Seth Weintraub

@llsethj

Publisher and Editorial Director of the 9to5 Sites.

  +SethWeintraub (850,000)

Seth Weintraub is an award winning journalist and blogger who won back to back Neal Awards during his three plus years  covering Apple and Google at IDG’s Computerworld from 20072010.  Weintraub next covered all things Google for Fortune Magazine from 2010-2011 amassing a thick rolodex of Google contacts.

It turns out that his hobby 9to5Mac.com blog was always his favorite and in 2011 he went full time adding his Fortune Google followers to 9to5Google.com and adding the 9to5Toys.com gear and deals site.

For 15 years, Weintraub was a Global IT director and Web Developer for a number of companies with stints at multimedia and branding agencies in Paris, Los Angeles, New York, Sydney, Hong Kong, Madrid and London before becoming a publisher/blogger. Seth is a licensed single engin private pilot, certified open water diver and spent over a year traveling to 60 cities in 23 countries. Whatever free time exists is now guaranteed to his wife and two sons.

More at About.me.

Tips: seth@9to5mac.com, or llsethj on IM

Seth Weintraub's Recommended Gear

August 3

AAPL: 118.44

-2.86
Stock Chart

apple-sim

Following the iCloud voicemail transcription news from earlier today, Business Insider is reporting that Apple may actually be following Google’s Project Fi  into the “becoming a carrier” field.

Sources close to Apple say that the company is privately trialling an MVNO service in the US, but is also currently in talks with telecoms companies in Europe about bringing the service there too.

MVNO or Mobile Virtual Network Operator  is a wireless communications services provider that does not own the wireless network infrastructure over which the MVNO provides services to its customers. Google’s Project Fi uses Sprint and T-Mobile’s infrastructure and combines them to become a “super-carrier”.

Apple of course announced the so far iPad-limited Apple SIM last year which allows you to choose between a handful of network carriers for iPad data on a month to month basis.

Three weeks ago, the UK-based FT reported that Apple and Samsung were in talks with carriers to launch “e-SIM” cards and and Apple MVNO service might be an evolution of that.

The idea behind the talks is a universal standard for embedded SIM cards (“e-SIM”) that are built into the phone and not user accessible. These subscriber identity modules would allow customers to sign up for service on any network they wanted, then allow them to switch at any time (obviously with some limitations placed by the carriers).

Apple isn’t the only smartphone manufacturer in these discussions. Samsung is also reported to be part of the talks, meaning this tech could become a real standard across iPhone and Android devices, unlike Apple’s current SIM which is locked specifically to the company’s hardware.

Apple has a long history of flirting with the MVNO business with an insider revealing that Steve Jobs wanted Apple to become a carrier before the release of the iPhone (if only!). Telecom vet and former CTIA chairman John Stanton had worked with Jobs on the project… expand full story

Apple, over the weekend, opened an new front on Google’s YouTube video service to host its Japanese videos. The site is verified by YouTube and has been up for 3 days but appears to have gone unnoticed.  None of the videos as of this writing have more than 100 views and there are only 49 subscribers. I have a feeling that’s a bout to change.

Update: Apple also launched a S. Korean Youtube Channel.

More videos below:

expand full story

July 30

AAPL: 122.37

-0.62
Stock Chart

apple-campus-2

You might notice that 9to5Mac has changed. Indeed so has the whole network. Long before the page size/speed and advertising controversies, we knew that we needed to rethink how we presented ourselves.

While we were one of the lightest and fastest sites in our field, our feature creep and advertisers were adding complexity and page load times, which is especially crucial on mobile – an ever expanding percentage of our growing audience.

We decided to start over… expand full story

July 27

Apple-watch-pad-quill-bandsPad and Quill, one of our favorite Apple accessory makers, today introduced a set of Apple Watch bands with their trademark quality leather and stitching combined with two options of metal: Stainless Steel and Polished Black. At $86 (save 5% w/code 5forSUMMER), this turns an Apple Watch Sport into something you can wear with business casual to formal attire. Paired with a standard Apple Watch, it adds more color options to your Stainless Steel arsenal.

Not just any leather, but the luxury full grain leather used to craft all of Pad & Quill’s handmade goods. So we turned to Victorio, a 4th generation italian leather tannery artisan. His tannery uses  legendary soft-tumbled method to transform full grain American steer hides into a luxury leather watch band that will hug your wrist with pliable comfort, while being as rugged and durable as your active life demands.

We’ll have a review in the next week or so but if you can’t wait, you can order yours in 38mm or 42mm today for delivery starting in mid August. Check out our hands-on impressions with each of Pad and Quill’s full lineup of Apple Watch accessories in the meantime. expand full story

July 24

Best-Bluetooth-speakers-2015L to R: UE Mini (review), Roll (review), Boom (review) and Megaboom (review), JBL Charge 2+(review) and Charge 2 (review), Bose Soundlink III (review) and Soundlink Mini 2 (prev review)
Best Bluetooth speakers

There’s nothing like having a summer moment free to listen to your favorite music with your friends. The combination of portable Bluetooth speakers and great music apps like Apple Music with Beats 1 radio can make this an instant spontaneous event as long as you’ve got the right gear. There are tons of Bluetooth speakers around but we’re cutting through the noise and signaling the best from three top brands today: Bose, UE and JBL.

In last year’s exhaustive holiday season Best Bluetooth Speaker Review, I gave the title of best speaker to the JBL Charge 2 for having nearly the best sound, cylindrical portability, great looks, long battery life and the ability to charge your phone for around $120. JBL has updated their game with the Charge 2+ but both Bose and UE have really doubled down on their product functionality this year. It is going to be a tough call… expand full story

Probably a little closer to reality than Apple’s latest.

I might not agree with him on *everything* but I can side with his MacBook Pro stance.

July 15

ipod benchmarksAs expected, Apple updated its iPod lineup today and I just wanted to add a few notes on the new hardware.

The iPod shuffle and nano lines got new colors but otherwise are the same internally with the 2GB and 16GB storage inside and same skeuomorphic UI for the nano. To me this is Apple saying the long goodbye to these products the same way the iPod classic was ushered out. Expect these to last as long as whatever inventory Apple decides to build.

The new iPod touch is much more interesting. It got the same new color palette and otherwise is the same externally – except losing the unpopular Loop strap. However, internally it gets supercharged with the same A8 processor as the current iPhone 6 and 6 Plus but running about 15% slower, the M ‘motion’ coprocessor, Bluetooth 4.1 – an Apple first and 1GB of RAM. Techcrunch was the first to run some benchmarks on a review unit:

We’ve got some of the new iPods here to play with and we ran an initial benchmark on the iPod touch. The processor appears to be running at 1.10GHz per core, vs the iPhone 6’s A8 processor, which clocks in at 1.39GHz. The Geekbench scores clock in at 1379 and 2440 right out of the box with as much idle state as I could manage. This means that the iPod touch A8 processor is under-clocked slightly from the iPhone 6, which is not surprising given the battery constraints I mentioned above. It also appears to have 1GB of RAM.

Starting at $199, the iPod touch costs less than the margins Apple makes on even its cheapest iPhones. Almost every human has or will have a phone and Apple surely wants everyone who buys a phone to buy an iPhone. But there are some important features to consider here: expand full story

June 30


Apple Music makes its debut in a few short hours/minutes/seconds and if you want to spend that time reading about what early reviewers thought (after migrating your playlists), we’ve got a list of Apple’s selected journalists who’ve played with the app and listened to the music with a few choice words: expand full story

June 29

June 20

June 16

 

UE-Roll
Over the weekend I got my hands on the new $99 Ultimate Ears Roll Bluetooth speaker — a durable and waterproof frisbee of a device that pumps the beats like the UE Mini Boom cousin it is replacing. The form factor is totally new however.

First up: The UE Roll sounds really good with significant bass emerging from that thin profile. Not quite as good as $200+ portable speakers like the Bose Soundlink Mini or even the full-sized UE MegaBoom but plenty good to fill up a room or for a few people to rock out with some background music on the beach for a volleyball game. If you find yourself in a quiet, still spot the sound really comes through clean even though the device with its bungee cord off the back lends itself to the great outdoors and physical activity.

UE-Roll

The Roll connects to Apple and other Bluetooth devices – even the Apple Watch – through a typical Bluetooth 4 connection, but Logitech offers some very premium features via the iOS or Android app that debuted with the Megaboom. With the app, you can set an alarm, “equalize” the sound, pair two or more speakers for stereo or do Sonos-like arrays in every room, check battery status and more with updates promised for the future… expand full story

June 14

PowerBeats2-wireless-applewatch

image credit: Ben Thomas

Apple quietly updated its Powerbeats2 headphones to match Apple Watch Sport colors this week signalling a new move to focus audio accessories to the Apple Watch ecosystem. The new colors, which match the Apple Watch Sport Band colors of Blue, Black, Green, Pink and (updated) White, are available in Apple Stores but haven’t arrived at other retail locations yet.

Powerbeats2-apple-store

The Apple Watch can store and play 2GB of music without a tethered iPhone wirelessly via Bluetooth 4 and with watchOS 2 will get access to many more audio applications. It wouldn’t be out of character for Apple to release over the ear Beats headphones in matching colors or even PowerBeats Wireless to match the more expensive stainless steel Apple Watch.

The new Powerbeats2 headphones will of course work with all Apple and other Bluetooth 4 devices even though they appear to be focused on the growing Apple Watch market.

Apple Powerbeats2 Wireless earphones still come in their original, dare I say, dated colors for $199 ($189 Amazon, $169 Best Buy or $160 Ebay) but the original White version has been moved from the old lineup the the new lineup. Original urBeats wired headphones can be found for as little as $45 via 9to5Toys.com

(Via Benjamin Thomas) expand full story

June 13

As previously reported, the Upper East Side New York Apple Store opened today and Apple’s head of retail was on hand for the occasion.  Angela Ahrendts tweeted from the event (above) and took photos with visitors (below). The store is at  940 Madison Avenue on the corner of 74th St, a block from Central Park.

apple-store-ues

We noted previously that the almost 100-year old building that Apple restored used to be a bank which included a vault that Apple turned into a VIP room for Apple Watch Edition try ons. The VIP space includes a large TV/Display, couches and other niceties (more images below).

The bank vault room.

A photo posted by Patrick Sleem (@patrick1ny) on

In addition, the decor and showcasing is unique to this location with a new kind of recessed showcase, large chandeliers and black and white artwork.

The new store will help alleviate some of the traffic that the Fifth Avenue Store loses while it relocates to the smaller FAO Schwarz location for upgrades. Not everyone is happy with the store opening. Local residents have complained that it will bring throngs of shoppers to this somewhat quiet (by Manhattan standards) upscale neighborhood. Apple has promised to open later and close earlier than other nearby stores in order to appease the neighbors.

Many more images below: expand full story

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