Tag - Reviews
This week, the MacNN Podcast takes a good look at some of the burning issues of the past week, including of course the release of iOS 9. We talk both about the entire downloading experience -- one of the smoothest we've seen in a long while -- and our first impressions on some of the new features and optimization of the release. We also talk about two of Apple's biggest court cases, the Move to iOS app on Google Play, and how useless most app store reviews are.
(Warning: minor film spoilers are contained in this article) Early reviews of Steve Jobs, the two-hour Danny Boyle-Aaron Sorkin collaboration for Universal Pictures that stars offbeat casting choice Michael Fassbender in the title role, are in and are uniformly positive about the film. The movie presents Apple co-founder and former CEO Jobs as "both an iconic visionary and a monster with a silicon chip where his heart should be," but uses history, Jobs' daughter Lisa, and an ensemble cast to create an "astonishingly brilliant" film that even won raves from another co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak.
Technology is becoming hazier and hazier every day. There's tablets, phablets, notebooks, netbooks, laptops, and desktops -- all promising to do different things -- but what if you're torn? What if you want something portable, but full-featured? Then you might be in the market for a convertible tablet. The obvious choice that most people leap to is the Microsoft Surface, but it's certainly not the only option. We checked out the second-generationThinkPad Helix, a two-in-one tablet-turned-laptop by Lenovo -- see what we thought of it!
We like having a Bluetooth keyboard on hand, particularly when traveling or just around the house for when disaster strikes. Unfortunately, we've yet to find one we absolutely love to pieces. Generally, they're made smaller than laptop keyboards, but not quite small enough to make them perfect for lugging around comfortably. Enter the E6700 keyboard from Rapoo, which looks very cool -- but has a rather awkward design choice. Check out our full review for more info.
Reviews are starting to come in on the Apple Watch, but the overall consensus is what might have been predicted: that it is, by far, the best smartwatch in the world; that it redefines the bar for smartwatches in the same way that the iPhone did for mobile smartphones in 2007; that it makes nearly all other smartwatches look like toys. However -- much like the initial iPad reviews -- there is a lingering question of how much need there is for it.
New hotel reviews from TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com are now appearing alongside other local data from long-time partner Yelp in Apple Map search results, even though the two companies are not yet listed as official sources on the Maps attribution webpage. The feature expansion appears to have been implemented very recently, and reports say that some locations now offer additional photos and information on hotels from the two new sources.
Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that would make it illegal for businesses that provide services or sell goods to impose a contract on consumers that would waive their right to make statements against it. Assembly Bill 2365 adds a section into the California Civil Code that makes it unlawful for a business to take action against a customer who decided to voice their displeasure, imposing penalties for each attempt to do so.
Messenger bags are not a one-size-fits-all type of market. From consumers looking for something that is picked from a shelf at random where materials don't matter, to constant travelers that keep their office with them every day -- the variation between the needs of the buyer can be quite large at times. But what if a discerning shopper is looking for a high-quality bag that will take sustained abuse without suddenly falling apart, wants a bag to keep looking good day after day, and is willing to pay for quality? Waterfield Designs, a company out of San Francisco, California which specializes in handcrafted bags, looks to fill that need with a new bag named the Rough Rider.
There is no denying that the introduction of Apple's proprietary Lighting port changed the accessory market. It is becoming increasingly rare to see a company include a 30-pin dock with any sort of home speaker. What originally started out as a 30-pin dock-equipped alarm clock has now been slimmed down into a much smaller package with the shift to Lightning. The question is, have any of these reductions hurt what was originally a standout product? Electronista spent a few weeks with this new alarm clock and have posted our verdict in the full review.
LG, the other South Korean tech giant, finds itself in a difficult position. Namely, it has to compete with Samsung, which has become an absolute behemoth in displays, processors, tablets, and smartphones. As many other Android manufacturers have found, there is really little to be done on the platform in order to differentiate one's handsets from the pack. HTC has taken the high build quality path, releasing the iPhone-quality HTC One flagship to mixed results. Others have gone the super low-end route, but very few are making money. With the G2, LG has decided to switch up the standard form factor while maintaining a solid-but-affordable build quality. How well have they pulled it off? Check out our full review of LG's new flagship in order to find out.
Now AAPL Stock: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for €30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives