Stories by Jason Snell

  • Hands-on with OS X Yosemite: Spotlight takes center stage

    Like its littermate Dashboard, OS X's Spotlight feature has been with us since OS X Tiger, way back in 2005. That entire time, it's been a systemwide search feature parked at the top of the screen. But Spotlight in OS X Yosemite is different. Really different, with a new look, a new location, and a new set of data sources. This is not the Spotlight we've come to know.

  • Why Newsstand needs to go away

    Newsstand was one of iOS 5's banner features when it was introduced back in 2011, but its time has come and gone. What was intended to be a special collection of apps has, instead, become a second-class collection. That's why it would be better for everyone concerned - Apple, users, app developers, and publishers (including Macworld) - if Newsstand just vanished.

  • Haunted Empire sticks to its Apple-is-doomed narrative

    If Yukari Iwatani Kane's Haunted Empire teaches us anything, it's that a dogged newspaper reporter who wants to write a book about Apple needs a narrative hook to hang the story on. In Kane's case it's right there in the title: Apple is an empire that's haunted by its fallen emperor, Steve Jobs, an organization that just can't make up for his loss and is falling apart right before our eyes.

  • Marvel offers $US0.99 access to Unlimited comic archive

    Marvel Comics is making its subscription comic service, Marvel Unlimited, available for $US0.99 for the first month until March 14. If you're a comic-book fan - either present or past - it's a great deal to try out Marvel's all-you-can-eat approach to comic reading.

  • A year with Pebble: What I've learned from the smartwatch

    As it turns out, 2013 probably wasn't the Year of the Smartwatch, given that none of the wearable tech released last year set the world on fire. But 2013 was the year I got my first smartwatch, as the Pebble shipped in January, and, as one of the device's Kickstarter backers, I received mine a month later.

  • Apple executives on the Mac at 30: 'The Mac keeps going forever.'

    Thirty years ago, Apple introduced the Macintosh, and we all learned why 1984 wasn't going to be like 1984. A lot has changed in 30 years, and yet even in as fast-moving a field as technology, Apple and the Mac are still here. A time traveler from 1984, fresh from Steve Jobs's introduction of the original Mac, would probably be able to point at one of today's iMacs and identify it as the logical evolution of the original.

  • First Look: iPad mini with Retina display

    The iPad mini with Retina display has arrived. As someone who dumped the full-sized iPad for the iPad mini a year ago, I've been excited to get my hands on this new model. Can its small size beat out the all-new, all-lightweight iPad Air for a place in my heart and my backpack? I've been using mine for half a day; here are some initial impressions ahead of my full review.

  • iPad Air: The best tablet gets better

    It's right there in the name: The most important trait of the iPad Air is that it weighs only a pound. For a company that obsesses over making devices thinner and lighter, it must have been torture for Apple to spend nearly three years making a series of iPads that were better than their predecessors, but not smaller. Now it has.

  • iPad diary day 3: Case closed

    Sometimes it takes a while to get used to the iPad. I just finished up a FaceTime call with my mother, who got an iPad mini for Christmas last year. After a couple of months, she was still using her MacBook more than the iPad, and I was concerned that it was just a misbegotten purchase. But today she complained that the only reason she used her laptop anymore was to print, because her printer doesn't support AirPrint.

  • iPad Air diary, day 2: Fastest iOS device ever

    I'm still working away at the new iPad Air, not to mention loading it up with movies and TV shows for my cross-country flight. But in the meantime, Jim Galbraith of the Macworld Lab has run some speed tests on the new iPad Air compared to other recent(ish) iOS devices. The results are not shocking, but they're still impressive: The iPad Air is pretty much the fastest iOS device ever.