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.
Dr. Mac's friend Lesa Snider is a talented photographer and author, and he says her Missing Manual books (on Photoshop and Photos for iOS and OS X) make terrific gifts, but her new ebook, The Skinny on Holiday Photo Gifts, is chock full of gift ideas you can make yourself.
Dr. Mac's trip to Florida last week for Thanksgiving reminded him that traveling with today’s technology isn’t always easy. This week in Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves he offers tips for making your travels more pleasant.
Thanksgiving and Black Friday signify the start of the shopping season, but never fear — Dr. Mac has some one-of-a-kind gifts for the geeks you love.
The Hewlett-Packard Z27s is a 27-inch, 4K Ultra High Definition display suitable for use with any modern PC or Macintosh. The IPS, anti-reflection display is flat, bright and the multiple mechanical adjustments as well as multiple inputs are superb. John Martellaro connected one to his Mac Pro and spent several months with this display. Here is his review in detail.
Dr. Mac likes iPhone cases and rarely leaves home without one. The case manufacturers have apparently taken note; in the weeks following the release of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus he received at least a dozen cases to check out.
So for the past couple of months he's been testing a different case every few days. Most cases worked as expected, and none of them was horrible, but there were only two that he liked enough to use everyday (at least when he's not testing other cases).
There is now a pretty good selection of charging docks for the Apple Watch. Some provide a place on the base plate to rest a charging iPhone, but the Belkin Charge Dock goes one step farther and provides a vertical support and Lightning connector for the iPhone in addition to a pre-installed Apple Watch charge disk. The design, while good, introduces compromises. Find out more in John Martellaro's review.
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