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iCreate UK - Issue 191 2018

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Master your Mac’s new features
Create a dynamic desktop • Become a Safari expert
Boost your security • Work easier with Dark Mode
iOS 12
iPhone Xs
Plus XS Max and
XR models
Use the new
Siri shortcuts
Create your
Manage your
Series 4
vinyl to iTunes
The gear, the apps, the
complete process explained!
iCreate 191
“Enjoy that delightful vinyl crackle as an
alternative to Apple Music’s remasters”
As I am, apparently, notoriously hard to buy presents for
(tech, guitars, what’s the problem?), my beloved wife,
typically stuck for ideas one Christmas, decided to buy
me a USB turntable. This awoke something of a
monster in me and new shelving was promptly erected
in my home office to accommodate the dusted-down
LPs of my youth. Maiden, Zep and Sisters of Mercy
were all rolled out for fresh new rotations and, best of
all, I could now port this music across to my Mac, so
that I didn’t have to fork out for the same music again
and could enjoy that delightful vinyl crackle as an
alternative to Apple Music’s faultless remasters. Starting
on page 46 we guide you through the process of
transferring your vinyl collection to your iTunes library.
This month we also help you hit the ground running
with macOS Mojave, the autumn update that brings an
array of new features, tweaks and settings to your Mac,
and we present a selection of iOS 12-themed tutorials to
help you become an expert in all of the great new things
that your iPhone and iPad can do. Enjoy the issue!
Ryan Butt Editor
Meet the experts
David Crookes
Shaun McGill
George Cairns
This month our mobile tech mastermind
provides easy-to-follow tutorials to help you
get up to speed with the recent iOS 12 and
watchOS 5 updates.
This issue, tech expert Shaun has provided
the complete, instant-expert guide to macOS
Mojave that includes tutorials to help you
master all of the new features and settings.
Our creative expert demonstrates how to
remove unwanted people from your Final Cut
Pro projects and provides ways to make your
iPhone photos look super-sharp.
Instant-expert guides to help you
master your Mac’s latest features!
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The gear, the apps, the
complete process explained!
Get more from your devices
24 Photos
•฀Add post-production
sharpening to your photos
26 iMovie
•฀How to create smooth-flowing
action sequences
28 Final Cut Pro X
How to update your AirPort to
the latest firmware
•฀Remove unwanted people
from your projects
30 GarageBand
•฀Discover the new roots and
jazz Drummers
32 Logic Pro X
•฀Learn how to design sounds
with Track Stacks
36 macOS
How to fix a bad internet
connection on your Mac
•฀Update your AirPort firmware
•฀Create contact groups
•฀Migrate your photo library
•฀Find out how to fix a bad
internet connection
•฀Boost your Mac security with
Murus Lite
58 iOS
•฀How to build Siri automations
with Shortcuts
•฀Create a Memoji in iOS 12
•฀How to manage your
notifications in iOS 12
•฀Tackle pop-up scams in Safari
•฀Create custom wallpaper
•฀How to block anything on
your iPhone
•฀Discover how to take better
portraits with iOS 12
Build Siri automations in iOS 12
with Shortcuts
72 watchOS
•฀Listen to podcasts on your
Apple Watch
•฀Start an Activity competition
•฀Raise your Watch to speak
to Siri
•฀How to make Apple Watch
icons the same size
78 tvOS
•฀How to play HQ Trivia on
your Apple TV
Visit the iC
online shoreate
p at
for back is
bookazine sues,
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this month…
Features, reviews and expert advice
08 Trending News
We take an in-depth look at Apple’s
brand-new range of iPhones,
including the Xs, Xs Max and XR
10 5 Things
Find out what we’ve discovered this
month, including the long-awaited
AirPort update and Watch Series 4
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 Lenco L-400BK Direct
Drive USB Turntable
88 Klipsch The Three
Bluetooth Speaker
89 Audio Technica AT-LP5
Direct Drive Turntable
90 Klipsch The One
Bluetooth Speaker
91 Edifier W855BT
Bluetooth Headphones
92 Accessories
94 Final Draft 11
96 Life is Strange:
Before The Storm
Learn how to manage your
notifications in iOS 12
Free with
your magazine
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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…
• Over 15 minutes of expert iOS
and macOS video guides
from MacMost
• This issue's creative tutorial
files to follow along with
• Royalty-free fonts
• Stock video clips to enhance
your video-editing armour
• Stunning new wallpapers to
brighten up your Mac desktop
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Which iPhone
should you buy?
Everything you need to know to ensure you get the perfect iPhone for your needs
The iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max are
the most advanced iPhones ever, but
come with a hefty price tag
As Apple fans we get
treated multiple times
throughout the year with
stunning new product
announcements. The
keynotes themselves are grand affairs
that have become so big it’s hard to
comprehend how tech companies
drummed up marketing to support their
latest launches before. Apple does this
better than anyone, and September’s
event was no different. We saw not
one, not two, but three new iPhones
launched. Great news indeed, but which
iPhone should be top of your list? That’s
where we come in, to digest all the news
and tell you exactly what it means for
you. We’ll look at key differentiators
to help making that torturous buying
process just that little bit easier. Let’s
start with the iPhone Xs…
The iPhone Xs range comes in two
options – the standard Xs at 5.8 inches
and the flagship Xs Plus at a whopping
6.5 inches. The display is the biggest
differentiator here. You get the same Super
Retina custom OLED display but the
performance benefits from the Xs Plus are
marked. The display resolution is obviously
greater and, perhaps significantly, battery
performance is a notch above standard Xs
too. Inside, the Xs is packed with the type
of cutting-edge features and specs that
you’d expect.
“iPhone Xs is packed with nextgeneration technologies and is a huge step
forward for the future of the smartphone,”
says Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice
president of Worldwide Marketing.
“Everything is state of the art including the
industry-first 7-nanometer A12 Bionic chip
with 8-core Neural Engine, faster Face ID
and an advanced dual camera system that
shoots Portrait mode photos with Smart
HDR and dynamic depth of field. iPhone Xs
Max offers the biggest display ever in an
iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max shoot the
highest-quality video of any smartphone
“iPhone Xs Max offers the biggest display ever
in an iPhone with the biggest battery ever”
iPhone with the biggest battery ever in an
iPhone, delivering up to an hour and a half
more battery life in your day.”
This is ultimately Apple’s best-ever –
and most expensive – iPhone, but is this
different enough from the original iPhone
X? That’s a question to ask yourselves.
Note there is a new 512GB storage option
(that’s a serious amount of storage) and
a gold colour choice to be had. It is also
available to buy in store and online right
now and stock levels are good, which is
important to an Apple fan who wants the
latest and greatest and doesn’t want to
have to wait.
photos capability. And the best bit? You’re
looking at saving in advance of £250+ on
the Xs range. All in all, the XR makes a
great case to be your next iPhone. Just a
shame you’ll have to wait until October 26
for its launch – a whole month after the Xs
iPhones are released.
“iPhone XR helps us reach even more
people with the latest iPhone innovations,”
says Schiller. “The XR has a gorgeous new
aerospace-grade aluminium and glass
enclosure that has IP67 protection from
liquids and dust, long all-day battery life
and comes in six beautiful finishes. iPhone
XR makes it possible for even more people
to have the great experience of the latest
iPhone X technology, in beautiful new
designs, at a more affordable price.”
As always, the technology has improved
greatly over the past 12 months, but that
shouldn’t rule the iPhone 8 range – or even
the iPhone 7 – out of consideration. The
most studious among us will have already
noted that these are where the great deals
are to be had. Phone companies heavily
discount older ranges when the brand-new
ones come out, so if you’re after a bargain
or you’re not wowed by September’s
iPhone launches, then you could do a lot
worse than pick up an iPhone 8 or 7 – still
brilliant smartphones, but lacking a bit of
cutting-edge now.
Budget beauty
Perhaps we are actually most excited
by the iPhone XR. This is essentially the
long-awaited follow-up to the iPhone
SE, Apple’s much-celebrated ‘budget’
smartphone. While the SE mimicked a
previous generation for its design, the XR
takes all its cues from the latest-gen X
range. It looks amazing and performance is
just as you would expect from a brand-new
iPhone. The only caveats are a single rearfacing camera (so no advanced shooting)
and it doesn’t sport the new OLED displays
– you’ll have to put up with the LCD option,
but that isn’t a deal-breaker for us. But it
does have a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display
that you won’t find anywhere else, FaceID
authentication, the new A12 Bionic chip
and Portrait mode and Portrait Lighting
iPhone XR is splash- and water-resistant rated
IP67 and protects against everyday spills
Apple Watch
Series 4 wows!
Bigger, faster, louder and now with an ECG
Things we learned
this month
Apple’s Watch,
now in its fourth
iteration, has been
redesigned. It now
comes in bigger sizes
(40mm and 44mm), features a 30
per cent bigger screen and a louder
speaker. Performance is twice as
fast yet battery is still ‘all-day’, while
watchOS 5 brings advanced activity
and communications features, along
with revolutionary health capabilities
like an electrical heart rate sensor that
can take an electrocardiogram (ECG)
using the new ECG app.
“The completely redesigned Apple
Watch Series 4 continues to be
an indispensable communication
and fitness companion,” says Jeff
Williams, Apple’s chief operating
officer. “And now with the addition
of groundbreaking features, like fall
detection and the first-ever ECG app
offered directly to consumers, it also
becomes an intelligent guardian for
your health.”
New feature list for HomePod HomePod
HomePod, Apple’s home
speaker, has been given
a huge update. The new
features let you do even more with
your speaker, including the ability to
search by lyrics, set multiple timers
and make and receive phone calls.
So, instead of searching by specific
Apple set for bumper
October event Apple news
If you thought Apple was out of new products to
unveil in 2018 – think again! Apple’s September
12 event gave us three additions to the iPhone
X range and a brand-new Apple Watch Series 4, but little
else in the way of new shiny things. All reports suggest
Apple has new Macs (we’re expected Mac mini and
MacBook Air upgrades), an iPad Pro that could land a
4K screen and maybe even AirPower, a new wireless
charging solution for various iOS models. It wouldn’t be
the first time Apple has separated its product launches, so
keep your eyes peeled for more fun!
track, HomePod will understand if
you search by singing a song’s lyrics
at it, it will let you set multiple timers
depending on the task you’re doing,
and can now be used as a phone via
Siri with crystal clear sound quality.
Other new features include Find My
Phone and a range of Siri shortcuts.
The Series 4 Apple Watch is twice as fast
as previous models with no extra drain on
the battery life…
Group FaceTime is
coming to iOS 12.1 FaceTime
FaceTime, the
feature that was pulled
from the official release
of iOS 12, will be part
of an iOS 12.1 update.
The major update to
FaceTime on all Apple
devices is part of the
public beta of iOS
12.1. The public beta is
available to anyone who
signs up for it via Apple’s
beta testing website.
Group FaceTime is
designed to let you voice
or video chat with up to
32 people at one time
on an iPhone, iPad or
Mac. Calls can also be
answered in a voice-only
capacity using Apple
Watch or HomePod.
Apple gives AirPort Express
AirPlay 2 functionality AirPort
In a surprise move, Apple has added a firmware update to its
AirPort base station that adds AirPlay 2 functionality. This means
you can add an additional wireless speaker to your setup, just
by plugging a wired speaker into the AirPort Express’s AUX port and then
sending sound from your Apple device. Eager readers of this page will
remember back in April when Apple announced it was discontinuing its entire
Wi-Fi station range, so this news will be welcomed by those users who have
kept hold of their ‘vintage’ product – not something that can always be said
by Apple users. Find out how to update the firmware on page 36.
arkup is something that has been gradually implemented into
macOS and iOS and has been steadily improved to meet the
needs of the user. You can now add annotations to anything
and share the results with other people to collaborate. Taking a few
moments out to master Markup mode is sure to aid your productivity.
Mark up your
When iOS 11 was released this
time last year, it introduced a
system where you could start
annotating screenshots taken
on your iOS device as soon
as the image is taken. This
certainly saved the time of
having to open them in your
Photos app.
1Take a screenshot 2 Mark it up
Press the side/lock button
and the Home button together
and you will see a thumbnail of
the image in the Dock – tap it.
The screenshot that you
took will now be opened in
Markup mode. Use the tools
available to add annotations.
3 Save image
When you have finished,
tap ‘Done’ and you will be able
to share or save the modified
screenshot to your Photos app.
The oldfashioned way
If you don’t have the latest
version of iOS installed to
enjoy the very latest Markup
features then don’t worry
because the basic features
stretch right back so you’ll be
able to enjoy the benefits on
older devices.
1Open an image 2 Select Markup 3Modify image
Go to your Photos app and
open an image that you would
like to annotate, then tap on the
edit icon in the top corner.
Next, tap on the ‘…’ icon
and you will see the ‘Markup’
option. Tap this and you will be
presented with all of the tools.
You can now add
annotations, magnify sections,
add notes and more. Tap ‘Done’
when you have finished.
1Select Edit
2 Click Extensions 3 Get creative
photos on Mac
Marking up photos on your
Mac follows a similar method
to iOS, but you have far more
tools at your disposal, such as
the option to draw freehand
shapes that are auto-corrected
into more professional-looking
versions. There is much to try.
In the Photos app on your
Mac, double-click on an image to
open it and then click the ‘Edit’
option in the toolbar.
Now click on the ‘…’
Extensions icon in the top-right
corner and select ‘Markup’ from
the menu of options.
The Mac Markup tools allow
you to draw freehand shapes that
then snap into more professional
versions and much more…
Available at WHSmith,
or simply search for ‘T3’ in your device’s App Store
Mojave is more than a few new features. It’s a whole new way of
working once you understand what you can do with the changes
acOS Mojave
doesn’t set the
headline writers
running into overdrive with
stunning new features that
move the computing industry
forward in a big way, but
it does offer some serious
efficiencies and benefits
for those of you who use
macOS on a daily basis.
With considered improvements
made to a variety of areas,
a little knowledge will help
you to take full advantage of
them and use them as part of
your workflow to make your
Mac experience quicker
and easier, and most
importantly to
make your output of better
quality than previously.
Mojave builds upon High
Sierra, which proved to be a
stable and efficient platform,
and it tweaks some of the most
used features so they work in a
more natural way. With this
in mind, in the following guide
we are going to demonstrate
how to use these features
so you can ensure that you
are getting the very best from
Mojave right from the start.
We all have our
own quirky ways of working
with our computers, but
knowing the best way to use
them is akin to adding more
RAM or a faster processor
to your Mac. Sometimes
the biggest drawback of a
computer can be the user.
We shall now attempt to
make you a macOS Mojave
genius with the help of some
simple guides. Take your time,
enjoy the ride and impress
yourself with how quickly it all
comes together.
iOS 12 Genius
A dynamic desktop
Let your Mac mirror the outside world using an automated and hidden feature
Dynamic Desktop is very easy to miss – unusually, it isn’t even a
feature as such, but rather one small offering within the Desktop &
Screen Saver section in System Preferences. Setting it up requires
1 Find the feature
In System Preferences go to Desktop
& Screen Saver and click ‘Desktop’. You
should see Mojave (Dynamic) listed.
merely activating it and then letting time do the rest of the work
for you. It has no practical use at all apart from letting the outside
world influence your Mac experience in the most subtle of ways.
2 Activate it
Click the Mojave (Dynamic) icon and
the desktop wallpaper will change. That is
all you have to do to use Dynamic Desktop.
3 Let it work
As time passes the wallpaper will
change to mirror the outside conditions.
The shading and effects are truly stunning.
Arrange your desktop automatically
If you use the Desktop as a quick way to manage often-used files, the new Stacks
feature will save you lots of time and make your virtual filing cabinet more organised
1 Locate the option
2 Enable Stacks
3 Cleaning up
4 Choose how to view
5 Extra personalisation
6 Expand Stacks
Open Finder and then minimise the
main window. Now click ‘View’ to see new
options appear for the desktop.
Back in the View menu, click
‘Group Stacks By’ and then choose your
preference from Date Modified, Taps, etc.
Click ‘Use Stacks’ and you will see
the desktop icons immediately move to the
right in a uniform and logical order.
You can still select View>Show View
Options to customise icon size and grid
spacing to your preferred view.
Your desktop just took on a new order
that literally took you no time at all to
create. It’s magic.
When you click on a Stack it will open
and display the files within it. Click again
to immediately close the Stack.
an iOSMojave
12 Genius
Complete Metadata
The new Metadata view offers all of the information
you need to understand your files in finite detail
1 Set your options
In Finder, click View>Show View
Options and tick all of the data you wish to
see that is associated to the file.
2 In the Gallery
Now in the Gallery view, when the file
is selected you will see a list of metadata
showing all of the information you require.
3 Use the data
You can now copy and paste data
selectively and use it in other apps. The
information can be used system-wide.
News comes to the Mac
Apple News is just as impressive on macOS as
it is on iOS and it’s very easy to use
When you open Apple News for the first
time in Mojave every part of the interface
makes perfect sense in a visual way. You
can edit the content shown by clicking the
‘Edit’ button in the left-hand column and
then remove any of the topics displayed (1).
This will ensure that you are not overloaded
with content that does not interest you.
The content itself is displayed with imagery
taking just as much importance as the
words (2), but when you click any one,
the full articles are displayed for you to
dig into at any time. You can easily share
each article with a single click (3) which
can potentially make it a social as well as
informative experience and at any point you
have the ability to view anything you want
in seconds and to dictate exactly what is
displayed throughout the app. The ‘Top
Stories’ let you see just the most important
events (4) and are perfect for a quick
catchup in the morning before the day
begins. Apple News is designed to keep
you informed and to make the process
of doing that as quick and convenient
as possible, and there is no doubt that it
succeeds within macOS. A small amount
of time spent perusing the interface will let
you see just how impressive it is.
Master macOS Mojave
More secure than ever
Much of the added security in Mojave has
been built by Apple to be seamless and
almost invisible in use, so you won’t need
to do much work to be a genius in this
area. We will highlight the updates and the
benefits they offer, but our main tip here is
to understand what has changed and to
take the same precautions you would when
using any computing system online. macOS
is now more secure than ever.
A little better
The new changes build on
what is already an extremely
secure operating system from
a company whose philosophy
has always been to safeguard
your privacy. It is just a little
more secure in Mojave.
When you create new
passwords, Mojave will ensure
that they are automatically
stronger than previously. They
may look unwieldy, but they
are automatically entered in
future when you are logged
into your Mac.
App approvals
Tracking Prevention
Apps have to get your
permission to access your
voice, image or any other
sensitive information. Make
sure you trust the app in
question before you agree
to the pop-up box that
will appear.
When surfing the web, Mojave
will do its best to ensure that
advertisers cannot track you
from site to site. This is done
by default and should allow
you a more anonymous
online experience.
A new App Store
The Mac App Store has received a much needed modernisation
To purchase new Mac apps, using the App Store is much easier
and safer than doing so direct from developers. While the second
option is perfectly viable and has its advantages, the Apple system
1 Big and bold
The best new apps show prominently
on the main screen. The auto-play feature
shows each in order – click to access them.
suits those who are busy and who do not want to worry about
registration codes, etc. In Mojave the entire interface has been
improved and discoverability is front and centre now.
2 Learn something new 3 Smoother updates
In each category you will find topics
which guide you through learning new skills
and the associated apps you need.
The app update process is now easier
and more obvious in use, and will feel
simple from the first time you access it.
an iOSMojave
12 Genius
iPhone photos to macOS
Use your iPhone to instantly insert better quality photos into your documents
Mojave adds a photo-centric feature that could be overlooked,
but when it is used your workflow will become more efficient and
produce results way ahead of what a Mac camera is capable of.
You can now access a simple menu option to connect to your
iPhone, snap the photo you need and then have it automatically
inserted into the document you are working in. The process is
simple and the end result is always exactly what you would expect,
which are of course hallmarks of the macOS way of working.
1 Set it up
2 The right-click
3 Select your iPhone
4 Use the photo
5 The best quality
6 All done
1 Enable Dark Mode
2 Accent colours
Go to System Preferences>General
and make sure that the ‘Allow Handoff
between this Mac and iCloud devices’
box is ticked.
Once the photo has been taken, tap
‘Use Photo’ on your iPhone and it will be
inserted into your document on the Mac.
The process could not be more seamless.
While in a document, find where you
want to place a new image and select
‘Take Photo’. This is the only option you
need to access for new iPhone photos.
An iPhone-quality image can now be
edited within the document. Aside from
FaceTime, it’s likely you will never use the
Mac camera again.
A new pop-up panel will appear. Click
it and the Camera app will open on your
iPhone. You are now ready to snap a new
photo and follow the process to insert it.
Once inserted and edited you can
continue to add text etc. Remember that
the Mac and iPhone need to be connected
to the same Wi-Fi network for this to work.
Dark Mode
Dark Mode is the most visually obvious
change to come to Mojave, but it is about
much more than merely making the macOS
environment darker than before. A huge
amount of effort has been put into creating
an interface that works consistently and
sensitively no matter what you need to get
done and the end result is different than
what you will see on any other platform.
Go to System Preferences>General
and click the ‘Dark’ icon at the top. You
will see the interface change instantly.
You can now change the accent
colour to your preference. Check all of
the options.
Master macOS Mojave
Quick Look
Edit and annotate files without needing to open them in compatible apps
In Mojave, macOS has taken on new abilities with the Quick Look
feature letting you make changes to specific files without needing
to open up compatible apps that would otherwise be required to
edit them. With just a tap of the spacebar a new panel will appear
which will indicate if changes can be made this way and if so you
will see a selection of tools at the top for you to play with. This
feature is sure to be one that’s well used in the future once you are
familiar with how it works.
1 Almost any file
2 Are there tools?
3 Annotate images
4 Managing PDFs
5 Trimming media files
6 It’s not universal
3 Dark Apple apps
4 Consistently different
5 Third-party apps
With a file displayed in Finder or even
if just selected in a list view, you can hit
the spacebar and a new panel will appear
in an instant. No menus to select.
PDF files can be annotated using
similar tools to the ones available for
images. You can also quickly add saved
signatures without opening any other app.
Official Apple apps already work in
Dark Mode and the results in, for example,
the Finder Gallery view show this.
If you can make changes to the file
without a compatible app you will see tools
at the top that you can use. Take some
time to see what each tool does.
You can also trim video and audio
files using Quick Look which is one of the
biggest time savers of all. The changes
made will be saved instantly.
From the Calendar to Stocks, Dark
Mode takes the best of each interface and
highlights what you need to focus on.
Annotating images is easy in Quick
Look with a variety of tools to play with
and to make additions with before you
share them with others through one click.
Many file types will need a compatible
app to work, of which text-based files will
make up the majority. Press the spacebar
to check for Quick Look functionality.
Third-party app developers can also
use Dark Mode. Press the spacebar to
check for Quick Look functionality.
Master macOS Mojave
Screenshots come of age
Screenshots are no longer a hidden feature, but rather a tool you can use every day
Screenshots are not merely useful for when you have a tech
support problem. They can be used for a variety of tasks and in
Mojave the feature now mimics the flow of iOS to give you obvious
visual indicators and the ability to make changes to the resulting
image before you share it with others. You may find you use
screenshots much more in future.
1 Snap a shot
2 Time to edit
3 Share the screenshot
4 A new home
5 New options
6 Job done
Press Shift-Cmd-4 to snap a new
screenshot and click the thumbnail that
appears in the bottom right-hand corner.
Use Shift-Ctrl-5 to see a new interface
for screenshots. Notice the selection of
tools at the bottom of the screen.
You can now mark up the image with
annotations and shapes using the tools at
the top. The process is very logical.
The ‘Options’ feature lets you choose
the location for the saved screenshot and
set a timer to select a specific moment.
Click the sharing icon top-right and
choose the app you want to use. You can
save the screenshot if you need to keep it.
Click ‘Capture’ and the screenshot will
be taken as expected and you can now
mark it up and edit as you require.
A new reading experience
Apple Books, formerly iBooks, will guide you through the purchasing,
perusing and reading of new books with style
1 Understand the interface 2 View and download
The books environment has been
cleaned up and filled with more visually
appealing elements.
The individual book listing is also
cleaner than before. Click ‘Download’ or
‘Buy’ to start reading a new title.
3 Time to read
You can now enjoy Apple Books at its
best as you discover that reading a book on
a Mac is achievable and enjoyable.
Master macOS Mojave
The new apps
Some traditional iOS classics have made
their way to the Mac in Mojave
Voice Memos looks very similar to the iOS app that has been
redesigned for iOS 12 (1) and is extremely easy to use. Click the
large record button and away you go, using the Mac microphone
to capture some quick thoughts while working. It’s an example of
Apple’s efforts to bridge the design gap between iOS and macOS
without making either app look out of place. The new Stocks app
offers pricing history going back a decade and more (2) while
retaining the clean interface that presents the data in an easily
readable form. The stocks are available in the left-hand column (3)
and can be edited at any time to give you just the data you need
when you need it. Even better, the interface is clean enough to
minimise the dimensions of the app to view while you are working
in another app. To add context to the pricing, financial news is
present (4) which is taken from the new Apple News app which
highlights how well the data flows between the apps and across
Mojave itself. These new apps feel like a breath of fresh air on a full
computing platform with mobile ease of use coming to the desktop
in a way that never feels too simple. The learning curve for each is
also incredibly short which can only be a good thing.
A new(ish) Safari
The subtle changes in Safari are easy to learn and once you know they are there you can use
them each time to browse the web. You don’t need to be a genius to understand them.
1 New favicons
You will see favicons in each tab when
browsing in future. A tiny change, but one
that adds obvious cues.
2 View reused passwords 3 Change passwords
Go to Safari Preferences>Passwords
and check for reused passwords which are
highlighted by a warning icon.
4 Share your passwords 5 Some removals
Right-click any password and choose
‘Share with AirDrop’ to share with someone
you trust. A convenient new feature.
The block pop-up option has been
removed as has the plugin section. These
are no longer required in Safari preferences.
Click ‘Details’ when any password is
highlighted and change it as required. This
resolves the reused password issue.
6 Better than ever
There are other background tweaks in
Safari which make it more compelling than
ever. It’s easily the default option.
Master macOS Mojave
Developer improvements
From Machine Learning to Metal 2, developers will
improve the capabilities of Mojave even further
In Mojave there are a number of innovations
and improved tools that will allow
developers to enhance their apps and thus
improve your experience when using the
operating system. While you do not need to
understand exactly how they work, knowing
what they can do will allow you to look
out for the newest developments and to
even potentially have a go at programming
yourself to take advantage of what is there.
Developers are the backbone of macOS
and iOS for us users and new tools mean
a more productive environment for all of
us in the future.
3 UIKit frameworks
The new UIKit frameworks will let
developers port their iOS apps to Mojave
in a more streamlined fashion which has
the potential to give us more macOS apps.
1 Machine Learning
2 Metal 2
4 Safari improvements
5 The future is bright
With Machine Learning (Core ML 2)
and a few lines of code, developers can
create apps that take advantage of Siri, the
camera and other areas in intelligent ways.
Developers will now be able to use
OpenType-SVG fonts and CSS colour
support in WebKit to create more involved
web experiences for their users.
Gaming graphics are about to stun
you even more thanks to near-direct
access to the graphics processing unit
allowing developers more control.
No matter what Mac you use, with
Mojave you can look forward to a future of
more advanced functionality through Apple
and thousands of third-party developers.
Better email
Mail has changed, very slightly, for the better…
Mail retains the look and functionality that you have become used
to over many years of use. It all feels identical to what was there
in High Sierra, but there are changes that are worth understanding
1 Move to…
There is a new ‘Move to…’ icon in the
top menu bar which you can click to quickly
transfer an email to a specific folder.
and which will offer some benefits as you become familiar with how
they work. Email is a repetitive function no matter how you use it so
any changes that speed up its use are more than welcome.
2 Quick emojis
The emoji picker, top-right, lets you
add personality to emails with just a couple
of clicks. It feels more consistent with iOS.
3 Suggested folders
Folders are now also suggested when
moving emails. Small time savings in
different areas soon add up.
Master macOS Mojave
Group FaceTime calls
FaceTime has been greatly enhanced in
Mojave and it is now capable of being
used in business as well as at home.
It retains its ease of use and has the
potential to become one of the most
widely-used communication tools.
Front and centre
The software intelligently understands
who is speaking and will increase the
size of the participants’ panel so that
the other callers can easily focus on
them. A very nice touch.
Multiple device support
People can join calls from Macs,
iPhones, iPads and even the Apple
Watch (voice only). Potentially,
geographical restrictions and any other
current activity will no longer stop you
from keeping in touch.
Easy to control
Big calls!
The controls will feel very familiar and
again feel similar to those offered in
iOS. You will instinctively understand
what you need to do from the first
time you use it.
Up to 32 people can attend a
call which makes it perfect for so
many different situations. With fast
connections, it feels less like a call and
more like a real chat.
Mojave secrets
Aside from the main changes in Mojave,
there are a raft of smaller additions and
tweaks that will never be discovered unless
you are pointed to their whereabouts and
functionality. Some hark back to days gone
by where Apple has chosen to keep apps
that many of the newest Macs cannot even
use due to removed hardware features, and
others add benefits that will only be needed
on occasion.
3 Find the DVDs
The DVD player lives on and you
can find it in System>Library>
1 Recent apps
2 A new lock screen
4 A better player
5 App permissions
You will notice this change because
recently used apps will now appear in their
own section in the Dock.
The DVD player has been upgraded
to 64-bit and also comes with support
for Touch Bar Macs.
The lock screen has been redesigned
and now has bigger icons and a larger
password field.
In System Preferences>Security &
Privacy>Privacy you can now quickly
change the permissions each app can use.
Add post-production sharpening
How to sharpen shots to reveal more detail while
keeping ugly sharpening artefacts at bay
Time needed
hen viewing a photo on your iPhone’s screen (or on
a digital SLR’s display) it might look nice and sharp.
However, the focus could look a little soft when full
size on your Mac’s screen. Fortunately Apple’s Photos app
boasts a collection of sharpening tools that can give a soft shot
much more impact. Post-production sharpening works its magic
by increasing the contrast around the edges of a subject to
emphasise particular details, such as a pet’s fur. However, if you
over-sharpen a shot you run the risk of adding unsightly artefacts
such as grainy picture noise and dark or bright halos clinging to
contrasting edges. Here’s how to get a balance between teasing
out more detail while minimising artefacts.
Sharper shooting
Adjusting the contrast of an image helps to emphasise
particular details, such as a pet’s fur…
Reveal delicate detail while avoiding artefacts
This slider increases
midtone contrast which
helps details such as the
fur look more defined. If
you push it too far you’ll
get an over-sharpened
look with dark halos.
More intense
The Intensity slider
increases contrast around
the edge of objects so they
stand out. It can however
blow out (over-expose)
brighter areas such as
specular highlights in eyes.
Knowledge base
In-camera sharpening
On the edge
To sharpen a shot more
effectively you need to
view its pixels at 100%.
To do so either tap the
Z key or drag the zoom
slider until a value of
100% is displayed.
The Edge slider increases
the spread of the edge
contrast change produced
by the Intensity slider. If
you push this slider too far
it can create halos (light or
dark outlines clinging to
contrasting edges).
Some DSLR cameras can electronically
sharpen a shot as they save it to the
memory card. Various in-camera
picture controls or styles add a range
of different sharpening amounts. This
pre-production sharpening may be too
strong. Turn your camera’s sharpening
settings to Low so you can control the
sharpness using the Photos app.
Sharpening in Photos is a non-destructive process. Experiment with settings
and at any time you can open a file and click the Revert to Original button.
Step-by-step Sharpen up soft shots
1 Import image
Choose File>Import. Browse to sharpen_
start.jpg. Click the ‘Review for Import’ button.
Double-click on the imported shot’s thumbnail.
Click the ‘Edit’ button at the top-right.
2 Magnify photo
Press the Z key to zoom into 100% (actual
size). Only at 100% can you effectively see
how sharp a shot really is. Drag with the Hand
tool to view a close-up of the dog’s face.
3 Access sharpening tools
In Adjust toggle open the Sharpen panel
to reveal the Intensity, Edges and Falloff sliders.
Click ‘Auto’. In this case the auto-sharpening is
too subtle. Click ‘Revert to Original’.
4 Understanding artefacts 5 Tweak the settings
Drag the three sharpening sliders to the
far right. This creates a sharper shot but blows
out the highlights on whiskers and adds grainy
picture noise to the soft-focus background.
Set Intensity to 0.81. This controls the
contrast change around edges. Lower the
Edges slider to 0.55 to shrink the spread of the
edge contrast change and reduce any halos.
6 Tweak Falloff
7 Before and after
8 Add definition
9 Fine-tune definition
Tap the M button to toggle between the
edited version and the less sharp original.
Bright contrasting features such as the dog’s
whiskers pop out in the sharpened version.
Go to Definition. This slider increases
midtone contrast to make delicate details such
as fur stand out. If you drag it too high it’ll add
dark halos around the edge of the dog.
Falloff controls the combined effect of
the Intensity and Edges slider. In this example
a value of 0.66 helps compromise between
sharpening the shot while minimising artefacts.
Drop the Definition panel’s Amount slider
to a more subtle 0.31. This teases out more
fur detail without adding noticeable dark halos
around the edge of the pet.
Create smoothflowing action
Use the Precision Editor to fine-tune your edit points
Time needed
hen filming repetitive action scenes (such
as a friend throwing stones into the ocean),
change your camera position to capture
your subject using different angles and shot sizes. As
well as giving you more ways to tell your story in the
edit, a wider range of angles and shot sizes helps add
visual variety to your project. We’ll show you how to
iMovie’s Precision Editor lets you string a series of shots
together in one smooth sequence…
use iMovie’s frame-accurate Precision Editor to cut a
series of shots together to make the action flow as a
smooth sequence, rather than as a series of separate
clips. The Precision editor enables you to sync up the
action of multiple clips. You can then fine-tune the in
an out-points of each clip quickly and easily to create a
sequence featuring clear continuity of action.
Use the Precision Editor
Fine-tune an edit point’s ins and outs
Refine an out-point
Drag an outgoing clip’s edit handle
left to choose an earlier out-point for
the clip. Drag the edit handle right to
create a later out-point. The out-point
frame selected by the edit handle will
appear in the viewer. The active edit
handle will change from grey to yellow.
Add edit point
When you click a grey
rectangle above a clip in
the Precision Editor it adds
an adjustable edit point to
the two adjacent clips. The
outgoing clip appears in the
top track. The incoming clip
appears in the bottom track.
Knowledge base
Precision transitions
If you have a transition in the timeline
then you can fine-tune the transition’s
duration by dragging its start or end
control handles in the Precision Editor.
You can also drag inside the transition
icon to fine-tune where the transition
begins and ends. This gives you more
control over the transition than you get
when working in the main timeline.
Refine an in-point
You can refine an incoming
clip’s in-point by dragging
its edit handle left or right.
Alternatively click on the
incoming clip on the lower layer
and drag it left or right to finetune the in-point. Sections of
the clip that won’t appear in the
edit are greyed out.
Split sound
Each clip’s soundtrack
has a separate edit handle
that enables you to make
the sound appear earlier
or later than the visual
cut. This is a quick and
effective way of making
split sound edits to help
bridge the cuts.
If you want to quickly access the Precision Editor, double-click on the
beginning or end of a clip in the timeline.
Step-by-step Edit the timing of action
1 Add clips to timeline
Import Action01, Action02, Action03 and
Action04 into a new event. Select the four clips
and drag them into the timeline. The four shots
will appear in consecutive order.
2 View the clips
In the footage the man throws a separate
stone in each clip. We can trim the clips to give
the illusion of a single stone-throwing action
captured from four different camera angles.
3 Add edit point
Double-click in the gap between Action01
and Action02 to summon the Precision Editor.
Click the rectangular grey ‘add edit point’ icon
between Action01 and 02.
4 Set Action01 out-point 5 Set Action02 in-point
Action01 on the top track is the outgoing
clip. Action02 below is the incoming clip. Drag
Action01’s vertical grey edit handle until the
man is just beginning to stand up.
On the bottom track drag Action02’s edit
handle to fine-tune where it starts (its in-point).
Place the man’s pose so that it matches the
same position in Action01’s out-point.
6 Check continuity
7 Match the action
8 Adjust the cut
9 Last cut
Click the ‘add edit point’ icon between
Action02 and 03. Drag Action02’s edit handle
until the stone has just left his hand. Drag
Action03’s edit handle to match the action.
The action is in sync in both shots. Drag
the rectangular grey edit point icon left to make
the action cut earlier from Action02 to 03. We
see more of the stone throw in the third shot.
Place the cursor in the grey bar between
the two layers; tap the spacebar. The action
will flow smoothly between Action01’s trimmed
out-point and Action02’s trimmed in-point.
Click the rectangular grey ‘add edit point’
icon between Action03 and 04. Adjust the
vertical grey handles for both clips so that we
cut as his right arm drops after the throw.
Final Cut Pro X
How to remove unwanted people
Use masking to hide unwanted people, even
when they move through the frame
Time needed
hen filming a tourist attraction you won’t always
be able to control where and when people wander
through the frame (unless you get up really early!).
Stray tourists can be annoying if you need a clean shot for a
documentary, or plan to sell the clip as stock footage without
worrying about getting model release forms signed.
In Photoshop you’d use the Clone Stamp tool to sample a
clean bit of building and spray it over unwanted people. Final Cut
Pro X doesn’t have a cloning tool, but by using layers and masks
you can get a similar result. Before using layers and masks to
remove unwanted people or objects, consider cropping a clip.
This can quickly remove items from the edge of the frame.
Using layers and masks
Animate masks with keyframes
Video layers
Here we have the same clip
on two parallel layers. By
offsetting the timing of the
layers we can replace walking
people on the top layer with
clean patches of building
from the layer below. This
leaves a people-free scene.
Control points
Here we’ve clicked to place
control points around the
unwanted people on the top
video layer. This dot-to-dot
technique lets you draw a
mask of any shape. Click
the last point on the first to
complete the mask.
If cropping fails then you can use Final Cut’s layers and
masks to remove stray people from your footage
with keyframes
Once you’ve drawn a mask
to hide the people on the top
layer you can make it follow
their movement by adding
keyframes. Drag inside the
mask to reposition it and add
a keyframe automatically.
Draw Mask
The Masks category of the
Effects browser contains the
handy Draw Mask tool. After
dragging this onto the top clip
in the timeline you can draw
a mask to remove the
unwanted people.
Knowledge base
Keyframe control points
As well as keyframing the position of a
mask you can keyframe its individual
control points. This enables you to
make the mask change shape to
include any changes to the subject
that it is hiding. For example, a walking
couple may separate for a second or
two, requiring the mask’s shape to
expand to continue hiding them.
The masking technique here only works if the people are moving. If they stand
still throughout the clip we can’t reveal the clean bits of building behind them.
Step-by-step Remove objects and people
1 Import clip
2 Crop out the scaffolding 3 Layer the clips
Zoom out to view at 50%. Press Shift+T
to activate the Transform tool. Drag the
corner handles to enlarge. Drag in the clip to
hide the scaffolding at the right. Click ‘Done’.
Set the clip size back to 100%. Click on
the timeline clip. Choose Edit>Copy, then
Edit>Paste. Drag the copied clip onto a layer
above the original clip.
4 Offset the action
5 Draw a mask
6 Complete the mask
7 Invert the mask
8 Animate the mask
9 Trim the clips
Choose File>New Event. Label it
‘Remove’. Choose File>Import Media. Browse
to and choose ‘Import
Selected’. Drag the clip into the Timeline.
Drag the top layer’s clip right so it starts
four seconds later than the below clip. When
people walk in the top layer they overlap a
clean patch of building on the layer below.
In Draw Mask, tick ‘Invert Mask’ to make
a hole on the top layer to reveal the clean
building from the layer below. The people on
the lower layer are hidden by the top layer.
Scrub the playhead to 6:05 to see the
unwanted people. Go to the Masks section
of Effects. Drag the Draw Mask tool onto the
top clip and draw points around the people.
In Draw Mask open Transforms. Click
the Add a Keyframe icon. At 8:13 drag the
mask over the people. This makes the mask
follow the people between 6:05 and 8:13.
Complete the mask by clicking the last
control point on the first. This hides the top
layer, apart from the people in the mask. You
can see two sets of people from both layers.
Scrub to 12:12 and drag the mask to
continue hiding the people. Use Trim>Blade
to chop the overlapping start and end points
of both clips. Now the people are hidden.
Discover the new
roots and jazz
We look at two new ‘brush-style’ Drummer players –
discover where to find them and how they perform
Time needed
ith every update to our beloved GarageBand,
Apple is incredibly generous in giving us
a little bit more of everything. The last
significant iteration up to version 10.3 back in June
bundled a shedload of extra goodies that we already
know included some handy Vintage Mellotron patches.
In addition to a ton of loops, we also received two new
Drummer players promising the kind of stick chops
GarageBand’s recent Drummer additions can add some
distinctive texture to your projects…
guaranteed to add some swing to your projects. Austin
and Tyrell are notable for wielding brushes in fact, with
Roots and Pop describing their styles respectively within
the Songwriter category. In the update literature they
were referred to as ‘Jazz’ and it’s true that both have
that jazzy, lounge-like shuffle groove going on, so in this
guide we’ll identify where they can be found and what
their beats can bring to your backing tracks.
Drummers detailed
Austin’s style
An overview of the two new players
Austin is influenced by roots
music, folk and Americana styles
to give brush-laden beats ranging
from stripped-down and minimal
grooves to more train-like rhythms.
His beat presets span ‘Dirt Road’
to ‘Round the Bend’ patterns.
Library selection
With a Drummer track
selected, the Library panel
(Y) shows the available
players within seven genre
categories. Navigate to
the Songwriter category to
find new Drummer players
Austin and Tyrell added to
the usual roster.
Knowledge base
Different strokes
Austin and Tyrell are distinctive due to
their use of brushes on the snare drum,
with each boasting subtle differences
in technique. Austin applies Brush Taps
that softly strike the drum in time with
the selected pattern, while Tyrell plays
Brush Sweeps that swirl and circle the
snare. The brush checkbox inside the
Drummer Editor changes between taps
and sweeps to reflect either player.
Tyrell’s style
Described as ‘Pop Brush’ in
style, Tyrell is in fact cited as
a master of classic jazz brush
technique and can deliver swirling
rhythmic textures across presets
spanning ‘Beyond the Moon’ to
‘Stardust’ that will suit quiet pop
songs or ballads.
Brush checkbox
Drummer players that use snare
brushes have a Brush Sweep
(Tyrell) or Brush Tap (Austin)
checkbox appear below the Kick &
Snare slider, adding a percussive
brush accompaniment to their
snare drum technique when
toggled on.
With GarageBand now supportive of multiple Drummer tracks within a single
project, Austin and Tyrell can be combined to mix and match brush patterns.
Step-by-step Discover roots and jazz Drummers
1 Project start
2 Create track
3 Choose Austin
4 Choose Tyrell
5 Drummer Editor
6 Brush toggling
1 Roots cause
2 Popular jazz
To start using any of the Drummer players,
you’ll need GarageBand launched and either
an existing or brand new project open before
we add a Drummer track in the next step.
Alternatively you can immediately switch
this or another Drummer track to the other
new brush player found below Austin, known
as Tyrell, offering a more jazz-pop style.
Navigate to Track>New Track in the
menu bar and ensure the yellow Drummer is
selected within the ‘Choose a track type’ box
before clicking the Create button.
As with all players, their region
performances are customisable within the
Drummer Editor (E) where eight beat presets
can be adjusted via the kit controls.
A default Drummer track is added to the
project, so we’ll switch in our first new roots
brush player by browsing Songwriter within the
Library (Y) and picking Austin.
Both Austin and Tyrell get an extra control
added to the Drummer Editor. Below the
Kick & Snare slider is a checkbox added that
toggles on/off their brush taps or sweeps.
Picking out presets
With the new players added to your
project, you’ll want to start customising
their default settings and shape
performances. Just like all the Drummers,
each comes loaded with beat presets
that can be switched and tweaked via the
Drummer Editor. Austin and Tyrell both
have eight patterns to pick from, all varying
in complexity and intensity, so in order
to shortcut your selection process we’ve
identified our favourite presets for the pair
that showcase their roots and jazzy pop
brushwork best.
For that jittery, higher tempo shuffle, we
elected for Austin’s ‘Rambler’ beat preset,
while rolling off the loudness and complexity
to still hear enough of those brush taps.
Switching to Tyrell, ‘Late Set’ is ideal for
a lower tempo, smooth and sultry lounge pop
jazz project. Its sparse pattern may benefit
from a volume and complexity boost.
Logic Pro X
Design sounds with Track Stacks
Quickly blend presets into huge, unique
sounds with Logic Pro’s Track Stacks
Time needed
ogic Pro X’s Track Stacks is a creature of many talents.
It can organise large numbers of audio tracks into easily
navigable folders, offering control over such things as
volume, pan and effect sends from a single channel strip. When
used with MIDI tracks, however, the potential for sound design is
enormous, as it allows you to combine sounds from a multitude
of different synths and effects and not only sum their audio
outputs into a single channel, but also play them simultaneously
using your MIDI keyboard as if they were a single software
instrument. This gives you a quick way to escape the preset
jungle and sculpt synth sounds that you wouldn’t hear anywhere
else, without any real knowledge of synth sound design.
Stack exchange
Build massive, unique synth sounds with Track Stacks
Register interest
Make your sound even bigger
by changing the transpose
values of each track within
the stack. Add height by
transposing up an octave
or two, or create depth
by dropping down to the
octave below.
When Logic’s Track Stacks feature is used with MIDI the
potential for creative sound design is enormous
Stack Master
Click the triangle in the Stack
Master’s track header to
open and close the stack –
included tracks are indicated
by a grey graphic border.
Just double-click on a stack’s
name to rename it.
Special treatment
You can still treat tracks within
a stack as you would any
MIDI track – add individual
compression or effects for
instance, and the effects will
all be summed together in the
output of the stack.
Knowledge base
Limited addition
Save yourself
You can save your stack
as a patch for use in future
projects. Just open the
Library pane and click the
‘Save’ button in the lower
right corner to save the stack
to your User Patches folder.
Place some sort of dynamic control –
ideally, a Compressor or Limiter plugin
– across the insert of your stack’s
channel strip to stop the volume level
of the summed signals getting out of
hand as you stack them up. Once done
stacking sounds, you can always trim
each individual track’s volume down as
you blend them together.
To use Track Stacks, you’ll need to make sure that the ‘Show Advanced
Tools’ checkbox is ticked in the ‘Advanced’ pane of Logic’s Preferences.
Step-by-step Build a sound with Track Stacks
1 Create new tracks
In a new, empty Logic project, click the
Software Instrument box on the left of the
New Track window, then enter 6 where it says
‘Number of tracks to create’. Click ‘Create’.
2 Create Track Stack
The six new tracks will appear already
selected. From the Track menu, select the
‘Create Track Stack’ option to combine them
into a single stack.
3 Choose type
There are two types of stack to choose
from – Folder or Summing stacks. We need to
combine the audio output of several synths into
one, so we select ‘Summing Stack’.
4 Select first instrument 5 Find a sound
6 Record in MIDI part
7 Choose next instrument 8 Stack ‘em high
9 Blend and add fx
Click on the first track’s header and
choose your first instrument by clicking on the
‘Instrument’ slot in the Channel Strip. We’re
going for Logic’s ES2 synth here.
Select the second track in the stack and
choose a new instrument to occupy it. We’ve
gone for Retro Synth for this one, loaded with
the default preset.
Browse through the synth’s presets to
find a sound on which to base the new sound.
We’re going for a big synth chord patch, so
we’ve chosen ‘Synth Strings>Trance Poly’.
The sole MIDI region now plays both
sounds merged together. Continue adding
new instruments and sounds to your stack until
you’ve created something stellar.
Select the main track and hit record. Play
in a few MIDI notes, or alternatively, drop the
Track Stacks.mid MIDI file from the Tutorial
Files folder onto the main track.
Use individual channel faders and pan
controls to balance the elements in your new
hybrid sound. Embellish the sound further by
adding an overall effect such as a Stereo Delay.
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AirPort Utility
Update AirPort’s firmware
Ensure you’re benefiting from the latest features
and fixes for your Apple networking hardware
Time needed
pple’s AirPort routers (Express, Extreme and Time
Capsule), though gone from store shelves, will receive
support for some time to come. You may even want
to pick up the final AirPort Express second-hand, as firmware
version 7.8 adds AirPlay 2 support, enabling your choice of
speakers to be part of a multiroom sound system you can
control from iOS devices, not just Macs.
More commonly, you should keep on top of network security.
Around the end of 2017, Apple introduced AirPort updates to
address the KRACK vulnerability, an industry-wide Wi-Fi issue
that made it possible for a determined attacker to decrypt
network traffic. Here’s how to stay up to date…
A guided tour of AirPort Utility
Check out the management tool’s key features
AirPort Utility looks and works largely the same way,
whether you use the macOS or iOS version.
Red notification badges
If a red badge is shown next to a
device’s name, there’s either a problem
or a firmware update is available. For
immediate indication of the latter, you’ll
need to enter each device’s password
or have saved them to your keychain.
network overview
AirPort Utility for macOS and
iOS look largely the same.
However, the former version
has the added benefit, in its
File menu, of being able to
back up and restore each
base station’s configuration.
Knowledge base
Start from scratch
If you pick up a second-hand AirPort
Express, ensure you’re starting from
factory settings. Straighten a paperclip
(or use an iPhone’s SIM-eject tool)
to hold down the reset button on the
back for ten seconds. To set up AirPlay,
select the Express in AirPort Utility, edit
its settings and look in the AirPlay tab
(macOS)/submenu (iOS).
In AirPort Utility’s settings,
the option to monitor
base stations is helpful
as it enables the app to
open itself if an issue
is detected, quickly
identifying the cause of
network connection failure.
Enter password
When you click on a base station,
you may be asked for the password
you created during setup. While
entering it, tick the box to save it to
your keychain to save time in future.
In AirPort Utility for Mac’s preferences, setting checks to occur daily may
seem unnecessary, but whatever you choose, it’s worth having this turned on.
Step-by-step Manage your AirPort hardware
1 Open AirPort Utility
AirPort Utility is included with macOS
and can be found by typing it into Spotlight.
To manage your AirPort hardware from iOS,
download the free utility from the App Store.
2 Automatic check
If the utility is set to check for updates
on opening, wait a moment. If an update
is available, devices show a red badge
(provided the utility knows their password).
4 Back up settings (Mac) 5 Update the firmware
Before you update a device, back up
its settings in case a problem requires a
hardware reset. Click ‘Edit’ in the summary,
then choose File>Export Configuration File.
On macOS, click ‘Update’ to the right
of the current firmware number. On iOS, tap
the Version row, wait for the app to retrieve
details, then tap ‘Download and Install’.
3 Check for updates
Click/tap a device to open a summary.
Check Wireless Clients for any connected
devices. Updating (Step 5) will cut their
network connection and disrupt their activity.
6 Wait for the install
AirPort Utility will download the update,
install it to the selected device and then
restart it. This takes at least a few minutes,
during which you can’t do more with the app.
Reverting back to
previous firmware
There’s a chance that a new AirPort
firmware won’t work as well as you’d hope.
No worries if so, because you can roll back
to an earlier version very easily, whether
you’re using the macOS or iOS version
of AirPort Utility – and it’s just as easy as
getting the latest firmware. All you need
besides that app is an internet connection
to download an earlier version. Changes
made in Apple security updates are listed
1 Check available versions 2 Install an older version
Open an AirPort device’s summary.
In macOS, hold Opt and click the version
number for a list of older versions. On iOS,
tap ‘Version’, wait, then tap ‘Older Versions’.
Follow the advice above to back up
the AirPort device’s settings and check for
connected clients on the network. Click/tap a
version number to download and install it.
Create contact groups
Discover how to send quick and easy group emails with a little help from your Contacts app
Time needed
reating a group email on your Mac can be a long,
laboured process as it involves painstakingly entering
each individual email address. But by first creating
a group in your Contacts app you can greatly speed up
the process. It is another example of your Mac’s bolt-on
apps working together, but the process could be a lot more
straightforward, that’s for sure. In this tutorial we’ll show you how
to create a new contact group in your Mac’s Contacts app and
then send an email to everyone in that group. Along the way we
will also reveal quicker, more effective ways to carry out the task
to make your life easier in the long run. So fire up your Contacts
app and let’s go…
Sending group emails starts with the Contacts app. It is
here that you create the groups to send emails to…
Step-by-step Create a new contact group
1 Show groups
2 Add group
3 Name new group
4 Select members
5 Drag and drop
6 Confirm placement
Open your Contacts app and click View>
Show Groups. If it isn’t already displayed
then a new sidebar will appear in Contacts
displaying all of your contact groups, if any.
Scroll down through the middle column
that displays the names of all of your contacts
and then hold down the Cmd key to highlight
the various contacts that you want to add.
Next, click on the ‘+’ icon at the bottom
of the main window. A dropdown menu will
appear including various options. Select the
‘New Group’ option.
With all of the contacts you wish to add
to the group highlighted, click, hold and drag
them across to your new group. They will then
be added (but still kept in ‘All Contacts’ too).
A new untitled group will be created
in the sidebar. Type in a name and it will be
added alphabetically to your existing list of
groups. Click on the ‘All Contacts’ group.
Finally, click on the name of your new
group in the Groups sidebar and you should
see that all of the desired contacts have ben
successfully added to the group.
To delete contacts quickly, select the name in the sidebar, press Delete and
press Enter to confirm. It beats right-clicking and selecting ‘Delete Cards’.
Sending group emails
Understand how your Contacts and Mail apps work together
Send to all
If you want to send it to all
possible email addresses
then you have to copy and
paste the contact name in
the ‘To’ field, then click
the arrow next to their
name to choose the
alternate address.
If a contact has multiple
email addresses then you
click on the arrow next to
their name and choose
which address to send
the email to.
Knowledge base
Emailing multiple
Your groups
Contact groups are
created in your Contacts
app and can then be
emailed as a whole by
right-clicking the group
name in Contacts and then
choosing the ‘Send Email
to…’ option.
New email
The Mail app will launch
automatically and a
new email draft will be
composed addressed to
all of the contacts in your
group. Compose and send
as normal.
Rather than copying and pasting
multiple email addresses for the same
contact each time, consider making
duplicate contacts, adding them to
the group but using the alternate email
address. This way, when you next send
out a group email, all addresses will be
used without you having to copy and
paste anything.
How to send
group emails
Now that you have created a new group
in your Contacts app you can send group
emails to the same group, which we will
show you here. However, if you have
multiple email addresses listed for certain
members of the group then you can click
on the arrow next to the name in the ‘To’
field and choose which email address to
use. If this presents a problem in the sense
that you want to send the email to all of
the email addresses then there is a workaround (see Knowledge Base).
1 Right-click group
Right-click or Ctrl+click on the name of
the group you just created in your Contacts
app and choose the ‘Send Email to ‘XXX’
option (‘XXX’ being the name of the group).
2 Compose and send
A new blank email will be drafted up in
your Mail app with the names of all of the
contacts you added to the group in the ‘To’
field. Compose your email and click ‘Send’.
Migrate your photo library
If your Mac’s drive is full, you can move the Photos library to
another drive to free up space
Time needed
he Photos library grows as you take photographs on your
iPhone or digital camera and it can eventually contain
tens or even hundreds of gigabytes. Just keep shooting
and watch the size grow. This is a problem if you have a Mac
with a small drive and Apple has been selling MacBook Airs
and Pros with 128GB drives for years. Even a 256GB drive can
be filled. One solution is to store all photos online in iCloud, but
some people want to have their photos on local storage to back
them up and to make them available offline. What then? An
alternative is to move the Photos library to another drive, such
as a USB model with lots of space. Let’s see how to move the
library or create a new one.
Moving old photos to an external hard drive is a highly
effective way of freeing up space on your Mac
Secret Photos functions
Access hidden Photos app features
Select a library
new libraries
Hold down the Option key,
click Photos in the Dock
and keep Option held
down. A list of all photo
libraries is displayed and
any can be selected and
opened with the ‘Choose
Library’ option.
Knowledge base
If the library is very large,
it may be awkward to
manage so many photos.
Instead of moving the
library, what about
creating a new one for new
photos? A library could be
started each year.
Delete after backing up
Photos functions
It would be best to create a backup
of the Mac before starting this tutorial
and moving the Photos library. The
steps only show copying the library,
so the original remains on the Mac’s
internal drive. If you have a backup,
and if the new library works okay, then
delete the old one in the Pictures folder
to free up space.
We already know about
Option+clicking the
Photos icon to choose
the library, but there is
another hidden feature.
Hold down the Option
and Command keys
while clicking it to repair a
damaged Photos library.
Move the
Photos library
The Photos library does
not have to be on the
Mac’s drive, although that
is a good place for it – it
can be on an external drive
providing it is plugged in
and powered up.
If the Photos Library is moved to a new drive, make sure it is plugged in and
switched on so that your Photos app can access it.
Step-by-step Move Photos to a USB drive
1 Turn off iCloud
2 Find the library
3 Copy the library
4 Select a library
5 Delete incomplete
6 Set as system
1 Open the package
2 Browse your photos
Open the Photos app and go to Photos>
Preferences>iCloud. It is useful, but not
essential to download originals to the Mac.
Turn off all the options and then quit Photos.
Hold down Option, click Photos and
keep holding until this window appears.
Select the library on the USB drive (the path
is below) or click ‘Other Library’ and select it.
Open a Finder window and go to your
Pictures folder. Look for the Photos library.
If there is more than one file, it will be the
biggest with the most recent date on it.
After selecting the copied library, this
message might appear. Don’t worry, just
click ‘Delete Incomplete Items’ and in the
next step, follow the instructions it gives.
Plug in a USB drive. We use one that is
partitioned so one half is for Time Machine
backups and the other is for Photos. Drag
the Photos library to the drive to copy it.
When the library opens, go to Photos>
Preferences>General and click ‘Use as
System Photo Library’. Select the iCloud tab
and turn on all the features as in Step 1.
Where are
your photos?
If you select Photos>Preferences>iCloud
and choose the option to ‘Download
Originals to this Mac’, all your photos are
on the drive in the Photos library. This
enables them to be backed up with Time
Machine or with another backup app.
As with some other items in Finder,
such as apps, the library looks like it is a
single file but it is actually a folder and it
contains all of your photos. Let’s see how
to find your snapshots.
Open a new Finder window and go to the
Pictures folder. Find the Photos library and
hold down Ctrl as you click it. On the menu is
‘Show Package Contents’. Select to open.
Open Masters and there is a folder for
each year with month/day folders. Open one
to see photos taken that day. Select Masters
and search for kind:jpeg to see all photos.
Wireless Diagnostic
How to fix a
bad internet
Here’s what to do if you can’t get online or the
internet connection is poor…
Time needed
hat can you do if the internet is not working
or the connection is poor? Is it possible to fix
it? Well that depends on where the problem
lies – it could be the fault of your internet service
provider. But sometimes it is a problem with the Mac or
the router, or configuration settings. If you are at home,
power off the wireless router, wait a few seconds and
Wireless Diagnostic is your Mac’s secret weapon for
detecting and fixing certain issues with your internet
then power it on. If that does not help, we have some
great tips for fixing a bad internet connection.
When public Wi-Fi stops working you can’t reboot
the router; well, you could politely ask, but failing that,
there are several other things you can do and many of
these tips help with public Wi-Fi connections when you
are out with a MacBook.
Fix your Wi-Fi
Use diagnostic tools to fix your networking problem
Wi-Fi menu
Click this icon and make sure the right
wireless network is selected or try a
different one. Option+click it to see
more network information or to open the
Wireless Diagnostics utility.
Apple menu
There are three things
here and both Log Off and
Restart may fix problems
with the internet. Also
on the menu is System
Preferences and from there
Network can be accessed.
Check the DNS settings.
Ping a site
Is the internet working?
Can websites be
reached? Select Wireless
Diagnostics>Open External
Tool>Network Utility. Select
the Ping tab, enter a URL
and click Ping. It should say
0.0% packet loss below.
Knowledge base
DNS settings
Wireless Diagnostic tips
After running the Wireless Diagnostic utility,
see what it says about the network. The
advice is often useful and clicking the blue
‘i’ on the right displays more information
about each of the tips or problems.
DNS (domain name system) turns
domain names like into
IP addresses that computers use to
communicate with each other. If none is
provided, the Mac uses ones provided
by the ISP. But alternatives can be
used for speed or security. Sometimes
public Wi-Fi does not like this, so you
may need to remove the DNS settings.
If everything fails, go to Settings on your iPhone and enable Personal Hotspot,
then connect your Mac to it. Watch the data usage though.
Step-by-step What to do when Wi-Fi fails
1 Check the connection 2 Log out or restart
3 Use a VPN
4 Extra Wi-Fi information 5 Wireless Diagnostics
6 View diagnostic tips
Click the Wi-Fi icon and there may be
several networks with similar names. Are you
connected to the right one? There can be a
dozen in a public place, so pick the right one.
There are two options on the Apple that
can help: Log Out and Restart. Macs with
SSDs can restart very quickly so that is the
best option and sometimes it fixes the Wi-Fi.
Sometimes public Wi-Fi is so restricted
you might think it is broken. It could be just
limited to a few websites and services. Use a
VPN to unblock public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Press Option and click the Wi-Fi icon to
see an extended menu with extra information.
It is technical and might not mean much, but
see if there is anything obviously wrong.
Option+click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu
bar and select ‘Open Wireless Diagnostics’.
This is a hidden utility that checks the Mac’s
network settings, Wi-Fi connection and more.
7 Find the report
8 Diagnostic information 9 Check the DNS
Where’s that diagnostic report? Click the
Go menu in Finder and select ‘Go to Folder’.
Enter /var/tmp and then double-click the most
recent Wireless Diagnostics to extract it.
Open the Wireless Diagnostics folder
and use Quick Look to view the txt files like
diagnostics.txt. You might not understand
everything, but sometimes faults can be seen.
Follow the prompts to produce a Wireless
Diagnostics report and when it has finished
there will be one or more suggested fixes. Click
the blue ‘i’ button to read the fixes.
Open System Preferences>Network and
click ‘Advanced’. Select the DNS tab. If any
DNS servers are listed, delete them. If none are
here, try adding or servers.
Murus Lite
Boost security with Murus Lite
Protect your Mac from network and internet threats by
configuring the macOS firewall with Murus Lite
Time needed
firewall is a security feature that prevents hackers and
malware from accessing your Mac through the network
or internet and it is especially useful, essential even, if
you use a MacBook at a public Wi-Fi hotspot. You don’t know
who else might be on the network. It is a good job then that
macOS has two. Why two? There is a very simple firewall that
can be turned on or off in System Preferences>Security &
Privacy>Firewall. It is okay, but if you need increased protection
there is PF (Packet Filter). However, it is very complicated and
hard to use. Murus Lite is a free app that makes PF simple
enough for novices to use, but experts can dig deep into
advanced settings to boost security if they want to.
Get to know Murus
Murus provides a simple, easy-to-use firewall that helps to
protect your Mac from hackers and malware
This is the most important button for
novices and it takes you to the screen
where you can set the security with
a simple slider. Everything else is for
geeks to customise firewall settings.
How to use Murus and get help
Services view
Click the book icon in the toolbar to
open this panel on the left. It lists all
the networking services used on the
Mac, from Web browsing to email, to
more technical features like ftp.
Knowledge base
Unblock services
Security features are displayed as
icons in the main window. Select an
icon, such as Back To My Mac, and
then click the magnifying glass. It
shows what is and isn’t allowed and
groups (people or devices) can be
dragged to and from the Allowed and
the Blocked lists. It looks complicated
at first, but is straightforward.
View settings
Anywhere there is a
magnifying glass icon, click
it. This one displays a popup window containing basic
services settings. In the
services library on the left you
can view other settings.
Get help
Click the ‘i’ button to
display the pop-up window
explaining what all the icons
mean. Most of the icons in
the app are clickable and
can be used to view or adjust
various settings.
Parts of Murus Lite are very complicated, so if you are a novice, steer clear of
them and use the simple slider to select preset security settings.
Step-by-step Configure the PF firewall in macOS
1 Install Murus Lite
2 Start Murus Lite
3 Novice or expert?
4 Unsafe or safe?
5 Activate the firewall
6 Install boot scripts
1 Use the wizard
2 Security settings
Go to in Safari, scroll
down the page and click ‘Get It!’ next to
Murus Lite Free. Double-click the zip, then
the dmg and drag Murus to Applications.
There is a simple slider with Unsafe on
the left and Safe on the right. Drag the slider
to the setting you want. At each setting the
information below tells you what is allowed.
Run the app and there are options to
purchase a licence, activate the app or Start
Murus Lite. Click the highlighted blue button
and the free version of Murus is started.
A setting of 3 is fine for home Wi-Fi but
we are at a public hotspot so go for 4, which
blocks most services for extra security. Click
‘Activate selected Murus Preset’.
On the left are Novice, Intermediate and
Expert settings which change the options
on the right. Choose Novice and then click
‘Predefined Firewall Configuration Presets’.
Several pop-ups appear, mostly
announcing the firewall is active. Click ‘Install
Murus Boot Scripts’ to apply these settings
automatically every time the Mac is started.
Get geeky
with Murus
In the step-by-step guide we looked at
the simplest way to use Murus Lite using
the slider but there are several more ways
to use it and experts can get geeky and
configure advanced features. Stop right
here if you want, but if you are curious
and want to dig into Murus’ settings, the
next step up from the presets is to use the
wizard to configure the firewall. It gives you
more control over the security of the Mac
and what is allowed.
Click the Strategies button, then click
‘Firewall Configuration Wizard’. It guides you
through choosing settings; click Continue
each time for a good default firewall setup.
Click the magnifying glass to open a
settings window. Here is Back To My Mac
and Everyone is blocked. Click the cross or
drag Everyone to Allowed Groups to unblock.
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The hardware, the apps, the process: the
complete guide to recording your favourite
vinyl LPs onto your Mac
Convert Vinyl to iTunes
converting your
vinyl to digital now!
If you thought that
the only way to get that
authentic, crackly vinyl effect
when listening to music on
your Mac or iOS device was to
consume a packet of popping
candy at the same time, then
there is an alternative. Most
modern turntables come with
a USB audio output port and a
cable that you can use to connect
it straight to your Mac and record
your vinyl collection.
For this purpose you
could use your Mac’s native
GarageBand app, but there
are other apps available that
specialise in recording vinyl
and come with built-in
features, such as tracksplitting, that make
the process of
and exporting much easier
– apps such as the free
Audacity, that we will be using
in this feature. The result is that
you will be able to expand your
iTunes library without having to
repurchase your old albums on
newer formats, and you can relive
all of the clicks, hisses and pops
from your childhood with giddy
nostalgia. Or, if you want your vinyl
recordings to be as flawless as
possible then Audacity also has a
built-in toolset that allows you to
remove distorted audio and any
other imperfections.
So go and grab your vinyl
records, give them a clean
and then connect your
turntable to any free
USB port in your
Mac and let’s
get going!
/// The Hardware
To convert vinyl to your Mac you ideally want
a turntable that has a USB output and a spare
USB input port on your Mac for simple and
effective recording at a decent quality. However,
if you have a turntable without USB then you can
use an RCA to 3.5mm jack cable and connect it
to your Mac’s audio jack (if it has one), but this
will require some kind of preamp. Here are five of
the best USB turntables available…
Convert Vinyl to iTunes
As well as the L-400 (reviewed on page
86), Lenco also offers this budget semiautomatic belt drive USB turntable.
Suitable for vinyl collectors and novice
DJs, the belt-drive motor is made from
premium-grade components and the
moving magnetic cartridge (MMC)
provides superior separation and
improved audio performance.
Lenco L-30
Key features
channel separation
Ion Max LP
Key features
system with built-in stereo speakers
Key features
RCA output cables
Audio-Technica’s stereo turntable brings
legendary quality and audio fidelity to the
digital realm with everything you need to
convert your old vinyl to digital, in one
box. It features a dual-magnet phono
cartridge, USB cable, adapter cables and
comes bundled with Audacity. Easy to
use and built to very high standards.
Pro-Ject Debut
Carbon USB
Key features
Key features
Automatically converts audio to MP3
A very popular choice for folk getting
back into the joys of vinyl, Ion’s Max
LP turntable comes with built-in stereo
speakers (passable, but you’ll want to
hook up better ones) and its own CD of
EZ Vinyl/Tape Converter software that,
like the software featured over the page,
allows you to separate tracks into files.
If you have a bit of cash to chuck around,
and want to pay your old vinyl collection
the greatest of respects, then consider
this sexy gloss black number. It features
a one-piece carbon fibre tonearm, which
helps to reduce resonance around the
cartridge and contains an integrated
phono preamp. Available in eight colours
(including pink!).
This lovely offering from Denon comes
equipped with an internal MP3 encoder
and front-panel USB port. It also comes
with its own software featuring Audio
Waveform Recognition that checks the
first 15 seconds of each track and then
pulls all of the metadata from Gracenote
and also splits tracks automatically,
saving you a lot of hassle.
Convert Vinyl to iTunes
The software
Best apps for recording vinyl onto your Mac
provide intuitive controls for USB recording. Other alternatives,
including the free-to-use Audacity, can be downloaded from the
internet. Go to System Preferences>Security & Privacy>General to
allow this. Here are our three favourite vinyl recording apps…
There isn’t any native software specialising in vinyl recording on
your Mac, so you will need to download a third-party app. A simple
‘vinyl’ search in the Mac App Store will provide two options –
VinylStudio and Vinyl Ripper, both of which are paid-for apps and
Mac App Store
With an easiest-to-understand interface
that is inherently Mac, VinylStudio
starts recording as soon as the
needle hits the vinyl and the whole
process of recording, splitting tracks
and exporting is significantly more
structured and flowing than Audacity’s
system. Record as many sides as you
want (two, four, etc) and then work
through the tabs at the top of the
interface until the process is complete.
Of the apps purpose-built for vinyl
conversion featured here, Audacity is
the only one that’s totally free, and for
that reason it is perfectly adequate to
use. However, the interface isn’t as
simple as it could be, the process of
splitting tracks is cumbersome and
involves lots of clicking and dragging,
and it isn’t really optimised for the
latest Mac operating systems. If
you want better, you have to pay for
it, though…
Audio cleanup tools
Split recordings
into tracks
Label Tracks
Source album art
iTunes integration
Pure Vinyl Recorder
If you’re incredibly picky about the
sound quality in your vinyl recordings
then this premium-priced download
was created specifically for creating
high-resolution archival quality
transcriptions of your vinyl at sample
rates of up to 192kHz. It features a
built-in phono equalisation, so you can
feed the turntable’s output straight into
your Mac without the need for a phono
stage in the signal path. Outstanding.
Pure Vinyl Recorder
Yes, listed as Effects
Automatic or manual
Automatic or manual
AIFF, WAV, MP3, OGG (Vorbis), FLAC,
MP2, M4A (AAC), AC3 (FFmpeg),
AMR (narrow band), WMA (version 2),
Custom FFmpeg
AAC, AIFF, ALAC (Apple Lossless),
MP3, OGG (Vorbis), WAV
Apple Lossless, AIFF
Yes (auto-add track to
Yes (auto-add track to
Make sure that you clean your vinyl thoroughly before you start to ensure that
no clipping or distortion hampers the recordings.
/// Prep your Mac
Ready your computer for the
recording process
Check space
If you’re planning a lot of recording,
you’ll need plenty of free storage space on
your Mac to accommodate the large files.
Click on the Apple menu bar item and then
go to About This Mac>Storage to display
how much space you have to play with.
Authorise downloads
As we will be working with thirdparty apps that don’t come from the App
Store, go to System Preferences>Security
& Privacy>General and select the ‘App
Store and identified developers’ option
at the bottom.
Although the process of converting vinyl to digital exists
mainly between third-party software and the connected
device, there is a little prep work you can carry out on
your Mac to ensure that you’re ready to start. Here’s
what we advise…
Free up storage
If storage space is at a premium,
click on the ‘Manage’ button and you will
be presented with a list of different ways
in which you can free up space. These
include moving files to iCloud, optimising
storage and reducing clutter.
Override downloads
In this feature we will be
downloading a plugin that isn’t from the
App Store nor an identified developer.
In this instance, leave the Security &
Privacy>General window open and click
‘Open Anyway’ when needed.
Change sound input
Now go to System Preferences>
Sound and then click on the ‘Input’ tab.
When you have connected your turntable,
it will appear as ‘USB AUDIO CODEC’, so
scroll down through the list of devices and
select it. Now you’re set!
Get the apps
You will need to download
third-party software to record vinyl.
Audacity is the free option, so head to and grab the latest Mac
version. Paid-for alternatives are available
in the Mac App Store.
Convert Vinyl to iTunes
/// The Audacity interface
/// Record
with Audacity
Before you start, familiarise yourself
with the tools you’ll be working with
Start converting your vinyl LPs to digital
format with the free software
Audacity is a free third-party app that provides easy to use, multitrack audio recording and editing. As the software is downloaded
from the internet you will need to authorise its use on your Mac.
Once it has been installed, cue up your record on the turntable and
then get ready for the magic to happen.
2: Recording controls
Simply start playing the LP on your
turntable and click this button to start
recording. When you have finished
recording a side, click Stop (or Pause)
before cueing up the next side and
clicking Record again.
1: Input/output source
Click on the input (mic icon) menu and
set it to your connected turntable and
then set the output (speaker icon) to
‘Built-In Output’ so that you can hear
what you are recording. This can also
be done in Preferences.
4: Track labels
3: Recording levels
You can split the recording into tracks
and then label each one. These tracks
can then easily be exported to iTunes
so that you can add complete albums
to your library. More data can be
added later.
Before you start recording, go to
View>Mixer Board and check the
levels. To avoid clipping (distorted
sound), try to aim for a maximum peak
of around -6dB. Use the vertical slider
to adjust the level.
/// Prepare the settings
Before you start recording with Audacity you will need to adjust a few settings within
the app. For this purpose, click on the ‘Audacity’ menu and choose ‘Preferences’
Select source
Go to Audacity>Preferences>
Devices and change the recording device
to ‘USB AUDIO CODEC’ and then change
the Channels setting to ‘2 (Stereo)’.
Other settings
Now go to Preferences>Recording
and ensure that the ‘Other tracks while
recording (overdub)’ and ‘Software
Playthrough of input’ options are ticked.
Sample rate
Finally, go to Preferences>Quality
and select a sample rate and format. The
minimum recommended is 44100Hz and
16-bit, but you can go higher.
If you go for a 16-bit sample rate then the file sizes will be smaller. However,
you may lose some of the audio quality during the vinyl digitisation process.
/// Start recording
With the app settings adjusted it is time to start recording from your turntable. It is a
good idea to make a test recording first to make sure everything is set up right
Test it
Start recording
Put the needle on the record and
click the red Record button. Once you
have recorded a decent slab of audio, click
Stop. Does it sound satisfactory?
Obviously you can record individual
tracks, but the easiest thing to do is record
an entire side of the vinyl LP. Cue it up,
click Record and then sit back…
/// Splitting the tracks
Stop and save
When the side has finished
recording, click Stop. It’s good practice to
save it as soon as possible to avoid losing
recordings. Go to File>Save Project As…
Now that you have recorded one side of an LP, you will probably want to break
it down into tracks, although you could compile your vinyl by ‘sides’ if you
prefer. It’s easier than it sounds, though. Repeat the steps below for each track.
///Simple cuts
Click and drag
Click and drag through
the track (keep a little ‘crackle’
either side) to highlight it and
then click on the Edit menu.
Label tracks
Add track name
As you have full control over
where you place the markers
when splitting your recording
into tracks, you can cut out any
unwanted snippets of audio
(long pauses, etc…) simply by
leaving it out of the selection.
Right-click on the label
Select Labels>Add Label
and choose ‘Edit…’ and then,
At Selection and a label will be
in the ‘Label’ field, type in the
added beneath the track. Click
name of the track. Click ‘OK’.
on this to select the track.
/// Exporting
your tracks
Export tracks
When you have finished labelling the
tracks, go to File>Export>Export Multiple…
and then choose the location and format
options to suit.
Once your tracks have been recorded and split into tracks, the final thing to do
in Audacity is to export them so that you’ll be able to open and listen to them
in iTunes. You can export them in a variety of formats, so some may require
additional plugins (see Convert to MP3).
Choose the format
As we are exporting to iTunes, set
the Folder to /users/NAME/Music/iTunes/
iTunes Music/Music and the Format to
‘MP4’ Now click on the ‘Export’ button.
Add metadata
A window will now appear that lets
you input additional metadata. You don’t
necessarily have to worry about this now
because you can enter it in iTunes later.
Convert Vinyl to iTunes
/// Convert to MP3
2: Open the file
How to get and install the MP3 plugin
If you want to save your tracks as MP3 files then Audacity
will require the libmp3lame.dylib plugin to convert audio
recordings to MP3 format. Don’t worry, it’s free and the app
will point you in the right direction.
Double-click on the downloaded .dmg
file and then try opening the .pkg file.
It is likely you’ll receive an alert stating
that it is from an unidentified developer.
4: Locate plugin
Now click on ‘Browse’ to navigate to
the libmp3lame.dylib. It should be in
User/Library/Application Support/
3: Authorise Mac
1: Download file
Go to System Preferences>Security
& Privacy>General and click on the
‘Open Anyway’ button and then ‘Open’
again to successfully open and install
the .pkg file.
After clicking ‘Export’ a Locate
LAME box will appear. Click on the
‘Download’ button and then navigate
to a Mac link to download the .dmg file.
/// Remove the clicks and pops
In order to remove unwanted noises in your recordings you
will need to learn how to visually identify them
Zoom in
Click on the Zoom (magnifying
glass) icon and then click on the waveform
to zoom in, but not too far. Clicks show
up as abnormally tall (sticking up or down)
protruding narrow lines.
Listen out
If you suspect a click is present,
click on the ‘I’ icon and then click and drag
to highlight that portion of the audio and
then click Play to listen to it and doublecheck that it is indeed a click.
Use removal tool
With the section still highlighted, go
to Effect>Click Removal and then adjust
the Threshold and Max Spike Width sliders
to remove the click. Click ‘Preview’ to hear
the adjustments made.
If using the Click Removal effect to clean your tracks, settings applied to one
section will be saved for you to apply to any other unwanted clicks.
/// Other click-reducing methods
If you only have a relatively small
amount of clicks in your recordings
then another option for removing
them is the ‘Repair’ effect. This
repairs a very short length of up to
128 samples (Click Removal requires
a minimum of 4,096 samples), so
requires lots of zoom. The Draw
Tool can also be used to click
samples back in alignment with the
neighbouring samples for smoother
contours and you can also go to
Edit>Remove Special>Silence Audio
if the clicks occur in quiet sections.
/// Reducing hiss
If you are using high-quality gear then you will probably not need to bother removing
hiss and other high-frequency noises from your recordings. But for everyone else…
Collect a sample
Click and drag on the wavelength
to select a small sample (about a second
long) of the audio, preferably the lead-in
grooves just before the music starts.
Select effect
Turn up the playback volume
and play the sample to check no audio
is present and then go to Effect>Noise
Reduction. Click on ‘Get Noise Profile’.
Adjust settings
In Effect>Noise Reduction
apply: Noise reduction: 12dB max (9
recommended), Sensitivity: 6.00, Frequency
smoothing: 6 max (3 recommended).
/// Minding the gaps
When making vinyl recordings you may want complete silence between the tracks, or
you may want fade-ins and outs. Audacity provides a few different methods…
Silent gaps
Click and drag to select a gap in
between tracks to highlight it and then go
to Generate>Silence. Edit the inter-track
gap to be a maximum of two seconds.
Highlight the gaps between songs
and go to Effect>Fade In and Fade Out for
subtler intros/outros to the tracks. Select
‘Fade In’ about three times for best results.
Alternative fade
For a more professional-sounding
result, use Effect>Studio Fade Out instead
of the standard effect in Step 2. Apply this
to all of the gaps in the recording.
Convert Vinyl to iTunes
/// Import tracks to iTunes
How to add your vinyl recordings to your iTunes library
Unlike other apps, such as Vinyl Studio,
Audacity doesn’t automatically export your
recorded vinyl tracks to iTunes, you have
to do it manually. However, this isn’t hard
to do – you just need to know which folder
you have exported the tracks to. Here we
hand the baton over to iTunes to finish up
the whole conversion process.
Get to know the iTunes interface and how to
neatly add your vinyl tracks to your main library
1: Adding tracks
Double-click on an exported track that
is in an iTunes-friendly format (eg, AAC
or MP4) and it will instantly be added
to your iTunes library and start playing.
3: Getting artwork
If you want to save your tracks
as MP3 files then Audacity
will require the libmp3lame.
dylib plugin to convert audio
recordings to MP3 format. Don’t
worry, it’s free and the app will
point you in the right direction.
2: Adding metadata
Right-clicking on a track and going
to Album Info>Details will allow you
to enter essential info, such as artist,
album title, etc. Entering the correct
details is important to ensure the
album is listed correctly.
4: Expanding your library
Your iTunes library isn’t complete
unless the correct cover art for the
album is displayed. You can try getting
this automatically or add it in yourself
manually – handy if you want to use a
‘banned’ sleeve, for example.
As soon as an artist and album title
is assigned to a track it will be listed
alphabetically, by artist, in your iTunes
library under the album title banner. In
this case, Goats Head Soup appears
next to other Rolling Stones albums.
/// Importing tracks
Tracks recorded in Audacity can easily be imported into iTunes, after
which you can start adding more metadata. Here’s how you do it…
Locate MP3
Open up the folder where your
exported Audacity files are stored and
then double-click on the first one. If it was
exported in an iTunes-friendly format then
it will open and start playing in iTunes.
Get info
Scroll down to the bottom of your
iTunes library to find the track and then
right-click on it and choose the ‘Album
Info’ option from the menu that appears.
Click on the ‘Details’ tab.
these steps
for every track
on the album!
Enter details
The song title should already be
added, so enter other details, such as
artist, album name, genre, year and, very
importantly, enter the track number (in this
case, track 1 of 10). Click ‘OK’ when done.
When adding artwork (automatically or manually), it may not appear
immediately in the main album window. Simply quit and relaunch iTunes.
/// Building your vinyl library
Once you have added the correct metadata to a track it will appear alphabetically, by artist,
under its respective album title in your library. So it’s time to add the finishing touches…
Import all tracks
If you haven’t already added the other
tracks then do it now. Just double-click on
each MP3 file to open it in iTunes and then
add the same data you did previously, but
update the track numbers.
Your new album
When all songs have been added to
your library, they will all be listed, in correct
running order, under the main album banner.
If you have added it, this will also include year
and genre info.
Get artwork
Depending on how much metadata
you typed into ‘Album Info’ you may be able
get the album artwork sourced automatically.
Right-click on the album or click the blue
circle and choose ‘Get Album Artwork’.
/// Manually sourcing artwork
If selecting the ‘Get Album Artwork’ option doesn’t yield results then you can add
album artwork in manually. Albums do tend to have variants over the years, after all…
Find artwork
Launch Safari and type the name of
the album and artist into the Search/URL bar,
for example ‘Rolling Stones + Goats Head
Soup’ and then click on the image results.
Click on the image that suits.
Drag artwork
Drag the image from Safari to your
desktop and then reopen iTunes and click
on the album in your Library. Right-click or
click on the blue circle and then choose the
‘Album Info’ option.
Place artwork
Now click on the ‘Artwork’ tab and
either drag the image from your desktop into
the main window or click ‘Add Artwork’ and
then navigate to the file. Once it has been
placed, click ‘OK’.
Build Siri automations
with Shortcuts
Slash the time you spend tapping and swiping by creating
shortcuts that can be activated by voice
Time needed
ne of the most exciting additions to iOS 12 has
been the availability of the Shortcuts app. It allows
you to automate repetitive tasks through a series
of editable actions that not only makes use of Apple built-in
offerings but third-party apps too. Best described as partcoding/part-IFTTT, it has the potential to revolutionise the way
you use your Apple devices.
What makes it extra special is its incorporation of Siri. It
means you can create a shortcut which can then be carried out
by uttering a phrase that you have chosen yourself. What’s more,
you can produce as many shortcuts as you like and produce
many tailored Siri commands. Here we’re going to look at an
example using the read-it-later app Pocket but the principles
apply more widely.
You can use the new iOS 12 Shortcuts app to save a lot of
time carrying out everyday actions…
Step-by-step Add shortcuts to Siri
1 Install and run Shortcuts 2Find a shortcut
We’re going to make use of a pre-created
shortcut and record a Siri command to use it.
Install Shortcuts from the App Store and, to
follow this tutorial, install Pocket too.
Create an account with Pocket then open
Shortcuts. Now tap the Gallery tab and scroll
down to the section Read It Later, scrolling
horizontally to find ‘Add to Pocket’.
3 Get the shortcut
Tap the shortcut and you’ll see a brief
overview of what it does. Tap ‘Get Shortcut’
and it will be added to your library. This is the
way you’ll add other shortcuts in future.
If you are not happy with a Siri phrase that you have recorded, simply delve
into the shortcut’s settings and tap ‘Re-Record Phrase’.
4 Go to the Library
Tap the Library tab at the bottom of the
screen and you’ll see the shortcut we’ve just
added. To customise and edit the shortcut, you
need to tap on its three-dot icon.
5 Get technical
What appears is the shortcut’s underlying
actions. It looks complicated but scroll through
and get a feel for what’s happening. Look for
steps that may require an input.
7 Create a Siri command 8 Start recording
Now Pocket has been set up, tap the
Settings button located at the top right of the
screen (under Done). On the Settings screen,
tap the option ‘Add to Siri’. Get ready to record.
Tap the red Record button and utter
the Siri command that you want to associate
with this shortcut. After talking, Shortcuts will
process and save your words for later use.
6 Allow Access
Aha – here we are. For Shortcut to work
with Pocket, you’ll need to grant access. Tap
‘Allow Access’ and you’ll see the permissions
you’ll be giving Shortcuts. Tap ‘Authorize’.
9 Try it out
Tap ‘Done’ twice to finish up. Now open
Safari and navigate to a website. Select and
copy the URL and say “Hey Siri” with your
saved command. The shortcut will do its thing.
Create a Memoji
within iOS 12
Taking the Animoji concept to the next level, Apple
now lets you create characters which look like you
Time needed
irst there was Animoji – a selection of animal-like
characters which would respond to your facial
expressions – but now, with iOS 12, there is Memoji,
lending a much more human touch. Able to be created
in your own image thanks to a host of options, Memoji
are intended to mimic your likeness and they can be
used within video messages, as stickers, as filterable
and customisable photos and within FaceTime. They’re
certainly packed with personality and, as with Animoji,
you can frown, smile or laugh and the Memoji will mimic
you. In that sense, they can be perfect for those moments
when your real hair is a mess or when you simply want to
have a whole lot of fun. It’s just a shame they only work on
iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR but
we figure most users will be making the upgrade.
A Memoji created in your own likeness is a great way to add
a personal touch to your messages
Step-by-step Create a Memoji of your face
1 Tap the monkey
The ability to create Memojis is built
into the Messages app within iOS 12. Open
Messages and either select a conversation or
start a new one. Then tap the monkey icon.
2 Select create button
If you’re doing this for the first time, you’ll
see an introductory screen. Tap Continue
and a host of familiar-looking Animoji will be
displayed. We need to tap the ‘+’ icon.
3 Get started
Now it’s time to create. Tap ‘Get Started’
and you’ll be presented with a basic face.
Choose your skin type and select if you want
freckles and then tap the Hairstyle tab.
When you make a FaceTime call, tap the star icon and you can select one of
your Memoji to be overlaid on to your face.
Use Memoji in Messages
You can bring your Memoji to life by making use of the
iPhone’s front-facing camera within Messages
Quick reactions
If you prefer, you can use the Memoji
as simple stickers. Just access your
Memoji in Messages, make a face and
tap it (rather than press record).
Applying filters
Once you’ve chosen your Memoji,
you’ll be able to add various effects
and filters such as turning the image
into a painting, going black and white,
or adding text, shapes and stickers.
Activate the camera
To reach this screen in Messages,
select a conversation and tap the
Camera icon to the left of the text bar.
Then select the star icon in the bottom
left corner before tapping your Memoji.
Knowledge base
Edit or delete a Memoji
After you’ve created a Memoji, you can
go back and tweak it. Open Messages
again, head for a conversation, tap the
monkey icon and look for the Memoji
you want to alter. Tap the three-dot
icon below the Memoji and you will
have the option to Edit, Duplicate or
Delete. Duplicating lets you create
numerous Memojis based on yourself
to match your different moods.
4 Keep building
After scrolling through the various hair
styles and selecting one, tap ‘Head Shape’.
Again, choose the face that looks most
suitable and move on to Eyes and Brows.
Take a shot
When you’re ready (that is, once
you’ve chosen your Memoji and any
other effects), tap the X. You’ll then
be able to access the Photo button
and take a shot which you can use
within messages.
5 Customise the memoji 6 Find your Memoji
When you come to the customisation
options, you can add eyewear and headwear.
You can also go back and forth between the
tabs, tapping ‘Done’ when complete.
Now your newly created Memoji appears
alongside the Animoji. Bring your face into
view and you can tap the red button to record
a video that can be sent in Messages.
How to manage
your Notifications
in iOS 12
You can now manage your notifications more
efficiently and logically than ever in iOS 12
Time needed
otifications has been a tricky area for Apple and
arguably the experience has been superior on
Android in the past. The problem comes when you
have a busy life and lots of accounts, and are inundated
by notifications throughout the day. It can very quickly
become hard to control and get in the way of enjoying
your iPhone experience to the point that the constant
beeps and pop-ups can actually make you less efficient.
iOS 12 has gone a long way to making life a whole lot
easier for those of you who have suffered in the past and
we are here to show you how to make the most of the
streamlined notifications in the latest and greatest mobile
operating system. It takes no time to learn and you will
soon be managing your communications with ease.
The ‘stack’ system for your notifications in iOS 12 makes it
far easier to digest and manage them…
Step-by-step Manage all of your notifications
1 Let it happen
Don’t touch anything initially. Simply swipe
down from the centre of the top of the screen
to see what the new layout looks like. You can
now tap each area to explore.
2 Open a group
Tap any group of cards to see the stack
open up to show each notification. You can
now tap each to read the full content when
you need to. It’s highly logical.
3 Less and clear
Tap ‘Show Less’ to regroup a stack or
the ‘X’ to remove them all. Then tap ‘Clear’
and they will all be dismissed ready for future
notifications to take their place.
Critical alerts are now enabled in iOS 12 and will ignore Do Not Disturb to
ensure you do not miss vital notifications.
Logical and obvious
Numerous notifications now make sense
In the detail
There is just enough detail in
each notification to understand
the content. You should set it
to only display once you have
authenticated who you are on
your iPhone.
One stack
You no longer need to
scroll through long lists of
notifications from the same
app and can instead tap once
to view them all, no matter how
many are present.
Quick management
You can manage the way
notifications work from any
app by swiping left and tapping
the ‘Manage’ icon. It allows you
to make instant adjustments
that suit your lifestyle.
Knowledge base
Stats and richness
Notification stats are displayed in
Screen Time and will show you the
total number for the week as well as
an average daily count and stats
for each individual app in a list.
App developers also now have the
opportunity to show images and other
media in their app’s notifications if
needed alongside added interactivity.
4 Tune the experience
Swipe left on any group to see a selection
of options that are otherwise hidden. If you tap
‘Manage’ you will be able to tune the related
app settings instantly.
Clear groups
Groups of notifications can
be dismissed with just two
taps. This enables you to keep
control when certain apps are
particularly busy throughout
the day.
5 Quiet deliveries
If you tap ‘Deliver Quietly’ the notifications
from the related app will show in the
Notification Centre, but not on the lock screen
and they will not play a sound.
6 Keeping on top
In Settings>Notifications>App you can
change the ‘Banner Style’ to Persistent so that
the notifications stay on the lock screen until
cleared. Useful for productivity.
Tackle pop-up
scams in Safari
Seen a message congratulating you on winning an
Apple device? It’s a scam and must be stopped
Time needed
ometimes, when you’re happily browsing on your
iPhone, a pop-up message appears excitedly
telling you about a prize you have just won. It’s
likely that you will see the message for what it is: a scam.
But what can you do about this intrusion and what are
those behind it really after?
We’ll answer the second question first. These prompts
– together with similar pop-ups saying your iPhone has a
virus – simply want your details. They appear when you
visit rogue websites or those hi-jacked by scammers and
you should never engage with them.
The best method for tackling this scourge is to close it
down and wipe any data that may have been stored. Then
note the site it came from and either avoid it in future or
bring the issue to the webmasters’ attention, but here we’l
show you how to handle those annoying pop-ups.
We all encounter internet scams at some point, but the
important thing is that you deal with them the right way
Step-by-step Fix rogue pop-ups in iOS
1 Don’t tap!
Rogue pop-ups are annoying, whether in
Safari, Chrome or social media. But whatever
you do, don’t tap ‘OK’ or any other part of the
screen, no matter how enticing the offer.
2 Close the app
Swipe up and hold (or double-tap the
Home button on an iPhone X) to call up the
apps tray. Press down and tap the red ‘–’ to
close (or else swipe the affected app away).
3 Activate Airplane Mode
Now stop your iPhone connecting to the
internet by swiping down from the upper-right
of the screen (or up from the bottom edge on
an iPhone X) and tapping the Airplane icon.
It wouldn’t do any harm to take a screenshot of the problem you’ve
encountered to send evidence of it to Apple at
Spotting a scam a mile off
Watch out for these telltale signs…
Check the website
Look very carefully at
the website address.
Here we see the URL
Now surely, Cadbury would
remember to include the
‘y’ in its name?
Odd celebration
It’s true – Cadbury was formed
in 1824 and so it is 194 years
old. But is that a landmark year
to celebrate? Surely only 195
or 200 would be worth such a
grand gesture…
Too good to be true
We all love something for
nothing but check out what’s
involved. If it’s a case of
collecting coupons, you may
be on solid ground. But if
it’s free in exchange for your
details, tread carefully.
Knowledge base
Install a mobile ad blocker
The pop-ups are disguised as ads that
contain redirecting JavaScript so one
way of trying to prevent them appearing
is to install a mobile ad blocker. Head
to the App Store and search for the
likes of AdGuard and AdBlock. Then go
to Settings>Safari>Content Blockers
and enable the blocker you’ve just
chosen, downloaded and installed.
4 Reopen browser
Open the browser with the offending popup and tap the tabs button (two-overlapping
boxes in Safari). Tap ‘X’ to close the tab and
disable Airplane mode (reverse Step 3).
Social media
Scams tend to proliferate
more on social media because
the people reckon someone
in your trusted circle will post
it, thereby luring you and
others to join in.
5 Clear Browser history 6 Remove data
It’s likely a cookie has been stored in your
web browser so you’ll need to remove it. For
Safari, open the Settings app, tap Safari and
scroll down to the bottom of the screen.
Select ‘Advanced’ and go to Website
Data. Now scroll to the bottom of the screen
and tap ‘Remove All Website Data’. Confirm
by tapping ‘Remove Now’.
Create custom wallpaper
How to turn any image on the web into your own custom
background for the iPhone or iPad
Time needed
re you still using the default background that came with
your iPhone or iPad? If so, it is about time you gave it
a refresh and added some new wallpaper. It is easy to
add an image of course, and there is a Wallpaper section in the
Settings app. This enables you to select wallpapers that Apple
provides with the device or choose one of your photos.
In this guide we will show how to use any image you see
on the web as a custom wallpaper. You can choose wallpaper
images taken from your favourite games, from photo libraries
online, or any image that catches your eye while browsing the
web. You can even turn web images into Apple Watch faces too.
It is great fun searching for images and applying them.
Safari actions
Use the Actions menu in Safari
Save an image
When an image is
displayed in Safari, press
the Share/Actions button,
then find the Save Image
button at the bottom. This
saves the image to the
Photos library where it can
be set as wallpaper.
Knowledge base
Switching to a custom background is the easiest way to
personalise your iOS device
Create a
Watch face
Press this button in the
Actions menu and you
are guided through the
process of creating a
Watch face from the
image. A preview shows
that can be set as one of
ten custom images.
Save to Files
Press this icon to save the
image to iCloud storage,
such as the Documents
folder. From there it can
be saved to the Photos
library or even edited on
the Mac before setting it
as wallpaper.
What size image
is required?
The iPhone and iPad can cope with
any image size, but if you want to
create one that is just right, you need to
know what that size is. You could use
a free app like Metapho to display the
meta information for images. Take a
screenshot and see what size it is with
Metapho. Resize images with the free
Image Size app.
Swipe for more
There are many more
activities of course and
swiping left and right
shows them all. Well, all
that are enabled. Find and
press the More button to
add or remove actions or
rearrange them.
When grabbing web images to use on your phone, be aware that some
images are copyrighted (but who will know if you have set one as wallpaper?).
Step-by-step Turn web images into custom wallpaper
1 Find an image
2 Download the image
3 Save the image
4 Where is the image?
5 Move and scale
6 Set as wallpaper
1 More Safari actions
2 Enable optional items
Open Safari and find an image you want
to use as wallpaper. We went to pixabay.
com, which is a great source of free images,
and searched for ‘lion’.
Where is the image saved to? Open the
Photos app and select ‘All Photos’. Press the
photo and then press the Share/Activities
button at the bottom. Tap ‘Use as Wallpaper’.
Tap the image to go to the photo page
and tap the ‘Free Download button’. Select
the size nearest the screen size of the iPhone
or iPad and then press the Download button.
Use the usual photo gestures, like pinch
and spread to zoom in and out, and drag the
image around to get it just as you prefer and
then press the Set button at the bottom.
The image opens in Safari. Press and
hold on the image and a menu appears at
the bottom of the screen. Press ‘Save Image’.
Any web page image can be saved this way.
When Set is pressed you have the
option to set the image as the lock screen,
home screen or both. Choose the one you
want and go to the home screen to see it.
the actions
Some of the actions on the Share/Actions
button at the bottom of the screen in Safari
can be customised. Some items can be
shown, others can be hidden, and you
can change the order of the icons in the
pop-up menu. Here we take a quick look
at how to add the option to create Watch
faces. It is strange that there is no option
to create wallpaper images directly though.
That would be a useful feature to have.
Find an image in Safari and tap it to view
as above. Press the Share/Actions button at
the bottom and swipe left over the bottom
row to get to the last item. Press ‘More’.
There is an option to Create Watch Face
from the image if you have an Apple Watch.
You can then go straight from a web image to
a Watch face, which is fun.
Block anything on your iPhone
Find out how to block phone calls, text messages,
adverts, notifications and more…
Time needed
he iPhone can be a source of irritations and distractions
with chimes, whistles and rings. It can nag you with
notifications, cold callers, texts, and more. If you have
ever been pestered by accident chasers, PPI claim companies
and others on the iPhone, learn how to block them so they
cannot call you again. If you are getting unwanted text
messages, they can be blocked too. Don’t allow notifications to
disturb your sleep and don’t let advertisers track you when you
are online. Block everything!
Here we take a look at the various ways you can block
undesirable content and stop unwanted people from pestering
you or tracking you. Set your iPhone up to avoid the irritations…
Block unwanted content
Configure iPhone restrictions in Settings
Block films and TV
Films and TV programmes
have ratings that indicate
their suitability for various age
ranges. Tap each one and
then choose what content
to block. For example, adult
content for 18+ users.
There are ways to block most unwanted intrusions on your
iOS device through the Settings app…
Block apps
If you, or a child using the
phone, does not want to be
able to run apps with adult
content or themes, tap Apps
and choose an age range.
Games are typically rated if
they have adult content.
Clean up Siri
Siri can be completely
blocked in Settings>General>
Restrictions, but another
option is to allow it and
restrict the language that can
be used. Press here to limit
what Siri can say or do.
Knowledge base
Block notifications
If you allow notifications from every
app your iPhone will drive you nuts.
It is essential that you go through all
your apps and block the ones that are
unimportant. There are around half a
dozen useful ones, like Mail, Calendar,
Messages, FaceTime and so on, but
many, like Facebook, Twitter and
others are simply irritations. Block them
in Settings>Notifications.
Block sites
and content
Press here to limit the type
of websites that can be
accessed with Safari. Either
block adult content or Block
every site except for those
that you specify, which is
useful for young children.
Configure your iPhone and stop it pestering you and seeking your attention.
Blocking unwanted calls, text, notifications and so on removes distractions.
Step-by-step Block everything in Settings
1 Block phone callers
2 Block messages
3 Add restrictions
4 Restrict websites
5 Limit ad tracking
6 Block distractions
1 Install AdShield
2 Block unwanted content
If you get unwanted calls on your iPhone,
go to the Phone app, press ‘Recents’, press
the ‘i’ next to a number or name, swipe to the
bottom and tap ‘Block this Caller’.
Swipe down Restrictions and tap
‘Websites’. If either Limit Adult Content or
Specific Websites Only is selected, use the
options to block or allow specific websites.
To hide text messages, open Settings>
Messages and there are two options. One is
to Filter Unknown Messages, and the other is
Blocked. Tap ‘Blocked’ to add senders.
Advertisers track your activities through
adverts. You cannot completely block them
here, but you can limit them. Go to Settings>
Privacy>Advertising>Limit Ad Tracking.
Go to Settings>General>Restrictions
and tap ‘Enable Restrictions’ to see a list of
apps and features you can block. These are
most useful for configuring kids’ iPhones.
Swipe up and tap the crescent moon to
enable Do Not Disturb. Schedule sleep hours
to automatically enable it at night to stop
your phone waking you.
How to block
web content
There are many web content blockers that
enable a wide range of web items to be
blocked when using Safari and AdShield
is a typical example. It can prevent adverts
from appearing on web pages, but that
is just one category of content that can
be blocked – there is a lot more. Some
content blockers can stop fonts, images,
scripts, even widgets for Facebook, Twitter
and other social networks. Let’s take a
look at the free AdShield app.
Open the App Store and install AdShield.
Then go to Settings>Safari and a new item
appears – Enable Content Blockers. Tap it
and then turn on the switch next to AdShield.
Open AdShield and choose what to
block. Block too much web content and sites
may not work properly, however, they can be
added to a whitelist to unblock them.
Take better portraits
with iOS 12
Portrait mode had all the potential in the world and it
feels as though this has been realised in iOS 12
Time needed
ortrait mode came with many promises
that verged on claiming to rival a DSLR in
capturing the foreground and separating it
accurately from the background, but up until now
it has been something of a disappointment. Under
iOS 11 capturing a photo while in Portrait mode
tended to be a bit hit and miss with many images
not fully separating the artefacts as expected.
The time taken for the iPhone to focus could
mean that the moment was missed and multiple
attempts led to an experience that would often
mean a quick jump to standard mode to capture
the quality you needed.
In iOS 12, however, there have been massive
improvements – you don’t need to do anything
differently and the end results can be stunning.
Here’s a quick guide for how to get the best from
the feature. Experiment to see how well it works
with multiple people.
Step-by-step Capture your very best shots
1 A step back
As soon as you open Portrait mode you
will likely need to step back a little to ensure
that the person you are photographing is
captured in the frame. It takes practice.
2 The yellow squares
As soon as you see the yellow squares,
which identify that the face(s) has been
sensed, you can then capture your Portrait
photo. The process is very quick.
The way in which Portrait
mode separates the foreground from the
background has been vastly improved…
Knowledge base
Top it off
You can still edit Portrait mode photos
using filters and other tools if you
so wish to create the perfect snap.
The clever separation of the Portrait
shot remains and is carried through
to the edited photo. The way Portrait
mode works now will make you want
to spend more time creating better
photos than ever.
3 The end result
With a little bit of patience, the end
result should display the foreground perfectly
separated from the background. You are
sure to use this mode very often in the future.
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Apple Watch
Listen to podcasts
on Apple Watch
You can now enjoy your favourite podcasts without
the hassle of needing your iPhone nearby
Time needed
odcasts have never been more popular than today
and the quality of them has risen sharply. Some of
that is due to the boom in smart speakers but there
is also a growing desire for niche content as well as a large
appetite for audio among millennials. With that in mind, the
chance of you wanting to listen to podcasts on the go is
likely to be high. But while the Apple Watch has presented
a golden opportunity for podcasts to be truly portable,
only now is its potential being properly realised.
With watchOS 5, it is possible to listen to podcasts on
your Watch without needing to be close to your iPhone.
Instead, you can stream your favourite audio over Wi-Fi
or, if you have the right Watch, a cellular network (be
aware that Series 1 and 2 Watches only let you control
podcasts on your iPhone). You can even take advantage
of podcasts that have been saved to your Watch so that
you can listen offline. In each case, you only need fire up
the built-in Podcasts app. Happy listening.
With Watch OS5 you can listen to podcasts on your Watch
without needing to have your iPhne nearby
Step-by-step Find and play podcasts
1 Launch Podcasts app 2 Open the library
After updating to watchOS 5, you’ll see
a new Podcasts app. It works best with the
Watch Series 3 and 4, making podcasts
streamable over Wi-Fi or via a cellular network.
Scroll to the top of the screen where you
can tap ‘Library’ to access the podcasts you
subscribe to. These appear automatically and
are synced from your iPhone’s Podcasts app.
3 Find a podcast
There are two main sections: Shows,
where all of the podcasts you enjoy are
listed, and Episodes, which lets you narrow
down to a specific, recently added instalment.
Use the Watch’s Podcast app to control playback on the iPhone – select ‘On
iPhone’ and find podcasts in Listen Now, Shows, Episodes and Stations.
Control podcast playback
The controls for your podcasts on Apple Watch will be familiar
to anyone who has ever played music on the device
Choose an episode
Other episodes associated with
the podcast that is currently
playing can be accessed by
selecting this menu button and
tapping the one you want.
Play and skip
Press Play to begin
listening and tap it again
to pause. Use the options
either side to skip.
Playback speed
If you want to rush through
a podcast, you can alter
the playback speed.
This button will let you
cycle through 1x, 1.5x,
2x and 1/2x.
Knowledge base
Ask Siri to play podcasts
There is no manual search button
within the Podcasts app but that
doesn’t mean you can’t find episodes
of podcasts you’re not subscribed to.
If you know the name of the podcast
you want to hear, ask Siri by saying,
“Hey Siri, Play episode six of
[podcast name]”. You can even
subscribe to a podcast via the Watch.
Say, “Hey Siri, subscribe to the
[podcast name] podcast”.
4 Select a podcast
Browse the various podcasts and, when
you’re ready to enjoy some audio, tap to begin
playback. You will need to connect some
Bluetooth earphones to hear it.
Volume button
With the name of the
podcast at the top of the
screen and the date the
episode was uploaded,
there’s nothing left to do
other than crank up the
volume and enjoy.
5 Connect earphones
If you haven’t already hooked up your
Bluetooth earphones or AirPods tap ‘Connect
a Device’ and your Watch will begin looking for
them. Tap the device when it’s been found.
6 Enjoy listening
Now you can listen without the need for
your iPhone. Podcasts in the episodes section
will have been automatically downloaded – so
they can even be played offline.
Apple Watch
Start an Activity
Keep motivated as you exercise by challenging a friend
to do better than you with this new watchOS 5 feature
Time needed
The person you are
competing against is
shown on the Watch screen
alongside your own score for
an easy comparison.
Total wins
Each day chalks up a win
and the idea is that one of
you gets more wins in total
than the other. With seven
days in total, there will
always be one winner.
eeping in good shape is important but
doing it alone can be demotivating. For
that reason, Apple has long allowed you
to share your healthy endeavours via its Activity
app but it has now gone one step further by
letting you kickstart an Activity competition
through your Watch.
In order to take part, both you and your
friend must have updated your wearables to
watchOS 5. From that point on, however, the
app does all of the hard work for you – well,
except for the bit where you try and outpoint
them by doing lots of exercise.
The hope is that the competition will keep
you on top of your exercise regime with the
winner being the one who has the most points
after seven days. As you exercise, the app will
alert you to your progress. It’s also possible to
start a competition via the iPhone by opening
Activity, tapping ‘Sharing’, selecting a friend and
hitting ‘Compete’.
Seven days
Each competition is held over
seven days. You’re told when the
competition will start and you can
keep a check on your daily total by
looking at this day-by-day chart.
Step-by-step Invite a friend to a competition
1 Share your activity
To add a friend to the Activity app,
launch it on your iPhone, tap ‘+’, enter their
name and tap ‘Send’. When they accept, you
can challenge them to a competition.
2 Open Watch Activity
Now launch the Activity app on your
Watch. Swipe left and you’ll see the names
of friends you’ve added. Tap a name and
scroll down to the bottom of the screen.
3 Send an invite
Tap the button which says Invite. An
invitation will be sent to the other person and
the competition will begin when they accept.
The idea is to amass more points than them.
Apple Watch
Raise your Watch
to speak to Siri
With watchOS 5, you don’t need to utter “Hey Siri” or
press the Digital Crown to issue your commands
Speak clearly
Time needed
Keep your voice at an audible volume otherwise
Siri won’t pick you up via Raise to Speak. You
also need to be relatively alone because other
voices around you can prevent it working.
iri has long proven to be useful on the
iPhone, iPad and Mac but it comes
into its own on the Apple Watch where
the small screen can often feel too fiddly for
constant finger input. To make life even easier,
Apple has now introduced a new Raise to
Speak function within watchOS 5. This allows
Siri to be called upon without you having to
touch the Watch or say “Hey Siri”. All you need
to do is lift your wrist in much the same manner
as when viewing the time and you’ll be able to
issue an immediate command.
That said, it can take a little bit of getting
used to and you may need a few attempts
before you work out how deliberate a gesture
you need to make. Moving your Watch close to
your mouth, for instance, tends to do the trick
– but you’ll have less success if you’re trying for
an arm’s-length distance. It’s certainly great if
you constantly forget to say “Hey Siri”: it’s time
to feel like Michael Knight all over again.
Lift your wrist
The gesture for Raise to Speak is
more deliberate than the one you use
to see the time. Experiment with the
best position – lifting it towards your
mouth will work.
Old-fashioned way
The traditional way of activating Siri on
your Watch is to press the Digital Crown
or say “Hey Siri”. For ease of use, it’s still
worth retaining the “Hey Siri” function via
Step-by-step Make use of Raise to Speak
1 Raise your wrist
You can check whether Raise to Speak
is already on by raising your wrist to see if Siri
asks for a command. If it doesn’t, then you
need to manually turn the function on.
2 Open Settings app
Launch the Settings app on your Apple
Watch before scrolling down and tapping
‘General’. Now select the option marked Siri
to see the functions that are available to you.
3 Turn it on
A switch will appear on the screen
letting you turn Raise to Speak mode on or
off. Ensure it is on and then exit the Settings.
Now try raising your wrist once more.
Make Apple Watch
icons the same size
Make it easier to find and tap on your Watch icons by
turning off animations on your home screen
Time needed
our Apple Watch is a snazzy, eye-catching little
thing. But there are certainly times when it can
be a tad fiddly to use. One such example is that,
when you try and select icons from the home screen, they
will resize so that those in the centre appear larger than
those that are at the edges of the screen. This doesn’t
really serve much of a purpose other than to look good.
But if you’d prefer all of your icons to be the same size to
make it easier to spot an icon and tap it, there is a way of
turning the animations off.
In doing so, you will also be reducing the chance of
suffering motion sickness while using your Watch, which
is good news to anyone who feels dizzy at the number of
animations built into the user-interface. What’s more, there
is also a way of zooming in to your Apple Watch screen
to make it even easier to see icons if you are struggling to
view them. Here we look at the methods for both of these
useful built-in features.
Making all of your Watch icons the same size can actually
help reduce motion sickness too
Step-by-step Increase the size of app icons
1 Open Settings
If you would like to ensure all of your
Apple Watch icons are the same size and do
not get smaller as they reach the edge of the
screen, you need to open the Settings app.
2 Select General
Scroll down the Settings app screen and
tap ‘General’. This will start us on the path to
finding Apple’s built-in feature which lets you
limit the default Watch animations.
3 Tap Accessibility
Now scroll down the long list of options.
Locate and tap the option ‘Accessibility’ and,
on the next screen, keep scrolling down until
you reach the section marked Vision.
You can also reduce motion on your Watch via your iPhone. Open the Watch
app, go to My Watch>General>Accessibility and toggle on ‘Reduce Motion’.
Enable Zoom on Apple Watch
If you are struggling to see icons, turn on the zoom feature
Same-size icons
When you zoom, the icons
will still be varying sizes
and they will animate so
it’s best to turn on Reduce
Motion at the same time.
Larger icons
To turn on the zoom
feature, go to the Settings
on your Apple Watch,
tap General, select
Accessibility and choose
‘Zoom’. Toggle it to on.
Zooming in
When Zoom is activated,
you can double-tap with
two fingers. By rotating
the Digital Crown you are
able to adjust your view
of the screen.
Knowledge base
Conserve Apple Watch’s
battery life
When you select to Reduce Motion
on your Apple Watch, you’re not only
making the display easier to use, you
are helping to reduce the amount of
battery the wearable uses. That’s
because Reduce Motion does not
just affect the size of the icons, it also
prevents the Watch from zooming in
and out of apps and other animations
that eat away at the device’s power.
4 Reduce Motion
You will see that ‘Reduce Motion’ option
is turned off by default. In order to ensure that
all of your Watch’s app icons are the same
size, this needs to be activated so tap it.
Press and hold
If you press and hold down
on the screen, you can
also choose between this
grid view and a list view:
the latter may make it even
easier to find apps on your
home screen.
5 Switch it on
When the feature is turned off, you will
see that the button on the screen is showing
as grey and white. By simply swiping, you will
be able to toggle the switch so that it is on.
6 Check the result
With the switch turned from grey to
green, you can press the Digital Crown on
your Watch and return to the home screen
where the app icons will be the same size.
HQ Trivia
Play HQ Trivia on
Apple TV
Try and win money via your television with this
popular daily quiz and a new app
Time needed
hen HQ Trivia was
launched on iOS in
August 2017, it helped to
revolutionise the way we see quizbased apps. Rather than simply
present you with a series of questions
that you could access at any time,
it took the form of a live game
show and offered cash to anyone
answering all 12 questions correctly.
Since then, HQ Trivia has attracted
thousands of players, many of whom
are lured by the sense of competition,
fun presenters and the challenge of
answering the ‘savage’ questions
that tend to eliminate scores of
competitors. The fewer winners there
are, the more money the eventual
victors will receive.
All you have to do is fire up the
app at 9pm every day (and at 3pm
weekdays) to be in with a shout and
you can now do this on your Apple
TV thanks to a newly launched app.
HQ Trivia invites you to win real cash by
answering questions through your Apple TV
Step-by-step Win money with HQ Trivia
1 Install HQ Trivia
Go to the App Store on your Apple TV
and download HQ – Live Trivia Game Show to
your device. Once the app has installed, select
Open and then click ‘Sign In To Play’.
2 Enter phone number
Now enter your mobile phone number.
If you have already signed up to HQ Trivia on
your iPhone or via Android, enter that number
to access your existing quiz account.
3 Confirm number
A code will be sent to your mobile phone
via a text message. When you receive it, you
have just 30 seconds to enter it so be nimble
with the onscreen keyboard.
When you win money, HQ Trivia will contact you with details of how to claim a
prize. You will need a PayPal account for this.
How to play HQ Trivia
Want to win some cold hard cash? Then you need to get to
grips with HQ Trivia’s interface
Live shows
Since it’s a live show, HQ Trivia
has a real-life presenter taking
you through the questions and
engaging in some light-hearted
banter. They help to crank up
the pressure on players.
Number of players
Those who get an answer
wrong are eliminated. See how
many are left in the top left-hand
corner. If you have an extra life,
the heart is filled in. You’ll be
prompted when you can use it.
Knowledge base
Increase your chances
It’s worth logging into HQ Trivia on your
iPhone too. This offers extra options
such as being able to invite others to
play in exchange for extra lives and the
ability to find people playing nearby.
You can also turn on notifications for
when a show is about to go live, plus
buy extra lives via your iPhone to use
when you get a wrong answer.
4 Enter a username
If you have an existing account, you’ll
go straight to the next step. But if HQ Trivia
detects a new number, then you’ll be asked to
think up a username. Click ‘Next’ when done.
Multiple choice
Each question is clearly
displayed in the right-hand
frame and you have a choice
of three possible answers.
Use the Siri Remote to
click on the one you think
is correct.
5 View the dashboard
You’ll be presented with the Apple TV
dashboard. It will tell you when the next game
is going to start and how much the prize will
be. Come back just before it is due to start.
Answering correctly
After each question, the correct
answer is revealed alongside
the number of people who got it
right. In each case, you have just
ten seconds to answer.
6 Getting ready
When a game is about to start, you will
see a countdown from two minutes and 30
seconds. The presenter will appear, kick off
with some banter and then start the game.
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
The place to come
for key terms
made easy
This is a command line
interface (CLI) app that
comes on all Macs and
allows users to modify
various characteristics
of their Macs, including
fonts, files and certain
aspects of the desktop.
This is a relatively new
type of connector for
delivering data and power
to and from devices.
Because the plug is
symmetrical in shape it
can be inserted any way
up and the latest versions
of USB-C are capable of
delivering super-fast data
transferral speeds.
Split Screen view makes it easy to
use two apps side-by-side…
I know that my Mac is capable of Split Screen view but have
never looked into how it works – can you advise? Talha Salam
This Apple-developed
application is free to
download from the
Mac App Store and is
essentially a suite of
tools for developing
software for macOS, iOS,
watchOS and tvOS. It
supports source code for
a range of programming
languages, including
C++, Java and Swift.
1 Click green circle 2 Click second app 3 Closing the view
Click and hold on the green
circle in the top-left corner of the
first app window and you’ll see
that the left side of the screen
behind changes colour. Release
and the app will snap in place.
The second app should
appear in a blue outline in the
space to the right of the first app.
Click on it and it, too, will snap
into place, this time on the righthand side of the screen.
If you wish to leave Split
Screen view then all you have to
do is hover your cursor at the top
of the screen to reveal the menu
bar and then click on the green
circle of each app.
Make sure that you explore all of the new 3D Touch features in iOS 12, such
as ones for Notes and Camera that let you scan documents and QR codes.
I read that it is possible to enable Do Not Disturb at specific
locations, but I can’t figure out how to set it up! Jamie Egersdorff
This is a new feature of iOS 12 that is particularly
useful if you are having a meal out and want to enjoy
quality time with loved ones without getting distracted
by notifications from your iPhone. Or if you’re at the
1 Open Settings
Go to Settings>Privacy>
Location Services>System
Services and make sure that the
‘Location-Based Alerts’ option is
switched on (green).
cinema, gym – anywhere you would like to enjoy
the moment free from incessant ‘pings’ and screen
flashes. It isn’t set up by default though so you will
need to adjust certain settings to get it to work.
Control Centre
2 Access
3 Long-press
Now, when you are at a location
you don’t wish to be disturbed
at, swipe up to access your
Control Centre…
Now press and hold on the
moon-shaped Do Not Disturb icon
and you will see the ‘Until I leave
this location’ option – tap it to kill all
notifications until you vacate.
How do I turn my iOS keyboard into a trackpad? I find it
hard to place my cursor using my finger! Cal Rainford
Now for all!
This feature used to be
reserved for owners of 3D
Touch-enabled iPhones,
but with the release of iOS
12 the feature has been
extended to all devices.
Hold spacebar
To access the trackpad
feature, simply press and
hold on the spacebar
and the rest of the iOS
keyboard will fade out to
the background…
Move cursor
Still pressing and holding
on the screen, you can
swipe your finger around
to manually position the
onscreen cursor anywhere
within your text.
More colours
The iOS 12 update also
brings new colours to
Markup mode. Tap on the
black circle followed by the
colour picker to choose a
custom colour.
The one-stop
column for
Genius advice
Is it possible to record
Apple TV on my Mac
and, if so, do I need
any special equipment
for this?
That really depends
on what generation
Apple TV you have.
Early versions would be
problematic but if you
have a fourth generation
model then it can be
connected via USB-C. As
the Apple TV 4K lacks a
USB-C port you will need
to pair your Apple TV and
Mac, which can be done
through Xcode (which
is free to download from
the Mac App Store).
On your Apple TV 4K,
go to Settings>Remotes
and Devices>Remote
App and Devices and
then, in Xcode, go to
Windows> Devices and
Simulators and select
your Apple TV. Now enter
the pin that appears on
the Apple TV and the
devices should be paired.
Next, on your Mac,
launch the QuickTime
Player app and then
go to File>New Movie
Recording. Click on the
down-facing arrow next
to the red Record button
and select your Apple
TV from the Camera
and Microphone options
(you may be asked for
another code that is
displayed on your Apple
TV). You should now be
able to record, although
protected content will
not be displayed on
your Mac.
Genius Bar
The one-stop
column for
Genius advice
How do I change folder
and file icons on my
Mac? Do I need a
special app for this?
No, this can all be done
in Finder. Right-click on
the folder or document
and select ‘Get Info’. You
will now be able to click
on the thumbnail image
at the top of the info
window and copy and
paste whatever image
you want in there.
Can I recover photos
that I have accidentally
deleted on my iPhone?
Yes, open your Photos
app and tap on ‘Albums’,
then scroll down until
you see an album called
Recently Deleted. Tap
on this and all of the
recently deleted images
will be displayed. Now
tap on ‘Select’ and tap
on the images you wish
to save and then tap on
the ‘Recover’ option. The
selected images will now
be moved back to the
folder they were originally
deleted from.
How do I set up Apple
Pay on my iPhone?
Open your Wallet app
and then tap on the blue
‘+’ icon in the top-right
corner. You can now add
a card by framing it in your
camera or by entering the
details manually. When
this is done you will receive
a verification code from
your bank. Once set up,
go to Settings>Touch ID &
Passcode to enable this.
Is there any way to
create custom message
responses on my
Apple Watch like you can on
your iPhone? The ones on my
iPhone don’t seen to carry
across. David Casey
Yes, and it’s all done through
the Watch app on your iPhone.
Launch the app and then tap
‘My Watch’, then scroll down to
the list of apps and then tap on
‘Messages’. Now select ‘Default
Replies’ and you will be presented
with a list of default replies. Simply
tap on any one of them and
replace the text with whatever you
want. You can also tap on ‘Add
Reply’ to create a new response
that will be added to the list. Tap
‘Done’ when you have finished to
save your new messages and they
will be synced to your Watch.
Is there any way to increase the size of the text in
Safari websites as I find many quite hard to read with
my deteriorating eyesight? Ryan Brennan
This is surprisingly easy to do within the Safari app itself. Simply
go to the website that you want to read, right-click on the URL
bar and then choose the ‘Settings For This Website’ option. You
will now be able to adjust the zoom for individual sites. If you want
to zoom in on every site you visit then go to Safari>Preferences>
Page Zoom and then increase the zoom percentage next to the
‘When visiting other websites’ option in the lower-right corner of
the window. This will then be applied to all sites going forward.
You can apply zoom to all sites in the Safari
‘Page Zoom’ Preferences…
My friend’s Mac has no menu bar or hard drive icon on his
desktop – where do I find options that relate to this? Cal Hall
Hide menu bar
Go to System
and then, at the top, you
should see the option to
‘Automatically hide and
show the menu bar’. This
hides it when not in use.
Finder prefs
To hide the Macintosh HD
icon from your desktop go
to Finder>Preferences to
launch a set of preferences
specifically for Finder
that are different than the
System Preferences.
Untick box
In the Finder Preferences,
click on the ‘General’ tab
and then untick the box
next to hard disks under
‘Show these items on the
desktop’. The HD icon will
now be hidden from view.
If you are running WatchOS 4.3 or later you will be able to browse your
iPhone’s entire music collection as well as control playback.
I have heard that it is possible to control the music on my
HomePod with my Apple Watch. How is this done? Lucinda Williams
You will need to initially set it up on your iPhone. Start
playing music on your HomePod and then grab your
iPhone and swipe up to access your Control Centre.
Force-press on the Music control and then select your
HomePod and a set of playback controls will appear.
Now, as long as your Watch face is active, the playback
controls will appear and you will be able to control your
music without using your voice or your iPhone.
Song name
The name of the song that
is currently playing on your
HomePod will be displayed
across the top of the
screen. Above that is the
name of the HomePod you
are controlling.
You can twist the Digital
Crown on your Apple
Watch to increase or
decrease the volume.
When you make changes
the circle will go green.
Skip tracks
This button hardly needs
any introduction, but
pressing this will pause a
song and then pressing
it again will resume the
music. It’s very simple.
Use these buttons to go
forward and back through
the various music tracks.
Pressing either one will
control what you hear
through your HomePod. It
works really well!
A project that I am currently working on requires me to take lots of screenshots
on my Mac, but is there a way to ensure they don’t congest the desktop? Des Cole
Aside from moving them the moment they are taken,
the only other alternative is to crack open your trusty
Terminal app. This will allow you to designate a new
folder as the default location in which all subsequently
1 Open Terminal
Locate and launch your
Mac’s Terminal app. This is
usually found in the ‘Utilities’
folder within your Applications
folder or you can search for it.
taken screenshots are saved. Follow the steps below to
set this up and if you want to reverse the process later
just enter the following command into Terminal: defaults location ~/Desktop.
2 Enter command 3 Drag and drop 4 Save screens
In the Terminal window,
enter the following command:
defaults write
screencapture location. Now
create a new folder.
Drag the new folder that
you created for screenshots into
the open Terminal window and
the path will be added to your
command. Now hit Enter.
Now, every time you take
a screenshot on your Mac,
the image will be saved to this
folder. You can reverse the
process later if you wish.
Genius Bar
Someone told me that it is possible to turn your
AirPods into hearing aids – is this true? Sarah Gilbertson
Is it possible to use my iPhone
to identify songs that I hear?
What is the best way to go
about this? Dominik Kurowski
You could try downloading the Shazam
app that listens to audio and then names
the song and artist within seconds.
Alternatively, there is a new feature in
your iPhone’s Music app that lets you
search for song lyrics. Make sure that
your device is updated to iOS 12 and
then type song lyrics into the Search
field. Possible matches will instantly be
listed, helping you quickly find the song
that you want. You don’t have to be
an Apple Music subscriber to use this
service either!
1 Update iOS
Start off by going to
Update and make sure
that your device has been
updated to iOS 12.
2 Control Centre 3 Boost sound
Now go to Settings>
Control Centre, tap on the
‘Customise Controls’ option
and then tap the green ‘+’
icon next to Hearing.
With the Hearing option
added to Control Centre
you will be able to activate it
to magnify people’s voices
through your AirPods.
Is there a way to limit how much time my children
spend on their iPhones? Abby Harrison
How do I change the sources
in the News app? I would
like to add more fluffy
entertainment stories instead of the
heavier, political stuff! Mia Blatch
Open your News app and tap on
‘Channels’. This will then list the channels
you currently follow plus a selection of
Siri recommendations. Tap on the ‘Edit’
option in the top-right corner to remove
existing channels or scroll down and tap
on ‘Discover Channels & Topics’ to see
what else is out there. Simply tap on the
heart icon next to any channel that you
would like to add to your feed.
Tap on this option and turn
on ‘Downtime’, then enter
a ‘Start’ and ‘End’ time
and your children will be
prevented from using their
device completely during
this period. Handy for
ensuring they go to sleep.
Get updated!
The iOS 12 update allows
parents to set a variety of
app restrictions for their
iOS devices. Once the
device has been updated,
go to Settings>Screen
Time to get started.
App Limits
Here you can restrict when
certain types of app are
used, for example anything
classified as a game.
Choose a category then
tap ‘Add’ to set time limits
to the apps.
If there are certain
apps that your
child always needs
access to, such as
Messages, then tap
here and then tap on
the green ‘+’ icons to
add apps to the list.
Using Terminal to set hidden files to TRUE or FALSE is the best way to show
or hide them. An alternate method is to press Shift+Cmd+. (full stop).
As more and more features rely on iCloud I am constantly
having to squeeze what little space I have. Do you have any
iCloud space-saving tips that would benefit? Arjen Idema
The one-stop
column for
Genius advice
I regularly use thirdparty storage devices
connected to my iPad’s
Lightning port and
wondered if that was
a way to turn off USB
Restricted mode that
came as part of the iOS
11.4.1 update?
While this was a
genuinely worthwhile
security enhancement
to prevent lost or stolen
iOS devices from being
hacked, it can prove
a barrier if you need
to attach additional
devices. To turn it off,
go to Settings>Touch ID
& Passcode and then
scroll down to the Allow
Access When Locked
section. Now all you have
to do is turn off ‘USB
1 Open prefs
Open System Preferences
and then click on the ‘iCloud’
pane. You should see the
‘Manage’ button in the lowerright corner – click it.
2 Delete files
Start by selecting the
‘Backups’ option in the left
column and then highlight any
old iOS backups that you no
longer require and click ‘Delete’.
3 Clean storage
Click on each of the listed
apps and if there are any that
you no longer use, select
them and then click on ‘Delete
Documents and Data’.
4 View hidden files 5 Open Terminal 6 See extra docs
You can also view hidden
files within your iCloud folder, but
sadly not delete them. Start by
opening a Finder window and
selecting ‘iCloud Drive’.
Open your Terminal app
and enter: defaults write com.
apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles
TRUE and then Force Quit and
relaunch Finder.
All of the previously hidden
files within your iCloud Drive
should now be viewable in the
Finder window. Just for your own
amusement, it would appear.
How do I set up
dictation on my Mac so
I can speak instead of
writing words?
Go to System
Dictation and then turn
the feature on. From this
screen you can also set
up a shortcut to enable
this feature at any time.
How do I access
different Visualizer
modes in iTunes?
Launch the Visualizer by
going to View>Visualizer>
Show Visualizer and
then when it starts, keep
pressing the ‘M’ key to
cycle through the various
modes. Press the ‘?’ key
to reveal more controls.
Lenco L-400
Key features
Learn more
Available from
Now that you have read and digested our
in-depth feature on converting your old vinyl
collection to iTunes, you’ll know exactly what
gear is needed to complete the task. And we’re
happy to divulge that the L-400 from Swiss audio
specialist, Lenco, was used by us throughout the
entire process thanks to its USB connectivity and
all-round awesomeness.
Quality components
Perfect for professional DJs and vinyl collectors,
alike, the L-400 is a direct drive turntable with
an integrated stereo pre-amplifier (so you won’t
need an additional amp) – you can just plug this
into any existing home sound system or studio
monitors with the supplied RCA cables.
The turntable has two speed settings of 33
and 45 RPM and a start/stop button to
make it easy to cue the music. What
really impresses about the unit,
as a potential centrepiece, is
the mechanical tonearm.
Black beauty: Lenco’s L-400BK
direct drive turntable is a must
for vinylists everywhere
Like the rest of the turntable, this requires some
assembly, but everything slots together quickly
and easily without the need for tools. A coollooking counterweight must be slid onto the
tonearm, which can then be finely adjusted to
get the perfect balance, and at the other end a
premium Audio Technica moving magnetic
cartridge can be affixed to deliver that
rich vinyl sound quality. The whole
process of getting it up and
running from unboxing
should take no
longer than
about 15
minutes. The turntable is set out so that the main
power dial and the start/stop button are located
in the near left corner, with a pitch adjust slider
(which adjusts the platter speed) and speed select
buttons in the near right corner. The tonearm
has its own control level and anti-skate
controls that help prevent the
needle from skipping over
the record – perfect
for your less
reliable older records. Speaking of which, this
turntable even comes with an EP Adaptor to
accommodate those ex-jukebox 45s!
The layout is completed with a target light that
illuminates to aid accuracy when placing the
needle. The supplied dust cover hampers the
overall look, making it look quite old-fashioned,
but this is obviously an essential for us non-DJs.
Pitch perfect
The L-400 makes the process of digitising your
old records effortless. It comes with a 3M USB
cable that plugs straight into your Mac and a
CD of Audacity software, a guide to which is
available in the main instruction manual. Once
the conversion process has been completed,
this will serve you well as a straightforward
player and act as a fine focal point to the room.
We love the way the pitch slider which adds
versatility to the sound, and also the pilot lamp on
the power switch which projects a beam of light
at the strobe indicators on the revolving platter for
a cool, hypnotic effect.
We were also impressed with how well the
turntable handled old, battle-scarred vinyl.
By fine-tuning the counterweight and making
adjustments to the anti-skate controls, you can
make those cringe-inducing ‘zips’ a thing of the
past. If you have only made tentative steps back
into the vinyl market with a budget turntable then
the L-400 is the perfect step-up, offering premium
components and a really satisfying sound at a
very affordable price. The only drawback we
suffered was that the button to switch the target
light on and off proved unreliable and, as such,
this light remained permanently illuminated. This
slight niggle did nothing to dampen our overall
enthusiasm for this product though…
A highly-desirable turntable that is perfect for
fuelling your passion for vinyl as it intensifies,
providing quality parts and a lovely warm sound.
Klipsch The Three
Key features
Learn more
Available from
Introducing Klipsch’s own foray into the wireless,
multi-room speaker market with this, The Three,
and its little brother, The One (reviewed over the
page). We’re not sure where The Two is, but
we’re sure it’ll be along in a minute.
Acoustically tuned
Incorporating a luxurious wood veneer and tactile
spun copper switches and knobs, The Three is a
tabletop audio beast with an interior stuffed with
the very latest technology and an exterior that
harks back to the golden era of radio. Contained
within the rectangular unit are two 2.25-inch
full range drivers and a 5.25-inch long-throw
woofer that is bi-amplified for audio resolution
beyond your wildest dreams. And everything
has been professionally tuned by Klipsch’s own
army of acoustician robots. The result is a rich,
spacious sound that can fill a large, open space,
with a rumbling bass that is projected into every
corner and is capable of rattling the glass in your
windows. The curved wooden feet of the unit do
a fine job of dampening the bass so that there is
no detectable buzzing from the speaker itself.
The Three is very easy to set up. Just power
it on by flicking the switch, select Bluetooth by
turning the source dial and it will become instantly
discoverable by your Mac or iOS device. The
Three also includes audio connections for Wi-Fi
(for the Klipsch Stream Wireless Multi-Room
Audio System), analogue, 3.5mm miniplug, phono
preamp and USB-B – it’s a versatile unit alright.
We were undeniably impressed with the quality
of sound that The Three delivers and its timeless
design means that it can slot comfortably into any
room in your home… But the bigger, the better.
Considering its not substantial size, The Three projects a big, detailed
sound and plenty of shuddering bass around large spaces. The retrocool design also means it’ll look good anywhere.
Audio Technica LP5
Key features
Learn more
Available from
If you’re a firm believer that your valuable vinyl
collection deserves a premium player then Audio
Technica’s LP5 direct drive turntable is a midrange marvel comprising of high-end components
that treats your records like its own offspring. The
spec list alone is sure to get audiophiles salivating,
and it has the added bonus of USB connection,
so you can use it to record your collection and
curate your own iTunes vinyl collection.
Premium components
Some simple assembly is required to get the
LP5 up and running, but this is also a great
opportunity to savour each individual part. A
precision-engineered cast aluminium platter
under a heavy-duty 5mm thick rubber-composite
mat houses your vinyl and a high-performance
AT95EX Dual Moving Magnetic cartridge is
mounted onto an AT-HS10 lightweight hardshell.
Based on Audio Technica’s original design from
the ’60s and ’70s, the J-shaped tonearm is
purpose-built to minimise tracking errors thanks
to the anti-skate controls and can be manoeuvred
with precision thanks to the tactile control lever.
Ports on the back of the turntable accommodate
USB and RCA output and a preamp selector
switch allows the internal stereo phono preamp
to be bypassed if you’re connecting it to another
preamp source.
The LP5 doesn’t have a start/stop button or a
pitch adjuster, aiming it more at home listeners
than travelling DJs, but the gorgeous minimalist
design and its proficiency as a player mean it
deserves to take root in your home.
Audio Technica’s high-performance
AT95EX Dual Moving Magnetic cartridge
treats vinyl with the upmost of respect
The J-shaped tonearm can easily be
counterweighted for optimum balance to
help eradicate skipping…
Stunning to behold, the LP5 is packed with high-quality components and
can digitise your vinyl collection with assured proficiency.
Connectivity includes RCA output and
USB, so you can connect this to your Mac
and digitise your vinyl collection
Klipsch The One
Key features
Learn more
Available from
The smaller, companion piece to Klipsch’s
The Three, The One features the same 2.25inch drivers but with a slightly smaller, 4.5-inch
woofer that doesn’t have the dual opposed
5.25-inch passive radiators to project it cleanly
over distance. It’s purpose-built for smaller
environments but excels with a crisp, punchy
sound that belies its modest size.
Fully portable
Designed to form a multi-room, audio chain with
The Three, The One provides the added versatility
of being truly portable. The speaker features a
rechargeable Li-ion battery that can last up to
eight hours, allowing you to move it between
rooms or out into the garden.
Like The Three, The One provides effortless
connection to Bluetooth via the gorgeous strip
of brass control knobs. Although, as with
the internal speaker setup, The One displays
cutbacks in this department.
The power switch is spring-loaded to always
sit in one position, unlike The Three’s switch that
clunks satisfyingly into an ‘on’ orientation. It also
lacks much of the connectivity of its big brother.
Beyond Bluetooth, a single AUX port on the
back of the unit can be used for either 3.5mm to
3.5mm audio or RCA to 3.5mm. This isn’t really
a problem though as The One is most likely to be
used as a portable speaker with no set position in
your home.
Like The Three, this speaker is available in
two shades of wood veneer, the lighter of which
is definitely the most desirable, and it has been
professionally tuned to deliver the optimum sound
quality. Highly recommended for small spaces.
The most compact, silky Swiss export since Xherdan Shaqiri, The One
is a miniature marvel that sounds as good as it looks. Perfect for small
spaces and its portability means it can slot in anywhere.
Edifier W855BT
Key features
Learn more
Available from
Edifier has toned down the branding on its latest
set of Bluetooth headphones, letting the exquisite
industrial-style design speak for itself. A wise
move as the soft, padded headband arcs into
brushed aluminium arms that support an eyecatching set of cans. The only way these could
have been better, aesthetically, is if the casings
were matt black instead of glossy, but make no
mistake that the W855BTs are Edifier’s most
striking headphones to date.
Quality sound
Contained within the W855BTs is an all-new
aptX audio codec that allows for CD-level, nearlossless compression over Bluetooth, which
enables your ears to pick out detail in the sound
you probably haven’t heard before in a set of
wireless headphones.
Pairing them is easy and done via the on-off
switch on the underside of the right case. Simply
push this towards the Bluetooth option and they
become instantly discoverable to your Mac or
iOS device and playback controls on the edge
of the case let you play or pause the music.
Disappointingly, pressing this button omits a nasty
popping sound that is detectable through the
music, so it’s advisable not to use it too often. On
the plus side, they boast a 20-hour battery life
and can be used wired with a supplied 3.5mm
AUX cable, should the battery eventually die.
Edifier’s W855BT headphones look very smart and provide hours of
quality, balanced sound. Shame about the buttons, though…
With sleek, brushed aluminium arms and
luxurious pads, the W855BT headphones
are Edifier’s most stylish cans ever!
The on/off switch can be used for
Bluetooth pairing and the headphones
also support a wired connection
Branding is limited to a logo on the
headband that you have to tilt and catch
in the light to see…
Ralph Business Portfolio
The latest thing of beauty from Buckle & Seam, the Ralph
business portfolio is a luxurious vegetable-tanned leather case
for your laptop or iPad that accommodates anything up to
14 inches. The case also features dedicated pockets for your
iPhone, portable power bank, headphones, cables and pens,
and sports a neat magnetically-sealed pouch for loose items.
The case zips neatly up and is designed to be carried
under-arm to ensure that you radiate the maximum level of
cool and sophistication. It even smells wonderful!
M2 IEM Noise
Isolating Earphones
If you’re using slightly older iOS devices (those with a
traditional headphone jack) then you’ll probably not want
to break the bank buying high-end headphones. The M2
IEM Noise Isolating Earphones from Brainwavz are highly
affordable, well-built and deliver a detailed and refined
sound. The durable, twisted oxygen-free copper cable helps
keep the weight down and the earphones feature a metallic
casing and come with six different sizes of silicone tips.
Moshi Travel Stand
Although this device doesn’t offer wireless charging, it does
act as a neat bedside support for your Apple Watch that works
with Nightstand mode and provides cable management for an
uncluttered environment. The fold up arm can be angled to present
the best display of the screen while you’re horizontal and provides
easy access for the charging cable. It’s by no means an essential
item, but would certainly serve as a decent stocking filler.
Moshi Mythro Air
These lightweight Bluetooth earphones provide up to eight hours of
play time and feature acoustically-tuned DR8 Neodymium drivers for
a crisp sound. They also come with a magnetic clip so that you can
attach the central base unit to your clothing, a selection of hybridinjection ear tips and a microUSB charge cable. Thanks to Moshi’s
DJ4two technology, music can also be streamed to a second headset
– perfect as those long winter nights draw in!
Logitech Crayon
Based on Apple Pencil technology, the Logitech Crayon has been
designed exclusively for the 9.7-inch iPad and offers a versatile and
precise writing experience. The perfect tool for getting creative, the
slim shaft can be tilted to change from thin to thick lines and a
palm-rejection feature allows users to rest a hand on the iPad
screen without it interfering with the interface. A full charge
provides up to seven hours of use, making this the perfect
classroom alternative to the Apple Pencil.
Get with the Beat
You can let your imagination run free by
mapping out your story with Beats and
Structure Points
Tracking your projects
Final Draft’s toolset lets you track your
projects and break down scripts for
scheduling and budgeting
Final Draft 11
Night Mode
If you’re working on projects deep into
the night then you can shift to a darker
mode to help your eyes
“Final Draft
comes with
Guillermo del
Toro is a fan”
Learn more
Available from
If your profession, or passion, involves penning
scripts and stage plays then Final Draft’s industrystandard word processing and formatting tools
help you plan, write, outline and reorder your
scripts and scenes effortlessly with a simple
drag-and-drop interface.
We initially baulked at the price, but Final Draft
comes with Hollywood-high credentials. Guillermo
del Toro, the Oscar-winning writer, director and
producer is a fan and, while we would never
profess to be experts in the field, it is nevertheless
easy to see why. Upon first launching the app,
it resembles a standard, though undoubtedly
pretty, word processor, but delve into the ‘View’
menu and you’ll begin to grasp the array of tools
at your disposal. Your text can be displayed as a
continuous ream or you can switch to alternate
views to help you better realise and build your ideas
and vision for the piece as a spectacle. Beat Board
mode acts as a pinboard to attach rough ideas
and grow your projects organically with notes and
images, whereas Scene View can be used to break
your prose down into segments to reflect each
individual scene. You can even employ Index Cards
to attach scripts and summaries.
Whatever mode you are in, a simple toolset lets
you format the text to suit. Click on the menu at the
top of the interface and you’ll be able to choose a
format category, such as ‘Action’ or ‘Dialogue’ and
the text will slip into format seamlessly. It takes all
of the effort out of manual formatting and leaves
you free to focus your energy on your play.
A fantastic suite for creative writers and directors, Final Draft 11 allows you to visualise
and build your plays into fully-fledged crowd-captivating performances.
Order online at
or find us in your nearest supermarket, newsagent or bookstore!
Amber warning
In Before The Storm we meet Rachel
Amber, the figure at the centre of the
first game’s disappearance case
Mind games
Through the events of this story we
discover the events and encounters that
have helped to shape Chloe
Stranger things
The puzzle element has been toned
down and instead the plot focuses on
the human psyche…
Life Is Strange:
Before The Storm
“You are
encouraged to
play on Chloe’s
strengths and
shape social
encounters in
her favour”
Learn more
Available from
Mac App Store
It’s a risky strategy to release a prequel that
chronicles the events leading up to the events
in the original Life Is Strange game. Sometimes
stories benefit from our own imaginations filling in
the blanks and the back story, so to have them laid
bare, casting aside all shadow of doubt, could end
up clouding our good memories.
Before The Storm takes characters from the
popular third-person teen drama and focuses
on their lives a few years prior to Life Is Strange.
The main character here is Chloe, truant-happy
sidekick to the original game’s main protagonist,
Mac Caulfield. While we became aware of Chloe’s
hellraiser tendencies before, this game plays out
the key encounters and decisions that shaped
her. Remarkably, the format ditches the ability to
rewind time, instead the player is encouraged to
play on Chloe’s perceptual strengths and ability
to shape social encounters in her favour. But the
game benefits as a result, focusing more on the
conversations instead of the puzzle solving. This
may not sit right with fans of the original game but
the result is a much more unique experience that’ll
live longer in the memory than an off-the-bat sequel
featuring more of the same.
With its intriguing cast of characters, what
Before The Storm quashes in intrigue it more than
compensates for with its brave originality.
Though a prequel that many of us fans probably deemed unnecessary in the first place,
Before The Storm shifts the tempo to build an iconic heroine that you’ll love!
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!
Time Machine
Future Publishing Limited
Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA
Editor Ryan Butt
Art Editor Paul Blachford
Designer Matt Lochrie
Production Editor Catherine Hood
Group Editor-in-Chief Graham Barlow
Senior Art Editor Jo Gulliver
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Mark Billen, George Cairns, David Crookes, Shaun McGill,
Philip Morris, Roland Waddilove, Dave Clews, Georgine Hodson,
Alan Stonebridge
Cover images
Relevant photography, icons and imagery courtesy of Apple Inc.
Relevant photography, icons and imagery courtesy of Apple Inc.
Digital or printed media packs are available on request.
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01225 442244
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Apple Watch
Release date
24 April 2015
Original price (42mm model)
Price now
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