Zac Hall


Editor at 9to5Mac + 9to5Google

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

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Zac Hall's Recommended Gear


AAPL: 111.96

Stock Chart

After a quiet period between the last set of new banks and iOS 9’s public release, Apple has updated its list of Apple Pay participating banks to include more than two dozen more additions. If you bank with one of these banks or credit unions, you should now be able to setup Apple Pay in your Wallet app for use on supported iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watch: expand full story


AAPL: 111.60

Stock Chart

In an effort to make PDF documents more accessible and beneficial for customers, Adobe and Dropbox are teaming up to offer integration in Acrobat DC, Acrobat Reader, and in Dropbox’s site and apps. Dropbox and Adobe customers will first notice the integration in Acrobat DC and Reader on the desktop with Acrobat Reader and Dropbox for iOS picking up the integration later this year. For Acrobat users, Dropbox integration means three things: easily find and send files stored in Dropbox using Acrobat in a single workflow, manipulate and collaborate with PDF files using either service including Adobe eSign integration, and ensure documents are accessible through Dropbox wherever you’re working. expand full story

You wouldn’t know it based on the boiler plate release notes, but Facebook’s latest iPhone app update now includes a new 3D Touch feature on Apple’s latest iPhones. Pressing the Facebook app icon firmly from the Home screen on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus brings up a Quick Action menu to do three things: write a post, upload a photo/video, or take a photo/video… expand full story

October 9

AAPL: 112.12

Stock Chart

[Ed. Note: This is a guest post by Lontih Khatami who [disclosure] works at the same studio, Universal, that produced the film but did not work on the film. Spoiler: it’s better than iSteve]

Interested in seeing the new Steve Jobs movie that Universal is releasing this weekend in select markets (with wide expansion set for October 23)? Well, me, too. Only I’ve already seen it five times within the past dozen days. And I eagerly await my next few viewings.

You’re probably wondering how I’ve been able to see this inevitable Oscar contender so many times prior to its initial release. The more important thing to ponder, though, is “Why would anybody WANT to see it so many times in such a short timeframe?” The answer to that question, quite simply, is because the movie is masterfully made, and it works on so many different levels. Not unlike so many of the products the title character brought into this world… expand full story

October 8

AAPL: 109.50

Stock Chart

iPhone 6s iFixit teardown

After some debate over whether the difference between iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models made with Samsung or TSMC chips may impact battery life, Apple has offered its own take on the matter:

Our testing and customer data show the actual battery life of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, even taking into account variable component differences, vary within just 2-3% of each other.”

That 2-3% difference may be greater than some suspected, myself included, considering how tight battery life on iPhones can be with moderate to heavy usage. Apple’s full statement (via Ars Technica) actually addresses the type of battery tests many testers reference when measuring performance as being unrealistic: expand full story

AT&T was officially granted an FCC waiver this week to enable Wi-Fi calling for its customers with supported devices like iPhones running iOS 9. Wi-Fi Calling first appeared during the iOS 9 beta period and remained functional for those who enabled it previously, but AT&T stopped sign-ups for the feature once iOS 9 was publicly released due to requirements set by the Federal Communications Commission.

While AT&T has officially turned on Wi-Fi calling for its subscribers, the carrier is doubling down on its position that rivals T-Mobile and Sprint have deployed and marketed Wi-Fi calling features for a while without proper FCC approval. At issue with the FCC is how Wi-Fi calling lacks support for teletypewriter (TTY) devices. And although AT&T has been cleared to turn on Wi-Fi calling without meeting that requirement, it wants in FCC investigation into its competitors’ behavior. expand full story

October 7

AAPL: 110.78

Stock Chart

Director Danny Boyle with the cast of Steve Jobs

Despite the film being based on Walter Isaacson’s authorized Steve Jobs biography, the upcoming Aaron Sorkin-written biopic telling the story of the late Apple co-founder isn’t being totally welcomed by Tim Cook and company. As we’ve seen play out over the last few weeks, the Apple CEO called recent movies including Sorkin’s that depict Jobs in a not entirely positive light as “opportunistic”. A counter punch then apology from Sorkin followed.

The film’s director Danny Boyle isn’t softening his words, however, calling Apple a company with “tremendous, terrifying power” in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter promoting the film. Boyle believes artists should keep corporations like Apple in check, so to speak: expand full story

Fantastical 2.5 is out now with new multitasking features for iOS 9 on iPad, a 3D Touch app icon on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, a native Apple Watch app on watchOS 2 with its own watch face complication, and much more. Both the iPad and iPhone plus Apple Watch updates are available for free for current Fantastical 2 customers. The new versions come just two weeks after Split View in Fantastical hit the Mac with OS X El Capitan. See the new features in action below: expand full story

Since being acquired by Apple for $3 billion just over a year ago, we haven’t seen much in terms of new hardware from the speaker company aside from new colored headphones and a wireless version of the Solo 2’s. Beats’ most expensive speaker, the Pill XL, was actually recalled and taken off the market after a fire risk when charging was discovered. But as we get in to the holiday season, Beats is finally ready to show off its first totally new piece of hardware created since joining Apple. A step up from the current Pill 2.0 but still smaller and more portable than the discontinued Pill XL, the new Beats Pill+ features a new design and comes equipped with a Lightning port for charging, a first for Beats products. expand full story

October 6

AAPL: 111.31

Stock Chart

Just a day after Jack Dorsey was named permanent CEO of Twitter, the social network is launching a big new feature in its app called Moments. What started as Project Lightning showcases for a lot of users the best part of Twitter: keeping caught up with in-the-moment news that you care about. The new Moments feature can be found behind the lightning bolt icon through Twitter’s mobile apps and on the web in the US. expand full story

Sleep tracking accessory maker Beddit is out with a new watchOS 2 app for Apple Watch today. Because Beddit offers a dedicated sensor for tracking your sleep duration and quality each night, Apple Watch is able to charge overnight as needed and still present sleep data in the morning. Thanks to hardware access granted to native software, Beddit’s watchOS 2 app lets Apple Watch double as a sleep tracker during the day for measuring naps and creating silent alarms. Just as Beddit’s watchOS 2 app is hitting the App Store, Beddit’s Smart Sleep Tracker is coming to Apple Stores around the world and for the first time starting today… expand full story

October 5

AAPL: 110.78

Stock Chart

Apple CEO Tim Cook at WWDC 2015

After initially holding back a new iOS 9 feature called App Thinning (or App Slicing) that allows developers to ship smaller apps to customers and download additional content as needed, Apple now says it has resolved the issue that caused the delay. Starting with the recently released iOS 9.0.2, users will have access to updated apps that take advantage of App Thinning. Apple also updated developers on a Game Center-related change and rolled out an improved way for finding content from Apple’s developer sessions. expand full story

I’m an Apple guy. I have enough Apple hardware around my house to serve as a mini-museum and I use Apple’s software and services every single day. But when Google makes something interesting like Chromecast Audio, I can’t help but want to try out the new toy.

Sold for just $35 (Google Store, Best Buy), Chromecast Audio lets you stream audio over the Internet from services like Spotify and NPR to old speakers. This varies from Apple’s AirPlay in that audio streams directly to the Chromecast Audio rather than from device to device, using your iPhone or iPad only as the remote. In practice, Chromecast Audio is most similar to Sonos, but with Google’s accessory selling at a much lower, irresistible price as it relies on your existing speakers rather than all-in-one units.

So what exactly is Chromecast Audio and what can it do for iPhone owners? Read on for details… expand full story

With Adobe Max Creative Conference kicking off later today, it’s time for the wraps to come off the latest advancements in Creative Cloud including new apps for iPhone and iPad.

New from Adobe this year is the Photoshop Fix image retouching iOS app (seen above), Capture CC for iOS and Android which turns images into color themes and brushes, enhanced versions of Photoshop Mix for image composition and Lightroom for iPhone and iPad with new features, a new Portfolio tool for sharing and promoting graphic design work, video content coming to Adobe Stock, plus annual updates to CC desktop apps and CreativeSync.

Many of these apps and updates are available today with others coming later this year, and we’re expecting to hear even more news out of Max which kicks off at 9:30 am PT/12:30 pm ET later today including new details on what Adobe is calling Project Comet (Update: details here), a UX design solution on desktop with a mobile companion. Read on for all the details on the latest from Adobe so far.

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Siri voice control is finally coming to Philips Hue connected light bulbs thanks to promised HomeKit support and a new bridge product. Details have been surfacing over the last month with product listings going up a day early, and today Philips is ready to officially reveal how it’s bringing HomeKit support to Hue bulbs and lamps. As expected, Hue bulb owners will be able to upgrade to the new Philips Hue Bridge 2.0 to enable using Siri to control Hue lights. The new, square-shaped bridge works similar to the old, round bridge — connecting to up to 50 bulbs  only with HomeKit support included even for existing bulbs and plans to support future home platforms as well. expand full story

October 3

AAPL: 110.38

Stock Chart

Tim Cook speaking at BoxWorks on Tuesday

Speaking before an audience in Washington D.C. tonight, Tim Cook was honored with the Human Rights Campaign’s National Visibility Award at a dinner where he discussed the fight against discrimination and inequality. The Apple CEO famously wrote earlier this year about being gay, making Cook the first chief executive of a Fortune 500 company to openly come out. In the essay in which he first publicly acknowledged his sexuality, Cook shared that he felt it was more important to help other people facing discrimination for being gay than it was to protect his private life. Delivering a speech at the HRC dinner, Cook declared that “sometimes you just have to be loud.” expand full story

October 2

AAPL: 110.38

Stock Chart

Citing ‘overwhelming demand’, Apple has expanded the number of Apple TV Developer Kits available for registered developers who applied for a chance to receive the pre-release hardware last month. A number of developers (but not all) who previously missed out on the initial wave of test units have been notified by Apple Developer Relations that more dev kits have been made available for $1 and will be available for ordering through next Friday at 5 pm local on October 9th.

Apple TV 4 launches “toward the end” of this month as Tim Cook mentioned earlier this week and will include deep Siri integration and App Store for the first time. Apple first began notifying developers entering the dev kit lottery of their status in mid-September. With third-party apps and games being a major new feature of the new Apple TV experience, Apple clearly wants to give more developers the chance to create software for the new hardware before its release in a few weeks.

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