Editor at 9to5Mac + 9to5Google
Zac covers Apple news and product reviews for 9to5Mac, contributes to 9to5Google, and hosts the weekly 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast.
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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple isn’t totally ruling out a Time Warner acquisition as talks between the network and AT&T appear to be moving forward. Yesterday it was reported that AT&T is looking at the possibility of a merger with Time Warner, then today it was separately reported that the talks could be much further along than previously reported. Now the WSJ is adding that Apple is once again monitoring the situation closely and has even approached the company in the last few months…
Apple is set to reveal new Macs on Thursday at what will likely be the last special event hosted at the company’s 1 Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino. Early next year Apple’s giant Campus 2 headquarters will open and include a dedicated theater for these types of events, so the surprise Mac event is one last hurrah for the current Apple HQ.
And even though it may be about to be replaced with something bigger and better, 1 Infinite Loop does have something fairly new of its own: a dedicated Apple Store that reopened last fall. Apple’s campus store has always sold exclusive collectables like T-shirts and pens, and the Jony Ive-designed retail store adds Apple products just like traditional Apple Stores.
The shirt styles and souvenirs offered change regularly, but head below to see what you can expect to find at the 1 Infinite Loop Apple Store that’s not sold anywhere else if you visit.
Automatic is out today with a new version of its Bluetooth smart car adapter at its lowest price yet. Automatic Lite retails for $79.95 and features subscription-free Check Engine Light diagnosis, automatic trip tagging, and gas price tracking for capturing business expenses. Automatic Lite connects to your car’s OBD (on-board diagnostics) port and connects to the Automatic app on your smartphone over Bluetooth.
This week Benjamin and Zac discuss Apple’s now official October 27 event, new MacBook Pros and everything else we expect to see, the latest Apple Car news, and much more. 9to5Mac’s Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.
I absolutely love using Apple Pay to checkout in stores. Swiping a debit or credit card isn’t too inconvenient but it’s not the most secure way to pay, and new chip terminals in the US are frustratingly slow and unreliable. I use Apple Pay from my Apple Watch whenever possible, and I’m a serious advocate for the payment service among my family and friends with iPhones.
Two years since first launching in the US, Apple Pay is an option at lots of payment terminals all across the country, but you still can’t assume contactless payments like Apple Pay will be supported. It’s still necessary to carry your debit or credit card (or cash) just in case.
So we’ve looked at the biggest categories of businesses that still aren’t ready for contactless payments in the US and reached out to a few of the biggest holdouts to ask why they’re still resisting. We’ve also looked at some of the categories that people still want supported to see how things are progressing.
Google’s Gboard iOS keyboard has been one of the better received third-party keyboards yet. Today Google is releasing Gboard version 1.2 for iOS with a few highly requested features. New themes, additional emoji, and support for 3D Touch and the handy cursor placement trick are all included plus more.
Apple Pay is now available from two dozen more banks and credit unions around the United States. Apple’s mobile payment service launched two years ago with hundreds of additional regional banks and credit unions added every few weeks. You can find the latest banks added below:
Shortly after the Apple Watch Series 2 release last month, I gave the second-generation version model a fairly detailed review that I was pleased with noting the benefits of GPS and waterproofing like unlocking new workouts and other capabilities. Testing included open water swims, outdoor cycling without iPhone, and battery life observations during regular use. In the month since publishing, I’ve noticed a few things worth following up with…
I traveled to Alabama over the weekend to attend my younger sister’s wedding and visit family which gave me a great opportunity to put some of the iPhone 7 Plus camera features to good use. I usually bring my three year old Nikon 1 J1 along during occasions like these for optical zoom, but the auto-focus and video quality just doesn’t compare to the iPhone these days.
The new Portrait mode was very impressive in outdoor lighting and 2x optical zoom was fun to try. We also took a walk through a bamboo park where I tried underwater video capture for the first time. Check out some of the shots and video below:
If you want to control your thermostat with Siri or Apple’s new Home app, the ecobee3 smart home thermostat is one of the best HomeKit models on the market. Today the smart thermostat maker is announcing a more affordable version of their HomeKit-enabled thermostat with the new ecobee3 lite version.
Apple has teamed up with Nike to create the running-focused Apple Watch Nike+. The special version of the new Series 2 models includes extra benefits like unique band designs and colors, Nike watch faces, and integration with Nike’s specialized running app. The new models begin shipping on October 28, and 9to5Mac had the chance to check out some of the special features that make Apple Watch Nike+ unique.
[Update 10/14: Float Shelf is now available for all earlier iMacs, and Apple Thunderbolt & Cinema displays, including 17″/20″/21.5″ iMacs, 24″/27″ iMacs, 27″ Thunderbolt displays, 20″/23″ Cinema displays, and 24″/27″/30″ Cinema displays.
Float Shelf initially only supported newer 21.5″ and 27″ iMacs without SuperDrives. Now two additional versions which will fit older generations iMacs and Apple Thunderbolt & Cinema displays are available through the campaign.]
Earlier this year at CES I met the folks at Prism Designs who have some interesting new accessories for Apple products in development. The latest is called Float Shelf, which is an aluminum panel that attaches to the back of your iMac to provide a handy stand for decluttering your desk. Float Shelf is launching as a Kickstarter project today with nearly $9,000 (and climbing) in funding already, and we recently got a chance to go hands-on with Float Shelf for iMac…
This week Benjamin and Zac discuss expectations for upcoming iOS updates, a recent Activity app experience, ongoing Dash app review drama, macOS multi display behavior, and much more. 9to5Mac’s Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.
Netatmo is the maker of the handy Weather Station that provides a hyperlocal weather report to your smartphone, and now the company is introducing a new climate-related product that works with Apple’s HomeKit. Healthy Home Coach is a new indoor climate monitor that works with Siri plus Apple’s new iOS 10 Home app and uses four sensors to measure your environment.