There are many ho-hum and many good portable battery chargers for our iDevices. Most are just little boxes with a battery, LED lights and USB ports. However, the new Lynktec (5,300 or 8,000 mAh) charger has a multitude of thoughtful features, expansion options and usage profiles. John Martellaro has been putting one though its paces and files this review.
As Dr. Mac told you last week, he's been testing a 128GB iPad Pro with a new Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard and while it won’t replace his laptop, it has quickly become his iPad of choice for a variety of reasons (which you'll only discover if you read Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves Episode #161: Living with an iPad Pro.
The owners of the 2015 12-inch MacBook have a small problem. There is only one USB-C port and no USB-A ports. The assumption has been that 3rd party hubs would solve that problem, and now, post CES, new ones are shipping. The Satechi USB-C Hub with pass through power and two USB-A ports is small, light, and does a specific job very well.
Dr. Mac's son came home raving about a cool new party game called You Don’t Know Jack. The good doctor regretfully informed him that You Don’t Know Jack (YDKJ hereafter) first became available as an interactive CD-ROM the year before he was born and has been available continuously on various platforms ever since. It turned out it actually was a new game called The Jackbox Party Pack; it costs $24.99 in the Mac App Store. Read the column to see why Dr. Mac really, really liked it.
Apple shipped a lot of great products in 2015, most of which Dr. Mac owns and uses daily. They’re all darn good, but which one did he think was number one -- the best of the best? There's only one way to find out!
When resting an iPad Pro or MacBook/Air/Pro on a desk, having it inclined at a comfortable angle is desirable for many users. The ParcSlope from Twelve South is a beautifully made steel stand that achieves this. It's especially useful for drawing with an iPad Pro. John Martellaro takes a closer look.
Dr. Mac tests a lot of iOS apps every month and says the vast majority of them are garbage. He's collected thousands of apps but says there are fewer than a hundred he considers extraordinary and exceptional. Here are three of his current favorites:
SkySafari is an excellent sky simulation and charting app for iOS. With it, you can view the sky at any date and time, identify objects in the sky, read about celestial objects, learn the constellations and even control an amateur telescope. On December 15, SkySafari 5 Pro was released, with the Basic and Plus versions to follow soon. The suite of apps has impressive list of new features.
For the past two months I've been using Apple's new iPad mini 4 and recently I went back to my previous iPad mini 2. Like many iPad mini fans I skipped the iPad mini 3 because all it offered over the iPad mini 2 was Touch ID without any performance boost. The iPad mini 4 changed that, of course, bringing the iPad Air 2's guts and power to the mini form-factor. I wondered, though, does all this new speed – and RAM – matter for daily use? Turns out it does.
The Apple iPad Pro is a larger iPad than most users are accustomed to and, therefore, requires special handling. Any case for it should fit in with the intended use and be compatible with Apple's Apple Smart Keyboard and pencil. This iPad's extra weight and size make drop protection critical. John Martellaro reviews the Urban Armor Gear Composite Case for the iPad Pro to see how it measures up.
TMO Weekly Sponsor
TMO Daily Observations 2016-02-05: Streaming the Super Bowl, Time Machine’s Failure
CBS is making it easy-and free-for anyone to watch the Super Bowl without needing a cable TV subscription or antenna.…
TMO Daily Observations 2016-02-04: Apple’s Hacker Hires, Foxconn Buys Sharp
Apple bought the security research company behind the Thunderstrike 2 Mac exploit. Bryan Chaffin and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet…