Zach Kahn

@zkahn94

Hey, I’m Zach. I contribute my thoughts on apps, gaming, social media, and wearable technology here at 9to5Mac and over at 9to5Google. Here are a few of my favorite apps.

The Best Mac Apps

  • Byword is my favorite app for writing. It’s got a very clean interface that lets you focus on what you’re writing and it syncs your work across its iPhone and iPad apps flawlessly with iCloud. When you upgrade to Premium for $4.99, Byword also supports publishing to WordPress and Tumblr right from within the app.
  • Things and Clear are my go-to apps for task management. Things is great for reminding you to stay on top of larger projects like writing a piece for 9to5Mac or scheduling an interview with an app developer. Clear, on the other hand, is great for quick to-do’s like checking items off a grocery list or buying books from Amazon.
  • Airmail‘s the best way to achieve ‘inbox zero.’ It’s basically Sparrow, but new features and bug fixes are added regularly.
  • Tweetbot is the best Twitter client around. It’s got support for Pocket, my favorite read-it-later service, and syncs your read position or status of your timeline and direct messages across its iPhone and iPad apps with iCloud.

The Best iPhone Apps

  • I’m no photographer by any means but I love browsing Instagram. Follow me @zkahn94 to see my shots!
  • Thinglist is hands-down the best note-taking app for iPhone. Thinglist categorizes your thoughts by topic so that you can easily enter and retrieve your notes. You can filter notes by food, book, movie, idea, and a handful of other categories. It’s insanely great.
  • Track 8 is a unique music player that’s built upon the Metro design language popularized by many of Microsoft’s current products. It’s flashy, but functional. If you’re looking for something radically different than Apple’s built-in music player, this is your app.

If you’re working on an app and would like a detail-oriented beta tester with an eye for good design, I’m your guy. Shoot me an email at zach@9to5mac.com to get in touch and be sure to follow me on Twitter @zkahn94.

Zach Kahn's Recommended Gear

August 13, 2013

August 10, 2013

Apple iPhone Becomes Available Through Verizon Wireless

According to a report by AllThingsD, Apple will debut its latest iPhone lineup during a special event on September 10th, just a month from today. The report doesn’t specify as to which models will be announced at the event, but if rumors are to be believed, we may see the highly anticipated iPhone 5S as well as a new, low-cost iPhone 5C.

There’s been much speculation as to when exactly Apple will unveil its latest lineup as the company has been unusually quiet about new products over the last year. Many are also wondering whether or not Apple will break its traditional iPhone lineup (introducing a new iPhone and shuffling older models down to lower price points) or if it will in fact produce a cheaper, plastic iPhone to cater to demands for Apple to enter new, lower-cost markets.

We’re excited to see what the company has in store for this event as well as what they’ve been planning for new product categories. While the report doesn’t postulate the appearance of an entirely new product category, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has expressed a deep interest in both wearable technologies, given credibility to the rumored iWatch, as well as the television.

August 2, 2013

July 31, 2013

July 29, 2013

netflix_user_profiles

As first noted by MacRumors, Apple TV customers will be pleased to know that the $99 “hockey puck” will soon fully support Netflix’s newly announced user profiles. While Netflix says that a complete rollout to all supported devices will be complete by the end of August, it appears that the feature is partially available today for certain Apple TV and Netflix users.

Netflix’s user profiles allow subscribers to create personal viewing accounts that track individual ratings, recently viewed movies/showes, and recommendations. Each account can also set different parental controls to differentiate viewing capabilities between parent and child accounts.

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July 26, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 11.50.33 PM

After being offline for more than a week, Apple’s Developer Center is back. Access to the portal was removed by Apple after it was discovered that a breach into the system granted individuals access to the names, mailing addresses, and email addresses of registered developers. Apple confirmed that sensitive personal data such as credit card information and developer passwords were encrypted and secure.

The Developer Center looks the same as it was prior to its removal, but we assume Apple has followed through with its promise to overhaul the entire system by updating its server software and rebuilding its databases from scratch so as to prevent another intrusion.

While most of the main developer services have returned, Apple is still in the process of restoring the entire portal to normal. Some areas of the site such as the forums, pre-release documentation, and development videos, are still offline as per Apple’s System Status page.

Apple has also emailed developers with this new information:

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July 25, 2013

“How can we create high quality, easy-to-use software for both professional and novice DJs?”

That’s the question that inspired co-founders Karim and Christoph to make Algoriddim’s djay, the award-winning music production software. At the time, DJ software was extremely expensive and complex, but the pair were determined to create meaningful change in an industry they were both tremendously passionate about. While they both enjoyed the art of scratching, in between attending classes and studying for exams at college, the two had vastly different skill levels.

Karim was the expert. With ten years of experience under his belt, Karim had his fair share of knowledge about the industry and had used some of the most popular DJ software available. But with every gig he played, Karim found each solution clunky and downright confounding. He could manage, as digital software proved to have a superior functionality compared to his old analog favorites, but the situation wasn’t even close to ideal.

Christoph, on the other hand, had an extraordinary admiration for DJing, but didn’t have the experience or expertise of his buddy Karim. No matter what software he tried, Christoph was often puzzled as most professional software featured an overwhelming set of controls and required an insanely high level of manual skill, which made performing all the more difficult.

As such, the duo wanted to make something new; software that they and similar people could both use. expand full story

July 19, 2013

Despite Microsoft’s disastrous quarterly earnings report, in which it took a $900M writedown on discounted Surfaces, the company has just pushed out a new ad for its Surface v. iPad campaign.

As with its previous advertisements, Microsoft bashes the iPad’s inability to perform certain tasks that the Surface is specifically designed to handle. This particular ad highlights the iPad’s lack of built-in back stand, USB port, and keyboard accessory, all of which are not built-in to or included with the iPad.

Interestingly, in this ad, the Siri-inspired voiceover says, “This isn’t going to end well for me, is it? Nope definitely not ending well,” which is particularly intriguing given yesterday’s financial results. As evidenced by these results, it would appear that Microsoft’s Surface is  in a precarious position, and not Apple’s iPad. expand full story

July 18, 2013

July 12, 2013

July 11, 2013

June 21, 2013

June 20, 2013

June 19, 2013

Apple-TV-HBO-ESPNGO.

Apple has just pushed out a massive update to its $95 set-top box that brings the much anticipated HBO GO and WatchESPN channels to the platform. According to the Apple press release, users will be able to watch content from HBO and ESPN directly from their Apple TV without the need for a direct cable subscription though “HBO GO on Apple TV requires a subscription to HBO through participating television providers” (thanks mom and dad!). HBO GO on Apple TV was reported by Bloomberg earlier this year while ESPN talks have been going on for over a year.

Video by Matthew:

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June 12, 2013

In what seems to be an announcement lost within the buzz of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks (amongst other WWDC news), Apple will finally open up the iOS SDK to fully support hardware game controllers, enabling handheld-esque gaming experiences akin to the Nintendo 3DS and Playstation Vita on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

As with background apps downloads and new Directions APIs, Apple announced hardware controller support during Monday’s keynote address in one of those ‘things we added but didn’t have time to talk about’ slides (pictured above). The slide indicates that the iOS 7 SDK will support ‘MFi game controllers,’ which is a reference to Apple’s licensing program for third-party hardware accessories. Additionally, Touch Arcade points us to images from Apple’s iOS 7 Developer Guide showing a graphic of two controllers, strikingly similar to the Nintendo 3DS and Wii Classic Controller (from left to right), showing new methods of interacting with iOS via hardware buttons and joysticks. Moreover, we can’t help but notice that this announcement comes right off the heals of Tim Cook’s pledge at D11 to be ‘more open’ than before.

There are also a few other enhancements for gamers coming in iOS 7….Here’s how Apple explains the new Game Controller framework:

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June 6, 2013

June 4, 2013

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