20 best Mac games of 2015, key combos, Italian taxes, MyApple magazine 3, iRig Studio Mic


20 best Mac games of 2015 — Macs don’t get as many games as Windows PC, or as quickly, but the releases have improved steadily in recent years and we’re getting a nice mix of AAA heavy-hitters and a lot of the top indie games.
Macworld’s monthly Mac games release column aims to put the latest and greatest titles on your radar, but if you haven’t kept close tabs on Steam, the Mac App Store, or other storefronts this year, consider this a cheat sheet: the 20 most intriguing Mac games from 2015 (slideshow).

15 Startup Key Combinations for Mac — Bryan Chaffin writes that your Mac and OS X have a variety of startup keys and key combinations you can use to affect how the device starts up. Shift key, for instance, starts your Mac in Safe mode, and C (or c) starts up from a bootable CD, DVD, or thumb drive. Command-S is for “single-user mode,” which essentially means booting to the command line.

Apple to pay Italy $348M, sign accord to circumvent allegations of unpaid taxes — To settle charges that it failed to pay corporate taxes, Apple will pay Italy’s tax agency some 318 million euros — about US$348 million (or about NZ$508 million) — and sign an accord on managing its liabilities from the 2015 fiscal year onwards, a report said on Wednesday.

Issue #3 of MyApple Magazine has been published — It’s ready for you to download. (This is created by Apple World Today.)

Review: IK Multimedia Studio Mic is a portable, flexible, essential piece of kit — Lester Victor Marks reviews it on appleinsider. With both Lightning and USB connectivity, the mic covers all the basic needs for a podcaster or musician, we’re impressed by the IK Multimedia Studio microphone. But with a US$139 price tag, and the inability to support in-call audio from Apple in iOS, we feel like it’s a good product that’s let down by iOS for one common podcasting use. [My own review appeared here in July – it’s under Reviews on the right.]

MagBytes 71 ~ December 2015

Mb71Here is a nice end-of-year MagBytes special for you, with the usual news, updates, help and tips, plus a roundup of what hardware and software I’ve stuck with over 2015.

Download MagBytes 71
from this link  —> MagBytes 71

(Right-click or hold down the Command key and click the link above and choose Download Linked File or Download Linked File As …)

iPad Pro for photographers, iDevice predictions for 2016, Apple activations


How the iPad Pro stacks up as a photographer’s tool — The iPad Pro pushes the boundaries of tablets in interesting ways as a general-purpose laptop replacement, but how does it change the photography game?

Dennis Sellers’ Apple-related predictions  for iOS, watchOS and tvOS for 2016 — As for iOS … Apple will release new iPhones in September: the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. They’ll have the same screen sizes as the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus — but not sapphire screens or 3D screen effects.

Apple devices account for 49% of all new activations during Christmas — Apple dominated the holiday gift giving season, according to a recent study that found iPhones and iPads in aggregate comprised 49.1% of new device activations in the week leading up to Christmas.


Bank drops anti-ample prophet, another Flash security update, Message commands


Apple doomsday prophet dismissed by Berenberg Bank — Berenberg Bank analyst Adnaan Ahmad has been dismissed after three years of predicting doom for Apple, reports FORTUNE.
Three years ago he set a split-adjusted price target of $60 a share and five months later flipped the stock’s rating from ‘buy’ to ‘sell,’ the article notes. This spring, with the iPhone 6 selling like hotcakes and the stock trading above $124, Ahmad raised his target (to $85) but not his rating. “We sense that the company is over-earning, over-loved and, in our view, the stock should be ‘over-and-out’ soon,” he wrote to clients. [This was clearly his view – or at least, his wish.]

Adobe rolls out another critical Flash Security Update — Adobe released an update for Flash on Tuesday with patches for what it called critical issues. Like so many other flaws Adobe has already patched, those addressed in this update could let attackers remotely take control of your computer. See Adobe’s Security Bulletin.

The /me Command is supported in Messages for Mac — There’s one IRC command that has gained life outside of IRC, and that’s the /me command. It turns whatever follows into an action rather than a normal line of text (main picture, above: ‘Mark Webster asks Mac NZ to respond’) and you can find it in games, all manner of texting apps, and even Apple’s Messages app, at least on the Mac. Bryan Chaffin explains.

Apple TV and cyber attacks, fashionable Watch straps, Hyundai adds CarPlay

(Image from Apple Inc)
(Image from Apple Inc)

The next wave of cybercrime will come through your smart TV — Always on and vulnerable, smart TVs are waiting to be attacked. Smart TVs are opening a new window of attack for cybercriminals, as the security defenses of the devices often lag far behind those of smartphones and desktop computers.

Tested: 9 fashion-forward Apple Watch bands — Sarah Jacobsson Purewal tried out nine third-party bands, including a couple of double-wrap bands and rhinestone-studded bands, over the course of several weeks to see how they feel, look, and hold up.

Hyundai Sonata to get CarPlay Support via Software Update — Hyundai plans to make good on its two-year old promise to offer Apple CarPlay support on some of its models, and they’re planning on doing that in early 2016 through a software update. The update will be limited to certain 2015 and 2016 Sonata models with in-dash displays.

Predictions for 2016, solar, Whink notes, Mac Media Server with Plex


Dennis Sellers’  Apple-related predictions for 2016: Macs, OS X — The iMac will, of course, be revved with faster Skylake processors and get updated graphics (sorry, but no 8K display). I don’t expect the basic design to change (can Apple make it any thinner?). iMacs will continue to ship with either Fusion or flash drives. However, expect this to be the final year for the former. In 2017, all Macs will come only in flash drive models. I also think we’ll see Lightning and USB-C connectivity come to the all-in-one.
And there’s more… he covers wireless charging, WiFi, the Mac Pro and more.

Apple & Foxconn consuming 30-40% of Tainergy’s growing solar cell production — Apple’s effort to convert suppliers over to renewable energy is resulting in it, along with partner Foxconn, consuming 30 to 40% of Tainergy Tech’s solar cell production in China, according to Tainergy president Kevin Hsieh.

Whink review: full-featured, easy to use writing app hits all the right notes — Whink is a note-taking app equally proficient at handwriting and typing. The universal app features fast, automatic backup and sync via iCloud, so notebook content is available from whatever iOS device you happen to be using at the moment.

Turn a Mac mini into a media server with Plex — If you have a large media collection, you may want to use a Mac as a dedicated device to run Plex. And the Mac mini is a perfect device for Plex.

White House iPhone pics, Flickr, family apps, iMessage suit dismissed, Samsung suit, Camera Adapter, Facebook battery-sucking


Official White House photographer uses iPhone to capture intimate presidential moments — Pete Souza, President Barack Obama’s Chief Official White House Photographer, posted his annual ‘Year on Instagram’ collection of photos to the web on Monday, this year selecting only images shot on iPhone.

Nearly one-third of all photos uploaded to Flickr in 2015 were taken on iPhones — According to a year-end report from Flickr, Apple’s iPhone extended its lead as photo sharing service’s most-used camera brand during 2015, accounting for almost one-third of all images uploaded to the site.

Get started with your new iPhone or iPad with these great family friendly apps — Whether visiting family, off on vacation or spending some quiet time at home for Christmas, chances are you’ll have an iPhone or iPad at your side. AppleInsider offers together a list of critically acclaimed and family-friendly iOS games to make the season bright. And here are 12 apps for your new iPhone.

Judge dismisses Android Switcher lost iMessage lawsuit — A lawsuit alleging Apple somehow interfered with text messages so they wouldn’t appear on Android smartphones after users switched from iPhones has been dismissed. The ruling wraps up a string of failures from a small group trying to call Apple to task over the problem.

Apple requests another $179 million in supplemental damages from Samsung — Three weeks after finally receiving US$548,176,477 (NZ$Heaps) from Samsung over the South Korean company’s infringement of Apple’s design and technology patents dating back to a 2012 jury verdict, the iPhone maker has filed for another US$178,659,870 in supplemental damages and US$1,192,490 in interest payments.

Apple marks Lightning-to-USB Camera Adapter as officially iPhone-compatible — Apple has updated its product page for the Lightning-to-USB Camera Adapter to officially include iPhone support, extending it beyond the iPad use the accessory was originally designed for.

How to limit Facebook’s iPhone background battery usage — Facebook’s iOS app is a notorious background battery eater and, despite some attention and updates aimed at solving this problem, it remains so to this day. While it’s simple enough to just remove the Facebook app and access the site in Safari, this leads to missing on Notifications, Live Photos and other features. Good news: it’s possible to have your cake and eat it, too, with a little bit of understanding and effort.

Your new Mac, ‘vintaged’ Macs, Safari 9 Responsive, Apple Music


10 things to do with your new Mac — Get started down the path towards being a power Mac user. Most of these will cost you absolutely nothing except a bit of time to set up. Also, here’s ‘7 Ways to Help the Elderly Learn How to Use a Mac, iPhone, or iPad‘ by
Nancy Gravley.

Apple adds 2008-2009 Macs & more to list of ‘vintage and obsolete’ products — Apple has updated its official list of “vintage and obsolete” products, used to determine whether or not the company will repair or otherwise support any hardware problems.

Safari 9: using Responsive Design Mode — If you’re a Web designer, boy, are will love this. Under the secret “Develop” menu, the new version of Safari is hiding something cool — the ability to view a site as it would appear on different devices and under different user agents, all in one place! That’s just…well, that’s awesome, is what that is.

Apple Music racked up more than 54.5M monthly users in 2015, study says — According to a year end report from consumer research firm Nielsen, Apple Music was one of the most popular smartphone apps of 2015, and with more than 54.5 million monthly users ranked among offerings from Facebook and Google.

Five Tip Friday ~ Mail: sending large attachments in iOS, Mail Settings Lookup, Auto-Responder

Apple has a page that lets you check your email settings online.
Apple has a page that lets you check your email settings online.

1/ Using Mail Drop in iOS — If you’ve updated to the latest version of iOS 9 on your iPhone or iPad, you have a very handy ability that was only available on the Mac up until now: Mail Drop. This feature will let you send large attachments through email, which is especially great on the iPhone, like a video that is too large to easily share with other people. MailDrop basically uploads the file to an Apple server and sends a download link to that to the recipient – very clever. (This link expires after 30 days; Apple wipes the file from its server.)
This feature is now also built in to iOS 9 now. To use it, all you’ve got  do is, well, use it: select a group of photos or a video that may be too large to send through Mail, and your iOS device will warn you and give you the choice of what to do.

2/ Mail Settings Lookup — Mail Settings Lookup is a free Apple service that can greatly help when setting up an account in the Mail.app (or other email clients). It only works with major email providers like Apple, Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, Mail.com, and a few others. You can’t use it to check the settings of your work email, for instance, not even if your employer uses Gmail on the back end.
Load the page and you get to a form page.
Enter your email address (Apple states it will not store that address). Hit the blue arrow, and you’ll get settings for your incoming email server and outgoing server, too. You can use that information to set up an account in an email client – handy when you want to set up your account on a new Mac or iDevice.

3/ Forwarding multiple emails — If you need to send someone the entire history of correspondence on a project or the trail of an email conversation, open Mail. Either do a search for the messages you need or open the folder they’re in. You’ll have to select them all: if you click on one email and then hold down Shift and click on another, you’ll select everything in between them. Alternatively, hold down the Command key and click on messages, and your Mac will select everything you click on (even if the emails aren’t sitting next to one another).
Now you can click the Forward button in your toolbar (or press Shift-Command-F), and that will start a new email with all of the items you selected in the body of the message.

4/ Forward multiple emails as attachments — Alternatively, forward the selected emails as attachments. Select the emails and then pick Message>Forward as Attachment from the menus at the top or by right-clicking (or hold down the Control key on your keyboard and do a normal click) on one of the emails then choosing that same option from the contextual menu that ‘pops’.

5/ I’m away on holiday — And you can get Mail to do the ‘I’m away’ message for you, you know, like companies do.  In Mail, click on the Mail menu from the menu bar and select Preferences. Select the Rules tab and click on the Add Rule button.
Enter a description for this rule (ie, Auto Reply).
Turn on ‘If ANY of the following conditions are met: Set this section to Account | Exchange’.
Set this section to Reply to Message | Reply message text then click on the Reply message text field to the right to construct your message; ‘I am currently having a wonderful holiday you should all be jealous of and cannot answer my emails until [date’], for example. Or something more considerate … Click OK.
You will now get a message asking if you want to apply this rule to all existing messages. Click Don’t Apply as you only want the rule to work for new messages. Your Out of Office message is now set up.
NOTE: You must remember to disable your Out of Office message manually as it will not turn off automatically. Open the settings again and just uptick this rule so you can use it again another time.

Star Wars, Adobe Post, SkySafari, iTunes backup, not charging


Apple Music adds Star Wars Radio Station ahead of The Force — Apple Music added a Star Wars station to its online radio lineup on Wednesday that’s loaded with music from the movies interspersed with sound effects like blasters and Darth Vader’s respirator between tracks. It’s great music, and so far has been spoiler-free.

Adobe Post creates social media graphics in seconds — Do you ever think about design when you’re sending a tweet or posting on Facebook? You might start doing just that if Adobe Post (free with in-app purchases) catches on. The new app makes it a snap to create eye-catching graphics on the iPhone by remixing professional designs with your photos and text.

Simulation Curriculum’s SkySafari 5 for iOS has impressive new features — SkySafari is an excellent sky simulation and charting app for iOS. With it, you can view the sky at any date and time, identify objects in the sky, read about celestial objects, learn the constellations and even control an amateur telescope. On December 15, SkySafari 5 Pro was released, with Basic and Plus versions to follow soon. The suite of apps has an impressive list of new features.

How to make an iTunes backup of your iOS device — If you have an iCloud account, your iPhone and iPads back-up their contents there. However, to be doubly safe, you should make an iTunes backup of your device on your Mac. Here’s how.

Pull your iPhone from your pocket, now it won’t charge, here’s why — Have you ever plugged your iPhone into the charger and found, to your dismay, no reassuring “doink” and lighting bolt indicator in the top right menu bar? A trip to the Apple store may not be necessary if a rather amusing thing has happened. John Martellero might have a quick fix (in a word: lint).

Away — Sorry, there will be no updates for a few days as I’m blatting off for a quick pre-Christmas break. I will create a MagBytes between Christmas and New Year. I hope you have a good holiday season. Stay safe!