Zac Hall

@apollozac

Zac also contributes to 9to5Google.

Email / AIM: zac@9to5mac.com

Zac Hall's Recommended Gear

July 14

You usually don’t see this many MacBooks in one room unless you’re watching bloggers cover a Microsoft event. :) NASA tweeted out the shot above earlier today as its New Horizons spacecraft flew past Pluto to capture images. Apple’s marketing exec Phil Schiller took notice and spun it into a quick MacBook ad:

Of course the flight wasn’t ran entirely on MacBooks with a room full of PCs sitting steps away, but it does make for a great plug.

It’s been a rough week for the fate of Adobe’s Flash Player plugin. Yesterday we told you about Facebook’s security chief pushing Steve Jobs’ anti-Flash message and calling on Adobe to announce an end-of-life date for the plugin, and today a major web browser has opted to actually block Flash to protect users from security issues. Mozilla said today that it is temporarily disabling Flash by default until Adobe is able to address recent exploits discovered in the plugin… expand full story

July 13

While Apple’s rumored Web TV service is expected to launch with new hardware and software later this year, Comcast has shown its cards on what it describes as an “experiment” to offer live TV streaming to its Internet subscribers without cable packages. Stream, a $15/month Xfinity add-on, will allow Comcast Internet subscribers to view live and on-demand streaming television from “about a dozen networks” including HBO and other major broadcast networks. expand full story

Apple has released a maintenance update to iTunes 12.2 that addresses issues related to Apple Music, iTunes Match, and Beats 1. The release specifically mentions resolving an issue where songs from iTunes Match would become classified as songs from Apple Music, which would result in unnecessary DRM being added. expand full story

Facebook’s chief security officer, Alex Stamos, echoed a message first delivered quite memorably by Steve Jobs in 2010: it’s time for Adobe to kill Flash. Addressing Apple’s position of not supporting the plug-in on iOS and instead pushing HTML5, security was just one key point in Jobs’ epic Thoughts on Flash essay when the iPad launched.

We also know first hand that Flash is the number one reason Macs crash. We have been working with Adobe to fix these problems, but they have persisted for several years now.

Five years later, our dependence on Flash has greatly diminished on the desktop, but security issues continue to be an issue with the plug-in. In 2010, Jobs used more than 1600 words to explain Apple’s reason for not adding Flash support to iOS. In 2015, Facebook’s security chief pushed the message in less than 140 characters: expand full story

July 2

Dedicated accessories for Apple’s 12-inch MacBook with Retina display are still rarities at this point with the new design being different in every dimension than other MacBooks in the notebook lineup. For new MacBook owners looking to keep the $1300 and up machine in pristine condition, Moshi has a whole collection of premium accessories designed for the 12-inch MacBook. Today we’re taking a look at Moshi’s iGlaze 12, iVisor, ClearGuard & Muse 12: a lightweight hardshell case, bubble-free screen protector, ultra-thin keyboard cover, and slim fitting sleeve case for MacBook owners.

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July 1

We told you earlier this year that Snapchat was considering changing a major part of how its app works, and today the social network has officially introduced that change: viewing Snaps and Stories now works with a single tap. Previously, part of Snapchat’s signature user experience included holding a finger over a Snap or Story to view it; lifting the finger meant going back to the contact list. Aside from the new Tap to View feature for Snaps and Stories, the update includes a few other changes as well… expand full story

June 30

As promised, Apple has released GarageBand 10.1 through the Mac App Store. The update includes previously highlighted new features including 10 new Drummers, new synths and a ‘Transform Pad’ feature. The update also includes support for Apple’s new Force Touch trackpads from the 12-inch MacBook and 15-inch MacBook Pro. For artists publishing to Apple Music, its new streaming music service launched today, GarageBand 10.1 adds the ability to publish directly to Apple Music Connect. Full release notes below: expand full story

Apple has just released a new version of Beats Music for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch that adds the ability to migrate from the subscription music service to Apple Music which replaces it. The migration assistant keeps both playlists and saved music from artists and albums intact when moving to Apple Music. expand full story

In addition to iOS 8.4, Apple has now publicly released OS X 10.10.4 to all users. The point update focuses on security and stability improvements with a fix for notable networking issues with OS X Yosemite as well as fixes for Mail, improvements to Photos migration from iPhoto and Aperture, and more. Apple first began testing the update to the Mac with developers in late April. expand full story

As promised, Apple has just released the iOS 8.4 software update featuring an all-new Music app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to the public after testing with developers since mid-April. While it includes smaller changes throughout, the update primarily delivers an overhauled Music app with Apple Music (notice the new icon), its brand new subscription music streaming service, and Beats 1, its 24/7 live radio station that launches today. expand full story

June 29

Dr Dre Eddy Cue Jimmy Iovine

Dr. Dre with Apple’s Eddy Cue

[Update: Apple tells us that The Chronic will definitely be available tomorrow on Apple Music.]

[Update #2: The Chornic is available on Apple Music and available to purchase digitally for the first time on the iTunes Store.]

Taylor Swift’s 1989 album isn’t the only high profile record exclusive coming to Apple’s new streaming music service when it launches tomorrow. Apple Music is said to include Dr. Dre’s classic album The Chronic for streaming, Rolling Stone reports, which will be a digital first for the hip-hop album. expand full story

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