Jordan Kahn

@JordanKahn

Senior Editor, 9to5Mac – 9to5Google – 9to5Toys

Contact Jordan with news tips and long-winded complaints at Jordan@9to5mac.com.  

Jordan writes about all things Apple as a senior editor for 9to5Mac. He also covers Google for 9to5Google.com and the latest gear and deals on 9to5Toys.com.

Send tips to: Jordan@9to5mac.com
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Jordan Kahn's Recommended Gear

December 1, 2012

While we had some pictures of a brief teardown earlier this week, iFixit has now completed its ritual teardown of the new 21.5-inch iMac that officially went on sale on Friday.

Unfortunately, iFixit described the process as an “exercise in disappointment,” noting the iMac’s new thinner design introduces new hurdles for repairability. Most notably, the device’s glass and LCD are now glued directly to the iMac’s frame, while accessing the RAM, CPU, and hard drive will now mean having to remove the entire logic board:

The late 2012 iMac 21.5″ — code-named EMC 2544 — is an exercise in disappointment for us. We were quite worried when we saw that super-thin bezel during Apple’s keynote, and unfortunately we were correct: the glass and LCD are now glued to the iMac’s frame with incredibly strong adhesive. Gone are the lovely magnets that held the glass in place in iMacs of yesteryear.

A few things noted in iFixit’s highlights: a new rubber housing that “dampens the vibrations from the spinning hard drive,” a new single fan layout, dual microphones, and a 5mm thinner LG made display. Those are some of the highlights of Apple’s new design, but iFixit is scoring the new iMac as a 3 out of 10 (down from 7 last year) due to the many issues with repairability. Here are just a few:

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November 30, 2012

November 29, 2012

Flexbits, makers of the popular Fantastical Mac app, launched an iPhone version of its streamlined calendar app this morning with the goal of bringing the simplicity and user-friendly experience it has become known for on the Mac to iOS users. The new Fantastical app might not be as feature-filled as other third-party calendar iOS apps, but what it lacks in features it certainly makes up for in style. After a week with Fantastical for iPhone, I can confidently say the app feels like the calendar upgrade iOS 6 was missing.

One thing I love about the Fantastical Mac app compared to other calendar apps, and even Apple’s own Calendars app on OS X, is the overly simple UI. Better yet is the app’s natural language parser, allowing users to enter a sentence such as “lunch tomorrow” to automatically schedule a lunch meeting for noon the next day. While Fantastical for Mac users will feel right at home with a familiar interface to the desktop menubar app, the introduction of a touchscreen also brings a big new feature to the Fantastical UI: the DayTicker… expand full story

November 28, 2012

With iPad mini introducing a brand new set of dimensions for case manufacturers, most have not been as quick as with previous iPad launches to get products on the market. In the first couple of weeks of the product’s launch, only a handful of well-known accessory makers were taking orders, and we unfortunately saw many cheap 7-inch Android cases repurposed and sold as iPad mini compatible.

Apple’s new Lightning connector standard was of course another hurdle, and means there are not nearly as many available third-party docks, keyboards, adapters, etc., as iOS device owners have come to expect.

Below, we have put together a guide to the best of the best iPad mini accessories we could find that are currently available to order and shipping before the holidays:

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Things aren’t looking good for chipmaker AMD…Following another round of layoffs totaling about 15 percent of its employees last month, Reuters reported today that AMD is looking for an investor to sell its Texas campus in order to raise up to $200 million in cash in a multi-year lease back deal. AMD’s cash dropped from $279 million to $1.48 billion in the third quarter, and today the company sits at a market cap of $1.40 billion.

Despite not being the “main option,” with the restructuring and the company’s financial issues, Reuters’ sources claimed an outright sale of the company isn’t out of the question. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard chatter of an AMD takeover. However, with the company sitting at a market cap of $1.40 billion and rumors of Bob Mansfield’s new Technologies group possibly transitioning away from Intel processors, we can’t help but imagine a few things Apple would stand to gain from the purchase…

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Sharp is announcing a 32-inch 4K monitor today that uses its LGZO LCD tech expected to hit the Japanese market in February 2013. The roughly $5,500 PN-K321 monitor sports a 3,840-by-2,160 resolution and HDMI and DisplayPort inputs. According to Sharp, it will also be the thinnest monitor frame on the market at just 35mm. Even if analysts were wrong about a full-fledged TV set from Apple next year, these new Sharp displays would certainly make a pretty Thunderbolt display.

Sharp will put its IGZO displays in the hands of consumers in the near future, as it recently announced its first 7-inch tablet to take advantage of the technology’s low-power consumption features. Apple decided to not go with Sharps’ IGZO displays for its latest round of iPad launches. It instead sourced display components from AU Optronics, LG Display, and Samsung, but several reports in the past indicated Apple is interested in the technology. Apple was even recently rumored to be potentially making an investment in the failing company—much like Apple partner Foxconn previously agreed to.

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Vimeo version 3.0: Vimeo is today releasing an entirely redesigned app that brings a new UI with tab-based navigation, automatic Twitter and Facebook sharing, the ability to upload videos in the background, a Watch Later queue, and much more:

-Conveniently manage and watch all your videos on the go
-Quickly search for videos from the entire Vimeo catalog
-Discover new and amazing videos in the Explore tab
-Upload easily from your camera roll or shoot right from the app
-Continue using the app while your videos upload
-Share any video via Facebook, Twitter, email, iMessage, or copy the link and share how you want
-Watch videos from your Vimeo feed, Watch Later queue, or your uploads or likes
-Easily like videos, comment, and add to your Watch Later queue

Skype version 4.2: One of the biggest updates today goes to Skype’s iPhone app with the introduction of the support for Messenger, Hotmail and Outlook.com contacts and the ability to sign in and sync your Microsoft account. Other new features include easy account creation from within the app, the ability to edit instant messages by tapping and holding, and support for animated emotions on Retina displays. A full list of what’s new below:

-Chat with Messenger, Hotmail and Outlook.com contacts – sign in with and merge your Microsoft account.
-New to Skype? Create a new account right from the app.
-Tap and hold on instant messages to edit them.
-Choose an emoticon while typing an instant message.
-Animated emoticons for devices with a Retina display.
-Edit saved phone numbers right from the dial pad.
-Bug fixes.

TomTom U.S.A version 1.12: TomTom is updating the majority of its apps today with many new features, a few of which include full compatibility with iOS 6, optimizations for iPhone 5, integration with Apple Maps as a routing app on iOS 6, improved HD traffic, and more. TomTom also released variations of the update for its US & Canada, Europe, Western Europe, Brazil, Australia, UK & Ireland versions, as well as the majority of other locations it offers apps for.
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November 27, 2012

On the strength of iPhone 5 sales, iOS has once again reached the top spot for smartphone market share in the United States, according to new data from Research firm Kantar Worldpanel Comtech (via Reuters). According to the report that tracked smartphone sales over the last 12 weeks ending Oct. 28, iOS now accounts for 48.1-percent of the U.S. smartphone market. That’s up 25 percent year-over-year, and it officially bumps Android into second place, but is still just shy of the record 49.3-percent it was able to capture earlier this year.

Android was down from 63.3-percent marketshare over the same 12-week period last year to just 46.7-percent today. As for the rest of the world, you can see from Kantar’s data for other countries in the chart below that Android still dominates in most other countries, including: 54.2-percent of the market in Britain, 81.7-percent of the market in Spain, and 73.9-percent in Germany.

Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, comments: “The last time we saw iOS overtake Android in the US was when the iPhone 4S was released and Apple managed to retain its lead for three consecutive periods. This time we predict that Apple will beat its previous high of 49.3% and achieve its highest ever share of the US smartphone market within the next two periods.”

The report also provided some data on iPhone 5 sales, noting 62 percent came from existing Apple device owners upgrading. Apple also captured 13 percent of iPhone 5 sales from Android switchers: expand full story

November 26, 2012

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A member of The Verge forums, going by the name of “Knowledge”, posted the Apple TV concept below that envisions a future Apple TV OS where users could tap into multiple content sources from cable/satellite providers, local devices, and elsewhere. It would also integrate Siri (and Facetime) for scheduling recordings, changing channels, etc., and a unified search of all content.

Unified search looks for content in library, app store, iTunes, and TV Guide. Also brings the ability to use Siri for scheduling recordings, setting reminders, changing channels, playing music, playing video from library, opening an app, finds content available for purchase in iTunes, etc etc.

The full gallery is below: expand full story

November 25, 2012

According to a report from IBM tracking shopping trends for Thanksgiving and Black Friday (via Fortune), Apple devices dominated among mobile devices for online buying with 10 percent of shopping online done from an iPad. The device also dominated for online purchases originating from tablets, accounting for 88.3-percent of traffic. The iPhone came in at 8.7-percent of traffic for online purchases, while Android devices combined came in at just 5.5-percent.

Apple appears to be testing a new “floating” Genius Bar design in a couple of retail stores. We originally saw images of the new communal Genius Bar configuration in July. However, today, TheDailyCity reported Apple is now testing the design in at least two stores: one in Orlando at Mall at Millenia and another in a Philadelphia Apple Store. Apple will apparently roll out the design to its Florida Mall store. Apple appears to like the new design, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see it in more Apple Stores in the near future.

Apple and Samsung are now both seeking to extend their patent infringement claims in the California-based lawsuit filed in August. Samsung asked the courts in a filing last week to add the iPad mini and new iPod touch to the case after recently adding the iPhone 5. Now, FossPatents reported that Apple, as of Black Friday, sought to add six new Samsung products, including: Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Tab 8.9 Wi-Fi, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Samsung Rugby Pro, and the Galaxy S III Mini. The case isn’t scheduled to go to trial until March 2014.

Will.i.am of Black Eye Peas fame is about to launch a new accessory for iPhone this week that is said to turn the device’s existing 8-megapixel camera into a 14-megapixel camera. The Telegraph (via MacRumors) spoke with Will.i.am who described the product called “i.am+:

 

‘We have our own sensor and a better flash. You dock you phone into our device and it turns you smartphone into a genius-phone. We take over the camera.’… The camera will be the first of a series of digital products that bear his name – to support them, he has invested in what he calls ‘digital real estate’ online. He now owns the domain http://www.i.am. Users of i.am+ accessories will be given individual online profiles, for example http://www.i.am/Will.

Apple switched battery suppliers for iPad and MacBooks from Samsung SDI to Amperex Technology Limited and Tianjin Lishen Battery, according to a report from China Business News (via TechCrunch). Recent reports about processor price hikes, and Samsung dropping out as an Apple display supplier, were later denied by the company, so we’ll wait for official word regarding the batteries.

The majority of iPad mini displays are coming from LG, according to a report from Digitimes. We already knew LG Display, AU Optronics, and Samsung are supplying display components for the device, but the sometimes-unreliable Digitimes claimed this weekend that the majority of displays are coming from LG—not AUO.

November 23, 2012

With Apple’s latest MFi summit taking place earlier this month to school accessory makers on adopting Apple’s new smaller Lightning connector standard, many accessories from reputable companies are quickly starting to roll out. Unfortunately, the delay in getting the new standard out to third-party accessory manufacturers means many well-known companies might not get a product on the market in time for the holidays. Some that have released products are unable to keep up with demand and ship before the Dec 25.

For those of you looking for a Lightning dock, car chargers, adapter, or any other accessory before the holidays, we put together a guide to all the Lightning accessories currently available to order.

Many of the products below are also discounted for Black Friday and through the weekend: expand full story

Apple’s Black Friday sales started going live online earlier today in a number of Apple Stores around the world, including: Australia, New Zealand, Germany, United Kingdom, and more. Now, Apple’s deals for the United States and Canada are live with the expected $100 in savings on MacBooks and smaller savings for iPads, iPods, and select accessories.

While Apple’s deals are in line with what we expected from previous years, most of these products can be found even cheaper through third-party retailers today. We have put together a list of all the Black Friday prices on the U.S. Apple Store below. Next to each item, you’ll also find the lowest price that we could find from third parties—most of which provided an even better deal than Apple:

-iPad with Retina display | From $458 (Save $41)
Best Price: BestBuy from $439
-iPad 2 | From $368 (Save $31)
Best Price: BestBuy from $339
Alternative Best Price option: eBay Daily Deals from $339 (16GB WiFi)
-iPod touch | From $268 (Save $31)
Best Price: Best Buy from $294+$50 gift card
-iPod touch 4th generation | From $178  (Save $21 )
Best Price: Best Buy from $194 +$50 gift card
-iPod nano | From $138 (Save $11)
Best Price: Best Buy from $144 + $20 gift card

-MacBook Pro with Retina Display | From $1,598 (Save $101)
Best Price: Amazon from $1,593
-MacBook Pro | From $1,098 (Save $101)
Best Price: Amazon from $1,024
-MacBook Air | From $898 (Save $101)
Best Price: Amazon from $893

Check our Apple Product pages for the lowest prices across the board as well as 9to5Toys.com for the latest updates. More Apple comparisons coming, below: expand full story

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