback is too intense. In either
case, you are able to increase or decrease the haptic feedback
and even make it more prominent by pre-announcing when
something is about to come through.
Here we look at how you can do this, both on the Apple
Watch itself and via the iPhone app. It’s a straightforward
process that helps you to control what is happening on your
wrist and it is worth playing around with it until you get a
vibration that works for you on a day-to-day basis. Perhaps
crank it up when you are exercising or taking a stroll and
reduce it again when you’re sitting.
Step-by-step Boost the haptic feedback intensity
1 Open the Settings
2 Scroll through options
3 Find the haptics
Grab your Apple Watch and press the Digital
Crown button. Tap in your PIN if you need
to and go to the Home screen. The haptic
feedback options are in the Settings app.
You will see a long list of settings. Scroll
down the list until you see the option for
Sounds & Haptics. Once you’ve located it,
simply tap to view the current settings.
The first thing you’ll see are a couple of
options to alter the alert volume. Use your
finger to scroll down to the next screen
where you can view the haptic settings.
Bear in mind that if you have lots of notifications coming through and the
haptic feedback is at its max, it could drain the battery more quickly.
your incoming
Notifications indicator
As well as receiving haptic feedback and/
or sound, you can keep a visual eye on
your activity by having a red dot appear
at the top of the Watch face when there
are unread notifications.
You should also consider the
kinds of alerts you wish to
receive on your Apple Watch
Notification privacy
Haptics allow you to receive notifications
discreetly but you can go a step further
and enable this privacy option: it will
only show the details of a notification
when you tap it.
Individual apps
Tap on the individual apps to configure the
alerts each one will send you. Some mirror
the settings on your iPhone so you’d have
to alter those via the iPhone’s Settings app
(selecting Notifications).
Knowledge base
Using your iPhone
You can also alter the intensity of the haptic
feedback via the Watch app on your iPhone. The
same two settings – haptic strength and prominent
haptic – are included and you can access them by
simply opening the app, tapping My Watch and
selecting ‘Sounds & Haptics’. You will see a slider
which you can move left and right and the button
that lets you activate Prominent Haptic.
Notification settings
Open the Apple Watch app on your
iPhone and tap the My Watch tab.
Select the Notifications option from
the menu and you will see a list of
your installed apps.
4 Increase intensity
5 Continue a notch
6 Play prominent haptics
Now you can make changes. You’ll see a bar
in between two images of an Apple Watch.
Tap the right picture to increase the haptic
strength. You should feel it on your wrist.
If the feedback doesn’t feel intense enough,
press the right image once more so that it is
at full strength. Again, you will begin to feel a
sample vibration on your wrist.
You can also move the slider next to
Prominent Haptic. This adds an extra alert to
introduce an incoming notification. In doing
so, it will make doubly sure you can feel it.
Organise your podcasts
into stations
Ensure you can get to your favourite podcasts with ease by bringing them
together under an easily identifiable label
Time needed
Podcasts have become hugely popular over recent
years. True crime podcasts such as Serial have
caught the imagination while those based on sport,
gaming and comedy continually top the charts. But
although you can listen to all of these on your Apple
TV, it’s easy to get carried away and subscribe to lots
of audio goodies. That’s, however, where stations
come into their own.
Stations allow you to group podcasts together,
just as you’d create playlists in the Music app based
around your favourite tunes. You could put those
football podcasts in one place, for example, and
quickly access the updated episodes without scrolling
through long lists. What’s more, each of your stations
are synced across all of your devices. You can tailor
them to best suit your specific needs too.
“Stations allow you to group podcasts
together, just as you’d create playlists of
your favourite tunes in the Music app”
Step-by-step Create custom podcast stations
1 Create a station
2 Name the station
3 Add all podcasts
Once you have a few podcasts, you may
want to consider neatly organising them into
stations. Open the Podcasts app, go to the
heading Library and select ‘Create a Station’.
Now give your station a name which best
describes the content of the podcasts it is
going to contain. You can do this via the
onscreen keyboard or by calling upon Siri.
On the next screen, you will see a list of all of
the podcasts you have downloaded or are
subscribed to. To include the whole lot within
your station, select the top option.
You can remove a station by selecting ‘Delete’ in the Station Settings. You
can also click and hold the station’s icon in the Library and select ‘Delete’.
Changing the station settings
Want better control over your stations? Then simply delve into the
settings for each one of them
Playback order
By selecting Play, you can change the
way the podcasts are presented. As
well as a manual show order, you can
place them from newest to oldest and
oldest to newest.
Viewing episodes
By default, the most recent episode
of a podcast shows in your station
but you can change this to the
most recent two, three, five or 10
episodes or select to show the lot.
Audio or video
If you only want to view video podcasts
or you prefer your station to only show
audio podcasts, you can make that
choice by selecting ‘Media Type’. You
can also show both.
Knowledge base
Refresh your station
If you press and hold on a station’s icon then you
can call up three main options. Arguably the most
useful of these is the ability to click ‘Refresh’ to
see the newest episodes – handy if they are not
automatically showing. But you can also Play the
station, starting from the first listed podcast, and go
to that station’s settings.
Add more podcasts
Select this option and you can
select more podcasts for your
channel, clicking any that take your
fancy (they display ‘On’ next to their
name when they are included).
4 Or choose some
5 Hear the podcasts
6 Add more stations
Otherwise go down the list of podcasts and
click those you want to include. Doing so,
displays the word ‘On’ next to the icon and
title. Clicking again, turns it back to ‘Off’.
Click Menu a couple of times and you will see
your station’s screen along with the included
podcasts. To play one, just click. There’s an
option for Station Settings too.
Once you have created your first station, you
can then continue to add more. This is done
by clicking on the ‘+’ icon within Stations.
Follow the same procedure as before.
Genius Bar
Our Apple devices and the software on them are some of the finest
products on the planet, but even they have their moments. We’re here
to give you expert advice and get you back up and running in no time
Changing your
home address for
Maps needs to
be done in Users
& Groups…
The place to
come for key
terms made easy
to understand
3D Touch
Touchscreen technology
first introduced with the
iPhone 6 and 6s Plus
that lets you access new
features depending on
how hard you press down
on the screen.
Not to be confused with
3D Touch that relies on
pressure, long-pressing
simply means pressing
down on part of your iOS
screen for a second or two
to access certain features.
Usually four-digit,
passcodes are a means
of securing your device
and add an extra layer of
security to other methods
of unlocking your device,
such as TouchID.
I recently moved house and wondered how I can change my
home location in my macOS Maps app? Lee Wakeham
These are accessible by
swiping right from your
iPhone’s home screen and
provide access to certain
features from built-in and
third-party apps that you
have installed.
1 Open Preferences
2 Open Contact card
3 Check in Maps
Start off by opening your System
Preferences and then click on the
‘Users & Groups’ pane. Next, click
on your user account name in the
left-hand column.
You should now see a button
marked ‘Open’ next to the
Contacts Card option – click this
and then edit your home address
in the contact card.
Once completed, click ‘Done’
and then re-open your Maps app.
Now simply type ‘home’ into the
Search bar and check that the
right location is pinpointed.
Find My iPhone at does more than show where your
iPhone is located – it shows the location of all of your Apple devices.
How do I create custom vibration patterns on my iPhone?
I heard that it was possible but can’t see how. Simon Kirby
The one-stop
column for
Genius advice
1 Select a contact
2 New vibrations
3 Tap it out
Open your Contacts app (or
Phone app), pick a contact and
then tap ‘Edit’ in the top-right
corner of the screen. Scroll down
and tap ‘Ringtone’.
Tap on ‘Vibration’ and then swipe
down through the selection of
vibration patterns until you come
to the Custom section and then
tap ‘Create New Vibration’.
Tap out your custom vibration
pattern on the screen (holding
down for longer vibrations).
Tap ‘Save’, give it a name then
choose it for a contact.
Is it true that my MacBook keeps track of all of the
locations that I visit? Rebecca Morgan
View a map
Significant locations
The Mac tracks your location
and organises the places you
visit into what it calls ‘Significant
Locations’. These are places
you visit and work at frequently.
Click the stored time and date
for a location and the map
zooms in to show exactly
where it is. This is particularly
handy for laptop users.
Clear stored data
Go to Security &
Privacy preferences
On your MacBook, go to System
Preferences>Security & Privacy
and then click on the padlock in
the lower-left corner and enter
your administrator password to
unlock the settings.
Knowing where your Mac
is right now through Find
My Mac could be useful but
does your Mac really need
to store months of location
history? Clear it by clicking
this button.
I’ve had my iPhone
X since release day
but whenever anyone
calls me they say that
I sound very faint at
times or they can’t
hear me at all. Is this
a software problem
or is there something
fundamentally wrong
with my phone?
Do you use a flip case
with your iPhone X? If
so, check that when you
fold it back it doesn’t
cover the rear mic. If this
happens then the iPhone
will assume that your
slightly muffled voice is
background noise and try
to cancel it out. Otherwise
you should take it to your
nearest Genius Bar for
professional analysis.
I am having trouble
taking photos on my
iPhone 7 Plus – they just
end up looking really
bad. Is there anything I
can do to improve the
quality of my pictures?
Despite the iPhone 7
having improved low-light
capabilities it is important
to ensure that you have
adequate lighting when
taking a picture. Also,
make sure that you’re
focusing on your subject
by tapping on it. We have
also heard of a software
issue in iOS 10 affecting
photo quality with
iPhone 7s, so consider
updating to the very latest
operating system to see
if this helps.
Genius Bar
The one-stop
column for
Genius advice
The password has
recently been changed
on my Wi-Fi router. How
do I update my Mac to
recognise the new one?
Simple, just go to System
and then click on the
‘Advanced’ button in the
bottom right-hand corner.
Next, select the Wi-Fi tab
and then locate your Wi-Fi
network name in the list
of Preferred Networks.
Select your Wi-Fi network
and press the ‘–’ icon
to remove it. Now click
on the Wi-Fi icon in your
Mac’s menu bar and
connect to the Wi-Fi
network again. You’ll be
prompted to enter the
new password.
I worry about what
my children could be
subjected to online
and wondered if there
was any way to prevent
access to adult content?
Go to System
Preferences>Users &
Groups and set up an
account for your children,
then go to System
Controls>Web and check
the option to ‘Try to limit
access to adult websites’
(or alternatively only
allow access to websites
specified in the list below).
While in Safari you can
also click on Safari>Safari
Extensions… to see
specific extensions for
barring adult content in
your Safari browser.
Please help! Is there a way to remount ejected USB drives
without physically removing and re-inserting them? Sam Carter
Use Disk Utility
When the drive is inserted and
mounted, launch your Disk Utility app
and you should then see the drive
listed under ‘External’ in the sidebar.
You can remove the Disk by clicking
on the Eject button that appears next
to the Disk name when you hover your
cursor over it.
Remount disk
If you find that you want to
remount the disk again then
you don’t have to physically
unplug it from your Mac and
then plug it in again. Simply
highlight the Disk in the
sidebar and then click on the
‘Mount’ button at the top of
the window.
I have heard that
security flaws within
Java leave it prone to
hackers. How do I heighten
the security on my Mac by
turning Java off?
Marcus Dickinson
Launch System Preferences
and at the bottom of the
window you will see separate
panes for, amongst other
things, Java and Flash. Click
on Java and a separate control
panel will be launched. Now
click on the ‘Security’ tab at
the top of the window and
uncheck the box at the top
that says ‘Enable Java content
in the browser’. Click ‘Apply’,
close down your browser and
Java will no longer run.
When I add comments to Pages documents it always
displays my brother’s name instead of mine. How can I
change this to my name? Wayne Johnston
Simply open the Pages document then navigate to the Pages
menu and select ‘Preferences’. Next, make sure that you are on the
‘General’ tab within the preferences page and towards the bottom
of this page you will see the ‘Author’ box (which should have your
brother’s name
inside). Replace
this with your
own name
and all further
should be
credited to you.
Go to the Pages
Preferences to
change the
name of the
document author
If your WhatsApp message has a blue tick then press and hold on it and
swipe to the left to see the exact time it was read.
Is there any way I can disable
the ‘blue tick’ read receipts in
WhatsApp? Paul Pellier
You can also block
certain numbers in the
Privacy settings. Simply
tap on this option and
you can add numbers
to stop them contacting
you through the app.
Disable the
Read Receipts
Scroll down within the
Privacy settings and you
will see an option called
‘Read Receipts’ – turn
this off. Blue tick read
receipts will still be sent
in group chats though.
Go to Settings
In the WhatsApp
interface, click on the
Settings icon in the
lower-right corner and
then tap on the ‘Privacy’
section from the list of
options that appear.
How do I securely empty my trash in macOS High Sierra as the option
doesn’t appear when I right-click on it like it used to? Brian Shaw
The ‘secure empty trash’ feature (which was done by
holding down Alt when emptying the trash) was removed
when macOS El Capitan was released because Apple
couldn’t guarantee that all data could be securely deleted
on connected SSD cards. There was a workaround which
involved typing ‘srm -v ’ (note the space after the ‘v’)
into Terminal and dragging items into it, but even this no
longer works in High Sierra. If you want to safely remove
files on your Mac then your best bet would be to turn on
FileVault, which we will guide you through here…
1 Go to System Preferences
2 Turn on FileVault
3 Create a recovery key
Launch System Preferences and then go
to Security & Privacy>FireVault and click on
the padlock icon to unlock it and enter your
administrator password.
FileVault uses whole disk encryption to read
and write every chunk of data securely,
making your files unavailable to anyone else.
Enable it by clicking ‘Turn On FileVault…’
The final step involves creating a recovery
key to unlock your disk. You can either use
iCloud for this or get your Mac to create a
unique recovery key for you to use.
Genius Bar
I have heard that there is a lot more to Safari than
meets the eye! Could you explain some of the
shortcuts to make surfing easier? Josh Scullion
Reader options
desktop site
While viewing pages in
Reader mode you can
long-press on the Reader
icon to bring up the option
to apply it to all websites
for an instant, cleaner
viewing experience.
To access the desktop
version of a site (instead
of the mobile version),
long-press on the Reload
button to the right of
the Search/URL bar and
then select the ‘Request
Desktop Site’ option.
While going through my
iPhone’s Mobile Data settings
recently I noticed a figure called
‘Uninstalled Apps’ that seemed to
take up quite a lot of data. What is
this all about? Lucy Williams
Don’t worry, the apps that you have
deleted aren’t coming back from the
grave to steal your data! This just means
that if you don’t reset your data usage
statistics regularly (Settings>Mobile
Data> Reset Statistics) then any apps
that you have deleted since you last reset
your stats that used mobile data while
they were installed on your iPhone will
be added to this total so there are no
discrepancies in the data total.
Manage tabs
Show history
Long-press on the
tabs button to bring
up options to close the
current open tab or all
other open tabs, open
a new Private tab and
open a new standard
Safari tab.
Long-press on the
back or forward arrows
to view your page
history and quickly find
pages that you have
visited previously.
How can I monitor how much mobile data I use as I
always seem to exceed it in a month? Corrina Meyard
A friend was recently talking
about using his Apple Watch to
time travel! I know he doesn’t mean
literally, but what does he mean?
Michael Lewis
He is referring to the option to twist the
Digital Crown in order to see what is
coming up (such as weather, scheduled
appointments etc) or what has happened
in the recent past. To activate this feature,
go to the Watch app on your iPhone and
tap the ‘My Watch’ icon at the bottom of
the screen. Now scroll down and tap on
‘Clock’ and then turn on the slider next to
the ‘Time Travel’ option.
1 Go to Settings
2 Reset your stats 3 Monitor data
Go to Settings>Mobile
Data and scroll down to the
Mobile Data section. The stat
called ‘Current Period’ is the
one to keep an eye on.
At the start of the month,
when your data is refreshed,
go to Settings>Mobile Data
and then tap on the ‘Reset
Statistics’ option.
Set a reminder to reset this
option at the start of every
month and monitor your
usage over several months
to see what you use/need.
If you opt to turn off Safari under the ‘Allow’ list in Restrictions then the
entire app will vanish from the iPad home screen.
My son recently saved up to buy an iPad but I am concerned
about what websites he can access on it! Is there a way to
monitor and restrict the sites he can view? Maxine Harris
The one-stop
column for
Genius advice
I recently experienced
a glitch whereby all of
the Notes on my Mac
vanished (they were
still visible on my iOS
devices though). They
have since returned, but
is there a way to back
them up to a different
location other than
iCloud in case the same
thing happens again?
In Finder, click on the
‘Go’ menu and choose
‘Library’. Now open the
‘Containers’ folder and
open a folder called ‘com.
apple.Notes’. Now go
to Data>Notes and then
copy this folder to your
backup disk.
I have just upgraded my
Mac and the Contacts
are no longer syncing!
What can I do?
Go to System
Preferences>iCloud and
check that Contacts is
selected for syncing. If it
is, untick and then re-tick
the box. If that doesn’t
work, try signing out of
your iCloud account and
then sign in again.
How do I display my
Apple Watch apps as a
list instead of icons?
Start off by pressing the
Digital Crown to go to the
home screen and then
press down firmly on the
screen until you see a
couple of options appear
that relate to the view.
Now simply select ‘List
View’ to change the view.
1 Go to Settings
2 Enable Restrictions 3 Go to Websites
Start off by going to Settings>
General and then scroll down
the screen to an option category
called ‘Restrictions’. Tap on this.
Tap on the ‘Enable Restrictions’
option at the top and then you
will need to set a four-digit
security passcode.
All of the options will be
unlocked when you confirm your
passcode, so scroll down and
tap on the ‘Websites’ option.
4 Limit content
5 Allow sites
6 Disable Safari
Under ‘Allowed Websites’, tap
on the ‘Limit Adult Content’
option and add websites you
allow or never allow to the lists.
Alternatively, tap on the ‘Specific
Websites Only’ option and then
add the safe sites that your son
can access to the list.
If you don’t want your son to surf
the internet at all then go back to
the main Restrictions page and
turn off Safari under ‘Allow’.
Apple HomePod
The HomePod has been made available
in two colours: white and space grey.
Both are wrapped in a seamless mesh
Apple says it has been working on the
HomePod for six years, packing it with
cutting-edge technology…
Key features
Learn more
Available from
In discussing the merits and otherwise
of the HomePod, let us first address
the elephant in the room: its price.
There’s no getting around the fact
that Apple’s smart speaker costs more than four
times the second gen Amazon Echo and nearly
two-and-a-half times a Google Home. But turn it
on, set it up by bringing your iOS device close by
and crank up those tunes from your Apple Music
subscription, and the sheer quality of its sound
will blow cobwebs off any argument that this
speaker is not worth the outlay.
It is, simply put, sensational and that is down
to the incredible tech packed into its relatively
small, minimally-designed casing. For starters,
there are eight speakers, including seven tweeters
arranged, unusually, at the bottom of the device
pushing high frequency sound outwards and
upwards, filling the room with great sound.
There’s a four-inch woofer at the top, playing a
deep, rich bass. And pulling the strings is Apple’s
A8 processor – the same 64-bit ARM-based
system-on chip that first appeared in the iPhone 6
and the iPhone 6 Plus.
Externally, the HomePod is a very subtly styled
device that is undoubtedly designed to slot
inconspicuously into any location around the
house rather than be a dominating focal point.
Adorning its cylindrical design is a seamless mesh
cover that comes in two colours – White and
Space Grey – and atop it sits a glossy panel that
displays Siri as a swirling ball of colour floating
within that is utterly mesmerising. When you are
playing music, two ‘+’ and ‘–’ symbols appear on
the top panel to provide a quick and easy means
of adjusting the volume and tapping the middle
of the panel lets you play, pause, skip to the next
track or play the previous track. It’s a neat system
that allows the exterior of the speaker to stay
minimalistic and completely button-free.
What is really clever about the HomePod is the
way it senses where it is placed in a room. It
knows if you’ve plonked it between a couple of
books or against the wall and it spends a few
seconds, using the first song you play, to adjust
the sound to suit the environment. This means
perfect sound no matter where you are sitting or
standing and because there is no sweet spot, you
can get on with other stuff – such as cooking –
without fear that the audio quality will dip. You can
crank the volume up and suffer no distortion too.
If there is any disappointment then it’s down to
Siri since it has limitations that rival systems don’t.
While you can set single timers, listen to news
briefings, transfer calls from the iPhone to the
speaker and control HomeKit-compatible devices,
Siri can’t distinguish between different voices, it
has a reduced set of skills, and its voice control
only applies to Apple Music: Spotify or TuneIn
Radio users need to use the respective iPhone
apps via AirPlay. It is also worth pointing out that
HomePod doesn’t really get on with Android. Not
only does HomePod not support Bluetooth, but
you can’t even set one up without an iOS device.
Yet the array of six sensitive microphones
flawlessly picks up on utterances of “Hey Siri” and
it recognises all sorts of tune-related commands.
You can ask for more information about the music
being played and indicate the songs you enjoy so
that it learns your preferences. As you do so, a
swirl of colours appears on the HomePod’s touch
surface before the sound pumps into the room
with great clarity as your request is carried out.
And that, ultimately is what counts here. Just
as we eschew MP3s for hi-res quality, so we
shouldn’t put up with inferior sound from our
speakers. For HomePod offers a level of crisp,
audio detail that we simply haven’t found on other
smart speakers regardless of price and that really
is music to our ears.
Tapping the touch surface of the
HomePod calls up a set of volume
controls and lets you control playback
Siri isn’t the best digital assistant around but the focus on getting the best
possible sound from the HomePod has been a smart move making this
speaker highly recommended for anyone knee-deep in the Apple ecosystem.
What really impresses is that the
HomePod knows where it is placed and
Bluetooth Speaker
Key features
Learn more
Available from
To just label the Sonoro STREAM a Bluetooth
speaker does it a huge disservice. It is also an
FM/DAB/DAB+ Internet Radio and Wi-Fi receiver
that is capable of playing any audio you’d care
to throw at it. When you fire the unit up a simple
setup procedure will commence in which you
can set time zones, connect it to your Wi-Fi
etc, all of which is done through the STREAM’s
gorgeous high-resolution 2.4” TFT colour display.
Connecting the STREAM to your Mac or iOS
device is as easy as selecting the Bluetooth
setting on the display using the dial, after which it
will become instantly discoverable.
Inside the highly attractive wood and aluminium
cabinet are two lateral passive radiators and these
produce a great depth of sound that really fills the
room. The STREAM is actually the smaller brother
of Sonoro’s RELAX and MEISTERSTÜCK speaker
units and up to five can be connected throughout
your home for continuous, room-to-room audio.
Built-in EQ controls let you tweak the treble
and bass to suit the music (the latter is somewhat
lacking initially until you manually unleash it), but
generally it sounds fantastic out of the box. The
unit also has AUX-in and USB ports for additional
connections and, as you would expect from a
DAB radio, a sleep timer, alarm and slumber
modes. If you’re after a decent Bluetooth speaker
with the added bonus of instant access to over
25,000 radio stations then look no further.
For all of your internet radio needs,
A high-resolution 2.4” TFT colour display
(with auto-dimming) and control panel
adorns the front of the unit…
A stylish unit with a wealth of versatility under the hood to efficiently
deal with virtually any music source and service known to man. It sounds
brilliant and is frighteningly easy to set up and use.
and produces crystal-clear, expansive
sound from just about any source
Marshall Monitor
Key features
Learn more
Available from
Marshall has, yet again, upheld its
glorious reputation with another line
of truly remarkable headphones. The
‘Monitor’ piece of kit oozes with the
quality, sleekness and heart-racing power that we
have come to expect from the illustrious audio
brand. Each cup has been specifically designed
to mould to the shape of your head, resulting in
maximum noise isolation – so you feel like it is
just you and the music. The headphones are also
surprisingly lightweight and slender, providing you
with high levels of comfort while you listen to your
favourite tunes.
More importantly, the sound quality on the
Monitor headphones is unbelievably good. In fact,
‘unbelievably good’ does Marshall an injustice.
Only superlatives can fairly describe the raw,
bass-thumping, adrenaline-pumping power that
these headphones can produce. Listening to
genres such as rock and rap is primarily effective
with this set of cans and can genuinely make you
feel like you are front row at the concert.
This pair from Marshall are also rather
functional, something that is imperative for
modern-day headphones. In the box comes a
detachable, tactile 3.5mm audio cable that can be
plugged into either cup to suit your preferences
and the headphones are also collapsible and can
be folded into a case that is provided for your
travelling needs.
Combining comfort, functionality and unparalleled sound quality,
Marshall’s Monitors rank as some of the best cans on the market.
BenQ PD2500Q
Design Monitor
Key features
Learn more
Available from
Perfect for designers with a keen eye for detail
and any professional on the lookout for an
affordable high-spec display, BenQ’s PD2500Q is
a versatile monitor with an ergonomic design that
is best used in a dual setup. An extensive range
of height, tilt, pivot, stroke and swivel adjustments
allow you to customise its position to slot into any
workstation and it serves up a slew of top-spec
features for an unbelievable price.
CAD/CAM mode accentuates the finest details
in your images and provides superior contrast in
the lines and shapes in your technical drawings,
and Darkroom mode offers the optimal settings
when working in darkened post-processing
environments. Additionally, Animation mode
enhances the brightness of dark areas without
overexposing existing brighter regions with up
to ten different levels for you to cherry-pick
the right brightness levels for your projects.
The PD2500Q’s anti-glare matte finish keeps
distracting reflections to a minimum and BenQ’s
exclusive eye-care Low Blue Light technology
helps reduce eye fatigue if you have to burn
the midnight oil.
The monitor also includes built-in 2W
speakers and ports for HDMI, DisplayPort
(v1.2), MiniDisplay (1.2), DP out, four USB 3.1
Downstream hubs and one USB 3.1 Upstream
hub (no USB-C, unfortunately). Certainly for the
price, you would struggle to find a design monitor
that offers a similar standard of colour and as
great an array of features as this.
Incredible value for money, the PD2500Q offers precision clarity, a
staggering depth of colour and a rack of useful modes and features for
professionals who need to see every ounce of detail.
Polk Signa Solo
Key features
Learn more
Available from
When something appears too good to be true
then it usually is. However, we’re still trying to
find the negatives regarding Polk’s Signa Solo
soundbar and its ridiculously ‘too good…’ sub£150 price tag – it’s certainly not short of features.
The Signa Solo utilises Polk’s in-house Stereo
Dimensional Array (SDA) surround technology to
create an expansive field of sound well beyond
the confines of the unit and also incorporates
VoiceAdjust, which enables the listener to make
fine adjustments to the bass and voice levels for
clearer dialogue – perfect when using with budget
TVs but less applicable when used as a meatier
boom box for your Mac or iOS device.
Contained within the Signa Solo are four 2.5inch drivers, which are hidden behind a fabric
grille, with bass ports at either end to project the
throbbing rumbles out into the room. On top are
five small round buttons for power, Bluetooth
pairing, source selection and volume adjustment
and around the back is a small selection of
connection ports comprising only of optical
and a 3.5mm AUX input. The unit can be wallmounted thanks to two keyhole mounts at either
end. Also included in the box is a slightly tacky
remote, though this does feature an abundance of
buttons to let you switch sources and control the
aforementioned VoiceAdjust features.
Sound-wise the Signa Solo really impresses.
The vocals take centre stage and, although it
doesn’t have the range to really pull apart and
separate the instruments, there is no noticeable
distortion or deal-breaking rattles and hums.
Close your eyes and you’ll never think that you’re
listening to one the cheapest soundbars on the
market. Highly recommended.
Buttons on top of the unit enable you to
switch sources, pair via Bluetooth and
adjust the volume…
A stylish fabric grille along the front of the
unit conceals four 2.5-inch drivers and
some central indicator LEDs
The sound quality could be better, there could be more connectivity
and the remote sucks. All that aside, this is by far the
best soundbar available for under £200.
The remote feels cheap and tacky, but
it does at least boast a wide array of
buttons for fine-tuning the sound…
91 91
Mous Limitless
iPhone X Case
Toast iPhone X
Brainwavz Delta
Proof that good iPhone cases don’t
have to cost extortionate amounts
of cash, Mous’s Limitless case
boasts a suitably macho carbon
fibre design and enough science
behind the scenes to make a
mockery of the modest price. The
case is fashioned out of AiroShock,
a material capable of absorbing
tremendous impact by utilising
micro crystals that turn into micro
air pockets at high temperatures.
Durable and desirable.
Made from real wood and lasercut with exacting precision for a
perfect fit, Toast’s sleek wooden
iPhone X covers are designed to
provide protection without adding
bulk to your handset. Sanded and
finished to showcase the grain,
they feel deliciously smooth and
smell fantastic. The only downside
is that they feature adhesive
backing to stick to your phone and
that doesn’t always stay stuck to
curved contours.
Dispelling the myth that cheap
headphones equate to flatsounding headphones, Brainwavz’s
Delta IEM Noise Isolating
Earphones feature dynamic 8mm
drivers encased in an all-metal
housing that make any music
sound sharp and very pleasing.
The earphones come with a cool
carry case, replacement tips and
the design features a built-in mic
and remote in the cable. Incredible
sound at an unfathomable price.
SRM Mouse
The SRM Mouse from BakkerElkhuizen features a vertical
‘handshake’ grip that means that your wrist won’t bend
sideways as much as with conventional mice and the
lower arm requires less inward rotation. The result is much
less muscle activity – and possibly strain – in the lower arm
than when using a standard mouse. The unit features two
buttons and a scroll wheel and has a powerful laser sensor
and the option to choose between 400, 1600 and 3200
DPI. While it takes a little getting used to and is nowhere
near as aesthetically-pleasing as an Apple mouse, this
nevertheless will do wonders at reducing the symptoms
and causes of RSI.
Avanca D1 Sports
Designed to withstand the rigours of sport and
strenuous activity, Avanca’s ultra-light and flexible D1
Sports Headset comprises of two ear pods connected
by a single wire strand designed to sit across the back
of your head. You can connect the headset to your
iPhone via Bluetooth 4.1 and pairing is as easy as
holding down the micro power-on button situated on
the left pod. The sound is remarkably good and the
headset can motor on for six hours on a full charge.
Bose Soundlink Micro
While there is undoubtedly a Bluetooth speaker for every
taste and listening scenario, we have never seen one as
portable as Bose’s Soundlink Micro. Built for leisure and
activity, the palm-sized pod features a tear-resistant strap
that can be used to attach it to anything – a backpack,
handlebars, belt buckle etc – and it is waterproofed
enough to withstand a dip in the ocean, let alone a
torrential downpour. While the sound it produces is fullblooded and clear, you can also download a free Bose
Connect app for your iPhone to tailor it further. Brilliant.
Drag and drop
Make it yours
Menu bar item
“It’s hard to
believe that this
app isn’t already
a part of macOS”
Learn more
Available from
Mac App Store
Although many of us like to keep tidy, organised
Mac desktops, in reality we usually just create yet
another folder to drag all of our desktop junk into
to sort out later. But Unclutter goes one better by
supplying a dropdown drawer into which you can
drag anything from your desktop to store out of
the way, as well as jot down quick notes and copy
content to a viewable clipboard.
When the app is launched you can move your
mouse cursor to the top of the screen and then
scroll down to access the Unclutter drawer.
Alternatively it will drop down automatically when
you drag items to the top of the screen. An
accompanying menu bar item will also be present
that you can use to tailor the app’s preferences to
suit your needs. For example, you can set default
locations for the files that you drag into the drawer
or the notes that you make and also bump up the
amount of items that your clipboard history keeps
from ten to 50. You can also alter the appearance
of the drawer by changing the colour scheme if you
prefer dark or slightly more conservative hues.
If you don’t use any of the three panels within
the drawer then they can be disabled to dedicate
more space to the ones that you do use. For such
a simple application the freedom you have to make
it your own is impressive. What’s also worth noting
about the app is that all of your dragged files and
notes will auto-sync across all of your Macs via
Dropbox without you lifting a finger.
Unclutter is one of those apps that boggles the
mind as to how it isn’t already part of macOS. It
is incredibly easy to use and tucks away out of
sight when not in use so you don’t even know it’s
there (especially if you disable the menu bar item).
Knowing how congested our Mac desktops get in
such a short space of time, this is exactly what we
need to keep our key files accessible.
A simple and effective app that helps keep your desktop tidy
while placing key utilities within quick and easy reach.
Discover the no.1 choice for web designers and developers.
Each issue is packed with the latest trends, technologies and
techniques, plus exclusive video tutorials. Don’t miss it!
Aperture rules
Who needs roads? Use whatever
Practice makes perfect
Bridge Constructor
Ramp it up
“You’ll need to fire
off your portals
with perspirationinducing
precision at just
the right moment”
Learn more
Available from
Mac App Store
While we eagerly wait for another Portal game
after 2011’s Portal 2 we’ll happily gobble up
anything, spin-off or otherwise, bearing the Portal
name. Thankfully, this is a mash-up that really
works. It manages to breathe new life into the
old Lemmings-style game format while allowing
players back into the Aperture Labs to have fun
with the Portal Gun.
The aim of the game is simple: you have to
guide a constantly-moving vehicle across a set
of obstacles to an extraction point by building
bridges. The challenge comes in the correct
positioning of the various ramps and towers to
ensure that they can withstand the load, and, of
course, in utilising your arsenal of portals to keep
things motoring along nicely.
Things start off in a rudimental fashion with
one barely having to engage the brain to breeze
through the game’s initial levels. But things soon
get much tougher and you will need to fire off
your portals with perspiration-inducing precision
at just the right moment in order to succeed. And
where at first glance the puzzles seem utterly
mind-boggling, you can attempt them as many
times as you want, allowing you to work through
each stage of the puzzle in turn before you put
your well-choreographed construction routines
into practice. Progression feels very satisfying and
once you master moving one vehicle through the
level you can ramp up the difficulty to try and cope
with a whole convoy – but how will the added
weight affect your current build strategies?
The Portal factor certainly adds extra fun to an already enjoyable puzzle series. The
result is a highly-challenging brain-teaser that you’ll struggle to put down.
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
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iBook G3
Release date
21 July, 1999
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