macOS High Sierra: tips and tricks

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Apple’s latest desktop operating system is called macOS High Sierra, which sounds awfully similar to the last one. That’s because, like the transition from OS X Leopard to Snow Leopard, Apple has chosen to refine its established Mac OS rather than replace it wholesale, thereby avoiding the risk of introducing niggles and issues and that were previously absent.

That of course still equates to additional new features for macOS which we’ll cover in this article, but perhaps more importantly, it should mean improved speed and stability for your Mac.

In another piece of good news, if your Mac is capable of running Sierra, then it’s fully compatible with High Sierra, too. So head on over to TechRadar to find out how to get the most out of macOS 10.13, by yours truly.

Review: Lofree’s Mechanical Bluetooth Keyboard Is a Beautiful, Frustrating Typewriter

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Redesigning an input device is a risky business. When Apple introduced its latest MacBooks, some users complained that the new butterfly mechanism in the keys was a turnoff. They criticized the keyboard for its lack of travel, and said the experience of typing was not much different to tapping on a touch screen. Other users felt okay with the change. Whichever side people fell on the debate, everyone could agree that how a keyboard actually feels beneath the fingers matters a great deal.

With the lofree Bluetooth keyboard, the designers have tried to re-imagine the typing process in a more radical way, by recreating the experience of operating a traditional typewriter, but in an elegant retro-modern design.

The desirability of such a product is in no doubt – lofree’s Indiegogo campaign set out to raise $10,000 over 30 days, but has already garnered $364,443 from over 4,000 backers, with several weeks to spare. I got a hold of a finished unit to see if the lofree keyboard can live up to expectations. Check out the review over on MacRumors.

Review: Jabra Elite Sport Wireless Biometric Earbuds Make Workouts Sound Better

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Headphone jack controversies aside, Apple’s cord-free AirPods have contributed to a recent surge of interest in “truly wireless” earphones, with several companies vying for a piece of the market.

Denmark-based audio outfit Jabra has embraced the freedom-of-movement appeal of wireless buds more than most with its Elite Sport headphones ($250), which it calls “the most technically advanced true wireless sports earbuds” around. Boasting a number of features such as in-ear coaching and heart-rate tracking, they’re an intriguing prospect for fitness-focused headphone users frustrated by flailing cords.

While Jabra claims the Elite Sport buds improve your workouts while providing great sound, $250 is a lot to pay for a wireless headset. I checked out a pair over on MacRumors to see if they deliver on their promises.

Review: Bragi’s ‘The Headphone’ Wireless Buds Lack the Finesse of AirPods

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Bragi announced its Dash earphones at CES way back in 2015, when wireless Bluetooth headsets were still relatively niche. Since then we’ve seen Apple, Samsung, and a host of other companies launch their own “truly wireless” headphones, prompting Bragi to give the market another pop with “The Headphone” ($149), a less expensive, more awkwardly named variant of its original cord-free buds.

Announced last September two days before the Apple iPhone 7 event, The Headphone only began shipping in January, so Bragi has had plenty of time to iron out any last-minute kinks. Not that there should be any. The Headphone buds are a lot less ambitious than the Dash.

They don’t have touch-sensitive controls, for one. Bragi has also done away with the internal music player, heart-rate monitoring and fitness tracking features found in the company’s original wireless buds. Are they susceptible to the same connection problems that initially befell the Dash? And how do they compare against Apple’s AirPods? I sought to find out over on MacRumors.

The best new tech for designers to drop in 2017

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Whether its high-powered all-in-one PCs or simply more refined input devices that are on the horizon, more technology companies than ever are eager to please designers, illustrators and digital artists of all types with inspirational wares.

Much like an artist on the hunt for the best pencils, digital artists are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest gadgets to help bring their creations to life. If that’s you, don’t miss what Microsoft, Apple, Dell, Wacom, and a host of other big brands have in store for the discerning creative in 2017. Find out more in my latest piece for CreativeBloq.

15 best new pieces of tech for designers in 2016

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The last 12 months have been host to a wealth of new hardware launches and a veritable parade of impressive tech, and happily plenty of it has been designed with creative professionals in mind.

From innovative takes on traditional desktop and notebook computing, to revolutionary new input devices fine-tuned for digital artists, it’s been an exciting annum of inspirational gadgetry indeed.

Whether you’re a budding graphic designer working from home or a veteran visual effects wizard, there’s sure to be something that will pique your interest in my standout technology picks from over the last year. Check them out over on CreativeBloq.