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

February 17

AAPL: 135.72

0.38
Stock Chart

This week Benjamin and Zac discuss the first HomeKit video camera, iPhone 8’s rumored function area and other details, WWDC 2017 in San Jose, and Eddy Cue’s appearance at Code Media. 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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February 15

AAPL: 135.51

0.49
Stock Chart

Smart home accessories are priced at a premium over basic appliances which makes HomeKit an expensive hobby. Homebuilders are offering HomeKit accessory packages for new home buyers with a $4,000 starting price so that’s one ballpark estimate, but how much would it cost to retrofit your existing home with HomeKit hardware?

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9to5toys 

February 14

AAPL: 135.02

1.73
Stock Chart

Apple introduced a ton of new social features in Messages for iPhone and iPad in iOS 10, and some of them can make a Valentine’s Day message more original and personal. Handwritten notes, Digital Touch kisses and heartbeats, and the Love screen effect are all charming ways to put a bit more care into your messages than usual. Here’s how:

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9to5google 

Much of Twitter’s brand identity dates back to Twitterrific which was the first client built for the service, but Twitter infamously made it difficult for developers to make a business out of Twitter apps a few years ago with a tokenization system and API limitations.

The result has been almost zero competition in the Mac Twitter client space and a lackluster official app. Development for Twitterrific for Mac has been financially unsustainable so the desktop client has become outdated with every change Twitter makes to the service.

Now Iconfactory which developers Twitterrific is launching a new Kickstarter campaign called Project Phoenix that aims to fund development of a modern Twitterrific for Mac.

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February 13

AAPL: 133.29

1.17
Stock Chart

[UPDATE: Brazilian Carnival-themed ad included below the fold.]

Apple has published new iPhone 7 Plus video ads that highlight Portrait Mode with the flagship model’s Camera app.

The first video is called Soul Mate and explains how Portrait Mode makes the subject stand out from the background when Blur Effect is applied. While Portrait Mode was first tuned to work best with people’s faces, this video demonstrates the feature on a dog sitting still (which may be the hardest part).

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electrek 

Last month 9to5Mac published the first report highlighting LG UltraFine 5K Display performance problems when using the Apple-recommended monitor with Macs near Wi-Fi routers. Now we’ve learned that Apple Stores have stopped carrying the LG UltraFine 5K Display in retail locations for now.

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February 10

AAPL: 132.12

-0.30
Stock Chart
Pokémon Go has elements of AR in its gameplay
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Tim Cook really wants people to know that he’s deeply interested in AR. The Apple CEO hypes augmented reality every chance he gets, and he’s doing it in the same way he teased the wrist as an interesting space before the Apple Watch and the living room as stuck in the 70s before tvOS.

During his week-long trip across Europe, Cook went as far as saying he regards AR “as a big idea like the smartphone” in an interview with The Independent.

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iPhone 8 concept via @VenyaGeskin1
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A new supply chain report from Digitimes claims Apple is shifting iPhone 8 production up earlier than usual for the company. The report also continues to push the rumor that Apple is planning iris scanning technology in the next flagship iPhone.

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This week Benjamin and Zac discuss the delayed launch of BeatsX, Apple’s AirPods alternative, Android Wear 2.0 and how the new smartwatches compare to Apple Watch, iPhone 8 rumors including a premium price tag and wireless charging, and Apple Campus 2 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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9to5toys 

Apple’s BeatsX wireless earphones (stylized as Beatsx) are now available to purchase from Apple.com after an extended delay following their introduction in September. Like AirPods, BeatsX earphones use Apple’s special W1 chip that makes pairing and switching between Apple devices nearly instant.

Apple.com is quoting short shipping times for the black and white BeatsX, with delivery for Valentine’s Day. Apple’s website is also selling the newly-announced gray and blue colors with longer 2-3 week wait times.

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February 9

AAPL: 132.42

0.95
Stock Chart

BeatsX are set to go on sale tomorrow after missing their promised fall launch, and YouTuber Jonathan Morrison has a new video featuring an early look at the new wireless earphones. In his hands-on video, Morrison discovers that Apple is bundling a promo code for three months of Apple Music with BeatsX purchases.

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9to5google 

Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2 both address a major flaw of the first-generation model with significant speed improvements, and all Apple Watches benefit from a performance boost and a simpler interface with watchOS 3. So what’s next for Apple Watch and watchOS this year? Let’s take a look at some of the next opportunities for Apple Watch (and a few rumors) that may tell us what Apple could be planning.

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February 8

AAPL: 132.04

0.51
Stock Chart
iPhone 8 concept via @VenyaGeskin1
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A new report from Fast Company highlights a few interesting details about this year’s anticipated iPhone release. According to their sources, the price tag for the iPhone 8 could exceed $1,000 which is higher than any option in the current lineup. The report also echoes rumors that the new hardware will feature 3D sensor technology while downplaying talk that the new models could launch earlier this year than expected.

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electrek 

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