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

Yesterday

AAPL: 93.70

-0.57
Stock Chart

Earlier this year at CES, I got the chance to stop by Bluelounge’s booth and discovered a product announced late last year that I hadn’t seen before, the Kosta Apple Watch Charging Coaster. What caught my attention is that it’s designed similarly to Apple’s Magnetic Charging Dock, but comes in three non-white colors including dark grey and costs $15 instead of $80. There are a few key differences to consider with Kosta compared to other Apple Watch docks …

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February 10

AAPL: 94.27

-0.72
Stock Chart

One of the best parts about Apple Stores is the ability to try out Apple products out of the box in an environment superior to big box retail stores. While that’s mostly true of almost all Apple products including Apple Watches, there’s one really compelling Apple product that I haven’t seen on demo at any Apple Stores: CarPlay.

If you want to try out CarPlay for yourself right now before spending some serious money, the easiest way is to find a car dealer with a CarPlay model available and go for a test drive. But there are a few ways Apple could bring most of the experience to customers in its retail stores …

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Apple has released the third OS X 10.11.4 public beta for non-developer testers. Public beta testers running the El Capitan pre-release can find the new software update through the Mac App Store. The latest public beta update follows the third developer beta of the same update earlier this week. Apple has also released a second OS X 10.11.4 beta 3 build (15E39c to 15E39d) for developers as well.

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9to5toys 

Apple has released the third iOS 9.3 public beta to non-developer testers today. iOS 9.3 public beta 3 follows this week’s third developer iOS 9.3 beta release as well. The latest beta cleans up issues introduced in the last version while adding some new features as well.

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9to5google 

February 9

AAPL: 94.99

-0.02
Stock Chart

Apple dramatically improved its Notes app with iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan last fall thanks to enhanced photo support, new formatting tools, URL snippets, a share extension, and an iCloud Drive backend to keep it all in sync. So much so that people have actually been moving from Evernote to Apple Notes and not looking back, but there hasn’t been a simple way to make the leap until now. Included in the OS X 10.11.4 software update is a new option in the Notes app that makes migrating content from Evernote to Apple Notes a very simple process. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

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electrek 

February 8

AAPL: 95.01

0.99
Stock Chart

Apple has released the third OS X 10.11.4 beta today to testers. The latest developer preview can be found in the Updates section of the Mac App Store. Previous versions have added new features to the Mac including the ability to view and share Live Photos shot on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus using Messages, and the ability to password protect Notes. We’ll check out the latest beta version of the upcoming release and highlight any changes below.

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Apple today has released the third watchOS 2.2 beta for Apple Watch developers. In terms of new features, the watchOS 2.2 so far has added a totally revamps Apple Maps app and glance and is required to use iOS 9.3 beta’s new multi-watch feature. We’ll check out the latest beta version of the upcoming release and highlight any changes below.

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Apple has released the third tvOS 9.2 beta software update to registered developers for testing. Previous versions of the pre-release Apple TV software update have added major changes to the new device including app folders similar to iOS and OS X, Bluetooth keyboard support, a redesigned app switcher, and even full iCloud Photo Library support. We’ll check out the latest beta version of the upcoming release and highlight any changes below.

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Apple today has released the third iOS 9.3 beta to registered developers for testing. The first iOS 9.3 beta introduced at the start of the year introduced new 3D Touch shortcuts on new iPhones, Touch ID-secured Notes, a new Night Shift mode for blue light reduction, and much more. iOS 9.3 beta 2 added a Night Shift toggle in Control Center and other tweaks. We’ll check out the latest beta version of the upcoming release and highlight any changes below.

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9to5toys 

Holdouts awaiting a modern 4-inch iPhone have a lot to look forward to with the expected iPhone 5se next month. A mix of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s technology in a one-hand friendly, iPhone 5-sized case.

It sounds compelling enough that I’ve already considered parting ways with my giant iPhone 6s Plus megaphone and returning to the days of easily pocketable iPhones next month. But based on what we know now, the “upgrade/downgrade” depending on how you look at it would mean losing 3D Touch and a 128GB storage option. That’s not a huge deal for me, especially with Live Photos as an expected feature, but dropping from the 6s cameras back to the 6 cameras really sours the deal for me.

While 4-inch iPhone fans will likely be plenty happy with the iPhone 5se next month and the mid-cycle release is an interesting new strategy, a 4-inch iPhone 7 released in the fall alongside the expected 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch upgrades with comparable specs would simplify the buying decision for me. Here’s why I don’t think that will happen anytime soon (and how Apple could pull it off).

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February 5

AAPL: 94.02

-2.58
Stock Chart

There’s been a lot of conversation this week around the quality of Apple’s software and services, and yesterday’s brief App Store outage certainly didn’t help. It’s true that new services like Apple Music and iCloud Photo Library are improving but aren’t rock solid yet, but there are two things that currently sour the app experience for me.

First, Apple only does a so-so job of implementing new software features from operating system updates into their own apps. It’s too easy to rattle off a dozen examples. Second, major players like Facebook and YouTube don’t have first class apps that showcase new software features either, and this is where customers spend the most amount of time.

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With Apple Pay continuing its ongoing rollout across U.S. banks and credit unions, Apple’s mobile payment service has added over 30 new partners. Here is the full list of new Apple Pay banks:

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9to5google 

February 4

AAPL: 96.60

0.25
Stock Chart

We learned this week that Apple Pay has reached a new milestone with 2 million locations accepting the iPhone and Apple Watch-based mobile wallet. This an impressive climb for the service that launched with just over 220,000 locations on board in fall 2014, but what does it look like in everyday use and what’s next for Apple Pay?

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Earlier this year at CES, Seth and I had the opportunity to test drive the new Chevy Volt hybrid (okay, I actually just held the camera in the back seat) which has one of the best CarPlay screen we’ve seen yet. Check out our hands-on experience with the Volt’s very nice display from our test drive below …

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February 3

AAPL: 96.35

1.87
Stock Chart

Lifeproof announced today that a new version of its highly durable, low profile NUUD case for iPhone is on the way. The Lifeproof NUUD for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus is available for pre-order from today.

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electrek 

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