Tech & Gaming

MacLife August 2018

Mac|Life is the leading independent magazine devoted to all things Apple. For over five years, Mac|Life has helped both new and veteran users get more out of their iPhones, iPads, Macs, and more, with coverage that cuts through today's glut of apps and accessories to find what matters most. With a bright, clean design and casual tone, Mac|Life offers an easy and enjoyable way to keep up with the latest Apple trends and topics.

United States
Future Publishing Limited US
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
new & improved

Last issue we waited with baited breath to see exactly what tricks Apple had up its sleeves at the WWDC 2018 event. There were all sorts of rumors flying around prior to the start, including an iPhone 2 SE, new iPad Pro, and a big refresh of the iMac, MacBook and MacBook Pro lineup. But much to our — and I’m sure your — chagrin, new hardware certainly wasn’t on the cards. That said, we certainly can’t complain because the two big announcements that actually did come out of WWDC, that is macOS Mojave and iOS 12, are pretty spectacular. Even if the idea of a new operating system doesn’t exactly light your fire — something that’s understandable, given that macOS High Sierra wasn’t the most thrilling of updates — you…

2 min.
airplay 2 is here

APPLE PREVIEWED THE forthcoming iOS 12 at its Worldwide Developers’ Conference in June (see this month’s lead feature for details), meanwhile iOS 11 updates continue to roll out, and 11.4 includes AirPlay 2, which delivers multi-room audio and support for HomePod stereo pairing. Apple faced criticism for shipping its new smart speaker in February without these key features but promised to implement them in a free update, and iOS 11.4 is it. You can now play music in any room from any room, move music from one room to another, or play the same song everywhere using an iOS device, HomePod, or Apple TV, or by asking Siri. While you’re listening to music, Control Center provides a quick view of what’s playing in every room and simple controls to adjust the volume,…

1 min.
also new in ios 11.4

▸ You’ll be able to make a call or play a game on your iPhone or iPad without interrupting playback on AirPlay 2 enabled speakers. ▸ Messages in iCloud: Enable this in Settings > [your name] > iCloud, and you can store messages, photos, and other attachments in iCloud and free up space on your devices. ▸ All your messages appear when you sign into a new device with the same iMessage account; if you delete messages or chats, they’re removed from all your devices. ▸ Enables teachers to assign their students reading activities in iBooks using the Schoolwork app. ▸ Fixes an issue where certain character sequences could cause the Messages app to crash. ▸ Includes bug fixes for Google Drive, Google Docs, Health, CarPlay, and more.…

1 min.
homepod update alters sound?

ACCORDING TO COMMENTS by unhappy owners on social media and online forums, Apple’s first HomePod firmware update has altered the device’s sound characteristics, with a particular impact on its bass performance. AppleInsider reported that the update, by default automatic, apparently modified “the speaker’s onboard DSP or preconfigured equalization algorithm. “The general consensus among detractors,” the report continues, “is that the firmware [update], while delivering a more prominent midrange, noticeably degrades bass impact and loudness.” As a result, bass-heavy tracks lack the punch they previously had on the HomePod. “HomePod’s ability to produce clean, powerful bass was a standout feature for many reviewers,” AppleInsider points out, adding: “A drastic EQ overhaul would be of major concern for users who purchased HomePod based on their initial impression of the speaker, especially considering Apple…

2 min.
app store to offer free trials

USERS AND DEVELOPERS alike have long wanted a way for potential purchasers to try out an app from the App Store before buying. This has been possible in the case of subscription-based apps, which can offer a trial period before they begin billing, like HBO Now or YouTube TV. And some developers offer their apps for free but lock features behind in-app purchases (IAPs). This remains an option, but this kind of feature-limited version can be a tricky balancing act for developers — how much is enough to give users a taste of what the app can do for them but withhold something they’ll want to pay for? Developers can now offer a time-limited trial of the full feature set of any app, not just a subscription-based one. Apple announced the…

3 min.
the shift

THE IPHONE AND iPad have had a uniquely pervasive journey into our lives. They both started as contentious devices, then saw a flurry of attention over the years as we started learning just how useful they could become. But these days, many have started asking whether we use our devices too much. In iOS 12 this fall, Apple wants to help us answer that question and, possibly, to use our devices less. As our devices have become more useful to virtually every aspect of our lives, people have started discussing the notion of ‘smartphone addiction.’ We are creatures of habit, after all. We’re so habitual, in fact, that some US states, and other countries, passed laws to discourage us from using our phones while driving. Are you scrolling Instagram with a purpose…