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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 12 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.