Reviews ▪ June 24

It would be silly to say that Apple’s latest iteration of the 15-inch 2015 MacBook Pro with Retina Display is the best MacBook yet, because that’s mostly the truth with every new model. Unfortunately, you won’t find a shiny new processor setup this time around, as Apple stuck with the trusty old Haswell configuration, but there are some nice improvements here.

The good news is, there’s a bump in clock speed across the board if that matters to you and we have a new GPU setup thanks to AMD in the high-end model. Even with these modest upgrades, the MacBook Pro I purchased is a beast for content creation…

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Reviews ▪ June 23

Reviews ▪ June 22

While we’re all expecting good things from the radio side of Apple Music, it’s going to be a curated experience, meaning we’ll get the radio stations Apple chooses to offer. If it doesn’t cover all of our favorite stations, we’re going to need another radio app to plug the gap.

For listening on the move, the free SwipeRadio iOS app is a delightfully minimalist way to do it. Developer Dataphase has now taken the same approach on the Mac, with Home Radio. The philosophy is the same: no bells, no whistles, just the radio stations you want to listen to in an extremely lightweight app.

I’ve been trying it out, and if you want to do the same, developer Noam Gordon is kindly making it free for today only (22 June) especially for 9to5Mac readers …  expand full story

Reviews ▪ June 20

Reviews ▪ June 19

Wood has historically been a tricky material for Apple accessories: it can be challenging to precision-fit to Apple devices, and isn’t always a good visual match for metal and glass. But wood accessories are beginning to enjoy a renaissance thanks to the Apple Watch. Since nightstands are almost invariably made from wood, and Apple Watches need to be left on nightstands for overnight charging, matching wooden Apple Watch stands can blend in to an extent that plastic or metal stands cannot.

Oregon-based SchuttenWorks’ new Wave Apple Watch Charging Stand ($75) arrives on the heels of well-regarded wood stands from Pad & Quill and DodoCase, and is actually a little less expensive — there are cheaper wood options, but they don’t look great and are getting bad reviews. Thankfully, SchuttenWorks hasn’t skimped on Wave’s design. Available in your choice of seven different woods, the C-shaped holder can hold open- or closed-band Apple Watches, and uses internally hidden magnets to make assembly a snap. Is there one that’s right for your nightstand?…

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Reviews ▪ June 16

Friends have often expressed surprise at the fact that I continue to use wired headphones. My beautifully-portable and much-loved Bowers & Wilkins P5 headphones go with me almost everywhere, while my Master & Dynamic MH40s are my go-to headphones in the living room.

Friends know my aversion to visible cables, and I’m usually an ‘any excuse for a gadget’ type guy, so why, they ask, do I continue to wear wired headphones? There have been a couple of reasons for that. First, the ‘yet another device to charge’ factor – to add to my Macs, iPad, iPhone, bike cam, GPS and now Apple Watch.

Second, the sound quality of Bluetooth headphones hasn’t compared well to wired ones in my experience. I’ve tried a bunch of Bluetooth headphones in the store, but none persuaded me. However, designing with wood and leather is always a good way to catch my attention, so I thought I’d try House of Marley’s Liberate XLBT over-ear headphones …  expand full story

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