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

April 21

AAPL: 105.97

-1.16
Stock Chart

April 15

AAPL: 109.85

-2.25
Stock Chart

As CNBC notes, Apple’s stock is seeing a noticeable afternoon dive following a supply chain report that iPhone production will remain reduced from April through June. Nikkei Asian Review issued the report earlier today:

Slow sales of the flagship iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which debuted last autumn, have forced Apple to adjust inventories. It lowered production for the January-March quarter by about 30% from the year-earlier period. With sales still sluggish, the U.S. company has told parts suppliers in Japan and elsewhere that it will maintain the reduced output level in the current quarter.

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Earlier this week Apple TV added CBS and the newly launched Starz app to its growing list of universal search channels, which lets you use Siri or the Search app to find movies and TV shows across multiple channels in a single search. Now Siri has learned another new skill called Live Tune-In, which lets you easily jump right into live programming with a single voice command using Siri Remote.

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9to5toys 

Yesterday Apple kicked off two campaigns to promote Earth Day next week, and today Apple Stores around the world are going green to signal support. The leaf portion of the Apple logo that hovers above the entrance of each Apple Store shifts from white to green around Earth Day each year, and this year we’re seeing those leaflets illuminate green a full week in advance. Apple Stores are observing Earth Day in other ways this year too…

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April 14

AAPL: 112.10

0.06
Stock Chart

Since learning to trust my iPad Pro to do more of the tasks my Mac usually handles, Screens VNC has been a critical piece of the equation. iPads can be just as powerful as Macs on paper and also do things Macs never could, but iOS still has software limitations that make OS X a requirement for me. I’ve been using Screens to bridge that gap for practical reasons or just conveniently remote into my Mac using a really sleek and reliable interface, and today Edovia is releasing a brand new version called Screens 4 that packs in several improvements including some new features.

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[UPDATE: Full collection of all 27 ‘Apps for Earth’ here.]

Earth Day is just over a week away and it appears Apple plans to highlight it this year with a campaign to raise money for the World Wide Fund for Nature. WWF and Apple teamed up this time last year on an environmental initiative in China, and this year it’s an App Store campaign that brings to two groups and developers together. Several iOS apps have updated today to highlight money from app sales and in-app purchases going toward WWF through April 24th. The App Store will likely update later today to feature these apps, but we’ve collected apps we’ve found so far below:

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9to5google 

April 13

AAPL: 112.04

1.60
Stock Chart

[UPDATE: Official press release added below.]

While Apple prides itself in maintaining a tight group of 19 industrial design team members under Jony Ive, one longtime member Daniel Coster has made a rare exception to the general rule and departed the company for a new venture elsewhere. As a member of Apple’s design team, Coster’s name has appeared on patents dating back to 1999 ranging from the iPhone 4 design to the iPad Pro’s Smart Keyboard cover as well as software interfaces. Since departing from Apple, Coster has taken an executive role at action camera company GoPro.

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April 12

AAPL: 110.44

1.42
Stock Chart

Airmail made its way from the Mac to the iPhone a couple of months ago, and today the popular email app is completing the suite and releasing the first version for iPad. Airmail for iPad supports keyboard shortcuts and iOS 9’s multitasking features like Split View and Slide Over, so you can triage email in Airmail and browse Safari or Twitter at the same time. And the free update includes loads of other new features for both the iPad and iPhone versions including Touch ID support, custom shortcuts, a new gesture for moving between messages, and tons of new integrations and improvements.

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April 11

AAPL: 109.02

0.36
Stock Chart

There was a time just a few years back when the 4-inch screen was considered Apple’s big phone. After five generations of 3.5-inch screens, Apple made the iPhone taller in 2012 with the 4-inch iPhone 5. The width remained the same in a “common sense” move that maintained easy one-hand use for most people, and the 16:9 aspect ratio framed video playback perfectly. Two years later, Apple upgraded the iPhone with two new models: 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch, but no new 4-inch iPhone until now.

iPhone SE is the first upgrade to this size since the iPhone 5s in 2013. It’s a huge specs upgrade if you’re coming from an iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, or earlier. And in some cases like mine, iPhone SE is mostly on par with Apple’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus flagships. But there are a few limitations of varying importance plus a few oddities that should be considered before buying … even with the relatively competitive price tag on iPhone SE.

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electrek 

April 8

AAPL: 108.66

0.12
Stock Chart

The San Bernardino iPhone case over Apple’s iPhone encryption may be over for now after the FBI managed to break into the iPhone 5c used by one of the shooters, but the same isn’t true for another high-profile case in New York. Bloomberg reports that the United States Department of Justice has decided to indeed continue its demand that Apple help unlock the encrypted iPhone 5s of an alleged drug dealer in the case.

The U.S. government is pressing a demand that Apple Inc. help it crack a drug dealer’s phone in Brooklyn, New York, even after it said it successfully accessed a California shooter’s iPhone without the company’s help.

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April 7

AAPL: 108.54

-2.42
Stock Chart

Starting with iOS 9.3, third-party app developers can tap into Apple Watch activity data like move and stand goal progress as well as exercise duration. Developer David Smith has used that new capability to create an alternative dashboard to Apple’s Activity app on iPhone and Apple Watch. The new app is called Activity++ (following Pedometer++ and Sleep++) and it’s out for iPhone and Apple Watch today. Here’s what it offers:

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9to5toys 

April 6

AAPL: 110.96

1.15
Stock Chart

If you consider your iPhone 6s to be a very good camera, then the 9.7-inch iPad Pro should equally be considered an acceptable camera in terms of quality. Both have 12‑megapixel iSight cameras on the back with True Tone flashes, 5-megapixel FaceTime HD cameras on the front with Retina Flash, and Live Photos on both sides, plus 4K video capture.

The only difference is obviously the form factor of each device: the iPhone’s candy bar shape makes it look like a digital camera, whereas the iPad may only be socially acceptable as a camera if no one realizes you’re actually taking photos. That’s kinda the trick for me; shoot with the iPad if I’m already using it for something else, otherwise go for the iPhone first.

That context is mostly around the house where no one can see (read: judge) me, but seriously using the 9.7-inch iPad Pro as a convenient camera has made me realize the iPad’s Camera app has a few drawbacks compared to the same app on the iPhone. Part of it is size, but there are some software tricks too that you’ll want to keep in mind to better utilize the newly improved camera system…

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[UPDATE April 7: iOS 9.3.2 is now available as a public beta update as well.]

Shortly after the recent iOS 9.3.1 update to fix a link issue and the major iOS 9.3 update with new features, Apple has released a new iOS 9.3.2 update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Apple has also released the first watchOS 2.2.1 betas for developers to test with Apple Watch following the recent watchOS 2.2 release.

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9to5google 

April 5

AAPL: 109.81

-1.31
Stock Chart

Apple appears to be taking its new Apple News app to the place that news often breaks (then spreads), Twitter. The Twitter handle @applenews has been dressed for the job for several months now although it’s been inactive before today and it isn’t yet marked “verified” by Twitter; Apple execs Eddy Cue and Roger Rosner are among those that follow the account, however, which suggests it’s an official Apple property. Here’s the first tweet that was shared today:

Follow us here for top stories & great reads from your favorite publishers, curated by our U.S. editors.

9to5Mac reported based on job listings last summer that Apple’s News app will employ human editors to curate stories featured within the app, and Apple recently started promoting the editor’s pick section within the app around iOS 9.3. Now it looks like Apple is going one step further and will use Twitter to drive attention to the Apple News app on iPhone and iPad…

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If you’ve been holding out since last November when we first learned that Sony had plans to let gamers play PS4 titles on Mac, your time has finally (almost) arrived. Sony has already tested the 3.50 update with PS4 owners trying the beta although the pre-release version lacked Remote Play for Mac, but tomorrow that feature will be included in the public release for all PlayStation 4 owners.

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Tim Cook’s pitch for the fourth generation Apple TV so far has been largely that “the future of TV is apps”, and this week yet another premium cable and satellite network is launching a standalone version of its network for cord cutters. Starz, which before now has required a traditional cable or satellite package for access, is launching a streaming version of its network for a monthly rate competitive to HBO and Netflix. The new Starz app is available on iPhone, iPad, and the fourth generation Apple TV for $8.99/month if you don’t have the network in your cable package. Also in the streaming space, we learned today that Twitter has emerged victorious is scoring the rights to stream 10 NFL “Thursday Night Football” games in the next season…

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electrek 

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