About the Author

Zac Hall

@apollozac

Lead Editor at 9to5Mac

Zac Hall has covered Apple news for 9to5Mac since 2013. He also hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts on the 9to5Mac Podcast Network.

Zac has also been published in the Clarion-Ledger newspaper, part of the USA Today network, and covers space news and history at SpaceExplored.com.

Zac lives in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, with his wife and two kids, where he enjoys running, cycling, and his dog Apollo.

Email tips, pitches, typos, and feedback to zac@9to5mac.com.

Follow: Twitter @apollozac + Instagram @apollozac

Zac Hall's Favorite Gear

Today

Apple Watch Series 6 is packed with awesome new features like a blood oxygen saturation sensor, brighter always-on display, and all the great features from Apple Watch Series 5 and earlier.

The newly released version also comes in new finishes including blue, graphite, and a new version of gold. It’s also the first Apple Watch to be offered in Product (RED), and today we’re checking out the new case color alongside Apple’s new Braided Solo Loop watch band.

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September 17

Zac and Benjamin unpack everything announced at Apple’s September 15 event where Apple Watch Series 6 and SE were revealed, iPad 8 and iPad Air 4 debuted, and Apple One bundle and Fitness+ premiered. Tune in at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT:

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Sponsored by Pillow: Pillow is an all-in-one sleep tracking solution to help you get a better night’s sleep. Download it from the App Store today.

Sponsored by LinkedIn Jobs: Go to LinkedIn.com/HAPPYHOUR and get $50 OFF toward your first job post!

Sponsored by DEVONthinkManage your documents the smart way on Mac and iOS. Get 10% off with code 9to5mac-2020

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September 16

[Updated September 16 with version 1.4 release notes for watchOS 7.]

Apple Watch faces are highly customizable compared to watches that came before it. There’s still room for opportunity for a watch as smart as the iPhone, however, and that’s what David Smith’s cleverly titled Watchsmith app wants to prove.

Watchsmith lets you create dynamic Apple Watch complications that change throughout the day. Want a complication to check the weather in the morning, show your work calendar during your 9 to 5, and show your activity data before bed?

Watchsmith can do that all with a single complication, potentially freeing up slots for other complications.

Subscribe to 9to5Mac’s Watch Time podcast to hear an in-depth interview with Watchsmith developer David Smith later today: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Overcast.

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September 14

GymKit for Apple Watch is brand new technology that will hopefully one day be in all gyms and personal fitness equipment, but for now you need to know where to look to find it. The good news is there are several models of workout machines that work with GymKit today, but you may want to seek out a fitness club with the right equipment for now.

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Apple and Google announced plans to build COVID-19 tracing into iPhone and Android operating systems on April 10. The move marked a major partnership between the top two mobile operating system competitors in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Platform updates to enable the COVID-19 contact tracing feature on iOS and Android were publicly released 40 days later on May 20.

So how do you participate in COVID-19 contact tracing efforts with your smartphone? In this story, 9to5Mac is tracking which U.S. states and territories are using Exposure Notifications API in iOS and Android apps.

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Apple Watch can help you stay motivated to exercise and improve your health, and smart scales that sync data to the iPhone can be a fun and useful way to track your progress. If you want to easily collect your weight and other measurement data in the Health app on iPhone, the trick is to find a scale that works with HealthKit. Here are some of the current options on the market:

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September 10

Apple’s September event is official, but iPhones aren’t on the agenda this month. Zac and Benjamin discuss what we can expect from iPads to Apple Watches, when we’ll see iPhone 12, and much more. Tune in at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT:

Sponsored by TextExpander: Visit textexpander.com/podcast and select 9to5Mac Happy Hour to save 20% off your first year!

Sponsored by Fundrise: Welcome to the future of real estate investing.

Sponsored by Pillow: Pillow is an all-in-one sleep tracking solution to help you get a better night’s sleep. Download it from the App Store today.

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September 9

Jeff Benjamin joins Zac Hall to give Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 5 an exit interview before new models are announced. 9to5Mac Watch Time is a podcast series hosted by Zac Hall. In this series, we talk to real people about how Apple Watch is affecting their lives. Subscribe now to catch up with each episode and automatically hear new episodes as soon as they’re released every two weeks: 🟣 Apple Podcasts | 🟠 Overcast | 🟢 Spotify

Sponsored by Pillow: Pillow is an all-in-one sleep tracking solution to help you get a better night’s sleep. Download it from the App Store today.

Sponsored by Fantastical Premium by Flexibits: Go to flexibits.com/watchtime to save 20% off your first year!

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September 3

Join Zac Hall and Benjamin Mayo from 9to5Mac to discuss this week’s top Apple and technology stories. Tune in at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT:

Sponsored by Pillow: Pillow is an all-in-one sleep tracking solution to help you get a better night’s sleep. Download it from the App Store today.

Sponsored by Fundrise: Welcome to the future of real estate investing.

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August 27

There’s a new iPad Air 4 on the way, Apple Watch GymKit is real, and Benjamin and Zac unpack the week in iPhone 12 and iPad Air 4 rumors. Tune in at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT:

Sponsored by Sun Basket and Raycon Earbuds — check out both to support the podcast!

Sponsored by ALOGIC: Get the 10-in-1 Super Dock 50% off retail on Indiegogo for a limited time. Enter the MacBook Air giveaway. 

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August 21

This week on 9to5Mac Happy Hour, Benjamin Mayo and Zac Hall discuss the rebranding of Beats 1, new changes in iOS 14, week two of Apple’s Fortnite battle, and much more. Our thanks to LinkedIn Jobs and Fundrise for supporting the podcast!

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August 17

It’s been six or a dozen years since Apple bought TestFlight, the beta software distribution platform for iOS, and there’s still no official TestFlight for Mac for sharing and updating app betas without hunting for obscure computer identifiers. But TestFlight for iPhone and iPad does have a fancy new app icon with a level of detail that would fit right in on the Mac!

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watchOS 7 is one of those software updates that makes your Apple Watch feel faster without upgrading to a new model. Subtle enhancements to how launching apps works on watchOS 7 contribute to this effect. These include changes to the Dock and Apple Pay on all Apple Watch models with watchOS 7 and the always-on display on Apple Watch Series 5.

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August 13

This week on 9to5Mac Happy Hour, Benjamin Mayo and Zac Hall unpack the rumored Apple One bundle, the App Store removing the popular Fortnite game from Epic, and much more.

Sponsored by Crypto Pro, a Bitcoin / crypto ticker and portfolio. Get a month of Premium with code 9TO5MAC

Sponsored by TextExpander: Visit textexpander.com/podcast and select 9to5Mac Happy Hour to save 20% off your first year!

Here’s the live stream for today’s episode starting at 4 p.m. ET (or the video after 5 p.m. ET):

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August 6

This week on 9to5Mac Happy Hour, Benjamin Mayo and Zac Hall make sense of Phil Schiller’s “Fellow” retirement, the new nano-texture (option) iMac, this week in iPhone 12 part leaks, and much more. Sponsored by Space Time — check out the 9to5 Network’s new space news podcast!

Here’s the live stream for today’s episode starting at 4 p.m. ET (or the video after 5 p.m. ET):

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Here’s a quick update on the status of 9to5Mac Watch Time: Good news — season three is coming this fall! After a break during July and August, Watch Time will recalibrate and come back with a focus on marathon training with Apple Watch. 9to5Mac Watch Time is a podcast series hosted by Zac Hall. In this series, we talk to real people about how Apple Watch is affecting their lives. Subscribe now to catch up with each episode and automatically hear new episodes as soon as they’re released every two weeks: 🟣 Apple Podcasts | 🟠 Overcast | 🟢 Spotify

Sponsored by Pillow: Pillow is an all-in-one sleep tracking solution to help you get a better night’s sleep. Download it from the App Store today.

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August 3

Watch SpaceX troubleshoot iPad issue with NASA astronauts using AirDrop during spaceflight

Law breaking boats weren’t the only surprises SpaceX experienced during an otherwise smooth NASA astronaut splashdown over the weekend. An issue involving a custom SpaceX app on the iPad also made a cameo appearance during the crewed return trip from the International Space Station to Earth.

August 1

Apple has a unified gift card system, Face ID Mac evidence piles up, Digitimes backs Apple Watch Series 6 reporting, MacBook Air refresh clues, Apple’s informative antitrust hearing, iPhone 12 release clues in Apple earnings, and much more.

Sponsored by Things: The award-winning to-do app for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.

Subscribe to receive new episodes every Friday: 🟣 Apple Podcasts 🟠 Overcast 🟢 Spotify

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July 27

HomeKit doorbells are like unicorns. Mythical and make-believe, yet they still hold a place in our imagination. But what if they were real? HomeKit doorbells, not unicorns, that is. Turns out they do exist, and they’re as magical as any HomeKit enthusiast would expect. Especially if you’ve been waiting for years to get your hands on one.

Yobi B3 is the star of the HomeKit doorbell category. With an affordable price tag and a consumer-friendly design, Yobi is made to fill the massive gap left by Ring and other popular smart doorbells.

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July 23

This week on 9to5Mac Happy Hour, Benjamin Mayo and Zac Hall talk iPhone 12, iOS 14, ARM Mac apps, and much more. Sponsored by LinkedIn — check out our offer to support the podcast! 

Here’s the live stream for today’s episode starting at 4 p.m. ET (or the video after 5 p.m. ET):

Subscribe to receive new episodes every Friday: 🟣 Apple Podcasts 🟠 Overcast 🟢 Spotify

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