Zac Hall

@apollozac

Editor at 9to5Mac + 9to5Google

Zac covers Apple news and product reviews for 9to5Mac, contributes to 9to5Google, and hosts the weekly 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast.

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

Tweet and follow: @apollozac

Yesterday

AAPL: 108.85

0.34
Stock Chart

Prisma first launched on iOS back in July, bringing AI-powered artistic photo filters to the iPhone. We were impressed with the quality and variety of filters, noting the server-side machine learning aspect that made these filters possible, but Prisma’s popularity was often too much for those servers and resulted in slow filter previews. Today Prisma seems to have solved that problem by making most of its filters available offline.

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Pinterest has purchased the popular read-it-later service Instapaper and plans to maintain the app and service for users. The purchase comes three years after Betaworks, the firm behind Digg, bought Instapaper from creator Marco Arment who currently developes the popular podcast player Overcast.

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August 22

AAPL: 108.51

-0.85
Stock Chart

Apple today released the seventh developer preview of macOS Sierra since showing off the software update for the Mac at WWDC 2016. The latest release is available now through the Mac App Store. macOS Sierra’s headlining feature is Siri on the Mac with other features like Auto-Unlock which lets Apple Watch users skip the password login screen. Apple Pay is also coming to Safari with macOS Sierra, although we haven’t seen the feature live on the web yet.

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9to5toys 

Being able to automate locking and unlocking your front door is one of the easiest ways to transform your house into a smart home and enter the age of the Jetsons. Dom reviewed the first August Smart Lock (reg. $199) last year, and August has released updated hardware with a feature Apple fans will want. The updated August Smart Lock (reg. $229) features HomeKit support and a slightly tweaked design (magnetic battery cover, lock orientation notch, grooved edges). I’ll go hands on with the new capabilities and share my take on the newest August Smart Lock below.

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Apple announced today that its Apple Music Festival will be kicking off in London next month at The Roundhouse. The annual music event features several nights of free concerts, but tickets are limited to UK residents who apply. Apple Music also streams the concerts online to promote the $10/month music subscription service, also access is usually free.

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9to5google 

Rumors that Apple is planning three new iPhones  — the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 7 Pro — seem to have come and gone this year with the Pro model no longer expected, but Nikkei Asian Review reports that the three-tier lineup may actually be in the cards for next year. Citing an anonymous source, the report claims Apple’s rumored curved OLED iPhone expected to be released in 2018 could be a pricier model than the current 5.5-inch tier now.

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August 19

AAPL: 109.36

0.28
Stock Chart

Apple has released iOS 10 beta 7 for developers to test on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. iOS 10 brings a refreshed look to Apple Music and News plus loads of new features to the platform. The software update will be ready for everyone likely sometime next month, and we’ll dig through the seventh developer version of the iOS 10 beta below. The update follows just five days after the last release on Monday. The sixth public beta version of iOS 10 is also available.

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CarPlay is showing up in plenty of new car models this year, but it’s much cheaper to replace the radio in the car you already own to get CarPlay for yourself. Sony is joining the aftermarket CarPlay scene this fall with its new and relatively affordable XAV-AX100 receiver.

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electrek 

August 18

AAPL: 109.08

-0.14
Stock Chart
iPhone 7 mockup from Dom's hands-on video this week
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We’re now less than three weeks away from the date when Apple is expected to introduce the iPhone 7, and I’ve noticed something worth discussing ahead of time.

This year’s iPhone appears to be a pretty modest update largely because of what we expect will be an iPhone 6s-like design, but I’ve seen a generally positive response to rumors so far from the type of users that insiders sometimes call normals. What feels like a boring iPhone cycle to insiders still holds a sense of magic for others. Perspective is important.

There’s also a splash of magic that seems to spread to even cynical insiders as Apple’s rumored plans turn into official products. We already know how the next few weeks will play out, but there’s still an adrenaline rush that comes with each step along the way…

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The Apple Watch 2 may not have a cellular option after all, according to a new Bloomberg report. Back in April, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was considering the option for cellular connectivity in the next Apple Watch version — something that I wasn’t sure the watch needed yet — but today’s report says the company has “hit roadblocks in making major changes that would connect its Watch to cellular networks and make it less dependent on the iPhone.”

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Earlier this summer Evernote limited the free tier of its note-taking service to use on just two devices while raising prices for its paid plans. While the move was clearly intended to make Evernote’s business more sustainable, reaction from a lot of vocal users was to switch from Evernote to OneNote or Apple Notes. Now Microsoft has responded with a new import tool that lets OneNote users pull in content from Evernote.

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9to5toys 

August 17

AAPL: 109.22

-0.16
Stock Chart

Retail chain Target is blaming Apple in part for its latest disappointing quarterly earnings results. Yahoo Finance reports that Target management cites a 20% year-over-year decline in Apple product sales during the quarter for overall electronics sales dropping.

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Carriers often try to attract switchers and new subscribers during new iPhone season, and AT&T is doing its part today by upgrading its mobile plans with some modest data upgrades at reduced costs. AT&T is also announcing that its new plans no longer include overage charges for exceeding data caps. AT&T subscribers won’t automatically be moved to these new plans, so current customers will want to compare these new rates and potentially save money with more data.

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9to5google 

The Apple Store credo could be changing this weekend as other retail changes are likely to be rolled out. We’ll share more details are we learn them (fill us in at tips@9to5mac.com or zac@9to5mac.com!) but until then check out a version of the Apple Store mission statement (click to enlarge) from 2011:

Some of the language and programs are pretty outdated now, but it’s a nice artifact from Apple’s retail history. Here’s another version from 2014 (current):

This week Benjamin and Zac catch up on new Apple exec interviews, Apple TV’s rumored guide feature, Apple Watch 2 plans, iPhone 7 details, 2017/2018 iPad rumors, and the latest MacBook details. 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.

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Apple has added a second round of new Apple Pay banks and credit union partners in the United States for the month of August. These are the latest banks to work with Apple’s mobile payment service:

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electrek 

The first Apple Watch shows the current Astronomy face which features the time, month and date, and bottom toggles that switch between displaying the Earth, moon, and solar system and can’t be customized.

The second Apple Watch shows the Chronograph face with three complications (top left, bottom left and right) that can be customized.

The third Apple Watch shows a mockup of my ideal Astronomy face that isn’t currently possible. I love glancing at my Apple Watch and seeing whether it’s 96º or 74º outside. I also like seeing my Activity rings at a glance.

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