Have your say on all things Ap­ple re­lated

Mac Format - - CONTENTS -


I have just or­dered – and re­ceived – my ninth Photo Book from Ap­ple, and beau­ti­ful it is too. My son has made sev­eral as well. Imag­ine then my hor­ror at learn­ing that Ap­ple in­tends to stop its print ser­vice at the end of Septem­ber.

This is ter­ri­ble, and I be­lieve it wouldn’t have hap­pened un­der Steve Jobs. Surely part of the iLife ex­pe­ri­ence was that you could get these beau­ti­ful books and many other things? Sure, Ap­ple has off­loaded this to a third-party ser­vice, but have you seen the qual­ity? Not to men­tion the in­ter­face. It’s aw­ful.

I sense the hand of ac­coun­tants here. If Ap­ple keeps on like this and off­loads any more ser­vices to third par­ties, there’s go­ing to come a time soon when I might as well go to the (very in­ex­pen­sive) PC route, since the rea­sons I have been with Ap­ple for over 30 years are rapidly dis­ap­pear­ing!


ALAN SAYS… When we learned Ap­ple would stop han­dling photo book print­ing in favour of hand­ing it off to third-party ser­vices, we were sad­dened too. Back when this was a fairly novel fea­ture, I heard good things from friends about the keep­sakes they paid for.

Ap­ple has handed the ser­vice off to a third party, but not just one: rather it has opened up the Projects part of its Pho­tos app for other com­pa­nies to plug in to. Though it’s a well-in­ten­tioned change, given that it opens up the mar­ket­place for spe­cial­ists to make their ser­vices ac­ces­si­ble within Ap­ple’s widely used soft­ware, it’s dis­ap­point­ing to hear that your ex­pe­ri­ence with one of those print­ers’ tools and the end re­sults has left a sour taste.

Ap­ple lists ser­vices that con­nect with Pho­tos at bit.ly/pho­to­sproj, a few of which are US-spe­cific. Note Ap­ple’s care­fully worded dis­claimer on that page, which dis­tances the com­pany from re­spon­si­bil­ity for “the se­lec­tion, per­for­mance, or use of third-party web­sites or prod­ucts.”

When we looked at those ser­vices on the Mac App Store, two of them had poor user rat­ings – al­beit from a very small amount of feed­back. The one with the high­est rat­ing – four out of five stars, again from a small num­ber of re­views – is ifolor De­signer.

If any read­ers have ex­pe­ri­ence – good or bad – with third-party print­ers for Pho­tos projects, we’d be grate­ful to hear about it.


I have been a Mac­For­mat reader since the very early 2000s, dur­ing which time I’ve watched com­peti­tor magazines rise and fall, and seen Mac­For­mat change over the years. In is­sue 330, on the Con­tacts page, we learnt of Luis Vil­la­zon’s ca­reer change. I wish him luck, but am go­ing to greatly miss him. I feel envy and sorry in equal mea­sure for the teenagers get­ting him as a teacher. Luis was very in­for­ma­tive and his work on much missed sis­ter mag­a­zine PC For­mat was gen­uinely my favourite part. He an­swered the ques­tions with the re­sponses most of us

have in our heads in the same po­si­tion!

The mag­a­zine will stay fan­tas­tic, of course, but farewell to the man who made it that ex­tra bit awe­some. Thanks.


PAUL SAYS… I re­mem­ber Luis’s work on PC For­mat fondly as well. Ev­ery­one here misses Luis’s bril­liant straighttalk­ing con­tri­bu­tions to our and other Fu­ture magazines. We’ve passed your let­ter to Luis. Of course, like you – and doubt­less many other read­ers, we wish him all the best with his new ca­reer.


I read with in­ter­est your re­view of the Ver­ba­tim Vx500 SSD on page 87 of the last edi­tion of Mac­For­mat. How­ever, I could find no men­tion of the drive size?

Ini­tially, I thought the 500 in the name re­ferred to a 500GB ca­pac­ity, but then re­alised it refers to 500MB/sec read­ing speed. I did some in­ves­ti­gat­ing and found that the Vx500 comes in three sizes: 120GB, 240GB and 480GB. Should you not have men­tioned this?


ALEX SAYS… Thanks for ask­ing about this. It was the 240GB ver­sion of the Vx500 that we tested. This de­tail was omit­ted, and for that we apol­o­gise to read­ers and Ver­ba­tim.


I found your email news­let­ter from 17 Au­gust in­ter­est­ing. About your call for thoughts on Ap­ple Pen­cil: I think it’s great. I’m study­ing Span­ish and do all my home­work and study in hand­writ­ing.

I use a paid-for app called Nota­bil­ity, which I find in­dis­pens­able. I use an STM case, which not only of­fers pro­tec­tion but has a se­cure slot for the Pen­cil.

I try to hand­write as much as pos­si­ble. I’m not re­ally in­ter­ested in writ­ing on my phone, although I ap­pre­ci­ate those with a larger phone may find it use­ful, as many Sam­sung own­ers do. All in all, I’m a happy bunny.


ALAN SAYS… Read­ers, the email news­let­ter (see p32) Tim refers to is one in which I talked about a ru­mour that the new iPhones would sup­port Ap­ple Pen­cil, and that I’d find that use­ful for not­ing down thoughts as they spring to mind.

Tim, it’s good to hear you’re putting Pen­cil to such great use. I can see why phone com­pat­i­bil­ity may not ben­e­fit you. Best wishes for your stud­ies.

Search­ing for ‘appex:com.ap­ple.photo-project’ on the Mac App Store re­veals project-cre­ation tools for Pho­tos.

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