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

November 4

AAPL: 122.00

Stock Chart

Facebook is said to be planning to launch its standalone news app with a list of media partners on board sometime next week. That’s according to Financial Times, which reports the app will be called Notify and include content from a list of media partners including CBS, The Washington Post, and Vogue. Reports of Facebook working on a separate mobile app focused on news rather than the social network first surfaced in early August.

The news comes just as Facebook announced today in its earnings report that it’s currently serving an average 1.01 billion daily active users each month… expand full story

While Apple didn’t have an official presence at the New York Times DealBook Conference yesterday (not counting former US Vice President Al Gore who sits on Apple’s board), the Cupertino company still got plenty of airtime on stage. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty explained her company’s relationship with Apple and how their partnership is beneficial for changing how iPhones and iPads are used, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings addressed Amazon’s recent move to block Apple TVs and Google Chromecasts from its store, and activist investor Carl Icahn shares how he discovered Apple, which he calls “the greatest company in the world.” Check out each video appearance below from yesterday’s conference to see what they had to say: expand full story


November 3

AAPL: 122.57

Stock Chart

Tapbots is out with Tweetbot 4.1 for iOS, bringing Tweetbot to the Apple Watch for the first time. The update follows the massive Tweetbot 4.0 launch at the start of October which included a redesigned iPad version plus iOS 9-specific features and more.  The new Tweetbot 4.1’s Apple Watch app is made for watchOS 2 and lets users compose new tweets, view recent activity, respond to mentions, and view profiles. Tweetbot for Apple Watch also enhances the way notifications look with a richer, custom appearance. expand full story

Apple today released the second iOS 9.2 beta for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to registered developers. iOS 9.2 beta 2 follows the initial iOS 9.2 beta release just one week ago. The update is available over-the-air through the Settings app for developers already testing the release. The prior release contained few changes including extension support on Safari View Controller. The release notes only highlight bug fixes and improvements. expand full story

Pad & Quill’s Classic Band (review), an attractive third-party Apple Watch band

Since the Apple Watch debuted earlier this year, Wristly has been tracking interesting user data around customer activity, satisfaction, and much more. The latest survey taken focuses primarily on Apple Watch bands by asking volunteer participants which band came with their Apple Watch at purchase, if they’ve already bought additional bands or plan to buy more, and even a question about the new Apple TV… expand full story


With Apple Pay over a year old now in the United States, we’re still seeing Apple add new partner banks and credit unions across the country to support its mobile payment service. In the latest expansion, over 50 additional participating partners have been added to now work with Apple Pay on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Still waiting for your bank to make the jump? These are the latest to join: expand full story

November 2

AAPL: 121.18

Stock Chart

Apple and government officials have been publicly sparring over how to handle privacy and encryption for months, and new rules expected to be proposed in the UK on Wednesday might make Apple’s position much harder to maintain.

The issue boils down to Apple allowing iPhone users to encrypt data behind a password — encryption that Apple can’t break through — and government officials wanting access in instances where de-encrypting smartphones could help law enforcement and security efforts. Services like iMessage and FaceTime are also encrypted end-to-end.

Now The Telegraph reports that the Investigatory Powers Bill being introduced on Wednesday will likely require Apple and other companies to hold a key to encrypted smartphones and services, giving access to government agencies when a warrant is issued. expand full story

Angela Ahrendts, SVP Retail and Online Stores, is the latest Apple executive to make a public conference appearance this fall. Bloomberg announced today that Ahrendts is set to speak at its third annual ‘The Year Ahead’ business summit happening next week. Michael Bloomberg will open the two-day event on Monday, November 9, in New York City. Angela Ahrendts’s appearance follows the next day at Park Hyatt where Apple’s evolving retail strategy is likely to be a focus of the conversation. expand full story


October 30

AAPL: 119.50

Stock Chart

Apple can’t catch a break on Android. When Apple released its first app on Google’s platform last month called Move to iOS, Android fans were quick to negatively rate the app that only existed to help people switch from Android to iPhone. To date, Move to iOS has roughly 30,000 1 star reviews to only 10,000 5 star reviews with not much happening in the middle.

Now Apple has its second Android app on the Google Play Store called Beats Pill+. It’s a companion app to Apple’s new portable Bluetooth speaker with the same name, allowing both Android and iPhone users to pair two speakers as stereo or amplified and use a DJ feature for queueing up tracks from multiple phones.

And the reviews? Just as extreme despite Beats speakers working with both iPhone and Android and only recently being bought by Apple… expand full story

October 29

AAPL: 120.53

Stock Chart

Former OS X chief Bertrand Serlet is finally ready to talk about his cloud startup UpThere after founding the company in 2011. While Sertlet isn’t completely taking the wraps off the company he assembled after leaving Apple four years ago, UpThere is opening a beta for its cloud service today following nearly three years of silence. The service is said to be similar to iCloud, Dropbox, and similar cloud solutions, but UpThere’s strategy is fast access to data stored online and not syncing content across devices. The beta will preview two products coming down from UpThere… expand full story

With the new Apple TV shipping to customers and expected to hit stores tomorrow, Eddy Cue, the head of Apple’s Internet services, is talking up the latest set-top box in a new interview with CNN Money.

In the demo, Cue relates the new Siri Remote’s touchpad to using multitouch on iPhones and iPads. This allows tvOS, the software running on the new Apple TV, to become a platform for what Cue calls an “app ecosystem” as we’ve seen explode on iOS. Cue says Apple believes the same explosion will take place on television next.

Asked about Steve Jobs’ description of Apple TV as a hobby years ago, Cue said the product category has “absolutely” graduated past that label with over 20 million prior-generations boxes sold even before the new model hits stores. Tim Cook offered a slightly higher number in January — over 25 million sold — so Cue is likely ballparking it but setting the stage for 4th-gen Apple TV sales.

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Apple’s giant new Dubai Apple Store at the Mall of the Emirates has officially opened its doors today as scheduled. Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s head of retail, tweeted the photo above showing the new store’s staff that will be able to “serve in 26 languages.” Ahrendts previously shared multiple photos showing off Apple’s latest flagship retail stores (below) in Dubai and Abu Dhabi which both open today. expand full story

October 28

AAPL: 119.27

Stock Chart

Japanese gaming giant Nintendo is expected to show off its very first mobile games for smartphones tomorrow, The Wall Street Journal reports. The news comes after first announcing plans to bring new games with classic Nintendo characters like Mario to iPhones earlier this year. Nintendo famously resisted making games for mobile platforms like iOS and Android for years, focusing solely on its own Nintendo hardware gaming consoles to push its titles.

Now as Apple is set to make its first serious move into gaming in the living room with the new Apple TV launching Friday, Nintendo appears ready to give fans what they’ve been waiting for. expand full story

Snapchat has updated its iPhone app with a new set of fun video filters to try out plus 3D Touch support on the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Adding to the existing set of video filters, Snapchat now lets you turn videos into slow-mo clips, quickly paced videos with fast forward, and backward-moving movies with rewind. Snapchat users with the latest iPhone models can press firmly on the updated app icon to start new chats or easily add new friends within the app right from the Home screen as seen above.  expand full story

T-Mobile announced a new way to easily get a new iPad mini 4 or iPad Air 2 now and upgrade to a new model later with its Jump On Demand leasing program. For $0 down and $22/month for iPad mini 4 or $26/month for iPad Air 2, qualified customers can easily pick up one of Apple’s latest tablets then change models or upgrade to newer models in the future up to three times per year. expand full story


October 27

AAPL: 114.55

Stock Chart

Apple CEO Tim Cook’s “fireside chat” with Box CEO Aaron Levie last month

It’s that time of the year again. Apple just announced results for its fiscal year 2015 fourth quarter earnings including $11.1 billion in profit from $51.5 billion in revenue and 48 million iPhones sold, 9.8 million iPads sold, and 5.7 million Macs sold. Next up Apple CEO Tim Cook and Apple CFO Luca Maestri will host a conference call with analysts from various firms to discuss numbers from the last quarter, product performance, and guidance for the current holiday quarter. We’ll be listening in on the finance call (so you don’t have to), bringing you a play-by-play summary including any news that Cook may make on-air. Stay tuned for our live coverage below as the call kicks off at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET:
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