About the Author

Jordan Kahn

@JordanKahn

Senior Editor

9to5Mac / 9to5Google / 9to5Toys / Electrek.co

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac. He covers Google for 9to5Google.com, the best gadgets and deals on 9to5Toys.com, and delivers a weekly roundup of EV and solar news on Electrek.co. He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s weekly Logic Pros series covering music making with Apple devices and makes music as one half of Toronto-based Makamachine.

Contact Jordan with news tips and long-winded complaints:  

Jordan Kahn's Favorite Gear

January 10, 2014

CES 2014: CableCore Hub puts your iMac’s USB ports within arm’s reach

During the ShowStoppers press event this week at CES, iCoreGear, a small team of designers and engineers currently raising funds on Indiegogo, showed off a new product called the CableCore Hub for iMac. The idea is simple enough: rather than having to climb on top of your desk and awkwardly fumble with plugging cables into the back of your iMac, the CableCore hub attaches to the base of iMac and brings 3 USB 3.0 ports and an SDXC card slot within arm’s reach. A slightly more expensive version will also include a Bluetooth connected 3.5mm audio jack. It’s powered from one of the USB ports on the back of your iMac, but can also provide high speed charging to all its ports by using a separate power adapter. While a regular standalone USB would get the job done, the CableCore Hub’s bead blasted aluminium base and black polymer top match the iMac perfectly and the design does away with extra desk clutter you get with your average USB hub.

Preorders for the base model are currently at $99 on Indiegogo, while the model with the Bluetooth audio jack will cost you can extra $30. The company expects to ship by May if it can raise the $20,000 it needs through the crowd funding campaign.

January 9, 2014

 

Earlier this week we told you that Apple had announced an upcoming sale in many of its Asian online stores to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year taking place at the end of January. The sales see Apple offering discounts in China, Thailand, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Malaysia online stores similar to deals on offer for Black Friday in the US and other countries.

This year Apple is offering cash discounts on the usual products— up to $40 off iPads, $100 off Macs, and smaller discounts on iPods and Smart Covers— it’s also offering a rare discount on iPhones at around $50 off both the iPhone 5s and 5c. In addition, a much larger selection of accessories are on sale compared to the company’s Black Friday sale including popular products from Parrot, Apogee, Belkin, LaCie, and Apple.

January 7, 2014

Hyper, the company behind many battery packs, Wi-Fi enabled storage solutions, and external MacBook battery packs, is today launching another unique battery solution that caught our eye. The new HyperJuice Expand is a three USB port battery pack that will let you charge up to two iPads and an iPhone at once, but the really interesting part is the new patented solution for magnetically attached battery packs of various sizes.  expand full story

Yesterday we gave you our hands-on demo video of the latest MiniDrone quadricopter from Parrot, and today we got a demo of the new Parrot Jumping Sumo: a Wi-Fi connected “insect robot” toy that can turn on a dime and jump up to 30 inches.It’s controlled via an iOS app, packs in a gyroscope and accelerometer, and can roll and turn 90 degrees with quite impressive precision. expand full story

CES coverage brought to you by Belkin

Back in June we reported that Apple was getting ready to introduce new Bluetooth Low Energy hearing aid technology it developed to significantly improve the current crop of products on the market. Apple expected partners in its MFi program to introduce hearing aid and cochlear implant products using the technology this year, and last night we got a look at the first MFi hearing aid about to launch globally this quarter during the Bluetooth SIG event at CES 2014. GN’s Resound Linx is trickling out in select markets as we speak but a full global launch is about to happen sometime this quarter.

Not only is Resound Linx the world’s smallest hearing aid and the first Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod through Apple’s official program, the connection to an iPhone over the 2.4GHz frequency and Apple’s advancements in low powered Bluetooth tech for hearing aid products will also provide some other first of their kind features for the Linx. The hearing aid will essentially also function as a high-quality headset, allowing users to answer calls, listen to turn-by-turn directions, and much more on their iOS device. The most notable advancement, however, is the ability to fine tune the hearing aid experience through a dedicated iOS app: expand full story

January 6, 2014

Dandy-app-development

Dandy, a new Waterloo-based startup that crowd-sources the development of mobile apps, today launched its first ever app developed by its community of contributors during the ShowStoppers CES event. The concept is a simple but unique one: apply Kickstarter-style crowd-sourcing to the development of mobile apps. Dandy, however, takes things one step further than your average crowd-sourced product campaign by allowing members of the community to contribute to the development process and earn revenue from app sales based on the level of their contributions. Here’s how it works: expand full story

Editors Keys today announced the first ever wireless shortcut keyboard for Apple’s recently released Logic Pro X audio suite.  The keyboard sports 150 shortcuts and the company notes it was also able to fit in some extra shortcuts as icons sitting behind the text on each key. Perhaps the best part of the new Logic Pro X keyboard is the fact that Editors Keys used an actual Apple wireless keyboard for the product, which means you’ll be able to swap out your current Apple keyboard without sacrificing the look and feel. The company says it worked with the Logic Pro X community to develop the best experience possible for users:  expand full story

Parrot, the company best known for its AR Drone quadricopter, today unveiled a few of its latest iOS controlled vehicles including a smaller quadricopter called ‘MiniDrone’. We shot the videos above and below tonight during the official CES Unveiled press event and were quite impressed with the MiniDrone’s agility. Unlike its bigger brother, Parrot’s new drone sports removable wheels on either side allowing it to run smoothly along the floor, wall, or ceiling before taking off again into mid-air. It’s also extremely agile thanks to a number of built-in sensors, an auto-pilot mode, and a super lightweight design, as you’ll see in the video below. expand full story

Today we get a look at the first Apple authorized Bluetooth game controller for iOS devices with the Stratus Wireless Controller announced today by SteelSeries.

We’ve already reviewed the first two Apple authorized game controllers to hit the market since it introduced its controller MFi program alongside iOS 7 earlier this year: Logitech’s PowerShell and Moga’s AcePower. Those two controllers used Apple’s form-fitting design, which lets an iOS device dock directly into a recess in the controller and connect via a built-in Lightning connector. The new controller from SteelSeries is the first standalone controller that connects to any iOS device over Bluetooth, which means it will also support iPads. It uses Apple’s extended layout, which gives you dual analog joysticks and an extra set of shoulder triggers on top of the d-pad, face buttons and single set of triggers on Apple’s standard layout.

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Belkin is the official sponsor of 9to5Mac’s International CES 2014 coverage 

At CES this year Belkin is focusing on expanding WeMo, its lineup of home automation products that allow you to control power outlets and connected products using an iOS app. We reviewed the company’s original WeMo kit, but it’s come a long way from just the socket and motion detector it first launched. Today we got a look at three new WeMo products coming soon, including: smart LED lightbulbs, a Crock-Pot slow cooker, and a new DIY kit dubbed “Maker”.  expand full story

January 5, 2014

Ahead of the official International CES 2014 show taking place next week in Las Vegas, tonight Griffin, alongside a number of other companies, debuted new products at the official CES Unveiled press event. We told you earlier about the company’s new Square card reader case (the first of Square’s partners for a new program that will see similar products released in the future), but Griffin also had other Apple related products on show tonight including new audio accessories, a bluetooth controller for Mac, and more.

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January 2, 2014

Today, the Consumer Electronics Association announced that it will be using Apple’s new iBeacon technology to host a unique scavenger hunt of sorts at its International CES event scheduled for next week. Using the official CES mobile apps for iOS or Android, attendees will be able to collect badges for encountering the location-aware Bluetooth iBeacons placed throughout the CES showfloor. CEA is using a Bluetooth iBeacon development kit from  Radius Networks (pictured above) and Texas Instruments’ SensorTag technology. It hopes the scavenger hunt will encourage attendees to explore more areas of the show. expand full story

Apple today released a new environmental impact report on its Apple and the Environment webpage detailing improvements in the newly launched Mac Pro’s environmental performance. In the report, Apple notes the new Mac Pro meets ENERGY STAR® Version 6.0 standards and gets a Gold rating from EPEAT, but it also provides estimates for the Mac Pro’s lifetime greenhouse gas emissions (around 940 kg CO2e), power consumption, and material efficiency.

In a section outlining the power efficiency of the new Mac Pro with the chart above, Apple claims the new machine “consumes 68 percent less power in idle mode than the previous-generation Mac Pro.”  expand full story

No Bible available? NY swears in politician with iPad Bible app

NewsDay reports Republican Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano was sworn in for his second term today using an iPad and Bible app when officials were unable to locate a physical copy of the Bible:

Addressing a standing room audience at Bethpage High School, where he graduated in 1980, Mangano took the oath of office on an iPad featuring a text of the Bible when a printed copy could not be located.

Not surprisingly there is much debate heating up online over whether or not an iPad and Bible app should qualify as a replacement for the real thing. Video from the ceremony is available here.

NFL playoffs! Some great apps and free AFC streams from CBS Sports

According to a report from Broadcasting & Cable, CBS for the first time will live stream its coverage of the AFC portion of the NFL playoffs starting with a game between the Chargers and Bengals this weekend. In addition to the wildcard matchup this Sunday, the network will also live stream two divisional round games and the AFC conference championship. The live stream will be available to users tuning in on desktops, laptops, and tablets through the CBS website, but there’s no mention of mobile phones or apps.

While you may or might not be able to get the live stream through the official CBS Sports mobile app, there are a number of great iOS apps to keep up to date on the latest as the NFL playoffs kick off this month. Here are a few of our favorite NFL apps to keep you up to date on all the official news coverage, video highlights, customized team alerts, real-time scores and more during the playoffs:

Best Buy just sent over word that it will be holding a special New Year’s sale this weekend on a number of products including significant discounts on iPhones. The retailer is dropping the cost of the 16GB iPhone 5s down to $124.99 from its usual $199 and the 16GB iPhone 5c will be available to pick up for free, both available through all major carriers. The sale lasts through Jan. 4 both in-store and online, and the prices for the discounted iPhones are already available through at least Best Buy onlineexpand full story

December 31, 2013

Yesterday we reported on a presentation by security researcher Jacob Appelbaum that reportedly showed leaked NSA documents in which the agency claimed to have a “100 percent success rate” at installing spyware on iPhones. Following those accusations, Apple has officially responded in a statement provided to TechCrunch:

Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products, including iPhone. Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products. We care deeply about our customers’ privacy and security.  Our team is continuously working to make our products even more secure, and we make it easy for customers to keep their software up to date with the latest advancements.  Whenever we hear about attempts to undermine Apple’s industry-leading security, we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate steps to protect our customers.  We will continue to use our resources to stay ahead of malicious hackers and defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who’s behind them.

The leaked NSA documents detailed in Appelbaum’s presentation above and first released on German news site Der Spiegel claimed an NSA program called DROPOUTJEEP allowed officials to access almost all data stored on an iPhone, including location, text messages, contact lists, and the device’s microphone and camera. The reports claimed the NSA needed physical access to devices to install the spyware– something it could accomplish by intercepting online shipments– but a version that could be remotely installed was reportedly in development. Apple’s statement today seems to address Appelbaum’s accusation (below) that Apple might have had prior knowledge of the program: expand full story

December 30, 2013

Fitbit app taps into iPhone 5s M7 motion processor for new MobileTrack feature

The Fitbit iPhone app received a notable update today that brings basic tracking features directly to the iPhone 5s without the need of one of FitBit’s tracking watches. The new “MobileTracker” feature, which takes advantage of Apple’s new M7 motion co-processor, provides some of FitBit’s basic activity tracking features right on the device. The new feature, due to the new M7 motion co-processor, is currently only available on the iPhone 5s. The company is yet to make an official announcement, but with CES right around the corner we’d expect to hear more about the update soon.

As noted by the Fitbit employee in the tweet below, the update will allow iPhone 5s users to try basic features of the app before investing in the hardware.

The app also receives a number of other new features today including redesigned silent alarms, the ability to a set a custom water goal, and a revamped profile editor, tracker settings, and sign-up screen. A full list of what’s new in version 2.1 of the Fitbit app is below:

What’s New in Version 2.1

The Fitbit app now features MobileTrack which offers basic Fitbit activity tracking directly using your iPhone 5s. Redesigned Silent Alarms settings. Set, switch, edit, and remove alarms faster than ever. Set your own custom water goal. Redesigned profile editor. Redesigned tracker settings. Redesigned sign-up and sign-in. Tap on people in Friend Finder to see their profile. Swipe on friends on your leaderboard to Cheer, Taunt, or Message. Tap on tabs to auto-scroll to the top.

Apple hires NYT Magazine design director Arem Duplessis for creative role

In an interview with Mediabistro published earlier today (via Engadget), Design Director of The New York Times Magazine Arem Duplessis reveals that he’s leaving the magazine for a new role at Apple as a Creative Director. Duplessis worked as Design Director at the The New York Times for nearly ten years and still lists the position as current on his LinkedIn profile, but in the interview said he’ll begin his new role in Cupertino this February.No word on exactly what Duplessis will be doing, but he will at the very least be working with the internal marketing team.

Before his almost 10 years at The New York Times, Duplessis worked as design director at GQ and Spin magazine. A few of the New York Times covers that he served as Art Director on are above.

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