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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.

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T-Mobile’s Network Test Drive Puts 5G on Your iPhone’s eSIM

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.

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Consumer Desktop Mac Buying Guide: Which Is Right For You?

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.

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watchOS 8 Features a Grab Bag of Improvements

Apple’s watchOS 8 introduces a variety of improvements in health, communication, photos, home automation, and more.

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iPadOS 15 Improves Multitasking, Adds iPhone Features

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.

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Seven Third-Party Accessories Show MagSafe’s Potential

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.

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New iPad Pros Boast M1 Chips and Liquid Retina XDR Display

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.

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Apple’s AirTag Promises to Help You Find Your Keys

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.

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Some Fancy E-Bikes Have Their Own Apps. We Tried Two

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.

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Apple’s AirPods Max Headphones Are Pricey but Good

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.

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Nomad Multi-Device Charger Aims to Be AirPower’s Heir

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.

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Xebec’s Tri-Screen Attaches Extra Screens to a MacBook

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.

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The iPhone Gets 5G, but What’s It Like in Real-World Use?

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.

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Apple Introduces $99 HomePod mini

Apple announced the HomePod mini, a smaller, less expensive, and more rounded version of its two-year-old HomePod. The expanded speaker line has little in the way of groundbreaking features as it competes with speakers from Amazon and Google, but at least it’s now more affordable.

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The Apple Watch as a Pandemic Peripheral

Is the Apple Watch even more attractive than normal during the pandemic? Julio Ojeda-Zapata has been pondering its utility in the coronavirus context, and he’s increasingly using his watch so he doesn’t have to keep digging out—and later disinfecting—his iPhone. He’s trying to talk his wife into doing the same—we’ll see how that goes.

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Mimestream Brings Gmail Features to a Mac Email App

You can access Google’s Gmail in desktop email clients, but its IMAP support can be awkward. Enter Mimestream, a native Mac app that uses Google’s Gmail API to more faithfully bring Gmail’s features to the desktop. Mimestream is still in beta and the developer has much to do, but you can try the app now for free.