Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Microsoft Build will run from May 7 to 9 in Seattle, will overlap with Google I/O

Scheduling tech meetings is hard-boiled, particularly in May, when seemingly every company wants to hold a major event, including Google and Microsoft. Often, Google I/ O and Microsoft Build, the flagship developer meets for both companies, happen within a few weeks or two of each other in May. But not this year.

Microsoft today announced that its Build discussion in Seattle will run from May 7 to 9. Google I/ O is scheduled to run from May 8 to May 10. That’s not ideal.


Google perhaps introduced Microsoft in a tough smudge given that it announced its appointments firstly. Both corporations use these events to perform major proclamations that affect both their respective make communities and their consumers. Last-place time, for example, Microsoft expended Build to announce both brand-new developer and shadow implements, as well as the most recent version of Windows 10.

By planning Build right before I/ O, Microsoft clearly hopes to steal some bellow from Google.

Most attendees maybe merely attend one of these indicates, so that shouldn’t be an issue for most. Microsoft normally plans two days of keynotes for Build, though, so May 8 will be an interesting day for the tech press if both Google and Microsoft prop dueling themes on that day.

Registration for Build will open on February 15. Developers who want to be in the running for air tickets for Google I/ O is also necessary to framed their hat in the ring between February 22 and 27.

Monday, 19 February 2018

WhatsApp officially launches its app for businesses in select markets

WhatsApp today officially launched its new WhatsApp Business app in adopt marketplaces, including Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S ., ahead of its planned worldwide rollout. The add-on of business profiles and new messaging implements aimed at business customers is part of the company’s broader plan to generate revenue by accusing large firms for advanced tools to communicate with customers on the pulpit now used by over a million people worldwide.

The WhatsApp Business app is the initial enter spot in this market.

Aimed at smaller businesses, the free app- Android-only for now- facilitate corporations better connect with their customers and establish an official vicinity on WhatsApp’s service. Essentially, it’s the WhatsApp version of a Facebook Page.

The company had previously announced the app’s entrance, and inaugurated verifying business notes as part of its WhatsApp Business pilot program back in September 2017. Verified accounts were given a dark-green checkmark as a means of illustrating their authenticity.

With the brand-new WhatsApp Business app arriving today, small companies can set up their WhatsApp Business sketches by crowding out info like a business description, email, address and website.

WhatsApp says people will know when they’re talking about here a business because these reports will be listed as “Business Accounts.” Over time, some of these will become “Confirmed Accounts, ” after WhatsApp substantiates the accounting phone number it registered with matches the business phone number.

Once established on the WhatsApp network, businesses can then utilize a series of implements provided by the app, like smart messaging tools that offer similar technology as what you’d find today in Facebook Messenger.

For example, the app offers “quick replies” that afford tight their responses to customers’ frequently asked questions; “greeting messages” that inserts customers to the business; and “away messages, ” that tell customers know you’re busy.

Businesses will also be able to access messaging statistics, like number of themes predict, and they can send and receive meanings from the desktop via WhatsApp Web.

While enterprises will need to use this new app to communicate with clients, for the general WhatsApp user, there’s no change. They’ll be allowed to meaning customs but can control their experience by barrier quantities and industries, as well as report spam.

In addition, industries will only be able to contact people who stipulated their telephone number and agreed to receive words from the business, the company had previously said.

The Business app will later be joined by an enterprise mixture aimed at large organizations with a world client cornerstone- like airlines, e-commerce websites, and banks, WhatsApp had said last sink. It didn’t announce any report regarding this solution today, but in the past the company said it would accuse for these enterprise tools. Presumably, they’ll be built on top of the present WhatsApp Business core product.

No, Apple isn"t "canceling" the iPhone X

If you"ve been debating whether to buy an iPhone X, you may have just been feared out of your decision. On Friday, the ruler of Apple advisers, his majesty Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Defence, prophesied Apple will soon be discontinuing the iPhone X, according to a recent AppleInsider report.

That"s right: Apple is due to kill off its most expensive iPhone after the summer, right when the next generation of iPhones is due and less than a year after its introduction( it didn"t go on sale until Nov. 3 ).

In his note, Kuo appeared to suggest the move was a response to weak demand, particularly in China, where smartphone customers are said to be more skeptical of the notorious "notch." He later clarified in a follow-up note that the iPhone X was being put out to grassland early to prevent any potential "cannibalization" of the brand-new iPhone wire that"s planned for the precipitate, according to MacRumors.

Either way, the rumor comes as quite a catch. Everyone knows Apple secretes brand-new iPhone examples every year, but it would be odd if it discontinued a newer model only a year after its start. The firm often retains making and exchanging older iPhones year after year, exactly at reduction in costs. For pattern, you can buy a brand new iPhone 7 or even an iPhone 6S, immediately from Apple today.

When Kuo"s initial projection offset headlines, it was mischaracterized in the blogosphere as Apple "canceling" the iPhone X, as if it were cutting off yield immediately and flipping an iPhone X sign on the door of the Apple Store to read "permanently out of stock." That"s certainly not happening, but it still might build you wonder: Does the premature end of life( if Apple is indeed killing the iPhone X in Sept. -- remember, this is technically a render series rumor) wants the company has lost confidence in its top-of-the-line iPhone?

So where does the iPhone X fit into the 2018 iPhone thread? It doesn"t.

In a word: No. A couple of months back Kuo established what is now considered the best projection about exactly how the 2018 iPhone cables will shake out in the wake of the iPhone X. Instead of precisely one telephone with an edge-to-edge screen, there would be three. Two "premium" frameworks, a 5.8 -inch and larger 6.5 -inch design, starting at approximately the iPhone X"s current price point( starts at $999 ), and a 6.1 -inch iPhone with a price closer to the current iPhone 8 Plus ($ 799 ).

You has previously start to see the problem. If Apple keeps the iPhone X around by, say, knocking $150 off the cost, it starts to get a little too close to that new 6.1 -inch mannequin. In detail, it would probably gave Apple in the clumsy situation of pricing last year"s phone higher than its newer( but non-premium) iPhones.

That said, why not just keep the iPhone X and not originate the 6.1 -inch iPhone at all? That answer is easy: It"s too expensive. Harmonizing to teardowns, the largest component that"s driving up the cost of the iPhone X( at the least from a cost position) is its OLED screen, which costs significantly more than the LCD screens that have adorned every iPhone that predated it.

The brand-new 6.1 -inch iPhone, nonetheless, is supposed to use a type of LCD tech rather than OLED, which necessitates it would likely cost a great deal less to move. That may symbolize a lower resolve than the "Super Retina" screen on the iPhone X and other jeopardizes, but in general Apple"s goal with the brand-new sit will be to keep penalties down. But even after a year in the market, the components of the iPhone X aren"t likely to get a whole hell of a lot cheaper -- it"s once far and away the most expensive iPhone for Apple to make.

So where does the iPhone X fit into the 2018 iPhone row? It doesn"t. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will fulfill the need for older poses with Apple"s most recent chip technology( the iPhone 7 is very likely to still be around, too ). The three new edge-to-edge iPhones will have all the price places treated. There"ll be no persona for iPhone X to frisk. Better to have it leave the party early than overstay its accepted -- and become a collector"s piece farther into the future.

So , no, the Notch hasn"t ruined everything. And although there are Apple may be putting the iPhone X in the foot later this year, it won"t has become a funeral. It"s exactly doing exactly what Tim Cook said it was meant to do: Lay the groundwork for the iPhone for the next 10 years.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

iMac Pro review

We"re still waiting for the new Mac Pro (and don"t even know which year it"ll be launched in), but in the meantime Apple is placating its pro users with this high-powered slab of processing muscle.

The iMac Pro is available with anywhere from eight to 18 cores, and from 32GB to 128GB of RAM. The thermal architecture, so problematic on the Mac Pro, has been redesigned with "dual blowers" for a claimed 80 percent increase in thermal capacity. And the machine looks great too, with the current "pregnant iMac" design given a new and rather lovely Space Grey finish, and matching peripherals.

We couldn"t wait to get our hands on the new system and put it through its paces in our most rigorous speed and graphics benchmark tests. Welcome to our iMac Pro review.

If you decide this machine is right for your needs, you can spec your iMac Pro on Apple"s website - click here for the UK store and here for the US store. And for more general advice, remember to check out our Mac buying guide.

Design & build quality

Picture the 2017 iMac 27in (we"ll be making a number of comparisons with the i7 edition of this machine, incidentally); now imagine it in Space Grey. That, in most external respects, is what you get with the Pro.

iMac Pro review: Design

It"s an attractive, classic design. There are razor-thin edges around the monitor, giving the illusion of a flatscreen device, but most of the innards are concealed within a gently bulging belly on the back.

We like the reassuring heft and minimalist look of the stand, too, which is made from a single bent piece of aluminium of subtly varying thickness (thickest at the bend and tapering away as it approaches the user) and featuring a cleverly simple cutout to keep your power cable tidy and tucked away. And while it could never be described as lightweight (it"s 9.7kg) or mistaken for a portable device, the iMac Pro"s balance and shape are such that it"s surprisingly easy to pick up and lug to another room.

iMac Pro review: Design

This is all old news, of course, since we"ve had this design in the iMac range for several years. So is the new colour worth talking about?

Colour finish

We"re going to be drilling down into hardcore processing performance in this article so it"s tempting to disregard cosmetic changes like colour finish; but this would be a mistake. The Space Grey finish looks superb, and given that you"re going to be looking at this object for multiple hours a day that isn"t an unimportant factor. It looks modern, and classy, and still unmistakably Apple. It will look great in a studio.

The Space Grey Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 that are available with the Pro are also stunning to look at, although the mouse in particular is a little less stunning to use; it"s so prone to collecting fingerprints that art director made us work with a substitute until we"d finished doing photography. And hilarious though it might seem to normal people, the bundled black Lightning cable that you use to charge the peripherals has very much tickled the fancy of Apple fans.

iMac Pro review: Design

Thermal design

In its mea culpa to the creative and design community who depend on the Mac Pro, Apple admitted that machine"s thermal design was unsatisfactory, making it next to impossible to upgrade. The company expected the industry to move in the direction of multiple GPUs, whereas the trend was actually towards larger single GPUs, which generate more heat and which the Mac Pro"s trashcan design is unable to deal with thermally.

The iMac Pro should have no such problems. Apple says it offers 75 percent more airflow than the 27in iMac (thanks to the "dual blowers") and 80 percent more system thermal capacity.

iMac Pro review: Thermal design

The significance and success of this redesign is hard to estimate at launch, since the Mac Pro seemed fine initially and the problems emerged only later. Looking at the matter subjectively, however, we can report that when using the Unigine Valley graphics test on a loop (with Extreme HD settings) the GPU topped out at 91 degrees Celsius.

That"s a little on the high side for what we"re used to, and a touch warmer than the iMac 2017, which peaked at 87 degrees while admittedly pumping out significantly lower framerates. But it didn"t cause any detectable slowdowns, and there was very little noise from the fans.

All the parts of the casing that are reachable from the front remained cool to the touch, although naturally there was a decent flow of hot air pumping out of the vent.

iMac Pro review: Thermal design


The Pro has a solid bank of ports round the back: four each of USB 3 and Thunderbolt 3/USB-C. In this respect it sits neatly between the 27in iMac (which has four and two) and the trashcan Mac Pro (four and six, although the latter are only Thunderbolt 2).

iMac Pro review: Ports

There are four microphones on the Pro"s chassis: one on the top edge, just above the FaceTime camera (like on the 2015 iMac), one either side of the camera, and one on the back. The 2017 iMac has only one, on the bottom edge.


The display is the same Retina 5K 27in unit you get with the larger of the 2017 iMac range. That means a whopping resolution of 5120 x 2880, claimed support for a billion colours, and 500 nits brightness. Subjectively it"s beautiful to look at: crisp, vivid and bright.

Our colleagues at Digital Arts have noted that Apple"s choice of aligning it to the P3 colour space - as used in digital cinema - rather than the Adobe RGB colour space makes more sense if you consider that it"s more for those creating motion content. It can only output 91% of Adobe RGB - which is roughly the same as the MacBook Pro - but the average buyer is unlikely to mind.

iMac Pro review: Screen


The iMac Pro is a powerhouse of a system. We reviewed the 10-core model with 128GB RAM and the Vega 64 GPU with 16GB of memory; Apple has been keen to stress that in terms of both processor and GPU chips the new iMac Pros are the fastest machines it"s released.

With all this power at our fingertips, we were excited to put it through our battery of tests. Here"s what we found out.

Before we get into the numbers, please note that the i7 iMac we used for comparison purposes had not been patched for Meltdown and Spectre processor bugs, while the iMac Pro had. Intel and Microsoft say these patches can slow down a system, and therefore the iMac is theoretically at a slight advantage.

Apple"s patch doesn"t seem to adversely affect performance on any of the Macs we"ve tested, and we do not anticipate any significant change to our analysis, but for scrupulous accuracy we will shortly update the following charts.

Geekbench 4.2 (64bit)

The iMac Pro averaged 5,424 in the single-core segment of Geekbench 4.2"s CPU test, and a monstrous 36,901 in multicore. This is a test of pure processing speed, and higher scores are better.

The Pro"s results dwarf the numbers we saw with the 3.4GHz version of the 27in iMac (2017) in the multicore segment, although that device managed a shade more in single-core: it scored 5,507 and 17,567 respectively.

This category of performance is niche to say the least, and you"re unlikely to see much difference between those two machines in anything but the most processor-intensive applications - although the gap will become more readily apparent in the years to come. But even now video editors, visual effects artists and 3D illustrators, among others, will appreciate the extra processing welly.

AJA System Test Lite

We used AJA System Test Lite next. This benchmark evaluates drive performance, and again higher scores are better. (We tested using the settings 5K RED, 4GB, single file and disk cache disable.)

The iMac Pro recorded an average of 3,149 MBps write speed (an exceptional result, and far higher than the iMac"s 1,985 MBps) and 2,636 MBps read speed (roughly the same as the iMac"s 2,606 MBps).

Apple predicted impressive drive performance for the iMac Pro partly because it"s split into two drives (512GB each in the starting config) for greater throughput. You"re also automatically given an SSD: there"s no option for a moving hard drive.

Unigine Valley

We ran the iMac Pro (and 2017 iMac) in Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0, which evaluates performance and stability under high graphical workloads.

Using the Extreme HD presets, it recorded an impressive average framerate of 60.2fps (max 106.8fps, min 30.5fps) and scored 2,520 points. That compares to the iMac"s average 39fps and score of 1,633.

You should note that while it"s capable of high framerates, this isn"t a gaming machine by any means, and won"t provide value for money if that"s what you"re looking for.

As mentioned above in the thermal design section, the Pro"s GPU got pretty warm during this stress testing, peaking at 91 degrees Celsius, but didn"t display any signs of distress or slowdown. The thermal system coped fine.


Our colleagues at Digital Arts ran the iMac Pro in Cinebench, a benchmark suite which tests a system"s ability to render 3D scenes and stresses both CPU and GPU. They used the test, in which higher scores are better, to compare against the iMac 2017 and the late-2015 iMac 5K, too.

The Pro scored 135 in the OGL test, and 2065 in the render: both very high scores, albeit not the highest we"ve seen (the Lenovo ThinkStation P900 tops that particular list). The iMac 2017 scored 126.93 and 892 respectively, and the late-2015 iMac 5K 94.74 and 595.

After Effects

Again, our thanks to Digital Arts for this set of test results, using Adobe After Effects 2018 (and in most cases using the CineWare plugin) to evaluate the iMac Pro"s ability to complete complex graphical processing tasks. These are times taken to finish the tasks, so in this case lower scores are better.

In seven out of eight tests, the iMac Pro recorded a time less than half that of the iMac (which was noticeably faster in turn than the iMac 2015, as you"d expect), but we"d like to focus on the eighth test, Cinema 4D. This stresses the GPU, processor, disk input and output and RAM, and provides the clearest overall assessment of a system"s capabilities.

In this test the Pro took 4 min 27 sec; the iMac 2017 took 6 min 16 sec and the iMac 2015 took 9 min 27 sec.

Here"s a selection of the results we got for the three machines.


Here are the specs of the iMac Pro. Where multiple built-to-order options are available, an asterisk indicates the model tested.

  • 8-core Intel Xeon W processor, 3.2GHz, Turbo Boost up to 4.2GHz, 19MB cache (configurable to 10-core 3GHz*, 14-core 2.5GHz or 18-core 2.3GHz)

  • 32GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM (configurable to 64GB or 128GB*)

  • Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics processor, 8GB of memory (configurable to Vega 64 with 16GB*)

  • 1TB of SSD storage (configurable to 2TB* or 4TB)

  • Built-in 27in "Retina" 5K display, 5120 x 2880 resolution, 500 nits brightness, Wide colour (P3)

  • 1080p FaceTime HD camera

  • Stereo speakers, four microphones

  • Ports: 4x USB 3, 4 x Thunderbolt 3/USB-C, SDXC, ethernet, 3.5mm headphone jack

  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2

  • 65cm x 51.6cm x 20.3cm (depth includes stand); 9.7kg


The iMac Pro starts at £4,899/$4,999 for the base configuration, but if you select every possible upgrade (including bundled copies of Final Cut and Logic Pro) you can theoretically spend as much as £13,006.98/$13,926.98.

Here"s what the various custom options will add to the price. You can spec your iMac Pro on Apple"s website - click here for the UK store and here for the US store.


The standard config gets you 8 cores, but you can upgrade to 10 (an extra £720/$800), 14 (+£1,440/$1,600) or 18 (+£2,160/$2,400).


You start with 32GB RAM, but you can upgrade to 64GB (+£720/$800) or 128GB (+£2,160/$2,400).


The basic config gets you a 1TB SSD; 2TB adds £720/$800, or 4TB costs £2,520/$2,800.

Graphics card

Upgrading from the standard Vega 56 to a Vega 64 costs an extra £540/$600.

Peripherals & accessories

The basic spec includes a Magic Mouse 2 in Space Grey. Replacing this with a Magic Trackpad 2 adds £50/$50 to the price; if you want the mouse and the trackpad you"ll have to pay an extra £149/$149.

Apple also offers a VESA mount adapter kit. This costs an extra £79/$79.


Adding a bundled copy of Final Cut Pro X adds £299/$299 to the price. Logic Pro X adds £199/$199.

iMac Pro review: Peripherals

iTunes problems and fixes

iTunes has been around since January 2001, before even the iPod launched. The software used to be fundamental when it came to syncing music with that device, and later on, syncing and updating the iPhone, but now-a-days iTunes is of less importance as many iPhone and iPad users choose to sync their music via the cloud. A good thing too, because iTunes isn’t without it’s problems and if you do choose to use the software to update the software on your iPhone, or sync your music, it’s likely that you have experienced one or two of the issues we will examine below.

If you are using iTunes on your Mac as a jukebox - which is what it was always intended to be before it became the centre of everything iPhone related - you’ll also no doubt have run into a few problems. Especially if you have signed up for any of the services that run alongside it, such as Apple Music and iTunes Match.

Of course, there is still more to iTunes than music - you can also store movies and TV series there, used to keep a back up of your Apps too.

If the complexities of iTunes have you confused, if something in particular has you stumped, or if you iTunes library is just not playing right, we may have discovered some fixes. If you can’t find the answer below be sure to let us know in the comments below and we will attempt to answer it in a later revision of this article.

Click on the links above to get to the section most likely to be relevant to your problem:

Updating iTunes on your Mac

Keeping your iTunes software up-to-date on your Mac (or PC) can avoid many of the questions we address below. It can also be a challenge in itself. First we will look at what to do if your iTunes won’t update.

Can’t install or update iTunes

From time to time Apple updates iTunes, and when it does you can guarantee that some people will encounter difficulties updating the software.

One reason you might not be able to update iTunes is if there is a problem with the settings on your Mac (or PC) that stop it being able to access Apple’s software update server. If the latter is the issue then you may see a message stipulating: ’This device isn‘t eligible for the requested build‘ - this is the error you will get if iTunes can’t communicate with Apple"s software update server. If that’s the case, Apple outlines the fix here.

Is iTunes down or not working?

From time to time there are issues when the iTunes Store goes offline due to issues with Apple’s server. Find out if this is the case here.

Syncing an iPhone with iTunes

This is a common issue, perhaps because it’s often the case that you are being asked to sync your iPhone with iTunes because there is a problem with your iPhone. We look at a couple of scenarios below.

iPhone not recognised by iTunes

If you plug your iPhone into your Mac (or PC) and nothing happens Apple’s advice is that you should start by updating iTunes on your Mac (it’s also worth checking to see if there are any other software updates required). Then force restart your iPhone before connecting it to your computer via USB (here’s how to force restart an iPhone).

If during the process you see a Trust this Computer alert, make sure you tap Trust to unlock your device and enter your passcode.

If you are still having problems it’s worth trying a different USB port, a different UBS cable, and failing that, another computer.

And if even that doesn’t solve the problem, try holding down the Option;/Alt key, click the Apple menu, and choose System Information or System Report. Then, from the list on the left, select USB. If you see your iPhone, iPad, or iPod under USB Device Tree, you may need to uninstall third-party security software. If it’s not there, you should contact Apple Support.

If you were reacting to an error message on your iPhone that told you to Connect to iTunes, read: How to fix "iPhone is disabled. Connect to iTunes" error messages.

iPhone won’t sync with iTunes

If you have an extensive collection of music on your Mac that you want to appear on your iPhone (and you don’t pay for iTunes Match,) you will need to sync your iPhone and iTunes on your Mac in order to copy the music to the iPhone (or iPad).

Unfortunately this is an other area where sometimes you may encounter issues. If your iTunes won’t sync songs to your iPhone or iPad read on:

First things first, in order to sync your iPhone with iTunes (if you don’t sync via the cloud) you need to plug in your iPhone or iPad into your Mac via USB and open iTunes. Once connected you should see an icon for your iPhone or iPad appear at the top of the iTunes window. If you don’t see that icon, you should follow the advice in the iPhone not recognised in iTunes above.

One reason why your iPhone or iPad might not sync via iTunes is if you use iCloud or other services like Apple Music to keep your content up to date across all of your devices - in that case syncing through iTunes might be disabled.

Beware: if a track is on your iPhone but not in the music library on your Mac you will lose it when you sync your iPhone with iTunes unless you use a service like iTunes Match.

Another reason why your iPhone, iPad or iPod won’t sync with iTunes is if there is a file on your computer or iOS device that is locked. In this case, try syncing only a small amount of content at a time, adding more content until you see the error message. That way you can identify the content that is causing the issue and delete and re-download it if necessary.

For more advice on this issue we have this article: How to make iTunes recognise an iPod, iPhone or iPad.

Music won"t play in iTunes

There are a few reasons why music might not play in iTunes. Sometimes it will be due to copy-right issues, whereby you need to prove you own the track in question, other times it might be that the track is no longer correctly linked to your iTunes library. We look at issues with music not playing below:

How to authorise Mac

Sometimes you might try and play a track only too see a message that your computer is not authorized to play it.

It’s possible that you had copied a track from someone else and therefore it’s tied to their Apple account (and you should get your own copy, obviously), but if you do own the track it could be that somehow your computer has become de-authorised. This could be because you have authorised another device which has taken you over the five computers limit.

To authorise your computer to play tracks in iTunes (and any other content you have purchased from the iTunes Store, including movies and audiobooks) start by opening iTunes (if it’s not already open).

  1. Click on Account.

  2. Click on Authorisations and Authorise this computer.

  3. Enter your Apple ID and Password.

If you have reached the limit of five computers you can de-authorise all your computers the same way.

  1. Click on Account.

  2. Click on Authorisations and De-authorise this computer.

What if you have old Macs that you no longer use, but they are chipping into your allocation as they are still authorised?

  1. Go to Account > View my Account.

  2. Scroll down and beside Computer Authorisations you will see how many computers are authorised, and a button to Deauthorise All.

  3. You need to de-authorise all the computers before you can reauthorise the ones you want to continue to use iTunes on.

Some tracks are greyed out in iTunes

There are a few reasons why tracks might be greyed out and unable to play in iTunes.

It could be because they have become corrupted when you were syncing the iPhone with your computer. In that case the best option is to delete them and re-download those tracks.

Another possibility is that you use Apple Music and somehow your music library has got out of sync. In which case:

  1. Log out Tunes: click on Account > Sign Out.

  2. Quit iTunes.

  3. Launch iTunes and login to iTunes again.

A related issue is when exclamation marks appear in iTunes, we have look at How to get rid of exclamation marks in iTunes here. Generally if you see an explanation mark next to a track in iTunes it means that iTunes cannot locate the track.

Apple Music won’t play in iTunes

If you subscribe to Apple Music you will be able to play any track in the Apple Music library.

Sometimes if you really like a track in Apple Music you might download it so that you can play it on your Mac at any time. If you later find you can’t play the track there are a few potential causes for this.

It is possible that Apple no longer has the rights to play that track in Apple Music. If that’s the case you will need to find another way to get hold of the track. It’s possible that it is still available to download from the iTunes Music Store, just not available to Apple Music subscribers who are essentially just renting the track which means it can disappear at any time.

Problems adding music to iTunes

There are various ways in which you can add music to iTunes, including simply downloading from the iTunes Store. You can also import old iTunes libraries or copy tracks over from USB backups. We discuss how below.

How to rip CDs if you don’t have an optical drive

Importing music to your iTunes library from the pile of CDs in your loft might sound like a great idea. But what if you don’t have an optical drive on your Mac.

Since Apple stopped launching Macs with optical drives some years ago this is a very likely scenario. There are a couple of ways in which you can import music from a CD though.

One way is to plug in an optical drive such as Apple’s SuperDrive (more information about that, and some alternatives, here: The best Mac compatible DVD-R drives you can get.

You can also use a second Mac or PC with an optical drive to rip CDs and get them into the iTunes library on your Mac that doesn’t have a drive. We explain how to rip CDs if you don’t have an optical drive here.

How to merge multiple iTunes libraries

What if over the years you have ended up with multiple iTunes Music libraries spread across various hard drives and Macs. Perhaps in the past you have backed up an old library because you were running out of room, or maybe you accidentally stared a new iTunes library, or created a new library when you got a new Mac. You may also have separate iTunes libraries running on various Macs - a different one at home to the one at work. What if you decide you want to listen to some of your old tracks?

One way to do this is to manually drag and drop your music folders into your newer iTunes window. The only issue is might end up with quite a few dulipcates - especially if your current iTunes library still has some of the older tracks in it.

You could use Apple’s own duplicate identifying tool in iTunes to locate the tracks, but there is third-party software that can make the process much easier. We have an article about how to remove duplicate tracks here:

The other downside to combining multiple iTunes libraries is that you’ll lose play counts, last played dates, ratings, and playlists.

How to buy music if you subscribe to Apple Music

Buying music via the iTunes Music Store is easy, but it’s not obvious how to do so if you have a subscription to Apple Music.

Obviously you dint have to buy the track as you can simply download the Apple Music track to your iTunes library, but if you want to make sure you have it should you decided not to continue your Apple Music subscription (or if the music disappears from Apple Music) you may want to ensure you own it outright.

  1. Right-click on the track you wish to buy and you’ll see a contextual menu.

  2. Choose Go To > Song in iTunes Store.

(This doesn’t work in iOS, only in iTunes).

We have more information on iTunes Match and Apple Music here.

How to get back missing music that has disappeared

Luckily if you have accidentally deleted a track that you had purchased from the iTunes Store, it’s quite easy to get it back.

Normally, when you choose Delete from Library, you’ll find the file in the Trash, so you can add it back to your iTunes library.

If that fails, it is possible to download previous purchases again without having to pay for them. We discuss how to recover missing iTunes music here.

If the reason you deleted the music from your library by accident is that you didn’t see the warning: “Are you sure you want to delete the selected song from your iTunes library” it may be because in the past you have ticked the “Do not ask me again” box.

If that’s the case, go to iTunes Preferences > Advanced > Reset all dialog warnings > Reset warnings.

Intel, Microsoft, Google Scramble for Solutions as Patches Slow Systems

Major tech companies, including Intel, Microsoft and Google, scrambled to calm the mood this week after a large number of computer users reported performance problems linked to security updates for the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities.

A firestorm of criticism has erupted over the response to the chip flaws, which researchers at Google"s Project Zero discovered in 2016. Months passed before the problems were disclosed to the public. Further, the security patches released in recent days have been blamed for performance problems, including slowdowns in many systems. The fixes reportedly rendered a smaller number of systems unbootable.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich on Thursday sent an open letter to the technology industry, pledging the company would make frequent updates and be more transparent about the process, and that it would report security issues to the public in a prompt manner.

Design Flaw

Intel Executive Vice President Navin Shenoy on Wednesday issued an update on the impact of the patches on performance, saying that eighth-generation Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake platforms would see less than a 6 percent performance decrease. However, users running Web applications with complex Javascript operations might see a 10 percent reduction.

The seventh-generation Kaby Lake platforms would experience a 7 percent reduction, and the impact on the sixth-generation Skylake platforms would be slightly higher at 8 percent.

Intel released numerous statements after the vulnerabilities were made public, and it shot down reports that its chips were the only ones at risk.

However, the Rosen Law Firm on Wednesday announced that it had filed a class action suit against Intel, alleging a failure to disclose the design flaw. The complaint cited reports that Intel had been warned of the problem. An Intel spokesperson was not immediately available to comment for this story.

Project Zero researchers discovered serious security flaws caused by "speculative execution," a technique used by modern CPUs to optimize performance, Matt Linton, senior security engineer at Google Cloud, and Matthew O"Connor, office of the CTO, wrote in an online post.

G Suite and Google Cloud platforms have been updated to protect against known attacks, the company said, though it acknowledged concerns that a variant of Spectre is considered more difficult to defend against.

Microsoft and others in the industry were notified of the issue several months ago under a nondisclosure agreement, Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft"s Windows and Devices group, noted earlier this week in an online post. The company immediately began engineering work on updates to mitigate the risk.

The flaw could allow a nonprivileged user to access passwords or secret keys on a computer or a multitenant cloud server, explained Stratechery analyst Ben Thompson in a post Myerson referenced.

Contrary to Intel"s protests, the potential risk from Meltdown is due to a design flaw, Thompson also noted.

Users of Windows 8 or Windows 7 systems using Haswell or older CPUs and would see a decrease in system performance after patching the flaw, Myerson noted.

Apple released updates for iOS, macOS High Sierra, and Safari on Sierra and El Capitan, noting the issue relates to all modern processors and affects nearly all computers and operating systems.

However there have been no reported compromises of customer data, Apple added, and Apple Watch is not affected by Meltdown or Spectre.

Performance Over Prudence

"The Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities require adjustment to critical, low-level interfaces in affected operating systems," said Mark Nunnikhoven, vice president of cloud security at Trend Micro.

"Given the scale of the issue, the patches by Microsoft, Apple, Google and others have been very successful," he told TechNewsWorld.

Still, there have been problems in some cases, Nunnikhoven said, noting that Microsoft and AMD have been pointing fingers at one another following reports of computers slowing down or in some cases not booting.

Microsoft has suspended automatic updates and is working with AMD on a solution, it said in a security bulletin.

Like most organizations, chip manufacturers long have prioritized speed over security," said Ryan Kalember, senior vice president of cybersecurity strategy at
Proofpoint, "and that has led to a tremendous amount of sensitive data being placed at risk of unauthorized access via Meltdown and Spectre.

The software patch required to fix Meltdown can slow computer processors down by as much as 30 percent, said Alton Kizziah, vice president of global managed services at
Kudelski Security.

"Organizations need to test patches before installing them to make sure that systems that may already be pushed to their limits won"t crash and cease functioning as a result of the patch," he told. Also, those using Microsoft patches may need to make adjustments to their registry keys to avoid interference with antivirus software.

DJI Tello hands on review

There’s never a shortage of drones at CES 2018 these days, but if you look past all the hexacopter and quadcoptors designed for extreme performance, DJI unveiled something uniquely simple with the DJI Tello. Unlike the company’s previous products, the $99 (£99, AU$169) DJI Tello is more of a tiny flying toy to help kids and starting filers into the air.

On top of that, the Tello is bringing some unique features not seen on a DJI drone before including mid-air flips, livestreaming and the ability to program your airframe. Furthermore, the drone is packing some smart tech courtesy of Intel to make it safe to fly safely and easily indoors.

While you’ll find this drone listed as an DJI Tello on B&H Photo and even DJI’s own storefront, this tiny flier is actually the product of a Chinese startup called Ryze Tech. DJI is helping provide flight stabilization technology and selling the tiny flier under its brand and on its online store.


The DJI Tello really is a little dinky thing when you first see and hold it. Whereas we could hold the DJI Spark in an outstretched hand, the DJI Trello neatly fits into just the palm of our hands. Measuring just 98mm x 92.5 x41mm and weighing 80 grams, it’s an incredibly small drone compared to the rest of DJI’s lineup.

Tininess aside, there’s a clear relation between the Tello and the Spark. Both drones share a similar two-tone look and body shape. That said, the Tello gets rid of redundant landing gear and instead extends the bottom of its rotor arms to act as its feet. The result is an even shorter, more compact air frame that should be easier to fly indoors.


The Tello is essentially a smaller DJI Spark in every way. It packs the same flight stabilization technology and Intel Movidius Myriad 2 VPU in the company’s last micro drone. This means you can launch the drone from your palm and control it with hand motions like a Jedi.

Unfortunately shrinking things down has led to some downgrades. The drone’s camera utilizes a 5MP sensor that can only record 720p videos. The Spark has a 12MP camera capable of capturing Full HD 1080p footage.

Flight time also cuts off at a maximum 13 minutes compared to the Sparks 16 minute battery life. Still, it’s astonishing a drone this small can fly so long. You won’t be going anywhere quick with this drone either. Its max speed tops out at an 8m/s and you’ll only be able to fly it outside when it isn’t windy at all.

On the plus side, you the Tello pulls of a few tricks you won’t find on DJI’s other drones. For one thing the control interface includes a flip button for being fancy in the air or dodging any Nerf darts at a party. There are also several flight modes including ones to shoot a quick 360-degree video or have the drone fly away and upward from you in one smooth motion.

DJI Tello owners will also be able to program their own flight patterns at home using an included coding tool called Scratch. We haven’t had a chance to try it ourselves, but we’ve been told it will be simple for everyone to plot their aerial maneuvers.

With an Google Daydream VR-like phone holder, Tello owners will also be able to jump into a POV flying experience. Previously, all of DJI’s other drones required a proprietary VR headset.

Early verdict

It’s easy to write off the Tello as a $99 (£99, AU$169) toy drone, but it brings some serious performance to the world of tiny drones. With 13-minutes of flight time and all the motion based controls, it’s a much more accessible than just buying another cheap toy drone you’ll crash land within minutes of your first flight.

The Tello isn’t just DJI’s smallest and cheapest drone, it’s also their most fun flier yet. The abilities to flip with a single tap and quickly pop into a POV mode with your phone can’t be discounted. We can’t wait to give this drone a full review when it arrives this March.