About the Author

Seth Weintraub

@llsethj

Publisher and Editorial Director of the 9to5/Electrek sites.

  +SethWeintraub (850,000)

Seth Weintraub is an award-winning journalist and blogger who won back to back Neal Awards during his three plus years  covering Apple and Google at IDG’s Computerworld from 20072010.  Weintraub next covered all things Google for Fortune Magazine from 2010-2011 amassing a thick rolodex of Google contacts and love for Silicon Valley culture.

It turns out that his hobby 9to5Mac.com blog was always his favorite and in 2011 he went full time adding his Fortune Google followers to 9to5Google.com and adding the commerce component 9to5Toys.com gear and deals site. In 2013, Weintraub bought one of the Tesla’s first Model S EVs off the assembly line and so began his love affair with the Electric Vehicle and green energy which is now electrek.co.

From 1997-2007, Weintraub was a Global IT director and Web Developer for a number of companies with stints at multimedia and branding agencies in Paris, Los Angeles, New York, Sydney, Hong Kong, Madrid and London before becoming a publisher/blogger.

Seth recieved a bachelors degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California with a minor in Multimedia and Creative Technology in 1997. In 2004, he recieved a Masters from NYU’s Tisch School of the Art’s ITP program.

Hobbies: Weintraub is a licensed single engine private pilot, certified open water diver and spent over a year traveling to 60 cities in 23 countries. Whatever free time exists is now guaranteed to his lovely wife and two amazing sons.

More at About.me.

Tips: seth@9to5mac.com, or llsethj on Wickr/AIM/Skype

Seth Weintraub's Favorite Gear

September 9, 2016

AAPL: 103.13

-2.39

Apple’s car plans appear to have hit yet another snag. Tonight the NYTimes is reporting that Apple is again rebooting the now infamous car project.

In a retrenchment of one of its most ambitious initiatives, Apple has shuttered parts of its self-driving car project and laid off dozens of employees, according to three people briefed on the move who were not allowed to speak about it publicly.

2016 has been an abysmal year for Apple’s car project if you believe the various reports from top news agencies. A timeline of Apple Car developments this year: expand full story

PSA: Boost and Virgin USA will carry iPhone 7 + accessories starting September 23

Just a quick PSA for those who like their carrier data cheap and pre-paid: Sprint subsidiaries Boost and Virgin Mobile will be offering the iPhone 7 and accessories starting on September 23rd.

Sprint has been improving its network nationwide aggressively over the past few years and for many it is good enough to use instead of the $100/month “unlimited” plans that AT&T and Verizon offer. Boost unlimited everything plans start at $50/month and drop with on-time payments. Virgin gives you 4GB for $40 with unlimited calling and texting.

 

August 29, 2016

AAPL: 106.82

-0.12

Before the avalanche of iPhone 7, Apple Watch and new MacBook Pro news starts hitting the site next week, I thought it would be fun to share a program we’ve been working on here to reward our most dedicated readers.

We’re often given promotional software, gadgets and gear either as part of a review, sponsorship or just to try out and focus group. Lately, we’ve been asking the vendors if we could share these items as part of a giveaway to our readers. The response has been overwhelmingly great so today we’re formalizing the “9to5Rewards” program. Every few days we’ll give away some exciting new gear to one of our most dedicated readers – at least until the end of the year. Right now we’ve got some very high end stuff optimized for iPhone 7 (read: not headphone jack dependent), some excellent SolarTab batteries, Logitech/UE, Spigen, Pad&Quill, Speck gear and much more waiting in the wings.

How do you win? expand full story

August 27, 2016

AAPL: 106.94

-0.63

Two weeks ago, 9to5Toys introduced you to a unique Apple accessory that will likely help a ton of you with one of the biggest issues we iPhone users experience: the dead battery. We’ve seen tons of small MFi keychain chargers and tiny USB battery packs but this is the first time, to my knowledge, that a battery is actually included into a Apple Certified MFi cable.

This week, I took the $16 (after code JCRJEWEL) Jackery Jewel for a spin. expand full story

Apple Watch drops below $200 in the US ahead of Apple Watch 2 unveiling

Update: Best Buy looks to be sold out in most areas

Apple Watch prices have been in a relative freefall in recent months with the oft-rumored upgrade expected in the coming weeks. However, we aren’t expecting a sea change upgrade this time around. Three weeks ago, a KGI report noted that the new Apple Watch 2 upgrade would include GPS, better waterproofing and improved performance but retain the same design. Another report last week reaffirmed those claims.

A launch alongside the iPhone 7 next month seems obvious.  Apple, therefore, is likely in a hurry to clear current inventory (indeed shortages are already being seen) ahead of the launch and that takes the form of a $199 price tag on the base model Apple Watch Sport 38mm Space Gray Aluminum Case…

August 4, 2016

AAPL: 105.87

0.08
The Apple CEO, Mr. Tim Cook calls on the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, in New Delhi on May 21, 2016.
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Strategy Analytics paints a grim picture for Apple on the Indian Subcontinent. The world’s third-largest smartphone market after China and the US is not taking to the iPhone in meaningful numbers. In fact, sales dropped significantly — 35 percent — in Q2 2016 to just 800,000 iPhones sold vs. 1.2 million in the same quarter a year ago.  Clearly, the launch of the cheapest iPhone ever, the iPhone SE, wasn’t a big winner in India.

Meanwhile, smartphone shipments grew 19 percent annually to reach 31 million units in India during the second quarter of 2016, with over 97 percent of those devices being Android.

expand full story

Apple hasn’t often made appearances at the Black Hat hacker conference, but this year Cupertino is Thinking Different™ about security.  Head of Apple security, Ivan Krstic, today said the company would pay huge (up to $200K) bug bounties to invited researchers who find and report vulnerabilities in certain Apple software.

Screenshot 2016-08-04 21.04.28A quick breakdown of max. payments:

  • Secure boot firmware: $200,000
  • Extraction of confidential material protected by the Secure Enclave Processor: $100,000
  • Execution of arbitrary code w/kernel privs: $50,000
  • Unauthorized access to iCloud account data on Apple Servers: $50,000
  • Access from a sandboxed process to user data outside of that sandbox: $25,000

Earlier this year, the FBI paid out under $1M to extract the data from the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone. Perhaps Apple is trying to eliminate these lucrative back doors into its crown jewel software.  expand full story

July 15, 2016

AAPL: 98.78

-0.01

July 2, 2016

AAPL: 95.89

0.29

June 25, 2016

AAPL: 93.40

-2.70

It appears that the iPhone 7 is going to eliminate the 3.5mm headphone jack but headphone manufacturers aren’t waiting for Apple to make an announcement before hitting the market with some great solutions to this so-called “problem.”

I’ve been living with the new $349 Bose Quiet Comfort 35s for the past week and not only are they amazing, but I can honestly say they’ve changed my life.

That may sound like hyperbole but let me explain… expand full story

June 21, 2016

AAPL: 95.91

0.81

June 13, 2016

AAPL: 97.34

-1.49

Although it didn’t make the keynote cut, one of the bigger news items for developers today is that Apple is rolling out a new file system for storage for all its products:

The Apple File System (APFS) is the next-generation file system designed to scale from an Apple Watch to a Mac Pro. APFS is optimized for Flash/SSD storage, and engineered with encryption as a primary feature. Learn about APFS benefits versus HFS+ and how to make sure your file system code is compatible.

Details are scant but developers can access information about the new File System here, but it comes with some significant caveats/limitations which will initially limit its usage:

expand full story

Apple today updates its press pages with more social ‘Apple Newsroom’

Apple has always provided a dedicated press page for journalists where you could get the latest press releases and .TIF images for our reports. However with journalism changing to a more social endeavor, Apple today launched Apple Newsroom which is a much more Social and blogger friendly format for sharing news articles. Each newsroom post has a link shortener, Twitter, Facebook and direct email links and many more inline media and images than the previous Press pages.

Newsroom ‘stories’ are more like Apple’s own published work and less like a service for journalists. We of course will be linking to Newsroom whenever we can.

We’ve been getting hit by iOS 10 and macOS 10.12 since the middle of last year, mostly coming from Apple’s campus and the surrounding areas. Obviously, things have been ramping up lately and it’s interesting to see what the numbers are like a few hours ahead of when all developers get their hands on the new OSes and the data gets crazy…

expand full story

Microsoft to buy LinkedIn professional social network for over $26B

Microsoft and LinkedIn announced today that the two companies would become one after Microsoft purchases outstanding shares at $196 in an all-cash transaction valued at $26.2 billion, inclusive of LinkedIn’s net cash.

The new organization will give Microsoft a big social graph for professional life and is interestingly announced just hours before Apple’s WWDC.

LinkedIn also owns the popular Pulse Reader for iOS/Web.

You aren’t going to hate a ‘deep blue’ iPhone 7 after seeing this mockup

Last week, a rumor said that Apple was getting rid of the space gray iPhone and replacing it with a ‘deep blue’ iPhone 7.  Most folks, myself included, didn’t really like the idea of Apple’s default iPhone color shifting to a blue variant.

But, just as he did with the MacBook Pro’s rumored upcoming OLED display, Mockup designer Martin Hajek is back with some beautiful iPhone 7 renderings in a deep blue color. All of a sudden, this deep blue iPhone 7 doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.

More ‘Deep Blue iPhone 7’ images follow:

June 9, 2016

AAPL: 99.65

0.71

iPhone 7 to come in blue? Space Gray to be cast off says latest rumor

According to Macotakara, Apple has plans to cut out the Space Gray version of the iPhone 7 this time around and replace it with a deep blue iPhone color. From my point of view, Apple has played so fast and loose with the term “space gray” that this deep blue might be an evolution of the color.

Seriously though. Apple has a blue iPod Touch (remember those things #TBT) which could serve as a base point for a deep blue iPhone but in reality I’m not putting a lot of hope in this one becoming real.

Rough Google translation and the 50 shades of Apple’s Space Gray shown below:

KGI analyst report from two weeks ago broke the news that a new Apple MacBook, due later in the year, would debut a new OLED touch screen technology above the keyboard that will replace the function row keys. A leaked shell of a MacBook days later seemed to at least confirm the report along with showing 2 USB-C ports on the sides and a huge touchpad. The MacBook OLED bar rumor has been a controversial one for us and many of you generating lots of opinions.

MAcBook-Oled-MArtin

However, one of our readers Cameron did a mockup that changed all of that for me and many others. Taking a look at the possibilities with Siri, many of our readers came up with excellent ideas for apps that would use the bar. 3D designer Martin Hajek has done a few better with some amazing renders that take the OLED display from gimmick to “TAKE MY MONEY.”

expand full story

Update: John Weaver did a deeper dive on this over at Electrek

Apple has quietly created an energy subsidiary, ‘Apple Energy’ LLC, registered in Delaware but run from its Cupertino headquarters. The company was seemingly formed to allow it to sell excess electricity generated by its solar farms in Cupertino and Nevada, with plans to sell electricity across the whole of the US.

[Apple Energy LLC] is a Delaware limited liability company and is a 100% wholly owned subsidiary of Apple Inc. [Contact is] Apple Energy LLC, One Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA 95014

Given Apple’s expertise and huge commitment to using renewable energy to power its operations, it is no surprise that it wants to ensure that its solar farms generate sufficient power to meet its needs. Because the sun only shines during the day obviously, Apple needs to shift its generation and its usage. Data centers need to go 24/7. Apple Stores are open in the evening. Apple has alternatives for this at its campus (see Fuel Cell generation below) but if it wants to operate 100% renewable, it has to “trade” overcapacity during the middle of the day for “net-metered” energy during the evening or cloudy days.

Apple-energy

Apple’s Cupertino Campus 2 Photovoltaics are rated at 14 megawatts alone.

But a set of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission filings suggests that Apple could have bigger ambitions in the power field …

expand full story

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