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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 19 comments

New iPad Pro: Power and Productivity, at a Price

Apple has released a third generation of its iPad Pro line with a top-to-bottom redesign and high ambitions to set the tablet in competition with notebooks. Unfortunately, although a revised Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard Folio provide added flexibility, the iPad Pro remains hobbled at times by software limitations.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 2 comments

Google and Facebook Use the iPhone’s Portrait Mode for Fun Effects

Apple isn’t possessive of Portrait mode, the iPhone photography feature for creating shots with blurred backgrounds; it allows third parties to integrate the capability into their iOS apps. Google and Facebook are the latest to do it, each in their own way.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 21 comments

watchOS 5.1.2 Brings ECG to the Apple Watch Series 4

Apple announced in September that its new Apple Watch Series 4 is capable of taking electrocardiogram readings as part of its health-monitoring features. That feature didn’t ship with the watch, but it’s now available to users in the US with the watchOS 5.1.2 update, along with irregular heart rhythm monitoring on all supported Apple Watch models.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 12 comments

Luna Display Turns an iPad into a Responsive Mac Screen

Astro HQ’s Luna Display dongle for the Mac turns an iPad into a secondary monitor via Lightning or Wi-Fi. Others have pulled off such an iPad-as-Mac-screen maneuver using software, but Luna’s hardware approach taps into the Mac’s graphics acceleration to improve performance.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 4 comments

Ergotron WorkFit-TX Sit-Stand Desk Converter Works Well but Is Costly

For those whose offices cannot accommodate a full-size standing desk, a converter placed atop an existing desk serves the same function. Ergotron’s newest converter, the WorkFit-TX, remedies the flaws in other such products. It isn’t cheap, though.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 31 comments

It Lives! Apple Announces Pro-Focused Mac mini

The Mac mini, long believed to be on death’s door, has received an overhaul that brings it up to date and offers configuration options that will please professional users.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 2 comments

Overcast and Apple’s Podcasts Make the Apple Watch a Decent Podcast Player

With watchOS 5 and new apps, the Apple Watch comes into its own as a standalone podcast player. Apple has released an Apple Watch version of its Podcasts app, and developer Marco Arment has followed suit with Overcast.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 20 comments

Apple Watch Series 4: Bigger Screens, New Faces, and Enhanced Health Monitoring

Apple has announced the Apple Watch Series 4 models that morph a bit in size and shape and boast larger, edge-to-edge screens. Also new are health-monitoring capabilities courtesy of new hardware—including a Digital Crown that can take an electrocardiogram.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata No comments

The HomeKit-Compatible Arlo Baby Security Cam Is Not Just for Parents

The Arlo Baby security camera is officially a souped-up baby monitor. But look beyond its marketing and you’ll find a quality—if pricey—security camera with broad appeal. Though HomeKit is not yet fully integrated, other capabilities help make up for its limitations. Just ditch those animal ears.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 16 comments

Mailplane Goes Chrome and Adds Features

On the Mac, Mailplane is a good fit for Gmail users who like Google’s Web-based interface but also want desktop features. With version 4, Mailplane rolls out many changes, including a new reliance on the Google Chrome browser under the hood, enabling the use of Gmail-focused Chrome extensions.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 40 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 29 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.