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

February 14

Apple Swift Playgrounds iPad app comes to the Mac, we talk about the ongoing state of Mac Catalyst apps, cheap iPhone and 5G iPhone rumors, and more.

9to5Mac Happy Hour is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or through our RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players. New episodes are released every Friday.

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

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February 12

Matt Birchler really gets the Apple Watch. Not just where it is and where it’s been, but where it could go next. Since watchOS 3, Matt has produced the absolute best eye candy concepts of how future software versions could evolve.

9to5Mac Watch Time is a 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, Spotify, Overcast, and your favorite podcast players through RSS. Subscribe now to catch up with each episode and automatically hear new episodes as soon as they’re released every two weeks.

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February 11

This week NASA Social invited me to attend the State of NASA 2020 address delivered by Administrator Jim Bridenstine at Stennis Space Center in South Mississippi.

Stennis is home to decades of engine testing including those used in Apollo missions to the moon in the late 60s and early 70s. Now the testing facility is being used to test the core stage of Space Launch System, NASA’s giant rocket being built for upcoming Artemis missions to the moon.

Marshall Ramsey, a writer and cartoonist also based in Mississippi, attended the same event with his iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. With the help of Pip the dog and photography, Ramsey used the iPad and Apple Pencil to add context to what we were seeing.

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February 7

Apple prepares to sponsor its first presidential debate, iOS 13.4 beta packs lots of changes, 9to5Mac discovers a new CarKey feature coming in the future, Apple takes steps toward unifying the iOS and Mac App Store, and more Apple TV rumors emerge.

9to5Mac Happy Hour is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or through our RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players. New episodes are released every Friday.

Sponsored by Chargeasap: Preorder the new Flash 150W USB-C Powerbank for $139 (Reg $299) & enter our iPhone 11 giveaway.

Sponsored by Zapier:Right now through the end of the month, try Zapier free by going to our special link Zapier.com/HAPPYHOUR

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February 2

Notice anything out of the ordinary on Apple.com today? Don’t worry, you’re not hallucinating. Sonic, Frogger, and other Apple Arcade characters have taken over Apple’s homepage. Sure, it may just be an ad for Apple’s $5/month subscription game service, but it has character.

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January 31

Jason Snell has published his annual Six Colors report card covering Apple’s 2019 performance, and this year it includes responses from me and my 9to5Mac colleague Benjamin Mayo. Go read it now and come back!

Final grades are based on ratings from 65 participants that Jason describes as “writers, editors, developers, podcasters, and other people who spend an awful lot of time thinking about Apple.” Apple’s Wearables category ranks highest (4.6/5) while Software Quality and Apple TV tie for worst (2.7/5).

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Benjamin and Zac discuss what’s new in iOS 13.3.1 and other new software updates, Apple Maps 2.0 coming to Europe, new Fantastical and Filmic DoubleTake apps, the current state of HomeKit routers, and Apple hardware rumors including a new 13-inch MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, backlit iPad Pro Smart Keyboard, and possibly a spinoff of AirPower.

9to5Mac Happy Hour is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or through our RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players. New episodes are released every Friday.

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

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

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January 29

I have to admit that this has never occurred to me as something to test in an iPhone review, but it’s reassuring to see someone has apparently tried it.

According to a new Wired profile on the kinetic space launch system firm SpinLaunch, Apple’s iPhone can survive extremely fast rotations when physically tethered.

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Admit it, you’ve lost track of how many years it’s been since you paid for Fantastical. The answer could be as long ago as 2013, 2014, or 2015 for iPhone, iPad, and Mac, respectively. We’re talking over six years of free updates.

The new Fantastical is launching today on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch with a wealth of features that extend how you can use the smart calendar app. With the new version comes the core parts of Fantastical for free for the first time, feature benefits for existing customers, and loads of useful new features for subscribers.

Fantastical is also a universal app for the first time ever, not individual purchases on each platform. Read on to learn what the new Fantastical offers.

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This week on 9to5Mac Watch, Zac is joined by 9to5Mac’s Michael Potuck to talk movement and momentum with Apple Watch. Michael has over a decade of fitness experience that pre-dates the Apple Watch, completed a last minute marathon on a whim, and recently used the watch for ski tracking on the slopes.

9to5Mac Watch Time is a 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, Spotify, Overcast, and your favorite podcast players through RSS. Subscribe now to catch up with each episode and automatically hear new episodes as soon as they’re released every two weeks.

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January 28

Apple Watch ‘Heart Month Challenge’ kicking off in February with sweet 2020 stickers

Forget to ‘Ring in the New Year’ with your Apple Watch? Your next chance to complete an Apple Watch Activity Challenge is quickly approaching! The annual ‘Heart Month Challenge’ returns in February with a sweet new set of digital stickers and virtual 2020 medal.

January 25

It’s still too early to call it, but there just might be enough rumors circulating to predict a Spring 2020 Apple Event. From iPhone 9 (or SE 2) to Product (RED) Apple Watches, it’s not hard to imagine what could pack a 90 minute presentation around March.

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January 24

Special guest Astronaut Garrett Reisman joins Zac and Benjamin to discuss his experience with ‘For All Mankind’ on Apple TV+. Dr. Reisman joined NASA in 1998, traveled to space on the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 2008 and Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2010, and performed three spacewalks from the International Space Station.

Dr. Reisman is also a Professor of Astronautical Engineering at the University of Southern California, motivational speaker, Senior Advisor for SpaceX, technical consultant for the film Ad Astra, and technical advisor for the series ‘For All Mankind’ on Apple TV+.

9to5Mac Happy Hour is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or through our RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players. New episodes are released every Friday.

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January 17

This week Benjamin and Zac discuss the iPhone XS Smart Battery Case repair program, the new Sensei app for Mac, Apple’s AI startup acquisition, the new Apple security battle with the FBI, racked mounted Mac Pro launch, a new ‘Pro Mode’ coming to Macs, and the latest Apple TV+ developments.

9to5Mac Happy Hour is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or through our RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players. New episodes are released every Friday.

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January 16

This week on 9to5Mac Watch, Zac explores recent stories that show how the Apple Watch can be your silent health guardian with fall detection and heart rate alerts, his experience testing Series 5 battery life in different modes during half marathon races, short term and long term goals with Apple Watch in 2020, and more.

9to5Mac Watch Time is a 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, Spotify, Overcast, and your favorite podcast players through RSS. Subscribe now to catch up with each episode and automatically hear new episodes as soon as they’re released every two weeks.

Sponsored by FITIV: Download FITIV Pulse, the ultimate all-in-one fitness solution for iOS and Apple Watch & get 33% off a year subscription w/ code FIT33

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January 15

We all know you gotta fight for your right to party, and Apple is joining that fight this spring. The all-new “Beastie Boys Story” documentary is coming to Apple TV+ in April after a limited release in IMAX Theaters.

Apple announced the nonfiction film that tells the inside story of the hip-hop group from the perspective of members Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz. “Beastie Boys Story” is based on the bestseller Beastie Boys BookThe great Spike Jonze is billed as the music doc’s director.

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January 13

I ran three half marathons in November and December with the Apple Watch Series 5. Each 13.1-mile race was an opportunity to test how different modes affected both battery life and the running experience. Battery life results after running for about 2.5 hours varied with each configuration: 40%, 8%, and 51%.

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January 12

9to5Mac is brought to you by CleanMyMac X. Find hidden junk, large old folders, unused apps, and heavy memory consumers. You can also use CleanMyMac X to remove malware, unwanted pop-ups, and virus extensions.

macOS Catalina introduces a brand new app from Apple called Find My. The app is the Mac version of two apps that started on the iPhone and iPad: Find My iPhone and Find My Friends.

Starting with iOS 13 and macOS Catalina, Apple merged the two location sharing apps into Find My. The new Find My app works on macOS Catalina for location sharing and device tracking without iCloud.com.

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January 10

Apple wins CES with AirPods emoji, Global Privacy Senior Director Jane Horvath talks privacy on behalf of Apple, PopSocket now works with wireless charging, HomeKit advances in 2020, Apple marks a new era of Services, iPhone 11 has a new Night mode photo contest this month, and much more.

9to5Mac Happy Hour is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or through our RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players. New episodes are released every Friday.

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

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

Sponsored by Hyper: Our CES 2020 coverage partner — get an exclusive sneak peek at the new heavy duty Hyper USB-C hubs here.

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For most of us, fall detection on the Apple Watch is one feature we hope to never need. For William Bout, a designer based in San Francisco, the feature on newer Apple Watches is indispensable.

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