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

October 12, 2015

AAPL: 111.60

-0.52
Stock Chart

October 10, 2015

AAPL: 112.12

2.62
Stock Chart

It was discovered by Larry Salibra and others that Apple has been disabling its Apple News Service in China. Perhaps most troubling is how Apple is doing this:

They’re censoring news content that I downloaded and stored on my device purchased in the USA, before I even enter China just because my phone happens to connect to a Chinese signal floating over the border. On device censorship is much different than having your server blocked by the Great Firewall or not enabling a feature for customers with certain country iTunes account. That Apple has little choice doesn’t make it any less creepy or outrageous.

The New York Times reports that Apple confirmed, off the record, that it is indeed turning off Apple News in Mainland China.

Apple has disabled its news app in China, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation, the most recent sign of how difficult it can be for foreign companies to manage the strict rules governing media and online expression there. Customers who already downloaded the app by registering their phones in the United States can still see content in it when they travel overseas — but they have found that it does not work in China. Those in China who look at the top of the Apple News feed, which would normally display a list of selected articles based on a user’s preferred media, instead see an error message: “Can’t refresh right now. News isn’t supported in your current region.”

China is Apple’s most promising market but unfortunately it is controlled by a government that wields total control over information and the media. Simply removing the news App might be better than upsetting Beijing.  Google famously ran afoul of the Chinese government in 2010 after sustaining a state-sponsored hacking attack on its Windows computers and was effectively kicked out of the country. Only in the past few months have attempts been made to mend the bridges.  Apple certainly doesn’t want to hurt its cash cow over censorship. From a PR perspective, it probably doesn’t want to hand the reigns over to Beijing either.

I don’t expect this to change soon.  expand full story

If you’ve ever tried to charge your iPhones/iPads/etc. directly from a small solar panel you probably know it is pretty difficult. Even with direct sunlight, you aren’t likely to be able to charge the device reliably. Most USB-charged devices require a minimum of 5W (5Vx1A) of continuous power to even register a charge. Then a cloud comes or the sun moves and you aren’t charging anymore.

Adding a battery to the mix helps, especially if the battery is big and can charge the device on its own without any sun. But most of the solar/battery combos fall into 2 categories: Either messy because they are a bulky 2 step solution or the solar panel is too small to make a meaningful charge and you are mostly using it like a regular USB battery.

solartab

SolarTab is a breath of fresh air here. It is a relatively big 5.5W solar panel built on a thin 13,000mAh battery enclosure that fits in an included Moleskine-esque case. Size-wise, think the original iPad with a nice leather case and a huge solar panel instead of a screen…

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9to5toys 

October 3, 2015

AAPL: 110.38

0.80
Stock Chart

September 28, 2015

AAPL: 112.44

-2.27
Stock Chart

According to Chipworks, there are actually two different sized A9 processors floating around in the iPhone 6s and 6s plus released last week. That’s not really a surprise because Apple likes to have redundancy, especially when one of the manufacturers is Samsung. We’d heard that both Samsung and TSMC would be producing A9 processors destined for the iPhone 6s.

However, there appears to be a difference in size of the two A9s which might play a role in how the iPhone performs…

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September 25, 2015

AAPL: 114.71

-0.29
Stock Chart

Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, arrive for a State Dinner reception in honor of Chinese President Xi Jinping, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Among over 200 titans of industry, finance and entertainment this evening, Apple’s Tim Cook and former EPA head and Apple’s VP of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives Lisa P. Jackson attended President Obama’s Chinese State Dinner. The two reportedly sat at the President’s table with FaceBook’s Mark Zuckerberg with wife Pricilla Chan, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Apple Board member and Disney CEO Bob Iger among the 18… expand full story

9to5google 

September 15, 2015

AAPL: 116.28

0.97
Stock Chart

One of my absolute favorite Bluetooth speakers got a huge update today. The UE Boom 2 is an upgraded version of the iconic portable Bluetooth speaker from Logitech’s Ultimate Ears division. Originally released in 2013, the Boom set a new standard for Portable Bluetooth speakers with its “cupholder friendly” and colorful design, great acoustics, and iOS/Android apps.

In recent months UE has released a much bigger, more expensive MegaBoom and a much smaller, cheaper UE Roll. Both are waterproof and extremely rugged and if you’d had to have guessed, you’d be right in assuming the Boom would get these same features.

And it has. IPX 7 waterproofing means you can not only take it with you into the shower but you can drop the Boom 2 in the pool or bathtub without damage. It is also more powerful with a 100-foot wireless range, 15 hour battery life, and 25% louder and better sound than its predecessor. The UE Boom 2 also now includes a new tap control that allows you to start, pause and skip songs, without needing to have your phone in-hand.

I’ve been using the UE Boom 2 for the past week and I think this speaker is a big deal… expand full story

September 7, 2015

AAPL: 109.27

-1.10
Stock Chart

August 6, 2015

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electrek 

August 3, 2015

AAPL: 118.44

-2.86
Stock Chart

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:

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July 30, 2015

AAPL: 122.37

-0.62
Stock Chart

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, 2015

Pad 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

9to5toys 

July 24, 2015

L 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

July 23, 2015

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July 21, 2015

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9to5google 

July 19, 2015

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July 17, 2015

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July 15, 2015

As 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

electrek 

July 6, 2015

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