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

February 2

AAPL: 94.48

-1.95
Stock Chart

TwelveSouth, maker of stylish accessories for Apple products, is out today with new versions of its signature BookBook case fit for the slimmer iPad mini 4 and iPad Air 2. In addition, TwelveSouth’s also showing off the upcoming iPad Pro version of the BookBook case. If you’re unfamiliar, TwelveSouth’s BookBook line wraps your Apple device in a vintage leather book-like case which offers equal parts protection and disguise.

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February 1

AAPL: 96.43

-0.91
Stock Chart

Today marks the official kick off of Americans deciding who will be the next President of the United States with the Iowa caucuses taking place tonight. So without stepping into partisan territory, I wanted to share a few helpful tips for keeping up with the whole election season using your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

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9to5toys 

With Apple expected to hold an event next month, iPad Air 3 rumors are continuing to trickle out with various degrees of reliability. The latest is yet another schematic claiming to show the upcoming iPad Air refresh courtesy of Engadget, which cites a “reliable source”. While the blueprint appears to build on existing rumors like the presence of a camera flash, Apple’s new Smart Connector, and a quad-speaker design, the illustration claims to show that the iPad Air 3 will have just barely thicker dimensions than the current 9.7-inch iPad that it replaces.

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As our sister-site Electrek covers so well, the automobile landscape is clearly changing with electric vehicles replacing gas-powered cars, autonomous features potentially replacing drivers, and Apple even developing an EV of its own. But Porsche wants no part in that future, says CEO Oliver Blume. Reuters reports that Blume told German media this week essentially that a Porsche is meant to be driven, and that an iPhone is meant for your pocket, not the road:

“One wants to drive a Porsche by oneself,” Blume said in an interview with regional newspaper Westfalen-Blatt published on Monday.

“An iPhone belongs in your pocket, not on the road,” Blume added, saying that Porsche did not need to team up with any big technology companies.

While Blume was using the iPhone line largely to explain away the need for computerized vehicles and embrace the nature of high-performance cars like Porsches, it’s a curious one as the new 911 features Apple’s CarPlay …

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Airmail, the popular third-party email client for the Mac, has landed today on the iPhone for the first time. The brand new Airmail for iPhone app works with various email services including Gmail, iCloud, Outlook, and Exchange, and even features iCloud sync to keep the mobile and desktop preferences on the same page. Airmail also includes modern features for the latest iPhones, third-party app integration, and email management features missing after Dropbox retired Mailbox.

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9to5google 

January 29

AAPL: 97.34

3.25
Stock Chart

There’s a new podcast app option for CarPlay fans out today: Downcast. The popular iOS and Mac podcast player updated today to add CarPlay integration, enhanced VoiceOver features, scrubber improvements, and lots of battery life and bug fix improvements.

Downcast wrote a bit on the app blog to talk about what to expect from the CarPlay integration:

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January 28

AAPL: 94.09

0.67
Stock Chart

iPhone no headphone jack

My cheap headphone jack-less iPhone mockup

While it’s widely rumored that the iPhone 7 will drop the headphone jack when it launches later this year, known Apple audio supplier Cirrus Logic may have hinted about how Apple plans to handle this transition. Speaking to analysts and investors during the company’s latest earnings call (via BI), CEO Jason Rhode made a few interesting comments about what might be planned for later this year.

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Facebook shared today that it is turning on live video broadcasting from its app for all iPhone users in the United States. This feature was previously limited to public figures and verified accounts then expanded to a limited number of test iPhone users last month. Facebook’s effort in this space is similar to Meerkat and Twitter’s Periscope service, which popularized live video streaming from mobile devices last year.

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electrek 

We learned this week that Apple shipped 74.8 million iPhones globally during the recent holiday quarter, which is just slightly up from the 74.4 million shipped during the same quarter the year prior and just under the 75 million that analysts expected.

Today Strategy Analytics has released new data showing how Apple’s last two years of shipments compare to competitors like Samsung and Huawei. The data also breaks down how Apple’s global smartphone marketshare stacks up to those same competitors.

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January 27

AAPL: 93.42

-6.57
Stock Chart

Six years ago today Steve Jobs introduced the iPad on stage in what was arguably one of the best product demos from Apple or any other tech company for that matter. The hype was tremendous but the demo was low key.

Jobs plainly explained why the iPad needed to exist and where Apple believed it fit between iPhones and Macs, then offered an almost hypnotizing demonstration of what using an iPad was like. Highlighting the intimacy of the tablet, Jobs demoed the iPad on stage while comfortably seated for a full 12 minutes. If you’ve never watched the demo or haven’t seen it lately, queue it up and see for yourself how much it stands out from nearly every other product introduction.

Six years in, the iPad has matured from a single product to a whole product line with multiple screen sizes, price points, and even accessories specific to the tablet. iPad sales peaked two years ago, though, and that peak’s clearly not temporary like many believe it is with the iPhone. Even with a whole new display size with the iPad Pro, Apple saw year-over-year declines with iPad sales last quarter.

So how exactly have iPad sales been changing over the years, what has Apple done to address the product category, and what opportunities remain for the tablet family?

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Apple has released the second iOS 9.3 beta for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to public beta testers. Today’s release follows the developer version earlier this week, which included tweaks and changes from the initial iOS 9.3 beta. These include updated Night Shift settings as well as a new toggle in Control Center and several other changes.

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9to5toys 

January 26

AAPL: 99.99

0.55
Stock Chart

Apple just posted its official Q1 2016 earnings report and we’ve broken down how that compares to previous quarters. Next up on the schedule is Apple’s quarterly conference call with analysts where CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri typically recap the numbers and field questions about Apple’s financial situation.

To recap the big numbers from today’s report, Apple counted $75.9b in revenue, $18.4b in profit, 74.8m iPhones sold, 16.1m iPads sold, and 5.3m Macs sold during the final three months of last year. Apple Watch numbers aren’t broken out at this point and instead included in the Other category with iPods, Apple TVs, and other accessories.

We’ll be tuned in to the call as it plays out, and update this post with up-to-the-minute details while highlighting major updates. The call is scheduled to kick off at 2 pm PT/5 pm ET so stick around.

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It’s earnings day for Apple and the company has just reported their official numbers for revenue, profit, and products sold during the holiday quarter. Remember that this quarter includes the bulk of iPhone 6s and 6s Plus sales, all iPad Pro and related accessory sales, Apple TV 4 sales, plus traffic from the busy holiday shopping season.

With that in mind, Apple reported $75.9b in revenue, $18.4b in profit, 74.8m iPhones sold, 16.1m iPads sold, and 5.3m Macs sold. Although the October through December period was probably a stacked quarter for Apple Watches sales, the company doesn’t break out category sales for that product for “competitive” reasons.

That compares to $51.5 billion in revenue, $11.1 billion in profit, 48m iPhones, 9.8m iPads, and 5.7m Macs reported in the previous quarter. During the same holiday quarter a year prior, Apple reported $74.6b in revenue, $18 billion in profit, 74.4m iPhones, 21.4m iPads, and 5.5m Macs for comparison. Analysts were predicting around $76.6b in revenue, 75m iPhones, 17.3m iPads, and 5.8m Macs.

Tim Cook had this to say:

“Our team delivered Apple’s biggest quarter ever, thanks to the world’s most innovative products and all-time record sales of iPhone, Apple Watch and Apple TV,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The growth of our Services business accelerated during the quarter to produce record results, and our installed base recently crossed a major milestone of one billion active devices.”

Full press release after the break, and stick around for our earnings call live blog at the top of the hour:

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9to5google 

Apple reportedly has plans to work with publishers to support viewing subscription content in its Apple News app, according to Reuters which cites two anonymous sources. Currently, the Apple News app does not support authenticating subscriber log-ins. That means content can’t be behind a pay wall and can only be monetized by web advertising when readers follow through to the publisher’s website or by using iAds. Apple’s iAd network is noticeably going through a shuffle at the moment with the company recently announcing the end of its App Network where developers advertise their apps.

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January 25

AAPL: 99.44

-1.98
Stock Chart

The second tvOS 9.2 beta is now available on the fourth-generation Apple TV. This update brings Apple TV 3 features including a Podcasts app and Bluetooth keyboard support to the latest streaming set-top box. The beta software also brings iOS-like features including app folders to the Apple TV. We’ll check out the latest beta version of the upcoming release and highlight any changes below.

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electrek 

Apple has released the second watchOS 2.2 beta for Apple Watch testers today. Pairing multiple Apple Watches to a single iPhone is a feature of the iOS 9.3 beta and requires the watchOS 2.2 beta on each Apple Watch. The latest software update in testing also includes a revamped Maps app with the Nearby feature first introduced in iOS 9.0.  We’ll check out the latest beta version of the upcoming release and highlight any changes below.

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