Tech & Gaming


November 2020

MacFormat is the UK’s best selling magazine for the home Mac user. Each issue brings you all the exciting developments from the world of Apple, including reviews of new Macs, iPads and Apple’s own apps like iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand. We’ll show you how to make the most of your Mac, OS X and all the creative things you can do with it. We also review all the latest 3rd party software and kit – so if you’re looking for a new hard drive, monitor or printer that works with a Mac, you’ll be well served. iOS users are also welcome and we review the latest iPad and iPhone apps. ***Note: This digital edition is not printable and does not include the covermount items or supplements you would find with printed copies***

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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13 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

PRIZES WORTH £650 These days, you don’t need a canvas and set of brushes to create realistic paintings – you can do it all on your Mac. Especially if you have Corel Painter 2021, one of our favourite digital painting apps. As we said in issue #355, Painter “represents the latest evolution of what it is possible to achieve in digital art.” One of Painter’s main strengths is its huge range of superb brushes – Painter 2021 boasts over 900. The latest version brings a new range of thick brushes that bump and drag and swirl over the canvas, creating incredibly lifelike strokes with every pass. You can adjust the way Thick Paint interacts with surfaces and other colours it meets for detailed finetuning. Also new is the clever ‘photo painting’ feature,…

2 min.
do more with photos and videos

The Photos app had a visual overhaul in Catalina, with a new variable-grid Days view to showcase your pics. Big Sur expands on the same ‘fluid navigation’ principle, where pinch-zooming transitions from Years to Months to Days and into an individual photo, and back out again. Oddly, this is still exclusive to Magic Trackpad users: there’s no key-plus-scroll equivalent for the Magic Mouse. Double-clicking has a similar effect to zooming in, and you can flick between the four view tabs using command+1 to command+4. Pinch-zoom now also works in Albums and Media Types, with some inconsistencies. Memory Movies, the auto-generated slideshows of pics from a single time and place that appear in the Memories view, are smarter, with a wider choice of music – selected by clicking the cogwheel in the…

1 min.
apple skills

NEW IDEAS Your in-depth guide to getting more from your Apple kit Understand iOS gestures A tap is a brief contact of (usually) one finger on your device’s screen. To drag is to move a finger across the screen to scroll or pan around content. Swipe means move one or more fingers across an item or the screen, then let go. A flick is like swiping, but it’s quicker, and is often used to scroll content more quickly. Pinch means move two fingers together or apart, usually to zoom in or out. Touch and hold means lightly rest your finger on an item and wait for a reaction. Master Mac keyboard shortcuts When you see a shortcut like command+option+C, hold all but the last key, then press that one. command is the Command key, which is also labelled cmd. option means the…

1 min.
ios software quick-fire questions

How can I make my iPhone’s ringtone louder? Use separate controls for the ringer and alerts, which you can then turn up to maximum. In Settings, tap Sounds & Haptics > Ringer and Alerts, disable Change with Buttons, then drag the volume control to maximum. That will keep its volume on full unless you switch to Silent mode. Which app is best to check my Wi-Fi signal? Apple’s free AirPort Utility has an excellent hidden scanner: in Settings > Airport Utility, turn on Wi-Fi Scanner, then in the app tap Wi-Fi Scan (top right), and tap Scan. Turn it off after use to save battery charge. For general diagnostics try the free Ofcom Wi-Fi Checker.…

1 min.
how to protect your hearing

1 Listen in The Noise app listens to the sound around you and will warn you if you’re listening to potentially dangerous levels that could damage your hearing. You can set the threshold for those warnings in Settings > Noise. 2 See the levels Noise data is shared with Health on your iPhone, so you can take a look at the overall trends. This can be useful to see if you’re being exposed to too much noise at work. In this case much of our exposure is from loud music. 3 Protect your ears You can enable Reduce Loud Sounds in Settings > Sounds. This analyses the volume of your headphones and cuts it when it detects potentially dangerous audio levels. It doesn’t significantly change how your music sounds.…

1 min.
apple home

LIVE SMARTER The smart home is here – live the Apple dream today! As you’ll know if you’re a regular reader, my family has to put up with a lot with me around. This month it was a day of drilling, sawdust, and terror as I loudly secured my office door with a host of smart locks. That wasn’t so bad, but my wife was unimpressed with my need to install Yale’s Conexis L1 lock (£199.99) on our front door, convinced that I would somehow ruin our home security. As if. The most surprising thing about my bout of DIY was not that I was able to install the Yale lock easily in about half an hour, but that Mrs Cox loves the Conexis L1 just as much as I do: it replaces…