Tag Archives: mac

Exclusive : 2021 MBP Will Have MagSafe 3 + SD Card Slot!

First Look : 2021 MacBook Pro MagSafe 3 + SD Card Slot!

Exclusive on Tech ARP – the first look at the 2021 MacBook Pro ports, including a brand new MagSafe 3 port and an SD card slot!

Here is the first ever look at the MagSafe 3 connector, the SD card slot, and other ports that will ship with the 2021 MacBook Pro!

 

First Look : 2021 MacBook Pro MagSafe 3 + SD Card Slot!

Apple fans who miss the MagSafe port and the SD card reader in their MacBook laptops will have something to cheer for this year!

Apple will not only introduce a new MagSafe 3 connector in the upcoming 2021 MacBook Pro, they will also bring back the SD card slot!

New Apple MagSafe 3 Connector!

The new MagSafe 3 connector is bidirectional and has 5 pins, and will lock and detach magnetically like the previous two generations.

The MagSafe 3 connector is not compatible with older MacBook computers, and has a pill-shaped design with a thinner profile.

The MagSafe 3 port is located on the left side of the 2021 MBP, next to two Thunderbolt 3 (USB4) ports, and a 3.5 mm audio jack.

Ports on the left side of the 2021 Apple MBP | Copyright : Tech ARP (www.techarp.com)

Return Of The SD Card Reader!

We are also glad to report that Apple will (finally) bring back the SD card reader that many photographers LOVED, and bemoaned when Phil Schiller killed it in 2016.

Now that Schiller is out of Apple, it looks like it’s been resurrected for the 2021 MacBook Pro. Utility finally trumped cumbersome!

The SD card reader is located on the right side, together with a third Thunderbolt 3 (USB4) port and a HDMI 2.0 port.

Ports on the right side of the 2021 Apple MBP | Copyright : Tech ARP (www.techarp.com)

 

2021 Apple MacBook Pro : What Else Is New?

So what else is new in the 2021 MacBook Pro, other than MagSafe 3 and the resurrected SD card reader?

14-inch + 16-inch Models

There will be two 2021 MacBook Pro models – with 14-inch and 16-inch displays.

Apple M1X SoC

There will no longer be Intel CPU options, only the Apple M1X SoC.

Nothing much is known about the Apple M1X, other than it is a more powerful version of the M1 that has stunned many with its performance.

But rumours have it that it will have 12 processor cores, split into two performance clusters :

  • P Cluster (Performance) : 8 x Firestorm (?) cores
  • E Cluster (Efficient) : 4 x Icestorm (?) cores

It will have a more powerful GPU than Apple M1‘s 8-core GPU.

Memory

The Apple M1X will use the same unified memory design as the M1, built directly onto the package for near-instantaneous access.

However, it will offer larger memory options – 24 GB and 32 GB are possible – in addition to 16 GB currently available with the M1.

External Display Support

A big limitation of the Apple M1 is its support for just one external display of up to 6K resolution at 60 Hz.

The 2021 MacBook Pro will support at least two external displays, if not more, via its Thunderbolt 3 and HDMI ports.

OLED Touch Bar Gone!

Good riddance to the pointless OLED Touch Bar. That’s gone for the 2021 MacBook Pro models.

 

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Apple M1 Gaming : Watch It Run The Witcher 3!

Windows gaming on the ARM-based Apple M1 is possible!

Watch how well the Apple M1 runs The Witcher 3 using CrossOver 20!

 

Apple M1 Gaming : Watch It Run The Witcher 3 On CrossOver 20!

AppleGamers successfully ran The Witcher 3 on CrossOver 20, using the 2020 Apple MacBook Pro with the new ARM-based Apple M1 SoC.

Here was their recorded gameplay of The Witcher 3 at the 1080p resolution, with the Medium graphics and post-processing presets, and VSync enabled.

They could not get the FPS counter to work, but it looks smooth and very playable, albeit with some visual artefacts.

Basically – Apple M1 gaming is not only possible, it is possible to play Windows games!

 

Windows Gaming On Apple M1 : Rosetta 2 + Windows API Translation!

That quick gameplay showcase of The Witcher 3 shows that Windows gaming is possible on the Apple M1.

The ability to run The Witcher 3 on CrossOver 20, and at such playable frame rates, is important for two reasons.

Windows App Compatibility

The Witcher 3 is a 64-bit Windows-only game, so you wouldn’t expect it to run well on the ARM-based Apple M1, right?

Running it on the Apple M1 involves translating Windows API calls using CrossOver, and then translating x86 instructions to ARM instructions using Rossetta 2.

Yet it not only worked, it ran pretty well on the Apple M1!

Performance

While AppleGamers was not able to obtain a frame rate, The Witcher 3 appears to run pretty well at the 1080p resolution.

That shows that the Apple M1’s integrated 8-core GPU is fast, and will have no problem handling native ARM games at 1080p, and likely 1440p as well.

 

Apple M1 : A Quick Primer

The Apple M1 is the first ARM-based SoC (System on a Chip) designed by Apple for use in Mac computers.

Packing 16 billion transistors, it is the first chip to be manufactured on the new 5 nm TSMC process technology.

It comes with 4 high-performance Firestorm CPU cores, 4 power-efficient Icestorm cores, an 8-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine.

As the M1 is based on the ARM architecture, you can natively run iPhone and iPad apps on it. However, existing macOS apps will have to be ported over, or translated on-the-fly using Rosetta 2.

It is currently available in these Apple Mac computers :

  • 2020 MacBook Air : US | UK | AU | MY | SG
  • 2020 MacBook Pro 13-inch : US | UK | AU | MY | SG
  • 2020 Mac mini : US | UK | AU | MY | SG

 

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Mac Camera Cover Guide : Why Apple Is Wrong!

Apple recently advised everyone not to cover the camera of their Mac laptops, and rely instead on the camera indicator light.

Find out why Apple is WRONG, and why you need to physically cover your Mac computer’s camera!

 

Mac Camera Cover : What Is It For?

Cybersecurity specialists have long advocated covering the built-in camera of your computers, not just MacBook laptops or Mac desktops, with a camera cover of some sort.

This prevents hackers from taking over that camera, and secretly recording you. This has implications beyond just recording your embarrassing moments for blackmail.

With access to your laptop camera, hackers can determine when you are away from home, who lives at your home, who you are working with, and even where you currently are.

 

Apple : Don’t Use A Camera Cover For Your Mac

In their recent HT211148 tech advisory, they asked Mac laptop (MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro) users not to use any camera cover.

Recommended : Warning : Using A Camera Cover Can Damage Your MacBook!

Instead, they recommended that you use these two built-in features for your privacy :

A. The Green Camera Indicator Light

Apple points out that your Mac computer has a camera indicator light that glows green whenever the camera is active.

They also claimed that the camera is designed not to activate unless its indicator light is also turned on.

B. The Camera Access Control

As an additional measure built into macOS Mojave or later, you must give an app permission before it can use your Mac computer’s camera.

To view which apps has access to your Mac computer’s camera, and to revoke any app’s access :

  1. On your Mac, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, click Security & Privacy, then click Privacy.
  2. Select Camera.
  3. Select the tickbox next to an app to allow it to access your camera.Deselect the tickbox to turn off access for that app.If you turn off access for an app, you’re asked to turn it on again the next time that app tries to use your camera.

 

Why Apple Is Wrong, And You Need To Cover Your Mac Camera!

Apple fans may hate us for this, but they are wrong. You must physically cover your Mac computer’s camera to protect yourself.

Hackers Always Disable The Indicator Light

Mac computers are not the only ones to feature an indicator light for their built-in cameras. Most computers with a built-in webcam have such an indicator light.

It is, therefore, SOP for hackers to disable the indicator light after gaining control of the camera. Camfecting attacks won’t work if you are aware that the camera is turned on…

Apple asserts that the camera and its indicator light on Mac computers are wired in series, so the camera won’t work if the indicator light is turned off.

However, a 2013 Johns Hopkins University paper showed how it was possible to disable the indicator light of a Mac computer’s webcam, even though the camera module had a “hardware interlock”.

This isn’t just an obscure research subject. The FBI has the capability to covertly activate a computer’s camera without triggering the indicator light, according to Marcus Thomas, the former assistant director of FBI’s Operational Technology Division.

The only ways to prevent such attacks would be to either turn off your computer, or physically cover the camera.

Hackers Won’t Ask You For Permission

Security researcher Ryan Pickren showed in April 2020 how seven flaws in Apple Safari can let malicious websites hijack your camera and microphone to spy on you.

All you have to do is click on a link, and it lets the malicious website gain access to your webcam without asking for permission.

So much for the Mac Camera Access Control feature…

You May Not Notice The Light

Even if the camera indicator light is not disabled, it doesn’t mean you will immediately realise when the light turns on.

By the time you realise the green light is actually glowing, it may already be too late.

This is partly because it emits a steady glow, and doesn’t blink. Of course, a blinking light is bloody irritating, but we are more likely to notice it than a static green glow.

The only way to prevent that is to physically cover the camera.

Hackers Can Turn On Sleeping Or Hibernating Computers

Don’t assume that just because your Mac computer is sleeping or hibernating, hackers cannot access its camera.

They can potentially wake your computer, turn on the camera and record from it, with the indicator light turned off.

Security researcher Pedro Vilaça showed in 2015 how it was possible to remotely “root” and take over a Mac computer after it wakes up from sleep mode of 30 seconds or longer.

Irrespective of the method used, once hackers gain control of your computer, they can turn on its Wake On LAN (WOL) feature to remotely wake up your computer, like what the Ryuk ransomware does.

The only way to prevent that is to turn off your computer, or physically cover the camera.

Cybercriminals Can Trick You With A Fake Blackmail

Even if cybercriminals are unable to access your camera, they can still trick you into believing they somehow took compromising photos or videos from it.

They send out thousands of spam emails every day to trick people into believing they have been caught on camera.

People who don’t use a camera cover can be convinced into believing that their webcams were somehow compromised, and tricked into paying up to avoid exposure.

The only way to prevent that is to physically cover the camera.

 

The Best Way To Cover Your Mac Computer Camera

While we strongly advise you to cover your Mac computer camera, that does not mean you should risk damaging your display.

Laptop Computers (MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro)

According to Apple, we should not use any camera cover that is more than 0.1 mm thick. That basically rules out any camera cover, because it is impossible to make one that thin.

They also advise again using anything that leaves an adhesive residue. So that means cellophane tape (Scotch tape) and packaging tape should be avoided.

So here are the best options for you to consider, based on your requirements :

  1. If you don’t intend to use the camera at all
    a) Use your laptop in clamshell mode, with a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse
    b) Cover the camera with masking tape, which is gentle and leaves no residue
  2. If you plan to use the camera
    – Cut a small piece of sticky note, so that there is an adhesive part and a non-adhesive part.
    – Alternatively, cut a piece of masking tape, and fold part of it to create a non-adhesive portion.
    – Cover the camera with the adhesive part
    – You can then use the non-adhesive portion to pull it off whenever you need to use the camera

Desktop Computers (iMac, iMac Pro)

Desktop computers like the iMac or iMac Pro don’t have to worry about damaging their displays with camera covers of any thickness.

We therefore recommend using a proper camera cover that slides to let you use the camera whenever you want to, and physically cover it whenever you don’t.

Just make sure the camera cover does not use excessively strong adhesive, or leaves a residue that will require using solvent to remove, which could damage the display coating!

 

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The Alibaba DingTalk App Features & Details Revealed!

The Alibaba Group is taking their Dingtalk enterprise communication and collaboration platform worldwide. DingTalk CTO, Hugo Zhu and their Head of Global Business Development, Chris Wang, flew in to demonstrate how DingTalk will help businesses small and large improve their staff communication and collaboration.

 

What Is DingTalk?

Alibaba created DingTalk in January 2015 as a proprietary enterprise communication and collaboration platform that enables text, photo, voice and video communication, workflow management and collaboration among team members and enterprises of various sizes. More than 5 million companies and organizations are currently using it in China.

 

DingTalk Security

As a Chinese app targeted at enterprises, Alibaba is eager to assure users of the security of the DingTalk platform. It features end-to-end 256-bit AES encryption over SSL/TLS connections. It is also one of the first Chinese apps to have obtained the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 standard.

Enterprises that require additional security can opt for third-party encryption services that will provide assurance that the messages and data sent or shared on DingTalk cannot be accessed, even if their servers are compromised in any way.

 

DingTalk Communication Features

  • Phone / Chat: DingTalk can support up to 3,000 members in a single group chat.
  • Voice Conferencing: Multi-party participation with ease of clicking a button on the group chat for up to 50 people. Voice service is currently only available via VoIP for users outside of China.
  • Video Conferencing: High-definition video conferencing equipment for up to 16 parties, view conference status at a glance and easily switch between training and discussion mode, supports both desktop and file sharing. Video services is currently only available via VoIP for users outside of China.
  • Ding Mail: Effective email messaging and receive email notifications in chats. Ding Mail makes email messaging more like chats instead of threads.
  • Organization Chart: View organization’s structure in a glance, find people and contacts with ease.
  • Read/Unread Status: All types of messaging display read / unread statuses for improving communications efficiency.
  • Secret Chat: Send a traceless secret message for ultimate privacy and protection. Once read, the message automatically delete itself after 30 seconds. No Copy& Paste is allowed during Secret Chat mode. Both profiles within the Secret Chat are masked, hence the identities remain concealed.

 

DingTalk Office Automation Features

  • Attendance: User-friendly and smart Clocking-In and Out system, automatically generates attendance reports, approvals for business trips and leave are automatically.
  • Approvals: all your workplace tools in one place – requests for leaves, applications for business trips or reimbursements at the convenience of your phone. Recommended process templates are provided for each industry. Approval functions lets you view pending applications, keep track of all your approved applications and submit your own applications for approval.
  • Ding Drive: quick and easy file collaboration, integrated company chats, making sharing files between colleagues even easier. Easy and sharable files between companies through your external contacts or keep files only accessible to employees. Free storage for every registered organizations. Different permission settings available in regular chars, private chats or organization chats.
  • Check-In: More of a field-force feature. NO setup is required and it captures all check-in records in one report.
  • Log: View work reports from previous days, weeks or months to help identify problems
  • Announcement: Announcements can be made within your department / organization. Members will receive notifications once announcement has been posted.

 

DingTalk Collaboration Features

  • DING Message: Send important messages via SMS, phone or in the app ( DING message via phone is only available for a few customers and the function is available only to a “White List” of users and is not available to the general public)
  • DING Tasks: create and assign work tasks in seconds
  • DING Meetings: Book offline meetings, video conferences and conference calls (voice and video services are currently only available via VoIP for users outside of China)
  • External Contacts: Batch add from Phone Contacts / import from PC, Add manually or Scan Business Card to add external contacts to your DingTalk. Under the Scan Business Card function, all you need to do is scan the business card and all information will be automatically extracted and saved under External Contacts.
  • Hot Line: Local hotline number for customers in Malaysia is +603 20929588
  • Field Support: When required, DingTalk’s local team will provide onsite deployment service or training for organizations and companies.

 

DingTalk Smart Office Devices

Enterprises, small and large, can further leverage the capabilities of DingTalk with the addition of these DingTalk Smart office Devices :

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  • With the C1 Smart Wi-Fi Router, users can complete the 4-step configuration in 5 minutes. With one-click setup and seamless roaming, the router enables smart network traffic control and supports up to 256 devices.
  • Besides screen sharing between offices powered by DingTalk, users can also use D6 Wireless HD Projector or V1 Wireless Portable Projector for presentation.
  • DingTalk enables enterprises to conveniently record attendance in the workplace and at external meetings with the M1 Finger Print Attendance Machine and M2 Facial Recognition Smart Receptionist.

 

DingTalk Price & Availability

Originally designed as a Chinese app, DingTalk is now available as an English app in Google Play Store, and the Apple App Store. It is also available on the desktop for Windows and Mac systems.

The native features of DingTalk are FREE for all enterprises to use, irrespective of their size. Optional third-party, or value added services (e.g. additional Ding Drive storage) may be applicable.

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New WD G-Technology Drives With Thunderbolt 3 & USB-C

Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced upgrades to its award-winning G-Technology product lines, including the addition of Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C connectivity technologies. To be on display at BroadcastAsia 2017 for the first time, the upgrades optimize the speed and performance of these drives, meeting the growing needs of creative professionals who are capturing and transferring vast amounts of high-resolution content.

 

The New WD G-Technology Drives With Thunderbolt 3 & USB-C

Built for creative professionals, including videographers and digital photographers, who require storage solutions that keep up with their intensive data needs and creative applications, G-Technology’s upgraded devices offer complete, high-capacity workflow solutions that seamlessly integrate into the larger Thunderbolt 3 ecosystem.

All WD G-Technology storage solutions use HGST Ultrastar enterprise-class drives and are backed by an industry-leading 5-year limited warranty. G-Technology’s storage solutions come pre-formatted for Mac computers and can be easily reformatted for Windows computers with the G-Technology Windows Format Wizard.

 

WD G-DRIVE with Thunderbolt 3

The WD G-DRIVE with Thunderbolt 3 is designed for creative professionals in mind, with dual Thunderbolt 3 ports and a USB-C port (supports USB 3.1 Gen 1). Users can conveniently daisy chain up to five additional devices, allowing them to stay connected to multiple drives and quickly move HD videos and 4K footage through a single connection.

With capacities up to 12TB, heavy workloads and mission-critical data users have peace of mind with the long-lasting reliability of the HGST Ultrastar 7200 RPM enterprise-class hard drive inside. It is available now at RM 3,900 / ~US$ 929 for 12TB and RM 3,410 / ~US$ 810 for 10TB .

 

WD G-RAID with Thunderbolt 3

The WD G-RAID with Thunderbolt 3 is a high-performance, removable dual-hard drive RAID 0, 1 or JBOD storage system that features Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 Gen 2, HDMI 2.0 ports. It also has the ability to plug in 4K 60 HDR displays and editing tools, allowing creative professionals to quickly access, browse, edit, and backup digital libraries.

Removeable HGST Ultrastar 7200 RPM enterprise-class drives allow flexibility and reliability that is suitable for the most demanding creative projects, including multi-stream HD, 2K, 4K, and HDR video workflows. It is available now at RM 9,750 / ~US$ 2,320 for 24TB.

 

WD G-SPEED Shuttle XL

The WD G-SPEED Shuttle XL with Thunderbolt 3 is able to handle demanding multi-stream workflows of 4K and beyond, both on location and in the studio. The G-SPEED Shuttle XL with Thunderbolt 3 offers hardware RAID 0, 1, 5, 6,10, and 50 configurations in an 8-bay transportable solution.

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Equipped with HGST Ultrastar enterprise-class hard disk drives for enhanced reliability and transfer rates up to 2000 MB/s, creative professionals have the ultimate storage solution for demanding video workflows and high-capacity storage. It is available now at RM 49,730 / ~US$ 11,840 for 96 TB.

The G-SPEED Shuttle XL with ev Series bay adapters is similar to the G-SPEED Shuttle XL with Thunderbolt 3. The integrated ev Series bay adapters improve workflow options and productivity by enabling cross-functionality with all ev Series drives.

Designed with two ev Series bay adapters for use with ev Series drive modules and ev Series readers, users can experience enhanced reliability coupled with fast transfer rates up to 1500 MB/s. It is available now at RM 38,030 / ~US$ 9,055 for 72 TB.

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Typeeto – Using Your Mac As A Bluetooth Keyboard

How many times have you worked on both your Mac and your iPhone or iPad and you suddenly find the need to copy and paste a text from your Mac to your iPhone. You would also wish that there must be an easy way to type into your iPhone from your Mac’s keyboard!

At this point, you’re probably wishing that you can use your Mac as a Bluetooth keyboard for your iPhone Well, there is indeed a solution.

 

How to use your Mac as a Bluetooth Keyboard for the iPhone

The app that I discovered recently is Eltima’s Typeeto. Its an app that usually costs $19.99. But as of the publishing of this post, it’s currently on promotion at $9.99 on the Mac App Store. But if you do prefer to not purchase it off the Mac App Store, You can also buy it directly from Eltima’s website which offers you a trial to test it you. Then just follow this link and you’ll automatically get a special 15% off discount coupon on the retail price.

Once installed, you would need to first connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac. The Typeeto app does tell you how to do it when try to add a new device in Typeeto after you start up the app.

Typeeto on the menubar

Typeeto actually works on any device that supports using a Bluetooth Keyboard as well. The following are the list of devices that Eltima’s team has tested Typeeto against.

Typeeto supported devices

Pairing the device of your choice is simply just how you would usually do it on your Mac. The following are screenshots of me pairing my iPhone 6s to my Mac.

Pairing the iPhone in MacOS Bluetooth menu

Confirming the pairing of the iPhone

Typeeto detects a newly paired iPhone

After pairing the iPhone, or any other device, you’re ready to use Typeeto. But before that, let’s take a look at the preferences and settings that you can set with the app.

General settings

The General settings are pretty self explanatory. I would recommend setting the paste text to device shortcut key combination to something that you would be comfortable with. The default alt-cmd-v works ok but change it if there’s another key combination that you prefer. Also, turn off the sending of usage statistics if you prefer to be private.

Devices settings

The Devices settings is important too. I recommend setting a Quick Launch shortcut key to have the ability to easily switch between your devices, especially when you have more that one that you intend to use with your Mac. Otherwise you would always need to click on the device you want to connect to using Typeeto’s menu bar.

Themes

As for the last Theme settings. I don’t think I need to explain it any more than the screenshot itself. ?

Next Page > Using Typeeto On Your Mac, Our Verdict

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Using Typeeto on your Mac as a Bluetooth Keyboard for the iPhone

I’ve had Typeeto running on my Mac for about a week now and I’d have to say that it’s been quite interesting using it. I actually have the Logitech Bluetooth Easy-Switch K811 Keyboard for Mac that I’ve been using to type on both my Mac and my iPhone when I need it. However, I usually just leave the keyboard, though portable at work. So anywhere else, I would find myself missing the external bluetooth keyboard when typing long emails on my phone.

Thus the “interesting” description of Typeeto. Interesting because it works really well. I’ve used another app in the past but it didn’t work too well for me as it didn’t work most of the time. Typeeto has been pretty stable in my testing over the week so far. But since I already have the Logitech K811 external keyboard. I usually find myself just switching my keyboard over to my iPhone and I’d start typing away.

But Typeeto does have one major advantage which is its ability to paste text that’s been copied from the Mac. This is definitely a very useful feature, especially typing over complex passwords that I used for my online accounts. (Seriously guys, using 1Password to generate unique and complex passwords you can’t remember is the only way to go now).

One thing to note is that this copy-pasting feature has a maximum text length limit of 1024 characters, which actually isn’t too bad. You can copy roughly a full paragraph with it as you’ll see in the video capture I took below. The way it works is that Typeeto would basically retype for you character by character onto your device. This presents an interesting behaviour if you turn on autocorrect on the iPhone. Any wrongly typed words that are copied would be automatically corrected if possible. The video below shows this behaviour when I copied over a Lorem ipsum text from my Mac to my iPhone. This is definitely something to be aware of.

 

 

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Our Verdict

At the usual price of $19.99, you may think that it’s a little on the pricier side. However, if you compare it with the Logitech Bluetooth Easy-Switch K811 Keyboard for Mac that costs close to $90 on Amazon, you basically get the same feature of the external bluetooth keyboard at a 80% discount. And if copying text and pasting it to your device is a must have feature, well, Typeeto is an obvious choice for you. That’s just something you can’t do with any external bluetooth keyboard.

Typeeto has been a solid software making the Mac as a bluetooth keyboard for any device that supports it. So if you find yourself needing it, it’s one that I would recommend quite easily.

Purchase Typeeto from this link and get a 15% discount off the retail price!

Disclosure: I was offered a press copy of the software to test and write this article that was originally posted on my blog.

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WD HelioSeal Technology Expands Storage Capacity to 8TB

2 March 2016 – Western Digital Corporation today announced the expansion of its award-winning portfolio of performance storage solutions with 8TB capacity drives for NAS, video surveillance and desktop external applications. Increasingly centralized, rich-content, which continues to grow in popularity among enterprises, small business and consumers alike, is driving demand for greater storage capacities.

Launching throughout the first half of 2016, My Cloud personal storage devices (My Cloud, My Cloud Mirror, My Cloud EX2 Ultra), My Book external hard drives (My Book, My Book for Mac, My Book Duo and My Book Pro), WD Red, WD Red Pro and WD Purple hard drives will all be designed with the new high-capacity configuration. Each storage solution offers purpose-driven engineering and HelioSeal helium-technology with the new 8TB drives for maximum and efficient performance in the applications for which each model is designed.

The increase to 8TB or 16TB (with two 8TB drives in RAID 0) capacity applies to the following WD products:

 

External Hard Drives

  • [adrotate banner=”4″]My Book/My Book for Mac -– An external hard drive solution that provides complete backup and storage with USB connectivity.
  • My Book Duo/My Book Pro – Dual-drive external hard drive solutions which provide ultra-fast storage in RAID-0 and complete backup and storage with USB and/or Thunderbolt connectivity and up to 16TB capacity.
  • My Cloud/My Cloud Mirror – A personal storage device that plugs into your router at home to provide consumers with their very own private cloud.
  • My Cloud EX2 Ultra – As part of the creative professional series of My Cloud products, the My Cloud EX2 Ultra provides high-performance two-bay network attached storage.

 

Internal Hard Drives

  • WD Purple – Engineered for 24/7, always-on, high-definition surveillance security systems that use up to eight hard drives and up to 32 cameras
  • WD Red – Optimized for personal, home and small business NAS (network attached storage) systems
  • WD Red Pro – Optimized for small business and enterprise class NAS systems with high performance and reliability.

 

Availability and Pricing

My Book 8TB will be available in March at select retailers and is distributed by Eternal Asia (M) Sdn Bhd in Malaysia. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the My Book 8TB (model #: WDBFJK0080HBK) is RM 1,499.00 (~US$ 359).

My Cloud, My Book for Mac, My Book Duo, My Book Pro, WD Red and WD Purple 8TB configurations will be available during the first half of 2016.

 

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Pixelmator for Mac Is Now FREE! (Updated)

The year-end and new year holiday season is upon us! From now until the first few days of 2016, the Internet will be replete with a ton of offers and freebies to celebrate the end of 2015, and a new start to 2016.

Here at Tech ARP, we will be posting some of the best offers and freebies, so check back often! In the meantime, enjoy this freebie – Pixelmator for Mac!

 

How To Download Pixelmator For Free!

Pixelmator for Mac is a full-featured photo editor for the Mac. It lets you enhance and touch up photos, sketch, draw and paint, add text and shapes, apply dazzling effects, and more. It retails for US$29.99, but you can now download, own and use Pixelmator for FREE!

All you have to go to this special Pixelmator landing page and answer a single question based on this free issue of the Mac|Life magazine. Here are a few cheat questions and answers for those of you who are too lazy to even make the effort :

What was the slogan for the Apple ad campaign we feature on p98?
Think different
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What is the name of the robot arm featured in our Crave section (p19)
Dobot
On p. 59, we recommend the 7 best apps for?
Making movies
On what page will you find the Pixelmator giveaway offer?
77
What $9.99 Boy & Bear album do we recommend in our $50 iTunes Card section on p20?
Limit of Love
What Pixar film do we recommend in our $50 iTunes Card section on p20?
Inside Out
In this issue we’ve reviewed an Olympus camera that looks like a lens on p76. What is the name of the camera?
Olympus Air A01
What Pixar film do we recommend in our $50 iTunes Card section on p20?
Inside Out

Whether you use the spoilers above or not, we strongly suggest you pay Mac|Life back by downloading their free issue.

 

The Pixelmator Offer Has Been Suspended

Sadly, Pixelmator has suspended the offer, probably due to the overwhelming response.

However, since they did not tie the Pixelmator offer to the Apple Store (it came in the form of a ZIP file download), you will have no problem getting a copy of it from those who managed to download it earlier, or from peer-to-peer sharing networks.

Not to worry though. We have just announced the Creatable + MacPhun Design Freebie Bundle! Go download it right now!

Creatable + MacPhun Design Freebie Bundle

The year-end and new year holiday season is upon us! From now until the first few days of 2016, the Internet will be replete with a ton of offers and freebies to celebrate the end of 2015, and a new start to 2016.

Here at Tech ARP, we will be posting some of the best offers and freebies, so check back often! In the meantime, enjoy this freebie from Creatable and MacPhun Software!

 

Creatable + MacPhun Design Freebie Bundle

Creatable and MacPhun Software have jointly released a Design Freebie Bundle of 27 resource packs worth $456, but is now FREE to download and use!

 

The Creatable + MacPhun Design Freebie Bundle consists of the following software :

  • Focus CK for Mac – $60 value
  • Simple Icons Set – $50 value
  • Photoshop Actions by Filterlicious – $24 value
  • UI Kit for Apple Watch Apps – $29 value
  • Mac Mockups Set – $18 value
  • Monobrand iOS UI Kit – $38 value
  • Lightroom Presets by CreativePresets – $19 value
  • Retro Jam UI Kit – $19 value
  • Exeo UI Kit – $35 value
  • Workspace Hero Images – $12 value
  • Gradient Presentation Template – $9 value
  • Royal UI Kit – $9 value
  • Tech Brochure & Newsletter Template – $23 value
  • Party Vector Icons – $4 value
  • Combinations UI Kit – $6 value
  • Boost UI Kit – $28 value
  • Winter Watercolor Backgrounds – $8 value
  • 48 Watercolor Backgrounds – $10 value
  • Artistic Backgrounds – $5 value
  • Sketch Art Photoshop Action – $5 value
  • Realistic Painting Action V2 – $5 value
  • Anaglyph PS Action – $3 value
  • Creative Design Business Cards – $3 value
  • Creative Corporate Design Letterhead – $3 value
  • Quick Paint PS Action – $3 value
  • Stationery Mockups – $3 value
  • Christmas Infographics & Illustrations – $20 value
  • Business Infographics – $5 value

Although some of them are Mac-specific, many of the resources can be used with Windows and Linux PCs.

 

How To Download The Design Freebie Bundle

Just click here to get to the Creatable + MacPhun Design Freebie Bundle landing page. Once you are there, just click on the Get This Free > link, and this screen will pop-up :

Just key in your email address and click Continue >>

You will receive an email with a secure link to download those resources.

Please note that you only need to do this once, because the offer is for ALL 27 resources. You do not have to “purchase” each free resource individually.

Enjoy!

Must-Have Mac OS X Apps – 2015 Edition

More often then not I get asked what are some of the must-have Mac OS X apps by friends and family members who’s just got their hands on their first Mac. So much so that I had taken the effort to put them up in an article listing exactly that. With the recent release of OS X El Capitan, it’s time for a refresh of my top apps recommendation for the Mac platform again.

I’ve previously written a similar article back on my own blog site in 2013 when OS X 11 was released. In this article, I’ve now refine the list to a set of top 5 apps and the rest in a secondary list. This is by no means that apps are not as great but instead are ones that would depend on personal preference if you need such apps or not. Just as an example, as great Affinity Photo is, not everyone needs a powerful alternative to Apple’s own Photo app.

Ok. enough of this chit-chat. Let’s jump straight into the top 5 apps that you need to have.

 

Top 5 Must-Have Mac OS X Apps

1. Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X 14

Even when I work in a predominantly Mac user workplace, I still need to deal with a lot of NTFS-formatted external storages. More so if you work in an environment that’s largely Windows dominated. And as you would probably already discovered, OS X by default can only read NTFS formatted drives and not write into it.

Thankfully, the good folks at Paragon Software provides us with an implementation of NTFS support for OS X. The latest version 14 provides full NTFS features and supports the latest OS X El Capitan. This alone makes it the top of the must-have Mac OS X apps list. Paragon Software has also made the installation process a lot easier on this latest release, making it simpler for non-techies to install it.

I’ve been using Paragon Software NTFS for Mac OS X for a long time and it’s really stable! And I would also say that this is a  software that’s pretty much mandatory for anyone with a Mac, unless of course you exclusively only work on OS X.

Link: Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X 14 $19.95!

 

2. 1Password

With all the password hacks going around the web, it is time everyone starts using stronger passwords for all your online accounts. Not just a single strong password being re-used, but a unique strong passwords for each online account you have. And if that is to be, then you would need to use a password manager to help you remember all those passwords, unless of course you are one of those unique individual who can simply just remember everything. I’m surely am not, and therefore swears by the use of 1Password for this specific use!

When it comes to password management, 1Password is really in a league of its own. What I like most about 1Password is it’s ability to not just store and manage passwords well, but it’s ability to seamlessly sync the stored passwords across all your iDevices (iPad, iPhones and iPod Touch) via iCloud or Dropbox, as long as you also have the 1Password app on your device. It also stores not just passwords, but also credit card numbers (which is really helpful for all your online shopping needs), software license keys, accounts, and much more!

Generate strong passwords for your logins

And on the latest version of 1Password, it has a mini interface that is accessible with a quick shortcut key that allows you to quickly search the information you need and immediately copy it into the clipboard and allowing you to paste it where you need it to be.

[adrotate banner=”4″]Before, you would only be limited to the browser plugin that helps you automatically login with the stored user id and password, or opening up the full application to gain access to the secured information.

You can even create multiple vaults to be shared across different team or family members for those accounts that are meant to be shared, while keeping your own personal logins accessible just to yourself.

$49.99 and $17.99 may seem steep for an OS X and iOS app, but this amount worth spending so to allow you to start managing (and strengthening) all your online accounts. Getting your password hacked is far more annoying and potentially a costlier affair too!

Link: 1Password ($49.99 on the Mac App Store) and 1Password for iOS ($17.99 on the App Store)

 

3. Alfred with the PowerPack

Alfred is one of the few utility apps that I can’t live without now on my Mac. Essentially, it’s a search utility, working pretty much like Spotlight of OS X. However, it does it in a far more elegant way. It also provides you with the quickest way to launch applications. Find out more about what Alfred can do for you here. The basic version of Alfred is available free on the Mac App Store or from their website as well, which makes it a real no brainer to have it installed on your Mac.

Effortless search with Alfred

But I highly recommend using Alfred with its Powerpack which only costs you £15 as the extra features is really worth the cost! One of the greatest features that the Powerpack includes is the ability to create global shortcut keys that allows you to launch not just apps but also to open a commonly used folder, activate an AppleScript, run system commands, and much more. It also provides a quick file system navigator that’s really handy in many situations.

Extend Alfred with Workflows!

In addition to that, the Powerpack also enables the ability for you to create workflows! You can find many cool examples of the use of Alfred Workflows here. Personally, I use it as a replacement to bash scripts that executes or starts up servers which I would have to do on the terminal.

Starts up a web server and opens up the browser all with a quick keyword

Link: Alfred Powerpack (£15)

 

4. Airmail

Personally, I think Airmail is the OS X mail app that should have been. I’ve used Airmail from the very early days of its beta releases and now that the app is officially released on the Mac App Store, I’m highly recommending it to anyone who has looked out for an alternative to the default Mail app, especially if your email is based on Google Mail. Airmail is built from ground up to support Gmail natively.

What’s really great about Airmail is its highly responsive interface. It also have a very intuitive user interface which most mail apps have come to adopt since. One thing I like most about Airmail is its awesome support for multiple email accounts, support for a multitude of email services, including support for Exchange, IMAP, POP3, Gmail, Google Apps, iCloud, Yahoo!, AOL, Outlook.comLive.com and many other providers with IMAP or POP3 support.

Also, Airmail’s iOS app is on the way and when it is released, it would likely be the first mail app that supports the iOS and OS X Handoff feature.

Link: Airmail ($9.99 on the Mac App Store)

 

5. AppCleaner

Uninstalling applications on the Mac is really easy. Unlike Windows which requires an uninstaller to do the job right, on the Mac, you simple would just delete the application. It’s that simple! However, it still does leave some traces on your Mac, in the form of settings and configuration files. If you plan to reinstall the application later on and would like to have all the settings and configurations intact, then that’s fine. However, if you like to wipe it all clean, then AppCleaner does exactly that for you with just a simple drag and drop.

I would basically keep AppCleaner on my dock and simply drag and drop any applications I like to removed on the AppCleaner icon on the dock. The other options is to simple open up AppCleaner, click on Applications (or Widgets or Others) and search for the app in question and  then click on “Search”, confirm that you want to delete the app and its related files, then delete them,

Link: AppCleaner

 

So far…

As I’ve mentioned earlier, these 5 apps are must haves and I would recommend them to anyone who’s on the OS X platform. The total amount so far is about US$120 (US$97.92 + £15 which is roughly $23.00).

The rest of the must-have Mac OS X Apps

These next set of apps are really great to haves depending on how you use your Mac and the work that you do with it. I’ve decided not to put it up as top apps as not everyone needs to use these apps if there’s no need for it. Read on to find out more about them and see if you too have a need for them as I do.

 

6. Scroll Reverser

If you use both a mouse with a scroll wheel and the TrackPad with OS X’s natural scrolling direction, Scroll Reverser is the tool for you. The screenshot below shows the exact settings I’m using, specifically to keep using natural scrolling on the trackpad and maintain the expected scrolling direction for mouse’s scroll wheel.

Natural on the Trackpad and “normal” on the mouse scroll wheel

Link: Scroll Reverser

 

7. PathFinder 7

If you find OS X’s Finder lacking, consider trying out PathFinder 7. I’ve written a pretty comprehensive review of PathFinder 7 here in comparison to OS X Yosemite’s Finder. But even when compared with Finder in OS X El Capitan, the points I made in the review is still valid and I continue to use PathFinder 7 today.

8 customisable modules in both the bottom and right shelf

I won’t go deep into the features of PathFinder that makes it my choice of Finder replacement here on this article but here’s a summary of it.

  • File Operations Queue
  • Dual-pane view
  • Bookmarks and Favourites
  • Configurable Shelves
  • Highly customisable and a whole bunch of features like…[adrotate banner=”4″]
    • Calculate file checksums with MD2, MD4, MD5, SHA-1, SHA224, SHA-256, SHA384, and SHA-512
    • Built-in hex editor
    • Built-in image editor
    • Archive files and folders with zip, gzip, bzip, dmg, Stuff, tar, and more
    • Ability to quickly get the dimensions of an image file and copy the dimensions into the clipboard as the following text: width=”###” height=”###”
    • Built in terminal console module
    • Git or subversion integrations
    • Ability to securely delete a file
    • and more!

Link: Path Finder ($39.95)

 

8. Affinity Photo

If you need a good photo editor that has all the key features you look out for in Adobe Photoshop, but does not really need something as powerful as Photoshop, then Affinity Photo is the editor for you. First thing first, Affinity Photo is REALLY fast. It really is something that you have to use to believe how fluid the controls are. But more importantly, Affinity Photo provides most of the familiar features and capabilities as Photoshop, the industry benchmark for a professional photo editor app.

Affinity Photo also includes a pretty powerful RAW Processing capabilities as well which is very similar to Adobe’s Lightroom. I’ve not yer personally explored the RAW Persona deeply as I continue to use Adobe’s Lightroom for RAW development. But in my limited use of it, I find it as functional as one would expect from a RAW processing app. However, it does lack the rich support for camera color profiles and lens profiles as Adobe has. And because of that, I would likely continue to use Lightroom to develop my RAW files and then edit them in Affinity for post-processing.

Develop your RAW photos with Affinity Photo’s RAW Persona

Link: Affinity Photo ($49.99 on the Mac App Store)

 

9. DaisyDisk

If you have MacBook with limited SSD storage space, that means you’re more likely to fill it up faster as well. This is where an app like DaisyDisk is really handy.

As you can see form the screenshot, DaisyDisk presents your storage usage in a beautiful flower-like graph which acts as the intuitive visual map of your disk. It also doubles up as an interactive interface where you can discover what’s taking up all that storage space while allowing you to also select and remote the files within the app itself.

So if you find yourself to be running out of space on your Mac, DaisyDisk is the app to use to figure out what you can remove to gain back the space you need.

Link: DaisyDisk ($9.99 on the Mac App Store)

 

10. Gemini

Just as my recommendation for DaisyDisk, If you use a Mac with limited SSD storage space, any apps that helps you figure out how you can free up files that you don’t need anymore would be very helpful. And with Gemini, it does exactly that by searching your storage for duplicate files.

Gemini does it really fast and elegantly. Due to my highly collaborating work environment where I share a lot of files with my colleagues, there’s bound to be files that are duplicated pretty much all over my MacBook’s storage. Gemini has been a really great tool in helping me find all those duplicated files and allowing me to decide if I would want to delete them. I’ve so far been able to remove about 10+GB worth of storage wastage.

Link: Gemini: The Duplicate Finder ($9.99 on the Mac App Store)

11. iTerm 2

If you use the terminal and work on the command line a lot, then I highly recommend using iTerm 2 as the replacement of OS X’s Terminal. Just check out this list of advanced features of iTerm 2 here and you’ll never go back to Terminal. Trust me.

Searching on iTerm

 Link: iTerm 2

12. Little Snitch

For all the paranoid in you, Little Snitch is a great app that helps you protect your Mac from the outside world. How it works is quite interesting as it essentially is an anti-firewall, protecting not what’s incoming to your Mac, but what’s going out from your Mac to the Internet. And in some ways, this protects you better than just using a firewall as Little Snitch will prompt you every time an app requires to sent anything out to the Internet, unless you’ve already allowed it to do so permanently.

You can find out more about Little Snitch here. But if you are as paranoid as I am about what’s getting out of your Mac, Little Snitch is a great tool to help you keep that in check.

Link: Little Snitch (€ 29.95)

This article is an adaptation of the original article on my blog post here.