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MacLife February 2021

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.

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United States
Future Publishing Ltd
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min
the best iphone 12 cases

So, you managed to bag yourself a new iPhone 12, eh? Lucky you. You’ll probably be wanting a case to protect your investment, then. Here we have four of the best that should do the trick. Each will keep your phone safe from accidental drops, and they all have magnets built in to the back so that you can snap compatible accessories to them; believe it or not, Apple wasn’t first with its own magnetic tech MagSafe. We will also be testing each case to see if they’re compatible with official MagSafe accessories, like Apple’s charger.…

2 min
ausdom aw635 webcam

$59.99 From Ausdom, ausdom.com Features 1920x1080 pixels (30fps), auto light correction, noise reduction mic, manual focus The AUSDOM AW635 webcam’s stand is versatile as it works as a traditional clip–on mount solution or on a flat surface. In either orientation, the top half of the camera rotates freely in a full 360°, and the camera tilts too. Set up is easy — just plug it in via USB and play. It records and streams video in 1080p high–definition resolution at 30fps with a wide-angle lens and low-light correction, but lacks autofocus capabilities. In testing, the webcam produced good visuals in well-lit environments, and it was able to keep up with hand–waving and other fast motions with ease. Colors in images produced from the webcam were muted rather than highly saturated, but some may…

1 min
mac mini

WITH THE SAME iconic 7.7–inch square design, the M1–based Mac mini now starts at $699, $100 less than the previous–generation quad–core model. The existing 3GHz Intel Core i5 model with 8GB memory and 512GB SSD storage remains in the line-up, for $1,099. The M1’s 8–core CPU delivers up to 3x faster performance than the previous generation, Apple says, and the 8–core GPU up to a 6x increase in graphics performance, enabling Mac mini to tackle intensive tasks like complex 3D rendering with ease. ML workloads run up to 15x faster than on the previous generation. In addition to Wi–Fi 6 for faster wireless performance, Mac mini offers more connectivity than notebook Macs, with two Thunderbolt (USB 4) ports plus HDMI 2.0, two USB–A ports (up to 5GB/s), and Gigabit Ethernet. It also…

1 min
how to diagnose your mac with activity monitor

1 CHECK CPU USAGE In the CPU tab, click the % CPU header to show highest first. Select View > All Processes. If an app is maxing out the CPU or GPU, it may need a faster Mac. If the culprit is an obscure system process, Google it for tips. 2 CHECK MEMORY USAGE In the Memory tab, it’s normal to see a lot of GB in use while not doing very much — macOS may as well use it to keep stuff handy — but look for anything pushing it over the top. Extra RAM could help, if upgradable. 3 ZAP THE CRAP If your Mac behaves oddly, check here for unresponsive processes, which appear in red. Select and click the “x” in a hexagon to force quit. If that doesn’t help, try a…

2 min
pep up your performance

If your Mac feels like it’s struggling, the first step is to narrow down exactly what’s causing this. Age is one obvious possibility: there’s not much inside that will get slower before it actually dies, but hard disks and batteries can definitely get glitchier towards the end of their life. Ultimately, as you keep upgrading your OS and apps but not your hardware, it’s eventually going to fall behind. That’s due in large part to the CPU, which can’t be replaced, and this is why we have the Apple Store and its enticing selection of shiny new Macs. Before things get to that stage, though, your first port of call to find fixable causes of slow–downs and other shenanigans is Activity Monitor. It lives in Applications/Utilities, but it’s easiest to find…

2 min
it’s been swell, intel…

The old saying that “history repeats itself” never felt more poignant than when Apple announced at its November 2020 “One More Thing” event that it would be ending its 15–year partnership with Intel, in favor of its own silicon within all future Macs. It’s the third time Apple has changed its processor platform, the last being from PowerPC to Intelx86. Let’s not get too disheartened though — Intel had a pretty good run. But time moves on and so does technology, and Apple’s new M1 chip promises great things. Apple has gone full steam ahead and brought the M1 to market in no less than three Macs: The MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. Though they look the same, internally they’re very different. Rumors say that Apple will be releasing…