About the Author

Michael Steeber

@MichaelSteeber

Michael contributes to the news and graphics side of 9to5Mac. Follow Michael on Twitter for more updates.

Email: steeber@9to5mac.com

Michael Steeber's Favorite Gear

September 15

AAPL: 159.88

1.60

When the original iPhone was unveiled in January 2007, Steve Jobs introduced its signature home button with a succinct pitch: “It takes you home from wherever you are. And that’s it.” Such a simple explanation seems striking today. Not only would the home button evolve into a Swiss Army Knife of functions, but it would become the iconic face of the iPhone itself, making it instantly recognizable even from a distance.

Ten years later, the home button has been put through its paces. It’s old, bloated with features, and taking up valuable space on devices with rapidly shrinking bezels. For the first time this fall, Apple will ship an iPhone without a home button at all — the iPhone X. How did we get here? Let’s take a look back at the home button’s winding history.

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September 11

AAPL: 161.50

2.87
Left: Polygram's facial recognition at work. Right: Expressions detectable by the iPhone X depth-sensing camera.
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Over the weekend we gave you an exclusive look at some of the big new features coming to iOS 11 and the soon-to-be-announced iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X. One of the highlights is a novelty feature for iMessage called Animoji, which will allow users to send their friends 3D emoji animated by actual facial expressions. Apple isn’t the first company to pull off this effect, however. A new social app called Polygram has already implemented its own version of facial reactions, and you can run it on your iPhone today.

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The best 4K & 5K displays for Mac

September 7

AAPL: 161.26

-0.65

Ask anybody about the importance of online security and data management, and you’ll probably hear similar advice. Back up your files regularly. Don’t use the same weak password everywhere. Enable two-factor authentication. A digital life necessitates a layer of precautions that can be repetitive and even exhausting to maintain. It’s easy to brush off the warnings we’ve all heard hundreds of times because “that’ll never happen to me.” Until it does.

When I went to sleep last Monday night, I had no idea that I’d open my eyes to dozens of confusing notifications and my Twitter account taken over by a security hacker group. It caught me completely off guard, but it didn’t have to be that way. Hopefully by relaying my story and some hard lessons I learned along the way, I can help you avoid the same situation as you manage the safety and security of your online accounts and data.

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September 1

AAPL: 164.05

0.05

In an update to its retail website, Apple has noted that its 11-year-old location in Simi Valley, California, will be permanently shuttered on September 15th. The closure will occur just after the introduction of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone Edition, but likely before the new models officially go on sale.

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August 14

AAPL: 159.85

2.37

With little fanfare, Apple’s newest Wisconsin retail location opened this past weekend at the outdoor Hilldale Shopping Center in Madison. The new 10,000 sq. ft. space replaces Apple’s previous indoor Madison location in the aging West Towne Mall, 10 minutes away.

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September 11, 2015

AAPL: 114.21

1.64

Not to be outdone by iOS 9.1’s set of new emoji, watchOS 2 GM, released this past Wednesday following Apple’s press event, includes a little surprise of it’s own. Alongside a bunch of new watch face colors, dig into the animated emoji offered on the Apple Watch, and you’ll find 26 new options, ranging from faces sporting sunglasses, to sick faces, and even a few sets of clapping and fist bumping hands. Check out the gallery below to see them all in action: expand full story

August 18, 2015

AAPL: 116.50

-0.66
Over the weekend, we learned some preliminary details about Apple’s planned updates for two of their most popular Mac accessories, the Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Mouse, in the form of FCC filings. Aside from new and improved connectivity thanks to Bluetooth 4.2, both accessories appear to have design deviations from their existing models, as detailed by the rough sketches accompanying the FCC filings. Based on these sketches, I decided to more fully visualize the changes Apple could be planning for an all new and more modern wireless keyboard based on other modern Apple product designs.

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June 23, 2015

At this year’s WWDC, Apple devoted a lot of onstage attention to a revamp of the Notes app in both iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan. One of my favorite additions is inline web link previews. Just paste a URL, and Notes will turn the link into a preview bubble with a thumbnail for the page, as well as a title and description.

This got me thinking about the possibility of applying the same functionality to other apps. The most obvious place to start, in my opinion, is Messages. I’m constantly sending and receiving links through iMessage throughout the day, whether it’s to a web page, an image, or even just a tweet. Having to flip back and forth between Safari and Messages just to see what the link I’ve been sent is removes me from the conversation and slows down my workflow.

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May 4, 2015

Precision. That’s the word that immediately came to mind the minute I picked up my Apple Watch for the first time. Something about this device felt different, on an almost subconscious level, from any other Apple product I’ve used before. Perhaps I was just caught up in the moment. After all, the Watch is the first totally new product to come out of Apple since the introduction of the iPad, which feels like so many years ago. On the other hand, I knew from the onset that I planned on buying the Apple Watch mostly for its design. I wasn’t so much interested in all of the software features it could offer me, I just couldn’t imagine not having this shiny little box on my wrist. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the Apple Watch strictly as a design piece.

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March 9, 2015

Apple updates iMovie for OS X 10.10.3 beta with Photos app integration, compatibility fixes

Apple has issued a small update to iMovie for users running the OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 developer and public betas. This new update, version 10.0.7, brings integration with the all-new Photos app, announced last year at WWDC and currently in beta. You’ll now be able to browse your moments, collections, favorites and albums in iMovie. Full release notes below:

As part of ResearchKit, Apple’s new foray into medical research, five brand new apps have been launched in conjunction with leading medical institutions that utilize the new capabilities of ResearchKit. These first apps cover the areas of asthma, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, breast cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. Below is a first look at some of the new application’s capabilities.

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February 2, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 11.04.44 AM

Photo via @motro68

As filming for the announced Steve Jobs biopic continues, first at Steve Jobs’ childhood home, then at the Flint Center where the original Macintosh was unveiled, the first photos of Michael Fassbender and Seth Rogen as Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak have appeared.

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January 15, 2015

iTunes Radio, Apple’s first real foray into streaming music, made its public debut back in June 2013, where it was announced alongside iOS 7. Over a year since its release, the service hasn’t exactly taken over the world, quite literally. It’s still only available in the United States and Australia. If you compared iTunes Radio today with iTunes Radio as it existed the day it was first available to use, you’ll notice that not much has really changed.

Of course, just last May, Apple announced its acquisition of Beats Electronics, which brought along with it Beats Music, a robust and almost entirely different approach to streaming music. While Apple may seek to integrate Beats Music more tightly with iTunes in the future, at this time it hasn’t.

So in the meantime, what could Apple do to make iTunes Radio more appealing to customers? Some might say the music selection is limited, or that streaming doesn’t always work correctly. However, focusing on the service strictly from a feature standpoint, there are many small changes and additions Apple could implement that would have a huge impact on the usefulness and utility of iTunes Radio. Let’s take a look.

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December 17, 2014

If you’re a fan of emoji, you’ll want to 👀 at Emoji Type, a new third party predictive keyboard for the 📱. Emoji Type comes from the iOS developer of Product Hunt. Like with any iOS 🎹, installing the Emoji Type app prompts you to enable the keyboard in Settings. Once you’ve done that, you can switch to Emoji Type by hitting the 🌐  icon on the keyboard.

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November 12, 2014

Post to the community

Our original concept detailing how the Apple Watch home screen could work on the iPhone has spawned numerous concepts inspired by the post, the newest being Aeternum, the most full-featured and ambitious project yet. This jailbreak tweak bring a near fully functional home screen interface, complete with rearrangeable icons. There’s still a little work to be done before this can completely replace your current home screen, but it’s a promising start.

If you’d like to try it out for yourself, it’s available now for $2.99 in the BigBoss repo on Cydia.

October 27, 2014

Last week, I posted a concept of what the iPhone’s home screen could look like if influenced by the Apple Watch’s design ideas. Inspired by that concept, iOS developer Lucas Menge has made the concept a reality (above), creating a functional app that simulates the Apple Watch UI adapted for the iPhone. Very neat.

Now available on Github.

Last week, I posted a concept of what the iPhone’s home screen could look like if influenced by the Apple Watch’s design ideas. Inspired by that concept, iOS developer Lucas Menge has made the concept a reality (above), creating a functional app that simulates the Apple Watch UI adapted for the iPhone Very neat.

Now available on Github.

October 22, 2014

At Apple’s special press event this past September, we witnessed the introduction of several new user interface paradigms, in the form of Apple Watch. Perhaps one of the most interesting was Apple Watch’s entirely new home screen. This is the first departure from the same basic concept of the home screen that Apple demoed in January of 2007 when it debuted the iPhone OS.

Apple clearly thinks that Apple Watch is the future of the company, but is the Apple Watch home screen the future of the iOS home screen? Let’s take a look at how we arrived at where we are today.

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October 5, 2014

Review combo: Inateck Bluetooth Audio Receiver and Micro USB Cable with Lightning Adapter

Today we’re taking a look at two iOS device accessories from Inateck- the Bluetooth Audio Receiver and 1.2m Micro USB Cable with Apple Lightning Adapter.

Bluetooth Audio Receiver 

Upon initial inspection, the Bluetooth Audio Receiver might not look like it’s capable of much. The entire unit measures only 40x40x11.5mm. However, this device is capable of driving Bluetooth 3.0 audio through any speaker system with a standard 3.5mm connection.

September 11, 2014

For most people, the decision of which wallpaper to choose for your iPhone is just a matter of going through your photo library to find the right picture. For Espen Haagensen, however, the process just became a whole lot easier. Starting September 17th, a photo of the Milky Way he captured while in Norway will become the default wallpaper in iOS 8, software that will be downloaded hundreds of millions of times by users all around the world.

Two days later, on September 19th, countless iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units will begin shipping out to customers, all preloaded with the same shot. I talked to Espen about the photo’s origins and how it feels to be so prominently featured by Apple.

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