August 26, 2012

As you can probably see, we made some big changes to the look and feel of the site this weekend. The new design was put together by and we want to thank Taylor, Jake and the rest of the team for getting it all into place and making this happen.

We did not hate the old 9to5 design, but we wanted to start from scratch on so many different aspects due to Retina devices proliferating and the move toward mobile. Some improvements you will notice:

1. All of the design elements are optimized for Retina displays. In addition, we are able to display images and video over 700 pixels wide in this new format (1,400 pixel Retina). This allows us to bring imagery and video clarity that has always been hard to deliver (without “open in a new window”). Our CMS/Hosting partners WordPress VIP are also jumping on the Retina train with new additions that will allow us to deliver Retina quality imagery without compromising load times for those without Retina displays.

2. Mobile. We have been through a bunch of mobile designs before, which we were not particularly fond of (and neither were you!), but last year we gave up and decided we were going to start fresh. If you are reading this on a mobile device, you will hopefully like the changes at hand. Desktop users: Have a look…or just resize your browser and notice how the responsive desktop elements fall away into a mobile experience.

3. Load times. Even with Retina images and design elements, we wanted to bring load times down. The team at Get10Up was able to pull this off with their mastery of WordPress, CSS and some front- and back-end “magic.” No matter what device you are using, you should notice significant page load time improvement.

4. We are a blog and proud of it. Recently, many of the bigger blogs attempted to change formats from their roots in the reverse chronological format into something like a magazine or newspaper. We played with the idea, but we found that we really, truly enjoy the traditional blog format whether we’re on an iPhone, an iPad, or our Macs. With that said, we also enlarged our Top 4 Feature Stories to spread across the page. In addition, we are improving our “asides” as smaller, title-only lines on the front page. We love these for small, quick bits of news and hope you do too.

5. Hooray for Authors! We gave a little more space to Mark, Jordan, Elyse, Jake, Mike, and all of our contributors who do a great job of delivering Apple news, rumors, reviews, and opinion to you first. You will see their faces on stories so you will know who is delivering your news.

6. Sharing buttons: Nowhere and everywhere. We labored over the decision about whether to include sharing buttons. On one hand, they are very helpful when you want to share a post with your social networks. On the other hand, they take valuable load time, are ugly, and they get in the way of the flow of content.

We think we came up with an elegant compromise: There are no social buttons anywhere on the site, but sharing buttons will load with counts (now including Pinterest!) if you hit the ‘share’ text on top or ‘share this’ text on the bottom of a post. They are a little harder to find, but we think you will have no problem sharing if you should decide.

7. You! As you’ve probably noticed (see @inadarei above), we’ve been embedding a lot of reader Tweet reactions to posts recently. Besides just calling out great comments, embedding allows us to share the conversation. If you have something to add, include the post URL and cc @9to5mac on the tweet for consideration.

We also pushed updates to and 9to5Toys.comwhich should unite the experience. and our commenting engine also got a big pickup this week from VanillaForums. It improves voting/order of comments, spam removal, and a host of smaller improvements. 9to5Forums will move to the new design shortly.

We really hope you like the update and it improves your experience at 9to5 (more on the way too). We love bringing you your favorite technology news!

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We often get review items that do not merit their own review for a variety of reasons. Some might have gotten to us late after we have already read reviews, while others might be smaller niche items or some bigger ticket items that might not have blown us away, but they are still interesting nonetheless. Still, we think these guys are all noteworthy…

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August 25, 2012

Ahead of Apple’s September and October media events that focus on Apple’s post-PC devices, a string of new rumors regarding a new iPod touch, iPod nano, and smaller iPad have surfaced.

Next-generation iPod touch case may point to new design: 

The first rumor comes from GizChina, who has photos of a case purportedly for the next-generation of Apple’s iPod touch (shown above). The site believes that this new case shows less prominent tapers than found on the current, fourth-generation iPod touch. However, it’s difficult to actually see that based on this plastic case.

Additionally, the site claims that the iPod touch will have an LED flash based on this case. However, current iPod touches feature a video camera microphone next to the camera on the top left of the device. The same elongated hole on this iPod touch case (above) is found on fourth generation iPod touch cases. We believe that this case may point to the camera microphone, rather than an LED flash.

Also present on this case is a circular cutout on the bottom left corner of the device. The cutout’s purpose is currently unclear based on physical evidence, but it may be a speaker. If, in fact, the new iPod touch has a thinner design, it would likely be more difficult for Apple to retain the speaker on the bottom of the device, making it necessary to be moved to the bottom back (like on the move from the original iPad to the 2nd and 3rd generation, thinner designs).

iPod nano may gain WiFi for iTunes music downloads: 

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August 24, 2012

Following Apple’s big win in U.S. court today against Samsung, Apple CEO Tim Cook has sent a memo response to Apple corporate employees. The statement is reminiscent of Apple PR head Katie Cotton’s statement from earlier today, but adds some other new, personal touches as Apple’s CEO (who celebrates one year on the job today).

Today was an important day for Apple and for innovators everywhere.

Many of you have been closely following the trial against Samsung in San Jose for the past few weeks. We chose legal action very reluctantly and only after repeatedly asking Samsung to stop copying our work. For us this lawsuit has always been about something much more important than patents or money. It’s about values. We value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. And we do this to delight our customers, not for competitors to flagrantly copy.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the jury who invested their time in listening to our story. We were thrilled to finally have the opportunity to tell it. The mountain of evidence presented during the trial showed that Samsung’s copying went far deeper than we knew.

The jury has now spoken. We applaud them for finding Samsung’s behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn’t right.

I am very proud of the work that each of you do.

Today, values have won and I hope the whole world listens.


Cook notes that Apple seemingly did not want to go to trial with Samsung. These events only occured after Apple repeatedly asked Samsung to stop copying. Cook ends his email to employees by saying how proud he is of the work of each employee and that “values have won.”

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