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ISSUE 144

REVIEWED INSIDE:

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PLUSBEST AR
APPS FOR iOS
CONTENTS

23 37

NEWS

4 Apple’s Q2 2019 results


6 Tim Cook talks values, regulation, health, and more
17 Apple recalls wall plug adaptors over safety fears
19 Apple and Qualcomm settle their legal differences

REVIEWS

23 Apple iPad Air (2019) 49


37 Apple iPad mini (2019)
49 Apple AirPods

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CONTENTS

56

ROUND-UP

Best Augmented Reality apps for iPhone and iPad 56


Hottest new iOS games 68

FEATURES

What we might expect from Apple’s A13 processor 75


9 useful Control Centre shortcuts for iPhone 85
Why you should get an Apple Pencil 90

HOW TO

Delete Other storage from an iPhone 96


Use Apple to find retailers that take Apple Pay 102

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NEWS

Apple’s Q2 2019 results


Results reveal Apple is doing just fine. Michael Simon reports

i
Phone sales might be levelling off, but Apple is doing
just fine. Apple has announced its second quarter
results for 2019, and it’s clear that the shift in it
business model is in full swing. While it still posted
revenue of $58 billion, iPhone sales were relatively
flat, posting just $31 billion compared to $37.5 billion
in the same 2018 quarter. Apple stopped breaking out
unit sales last quarter, but it sold 52 million units in
the year-ago quarter.

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NEWS

Elsewhere, Apple is looking stronger than ever,


particularly when it comes to Services. Apple reported
a record $11.5 billion tally for the category (which
includes Apple Music, digital sales, and Apple Pay)
versus $9.2 billion last year. It was the first time
Services broke the $11 billion mark. Paid subscriptions
were a major part of that, nearly topping 400 million
for an increase of 30 million over the previous quarter.
iPad sales were also up, no doubt buoyed by the
release of the fifth-gen iPad mini and the new iPad Air.
The iPad posted $4.9 billion in sales versus $4.1 billion
in 2018’s second quarter. Tim Cook noted that the
“blockbuster” quarter represented Apple’s “strongest
iPad growth in six years, and we are as excited as ever
about our pipeline of innovative hardware, software
and services.” Mac sales were relatively flat at $5.5
billion as compared to $5.8 billion last year.
Wearables were another bright spot. Apple sold
$5.1 billion worth of Apple Watches, AirPods, and
other accessories in the quarter, a 30 percent increase
over the year-ago quarter. Tim Cook said Apple’s
Wearables division is now about the size of a Fortune
200 company. Additionally, he noted that Apple’s
installed base set a new record.
For the third quarter, Apple expects to post revenue
between $52.5 billion and $54.5 billion, which could
represent a return to growth. In the third quarter
of 2018, Apple posted quarterly revenue of $53.3
billion. In after-hours trading, Apple’s stock spiked
more than $10 on the news.

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NEWS

Tim Cook talks values,


regulation, health, and more
In an interview at the Time 100 Summit, Apple’s CEO spoke
broadly about a wide range of issues. Jason Cross reports

T
im Cook is not one of Time’s 100 most influential
people of 2019. Nonetheless, as a three-time
honouree of that list, he was invited to be
interviewed by Nancy Gibbs at the Time 100 Summit.
As expected, Cook didn’t reveal any details about new

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NEWS

products, software, or services. Instead, the questions


posed and answers given were broad, touching on
Cook’s and Apple’s values, and how technology fits
into the world we live in.
Here’s some of what he said about a variety of
issues. Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity.

On Apple’s values
“I’ve always deeply felt that people should have
values, a corporation is nothing more than a collection
of people, and therefore by extension a corporation
should have values.
“We’ve always had a set of things that were really
important to us and that we felt said something about
us. Part of that is how we treat the environment, part
of that is evangelizing and advocating for high-quality
public education, and privacy – before anybody was
talking about privacy. This has been at the depths of
who we are as a company.
“As I look at the world today, the issues that we
face cannot be addressed solely by government. We
should not be looking for government to solve all the
problems. It takes the public sector, the private sector,
and academia working together to solve some of
these huge problems. Climate change is not going to
be solved by government, as just one example. So we
readily step up and participate in the conversations,
because we think how we do what we do says as much
about us as what we do.”

Cook’s list of Apple values shouldn’t surprise anyone


who has paid attention to the company over the years.

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NEWS

Apple talks about its efforts in privacy, the environment,


and education nearly every time it gets on stage to
announce a new product or service.
His views on the need for companies to ‘step up’
to work with governments and academia to solve big
global problems is also well-known, but his specific
comment about climate change might be contentious.

On political influence
“I would hope that every CEO would stand up and
represent their employees. And yes, at the end of the
day you do upset some people when you do this. But
I try not to get wrapped up in a pretzel about who we
upset, because at the end of the day we’ll be judged
more by did we stand up for what we believe in, not

When it comes to political


influence Tim Cook says
that Apple focuses “on
policies, not politics”

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NEWS

necessarily do they agree with me. I think still, people


appreciate that even when they do disagree. We’ve
taken some unpopular positions, I recognize that.
But we do them out of believing deeply that they’re
right, and that we have a unique lens.
“We focus on policies, not politics. We do not
focus on politics. And I recognize that everything,
unfortunately these days, tends to break down that
way. But we focus on the policy itself.
“This is probably not known to a lot of people in
here, but Apple doesn’t have a PAC [Political Action
Committee]. Apple’s probably the only large company,
or one of the very few, that doesn’t have a PAC. I
refuse to have one because it shouldn’t exist! I think
the people that should be able to donate are people
who can vote.”

Cook is right that Apple has no political action


committee pushing dark money to candidates, but his
line that “people that should be able to donate are
people who can vote” rings a bit hollow. The company
spends millions of dollars a year paying lobbying
firms to influence politicians. It may not be a PAC, and
it’s definitely transparent, but it’s hardly just voting
individuals donating to politicians.
He went so far as to say, “the company donates
zero to political candidates” and while that is
technically true, some of the money that Apple
spends on lobbying firms like Capitol Tax Partners
and Franklin Square Group absolutely ends up in the
hands of political candidates – it is ultimately the
very reason for their existence.

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NEWS

On regulation of the tech sector


“I think that there are some serious issues with tech.
Even though I am a deeply free market person in
mindset, and believe that some unexpected things can
happen in regulation… we all have to be intellectually
honest. We have to admit that what we’re doing isn’t
working. That technology needs to be regulated.
“There are now too many examples where the ‘no
rails’ have resulted in a great damage to society. When
things are out in society and they don’t represent the
true cost, then you have to do something about it. You
either have to reflect it from a cost point of view so that
you’re valuing things properly or you have to regulate it.
“I’ve been on the regulation kick, which surprised
even me, for a while, because I didn’t see companies

Tim Cook believes that GDPR is


“a step in the right direction”

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NEWS

laying the basic rails in place, and then refusing to


step over those.”

Cook went on to answer a question about how


confident he was that we’d be able to end up with
smart regulation of the tech sector.

“I’m not confident, is the short version of the


statement. I think this is an example where Europe is
more likely to come up with something. The GDPR isn’t
ideal, but GDPR was a step in the right direction…this is
on the privacy side, obviously. I don’t think it’s a save-
all end-all, I think there’s plenty of things that it didn’t
do that it needs to do, but I think it’s a step in the right
direction. It may be that the centre of gravity in moving
the ball forward, in privacy, may be in Europe. It may
eventually come to the US.
“We are advocating strongly for regulation, because I
do not see another path at this point.”

Certainly, privacy and security are core Apple values,


and it makes sense to fight for that across the tech
sector. Such regulations would also be good business
for Apple, as it would cost many of its competitors much
more to comply with strict privacy regulations.

On Donald Trump
“I would never talk about conversations that I’ve had
with the President. Regardless of who the President
is. I don’t think it’s proper to do that. The things that
I’m passionate about as the leader of Apple is getting
DACA fixed, getting the immigration system working

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NEWS

for America, including fixing these green card backlogs.


We have people who are in 90-plus year backlogs on
green cards. Trade is very important. I think it’s good
for America and we have to figure out how it’s good
for everyone, not just a set of people in America but
good for everyone.”

On education
“When your founder doesn’t have one [a four-year
college degree], it kind of says a lot about what
people can do without a college education. I think
fundamentally we have, as a society, gotten too
much ingrained in what is the pedigree, what is the
degree, all this kind of stuff, and lost sight of the
humanity in the conversation.
“We’re out pushing on getting every kid to learn
coding. I think every kid in the world should learn to
code. I think it’s the most important second language
you can learn. It’s a global language. There’s no such
thing in the world, it’s the only one. And it’s a way
to express yourself, whether your passion is in the
sciences or the arts. And I think software is touching
our lives everywhere.
“I’m not saying everyone needs to become
a programmer. I’m saying that like the basics of
mathematics and history and so forth, it’s a core skill
that kids need to have. And equally important in our
view is creativity skills.
“As math[s] and science has been recognized as
being very important, unfortunately the arts have
been gutted from too many of our schools. So basic
creativity skills are not taught in a lot of schools. So

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NEWS

we’ve designed our own curriculum called ‘Everyone


can Create’ and we’ve made it available to all schools in
the world. Many, many schools are now picking this up.”

On health
“We began to recognize it was a big idea to monitor
your body on a real-time basis, versus just going
to the doctor once a year and having different vital
signs checked. So with the Watch we focused initially
on wellness and heart. Last year, as you know, we
launched the Series 4 that has an EKG in it.
“I’m getting tons of notes from all the different
countries that we’ve launched in, saying ‘oh my god,
I found out I had this serious problem…I went to the
doctor and he or she told me I would have died if I

Apple has recognized that


the Apple Watch can be
used to monitor the body
”on a real-time basis”

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NEWS

wouldn’t have known this’. This is what the people are


telling me. I think it’s a big idea to monitor your body.
As we pull this string more, we recognize more and
more things we can uniquely do.
“We’re at the early stages of this with the Watch,
and obviously we’re working on a bunch more things.
I do think there will be a day we look back and say
Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind has been in
healthcare. I think that will happen.”

That’s a huge statement. One could legitimately


credit Apple with the ‘home computer’ as a very
concept, rather than computers only being for
business. Then the iPhone changed our expectations
for smartphones forever. To say these accomplishments
will be eclipsed by Apple’s contribution to healthcare
is bold. Apple would have to do vastly more than it has
done so far for this to be even remotely true.

On excessive phone use


“Some users, primarily focused on their kids, feel that
their kids are using their devices too much. However,
as we look at it, it’s also the parent that is using them
too much. We all are, or many of us are.
“Apple has never wanted to maximize user time.
We’ve never been about that. We’re not motivated
to do that from a business point of view and we’re
certainly not motivated from a values point of view.
What we want to do is give you a tool that empowers
you to do things you couldn’t do otherwise. We want to
enable things for your life, and empower you to have
experiences that you couldn’t have.

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NEWS

“It is clear that there are certain apps that people


can get in the mindset of just scrolling through
mindlessly, continually picking up their phones to
see what is happening at this second.
“So, we looked at this, and we said, number one,
people should know what they are doing. There is a
human trait in all of us to underestimate the degree of
something bad we are doing. If you ask someone how
many calories they had yesterday, I bet they’re going
to say less than they had. If they ask you how much
exercise you did they’ll probably overestimate it.
“I’ve gone in and gutted the number of notifications
[I receive]. I really asked myself, do I really need to
be getting thousands of notifications per day? It’s not
something that is adding value to my life or is making

Tim Cook says that “Apple


has never wanted to
maximize user time”

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NEWS

me a better person. So I went in and chopped that.


Every time you pick up your phone it means you’re
taking your eyes off whoever you’re dealing with or
talking with. If you’re looking at your phone more
than you’re looking in somebody else’s eyes, you’re
doing the wrong thing!
“We want to educate people about what they’d
doing. This thing will improve through time just like
everything else we do. We’ll innovate there as we do
in other areas. Basically, we don’t want people using
their phones all the time. This has never been an
objective for us.”

Cook may be right about the purpose and motivation


of the iPhone, and Screen Time does a great job of
telling people how much they are using their phones.
There’s obviously so much more Apple could do in
this area. It could give you proactive warnings about
apps that you appear to be using too much, and make
it easier for the system to differentiate between
notifications that are of real importance (such as your
home security system) and those that can wait (like
social networking apps).

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NEWS

Apple recalls wall plug


adaptors over safety fears
)LQG RXW LI \RXU SOXJ LV DʏHFWHG Karen Haslam reports

A
pple has announced that it is recalling a number
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NEWS

Is your plug is included in Apple’s recall?


While it’s a long time since these particular adaptors
were sold, it’s possible that you are still using one,
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How to get Apple to exchange a plug


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NEWS

Apple and Qualcomm


settle their legal differences
Surprisingly Apple didn’t win. Michael Simon reports

J
ust when their legal battle was beginning the trial
phase, Apple and Qualcomm have ironed out their
differences in a surprise settlement. The terms
of the agreement include the dismissal of all litigation
between the two companies, as well as any pending
cases brought by Apple’s global contract manufacturers.
It basically returns the relationship to the way it was
before the allegations started flying.

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NEWS

Most notably, Apple has agreed to pay Qualcomm


a one-time payment of an undisclosed sum, as well as
royalties going forward. Both companies issued short
press releases to announce the agreement, but it’s
hard to find much good news in it for Apple. Qualcomm
is getting paid and keeps Apple as a customer, and
there’s no indication they will be changing their
business practices.

Why this matters: While the Qualcomm case has yet


to have a material impact on iPhone sales or users,
it was certainly a cloud hanging over Apple’s most
popular product. The fact of the matter is Apple needs
Qualcomm, especially if Intel wasn’t able to provide a
solid road map for 5G. The settlement clears the deck
for Apple to continue using Qualcomm’s chips and
opens up a potentially quicker road to 5G adoption.

In the dispute, Apple


claimed that Qualcomm
charged too much for chips

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NEWS

A surprising about-turn
In the dispute, Apple claimed that Qualcomm charged
too much for chips and licensing fees, and argued that:
“Qualcomm has used its monopoly... to set unfair prices
and stifle competition and dictate terms to some of
the biggest, most powerful companies in the world.”
In his opening statement, CNET reports that Apple
attorney Ruffin Cordell argued Qualcomm refused to
provide processors unless a licensing agreement was
signed, effectively allowing the company to “double-
dip” on fees. “The other thing it does is allow them to
charge patent royalties that are far in excess of that
fair and reasonable level,” he said.
A few hours later, however, Apple changed its tune.
Not only did it agree to write Qualcomm a cheque,
Apple also entered into a six-year licence with
Qualcomm, including “a two-year option to extend,
and a multi-year chipset supply agreement”.
That means future iPhones could, and very well may,
return to using Qualcomm modems, which likely paves
the way for a faster route to 5G. While it was never
confirmed that Apple had settled on a specific supplier
for its first 5G iPhone, Apple currently sources LTE
modems in the iPhone XS from Intel. However, recent
rumours suggest that Apple soured on its deal with Intel
and was exploring other options. While it’s extremely
unlikely that this year’s iPhone would have a 5G
modem, next year’s likely will, and chip buys at Apple’s
magnitude need to be made sooner than later.
A deal with Apple would have been a major coup for
Intel, but with friendlier relations between Apple and
Qualcomm that’s seriously in doubt. And by in doubt,

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NEWS

we mean never happening, since Intel announced


hours later that it has abandoned its plans for a 5G
smartphone modem.
Still, the timing of this announcement is nothing
less than shocking. Apple and Qualcomm have been
fighting court battles for months and many more
were presumably on the horizon. Just last month,
an International Trade Commission judge ruled that
iPhones infringed on a Qualcomm patent and should
be banned from sale, while a second judge said the
patents were invalid. Neither of those decisions
matter now.
Apple and Qualcomm have been battling in
court since 2017, but 15 April marked the first day
of a high-profile jury trial. Qualcomm is being sued
separately by the Federal Trade Commission over
anti-competitive pricing.

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REVIEW

Apple iPad Air (2019)


Price: £479 from fave.co/2KXYbnY

A
s we reported last month, the Air is back. Apple
unexpectedly revived its old iPad Air branding
(formally discontinued in March 2017) in a
surprise announcement in March, unveiling a powerful,
mid-priced, mid-sized tablet with an A12 processor and
support for the Apple Pencil.
But will the Air float your boat? In this review we
put it through our rigorous speed, graphics and battery
tests, and evaluate design, specs and pricing, to find out
if Apple has hit the sweet spot.

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REVIEW

Price
The 9.7in iPad (2018) is still on sale, starting at
£319 from fave.co/2Dyf6HG, and that remains the
benchmark for a budget iPad. The new Air is pitched a
little higher, while remaining markedly more affordable
than the iPad Pro models further up the scale.

64GB, Wi-Fi: £479


256GB, Wi-Fi: £629
64GB, cellular: £599
256GB, cellular: £749

The iPad Air is available to buy now, direct from


Apple and from the usual resellers (such as John Lewis),
but for its first month or two on sale you should expect
high demand and limited supply.

Design
Continuing the in-betweener theme, the Air has an
improved design compared to the 9.7in iPad with,
among other improvements, a larger screen and
thinner body, but stops short of the radical changes
seen in the Pro models.

Display
So the bezels around the edge have shrunk slightly,
enabling a higher screen-to-body ratio and allowing
Apple to squeeze in a noticeably larger display without
bulking out the chassis too much. But the Home button
remains – whereas the 2018 Pro models ditched the
Home button (and Touch ID, replaced by Face ID), which
made possible an almost all-screen design. In other

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REVIEW

The bezels around the


edge have shrunk slightly,
enabling Apple to squeeze in
a noticeably larger display

words, this is a compromise between the triple ideals of


low price, familiarity, and optimum design.
A bezel tweak can only achieve so much, and to
accommodate the bigger screen the Air has been made
taller and a little wider than the 2018 iPad, although the
far slimmer profile (6.1mm, down from 7.5mm) means
it’s actually 13- to 14g lighter. Note that the 11in iPad
Pro is 5.9mm, so this isn’t the slimmest mid-size tablet
on Apple’s books – although it is the lightest.

iPad Air (2019): 250.6x174.1x6.1mm; 456g/464g


(Wi-Fi/cellular)

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REVIEW

The antenna unit on


the cellular model now
matches the colour of
the rest of the back

9.7in iPad (2018): 240x169.5x7.5mm; 469g/478g


11in iPad Pro: 247.6x178.5x5.9mm; 468g/468g

A less immediately obvious change from the


9.7in iPad – but one we’re very happy to report – is
the restoration of the laminated screen. For cost
reasons the 2017 and 2018 9.7in iPad models both
have unlaminated screens, which bend inwards very
slightly when pressed and feel a bit cheap. That isn’t
an issue here.

Headphone port
The antenna unit on the cellular model now matches
the colour of the rest of the back, rather than being a
cheap-looking matte black as on the 2018 iPad. And
Apple has included a Pro-style Smart Connector for
the Smart Keyboard.

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We find the Smart Keyboard quite hard to type


on at this size (the 12.9in version is much more
comfortable), but it’s still a quantum leap forward from
on-screen typing and a big benefit for business types
on the go – especially considering how much cheaper
this device is than the Pro models you previously had
to buy to get a Smart Connector.
But other than the changes outlined above, and
a couple of seemingly inconsequential tweaks to
the position of ports and buttons, the Air follows
the same design as the 9.7in iPad . To be clear, that’s
not a bad thing. It’s a beautiful and practical design
that looks brilliant and feels great in the hand (and,
because you get the curved under-edges rather than
the newer squared-off design, it’s actually easier to
pick up than the Pro).
Plus, you get a headphone port, which is something
Pro owners have to manage without.

Smart Connector
As is standard for iPads currently, the Air comes in silver,
gold and Space Grey. We tested a Space Grey unit, but
would always vote for gold given the choice.

Performance
Speed and graphics
Apple has equipped the Air with an A12 Bionic chip
– the latest generation of its mobile processor line. As
before this is a compromise, since the souped-up A12X
version in the Pro iPads is even faster, but it’s still an
impressive inclusion at this price and a big step up
from the A10 Fusion in the 9.7in iPad.

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REVIEW

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28 ISSUE 144 • iPAD & iPHONE USER


REVIEW

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ISSUE 144 • iPAD & iPHONE USER 29


REVIEW

was able to beat the 2017 Pro convincingly. If you’re


a creative professional looking to use the most
demanding video and image processing apps, or a
gamer with an eye on the most graphically advanced
titles, then you might be advised to plump for an A12X
device (or even wait for the next round of iPad Pros,
which will presumably get A13X chips). But for almost
all of us the iPad Air’s excellent performance will be
more than enough, and offers plenty of future-proofing.

Battery life
The Air has a 30.2Wh rechargeable battery, and Apple
reckons this is good for around 10 hours of Wi-Fi
browsing. This was borne out in testing: it lasted nine
hours, 24 minutes in Geekbench 4’s battery benchmark,
which is considerably more demanding than real-world
use. That’s almost identical performance to the 11in
Pro (nine hours, 32 minutes), and much better than
the 9.7in iPad, which lasted six hours, one minute.
Our Air was bundled with a 10W charger, with
which it went from empty to 13 percent power in
30 minutes – pretty slow going. We’ve heard that in
some areas the Air is supplied with a 12W charger,
which will yield better speed.

Display
Despite the continuing presence of large bezels around
edge, the Air’s screen is a pleasure and a triumph, with
numerous improvements from the 9.7in iPad.
Resolution is up, albeit only by enough to maintain
Retina-standard pixel density (264ppi) across a
larger area. It looks fantastic: sharp, bright, colourful.

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The anti-reflective
coating means
you have less to
fear from bright
overhead lighting

Thanks to the new inclusion of True Tone it provides a


consistent output in varied conditions, and the anti-
reflective coating means you have less to fear from
bright overhead lighting. Interacting with the screen
feels great, thanks to the lamination already mentioned
and the virtually instant response. It would be easy for
Apple fans to take this for granted, but not all tablets
give such a convincing illusion that you are physically
moving around the on-screen elements.

Cameras
The Air has an 8Mp rear camera, same as on the 9.7in
iPad – a respectable inclusion that provides reliably
decent images rather than anything spectacular. (We
asked Apple if the A12’s neural engine would provide
any of the same algorithmic photographic benefits as
on the iPhone XS, but the company played this down.)

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Photo of St. Pancras


Renaissance Hotel
London taken with the
Air’s rear 8Mp camera

The front camera, on the other hand, is vastly


improved: 7Mp and 1080p video, up from 1.2Mp and
720p video in the iPad 9.7in. Which makes sense; few
people use a mid-size tablet to take pictures of nice
views, but most iPad owners will enjoy the benefit of
an improved front camera for FaceTime and selfies.

Apple Pencil support


Good news/bad news: the Air is Pencil-compatible,
but only with the less good first-gen model, which
charges awkwardly via the Lightning port. We prefer the
Apple Pencil (2018), which attaches magnetically and

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Images taken with


the front camera

charges wirelessly, but that remains exclusive to the


2018 iPad Pro models.

Other specs
That’s most of the specs and features worth
highlighting, but we’ll spare a few words for the storage
allocation, which has been doubled at each tier from
last year: 64- and 256GB, up from 32- and 128GB.
That’s perhaps more significant than it sounds, because
it means the entry-level model has plenty of storage
for the average user, whereas last year we tended to
recommend paying extra for the upper tier.
Touch ID is now second-gen, which is faster and
more reliable than the first-gen version used previously;
eSIM is supported; Bluetooth has been bumped from

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4.2 to 5.0, and you now get gigabit LTE. All of these
changes are from the 9.7in iPad (2018), and are
matched by the 11in iPad Pro.

Software
The iPad Air comes with the latest version of Apple’s iOS
operating system pre-installed: at time of writing, that
means iOS 12.2. iOS is slick and fast – slicker and faster
than ever, thanks to optimization in the version 12
update – and known for its robust security. It is a little
harder to customize than Android, but the default setup
is easier and in our opinion more enjoyable to use.
Unless you’re willing to jailbreak your device, you’ll
only be able to download software from the official App
Store; still, there are more than a million vetted, iPad-
optimized apps on there. Premium and big-name apps
are likely to come to iOS before Android because iPad
owners are more willing to spend money.
As well as the speed boost (of interest mainly
to owners of older devices), iOS 12 added Screen
Time, a feature to help you monitor and limit app and
device usage. And group FaceTime calls were added
in iOS 12.1.

Verdict
The iPad Air is a collection of compromises, and in
almost every area there’s another tablet out there that’s
better: the 9.7in iPad is cheaper, the iPad mini more
portable (see page 37), the 11in iPad Pro more future-
proofed for very demanding apps. But as an all-round
package this is vastly appealing and quite possibly the
best (or at least best-value) model Apple has to offer.

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For most people this


is now the iPad to pick

It’s a fast machine with a large and well-specified


screen, long battery life and attractive (if old-fashioned)
design – the old familiar Home button and particularly
the headphone port will be seen as plus points by
many. The front-facing camera provides high-quality
FaceTime video and selfies, and while the rear camera
is less impressive this is a sensible area for a mid-size
tablet to cut costs.
Talking of which, £479 (for the perfectly adequate
base storage allocation) is good value for all the
goodies just mentioned. Those on a tight budget should
choose the 9.7in iPad, and a Pro model is probably
better for a creative professional, but for most people
this is now the iPad to pick. David Price

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Specifications
• 10.5in laminated Retina (2,224x1,668; 264ppi) LED-
backlit Multi-Touch display, 500 nits brightness, True
Tone, supports Apple Pencil
• iOS 12.2
• A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine and M12
coprocessor
• 3GB RAM
• 64GB, 256GB storage
• 8Mp rear-facing camera: f/2.4, 1080p HD video, Slo-
mo (120fps), Live Photos
• 7Mp front-facing camera: f/2.2, 1080p HD video at
30fps, Retina Flash
• Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac)
• Bluetooth 5.0
• Gigabit-class LTE
• Fingerprint scanner
• Stereo speakers
• Dual microphones
• Headphone jack
• Nano-Sim and eSIM
• Lightning port
• 30.2Wh rechargeable battery: claimed battery life of
10 hours on Wi-Fi
• 250.6x174.1x6.1mm
• 456g/464g (Wi-Fi/cellular)

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Apple iPad mini (2019)


Price: £399 from fave.co/2DyVlQ9

T
his wasn’t meant to happen. The mini hadn’t been
updated since 2015 and was left out in the cold,
costing more than the larger 9.7in iPads that were
released since. We thought Apple had left it for dead.
The introduction of this 2019 model is a surprise –
it’s barely different on first glance and yes, those bezels
sure look huge after the past four years of consumer
technology working towards bezel-less displays. But
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the mini, finding that I
pick it up far more often than I do with a larger iPad.
Using devices more is sometimes a bad thing, but
this iPad lends itself to reading far more than it does

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scrolling through endless timelines. It’s not an iPad for


Instagram or Twitter. At its heart it’s a great eReader,
news app displayer and Netflix enabler.
Unlike Apple’s other iPads it’s not striving to replace
your laptop, but instead quietly does some things
better than one. If you don’t mind the ageing design,
the smallest iPad could be a better option for you
than any other.

Price
The iPad mini (2019) starts at the same price as its
ancient predecessor at £399. This price gets you
64GB (256GB is also available) and represents
an excellent upgrade and price considering the
substantial internal upgrades.
It’s also hard to identify direct competitors to the
7.9in iPad mini. From a screen size point of view, the
Amazon Fire HD 8 is a close rival, yet costs just £79.
This is a huge price difference, and whether or not
you need to spend (comparatively) bigger on the iPad
mini depends on what you need a tablet for – Amazon’s
Fire is basically a portal to Amazon services such as
Prime Video, and doesn’t let you use Google services.
On the other hand, while there are more expensive
and more capable iPads, the mini can do a hell of a lot
more than you might think.

Design
There are two things that make the iPad mini (2019) a
great iPad. One is its portability, and one is its sheer
processing power. Yes, we know this is basically the
same design as the first iPad mini in 2012, but wait.

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The iPad mini’s size


makes it a great choice
for the daily commute

Ever since the 12.9in iPad Pro was introduced in


2015, Apple has concentrated on larger tablet displays.
With the 10.5in screens joining the standard 9.7in iPad
sizes, we’ve been led to believe bigger is better.
It’s no surprise given Apple, and everyone else, has
done the same with their smartphones. But when I
started using the iPad mini it reminded me of the pure
convenience of a small tablet – something around the
size of a book (and definitely thinner) that you can
carry about unnoticed. It’s only 300g and displays
most content better than your phone can.
With those phones getting bigger and better, you
may have found your tablet use declining. But I found
the iPad mini was irresistible because of its size and I
used it in meetings, at home and on the bus far more
than the larger iPads that I’ve reviewed over the years.
It measures 203.2x134.8x6.1mm, which is thinner than
an iPhone XS.

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On the bottom are two stereo speakers, which sound


clear and have enough bass for a tablet this small, but
will get covered up naturally when held, particularly for
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Performance
The iPad mini is very powerful thanks to the A12 Bionic
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and XR, meaning the iPad mini is the cheapest Apple
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By this point there’s not even much point in
comparing it to the A8 processor in the iPad mini 4
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Geekbench clocks the CPU speed and GFXBench


measures the GPU – the latter shows the iPad Pro’s
120Hz frame rates at play, but note how much more
powerful the 2019 iPad mini is than 2018’s larger,
regular iPad.
We also compared it to the iPad Air announced
on the same day as the iPad mini. The mini really is
excellent value for the performance you’re getting here.
The most expensive version (256GB with 4G) costs
£669 – £100 cheaper than the cheapest iPad Pro.
Apple’s claim of 10 hours of battery life when
“surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video or listening
to music” proved accurate in our testing, though as
expected I found it drained much faster when on 4G or
video calling. I had to charge it about once every three
days, but I also personally never let my tech get down
into the red.

Software
Inside the iPad mini’s frame, the A12 drives a
ferociously fast operating system. iOS 12 undergoes
more scrutiny when it’s on an iPad Pro and said to be
able to replace a laptop, but when it’s running on the
smallest iPad it’s undoubtedly the best software on a
casual-use tablet.
I’ve reviewed many consumer Android tablets –
none of them are preferable to the convenience and
polish of an iPad.
On the iPad mini apps open and close instantly and
games flow unhindered, even high-end demanding
titles such as Fortnite. It’s by far the best software
experience on a tablet this small and is as smooth as

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iOS 12 on the iPad mini: (l-r) widget


screen, home screen, settings app

the iPhone XS that costs around £600 more if we are


talking base model pricing.

Display
The LCD display is well calibrated and laminated,
so it does not have a gap between the surface and
the screen like the cheapest 9.7in iPad does. You
also get True Tone for the first time on an iPad mini,
so the screen (optionally) adjusts the white balance
depending on the ambient light.
And while it supports the first-generation Apple
Pencil and the requisite apps, the screen doesn’t have
Apple’s 120Hz ProMotion tech found in the iPad Pro
models that makes scrolling even smoother.
Apple has admitted that it took ages to update the
iPad mini because it assumed tablet buying would veer
towards larger displays. In the tech world we knew that
the ageing 2015 hardware of the iPad mini 4 wasn’t

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the best buy, but that didn’t deter people from still
purchasing it because of the size.
There’s clearly still demand for the 7.9in display.
Turns out most people don’t care about the large bezels.
You also get second-gen Touch ID, which is
excellently responsive. I didn’t miss Face ID all that
much, though that might be different when it comes
to an iPhone. The things I do on the iPad mini don’t
really require it.

Middle ground
What I found more than anything (and this might not
apply to you) is that the iPad mini managed to take
me away from my phone and bring me down from my
computer. It sits in the middle in size, but also in use
case. This is why I like it so much.
What I mean is that I did not feel compelled to
load up Twitter or Instagram on it because of the size.
Instead, I found myself opening the New York Times,
Apple News or Feedly apps to read the headlines on
the bus on a display that has room to breathe.
While doing this I pinged over to Pocket Casts and
got a podcast on the go (yes, there’s a headphone jack).
Sure, I could have done these things on a phone, but
without the constant message notifications rolling in
and a larger 16:9 display to enjoy newspaper style
content on, I was personally chuffed.
My use of the mini took me away from the mental
burn out of social media and WhatsApp, and provided
me with a device that let me read and didn’t distract.
This was accentuated even more by the 4G review
unit Apple provided me with (the cheapest iPad mini

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The New York Times app displaying


the same front page on iPhone XR
(left) and iPad mini (right)

is Wi-Fi only). I put my second SIM in it and it meant


that I could watch YouTube on the bus, check personal
emails and research a holiday – again, things that we
all do on our phones but is easier on a larger screen,
though not a screen so large that I felt like an idiot for
using it on the number 30.

Pencil me in
One thing I personally did not use much was the Apple
Pencil, which the iPad mini (2019) now supports.

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Apple’s suggestion that the mini would make a great


digital notebook is cute, and you may be someone who
would genuinely use the tablet as a way to back up
handwritten notes, and the advantage of cloud-stored
notes is evident.
Apple would, of course, like you to own multiple
iPads and flit between sizes as task dictates, but then
again with two Apple Pencils that support different
models, this is user hostile. If you wanted the iPad mini
and an iPad Pro (2018), you’d need both models of
Pencil. And sure, the second-generation Apple Pencil is
‘better’ but the first-gen Pencil is absolutely fine, and
paired with the base iPad mini it’s the cheapest way to
use one. I remain sceptical that many artists will opt for
the iPad mini over the iPad Pro with its better display
and larger digital canvas, but there might be a niche. It
probably didn’t cost much for Apple to add the support
to the mini and eke out a few more Pencil purchases
from curious customers.

Cameras
And yes, the iPad mini has a camera on the back. If you
really want to be that person holding it at head height
to take a picture of the Eiffel Tower, then I’ll try not to
judge you. The 8Mp lens is nowhere near as good as
something on any recent iPhone, but it’ll do.
Better used is the front-facing 7Mp 1080p FaceTime
camera. I used the iPad mini for a fair few video
calls and it was a great experience. But any close
inspection on still images from either camera shows
these are not great quality photos, with a lot of noise
when zoomed in.

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Photo taken with the


mini’s rear 8Mp camera

Verdict
The iPad mini lives on in a very
capable package that includes the
blazingly fast A12 chip. It’s the
cheapest hardware with Apple’s
latest processor. The ageing
design is a downside, but this
iPad design is a certified classic
and we don’t think it’ll put many
people off – it doesn’t us. With
a headphone jack, outstanding
performance, Pencil support
Selfie shot
and unrivalled portability in

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the tablet market, the mini (2019) is a surprisingly


excellent upgrade on a product we thought was about
to bow out. Henry Burrell

Specifications
• 7.9in laminated Retina (2,048x1,536; 326ppi) LED-
backlit Multi-Touch display, 500 nits brightness, True
Tone, supports Apple Pencil
• iOS 12.2
• A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine and M12
coprocessor
• 3GB RAM
• 64GB, 256GB storage
• 8Mp rear-facing camera: f/2.4, 1080p HD video, Slo-
mo (120fps), Live Photos
• 7Mp front-facing camera: f/2.2, 1080p HD video at
30fps, Retina Flash
• Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac)
• Bluetooth 5.0
• Gigabit-class LTE
• Touch ID scanner
• Stereo speakers
• Dual microphones
• Headphone jack
• Nano-Sim and eSIM
• Lightning port
• 19.1Wh rechargeable battery: claimed battery life of
10 hours on Wi-Fi
• 203.2x134.8x6.1mm
• 300.5g/308.2g (Wi-Fi/cellular)

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Apple AirPods
Price: £159 from fave.co/2I9L53V

W
hen AirPods were first announced in 2016,
people were sceptical. Apple wants us
to pay £159 for EarPods without wires?
What’s with those sticks sticking out of your ears? The
case looks like dental floss.
But then, everyone who actually used them fell
instantly in love. Easy pairing, auto-pausing, lightweight

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comfort, and rock-solid connection – Apple took all the


pain points of Bluetooth headphones away. AirPods
flew off the shelves and were back-ordered for months
as Apple ramped up production to meet demand.
So what does Apple do for an encore? We’ll have to
wait for a while to find out. Apple’s new AirPods are just
that – new AirPods. They’re not AirPods 2 or AirPods X.
They’re not a revolution or even a new design. But if you
rely on Apple devices, they’re still the best true wireless
earbuds around.

Everything old is new again


If you go to the Apple site and look up AirPods, you will
find this new model and nothing else. The old model
has been completely replaced by this new one, still
simply called ‘AirPods’. When Apple really needs to
make a distinction between this new model and the

Can you tell the


difference between
the old AirPods and
the new ones?

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old ones, it calls them “AirPods (2nd generation)”. The


implication is clear: you should not expect these to
revolutionize the wireless earphones market all over
again. You should expect AirPods, as you’ve always
known them, just a little bit better. 
They have the same look, the same shape, the same
glossy white finish. The case has the same design. You
still pair them with your iPhone by simply holding the
case open nearby, just as before. You use them just
as you used the old ones: double-tap to skip tracks
forward/back or invoke Siri. Music pauses when you
take one out of your ear and starts playing again when
you put it back in.
In fact, with the exception of a new optional Wireless
Charging Case that has a tiny LED on the front, you’d be
hard-pressed to notice any difference between the new
AirPods and the old ones. The new AirPods have the

The new Wireless Charging Case has


the reset/sync button in the middle,
so the charging coil fits around it

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same battery life as the old ones, too: about five hours
of music playback, with the case holding enough power
for four recharges. The sound quality is also the same
– slightly better than Apple’s wired EarPods, slightly
worse than most £150 wired earphones.

The H1 chip: Faster sync, hands-free Siri


The second-generation AirPods may look and sound
the same, but they’ve changed inside. They use a
new custom-designed H1 chip that Apple says is
“developed specifically for headphones” and allow
for improved efficiency.
The chip enables the one truly new feature of the
AirPods: the ability to invoke Siri by simply saying “Hey,
Siri” instead of double-tapping (though double-tapping
still works). In my testing, it worked quite well, even on
a fairly noisy street. Sound playback will dim after a

The 2nd-gen AirPods


do everything the
original AirPods
do, plus hands-free
‘Hey, Siri’.

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couple of seconds to let you know Siri is listening, but


you don’t have to wait for that. As with your iPhone,
simply say your entire command without pausing for
best results.
We still think Siri needs to get a lot better, and
desperately needs the ability to fully function with
third-party music services just as well as it does with
Apple Music. But AirPods are best in situations where
your hands are occupied: at the gym, riding a bike,
bundled up in freezing cold weather. I didn’t realize
how useful it would be to use Siri with my phone in
my pocket and my hands full until I had the ability to.
The H1 chip enables a few other minor
improvements, too. The new AirPods switch from one
device to another twice as fast, connect to phone
calls up to 50 percent faster, and offer slightly lower
latency (up to 30 percent less). These may sound like
big improvements, but in practice, taking two to three
seconds to switch from my iPhone to my Mac isn’t all
that different from taking four to five seconds. Gamers
crave lower latency, but the difference is quite small.
You have to be really sensitive to that sort of thing
to notice it, and the new AirPods still don’t compare
to wired headphones in that regard.
Remember when I said battery life was the same?
There’s one important exception to that. The battery
life when making calls has risen from two- to three
hours. If you make lots of long phone calls with your
AirPods, that’s a huge benefit you’ll immediately
notice. Long dial-in meetings would regularly
decimate my old AirPods’ battery life, while the new
ones have plenty of power left.

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Wireless Charging Case optional


Together with refreshed AirPods, Apple introduced a
Wireless Charging Case. It was meant to go with the
AirPower charging mat before Apple cancelled it. It does
work with any Qi-compatible wireless charger, though.
The new case is optional – you can still get AirPods
with the standard Lightning-only charging case for
the same £159 price the old ones cost. If you want
the ability to juice up your AirPods by setting the
case down on a little pad, you can get the Wireless
Charging Case together with your AirPods for £199.
It works with the old AirPods, too, so you can buy just
the case alone for £79.
In my experience, the case charges more slowly
on a wireless charging pad than plugged in. Given the
relative infrequency of charging up your AirPods case
(compared to, say, your iPhone) and the inability to

For this particular


product, wireless
charging isn’t a big
deal. It’s probably
not worth £40 extra

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work with wireless charging stands (which don’t lie flat),


I would say it’s probably not worth the extra money. It’s
a curiosity, but it doesn’t solve a pressing need.

Verdict
If you already own a pair of AirPods, you probably
shouldn’t upgrade to the latest model. The
improvements in switching speed and latency aren’t
game changers, and the ability to use Siri hands-free,
while useful, isn’t worth the cost alone. Those who
make a lot of long phone calls will love how much
longer the battery lasts, but everyone else will notice
no real difference in longevity.
If you haven’t bought AirPods yet, the improvements
in this second-generation model make them a little
more compelling. Still, we can’t help but anxiously
await a true successor to Apple’s near-ubiquitous
wireless headphones. Jason Cross

Specifications
• Dual beamforming microphones
• Dual optical sensors
• AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: more than 24
hours of listening time,3 up to 18 hours of talk time
• AirPods (single charge): up to five hours of listening
time, up to 3 hours of talk time
• AirPods: Bluetooth
• Wireless Charging Case: charges via wireless
(Qi-compatible) charging mat or Lightning connector
• AirPods (each): 40.5x18x16.5mm; Wireless Charging
Case: 53.5x44.3x21.3mm
• AirPods (each): 4g; Wireless Charging Case: 40g

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Best Augmented Reality


apps for iPhone and iPad
AR is still in its early stages, but there are already plenty of cool
– and useful – apps on the App Store. Leif Johnson reports

A
pple wants us to believe that augmented reality
(AR) will be a transformative technology. I want
to believe it. It certainly feels like it has better
potential than virtual reality (VR), which still strikes
me as little more than a means of escaping the world
by sticking your eyes to a sweaty box. AR, though, can
add wonder to the mundane. It can provide information

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Want to see a planet? You


can... plan it with Sky Guide

at a glance that we could otherwise only guess at


(especially when Google Lens finally makes a full debut
on the iPhone). And yes, in some cases, it can even
make the world more fun.
But even in its flashiest keynotes, Apple struggles
to show us any compelling reason why we should
embrace AR technology now. With that in mind, here’s
a list of apps from the App Store that best show what
AR technology is capable of, and how it’s evolved from
the simplistic days of Pokémon Go. Whether you want
to learn how to waltz or feed doughnuts to mythological
creatures, you’ll find something to like here.

Sky Guide
Price: £2.99 from fave.co/2IJMzDk

I’ve admired Sky Guide for years for the ways it uses
your iPhone’s GPS to delivers star maps that reflect the

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ROUND-UP

way the sky looks above you at that precise moment.


Recently, though, it introduced support for AR, and in
the process, a great app became ever greater. Just press
the camera button in the star map mode and it overlays
the sky above you with a star chart.
I find this even works with our office windows in
the middle of the day, to the point that it even hides
the areas of the map that are obscured by the building.
You can also change the sky to look the way it will a
certain point of the day. Since the AR mode allows
you to align the digital stars with the real ones, it’s
an especially helpful way to assist with stargazing in
light-polluted urban areas where it’s hard to identify
some stars from context.

Sun Seeker Sun Tracker Compass


Price: £9.99 from fave.co/2DyolHS

Sun Seeker Sun Tracker Compass has a lot in common


with Sky Guide, but the big difference is that the
focus here is entirely on the sun. Set it to 3D view,
and the app shows you where the sun will be during
various hours of the day and where it will be at both
equinoxes and the solstices. (In other words, you’ll
see the full range of the sun’s trajectory in the sky
throughout the year.)
It’s more useful than it probably sounds. When
you’re looking for a new home, it gives you an idea of
how much sunlight the place gets throughout the year.
When camping, it helps you find a spot that stays in the
shade. For photographers, it helps you prepare for a
perfectly lined-up sunset shot.

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I once said that my desk never


gets direct sunlight, and this
app helped me prove it

It’s pricey at £9.99, but it justifies that price by


including satellite maps that show how the sun will be
shining at a particular point time of day and during a
specific time of year.

JigSpace
Price: Free from fave.co/2ILrvMs

As a person who learns best with hands-on experience,


I found a lot to love about JigSpace. It’s an educational
app that plops 3D models of everything from the
Gutenberg Press to lightsabers on your desk through
AR, allowing you to move each model around and see
its various parts. Along the way, it also shows step-by-
step explanations for how each device works, and you
can zoom in or out for better detail.

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Sate your curiosity

It’s a great way of explaining concepts that would be


difficult to explain even with the clearest of texts, and
with almost 60 ‘jigs’ to choose from, both children and
adults can get a lot out of it. For a similar educational
app, check out the BBC’s Civilisations AR (free from
fave.co/2DBI2ym), which lets you inspect famous
archaeological artifacts at scale within the privacy
of your home.

Smash Tanks!
Price: £1.99 from fave.co/2PyULH8

I admire many entirely AR games for their creativity, but


calling them ‘fun’ often feels like a reach. Smash Tanks!
is a rare exception. It’s all about setting up AR boards on
tables or other surfaces where you aim tanks at various
targets. Sometimes obstacles such as buildings or rocky

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It wouldn’t be a hot idea


to play both sides of the
surface in this case

ledges get in the way, so you need to move around the


table or counter in order to get a better shot.
It’s entertaining to do this alone, but I also like
how Smash Tanks! also let you play local multiplayer
matches either by passing the phone to a friend or
inviting up to seven people on the same network. You
can even customize the maps and make them more
challenging by adding elements like friendly fire.

AR Runner
Price: £99p from fave.co/2Dz3Iex

I like AR Runner because it provides one of the smartest


ways of ‘augmenting our reality’, mainly by overlaying
the world with portals and checkpoints to cross while
jogging in races. You can place these portals on any
open spaces in your neighbourhood, which means I

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I don’t recommend
running into a
building site, though

can ‘race’ against someone as far away as San Francisco


while I’m still on the pavements on London.
It’s a great concept, but I think it’ll get a lot better
when you can use it with glasses or – let’s get weird –
AR-enabled contact lenses. As it stands, you’re going
to go through all these checkpoints while holding your
phone in your hand. It’s cool, but it’s never not going
to look weird.

AR Dragon
Price: Free from fave.co/2Px5y4g

AR Dragon may be meant for kids, but I’m a fully grown


man whose block of flats doesn’t allow residents to
own dogs or cats and I have no shame in admitting I
love this pet simulator. It’s about raising a dragon from
the moment it hatches, and every day you log in to

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I wonder if she likes Apples

find the beast has grown a little bigger. You can feed it
doughnuts and play ball with it, all through AR interface
that makes it look as though the dragon is standing
on your desk. Some AR apps do similar things with
people, however, no other app does such a good job of
convincing you that the digital beast wiggling on your
screen actually lives and breathes.

Zombie Gunship Revenant AR


Price: Free from fave.co/2PyBF3W

In Zombie Gunship Revenant AR, you pilot a military


helicopter that’s protecting a base that’s being overrun
with zombies. To get a better shot, you’ll sometimes
need to move around the table or desk or physically
inch in closer to the action. Much like Smash Tanks!, it’s
one of the few games that handle AR in a consistently

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That’s an iPad in the


upper left, but you
can barely tell

entertaining fashion. It’s a bit different, though, in that


you don’t need to play with the visible background
of the real world – although you do need to find a
real surface with AR – and at any rate most real-world
surroundings stay obscured by infrared-scope aesthetic.
My favourite part? The rattle of the iPhone as the guns
pump bullets into the unyielding undead.

Vuforia Chalk
Price: Free from fave.co/2IJPnAm

Whenever I imagine AR becoming part of our everyday


lives, I think of something like Vuforia Chalk. It’s a little
like FaceTime in that it’s basically a video call, but in
this case you can ‘circle’ items you’re looking at through
the camera and draw arrows, all the better to, say, point
out faulty pieces of equipment or to show someone

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Good for helping Dad


find the right ports
from 1,800 miles away

which buttons to press. It’s a little wonky sometimes,


perhaps because the rear iPhone lenses still don’t have
proper TrueDepth sensors that can accurately map out
a surface. Both of the people on the call need to have a
Chalk account, so there’s some setup involved. And then
the free version only lets you use it for three minutes
at a time. Still, it’s fun to try out. Once this kind of
technology gets built into FaceTime itself, I think we’ll
be taking a giant leap toward the AR-powered future
that Apple wants us to get excited about.

IKEA Place
Price: Free from fave.co/2IImBzV

Look, I know this one is comparatively boring. IKEA


Place is about moving furniture – IKEA furniture at that
– around your house or apartment so you can have a

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There is no stool

better idea of whether that Flodafors beige Färlöv chair


looks good by the fireplace. Yawn, right? The thing is,
I believe this is one of the best ways to show how AR
can save us from a lot of potentially embarrassing (and
costly) guesswork.
The app puts an item in your room at scale, and
you can move it around and see if it works for you
before placing an order. And when Apple finally gets
something like TrueDepth technology on the iPhone’s
rear camera, features such as this should command a
permanent slot in virtually any retail app.

Dance Reality
Price: Free from fave.co/2Dz5c8B

Dancing is an activity best learned in the company of


another person, and I’m not convinced that AR is going

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The safest way to


dance in the street
is to do it digitally

to change that anytime soon. But Dance Reality at least


gets you waltzing in the right direction. Here, you drop
two dance instructors into the room of your choice and
they show you the moves for everything from salsa to
hip-hop, with the help of footprints that appear on your
floor. (And, for that matter, some in-app purchases that
top out at £4.99.)
You can also just watch them dance, which I find
more useful than a YouTube video because you can
move around them. The awkward, catch, of course, is
that you have to hold your phone while you do all this.
Once we get AR glasses, though, apps like this will give
us plenty of reasons to dance.

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Hottest new iOS games


Regardless of whether you want sword-slinging or mud-flinging,
these games will do the trick. Leif Johnson reports

B
y far the biggest new title this month is The Elder
Scrolls: Blades, which is Bethesda Softworks’
long-awaited iPhone game. It’s cool, though some
players are feeling more stabbed by the payment model
than by the swords. Fortunately, we found other flowers
in the field. There’s a pendulum game that manages
to feel so right precisely because its graphics feel
so wrong, and there’s a puzzle game that sometimes
almost moved me to tears (in the best way).

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The Elder Scrolls: Blades


Price: Free from fave.co/2PsKR9G

The Elder Scrolls: Blades is a fun made-for-mobile


game about rebuilding your ransacked hometown and
delving into dungeons where you fight baddies by using
carefully timed taps for either your sword or shield. In
portrait mode, you can even play it with one hand.
You’ll loot treasure, too, but you usually won’t get
that Skyrim-like instant gratification when you open a
treasure chest. As this is a free-to-play game, you’ll have
to wait a bit before it unlocks – or, of course, you can
plunk down some cash to make it open early. It feels
a bit like putting gold in the chest for someone else

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to loot. Still, it’s rather impressive and worth trying if


you don’t mind waiting out the chests.

Rest in Pieces
Price: Free from fave.co/2IJbUgr

Rest in Pieces is one of the best horror games on iOS


in a while, which is remarkable because it’s also one
of the simplest. It’s a pendulum game, but here the
pendulum is a porcelain figure of a young girl in a
yellow fisherman’s slicker. Back and forth she swings
through a monochromatic nightmarescape with the
help of your finger taps, hurtling past crags and demons
toward a manic jester that looms above her and the
surrounding landscape. If she crashes, she shatters, and

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the sound never fails to hit like a scream. The game is


free, but fortunately its in-app purchases aren’t going to
frighten you. (In fact, it lets you unlock unlimited lives
and disable ads for £2.99.) Once you get into the swing
of things, you’ll unlock both new figures and new stages
dominated by monsters evoking everything from
Medusa to a kraken.

Photographs: Puzzle Stories


Price: £3.99 from fave.co/2IKcIlr

There’s nothing particularly novel about using puzzles


to tell stories on iOS, but few games handle the concept
so well as Photographs: Puzzle Stories. It’s exactly
what it sounds like: a diverse assortment of puzzles

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presented within the framework of five different tales.


At one point you follow the plight of an alchemist,
and then you’ll spend some time in the shoes of a
newspaper editor. The puzzles are wonderful despite
their bleakness, and the puzzles always fit the theme of
the narrative. One warning: it will only take you a few
hours to get through all the puzzles.

Rush Rally 3
Price: £3.99 from fave.co/2L7uy3R

Rush Rally 3 leaves plenty of other racing games in


the dust. It’s neither too realistic nor too arcadey, and
it complements its single-player career campaign with
some entertaining multiplayer racing modes. The cars

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all handle well, and I admire how it lets you switch from
an in-car perspective to a bird’s-eye view.
You get all this in addition to stellar graphics
for a mere £3.99, and there aren’t even any in-app
purchases. If you’re looking for a rally game on iOS, it
currently doesn’t get any better than this.

Marginalia Hero
Price: Free from fave.co/2PEzsnD

Medieval marginalia were visually interesting diversions


from the work that monks and scribes should have
been doing, which basically makes them the Game
of Thrones-era equivalent of video games. Marginalia
Hero makes those meme-worthy images come to life in

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a simple but challenging game that’s more like Guitar


Hero than anything else.
A series of targets appear on a circle, and you need
to tap those targets in time with a sword that moves
around the perimeter like a hand on a clock. The
difficulty ramps up quickly, as you’ll soon have barely
a second to see the marks before they disappear.
Successfully tapping all the marks allows the knight at
the bottom to slay the snails and slugs, and the gold
earned from your winnings lets you buy better gear – in
other words, more chances to mess up. It’s best played
in short bursts rather than long sessions.

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What we might expect


from Apple’s A13 processor
The A13 will surely be Apple’s fastest iPhone chip yet, but the
focus will likely be on the Neural Engine. Jason Cross reports

W
e’re still a long way away from hearing
anything official about Apple’s next system-
on-a-chip. The A13 is likely to be unveiled in
September, along with the new iPhones it will power.
But the design, manufacture, and testing of these chips
takes years, far too long for Apple to suddenly make
radical changes. The A13 design is likely, for all intents
and purposes, set in stone by now.

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By looking at past A-series chips and extrapolating


from what we know of the manufacturing process Apple
will use this year, we can get a reasonable picture
about what to expect from the A13 chip. It will almost
certainly be the fastest SoC Apple has ever developed
for iPhones, but exactly how fast can we expect?

Built on an improved 7nm process


For the A13, we can expect Apple to stick with its
manufacturing partner TSMC, which has a firm lead
in chip manufacturing technology. But TSMC is not
yet ready to make another leap to a new chip process
node, as it did in jumping from 10- to 7nm last year.
The 5nm transition will probably be ready in time for
the 2020 iPhone, but this year’s model will still be
built with a 7nm process.
That doesn’t mean we can’t expect any
improvements on the manufacturing side. TSMC is
currently ramping up its ‘7nm+’ process, which use
EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet) lithography for some of the
chip layers. This should allow chips with better density
(about 20 percent more logic in the same area) and
power efficiency (about 10 percent better).
A recent report from the Chinese site Commercial
Times claims that Apple will be the first company to use
a new, as yet unheard of ‘7nm Pro’ process from TSMC
for the A13. It’s not clear if this is an enhanced version
of the regular 7nm process or the EUV 7nm+ process,
but it’s clear that Apple intends to release the A13 with
the best manufacturing technology possible, and that
we can expect improvements over the 7nm process
used in the A12 and A12X.

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Apple has industry-leading single-threaded


performance. That’s likely to continue

spend its transistor budget the same way; doubling


up the high-power CPU cores from two to four. Rather,
I suspect Apple will continue to have two high-
performance CPU cores and four energy-efficient
cores, with an outside chance of increasing the high-
performance core count from two to three.
Apple will likely rely on some architectural tweaks
and perhaps better peak clock speeds to increase CPU
performance. After all, its chips are already the fastest
around, and it won’t take much to hold on to that crown.
The firm’s single-core CPU performance gains have
been remarkably steady in recent years. If the trend
holds, we’ll be looking at a Geekbench 4 single-core
CPU score of around 5,200. That blows the doors off any
Android phone and even most thin-and-light laptops.

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Apple’s multi-core performance is already


stellar; a modest improvement is all that’s
required to be the fastest phone on the market

Multi-core performance is harder to predict.


The trend line is skewed by the fact that multi-core
performance took a big leap from the A10 to the A11,
due to a design change that allowed all the low-power
and high-power cores to work together at once. If Apple
doesn’t add any more cores, the multi-core performance
of the A13 will land somewhere between 12,200 and
12,500, because the individual cores will get faster.
If Apple adds a third high-performance CPU core, that
number will leap to around 15,000 to 16,000.

Graphics performance
Graphics performance is critical to Apple, and will be
especially important as it launches its Apple Arcade
service with premium, top-tier games. We can look at

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Graphics performance is starting to


plateau, and without a big boost in memory
bandwidth, that probably won’t change

two aspects of graphics performance – the ability to


render traditional 3D scenes like games, and the ability
to use the GPU for complex non-graphics compute
(such as image processing).
Traditional graphics performance has been
increasing at a steady rate over the last few generations
of A-series processors. It is often limited by memory
bandwidth, which doesn’t often make a big leap from
one year to the next. If we think the trend will continue,
we can expect a 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme Unlimited
score of around 4,500. It’s a significant improvement for
Apple, but not as fast as the latest Qualcomm chips.
Apple seems to be leaning more in the direction of
making its chips faster when using its own Metal API,

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Graphics compute performance, however, has


plenty of room to grow. It’s more useful to Apple’s
software than ever, so expect significant gains

both for graphics and compute. I think that trend will


continue, and while the GPU probably won’t see the
big Metal performance leap it did from the A11 to the
A12, we’re probably still going to get a Geekbench 4
Compute score of well over 25,000.

Image processing and Neural Engine


I started this examination by stating I believe Apple
will make the A13 about 25 percent larger than the
A12, while also using a manufacturing process that lets
it cram more transistors into a smaller area. The result
would be a chip of around 10 billion transistors – an
increase of more than 40 percent over the A12. So if the
CPU and GPU will achieve only modest and predictable

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improvements from design tweaks and clock speed


improvements, where will Apple spend all that extra
transistor budget? I think that the company is going
to continue to drive very heavily in the direction of
on-device machine learning and image processing.
Last year, Apple improved the Neural Engine in
the A12 by far more than expected. The A11’s Neural
Engine can do 600 billion operations per second, and
Apple made the A12 about eight times faster at 5
trillion operations per second. I’m not sure we’ll see
a leap that big, but Apple may well achieve a 3x to 5x
improvement with some smart design improvements
and a much bigger transistor budget.
Machine Learning and AI are critical parts of
the iPhone experience, from taking better photos
and videos to augmented reality and Siri. If Apple

The CPU may not change much,


but the GPU may grow to 6 cores
and the Neural Engine is probably
going to be much bigger

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announced that the A13’s Neural Engine could do 20


trillion operations per second, I would be impressed,
but not surprised.
The image signal processor used to process data
from the camera sensors is another critical component
that is hard to benchmark, but Apple invests heavily in
it every year. It is used in conjunction with the Neural
Engine and GPU to improve photos and video quality.
Apple will improve it again this year. It might even be
one of the first to include hardware to encode and
decode the new AV1 video codec, a royalty-free video
compression standard expected to succeed today’s
HEVC, AVC, and VP9 formats. If you don’t know what
all that means, just know that most web video (think
YouTube) will probably transition to this new video
format in a couple years. It’s extremely efficient and
isn’t wrapped up in a web of complex royalties.

Still no 5G
While the modems in iPhones aren’t part of Apple’s
A-series processor, it’s worth discussion what we should
expect this year. You’re going to hear a lot about 5G
this year, and carriers will try to push customers toward
new 5G phones this autumn. But make no mistake: 5G
is in its infancy. The networks are small and limited, and
will remain so through 2019. The mobile modems that
enable 5G are still pretty inefficient.
You’ll get a 5G iPhone some day, but not until 2020
or maybe even 2021. It will simply take that long to
get reliable and power-efficient modems for iPhones,
together with enough network coverage to do really
good hardware and software testing. Apple doesn’t

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just sell iPhones to a few million early adopters, after


all. A new iPhone model can expect to sell over 100
million units in its first year, and Apple just isn’t going to
take the risk on networking gear that might provide an
unsatisfactory user experience.
There’s been a persistent rumour of Apple working
on its own 5G cellular modems, but you shouldn’t
expect that in 2019. Expect the A13 in the iPhone this
year to be paired with the latest Intel modem, likely the
XMM 7660. It’s much like the XMM 7560 in the iPhone
XS today, but with support for higher maximum speeds
and compatibility with more LTE bands.

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9 useful Control Centre


shortcuts for iPhone
Your iPhone lets you use a calculator, takes notes, and more – all
without unlocking the device. Leif Johnson reports

I
f you’re not using the customizable controls in your
iPhone’s Control Centre, you’re simply not getting
the optimal experience. There’s a good chance you’re
not, as personal experience has taught me that many
people don’t even know Control Centre exists. In fact,
iOS now includes 20 different Control Centre shortcuts
to key Apple apps and features on your iPhone, all of

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which are better uses of your time than sifting through


the pile of apps on the home screen. Even better, you
don’t even need to unlock your phone to get to them.
You can add all 20 if you wish, but you’ll get the
best experience if you use the ones listed below.
First, a quick primer on how to use these. To access
Control Centre on the iPhone X, XS, XR, and the iPad,
place your finger in the upper right-hand corner of the
display and swipe down. On an older iPhone, swipe up
on the display from the bottom edge of the screen.
To add the shortcuts below to your Control Centre,
go to the Settings app, then press Control Centre
and then Customize Controls. While the Camera and
Flashlight shortcuts are super useful, I didn’t include
the Camera and Flashlight shortcuts here because
they stay on the lock screen of the iPhone XS and
iPhone XR, where they’re far more convenient.

1. Calculator
This one doesn’t need much explanation. At the swipe
of a finger, you get access to Apple’s built-in calculator
app on the iPhone. (As a reminder: you can get many
more options if you turn the calculator to landscape
mode.) It’s probably the Control Centre shortcut I use
the most – which is why I’m shocked that Apple still
doesn’t have a version of Calculator on the iPad. This
one’s iPhone-only.

2. Low Power Mode


If you know you’re going to be away from a charger for
most of the day, switching your iPhone to Low Power
Mode early on is a good way to squeeze as much life

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Seriously, though: how can you call the iPad a


‘pro’ device and then not include a calculator?

out of it as possible. Press the shortcut from your


Control Centre, and your iPhone will disable ‘Hey,
Siri’, minimize some visual effects, stop checking for
new email, and disable both automatic downloads
and background app refreshes. It’ll also pause iCloud
Photos turn on your iPhone’s auto-lock. While you’re
in the Control Centre, you might as well manually dim
the display a bit, too.

3. Voice Memos
I’m constantly taking voice notes, whether to record
ideas for stories while I’m away from my keyboard or to
make little notes for myself when I’m in a rush. Apple’s
built-in Voice Memos app is perfect for this kind of
thing – especially since Apple overhauled it for iOS 12 –
and a smart placement in the Control Centre means you
can capture that stray thought before it disappears.

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4. Notes
If you have time to type something more substantial,
this shortcut takes you straight to a blank page in
Apple’s Notes app. This convenience gives the Notes
app a big leg up over third-party competitors.

5. Magnifying Glass
Press this shortcut, and iOS turns your camera into a
magnifying glass. It’s a pretty good one, too. You can
zoom in, activate the camera’s flash for more light, or
change the image’s tint (which is helpful for making
small objects stand out more visibly than they would
with the naked eye).
In my line of work, I find this is especially helpful
for reading tiny, hard-to-see serial numbers, such
as the one inscribed on the inside of the AirPods’
charging case.

6. Apple TV remote
This shortcut lets you jump to the Apple TV’s remote
control app. Considering how long many of us spend
looking for a normal remote, this is a good way to
make sure you’ve always got one on you – and only
a swipe away, at that.

7. Alarm
If you use your iPhone as an alarm clock like I do, you’ll
find this especially helpful. With a tap of a button, you
can add new alarms, deactivate others, or set multiple
alarms at once. Why isn’t this one higher? Honestly, I
usually set alarms with Siri. Saying, “Hey, Siri, wake me
up at 6.30am” beats even this for simplicity.

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And notice that this is only about


half as close as I could have gone

8. Hearing
The ‘Hearing’ shortcut activates Live Listen, which
essentially transforms your AirPods into hearing aids by
using their microphones to pick up the sound from the
world around you. You’re not going to get medical-grade
hearing augmentation this way, but I’ve found it’s useful
for hearing friends across the dinner table in crowded
restaurants and pubs.

9. Screen Recording
We use this a lot at Macworld. Once you press the
shortcut, your iPhone will start recording what’s on
the screen after three seconds. For us, it’s a good way
to show games or apps in action; for you, it might be
a good way to preserve a video you can’t download.
One catch: Apple will usually stop you from recording
a video from Netflix or a similar service.

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Why you should


get an Apple Pencil
You don’t have to be an artist to get the most out of Apple’s
beautiful stylus. Leif Johnson reports

A
pple’s ads tend to imply that you need to be
some kind of artist if you want to buy an Apple
Pencil, but it’s great for plenty of other things,
even if those things don’t look so hot in the latest TV
spot out of Cupertino. Not everyone needs to use an
Apple Pencil, but you’ll get a lot of use out of one if
you frequently find yourself in the situations below.

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Here’s a simple mind map I made for


this story with the 2018 iPad Pro

A few pointers before we begin. First, as a rule of


thumb, if you’ve never found yourself thinking that
some iPad activity would be easier if you only had a
pen, you probably don’t need an Apple Pencil. Secondly,
there’s a whole range of cheap styluses you can use
with an iPad instead of an Apple Pencil for these tasks,
but keep in mind that they won’t have Apple’s pressure
technology or the Pencil’s sleek design. Many feel like
you’re writing with a stubby crayon.

Handwritten notes and drafts


Some of us still write the occasional first draft by
hand, and no other combination of electronic devices
captures the experience of writing with paper and
pencil like the iPad and Apple Pencil. Paper and ink
still have the edge – even with its admirable precision,
the Apple Pencil still feels a bit like a marker – but the

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stylus and iPad nudge us closer to ditching paper than I


once thought we’d be at this point in history.
This arrangement works well enough for traditional
writing and outlines with the right apps, but sure, you
can just as easily do these things by typing. The Apple
Pencil, though, shines because it lets you circle key
items in your notes, easily make highlights, and scribble
comments in the margins when you’re using specialized
apps such as MyScript Nebo or Notability. Word
processing software still doesn’t successfully mimic
this kind of organic drafting, and the Pencil helps you
enjoy that process without killing a forest.

The iPad as a virtual desktop


Setting up a virtual desktop program such Chrome
Remote Desktop on my iPad saved me a couple of
times when I needed to remotely access a file that’s
only available on my desktop PC. The catch is that it’s
sometimes awkward to interact with the interface of my
Windows machine with my iPad’s display, particularly
when I try to ‘right-click’ with my fingers.
Apple Pencil makes this process more bearable. It’s
almost fun. The slender stylus makes it a lot easier to
pinpoint small icons my fingers would normally obscure,
and holding down the Pencil to ‘right-click’ feels a little
more intuitive. It’s still not as ideal as using a mouse,
but it comes darn close. It’s certainly a big improvement
over prodding with my stubby fingers.

A digital ‘whiteboard’ for presentations


Got a TV that works with AirPlay? Got an HDMI dongle
for your iPad? If you do, you can hook up your iPad

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to an external monitor and use it for presentations.


Plenty of you already know this thanks to Keynote or
PowerPoint. With an Apple Pencil-compatible app like
Microsoft OneNote, though, you can use your iPad as a
‘whiteboard’ in meetings for making mind maps, rough
diagrams, or just for jotting down ideas. It makes for a
significantly more interactive experience in meetings
than merely showing some slides to your coworkers.

Mark up PDFs and screenshots


The humble PDF is still with us and thriving, particularly
in universities, schools, and businesses. I personally
still see a lot of PDF contracts I need to sign. With the

You can mark up anything,


really. Just take a
screenshot and go to town

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help of an app like PDF Expert, you can use your Apple
Pencil to highlight text in a PDF, scribble marginal
notes, and make editing marks as easily as you might
with a piece of paper. The stylus works just as well
with Apple’s screenshot markup tool that’s now built
into both macOS and iOS. It substantially simplifies
actions such as circling text or elements in a photo or
making arrows to point to something. Just scribble on
the screenshot as though you’re writing on paper and
you’ll be ready to send it to someone.

Edit photos in Adobe Lightroom


I suppose this technically still counts as ‘art’, but I’m
a big fan of how easy it is to edit photos in Adobe
Lightroom with an Apple Pencil. It’s a simple enough

We’re fans of how


easy it is to edit
photos in Adobe
Lightroom with an
Apple Pencil

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task with a MacBook and a mouse, but somehow it


always feels like work.
The experience is so much more pleasant on the
iPad when I’m using my Apple Pencil. When I select
a specific area with the Pencil, it feels as though I’m
‘painting’ the image. It allows me to be more precise
than I would have been with my fingers. Even adjusting
the various sliders with the Pencil feels more enjoyable,
and I’ll go so far as to say that it inspires me to be more
creative than I would have been if I’d just used a mouse.
Considering that Lightroom feels this way, I have a lot of
hope that Photoshop will be just as impressive when it
finally drops sometime this year.

Have a little more ‘fun’ browsing


And that brings me to my final point. I would never
suggest that someone buy an Apple Pencil for this
reason, so let’s consider it a complementary feature
to the stuff above.
When I’ve already got an Apple Pencil in my hand
from a task like taking handwritten notes or marking up
a document, I find I enjoy little tasks such as clicking
links or highlighting text more enjoyable with the Pencil
than I do with my bare fingers. It feels more precise.
Sometimes it even feels more responsive. Particularly
when I’ve got my iPad flat on a table.

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How to: Delete Other


storage from an iPhone
That significant Other filling up all your iPhone storage? Here’s
what you can do about it. Jason Cross reports

Y
ou’re trying to download and install the latest
iOS release, or take some photos, or download
that cool app your friend told you about, and
your iPhone says the storage is full.
You’ve already deleted every app you don’t think
you need, and there’s still not enough space. So you
look at your iPhone storage in Settings page and,
sure enough, it’s full. Worst of all, a huge chunk of it

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You’ll find your iPhone storage details


a few layers deep in the Settings app

is just categorized as Other. What’s that supposed to


mean? How do you get rid of it? The Other storage is
mysterious and confusing, and there’s no one answer
that works for everyone, but hopefully this guide will
help you deal with this problem.

Viewing your iPhone storage


To see how much storage all your apps and data are
taking up on your phone, open the Settings app, select
General, then iPhone Storage. At the top of the screen,
you’ll see a bar graph showing your total iPhone storage

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and which types of data are filling it up. Beneath that


you’ll find a list of applications on your phone and
how much room they take up, both for the app itself
and its stored data.
It may take several seconds for your iPhone to
show the graph, as it takes time to scan and analyse
its storage. Even after the chart first appears, you’ll
want to wait several seconds more for it to stabilize, as
the values and app list can change while your phone
completes its analysis.

What is Other, anyway?


Your iPhone Storage menu will show familiar categories
such as Apps, Media, Photos, and Mail, but also an Other
category that is sometimes quite large. It’s common for
Other to span several gigabytes, and but if it’s way over
10GB, it has grown out of control.
The Other category is big and varied, because it’s a
real catch-all category. It’s comprised of system files,
caches, Siri voices (if you’ve downloaded other voices),
logs, updates, and so much more. One of the biggest
culprits for Other growing out of hand is streaming lots
of music and video. When you download video or music
from the iTunes store, TV app, or Music app, it’s indexed
as Media. But streams have caches used to ensure
smooth playback, and those are categorized as Other.
Safari’s caches can start to grow pretty large, too.
And if you send tons of texts with images or video, that
can start to fill up a lot of space.
Your iPhone is supposed to manage these caches to
keep your storage from becoming completely full, but it
doesn’t always do a great job.

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How to reduce the size of Other data


You can’t get rid of Other entirely, but you can usually
reduce its size.
First, let’s try clearing your Safari caches. Open
Settings > Safari and choose Clear History and Website
Data. If you have a lot of Safari tabs open on your
iPhone, you might want to close most of them, too.
You might also want to change Messages to save
fewer old messages. Open Settings, then Messages, and
scroll down to the Message History setting. By default,
Keep Messages is set to Forever, but you may want to
change it to 1 Year or even 30 Days to reduce the data
that the Messages app caches.
Finally, go back to iPhone Storage and look at the
apps list. Most of the apps store data that is categorized

Clearing your Safari data might


reduce the size of Other

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If you’re a heavy texter, your


Messages app might be filling up
your storage with a lot of data

as Apps, but some will keep caches that are categorized


as Other. If, say, the Podcasts app is taking up a couple
gigabytes of space, it’s likely mostly cached data.
Deleting the app and redownloading it might put a
dent in the Other category.

The nuclear option:


Back up and Reset with iTunes
You can go through your iPhone trying to delete every
little cache that could grow the size of Other storage,
but if you really want to make it as small as possible,
you need to back up your phone and reset it. This can
take a little while.

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Create an encrypted backup


to make the restore process
as painless as possible

The best way to do this is to use iTunes on your


Mac or PC. Connect your iPhone to your computer and
launch iTunes. You may be prompted to allow access on
your handset and required to enter your passcode,
which you should do. Select your handset by clicking
the little phone icon in the upper left, and under
Backups, choose This Computer. Checking Encrypt local
backup is a good idea, so your account passwords and
Health data gets backed up, too. Just choose a password
you won’t forget. Click the button to Back up now.
When the backup is done, disconnect your iPhone
and head to Settings > General > Reset and choose
Erase All Content and Settings. This will return your
iPhone to an out-of-the-box state. When it restarts and
it’s in the initial setup process, reconnect it to your
computer with iTunes open, and follow the instructions
on screen to restore your device.
This is the longest and most involved way to reduce
the size of Other storage, but it’s also the best; there’s
just no way to get it any smaller than it will be after a
fresh reset and restore.

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How to: Use Apple to find


retailers that take Apple Pay
Not sure whether you can pay with your iPhone at that shop or
restaurant? Apple Maps may have your answer. Jason Cross reports

A
pple Pay support continues to spread, but still,
it’s not yet so commonplace that you can just
assume you’re going to be able to pay with your
iPhone anywhere you go.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to see if you can
pay with your iPhone at that store, restaurant, or other
retailer: just check Apple Maps.

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Scroll down on a location’s info card


to the Useful to Know section, and
look for the Apple Pay logo

Check for Apple Pay on iOS


On your iPhone, open Apple Maps and search for the
store or restaurant you want to check for Apple Pay
support. Tap on the result you want, and you’ll see an
info card pop up from the bottom of the screen.
This card will feature a button for directions, photos,
buttons to call or visit the location’s website, hours, and
lots of other useful info.
Simply scroll down until you reach the Useful to
Know section. Along with telling you if a place is kid
friendly or takes reservations, you’ll see an Apple Pay

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logo if the location accepts Apple Pay. No logo, no


Apple Pay support. Simple.

Check for Apple Pay on Mac


You can check for Apple Pay using Maps on your Mac,
too. As with iOS, launch the Maps app and find the
business you’re interested in, either through search or
by panning around the map.
Once you find and select the business, a tiny card
will pop up. To get full details on the location, you
have to tap the little info button (the ‘i’ in a circle) on
the right side. This will show you a card very similar to
the one on iOS, with photos, the address, the phone
number, and a few reviews from Yelp. Just as on your
iPhone, you want to scroll down a bit to the Useful to
Know section, just before the Yelp reviews, and look
for the Apple Pay logo.

On Mac, hit the Info button for


the business you want to check

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Scroll down the


business details to
the Useful to Know
section and look for
the Apple Pay logo

Expect the occasional inaccuracy


You should know that, while Apple Maps generally
gives you a very good idea of whether or not a location
accepts Apple Pay, there are some exceptions.
You’re most likely to run into a problem if a big
retail chain has just begun to take Apple Pay, but is
still in the process of updating the payment systems
in its stores. In such a case, Apple Maps may mark a
specific location as accepting Apple Pay before it’s
quite up and running yet.
Similarly, small local businesses might have a
payment system that can accept Apple Pay, but might
not have it set up properly. Or, they may have just
added a point-of-sale system that takes Apple Pay,
but the Maps data has not yet been updated.
These problems are rare, however. The vast majority
of the time, you can count on the Apple Maps listings
to help you find retailers that accept Apple Pay.

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