Monday, March 27, 2017

Monthly Archives: March 2016

Video Editor `OpenShot` 2.0.7 (Beta 4) Released, Adds Universal Linux AppImage Downloads

Changes in OpenShot 2.0.7 (beta 4): improved compatibility and stability on Mac and Windows; support for image sequences; added a new file properties dialog which displays all...

Change WordPress Admin Password and Email from Database

This brief tutorial shows you how to easily and quickly change WordPress admin password and email address from its database. The reason I’m writing this...

A Guide to Install and Use ZFS on CentOS 7

ZFS, short form of Zettabyte Filesystem is an advanced and highly scalable filesystem. It was originally developed by Sun Microsystems and is now part...

How to install Webasyst on CentOS

Webasyst is an open source PHP framework used by web developers for creating sleek multi-user web applications with a back-end and a front-end. It...

Android N: release date, name and features

Rene Millman, Joe Curtis News 17 Mar, 2016 Android N's 'freeform mode' could let users resize app windows Android N is set to be the best Android release yet with tons of improvements and new features. Here’s everything we know so far about the next iteration of Google’s mobile operating system. Jump to: Android N 7.0: release date and device availability Android N 7.0: name Android N 7.0: developer preview Android N 7.0: top features Android N latest news 17/03/2016: Android N may allow users to resize apps' windows with the inclusion of a so-called freeform mode. This mode, detailed in the operating system's guide for developers, lets users change apps' default window sizes and positions, and is designed to be used with larger devices, where making an app window smaller would not make it unreadable. The document reads: "Manufacturers of larger devices can choose to enable freeform mode, in which the user can freely resize each activity. If the manufacturer enables this feature, the device offers freeform mode in addition to split-screen mode." The feature is not included in the developer preview, according to Ars Technica, which speculates it could be used should Google decide to merge its Android and Chrome OSes into a single desktop OS. Android N release date and device availability The preview version of Android N was made available on 9 March by Google. Usually, the first look at a new Android OS normally happens at Google I/O, which is scheduled for 18 May 2016. Despite the preview coming far earlier than anticipated, we will no doubt see some more features of the new OS at the show. Google said that the final preview version of Android N will be ready by the summer. Far quicker than in previous years. The final version of the code that consumers will get their hands on will be released around October, around the same time as a new Nexus device. The rollout of Android N to existing Nexus devices will occur in the next few weeks after that. We would expect Android N to land on a Samsung S7 sometime in 2017. Android N name As is a long-established tradition, the name of the Android operating system has a confectionery connotation. We can only speculate on what the name will be; either a dessert or a type of sweets. These names are generic with the exception of KitKat, which, of course, is a brand. Hiroshi Lockheimer, SVP Android, Chrome OS & Chromecast at Google hinted in a Medium post that the next version of Android could be named after another brand of confectionery; namely Nutella. “So, the burning question that’s on everyone’s mind: what will the N release be named? We’re nut tellin’ you yet,” he said. Android N developer preview There is a developer preview available to download. It sports a number of features, such as multiple window support and enhancements to notifications. Dave Burke, Google’s vice president of engineering, described the preview as a “work in progress”, so expect it to be a little rough in places. "We're doing something a little different this year by releasing the preview early... really early," Google vice president of engineering Dave Burke said in a blog post. Android N features Multiple window support Android N will sport a new feature, dubbed Multi-window, which allows multiple windows on a single display. The attribute called android:resizableActivity is available for apps targeting N and beyond. With this enabled, a user can put apps into a split-screen mode. The feature is said to work when users switch from landscape to portrait mode. The apps should be able to handle the reconfiguration themselves. Apps can also go into picture-in-picture mode on devices like TVs. Notifications There are a couple of enhancements to notifications. First, Android N allows users to receive incoming message notifications quickly and conveniently, without leaving the notification shade. There is also a feature called Bundled Notifications. This, as you can work out, groups notifications from the same app together - for example individual messages from a messaging app. Grouped notifications can be expanded into individual notifications by using a two-finger gesture or tapping the new expansion button. Efficiency Android N hopes to eke out more life from your device’s battery when the screen is turned off, like with Doze in Marshmallow, which saves battery when your device is stationary. Doze has a new feature to save battery life as part of Project Svelte, an effort to reduce the memory needs of Android so that it can run on a much broader range of devices. In N, the feature makes background work run more efficiently. Improved Java 8 support Android N brings Java 8 language features to the OS. The latest update means users can access Java 8 language features, including lambdas and more, on Android versions as far back as Gingerbread. This is said to reduce “boilerplate” code. For example, lambdas can replace anonymous inner classes when providing event listeners. Some Java 8 language features - like default and static methods, streams, and functional interfaces - are also now available on N and above.

Install OpenShot 2.0.7 Video Editor On Ubuntu Systems

Download and install OpenShot video editor on Linux Ubuntu Systems. Terminal commands to install OpenShot 2.0.7 video editor on Ubuntu 15.04, Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu...

So You Got an iPhone SE. Here’s How to Get All Your Stuff on...

If you’re among the multitudes who purchased a new iPhone SE, you’re likely in a rush to integrate your new device into your day-to-day. Photos, contacts,...

Ubuntu Make 16.03 Released With Eclipse JEE And IntelliJ IDEA EAP Support, More

fix Unity3D on lts mesa; fix VSCode license page due to server changes; fix Android-NDK not working due to server changes (download is now for 64bit...

How To Stream Audio To A Chromecast Or DLNA / UPnP Device From Linux...

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:qos/pulseaudio-dlna sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install pulseaudio-dlna Now, to run it, type the following in a terminal: pulseaudio-dlna pulseaudio-dlna --codec mp3 --encoder-backend=ffmpeg Of course, this was the...

Barclays Apple Pay launch delayed again, expected by end of May

How do I sign up for Apple Pay in the UK? And when will Barclays finally get Apple Pay? Apple Pay launched in the UK on 14 July 2015. In this article we answer all the other questions UK readers are asking about Apple Pay and its UK launch: how Apple Pay works; how to set up and use Apple Pay; which UK shops and retailers support the Apple Pay service; Apple Pay security; and likely launch dates for Apple Pay in other European countries. We're also very interested in when each UK bank, building society and credit card will support Apple Pay. The biggest mystery remains Barclays - we look at that bank and its imminent (ish) roll-out of Apple Pay in the dedicated section When will Barclays get Apple Pay? If you've got any more questions about the Apple Pay service or its launch here in the UK, let us know on Twitter or post them to the comments below. And don't forget to answer our poll: Are you going to sign up for Apple Pay? For Macworld's verdict on the service, read our Apple Pay review. Also read: Apple rumours and predictions for 2016 Main sections in this article: Apple Pay launch details UK banks & credit cards that support Apple Pay (updated, 29 March 2016, with the news that Barclays' Apple Pay launch has been delayed again: a customer service rep told one of our readers that it is "expected to go live in next couple of months" - which translates to the end of May 2016) UK shops that support Apple Pay Apps that work with Apple Pay How to set up and use Apple Pay Apple Pay security, privacy and fraud Which Apple devices support Apple Pay? Alternatives to Apple Pay Apple Pay UK launch: Apple Pay UK launch details Apple Pay officially launched in the UK on 14 July 2015. A first tier of UK banks offered Apple Pay support immediately (including NatWest, Santander and Nationwide), but a second wave will have to wait until later in the year. Apple Pay's UK launch came roughly nine months after the US launch of Apple Pay on 20 October 2014, as part of the iOS 8.1 update. Apple Pay saw 1 million activations in its first three days, according to Apple. We're not sure how quickly retailers will adapt to the service. The experiences of our colleagues at Macworld US suggests that it will take a few weeks for the training to kick in, and that the early days will see more than a few shop assistants (and iPhone owners) struggling to cope with the new technology. Read next: How to use Apple Pay in the UK Apple Pay launch date: When will Apple Pay launch around the rest of the world? As a UK-based site, we were most interested in Apple Pay's British launch. But we do have readers hailing from other nations, many of whom are keen to know when they'll be able to use Apple Pay. Canada & Australia Apple Pay launched in the US first of all; here in the UK we were second to join the party. The service has since launched in Canada, and will launch in Australia on Thursday 26th November 2015. There is one caveat: in both Canada and Australia Apple Pay is available only for American Express customers. Read more: Apple Pay coming to Canada and Australia this week, but only for AmEx users Canada has long been ruymoured as an imminent Apple Pay launch venue. Back in April it was reported that Apple Pay was set for a Canadian rollout in autumn 2015, with the Cupertino company in talks with six Canadian banks. My colleague Caitlin McGarry (writing from the US) reported that "Apple picked Canada as its test case for expansion for two main reasons: iPhones are incredibly popular up north and Canadian merchants have already moved to Near-Field Communication-equipped payment terminals, which Apple Pay requires." Belgium A careless tweet from a Belgian bank recently suggested that, against expectations, that country might be the next part of Europe to start accepting Apple Pay. KBC responded to an individual query by stating, quite matter-of-factly, that "this will be possible as of this summer. Have a nice day." We wish other tech rumours could be dealt with in this sort of way. Sadly, that eminently straightforward statement has since been retracted - but we're not sure if it's been retracted because the bank was mistaken in its belief that it would be able to offer Apple Pay as of summer 2015 (which seems unlikely), or if it got in trouble with Apple for spilling the beans. Here's the retraction: China AppleInsider reports that a deal has been struck to bring Apple Pay to China. Read next: How to use Apple Wallet to pay for things with your iPhone Poll: Have you used Apple Pay? Fellow UK Apple fans! Have you used Apple Pay yet? Let us know by answering our poll: Which UK banks and credit cards support Apple Pay? Pretty much all of the big UK banks have committed themselves to joining Apple Pay, although not all were part of the scheme when it launched in the UK on 14 July. It was announced that American Express, First Direct, HSBC, NatWest, Nationwide, RBS, Santander and Ulster Bank would support Apple Pay at the UK launch, although HSBC and its subsidiary First Direct mysteriously dropped off the list at the last minute. They have since adopted Apple Pay support. Then, on 11 September, Lloyds Bank and Halifax both announced that they were launching Apple Pay for their customers, and Bank of Scotland and MBNA added support earlier in August. TSB and Tesco Bank finally joined the scheme in November 2015. M&S Bank has joined too. Barclays, the only major UK bank that didn't commit itself when Apple Pay's UK launch was first announced, has now said it will join - but not until 2016. Let's look at those banks in a bit more detail and talk about their plans for joining - or not joining - the Apple Pay scheme. In alphabetical order: When will my UK bank or credit card get Apple Pay: American Express Launch partner. Started supporting Apple Pay in the UK as of the launch on 14 July 2015. Read American Express's Apple Pay web page for more details. AmEx's UK Twitter feed may provide more updates. When will my UK bank or credit card get Apple Pay: Bank of Scotland Confirmed by Apple as 'Coming soon' at the launch. Bank of Scotland wasn't part of Apple Pay when it launched in the UK in July 2015. It is, however, now available for Bank of Scotland customers and you can find out more here. When will my UK bank or credit card get Apple Pay: When will Barclays get Apple Pay? The big name missing from the list, unfortunately for the writer of this article, is Barclays - which says it's still in negotiations about joining. At one point we said that "it would be a surprise if Barclays didn't join Apple Pay by the end of [2015]", but in very late March 2016 there is still no movement. This is a surprise as well as a disappointment; going by the results of our poll, above, plenty of people care enough about Apple Pay to switch banks to get it. Update, 29 March 2016: Over the long Easter weekend we passed the (unofficial) deadline that had been given to a customer by Barclays' personal and corporate banking CEO, yet the bank's customer still haven't got access to Apple Pay. Not happy with this state of affairs, one of Macworld's readers complained to Barclays customer support and asked for an update - and then passed on the update to us. It's disappointing news. As you can see in the screengrabs below, rather than the late-March timeframe previously discussed by Mr Vaswani, the customer service rep could only apologise and state that "Apple Pay is expected to go live with Barclays in the next couple of months", which translates to a very rough end of May. This after the same Mr Vaswani said the service would launch "very early in the New Year", and after almost the entirety of UK banking managed to line up Apple Pay support in 2015. All very disappointing. These are only segments of a longer chat conversation, which Macworld has seen. Our reader wished to be identified only as Bob; he also asked us to blur out the name of the (blameless) service rep. Update, 26 January 2016: We've got a date for Barclay's Apple Pay roll-out - sort of. On 12 January, a Barclays executive responded to an emailed query from a customer by stating that the bank "will launch Apple Pay, as committed, within the next 60 to 75 days". Image courtesy of Oliver Foster-Burnell Assuming the image shared is genuine - something we have no reason to doubt - then that would be Ashok Vaswani, the personal and corporate banking CEO who predicted the launch "very early in the New Year" back in October 2015 (see next section). But 75 days from the 12th Jan is Sunday 27th March, which hardly counts as very early in the year - nor would that be what most people would view as "shortly" after the October prediction - so customers would be forgiven for questioning whether this really consitutes Barclays fulfilling its commitments. Nevertheless it's great for Barclays customer to hear news of some kind from this quarter, and it could have been a lot worse. If Barclays hits the earlier launch date target - the company could be managing our expectations - then we'd be looking at a roll-out on the 12th March. As a reader points out below, saying the service will launch "within the next 60 to 75 days" does not in fact specify that the launch will happen between those two dates, and suggests that it could have happened at any point before 27 March. At time of writing, however (9 March), it looks unlikely that Apple will beat the earlier of the two deadlines. Update, 8 October 2015: Bad news, everyone. A disgruntled Barclays customer and blogger named Mike Jobson ran out of patience and emailed Ashok Vaswani, Barclays' CEO of personal and corporate banking, to complain about the delays and to demand to know when Barclays would finally offer Apple Pay. Vaswani said that this would happen "very early in the New Year". You can read the full exchange on Mike's blog. Despite the positive spin that Vaswani attempts to put on this news - saying that he "hope[s] that you continue to bank with us particularly since we are launching this shortly" - this comes as a blow to the bank's customers, who had been expecting the launch much earlier. Back in mid July, Macrumors had claimed that a Barclays executive expected to secure Apple Pay support imminently, and this hardly feels like that. That wasn't an official statement, of course, so it would be unfair to hold Barclays to that timeframe specifically, but the fact remains that the bank is months and months behind all of its rivals in the UK. We'll update this article if we hear any more on the Barclays Apple Pay rollout. The bPay factor In fact, Barclays may simply want to entice customers away from Apple Pay and point them towards its own bPay mobile payment service. This service works using a sticker that can be placed on the back of a phone, or through a keyfob, or even a wristband. We can't imagine many Barclays customers finding the bPay system more appealing than Apple Pay. It offers no extra security (Apple Pay has the Touch ID fingerprint sensor), and that means if you lose the sticker, wristband or keyfob anyone can use it for transactions up to £20. What's worse is that you have to pay £14.99 for the sticker, £19.99 for the keyfob and £24.99 for the wristband. For more detail on bPay and its chances of taking down Apple Pay, have a look at Apple Pay vs Barclays bPay: Why Apple's contactless payment system beats Barclays' rival bPay service. So much for bPay. But Barclays could still play ball with Apple, either in tandem with its own service or in preference to it if bPay doesn't work out. Indeed, the bank insists that it's still in negotiations with Apple about Apple Pay, and as we point out above, feels that this will bear fruit imminently. One reader and Barclays customer, who got in touch and threatened to leave Barclays due to the lack of Apple Pay, claims to have received a reply that reads: "We are in talks with Apple to incorporate the Apple Pay service within our app, so that our customers can take optimum advantage of the feature. As soon as an agreement is reached the feature will be incorporated to the Barclays services." Another Macworld reader emailed us with a similar story, although this time the Barclays spokesperson was less specific: "Thank you for your email and even more importantly for being a long standing customer. We are in discussions with Apple and we should be able to announce the result of those discussions very soon. "We are very committed to providing our customers with a broad choice of payment options to make their lives as easy as possible." On Twitter, Barclays responded to a series of customer queries about Apple Pay by saying: "Thanks for your tweets this evening. We can assure you that we've been talking with Apple about how our customers could use Apple Pay in addition to our existing mobile and payment services, and that these talks remain constructive." Barclays is evidently desperately keen to at least give the impression that Apple Pay compatibility is a possibility in the future: we would imagine that the bank has been deluged with requests and queries from customers who want to use Apple Pay. One disgruntled Barclays customer has gone so far as to start a petition calling on the bank to join Apple Pay, and for customers to boycott it and its bPay rival service until this demand is met. At time of writing that petition has only 148 supporters, although these things can always take off suddenly. Barclays' UK Twitter feed will provide more updates when/if the bank comes closer to an agreement with Apple. When will my UK bank or credit card get Apple Pay: Clydesdale Bank Neither a launch partner nor a listed partner under Apple's 'coming soon' list. We rang up the Clydesdale Bank and were told that the bank "is currently considering various opportunities to enable customers to take advantage of new & emerging payment options". That probably means it's waiting to see how successful the Apple Pay scheme proves to be in this country, and how vigorously customers protest against not being able to join in. When will my UK bank or credit card get Apple Pay: Co-operative Bank Neither a launch partner nor a listed partner under Apple's 'coming soon' list. We got in touch with the Co-Operative Bank's press office to ask about its Apple Pay plans. "We are actively looking into our future participation with Apple Pay as part of our investment in Digital," said a spokesperson for the bank. The Co-op Bank's Twitter feed is likely to break the story when/if the bank joins Apple Pay. You can also keep an eye on the bank's website. When will my UK bank or credit card get Apple Pay: Coutts Launch partner. Started supporting Apple Pay in the UK as of the launch on 14 July 2015. The bank released the following statement: "Coutts will offer clients access to Apple Pay, which is transforming mobile payments with an easy, secure and private way to pay, when it launches in the UK. "The introduction of Apple Pay is another way Coutts is making it easier and more secure for customers to do their banking on the move, and just one of the bank's recent digital innovations to make banking more convenient for clients." Read the rest of the statement here. When will my UK bank or credit card get Apple Pay: First Direct As an HSBC subsidiary, First Direct was on the list as an Apple Pay UK launch partner. And like its parent company, First Direct was mysteriously removed from that list on launch day. Based on HSBC's statement, we expected First Direct to offer Apple Pay in the UK by the end of July. Sure enough, First Direct customers are now able to use Apple Pay as of 28 July. Find out more here. When will my UK bank or credit card get Apple Pay: Halifax Halifax wasn't part of Apple Pay when it launched in the UK in July 2015, but the bank said it will join in autumn. As of 11 September, Halifax has indeed joined Apple Pay, and is rolling out support for its customers throughout the day. Find out more here. When will my UK bank or credit card get Apple Pay: Harrods Bank Neither a launch partner nor a listed partner under Apple's 'coming soon' list. We've got in touch with Harrods' press office to ask about Apple Pay, and will update this when we get a statement from the bank. In the meantime, keep an eye on the bank's website for any announcements. When will my UK bank or credit card get Apple Pay: HSBC Oh, HSBC. HSBC was originally slated as an Apple Pay UK launch partner, and we therefore expected the bank to offer Apple Pay support in the UK from 14 July 2015. But it did not do so. One theory holds that HSBC lost its status as a top-tier Apple Pay partner as a punishment for leaking the service's UK launch date beforehand. We're not convinced by this, and there are plenty of practical problems that could have delayed the bank's participation, but it's one of those stories that's too good to die: expect severe internal crackdowns on any leaks ahead of the next wave of banks joining Apple Pay. The good news for the bank's disgruntled customers is that the wait probably won't be a long one. A spokesperson told the BBC that HSBC will join Apple Pay by the end of July. Update, 28 July: HSBC now suports Apple Pay and you can find out more here. When will my UK bank or credit card get Apple Pay: Lloyds Bank Lloyds Bank wasn't part of Apple Pay when it launched in the UK in July 2015, but the bank said it would join in autumn. As of 11 September, the bank has now added support for Apple Pay, and you can find out more here. When will my UK bank or credit card get Apple Pay: M&S Bank M&S wasn't part of the scheme when Apple Pay launched in the UK in July 2015 (although it was confirmed by Apple as 'Coming soon'), but it has since announced that customers can use the service. "M&S Debit and Credit Cards are eligible for Apple Pay, subject to status," the bank says. More details here. When will my UK bank or credit card get Apple Pay: MasterCard Offers Apple Pay. What's more, from 23 November until 14 December 2015, MasterCard has offered to let its customers commute for free on London buses and tubes provided they use Apple Pay to tap in and out. Mondays only, but a nice way of getting people using the service. More details here. When will my UK bank or credit card get Apple Pay: MBNA Currently offers Apple Pay. MBNA wasn't part of the scheme when Apple Pay launched in the UK in July 2015, but it is now. The bank has all the details here. When will my UK bank or credit card get Apple Pay: Nationwide Launch partner. Started supporting Apple Pay in the UK as of the launch on 14 July 2015. When will my UK bank or credit card get Apple Pay: NatWest Launch partner. Started supporting Apple Pay in the UK as of the launch on 14 July 2015. When will my UK bank or credit card get Apple Pay: RBS Launch partner. Started supporting Apple Pay in the UK as of the launch on 14 July 2015. When will my UK bank or credit card get Apple Pay: Santander Launch partner. Started supporting Apple Pay in the UK as of the launch on 14 July 2015. When will my UK bank or credit card get Apple Pay: Tesco Bank Offers Apple Pay. Tesco wasn't a launch partner, but the bank confirmed it had joined in November 2015. When will my UK bank or credit card get Apple Pay: TSB Now offers Apple Pay. We expected TSB to offer Apple Pay before the end of 2015 - it wasn't part of the scheme when Apple Pay launched in the UK - and sure enough, TSB has since joined the party. When will my UK bank or credit card get Apple Pay: Ulster Bank Launch partner. Started supporting Apple Pay in the UK as of the launch on 14 July 2015. When will my UK bank or credit card get Apple Pay: Yorkshire Bank Neither a launch partner nor a listed partner under Apple's 'coming soon' list. As with the Clydesdale Bank, which is owned by the same organisation, we understand that the Yorkshire Bank "is currently considering various opportunities to enable customers to take advantage of new & emerging payment options". We'll update the above list as and when the companies release more detailed statements concerning their Apple Pay plans. If your bank isn't listed, leave us a comment at the bottom of this article and we'll look into it. Apple Pay participating banks: Which US banks support Apple Pay? Obviously we're most interested in the UK banks and building societies that will be working with Apple, but those planning trips abroard may be interested to know which US banks are on board with the scheme. This may also offer clues about the organisations that will adopt Apple Pay in other countries. Apple Pay launched in the US with support from credit and debit cards from American Express, Mastercard and Visa and, Apple said, the six biggest issuing banks in the US. We're not totally sure what issuing banks are, to be honest, but here's what Wikipedia has to say on the subject. The list of Apple Pay-supporting banks includes JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup, but we understand that Apple has set up partnerships with enough banks to cover most credit cards in the US. Coverage is likely to be less comprehensive outside the US, at least at first, but Apple obviously has considerable influence. Later this year Apple says it will add support from Barclaycard, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, USAA and US Bank. UK Apple fans will want to know about banks on this side of the pond, of course: we list participating UK banks a little further up. You can find out whether a specific bank supports Apple Pay by using the website Can I Apple Pay? Or you can quickly scan this list of Apple Pay-supporting banks: Banks that support Apple Pay A+ Federal Credit Union Amegy Bank of Texas America First Credit Union American Express Associated Bank Bank of America Barclaycard BB&T (Branch Banking & Trust) Bethpage Federal Credit Union Black Hills Federal Credit Union California Bank & Trust Capital One Chase Citi Commerce Bank Connex Credit Union Consumers Credit Union Customers Bank Cyprus Federal Credit Union Dupaco Community Credit Union FAIRWINDS Credit Union First Tennessee Bank Fremont Bank Goldenwest FCU Huntington Bank Idaho Central Credit Union J.P. Morgan KeyPoint Credit Union L & N Federal Credit Union M&T Bank MasterCard Meijer Credit Union Merrill Lynch Mountain America Credit Union National Bank of Arizona National Institutes of Health FCU Navy Federal Credit Union Nevada State Bank Partners Federal Credit Union PNC Regions Bank Security Service Federal Credit Union SunTrust TCF National Bank TD Bank N.A. The Bank of Greene County U.S. Bank U.S. Trust USAA UW Credit Union Vectra Bank Virginia Credit Union Visa Wells Fargo WesBanco Bank Western Union Zions First National Bank Here's a full list of Apple Pay participating issuers. American Express is one of the biggest names on there, and snagging big fish like that will be critical in ensuring that Apple Pay achieves the critical mass it needs to become an accepted payment standard. Which UK shops and retailers will support Apple Pay? Apple has boasted that Apple Pay will be available at more locations for its launch UK than it was for the US launch - and there some big names on the list. Marks and Spencers and Waitrose were two names that Apple picked out at the announcements - being, we'd guess, two brands that seem particularly British to an international audience - but Boots, Lidl, Starbucks, Subway and Liberty are also on the list. Eagle-eyed readers will notice that Waitrose and Lidl, while recognisable names, are not the top names in the supermarket game, and it seems that Tesco, Sainsbury and the rest are waiting to see how things go, or hedging their bets with other payment systems. We imagine that if Apple Pay is as popular here as it is in the States, they'll join up soon enough. TfL (Transport for London) will support Apple Pay, too, so you'll be able to pay for Tube and bus journeys with your iPhone or Apple Watch. Click here for a full (and expanding) list of UK shops and apps that work with Apple Pay. ...and which US shops support Apple Pay? At the original launch, Eddie Cue said that there are 220,000 contactless payment points where you'll be able to use Apple Pay, and that Apple is working with large retailers including Macy's, Bloomingdales, Walgreens, Duane Reade, Staples, Subway, McDonalds, Disney Stores, Nike, Toys R Us, Sephora, Petco and Whole Foods. And you can use Apple Pay in Apple Stores, of course. Above: excerpt from Apple's guide to Apple Pay for shops that wish to accept the service Here is a list of Apple Pay-ready shops: Bricks-and-mortar retail stores that accept Apple Pay: Aeropostale American Eagle Outfitters Babies 'R' Us Bi-Lo BJ's Wholesale Club Bloomingdale's Champs Sports Chevron and Texaco, including retail stores like ExtraMile Disney Store Duane Reade ExtraMile FoodMaxx Foot Locker, including Kids Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, House of Hoops, and Run by Foot Locker Footaction Harveys Supermarket Jewel Osco Lucky Macy's McDonald’s Meijer Nike Office Depot Panera Bread Petco and Unleashed by Petco RadioShack Save Mart Supermarkets Sephora Shaws Six:02 Sports Authority Sprouts Farmers Market Staples Star Market Subway Texaco Toys 'R' Us United Supermarkets Unleashed! Walgreens Wegmans Whole Foods Market Winn-Dixie Shops that will roll out Apple Pay compatibility in 2015: Acme Albertsons Anthropologie Free People Urban Outfitters Walt Disney World Resort We'll update this list as companies join (or leave) the Apple Pay family. While Apple Pay didn't get its UK launch at the Apple Watch event (as we had hoped), Tim Cook did offer some facts and figures to let us know how the service is getting on; and one of the more interesting titbits was the fact that Coke is now offering Apple Pay-compatible vending machines. (Not just a few to demonstrate the concept, either - there are currently 40,000 of them, and this is predicted to rise to 100,000 within the year.) No more flattening crinkled dollar bills, Cook said. Oh, and here's one more - although it can't really be described as 'bricks and mortar'. The US airline JetBlue has announced that passengers can use Apple Pay to buy drinks and other onboard items on some of its flights. Could be convenient for those who find it difficult to dig their wallets out while confined to a cramped economy-class seat. This isn't terribly exciting news for us here in the UK, because JetBlue serves only destinations across the Americas. But the way these things tend to work in air travel is by a process of peer pressure: if one airline is offering a new gimmick then the others often feel the need to follow suit. So who knows: an airline with European connections may adopt the service in the near future. The next airline to offer Apple Pay support could easily be United Airlines, which recently equipped 23,000 of its flight attendants with iPhone 6 Plus handsets. Which apps let you use Apple Pay? You can use Apple Pay in apps, including non-Apple apps - the more the merrier, as far as Apple's concerned. A good range of e-commerce apps work with Apple Pay, including Groupon, Uber (the taxi app that caused so much furore among London cabbies), the Starbucks, Disney and Target apps, and OpenTable. But, in keeping with its recent open approach to developers, Apple is making overtures to encourage more apps to be built to support Apple Pay. For more insight on how app developers can work with Apple Pay, take a look at the company's introduction: Getting started with Apple Pay [pdf]. Here's a list of apps that presently support Apple Pay: Apps that work with Apple Pay 20Stamps Airbnb Apple Store app Chairish Dapper Dealflicks Movies Disney Store Drync Eventbrite Fancy Flextrip Gametime GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine Groupon Hotel Tonight Houzz Indiegogo Instacart JackThreads Keep Shopping Levi's Stadium LIFX Lyft Merchbar MLB.com OpenTable Panera Bread Pose Postmates Priceline Print Studio Sephora Sosh SpotHero - Parking Deals Spring Staples Stayful StubHub! Target ThirdLove Threadflip Ticketmaster TouchOfModern Uber And Apple says the Starbucks app will soon be compatible with Apple Pay too. How to set up and use Apple Pay At its iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus launch event last September, Apple also debuted what it called "an entirely new category of service": a mobile payments system called Apple Pay. This new mobile payment service is basically designed to let you pay for things with your iPhone (or Apple Watch or iPad, in slightly different and more limited ways). Sorry, it will "change the way you pay for things forever". (If you want to know what other Apple brands and related tech terms mean, take a look at our Apple user's jargon buster.) You will need to set up Apple Pay using the Passbook app (which will be renamed as Wallet when iOS 9 launches - here's how to use Apple Wallet app). Apple Pay has a transaction limit in the UK of £20, which is the same with any NFC-based payment system, but that figure is expected to grow in the coming months - indeed, some UK shops have already installed a software update that allows their readers to process larger transactions when verified by Apple Pay's Touch ID. We walk you through Apple Pay setup in the next section. How to set up & use Apple Pay: How do I get started with Apple Pay? Setting up Apple Pay is pretty straightforward, although one glitch has been observed. First of all, if you've got a credit or debit card linked to your Apple ID already (for making iTunes and App Store purchases), you can just carry on using that with Apple Pay. Alternatively, you can add a new card to your account. Either way, launch Passbook (or Wallet, once iOS 9 launches in the autumn) and select Add Credit or Debit Card, then "Add Another Card". Fill in the required fields. If the card you're setting up is already associated with iTunes this process will simply require you to enter the security code, but a new card will take a bit more work. Instead of typing in all those fiddly numbers, you can use your iPhone camera to 'read' the information on your card. The software will walk you through the process: you just need to line up your card in the frame, then add a few additional details afterwards, such as the security code. Tap next. At this point (even if it's a card that was linked to your Apple ID already) your iPhone will need to verify your card. This process varies from bank to bank. Tap Next after verification is complete, and you're ready to go. We go over this process in a bit more detail in our article How to set up and use Apple Pay in the UK. If the option to add your cards doesn't appear, there's a fix available. Simply go to Settings > General > Language & Region and change the region from United Kingdom to United States and then restart your iPhone. Once restarted, you should be able to add (supported) bank cards to be used with Apple Pay. Once you've added your bank cards, simply head back into the Settings app, change the region back to United Kingdom and restart your phone once more. How to set up & use Apple Pay: How does Apple Pay work? Your Touch ID fingerprint scanner is key to the whole thing, but you will also need a specific NFC antenna that is built into certain Apple devices. If the shop you're in supports Apple Pay (more on that later), they will have a little sensor by the till. You put your iPhone on the sensor, put your finger on the Touch ID fingerprint scanner to identify yourself, and that's it. The underlying technology is NFC (which stands for 'Near Field Communication'), a standard that Android phones have used for mobile payments for some time. Google Wallet is based on NFC. Indeed, NFC has been around since the late 1990s, appearing in key fobs, building passes, Oyster cards and similar. There are NFC antennae in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but not in any earlier iPhones. There are also NFC chips in the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, but they appear to be deactivated for the time being; no iPad is able to use the full, in-store version of Apple Pay. But we'll get into all that later in this article. Source: Apple's developer-focused introduction, Getting started with Apple Pay [pdf] How to use Apple Pay: How does Apple make money out of Apple Pay? Not by collecting purchase or customer data, apparently. (We discuss the privacy aspects of Apple Pay further down.) Apple says it will levy a fee on each purchase from the banks involved in the system. Apple insists it won't charge users, merchants or developers: in its new Apple Pay FAQs, the company confirms that it "doesn't charge any additional fees" for merchants to accept Apple Pay. How to set up & use Apple Pay: Is Apple Pay easy to use? Apple Pay has only just launched in the UK, but our experience so far suggests that it's exactly as simple and speedy as Apple led us to believe. Wild rumours suggested that Apple Pay took up to seven seconds to beep its owner into the London Underground (more than long enough to create vast discontent in the queue behind you) but our experience suggests otherwise: it seems to be more or less the same speed as any other contactless payment method. For a deeper (and longer-term) write-up of Apple Pay and its general convenience and ease of use, we turn to our American sister site Macworld US, which has reported extensively on the customer experience. "I didn't experience any cashier confusion or glitches when I used Apple Pay, except when I tried to buy pumpkin-shaped Snickers at Rite Aid," writes one of our US colleagues. It's another world over there, isn't it? More seriously, the writers found the service broadly user-friendly and easy to master. "It's secure, easy to use, and quick," they observe. "Rummaging through your bag or pocket for your phone takes considerably less time than digging for your wallet and then fumbling through until you find your card." But there were some problems, at that early stage in Apple Pay's US adoption, getting shop workers to grasp the way the system works. Processing refunds proved to be particularly tricky. "Since Apple Pay randomises the card number for merchants and prints out that fake card number on the receipt, I had a feeling that returns would be problematic, even though Apple insists it wouldn't be. As it turns out, I was right... and I was wrong," writes Leah Yamshon. "There was a brief hiccup at American Eagle, when the cashier asked if he could see my credit card to confirm that the last four digits matched what was on my receipt (just like my old store!). I explained that I had used Apple Pay, and that the receipt wouldn't match my card because of the system's security measures. Stumped, the associate called his manager over, and we filled her in what was going on. The manager told me that she still needed to see my actual credit card to make the return, explaining that I couldn't get a refund without swiping the card. It was a learning experience for both of us." Yamshon wisely predicts that hiccups of this sort are sure to ease as Apple Pay becomes more widely understood. We should therefore brace ourselves for difficulties in the early months after Apple Pay launches in the UK, but at the same time be reaassured that they won't last forever. Read Macworld US's full hands-on test of Apple Pay: Two coasts, 10 days: Macworld's thorough field test of Apple Pay Here's a couple of mini videos showing how easy Apple Pay is to use: How to set up & use Apple Pay: How do refunds and returns work? As our colleagues describe in their hands-on review above, there's likely to be some confusion about processing refunds and returns, and for the first few months after Apple Pay launches in the UK you may find yourself guiding the shop assistant as much as they do you. But it shouldn't be too hard in practice. Apple explains: "How do I process returns with Apple Pay? "Use the Device Account Number to find the purchase and process the return, just like you would with a traditional credit or debit card payment. To see the last four or five digits of the Device Account Number, ask the customer to go to Passbook, tap the card, and tap i on the lower-right corner of the display. "You can also have the customer hold their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus near the reader, select the card they used to make the original payment, and authorize the return with Touch ID or passcode." In other words, it should be as simple as touching your iPhone to the reader - but we'll see how it works out 'on the street'. Read next: ApplePay aims to replace your wallet with an iPhone How to set up & use Apple Pay: Can I use Apple Pay online? Yes. Apple called this "one-touch checkout", since there's far less need to enter data than in most online payment systems. Apple Pay security: How does Apple Pay safeguard my privacy and protect me against fraud? Is Apple Pay secure? The short answer is yes, we're pretty sure it is - and it's almost certainly more secure than previous payment methods. But the long answer is a bit more complicated. It's impossible to say with any certainty that Apple Pay's security is watertight until we've tested it out for ourselves over a decent period of time. But Apple execs have fallen over themselves to insist that security was a priority from day one. If the iPhone is lost or stolen, for instance, you can use Find My iPhone to suspend all payments from that device. There's no need to cancel the credit card, because the number isn't stored on the device, as we already mentioned - we can thank tokenisation for that. Your credit card number isn't given to the merchant. What you're doing, rather, is creating a device-only account number and storing it in the secure element. "You use a one-time payment number and a dynamic security code," said Eddie Cue. Read next: Is Apple Pay safe? Find out if you're at risk by using Apple Pay The secure element is a hardware component - a chip inside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus where sensitive data can be stored. Secure element is a generic term for protected memory on smart cards, and the data on the secure element isn't even accessible to iOS (it's only accessed via a random code during the transaction). Hackers wouldn't be able to get hold of your credit card details if they hacked your phone. And it's apparently able to sense if someone is dismantling the phone in an attempt to access the data on the secure element. It's also worth mentioning that Apple has a strong record when it comes to payment systems. Even the biggest payment platforms suffer compromises from time to time, but Apple has built up customer trust when purchasing through iTunes and the App Stores. Apple hasn't been immune from security problems, admittedly, with the nude celebrity photo leak from iCloud recently put at its door. (The company did claim that this was the result of a targeted attack on password and usernames, mind you, rather than a failure of iCloud's security systems.) But even if some pundits felt its initial response to the leak was lacklustre (or even victim-blaming), it then responded by insisting that security will be beefed up in iOS 8: pushing two-factor authentication and sending additional security warnings. Apple is taking security seriously. Incidentally, Tim Cook pointed out that the system Apple Pay is proposing to replace isn't exactly super-secure itself, since it's easy to lose a credit card or have it compromised. "This whole process is based on this little piece of plastic," he said. "And whether it's a credit or debit card, we're totally reliant on the exposed numbers and the outdated and vulnerable magnetic strip. Which, by the way, is five decades old. And the security codes, which aren't that secure." We address this concern in still more detail in separate articles: Here are the security questions raised by Apple Pay and Apple Pay's security pros and cons. Apple Pay security: Could a hacker steal my credit-card details from the iPhone? Apparently not. As a security measure, the credit card details aren't actually stored on the iPhone, or on Apple's servers. (It may be worth mentioning that Google Wallet works differently: Google keeps your card details on its servers.) Apple says the payment network or issuing bank will provide a Device Account Number, using a technique called tokenisation: replacing a sensitive piece of data with a random piece of data that typically has the same format. Tokenisation reduces or removes the need to update existing systems that require a credit-card number, without exposing the real number to theft. But here's one last word on security. One site reckons that Apple Pay and other electronic wallet technologies are actually making it easy to commit credit-card fraud. It reports that criminals are bypassing the security checks by using the old-fashioned fraud method - buying hacked credit-card details - and then setting these up on an iPhone's Apple Pay system, which then allows them to pay for goods without any identification checks beyond the fingerprint - which won't be a problem, because it's the fraudster's phone, even though it's not his credit card. Obviously this is hardly Apple's fault, nor is it really a new problem - it simply makes the fraud process slightly smoother for criminals who have already got their victim's credit-card details. Read more details for yourself here. Read next: Fraud comes to headlines about Apple Pay Apple Pay security: If I'm hit by fraud on Apple Pay, will I be liable for any losses? The situation should remain much the same as when using credit or debit cards on their own. In its guide for merchants, Apple explains about fraud liability: "Will I [the merchant] be liable for fraud on Apple Pay transactions? "Apple Pay transactions are treated in the same way as your current credit and debit transactions. You'll have the same liability rules applied to Apple Pay transactions." Regulations in the UK dictate that cardholders are not held financially liable for any fraud on their cards, "provided you have not acted fraudulently or without reasonable care (e.g. you haven't written down your PIN and haven’t disclosed it to someone else)", and this will apply under Apple Pay too. Payments made using Apple Pay in a shop are classified as card-present transactions, by the way. Payments made using Apple Pay within apps are card-not-present transactions. This has some ramifications in terms of liability if something goes wrong, but either way it shouldn't be you picking up the tab. More information on card fraud liability here and here. Apple Pay security: What about privacy - can I be tracked if I pay using Apple Pay? Apparently not. Eddie Cue insisted: "Security is at the core of Apple Pay; but so is privacy. We are not in the business of collecting your data." (Was that a shot at Google?) When you go to a shop, Apple doesn't get to know what you bought, how much you paid for it, or any other personal details. The guy behind the counter doesn't get to see your name or your credit card number - all of which are potential weak spots of the current system, under which cards are occasionally cloned and ripped off. Read next: Apple's mobile payment rolling out despite problems Which iPhones and other Apple devices work with Apple Pay? The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. As well as the Touch ID fingerprint scanner that's integral to Apple Pay's identification system, the new iPhones have a dedicated NFC antenna built across the top. Obviously we'd expect future iPhones to support the service too. If you're wondering about them, read our iPhone 7 rumours, our iPhone 6s rumours and our iPhone 6c rumours. Can I use the Apple Watch with Apple Pay? Apple Pay works with the Apple Watch too, which is a thoroughly appealing prospect. Apple states that the watch will have to be paired with an iPhone (the 5 or later) in order to do this. Here's how Apple describes the process of paying with an Apple Watch: "Double-click to pay and go. You can pay with Apple Watch - just double-click the button next to the Digital Crown and hold the face of your Apple Watch near the contactless reader. A gentle pulse and beep confirm that your payment information was sent." Do any iPads support Apple Pay? Yes, to a limited extent. The iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 can be used for fingerprint-secured online payments via Apple Pay, but not for the one-touch payment in shops with NFC sensors. Then again, it's hard to imagine many people pulling out a full-size iPad to pay for a coffee. Most tech sites (this one included) had speculated that the new iPads simply didn't include an NFC antenna, but that theory has been exploded: iFixit has done a teardown on each of the new models and, sure enough, found a mysterious NFC module. It's unclear, then, why the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 can't use the full version of Apple Pay - nor why Apple bothered to include an NFC antenna in these devices. It's possible that Apple will activate the feature down the line. Or it may have other functions in mind for the NFC feature, such as device-to-device money transfers or smart home controls. And will any Macs support Apple Pay? Maybe the online version of Apple Pay will be added to the Mac line at some point. As with the iPads, it's clearly hard to imagine even a Mac mini or supersvelte MacBook Air being whipped out at the till in Starbucks, but this would be an immense convenience for online shopping. Sure enough, there has been considerable speculation about Touch ID being added to Apple's Mac line-up at some point in the future - specific Touch ID rumours attached to the next MacBook Air, although that turned out to be wrong. What rival services will Apple Pay have to beat? As usual when discussing Apple rivals, two names leap to mind: Google and Samsung. There are a few other services out there, but we'll deal with those two first. Google Wallet first. This has been around for a few years now, but it's a little different to Apple Pay. For one thing, it lets you store debit and credit card details on your mobile, whereas Apple Pay uses tokenisation to ensure that the details aren't stored on the iPhone. (There has been some criticism of Google Wallet's security, but it should be pointed out that the company has implemented security measures including the storing of the details in the NFC chip's secure element.) And Google Wallet offers wider compatibility than Apple Pay. See: What you need to know about Google Wallet. By the way, Google Wallet still hasn't launched in the UK, and our colleagues on PC Advisor don't think it will in the foreseeable future. Samsung Pay, by contrast, hasn't launched at all yet; its predecessor, Samsung Wallet, was at time of writing scheduled to close down in late June 2015 to make way for this new service. (Samsung cited poor adoption.) Samsung Pay more closely matches Apple Pay (cynics might accuse Samsung of copycat behaviour, but it actually acquired its way into the mobile payment arena) and should offer similar security and ease of use. We compare Apple Pay and Samsung Pay (or what we know about the latter so far) in a dedicated article: How will Samsung Pay compare to Apple Pay? What other mobile payments services are there? There's CurrentC, whose prospects a colleague discusses here: The Macalope: Which is doomed, Apple Pay or CurrentC? And Amazon had an app called Wallet that ran in beta for a while, but that appears to have been shelved now. Finally, as we mentioned in the dedicated Barclays section, bPay is another rival to Apple Pay but has a number of shortcomings by comparison. We think Google Wallet is the main challenger in this department (in fact, given how long it's been around, we should probably say that Apple Pay is the challenger to Google Wallet). But the thing about mobile payments is that competition will be good for all the participants, at least until it becomes mainstream. Adverts by each of the services, and seeing other people use them, will combine to increase general awareness that paying in shops with your mobile is something that we do now, and help to ease worries about security, and feelings of embarrassment about being a show-off. Why isn't Apple Pay called iWallet? We don't know. But what with the iWatch turning out to be plain old Apple Watch, some pundits are wondering if Apple is cooling on the prefix. It was becoming a little bit of a cliche.

Help! Safari keeps crashing

Hot Topics iPhone SE first look Apple's 21 March iPhone SE launch iPad Air 3 preview Funny things to ask Siri iPhone 7 New 21in iMac Help! Safari keeps crashing Stop Apple's Safari web browser from crashing with our guide to fixing common web browser problems. Updated 29 March 2016 to feature the iOS 9.3 bug. by Lou Hattersley | 4 hours ago Advertisement Safari Suggestions bug 1 Crash Safari 2 Too many tabs? 3 Software Update 4 Clear website data 5 Clear out the cookies 6 Remove Flash 7 Extensions 8 Single extensions 9 Virus scanner 10 Try Firefox 11 Delete preferences 12 More stories Next Prev Step 1 of 12: Why is Safari crashing? Safari bug causes iOS & Mac to crash - here's how to fix it On 27 January, many iOS and Mac users found that their Safari browser would crash every time they tried to tap the URL bar, or sometimes a new tab, completely closing the Safari app and forcing them to launch it again, only to experience the same issue continuously. The problem is reportedly being caused by Apple's Safari Suggestions, which is the feature that offers up automatically completed URLs as you type in the URL bar. These autocompletes come from Apple's server, so even if you haven't updated your browser or device recently, you could still experience the issue. There's currently no official fix for the issue but there is a temporary workaround that'll stop Safari from crashing on your iPad or iPhone. You'll need to go to Settings > Safari and turn off Safari Suggestions. On your Mac you can use Private Browsing mode by clicking File > New Private Window. On 28 January, Apple seemed to have fixed the issue, but with the release of iOS 9.3 on 21 March 2016, a lot of users have reported the same problem - as seen in this video. It seems that users across all different devices running on iOS 9.3 are experiencing the problem. We also suggest trying to switch off JavaScript in Safari through Settings > Safari > Advanced, in order to try and get a temporary fix for the problem. Some reported it as a workaround fix, whilst others are still having problems. You can always use another browser, such as Chrome or Puffin Web Browser. Read on if you're looking for information about the Crash Safari bug. You might also like: iPhone 7 release date rumours Next Step » Advertisement Next Prev On 27 January, many iOS and Mac users found that their Safari browser would crash every time they tried to tap the URL bar, or sometimes a new tab, completely closing the Safari app and forcing them to launch it again, only to experience the same issue continuously. The problem is reportedly being caused by Apple's Safari Suggestions, which is the feature that offers up automatically completed URLs as you type in the URL bar. These autocompletes come from Apple's server, so even if you haven't updated your browser or device recently, you could still experience the issue. There's currently no official fix for the issue but there is a temporary workaround that'll stop Safari from crashing on your iPad or iPhone. You'll need to go to Settings > Safari and turn off Safari Suggestions. On your Mac you can use Private Browsing mode by clicking File > New Private Window. On 28 January, Apple seemed to have fixed the issue, but with the release of iOS 9.3 on 21 March 2016, a lot of users have reported the same problem - as seen in this video. It seems that users across all different devices running on iOS 9.3 are experiencing the problem. We also suggest trying to switch off JavaScript in Safari through Settings > Safari > Advanced, in order to try and get a temporary fix for the problem. Some reported it as a workaround fix, whilst others are still having problems. You can always use another browser, such as Chrome or Puffin Web Browser. Read on if you're looking for information about the Crash Safari bug. You might also like: iPhone 7 release date rumours Step 2 of 12: There's a website that can crash your iPhone, Android, Mac & PC A new bug that's sweeping the web through social media and plaguing users with prankster friends causes your browser on any device or computer to crash with just one link. Visiting CrashSafari.com will crash your iPhone, iPad, Android phone, Android tablet, Mac or PC. Some clever but mean person (22-year-old Matthew Bryant, a security expert from San Fran, apparently) has come up with a complicated string of code that will overload the browser and make it freeze and then crash within seconds. As far as we're aware, CrashSafari.com works on any browser, not just Safari, so if you click the link it's likely that you're going to run into problems, hence why people are sharing the link (using shorteners like Bit.ly or Tiny URL) with their friends via text messages and on Facebook and Twitter to trick them. Step 3 of 12: Too many tabs: close some of them Is your version of Safari crashing in OS X? Or is Safari running so slowly on your Mac that you can't use it properly? In this feature we're going to look at what to do when Apple's Safari web browser isn't running properly. The first thing to check is how many windows or tabs you have open. A common problem is that people keep opening tabs in Safari. Each tab or window takes up a little space in memory. Have too many tabs open and Safari starts fighting for resources with other apps, and it ends up running far more slowly than it should. So close some tabs and windows in Safari. Hold down the Option key and choose File > Close Other Tabs. Now every page other than the one you are looking at will be closed. If you have too many windows open choose File > Close All Windows. See also: How to force quit on a Mac, close programs that aren't responding Apple issues OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 update to solve WiFi woes How to use the Safari web browser on the Mac Step 4 of 12: Check with Software Update to see if it fixes the problem Web browsers are updated far more frequently than other pieces of software. Apple regularly updates Safari to address security concerns, so open App Store and click Update to see if a new edition is available. That may fix the problem of Safari running slowly. There are dozens of extensions available for Safari. Read more about the new Extensions for Safari here. Here's how to use OS X Yosemite Extensions and The top 10 Yosemite Extensions Step 5 of 12: Clear website data to see if Safari runs better When you visit a web page in Safari it stores a copy of it in a cache. This copy enables it load the web page faster next time you visit. One way to clear the cache is to get rid of all your website data, including your web browsing history. Click Safari > Clear History and Website Data. Now set the the Clear option to All History and click Clear History. Step 6 of 12: Clear out the cookies if Safari gets stuck Cookies are small files that websites store in your browser to track users. They are another piece of data that could be causing problems. To get rid of them click Safari > Preferences > Privacy and Remove All Website Data. Step 7 of 12: Get rid of Flash to get Safari running better Flash is software used to play video and other interactive content. Many websites have switched to HTML 5, which is less problematic. We think you'll be happier if you get rid of Flash. Adobe has a handy Uninstall Flash Player for Mac OS guide that you can follow. Step 8 of 12: Turn off extensions Extensions (often called plug-ins on other browsers) provide additional functionality to Safari, but they can cause problems. Choose Safari > Preferences > Extensions to see all the extensions on your system. Try setting Extensions to Off and see if this helps. Step 9 of 12: Finding a problem extension If Safari works better with all extensions turned off, you should go through your extensions one at a time to see which one is causing problems. Open Safari > Preferences > Extensions and set Extensions to On. Now use the Enable check-box next to each extension and turn them all off. Turn them on one at a time to see which one is problematic, and leave that one set Off until an update is provided. Step 10 of 12: Turn off Virus scanners Virus scanners pay close attention to Safari, because it's the Mac's main portal to the internet. It should allow you to get on fine, but if you have a virus scanner try turning it off to see if that helps. If that helps try switching to a different virus program. Step 11 of 12: Try Firefox to fix single unruly sites If you find Safari isn't working for just one website, then try using a different browser. Some websites, especially old sites, struggle with providing support for a variety of browsers. Firefox tends to be the most compatible and you can use it to visit that one site. Step 12 of 12: Delete the preferences If you've tried everything else and Safari still doesn't work you can delete the preferences from your Home/Library folder. Quit Safari and choose File > Go To Folder in Finder. Enter ~/Library/Safari/ into the Go To Folder Window (don't miss the tilde '~' at the start) and click Go. This opens your preferences folder. Drag everything in this folder to Trash and restart Safari. When you restart Safari it will recreate these files as if you have just performed a clean installation. How to use the Safari web browser on the Mac | How to clear website history and cookies in Safari Comments Please enable JavaScript to view comments How to watch Microsoft Build 2016 live stream - Build 2016 keynote live blog: Watch live as Satya N6...… 1995-2015: How technology has changed the world in 20 years 10 best free fonts 2016 Learn how to code in Java on a Mac: Set up a Java programming environment in Mac OS X and get… Follow Macworld on Twitter Follow Macworld on Facebook

How to set up and manage user accounts on a Mac

What's the best way to manage user accounts on a Mac? If you share your Mac with other people in your household or office, you’ll want to set up separate user accounts for each person. Each user can have different settings for things like the way their desktop looks and which tools or apps open at launch. Crucially, the admin user can specify which users can access specific files and folders. The admin can also set Parental Controls for other users. There’s one ‘special user’ – Guest. By default, recent versions of OS X have the Guest user enabled. This allows a friend or colleague to use your Mac without having their own account or using someone else’s account. They can do all the things a regular user can do, but when they log out, all of the files and folders they’ve created during a session are deleted. Groups are collections of users who have the same permissions to access files and folders. You create and manage users and groups in the Users & Groups pane in System Preferences. Permissions for access to files and folders are granted in the Finder – more of that later. When you set up your Mac for the first time, you’ll have created an admin user, probably yourself. Launch System Preferences and click on Users & Groups. You’ll see the account of the current user, you, at the top of the list on the left hand side of the window. Click on the account and in the right hand window, you’ll see some of the available settings. To make changes, you’ll need to click the padlock at the bottom left of the window and type in your password. You can now change your password, by clicking Change Password, change your log in picture by clicking on it, or change which items launch when you log in, by clicking Login Items and clicking the ‘+’ or ‘-‘ buttons at the bottom left of the next window. How to set up and manage user accounts on a Mac: Add a new user To add a new user, click on the ‘+’at the bottom left of the main Users & Groups window. The dropdown menu at the top of the next window allows you to choose what kind of user to create. Besides administrator and guest, there are three other type of user. They are described here. Once you’ve chosen the type of user you want to create, type in the user’s full name and a name for their account. Choose between using the user’s iCloud password and creating a new one, and type the password into the boxes. Now click Create User. To create a group, choose Group from the New Account menu and give the group a name. In the next window, check the users you want to include in the group. How to set up and manage user accounts on a Mac: Set Parental Controls To enable Parental Controls for a user, click on that user in the left hand window of Users & Groups and click the checkbox next to Enable Parental Controls. Now click Open Parental Controls. When the window opens, click through the tabs one by one and choose the options you want in each one. So, for example, if you want to put limits on the times a user can use your Mac, click the Time tab and then click Weekday or Weekend time limits and set the limits. You can also specify times during which the user can’t use the Mac. Other controls include the ability to restrict websites, prevent access to the user’s private data by specific applications, and the option to specify which applications the user can run. How to set up and manage user accounts on a Mac: Set files and permissions If you store files on your Mac’s internal storage, you should put them in a folder inside your Home folder. By default, a Home folder can only be accessed by the user in whose account it sits. The exception is the Public folder – any other user can read files in the main Public folder. Within the Public folder there’s a Drop Box (not to be confused with Dropbox), into which any other user can write files. To change the permissions of other folders or files in an account, or to set permissions for files or folders on external storage devices, click on the file or folder in the Finder and press Command-I to Get Info. At the bottom of the window, click the arrow next to Sharing & Permissions. You’ll see a list of users who have permission to read or write that file. To change the permissions for a listed user or group of users, click in the Privilege column opposite the name of the user or group and select and option from the menu. To add a new user or group, click the ‘+’ at the bottom of the window and choose a user or group from the menu. Then click on the Privilege column to specify their permissions. You might also have to give new users shared access to folders. To do that, go to the Sharing pane in System Preferences, click the checkbox next to File Sharing, drag the folder into the box under ’Shared Folders’ and click the ‘+’under the list of users to add the new user. Now click in the privileges column next to the user to set their permissions. How to set up and manage user accounts on a Mac: Set a Master password A Master password allows an administrator to reset the password of another user if they forget it. To set one, click on the cog at the bottom of the left hand pane in the main Users & Groups window and click on Set Master Password. Type in the new password and verify it. You can now use this to reset the password of any user. How to set up and manage user accounts on a Mac: Set log in options In the left hand pane of the main Users & Groups preferences panes, click on Login Options. You can now specify whether or not a user is automatically logged in when your Mac restarts, by selecting the user from the dropdown menu next to ‘Automatic login.’ The rest of the options in that window allow you to specify how the login window looks and how the fast user switching menu is labelled.

12 super-advanced tips for Mac OS X El Capitan

Hot Topics iPhone SE first look Apple's 21 March iPhone SE launch iPad Air 3 preview Funny things to ask Siri iPhone 7 New 21in iMac 12 super-advanced tips for Mac OS X El Capitan Think you know everything about Mac OS El Capitan? Think again. Here are 12 fantastic secret El Cap tips that even experienced power users might not know about - and they will transform the way you use your Mac by Keir Thomas | 25 Mar 16 Advertisement Advanced tips iCloud Drive Notifications Split-screen power use Three fingers Photos animation Photo Browser Silent clicking Reminders IPv6 Bluetooth No password Import images More stories Next Prev Super-advanced tips for Mac OS X El Capitan Six months is a long time in tech, and most of us now find Mac OS X El Capitan as comfortable and comforting as a warm pair of slippers. But the not-quite-as-new-as-it-used-to-be dog still has a few tricks hidden away that even power users might not know about. And some of them might just change the way you use your Mac. For this article we've rounded up 12 fantastic advanced tips for your delight and edification: secret El Capitan tricks and techniques that will transform your user experience and wow you friends and colleagues. Read next: 23 tips & tricks for Mac OS X El Capitan Next » Advertisement Next Prev Six months is a long time in tech, and most of us now find Mac OS X El Capitan as comfortable and comforting as a warm pair of slippers. But the not-quite-as-new-as-it-used-to-be dog still has a few tricks hidden away that even power users might not know about. And some of them might just change the way you use your Mac. For this article we've rounded up 12 fantastic advanced tips for your delight and edification: secret El Capitan tricks and techniques that will transform your user experience and wow you friends and colleagues. Read next: 23 tips & tricks for Mac OS X El Capitan Super-advanced tips for Mac OS X El Capitan: Know what iCloud Drive is doing In El Capitan it's much easier to see when iCloud Drive is syncing - which is to say, uploading, downloading, or deleting files. For example, at the side of the iCloud Drive heading under Favorites in Finder you'll see a little pie chart when iCloud Drive is doing something. This shows iCloud Drive's current progress. Even if you haven't got iCloud Drive selected in Finder you’ll still see this, so can see at a glance whether iCloud Drive is syncing. Not only that, but if you have the Status Bar visible within Finder (click View > Show Status Bar), Finder will tell you how much free space you have available in iCloud (not just in iCloud Drive!) and how many files are syncing (including those in the upload queue), along with the progress - shown as the current KB/MB uploaded vs the total waiting to be uploaded or downloaded. Super-advanced tips for Mac OS X El Capitan: Sort Notifications better We'll bet you haven't spotted this one, but you can now sort the messages that appear in the Notification Center according to three separate rules: by the most recent, by the most recent and additionally sorted by app, or manually by app. You can choose between these by clicking the Notifications icon in System Preferences and then selecting the option from the Notification Center Sort Order dropdown list. So what's the difference between them? Recents: As its name suggests, this simply shows the most recent notification at the top of the list, regardless of the app. The ones beneath are again strictly ordered according only to when they appeared. Recents by App: The app with the most recent notification appears at the top of the list and beneath this are all the other notifications from that app - regardless of how old they are (and some might go back months or even years). Beneath the first app will be the next app with the most recent notification, and so on. Manually by App: Notifications appear in the order the apps are listed at the left of the System Preferences window, and you can drag each up or down to rearrange the order (note: you're not allowed to drag them around in the actual Notification Center). You can drag the Mail app icon to the top so that you always see Mail's most recent notifications, for example, even if another app has a more recent notification to give you. Super-advanced tips for Mac OS X El Capitan: Mail split-screen power use We've discussed the new split view of El Capitan before, but it can really prove its usefulness if you're a heavy emailer. The compose new mail window that appears when you click File > New Message can be viewed in split view alongside the main mail window - perfect if you want to compose a new email while quickly referring to previous messages. Not only that, but if you need to quickly send another email, without discarding your existing draft, tapping Cmd+N will open the additional mail composition window as a pop-up in the main Mail part of the split view. Super-advanced tips for Mac OS X El Capitan: Three fingers A useful feature of pre-El Capitan versions of OS X was the three-finger drag. This was an option within the Trackpad section of System Preferences - although in El Capitan it appears to have vanished. Amongst other things three finger dragging let you move windows by positioning the mouse cursor over the title bar and dragging three fingers on the trackpad (note: that's NOT clicking and dragging). You could also drag files from one place to another with three fingers In the best traditions of Apple’s continuing OS development it turns out this feature is still around. It’s just moved to the Accessibility section in System Preferences - click the Accessibility icon, then select Mouse & Trackpad in the list on the left, click the Trackpad Options button, put a check in Enable Dragging, then select Three Finger Drag from the dropdown list alongside. Notably, three-finger drag in El Cap isn’t quite the same as the old days. Because it's now an accessibility feature there's a slight delay when you lift your fingers, during which the feature remains active. In other words, drag a file somewhere via a three finger drag, then lift your fingers, and the icon will still be in move mode for around a second. Give it a try to see what we mean. However, this doesn't impact too much if you simply use three-finger drag to move windows around. Super-advanced tips for Mac OS X El Capitan: Reduce Photos app animations As with iOS, the Photos app on the Mac makes heavy use of visual effects. Photos zoom out of their thumbnails when you double-click them, for example. Perhaps mindful that some people desire a sedate experience, opening the preferences dialog box in Photos (tap Cmd+comma) lets you turn off these special effects. Just put a tick alongside Reduce Motion. From now on, photos will fade into view although many other effects - such as photos sliding left when you click the Edit button - will stick around. Still, it's a step in the right direction. Super-advanced tips for Mac OS X El Capitan: Browse your Photo library from within Notes Perhaps surprisingly, it's always been possible within the Notes app to insert pictures, and this was true even before El Capitan's rich text editing overhaul. For some time it's been possible to simply drag and drop a photo from anywhere on to a note and it'll be inserted at the cursor position. However, new to El Capitan is the standard OS X Photos Browser window by which you can view your entire iCloud library and quickly insert what you're looking for. To open the browser, just click Window > Photo Browser. It exists as a floating inspector-style window so you can leave it open while editing your note and use it only when you need to. Super-advanced tips for Mac OS X El Capitan: Silent clicking If you've got a fancy new MacBook or MacBook Pro with a Force Touch trackpad, El Capitan offers a very useful additional feature: silence. Just open System Preferences, click the Trackpad icon, ensure the Point & Click tab is selected at the top of the screen, and then put a tick in the Silent Clicking checkbox. You'll still feel and even hear a noise, but it won't be as loud or noticeable as the usual click - a click that's little more than a synthesized noise produced by the trackpad's Taptic Engine! Read next: 13 ways to use Force Touch on the new MacBook Super-advanced tips for Mac OS X El Capitan: Remind yourself - full screen It's the little things that make all the difference in El Capitan, so how about this one: while most built-in OS X apps have been compatible with full screen mode for years, Reminders has only received the full-screen love in its El Capitan incarnation. We suspect this is because Apple suspected people would want to use it in split view mode alongside other apps (and to be honest if you switch the app to full screen mode on its own - just select the option at the bottom of the View menu - it looks a bit daft because there's simply no need for all that space within its user interface). Super-advanced tips for Mac OS X El Capitan: Use IPv6 for internet sharing IPv6 is the internet addressing and routing system designed to replace the ages-old IPv4, and it's coming to the internet near you whether you like it or not. British Telecom has said that by the end of 2016 its entire network will be IPv6-compatible. What does this mean to the rest of us? Well, pretty much nothing at all - but you might be pleased to hear that El Capitan lets you experiment by sharing your Mac's internet connection solely by IPv6. In other words, you can make your home or office's network entirely IPv6 should you want to (or if you're just bored.) To do so, open System Preferences, click the Sharing icon, and then hold down Alt (Option on some keyboards) while clicking the Internet Sharing checkbox. Then put a check in the Create NAT64 Network box too. From this point on any computer that wants to connect to your Mac to share its internet connection will have to do so by IPv6. Good luck! Super-advanced tips for Mac OS X El Capitan: Totally reset Bluetooth Bluetooth has never been completely reliable, especially on Macs, but Apple’s taken some steps to ease the pain in El Captain. You can undertake a hardcore reset of Bluetooth hardware and software components with just a few clicks. This will remove any devices you have paired and essentially return the Bluetooth system to factory-fresh state, so consider it a last resort if other trouble-solving steps haven’t worked. Obviously, if you use a Bluetooth keyboard and/or mouse you'll need to either use your Mac's built-in keyboard and trackpad for these steps, or temporarily attach USB devices. You'll need the Bluetooth menu icon visible too. If it isn't, open System Preferences, click the Bluetooth icon, and then put a check in the box marked Show Bluetooth In Menu Bar. Then hold down Shift+Alt (Option on some keyboards) and click the Bluetooth icon on the menu bar. On the menu that appears click Debug > Remove All Devices. At this point any existing devices you have paired will stop working. Click the menu again with Shift+Alt held down and this time select Debug > Reset the Bluetooth Module. Then reboot your Mac. When it restarts, add your Bluetooth devices as if setting up a new Mac via the Bluetooth component of System Preferences. Super-advanced tips for Mac OS X El Capitan: No password required! Both the Mac App Store and iBooks have gained the ability in El Capitan to download items that are free without pestering you each time for your password. To set up the App Store so it's password-less, open System Preferences and click the App Store icon. Then select Save Password from the Free Downloads dropdown list. Within iBooks open the preferences dialog box (Cmd+comma), select the Store tab, and then click Save Password in the Free Downloads dropdown list. Note that you will have to enter your iTunes/iCloud password when prompted in either case when you select this option. Super-advanced tips for Mac OS X El Capitan: Import images correctly OS X has contained an app called Image Capture for many years, and it's proved the most reliable way to get images into your computer from things like digital cameras or mobile phones. Because of its age it perhaps doesn't receive the update love that other apps in OS X get… Well, not until now. In El Capitan it gains an astonishingly useful new feature: you can select to import images from a device into a specific subfolder named after that device. In other words, attach an iPhone and the photos will be imported into a folder named after your phone, but when you attach your Canon camera then the pics will be imported to a different folder. To activate this feature, simply attach your device or camera via USB and then open Image Capture, which you'll find in the Applications list. Then select Make Subfolders Per Camera from the Export To dropdown list. Easy! 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How to install & set up Linux on a Mac

How do I install Linux on a Mac? Linux is an interesting and slightly less well-known operating system - although Macworld's tech-savvy readers are likely to know at least a little about it. In the dual world of Windows vs Apple, Linux sits off to one side, powering serious servers and being used by software developers. There are lots of great reasons to be interested in Linux. Like Mac OS X, it has a heritage with Unix (or at least a Unix clone called GNU). Some Linux desktops, like Ubuntu Unity, are similar in nature to OS X. Linux is loved by developers, and if you're into coding it can be great to move into Linux. It turns out that OS X is (in many ways) better than Windows for software development, but Linux is even more comfortable to work in. Its open-source nature ensures that code is freely shared, and programs and solutions are often just an apt-get away (don't worry, you'll learn what apt-get is later). Linux is also a very light operating system, and you can install the latest version Linux on an older Mac and it'll run much faster than older versions of OS X. Apple Macs make great Linux machines. See also: Parallels, VMware, VirtualBox and Boot Camp compared Parallels Desktop for Mac review How to install Linux on a Mac: Which version of Linux to pick The first thing you need to know is that there are different versions of Linux around. These are known as "distributions" and each offers a different experience. Which one you pick depends on what kind of experience you want. Here are three to choose from: Ubuntu. This is the most popular choice for beginners, and it uses a desktop interface called Unity, which is very similar to OS X. It's probably the best place to start. Linux Mint. This has made waves recently, and is a great alternative to Ubuntu. You can pick a range of desktops (Cinnamon or MATE are the most popular). While Unity feels like OS X, Mint feels a little more like Windows. Kubuntu. This blends the Ubuntu version of Linux with a different desktop called KDE Plasma. The desktop is generally considered to be more powerful, and certainly has a lot more features. We'd suggest you start with Ubuntu, but it's pretty easy to install all different versions of Linux and there's nothing stopping you from trying out all three (and more) before settling on the one you want. How to install Linux on a Mac: Use virtualisation software By far the best way to install Linux on a Mac is to use virtualisation software, such as VirtualBox or Parallels Desktop. Because Linux is capable of running on old hardware, it's usually perfectly fine running inside OS X in a virtual environment. VirtualBox is a free environment, although Parallels Desktop is more powerful and an easier installation, so we'd advise using Parallels Desktop for Mac first. A free 14-day trial is available from Parallels.com. Follow these steps to install Linux on a Mac using Parallels Desktop. Download a Linux distribution file and save it to your Downloads folder. The file will have an ".iso" extension. Click here if you want to download Ubuntu. Open Parallels Desktop and choose File > New. Choose Install Windows or another OS from a DVD or image file. Click Continue. Parallels automatically finds all the compatible ISO files on your system. Highlight Ubuntu Linux (or the one you want to install) and click Continue. Fill out the Full Name, User Name, Password and Verify Password fields. Click Continue. The virtualisation file will be saved in your Users folder by default. Click Location if you want to change it, otherwise just click Continue. Parallels will install Linux inside the virtual environment. Click it in the Parallels Desktop Control Center to start using it. How to install Linux on a Mac: Replacing OS X with Linux Running Linux inside a virtual environment is all well and good, but if you're a more seasoned Linux user you may want to replace OS X completely and run just Linux. If so, you'll free up more of the computer's resources and get a great Linux machine. Installing Linux on a Mac isn't quite as straightforward as installing it on an older Windows machine, and you need to make a few tweaks in the installation process. You'll need a USB Thumb stick (with at least 8GB of spare space). You will also lose your OS X installation (we don't recommend trying to dual-boot OS X and Linux, because they use different filesystems and there are many reported problems). Be warned that you'll also lose your OS X Recovery Partition, so returning to OS X can be a more long-winded process, but we have instructions here on how to cope with this: How to restore a Mac without a recovery partition Here's how to go about installing Linux on a Mac: Download your Linux distribution to the Mac. We'd recommend Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS if this is your first Linux install. You need to convert the ISO file to an IMG so OS X can open it. Open Terminal and enter cd Downloads/ then hdiutil convert -format UDRW -o ubuntu.img ubuntu-14.04.4-desktop-amd64.iso. The file is converted, and OS X adds ".dmg" to the end. Enter diskutil list and note all the attached drives. Now insert the USB Flash Drive and enter diskutil list again, note the disk number of the new drive. In a Mac with a single drive this will be /dev/disk2 but check and double check. You don't want to erase the wrong drive. Enter sudo diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk[n], where n is the number of your drive. IE: sudo diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2. Enter sudo dd bs=1m if=~/Downloads/ubuntu.img.dmg of=/dev/rdisk[n]. Again, replace [n] with the number of your thumb drive. This wipes all of the content of the thumb drive and creates a Linux installer. OS X displays an Alert saying "The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer." Click Eject. Shut down your Mac and attach the USB stick. Power up the Mac while holding down the Option key. Choose the EFI Boot option from the startup screen and press Return. You will see a black and white screen with options to Try Ubuntu and Install Ubuntu. Don't choose either yet, press "e" to edit the boot entry. Edit the line that begins with Linux and place the word "nomodeset" after "quiet splash". The whole line should read: "linux /casper/vmlinuz.efi file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper quiet splash nomodeset --. (See screenshot, below.) Press F10. Ubuntu boots into trial mode. Double-click the icon marked "Install Ubuntu". Select English and choose Continue. Select "Install this third-party software" option and click Continue. Click Yes to the /dev/sdb alert. Select "Erase disk and install Ubuntu" and click Continue. Ensure that Select Drive is displaying the main hard drive. Click Install Now. Click Continue in the alert window. Select your location on the map and click Continue. Choosing your keyboard layout and click Continue. Enter the name and password you want to use. Click Continue and Linux will begin installing. When the installation has finished, you can log in using the name and password you chose during installation. Above: Step 12 When you install Linux on your Mac, it removes all of the OS X installation including the recovery partition. If you want to reinstall OS X, you'll have to create an OS X recovery disk using the thumb stick.

Restore Mac without a recovery partition

What's the best way to restore a Mac without a recovery partition? In the event of a serious problem, you may need to reinstall your whole Mac operating system using the recovery partition. But how do you restore a Mac that's missing a recovery partition? It is possible to restore a Mac without a recovery partition, but it can be tricky (especially on older Macs). You have two approaches available: Use Internet Recovery to reinstall OS X on Mac with a missing recovery partition. Create a OS X installation drive from an old USB Thumb Drive and reinstall OS X. We're going to look at both of these options in this feature - but first, a quick explanation of what a recovery partition is. Read next: How to create a Mac recovery partition in El Capitan and Yosemite How to restore a Mac without a recovery partition: What is the OS X recovery partition? (And what are partitions in general?) Most people don't really think about hard drives in terms of partitions (and volumes). They just see the whole drive as one thing. A hard is typically a single volume, but it is then split up into multiple areas, known as "partitions". Think of your hard drive as the house, and the partitions as different rooms. You're used to only seeing one room in the house, the one which has your Desktop, Folders and Applications. But there are four partitions, and one is used in extreme cases where you may want to completely reinstall OS X. Even if you completely wipe OS X, and start again from scratch, the recovery partition will be there to step in and reinstall OS X. It's a problem if the recovery partition is missing. After all, how do you go about reinstalling OS X from scratch? It does happen: if you've placed a new hard drive in your Mac, or accidentally wiped the recovery partition by installing Windows, Linux or another OS on your Mac, then you may not have the recovery partition to work with. How to restore a Mac without a recovery partition: How to check if your Recovery Partition is working First you should check that your Mac definitely hasn't got a working recovery partition. It used to be that holding down the Option key in OS X would bring up the Startup Disks (including the recovery partition). But now it only displays the OS X system disks (typically just your main hard drive). Here is how to boot into Recovery Drive: Shut down your Mac. (Apple menu > Shut Down.) Hold down the Command and R keys simultaneously and press the Power button. Keep holding Command and R until the Apple logo appears on the screen. Let go of the keys and wait for the Mac to complete starting up. (It should take longer than normal.) You should be faced with a screen saying OS X Utilities. This is the Recovery Partition. If you have this, stop worrying. You're good to go. If the Mac boots into OS X, or if you're faced with a completely blank screen, then you haven't got a recovery partition. If your Mac does boot into OS X then you can also check Terminal to see if you have a recovery partition: Open Terminal. Enter diskutil list. You should see a list of all the volumes and partitions on your computer. The first drive (/dev/disk0) should have a partition (typically listed as "3" with Apple_Boot Recovery HD after it). Try using the Command-R process again. Before you move on to reinstalling OS X, try a few of these tips: Reset your PRAM. Shut down your Mac and hold down Command-Option-P-R during boot. Wait for the chimes and let go. Check your keyboard (especially if it's a Bluetooth keyboard). Try using a wired keyboard if possible. Okay, so either your Recovery Partition is missing, or doesn't work and you've tried everything. So it's time to look at reinstalling OS X. First you should take time to back up up OS X if you can using Time Machine. This will enable you to restore all your files, folders and apps once you've reinstalled OS X. How to restore a Mac without a recovery partition: Use Internet Recovery to reinstall OS X If you haven't got a recovery partition on your Mac, then you need to reinstall OS X. Even if OS X is working, you should probably consider reinstalling it because a missing Recovery Partition is not a good sign. But mostly you'll be confronted with this problem when OS X isn't working and you can't recover it the normal way. The first approach is to use a feature called Internet Recovery. Newer Macs are able to boot directly from an internet connection, even with no recovery drive available. Here is how to use OS X Internet Recovery: Shut down your Mac. Hold down Command-Option-R and press the Power button. Hold down the keys until you a spinning globe and the message "Starting Internet Recovery. This may take a while". The message will be replaced with a progress bar. Wait for it to fill. Wait for OS X Utilities to appear. Click Reinstall OS X and follow the installation process. There are issues with Internet Recovery. It only works with networks using WEP and WPA security. This is most home Wi-Fi networks, but if you're on a proxy network or PPPoE then you will have problems. In these cases it's usually best to find another network rather than create a USB Recovery Stick (our next step). If you have Internet Recovery, then make use of it to reinstall OS X if possible. How to restore a Mac without a recovery partition: Create a OS X bootable installer from a USB flash drive If you don't have Internet Recovery, then you are left with the final option. This is to create a bootable installer from a USB flash drive (at least 8GB in size). Note that this completely erases the USB flash drive, so be careful to remove any files from it first. There are two ways to create a USB flash installer. One is to use Terminal, the second is to use an app called DiskMaker X. Here's the Terminal approach. Open the Applications folder and check for Install OS X El Capitan. If it isn't present, open App Store and click Purchased, then click Download next to El Capitan. Wait for the file to fully download. 1. Attach your USB flash drive. 2. Open Disk Utility. 3. Select the volume (under External) in the sidebar. The Volume is the top part, not the partition (which is underneath). 4. Click Erase. 5. Make sure it says "Untitled" in the Name field. Don't change this. Click Erase. 6. Open Terminal. 7. Cut and paste the following line into Terminal: sudo /Applications/Install OS X El Capitan.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Untitled/ --applicationpath /Applications/Install OS X El Capitan.app/ You'll need to enter your admin password. And then enter "y" and press Return. It will first wipe your flash drive, then turn it into a bootable installer. 8. Wait for the process to completely finish. If this process is a bit daunting, then consider downloading DiskMaker X. This program automates the process of building an OS X installer How to restore a Mac without a recovery partition: How to use a OS X bootable installer Then follow these steps to use the bootable installer: Make sure the OS X bootable installer (USB flash drive) is connected. Shut down your Mac. Hold down Option and press the Power button. The startup device list window should appear displaying a yellow drive with Install OS X El Capitan below it. Select it and press Return. Wait for the progress bar to fill. Select Disk Utility. Select the drive under Internal (your main hard drive). Click Erase. Give the drive a name; "Macintosh HD" is traditional but you can choose. Ensure that the Format is OS X Extended (Journaled) and the Scheme is GUID Partition Map. Click Erase. Click Done. Choose Disk Utility > Quit Disk Utility. Select Install OS X and click Continue. Follow the install OS X options. Select Macintosh HD as the installation disk, when presented, and click Install. OS X will now be installed on your hard drive from the OS X bootable installer. The whole process can take around half an hour. After this has finished you will have a blank installation of OS X along with a new recovery partition.

New MacBook Air UK release date, specs & features rumours

When is the new MacBook Air for 2016 coming out? What new features will the new MacBook Air have? Apple last updated its MacBook Air in March of 2015 with a spec boost, we had been convinced that Apple was about to give the laptop a Retina display. Instead, it launched a brand-new MacBook line that's super-thin, super-light and does offer that high-resolution display, but does that mean Apple won't enhance the MacBook Air with a Retina display in the future? In this article we investigate the hints and clues pointing to an imminent MacBook Air update: including release date, specs & rumoured new features. New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: MacBook Air UK release date Apple hosted a special event on 21 March 2016, so ahead of the event we had naturally expected new MacBook Air and MacBook models. After all, the Spring event represented one year since both were last updated (or one year since it was first launched in the MacBook's case) and before that new Air models arrived in April of 2014. But instead, Apple used the event to show off the iPhone SE and the iPad Pro with 9.7in screen. Despite the lack of MacBooks at Apple's 21 March event, the MacBook rumours haven't slowed down. If anything, they're hotting up as anyone looking to buy a new MacBook soon is feeling frustrated by the lack of any new models with the latest processors. But according to a DigiTimes report published just a day after the March event, new 13 and 15in MacBooks are coming. The confusing thing about it is that these new MacBooks are said to have a similar design to the current 12in MacBook, but will have 13 and 15in displays. And they'll apparently be thinner than the 11in and 13in MacBook Air models that we have now, too. That makes it tricky to know what MacBook line this rumour is actually referring to, or whether we're going to get a complete shakeup of the MacBook lineup. Our current thinking is that the 11in MacBook Air is about to be retired, and in its place we'll see a 13in and 15in MacBook Air with redesigned internals and a thinner design. Of course, the rumour could be completely false. DigiTimes is sometimes accurate, but also sometimes less reliable so it's tricky to know. But if it is true, we'd expect the new MacBooks to emerge at WWDC in June. We originally expected the MacBook Air to be updated with a Retina display on 9 March 2015 at Apple's Spring Forward event. And were quite surprised when we got something else: a Retina MacBook, yes, but one with a 12in display and a USB-C port (and very few other ports), a new strand of products for Apple's MacBook laptop line-up. Less glamorously, Apple's MacBook Air did get an update at the same time, with new, faster processors, faster flash storage and better graphics, but the screen and overall design remained the same. Still no Retina display for the Air line. That left us wondering what Apple's plans are for the future of its MacBook line-up. We think the company intends to replace the MacBook Air with the new MacBook eventually, but the MacBook Air could remain part of the line-up for some time yet, and could still get an upgrade to the Retina display when it's refreshed in 2016. But when is it going to be refreshed? Now that the March event has been and gone we expect Apple to wait for WWDC 2016 in June, or possibly sneak in an update before then without going to the trouble of hosting an event. In late November 2015, a report from the Economic Daily News suggests that the MacBook Air will see a significant update in 2016. The report suggests that the update to the MacBook Air may not arrive until WWDC in June, which will be more than a year after Apple last updated the MacBook Air. According to the report, the new MacBook Air models are expected to come out in the third quarter of next year, which suggests that there may be a wait after the June unveiling. The Economic Daily News report notes that it's been eight years since the MacBook Air launched and it's not been redesigned in that time, suggesting that time is ripe for a makeover, or perhaps it'll be discontinued completely in favour of the new MacBook. We'll update this article as soon as we know more. New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: Price The last time that there was a Mac laptop that had more advanced specs than a more expensive model was the old MacBooks (aluminium, then white and black, and then eventually aluminum again). These older MacBook models were eventually discontinued and the price of the MacBook Air was reduced to make it the new entry level (when the MacBook Air initially launched it was quite overpriced for the specs, just like the current Retina MacBook). It seems likely that the same will happen with the new MacBook models eventually replacing the MacBook Airs, at a lower price, but for now that seems a long way off. The Economic Daily News report suggests the new MacBook Air will cost more than it does currently when it does launch. The 11in MacBook Air starts at £749, while the entry level 13in model costs £849. If the 11in MacBook Air is removed from the line up perhaps the cost of entry of the 13in model will reduce to the level that the 11in model is currently, with a rumoured 15in model coming in at a higher price. New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: Dimensions If Apple does update the MacBook Air range, what dimensions should we expect? As mentioned above, rumours suggest that the 11in MacBook Air will be discontinued, after all, the 11in MacBook Air is both smaller than the MacBook and the new iPad Pro. However, 9to5Mac points out that the new 13in and 15in MacBook Air models could be additional sizes to the MacBook range. That site predicts that some time in 2016 or 2017 we will have just two ranges of Mac laptops: the MacBook at the ultraportable level, and the more advanced MacBook Pro. Maybe the 17in MacBook Pro will make a comeback too, with a 4K display. New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: Specs & new features These new MacBook Air models are said to be thinner and lighter, with internal spec enhancements. Apparently, the new MacBook Air will feature new batteries, cooling modules, and chassis, according to the Economic Daily News. We also expect to see USB Type-C across the range, especially now that Intel has integrated Thunderbolt 3 into USB-C. The next-generation MacBook Air is also likely to feature Intel Skylake processors, as well as graphics and RAM upgrades. New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: Retina display The suggestion that the MacBook Air will feature a Retina display has been long running but those rumours were prior to the launch of the 12in Retina MacBook and the iPad Pro - suggesting the signtings of the Retina display some thought was destined for the MacBook Air was instead for these models. Does this mean that there will be no Retina display on the new MacBook Air when (or if) it launches. If Apple wants to keep the price down maybe not. Or perhaps the newly rumoured 15in Macbook Air will feature a Retina display, while the 13in model will lack the high res display, but come in at a lower price, one similar to the current price of the 11in MacBook Air. New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: Touch ID and Force Touch There are also reports to suggest that it'll boast Touch ID within its Trackpad, which may also get the Force Touch upgrade that was given to the 13in MacBook Pro on 9 March, and comes with the new MacBook. Touch ID is the fingerprint sensor that's built-in to the Home button of the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. It's also used to make Apple Pay more secure. According to an Independent report, Touch ID for the Mac line would require a dedicated chip to be built in to the device. The rumour started with Taiwanese blog AppleCorner, which cited sources in the supply chain. Apparently the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad may get a biometric update too, enabling users to make Apple Pay payments on the web, but both those accessories were updated alongside the launch of a new 4K iMac so that seems unlikely to happen any time soon. New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: Will the MacBook Air be discontinued? With the advent of the 12in MacBook and the new 12.9in iPad Pro, it's no surprise that rumourmongers are starting to predict that the 11in MacBook Air, with a smaller screen than either of those devices, will be discontinued. The iPad Pro may indeed be viewed by Apple as a replacement for the 11in MacBook Air if Apple CEO Tim Cook's comments to the Telegraph are taken into account (published on 1 December 2015). Following the launch of the iPad Pro, Cook told the Telegraph: "I think if you're looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC any more? No really, why would you buy one? "Yes, the iPad Pro is a replacement for a notebook or a desktop for many, many people. They will start using it and conclude they no longer need to use anything else, other than their phones." However, should Apple discontinue the 11in MacBook Air, it does remove the lower price of entry from the line-up. It may not just be the 11in MacBook Air that is discontinued. When the new MacBook launched on 9 March 2015, analysts began to suspect that the MacBook Air might not be around for much longer. "This wasn't the MacBook Air, but instead leaped past the Air," said Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research. "They kept the MacBook Air around just as they do with older iPhones, but the MacBook is now in the same position as the newest iPhone. That makes me wonder if the Air will go away over time." Carolina Milanesi, chief of research and head of US business for Kantar WorldPanel Comtech, also predicted a contraction of Apple's line-up. "All [notebooks] need to be more mobile, so something like the Air doesn't need to be branched out anymore," she said of the differenciation Apple made for the line since its introduction more than eight years ago. "And it's to Apple's benefit not to have so many 'families' of Macs." Over time, it seems likely that the MacBook Air range could be discontinued and eventually replaced by a Retina MacBook range at a lower price. We'll be updating this article as more information about the rumoured Retina MacBook Air emerges so check back from time to time for the latest news. Wondering which MacBook is best for you? Read: MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro comparison review: 13in Apple laptops compared You might also like to read our New 12in MacBook 2015 review | Which Mac? Best Mac buyers guide | Apple rumours and predictions for 2016

Buying advice: choose the best storage for your Mac

Is your Mac's hard drive near capacity, full to the brim with music, photos and videos? Do you have a Mac with a small SSD drive, having sacrificed storage space for the extra speed offered by flash storage? Are you confronted with having to delete photos and other media in order to accommodate your ever increasing photo library? If so then it may be time to add more storage. Modern Macs don't allow you to upgrade the internal storage after purchase, so your options include various external solutions. There are plenty to choose from, ranging from a desktop hard drive or a network attached storage device, to a portable flash drive (often referred to as an SSD, or solid state drive), and even cloud storage that you can access via the internet. There are also a variety of ways to connect your external drive to your Mac. You will face a choice of USB, FireWire and Thunderbolt, plus you can connect to storage via WiFi, or via the internet. So how do you decide what kind of storage is best for you? Read our round up of the best storage devices available now: Best storage options for Mac What sort of storage should I get to go with my Mac? You need to start by answering a few questions. Do you want to be able to take your storage with you? Do you want to be able to access your data anywhere in the world? Do you want the maximum amount of storage available? Do you want to be able to back up your data as quickly as possible? Or, do you want the cheapest storage solution you can get? Different people need different things from their external storage. If you are only going to copy a few files at a time onto your storage device speed may not be important, but if you are likely to be copying over gigabytes of data in a hurry, speed will be high on your wish list. Similarly, we may recommend a NAS drive, but if all you want is a small drive you can pop in your bag then it's not going to be the best choice for you. Keep your requirements in mind as you read the following. Should I get a flash (SSD) drive or a hard drive? SPEED: If speed is what is important to your then an SSD drive could be a good option. SSD drives can access data much faster because there are no mechanical components and data is accessed electronically. A hard disk drive (HDD) on the other hand will take more time because the data is accessed electromechanically. This is why Macs that feature an SSD drive inside are a lot faster than Macs that sport hard drives. A MacBook with an SSD will start up in a matter of seconds. Just to add to the variety, among hard drives there can be differences in speed. Some drives will offer a rotational speed of 7200 rpm, while other drives spin at 5400 rpm. Pro users who do professional-level audio or video production might consider a 10,000- to 15,000-rpm drive, for optimal performance, but these high-performance drives usually offer less storage capacity and require a SCSI connection. RELIABILITY: The other reason why SSDs are considered superior to hard disks is the fact that an SSD has no moving parts. This means no mechanics to break, even when a machine is jostled or dropped. An HDD is more likely to suffer from mechanical failure or physical damage because of the moving parts. However, reports also suggest that an SSD's performance may degrade over time and if it does you are likely to completely lose your data. Traditional hard drives, on the other hand will tend to warn you of the impending failure and the recovery of data may be possible. PORTABILITY: If you are going to be carrying the drive around with you this is another reason to opt for flash storage. If you carry a hard drive between work and home you are likely to find that one day it fails. There are some hard drives that are designed to be portable, but it is inevitable that due to the mechanical nature of the device one day you will knock it, or drop it, and it will stop working. The Western Digital My Passport Slim is the most compact of all WD’s Passport range, measuring just 12.3mm thick, 80mm wide and 110mm long. It only weighs 134g too, so you can slip it into a bag or a jacket pocket and carry it around with no trouble at all. It costs £120 for 1TB storage. For extra protection against bumps and wear and tear there's the LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt Series, which features an orange rubber bumper. There are of course other (newer) SSDs out there which you can find. NOISE: Because SSD drives do not have a spinning platter they are also completely silent in operation. The noise produced by a hard disk drive may be an issue if you intend to house it somewhere where the audible noise needs to be kept to a minimum. Perhaps your work involves audio, or perhaps you want the storage device to be used in the living room and the noise of it buzzing away in the background would be detrimental to your enjoyment of the films or music stored on it. CAPACITY: The major benefit of hard disk drives is that they offer more gigabytes of storage for your money. For example you can get around 1TB of storage for less than £80 if you purchase a hard disk drive, it you were looking for 1TB of external flash storage you could be looking at paying at least triple that. (Integral's 1TB USB 3.0 Portable Solid State Drive). Most of the flash options when it comes to external hard drives are USB memory sticks. The capacities have increased and prices have fallen over the past year, so you can now pick up a 128GB USB 3.0 flash drive for £49.99 (Integral Courier 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive), but at that price don't expect the read and write speeds of a more expensive offering. A better option is the PNY StorEDGE 128GB which is actually an SD card, but thanks to the fact that every Mac comes with an SD card reader on the side, you can use it as additional storage. It costs £80. However, we love the Axtremex Micro SSD, 32GB for £130. It's a tiny, portable flash-based drive. Should I get a portable drive or a desktop drive? PRICE: As we mentioned above, if you are going to be carrying the drive around with you this is another reason to opt for flash storage. If you only need a few GB of storage then a 16GB flash drive may be ideal for your needs. However, there are some hard drives that are designed to be portable, and they will be a lot cheaper than a flash drive offering any significant amount of storage. So if price is important then a cheaper portable drive may be the best choice for you. However, a similar capacity desktop hard drive is likely to offer you even more GB for your money than a portable drive will. RELIABILITY: A portable drive has been designed to withstand knocks and movement, unlike a desktop hard drive. If you attempt to carry a desktop hard drive around you may damage it. PORTABILITY: Expect a desktop hard drive to be significantly heavier and bulkier than a portable hard drive. Flash or solid state drives will usually be a lot smaller than a portable hard drive, some flash drives are thumb size, others credit card sized. Portable drives have added shock protection for portability. STYLE: If you are going to buy a hard disk to sit on your desk it might as well look stylish. You can rely on LaCie to add the glamour to the hard drive market, using big-name designers such as Philippe Starck or the Porsche Design studio to come up with visually arresting designs. Their LaCie Blade Runner has an eye-catching design and is priced at £264.99 with 4TB storage. Should I get a FireWire, USB, Thunderbolt or a WiFi hard drive? USB is the most common interface for Macs and PCs, and USB 3.0 delivers a faster data rate than USB 2.0 (5 gbps versus 480 mbps) and more electrical power to an attached device (900mA versus 500mA). The newer standard is backward-compatible, so your computer will be able to use a USB 3.0 drive even if the computer has only USB 2.0 ports. THUNDERBOLT ports are twice as fast as USB 3.0 ports, achieving a raw data transfer rate of 10 gbps. That’s speedy enough to transfer a full-length, high-definition movie in less than 30 seconds. Thunderbolt hard drives are relatively expensive, however. The LaCie Little Big Disk was one of the first available Thunderbolt devices after the technology launched almost three years ago in February 2011, and now this miniature desktop drive has had a boost again in performance. You can get a 1TB SSD drive for £919. FIREWIRE (also known as IEEE 1394) is another high-speed interface. The FireWire 400 interface can support a data transfer rate of 400 mbps, while the newer FireWire 800 interface can deliver throughput of 786 mbps. USB, Thunderbolt, and FireWire all provide enough electrical power to run an attached drive, so the only cord you’ll need to carry with you is the appropriate interface cable. WI-FI OR NETWORK ATTACHED STORAGE (NAS) is storage connected to your network and running specialized software. These solutions often include more than one hard drive, with your data mirrored across the two. This means that if one fails your files are safe. However, there are consumer-oriented network drives now that basically offer users the opportunity to back up and store files without having to plug in the device. This is especially handy if you have a laptop that generally sits on your lap, rather than on a desk beside a hard drive. For example, the WD My Cloud is a NAS drive aims to provide simple remote access of your data, from any internet connection. The 2TB version costs £120. Alternatively, there's the Synology DiskStation DS214, a two-bay NAS enclosure, which means it ships without disks. It supports up to 8TB of storage with a pair of 4TB drives that you can add yourself (which may save you some money). The enclosure costs £216 ex VAT. A NAS drive will allow you to back your Mac up using Time Machine regularly, something you may be less likely to do if you have to plug your Mac into a drive from time to time. RAID: Some desktop external hard drives have more than one hard drive inside. With two drives, the unit can be configured as a striped array (called RAID 0), which makes one partition of the two drives and writes and reads simultaneously for faster performance. If one of the drives dies, you lose all of your data. The two drives can also be configured as a mirrored array (called RAID 1). Mirroring the drives safeguards your data by keeping two identical copies of your drive. The downside is that you can only use half of the unit’s storage capacity. Some two-drive external devices can also be configured to use the drives individually in a JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) setup. This way both drives mount separately as if they were two one-disk external drives. If one drive dies, the other can continue to operate. The G-Technology G-RAID mini contains two 1TB drives and costs about £350.00. The drive comes formatted for use with Macs, and in the RAID 0 format, which provides maximum performance by ‘striping’ your data across the two drives. THE CLOUD: Another solution might be to rent storage space in the cloud, but buying a hard-drive’s worth of capacity is prohibitively expensive: for example, 1000GB of storage on Dropbox, will set you back £79 per year. Buying a portable hard drive is far more economical. In comparison you can pick up a 2TB drive for a fraction of the price. There are cheaper or free cloud options, of course. You can get 2GB free space on DropBox. But it's likely that 2GB won't stretch very far if you are looking for somewhere to back up files. SPEED: As you can see, there are a number of interfaces to choose from and your choice depends on the Mac you own. The majority of new Macs offer Thunderbolt, but at the moment this is quite an expensive option. However, transfer speeds are far faster, with Apple claiming Thunderbolt transfer speeds of up to 10Gbits/sec. In contrast, USB 3.0 offers around 5Gbits/sec. USB 2.0 on the other hand offers only 380 Mbit/sec, so if your Mac is very old and only offers USB 2.0 transfer speeds will be slow. If you find a cheap USB 2.0 hard drive you will be able to plug into a USB 3.0 port on your Mac, but speeds will be no faster. PRICE: As we mention above Thunderbolt is quite an expensive option. A WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo with 4TB storage is £439.99, while the WD My Book Studio with USB 3 and 4TB storage costs £179. You could alternatively opt for a network attached hard drive such as the My Book Live Duo that will connect to your Mac via Gigabit Ethernet. You will also be able to access this drive via your iPad and iPhone. A 4TB My Book Live Duo costs £279.30. How do I know if the drive is compatible with my Mac? HFS or NTFS? OS X and Windows use different file systems (HFS+ and NTFS, respectively), so most hard-drive manufacturers offer platform-specific models; the drives are pre-formatted accordingly, and the bundled software (if any) is compatible with the given platform. OS X can read files on an NTFS drive, but it can’t write them. If you intend to use the same drive on both platforms, you can install software on your Mac that will enable it to do both: NTFS-3G is a free option. TIME MACHINE? Almost all USB or FireWire external hard drives are compatible with Time Machine, as long as the drive is HFS+ formatted. Can I get storage for my iPad/iPhone There are a number of external storage options that can also be used by your iPad or iPhone. For example, Kingston's Wi-Drive is a small flash drive that you can load files onto via your Mac. When you’re done copying files to the Wi-Drive, you can access the files on the drive on your iPad or iPhone via the Wi-Drive app using Wi-Fi. Once you are connected to the Wi-Drive you can stream movies and music wirelessly. Read more: Best external storage for iPhones and iPads.

iPad Pro deals: Where to buy an iPad Pro in the UK

Apple now offers two models of iPad Pro after a March 2016 event added a smaller version to the mix just six months on from the launch of the 12.9in iPad Pro. If you're thinking of buying an iPad Pro, you've come to the right place. Here we help you decide where is the best place to buy an iPad Pro and where to get the best iPad Pro deals. The 12.9in iPad Pro is widely available to buy now from Apple and third-party stores, while pre-orders for the new 9.7in iPad Pro began on 24 March ahead of a 31 March release. iPad Pro deals UK: Where to buy the iPad Pro The first place you'll think of when it comes to buying an iPad Pro is Apple, which of course offers both tablets through its online and retail stores. There you'll arguably get the best support, but you'll always pay the RRP as Apple very, very rarely offers price cuts or special deals. If you're set on buying from Apple, take at the options below. If you're interested in saving some cash by shopping elsewhere, click here to skip ahead to third-party retailer deals. 9.7in iPad Pro, 32GB WiFi-only, £499. View here. 9.7in iPad Pro, 128GB WiFi-only, £619. View here. 9.7in iPad Pro, 256GB WiFi-only, £739. View here. 9.7in iPad Pro, 32GB WiFi plus Cellular, £599. View here. 9.7in iPad Pro, 128GB WiFi plus Cellular, £719. View here. 9.7in iPad Pro, 256GB WiFi plus Cellular, £839. View here. 12.9in iPad Pro, 32GB WiFi-only, £679. View here. 12.9in iPad Pro, 128GB WiFi-only, £799. View here. 12.9in iPad Pro, 256GB WiFi-only, £919. View here. 12.9in iPad Pro, 128GB WiFi plus Cellular, £899. View here. 12.9in iPad Pro, 256GB WiFi plus Cellular, £1,019. View here. iPad Pro deals UK: Cheapest place to buy the iPad Pro As the smaller iPad Pro isn't even available to pre-order yet, third-party retailers aren't offering discounts, but we're sure they will soon and we'll update this article when deals emerge. However, the iPad Pro 12.9in is available from lots of third-party retailers and many of them are offering discounted prices. iPad Pro deals UK: Simply Electronics Simply Electronics has one of the lowest prices on the iPad Pro we've seen. The 12.9in iPad Pro WiFi-only is available for £559.95 down from its RRP of £679 at the moment. View deal here. You'll also find the 12.9in iPad Pro WiFi plus Cellular with 128GB storage for £749.95 down from the RRP of £899. View deal here. Or the 12.9in iPad Pro WiFi-only with 128GB storage for £674.95 down from £799. View deal here. iPad Pro deals UK: Amazon Over on Amazon, the iPad Pro has some big discounts too. You can pick up the iPad Pro 32GB WiFi-only 12.9in model for £600.99, for example. View deal here. There's also £89 off the 128GB WiFi-only 12.9in model at Amazon, now £710. View deal here. iPad Pro deals UK: Currys You can pick up the iPad Pro from Currys, too. The 12.9in model starts at £679 and the new 9.7in model is available to pre-order starting at £499 like Apple's pricing, but you will get a free accessory kit when you pre-order. View deal here. iPad Pro deals UK: eBuyer eBuyer offers a bit of a discount on the iPad Pro too. You'll find the WiFi-only 12.9in iPad Pro with 32GB for £649 down from £679. View deal here. eBuyer also offers the 128GB WiFi-only 12.9in iPad Pro for £779.99 down from £799. View deal here. iPad Pro deals UK: Tesco Tesco's pricing is the same as Apple's, but buying from Tesco does mean you get Clubcard points that you can spend on your next Tesco shop. View deal here. iPad Pro deals UK: eBay Finally, you can turn to eBay. eBay has a dedicated iPad page here that is ever-changing when it comes to deals and discounts. It's worth taking a look, but make sure you do your research on the seller before you buy. Check the seller's reviews and reputation to make sure other buyers haven't had any issues before you hand over your cash. iPad Pro deals UK: How to buy the iPad Pro with a data contract You can also get the iPad Pro on a contract with monthly data from UK carriers. Vodafone offers the 128GB iPad Pro 12.9 with 3GB of data for £379 upfront and £38 per month. View deal here. The other option from Vodafone is the 128GB iPad Pro 12.9 with 10GB data for £349 upfront and then £43 per month. View deal here. We expect Vodafone will soon offer the iPad Pro 9.7, too. EE has contract options for the iPad Pro too. You can get the 128GB 12.9in model with 10GB of data and a £299.99 upfront cost, with 24 monthly payments of £48. View deal here. EE is now offering the new 9.7in iPad Pro for pre-order too. You can get it for £149.99 upfront and £43 per month with 10GB data if you're happy with the 32GB model. View deal here. Alternatively, EE offers the 9.7in model with 128GB for £249.99 upfront and £43 per month for 10GB data. View deal here. O2 has options with lower upfront costs but higher monthly payments. You'll pay £99.99 upfront and then £52.50 per month for 10GB of data for the 32GB 12.9in iPad Pro. View deal here. The 9.7in model is available at O2 starting at £19.99 upfront and £42.50 monthly. View deal here. You'll also like: Best Apple Watch deals

Alternatives to Apple Numbers

Hot Topics iPhone SE first look Apple's 21 March iPhone SE launch iPad Air 3 preview Funny things to ask Siri iPhone 7 New 21in iMac Alternatives to Numbers Apple's Numbers is a capable spreadsheet, but it's not the only one. Take a look at the alternatives. by Cliff Joseph | 24 Mar 16 Advertisement Apple Numbers 3.6.1 Microsoft Excel 2016 Google Docs LibreOffice OpenOffice Calc Panorama Sheets 6.0 Smartsheet Soulver 2.4 More stories Next Prev Apple Numbers 3.6.1 Price: Free with new Macs (£14.99 upgrade for existing users) More info: The App Store Number-Crunching: Numbers is a good example of how the best Apple software takes difficult tasks and makes them look easy. As soon as you type ‘=’ into a cell, the Inspector palette on the right-hand side of the spreadsheet displays a list of available functions, and to help new users get started it even displays explanations and examples of how to use each function. Numbers doesn’t have the sheer range of functions that you’ll find in Excel, or support for advanced features such as pivot tables, but it provides a good basic set of functions that will be useful for home users, education and small businesses. And, of course, Numbers also allows you to import and export spreadsheets in Excel format if you need to. Graphs And Charts: Apple describes numbers as ‘the most beautiful spreadsheet ever’, and it does put a lot of emphasis on its graphics tools. A Numbers spreadsheet is really just a blank page where you can place data tables, text and graphics in any layout that you choose. The program includes tools for quickly creating 2D and 3D graphs and charts, and even interactive charts that can include simple animations to illustrate changes in data. Collaboration: You can share your spreadsheets online with other people by using the online version of Numbers at www.icloud.com, and the online program can warn you if there are conflicts between changes made by different people. However, you can’t track changes made to a spreadsheet, and Numbers lacks the more comprehensive collaboration tools found in Google Sheets and Microsoft’s Office Online. Pros: Free with new Macs, lots of help for new users, simple tools for creating charts and attractive layouts Cons: Fewer functions and analytical tools than Excel, limited collaboration tools You can read all our iWork reviews here: Apple Pages, Keynote & Numbers reviews Read: Alternatives to Numbers Alternatives to Pages Alternatives to Keynote Next » Advertisement Next Prev Price: Free with new Macs (£14.99 upgrade for existing users) More info: The App Store Number-Crunching: Numbers is a good example of how the best Apple software takes difficult tasks and makes them look easy. As soon as you type ‘=’ into a cell, the Inspector palette on the right-hand side of the spreadsheet displays a list of available functions, and to help new users get started it even displays explanations and examples of how to use each function. Numbers doesn’t have the sheer range of functions that you’ll find in Excel, or support for advanced features such as pivot tables, but it provides a good basic set of functions that will be useful for home users, education and small businesses. And, of course, Numbers also allows you to import and export spreadsheets in Excel format if you need to. Graphs And Charts: Apple describes numbers as ‘the most beautiful spreadsheet ever’, and it does put a lot of emphasis on its graphics tools. A Numbers spreadsheet is really just a blank page where you can place data tables, text and graphics in any layout that you choose. The program includes tools for quickly creating 2D and 3D graphs and charts, and even interactive charts that can include simple animations to illustrate changes in data. Collaboration: You can share your spreadsheets online with other people by using the online version of Numbers at www.icloud.com, and the online program can warn you if there are conflicts between changes made by different people. However, you can’t track changes made to a spreadsheet, and Numbers lacks the more comprehensive collaboration tools found in Google Sheets and Microsoft’s Office Online. Pros: Free with new Macs, lots of help for new users, simple tools for creating charts and attractive layouts Cons: Fewer functions and analytical tools than Excel, limited collaboration tools You can read all our iWork reviews here: Apple Pages, Keynote & Numbers reviews Read: Alternatives to Numbers Alternatives to Pages Alternatives to Keynote Microsoft Excel 2016 Price: Subscription – from £5.99 per month; MS Office 2016 – from £119.99 More info: office.microsoft.com Number-Crunching: Excel is the big-daddy of spreadsheets, used by businesses all over the world and with hundreds of functions and features crammed into its Ribbon toolbar. The sheer range of features built into Excel can seem daunting, but it includes dozens of templates to help you get started, including spreadsheets for home and personal use, business budgets, time-tracking and invoicing. The Formula tab on the Ribbon includes a pull-down menu that quickly lists standard functions, along with a Formula Builder for creating your own functions and formulae. A second tab on the Ribbon provides more advanced tools such as pivot tables and linking to external data sources such as Filemaker or corporate databases, and even HTML web pages. Graphs And Charts: Even Numbers has to tip its hat to the sheer variety of graphs and charts included in Excel. The Charts tab on the Ribbon includes standard options such as bar, area, pie and scatter charts. However, each type of chart also has a separate pull-down menu that includes many additional variations, such as 3D charts, exploded pie charts, or stacked area charts. Excel also includes a special type of chart, called Sparklines, that can help to highlight trends within dense collections of data. Collaboration: There are plenty of ways to collaborate with Excel. The Review tab on the Ribbon allows you to track changes made to a spreadsheet, and to control the level of access that you provide to other users. Larger organisations can set up their own servers for in-house collaboration using Microsoft’s SharePoint software, but you can also upload documents to the OneDrive cloud storage service, or use Microsoft’s Office Online suite of web apps. Pros: Unrivalled range of spreadsheet features and functions, comprehensive collaboration tools, attractive graphing tools Cons: Expensive, complicated for beginners Read: Microsoft Office for Mac 2014 release date Google Docs Price: Free More info: docs.google.com Number-Crunching: The latest version of Google Docs includes a number of new features, including many additional functions and new ‘filter views’ that allow you to hide certain data in order to focus on just the key data within the spreadsheet. There’s a handy ‘quicksum’ feature that automatically works out the total of a set of selected cells, along with a ‘range-selection’ mode that helps you to quickly select a set of cells for your formula. However, Google Docs doesn’t provide as much help for newcomers as Pages, so you do need to be familiar with spreadsheet work and to know the basic functions that you’re likely to need. Graphs And Charts: Google Docs doesn’t have the eye-catching 3D graphs and charts of Numbers, but it does include a quick and easy Chart Editor. This can create a variety of common charts, including bar charts and pie and scatter charts. There are some useful extras here too, such as the ability to superimpose charts over a map, or to create flowcharts and org charts. Collaboration: Online collaboration is a strong point with all of Google’s online apps – although it helps if the people you’re sharing with also have Google accounts of their own. You can display your spreadsheet publicly on the web, just send email invitations to specific people, or set up a Google Group for regular collaborators. You can add comments to your spreadsheet, and there’s a Revision History option that lets you view previous versions of your spreadsheet. Pros: Free, good features for sharing and collaboration Cons: Full collaboration features require a Google account, not ideal for beginners LibreOffice Price: Free – donations encouraged More info: libreoffice.org Number-Crunching: It’s no coincidence that the LibreOffice spreadsheet is called Calc – just like that of OpenOffice – as both software suites share the same open-source roots. Not surprisingly, the two programs also share many of the same features and functions, as well as similar formatting palettes and toolbar layouts. Calc’s main toolbar includes options for quickly sorting data in cells, SUM calculations, and correcting decimal point placing. For more advanced work there’s a Function Wizard that quickly lists the entire range of available functions, and also helps you to create and structure more complex functions and formulae of your own. Graphs And Charts: The Chart Wizard in LibreOffice Calc is almost identical to the one found in OpenOffice. It includes a good selection of two-dimensional bar, column, pie and scatter charts, along with a ‘3D Look’ option that allows you to add simple 3D perspective effects. You can also liven up your charts by applying transparency or graduated tint effects, and if things get a bit untidy you can just hit the Reset button to revert to one of the standard chart types. Collaboration: Like OpenOffice, LibreOffice focuses more on offline collaboration. You can send copies of your spreadsheets to other people, and each user can record the changes they make within their own copy. There’s an option for comparing different versions of a document, and if you approve the changes that have been made you can import those changes and merge them into your own copy of the spreadsheet. However, you can’t collaborate online with other people all working on the same version of a document. Pros: Free, Function Wizard assists with complex functions, simple chart tools Cons: No online collaboration, few features to differentiate it from OpenOffice Apache OpenOffice Calc Price: Free – donations encouraged More info: www.openoffice.org Number-Crunching: Calc is the spreadsheet program within the free OpenOffice suite. It looks a bit like a mash-up of Numbers and Microsoft Excel, as there’s a large ‘side-deck’ palette on the right-hand side of the screen that is similar to the Inspector palette in Numbers, along with a densely populated toolbar like the Excel ribbon that runs across the top of each document. That cluttered interface might be a bit intimidating for new users but, like Numbers, it does help you out by providing information about all the available functions in the side-deck palette. One useful feature is the Detective option, which helps you to work with complex formulae by showing the relationships linking data cells and formulae. Graphs And Charts: The graphs and charts in Calc aren’t as pretty as those of Numbers, but the program’s Chart Wizard guides you easily through the process of selecting a chart type, selecting data and then modifying elements such as titles and labels for the X and Y axis. The Wizard includes the usual bar, pie, line and scatter charts, and there are options that let you add transparency and simple 3D perspective effects to your charts. Collaboration: Calc does include a review function that allows it to record changes made to a document by different people. However, each person needs to work on their own separate copy of the spreadsheet, using their own copy of OpenOffice. There’s no option for simultaneous online collaboration as there is with Numbers and some of its other rivals. Pros: Free, extensive set of functions, simple Chart Wizard Cons: Cluttered interface, limited collaboration options Panorama Sheets 6.0 Price: £29.99 More info: The App Store Number-Crunching: Developer ProVue is well-known for its powerful Panorama database, and Panorama Sheets is a simpler version designed for home users and small businesses. Like its big brother, Panorama Sheets presents database information in a spreadsheet format that makes it easy to quickly browse, search and sort through your data. You start work by defining the fields in your database, such as the names and addresses of your customers, or the members of a local sports club. Panorama Sheets then presents you with a blank spreadsheet into which you can insert the necessary data. You can create fields that perform calculations, and the program does include a wide range of mathematical, scientific and financial functions similar to those you might find in a conventional spreadsheet. And, like any database it also allows you search and sort information quickly, perhaps locating customers who share the same post-code, or club members who haven’t paid their subscription fees. This combination of database and spreadsheet features can be a little confusing if you’re not already familiar with database concepts, but it’s one of the better options for simpler database work since FileMaker scrapped Bento last year. Graphs And Charts: Panorama Sheets is very efficient at storing and sorting your data, but it’s pretty basic from a graphical point of view. There are no options for creating graphs and charts, and it lacks the attractive graphics and layout tools that Bento used to provide. Collaboration: Panorama Sheets is very much a single-user product, but it does provide the option of upgrading to other products in the Panorama range as your business grows, including Panorama Server for sharing data across an organization. Pros: Simple database program that presents data in spreadsheet format, wide range of functions and sorting tools Cons: Emphasis on database features, limited graphics and layout features, complex for beginners. Smartsheet Price: Subscription £7 per user, per month:£84 per annum More info: www.smartsheet.com Number-Crunching: At first glance, Smartsheet might look like a fairly conventional spreadsheet, but it’s actually a collaborative project management tool. Its designers decided to use the columns-and-rows format of a spreadsheet simply because most people already understand how spreadsheets work. Smartsheet documents – known as ‘sheets’ – can be used to store information, such as a series of tasks, dates and names of the people involved, and to share that information online with your colleagues. It doesn’t provide the same range of mathematical functions that you’d find in dedicated spreadsheet, but Smartsheet does allow you to attach additional files to individual rows within a sheet, including wordprocessor documents, PDF files, and more detailed spreadsheets if required. Graphs And Charts: Smartsheet isn’t a conventional spreadsheet, so it doesn’t provide tools for converting data into graphs and charts like rivals such as Excel or Numbers. However, it can be used to create ‘Gantt charts’ that are used in project management, and you can attach proper spreadsheets and charts to rows along with other types of information. Collaboration: Smartsheet provides plenty of options for collaborating with colleagues. The creator of a sheet document can publish it openly on the web, or simply send invitations to specific colleagues. You can also decide whether to share the entire sheet, or just a set of files attached to one particular row. Pricing depends on the size of your organization, with subscription prices starting at £84 per year for a single-user license that allows you to collaborate with an unlimited number of colleagues. There’s also a free iOS app that you can use as well. Pros: Versatile project-management tool based around familiar spreadsheet concepts, designed for collaboration Cons: Requires a subscription, lacks the number-crunching power of a true spreadsheet Soulver 2.4 Price: £8.99 More info: The App Store Number-Crunching: Soulver isn’t a true spreadsheet program like Numbers or Excel – in fact, it doesn’t even use cells like a spreadsheet at all. However, it’s a handy tool for performing simple calculations that don’t require the complexity of a spreadsheet. A Soulver document just looks like a blank page that is divided into two columns. The left-hand column allows you to type simple notes and calculations – such as ‘3 nights at £50 per night’, or ‘£50 in US dollars’ – and the answer will then appear in the right-hand column. It doesn’t have the range of functions that you’d find in a proper spreadsheet, but Soulver can perform a number of trigonometry calculations and allows you to create variables or use operators such as brackets within your calculations. Soulver can also track share prices – though it needs an Internet connection for updates – and can convert currencies, distances and weights, so it’s a good alternative to a basic calculator. The Mac version is a little pricey at £7.99, but there’s a free trial available and there’s also an iOS version that costs just £2.29. Graphs And Charts: Soulver has some simple formatting tools that allow you to highlight different elements within a calculation, but there are no tools for converting data into graphs or charts. Collaboration: You can save Soulver documents as PDF, CSV, HTML or text documents, which might be handy for sharing your notes with other people. However, Soulver is really just a personal calculator and doesn’t provide any options for collaborating on documents with others. Pros: Good for quick calculations, tracks shares, converts currencies, weights and distances Cons: Mac version is expensive, no charts or collaboration features Comments Please enable JavaScript to view comments How to watch Microsoft Build 2016 live stream - Build 2016 keynote live blog: Watch live as Satya N6...… 1995-2015: How technology has changed the world in 20 years Best free fonts: 10 free typefaces every designer should have Learn how to code in Java on a Mac: Set up a Java programming environment in Mac OS X and get… Follow Macworld on Twitter Follow Macworld on Facebook

Free Bitdefender tool prevents Locky, other ransomware infections, for now

Antivirus firm Bitdefender has released a free tool that can prevent computers from being infected with some of the most widespread file-encrypting ransomware programs: Locky, TeslaCrypt and CTB-Locker. The new Bitdefender Anti-Ransomware vaccine is built on the same principle as a previous tool that the company designed to prevent CryptoWall infections. CryptoWall later changed the way in which it operates, rendering that tool ineffective, but the same defense concept still works for other ransomware families. While security experts generally advise against paying ransomware authors for decryption keys, this is based more on ethical grounds than on a perceived risk that the keys won't be delivered. In fact, the creators of some of the most successful ransomware programs go to great lengths to deliver on their promise and help paying users decrypt their data, often even engaging in negotiations that result in smaller payments. After all, the likelihood of more users paying is influenced by what past victims report. Many ransomware creators also build checks into their programs to ensure that infected computers where files have already been encrypted are not infected again. Otherwise, some files could end up with nested encryption by the same ransomware program. The new Bitdefender tool takes advantage of these ransomware checks by making it appear as if computers are already infected with current variants of Locky, TeslaCrypt or CTB-Locker. This prevents those programs from infecting them again. The downside is that the tool can only fool certain ransomware families and is not guaranteed to work indefinitely. Therefore, it's best for users to take all the common precautions to prevent infections in the first place and to view the tool only as a last layer of defense that might save them in case everything else fails. Users should always keep the software on their computer up to date, especially the OS, browser and browser plug-ins like Flash Player, Adobe Reader, Java and Silverlight. They should never enable the execution of macros in documents, unless they've verified their source and know that the documents in question are supposed to contain such code. Emails, especially those that contain attachments, should be carefully scrutinized, regardless of who appears to have sent them. Performing day-to day activities from a limited user account on the OS, not from an administrative one, and running an up-to-date antivirus program, are also essential steps in preventing malware infections. "While extremely effective, the anti-ransomware vaccine was designed as a complementary layer of defense for end-users who don’t run a security solution or who would like to complement their security solution with an anti-ransomware feature," said Bogdan Botezatu, a senior e-threat analyst at Bitdefender, via email.