10 reasons why the iPad Pro might be a better computer than your Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 23, 2015

In my review of the iPad Pro, I made sure to establish that it wasn’t necessarily a replacement for your Mac. At the same time, that doesn’t mean that it can’t replace your Mac, or that it doesn’t do some things better than a Mac can.

To be honest, the iPad Pro does quite a few things better than my MacBook Pro with Retina display. In this post, I’ll consider 10 reasons why the iPad Pro might be the better computer of the two for your workflow. Read More


Review: the $10 iPad Pro Smart Case

By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 22, 2015

Earlier today, I got my hands on the JETech Smart Case for iPad Pro. The JETech is an uber-cheap iPad Pro case offering that’s currently available for purchase on Amazon.

As you’re probably aware of, Apple hasn’t produced an all-in-one Smart Case solution for the iPad Pro. Instead, users wanting full 360° coverage will need to opt for both a Smart Cover and a Silicone Case. That combination, while certainly premium feeling, also comes with a premium price at around $140 before tax. In contrast, I was able to pick up the JETech case for a hair under $10.

The JETech isn’t perfect, but its exceptionally low price will tempt more than a few iPad Pro adopters. Of course, you do tend to get what you pay for, so should you even bother? Read More


Logitech Create Backlit Keyboard Case Review: a great keyboard solution for iPad Pro owners

By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 17, 2015

The Logitech Create Backlit Keyboard Case for iPad Pro is a great solution for those of you who are heavy typers.

Because this keyboard case, unlike Apple’s Smart Keyboard, fully surrounds the iPad Pro when closed, it actually saves you money to go with Logitech’s offering over Apple’s Smart Keyboard + Silicone Case combo.

Of course, the protection elements offered by the Logitech Create are mere side points to the main questions: How does this keyboard perform for typers? Can I use the Logitech Create to type long-form content, or is it primarily suited for quick text outbursts? How does it fair when attempting to lap type? These are concerns that anyone who’s interested in doing real work with the iPad Pro will have.

The Logitech Create Backlit Keyboard Case isn’t without a few downsides, but for those of you primarily concerned with having a serviceable keyboard available at all times, it’s a very good option that’s worthy of your consideration. Read More


iPad Pro review: not just for professionals

By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 16, 2015

I never thought I’d want an iPad Pro. Out of all of the products that Apple was rumored to launch this year, the iPad Pro was at the absolute bottom of my totem pole.

That began to change somewhat after Apple’s most recent keynote, and it completely changed once I was able to actually go hands-on with the super-sized tablet at my local Apple store.

The iPad Pro isn’t for everyone, but it’s less of a specialty device than many might have expected… Read More


iPad Pro first impressions

By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 11, 2015

After waking up in the wee hours of the morning to find the iPad Pro on sale and available for in-store pickup, I decided to place an order for a 128GB Space Grey Wi-Fi-only model. Unfortunately, I had to wait until tonight before I was finally able to get my new iPad home and unboxed. Tomorrow, I’ll be posting some deeper impressions and a few videos that showcase the new iPad Pro, but I wanted to leave you with some of my brief first impressions before I hit the hay. Read More


Review: Apple TV Remote Loop

By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 10, 2015

The Apple TV Remote Loop is a $12.99 accessory for the Apple TV Siri Remote, and it essentially functions as a lanyard to keep the remote securely within your grasp. This can be important when using the Siri Remote to play games, as some titles may require you to wave the remote around, sometimes aggressively, to control certain on screen elements.

But the Remote Loop is sold separately, and doesn’t come bundled with the Apple TV. With this in mind, should you consider buying it? Is it a wise decision for gamers who’ll be using the Siri Remote’s sensors to play Wii-inspired games? Read our full review to find out the answer. Read More


Feedbin Notifier review: the best way to get RSS notifications on Apple Watch

By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 10, 2015

Feedbin Notifier is an iOS and watchOS companion app for Feedbin—my favorite feed reading service. Feedbin is a paid service at $3 a month that provides you with one of the best post-Google Reader experiences that I’ve used.

I’ve experienced a lot of feed reading services. I’ve used Feedly, Feed Wrangler, I’ve even installed a custom Fever installation on my web server. Not to throw any of those services under the bus, because they each have their strong points, but Feedbin is the best overall feed reading package available.

Feedbin Notifier (free on the App Store) is an app that sits on top of the Feedbin service, and notifies you whenever new articles in your feeds meet specified criteria. It sounds simple enough, but if you’ve ever tried to get reliable notifications for RSS feeds, then you likely understand that it’s not as easy to pull off as it sounds.

The thing about Feedbin Notifier, and I’m going to use an overused catchphrase here, is that it just works. If you wish to have reliable notifications for all of your favorite RSS feeds, then you owe it to yourself to try Feedbin coupled with the Feedbin Notifier app.

For the record, this isn’t a review of Feedbin as a service, although I do plan on following up with a post about Feedbin in general sometime in the future. In this post, however, I want to talk about notifications. More specifically, I want to talk about notifications on Apple Watch, and how Feedbin Notifier is now my favorite app for Apple Watch. Read More


Apple TV review: it’s all about the potential

By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 9, 2015

Potential. That’s a word that you’re going to hear tossed around a lot when it comes to the newly released Apple TV. It has the potential to be a great streaming device. It has the potential to be a wonderful music playing machine. It has the potential to be an awesome gaming console. It has the potential to really become your living room’s nucleus for entertainment.

Is it doing any one of those things in a mind-blowing fashion currently? Not exactly. Fortunately, the Apple TV has plenty of room for growth, because it’s powered by a more significant operating system called tvOS, and Apple has opened the platform up so that developers can create apps. Just like an iPhone 4s at its beginning, which shipped with iOS 5, looks nothing like an iPhone 4s running iOS 9, the Apple TV experience is bound to evolve, grow, and improve.

If you purchase an Apple TV now, you’re buying into that potential. Already, the Apple TV can do more than the 3rd-generation version that it supplants. The older hardware couldn’t download apps, and wasn’t capable of playing games natively on device.  With the new Apple TV, you have all of that, along with much-improved hardware, a better remote that doesn’t require line of sight, and limited Siri access.

At this early stage in the game, you shouldn’t expect a perfect experience, but even out of the gate, it’s obvious that the new Apple TV is a much better device than prior versions. Right now, it’s just good, but with the proper direction, it has the potential to be the best set top box that we’ve seen thus far. Read More


Opinion: The Apple Watch is a fashion device first

By Jeff Benjamin on Oct 22, 2015

As many of you may know, I’m now on my second Apple Watch. I got in the game on launch day with a 42mm Space Grey Sport, and after a month or so with the device, I quickly realized that it just wasn’t for me.

Not only was the functionality not quite there with watchOS 1, it was heavily lacking in the looks department. You may not agree with me, but I think the aluminum Apple Watch Sport looks pretty bad with anything other than sweatpants or basketball shorts. Don’t feel bad if that’s what you have or prefer; remember, it’s just one person’s personal opinion.

If you’re the type that uses your Apple Watch primarily as a fitness device, then fine, I can certainly see the appeal of the Apple Watch Sport, hence its name.

For me personally, however, the Apple Watch is a fashion device first. It’s pretty good on the technical side of the fence in several areas as well, but coming to terms with this reality has made the experience of wearing this watch so much better in my eyes. Read More


Magic Trackpad 2 review: Force Touch-enabled and rechargeable, but should you upgrade?

By Jeff Benjamin on Oct 20, 2015

Of all of the new “Magic” devices in Apple’s lineup, perhaps no device is more deserving of the moniker than the Magic Trackpad 2. It’s the only device, out of the three new peripherals that Apple recently launched, that truly brings new functionality to the table.

While the Magic Mouse 2 and the Magic Keyboard are legitimate upgrades over the products they replace, the Magic Trackpad 2 is the most justifiable upgrade from a pure features standpoint, and Apple’s pricing for it says as much.

At $129.00, this isn’t exactly a knee-jerk purchase to be made on a whim. And if you already own the old Magic Trackpad, an impulse buy is lessened even more.

I’ve been testing out the new Magic Trackpad 2 for several days now, and it’s taken me a while to put my thoughts down in writing. This device takes significantly more time to get to know than either the Magic Mouse 2 or the Magic Keyboard. That’s because the Magic Trackpad offers the most diverse functionality of the trio.

With all of that said, is the Magic Trackpad 2 worth upgrading to if you already own the previous Magic Trackpad? Watch our video review, and read my full analysis for the details. Read More


The Magic Mouse 2’s Lightning port location isn’t the problem it’s being made out to be

By Jeff Benjamin on Oct 16, 2015

As soon as I saw the location of the Lightning port for recharging Apple’s new Magic Mouse 2, I knew that a mini outrage was imminent. It took a while, but I guess everyone’s Magic Mouse 2 finally arrived in the mail. Thus, let the outrage commence!

Did Apple commit a design faux pas by placing a Lightning port on the bottom of the mouse, rendering it useless while the device is charging? Is it really that big of a deal? Read More


iOS 9: should you jailbreak?

By Sébastien Page on Oct 15, 2015

Every year, it seems jailbreaking loses a little bit of its appeal. It’s not that the community is dying. It’s just that hardware and software upgrades brought to iOS devices can make it a little less compelling to jailbreak.

If you are on the fence about jailbreaking, take a moment and read the next few paragraphs. I won’t try to convince you to make the jump, because ultimately, jailbreaking is a personal decision, which as you will see, has much more drawbacks than benefits to offer. Read More


Magic Mouse 2 review: rechargeable and sturdier, but is it worth the upgrade?

By Jeff Benjamin on Oct 13, 2015

I’ve been a huge proponent of the Magic Mouse ever since it first debuted. I use this mouse almost daily, even though I have a MacBook with a trackpad.

When editing video in Final Cut Pro X, a mouse is pretty much a necessity due to the precision required. With this in mind, the Magic Mouse is one of my most cherished companions when it comes to my daily workflow.

As you know, Apple just updated its Magic Mouse with several new features. The headlining feature of the new Magic Mouse is its built-in rechargeable battery. The new mouse is also lighter with a sturdier build and features an optimized foot design for better movement. But for existing Magic Mouse users, is it worth the upgrade? Read More


Why I switched to the smaller iPhone

By Jeff Benjamin on Oct 13, 2015

As many of you readers know, I’ve been in the midst of a serious mental debate involving the new iPhones.

As an iPhone 6 Plus user for the last year, I’m intimately familiar with all of the things that make the larger-sized iPhones so desirable. This generation, however, I decided to forgo the added luxury brought on by the Plus model, and rolled with the “regular” sized iPhone instead.

This decision, as you can probably imagine, didn’t come easy to me. If you’ve followed any of my recent blog posts or tuned into our recent podcasts, then you know how much I’ve waffled on this subject.

Why did I end up going with the iPhone 6s, when I was initially set on re-upping with the iPhone 6s Plus? In the end, it all boiled down to one particular reason… Read More


Zane Lowe is not sure Apple Music needs Beats 1, and neither am I

By Sébastien Page on Sep 29, 2015

Speaking to his former Radio 1 boss at the Radio Festival in London, Beats 1 head DJ Zane Lowe admitted that he wasn’t sure Apple Music needed Beats 1. In a moment of candor that probably made Apple’s PR department choke on these words, Lowe is saying out loud what I’ve personally been thinking for a while. Read More


If you’re serious about video, the iPhone 6s Plus is the iPhone for you

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 11, 2015

You have a big decision to make. That’s because iPhone pre-orders open up at 12:01 AM PDT. While things like color and storage size certainly matter, choosing the type of iPhone is an even bigger decision.

In a few hours, you’ll have to decide whether to go for the iPhone 6s or the larger iPhone 6s Plus. There are pluses and minuses associated with each device. For example, the iPhone 6s Plus is much less pocketable than the iPhone 6s.

But there’s one particular area of interest that makes the iPhone 6s Plus hands-down the right choice. If you plan on using your iPhone extensively for video, then the iPhone 6s Plus is a no brainer. Here’s why… Read More


Six reasons breaking up iTunes into highly focused, lightweight apps totally makes sense

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 24, 2015

Most people will agree that iTunes for Mac and Windows is a hot mess. Indeed, the app has long been ripe for a thorough change from top to bottom and inside out, if not a complete reboot.

The reasoning is simple: after more than fourteen years of adding one layer of code atop another and cramming every little feature it could possibly think of into iTunes, Apple has made the app bloated and painfully frustrating to use.

At some point during its development, iTunes has become inundated with various user interface inconsistencies. The most recent version with poorly implemented Apple Music has only made things worse.

Now, some have suggested that Apple break up this resource hog of an app into highly focused apps, each dedicated to managing and syncing their own media type. As someone who belongs to that camp, I’ve put together an opinion piece listing six solid arguments why breaking up iTunes into smaller apps might just make sense.
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Privacy is more dead than we think

By Timothy Reavis on Aug 24, 2015

The concept of privacy has shifted from the connoted right it once was to a fading dream. Where family discussions once never left the dinner table, what a person does and thinks are now plastered across social media in a way once deemed unthinkable because it simply “wasn’t anyone’s business” not that long ago. Now, everything is everyone’s business, and this change in culture has come about largely if not solely because of technology.

Sure, social media has played a large part in changing the way people share information, making what was once personal now more or less public domain. However, there are more subtle forces at work. One common instance many people overlook is the simple request of an app to access your phone’s contacts.

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My #1 next-gen iPhone feature request has nothing to do with Force Touch or better cameras

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 14, 2015

A bunch of short-sighted analysts are downgrading $AAPL on the basis that the rumored Force Touch screen on the ‘iPhone 6s’ and ‘iPhone 6s Plus’ won’t be enough of a hardware differentiator to motivate owners of the present-generation iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to upgrade.

To them, I say: you’d be hard-pressed to call Force Touch the defining feature of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. A convenience, yes. But a marquee new feature? No way.

But wait, what about “the biggest camera jump ever”? Surely a rumored 12-megapixel back shooter with 4K video capture and a five-megapixel upgrade to the iPhone’s paltry 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera would warrant an upgrade?

While perks like substantial camera upgrades, force-sensing screens, faster chips, two times faster LTE and a stronger body are much appreciated, these expected enhancements won’t convince me to upgrade my rusty old iPhone 6 Plus unless the forthcoming phones offer this one feature I have been craving for years now. Read More


Why Force Touch makes sense for iOS platform

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 11, 2015

Yesterday’s report by a credible outlet provided an interesting outline of how Force Touch works and feels under iOS and on Apple’s upcoming ‘iPhone 6s’ and ‘iPhone 6s Plus’ smartphones. The basic premise behind outfitting an iPhone with a force-sensing screen is making user interface interactions faster with focus on shortcuts.

But there are still plenty of doubters out there who don’t think Force Touch iPhones make much sense, arguing the technology is but a marketing gimmick which doesn’t provide any benefit versus long-tapping items on the screen.

While there’s some merits to those voices, I’m inclined to think they’re missing the big picture and here’s why. Read More

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