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

September 26

AAPL: 114.71

Stock Chart

September 25

AAPL: 114.71

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Ben’s six hours ahead of me in the UK and had fallen in love with his iPhone 6s before I rolled out of bed, but UPS held my iPhone 6s Plus as requested so I was able to pick it up and spend the morning trying it out before the usual evening delivery. 3D Touch, Live Photos, 4K video, 60 fps 1080p video, faster hardware… it’s all great, but moving from the 4.7-inch screen to the 5.5-inch screen is the real reason I upgraded.

I moved from 2-year commitments to AT&T Next last year so the upgrade process was mostly painless. I would have used Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Plan if it weren’t for the need to complete the process at the Apple Store; that’s a 90 minute drive compared to the UPS center 10 minutes away, but maybe next year they’ll support web orders.

That being said, the move from an iPhone 6 to an iPhone 6s Plus is a dramatic one even before you consider the new features and enhancements. I also opted for space gray after trying gold for a year; my wife naturally picked rose gold while making the same switch from iPhone 6 to iPhone 6s Plus. So what’s changed year over year for iPhone and how does that new finish look in the real world? Read on for answers… expand full story

September 24

AAPL: 115.00

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Adobe is out with its annual Photoshop Elements and Premier Elements updates, which let you quickly edit and share your photos and videos from the desktop. The consumer friendly Photoshop Elements 14 and Premier Elements 14 includes handy new features that everyday photographers will appreciate including dramatic camera shake and haze removal tools for enhancing images plus motion titles for creating profession looking movies. expand full story

While at least one person in the United States has already received their iPhone 6s after pre-ordering with the rest of us, iPhone 6s launch day has officially kicked off on the other side of the planet. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus go on sale at 8 am local time in a dozen markets around the world. New Zealand goes first at authorized resellers as there are no Apple Stores in the country, then the first Apple Stores in Australia two hours later, followed Japan and China and others before starting in the United States 16 hours from the start.

Earlier this week, all models and configurations of iPhone 6s and 6s Plus became sold out online for pre-ordering with launch day delivery. The larger iPhone 6s Plus models were among the first to sell out for launch day, although that may be in part due to display production issues and not just demand. Still, Apple Stores and carriers alike will have limited launch day inventory if you’ve waited and decide to take a gamble at getting the model you want.

Do you plan to queue up outside your Apple Store for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus this year or did you send your robot instead? Send your launch day photos to and check out the scenes below as you await your new iPhone. expand full story

September 23

AAPL: 114.32

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Fantastical 2.0 notably upgraded the smart calendar menu bar utility to a full-sized calendar app in March. Following that massive release, Flexibits is back today with the first big update that builds on that it.

Fantastical 2.1 for Mac adds full El Capitan support ahead of OS X 10.11’s release next week (which should be welcome news to El Capitan public beta and developer testers now). In addition to general stability that you would expect, OS X 10.11 support includes El Capitan’s new split-screen feature for viewing and resizing two full-screen apps side-by-side.

Fantastical’s developers say the new release also fulfills the vast majority of feature requests after version 2.0 that users have requested. The result is more refined Fantastical 2 for Mac with an extensive change log that likely includes something for everyone: expand full story

September 22

AAPL: 113.40

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Pioneer’s flagship AVIC-NEX8100

Until Project Titan develops into an actual Apple Car and hits the road, Apple will award “the best iPhone experience on four wheels” title to its CarPlay infotainment feature which it says offers “a smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car.” Available on a growing number of vehicles from select manufacturers, CarPlay lets you connect your iPhone to your car for using Siri and an on-screen interface optimized to let you safely access apps while driving.

CarPlay relies on intelligence from your iPhone, using car hardware like microphones and built-in displays for input, so annual iOS updates mean the feature can learn some new tricks just like your iPhone and iPad. So what’s new with CarPlay in iOS 9 and how has the feature changed since my initial review a year ago? Let’s take a look: expand full story

September 21

AAPL: 115.21

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After slightly missing the originally announced release date due to a last-minute bug, the watchOS 2 software update is now available for downloading through iOS 9’s Watch app and installing on your Apple Watch.

watchOS 2 comes just six months after the Apple Watch officially launched, and what Apple is labeling as a full successor to watchOS 1 feels a lot like a more polished version of what it likely had in mind from the start. It incorporates a few features first shown off last September and even includes fixes for a few common complaints over the original software.

The big story with watchOS 2 is support for native apps, which launch quicker and have more access to hardware, but there’s several small changes within the update worth discussing as well. Let’s explore: expand full story

September 18

AAPL: 113.45

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Apple’s support for building Safari ad blockers in iOS 9 was sure to be controversial as they negatively and directly impact writers/publications like us here at 9to5Mac and others that rely on advertising for revenue. And while a few ad blockers climbed the App Store’s top paid chart this week, the highest ranked Safari content blocker has been pulled after being sold for just 48 hours. Developer Marco Arment announced today that he decided to pull his ad blocker app Peace from sale, citing that it “just doesn’t feel good” to [profit from] the negative impact to “many who don’t deserve the hit.” expand full story

September 17

AAPL: 113.92

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Apple Music Festival kicks off in London in just two days, and in preparation Apple TV has gained a dedicated channel for viewing the free performances from home. The Apple Music Festival channel includes a Featured section for highlighting performances, a Lineup section for following the schedule, and an About section for learning about the event. Once the festival is underway, users will be able view live performances for free right from the Apple TV. expand full story

September 16

AAPL: 116.41

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iOS 9 marked the first major version of the iPhone and iPad software that Apple opened up for public beta testing after a similar trial run with iOS 8.3 last year. As many users have noticed, Apple’s public beta program is continuing with the upcoming iOS 9.1 release available as an OTA (over-the-air) update for non-developer testers, but many users will surely want to hop off the beta train and onto the stable release cycle with today’s iOS 9.0 release.

Several readers have already asked about downgrading from the iOS 9.1 public beta to today’s iOS 9.0 release, and while it’s possible it does come at a cost: potentially losing some important data. If moving from iOS 9.1 public or even dev beta to today’s official iOS 9.0 release is worth it for you, read on for a detailed guide for doing just that. expand full story

Sure, technically Apple’s first Android app was the now discontinued Beats Music which it picked up through acquisition last year and it’s developing Apple Music for Google’s platform, but it’s very fitting that Apple’s first in-house app is called Switch to iOS from Android. Apple first announced the new Android app this year alongside iOS 9 at its developer conference, and today with iOS 9’s official launch the Move to iOS app is officially available on the Google Play Store. Here’s how it works: expand full story


Update: Apple has posted an official workaround for the “Slide to Upgrade” bug…

While Apple has officially released iOS 9 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, several readers are reporting issues with updating to the new operating system. Developers using the iOS 9 GM seed released last week are also able to update to today’s release over-the-air, although the same error message is impacting those users. expand full story

September 15

AAPL: 116.28

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iOS App Store flat

With both iOS 9 and watchOS 2 set to be released tomorrow, Apple has already started releasing third-party app updates that take advantage of the new features in each software update. watchOS 2 for Apple Watch introduces native apps that run faster and have access to sensors, and iOS 9 introduces new split-screen multitasking and deeper Spotlight-integrated search capabilities. There are some of the watchOS 2 and iOS 9 apps we’re already starting to see hit the App Store: expand full story

Snapchat is out with its latest update bringing new features and tricks to the photo messaging app. The release notes are short: Before you take a selfie, press and hold on your face for a surprise! That’s referencing the new selfie Lenses trick, which lets you apply some pretty wild effects to your face before sharing with friends. To use Lenses, just tap and hold on your selfie before taking a Snap. A facial outline appears as well as seven effects including that dramatically change up your selfie. expand full story

Apple Pay compatibility in the UK grew by two major banks last week with the addition of Lloyds and Halifax, and today Apple has added over 40 to its list of participating issuers. Since launching in the United States nearly a year ago, Apple’s mobile payment solution has steadily been signing on and rolling out support for waves of new banks and credit unions around the country. These are the latest to join: expand full story

After announcing new iPhones and iPads plus an updated Apple TV in San Francisco last week, Tim Cook is taking a slight victory lap in New York City with a media blitz that leads to an interview with Stephen Colbert tonight on CBS’s The Late Show. Before a surprise visit yesterday at NYC’s iconic Fifth Ave store with Eddy Cue, the Apple CEO gave a quick interview with Buzzfeed. In it he told John Paczkowski that his Apple Store visit really is a surprise to everyone.

“I almost always go in unannounced,” he says. “It’s rare that I tell anyone that I’m going. But I do try to go to stores every time I’m traveling to a new city. It’s important.”

Cook also discussed the privacy implications of an always-listening Siri, what he likes best about the iPhone 6s, and even the possibility of being able to delete system apps in the future…

expand full story

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