Preparing for macOS High Sierra Update

Apple will soon release their new version of macOS called High Sierra. This update will mostly focus on under the hood improvements and new / updated technologies.

The most interesting features in this update in my opinion is support for external GPUs and the new filesystem.

Although the update process through App Store is pretty much straight forward it is wise to make some preparations beforehand. Here I list some articles that will help clean up, and make your current system ready for the high Sierra update.

1. Backup your data

You didn’t see this one coming?

Plug in an external drive to your Mac and answer yes to the question if Time Machine can use this drive as a backup drive. Then let it sit for a while. Depending on how much data you have it can take several hours. Let it sit overnight if you have to. If you are impatient try this: Time Machine Slow? Speed it up With This Terminal Hack!

2. Clean your system

A clean system is a system that often runs well. Take care of it and clean out old stuff. Remove software and applications you dont need anymore. Check out: 9 Ways To Free Up Space And Clean Macs.

3. Try Clean My Mac

macOS High Sierra: Getting ready in 3 steps

4. Solve problems before updating

If you suspect your device is having some issues I recommend to check out Slow Mac Performance? 12 Great Tips! and 5 Ways to Fix MacBook Overheating.

Doing some of the steps above should prepare your computer for macOS High Sierra. Good luck!

Setapp Educational Pricing Tier

Setapp have now released a new pricing tier for educational customers. An annual plan which equals to $4.99/mo. All you’ll need is a working EDU email.

Armed with the best apps for research, paper writing, and productivity Setapp should have something useful for every educational user. Check out the educational discount here: Best Apps for Studies and Research

Read More: Setapp have many of the best Mac apps

How to Install macOS High Sierra Public Beta

macOS High Sierra Public Beta

macOS High Sierra Public Beta is available for download now without needing an developer account. Everyone that wants to try it out can, free of charge.

The final release is expected around fall 2017. If you like to play around with new software and accept bugs this is for you. I wouldn’t recommend installing this on a mission critical machine. As Beta software can be unstable at times. However if you would like to try out new features like Metal 2 and the AFPS filesystem. Go ahead!

Apple Beta Software Program
You need to enroll your computer in the Apple beta software program to get access to the beta. Go to Apple Beta Software Program and Sign Up or use your Apple ID if you have on to sign in.

Follow the instructions on that page to enroll your device.

Eventually you will be able to download the macOS High Sierra public beta access utility. Do that, and when it finishes open the file and run the installer. When this is finished the Mac App Store should open and you will be able to go to the Update screen in the App Store and macOS High Sierra Beta should be available for download.

Make sure you have an backup of important files before you begin in case things go south. Remember, this is beta software after all and things can break. Especially now when Apple is in the transition of changing to a completely new filesystem.

Purgeable Space – How To Manually Make It Really Free

From macOS Sierra, Apple introduced some space-saving features in their OS. One of those features are saving content in the cloud. When you turn this feature on it can save photos, movies, email attachments, and other files that you seldom use in iCloud. The file will stay the same place on your computer, but download at demand when you need it. Purgeable space are files that are safely stored in iCloud and can be deleted on your physical drive.

I decided to really test this feature.

I have a big photo collection from over 10 years, its about 850GB in RAW files. I wanted to have every file available to me when I use the laptop and not having to drag an external drive along. The only problem is that SSD storage is extremely expensive so the laptop I use have 512GB internally.

So I started Apple photos and started importing photos (using this script: Import Folders Into macOS Photos). It started to upload the images to iCloud, but after a while I got messages about the drive being full and the upload stopped. I had to delete some files in the library to get it to upload again. When the initial 350GB upload was done I expected to get some more free space because I had turned on “Optimize Mac Storage” in Apple Photos. But I never got more than about 12GB free.

purgeable space

I let the computer sit for an entire day, but the available space remained the same. (Around 12GB). That didn’t cut it when I still had 400GB to upload. So I started searching the web about how to free purgeable space, but as I have found out the OS itself controls this. Meaning you can’t set a target size yourself. However you can fool the system by coping large files to the drive.

What I would do is use a termal command you see in the selection below:

mkfile terminal command

So this creates a 20GB file but I had to wait until Apple Photos app had finished uploading. I then proceeded to duplicate this file a few times. After that I deleted the files I made and doing this gave me more “real” free storage. So now I could upload the rest of my images.

I think that when you do this, it makes the system think that you suddenly need a lot of storage and it will free up purgeable space for you.

Setapp have many of the best Mac apps

Setapp is a subscription service that makes a collection of hand-picked curated apps available for a monthly fee of $9.99 / month.

The app is designed to be an alternative to the official App Store Apple use. Unlike the App Store, they hand-pick the best apps from each category for Setapp and, thus, offer the best solutions available to you. Also, it’s cheaper to pay $9.99/month and get unlimited access to all apps than to spend $30-40 for each application. You get unlimited access to the apps and that includes updates and eventual in-app offerings as well.

To use this service you download Setapp and install it on your Mac. This creates a special folder on your Mac where all apps are available for you as long the subscription is active. You can use the apps offline so the only need for Internet connection is when you first install an app or want to update it.

Setapp

MacPaw who is the brains behind this (Clean My Mac, Gemini) adds more apps all the time.

Some of the available apps I already have and used before. Like iFlicks, iStat Menus, MacPaw Apps, WiFi Explorer to name a few. There are some great selections here.

Check out apps you can get here: Best Apps for Mac, Yours to Explore.

They have a 30-day free trial. No credit card required and you can cancel anytime you want.

Save Space On Your Mac: Try CloudMounter

I recently got the opportunity to try CloudMounter. Its a great little tool for users that have low space on their devices because it allows to mount Dropbox, Google Drive and other disks without having to store the files locally on your computer.

CloudMounter

CloudMounter supports encryption so that your data is safer in the cloud. Integrates well with Finder and is updated regularly.

Check it out at: https://cloudmounter.net

Apple Tease Pro Users With iMac Pro

iMac Pro

Apple showcased their new space grey iMac Pro today, with planned shipping in december 2017.

This is a workstation class computer aimed at Pro users.

  • Up to: 18-Core Intel Xeon Processors
  • Radeon Pro Vega graphics
  • ECC RAM (up to 128GB)
  • Up to: 4TB of SSD
  • 10Gb Ethernet
  • 27-inch Retina 5K display

Comes in a new space-grey design, pricing will start from $4,999 (US).

You can read more about it here: iMac Pro.

iMac Updates

At the same time Apple updated their existing iMacs with more powerful graphics and faster kaby lake processors.

The updated iMac features faster Kaby Lake processors up to 4.2 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 4.5 GHz and supports up to twice the memory as the previous generation. Fusion Drive is now standard on all 27-inch configurations and the top-end 21.5-inch iMac. SSD storage options are now up to 50 percent faster, and iMac comes with Thunderbolt 3, the most powerful and versatile port ever.

Read more: iMac receives major update featuring more powerful graphics, faster processors, Thunderbolt 3 and brighter displays

StarCraft Remastered Coming to a Mac near You

starcraft remastered

At last the long wait is over, StarCraft Remastered is going to be released august 14 2017. Blizzard have polished and updated the original game for modern computers and graphics. Enabling support for 4K UHD and modern operating systems including the Mac.

Check out this video:

StarCraft Remastered Features:

  • Buildings, units and environment visual upgrades.
  • Updated audio / music.
  • Higher resolutions.
  • Core gameplay true to the original and not changed.

The game is available 14 august 2017 and you can check out more on Blizzards website: StarCraft Remastered.

This game was a big part of my youth and one of the games I loved playing with my friends during our LAN sessions on the weekends. Apparently a lot of Mac users are searching for ways to get this game working on their Macs. Soon that will be possible and with updated music, graphics as well. Now we wait.

iPhone 7 Special Edition (PRODUCT RED)

iPhone 7 special edition (product red) was released by Apple today. If you buy a product in this category you support the fight against AIDS. A percentage of the profits goes to the global fund helping AIDS programs in Africa. The iPod nano was the first Apple product in the RED category and later on they introduced other products and accessories like headsets and cases.

Bono from U2 worked extensively with the late Apple founder Steve Jobs about these products and how the logo should be designed. Once in a while Apple also do some custom special products and auction them away. A one-of-a-kind red Mac Pro was one of those.

iPhone 7 Special Edition

The special edition of iPhone 7 and plus is available in 128GB and 256GB configuration as their other counterparts. The price will also stay they same as the regular colors. Apart from the color there are no difference in performance or internals.

The timeframe in terms of shipping is end of march and it should be available worldwide.

iPhone 7 Leather Case – (PRODUCT)RED

If a new device is to much to bear for your wallet, and for most people it usually is. A new iPhone 7 Leather Case in a red color will still give something back to help fight AIDS.

iPhone 7 Leather Case - (PRODUCT)RED

iPad Air 2 Discontinued. New 9.7-Inch iPad Takes its Place

Apple discontinued the iPad Air 2 today and replaced it with a new 9.7-Inch iPad with A9 CPU. This is the new entry level tablet from Apple.

iPad

As far as specs go this one have a brighter display compared to the original, but it lacks most of the Pro features like true-tone display, smart connector, Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard support. It also looks like the anti-reflective coating had to go. Probably to keep the prices down.

Specs:

  • A9 CPU
  • 2 048 x 1 536 Resolution
  • 8MP iSight (back) / 1.2MP FaceTime (front)
  • Two Speakers
  • Lightning and 3.5mm minijack
  • Touch ID

This is considered a low-cost iPad and pricing at this time of writing starts at $329 for 32GB and 429 for 128GB. You can get your hands on a device in the end of march.

iPad Mini 4 Storage Bump

If you decide to get an iPad mini you will get more storage for your money now. Apple have decided to discontinue the 32GB model and replace it with a whooping 128GB instead for the same price of $399. If you want a cell version the price increases to $599 at the time this article was written.