About the Author

Zac Hall

@apollozac

Lead Editor at 9to5Mac

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the weekly 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcast.

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

Tweet and follow: @apollozac + Instagram @apollozac

Zac Hall's Favorite Gear

October 15

Beats is out with the first major redesign of its Solo on-ear headphones since being bought by Apple in 2014. The all-new Solo Pro headphones blend Beats Studio active noise cancellation with Powerbeats Pro and AirPods features like ‘Hey Siri’, auto-power, and more. Solo Pro is also the first Beats headphone to introduce a new ambient noise feature called Transparency.

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October 10

Benjamin has new info on Apple TV PIP, Zac has more experience with QuickTake on iPhone 11, watchOS 6.1 beta helps Apple Watch Series 5 battery, macOS Catalina lands, and Ming-Chi Kuo has new iPhone SE 2 predictions.

9to5Mac Happy Hour is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneInGoogle Play, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

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

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October 9

David Sparks and Clayton Morris join Zac to talk about Activity Sharing Competitions, exercising as a family, HIIT workouts, interesting ways to capture ideas on the Apple Watch, and much more.

9to5Mac Watch Time is a seasonal podcast series hosted by Zac Hall. In this series, we talk to real people about how the Apple Watch is affecting their lives.

9to5Mac Watch Time is available on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, and your favorite podcast player through RSS. Subscribe now to catch up with each episode and automatically hear new episodes as soon as they’re released every two weeks during season one.

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Apple Watch has always had astronomy-inspired watch faces and complications — in part as a nod to the origins of time tracking — but the moon phases have never quite matched what we see in the sky. Geneva Moon (formerly Moon++ as you will see in the screenshot below) is a standalone Apple Watch app from developer David Smith that solves that problem.

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October 7

Apple’s Vice President of Human Interface Design Alan Dye is no stranger to giving interviews about the Apple Watch and what goes into what shapes the software experience. Dye’s latest Apple Watch conversation can be heard on the Hodinkee Radio podcast where he discusses how Apple Watch faces are designed and much more.

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[Update 10/7: Disabling always-on display and other features saw minimal battery life gain. Reluctantly, I installed watchOS 6.1 beta over the weekend as a last resort troubleshooting step before exchanging the hardware. We don’t yet know when this watchOS update will be released or if it intentionally targets a battery life bug.

However, after three days of testing, watchOS 6.1 beta on Apple Watch Series 5 with always-on display enabled has turned 12 hour battery life into 17.5 hours. We’ll have our full review after watchOS 6.1 is officially released. Original coverage of the battery life situation without watchOS 6.1 beta below.]

I’ve been eager to review the new Apple Watch for the fifth consecutive year, but there’s just one problem: I can’t get through a full day without it dying. Apple Watch Series 5 introduces an always-on display so you can read the time at a glance, and Apple says battery life is unchanged from Series 4 models.

My routine hasn’t changed either, but my battery life experience has. Battery life problems are not affecting everyone, but Apple Watch Series 5 battery problems are definitely affecting more customers than just me.

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October 5

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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October 4

Zac has spent some time with Apple Watch Series 5, Benjamin has observations from afar, and iOS 13.2 beta brings new features to the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.

9to5Mac Happy Hour is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneInGoogle Play, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

Sponsored by Capterra: Visit Capterra.com/HappyHour today and join the millions of people who use Capterra each month.

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October 3

iOS 13 introduces a useful new feature for recording video from both the front and back cameras on newer iPhones. The only catch is that the built-in Camera app doesn’t actually support this feature yet. Instead, Apple is allowing developers to build the feature in their own apps.

Enter DuetCam, an all-new app from Marcel Schmitz debuting on the iPhone this week. DuetCam has a polished and intuitive design for filming with both iPhone cameras at the same time, and Instagram integration lets you send clips directly to IG Stories.

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September 30

Peloton is a fitness firm best known for its stationary bikes equipped with touchscreens for live and on-demand video workout classes. The seven-year-old American company, which launched its IPO in September, doesn’t just serve cyclists though.

Peloton Tread serves walkers and runners alike, and Peloton Digital for iPhone and iPad lets you experience even more workout courses — even if you don’t have stationary bike or treadmill from Peloton. My whole family has been testing the full Peloton system over the last six weeks. Read on for our experience starting with Peloton Digital for iPhone and iPad.

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Apple Watch irregular heartbeat detection and the ECG app are being credited with helping save the life of a British father of two. A simple notification on the watch led the 30-year-old to seek answers at the hospital.

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September 29

macOS 10.15 includes a gorgeous Catalina-inspired dynamic wallpaper that changes its appearance throughout the day, and recent betas have added even more stunning desktop wallpapers. The upcoming operating system update for Mac includes seven incredible photographs shot around Santa Catalina Island in California. Download each new image below for your wallpaper on any device.

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September 27

Apple Watch Series 5 introduces the return of the ceramic Edition after being notably absent for the Series 4 lineup. That means this is the first time ceramic has been an option with the redesign that debuted last year, and the new look is stunning. Check out our initial hands-on with the Apple Watch Edition before our full Series 5 review later next week.

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iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro are here, and Zac and Benjamin have first week impressions on Night mode, the new ultra wide camera, and more. iOS 13.1 for iPhone and iPadOS 13.1 for iPad are also out along with tvOS 13 for Apple TV, and there are new features to unpack.

9to5Mac Happy Hour is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneInGoogle Play, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

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

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Tempo is an excellent run log iPhone app for doing more with running and walking workout data from Apple Watch. This week developer Rahul Matta released not one but two great updates to Tempo including a marathon-inspired version.

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September 26

iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro introduce a new Night mode feature for capturing impossible low light shots that wouldn’t be usable otherwise. The telephoto lens on new Max models also captures more light without Night mode thanks to its ƒ/2.0 aperture compared to ƒ/2.4 on iPhone XS Max.

Both camera improvements make the iPhone 11 lineup ideal for catching a memorable photo in a dark concert venue, and the standard wide lens is no slouch. The awesome music and travel photographer Ryan Russell has the shot to prove it.

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September 25

Matthias Hochgatterer’s Home app for managing HomeKit on the iPhone and iPad has a brand new version out today with an overhauled design and a different name. Version 4.0 is ready for iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 with Dark Mode support and lots of personalization options for HomeKit. The name change, on the other hand, isn’t exactly by choice…

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Apple Watch now doubles as a hearing health monitor thanks to new noise level detection features in watchOS 6. After being turned on by the user, the new Noise app on Apple Watch can measure decibel levels and send alerts when a noisy environment that could affect hearing is detected.

So how accurate is the Apple Watch at measuring sound? One Apple Watch customer who works as a test stand operator for a nuclear motor facility put the new Noise app to the test.

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There’s a new camera feature on iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro called QuickTake that lets you easily capture video without switching between modes.

Hold down the shutter button or volume button while using the Photo mode of the Camera app, then capture video until you release the button. You can even slide the on-screen shutter button over to lock in video mode on the spot.

QuickTake is extremely convenient and will likely encourage people to take a lot more video when shooting photos. It also has a cool new trick for handling audio playback while recording footage.

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Apple’s Shortcuts app is now built-in on iPhones and iPads with iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, a change that gives the automation app more integration and greater discovery. If you’re brand new to Shortcuts or want to take customization to the next level, there are two great resources out this month to help.

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