The creative magazine for Mac users
Issue 117 £6.00
HOW TO FIX YOUR
Welcome to iCreate 117
Keeping up with the latest innovations
from Apple can be challenging in a
climate where things seem to be moving
so quickly. Certainly on the iCreate team we like
to be as up to date as possible, but when new
iPads can be as closely released as the third and
fourth generation were, I would suggest an
inclination towards caution is understandable.
I mention this because the release and the
presence of the Fusion Drive feels like one of
those moments from Apple where getting in on
the ground floor is a smart idea. Will this smarthybrid
drive that merges the power of a hard
drive with the speed of flash memory be
improved? Of course, but it also happens to be
staggeringly good right now. You can read more
about that in our Speed up your Mac feature
and our Mac mini with Fusion Drive review.
Notes of caution remain though elsewhere in
the Apple range as rumours of new iPhones and
iPads within the coming months seem to be
gathering pace. You can read the latest in Apple
Source along with some other tech that caught
our attention at CES in Las Vegas in January.
This issue we’re also particularly proud of our
creative projects, such as planning the ultimate
Apple-powered party, creating custom, artistic
DVD covers with Pixelmator and some top tips
for fixing your images with iPhoto or your
footage with iMovie. Hope you enjoy them all.
“Fusion Drive feels like one of
those moments from Apple
where getting in on the ground
floor is a smart idea”
search for ‘iCreate’
Meet the team
The multi-touch technology that
has seen us move from the first
iPhone right up to the current
generation of mobile devices has
been revolutionary for me.
The angle-poise iMac G4 marked
the start of a new kind of desktop
machine. It was incredible to use,
too – manoeuvring the screen
around was smooth and simple.
Retina display devices have
pushed the limits of what the
human eye can pick up. I can’t
look at an iPad 2 screen now
without noticing the difference.
Which Apple hardware innovation
do the team like the best?
It’s a little obscure, but the silent,
asymmetrical fan blades that
feature in the Retina MacBook
Pros are a stroke of genius. Perfect
for working late into the night.
The click wheel on the original
iPod blew my mind. It was so
simple that it was hard to believe
it hadn’t been done before. It
remains iconic technology.
What Apple milestone are you
most fond of?
Get in touch through
the details below…
Get more from your Mac
Make your own
artistic DVD covers 30
OS X 68
There’s a whole world of software out there
Final Cut Pro X 54
We’re excited 62
Swift Publisher 3 66
Analyse, optimise and upgrade
to speed up your creativity
How to crowdsource projects and
work across devices
Great tools for your next project
Create invitations, let guests
pick the playlist and more
Discover the creative treats in store this month
How Apple is driving innovation already this year
12 Speed up your Mac
Make your Mac like new again with our guide to
analysing, optimising and upgrading
22 Throw an Apple powered party
Manage your guest lists, food, drink, music and
invitations all from your Apple devices
30 iCreate tutorials
Expert advice to help you get more from your Mac
76 Genius Bar
Got a problem? Solve it here
82 Create with iCloud
Harness the power of the cloud to create amazing
90 iOS tutorials
Customise your iPad clock
Make your iPad more private
Sync your devices to iTunes 11
Edit video on iPad with Pinnacle Studio
Take professional photos with Camera+
106 App Store roundup
The best apps for your iPhone,
iPad and iPod touch reviewed
110 iCreate reviews
Hardware, software & accessories rated
128 Your free iCreate disc
Amazing free content for you to download
130 Next month
What you can expect in the next issue
The iCreate reviews
The latest kit gets the iCreate treatment
110 Mac mini with Fusion Drive
114 iPad styluses
118 Pogo Connect
120 Fender Squier Strat with USB
and iOS Connectivity
122 Capture One Pro 7
124 Parallels Desktop 8
126 F1 2012
All the latest news, products & events from the world of Apple
Apple continues to drive
innovation in 2013
Secret plans keep rivals on edge as we get a peek at this year’s big trends
CES gave us a glimpse of the
technology that will dominate
in 2013, and despite Apple not
attending the show, its influence was
felt by all. While the show always looks
at future technologies that are still only
in development, it also shows what the
next 12 months will hold. Apple has never
attended the show in an official capacity,
instead preferring to have the full attention
of a crowd when it launches a new product.
However, Apple was clearly the elephant in
the room, especially when the show floor
was dominated by a few key technologies
rumoured to be up Cupertino’s sleeve.
One of the biggest focal points of this
year’s show was the television. Companies
were showing off their 4K sets, which offer
four times the resolution of the current
batch of 1080p HD TVs. Sizes went up to
and over 100 inches, while Organic LED (or
OLED) displays offered incredible colours.
The combination of the two technologies
resulted in some stunning pictures, but the
prices for these sets are still prohibitively
high, with thousands of dollars needed to
get your hands on a 32-inch screen.
Smart TVs were also making waves at the
event, with new sets offering built-in options
that included a number of catch-up services,
internet connectivity and even OnLive
This is where Apple’s influence was really
felt; for a long time, rumours of an Apple-
made television set have been circulating,
with the only barrier apparently being
agreements with content providers. Before
the show, a new batch of rumours suggested
that Apple was getting closer to solving
these issues and creating the set, which is
expected to include a simple and intuitive
user interface thanks to comments made by
Steve Jobs shortly before his death.
The other big trend this year looks to
be wearable technology. Fitness trackers,
augmented reality glasses and ‘smart
watches’ such as the Pebble Watch, a
Bluetooth-connected Kickstarter sensation
from last year were all popular at the event.
We asked Gareth Jones, general manager
of Fitbit for Europe, about why he thought
Get in touch!
If you’ve enjoyed this issue of iCreate, or have any
comments or ideas you’d like to see in a future edition,
why not get involved and let us know what you think?
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“It seems that even when Apple isn’t
present, it will still dominate the show”
wearable tech was becoming so popular:
“Wearable technology allows individuals to
capture information privately if they choose,
making it possible to make many small
decisions in the course of a day,” he said.
“Doing more of what people do normally,
like walking, has to be encouraged by
making it discrete, fun and easy. We strive to
bring this opportunity into individual’s lives
as inexpensively as possible.”
Fitbit aren’t uncontested, however;
Nike, Jawbone, LG and more are all in the
running when it comes to fitness trackers,
while rumours of a smart watch from Apple
itself have been ramping up in the last few
months. Even if the rumours prove to be
true, however, the Pebble already has an
advantage over Apple’s own smartwatch; it’s
available right now to customers worldwide,
and it has already shipped tens of thousands
of units to those that backed the device
when it was a Kickstarter project looking
for funding. The watch will connect to your
iPhone via Bluetooth, offering notifications
and controls over your phone, as well as
downloadable apps that will let you track
exercise, use it as a speedometer for your
bike and more. If Apple does come into the
market this year, it will have to do something
really special to top what is already available,
but the Pebble team aren’t too concerned.
“Pebble has plenty of strengths,” said
Pebble’s Sarah Otten. “These include the
battery life of around seven days, visibility
in all lighting conditions, compatibility with
iPhone and Android, and the open SDK so
that any interested third-party developers
can develop apps for Pebble.”
Of course, CES also revealed a huge
number of peripherals for Apple devices,
with many companies working on speakers,
docks and other accessories for Apple’s new
It seems that even when Apple isn’t
present, it will still dominate the show;
almost every stand had devices from the
Cupertino company front and centre.
A lot is expected from Apple in the next
12 months, but if CES is anything to go by,
it seems other companies are catching
up, even if they haven’t quite reached the
standards that Apple has set. The concern is
that Apple is being beaten to the punch with
many of the products that it is apparently
working on, but this may not be an issue.
Of course, there were tablets before the
iPad, and there were smartphones before
the iPhone – what made Apple’s devices
successful was that they did what they did so
much better than the competition.
If Apple can do the same with a television
set or a smart watch, it will undoubtedly
succeed again. Unsurprisingly, we can’t wait
to see what Cupertino has up its sleeve.
We’ve tested the
new Fusion Drive
in the Mac mini
on page 110
iPhone and iPad releases
to become more regular?
Is Apple moving away from the annual
release window for its iOS devices?
Recent rumours have suggested that Apple might be moving
to a more regular release schedule for its future iPhones and
iPads. The iPhone 5 launched in September last year, with the
iPad with Retina display and iPad mini following just a few weeks
later in October. However, there are already reports claiming that the
next iPad and iPad mini will be launched as early as March, just five
months after the current generation.
Meanwhile, more rumours are hinting that Apple could launch its
next iPhone model, perhaps called the iPhone 5S, in June
of 2013. Historically, June has been the
iPhone’s primary release window, as Apple
regularly used its WWDC conference to
announce the new handset. The iPhone
4S and the iPhone 5 were both launched in
autumn, however, and a June release would
come just nine months after the iPhone 5.
While this may anger some customers, the
reality is that Apple’s competitors regularly
release new handsets in order to capture
customers. If the rumours turn out to be true, it
could mark Apple’s response to this trend, with
the fast-moving mobile industry requiring more
than one phone or tablet each year for those that
always want the latest gadgets.
All the latest news, products & events from the world of Apple
Our CES top five
01. Pebble Watch
This Bluetooth-enabled ‘smart watch’ not only lets
you control music, see important notifications and
find out who’s calling before looking at your phone, it
also offers a number of downloadable apps. Browse
the WatchApp Store and you can install all kinds of
additional tools to the Pebble, including fitness trackers
and watch faces. It runs Bluetooth 4.0, is waterproof,
includes an accelerometer and vibration motor, and
has an e-Ink display, so you can easily see the time
even in bright sunlight. We can’t wait to get our
hands on one of these – look out for our review in an
upcoming issue of iCreate.
03. Fitbit Flex This small fitness tracker brings
Fitbit’s fitness trackers in line
with the current standard – a
fashionable wrist accessory that
lets you track your movements
all day with minimum effort.
The new Flex comes in a range
of colours, and is incredibly simple to use – set yourself
goals online and you can keep track of them all day by
touching the line of LEDs on the strap.
02. Samsung NX300
We’re big fans of Samsung’s range of Compact System
Cameras here at iCreate, having reviewed its NX11
and NX200 models in the past. The NX300 looks to
continue Samsung’s success, with a 20.3-megapixel
APS-C sensor, 3D shooting capabilities and a fantastic
“We can expect to see
thinner, lighter MacBook
Airs and MacBook Pros
with Retina display”
04. Intel Haswell processors
These new processors from Intel
won’t be available until the end
of 2013, but you can start getting
excited about them now. The
new, more efficient chips require
a lot less power, and the result
is that we can expect to see
thinner, lighter MacBook Airs and
MacBook Pros with Retina display later this calendar
year, or early in 2014.
05. Samsung Youm
This might only be a prototype, but
it may also show us the future of
phones. The display of this handset
curves at the edge, allowing for a
news-ticker like pop-up to display
messages, even when the phone
is face-down or covered with a
case. It’s still a long way from mass
production, but within the next 12
months we could be seeing big
developments in the mobile world.
Are you a designer or photographer that loves to use a
Mac or iOS device? Have you flicked through iCreate and
been inspired? If so, your work deserves to be shared
with the world, and iCreate would love to help you.
Whether you’ve used Instagram or Photoshop, it
doesn’t matter – we want to share your work with other
iCreate readers. So get submitting!
The bigger the image the better! Screenshots are fine.
No matter what your creation is, we’d love to see it.
Submit your work to email@example.com
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Give Imagine Publishing and its overseas, electronic and licensed editions
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Three pairs of these stunning
headphones up for grabs
When it comes to the cutting edge of audio
technology and great comfort and design, it doesn’t
get much better than Sennheiser’s Amperior
headphones, and three lucky iCreate readers could
be getting a pair thanks to this competition. The fi ve-star rated
Amperiors, which we described in issue 114 as “absolutely fantastic,”
were inspired by the HD 25 DJ headphones, but off er the kind of
broad sound range and balanced experience that any audiophile can
appreciate. Retailing at around £249.99/$349.99, these are headphones
to be taken very seriously.
Amperior embodies the soul of Sennheiser according to its maker.
The exciting new aluminium-fi nished headphone design takes the
sound and reliability trusted by music industry professionals, and
remixes into a street-style headphone of uncompromising quality. The
result of precision engineering, this headphone pays tribute to the
legendary Sennheiser HD 25, a recording and DJ industry standard
for over 20 years. Amperior lets music fans experience studio-quality
sound in style, on any portable device.
Suffi ce to say, we think very highly of the Amperior headphones
and we’ll be rather jealous of the three lucky individuals who manage
to grab them. To be in with a chance of winning either of these sets
of headphones though, you’ll fi rst have to email us the answer to the
What metal is used for the fi nish of the
Email your answer to iCreate@imagine-publishing.co.uk with the
subject: Amperior Comp before 6 March 2013 to be in with a chance
for entries is
06/03/13 Courtesy of
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be aware that entries must be submitted to the above email address only. This competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom and Ireland only. The prize is one pair of Sennheiser Amperior headphones
for three winners selected at random. Imagine Publishing has the right to substitute the prize for a similar item of equal or higher value. Employees of Imagine Publishing (including freelancers), their relatives, or
any agents are not eligible to enter. The editor’s decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into. Prizes cannot be exchanged for cash. Full terms and conditions are available upon request. From time
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Everything you need
to know to ensure your
Mac is running to its
With a ream of new Macs released at the
end of last year, it’s easy to look at a
slightly ageing machine and wish that
it would run a little faster. You might fawn over the
thinner, faster iMac or boosted MacBook, but for
many users all their current Mac needs is a little tweak here and there
to bring it back up to full speed. In fact, even old Macs can see huge
benefits from clearing hard drive space, upgrading RAM and generally
setting it up to be as power-conscious as possible.
Many users won’t even realise that their Mac is slowing down. The
process is gradual, but over time it’s inevitable that adding files, running
processor-hungry apps and saving data will cause things to stutter
slightly. One day you may be using an app and suddenly realise that a
task that would previously take seconds is now taking a minute or two.
At this point, it’s time to take action, and that’s where we come in.
Depending on how you use your Mac there are a few things that you
can try. In a lot of cases, your machine may be slowing down simply
because of the number of files stored on your hard drive. When a drive
approaches capacity, the whole computer starts to struggle, so more
often than not, clearing files can help boost performance. Of course, with
some actions, there is simply too much going on for your Mac to keep
track of, and in those situations it’s time to free up some more memory,
or simply install a little extra to give you more power. There are also a few
simpler things that you can try to quickly give your Mac a speed bump –
we’ve gone through all of the best techniques here, so whatever it is you
need to do you’ll find a useful tip or tutorial to help.
Scanning your Mac for
problems is the first
step in helping you
So your Mac is running a little
slower than normal and you’re not
sure why. What should you do? Well,
Activity Monitor is your first port of call. Open this
app up from the Utilities folder in Applications and
you can see exactly what your Mac is doing, and
what is gobbling up the most processor speed.
If, for example, you have a lot of long-forgotten
apps that run in the background, Activity Monitor
will show you precisely what they’re doing, and if
you want to quit them you can do so with a click.
You can also see how much of your RAM is being
used, what your processor is doing and how
your network is performing. It’s the perfect onestop
shop for troubleshooting your Mac – we’ve
explained exactly how to use it below.
The button in the
top-left allows you
to quit processes
up a lot of space,
just slowing down
your Mac % CPU
This is an extremely
important statistic – if
any single process is
taking up more than
around 10 per cent of
your Mac’s CPU, you
need to look into why
and consider quitting
through Activity Monitor
should only be used as a
last resort. If a program has
stopped responding and
you’ve been watching the
spinning beachball for more
than around ten seconds, try
right-clicking the Dock icon
and choosing Force Quit.
Sometimes just opening
Activity Monitor can force
other unresponsive apps to
work again, too. Use the Quit
Process option if nothing else
“You can see exactly what your Mac
is doing, and what is gobbling up the
most processor speed”
Learning about Activity Monitor
Get to grips with this powerful application
Using the Window option in the menu bar, or
by hitting Cmd and a number key, you can open
up these extra floating windows showing live
representations of what your Mac is doing
the app to speed up
Along the bottom of the Activity
Monitor window are sections that
allow you to monitor various parts of
your machine. Flick between them to
see how your memory and disk are
If you’ve opened up Activity Monitor
and found out that your disk is almost
completely full, DaisyDisk (£6.99/$9.99, Mac
App Store) should be your next port of call. The app
scans your drive and represents it using a pie chart. Each
section of the chart represents files on your drive, so it’s
easy to work out which are taking up the most room.
Click on a section and it will spread out to fill the whole
circle, with the folders and files inside it again being
represented with bars. As you work out which folders on
your Mac are the largest, you can also work out which
ones you don’t need. Open Finder alongside DaisyDisk
and search for the folders that are taking up the most
room. You can free up a huge amount of space like this;
often the biggest will be ones you rarely see or use, so
clearing them off won’t impact on you at all, and will
speed up your machine. It’s also important that you
empty your Trash when you’re finished to ensure that
the files are all properly deleted. In fact, remembering to
empty your Trash is very important – many users almost
never do this, causing a huge amount of space to be lost
with files that aren’t even wanted.
From the makers of the brilliant (but
now defunct) iStat Pro Dashboard
widget comes iStat Menus 4
(£10.26/$16, http://bjango.com). Sitting in your
menu bar, this little add-on offers all the monitoring
information available in Activity Monitor, and a lot
more besides. Whether you want to check how
much memory is being used or find out how fast
your Mac’s fans are spinning, this little app has the
information for you. Plus, because it sits in the menu
bar, it can be open at all times without disturbing
you or taking up screen space.
Speed up your Mac
Which transfer method provides
the fastest speeds?
The latest Macs contain a range of connections.
The fastest is Thunderbolt, closely followed by USB 3.0.
FireWire 800 is still perfectly useable, too, while USB 2.0
now feels very slow. You will always be limited by the
speed of your drive, however.
How can I improve Safari’s
performance – it’s so slow!
The easiest way is to clear out all of the data
Safari has saved. Choose Safari in the menu
bar and choose Reset Safari to delete all history,
caches and cookies.
I heard I could delete
something called a ‘swap file’ to
speed things up – is that a good
idea or not?
The short answer is no. The swap file allows your
Mac to use memory from your HDD to temporarily
speed up processes, but deleting it will cause all kinds of
problems and barely boost speeds. Avoid it!
Will a large amount of mail slow
down my machine?
It won’t slow down your machine, but it may slow
down Mail. If you have plenty of free space on your hard
drive, and thousands of emails, back up older messages
to an Archive folder on your Mac – that way Mail doesn’t
have to load them all from a server every time.
Can I replace my Mac’s processor
with something faster?
No. In modern Macs, the processor is soldered directly
onto the motherboard, and without a huge amount of
technical know-how, it would be almost impossible to
remove it and upgrade it without ruining your system.
How much RAM can I add to make
my machine run quicker?
That depends on the Mac you own. The latest iMacs
can accommodate up to 32GB of RAM, while new
MacBooks and can take up to 8GB or 16GB. For older
models, numbers will be lower, so check at
www.crucial.com before you decide what to go for.
How do I improve my MacBook’s
You can change settings in the Energy Saver section
of System Preferences for sleeping your Mac sooner.
It’s also worth turning brightness down to the lowest
comfortable level, quitting as many apps as possible and
switching off AirPlay and Bluetooth when not needed.
Software solutions that
will help you quickly
speed things up without
opening your Mac
Repair Disk Permissions
with Disk Utility
While a lot of people might suggest
that repairing Disk Permissions is the
first thing to do when your entire
Mac is slowing down, it’s much less
important than you think. More often
your Mac will be sluggish due to another
problem, such as a full hard drive or a
lack of memory. But when should you be
using the feature? If an application isn’t
opening, or is taking a long time to do
so, repairing permissions might help.
This simple app lets you see what you’re
deleting, and has community integration so you
can see what others have deleted too.
Damaged permissions can also cause
your Mac to start up more slowly, so
it can be worth doing it every now
and then. Thankfully, the Disk Utility
app enables you to scan for damaged
permissions and repair them in superquick
time. Open the app and select
your hard drive from the list on the left,
then choose the Verify Permissions
option. If any issues are found you can
quickly repair them with no fuss at all.
Apps for deleting unwanted apps
With so many free apps in the Mac App
Store and online, it’s likely that you’ll
have tried out quite a few while you’ve
had your Mac. Some of them might
not be right for you, and you may have
deleted them after just a few minutes.
However, while dragging and dropping
the application into the Trash will remove
it, installing an app often adds a number
Drag an app into AppZapper and, much like
CleanApp, you’ll get a breakdown of the
associated files so you can choose which to delete.
Disk Utility should be your first port of call if you’re
looking to sort out problems with your Mac
Delete your unwanted
of other files in various locations on your
Mac. This is normal, and the files aren’t
malicious, but they won’t be removed by
simply dragging the app into your Trash.
Thankfully, there are apps out there that
help you to delete an app and all of its
associated files quickly. Check out our
favourites – they can help save valuable
space on your Mac.
A much more in-depth clean-up app,
CleanMyMac lets you fix all kinds of other issues
with your Mac, as well as deleting apps properly.
Step-by-step: CleanApp Delete apps properly
1: Drag and drop
First, find an app you want to remove from your Mac
in the Applications folder and drag and drop it into
CleanApp. The app will start scanning for related files.
One thing that can cause your Mac to
start up slower than normal is a busy
desktop. If you have a large number of
files and photos on your desktop, your
Mac will have to make sure they’re all
available to be opened on startup, which
takes up precious seconds when you
need to use your Mac in a hurry. The best
solution is to sort the files into folders
in your Documents folder. However,
you can also just create a folder on
the Desktop and drop everything into
it – this will load more quickly than the
2: Check it
A list will appear showing you all the associated files.
The dials next to each one show how safe it is to
remove a file – be careful of those in the red zone!
If you want to save some space on your
Mac but can’t think of anything else to
delete, consider removing the various
languages from your machine. There
are all kinds of languages stored on your
Mac, but it’s unlikely that you’ll need any
apart from standard English. A free app
called Monolingual (http://monolingual.
sourceforge.net) lets you quickly select
the languages you want to keep, and
delete the rest. A word of warning; read
the instructions before you start and
don’t delete English languages – they
are needed by many applications, which
won’t open without them.
Some apps, when installed, will include
an ‘Open on Startup’ option that is
ticked by default. It’s also possible to
select apps to open on startup so they’re
ready to go straight away. However,
all of these additional apps only slow
down your boot time. To speed things
up, head into the Users & Groups area of
System Preferences and choose Login
Items when your name is selected.
Here, you can see the apps that are
set to automatically open, and remove
unwanted ones from the list.
Speed up your Mac
3: Follow the crowd
You can also see what other users delete. If a lot
of people remove a file, it’s probably safe to, but if
nobody has, uncheck the box before hitting Delete.
Particularly on older Macs, the
animations that are a core of OS X can
also serve to make everything run that
little bit slower. Graphical flourishes such
as Dock magnification, bouncing app
icons and regularly changing wallpapers
can cause your entire Mac system to
slow to a crawl. Disable these options
in the Dock and Desktop & Screensaver
areas of System Preferences and you may
find that your entire machine seems to
pick up a little.
“The best solution is to sort
the files into folders in your
Speed up your Mac
One sure-fire way of improving the performance of your Mac is to
get inside and start upgrading hardware. There are only so many
tweaks you can do to the settings on your Mac before it’s running at
its optimum speed, and after that, you will either need to restore OS
X to its standard settings and lose all of your personalised apps and
options, or start adding to, or improving, the machine itself.
Sadly, Apple doesn’t make it all that simple to make changes to
your Mac. In the latest machines, such as the MacBook Pro with
Retina display and the new iMac, the internals are completely
sealed inside the casing, making upgrades tough. However, for
most machines they are possible, and even if you only upgrade
the memory slot in your beloved machine you will likely see an
improvement in performance.
You can make much bigger changes to your Mac, of course, if you
don’t mind voiding the warranty by doing the work yourself. Adding
a second hard drive, or upgrading to a flash-based solid-state drive
will hugely boost your Mac’s speed, but the work involved shouldn’t
be taken on lightly. Still, this is much cheaper than simply buying a
new Mac, so let’s see what we can do…
Upgrading your Mac
Get inside your Mac to push the power
One of the easiest things you can do to upgrade your
machine is adding more RAM. On older iMacs, Mac minis
and MacBooks, unscrewing a single panel will grant you
access, while newer machines will require you to open up
the entire casing to make any changes.
If you would like more help with
upgrading your Mac, visit the gadget
surgeons at iFixit.com, who kindly
contributed these photos.
The latest iMacs and
MacBooks offer serious
limitations on what you can
do inside the casing. Because
of this, it’s more important
than ever that you get a
powerful machine when
you first buy the Mac. It’s
worth paying extra when
you’re choosing your Mac,
as it means your machine
will last longer and save you
If you want to improve speeds without losing any
storage space, you might want to consider upgrading
your Mac’s hard drive. The latest models in Macs spin at
7,200 RPM, which is the fastest you can expect to find in
consumer drives, so if you have a slower drive than this,
you could upgrade.
Hybrid drives use a
combination of hard drive and
flash storage to improve the
speed of your machine. You
can, for example, store the OS
X operating system on the SSD
to make booting incredibly
fast, leaving the hard drive free
for your files.
Adding a second drive is a great way to improve
performance. Some 27-inch iMacs have enough space
inside the casing to add a drive without removing
anything, but for most Macs you’ll need to remove a
component such as the optical drive to fit in another
hard drive or solid-state drive.
Tools of the trade
If you’re planning to open
up your Mac at home, make
sure you have the right tools.
Macs require a specialist
screwdriver to open up their
insides, and they’re not easy
to find. Your best bet is to go
somewhere like www.ifixit.
com, as they will not only
list the tools you need for
the Mac you own, they’ll sell
them to you as well.
Upgrade your hardware
In an iMac, or a non-Retina MacBook Pro, the optical
drive can be easily removed, leaving you space to
include a secondary drive. Of course, carrying out this
procedure will mean your machine can no longer use
DVDs and CDs, so it’s not for everyone.
How much do
Mobile 2.5-inch hard drive (up to 1TB @
Apple price: £80/$100 per 250GB
Standalone price: Approx £25/$30 per 250GB
Compatibility: MacBook, MacBook Pro
Apple’s costs are high, and the amount of storage it offers
is limited. Replacing the hard drive is relatively easy for most
MacBook Pros once you’ve removed the bottom of the casing.
Desktop 3.5-inch hard drive @ 7,200rpm
Apple price: £60/$75 (upgrade per 1TB)
Standalone price: Approx £46/$56 per 1TB
Compatibility: iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro
Most new desktops now include a 1TB hard drive as standard,
but for older Macs you could get a 3TB drive for the price. The
only issue is getting it into the computer.
Apple price: Approx £320/$400 per 256GB
Standalone price: Approx £200/$250 per 256GB
Compatibility: iMac, Mac mini, MacBook, MacBook Pro
SSD prices are still high, even for smaller storage sizes. Replacing
a MacBook’s drive with an SSD is simple and offers huge
benefits, while it’s slightly more difficult for desktop machines.
Mobile RAM (16GB)
Apple price: N/A
Standalone price: Approx £70/$115 for 16GB
Compatibility: MacBook, MacBook Pro
Depending on your Mac’s model, you’ll be able to get up
to 16GB of memory installed. It’s really cheap considering the
performance you’ll get, and for older machines, it’s easy to install.
Desktop RAM (up to 32GB)
Apple price: £160/$200 per 16GB
Standalone price: Approx £75/$120 per 16GB
Compatibility: iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro
Only the latest iMacs make it difficult to upgrade RAM – every
other desktop is a simple case of opening a single cover. Apple’s
prices aren’t terrible, but the DIY price is even better.
You can find out what upgrades are compatible with your
machine, and purchase all the components you need, at
Testing the Fusion Drive
Apple’s Fusion Drive combines a
standard hard drive with a flash-based
SSD, and uses a new piece of software
to share files between them.
No. A Fusion Drive isn’t a
normal drive, and removing
a single part of it will
seriously confuse your Mac.
Apple can probably fix a
broken Fusion Drive, but we
don’t advise anyone starts to
tinker with it.
If you want a Fusion
Drive, there’s only one way
to get one: buy a new iMac
or Mac mini from Apple
and pay for the upgrade.
Sadly, it’s not possible to
create your own Fusion
Drive using two disks of your
own; adding a Hybrid drive
will not result in the same
speeds or performance.
This is because the system
Apple uses to transfer files
between the two drives is all
integrated, and it happens
automatically, while Hybrids
simply offer two drives on
which to store files and
apps. We’re sure someone
will come up with a work
around in the future, but for
now the only way to get the
performance of the Fusion
Drive is to buy one direct.
1 minute 41 seconds
1 minute 15 seconds
MAC MINI WITH
MAC MINI WITHOUT
Operating System Mac OS X 10.8.2 Mac OS X 10.8.2
Processor Intel Core i7 2.6GHz Intel Core i5 2.5GHz
Storage 1TB 500GB
RAM 4GB 4GB
Price £959 £499
Fusion Drive & software improvements
iCreate Projects Throw an Apple powered party
Harness the power of OS X and iOS to
create an invitation, cook food, mix
cocktails and create the perfect playlist
for the best party in town this year!
iCreate Projects Throw an Apple powered party
Make your own
Planning and preparing for any party can be a pretty
stressful experience, especially if you’re planning on
wining and dining your guests, playing DJ for the night
or ensuring that every moment is captured and shared on camera.
Fortunately, OS X and iOS can help out a lot here, ensuring that you’ll
always have the right recipes to hand, guest numbers instantly calculated
and a class invitation made in minutes.
What’s more, because our preparation tips make use of Apple’s own
apps, like Pages and Numbers, you can create a great invitation or party
planner on your Mac or iPad. You could even sync and switch between
the two using the power of iCloud, so you’ll be able to check your guest
list at the supermarket or create your invitation on the train to work.
Below, we’ve detailed the easiest and quickest way to make an
impressive invitation which can be printed and distributed yourself or
saved as a PDF and emailed to guests. All you’ll need is Pages on your Mac.
Step-by-step Create a party invitation in Pages
1: Take a shortcut
If you’re a little pressed for time, we’d recommend using
Pages’ built-in templates. Stay clear of the stock invitations
though; we went for a Thank You card.
4: Repeat the process
Repeat the process you used to change the text on the
front, adding important details such as a place and RSVP
info which we highlighted using a different font weight.
2: Tweak the title
Once your template has opened, you’ll want to edit the
message on the front of the card. Double-click on it and
type in something that works for your invitation.
5: Add some style
To finish off your invitation’s interior, hit the Shape button
and add a rounded rectangle, then use the Inspector to
angle it, send it behind the text and add a border.
3: Add the insides
The inside of your card won’t be visible in the Pages
sidebar at first. To add this in, click on the Sections button
at the top and select ‘Inside with 2 up’.
6: Print it out
When you’re ready to send your invitations, print them
out using your best quality printer settings and thick card
for the best results. Two invitations will print per sheet.
If you’ve taken the brave decision to cater for your guests
at your party, planning ahead is essential. From getting a
clear idea of numbers in advance, to planning a menu that
will please everyone, there’s a lot to be done. Fortunately, Numbers has a
built-in Dinner Party planner that can take care of at least a couple of these
issues. It will need a bit of tweaking to suit your needs, but it’s certainly
quicker than creating your own table from scratch. Follow our guide
below to find out more.
Plan your party
1: Dinner Party
Open up Numbers and, from the Template Chooser,
select Dinner Party. Although not perfect, it’s easily edited
and customised for perfect party planning.
3: Choose your eats
In the Recipes sheet, replace the pre-filled recipes with the
ones you want. Drag new images for each dish on top of
the old ones, then add new ingredients and instructions.
5: Get your ingredients
You can now make the most of the final sheet in this
Numbers document – the Shopping List. There’s also a
budget here to ensure your party doesn’t break the bank.
2: Check the guest list
Once your template has opened, head to the Guest List
Sheet in the Sheets sidebar and add the details of each
party guest you’ve invited. Be sure to keep this up to date.
4: Perfect portions
With your guest list and attendees inputted and updated,
Numbers will automatically calculate exactly how much
of each ingredient is required for each recipe.
Pages might not have as much power as Art Text, but there are still plenty of clever
options. Masks are incredibly useful when working with images, for example.
When it comes to cooking delicious
party dishes, your iPad is your friend.
Not only is it small enough to sit by
your side in the kitchen, but there are a
wealth of apps to help you cook, too.
The Photo Cookbook – Quick & Easy
Combining a stunning set of images for each
recipe, a host of options and easy navigation
throughout the app, The Photo Cookbook is
a great starting point for your party recipes.
Look & Cook
Although recipes here are a little limited, an
intuitive interface (including voice control –
for when things get messy) and easy-tofollow
instructions make this app a real winner.
Although you need to purchase recipes
individually (even then they’re only available
as videos unless you purchase the
accompanying book) there’s no denying that some of
the food here looks stunning.
There’s a lot going on with this app, but with
a huge library of recipes and the ability to
save and sync favourites it’s well worth
downloading and checking out.
It’s not cheap, but if you want a large
selection of ideas for your party food, this
app really does live up to its name with
thousands of recipes to choose from.
iCreate Projects Throw an Apple powered party
Here’s how iOS and OS X can help
make your party more memorable
Food and drink
Using the cooking
and cocktail apps
we’ve picked out,
your iPhone and iPad
the perfect kitchen
assistants – helping
you cook up a storm
and serve some drinks
that will make it a
night to remember
Friends from afar
Got friends or family living abroad? Why not FaceTime
them on your Mac or iPad so you can keep them in the
loop and have them join in the fun of the party, too?
Best cocktail apps
With your party planned
and food cooked, a few
drinks might help to kick off
the night. Here’s our guide
to the best cocktail apps to
help you master the art of
mixology in minutes.
Cocktail by CB
Cleanly designed user
interface with plenty of
recipes to choose
from, Cocktail by CB is definitely
a great place to get started if
you’re not so confident behind
the bar. It even includes
detailed information on calories
and units of alcohol.
If your night starts to lull,
there are plenty of brilliant
iOS games that can be
played together – they’re a
great way to get everyone
involved in the fun
Relying heavily on
Cocktail Flow allows
you to select a spirit on your
virtual bar shelf and see a
number of cocktails based on
your selection. We think it’s a
great way to make the most of
any leftovers you have.
If you and your guests
all download the
free Remote app and
connect to your iTunes
Library, everyone can
have a say in what song
gets heard next – you’ll
never have to hire an
overpaid DJ again
Share the moment
Harnessing the power of shared Photo Streams, you
can show off everyone’s pictures of the night on the big
screen and with anyone who couldn’t make it via iCloud
It’s not the best
looking app on offer
here, but there’s no
denying that 8,500+ Drink &
Cocktail Recipes Free lives up to
its name, offering a wealth of
ideas to add some real variety
to your party.
With a natural lean
not only tells you the basic
ingredients and method for
creating cocktails but gives you
some handy, eye-catching
video guides for general
mixology techniques, too.
Play the music!
Creating a party playlist can be tough, so why not leave it up
to the wisdom of the crowd and get your party guests
involved with choosing the music? By making the most of the
power of iTunes and the free Remote app for iOS, you can have every
single one of your iPhone or iPod touch-owning party guests link up to
iTunes and help choose the music for your big night.
All of your guests will need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network
as the Mac you’re running iTunes on, but be aware that things have
changed a little with the release of iTunes 11, so pay close attention.
All in an album
1 This technique
relies on you having
an album or event
already set up with
the photos you
want to use. Find it
in iPhoto, right-click
on it and click Play
Slideshow to get up
There are plenty of alternatives to iPhoto for editing your shots. If you would rather
use your Mac, Pixelmator is a brilliant way of tweaking your favourite images.
Pick your theme
2 There are a
number of slideshow
themes to choose
from, some are a lot
faster than others.
Origami is a great
option if you’d like
to display more than
one photo at once in
an interesting way.
Step-by-step Set up a shared party playlist with iTunes
To access Up
Next – the home
of your party
playlist – tap
Now Playing in
you’ll find every
song that’s due
to be played.
From here you
can begin to
If you haven’t
already, head to
the App Store on
your iPhone, iPod
touch or iPad
and grab the free
Remote app. Tap
on Add an iTunes
Library to start
pairing up. It’s
an essential app
for any regular
2: In iTunes
With iTunes on your Mac, tap the Remote button that
appears in the top-right corner, then enter the code
displayed on your iPhone or iPod touch to finish off
the pairing process.
You or your
guests can add
tracks to the Up
Next song queue
by tapping Add
at the top then
any song, album
or artist and
hitting Add to Up
Next. It couldn’t
A 30-second slideshow setup
One of iPhoto’s best assets is its simplicity. It’s so simple, in fact, that
you can set up a last-minute slideshow for your party in under 30
seconds. Just follow these simple steps below…
tap the Edit
to change the
order of your
song queue and
delete any rogue
songs that might
just kill the mood
of your party.
Alas, good taste
Skipping Music (we’ve
got iTunes for that
at the party), head
to Settings and tick
Shuffle slide order.
This should ensure
you don’t end up
with too many similar
photos in a row.
4 Once you’re
happy with your
selections, hit the Play
button in the bottomright
of the Slideshow
HUD. Doing this will
start your slideshow
instantly. You can
stop it at any time by
should now see
a list of artists
appears in iTunes
on your Mac.
first three steps
for each of your
iCreate Projects Throw an Apple powered party
Step-by-step Create a shared party Photo Stream with iPhoto
1: Select and share
Whether you’re on iPhoto on your Mac, iPad or iPhone,
select an album or event and click Share>Photo Stream to
create a pre-populated party Photo Stream.
4: Adding more images
If you want to add more images (on the night or after the
event), it’s a simple case of selecting them in the Photos
app, hitting the share icon then tapping Photo Stream.
2: Invite your guests
Enter the iCloud IDs for all of your party guests into the To
field. From here you can give your shared Photo Stream a
name and make it available to view online.
5: Like a Share Sheet
Once you’ve made your shared Photo Stream selection, a
Share Sheet-like pop-up appears where you can enter a
description. Guests can also comment on other photos.
1: Find your streams
Launch iPhoto on your Mac and select Photo Stream from
the sidebar. You’ll then need to find the correct shared Photo
Stream from the grid that appears to the right.
3: At the party
With your guests invited, they should now have an option
to view every photo that you’ve taken at the party and
download and comment on them from their devices.
6: View online
If you want to share your party Photo Stream with those
who can’t make it, simply copy the link provided by
iPhoto or Photos and paste it into Safari.
Step-by-step Create a slideshow from your Photo Stream
Once your shared
party Photo Stream
is brimming full with
great images, you can
proudly show them
off on a bigger screen
by turning it into a
fun slideshow in the
iPhoto app on your
Mac. It takes just a few
seconds as we reveal
in these two quick and
2: Click and play
To start your slideshow, simply right-click on the correct Photo
Stream and hit Play Slideshow. Unlike our previous method, this
should start automatically without any settings tweaks.
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Create your own DVD covers
Use Pixelmator to create brilliant custom-made DVD covers of your favourite films
Time needed: 60 minutes
How big is your DVD
collection? If you’re anything
like us you’ll have numerous
shelves filled with your favourite movies.
Maybe you even look at a DVD cover and
believe you could’ve done a better job.
We’re a creative bunch after all.
Well, thanks to the power of Pixelmator,
it’s surprisingly easy to create your own
cover for your favourite DVDs, and more
importantly, it’s great fun. Whether you
want to go minimalist and create a
modern look, or you unleash your editing
powers, you have all the tools you need.
Pixelmator has been around since the
early days of the Mac App Store, and
is one of its biggest success stories. At
the end of 2011, Pixelmator was the sole
winner of the ‘Best of Mac App Store’
award. If you haven’t come across it in the
past, it’s an image editing app that is quite
similar to Photoshop in many respects;
there may be less functionality, but it’s
still a powerful editing app that’s well
worth getting the hang of. And, at just
£20.99/$29.99, it’s also a lot cheaper.
What makes the app truly brilliant,
however, is the interface. The app has
To draw straight lines,
or lock rotation to 45-degree
angles when spinning images,
hold the Shift key as you draw.
Click a shape to view the resizing
controls. Click and drag to
resize, or hold Cmd, then
click and drag to rotate
been designed exclusively for Mac, and it
really shows. Built on many of the same
processing foundations used by Apple
itself, the app integrates brilliantly with
OS X. Buttons and menus feel like an
extension of iPhoto, and the ability to
customise the interface is a brilliant touch.
So, how are you going to use this app
for creating your own DVD covers? If you
don’t want to sketch out shapes yourself,
you can use photos and create artwork by
using them as templates, which is what
we’ve detailed over the next few pages.
Let’s not waste any time…
The tools you need to create an incredible DVD cover
selecting or cutting
large or complex
objects, the Polygonal
Lasso is a simple way
to do so. Each click
ads a point to the
shape, so you can
click close together
for smooth curves,
or further away for
Using masks with your
layers is very useful. Create
a shape and you can use it
as an outline for an image
you’re including, or simply
use it as a customised
block of colour. You can
also use layers to create
clipping masks, which
will constrain one layer
inside the one below it. It
takes some practice, but
layers and masks can work
together with real power.
Pro advice Pixelmator Create your DVD template
Create a new Pixelmator document. Create one that’s
2,750 x 1,830 pixels with a resolution of 100 pixels per
centimetre. A DVD cover measures 27.5 x 18.3cm.
2: Enable Rulers
If you don’t have the Rulers enabled already, choose
View and select Show Rulers from the menu. You can
now drag guidelines in from the side of the document.
You can use the Colour Eff ects menu to change the look of an imported photo and
match the rest of your cover. Double-click an eff ect to apply, and then adjust at will.
The Layers menu will become your best friend
during this tutorial – keeping layers organised is
vital when putting together your cover, so make
sure you rename them as you go, and use them
to select objects when necessary
Pixelmator has a
number of preset
brushes, but you can
customise them in a
huge number of ways,
and create your own
brushes from this
menu. Access even
more brushes from the
settings cog in the app’s
The range of effects on offer is really quite
impressive, and adding an effect to your cover can
have some really impressive-looking results. It’s
also the place where you can play with settings like
contrast and brightness
Click on the ruler on the left and drag sideways to
create a blue guideline. Place one at 1,307 px and
another at 1,443 to create a guide for your DVD’s spine.
Pro advice Pixelmator Create a DVD cover
For our cover, we’re using a solid background colour.
Click the colour picker in the top bar to bring up its
menu, and use the Paint Bucket tool to fill the layer.
3: Layer and paint
Now copy the shape and paste it as a new layer, then
select a brush and paint over it. While the dotted line
shows, you can’t paint outside the guidelines.
5: Clipping Mask
Right-click a layer and choose Create Clipping Mask to
mask it to the layer below. Here, one head is a clipping
mask for the smaller one, with the bottom one filled in.
Next, create some assets. Choose a photo and use the
Polygonal Lasso to cut out an area. Don’t worry about
the background now – you’re just using the shape.
4: Layer naming
We’ve copied the shape into our DVD cover file, placed
it where we want, then duplicated and re-coloured it
with the Paint Bucket. Rename layers for simplicity.
To trim shapes, you have a few options, but one of the
easiest is to select the layer, draw an outline you want
to remove, finish the shape and hit the Backspace key.
Adding a second shape is simple. Zoom in to resize
and place it carefully, then select both layers in the
Layers window, right-click, and choose Merge Layers.
While you’re moving
items, they will jump to
align with other objects.
To move them more
precisely, hold the Cmd
key as you drag.
8: Add text
Select the Text tool and click anywhere to add a text
box. Type your title and choose colours and fonts as
you wish, then resize the box to make it fit your cover.
For the spine you can either create a custom look or
simply use the title and artwork you already have. We
made a quick edit of the main artwork and rotated it.
There are plenty of amazing ideas online that are perfect inspiration. Check out the work
of Olly Moss, or take a look at the Criterion Collection for some incredible examples.
Adding the movie
1: Find it
To recreate the thin writing on the back of a
DVD case, download the Steel Tongs font from
Open up Font Book. Open the downloaded
font style and drag the .ttf file from your
Downloads folder into the app to add it.
3: Capital idea
Type out the names of characters and
directors with capitals – this will make the
information much easier to read.
While it might take up space, the addition of
this text will make your DVD cover look much
more professional and realistic.
Adding the final flourishes to your DVD box art
You can find icons such as this DVD
Video icon online, and adding them to
your cover will make the whole thing
look even more professional.
Add a quote or star rating to your DVD
cover to fill out empty space. Whether
you make a quote up yourself or copy
from a review is up to you!
Create your own rating system
As you’re making your own DVD covers, there’s no need to include the
standard rating information on them. Of course, if you wish, you can
easily add a PG-13 or 12A rating icon to your DVD, but why not have a
little more fun, and make your own system with its own use?
For example, you could create your own filing system to tell you the
kind of film you’re watching, as well as whether it’s appropriate for your
kids. Some could be marked for watching on a Sunday morning, while
others might be better for when you’re having a drink with friends…
PA – Pay
The PA rating
is for those films that
concentration – without
it, you’ll be completely
lost within ten minutes.
When using the
Brush tool, hold down
the Alt key to bring up an
eyedropper tool that can
sample a colour from
elsewhere on your
This rating applies to
all the films that are so
bad they’re good. Have
a laugh at how seriously
they take themselves.
As a final touch, create a layer over the
entire image in almost-transparent grey,
then add the Noise effect to give your
cover a little more texture.
On the shelf
Draw a square at the top of your spine
and add a small icon of your choice –
do this for all your DVDs and they’ll look
great lined up on a shelf.
C – Chick
For a romantic
night in, or a girls night,
this rating will let you
quickly pick from the
feel-good favourites on
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Top ten photo fixes in iPhoto
iPhoto’s very best photo edits in the spotlight
It’s incredibly rare that you fire off your camera, review the
photo and discover that it’s absolutely perfect. The lighting
is sometimes just a little too bright, or the composition is all off
kilter. To fix these problems though, you don’t always need professional
software such as Aperture or Adobe Photoshop. While these offer
outstanding flexibility, they can also be more complicated and time
consuming. iPhoto, on the other hand, makes editing your favourite
images dead simple. It’s bundled in with every Mac and can be used to
adjust the exposure, colour cast and sharpness of the image, along with
a whole heap of other useful features.
Using the app isn’t particularly difficult, but it’s important to know
what tools are available to you, as well as what order you should be
using them in. To make the process even easier, we’ve grouped together
our top ten ways to edit your photos.
Straighten your photo
2 If you’re in a crowded place, sometimes
you just have to shoot your photos blindly.
The trade off is images that often look
crooked or unnatural. To fix this problem, use
the Straighten button under the Quick Fixes
tab. A grid will appear and you can use the
slider to rotate your image, using iPhoto’s
lines as a clever guide.
An all-in-one fix 4 If you’re working to a strict deadline
sometimes you just want a magic wand
that will fix everything. The Enhance button
in the Quick Fixes tab works well in these
scenarios, applying basic changes to the
brightness, contrast and colour temperature.
It’s a fantastic tool and will often fix problems
that you hadn’t even noticed were there.
1 Switch up the orientation
Occasionally your camera won’t
recognise the orientation of your photo.
Fixing it should be the first task on your list
and it can be done almost instantaneously.
Import the photo and then select the Edit
symbol in the bottom-right hand corner of
the screen. Next, click the Rotate button to
spin the image 90 degrees.
Crop down to size 3 Photographs are often shot by default in
a 4:3 aspect ratio. It’s possible to change the
shape of your image though using the Crop
tool located under the Quick Fixes tab. You
can drag the box that appears to choose the
new crop manually, or select from a number
of preset aspect ratios on the right-hand side
of the app.
Keep your skin healthy
If you’re making multiple adjustments, it’s a
good idea to tick the ‘Avoid saturating skin
tones’ checkbox. It will protect the colour of
people’s skin, ensuring they don’t become a
ghastly shade of grey or green
Take it back to
If you’ve made too
many changes to a
photo you can start
again by clicking on
the Revert to Original
button. Or, if you want
to quickly reverse an
adjustment, use the
Undo button next to it
Share and share alike
Once you’ve finished editing, you can upload
your photo to a social network such as Flickr.
iPhoto also allows you to transfer it to your
Photo Stream, making it instantly available
on other Apple devices
By clicking on the image while holding down the Ctrl button, you can choose to edit the
image in another application, such as Aperture, Adobe Bridge or Adobe Photoshop.
Use a filter 6 iPhoto’s basic filters will dramatically
change the look of your photo by tweaking
the colours or applying a blur to the edge
of the frame. They’re fun and can be used
in conjunction with one another. Click the
thumbnail to apply the effect and again to
increase its intensity. The number denotes
how many times it has been applied.
Adjust light levels 8 If you’ve shot a subject indoors and
decided not to use the flash, you might find
that your photo looks a bit dark and dreary.
Likewise, shooting directly into the sun can
produce images that look too bright or
washed out. To fix this, move the Exposure
slider either left or right, thereby altering
how light or dark the middle tones are.
Remove skin imperfections
5 The Retouch button allows you to
remove unwanted marks or blemishes from
an image. Select the tool under the Quick
Fixes tab and then drag the slider to select
a brush size. Using the zoom function in the
bottom-left hand corner, find the part of the
image you would like to fix and then drag
your pointer across the area to remove it.
Master the histogram
7 Click on the Adjust tab to see the
histogram. This graph might look
complicated, but it’s an essential tool for
fixing any tonal problems. A well-exposed
histogram should have all three colours
stretching across the entire length of the
graph. If they don’t, click and drag each
arrow to either end of the histogram.
Alter the colour cast 9 The feel of a photo will change
depending on its white balance. Adding
orange tones to an image will make it
appear much warmer and welcoming, while
blue tones will give it a cooler and more
hostile look. Drag the Temperature slider at
the bottom of the Adjust tab to add more or
less of each colour to your image.
Sharpen for definition
10 If your camera hasn’t focused
properly, parts of the image will look blurry
or soft. Within the Adjust tab, you can fix this
using the Sharpness slider on the right-hand
side. Be careful though, as it’s easy to go
too far and give everything a harsh, jagged
appearance. Use the zoom tool if you need
to take a closer look.
Master print settings for perfect photos
Nothing comes close to holding a physical print. Here’s how you get one spot on every time in iPhoto
Time needed: 20 minutes
If you’re using a specific layout,
parts of your image might be
hidden behind the various
crops used. By clicking on any
of your images, you can then
use the hand tool to realign
All of the photos you
want to print will
appear at the top of
the screen. If you’re
using a specific layout,
it means you can
always keep track of
which images have
Producing photographs at home can be pretty difficult at times.
Even if you buy a high-quality printer, the appropriate cartridges and
some decent printing paper, working out what to do with your digital
files can be a bit of a headache.
What many people don’t know is that iPhoto has a whole range of different
printing options that can help you make prints that look both professional and
creative. In iPhoto, it’s also possible to create a contact sheet, which is helpful for
looking at a large number of images in one go, as well as a matte card effect
that can be used to show three or four shots together.
Of course, many of the settings you will need are dependent on the model
of printer you have, as well as the type of paper you want to print on. To get you
started though, read our guide on everything iPhoto can offer.
If one of the images you’re printing doesn’t look quite
right, you can instantly access iPhoto’s editing tools using
the Adjust button. From here you can adjust the exposure,
temperature and contrast settings among others
Once you’ve finished
changing your layout,
press the Print button
here to send your
finished work to the
printer. You will see the
initial dialog box one
final time for any last
Printing with Apple
If you don’t own a printer,
or you’re worried about
the cost of printing, you
can also order your photos
directly through Apple.
From your iPhoto Library,
simply click on the Share
button in the bottom-right
hand corner, followed by
Order Prints. Here you can
choose from a number
of different sized prints,
including the traditional
4x6” or 5x7” formats.
1: Crop your photo
Choose your photo and click the Edit button in the
bottom-right. Use the presets found under the Crop
tool to ensure your image will fit the printing paper.
4: Choose your paper size
Look at the paper you’re using. For a traditional
photo, select the paper size in inches using the
drop-down, followed by the Borderless option.
7: Try the matte card
It’s common to mount photos onto a piece of matte
card. It can be quite expensive, so if you don’t have
any you can recreate the effect under Themes.
Step-by-step iPhoto Choose the perfect print settings
2: A quick fix
Click the Enhance button found under the Quick
Fixes tab. This will fix any remaining white balance
or exposure problems before it goes to the printer.
5: Add a border
Click the Borders icon at the bottom of the screen.
Here you can choose a custom margin for your print;
useful if you want to use it with a specific frame.
8: Use a layout
If you want to display multiple images on a single
print, you can group them together using the Layout
icon. It supports up to four images.
Remember that on many digital cameras, it’s possible to set the aspect ratio before
shooting. That way you won’t have to spend time cropping them in iPhoto later on.
3: Select you printer
Go to File, followed by Print. If it doesn’t appear
automatically, select your desired printer from the
drop-down window on the left-hand side.
6: Change the background
It’s also possible to change the colour of the border
using the Background icon at the bottom of the app.
iPhoto has three colours by default.
9: Crop and captions
Some layouts will push the image to the top of the
printing paper, leaving space for a caption. You can
also crop the photo so it fits the new shape.
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4: Edit your movie
Use iMovie assets such as graphics, transitions and
music to enhance your edited programme. You can
also drag DVD Chapter Markers onto the Timeline.
Burn projects to DVD from iMovie
Pop your edited iMovie projects onto DVD to play them on your home cinema system
Time needed: 10 minutes
Step-by-step iMovie Export your footage to DVD
1: High-res footage
To benefit from the high quality of the DVD format,
capture your footage at a high resolution such as
1,280 x 720. Better footage equals better results.
After all the effort of shooting your footage and then editing it into
a slick programme that boasts animated graphics and music, you’ll
be keen to share it with family and friends. Thanks to iMovie’s Share
menu it’s easy to export it straight to online portals such as YouTube. However,
if you’ve shot at a high-quality widescreen HD resolution you may want to share
the programme from the comfort of your Widescreen TV (or post a wedding
video to clients, for example).
The DVD format may have seen online sharing options stealing its thunder
when it comes to showcasing your work, but it still provides a quality viewing
option. In this walkthrough we’ll show you how to set up your iMovie workflow
to suit the DVD format, so that you can edit your footage and export it to a
shareable shiny disc with ease.
2: Create new project
Go to File>New Project. To produce a movie that
will play on a widescreen TV, set Aspect Ratio to
Widescreen (16:9). Click Create.
5: Share to iDVD
Go to Share>iDVD. You’ll need to use iMovie’s iLife
cousin to set up a DVD menu so that people can
access the content on your disc.
To create a more suitable file size when you import,
tick Optimize video and choose Large – 960 x 530.
Full HD may not play back smoothly on older Macs.
6: Play the project
Once iMovie has rendered, the iDVD Preview
window appears. Click Play Movie or choose Scene
Selection to see the chapter markers you created.
Burn your footage to DVD
Enjoy edited projects on your widescreen TV
Click here to view the hierarchy of your
DVD menu. If there are any problems (like
empty drop zones) then you’ll see handy
warning icons. Make sure you test your
menu thoroughly before burning the
project to disc
There are a variety of blank
DVD disc formats available,
so it makes sense to know
which ones your Mac can
write to. Go to the Apple
icon and choose About This
Mac. Click on More Info. In
the Contents section go to
hardware and click on Disc
Burning. Here you’ll see
a list of compatible DVD-
7: Change theme
Click the Exit button on the iDVD controller. You can
then choose a new theme for your DVD interface to
better suit your subject matter.
8: Test it
Click the Play button to test out your iDVD project’s
new look. When you’re happy that all the links work,
insert a blank DVD disc and click on the Burn icon.
When burning your iDVD project to disc, be careful not to bump your desk or disturb
your Mac in case this disrupts the process.
Drag Chapter Markers from here onto the Timeline.
This will create new scenes in your DVD menu that
you can jump to. You can also click on the Chapter
Marker and change its name from the default
numerical value to something more descriptive
Once you’ve exported
your edited iMovie
project to iDVD,
choose a theme for
the DVD’s animated
menu from this
section. You can also
customise the look
of the buttons and
add extra media to
the Scene Selection
menu’s drop zones
Once you’re happy
with the look and
behaviour of your
menu, insert a blank
DVD and click here to
render the animated
menus and burn the
project to disc
iDVD will render the menus and transitions and
then burn the content to your disc. You can then
enjoy watching the DVD on your widescreen TV.
Master colour correction in iMovie
Use iMovie’s Video Inspector to shift a shot’s hue or tweak its colour temperature and get truer colours
Time needed: 20 minutes
Unless we happen to be colour blind, we take it for granted
that we’re seeing a location’s true colours with the naked
eye. Our video camera’s electronic eye has to work much
harder at capturing correct colour. This is because various light sources
can have different colour temperatures. Daylight is quite cool and can
add a blue colour cast. Indoor lights have a warmer colour temperature,
which can cause clips to look rather orange.
To counteract these blue or orange tints, the camera’s White Balance
setting attempts to warm up or cool down the colours to create natural
ones. This doesn’t always work. Fortunately, iMovie’s Inspector has all the
tools you need to manually tweak the shot’s colours and make them tint
free, so that they look like they did when you saw them on location.
Banish colour tints and boost saturation to enhance drab film
indoors, your subject’s
skin tones can suffer
from an orange tint
due to the warm
colour temperature of
To avoid a blue or orange
tint, your camera’s Auto
White Balance (AWB)
setting analyses the scene.
If a white object has a blue
tint, the AWB setting will
automatically warm up the
shot’s colour temperature
until the object is white.
This removes hints of blue
tint from the rest of the
shot’s colours too. AWB
will also cool down orange
tints to achieve the correct
Once you’ve corrected the shot’s white balance
you can give drab colours more impact by
increasing the value of the Saturation slider
By sampling a tinted area
that should be white, you
can warm up or cool down
the area in a click. This helps
banish colour tints in the
rest of the shot and create
healthier skin tones
You can fine-tune the shot’s colours
by manually dragging the White
Point. This enables you to warm up
or cool down a clip and reduce blue
or orange colour tints
Step-by-step iMovie Master colour correction
1: Import clips
Go to File>New Project and create a Widescreen
project with a frame rate of 30. Go to File>Import
>Movies and import our Colour Source Clips folder.
4: One-click fix
Move the cursor over the orange paper. It will
change to an eyedropper. Click to sample the warm
tint. This will adjust the White Point to cool it down.
7: Adjust saturation
The colours are warmer but weak. Pop Saturation
up to 130% for more vibrancy. Push Contrast to 30%
to give the distant hills more impact. Click Done.
2: Play the clip
Drag the first clip in the Event Browser into the
Project window. Tap the Spacebar to play. The
indoor lighting is making the skin tones look orange.
5: Healthier skin tones
Play the edited clip again. As the cooled down paper
colour now looks less orange, skin looks healthier.
This technique also works with grey objects.
8: Manual adjustments
Add the third shot and open the Video Inspector.
As there’s no white object, drag the colour wheel’s
White Point to a bluer section to cool the lighting.
To help your camera capture true colours, use the White Balance presets. When set to
Daylight, the camera knows that the colours will be cool, so it warms them up.
3: Colour tint
Press V to open the Video Inspector. Scrub the
Playhead to where you see the book’s open page.
The lighting has made the white paper look orange.
6: Banish the blues
Add the boat clip to the Project window and open
the Video Inspector. By clicking the eyedropper on
the grey hull of the boat you can warm up the shot.
9: Copy and paste
Click on Shot03 in the Project window and choose
Edit>Copy. Add Shot04. Click its thumbnail and hit
Edit>Paste Adjustments>Video to cool its colours.
1: Select a project
Start off by connecting your setup, launching
GarageBand and selecting New Project>Voice. This is
usually the best for any instruments you record live.
4: Check your levels
It’s important to ensure that your input volume is
as loud as it can be here, as compressing it later will
remove a lot of the piano’s dynamic range.
Set up and record live piano tracks
In the second of our record live instruments series, we look at the
art of recording live piano tracks with a little help from GarageBand
Time needed: 30 minutes
MIDI keyboards and GarageBand’s virtual instruments are all
well and good, but nothing beats the authentic sound that
comes from a well-tuned piano. If you’ve ever found yourself
struggling to recreate the sounds of your instrument on your Mac, then
it’s time to learn how to mic up and record the real thing.
Once you’ve hooked up your Mac and mics (take a look back at our last
couple of issues to learn more about this process) you’ll need to open the
lid of either your upright or grand piano and point two mics at the strings
at opposite ends of the piano’s scale. If you’ve only got the one mic,
however, place it around two feet above the piano facing down at the
strings. Once you’re all set up, follow our guide below to get recording.
Step-by-step GarageBand Record live piano in GarageBand
2: Find your mic
There should automatically be two tracks in your new
project. Delete one, and in the other, open its Info pane
and select the correct mic from the Source options.
5: Set your tempo
Most pianists practice to a metronome, so it’s a good
idea to use it in this situation. Start off by setting the
track’s tempo (if you haven’t done so already).
3: Say no to reverb
The Vocal project comes with some reverb applied to
each track. Remove this during recording by setting the
slider to 0%. It can always be added in again later.
6: Counting in
To turn on the Metronome itself, tap its icon near the
volume meter or head to Control>Metronome. You
can also click on Count-In here and set a count in.
A guide to the best effects for live piano recording
In step nine, we
using panning to
recreate the effect of
recording with two
mics in stereo. Be sure
not to go too crazy
here – a 20-25 per
cent pan, left or right,
Choosing a mic
Like a lot of acoustic
instruments, your mic
of choice for recording
the piano should be a
condenser with a large
diaphragm – these are far
more capable of picking
up the varied frequencies
that a live piano can
produce. They are versatile
too, so they can be used
in other situations such
as recording vocals or
7: Record and go
Once you’re all set up and are happy with the sounds,
tap the red record button and record the piano parts
while keeping a close eye on your levels.
8: Add some effects
Unlike the guitars we looked at last issue, we’re staying
away from the compression and chorus and opting for
some light reverb and EQ to make your recording shine.
Want to know how to record other acoustic instruments? Last issue (116) we covered the
basics of micing up and recording acoustic guitars, and we’ll be covering others soon.
Go easy on the reverb. A little can help
to make your old upright sound like an
expensive grand piano by spreading out the
sound of your recording
Using the built-in
Analyzer in the Visual
EQ, you can boost some
of the less prominent
frequencies in your
recording and cut any
that are a little too loud.
This should help to
increase the dynamic
range of your piano’s
We used the AULowShelfFilter to boost the overall
levels of the bass and middle frequencies coming
from our piano recording. This evened things out
with what already was a very prominent top end
9: Spread things out
If you recorded your piano with a single mic then
copying a stereo sound is possible by duplicating your
original track (Cmd+D) and panning each left and right.
Create podcast stings and bumpers
While GarageBand comes with a useful library of goodies for
your podcasts, it’s great fun to get creative and make your own
Time needed: 30 minutes
With the LCD in Time mode, snap to grid is
virtually disabled, allowing you to move regions
around the Timeline freely. This helps when
adding extra sounds to the front of your bumper
Your flexible friend
The great thing about
making your own jingles is
that they can be adapted
endlessly. For instance, a
short bumper could be
easily extended and reused
as the basis of a longer
music bed for a section
summing up the podcast
contents, the length
tailored to fit simply by
changing the number of
repeats in GarageBand’s
Click here to switch the LCD
display mode from bars and beats
to minutes and seconds – very
useful when gauging the length
of your bumpers
The podcast as a format borrows much from radio, so it’s no
surprise that the most professional-sounding examples rely
heavily on radio-style bumpers, stings and jingles as a kind
of audio punctuation. Typically no more than 15 seconds long, these
snippets of music, vocals and audio effects are used both to establish a
podcaster’s identity and break up or highlight particular sections.
The Podcast FX section of GarageBand’s Loop Browser is undoubtedly
a useful resource, but for that personal touch, you can’t beat custommade
jingles and effects, and where better to turn to than GarageBand
itself for the tools? In this tutorial, we’ll guide you through the process,
ending up with a finished audio file accessible for use in any project.
Bumpers and stings are all
about impact, so where
possible, enable the compressor
on each channel when
mixing to give all your sounds
maximum punch and make
them easier to sit in the mix
The Vocal Transformer
is always a good way
to add a different
dimension to your voice.
Don’t worry about
getting the sound right
first time, the effect can
be adjusted after you
record your voice
1: Create new project
From GarageBand’s intro screen, create a new Loops
project. Give it a name and save it. It should load up
with the Loop Browser already open.
4: Add musical parts
Create a new Software Instrument track and record
some musical elements. Or, find some suitable
Apple Loops in the Loop Browser.
7: Record vocals
Turn on Count-In in the Control menu, then hit
record and record vocals. The Vocal Transformer
plug-in is giving us that movie trailer effect here.
Step-by-step GarageBand Make your own podcast bumpers
2: Get some rhythm
Click the Beats button in the browser. Click the
name of a loop to audition it, then when you find
something, drag it into the Timeline and bar 1.
5: Sound FX
Add some fun effects from the podcast sound FX
section. Click the Podcast button at the top of the
panel and audition and place effects.
8: Add master compression
Open the Track Info pane and hit Master Track. Enable
the Compressor plug-in and select a preset such as
Dance Edge to emulate a radio broadcast.
If you re-import your rendered audio fi le, highlight it and select Edit>’Add to Loop
Library’ to add your bumper to the Loop Browser for use in any GarageBand project.
3: Set length
We want our bumper to be short, so we set the LCD
display to Time view. Drag the right corner of the
loop left until its duration measures three seconds.
6: Set up voice track
Create a new Real Instrument track and set its Input
Source to a mic input. Pick an appropriate preset
from the plug-in effects list, like Deeper Vocals.
9: Export to disk
Choose Export to Disk from the Share menu. This
renders your bumper as an audio file to be added to
a podcast. Click Export, set a name and save it.
Trimming video fast with Aperture
When you think of video editing, you think of iMovie, but you
can edit clips intuitively and with great ease in Aperture…
Time needed: 10 minutes
4: First trim
To cut off the beginning of the clip, grab the lefthand
trim handle, and drag it to the right until the
numbers show you’ve reached one second.
Aperture isn’t famous for being a video-editing application,
but you can perform basic edits and output exquisite movies.
Although this is professional software, editing is simple. In this
example we trim down three short clips, and mix them as a slideshow.
If you’ve ever struggled with movie editing, you’ll find Aperture really
simple because it’s so visual. When you drag on the left-hand edge of a
clip, you see exactly where that clip is going to start. When you drag on
the right-hand edge, you see where it will end. Putting the clips together is
almost automatic, and you let Aperture do the work for you. You can mix
stills and images into your slideshows to show off the best of your images
and movies. When it’s finished, you have multiple export options too.
Step-by-step Aperture Editing video
1: Importing clips
Go to File>New>Project and drag Grasses.mov,
Hillside.mov and TreeStump.mov into the project.
Click the Split View icon in the top-right.
2: Organising clips
Organising the order that your clips will play is done
by dragging and dropping them. The clip on the
left will appear first, with the clip on the far right last.
5: End trimming
To cut the end off the clip, drag the right-hand trim
handle to the left until it reaches the five second
mark. Hit the yellow Trim button.
3: Prepare to trim
Double-click on Hillside to see it in the Viewer.
Hover the mouse over the image and click Play.
Hover again, but click the cogwheel and then Trim.
6: Cutting grass
Double-click the Grasses clip and repeat. Trim off the
over-exposed bit at the beginning, and shorten it
slightly. Hit the Trim button when you’re done.
Aperture’s video editing tools
Simple sliders, buttons and handles for editing video
Before you edit, get
familiar with your clip by
clicking the play button.
To see the editing
controls, hover your
mouse over the image
for a moment, then
click the cogwheel and
Although many cameras
shoot at 25 frames per
second, Aperture assumes
everything’s shot at 30
frames per second and the
Export settings naturally
reflect this. To get the
Export settings exactly
right, change the Export
For setting to Custom and
change the Frame Rate
to 25. Use your favourite
default setting as a guide
for the other settings.
7: Perfecting a clip
Repeat this for TreeStump, dragging the left trim
past the shaky camera work. Drag the right trim
until there’s blue sky filling the screen and hit Trim.
8: Create your slideshow
Hit Cmd+A to select all, and then click on them (or
the project), and choose New>Slideshow. Choose
Classic from the menu and name the slideshow.
When mixing stills and video, try using the Ken Burns style of slideshow. This adds
movement to stills, so they blend much better with movies.
At either end of the clip, the edge of the yellow
box marks your trim head. Wherever you place
this, that’s where your clip with start. You choose
the clip end in the same way
When you’ve perfected your
edit, hit the Trim button.
Even when you’ve created a
slideshow you can come back
and adjust your trim points to
get a different end result
When you’re in Split View (find it in the
top-right), double-click your selected
clip in the strip at the bottom. A white
box appears around your clip, and it’s
now ready for editing
9: Export your movie
Click the small play button in the bottom-left of the
Viewer. When you’re ready, hit Export in the topright
and choose a movie type from the list.
Advanced White Balance techniques
Go beyond auto-correction to perfect image colour
Time needed: 5 minutes
1: Setting skin
Import the WarmLight.tif image into a new project. In
the Adjustments tab go to Add Adjustment>White
Balance. Set to Skin Tone and click the eyedropper.
3: Remove blue
Import the TooBlue.tif image, apply the White
Balance adjustment, and set the drop-down menu to
Temperature & Tint. Click on the eyedropper.
When you take a photograph you may find that it
comes out looking too cold and blue, or too warm and
red. To correct this you need to adjust the White Balance.
This technique makes it look like the image was lit with ordinary
daylight, without warm red or cool blue.
When you apply White Balance in Aperture you can just click
Auto and let it do the work. But sometimes you want more
accurate or creative control. By using the manual controls in the
White Balance adjustment tab you can create the exact effect you
want, whether it’s cool morning light, pure midday light or the
warm glow of sunset.
To try out the techniques below we’ve put the images online for
you at www.icreatemagazine.com/tutorial-files.
Step-by-step Aperture Balancing your image’s light
2: Skin tones
Click on an area of skin that’s not too bright or dark to
make the light look more natural. Warm it or cool it
with the Warmth slider from the left-hand column.
4: Find the grey
Look for an area of grey, like the sky near the horizon.
Click that, then use the Tint slider to reduce any excess
purple or green in the image.
Once you’ve balanced the light of an image so
that white light actually looks white, you can
get your creative hands dirty and create cool
hues and warm glows.
First steps 1 Before you
make any other
the White Balance to
light. You can then
make other colour
the Enhance and
Expose tools, but
always do this after
correcting the White
Warm and 2 cool
You can adjust the
overall look of an
image in the White
by dragging the
Warmth or Tint
Sometimes this is all
you need to do and
no further correction
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4: Create your audition
Once you’ve selected your clips, right-click and
choose Create Audition from the menu. If you’re a
whizz at keyboard shortcuts, hit Cmd+Y.
Final Cut Pro X
Use Audition to find the perfect footage
Final Cut Pro X takes all the stress from choosing your best clips with the seamless Audition tool
Time needed: 10 minutes
Step-by-step Final Cut Pro X Master Audition
1: Choose project
Open the project that requires a clip. To do this,
navigate to your Project Library by clicking on the
film reel icon, or Window>Show Project Library.
Using video to tell a story is complex at the best of times. If your story
relies heavily on the images to tell the tale, then making sure that you
have the right shots in your project becomes even more important.
Choosing the right shot for a scene or narrative can be tough at the best of
times – stressful, even. What looks good? What works? What doesn’t work? If
you’ve got a large reel of clips to choose from, then the process of choosing one
can be painfully time consuming.
Not anymore. Final Cut Pro X has introduced the Audition feature – where
you can combine all clip possibilities in one place and quickly and easily preview
them within your project. Best of all, the whole process takes just a few minutes.
So are you ready to be the Simon Cowell of video editing? Pull up a chair, fire
up your Mac, load up Final Cut Pro X and absorb the following steps to get a
greater of understanding of how Audition can be your best friend.
2: Open Event Browser
Double-click your project to open it in the Timeline.
Navigate to the Event Browser. If you can’t see it,
choose Window>Go to Event Browser.
5: Step into the spotlight
Final Cut will create a new clip in the Event Browser
which displays a spotlight icon in the top-left corner.
This indicates that the clip is an audition clip.
3: Choose your clips
We’re going to choose the clips that we want to
audition. Find and select your clips by holding
down the Cmd key while clicking on each clip.
6: Set the stage
Drag the audition to the Timeline. Place it where
you want the auditioned clip to appear. The clip will
be identifiable by the spotlight icon.
Behind the scenes of Audition
Discover Final Cut Pro X’s Audition secrets…
In the Audition pop-out window, the clip
with a star beneath it denotes a ‘pick’. A
pick is the clip visible when you’re playing
back an audition. There can only be one
pick at a time
Not sure which effect to
use? Create a duplicate clip
in the audition to compare
pre and post-effect clips.
Open the Audition window
and select your clip. Click
the Duplicate button. Click
on the duplicate clip in the
window and drag the effect
on top of your audition
clip. You can continue to
audition the clips in the
7: The audition process
To audition your clips, click on the spotlight icon
at the top. A pop-out window will appear. Browse
through the clips using the left and right arrow keys.
8: Audition time!
To preview your audition, click on a clip inside the
Audition window. Tap the Spacebar to play some of
the previous clip, plus your selected audition clip.
You can create audition clips from the Timeline. Drag clips from the Event Browser onto
a clip in the Timeline and choose Add to Audition from the menu that pops up.
Once you’ve chosen your clip, what happens
to the audition? You can collapse an audition,
similar to the way you would with a multi-clip.
To do this, select the Clip menu and choose
To make edits to the
clips, right-click on
the audition clip
and choose Open in
Timeline from the
This enables you to
see all clips fully and
make any changes
Save some time! You
can access most of
the Audition menu
options (which are
viewable from the
Clip menu) by right
clicking on the
audition clip and
This will show the
9: Make that decision
You don’t need to repeat this process; quickly switch
audition clips during playback by using the arrow
keys. Once you’ve found your clip, press Done!
Compress projects without losing quality
Want to share your movies without taking up unnecessary space? Here’s how you do it…
Final Cut Pro X
Time needed: 15 minutes
Applications like Final Cut Pro X have revolutionised the
movie industry – a decade ago you would have needed
a raft of expensive equipment to make a short film, but
these days you only need a computer and a decent video or digital
camera. Pixelated and poor quality videos are a thing of the past. Most
new cameras have HD capabilities, however, that can mean that video
projects can become inflated in size, resulting in problems sharing them.
Want to share your creation with your friends? Final Cut Pro X has a
few tools to help reduce the size of your project so you can easily share
it on the web or on DVD – without losing any of the original quality. Get
comfy, fire up Final Cut Pro X and transform your finished project into the
next Hollywood blockbuster. It’s a fairly easy process, as we’ll show you.
Share and share alike
We pass on some handy Final Cut Pro X tips
When you’re optimising
your video clips, the
background tasks icon will
show you how far along
the process is. This leaves
you free to go and make
a cup of tea while it’s
working hard for you
The film reel icon enables you to switch
between the Timeline for your project
and the Project Library. This tool is
handy if your project is long and you
want a compressed view of it
The Share menu enables you to export your Final
Cut Pro X projects directly to YouTube, Vimeo,
Facebook, DVD, Apple Mail, iPhone and a whole
host of other platforms in just a few simple clicks
Want to view the project
settings? Don’t lift a finger
– you can view the project’s
length, frame rate, audio
settings and resolution
without a single click. They’re
handily located at the bottom
of the interface
Quality or quantity?
Quality is defined in terms
of bit-rate or resolution –
bit-rate refers to the quality
of video and resolution
refers to image quality. In
both cases, the higher the
number, the higher quality
your video and images are
going to be. The pitfall is
that the overall size of your
projects will be larger, and
will take longer to export.
1: Get started
From your Project Library, select your project, and
open it. If the Project Library isn’t in view, select
Show Project Library from the Window menu.
4: Set your Markers
Markers define the start and end of a project. Move
the playhead to where you want to start. Click on
the Mark menu and choose Set Selection Start.
7: Choose your compression
Select the Video codec field and choose H.264.
H.264 is a form of HD compression – so the size of
your project shrinks but the quality is maintained.
Step-by-step Final Cut Pro X Compress your Final Cut project
2: Transcode your video
For optimum quality, you should convert your video
using the Transcode Media tool. Right-click the event
where your clips are and select Transcode Media.
5: Choose the ending
All great stories have a beginning and an end. Move
the playhead to where you want to finish. Click on
the Mark menu and choose Set Selection End.
8: To summarise
If you click the Summary tab, you can see the settings
for the exported project. These include file size, frame
rate and file name. Happy? Click Next.
The standard fi le size for H.264 compressed video is usually around 100MB per 60
seconds of footage. Use HandBrake (www.handbrake.fr) to shrink your fi les further.
3: Optimise or proxy?
Optimised media is the best choice – it changes the
video format into a Final Cut Pro format, ensuring
the best quality and performance from your video.
6: Export your project
It’s time to compress. Select the Share menu and
choose Export Media. In the window, click the
Export field. Choose Video and Audio from the list.
9: Give it a name
A window will prompt you to choose a file name for
your compressed project. Click the arrow to choose
a save location. Hit Save and you’re all set!
Spruce up your spreadsheets in Numbers
Spreadsheets have a bad reputation. Luckily, Numbers’ design
tools have the power to make your data more eye catching
Time needed: 30 minutes
4: Reformat headers
Select the header row and click the Fill box in the
toolbar. Make the header cells the same colour as the
title box, then match up the font too.
Apple’s Numbers is a capable spreadsheet app, but beneath
its unprepossessing exterior lies a variety of tools especially
designed to make your documents more appealing. By
exploiting these, and sticking to a few basic design principles, whether
you’re charting your weight loss or presenting a set of financial figures, you
too can escape the humdrum of the traditional spreadsheet and produce
something that readers will be happy to spend time looking at.
We’ll start by focusing on the weight loss tracker that we made in last
issue’s tutorial. This is a basic spreadsheet that calculates total weight loss
and BMI, based on figures that you enter. It also updates two charts as you
enter the data, so there’s plenty of scope here for a visual makeover.
Step-by-step Numbers Smarten up your spreadsheets
1: Title challenge
To create a title box for your worksheet, select a
rounded rectangle from the Shapes menu. Resize it,
then fill it with colour using the Colors palette.
2: Text me
Click the Text Box button in the toolbar to create a
text box. Enter your title text and select a font, style
and size from the drop-down menus in the toolbar.
5: Resize charts
Click each chart and lengthen them using the
resize handles. Use the arrow buttons in the Chart
Inspector’s Series tab to set the data point size.
3: Stand out
In the Text Inspector, colour the text a light colour
and centre it. Then shift-select the rectangle and the
text box and choose Arrange>Align Objects>Center.
6: Are we clear?
Section off information with filled rectangle shapes.
Select rectangles from the Shapes menu, fill with
colour then choose Arrange>Send to Back.
Transform your spreadsheets
Make your day-to-day data more presentable
Keep the stripes light
Alternate row colours are meant to guide the eye along
a row, not draw its attention away from the data, so
drag down the Alternate Cell Color opacity slider to
Not too bright
The key to using colour
in a spreadsheet is to
exercise restraint, so try
to stick to a minimum
of three or four colours,
one of which should be
black or dark grey
7: Unify layout
Add a 3D effect by selecting a rectangle and ticking
the Shadow box. Then place a single large filled
rectangle of the same colour behind the entire thing.
8: Picture this
Click the Media button, then the Photos tab to access
your iPhoto Library. Find a suitable photo and drag it to
your project. Resize and reposition it as needed.
Adobe’s Kuler (https://kuler.adobe.com) is a useful online tool for fi nding and
matching complementary colour schemes and palettes. Give it a try!
Increasing the cell space around the text not only
improves readability, but it always looks more
professional, so if you can afford to expand things a little,
do it for better results
View how your document
will appear on a printed
page by selecting the Show
Print View option from the
File menu. You can then
use the Content Scale slider
at the bottom of the page
to bring all the elements
together onto one page.
This gives you a useful
point of reference when
laying out your elements,
and also ensures you get
In the Table Inspector
pane, tick the checkbox
next to the table name
to display it as a title in
the document. Doubleclicking
the title within the
document allows you to
alter its font, style, size and
alignment via the toolbar
9: Frame up
Place a frame around your photo by selecting one
from the Picture Frame options in the Stroke menu.
Rotate it using the Rotate control in the Metrics pane.
Create chapters and sections for iBooks
Whether you’re publishing on the iBookstore, or sharing a book as a PDF, this should be your first step
This is where all the
construction work is
done in iBooks Author,
creating the framework
for your book. By
clicking this button
you can choose to add
section styles, blank
pages, columns and
even a preface
You can see the contents
of each chapter by clicking
the triangle on the left of
each chapter thumbnail.
It’s also possible to rename
chapters, and change their
order by simply dragging
Time needed: 10 minutes
There has never been an easier way to publish a book, rich with
images, movies and text, but to get it all to work, you need to get
the basics right. By organising your chapters and sections, your book
will make more sense. In iBooks, each chapter is like a mini-book, containing one
or more sections. Each chapter you add will automatically have one section, but
you can break each chapter down by adding multiple sections.
Imagine you’re writing about aeroplanes. Your first chapter might be called
Solo Flight, covering topics such as Training, Ground School and The First Flight.
Rather than lumping it all together, you can give each topic a section to break
the chapter down. This gives you an informative contents page and looks great.
Before you embark on your own book, it’s a good idea to practice, so use this
tutorial to get to grips with chapters and sections, and publish your own.
For quick access to the main parts of your book,
click through the options here. You may not have
a Glossary or Intro Media, but you will have a Table
of Contents and title page
The book layout shows
what the finished
product will look like.
As you make changes
on the left, they will be
reflected here. When
you come to add text
and images, this is
where you put them
Enriching your books
iBooks Author is designed
to make multimedia
books, so experiment with
dropping in movies and
images. The templates give
you good hints on what to
do, but you can just drop
things into a page, drag
them around, resize them
by dragging the corners,
and experimenting freely.
To get started, replace the
flower image in each of
these tutorial chapters with
an image of your own.
1: Choose a template
When you launch iBooks Author you will be asked
to choose a template. You can explore all these later,
but for now click on Basic, then click Choose.
4: Fill the box
This particular section has a box before the chapter,
where you can add info. Click the title, and give it
your own name, leaving the rest of the text for later.
7: Name the chapter
Click Untitled on the left, and type a name for
Chapter 2. Hit the ‘+’ sign and Choose Section>
Section, and then two sets of Section>Section Text.
Step-by-step iBooks Author Setting up chapters and sections
2: Name chapter
Rather than typing the name of Chapter 1 in the
book itself, click on the word Untitled and type
there. The book will update automatically.
5: Adding pure text
To add a new section of text, without an intro
box, go to the ‘+’ sign in the top-left and choose
Section>Section Text. Click the title to name it.
8: Name the sections
Name the first section of Chapter 2, and also name
the box on that page. Name the following two
sections. Drag sections to change the ordering.
Connect your iPad and hit the Preview button to see your fi nished book in action.
There’s no better way to test it than by using it in the real world.
3: First section
In the left-hand column, click Section 1 to select it,
then type the section name where it says Untitled.
This will appear in Section 1 in the book’s layout.
6: A new chapter
To add a second chapter, click the ‘+’ sign again and
go to Chapter>Chapter. A new chapter appears,
without any sections, giving you freedom to design.
In the Book overview, click Table of Contents. This
will only display the contents for one chapter, but
gives you an idea of how sections are organised.
How Video Editor Pro handles its swipes and fades
Video Editor Pro
We’re excited about
Video Editor Pro
An expensive, but perhaps more compatible, alternative to iMovie
OS X 10.6 or later
Mac App Store
If you’re going to challenge
the likes of iMovie or Final
Cut Pro you have to bring
something to the table that the other
two can’t offer. That might be value for
money for a piece of editing software or
features that neither manages to offer.
Since both are quite comprehensive
that can be a challenge, and with Video
Editor Pro, the key difference is probably
compatibility. With support for more than
25 different video formats you shouldn’t
hit any problems importing footage from
whatever device you’re using.
Having said that, you’re paying a
premium for that advantage, so what else
is Video Editor Pro providing? For a start,
1: Drag and
Select your transition
from the menu on the
right and drag it to
the end of the clip you
would like to make the
If you’re merging into
a new clip, drag it to
overlap the first and
the transition will
adjust to where the
two blend together.
3: Switch it up
If you’re not happy
with the choice you’ve
made, you can rightclick
on the transition
and pick another from
the drop-down menu.
a very intuitive and simple video editor
that manages to match iMovie on most
counts. It’s got an ample selection of
effects and transitions, although perhaps
not as versatile and customisable as you
might find in Apple’s software.
Even so, we found it very easy to work
with, and for editing and uploading
videos for online use, we’d say you’re
getting a pretty good package, as some
of the following tutorials and highlights
To get control of the look
and style of the imported
footage, you have to click
on the button found
here. As we explain in
more detail to the right,
this menu opens up a lot
of effect and cropping
options for your footage
With plenty of room
for editing your clips,
you can stack them up
and overlap them for
finer control and ease of
editing. If you’re trying
to keep clip lengths even
for instance, you can line
them up together here
and measure them out
against one another in a
matter of moments
As well as importing video to
Video Editor Pro you can also
take advantage of your Mac’s
video camera and mic to record
extra content. New videos can be
added to your project as you edit
it and voice-overs recorded to
help enhance your movie
Adding media to your project is done in this corner.
Whether you’re wanting to add video footage, music or
photos, it’s all done up here and can be done in batches,
which speeds things up a little. Then you drag them from
this corner to start editing them
There’s a respectable number of title card styles
to pick from, each of which has an interesting
animation style and can be edited to suit your
needs. Font, colour and more are in your control as
you create the best possible opening for your movie
David Team’s other Mac apps include Any Audio Recorder Pro and Screen Recorder
Ultimate. For quick video and audio capture, they’re worth checking out.
How to tweak
1: Sub menu
You can do a lot more than just crop the
clips you add. From the Edit Video button
you can add effects and much more.
Under the Effects menu you’ll find colour
control such as contrast and saturation,
and preset effects like black and white.
A smart addition to this menu is the
watermarking option, which allows you to
stamp your video with a company logo.
4: A good crop
Cropping video footage with this side-byside
view can be a great way of making
looser home footage feel more dynamic.
Create a great business
logo in EazyDraw
Make the most of this powerful vector drawing app
Time needed: 25 minutes
Mac App Store
EazyDraw has been around since the early days
of OS X, but its use has always remained the
same – creating great vector images. Be it a flat
plan of your next big building project, a detailed illustration
of life under the sea or a simple and effective logo for your
business, EazyDraw has you covered in more ways than one.
We’ll be focusing on the latter example in this tutorial and,
by the end of it, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to see
you through the process of designing the perfect logo for
your company. One of the best things about creating a new
logo is that you’ll never be short for inspiration.
The best logos are the ones that are simple, with just a
couple of colours and no more than a handful of different
elements. They may also portray (in some way) what your
company does, although this isn’t 100 per cent necessary.
Typography also needs to be taken into consideration here.
A clear sans-serif or serif font is key and should be as big as it
can be in order to ensure your name is easily seen.
We’re going to keep things simple with our logo design;
starting off with a basic square shape and using the power
of EazyDraw’s vector-based technology to tweak it into a
shape that looks more interesting. EazyDraw’s rich set of
features make it possible to create a logo that’s as simple or
as complex as you’d like, but with all of the above taken into
account, it makes sense to keep things simple and timeless.
Besides, you can always expand on it later if needs be.
Step-by-step EazyDraw Create an impressive business logo
1: Create your workspace
Open a new EazyDraw document then head to File>Page Setup and choose
a size that you think will suit your image. Don’t worry about resolution,
though, as this can be set later on during the export process.
EazyDraw gives you
the option to add
you’ll be able to
separate out different
elements of your logo
editing and great
control over its final
look and feel
With your shapes
converted to Bezier
curves, it’s easy to
drag on any of the
corners or curve and
adjust it to perfection.
You can always hit
Command+Z if things
don’t look right
The Details pane
Clicking on the Details
button and loading up
the Details pane on the
left will bring up a number
of options that will help
you tweak and edit
whatever you happen to
2: Throw some shapes
We’re going to base our logo around a straightforward square shape. Select
the Square tool from the menu on the left and draw a square (while holding
Shift to keep things in proportion) that fills a large area of your workspace.
3: Stroke and fill
Using the Stroke Color and Fill Color controls in the top menu, add some
colour to your square. We’ve opted for an orange with a slightly lighter stroke.
To change the colour of the stroke and fill, click and hold on the buttons.
Subtle gradients can
really help to add a
level of polish to your
design. Click and
hold on the Gradients
button then select
the type, start and
end colours from the
options to customise
Unlike Bitmap images,
which tell your computer
which pixels to turn on and
when, vector images use
mathematical equations to
create shapes by turning
on the correct amount of
pixels for the right image
size. The result is an image
that’s fully scalable, making
your vector logo perfect for
everything from business
cards to building signs.
Want to know more about EazyDraw version 5? Check out our review in issue 116 for our
opinion on the latest version of this long-standing drawing app for Mac.
Improving on your original design
A great logo can be as simple as a square with
text, but a few tweaks in EazyDraw can turn it into
something far more interesting and eye-catching.
Follow our four-step guide below and find out how
to further customise your design and take it to a
more professional level.
Drag in the top-left corner
2 to turn the right angle into
a curved shape. Experiment
with the different grab points
here to create your own shape.
Zoom in on your two text
4 layers using the ‘I’ key, then
gently nudge the white text
over the dark grey text using
your arrow keys.
Select your original square
1 shape and head to the
Convert To menu above. Then,
select Bezier Path to give
yourself more editing options.
To give your company
3 name a slight dropshadow,
duplicate the text
you created and change the
original colour to a dark grey.
4: Give it a name
Select the Text tool from the menu on the left and drag a text box to work
from. Enter your company name and select an appropriate font from the
menu above. We’ve opted for a simple sans-serif.
Design a poster with
Swift Publisher 3
Promote an event with a sparkling customised poster
Swift Publisher 3
Time needed: 15 minutes
Mac App Store
When it comes to making a poster for an event
you’re planning, there are a few apps that you
may turn to first for your design. Whether it’s
Pages, Phoster on iPad, or even Posterino on Mac, there are
plenty of strong choices, but now there’s a new player in the
document creation game and it might just be the best yet.
Swift Publisher 3 can be used to create normal text
documents, but its real strength lies in the ability to create
image-heavy brochures, catalogues, flyers and menus. Each
type of document has a large number of templates for you
to choose from, although you can simply create your own
poster from scratch if you wish to.
The app itself feels very much like those developed by
Apple; the controls are similar to those available in Pages, but
here they are optimised for image manipulation, working
with layers and drawing shapes. Swift Publisher also uses its
own Inspector system – it sits on the right of your poster,
with four options allowing you access to all the controls
you need. Styles are available from the top of the window,
allowing you to quickly format text, and they are completely
customisable, so you can add your own designs.
There are image editing options built-in, too. Double-click
on any image or shape and you can add a range of filters
and effects. Because everything is built into the app, Swift
Publisher 3 is much more accomplished than Pages when it
comes to making posters, as we’re about to show you.
Step-by-step Swift Publisher 3 Create a promotional poster
1: Template chooser
When you first open Swift Publisher, you should see the template chooser.
If you can’t, choose File>New from Template Gallery, or hit Cmd+Shift+N.
Choose Posters from the left-hand side and choose a design that you like.
The app lacks a lot of
that we’d like to see,
but if you’re using
a laptop with a
trackpad, or simply a
Magic Trackpad, you
can pinch to get close
control over zooming
Double-click an image
and you can open the
Effects editor. Click an
effect to preview it in
the window, use the
sliders to adjust the
settings, and when
you’re ready, click the
The Inspector can also be used
to quickly edit images, adding
a stroke to the edges, adding
shadow and altering the
opacity of the shot. You can
also change the colour of the
entire shot with a few clicks
2: Foreground and background
The app allows you to work with foregrounds and backgrounds. Switch to
the background to change the main image, before moving forward again to
edit how the text and extra images look on your new background.
3: Clip art
It might seem somewhat old-fashioned, but Swift Publisher offers a range of
high-quality artwork that can be quickly added to your poster. Drag them in
from the menu on the left – there are more than 100 to choose from.
Click the small eye icon
in the top-right corner
of the window and
you’ll see a preview
of your poster. The
guidelines will be
totally removed and
you can even simulate
a paper colour
One important thing to
remember is not to feel
limited by the templates
shown. While a premade
template may be
advertising a skiing course,
you need to remember
that every part of it can be
changed. If it fits your plans,
choose it and start making
changes until it’s what you
want. If not, start with a
Try importing clip art and giving it a solid colour to create standing elements. For
example, an orange butterfl y might not look right, but make it white and it may fi t.
Using the Spline tool
The Spline tool sits in the toolbar at the top of
the main Swift Publisher window, and offers you
a brilliant way to draw curved shapes. Below
we’ve shown how you can use the tool to create
a background image for your poster, but there’s
plenty more you can do with it.
Clicking and dragging will
2 create a smooth curve. The
further you drag, the more the
next point will be affected, so
try different lengths.
Now you can use the
4 Inspector to add colour to
your background, remove the
stroke around the edge, and
add a shadow.
Select the Spline tool and
1 start drawing around the
bottom of the page. Simply
click to add a point that’s
joined by a straight line.
You can easily undo single
3 points on your shape with
Cmd+Z. When you’re finished,
click the first point on the
4: Text options
The Inspector on the right allows you to alter text. Here, we’ve reduced the
character spacing for our poster’s title, so we have a little more room for the
icon on the right. Use the Inspector to fine-tune elements of your creation.
Use multiple Time Machine drives
Set up two or more drives for essential Time Machine backups of your Mac
Time needed: 5 minutes
Before Mountain Lion, there was no
easy way to back up your Mac to
multiple drives using the otherwise
brilliant Time Machine app. If you wanted
to be completely safe with your data you
needed an extra backup app installed, or had
to change Time Machine settings every time
you wanted to back up. That’s changed now,
however, with the Mountain Lion OS upgrade
adding the ability to add multiple drives to
your Time Machine preferences.
We always recommend that you keep a
backup of your Mac somewhere around, in
case the worst happens and your machine is
lost, broken or stolen. However, for those that
are especially safety-conscious, a second drive
is a real bonus. If you’ve got a desktop Mac, an
off-site backup of your drive is recommended,
while MacBook owners can keep one backup
on the road with them and leave the other
at home. Either way, secondary backups
offer great peace of mind, so read on to find
out precisely how to set one up using Time
Machine in OS X Mountain Lion.
Step-by-step OS X Use multiple Time Machine drives
1: Machine preferences
First of all, you need to open up your Mac’s System Preferences app and
select the Time Machine icon under the System tab. You may also be
able to access this from a menu bar icon.
“For those that are especially safetyconscious,
a second drive is a real bonus”
2: Disk selection
If you already have a Time Machine backup, all you need to do is choose
the Select Disk option. If not, you’ll be required to choose Select Backup
Disk and then set up a second.
Safety first in OS X
Use Time Machine for extra peace of mind
The Time Machine
preferences screen will
show you how much space
is available on each of your
drives. Don’t worry if one
is almost empty – Time
Machine will free up space
as new backups are added
If you have your Time
Machine set to back up
every hour, setting up
two drives will cause the
backups to switch between
them. If, for example, you
have a Time Capsule set up
at home and a Thunderbolt
drive also connected,
Time Machine will use the
Time Capsule for the first
backup, then switch to the
Thunderbolt drive an hour
later, then switch back.
3: Pick your disk
A list of available disks will appear in front of you, including your current
Time Machine. Choose a second disk and then select the Use Disk
option in the bottom-right corner.
The backups take place automatically when the selected drives are connected. If your
Mac can’t fi nd a drive, it will automatically start the backup using the next drive.
Hitting this small icon in your Mac’s menu bar gives
quick access to Time Machine’s preferences. Whether
you want to check on the status of a disk, or set up
more backup drives, this is the fastest way to do it
While we’ve only set up
two Time Machine backup
drives, there is no limit
to the number of drives
you can set up. If you’re
incredibly paranoid or
simply safety conscious,
you can have tens of drives
dotted around the globe,
buried in secret locations
by famous landmarks…
You can also set up
encryption for your drives
– this is a great idea for
your secondary backup,
especially if it’s stored away
from home, as it won’t be
readable if it falls into the
A message will appear on screen asking whether you want to replace
your current backup or back up to both disks. For the purposes of this
tutorial, select the latter to set up two backups.
Set up custom widgets from the web
Get even more slices of at-a-glance information on your Mac
Time needed: 5 minutes
Widgets give you information at a glance such as weather or
the time. But there comes a time when you need a widget that
hasn’t already been created. Perhaps there is some information
that is niche but useful for you. Rather than visiting a webpage to view
that info, you can make life easier and have it open in your Dashboard.
As well as being able to view the built-in Dashboard widgets that
come with your Mac and download tailor-made widgets via the Apple
website (https://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard), you can also
create your own using information gleamed from webpages.
The facility is built into the Safari web browser (but not others) and it
allows you to grab a small chunk of a page and have it displayed on your
Dashboard. It even updates automatically. Best of all, it’s very easy to do.
Widgets and Dashboard
Working with your own widgets
When you tap the
Dashboard icon in the
Dock of your Mac, you
will call up staples such
as the calendar, clock and
weather as well as any
other widgets you have
placed in there
Free floating widgets
There are two ways to
display widgets via your
Dashboard. You can have
it so that the widgets are
overlaid on the top of open
windows on your desktop,
or you can give them their
own space which means
they are placed upon a
black background. In order
to switch between the
two, you need to go to
Mission Control and check
or uncheck the Show
Dashboard as a space
option. Unchecking allows
for the overlay.
When you select part of a webpage, simply click
the Add button and the widget will automatically
be added to your Dashboard, allowing you to gain
easy access to it
Here is our football results
widget. We have decided
to edit this widget. By
moving the mouse within
this box we can alter what is
being viewed. The links are
dynamic and go to Safari
We are using YouTube as an example
here. This area is highlighted in white
and it means we are able to cut this
section of the webpage and use it as a
1: Find a page
Widgets can be made up of small parts of a
webpage. When you see something you like in
Safari, go to File>Open in Dashboard.
4: Resizing an area
In our case, we want this sports result section. But
we only want a bit of it. So we will use the resize
functions to cut the widget to size.
7: Edit a widget
If you wish to alter a widget in any way, click the ‘i’
icon in the bottom-right and select Edit. Now you
can amend the area you can view.
Step-by-step OS X Creating widgets from a website
2: Highlighting section
You will now see a purple bar appear at the top. A
white window will highlight a section of the page
and the rest of the webpage will be darkened.
5: Add the widget
Once you have selected the right part of the
webpage, double-click it and tap Add. It will appear
in the Dashboard as a widget alongside others.
8: Change the theme
You can also change the surrounding frame of a
widget. Click the ‘i’ and make your selection from the
frames that are present. Click Done when complete.
Your widgets – or web clips – display live content. They automatically update with fresh
information whenever the webpage is updated.
The white window can be moved around the page
as you look for perfect content. Use your mouse to
hover over areas and watch as a chunk is pulled out.
6: Click a link
Now if you click a link within your widget, you will be
taken to the full page in Safari. Or you can view that
part of the page as it updates via the widget.
9: Other options
When selecting the ‘i’ icon on a widget, there may
be other options too, for example, an audio button
or weather settings. Play around to customise.
Fill in missing artwork in your iTunes Library
Ensure your music library is complete with all of the artwork intact
and displaying correctly by using iTunes’ image finding features
Time needed: 10 minutes
1: Get Album Artwork
If you see a blank box with a music symbol where an
album cover should be, then ask iTunes to find artwork
for you. Go to File>Library>Get Album Artwork.
4: In the future
You can set iTunes to automatically get album covers.
Go to iTunes>Preferences>Store. Here you need to
click the bottom two options.
There is something quite unsightly about an iTunes Library
that has artwork missing. Although digital music has been
blamed for the deteriorating importance of cover art, you
begin to see its importance when see songs on your Mac that have no
artwork attached to them. Thankfully, there are ways of rectifying this,
the first one entailing little legwork and the second requiring extra effort.
The automatic album artwork finding feature built into iTunes 11 is the
first port of call. If that doesn’t help, then it’s a simple case of finding the
artwork yourself via the internet and attaching it to a song or album. To
see artwork in a larger size, just click on it. This will show a faded out shot
of the cover, as well as the tracks grouped together to form the album.
Step-by-step iTunes Adding artwork to iTunes songs
This option will send information about songs that
have missing artwork to Apple so that it can scour its
database for matches. Click Get Album Artwork.
5: The manual way
If Apple cannot find artwork you will need to use
Google. Scour the search engine for a suitable image
and then right-click and save it to your Mac.
3: Sit back and wait
The iTunes app will now begin to process album
artwork and you can see just how far it has got by
looking at the status bar at the top of the window.
6: Insert image
Now go back to iTunes. Right-click the music symbol
on a missing track’s artwork and select Get Info. Go to
the Artwork tab. Click Add, find the image and click OK.
Adding and deleting artwork
Finding artwork information and manipulating it
You will instantly
see where there
is missing artwork
by the use of this
you will see it as a
stand-in for other
types of audio, in this
case voice memos we
have in our library
The Advanced menu
Much of this work used
to be done under the
Advanced menu but, with
iTunes 11, that option
has been removed. If
you are using an earlier
version of iTunes then you
will find the Get Album
Artwork option under the
Advanced menu. In both
instances details of a song’s
missing cover art are sent
to Apple for a match. Your
music library content is not
stored by Apple.
Apps to organise
As well as being able to use the steps mentioned
here, third-party developers have spotted a gap
in the market for programs which let you take
greater control of your iTunes Library. Apps such
as TuneUp or Plex automatically transform your
music collection and they will fix songs which are
mislabelled and add missing album cover art. This
is another way of filling in the blanks without any
effort on your part.
TuneUp Although you have to pay to use
TuneUp ($49.95), there is a free trial
version which is handy if you want
to do a one-time sweep of your library and
sort out the missing artwork and other issues
at the same time.
The background colour of the display window changes depending on your album
artwork. You can go to iTunes’ Preferences>General if you wish to disable this.
Right-click artwork and you can hit Get Info.
By clicking on the Artwork tab you can add
or delete artwork depending on whether you
need an image, or if one is incorrect
Resize an image
You can use the slider
to alter the size of any
artwork that you have
stored in your iTunes
Library, giving you some
extra control over what
you are importing into
All artwork in iTunes is clearly displayed so that,
when you flick through your collection, you can see
at a glance the cover of the album or other such art
in connection with a single
Plex The Cover Art tool scans your music
collection and shows up results you
can then use. Up to four covers are
provided which is great if an import cover is
available. The art is saved to the music file
itself so it will show on all of your devices.
Pick which apps open automatically
Use this tip to stop iPhoto or iTunes opening every time you connect an iOS device or camera to your Mac
Time needed: 2 minutes
How many times have you
connected your iPhone, iPod or
digital camera to your Mac and
had your whole computer slow down
because it automatically opens up an
app like iPhoto or iTunes? And how many
times have they been the app that you
actually wanted to open? If you’ve had
enough of apps opening automatically,
you might be interested to know there’s an
easy way to stop it happening.
This tip is also useful for choosing which
app you actually want to open when
connecting a device. For example, if you’ve
installed a piece of third-party software
that came on a disc with your camera, it
might open every time you plug it in when
you’d rather just use iPhoto. You can use
this tip to also choose the application that
launches – you don’t need to delete an
app to stop it opening, you simply need
to open up Image Capture, an app that is
built into OS X.
Step-by-step Image Capture Change app-opening preferences
1: Find the menu
First of all, open the Image Capture app. Find it with Spotlight, or in
your Applications folder. Plug in the device you want to change the
preferences for and select it from the sidebar. Then click the small arrow.
Click the drop-down box that appears and you’ll see all the apps that
could be opened when you connect. Select the one you want from the
list, click Other to select another app, or choose No Application.
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Your questions answered
We all have system glitches from time to time – fortunately our resident expert is
here to answer all your Mac, iPhone and iPad-related questions
Here’s a selection of
useful tips & tricks
upgrading to a
new Mac I tend
my old machine rather than
transfer everything across at
once. It’s a chance to do a
spring clean as I move only
I tend to put
my old Mac on
eBay when I get
a new one, so
the first thing I
do is take out the old Mac’s
internal hard drive. That
way I’ve always got the data
from it and I can install a
fresh one before I sell it on.
The first thing
I do is start
old data over
using a Time
Machine backup. Apple
makes it really simple to do
this when you switch your
Mac on for the first time, and
soon I’m up and running
again with all my files.
Dear Genius Bar, I have a lot of family
camcorder footage in HD format that currently
I back up to several hard drives. I would really
like to save one of those copies to Blu-ray discs. Are
there any compatible external Blu-ray disc recorders
that I can connect to my Mac? Is there any third-party
software I need to buy to transfer the high-definition
footage or will a simply copy and paste and then burn
to the Blu-ray disc work?
Although it’s not entirely straightforward, there are a few
options out there for burning Blu-ray discs via your Mac. To
get started, you’ll need both a compatible Blu-ray drive and
Roxio’s Toast 11 Titanium with Blu-ray Plug-in. Both of these
won’t come cheap, but it’s worth paying if you want to be
able to burn those Blu-rays. Once you’ve hooked up your
drive and installed Toast 11, the process for burning your
discs is relatively simple. If possible, try and use a compatible
USB 3.0 Blu-ray drive as this will allow it to burn at the fastest
paying if you
want to be
Burning your movies
to Blu-ray is easy, but
it will require a bit of
Turn off Time Machine!
Dear iCreate, I recently set
up Time Machine to back
up to an old hard drive that
I partitioned as it had a lot of other
stuff on it. I’ve now bought a
dedicated backup drive. Whenever I
plug in the old hard drive though,
Mountain Lion immediately
identifies it as a Time Machine
backup source. Is there any way to
Dear Geniuses, I’ve joined
the 21st Century and
upgraded my MacBook to
a MacBook Pro! A lot of my apps
were bought on the Mac App Store,
so re-downloading them is easy, but
what about those I purchased
elsewhere? How do I move these?
When it comes to transferring apps
from one Mac to another, your first port
of call is the Applications folder for the
app itself. You’ll need to drop this in the
Applications folder on your new Mac.
You’ll then need to look for its folders
in both ~/Library/Application Support/
(in your Home folder) and /Library/
Application Support/ (from Macintosh
HD – not in your Home folder) and
copy those two to their respective
places on your new Mac, too.
stop this from happening? I don’t
need to have every single backup on
Hi Peter, rectifying this issue is actually
a lot easier than you think. The key
to stopping Time Machine from
identifying a hard drive as a place it
can back up to is hidden within its
preferences. To bring these up, you’ll
Finding the app
itself should be fairly
Just head to your
and look for its icon
in the list of apps.
To find Library in
your Home folder
(usually your name),
hold Alt and click
Go in the menu bar,
To access your
Macintosh HD in
Finder, click Library
a hard drive
is a fairly easy
need to select Open Time Machine
Preferences from its menu bar icon or,
if that’s not enabled, head to System
Preferences and select the Time
Machine preference pane.
Once there, look for the Select Disk
button, click on that and then check the
list of Time Machine backup discs. Find
your old hard drive, select it in the list,
then click Remove Disk. The icon should
change to a regular external disc.
Once you’ve found
all of these folders,
copy (by holding
the Alt key) them
all to the same
locations on your
1: Which format?
If you haven’t already, it’s worth
formatting your drive to Mac
OS Extended (Journaled)
format. This works best with OS
X and offers great flexibility.
2: Ways to part
From the drop-down menu on
the left, select the number of
partitions you’d like to split your
drive into, bearing in mind the
capacity of your drive.
3: Sizing up
Each partition is represented on
the right and you can drag the
boundaries between them up
or down to change their sizes.
4: Click and confirm
When you’re happy with your
partition sizes, click Apply then
Partition in the confirmation
window to start the
partitioning process. It should
take a couple of minutes.
1: To the bottom
Apps you’ve installed
recently will be towards
the bottom of Notification
Center’s list in Settings.
2: App by app
Tap on each app in
Notification Center’s list and
turn off alert styles like Badge
App Icons and Sounds to
quieten things down.
3: Moving on up
Head back to the Notification
Center section of the Settings
app and tap the Edit button
in the top-right corner to
move things around.
4: Set your priorities
Keep the least important
apps towards the bottom of
this list and move those that
have essential notifications
towards the top.
I was given an iPhone 5 for
Christmas – it’s a great gift
and I love it, but I’ve been
inundated with notifications and
messages from various apps and
games from day one and it’s
starting to get on my nerves! I’ve
worked out how to use Do Not
Disturb, but can I do anything else?
Hi Penny, glad to hear you’re enjoying
your iPhone 5, even if notifications
are a little problematic. Fortunately
for you, your issues with
notification overload are
Starting a podcast via
Siri will play it in the
“Your issues with notification overload are
easily solved with a few simple tweaks”
easily solved with a few simple settings
tweaks. To get started, head into your
iPhone’s Settings app and tap on the
Notification Center option in the list.
In here you’ll find every setting that
controls how you receive notifications
on your iPhone as well as those for
Generally speaking, every app
you download from the App Store
will feature some kind of notification
system and, while
these can be
The key to a quieter iPhone
is held within Notification
controlled from within the app’s own
settings, the overall options are in
Notification Center’s settings. Each
app has its own individual settings
here which control things like app icon
numbers and whether a notification is
displayed as a banner or a notification
which requires action. The aim of the
game here is to cull those you don’t
really need and leave yourself with
no more than a handful of apps in
Notification Center’s list. Your iOS life
will have never been so peaceful.
Losing the Podcasts app
I love listening to podcasts on
my iPhone, but the Podcasts
app leaves a lot to be desired! Is
there any way I can bypass this
altogether and play them through the
Music app like I used to?
You’re a little limited for options here,
Laurene, but one route could be using Siri
to start the play process. To get started,
use the command: “Play podcast [podcast
name]”. You can then control playback using
the Now Playing section of the Music app –
arguably a far better way to do things than
with the Podcasts app.
Extended iPad uses
Dear iCreate, my wife very
kindly bought me an iPad
mini for Christmas and I’m
now left wondering what I can do
with an old iPad 2 other than sell it on
(it has some sentimental value and
my wife likes to use it from time to
time). I was wondering if you had any
suggestions? If it helps to know, I also
have a 21.5-inch iMac running OS X
10.8 Mountain Lion. Roger Turnbull
Hi Roger, you have options aplenty here!
Although there are some limits on how
Actions for iPad
Actions for iPad allows you to turn your iPad’s screen
into a set of shortcuts to control almost anything on
your Mac – you’ll never need to learn a keyboard
What’s my name?
It might be a bit of a ridiculous gripe, but I
get really annoyed when Siri doesn’t
know how to pronounce my friends’
names. It’s really off-putting and they’re not even
particularly unusual. I tried spelling them
phonetically, but this made things worse! Have
you got any suggestions?
Hi Paula, this is easier to solve than you might think!
You were on the right track spelling out friends’ names
phonetically, but you’ll need to put them in their own
special field. To do this, start editing your contact of
choice, head down to the Add Field option, tap on it
and select either Phonetic First Name or Phonetic Last
Name. Spell out those names and you’re good to go.
an iPad can interact with other devices
such as your iMac, the App Store presents
a number of different ways in which the
two can cooperate and you can be more
productive and creative with the help of
your old iPad. One of the most obvious
uses here is to turn it into a digital photo
frame. This is achieved by loading it with
your favourite snaps, locking the screen
then tapping the photo icon on the lock
screen. If you’re looking for something
a little more interesting, though, we’ve
listed some of our favourite uses below.
“You were on the right track spelling
out friends’ names phonetically”
The simplest use for an old
iPad is to turn it into a digital
Avatron’s Air Display enables you to use your old iPad
as a second monitor for your Mac. Everything on the
iPad can be controlled by touch as well, perfect for
apps like Photoshop.
Keeping things separate
Be sure to enter the phonetic
spellings for both the first name
and surname in separate fields to
ensure things stay simple for Siri
Split it up
For more complex
pronunciations, it’s best to
split syllables of the name
up with a hyphen. It tends
to make things much easier
Find the field
To find the phonetic
field, swipe down to
the bottom of the
in Edit mode and tap
It’s not cheap and requires a bit of set up, but Screens
VNC will allow you to access your Mac remotely
with little delay or lag. It’s a great option for powerful
computing on the go.
You can also add fields such as Relationship to
tell Siri how that particular contact relates to
you – useful for commands like, “call my boss”
Repair & replace guide
Everything you need to know about repairing or replacing
broken and ageing parts from your favourite Apple devices
Replacing a faulty/cracked
MacBook Pro trackpad
Step-by-step Install a new trackpad
1: A screw loose
Start by removing the ten screws from the back of
your MacBook using a Phillips screwdriver – be sure
to note the different screw locations and lengths.
4: Bend it back
Carefully bend the battery connector back and away
from the Logic Board to ensure it doesn’t accidentally
reconnect while you’re working on your trackpad.
2: We have lift off
Lift off your MacBook Pro’s back panel from nearest the
fan vent. Be sure it doesn’t catch anything as you lift it
out and set it to one side.
5: Free the battery
Remove the two Tri-Wing screws sitting either side
at the top of the battery to allow it to be removed
completely from inside your MacBook Pro.
If there’s one area of your MacBook
that’s prone to cracking almost as
much as your screen, it’s your MacBook
Pro’s trackpad. Although they’re still likely
to work for a little longer, they’re not so
pleasing on the eye and can get worse over
time. Fortunately, replacing a broken trackpad
is a relatively straightforward process that’ll cost
you well under £100/$100. In this tutorial, we’ve
focused on the process for an early-2011, 13-inch
MacBook Pro, and although the process is similar
for other models, it is really worth checking out
iFixit.com for the exact steps for your machine.
The whole replacement process is pretty
straightforward, but be sure to take your time or
ask an expert if you’re unsure. Otherwise, enjoy!
3: Power down
Your MacBook Pro should be switched off, but
disconnect the battery connector from the Logic
Board using a plastic spudger for added security.
6: A sticky situation
Before we can remove the battery, we’re presented
with a warning sticker. Peel this up and away from
your MacBook, but avoid removing it completely.
“The easiest way to remove the battery
is to pull the clear plastic tab that’s
attached to it”
7: Lift the tab
The easiest way to remove the battery is to pull the
clear plastic tab that’s attached to it. It should then lift
straight out from the upper case.
9: Stand up tall
From here, you’ll need to set your MacBook Pro up on
its side as shown. This should make things a little easier
when it comes to freeing your trackpad.
11: Out and away
Begin slowly pushing your trackpad up, out and away
from your MacBook’s casing, being careful to guide its
connector through the hole near the Logic Board.
Using the flat end of a plastic spudger, carefully push
the trackpad connector (situated between your
machine’s SuperDrive and RAM) up from its position.
10: Four more screws
Hold the trackpad with one hand and, with the other,
use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the four screws
holding it in place on your MacBook Pro’s casing.
When installing a new (or cleaned) trackpad, ensure
that you carefully guide its connector back through
its hole towards the Logic Board. Use a spudger.
If you would like more help with
upgrading your Mac, visit the gadget
surgeons at iFixit.com, who kindly
contributed these photos.
Kit you’ll need
The Swiss Army knife of Mac
and iPhone repairs, the humble
plastic spudger will help you
pry, poke and generally fix your
way to a better device.
Apple does tend to prefer
proprietary fixings in its devices,
but the Phillips head screw is
easily tackled and a surprisingly
common occurrence, too.
Although rare, Tri-Wing screws
do tend to crop up throughout
the average Mac repair so it’s
well worth having the correct
Available from iFixit.com for a
snip under $90, a replacement
trackpad is the cornerstone of
this repair. Be sure to always buy
from a reputable dealer.
Get creative with iCloud
Use Apple’s syncing service as inspiration to
help make some amazing creative projects
If you own a Mac,
iPhone or iPad (or even
all three), chances are
you’re an active iCloud
user – whether you
know it or not. Apple’s
free service for syncing
your contacts, calendars, notes, photos and
much more has come along way since its
predecessor, MobileMe. That said, it’s not all
about ensuring your last message or calendar
entry appears on every device. With a little
ingenuity, iCloud can become a fully fledged
creative tool in its own right.
While syncing your data might not be in
the slightest bit creative, syncing your photos,
in the form of Photo Stream, certainly is. In the
next few pages, we’ll show you how you can
use Shared Photo Streams to collaborate with
other iPhone users and create a travel guide
from crowdsourced comments, photos and
information. It might sound a little complex, but
the beauty of iCloud means that the only thing
you’ll need, beyond this guide, is the details of
everyone you’d like involved with the project
and an idea of the country or city you’d like to
create your travel guide for.
Once you’ve sourced your selection of
images using Shared Photo Streams, we’ll show
you how to organise them in iPhoto on your
Mac, export them to your iPad and create an
incredible Photo Journal to showcase them in
the form of a beautifully detailed travel guide. All
of this is possible without spending more than
£2.99/$4.99 on a copy of iPhoto for iOS.
This project isn’t just limited to a travel guide
either. Your subject matter is only limited to
your imagination – best restaurant guides,
crowdsourced cookbooks and a collage of craft
ideas are just a few other ideas we came up with
in the planning stages.
Creating a crowdsourced travel guide is just
one way in which you can use iCloud to get
creative, and there’s a few more that are certainly
worth mentioning. Throughout our main
creative iCloud project, you’ll find information on
how to use iCloud to sync GarageBand projects
from your iPad to your iPhone, edit an image on
your iPhone and tweak it in Aperture and build
upon your iOS Sketchbook Ink project on your
Mac with Sketchbook Pro.
Finally, we’ve thrown in a couple of extra apps
that use their own cloud services to help you get
creative. Ranging from the incredibly affordable
to the fairly expensive, they’re well worth
checking out if you like the idea of smoothly
moving your projects between devices without
having to resort to USB connections and clumsy
file transfers via iTunes.
Hopefully by now you’re itching to get started
on your creative iCloud projects, so keep reading
and find out exactly how to harness the power
of this awesome technology and use it to your
creative advantage. Don’t forget, we’d love to see
what you’ve come up, whether it’s a version of
the collaborative travel guide we’ve detailed in
this feature or something a little more elaborate.
So please do get in touch through the usual
channels and show us what you’ve created, it
might even end up in the magazine.
Building your guide
Work with friends and family to get all bases covered
Creating a travel guide is a great way to
introduce friends and family to places they’ve
never visited with the best information from
those who have. The guide itself can be as big
or small as you like, covering an area as large as
North America or as small as a capital city like
London – it’s all completely up to you.
When choosing your subject, it’s worth
bearing in mind how many people you know
who regularly visit and know the same place to
provide you with information and images.
Once you’ve done this, following the steps below
will allow you to work with them over iCloud.
It’s easier than you might think and replaces the
slightly long-winded process of swapping files via
memory stick or over a file-sharing service. What’s
more, iCloud is instant, meaning that populating
your travel guide should take no time at all.
Step-by-step Create a crowdsourced iCloud travel guide
1: On the move
If you’re shooting photos for the iCloud travel guide,
head into your iOS device’s Camera Roll, tap the Edit
option in the top-right corner then select the photos
you want to share.
4: The finer details
Enter the iCloud email address of the person who is
collating your iCloud travel guide in the To field, then
give your Shared Photo Stream an easily identifiable
and memorable name below.
2: Tap and share
Tap the Share button in the top-left corner of the
Camera Roll interface and select Photo Stream from
the list that drops down. There are other sharing
methods, but this is by far the best.
5: One more step
Once you’ve entered all of your details, hit the Next
icon in the top-right and head to the final step
where you can send a message to the person you’re
sharing your Photo Stream with.
3: Old or new?
If you have already set up your Shared Photo Stream
for your iCloud travel guide, tap on it from the list
that appears, otherwise you’ll be required to tap
New Photo Stream to create one.
6: Meanwhile, in iPhoto…
If you’re on the receiving end of your contributors’
Shared Photo Streams, you’ll need to hit Show Me
when you receive a notification like this and accept
them to get your images.
7: Select and save
If you’re receiving a lot of photos, it makes more
sense to store the best ones separately for your travel
guide. Select them, click on Add to>Album, then
Import them to iPhoto.
9: Going old school
If your final images album is pretty hefty, it’s
probably better to avoid any issues with iCloud’s
limited storage space and transfer these files over to
your iPad via iTunes.
You’ll no doubt already
know that Photo Stream
will pull your photos
from your iPhone and
iPad and place them in their own
folder on your Mac, but what you
might not know is that any edits
you make come too. Auto-enhance
an image in your Camera Roll or
remove any red-eye and these edits
will appear in Aperture, along with
the ability to turn them off.
8: Add to album
Once your best images have been saved from your
iCloud account to iPhoto’s local storage, hit Add
to>Album once more and give it a name you’ll
instantly recognise later on.
10: Get editing
With your final travel guide photos imported to
your iPad, it’s a great time to fire up the iPhoto app,
open the album and edit them – performing subtle
tweaks can make all the difference.
1: Look for the edit
When you’re searching through your Photo Stream
in Aperture, look for the small adjustments icon that
indicates an edit has been made to the photo.
Grab the Vyclone app for
cloud-based film fun
Using iCloud to crowdsource an
image-based project is one thing,
but Vyclone takes things a step
further, enabling you and a group of friends
to film a collaborative, cloud-based film. The
curation and editing process is all handled in
the cloud by the powerful Vyclone app.
What’s even better? It’s a free download.
2: On and off
Double-click to bring the photo up in full-screen view
and look to the Adjustments pane on the left – you will
see an iOS Edits option to tick and untick.
Get creative with iCloud
Step-by-step Create a crowdsourced iCloud travel guide
11: Ready to share?
When you’re happy with how your images look (and
you’ve added any informative captions you’d like to)
tap the sharing icon in the top-right corner and then
hit the Journal icon.
Each contributor to your crowdsourced
iCloud travel guide will need to set up
their own Shared Photo Stream and
share it with your iCloud email address,
so ensure they have this in advance
If time is of the essence
and you need to receive
images for your project
as they’re being taken,
your iOS photographers
will need to have a 3G/4G
enabled device with a
strong data connection
12: Name your guide
In the options that appear, give your Journal a name
that represents your crowdsourced travel guide then
hit Create Journal. You needn’t worry about any of
the other options at the moment.
13: Change the look
Once your Journal has been created, tap the cog
in the top bar to bring up its appearance settings.
Adjust the background style, grid size and layout to
suit your travel guide.
So long as the iOS device
your photographer is using
is running iOS 6, they’ll be
able to contribute to your
travel guide via iCloud.
iPhone, iPad and iPod
touch owners can all get
involved in your project
Want more shots of a particular place?
Simply comment on the photo you’ve just
received from your photographer and
iCloud will push it to their device almost
instantly – feedback has never been easier
14: Adding extras
Tap on the ‘+’ icon in iPhoto’s bottom bar to add
extra information and elements to your travel guide.
This can include quotes, weather information, maps
and much more.
15: Local knowledge
If a photo you’re using happens to be an area
of expertise, drag in a text box and add some
information. Once you’re done, tap on it once to
change the font and alignment.
16: Use your imagination
Adding information to your travel guide is very much
limited to your own imagination. Try and match
the elements to nearby photos to give your shared
project a truly professional finish.
GarageBand for iOS might have been around
for some time now, but one of its lesserknown
talents is its ability to sync projects
between your different devices via the brilliant
iCloud service. Sadly, it’s not yet possible to
1: Flick the switch
Fire up GarageBand on
your iPad, hit the ‘+’ icon
in the top-left corner and
ensure the Use iCloud
toggle is set to On.
Sync your projects between iOS devices
seamlessly sync between the iOS and OS X
ecosystems. But if you’ve started a project
on your iPad at home and want to continue
mixing on your iPhone, making the jump
between devices is pretty simple.
2: Select and share
In the projects view, tap
the Edit button, select
the song you want to
sync and tap the cloud
icon. Finally, tap Upload
Song to iCloud.
Get creative with iCloud
Step-by-step Create a crowdsourced iCloud travel guide
17: Swap ‘em out
Giving a logical order to your travel guide is
important, so tap the button next to the undo icon
and drag one image on top of the other to swap
their places in the journal.
Start on your iPad, pick up on your Mac
It’s not just Apple’s own apps that are able to
harness the power of the cloud and allow you
to sync projects over multiple devices. Thirdparty
apps like Adobe’s Sketchbook Pro can make the
most of this time-saving technology, too.
Grab the Sketchbook Pro app (£2.99/£4.99) on both
your iPad and iPhone and you’ll be able to create
stunning sketches on your iPad and pick up exactly
where you left off on your Mac later on.
18: Share to iCloud
To get your iCloud travel guide out to various parts
of the world, hit the sharing icon in the top-right
corner of the user interface and then select iCloud
from the list of options underneath.
19: Unleash your creation
With your travel guide now successfully uploaded
to iCloud, all that’s left to do is to tap Share Journal
to get the public link that you can publicise and be
accessed from anywhere.
Beyond iCloud, Adobe
Creative Cloud reigns supreme
It’s not quite as affordable as Apple’s free
offering of iCloud, but Adobe Creative Cloud
gives you access to every one of Adobe’s
creative suite apps, plus 20GB of cloudbased
storage to sync your projects
from device to device.
Learn in style
Discover more with the Book series’ expert, accessible tutorials for
iPad, iPhone, Mac, Android, Photoshop, Windows and more
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Your world clock
What makes it tick?
Black or white
Depending on whether it’s a day
or night in a specific time zone,
the clock faces in the Clock app
will be white or black respectively
– it’s a lovely visual indicator
Check the tabs
Tapping on any of the tabs
towards the bottom of the Clock
app will bring up any one of its
other features, including alarms,
stopwatch and the timer
Customise the look of your iPad’s clock
Learn how to add new time zones, change temperature settings and
access a beautifully minimal clock view in seconds
Time needed: 10 minutes
Apple’s iPad has long been crying out for a dedicated clock app
and, while a lot of developers attempted to fill the gap, there’s no
denying that Apple’s own offering was worth waiting until iOS 6 to
receive. As well as being able to show you the time in a number of different
time zones, the iPad’s Clock app also allows you to set alarms, timers and use a
fully featured stopwatch to time just about anything. Apple has really pulled out
all the stops here, too, as far as design goes. A minimalist clock face design will
look right at home in its full-screen display mode alongside your Apple-filled
home or work desktop setup.
Despite its relatively minimalist look and feel, there’s actually a fair few options
that you can customise inside the Clock app; from the number of different clocks
you have running simultaneously, to how the temperature details are displayed.
We’ve detailed everything you need to know about customising the Clock app
across these pages, but it’s still well worth exploring in your own time – there’s
plenty of pleasing extras to be found.
All in all, it’s fair to say that Apple’s Clock app isn’t as detailed as some of the
third-party offerings, but if you’re not prepared to shell out for a paid option or
you can’t stand ad-supported, free apps, this is the best way to go. Besides, once
you’ve customised things, you’ll wonder why you ever looked elsewhere.
Around the world
The world map towards the
bottom displays the time and
weather forecast for every time
zone you’ve set a clock for within
the app – again, a nice visual touch
Setting an alarm
Setting an alarm in the
Clock app is as simple as
heading to the Alarm tab,
tapping on the ‘+’ icon in
the top-right corner and
punching in the details.
They’ll all display at the
bottom of the Alarm page,
showing you exactly which
alarms will sound when and
on what days. It’s a great
way to see when you’ll be
Where’s the weather from?
The weather forecast data in the Clock
is actually provided by Yahoo!. It’s
incredibly reliable and surprisingly
accurate, even in changeable weather
situations across the world
Step-by-step Clock Customise the iOS Clock app
1: Swipe ‘n’ tap
Open up your iPad’s Clock app, and swipe left on
the display of six clocks at the top. Tap on any of the
blank clocks that appear to add a new one.
4: Go full-screen
Tap on any of the clocks shown in the World Clock
view to send it into full-screen mode. This features a
large clock face, local weather and the date.
2: Find yourself
In the pop-up city list that appears, scroll through
or use the search tool to find your city of choice and
tap on it to add it as a new clock in the app.
5: Swipe to change
To view a clock in a different time zone, you don’t
have to exit full-screen mode. Simply swipe left and
right to go through your list of added world clocks.
With the full-screen Clock app looking as good as it does, why not invest in an iPad
stand to complete your desktop arrangement? It will complete your Apple setup.
3: Get editing
Tap on the Edit button to bring up a list of your
currently loaded clocks. Here you can delete ones
you don’t need or change their order on the fly.
6: Keep it minimal
Tap on the screen in full-screen mode to lose any
extraneous info and display the clock face on its
own. It’s a beautiful way to keep track of the time.
This option lets you delete
details of the websites that you
have visited via Safari so that
anyone else using it will not
know the sites that you have
been looking at
Don’t want to fall prey to
unscrupulous websites? Then
ensure the Fraud Warning remains
on. This will prompt you to be
wary if you go on a site that looks
dodgy for whatever reason
Improve your iPad’s security settings
Ensure no prying eyes can gain access to your tablet by locking them
out and stop apps getting private information they shouldn’t
Time needed: 5 minutes
Privacy is a major concern, especially when it comes to portable
devices such as the iPad. Since they are mini computers, you will have
stored lots of important information on them and some of that you will
not want others to see. Whether it’s for business or personal reasons – perhaps
you do not want your other half to spot the flowers website you’ve been looking
at – there is a way to lock down your iPad away from prying eyes.
Over these two pages we look at how you can not only ensure curious family
and friends are unable to access your account by locking it down. We also
consider how you can secure individual apps and make them invisible to anyone
borrowing your iPad, as well as ways of preventing apps from accessing data
that you may not want them to see, such as your contacts list.
We’ll also show you, should your iPad fall into the wrong hands, how you
can have all of the data on it wiped if the person fails to log in to your device a
certain number of times. All of this will ensure that no matter what happens, you
can sit back safe in the knowledge that you are on top of your iPad’s security.
Browse the web privately
How to setup private browsing with Safari
By switching the Private Browsing
option in the Settings menu to On
(go to Settings>Safari), you can
make sure Safari doesn’t record a
history of internet pages you visit
Lending your iPad
If you let someone else
borrow your iPad, then you
may want to restrict which
apps they can use. Tap on
the Restrictions option in
Settings and select Enable
Restrictions. Set a passcode
and then select which apps
are allowed and which are
not. You can also select
the types of download you
will allow. Only those who
know your passcode can
… Or not. Tap here and you will be able to accept
cookies from sites you visit, always or never.
Cookies will store data about your use of the site,
so always allowing them can cause a privacy risk
1: Use Passcode Lock
When you start your iPad or leave it idle for
too long, it will prompt you for this code. Go to
Settings>General>Passcode Lock to get started.
3: Set your access
You can allow access to Siri or the Picture Frame.
If you don’t want them, slide to Off. You can also
select when you want to see the passcode prompt.
5: Input complex password
Type in your more complex passcode. Make full use
of the characters available, but be sure to remember
them, otherwise you’ll be locked out.
Step-by-step Settings Creating passcode locks for iPad
2: Turn Passcode On
Tap on the Turn Passcode On option. It will prompt
you to tap in four digits. Remember this number
because it will be needed to access your iPad.
4: Use a complex passcode
You are not limited to having just four digits. You
can use a system which goes further and includes
letters for even better privacy protection.
6: Erasing data
If you would like a consequence for failure to input
the right code, then have it wipe your data after ten
failed attempts. Slide Erase Data to On.
One of the most important functions when setting a passcode is telling your iPad when
it is required. The shorter the time, the more secure.
settings in focus
Select the Privacy
options in your
and you can turn
on or off. This will
let you toggle apps
that you may not
want to divulge
If an app has
permission to access
reminders, they will
be stored here in
Here we see two
access to photos
stored on our iPad.
It may also include
where the image
was taken. You can
decide which to
disallow access to.
Your iPad apps can
also access social
Facebook. If you
have allowed this
then you can decide
later to disallow and
Sync iOS devices to iTunes 11
Use the new iTunes 11 interface to update your devices
Time needed: 10 minutes
1: Two of a kind
When you connect a device, it will appear up in the
top-right of the iTunes window. Plugging in two or
more devices will mean you have a choice.
The new iTunes is very different to its predecessor – a
lot of sections seem to have moved, or simply been
removed. In fact, while some users are loving the clean
new design and artwork-led interface, others are finding it difficult
to complete simple tasks, such as syncing iOS devices.
Syncing is important for two reasons – firstly, it will make a
backup of your device, so if something goes wrong you can restore
it to its original settings. However, it will also allow you to update it
with your very latest media and apply any software updates that
you’ve forgotten about.
Follow our guide below to find out what’s new
with syncing, and to discover how to return a little
of the app’s old functionality to make your life easier.
Step-by-step iTunes Sync your iOS devices Restore the iTunes sidebar
3: Pandora’s box
The tabs along the top of the window let you navigate
through sections, including On This iPhone, which
allows you to play music and movies on your Mac.
2: Space, the final frontier
Along the bottom of the iTunes window is a bar
showing you what is filling your iPad. You can roll your
cursor over each section to see precise amounts.
4: Keep it safe
A backup of your device will be made when you hit
the Sync button, but if you simply want to save your
device’s settings without backing up, hit this button.
If you don’t like the new way of doing things
in iTunes, you can restore the old-style iTunes
sidebar and go back to the old ways…
The big show 1 Click View in the menu bar and you’ll see that
there’s a Show Sidebar option in the drop-down
menu. You can click it here, or use the keyboard
shortcut Cmd+Alt+S if you prefer.
Old school 2 You’ll now see the sidebar again, and when
you connect devices they won’t appear in the
top-right. Instead, they’ll appear here, allowing
you to access different sections quickly.
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Striking imagery Step-by-step guides 20 essential tutorials
Movie editing on your iPad
“It is, quite simply, a professional
Time needed: 30 minutes
Step-by-step Pinnacle Studio Inside the movie-making app
1: Launch Pinnacle
When you launch the Pinnacle Studio app for the
first time, it will ask you for access to your Photos.
It will then build a media library from your images,
video and music.
While iMovie is excellent for simple and effective video editing, you
can take your director skills to a whole new level with the excellent
Pinnacle Studio on your iPad. We show you how…
2: Start new project
Tap the ‘+’ icon on the main Pinnacle screen to start
your first project. Give it a memorable name (this
can be changed later if you wish) and then tap OK
to finalise the creation process.
Most people wishing to edit videos will be well served by Apple’s
iMovie for iOS app. It offers a quick way to import a video, play around
with it and add snazzy effects. But if you want to take your skills further
and have greater control, then Pinnacle Studio provides you with so much more.
It is, quite simply, a professional editing package that has its roots in Avid, the
maker of pro-standard video software that is used by the very best film talent.
When you first use Pinnacle, it trawls your iPad for relevant content, finding
videos, images, audio and so on that can be used in your film. You can then
manipulate these in a variety of ways whether you wish to pan-and-zoom on a
clip, alter a specific section’s volume (including audio fade in and outs), adding
titles and montages or recording direct from your iPad. Features such as Picture
in Picture let you drop an image on to the timeline without affecting the run
of the video. So, you could have an interview and drop images relevant to that
interview over the top without worrying about the audio and lip-syncing caused
when you start splitting clips manually. It takes a while to get to grips with but
when you do, Pinnacle will always be the go-to for professional movie editing.
We can’t believe it’s available at this price.
3: Add a video
You will see a selection of icons in the bottom-left
corner of the user interface. Select the video icon in
the top-left and then drag a video clip to the video
timeline straight above it.
4: Add audio
Unlike iMovie, you can place clips of songs to
coincide with your video. You can even have up to
three audio clips at a time. Tap the music icon and
drag audio to the timeline.
7: Picture in Picture
Unique to Pinnacle is the ability to insert photos or
video over the main film. Simply drag a clip to your
existing timeline movie and it will ask if you want to
insert Picture in Picture.
5: Trim audio
Tap on a piece of audio (this also works perfectly for
video) and use the sliders to trim clips to suit your
movie. Audio can be positioned to suit the mood of
the visuals of your video, for example.
8: Create transitions
Picture in Picture is great for cuts, retaining the
audio and elapsed time from the movie. Tap the
lightning icon to add transitions too. Position them
between clips. Choose from the range of options.
Panning and zooming can be performed by tapping the Pan and Zoom button. Start
and End position options appear to mark the exact part you want to use.
6: Add titles
Tap on the ‘T’ icon in the left-hand corner to
add Titles. Select the type you want – Motion or
Standard – and drag it to the video timeline. Type in
your text. It’s as simple as that.
Montages allow for up to four photos or clips to be
added for a great way of breaking up your movie.
You can also insert a black slide with text in Pinnacle,
but iMovie slides must be overlaid.
Use the Remote app
alongside iTunes 11
Time needed: 10 minutes
“Kick back and access your iTunes
Library while relaxing”
Step-by-step Remote Controlling your iTunes Library
1: Open Remote app
Launch the Remote app on your iPad and you will
see two options: one to Turn On Home Sharing and
another to Add an iTunes Library. Tap on the latter
option to start the hook-up.
Learn how to configure Apple’s Remote app to control iTunes 11 via
the wonder of Wi-Fi and your iPad
2: Get a passcode
A pop-up window will appear that shows you
a four-digit passcode. Make a clear note of this
because you will need to add this into your iTunes
11 app on your Mac or PC.
Apple’s new iTunes 11 has a brand-new interface and design, but
you can enhance it even further by hooking it up with the Remote
app that is available via the App Store for your iPad. It lets you
choose songs, albums and playlists without having to be sat in front of your
computer and it effectively turns your iPad into a wireless remote.
Why would you use it? Well, you may want to kick back and access your
iTunes Library while relaxing, playing your songs via a set of great speakers, for
instance. All you need is to have your iPad and iTunes 11 computer on the same
Wi-Fi network. The two don’t even have to be in the same room.
So, for example, you could control your iTunes Library and listen to the songs
via a set of AirTunes speakers in your living room. It is also possible to control
videos and podcasts via iTunes using your iPad. This tutorial will show you
how to get up and running and we also explore some of the options that are
available to you via the iPad interface.
3: Launch iTunes 11
Now you are able to add the remote access to
your iTunes 11 application. Ensure that your iPad is
selected from the Devices tab. Tap in the code it
gave you in the previous step to continue.
4: View your library
Your iTunes Library will display on your iPad. You will
see everything that is stored on your iTunes. Use
your fingers to flick through your library, looking at
songs, albums and so on.
7: View the history
As you can see, we now have another song queued
up to play when the current one ends. Tap the
History tab to view all of the songs that you have
been playing recently.
5: Tap a song
Tap on an album and choose a song or go straight
to a favourite tune. Press play. You will notice that
the sound comes via your computer and iTunes 11
rather than your iPad.
8: Play other media
You can also play video files. Go to Movies in the
main drop-down menu (which defaults as Music)
and select Video. Tap one to watch and it will begin
to play within iTunes 11.
To access your iTunes playlists on your iPad, tap the More tab and then Playlists. This will
bring up the lists of tunes which you have already grouped together in iTunes 11.
6: Create a playlist
By tapping on the menu icon, you will bring up
a window that will allow you to add a song to a
playlist. Tap the Add option and find a track for
iTunes 11 to play.
9: Authorise computer
If you haven’t already, ensure your computer is
authorised to play files by going to Store>Authorize
This Computer and entering your Apple ID. The
movie will then play in iTunes 11.
You can slide your finger
up and down on this bar to
increase and decrease the
zoom. Obviously, zooming
in too far will greatly affect
the quality of the photo in
a detrimental way
The Lightbox Sync
The Lightbox Sync feature
within Camera+ will
all of the photos you
take between an iPhone
and an iPad using the
same account. This is
useful because you
can take snaps on the
superior iPhone camera
and then use the more
advanced features of the
iPad software to edit the
photos. It all works in the
Take better photos on an iPad
Camera+ for iPad brings advanced features and stunning edits to your mobile photography arsenal
Time needed: 15 minutes
Available: App Store
You may think that an iPad is not an ideal tool for
taking photographs, and that is true to an extent,
but when a moment happens and you have your
iPad handy you may as well take advantage of the built-in
camera. You can quickly snap a picture using Camera+ and
enjoy all of the advantages the app brings with it.
The experience is very different to using the default camera
app and you will have a host of useful tools at your disposal,
including using touch to set exposure and focus, a handy grid
to ensure that your photos are positioned correctly and digital
zoom that can focus in to great clarity. The Stabilizer feature will
help you capture every photo as you intended, and on top of
this there are many tools built in that you can use to adjust the
finished project after snapping. The large iPad screen makes
these adjustments simple to undertake and helps you use the
tools when taking photos. In this tutorial we will show you how
all of these advanced features work and we’re sure you’ll be
wowed with the results.
Everything you need is included
The clever, but straightforward, Camera+ interface
The main screen
Tapping the screen lets you focus on a specific area
and you can also do the same with exposure at the
same time. The touch-centric nature of the app
makes the functionality easy to use
So many tools
There are multiple tools
available in this Camera
panel. Everything from
the grid to geo-tagging
to live exposure is
available and all will help
you snap pictures in very
You can edit your photos in a variety of ways. From
adding preset effects to removing red-eye, it is all
managed by touch and the only potential problem is
avoiding making too many changes
Step-by-step Camera+ for iPad Use the professional Camera+ features
1: The simple interface
Tap the camera icon in the top-left hand corner and
you will immediately see a standard photographic
interface. Now tap the cog above the capture
button and new options will appear.
4: The big menu
Tapping the menu button in the bottom-right hand
corner of the app will bring up a long list of features
to select from. This is the main hub for Camera+’s
brilliant advanced functionality.
7: Get your focus
Tapping on the screen will bring up a small red box
which you can move around to focus on a particular
area. If you double-tap it, auto-focus will kick in. Take
your time and get it right.
2: The Stabilizer
Select the Stabilizer feature and hold your thumb
on the capture button to take a picture. The picture
will snap automatically when you hold the iPad still
enough to gain solid focus.
5: Use the grid
It makes sense to set the Grid option to On all of
the time because it does not get in the way and
it will help you position the objects you are taking
perfectly. Make the most of the rule of thirds theory.
8: Exposure as well
Holding the small ‘+’ in the red focus box will bring
up an Exposure icon. Cleverly, you can move both
icons to different areas to manage exposure and
focus separately in the same photo.
If you need to see detailed photo information, you can check the location it was taken,
the dimensions, time and date and even the size of the photo via the Info option.
3: Bursts and timers
Burst photos are also available within the same
panel, albeit it at lower quality, and you can set the
timer function to run from anywhere between five
and 30 seconds. It’s a fun feature.
6: On the level
If you are taking wider shots or landscapes on your
iPad, make sure that the Horizontal level is active.
This will ensure that the main part of the image is
kept as level as possible.
9: Fix your photos
No photo is perfect so tap the film icon in the
bottom-left, select a photo and choose the Edit
option. You can now add effects and fix any glaring
errors that are visible.
Make your own brushes in Procreate
Don’t just use the standard brush types in Procreate – make your picture stand out by creating your own!
Time needed: 15 minutes
Available: iOS App Store
Procreate is one of the most respected art
apps available on iOS devices. Released for the
next generation of art apps, Savage Interactive’s
efforts were immediately visible with Procreate. Showcasing
a powerful brush engine, a clever array of tools and an
effortlessly smooth delivery of colourful pixels onto a digital
page, iPad artists had a new hero to champion.
Procreate now includes Bluetooth stylus support, increased
layer modes, high resolution canvas sizes and upgraded brush
tool options and edit modes (like the game-changing dualtexture
system that merges a texture and ‘noise’ layer). It all
allows artists to make their mark in a much more creative way.
This tutorial shows you how to create your own brushes
using Procreate’s supplied options and also how to make
your own brushes from photos, illustrations and texture maps
found in your Camera Roll or your Dropbox account.
Tips Procreate Design your own brushes
1: Basic Brushes
Pressing on the brush icon at the top of the UI shows
you the range of options available. From sketching to
painting to abstract, there’s a lot to choose from.
4: Creating a new brush
Rather than change an existing brush, press on the
Done button (top-right of the Edit box) and press the ‘+’
icon to create a new brush type.
2: Editing a built-in brush
Pressing on the gear icon on any of the brushes takes
you to the editor window. This lets you see how it has
been constructed. There are a lot of variables to edit!
5: Source material
Although it sounds daunting, the best place to start is
the Pro Library – a selection of the brush presets found
in the app itself. Try some of the presets for yourself.
3: Source tab
Editing the rotation, scatter and size of the brush
makes obvious changes, but the one where you make
a brush truly your own is the last tab – Source.
6: Mix and match
Try one of the cloudy textures as a source image and
one of the spikier ones as the noise. That will give you a
very thorny line. Now swap them over.
Saving your picture is
only a step away. Click
on the Gallery icon
in order to save your
image and see it next
to your growing body
The forgotten skill
Art, according to Pablo
Picasso, is a skill that we
love as a child yet all too
often forget as an adult.
Procreate is an inexpensive
app that allows you to try
and reconnect with that
skill that we all took for
granted. You never know,
you might just find your
new favourite hobby.
Once you’ve had a trial run with the texture library it’s
time to make your own mark. For that you need to take
photographs of interesting textures.
Professional art in Procreate
Don’t be scared, Procreate is a playful yet powerful art editor
8: Black and white
Imported textures are turned into greyscale images.
White will be seen on the screen and black becomes
transparent. You can even draw your own textures.
Check out Savage.si for a busy and friendly forum that can guide you through all
aspects of the app. Don’t worry about being a beginner, you’ll fi nd plenty of good stuff .
This takes you to a wide range of options, from
photo import, sharing options (also available in the
Gallery), Bluetooth stylus support and the app’s
handbook and gesture manual
Clicking on the
colour box (which
also helpfully shows
you the colour
you currently have
selected) gives you
an edit box covering
hue, tone and
saturation. You also
have a colour picker
available in this box
Brush size and opacity
In addition to all the brush types
available, the easiest change you can
make is to the size and opacity of the
selected brush. The two sliders on the
right of the screen make these changes
9: Play time
The key is to experiment and to see what works. After
all, how many times do you get to make a paint brush
out of a Marmite label and a concrete slab?
Step-by-step Google Maps Get to grips with Google Maps
1: Get your bearings
Tapping the bottom-left icon twice will instantly
find your location on the map and orientate to
match the way you’re facing using your iPhone’s
Google Maps in focus
Dropped as a stock app, but now making noises on the iOS App Store
Time needed: 15 minutes
2: The scenic route
The app can display traffic and public transport
information, satellite imagery and quickly take you
to your location in Google Earth. Just swipe in from
the right and tap a view.
If you’ve ever found yourself being let down by an inaccurate
location or poor imagery in Apple’s own Maps app, you’ll have
spent just as much time searching for an alternative as you have
your destination. Fortunately, the wait is over, with the Google Maps app for
iOS finally hitting the App Store. On the face of things, Google Maps looks fairly
simplistic, with an impressively clean interface and very few obvious features
beyond basic cartography, but there’s far more here than meets the eye.
From detailed business information, to turn-by-turn navigation, to transport
timetables and near-instant routing, Google Maps really does have a lot to
offer and it’s all just a few taps away. Accessing this information might not
seem incredibly obvious when you first start using the app but, if you follow
our guide, we’ll show you every trick in the Google Maps book.
You’ll need to grab the app from the iOS App Store – it’s completely free
and relatively lightweight. It’s also best if you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network
(where possible) for the most accurate location information.
3: Businesses and landmarks
Businesses and landmarks are displayed more
prominently as you zoom in on your map. Tap on any
of them to bring up basic details and journey times
from your current location.
A brilliant alternative to Apple’s Maps
The light blue circle around
your location indicates its level
of accuracy – the wider the
circle the less accurate your
iPhone’s estimation of your
location is and vice versa
The small compass icon will re-orientate
your map so that the top points north – very
useful if you’re working out which way a
certain building faces
4: Local knowledge
With a business or landmark selected, swipe up
on its name at the bottom of the map to bring up
useful information such as opening times, contact
details or reviews.
5: A sense of direction
Tap on the transport icon and time at the top of
a business or landmark’s page to instantly bring
up directions for walking, driving (with traffic
information) or public transport.
If you’re a Siri user, you can get directions via Google Maps by using the regular phrases
and adding ‘in transit’ to the end of your command to switch apps.
Tapping on the icon to the right of the
search bar will allow you to set your
home and work address for quick and
easy navigation to either at any time
The tiny tab
The small tab to the
bottom-right of the map
gives you access to its
different views as well as
a link to the same
location in Google Earth
Unlike previous iterations
of Google’s mapping
service on the iPhone,
Google Maps now utilises
instead of regular images.
These use mathematical
equations to instantly draw
the map as you move. The
result is far quicker load
times and better responsiveness,
spend less time being lost
and more time finding
your way again.
6: When’s the train?
Tapping on any underground or metro station
in a city will bring up detailed information about
departing trains, times and routes to help you
quickly navigate the metropolis with ease.
App Store roundup
Synergy Studio £13.99/$19.99
The full power of a sequencer squeezed onto your iPad
owners are gloriously
spoiled for choice
with a huge number
sequencers, mixers, instruments
and recorders on offer for their
device, and the latest to join the
jam session is also one of the most
versatile. Synergy Studio is a very
detailed sequencer that opens up a
The addition of a keyboard makes
melody writing much more intuitive
music editing users
will get along faster
and more creatively”
lot of options for experienced MIDI
file makers, while still offering enough
that relative novices should be able
to get some enjoyment from it. We
stress some enjoyment, because this
isn’t an app with the subtle charms of
something like a Korg app, but it can
be mastered with a little practice.
Given the level of customisation
you have at your disposal we’d
suggest that more experienced music
editing users will get along faster and
more creatively with this app than
most. With 16 layers to build your
composition with, you should have
plenty of room to make something
pretty unique. That’s bolstered by
11 drum kits, 42 synth instruments,
55 sampler instruments and 21 pad
synth instruments all pre-installed,
with more available for free via in-app
purchases. From classic rock drum sets
to dark horn synth effects, layering
some of these instruments can lead to
some interesting results.
What’s more, tapping the pattern
to drop in notes or percussion is only
the start. By tapping and holding your
finger on the pattern field you can
add extended notes and affect the
impact of your stroke. By subtly mixing
rhythm with these ambient tones and
then playing around in the Mixer or
Effects menus you are given a lot of
control over your track.
It can all be a little confusing though
as nothing is particularly clear as
you navigate instrument sub-menus
and effects options. Synergy Studio
could do with a more user-friendly
demystifying process that goes
beyond the wall of text help options
currently available. The overall quality
you can produce is really dependent
on your competency with Synergy
Studio, but it can feel a little hollow if
The number of dials and sliders can be
a little intimidating
you don’t put the time in. The ability
to share projects is most welcome,
albeit only via Bluetooth, but it should
open up this app to more users.
As sequencer apps go, this verges
on the affordable and accessible end
of the spectrum, but it will take some
learning and some perseverance to
get the most from it.
Once you’ve recorded a video you
have lots of filters and tunes to pick
Voip One Click Free
where the security of
your call is important
to you or you would
just like to feel a little more secure,
the encryption offered by this
internet calling app may well
prove appealing. While the initial
download is free it should be noted
that credit needs to be added and
that for full security through TLS and
SRTP protocols, both you and the
person you’re calling needs to be
using Voip One Click.
Setup is as easy as entering your
phone number, and then you just
Recording and uploading to YouTube
is a smooth and fast process
For a quick bit of fun
with your videos we
can highly recommend
Smule’s latest musical
creation, Strum. This intuitive and
smart little app uses short video
clips and mashes them up with
some preset musical backing
to create short and often quite
amusing music videos in seconds.
Thanks to a prodigious application
of auto-tune style techniques, this
app can make any family moment
into a bouncing musical creation.
Any video with speech is ideal for
Your contact will also need to have
the Voip One Click app
need to give it permission to see
your contacts to start making calls.
Adding new contacts proved tricky
however, as we experienced a
regular crashing issue.
YouTube Capture Free
You wait around for
some new, updated
YouTube apps and all
of a sudden, a bunch
show up at once. After the success
of the new iPhone YouTube app we
got to see a universal version hit the
iPad and this new Capture app that
lets you record, quickly trim and edit
and then upload videos to the web
The editing options are pretty
light when compared even to the
limited options available in the
Vimeo app, which is a shame. Colour
The community is fairly young if the
Popular section is an indication
this app as it mashes that sound into
its own audio, although we found
that R&B or hip-hop-based videos
produced the best results.
The wheel menu is a handy addition if
you need to pause or pass a call
Editing options are very limited, but
you can use a crop tool
correction and stablisation are nice
touches, but not enough really even
for a free app. It has a lot more work
to do to really impress us.
Want more great app reviews?
Get the new issue, on sale now from www.imagineshop.co.uk
Drawing its audio from the
ambient sounds around you,
this music-making application
is for fans of white noise and feedback
only. For anyone else it’s highly likely
to induce a headache. Get used to
making subtle tweaks and you may
learn to love it though.
For capturing quick images
with a wide range of lens
and film combinations acting
as your filters, KitCam offers plenty
for more casual users. Experienced
photographers will also enjoy the
post production editing choices, level
controls and much more.
Load a selection of your
videos to this application or
record them instantly and
FrameBlast will cut them together into
an interesting video short. It gives you
all the filters, theming and music you
need, and cuts it all for you too. Not
bad for a free download.
Novation Launchkey Free
A great free synth app as you
play notes with the keyboard,
but create variations in rhythm
and tone on the field above, changing
the central focus of the synth to draw
in interesting sound combinations. It’s
a lot of fun to play around with.
Making use of the
accelerometer to control the
pitch and other functions of
this synth app, Compasso is a pretty
smart idea. It probably won’t give you
any deep, meaningful control, but it
should be interesting to play around
with for a while.
Visit the website
3 Choose a digital
magazine or book
Filter titles by your
download & enjoy!
(Late 2012) with Fusion Drive
2.3GHz £879/$1,049 2.6GHz £959/$1,149
The Mac mini gets breathtaking raw
power to punch well above its weight
Learn more www.apple.com Available from www.store.apple.com
The Mac mini can sometimes
be the forgotten man in the
Apple line-up. This unassuming,
unspectacular, ‘budget’ – for lack of
a better word – machine sits in the
Mac store patiently, without making
too much of a fuss. However, the
introduction of the Fusion Drive to
the list of possible upgrades you
can add to your Mac mini package
increased our level of fascination with
a device that would otherwise exist
on the outer edges of our interest.
Having already been impressed with
its impact on the stunning new iMac,
could it make the Mac mini worthy of
We tested the 1TB Fusion Drive
Mac mini with an upgraded 2.6GHz
quad-core Intel i7 processor and the
basic level 4GB of RAM. We also had
a lower end, basic model of the Mac
mini to run against it, a 500GB, 2.5GHz
dual-core Intel i5 processor model, also
with 4GB of RAM. The differences in
processor would of course make a big
difference in how the two performed,
but we really wanted to see the impact
that the Fusion Drive was going to
have on the Mac mini’s performance
and, as we’ll explore in a moment, it
was often breathtaking.
First though we will consider how
the Mac mini has changed externally.
Clearly the build and design remains
entirely unchanged. It’s the same
19.7cm by 19.7cm body and remains
3.6cm thick. The familiar app icon
shape of the Mac mini remains a
curious highlight, keeping it nicely
connected to the Apple range while
still standing somewhat apart from its
Mac compatriots. It’s perhaps a little
bit of a shame that we haven’t seen
any changes to the external design
of the Mac mini since its last release
and the removal of the optical drive
(itself, only a subtle difference). It is no
thinner, no lighter and just as sharp as
ever, but it remains at a manageable
size for placing on your desktop or
underneath your TV. In terms of style,
design and build quality, it’s everything
we’ve come to expect from the Mac
mini in the last couple of years.
The single significant change
externally to the 2012 Mac mini is the
upgrade of the four USB ports to USB
3.0. In case you’re wondering what
sort of difference that might make,
USB 3.0 should be up to ten times
faster at transferring data compared
to your older Mac mini ports. It’s also
faster than the FireWire 800 port,
which is retained on the new Mac mini
alongside a Thunderbolt, HDMI port
and SDXC card slot. One additional
curiosity to us was something that
was retained rather than removed,
and that’s the Audio In socket. This has
been removed from the latest iMacs,
but if you’ve invested in microphones
that require an Audio In then the Mac
mini remains a friendly system to use.
the 2.6GHz i7
And so we come to the allimportant
question of performance.
This is the area in which we expected
some serious improvements, most
noticeably with the Fusion Drive
model. In order to get a clearer
sense of just how much better the
performance of the Fusion Drive Mac
mini is in real terms (over and above
the Geekbench score, which you’ll
also find in this review), we ran a series
of stress tests on it and the 2.5GHz
dual-core variant. The first test was
simple boot timing with no apps
opening. The basic Mac mini took
about 28 seconds, which is pretty
good, however the Fusion Drive took
only 12 seconds from pressing the
power button to a fully functioning
Dashboard and Desktop. As we would
discover, that was mere child’s play.
A slightly more intensive test was
duplicating a 14.47GB file on the
desktop. This file had a mixture of
music, films, photos, documents and a
Up close with the mini
The newly updated Mac mini in the spotlight
It’s all in
All of the ports
you’ll want to
access on the Mac
mini are placed
at the rear, which
some may find a
little awkward to
The body of
the Mac mini is
with the same
enclosure (as Apple
describes it), as
copy of BioShock 2. On the basic Mac
mini it took a leisurely six minutes to
complete the task. The Fusion Drive
trounced this, managing the same
task in only one minute, 15 seconds.
Likewise when we attempted to open
all the pre-installed apps on the Mac
minis, plus Aperture, which we added
to both, we saw the Fusion Drive
model ready to use in just 16 seconds,
while the other model took around
one minute, 40 seconds. So, in both
instances, the 2.6GHz i7 Fusion Drive
Mac mini was around six times faster.
With all these apps still open we
went about attempting to edit some
of those photos we mentioned in
Aperture. Again, the difference was
stark. The basic mini struggled to keep
up with our inputs as we tried to move
the sliders around and there was a
delay in seeing them applied to the
image. For the Fusion Drive though,
as by now you will expect, this was
no problem at all. It really didn’t seem
It’s interesting to see that the Audio In remains despite having been removed
from the latest iMac. Some GarageBand and Logic users may well be pleased
Upgraded from the
USB 2.0 ports in the
previous Mac mini
model, it’s the only
change to this device
The sharper corners
of the Mac mini are
something we would
have liked to see
softened, but aesthetic
weren’t high priority
this time around
An essential upgrade?
opportunity to see
the Fusion Drive
running side by side with a
regular Mac mini left a great
impression on us. The way
in which the CoreStorage
software manages to prioritise
performance is noticeable. One
stutters and starts as it struggles
under the weight and the other
seems to coast.
Is it worth the £200/$250 to
upgrade an Mac mini or iMac?
Given the performance boost,
and assuming you’re working
on applications like Aperture,
iMovie or Final Cut Pro, we’d say
it’s now as essential as upgrades
come. It’s just that good.
to be reacting to all the background
happenings at all. We could have been
using Aperture in isolation.
The single stumbling block for this
Mac mini though is gaming, which
should probably come as no surprise.
We installed Batman: Arkham City on
both machines, each of which uses an
Intel HD Graphics 4000 card. Using a
1080p display and turning up all the
graphic settings to maximum, neither
was able to achieve more than 15
frames per second, which simply isn’t
enough for gaming purposes. Some
less demanding games graphically
will perform better we’re sure, but
it remains a shortcoming of this
particular Apple computer.
Despite this we were deeply
impressed by the performance of
the Mac mini. The numbers are
obviously eye-catching, but the sense
of responsiveness you get when using
it day to day is constantly impressive.
Everything feels more instantaneous
and connected, as if the Mac mini
What is Geekbench?
Our benchmarking standard explained
Geekbench is a piece of testing
software that allows us to compare
various hardware performances in
a like-for-like fashion, regardless of
make or model.
Geekbench runs intensive tests
based on processor, memory and
streaming performance to prove a
device’s true potential rather than
Don’t let size put you off. The featherweight Mac mini packs a
big punch, as these scores prove…
Mac mini 2.6GHz with Fusion Drive 12773
Boosted by the Fusion Drive, this soared ahead of the pack
Mac mini 2.5GHz 7398
Compared favourably with mid-2011 iMacs and MacBooks
iMac 21.5-inch (Late-2012) 13647
The addition of a 3.1GHz processor made this more impressive
MacBook Pro Retina 15-inch 12057
A 2.7 GHz processor and 16GB of RAM keeps it competitive
knows what you need before you ask
for it. The only question that remains
really is whether or not you’re getting
good value for money with a Mac
mini and Fusion Drive over investing
in an iMac or MacBook Pro. Clearly,
since you’re only getting the Mac
mini on its own with no smart mouse,
trackpad or keyboard, let alone a
monitor, you have more than the
base level £499/$599 to think about.
At a minimum of £879/$1,049 for a
Mac mini with a Fusion Drive, you’re
moving close to iMac territory.
If you’re upgrading though from an
older Mac mini or even an iMac and
you have a high-end display already
along with all your peripherals, we’d
say you’re getting excellent value
for your investment, and a Mac mini
that’s more than capable of handling
creative projects. The basic model is
affordable while the Fusion Drive is just
so impressive that it should be given
real thought. This is a Mac mini that
relying on stats alone. A score is
then delivered based on a starting
score of 1000 from a Power Mac G5
1.6GHz. This enables us to judge
iPads against iMacs, iPods against
Windows laptops and iOS devices
against Android in a fair and
impartial way. We’ve taken a closer
look at the new Mac mini below.
“A Mac mini
Pros With Fusion Drive it’s incredibly
fast and responsive in every area. An
Cons Still can’t handle games, and
the cost will add up if you need to
needs to be taken very seriously.
Get creative on your tablet with these capacitive touchscreen styluses
When Apple made the iPhone and iPad, Steve
Jobs made a point of the fact that the best
input for the device was a finger. He was
right, too – you can use any of Apple’s touch devices
easily with just your hands thanks to the responsive
touchscreens they include.
That doesn’t mean, however, that the screen can
only be used with your fingers. Styluses have become
an incredibly popular iPad accessory, with many users
preferring the feeling of a pen-like tool when getting
creative. For some apps, a stylus works much better
than a finger. If you love to paint and draw, they’re a
brilliant addition for working on your screen, as they
often have a smaller tip than your finger’s, and offer a
more natural painting experience. Writing is also much
easier with a stylus, and if you have a note-taking app
you can quickly hand-write notes.
Many of these apps are now including palm-rejection
technology, too, so that you can comfortably rest your
hand on the screen while you work, without randomly
drawing on the screen by accident.
However, with so many styluses on the market,
which one is the best option for you? Whether you
want a stylus you can give to your kids for drawing and
colouring, or you’re looking for a professional stylus that
will look great in a meeting and offer extra functionality,
there is undoubtedly a product that will match your
needs. We’ve gathered together six unique styluses and
tested them in a number of areas, from their sensitivity
to how they perform on the smaller screen of an iPad
mini and iPhone. And, if you’re planning on investing in
a stylus, you might also be interested in our list of the
best apps to try with your new pointer – look below to
enjoy our recommendations.
Wide-grip design, all-rubber
casing, aluminium core
Marker-pen design, compact
rubber nib, aluminium casing
3 STM Tracer Deluxe
Stylus and two-colour pen,
screwdriver tool, SIM ejector tool
4 Sensu Brush
Capacitive paintbrush nib,
alternative rubber stylus nib , Kickstarterfunded
5 Aponyo Click
Fabric tip, rubber grip ,
6 Incipio Inscribe PRO
Omni-directional tip, built-in
ballpoint pen, ink refills available
Best apps for styluses
STM Tracer Deluxe Aponyo Click Incipio Inscribe PRO
The rubber nib on the end of the Tracer, as with
many of the other styluses in our test, is designed
to replicate the use of your finger. The result is a nib
that is very sensitive to all kinds of touch and one that
performed admirably in our tests.
We were impressed with the accuracy of the Tracer –
despite its large size, the nib offered good accuracy
once we got used to it. It’s still not perfect for ultrafine
detail that you need in some apps, but it worked
well enough in most situations.
The Tracer feels rather like a chunky, quality pen, no
matter which end you’re using, and the metal casing
offers a robust build quality. The only downside is the
pocket clip, which really only gets in the way when
using the stylus.
The rubber tip of the Tracer feels almost brush-like at
times, but still offers good accuracy on the screens
of both an iPad mini and an iPhone. It’s a large stylus,
though, so doesn’t feel as good as the Aponyo on
One end features a two-colour pen, while the other
houses a hidden screwdriver set and SIM ejector tool.
The tiny Phillips head is great, and the other head
fits the iPhone’s screws – all of these are fantastic
additions to the stylus.
The two-colour pen and
screwdriver set make it
stand out from the crowd,
and warrant its price tag
The Click uses a unique material made of woven
fibres to create an incredibly sensitive nib that never
missed a swipe we made on the screen. It’s incredibly
impressive – you’ll never get frustrated and find
yourself re-drawing shapes.
The nib is quite soft, and glides across the screen with
very little friction. Some may like this sensation, but it
does mean that accuracy is sometimes a little more
difficult to achieve than we would like. In truth, we
struggled with it slightly.
The Aponyo is small and light, with a click button that
allows you to retract the nib for extra protection. The
click of the retractable mechanism is pleasing, and
the nib itself feels surprisingly sturdy thanks to its
fabric-like design. It’s not great in big hands, though.
This is the perfect stylus for use with an iPhone or
iPad mini. The Click is very small and light, making it
the perfect compact companion for your diminutive
tablet or phone, and the nib’s smooth action and
impressive accuracy are excellent.
There’s little more to the Click than its retractable nib
and the fact it uses a unique nib design, but these
two features make it stand out in our group test,
especially at this price. The nib’s smooth motion felt
The most responsive tip of
any stylus we tested, and
the retractable nib made
this a great option
We were impressed with the sensitivity of the
Inscribe PRO, which managed to regularly detect our
swipes. As ever with rubber-tipped styluses, there
were a couple of issues with missed inputs, but they
were few and far between in our tests.
The nib of the Inscribe feels slightly firmer than
most of the rubber-tipped styluses in our test when
pressed on the screen, allowing for a little more
accuracy. It’s still not perfect, but it’s better than we
expected it to be.
The size of the Inscribe is absolutely perfect, and it’s
thin enough that it feels like a standard pen. It’s nicely
weighted, though, probably thanks to the ballpoint
that sits at its opposite end, and it has a nice strong
action across the screen.
The small size of the stylus helped it feel natural
when working on an iPhone or iPad, and the tip
offered a good level of accuracy. It feels especially
good with the iPad mini, thanks to the firmer nib and
The stylus slyly hides a pen at the opposite end to
the nib, although the lid was a little loose for our
liking, and the lid didn’t fit on the stylus end when we
were using it. We’re being picky, but it’s shame that it
doesn’t quite match the stylus’ performance.
It’s comfortable to use, but
for a little extra cash you
could get the Tracer, with a
number of extra features
There were a few occasions where we found
ourselves having to go back and start a gesture
again when the Scribbly failed to pick it up. It was
admittedly quite rare, but we couldn’t help but notice
it more than the other styluses.
Thanks to the chunky, marker pen-like design of the
Scribbly, the nib of the pen feels smaller, but in reality
it’s around the same size as the others in our test. Still,
it manages impressive accuracy, although fine detail
is difficult to achieve.
The Scribbly is designed to feel like a board marker,
and it absolutely succeeds. It’s comfortable to hold,
although the whole thing is incredibly light. We
would’ve liked a little more weight to the pen, as the
hollow metal casing feels insubstantial.
The Scribbly’s large size doesn’t lend itself particularly
well to the smaller screens – board markers are, after
all, designed for large areas of space. However, thanks
to the nib size, it doesn’t fare terribly, it’s just not the
best we saw in this test.
There are no hidden features with the Scribbly – what
you see in front of you is what you get. We did find
the nib could be replaced quite easily by unscrewing
the pen top, which also revealed the hollow inside of
the stylus’ tube.
For a bit of fun this is a great
choice, but more serious
artists will likely want to
We were impressed with the sensitivity of the
Cosmonaut on the iPad. The whole pen is very
conductive, so if you really wanted to, you could use
the opposite end to draw with. Still, for normal use it’s
very rarely frustrating.
The Cosmonaut has the biggest nib of all the styluses
in our test, thanks to the way it tapers out to meet
the rest of the pen’s main body. This impacts on
the accuracy somewhat, but it still manages to be
The rubber body is big and chunky, and feels
beautiful to hold. We particularly enjoyed using
drawing apps while holding the stylus so it formed
an acute angle with the screen, as if we were
colouring with a crayon.
The Cosmonaut unfortunately had some strange
issues with sensitivity on the seven-inch iPad mini
when holding the device in a hand, but it was fine
when used on a desk. It looks great with your device,
too, but is very large.
This is by far the most simplistic stylus we had the
opportunity to test. Machined from a solid piece of
aluminium, then coated with conductive rubber,
there’s nothing else you can do with this stylus but
use it to prod your screen.
A stylus that feels great
when using it like a crayon,
but with some sensitivity
issues, it’s not perfect
The dual tips of the Sensu Brush allow you to choose
between the firm, accurate rubber nib and the more
artistic brush. Both offer excellent sensitivity, and
we had no issues with either end when it came to
tapping and swiping.
The accuracy of the brush tip was impressive,
although we would never use it for tasks such as
hand-writing or fine details. The rubber end offered
impressive accuracy, however, thanks to the firm nib.
It’s the best of both worlds.
The build is impressive – a small rubber grip on
the brush end breaks up an otherwise shiny metal
casing – and the whole thing feels exactly like you’re
working with a paintbrush. Using it on the screen is
absolutely fantastic with art apps, too.
While the brush might not be perfect for smaller
selections on the screen of an iPhone, it still works
well in creative art apps, while the rubber tip offers
improved accuracy for navigating around the screens
of the iPhone or iPad mini.
There are no particular features to speak of, but the
feeling of brushing paint onto the iPad’s screen in
ArtRage is so unbelievably natural that it’s easy to
forget you’re using a tablet rather than a piece of
paper and a normal brush.
It’s expensive, but for those
that want an authentic
experience, this is a great
mix of brush and rubber
If you like this…
Adonit Jot Touch
While Steve Jobs may have
famously dismissed the
need for a stylus there are
plenty of them around. For artists
looking to sketch, write or draw on
their devices like they would a piece
of paper, having a stylus to work with
can be a familiar and comforting tool
when working with the advanced
tech of an iPad or iPhone. It may be
a bit of a crutch, but it has proven
popular enough to make styluses a
However, until recently these
styluses were simply artificial fingers,
with a tip that made the screen
react in a normal way – they weren’t
pressure sensitive, like styluses that
you can use with graphics tablets
on your Mac. Now, though, that
has changed – the Pogo Connect
contains Bluetooth technology that
allows it to connect to your iPad and
send information on how hard you’re
pressing it to the screen. The result is
a stylus that is much more like a reallife
paintbrush than any before. But
how does it perform?
Powered by an AAA battery, the
design of the stylus is thicker than
most pens to accommodate the
power supply. However, this isn’t
too much of a problem; the chunky
casing is comfortable to hold, and
the stylus is a good length. At around
five inches long it’s perfectly sized for
most hands, and kids will be right at
home with the larger diameter, which
is reminiscent of a marker pen or
Setting up the stylus with a
compatible app is incredibly simple.
Unlike other Bluetooth accessories,
the Pogo Connect doesn’t pair with
The tips of the stylus are
replaceable – you can get a
set of two new tips for around
£7/$10 if you happen to lose or
break your original one
Compatible apps will
ignore inputs from any other
touches, so you can rest your
palm on the screen while working
without worrying about your
hand making marks on the screen
your iPad through the Settings app;
instead, you’ll pair it to apps directly.
There are currently 13 apps that
are compatible with the pressure
sensitivity, with five more on their
way soon. The lists includes some big
names, too – we’ve picked out some
of our favourites to the right.
Once paired, you can customise
the function of the small button on
the side of the Pogo Connect. For
many apps it simply acts as an Undo
button, but some offer options such
as brush selection and colour choices.
However, while these functions are
The stylus takes an AAA battery,
offering an impressive battery life but
making the body of the stylus a little
thicker than we would have liked
a welcome addition, we found that
the button was in a rather awkward
position. Too often we pressed it by
accident when drawing, causing us to
undo the stroke we’d just completed.
With no quick ‘redo’ function on the
stylus, it quickly became frustrating.
Some apps offered click-and-hold
options for the button, but for the
rest we were forced to alter our grip
or turn the function off.
When painting, drawing or writing,
however, the experience was brilliant.
While some styluses, like the Adonit
Jot Touch with its disc-like tip, feel
more like a pen or a pencil, the
combination of soft tip and pressure
sensitivity made the Pogo Connect
feel more like a paintbrush than
we were expecting. It was great at
detecting pressure, too, with accurate
results no matter what angle we used
it at. Procreate worked especially
well with the pen, thanks both to
the app’s excellent options and the
sensitivity of the stylus.
We did have some issue with
accuracy, simply due to the nature of
the stylus. Much like when you draw
with your finger on the iPad screen,
working out exactly where your
There are around
15 compatible apps
available right now,
with more adding
functionality all the
time. We’ve picked
out some of the best
on the right
stroke is going to land is sometimes
a problem. Working on detailed areas
of a painting is especially difficult,
and this is where the Adonit Jot
Touch really excelled. We did find our
accuracy improving as we got used
to the stylus, and it wasn’t such a big
problem that it ruined the experience,
but it’s something to bear in mind.
For us, the biggest problem
was the compatibility of the Pogo
Connect; the stylus only works with
3rd and 4th generation iPads (and the
iPad mini), leaving others out in the
cold. There is an option to link with
older iPads using your iPhone 4S or
5 as a bridge, but those without the
latest tech will have to look elsewhere
for their pressure-sensitive sketching.
Still, for those with new hardware
and dreams of painting a masterpiece
on their iPad, the Pogo Connect is
an excellent choice. You may have
some problems with the button, but
the functions can be disabled, and
after that it’s a joy to use. The soft nib
feels fantastic, and the aluminium and
rubber design looks great and feels
comfortable in your hand. This is the
future of styluses for the iPad, and it’s
already looking rather bright.
3 Best apps
Three of the best iOS
applications to use with
your Pogo Connect
With a brilliant user
interface and a range of
to use, the Pogo Connect is an
ideal extension of the app’s
function – you’ll be able to
create incredible paintings with
the stylus in no time.
Writing apps have long
suffered from palminputs
Noteshelf is fantastic for taking
quick notes, and the addition of
Bluetooth connectivity ensures
that it’s always accurate.
The range of brush
options in this app
makes it absolutely
fantastic for use with the Pogo
Connect. You can create real
masterpieces with this app,
and the pressure-sensitive
stylus with the palmrejection
even more useable.
Pros Looks and feels great,
performs well and has an
astonishing battery life
Cons Button is easy to press
accidentally, and accuracy is
difficult to achieve
Fender Squier Strat with USB
and iOS connectivity £159.95/$199.95
Plug in and play in a whole new way
If you like this…
You might also like…
Epiphone Les Paul
If you can’t bear to
be seen with a Strat,
then why not check
out Gibson’s off ering,
which includes its
own version of iTunes
The Strat has a humbucker
pickup in the bridge
position, giving you some
serious beef for when you
want to blow people away
The headphone socket is situated next to
the micro USB and jack, so be aware that
you don’t get into any tangles
In the guitar world, Fender and
Gibson users occupy the same
divide as iOS and Android. There
are the devotees and the fanatics,
and those who wouldn’t be caught
dead with the other manufacturer’s
work slung around their necks.
Continuing this analogy, the
two guitar giants compete in
terms of creating the hottest new
functionality for six-string slingers
everywhere. Namely, adding
technology to their axes.
The Fender Squier Strat with USB
and iOS connectivity pops straight
out of the box ready to use. It is
designed to work with iOS devices
that use GarageBand, but has the
potential to be used elsewhere. Its
micro USB and 3.5mm connections
are all in the familiar area of the
guitar’s heel, where you would find
the ¼-inch jack input.
We ran it through our amp first to
see if it could do the business live,
and were sufficiently impressed.
That familiar twang was present,
and with a touch of reverb it was
The USB guitar has a
¼-inch jack input, so you
can use the guitar live
through an amplifier
easy to evoke that sun-bleached
California vibe that the model is
intrinsically linked to. It’s clear that
this is a Fender Stratocaster with a
few added gizmos, and not a piece
of technology with a guitar stuck
carelessly on to it.
Playability-wise, the Strat
came well set up. The action and
intonation were both well adjusted,
and there were no rattles or pings
from the body parts. We had
standard gauge strings on ours,
which made it a joy to skip up and
down the frets, with the small necksize
fitting right into our palm. The
shape of the Strat makes it ideal
for beginners – the two cutaways
allowing your fingers easy access to
the upper reaches of the fretboard.
It’s light, unlike bedrock Les Pauls,
and that aforementioned neck is
great for any hands to fit round.
Connecting the Strat was fairly
straightforward. Once you are
connected, and your headphones
are plugged into the guitar, you’re
away. What isn’t noticeable is how
As well as a pot to control
the guitar’s volume,
there is a separate pot
to control the output to
much effect the pickups have on
the sounds produced in-app, as the
GarageBand amp simulations are
so overpowering. However, they
sounded pretty good to our ears
when matched up to the tones
we were getting out of our 1x12
valve amp – so they should keep
everyone but the uber-purists
If you need to play and keep it
quiet, or maybe can’t be away from
your guitar for too long but also
can’t carry an amp around with you,
this could be an ideal solution. A
great guitar, that just happens to be
compatible with your iPad. We can’t
find any faults at all.
Pros Well made, a dream to play – a
very solid Strat
Cons Can’t guarantee a decent tone
when using amp simulations
We’ve seen this kind of bookstyle
iPad case in the past, but
this has to be one of the better
examples in terms of build and
functionality. With customisable
colours for the outer case,
lining and strap, you can make
it your own and even emboss
it. A magnetically held hinge or
IntelliStand, camera opening
and stylus compartment are
optional extras, but they up the
price. We weren’t too impressed
with it obscuring the camera or
hiding the power button.
This Bluetooth portable speaker
certainly has something in the
looks department with its fun
twisting design and it’s not
too shabby for audio either,
with two speaker drivers and
a passive radiator subwoofer.
There’s a little distortion at high
volume, but nothing terrible
for the price and quality your
getting. Setup via Bluetooth
is simple enough and its
connection is solid. We found
the top control panel a little
slow to send commands to our
iOS devices though.
With the promise of doubling
the battery life on your iPhone
and three interchangeable side
panels, this is not just a practical
case for your device, but also
quite a cool and stylish one. Still
on practicality, you also get a
screen protector and cloth so
you need never remove this
battery pack. It’s not too heavy
or large around your phone
and it can be switched off to
save that extra battery until you
really need it. As battery cases
go, this has to be up there with
some of the best.
second, third gen), iPhone 4S
This TV aerial accessory
promises to give you local
TV access without needing
to eat up your precious web
allowance. Not a bad thing if
you need to keep up with your
favourite programs on digital
television. We found the setup
process to be a little hit and
miss (lots of downloading,
deleting and reinstalling) and
reception can be an issue, but
being able to record live TV for
later viewing is a masterstroke.
You will still need the myTV
STM grip for
15-inch with Retina display
We’re rarely disappointed with
an STM case and this grip shell
for the MacBook Pro 15-inch
with Retina is no different.
Its matte, grip finish makes it
pleasant to hold, the suede
lining offers comfortable
protection for the outer casing
of your MacBook and it all
clips on with ease. If you’re
particularly mobile with your
MacBook then having a little
extra protection even in your
bag is no bad idea, and this
perfectly fitted shell could be
the answer you’re looking for.
Capture One Pro 7 €229.00
Use Capture One Pro’s intuitive option sets to make quick and detailed edits
Capture One Pro 7 RAW
Converter is a one-stop shop
for freelance photographers
looking to edit images from
a single location, with a price point that
reinforces its stance as professional
software. If you’re familiar with the likes of
Gimp and Photoshop then you wont take
long to acclimatise. However, if you are just
starting out in photography and photo
editing, helpful video tutorials will have you
up and running in no time.
A coherent interface with plush icons
makes navigation a doddle. Each icon
activates a sub-category of options that
helps you fix your images. Almost all
options are slider-based meaning effortless
application, with effects updated live. This
latest edition comes equipped with some
noticeable improvements, geared towards
creating contemporary effects. Here are
some we found constructive.
The Exposure and High Dynamic Range
options have notably improved, showing
a better degree of light control. Increasing
Highlight and Shadow values relieve
the effects of both gradually, without
disrupting image detail in light areas.
The new Punch slider further enhanced
contours through its settings.
We also noticed a lot of the lighting
options geared towards combatting high
ISO lens setting issues. This is a shooting
preference for many photographers who
can’t afford expensive lens kits. It also
reduces the necessity for a tripod and
increases depth of field effects. PhaseOne
has acknowledged this type of user with
improved noise reduction functionality.
This is activated from the Details options,
through the Noise Reduction and Noise
Reduction Advanced sliders. The first
automatically applies the best settings
according to your camera type, combating
shadow noise (Luminance) and coloured
halos (Colour). You can also turn on Purple
Fringing to automatically combat this
defect from the Lens options.
For lovers of presets these exist in
abundance too, but you have to know
where to look. Click the paint brush icon
and choose from Built-In Styles and Built-In
Presets. Roll your cursor over options to
watch them update live.
These are just a few of the options
available to you and we explore a few more
in our Key Features panel, but it’s worth
downloading a trial version and exploring
yourself to get a good feel for everything
Capture One Pro 7 has to offer.
Batch processing effects
Apply a range of eff ects across
multiple images by Cmd+clicking
on several thumbnails, adding
your eff ects then selecting
Adjustments>Copy & Apply
Adjustment option. Be sure to set
your view options to Multi for better
and clearer scrutiny.
Here you’ll fi nd a handful of
entertaining crop and orientation
commands. You can remedy warped
photos, set new angles and zoom
amounts for dramatic composition.
Local adjustments are a great way to
apply masks that target specifi cally
aff ected image areas. You can
choose from Draw, Erase and
Gradient styles – the latter proved
great for skylines.
Pros Superb tools for fixing noise,
white balance and colour fix – you
can improve photos effortlessly
Cons Retouch tools would make
this the complete package
Get the most out of
your iPhone and iPad…
A selection of books and DVDs packed with reviews on
games, utilities, music and entertainment apps.
iPhone App Directory Vol. 10
Covering the new iPhone 5 and iOS 6, the
latest App Directory contains over 700
iPhone app reviews, including the top 200
fi ve-star apps.
iPad App Directory
Discover the very best apps
for your iPad. Covering every
category of the App Store, this
book is packed with reviews to
help you decide.
Become an ImagineShop
customer and leave reviews
of your favourite products.
iPhone for Beginners
Second Revised Edition
Whether you’re a complete
beginner to iPhone or you’re
not familiar with everything
your handset has to offer, this
is the perfect guide to help.
iPad Tips, Tricks, Apps
& Hacks Vol. 4
Unlock the potential of your
new iPad or iPad 2 with guides
to which apps can change
your life and how to jailbreak
to your device.
iCreate eMag Vol. 1
The fi rst 24 issues of iCreate
on one interactive disc. Over
2500 pages of creative Mac
tutorials, reviews and features.
The Ultimate iPhone Companion
200 pages of advice, 100 iPhone
wallpapers, 70 iPhone ringtones, 30
MAGAZINES BOOKS DVDS DOWNLOADS GIFTS
The iPhone Book Vol. 3
Find out how you can make
the most of your iPhone by
harnessing the power of its
native apps with in-depth
guides and helpful tutorials.
iCreate eMag Vol. 2
Issues 25-48 of iCreate on a
DVD-ROM disc. Free bonus
20 desktops, 9 eMag samples
and the fi rst iCreate Podcast.
iCreate DVD eMags
are now only
Parallels Desktop 8 £64.99/$79.99
Running Windows on your Mac just got a whole lot easier
If you like this…
You might also like…
Windows 8 £24.99/$39.99
If you’ve ever been that little
bit curious about
is the time to
take the plunge.
It’s the cheapest
Like it or loathe it, every Mac user
faces a time where using Windows
is unavoidable. Whether it’s fixing a
family member’s PC or dealing with a work
application that just won’t play ball with OS
X, switching between operating systems is
a necessary (if a little sad, at times) part of
being a Mac user. Apple has accounted for
this, shipping its own Boot Camp system
with every machine and allowing you
to restart your Mac and switch between
operating systems in a matter of keystrokes.
It’s limited, though, with no real integration
between Windows and OS X – and that’s
where Parallels comes in.
Virtualisation has come a long way since
it first appeared (in its many forms – some
great, some absolutely woeful) on our
Macs and it’s fair to say that Parallels is a
shining example of just how great things
have become. Weighing in at a mere
333.8MB, downloading Parallels was no
problem and installing it on our iMac was
easier than we thought, with the whole
process taking around five minutes.
One of Parallels’ greatest strengths is
in its simplicity. Virtualisation may sound
complex, but when you’re walked through
the process of installing your extra
operating systems (in our case, Windows
8 Pro and Chrome OS) it’s a joy to do –
the hardest part came when deciding
whether we went for a setup where
Windows programs ran exactly like Mac
apps or whether Windows itself was safely
contained within its own window.
Once everything was up and running
(we opted for containing Windows 8 within
its own window – but soon learnt we could
switch between the two), Parallels’ prowess
in this virtualisation field really did kick in.
Switching between Mountain Lion and
Windows 8 was perfectly seamless with
little or no lag and little noticeable effect
on Mountain Lion’s normal operation. In
fact, when we ran Windows 8 in full-screen
mode, it was hard to tell that it was running
on a virtual machine at all.
There were a few little idiosyncrasies that
could do with being ironed out, such as
Windows’ tendency to freak out when we
used a swipe gesture on the trackpad, or
OS X’s Dock making an appearance when
we dragged our mouse to the corner of
Windows 8 to bring back the Start menu.
That said, these were the only negatives in
an otherwise near-perfect experience of
running Windows 8 on our iMac.
Because we get to play with stuff
before you do…
Why should I pay for
Parallels when I can get
Boot Camp for free? Surely
they do the same thing?
Although both options allow
you to run Windows on your
Mac, Parallels goes one better by
actually integrating Windows
apps right into OS X. They sit in
the Dock like OS X apps and you
can even drag fi les on to them
to perform certain actions, like
you would with an attachment
in Mail, for example. It’s an
incredibly slick experience.
You mentioned you ran
Parallels with the Chrome
OS – does it work with
Out of the box, there’s also
the option of running Ubuntu,
Android and a few others. You
can even run Mountain Lion
within Mountain Lion!
Mountain Lion integration
It’s the little things that make
all the diff erence – so pushing
Windows’ notifi cations to
Notifi cation Center when Parallels
was hidden in the Dock and
showing full-screen metro apps as
separate spaces in Mission Control
really does make the Parallels
experience an impressive one.
Pros Painless setup, super-slick
integration, little impact on OS X
Cons Boot Camp may be more
suitable, and we had a few hiccups
with Windows 8
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F1 2012 £29.99/$49.99
Enjoy the high-speed thrills and spills of the world of Formula One on your Mac
High-quality racing games are
few and far between on the
Mac, but F1 2012 has now
arrived to bring professional racing to
your machine. With fully licensed cars,
drivers and tracks, this official game has
everything you need to feel like a part of
the drivers’ championship, and it looks
We pushed the graphics up to their
very highest on the latest 21.5-inch iMac
and were incredibly impressed. Cars,
reflections and the track itself look great,
with heat haze and gravel adding a
feeling of realism. The sounds of cars are
fantastic, and surprisingly nuanced, with
slight changes being very noticeable.
Tracks are beautifully represented
too, although we did feel that the
TV-style openings lacked a little of the
excitement we expected.
The game starts with a well-designed
tutorial mode, something the previous
game in the series was sadly lacking. It’s
pitched well – it won’t annoy seasoned
racers, but does an excellent job of
explaining things to beginners. After
that you’re given a number of options.
Career mode throws you into a five-year
campaign, while Season Challenge is a
series of ten-lap races against the world’s
best, where you don’t need to worry
about pit stops or tyres too much. The
Champions mode also sets specific
challenges against the top-six drivers,
offering a different challenge to standard
races. The modes are all good fun, and
with the ability to reduce races to 50 or
25 per cent of their normal lengths, the
game accommodates those that can’t
spare three hours and those that can.
One thing it isn’t designed for,
however, is a keyboard and mouse
control setup. We started off with these,
but soon realised that a controller or
wheel was absolutely vital. We used a
Sony Dual Shock 3, which worked well
thanks to the analogue triggers for the
brake and throttle, and the control stick
for steering. The keyboard’s digital inputs
simply couldn’t handle the subtleties
needed for high-speed racing – if you’re
picking up this game, be sure to invest in
a controller, or a wheel.
But once we got going the game
was hard to put down. The driver assists
allowed us to customise our setup, and
when combined with the opponent
AI settings, it gave us races that were
genuinely competitive, and incredibly
fun. Split-screen and LAN multiplayer
offer an extra incentive, but there’s easily
enough single-player racing here to
keep you going for hours.
Pros A graphically impressive title with
plenty of modes and tracks, and a fantastic
Cons A controller or wheel is vital, and
race-day presentations lack fizz
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Imagine Publishing Ltd
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Editor Jonathan Gordon
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George Cairns, Dave Clews, David Crookes, Chris Kenworthy,
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© Imagine Publishing Ltd 2013
Take on 24 fast and furious
tracks from the world of SEGA
Race as one of 20 characters,
all with their own unique vehicles
© SEGA. SEGA, the SEGA logo, SONIC & SEGA All-Stars Racing and other related game titles, logos, characters and character names appearing in the game are either registered trademarks
or trademarks of SEGA Corporation or have been licensed to SEGA Corporation. All rights reserved. Feral and the Feral logo are trademarks of Feral Interactive Ltd. All other copyrights and
trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All brands or product names listed are trademarks or registered trademarks and are property of their respective holders. All rights reserved.
Storm to victory using your
character’s All-Star move
The SMA is a precisely tuned speaker system with
unrivalled wireless connectivity. Now you can
literally take your music anywhere.
Tuned by Andrew Jones, Chief Speaker Engineer, Pioneer Electronics.