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Julio Ojeda-Zapata

Julio Ojeda-Zapata

Julio Ojeda-Zapata is a technology reporter and blogger at the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has written books about Twitter, the iPad, and mobile productivity. Keep up with him at ojezap.com.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 29 comments

Velop Provides First-Rate but Expensive Wi-Fi Mesh Networking

With Apple’s AirPort line of base stations gone to that Wi-Fi network in the sky, the Velop wireless system from Linksys is a solid alternative. Unlike Apple’s base stations, Velop is “mesh” hardware, with multiple units working in unison to bathe a residence in bandwidth. Velop works well but is costly. Luckily, there are less expensive options.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 8 comments

watchOS 5 Targets Fitness, Communication, and More

The Apple Watch, with a focus on fitness, communication, and info-snippet consumption, looks to become far more capable in all these areas courtesy of the just-announced watchOS 5. The updated will let other models work as walkie-talkies, play podcasts, spawn more-interactive alerts, aid hikers and yoga fans, and more.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 7 comments

Google I/O 2018 Shows Where Google’s iOS Apps Are Headed

The keynote presentation at this year’s Google I/O conference introduced no new hardware to compete with Apple devices, but it did feature improvements to Google apps and services used by many Apple users, including Gmail, Google Photos, Google Maps, Google News, and Google Assistant.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 27 comments

Google Revamps Gmail’s Web Interface

Gmail, Google’s popular email service, has undergone a revamp that includes visual tweaks and a battery of new features, some focused on usability, others on security.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 8 comments

Five Apps That Play Podcasts Directly from Your Apple Watch

Want to listen to a podcast while exercising or doing yardwork, without having your iPhone along? Couple an Apple Watch with one of these five podcast apps and you’ll be able to leave your iPhone behind. But prepare for a few glitches and rough edges.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 11 comments

Apple Strikes Back at Google with Education Initiatives

Apple is a bit of an underdog in the education market, where Google increasingly dominates with inexpensive, easily managed Chromebook laptops. On Tuesday, Apple staged an education-specific press event at a Chicago magnet school to trot out a host of education initiatives meant to make Apple more competitive in the classroom.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 2 comments

Beyond Music: Comparing the HomePod to Amazon Echo and Google Home

Not every HomePod owner is a music addict, and even those who are will likely want their speakers to do other stuff. Julio Ojeda-Zapata has explored ways to tap the HomePod and Siri for information consumption, personal management, and other uses. For context, he compares the HomePod’s capabilities and Siri performance to equivalent features in competing Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers.

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Three Alternatives to Twitter’s Now-Defunct Mac App

Twitter is finally putting its long-stagnant Mac app out of its misery. Now users must find replacements. Sadly, the selection isn’t vast. Julio Ojeda-Zapata tested two native Mac apps, Twitterrific and Tweetbot, along with Twitter’s own cross-platform TweetDeck, which is intended for power users.

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13 Qi Wireless Chargers for the iPhone Reviewed

Wireless charging has been around for years. But when Apple built this technology into its newest iPhones, it gave the tech a boost. Julio Ojeda-Zapata tested an assortment of wireless chargers while peering ahead to see what else is coming.

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iPad Productivity Gets a Boost with iOS 11

Julio Ojeda-Zapata has long relied on the iPad for mobile productivity, but he chafed at the limitations imposed by iOS compared to macOS. Now, tablet-specific improvements to iOS 11 make the iPad a better machine for work on the go.

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New Google Gear Once Again Takes Aim At Apple Products

Google for some time now has aimed to become a major player in the consumer hardware market, and that inevitably means competing with Apple. Google’s recent press event was crammed with products that are going up against Apple’s.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata Adam Engst 4 comments

Apple Watch Series 3 Goes Cellular

Apple has announced the Apple Watch Series 3, which beefs up the smartwatch’s hardware in a variety of ways, most notably the addition of LTE cellular access. It’s a nice refresh but may not cause existing Apple Watch owners to buy again.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata No comments

A Prairie HomeKit Companion: HomeKit Security Provides Peace of Mind

Julio Ojeda-Zapata frets about potential burglaries when he’s away from home, so before a recent trip he tricked out his house with Internet-connected video cameras, motion sensors, and smart outlets. Most, but not all of the gadgets work with Apple’s HomeKit, which points to lingering gaps in the company’s home-automation ecosystem.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 7 comments

Apple’s 10.5-inch iPad Pro Aims for the Sweet Spot

If Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro seemed awfully big and the 9.7-inch model a bit too small, you might find the new 10.5-inch variation to be just right. Its major under-the-hood upgrades are mirrored on the just-refreshed 12.9-inch version for those who prefer the larger screen.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata No comments

watchOS 4 Focuses on Fun and Fundamentals

Apple has announced the fourth major update to watchOS for the Apple Watch. Improvements include person-to-person payments, enhanced fitness tracking, and updated music controls, plus new watch faces.