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 16

AAPL: 116.41

Stock Chart

September 15

AAPL: 116.28

Stock Chart

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…

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Reports surfaced last fall that Apple was opening a new research and development office in Lund, Sweden, continuing a wave of new satellite locations outside of headquarters in Cupertino, California. Rapidus (via has followed up with a new details now claiming that Apple’s been building out operations in Lund over the last several months to develop ‘advanced mapping technology’ for Apple Maps. The ramp up of hiring at the Swedish offices focused on mapping comes four years after Apple bought C3 Technologies, which translated to Apple’s Flyover and 3D features in Maps. expand full story

September 11

Post to the community

September 10

AAPL: 112.57

Stock Chart

When word surfaced this week that Periscope has been secretly working on an Apple TV app, it was pointed out that Twitter’s live broadcasting service only supports portrait video capture while TV sets of course are landscape. It appears Periscope already had plans in motion to change that, though, as the latest version of the app released today adds support for streaming in landscape orientation.

Aside from setting the stage for the future app on the new Apple TV announced yesterday (Periscope hasn’t demoed the app, but it’s icon appears in an Apple TV human interface guidelines graphic and was seen on stage), the update creates a better viewing experience for Periscope users. It handles displaying video much better now regardless of how the broadcaster is holding their phone. Landscape streaming doesn’t require viewers to hold their phone in that way, either, and it’s a much better fit for web viewing as well.

Periscope also points out new accessibility enhancements for visually impaired users which has been a popular request. Check out the latest release notes below: expand full story

September 9

AAPL: 110.15

Stock Chart

Apple released a gold and rose gold Apple Watch Sport plus a new fall collection of Sport bands today, and inside the watchOS 2 software update due out next week is a variety of Sport band-matching color options. These new colors let you personalize the watch face with many more choices than the current software version. Check out each new color below: expand full story

iPad mini barely got a mention on stage last year as Apple only added Touch ID and a gold option plus 128GB models to what was in every other respect the same 7.9-inch tablet that it released in 2013. iPad mini with Retina display was renamed iPad mini 2 while the new iPad mini 3 model kept the same exact chip and specs aside from the finger print sensor. Nearly a year later the smaller tablet form factor is back with the more powerful version.
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Apple’s special media event today marks a full year since it first previewed Apple Watch to the world before putting it on sale earlier this year in late April. Roughly six months since actually going on sale, Apple Watch is still launching around the world so it’s too soon yet for Apple Watch 2. To keep the lineup fresh a year after first unveiling the product, Apple is growing the Apple Watch Sport collection by adding iPhone, iPad, and MacBook matching gold-colored models. Same Apple S1 chip inside and $349-$399 price as its still Apple Watch 1, but the new gold anodized aluminum option joins the silver and space gray options already available. expand full story

September 8

AAPL: 112.31

Stock Chart

In what was a notable change this summer, Apple opted to not remove the dedicated Apple Events channel on Apple TV after WWDC 2015 as it has done several weeks after media events in the past. Instead the Apple Events channel has become a permanent app on the Apple TV, serving as a central spot for viewing prior major product announcements without relying on searching the YouTube channel (which has since been removed from Apple TV 2 boxes).

Ahead of prior events, though, the reappearance of the Apple Events channel has been a bit of a ritual that drums up excitement and signals that Apple is indeed livestreaming its upcoming event. Apple has recently moved to livestreaming every event (in the past it was not guaranteed) and we already knew tomorrow’s iPhone 6S and Apple TV 4 event would be broadcasted live, but there’s still a pre-event change on the Apple Events channel awaiting Apple TV users.

Just hours before the iPhone 6S announcement kicks off in San Francisco, Apple has refreshed the Apple Events channel with a new icon matching the event teaser artwork and more. expand full story

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