Author's Archive

The UE Roll 2 is this summer’s best Bluetooth speaker, but we don’t recommend you buy it

The Ultimate Ears (UE) division of Logitech has been making some of the best Bluetooth speakers out there for quite some time. When I reviewed the waterproof UE Roll last year, it became the no-brainer summer music purchase, especially as 9to5toys caught it dipping down to $50 a few times in the past few weeks.

The UE Roll is super-portable, mostly flat, rugged and so waterproof you can bring it into a pool with its own little floatie.  The sound quality is amazng for the small form factor and the battery lasts between 5-10 hours. This is the speaker I take with me on most trips because it is small in the backpack yet still sounds great, pairs easily with multiple devices and even has iOS/Android apps for creating alarms and checking battery. Obviously if you are throwing a house/pool party, you’ll want something more substantial like UE Boom and Megaboom.

Today UE upgraded the Roll with 15% better sound and 100-ft wireless range (up from 66-ft) along with some new color/designs (pictured above). Here’s the full official specs update …

  • Blasts out 15 percent more sound, delivering epic tunes in the palm of your hand.
  • Has a longer wireless range of 100-feet (up from 66-ft)
  • Is available in five vibrant colors: Habanero, Tropical Anime, Volcano, Atmosphere and Sugarplum
  • Offers portability and versatility like no other speaker, with the same completely waterproof (IPX 7) design, bungee cord loop and sleek, disk-shape design of UE ROLL – packing in even more without adding extra size or bulk
  • Plus, it comes with its very own UE Floatie in every package, so your speaker can float right through the fun and splash up next to you

I’m not going to blow smoke … and say that this is a big upgrade. It isn’t. In fact, at at least a $30 premium over the original UE Roll, I’m going to do something I rarely ever do – recommend you buy the old model for $30 less at Amazon (Verizon and Best Buy too).  You really won’t notice any difference and that $30 bucks you save can go almost halfway into purchasing another original UE Roll to pair up for stereo sound (for 200% the sound).

If money’s no object and/or you need the extra 15% sound and range/color options/newest thing, head below for the full low down/video on the new $99.99 UE Roll 2. more…


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Bluetooth, Bungee cord, Logitech, UE BOOM

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Seth Weintraub

May 24th

Apple

Mac

KGI: Apple’s full iPhone 7 Plus 5.5-inch lineup to adopt dual camera, 3GB of RAM

Contrary to a previous report, KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo now believes Apple’s next-generation 5.5-inch iPhone, likely to be called the iPhone 7 Plus, will have a dual back camera across the whole line. Previously, KGI is quoted as saying only the high end configurations of the iPhone would adopt the new camera technology:

more…


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: 3GB RAM, 5.5 inch, Apple, Dual-Camera, iPhone, iPhone 7, KGI

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Seth Weintraub

May 11th

Apple

Mac

Apple drafts Cynthia Hogan from NFL and VP Joe Biden’s staff to head Washington office

With recent spats with the FBI and the Obama administration, Apple’s presence in Washington is growing rapidly. Today it was revealed that Apple hired insider Cynthia Hogan to head up its Washington office. Politico broke the story:

more…


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, Cynthia Hogan, NFL

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Seth Weintraub

April 14th

Apple

Mac

Apple CEO Tim Cook stops into Palo Alto Store to meet iPhone SE/iPad Pro buyers

As is becoming a tradition, Apple CEO Tim Cook stopped by the Palo Alto Apple Store close to Apple’s Campus today to meet and greet folks buying up Apple’s latest releases, the iPhone SE and iPad Pro 9.7. While the store wasn’t quite packed, it does appear that Cook got to meet and get some ‘facetime’ with both employees and customers.

The Palo Alto Store isn’t the closest to Apple’s campus but it is the one that Steve Jobs used to show up to unannounced frequently and is one of the more open layouts in the area.

Cook wasn’t the only CEO greeting customers buying up a new product today.

Video via CNBC follows: more…


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Apple Inc, Apple Store, iPad Pro, iPhone SE, Palo Alto, Tim Cook

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Seth Weintraub

March 31st

Apple

Mac

Opinion: iPhone 7 should be imaginative, not status quo, or risk spectacular fail

Walt Mossberg, “Friend of Apple” and Personal Technology Columnist at The Verge, is out today with his take on the iPhone SE announcement from Monday. His not terribly hot take?

Screenshot 2016-03-23 12.01.29

Ouch. That’s not a great sign. Neither is the fact that Apple’s Chief Design Officer Jony Ive didn’t make the 2-building over commute to see the show.

We, however, thought the iPhone SE $399 price was a big deal. Its incredible power in small size was unprecedented and frankly lustworthy.

But Mossberg glossed over any meaningful discussion of the SE and instead ultimatum-ed a wishlist for the iPhone 7… more…


Filed under: iOS Devices, Opinion Tagged: Apple, iPhone 7, Walt Mossberg

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Seth Weintraub

March 23rd

Apple

Mac

$20 Mac Bundle: BusyCal, DevonThink, Crossover, YummyFTP, NTFS, Screenie, LightPaper, more

From 9to5Toys.com:

There is never a bad time to improve your workflow, and the 2016 All-Star Mac Bundle at 9to5Toys Specials offers a major upgrade. It brings together 11 high-quality apps, including BusyCal and DevonThink; with coupon code ALLSTAR5, save $5 and get this bundle for just $20.

Calendar app, BusyCal, has a 4.5-star rating in the App Store, thanks to features such as smart event filters, custom display settings and integrated weather updates. DevonThink also has many fans, allowing users to create a database of thoughts, notes and documents. The bundle also includes CrossOver 15, which lets you run Windows apps within OS X, and Timing Mac App helps you track your productivity. Yummy FTP Pro provides fast access to hosted files, and NTFS for Mac 14 lets you manipulate Windows partitions. LightPaper is an elegant text editor with 4.5 stars in the App Store, while Screenie Mac App is a 5-star screen-grabbing app, and QuickRes lets you switch quickly between screen resolutions. Finally, Find Any File is a powerful search tool for your Mac, and Downie 2 lets you save videos for offline viewing.

Put together, these apps are usually worth $263 — grab the 2016 All-Star Mac Bundle now to save 90% on the regular price.


Filed under: iOS Devices

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Seth Weintraub

March 15th

Apple

Mac

CES 2016: Kanex shows 4,000mAh Apple Watch + iPhone battery, mega USB-C Retina MacBook battery

Apple-Watch-Charger

We are big fans of Kanex so we snuck over to their CES booth last night for an early look at their 2016 accessories. In short, they have a lot of goodies that they’ll be announcing later today (and we’ll update this post when they do). What stuck out for us were 2 products…

Kanex is one of the first to bring out a USB-C Battery specifically geared towards Retina MacBooks, with 3-Amp charging power and 15,000mAh of storage. That’s almost triple the Retina MacBook’s internal 5,263mAh battery. Even with some efficiency lost during the movement of electrons, Kanex GoPower will let you triple your normal Retina MacBook battery usage. And you can put your iPhone or iPad on it as well, since there’s an old-fashioned USB-A port which will charge any of your other Lightning accessories at a speedy 2.4A. It also comes with a USB-C cable. The final price and launch date are TBD, but we’re told “soon.”

Kanex-macbook-battery

We also took a quick look at Kanex’s new Apple Watch Battery charger. This is a little bit like Griffin’s 3,000mAh Apple Watch keychain charger, but it adds a USB port for charging your iPhone, and boosts the battery capacity to 4,000mAh.

DSC_2478 DSC_2476 DSC_2475 DSC_2477 DSC_2479 DSC_2480

Note: Hyper also has a cool 3800mAh battery Apple Watch Case that uses your Apple Watch USB charger to do something similar – including an external USB port).

If it’s only charging your Apple Watch, it will last a week to 10 days, and can give you a full weekend of iPhone and Apple Watch battery combined. Kanex is still tweaking the final design, but showed us a prototype that we’re itching to review.

HyperLink_Amber_animated_2Jan2016_728x90_V2


Filed under: Apple Watch, iOS Devices Tagged: Apple watch, battery, Kanex, MacBook 12"

For more information about iOS Devices, Apple watch, and Apple Watch continue reading at 9to5Mac.

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Seth Weintraub

January 6th

Apple

Mac

iPhone 6c 2016 – Mockups detail rumored 4-inch display, curved edges, new colors [gallery]

Apple’s iPhone 6c, set to be the first iPhone ever released in the Spring, has got the die-hard 4-inch iPhone fans excited for a return to the smaller form factor smartphone. From what we’ve heard, the iPhone 6c may have new colors that resemble an iPod Touch as much as it’s said to resemble the current crop of iPhones in terms of the physical design. This mockup imagines what the iPhone 6c would look like with iPod and iPhone colors, rounded edges and iPhone 6/s design.

iPhone-6c-ipod

recent report from KGI anticipates an A9 processor, 16GB of storage, NFC, Touch ID, and 2GB of RAM internally, which will make it extremely fast, especially with the fewer amount of pixels to push compared to Apple’s larger iPhones. Many, including China Times, expected the iPhone 6C to be released last year, but KGI also was the first to suggest a H1 2016 launch.

A series of Chinese reports noted that a larger 1,642mAh battery is in the cards for the 6C– an upgrade from the battery in the 5s– but support for 3D Touch is likely not. That’s a feature Apple will likely want to reserve as a highlight feature of its flagship handsets for some time. And the reports again suggested that the 6c will get Touch ID and an NFC chip to support Apple Pay.

We don’t expect the iPhone 6c to have an OLED display, though it seems like Apple is moving in that direction on its flagships.

(Head below for the full gallery put together built by our friend Ferry Passchier)

The iPhone 6c would obviously replace the iPhone 5s as Apple’s entry level device, which is currently available for $450 and up and for free with a 2-year commitment. That device is getting old and Apple needs something new to offer die-hard 4-inch fans as the 5c’s aging specs become more and more obsolete. We expect the price of the iPhone 6c to be similar. Also, the 5s is available in 16GB and 32GB configurations with a $50 premium on the higher end model.

There has been some speculation that the name of the device might instead be the iPhone 7c, since it could eventually accompany the upcoming iPhone 7 in the lineup. However with the usual fall launch still expected for the iPhone 7, this feels unlikely.

But what’s more interesting here is that Apple’s iPhone 6c will start to resemble its iPod touch lineup more than ever before, to the point that perhaps there will soon be no need for a separate iPod line at all. We noted in our review of Apple’s refreshed iPod touch in July that an iPhone 5s and 5c models could be had for around the same amount as a new iPod touch. It remains to be seen exactly how Apple prices the new 6c, or what happens to the iPod line, but the 6c will certainly be the most attractive option to those that would otherwise opt for a 4-inch iPod touch or previous generation 4-inch iPhone.

While the new iPhone 6c may spike the low end of Apple’s market, IDC doesn’t expect the release to change the Android-led smartphone landscape drastically.

 

iphone-6c-blue_both iPhone-6c-blue_front iphone-6c-blue_both iphone-6c_iphones_rozegold iphone-6c_iphones_pink iphone-6c_iphones_grey iphone-6c_iphones_gold iphone-6c_iphones_blue iphone-6c-blue_rear iPhone-6c-gold_both iPhone-6c-gold_front iphone-6c-gold_rear iPhone-6c-pink_both iPhone-6c-pink_front iphone-6c-pink_rear iPhone-6c-rosegold_both iphone-6c-spacegrey_rear iPhone-6c-spacegrey_front iPhone-6c-spacegrey_both iphone-6c-silver_rear iPhone-6c-silver_front iPhone-6c-silver_both iphone-6c-rosegold_rear iPhone-6c-rosegold_front
Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: 4-inch, 7c, blue, colors, gallery, iPhone, iPhone 6c, mock up, render

Continue reading more about iOS Devices, iPhone, and gallery at 9to5Mac.

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Seth Weintraub

January 3rd

Apple

Mac

9to5Toys Christmas bailout: last-minute deals on Apple products and email gift cards (in time to get under the tree)

Amazon Gift Card in a Plaid Gift Box

You blew it. It’s Christmas Eve and you didn’t get your friend/colleague/ loved one a present. Don’t worry, the 9to5Toys team has put together some last second options which will get you some great gifts and still save you some money. In fact, if you play your cards right you might still save a lot of money.

Screenshot 2015-12-24 09.38.02

Still get delivery
If you live in  16 metro areas in the US, Amazon will deliver a million items in about an hour. It is like Pizza, except for Christmas presents. Categories include: Health & Personal Care, Books, Electronics, Home, Beauty, Office Products, Kitchen and Toys so there’s probably a gift for everyone in there. Of course, we’d recommend the Apple at Amazon Store within a Store. 

Brick and Mortar:
If you are like me and don’t live in one of these locations, you can always do the cave man option and head to a store. Most are open at least part of the day. Target has a Retina iPad Mini 2 for $194, the lowest price we’ve ever seen and $5 less than Walmart’s previous record low on an Apple tablet. If you are looking for a new Apple TV and Radio Shack still exists in your area, you can pick one up for $120 and it includes an HDMI cable, one of the best deals we’ve seen this year. And Best Buy is still discounting nearly every Apple product by at least $100. If you live in New York (or can trade tax for being a few days late), B&H still has the best deals on Apple Watches

Gift Cards by Brand

Gift Cards!
Your best option at this late hour is usually a gift card, though we’ve found some ways to save even at this late date. Amazon is always the place to go and this year is no exception. The Online retail giant is discounting a bunch of email gift cards for restaurants and apparel retailers by 20% including Steak ‘n Shake, Aerie, Hooters, and others. Just use the specific coupon code from this deal page to save. Example: Get $5 off a $25 Famous Footwear gift card with coupon code SNSHAKE5 at checkout.

You can also save on email gift cards from PayPal’s eBay store. Top picks include a $100 Toys R Us for $90, $50 Skype for $35, $50 Lord & Taylor for $40, $25 iHop for $20, $50 Sephora for $45, and more. PayPal usually sends these gift cards within a few hours. Best Buy will give you a $10 savings code with the purchase of a $150 gift card.

Screenshot 2015-12-24 10.58.45

And the fail-safe: Everyone loves to receive Amazon gift cards. Send one instantly via email or Print one out.

apple-itunes-gift-card-9to5macFor Apple folks, you never go wrong with iTunes gift cards. Get some delivered in minutes from eBay using Paypal or Credit Card in $25, $50 or $100 denominations. Apple will also email you iTunes cards in any denomination.


Filed under: Tips and Tricks Tagged: 9to5Toys, Christmas, email gift cards, last-minute deals

Continue reading more about Tips and Tricks, 9to5Toys, and Christmas at 9to5Mac.

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Seth Weintraub

December 24th

Apple

Mac

9to5Toys Christmas bailout: last-minute deals on Apple products and email gift cards (in time to get under the tree)

Amazon Gift Card in a Plaid Gift Box

You blew it. It’s Christmas Eve and you didn’t get your friend/colleague/ loved one a present. Don’t worry, the 9to5Toys team has put together some last second options which will get you some great gifts and still save you some money. In fact, if you play your cards right you might still save a lot of money.

Screenshot 2015-12-24 09.38.02

Still get delivery
If you live in  16 metro areas in the US, Amazon will deliver a million items in about an hour. It is like Pizza, except for Christmas presents. Categories include: Health & Personal Care, Books, Electronics, Home, Beauty, Office Products, Kitchen and Toys so there’s probably a gift for everyone in there. Of course, we’d recommend the Apple at Amazon Store within a Store. 

Brick and Mortar:
If you are like me and don’t live in one of these locations, you can always do the cave man option and head to a store. Most are open at least part of the day. Target has a Retina iPad Mini 2 for $194, the lowest price we’ve ever seen and $5 less than Walmart’s previous record low on an Apple tablet. If you are looking for a new Apple TV and Radio Shack still exists in your area, you can pick one up for $120 and it includes an HDMI cable, one of the best deals we’ve seen this year. And Best Buy is still discounting nearly every Apple product by at least $100. If you live in New York (or can trade tax for being a few days late), B&H still has the best deals on Apple Watches

Gift Cards by Brand

Gift Cards!
Your best option at this late hour is usually a gift card, though we’ve found some ways to save even at this late date. Amazon is always the place to go and this year is no exception. The Online retail giant is discounting a bunch of email gift cards for restaurants and apparel retailers by 20% including Steak ‘n Shake, Aerie, Hooters, and others. Just use the specific coupon code from this deal page to save. Example: Get $5 off a $25 Famous Footwear gift card with coupon code SNSHAKE5 at checkout.

You can also save on email gift cards from PayPal’s eBay store. Top picks include a $100 Toys R Us for $90, $50 Skype for $35, $50 Lord & Taylor for $40, $25 iHop for $20, $50 Sephora for $45, and more. PayPal usually sends these gift cards within a few hours. Best Buy will give you a $10 savings code with the purchase of a $150 gift card.

Screenshot 2015-12-24 10.58.45

And the fail-safe: Everyone loves to receive Amazon gift cards. Send one instantly via email or Print one out.

apple-itunes-gift-card-9to5macFor Apple folks, you never go wrong with iTunes gift cards. Get some delivered in minutes from eBay using Paypal or Credit Card in $25, $50 or $100 denominations. Apple will also email you iTunes cards in any denomination.


Filed under: Tips and Tricks Tagged: 9to5Toys, Christmas, email gift cards, last-minute deals

Continue reading more about Tips and Tricks, 9to5Toys, and Christmas at 9to5Mac.

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Seth Weintraub

December 24th

Apple

Mac
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