Jordan Kahn


Senior Editor, 9to5Mac – 9to5Google – 9to5Toys

Contact Jordan with news tips and long-winded complaints at  

Jordan writes about all things Apple as a senior editor for 9to5Mac. He also covers Google for and the latest gear and deals on

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May 28, 2013

Live on stage during his interview at the AllThingsD D11 Conference tonight, Tim Cook has for the first time talked at length about his view on wearable technologies as competitors like Google and others push ahead with Glass and other wearable projects. While noting that broad range appeal with a product like Google Glass is “tough to see,” Cook said he thinks “the wrist is interesting” while calling the form factor “somewhat natural” compared to head mounted products.

Nike Fuel Band well made for the fitness category. Works well with iOS. The ones that do more than one thing aren’t great. They won’t convince a kid who has never worn glasses, a band, or a watch to wear one. There are lots of things to solve in this area, ripe for excitement. I think there will be tons of companies playing in this (won’t respond to Walt asking if Apple will). I see this as a very key branch of the tree… referring to the post-PC era.

Cook did note that “people want wearables to be light, unobtrusive, reflect their fashion/style” and that it would take some convincing to show people ‘why it’s worth wearing them’:

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After showing off some new Google+ features earlier this month at I/O that ended up in the Google+ Android app last week, Google today is bringing Auto Enhance, related hashtags and much more to its Google+ apps for iOS.

Version 4.4.0 of Google+ for iPhone and iPad now includes new Auto Enhance photo editing features thanks to some technology from Snapseed, the new intelligent related hashtags feature to get more information related to photos in your stream, and the ability to “Share short animations, panoramas, and more.”

Other new features include interactive Google Offer posts, options to upload a cover photo and edit additional profile fields, and control the frequency of What’s Hot posts in your stream. Google is also reminding us that the Hangouts service has moved to its own standalone appexpand full story

Kickfolio, a service that allows developers to offer demos of their iOS apps directly in the browser using an HTML5-based platform, today announced it is now allowing devs to embed their iOS apps directly in the Facebook news feed. The news comes as the company raises over $1 million in seed funding and changes its ‘Kickfolio’ branding to a more suitable “”.

We’ve told you about the service before, which allows devs to embed playable HTML5 demos of their iOS apps directly on webpages and press releases for as little as $9 a month. Today the company is not only bringing that functionality directly to the Facebook news feed (as pictured above), it’s also announcing that support for Android is on the way. currently has about 3000 devs signed up, most of which are using the service as a marketing tool to drive users to the App Store. The company says the average user spends about 1 minute, 19 seconds playing the demo with 12 percent making their way to the App Store and those stats are expected to increase thanks to the new Facebook integration. plans to integrate its service with other ad networks and platforms in the future and also launch tracking and analytics features.

You can play an demo of an iOS app below and learn more on the company’s website here: expand full story


If you’re fed up with Time Capsule and looking for a reliable, feature-filled NAS solution that also packs in some killer iOS companion apps and AirPlay support, we’re huge fans of Diskstation NAS Enclosures from Synology. We’ve reviewed the Synology NAS experience in the past, such as the two bay SD212 Diskstation, but today the company has announced its latest 8-bay unit with the launch of the new “DS1813+” model.

The new unit is similar to the 5 bay DS1513+ model it launched earlier this month, features the same screwless drive bays supporting 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drives, but also includes four GbE ports and speeds up to 350 MBps reads and 200 MBps writes. On top of some nice iOS, web, and Android apps for managing all of your content, Synology also offers apps for printer sharing, VPN server, ERP software, mail server, web server, anti-virus, and network video surveillance built-in.  expand full story

May 27, 2013


Anyone familiar with Zagg, and with 9to5, knows the company offers more than a few high quality Apple accessories worth taking a look at. Not only will you get some of the best gear for iOS devices on the market, starting today you’ll also be able to get up to 50% off on select items as well as additional savings for other highly recommended accessories.

ZAGG is currently offering 20%-50% off site wide including 20% off its top of the line iPad keyboards and 50% off all invisibleSHIELDS, cases, cables, audio products, and stylus pens. 

We’ve reviewed and enjoyed a number of Zagg products that remain high on our list of recommended iPad keyboards, charging accessories, and protective covers. Below are just a few of our reviews for Zagg products that you simply can’t go wrong with:

Screen Shot 2013-05-27 at 12.55.38 PM

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May 24, 2013

Bloomberg reports the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is launching a first of its kind inquiry into medical diagnosis apps starting with the ‘uChek’ urine analysis app from Biosense Technologies. The free app, which is currently still on the App Store, requires users to purchase a kit containing urine test strips that can be visually analyzed with the iPhone’s camera. The problem, according to a letter sent to Biosense from the FDA, is the fact that the test strips have only been cleared for “direct visual reading” and not automated analysis from an application:

Please note that though the types of urinalysis dipsticks you reference for use with your application are cleared, they are only cleared when interpreted by direct visual reading.  Since your app allows a mobile phone to analyze the dipsticks, the phone and device as a whole functions as an automated strip reader.  When these dipsticks are read by an automated strip reader, the dipsticks require new clearance as part of the test system.  Therefore, any company intending to promote their device for use in analyzing, reading, and/or interpreting these dipsticks need to obtain clearance for the entire urinalysis test system (i.e., the strip reader and the test strips, as used together).

While Biosense plans to work with the FDA to resolve the issue, Bloomberg notes that this is only the start of a broader crack down on apps that claim to diagnose medical conditions: expand full story

May 23, 2013

gMusic-All-Access-iOSWhen Google unveiled its brand new $9.99/month “All Access” Google Play music streaming service earlier this month at its I/O keynote, we quickly learned that the service would not be coming to iOS initially. Google didn’t get into why, but today developers of the popular gMusic iOS app has unofficially brought support for the service to iPhone and iPad.

The app previously acted as client for songs stored in your Google Music library, but with an update to version 6.0 today the All Access subscription service is now officially available to iOS users. The changelog on iTunes also lists the ability to “Create/play Radio Stations” and “Search, listen, and add music to your library from inside the app.”

As for why Google didn’t make it’s own All Access app for iOS, we’ve heard from sources close to the situation that Google wants to submit an app but is currently in a holding pattern with Apple regarding what they will accept.

gMusic: Google Music Player is available on the App Store now for $1.99. The updated app will require users to have a Google Play All Access subscription to access the new features.  expand full story


After announcing that it would be rolling out a new Verizon Cloud service to iOS and Android users back in April, the carrier provided an update today informing us that the service is now available to iOS devices and additional Android users. The app, available for free on the App Store here, will allow users to securely back up and access their content in the cloud.

Verizon Cloud is now available for iOS devices and additional Android devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the DROID DNA by HTC… Whether customers are looking to save text messages, call logs, contacts, music, multimedia or other files, Verizon Cloud allows for up to 125 GB of storage.

The service will also allow for users to transfer some content from the cloud to multiple devices, including the ability to sync photos and videos, stream music, and access documents. You’ll also be able to backup your computer via a desktop app for Verizon Cloudexpand full story

iPad-vs-Windows-tablet-Microsoft-ad-comparisonOptical illusions? The iPad screen on the left is actually bigger

Earlier today Microsoft unleashed its second ad in what appears to be a new campaign focusing on directly comparing iPad to Windows 8 tablets side-by-side– not unlike Apple’s own very successful ‘Get a Mac’ campaign. However, it appears that some of Microsoft’s claims are turning out to be quite inaccurate.

To go along with the two videos posted to its YouTube channel and currently running on TV, (Via DaringFireball) points us to a comparison Microsoft has posted on its website pitting iPad against the ASUS VivoTab Smart Windows tablet. In the ad, Microsoft claims that the Windows tablet “has a bigger touchscreen,” but Elliot Temple from breaks down why it just isn’t true:

The iPad screen is 7.76 by 5.82 inches. The ASUS screen is 8.8 by 4.95 inches. ASUS is larger in one direction but smaller in the other direction, and has 3.55% less area than the iPad, not 36% more as Microsoft depicts. 

How can the screen with a larger diagonal measurement be smaller? Because it’s a different shape. Long and thin gets you a bigger diagonal but a smaller screen, for the same diagonal inches.

While Microsoft might not have all its facts straight on display size, it using the fact it still hasn’t delivered an Office app for iOS as major part of its new campaign… expand full story

May 22, 2013

In case you needed some proof that the rumors of Apple switching from Corning glass to sapphire crystal are unlikely, Corning has posted a video on its website showing how its current Gorilla Glass is superior to sapphire for mobile devices.

Recently, speculation has arisen that manufactured sapphire crystal might become an alternative to Corning’s Gorilla Glass.  “Sapphire’s performance as a cover for high-end watches probably leads to the current speculation.  But those covers are much smaller than a mobile phone and are two to three times thicker than Gorilla Glass.  In one of our commonly accepted strength tests, sapphire breaks more easily than Gorilla Glass after the same simulated use.  Additionally, sapphire’s cost and environmental hit are huge issues,” Steiner said.

There have been a couple rumors floating around that smartphone makers are looking into using sapphire crystal as a replacement for other cover glass solutions. With Apple using the material as a cover for its camera lenses on iPhone 5 and the latest iPod touch, some have speculated it could use sapphire for other parts of its devices, such as the display’s cover glass or home button. However, that’s not likely, according to Corning, Gorilla Glass is “about half the weight”, requires 99 percent less energy in manufacturing, provides brighter displays, and “costs less than a tenth” of sapphire.  expand full story


Earlier this month we noted that Apple was asking courts to add the Galaxy S4 as an infringing device in its ongoing patent dispute with Samsung in California. Now, Apple has officially filed a motion (via FossPatents) outlining five patents infringed by the Galaxy S4 and another two Siri related patents infringed by the device’s Google Now voice controlled search feature.

Apple had previously claimed that the Android Google search box feature on Samsung devices infringed the same patents, but is now moving to have Google Now included alongside the S4. Excerpt from Apple’s filing below: expand full story


As first spotted by our friends over at German language publication, Apple appears to be rolling out an option to make purchases on the Apple Online Store using PayPal. The feature appears to be limited to Germany currently, but it could mark the start of a broader roll out to other users.

Screen Shot 2013-05-22 at 10.36.03 AM

Apple has never been opposed to offering the option to use PayPal for some services. Users in the U.S. have long been able to setup PayPal as a payment option for their Apple ID on the desktop, allowing them to purchase iTunes content with PayPal on iTunes & the Mac App Store. Apple does, however, already support PayPal payments for its online store in China.

It also allows its education customers to use PayPal for volume purchases of iOS apps, but the privilege didn’t extend to making purchases from the online store at

Apple’s help page for  payments and tax information in Germany now explains how users can opt for PayPal at checkout, but we’ve yet to find the feature live in other countries that we’ve tested.

Users will not have to setup their PayPal as their payment option for their Apple ID, instead they will be redirected to log in using their PayPal username and password at the time of purchase: expand full story

iLoveHandles, a company that makes unique iOS device accessories (Facet and Pinhead come to mind), today announced availability of its latest one of a kind offering for iPhone.

TRUNK-coffeeDubbed the “Trunk,” the company has created a short, flexible Lightning cable that is strong enough to hold up an iPhone vertically when charging in the wall or elsewhere. We’ve seen similar dock solutions before that are married with wall adapters, but Trunk makes it easy to prop up your iPhone no matter where you are.

iLoveHandles, which is currently selling the cable for $19.95 through its website, shows in the images above a couple of the situations Trunk might come in handy. This is definitely a product we can see using in the car while using a maps app to navigate, and we hope to bring a full hands-on review of Trunk soon. expand full story


During its Google I/O keynote earlier this month, Google announced that it would be bringing conversational, Google-Now like voice search to the desktop. Using a UI similar to voice search and Google Now in its mobile apps, Google would soon allow Chrome users to search and drill down further into results using only their voice.

Today, Google appears to have finally started rolling out the feature for Chrome users on the stable and beta channels of Chrome.

After updating to the latest version 27.0.1453.93 of Chrome, users can navigate to, click the microphone icon, and choose to allow the new Google Voice search feature to begin listening. Google will only ask for permission to listen once and from then on users can simply speak in order to search. For certain search results such as questions Google will also provide audible results.

Not all of the functionality seems to be available as of yet. For example, when Google first showed off the feature users weren’t required to click at all. Google execs were activating the feature by simply saying “Ok, Google” and were able to continue searching with their voice, hands-free, from on the search results page. The feature as it’s currently implemented now requires users to click the mic icon in order to start a voice search. expand full story

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