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.
Which MagSafe-compatible portable battery pack should you buy? Julio Ojeda-Zapata put Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack and three of its competitors through their paces and found pluses and minuses across the board. Though Apple’s product is the only MagSafe-certified option, you shouldn’t dismiss the other products given their lower cost and worthwhile features.
When Apple unveiled its AirTag tracker, many wondered why the company failed to build Find My technology into its second-generation Siri Remote, introduced at the same time. Now a couple of accessory makers are solving this issue with silicone Siri Remote sleeves that incorporate AirTag pockets. Julio Ojeda-Zapata tried both.
Choosing Apple earbuds or headphones becomes more complicated when you factor in gear from Apple subsidiary Beats by Dre. To wrap his head around all the options, Julio Ojeda-Zapata constructed a huge comparison chart. This companion article separates the various Apple and Beats devices into categories to assist you in your decision.
T-Mobile is offering free “test drives” of its 5G cellular-data service by leveraging the eSIM built into recent-model iPhones. After a quick app install, you get 30 days or 30 GB of data (whichever comes first) to try out T-Mobile. The beauty of the eSIM approach is that it doesn’t mess with your existing service.
With its new M1-based iMac, Apple made shopping for a consumer-level desktop Mac more interesting. The 24-inch iMac is thin, colorful, and powerful. But is it right for you? Julio Ojeda-Zapata weighs the pros and cons of the iMac, the Mac mini, the MacBook Air, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro, all of which use Apple’s new M1 processor.
Apple’s watchOS 8 introduces a variety of improvements in health, communication, photos, home automation, and more.
With iPad OS 15, unveiled Monday at its Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple has enhanced multitasking to be more discoverable and easier to use. iPadOS also gains features found in iOS since last year, including the App Library and Home Screen widgets.
Apple designed MagSafe to improve wireless iPhone charging by adding magnets for snap-in-place positioning. The company’s own MagSafe accessories are a mixed bag, but third-party makers have come to the rescue. Julio Ojeda-Zapata tested a handful of MagSafe products that improve the experience.
Apple has unveiled new iPad Pro models that don’t look all that different but build in significant upgrades. Most notable is the inclusion of the same M1 chip used in recent Macs. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro also boasts display technology derived from Apple’s Pro Display XDR.
Apple’s long-rumored AirTag has finally arrived to help Apple users find their car keys via the familiar Find My app. You can track down one of the little metal discs in your couch via Bluetooth and Ultra Wideband. Elsewhere in the world, you can find an AirTag using Apple’s vast Find My network, which leverages nearly a billion in-use Apple devices to relay a tag’s location across town or the globe.
Electric bicycles have become popular for their motor-assisted, eco-friendly locomotion, and some even have companion apps. Julio Ojeda-Zapata took a break from his traditional road bike to test two such high-tech e-bikes and found that their iPhone-based connectivity adds considerably to the experience.
You would pay dearly for Apple’s AirPods Max headphones, which at $549 exceed the cost of rival products by $200 or more. But Julio Ojeda-Zapata came away impressed with their stylishness, ruggedness, audio quality, active noise cancellation, design flourishes, and integration with Apple’s ecosystem. They have flaws, but none are deal-breakers.
Apple’s AirPower never shipped, but the notion of a multi-device wireless charger with flexible positioning lives on. Julio Ojeda-Zapata tried Nomad’s Base Station Pro, a charging pad for up to three arbitrarily placed devices. It mostly works as advertised, but its high cost and technical shortcomings mean it isn’t for everyone.
For users of Apple’s laptops, one screen isn’t always enough. Xebec aims to solve that problem with its Tri-Screen, an accessory that attaches to the back of the laptop lid and has screens that slide out on the left and right. Julio Ojeda-Zapata took a look.
Apple’s iPhone 12 line is the first with 5G, meaning the phones can tap into high-speed data from the main cellular carriers in the US. But “high speed” is relative. Depending on carrier and location, downloads are crazy fast or merely akin to 4G LTE. Julio Ojeda-Zapata tried T-Mobile and Verizon 5G.