Zac Hall

@apollozac

Editor at 9to5Mac + 9to5Google

Zac covers Apple news and product reviews for 9to5Mac. Zac also contributes to 9to5Google.

Email tips, typos, and any feedback to: zac@9to5mac.com

Tweet and follow: @apollozac

Zac Hall's Recommended Gear

Today

AAPL: 113.29

0.37
Stock Chart

Tim Cook’s efforts to influence policy in Washington DC in ways that better serve Apple have been hard to miss during his tenure as CEO. Pushing the company’s strong stance on privacy has been met with great pushback from the justice department and Apple was unhappy with how the ebook pricing case against it went so it’s no surprise its lobbying efforts have climbed in recent years. Now Politico, a news site focused on politics, has dedicated a lengthy 4,000+ word profile on Tim Cook’s relationship with Washington DC over the last four years. expand full story

August 27

AAPL: 112.92

3.23
Stock Chart

apple

Apple has just sent out official invitations to media outlets (via CNBC) for its next special event on September 9th. The tagline this year reads “Hey Siri, give us a hint.” The event will take place at 10 am PT at Bill Graham auditorium in San Francisco, California, which was rumored to be the venue ahead of the invites. Apple’s September event is set to include the next generation iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus as well as the long awaited Apple TV hardware update.

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Workflow for iOS has become the go-to automation tool for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch users wanting to streamline actions on mobile devices, and now the latest version is ready to put its useful Today widget in Notification Center to work. Workflow originally launched last December after a number of high profile iOS 8 apps were being pulled from the App Store for doing too much with widgets newly made available in Notification Center, but Apple has clearly cooled off and decided that widgets that do more than present information are fine. Workflow’s new version highlights this as the updated widget can now run many tasks right from the swipe down Today view without launching the full app. The latest update also adds a few new actions as well as a new sync and backup service for workflows. expand full story

August 26

AAPL: 109.69

5.95
Stock Chart

Ahead of its annual Max conference in October, Adobe is talking up its new photo retouching app dubbed Project Rigel that is expected to debut at the event this fall. As we learned in late May, Project Rigel is a new Adobe mobile app in development set to replace and improve the image retouching tools previously available in the discontinued Photoshop Touch iOS app.  expand full story

August 25

AAPL: 103.74

0.62
Stock Chart

The results of a Wristly survey published today reveal a new look at Apple Watch behavior among early adopters and adds some insight into how many Apple Music users plan to subscribe after the 3-month free trial. The survey is the latest in a continuing series and captures responses from more than 1,300 people, Wristly says, marking its largest pool of participants yet. In it, Wristly shows what apps Apple Watch users are using most often, what type of apps they enjoy most on their wrist, plus how many participants also own an Apple TV. Also interesting is the crossover between Apple Watch users and interest in Apple Music. expand full story

While Apple has been mostly mum on the numbers behind Apple Watch sales so far, Best Buy is standing behind the iPhone maker’s general message that the Apple Watch has been a hit with customers. The electronics retailer started selling Apple Watches this month in select stores, first in the United States and later in Canada, and today Best Buy’s CEO Hubert Joly said Apple Watch demand has been “so strong” both online and in stores as the retailer plans to carry the smartwatch at even more locations. expand full story

August 24

AAPL: 103.12

-2.64
Stock Chart

Like a lot of 9to5Mac readers, I’m generally a purist when it comes to matching Apple hardware with accessories: I prefer iPhones and iPads without cases unless using one of Apple’s iPhone 6 Leather Cases or iPad Air Smart Covers and I can’t resist their overpriced Lightning Docks. If Apple made an Apple Watch Charging Stand, I’d be tempted to toss my Spigen Nightstand in a drawer in favor of the official solution.

And while I own both the Classic Buckle and Milanese Loop Apple Watch bands, I wear the simpler black Sport band on most days aside from a nice dinner or more formal occasion. Both are fine bands, but Classic Buckle can feel a bit too dressy with a t-shirt and shorts and Milanese Loop isn’t as comfortable as the other bands. For myself, I’ve found that there’s a space in between completely casual and totally formal for Apple Watch bands. Pad & Quill’s Classic Apple Watch Band takes a more traditional strap approach than even Apple’s Classic Buckle and fits this space, with four leather color options and two metal finishes that match stainless steel Apple Watches or Space Gray/Space Black Apple Watches.

I’ve been eager to try the Classic Apple Watch Band since Pad & Quill began transitioning their expertise in fine leather bag and case making toward prototyping Apple Watch bands a few months ago. After finally getting my hands on a Whiskey-colored American leather version, I’ve settled on a few first impressions on what is now my first favorite third-party Apple Watch band. Read on for details:

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Apple hasn’t officially confirmed its expected September 9th iPhone 6S event just yet, but we now know where Tim Cook will be at the end of next month. Box announced today that the Apple CEO will be joining Box CEO Aaron Levie for a fireside chat to open the enterprise cloud service’s BoxWorks conference in California. The conference runs September 28-30 at Moscone Center in San Francisco with Cook’s fireside chat set to take place on September 29th.  expand full story

August 23

AAPL: 105.76

-6.89
Stock Chart

Just as many students and teachers around the country are preparing to start or already have started the new school year, Apple is set to announce a new education program that aims to ‘end America’s public schools’ digital divide’. The new plan will be unveiled tomorrow morning with ABC’s Good Morning America program airing an exclusive interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook discussing the company’s latest education initiative with Robin Roberts (seen wearing an Apple Watch in the promo shot). expand full story

August 21

AAPL: 105.76

-6.89
Stock Chart

Hip-hop artist Dr. Dre’s controversial and storied past was bound to become an issue for Apple at some point after it bought the company he co-founded for $3 billion last year. Now Apple is hoping it can let the rapper’s history live in the past, which is especially tricky as it promotes the biofilm “Compton” depicting the rapper’s entrance into fame.

The biographical film, which was produced with close cooperation from Dr. Dre, has been criticized for omitting decades old allegations that the artist physically abused women. Today both Dr. Dre and Apple released statements addressing the controversy, Dre saying that he deeply apologizes for his actions 25 years ago and adding that “it has forever impacted all of our lives” while Apple said that “we have every reason to believe that he has changed.” expand full story

August 20

AAPL: 112.65

-2.36
Stock Chart

Apple has long been known to extravagantly deck out its own retail stores with eye-catching window displays featuring flagship products at key times, and unsurprisingly it’s treating the 24 window displays that wrap around Selfridges’ high-end retail store in London just the same. Profiled today by Wallpaper.com, the massive display of detailed floral shots easily catches the attention of window shoppers to advertise the Apple Watch. The profile also shows previous themes used by Apple to advertise the Apple Watch’s availability at the high-end retailer and includes some interesting details about the display as well: expand full story

Adobe announced almost one year ago that it had acquired the team behind the popular image editing app Aviary, and since then the iPhone app has picked up Adobe ID support for syncing editing supplies with Creative Cloud and joined the Creative SDK. Now Adobe is tying Aviary’s tools like text adding and filter adjustments to Adobe Social — which lets social media managers publish content with simple workflows — thanks to tighter Adobe Creative Cloud integration. Adobe highlights what Aviary integration with Social will mean for users: expand full story

A nice update is awaiting 1Password users on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch today as the password management app has enhanced a few key parts of the experience. On the iPhone 5s and later plus iPad min 3/iPad Air 2, 1Password’s login screen now features a Touch ID button under the Master Password field so you can choose to sign in using your finger print even if you accidentally hit cancel on the first request. Tapping the fingerprint button prompts the system Touch ID unlock screen.

Also useful for Touch ID users on iOS is an improvement to how the app can stay unlocked between uses in different apps. Previously 1Password’s extension in other apps required being unlocked by password, passcode, or Touch ID each time, but now the 1Password extension and 1Password app share the same unlock time limits. This makes relying on 1Password to enter passwords in the many of supported apps including Safari a faster experience if security is a lower priority.

Finally, 1Password has enhanced its Apple Watch app with the usual bug fixes that give you a better experience, and credit cards saved to the Apple Watch app now include the important PIN codes that 1Password can save. 1Password’s Apple Watch app lets you selectively sync important passwords to the app with an optional added passcode over the app. You can find the full release notes below: expand full story

Amazon may have been Apple’s target when it unveiled its iBooks Store alongside the iPad in 2010, but the digital retail giant’s latest move is helping fulfill Steve Jobs’ vision of a web without Flash. Amazon Advertising issued an update to its technical guidelines today declaring that it will stop accepting Flash-based ads starting next month. Adobe cited “recent browser setting updates from Google Chrome, and existing browser settings from Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari” that interfere with displaying Flash ads. expand full story

August 19

AAPL: 115.01

-1.49
Stock Chart

The highly popular WhatsApp messaging service owned by Facebook appears to be adding a new feature that allows iPhone users to chat in the browser using a web app. The feature is called WhatsApp Web and became available on various platforms including Android and Windows Phone earlier this year, but the feature was absent for iPhone users at the time “due to Apple platform limitations.” Using the chat service on the web requires running WhatsApp on a corresponding smartphone. expand full story

iPhone 6S hasn’t even been officially announced by Apple yet (although we know a lot about it) and we’re already seeing answers to the ‘does it bend?’ question everyone will inevitably ask after last year’s overly hyped ‘bendgate‘ episode. Following initial analysis of a purported iPhone 6S shell with increased dimensions, presumably for added durability, an in-depth round of testing with the current iPhone 6 casing and expected iPhone 6S casing shows even more differences between the two shells beyond just weight and size.

As expected based on rumors, the alleged next-gen iPhone shell will reportedly bring to the upcoming iPhone 6S a more durable grade of aluminum and a change to how the iPhone casing is anodized. expand full story

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